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Title: Parenthood and Race Culture - An Outline of Eugenics
Author: Saleeby, C. W. (Caleb Williams), 1878-1940
Language: English
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                      PARENTHOOD AND RACE CULTURE

                        BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

                    “WORRY: THE DISEASE OF THE AGE”
                      “EVOLUTION: THE MASTER KEY”
                   “HEALTH, STRENGTH, AND HAPPINESS”
                               Etc., Etc.



                              RACE CULTURE

                         An Outline of Eugenics

                         CALEB WILLIAMS SALEEBY
                   M.D., Ch.B., F.Z.S., F.R.S. Edin.

                       AND OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE
                           STUDY OF INEBRIETY
                               ETC., ETC.

                          [Illustration: Logo]

                       CASSELL AND COMPANY, LTD.

                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                             FRANCIS GALTON


This book, a first attempt to survey and define the whole field of
eugenics, appears in the year which finds us celebrating the centenary
of the birth of Charles Darwin and the jubilee of the publication
of _The Origin of Species_. It is a humble tribute to that immortal
name, for it is based upon the idea of _selection for parenthood_
as determining the nature, fate and worth of living races, which is
Darwin's chief contribution to thought, and which finds in eugenics its
supreme application. The book is also a tribute to the august pioneer
who initiated the modern study of eugenics in the light of his cousin's
principle. A few years ago I all but persuaded Mr. Galton himself to
write a general introduction to eugenics, but he felt bound to withdraw
from that undertaking, and has given us instead his Memories, which we
could ill have spared.

The present volume seeks to supply what is undoubtedly a real need
at the present day--a general introduction to eugenics which is at
least considered and responsible. I am indebted to more than one
pair of searching and illustrious eyes, which I may not name, for
reading the proofs of this volume. My best hopes for its utility are
based upon this fact. If there be any other reason for hope it is
that during the last six years I have not only written incessantly on
eugenics, but have spoken upon various aspects of it some hundreds
of times to audiences as various as one can well imagine--a mainly
clerical assembly at Lambeth Palace with the Primate in the Chair,
drawing-rooms of title, working-class audiences from the Clyde to
the Thames. It has been my rule to invite questions whenever it was
possible. Such a discipline is invaluable. It gives new ideas and
points of view, discovers the existing forms of prejudice, sharply
corrects the tendency to partial statement. It is my hope that these
many hours of cross-examination will be profitable to the present

It has been sought to define the scope of eugenics, and my consistent
aim has been, if possible, to preserve its natural unity without
falling into the error, which I seem to see almost everywhere, of
excluding what is strictly eugenic. Our primary idea, beyond dispute,
is selection for parenthood based upon the facts of heredity. This,
however, is not an end, but a means. Some eugenists seem to forget
the distinction. Our end is a better race. If then, beyond selecting
for parenthood, it be desirable to take care of those selected--as,
for instance, to protect the expectant mother from alcohol, lead or
syphilis--that is strict eugenics on any definition worth a moment's
notice. It then appears, of course, that our demands come into contact
with those prejudices which political parties call their principles.
A given eugenic proposal or argument, for instance, may be stamped
as “Socialist” or as “Individualist,” and people who have labelled
their eyes with these catchwords, which eugenics will ere long make
obsolete, proceed to judge eugenics by them. But the question is not
whether a given proposal is socialistic, individualistic or anything
else, but whether it is eugenic. If it is eugenic, that is final. To
this all parties will come, and by this all parties will be judged.
The question is not whether eugenics is, for instance, socialist, but
whether socialism is eugenic. I claim for eugenics that it is the final
and only judge of all proposals and principles, however labelled, new
or old, orthodox or heterodox. Some years ago I ventured to coin
the word eugenist, which is now the accepted term. With that label I
believe any man or woman may well be content. If this be granted, the
old catchwords and the bias they create forgotten, we may be prepared
to consider what the scope of eugenics really is.

Eugenics is not, for instance, a sub-section of applied mathematics.
It is at once a science, and a religion, based upon the laws of life,
and recognising in them the foundation of society. We shall some day
have a eugenic sociology, to which the first part of this volume seeks
to contribute: and the sociology and politics which have not yet
discovered that man is mortal will go to their own place.

Only when we begin to think and work continuously at eugenics is its
range revealed. The present volume is a mere introduction to the
principles of the subject: the full elucidation of its practice is a
problem for generations to come. Nor is it easy to set logical limits
to our inquiry. We may say that eugenics deals with conceptions: and
that the care of the expectant mother is outside its scope: but of what
use is it to have a eugenic conception if its product is thereafter
to be ruined by, for instance, the introduction of lead into the
mother's organism? Again, the care of the individual is, in part, a
eugenic concern: for if we desire his offspring we desire that he shall
not contract transmissible disease nor vitiate his tissues with such
a racial poison as alcohol. Plainly, everything that affects every
possible parent is a matter of eugenic concern: and not only those
factors which affect the choice for parenthood.

It follows that the second portion of this volume, which deals with the
practice of eugenics, cannot be more than merely indicative. In the
available space it has been attempted to define certain constituents
of practical eugenics, but in any case the entire ground has not been
surveyed. The concept of the _racial poisons_ may be commended to
special consideration. Whether a poison be so-called “chemical,” as
lead, or made by a living organism, as the poison of syphilis, is of
great practical importance, because of the infection involved in the
second case: but, in principle, both cases belong to the same category.
Sooner or later, eugenists must face the transmissible infections,
and repudiate as hideous and devilish the so-called morality which
discountenances any attempt to save unborn innocence from a nameless
fate. He or she who would rather leave this matter is placing
“religion” or “morality” or “politics” above the welfare of the life
to come, and therein continuing the daily prostitution of those great

Again, the practice of eugenics may be commended and accepted as the
business of the patriot: and two chapters have been devoted to the
question as seen from the national point of view. I am of nothing
more certain than that the choice for Great Britain to-day is between
national eugenics and the fate of all her Imperial predecessors from
Babylon to Spain. The whole book might have been written from this
standpoint, but such a book would have been beneath the true eugenic
plane, which is not national but human. I believe in the patriotism of
William Watson, who desires the continuance of his country because, as
he addresses her,

    “O England, should'st thou one day fall,
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    Justice were thenceforth weaker throughout all
    The world, and truth less passionately free,
    And God the poorer for thine overthrow.”

This is a patriotism as splendid and vital as the patriotism of the
music-halls and of the political and journalistic makers of wars is
foul and fatal: and it is only in terms of such patriotism that the
appeal to love of country is permissible in the advocacy of eugenics,
which is a concern for all mankind.

The prophet of that kind of Imperialism which has destroyed so many
Empires, has lately approved the emigration of our best to the
Colonies, on the ground that “it is good to give the second eleven
a chance.” But as students of history know, it is at the heart that
Empires rot. The case of Ireland is at present an insoluble one
because the emigration of the worthiest has had full sway. So with the
agricultural intellect: the “first eleven” having gone to the towns.
Rome sent her “first eleven” to her Colonies: if you were not good
enough to be a Roman soldier you could at least remain and be a Roman
father: and the children of such fathers perished in the downfall of
the Empire which they could no longer sustain. I can imagine no more
foolish or disastrous advice than this of Mr. Kipling's, in commending
that transportation of the worthiest which, thoroughly enough persisted
in, must inevitably mean our ruin.

The national aspect of eugenics suggests its international aspect, and
its inter-racial aspect. Not having spent six weeks rushing through
the United States, I am unfortunately dubious as to the worth of any
opinions I may possess regarding the most urgent form of this question
to-day. I mistrust not merely the brilliant students who, unhampered
by biological knowledge, pierce to the bottom of this question in
the course of such a tour, but also the humanitarian bias of those
who, like M. Finot, or the distinguished American sociologist, Mr.
Graham Brooks, would almost have us believe that the negro is mentally
and morally the equal of the Caucasian. Least of all does one trust
the vulgar opinions of the man in the street. Wisdom on this matter
waits for the advent of real knowledge. Similarly in the matter of
Caucasian-Mongolian unions. I question whether any living man knows
enough to warrant the expression of any decided opinion on this
subject. Merely I here recognise miscegenation in general as a problem
in eugenics, to which increasing attention must yearly be devoted.
But it would have been ridiculous to attempt to deal with that great
subject here. As for the marriage of cousins, to take the opposite
case, I always reply to the question, “Should cousins marry?” that it
depends upon the cousins. The good qualities of a good stock, the bad
qualities of a bad stock, are naturally accentuated by such unions: I
doubt whether there is much more to be said about them.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the following general study of a subject to which no human affair
is wholly alien, it has been impossible to deal adequately with the
great question of eugenic education--that is to say, education _as for
parenthood_. If only to emphasise its overwhelming importance, one
must here insist upon the argument. There is, I believe, no greater
need for society to-day than to recognise that education must include,
_must culminate in_, preparation for the supreme duty of parenthood.
This involves instruction regarding those bodily functions which exist
not for the body nor for the present at all, but for the future life
of mankind. The exercise of these functions depends upon an instinct
which I have for some time been in the habit of terming the _racial
instinct_--a name which at once suggests to us that we are to represent
this instinct, to the boy or girl at puberty, not as something the
satisfaction of which is an end in itself--that is the false and
degrading assertion which will be made by the teachers whom youth will
certainly find, if we fail in our duty--but as existing for what is
immeasurably higher than any selfish end. Youth must be taught that
it is for man the self-conscious, “made with such large discourse,
looking before and after,” as Hamlet says, to deal with his instincts
in terms of their purpose, as no creature but man can do. The boy and
girl must learn that the racial instinct exists for the highest of
ends--the continuance and ultimate elevation of the life of mankind.
It is a sacred trust for the life of this world to come. We must teach
our boys what it is to be really “manly”--the fine word used by the
tempter of youth when he means “beast-ly.” To be manly is to be master
of this instinct. And the “higher education” of our girls, as we must
teach ourselves, will be lower, not higher, if it does not serve and
conserve the future mother, both by teaching her how to care for and
guard her body, which is the temple of life to come, and how afterwards
to be a right educator of her children. The leading idea upon which one
would insist is that the key to any of the right and useful methods
of eugenic education is to be found in the conception of the racial
instinct as existing for parenthood, and to be guarded, reverenced,
educated for that supreme end. It is for the reader who may be
responsible for youth of either sex with this key to solve the problem
on the lines best suited to his or her particular case.

By the application of mathematical methods to statistics we can
ascertain their real meaning, if they have any. If, as frequently
happens, they have none, mathematical analysis is worse than useless.
Mr. Galton is the pioneer of this study, which Professor Karl Pearson
has named biometrics. Biometrics is not eugenics, as some have
supposed, but is a branch of scientific enquiry which, like genetics,
obstetrics and many more, contributes to the foundations of eugenics.
In the Appendix reference is made to various publications, mostly
inexpensive, which deal with biometrics. In the text I have availed
myself of biometric, genetic and other results impartially. Differences
of opinion between this school and that of scientific workers are to
be regretted by the eugenist; but it is for him to accept and use
knowledge of eugenic significance no matter by what method it has been
obtained. Directly he fails to do so he ceases to be a eugenist and
becomes the ordinary partisan. No reference is made in the following
pages, for instance, to the _law of ancestral inheritance_, formulated
by the Master to whom the volume is dedicated and of whom all eugenists
are the followers. I believe that law, despite its beauty, to be
without basis in fact and incompatible with demonstrated Mendelian
phenomena: and though the book is dedicated to Mr. Galton, it is more
deeply dedicated to the Future. This, indeed, is the _Credo_ of the
eugenist: _Expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi._

       *       *       *       *       *

Woman is Nature's supreme instrument of the future. The eugenist is
therefore deeply concerned with her education, her psychology, the
conditions which permit her to exercise her great natural function
of choosing the fathers of the future, the age at which she should
marry, and the compatibility between the discharge of her incomparable
function of motherhood and the lesser functions which some women now
assume. Obstetrics, and the modern physiology and psychology of sex,
must thus be harnessed to the service of eugenics, and I hope to employ
them for the elucidation, in a future volume, of the problems of woman
and womanhood, thus regarded.


                                 PART I

                         THE THEORY OF EUGENICS

   CHAPTER                                                      PAGE
    1.  Introductory                                               1
    2.  The Exchequer of Life                                     17
    3.  Natural Selection and the Law of Love                     35
    4.  The Selection of Mind                                     52
    5.  The Multiplication of Man                                 71
    6.  The Growth of Individuality                               86
    7.  Heredity and Race-Culture                                 99
    8.  Education and Race-Culture                               120
    9.  The Supremacy of Motherhood                              145
   10.  Marriage and Maternalism                                 160

                                PART II

                        THE PRACTICE OF EUGENICS

   11.  Negative Eugenics                                        171
   12.  Selection through Marriage                               184
   13.  The Racial Poisons: Alcohol                              205
   14.  The Racial Poisons: Lead, Narcotics, Syphilis            246
   15.  National Eugenics: Race-Culture and History              254
   16.  National Eugenics: Mr. Balfour on Decadence              279
   17.  The Promise of Race-Culture                              287

   APPENDIX Concerning Books to Read                             305

   INDEX                                                         321

                      PARENTHOOD AND RACE CULTURE

                    PART I.--THE THEORY OF EUGENICS

                               CHAPTER I


                    “A little child shall lead them”

This book will be mere foolishness to those who repeat the inhuman and
animal cry that we have to take the world as we find it--the motto of
the impotent, the forgotten, the cowardly and selfish, or the merely
vegetable, in all ages. The capital fact of man, as distinguished
from the lower animals and from plants, is that he does not have to
take the world as he finds it, that he does not merely adapt himself
to his environment, but that he himself is a creator of his world. If
our ancestors had taken and left the world as they found it, we should
be little more than erected monkeys to-day. For none who accept the
hopeless dogma is this book written. They are welcome to take and leave
the world as they find it; they are of no consequence to the world; and
their existence is of interest only in so far as it is another instance
of that amazing wastefulness of Nature in her generations, with which
this book will be so largely concerned.

Beginning, perhaps, some six million years ago, the fact which we call
human life has persisted hitherto, and shows no signs of exhaustion,
much less impending extinction, being indeed more abundant numerically
and more dominant over other forms of life and over the inanimate
world to-day than ever before. It is a continuous phenomenon. The
life of every blood corpuscle or skin cell of every human being now
alive is absolutely continuous with that of the living cells of the
first human beings--if not, indeed, as most biologists appear to
believe, of the first life upon the earth. Yet this continuous life
has been and apparently always must be lived in a tissue of amazing
discontinuity--amazing, at least, to those who can see the wonderful in
the commonplace. For though the world-phenomenon which we call Man has
been so long continuous, and is at this moment perhaps as much modified
by the total past as if it were really a single undying individual,
yet only a few decades ago, a mere second in the history of the earth,
no human being now alive was in existence. “As for man, his days are
as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind
passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it
no more.” Indeed, not merely are we individually as grass, but in a
few years the hand that writes these words, and the tissues of eye
and brain whereby they are perceived, will actually _be_ grass. Here,
then, is the colossal paradox: absolute and literal continuity of life,
every cell from a preceding cell throughout the ages--_omnis cellula e
cellula_; yet three times in every century the living and only wealth
of nations is reduced to dust, and is raised up again from helpless
infancy. Where else is such catastrophic continuity?

Each individual enters the world in a fashion the dramatic and
sensational character of which can be realised by none who have not
witnessed it; and in a few years the individual dies, scarcely less
dramatically as a rule, and sometimes more so. This continuous and
apparently invincible thing, human life, which began so humbly and to
the sound of no trumpets, in Southern Asia or the neighbourhood of the
Caspian Sea, but which has never looked back since its birth, and
is now the dominant fact of what might well be an astonished earth,
depends in every age and from moment to moment upon here a baby, there
a baby and there yet another; these curious little objects being of all
living things, animal or vegetable, young or old, large or small, the
most utterly helpless and incompetent, incapable even of finding for
themselves the breasts that were made for them. If but one of all the
“hungry generations” that have preceded us had failed to secure the
care and love of its predecessor, the curtain would have come down and
a not unpromising though hitherto sufficiently grotesque drama would
have been ended for ever.

This discontinuity it is which persuades many of us to conceive
human life to be not so much a mighty maze without a plan, as a mere
stringing of beads on an endless cord of which one end arose in Mother
Earth, whilst the other may come at any time--but goes nowhere. The
beads, which we call generations, vary in size and colour, no doubt,
but on no system; each one makes a fresh start; the average difference
between them is merely one of position; and the result is merely to
make the string longer. Or the generations might be conceived as the
links of an indeterminate chain, necessarily held to each other:
but suggesting not at all the idea of a living process such that
its every step is fraught with eternal consequence. In a word, we
incline to think that History merely goes on repeating itself, and we
have to learn that History never repeats itself. Every generation is

It is thus to the conception of parenthood as the vital and organic
link of life that we are forced: and the whole of this book is
really concerned with parenthood. We shall see, in due course, that
no generation, whether of men or animals or plants, determines or
provides, as a whole, the future of the race. Only a percentage, as
a rule a very small percentage indeed, of any species reach maturity,
and fewer still become parents. Amongst ourselves, one-tenth of any
generation gives birth to one-half the next. These it is who, in the
long run, make History: a Kant or a Spencer, dying childless, may
leave what we call immortal works; but unless the parents of each new
generation are rightly chosen or “selected”--to use the technical
word--a new generation may at any time arise to whom the greatest
achievements of the past are nothing. The newcomers will be as swine
to these pearls, the immortality of which is always conditional upon
the capacity of those who come after to appreciate them. There is
here expressed the distinction between two kinds of progress: the
traditional progress which is dependent upon transmitted achievement,
but in its turn is dependent upon racial progress--this last being the
kind of progress of which the history of pre-human life upon the planet
is so largely the record and of which mankind is the finest fruit

       *       *       *       *       *

It is possible that a concrete case, common enough, and thus the more
significant, may appeal to the reader, and help us to realise afresh
the conditions under which human life actually persists.

Forced inside a motor-omnibus one evening, for lack of room outside,
I found myself opposite a woman, poorly-clothed, with a wedding-ring
upon her finger and a baby in her arms. The child was covered with a
black shawl and its face could not be seen. It was evidently asleep.
It should have been in its cot at that hour. The mother's face roused
feelings which a sonnet of Wordsworth's might have expressed, or a
painting by some artist with a soul, a Rembrandt or a Watts, such as
we may look for in vain amongst the be-lettered to-day. Here was the
spectacle of mother and child, which all the great historic religions,
from Buddhism to Christianity, have rightly worshipped; the spectacle
which more nearly symbolises the sublime than any other upon which the
eye of a man, himself once such a child, can rest; the spectacle which
alone epitomises the life of mankind and the unalterable conditions of
all human life and all human societies, reminding us at once of our
individual mortality, and the immortality of our race--

      “While we, the brave, the mighty and the wise,
    We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
    The Elements, must vanish;--be it so!
      Enough, if something from our hands have power
      To live, and act, and serve the future hour:”

--the spectacle which alone, if any can, may reconcile us to death;
the spectacle of that which alone can sanctify the love of the sexes;
the spectacle of motherhood in being, the supreme duty and supreme
privilege of womanhood--“a mother is a mother still, the holiest thing

This woman, utterly unconscious of the dignity of her attitude and of
the contrast between herself and the imitation of a woman, elegantly
clothed, who sat next her, giving her not a thought nor a glance, nor
yet room for the elbow bent in its divine office, was probably some
thirty-two or three years old, as time is measured by the revolutions
of the earth around the sun. Measured by some more relevant gauge,
she was evidently aged, her face grey and drawn, desperately tired,
yet placid--not with due exultation but with the calm of one who has
no hope. She was too weary to draw the child to her bosom, and her
arms lay upon her knees; but instead she bent her body downwards to
her baby. She looked straight out in front of her, not at me nor at
the passing phantasms beyond, but at nothing. The eyes were open but
they were too tired to see. The face had no beauty of feature nor of
colour nor of intelligence, but it was wholly beautiful, made so by
motherhood; and I think she must have held some faith. The tint of her
skin and of her eyeballs spoke of the impoverishment of her blood, her
need of sleep and rest and ease of mind. She will probably be killed
by consumption within five years and will certainly never hold a
grand-child in her arms. The pathologist may lay this crime at the door
of the tubercle bacillus; but a prophet would lay it at the reader's
door and mine.

While we read and write, play at politics or ping-pong, this woman
and myriads like her are doing the essential work of the world. _The
worm waits for us as well as for her and them: and in a few years her
children and theirs will be Mankind._ We need a prophet to cry aloud
and spare not; to tell us that if this is the fate of mothers in the
ranks which supply the overwhelming proportion of our children, our
nation may number Shakespeare and Newton amongst the glories of its
past, and the lands of ancient empires amongst its present possessions,
but it can have no future; that if, worshipping what it is pleased to
call success, it has no tears nor even eyes for such failures as these,
it may walk in the ways of its insensible heart and in the sight of
its blind eyes, yet it is walking not in its sleep but in its death,
is already doomed and damned almost past recall; and that, if it is to
be saved, there will avail not “broadening the basis of taxation,” nor
teaching in churches the worship of the Holy Mother and Holy Child,
whilst Motherhood is blasphemed at their very doors, but this and this
only--the establishment, not in statutes but in the consciences of men
and women, of a true religion based upon these perdurable and evident
dogmas--that all human life is holy, all mothers and all children,
that history is made in the nursery, that the individual dies, that
therefore children determine the destinies of all civilisations, that
the race or society which succeeds with its mammoth ships and its
manufactures but fails to produce men and women, is on the brink of
irretrievable doom; that the body of man is an animal, endowed with
the inherited animal instincts necessary for self-preservation and the
perpetuation of the race, but that, if the possession of this body by a
conscious spirit, “looking before and after,” is anything more than a
“sport” of the evolutionary forces, it demands that, the blind animal
instincts notwithstanding, the desecration of motherhood, the perennial
slaughter and injury of children, the casual unconsidered birth of
children for whom there is no room or light or air or food, and of
children whose inheritance condemns them to misery, insanity or crime,
must cease; and that the recurrent drama of human love and struggle
reaches its happy ending not when the protagonists are married, but
when they join hands over a little child that promises to be a worthy
heir of all the ages. This religion must teach that the spectacle of a
prematurely aged and weary and hopeless mother, which he who runs or
rides may see, produced by our rude foreshadowings of civilisation, is
an affront to all honest and thoughtful eyes: that where there are no
mothers, such as mothers should be, the people will assuredly perish,
though everything they touch should turn to gold, though science and
art and philosophy should flourish as never before. I believe that
history, rightly read, teaches these tremendous lessons.

       *       *       *       *       *

In our own day the bounds of imagination are undoubtedly widening.
Means of communication, the press, the camera, the decadence of
obsolete dogmas, making room for the simple daily truths of morality
which have “the dignity of dateless age” and are too hard for the teeth
of time--these account in large measure for the fact that the happier
half of the world is at last beginning to realise how the other half
lives. There is perhaps more divine discontent with things as they are
than ever heretofore: this being due, as has been suggested, perhaps
as much to the modern aids of imagination as to any inherent increase
of sympathy. Science, too, in the form of sociology and economics,
adds warrant to the demand for some radical reform of the conditions
of life. It teaches that all forms of life are interdependent; that
society is thus an organism in more than merely loose analogy; that
the classes pay abundantly for the state of the masses: whilst
medicine teaches that the tuberculosis, for instance, which slays
so many members of the middle and upper classes, is bred by and in
the overcrowding of the lower classes, this and many other diseases
promising to resist all measures less radical than the abolition of
half our current social practice.

Hence it is that we hear so much of social reform; and the promises of
representatives of many political -isms jostle one another at the gates
of our ears. The Anarchist at one extreme, and the Collectivist at the
other, with the Individualist and the Socialist somewhere between,
offer their panaceas. To me, I confess, they seem little better than
the scholastic metaphysicians of old days, like them mistaking words
for things, incapable of understanding each other, evading precise
definition and using terms which never mean the same thing twice as
missiles and weapons of abuse: and, above all, mistaking means for ends.

But the leading error common to them all, as I seem to see it, is their
conception of society as a stable thing--a piece of machinery which
must be properly “assembled,” as the engineers say; forgetful of the
extraordinary discontinuity which inheres in the swift-approaching
death of all its parts, and their replacement by helpless immaturity.
The first fact of society really is that all its individuals are
mortal. This we all know, but I question whether even Herbert Spencer
fully reckoned with it; and certainly the common run of social
speculators have not begun to realise what it means. Human life is
made up of generations, and the key to all progress lies in the nature
of the relation between one generation and another. Spencer records
the case of an Oxford graduate, desirous to be his secretary, who did
not know that the population of Great Britain is increasing. Here is
a capital present fact of the--merely quantitative--relation between
successive generations. So far as any influence on their theory or
practice is concerned, it is still unknown to nearly all our advisers.
Yet this fact of the ceaseless multiplication of man, which has
distinguished him from the first, and is absolutely peculiar to him of
all living species, animal or vegetable, as Sir E. Ray Lankester has
lately pointed out, is the source of the major facts of history and the
besetting condition of every social problem that can be named at this

The professional and dedicated teachers of morality seem to be in
little better case. They believe in babies, perhaps, as the prime
and only really valid source of the weal and wealth and strength of
nations, and as the great moralisers and humanisers of the generation
that gives them birth. They are beginning to join in that public outcry
against infant mortality which will yet abolish this abominable stain
upon our time. But they are lamentably uninformed. They do not know,
for instance, that a high infant mortality habitually goes with a high
birth-rate, not only in human society but in all living species; and
they have yet to appreciate the proposition which I have so often
advanced and which, to me at any rate, seems absolutely self-evident,
that until we have learnt how to keep alive all the healthy babies
now born--that is to say, not less than ninety per cent. of all, the
babies in the slums included--it is monstrous to cry for more, _to
be similarly slain_. These bewailings about our mercifully falling
birth-rate, uncoupled with any attention to the slaughter of the
children actually born, are pitiable in their blindness and would be
lamentable if they had any effect--of which there is fortunately no
sign whatever, but indeed the contrary.

Humanitarian sentiment, also, is terribly misguided. “Why always the
benefit of the future, has the present no claim upon us?” I have been
asked. Assuredly all sentient life, and therefore pre-eminently all
human life, in which sentiency is so incommensurably intensified by
self-consciousness, the power of “looking before and after,” has a
claim upon us: but the question could have been asked by no one whose
imagination had been worthily employed. Our posterity will in due
course be as actual and present as we, their deeds and sufferings and
hopes as actual and present as ours. They outnumber us as the ocean
outweighs a raindrop; to avert evil from one of them is as much as to
relieve evil in one of us,--how much more to prevent the misery of five
in the next generation, fifty in the next and unnumbered hosts beyond?
To serve the future of the race is not to benefit a fiction: the men
and women of a hundred and a thousand years hence will be as real
as we. And to serve the future is to put out our talent at compound
interest a thousand-fold compounded. The weak imagination would rather
build a sanatorium for consumptives and see it filled with grateful
patients. This is a palpable, sensible good, for which the meanest
visual faculty suffices: but the strong imagination would rather open
the closed windows of nurseries or work at the mechanical problems
of ventilation, aye, or even at the structure of the bacteriological
microscope--finding the spectacle, in the mind's eye, of healthy men
and women fifty years hence as grateful and as real a reward as the
sight of a sanatorium in the present. The pace of progress will be
incalculably hastened when men, whether workers or bequeathers or
administrators, enlarge their imaginations so as to perceive that the
future will be, and therefore indeed is, as real as the present.[1] I
appeal to the reason of the kind-hearted reader. Would you rather make
one man or child happy now, or two or a thousand a century hence?

It is, in a word, the idea of continuous causation or evolution that
explains the remarkable contrast between our outlook on the future and
our fathers'. In older--that is to say, younger--days, men's interest
in posterity was most naïvely and quaintly selfish. If they raised a
monument or did any piece of work which obviously would endure beyond
the span of their own lives, their chief motive seems to have been
that we should think well of them, nor forget how well they thought
of themselves. They were not concerned with us, but with our opinion
of them. They were anxious about the verdict of posterity; and the
verdict is that they little realised their responsibility for us,
or betrayed it if they did. There is also the frank attitude of Sir
Boyle Roche's famous bull, “What has posterity done for us?” This is
a quite familiar and conspicuous sentiment--as familiar as any other
form of selfishness: but it is as if a father should say, “What have
my children done for me?” and is open to the same condemnation. We
are assuredly responsible for posterity as any parent for any child.
Before the nineteenth century this fact could be realised by very few.
To-day, when the truth of organic evolution is a commonplace, and when
the plasticity of the forces of evolution is slowly becoming realised,
we must face our tremendous responsibility and privilege in a spirit
worthy of those to whom such mighty truths have been revealed.

Parenthood and birth--in these the whole is summed. At the mercy of
these are all past discovery, all past achievement in art or science,
in action or in thought. The human species, secure though it be, is
only a race after all; only a sequence of runners who _quasi cursores,
vitaï lampada tradunt_--like runners, hand on the lamp of life, as
Lucretius said. This it is which, to the thoughtful observer, makes
each birth such an overwhelming event. It is a great event for the
mother and the father, but how much greater if its consequences be
only half realised. Education in its full sense, “the provision of an
environment,” as I would define it, is a mighty and necessary force,
for nothing but potentiality is given at birth: but no education, no
influence of traditional progress, can avail, unless the potentialities
which these must unfold are worthy. The baby comes tumbling headlong
into the world. The fate of all the to-morrows depends upon it.
Hitherto its happening has depended upon factors animal and casual
enough, utterly improvident, concerned but rarely with this tremendous
consequence. Fate may be mistress, but she works only too often by
Chance, as Goethe remarked. Fate and Chance hitherto have never
failed to keep up the supply which the death of the individual makes
imperative: and forces have been at work determining for progress,
to some extent, but most imperfectly, the parentage of these headlong
babies. Yet the human intelligence cannot remain satisfied with their
working--and much less so when it realises how they can be controlled,
how effectively, and to what high ends. The physician may and must
concern himself, on these occasions, with the immediate needs of the
mother and the child, and when these are satisfied he may feel that
his duty has been done; but, as he journeys homewards, he must surely
reflect--that this astonishing thing, then, has happened again, as
indeed it has happened many times this very day; that whilst this baby
is to become an individual man or woman, an end in himself or herself,
in its young loins and in those of its like are the hosts of all the
unborn who are yet to be. If, then, these babies differ widely from
each other, as they do; if these differences are, on the whole, capable
of prediction in terms of heredity; if the future state of mankind is
involved in these differences, which will in their turn be transmitted
to the children of such as themselves become parents; and if this
business of parenthood will be confined to only a _small_ proportion
of these babies, _of whom one-half will never reach puberty_; if
these things be so, as they are, cannot these babies be chosen in
anticipation, there being thus effected an enormous vital economy,
Nature being commanded to the highest ends by the only method, which
is to obey her, as Bacon said; and the human intelligence thus making
its supreme achievement--the ethical direction and vast acceleration of
racial progress? What man can do for animals and plants, can he not do
for himself? Give imagination its fleetest and strongest wing, it can
never conceive a task so worth the doing.

This, and this alone, is what requires to be brought home to the
general reader and the reformer alike. Says Mr. H. G. Wells: “It seemed
to me then that to prevent the multiplication of people below a certain
standard, and to encourage the multiplication of exceptionally superior
people, was the only real and permanent way of mending the ills of the
world. I think that still.” And then, in a few sketchy pages, Mr. Wells
discredits, as with one glance of great eyes, the very proposal which
he thinks to be the only real and permanent way of mending the ills
of the world. Not one man in thousands has got so far as to hold this
opinion; and it is the more lamentable that Mr. Wells, having reached
it, should hold it in the loose, formal, and inoperative fashion in
which the man in the street or the woman in the pew holds the dogmas of
orthodox theology. We need to educate public opinion--that “chaos of
prejudices”--up to Mr. Wells' standard, and then we need to accomplish
the much harder task of converting a mere intellectual speculation into
a living belief.

But so surely as this belief, the crowning and practical conclusion
to which all the teachings of modern biology converge, comes to life
in men's minds, so surely the difficulties will be met, not only on
paper but also in practice. “Where there's a will there's a way.”
Meanwhile men are content to work at the impermanent, if not indeed
at measures which directly war against the selection of the best for
parenthood: they do not realise the stern necessity of obeying Nature
in this respect--for it is Her selection of parents that alone has
raised us from the beast and the worm--and since necessity alone,
whether inner or outer, whether of character or circumstance, is the
mother of invention, they fail to find the methods by which our ideal
can be carried out. There is nothing, either in the character of
the individual man and woman, or in the structure of society, that
makes the ideal of race-culture impossible to-day: nor must action
wait for further knowledge of heredity. Little though we surely know
so far, we have abundance of assured knowledge for immediate action
in many directions--knowledge which is agreed upon by Lamarckians
and neo-Lamarckians, Darwinians and Weismannians, Mendelians and
biometricians alike. All of these agree, for instance, as to the
fact that the insane tendency is transmissible and is transmitted by
heredity. We need only public opinion to say, “Then most surely those
who have such a tendency must forgo parenthood.”

For it is public opinion that governs the world. If it were, as it will
be one day--which may these pages hasten--an elementary and radical
truth, as familiar and as cogent to all, man in the House or man in
the public-house, as the fact of the earth's gravitation--that racial
maintenance, much more racial progress, depends absolutely upon the
selection of parents; if the establishment of this selective process in
the best and widest manner were the admitted goal of all legislation
and all social and political speculation--who can question that the
thing would be practicable and indeed easy? Without the formation of
public opinion this is as hopelessly Utopian and inaccessible an ideal
as words ever framed; public opinion once formed, nothing could be more
palpably feasible. Hence Mr. Galton's wisdom in demanding that, before
we dictate courses of procedure, and even before we can expect profit
from scientific investigation, whether by the biometric method of which
he is the founder, or by any other, _public opinion must be formed_;
that the idea of eugenics or good-breeding must be instilled into the
conscience of civilisation like a new religion--a religion of the most
lofty and austere, because the most unselfish, morality, a religion
which sets before it a sublime ideal, terrestrial indeed in its chosen
theatre, but celestial in its theme, human in its means, but literally
superhuman in its goal. If the intrinsic ennoblement of mankind does
not answer to this eulogy, where is the ideal that does?

                               CHAPTER II

                         THE EXCHEQUER OF LIFE

  “This last lustrum has enabled us to make an astounding discovery,
  of which neither Adam Smith nor Cobden nor Malthus dreamed--that
  a nation is composed not of property nor of provinces, but of
  men.”--Tille (1904), quoted by Forel.

The main thesis which the last chapter was intended to introduce is, in
the words of Ruskin, simply this: “There is no wealth but life.” The
assumption throughout this book is that Ruskin is the real founder of
political economy, he first of moderns having seen this supreme truth.

We speak of a nation's possessions, but possessions imply a possessor
or possessors. Wealth, as Ruskin teaches us, is “the possession of the
valuable by the valiant.” If our national possessions were made over
to a race of monkeys, “they being inherently and eternally incapable
of wealth,” what would they be worth? Furthermore, to possess and to
be possessed by, are totally diverse things. Says Ruskin, “Lately in
a wreck of a Californian ship, one of the passengers fastened a belt
about him with two hundred pounds of gold in it, with which he was
found afterwards at the bottom. Now, as he was sinking--had he the gold
or had the gold him?”

=Vital economics.=--We have already alluded to the unique property
of mankind in virtue of which the radical character of the essential
wealth, which is life, has only too commonly been forgotten. In the
case of any animal or vegetable species we should have no difficulty,
if asked regarding its “success” and “prospects,” in directing our
enquiry to essentials. We should examine the individuals of that
species, young and old, its death-rate and its birth-rate, and these
would supply us with the answer. In the case of man there is the almost
incalculable complication involved in the fact that he is capable of
making external acquirements,--material possessions and spiritual
possessions which, so long as he remains capable of possessing them,
are of real value, and, on account of what they mean for life, are a
true though secondary wealth. Amongst civilised mankind, therefore, the
essential question as to the breed of men and women is obscured by the
secondary question as to their traditional or transmitted possessions
or external acquirements. But if we remember the case of the drowning
man and his gold we shall realise that, fundamentally, the case is the
same for the human as for any other species. No one can openly question
this, but not one publicist or politician in a thousand believes it in
any living sense. The true function of government, said Ruskin, is the
production and recognition of human worth. This has only to be said to
be admitted; it is one of the thoughts that shine, as Joubert says. No
one denies it and no one acts upon it.

In this sense such a phrase as the National Exchequer begins to take on
a new meaning, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer loses every whit of
his importance, except in so far as his proceedings tend towards, or
away from, the production and recognition of human worth. He plays with
money, whereas the Chancellor of the real Exchequer would work for life.

=The facts of childhood to-day.=--But since human life is
discontinuous, since three times in a century the essential wealth of
nations is reduced to dust, and raised again from helpless infancy,
our urgent business is with the children of the nation. What, then, in
general, are the facts of the National Exchequer thus conceived?

We find that, so far as ordinary physical health is concerned,
the majority of human babies--including, for instance, so-called
Anglo-Saxon babies--are physically healthy at birth. On the other hand,
a certain proportion are as definitely and obviously unhealthy at the
very start as the more fortunate majority are healthy. If certain
influences, such as alcohol and _some few_ diseases, have been in
operation, the babies may be already doomed--not national wealth, but
national _illth_. In the absence of these pernicious factors, there is,
on the whole, _physical_ fitness. The ratio is perhaps as ninety to ten
per cent.

Here then, is, on the whole, a ceaseless supply of essential wealth;
physically, at any rate, of good enough quality. As every one knows, or
should know, the greater part of it we immediately proceed to deface
and destroy. Our mouths are full of argument concerning the principles
of what we are pleased to conceive as political economy. The principles
of vital economy we do not enquire into but outrage and defy at every
turn. So horribly and wastefully are we misguided that in point of
fact we actually destroy altogether the greater number, not of all
the children merely, but even of the fit and healthy children; and
it may forcibly be argued that, before any one proceeds to attempt
any choice amongst the children, as to which shall in their turn
become parents and which shall not, it would be well, apart from any
question of discrimination, to revise radically the methods which at
present permit this wholesale destruction. Whilst we kill outright
by hundreds of thousands every year, we damage for life far more,
including a very large proportion of those who, as things at present
are, will in their turn become the parents who alone are the makers
of the real wealth of nations. If this destructive process had the
effect which common notions of heredity would lead us to expect, then
most certainly not merely would Britain, for instance, be doomed, but
the very name would long ago have become “one with Nineveh and Tyre.”
But though this destructive process (which it is best to describe as
resulting in deterioration rather than degeneration) has been long
continued, and though, in consequence of the great economic changes of
last century and the rush into the cities with their over-crowding,
it is perhaps more disastrous now than ever before: _yet_ it remains
true that most of the babies born in the slums are splendid little
specimens of humanity--so far as physique is concerned--bearing no
marks of degeneration to correspond with the deterioration of their
parents. In a word, heredity works--the racial poisons apart, as we
shall see--so that each generation gets a fresh start. _If there be no
process of selection_, each new generation begins where its predecessor
began and is as a whole neither worse nor better, whether physically or

=Eugenics and infant mortality.=--In the face of the foregoing, which
merely outlines the appalling indictment that ought to be framed
against civilisation for its treatment of its children, it is evidently
incumbent upon us to answer the objector who should say that the
whole purpose and argument of our present enquiry is premature, and
that surely our first business should be not to propose any novel and
revolutionary doctrine as to the choice of parents and of children, but
rather to stop this child slaughter and child damage--in other words,
that we should devote ourselves rather, not to providing children
with a good heredity, but to providing them with a good environment,
it being only too demonstrable that the environment we at present
provide for the great majority of them is deadly and abominable in the
extreme. This argument is all the stronger because most of the children
are admittedly fit physically at birth. It would seem as if there were
little to complain of in their heredity, whilst there is certainly
almost everything to complain of in their environment.

If this objection is to be met at all, we must be most careful and
serious in our going. Whatever conclusions we come to we must at any
rate be sure that we do not impugn or deny the instant, immediate and
constant law of love which declares that there can be no adequate ideal
short of doing our best for all children, once they are born--nay,
more, from the very moment, months before, at which their individual
history starts. Whoso suggests that, as a present and immediate
policy, it is not right to care for all children, healthy or diseased,
welcome or unwelcome, nurseried in Park Lane or in the slums, may have
plausible and even so-called eugenic arguments on his side, but his
proposal is essentially immoral and therefore essentially false. For
all children actually in being--whether they await or have passed the
particular moment of birth--it is our duty, ideal and real, to do our
utmost. The believer in the principle of race-culture or eugenics--whom
I shall hereafter, as for some years past, call the eugenist--may
believe that it would have been better had some of these children never
been born; he may believe that, in the present unorganised state of
society, in the present dethroned state of motherhood, it were vastly
better had many even of the healthy majority never been born. He may
be convinced that, since so many of them will certainly die, failing
our feeble efforts to save childhood, their birth is a misfortune: but
on no terms and for no objects whatever does, or can, the eugenist
propose that any of these children, even though from the moment of
birth they be riddled with disease, should be allowed to die. Though
some will say that the keeping alive of diseased children, or even of
many children at first healthy, is a disaster, I maintain that no such
question of choice, selection or discrimination can find any warrant
in any form of morality--eugenic or other--from the moment at which
the child in question began its individual existence. Those of us who
advocate the eugenic idea must be perpetually on our guard against the
insidious alliance of any who, agreeing with our premises, declare
that it is a mistake, for instance, to prosecute a campaign against
infant mortality. I myself have had a share--by a continuous propaganda
started in 1902--in making this last a publicly recognised question,
whilst, on the other hand, I have done my best to popularise the idea
of eugenics. Let me repeat here what I have already said elsewhere:
that I strenuously repudiate any suggestion that the eugenic end is
legitimately or effectively to be served by permitting the infant
mortality to continue. The distinguished Egyptologist, Professor
Flinders Petrie, in his recent book _Janus in Modern Life_, describes
as follows the results of the present crusade against infant mortality,
as he conceives them:--“We must agree that it would be of the lower or
lowest type of careless, thriftless, dirty, and incapable families that
the increase [of surviving children] would be obtained. Is it worth
while to dilute our increase of population by ten per cent. more of the
most inferior kind? Will England be stronger for having one-thirtieth
more, and that of the worst stock, added to the population every year?
This movement is doing away with one of the few remains of natural
weeding out of the unfit that our civilisation has left to us. And it
will certainly cause more misery than happiness in the course of a

Here, plainly, is a serious argument. We are bound to sympathise with
its underlying assumption, viz., that not all babies are such as we
can desire to carry on the race. Still more must we sympathise with
any author whatever who has imagination and foresight enough to write
anywhere, on any subject, wrongly or rightly, such a sentence as “and
it will certainly cause more misery than happiness in the course of
a century.” We need more such authors. But without going into the
whole argument here--as, for instance, regarding the singular use of
the word “natural”--I do most entirely deny the right of the eugenic
idea to any voice or place as to the fate of children _once they have
come into being_. Another writer, arguing on the same lines, says _à
propos_ of the abolition of infant mortality: “This last change which,
as the Huddersfield experiment shows, is easy of accomplishment, is
likely to be completely effected in the next few years, and we shall
then have abolished the one factor which in any important degree at
present tends to redress the balance between the rates of reproduction
of the superior and the inferior classes.” These are the words of
Dr. W. McDougall, the distinguished psychologist. Dr. McDougall has
subsequently shown that he repudiates the apparent deduction from them,
and entirely approves of the present campaign of mercy to childhood.
Nevertheless, these arguments, plainly derived from the principle
of natural selection, do express a most important truth--viz., that
indiscriminate survival must lead to racial decadence, whether in man,
microbe or moss. I submit that the difficulty can be solved only by the
eugenic principle.

The fittest must become parents, and the unfit[2] must not; then kill
the unfit, says Nature. And this indeed, in all living species other
than man, is what Nature does. But “thou shalt not kill,” says the
moral law--not even the unfit. As the foregoing will have shown, some
thinkers to-day propose to avail themselves in this dilemma of the “New

    “Thou shalt not kill but need'st not strive
    Officiously to keep alive.”

This is no solution of the problem. There is only one solution, and
that is the eugenic solution. Nature can preserve a race only by
destroying the unfit. We who are intelligent must preserve and elevate
the race by preventing the unfit from ever coming into existence at
all. We must replace Nature's selective death-rate by a selective
birth-rate. This is merciful and supremely moral; it means vast economy
in life and money and time and suffering; it is natural at bottom, but
it is Nature raised to her highest power in that almost supra-natural
fact--the moral intelligence of man.

=The dilemma defined.=--The moral law, and our natural human sympathy,
insist that we should seek to preserve all the children that come into
the world, to amplify the health of the healthy, and to neutralise,
as far as possible, the unfitness of the unfit. A mother brings her
malformed baby to the surgeon, and he does his best to patch up the
gaps left by the imperfect processes of development. Otherwise the
baby will die. Who dares look that mother in the face and say “Ah,
but it is better for the race that your child should die!” Such a
doctrine, I submit, blasphemes our humanity; it is intolerable to
any decent person who will pause to think what it means: and yet,
in so saying, we seem to defy Nature with her imperative law of the
survival of the fittest only. Pre-eugenic writers on evolution state
the case in all its hardness. Dr. Archdall Reid says that “If we
wish to improve the individual, we must attend to his acquirements by
providing proper shelter, food, and training.” Well, we do wish to
improve the individual, and to preserve the individual! We do not wish
the super-man on the terms of Nietzsche--the super-man obtained at
the cost of love would turn out to be inferior to any brute-beast, an
intellectual fiend. But, Dr. Reid goes on to say, “such means will not
effect an improvement of the race.... On the contrary, they will cause
deterioration[3] by an increased survival of the unfit.” The provision
of “proper shelter, food and training” will cause racial decadence!
Is it not evident, then, that such provisions must rather be styled
improper, and that we must refrain from doing anything for the defects
and needs of the individual, lest a worse thing befall the race? This
is an outrageous proposition, yet it is offered us as a necessary
inference from the principle of natural selection or the survival of
the fittest--which no one now dares to dispute.

Herbert Spencer, to whom we owe the phrase “the survival of the
fittest,” expresses this critical difficulty as follows: “The law
that each creature shall take the benefits and the evils of its own
nature has been the law under which life has evolved thus far. Any
arrangements which, in a considerable degree, prevent superiority from
profiting by the rewards of superiority, or shield inferiority from the
evils it entails--any arrangements which tend to make it as well to be
inferior as to be superior, are arrangements diametrically opposed to
the progress of organisation, and the reaching of a higher life.” This
is permanently and necessarily true, and in our care for childhood we
have to reckon with it. Yet even Spencer himself did not pursue this
supremely important enquiry to what I shall in a moment submit to be
its logical and almost incredibly hopeful conclusion.

Huxley, writing his well-known Romanes Lecture, “Evolution and Ethics,”
at a time when, unfortunately, he had somewhat parted company with
Spencer, and was too ready to accept any argument that made against
Spencer's political views, cuts the Gordian knot in an astonishingly
unsatisfactory fashion. He declares that “the ethical progress of
society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process [that is, the
selection of the fittest], still less in running away from it, but in
combating it.” This is shallow thinking and very poor philosophy. One
wonders how Huxley can have forgotten the great dictum of Bacon that
Nature can be commanded only by obeying her. He declares that moral
evolution is the direct contradiction and antithesis of the process of
organic evolution hitherto. He says, “Social progress means a checking
of the cosmic process at every step and the substitution for it of
another, which may be called the ethical process;” and he declares
it to be a fallacy to suppose “that because on the whole animals and
plants have advanced in perfection of organisation, by means of the
struggle for existence and the consequent survival of the fittest;
therefore men in society, men as ethical beings, must look to the same
process to help them towards perfection.”

With all this Huxley offers us no real solution whatever, no hint
that he has realised in any degree what must be the consequences of
indiscriminate survival. It is astonishing how personal bias, so alien
to the whole character of the man as a rule, blinded him to a solution
which, as it seems to me, stared him in the face. Assuredly we can
transmute and elevate and raise to its highest power what he calls
the cosmic process, and can reconcile cosmic with ethical evolution,
_by extending to the unfit all our sympathy but forbidding them
parenthood_. I deny that the provision of a proper environment for the
individual entails racial deterioration. Cosmic and moral evolution
are compatible if, whilst caring for each individual, whether maim,
halt, blind, or insane, and whilst admitting the categorical imperative
of the law of love which demands our care for him, we continue to
obey the indication of Nature, which forbids such an individual to
perpetuate his infirmity. Nature has no choice; if she is to avert the
coming of the unfit race she must summarily extinguish its potential
ancestor, but we can prohibit the reproduction of his infirmity whilst
doing all we can for the success of his individual life. This is the
ideal course indicated and approved by biology and morality alike.

=The eugenic reconciliation.=--I submit, then, that there is no
inconsistency in fighting simultaneously for the preservation and
care of all babies and all children without discrimination of any
kind--and, on the other hand, in declaring that, if the degeneration
of the race is to be averted, still more if racial, which is the only
sure, progress, is to be attained, we must have the worthy and only the
worthy to be the parents of the future. I submit further that only the
eugenist can maintain his position in this matter at the present day.

On his one hand is the improvident humanitarian with his feeling
heart, he who, seeing misery and disease and death, whether in
babyhood, childhood, or at any other time of life, seeks to improve
the environment and so relieve these evils. Close beside this wholly
indiscriminate humanitarianism is that which declares that with
childhood is the future and therefore devotes its energies especially
to the young, is grateful for every baby born, whatever its state, and
when adult years are reached, assumes that all will be well for the
future, though the principle of natural selection is thus made of none

On the other side of the eugenists stand those whom we may for short
call the Nietzscheans. They see one-half of the truth of natural
selection; they see that through struggle and internecine war, species
have hitherto maintained themselves or ascended. They declare that all
improvement of the environment, or at any rate all humanitarian effort,
tends to abrogate the struggle for existence, and even, as is only
too often true, to select unworth and let worth go to the wall. This
school then declares that infant mortality is a blessing and charity
an unmitigated curse. In short, that we must go back as quickly as
possible to the order of the beast.

Between these two, surely, the eugenist stands, declaring that each has
a great truth, but that his teaching, and his alone, involves their
co-ordination and reconciliation. He agrees with the humanitarian that
no child should cry or starve or work or die--or at any rate this
particular eugenist does--and he agrees with the Nietzschean that
to abrogate, and still more, to reverse, the principle of natural
selection, is to set our faces for the goal of racial death. But
further, the eugenist declares that the indiscriminate humanitarian,
blind to the truth which the Nietzschean sees, would heap up, if
permitted, disaster upon disaster; whilst he repudiates as horrible and
ghastly the Nietzschean doctrine that morality must go by the board if
the race is to be raised:--that we must be damned to be saved.

Our age is now awakening, at last, to the cry of the children. The
tendency of legislation and opinion in every civilised country is
one and the same. For this humanitarianism let only him who thinks
of any child as a brat refuse to give thanks. But it is the business
of all who, whilst loving children and still in love with love, are
yet acquainted with the principles of organic evolution--in short,
the business of all humane men of science, men of science who have
not ceased to be human--whilst aiding, abetting and directing this
humanitarian effort by every means in their power, to teach and preach,
in season and out of season, that unless meanwhile we make terms with
the principle of selection, the choice of worth for parents, and the
rejection of the unworthy, _not as individuals but as parents_, we
shall assuredly breed for posterity, whose lives and happiness and
moral welfare are in our hands, evils that can adequately neither be
named nor numbered. Already, together with much blessed good, this
indiscriminate humanitarianism has done much evil. Many of our most
instant and, for this generation, insoluble problems are the lamentable
fruit of this inherently good thing. The eugenist declares that this
fruit is not necessary, that if it were necessary he could see no way
out of our morass and would echo the half-wish of Huxley for some
kindly comet that should put a term to human history altogether; and,
in short, that only by the eugenic means can the humanitarian end be

During the last year or two of the campaign against infant mortality
many things have become clear, and none clearer than the fundamental
compatibility between this campaign and the principles of eugenics. As
these two efforts wall be predominant in the real politics of all the
years to come, a few more words must here be devoted to the relation
between them.

Granted that the highest of all objects is the making of worthy human
beings, it is quite evident that we must attend equally to the two
factors which determine all human life--heredity and environment.
Eugenics stands for the principle of heredity--the principle that the
right children shall be born. The campaign against infant mortality
stands for a good environment[4]--so that children, when born, may
survive and thrive. Obviously eugenics would be of no use if the
children could not survive, and no human infant can survive unless
it be born into a moral environment: no motherhood, no man. The two
campaigns, then, are strictly complementary. We must endeavour to rid
ourselves of the popular notion that the whole result of the campaign
against infant mortality can be measured by the number of babies
whose death is prevented. The infant mortality is merely an index of
a widespread social disease--an index and an extreme symptom. But
for every baby killed many are damaged; and to remove the causes of
infant mortality is to remove the causes which at present effect the
deterioration of millions of human beings. The eugenic campaign, then,
without the other would be almost futile.

=The time for eugenics.=--On our principles the eugenic question can
be decently raised only _before conception_. The unyoked germ-cells
of any individual, though alive, are not entitled to claim protection
from the principle that life is sacred. It is permitted to allow them
to die; but from the moment of conception a new individual has been
formed--a new living human individual, even though it only consists of
a single cell, product of the union of the parental germ-cells: and
we shall not be safe unless we regard this being as sacred and its
destruction--except in order to save the life of the mother--as murder,
even at this as at any later stage. If the eugenist should raise his
voice, and say that this individual should not be born, he must be
regarded exactly as if he were to recommend infanticide or the lethal
chamber for unfit individuals. In such a case he would have entirely
mistaken the whole principle of (negative) eugenics, which is _not_
to elevate the race by the destruction of the unfit, at any stage,
ante-natal or post-natal, but to do so by prohibiting the conception
of the unfit. Directly the new human individual is formed the eugenic
question is too late in that case. It is now the eugenist's duty,
because it is every one's duty, to regard the new individual, whether
born or yet unborn, as an end in himself or herself. But when the
question arises whether that individual is to become a parent, then the
eugenic question can and must be raised.

Circumstances might arise in which “case-law” might be applicable. It
might be thought better to destroy the syphilitic child rather than
allow it to come into the world. But we cannot make these distinctions.
The question is simply one of expediency, and the only expedient thing
is that there shall be no paltering with the principle that when a
new human life is conceived our duty is to preserve it, whether it
were conceived only twenty-four hours ago or whether it be a decrepit
and helpless centenarian. The instant we let this principle go we are
proposing to revert to Nature's method of keeping up the level of a
race by murder. It is improper, then, for any one on eugenic grounds to
protest against proposals for the arrest of infant mortality. He should
have spoken sooner; at this stage he must hold his peace.

=The two campaigns complementary.=--Yet further: not only is it evident
that the campaign against infant mortality (which is, in a word, the
campaign for the provision of a proper environment for the young) is
obviously necessary for the fulfilment of the eugenic ideal--since
what would be the good of choosing the right parents if their children
are then to be slain?--but it can be shown conversely that the object
of those who are working against infant mortality can never be fully
attained except by means of eugenics. Eugenics apart, we can and
shall reduce the infant mortality to a mere fraction of what it is
at present, by preventing the destruction of that great majority of
babies who are born healthy. Even, however, when we have provided an
ideal environment for every baby that comes into the world, we shall
not have abolished infant mortality, since there will always remain a
proportion, say ten per cent., whom not even an ideal environment can
save. They should never have been conceived. At the Infantile Mortality
Conference held in London in 1908, this was clearly recognised by more
than one speaker. The maternalist must have the eugenist to help him if
his ideal is to be attained.

Not only is the ideal of the two campaigns one and the same; not only
is each necessary for the other, but their methods are the same.
It is true that at first this was not evident, since when we began
to fight against infant mortality many temporary expedients of no
eugenic relevance were adopted, such as the _crèche_ and the infant
milk depot. But in the interval between the Conferences of 1906 and
1908 many things became clear: so that, whereas the papers at the
first Conference were only accidentally connected, the programme
of the second proceeded upon a principle--the principle of the
supremacy of motherhood. We see now that the one fundamental method
by which infantile mortality may be checked is by the elevation of
motherhood. In the words of our President, Mr. John Burns, “you
must glorify, dignify, and purify motherhood by every means in your
power.” Thus the first two papers read at the first morning's meeting
of the Conference--a brief paper by the present writer on “The Human
Mother,” and an admirable paper by Miss Alice Ravenhill on “Education
for Motherhood”--might equally well have been read at a Eugenics
Conference. The opponent of infant mortality and the eugenist appeal
to the same principle and avow the same creed: that parenthood is
sacred, that it must not be casually undertaken, that it demands the
most assiduous preparation of body and intellect and emotions. When, at
last, these principles are believed and acted upon, infant mortality
will be a thing of the past and national eugenics a thing of the

It is essential in this first general study of the subject to state
the true nature of the relation between these two campaigns, to
which every succeeding year of the present century will find more
and more attention devoted. Between them they succeed in beginning
at the beginning, and it would be a disaster, indeed, if they were
incompatible. On the contrary, they are complementary and mutually
indispensable. As the years go on they will engage between them the
sympathy and the assistance of all serious people. In the year 1907
infant mortality was first named in a speech by a Prime Minister, and
in that same year it was first mentioned in the Christmas-Day sermon
at St. Paul's Cathedral; in that year also Parliament passed the Early
Notification of Births Act, the first substantial legislative provision
which sets our feet on the road towards the goal of a true national
estimate of the value of parenthood. We are about to discover that
the true politics is domestics, since there is no wealth but life and
life begins at home. We are going to have the right kind of life born,
and we are going to take care of it when it is born. We shall raise a
generation which looks upon the ordinary money-changing politician as
an impudent public nuisance, and the brutal, blood-stained Imperialist,
shouting about the Empire which his very existence almost suffices to
condemn, whilst he battens on the cannibal sale of alcoholic poison
to babies and the mothers of future babies, as the very type of those
traitors--they of its own household--who have helped to destroy every
Empire in history. We propose to rebuild the living foundations of
empire. To this end we shall preach a New Imperialism, warning England
to beware lest her veins become choked with yellow dirt, and demanding
that over all her legislative chambers there be carved the more than
golden words, “There is no Wealth but Life.”

                              CHAPTER III


    “Truth justifies herself; and as she dwells
    With hope, who would not follow where she leads?”

  “La plus haute tâche de l'action morale est le travail pour le bien
  des générations futures.”--Forel.

Before looking more closely than we are commonly apt to do at the
meaning of the phrases “natural selection” and “survival of the
fittest,” let us exercise the right of man the moral being, as
distinguished from man the scientist or observer of Nature, to pass
ethical judgments upon the facts which it is the business of all the
sciences, except ethics itself, merely to record and interpret in and
for themselves. We are beginning at last, half a century after the
publication of the _Origin of Species_ in 1859, to realise the power
of the law of selection; what is the moral judgment which is to be
passed upon it? In a passage from the last page of Herbert Spencer's
Autobiography, we find words which may be quoted on both sides: “When
we think of the myriads of years of the Earth's past, during which have
arisen and passed away low forms of creatures, small and great, which,
_murdering and being murdered, have gradually evolved_,[5] how shall we
answer the question--To what end?”

“Murdering and being murdered” suggests the adverse, and “have
gradually evolved,” the favourable, ethical judgment.

Many thinkers, finding Nature “so careless of the single life,” finding
the murderous struggle for existence the dominant fact of the history
of the living world, return an adverse verdict. Amongst them are to be
found not merely those who are inclined, by temperament or imperfect
education, to rebellion against any conclusions of science, but also,
as we saw in the second chapter, such a great biologist as Huxley.
In another part of the lecture already cited he says that the Stoics
failed to see

  “... that cosmic nature is no school of virtue, but the headquarters
  of the enemy of ethical nature. The logic of facts was necessary to
  convince them that the cosmos works through the lower nature of man,
  not for righteousness, but against it.... The practice of that which
  is ethically best--what we call goodness or virtue--involves a course
  of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to
  success in the cosmic struggle for existence.”

In other words, honesty is the _worst_ policy: and to worship natural
selection is to deify the devil.

The reader will realise that, if we are to succeed in establishing
the claim of natural selection to be the natural model upon which
those who desire the progress of society are to base their policy, it
is necessary to controvert the doctrine that natural selection is an
anti-moral process. But let us hear the other side.

The directly contrary view, then, is taken that though, truly
enough, there has been and is much “murdering and being murdered,”
yet organisms “have gradually evolved” towards fitness for their
surroundings, or the _milieu environnant_ of Lamarck, which we
translate environment; and that since fitness or adaptation obviously
makes for happiness, and since the moral being man has himself been
thus evolved, the process of natural selection, “murdering and being
murdered” notwithstanding, is essentially beneficent.

The controversy is embittered and complicated by the fact that ultimate
questions of religion and philosophy are involved. Is the Universe
moral, as Emerson asserted it was, or is it immoral? A recent opponent
of the orthodox creed of a benevolent Deity teaches that “The Lesson
of Evolution” is to disprove the idea of benevolence behind or in
Nature: “The story of life has been a story of pain and cruelty of the
most ghastly description.” The age-long fact of “murdering and being
murdered” is the weapon with which he attacks the theist: who, _per
contra_, points to the beneficent result, the exquisite adaptation of
all species to the circumstances of their life, and the evolution of
love itself.

We may remind ourselves of those great lines of Mr. George Meredith,

              “... sure reward
    We have whom knowledge crowns;
    Who see in mould the rose unfold,
    _The soul through blood and tears_.”

The one camp points to the “blood and tears” and asks for a verdict
accordingly. The other points to “the soul” as their product, and asks
for a verdict accordingly. But surely we need only to have the case
fairly stated, in order to realise that the “blood and tears” are true
but only half the truth, “the soul” true but only half the truth.
Natural Selection is a colossal paradox--the doing evil that good may
come. The evil is undoubtedly done, and the good undoubtedly comes. Is
not this the only verdict that is in consonance with all the facts? Is
it not less than philosophic to look at the process alone, or to look
at the result alone? Is any real end to be served by the incessant cry
that we should keep our eyes fixed on the “blood and tears” alone, or
on “the soul” alone? Is not the poet right when he says that the sure
reward of knowledge is not to see either half of the truth as if it
were the whole, but to see unfold “the soul through blood and tears?”

Any attempt to cast up accounts between the evil of the process and
the good of the result--especially any attempt based on the assumption
that the process has yet achieved its final result--would be not
only premature in the eyes of those who can look forwards, but would
be irrelevant to our present enquiry. I certainly am with those who
repudiate as misleading Mill's description of Nature as a “vast
slaughter-house,” and will declare that, apart from self-conscious
and supremely sensitive man, it is easy to exaggerate the misery and
to minimise the joy of the sub-human world. But our business here
is with the process and its results in man himself, in whom alone
are possible the heights of ecstasy and the depths of agony: and the
thesis--the sublime thesis, we may avouch--of the present discussion
is that, whatever the balance between the evil of the process of
Natural Selection and the good of its results in the natural state,
yet when it is transmuted, as it may be, by the moral intelligence of
man, according to the principles of race-culture or eugenics, the good
of the result can be attained, more abundantly and incomparably more
rapidly, than ever heretofore, _whilst the evil of the process can be
abolished altogether_. True or false, is this not a sublime thesis?

=Nature must be cruel to be kind.=--If organic fitness or adaptation
to the circumstances of life is to be secured, Nature must choose
for future parents, out of every new generation, only those whose
inborn characters make for this adaptation, and who, in virtue of
the fact we call heredity, will tend to transmit this fitness to
their offspring. Now it is often convenient to personify Nature,
but we must not be misled. The process is really an automatic, not
an intelligently directed one. In order that it shall be possible,
certain conditions must obtain. The choice or selection depends not
merely upon the provision of a variety from which to choose--this
being afforded by what is called variation, which is the correlative
of heredity, both being obvious facts in any well-filled nursery--but
also upon the production of _more_ young creatures than there is or
will be room for. (If there be room for all, so that all survive,
there can be no selection, and instead of survival of the fittest
there will be indiscriminate survival.) The choice is effected amongst
this superfluity by an internecine “struggle for existence”: hence
the “murdering and being murdered,” hence the “blood and tears.” The
motor force of the whole process may be symbolised as the “will to
life,” ever seeking to realise itself in more abundance and with more
success--with more and more approximation to perfect adaptation. The
will to death is no ingredient of the will to life. Nature is, so
to say, by no means desirous of the process of “murdering and being
murdered”: very much on the contrary. It is life, more life, and
fitter life, that is her desire: the “murdering and being murdered,”
the “blood and tears” are no part of her aim. But they are inevitable,
though lamentable, if her aim is to be realised. She _must_ be cruel to
be kind--a little cruel to be very kind.[6]

It is _imaginable_, though no more, that natural selection, in certain
circumstances, might have worked otherwise: the penalty for less as
against greater fitness might _imaginably_ have been not death but
merely sterility--the denial of future parenthood. This is the ideal
of race-culture. Had this been possible, Nature could have effected
her end, which is fitter and fuller life, without having incidentally
to mete out premature death to such an overwhelming majority of all
her creatures. But, actually, this was not possible: and, unless
the end was to be sacrificed, Nature was compelled--to keep up the
figure--summarily to kill right and left. Permitted to reach maturity,
the unfit as well as the fit would multiply; and since, in general, the
lower the form of life the greater its fertility, the species could not
possibly advance, or even maintain itself at the level already gained.

To drop the figure, the process is a mechanical and automatic one, and
its appalling wastefulness and indisputable cruelty are inevitably
involved, whilst it so remains.

=Intelligence may be kind to be kinder.=--But--and here is the
great event--this mechanical, automatic, non-intelligent process
has latterly given birth to intelligence, the moral intelligence of
man: and the question now to be answered is, what modification can
intelligence effect in the moral-immoral process that has created
it? Must intelligence abrogate that process altogether, as Huxley
declares, on the grounds of its murderous methods? Must intelligence
simply look on, recognise, but not reconstruct? Must intelligence
reverse the process--as indeed it is now doing in many cases--so
that in the new environment of which itself is a factor, that which
formerly was unfitness shall become fitness, and _vice versâ_? _Or_
is it conceivable that intelligence can transmute the process, so
that, whilst hitherto mechanical, automatic, and therefore inevitably
murderous, it shall become _intelligent_, pressing towards the sublime
end, and reforming the murderous means?

Hear Mr. Galton himself (_Sociological Papers_, 1905, p. 52):--

  “Purely passive, or what may be styled mechanical evolution, displays
  the awe-inspiring spectacle of a vast eddy of organic turmoil ... it
  is moulded by blind and wasteful processes, namely, by an extravagant
  production of raw material and the ruthless rejection of all that
  is superfluous, through the blundering steps of trial and error....
  Evolution is in any case a grand phantasmagoria, but it assumes an
  infinitely more interesting aspect under the knowledge that the
  intelligent action of the human will is, in some small measure,
  capable of directing its course. Man has the power of doing this
  largely so far as the evolution of humanity is concerned; he has
  already affected the quality and distribution of organic life so
  widely that the changes on the surface of the earth, merely through
  his disforestings and agriculture, would be recognisable from a
  distance as great as that of the moon.”

Hear also Sir E. Ray Lankester, in the Romanes Lecture[7] for 1905:
“Man is ... a product of the definite and orderly evolution which is
universal, a being resulting from and driven by the one great nexus of
mechanism which we call Nature. He stands alone, face to face with that
relentless mechanism. It is his destiny to understand and to control

“Nature's insurgent son,” Professor Lankester calls man in this
lecture: and yet again there recurs that mighty aphorism of Bacon,
which might well be printed on every page of these chapters, “Nature
is to be commanded only by obeying her.” The struggle for existence is
the terrible fact of Nature, but is only a means to an end. It is our
destiny to command the end whilst _humanising_ the means.

=The struggle for existence.=--The ideal of eugenics or race-culture
is to abolish the brutal elements of the struggle for existence
whilst gaining its great end. The nature of this struggle is commonly
misapprehended and, as I cannot improve upon the words of Professor
Lankester, I shall freely use them in the attempt to show what it
really is. He says:--

  “The world, the earth's surface, is practically full, that is to
  say, fully occupied. Only one pair of young can grow up to take the
  place of the pair--male and female--which have launched a dozen, or
  it may be as many as a hundred thousand, young individuals on the
  world.... The ‘struggle for existence’ of Darwin is the struggle
  amongst all the superabundant young of a given species, in a given
  area, to gain the necessary food, to escape voracious enemies, and
  gain protection from excesses of heat, cold, moisture, and dryness.
  One pair in the new generation--only one pair--survive for every
  parental pair. Animal population does not increase: ‘Increase and
  multiply’ has never been said by Nature to her lower creatures.
  Locally, and from time to time, owing to exceptional changes, a
  species may multiply here and decrease there; but it is important
  to realise that the ‘struggle for existence’ in Nature--that is to
  say, among the animals and plants of this earth untouched by man--is
  a desperate one, however tranquil and peaceful the battlefield may
  appear to us. The struggle for existence takes place, not as a
  clever French writer glibly informs his readers, between different
  species, but between individuals of the same species, brothers and
  sisters and cousins.... In Nature's struggle for existence, death,
  immediate obliteration, is the fate of the vanquished, whilst the
  only reward to the victors--few, very few, but rare and beautiful in
  the fitness which has carried them to victory--is the permission to
  reproduce their kind--to carry on by heredity to another generation
  the specific qualities by which they triumphed.

  “It is not generally realised how severe is the pressure and
  competition in Nature--not between different species, but between the
  immature population of one and the same species, precisely because
  they are of the same species and have exactly the same needs.... A
  distinctive quality in the beauty of natural productions (in which
  man delights) is due to the unobtrusive yet tremendous slaughter of
  the unfit which is incessantly going on and the absolute restriction
  of the privilege of parentage to the happy few who attain to the
  standard described as ‘the fittest.’”

=The survival of the fittest.=--Now let us look closely at this most
famous of all Spencer's phrases, “the survival of the fittest,” and try
to understand its full and exact meaning. There is no phrase in any
language so frequently misinterpreted. Even a writer who should know
better makes this mistake. Mr. H. G. Wells speaks[8] of “that same lack
of a fine appreciation of facts that enabled Herbert Spencer to coin
those two most unfortunate terms _Evolution_ and the _Survival of the
Fittest_. The implication is that the _best_ reproduces and survives.
Now really it is the _better_ that survives and not the _best_.” What
the correction is supposed to signify I do not know, but the whole
passage is nonsense. The implication is neither that the _best_ nor
the _better_ survive, but the fittest--or if Mr. Wells prefers, for it
matters not one whit--the fitter. This lack of a fine appreciation of
words is not, unfortunately, peculiar to Mr. Wells. There is no word
in the language that more exactly expresses the fact than the word
fittest: as Darwin recognised when he promptly incorporated Spencer's
phrase in the second edition of the _Origin of Species_ as the best
interpretation of his own phrase “natural selection”![9] Fitness is
the capacity to fit: a thing that is fit is a thing that _fits_. A
living creature survives in proportion as it fits its environment--the
physical environment in the case of vegetables and the lower animals,
the physical, social, intellectual and moral environment in the case
of man. The kind of glove that most perfectly fits the hand is the
fittest glove and will survive in the struggle for existence between
gloves. If, instead of a glove, we take a living creature, say a
microbe, the kind of microbe that best fits into the environment
provided by, say, human blood, is the fittest and will survive and be
the cause of our commonest disease. Thus the tubercle bacillus is at
once the _fittest_ microbe and, not the best, but the worst. Among
ourselves, the newspaper devoted to yesterday's murder is the fittest
and survives, ousting the newspaper which reckons with the crucifixion,
or the murder of Socrates or Bruno. In a society of blackguardism, the
biggest blackguard is the fittest man and will survive: he is also the
worst. In another society the best man is the fittest and survives. The
capacity to fit into the environment is the capacity that determines
survival: it has no moral connotation whatever. If Herbert Spencer had
written the survival of the better, as Mr. Wells desires, he would have
written palpable nonsense: as it was he used the fittest word--in this
case also the best, because the truest. Referring to the queen-bee,
who destroys her own daughters, Darwin says, “undoubtedly this is for
the good of the community; maternal love or maternal hatred, though
the latter fortunately is most rare, is all the same to the inexorable
principle of natural selection.”

If natural selection were the survival of the better, as Mr. Wells
would have us believe, there would be nothing for eugenics or
race-culture to do: and heaven would long ago have come to earth. If
in all ages the better men and women had survived and become parents,
earth would long ago have become a demi-paradise indeed, there would
have been no arrests, no reversals in the history of human progress,
and life would be already what, some day, it will be, when there is
achieved the eugenic ideal--which is precisely that the best or better
members of our race shall be the selected for the supreme profession
of parenthood. In other words, the eugenic ideal, the ideal of
race-culture, is _to ensure that the fittest shall be the best_.
Always, everywhere, without a solitary exception, human, animal or
vegetable, the fittest have ultimately survived and must survive. Once
realise what is the meaning of the word fit--best seen in the verb “to
fit”--and we shall see that, as Herbert Spencer pointed out in his
overwhelming reply to the late Lord Salisbury's attack on evolution,
the idea of the survival of the fittest is a necessity of thought.[10]

But, alas, the idea of the survival of the best or the better is not
a necessity of thought! The fittest microbes are the worst from our
point of view, because they are most inimical to the highest forms
of life; the fittest newspaper may be the worst, because it panders
to the worst but most widespread and irresponsible elements in human
nature; everything and every one that succeeds, succeeds because it or
he fits the conditions: but to succeed is not necessarily to be good.
Indeed everything that exists at all, living or lifeless, an atom or an
animal, a molecule or a moon, exists because it can exist, because it
fits the conditions of existence: there is no moral question involved,
but only a mechanical one. The business of eugenics or race-culture is
to make an environment, conditions of law and public opinion, _such
that the fittest shall be the best and the best the fittest therein_.

If memory may be trusted, the primary meaning of the word _fit_ has
not hitherto been called in by any one to elucidate the meaning of
Spencer's phrase: perhaps it may be hoped that we shall at last begin
to understand it, if we remember that a thing is fit because it fits.
It is best not to be too sanguine, however, and therefore we may
attempt to illustrate the case from another aspect.

=Survival-value.=--Every living thing and nearly every character
or feature of a living thing that survives, survives because it
has value or capacity for life--which may be called, in Professor
Lloyd Morgan's phrase, _survival-value_. The character that gives
an organism survival-value, or value for life, the character that
enables it to fit its environment, may be of any order. The atom, as
I have said elsewhere, is an organism writ small. The kinds of atoms
that have survived in the age-long struggle for existence between
atoms are those that have survival-value on account of their internal
stability: as Empedocles argued ages ago. In the case of living
things, which individually die, it is evident that the capacity to
reproduce themselves is one of supreme survival-value. If mankind lost
this capacity, all its other characters of survival-value, such as
intelligence, would obviously avail it nought. Certain valuable members
of society may fall short in this cardinal respect, and therefore
become extinct. Indeed, other forms of survival-value, as we shall see,
seem to be in large measure inimical to fertility: and this is perhaps
the chief obstacle to eugenics.[11]

Fertility apart, the character having survival-value may take a
thousand forms. In the case of the parasitic microbe it is an evil
character, the power to produce toxins or poisons. In the case of
the tiger it is the possession of large and powerful bones and claws
and muscles and teeth. In the case of the ox it is a complicated
and efficient digestive apparatus, enabling it to fit into a
food-environment which is too innutritious to sustain the life of
creatures not so endowed. Nature seeks only the fittest; not the best
but the best-adapted; she asks no moral questions. A Keats, a Spinoza,
or a Schubert must go under if his factors of survival-value do not
enable him to resist those of the tubercle bacillus, its toxins or
poisons. She welcomes the parasitic tapeworm, all hooks and mouth or
stomach, because these give it survival-value; and so on.

The business of eugenics or race-culture, then, is to create an
environment such that those characters which we desire as moral
and intelligent beings shall be endowed with the highest possible
survival-value, as against those which ally so many men with the
microbe and the tapeworm. There are those who live in society to-day,
and reproduce their like, in virtue of the poisons they produce, in
virtue of their tenacious hooks and voracious stomachs. If society be
organised so that these are factors of more survival-value than the
disinterested search for truth, or mother-love, or the power to create
great poetry or music--then, according to the inevitable and universal
law of the survival of the fittest, our parasites will oust our poets
and our poisoners our philosophers. These things have happened and may
happen again at any time. It does not matter that the good thing, in
virtue of survival-value then superior, has been evolved. Nature never
gives a final verdict in favour of good or bad but only and always in
favour of the fit. Let the conditions change, so that rapacity fits
them better than righteousness, or--as in a completely “collectivist”
state--vegetableness rather than virility, and the thing we call high
will go under before the thing we call low. Nature recognises neither
high nor low but only fitness or value for life in the conditions that
actually obtain. These laws enthroned and dethroned the civilisations
of the past: they have enthroned and may dethrone us. But this end is
not inevitable, since man--and this is his great character--not merely
reacts to his environment, as all creatures must, but can create and
recreate it. The business of eugenics or race-culture is to create an
environment such that the human characters of which the human spirit
approves shall in it outweigh those of which we disapprove. Make it
fittest to be best and the best will win--not because it is the best,
but because it is the fittest: had the worst been the fittest it would
have won. In society to-day both forms of the process may be observed.
The balance between them determines its destiny. It is the business of
eugenics to throw the whole weight of human purpose into the scale of
the good.

=Evolution not necessarily progress.=--No excessive space has been
devoted to this distinction between the fittest and the best and to
the real meaning of Spencer's famous phrase, if perchance it should
avail in any degree to dispel one of the commonest of the many common
delusions regarding the nature of organic evolution and its outcome.
This delusion is that progress is an inevitable law of nature.[12]
The great process of history, as revealed by biology, displays as its
supreme fact the occurrence of progress. The principles of evolution
teach that this progress--as, for instance, in the evolution of man--is
a product of the survival of the fittest; whilst we are also reminded
that the survival of the fittest is a necessary truth: but it does not
follow that progress is inevitable.

In the first place, natural selection involves selection. Where all
the young members of a new generation of any species survive, and
parenthood becomes not a privilege but a common and universal function,
plainly the process is in abeyance: and, in the second place, since
the survival of the fittest is not the survival of the best, but only
the survival of the best adapted, the process may at any time take the
form of retrogression rather than that of progress. The assumption
that, because progress has been effected through natural selection, we
need do no more than fold our hands, or unfold them merely to applaud,
involves the denial of one of the most familiar facts of natural
history--the fact of racial degeneration. The parasitic microbes, the
parasitic worms, the barnacles, innumerable living creatures both
animal and vegetable, individuals and races of mankind, to-day as in
all ages--these prove only too clearly that the process of the survival
of the fittest may make as definitely for retrogression in one case as
for progress in another.

By all means let us infer from the facts of organic evolution the
conclusion that further progress must surely be possible, so much
progress having already been achieved as is represented by the
difference between inorganic matter or the amœba or microbe on the one
hand, and man on the other hand. But let us most earnestly beware of
the false and disastrous optimism which should suppose that because
the survival of the fittest has often, and indeed most often, meant
the survival of the best, it means always that and nothing else. On
the contrary, we must learn that, even in natural circumstances,
apart from any interference by man, the survival of the fittest often
means racial degeneration--a tapeworm kept in spirits should stand
upon the study mantelpiece of all who think with Mr. Wells that the
survival of the fittest means the survival of the better; and still
more notably we must learn that the interference of man in the case of
his own species, sometimes of evil intent, sometimes for the highest
ends, with the process of natural selection, has repeatedly led, and
is now in large part leading, to nothing other than that process of
racial degeneration of which the tapeworm and the barnacle should be
our perpetual reminders. The case becomes serious enough when man
interferes with the process of selection merely with the effect of
suspending it, wholly or in part: but it becomes far more serious
when his interference constitutes a reversal of the process. This
most supremely disastrous of all conceivable consequences of man's
intelligence and moral sense is known as reversed selection, and must
be carefully studied hereafter. Meanwhile, we must devote some space to
a most important consideration--namely, that though Nature is impartial
in her choice, and will, for instance, allow the poisons of a microbe
such as the tubercle bacillus to destroy the life of a Spinoza or a
Keats or a Schubert, yet, on the whole, the survival-value of the
mental, spiritual, or psychical in all its forms does persistently tend
to outweigh that of the physical or material--of this great truth the
evolution and dominance of man himself being the supreme example.

The very fact of progress, which I would define as the emergence
and increasing dominance of mind, demonstrates--it being remembered
that natural selection has no moral prejudices--that even in a world
of claws and toxins the psychical must have possessed sufficient
survival-value to survive. It is quite evident that even the lowliest
psychical characters, such as sharpness of sensation, discrimination,
and memory, must be of value in the struggle for life. More and more we
might expect to find, and do actually find in the course of evolution,
that creatures live by their wits, rather than by force of bone or
muscle. The psychical was certainly given no unfair start--on the
contrary. It has had to struggle for its emergence; it has emerged only
where there has been struggle and has done so because it could--because
of its superior survival-value. It has the right which belongs to
might--in the world of life there is no other.[13]

By no means less evident is the inherently superior survival-value
of the psychical, if we turn from its aspects of sensation and
intelligence to those which are all summed up under the word love.
Notwithstanding Nietzsche's mad misconception of the Darwinian theory,
no one who has studied the facts of reproduction and its conditions
in the world of life can question the incalculable survival-value
of love in animal history. The success of those most ancient of all
societies, of which the ant-heap and the bee-hive are the types,
depends absolutely upon the self-sacrifice of the individual. If we
pass upwards from the insects to the lowest vertebrates, we find
the survival-value of love proved by the comparison between various
species of fish, and its increasing importance may be traced upwards
through amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals in succession, up to
man. Natural selection thus actually selects morality. Without love no
baby could live for twenty-four hours. Every human being that exists
or ever has existed or ever will exist is a product of mother-love or
foster-mother-love, and I am well entitled to say, as I have so often
said, _no morals, no man_. The creature in whom organic morality is at
its height has become the lord of the earth in virtue of that morality
which natural selection has selected, not from any moral bias, but
because of its superior survival-value.

                               CHAPTER IV

                         THE SELECTION OF MIND

  “Many are the mighty things, but none is mightier than man.... He
  conquers by his devices the tenant of the fields.”--Sophocles.

  “L'homme n'est qu'un roseau, le plus faible de la Nature; mais c'est
  un roseau pensant.”--Pascal.

  “The soul of all improvement is the improvement of the

Whereas, in its beginning, _mind_, or the psychical in all its aspects,
was merely a useful property of _body_, all organic progress may be
conceived in terms of a change in this original relation between them.
In man, the mental or psychical has become the essential thing, and the
body its servant. We are well prepared, then, to accept the proposition
that in our own day and for our own species, the plane upon which
natural selection works has largely been transferred, and, indeed, if
any further progress is to be effected, _must_ be transferred, from
the bodily or physical to the mental or psychical. A certain most
remarkable fact in the anatomy of man may be cited, as we shall see, in
support of this proposition.

We need not venture upon the controversial ground of the relation or
ultimate unity of mind and body; nor need we set up any suggestion of
antagonism between them. All, however, are absolutely agreed that the
psychical in all its forms, whatever it really be, has a consistent
relation of the most intimate kind with that part of the body which
we call the nervous system. For our present purposes the nature of
this relation matters nothing at all, and in place of the phrase,
the “selection of mind,” I should be quite content, if the reader so
prefers, to speak of the selection of nerve or nervous selection. And
if I may for a moment anticipate the conclusion, we may say that, in
and for the future, the process of selection for life and parenthood,
as it occurs in mankind, must be based, if the highest results are to
be obtained, upon the principle that the selection of bodily qualities
other than those of the nervous system is of value only in so far as
these serve the nervous or psychical qualities. For practical and for
theoretical purposes we must accept the dictum of Professor Forel that
“the brain is the man”--or, to be more accurate and less epigrammatic,
the nervous system is the man. If, then, we counsel or approve of any
selection of bone or muscle or digestion, or any other bodily organ or
function; if we select for physical health, physical energy, longevity,
or immunity from disease--our estimate of these things, one and all,
must be wholly determined by the services which they can perform for
the nervous system, whether as its instruments, its guarantors of
health and persistence, or otherwise. But we are not to regard any of
these things as ends in themselves--notwithstanding the fact that this
temptation will constantly beset us. So to do is implicitly to deny and
renounce the supreme character of man--which is that, in him, mind or
nervous system is the master, and the rest of the body, with all its
attributes, the servant.

=The body still necessary.=--Should anyone suppose that the principles
here laid down would speedily involve us, if executed, in a host
of disasters, let him reconsider that conclusion. Utterly ignorant
or jocose persons have hinted, more or less definitely, that if a
race of mankind were to be bred for brains, the product would be a
most misbegotten creature approaching as near as possible--and that
imperfectly enough--to the ideal of disembodied thought, a creature
monstrous as to head, impotent and puny as to limbs, and, in effect,
the least effective of living creatures. This supposition may be
commended as the last word in the way of nonsense. It depends upon
an abysmal ignorance of the necessary and permanent relations which
subsist between mind and body. It assumes that the healthy mind can
be obtained without the healthy body; it is totally unaware that the
nervous system cannot work properly unless the blood be well aerated by
active lungs and distributed by a healthy heart; that unless certain
glands, of which these people have never heard, are acting properly,
the nervous system falls into decadence, and the man becomes an
imbecile. To breed for brains is most assuredly to breed for body too:
only that the end in view will guide us as to what points of body to
breed for. For instance, it would prevent us from having any foolish
ambitions as to increasing the stature of the race, or the average
weight of its muscular apparatus. Stature may be a point to breed for
in the race-culture of giraffes and muscle in the race-culture of the
hippopotamus: but such bodily characters are of no moment for man,
who is above all things a mind. Whilst we shall pay little attention
to these, we or our descendants will be abundantly concerned with the
preservation and culture of those many bodily characters upon which
the health and vigour and sanity and durability of the nervous system

Further, notwithstanding all the nonsense that has been written
concerning the man of the future, with bald and swollen head,
be-goggled eyes, toothless gums, and wicker-work skeleton, those
who know the alphabet of physiology and psychology are warranted in
believing that wisely to breed for brains will be to breed for beauty
too--not of the skin-deep but of the mind-deep variety--and also for
grace and energy and versatility of physique. Those who worship brawn
as brawn may be commended to the ox; those who respect brawn as the
instrument of brain, and value it not by its horse-power but by its
capacity as the agent of purpose, will find nothing to complain of in
the kinds of men and women whom a wise eugenics has for its ideal.

=The erect attitude.=--And now we must briefly consider that “most
remarkable fact in the anatomy of man” to which allusion was made in
the first paragraph. It is that, as the most philosophic anatomists are
now coming to believe, the body of man actually represents the goal of
physical evolution. Of course the common opinion is, quite apart from
science, that man is the highest of creatures, and that there is no
more to be expected. But the doctrine of evolution regards man as the
latest, not necessarily the last, term in an age-long process which is
by no means completed, and from the evolutionary point of view it is
thus a daring and, at first hearing, a preposterous thing to say that,
so far as the physical aspects of organic evolution are concerned, the
body of man apparently represents the logical and final conclusion of
the age-long process which has produced it. Let us attempt very briefly
to outline the argument.

We may say that a great step was taken when from the chaos of the
invertebrate or backbone-less animals there emerged the first
vertebrates. This unquestionably occurred in the sea, the first
backbone being evolved in a fish-like creature which, in the course of
time, developed two lateral fins. These became modified into two pairs
of limbs, the sole function of which was locomotion. In the next group
of vertebrates, the amphibia--such as the frog--we see these limbs
terminating each in five digits. (The frog, so to say, decided that
we should count in tens.) Now some creatures have specialised their
limbs at the cost of certain fingers. The horse, for instance, walks
on the nails (the hoofs) of its middle fingers and its middle toes.
In the main line of ascent, however, none of these precious fingers
(and toes)--how precious let the typist or the pianist say--have been
sacrificed. There has been, however, in later ages a tendency towards
the specialisation of the front limbs. Used for locomotion at times,
they are also used for grasping and tearing and holding, as in the
case of the tiger, a member of the carnivora, a relatively late and
high group of mammals. But the carnivore does not carry its food to
its mouth, and the cat carries her kittens in her mouth and not with
her paws. In the apes and monkeys, however, this specialisation goes
further, and things are actually carried by the hands to the mouth--a
very great advance on the tiger, who fixes his food with his “hands,”
and then carries his mouth to it. Food to mouth instead of mouth to
food is a much later stage in evolution, a fact which may be recalled
when we watch the table manners of certain people. Finally, in man the
specialisation reaches its natural limit by the _complete_ liberation
of the fore-limbs from the purposes of locomotion--though the crawling
gait of a child recalls the base degrees by which we did ascend.

This great change depends upon an alteration in the axis of the body.
The first fishes, like present fishes, were horizontal animals, but
gradually the axis has become altered, in the main line of progress,
until the semi-erect apes yield to man the erect, or “man the erected,”
as Stevenson called him. The son of horizontal animals, he is himself
vertical: the “pronograde” has become “orthograde.” Thus the phrase,
“the ascent of man,” may be read in two senses. This capital fact has
depended upon a shifting of the centre of gravity of the body, which
in adult man lies behind the hip-joints, whereas in his ancestors and
in the small baby (still in the four-footed stage) it lies in front
of the hip-joints. Thus, whilst other creatures tend naturally to
fall forwards, so that they must use their fore-limbs for support and
locomotion, the whole body of man above the hip-joints tends naturally
to fall backwards, being prevented from doing so by two great ligaments
which lie in front of the hip-joints and have a unique development in
man. The complete erection of the spine means that the skull, instead
of being suspended in front, is now poised upon the top of the spinal
column. The field of vision is enormously enlarged, and it is possible
to sweep a great extent of horizon at a moment's notice. But the
complete discharge of the fore-limbs from the function of locomotion
has far vaster consequences, especially as they now assume the function
of educating their master, the brain, and enabling him to employ them
for higher and higher purposes.

Thus, when we ask ourselves whether there is any further goal for
physical evolution, the answer is that none can be seen. So far as
physical evolution is concerned the goal has been attained with the
erect attitude. Future changes in the anatomy of man will not be
positive but negative. There doubtless will be a certain lightening of
the ship, the casting overboard of inherited superfluities, but that is
all: except that we may hope for certain modifications in the way of
increasing the adaptation of the body to the erect attitude, which at
present bears very hardly in many ways upon the body of man, and much
more so upon the body of woman.

Thus race-culture will certainly not aim at the breeding of physical
freaks of any kind, nor yet at such things as stature. It must begin by
clearly recognising what are the factors which in man possess supreme
survival-value, and it must aim at their reinforcement rather than at
the maintenance of those factors which, of dominant value in lower
forms of life, have been superseded in him. A few words will suffice
to show in what fashion man has already shed vital characters which,
superfluous and burdensome for him, have in former times been of the
utmost survival-value.

=The denudation of man.=--As contrasted with the whole mass of his
predecessors, man comes into the world denuded of defensive armour,
destitute of offensive weapons, possessed alone of the potentialities
of the psychical. So far as defence is concerned, he has neither fur
nor feathers nor scales, but is the most naked and thinnest skinned of
animals. In his _Autobiography_, Spencer tells us how he and Huxley,
sitting on the cliff at St. Andrews and watching some boys bathing,
“marvelled over the fact, seeming especially strange when they are no
longer disguised by clothes, that human beings should dominate over all
other creatures and play the wonderful part they do on the earth.”[14]
But man is not only without armour against either living enemies or
cold; he is also without weapons of attack. His teeth are practically
worthless in this respect, not only on account of their small size but
also because his chin, a unique possession, and the shape of his jaws,
make them singularly unfit for catching or grasping. For claws he has
merely nails, capable only of the feeblest scratching; he can discharge
no poisons from his mouth; he cannot envelop himself in darkness
in order to hide himself; his speediest and most enduring runner is
a breathless laggard. And, lastly, he is at first almost bereft of
instinct, has to be burnt in order to dread the fire, and cannot find
his own way to the breast. His sole instrument of dominance is his mind
in all its attributes.

On the grounds thus indicated, we must be wholly opposed to all
proposals for race education and race-culture, and to all social
practices, which assume more or less consciously that, for all his
boasting, man is after all only an animal: whilst we must applaud the
selection and culture of the physical exactly in so far as, but no
further than, it makes for health and strength of the psychical--or, if
the reader dislikes these expressions, the health and strength of that
particular part of the physical which we call the nervous system.

It used to be generally asserted that whilst, in a civilised community,
we do not expect to find the biggest or most muscular man King or
Prime Minister, yet amongst savage tribes it _is_ the physical, muscle
and bone and brutality, that determines leadership. This, however, we
now know to be untrue even for the earliest stages of society that
anthropologists can recognise. The leader of the savage tribe is not
the biggest man but the cleverest. The suggestion is therefore that,
even in the earliest stages of human society, the plane of selection
has already been largely transferred from brawn to brain or from
physique to _psyche_. It has always been so, we may be well sure. The
Drift men of Taubach, living in the inter-glacial period, could kill
the full-grown elephant and rhinoceros. Says Professor Ranke: “It is
the mind of man that shows itself superior to the most powerful brute
force, even where we meet him for the first time.” This remains true
whether the brute force be displayed in brutes or in other men.

The great fact of intelligence, as against material apparatus of
any kind and even as against rigid instinct, is its limitless
applicability. With this one instrument man achieves what without it
could be achieved only by a creature who combined in his own person
every kind of material apparatus, offensive and defensive, locomotor or
what not, which animal life, and vegetable life too, have invented in
the past--and not even by such a creature. Man is a poor pedestrian,
but his mind makes locomotives which rival or surpass the fish of the
sea, the antelope on land, if not yet the bird of the air; his teeth
are of poor quality, but his mind supplies him with artificial ones and
enables him to cook and otherwise to prepare his food. All the physical
methods are self-limited, but the method of mind has no limits; it is
even more than cumulative, and multiplies its capacities by geometrical

=The cult of muscle.=--A word must really be said here, in accordance
with all the foregoing argument, against the recent revival of what
may be called the Cult of Muscle. This cult of muscle, or belief
in physical culture, so called, as the true means of race-culture,
undoubtedly requires to have its absurd pretensions censured. We now
have many flourishing schools of physical culture which desire to
persuade us to a belief in the monstrous anachronism that, even in man,
muscle and bone are still pre-eminent. They want as many people as
possible to believe that the only thing really worth aiming at is what
they understand by physical culture. They pride themselves upon knowing
the names and positions of all the muscles in the body, and on being
able to provide us with instruments to develop all these muscles: they
are there and they ought to be developed, and you are a mere parody of
what a man ought to be unless they are developed--none of them must
be neglected. Many people have been persuaded of these doctrines, and
there is no doubt that the physical culture schools do thus develop a
large number of muscles which have no present service for man and would
otherwise have been allowed to rest in a decent obscurity.

In order to prove this point, let us instance a few muscles which it
is utterly absurd to regard as still possessing any survival-value for
man. In the sole of the foot there are four distinct layers of muscles,
by means of which it is theoretically possible to turn each individual
toe to the left or the right, independently of its neighbours, and to
move the various parts of each toe upon themselves, just as in the case
of the fingers. All this muscular apparatus is a mere survival, worth
nothing at all for the special purposes of the human foot. In point of
fact the human foot is now decadent, and probably not more than two
or three specimens of feet in a hundred contain the complete normal
equipment of muscles, bones and joints--as Sir William Turner showed
many years ago. Thus many feet are possessed of muscles designed to
act upon joints which have not been developed at all in the feet in
question and which, if they were there, would not be of the smallest
use. To take another instance, we do not now use our external ears
for the purpose of catching sound, though we still possess muscles
which, if thrown into action, would move the external ear in various
directions. Again, there is a flat, thin stratum of muscle on the
front of the neck, corresponding to a muscle which in the dog and the
horse is quite important, but which is of no use to us. All would be
agreed as to the absurdity of devoting continued conscious effort to
the development of these particular muscles; but in point of fact we
have a whole host of muscles which are in a similar case, and which
are nevertheless objects of the most tender solicitude on the part of
the physical culturist. In general, this modern craze, whilst highly
profitable to those who foster it, is most misguided and reactionary.
Modern knowledge of heredity teaches us that our descendants will not
profit muscularly in the slightest degree because of our devotion to
these relics: the blacksmith's baby has promise of no bigger biceps
than any one else's. Further, the over-doing of muscular culture
is responsible for the consumption of a large amount of energy. A
muscle is a highly vital and active organ, requiring a large amount
of nourishment, which its possessor has to obtain, consume, digest
and distribute. The more time and energy spent in sustaining useless
muscles, the less is available for immeasurably more important
concerns. Man does not live by brawn alone: he _does_ live by brain

=Strength versus skill.=--So far as true race-culture is concerned,
we should regard our muscles merely as servants or instruments of the
will. Since we have learnt to employ external forces for our purposes,
the mere bulk of a muscle is now a matter of little importance. Of the
utmost importance, on the other hand, is the power to co-ordinate and
graduate the activity of our muscles, so that they may become highly
trained servants. This is a matter, however, not of muscle at all but
of nervous education. Its foundation cannot be laid by mechanical
things like dumb-bells and exercises, but by games, in which will and
purpose and co-ordination are incessantly employed. In other words, the
only physical culture worth talking about is nervous culture.

The principles here laid down are daily defied in very large measure in
our nurseries, our schools, and our barrack yards. The play of a child,
spontaneous and purposeful, is supremely human and characteristic.
Although, when considered from the outside, it is simply a means of
muscular development, properly considered it is really _the_ means of
nervous development. Here we see muscles used as human muscles should
alone be used--as instruments of mind. In schools the same principles
should be recognised. From the biological and psychological point of
view the playing-field is immeasurably superior to the gymnasium.
But it is in the barrack yard that the pitiable confusion between
the survival-value of mind and muscle respectively in man is most
ludicrously and disastrously exemplified.

The glorious truth upon which we appear to act is that man is an
animated machine; that the business of the soldier is not to think,
not to be an individual, but to be an assemblage of muscles. We see
the marks of this idea even in a fine poem: “Their's not to reason
why, their's but to do or die”--which, of course, might just as well
be said of a stud of horses or motor-cars. Further, our worship of the
machine is, consistently enough, an unintelligent worship. We do not
even recognise the best conditions for its action. Every year hundreds
of young soldiers, originally healthy, have their hearts and lungs and
other vital organs permanently injured by the imbecile attitude of
chest--that of abnormal expansion--which they are required to adopt
during hard work. Army doctors are now protesting against this, but it
is in accordance with the fitness of things that the cult of muscle as
against intelligence should be unintelligent.

I repeat that whilst in the study of race-culture the physical cannot
be ignored, since the psychical is so largely dependent upon it,
yet the physical is of worth to us only in so far as it serves the
psychical. The race the culture of which we propose to undertake has
long ago determined to abandon the physical in itself as an instrument
of success. We are not attempting the culture of the cretaceous
reptiles, which staked their all upon muscle, and finally, having
become as large as houses--and as agile--suffered extinction. We are
attempting the culture of a species which, so far as the physical is
concerned, has long ago crossed the Rubicon or burnt its boats. Even
if Mr. Sandow and the drill-sergeant had their way to the utmost, and,
having finally eliminated all traces of mind, succeeded in producing
the strongest and most perfect physical machine that could be made from
the human body, the species so produced would go down in a generation
before the elements or before any living species that may be named.
Man has staked his all upon mind. The only physical development
that is really worth anything to such a race is that which educates
intelligence and morality, on the one hand, and serves for their
expression, on the other.

If there is any salient and irresistible tendency in our civilisation
to-day, it is the persistent decadence of muscle and of all of which
muscle is the type, as an instrument of survival-value. The development
of machinery, much deplored by the short-sighted, is in the direct line
of progress, because it reduces the importance of muscle and throws
all its weight into the scale of mind. Hewers of wood and drawers of
water are becoming less and less necessary, not because mechanical
force is not needed but because the human intelligence is learning how
to supersede the human machine as its source. Every development of
machinery makes the man who can merely offer his muscles of less value
to the community. Long ago--not so very long ago in some cases--it was
quite sufficient for a man to be able to say “I am a good machine:” he
was worth his keep and had his chance of becoming a parent; but the man
whom society wants now-a-days is not the man who is a good machine but
the man who can make one. These elementary truths are hidden, however,
from the political quacks who discourse to us upon unemployment.

Herbert Spencer's remark that it is necessary to be a good animal
has an element of truth in it which was utterly ignored and needed
proclamation at that time; but it is necessary to be a good animal only
in so far as that state makes for being a good man--and not an iota

The present interest in many most important aspects of physical
education, such as may be summed up under the phrase “school hygiene,”
must not blind us to the great principle that physical education is a
means and not an end. Our present educational system, which permits
schooling to end just when it should begin, or rather sooner, and
which, even through our Government Departments, permits boys to be
used as little more than animated machines, such as telegraph boys--is
very largely responsible for the great national evil of unemployment,
which we treat with soup-kitchens. We shall revise a large proportion
of our educational, political and social methods just so soon as--but
not before--we get into our heads the idea that in human society,
and pre-eminently in society to-day, the survival-value of mind
and consequently the selection of mind must predominate over the
survival-value and consequent selection of muscle. Further, whatever
factors tend to enhance the survival-value of the physical are _ipso
facto_ making for retrogression and a return to the order of the beast.
Whatever tend to enhance the survival-value of the psychical--by which
I most assuredly include not only intelligence but, for instance,
motherhood--are _ipso facto_ forces of progress. The products of
progress are not machinery but men, and the well-drilled-machine idea
of a man ought to be as obsolete as more than one recent war has proved
it disastrous.

There is here to be read no pessimistic suggestion that the psychical
is in any permanent danger. No one can think so who knows its strength
and the relative impotence of the physical, but it is certainly
possible that the course of progress may be greatly delayed in any
given nation or race by worship of the physical, or even, as Sparta
shows, by worship of what may be called the physical virtues as against
the moral and intellectual virtues. But those who are interested in the
survival of any particular race or nation have to remember that arrest
or retardation of progress therein, relatively to its wiser neighbours,
must, before long, result in its utter downfall.

=What are we to choose?=--The argument that the selection of mind has
been dominant throughout human history is reinforced by such knowledge
of that history as we possess. There is no record of any race that
established itself in virtue of great stature or exceptional muscular
strength. Even in cases of the most purely military dominance, it was
not force as such, but discipline and method, that determined success;
whilst some of the greatest soldiers in history have been physically
the smallest. The statement of the anthropologists, already alluded to,
regarding the selection of the leading men in primitive tribes, may
safely be taken as always true: selection in human society has always
been, in the main, selection of that which, for survival-value, is the
dominant character of man, _mind_ in its widest sense. We shall see,
later, that _physical eugenics_ can by no means be ignored: but our
guiding principle must be that the physical is of worth only in so far
as it serves the psychical, and is worse than worthless in so far as it
does not. It would surely be well, for instance, that we should breed
for “energy,” to use Mr. Galton's term: but the energy we desire, and
the energy he commends, is nervous, not muscular. The confusion between
two radically different things, vitality and muscularity, is, however,
almost universal, though it will not stand a moment's examination.
In a volume devoted to personal hygiene I have discussed this point,
which is of real moment both for the individual and for the theory of

It is of interest to note, in passing from this question, that inherent
facts of the human constitution would interdict us if we thought it
a fit ideal to breed for stature or bulk. Giants are essentially
morbid--not favourable but unfavourable variations. They are very
frequently childless and almost constantly slow-witted. Their condition
is really a mild form of a well-marked and highly characteristic
disease known as acromegaly, and distinguished by great enlargement
of the face and extremities. The malady depends upon peculiarities in
the glandular activities of the body: _and the state of these which
makes for great stature and bulk makes against intelligence_. It is
suggested, then, that any considerable increase of human bulk and
stature could only be obtained at the cost of intelligence. It would be
very dear at the price.

When we come to the subject of selection for parenthood in man through
the preferences exhibited by individuals for members of the opposite
sex, we shall see that what Darwin called “sexual selection” is
certainly a reality in the case of man, whether or not it be so in the
case of the lower animals. We shall see that this most potent factor
in human evolution acts even now very favourably, and is capable of
having its value enormously enhanced. In the selection of husbands,
nervous or psychical factors are notably of high survival-value in
civilised communities. In the selection of wives the survival-value of
the physical is still very high: but it may be hoped and believed that
the present tendency is to attach relatively less importance to them
and more to the psychical elements of the chosen. This tendency must be
furthered to the utmost point beyond which the physical requisites for
motherhood would suffer weakening--but no further.

=How are we to estimate civic worth?=--We have already observed that
it is incorrect to use the word “fit” as if it were synonymous with
“worthy.” If we insist on using this term, which means only “adapted
to conditions,” we must define those conditions. We must say that we
desire to further the production of those who are fit for citizenship,
and to disfavour the production of those who are unfit for citizenship.
We shall thereby dispose at least of those vexatious objectors who
tell us that many eminent criminals are individually superior to many
eminent judges. The statement is doubtless untrue, but if it were
true it would still be irrelevant. A criminal may be individually a
remarkable personality, but in so far as he is a criminal he is unfit
for citizenship.

It is far better to use consistently Mr. Galton's phrase, “civic
worth,” or, for short, “worth.” We may here note Mr. Galton's most
recent remarks on what he means by worth:--

  “By this I mean the civic worthiness, or the Value to the State of a
  person, as it would probably be assessed by experts or, say, by such
  of his fellow-workers as have earned the respect of the community
  in the midst of which they live. Thus the worth of soldiers would
  be such as it would be rated by respected soldiers, students by
  students, business men by business men, artists by artists, and so
  on. The State is a vastly complex organism, and the hope of obtaining
  a Proportional Representation of its best parts should be an avowed
  object of issuing invitations to these gatherings.

  “Speaking only for myself, if I had to classify persons according
  to Worth, I should consider each of them under the three heads of
  Physique, Ability, and Character, subject to the provision that
  inferiority in any one of the three should outweigh superiority in
  the other two. I rank Physique first, because it is not only very
  valuable in itself and allied to many other good qualities, but has
  the additional merit of being easily rated. Ability I should place
  second on similar grounds, and Character third, though in real
  importance it stands first of all.”[16]

We shall certainly misunderstand this quotation unless we clearly
realise that Mr. Galton is speaking of eugenic worth--that is to say,
of worth in relation to parenthood and heredity. No one, of course,
would assert for a moment that inferiority in the matter of physique
outweighed superiority in ability and character, so far as our estimate
of an individual as an individual is concerned, nor yet so far as
our estimate of him as a citizen is concerned. But from the eugenic
standpoint, as a parent of citizens to come, such a person, though
he may have himself saved the State, is on the average rightly to be
regarded as unworthy on the eugenic scale--it being assumed, of course,
that the inferiority of physique in the person in question is either
native and therefore transmissible, or else due to forms of disease, or
poisoning, such as, according to our knowledge of ante-natal pathology,
will probably involve degeneracy on the part of his children. I would
add that love is as precious as ability, if not more so, and that we
should aim at its increase by making parenthood the most responsible
act in life, so that children are born only to those who love children
and who will transmit their high measure of the parental instinct and
the tender emotion which is its correlate.[17]

                               CHAPTER V

                       THE MULTIPLICATION OF MAN

                        “Increase and multiply”

The ceaseless multiplication of man is one of the facts which
distinguish him from all other living species, animal or vegetable.[18]

We must not be misled by such a case as that of the multiplication
of rabbits in Australia. Apart from such circumstances as human
interference, the earth is already crammed with life of a kind, not the
highest life nor the most intense life, but at any rate fully extended
life. Man alone multiplies persistently, irresistibly, and has done
so from the very first, so that, arising locally, he is now diffused
over the whole surface of the earth. To quote from Professor Lankester
again: “Man is Nature's rebel. Where Nature says Die! Man says I will
live! According to the law previously in universal operation man should
have been limited in geographical area, killed by extremes of cold or
of heat, subject to starvation if one kind of diet were unobtainable,
and should have been unable to increase and multiply, just as are his
animal relatives, without losing his specific structure.... But man's
wits and his will have enabled him ... to ‘increase and multiply,’ as
no other animal, without change of form.”

Not only has man made himself the only animal which constantly
increases in numbers, but this increase, as Professor Lankester points
out in another part of his lecture, already threatening certain
difficulties, will be much more rapid than at present, assuming the
birth-rate to remain where it is, when disease is controlled. It
is within our power, as Pasteur declared long ago, to abolish all
parasitic, infectious or epidemic disease. This must be and will
be done--within a century, I have little doubt. The problem of the
increase of human population will become more pressing than ever.
Professor Lankester suggests that in one or five centuries the
difficulty raised by our multiplication “would, if let alone, force
itself upon a desperate humanity, brutalised by over-crowding and the
struggle for food. A return to Nature's terrible selection of the
fittest may, it is conceivable, be in this way in store for us. But
it is more probable that humanity will submit to a restriction by the
community in respect of the right to multiply.” The lecturer added that
we must therefore perfect our knowledge of heredity in man, as to which
“there is absolutely no provision in any civilised community, and no
conception among the people or their leaders, that it is a matter which
concerns anyone but farmers.”

=The secret of multiplication.=--Professor Lankester, however, omits
to point out the astonishing paradox involved in the fact that--as
I pointed out at the Royal Institution in 1907--man, the only
ceaselessly multiplying animal, has the lowest birth-rate of any living
creature.[19] From the purely arithmetical point of view, what does it
mean? We may defer at present any deeper interpretation.

It means necessarily and obviously that the effective means of
multiplication is not a high birth-rate but a low death-rate. It is
a necessary inference from the paradox in question that the infant
death-rate and the general death-rate in man are the lowest anywhere
to be found. Producing fewer young he alone multiplies.[20] It follows
that a smaller proportion of those young must die. Unless it is
supposed by bishops and others, then, that a peculiar value attaches to
the production of a baby shortly to be buried, the suggestion evidently
is the same as that to which every humanitarian and social and
patriotic impulse guides us, namely, the reduction of the death-rate
and especially the infant mortality. This is the true way in which
to insure the more rapid multiplication of man, if that be desired.
I believe it is not to be desired, but in any case the reduction of
the death-rate and especially of the infant mortality is a worthy and
necessary end in itself, and need not inevitably lead to our undue
multiplication provided that the birth-rate falls. Hence the eugenists
and the Episcopal Bench may join hands so far as the reduction of the
death-rate is concerned, and the only persons with whom a practical
quarrel remains are those who--in effect--applaud the mother who boasts
that she has buried twelve.

=The facts of human multiplication.=--Human population continues to
increase notwithstanding any changes in the birth-rate. This fact
remains true, as shown by the latest obtainable figures. It should be
one of the dogmas never absent from the foreground of the statesman's
mind. Apparently nothing, however, will induce us to take this little
forethought. When we build a bridge across the Thames, we ignore it;
when we widen a bridge we ignore it likewise. When we make a new street
we ignore it; when we build railways and railway stations we ignore
it--excusably, perhaps, in this case; when we build hospitals we ignore
it: four times out of five there is no room for the addition of a
single ward in time to come. We have not yet even learnt, as they are
learning in America and Germany, how to acquire the outlying lands of
cities for the public possession, so that they may be properly employed
as the city grows. The man who builds himself a villa on the outskirts
of a city, ignores it, and is staggered by it in ten years. The lover
of nature and the country ignores it: “Just look at this,” he says,
“this was in the country when first I knew it, look at these horrible
rows of villas!” The only possible reply to such a person is simply,
“Well, my dear sir, what do you propose? General infanticide?” Most
important of all, this fact, that, to take the case of Great Britain,
some half million babies are born every year in excess over the number
of all who die at all ages, is forgotten by our statesmen--or rather by
our politicians. It could, of course, not be forgotten by a statesman.
Quite apart from remoter consequences, especially in relation to the
wheat supply, this persistent multiplication--which one has actually
heard denied on the ground that the birth-rate is falling--is of urgent
moment to all of us.

In 1907 the Census Bureau of Washington published some figures on the
mortality statistics of nations, a summary of which may be quoted:
“In all parts of the civilised world both the birth-rates and the
death-rates tend to decrease, and, as a rule, those countries having
the lowest death-rates have also the lowest birth-rates. In Europe
the lowest birth-rate is that of France, the highest those of Servia
and Roumania. The lowest death-rates are in Sweden and Norway; the
highest in Russia and Spain. The downward tendency of the birth-
and death-rates is best shown by diagrams prepared by the French
Government, and it is probable that the downward tendency is actually
steeper than the diagrams show, because both births and deaths are more
accurately registered than formerly.”

But these statements are by no means necessarily incompatible with
steady increase of population, which, of course, increases so long as
the birth-rate exceeds the death-rate. I quote a few figures from the
_Science Year Book_ of 1908:

In 1890 the total population of the world was estimated at

      Aryan (Europe, Persia, India, etc.)  545,000,000
      Mongolian (N. and E. Asia)           630,000,000
      Semitic (N. Africa)                   65,000,000
      Negro (C. Africa)                    150,000,000
      Malay and Polynesian                  35,000,000
      American Indian                       15,000,000

The total figure now must be something like sixteen hundred millions at

Density of population, in so far as it means what is commonly called
over-crowding, is an important factor in the death-rate, and has a most
inimical influence upon race-culture--in virtue of the opportunity
afforded to the racial poisons--syphilis, alcohol, etc. Thus Sweden
has the lowest death-rate in Europe, and has much the least density
of population--only 29 per square mile as compared with our own 341.
If now the fact of the increase of population, with all that it means
and will mean, may be taken as dealt with and accepted, there will be
no danger of leading the reader to false conclusions if we insist upon
the fall of the birth-rate, which in Great Britain in 1908 was the
lowest on record. The death-rate, however, persistently falls also.
The reader who thinks that the birth-rate alone determines the increase
of population, and those who believe in polygamy on the ground that it
necessarily makes for the rapid multiplication and therefore strength
of a nation, should compare the death-rate of London, which is under
16, with that of Bombay, which is just under 79. It is asserted that in
many large Indian cities the infant mortality approaches one-half of
all the children born. What it amounts to in such cities as Canton and
Pekin we can only surmise with horror.

Notwithstanding the persistent fall in the birth-rate of London the
rate of increase in population remains stupendous, according to the
calculations of Mr. Cottrell, which may be quoted from the _Science
Year Book_ of 1908. He estimates the population of Greater London in
1910 at about 7½ millions, and in 1920 at well over 8½ millions--the
falling birth-rate notwithstanding.

The increase of population of five great countries may be briefly noted
here. In all, with the possible exception of Russia, the birth-rate is
rapidly falling. In the course of the nineteenth century the population

    Russia (in Europe)  rose from 38 to 105,000,000
    France               "    "   26  "  38,000,000
    Germany              "    "   23  "  55,000,000
    Great Britain        "    "   15  "  40,000,000
    United States        "    "    5  "  75,000,000

These are merely approximate figures, but accurate enough to be of
value. It need hardly be pointed out that immigration accounts for the
disproportionate increase of population in the United States. But it
may be added that the imminent arrest or control of this immigration
will assuredly have the most serious and pressing consequences for
Europe. Plainly it must hasten the coming of national eugenics.

=The case of Germany.=--Especial interest and importance attach for
many reasons to the case of Germany in this connection, and, as
might be expected, many precise facts are available. Here I shall
avail myself freely of the paper contributed by Dr. Sombart to the
_International_ for December, 1907. In the first seven years of this
century the population of Germany increased almost ten per cent.
The figure in 1870 was 40.8 millions and in 1907 61 millions. The
population is increasing yearly at the rate of about 800,000, as
compared with about half a million in the case of Great Britain. In
France in 1907 the population actually declined by a few thousands. In
regard to the growth of population Germany is now at the head of all
civilised countries, excepting those cases in which immigration has
augmented the number of inhabitants. Does this expansion of population
depend upon an increasing birth-rate or a diminishing death-rate?
The fact, in strict parallel with the biological generalisation
already made, is that “Germany's population is increasing so swiftly
because the death-rate has been falling steadily. At the beginning
of the period, 1870-1880, there were nearly 30 deaths per thousand
inhabitants, while in recent years only about 20 deaths in every
thousand inhabitants have taken place each year.... Notwithstanding,
the birth-rate during the last ten years, during which the principal
growth of population occurs, has not in anywise increased in Germany.
Indeed, by careful investigation it becomes apparent that it has
declined almost unintermittently for a generation.” The average
birth-rate for the ten years 1871-1880 was 40.7, for 1891-1900 the
average was 37.4. Since then it has fallen further, and in 1905 the
figure was 34, the lowest on record. As Dr. Sombart observes, we shall
only appreciate these figures if we regard them as an expression of
a tendency which will continue, and that this is so he proves. He
observes that “the more highly advanced the country, the lower its
birth-rate.... From this we may already draw the conclusion that a
diminution of births is a concomitant of our progress in civilisation.
Secondly, this is confirmed by the fact that the falling-off in the
birth-rate must be attributed largely to the big cities.... As a third
statistical argument that the birth-rate declines with the advance
of civilisation, the fact may be cited that in the quarters of the
well-to-do still fewer children are born than in those of the poor.”
(In London, as we have seen, the birth-rate is highest in Stepney and
lowest in Hampstead).

Dr. Sombart finally points out what must never be forgotten--that an
increase in population, dependent upon a fall in the death-rate, whilst
the birth-rate also falls, is necessarily self-limited. The decrease
of the death-rate is limited by definite natural age-limits, and “this
indicates that the increase of population in Germany is gradually
entering upon a period of less activity, and will perhaps quite cease
within a conceivable period unless other causes operate in the opposite

=The yellow peril.=--The facts regarding the yellow races are extremely
difficult to ascertain. It appears, however, that the birth-rate in
Japan has almost doubled in 27 years--rising from 17.1 to 31. (I
doubt the accuracy of the earlier figure.) In China the population
is largely controlled by infanticide, but there is little doubt that
the main contention of Pearson was correct, and that the yellow races
are multiplying much more rapidly than the white races. It does
not necessarily follow, however, as we shall see, that this means
yellow ascendancy, any more than a similar comparison would mean
microbic ascendancy. It is not quantity but quality of life that
gives survival-value and dominance. This disparity between white and
yellow rates of increase is by far the most pregnant of contemporary
phenomena. In the present introductory volume it can merely be named.
But since we shall not survive in virtue of quantity, I, for one, am
well assured that the choice for Western civilisation will ere long be
the final one between eugenics or extinction.

=The wheat problem.=--Meanwhile, we must consider briefly the question
evidently raised by this fact of human multiplication. As an expert
has lately said, the rise in the price of wheat “is not the transitory
result of market manipulation and ‘corners,’ forcing prices up to an
unnatural level, but of perfectly natural and irresistible causes
which, for all that, are the more anxious and disquieting. The truth is
we are for the first time beginning to feel individually the effect of
a great natural process--the race which started long ago between the
population of the world and the growth of the world's wheat supply. In
this race the growth of the world's population has been outstripping
the growth of its wheat-food production, and the consequence has been
a total growing shortage, in spite of the opening of vast new areas in
Canada and the Argentina.” In this connection one of the best papers
in Great Britain--the _Westminster Gazette_--cheerfully remarked in
a leading article that, after all, we need not be alarmed as to the
difficulty in increasing the supply of wheat, since population would,
in any case, adapt itself to the food-supply. This is true, indeed:
there will never be more human beings than there is food to feed. But
the question is, how will the population be kept down? In a word, is it
to be by the awful and bloody processes of Nature or by the conscious,
provident and humane methods of man?

We are reminded of the argument advanced by Sir William Crookes in
his Presidential Address to the British Association in 1898. The
distinguished author has himself written an invaluable book on the
subject which has been carefully revised and supplemented, and must be
read by the serious student.[21] We may note from the point of view of
the student of dietetics that wheat is and remains, on physiological
examination, what the proverb suggests. Bread is the staff of life,
wheat being, in proportion to its price, by far the best and cheapest
of all foods.

The argument of Sir William Crookes was advanced exactly a century
after the publication of the great essay of Malthus which we must soon
consider. In the whole intervening century no one, capable of being
heard, had considered the question. The relation of Crookes to the
earlier thinker remains, though it is curious that Malthus was not
mentioned by his successor. Writing now, a decade later, I wish merely
to point out that Sir William's argument is found valid. He observed
that “the actual and potential wheat-producing capacity of the United
States is--and will be, for years to come--the dominant factor in the
world's bread-supply.” Now the recent expert from whom we have already
quoted declares that “former great wheat exporting countries like the
United States, as well as Russia and India, while their production
remains as high, are sending far less abroad under the pressure of
their own increasing needs. In this connection it may be recorded
that a great American corn expert declares that in twenty-five years
the United States will want all, or very nearly all, of her wheat
production for herself, and will have very little indeed to send us.”
In 1898 Sir William said, “A permanently higher price for wheat is,
I fear, a calamity that ere long must be faced.” As everyone knows,
this prophecy is now being fulfilled. Sir William declared that “the
augmentation of the world's eating population in a geometrical ratio”
is a proved fact. The phrase means, of course, simply that the yearly
increase increases. On the other hand, the wheat supply is subject to
a yearly increase which does not itself increase--in other words the
increase is in an arithmetical ratio. This, a century later, precisely
illustrates the principle of Malthus. Sir William also declared that
exports of wheat from the United States are only of present interest,
and that “within a generation the ever-increasing population of the
United States will consume all the wheat grown within its borders, and
will be driven to import, and, like ourselves, will scramble for the
lion's share of the wheat crop of the world.”

Next to the United States Russia is the greatest wheat exporter, but
the Russian peasant population increases more rapidly than any other in
Europe, even though it is inadequately fed, and this source of supply
must fail ere very long. As Sir William points out, the Caucasian
civilisation is indeed founded upon bread. “Other races vastly superior
to us in numbers, but differing widely in material and intellectual
progress, are eaters of Indian corn, rice, millet and other
grains; but none of these grains have the food-value, concentrated
health-sustaining power of wheat.” Sir William's argument was, and is,
that we must learn how to fix the nitrogen of the atmosphere--that is
to say, how to combine it in forms on which the plant can feed. “The
fixation of nitrogen is a question of the not far distant future.
Unless we can class it among certainties to come, the great Caucasian
race will cease to be foremost in the world, and will be squeezed out
of existence by races to whom wheat and bread is not the staff of life.”

Sir William Crookes was himself the pioneer in the discovery of the
electric method of fixing the atmospheric nitrogen, and now, a decade
after the delivery of his address, this method is in successful
commercial employment in Scandinavia. There is also a method of sowing
the bacteria which are capable of fixing nitrogen and this, according
to some, has been already proved practicable. Further, the Mendelians
offer us the possibility of new varieties of wheat having more grains
to the stalk than we obtain at present. By these methods the output
of the land devoted to wheat may be doubled or trebled, but it is
evident that even then there will be an impassable limit. We have to
face, indeed, the evident but unconsidered fact that _there must be a
maximum possible human population for this finite earth_, whether a
bread-eating population or any other. I do not propose to speculate
regarding this evident truth. If human life is worth living and is the
highest life we know, we may desire to obtain that maximum population,
but it must be obtained, and its limits observed, by the humane and
decent processes which man is capable of putting into practice, and not
by the check of starvation.

It is of great interest to the British reader to look at the question
briefly from his point of view. At the present time our wheat
production is no more than one-eighth of our needs, and in twenty-five
years, when the supply from the United States will probably have
ceased, we shall require 40,000,000 quarters of wheat per annum. Yet
already, in time of peace, careful observers such as the Rt. Hon.
Charles Booth and Mr. Seebohm Rowntree declare that thirty per cent.
of our own population are living on the verge of starvation. Our
available supply of food of all kinds at any moment would last us
about three weeks. How many of us realise what a war would mean for
this country? Yet in the face of facts such as these, the majority of
those who attempt to guide public opinion are urging us to increase our
birth-rate and still pin their faith to quantity rather than quality of
population as our great need.

=The theory of Malthus.=--The reader who is interested in general
biology will realise, of course, that we are here back to the great
argument of Malthus, advanced in 1798 in his _Essay on the Principle of
Population_. Malthus was a great and sincere thinker, a high and true
moralist, and the people who have a vague notion that his name has some
connection with immoral principles of any kind have no acquaintance
with the subject. It is of the deepest interest for the history of
thought to know that it was the work of Malthus which suggested,
independently, both to Charles Darwin and to Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace,
that principle of natural selection, the survival of the fittest and
their choice for parenthood, the discovery of which constituted one of
the great epochs in the history of human knowledge, and which is the
cardinal principle underlying the whole modern conception of eugenics
or race-culture.

Malthus found in all life the constant tendency to increase beyond the
nourishment available. In a given area, not even the utmost imaginable
improvement in developing the resources of the soil can or could keep
pace with the unchecked increase of population.[22] This applies alike
to Great Britain and to the whole world. At bottom, then, the check
to population--and this is true of microbes or men--is want of food,
notwithstanding that this is never the immediate and obvious check
except in cases of actual famine. There must therefore be a “struggle
for existence,” and as Darwin and Wallace saw, it follows as a
necessary truth that, to use Spencer's term, the fittest must survive.
The question is whether we are to accept starvation as, at bottom,
the factor controlling population (which, in any case, must be and
is controlled) or whether we can substitute something better--as for
instance, the moral self-control which Malthus recommended. The single
precept of this much maligned thinker was “Do not marry till you have a
fair prospect of supporting a family”--a fairly decent and respectable
doctrine. In the words of Mr. Kirkup, “the greatest and highest moral
result of his principle is that it clearly and emphatically teaches the
responsibility of parentage, and it declares the sin of those who bring
human beings into the world for whose physical, intellectual, and moral
well-being no satisfactory provision is made.” Who, alas, will declare
that even after a century and a decade this great lesson is yet learnt?

It is to be added, first, that though improvement in agriculture is to
be commended on every conceivable ground, and though it may in some
degree relieve and postpone the difficulty, it is infinitely incapable
of abolishing it. Nothing but necessity can check the prolificness of
life. To this doctrine, however, there is, as we shall shortly see,
a great excepting principle, unrecognised by Malthus, discovered by
Herbert Spencer, and of vast and universal importance. Secondly, it is
to be noted that emigration--a real remedy for over-population--is so
only for a time. It cannot possibly abolish the problem--short of the
development of interplanetary communication, if then; and the observer
of contemporary politics must be well aware, as Germany, for instance,
is well aware already, that its effectiveness as a practical remedy for
over-population in some European countries is already being arrested by
the invaded states.

The references already made to the work of Sir William Crookes will
suffice to show that the teaching of Malthus is of practical importance
to us to-day, and not least to the population of Great Britain. I am
tempted to quote the actual case in this connection of a young student
of biology who applied for Malthus's book at one of the greatest
official libraries in this country. He was looked at as a shameless
young rascal, and the librarian curtly said, “We have no books of
that kind here.” I commend this exquisite instance of misapplied and
perfectly ignorant British prudery to Mr. Bernard Shaw: not even he
could imagine anything to surpass it. No more impeccably decent book
than this of “Parson Malthus” has ever been written, and I have no
adequate comment for the fact that its nature and contents were not
merely wholly unknown but grossly misimagined by this responsible
official, and that it could not be obtained in the great library of
science in question.

We pass in the following chapter to the momentous discovery of Herbert
Spencer that the great truth seen by Malthus was not a whole but a
half-truth, and that there is a compensating principle, which is at
once a source of inspiration and of difficulty to the eugenist. It is
in general the principle that as life ascends it becomes less prolific,
and its consequences are infinitely more vast than the phrase at first
suggests. Had this principle been discovered by a Continental thinker
or by a member of a British University instead of by a man who never
passed an examination, it would not now need the discussion which we
shall have to give it.

                               CHAPTER VI

                      THE GROWTH OF INDIVIDUALITY

=The laws of multiplication.=--Implicit or explicit approval of a
falling birth-rate involves opposition to the opinion of the man in
the street, the general opinion of the medical profession,[23] the
bench of bishops and the social prophet and publicist in general.
Nevertheless a fall in the birth-rate is a factor in organic progress,
and, in general, the level of any species is in inverse proportion to
its birth-rate, from bacteria to the most civilised classes of men in
the most civilised countries of to-day. But in truth the uninformed
opinion, totally contrary to the whole history of life and to the most
obvious comparative facts of the birth-rate amongst and within present
day human societies, was utterly disposed of forty years ago in the
closing chapter of the greatest contribution yet made to philosophic
biology--Herbert Spencer's _Principles of Biology_. The last chapter
of that masterpiece is entitled “The Laws of Multiplication.”
Unfortunately it has not been read by one in ten thousand of those who
think themselves entitled to hold, and even to express, opinions about
the birth-rate. Spencer's discovery is the complementary half-truth
to the discovery of Malthus, and just as the law of Malthus is
pessimistic, so the law of Spencer is optimistic. In a word, Malthus
assumed--indeed, formally declared--that there was no natural factor of
an internal kind tending to limit the rate of vital fertility. Spencer
discovered that there is such a factor, which can and does limit and
has been limiting vegetable, animal, and human fertility since the dawn
of life.

All reproduction involves an expenditure of energy in some degree on
the part of the parent. Now the energy available by any individual is
finite. If he expends it all upon reproduction, he himself, or she
herself, must cease to exist. This happens in all the lowest forms
of life, which multiply by fission or simple splitting. The young
bacteria are their sub-divided parent. At the other extreme is the
case of the individual who retains the whole of his energy for his own
development and life, and has no offspring at all. Such consummate
bachelor philosophers as Kant and Spencer may be quoted, and the list
of childless men of genius might be extended quite indefinitely. This
is not to declare this last state to be the ideal, but merely to point
out the logical extremes.

Spencer's principle is that there is an “Antagonism,” or, as we
may rather say, an inverse ratio, between “Individuation” and
“Genesis”--between the proportion of energy expended upon the
individual and the proportion expended upon the continuance of the
race. Thus “Individuation,” meaning all those processes which maintain
and expand the life of the individual, and “Genesis,” meaning all
those processes which involve the formation of new individuals--are
necessarily antagonistic. Every higher degree of individual evolution
is followed by a lower degree of race multiplication, and _vice versâ_.
Increase in bulk (_cf._ the elephant), complexity or activity involves
diminution in fertility, and _vice versâ_. This is an obvious _à
priori_ principle.

Should the reader declare that there must be something the matter with
an asserted principle of progress which leads in theory or in practice
to the production of a childless generation, and therefore the end of
all progress, and that this principle suggests that the most completely
developed man and woman cannot be parents--then I would join in the
chorus of fathers and mothers generally, who would say that, in human
parenthood, if not, indeed, in sub-human parenthood, the antagonism
is reconciled in a higher unity; that the best and most complete
development of the individual is effected only through parenthood, in
due degree--as Spencer, himself childless, formally declared.

It is impossible here to show how complete is the evidence for
Spencer's law, both from the side of logical necessity and from the
side of observation. In order to indicate the overwhelming character
of the evidence, one would have to transcribe the whole of his
long chapter, and to add to it all our modern knowledge of human
birth-rates. This cannot be done, but even without it we may venture
to say that people who regard a falling birth-rate as in itself, and
obviously, a sign of racial degeneration or immorality, or approaching
weakness or failure of any kind, can have made no substantial additions
to their knowledge of the subject since they themselves formed items in
the birth-rate.

Spencer goes on to show, with profound insight, that, in general,
greater individuality, or, to put it in other words, the more highly
evolved organism, “_though less fertile absolutely, is the more fertile
relatively_.” The supreme instance of this truth is, of course, the
case of man, in whom individuation has reached its unprecedented
height, who is _absolutely_ the least fertile of creatures,[24] and
yet who is _relatively_ the most fertile--unique in his actual and
persistent multiplication.

=Their action in man.=--Within the human species the laws of
multiplication hold. It is still worth while, after half a century, to
quote Spencer's remark as to infertility in women due to mental labour
carried to excess--“most of the flat-chested girls who survive their
high-pressure education are incompetent to bear a well-developed infant
and to supply it with the natural food for the natural period.” On all
hands people with opened eyes are rightly urging this truth upon us
to-day. In the United States the so-called higher education of girls
has been proved in effect to sterilise them--and these the flower of
the nation's girlhood, and therefore, rightly, the very elect for
motherhood. Here is simply an instance of the Spencerian principle in
its most unfortunate misdirection by man.

Before leaving Spencer, we must refer briefly to the predictions,
based upon the foregoing principles, with which he concluded his great
work. The further evolution of man, he declares, must take mainly the
direction of a higher intellectual and emotional development. Hitherto,
and even to-day, pressure of population is the original cause of human
competition, application, discipline, expenditure of energy--and one
may add, the possibility of continued selection. Excess of fertility,
then, says Spencer, is the cause of man's evolution, but “man's further
evolution itself necessitates a decline in his fertility.” The future
progress of civilisation will be accompanied by increased development
of individuality, emotional and intellectual. As Spencer observes, this
does not necessarily mean a mentally laborious life, for as mental
activity “gradually becomes organic, it will become spontaneous and

Finally, the necessary antagonism between individuality and parenthood
ensures the ultimate attainment of the highest form of the maintenance
of the race--“... _a form in which the amount of life shall be the
greatest possible, and the births and deaths the fewest possible_.”

       *       *       *       *       *

If now we look back at the law of Malthus we shall realise the
enormous significance of the law of Spencer. In this respect we have
the advantage over Malthus that we are aware, as he was not, of the
great fact of organic evolution. We discover, then, that an actual
consequence of the pressure of population, leading as it does to the
struggle for existence, and, in the main, the survival of higher types,
is that the rate of fertility falls. This conception of the fall in
the birth-rate--which, it is maintained, has been a great factor in
all organic progress--was entirely absent from the mind of Malthus.
In a word, the unlimited multiplication which Malthus observed leads
to its own correction. It provides abundance of material for natural
selection to work upon, and then the survival-value of individuation,
wherever it appears, asserts itself, with the consequence that the rate
of multiplication declines. This is actually to be observed to-day.
Malthus desired that we should postpone marriage to later ages so
as to lower the birth-rate. The increasing necessity and demand for
individuation is effecting that which Malthus desired. The average age
at marriage has been rising in our own country in both sexes during the
last thirty years: and the evidence shows that as civilisation advances
the age of marriage becomes later and later. Professor Metchnikoff has
discussed some aspects of this question in his book _The Nature of Man_.

=The intensive culture of life.=--For every student of progress, and
not least for the eugenist, Spencer's law is a warrant of hope and a
promise of better things to come. It teaches that in the development
of higher--that is to say, more specialised--that is to say, more
individualised--organic types, Nature is working already, and has
been working for ages, towards the elimination of the brutal elements
in the struggle for existence. This is, of course, what every worker
for progress, and every eugenist in especial, desires. Spencer's
discovery teaches also that individuality compensates a species for
loss of high fertility. The survival-value of individuation is greater
than the survival-value of rapid multiplication. _The very fact of
progress is the replacement of lower by higher life, the supersession
of the quantitative by the qualitative criterion of survival-value,
the increasing dominance of mind over matter, the substitution of the
intensive for the merely extensive cultivation of life._ These various
phrases express, I believe, various aspects of one and the same great
fact, and I only wish it were possible to include here an exhaustive
study of the conception which may be expressed by the phrase “the
intensity of life”--as distinguished from its mere extension. There is,
I believe, a real and significant analogy between the introduction of
what is called intensive cultivation in agriculture, and the eugenic
principle which seeks to replace the extensive by the intensive
cultivation of human life.

=The eugenic difficulty.=--But it will be already evident to the reader
that, though Spencer's law offers hope and warrant to the eugenist,
it also poses him with a permanent and ineradicable difficulty which
is inherent in natural necessity--viz., the difficulty that, in
consequence of the operation of this law, those very classes or members
of a society whose parenthood he most desires must be, in general, the
least fertile. Throughout the animal world the lesser fertility of
higher species is no real handicap to them, as we know; but where the
conditions of selection are so profoundly modified as in human society,
the case is very different. Furthermore, amongst mankind individuality
has often grown, and does grow, to such an extent that parenthood
disappears altogether. Indeed, Spencer's law expresses itself--and
the eugenist must qualify his hopes by the fact--in the practical
infertility of many[25] of the most highly individualised and even
unique personalities, that is to say, in the ranks of what we call
genius. To this subject we must return.

A notable section in Mr. Galton's great work, _Inquiries into Human
Faculty_, states very plainly the difficulty for the eugenist involved
in Spencer's law, under its more statistical aspect. What are the
relative effects of early and late marriages? Mr. Galton proves,
mathematically, that in a very few generations a group of persons who
marry late will be simply bred down and more than supplanted by those
who marry early. Now no one will dispute that the less individualised,
the lower types, the more nearly animal, do in general marry earlier,
and are more fertile. Here, then, is an anti-eugenic tendency in
human society, depending really upon Spencer's law and requiring us
to recognise and counteract it by throwing all the weight we can
upon the side of progress, which means _increasing to our utmost the
survival-value and the effective fertility of the higher types_.

Much more space might be spent upon this gravest of problems for the
eugenist--the fact that the very persons from whom he desires to
recruit the future on account of their greater individuality are also
on that very account the persons who, by natural necessity, tend to be
less fertile. The difficulty shows itself in the male sex, but it shows
itself still more conspicuously in the female sex, where the proportion
of the individual energy devoted to the race, as compared with that
devoted to individuation, is necessarily far higher, and must so remain
if the race is to persist. Primarily, the body of woman is the temple
of life to come--and _therefore_, as we shall some day teach our girls,
the holy of holies. Without going further into this matter now, it
may be suggested that a cardinal principle of practical importance
is involved. It is that the individual development of women, their
higher education, their self-expression in works of art and thought and
practice, cannot safely be carried to the point at which motherhood
is compromised; else the race in question will necessarily disappear
and be replaced by any race whatsoever, the women of which continue to
be mothers. There are women of the worker bee type whom this argument
annoys intensely. No one wants _them_ to be mothers.

The proposition that all progress in the psychical world depends upon
individuality, just as all organic progress, and indeed, all organic
evolution, depends upon the physical individuality which biologists
call variation, may suggest to the reader the importance which must
attach to our study of talent and genius, and the possibility of aiding
their production. Meanwhile, we must look a little further at the
general question of individuality or quality _versus_ quantity from the
international point of view.

=Quantity versus quality.=--The reader will understand how it is
that anyone writing from the biological standpoint must view with
something like contempt the common assumption that, in international
competition, mere statistics of population furnish, as such, final
and adequate data for prophecy. Let us remind ourselves once more
that, according to these crude criteria, which were really superseded
untold æons ago, the dominance of the world must belong in the near
future not to Russia, with its balance of more than two million births
per annum, rather than to France, with its approximately stationary
population, but to the bacteria, the growth of population amongst
which, if it be not controlled by the less fertile creature we call
man, may be of simply inexpressible magnitude. But the world is not,
and will not be, ruled by bacteria, their fertility notwithstanding.
Indeed, the disease-producing bacteria have already had sentence of
death pronounced upon them by the higher intelligence of man, and
that sentence will be carried out within a century. Similarly within
the bounds of humanity we must recognise the limitations of mere
statistics. The population of France, some forty years ago, consisted
of so many millions of units. The figure does not matter,--let us put
it at 30,000,001. Now that 1, so to say, was called Louis Pasteur,
and from the point of view of statistics or those who think they can
predict history by counting heads, he was only an almost infinitesimal
fraction, about one-thirty-millionth part, of the French people. Yet,
as Huxley pointed out long ago, his mind sufficed to pay the entire
indemnity exacted from France after the Franco-Prussian war. This
single unit was worth more than a host of soldiers of the merely
mechanical kind. Or take Athens, with its population of 30,000 people,
mostly slaves, and consider its influence upon the world. Or, indeed,
go where you please, whether to the history of nations or the history
of religion or science or art, and ask whether the counting of heads,
the ordinary census taking which indeed amounts merely to weighing
nations by the ton, is an adequate one. In estimating national
capital by the methods of vital statistics alone, we are in a far
worse case than he would be who estimated monetary wealth by numbers
of coins, without considering whether they were pounds, shillings or
pence, whether they were genuine or counterfeit. The illustration is
ludicrously inadequate, as every illustration must be, simply because
the human case is unique. In the units of a population, which many
prophets treat as if they were all of equal value, there are not merely
differences to which the difference between a sovereign and a penny
offers no parallel; there is not merely an enormous quantity of bogus
or counterfeit units, but there is a very large number of units in
every population which, so far from adding to the value of the rest,
subtract from it, are parasitic upon it. Students of money will find
no parallel to this. Yet in the face of facts which ought to be common
intellectual property amongst school-children, we find many writers,
bishops, socialist economists, moralists, schoolboy Imperialists, and
the rest, pointing merely to the quantitative question of population
as if it were everything, though they must surely know that, if
international competition were the highest state of mankind, and if
the work of Kelvin and Lister had been sold at its real worth by us to
the rest of the world, those two men alone, in their services to life,
and in the power which they give us over life, would be equal in value
to, shall we say, the lower four-fifths of the whole birth-rate during
the last generation. All human history teaches, as all animal history
teaches in lesser degree, that quality and individuality is everything,
that quantity is nothing or far worse than nothing _except in so far
as it is quantity of quality_: yet though this lesson is written upon
every page of the past, the greater number of our publicists and our
public advisers still implicitly deny it. As Mr. Crackanthorpe put it,
speaking of the figures for 1907, it is not the defective numbers, but
the numbers of defectives, that should give us concern.

=Mass versus mind.=--John Ruskin called Darwin “a dim comet, wagging
its tail of phosphorescent nothing against the steadfast stars”--a
description as delightful as it is foolish. Yet the conception of
eugenics, which is indeed a necessary deduction from Darwin's great
discovery, finds abundant warrant and support in Ruskin's own wonderful
writings, and here I quote, from _Time and Tide_, some sentences which
still require to be read and remembered by the majority of our present
advisers. He says:--

  “And the question of numbers is wholly immaterial, compared with
  that of character; or rather, its own materialness depends on the
  prior determination of character. Make your nation consist of
  knaves, and, as Emerson said long ago, it is but the case of any
  other vermin--the more, the worse. Or, to put the matter in narrower
  limits, it is a matter of no final concern to any parent whether he
  shall have two children, or four; but matter of quite final concern
  whether those he has shall, or shall not, deserve to be hanged....
  You have to consider first, by what methods of land distribution you
  can maintain the greatest number of healthy persons; and secondly
  whether, if, by any other mode of distribution and relative ethical
  laws, you can raise their character, while you diminish their
  numbers, such sacrifices should be made, and to what extent?... The
  French and British public may and will, with many other publics, be
  at last brought ... to see farther that a nation's real strength
  and happiness do not depend upon properties and territories, nor on
  machinery for their defence, but on their getting such territory as
  they _have_, well filled with none but respectable persons, which is
  a way of _infinitely_ enlarging one's territory, feasible to every

Surely it is not necessary, one feels, and yet one knows it is
necessary, again to lay down propositions of such shining truth, and
one wonders whether they shine so brightly as to blind those who should
see them: or what can conceivably be the explanation of such arguments
as those of the Bishop of London and others who, in the face of our
monstrous infant and child mortality, the awful pressure of population
and over-crowding in our great cities, where every year a larger and
larger proportion of the population lives, and is born and dies--plead
for a higher birth-rate on moral grounds, of all amazing grounds
conceivable; and those also who, from the military or so-called
Imperial point of view, regarding men primarily as “food for powder,”
in Shakespeare's phrase, read and quote statistics of population in
order to promulgate the same advice?

To the moralist we need make no reply except simply to name the infant
mortality which is at last coming to be recognised everywhere as,
perhaps, the most abominable of all our scandals. To the militarist I
would quote the case of our ally, Japan. He recalls the war between
China and Japan, and its issue, and has some idea, perhaps, of the
population ratio of those two Empires. How was it that Providence was
on the side of the small battalions? He recalls also the Russo-Japanese
war and its issue; and the population ratio of the two Empires in that
case. How many other instances does not military history afford of
the truth that in the human species mind is the master of matter? One
would suppose that a critical historical enquiry had been made, proving
that the results of all past wars could have been predicted by the
simple method of estimating the total aggregate weight of the combatant
nations in flesh and blood and bone! More than this, if the development
of the art of warfare means anything, if there has been any such
development since the days of fists and stones, it means, as all human
development in every sphere means, the increasing dominance of mind
over matter, character and initiative over machinery, _dead or alive_.
Meanwhile, the estimate of warriors in terms of the scale and the foot
rule are still accepted just as if they had not been rendered obsolete
for ever with the passing of the “dragons of the prime.”

As regards the psychical worth of the soldier, is it not recognised,
though too commonly forgotten, when we applaud the value of the veteran
or of seasoned troops? Physically the veteran is, on the average,
inferior to the younger man. It is the psychical that gives him
his worth, just as it was patriotism and sobriety that enabled the
few sober Japanese to beat the many drunken Russians. It is safe to
prophesy that, in all future war, the numerical criterion, which in
effect weighs armies by the ton, as if war were merely a tug-of-war,
will become less and less important--if, indeed, it is not already
negligible; whilst the purely psychical qualities, from generalship and
strategy and hygiene to initiative, judgment, accuracy, memory, and
down finally to mere brutal red-blooded courage, will determine the

Platitude, of course, but if true, why ignored? Why cannot our military
advisers learn, in this respect, from the Navy? Owing to the very
nature of the sea as compared with the land, in relation to the merely
physical capacities of man, a Navy must be more intelligent than an
Army, just as it requires more intelligence to make a boat than to
walk; and it is in the Navy that the mechanical factor has been most
completely transferred, so that the human machinery is at a discount
and the steel machinery made by the human mind is much, whilst the
value of the psychical in all its aspects dominates and controls
the whole. Great Britain, as the foremost naval power in the world,
should long ago have left to its ultimate fate amongst other nations
the idea that quantity--so many tons of soldiers and so many tons of
sailors--affords an estimate of the warring force of a nation: even if
the whole history of this little isle and the possession of our present
Empire did not teach, as the history of Rome taught and as the history
of Athens teaches in another sphere, that not mass but mind makes a
nation great.

                              CHAPTER VII

                       HEREDITY AND RACE-CULTURE

  “We cannot but feel that the application of biological results
  is _only beginning_, and beginning with a tardiness which is a
  reproach to human foresight. There can be no doubt that it would
  pay the British nation to put aside a million a year for research
  on eugenics, or the improvement of the human breed.” (Prof. J. A.
  Thomson, _Heredity_, 1908.)

It is evident that the facts and principles of heredity lie at the
very basis of eugenics or race-culture in any of its forms, practical
or impractical, scientific or unscientific. Our continual assumption
throughout is that _like tends to beget like_, and it is on this ground
that we desire to make parenthood the privilege of those whom we regard
as _inherently_ the best. If there were no such thing as heredity there
could be no possibility of race-culture--nor indeed should we be here
to discuss it. If a man's children were equally likely to be acorns or
babies or tadpoles, the living world would not be the living world we

The potency of heredity is obscured to uncritical examination by the
fact that that which is inheritable is that which was innate, inherent
or germinal in the parent, as we shall shortly see. We, however, are
apt to compare the child with the parent, who has perhaps been much
modified by circumstances, so that the resemblance between father
and child may seem to be slight. Yet if we could bring back before
us that father, as he was, say at the age of two, and compare him
with his two-year-old child, we should perhaps be astonished by the
resemblance. But we see the acquirements or acquired characters of the
parent; make no distinction between them and his inherent characters;
fail to discover these acquired characters in his child;--and discount
the importance of heredity. Then, again, the eugenist may be utterly
confounded if he estimates the parental value of an individual without
reference to this limitation of heredity. Here is a man of culture and
accomplishment; his children, then, will presumably tend to be cultured
and accomplished. But every kind of advantage that forethought and
love and money can afford may have been showered upon that man. So far
as native endowment was concerned, he may have indeed been far below
mediocrity. Now it is native endowment alone that he can transmit, and
our eugenic estimate of him is therefore erroneous and will lead to
disappointment. It is impossible to lay too great stress upon the truth
that in all eugenic plans or demands or practices we are assuming the
fact of inheritance, and that therefore it is our first business to
distinguish absolutely between that which tends to be inherited and
that which, on the other hand, is never inherited.

Yet again, this distinction is of almost incalculable social moment in
so far as it affects the process of selection actually occurring in
society. This, perhaps, has not been adequately recognised. One may
repeat a former statement of this point, which is cardinal for the

  “Even supposing that we were all identical at birth, yet, since
  we would come to differ from one another in virtue of different
  acquirements, due to our adaptation to differing environments,
  natural selection would ultimately have different individuals
  from which to select. Those who had made the most advantageous
  acquirements, such as industry or great knowledge, would tend to
  survive and prosper, whilst those who had made disadvantageous
  acquirements, such as laziness or the loss of sight or limbs, would
  be pushed to the wall. That process, of course, occurs in society
  at the present day to a greater or less degree, but it has only
  immediate and temporary or contemporary consequences. For if we
  recall the assertion that acquirements cannot be transmitted, we
  shall see that the selection of those who have made advantageous
  acquirements cannot benefit the next generation, since these
  acquirements die with their makers. The only process of natural
  selection which can result in progress is one which consists in
  the selection of favourable ... inborn and therefore transmissible
  characters, such as good digestion, the musical sense, exceptional
  intelligence, the sympathetic temperament or what not (in so far as
  these are inborn)--the reason being that such are transmissible and
  that the children of persons so selected will tend to inherit their
  parents' good fortune. There is a fictitious way in which we speak
  of a child inheriting his father's acquirements, as when his father
  has acquired a fortune; but the child does much better to inherit
  his father's good sense or good health, which were characters inborn
  in him. Acquirements, then, are all very well for the day, but it is
  inborn characters that alone count for the morrow.”[26]

It may be added that the time is coming when there will be a radical
“transvaluation,” as Nietzsche would say, of the two fashions in which
a father “leaves” something to his children. When a question is asked
on this head now-a-days, we mean, foolishly enough, to enquire how
much money the father left his child, and we say of a man that he has
“inherited” a fortune. We can see plainly enough, as Theognis did
two thousand five hundred years ago, that such an “inheritance” may
and often does work in an anti-eugenic fashion. The gilded fool is
swallowed by the maiden whose native sense would have rejected such a
pill without its coat, and so the most pitiable degenerate becomes the
father of his like. This point will be alluded to later. The present
argument is that when we ask what a father “left” his children, we
should really desire to learn what he _gave_ them when he was still
alive and begot them. These vital, or mortal, characters which they
inherit--shall we say good health or insanity--are of incalculably
more moment to them as individuals than any monetary fortune, and of
incalculably more moment for the future. Yet again is it true that
there is no wealth but life, and the best “fortune” or wealth that you
can leave your children is sane and vigorous life.

=The case of slum childhood.=--We have already seen that even in the
slums the children make a fresh start in a wonderful way, that their
stunted growth, their proneness to disease, are mainly due to their
environment, which it is therefore our duty to improve. This is _in
general_ true, and depends evidently upon the fact that the acquired
deterioration of the parents--_e.g._, dental decay--is not transmitted
to their children--poisonings apart--so that the children make a fresh
start where their parents did. It is necessary to point this out
again and again, as the present writer for one has long been weary
of doing, because it indicates our immediate duty in this respect,
and forbids us to shirk it with any too-comprehensive phrases about
“national degeneration.” Now who could have predicted that this plain
and simple truth would be regarded by some people as constituting a
denial--on strict scientific grounds, and as the very latest scientific
pronouncement--of the principle of heredity? “The bubble of heredity
has been pricked,” says Mr. Bernard Shaw.

But popular muddleheadedness does not affect the palpable and universal
truth that the _inherent_ characters of parents do tend to be inherited
by their children; nor yet that these inherent characters differ
profoundly in different individuals; nor yet the eugenic argument,
which is that for purposes of parenthood, which means for the entire
future, some of these should be taken and others left.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles?... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
These classical words surely have a special value for the eugenist. As
we have said, it is his particular necessity, alike in theory and in
practice, to “know” the real nature, the innate, inherent, germinal
characters, of the individuals who may or may not be parents: and
these, as we have seen, are frequently obscured by the action of the
environment--as, for instance, in the population of the slums on
the one hand, or the man of factitious culture on the other hand.
But “by their fruits ye shall know them.” In general, the children
inherit what was innate in their parents, and in many an instance the
surest way in which you could ascertain what the parent really was by
nature--what, as we say, Nature “meant” him to be--is by a study of
his children. Only, of course, we must take the children very young
indeed, before environment has made its mark upon them also, for better
or for worse. Thus, when we find the new-born baby of some pallid,
half-starved, stunted mother in the slums, to be healthy and vigorous
and beautiful,[27] by this fruit we shall know what the mother might
and should have been. A healthy baby goes far to demonstrate that the
stock is healthy. This is one of the cardinal truths which emerge from
the study of infant mortality, and it may be perhaps permitted to
warn some students of race-culture of the errors into which they are
bound to fall if they do not reckon with what the student of infant
mortality is constantly asserting: viz., that the babies of the slums,
seen early, before ignorance and neglect have had their way with
them, are physically vigorous and promising in certainly not less than
ninety per cent. of cases. This primarily demonstrates, of course, the
murderous nature of our infant mortality; but it also demonstrates to
the eugenist that these classes are perhaps not so unworthy as he may
fancy. By their new-born babies ye shall know them. It is under the
influence of such considerations that the present writer, for one, is
somewhat chary of predictions and proposals based upon the relative
fertility of different classes of the community or of the masses as
compared with the classes. Directly the eugenist begins to talk in
terms of _social_ classes (as Mr. Galton has never done), he is skating
on thin ice, and if it lets him through, he will find the remains of
many of his rash predecessors beneath it.[28]

In fine, then, if we observe the distinction between the innate and
the acquired, which is the distinction between the transmissible and
the intransmissible, this is so far from denying the fact of heredity
at all as in reality to emphasise its potency whilst undoubtedly
diminishing its range.

=A criticism of terms.=--In order that this distinction may be clear
and never forgotten, it is well to look to our vocabulary--words
being good servants but bad masters. We should certainly have this
vocabulary purged altogether of a certain word in common and uncritical
employment, especially by the medical profession. This is the
thoroughly misleading, indeterminate and useless word “congenital.”
Not on one occasion in a hundred of its use does any examined meaning
attach to it. The word is commonly used as the equivalent of innate,
inherent, inborn or germinal. Now nothing is truly innate or inborn
save what was present in the germ. But with childish confusion of
thought, we persist in attaching quite undeserved importance to the
_birth_ of those animals which are brought forth “alive”--as if a
bird's egg were not alive. Hence we speak of any character present at
birth as congenital, and then we assume that congenital is synonymous
with inherent or germinal. But it is an irrelevant detail that a young
mammal happens to leave its mother at the ninth week or month. During
the whole period that it spends within its mother, it is to be regarded
as an individual organism with its own environment. If that environment
so affects it as to strangle a limb, the result is an acquirement,
though it may be present at birth. An acquirement is an acquirement,
whether it be acquired five minutes or months before, or five minutes
or months after, the change of environment which we call birth.
Thus a character may be congenital--that is, present at birth--but
not inherent or germinal, not inborn at the _real birth_, which was
the union of the maternal and paternal germ-cells at conception.
Such congenital characters are really acquirements, and--poisonings
apart--are not transmissible. In common discussion this distinction
is wholly ignored; and two distinct things, fundamentally different
in origin and in potency, are lumped together under the blessed word

This word is equally foolish and useless in an opposite direction.
It constantly leads those who use it to suppose that the inherent
characters of an individual are conterminous with his congenital
characters or his characters at birth, and that thus any characters
which he displays at a later age are acquired. All this comes
of the absurdly delusive significance attached to the change of
environment called birth, and may doubtless be traced historically to
the remotest superstitions which imagined that a baby is not alive
until it is born and breathes, or that the soul or breath or _pneuma_
or “vital principle” is breathed into it at the moment of birth. We
know, however, that a man may display for the first time at the age
of twenty or sixty a character which was as truly inherent in his
constitution as his nose or his spinal column--perhaps a beard, perhaps
a mental character, perhaps a disease, or what not. Now this was not
congenital though it was inherent. But as long as the stupid[29] word
“congenital” is used as it is, we shall fail to realise that inherent
characters may display themselves in an individual at any time after
birth as at any time before birth. Thus, to sum up, a character may be
congenital or rather _pre-congenital_, yet not inherent but acquired:
a character may be post-congenital, yet not acquired but inherent. Now
the all-important question as regards heredity is not at what date in
the history of an individual a character appears--as, for instance,
before birth or after birth; but, whether that character is inherent
and therefore transmissible and therefore a possible architect of the
future of mankind; or merely an acquirement, with which--the racial
poisons apart--heredity has no concern.

It is suggested, then, that the word congenital be expunged from the
vocabulary of science, or that, if it be retained, some meaning or
other--any will do--be attached to it. If the word is to be retained,
and if it be agreed to attach a meaning to it, probably “at birth”
would be the most convenient. If this were agreed upon, then the
phrase “congenital blindness,” now in common use, could be retained,
as it would then accurately indicate the nature of the blindness in
question, which is due almost invariably, if not invariably, to an
infection acquired at the moment of birth.

Yet further. When we say that a man's intelligence or length of limb
or whatever it be is hereditary, we mean in ordinary speech that this
character can be traced in one or more of his ancestors; and that is,
of course, an accurate use of the term. But Shakespeare, for instance,
had unremarkable ancestors, so that no one would say that his genius
was hereditary; are we, then, to say that it was acquired? Every one
would protest at once that a poet is born and not made--than which
there is certainly no truer popular saying. What, then, is to be said
of it if it was neither hereditary nor acquired? The truth is that
language is again at fault. Shakespeare's genius was of inherent or
germinal origin--the poet is born and not made: or, more accurately,
the poet is conceived and not made, either before birth or after it.
Therefore, though Shakespeare did not inherit his mother's genius or
his father's genius, neither of them having such a gift to transmit,
yet his genius was certainly potential either in the maternal or
paternal germ-cell which united to form him, or in both; or at the
least arose in consequence of that compromise or rearrangement or
settlement, shall we say, which is in effect always agreed upon by the
two germ-cells in bi-parental reproduction. Now the two germ-cells are
the hereditary material. They were given to Shakespeare by his parents;
nay more, they made him. His genius, then, was hereditary in an
absolutely correct sense of the word, yet not in the sense of ordinary
speech, nor even in the sense in which it is employed by Mr. Galton in
his book on _Hereditary Genius_. This confusion of terms is responsible
for much confusion of thought. It must the more urgently be cleared up
because of the discoveries in heredity initiated by the Abbot Mendel,
forty years ago, and now included in the department of the science of
heredity which is called Mendelism. We learn from this that highly
definite characters may appear in offspring though there was no sign of
them in either parent. These, then, are not hereditary in the sense of
ordinary speech. Yet, in a more accurate sense of the word they can be
proved to be hereditary--nay more, the manner and proportion of their
transmission can be predicted in the most exact mathematical terms.
These characters were not present in the parent's body; they did not
lie open to view in the parent; they were not patent in the parent.
They were latent, however, they lay hid, in the parent, or rather in
the germ-plasm of which that parent was the host. In many such cases,
if we go back a generation further we find that the character in
question was patent in a grand-parent. A mother's son may suffer from
hæmophilia or the bleeding disease, yet she is not a “bleeder,” nor is
the boy's father; but her father was a bleeder, and the disease is, of
course, hereditary in her son, though neither of his parents displayed
a trace of it.

Thus an individual may inherit or may have inherent in the germ-cells
from which he was formed characters which were not present in either
parent. They were, however, potentially present in the germ-cells of
which those parents were the trustees.

But, the reader will say, do we find in the case of every “sport” or
“transilient variation,” such as Shakespeare, that the new character
was, after all, present in some one or other of his ancestors though
absent in his immediate parents? The answer is negative, certainly.
But genius, to take this case, is a combination of qualities. And the
Mendelians are now able to call into existence organisms of new kinds
by combination of qualities derived from one parent, or rather from one
parental line, with other qualities, formerly apparently incompatible
with them derived from the other parental line. Thus Professor Biffen
of Cambridge has called into existence a new kind of wheat such as
never existed before--a wheat combining the quality technically called
“strength,” hitherto lacking in all kinds of wheat capable of being
profitably grown in Great Britain, with the power of yielding a large
crop and other good qualities found in home-grown wheat. He has also
produced a wheat which, together with other desirable qualities, is
immune from the disease known as “rust,” this immunity having never
been found before associated with the other good qualities in question.
These advances will not long be limited to the vegetable world merely.
Perhaps it requires no very great imagination, after all, to suppose
that even something like that combination of qualities which we call
genius may some day be produced at will in mankind.

Such a new wheat, then,--I will not say such a Shakespeare--owes its
unique and unprecedented properties to heredity, and yet there was
never anything like it before. Its “genius” is not “hereditary.”

The words _innate_ and _inborn_ are harmless and may be employed,
though the apparent emphasis on birth is rather unfortunate. We mean,
however, by innate or inborn qualities, qualities which were potential
in the germ. The genius of Shakespeare was innate or inborn. It was
present potentially at his real birth, the union of the parental cells.
It preceded his “birth” in the ordinary sense of the word: Shakespeare,
when only _in embryo_, was a Shakespeare _in embryo_.

Better still is the word _inherent_, which, of course, literally means
“sticking in.” By anything inherent we mean that which was there from
the first as part and parcel of, as indeed essential to, the entity
to which we refer. Now inherent characters are always inherited in
the accurate sense that they inhere in the germ-cells, which are
the inherited material. As these germ-cells make us or as we are
made out of them, it follows, of course, that all our potentialities
whatsoever, our ultimate fates in every particular, partly depend upon

_Nature_ and _nurture_ are antithetic terms of Shakespearean origin
which are in frequent use and much favoured by Mr. Galton. That which
comes by nature is the inborn, inherent, or germinal; and that is due
to nurture which is the result of the converse of the germinal with the
environment--a man's accent, for instance.

Perhaps, in some ways, _germinal_ is the most useful word of all,
though inherent is so convenient and familiar, as well as being
accurate etymologically, that it has been employed throughout this
book. Not only is the word germinal strictly accurate, but also it
suggests the idea of the germ-plasm, and has the particular virtue of
avoiding all reference to the change of environment to which young
mammals are subjected and which is called birth.

There remains the terminological difficulty that, as I have tried to
show, the individual may display characters which were potential in the
germ, inherent and necessarily inherited, though they did not appear in
the parent nor yet in any ancestor. We have to face the paradox, then,
that in natural inheritance a parent can transmit what he has not got,
though this does not apply to the unnatural inheritance of property in
human society. Now what word is there which shall indicate the origin
or at least the time and conditions of origin, of such characters
as these? They are germinal, yet they are--in some cases--not wholly
present in either of the germ-cells which united to form the new
individual in question. They are present, however, in the new single
cell from which this individual, like every living organism, takes its
origin.[31] The terms “congerminal” or “conceptional” might be employed.

“Acquired character,” even, is a bad term. It replaced
“functionally-produced modification,” which was long employed by
Spencer. The blacksmith's biceps answers to this phrase. It is this
and other such modifications that are non-transmissible. Alcoholic
degeneration is not a “functionally-produced modification,” but it
is an “acquired character,” as is lead poisoning. These do produce
results in offspring--naturally enough. If the older phrase were still
the one employed, we should see that the Weismannian argument as to
non-transmission does not apply to _such_ “acquired characters.”

The word “reversion,” also, not to say “atavism,” may well be dropped.
The attempted justification of its older meaning by Professor
Thomson has led to severe and conclusive Mendelian criticism. The
“reversion” of fancy pigeons to the blue ancestor is simply due
to the coming together of Mendelian units long separated. The
“reversion” of the feeble-minded is not reversion but the result of
poisoning--_di_version, or _per_version, if you like. Primitive man was
not feeble-minded, nor is the ape. Science has no further use for the
word as it is at present employed.

=Maternal impressions.=--We are now, at last, after our attempt to
clear up the vocabulary of heredity, in a position to consider
certain doctrines and popular beliefs which bear very directly upon
race-culture. Realising, for instance, that “congenital” means nothing;
realising as perhaps some of us have not so clearly realised before,
_when_ exactly it is that the new human being comes into existence, we
shall be prepared to understand how definite and indisputable are the
denials which science offers to certain popular ideas.

Thus, for instance, in the interests of race-culture, or, to be more
particular, in the interests of her unborn baby, the expectant mother
may faithfully follow the example of Lucy in _The Ordeal of Richard
Feverel_.[32] Does this have its intended effect? The answer is an
unqualified negative. Consider the case. The baby is at this time
already a baby, though rather small and uncanny, floating in a fluid of
its own manufacture. Its sole connection with its mother is by means
of its umbilical cord--that is to say, blood vessels, arterial and
venous. There is no nervous connection whatever: absolutely nothing but
the blood-stream, carried along a system of tubes. This blood is the
child's blood, which it sends forth from itself along the umbilical
cord to a special organ, the placenta or after-birth, half made by
itself and half made by the mother, in which the child's blood travels
in thin vessels so close to the mother's blood that their contents can
be interchanged. Yet the two streams never actually mix. The child's
blood, having disposed of its carbonic acid and waste-products to the
mother's blood, and having received therefrom oxygen and food, returns
so laden to the child. Pray how is the mother's reading of history to
make the child a historian? If, after birth, a small operation were
performed, so that some of the mother's blood should run along an
artificial tube into one of her baby's veins, the effective connection
between the two organisms would in a sense be actually closer than it
was before birth, when, as has been said, the two streams are always
kept apart. Should we expect such an operation to serve the child for
education? If the mother then acquired a scar should we expect it to
give the child a similar scar?

We see now why the learning of geometry on the part of the mother
before its birth will not set her baby upon that royal road to geometry
of which Euclid rightly denied the existence--any more than after
its birth. Such a thing does not happen, and there is no conceivable
means by which it could happen--unless we are to call in telepathy.
All maternal hopes and efforts of this kind are utterly misguided: as
misguided as if the father entertained similar hopes. Let the devoted
mother acquaint herself not with what historians are pleased to call
history, but with the history of the developing human mind and body, so
that she may be a fit educator of her child when it is born.

Let her also realise that her blood is everything to her child. It is
food and air and organ of excretion. If she introduces alcohol into
her blood in any considerable quantity she is feeding her child on
poisoned food. Surely the reader must see the distinction between a
case like this and the supposed transmission of historical knowledge or
even historical aptitude from mother to baby by the diligent perusal of
histories. Yet though the distinction is so palpable and evident, there
are extremists who believe and even print their beliefs that the denial
of the one (supposed) possibility, which is palpably inconceivable,
logically carries with it a denial of the other possibility, which is
indeed a palpable necessity. Or, to state the criticism in another way,
there are those who, if we protest that the introduction of poisons
into the mother's organism must surely involve risk to the child who is
nourished by her blood, will retort, “Oh, well, I suppose you believe
that if you learn a number of languages before your next child is born,
he or she will be a linguist!”[33]

=Hereditary genius.=--Mr. Galton's world-famous work on _Hereditary
Genius_ was published in 1869 and reprinted with a most valuable
additional chapter in 1892. It has long been out of print, however, and
for the definite purpose of attempting to arouse the reader's interest
in it so that he may somehow or other obtain a copy to read, I may here
go over one or two points, chosen to that end. The argument, of course,
is that ability is hereditary.[34]

This, in the judgment of most unbiassed people, Mr. Galton conclusively
proved: and we do not at all realise to-day how repugnant and
revolutionary this doctrine appeared to popular opinion some forty
years ago. Mr. Galton has, however, followed up his citation of facts
on more than one occasion since,[35] and those who now deny his view
belong to that very large majority of any population which finds
itself able to pronounce confidently upon the value of an author's
work without the labour, found necessary by less fortunate people, of
reading it.

The following quotation states the question of national eugenics in
final form:--

  “As an example of what could be sought with advantage, let us
  suppose that we take a number, sufficient for statistical purposes,
  of persons occupying different social classes, those who are the
  least efficient in physical, intellectual, and moral grounds forming
  our lowest class, and those who are the most efficient forming our
  highest class. The question to be solved relates to the hereditary
  permanence of the several classes. What proportion of each class
  is descended from parents who belong to the same class, and what
  proportion is descended from parents who belong to each of the other
  classes? Do those persons who have honourably succeeded in life,
  and who are presumably, on the whole, the most valuable portion of
  our human stock, contribute on the aggregate their fair share of
  posterity to the next generation? If not, do they contribute more
  or less than their fair share, and in what degree? In other words,
  is the evolution of man in each particular country favourably or
  injuriously affected by its special form of civilisation?

  “Enough is already known to make it certain that the productiveness
  of both the extreme classes, the best and the worst, falls short of
  the average of the nation as a whole. Therefore, the most prolific
  class necessarily lies between the two extremes, but at what
  intermediate point does it lie? Taken altogether, on any reasonable
  principle, are the natural gifts of the most prolific class, bodily,
  intellectual, and moral, above or below the line of national
  mediocrity? If above that line, then the existing conditions are
  favourable to the improvement of the race. If they are below that
  line, they must work towards its degradation.”

The main body of the book deals with enquiries in special cases--the
judges of England between 1660 and 1865, statesmen, commanders,
authors, men of science, poets, musicians, painters, divines, senior
classics of Cambridge, oarsmen and wrestlers.

The concluding chapters should be printed in gold. Only one or two
notes can here be made. Mr. Galton believes that the dark ages were
largely due to the celibacy enjoined by religious orders on their

  “Whenever a man or woman was possessed of a gentle nature that
  fitted him or her to deeds of charity, to meditation, to literature
  or to art, the social condition of the time was such that they had
  no refuge elsewhere than in the bosom of the Church. But the Church
  chose to preach and exact celibacy, and the consequence was that
  these gentle natures had no continuance, and thus, by a policy
  so singularly unwise and suicidal that I am hardly able to speak
  of it without impatience, the Church brutalised the breed of our
  forefathers. She acted precisely as if she had aimed at selecting
  the rudest portion of the community to be, alone, parents of future
  generations. She practised the arts which breeders would use, who
  aimed at creating ferocious, currish, and stupid natures. No wonder
  that club law prevailed for centuries over Europe; the wonder rather
  is that enough good remained in the veins of Europeans to enable
  their race to rise to its present very moderate level of natural

Yet further:--

  “The policy of the religious world in Europe was exerted in another
  direction, with hardly less cruel effect on the nature of future
  generations, by means of persecutions which brought thousands 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 into other lands. In every one of these cases the check
  upon their leaving issue was very considerable. Hence 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.”

For this final quotation no apology is needed:--

  “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 much through
  inheritance; where every lad had a chance of showing his abilities,
  and, if highly gifted, was enabled to achieve a first-class education
  and entrance into professional life, by the liberal help of the
  exhibitions and scholarships which he had gained in his early youth;
  where marriage was held in as high honour as in ancient Jewish times;
  where the pride of race was encouraged (of course I do not refer to
  the nonsensical sentiment of the present day, that goes under that
  name); where the weak could find a welcome and a refuge in celibate
  monasteries or sisterhoods, and lastly, where the better sort of
  emigrants and refugees from other lands were invited and welcomed,
  and their descendants naturalised.”

=The study of psychical inheritance.=--This early work of Mr. Galton
has been followed by much more on the same lines. Contemporary
psychology, however, is _just beginning_ to indicate the lines on
which new enquiry is needed. The naïve assertions of the actuary as
to the inheritance of, say, “conscientiousness” are not useful to the
psychologist, who has some idea of the structure and history of that
most complex social product we call conscience. The psychologists
must analyse out for us those elementary units of the mind upon
which experience and the social state, education and suggestion act,
to make human nature as we know it. The reader may be directed to
Dr. McDougall's recent work on _Social Psychology_--written at the
present writer's suggestion--for an outline analysis of what is really
inherent, and therefore alone transmissible, in the human mind--certain
instincts and impulses, together with native varieties in capacity of
memory, and so on. Recently the Mendelians have entered this field,
and they have the advantage of realising the importance of dealing
with real primary units. Their law seems to apply to the musical sense
in man and to the brooding instinct in the hen.[36] The line of study
here suggested is earnestly commended to the psychologists for their
_indispensable_ help.

=Eugenics and parties.=--Let us once again consider the fashion in
which men and women are classified to the eugenic eye. We have already
realised that the most essential division _of fact_ is that between
those who will and those who will not be parents. The most essential
division _of ideal_ is of those who are worthy and those who are not
worthy to be parents. It is the object of eugenics to make the real and
the ideal divisions coincide. And let us here say with all possible
force that before such classifications as these all others are trivial
and nearly all others impudent. The eugenist has nothing to do with the
low game called party politics: terms like socialism and so forth mean
very little for him. He may or may not be a socialist, but if he be,
at least he does not subscribe to what, so far as I can judge, is the
first article in the creed of socialism--that all evil is of economic
origin; he knows that there is much evil of germinal origin. As for
conservatism and liberalism, he might have some use for these terms
if the creed of conservatism were that there is no wealth but life,
which must be conserved; and the creed of liberalism that life has not
yet reached its zenith, and there must be liberty for all progressive
variations of body and mind and thought and practice. As it is, all
these things are somewhat nauseating. If and when there is a thinking
party, and that party will have the eugenist, he will doubtless join
it. Meanwhile he appeals to that great and growing section of the
community which knows party-politics for the humbug and sham that it
is, and the House of Commons as a lethal chamber for souls.

Similarly, the eugenic classification of mankind cuts right across
the ordinary social classification. The parasite and the parent of
parasites must be branded, whether he be at the top or the bottom of
the social scale. The quality of the germ-plasm which men and women
carry is the supremely important thing. Its architecture is the
architect of all empires. Year by year we shall more surely be able
to infer the nature and the worth of the germ-plasm in particular
cases, though its host may have been veneered or, on the other hand,
repressed; and year by year the basal facts of heredity will furnish
ever surer criteria for the theory and practice of a New Imperialism
which knows, for instance, what militarism did for Rome and Napoleon
for France, and which will some day sweep all the money changers out of
the Temple of Life.[37]

                              CHAPTER VIII

                       EDUCATION AND RACE-CULTURE

  “Education is but the giving or withholding of

It is true that education can seem to accomplish miracles; that in a
single generation the results of an ideal education would be amazing.
It is true, also, that in certain epochs of history, when wise counsels
have prevailed, great results have been attained. It is true that at
present scarcely a man or woman amongst us, if any, has reached the
full stature which would have been attained under an ideal system
of education. It is true, finally, that no system of race-culture
can ignore education or be effective without it. Though the general
question of education is not the specific question of the present
volume, yet there is only too good reason for some brief allusion to
the subject here, especially since it bears on the question of the
measure of importance which we ascribe to heredity.

=Modern education--the destruction of mind.=--When we observe in such
contrasted cases as those of Herbert Spencer and Wordsworth, for
instance, that absence of early education, especially in the first
septennium, has co-existed with the subsequent efflorescence of the
mightiest genius, we may almost be inclined to enquire whether genius
could not in effect be made to order even in the very next generation
by the simple device of suspending the process which we are pleased to
call education. Doubtless that is scarcely so, though every one who has
any knowledge of the subject is well assured that mere suspension of
the present destructive process might suffice to produce a population
that would wonder at its ancestors.

A simple analogy will show the disastrous character of the present
process, which may be briefly described as “education” by cram
and emetic. It is as if you filled a child's stomach to repletion
with marbles, pieces of coal and similar material incapable of
digestion--the more worthless the material the more accurate the
analogy: then applied an emetic and estimated your success by the
completeness with which everything was returned, more especially if it
was returned “unchanged,” as the doctors say. Just so do we cram the
child's mental stomach, its memory, with a selection of dead facts of
history and the like (at least when they are not fictions) and then
apply a violent emetic called an examination (which like most other
emetics causes much depression) and estimate our success by the number
of statements which the child vomits on to the examination paper--if
the reader will excuse me. Further, if we are what we usually are, we
prefer that the statements shall come back “unchanged”--showing no
signs of mental digestion. We call this “training the memory.”

Such a process as one has imagined in the physical case would assuredly
ruin the physical digestion for life. In the mental case, which is not
imaginary but actual, a similar result ensues. It is thus unfair to
the Anglo-Saxon germ-plasm to credit it with the abundant stupidity
of its products. Much of this stupidity is factitious and artificial.
We shall continue to produce it so long as by education or drawing
forth we understand intrusion or thrusting in, and so long as the
only drawing forth which we practise is by means of the emetics we
call examinations. The present type of education is a curse to modern
childhood and a menace to the future. The teacher who cannot tell
whether a child is doing well without formally examining it, should
be heaving bricks; but such a teacher does not exist. In Berlin they
are now learning that the depression caused by these emetics, for which
the best physical parallel is antimony, often leads to child suicide--a
steadily-increasing phenomenon mainly due to educational over-pressure
and worry about examinations.

Short of such appalling disasters, however, we have to reckon with
the existence of this enormous amount of stupidity, which those who
fortunately escaped such education in childhood have to drag along
with them in the long struggle towards the stars. This dead weight of
inertia lamentably retards progress.

Our factitious stupidity is injurious both in the governing and the
governed. As Professor Patrick Geddes once remarked to the present
writer, there are three kinds of governments: the government of the
future--as yet only ideal, which believes that there are ideas and
that they may be worth acting upon: the second is instanced by the
Russian government, which believes that there are ideas, but fears and
suppresses them: the third by the British government, which denies
that there are ideas at all, and prefers the method of “muddling
through”--to use a Cabinet Minister's contented phrase--though truth is
one and error infinite, though there are a million ways of going wrong
for one of going right. This characteristic is not to be attributed to
any germinal stupidity of the ruling classes in England. If it were we
should of course look upon the decadence of their birth-rate with the
utmost gratitude. It is a factitious product of their education. If you
have been treated with marbles and emetics long enough, you may begin
to question whether there is such a thing as nourishing food; if you
have been crammed with dead facts, and then compelled to disgorge them,
you may well question whether there are such things as nourishing facts
or ideas.

Not less disastrous is this factitious stupidity amongst the governed.
It produces, of course, the kind of man with whom we are all familiar.
Having at great labour been taught to read, he is incapable of reading
anything but rubbish. He never thinks for himself, and if he does you
wish he had not, so inadequate is his machinery and so deplorable
the result. He believes in politicians. He is, as we have said, so
much dead weight for the reformer, whose energy is diverted from the
discovery of new truth by the need of directing the eyes of stupidity
to the old, though it shines as the sun in his strength.

Therefore, let not the reader suppose that in the advocacy of eugenics
or race-culture we have become blinded to the possibilities offered us
by reasonable education even of the very heterogeneous material offered
us by heredity.

=The limits of education--individual and racial.=--Yet it must be
maintained that, though we cannot do without education, and though
something infinitely better than we practise at present will be
necessary if the ideal of race-culture is ever to be realised, yet
education alone, however good, can never enable us to achieve our end.
It must be maintained, in the first place, that education is limited
in its powers by the inherent nature of the educated material--it is a
process of _drawing out_, and you cannot draw out what is not there:
and secondly, that its value, so far as the nature of individuals
is concerned, is confined to the individuals in question and is not
reproduced or maintained in their children. Thus education alone would
have similar material to act upon from age to age, would have to make
a fresh beginning in each generation, and its results, however good,
relatively, would still be limited and finite. We shall do well,
perhaps, to obtain and retain an adequate definition of education.
No true conception of education was possible, notwithstanding the
derivation of the word, so long as the child's mind was likened to
a piece of “pure white paper” for us to write upon: or an empty box
waiting to be filled. The _tabula rasa_ of Locke is, we now know, the
last thing in the world to resemble a child's mind. Indeed, if any
such figure be demanded, the child's mind is a piece of mosaic--made
of ancestral pieces--and education is the process of realising what is
so given. Or, if a child's mind is a portmanteau, to educate is not to
pack but to unpack it. We understand, at least, that education never
can begin at the beginning, nor anywhere near it--that, as Professor
MacCunn says in his admirable book, _The Making of Character_, “the
page of the youngest life is so far from being blank that it bears upon
it characters in comparison with which the faded ink of palæography is
as recent history.”

We are learning, too, though none but the very few know this, that the
process by which the “faded ink” is made visible must not be credited
with having done the writing: any more than the fire to which you hold
a paper written upon with ink that fire makes visible. Still less do we
realise that what really seems to be the product of education is often
the result of an inherent mechanism now developed, which was not yet
formed when we began the educational process. One reason why the baby
cannot walk is that it has not the nervous apparatus. A child may walk
at the first attempt, if that attempt be delayed until the machinery is
developed. A child may similarly speak sentences at the first attempt.
Very commonly we start teaching a child something, which, after some
years, it learns. We have done nothing but interfere. The learning is
none of our doing: merely the mental apparatus is now evolved--and lo!
the result. At birth the sucking apparatus is perfect. If we could,
doubtless we should start teaching the unborn infant to suck long
before the machinery was ready--and should applaud ourselves for its
facility at birth; only that probably this facility would be impaired
by our efforts, as many capacities of later development are damaged by
our interference. What we understand, or misunderstand, by education
should begin approximately when a child is seven. The first seven years
of life should really have the term of childhood confined to them,
for there is a natural term so indicated. The growth of the brain is
a matter of the first seven years almost wholly. It grows relatively
little after that period; and until that is completed the physical
apparatus of mind is not ready for educational interference. Without
any such interference, and with merely the provision of conditions,
physical and mental, for its spontaneous development, the brain of
the seven year old will suffice for surprising things--so surprising
that if their evolution were possible under any system of schooling
practised before that date, we should applaud it as ideal. Probably
there is no such system--much less any that will improve on the
spontaneous process.

=Education the provision of an environment.=--We are prepared, then,
to realise the limits to the action of education upon the individual.
We shall not confuse this great and many-sided thing with such of its
factors as instruction or schooling. It is not intrusion but education:
“the guidance of growth,” to use Sir James Crichton-Browne's phrase.
This guidance, this process of unpacking, educing or realising, is
accomplished by the action of circumstances or the environment.
Environment is a large word and is invariably abused when it is used
in less than the large sense. Here it includes, for instance, air and
food, mother-love and the schoolmaster. I therefore define education
as _the provision of an environment_. This definition prepares us to
understand the limitations of the process. If we think of education as
a packing or cramming process, we shall err in this respect; we shall
expect limitless results from education provided that one packs early
and tightly and carefully enough. It is this erroneous conception
which rules us and daily betrays us in practice. If, however, we think
of education as the provision of an environment, capable of creating
nothing, but merely of causing the expression or the repression of
potential characters inherent in the individual educated, then we shall
begin to recast our methods on the lines determined by this truth. Yet,
further, we shall begin to understand the cardinal truth, one of the
many platitudes which we have yet to appreciate, that “you cannot make
a silk purse out of a sow's ear.”

=Heredity and environment.=--Let us consider the question in general
terms. The characters of any living thing are determined by two
factors--heredity and environment. The old phrases were character and
circumstances, but they were less than useful, since character is
modified by circumstances. Now one of the most important questions
in the world, and not least for the eugenist, is as to the relative
importance of these two factors. The technical terms may not be in
our mouths, but we discuss this instance or that of the question in
point almost every day of our lives. One part of the business of
philosophy and of science is not only to answer questions but to ask
them correctly. This question is always wrongly asked, and therefore
cannot be answered, or is incorrectly answered. We persist in using
the mathematical idea of addition, and we seek to show that, say,
seventy per cent. of the result is due to the innate factor and thirty
per cent. to the acquired. But the truth is that so long as we begin
with this idea we may prove what we please. If we keep our attention
fixed upon the environmental or educational factor we can easily and
correctly demonstrate that in certain circumstances Mozart would
have been tone-deaf and Shakespeare a gibbering idiot--hence, but
incorrectly, we argue that environment is practically everything. _Per
contra_, we can easily and correctly demonstrate that no education
in the world could enable a door-mat or a cabbage or ourselves to
write _Don Giovanni_ or _Hamlet_--hence, but incorrectly, we argue
that the material to be operated upon is everything. We have to
learn, however, that the analogy _is one not of addition but of
multiplication_. Neither inheritance nor environment, as such, gives
anything. The environmental factor may be potentially one hundred--an
ideal education--but the innate or inherited factor may be nothing, as
when the pupil is a door-mat or a fool. The result then is nothing.
Darwin had the trombone played to a plant, but he did not make a
Palestrina. No academy of music will make a beetroot into a Beethoven,
though I dare say a well-trained beetroot might write a musical comedy.
The point is that one hundred multiplied by nothing equals nothing.
Similarly, the innate factor may be one hundred, as in the case of a
potential genius, but he may be brought up upon alcohol and curses
amongst savages, and the result again is nothing. Keep the idea of
multiplication in the mind, and the facts are seen rightly. No matter
how big either factor be, if it be multiplied by nothing it yields
nothing, or if it be multiplied by a fraction, as in the ordinary
education of a genius, it yields less than it should. But in this
controversy people persist in assuming that inheritance or education
gives definitely so much which is there anyhow, whereas, really,
it only supplies a potential figure, which may realise infinity or
nothing, according to what it is multiplied by. With all deference, I
submit this as a real answer to these endless disputes.

But further, granted that neither factor in itself produces any
actuality, which is normally the weightier of the two factors? We must
make the qualification, “normally,” because such a thing as disease or
poison, included in the environmental factor, will dominate the result,
completely overshadowing the importance of whatever heredity gave. Such
things apart, however, we may be thoroughly assured that heredity is
the weightier of the two factors. The more we study education, the more
we recognise its true nature. Indeed, the more we realise its ideal,
the more do we realise its limitations. The more we study education
the more important does heredity appear. If the reader has not had
opportunities of observing children for himself let him refer to such
a book as Mr. Galton's _Inquiries into Human Faculty_, and he will
begin to realise how large is the factor given by inheritance and how
relatively small is the factor given by education.

=Education can educate only what heredity gives.=--Heredity, as
the eugenist must never forget, gives not actualities but only
potentialities. It depends upon circumstances whether they shall
become actualities. That, however, we all know. No one supposes that
education is superfluous or impotent. We do, however, persistently
forget the converse truth that education, on the other hand, makes no
definite contribution, but merely multiplies--or alas, divides--the
potentialities given by inheritance. These potentialities constitute
a limiting condition which no education can transcend. Education can
educate only what heredity gives. Long ago Helvetius thought, as did
Kant, that the differences between men were due to differences in
education. But it is not so. We make, of course, the most ridiculous
claims for education. The remark wrongly attributed to the Duke of
Wellington, that “the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields
of Eton,” is an instance in point. Recently, when Francis Thompson,
the poet, died, the local newspaper of his birthplace said that it
should be proud to have produced him. We may laugh at this conception
of the genesis of genius, but we all talk in this fashion. A genius
was educated at Eton, and we say that Eton produced him. The truth
is, of course, that Eton failed to destroy him. (One says Eton for
convenience, but the name of any accepted school will do.) If Eton
produced him, why does not it produce thousands like him? There is
plenty of material: but it is not the right material. We should
cease to speak, in our pride for our own _Alma Mater_ or our own
methods, as if education created genius or anything else. Men are born
unequal. To realise the nature of education is not only to avoid the
popular assumption that an ideal education will do everything for us,
forgetting that no amount of polishing will make pewter shine like
silver; it is not only to send us back to the principle of selection
in recognition of the power of inheritance; it is not merely to
dispose of the idea that men are born inherently equal; but it is
also to combat the idea that education is a levelling process. On the
contrary, it accentuates the differences between men. You may confuse
the unpolished pebble and the diamond, but not when education has done
its utmost for both. If education were a process of addition to what
inheritance gives, it would almost level men: the addition of a large
sum to figures such as, say, 1, 2, and 3, would almost obliterate
their original disproportion. But the analogy is with multiplication,
as I have suggested: and the larger the sum by which 1, 2 and 3 are
multiplied, the greater is the disparity between the products. This
is, perhaps, one of the truths of vast importance which the common rim
of contemporary Socialism implicitly denies: though it is of course
abundantly recognised by such a socialist as that master-thinker
Professor Forel. The socialist's panacea, ideal education for all, is
much to be desired, and will accomplish much, as we began by admitting;
but it is not a panacea. Those who believe it to be such do not
understand the nature of education nor its limitations. They should
remember the remark of Epictetus, “the condition and characteristic
of a fool is this: he never expects from himself profit nor harm, but
from externals.” The dogma of the unthinking socialist--who exists,
though he is doubtless rarer than the unthinking individualist--is
that all evil is of economic origin: correct your economics and your
education and you obliterate evil. But it is not so. As Lowell said,
“A great part of human suffering has its root in the nature of man,
and not in that of his institutions.” When by means of eugenics we
can give education the right material to work upon, we shall have a
Utopia, and as for forms of government they may be left for fools to
contest. Forel, incomparably the greatest socialist thinker of the
day, sees this. He makes his Utopian predictions not so much as to
mere externals, like clothing and language, but as regards the kind of
man and woman: and, unlike some writers, he entitles himself to paint
these pictures, for in that great eugenic treatise _Die Sexuel Frage_,
he tells us how to realise them by pedagogic reform working upon the
materials provided by human selection. A paragraph may be quoted from

  “Malgré tout l'enthousiasme qu'on doit montrer pour une pédagogie
  rationelle, il ne faut jamais oublier qu'elle est incapable de
  remplacer la sélection. Elle sert au but immédiat et rapproché, qui
  est d'utiliser le mieux possible le matérial humain tel qu'il existe
  maintenant. Mais, par elle-même, elle n'améliore en rien la qualité
  des germes à venir. Elle peut, néanmoins, grâce à l'instruction
  donnée à la jeunesse sur la valeur sociale de la sélection, la
  préparer à mettre cette dernière en œuvre.” #/

and another from Spencer:--

  “We are not among those who believe in Lord Palmerston's dogma,
  that all children are born good. On the whole, the opposite dogma,
  untenable as it is, seems to us less wide of the truth. Nor do we
  agree with those who think that, by skilful discipline, children
  may be made altogether what they should be. Contrariwise, we are
  satisfied that though imperfections of nature may be diminished by
  wise management, they cannot be removed by it. The notion that an
  ideal humanity might be forthwith produced by a perfect system of
  education, is near akin to that implied in the poems of Shelley, that
  would make mankind give up their old institutions and prejudices, all
  the evils in the world would at once disappear; neither notion being
  acceptable to such as have dispassionately studied human affairs.”

=Ruskin on education and inequality.=--Three great paragraphs may be
quoted from Ruskin's _Time and Tide_:--

  “... Education _was desired by the lower orders because they thought
  it would make them upper orders_, and be a leveller and effacer of
  distinctions. They will be mightily astonished, when they really
  get it, to find that it is, on the contrary, the fatallest of all
  discerners and enforcers of distinctions; piercing, even to the
  division of the joints and marrow, to find out wherein your body and
  soul are less, or greater, than other bodies and souls, and to sign
  deed of separation with unequivocal seal.

  “171. Education is, indeed, of all differences not divinely
  appointed, an instant effacer and reconciler. Whatever is undivinely
  poor, it will make rich; whatever is undivinely maimed, and halt, and
  blind, it will make whole, and equal, and seeing. The blind and the
  lame are to it as to David at the siege of the Tower of the Kings,
  ‘hated of David's soul.’ But there are other divinely-appointed
  differences, eternal as the ranks of the everlasting hills, and as
  the strength of their ceaseless waters. And these, education does not
  do away with; but measures, manifests, and employs.

  “In the handful of shingle which you gather from the sea-beach, which
  the indiscriminate sea, with equality of fraternal foam, has only
  educated to be, every one, round, you will see little difference
  between the noble and the mean stones. But the jeweller's trenchant
  education of them will tell you another story. Even the meanest
  will be the better for it, but the noblest so much better that you
  can class the two together no more. The fair veins and colours are
  all clear now, and so stern is nature's intent regarding this, that
  not only will the polish show which is best, but the best will take
  most polish. You shall not merely see they have more virtue than the
  others, but see that more of virtue more clearly; and the less virtue
  there is, the more dimly you shall see what there is of it.

  “172. And the law about education, which is sorrowfullest to vulgar
  pride, is this--that all its gains are at compound interest; so that,
  as our work proceeds, every hour throws us farther behind the greater
  men with whom we began on equal terms. Two children go to school hand
  in hand, and spell for half an hour over the same page. Through all
  their lives, never shall they spell from the same page more. One is
  presently a page a-head, two pages, ten pages--and evermore, though
  each toils equally, the interval enlarges--at birth nothing, at death

So much for one relation of this question to Socialism. Quite lately
(_The New Age_, April 11th, 1908) Mr. Havelock Ellis has summed the
matter up as follows:--

  “Education has been put at the beginning, when it ought to have
  been put at the end. It matters comparatively little what sort of
  education we give children; the primary matter is what sort of
  children we have got to educate. That is the most fundamental of
  questions. It lies deeper even than the great question of Socialism
  versus Individualism, and indeed touches a foundation that is
  common to both. The best organised social system is only a house
  of cards if it cannot be constructed with sound individuals; and
  no individualism worth the name is possible, unless a sound social
  organisation permits the breeding of individuals who count. On this
  plane Socialism and Individualism move in the same circle.”

We cannot agree with Socialism when, as we think, it assumes that
all evil is of economic or of educational origin. The student of
heredity finds elements of evil abundant in poisoned germ-plasm and
not absent from the best. Surely, surely, the products of progress are
not mechanisms but men; and surely no economic system as such can be
the only mechanism worth naming--which would be one that made men. The
germ-plasm is such a mechanism, indeed; and hence its quality is all

But if Socialism, sooner than any other party, is going to identify
itself with the economic principle of Ruskin that “there is no wealth
but life”; and if in its discussion of the conditions of industry it
will concern itself primarily with the culture of the racial life,
which is the vital industry of any people (and basis enough for a New
Imperialism, or at least a New Patriotism, that might be quite decent);
if so, then it seems to me that we must look to the socialists for
salvation. But books which describe future externals, books which
assume that education is a panacea, forgetting that education can
educate only what heredity gives, turn us away again when we are almost
persuaded. The _economic_ panacea must fail (at least as a panacea);
the _educational_ panacea must fail; the _eugenic_ panacea may not fail.

       *       *       *       *       *

Education, then, cannot achieve our ideal of race-culture. No matter
how good our polishing, we must have silver and diamonds to work upon,
not pewter and pebbles. When we have the right material to work upon,
our labour will not be wasted, or far worse than wasted, as it now too
often is.

=Education a Sisyphean task.=--But the belief in education as in itself
an adequate instrument of race-culture chiefly depends upon the popular
doctrine as to its influence upon the race. It is supposed, in a word,
that if we educate the parents, the child will begin where the parents
left off. This is the doctrine of Lamarck, who said that if the necks
of the parent giraffe were educated or drawn out, the baby giraffe
would have this anatomical acquirement transmitted to it, and, so to
speak, when it grew up, would be able to begin feeding on the leaves of
trees at the level where its parents had to leave off. In the course
of its life its own neck would become elongated or educated, and its
children would outstretch both itself and their grand-parents. This
doctrine of the transmission of acquired characters by heredity, as
we have seen, is, at the present day, repudiated by biologists. It
is generally believed by the medical profession and by the public,
notwithstanding the fact that, for instance, the skin of the heel of
every new baby is almost as thin and delicate as it is anywhere else,
though for unthinkable generations all the ancestors of that baby on
both sides have greatly thickened the skin of both heels by the act of

It is quite evident that, if the Lamarckian theory were true, education
would be a completely adequate instrument of race-culture, incomparable
in its rapidity and certainty. It would not reform the world in a
single generation because, as we have seen, its results would be
limited by the inherent nature of its material; but since those results
would involve the vast amelioration of the material upon which it
worked in the second generation, mankind would be little lower than
the angels in a century. The good habits acquired by one generation
would be innate in the next. If the father learnt one language in
addition to his own, the child would start with the knowledge of two,
waiting only for opportunity, and could accumulate more and hand them
on to its child. “My father's environment would be my heredity.” If we
desired muscular strength we could in two generations produce a race
amongst whom Sandow would be a puny weakling. We should not need to
discuss any question of selection for parenthood. Without any such
process we could answer Browning's prayer and “elevate the race at
once”--physically, mentally and morally.

But the Lamarckian theory does not correspond with facts. The
results of education, physical, mental, or moral, are limited to the
individuals educated. The children do not begin where the parents left
off, but they make a fresh start where the parents did. Thus even
though we had and employed an ideal method of education, we should make
no permanent improvement by its means alone in the breed of mankind,
any more than the breeder of race-horses could attain his end by the
same means. In each generation the same problem, the same difficulties,
the same limitations inherent in the nature of the new material, would
have to be faced. We must learn from the horse-breeder, who knows that
the blood of a single horse, Eclipse, runs in the veins of the great
majority of winners since his time.

It is exceedingly difficult to dispossess the popular mind of the
Lamarckian idea, the more especially as members of the medical
profession, who are regarded as authorities on heredity, contentedly
accept this idea themselves. Yet the advocates of eugenics or
race-culture have to recognise that, so long as the Lamarckian idea
obtains, their crusade will fail to find a hearing. We believe that
nothing can really be accomplished in the way of race-culture until
public opinion--that “chaos of prejudices,” as Huxley called it--is
marshalled on our side. But the popular notion of heredity is a most
formidable obstacle. The Lamarckian idea seems to provide a method for
the improvement of a species which cannot be surpassed for simplicity,
rapidity and certainty. It even excludes the possibility of mistakes.
You cannot go wrong if you simply educate every one to the utmost.
Doubtless some persons are more suited for parenthood than others, but
only let education be wise and universal, and any question of selection
by marriage or otherwise will be superfluous. A thousand difficulties
offered by public sentiment, by convention, by the churches, by the
large measure of uncertainty which attends the working of heredity,
could be ignored, if race-culture were simply a matter of education.

Nevertheless, these difficulties have to be faced by the eugenist. The
popular misconception of heredity--instanced by Sir James Simpson's
belief, not inexcusable sixty years ago, that the education of a
future mother will enlarge her child's brain--must be removed. It can
scarcely be doubted that the sway of the Lamarckian idea will soon be
diminished, and then, at last, those who are interested in the future
will discover that only by the process of selection for parenthood,
which has brought mankind thus far, can further progress be assured.

=Real functions of education for race-culture.=--Nevertheless education
has a true function for race-culture in addition to the obvious fact
of its necessity in order to realise the inherent potentialities
of the individual. One of its functions is to provide a level of
public opinion and public taste such that the finer specimens of each
generation shall receive their due reward and shall not be crushed out
of existence or perverted. There is a passage in Goethe which suggests
the true function of education, and makes us suspect that, so far as
many kinds of genius and talent are concerned, our immediate business
is perhaps less to endeavour to produce them by breeding--if that be
possible--than to make the most of them when they are vouchsafed us.
Says Goethe:--

  “We admire the Tragedies of the ancient Greeks; but to take a
  correct view of the case, we ought to admire the period and the
  nation in which their production was possible rather than the
  individual authors; for though these pieces differ in some points
  from each other, and though one of these poets appears somewhat
  greater and more finished than the other, still, taking all things
  together, only one decided character runs through the whole.

  “This is the character of grandeur, fitness, soundness, human
  perfection, elevated wisdom, sublime thought, pure, strong intuition,
  and whatever other qualities one might enumerate. But when we find
  all these qualities, not only in the dramatic works which have come
  down to us, but also in lyrical and epic works--in the philosophers,
  orators, and historians, and in an equally high degree in the works
  of plastic art that have come down to us--we must feel convinced that
  such qualities did not merely belong to individuals, but were the
  current property of the nation and the whole period.”

=Education as to the principle of selection.=--Further, the hope
may be warranted that, though education, as such, will not achieve
the ideal of true race-culture, and though it has never hitherto
averted the ultimate failure of all civilisations, yet the case may
be different to-day, in that our acquired or traditional progress,
transmitted by the process of education accumulating from age to
age--not in our blood and bone and brain, but mainly in books, whereby
the non-transmission of the results of education is circumvented in a
sense--has reached the point at which the laws of racial or inherent
progress have been revealed to us, as to none of our predecessors.[38]
Having the knowledge of these laws it is possible that we may avert our
predecessors' fate by putting them into force. If we do not, we must
ultimately become “one with Nineveh and Tyre.” Fifty years have now
elapsed since the principle of natural selection was demonstrated for
all time by the genius of Darwin. We must not be guilty of starting
to tell the story of organic evolution and leaving out the point. So
long as we supposed that man was created as he is, the idea of racial
progress was an absurdity. It is the correct thing now-a-days to decry
the possibility of human perfection. This possibility is rightly to be
decried if it be assumed that ideal education of the present material
or anything like it would realise perfection. We have seen that it
would not. It is the principle of selection, in which Darwin has
educated us, that must be taught to all mankind, and thus education may
indeed become the factor of an effective race-culture.

=The power of individual opinion.=--Since ultimately opinion rules the
world, it is for us to create sound opinion. That is the purpose of
this book. But every individual may be a centre of eugenic opinion,
and the time has assuredly come for attempting to realise this ideal,
though a thousand years should pass before the facts of heredity are
completely ascertained and understood. The main principles are of the
simplest character, and can be readily imparted to a child. Especially
does the responsibility fall upon parents and those who are in charge
of childhood.

The young people of the next and all succeeding generations must be
taught the supreme sanctity of parenthood. The little boy who asks
what he is to become when he grows up, must be taught that the highest
profession and privilege he can aspire to is responsible fatherhood;
the little girl may less frequently ask these questions, the answer to
which has been imparted to her by her own Mother-Nature--as the doll
instinct, so little appreciated or utilised, sufficiently demonstrates;
but she likewise must be taught reverence for Motherhood. As childhood
gives place to youth, what may be called the eugenic sense must be
cultivated as a cardinal aspect of the moral sense itself; so that even
personal inclination--at the controllable and self-controllable stage
which precedes “head over ears” affection--will wither when it is
directed to some one who, on any ground, offends the educated eugenic
sense. There is here a field for moral education of the highest and
most valuable kind, both for the individual and for the race. Is there
any other aspect of duty which can claim a higher warrant? Is there any
hitherto so wholly ignored?

The preceding paragraph is re-printed from a brief account of its
objects written for the Eugenics Education Society, as a Society
which amongst other purposes exists “to further eugenic teaching at
home and in the schools and elsewhere.” The difficulties of teaching
this subject to children are more apparent than real. I may freely
confess that though I have been speaking, writing, and thinking about
eugenics for six years, I did not realise the importance of eugenic
education until I heard the views of some of the women who belong
to this Society, and even then I was at first sceptical as to its
practicability. The subject has been entirely ignored by the pioneers
of this matter. But if we turn to such a work as Forel's masterpiece
we begin to realise that the eugenic education of children is the real
beginning at the beginning, that it is in fact indispensable, and must
be antecedent to all legislation in the direction of positive eugenics,
though not to certain forms of legislation in the direction of negative
eugenics.[39] In the earlier chapters of his great work Professor Forel
offers the parent and the guardian abundant, detailed and accurate
guidance as to the lines and methods of this teaching. It is urgently
necessary for both sexes, but more especially for girls, who may suffer
incredibly from the cruel prudery ordained by Mrs. Grundy, the only
old woman to whom the word “hag” should be applied. We must remove the
reproach of Herbert Spencer, made nearly fifty years ago in words
which may well be quoted:--

  “The greatest defect in our programmes of education is entirely
  overlooked. While much is being done in the detailed improvement
  of our systems in respect both of matter and manner, the most
  pressing desideratum, to prepare the young for the duties of life,
  is tacitly admitted to be the end which parents and schoolmasters
  should have in view; and happily, the value of the things taught,
  and the goodness of the methods followed in teaching them, are now
  ostensibly judged by their fitness to this end. The propriety of
  substituting for an exclusively classical training, a training in
  which the modern languages shall have a share, is argued on this
  ground. The necessity of increasing the amount of science is urged
  for like reasons. But though some care is taken to fit youth of
  both sexes for society and citizenship, no care whatever is taken
  to fit them for the position of parents. While it is seen that
  for the purpose of gaining a livelihood, an elaborate preparation
  is needed, it appears to be thought that for the bringing up of
  children, no preparation whatever is needed. While many years are
  spent by a boy in gaining knowledge of which the chief value is that
  it constitutes ‘the education of a gentleman’; and while many years
  are spent by a girl in those decorative acquirements which fit her
  for evening parties; not an hour is spent by either in preparation
  for that gravest of all responsibilities--the management of a family.
  Is it that this responsibility is but a remote contingency? On the
  contrary, it is sure to devolve on nine out of ten. Is it that the
  discharge of it is easy? Certainly not; of all functions which the
  adult has to fulfil, this is the most difficult. Is it that each may
  be trusted by self-instruction to fit himself, or herself, for the
  office of parent? No; not only is the need for such self-instruction
  unrecognised, but the complexity of the subject renders it the one of
  all others in which self-instruction is least likely to succeed.”

=The lines of eugenic education.=--The teaching of the main facts of
heredity must come first in order to the end of eugenic education.
The vegetable world is at our service in this regard, the products of
horticulture with their beauty and grace and novelty are illustrations
one and all of what heredity means and what the due choice of parents
will effect. There need be no personal allusions at this stage; the
thing can be presented in an impersonal biological setting. And as
heredity produces these wonderful results in plants, so also does it
in the animal world. Numberless domestic forms are at our service. You
take your children and your dog to the Zoological gardens, and show the
resemblance between wolf and dog. What easier, then, than to point out
that by consistent choosing for many generations of the least ferocious
wolves, you may make a domesticated race?[40]

The mind of any child that has fortunately escaped “education” will
make the transition for itself from sub-human races to mankind, and
instances will occur, say, where extreme short-sightedness or deafness
appears in children whose parents were similarly afflicted, and were
perhaps closely related. At yet a later age a boy or girl may learn the
doom which often falls upon the children of drunkards.

And then may it not be possible, when a little boy asks what he is to
be when he grows up, to suggest that the highest profession to which
he can be called, for which he may strive to make himself worthy, is
fatherhood? And when the racial instinct awakes, would it be wrong,
improper, indecent, to teach that it has a purpose, that no attribute
of mind or body has a higher purpose, that this is holy ground? Or is
it better that by silence, both as to the fact and as to its meaning,
we should make it unmentionable, indecent, dishonourable? The Bible is
used now-a-days as an instrument of political immorality, but if and
when it should be employed for the function of other great literature,
there is a passage sufficiently relevant to our present argument.[41]

Perhaps we are wrong in regarding and treating the racial instinct as
if it were animal and low, a thing as far as possible to be ignored,
repressed, treated with silent contempt in education and elsewhere. We
may be wrong in practice because the method is not successful, because
the development of this instinct is inevitable and little short of
imperious in every normal child if that child is ever to become a man
or a woman, and because our silence does not involve the silence of
less responsible persons who are less likely even than we ourselves to
teach the young enquirer that this thing exists for parenthood, and is
therefore holy and to be treated as such.

Perhaps we are wrong in principle also, since that which exists for
parenthood, and without which the continuance and future terrestrial
hope of mankind is impossible, cannot be animal and low, unless human
life, even at its best attained or attainable, be animal and low. Our
business rather is to treat this great fact in a spirit worthy of the
purpose for which it exists; and therefore, as part of that process of
education by which we desire to make the young into reasonable, moral
and fully human beings, to teach explicitly, without unworthy shame,
that this thing exists for the highest of purposes that nothing which
the future holds for boy or girl can conceivably be higher or happier
than worthy parenthood, however commonplace that may appear to common
eyes, and that accordingly this instinct is to be guarded, treated,
used, honoured as for parenthood, a fact which immediately raises it
from the egoistic to the altruistic plane. We have to learn and to
teach that worthy parenthood is the highest end which education can
achieve--highest alike on the ground of its services to the individual
and its services to the future, and the relation of the racial instinct
to parenthood being what it is, we have to look upon it in that light,
at once austere and splendid.

In the teaching of girls, only a false and disastrous prudery offers
any great obstacle. The idea of motherhood is essentially natural to
the normal girl. It is the eugenic education of boys that is more
difficult, and the possibility of which will be questioned in some
quarters, especially by those who regard the type of boy evolved in
semi-monastic institutions, devoid of feminine influence, as a normal
and unchangeable being. Co-educationists, however, are teaching us
to revise that opinion, and will yet demonstrate, perhaps, that the
inculcation of the idea of fatherhood is not so impossible nor so
alien to the boy nature as some would suppose. If such a duty devolved
upon the present writer, he would feel inclined, perhaps, to present
his teaching in terms of patriotism. He would urge that “there is no
wealth but life”; that nations are made not of provinces nor property
but of people; that modern biology is teaching historians to explain
such phenomena as the fall of Rome in terms of the quality of the
national life; that therefore, individuals being mortal, parenthood
necessarily takes its place as the supreme factor of national destiny;
that the true patriotism must therefore concern itself with the
conditions and the quality of parenthood--much less with its quantity;
that the patriotism which ignores these truths is ignorant and must be
disastrous; that we must turn our attention therefore from flag waving
to questions of individual conduct; that if alcohol and syphilis,
for instance, can be demonstrated to be what I would call racial
poisons, the young patriot must make himself aware of their relation to
parenthood, and must act upon his knowledge of that relation. It can
thus be demonstrated that righteousness exalteth a nation not only in
the spiritual but also in the most concrete sense.

To this we shall come. We may even recognise eugenic education as the
most urgent need of the day, as the most radical and rational, perhaps
even the most hopeful, of the methods by which the cleansing of the
city, and much more, is to be achieved. We must create a eugenic aspect
for the moral sense. We can associate this alike with individual and
civic duty, and with those very ideals to which, as we all know,
the young most readily respond. Thus I believe it shall be said of
us in the after time that we have raised up the foundations of many

And so, finally, the unselfish significance of marriage might
conceivably be taught, alike to boys and girls, and especially in the
case of undoubtedly good stocks might we inculcate, as Mr. Galton has
pointed out, a rational pride in ancestry--that is to say, a rational
pride in the quality of the germ-plasm which has been entrusted to us.
And so may be cultivated a eugenic aspect of the moral sense--which
is immeasurably more plastic than any but the student of moral ideas
knows--and, thus endowed, the young man or woman will be prepared
for the possibility of marriage. It is perfectly conceivable that in
days to come the argument--in any case false--that affection never
brooks control, may become wholly irrelevant, when there arises a
generation in whose members there has been cultivated or created
the eugenic sense. It is conceivable that, just as to-day the mere
possibility of falling in love is arrested by any of a thousand trivial
considerations, so misplaced affection may be incapable of arising
because its possible object affronts the educated eugenic sense. The
natural basis for such education already exists. But the natural
eugenic sense still works mainly on the physical plane, and although we
owe to it the maintenance of our present modest standard of physical
beauty, we aim at higher ideals--and will one day thus attain them.

                               CHAPTER IX

                      THE SUPREMACY OF MOTHERHOOD

  “The dregs of the human species--the blind, the deaf mute, the
  degenerate, the imbecile, the epileptic--are better protected than
  pregnant women.”--Bouchacourt.

  “I hold that the two crowning and most accursed sins of the society
  of this present day are the carelessness with which it regards the
  betrayal of women, and the brutality with which it suffers the
  neglect of children.”--Ruskin.

A chapter must be included here concerning a question which can never
safely be ignored in any consideration of race-culture, but the
importance of which, as I think I see it, is recognised by no one
who has concerned himself at all with this subject, from Mr. Francis
Galton himself downwards. We must all be agreed, Mr. Galton declares,
as to the propriety of breeding, if it be possible, for health, energy
and ability, whatever else may be doubtful. To this I would add that,
whether we are agreed or not, we must breed for motherhood, and that,
even if we do not, we shall have to reckon with it. The general eugenic
position, I fancy, is that the requirements which we should make of
both sexes, the mothers of the future as well as the fathers, are
essentially identical: but it seems to me that we have not yet reckoned
with the vast importance of motherhood as a factor in the evolution
of all the higher species of animals, and its absolute supremacy,
inevitable and persistent whether recognised or ignored, in the case of
man. Any system of eugenics or race-culture, any system of government,
any proposal for social reform--as, for instance, the reduction of
infant mortality--which fails to reckon with motherhood or falls
short of adequately appraising it, is foredoomed to failure and will
continue to fail so long as the basal facts of human nature and the
development of the human individual retain even approximately their
present character. Whatever proposals for eugenics or race-culture be
made or carried out, the fact will remain that the race is made up of
mortal individuals; that every one of these begins its visible life as
a helpless baby, and that the system which does not permit the babies
to survive, _they_ will not permit to survive.

This is a general and universal proposition, admitting of no
exceptions, past, present or to come. It applies equally to conscious
systems of race-culture, to forms of marriage, to forms of government,
to any other social institution or practice or character that can be
named or conceived. Upon every one of these the babies pronounce a
judgment from which there is no appeal. The baby may be a potential
Newton, Shakespeare, Beethoven or Buddha, but it is at its birth the
most helpless thing alive, the potentialities of which avail it not one
whit. It is in more need of care, immediate and continuous, than a baby
microbe or a baby cat, whatever the unpublished glories of which its
brain contains the promise; and in the total absence of any apparatus,
mechanical, legal, or scientific, which can provide the mother's breast
and the mother's love, individual motherhood, in its exquisitely
complementary aspects, physical and psychical, will remain the dominant
factor of history so long as the final judgments upon every present and
the final determinations for every future lie in the hands of helpless
babyhood--which will be the case so long as man is mortal. When, if
ever, science, having previously conquered disease, identifies the
causes of natural death and removes them, then motherhood and babyhood
may be thrown upon the rubbish heap; but until that hour they are
enthroned by decree of Nature, and can be dethroned only at the cost of
Her certain and annihilative vengeance.

It is the master paradox that at his first appearance the lord of the
earth should be the most helpless of living things. Consider a new-born
baby. “Unable to stand, much less to wander in search of food; very
nearly deaf; all but blind; well-nigh indiscriminating as to the nature
of what is presented to its mouth; utterly unable to keep itself clean,
yet highly susceptible to the effects of dirt; able to indicate its
needs only by alternately turning its head, open-mouthed, from side to
side and then crying; possessed of an almost ludicrously hypersensitive
interior; unable to fast for more than two or three hours, yet having
the most precise and complicated dietetic requirements; needing the
most carefully maintained warmth; easily injured by draughts; the prey
of bacteria (which take up a permanent abode in its alimentary canal
by the eleventh day)--where is to be found a more complete picture of
helpless dependence?”[42] How comes it that this creature is to be
lord of the earth, and a member of the only species which succeeds in
continually multiplying itself?

=Motherhood and intelligence.=--We have maintained that the vital
character which is of supreme survival-value for man is his
intelligence, and this, as we know, is his unique possession. It is
very largely for intelligence, therefore, that race-culture or eugenics
proposes, if possible, to work. But if there be certain conditions
which must be complied with before intelligence can possibly be
evolved, eugenics will come to disaster should it ignore them. These
conditions do exist, and have hitherto been entirely ignored by all
students of this question. Let certain great facts be observed.

Why is the human baby the most helpless of all creatures? Since it is
to become the most capable, should it not, even in its infant state,
show signs of its coming superiority? What is the meaning of this

The answer is that, so far as physical weapons of offence and defence
are concerned, these have disappeared because intelligence makes them
superfluous or even burdensome. But the peculiar helplessness of the
human infant depends not upon its nakedness in the physical sense but
upon its lack of very nearly all instinctive capacities. It is this
absence of effective instincts which distinguishes the baby from the
young of all other creatures. Why should its endowment in this respect
be so inferior?

It is because of the fact that, if instinct is to give rise to
intelligence, it must be plastic. A purely instinctive creature reacts
to certain sets of circumstances in certain effortless, perfect and
fixed ways. The reactions are the whole of its psychical life. They
need no education, being as perfectly performed on the first occasion
as on the last, and in many instances being performed only once in the
whole history of the creature in question. But, on the other hand, they
are almost incapable of education, and even in the cases where they
lack absolute perfection at first, they only require the merest modicum
of opportunity in order to acquire it. Perfect within their limits,
they are yet most definitely limited. They never achieve the new,
they are utterly at fault in novel circumstances, and they are wholly
incapable of creating circumstances.

A creature cannot be at once purely instinctive and intelligent. An
instinctive action is simply a compound reflex action, a highly adapted
automatism: now automatism and intelligence are necessarily inversely
proportional. It is possible for an intelligent creature to acquire
automatisms, which are popularly described as instinctive. They are
not instincts, however, but the acquired equivalents of instincts:
“secondary automatisms.” If they are used to replace intelligence, the
individual, in so far, sinks from the human to the sub-human level.
Their proper function is to leave the intelligence free for higher
purposes more worthy of it than, say, the act of dressing oneself.

In order that an intelligent creature should be evolved it was
necessary that instinct should become plastic. Intelligence could not
be superposed upon a complete and final instinctive equipment. You
cannot determine your own acts if they are already determined for
you by your nervous organisation. The incomparable superiority of
intelligence depends upon its limitless and creative character, in
virtue of which, as Disraeli puts it, “men are not the creatures of
circumstances: circumstances are the creatures of men.” But whilst
intelligence can learn everything, it has everything to learn, and the
most nearly intelligent creature whom the earth affords thus begins
his independent life almost wholly bereft of all the instruments
which have served the lower creatures so well, whilst, on the other
hand, he is provided with an utterly undeveloped, and indeed, at
that time non-existent, weapon which, even if it did exist, he could
not use. Hence the unique helplessness of the human baby: one of
the most wonderful and little appreciated facts in the whole of
nature--effectively hidden from the glass eyes of the kind of man who
calls a baby a “brat,” but, to eyes that can see, not only the master
paradox from the philosophical point of view but also a fact of the
utmost moment from the practical point of view.

=The evolution of motherhood.=--It directly follows that motherhood is
supremely important in the case of man. It is the historical fact that
its importance in the history of the animal world has been steadily
increasing throughout æonian time. The most successful and ancient
societies we know, those of the social insects, which antedate by
incalculable ages even the first vertebrates, could not survive for a
single generation without the motherhood or foster-motherhood to which
the worker females sacrifice their lives and their own chances of
physical maternity.

The development of maternal care may be steadily traced throughout the
vertebrate series--_pari passu_ with the evolution of sexual relations
towards the ideal of monogamy, which is ideal just because of its
incomparable services to motherhood. But whilst motherhood is of the
utmost service for lower creatures, tending always to lessen infant
mortality--if it may be so called--and to increase the proportion
of life to death and birth, it is of supreme service in the case of
man because of the absolute dependence upon it of intelligence, the
solitary but unexampled weapon with which he has won the earth. Hence
in breeding for intelligence we cannot afford to ignore that upon which
intelligence depends. Even if we could produce genius at will, we
should find our young geniuses just as dependent upon motherhood as the
common run of mankind. Newton himself was a seven months' baby, and the
potentialities of gravitation and the calculus and the laws of motion
in his brain could not save him: motherhood could and did.

Even our least biological reformers must admit that purely physical
motherhood, up to the point of birth, can scarcely be omitted in any
schemes for social reform or race-culture. Some of them will even
admit that purely physical motherhood, so far as the mother's breasts
are concerned, cannot wisely be dispensed with. The psychical aspects
of motherhood, however, many of these writers--I do not call them
thinkers--ignore. In relation to infant mortality--which is the most
obvious symptom of causes productive of vast and widespread physical
deterioration amongst the survivors, and which must be abolished
before any really effective race-culture is possible--it is worth
noting that motherhood cannot safely be superseded. I do not believe
in the _crèche_ or the municipal milk depôt except as stop-gaps, or
as object-lessons for those who imagine that the slaughtered babies
are not slaughtered but die of inherent defect, and that therefore
infant mortality is a beneficent process. In working for the reduction
of this evil we must work through and by motherhood. In some future
age, boasting the elements of sanity, our girls will be instructed in
these matters. At present the most important profession in the world is
almost entirely carried on by unskilled labour, and until this state
of things is put an end to, it is almost idle to talk of race-culture
at all. But under our present system of education, false and rotten as
it is in principles and details alike, it is necessary for us to send
visitors to the homes of the classes which, in effect, supply almost
the whole of the future population of the country, and to establish
schools for mothers on every hand.

=Psychical motherhood.=--I confess myself opposed to the principle
of bribing a woman to become a mother, whether overtly or covertly,
whether in the guise of State-aid or in the form of eugenic premiums
for maternity. It may sound very well to offer a bonus for the
production of babies by mothers whom the State or any eugenic power
considers fit and worthy. But though the bonus may help motherhood
in its physical aspects, the importance of which no one questions,
I do not see what service it renders to motherhood in its psychical
aspects--which are at least equally important. What is the outlook for
the baby when the bonus is spent? In fact, with all deference to Mr.
Galton, and with such deference as may be due to the literary triflers
who have discussed this matter, I am inclined to think that a cardinal
requisite for a mother is love of children. Ignorant this may be, and
indeed at first always is, but if it is there it can be instructed. The
woman who does not think the possession of a baby a sufficient prize is
no fit object, I should say, for any other kind of bribe or lure. The
woman who “would rather have a spare bedroom than a baby” is the woman
whom I do not want to have a baby. Thus I look with suspicion on any
proposals which assume that the psychical elements of motherhood are of
little moment in eugenics. I see no sign or prospect that they can be
dispensed with, and I think eugenics is going to work on wrong lines if
it proposes to ignore them. Even if you turn out Nature with a fork she
will yet return--_tamen usque recurret_.

In this question we should be able to derive great assistance from
biography. Real guidance, I believe, is obtained from this source, but
only a pitiable fraction of that which should be obtained. Scientific
biography is yet to seek, and it is the ironical fact that when Herbert
Spencer, in his _Autobiography_, devoted a large amount of space to
the discussion of _both_ his parents and their relatives, the literary
critics were bored to death. Nevertheless, we cannot know too much
about the ancestry, on both sides, and the early environment, of great
men. At present it is always tacitly assumed that a great man is the
son of his father alone. The biographer would probably admit, if
pressed, that doubtless some woman or other was involved in the matter,
and that her name was so and so--if any one thinks it worth mentioning.
On the score of heredity alone, however, we derive, men and women
alike, with absolute equality from both parents; and we cannot know too
much about the mothers of men of genius. Such knowledge would often
avail us materially in cases where the paternal ancestry offers little
explanation of the child's destiny.

We do owe, however, to great men themselves many warm and unqualified
tributes to their mothers, not on the score of heredity, but on the
score of the psychical aspects of motherhood. This, indeed, is one of
the great lessons of biography which some eugenists have forgotten.
It is all very well to breed for intelligence, but intelligence needs
nurture and guidance, and that need is the more urgent, the more
powerful and original the intelligence in question. The physical
functions of motherhood from the moment of birth onwards can be
effected, no doubt, though at very great cost, by means of incubators
and milk laboratories, and so forth. But there is no counterfeiting
or replacing the psychical component of complete maternity, and a
generation of the highest intelligence borne by unmaternal women would
probably succeed only in writing the blackest and maddest page in

=The eugenic demand for love.=--Mr. Galton desires that we breed for
physique, ability, and energy. But we also need more love, and we must
breed for that. Nothing is easier or more inevitable once we make
human parenthood conscious and deliberate. When children are born only
to those who love children, and who will tend to transmit their high
measure of that parental instinct from which all love is derived, we
shall bring to earth a heaven compared with which the theologian's is
but a fool's paradise.

The first requisite, then, for the mothers of the future, the elements
of physical health being assumed, is that they should be motherly. They
may or may not, in addition, be worthy of such exquisite titles as
“the female Shakespeare of America,” but they must have motherliness
to begin with. For this indispensable thing there is no substitute. It
must certainly be granted, and the fact should not be ignored, that the
hidden spring of motherliness in a girl may be revealed only by actual
maternity, and the frivolous damsel who used to think babies “silly
squalling things” may be mightily transformed when the silly squalling
thing is her own--and the Fifth Symphony sound and fury signifying
nothing compared with its slightest whimper. I will grant even that the
maternal instinct is so deeply rooted and universal that its absence
must be regarded as either a rare abnormality or else as the product of
the grossest mal-education in the wide sense. But the reader will not
blame me for insisting at such length upon what, as he would think, no
one could deny, when he discovers that these salient truths are denied,
and that in what should be the sacred name of eugenics, they are openly
flouted and defied.

Before we go on to consider these perversions of a great idea, it may
briefly be observed that, though fatherhood is historically a mushroom
growth compared with motherhood, and though its importance is vastly
less, yet as a complementary principle, aiding and abetting motherhood,
and making for its most perfect expression, fatherhood played a great
part in animal evolution, in the right line of progress, ages before
man appeared upon the earth at all, and that its work is not yet done.
To this subject we must return. Meanwhile it is well to note the
dangers with which eugenics is at present threatened in the form of
certain proposals which, if for a time they became popular--and they
have elements making for popularity--would inevitably throw the gravest
discredit upon the whole subject.

=Eugenics and the family.=--Certain remarkable tendencies invoking
the name of eugenics are now to be observed in Germany. These have
considerable funds, much enthusiasm, journalistic support, and even a
large measure of assistance in academic circles. In pursuance of the
idea of eugenics there is a movement the nature of which is indicated
by the following quotation from a private letter:--

  “I wonder if your attention was drawn to the German projects of the
  reform of the Family. They all aim at improving the German race and
  rendering decisive its superiority over all others. The means seem
  to be too revolutionary. The more modern wish the establishment of
  the matriarchal family (_ein nach Mutterrecht_), the more logical
  require universal polygamy and polyandry, an individualisation of
  Society. Others hope to increase the production of German geniuses
  by the ‘hellenic friendship.’[!] The three movements are strongly
  organised, command large pecuniary means, a phalanx of original and
  prolific writers, and enthusiastic devotion to their cause. More
  even than the support of Courts and aristocracy is, in my eyes, that
  of the Universities. It is there that the destinies of Germany have
  always been shaped, and if they are determined to reform the Family
  in that way, it will be done.... The Herren Professoren are terribly
  in earnest, yet they say things which even to the least prejudiced
  minds appear ridiculous and even vulgar. Still, their projects have
  some relation to Eugenics, and to Sociology in general.”

This sufficiently indicates the dangers run by the eugenic principle
at the hands of those who see in it an instrument of protest and
rebellion against established things. We dare not repudiate the sacred
principles of protest and rebellion, which have been the conditions of
all progress, but believing in motherhood as we must, believing it to
be authorised by nature herself and not by any human conventions, we
must deplore any tendencies such as the two last cited. For us in this
country, however, a more immediate interest attaches to the views of a
much admired and discussed writer who claims to be a social philosopher
of the first order, and whose claims must now be examined.

The opinions of Mr. Bernard Shaw on the question of eugenics may be
quoted from his contribution to the subject published in _Sociological
Papers_ 1904, pp. 74, 75, in discussion of Mr. Galton's great paper.
Mr. Shaw begins by saying: “I agree with the paper and go so far as
to say that there is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the
fact that nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilisation from
the fate that has overtaken all previous civilisations.” And further:--

  “I am afraid we must make up our minds either to face a considerable
  shock to vulgar opinion in this matter or to let eugenics alone....
  What we must fight for is freedom to breed the race without being
  hampered by the mass of irrelevant conditions implied in the
  institution of marriage. If our morality is attacked, we can carry
  the war into the enemy's country by reminding the public that the
  real objection to breeding by marriage is that marriage places no
  restraint on debauchery, so long as it is monogamic.... What we need
  is freedom for people who have never seen each other before and never
  intend to see one another again, to produce children under certain
  definite public conditions, without loss of honour.”

The conception of individual fatherhood here stated involves a
deliberate reversion to the order of the beast: it excludes individual
fatherhood from any function in aiding motherhood or in serving the
future. It involves, of course, the total abolition of the family. It
denies and flouts the very best elements in human nature. It assumes
that the best women will find motherhood worth while without the
interest and sympathy and help and protection of the father. It does
not, however, condemn or exclude the psychical functions of motherhood,
since so far as this quotation goes it might be assumed that the mother
would be permitted to live with her own child. On this point, however,
Mr. Shaw offered us further guidance in his controversy with myself in
the _Pall Mall Gazette_, in December, 1907. One or two of his _dicta_
must here be quoted--they followed upon my remark, “Anything less like
a mother than the State I find it hard to imagine”:--

  “When the State left the children to the mothers, they got no
  schooling; they were sent out to work under inhuman conditions,
  under-ground and over-ground for atrociously long hours, as soon as
  they were able to walk; they died of typhus fever in heaps; they grew
  up to be as wicked to their own children as their parents had been to
  them. State socialism rescued them from the worst of that, and means
  to rescue them from all of it. I now publicly challenge Dr. Saleeby
  to propose, if he dares, to withdraw the hand of the State and
  abandon the children to their mothers as they fall.... All I need say
  is that before Dr. Saleeby can persuade me to sacrifice the future
  of human society to his maternalism, he will have to tackle me with
  harder weapons than the indignant enthusiasm of a young man's mother

Mr. Shaw's teaching constitutes a brutal and deliberate libel upon the
highest aspects of womanhood. For his own purposes he attributes to the
mothers all the abominations which, as every one knows, have lain and
in some measure still lie, at the door of the State. The man who has
this opinion of motherhood is complacently ignorant of the elements of
the subject. His charge is denied by every one who has worked as doctor
or nurse or visitor or missionary amongst the poorer classes, and knows
that the mothers there met are of the very salt of the earth.

It is well to state plainly here that these utterly irresponsible
_dicta_ have absolutely no relation or resemblance whatever to the
opinions or proposals of Mr. Francis Galton himself, who desires to
effect race-culture through marriage, and whose whole propaganda is
based upon this assumption. This we shall afterwards see. Meanwhile
we may note Mr. Galton's own words: “The aim of eugenics is to bring
as many influences as can be reasonably employed, to cause the useful
classes in the community to contribute more than their proportion to
the next generation.” Mr. Galton would be the first to assert that
influences designed to supersede motherhood and to abolish everything
but the physical aspect of fatherhood, would not be reasonable, but
insane in the highest degree.

The ideal of race-culture without fatherhood or motherhood, except in
the mere physiological sense, constitutes a denial of the greatest
facts in evolution, as we have seen. It ignores everything that is
known and daily witnessed regarding the development of the individual,
and the formation of character, without which intelligence is a curse.
There is not the slightest fear that any such reversion to the order
of the beast is possible, absolutely forbidden as it is by the laws of
human nature. There is, however, reasonable ground for apprehension,
especially when the recent developments in Germany are remembered,
that the public may obtain its notions of eugenics in a highly-garbled

It must be asserted as fervently and plainly as possible that, if the
idea of race-culture is even in the smallest degree to be realised,
it must work through motherhood and fatherhood not less in their
psychical than in their physical aspects. It is time to have done with
the gross delusions of Nietzsche regarding the nature and course of
organic evolution. Morality is not an invention of man but man the
child of morality, and it is not by the abolition of motherhood, in
which morality originated, nor of fatherhood, its first ally, that
the super-man is to be evolved: but by the attainment of those lofty
conceptions of the function, the responsibility and the privilege of
parenthood which it is the first business of eugenics to inculcate.

As for marriage, invaluable though at its best it be for the completion
and ennoblement of the individual life, its great function for society
and for the race is in relation to childhood. Thus considered, the
dictum of Professor Westermarck may be understood, that children are
not the result of marriage but marriage the result of children.
This, in other words, is to say that marriage has become evolved
and established as a social institution because of its services to
race-culture. It is, in short, the supreme eugenic institution. This
great subject must next occupy our attention.

                               CHAPTER X

                        MARRIAGE AND MATERNALISM

Our present concern is the relation of marriage to race-culture,
and for this purpose we must investigate an epoch ages before the
institution of human marriage, ages before mankind itself. We must
first remind ourselves of what may be called the trend of progress
from the first in respect of that reproduction upon which all species
depend, all living individuals being mortal.

At first, in the effort for survival and increase, life tried
the quantitative method. If we take the present day bacteria as
representatives of the primitive method, we see that not quality nor
individuality but quantity and numbers are the means by which, in
their case, life seeks to establish itself more abundantly. We express
our own birth-rate in its proportion per year to one thousand living:
but twenty thousand bacteria injected into a rabbit have been found
to multiply into twelve thousand million in one day. “One bacterium
has been actually observed to rear a small family of eighty thousand
within a period of twenty-four hours.” “The cholera bacillus can
duplicate every twenty minutes, and might thus in one day become
5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, with the weight, according to the
calculations of Cohn, of about 7,366 tons. In a few days, at this rate,
there would be a mass of bacteria as big as the moon, huge enough to
fill the whole ocean.”

If now we trace the history of life up to man, we find in him--as
we have seen--the lowest birth-rate of any animal and the longest
ante-natal period in proportion to his body weight, the longest
period of maternal feeding, and by far the lowest infant mortality
and general death-rate. A chief fact of progress has been, in a word,
the supersession of the quantitative by the qualitative criterion of
survival-value. Immeasurably vast vital economy and efficiency have
thus been effected. The tendency of progress, in short--a tendency
coincident with the evolution of ever higher and higher species--is to
pass from the horrible Gargantuan wastefulness of the older methods
towards the evident but yet lamentably unrealised ideal--that every
child born shall reach maturity. This great historical tendency, which
will ultimately involve the restriction of parenthood to the fit, fine
and relatively few, has occurred under the impartial rule of natural
selection simply and solely because it has endowed with survival-value
the successive species in which it has been demonstrated.

=The rise of parenthood.=--Consistently with this fact and with
the argument of the previous chapter is the tendency towards
the lengthening of infancy, a very characteristic condition of
the evolution of the higher forms of life. This lengthening and
accentuation of infancy makes for variety of development, and, as
we have seen, is supremely instanced in man, where it depends upon,
and makes possible, the transmutation of fixed instincts into the
plastic thing we call intelligence. Thus, to quote the words of Dr.
Parsons,[44] “we find that as infancy is prolonged in the progress
of species, the care given to offspring by parents is increased. It
extends over a longer period and it is directed more and more towards
the total welfare of offspring. The need of a potentially many-sided
and enduring kind of parental care is filled through the social group
we call the family.”

Apart from those immensely significant creatures, the social insects,
we find well-marked though primitive signs of motherhood amongst the
fishes, and in a few cases, such as the stickleback, the beginnings of
fatherhood. But it is not until we reach the mammals, and especially
the monkeys and apes, that we find a great development of motherhood,
far more prolonged and far more important than the more frequently
extolled parental care found amongst the birds.

Very interesting, however, in the case of the fishes is the fact
observed by Sutherland that “as soon as the slightest trace of parental
care is discovered the chance of survival is increased and the
birth-rate is lowered.” As a general summary these words of Dr. Parsons
will serve:--“Diminution of offspring is a threefold gain to a species.
(1) It lessens the vital drain upon the parent. (2) It enables the
size and capacity of the limited number of offspring to be increased.
(3) In the case of the higher developments of parental care after
birth, it concentrates the advantage of that care upon a few instead of
scattering it, and thereby weakening its influence, upon many.”

Now how are these facts connected with that relation between the
parents which we call marriage, temporary or permanent, foreshadowed or

_It may be submitted that the racial function or survival-value of
marriage in all its forms, low or high, animal or human, consists in
its services to the principle of motherhood, these services depending
upon the help and strength which are afforded to motherhood by

=Animal marriage.=--Let us now look very briefly at the facts of animal
marriage from this point of view. The phrase, animal marriage, may
possibly offend the reader, but is there any reason to be offended
at the suggestion that the principle of marriage actually has a
warrant older even than mankind? It has lately been pointed out by a
distinguished naturalist, Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton, that animals, like
men, have long been groping, so to say, for an ideal form of marriage.
We now know, as will be shown, that, contrary to popular opinion,
promiscuity does not prevail amongst the lowest races of men. Equally
false is the popular notion that promiscuity prevails amongst most of
the lower animals. Promiscuity, it is true, does occur, but so also
does strict monogamy, “and promiscuous animals, such as rabbits and
voles, while high in the scale of fecundity, are low in the scale of
general development.” Says Mr. Seton: “It is commonly remarked that
while the Mosaic law did not expressly forbid polygamy, it surrounded
marriage with so many restrictions that by living up to the spirit
of them the Hebrew ultimately was forced into pure monogamy. It is
extremely interesting to note that the animals, in their blind groping
for an ideal form of union, have gone through the same stages, and have
arrived at exactly the same conclusion. Monogamy is their best solution
of the marriage question, and is the rule among all the higher and most
successful animals.”

The moose, Mr. Seton tells us, has several wives in one season but only
one at a time. The hawks practise monogamy lasting for one season, “the
male staying with the family, and sharing the care of the young till
they are well-grown.” The wolves consort for life, but the death of
one leaves the other free to mate again. There is a fourth method “in
which they pair for life, and, in case of death, the survivor remains
disconsolate and alone to the end. This seems absurd. It is the way of
the geese.” The point especially to be insisted upon as regards animal
marriage is its evident service to their race-culture, in accordance
with the principle here laid down that _marriage is of value because it
supports motherhood by fatherhood_, and that its different forms are
of value in proportion as they do so more or less effectively. We may
note also, as a corollary to this, that marriage must be more important
in proportion as the young of a species are helpless and in proportion
as their helplessness is long continued. The importance of marriage for
man, therefore, must necessarily be higher than for any of the lower

=Human marriage.=--We must turn now to human marriage, and the
principle which we must remember is that of survival-value. We are
discussing a natural phenomenon exhibited by living creatures. This is
what so few people realise when they speak of marriage. They cannot
disabuse themselves of the idea that it is a human invention, and
especially an ecclesiastical invention. Thus, on the one hand, it
is supported by persons who base its claims on mystical or dogmatic
grounds; whilst, on the other hand, it is attacked by those who are
opposed to ecclesiasticism or religion of any kind, and attacked in
the name of science--in which, if the fact could only be recognised,
is found every possible warrant and sanction, and indeed imperative
demand, for this most precious of all institutions. Here we must
endeavour to look upon it as an exceedingly ancient fact of life,
vastly more ancient than mankind; and in judging it and explaining
it we must apply Nature's universal criterion, which is that of
its survival-value or service to race-culture. Let us then glance
very briefly at the actual facts of human marriage--conceived as an
institution by which the survival-value of fatherhood is added to that
of motherhood.

The pioneer student of marriage from the standpoint of science was
Herbert Spencer, who with great labour supported the conclusion that
monogamy is the highest, best and latest form of marriage. But in the
absence of the great mass of evidence which is now before us, Spencer
too readily assumed the truth of the popular notion that promiscuity
was the primitive state, and taught that human marriage has developed
from this through polygamy towards the ideal of monogamy. The work
of Professor Westermarck, however--Spencer's chief follower in this
path--has shown, and later writers have abundantly confirmed it, that
this primitive promiscuity never existed. There is no nation or race
or clan of man now extant, however primitive or barbaric, that has
not definite marriage laws; there is no society on earth, however
rude, that does not punish the unfaithful wife. Furthermore, polygamy,
the only historical rival of monogamy, is now known to have played a
quite trivial part in history, not merely compared with monogamy, but
as compared with that which it was supposed to have played. Even in
countries which we call polygamous to-day, polygamy is the relatively
rare exception and monogamy the rule. On this most important question
it is well, however, to quote the words of Professor Westermarck

  “The great majority of peoples are, as a rule, monogamous, and
  the other forms of marriage are usually modified in a monogamous
  direction.” “As to the history of the forms of human marriage, two
  inferences regarding monogamy and polygyny may be made with absolute
  certainty; monogamy, always the predominant form of marriage, has
  been more prevalent at the lowest stages of civilisation than at
  somewhat higher stages; whilst, at a still higher stage, polygyny has
  again, to a great extent, yielded to monogamy.” “We may thus take it
  for granted that civilisation, up to a certain point, is favourable
  to polygyny; but it is equally certain that in its highest forms
  it leads to monogamy.” “But, though civilisation up to a certain
  point is favourable to polygyny, _its higher forms invariably and
  necessarily lead to monogamy_.”

It is the principle of survival-value that explains the dominance of
monogamy at all stages of human society--with the single exception
of continuously and wholly militant societies, in which polygamy
obtained in consequence of the great numerical excess of women. It is
the fate of the children, in which everything is involved, that has
determined the history of human marriage. Furthermore, we may see here
one more illustration of the truth that quality is ousting quantity in
the course of progress, and that a low birth-rate represents a more
advanced stage than a high birth-rate. The birth-rate under polygamy
is undoubtedly high, but polygamy does not make for the survival and
health of the children, and the infant mortality is gigantic. As I have
said elsewhere, “the form of marriage which does not permit the babies
to survive, _they_ do not permit to survive. There is the beginning and
the end of the whole matter in a nutshell. It is not a question of the
father's taste and fancy, but of what he leaves above ground when the
worms are eating him below.... No system yet conceived can compare for
a moment with monogamy in respect of the one criterion which time and
death recognise, the fate of the children.”

In a word, the wholly adequate and only possible explanation of
the historical fact of the dominance of monogamy is its supreme
survival-value. It has competed with every other kind of sex relation
and has been selected by natural selection because of its supreme
service for race-culture--the most perfect conceivable addition of
fatherhood to motherhood.

=Plato and motherhood.=--Thus eugenics must repudiate not only the
ideas of Mr. Shaw on this subject, but the teaching of Plato, from whom
Mr. Shaw's ideas on this particular subject are apparently derived. It
is in the fifth book of his _Republic_ that the pioneer eugenist lays
down his ideas for race-culture. He realised, indeed, the importance,
after birth, of the nurture of children--“it is of considerable, nay,
of the utmost importance to the State, when this is rightly performed
or otherwise;” and he refers also to their nurture while very young,
“in the period between their generation and their education, which
seems to be the most troublesome of all.” His method involved a
complete community of wives and children amongst the guardians of the
State, and on no account were the parents to know their own children
nor the children their parents. The best were to be chosen for parents,
on the analogy of animal race-culture by man. The children of inferior
parents were to be killed. The others were to be conveyed to the common
nursery of the city, but every precaution was to be taken that _no
mother should know her own child_. This practice was to be the cardinal
point of the Republic and “the cause of the greatest good to the city.”

We see here, then, that the very first proposals for race-culture
involved the destruction of marriage and the family, and a total denial
of the value of the psychical aspects of motherhood and fatherhood
alike. Plato's first critic, however, his own great pupil Aristotle,
devoted the best part of his work, the _Politics_, to showing that the
suggestions of Plato were not only wrong in themselves, but would not
secure his end. Aristotle showed, in the words of Mr. Barker, that “the
destruction of the family, and the substitution in its place of one
vast clan, would lead but to the destruction of warm feelings, and the
substitution of a sentiment which is to them as water is to wine....
So with the system of common marriage, as opposed to monogamy. The one
encourages at best a poor and shadowy sentiment, while it denies to
man the satisfaction of natural instinct and the education of family
life; the other is natural and right, both because it is based on those
instincts, and because it satisfies the moral nature of man, in giving
him objects of permanent yet vivid interest above and beyond himself.”
The truth of this matter is that the rest may reason and welcome--but
we fathers know.

=Marriage a eugenic instrument.=--It has definitely to be stated, then,
that the abolition of marriage and the family is in no degree whatever
a part of the eugenic proposal. We desire to achieve race-culture by
and through marriage, on the lines which indeed many lower races of
men successfully practise at the present day. We must make parenthood
more responsible, not less so. It will afterwards be shown that the
suggested incompatibility between marriage and the family, on the one
hand, and race-culture or eugenics on the other, does not exist. It
will be shown that we have in marriage not only the greatest instrument
of race-culture that has yet been employed--half-consciously--by man,
but also an instrument supremely fitted, and indeed without a rival,
for the conscious, deliberate, and scientific intentions of modern
eugenists. The applicability of marriage for this purpose will be
shown by reference to actual facts. Mr. Galton himself has shown how
effectively an educated public opinion can employ marriage for the
purposes of race-culture, its services to which have indeed led to its
evolution. It has furthermore to be added that only the formation of
public opinion can ever lead to the ideal which we desire. This opinion
already exists in some degree as regards one or two transmissible
diseases, and, though without adequate scientific warrant, as regards
the marriage of first cousins. In these respects it is not without some
measure of effectiveness, and the fact is of the utmost promise.

“Marriage,” said Goethe, “is the origin and the summit of all
civilisation.” Perhaps it would be more accurate to say _the family_
rather than _marriage_. The childless marriage may be and often is a
thing of the utmost beauty and value to the individuals concerned,
but it is certainly not the origin of civilisation, and if it be
its summit it is also its grave. The eugenic support of marriage,
therefore, depends upon a belief in the family, and that form of
marriage will commend itself which provides the best form of family.
From the point of view of certain eugenists, polygamy would be
desirable in many cases, as extending the parental opportunities of
the man of fine physique or intellectual distinction. The problem
remains, however, as to the nurture of the children so obtained, and
historical study returns us a very clear answer as to the relative
merits of the polygamous family and the monogamous family. It is this
last that pre-eminently justifies itself on the score of its services
to childhood and therefore to the race. Its survival is a matter of
absolute certainty, because of its survival-value. Neither Plato nor
Mr. Shaw, nor any kind of collectivist legislation will permanently
abolish it.

=The principle of maternalism.=--The merits of monogamy can be
defined in terms of the principle which I would venture to call
maternalism--the principle of the permanent and radical importance of
motherhood and whatever institutions afford it the greatest aid.

Maternalism would point, I think, to the supreme paradox that the
dominant creature of the earth is born of woman, and born the most
absolutely helpless of all living creatures whatsoever, animal or
vegetable; it would note that this utter dependence upon others, mother
or foster-mother, is not only the most unqualified known, but the
longest maintained; it would observe that of all the human beings now
alive, all that have lived, all that are to be, not one could survive
its birth for twenty-four hours but for motherhood; it would note that
only motherhood has rendered possible the development of instinct into
that intelligence which, itself dependent upon motherhood for the
possibility of its development, has dependent upon it the fact that
the earth is now man's and the fulness thereof; and to the advocates
of all the political -isms that can be named, and the small proportion
of them that can be defined, it would apply its specific criterion:
Do you regard the safeguarding and the ennoblement of motherhood as
the proximate end of all political action, the end through which
the ultimate ends, the production and recognition of human worth,
can alone be attained; do you realise that marriage is invaluable
_because_ it makes for the enthronement of motherhood as nothing else
ever did or can; do you realise that, metaphors about State maternity
notwithstanding, the State has neither womb nor breasts, these most
reverend and divine of all vital organs being the appanage of the
individual mother alone?

The maternalist principle being assumed, and the value of monogamy on
the ground that it supports motherhood by fatherhood, the forthcoming
discussion as to the possibilities of race-culture will assume the
persistence of monogamy and will centre upon the possibility of
selecting or rejecting, for the purposes of race-culture, those who are
available for entrance into the marriage state. The reader who has not
studied social anthropology--and this is true of nearly all the critics
of eugenics, very few of whom have studied anything--will be astounded,
I believe, to discover the practically unlimited extent to which public
opinion, whether or not formulated as law, has always been capable of
controlling marriage, and therefore, race-culture.

=Proposed definition of marriage.=--Recognising the existence
of subhuman marriage, we may be at a loss to define marriage as
distinguished from sex-relations in general. It is that form of
sex-relation which involves or is adapted to _common parental care_ of
the offspring--the support of motherhood by fatherhood.


                               CHAPTER XI

                           NEGATIVE EUGENICS

  N'abandonnons pas l'avenir de notre race à la fatalité d'Allah;
  créons-le nous-mêmes.--Forel.

  “It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed,
  leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but except in the case
  of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst
  animals to breed.

  “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated, and
  those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We
  civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process
  of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maim and the
  sick; we institute poor laws; and our medical men exert their utmost
  skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment.... Thus the
  weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who
  has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this
  must be highly injurious to the race of man.”--Darwin, _The Descent
  of Man_, 1871. Pt. i., chap. v.

Hitherto we have mainly concerned ourselves with broad aspects of
theory, endeavouring to prove that conscious race-culture is a
necessity for any civilisation which is to endure, and to show how
alone it can be effected. But evidently for a great many of the
practical proposals that might be, and for not a few that have been,
based upon these views, public opinion is not ripe. We may be thankful
to believe that for some it will never be ripe: it would be rotten
first. Marriage, for instance, we hold sacred and essential: we find
intolerable the idea of the human stud-farm; we are very dubious as
to the help of surgery; we are much more than dubious as to the
lethal chamber. It is necessary to be reasonable, and, in seeking
the superman, to remain at least human. Now if we are to achieve any
immediate success we must clearly divide our proposals, as the present
writer did some years ago, with Mr. Galton's approval, into two
classes: _positive eugenics_ and _negative eugenics_. The one would
seek to encourage the parenthood of the worthy, the other to discourage
the parenthood of the unworthy. Positive eugenics is the original
eugenics, but, as the writer endeavoured to show at the time, negative
eugenics is one with it in principle. The two are complementary, and
are both practised by Nature: natural selection is one with natural
rejection. To choose is to refuse.

In regard to positive eugenics I, for one, must ever make the criticism
that I cannot believe in the propriety of attempting to bribe into
parenthood people who have no love of children: we have to consider
the parental environment of the children we desire, as well as their
innate quality. Thus, positive eugenics must largely take the form, at
present, of removing such disabilities as now weigh upon the desirable
members of the community, especially of the more prudent sort.

For instance, it was recently pointed out by a correspondent of the
_Morning Post_ that in Great Britain, despite the alarm caused by the
decreasing marriage-rate, no one has protested against--

  “... the tax which the propertied middle classes have to pay on
  marriage.... To take a few instances. Two persons each having £160 a
  year marry. Previous to marriage they were exempt from income tax;
  after marriage they pay £6 per annum. Two persons each having £400 a
  year pay £18 before and £30 after marriage. Similarly the additional
  income tax payable on marriage by people each having £600 a year is
  £9, by those having £1,200 a year £30, and by those having £2,000 a
  year £50. It is difficult to see how our legislators arrived at this
  result unless they started to average the incomes of married people
  and then forgot to divide by two.... If, as I contend, a man and his
  wife should be counted as two people, not one, should not children
  also be counted in any scheme of graduated taxation, and an income
  be divided by the number of persons it has to support in order to
  fix the rate at which the tax is to be charged? It is ridiculous to
  suppose that a man with a wife and six children is as well off on
  £1,000 a year as a bachelor with the same income. It is, I believe,
  acknowledged that the moderately well-off professional classes marry
  later and have fewer children than the wage-earners, and I think
  there can be no doubt that the special burthens they have to bear
  is a material influence contributing to this result. Thus, while we
  are deploring the decadence of the race, the State is doing what it
  can to discourage marriage in a class whose children would in all
  probability prove its most valued citizens.”

But it is in negative eugenics that we can accomplish most at this
stage, and in so doing can steadily educate public opinion, the
professional jesters notwithstanding. There is here a field for action
which does not demand a great revolution in the popular point of view;
and, further, does not require us to wait for certainty until the facts
and laws of heredity have been much further elucidated. The services
which a conscious race-culture, thus directed, may even now accomplish,
can scarcely be over-estimated; and even if we cannot reach the public
heart at once we can reach the public head by means of the public
pocket--which will benefit obviously and greatly when these proposals
are carried out. As Thoreau observes, for a thousand who are lopping
off the branches of an evil there is but one striking at its roots. If
we strike at the roots of certain grave and costly evils of the present
day, we shall abundantly demonstrate that this is a matter of the most
vital economy.

=The deaf and dumb.=--We might begin with the case of the _deaf and
dumb_, since the facts here are utterly beyond dispute. The condition
known as deaf-mutism is congenital or due to innate defect in about
one-half of all the cases in Great Britain. Says Dr. Love,[45] “In
every institution examples may be found of deaf-mute children who have
one or two deaf parents or grand-parents, and of two or more deaf-mute
children belonging to one family.” A recent report from Japan is of
a similar order, and the evidence might be multiplied indefinitely.
The obvious conclusion that the inherently deaf should not marry “is
generally conceded by those who work amongst the deaf, but the present
arrangements for the education of the deaf, and their management in
missions and institutes for the deaf during the period of adolescence,
is eminently fitted to encourage union between the congenitally
deaf. If not during the school period, at least during the period of
adolescence, everything should be done to discourage the association
of the deaf and dumb with each other, and the danger of their meeting
with those similarly afflicted should be constantly kept before the
congenitally deaf by those in charge of them.” Dr. Love quotes the
following newspaper report: “At an inquest yesterday, on William
Earnshaw, 59, a St. Pancras saddler, it was stated that the relatives
could not identify the body, as the wife and sister were blind, deaf
and dumb, and that the four children were deaf and dumb. The deceased
was deaf and dumb, and was so when he was married.”

=The feeble-minded.=--The case of the _feeble-minded_ is of course
parallel. The problem would be at once reduced to negligible
proportions if all cases of feeble-mindedness were dealt with as they
should be. These unfortunate people might lead quite happy lives,
the utmost be done for their feeble capacities, the supreme demands
of the law of love be completely but providently complied with.
The feeble-minded girl might be protected from herself and from
others--her fate otherwise is often too deplorable for definition--and
the interests of the future be not compromised. These words were
written whilst awaiting the long overdue Report of the Royal Commission
on this subject--which abundantly confirms them. The proportion of
the mentally defective in Great Britain is now 0.83 per cent., and it
is doubtless rising yearly. Only by the recognition and application
of negative eugenics can this evil be cured. I have elsewhere[46]
discussed the supposed objection which will be raised in the name of
“liberty” by persons who think in words instead of realities. The right
care of the feeble-minded involves the greatest happiness and liberty
and self-development possible for them. The interests of the individual
and the race are one. What liberty has the feeble-minded prostitute,
such as our streets are filled with?

=The insane.=--As regards obvious _insanity_, the same principles of
negative eugenics must be enforced. It is probably fair to say that the
whole trend of modern research has been to accentuate the importance,
if not indeed the indispensableness, of the inherent or inherited
factor in the production of insanity. Yet, on the other hand, the trend
of treatment of the insane has undoubtedly been towards permitting
them more liberty, sometimes of the kind which the principles of
race-culture must condemn. It is well, of course, that we should
be humane in our treatment of the insane. It is well that curative
medicine should do its utmost for them, and it seems well, at first
sight, that the proportion of discharges from asylums on the score of
recovery should be as high as it is. But at this point the possibility
of the gravest criticism evidently arises. I have no intention
whatever of exposing the question of race-culture to legitimate
criticism by laying down dogmatically any doctrines as to the perpetual
incarceration of insane persons, including those who have been, but
are not now, insane. Pope was, of course, right when he hinted at the
nearness of the relation between _certain forms_ of genius and certain
forms of insanity. It may well be that if we could provide a fit
environment we might welcome the children of some of those, highly and
perhaps uniquely gifted in brain, who, under the stress of the ordinary
environment of modern life, have broken down for shorter or longer
periods. On the other hand, there are forms of insanity which, beyond
all dispute, should utterly preclude their victims from parenthood. As
a result of recent controversies it seems on the whole probable, if not
certain, that the apparent persistent increase in the proportion of
the insane in civilised countries generally during many years past, is
a real increase, and not due simply to such factors as more stringent
certification or increase of public confidence in lunatic asylums. If,
then, there be in process a real increase in the proportion of the
insane, who will question that no time should be lost in ascertaining
the extent--undoubtedly most considerable--to which the principles of
negative eugenics can be invoked in order to arrest it?

As regards _epilepsy_ and _epileptic insanity_ there can be no
question. There is, of course, such a thing as acquired epilepsy, and
we may even assume for the sake of the argument that no inherent and
therefore transmissible factor of predisposition is involved in such
cases. Yet, wholly excluding them, there remains the vast majority
of cases in which epilepsy and epileptic insanity are unquestionably
germinal in origin, and therefore transmissible. The principle of
negative eugenics cannot too soon be applied here.

=The criminal.=--When we come to consider the question of _crime_
the cautious and responsible eugenist is bound to be wary--chiefly,
perhaps, because such a vast amount of sheer nonsense has been written
on this subject. The whole question, of course, is the old one, Is it
heredity or environment that produces the criminal? If and when it is
the environment, race-culture has nothing to do with the question,
since the merely acquired criminality is, as we know, not in any
degree transmissible. If the criminal, however, is always or ever a
“born criminal,” then the eugenist is intimately concerned. At the
one extreme are those who tell us that the idea of crime is a purely
conventional one, that the criminal is the product of circumstances or
environment, and that we, in his case, would have done likewise. The
remedy for crime, then, is education. It is pointed out, however, that
education merely modifies the variety of crime. There is less murder
but more swindling, and so forth. Then, on the other hand, there are
those who declare that criminality is innate, and that if we are to
make an end of crime we must attach surgeons to our gaols; or at any
rate must extend the principle of the life-sentence.

Doubtless, the truth lies between these two extremes. In the face
of the work of Lombroso and his school, exaggerated though their
conclusions often be, we cannot dispute the existence of the born
criminal, and the criminal type. There are undoubtedly many such
persons in modern society. There is an abundance of crime which no
education, practised or imaginable, would eliminate. Present-day
psychology and medicine, and, for the matter of that, ordinary
common-sense, can readily distinguish cases at both extremes--the
_mattoid_ or semi-insane criminal at one end, and the decent citizen
who yields to exceptional temptation at the other end. Thus, even
though there remain a vast number of cases where our knowledge is
insufficient, we could accomplish great things already if the born
criminal, the habitual criminal and his like were rationally treated
by society, on the lines of the reformatory, the labour colony,
indeterminate sentences, and such other methods as aim, successfully or
unsuccessfully, at the reform of the individual, whilst incidentally
protecting the race. Here, as in some other cases, the nature of the
environment provided for their children by certain sections of the
community may be taken into account when we decide whether they are
to be prohibited from parenthood. Heredity or no heredity, we cannot
desire to have children born into the alcoholic home; heredity or no
heredity, we cannot desire to have children born into the criminal
environment. In Great Britain we are no longer to manufacture criminals
in hundreds by sending children to prison. It remains to be seen, after
the practical disappearance of the made criminal, what proportion
of crime is really due to the born criminal. He, when found, must
certainly be dealt with on the lines indicated by our principles.[47]

=Other cases.=--So far we have considered exclusively diseases and
disorders of the brain, the question of alcoholism being deferred to
a special chapter. When we come to other forms of defect or disease
we find a long gradation of instances: at the one extreme being cases
where the fact of disastrous inheritance is palpable and inevitable,
whilst at the other extreme are kinds of disease and defect as to which
the share of heredity is still very uncertain. In some instances, then,
the eugenist is bound to lay down the most emphatic propositions,
as, for instance, that parenthood on the part of men suffering from
certain diseases is and should and must be regarded and treated as a
crime of the most heinous order: whilst in other instances all we can
say is that here is a direction in which more knowledge is needed.

Some particular cases may be referred to.

The diseases known as Daltonism or colour-blindness, and hæmophilia
or the “bleeding disease,” are certainly hereditary. The sufferers
are usually male, but the disease is commonly transmitted by their
daughters (who do not themselves suffer) to their male descendants.
As regards colour-blindness, the defect is evidently insufficient
to concern the eugenist, but hæmophilia is a serious disease, the
transmission of which should not be excused. It may seem hard to assert
that the daughter of a hæmophilic father should not become a mother,
she herself being free from all disease. But it has to be remembered
that the possibility of this hardship depends upon the fact that a
hæmophilic man has become a father, as he should not have done.

This point, as to the amount of hardship involved in the observance
of negative race-culture, has always to be kept in mind. If negative
eugenics were generally enforced upon a given generation some
persons would, of course, suffer in greater or less degree from the
disabilities imposed upon them. But their number would depend upon the
neglect of eugenics by previous generations, and _thereafter the number
of those upon whom our principles pressed hardly would be relatively

=Eugenics and tuberculosis.=--It would not be correct to say that
the old view of consumption regarded it as hereditary. In this and a
hundred other matters, medical, astronomical, or what we please, if
we go back to the Arabic students, or further, to the Greeks, we are
lucky enough to find sound observation and reasoning. Many quotations
might be made to show that the infectious nature of tuberculosis was
recognised long ago, just as the revolution of the earth round the
sun was recognised a millennium and a half before Copernicus. But
the view of our more immediate fathers was that tuberculosis is a
hereditary degeneration, and the medical profession proclaimed with no
uncertain sound the hopeless and paralysing doctrine that an almost
certain doom hung over the children of the consumptive. Then, in
memorable succession, came Villemin, Pasteur, and lastly Koch, with
his discovery of the bacillus in 1882. The doctrine was then altered
in its statement. There was, of course, no choice in the matter, since
it was easy to show that not one new-born baby in millions harbours
a tubercle bacillus; so all-but-miraculous and, rightly considered,
beautiful are the ante-natal defences. It was taught, then, that we
inherit a predisposition from consumptive parents, that the bacillus
is ubiquitous, and that variations in susceptibility determine the
incidence of the disease in one and not in another. It was lightly
assumed (simply through what may be called the inertia of belief)
that these variations in susceptibility were hereditary; but we are
wholly without evidence that the hereditary factor counts for anything
substantial, even assuming that it appreciably exists at all. These
differences, so far from being inherent, may be _most palpably_
acquired. Under-feeding, alcohol, and influenza, let us say, will
adequately prepare any human soil. Furthermore, we are learning that
the bacillus is nothing like so ubiquitous as used to be supposed.
Tuberculosis is now sometimes described as a dwelling disease. It might
probably be described with still more accuracy as a bed-room disease,
or a bed-room and public-house disease. It has been evident for many
years past that the more we learnt about tuberculosis the less did
we talk about heredity; and in one of the most recent authoritative
pronouncements[48] upon the subject, the lecturer did not even allude
to heredity at all. Many readers will be up in arms at once with
apparently contrary instances; and much labour may be spent in the
mathematical analysis of statistical data--as that of cases where a
father and a child have tuberculosis. But suppose the father kissed the
child? What have you proved regarding heredity? No mathematics can get
more out of the data than is in them.

The statistics designed to measure the degree of inheritance in this
disease labour under the cardinal fallacy of assuming that where father
and son suffer, the case is one of inheritance, and then proceed to
measure the average extent of this inheritance. These statistics are
so much waste paper and ink--assuming what they claim to prove. They
do not allow for the fact that the child is very frequently exposed
in grave measure to infection by the parent; they ignore wholly,
indeed, the entire question of exposure to infection, both as regards
its extent in time and the virulence of the infection in question.
At the present day, discussions as to the inheritance of consumption
and tuberculosis in general are not fit for practical application:
and a practical disservice is rendered by those who seek to divert
public attention from the removable environmental causes upon which
the disease mainly depends. We know, for instance, that the incidence
of tuberculosis is directly proportional to over-crowding: this being
universally true, we must work to abolish over-crowding and to provide
fresh air for every one by day and by night. When that is done,
alcoholism disposed of, and our milk-supply purified, we may turn to
the question of heredity: but the incidence of the disease will then
present merely trivial instead of the present appalling proportions.

It is not asserted that inherent variations in susceptibility to
this disease are not existent. The case would be unique if it were
so. But it is asserted that the more we learn of the disease the
less importance we attach to this factor, and the more surely do
we see that the three syllables constituting the word “infection”
substantially suffice to dispose of all the confident dogmas with
which we are too familiar. One is almost tempted to quote a forcible
phrase of Mill's, and say that, given this point of view, “once
questioned, they are doomed.” The only method of accurately studying
the question of inherited predisposition would be by comparative study
of the resistance of new-born infants as measured by their “opsonic
index”--which may be (very roughly) described as the measure of the
power of the white cells of the blood to eat up tubercle bacilli.[49]
Nor will even this method be free from fallacy.

The present writer believes that eugenics is going to save the world;
that there is no study of such urgent and practical importance as that
of heredity; that if we get the right people born and the wrong people
not born, forms of government and such questions will be left even
without fools to contest regarding them. Thus he has every bias in
favour of emphasising the hereditary factor in tuberculosis. The fact
will at least not discredit the foregoing views, which are in absolute
accord with those of Dr. Newsholme, our leading authority, in his
recent work upon the subject.

Nothing need here be said about cancer, the best and most recent
evidence tending to show that the disease is not hereditary.

The foregoing may briefly suffice to illustrate the general proposition
that negative eugenics will seek to define the diseases and defects
which are really hereditary, to name those the transmission of which
is already certainly known to occur, and to raise the average of the
race by interfering as far as may be with the parenthood of persons
suffering from these transmissible disorders. Only thus can certain
of the gravest evils of society, as, for instance, feeble-mindedness,
insanity, and crime due to inherited degeneracy, be suppressed: and if
race-culture were absolutely incapable of effecting anything whatever
in the way of increasing the fertility of the worthiest classes and
individuals, its services in the negative direction here briefly
outlined would still be of incalculable value. No other proposal will
save so much life, present and to come: and save so much gold in doing
so--as one would insist if one were writing a eugenic primer for
politicians. To this policy we shall most certainly come: but here,
as in other cases, I trust far more in the influence of an educated
public opinion than in legislation; though there are certain forms of
transmissible disease, interfering in no way with the responsibility of
the individual, the transmission of which should be visited with the
utmost rigour of the law and regarded as utterly criminal no less than
sheer murder.

In the next chapter, recognising marriage as the human mode of
selection, we must consider it in its relation to eugenics, both
positive and negative.

                              CHAPTER XII

                       SELECTION THROUGH MARRIAGE

=Historical evidence of control of marriage: Westermarck's
evidence.=--To begin with the most recent refutation of the doctrine
that marriage selection is uncontrollable, one may quote from the
inaugural lecture delivered by Dr. Westermarck in December, 1907, on
his appointment as Professor of Sociology in the University of London.
He said:--

  “For instance, when the suggestion has been made that the law should
  step in and prevent unfit individuals from contracting marriage,
  the objection has at once been raised that any such measure would
  be impracticable. Now we find that many savages have tried the
  experiment and succeeded. Mr. Im Thurn tells us that among the wild
  Indians of Guiana, a man, before he is allowed to choose a wife, must
  prove that he can do a man's work and is able to support himself
  and his family. In various Bechuana and Kaffir tribes, according
  to Livingstone, a youth is prohibited from marrying until he has
  killed a rhinoceros. Among the Dyaks of Borneo no one can marry
  until he has in his possession a certain number of human skulls.
  Among the Arabs of Upper Egypt a man must undergo an ordeal of
  whipping by the relatives of his bride, in order to test his courage;
  and if he wishes to be considered worth having, he must receive
  the chastisement, which is sometimes exceedingly severe, with an
  expression of enjoyment.

  “I do not say that these particular methods are worthy of slavish
  imitation, but the principle underlying them is certainly excellent,
  and especially the fact that they are recognised and enforced by
  custom shows that it has been quite possible among many people to
  prohibit certain unfit individuals from marrying. The question
  naturally arises whether, after all, something of the same kind may
  not be possible among ourselves.”

=Mr. Galton's evidence.=--But Mr. Galton himself, with his
characteristic thoroughness, and in full recognition of the fact that
this young science must meet ignorant as well as other objections, read
before the Sociological Society[50] a paper entitled “Restrictions
in Marriage,” with special reference to the objection “that human
nature would never brook interference with the freedom of marriage....
How far have marriage restrictions proved effective, when sanctified
by the religion of the time, by custom and by law? I appeal from
armchair criticism to historical facts.” Mr. Galton then proceeds to
quote seven forms of restriction in marriage which have actually been
practised--monogamy, endogamy, exogamy, Australian marriages, taboo,
prohibited degrees and celibacy. He shows how powerful under each of
these heads is the influence of “immaterial motives” upon marriage
selection, how they may all become hallowed by religion, accepted as
custom and enforced by law. “Persons who are born under their various
rules, live under them without any objection. They are unconscious of
their restrictions as we are unaware of the tension of the atmosphere.”
In many cases the establishment of monogamy and the prohibition
of polygamy “has been due not to any natural instinct against the
practice, but to consideration of social well-being.” “It was penal
for a Greek to marry a barbarian, for a Roman patrician to marry a
plebeian, for a Hindoo of one caste to marry one of another caste,
and so forth. Similar restrictions have been enforced in multitudes
of communities, even under the penalty of death.” Cases from ancient
Jewish law are quoted; and, to take a very different case, that of the
marriage rule amongst the Australian bushmen, it is shown that “the
cogency of this rule is due to custom, religion and law, and is so
strong that nearly all Australians would be horrified at the idea of
breaking it.” Passing further on, one need offer no excuse for quoting,
regarding marriage in general, the following words of the founder of
eugenics:--“_The institution of marriage as now sanctified by religion
and safeguarded by law in the more highly civilised nations, may not
be ideally perfect, nor may it be universally accepted in future
times, but it is the best that has hitherto been devised for the
parties primarily concerned, for their children, for home life, and for

Mr. Galton then proceeds to show how extensive are the restrictions in
marriage already recognised and practised amongst ourselves and quite
contentedly accepted. He proves also that our objection to marriage
within prohibited degrees depends mainly upon what he calls immaterial
considerations, and adds “it is quite conceivable that a non-eugenic
marriage should hereafter excite no less loathing than that of a
brother and sister would do now.” Then, in allusion to the possibility
“of a whole-hearted acceptance of eugenics as a national religion ...
the thorough conviction by a nation that no worthier object exists
for man than the improvement of his own race,” Mr. Galton shows from
the history of conventual life what abundant evidence there is “of
the power of religious authority in directing and withstanding the
tendencies of human nature towards freedom in marriage.” This paper
was discussed by no less than twenty-six authorities, British and
Continental, and in his reply Mr. Galton observes that not one of them
impugns his main conclusion “that history tells how restrictions in
marriage, even of an excessive kind, have been contentedly accepted
very widely, under the guidance of what I called immaterial motives.”
Lastly, we may note Mr. Galton's admirable distinction between the
two stages of love, “that of slight inclination and that of falling
thoroughly into love, for it is the first of these rather than the
second that I hope the popular feeling of the future will successfully
resist. Every match-making mother appreciates the difference. If a
girl is taught to look upon a class of men as tabooed, whether owing
to rank, creed, connections or other causes, she does not regard them
as possible husbands and turns her thoughts elsewhere. The proverbial
‘Mrs. Grundy’ has enormous influence in checking the marriages she
considers indiscreet.”

Surely all the foregoing suffices to show, first, that eugenics or
race-culture is compatible with marriage, and secondly, that it is
compatible with the love of the sexes--two conclusions of the most
cardinal and fundamental importance. This importance it is, and the
obstinate stupidity of critics of a kind, which must excuse me for
having devoted so much space to propositions which the thoughtful
reader would naturally have arrived at for himself.

=The present influence of marriage on race-culture.=--We must turn now
from the past to the present aspect of the question, viz., the actual
relation of marriage to eugenics at the present day. Its nature is
very much disputed. On the one hand, there are those who see in our
present methods what has elsewhere been called reversed selection--that
is to say, an anti-eugenic process, involving the mating of the least
desirable. On the other hand, there are many conservative critics who,
starting from a general opposition to any new thing, such as eugenics,
maintain that we are doing very well as we are, and that, without any
conscious interference, as they call it--as if there were no such
interference--selection by marriage is actually working for the eugenic
end. Dr. Maudsley, for instance, is “not sure but that nature in its
own blind impulsive way does not manage things better than we can by
any light of reason”: an astounding opinion from the veteran pioneer
who has devoted so many decades to successfully modifying natural
processes by the light of his own splendid reason!

This most important question, as to what is actually happening within
the limits of marriage, may legitimately be regarded as substantially
equivalent to the question of the extent and nature of selection,
for good or for evil, as it occurs in society to-day. If we remember
that an overwhelming proportion of children are born in wedlock,
that the death-rate of illegitimate children is gigantic, whilst
the illegitimate birth-rate is generally falling, we shall be fully
entitled to assume that the answer to the one question is the answer
to the other; in a word, if under the present conditions of selection
for marriage we find a eugenic tendency or an anti-eugenic tendency or
a mere neutrality, the answer will be, _on the whole_, the approximate
answer to the larger question as to the present state of selection
for parenthood and therefore of our racial prospects, marriage or no
marriage. The conclusion which we shall maintain is that _both forms
of selection occur in society to-day_--the selection of the desirable
and the selection of the undesirable. We shall go ludicrously wrong
if we agree, with one party, that society in general to-day exhibits
reversed selection; or, with the second party, that everything is
going on admirably on the whole; or, with the third party, which
jumbles the whole mass of facts and tendencies, and declares that
there is no process of selection of any kind occurring in society
to-day--an opinion which, in the face of disease, the enormous
premature death-rate, and the fact that whilst vast numbers of women
are unmarried, the choice of women for marriage does not occur by lot,
beggars comment; is a girl with a birth-mark covering half her face,
or a nose destroyed by transmissible disease, as likely to marry as
a “beauty”? If not, surely we actually select to-day for beauty and
therefore for whatever beauty depends upon--for instance, health. But
really it cannot be necessary to deal seriously with the proposition
that no selection occurs in society to-day.

Let us attempt to state clearly the point at issue. There is granted,
in the first place, that by far the greater part of all parenthood,
in civilised and uncivilised communities alike, occurs within the
limits of marriage; to which may be added that, owing to the excessive
death-rate of illegitimate children, the proportion of effective
parenthood, so to say, that occurs within the limits of marriage is
even larger; and this intervention of marriage, and any selection that
may be involved in it, steadily recur from generation to generation.
Thus even those born outside wedlock will nevertheless be selected
for parenthood, on their own part, mainly by the selective factors in

=Selection by marriage has the last word.=--It follows, then, though
the fact is almost constantly ignored by eugenic writers, that
selection by marriage in effect has the last word. Thus supposing
that all other forms of selection, depending upon, for instance,
the various causes of death amongst the immature, were what we call
reversed selection; or supposing that, as is actually the case, society
permitted large numbers of the so-called unfit to survive,--even
so, marriage selection (if it meant that many or most of these were
rejected by it) would control and correct the dangerous tendency. On
all hands, scientific and unscientific, we have writers telling us of
the disastrous multiplication of the unfit. Such multiplication does
occur and is disastrous. Yet hitherto they have failed to recognise
that if--to take an extreme case--all these unfit are rejected
by marriage selection--that is to say, do not themselves become
parents--this alarming multiplication is, after all, not a persistent
factor in racial change, but merely the throwing up or throwing aside
in each generation of a certain number of undesirables _whose breed
gets no further_. Of course there would be much less urgent need for
eugenics if this last were wholly and happily the case. Our object,
indeed, is to make it the case: but so long as selection by marriage
exists,--and its occurrence is palpably indisputable--_it is a
serious flaw in the common argument to assume that the production and
preservation of undesirables necessarily involves their own parenthood
in due course_. It is necessary that strict statistical enquiry be
made on this point. It would show, I believe, that the marriage-rate
_and the birth-rate_ amongst the _grossly_ unfit is much lower than
that of the general community, or, in other words, that the influence
and value of selection by marriage (which, as we have shown, is in
effect selection for parenthood, the only selection that ultimately
matters) has not yet been fully appreciated. I very strongly incline
to the view that if this protective factor were not constantly at
work, the “multiplication of the unfit” would long ago have led to
the destruction of every civilised nation on the earth: they would
have swamped us long ago. Indeed, the proposition may be laid down
that, supreme and indispensable as are the services of marriage to
race-culture, in its protection of motherhood, and the support of
motherhood by fatherhood, probably the services of marriage as in
effect the working of sexual selection are worthy of being rated
almost, if not quite, as high.

=Sexual selection is certainly true of mankind.=--Before adducing
the outlines of the evidence in favour of marriage as an instrument
of selection, it may be well to point out that here we are really
discussing what Darwin called “sexual selection,” modified by the
psychology and peculiar characters of mankind. We must protect
ourselves from the critics who will remind us that sexual selection
is very largely discredited to-day, rather more than a generation
after Darwin's enunciation of it in _The Descent of Man_ (1871). The
controversy regarding sexual selection as the producer of feathers
and markings and song, and so forth, amongst the lower animals, is
fortunately quite irrelevant to our present discussion, which is
concerned with mankind. We can afford to note with equanimity the
observation that, in lower species, no mature female goes unmated,
for instance; the fact remains that in the case of mankind a very
considerable percentage of women remain unmarried. The case is similar
as regards the male sex. In short, one may declare that, whether or not
sexual selection is possible, or occurs, or accomplishes anything, in
the case of the lower animals, it palpably and patently is possible,
and does occur, amongst mankind, and especially amongst civilised
peoples, in the form of selection by or for marriage--which, as we have
seen, is in effect selection for parenthood. Let us first note the
statistical evidence regarding marriage-selection of health and energy.

=Spencer on marital longevity.=--We are all aware that married people
live longer, on the average, than unmarried people, the conclusion
being, “of course,” that marriage is good for the health. But some are
taken and others left in this respect, and if, for any conceivable
reason, health is a factor making for selection by marriage, that may
be a real explanation, in whole or in part, of the longer life of
married people. Considering the risks to life involved in motherhood,
the superior longevity of married as compared with unmarried women
would be incomprehensible except on some such assumption. Yet it is
the fact, so imperfect still is the entry of the idea of selection
into the popular and even the expert mind, that the superior longevity
of married people is still constantly asserted to mean that marriage
makes for long life; every year, when the statistics are printed, this
argument may be seen in the newspapers, and I remember encountering it
in the _Encyclopædia Britannica_, to my utter astonishment.

This uncritical conclusion was disposed of by the author of the phrase
“the survival of the fittest”--appropriately enough--more than thirty
years ago. If the reader will turn to Herbert Spencer's _Study of
Sociology_ (a masterpiece which may be commended to the publishers
for the purpose of indexing--twenty editions without an index are too
many) he will find in Chapter V. a discussion of this question. It is
an astonishing thing that though Spencer conclusively exposed it a
generation ago, the childish fallacy is still apparently as flourishing
as ever. He shows how the greater healthfulness of married life was
supposed to be proved by Dr. Stark from comparison of the rates of
mortality among the married and among the celibate. Then no less an
authority than M. Bertillon went into the matter and contributed a
paper called “The Influence of Marriage”--thus begging the question in
its very title--to the Brussels Academy of Medicine. He showed that,
from twenty-five to thirty years of age, several Continental countries
being taken into the reckoning, “the mortality per thousand is 4 in
married men, 10.4 in bachelors, and 22 in widows. This beneficial
influence of marriage is manifested at all ages, being always more
strongly marked in men than in women.” The absurdity of the apparent
conclusion regarding widows is surely, as Spencer says, too obvious
for discussion. But, for the rest, Spencer goes on to show that,
in reality, “marriage and longevity are concomitant results of the
same cause”--in other words, “that superior quality of organisation
which conduces to long life also conduces to marriage. It is normally
accompanied by a predominance of the instincts and emotions prompting
marriage; there goes along with it that power[51] which can secure the
means of making marriage practicable; and it increases the probability
of success in courtship.” Spencer shows how “of men whose marriages
depend upon getting the needful income,” those who will succeed
are in general “the best, physically and mentally--the strong, the
intellectually capable, the morally well-balanced.” He shows also
how “women are attracted towards men of power--physical, emotional,
intellectual; and obviously their freedom of choice leads them, in many
cases, to refuse inferior samples of men; especially the malformed, the
diseased, and those who are ill-developed, physically and mentally.
So that, in so far as marriage is determined by female selection,
the average result on men is that while the best easily get wives, a
certain proportion of the worst are left without wives.”

Very likely the stupid conclusion into which so many distinguished
men have been betrayed will survive for many years yet amongst less
distinguished people, but at any rate we may free our minds from it
here, and may recognise in the figures to which I have referred, and
which are of the same order to-day, the statistical proof of what any
observer, however casual, might have inferred from what he sees even
amongst his own friends only--that marriage is, as it probably always
has been, a selective agent of much value in preserving and augmenting
the desirable inherent qualities of the race. It is, of course, the
object of race-culture or eugenics to strengthen the hands of marriage
in this respect to the utmost possible degree.

=Woman as practical eugenist.=--We must especially note one most
important matter, radically affecting race-culture, which is referred
to by Herbert Spencer in the passage cited, and has been greatly
insisted upon by Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with
Darwin of the principle of natural selection. The matter in question
is the possibility of race-culture through the choice of their
husbands by women. Not long ago Dr. Wallace[52] described selection
through marriage as the “more permanently effective agency through
which the improvement of human character may be achieved.” This, in
his opinion, can only be perfectly achieved “when a greatly improved
social system renders all our women economically and socially free to
choose; while a rational and complete education will have taught them
the importance of their choice both to themselves and to humanity....
It will act through the agency of well-known facts and principles of
human nature, leading to a continuous reduction of the lower types in
each successive generation, and it is the only mode yet suggested which
will automatically and naturally effect this.” Thus “for the first
time in the history of mankind his Character--his very Human Nature
itself--will be improved by the slow but certain action of a pure and
beautiful form of selection--a selection which will act, not through
struggle and death, but through brotherhood and love.”

Dr. Wallace is a socialist, and he believes that only through socialism
can we achieve “that perfect freedom of choice in marriage which will
only be possible when all are economically equal, and no question of
social rank or material advantage can have the slightest influence in
determining that choice.” As I have said elsewhere, I would call myself
neither a socialist nor an anti-socialist, but if labels are necessary,
a eugenist and maternalist. As such, I can only say that this argument
for socialism--that it is the necessary condition of eugenics or
race-culture--is, for me, incomparably the best argument for that
creed; and if it were proved that only through socialism could the
utmost be made of women's choice of husbands, then no argument against
socialism could have any appreciable weight at all. The fundamental
and permanent argument against certain of the highly various and
incompatible doctrines which, for our confusion, are commonly lumped
together as socialism, is that they would arrest the process by which
Nature rewards worth and permits it to perpetuate itself. If, then,
it can be shown, as may or may not be the case, that only through
socialism can male worth be most effectively chosen and male unworth be
rejected for fatherhood, the supreme--that is, the eugenic--argument
against socialism becomes the conclusive argument in its favour.

=The field of choice.=--But, however this may be, there can be no
question that the eugenic purpose, as well as the happiness and
elevation of individuals in the present, will be greatly served
by whatever measures increase, to the utmost extent possible, the
opportunities for choice in marriage afforded to women and also to men.
One of the most amazing and satisfactory facts about marriage as at
present practised is, I think, the large proportion--often estimated
at seventy-five per cent.--of unions which, apart from any eugenic
question, turn out happily, in Great Britain, at any rate. What makes
this fact more amazing is the almost incredible limitation of the
field of choice within which both sexes are still confined as a whole.
If the reader will consider the cases most familiar to him or her,
it will surely be admitted that the considerable success of marriage
takes on an astonishing aspect when the present strait conditions of
choice are taken into account. I am convinced that few more radical and
far-reaching, because eugenic, reforms can be conceived than any which,
in accordance with Dr. Wallace's argument, tend to widen the field of
choice, and that not for one sex only but for both. He would be a rash
man who ventured to allot superior value to the selection of man by
woman rather than of woman by man, or _vice versâ_.

Quite apart from any deeper and more difficult reforms, such as Dr.
Wallace alludes to, I am sure that even the mere widening of the
field of choice, as such, is most desirable. To take an instance,
which the reader may very likely think trivial and absurd, I have
witnessed in my brief career as a hockey player two unions most happy
and eugenic in every way, which entirely depended upon the existence
of the amusement called mixed hockey--whereat the contracting parties
met one another! It is not asserted that these two cases suffice for
world-wide generalisation. They are merely cited as instances which
set at least one hockey player thinking, even on the field--the field
of choice. It is a great argument, because it is a eugenic argument,
in favour of community of sports and amusements amongst young people
of both sexes, that it does widen the field of choice in marriage, and
that in doing so it also tends to favour those factors of selection
which the eugenist would desire to see selected: and this especially as
compared with the ball-room. I think that the reader will agree that
the conditions, the “atmosphere,” the costume, and the other features
of what young people call a “dance,” whilst undoubtedly serving the
purpose of marriage and widening somewhat a field of choice which might
otherwise be ludicrously and impracticably restricted, compare most
unfavourably with the conditions of even the mixed hockey field, which,
decried though they often be, are to my mind immeasurably healthier on
every conceivable ground than those of the ball-room, and not least of
all on the eugenic ground of the prominence gained by most desirable
qualities, of which mere strength and energy and neuro-muscular skill
are quite the least, whilst unselfishness, capacity for self-control,
patience, real gallantry--as when a male “full back” refrains from
hitting the ball with all his might against the toes of a girl
“forward”--the sporting spirit and other true and radical virtues, are
the greatest. It is undoubtedly the case that the personal factors,
physical and psychical, which determine the mutual attraction of young
people, have dependent upon them the whole of human destiny. In society
to-day, what one may call the incidence of parenthood, upon which all
the future necessarily depends, _is_ determined by nothing other than
the humanised form of what Darwin called “sexual selection.” Therefore,
it is not trivial but supremely important to discuss the conditions
under which the selection obtains.[53]

It has already been suggested that in order to enhance the eugenic
value of marriage we should endeavour to widen the field of choice, at
present ludicrously restricted by custom, class, religion, economic
position, and so forth. The increased locomotion of to-day will be of
real eugenic service to the race in this respect, I believe.

Then it has been hinted that young people should meet one another
under conditions which make prominent the psychical and put the merely
physical or animal into the background--_e.g._ on the hockey field or
the ice or in the “literary circle,” rather than in the ball-room. This
proposition accords, of course, with what has been said elsewhere as to
that great factor of progress which I define as the enhancement of the
survival-value of the psychical as against that of the physical. (Note
the obvious sequence--survival-value, selection-value, marriage-value,
parenthood-value, progress-value.) This proposition and the last might
both be worked out, I believe, in considerable detail and not without

Arguing on the same lines, we may agree that even such a small matter,
usually considered wholly domestic, as the length of engagements,
is of eugenic or racial importance. The eugenist, I think, must
welcome long engagements simply because, though they may involve a
reduced marriage-rate and a reduced birth-rate--the latter partly in
consequence of the reduced marriage-rate, and partly because of the
later age at marriage--they tend by the mere operation of time, as
we say, to enhance the importance of the psychical and to reduce the
importance of the physical factors which determine sexual attraction.

To these three points a fourth, of great importance, must be added.
It is that we should favour, as far as possible, those factors of
choice for marriage which are inherent, and therefore transmissible,
as against those which are acquired, accidental, and therefore not
transmissible, _and therefore_ of no racial or eugenic importance.
This, of course, is the point made by Dr. Wallace in the article
quoted above--or at any rate it is involved in the point he makes.
I simply mean that every time a marriage is brought about by, for
instance, money, the eugenic value of marriage is at least nullified
and may become actually anti-eugenic. Again I say, _if_ Socialism, or
the abolition of (_un_-natural) inheritance, be necessary in order
that selection for marriage shall be determined by the possession of
personal qualities of racial value rather than the power of the purse,
which has always been a racial curse, then the sooner socialism is
established the better.

=The eugenic value of contemporary marriage.=--The first purpose of
this chapter has been to show that in marriage, wherever, and in so
far as, it is determined by the mutual attractiveness of young people,
there exists a eugenic factor in society to-day; and since the race
is in effect recruited by the married people, this aspect of marriage
deserves the closest study and attention. I commend this subject, _the
eugenic value of contemporary marriage_, to the small but rapidly
increasing number of students who realise that eugenics or race-culture
will be the supreme science of the future, and who are now devoting
themselves to its foundations. No more important and urgent enquiry can
be undertaken at this stage. Which, for instance, is the more eugenic,
the English system or the French?

The second purpose has been to show that one may believe in and work
for eugenics or race-culture without proposing to overthrow all human
institutions, or to adopt the methods of the stud-farm, or to initiate
a vast campaign of surgery, or sensational and drastic legislation, or
even, yet, the employment of marriage certificates. One or all of these
things may have their place, now or hereafter; or may, on the other
hand, be far worse than futile. But most assuredly it is possible now
for the individual parent of marriageable children, for the clergyman,
the leader of fashion, the doctor, not to start but to strengthen
such by no means impotent eugenic forces as already exist in society,
without outraging sentiment or custom--indeed, without attracting
public attention to their action at all.

Eugenics has already suffered much at the hands of its so-called
friends. It is to be hoped that a real service may be discharged by
this attempt to show that on the highest, most accurate and scientific
eugenic grounds, we may recognise, claim and welcome every father and
mother who desire that the son or daughter whom they care for shall
marry for psychical and not for physical love. Every such parent is a
eugenist, in effect, though his sole motive may be the welfare of his
individual child.

At present we interfere with marriage on every imaginable ground, many
utterly trivial, many worse. We encourage or discourage on economic
grounds; we recognize many taboos, of caste, creed, colour. It is not
for us, certainly, acting as we do, to be offended at the suggestion
that we should use our influence to affect marriage on the highest
conceivable ground--the life of mankind to come. What we really need
is not so much the abolition of Mrs. Grundy as her conversion to the
eugenic idea. It is the business of those who believe that eugenics is
the greatest ideal in the world to make a eugenist of Mrs. Grundy, as
we shall some day: and then it will be realised how potent for good
public opinion may become, once it is rightly educated.

Says Mr. Galton, in his latest contribution to the subject:--

  “The power of social opinion is apt to be rather under-rated than
  over-rated. Like the atmosphere which we breathe and by which we
  live, social opinion operates powerfully without our being conscious
  of its existence. Everyone knows that governments, manners, and
  beliefs which were thought to be right, decorous, and true at one
  period have been judged wrong, indecorous, and false at another; and
  that views which we have heard expressed by those in authority over
  us in our childhood and early manhood tend to become axiomatic and
  unchangeable in mature life.

  “Speaking for myself only, I look forward to local eugenic action in
  numerous directions, including the accumulation of considerable funds
  to start young couples of ‘worthy’ qualities in their married life,
  and to assist them and their families at critical times. The gifts
  to those who are the reverse of ‘worthy’ are enormous in amount; it
  is stated that the charitable donations in the year 1907 amounted to
  £4,868,050. I am not prepared to say how much of this was judiciously
  spent, or in what ways, but merely quote the figures to justify the
  inference that many of the thousands of persons who are willing to
  give freely at the prompting of a sentiment based upon compassion,
  might be persuaded to give largely also in response to a more virile
  sentiment, based on the desire of promoting the natural gifts and the
  National Efficiency of future generations.

  “In circumscribed communities especially, social approval and
  disapproval exert a potent force. Its presence is only too easily
  read by every one who is the object of either, in the countenances,
  bearing, and manner of those with whom they daily meet and converse.
  Is it then, I ask, too much to expect that when a public opinion in
  favour of Eugenics has once taken sure hold of such communities and
  has been accepted by them as a quasi-religion, the result will be
  manifested in sundry and very effective modes of action which are as
  yet untried and many of them even unforeseen?”

=“Breach of promise” and race-culture.=--It may be added that perhaps
we shall have to learn to reconsider our ill-judged and stupid
censoriousness, directed against young people who get engaged but then
become tired of one another--as they accurately say, discover that they
are not suited for one another. Not only is it obvious that we are
fools in denouncing this discovery of impermanence in their attraction,
happily made before marriage, whilst we ignore the disasters of
its lamentably _postmature_ discovery, after marriage: but also it
should be obvious that the eugenic end is negatively served whenever
what would have been an unfortunate union is broken off in time. Our
imbecile standard of honour, and the law of breach of promise, which
is outrageously abused, at present condemn the man, for instance, who
finds that he has made a mistake, whilst passively applauding him who,
finding his mistake, thinks it his duty to make it irreparable. Far
better would it be that the man incapable of forming an attachment made
of the non-material ties which last, should not marry at all. The man
who cannot see, or seeing, cannot find it in his heart to love, the
spiritual beauties of womanhood, is just the man who can be safely
omitted in the eugenist's scheme for fatherhood.

The plea of insanity is, in English law, no protection against a
claim for damages for breach of promise to marry, unless it be proved
insanity at date of contract in the defendant. A valid contract once
made, it is no excuse for non-performance that insanity has been
discovered in the family of the other party. This wicked law must be

=The need for further study.=--In his study of this subject the student
will naturally turn to Mr. Havelock Ellis's volume entitled _Sexual
Selection in Man_.[54] This, of course, has its own scientific value
as a statement of facts, notwithstanding its intensely nauseating
character. But anything less relevant to what most of us understand
by psychology it would be difficult to imagine. The book considers
_seriatim_, touch, smell, hearing, and vision as the bases of so-called
love. It thus deals with “sensology,” not psychology. Indeed, to the
best of one's recollection, after very close and careful reading, there
is no allusion to the human mind in it anywhere. If men and women were
simply animals, this book would doubtless cover the ground, and perhaps
the word “psychology” would even be justified in connection with it.
From end to end men and women are consistently treated as animals and
no more. Since, however, the human species is possessed of psychical
characters which distinguish it from the lower animals, it is not
unreasonable to suppose that a volume which really dealt with sexual
selection in man would, to say the least of it, recognise the existence
of those characters--even if only to reject them as irrelevant to the
subject under discussion.

The foregoing remarks do not imply that the purely anatomical and
sensory factors are irrelevant to the selection of parents in any
generation, and for methodological purposes it might be of value to
abstract from the factors of sexual selection in human society such
things as odour and contour. But it would be urgently necessary in
the course of such a study, if it were to be other than extremely
misleading, to observe that this selection of factors was made for
purposes of convenience and that the relation of their importance to
that of other factors was a matter for further and by no means casual

We may certainly agree with Mr. Havelock Ellis that sexual selection
occurs in human society, and may welcome his volume as supporting that
assertion. There follows the extremely interesting and indeed urgent
necessity of ascertaining what the factors of this selection really
are, what is their relative potency, and what is their capacity for
modification. We may further enquire whether they tend to be eugenic.
A contribution to this subject is furnished by Mr. Ellis when he shows
that width of “hips” is a female character commonly admired by men.
Since a wide pelvis is one which can accommodate and safely give birth
to a large fœtal head, there is here, as a practically solitary case,
a bearing on the eugenic issue: large heads mean, in general, large
brains, and it would be ill for the white races if men admired hips as
narrow as those of, for instance, the negress, whose pelvis could not
find room for the average head of a purely white baby, and who suffers
terribly in many cases where the father is white, especially if the
child be a boy.

Meanwhile we must wait for studies of this great question from various
points of view: notably for a study of the economics of sexual
selection as it obtains in human society. Yet further, we require
a detailed study of the influence of legislation, custom and public
opinion upon sexual selection--on the lines of Mr. Galton's paper on
“Restrictions in Marriage.” Mr. Havelock Ellis has more than adequately
dealt with the nervous physiology of sexual selection; there remain the
psychology and sociology of it--these latter comprehending, one may
suppose, ninety-nine per cent. of the whole subject. In the preceding
pages allusion has been made to one or two of the more salient aspects
of this matter.

                              CHAPTER XIII

                    THE RACIAL POISONS: ALCOHOL[55]

In the first chapter of our second Part, which deals with the practice
of eugenics, there were introduced, defined, and briefly illustrated,
the terms _positive eugenics_ and _negative eugenics_. Of these the
latter, as the more urgent and the more completely and immediately
practicable, claims our special attention; though the present writer,
notwithstanding that he has devoted to it the greater part of his
eugenic work, is bound to protest that the positive increase of ability
and worth is never to be regarded as of secondary importance. The two
methods are, of course, complementary in practice, as they are one
in principle--to select is to reject, to choose is to refuse. The
preceding chapter, on selection (and rejection) through marriage, has
dealt with the conditions under which both aims are to be pursued.
In the following pages we must discuss a specially urgent and
practicable and indisputable portion of negative eugenic practice:
none the less urgent because of the contemporary emergence and future
world-importance of sober nations, such as Japan and Turkey. The term
_racial poisons_, introduced by the present writer in the year 1907,
is self-explanatory. After dealing with the most important of these
poisons, we shall proceed, in the next chapter, to discuss some others.
The racial poisons constitute a special department of eugenics which
has not hitherto been considered by the pioneers of this subject, but
for which I press the claim of the utmost gravity and moment, and which
I conceive to be certainly a part, and a most important part, of our
manifold yet single subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

The argument of this chapter is that parenthood must be forbidden to
the dipsomaniac, the chronic inebriate or the drunkard, whether male
or female; and this whether Lamarck or Galton and Weismann be right,
or whether, as we may believe with Galton and Weismann themselves,
the controversy between the two parties is wholly irrelevant to the
question in hand. This conclusion, that on no grounds whatever,
theoretical or practical, can we continue to permit parenthood on the
part of the drunkard, is one temperance reform, perhaps the only one,
on which disagreement is absolutely impossible. It is, further, the
most radical that can be named within the sphere of practical politics,
and it is conspicuously practicable. It has hitherto been lamentably
neglected by workers and reformers of all schools. Indeed, at the time
of writing, the London County Council, governing the greatest city in
the world, is pursuing a course of action in this regard, which will be
detailed later, and which, as will appear, is misguided and deplorable
in the last degree.

=Alcohol and heredity.=--According to Dr. Archdall Reid, “alcohol,
year after year, eliminates from the race a great number of people so
constituted that intoxication affords them keen delight, leaving the
perpetuation of the race in great measure to those on whom intoxication
confers little or no delight.... Now since alcohol weeds out enormous
numbers of people of a particular type, it is a stringent agent of
selection--an agent of selection more stringent than any one disease.”
The factor that really makes the drunkard “is certainly inborn, and
therefore as certainly transmissible to offspring. The man who has it
is cursed with the ‘alcohol diathesis,’ with the ‘predisposition to
drunkenness.’ Thus most savages are keenly capable of enjoying drink,
and their offspring inherit the capacity.” Féré has shown that “it
is one of the characteristics of the degenerate that they are prone
to have recourse to the poisons, like alcohol and morphia, which
hasten their decadence and elimination.” Thus, as Dr. W. C. Sullivan
points out, alcohol “might certainly be adjudged a salutary evil if
its incidence were limited to individuals whose extreme inferiority
of organisation renders them wholly undesirable and useless to the
community. _But this is very far from being the case._”[56]

The whole crux of the question lies in this last sentence. Alcohol
certainly destroys many degenerate stocks, and that is good, though it
would be better to do what we shall do some day--hasten and ameliorate
the process by forbidding parenthood to the degenerate. _But does
alcohol also make degenerates; does it even make more degenerates than
it destroys?_ A somewhat similar difficulty arises in the case of
infant mortality. The causes of infant mortality destroy many children
inherently unfit, diseased or weakly. But we are not justified in
keeping up our infant mortality, if we find, as we do, that for every
diseased child whom they destroy they kill many who were healthy at
birth and damage for life many more.

A man is born sober--in most cases, but not always,[57] as we shall
see--and any changes produced in his body by alcohol are “acquired.”
Therefore, rejecting Lamarck, are we to reject the doctrine that the
effects produced by alcohol on parents are transmitted to offspring?

The controversy between Lamarck and Weismann has _absolutely nothing
to do with the question_. Let us consider what would be a case of
Lamarckian transmission in the sense which the modern student of
heredity denies. The birth of a child with a scar on its scalp, to a
father who had acquired a similar scar before the child was conceived,
would be such a case: and this does not happen. Or suppose that instead
of a scar on the scalp the father has an inflammatory change, not so
dissimilar to a scar, produced by alcohol in the membranes covering
his brain. Then it would be a case of Lamarckian transmission if the
membranes of his baby's brain were similarly affected; and this does
not happen. Such is the kind of transmission of which exhaustive
experiment and observation fail to find a conclusive instance anywhere.

But what has such a supposition to do with the theory, as definitely
supported by observation and experiment as the other is not, that if a
man saturates his body with alcohol carried by his blood, he injures
all the tissues which are nourished by that blood, including the racial
elements of his body with the rest: and therefore that his child may be

What says Weismann himself? In _The Germ-Plasm_, p. 386, under the
heading “The influence of temporary abnormal conditions of the parents
on the child,” he writes as follows:--

  “Although I do not consider that the cases which come under the
  above heading have anything to do with heredity, I should not like to
  leave them entirely on one side.

  “It has often been supposed that drunkenness of the parents at the
  time of conception may have a harmful effect on the nature of the
  offspring. The child is said to be born in a weak bodily and mental
  condition, and inclined to idiocy, or even to madness, etc., although
  the parents may be quite normal both physically and mentally.

  “Cases certainly exist in which drunken parents have given rise to
  a completely normal child, although this is not a convincing proof
  against the above-named view; and in spite of the fact that most, or
  perhaps even all, the statements with regard to the injurious effects
  on the offspring will not bear a very close criticism,[58] I am
  unwilling to entirely deny the _possibility_ that a harmful influence
  may be exerted in such cases. These, however, have nothing to do with
  heredity, but are concerned with an _affection of the germ by means
  of an external influence_.”

Weismann goes on to quote cases showing how germ-cells may be injured
by various agents, and continues:--

  “It does not appear to me impossible that an intermixture of alcohol
  with the blood of the parents may produce similar effects on the ovum
  and sperm cell. According to the relative quantity of alcohol either
  an exciting or a depressing influence might be exerted, either of
  which would lead to abnormal development....

  “_New_ predispositions can certainly never arise owing to such
  deviations from the normal course of development, and therefore
  a modification of the process of heredity itself is out of the
  question. It is, however, conceivable that more or less considerable
  abnormalities may affect the course of development, and either
  cause the death of the embryo, or else produce more or less marked
  deformities. The question as to whether such deformities really
  result in consequence of the drunken condition of the parents can
  only be decided by observation.”[59]

This is all that Weismann has to say on the subject, since, not
referring to functionally-produced modifications,[60] it does not
concern his theory of heredity at all: yet it is upon this theory that
the most palpable facts of the racial influence of alcohol are denied.
Weismann's own remarks are quite open to criticism, as, for instance,
where he denies that new predispositions can arise in the manner
indicated. This is possibly only a question of words, and Weismann is
perhaps merely denying that alcohol can produce progressive variations.
Also his remarkably brief discussion of the subject seems to concern
itself mainly with the influence of alcohol on the germ-cells _just
before their union_. He has not a word to say regarding the influence
on the germinal tissues of years of soaking in alcohol. It suffices,
however, to make the point which is quite clearly made, that the
Weismannians are going absurdly beyond their book in denying what,
indeed, the book of Nature demonstrates.

Let us turn now to the experimental side of this question. An American
botanist, Dr. T. D. MacDougal, read an address on “Heredity and
Environic Forces” at the Chicago Meeting of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science in 1907. His experiments require
confirmation, but may be provisionally accepted. He has permanently
modified the germ-plasm of plants under the influence of various
chemicals. There is here a vast field for experiment with alcohol.
I quote one paragraph indicating the remarkable results of these
experiments. The reader will see their bearing on our present question,
and will also see that they do not for a moment affect Weismann's
denial of the doctrine that by cutting off rats' tails you can produce
a race of tailless rats, or that by learning a language you can save
your future children the trouble of doing so for themselves:--

  “It was found that the injection of various solutions into ovaries
  of Raimannia was followed by the production of seeds bearing
  qualities not exhibited by the parent, wholly irreversible, and fully
  transmissible in successive generations. One of the seeds produced
  by a plant of _Œnothera biennis_ which had been treated with zinc
  sulphate differed so widely from the parental form that it could be
  distinguished from it by a novice. This new form has been tested to
  the third generation, and transmits all its characteristics fully.”

=Alcohol a proved racial poison.=--But the reader will rightly desire
some kind of experimental proof that alcohol itself can act as a cause
of racial degeneration. We may first refer to the chapter on alcoholism
and human degeneration in Dr. W. C. Sullivan's _Alcoholism, a Chapter
in Social Pathology_,[61] for a recent _résumé_ of the subject.
Without actually quoting Weismann, Dr. Sullivan begins by showing
that, as we have seen, the doctrinal objection of Dr. Reid and others
to the theory of alcoholic degeneration is quite irrelevant--“the
effects attributed to parental alcoholism are not in the category of
transmitted acquirements at all; they are the results, expressed in
defect and deviation of development, of a deleterious influence exerted
on the germ-cells, either directly through the alcohol circulating in
the blood, or indirectly, through the deterioration of the parental
organism in which these cells are lodged, and from which they draw
their nutriment.” Later Dr. Sullivan points out that the racial effects
of alcoholism in man are similar to those obtained by experimental
intoxication in the lower animals. Combemale, for instance, found
that pups begotten of a healthy bitch by an alcoholised dog were
congenitally feeble and showed a marked degree of asymmetry of the
brain. Recent experiments have shown the same thing as regards other
poisons, and it is especially to be noted that in the experiments
cited the mother was healthy. They prove that _paternal_ alcoholism
alone (all questions of the nourishment of the growing child before
birth, for instance, thus being excluded) can determine degeneration.
Mr. Galton[62] himself long ago quoted the case “of a man who, after
begetting several normal children, became a drunkard and had imbecile
offspring”; and another case has been recorded “of a healthy woman who,
when married to a drunken husband, had five sickly children, dying in
infancy, but in subsequent union with a healthy man, bore normal and
vigorous children.”

Other intoxications show similar results though they are not _yet_ of
grave racial importance. For instance, “a man who had had two healthy
children acquired the cocaine habit, and while suffering from the
symptoms of chronic poisoning engendered two idiots.” Brouardel and
others have observed that the expectant mother who is a morphinomaniac
may give birth to a child who shows all the phenomena of the morphia

Demme has traced the appalling contrast between the offspring in ten
sober families, and in ten families where one or both parents suffered
from chronic alcoholism. Dr. Sullivan himself, realising the obviously
greater importance of maternal alcoholism, since here we have the
action of poisoned food--the maternal blood--upon the child before
birth, made an enquiry of his own. He found that

  “... of 600 children born of 120 drunken mothers 335 (55.8 per cent.)
  died in infancy or were still-born, and that several of the survivors
  were mentally defective, and as many as 4.1 per cent. were epileptic.
  Many of these women had female relatives, sisters or daughters,
  of sober habits and married to sober husbands; on comparing the
  death-rate amongst the children of the sober mothers with that
  amongst the children of the drunken women of the same stock, the
  former was found to be 23.9 per cent., the latter 55.2 per cent., or
  nearly two and a half times as much. It was further observed that in
  the drunken families there was a progressive rise in the death-rate
  from the earlier to the later born children.”

Dr. Sullivan cites as a typical alcoholic family one in which “the
first three children were healthy, the fourth was of defective
intelligence, the fifth was an epileptic idiot, the sixth was
dead-born, and finally the productive career ended with an abortion.”
Dr. Claye Shaw told the Interdepartmental Committee on Physical
Deterioration, “we have inebriate mothers, and either abortions or
degenerate children. The teleological[63] relationship between the
two seems to be as certain as any other conditions of cause and
effect.” The general rule is that any narcotic substance affects highly
developed tissues sooner and more markedly than simpler tissues, and
so it is in the case of alcohol and the infant. It is the developing
nervous system that is most markedly affected. This leads, of course,
to an increased child mortality, especially by way of convulsions.
This was the cause of sixty per cent. of all the deaths that occurred
amongst the six hundred children in Dr. Sullivan's series. But it has
especially to be remembered that a large number of children whose
nervous systems are injured for life by parental and more especially by
maternal alcoholism do not die either as infants or children. Instead
of dying of convulsions they live as epileptics. Of the children in Dr.
Sullivan's series “219 lived beyond infancy, and of these 9, or 4.1 per
cent., became epileptic, as compared with 0.1 per cent. of the whole
population.” Other observers have found epilepsy in 12 per cent. and
even 15 per cent. of the children of alcoholic parents. Of course these
data, as such, do not demonstrate Dr. Sullivan's conclusion that “this
action of alcoholism on the health and vitality of the stock is the
most serious of the evils that intemperance brings on the community.”

Dr. Sullivan's enquiries show a very high rate of still-births and
abortions amongst the children of drunken mothers--quite sufficient
to prove that “the detrimental effect of maternal alcoholism must be
in a large measure due to a direct influence on the germ-cells and
on the developing embryo, and cannot be explained as merely a result
of the neglect and malnutrition from which the children of a drunken
mother are naturally apt to suffer.” The point is of some theoretical
importance. Practically it matters little; _in either case the drunken
woman must not become a mother_.

The same conclusion is reached even though we accord unlimited weight
to the unquestionably valid argument that the drunkard is himself
or herself usually degenerate from the first, and that the children
are therefore degenerate, and would indeed be degenerate even if the
parents had taken no alcohol. Let us, then, erroneously enough, but for
the sake of the argument, assume that solely and always alcoholism is
a symptom of degeneracy. It is, then, an indication of unfitness for
parenthood no less, and the practical issue is the same: one radical
cure for alcoholism, at any rate, is the prohibition of parenthood on
the part of the alcoholic.[64]

=The most recent evidence.=--The most thorough and comprehensive
enquiry into this matter yet made is also the most recent. We owe it to
Dr. W. A. Potts, of the University of Birmingham, who did valuable work
as Medical Investigator to the Royal Commission on the Care and Control
of the Feeble-minded. His paper, entitled “The Relation of Alcohol to
Feeble-mindedness,” is printed in the _British Journal of Inebriety_
for January, 1909, together with communications from many authorities.
It is quite impossible to summarise here the enormous mass of evidence
which Dr. Potts has accumulated from the literature of the subject, and
to which he has added his own work. I believe that nothing could be
more moderate and assured than the following conclusions, to which he
commits himself after a study of the subject the quality and range of
which can only be appreciated at first hand:--

  “... the evidence is not clear that alcoholism, by itself, in
  the father will produce amentia; but it is quite plain that in
  combination with other bad factors it is a most unfavourable element,
  while maternal drinking, and drinking continued through more than one
  generation, are potent influences in mental degeneracy.”

It is impossible, within the scope of the present volume, to analyse
in detail the Report of the Royal Commission on the Care and Control
of the Feeble-minded. In this present outline of eugenics it is our
business, however, to show main principles, and as the principle
expressed in the phrase “racial poisons” is to my mind absolutely
cardinal for eugenics, it is necessary here to comment, as I have
already done in the _Journal_ above quoted, upon the following most
unfortunate deliverance of the Commissioners: “That both on the grounds
of fact and of theory, there is the highest degree of probability that
feeble-mindedness is usually spontaneous in origin--that is, not due to
influences acting on the parent....”

The word spontaneous has, of course, no meaning for science, or rather
is a denial of the fundamental axiom of science that causation is
universal. What the Commissioners mean when they say spontaneous is
“sportaneous,” like the occasional production of a nectarine by a peach
tree. Apart from this highly suspicious phraseology, there is the still
more unfortunate fact that the Commissioners have lent their authority
to the view that feeble-mindedness is not due to influences acting on
the parent. The modern student of syphilis will be astonished at this
pronouncement, and also the student of lead-poisoning, as we shall see
in the following chapter.

Every reader of Dr. Potts's admirable paper will realise that this
conclusion of the Commissioners--“not due to influences acting on the
parent”--is directly opposed to an extraordinary mass of evidence
and to the opinion of, I suppose, every authority on the subject,
British, Continental or American. The Commissioners' reference to
“theory,” coupled with portions of the evidence given before them by
witnesses who suppose that the alleged influence of alcohol as a cause
of feeble-mindedness controverts the doctrine of the non-transmission
of “acquired characters,” makes it necessary to point out for the
hundredth time that, for lack of analysis and criticism of terms,
the most prominent followers of Galton and Weismann persistently
misunderstand their masters' teaching. The modern doctrine of the
individual as the trustee of the germ-cells and of the non-transmission
of acquired characters is Mr. Galton's. Mr. Galton himself does not
question and never has questioned the possibility that alcohol may
cause feeble-mindedness. There is no reason why he should. If we take
the somewhat unusual course of consulting the words of the masters
before we swear by them, we find--as has been shown--that Weismann, who
subsequently stated and has so greatly supported Mr. Galton's view,
has expressly repudiated the Commissioners' idea of his “theory.” The
Galton-Weismann doctrine is a doctrine of heredity proper,--the organic
relation of living generations. It does not assert that there are two
unconnected universes--the one made of germ-plasm and the other of the
rest of nature. The “grounds of theory,” or rather, our elementary
physiological knowledge of the nutrition of the germ-plasm by the blood
of its host, are in reality precisely the grounds which would lead us
to expect those consequences of parental alcoholism which in fact we

=Alcoholism as a symptom of degeneracy.=--We have seen that alcohol
may be a cause of degeneracy: we now have to recognize the converse
relation. For an authoritative and radical discussion of the problem,
the reader may be referred to the second Norman Kerr Memorial
Lecture, delivered by Dr. Welsh Branthwaite, H.M. Inspector under the
Inebriates' Act, in 1907.[65] He speaks as “the only man in close touch
with all inebriates under legal detention in England.” He reaches most
important conclusions which are generally accepted, as the discussion
shows. He says, “the more I see of habitual drunkards, the more I am
convinced that the real condition we have to study, the trouble we
have to fight, and the source of all the mischief, is ... defect[66]
in mental mechanism, generally congenital, sometimes more or less
acquired.... In the absence of alcohol, the same persons, instead of
meriting the term inebriate would have proved unreliable in many ways;
they would have been called ne'er-do-weels, profligates, persons of
lax morality, excitably or abnormally passionate individuals, persons
of melancholic tendency or eccentric.... It seems to me exceedingly
doubtful whether habitual inebriety ... is ever really acquired in the
strictest sense of the word--_i.e._ in the absence of some measure
of pre-existing defect.” Having studied 2,277 inebriates, committed
under the Inebriates Acts, up to December 31st, 1906, Dr. Branthwaite
_finds 62.6 per cent. of these mentally defective_. The remainder he
regards as of average mental capacity, using, however, an exceedingly
low standard of what that capacity is. He concludes that in a large
majority of police-court cases, “mental disease was the condition for
which they were repeatedly imprisoned--mental disease merely masked by
alcoholic indulgence.... The majority of our insane inebriates have
become alcoholic because of their tendency to insanity.... Certain
peculiarities in cranial conformation, general physique, and conduct,
have long been recognised as evidences of congenital defect. Nearly
all the 1,375 cases included in the two defective sections of our
table have given evidence of possessing some of these characteristic
peculiarities, and _it is morally certain that the large majority of
them started life handicapped by imperfect brain development_.”[67]
The lecture is accompanied with many photographs clearly showing the
physical marks of congenital defect, and Dr. Branthwaite remarks that
“even the untrained eye should meet with no difficulty in recognising
‘something wrong’ with all of them.”

Of the proportion of mentally defective inebriates (62.6 per cent.
of the whole) mentioned by Dr. Branthwaite, _all_ are “practically
hopeless from a reformation standpoint.” This is a sufficient
comment, if any were needed, upon repeated imprisonment for habitual
drunkenness--which, as Dr. Branthwaite says, “is indefensible and
inhumane.” He adds in closing that, in his judgment, habitual
drunkenness, so far as women are concerned, has materially increased,
during the last twenty-five years, “which I have spent entirely amongst
drunkards and drunkenness.” The unfortunate people whom he studies
“_are not in the least affected by orthodox temperance efforts; they
continue to propagate drunkenness, and thereby nullify the good results
of temperance energy. Their children, born of defective parents, and
educated by their surroundings, grow up without a chance of decent
life, and constitute the reserve from which the strength of our present
army of habituals is maintained. Truly we have neglected in the past,
and are still neglecting, the main source of drunkard supply--the
drunkard himself; cripple that, and we should soon see some good result
from our work._”

A foremost authority, Dr. F. W. Mott, F.R.S., has independently
reached the same conclusion as Dr. Branthwaite--that the chronic
inebriate comes as a rule of an inherently tainted stock. (Dr. Mott,
however, reminds us that “if alcohol is a weed killer, preventing the
perpetuation of poor types, it is probably even more effective as a
weed producer.”) Professor David Ferrier, F.R.S., the great pioneer
of brain localisation, in reference to these people, speaks of “the
risk of propagation of a race of drunkards and imbeciles.” Dr. J. C.
Dunlop, H.M. Inspector under the Inebriates Act, Scotland, states that
his experience leads him to precisely the same conclusion as that of
Dr. Branthwaite. Dr. A. R. Urquhart, an asylum authority, affirms
that chronic inebriety “is largely an affair of heredity ... is a
symptom of mental defect, disorder, or disease.” Dr. Fleck, another
authority, says: “It is my strong conviction that a large percentage
of our mentally defective children, including idiots, imbeciles and
epileptics, are the descendants of drunkards.” Mr. McAdam Eccles, the
distinguished surgeon, agrees; so does Dr. Langdon Down, Physician to
the National Association for the Welfare of the Feeble-minded; so does
Mr. Thomas Holmes, the Secretary of the Howard Association, who remarks
that “our habitual criminals, equally with our mental inebriates, are
not responsible beings, but victims of mental disease.” Finally Miss
Kirby, Secretary of the National Association for the Feeble-minded,
insists upon the obvious conclusion that these people must be detained
permanently. She says, “When one case of a dissolute feeble-minded
woman in America is quoted as the mother of nine feeble-minded
children, we see the cause why inebriate homes, and also reformatories,
penitentiaries, and workhouses are full to overflowing, and society
taxed beyond bearing to keep them there. _Such institutions outnumber
homes for the feeble-minded._”[68] Speaking of the 62.6 per cent. noted
by Dr. Branthwaite, she says, “Would it not have been the more logical
course to have dealt with them in earlier years?” Now what would that
have accomplished? _It would have saved the future._

=The inebriate as parent.=--Is it a mere supposition that these women
become mothers? Amongst those committed as criminal inebriates (under
the London County Council) in 1905-6, three hundred and sixty-five of
those admitted to reformatories had two thousand two hundred children.
These are the official figures. As to the quality of these children
there is unfortunately no possibility of question.

We may quote from Dr. Sullivan a notable enquiry:--

  “Even more striking results with regard to the several forms of
  degeneracy were obtained by Legrain, who investigated the question
  from a somewhat different point of view. Selecting from the material
  at his disposal all those cases in which ancestral intemperance had
  appeared to exercise a causal influence, and working out their family
  history, he collected 215 observations of heredo-alcoholism referring
  to one generation, 98 referring to two generations, and 7 referring
  to three generations. Of the children of the first generation, 508
  in number, 196 were mentally degenerate, the affection of the brain
  being shown more particularly by moral and emotional abnormality,
  while intellectual defects were less pronounced; 106 were insane, 52
  were epileptic, 16 suffered from hystero-epilepsy, and 3 from chorea;
  and 39 had convulsions in infancy. Amongst the children of the second
  generation, who numbered 294, the intellectual defects were more
  marked, idiocy, imbecility, or debility, being noted in the offspring
  of 54 out of the 98 families investigated. In 23 out of the 33
  families in which the children of the second generation had reached
  adult age, one or more of them were insane. Epilepsy was found in
  40 families, infantile convulsions in 42, and meningitis in 14.
  The third generation in 7 families was represented by 17 children,
  all of whom were weak-minded, imbecile, or idiotic; 2 suffered,
  moreover, from moral insanity, 2 from hysteria, and 2 from epilepsy;
  3 were scrofulous, and 4 had convulsions in childhood. In the three
  generations taken together there were, in addition to the children
  referred to above, 174 infants who were dead-born or died shortly
  after birth.”

Therefore, the chronic inebriate must not become a parent. Let it be
said that these people are wicked or have no self-control, drink for
fun or love of degradation, then become drunkards, and prejudicially
affect their children. The conclusion is the same. Have any theory of
heredity you please--Lamarckianism, Darwin's pangenesis, Weismannism,
Mendelism; it matters not a straw. Look at the thing from the
uncharitable religious point of view, or from the charitable scientific
view which realizes, in the case of these women, that to know all is to
pardon all--the conclusion is still the same.

=The present scandal of London's inebriates.=--This, then, being so,
abundance of official evidence having been gathered in addition to all
the unofficial evidence, let us consider the shameful facts which are
in process as I write, and are still so, on revision of these pages a
year later. They are outlined in the reply of Mr. Herbert Gladstone,
the Home Secretary, to a question in the House of Commons. The reply
is printed in full in _The Times_, Feb. 19th, 1908. There was a paltry
squabble between the Government and the London County Council as to the
exact number of shillings that each was to contribute per week for the
maintenance of inebriates. The London County Council was plainly in
the wrong, its ignorance being sufficiently indicated by the letter to
_The Times_, which I will quote. The result of the squabble is that, as
Mr. G. R. Sims said, “We shall have something like five hundred women,
all habitual drunkards, passing in and out of the prisons, a peril to
publicans, a pest to the police, an evil example to the women with whom
they mix, and free to bring children into the world, their little lives
poisoned at the source.” We have therefore reverted to the shameful,
brutal, and disastrous system sufficiently indicated by the history of
Jane Cakebread, at whom, when one was a schoolboy as ignorant as those
who now govern us, one used to laugh because she had been convicted
so many hundreds of times.[69] As the present writer said in raising
the matter at a meeting of the Eugenics Education Society, the future
children of these women are not only doomed by the very nature of
their germ-plasm, but they will actually be many times intoxicated not
merely in their cradles but before their birth. There is no wealth but
life, and this future wealth of England is to be fed on poisoned food
and many times made drunken before it sees the light. The meeting of
the Society passed a unanimous resolution--“That this society enters
a protest against the present administration of the Inebriates Act,
whereby through the closing of inebriate homes some hundreds of chronic
inebriate women will be set adrift in London, with an inevitably
deteriorating result to the race.”[70]

For this particular scandal the London County Council was the more to
blame. Let not the reader suppose that a Liberal Government, however,
was likely to remedy the immoderate ignorance of a “Moderate” County
Council on this matter. Mr. Gladstone's reply in Parliament was an
exceptionally long one, but it did not contain a syllable to suggest
that any question of the future is involved, or that a woman may become
a mother. Further, the Licensing Bill introduced just when we were
drawing public attention to this scandal contained nowhere any hint of
the principle that you must attack drunkenness by attacking “the main
source of drunkard supply--the drunkard himself.” These, the reader
will remember, are the words of His Majesty's Inspector. There is no
question of party-feeling, then, the reader will understand, in what
has here been said. Whether labelled Liberal, Conservative, Progressive
or Moderate, ignorance is still ignorance, and when in action is still
what Goethe called it, the most dangerous thing in the world.

Pure ignorance, of course, is one of the things against which the
advocate of race-culture must fight. The lack of imagination, however,
is another. At present we have few homes for the feeble-minded, and
many for what the feeble-minded become: few for prevention, which
is possible and cheap, many for cure, which is impossible and dear.
The average county councillor or politician, of course, is rather
more short-sighted than the average man, simply because you cannot
be far-sighted and a partisan. What his defect of vision requires is
impossible, but it would be effective. It is that the consequences of
unworthy parenthood should be immediate, instead of taking months or
years to develop. Any one, even a politician, can see cause and effect
when they are close enough together. It is the little interval that
the political eye cannot pierce. Nevertheless, we shall one day learn
to think of the next generation, and then there will be an end of the
politician who thinks only of the next election.

=Ignorance on its defence.=--The state of what has no excuse for being
uninformed opinion was only too well illustrated in a letter from the
Chairman of the Public Control Committee of the London County Council
which appeared in _The Times_ for Feb. 27th, 1908. In defending
the London County Council the writer used the following words:
“Reformation, not mere detention, was its object when it instituted
its reformatory under the Inebriates Acts.... The case of the Public
Control Committee is that the removal and detention of the hopeless
habituals is a matter for the police.” The explanation aggravates
the offence. In the face of reiterated expert opinion, which has no
dissentient, as to the practical impossibility of reformation--you
cannot _re_form what has never been formed, viz., a normally developed
brain--here we find a man in this responsible position, a man who has
the power to put his ignorance into action, telling us that the London
County Council aims at the impossible in this respect; whilst, in utter
defiance of the future and of the useless brutality of the police-court
method, he tells us that these “hopeless habituals” are a matter for
the police. Then, by way of making the thing complete, he speaks of
“mere detention.” What he calls “mere detention” is everything, for it
saves the future by preventing parenthood on the part of members of the
community who, more certainly than any others that can be named, are
unworthy of it. The adjective “mere” is only too adequate a measure
of the state of opinion which, by such retrograde courses as that
under discussion, promises to destroy the British people ere long--and
therefore, of course, the Empire of which that people is the living and
necessary foundation.

It may be noted in passing that the word “reformatory,” employed in
the Inebriates Act of 1898, is a highly unfortunate one. It suggests
a practically impossible hope, and it ignores what, I submit, must
and will ere long be regarded as the essential purpose, function and
value of the detention of inebriates--the prohibition of parenthood
on their part. In the case of women beyond the child-bearing age,
the whole case is radically altered. If it amuses the legislature to
cherish fantastic hopes, let it speak about the reformation of these
women. If it prefers the futile and disgusting cruelty of the Jane
Cakebread method for such women, when the plan for reformation is found
to fail, that is no affair of ours in the present volume. Such women
have been in effect sterilised by natural processes, and the advocate
of race-culture can afford to ignore them, for they do not concern
him. Let me note, however, that, of 294 female inebriates admitted to
reformatories in the year 1906, 170 were under forty years of age,
92, of whom a considerable proportion would be possible mothers, were
between forty and fifty, and only 32 of the total were over fifty years
of age.[71] It may be said that the lives of these unhappy women tend
to be terminated early. The only pity is that our present blindness
and ignorance in dealing with them are not neutralised, so far as
the future is concerned, by death at much earlier ages. If such a
reflection strikes the reader as cruel, how much more cruel are those
who are responsible for the present case of the women inebriates of

The _Pall Mall Gazette_, on March 4th, 1908, gave the utmost prominence
to an article of mine on this subject, entitled “An Urgent Public
Scandal, The Case of London's Inebriates.” In this article I quoted
_The Times_ letter referred to above, and levelled the most vigorous
indictment I could against the authors of the outrage under discussion.
None of them ventured to reply. In the _Referee_ for March 8th, 1908,
however, a member of the Public Control Committee of the London County
Council made an attempt to defend its action. The curious reader may
refer to that letter as one more instance of that absolute blindness
to the nature of the problem and to any question of the future which
had already been indicated in _The Times_ letter from the Chairman of
the Committee. Taking these two letters together, we may say that never
has a public outrage committed by men in authority been more lamely or
ignorantly defended.

=Ignorance in action--the present facts.=--Since the beginning of
January, 1908, the brutal course decreed by the London County Council
has been pursued. The wretched and deeply-to-be-pitied women have been
and are being discharged at the rate of some twenty to twenty-five
per month as their terms expire. The wiser sort of magistrates and
the police-court missionaries are at their wits' ends, and no wonder.
This country offers these women at the moment no refuge whatever;
nothing but the degrading and destructive round--police-court, prison,
public-house, pavement; _da capo_. Writing to _The Times_ in relation
to the correspondence there published (April 18th, 1908) between the
London County Council and the Eugenics Education Society, Sir Alfred
Reynolds, Chairman of the State Inebriate Reformatory Visiting Board
and a Visiting Justice of Holloway Prison, said (April 21st, 1908):--

  “The correspondence published in _The Times_ of April 18, between the
  London County Council and the President of the Eugenics Education
  Society convinces me more than ever that the dispute between the
  London County Council and the Treasury is a scandal and folly of the
  worst description. For the sake of 6d. per case per day, the London
  County Council (the same body which receives half a million sterling
  from the sale of intoxicating liquor) has made it impossible for
  the metropolitan magistrates to carry out the Act of 1898, and the
  result is that 500 of the worst female inebriates are alternately on
  the streets or in prison again, and the former scenes of horror and
  drunken violence reappear. Holloway Prison will soon fill up again,
  and all the good which has been done during the last few years will
  be lost.... I will not trouble you further, except by emphasising
  what I have said by adding that since January last year 1,500 women
  have been notified to Scotland Yard as always in and out of prison
  from the County of London, are qualified for inebriate homes, and
  at the present moment there are over 50 of this number in Holloway
  Prison serving absolutely useless short terms of imprisonment.”

=The London County Council performs a service for philosophy.=--As
we have seen, there exists or seems to exist a radical antagonism in
certain groups of cases between the interests of the individual and
the interests of the race. You may preserve the quality of the race,
as the Spartans did, by exposing defective infants; you may be kind to
feeble-minded children, as we are, but you will injure the race in the
long run. Darwin saw this more than a generation ago, but instead of
suggesting the prohibition of parenthood to the unfit, he said that we
must bear the ill effects of their multiplication rather than sacrifice
the law of love. Huxley similarly said that moral evolution consisted
in opposing natural evolution. Now it has for some time been evident
that this antagonism need not be radical if, whilst devoting hospitals
and charity and medical science to the care of the unfit, we deny them
the privilege of parenthood. On the other hand, the London County
Council by its present action has performed a service to biological
philosophy by showing that _it is possible to combine the maximum of
brutality to the individual and to the present with the maximum of
injury to the race and to the future_. In his report for 1906 Dr.
Branthwaite cites the history of a girl who, at the age of fifteen
years and nine months, was convicted in 1881 for being drunk and
disorderly. During the next quarter of a century she was sentenced 115
times, and in January, 1906, was sent to a reformatory. She has twice
attempted to commit suicide. Her case is, of course, now hopeless, and
Dr. Branthwaite predicts that her life will end by suicide. Let any one
read Dr. Branthwaite's Report or Dr. Robert Jones's account of Jane
Cakebread, or let him acquaint himself with instances as they are to
be daily seen, and he will agree that the maximum of brutality is no
excessive phrase to describe the policy of shame at present pursued in
London: if, indeed, seeing that we now have knowledge, it should not be
described as something still worse.

As for the injury to the future, we already know what the present
policy effects. We may grant, then, to the London County Council
that it has performed a service for philosophy in showing that it is
possible to combine both kinds of evil in one harmonious policy. Nor
let the reader suppose that any partisan feeling infects this protest.
The Government is also to blame. Even had the L.C.C. declined to
contribute anything at all to the cost of the proper policy, no really
educated and honourable Government had any choice but to undertake
all the cost itself--even at the cost of office! Better were--in Mr.
Balfour's words, the wisest he ever uttered--“the barren exchange of
one set of tyrants, or jobbers, for another,” than the horrible birth
of thousands of feeble-minded babies.

=The argument from economy.=--It would be easy to show that the present
policy is not economical even as regards the cost of these women
themselves, and even if it be assumed that gold is wealth. But consider
the remoter cost. During the period when the present writer was making
public protests very nearly every day on this matter without any
immediate effect, and only one month after the London County Council
had attempted to defend itself on the ground of economy when challenged
by the Eugenics Education Society, there was formally opened, with
a flourish of trumpets, the eighty-seventh school for feeble-minded
children established by the London County Council. It accommodates
sixty such children (besides sixty physically defective). This school
cost £6,000 to build alone. The sixty feeble-minded children whom it
accommodates are not a very large proportion of the 7,000 admittedly
feeble-minded school children in London--a number which is probably
not more than a third or a fourth of the real number. It has been
exhaustively proved that feeble-minded children are mainly, at any
given time, the progeny of feeble-minded persons such as constitute
the majority of chronic inebriates. Ignorance is again in action.
On the one hand, the London County Council, quarrelling over pence,
effectively suspends the working of the Inebriates Acts, and thus
ensures that the supply of feeble-minded children shall be kept up. On
the other hand, it takes these children, cares for them until they are
capable of becoming parents, and then turns them upon the world. The
Chairman at the opening ceremony of the school referred to said that
“at the special schools work was being done which would advance the
intelligence of the pupils, and thus benefit the entire race.” It would
be difficult to concentrate more ignorance in fewer words or in ten
times as many.

=A Home Office Committee appointed.=--The almost continuous protest of
two months did, however, bear fruit, the Home Secretary appointing a
Committee to consider the question of the amendment of the Inebriates
Acts. But the legal brutalities described are still being perpetrated,
and the future is being compromised. The London County Council may be
advised to make arrangements for building a few score more schools for
defective children in anticipation of the growing need which it is

Never again, when it is past, must we permit the present abominable
policy. It is for public opinion to effect this, and public opinion has
only to be directed to the case in order to realise its nature. If the
reader pleases he may discount altogether the eugenic argument, though
I believe that in the long run that is more important than any other.
But if he confines his attention solely to the cruelties perpetrated
upon these helpless women, infinitely more sinned against than sinning,
and especially if he considers the testimony of Sir Alfred Reynolds
above quoted, he will surely lend his aid to put an end to a state of
affairs which is a disgrace to our civilisation. We talk of progress,
and we are indeed incalculably indebted to our ancestors, but let any
one consider the case of the poor child, now a wrecked woman, quoted
above, and let him consider what it may be to be an heir of all the
ages in the greatest city of the world to-day.

It will be sufficiently evident that if any warrant were needed for
the formation of the Eugenics Education Society or for the publication
of the present volume, it would be found only too abundantly in the
outrage upon decency and morality and science and the future which is
at present in perpetration. Further, if any warrant were required for
the incessant reiteration of the principle that there is no wealth
but life, it would be found in the fact that this outrage is being
committed in the name of economy. Yet even if the sane and sober London
ratepayer were saved a few shillings now, as he will not be, his
children will have to pay pounds in the future for the support of these
women's children. Economy, forsooth, when the rates of London benefited
to the extent of £559,000 out of the sale of intoxicating liquors in
1905, and spent £8,000 in the maintenance of committed inebriates! Need
one apologise for declaring again, that we require a new political
economy which teaches that gold is for the purchase of life, and not
life for the purchase of gold. For the public outrage under discussion,
whereby an untold measure of life, present and to come, “breathing and
to be,” is to be destroyed and defiled for a squabble over shillings,
one can adequately quote only the words of Romeo to the apothecary:
“There is thy gold; worse poison to men's souls, doing more murders in
this loathsome world, than those poor compounds that thou may'st not

=The last touches of art.=--If this protest hurts any one's
feelings, that cannot be helped. When the production of thousands
of feeble-minded children is involved, the self-esteem of what Mr.
George Meredith calls the “accepted imbecile” does not matter. The
question is, How soon do we propose to rectify our present course in
this respect?--a course which is a shame and a disgrace to our age and
nation, and which shall in any case be placed on record in printed
words, as well as in young children stamped with degeneracy--in order
to point for future ages the question “_An nescis, mi fili, quantilla
prudentia regitur orbis?_” “With how little wisdom”--and, whilst
perpetrating this shame, ignoring the _one_ indisputable means by which
legislation can and must check drunkenness, nearly all other measures
having failed since Babylon was an Empire, they were quarrelling
about a temperance measure, so-called, which regarded the question of
transference of money from one pocket to another as vital, and ignored
the one vital question, which is the question of life: a measure
showing scarcely a sign, either in its text or in the words of its
supporters or in the words of its opponents, that the question of the
future race had ever entered into the head of a public man; a measure
which left the protection of children from the public-house to the
discretion of local magistrates; a measure which certainly, whatever
else it might effect, could not have been more carefully drawn if its
object were to promote that secret drinking amongst women[72] which
means the poisoning of the racial life even before it sees the light.
This, then, “_mi fili_,” was what was called practical statesmanship
in the year 1908 of the Christian Era: and in order that no last touch
might be wanted from the hand of ignorance and the blasphemous idolatry
which worships gold to the neglect of the only true god, which is
life, they announced just at this time the issue of a Royal Commission
to enquire and report upon the manufacture and variations in the
composition of whiskey. It has been a public joke for years past that
no one can answer the question, “What is whiskey?” Well, then, I will
answer the question, and we may save the labour of such commissions
hereafter. Whiskey is a _racial poison_, and there is nothing else to
know about it worth knowing _for the future_. Those who will never
become, or can no longer become, fathers or mothers, may do as they
please about whiskey, so far as the ideal of eugenics or race-culture
is concerned. They may say, if they like, that their personal habits
are their affair and concern no one else. Under the influence of
whiskey they may, perhaps, even believe this. But for those who are
to be the fathers and mothers of the future, such a plea is idle. The
question is not solely their affair; it is the affair of the unborn,
and we who champion the unborn are bound to say so.

The time will come when it is recognised that there are two classes
of active mind in society: those who worship and uphold the past, and
will always sacrifice the living to the dead, nay more, the unborn to
the dead. The ultimate fate of these is the fate of her who looked
backwards to the shame and destruction from which she had escaped.
She was turned into a pillar of salt. And there are those who worship
and work for the future, who will, without hesitation, sacrifice the
interests of the dead (who are no longer interested) to those of the
living and the coming race--nay, more, who will even sacrifice the
interests of a few worthless living to those of many yet unborn, _that
they may be worthy_. Let the dead bury their dead; let the worshippers
of the dead and the dying ask themselves whether the life that is and
the life that is to be do not demand their homage and service. Not
until some such principles as these are recognised shall we rightly
deal with the drink problem, amongst many others, and bring to it the
mental and moral enlightenment which makes for life on the higher
plane, just as surely and just as indispensably as the light of the sun
creates all life whatsoever.

=Mr. Balfour on legislation.=--Surely the moral of this argument is
clear. The most important, the most radical, the most practicable of
all temperance measures is that which attacks the main source of supply
of the drunkard. When a Licensing Bill is brought before the House of
Commons, Mr. Balfour repeats the ancient piece of nonsense that you
cannot make people moral by Act of Parliament--an assertion that any
child can see to be a muddle. We may let that pass for the moment,
but Mr. Balfour is a thinker, a student of biology, and heredity in
especial, and he has lately been lecturing on “Decadence.” Might it
not have been expected that such a man would take an opportunity to
say what the humblest serious student of the subject would have said,
and thereby to bring far more damaging criticism against the opposing
party's bill than any he hinted at? He might have said, “Your bill,
even if passed, will accomplish little, or relatively little, at great
cost, because you have no grasp of the principles of the subject. You
have no idea of what drunkenness really is. If your bill were worth a
straw it would seek as a primary principle to safeguard the race by
arresting the supply of potential drunkards. Your endless financial
clauses deal merely with the re-distribution of money, but your bill
has no clause that deals with the only business of governments, the
creation and the economy of the only real wealth, which is human life.”
That is what the ex-Premier did not say. He had plenty of passion,
plenty of party-feeling to give fire to his words, but so far as
knowledge is concerned or any conception of what alone is the wealth
of nations, there was nothing to choose between Mr. Balfour and Mr.
Asquith. Passion you must have if you are to do anything, but not
party-passion: whereas if you have passion for life and for children,
not only will it be effective, but, notwithstanding all that the
psychologists tell us as to the vitiation of judgment by emotion, it
will actually teach you the supreme and eternal truths.

In this book hitherto little has been said as to formal eugenic
legislation. I believe with Etienne that it is opinion which governs
the world: legislation in front of public opinion brings all law into
contempt. But in his first speech opposing the Licensing Bill of
1908, Mr. Balfour, the author of the Licensing Bill of 1904, decried
legislation. “Intemperance,” he said, “is a vice”: and legislation
can do practically nothing in dealing with a vice. Plainly Mr.
Balfour is ignorant of the nature of intemperance, which largely
depends upon transmitted and inherent brain defect. He therefore
lost his opportunity of pointing out in what fashion you _can_
actually, notwithstanding the parrots, make people sober by Act of
Parliament--viz., by forbidding parenthood to those whose children
would almost certainly become drunkards. We who are not politicians,
much less ex-Premiers, must make our own proposals then. Last year's
criticism of the London County Council began, I believe, to educate
public opinion to the necessary point. In the name of race-culture and
the New Patriotism, in the name of morality and charity and science,
we must demand, obtain and carry into effect the most stringent and
comprehensive legislation, such as effectively to forbid parenthood
on the part of the chronic inebriate. Ere long, the person who would
have become a chronic inebriate will be cared for and protected during
childhood and thereafter,--with the same result. This solution of the
problem is denounced, says Dr. Archdall Reid,

  “... as horrible, as Malthusian, as immoral, as impracticable....
  The alternative is more horrible and more immoral still. If by any
  means we save the inebriates of this generation, but permit them
  to have offspring, future generations must deal with an increased
  number of inebriates.... The experience of many centuries has
  rendered it sufficiently plain, that while there is drink, there
  will be drunkards till the race be purged of them. We have therefore
  no real choice between Temperance Reform by the abolition of drink,
  and Temperance Reform by the elimination of the drunkard....
  Which is the worse; that miserable drunkards shall bear wretched
  children to a fate of starvation and neglect and early death, or of
  subsequent drunkenness and crime, or that, by our deliberate act,
  the procreation of children shall be forbidden them? We are on the
  horns of a dilemma from which there is no escape.... But our time has
  seen the labours of Darwin. We know now the great secret. Science
  has given us knowledge and with it power. We have learnt that if we
  labour for the individual alone, we shall surely fail; but that if
  we make our sacrifice greater, if we labour for the race as well, we
  must succeed. Let us then by all means seek to save the individual
  drunkard; with all our power let us endeavour to make and keep him
  sober; but let us strive also to eradicate the type; for, as I have
  said, if we do it not quickly and with mercy, Nature will do it
  slowly and with infinite cruelty.”

=Women and children first.=--The noble cry on a sinking ship is
“women and children first.” This perhaps is a plea for the service of
helplessness as such, though it might be equally warranted as a demand
for the sacrifice of the present to the future. And assuredly the cry
for a sinking society must also be “women and children first.” It is
well if the cry be raised when the ship of state is not yet sinking,
but only water-logged or alcohol-logged. Temperance legislation and the
agitation for temperance reform are themselves in need of reform. Their
appalling record of failure--for it is such a record--should help even
the fanatic, one thinks, to accept the introduction of the eugenic idea
as a new principle of life for the temperance cause. In the present
state of custom and opinion, the teetotaler cannot force his own wise
habits upon the vast majority who do not agree with him. If he has an
infinite amount of energy and resources, let him spend as much of both
as he pleases upon the sort of propaganda with which we are familiar:
he will, by the hypothesis, still have an infinite amount of both
available for the cause to which the principle of race-culture would
direct him. If, however, his energy and resources are finite,--if,
indeed, they are by no means excessive in proportion to the urgent
task which the ideal of race-culture asks of him, then let him not
fritter away a moment or a penny or a breath until he has achieved the
process of salvage or salvation which is expressed in the phrase “women
and children first.” More accurately, perhaps, our cry must be “parents
and possible parents first,” and this for present practical purposes is
equivalent to “women and children first.”

It would have been well if the temperance propaganda from the first,
say two generations ago in Great Britain, had adopted this motto.
But its adoption is far more urgent to-day in consequence of the
fact, unfortunately no longer to be questioned, that drinking amongst
women, the mothers of the future, is, and has been for some time,
steadily increasing. Children yet unborn must be protected from the
injury which may be inflicted upon them by those who will be their
mothers. Yet though there is more need for action in this regard than
ever before, and though Mr. G. R. Sims in his books _The Cry of the
Children_ and _The Black Stain_ has lately drawn wide attention to
the subject, we have seen that the principle of women and children
first, a principle derived from the ideal of race-culture, and directly
serving that ideal, was almost wholly ignored in the Licensing Bill of
1908. The motto “Money, not motherhood,” is a bad one for the framers
of a temperance measure. If ever we have a temperance measure worthy
the name the motto of its framers will be “Motherhood, not money.”
Such a measure will most certainly have to introduce the principle
of indeterminate sentences--or rather, indeterminate _care_--in
the treatment of the chronic inebriate. There is no possibility
of two opinions as to the urgent and indispensable necessity of
such treatment, nor yet as to its scrupulous humanity both for the
unfortunate victim himself or herself and for the unborn.

The word “reformatory” had better be abolished from official language,
since it leads accredited people to write to _The Times_ such
foolishness as “reformation, not mere detention.”

Further, the expense of dealing with the chronic inebriate in this, the
only humane and economical way, had better fall entirely and directly
upon the state. It must not be possible again for a local authority,
even the London County Council, however ignorant or criminally
careless, to commit a public indecency like that already recorded--but
the full record of which none of us will live to see.

=An unpunished magistrate.=--Yet again, in this measure there must
be some means of compelling such magistrates as cannot be educated.
At present, even when accommodation is provided, the unfortunate
creature of the Jane Cakebread type, when she is only just beginning
to enter into competition with that horrible record, and when she is
therefore most dangerous as regards the possibility of motherhood,
can be detained only by the magistrate's order. Now it is very much
less trouble for all concerned to say “five shillings or a week” than
to make the necessary enquiries in such cases. Further, in putting
this measure of one's dreams upon the statute book, we shall have to
remember that the idea of protective care and the eugenic idea are, to
say the least, not native in the mind of every magistrate. In Dr. Welsh
Branthwaite's report for 1906, there is quoted a case where a woman had
been habitually drunken for at least thirteen years previous to her
committal to a reformatory. Her known sentences included 27 fines, and
138 terms of imprisonment. She was feeble-minded. On the termination
of her reformatory sentence the discharge certificate described her as
“quite unfit to control her own actions,” and “certain to succumb to
the first temptation to drink.” The woman was found drunk a few hours
after discharge. Said the magistrate, “this case clearly proves that
it is almost useless trying to reform such women as this.... I think,
after all, the old way is best and therefore I sentence her to one
month with hard labour.” I refrain from suggesting a suitable sentence
for the magistrate: doubtless he got off scot-free.

Surely we might agree, as regards this racial poison, that at least
parenthood and the future must be kept out of its clutches. It may be,
it assuredly is, a deplorable thing that the woman of fifty, to take
an instance, should become alcoholic, but at the worst this is only
the fate of an individual--in the main at any rate. Such principles
as these will some day be the cardinal principles of legislation, and
not only in regard to alcohol. The time will and must come when public
opinion will urge, whether in the name of a New Imperialism or of
common morality or of self-protection, that in our attempts to deal
with alcohol we shall begin by removing its fingers from the throat of
the race: “Women and children first.”

=The Report of the Inebriates Committee.=--In January, 1909, the
Committee which was at last appointed to consider this matter made its
Report.[73] I have not the literary capacity to comment adequately upon
the political wisdom which brings in a Licensing Bill, devotes vast
labour and much time to it and has it rejected by the House of Lords,
while such a Committee as this is at work. The spirit of the politician
who spoke of “those damned professors” still reigns over us, and will
certainly ruin us unless speedily deposed. However, here is the Report,
and its recommendations are earnestly to be commended to the study of
all students. New legislation, as it shows, is urgently required, and
it is pre-eminently the duty of every eugenist to hasten its coming.
This is not a party question, but merely a national one, and will
therefore be dealt with by politicians only under external pressure,
such as produced the Committee itself. The finger of public opinion
must apply that pressure forthwith.

The recommendations of the Committee are so admirable and thorough and
eugenic in effect as to temper one's disappointment that the Report
contains no definite, overt recognition of the eugenic idea. I had
hoped that the evidence prepared and submitted to the Committee for
the Eugenics Education Society would suffice to ensure the recognition
of the eugenic idea in the Report, for the first time, we may suppose,
in official history. For the present we may merely note that the
suggestions made in preceding pages are confirmed by the Committee's
Report, and that the next legislation bearing on the question of
temperance will undoubtedly have to attack the subject in this radical
manner--by what will be in effect the sterilisation of the habitual
drinker of either sex and any social status. The Committee do not
recognise that that is what their Report involves, much less that that
gives it its real value; but so it is, as the year 1950 will be late
enough to show.

Much time and trouble were spent in preparing for the Eugenics
Education Society answers to many of the questions submitted to it by
the Committee, and the Society may fairly claim, I think, that its
original services to this matter were well-continued. The present
writer also prepared for the Society a Memorandum (Minutes of Evidence,
p. 189), which perhaps fairly sums up, in the briefest possible space,
the indisputable relations between alcohol and parenthood, and which
may therefore be reprinted here. The reader will notice an omission
in that nothing is said as to the effects of alcohol in injuring
the germ-cells of healthy stock of either sex. The omission was made
in order that nothing possibly disputable might be included. It has
already been argued that on grounds both of fact and of theory there
is every reason to recognise in alcohol, as in syphilis and in lead,
a racial poison, originating racial degeneration which, in accordance
with generally recognised principles, shows itself in the latest,
highest and therefore most delicate portions of the organism.

The Memorandum is as follows:--

“It may be pointed out that the children of the drunkard are on the
average less capable of citizenship on account of

  “(a) The inheritance of nervous defect inherent in the parent.

  “(b) Intra-uterine alcoholic poisoning in cases where the mother is
       an inebriate.

  “(c) Neglect, ill-feeding, accidents, blows, etc., which are
       responsible on the one hand for much infant mortality, and
       combined with the possible causes before mentioned, for the
       ultimate production of adults defective both in body and mind.

“It would appear, then, that the drunkard, if not effectively
restrained, conduces to the production of a defective race, involving a
grave financial burden upon the sober portion of the community, to say
nothing of higher considerations. It therefore seems to the Eugenics
Education Society of extreme importance that some substantial effort
should be made for the reform of existing drunkards, or the permanent
control of the irreformable.

“Scientific warrant for the foregoing propositions is now to be
found in no small abundance. Reference may be made, for instance, to
the chapter on ‘Alcoholism and Human Degeneration,’ in Dr. W. C.
Sullivan's recent work _Alcoholism_ (Nisbet, 1906). Dr. Sullivan quotes
the results of more than a dozen observers in this and other countries,
and special attention may be drawn to his own well-known study of the
history of 600 children born of 120 drunken mothers. The works of
Professor Forel of Zurich are widely known in this connection, notably
_Die Sexuel Frage_, and _The Hygiene of Nerves and Mind_ (Translation,
Murray, 1907). Parental alcoholism as a true cause of epilepsy in the
offspring is now generally recognised. For numerous and detailed proofs
from many sources reference may be made to page 210 of the last work

“It is not necessary, however, to go over the ground which has
doubtless been covered by the Royal Commission on the Care and Control
of the Feeble-minded.

“The existing laws comply to only a very small and almost negligible
extent with the eugenic requirement. They only deal with (a) the very
minute proportion of inebriates who can be induced to voluntarily sign
away their liberty, and (b) those who are also criminal or all but
hopeless and who have done harm already, either as individuals or in
becoming parents. The third group of inebriates (c) not included in
(a) or (b) constitutes the overwhelming majority of the whole. They
are absolutely untouched by the present law, and further powers are
urgently required to deal with them.

“Such legislation would be by no means without precedent, and may avail
itself of the experience of several of our own colonies and various
foreign countries. Such methods as compulsory control on petition,
guardianship and so forth are in employment, for instance, in the
Australian Commonwealth and New Zealand, California, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, various cantons in Switzerland, Nova Scotia, etc.

“To sum up, the Society advocates the retention of the present law so
far as classes (a) and (b) are concerned, but would most strongly urge
the addition of powers to deal with that great majority of inebriates
whom the present law does not touch.”

=The friends of alcohol.=--Those who defend the alcoholic poisoning
of the race may be easily classified. Some few honestly stand for
liberty. Like Archbishop Magee, they would rather see England free
than England sober, not asking in what sense England drunken could be
called free. Some are merely irritated by the temperance fanatic. Many
fear that their personal comfort may be interfered with. But probably
the overwhelming majority are concerned with their pockets. They live
by this cannibal trade; by selling death and the slaughter of babies,
feeble-mindedness and insanity, consumption and worse diseases, crime
and pauperism, degradation of body and mind in a thousand forms, to the
present generation and therefore to the future, the unconsulted party
to the bargain. Their motto is “Your money and your life.” So powerful
are they that most of them are frank. They form associations for their
defence, and hold mass meetings at which they condemn any temperance
measure that is before the country, “whilst ready to welcome any real
temperance reform.” They demand adequate compensation: though, if they
disgorged every farthing they possess, and devoted themselves body and
soul for the rest of their lives to the human cause, they could never
compensate us who are alive, let alone the dead or the unborn, for the
human ruin on which they build their success. They build their palaces
before our eyes; one of the largest and newest, not far from Piccadilly
Circus, I often pass; but where most see only fine stone, the student
of infant mortality, the lover of children, he who works and looks
for the life of this world to come, sees the bodies of the children of
men and is tempted to recall the curse of Joshua, “He shall lay the
foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he
set up the gates of it.”

=Alcoholic Imperialism.=--At least let the alcoholic party refrain from
calling themselves Imperialists. Amongst them, for instance, is the
“Imperial bard,” the “poet of empire,” he who has appealed to the “god
of our fathers,” and who warns us lest it shall be said that “all our
pomp of yesterday is one with Nineveh and Tyre”: and appeals to deity--

    “Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget, lest we forget!”

This prophet of what some may think a blasphemous Imperialism gives
his name to the association which frankly in this matter of alcohol
stands for gold as against life. We are to beware lest “drunk with
sight of power” we boast as do the “lesser breeds” to whom the “awful
Hand” of God has not granted dominion: nor are we to put our trust in
reeking tube and iron shard. We may freely call ourselves Imperialists,
however, even though we should be numbered amongst those whom Ruskin,
himself the son of a wine merchant, called the “vendors of death.” One
wonders whether the “Lord God” exists that he can withhold his “awful
Hand” at such a spectacle as this. If some amongst us are to win gold
by the sale of this racial poison, and if it must be so, let them at
least be consistent, and label themselves _the very littlest of little
Englanders_, which they are. An alcoholic Imperialism is of the kind
which no Empire can long survive.

Those of us whom such things as these make sick, and who yet, with
true poets like Wordsworth, are proud of “the tongue that Shakespeare
spake,” and who with him declare:--

    “It is not to be thought of that the Flood
    Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
    Of the world's praise, from dark antiquity
    Hath flowed, .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
     .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    That this most famous Stream in bogs and sands
    Should perish; and to evil and to good
    Be lost for ever”

--those of us who know that the foundations of any empire are living
men and women, and that, _to quote Mr. Kipling_, “when breeds are in
the making everything is worth while,” may wonder what process has been
afoot that in three generations English poetry should pass from the
sonnets of Wordsworth to “Duke's son, cook's son,” etc.; and may even
at times, especially those of us who know what alcohol costs in life,
feel a momentary recession of our faith that Great Britain need not now
be writing the last page of her great history. Meanwhile, we read the
controversy in Parliament and the press concerning alcohol. We see the
cannibal cause of beer and spirits, which makes many widows and orphans
every day,[74] represented, with an effrontery to which no parallel can
ever be imagined, as the cause of widows and children, and we recall
the lines which Wordsworth wrote rather more than a century ago:--

    “How piteous, then, that there should be such dearth
    Of knowledge; that whole myriads should unite
    To work against themselves such fell despite;
    Should come in frenzy and in drunken mirth,
    Impatient to put out the only light
    Of liberty that yet remains on earth!”

                              CHAPTER XIV


The term racial poisons teaches us to distinguish, amongst substances
known to be poisonous to the individual, those which injure the
germ-plasm: and amongst substances poisonous to the expectant mother
herself, we must distinguish those which may also poison her unborn
child. Alcohol is pre-eminently _the_ racial poison, thus defined, and
I plead for its recognition as primarily a racial poison, this being
immeasurably the most important aspect of the whole alcohol question.
Readers of Professor Forel will not lightly question this assertion.

The total number of racial poisons is, of course, very large. Amongst
them must theoretically be included all abortifacient drugs. There
are also various poisons of disease to be included in this category.
Later pages must be devoted to what is by far the most important of
these. But we may observe in passing that such a disease as rheumatic
fever or acute rheumatism has especial significance for the student of
race-culture since, as he knows, its poisons circulating in the blood
of an expectant mother may not only injure her own heart for life but
may pass through the placenta and deform the valves of the child's
heart, with the subsequent result loosely described as “congenital
heart disease.” The conditions giving rise to rheumatic fever, then,
are conditions from which the expectant mother, even more than the
ordinary individual, is entitled to be protected. But this is of minor
importance. We may here refer, however, to one or two striking cases,
especially since they bear in some degree upon social and individual

=The racial influence of lead.=--In the first place, it is necessary to
draw attention to a really notable racial poison, viz., lead.

Says Sir Thomas Oliver,[75] “Lead destroys the reproductive powers
of both men and women, but its special influence upon women during
pregnancy is the cause of a great destruction of human life.” It may be
said that in a sense the production of miscarriages and still-births,
and also of infant mortality by lead, does not concern the student
of race-culture. Nevertheless some of these children survive. Says
Sir Thomas Oliver: “I have seen both cretinism and imbecility in
infants in whom, as there could have been no possible influence of
alcohol, and presumably none of syphilis, the occupation of one or
other parent as a lead worker must have determined the imperfectly
developed nervous system of the child.” Later he says (page 202):
“Salpétrière and Bicêtre are large hospitals in Paris set aside for
the reception and treatment of nervous diseases. The experience of the
physicians of these institutions is unrivalled. One of the physicians,
M. Roques, speaking of the degenerates found in these hospitals, says
that slowly induced lead poisoning on the part of both parents or in
one or other of them is not only a cause of repeated abortions, high
percentage of still-births and high death-rate of infants, but is the
cause of convulsions, imbecility, and idiocy in many of the children
who survive the first year of existence. Of nineteen children born
to parents who were lead workers, Rennert found that one child was
still-born and that seventeen were macrocephalic. In his studies upon
hereditary degeneration and idiocy, Bourneville places house-painters
in the unenviable first rank of the occupations followed by parents of
mentally weak children. Out of eighty-seven cases relating to unhealthy
trades, fifty-one were connected with white lead in some form or
another, while syphilis was only responsible for nineteen.”

This racial influence of lead is by no means generally recognised--even
by Royal Commissioners. Its parallelism with the case of alcohol is
striking. We may note, for instance, that paternal lead-poisoning,
like paternal alcoholism, can cause degeneration in the offspring, if
not indeed death before or shortly after birth. To quote Oliver again:
“Taking seven healthy women who were married to lead workers, and in
whom there was a total of thirty-two pregnancies, Lewin tells us that
the results were as follows: eleven miscarriages, one still-birth,
eight children died within the first year after birth, four in the
second year, five in the third, and one subsequent to this, leaving
only two children out of thirty-two pregnancies, as likely to live to
manhood. In cases where women have a series of miscarriages so long as
their husbands worked in lead, a change of industrial occupation on
the part of the husbands restores to the wives normal child-bearing
powers.” According to the statistical enquiry of Rennert, the malign
influence of lead is exerted upon the next generation, ninety-four
times out of one hundred when both parents have been working in lead,
ninety-two times when the mother alone is affected, and sixty-three
times when it is the father alone who has worked in lead. Here, then,
as in the case of alcohol, the racial poison may act either through
the father or through the mother, but especially through the mother.
The importance of the demonstration as regards the father in the
case of both poisons is that it means a poisoning of the paternal
germ-cell. The facts may be commended to those extremists, so much more
Weismannian than Weismann, who regard the germ-cells as existing in a
universe of their own, wholly unrelated to the rest of existence.

Another extremely interesting parallel between these two racial poisons
may be noted. It is found, according to Professor Oliver, that “while
following a healthy occupation these women, after having frequently
miscarried when working in lead factories, would have two or three
living healthy children, but circumstances necessitating the return of
these women to town, and resumption of work in the lead factory, they
in each successive pregnancy again miscarried.” He then quotes the
following most remarkable case: “Mrs. K., aged thirty-four, had four
children before going into the factory and two children after. She then
had six miscarriages in succession, when she came under my care in the
Royal Infirmary, having become the victim of plumbism and having lost
the power in her arms and legs. She made a slow but good recovery and
did not return to the lead works. In her next pregnancy she went to
full term and gave birth to a living child.”

We see here that, as is also true in the case of alcoholism, the
germinal tissue itself may escape or at any rate may recover from the
effects of chronic poisoning of the individual who is its host. The
race is more resistant than the individual. If, however, the poisoning
continues whilst a new individual is being formed--that is to say,
during pregnancy--that new individual succumbs, and indeed is far more
gravely affected than its mother. Such a pregnant woman presents three
distinct living objects for our study. Her own body is one: and this
is already developed. It has some measure of resistance to the poison
but is gravely affected. The embryo is the second; it is developing
and because developing is susceptible. It is usually killed before
birth. The third is the germ-plasm or the race, and this, as we have
seen, may withstand the poison so well that when the poisoning is
discontinued healthy children may be produced from it. Undoubtedly
the case is the same as regards alcohol. The race or germ-plasm is
most resistant, the developing individual is least resistant, and the
adult individual--that is to say, the mother--occupies an intermediate
position in this respect.

This parallelism, which has escaped previous observers, may be pointed
out and its remarkable interest and significance suggested as a
definite advance upon the absurd view that the germ-plasm is incapable
of being poisoned. On the contrary, we know that many poisons will
kill it outright, so that sterility results. But its high degree of
resistance is a fact of great interest. Doubtless Dr. Archdall Reid's
acute explanation of it is correct: namely, that natural selection
would tend to evolve a resistant germ-plasm. Dr. Reid will, I think, be
interested to notice in these remarkable observations on lead-poisoning
a conspicuous illustration of this resistance.

Our business here, however, is with the practical issue. This
fortunately is plain, nor are there the same difficulties of vested
interests which arise in the case of alcohol. Lead-poisoning must be
ended in the interests of race-culture and the essential wealth of
the nation, or, if it is to be continued, it must at least have its
clutches kept clear of parenthood.

=The possible racial influence of narcotics.=--Alcohol is of course a
narcotic poison, or, more precisely still, a narcotic-irritant poison,
but here we may briefly refer to the possible racial influence of
certain other poisons. There is, for instance, the case, noted on p.
212, of the disastrous racial consequences of the cocaine habit. The
matter demands only a paragraph, since for the present, at least, it
is of small general importance, and since we must beware of going
beyond the facts; but when once the idea of race-culture has reached
the popular and professional mind--the latter at present frequently
feeding the pregnant woman with alcohol, as we all know--the whole
question of narcomania will have to be looked at from this aspect, and
the measure of danger in particular cases will then be ascertained. It
is probably safe to assume, however, that, on the whole, alcohol will
be found to stand somewhat apart from other narcotics, and for the
reason that it is not a pure narcotic but also an irritant. Thus, to
take the case of opium, it will probably be very difficult and, one may
hope, impossible to show that, shall we say, opium smoking or eating
has an injurious racial influence where it is practised. Here we have a
narcotic which is not an irritant. The individual may recover perfectly
from its abuse, as he may often fail to recover from the abuse of
alcohol, since this poison leaves permanent changes in the brain, and
elsewhere, dependent upon the fact that it is not merely a narcotic but
also a local irritant. The action of a pure narcotic on the germ-plasm
as compared with the action of a narcotic which is also an irritant may
afford a parallel. The abuse of opium by the expectant mother (see p.
212) is not of the same order: it means simply dosing a _very_ small
baby with opium.

=Tobacco and the race.=--The poisonous compounds absorbed from tobacco
smoke are of interest in this connection. The question as to the
proportion of nicotine included amongst them is immaterial here.
It suffices to know, as we do, that certain substances, doubtless
including some proportion of nicotine, rapidly absorbed into the blood
by the smoker, are poisons to the individual body. The familiar fact of
the acquirement of immunity affects in no degree the statement as to
the toxic character of these substances.

No one but the fanatic would venture to say that any racial
degeneration can be traced to tobacco-smoking. It would be hard to
prove the existence of any injury thus inflicted upon the children of
the father who is a smoker, though the question of the acquirement of
immunity is not without relevance here. The immunising substances or
anti-toxins which are doubtless produced in the smoker's blood may
protect the germ-plasm which he bears as well as his own body.

But in the case of the expectant mother there is more warrant for
offering an opinion even in the absence hitherto of definite evidence.
Apart from any opinion as to the propriety of smoking by women in
general, there is a definite issue in the case of the expectant mother.
A very young child is now being exposed to the poisons of tobacco
smoke, and if we are right in passing laws to prevent this poisoning in
the case of the urchin of eight years (who is really, of course, eight
years and nine months old), what shall we say regarding the unborn
child who is only eight months old? I have observed that the expectant
mother may have her liking for tobacco replaced by violent dislike
during pregnancy.

=The poison of syphilis.=--Brief mention must here be made of syphilis
as a racial poison. Sooner or later the eugenic campaign must and will
face this question, about which a murderous silence is now maintained.
No other disease can rival syphilis in its hideous influence upon
parenthood and the future. But it is no crime for a man to marry,
infect his innocent bride and their children: no crime against the
laws of our little lawgivers, but a heinous outrage against Nature's
decrees. When, at last, our laws are based on Nature's laws, criminal
marriages of this kind may be put an end to.

The lay reader should acquaint himself with the play of Brieux, _Les
Avariés_. The student may be referred to Forel's _Sexual Question_,
Dr. C. F. Marshall's _Syphilology and Venereal Diseases_, and his
article, “Alcohol and Syphilis” in the _British Journal of Inebriety_,
January, 1908.

       *       *       *       *       *

This chapter and the last do not profess to do more than indicate the
field of eugenics which the term racial poisons suggests. Our business
in the present volume is, if possible, to see eugenics whole: to treat
of this new science adequately is not for one author or one generation.
It is earnestly to be hoped that the medical profession will speedily
take up this question of the racial poisons. Already the profession is
beginning to become the great instrument of _individual hygiene_: and
every year will enhance the importance of this work, as compared with
the cure of disease. Now negative eugenics is substantially _racial
hygiene_: and the next great epoch in the evolution of medicine and the
medical profession will be the enrolment of its knowledge and influence
in the cause of racial hygiene. May this book do a little to hasten
that day.

The two next chapters are designed to introduce that aspect of our
subject which may be called National Eugenics, and especially with
reference to decadence. Here is a matter which appeals to minds of type
and training often very different from the typical medical mind. But it
is part of one's purpose to show, if possible, that the historian must
become a eugenist, just as the physician must, for eugenics needs and
claims the work and help of both.

                               CHAPTER XV


The reader will not expect to be insulted here with any discussion of
the garbage and gossip, records of scoundrels, courts and courtesans,
battles, murder and theft, which we were taught at school, under the
great name of history.[77] If history be, as nearly all historians have
conceived it, and as Gibbon defined it, “little more than the register
of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind,” it is an empty and
contemptible study, save for the social pathologist. But if history,
without by any means ignoring great men or underrating their influence,
is, or should be, the record of the past life of mankind, of progress
and decadence, the rise and fall of Empires and civilisations, and
their mutual reactions; if it be the record of the intermittent ascent
of man, “sagging but pertinacious”; if this record be subject to the
law of causation, and therefore susceptible, in theory, at least, of
explanation as well as description; if its factors are at work to-day
and will shape the destiny of all the to-morrows; if it be neither
phantasmagoria nor panorama nor pageant nor procession but _process_,
in short, an organic drama,--then, indeed, it is more than worthy
of all the study and thought of all who ever study or ever think.
Especially must it appeal to us, who boast a tradition greater than the
world has ever yet seen, and kinship with men who represent the utmost
of which the human spirit has yet shown itself capable,--to us who
speak the tongue that Shakespeare spake, but to whom the names of all
our Imperial predecessors, from Babylon to Spain, serve as a perpetual
_memento mori_. Our special question here is whether there are inherent
and necessary reasons why our predecessors' fate must sooner or later
be ours. Must races die?--or, if we are sceptical about races and more
especially about the so-called Anglo-Saxon race, must civilisations,
states, or nations die? What comment does modern biology, or the theory
of organic evolution, make upon the familiar words of Byron in his
address to the ocean?--

    “Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee--
    Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?
    Thy waters wasted them while they were free
    And many a tyrant since: their shores obey
    The stranger, slave, or savage.”

And these, a few pages earlier in the same poem:--

    “There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
    First Freedom and then Glory--when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption--barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but _one_ page”....

Nations, races, civilisations rise, we shall all agree, because to
inherent virtue of breed they add sound customs and laws, acquirements
of discipline and knowledge. But, these acquirements made, power
established, and crescent from year to year--why do they _then_ fall?
If they can _make_ a place for themselves, how much easier should it
not be to _maintain_ it?

Two explanations, each falsely asserting itself to be rooted in
biological fact, have long been cited and are still cited in order to
account for these supreme tragedies of history.

=The fallacy of racial senility.=--The first may claim Plato and
Aristotle as its founders, and consists of an argument from analogy.
Races may be conceived in similar terms to individuals. There are many
resemblances between a society--a “social organism,” to use Herbert
Spencer's phrase--and an individual organism. Just, then, as the
individual is mortal, so is the race. Each has its birth, its period of
youth and growth, its maturity, and, finally, its decadence, senility
and death. So runs the common argument.

We must reply, however, that biology, so far from confirming it,
declares as the capital fact which contrasts the individual and the
race that, whilst the individual is doomed to die from inherent causes,
the race is naturally immortal. The tendency of life is not to die but
to live. If individuals die, that is doubtless because, as I believe,
more life and fuller is thus attained than if life bodied itself in
immortal forms: but the germ-plasm is immortal; it has no inherent
tendency either to degenerate or to die. Species exist and flourish
now which are millions of years older than mankind. “The individual
withers, the race is more and more.”

It may be added that, in historical instances, civilisations have, on
the one hand, persisted, and, on the other, fallen, despite change,
and even substitution, in the races which created them: and, on the
other hand, the most conspicuously persistent of all races in the
historic epoch, the Jews, have survived one Empire after another of
their oppressors, but have never had an Empire of their own. Thus, so
far as the historian is concerned, it is not races at all that die,
but civilisations and Empires. Plato's argument from the individual to
the race is therefore irrelevant, as well as untrue. The fatalistic
conception to which it tempts us, saying that races must die, just as
individuals must, and that therefore it is idle to repine or oppose,
is utterly unwarrantable and extremely unhealthy. To take our own
case, despite the talk about our own racial decadence, nearly all our
babies still come into the world fit and strong and healthy--the racial
poisons apart. We kill them in scores of thousands every year, but this
infant mortality is not a sign that the race is dying, but a sign that
even the most splendid living material can be killed or damaged if you
try hard enough. The babies do not die because races are mortal, but
because individuals are and we kill them. The babies drink poison,
eat poison, and breathe poison, and in due course die. The theory of
racial senility, inapplicable everywhere because untrue, is most of all
inapplicable here. If a race became sterile, Plato and Aristotle would
be right. There is no such instance in history, apart from well-defined
external, _not inherent_, causes, as in the case of the Tasmanians.
Dismissing this analogy, we may also dismiss, as based upon nothing
better, the idea that the great tragedies of history were necessary
events at all. We must look elsewhere than amongst the inherent and
necessary factors of racial life for the causes which determine these
tragedies; and we shall be entitled to assume as conceivable the
proposition that, notwithstanding the consistent fall of all our
predecessors, the causes are not inevitable, but, being external and
environmental, may possibly be controlled: man being not only creature
but creator also.

=The Lamarckian explanation of decadence.=--The second of the two false
interpretations of history in terms of biology is still, and always
has been, widely credited. When historians have paid any attention to
the breed of a people as determining its destiny, they have invariably
added to the fallacy of racial senility this no less fecund error. It
is that, in consequence of success, a people become idle, thoughtless,
unenterprising, luxurious, and that these _acquired characters are
transmitted_ to succeeding generations so that, finally, there is
produced a degenerate people unable to bear the burden of Empire--and
then the crash comes. The historian usually introduces the idea
already dismissed by saying that a “young and vigorous race” invaded
the Imperial territories--and so forth. The terms “young” and “old,”
applied to human races, usually mean nothing at all.

The reader will recognise, of course, in this doctrine of the
transmission to children of characters acquired by their parents, the
explanation of organic evolution advanced by Lamarck rather more than
a century ago. It is employed by historians for the explanation of
both the processes they record, progress and retrogression. Thus they
suppose that for many generations a race is disciplined, and so at last
there is produced a race with discipline in its very bone; or for many
generations a nation finds it necessary to make adventure upon the sea,
and so at last there is produced a generation of predestined sailors
with blue water in its blood. And in similar terms moral and physical
retrogression or degeneration are explained.

Let us consider the contrast between the interpretation which accepts
the Lamarckian theory of the transmission of acquired characters and
that which does not. Consider the babies of a new generation. According
to Lamarck, these have in their blood and brain the consequences of
the habits of their ancestors. If these have been idle and luxurious,
the new babies are predestined to be idle and luxurious too. This,
in short, is a “dying nation.” But, if acquired characters are not
transmitted, the new generation is, on the whole, not much better, not
much worse, than its predecessors--so far as this supposed factor of
change is concerned. Each generation makes a fresh start, as we see in
the babies of our slums to-day. It does not begin where the last left
off--whether that means beginning at a higher or at a lower level than
that at which the last started: but it makes a fresh start where the
last did.

Now, in general, we have seen that Lamarck's theory is discredited.
The view of Mr. Galton is accepted, that acquired characters are not
transmitted, either for good or for evil. If there are no other factors
of racial degeneration or racial advance, then races do not degenerate
or advance, but make a fresh start every generation: and Empires rise
and fall without any relation to the breed of the Imperial people--an
incredible proposition.

=The racial poisons and decadence.=--Certain apparent, though not
real, exceptions exist to the denial of the Lamarckian theory of the
transmission of acquired characters. These exceptions are furnished by
what I have called the _racial poisons_. Alcohol, for instance, is a
substance, certainly poisonous in all but very small doses, if not in
them, which is carried by the blood to every part of the body and may
and does injure its _racial_ elements. Thus a true racial degeneration
may be caused by its means: and the possibility of this is not to
be ignored. Other poisons, such as those of certain diseases, act

We must therefore note in passing a biological factor of historical
importance, though hitherto entirely unrecognised by historians, and
that is disease. Certain of our diseases, and especially consumption
or tuberculosis, are at present making history by their extermination
of aboriginal races. Minute living creatures, which we call microbes,
are introduced into the new and favourable environment constituted by
the blood and tissues of human races hitherto unacquainted with them:
and the consequences are known to all. But further, it has lately been
suggested as highly probable, by Professor Ross and others, that the
fall of Greece, that incalculable disaster for mankind, was due to
the invasion not of human foes but of the humble living species which
are responsible for the disease miscalled malaria. The evidence for
this view is by no means slight, and the most recent explanation of
an event so abrupt and so disastrous is in all likelihood the correct
one. Malaria, like alcohol, produces true racial degeneration, its
poisons affecting those _racial elements_ of which the individual body,
biologically conceived, is merely the ephemeral host: recalling the
great line of Lucretius, “_et quasi cursores, vitaï lampada tradunt_.”
To lame the runner is not to injure the torch he bears--acquired
characters are not transmitted; but the racial poison makes dim the
lamp ere the runner passes it on.

=Selection and racial change.=--But, leaving poisons out of the
question, races of men and animals _do_ undergo change, progressive
and retrogressive, in consequence of the action of another factor than
that advanced by Lamarck: and this is the factor of “natural selection”
or “survival of the fittest.” If, of any generation, individuals of a
certain kind are chosen by the environment for survival and parenthood,
the character of the species will change accordingly. If what we call
the best are chosen, their goodness will be transmitted in some degree,
and the race will advance: if what we call the worst are chosen,
their badness will be transmitted in some degree, and the race will

=The two kinds of progress.=--Now in the case of all species other than
man, the only possible progress is this racial or inherent progress,
dependent upon a choice or selection of parents, and comparable in some
measure, as Darwin showed, with the change similarly produced in the
selective breeding or “artificial selection” of the lower animals by
man. But in the case of man himself, there is a wholly different kind
of progress also attainable, which is not inherent or racial progress
at all, but yet is real progress: and which has the most important
relations to the inherent or racial progress that might be achieved by
the process of natural selection, or the choice of parents.

It has been laid down that acquired characters are not transmissible
by heredity: but man has learnt--and it is well for him--to circumvent
the laws of heredity by transmitting his spiritual acquirements through
language and art. Even before writing there was tradition, passed on
from mouth to mouth. As long as man was without writing he advanced
little faster than other creatures, we may surmise: we know that he
has an undistinguished past of probably at least six million years:
but with speech _and writing_ came the transmission of acquirements
in this special sense; not that the past education of a mother will
enlarge her baby's brain, but that she can teach her daughter what she
has learnt, and so the child can begin where the parent left off, just
as Lamarck wrongly imagined to be the case with the young giraffe, that
he supposed to profit by the stretching of the parental necks. It is
this transmission of spiritual acquirements--outside the germ-plasm
and in defiance of its laws--that explains the amazing advance of man
in the last ten or twenty thousand years as compared with the almost
speechless ages before them.

This kind of progress is peculiar to man,[78] it is the gift of
intelligence, and we may call it traditional or acquired progress. It
is an utterly different thing from inherent or racial progress, an
improvement in the breed dependent upon the happy choice of parents.
And it is surely evident, on a moment's consideration, that acquired
progress is compatible with inherent decadence. To use Coleridge's
image, a dwarf may see further than a giant if he sits on the giant's
shoulders: yet he is a dwarf and the other a giant. Any schoolboy now
knows more than Aristotle, and that is true progress of a kind, but the
schoolboy may well be a dwarf compared with Aristotle, and may belong
to a race degenerate when compared with his; _and that is inherent or
racial decadence subsisting with acquired or traditional progress_.

Now whilst the accumulation of knowledge and art and power
from age to age is real progress, it evidently depends for its
stability and persistence upon the quality of the race.[79] If the
race degenerates--through, say, the selection of the worst for
parenthood--the time will come when its heritage is too much for it.
The pearls of the ancestral art are now cast before swine, and are
trampled on: statues, temples, books are destroyed or burnt or lost. If
an Empire has been built, the degenerate race cannot sustain it. _There
is no wealth but life: and if the quality of the life fails, neither
battleships nor libraries nor symphonies nor anything else will save a
nation._ This we all know, though no one who observed our legislation
or read our Parliamentary debates would suspect that it had ever
entered into our minds. Empires and civilisations, then, have fallen,
despite the strength and magnitude of the superstructure, because the
foundations decayed: and the bigger and heavier the superstructure the
less could it survive their failure. If the Fiji islanders degenerate,
there is little consequence: if the breed of Romans degenerate, all
their vast mass of acquired progress and power crushes them into
dramatic ruin. This image, I believe, truly expresses the relation
between the two wholly distinct kinds of progress, which we have yet
to learn to distinguish. Acquired progress will not compensate for
racial or inherent decadence. If the race is going down, it will not
compensate to add another colony to your Empire: on the contrary,
the bigger the Empire the stronger must be the race: the bigger the
superstructure the stronger the foundations. Acquired progress is real
progress, but it is always dependent for its maintenance upon racial or
inherent progress--or, at least, upon racial maintenance.

=Nothing fails like success.=--I believe, then, that civilisations
and Empires have succumbed because they represented only acquired
or traditional or educational progress and this availed not at all
when the races that built them up began to degenerate. Now the only
explanation of racial degeneration yet offered by the historians--apart
from the foolish one of racial senility--is the Lamarckian one of
the transmission of habits of luxury and idleness from parent to
child: an explanation which the modern study of heredity empowers us
to repudiate. What theory of this alleged degeneration is there to
offer in its place: and especially what theory which explains racial
degeneration amongst not the conquered but the conquerors: amongst the
successful, the Imperial, the cultured, the leisured, the well-catered
for in all respects, bodily and mental? Why is it that not enslaved but
Imperial peoples degenerate? Why is it that nothing fails like success?

What I believe to be the true and sufficient answer has been given
by no historian: but the key to it is only fifty years old. The
reason is that no race or species, vegetable or animal or human,
can maintain--much less raise--its organic level unless its best be
selected for parenthood. It is true of a race as of an individual that
it must work for its living--so to speak--if it is not to degenerate.
When the terms are too easy, down you go. The tape-worm has given
up even digesting for its living, and we know its degeneracy--all
hooks and mouth. Society works and hands over its predigested food
to such social parasites amongst ourselves. You must struggle or
you will degenerate--even if only with rhyme or counterpoint, not
necessarily for bread. “Effort is the law,” as Ruskin said: whether for
a livelihood or for enjoyment. Living things are the product of the
struggle for existence: we are thus evolved strugglers by constitution:
and directly we cease to struggle we forfeit the possibilities of our
birthright. “Thou, O God,” said Leonardo, “hast given all good things
to man at the price of labour.”

The case is the same with races. Directly the conditions become too
easy, selection ceases, and it is as successful to be incompetent or
lazy or vicious as to be worthy. The hard conditions that kept weeding
out the unworthy are now relaxed and the fine race they made goes back
again. Finally there occurs the phenomenon of _reversed selection_,
when it is fitter to be bad than good, cowardly than brave--as when
religious persecution murders all who are true to themselves and spares
hypocrites and apostates: or when healthy children are killed in
factories whilst feeble-minded children or deaf-mutes are carefully
tended until maturity and then sent into the world to reproduce their
maladies. Under reversed selection such results are obtained as a
breeder of race-horses or plants would obtain if he went to work on
similar lines: the race degenerates rapidly: and if it be an Imperial
race its Empire comes crashing down about its ears. All Empires and
civilisations hitherto have involved the partial or complete arrest
or reversal of the process of natural selection: and the racial
degeneration which necessarily ensued has been the cause of their
invariable doom.

When a primitive race is making its way by force, selection is
stringent. The weak, cowardly, diseased, stupid are expunged from
generation to generation. As civilisation advances, a higher ethical
level is reached: all true civilisation tending to abrogate and
ameliorate the struggle for existence. The diseased and weakly and
feeble-minded are no longer left to pay the penalty sternly exacted
by Nature for unfitness: they are allowed to survive and multiply. A
successful race can apparently afford to permit this, as a race that is
fighting for its existence cannot. But in reality no race can afford
this absolutely fatal process.

There is thus a real risk involved in the accumulation of acquired,
traditional or educational progress. Not only does it tend to
abrogate or even to reverse selection, but it serves to disguise
the consequences of this abrogation. If a subhuman race degenerates
the fact is evident: but such a nation as our own may quite well
degenerate whilst the accumulation of acquired progress, transmitted
by education, almost completely cloaks the fact _for a time_. We may
be congratulating ourselves upon our progress, upon our knowledge, our
science and art, our institutions, legal and charitable, whilst all
the time the breed is undergoing retrogression.

We see now, I think, the explanation of the truth expressed by
Gibbon,--“all that is human must retrograde if it do not advance.” Why
should this be so? Why should it not be possible merely to maintain
a position gained? The answer is that the civilisation which merely
maintains its position is one in which selection has ceased: if
selection had not ceased, the position would be more than maintained,
there would be advance. But without selection the breed will certainly
degenerate, the lower individuals multiplying more rapidly than higher
ones, in accordance with Spencer's law that the higher the type of the
individual the less rapidly does he multiply; and thus the race which
is not advancing is retrograding, as Gibbon declared.

Natural selection is the sole factor of efficient and permanent
progress, but the traditional or acquired progress which we call
civilisation tends to thwart or abrogate or even invert this process. I
thus believe that the conditions necessary for the _secure_ ascent of
any race, an ascent secured in its very blood, made stable in its very
bone, have not yet been achieved in history: _and I advance this as the
reason why history records no enduring Empire_.

=Some historical instances.=--In the face of certain facts of
contemporary history I do not for a moment assert that there are
no other causes of Imperial failure than the arrest or reversal of
selection. But I do assert that if this is not the cause, then, in
the absence of the transmission of acquired characters, the race has
not degenerated, and is capable of reasserting itself. Only by the
arrest or reversal of selection can a race degenerate--apart from the
racial poisons. If, then, a civilisation or Empire has fallen through
causes altogether non-biological--through carelessness, or neglect
of motherhood or alteration of ideals--the changes in character so
produced are not transmitted to the children, and the race is not
degenerate but merely deteriorated in each generation.

For instance, we have been brought up to believe that there is no
possible future for Spain; it is a dying nation, a senile individual,
a people of degenerates; it has had its day, which can never return.
The historian explains this by the false analogy between a race and
an individual, and by the false Lamarckian theory of heredity. To
these the biologist retorts with comments upon their falsity, and with
the conviction that since Spain, even allowing for the anti-eugenic
labours of the Inquisition, has not been subjected to the only
process which can ensure real degeneration--viz., the consistent and
stringent selection of the worst--she is yet capable of regeneration.
Regeneration is not really the word, because there has been little real
degeneration, but only the successive deterioration of successive and
undegenerate generations.

If we took an animal species that _has_ degenerated, such as the
intestinal parasites, and endeavoured to regenerate them, we
should begin to realise the magnitude of our task. That is not
the task for Spain, the biologist asserts. Merely the environment
must be altered,--not the mountain ranges and the rivers, Buckle
notwithstanding, but the really potent factors in the environment, the
spiritual and psychical and social factors--and the deterioration of
each new generation, inherently undegenerate, will cease. I am using
these opposed terms with great care and of set purpose.

And the biologist is right. The facts concerning which so many
historians have shaken their heads, and upon which they have based
so many moralisings and theories of history, the facts which they
have cited in support of their false analogies and misconceptions of
heredity--due, of course, to the errors of former biology--turn out to
be not facts at all, or, at any rate, only facts of the moment. The
“dying nation,” as Lord Salisbury called it, has occasion to alter
its psychical environment. It introduces the practice of education;
it begins to shake off the yoke of ecclesiasticism; and what are the

The new generation is found to be potentially little worse and little
better than its predecessors of the sixteenth century. There has been
no national or racial degeneration. The environment is modified for
the better, _i.e._, so as to choose the better, and Spain, as they say
in misleading phrase, “takes on a new lease of life.” The historian of
the present day, knowing as a historian what qualities of blood have
been in the Spanish people, and basing his theories upon sound biology,
must confidently assert that that blood, incapable, as he knows, of
degeneration by any Lamarckian process, may still retain its ancient
quality and will yet make history.

But the historian might well write a volume upon the same thesis
as applied to China and Japan. We know historically what were the
immediate effects in one generation of a total change of environment in
Japan. That change has not yet occurred in China, but must inevitably
occur. Consider for a moment how the historian, made far-sighted
and clear-sighted by biology, must contemplate the history of this
astounding people. The popular belief used to be that China illustrated
the so-called law of nations. It was the decadent, though monstrous,
relic of an ancient civilisation; it had had its day. Inevitable
degeneration, which must befall all peoples, had come upon it. Behold
it in the paralysis which precedes death!

But in the light of the facts of Japan, the man in the street and the
historian alike have in this case found modern biology superfluous in
enabling them to arrive at sound conclusions. They now believe what
the Darwinian has been compelled to believe for half a century, and
more strongly than ever during the latter part of that period, when the
doctrine of the transmission of modifications was finally discredited.
A clever writer invents the phrase “the yellow peril,” and people
discard their old theories. The metaphor must be changed. This is not
paralysis, but merely slumber. Doubtless, it is an unnatural slumber;
doubtless, it is not the slumber which brings renewed strength. It
is suspense or stupor, not recuperation; but assuredly it is not
paralysis. Who now would dare to say that China has had its day, even
if he still clings to the old fictions about Spain?

=Motherhood and history.=--Here, also, reference must again be made
to another factor of history to which, as I think, the biologist must
attach enormous importance, but which no historian yet has adequately
reckoned with. Our prime assumption from beginning to end is that
“there is no wealth but life,” or, if one may venture to improve upon
Ruskin, _there is no wealth but mind_; and in the attempt to suggest
interpretations of history based upon this truth, so little recked of
by the historian, we have considered the life in question from the
point of view of its determination by heredity, and its varying value
according to the inherent and transmissible characters selected in each
generation. But a word must be said as to the other factor which, with
heredity, determines the character of the individual--and that factor
is the environment. I wish merely to note the most important aspect
of the environment of human beings, and to observe that historians
hitherto have wholly ignored it; yet its influence is incalculable. I
refer to motherhood.

One might have the most perfect system of selection of the finest
and highest individuals for parenthood; but the babies whose
potentialities--heredity gives no more--are so splendid, are always,
will be always, dependent upon motherhood. What was the state of
motherhood during the decline and fall of the Roman Empire? This factor
counts in history; and always will count so long as, three times in
every century, the only wealth of nations is reduced to dust, and is
raised again from helpless infancy. As to Rome we know little, whatever
may be suspected: but we know that here in the heart of the greatest
Empire in history--and it is at the heart that Empires rot--thousands
of mothers go out every day to tend dead machines, whilst their own
flesh and blood, with whom lies the Imperial destiny, are tended anyhow
or not at all. It may yet be said by some enlightened historian of the
future that the living wealth of this people, in the twentieth century,
began to be eaten away by the cancer which we call “married women's
labour,” and that, as will be evident to that historian's readers, its
damnation was sure. To-day our historians and politicians think in
terms of regiments and tariffs and “Dreadnoughts”: the time will come
when they must think in terms of babies and motherhood. We must think
in such terms too if we wish Great Britain to be much longer great.
Meanwhile some of us see the perennial slaughter of babies in this
land, and the deterioration of many for every one killed outright, the
waste of mothers' travail and tears: and we recall Ruskin's words:--

  “Nevertheless, it is open, I repeat, to serious question, which
  I leave to the reader's pondering, whether, among national
  manufactures, that of Souls of a good quality may not at last turn
  out a quite leadingly lucrative one? Nay, in some far-away and yet
  undreamt-of hour, I can even imagine that England may cast all
  thoughts of possessive wealth back to the barbaric nations among whom
  they first arose; and that, while the sands of the Indus and adamant
  of Golconda may yet stiffen the housings of the charger, and flash
  from the turban of the slave, she, as a Christian mother, may at last
  attain to the virtues and the treasures of a Heathen one, and be able
  to lead forth her Sons, saying:--

                         “These are MY Jewels.”

Had all Roman mothers been Cornelias, would Rome have fallen?[80]
Consider the imitation mothers--no longer mammalia--to be found in
certain classes to-day--mothers who should be ashamed to look any
tabby-cat in the face; consider the ignorant and downtrodden mothers
amongst our lower classes; and ask whether these things are not making

=The survival of the Jews.=--The principles the discussion of which has
here been attempted had all been set down before it suddenly seemed
clear that they found their warrant and application in the unexampled
riddle of the persistence and success, throughout more than two
thousand years and a thousand vicissitudes, of the Jewish people. It is
true that we have here no exception to the apparent law that Empires
are mortal, for within this period there never was a Jewish Empire: the
Jews were never subject to the risk involved for racial or inherent
progress by the possession of great acquired powers. But just as the
fall of Empires has often _not_ been the fall of races--various races
having at various times carried on the same Imperial tradition--so
the persistence of the Jews, as contrasted with the impermanence of
Empires, _has_ been the persistence of a race. I believe that the
principles already laid down offer us an adequate explanation of this
unique case: and further, that if we had begun with the case of the
Jews, endeavouring, by the investigation of their case, to explain the
contrasted case of other races and of all Empires hitherto, we should
have arrived at the same principles.

It has been asserted that that race or people decays in which selection
ceases or is reversed; that in the absence of selection of the
worthy for parenthood, no species, vegetable, animal or human, can
prosper--much less progress. Now the Jews, the one human race of which
we know assuredly that it has persisted unimpaired, have been the most
continuously and stringently selected of any race, I suppose, that can
be named. Every measure of persecution and repression practised against
them by the people amongst whom they have lived, has directly tended
towards the very end which those people least desired to compass.
Other peoples found themselves prosperous through the efforts of their
fathers; the struggle for existence abated; it was, so to say, as fit
to be unfit as to be fit--with the inevitable result. But this has
never been the case of the Jews. They have always had to struggle for
life intensely: and their unexampled struggle has been a great source
of their unexampled strength. The Jew who was a weakling or a fool
had no chance at all; the weaklings and the fools being weeded out,
intensity and strength of mind became the common heritage of this
amazing people.

Secondly, there was everything to favour motherhood. Here religious
precept and ethical tradition joined with stem necessity to the same
end--the end which always meant a new and strong beginning for the next
generation. Even to-day all observers are agreed that infant mortality
is at a minimum amongst the Jews; their children are superior in height
and weight and chest measurement to Gentile children brought up amidst
poverty far less intense in our own great cities; _in a better material
environment, but a far inferior maternal environment_. The Jewish
mother is the mother of children innately superior, on the average,
since they are the fruit of such long ages of stringent parental
selection, and she makes more of them because she fails to nurse them
only in the rarest cases, when she has no choice, and because in
every detail her maternal care is incomparably superior to that of
her Gentile sister. Given a high standard of motherhood in a highly
selected race, what other result than that we daily witness and envy
can we expect?

Thirdly, the Jews do not abuse alcohol, and thus avoid one of the few
causes of true racial degeneration apart from selection of the worst
for parenthood.

       *       *       *       *       *

If these principles are valid, it is evident that our redemption from
the fate of all our predecessors is to be found only in Eugenics--the
selection of the best for parenthood. In his address to the
Sociological Society in 1904, in which he defined this term, Mr. Galton
named as one of the duties before the Society, “historical enquiry
into the rates with which the various classes of society (classified
according to civic usefulness) have contributed to the population at
various times, in ancient and modern nations.” “There is strong reason
for believing,” he continued, “that national rise and decline is
closely connected with this influence.”[81]

=What is a good environment?=--Using the word environment in its widest
sense, including, for instance, public opinion--and its use in any
sense less wide is always erroneous and misleading--we may say that it
is our business to provide the environment which selects the best for
parenthood and discourages the parenthood of the worst--say the deaf
and dumb, the feeble-minded, the insane, the epileptic, the inebriate,
those afflicted with hereditary disease of other kinds, and so forth.
Our principles should enable us, also, I think, to define what we
mean by a good environment. Comprehensive and indiscriminate charity
means a good environment for many in a sense, but it may also mean the
selection of the worst for parenthood--_e.g._, the feeble-minded. This
“good” environment _then_ means the degeneration of the race. We must
therefore _appraise environment in terms of its selective action_.
A good environment is that which selects the good, and the best
environment is that which selects the best; discovers them, makes the
utmost of them, and confers upon them the supreme privilege and duty of
parenthood. That and that alone is the best environment, and all other
moral judgments upon environment are fallacious and will be disastrous.

=The necessary conclusion.=--National Eugenics teaches that the first
duty of all governments and patriots and good citizens is, to quote
Ruskin again, “the production and recognition of human worth, the
detection and extinction of human unworthiness.” The idea is not
new-fangled, but was clearly laid down by Plato, and by Theognis two
centuries before him.

Eugenics is a project of the most elevated and provident morality,
aiming at no object less sublime than the ennoblement of mankind; and
if one may suggest its motto it would be, _The products of progress
are not mechanisms but men_. It is based upon the principle of the
selection or choice of the superior for parenthood, which has been
the essential factor of all progress in the world of life, but which
all civilisations have tended in some degree to abrogate--or even to
reverse, as when the feeble-minded child is cared for till maturity and
sent out into the world to produce its like, whilst healthy children
are daily destroyed by ignorance and neglect.

“Through Nature only can we ascend”--and the merit of the eugenic
proposal is that it is built upon “the solid ground of nature.”

To the economist, it declares that _the culture of the racial life is
the vital industry of any people_.

It is to work through marriage, an institution more ancient than
mankind, and supremely valuable in its services to childhood--with
which lies all human destiny.

Eugenics appeals to the individual, asking for a little imagination,
which will make us realise that the future will one day be the present
and that to serve it is to serve no fiction or phantom, but a reality
as real as the present generation.

It teaches the responsibility of the noblest and most sacred of all
professions, which is parenthood, and it makes a sober and dignified
claim to be regarded as a constituent of the religion of the future.

It goes to the root of the matter; where the well-meaning, but
short-sighted, pin their faith on the hospitals, the eugenist seeks
to brand the transmission of hereditary disease as a crime, and thus
literally to extirpate it altogether.

That its methods are practicable is proved by the fact that it is
practised--as by the northern society for the “_permanent_ care of the
feeble-minded,” which serves the present and the future simultaneously
and reconciles the law of love with the earlier law of nature--which
asserts that parenthood must be denied to the unworthy--without blame
or malice, but without exception. It suggests the principles of a New
Imperialism, and offers, I submit, our sole chance of escape from the
fate which has overtaken all previous civilisations. It honours men and
women by declaring that human parenthood is crowned with responsibility
to the unborn, and to all time coming, and that man, the animal in
body, is also a self-conscious being, “looking before and after,” who
is human because he is responsible, and to whom the laws of nature have
been revealed, not to satisfy an intellectual curiosity, but for the
highest end conceivable--the elevation of his race.

Let me quote a fine passage from Wordsworth's “Prelude”:--

    “With settling judgments now of what would last
    And what would disappear; prepared to find
    Presumption, folly, madness, in the men
    Who thrust themselves upon the passive world
    As Rulers of the world; to see in these,
    Even when the public welfare is their aim,
    Plans without thought, or built on theories
    Vague and unsound; and having brought the books
    Of modern statists to their proper test,
    Life, human life, with all its sacred claims
    Of sex and age, and heaven-descended rights,
    Mortal, or those beyond the reach of death;
    And having thus discerned how dire a thing
    Is worshipped in that idol proudly named
    ‘The Wealth of Nations’; where alone that wealth
    Is lodged, and how increased; and having gained
    A more judicious knowledge of the worth
    And dignity of individual man,
    No composition of the brain, but man
    Of whom we read, the man whom we behold
    With our own eyes--I could not but enquire--
    Not with less interest than heretofore,
    But greater, though in spirit more subdued--
    Why is this glorious creature to be found
    One only in ten thousand? What one is,
    Why may not millions be? What bars are thrown
    By Nature in the way of such a hope?”

Consider how far we have come, the base degrees by which we did ascend,
and answer with Shakespeare, “There are many events in the womb of
time which will be delivered.”

                              CHAPTER XVI


  (1) “If the various checks specified in the two last paragraphs,
  and perhaps others as yet unknown, do not prevent the reckless, the
  vicious, and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing
  at a quicker rate than the better class of men, the nation will
  retrograde, as has too often occurred in the history of the world.
  We must remember that progress is no invariable rule. It is very
  difficult to say why one civilised nation rises, becomes more
  powerful, and spreads more widely, than another; or why the same
  nation progresses more quickly at one time than at another. We can
  only say that it depends on an increase in the actual number of the
  population, on the number of the men endowed with high intellectual
  and moral faculties, as well as on their standard of excellence.
  Corporeal structure appears to have little influence, except so far
  as vigour of body leads to vigour of mind.”--Darwin, _The Descent of
  Man_, 1871.

  (2) Referring to “the rates with which the various classes of
  society (classified according to civic usefulness) have contributed
  to the population at various times, in ancient and modern nations,”
  Mr. Francis Galton said “there is strong reason for believing
  that national rise and decline is closely connected with this
  influence.”--Galton, _Sociological Papers_, 1904, p. 47.

  (3) “The inexplicable decline and fall of nations following from no
  apparent external cause receives instant light from the relative
  fertility of the fitter and unfitter elements combined with what we
  now know of the laws of inheritance.”[82]--Pearson, 1904.

  (4) To the question, What were the causes of the fall of
  Rome? Mr. Balfour replies, “I feel disposed to answer,
  Decadence.”[83]--Balfour, 1908.

The lecture of which the previous chapter is the written form was
prepared and delivered before I had an opportunity of seeing Mr. A. J.
Balfour's lecture on “Decadence” delivered a few days before. That has
since been printed, and is well worthy of our attention. In Mr. Balfour
we have a representative political thinker, an experimental statesman
and, furthermore, a former President of the British Association, deeply
interested in, and favourably disposed towards, scientific enquiry and
the scientific method. Further, this lecture has been widely noticed,
though all the criticisms I have seen seem to me to miss the point.
No apology, then, is necessary for a special discussion of this most
suggestive lecture in direct relation with the foregoing theory of its

Political and national decadence is Mr. Balfour's theme, and we note
first that here is a contemporary thinker, not unread in recent
biology, including the work of Weismann, who is prepared to make use
of the idea that societies are inherently mortal, as individuals are.
One wonders when we shall be rid of this pernicious instance of the
argument from analogy, which is already much more than two thousand
years old.

Next it may be noticed that, though Mr. Balfour has deliberately
discussed the idea of natural selection, he has been led wholly
astray from its true relation to the question under discussion by
reason of falling into the common error which Sir E. Ray Lankester
has recently exposed, as Huxley did several decades ago. Mr. Balfour
conceives natural selection to issue from the struggle for existence
between species or societies. It has already been pointed out that the
all-important natural selection is not between species or societies
but within them. The struggle for existence is fought out mainly
between the immature individuals of any species or society. Its issue
determines the survivors for parenthood and the future. Mr. Balfour
must have read Professor Ray Lankester's recent Romanes Lecture in
which all this is so clearly shown, but he has unfortunately retained
the popular conception of natural selection as acting between species
or societies, and has in consequence failed, I will not say to find,
but even to discuss in any adequate measure, the theory of racial
and national decadence, defined in the preceding chapter. He merely
discusses “competition between groups of communities,” and rightly
finds it inadequate to account for the great tragedies of history.

There follows a passage which may be heartily assented to, on the very
grounds on which the entire lecture may be welcomed, namely, that
it suggests the inadequacy of the common explanations of national
decadence advanced by historians. Says Mr. Balfour:--

  “It is in vain that historians enumerate the public calamities which
  preceded, and no doubt contributed to, the final catastrophe. Civil
  dissensions, military disasters, pestilences, famines, tyrants,
  tax-gatherers, growing burdens, and waning wealth--the gloomy
  catalogue is unrolled before our eyes, yet somehow it does not in all
  cases wholly satisfy us: we feel that some of these diseases are of a
  kind which a vigorous body politic should easily be able to survive,
  that others are secondary symptoms of some obscurer malady, and that
  in neither case do they supply us with the full explanation of which
  we are in search.”

One must heartily thank the author for the abundant demonstration
which follows, well warranting our feeling that these explanations do
not suffice--nor yet, in the case of Rome, diminution of population,
nor the “brutalities of the gladiatorial shows,” nor “the gratuitous
distribution of bread to the urban mobs,” nor yet slavery, lately
declared, by Mr. W. R. Paterson, in his _Nemesis of Nations_, to be
_the_ cause of the fall of empires. As Mr. Balfour says, “Who can
believe that this immemorial custom could, in its decline, destroy
the civilisation which, in its vigour, it had helped to create?” It
would have been more important, perhaps, to consider, as Mr. Balfour
does not, the latest view, advanced by Professor Ronald Ross, that the
incursion of malaria may have had something to do with the fall of Rome.

=Mr. Balfour's theory--decadence the cause of decadence.=--Mr. Balfour
then falls back upon “decadence "as the explanation, and to the
critic of this elegant hypothesis that decadence is due to decadence,
replies that it is something to recognise the possibility of "subtle
changes in the social tissues of old communities.” One regrets all
the more that he should not have considered anti-eugenic practices
as possibly accounting for these subtle changes. One must, however,
quote the excellent passage in which Mr. Balfour supports his use of
the word decadence, though one utterly disagrees with the suggestion
that the term “old age” might be its equivalent. He says: “The facile
generalisations with which we so often season the study of dry historic
fact; the habits of political discussion which induce us to catalogue
for purposes of debate the outward signs that distinguish (as we are
prone to think) the standing from the falling state, hide the obscurer,
but more potent, forces which silently prepare the fate of empires.”

We may note with interest (and surely with surprise when we consider
Japan and Spain and the China of to-morrow), Mr. Balfour's rejection
of the doctrine that “arrested progress, and even decadence, may be
but the prelude to a new period of vigorous growth. So that even those
races or nations which seem frozen into eternal immobility may base
upon experience their hopes of an awakening spring.” It is, I fancy,
Mr. Balfour's fondness for the Platonic idea of senility in the race
as in the individual, that leads him to question what can surely
be no longer denied. Thus a little later we find him saying, “_If
civilisations wear out, and races become effete_, why should we expect
to progress indefinitely, why for us alone is the doom of man to be

Nowhere in this lecture is there any recognition of what, I confess,
seems to me to be an obvious and necessary truth, the distinction
between the two kinds of progress--racial progress due to the choice
of the best for parenthood, and acquired or traditional progress. It
may be suggested that no one can usefully discuss decadence or progress
until he has seen and perceived this absolutely cardinal distinction,
suggested in my Royal Institution lectures in February, 1907, as one
of the great lessons taught by the study of biology to the student of

Mr. Balfour does indeed avoid all those false solutions which depend
upon a Lamarckian belief in the transmission of acquired characters.
This, however, instead of leading him to insist upon the Darwinian
contribution to the study of decadence--the idea of _selection_--causes
him to regard the racial question as unimportant. He notes one or
two of the fashions in which the quality of a race may be modified,
thus influencing national character, and then dismisses this question
(wherein, as I cannot doubt, everything material lies) with the remark,
“But such changes are not likely, I suppose, to be considerable,
except perhaps those due to the mixture of races--and that only in new
countries.”--Reaching page 45, the reader finds himself confident that
now at length the writer has put his finger on the crux of the problem.
Yet that is how he dismisses it; adding, indeed, to make it quite
clear, the following words: “The flexible element in any society, that
which is susceptible of progress or decadence, must therefore be looked
for rather in the physical and psychical conditions affecting the life
of its component units, than in their inherited constitution.”

Not a word as to cessation of selection! This omission, which is,
indeed, the omission of _the_ fact of decadence, mainly depends, one
fancies, upon that erroneous conception of natural selection as acting
between species and societies rather than within them, which for so
many decades the biologist has been at pains to correct. One would
indeed have thought that, for a scholar and student like Mr. Balfour,
Wordsworth's great sonnet would have sufficed to set up a train of
thought which, fusing with ordinary biological principles, would have
led him to what I believe to be the truth. Let us for a moment turn to
its consideration:--

    “When I have borne in memory what has tamed
    Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
    When men change swords for ledgers....”

Should not this be enough to suggest to us the real meaning of the
consequence which has followed when men changed swords for ledgers,
and which even those who hate war as a vile blasphemy against life
must recognise? It is that, as we have seen, when a nation is making
its way there is selection of the fittest by the stern arbitrament of
war, in which the battle is to the individually strong and fleet and
brave and quick-witted. Later, “when men change swords for ledgers,”
selection ceases; and that is why nothing fails like success. Yet later
still, as France should know, selection by war must take the form of
reversed selection, the flower of a nation's youth being immolated on
the battle-field, whilst its future is determined by the weak and small
and diseased, whom the recruiting sergeant rejects. “You are not good
enough to be a soldier,” he says; “stay at home and be a father.” That
was what Napoleon did for France.

But to return--for the relations of war to eugenics would really demand
a volume--it may be noted that, though rejecting the Lamarckian
theory--the theory on which nothing should succeed like success--Mr.
Balfour nowhere emphasises the amazing paradox of history that nothing
fails like success. If we consider this fact with the idea of natural
selection in our minds (not between societies but within them), we
cannot fail to perceive that success involves failure because it
involves failure of selection, and therefore indiscriminate survival;
or indeed, survival of the worst.

=Politics and domestics.=--It is, perhaps, a noteworthy comment upon
what may be called the political state of mind, that even when the idea
of natural selection has entered it, the bias is towards associating it
with international and not with intra-national or domestic politics.
The time will come, however, when the politician--or shall we say
the statesman?--realises that it is the domestic policy, it is the
internal struggle for survival within a society, that conditions
and fore-ordains all international politics. The history of nations
is determined not on the battlefield but in the nursery, and the
battalions which give lasting victory are battalions of babies. _The
politics of the future will be domestics._

Having rejected so many solutions of his problem, and having ignored
the solution which is advanced in this volume, Mr. Balfour is reduced
to such desperate resorts as phrases like this: “The point at which
the energy of advance is exhausted”--a mere meaningless phrase; and
even such an explanation as that through “mere weariness of spirit the
community resigns itself to ... stagnation.” One is inclined to throw
up one's hands and ask--Do you, then, who deny the Lamarckian theory,
suppose that the fresh children come into the world with this “mere
weariness of spirit”? Has this been observed in children? Is there
anything conceivable that has been less observed in children, in all
times and all places? And if that be so, what kind of explanation of
decadence is this?

=Science and industry.=--Lastly, in a series of fine passages, Mr.
Balfour offers us some hope in the help of science. Politics, says our
ex-Premier, too often means “the barren exchange of one set of tyrants
or jobbers, for another”: a Daniel come to judgment. We owe the modern
spirit and modern progress, he tells us, neither to politicians nor to
political institutions, nor to theologians nor to philosophers, but
to science, which, he well says, “is the great instrument of social
change, all the greater because its object is not change but knowledge;
and its silent appropriation of this dominant function, amid the
din of political and religious strife, is the most vital of all the
revolutions which have marked the development of modern civilisation.”

And our cause of hope is “a social force, new in magnitude if not in
kind ... the modern alliance between pure science and industry.” To
this I answer a thousand times yes, but I must define the kind of
industry. It is the culture of the racial life which is the vital
industry of any nation, and which Mr. Balfour has not even distantly
alluded to. I agree that our hope for the future is to be found in
science: that, as has been said already, perchance our acquired or
traditional progress in knowledge has now reached the point at which we
have sufficient to reveal to us the necessity of racial progress and
the means by which that may be effected.

“Science and industry,”--yes, indeed! But the industry is to be the
making not of machines but men. _The products of progress are not
mechanisms but men_, and one may now ask, What is the industry whose
products can be named in the same breath with the men and women who
shall yet be produced by the supreme industry of race-culture?

                              CHAPTER XVII

                      THE PROMISE OF RACE-CULTURE

                        “The best is yet to be.”

In its form of what we have called _negative_ eugenics, the practice
of our principle would assuredly reduce to an incalculable extent the
amount of human defect, mental and physical, which each generation
now exhibits. This alone, as has been said, would be far more than
sufficient to justify us. A world without hereditary disease of mind
and body, and its grave social consequences, would alone warrant the
hint of Ruskin that posterity may some day look back upon us with
“incredulous disdain.” Yet, assuming that this could be accomplished,
as it will be accomplished, what more is to be hoped for? Must
race-culture cease merely when it has raised the average of the
community by reducing to a minimum the proportion of those who are
thus grossly defective in mind or body? Such disease apart, are we to
be content, must we be content, with the present level of mediocrity
in respect of intelligence and temper and moral sentiment? Can we
anticipate a London in which the present ratio of musical comedy
to great opera will be reversed, in which the works of Mr. George
Meredith will sell in hundreds of thousands, whilst some of our popular
novelists will have to find other means of earning a living? Can we
make for a critical democracy which no political party can fool, and
which will choose its best to govern it? Yet more, can we undertake,
now or hereafter, to provide every generation with its own Shakespeare
and Beethoven and Tintoretto and Newton? What, in a word, is the
promise of _positive_ eugenics? It is to this aspect of the question
that Mr. Galton has mainly directed himself. Indeed he was led to
formulate the principles and ideals of the new science by his study of
hereditary genius some four decades ago. Let us now attempt to answer
some of these questions.

=The production of genius.=--And first as to the production of genius.
It is this, perhaps, that has been the main butt of the jesters who
pass for philosophers with some of us to-day. It may be said at once
that neither Mr. Galton nor any other responsible person has ever
asserted that we can produce genius at will. The difficulties in the
way of such a project--at present--are almost innumerable. One or two
may be cited.

In the first place, there is the cardinal--but by no means
universal--difficulty that the genius is too commonly so occupied with
the development and expansion of his own individuality that he has
little time or energy for the purposes of the race. This, of course, is
an example of Spencer's great generalisation as to the antagonism or
inverse ratio between individuation and genesis.

Again, there is the generalisation of heredity formulated by Mr.
Galton, and named by him the _law of regression towards mediocrity_.
It asserts that the children of those who are above or below the mean
of a race, tend to return towards that mean. The children of the born
criminal will be probably somewhat less criminal in tendency than he,
though more criminal than the average citizen. The children of the
man of genius, if he has any, will probably be nearer mediocrity than
he, though on the average possessing greater talent than the average
citizen. It is thus not in the nature of sheer genius to reproduce
on its own level. It is only the critics who are wholly ignorant of
the elementary facts of heredity that attribute to the eugenist an
expectation of which no one knows the absurdity so well as he does.

On the other hand, it is impossible to question that the hereditary
transmission of genius or great talent does occur. One may cite at
random such cases as that of the Bach family, Thomas and Matthew
Arnold, James and John Stuart Mill: and the reader who is inclined
to believe that there is no law or likelihood in this matter, must
certainly make himself acquainted with Mr. Galton's _Hereditary
Genius_, and with such a paper as that which he printed in
_Sociological Papers_, 1904, furnishing an “index to achievements of
near kinsfolk of some of the Fellows of the Royal Society.” There is,
of course, the obvious fallacy involved in the possibility that not
heredity but environment was really responsible for many of these
cases. It must have been a great thing to have such a father as James
Mill. But it would be equally idle to imagine that the evidence can
be dismissed with this criticism. A Matthew Arnold, a John Stuart
Mill, could not be manufactured out of any chance material by an ideal
education continued for a thousand years.

=The transmission of genius.=--One single instance of the transmission
of genius or great talent in a family may be cited. We shall take the
family which produced Charles Darwin, the discoverer of the fundamental
principle of eugenics, and his first cousin, Francis Galton. Darwin's
grandfather was Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet and philosopher, and
independent expounder of the doctrine of organic evolution. Darwin's
father was a distinguished physician, described by his son as “the
wisest man I ever knew.” Darwin's maternal grandfather was Josiah
Wedgwood, the famous founder of the pottery works. Amongst his first
cousins is Mr. Francis Galton. He has five living sons, each a man of
great distinction, including Mr. Francis Darwin and Sir George Darwin,
both of them original thinkers, honoured by the presidency of the
British Association. No one will put such a case as this down to pure
chance or to the influence of environment alone. This is evidently,
like many others, a greatly distinguished stock. The worth of such
families to a nation is wholly beyond any one's powers of estimation.
What if Erasmus Darwin had never married!

No student of human heredity can doubt that, however limited our
immediate hopes, facts such as those alluded to furnish promise of
great things for the future. But let us turn now from genius to what we
usually call talent.

=The production of talent.=--There can be no question that amongst
the promises of race-culture is the possibility of breeding such
things as talent and the mental energy upon which talent so largely
depends. In his _Inquiries into Human Faculty_, Mr. Galton shows the
remarkable extent to which energy or the capacity for labour underlies
intellectual achievement. He says, of energy--

  “It is consistent with all the robust virtues, and makes a large
  practice of them possible. It is the measure of fulness of life; the
  more energy the more abundance of it; no energy at all is death;
  idiots are feeble and listless. In the enquiries I made on the
  antecedents of men of science no points came out more strongly than
  that the leaders 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.... 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 over-stocked and over-burdened with
  the listless and the incapable. In any scheme of eugenics, energy is
  the most important quality to favour; it is, as we have seen, the
  basis of living action, and it is eminently transmissible by descent.”

Need it be pointed out that any political system which ceases to favour
or actively disfavours energy, making it as profitable to be lazy as to
be active, is anti-eugenic, and must inevitably lead to disaster? That,
however, by the way. Our present point is that eugenics can reasonably
promise, when its principles are recognised, to multiply the human[84]
and diminish the vegetable type in the community. In so doing, it
will greatly further the production of talent, and therefore of that
traditional or acquired progress which men of talent and genius create.
Such a result will also further, though indirectly, the production
of genius itself. For, as Mr. Galton points out, “men of an order of
ability which is now very rare, would become more frequent, because the
level out of which they rose would itself have risen.”

This is by no means the only fashion in which an effective and
practicable race-culture would serve genius, and I shall not be blamed
for considering this matter further by any reader who realises, however
faintly, what the man of genius is worth to the world. If it were shown
possible to establish such social conditions that genius could never
flower in them, we should realise that their establishment would mean
the putting of an end to progress and the blasting of all the highest
hopes of the highest of all ages.

The immediate need of this age, as of all ages, is perhaps not so much
the birth of babies capable of developing into men and women of genius,
as the full exploitation of the possibilities of genius with which,
as I fancy, every generation on the average is about as well endowed
as any other. There is, of course, the popular doctrine that there are
no mute inglorious Miltons, that “genius will out,” and that therefore
if it does not appear, it is not there to appear. In expressing the
compelling power of genius in many cases, this doctrine is not without
truth. Yet history abounds in instances where genius has been destroyed
by environment--and we can only guess how many more instances there
are of which history has no record. To take the single case of musical
genius, it is a lamentable thought that there may be those now living
whose natural endowments, in a favourable environment, would have
enabled them to write symphonies fit to place beside Beethoven's, but
whom some environmental factors--conventional, economic, educational,
or what not--have silenced; or worse, have persuaded to write such
sterile nullities as need not here be instanced. There is surely no
waste in all this wasteful world so lamentable as this waste of genius.

If, then, anyone could devise for us a means by which the genius,
potentially existing at any time, were realised, he would have
performed in effect a service equivalent to that of which eugenics
repudiates the present possibility--the actual creation of genius. But
if we consider what the conditions are which cause the waste of genius,
we realise at once that they mainly inhere in the level of the human
environment of the priceless potentiality in question. As we noted
elsewhere, in an age like that of Pericles genius springs up on all
hands. It is encouraged and welcomed because the average level of the
human environment in which it finds itself is so high. But if eugenics
can raise the average level of intelligence, in so doing not merely
does it render more likely, as Mr. Galton points out, the production
of men of the highest ability, but it provides those conditions in
which men of genius, now swamped, can swim. We could not undertake
to produce a Shakespeare, but we might reasonably hope to produce a
generation which would not damage or destroy its Shakespeares. And even
if men of genius still found it necessary, as men of genius have found
it necessary, to “play to the gallery,” they would play, as Mr. Galton
says of the demagogue in a eugenic age, “to a more sensible gallery
than at present.”

Darwin somewhere points out that it is not the scientific, but the
unscientific man who denies future possibilities. Thus though an
advocate of eugenics may be applauded for his judgment if he declares
that the creation of genius will for ever be impossible, yet I should
not care to assert that the ultimate limitations of eugenics can thus
be defined. We have yet to hear the last of Mendelism.

=Eugenics and unemployment.=--Let us look now at another aspect of
the promise of race-culture. When the time comes that quality rather
than quantity is the ideal of those who concern themselves with the
population question, it is quite evident that not a few of the social
problems which we now find utterly insoluble will disappear. In
this brief outline, we can only allude to one or two points. Take,
for instance, the question of unemployment. We know that some by no
means small proportion of the unemployed were really destined to be
unemployable from the first, as for instance by reason of hereditary
disease. It were better for them and for us had they never been
born. Many more of the unemployed have been made unemployable by the
influence of over-crowding, to which they were subjected in their
years of development. Is there, can there be, any real and permanent
remedy for over-crowding, but the erection of parenthood into an act of
personal and provident responsibility?

=Eugenics and woman.=--Take, again, the woman question. No one will
deny that in many of its gravest forms, especially in its economic
form, and the question of the employment of women, wisely or horribly,
this depends (to a degree which few, I think, realise) upon the
fact that there are now, for instance, 1,300,000 women in excess in
this country. Is it then proposed, the reader will say, by means of
race-culture to exterminate the superfluous woman? Indeed, no. But is
the reader aware that Nature is not responsible for the existence of
the superfluous woman? There are more boys than girls born in the ratio
of about 103 or 104 to 100: and Nature means them all to live, boys and
girls alike. If they did so live, we should have merely the problem of
the superfluous man, which would not be an economic problem at all.
But we destroy hosts of all the children that are born, and since male
organisms are in general less resistant than female organisms, we
destroy a disproportionate number of boys, so that the natural balance
of the sexes is inverted. Unlike ancient societies, we largely practise
_male_ infanticide. Can the reader believe that there is any permanent
and final means of arresting this wastage of child-life, with its
singular and far-reaching consequences,--other than the elevation of
parenthood, on the principles which race-culture enjoins, even wholly
apart from the question of the selection of parents? We shall not
succeed in keeping all the children alive (with a trivial number of
exceptions), thereby abolishing the superfluous woman by keeping alive
the boy who should have grown up to be her partner, until we greatly
reduce the birth-rate; as it must and will be reduced when the ideal of
race-culture is realised, and no child comes into the world that is not
already loved and desired in anticipation.

=Eugenics and cruelty to children.=--This ideal, also, offers us in its
realisation the only complete remedy for the present ghastly cruelty
under which so many children suffer even in Great Britain, even in the
twentieth century. Is the reader aware that the National Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children enquired into the ill-treatment
or cruel neglect of 115,000 children in the year beginning April 1st,
1906? It has been reasonably and carefully estimated that “over half a
million children are involved in the total of the wastage of child-life
and the torture and neglect of child-life in a single year.” Surely
Mr. G. R. Sims, to whom I would offer a hearty tribute for his recent
services to childhood, is justified in saying, “Against the guilt of
race-suicide our men of science are everywhere preaching their sermons
to-day. It is against the guilt of race-murder that the cry of the
children should ring through the land.” As regards race suicide and the
men of science, I am not so sure as to the assertion. But the truth of
the second sentence quoted is as indisputable as it is horrible.

Now no legislation conceivable will wholly cure this evil nor avert its
consequences. At bottom it depends upon human nature, and you can cure
it only by curing the defect of human nature. This, in general, is of
course beyond the immediate powers of man, but evidently we should gain
the same end if only we could confine the advent of children to those
parents who desired them--that is to say, those in whom human nature
displayed the first, if not indeed almost the only, requisite for
the happiness of childhood. To this most beneficent and wholly moral
end we shall come, notwithstanding the blind and pitiable guidance
of most of our accredited moral teachers to-day. By no other means
than the realisation of the ideal defined, that every new baby shall
be loved and desired in anticipation--an ideal which is perfectly
practicable--can the black stain of child murder and child torture and
child neglect be removed from our civilisation.

=Ruskin and race-culture.=--The name of Ruskin, perhaps, would not
occur to the reader as likely to afford support to the fair hopes of
the eugenist. Consider then, these words from _Time and Tide_:--

  “You leave your marriages to be settled by supply and demand,
  instead of wholesome law. And thus, among your youths and maidens,
  the improvident, incontinent, selfish, and foolish ones marry,
  whether you will or not; and beget families of children necessarily
  inheritors in a great degree of these parental dispositions; and
  for whom, supposing they had the best dispositions in the world,
  you have thus provided, by way of educators, the foolishest fathers
  and mothers you could find; (the only rational sentence in their
  letters, usually, is the invariable one, in which they declare
  themselves ‘incapable of providing for their children's education’).
  On the other hand, whosoever is wise, patient, unselfish, and pure
  among your youth, you keep maid or bachelor; wasting their best days
  of natural life in painful sacrifice, forbidding them their best
  help and best reward, and carefully excluding their prudence and
  tenderness from any offices of parental duty. Is not this a beatific
  and beautifully sagacious system for a Celestial Empire, such as that
  of these British Isles?”

Apart from the point as to wholesome law rather than the education of
opinion as the eugenic means, the foregoing passage must win the assent
and respect of every eugenist. It indicates the promise of race-culture
as it appeared to John Ruskin. The passage has been quoted in full not
for the benefit of the ordinary thoughtful reader but for that of the
professional literary man who, in this remarkable age, so far as I can
judge, reads nothing but what he writes, and thus qualifies himself for
dismissing Spencer or Darwin or Galton in any casual phrase--meanwhile
condemning Ruskin, whom he probably professes to adore.

=Race-culture and human variety.=--Now let us turn to another question.
Let it be asserted most emphatically that, if there is anything in the
world which eugenics or race-culture does _not_ promise or desire, it
is the production of a uniform type of man. This delusion, for which
there has never been any warrant at all, possesses many of the critics
of eugenics, and they have made pretty play with it, just as they do
with their other delusions. Let us note one or two facts which bear
upon this most undesirable ideal.

In the first place, it is unattainable because of the existence of what
we call variation. No apparatus conceivable would suffice to eliminate
from every generation those who varied from the accepted type.

In the second place, this uniformity is supremely undesirable from
the purely evolutionary point of view, because its attainment would
mean the arrest of all progress. All organic evolution, as we know,
depends upon the struggle between creatures possessing variations and
the consequent selection of those variations which constitute their
possessors best adapted or fitted to the particular environment.
If there is no variation there can be no evolution. To aim at the
suppression of variation, therefore, on supposed eugenic grounds (which
would be involved in aiming at any uniform type of mankind) would be to
aim at destroying the necessary condition of all racial progress. The
mere fact that the critics of race-culture attribute to evolutionists,
of all people, the desire to suppress variation, is a pathognomic
symptom of their critical quality.

And, of course, quite independently of the evolutionary function of
variation--though this is cardinal and must never be forgotten by the
politician of any school, since what we call individuality is variation
on the human plane--the value of variation in ordinary life is wholly
incalculable. It is not merely that, as Mr. Galton says, “There are
a vast number of conflicting ideals, of alternative characters, of
incompatible civilisations; but they are wanted to give fulness and
interest to life. Society would be very dull if every man resembled the
highly estimable Marcus Aurelius or Adam Bede.” The question is not
merely as to the interest of life. Much more important is the fact that
it takes all sorts to make a world. What is the development of society
but the result of the psychological division of labour in the social
organism? And how could such division of labour be carried out if we
had not various types of labourers? What would be the good of science
if there were no poetry or music to live for? How would poetry and
music help us if we had not men of science to protect our shores from

Obviously the existence of men of most various types is a necessity
for any highly organised society. Even if eugenics were capable--as
it is not--of producing a complete and balanced type, fit up to a
point to turn out a satisfactory poem, a satisfactory symphony or a
satisfactory sofa, the utmost could not be expected of such a man in
any of these directions. In a word, as long as their activities are
not anti-social, men cannot be of too various types. We require mystic
and mathematician, poet and pathologist. Only, we want good specimens
of each. “The aim of eugenics,” says Mr. Galton, “is to represent
each class or sect by its best specimens; that done, to leave them
to work out their common civilisation in their own way.... Special
aptitudes would be assessed highly by those who possessed them, as the
artistic faculties by artists, fearlessness of enquiry and veracity by
scientists, religious absorption by mystics, and so on. There would be
self-sacrificers, self-tormentors, and other exceptional idealists.”
But at least it is better to have good rather than bad specimens of
any kind, whatever that kind may be. Mr. Galton thinks that all except
cranks would agree as to including health, energy, ability, manliness
and courteous disposition amongst qualities uniformly desirable--alike
in poet and pathologist. We should desire also uniformity as to the
absence of the anti-social proclivities of the born criminal. So much
uniformity being granted, let us have with it the utmost conceivable
variety,--more, indeed, than most of us can conceive.

This point, of course, is cardinal from the point of view of practice.
No progress could be made with eugenics, it would be impossible even
to form a Eugenics Education Society, if each of us were to regard the
particular type he belongs to as the ideal, and were to seek merely to
obtain the best specimens of that type. The doctrine that it takes all
sorts to make a world--a doctrine very hard for youth to learn, yet
unconsciously learnt by all who are capable of learning at all--must be
regarded as a cardinal truth for the eugenist. But he wisely seeks good
specimens rather than bad. Poets certainly, but not poetasters; jesters
certainly, but not clever fools, who stand Truth on her head and then
make street-boy gestures at her.

=Time and its treasure.=--Taking the modern estimates of the
physicists, we are assured that the total period of past human
existence is very brief compared with what may reasonably be predicted.
Granted, then, practically unlimited time, what inherent limits are
there to the upward development of man as a moral and intellectual
being? Shall we answer this question by a study of the nature of
matter? Plainly not. Shall we answer it by a study of the nature of
mind? Surely not, for the study of existing mind cannot inform us as
to what mind might be. One source of guidance alone we have, and this
is the amazing contrast which exists between the mind of man at its
highest, and mind in its humblest animal forms: or shall we say even
between the highest and lowest manifestations of mind within the human
species? The measureless height of the ascent thus indicated offers
us no warrant for the conclusion that, as we stand on the heights
of our life, our “glimpse of a height that is higher” is only an
hallucination. On the contrary.

There is no warrant whatever for supposing that the forces which have
brought us thus far are yet exhausted: they have their origin in the
inexhaustible. Who, gazing on the earth of a hundred million years
ago, could have predicted life--could have recognised, in the forces
then at work and the matter in which they were displayed, the promise
and potency of all terrestrial life? Who, contemplating life at a much
later stage, even later mammalian, could have seen in the simian the
prophecy of man? Who, examining the earliest nervous ganglia, could
have foreseen the human cerebrum? The fact that we can imagine nothing
higher than ourselves, that we make even our gods in our own image,
offers no warrant for supposing that nothing higher will ever be,
What ape could have predicted man, what reptile the bird, what amœba
the bee? “There are many events in the womb of time which will be
delivered,” and the fairest of her sons and daughters are yet to be.

But even grant, for the sake of the argument, that the intelligence of
a Newton, the musical faculty of a Bach, the moral nature of any good
mother anywhere, represent the utmost limits of which the evolution
of the psychical is capable. There is every reason to deny this, but
let us for the moment assume it true. There still remains the thought
of Wordsworth, “What one is, why may not millions be?”--a thought to
which Spencer has also given utterance. What is shown possible for
human nature here and there, he says, is conceivable for human nature
at large. It is possible for a human being, whilst still remaining
human, to be a Shakespeare or a St. Francis: these things are thus
demonstrably within the possibilities of human nature. It is therefore
at the least conceivable that, in the course of almost infinite time
(even assuming, say, that intelligence must ever be limited, as even
Newton's intelligence was limited), some such capacities as his may be
common property amongst men of the scientific type; and so with other
types. We may answer Wordsworth that there is no bar thrown by Nature
in the way of such a hope.

=What is possible?=--This, of course, is speculation and of no
immediate value. I would merely remind the reader that the doctrine of
optimism, as regards the future of mankind, which the principles of
race-culture assume and which they desire to justify, was definitely
shared by the great pioneers to whom we owe our understanding of those
principles. Notwithstanding grave nervous disorder, such as makes
pessimists of most men, both Darwin and Spencer were compelled by their
study of Nature to this rational optimism as regards man's future.
The doctrine of organic evolution, and of the age-long ascent of man
through the selection of the fittest (who have, _on the whole_, been
the _best_) for parenthood, is one not of despair but of hope. Exactly
half a century ago it struck horror into the minds of our predecessors.
Man, then, is only an erected ape, they thought--as if any historical
doctrine, however true, could shorten the dizzy distance to which man
has climbed since he was simian: and man being an ape, they thought
his high dreams palpably vain. But the measure of the accomplished
hints at the measure of the possible, and the value of the historical
facts lies not in themselves, all facts as such being as dead as are
the individual atoms of the living body, but in the principles which
grow out of them. It is of no importance as such that man has simian
ancestors; it is of immeasurable importance that he should learn by
what processes he has become human, and by what, indeed, they became
simian--which would have been a proud adjective for its own day. The
principles of organic progress matter for us because they are the
principles of race-culture, the only sure means of human progress. Our
looking backwards does not turn us into pillars of salt, but teaches us
that the best is yet to be, and how alone it is to be attained.

Elsewhere the optimistic argument of Wordsworth is quoted. Hear also
John Ruskin:--

  “There is as yet no ascertained limit to the nobleness of person and
  mind which the human creature may attain, by persevering observance
  of the laws of God respecting its birth and training.”[85]

and Herbert Spencer:--

  “What now characterises the exceptionally high may be expected
  eventually to characterise all. For that which the best human nature
  is capable of, is within the reach of human nature at large.”[86]

and Francis Galton:--

  “There is nothing either in the history of domestic animals or in
  that of evolution to make us doubt that a race of sane men may be
  formed, who shall be as much superior, mentally and morally, to the
  modern European, as the modern European is to the lowest of the Negro

  “It is earnestly to be hoped that enquiries will be increasingly
  directed into historical facts, with the view of estimating the
  possible effects of reasonable political action in the future, in
  gradually raising the present miserably low standard of the human
  race to one in which the Utopias in the dreamland of philanthropists
  may become practical possibilities.”[87]

=Conclusion--Eugenics and Religion.=--In an early chapter it was
attempted to show that eugenics is not merely moral, but is of the
very heart of morality. We saw that it involves taking no life, that,
rather, it desires to make philanthropy more philanthropic, that, at
any rate so far as this eugenist is concerned, it recognises and bows
to the supreme law of love: and claims to serve that law, and the ideal
of social morality, which is the making of human worth. Eugenics may or
may not be practicable, it may or may not be based upon natural truth,
but it is assuredly moral: though I, for one, would proclaim eternal
war between this real morality and the damnable sham which approves the
unbridled transmission of the most hideous diseases, rotting body and
soul, in the interests of good.

And if religion, whatever its origin and the more questionable chapters
in its past, be now “morality touched with emotion,” I claim that
eugenics is religious, is and will ever be a religion. Elsewhere[88]
I have attempted to show that religion has survived and will survive
because of its survival-value--its services to the life of the
societies wherein it flourishes. The religion of the future, it was
sought to argue, will be that which “best serves Nature's unswerving
desire--fulness of life.” The Founder of the Christian religion said,
“I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more
abundantly.” It is higher and more abundant life that is the eugenic
ideal. Progress I define as the emergence and increasing dominance of
mind. Of progress, thus conceived, man is the highest fruit hitherto.
He is also its appointed agent, and eugenics is his instrument.

To this end he must use all the powers which have blossomed in him from
the dust. He must claim Art: and indeed in Wagner's great music-drama,
at the moment when the prophetic Brünnhilde tells Sieglinde who has
just lost her mate that she, the expectant mother, may look for the
resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come in the child
Siegfried; and when the heroic theme is pronounced for the first time
and followed by that which signifies redemption by love--then, I think,
the eugenist may thrill not merely to the music, or to the humanity
of the story, but to the spiritual and scientific truth which it

If the struggle towards individual perfection be religious, so,
assuredly, is the struggle, less egoistic, indeed, towards racial
perfection. If the historic meaning and purport of religion are as I
conceive them, and if its future evolution may thence be inferred,
there can be no doubt in the prophecy that in ages to come those high
aspirations and spiritual visions which astronomy has dishoused from
amongst the stars, and which, at their best, were ever selfish, will
find a place on this human earth of ours. If we have transferred our
hopes from heaven to earth and from ourselves to our children, they are
not less religious. And they that shall be of us shall build the old
waste places; for we shall raise up the foundations of many generations:

    “We feed the high tradition of the world,
    And leave our spirits in our children's breasts.”


                        CONCERNING BOOKS TO READ

The preceding pages are of course only tentative, preliminary and
introductory. I have merely tried to make a beginning. No better
purpose can be achieved than that the reader should proceed to study
the subject for himself. A few pages may therefore be devoted to the
names of some of the books which will be found useful. This is in no
sense a complete bibliography, nor even a tithe of such a bibliography.
But the reader who makes a beginning with the books here named, or even
with a well-chosen half dozen of them, will thereafter need no one to
tell him that the culture of the human race on scientific principles
will be the supreme science of all the future, the supreme goal of all
statesmen, the object and the final judge of all legislation.

Where it is thought that useful remarks can be made they will be made,
but neither their presence nor absence nor their length is to be taken
as any index to the writer's opinion of the relative value of the works
in question.

_Heredity._ (The Progressive Science Series, 1908.) By Professor J. A.
Thomson, M.A.

This is the most recent and most valuable for general purposes of all
books on the subject of heredity. No layman should express opinions
on heredity or eugenics until he has read it, for it is extremely
improbable that they will be valuable. Professor Thomson covers the
whole ground with extreme lucidity and care and impartiality. The book
is readable, nay more, fascinating from end to end, and it is liberally
and usefully illustrated. It is the first general treatise on heredity
which leads consciously, yet as of necessity, towards eugenics as the
crown and goal of the whole study, and in this respect it undoubtedly
marks an epoch.

_The Methods and Scope of Genetics._ (1908.) By W. Bateson, M.A., F.R.S.

This is the inaugural lecture, destined, I have little doubt, to become
historic, which was delivered by Professor Bateson on his appointment
to the new Darwin Chair of Biology at Cambridge. It is purposely
included here for very good reasons. The reader who begins his serious
study of heredity with Professor Thomson's work must be informed that
though the author gives an interesting account of Mendelism, he is not
a Mendelian, and neither his account of Mendelism nor his estimate of
it is at all adequate for the present day. In truth there is the study
of heredity before Mendelism and after, and though eugenics owes its
modern origin to the founder of the school of biometrics, and though
among his followers there are to be found many who decry and oppose the
Mendelians, it is for the eugenist of single purpose to take the truth
wherever it is to be found. It is now idle to deny either the general
truth or the stupendous promise of Mendelism. Many vital phenomena
besides heredity are studied by the statistical method, and are put
down by it to heredity. The Mendelians take seeds of known origin, and
plant them and note the result. They carry out experimental breeding
not only amongst plants but amongst the higher animals, including
mammals who, in all essentials of structure and function, are one with
ourselves. It is not possible, I believe, to over-estimate the supreme
importance of Mendelian enquiry for eugenics. Eugenics is founded
upon heredity, and genetics, which is Professor Bateson's name for
the physiology of heredity and variation, is now working at the very
heart of those natural phenomena upon which eugenics depends. This
lecture of Professor Bateson's is by the far the best introduction
to Mendelism that exists, besides being the most recent and the most
authoritative possible. With the lucidity of the born teacher (whose
faculty, I have no doubt, is a Mendelian unit, not always inherited
by the born observer) the author explains the essence of Mendelism.
The usual expositor has not proceeded far upon his way before he is
encumbering himself and the learner with the phenomena of dominance
and recessiveness, which are not cardinal and are highly involved.
Professor Bateson makes no allusion to them. But he gives an account
of Mendelism which it is impossible to put down without finishing, and
which is elementary in the highest sense of the word. In the later
pages the author preaches eugenics with a vigour and conviction not
unworthy of notice as coming from the leader of a school which is
utterly opposed in principle and in methods, if not in results, to the
school of biometrics founded by the founder of eugenics. I insist upon
this because there is a half-instructed ignorance abroad which has
heard the name of Mendel, and seeks thereby to discredit Darwin and
natural selection, Mr. Galton and eugenics. Hear Professor Bateson:--

“If there are societies which refuse to apply the new knowledge,
the fault will not lie with Genetics. I think it needs but little
observation of the newer civilisations to foresee that _they_ will
apply every scrap of scientific knowledge which can help them, or seems
to help them in the struggle, and I am good enough selectionist to know
that in that day the fate of the recalcitrant communities is sealed.”

_Hereditary Genius, An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences._ By
Francis Galton.

This is the classical and pioneer enquiry, far beyond my praise
or appraisement. The main text is not long, is easily read and is
extremely interesting. The reader should acquaint himself also with Mr.
Constable's recent criticism, _Poverty and Hereditary Genius_.

_A Study of British Genius._ (1904.) By Havelock Ellis.

This is an extremely interesting book, which should be read in
association with the foregoing, to which it is a criticism and
supplement. The greater part of the volume is concerned with the
study of genius from the point of view of heredity--in terms of
nationality and race, and of individual parentage. Very great labour
and scholarship have been expended to very high purpose in this work.

_Inquiries into Human Faculty._ (1883.) By Francis Galton.

This is the next in order of Mr. Galton's works, _Hereditary Genius_
dating from 1869. It has recently been reprinted in Dent's “Everyman's
Library,” and can thus be purchased for one shilling.

_Natural Inheritance._ (1889.) By Francis Galton.

_Memories of my Life._ (1908.) By Francis Galton.

This is Mr. Galton's latest book, and apart from its personal
fascination must be read by the serious eugenist if only on account
of its last five chapters, and especially the last two, which deal
with Heredity and Race Improvement. What could be more interesting
and significant, for instance, than to find Mr. Galton in 1908 saying
of himself in 1865, “I was too much disposed to think of marriage
under some regulation, and not enough of the effects of self-interest
and of social and religious sentiment.” Mr. Galton comments on the
wrongheadedness of objectors to eugenics. I fancy, however, that the
familiar misrepresentations will soon cease to be possible. The whole
of this brief last chapter must be carefully read and studied. At
least I must quote the following paragraph:--

“What I desire is that the importance of eugenic marriages should be
reckoned at its just value, neither too high nor too low, and that
eugenics should form one of the many considerations by which marriages
are promoted or hindered, as they are by social position, adequate
fortune, and similarity of creed. I can believe hereafter that it will
be felt as derogatory to a person of exceptionally good stock to marry
into an inferior one as it is for a person of high Austrian rank to
marry one who has not sixteen heraldic quarterings. I also hope that
social recognition of an appropriate kind will be given to healthy,
capable, and large families, and that social influence will be exerted
towards the encouragement of eugenic marriages.”

This volume, a model for all future autobiographers, ends with the
following splendid statement of the eugenic creed:--

“A true philanthropist concerns himself not only with society as a
whole, but also with as many of the individuals who compose it as the
range of his affections can include. If a man devotes himself solely to
the good of a nation as a whole, his tastes must be impersonal and his
conclusions so far heartless, deserving the ill title of ‘dismal’ with
which Carlyle labelled statistics. If, on the other hand, he attends
only to certain individuals in whom he happens to take an interest, he
becomes guided by favouritism and is oblivious of the rights of others
and of the futurity of the race. Charity refers to the individual;
Statesmanship to the nation; Eugenics cares for both.

“It is known that a considerable part of the huge stream of British
charity furthers by indirect and unsuspected ways the production of the
Unfit; it is most desirable that money and other attention bestowed
on harmful forms of charity should be diverted to the production and
well-being of the Fit. For clearness of explanation we may divide newly
married couples into three classes, with respect to the probable civic
worth of their offspring. There would be a small class of ‘desirables,’
a large class of ‘passables,’ of whom nothing more will be said here,
and a small class of ‘undesirables.’ It would clearly be advantageous
to the country if social and moral support as well as timely material
help were extended to the desirables, and not monopolised as it is now
apt to be by the undesirables.

“I take eugenics very seriously, feeling that its principles ought to
become one of the dominant motives in a civilised nation, much as if
they were one of its religious tenets. I have often expressed myself in
this sense, and will conclude this book by briefly reiterating my views.

“Individuals appear to me as partial detachments from the infinite
ocean of Being, and this world as a stage on which Evolution takes
place, principally hitherto by means of Natural Selection, which
achieves the good of the whole with scant regard to that of the

“Man is gifted with pity and other kindly feelings; he has also the
power of preventing many kinds of suffering. I conceive it to fall well
within his province to replace Natural Selection by other processes
that are more merciful and not less effective.

“This is precisely the aim of eugenics. Its first object is to check
the birth-rate of the Unfit, instead of allowing them to come into
being, though doomed in large numbers to perish prematurely. The second
object is the improvement of the race by furthering the productivity
of the Fit by early marriages and healthful rearing of their children.
Natural Selection rests upon excessive production and wholesale
destruction; Eugenics on bringing no more individuals into the world
than can be properly cared for, and those only of the best stock.”

_Heredity and Selection in Sociology._ (1907.) By George

This is a useful and interesting work, the nature of which is well
indicated by its title. It contains many purely eugenic chapters, and
cannot be ignored by the student.

_The Germ-plasm, A Theory of Heredity._ (The Contemporary Science
Series. 1893.) By August Weismann.

This is Weismann's great work. It should be studied by politicians and
others who still interpret all social phenomena in terms of Lamarckian
theory, and also by modern writers who are so much more Weismannian
than Weismann.

_The Evolution Theory._ (1904.) Translated by J. Arthur Thomson and M.
R. Thomson. By August Weismann.

_The Principles of Heredity._ (1905.) By G. Archdall Reid.

This is a very interesting and extremely Weismannian book which
contains the most recent statement of the author's remarkable enquiries
into the influence of disease as a factor of human selection.

_Variation in Animals and Plants._ (The International Scientific
Series. 1903.) By H. M. Vernon.

_Variation, Heredity and Evolution._ (1906.) By R. H. Lock.

_The Origin of Species._ (1869. Last (sixth) edition. Reprinted 1901.)
By Charles Darwin.

_The Descent of Man._ (1871. Second edition, 1874. Reprinted 1906.) By
Charles Darwin.

These classics now cost only half-a-crown apiece.

The beginner should read _The Descent of Man_ first, I think. Some
of the earlier chapters are of the utmost eugenic value, and would be
found immensely interesting by modern lecturers on decadence, and the

_Darwinism To-day._ (1907.) By Vernon L. Kellogg.

An interesting and scholarly recent criticism, containing much matter
strictly relevant to eugenics.

_The Evolution of Sex._ (The Contemporary Science Series. Revised
edition, 1901. Originally published in 1899.) By Patrick Geddes and J.
Arthur Thomson.

A famous book, yet to be discovered by most “authorities” on the Woman

_A History of Matrimonial Institutions._ (1904.) By G. E. Howard.

This is a three-volume treatise, extremely comprehensive, and
especially valuable as a guide to the literature of the subject. Only
the professional student can be expected to read it from cover to
cover, but it is invaluable for purposes of reference.

_The History of Human Marriage._ By E. Westermarck.

This rightly celebrated and epoch-making work demonstrates in especial
the survival-value of monogamy, and its historical dominance as a
marriage form.

_The Evolution of Marriage._ (The Contemporary Science Series.) By
Professor Letourneau.

_The Principles of Population._ By T. R. Malthus.

The substance of this may be conveniently read in the extracts
published in the _Economic Classics_ by Macmillan (1905).

_The Principles of Biology._ By Herbert Spencer.

The last section, “The Laws of Multiplication,” _must_ be read as the
expression of the missing half of the truth discovered by Malthus. It
is tiresome, nearly half a century after Spencer's enunciation of his
law, to have to read the remarks of some modern writers who continue
to assume that Malthus expressed not merely the truth but the whole

_The Republic of Plato._

Apart from the lines of Theognis quoted by Darwin in _The Descent of
Man_, which are some two centuries older than Plato, the fifth book of
the _Republic_ is the earliest discussion in literature of the idea of
eugenics, and utterly wild though we may consider most of the proposals
of Plato--or Socrates--to be, these early thinkers are yet more modern
and more scientific and more fundamental than all their successors,
even including our modern Utopia makers who have come after Darwin,
in recognising that it is the quality of the citizen which will make
a Utopia possible. The following will suffice to show that after more
than two thousand years we can still learn from the fundamental idea of
Plato's fifth chapter:--

  “It is plain, then, that after this we must make marriages as much
  as possible sacred; but the most advantageous should be most sacred.
  By all means. How then shall they be most advantageous? Tell me
  that, Glauco, for I see in your houses dogs of chace, and a great
  many excellent birds. Have you then indeed ever attended at all,
  in any respect, to their marriages, and the propagation of their
  species? How? said he. First of all, that among these, although they
  be excellent themselves, are there not some who are most excellent?
  There are. Whether then do you breed from all of them alike? or are
  you careful to breed chiefly from the best? From the best. But how?
  From the youngest or from the oldest, or from those who are most
  in their prime? From those in their prime. And if the breed be not
  of this kind, you reckon that the race of birds and dogs greatly
  degenerates. I reckon so, replied he. And what think you as to
  horses, said I, and other animals? is the case any otherwise with
  respect to these? That, said he, were absurd.”

Plato proposed to destroy the family, and to “practise every art that
no mother should know her own child.” He also approved of infanticide.
Nevertheless, this fifth book of the _Republic_ is interesting and
valuable reading, and it is especially well to note that this pioneer
of Utopianism and Socialism possessed the idea which almost all living
Socialists, except Dr. A. R. Wallace and Professors Forel and Pearson,
lack, that we must first make the Utopian and Utopia will follow.

_The Family._ (1906.) By Elsie Clews Parsons.

This recent, scholarly and lucid book, of which any living man might
well be proud, may follow the reading of the utterly unconcerned and
taken-for-granted fashion in which Socrates and Plato proposed to
destroy the family. Lecture VIII., on “Sexual Choice,” is brief, but
the references following it are extremely valuable and complete. It is
evident that one of the books which will have to be written on eugenics
in the near future must deal with the whole question of marriage and
human selection both in its historical and in its contemporary aspects.

“The Possible Improvement of the Human Breed under Existing Conditions
of Law and Sentiment.” _Nature_, 1901, p. 659; _Smithsonian Report_,
Washington, 1901, p. 523. By Francis Galton.

This was the Huxley Lecture of the Anthropological Institute in 1901,
and the contemporary interest in eugenics may be said to date from it.

“Eugenics, its Definition, Scope and Aims.” (_Sociological Papers._
1904.) By Francis Galton.

This remarkable lecture constituted a further introduction of the
subject, and it is somewhat of the nature of an impertinence for
the professional jester, who is not acquainted with a line of it,
to dismiss eugenics with a phrase as if this lecture had never been
written or were unobtainable. Mr. Galton there defined eugenics as
“the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn
qualities of a race....” The definition given in the _Century
Dictionary_ is unauthoritative, incorrect, and misses the entire point.

An extremely valuable discussion follows this lecture, and it is
absolutely necessary for the student to acquaint himself with the whole
of these pages (45-99).

_Restrictions in Marriage: Studies in National Eugenics: Eugenics as a
Factor in Religion._ By Francis Galton.

These are memoirs communicated to the Sociological Society in 1905, and
published together with the subsequent discussions in _Sociological
Papers_ (1905). The three memoirs are also published separately under
one cover.

_Probability, the Foundation of Eugenics._ The Herbert Spencer Lecture
of 1907. By Francis Galton.

This lecture contains a very brief historical outline of the recent
progress of eugenic enquiry and a simple discussion of the mathematical
method of studying heredity. It must, of course, be read by every
serious student.

_National Life from the Standpoint of Science._ (1905.) By Karl Pearson.

This is a reprint of a lecture delivered by Professor Pearson in 1900,
together with some other valuable contributions of his to the subject.
There is scarcely a better introduction to eugenics.

_The Scope and Importance to the State of the Science of National
Eugenics._ The Robert Boyle Lecture, 1907. (Second edition, 1909.) By
Karl Pearson.

This fine lecture should be carefully read. It gives some index to the
quantity and quality of the work done by Professor Pearson and his
followers since the Francis Galton Eugenics Laboratory was founded.

_Population and Progress._ (1907.) By Montague Crackanthorpe, K.C.

Though only published recently, part of this book goes back far. The
first chapter is indeed a reprint of a eugenic article published in the
_Fortnightly Review_ as far back as 1872. Some of us may perhaps be
inclined to forget that more than a generation ago Mr. Crackanthorpe
had grasped the great truths which we are now trying to spread, and
had courageously expressed them in the face of ignorance and prejudice
even greater than those of to-day. This is unquestionably a book which
every student must read, but the press generally, with some notable
exceptions, have fought rather shy of it. It was sent to the present
writer at his request from a leading morning paper which trusts him,
and he wrote a column on it, most careful in diction and moderate in
opinion, which was, nevertheless, not printed. One of the leading
medical papers devoted a long article to the book, written on the
general principle that it is right for a medical paper to differ
from any non-medical person who approaches the closed neighbourhood
of medical enquiry. Another leading medical paper considered Mr.
Crackanthorpe's “ideal” to be “beyond present accomplishment,” and
feared it must have “many generations of probation before it could
hope to enter the sphere of practical politics.” I venture to say that
_Population and Progress_, dealing, as it does, with a subject that
really matters, contains more fundamental practical politics--in the
true sense of that word--than has been discussed in most of our current
newspapers since they were first established.

_Race-Culture or Race-Suicide._ (1906.) By R. R. Rentoul.

This is a second and enlarged edition of a remarkable pamphlet
published by Dr. Rentoul in 1903 under the title _Proposed
Sterilisation of Certain Mental and Physical Degenerates. An Appeal
to Asylum Managers and Others._ Dr. Rentoul's own description of this
pamphlet is as follows:--“In it I called attention to the large
and increasing number of the insane in the United Kingdom; to our
disgraceful system of child-marriages; to the growing suicide rate;
to our disgusting system of inducing certain mentally and physically
diseased persons to marry; and to a slight operation which I was the
first to propose as a means of checking the increase in the number of
the insane, and in preventing innocent offspring from being cursed by
some parental blemish.”

_Education._ (Originally published in 1861. New edition, with the
author's latest corrections, 1906.) By Herbert Spencer.

This is the classic which marks an epoch in the personal development
of every one who reads it, and which made an epoch in the history of
education: the book was probably of more service to woman, owing to its
liberation of girlhood, than any other of its century.

_The Study of Sociology._ (International Scientific Series. Originally
published in 1873. Twentieth edition, 1903.) By Herbert Spencer.

This is, of course, _the_ introduction to sociology, written for that
purpose by a master, and in every respect a masterpiece. It contains
many eugenic references and arguments. As far as the eugenic education
of the adult is concerned, this is rightly the preliminary work.

Besides _The Evolution of Sex_ and Mrs. Parson's book on _The Family_,
there are many others relevant to the question of woman and eugenics,
of which one or two may be noted here.

_Sex and Society, Studies in the Social Psychology of Sex._ (1907.) By
W. I. Thomas.

This is a very readable and recent work, and for the general reader
much the most suitable of any that I know.

_Man and Woman._ (Contemporary Science Series.) By Havelock Ellis.

A very clear and readable book.

_Youth--its Education, Regimen and Hygiene._ (1907.) By Stanley Hall.

This is a new and abbreviated version of Professor Stanley Hall's two
well-known volumes on _Adolescence_, published in 1904. For the general
reader this much smaller work is very suitable, and especial attention
may be directed to Chapter XI., “The Education of Girls.”

It would have been presumptuous and absurd to attempt, in the course of
a merely introductory volume, to deal, by anything more than allusion
to its existence, with the great question of human parenthood in
relation to race. Most urgently this question, of course, concerns the
negro problem in America. The student who has to trust entirely to
second-hand knowledge had best be silent. Lest, however, the reader
should imagine that the older doctrines of race can be accepted without
reserve, he will do well to study very carefully the latter part of Dr.
Archdall Reid's book, already referred to, and, with extreme caution,
the following:--

_Race Prejudice._ (1906.) By Jean Finot.

This book most of us must believe to be extreme, but it should be read:
it bears on what may be called international eugenics, and the whole
question of inter-racial marriage.

       *       *       *       *       *

On matters of transmissible disease and racial poisons there is much
literature. Only one or two books can be referred to here.

_The Diseases of Society: The Vice and Crime Problem._ (1904.) By G. F.

This, of course, is not a pleasant book, and it is open to much
criticism in many respects, but it is well worth reading, especially
in association with Dr. Rentoul's work.

_Malaria--A Neglected Factor in the History of Greece and Rome._
(1907.) By W. H. S. Jones, with an introduction by Ronald Ross.

This is a recent historical study and may be a very substantial
contribution to the study of decadence.

_Alcoholism._ (1906.) By W. C. Sullivan.

This little book of Dr. Sullivan's contains a useful and scrupulously
moderate chapter on the relation of alcohol to human degeneration.

_The Drink Problem._ (1907.) By Fourteen Medical Authorities.

_The Children of the Nation._ (1906.) By Sir John Gorst.

_Infant Mortality._ (1906.) By George Newman.

_The Hygiene of Mind._ (1906.) By T. S. Clouston.

_Diseases of Occupation._ (1908.) By Sir T. Oliver.

_The Prevention of Tuberculosis._ (1908.) By A. Newsholme.

These volumes all deal in part with questions of racial poisoning and
racial hygiene.

_Alcoholism--A Study in Heredity._ (1901.) By Archdall Reid.

_Alcohol and the Human Body._ (1907.) By Sir Victor Horsley and Mary D.

_Hygiene of Nerves and Mind._ (The Progressive Science Series. 1907.)
By August Forel.

_Inebriety--Its Causation and Control._ (The second Norman Kerr
Memorial Lecture, published in the _British Journal of Inebriety_,
January, 1908.) By R. Welsh Branthwaite.

_Reports of the Inspector under the Inebriates Acts._ Especially those
for the years 1904, 1905, 1906.

_The Cry of the Children: The Black Stain._ (1907.) By G. R. Sims.

The above are especially recommended to politicians. Sooner or later,
as never yet, knowledge will have to be applied to the drink question
as it bears upon the quality of the race. The knowledge exists, and is
not difficult to acquire or understand. The references given are quite
sufficient to enable any one of mediocre intelligence to frame a bill
dealing with alcohol which would be worth all its predecessors put
together, and would arouse far less opposition than any one of them.

_Reports of the National Conference on Infantile Mortality_ 1906
and 1908 (P. S. King & Co.). In the 1906 Report note especially Dr.
Ballantyne's paper on the unborn infant, and in the 1908 Report, Miss
Alice Ravenhill's paper on the education of girls.

It must be repeated that the foregoing names are merely noted as
including, perhaps, the greater number of the books with which the
serious beginner would do well to make a start. That is all. It would
be both unfair and unwise, however, to omit any mention of at least
three wonderful little books of John Ruskin's: _Unto this Last_,
_Munera Pulveris_ and _Time and Tide_, which add to their great
qualities of soul and style some of the most forcible and wisest
things that have ever been written on race-culture and its absolutely
fundamental relation to morality, patriotism and true economics.

If the reader desires the name of only one book, that is certainly _The
Sexual Question_ (1908), by Professor August Forel. This has no rival
anywhere, and cannot be overpraised.


[1] A tribute is due to the anonymous pioneer of sane and provident
philanthropy who lately gave £20,000 to the London Hospital
for research. Such a thing is a commonplace in New York, it is
unprecedented in London.

[2] The word is used in the ordinary loose sense, to which there
is no objection provided that there be no misunderstanding of its
exact scientific meaning, as in Spencer's phrase “survival of the
fittest”--_i.e._ not the best, but the best adapted. See p. 43.

[3] “Degeneration,” I think, is the best word for the racial,
“deterioration” for the individual, change.

[4] That is in the ordinary sense of the words, not in the more exact
sense--as I think--in which a good environment would be defined as that
which selects the good for parenthood.

[5] Italics mine.

[6] We have seen that Huxley's assertion of the fundamental opposition
between moral and cosmic evolution is unwarrantable. We do recognise,
however, that in our present practice this opposition exists. Our
ancestors were cruel to the insane, but at least they prevented them
from multiplying. We are blindly kind to them, and therefore in the
long run cruel. But the dilemma, kind to be cruel, or cruel to be kind,
is not necessary. It is quite possible, as we have asserted, to be
at once kind to the individual and protective of the future. On the
other hand, it is also possible to be cruel to both. The London County
Council offers us, at the time of writing, a demonstration of this.
Sending wretched inebriates on the round of police-court, prison and
street, with intermittent gestations, rather than expend a shilling a
day, per individual, in decently detaining them, it serves at least the
philosophic purpose of demonstrating that it is possible to combine the
maximum of brutality to the individual and the present with the maximum
of injury to the race and the future.

[7] Reprinted in _The Kingdom of Man_ (Constable).

[8] _Sociological Papers_, 1905, p. 59.

[9] Whilst allowing due weight to Mr. Wells' opinion, we may also
note that of Charles Darwin who, referring to his own phrase, natural
selection, says, “But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer
of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate.” (_Origin of Species_,
popular edition, p. 76.)

[10] _Collected Essays_, vol. i. p. 493. A valuable controversy but
poor sport. Thinker _versus_ politician is scarcely a match.

[11] This is discussed at length in the writer's paper, “The Obstacles
to Eugenics,” read before the Sociological Society, March 8, 1909.

[12] Spencer introduced the non-moral word evolution in 1857, _in order
to_ avoid the moral connotation of the word progress, which he had
formerly employed.

[13] In his recent work, _The Origin of Vertebrates_, Dr. W. H.
Gaskell, F.R.S., has adduced much evidence in support of this thesis.
He says, “The law of progress is this: The race is not to the swift nor
to the strong, but to the wise.” And again; “As for the individual,
so for the nation; as for the nation, so for the race; the law of
evolution teaches that in all cases brain-power wins. Throughout, from
the dawn of animal life up to the present day, the evidence given in
this book suggests that the same law has always held. In all cases,
upward progress is associated with the development of the central
nervous system. The law for the whole animal kingdom is the same as for
the individual. ‘Success in this world depends upon brains.’”

[14] We may recall the words of Lear:--

“Is man no more than this? Consider him well: Thou owest the worm no
silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume:....
Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a
poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.”

[15] Says Darwin, “So little is this subject understood, that I have
heard surprise repeatedly expressed at such great monsters as the
Mastodon ... having become extinct; as if mere bodily strength gave
victory in the battle of life. Mere size, on the contrary, would in
some cases determine ... quicker extermination from the greater amount
of requisite food.” In the Russo-Japanese War, one of the effective
factors was the greater area of the Russian soldier as a target, and
the disparity between the food requirements of the little victors and
the big losers.

[16] Quoted from a Paper read by Mr. Galton before the Eugenics
Education Society, October 14, 1908, and published in _Nature_, October
22, 1908.

[17] See the author's paper, “The Psychology of Parenthood,” _Eugenics
Review_, April, 1909.

[18] An authoritative statement on this point has already been quoted
from Sir E. Ray Lankester's Romanes Lecture of 1905, p. 42.

[19] The exception of one or two large animals, like the elephant, is
not important. In proportion to body weight man's birth-rate is lower
than theirs. And it is to be noted that the “infant” mortality is very
low in this case, where the birth-rate is so low. Says Darwin, of the
young elephant. “None are destroyed by beasts of prey; for even the
tiger in India most rarely dares to attack a young elephant protected
by its dam.” The dam has no factory to go to, and no beast of prey to
sell her alcohol.

[20] “The fulmar petrel lays but one egg, yet it is believed to be
the most numerous bird in the world.” (_Origin of Species_, popular
edition, p. 81).

[21] _The Wheat Problem_, by Sir Wm. Crookes, F.R.S., 2nd edition,
1905. The _Chemical News_ Office, 15, Newcastle St., Farringdon St.,

[22] See Chap. iii. of the _Origin of Species_.

[23] Including even such an exceptional student as Dr. George Newman,
who, in his book on _Infant Mortality_, regards a falling birth-rate
as an essential evil, and actually declares without qualification
that the factors “which lower the birth-rate tend to raise the infant

[24] It is not necessary to point out again the exception of the
elephant, nor to explain it.

[25] Mr. Galton believes their number has been exaggerated.

[26] Quoted from the author's lectures on _Individualism and
Collectivism_ (Williams and Norgate, 1906).

[27] As is usually the case, except when the mother or the father is
alcoholic or syphilitic.

[28] If we make a diagram of society, with the social strata labelled,
and then proceed to make a eugenic comment upon it, certainly the
line dividing the sheep from the goats, _as for parenthood_, would
not be horizontal, at any level. Nor would it be vertical--as if the
proportions of worth and unworth were the same in all classes. Some
would draw it diagonally, counting most of the aristocracy good and
most of the lowest strata bad: others would slope it the other way.
I should not venture to draw it at all: there are individuals good
and bad in all classes and races, and their relative proportions are
unknown, at least to me.

[29] “For words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them;
but they are the money of fools” (Hobbes, _Leviathan_, Pt. I. chap iv.).

[30] It might be supposed that the words “inherent” and “inherited”
were allied etymologically. This is not so. “Inherit” is derived from
“heir,” and this from a verb meaning “to take.” In natural inheritance
the heir inherits what is inherent in the germ-cells which make him.
Says Professor Thomson: “The organisation of the fertilised ovum is the
inheritance”--_and the heir_, we may add.

[31] Unless indeed it be an organism so lowly as only to consist of one
cell throughout.

[32] The reader will remember the chapter, “A Berry to the Rescue.”
“Says Lucy demurely: ‘Now you know why I read history, and that sort
of books.... I only read sensible books and talk of serious things ...
because I have heard say ... dear Mrs. Berry! don't you understand

[33] Contrast Mr. Galton, the propounder of the now accepted view:--

“As a general rule, with scarcely any exception that cannot be ascribed
to other influences, such as bad nutrition or transmitted microbes,
the injuries or habits of the parents are found to have no effect on
the natural form or faculties of the child.” (_Hereditary Genius_,
Prefatory Chapter to the Edition of 1892, p. xv.)

[34] In the later edition Mr. Galton discusses the question of the
title, and says that if it could now be altered, it should appear as
_Hereditary Ability_. We may note that, as the author says himself,
“The reader will find a studious abstinence throughout the work from
speaking of genius as a special quality.”

[35] The reader may note “A Eugenic Investigation: Index to
Achievements of Near Kinsfolk of some of the Fellows of the Royal
Society,” _Sociological Papers_, 1904, pp. 85-99 (Macmillan); also
_Noteworthy Families_ (John Murray, 1906).

[36] These researches have not yet been published.

[37] In the later chapters of a former book, “Health, Strength, and
Happiness” (Grant Richards, London; Mitchell Kennerley, New York,
1908), I have discussed various aspects of heredity from the eugenic
point of view more fully than has been possible here.

[38] See the last sentence of the quotation from Forel on p. 130.

[39] For definition of these terms see Chap. xi.

[40] By some such means we may hope that man too may some day become
domesticated without losing his fertility!

[41] 1 Corinthians xii. 22, 23, 24.

[42] Quoted from the Author's _Evolution the Master Key_.

[43] Mr. G. K. Chesterton, one of the most amusing of contemporary
phenomena, has lately said: “The most serious sociologists, the most
stately professors of eugenics, calmly propose that, ‘for the good
of the race,’ people should be forcibly married to each other by
the police.” Readers unacquainted with Mr. Chesterton's standard of
accuracy and methods of criticism might be misled by this gay invention.

[44] _The Family_, p. 20.

[45] _Encyclopædia Medica_, vol. ii., Article “Deaf-Mutism.”

[46] In a lecture, “The Obstacles to Eugenics,” delivered before the
Sociological Society, March 8, 1909.

[47] Since these words were written there has been passed the
“Prevention of Crimes Act,” which is the first attempt in this country
to apply the elementary truths of the subject in legislation. As an
essentially eugenic proposal it is to be heartily welcomed.

[48] Dr. Bulstrode's Lecture to the Royal Institution, May 15, 1908.

[49] This suggestion, first made by the present writer in March, 1908,
and in the paper referred to on p. 205, is, I believe, to be the
subject of an official enquiry.

[50] _Sociological Papers_ (Macmillan, 1905), p. 3.

[51] “In any scheme of eugenics, energy is the most important quality
to favour; it is, as we have seen, the basis of every action, and it is
eminently transmissible by descent.”--Galton.

[52] _Fortnightly Review_, January, 1908.

[53] “As the German philosopher Schopenhauer remarks, the final aim
of all love intrigues, be they comic or tragic, is really of more
importance than all other ends in human life. What it all turns upon is
nothing less than the composition of the next generation.... It is not
the weal or woe of any one individual, but that of the human race to
come, which is at stake.”--Darwin, _Descent of Man_, p. 893.

[54] _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, vol. iv. (F. A. Davis Co.,
Philadelphia, 1905).

[55] Part of the matter of this chapter was included in papers entitled
“Racial Hygiene or Negative Eugenics, with special reference to the
Extirpation of Alcoholism,” read before the Congress of the Royal
Institute of Public Health, at Buxton, 1908, and “Alcoholism and
Eugenics,” read before the Society for the Study of Inebriety, April,

[56] Italics mine.

[57] To-day many of the children who make our destiny are born drunk,
owing to maternal intoxication during labour: I have myself attended
the birth of such children, both in Edinburgh and in York.

[58] This was written in 1892, before the accumulation of the modern
evidence on the subject.

[59] “Alcohol taken into the stomach can be demonstrated in the
testicle or ovary within a few minutes, and, like any other poison,
may injure the sperm or the germ element therein contained. As a
result of this intoxication of the primary elements, children may be
conceived and born who become idiots, epileptics, or feeble-minded.
Therefore it comes about that even before conception a fault may
be present.”--McAdam Eccles, F.R.C.S., in the _British Journal of
Inebriety_, April, 1908.

[60] See p. 111.

[61] London: James Nisbet and Co., 1906.

[62] Will our modern extremists be good enough to remember that Mr.
Galton is the prime author of the doctrine that functionally-produced
modifications are not inherited?

[63] The use of this word thus is unusual, to say the least of it. Dr.
Claye Shaw simply means _causal relation_.

[64] The subject of alcoholism and race-culture really demands a
large volume. There is no space here to detail the fashion in which
the drunken mother poisons her child after birth, when she nurses
it, since, as has been chemically proved, alcohol is excreted in her
milk. Says a most distinguished authority, Mrs. Scharlieb, “the child,
then, absolutely receives alcohol as part of his diet, with the worst
effect upon his organs, for alcohol has a greater effect upon cells
in proportion to their immaturity” (“The Drink Problem,” in the New
Library of Medicine), and Dr. Sullivan refers to “numerous cases on
record of convulsions and other disorders occurring in infants when
the nurse has taken liquor, and ceasing when she has been put on a
non-alcoholic diet.” The reader may be referred to my brief paper,
“Alcohol and Infancy,” published in the form of a tract by the Church
of England Temperance Society.

[65] This is printed in the _British Journal of Inebriety_, January,
1908, under the title “Inebriety, its Causation and Control”--with
comments by numerous authorities.

[66] The author says “inherent defect.” I have omitted the adjective,
as it is obviously misused. _Antecedent_ would have been the better
word, surely.

[67] Italics mine.

[68] Italics mine. A thousand pounds for cure--which does not cure--and
twopence for prevention is, of course, the rule with a half-educated
nation always.

[69] She died in a lunatic asylum. I have not heard that society ever
offered her a public apology for its brutality to her.

[70] See _Times_ report, February 28, 1908.

[71] Report of the Inspector under the Inebriates Acts for the year

[72] This drinking by women, which means drinking by mothers present,
expectant or possible, is rapidly increasing in Great Britain, though
almost unknown in our Colonies. It is at the heart that Empires rot.

[73] Cd. 4438. Price 4½d. Volume of evidence Cd. 4439. Price 2s.

[74] A careful and detailed enquiry by the present writer, published
in the _Westminster Gazette_ (Nov. 21, 1908), _Daily Chronicle_, and
_Manchester Guardian_, and hitherto unchallenged, showed that, on
the most moderate reckoning, alcohol makes 124 widows and orphans in
England and Wales every day, or more than 45,000 per annum.

[75] _Diseases of Occupation_, by Sir Thomas Oliver. (The New Library
of Medicine, 1908.)

[76] This chapter contains the substance of the author's Friday evening
discourse, entitled “Biology and History,” delivered before the Royal
Institution of Great Britain and Ireland, February 14, 1908. The
substance of two lectures to the Royal Institution, entitled “Biology
and Progress,” and delivered in February, 1907, is also included in the
present volume.

[77] “It is thus everywhere that foolish Rumour babbles not of what
was done, but of what was misdone or undone; and foolish History
(ever, more or less, the written epitomised synopsis of Rumour)
knows so little that were not as well unknown. Attila invasions,
Walter-the-Penniless Crusades, Sicilian Vespers, Thirty-Years' Wars:
mere sin and misery; not work, but hindrance of work! For the Earth,
all this while, was yearly green and yellow with her kind harvests;
the hand of the craftsman, the mind of the thinker rested not: and so,
after all, and in spite of all, we have this so glorious high-domed
blossoming World; concerning which, poor History may well ask, with
wonder, Whence _it_ came? She knows so little of it, knows so much
of what obstructed it, what would have rendered it impossible. Such,
nevertheless, by necessity or foolish choice, is her rule and practice;
whereby that paradox, ‘Happy the people whose annals are vacant,’ is
not without its true side.”--Carlyle, _French Revolution_.

“In a little while it would come to be felt that the true history of
a nation was indeed not of its wars but of its households.”--Ruskin,
_Time and Tide_.

[78] “Literature, taken in all its bearings, forms the grand line of
demarcation between the human and the animal kingdoms.”--William Godwin.

[79] See the Author's paper, “The Essential Factor of Progress,”
published in the _Monthly Review_, April, 1906.

[80] Gibbon does not enlighten us much on such vital matters: but my
attention has been called to the following passage, not irrelevant
here. It is from the _Attic Nights_ of Aulus Gellius, Book xii., chap.
i., written about A.D. 150--Gibbon's critical epoch. I use the free
translation of Mr. Quintin Waddington:--

“Once when I was with the philosopher Favorinus, word was brought to
him that the wife of one of his disciples had just given birth to a son.

“‘Let us go,’ said he, ‘to enquire after the mother, and to
congratulate the father.’ The latter was a noble of Senatorial rank.

“All of us who were present accompanied him to the house and went in
with him. Meeting the father in the hall, he embraced and congratulated
him, and, sitting down, enquired how his wife had come through the
ordeal. And when he heard that the young mother, overcome with fatigue,
was now sleeping, he began to speak more freely.

“‘Of course,’ said he, ‘she will suckle the child herself.’ And when
the girl's mother said that her daughter must be spared, and nurses
obtained in order that the heavy strain of nursing the child should
not be added to what she had already gone through, ‘I beg of you, dear
lady,’ said he, ‘to allow her to be a whole mother to her child. Is it
not against nature, and being only half a mother, to give birth to a
child, and then at once to send him away? To have nourished with her
own blood and in her own body a something that she had never seen,
and then to refuse it her own milk, now that she sees it living, a
human being, demanding a mother's care? Or are you one of those who
think that nature gave a woman breasts, not that she might feed her
children, but as pretty little hillocks to give her bust a pleasing
contour? Many indeed of our present-day ladies--whom you are far from
resembling--do try to dry up and repress that sacred fount of the body,
the nourisher of the human race, even at the risk they run from turning
back and corrupting their milk, lest it should take off from the charm
of their beauty. In doing this they act with the same folly as those,
who, by the use of drugs and so forth, endeavour to destroy the very
embryo in their bodies, lest a furrow should mar the smoothness of
their skin, and they should spoil their figures in becoming mothers.
If the destruction of a human being in its first inception, whilst it
is being formed, whilst it is yet coming to life, and is still in the
hands of its artificer, Nature, be deserving of public detestation and
horror, is it not nearly as bad to deprive the child of his proper
and congenial nutriment to which he is accustomed, now that he is
perfected, is born into the world, is a child?

“But it makes no difference--for as they say--so long as the child is
nourished and lives, with whose milk it is done.

“Why does he who says this, since he is so dull in understanding
nature, think it also of no consequence in whose womb and from whose
blood the child is formed and fashioned? For is there not now in
the breasts the same blood--whitened, it is true, by agration and
heat--which was before in the womb? And is not the wisdom of Nature
to be seen in this, that as soon as the blood has done its work of
forming the body down below, and the time of birth has come, it betakes
itself to the upper parts of the body, and is ready to cherish the
spark of life and light by furnishing to the new-born babe his known
and accustomed food? And so it is not an idle belief, that, just as the
strength and character of the seed have their influence in determining
the likeness of the body and mind, so do the nature and properties of
the milk do their part in effecting the same results. And this has
been noticed, not in man alone, but in cattle as well. For if kids are
brought up on the milk of ewes, or lambs on that of goats, it is agreed
that the latter have stiffer wool, the former softer hair. In the case
of timber and fruit trees, too, the qualities of the water and soil
from which they draw their nourishment have more influence in stunting
or augmenting their growth than those of the seed which is sewn, and
often you may see a vigorous and healthy tree when transplanted into
another place perish owing to the poverty of the soil.

“Is it then a reasonable thing to corrupt the fine qualities of
the new-born man, well endowed as to both body and mind so far as
parentage is concerned, with the unsuitable nourishment of degenerate
and foreign milk? Especially is this the case, if she whom you get
to supply the milk is a slave or of servile estate, and--as is very
often the case--of a foreign and barbarous race, if she is dishonest,
ugly, unchaste, or _addicted to drink_. For generally any woman who
happens to have milk is called in, without further enquiry as to her
suitability in other respects. Shall we allow this babe of ours to be
tainted by pernicious contagion, and to draw life into his body and
mind from a body and mind debased?

"This is the reason why we are so often surprised that the children of
chaste mothers resemble their parents neither in body nor character.

“... And besides these considerations, who can afford to ignore or
belittle the fact that those who desert their offspring and send them
away from themselves, and make them over to others to nurse, cut, or at
least loosen and weaken that chain and connection of mind and affection
by which Nature attaches children to their parents. For when the child,
sent elsewhere, is away from sight, the vigour of maternal solicitude
little by little dies away, and the call of motherly instinct grows
silent, and forgetfulness of a child sent away to nurse is not much
less complete than that of one lost by death.

“A child's thoughts and the love he is ever ready to give, are
occupied, moreover, with her alone from whom he derives his food, and
soon he has neither feeling nor affection for the mother who bore him.
The foundations of the filial feelings with which we are born being
thus sapped and undermined, whatever affection children thus brought
up may seem to have for father and mother, for the most part is not
natural love, but the result of social convention.’”

[81] Cf. the similar dicta of Darwin and Pearson (p. 279).

[82] _National Life from the Standpoint of Science_, p. 99.

[83] “Decadence,” Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture, by the Rt. Hon.
A. J. Balfour, M.P., delivered at Newnham College, January 25, 1908.
(Cambridge University Press.)

[84] “Restless activity proves the man,” as Goethe says.

[85] _Munera Pulveris_, par. 6.

[86] _The Data of Ethics_, par. 97.

[87] _Hereditary Genius_, Prefatory Chapter to Edition of 1902, pp. x.
and xxvii.

[88] “The Survival-Value of Religion,” _Fortnightly Review_, April,

                           INDEX OF SUBJECTS

  Ability, inheritance of, 114

  “Acquired characters,” defined, 111

  Acquired characters, Lamarckian theory of the transmission of, 283

  ---- progress, 262

  ---- ----, dangers of, 265

  ---- ---- _versus_ natural selection, 266

  Acquirements, transmission of, by the art of writing, 261

  ---- _versus_ inborn characters, 101

  Acromegaly, 67

  “Adam Bede”, 298

  “Adolescence,” by Prof. Stanley Hall, 318

  Alcohol, a racial poison, 211, 259

  ----, an agent of selection, 206

  ---- and eugenics, 206

  ----, and heredity, 206

  ---- and human degeneration, 242

  ---- and parenthood, 241

  ----, effects of, on the racial organs, 208, 209 (_note_)

  ----, elimination by, 206

  ----, the friends of, 243

  ---- trade, the, and widows and orphans, 245

  “Alcohol and Infancy,” by Dr. Saleeby, 214

  “Alcohol and the Human Body,” by Sir Victor Horsley and Mary D.
      Sturge, 319

  Alcoholic Imperialism, 244

  Alcoholism and the London County Council, 206

  ----, both a cause and a symptom of degeneracy, 217

  ----, parental, its influence on the offspring, 211

  “Alcoholism, a Chapter in Social Pathology,” by Dr. W. C. Sullivan,
      211, 242, 319

  “Alcoholism, a Study in Heredity,” by G. Archdall Reid, 319

  Ancestral inheritance, the law of, xiv

  Ancestry of men of genius, 152

  ----, paternal and maternal, of equal importance, 152

  Animal life and monogamy, 163

  ---- marriage, 162

  Animals and promiscuity, 163

  ----, the higher, and monogamy, 163

  Army, inferior intelligence of the, to that of the Navy, 98

  “Atavism,” defined, 111

  “Attic Nights, The,” of Aulus Gellius, 271 (_note_)

  Australia, control of drunkards in, 242

  “Autobiography” of Herbert Spencer, 58, 152

  “Avariés, Les,” by Brieux, 252

  Bacteria, domination of, 93

  ----, rate of increase of, 160

  Bibliography of eugenics, 305

  ---- of racial poisons, 318

  ---- of transmissible diseases, 318

  Biography, as a guide to heredity, 152

  ----, neglect of ancestral data in, 152

  “Biology and History,” by Dr. Saleeby, 254 (_note_)

  “Biology, The Principles of,” by Herbert Spencer, 312

  Biometrics, the study of, xiii

  Birth-rate, falling, eugenic aspect of the, 10

  ---- in China, 78

  ---- in Japan, 78

  ---- of man, 72

  ----, statistics of, 74

  Births, ratio of, of the sexes, 294

  “Black Stain, The,” by G. R. Sims, 237, 319

  Body, the necessity of the, 53

  ----, relation of the, to the mind, 52

  Brains, breeding for, 54

  Breeding for brains, 54

  ---- for energy, 66

  ---- for intelligence, 147, 150, 153

  ---- for motherhood, 145, 146

  Celibacy, non-eugenic results of, 116

  Census, the uselessness of the, 6, 94

  “Century Dictionary, The,” on eugenics, 314

  Characters, inborn, _versus_ acquirements, 101

  Child-birth, superstition about, 106

  Children, eugenics and cruelty to, 295

  ----, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to, 295

  “Children of the Nation, The,” by Sir John Gorst, 319

  China, the birth-rate in, 78

  ----, racial state of, 274

  Church, non-eugenic action of the, 116

  Civic worth, 68

  Civilisation, ideal, 117

  Civilisations, the decay of, 255

  Cocaine, the racial influence of, 250

  “Collectivism, Individualism and,” by Dr. Saleeby, 101 (_note_)

  Colour-blindness, _see_ Daltonism

  Conception, attitude of eugenics before and after, 30

  “Congenital” defined, 105, 112

  “Conscientiousness”, 117

  Crime, eugenics and, 177

  ----, theories of, 177

  ----, treatment of, 178

  Criminality and civic worth, 68

  “Cry of the Children, The,” by G. R. Sims, 237, 319

  Daltonism and heredity, 179

  “Dark ages,” caused by the celibacy of the fittest, 116

  “Darwinism To-day,” by Vernon L. Kellogg, 312

  “Data of Ethics, The,” by Spencer, 302 (_note_)

  Deaf-mutism and heredity, 173

  Death-rate, a low, the cause of the multiplication of man, 73

  ----, influence of density of population on the, 75

  ----, limitation of the, 78

  ----, statistics of the, 74

  Decadence, National, 279

  “Decadence,” by A. J. Balfour, 279

  “Degeneration,” defined, 25 (_note_)

  Degeneration, human, and alcohol, 217, 242

  ----, racial, 49

  “Descent of Man, The,” by Charles Darwin, 171, 191, 197, 279, 311

  “Deterioration,” defined, 25 (_note_)

  Diminution of offspring, the eugenic value of, 162

  Disease, latency of, 108

  Diseases, transmissible, bibliography of, 318

  “Diseases of Occupation,” by Sir Thomas Oliver, 247 (_note_), 319

  “Diseases of Society: The Vice and Crime Problem,” by G. K. Lydston,

  Domestics, the politics of the future, 33, 285

  “Drink Problem, The,” by Fourteen Medical Authorities, 319

  “Drink Problem, The,” by Mrs. Scharlieb, 214

  Drunkard, influence of the, on the race, 241

  ----, marriage and parentage of the, 220, 235

  ----, the habitual, control of, in various countries, 242

  ----, ----, treatment of, by the London County Council, 39 (_note_),

  Drunkenness, habitual, imprisonment as a treatment for, 218

  ----, increase of, 218

  Early Notification of Births Act, 33

  “Economic Classics”, 312

  Education, age at which to begin, 125

  ---- and heredity, 128

  ---- and inequality, 131

  ---- and race culture, 120

  ----, eugenic, 139

  ---- for parenthood, xii, 138

  ----, higher, of woman, non-eugenic effects of, xiii, 89

  ---- in the principle of selection, 137

  ----, modern, the destruction of mind, 120

  ----, sexual, of children, 139

  ----, ----, of girls, 318

  ----, the limits of, 123

  ----, the provision of an environment, 12, 125

  ----, the real functions of, 136

  “Education,” by Herbert Spencer, 317

  Elephant, birth-rate of the, 72 (_note_)

  Emigration, the eugenic evils of, xi

  ----, a remedy for over-population, 84

  Energetic cost of reproduction, the, 87

  Energy, breeding for, 66

  ----, eugenic value of, 291

  Environment, education the provision of, 12, 125

  ----, effects of, 103

  ----, good, defined, 275

  ---- and heredity, 126

  ----, of motherhood, the, 270

  Epilepsy, eugenics and, 176

  Erect attitude, the, 55

  “Essential Factor of Progress, The,” by Dr. Saleeby, 262

  Eugenic sense, the creation of a, 144

  Eugenics and alcohol, 206

  ----, bibliography of, 305

  ---- and conception, 30

  ---- and crime, 177

  ---- and cruelty to children, 295

  ---- and Daltonism, 179

  ---- and hæmophilia, 179

  ---- and insanity, 175

  ----, defined, viii, 315

  ----, epilepsy and, 176

  ----, feeble-minded, the, and, 174

  ----, higher education of woman, and, 89

  ---- in Germany, 154

  ----, infant mortality, and, 20

  ----, international, xi

  ----, Nietzscheanism and, 28

  ----, politics and, 118

  ----, positive and negative, 172

  ----, present influence of, on marriage, 187

  ----, religion and, 303

  ----, the aims of, summarized, 276, 309

  ----, the classes of society and, 119

  ----, the length of marriage engagements and, 198

  ----, the morality of, 303

  ----, tuberculosis and, 178

  ----, unemployment and, 293

  ----, woman and, 294

  Eugenics Education Society, the, 222, 229, 230, 299

  ---- ---- ----, the history and objects of, 139

  ---- ---- ----, the Inebriates Committee and, 240

  ---- ---- ----, the reform of drunkards and, 241

  “Eugenics as a Factor in Religion,” by F. Galton, 315

  “Eugenics, Its Definition, Scope, and Aims,” by F. Galton, 314

  “Eugenics, National, Studies in,” by F. Galton, 315

  “Eugenics, National, The Scope and Importance to the State of the
      Science of,” by Karl Pearson, 315

  “Eugenics, Probability the Foundation of,” by F. Galton, 315

  “Eugenics, The Obstacles to,” by Dr. Saleeby, 175 (_note_)

  Evolution and progress, 48

  ----, introduction of the term, 48 (_note_)

  “Evolution of Marriage, The,” by Prof. Letourneau, 312

  “Evolution of Sex, The,” by Patrick Geddes and J. Arthur Thomson, 312

  “Evolution, the Master Key,” by Dr. Saleeby, 147

  “Evolution Theory, The,” by August Weismann, 311

  Examinations, mental emetics, 121

  “Family, The,” by Mrs. Elsie Clews Parsons, 161, 314

  Fatherhood, eugenic, importance of, 154

  ----, individual, 156

  Feeble-minded, eugenics and the, 174

  ----, the London County Council and the, 229

  ----, the Royal Commission on the, 215, 242

  “Fittest,” defined, 43

  France, effect of Napoleonic wars on, 284

  ----, increase of population in, 76

  Francis Galton Eugenics Laboratory, the, 315

  “French Revolution, The,” by Carlyle, 254 (_note_)

  Fulmar petrel, the multiplication of the, 73 (_note_)

  Generation, the independence of every, 3

  Genesis, individuation and, 87

  “Genetics, the Methods and Scope of,” by Prof. W. Bateson, 306

  Genius, infertility of, 287, 92

  ----, the production of, 289

  ----, the transmission of, 289

  ----, the value of, to the world, 291

  “Genius, British, A Study of,” by Havelock Ellis, 308

  “Genius, Hereditary,” by F. Galton, _see_ Hereditary Genius

  Germany, eugenics in, 158

  ----, increase of population in, 76, 77

  “Germinal,” defined, 110

  Germ-plasm, immortality of the, 256

  “Germ-plasm, A Theory of Heredity, The,” by August Weismann, 208, 311

  Girls, the sexual education of, 318

  Great Britain, increase of population in, 76

  Greece, the fall of, 260

  Gymnasium _versus_ playing fields, 63

  Hæmophilia and heredity, 179

  Hampstead, birth-rate of, the lowest in London, 78

  “Health, Strength and Happiness,” by Dr. Saleeby, 119 (_note_)

  “Hereditary Genius,” by F. Galton, 107, 114, 289, 302 (_note_), 307,

  Heredity, alcohol and, 206

  ----, biography a guide to, 152

  ----, Daltonism and, 179

  ----, deaf-mutism and, 173

  ----, education and, 128

  ----, environment and, 126, 269

  ----, hæmophilia and, 179

  ----, obscured by acquired characters, 99

  ----, race culture and, 99

  ----, tuberculosis and, 179

  “Heredity,” by Prof. J. A. Thomson, 99, 305

  “Heredity and Environic Forces,” Dr. T. D. MacDougal on, 212

  “Heredity and Selection in Sociology,” by George Chatterton-Hill, 311

  “Heredity, Alcoholism, A Study in,” by G. Archdall Reid, 319

  “Heredity, The Germ-Plasm, A Theory of,” by August Weismann, 311

  “Heredity, The Principles of,” by G. Archdall Reid, 311

  “History,” defined, 254

  “History of Human Marriage, The,” by E., Westermarck, 312

  “History of Matrimonial Institutions, A,” by G. E. Howard, 312

  “Human Breed, The Possible Improvement of the, etc.,” by F. Galton,

  “Human Faculty, Inquiries into,” by F. Galton, 308

  Humanitarianism, indiscriminate, 27

  Hygiene, individual and racial, 253

  ----, school, 65

  “Hygiene of Mind, The,” by T. S. Clouston, 319

  “Hygiene of Nerves and Mind,” by August Forel, 242, 319

  Imperialism, alcoholic, 244

  ----, the old and the new, 33, 34

  India as a wheat-producing country, 80

  Individual _versus_ race, 256

  “Individualism and Collectivism,” by Dr. Saleeby, 101 (_note_)

  Individuation and genesis, 87

  Inebriates, _see_ Drunkards

  ---- Act, the, 222, 224, 225, 230

  ---- ----, reports of the inspector under, 319

  ---- Committee, the Report of the, 239

  Inebriety, _see_ Drunkenness

  “Inebriety, Its Causation and Control,” by R. Welsh Branthwaite, 319

  Infancy, helplessness of, 3, 147, 148

  ----, the mind of, 124

  ----, the, of slum children, 102

  “Infancy, Alcohol and,” by Dr. Saleeby, 214

  Infant mortality, 19, 97, 104, 150, 207, 257, 294

  ---- ---- among the Jews, 274

  ---- ----, eugenics and, 20, 29, 31

  ---- ----, first public mention of, 33

  ---- ---- in the east, 76

  ---- ----, polygamy and, 166

  ---- ----, reports of the 1908 conference on, 320

  ---- ----, the war against, 21

  “Infant Mortality,” by Dr. George Newman, 86, 319

  “Inherent,” defined, 109

  Inheritance, pecuniary, non-eugenic influence of, 101

  ----, _see_ Heredity

  “Inquiries into Human Faculty,” by F. Galton, 92, 128, 290, 308

  Inquisition, anti-eugenic effects of the, 267

  Insanity, “breach of promise” and, 202

  ----, eugenics and, 175

  ----, increase of, 176

  Instinct, plasticity of, 148, 149

  Intelligence, breeding for, 147, 150, 153

  ----, the creation of, 149

  ----, nature and, 40

  “Intensity of life,” the, 91

  “Janus in Modern Life,” by Prof. Flinders Petrie, 22

  Japan, birth-rate in, 78

  ----, the racial development of, 268

  Jews, the, alcohol and, 275

  ---- motherhood and, 274

  ----, the survival of, 272

  “Kingdom of Man, The,” by Sir E. Ray Lankester, 41 (_note_)

  Lamarckian theory of heredity, the, 134, 135, 208, 283

  ---- ---- of racial degeneration, 258, 261

  Lead, a racial poison, 247

  “Leviathan,” by Hobbes, 106 (_note_)

  Licensing Bill of 1908, the, 223, 232-237

  Life, the continuity of, 2

  London County Council, alcoholism and, 206

  ---- ---- ----, feeble-minded children and, 229

  ---- ---- ----, the treatment of inebriates by, 39 (_note_), 220-238

  ---- Hospital, gift to, 11 (_note_)

  Longevity, marriage and, 191

  Love, eugenic value of, 70

  ----, motherhood and, 152

  ----, survival value of, 51

  ----, the two stages of, 186

  “Making of Character, The,” by Prof. MacCunn, 124

  Malaria, a racial poison, 260

  “Malaria, A Neglected Factor in the History of Greece and Rome,” by
      W. H. S. Jones, 260, 282, 319

  Man, the denudation and defencelessness of, 58

  ----, the foundation of Empire, 262

  ----, the future of, 299

  ----, the latest product of evolution, 55

  ----, the multiplication of, 71

  “Man and Woman,” by Havelock Ellis, 318

  Marriage, animal, 162

  ----, average age at, 90

  ----, breach of promise of, and race culture, 201

  ----, ---- ----, the law of, 202

  ----, childless, 168

  ----, contemporary, eugenic value of, 198

  ----, control of, 184, 186

  ----, defined, 170

  ----, engagement of, eugenics and the length of, 198

  ----, eugenic, 309

  ----, ----, preparation for, 144

  ----, ----, utility of, 162, 163, 168

  ----, happiness in, extent of, 195

  ----, human, 164

  ----, inter-racial, xi

  ----, longevity and, 191

  ----, “mixed” games and, 196, 197

  ---- of cousins, xii, 168

  ---- of the deaf and dumb, 173

  ----, present influence of, on eugenics, 187

  ----, procreation, the paramount function of, 158

  ----, selection for, 189

  ----, ----, by woman, 194

  ----, socialism and, 198

  ----, survival-value of, 164

  ---- systems, English and French, 199

  ----, the ball-room and, 196, 197

  ----, the field of choice in, 195

  ----, the Income Tax and, 174

  ----, the, of inebriates, 235

  ----, the sanctity of, 313

  ----, unselfish, 144

  “Marriage, Human, The History of,” by E., Westermarck, 312

  “Marriage, Restrictions in,” by F. Galton, 185, 204, 315

  “Marriage, The Evolution of,” by Prof. Letourneau, 312

  Married women's labour, 270

  “Mass _versus_ mind”, 95

  Maternal care, development of, 150

  ---- impressions, 111

  Maternalism, the principle of, 169

  Maternity, _see_ Motherhood

  “Matrimonial Institutions, A History of,” by G. E. Howard, 312

  “Memories of my Life,” by F. Galton, vii, 308

  Mendelism, 108, 118, 293

  “Methods and Scope of Genetics, The,” by Prof. W. Bateson, 306

  Mind, selection of, 52

  ----, the ascent of, 300

  ----, the determinator of leadership, 59

  ----, the master in war, 97

  ----, the relation of, to the body, 52

  ---- _versus_ mass, 95

  ---- ---- muscle, 65

  “Mind, The Hygiene of,” by T. S. Clouston, 319

  “Mind, Hygiene of Nerves and,” by August Forel, 319

  Monogamy, eugenic value of, 165, 170

  ----, survival-value of, 166

  ---- the ideal condition, 150

  ---- the rule among higher animals, 163

  Morality, survival-value of, 51

  Morphinomania, parental, its influence on the offspring, 212

  Motherhood, 169

  ---- and love, 152

  ----, breeding for, 145, 146

  ---- carried on by unskilled labour, 151

  ---- during the decline of Rome, 270, 271 (_note_)

  ----, education for, 151

  ----, history and, 269

  ----, Jewish, 274

  ----, psychical, 151, 153

  ----, the elevation of, 32

  ----, the environment provided by, 269

  ----, the evolution of, 149

  ----, the safeguarding of, 170

  ----, the subsidisation of, 151

  Mothers, school for, 151

  Multiplication of man, a low death-rate the cause of, 73

  ---- ----, the laws of, 86

  ---- ----, the rate of, 90

  ---- of the unfit, 189, 279

  “Munera Pulveris,” by John Ruskin, 302 (_note_), 320

  Muscle, right training of, 62

  ----, the cult of, 60

  ---- _versus_ Mind, 65

  Muscles, useless, 61

  Narcotics, irritant and non-irritant, 251

  ----, possible racial influence of, 250

  “National Life from the Standpoint of Science,” by Karl Pearson, 279,

  “Natural Inheritance,” by F. Galton, 308

  Natural selection, 35 _et seq._

  ---- ---- and racial degeneration, 260

  ---- ---- _versus_ acquired progress, 266

  Nature, the cruelty of, 38

  “Nature,” defined, 110

  “Nature of Man, The,” by Metchinkoff, 90

  Navy, superior intelligence of the, to that of the Army, 98

  “Nemesis of Nations, The,” by W. R. Paterson, 281

  New Zealand, control of drunkards in, 242

  Nicotine, racial influence of, 251

  Nietzscheanism, eugenics and, 28

  Nitrogen, the fixation of, 81

  “Noteworthy Families”, 114 (_note_)

  “Nurture,” defined, 110

  “Obstacles to Eugenics, The,” by Dr. Saleeby, 175 (_note_)

  Opinion, individual, power of, 138

  ----, public, the education of, 14, 15

  ----, the creation of, 138

  Opium, possible racial influence of, 251

  “Ordeal of Richard Feverel, The,” by George Meredith, 112 (_note_)

  “Origin of Species, The,” by Charles Darwin, vii, 73 (_note_), 311

  “Origin of Vertebrates, The,” by Dr. W. H. Gaskell, 50 (_note_)

  Overcrowding, 20

  ---- and tuberculosis, 181

  ---- and unemployment, 293

  Parenthood, alcohol and, 241

  ----, classification of society for, 104 (_note_)

  ----, education for, xii, 138

  ----, eugenic power of, 199

  ---- of inebriates, 220

  ----, selection for, vii, viii

  ----, the elevation of, 293, 294

  ----, the link of life, 3

  ----, the most desirable, 91

  ----, the rise of, 161

  ----, the sanctity of, 138

  Parents, selection of, 4

  ----, proportion of, to population, 4

  Paris, hospitals in, 247

  Physique, eugenic, importance of, 69

  Playing fields _versus_ gymnasia, 63

  Politics, defined, 286

  ----, domestics the future, 33, 285

  ----, eugenics and, 118

  “Politics,” Aristotle's, 167

  Polygamy and infant mortality, 166

  ----, significance of, 165

  Population, density of, influence of the, on the death rate, 75

  ----, increase of, and the food supply, 79

  ----, ----, emigration a remedy for, 84

  ----, ----, safe extent of, 93

  ----, ----, statistics of, 75, 76

  ----, quantity _versus_ quality of, 93

  ----, starvation a controller of, 84

  ----, statistics of, as data for prophecy, 93

  ----, survival-value of, 90, 91

  ----, the test of, 95

  “Population and Progress,” by Montague Crackanthorpe, 315

  “Population, The Principles of,” by T. R. Malthus, 83, 85, 312

  “Possible Improvement of the Human Breed, etc.,” by F. Galton, 314

  Posterity, our duty to, 10

  “Poverty and Hereditary Genius,” by Constable, 308

  Prevention of Crimes Act, The, 179 (_note_)

  “Prevention of Tuberculosis, The,” by Dr. A. Newsholme, 319

  “Principles of Biology, The,” by Herbert Spencer, 86, 312

  “Principles of Heredity, The,” by G. Archdall Reid, 311

  “Principles of Population, The,” by T. R. Malthus, _see_ “Population,
      The Principles of”

  “Probability, the Foundation of Eugenics,” by F. Galton, 315

  Progress, acquired, _see_ Acquired progress

  ---- defined, 50, 303

  ----, evolution and, 48

  ---- of achievement, and of the race, 4

  ----, racial and acquired, 262

  “Progress, Population and,” by Montague Crackanthorpe, 315

  Promiscuity among animals, 163

  Public opinion, education of, 14, 15

  Quality _versus_ quantity, 293

  Race, immortality of, 256

  ---- _versus_ individual, 256

  Race-culture and human variety, 297

  ----, education and, 120

  ----, socialism and, 133

  ----, the promise of, 287

  “Race-Culture or Race Suicide,” by R. R. Rentoul, 316

  “Race Prejudice,” by Jean Finot, 318

  Racial degeneration and natural selection, 260

  ---- ----, cause of, 263

  ---- ----, the Lamarckian theory of, 258, 263

  ---- instinct, education of the, xii

  ---- poisons, the, x, 246

  ---- ---- and decadence, 259

  ---- ----, bibliography of, 318

  “Racial poisons,” introduction of the term, 205

  “Racial Hygiene or Negative Eugenics,” by Dr. Saleeby, 205

  Racial senility, the fallacy of, 256

  “Reformatory,” the word, 238

  Regression towards mediocrity, the law of, 288

  Religion, eugenics and, 303

  ----, the survival-value of, 303

  “Religion, Eugenics as a Factor in,” by F. Galton, 315

  Religious persecution, non-eugenic results of, 116, 264

  Reproduction, the cost of, in energy, 87

  “Republic, The,” of Plato, 166, 313

  “Restrictions in Marriage,” by F. Galton, 185, 204, 315

  Reversed selection, 265

  ---- ----, the final cause of racial decay, 264, 266

  ---- ----, war a cause of, 284

  “Reversion,” defined, 111

  Rome, the decline of, 281

  ----, motherhood during the decline of, 270

  Russia, increase of population in, 76

  ---- as a wheat-producing country, 80, 81

  “School hygiene”, 65

  “Scope and Importance to the State of the Science of National
      Eugenics, The,” by Karl Pearson, 315

  Selection, alcohol an agent in, 206

  ---- and racial change, 260

  ---- by marriage, 189

  ---- for parentage, vii, viii

  ----, natural, _see_ Natural Selection

  ---- of mind, 52

  ---- of woman, for marriage, 189

  ----, reversed, _see_ Reversed Selection

  ----, sexual, 67, 190, 197, 202

  ----, the principle of, education in, 137

  “Sex and Society,” by W. I. Thomas, 317

  “Sex, The Evolution of,” by Patrick Geddes and J. Arthur Thomson, 312

  “Sexual Choice”, 314

  Sexual education of children, 139

  ---- ---- of girls, 318

  ---- selection, 67, 190, 197, 202

  “Sexual Selection in Man,” by Havelock Ellis, 202

  “Sexuel Frage, Die” (The Sexual Question), by August Forel, 130, 242,
      253, 320

  Siegfried, the story of, 304

  “Social Psychology,” by Dr. McDougall, 117

  Socialism and education, 129, 130, 132

  ---- and marriage, 198

  ---- and race-culture, 133

  ---- and selection for marriage, 194

  Society, the classification of, and eugenics, 119

  ----, classification of, for parenthood, 104 (_note_)

  “Society, The Diseases of,” by G. F. Lydston, 318

  “Society, Sex and,” by W. I. Thomas, 317

  “Sociological Papers”, 41, 114 (_note_), 185 (_note_), 279, 289, 314,

  Sociological Society, the, 275

  “Sociology, Heredity and Selection in,” by G. Chatterton-Hill, 311

  “Sociology, The Study of,” by Herbert Spencer, 317

  Soldiers, mistaken muscular training of, 63

  Spain, the racial condition of, 267, 268

  “Spontaneous,” defined, 215

  Starvation as a controller of population, 84

  ----, extent of, in England, 82

  Stepney, birth-rate of, the highest in London, 78

  Sterilization of mental and physical degenerates, 316

  Strength _versus_ skill, 62

  “Struggle for existence,” the, 42, 83, 280

  “Studies in National Eugenics,” by F. Galton, 315

  “Studies in the Psychology of Sex”, 202

  “Study of British Genius, A,” by Havelock Ellis, 308

  “Study of Sociology, The,” by Herbert Spencer, 192, 317

  “Survival of the fittest,” the, 43, 49

  Survival-value, 46

  ---- of love, 51

  ---- of monogamy, 51

  ---- of population, 90, 91

  ---- of religion, the, 303

  ---- of the tape-worm, 47

  ----, physical _versus_ psychical, 50

  “Survival-Value of Religion, The,” by Dr. Saleeby, 303

  Syphilis, a racial poison, 252

  “Syphilology and Venereal Diseases,” by Dr. C. F. Marshall, 253

  Talent, the production of, 290

  Tape-worm, survival value of the, 47

  Tasmanians, racial disappearance of the, 257

  Taubach, the Driftmen of, 59

  Temperance legislation, the failure of, 236

  “Time and Tide,” by John Ruskin, 96, 131, 254 (_note_), 296, 320

  Tobacco and the race, 257

  ----, influence of, on pregnancy, 252

  Tuberculosis, eugenics and, 179

  ----, heredity and, 180

  ----, overcrowding and, 181

  ----, racial extermination by, 260

  “Tuberculosis, The Prevention of,” by A. Newsholme, 319

  Unemployment, eugenics and, 293

  ----, overcrowding and, 293

  United States, control of drunkards in the, 242

  ---- ----, higher education of woman in the, 89

  ---- ----, increase of population in the, 76

  ---- ----, the, a wheat-producing country, 80, 81

  “Unto this Last,” by John Ruskin, 320

  Variation, 297

  “Variation, Heredity and Evolution,” by R. H. Lock, 311

  “Variations in Animals and Plants,” by H. M. Vernon, 311

  Vertebrates, evolution of the, 55

  Vital economy, the principle of, 17, 19

  War, a cause of reversed selection, 284

  ----, mind the master in, 97

  Wealth, Ruskin's definition of, 17

  “Westminster Gazette, The,” on the population and the food supply, 79

  Wheat, improvement in, 82

  ---- problem, the, 79

  “Wheat Problem, The,” by Sir William Crookes, 80

  Wheat, Prof. Biffen's, 109

  Whiskey, defined, 232

  “Widows and Orphans,” and the alcohol trade, 245

  Woman and eugenics, 193, 294

  ----, employment of, 294

  ----, the higher education of, non-eugenic effects of, 89

  Women, married, and labour, 270

  ----, secret drinking by, 232

  ----, selection for marriage by, 194

  Work, the eugenic necessity of, 264

  Writing, the art of, as a means of transmission, 261

  “Yellow Peril,” the, 78, 269

  “Youth, its Education, Regimen and Hygiene,” by Stanley Hall, 318

                             INDEX OF NAMES

  Aristotle, 262

  ---- on motherhood, 167

  ---- on racial decay, 256, 257

  ----, “Politics,” by, 167

  Arnold, Matthew, 289

  ----, Thomas, 289

  Asquith, H. H., 234

  Bach, 300

  ---- family, the, 289

  Bacon on the command of Nature, 13, 26, 41

  Balfour, A. J., 228

  ----, ----, on decadence, 234, 279, 280

  ----, ----, on intemperance, 235

  ----, ----, on legislation, 233

  ----, ----, on Licensing Bill of 1908, 233

  ----, ----, on politics, 286

  Ballantyne, Dr., on the unborn infant, 320

  Barker, Ernest, on the destruction of marriage, 167

  Bateson, Prof. W., “Methods and Scope of Genetics,” by, 306

  Bateson, Prof. W., on education, 120

  ----, ----, on Mendelism, 306

  Beethoven, 127, 146, 289, 292

  Bertillon, M., on marital longevity, 192

  Biffen, Prof., and his experiments on wheat, 109

  Booth, the Rt. Hon. Charles, on the extent of starvation, 82

  Bouchacourt on the care of motherhood, 145

  Bourneville, on lead poisoning, 247

  Branthwaite, Dr. R. Welsh, 228, 238

  ----, ----, “Inebriety, Its Causation and Control,” by, 217 (_note_),

  ----, ----, on alcoholism as a symptom of degeneracy, 217

  Brieux, “Les Avariés”, 252

  Brooks, Graham, on the Negro race, xi

  Brouardel, parental morphinomania, 212

  Browning, Robert, 135

  Buckle, 267

  Buddha, 146

  Bulstrode, Dr., on tuberculosis, 181 (_note_)

  Burchell, 52

  Burns, the Rt. Hon. John, on motherhood, 32

  Byron on the decay of nations, 255

  Cakebread, Jane, the case of, 222, 225, 228, 238

  Carlyle, Thomas, 309

  ----, ----, on history, 254 (_note_)

  ----, ----, “The French Revolution,” by, 254 (_note_)

  Chatterton-Hill, George, “Heredity and Selection in Sociology,” by,

  Chesterton, G. K., on eugenics, 158 (_note_)

  Clouston, T. S., “The Hygiene of Mind,” by, 319

  Cobden, Richard, 17

  Cohn on the multiplication of bacteria, 160

  Coleridge, 262

  Combemale, experiments of, in alcoholism, 211

  Constable, “Poverty and Hereditary Genius,” by, 308

  Copernicus, 180

  Cottrell, Mr., on the population of London, 76

  Crackanthorpe, Mr. Montague, on the birth rate, 95

  ----, ----, “Population and Progress,” by, 315

  Crichton-Browne, Sir James, on education, 125

  Crookes, Sir William, 85

  ----, ----, on the wheat supply, 80

  ----, ----, “The Wheat Problem,” by, 80

  Darwin, Charles, 42, 236, 296, 301, 307, 313

  ----, ----, and the effect of music on plants, 127

  ----, ----, centenary of the birth of, vii

  ----, ----, his talented ancestry and kindred, 289

  ----, ----, on degeneration, 171

  ----, ----, on national rise and decline, 275 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on natural selection, 83, 137, 260, 261

  ----, ----, on sexual selection, 67, 190, 197

  ----, ----, on the elephant, 72 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on the future, 293

  ----, ----, on the multiplication of the unfit, 227, 279

  ----, ----, on the queen bee, 44

  ----, ----, on vitality and muscularity, 67 (_note_)

  ----, ----, Ruskin on, 95

  ----, ----, “The Descent of Man,” by, 171, 191, 197, 279, 311

  ----, ----, “The Origin of Species,” by, 43, 73 (_note_), 311

  Darwin, Erasmus, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, 289, 290

  ----, Francis, 290

  ----, Sir George, 290

  Demme and parental alcoholism, 212

  Disraeli on circumstances, 149

  Down, Dr. Langdon, on drunkenness and the feeble-minded, 219

  Dunlop, Dr. A. R., on habitual drunkenness, 219

  Eccles, McAdam, on alcohol and the racial organs, 209

  ----, ----, on drunkenness, 221

  Ellis, Havelock, “A Study of British Genius,” by, 308

  ----, ----, “Man and Woman,” by, 318

  ----, ----, on drunkenness, 219

  ----, ----, on sexual selection, 202, 204

  ----, ----, on socialism and education, 132

  ----, ----, “Sexual Selection in Man,” by, 202

  Emerson on mass _versus_ mind, 96

  ---- on the morality of the universe, 37

  Empedocles on survival value, 46

  Epictetus on fools, 130

  Etienne on opinion as ruler, 234

  Féré on alcohol, 207

  Ferrier, Prof. David, on habitual drunkenness, 219

  Finot, Jean, on the Negro race, xi

  ----, ----, “Race Prejudice,” by, 318

  Fleck, Dr., on drunkenness and the feeble-minded, 219

  Forel, Prof. August, 17, 137

  ----, ----, “Die Sexuel Frage,” by 130, 242, 253, 320

  ----, ----, “Hygiene of Nerves and Mind,” by, 242, 319

  ----, ----, on alcohol as a racial poison, 244

  ----, ----, on alcoholism and heredity, 242

  ----, ----, on education, 129, 130

  ----, ----, on our duty to posterity, 35

  ----, ----, on the future of the race, 171

  ----, ----, on the nervous system, 53

  ----, ----, on the sexual education of children, 139

  Galton, Francis, vii, 110, 206, 293, 307

  ----, ----, and acquired characters, the non-transmission of, 114
      (_note_), 216, 259

  ----, ----, and biometrics, xiii

  ----, ----, and eugenics, positive and negative, 172

  ----, ----, and G. B. Shaw, 155

  ----, ----, and the law of regression towards mediocrity, 289

  ----, ----, “Eugenics as a Factor in Religion,” by, 315

  ----, ----, “Eugenics, its Definition, Scope, and Aims,” by, 314

  ----, ----, “Hereditary Genius,” by 107, 114, 289, 302 (_note_), 307,

  ----, ----, his kinship to Darwin, 289

  ----, ----, “Inquiries into Human Faculty,” by, 92, 128, 290, 308

  ----, ----, “Memories of my Life,” by, vii, 308

  ----, ----, “Natural Inheritance,” by, 308

  ----, ----, on ancestry, a rational pride in, 144

  ----, ----, on breeding for ability, 153

  ----, ----, ---- energy, 67, 153

  ----, ----, ---- health, 145, 153

  ----, ----, on civic worth, 68

  ----, ----, on civilisation, 117

  ----, ----, on energy, 193 (_note_), 290

  ----, ----, on eugenics, the meaning and the aims of, 157, 298, 315

  ----, ----, on functionally produced modifications, the
      non-inheritance of, 211

  ----, ----, on genius, hereditary, 107, 114

  ----, ----, ----, the quality of, 114 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on human intelligence, 41

  ----, ----, on human variety, 298

  ----, ----, on marriage, eugenic, 168

  ----, ----, ----, late, 92

  ----, ----, ----, the subsidisation of, 200

  ----, ----, on motherhood, the subsidisation of, 157

  ----, ----, on national eugenics, 115

  ----, ----, on national rise and decline, 279

  ----, ----, on public opinion, the formation of, 15

  ----, ----, on society, the eugenic value of the various classes of,

  ----, ----, on sociology, the duties of, 275

  ----, ----, on the desirable qualities, 299

  ----, ----, on the future of man, 302

  ----, ----, on the production of genius, 288

  ----, ----, on the production of talent, 292

  ----, ----, “Probability the Foundation of Eugenics,” by, 315

  ----, ----, “Restrictions in Marriage,” by, 185, 204, 315

  ----, ----, “Studies in National Eugenics,” by, 315

  ----, ----, “The Possible Improvement of the Human Breed, under
      existing Conditions of Law and Sentiment,” by, 314

  Gaskell, Dr. W. H., “The Origin of Vertebrates,” by, 50 (_note_)

  Geddes, Prof. Patrick, on Government, 122

  ----, ----, “The Evolution of Sex,” by, and Prof. J. A. Thomson, 312

  Gibbon, 271 (_note_)

  ---- on history, 254

  ---- on the necessity for advance or retrogression, 266

  Gladstone, Herbert, and the treatment of chronic inebriates by the
      London County Council, 222, 223

  Godwin, William, on literature, 262 (_note_)

  Goethe on activity, 291 (_note_)

  ---- on fate and chance, 12

  ---- on ignorance, 223

  ---- on marriage, 168

  ---- on the education of race, 136

  Gorst, Sir John, “The Children of the Nation,” by, 319

  Hall, Prof. Stanley, “Adolescence,” by, 318

  ----, ----, “Youth, its Education, Regimen and Hygiene,” by, 318

  Helvetius on the influence of education, 128

  Hobbes, Thomas, on “Words”, 106

  ----, ----, “Leviathan,” by, 106 (_note_)

  Holmes, Mr. Thomas, on habitual drunkenness, 220

  Horsley, Sir Victor, and Mary D. Sturge, “Alcohol and the Human
      Body,” by, 319

  Howard, G. E., “A History of Matrimonial Institutions,” by, 312

  Huxley, 29, 40, 58, 280, 281

  ----, “Evolution and Ethics,” by, 26

  ---- on cosmic nature, 26, 36, 39 (_note_)

  ---- on Pasteur, 94

  ---- on public opinion, 135

  ---- on the multiplication of the unfit, 227

  Im Thurn, Mr., on marriage customs of Guiana, 184

  Jones, Dr. Robert, on the case of Jane Cakebread, 328

  Jones, W. H. S., “Malaria: a Neglected Factor in the History of
      Greece and Rome,” by, 319

  Joubert, 18

  Kant, 4, 87

  ---- on the influence of education, 128

  Keats, 46, 50

  Kellogg, Vernon L., “Darwinism To-day,” by, 312

  Kelvin, Lord, his services to life, 95

  Kipling, Rudyard, and imperialism, 244, 245

  ----, ----, on breeds in the making, 245

  ----, ----, on emigration, 9

  Kirby, Miss, on the feeble-minded, 220

  Kirkup, Thomas, on Malthusianism, 84

  Koch and tuberculosis, 180

  Lamarck, 36

  ---- on inheritance of acquired characters, 134, 258, 259, 261

  ---- _versus_ Weismann, 206, 207, 208

  Lankester, Sir E. Ray, on man, the controller of nature, 41

  ----, ----, on the multiplication of man, 9, 71, 72

  ----, ----, on the struggle for existence, 42, 280

  ----, ----, “The Kingdom of Man,” by, 41 (_note_)

  Legrain on alcoholism and heredity, 220

  Leonardo da Vinci, 264

  Letourneau, Prof., “The Evolution of Marriage,” by, 312

  Lewin on lead poisoning, 248

  Lister, Lord, his services to life, 95

  Livingstone, Dr., on African marriage customs, 184

  Lock, R. H., “Variation, Heredity and Evolution,” by, 311

  Lombroso, criminological work of, 177

  London, Bishop of, on the falling birth-rate, 96

  Love, Dr., on deaf-mutism, 174

  Lowell, J. R., on human suffering, 130

  Lucretius, 12, 260

  Lydston, G. F., “The Diseases of Society: the Vice and Crime
      Problem,” by, 318

  MacCunn, Prof., on the infant mind, 124

  ----, ----, “The Making of Character,” by, 124

  MacDougal, Dr. T. D., on “Heredity and Environic Forces”, 210

  McDougall, Dr. W., on infant mortality, 23

  ----, ----, on transmissible characters, 117

  ----, ----, “Social Psychology,” by, 117

  Magee, Archbishop, 243

  Malthus, T. R., 17, 313

  ----, ----, his theory, 80, 83

  ----, ----, ignorance as to his essay, 85

  ----, ----, importance of his doctrine to-day, 85

  ----, ----, “The Principles of Population,” by, 83, 85, 312

  Marcus Aurelius, 298

  Marshall, Dr. C. F., on alcohol and syphilis, 253

  ----, ----, “Syphilology” by, 253

  Maudsley, Dr., on eugenics, 187

  Mendel, the theory of, 108, 307

  Meredith, George, 37, 231, 287

  ----, ----, “The Ordeal of Richard Feverel,” by, 112 (_note_)

  Metchnikoff, on age at marriage, 90

  ----, “The Nature of Man,” by, 90

  Mill, James, 289

  ----, John Stuart, 182, 289

  ----, ----, on nature, 38

  Milton, 292

  Morgan, Prof. Lloyd, “Survival Value”, 46

  Mott, Dr. F. W., on habitual drunkenness, 219

  Mozart, 126

  Napoleon, the wars of, cause of reversed selection in France, 284

  Newman, Dr. George, on the falling birth-rate, 86 (_note_)

  ----, ----, “Infant Mortality,” by, 86, 319

  Newsholme, Dr. A., on tuberculosis, 182

  ----, ----, “The Prevention of Tuberculosis,” by, 319

  Newton, Sir Isaac, 6, 146, 288, 300, 301

  ----, saved by motherhood, 150

  Nietzsche and the Darwinian theory, 51

  ---- and the super-man theory, 25

  ---- and “transvaluation,” 101

  ---- on organic evolution, 158

  Oliver, Sir Thomas, on lead poisoning, 247, 248, 249

  ----, ----, “Diseases of Occupation,” by, 247 (_note_), 319

  Palestrina, 127

  Palmerston, Lord, 131

  Parsons, Dr. Elsie Clews, on diminution of offspring, 162

  ----, ----, on parentage, 161, 162

  ----, ----, “The Family,” by, 314

  Pascal, 52

  Pasteur and tuberculosis, 180

  ----, his value to the French nation, 94

  ---- on the abolition of disease, 72

  Paterson, W. R., on slavery, the cause of the fall of empires, 281

  ----, ----, “The Nemesis of Nations,” by, 281

  Pearson, Prof. Karl, 314

  ----, ----, and biometrics, xiii

  ----, ----, “National Life from the Standpoint of Science,” by, 279,

  ----, ----, on national rise and decline, 275 (_note_), 279

  ----, ----, on the multiplication of the yellow races, 78

  ----, ----, “The Scope and Importance to the State of the Science of
      National Eugenics,” by, 315

  Pericles, 292

  Petrie, Prof. Flinders, “Janus in Modern Life,” by, 22

  ----, ----, on infantile mortality, 22

  Plato and motherhood, 166

  ---- and the destruction of the family, 169, 313

  ---- on the duty of Governments, 276

  ---- on racial decay, 256, 257

  ---- on the sanctity of marriage, 313

  ---- on the State as mother, 313

  ----, “The Republic,” of, 166, 313, 314

  Pope, on genius and insanity, 176

  Potts, Dr. W. A., on “The Relation of Alcohol to Feeble-mindedness”,
      214, 216

  Ranke, Prof., on the mind of man, 59

  Ravenhill, Miss Alice, on “Education for Motherhood”, 32

  ----, ----, on the education of girls, 320

  Reid, Dr. Archdall, on alcohol, 206, 211

  ----, ----, on humanitarianism and deterioration, 24, 25

  ----, ----, on the marriage of drunkards, 235

  ----, ----, on the resistance of the germ-plasm, 250

  ----, ----, “Alcoholism, A Study in Heredity,” by, 319

  ----, ----, “The Principles of Heredity,” by, 311

  Rembrandt, 4

  Rennert on lead poisoning, 247, 248

  Rentoul, Dr. R. R., on the sterilisation of mental and physical
      degenerates, 316

  ----, ----, “Race Culture or Race Suicide,” by, 316

  Reynolds, Sir Alfred, on the treatment of inebriates, 226, 230

  Roche, Sir Boyle, on posterity, 11

  Roques on lead poisoning, 247

  Ross, Prof. Ronald, “Malaria, A Neglected Factor in the History of
      Greece and Rome,” introduced by, 319

  ----, ----, on malaria as a cause of national decay, 260, 282

  Rowntree, B. Seebohm, on the extent of starvation, 82

  Ruskin, John, “Munera Pulveris,” by, 302 (_note_), 320

  ----, “Time and Tide,” by, 96, 131, 254 (_note_), 296, 320

  ----, “Unto this Last,” by, 320

  ---- on Darwin, 95

  ---- on education and inequality, 131

  ---- on life the only wealth, 17, 133, 269

  ---- on marriage, 296

  ---- on mass _versus_ mind, 96

  ---- on posterity, 287

  ---- on the duty of Governments, 18, 276

  ---- on the future of man, 302

  ---- on the manufacture of souls, 270

  ---- on the neglect of children, 145

  ---- on the neglect of woman, 145

  ---- on true history, 254 (_note_)

  ---- on work, 264

  St. Francis, 301

  Saleeby, Dr., “Alcohol and Infancy,” by, 214

  ----, ----, and G. B. Shaw, his controversy on marriage with, 157

  ----, ----, “Evolution, the Master Key,” by, 147

  ----, ----, “Health, Strength and Happiness,” by, 119 (_note_)

  ----, ----, “Individualism and Collectivism,” by, 101 (_note_)

  ----, ----, “Obstacles to Eugenics,” by, 175 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on biology and history, 254 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on London's inebriates, the case of, 226

  ----, ----, on progress, 262

  ----, ----, on the survival-value of religion, 303

  ----, ----, on widows and orphans made by alcohol, 245

  ----, ----, “The Essential Factor of Progress,” by, 262

  Salisbury, Lord, his attack on evolution, 45

  ----, ----, on Spain a dying nation, 268

  Sandow, 135

  ---- and the development of physique, 64

  Scharlieb, Mrs., on maternal alcoholism, 214 (_note_)

  ----, ----, “The Drink Problem,” by, 214 (_note_)

  Schopenhauer on love intrigue, 197 (_note_)

  Schubert, 46, 50

  Seton, Ernest Thompson, on animal marriage, 163

  Shakespeare, 6, 126, 146, 245, 255, 287, 293, 301

  ----, ancestry of, 107-109

  ----, quoted, xii, 58 (_note_), 97, 231, 278

  Shaw, Dr. Claye, on maternal alcoholism, 213

  ----, George Bernard, 85, 169

  ----, ----, on eugenics, 155, 156

  ----, ----, on heredity, 102

  ----, ----, on marriage, his controversy with Dr. Saleeby, 157

  ----, ----, on motherhood, 166

  Shaw, Dr. Claye, on the State as mother, 156

  Shelley, 131

  Simpson, Sir James, on the inheritance of acquired characters, 136

  Sims, G. R., on children, the protection of, 237

  ----, ----, on habitual drunkards, the treatment of, 222

  ----, ----, “on the cry of the children”, 295

  ----, ----, “The Black Stain,” by, 237, 319

  ----, ----, “The Cry of the Children,” by, 237, 319

  Smith, Adam, 17

  Socrates, 313, 314

  Sombart, Dr., on the population of Germany, 77

  Sophocles, quoted, 52

  Spencer, Herbert, 4, 9, 85, 296, 300

  ----, absence of early education of, 120

  ---- and evolution, 43, 48

  ---- and functionally produced modifications, 111

  ---- and his reply to Lord Salisbury's attack on evolution, 45

  ---- and Huxley, 26

  ---- and “social organisms”, 256

  ---- on the cosmic process, 25

  ---- on the defencelessness of man, 58

  ---- on education, 131

  ---- on education for parenthood, 140

  ---- on human fertility, 89, 90, 91, 92

  ---- on individuation and genesis, 288

  ---- on marital longevity, 191, 192

  ---- on marriage, 164

  ---- on natural selection, 35

  ---- on parenthood, 88

  ---- on the future of man, 301, 302

  ---- on the laws of multiplication, 86, 87, 266

  ---- on woman and selection for marriage, 193

  ----, the ancestry of, 152

  ----, the “Autobiography” of, 35, 58, 65, 152

  ----, “The Data of Ethics,” by, 302 (_note_)

  ----, “the survival of the fittest”, 23 (_note_), 43, 44, 84, 260

  ----, “Education,” by, 317

  ----, “The Principles of Biology,” by, 86, 312

  ----, “The Study of Sociology,” by, 192, 317

  Spinoza, 46, 50

  Stark, Dr., on marital longevity, 192

  Sturge, Mary D., and Sir Victor Horsley, “Alcohol and the Human
      Body,” by, 319

  Sullivan, Dr. W. C., “Alcoholism,” by, 211, 242, 319

  ----, ----, on alcohol and alcoholism, 207, 211-213, 220

  Sutherland on parental care, 162

  Theognis on pecuniary inheritance, 101

  ---- on the duty of Governments, 276

  Thomas, W. I., “Sex and Society,” by, 317

  Thompson, Francis, 128

  Thomson, Prof. J. A., “Heredity,” by, 99, 305

  ----, ----, on “inheritance”, 110 (_note_)

  ----, ----, on race culture, 99

  ----, ----, on reversion, 111

  ----, ----, “The Evolution of Sex,” by, and Patrick Geddes, 312

  ----, ----, translator of Weismann, 311

  ----, M. R., translator of Weismann, 311

  Thoreau, quoted, 173

  Tille on man the wealth of nations, 17

  Tintoretto, 288

  Turner, Sir William, on the human foot, 61

  Urquhart, Dr. A. R., on habitual drunkenness, 219

  Vernon, H. M., “Variations in Animals and Plants,” by, 311

  Villemin and tuberculosis, 180

  Waddington, Mr. Quintin, his translation of Aulus Gellius, 271

  Wagner, “Siegfried”, 303

  Wallace, Alfred Russel, 314

  ----, ----, on matrimonial choice by women, 194

  ----, ----, on natural selection, 83

  Watson, William, the patriotism of, x

  Watts, G. F., 4

  Wedgwood, Josiah, maternal grandfather of Charles Darwin, 289

  Weismann, August, 206, 211, 216, 248, 280

  ----, his controversy with Lamarck, 208

  ----, on parental alcoholism, 208-210

  ----, “The Germ-Plasm: a Theory in Heredity,” by, 208, 311

  ----, “The Evolution Theory,” by, 311

  Wellington, Duke of, 128

  Wells, H. G., on the multiplication of the unfit, 14

  ---- on Spencer's terminology, 43, 44, 49

  Westermarck, Dr. E., on marriage, 158, 165

  ----, ----, on the control of marriage, 184

  ----, ----, “The History of Human Marriage,” by, 312

  Wordsworth, 4, 244, 301, 302

  ----, absence of early education of, 120

  ---- on the decay of nations, 284

  ----, quoted, 35, 277, 300

Printed by The East of England Printing Works, London and Norwich

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's notes:

This text was produced using page images of the book available from the
Internet Archive ( http://archive.org/details/parenthoodracec00sale ).
Every effort has been made to convey accurately the original work.

Three typographical corrections have been made: in “millenium”,
“symptons”, and “be becomes guided by”.

Quotation marks have been added to balance quotes when missing,
and when supported by other sources; similarly with other cases of
obviously missing punctuation.

Inconsistent hyphenation has been retained (e.g. “overcrowding” vs.

Italic text is surrounded by _underscores_.

Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs=.

Text in small capitals, such as quote attributions and the table of
contents detail, has been rendered in regular case.

Index entries that use Roman numerals (referring to the Preface) have
each had two pages added due to obvious errors in the original.

Footnotes have been numbered and collected at the end of the text but
before the indices.

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