Full text: Problems in eugenics

Whetham.Sociology and Eugenics.245 
their foundation. Cambridge has been the nursing mother of the Anglo- 
Danish stock, and has turned out a long line of poets, men of science, and 
mystics. There is, indeed, much truth in the old saying that Cambridge 
bred the martyrs and Oxford burned them. Oxford has collected men of 
the Saxon race, intermingled with survivors of the so-called “ Celtic ” and 
pre-Roman tribes of England, who were driven into the West, and, in their 
turn, drove the short, dark Mediterranean stock before them into Wales and 
Cornwall. The western university has produced the historians and the 
philosophers, and has always greatly influenced the literature of England. 
At the present day Oxford is far more largely represented in literature and 
on the public press of the Empire than Cambridge, while in science, mathe­ 
matics, medicine, and engineering, Cambridge is easily pre-eminent. Once 
started on their course, the characteristics of the two Universities have 
persisted into days when they draw more evenly from all parts of the 
country. The two Universities are but the indices of the mental qualities of the 
different populations they have attracted within their doors. It would 
appear that there are three principal foci of ability in England; one, in 
East Anglia, including Lincolnshire and the adjacent counties, of which 
Isaac Newton is the supreme achievement; a second, in the West, centring 
round Devon, Somerset, and Wilts, of whom, perhaps, Sir Walter Raleigh, 
soldier, administrator, courtier, and man of letters, is typical; a third, 
remarkable for its artistic and literary bent, on the English side of the 
Welsh borders. It is from these last two areas that in early days Oxford 
has largely drawn her scholars. Kent, which, like East Anglia, early 
attained a high state of civilization, partly owing to proximity with the 
Continent of Europe, also shows a high proportion of realised ability, of 
the western rather than of the Anglian character. The large towns, 
including even London, with its immense attractions for the able and 
ambitious, have no special record in the production of commanding personali­ 
ties, nor have the great centres of population in the north of England yet 
added their due quota to the men of distinction among us. The type of 
population developed in or attracted by the industrial developments of the 
nineteenth century is apparently not of the kind freely to produce philo­ 
sophers, statesmen, poets, or men of science. 
As we have said before, it is impossible to reconstruct with any certainty 
the stages by which a fortunate balance first was attained and then overset 
in the ancient world; but, in modern civilization, there are several tendencies 
at work which would affect adversely the northern races, that is, if we may 
accept the evidence which indicates that the upper social strata and the 
country districts contain a predominant share of northern blood. 
Although on the Continent of Europe, in districts where the Northern 
and Alpine races meet, the Northern element seems to preponderate in 
the towns, yet there seems no doubt that in England, as between the

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