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changes are mainly due to the conditions of their natures, because they
persist with more or less regularity under altered circumstances.
Nevertheless, they are not wholly independent of circumstance, because
the period of migration, though nearly coincident in successive years, is
modified to some small extent by the weather and condition of the
particular year.
The interaction of nature and circumstance is very close, and it is
impossible to separate them with precision. Nurture acts before birth,
during every stage of embryonic and pre-embryonic existence, causing the
potential faculties at the time of birth to be in some degree the effect of
nurture. We need not, however, be hypercritical about distinctions; we
know that the bulk of the respective provinces of nature and nurture are
totally different, although the frontier between them may be uncertain,
and we are perfectly justified in attempting to appraise their relative
I shall begin with describing some of the principal influences that may
safely be ascribed to education or other circumstances, all of which I
include under the comprehensive term of Nurture.
The furniture of a man’s mind chiefly consists of his recollections and
the bonds that unite them. As all this is the fruit of experience, it must
differ greatly in different minds according to their individual experiences.
I have endeavoured to take stock of my own mental furniture in the way
described in the next chapter, in which it will be seen how large a part
consists of childish recollections, testifying to the permanent effect of
many of the results of early education. The same fact has been strongly
brought out by the replies from correspondents whom I had questioned on
their mental imagery. It was frequently stated that the mental image
invariably evoked by certain words was some event of childish experience
or fancy. Thus one correspondent, of no mean literary and philosophical
power, recollects the left hand by a mental reference to the rocking-horse
which always stood by the side of the nursery wall with its head in the
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