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Hereditary Genius: An Enquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (2nd ed.), by Francis Galton, selected pages (11)

Hereditary Genius: An Enquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (2nd ed.), by Francis Galton, selected pages (11)
Description:
Hereditary Genius: An Enquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (2nd ed.), by Francis Galton, selected pages (11)
Transcript:
2028. Men of Science 191 [hairline rule width of page] Mr. Archibald Smith, is related to other mathematicians or men of science, but I know of few senior wranglers whose kinsmen have been eminent in other ways. Among these exceptions are Sir John Lefevre, whose brother is the ex-Speaker, Viscount Eversley, and whose son is the present Vice-President of the Board of Trade; and Sir F. Pollock, the ex-Chief Baron, whose kinships are described in "Judges." I account for the rarity of such relationships in the following manner. A man given to abstract ideas is not likely to succeed in the world, unless he be particularly eminent in his peculiar line of intellectual effort. If the more moderately gifted relative of a great mathematician can discover laws, well and good; but, if he spends his days in puzzling over problems too insignificant to be of practical or theoretical import, or else too hard for him to solve, or if he simply reads what other people have written, he makes no way at all, and leaves no name behind him. There are far fewer of the numerous intermediate stages between eminence and mediocrity adapted for the occupation of men who are devoted to pure abstractions, than for those whose interests are of a social kind. [end]
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