Recognized HTML document

Psychological Investigations   `251

with which the reader of the present volume is familiar; they deal chiefly with the anthropometric characters, with the variety in features, with the type face as reached by composite portraiture, with the healthy, the diseased and the criminal. Galton then reiterates his view on the influence of town life (see our pp. 123-25). He next turns to a very important matter, which had been thrust on his attention when dealing with English men of science, namely Energy.

"Energy is the capacity for labour. It is consistent with all the robust virtues, and makes a large practice of them possible. It is the measure of fullness of life; the more energy the more abundance of it; no energy at all is death; idiots are feeble and listless. In the inquiries I made on the antecedents of men of science no points came out more strongly than that the headers of scientific thought were generally gifted with remarkable energy, and that they. had inherited the gift of it from their parents and grandparents. I have since found the same to be the case in other careers. Energy is an attribute of the higher races, being favoured beyond all other qualities by natural selection. We are goaded into activity by the conditions and struggles of life. They afford stimuli that oppress and worry the weakly, who complain and bewail, and it may be succumb to them, but which the energetic man welcomes with a good humoured shrug, and is the better for in the end.

The stimuli may be of any description: the only important matter is that all the faculties should be kept working to prevent their perishing by disease. If the faculties are few, very simple stimuli will suffice. Even that of fleas will go a long way. A dog is continually scratching himself, and a bird pluming itself, whenever they are not occupied with food, hunting, fighting, or love. In those blank times there is very little for them to attend 'to besides their varied cutaneous irritations. It is a matter of observation that-well washed and combed domestic pets grow dull; they miss the stimulus of fleas'." (pp. 25-6.)

Galton further remarks that it does not follow that because men are capable of doing hard work that they like doing it. Some may fret if they .cannot let off their superfluous steam, but others need a strong stimulus such as wealth, ambition or passion to compel them to action.

"The solitary. hard workers, under no encouragement or compulsion except their sense of duty to -their generation, are unfortunately rare among us." (p. 26.)

"It may be objected that if the race were too healthy and energetic there would be insufficient call for the exercise of the pitying and self-denying virtues, and the character of men would grow harder in consequence. But it does not seem reasonable to preserve sickly breeds for the sole purpose of tending them, as the breed of foxes is preserved solely for sport and -its attendant advantages. There is little fear that misery will ever cease from the. land, or that the compassionate will fail to find objects for their compassion; but at present the supply vastly exceeds the demand; the land is overstocked and overburdened with the listless and the incapable.

In any scheme of eugenics, energy is the most important quality to favour; it is, a$ we have seen, the basis-of living action, and it is eminently transmissible by descent." (p. 27'.)

Galton next deals with sensitivity, describing his weight lifting and whistle test for touch and sound. Speaking of discrimination by the senses, he remarks on the limitation of language to express various degrees of difference by what we now term broad categories. He writes

"We inherit our language from barbarous ancestors, and it shows traces of its origin in. the imperfect ways by which grades of difference admit of being expressed. Suppose a pedestrian is asked whether the knapsack on his back feels heavy. He cannot find a reply in two words

' The humour of this passage quite escaped one critic. Otherwise he might have,realiee4 that Galton's production in the critic's casee of "cutaneous irritations" was a most useful stimulus against the critic himself growing dull.