Recognized HTML document

Early Anthropological Researches   73

I refer to the intellectual deficiencies corresponding to these moral flaws, shown by the rareness with which men are endowed with the power of free and original thought, as compared with the abundance of their respective faculties and their aptitude for culture. I shall endeavour to prove that the slavish aptitudes, whose expression in man I have faintly but sufficiently traced, are the direct consequence of his gregarious nature, which, itself, is a result both of his primaeval barbarism and of his subsequent forms of civilisation. My argument will be that gregarious animals possess a want of self-reliance in a marked degree, that the conditions of the lives of these animals have made gregarious instincts a necessity to them, and therefore by the law of natural selection, these instincts and their accompanying slavish aptitudes have gradually become evolved. Then I shall argue, that our remote ancestors have lived under parallel circumstances, and that we have inherited the gregarious instincts and slavish aptitudes which were developed under those circumstances, although in our advanced civilisation they are of more

harm than good to the race." (p. 353.)

Galton points out how in earlier life he had gained an intimate knowledge of certain types of gregarious animals. First he had found the camel's need for companionship a never exhausted topic of curious admiration in his tedious days of travel across North African deserts (see our Vol. i, pp. 199-205). Secondly and chiefly he had spent more than a year in close association with the semi-wild cattle of Damaraland. He had travelled an entire journey on the back of one of them with others at his side either as wagon or pack cattle for which nearly a hundred were broken in, or wholly unbroken and serving the purpose of an itinerant larder. He had often spent the night in their midst while the cries of prowling carnivora sounded around.

"These opportunities of studying the disposition of such peculiar cattle were not wasted upon me. I had only too much leisure to think about them, and the habits of the animals strongly attracted my curiosity. The better I understood them, the more complex and worthy of study did their minds appear to me." (p. 354.)

Galton then gives us a very striking account of the psychology of the herd.

One of the difficulties in breaking in wild cattle is to obtain 'fore-oxen' for the team ;these must be those who are of an exceptional dispositionborn pioneers and leaders.

"Men who break in wild cattle for harness watch assiduously for those who show a selfreliant nature, by grazing apart or ahead of the rest, and these they break-in for fore-oxen. The other cattle may be indifferently devoted to ordinary harness purposes, or to slaughter; but the

born leaders are far too rare to be used for any less distinguished service than that which they alone are capable of fulfilling." (p. 354.)

Galton considers that the law of " deviation from an average "-about which he had recently been writing (see our Chapter X)-would certainly be applicable to independence of character in cattle. He found every degree of it from the ox that could be ridden even at a trot apart from his fellows down to the ox that exhibits every sign of mental agony when segregated from the herd. The herd, with its mutual defence, its 'fore-oxen' as material for leaders, _and its own leader, is the product of a country infested by large earnivora. A crouching lion fears oxen who turn boldly upon him, and does so with reason. The 'fore-oxen,' who are self-reliant, tend to be destroyed.

"Natural selection tends to give but one leader to a herd... .Looking at the matter in a broad way we may justly assert that wild beasts trim and prune every herd into compactness,

PGII   10