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266   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

29 years as 4.5 years later than the average age at marriage and so takes 27 and 36 years as the lengths of generations in the two classes. Thus in 108 years the early marrying class will have had four and the late marrying class three generations. Galton's numbers on p. 322 should, I think, be replaced by the following

Relative contributions to Maternal Populations.



Early marriages (20)

Late marriages (29)










The changes emphasise considerably Galton's argument, although exception may well be taken to some of its stages, in particular to the equality of death-rates in large and small families. However, his general principle is probably a correct one: namely that for the physically fit early marriage means more numerous offspring. Galton's next two sections indicate how he. proposed to make use of this greater fertility in the case of the early married. His first suggestion is to give marks in competitive examinations for `family merit.' Thus able youths would be favourably handicapped in civil service examinations if they came of superior breed. A superior breed is one which has been successful in its callings and is physically fit.

"A thriving family may be sufficiently defined or inferred by the successive occupations of its several male members in the previous generation, and of the two grandfathers. These are patent facts ascertainable by almost every youth, which admit of being verified in his neighbourhood and attested in a satisfactory manner. A healthy and long-lived family may be defined by the patent facts of ages at death, and number and ages of living relations, within the degrees mentioned above, all of which can be verified and attested. A knowledge of the existence of longevity in the family would testify to the stamina of the candidate, and be an important addition to the knowledge of his present health in forecasting the probability of his performing

a large measure of experienced work."' (p. 325.)

Galton would feel his way gradually in these matters, but even a small allowance to family merit would be great in its effect as indicating "that ancestral qualities are of present current value." The second factor is that of `Endowment' of the able who have `family merit.' As money has often been left for marriage portions for poor girls, so it might be left for the worthier purpose of marriage portions for able young people of `family merit.' In the seventies the college statutes of the older universities enforced celibacy on the Fellows.

"The college statutes to which I referred were very recently relaxed at Oxford, and have just been reformed at Cambridge. I am told that numerous marriages have ensued in consequence, or are ensuing. In Hereditary Genius I showed that scholastic success runs strongly in families; therefore in all seriousness, I have no doubt, that the number of Englishmen naturally endowed with high scholastic faculties will be sensibly increased in future generations by the

repeal of these ancient statutes." (pp. 329-30.)

As Galton very truly states, the wealth of the English race in hereditary gifts has never been properly explored; and when it has been, the natural