Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/45

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35
DE CANDOLLE ON MEN OF SCIENCE.

son, for good or bad, the more be appeared to exbibit pronounced and numerous characteristics in the category of instinctive feelings and in- telligence. Some of these feelings in such cases appeared in the family for the first time. Women present fewer distinctive traits than men. All the distinctive characteristics, regarded in groups, are more freely transmitted by fathers than mothers. This is particularly the case with traits of intelligence ; probably because the characteristics in question are more strongly developed in the fathers. It is hard to learn whether characteristics acquired by education, reading, and ex- ample, and from social influences, such as patriotism, religious opinions, the point of honor, devotion to a dynasty, etc., are transmitted. Prob- ably they rest on w^eak but native and transmissible bases, such as sociability for patriotism, timorousness and curiosity for religion, a submissive spirit for loyalty, etc. The external influences of educa- tion, example, and other factors, develop upon these bases sentiments which become very strong, and are perhaps easily transmissible. The characteristics most marked in an individual are ordinarily those which he derives from both parents, and they exhibit special force if they are derived from these and also from other ancestors. A curious element of hereditary influence in developing men addicted to high mental ef- fort may be found in considering the condition of the clergy of a coun- try. It is not indifferent, M. de Candolle observes, " whether some cate- gories of the instructed, intelligent, and respectable public, be restricted to celibacy or not. Laying aside all dogmatism and views respecting the discipline of the clergy, the result, relative to instruction, is not the same for a country where there are, for example, forty or fifty thousand celibate ecclesiastics, or the same number of clergymen- fathers of families. Even if we reduce heredity in intellectual affairs to a minimum, the mere existence, in Protestant countries, of married pastors, assures the development, from year to year, of a certain num- ber of educated persons who will exert a wholesome influence upon society." Thus, Agassiz, Berzelius, Boerhaave, Robert Brown, Camper, Clausius, Encke, Euler, Fabricius, Grew, Hansteen, Hartsoeker, Oswald Heer, Jenner, Linnaeus, Mitscherlich, Olbers, Claus Rudbeck, W. P. Schimper, Studer, Schweizer, Arthur Young, Wargentin, Wollaston, and Wiirtz, among men of science ; a list that includes Hallam, Hobbes, Puffendorf, and De Sismondi, among publicists and historians ; Addi- son, Gessner, Ben Jonson, Lessing, Jean Paul Richter, Swift, Thomson, Wieland, Young, and Emerson, among poets and men of letters ; and Christopher Wren and David Wilkie, among artists, would not have existed if their fathers, Protestant pastors, had been Roman Catholic priests, or would not have been what they were had their education been defective.

These are examples of an external influence, operating in a coun- try at large, to modify heredity of intellectual tendencies, or to work along with it. The special object of M. de Candolle's research is