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and avoiding the danger of lightening the burden of children most among the wrong classes. By compelling every child to attend school for a series of years, the State has raised the wage-earning age, and thus directly increased the burden on parents. It has also added to the taxation of parents whose children are recognised to require a different type of education to fit them for their future lives, and cannot use with any advantage the free elementary schools. It should do something in return to help the parents of all classes during the expensive time of education. An extension of the system of scholarships in schools of all classes seems the only method feasible at present in which this help can be given without doing more harm than good.
Not long ago children were desired by the labouring class as an insurance for old age, and they were legally as well as morally bound to maintain their parents. Now that the State is assuming more and more the burden of providing for the aged poor, this cause too will cease to operate; and, once more, the changed conditions will appeal most to the more far-seeing and provident sections of the community. The effect of old-age pensions may reach farther than has been seen. Considering the present economic strain of raising children, the greater possibility of saving by those parents with few offspring, and the service to the community rendered by those who bring up well a large family, it might be worth while for statesmen to investigate the possibility of pensions graduated in proportion to the number of children successfully reared.
The whole question of possible legislative action in subjects which concern inheritance and the future qualities of the race should be studied carefully and in detail by some competent body, such as a permanent Royal Commission. At present it is perhaps hopeless to expect the House of Commons to devote some of the time it wastes on political controversy to the consideration of fundamentally important matters : no votes are to be won by attention to questions outside party strife. But the House of Lords has not the fear of the polls always before its eyes, and might do untold good by attention to such problems as those now before us. Some day the nations will awake to the new knowledge, and those races which fail to act on it must inevitably go down, if placed in prolonged competition with wiser peoples.
But legislative attempts to fight economic causes, which them. selves have partly been brought into play by legislation, do not exhaust the possibilities of meeting the evil. A general recognition of the importance of the question, and an increased sense of respect for the bearing and right upbringing of children as one of the most important social functions of those who are healthy in mind and body, may do much of itself. And one benefit of an improved tone of public opinion would be that it would affect first and most largely those in whom the sense of public responsibility was keenest, and thus tend to favour the relative growth of elements in the population with a high sense of social obligation. We should hear less often those with relatively good incomes say that they can only afford' one or two children, when their expenditure in other directions is large. The supposed necessity of sending every boy in certain classes to one of the most expensive of our expensive public schools might less often be used as a reason for not bringing the boy into the world at all.
Another complaint which is often heard refers to the difficulty of providing for children in after life. Some people of the landowning and professional classes seem to think it wrong to have children if they are unable to provide those children with a sufficient income to live, without depending on their own efforts for a livelihood. Such an economic theory has but to be imagined extended to the whole nation to be reduced at once to an absurdity. It is closely connected with the ideas that the daughters should not be expected to earn a livelihood, that all careers are overcrowded,' and that there are no
openings for the sons. The experience of the present writer as a resident in one of the older universities shows the latter idea to be exaggerated. It is more difficult to find competent men to fill the openings than to find openings for competent men. Responsible posts in the Empire increase at least as fast as the population as a whole, while the number of men fitted by character, ability, and early training to fill those posts honestly, ably, and gracefully increases very little faster than the classes which, as we have seen above, have suffered the most serious diminution in birth-rate. A family with character, ability, and good manners has to fear no diminution in position or national usefulness by the possession of a large number of children. Rather it may look with confidence to a rise in fortune as those children take honourable and helpful parts in the great drama of the British Empire.
It is certain that a complete change in the habits of thought of some years ago is suggested by the evidence now available. Malthus advocated the restriction of families as the only sure means of raising wages by restricting the supply of labourers. This doctrine was sedulously taken up, preached and disseminated among the more thrifty artisan class by certain well-meaning people, who failed to see the economic fallacy involved, or the serious consequences of their action in starting the selective degeneration of the race.
Till the State is able more effectively to shift some of the economic burdens, we must rely exclusively on what must always prove the best of means—the sense of duty of the individual. And care should be taken both in word and deed to encourage a healthy tone. The present fashion, for instance, of advertising for coachmen, gardeners, or gamekeepers 'without encumbrances' should meet with the universal reprobation it deserves. Such men, usually of good stock
and with regular well-paid work, should be a steady source of valuable additions to the population, and pride should be taken in providing cottages for their occupation, with accommodation suitable for a large family.
The moral of these thoughts seems to be that the pressure of public opinion, and the growth of a higher sense of social duty, should demand greater attention to questions of heredity. One great assistance in this task would be a revival of interest in family history in all those classes of the community where it is possible. In old days family history was a more general study. It has been preserved by many families among the landed class throughout the unfavourable years of the past century, but among others it has died from inattention or even from active dislike. We have heard of parchments containing irrecoverable family records being used to cover the yearly brew of household jam. In a private book of memoirs we have seen a promising discussion of a family origin dismissed with thorough contempt' for any other feeling than that founded on individual character and worth.'
To some extent this attitude of mind may be correlated with the dominance and general acceptance of the individualist theory in the nineteenth century. Moreover, in that century, owing to various economic and political causes, the middle class threw up from obscurity a great number of able and successful men, who seemed to justify the theory. The mistake lay in confusing opportunity with ability. The ability was there already, in sound strains permeating all classes ; the opportunity was given by industrial expansion. So, in another way, it was in the spacious days of Elizabeth-every rough sea captain had room, if he possessed the innate ability, to become an admiral or a circumnavigator.
From the beginning of the sixteenth till the end of the seventeenth century, the pedigrees of gentle families were kept by means of the periodic visitations of the Heralds to the various counties of England in a manner which, considering the age, was wonderfully accurate. It is true that the pedigrees were for the most part mere lists of names, and were useless for the present purpose. But the system of keeping them was sound, and, were it still in effective action, could be made the basis of a scientific study of heredity among the apper classes of the community. The records of the College of Arms are open to all comers for a trifling fee, and it should be a matter of family pride to make available there full details of the family history as far as they are known, 'extenuating nothing, and setting down nought in malice.'
Meanwhile, Professor Karl Pearson and his assistants in the Galton Eugenics Laboratory of University College, London, are tracing the inheritance of specific characters in such pedigrees as they can collect. At present the pedigrees are made impersonal by omitting names, but it is to be hoped that, as the sense of public obligation in such matters grows, people may come to realise the duty of perfect openness in all details of family history.
Whatever view we may take as to the possibilities of the future, we may all agree in the importance of increased and more general knowledge of the problem of the future qualities of the race. With increased knowledge must come an improved sense of social responsibility for the welfare of future generations, and a grasp of the supreme importance of favouring the inheritance of all noble qualities. In view of the dangers that beset us, we may well adopt the words of the old Bidding Prayer and pray that there may never be wanting a supply of persons duly qualified to serve God in Church and State.'
COURT AND SOCIETY AT BERLIN IN
THE FIFTIES: A REMINISCENCE
It was soon after the death of the Emperor Nicholas the First, on the 2nd of March 1855, that I first went to live at Berlin.
The Court, the Army, and a great section of Prussian society were still under the impression of this event, rendered more tragic by the belief that the great White Czar's end had been hastened by the Russian reverses in the Crimea, reverses which had broken his heart.
The Emperor Nicholas had married a Prussian Princess, the beautiful daughter of the beautiful and unhappy Queen Louise. She was the sister of the King (Frederick William the Fourth), and the brother she resembled most was the chivalrous Prince of Prussia.
This Prince, who later became the Emperor William the First, and his Consort, a Princess of Saxe-Weimar and own niece to the Czar, were very liberal minded. They alone sympathised with what were called in those days 'the Western Powers,' and I remember Lady Bloomfield, whose husband was at that time British Minister at Berlin, telling me that hardly anybody would speak to them at that time except the Prince and Princess of Prussia.
As this Royal couple were not popular in Berlin, they only rarely inhabited their palace. Unter den Linden.' The Prince moved about a good deal, and the Princess divided her time between Coblentz, where she was much beloved, and Baden-Baden, where she assembled around her a literary, artistic, and cosmopolitan society.
The King and Queen lived much at their favourite palace of SansSouci, near Potsdam. Built by Frederick the Great in a most ornate Louis the Fifteenth style, it was with its terraces, fountains, and avenues of noble trees an ideal summer residence. During the coldest winter months their Majesties inhabited the ancient and stately Schloss at Berlin, which was, and many say still is, haunted by the white lady, an ancestress of the Hohenzollerns.
King Frederick William the Fourth had been a very charming and witty man, but his brilliant intellect was then already beginning to wane under the influence of the long and insidious malady to which he eventually succumbed.