112 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Huguenots perished in prison, at the galleys, on the scaffold or in attempting to escape, and an equal number emigrated. The Huguenots
"were able men, and profoundly influenced for good both our breed and our history."
This cruel policy degraded future generations, for it brought
"thoumads of the foremost thinkers and men of political aptitudes to the scaffold, or imprisoned them during a large part of their manhood or drove them as emigrants to other lands."
Thus it came about that the Church,
"having first captured all the gentle natures and condemned them to celibacy, made another sweep of her huge nets, this time fishing in stirring waters, to catch those who were the most fearless, truth-seeking and intelligent in their modes of thought, and therefore the most suitable parents of a high civilisation, and put a strong check, if not a direct stop, to their progeny. Those she reserved on these occasions, to breed the generations of the future, were the servile, the indifferent and again the stupid. Thus as she to repeat my expression-brutalised human nature by her system of celibacy applied to the gentle, she demoralised it by her system of persecution of the intelligent, the sincere, and the free. It is enough to make the blood boil to think of the blind folly that has caused the foremost nations of struggling humanity to be the heirs of such hateful ancestry, and that has so bred our instincts as to keep them in an unnecessarily long-continued antagonism with the essential requirements of a steadily advancing civilisation." (pp. 358-9.)
Such is Galton's terrible indictment of the effect of the Roman ecclesiastical policy. It has not been refuted, and it cannot be, except either by denying the value of original' thinking to mankind, or demonstrating that originality of mind is not an hereditary characteristic. It is little wonder that eugenics has met "with small appreciation from Catholic writers. Yet the charge has no longer other than historic value ; the will to persecute may still exist in the ecclesiastically minded, but there is little force behind it ; the old religions, except in savage races, have lost their hold on tribal imagination ; we are seeking new religious ideals. And, as for the Roman Catholic celibacy, it may now, with a few if notable exceptions, be looked upon as a eugenic rather than a dysgenic factor.
Galton finally points out how in a young colony
"the strong arm and enterprising brain are the most appropriate fortunes for a marrying man,"
but in an old civilisation the factors at work are far more complex.
"Among the active ambitious classes, none but the inheritors of fortune are likely to marry young."
Men of moderate but more than average ability will not do so because
"their future is not assured except through a good deal of self-denial and effort."
Men of great ability, even if they marry young, think of social position and desire to found families and are attracted by wealth in the first place. Thus Galton holds that in an old civilisation there is a steady check on the fertility of the abler classes, so that the race gradually deteriorates, until
"the whole political and social fabric caves in, and a greater or less relapse to barbarism takes place, during the reign of which the race is perhaps able to recover its tone." (p. 362.)
"The best form of civilisation in respect to the improvement of the race would be one in which society was not costly; where incomes were chiefly derived from professional sources, and not mu through inheritance; where every lad had a chance of showing his abilities, and, if highly- ted, was enabled to achieve a first-class education and entrance into professional