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INTRODUCTION.

F OR thousands of years men have believed in the benefits resulting from worthy parentage and the detrimental effects of evil ancestry ; but it remained for the present century to produce an original thinker sufficiently capable and persevering to work out the subject of Human Heredity in its various branches, after Charles Darwin had illuminated the question of the progressive improvement and gradual transformation of species by natural selection. And fitly enough, it was a first cousin of Charles Darwin who took up this task, after having attained the front rank as a scientific traveller by his journey in South Africa, the record of which is here for the first time made accessible to the general public.

Mr. Francis Galton, the third son of Samuel Tertius Galton, a banker in Birmingham, in whose family the love of statistical accuracy was very remarkable, and of Violetta, eldest daughter of the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, author of "Zooromia," "The Botanic Garden," etc., was born on February 16th, 1822, and educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he gained no great admiration for " the unhappy system of education that has hitherto prevailed, by which boys acquire a very imperfect knowledge of the structure of two dead languages, and none at all of the structure of the living world " (" Art of Travel," 5th ed., p. 2). He thence proceeded to study medicine at the Birmingham General Hospital, and King's College, London ; but lie soon gave up the idea of following medicine as a profession, and entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, in s84r, graduating B.A. in 1844.

Mr. Galton then turned his attention to science and travel, and in 1846-7 sailed or rode far beyond all the deserts, temples, and cataracts c,f Egypt into the Soudan, at that time little known to Europeans, but