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Inquiries into Human Faculty
marrying persons of lower natural stamp? The social consideration that
would attach itself to high races would, it may be hoped, partly neutralise
a social cause that is now very adverse to the early marriages of the most
gifted, namely, the cost of living in cultured and refined society. A young
man with a career before him commonly feels it would be an act of folly
to hamper himself by too early a marriage. The doors of society that are
freely open to a bachelor are closed to a married couple with small means,
unless they bear patent recommendations such as the public recognition of
a natural nobility would give. The attitude of mind that I should expect to
predominate among those who had undeniable claims to rank as members
of an exceptionally gifted race, would be akin to that of the modern
possessors of ancestral property or hereditary rank. Such persons feel it a
point of honour not to alienate the old place or make misalliances, and
they are respected for their honest family pride. So a man of good race
would shrink from spoiling it by a lower marriage, and every one would
sympathise with his sentiments.
It remains to sketch in outline the principal conclusions to which we
seem to be driven by the results of the various inquiries contained in this
volume, and by what we know on allied topics from the works of others.
We cannot but recognise the vast variety of natural faculty, useful and
harmful, in members of the same race, and much more in the human
family at large, all of which tend to be transmitted by inheritance. Neither
can we fail to observe that the faculties of men generally, are unequal to
the requirements of a high and growing civilisation. This is principally
owing to their entire ancestry having lived up to recent times under very
uncivilised conditions, and to the somewhat capricious distribution in late
times of inherited wealth, which affords various degrees of immunity
from the usual selective agencies.
In solution of the question whether a continual improvement in
education might not compensate for a stationary or Previous page Top Next page