Early Anthropological Researches 83
single-handed against rivals who were capable of banding themselves into tribes. Affection for others as well as for self, is therefore a necessary part of animal character. Disinterestedness is as essential to a brute's well-being as selfishness. No animal lives for itself alone, but also, at least occasionally, for its parent, its mate, its offspring and its fellow. Companionship is frequently more grateful to an animal than abundant food But disinterested feelings are more necessary to man than to any other animal, because of the long period of his dependent childhood, and also because of his great social needs, dxe to his physical helplessness. Darwin's law of natural selection would therefore be expected to develop these sentiments among men, even among the lowest barbarians, to a greater degree than among animals. I believe that our religious sentiments spring primarily from these four sources." (pp. 323-4.)
"In the same way as I showed in my previous paper that by selecting men and women for rare and similar talent, and mating them together, generation after generation, an extraordinarily gifted race might be developed; so a yet more rigid selection, having regard to their moray nature, would, I believe, result in a no less marked improvement of their natural disposition'." (p. 325.)
In short Galton puts forth as his faith, that morality and the religious sentiments so far from being inexplicable on the basis of natural selection, as Huxley thought them, are its direct products. He thought that until a society has developed under natural selection a morality, religious sentiments and an instinct of continuous steady labour it would never be stable, and these thoughts suggested his later researches into social stability'- Indeed power of continuous steady work, prolonged or late development and tameness' of disposition are the three features which differentiate for Galton civilised man from the savage. He goes on to consider some of the effects of civilisation in diminishing the rigour of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would perish in barbarous lands. Above all he emphasises the ill-effects of inherited wealth. -
"'The sickly children of a wealthy family have a better chance of living and rearing offspring than the stalwart children of a poor one.' 'Poverty is more adverse to early marriages than is natural bad temper or inferiority of intellect.' `Scrofula and madness are naturalised among us by wealth; short-sightedness is becoming so.' 'There seems no limit to the morbific tendencies of body or mind that might accumulate in a land where primogeniture was general, and where riches were more esteemed than personal qualities."'
Such are a few of Galton's aphorisms. He again and again points out how little value there is in a `noble' descent, for generally the `nobility' of a family is represented by a few slender rills amid a superfluity of non-noble sources. Nor is there, he holds, any limit .
"to the intellectual and moral grandeur of nature that might be introduced into aristocratic families, if their representatives, who have such rare privilege in winning wives that please them best, should invariably, generation after generation, marry with a view of transmitting these noble qualities to their descendants." (p. 326.)
' Galton cites as an illustration of the alteration of natural disposition the evolution of the North American people, the selection of the emigrants from the most restless, combative and rebellious classes of Europe. "If we estimate the moral character of Americans from their present social state we shall find it to be just what we might expect from such a parentage!" I do not cite Galton's estimate because I think it truer when he wrote than to-day, partly owing to the change in the nature of emigrants, and partly owing to the same sort of natural selection within that nation itself.
2 His schedule on this subject will be referred to in a later chapter.
s By 'tameness of disposition' Galton denotes the opposite to wild and irregular disposition, the untameable restlessness which is innate in the savage and to some extent in the gypsy.