1 Minute 30 Day Success | Blog Talk Radio Feed

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cash - A Problem of Profit and Lost Pt 1

CASH.

A problem of profit and loss, worked by David Lockerby.
Part I.

"Gold may be dear bought."

A narrow street with dreadful "wynds" and "vennels" running back from it was the High street of Glasgow at the time my story opens. And yet, though dirty, noisy and overcrowded with sin and suffering, a flavor of old time royalty and romance lingered amid its vulgar surroundings; and midway of its squalid length a quaint brown frontage kept behind it noble halls of learning, and pleasant old courts full of the "air of still delightful studies."

From this building came out two young men in academic costume. One of them set his face dourly against the clammy fog and drizzling rain, breathing it boldly, as if it was the balmiest oxygen; the other, shuddering, drew his scarlet toga around him and said, mournfully, "Ech, Davie, the High street is an ill furlong on the de'il's road! I never tread it, but I think o' the weary, weary miles atween it and Eden."

"There is no road without its bad league, Willie, and the High street has its compensations; its prison for ill-doers, its learned college, and its holy High Kirk. I am one of St. Mungo's bairns, and I'm not above preaching for my saint."

"And St. Mungo will be proud of your birthday yet, Davie. With such a head and such a tongue, with knowledge behind, and wit to the fore, there is a broad road and an open door for David Lockerby. You may come even to be the Lord Rector o' Glasgow College yet."

"Wisdom is praised and starves; I am thinking it would set me better to be Lord Provost of Glasgow city."

"The man who buried his one talent did not go scatheless, Davie; and what now if he had had ten?"

"You are aye preaching, Willie, and whiles it is very untimeous. Are you going to Mary Moir's to-night?"

"Why should I? The only victory over love is through running away."

David looked sharply at his companion but as they were at the Trongate there was no time for further remark. Willie Caird turned eastward toward Glasgow Green, David hailed a passing omnibus and was soon set down before a handsome house on the Sauchiehall Road. He went in by the back door, winning from old Janet, in spite of herself, the grimmest shadow of a smile.

"Are my father and mother at home, Janet?"

"Deed are they, the mair by token that they hae been quarreling anent you till the peacefu' folks like mysel' could hae wished them mair sense, or further away."

"Why should they quarrel about me?"

"Why, indeed, since they'll no win past your ain makin' or marring? But the mistress is some kin to Zebedee's wife, I'm thinking, and she wad fain set you up in a pu'pit and gie you the keys o' St. Peter; while maister is for haeing you it a bank or twa in your pouch, and add Ellenmount to Lockerby, and—"

"And if I could, Janet?"

"Tut, tut, lad! If it werna for 'if' you might put auld Scotland in a bottle."

"But what was the upshot, Janet?"

"I canna tell. God alone understan's quarreling folk."

Then David went upstairs to his own room, and when he came down again his face was set as dourly against the coming interview as it had been against the mist and rain. The point at issue was quite familiar to him; his mother wished him to continue his studies and prepare for the ministry. In her opinion the greatest of all men were the servants of the King, and a part of the spiritual power and social influence which they enjoyed in St. Mungo's ancient city she earnestly coveted for her son. "Didn't the Bailies and the Lord Provost wait for them? And were not even the landed gentry and nobles obligated to walk behind a minister in his gown and bands?"

Old Andrew Lockerby thought the honor good enough, but money was better. All the twenty years that his wife had been dreaming of David ruling his flock from the very throne of a pulpit, Andrew had been dreaming of him becoming a great merchant or banker, and winning back the fair lands of Ellenmount, once the patrimonial estate of the house of Lockerby. During these twenty years both husband and wife had clung tenaciously to their several intentions.

Now David's teachers—without any knowledge of these diverse influences—had urged on him the duty of cultivating the unusual talents confided to him, and of consecrating them to some noble service of God and humanity. But David was ruled by many opposite feelings, and had with all his book-learning the very smallest intimate acquaintance with himself. He knew neither his strong points nor his weak ones, and had not even a suspicion of the mighty potency of that mysterious love for gold which really was the ruling passion in his breast.

The argument so long pending he knew was now to be finally settled, and he was by no means unprepared for the discussion. He came slowly down stairs, counting the points he wished to make on his fingers, and quite resolved neither to be coaxed nor bullied out of his own individual opinion. He was a handsome, stalwart fellow, as Scotchmen of two-and-twenty go, for it takes about thirty-five years to fill up and perfect the massive frames of "the men of old Gaul." About his thirty-fifth year David would doubtless be a man of noble presence; but even now there was a sense of youth and power about him that was very attractive, as with a grave smile he lifted a book, and comfortably disposed himself in an easy chair by the window. For David knew better than begin the conversation; any advantages the defendant might have he determined to retain.

After a few minutes' silence his father said, "What are you reading, Davie? It ought to be a guid book that puts guid company in the background."

David leisurely turned to the title page. "'Selections from the Latin Poets,' father."

"A fool is never a great fool until he kens Latin. Adam Smith or some book o' commercial economics wad set ye better, Davie."

"Adam Smith is good company for them that are going his way, father: but there is no way a man may take and not find the humanities good road-fellows."

"Dinna beat around the bush, guidman; tell Davie at once that you want him to go 'prentice to Mammon. He kens well enough whether he can serve him or no."

"I want Davie to go 'prentice to your ain brither, guid wife—it's nane o' my doing if you ca' your ain kin ill names—and, Davie, your uncle maks you a fair offer, an' you'll just be a born fool to refuse it."

"What is it, father?"

"Twa years you are to serve him for £200 a year; and at the end, if both are satisfied, he will gie you sich a share in the business as I can buy you—and, Davie, I'se no be scrimping for such an end. It's the auldest bank in Soho, an' there's nane atween you and the head o' it. Dinna fling awa' good fortune—dinna do it, Davie, my dear lad. I hae look it to you for twenty years to finish what I hae begun—for twenty years I hae been telling mysel' 'my Davie will win again the bonnie braes o' Ellenmount.'"

There were tears in old Andrew's eyes, and David's heart thrilled and warmed to the old man's words; in that one flash of sympathy they came nearer to each other than they had ever done before.

And then spoke his mother: "Davie, my son, you'll no listen to ony sich temptation. My brither is my brither, and there are few folk o' the Gordon line a'thegither wrang, but Alexander Gordon is a dour man, and I trow weel you'll serve hard for ony share in his money bags. You'll just gang your ways back to college and tak' up your Greek and Hebrew and serve in the Lord's temple instead of Alexander Gordon's Soho Bank; and, Davie, if you'll do right in this matter you'll win my blessing and every plack and bawbee o' my money." Then, seeing no change in David's face, she made her last, great concession—"And, Davie, you may marry Mary Moir, an' it please you, and I'll like the lassie as weel as may be."

"Your mither, like a' women, has sought you wi' a bribe in her hand, Davie. You ken whether she has bid your price or not. When you hae served your twa years I'se buy you a £20,000 share in the Gordon Bank, and a man wi' £20,000 can pick and choose the wife he likes best. But I'm aboon bribing you—a fair offer isna a bribe."

The concession as to Mary Moir was the one which Davie had resolved to make his turning point, and now both father and mother had virtually granted it. He had told himself that no lot in life would be worth having without Mary, and that with her any lot would be happy. Now that he had been left free in this matter he knew his own mind as little as ever.

"The first step binds to the next," he answered, thoughtfully. "Mary may have something to say. Night brings counsel. I will e'en think over things until the morn."

A little later he was talking both offers over with Mary Moir, and though it took four hours to discuss them they did not find the subject tedious. It was very late when he returned home, but he knew by the light in the house-place that Janet was waiting up for him. Coming out of the wet, dark night, it was pleasant to see the blazing ingle, the white-sanded floor, and the little round table holding some cold moor-cock and the pastry that he particularly liked.

"Love is but cauldrife cheer, my lad," said Janet, "an' the breast o' a bird an' a raspberry tartlet will be nane out o' the way." David was of the same opinion. He was very willing to enjoy Janet's good things and the pleasant light and warmth. Besides, Janet was his oldest confidant and friend—a friend that had never failed him in any of his boyish troubles or youthful scrapes.

It gave her pleasure enough for a while to watch him eat, but when he pushed aside the bird and stretched out his hand for the raspberry dainties, she said, "Now talk a bit, my lad. If others hae wared money on you, I hae wared love, an' I want to ken whether you are going to college, or whether you are going to Lunnon amang the proud, fause Englishers?"

"I am going to London, Janet."

"Whatna for?"

"I am not sure that I have any call to be a minister, Janet—it is a solemn charge."

"Then why not ask for a sure call? There is nae key to God's council chamber that I ken of."

"Mary wants me to go to London."

"Ech, sirs! Sets Deacon Moir's dochter to send a lad a wrang road. I wouldna hae thocht wi' her bringing up she could hae swithered for a moment—but it's the auld, auld story; where the deil canna go by himsel' he sends a woman. And David Lockerby will tyne his inheritance for a pair o' blue e'en and a handfu' o' gowden curls. Waly! waly! but the children o' Esau live for ever."

"Mary said,"—

"I dinna want to hear what Mary said. It would hae been nae loss if she'd ne'er spoken on the matter; but if you think makin' money, an' hoarding money is the measure o' your capacity you ken yousel', sir, dootless. Howsomever you'll go to your ain room now; I'm no going to keep my auld e'en waking just for a common business body."

Thus in spite of his father's support, David did not find his road to London as fair and straight as he could have wished. Janet was deeply offended at him, and she made him feel it in a score of little ways very annoying to a man fond of creature comforts and human sympathy. His mother went about the necessary preparations in a tearful mood that was a constant reproach, and his friend Willie did not scruple to tell him that "he was clean out o' the way o' duty."

"God has given you a measure o' St. Paul's power o' argument, Davie, and the verra tongue o' Apollos—weapons wherewith to reason against all unrighteousness and to win the souls o' men."

"Special pleading, Willie."

"Not at all. Every man's life bears its inscription if he will take the trouble to read it. There was James Grahame, born, as you may say, wi' a sword in his hand, and Bauldy Strang wi' a spade, and Andrew Semple took to the balances and the 'rithmetic as a duck takes to the water. Do you not mind the day you spoke anent the African missions to the young men in St. Andrews' Ha'? Your words flew like arrows—every ane o' them to its mark; and your heart burned and your e'en glowed, till we were a' on fire with you, and there wasna a lad there that wouldna hae followed you to the vera Equator. I wouldna dare to bury such a power for good, Davie, no, not though I buried it fathoms deep in gold."

From such interviews as these Davie went home very miserable. If it had not been for Mary Moir he would certainly have gone back to his old seat by Willie Caird in the Theological Hall. But Mary had such splendid dreams of their life in London, and she looked in her hope and beauty so bewitching, that he could not bear to hint a disappointment to her. Besides, he doubted whether she was really fit for a minister's wife, even if he should take up the cross laid down before him—and as for giving up Mary, he would not admit to himself that there could be a possible duty in such a contingency.

But that even his father had doubts and hesitations was proven to David by the contradictory nature of his advice and charges. Thus on the morning he left Glasgow, and as they were riding together to the Caledonian station, the old man said, "Your uncle has given you a seat in his bank, Davie, and you'll mak' room for yoursel' to lie down, I'se warrant. But you'll no forget that when a guid man thrives a' should thrive i' him; and giving for God's sake never lessens the purse."

"I am but one in a world full, father. I hope I shall never forget to give according to my prosperings."

"Tak the world as it is, my lad, and no' as it ought to be; and never forget that money is money's brither—an' you put two pennies in a purse they'll creep thegither.

"But then Davie, I am free to say gold won't buy everything, and though rich men hae long hands, they won't reach to heaven. So, though you'll tak guid care o' yoursel', you will also gie to God the things that are God's."

"I have been brought up in the fear of God and the love of mankind, father. It would be an ill thing for me to slink out of life and leave the world no better for my living."

"God bless you, lad; and the £20,000 will be to the fore when it is called for, and you shall make it £60,000, and I'll see again Ellenmount in the Lockerby's keeping. But you'll walk in the ways o' your fathers, and gie without grudging of your increase."

David nodded rather impatiently. He could hardly understand the struggle going on in his father's heart—the wish to say something that might quiet his own conscience, and yet not make David's unnecessarily tender. It is hard serving God and Mammon, and Andrew Lockerby was miserable and ashamed that morning in the service.

And yet he was not selfish in the matter—that much in his favor must be admitted. He would rather have had the fine, handsome lad he loved so dearly going in and out his own house. He could have taken great interest in all his further studies, and very great pride in seeing him a successful "placed minister;" but there are few Scotsmen in whom pride of lineage and the good of the family does not strike deeper than individual pleasure. Andrew really believed that David's first duty was to the house of Lockerby.

He had sacrificed a great deal toward this end all his own life, nor were his sacrifices complete with the resignation of his only child to the same purpose. To a man of more than sixty years of age it is a great trial to have an unusual and unhappy atmosphere in his home; and though Mrs. Lockerby was now tearful and patient under her disappointment, everyone knows that tears and patience may be a miserable kind of comfort. Then, though Janet had as yet preserved a dour and angry silence, he knew that sooner or later she would begin a guerilla warfare of sharp words, which he feared he would have mainly to bear, for Janet, though his housekeeper, was also "a far-awa cousin," had been forty years in his house, and was not accustomed to withhold her opinions on any subject.

Fortunately for Andrew Lockerby, Janet finally selected Mary Moir as the Eve specially to blame in this transgression. "A proud up-head lassie," she asserted, "that cam o' a family wha would sell their share o' the sunshine for pounds sterling!"

From such texts as this the two women in the Lockerby house preached little daily sermons to each other, until comfort grew out of the very stem of their sorrow, and they began to congratulate each other that "puir Davie was at ony rate outside the glamour o' Mary Moir's temptations."

"For she just bewitched the laddie," said Janet, angrily; and, doubtless, if the old laws regarding witches had been in Janet's administration it would have gone hardly with pretty Mary Moir.

Receipe For Genuis

Let us start fair by frankly admitting that the genius, like the poet, is born and not made. If you wish to apply the recipe for producing him, it is unfortunately necessary to set out by selecting beforehand his grandfathers and grandmothers, to the third and fourth generation of those that precede him. Nevertheless, there is a recipe for the production of genius, and every actual concrete genius who ever yet adorned or disgraced this oblate spheroid of ours has been produced, I believe, in strict accordance with its unwritten rules and unknown regulations. In other words, geniuses don't crop up irregularly anywhere, 'quite promiscuous like'; they have their fixed laws and their adequate causes: they are the result and effect of certain fairly demonstrable concatenations of circumstance: they are, in short, a natural product, not a lusus naturæ. You get them only under sundry relatively definite and settled conditions; and though it isn't (unfortunately) quite true that the conditions will always infallibly bring forth the genius, it is quite true that the genius can never be brought forth at all without the conditions. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? No more can you get a poet from a family of stockbrokers who have intermarried with the daughters of an eminent alderman, or make a philosopher out of a country grocer's eldest son whose amiable mother had no soul above the half-pounds of tea and sugar.

In the first place, by way of clearing the decks for action, I am going to start even by getting rid once for all (so far as we are here concerned) of that famous but misleading old distinction between genius and talent. It is really a distinction without a difference. I suppose there is probably no subject under heaven on which so much high-flown stuff and nonsense has been talked and written as upon this well-known and much-debated hair-splitting discrimination. It is just like that other great distinction between fancy and imagination, about which poets and essayists discoursed so fluently at the beginning of the present century, until at last one fine day the world at large woke up suddenly to the unpleasant consciousness that it had been wasting its time over a non-existent difference, and that fancy and imagination were after all absolutely identical. Now, I won't dogmatically assert that talent and genius are exactly one and the same thing; but I do assert that genius is simply talent raised to a slightly higher power; it differs from it not in kind but merely in degree: it is talent at its best. There is no drawing a hard-and-fast line of demarcation between the two. You might just as well try to classify all mankind into tall men and short men, and then endeavour to prove that a real distinction existed in nature between your two artificial classes. As a matter of fact, men differ in height and in ability by infinitesimal gradations: some men are very short, others rather short, others medium-sized, others tall, and yet others again of portentous stature like Mr. Chang and Jacob Omnium. So, too, some men are idiots, some are next door to a fool, some are stupid, some are worthy people, some are intelligent, some are clever, and some geniuses. But genius is only the culminating point of ordinary cleverness, and if you were to try and draw up a list of all the real geniuses in the last hundred years, no two people could ever be found to agree among themselves as to which should be included and which excluded from the artificial catalogue. I have heard Kingsley and Charles Lamb described as geniuses, and I have heard them both absolutely denied every sort of literary merit. Carlyle thought Darwin a poor creature, and Comte regarded Hegel himself as an empty windbag.

The fact is, most of the grandiose talk about the vast gulf which separates genius from mere talent has been published and set abroad by those fortunate persons who fell, or fancied themselves to fall, under the former highly satisfactory and agreeable category. Genius, in short, real or self-suspected, has always been at great pains to glorify itself at the expense of poor, common-place, inferior talent. There is a certain type of great man in particular which is never tired of dilating upon the noble supremacy of its own greatness over the spurious imitation. It offers incense obliquely to itself in offering it generically to the class genius. It brings ghee to its own image. There are great men, for example, such as Lord Lytton, Disraeli, Victor Hugo, the Lion Comique, and Mr. Oscar Wilde, who pose perpetually as great men; they cry aloud to the poor silly public so far beneath them, 'I am a genius! Admire me! Worship me!' Against this Byronic self-elevation on an aërial pedestal, high above the heads of the blind and battling multitude, we poor common mortals, who are not unfortunately geniuses, are surely entitled to enter occasionally our humble protest. Our contention is that the genius only differs from the man of ability as the man of ability differs from the intelligent man, and the intelligent man from the worthy person of sound common sense. The sliding scale of brains has infinite gradations; and the gradations merge insensibly into one another. There is no gulf, no gap, no sudden jump of nature; here as elsewhere, throughout the whole range of her manifold productions, our common mother saltum non facit.

The question before the house, then, narrows itself down finally to this; what are the conditions under which exceptional ability or high talent is likely to arise?

Now, I suppose everybody is ready to admit that two complete born fools are not at all likely to become the proud father and happy mother of a Shakespeare or a Newton. I suppose everybody will unhesitatingly allow that a great mathematician could hardly by any conceivable chance arise among the South African Bushmen, who cannot understand the arduous arithmetical proposition that two and two make four. No amount of education or careful training, I take it, would suffice to elevate the most profoundly artistic among the Veddahs of Ceylon, who cannot even comprehend an English drawing of a dog or horse, into a respectable president of the Royal Academy. It is equally unlikely (as it seems to me) that a Mendelssohn or a Beethoven could be raised in the bosom of a family all of whose members on either side were incapable (like a distinguished modern English poet) of discriminating any one note in an octave from any other. Such leaps as these would be little short of pure miracles. They would be equivalent to the sudden creation, without antecedent cause, of a whole vast system of nerves and nerve-centres in the prodigious brain of some infant phenomenon.

On the other hand, much of the commonplace, shallow fashionable talk about hereditary genius—I don't mean, of course, the talk of our Darwins and Galtons, but the cheap drawing-room philosophy of easy sciolists who can't understand them—is itself fully as absurd in its own way as the idea that something can come out of nothing. For it is no explanation of the existence of genius to say that it is hereditary. You only put the difficulty one place back. Granting that young Alastor Jones is a budding poet because his father, Percy Bysshe Jones, was a poet before him, why, pray, was Jones the elder a poet at all, to start with? This kind of explanation, in fact, explains nothing; it begins by positing the existence of one original genius, absolutely unaccounted for, and then proceeds blandly to point out that the other geniuses derive their characteristics from him, by virtue of descent, just as all the sons of a peer are born honourables. The elephant supports the earth, and the tortoise supports the elephant, but who, pray, supports the tortoise? If the first chicken came out of an egg, what was the origin of the hen that laid it?

Besides, the allegation as it stands is not even a true one. Genius, as we actually know it, is by no means hereditary. The great man is not necessarily the son of a great man or the father of a great man: often enough, he stands quite isolated, a solitary golden link in a chain of baser metal on either side of him. Mr. John Shakespeare woolstapler, of Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, was no doubt an eminently respectable person in his own trade, and he had sufficient intelligence to be mayor of his native town once upon a time: but, so far as is known, none of his literary remains are at all equal to Macbeth or Othello. Parson Newton, of the Parish of Woolsthorpe, in Lincolnshire, may have preached a great many very excellent and convincing discourses, but there is no evidence of any sort that he ever attempted to write the Principia. Per contra the Miss Miltons, good young ladies that they were (though of conflicting memory), do not appear to have differed conspicuously in ability from the other Priscillas and Patiences and Mercies amongst whom their lot was cast; while the Marlboroughs and the Wellingtons do not seem to bud out spontaneously into great commanders in the second generation. True, there are numerous cases such as that of the Herschels, father and son, or the two Scaligers, or the Caracci, or the Pitts, or the Scipios, and a dozen more, where the genius, once developed, has persisted for two or three, or even four lives: but these instances really cast no light at all upon our central problem, which is just this—How does the genius come in the first place to be developed at all from parents in whom individually no particular genius is ultimately to be seen?

Suppose we take, to start with, a race of hunting savages in the earliest, lowest, and most undifferentiated stage, we shall get really next to no personal peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of any sort amongst them. Every one of them will be a good hunter, a good fisherman, a good scalper and a good manufacturer of bows and arrows. Division of labour, and the other troublesome technicalities of our modern political economy, are as unknown among such folk as the modern nuisance of dressing for dinner. Each man performs all the functions of a citizen on his own account, because there is nobody else to perform them for him—the medium of exchange known as hard cash has not, so far as he is concerned, yet been invented; and he performs them well, such as they are, because he inherits from all his ancestors aptitudes of brain and muscle in these directions, owing to the simple fact that those among his collateral predecessors who didn't know how to snare a bird, or were hopelessly stupid in the art of chipping flint arrowheads, died out of starvation, leaving no representatives. The beneficent institution of the poor law does not exist among savages, in order to enable the helpless and incompetent to bring up families in their own image. There, survival of the fittest still works out its own ultimately benevolent and useful end in its own directly cruel and relentless way, cutting off ruthlessly the stupid or the weak, and allowing only the strong and the cunning to become the parents of future generations.

Hence every young savage, being descended on both sides from ancestors who in their own way perfectly fulfilled the ideal of complete savagery—were good hunters, good fishers, good fighters, good craftsmen of bow or boomerang—inherits from these his successful predecessors all those qualities of eye and hand and brain and nervous system which go to make up the abstractly Admirable Crichton of a savage. The qualities in question are ensured in him by two separate means. In the first place, survival of the fittest takes care that he and all his ancestors shall have duly possessed them to some extent to start with; in the second place, constant practice from boyhood upward increases and develops the original faculty. Thus savages, as a rule, display absolutely astonishing ability and cleverness in the few lines which they have made their own. Their cunning in hunting, their patience in fishing, their skill in trapping, their infinite dodges for deceiving and cajoling the animals or enemies that they need to outwit, have moved the wonder and admiration of innumerable travellers. The savage, in fact, is not stupid: in his own way his cleverness is extraordinary. But the way is a very narrow and restricted one, and all savages of the same race walk in it exactly alike. Cunning they have, skill they have, instinct they have, to a most marvellous degree; but of spontaneity, originality, initiative, variability, not a single spark. Know one savage of a tribe and you know them all. Their cleverness is not the cleverness of the individual man: it is the inherited and garnered intelligence or instinct of the entire race.

How, then, do originality, diversity, individuality, genius, begin to come in? In this way, as it seems to me, looking at the matter both à priori and by the light of actual experience.

Suppose a country inhabited in its interior by a savage race of hunters and fighters, and on its seaboard by an equally savage race of pirates and fishermen, like the Dyaks of Borneo. Each of these races, if left to itself, will develop in time its own peculiar and special type of savage cleverness. Each (in the scientific slang of the day) will adapt itself to its particular environment. The people of the interior will acquire and inherit a wonderful facility in spearing monkeys and knocking down parrots; while the people of the sea-coast will become skilful managers of canoes upon the water, and merciless plunderers of one another's villages, after the universal fashion of all pirates. These original differences of position and function will necessarily entail a thousand minor differences of intelligence and skill in a thousand different ways. For example, the sea-coast people, having of pure need to make themselves canoes and paddles, will probably learn to decorate their handicraft with ornamental patterns; and the æsthetic taste thus aroused will, no doubt, finally lead them to adorn the façades of their wooden huts with the grinning skulls of slaughtered enemies, prettily disposed at measured distances. A thoughtless world may laugh, indeed, at these naïve expressions of the nascent artistic and decorative faculties in the savage breast, but the æsthetic philosopher knows how to appreciate them at their true worth, and to see in them the earliest ingenuous precursors of our own Salisbury, Lichfield, and Westminster.

Now, so long as these two imaginary races of ours continue to remain distinct and separate, it is not likely that idiosyncrasies or varieties to any great extent will arise among them. But, as soon as you permit intermarriage to take place, the inherited and developed qualities of the one race will be liable to crop up in the next generation, diversely intermixed in every variety of degree with the inherited and developed qualities of the other. The children may take after either parent in any combination of qualities whatsoever. You have admitted an apparently capricious element of individuality: a power on the part of the half-breeds of differing from one another to an extent quite impossible in the two original homogeneous societies. In one word, you have made possible the future existence of diversity in character.

If, now, we turn from these perfectly simple savage communities to our own very complex and heterogeneous world, what do we find? An endless variety of soldiers, sailors, tinkers, tailors, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, and jolly undertakers, most of whom fall into a certain rough number of classes, each with its own developed and inherited traits and peculiarities. Our world is made up, like the world of ancient Egypt and of modern India, of an immense variety of separate castes—not, indeed, rigidly demarcated and strictly limited as in those extremely hierarchical societies, but still very fairly hereditary in character, and given on the average to a tolerably close system of intermarriage within the caste.

For example, there is the agricultural labourer caste—the Hodge Chawbacon of urban humour, who in his military avatar also reappears as Tommy Atkins, a little transfigured, but at bottom identical—the alternative aspect of a single undivided central reality. Hodge for the most part lives and dies in his ancestral village: marries Mary, the daughter of Hodge Secundus of that parish, and begets assorted Hodges and Marys in vast quantities, all of the same pattern, to replenish the earth in the next generation. There you have a very well-marked hereditary caste, little given to intermixture with others, and from whose members, however recruited by fresh blood, the object of our quest, the Divine Genius, is very unlikely to find his point of origin. Then there is the town artisan caste, sprung originally, indeed, from the ranks of the Hodges, but naturally selected out of its most active, enterprising, and intelligent individuals, and often of many generations standing in various forms of handicraft. This is a far higher and more promising type of humanity, from the judicious intermixture of whose best elements we are apt to get our Stephensons, our Arkwrights, our Telfords, and our Edisons. In a rank of life just above the last, we find the fixed and immobile farmer caste, which only rarely blossoms out, under favourable circumstances on both sides, into a stray Cobbett or an almost miraculous miller Constable. The shopkeepers are a tribe of more varied interests and more diversified lives. An immense variety of brain elements are called into play by their diverse functions in diverse lines; and when we take them in conjunction with the upper mercantile grades, which are chiefly composed of their ablest and most successful members, we get considerable chances of those happy blendings of individual excellences in their casual marriages which go to make up talent, and, in their final outcome, genius. Last of all, in the professional and upper classes there is a freedom and play of faculty everywhere going on, which in the chances of intermarriage between lawyer-folk and doctor-folk, scientific people and artistic people, county families and bishops or law lords, and so forth ad infinitum, offers by far the best opportunities of any for the occasional development of that rare product of the highest humanity, the genuine genius.

But in every case it is, I believe, essentially intermixture of variously acquired hereditary characteristics that makes the best and truest geniuses. Left to itself, each separate line of caste ancestry would tend to produce a certain fixed Chinese or Japanese perfection of handicraft in a certain definite, restricted direction, but not probably anything worth calling real genius. For example, a family of artists, starting with some sort of manual dexterity in imitating natural forms and colours with paint and pencil, and strictly intermarrying always with other families possessing exactly the same inherited endowments, would probably go on getting more and more woodenly accurate in its drawing; more and more conventionally correct in its grouping; more and more technically perfect in its perspective and light-and-shade, and so forth, by pure dint of accumulated hereditary experience from generation to generation. It would pass from the Egyptian to the Chinese style of art by slow degrees and with infinite gradations. But suppose, instead of thus rigorously confining itself to its own caste, this family of handicraft artists were to intermarry freely with poetical, or seafaring, or candlestick-making stocks. What would be the consequence? Why, such an infiltration of other hereditary characteristics, otherwise acquired, as might make the young painters of future generations more wide minded, more diversified, more individualistic, more vivid and lifelike. Some divine spark of poetical imagination, some tenderness of sentiment, some play of fancy, unknown perhaps, to the hard, dry, matter-of-fact limners of the ancestral school, might thus be introduced into the original line of hereditary artists. In this way one can easily see how even intermarriage with non-artistic stocks might improve the breed of a family of painters. For while each caste, left to itself, is liable to harden down into a mere technical excellence after its own kind, a wooden facility for drawing faces, or casting up columns of figures, or hacking down enemies, or building steam-engines, a healthy cross with other castes is liable to bring in all kinds of new and valuable qualities, each of which, though acquired perhaps in a totally, different line of life, is apt to bear a new application in the new complex whereof it now forms a part.

In our very varied modern societies, every man and every woman, in the upper and middle ranks of life at least, has an individuality and an idiosyncrasy so compounded of endless varying stocks and races. Here is one whose father was an Irishman and his mother a Scotchwoman; here is another whose paternal line were country parsons, while his maternal ancestors were city merchants or distinguished soldiers. Take almost anybody's 'sixteen quarters'—his great-great grandfathers and great-great grandmothers, of whom he has sixteen all told—and what do you often find? A peer, a cobbler, a barrister, a common sailor, a Welsh doctor, a Dutch merchant, a Huguenot pastor, a cornet of horse, an Irish heiress, a farmer's daughter, a housemaid, an actress, a Devonshire beauty, a rich young lady of sugar-broking extraction, a Lady Carolina, a London lodging-house keeper. This is not by any means an exaggerated case; it would be easy, indeed, from one's own knowledge of family histories to supply a great many real examples far more startling than this partially imaginary one. With such a variety of racial and professional antecedents behind us, what infinite possibilities are opened before us of children with ability, folly, stupidity, genius?

Infinite numbers of intermixtures everywhere exist in civilised societies. Most of them are passable; many of them are execrable; a few of them are admirable; and here and there, one of them consists of that happy blending of individual characteristics which we all immediately recognise as genius—at least after somebody else has told us so.

The ultimate recipe for genius, then, would appear to be somewhat after this fashion. Take a number of good, strong, powerful stocks, mentally or physically, endowed with something more than the average amount of energy and application. Let them be as varied as possible in characteristics; and, so far as convenient, try to include among them a considerable small-change of races, dispositions, professions, and temperaments. Mix, by marriage, to the proper consistency; educate the offspring, especially by circumstances and environment, as broadly, freely, and diversely as you can; let them all intermarry again with other similarly produced, but personally unlike, idiosyncrasies; and watch the result to find your genius in the fourth or fifth generation. If the experiment has been properly performed, and all the conditions have been decently favourable, you will get among the resultant five hundred persons a considerable sprinkling of average fools, a fair proportion of modest mediocrities, a small number of able people, and (in case you are exceptionally lucky and have shuffled your cards very carefully) perhaps among them all a single genius. But most probably the genius will have died young of scarlet fever, or missed fire through some tiny defect of internal brain structure. Nature herself is trying this experiment unaided every day all around us, and, though she makes a great many misses, occasionally she makes a stray hit and then we get a Shakespeare or a Grimaldi.

'But you haven't proved all this: you have only suggested it.' Does one prove a thesis of deep-reaching importance in a ten-page essay? And if one proved it in a big book, with classified examples and detailed genealogies of all the geniuses, would anybody on earth except Mr. Francis Galton ever take the trouble to read it?


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Anti-Spam Movement - Are You Asking For Something You Really Don't Want

Have we gone to far with the "SPAM" concept? What are the adverse affects of the anti spam movement on internet newbies?

What will the effects be on network marketers efforts to use the internet to build there business?

Limits, More Limits, ACCESS DENIED!!!

What is happening is a slow strangulation of the internet as a free territory
to stake your claim and build your dream.

What is the holy grail of online business? Traffic. Tons of Traffic.
But if you have to pay for pay per click. If Google Browsers like
Chrome are limiting the returned websites, what are the chances of a
newbie who has a lot of desire but no knowledge or skill chance
of making it online?

People are touting "Build a relationship with people". If you don't
get to meet those people how can you build a relationship? Also
let's look at the corner store. I don't need to know who runs the
corner store to go in there and make a purchase.

I just need to know that they have what I want. The fundmental
flaw with the Relationship model is that it doesn't really work.
If building a relationship was key, you could have sold the product,
service, or opportunity to your friends and family because you
had a relationship with them.

People buy what they perceive they want. You walk into a store
to purchase something. Because of how the store is laid out,
or display advertisement you see something else that you fancy.

Your decision to purchase that doesn't come from "Do I like the store
owner? What type of relationship do we have?". No it doesn't.

It has caught your attention and you decided you wanted to give it
a try.

Well, this is all I have for now on the topic. Let me know what you think.

Join our community

Get with the Winners

http://mylegalplantoday.com

About Me

My photo

Success has many different meanings to different people. I have found that there are somethings which must take place first. Number 1 is having Financial Freedom. Without having Financial Freedoms our dreams are always subject to the sway of others. The slave's dreams are influenced by the slave master.