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mental operations. Few people, when in rapid conversation, have the slightest idea of the particular form which a sentence will assume into which they have hurriedly plunged, yet through the guidance of unconscious cerebration it develops itself grammatically and harmoniously. I write on good authority in asserting that the best speaking and writing is that which seems to flow automatically shaped out of a full mind.


The materials on which the subject of this chapter depends are too various to lead to a single definite and trustworthy answer. Men who have won their way to the front out of uncongenial environments owe their success principally, I believe, to their untiring energy, and to an exceptionally strong inclination in youth towards the pursuits in which they afterwards distinguished themselves. They do not seem often to be characterized by an ability that continues pre-eminent on a wider stage, because after they have fully won a position for themselves, and become engaged in work along with others who had no early difficulties to contend with, they do not, as a rule, show greatly higher natural ability than their colleagues. This is noticeable in committees and in other assemblies or societies where intellects are