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xxxiv   PREFACE

Ore more severely taxed by domestic and social duties. Women have sometimes been accredited in these returns by a member of their own family circle, as being gifted with powers at least equal to those of their distinguished brothers, but definite facts in corroboration of such estimates were rarely supplied.

The same absence of solid evidence is more or less true of gifted youths whose scholastic successes, unless of the highest order, are a doubtful indication of future power and performance, these depending much on the length of time during which their minds will continue to develop. Only a few of the Subjects of the pedigrees in the following pages have sons in the full maturity of their powers, so it seemed safer to exclude all relatives who were of a lower generation than themselves from the statistical inquiry. This will therefore be confined to the successes of fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, great-uncles, great-grandfathers, and male first cousins.

Only 207 persons out of the 467 who were addressed sent serviceable replies, and these cannot be considered a fair sample of the whole. Abstention might have been due to dislike of publicity, to inertia, or to pure ignorance, none of which would have much affected the values as a sample ; but an unquestionably common motive does so seriously namely, when the person addressed had no noteworthy kinsfolk to write about. On the latter ground the 26o who did not reply would, as a whole, be poorer in noteworthy kinsmen than the 207 who