The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:04 pm

The Choice of a Mate
by Anthony M. Ludovici
With an Introduction by Norman Haire
1935

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Preface
Abbreviations
Part I: General Findings
I On Choice in General and the Obstacles in the Way of a Sound Choice
II The More Fundamental Desiderata. (I) Consanguinity
III The More Fundamental Desiderata. (II) Consanguinity
IV The More Fundamental Desiderata. (III) Beauty and Ugliness (Generally Considered)
V The More Fundamental Desiderata. (IV) Beauty and Health
Part II: Findings Applicable to the Two Sexes Respectively
General Preamble. Physiognomy, Human Points and Morphology, Avenues of Approach from the Visible to the Invisible. What is Normal?
I The Approaches from the Visible to the Invisible
II The Subject of the Previous Chapter — Continued
III The Female Leg and the Influence of Dress on Morphology and Temperaments
Part III: Mainly Inferences from Parts I and II
I The Desirable Mate (Male)
II The Desirable Mate (Female)
Index
List of Illustrations
Figure I. The Human Ear
Figure II. Face with Inward Cast
Figure III. Face with Outward Cast
Figure IV. Mask of the Asthenic Schizophrene
Figure V. Mask of the Athletic Schizophrene
Figure VI. Masks of Pyknic Type
Figure VII. MacAuliffe's Four Types

"Jusqu'ici, nul géomètre n'a osé tracer des lignes de longitude et de latitude sur la mer conjugale. Les vieux maris ont eu vergogne d'indiquer les banes de sable, les récifs, les écueils, les brisants, les moussons, les côtes et les courants qui ont détruits leurs barques, tant ils avaient honte de leurs naufrages. Il manquait un guide, une boussole aux pèlerins mariés . . . cet ouvrage est destiné à leur en servir."

[Google translate: So far, no geometrician has dared to draw lines of longitude and latitude on the sea. The old husbands were shamed to point out the sandbanks, the reefs, the breakers, the monsoons, the coasts and currents that destroyed their boats, ashamed of their shipwrecks. A guide was missing, a compass for married pilgrims. . . this work is intended to serve them.]

-- H. de Balzac, PHYSIOLOGIE DU MARIAGE, I.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

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Introduction

I know of few writers in this field whose work gives me greater stimulation and pleasure, even when I disagree with him, than does that of A. M. Ludovici. Our ultimate conclusions about life are poles apart. He is essentially a believer in aristocracy and conservatism, I in democracy and liberalism.

What he calls degeneration and physiological botchedness seems to me part of the inevitable price we must pay, at any rate temporarily, for civilization. One can, of course, say that civilization is not worth the price we have to pay for it, but what is the alternative? In former times, the unfitter individuals in a community were eliminated by defect or disease or accident. The short-sighted man could not see well enough to avoid some threatening danger, and was likely to perish as a result. Infectious diseases, such as typhoid fever, diphtheria, or scarlet fever generally proved fatal. If a child was born with a weak digestion the chances were greatly against its survival. If a man broke a limb or fractured his skull or was mauled by a wild beast the injury very often meant death. But nowadays, what with advances in hygiene and in medical and surgical knowledge and skill, a great number of these defective, diseased or injured persons are saved. We give the short-sighted man spectacles which enable him to perceive and avoid approaching danger. We cure a large proportion of the sufferers from infectious diseases. We feed the baby, whose digestion is weak, on special artificial foods, and the probability is that it will survive. The humanitarian ideas which are part of our present-day ethic lead us to cherish the weak and sickly, even at the expense of the healthier members of the community. Often the weakness and sickliness is transmitted to their offspring, and the same humanitarianism leads us to preserve the weakly next generation in its turn. The result is that, among marriageable adults of both sexes, there are undoubtedly a large number of persons who, in more primitive conditions, would inevitably have perished. These are the degenerate and the physiologically botched.

These are the people who must be classed as something below A1 when it comes to the choice of a mate.

So far I am in complete agreement with Mr. Ludovici. But such a large proportion of the population must be classed as physiologically botched, in a greater or lesser degree, that, if we rule them out, there are few left from whom to choose. What are we to do? If we endeavour to inculcate sound prejudices and high standards, how many will satisfy the prejudices and reach the standards? And so, while I agree with Mr. Ludovici in theory, I disagree with him when it comes to applying the theory in practice. We are like two physicians, who are completely united in their diagnosis of a case, but differ widely regarding the treatment that is to be carried out.

But there! It is unfair of an Editor, in his introduction, to begin a debate with the author, whose book is already written, and who has no opportunity of replying. I must join issue with him, on this point and on others, elsewhere.

In spite of such differences of opinion, I enjoy reading Ludovici. He interests me, he stimulates me, he sets my mind working along new paths. I admire his capacity for independent thinking, his ever-present alertness in questioning conventional beliefs, and in re-examining the evidence, or lack of evidence, underlying them. And, above all, I admire his courage in proclaiming what he believes to be the truth. About Christianity, for example, and about the importance of recognizing the effect of the old Greek attitude to homosexuality if we are properly to understand the old Greek Civilization. And about incest and in-breeding.

I could write many pages about my reasons for enjoying and admiring Mr. Ludovici's work. But this is not the place for it. Here I must only say that though I cannot share some of his conclusions, I nevertheless believe that this book will be very valuable to the critical reader. It is a pioneer work, offering guidance towards the solution of a problem about which, up to the present, little or no guidance has been available to the English public.

NORMAN HAIRE.
127 Harley Street,
London.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

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Preface

My aim has been to supply authoritative information and guidance. So much that is merely conjecture has been written on the sex question, and so much of the popular literature on my present subject has nothing but the whimsicality and imagination of its authors to recommend it, that I thought it worth while to try to prepare for the reading public a book on human mating, which, if not wholly supported by science, is at least based, wherever science fails, on the authority of the best human traditions.

It was not easy to achieve this aim, and no one could be better aware than I am of the extent to which I have fallen short of it; but in so far as I have succeeded, this is actually the first book of its kind on the subject. It may be inadequate. But at least it constitutes the first serious attempt to furnish an objective treatment of the problems involved.

I found very little authoritative literature on the choice of a mate, and was obliged to seek the material for this first comprehensive contribution to that literature over the whole field of human experience — anthropology, medicine, art, history philosophy, psychology, biography, fiction, poetry, dramatic works, and the lay and scientific press. On the problem of consanguinity alone I have had to range over the whole history of civilization. And if, in my inquiries, I have regarded as certain and conclusive only those scientific findings which the best human traditions confirm, it is because, without this check on science, its most trustful devotee may later on find its conclusions reversed by the successors of the present generation of scientists.

I mention all these matters, not in order to vaunt my patience and industry, for these are nothing in themselves; but in the first place, to make it clear that this book is in every respect a pioneer effort and that it cannot, therefore, fail to suffer from the shortcomings and blemishes of all such works; and secondly because by acknowledging my difficulties from the outlet I hope to be able to secure the reader's indulgence.

Beauty, desirability and health are all relative. In many respects they are, within the same race, or complex of culture-values, synonymous terms. In the sexual mating of modern civilized mankind, however, we are concerned with other factors besides merely æsthetic qualities and a norm of health. We are concerned with a conflict of values, divergences of type, a mixture of races, a graduated scale of morbidity and health, vitiation of instinct, appetite and taste, and neurotic and aberrant features of all kinds, which make the whole question of choice in mating one of great complexity.

To lay down hard and fast rules in the present state of knowledge would be daring to the point of recklessness. This does not mean, however, that we may not try to frame certain general principles and attempt the outlining of rules which, although incomplete and inconclusive, will at least put an end to a good many of the more crass errors, and expose some of the misleading popular superstitions prevailing on the subject.

As usual in my work, my inclination has been always to adopt an attitude of reverence towards those customs and judgments of mankind which hail from civilizations that have nourished and endured conspicuously, and to approach with suspicion and scepticism everything that hails from civilizations that have been notably ephemeral or inferior, or from any period of superior civilizations which has been characterized by decline and disintegration.

Against the judgments of a civilization in which the plant man has nourished luxuriantly, not even the most self-satisfied fiats of modern science have been able to move me. For it was chiefly this unswerving faith in the wisdom of great civilizations which, twenty years ago, lent me the strength to uphold, against the science of that day, my belief in the closest consanguineous marriages (in fact, in incest) as a regenerative measure — a belief which, as the reader will see, has only recently been confirmed by one of the greatest biologists of our day.

[Fairy Godmother] My child, it would be sinful to marry your father. You must discourage him.

[Princess] But I love him.

[Fairy Godmother] I know you love him. But you're mixing up different kinds of love.

[Princess] I must give him an answer tomorrow.

Image

[Fairy Godmother] The situation requires attention. Children do not marry their parents, my child. You love your father, or so I gather. But whatever their reasons or feelings may be, boys do not marry their mothers, my child. And it is the tradition in every condition for lawmakers to decree that girls do not marry their daddies. A prince with a shepherdess may find joy. But a girl with her father can expect nothing but tainted offspring. My child, you must forget without regret these depraved phantasms. And you will encounter a ragamuffin, or perhaps a beggar prince. But kindly abjure this union impure. Life will offer you gifts, my child. But first you must conform to the plan which I have concocted for you. Have no fear of getting lost, my child. I shall enlighten you at all cost. I shall protect you and show you the way that I have traced without delay. Be of good cheer. I've fixed it all up, dear. Don't worry. Nothing bad will happen to you if you follow my advice.

[Princess] Are you sure?

[Fairy Godmother] Fairies are always right. We must thwart your father.

-- Donkey Skin, directed by Jacques Demy, Starring Catherine Deneueve, Delphine Seyrig, Jean Marais


I state this in order to give the reader some idea of my method; for, as I pointed out in the preface to the second edition of my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY, if science observed the same principle — that is to say, if scientists always scrupulously compared their conclusions with the soundest traditions of the most nourishing civilizations — we should not constantly be confronted by the discreditable recantations and contradictions which mark the progress of scientific investigation.

I shall not easily forget the scene, about ten years ago, in the hall hired by the Society for the Study of Sex Psychology when, with the Editor of the present series in the chair, I delivered an address, answering in the affirmative the question, "Would a revival of incest, or the closest approximation thereto, be beneficial to mankind?" Nor shall I forget a meeting on a small scale held a little later in a private house on the Suffolk coast, when I briefly expounded the theory on consanguinity advanced in these pages. Even at that time, scientists had not completely committed themselves in favour of my thesis, which I admit took its original root in an emotional bias and which I then founded chiefly on the wisdom of old and flourishing civilizations. The feelings of my listeners consequently ranged from consternation in the first case, to shocked and rather contemptuous amusement in the second. On neither occasion, however, except for the chairman of the first meeting, who, as everyone knows, is among the most enlightened and broadminded of scientific men, did I meet with the smallest sign of understanding or even of curiosity among my listeners, and I have no doubt that most of those present on both occasions went away more alarmed than interested.

Now as very few of the audience at the first meeting, and none at the second, had the requisite knowledge to oppose my views on biological and genetic grounds, and were shocked and hostile merely because of unreasoning prejudice, these two experiences naturally did not shake me. But they did leave me wondering. And what I asked myself was whether a State could not well afford to neglect educating its nationals for knowledge, if only it took care to train them in prejudice; because, in the end, it is prejudices (or the prerequisites of artificially-conditioned reflexes), whether right or wrong, that control conduct. And, educationally, the State is concerned chiefly with controlling the conduct of its members. But more of this anon.

Returning to the question of science; where it seems to me to go too far in another direction, is in its excessively rigorous exclusion of those "opinions" and judgments which, though not scientific, are the result of a long and intelligently observant life. Such judgments have their value, because all experience, particularly that of great minds, contributes to the common stock of human wisdom. Science is the product of observation. The test now applied by science to any single piece of observation is to ask, "Can it be verified? Can it be confirmed?" And if every average man, with suitable instruments or apparatus, is able to confirm it, it passes into the stock-book of orthodox knowledge.

This method has immense advantages. It acts as a sort of police patrol clearing from the highways and byways of knowledge the irresponsible vapourings of quacks and charlatans. But it also has its disadvantages, because it tends to rule out from our stock of orthodox knowledge all those observations, for the registration of which the average man does not possess either the natural antennæ or even the scientific instruments of precision.

Science, therefore, suffers a loss by aspiring to a too democratic or too egalitarian ideal, and it is in order to avoid this loss that I have not refrained from quoting the judgments of such great and acknowledged observers of men and life as Shakespeare, Bacon, Goethe, La Bruyère, Stendhal, Balzac, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Byron, Dickens, Heine, de Quincey, Paul Bourget, etc.

Is it generally known that the modern doctrine of repressions in psychology was summed up by Schopenhauer in one short paragraph over a century ago? Are many people aware of the fact that Goethe, in his works on the metamorphosis of plants and animal morphology, foreshadowed the Darwinian theory of evolution? And how many readers of Freud know de Quincey on sexual repression and its effect, or Heine on the sex and body phobia of Christianity — a criticism in which he anticipated an important part of the modern Nietzschean attack on Christianity?

There is all the difference in the world between respecting as contributions to knowledge, the judgments of a merely popular figure, whether his fame has been acquired in film work or in finance, and respecting the observations of a tried and conscientious observer of men. The former is the practice of modern journalism and the public for which it caters; the latter has been the practice of the wisest of mankind throughout the Ages. In associating myself with those who adopt the latter practice, therefore, my object was to enrich rather than to impoverish my book, and I feel that few will wish to quarrel with me on that score.

One last word. This was a book which I was destined to write sooner or later. As I pointed out eleven years ago in my Introduction to WOMAN: A VINDICATION, "at the age of nineteen I wrote my first book, which bore the title GIRLS AND LOVE, and, ever since, the subject of sex has scarcely ever ceased from occupying my mind in various ways." Nor could one, I think, be occupied for a whole life-time with a more beautiful and absorbing subject. From the blossom that emblazons the landscape in the spring, the flowers that make Nature and our gardens radiant with colour and freshness, and the songs of the birds which inspire the poet, to the bewildering majesty of man and woman at maturity, with the ecstasy that their union implies, — all the beauty, all the uplifting aspects of life are steeped in sex. And, if the Puritan in his ignorance and prurience, insists on keeping his sanctimonious nose to the flower, and his shocked ears to the songs of the birds, when he would dwell on the wonders of creation, simply because the fundamental sex element in these manifestations of Nature are less obvious to the uninformed than in the beauties of human sexuality, I, for my part, am more catholic, and am proud to think that for all these years, my mind has dwelt on the whole panorama of sex, and not merely on those "respectable" aspects of it which are allowed to be seen and mentioned in middle-class drawing-rooms. I do not believe in the Christian god, but I think that those who do, pay him little honour in thus picking and choosing from among his alleged creations, and "turning down" what their repressed natures cannot contemplate without a shudder.

This first book, GIRLS AND LOVE, which, I need hardly say, was never published, was an attempt to deal with the very subject I propose to discuss in the present volume. The truth is that, on and off, I must have been thinking about it ever since my nineteenth year, and thus the circle of my life-work on sex seems to be closed.

It only remains for me now to express my thanks to the Secretary and Secretarial Staff of the Eugenics Society for their untiring courtesy in allowing me to consult their library, and also gratefully to acknowledge the assistance given me by Dr. H. S. Harrison, of the Horniman Museum, and the advice and kind help I have received from the Librarian of that Institution, Mr. Gaskin.

ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI.
London.
October, 1934.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

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Abbreviations Used in the Notes to this Book to Refer to the Authors More Often Quoted [1]

A. ANTHROPOMÉTRIE, by Ad. Quetelet (Brussels, 1870).
A.E. THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS, by G. Elliot Smith (London, 1923).
A.H.E. THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL HISTORY OF EUROPE, by John Beddoe (London, 1912).
A.P.F. THE ASSESSMENT OF PHYSICAL FITNESS, by Prof. G. Dreyer and G. Fulford Hanson (London, 1920).
A.-R. THE ANANGA-RANGA (a Hindu treatise on Conjugal Love. Translated into French by B. de Villeneuve. Paris, 1921).
B.D.M. DIE BEHAARUNG DES MENSCHEN, by Dr. Oskar F. Scheuer (Vienna, 1933).
B.F.L. HUMAN HEREDITY, by Drs. Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz. Trans. by Eden and Cedar Paul (London, 1931).
B.M. THE BOOK OF MARRIAGE (a Symposium). Arranged and edited by Count Hermann Keyserling. Except for the Essays by English contributors, the translation has been done by various hands mentioned at the end of the volume. (London, 1926).
B.M.J. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL.
C.M.R. THE MYSTIC ROSE, by Ernest Crawley (4th Edition, London, 1932).
C.M.D.R. CHILD-MARRIAGES, DIVORCES AND RATIFICATIONS, etc. In the Diocese of Chester, A.D. 1561–6, by Fred. J. Furnivall (London, 1897).
D.A. DE L'AMOUR, by Stendhal (Popular Ed., Garnier Frères).
D.C.S.R. DEGENERACY: ITS CAUSES, SIGNS AND RESULTS, by Dr. E. S. Talbot (London, 1898).
D.E.T.G. DIE ENTWICKLUNGSGESCHICHTE DES TALENTS UND GENIES, by Dr. A. Reibmayr (Munich, 1908).
D.M. DISEASE AND THE MAN, by Dr. George Draper (London,
1930).
D.M.B. DESCENDANTS OF THE MUTINEERS OF THE "BOUNTY", by Harry J. Shapiro (Hawaii, 1929).
D.O.M. THE DESCENT OF MAN, by Charles Darwin (London, 1885).
D.P. DIE PROSTITUTION, by Dr. Iwan Bloch (Vol. I. Berlin, 1912).
D.P.C. DIAGNOSING PERSONALITY AND CONDUCT, by Percival M. Symonds (New York, 1931).
D.S.W.K. DIE SCHÖNHEIT DES WEIBLICHEN KÖRPERS, by Professor C. H. Stratz (41st Ed., Stuttgart, 1928).
D.W. DAS WEIB IN DER NATUR- UND VÖLKERKUNDE, by Drs. H. Ploss and M. P. Bartels. Revised by Ferd. von Reitzenstein. (Berlin, 1927.)
E.B. ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA (Editions as stated in the Notes).
E.G.G. GESPRÄCHE MIT GOETHE, by J. P. Eckermann (Reclam edition, Leipzig).
E.M. ENCYCLOPÆDIA MEDICA (edited by Dr. J. W. Ballantyne. 2nd Ed., London, 1915).
E.R. THE EUGENICS REVIEW.
F. FEMINISM, by Professor K. A. Wieth-Knudsen (London, 1929).
F.F. FRAUENSPORT UND FRAUENKÖRPER, by Dr. Stephan Westmann (Leipzig, 1930).
F.I.L.T. FACTORS IN THE LIFE OF TWENTY-TWO HUNDRED WOMEN, by Katherine B. Davis (New York, 1929).
G.K. GESCHLECHTSKUNDE, by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (Stuttgart, 1926, 1928, etc.).
G.M. GENIALE MENSCHEN, by Dr. Ernst Kretschmer (2nd Ed., Berlin, 1931).
G.R.P. THE GLANDS REGULATING PERSONALITY, by Dr. Louis Berman (New York, 1928).
G.S. THE GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE (2nd Ed., London, 1900).
H. HEREDITY, by Dr. F. A. E. Crew (2nd Ed., London, 1928).
H.E. HEREDITY AND EUGENICS, by R. Ruggles Gates (London, 1923).
H.I.M. HEREDITY IN MAN, by R. Ruggles Gates (London, 1929).
H.R. HEREDITAS (Vol. II, 1921) RASSENMISCHUNG, by Prof. H. Lundborg.
H.S.W. Heine's SÄMTLICHE WERKE (Hamburg, 1885).
I.H.F. INQUIRIES INTO HUMAN FACULTY, by F. Galton (Dent's Edition).
I.M. IDEAL MARRIAGE, by Dr. Th. H. Van de Velde. (Trans. by Stella Browne, London, 1928.)
I.U.V. INZUCHT UND VERMISCHUNG, by Dr. A. Reibmayr (Leipzig, 1897).
J.A.M.A. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
J.E.P. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY (U.S.A.).
K.A.F. DAS KLIMAKTERISCHE ALTER DER FRAUEN, by Dr. E. Heinrich Kisch (Erlangen, 1874).
K.U.C. KONSTITUTION UND CHARAKTER (a Symposium, edited by Dr. Max Hirsch, Berlin, 1928).
K.U.E. KULTUR UND ENTARTUNG, by Prof. Bumke (Berlin, 1922).
L.C. LES CARACTÈRES, by La Bruyère.
L.M. LAW-BOOK OF MANU (Max Müller's Edition).
M.A.I. MAN: AN INDICTMENT, by A. M. Ludovici (London, 1927).
M.A.K. DIE MESTIZEN AUF KISAR, by Dr. Ernst Rodenwaldt (Jena, 1928).
M.A.R. MENSCHLICHE AUSLESE UND RASSENHYGIENE, by Dr. Fritz Lenz (Munich, 1931).
M.D. MARRIAGE AND DISEASE (a Symposium, Edit. by Prof. Senator and Dr. S. Kaminer. Trans. by Dr. S. Dalberg. 2nd Edit. London, 1908).
M.H. MARRIAGE AND HEREDITY, by J. F. Nisbet (2nd Edit. London, 1890).
M.L. MILROY LECTURES, 1928, delivered by Dr. F. A. E. Crew on the GENETICAL ASPECTS OF NATURAL IMMUNITY AND DISEASE RESISTANCE (Edin. Med. Journal, June, 1928).
M.M. MODERN MARRIAGE, by Paul Popenoe (New York, 1927).
MO. THE MOTHERS, by Dr. Robert Briffault (London, 1927).
M.O.C. ON MARRIAGES OF CONSANGUINITY, by Gilbert W. Child, M.D. (in the British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review, April, 1862).
M.P. MIMIK UND PHYSIONOMIK, by Dr. Theodor Piderit (Detmold, 1919, but originally published in 1859).
M.R. THE MEDITERRANEAN RACE, by Prof. G. Sergi (London, 1901).
M.W. MAN AND WOMAN, by Havelock Ellis (London, 1904).
N.E. NEGER EROS, by Felix Bryk (Berlin, 1928).
O.I.I.M. ORGANIC INHERITANCE IN MAN, by Dr. F. A. E. Crew (London, 1927).
O.R.H.P. ON THE RELATIONSHIP OF HEALTH TO THE PSYCHICAL AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERS IN SCHOOL CHILDREN, by Karl Pearson (Cambridge, 1923).
O.S. THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, by Darwin (London, 1901).
P. POPULATION (Lecture on the Harris Foundation, 1927, by various authors — Corrado Gini and others (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1930).
P.A.M. PHYSIOLOGIE DE L'AMOUR MODERNE, by Paul Bourget (2nd Ed., Paris, 1917).
P.B. PERSONAL BEAUTY, an Essay by Herbert Spencer (Essays Scientific, Political and Speculative. London, 1901, Vol. II, pp. 385–399. First published in 1854).
P.B.P. THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF PERSONALITY, by Prof. C. R. Stockard, (London, 1931).
P.B.R.B. PERSONAL BEAUTY AND RACIAL BETTERMENT, by Knight Dunlap (London, 1920).
P.C. PHYSIQUE AND CHARACTER, by Dr. Ernst Kretschmer (trans. by W. J. H. Sprott, London, 1925).
P.E. PHYSIOGNOMY AND EXPRESSION, by Paolo Mantegazza (London, 1889).
P.F.M. PREPARATION FOR MARRIAGE, by Walter Heape, F.R.S., London, 1914).
P.L. PHYSIQUE DE L'AMOUR, by Rémy de Gourmont (Paris, 1912).
P.L.R. DAS PRIVATLEBEN DER RÖMER, by Joachim Marquardt (Leipzig, 1886).
P.M. LA PHYSIOLOGIE DU MARIAGE, by Balzac (Paris, Calman Lévy Edit. of Complete Works).
P.P. PARERGA UND PARALIPOMENA, by Schopenhauer (Reclam).
P.S.D. PHYSICAL STIGMATA OF DEGENERATION, by Dr. A. Macdonald (St. Louis, 1907).
P.S.M. A PLAN FOR THE STUDY OF MAN, by Dr. A. Macdonald (U.S.A., 1902).
P.T. PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES, by Dr. C. G. Jung (trans. by H. G. Baynes, London, 1923).
P.T.D.I. PRAXIS UND THEORIE DER INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGIE, by Dr. Alfred Adler (3rd Ed., Munich, 1927).
R. RATI-SASTRAM (English trans. of old Sanscrit MSS. on sexology, Calcutta, 1908).
R.B. DIE REHOBOTHER BASTARDS UND DAS BASTARDIERUNGSPROBLEM BEIM MENSCHEN, by Dr. Eugen Fischer (Jena, 1913).
B.B.M. DIE RASSENMISCHUNG BEIM MENSCHEN, by Prof. H. Lundborg (reprinted from Bibliographica Genetica, VIII, 1931. The Hague. M. Nÿhoff).
R.E. THE RACES OF EUROPE, by W. Z. Ripley (London, 1900).
R.E.W. THE RACES OF ENGLAND AND WALES, by Dr. H. J. Fleure (London, 1923).
R.H. RACIAL HYGIENE, by J. B. Rice (New York, 1929).
R.L.M. ROMAN LIFE AND MANNERS UNDER THE EARLY EMPIRE, by Ludwig Friedländer (trans. by Leonard A. Magnus and H. H. Freese, London, 1908–13).
R.L.P.B. ROMANTIC LOVE AND PERSONAL BEAUTY, by H. J. Finck (London, 1887).
R.O.B. THE RACES OF BRITAIN, by Dr. John Beddoe (London, 1885).
R.O.M. THE RACES OF MAN, by Dr. J. Deniker (London, 1900).
R.R. RATI-SASTRA RATNAVALI (another translation of the RATISASTRAM above. Published in Madras, 1905).
R.U.K. RASSE UND KÖRPERBAU, by Dr. Franz Weidenreich (Berlin, 1927).
S.C. SEX AND CHARACTER, by Otto Weininger (trans. from 6th German Ed. London, 1906).
S.E. SEXUAL ETHICS, by Prof. Robert Michels (London, 1914).
S.G.D. A STUDY OF GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT, by R. M. Fleming (Med. Research Council, London, 1933).
S.H.I.M. SEX HOSTILITY IN MARRIAGE, by Dr. Th. H. Van de Velde (London, 1931).
S.L.A.G. SEXUAL LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE, by Dr. Hans Licht (trans. by J. H. Freese, London, 1932).
S.L.O.T. THE SEXUAL LIFE OF OUR TIMES, by Dr. Iwan Bloch (London, 1920).
S.L.S.E. SEX LIFE AND SEX ETHICS, by René Guyon (London, 1933).
S.L.W. THE SEXUAL LIFE OF WOMAN, by Dr. E. H. Kisch (trans. by Eden Paul, London, 1921).
S.P.S. STUDIES IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX, by Havelock Ellis (Philadelphia, 1905).
S.P.W. SEX PROBLEMS OF WOMEN, by Dr. A. C. Magian (London, 1922).
S.R.C. SEXUAL REFORM CONGRESS (Proceedings of the Third Congress of World League for Sexual Reform. Edited by Dr. Norman Haire. London, 1930).
S.S.N.M. THE SEXUAL LIFE OF SAVAGES IN NORTH-WESTERN MELANESIA, by Prof. Malinowski (London, 1929).
T. LES TEMPÉRAMENTS, by Dr. Leon MacAuliffe (Paris, 1926).
TAL. DER BABYLONISCHE TALMUD. Trans. by Lazarus Goldschmidt (Berlin, 1932).
T.E. TOTEMISM AND EXOGAMY, by Sir James Frazer (London, 1910).
T.J.C. THE JEWISH CHILD, by Dr. W. M. Feldman (London, 1917).
T.M. A THOUSAND MARRIAGES, by R. L. Dickinson and L. Bean (London, 1932).
T.M.B. TYPES OF MIND AND BODY, by Dr. E. Miller (London, 1926).
T.O.S. THE OPPOSITE SEXES, by Dr. Adolf Heilborn (trans. by J. E. Pryde-Hughes, London, 1927).
V.A.P.U.D. THE VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER DOMESTICATION, by Charles Darwin (2nd Ed., London, 1885).
W. WOMAN, by Dr. B. A. Bauer (trans. by E. S. Jordan and Dr. Norman Haire, London, 1927).
W.S.H. WEN SOLL MAN HEIRATEN? (a Symposium. Frankfurt a. M., 1923).
W.V. WOMAN: A VINDICATION, by A. M. Ludovici (London, 1923).
W.W. WISE WEDLOCK, by Dr. G. Courtenay Beale (London, 1921).
W.W.V. DIE WELT ALS WlLLE UND VORSTELLUNG, by Schopenhauer (Reclam).
Z.P.F. ZUR PSYCHOPATHOLOGIE DER FRAUEN-BEWEGUNG, by Dr. Anton Schücker (Leipzig, 1931).

_______________

Notes:

1 All other works will be found fully described in the Notes. In cases where translations are not mentioned, the English rendering of passages quoted in the text has usually been supplied by the author of the present work.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:01 pm

Part 1 of 2

Part I: General Findings

Chapter I: On Choice in General and the Obstacles in the Way of a Sound Choice


This book deals with the only phase in the adult relationship — of the sexes, which has retained its natural features almost unimpaired. Choice, chase, capture — these are its three exciting stages, upon which even the most unhappy couples look back with delight. We may even suspect that conjugal infidelity is more often due to the wish to experience this joyous phase over again with some new quarry, than to any conscious desire to start a fresh permanent union with another partner.

No aspect of the sex question, however, could, in its complexity, be more baffling to the modern civilized being, than the choice of a mate, because, as we shall see, there are exceptional conditions which now make a permanent association with a member of the opposite sex perhaps more hazardous than it has ever been before.

It was never an easy undertaking. "S'aimer toujours," said Balzac, "est le plus téméraire des entreprises." 1 [Google translate: To love oneself always, is the most reckless of companies.] And few who have tried it are in any doubt as to the large range and variety of its pitfalls.

To be so romantic as to choose a mate as if you proposed entering heaven together, when you are only entering matrimony, is, therefore, as sensible as choosing garments for a ball when you only intend using them for gardening.

To enter matrimony, in fact, in the spirit with which people pursue pleasure, is hardly rational. 2 And yet what with the romantic tradition in fiction and the films, and the reprehensible reluctance of middle-aged folk to speak out truthfully before their juniors about marriage, modern youth is usually given a picture of matrimony which is no more like reality than a fairy tale.

1 P.M., p. 21.
2 See S.M., p. 13, where Keyserling says: "Marriage as a solution of the problem of happiness is misconceived from the start."


This is a mistake, because the weakness of marriage to-day lies not so much in its failure to furnish what it was designed to furnish, as in its failure to furnish the paradise which unscrupulous romantics have declared it promises. Disillusionment necessarily follows, and it is the more intolerable seeing that, owing to the high expectations that have been fostered, each party tends to blame the other for the ultimately cruel disappointment.

It may be that marriage, as we know it, has always been an undertaking too difficult and exacting for ordinary people. Where families have a dynasty or proprietary rights to secure, it is not unfair that a price should be paid for such enviable preoccupations. Where, however, no such preoccupations exist, marriage certainly loses much of its meaning and many of its advantages. 1 The lower it descends in the social scale, the smaller the advantages, and the greater the burdens of matrimony become; for the poor man has none of the paramount interests and motives which tend to reconcile the rich and the ruler to the condition.

Indeed, there are some grounds for supposing that marriage was once the exclusive privilege of a class or caste, and that it was restricted to kings and very important people, 2 of whom it was reasonable to expect tiresome and lifelong feats of endurance in exchange for the benefits they enjoyed. It seems probable, moreover, that it was only the invincible snobbery of the common people and the middle-classes that ever led them to imitate their betters and thus to universalize the institution. 3


There is certainly much evidence in Ernest Crawley, 4 in Hocart himself, 5 and in Ploss and Bartels 6 in support of Hocart's theory, and Rabindranath Tagore also makes an important statement to the same effect. 7

1 Thus Balzac spoke of "la plaie profonde de nos mariages," [Google translate: the deep wound of our weddings] as if marriage were a Western plague, and says, "le mariage ne vaut pas tout ce qu'il coûte." [Google translate: marriage is not worth all that it costs] The last remark may be true of poor people's marriages. It is not true of those of rulers and the rich, who secure by marriage something that bears no necessary relation to happiness. See P.M., p. 145.
2 See A. H. Hocart: KINGSHIP (Oxford, 1927, pp. 100–112).
3 According to Hocart, some of the lower orders have escaped: "Originally a ceremony observed by the King and Queen, it spread downwards to the lower classes; but not always so far down" (op. cit., p. 101). And he gives various instances of peoples whose lower classes have no marriage.
4 C.M.R., p. 300.
5 Op. cit., p. 100.
6 D.W., II, pp. 198–199.
7 B.M., p. 108.


Nor do our own wedding ceremonies belie the theory. Even among the very poor, no expense is spared, and the bridal train, the retinue of bridesmaids, pages, etc., the banquet, and the exceptional transport facilities (taxis by the hour, which the poor can ill afford), all point to the same conclusion.

But, whatever its origin may be, marriage will probably have to be retained, if only for the purposes of order and social administration. That is why it is most important to tell youth the truth about it. To do this, it is not necessary to dwell only on its dark and forbidding aspects. This would amount merely to imitating the romantics who go to the opposite extreme. Everybody knows, everybody has met, couples who have been conspicuously successful in matrimony. But a reasonable instructor of youth would point out that, wise as it may be to keep such cases in mind and to aspire to their example, they constitute, like genius, a minority.

Permanent association, even with friends, is known to be difficult. But even if full weight is given to the sex factor as modifying such a relationship in favour of the married, sex is by no means an inexhaustible source of concord.

To recommend caution in the choice of a life-mate, therefore, is but an obvious beginning. But a wise choice can hardly be made, no matter how cautious we may be, unless we are clear regarding the object we wish to achieve by marriage, and have some knowledge of how to choose the mate best suited to that object.


We may know that a hunter or a good hack is the best mount for a certain journey; but we also need to know how to choose such a horse from among other horses.

To those who object that whereas the choice of a horse presupposes specialized knowledge, the choice of a mate can safely be made by instinct, I reply, what is meant by instinct in this connexion?

When my bitch, Sukie, unaided and uninstructed, severs one of her puppies from the placenta by biting through the umbilical cord, she performs this operation by instinct. This instinct might be termed "primary" and is an inborn tendency to react in a way useful to the individual or the species, in response to certain stimuli. When, however, she waits to cross a road until I say, "Go!" she is obeying an acquired or "secondary" instinct, implanted in her by training.

1 Balzac asks: "Pourquoi un mariage heureux est-il donc si peu fréquent?" [Google translate:
Why is a happy marriage so infrequent?] And he replies: "par la raison qu'il se rencontre peu de gens de génie" [Google translate: for the reason that there are few people of genius] (P.M., p. 89). See also W.S.H., p. 14, where Friedländer says: "Education should do away with conventional bias . . . and with the concealment of the fact that really happy marriages are rare."


Thus, although all instinct is, at bottom, of the same order as a reflex, we must distinguish those reflexes which are conditioned by our nature, as handed down to us by our ancestors, from those which are subsequently conditioned by the disciplines and circumstances of our lives. The first we may call "naturally-conditioned reflexes" (or primary instincts), the second "artificially-conditioned reflexes" (or secondary instincts).

But the proper and automatic working of a reflex, whether naturally- or artificially-conditioned, presupposes an environment similar to that in which the reflex was reared.

A rodent's primary instinct to gnaw cannot function in a glass or granite box. Neither can my bitch's secondary instinct to cross roads only on hearing my word "Go!" function on a moor. And, if she were kept always on a moor, this secondary instinct would certainly be lost.

Among our standardized domestic animals only the naturally-conditioned reflexes are similar; the artificially-conditioned will tend to be dissimilar. For instance, although my bitch, like all bitches, disposes of her offsprings' excreta orally during lactation, only one registered wire-haired bitch in England has the artificially-conditioned reflex to answer to the name of "Sukie". In modern civilized man, however, at least as far as our present problem. Mating, is concerned, we have a creature in regard to whom primary instinct, secondary instinct and environment are inconstant and incalculable.

It is unlikely that he has more than one, or at most two, overpowering naturally-conditioned reflexes causing him to react sexually in a way advantageous to himself or the species, and he has few artificially-conditioned reflexes adjusted to the same end. Moreover, his environment cannot possibly be similar to that in which his naturally- or artificially-conditioned sexual reflexes were reared, even if he possessed such uniformly with other men. 1

1 See E. R. Jaensch's EIDETIC IMAGERY (London, 1930, p. 24): "Primitive organisms can always respond to their environmental influences with the same reactions as their ancestors, since these influences remain to a very wide extent constant for them. But for higher organisms, particularly for man, the changing environmental conditions that arise in the course of a generation become an important factor."


Modern man, in fact, is a creature differentiated often conspicuously from his neighbour by his naturally-conditioned reflexes, few of which he retains in any strength or purity. He is differentiated, even more completely by his artificially-conditioned reflexes. And the environment in which his reflexes are supposed to function is often by no means similar to that in which these reflexes were reared.

In plain English, modern man is unlike his neighbour not only because of his individual blend of different strains and tendencies, but also because of his purely personal disciplines, adaptations, and prejudices. Besides which, his reactive tendencies, which are also individual, are met by stimuli to which he was not necessarily reared, either naturally or artificially.

To speak of primary instinct, or a naturally-conditioned reflex, as controlling him in the choice of a mate is, therefore, to suppose a most unlikely state of affairs. He may have, in common with other animals, the pre-vertebral primary instinct which makes one sex turn to the other (the genetic instinct), and there is probably in all sound people too a primary instinct which makes them seek their like. But to claim more would be to misunderstand the nature and function of instinct (primary and secondary) and of environment to-day.

Not only must each individual in our hotch-potch of races and types be controlled by different primary instincts (where such exist) according as he departs morphologically and psychologically from the rest; but he must also be influenced by different artificially-conditioned reflexes according to:—

(a) The unique degree of his personal psycho-physical abnormality.

(b) The unique nature of his personal values, prejudices, tastes.

(c) The extent to which his environment harmonizes or clashes with (a) or (b).

Think of the baffling variety and inequality of these factors, and try to compute the chances that one male has of finding a female differentiated in such a way from the rest as to present to him exactly the stimuli to which his reflexes would have been reared to react among a standardized community and in a stable environment!

Even if we could postulate the existence in one individual of sound primary instincts, how could they prevail against those secondary or acquired instincts which differ so widely in individuals as to make each modern male and female a unique phenomenon from the standpoint of calculable behaviour?

This is the outcome, not only of the anarchy of values and the absence of any standardized taste and judgment, but also of the infinite number of permutations and combinations to which the mixture of races, nationalities, classes, types — aye and diseases, have led.

Truth to tell, it is not unlikely that the very idea of exercising choice at all in mating is the result of the steady increase in individual differentiation. For if standardization of type, values and tastes, existed, and marked differences, whether in stature, beauty, health and psyche, were so rare that a young person blindfolded could be certain of picking out a suitable mate, merely by reaching out to a group of waiting men or girls, as the case might be, choice would be of no consequence whatsoever. 1

Indeed, Professor Richard Wilhelm, who writes with such authority on China, says that owing to "the great similarity of personalities, it does not make much difference to a man which woman he marries, for they are all more or less alike," 2 and Crawley mentions similar instances in other parts of the world. 3

How different is the position of the modern European!


While, however, the prerequisite of free choice may be differentiation and variety, choice is not simplified by the fact that such variety exists. To assume that it is, would mean that, failing the necessary instincts and the stable environment, sound criteria of choice are to hand and accessible to all. But this is not so, and here we touch on the most defective of all branches of general knowledge. To make a sound choice from the standpoint of health alone to-day, the average lay person's knowledge is wholly inadequate. This is also true of the morphological, psychological and many other standpoints.

1 According to Athenæus (THE DEIPNOSOPHISTS, trans. by C. D. Yonge, B.A., London, 1854, Bk. III, Chap II) some such practice existed in Sparta; for he writes: "Hermippus stated . . . that at Lacedemon all the damsels used to be shut up in a dark room, while a number of unmarried young men were shut up with them, and whichever girl each of the young men caught hold of be led away as his wife."
2 B.M., p. 133.
3 C.M.R., p. 295.


The matter is now so extremely complicated that it almost meets the extreme of simplicity possessed by the other state (that of complete standardization), and we may wonder whether the principle of no choice at all might not work quite as well to-day as the principle of free choice.

As an alternative this is not so absurd as it seems, seeing that there appears to be no such relation between the amount of free choice exercised and the happiness secured, as would indicate free choice as the method to be preferred.

The Jews, whose marriages so often depend on parental authority, and among whom in Poland, a young man often marries a girl he has never previously seen, 1 divorce each other less often than the Gentiles about them, whose marriages are presumably free. 2 And even if divorce statistics prove little, it would be hard to maintain that Jewish marriages are less often successful than other marriages.

A careful observer, Walter Heape, says: "I doubt if there are more cases of unhappy marriages in countries where the parents choose their children's mates than in our own country, where we no longer follow that custom." 3 While Professor Richard Wilhelm writes: "It cannot be asserted that even the most personal European marriage, based entirely on mutual affection, is any happier or more peaceful than Chinese marriage, which rests on parental authority." 4


1 See Joseph Jacobs: JEWISH STATISTICS (London, 1891, p. 6). Also Elkan N. Adler: SOME QUAINT JEWISH CUSTOMS (London, 1914, p. 8). These cases cannot, of course, cover cousin marriages, which are about 7.52 per cent of Jewish marriages, nor apply to Jews strictly observing the Talmud, which forbids the marrying of a woman without first seeing her. But they prove how little choice is valued in a standardized community.
2 I could find only figures for Central Europe between 1862 and 1875, which show divorces in 5.1 per cent of Jewish against 6.1 per cent of Protestant and 5.7 per cent of Catholic marriages. But so many other factors are involved that divorce statistics are not very conclusive. The great recent rise in American and British divorces hardly indicates, however, that extreme freedom of choice in mating makes for happiness.
3 P.F.M., p. 112. See also Flora Annie Steele (THE MODERN MARRIAGE MARKET, London, 1898, p. 119), who says of India, where mating is not free: "My personal experience is that, even with polygamy superadded, the percentage of rational happiness derived from wifehood and motherhood is as high in India as it is in England." 4 B.M., p. 132. See also Thomas Mann (B.M., p. 258): "To-day 90 per cent of all marriages are unhappy." Dr. A. C. Magian, the distinguished gynæcologist (S.W.P., p. 168), estimates "that 50 per cent of marriages are definitely unsatisfactory from both a sexual and domestic point of view," and believes only 10 per cent of marriages are perfectly happy.


If, however, we appreciate the difficulties of choice at the present day in England, we know that things could hardly be otherwise. For, where ignorance, inexperience and individual caprice combine in selecting from the motley throng of odd people, one individual for a permanent union, how can anyone hope to score any advantage over the method of parental choice, choice by lot, or random selection?

Many exceptionally wise people have favoured the method of parental choice. Among strict Jews the parents of both parties arrange everything, and the age at which a daughter was and often still is married precludes free choice. The MISHNAH fixes thirteen as the age of puberty for boys, and twelve and a day for girls, 1 and early marriages are enjoined. 2 The custom, still prevailing in Eastern Europe, of a father-in-law taking his son-in-law into his own house with free board and residence, shows that a husband was not even old enough to be established in life. 3 At such ages, young people cannot resist their parents' wishes. Alexander von Horst, however, tells us that parents' wishes were rarely resisted, 4 and the young bride often saw her husband for the first time under the "huppah". 5

In regard to Indian marriage, Rabindranath Tagore says definitely that "room cannot be found for the personal wishes of the people concerned"; 6 but again here the practice of betrothing young adolescents makes parental authority supreme.

The "Gandharva" rite of marriage, which springs from choice, is stigmatized by Manu as a "blamable marriage", and the offspring from it are supposed to be undesirable. 7 The father's authority is supreme in the marriage of his daughter, and only when he fails to find her a husband is she allowed to choose one for herself. 8 But in that case both daughter and father suffer penalties. 9

Dr. Hans Licht says of the Greeks that it is improbable that young people saw much of each other before betrothal, 10 while both F. Warre Cornish and Letourneau state that in Greece marriage was settled by the parents of the parties. 11

1 Trans. by H. Danby, D.D. (Oxford, 1933), NIDDAH, V, 6.
2 T.J.C.p. 33.
3 Ibid., p. 34.
4 LA VIE FAMILIALE JUIVE (Brussels, 1922, p. 37).
5 Ibid.
6 B.M., p. 108.
7 L.M., III, 32.
8 L.M., VIII, 205, and IX, 4, and 88.
9 L.M. IX, 90–92, 93.
10 S.L.A.G., p. 39.
11 A COMPANION TO GREEK STUDIES (Cambridge, 1905, p. 519, and Miss Harrison's confirmation in the same vol.) and THE EVOLUTION OF MARRIAGE (London, 1891, p. 195).


Plutarch says of the Romans that they "married their daughters at the age of twelve, or under," 1 so that here again, the authority of the paterfamilias and the tender age of the maiden must have precluded free choice, although her free consent was insisted on. 2

Among the modern Moors, even the girl's consent is not expected, and her parent marries her as he chooses. 3

Where great individual differentiation prevails, as it does to-day, parental, which means experienced choice, is probably more often correct than the free choice made by an ignorant youth or maiden. And where there is no great individual differentiation, parental choice cannot be felt as oppressive. In the latter case, we must seek the advantages of the method in economic and social considerations, which older people would judge more wisely than their juniors.


At all events, the prevalence of the method and its duration — for it endured for a long time in England as well — indicate that it worked satisfactorily, and its evanescence in certain parts of Europe may probably be ascribed either to the great increase in individual differentiation, the growth of romanticism (only one soul-mate for every soul), or else to the decline of the genetic powers of the race, or perhaps to all three factors.

Among the communities mentioned, the Jews 4 and the Romans certainly insisted on the consent of the parties. But if a girl loves and trusts her parents, her consent is no more than a ratification of their choice, and where there is high standardization, at least of health, why should she wish to refuse? Her natural reaction to a man, and his to her, in an environment that has not reached our insane degree of differentiation, if only in morbidity, would necessarily be positive, because one of her oldest naturally-conditioned reflexes (the genetic instinct) would, if she were normally passionate, receive its adequate stimulus from the man, and vice versâ. 5

1 NUMA AND LYCURGUS COMPARED. See also P.L.R., p. 32.
2 Dr. James Donaldson: WOMAN: HER POSITION AND INFLUENCE IN ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME AND AMONG THE EARLY CHRISTIANS (London, 1907, p. 114), and Ed. Laboboulaye, RECHERCHES SUR LA CONDITION CIVILE ET POLITIQUE DES FEMMES (Paris, 1843, p. 15), and P.L.R., p. 32, where Marquardt says: "It was, however a matter of principle to obtain the consent of all parties concerned — the son's as well as the daughter's — before the marriage was consummated."
3 Westermarck: MARRIAGE CEREMONIES IN MOROCCO (London, 1914, pp. 16–18).
4 Letourneau (op. cit., p. 189).
5 Basil Hall Chamberlain (THINGS JAPANESE, London, 1905, pp. 309–310) says consent "after the mutual seeing" is also expected of both parties in Japan.


Moreover, her response would be kept within narrow limits of race and class by artificially-conditioned reflexes in her, and she could not err conspicuously without doing violence to her own feelings.

The machinery in antiquity and the Middle Ages for rearing these reflexes (race and class prejudice) in the whole population was very elaborate, and, as among strict modern Jews and the whites of some States in North America, may still be seen in action. It prevented young people from reacting positively to a member of a foreign people or race, or of a different class, however fine a specimen he or she might be, and thus imposed apparently voluntary limits upon choice, quite apart from parental authority. 1

And these limits, by seeming voluntary, were not felt as harsh or onerous, but were defined by natural and spontaneous feelings which surged up in every heart, in response to the relevant stimulus.

The artificially-conditioned reflexes behind race and class prejudices declined in the ancient world, and to their decline historians like Otto Seeck ascribe the downfall of the civilizations of antiquity. 2 But they have suffered a similar decline in our own civilization, and to-day, but for middle-class women, who still remain stubbornly class-conscious, both race and class prejudices may be regarded as more or less dead.
Prejudice based on purse has perhaps completely superseded both. The removal of these two negative reactions, by widening the field of choice, has not simplified it, and what with the other doors that have been flung open, a state of anarchy has been reached from which wise choice and matrimony itself cannot help suffering.

1 For ancient Hindu, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek and Roman measures for rearing artificially-conditioned reflexes against race and class mixture, see my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY, Chap. VI. For mediæval English measures see my DEFENCE OF CONSERVATISM, Chaps. III and IV. Regarding Anglo-Saxons, see p. 53 infra.
2 GESCHICHTE DES UNTERGANGS DER ANTIKEN WELT (1895, I, Chaps. III and IV).


The reflex against the foreigner is not perhaps entirely due to artificial-conditioning, although this may strengthen it; for in the lower animals and primitive races of man there are signs indicating that a primary instinct exists against unfamiliarity and strangeness. And in this way Nature avoids the dangers which would follow the failure of like to segregate. In natural and relatively stable conditions, the struggle for existence or power, rigid adaptation, and the absence of artificial medical aids, tend to create a standardized type. Aberrations are usually eliminated, whether sub-normal or conspicuously super-normal, unless either state means better adaptation. 1 And this process is so rigorous that the young, whether human or animal, set loose to choose, can hardly err.

The tendency of like to attract like, which I shall deal with fully in the sequel, moreover, prevents misalliances of a gross character. It is true that among some animals exceptions to this rule have been observed. I have myself witnessed a male turkey trying to fertilize a domestic hen. I have also noticed strange antics between male dogs and female cats and vice-versâ, when bred under one roof. J. C. Huzeau speaks of a much-married drake who nevertheless frequently tried to fertile a domestic hen, and of a dog who pursued a sow (in season) for hours, without success however. 2 Darwin records similar instances between blackbirds and thrushes, black grouse and pheasants, and cases of the pairing of distinct species and varieties in domestication — geese, ducks, domestic fowls, etc.; but ascribes these irregularities to the exceptional conditions of the animals at the time, or to "vitiated instincts". 3 Lord Lymington also informs me that game bantam-cocks have been known to try to pair with pigeons on his home-farm near Basingstoke.

A more disturbing example of aberrant sexual choice is given by Rémy de Gourmont, who states that the male rabbit often pursues female hares and wears them out with his libidinous fury, though he knows of no fertilizations from such matings. 4 Truth to tell, such crosses have been successful, though the first cross, according to Darwin, proved difficult. 5

Nevertheless, generally speaking, it is true to say that there is a regular proportion between sexual attraction and zoological affinity, i.e. that like attracts like, 6 and that among the reasons for species keeping to themselves are, (a) fear of the unfamiliar, (b) morphological disparities which often make sexual congress, not to mention fertilization, impossible, and (c) the tendency of species to segregate.

1 That sub-normality too may lead to better adaptation was pointed out by Herbert Spencer fifty years ago (ESSAYS: SCIENTIFIC, POLITICAL AND SPECULATIVE, 1901, I, p. 379) and confirmed by J. B. S. Haldane recently in THE CAUSES OF EVOLUTION (London, 1932, pp. 139, 152–154).
2 ETUDES SUR LES FACULTÉS MENTALES DES ANIMAUX (Mons, 1872, II, p. 396). He also gives (p. 399) an interesting example of genuine sex-attraction excited in apes and monkeys at the Jardin des Plantes by a girl.
3 V.A.P.U.D., I, p. 245, and D.O.M., pp. 414–416. Darwin also speaks of "several well authenticated cases of the female tiger breeding with the lion" (V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 133), but these, of course, refer to animals in captivity.
4 P.L., p. 195.
5 V.A.P.U.D., I, p. 109. A. de Quatrefages (THE HUMAN SPECIES, London, 1903, p. 76) mentions the difficulty of successfully crossing the rabbit and hare, and says it can only be done with human interference.
6 V.A.P.U.D., II, pp. 80–82, and Quatrefages (op. cit., p. 67).


In animals and man in a state of nature, therefore, and often even in civilized man, free choice or random mating can hardly go wrong because (a) the environment presents no aberrant types for selection, or very few; and if it does, (b) there are primary or secondary instincts in the chooser, which cause aberrant types to be rejected.

Now, we know that human beings need a certain mutual attraction to stimulate reactions favourable to successful sexual congress. This is also true of some animals. It might seem, therefore, that where freedom of choice is denied, or is inoperative owing to extreme standardization, this necessary factor for fruitful mating would be absent.

But in conditions of extreme standardization, the girls and men who are confronted for mating can hardly fail to see in each other their racial, æsthetic and psychological affinity, and to love accordingly. And this is bound to be so, because sexual love is more subjective than many imagine.


When both sexes possess normally strong genetic instincts, each has a subjective desire impelling him or her to the other, which disposes one in favour of the other, irrespective of the latter's individual peculiarities (always faint in a standardized community). Thus the personal charm of the sex-object is so much reinforced by the subjective pressure in the prospective mate, that we must imagine sexual attraction and love, not as one stationary thing drawing to itself another by sheer force, but as two objects converging on each other under their own steam, as it were, and on lines or metals already laid down by Nature.

Only a very vain or inexperienced man imagines, if a normal nubile young woman "falls in love" with him, that it is due wholly to his personal attraction, and only a very vain or inexperienced young woman imagines that the attraction is all the other way round. In each case the sexual object is only the stimulus on which a latent force unloads itself.

Propinquity is the circumstance which releases the longing for sexual attachment in each case, plus the fact that at the time one happens to be the sexual object willing to respond.

The large proportion of marriages occurring between people of the same locality, 1 or street, 2 proves not that such people, in our modern world at least, possess the greatest affinity, but simply that, ceteris paribus, all that healthy, vigorous beings require is a suitable stimulus to release their latent desire for attachment, irrespective of the power of attraction.

Thus marked satisfaction over having been fallen in love with is almost always exaggerated except in a person of obviously inferior parts. A man beneath a waterfall might as well flatter himself that he is attracting the downpour, or Victoria Station might as well fancy that it is attracting the trains from Brighton. Gross exaggeration of the attractive power of the sexual object is equally unsound. A train from Brighton might as well rhapsodize about the irresistible attraction of Victoria Station.

Of course, this applies chiefly to people of normal health and appearance. If, however, a decline in genetic power overtakes a people, a more critical choice becomes customary, because coldness requires unusual stimulation.

From the outset, therefore, it is as well to be clear about the fact that, even where free choice is exercised, in the best or worst circumstances, the critical or discriminating faculty exercises a much smaller influence than both parties fondly imagine. 3 And this should be made known to healthy young people. For by discounting the native impulse to the sexual object, and the latter's native impulse to oneself, the precise degree of its attraction, and of one's own attractiveness can be more calmly estimated.

The consent which Roman and Jewish legislators insisted on from both parties in a match arranged by parents was merely a means of allowing either party (in the case presumably of a bad biological specimen, selected by the parents for perhaps venal motives) to say whether he or she could release the latent native longing for attachment upon the particular object presented.

1 The evidence is overwhelming. But the following was taken by chance from the French ANNUAIRE STATISTIQUE for 1928: in 1926, of 345,415 marriages, 193,952 were between people of the same commune, and 157,463 between people of different communes. To suppose that the larger figure was due to a greater incidence of objective factors of attraction in the local lovers would, nowadays, be fantastic.
2 All who, like myself, have been among the poor of a great city, have noticed this.
3 This explains why one so often sees an attractive girl of ardent sensibilities throwing herself away on an obviously biologically inferior male and vice versâ.


Thus, although it is unlikely that no freedom of choice, even where no standardization of type prevails, necessarily leads to more matrimonial failures than freedom of choice, there is a difference between —

(1) Withholding freedom of choice in a standardized human environment.

(2) Withholding it in an unstandardized human environment.

(3) And withholding it in a human environment such as exists in this country to-day, which is not only highly differentiated and presents strange and aberrant types almost to infinity, but also hardly offers any standard of normality whatsoever, and in which the chooser, in addition to lacking sound primary instincts (reflexes naturally-conditioned) for mating, and subjected to no education in sound prejudice (reflexes artificially-conditioned), is moreover confronted by possible mates in whom ill-health is also a differentiating factor, is himself or herself presumably unsound in some respect, and moreover probably suffers, together with those round about, from a minus of genetic power. 1

(1) In the first, the mutual attraction necessary to happy and fruitful mating may be relied upon to arise, if not spontaneously by mere confrontation, at least in due course, when attraction has warmed to sympathy and devotion; because a racial, psycho-physical and æsthetic affinity exists between the parties before they meet.

(2) In the second, mutual attraction follows confrontation, provided the consent of the parties is an essential condition of parental choice. Then, as with the Jews, the Romans, the Japanese and the English of the Middle Ages, though differentiation may be so far-reaching that little biological affinity exists between the parties, health and genetic power may be assumed to be good enough to release in each party that lust of attachment which, as we have seen, is not over critical, and tends to explain the mutual attraction, as the result of a number of qualities which really play but a minor part. The importance of consent in such an environment of highly differentiated human individuals lies in the fact that only the parties concerned can tell whether the individual chosen by the parent is an object on which he or she can unload the pent-up force within.

1 There is much evidence of a decline of genetic power, at least in Anglo-Saxon countries. This will appear in the sequel. The most original writer on this subject is Corrado Gini (P., p. 42).


(3) In the third, the situation is more complicated. Not only is consent an essential prerequisite, but, owing to (a) the intricate and baffling confusion of shapes, sizes, types and features, (b) the factor of disease, with the resulting different degrees of abnormality both in the chooser and the chosen, and (c) the comparative weakness of the genetic instincts which may accompany lowered vitality — an optimum of conditions is needed for the genetic power to act at all.

What are these most favourable conditions?

Absolute freedom of choice, so that many may be reviewed and their least significant as well as their more important features weighed. For, owing to the comparative feebleness of the genetic instincts, the natural movement towards the sexual object is less violent, consequently its alleged attractions are more narrowly scrutinized.
This does not mean that there is necessarily greater wisdom in assessing the value of these attractions, because even rigorous criticism may be conducted along false lines. It simply means that a cooler estimate is possible, a more fastidious taste displayed in regard to possibly quite unsound desiderata and consequently it is less than ever likely that consent will be given to any choice except that exerted by the parties themselves.

In such an environment, therefore, to withhold freedom of choice would mean not only greatly to reduce the number of marriages, but also to cause an enormous amount of misery, much of it imaginary, but misery all the same.

As I have already suggested above, therefore, it seems that, apart from the spread of Liberal ideas and the emancipation of females, 1 freedom of choice probably arose in Western civilization as the outcome of extreme differentiation, and in an age of low genetic power it is a sine qua non of fertile mating.

The lack of free choice was certainly felt and, to some extent, allowed for in feudal France and England, when property laws made freedom in this matter precarious. And the evidence of history, biography and fiction shows that, as time went on, this lack came to be regarded as more and more of a hardship. If my surmise is right, this means that mankind had already become highly differentiated in the early Middle Ages.

1 Or rather of children, from parental authority. For, as I show in another chapter, child-marriages, implying parental choice, prevailed in England for centuries; and even as late as 1792, so liberal-minded a woman as Mary Woolstonecraft took parental authority in mating for granted, both for girls and young men. See A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN (Dublin, 1793, p. 200).


Few would deny that this state of affairs has since been seriously aggravated. What with the growing complication of life, race-mixture (this difficulty did not exist in mediæva lEngland), 1 differentiation in occupations, the increasing interference of medicine and surgery, and the consequent multiplication of unsound stocks, it is at all events unlikely that the variety and confusion of types and degrees of abnormality have not increased since Henry VIII.

If, then, freedom of choice to-day does not appear to lead more frequently to successful marriages than no freedom of choice in a more standardized environment, this must be due, at least partly, to the enormous difficulty of exercising prudent, not to mention, wise, choice where such extreme differentiation prevails, and to the complete ignorance and inexperience with which young people are allowed to meet this difficulty.
Because, I repeat, even if it be true that genetic power has declined, and therefore that a cooler, more critical estimate can now be made of the sexual object, it does not follow that this more fastidious scrutiny is conducted along sound lines.

Thus I am led to the conclusion that if freedom of choice is retained in mating — and there is small chance of its being abolished in these emancipated days, even if its abolition were desirable — the young are in dire need of a clear statement of the criteria by which their choice should be directed.

Thus I may formulate my task as follows:—

1. To break down those prejudices (artificially-conditioned reflexes) operating in the direction of unhealthy and unwise choice.

2. To condition new reflexes (prejudices) operating towards healthy and wise choice.

3. To provide precise criteria of choice.

4. To impress on the young mind the effect of subjective sexual forces upon scrutiny and criticism.

No. 3 is by far the most difficult, and I am well aware of the imperfect manner in which I have carried it out. My only defence is to remind the reader of the deplorable state of our knowledge regarding the whole subject of human "points". But, even if I have failed to satisfy those who need every step to be indicated in advance, I hope I have at least met the expectations of the less exacting reader.

The advantages of even such imperfect guidance as I do offer are, I suggest, the following:—

(a) It places freedom of choice on a surer footing.

1 See my DEFENCE OF CONSERVATISM, Chaps. III and IV.


(b) It combines the best element of parental choice (experience) with emancipation from an irksome tutelage.

(c) Although no sensible person would claim that such infallible rules of choice can be given as to make free choice fool-proof, youth can at least be spared the worst consequences of ignorance.


(d) Even if the intellectual equipment regarding human "points" provided in this book is not used for the purpose of mating, it can be turned to advantage in making the reader a more enlightened and, therefore, a more accurate judge of his fellows.

Let none fancy, however, that guidance, no matter how sound, can guarantee "happy" marriages. Even when the wisest discrimination has been exercised, and the utmost allowance made for subjective promptings in choice, marriage remains a supremely difficult relationship. Although we should always keep before us the example of those who have successfully mastered it, we should be foolish if we supposed that the love that endures and deepens with the years can be a more common possession than any other form of greatness.

* * * * * * *

I cannot keep within the compass of one volume if I deal with such questions as the best mate for a cripple, a diabetic, a sexagenarian, or a blind person. I must make certain assumptions, and shall, therefore, assume that my reader is a healthy, normal person, youthful and nubile if a girl, still young and eligible if a man, and I shall write as if he or she wished to marry a worthy normal partner with whom a life, not of perpetual honeymoons, but of some harvest moons could be lived.

What are the obstacles (some of them in the reader's own mind) which prevent a wise choice to such an end?

I cannot deal with such obvious obstacles as:—

(1) The redundance of women, and the way this forces thousands of girls to put up with a third, fourth or fifth-rate mate.

(2) The general degeneracy of the modern male, and the dilemma of women, who often have to choose between childless celibacy and fertilization by an unworthy mate.

(3) The economic reasons which may make a person enter a misalliance, which eugenically is a crime.

(4) The social reasons leading to the same result.


I have dealt with (1) and (2) in other works, 1 and no solution of the problems they surest would materially modify the rules for sound mating outlined in this book. As to (3) and (4), they would persist, no matter how much conditions in regard to (i) and (2) might improve. 2

Turning, therefore, to those obstacles which people can remove in themselves and in the outside world, the first step is to take stock of our own criteria of criticism and selection. What is the precise nature of our own personal foot-rule?

What are the values which, unknown to the modern man and girl, have artificially-conditioned the reflexes that react favourably or unfavourably to other individuals in the outside world?

Do the healthy man and woman approach their fellows with healthy prejudices or not?

As primary instincts, or naturally-conditioned reflexes (except the genetic and the homogamic 3) are almost inoperative, the paramount force which, like the wind, invisibly generates movement — in this case towards a sexual object — is chiefly of an artificially-conditioned kind. It is the outcome of prevailing or pre-existing tastes and values.

It is difficult to convince young people of this, because of the unconscious manner in which prevailing values and tastes are absorbed and accepted. Thus they will often defend as jealously as if of their own vintage a valuation or prejudice, the origin of which can very simply be traced to a generation long before they existed.

Hence the struggle when prejudice and the artificially-conditioned reflexes it rears, are attacked. The person whose reflex is attacked always thinks he or she is wholly responsible for the reflex manifested, and that it is, like a nose or an ear, an essential part of his or her nature. This explains the angry defence of it.

1 See W.V. and M.A.I.
2 I fully appreciate the lamentable frequency with which desirable girls have silently to resign themselves to third and fourth bests. This repeated martyrdom of modern women, however, can never be relieved until we cultivate higher ideals of health and manliness. But all this I have discussed in other works. I am now concerned, not so much with mistakes that cannot be helped, or that we make knowingly in the choice of a mate, as with those that can be helped and are unwittingly made.
3 That favouring the choice of like.


Allowing for the vast difference in intellect, and supposing she could talk, the same attitude would be found in my bitch, Sukie. Challenged to explain why she waited for my word "Go!" before crossing the road, she, having forgotten the process of training, would scoff at the question, and protest that it was her nature, that it was she, Sukie, her personality and peculiarity, that made her do it.

For instance, despite all their boasted emancipation from their elders, it would be most difficult to persuade many young people to-day that their conviction regarding the desirability of a sense of humour was not a piece of their own vintage, and was not a truth arrived at by their own free perception.

And this is true of most prejudices and reactions due in them to their British, modern, post-War, Class and Christian prejudices.

This makes discussions about taste and prejudice (particularly with people who are not widely read or very conscious) exceedingly difficult. Because, even when people are reasonable enough to admit that their reactions may be due to prejudices acquired from prevailing values, they are often disinclined to believe that the acceptance of new values will lead them to react in exactly the same "inevitable" manner, though to different things.

Most people imagine, for instance, that civilized man has an innate feeling for what is termed the "picturesque". And yet, if they were familiar with their de Quincey, 1 and had read Mahaffy 2 and J. A. Symonds, 3 they would know that taste veered in favour of the picturesque in nature at a very definite period in European history, and that it was then something quite fresh and new. The modern generation, however, reacts with secondary instincts (artificially-conditioned reflexes) to the picturesque, and thinks its taste for the latter is of its own vintage.

The same remarks apply to the admiration and love of mountain scenery. Friedländer 4 shows that the birth of this sentiment occurred in modern Europe somewhere in the eighteenth century, and he is confirmed by W. H. Riehl. 5

1 COLLECTED WORKS OF THOMAS DE QUINCEY (London, A. and C. Black), VI, p. 290.
2 WHAT HAVE THE GREEKS DONE FOR CIVILIZATION? (London, 1909, p. 11).
3 STUDIES OF THE GREEK POETS, II, p. 257.
4 UEBER DIE ENTSTEHUNG UND ENTWICKLUNG DES GEFÜHLS FÜR DAS ROMANTISCHE IN DER NATUR (Leipzig, 1873, pp. 4, l0).
5 CULTURSTUDIEN AUS DREI JAHRHUNDERTEN (Stuttgart, 1859, p. 57).


Gibbon gives us almost the precise date of the birth; for, whilst apologizing for having visited only the towns, churches, arsenals, libraries, etc., of Switzerland in 1755, he writes in 1780: "The fashion of climbing the mountains and reviewing the Glaciers had not yet [i.e. in 1755] been introduced by foreign travellers who seek the sublime beauties of Nature." 1

Thus, although the modern European began to see beauty in mountains owing to a new valuation created chiefly by Romanticists of the eighteenth century, above all Rousseau, the average young person of to-day thinks and feels as if the admiration of mountain scenery were the most eternal of human sentiments. 2

The changes of taste relating to the human body will be dealt with later; but these examples may suffice to show how often the taste and choice which seems the most necessary expression of our being, is really only an artificially-conditioned reflex, due to a fashion of the day, and, consequently, that changes of fashion generally alter our artificially-conditioned reflexes. The docile manner in which women change their taste in clothes, and show genuine horror at the fashions of a previous decade, is a case in point.

Why is all this important? — Because many of the artificially-conditioned reflexes of to-day are unhealthy and unsound, and since they must be superseded if choice in mating is to be wholesome, it is important for the reader to see that, no matter how spontaneous and deep they appear to be, they are neither necessary nor natural nor particularly sound, and that healthier reflexes can and must take their place.

The process of substitution is not easy. If, however, we are healthy, it is not our deepest nature, but only the surface that has been affected.

Let us, therefore, take stock of our criteria of choice and of the values controlling them.

What are these values? — Largely the product of the philosophic and religious thought of Europe during the last two thousand five hundred years.

How do they condition unhealthy reflexes? — In manifold ways.

If modern man feels no horror at the spectacle of degeneracy and disease, if he can be thoroughly ill and yet thoroughly respectable; if he can be the victim of a foul disease and yet remain one of the "best people", it is because of these values.

1 MEMOIRS OF MY LIFE AND WRITINGS (Oxford, 1907, pp. 76–77).
2 For a fuller discussion of this, see my NIETZSCHE AND ART (London, 1911, Lecture II, Part III).


If modern man thinks the physiologically botched can speak words of wisdom, and tolerates a load of taxation which to a large extent sacrifices the sound and desirable, and prevents them from multiplying, in order to keep and support, in asylums, and palatial homes for mental defectives, incurables, and cripples, a mass of human rubbish, it is because of these values.

Furthermore, if modern people tend to undervalue fundamental desiderata in their fellows or mates — good natural teeth, good eyesight, 1 sweet breath, sexual vigour and constitutional stamina and savouriness — in favour of alleged precious mental gifts, such as cleverness, a sense of humour, broadmindedness, or whatever fashion extols; if they are not shocked by ugliness or asymmetry, but, like the lovers in Lord Lytton's novel, PILGRIMS ON THE RHINE, or Maggie in THE MILL ON THE FLOSS, are able to love the morbid and deformed, and to despise a creature like Alda in Charlotte Yonge's PILLARS OF THE HOUSE, who takes a sound attitude of dislike towards her idiot brother, Theodore, 2 it is wholly and exclusively due to these values.


Turning to sex, if modern people are fanatically convinced that botanical sexuality is more beautiful and above all more mentionable than human sexuality; if every middle-class matron to-day would execrate Rodin for challenging this one-sided concentration on botanical sexuality in his "Iris", and condemn the Greeks for having allowed their unspoiled virgins (the Canephoræ) openly to carry an effigy of the male organ of generation at certain festivals, while she will bury her nose self-righteously in a rose — if these sentiments seem natural and inevitable to-day, it is wholly and demonstrably due to these values.

And many other examples could be given.

Whence do these values hail?

Although they are not wholly Christian, Christianity has been their chief purveyor and inculcator. By zealously garnering most of the morbid, fœtid and decrepit elements in antiquity, Christianity has been a sort of cold-storage depot for almost every decomposed vestige of the ancient world, and has thus doled out from its refrigerators to every generation the worst by-products of Pagan decay.


1 Thus the manager of one big stores told a newspaper correspondent that "horn-rimmed glasses often enhance a girl's appearance" (Daily Press, 1.8.27).
2 Charlotte Yonge means Alda to be condemned for this attitude. (See Chaps. XVI and XIX especially), and, in a boat accident, Felix, the eldest brother and mainstay of the family, devotes his first efforts at rescue to Theodore, the idiot, and Cherry, the lame sister.


It seems not to be widely enough known that every essential position of Christianity was first discovered and conquered by the thinkers of Greece — Dualism, the Immortality of the Soul, the alleged superiority of the Soul over the Body, and the Soul's supposed Independence of the Body.

It would take too long, under the guidance of a scholar like Rhode, to trace the evolution of these ideas from primitive animism; but suffice it to say that it was not until the decadence of ancient Greece that these four positions, as we know them, were fully outlined; and Plato, under the influence of Socrates, was the first philosophically to insist on the fundamental independence of body and soul, and to formulate the theory of psycho-physical dualism.

Meanwhile, amid much that was still healthy in Greek culture, there had developed a tendency to exalt the soul at the expense of the body. This position was assumed with great force by Xenophanes in the late sixth century B.C., but he never succeeded in getting the dangerous doctrine across.

This task was left to Socrates, who was admirably fitted to accomplish it.

In a culture which, in spite of much unhealthy speculation about the two-fold aspects of man, in spite of universal homosexuality, feminism and general disintegration, was still healthy enough to value man as a whole, and unable to separate beautiful looks from a beautiful character — he who was kalos was necessarily agathos hence the expression kalos k'agathos, beautiful, therefore good — there appeared a man who, besides being endowed with little of the current health, besides being steeped in the most morbid elements of Greek life and thought (he had been the male prostitute of Archelaus, wherein he did not differ much from his contemporaries), possessed two qualifications which eminently fitted him to popularize the four positions described above.

He was of low origin, and he was the most repulsive man of his Age. This man was Socrates.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:02 pm

Part 2 of 2

In a beautiful city of beauty-worshippers, he, therefore, found himself at a terrible disadvantage. Judged by the healthiest values of his Age, he was bound to stand at the very bottom of the scale.

Unfortunately for mankind, he had a very shrewd mind. He would have made a first-class journalist, an ideal writer of best-sellers. And he determined to get himself across, i.e. to create values by which he himself and his type could be regarded as desirable.

How could he do this? — Only by transvaluing existing values, by assuring the Greeks that there was no essential connexion between a man's visible and invisible aspects.


And this he proceeded to do. It was the old hoax of the fox that had lost its tail. But he got away with it. True, he succeeded only with a dolt like Xenophon, and a middle-class Liberal like Plato; but he did succeed. And although the best of his contemporaries condemned him to death for it, his two apprentices most unfortunately survived him, and constituted the channel through which we became contaminated by this monster's unscrupulous bluff to save his self-esteem.

He admitted at his trial that he had spent his whole life teaching men to prize the soul above the body. 1 True, in Plato's SYMPOSIUM he first speaks of beauty more or less in the orthodox Greek style, and refers to it as "accordant with the divine", whilst ugliness "is discordant with whatever is divine." 2 But this is a mere concession to his listeners; for, in a later passage, he produces his own pet doctrine and argues persuasively that the beauty of the body is but a slight affair, and that man's highest achievement is to set a higher value on the beauty of the soul. 3 His bosom friend, Alcibiades, at the same banquet, declared that Socrates despised a man's beauty more than anything, 4 and to this same friend Socrates declared that the only true lover is he who loves the soul; to love a person's soul is to love him for his own sake, and not for his bodily beauty which is not himself. 5

The logical consequence of this attitude was, of course, to make Socrates no longer despicable. But it had other consequences, which Socrates himself did not fail to see. It made bodily defects respectable. It made disease almost a distinction. And, indeed, Socrates said as much. He declared to Glaucon: "If there be any merely bodily defect in another, we will be patient of it and will love the same." 6

These notes were later taken up by Christianity and sustained in all octaves, until the whole of Europe rang with them. And it is more or less true to say that Christianity is merely Platonism for the mob. 7

1 THE APOLOGY (Trans. by F. J. Church, 30, A. and B.).
2 Trans. by W. R. M. Lamb, 206, D.
3 Ibid., 210, B. & C.
4 Ibid., 216, B.D. & E.
5 ALCIBIADES, I (trans. by Jowett, 131).
6 REPUBLIC (trans. by Jowett, III, 402).
7 The idea that the most characteristic doctrines of Socrates formed the chief planks in the Christian platform is, of course, not merely my own. It is found in most authorities on Christianity and on Socrates. See Justin Martyr's APOLOGY, where the constant implication is that Socrates and his like were Christians before Christ. See the STROMATEIS, by Clement of Alexandria. See Dr. C. E. Robinson in EVERYDAY LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE, who says: "The creed of the Christian Church was formulated in terms drawn from the Greek philosophers." See Marsilio Ficino, who, in 1476, writing on Christianity, said: "the life of Socrates is a continual symbol of the life of Jesus," so that "the doctrines of the one are identical with those of the other." See Coleridge's TABLE TALK (1830), and his remark to Crabb Robinson to the effect that "Jesus was a Platonic philosopher." Above all, see Professor A. E. Taylor, the great authority on Socrates, who says: "Socrates created the intellectual and moral tradition by which Europe has ever since existed. . . . It was Socrates who . . . created the conception of the soul which has ever since dominated European thinking. . . . The direct influence, indeed, which has done most to make the doctrine of Socrates familiar to ourselves is that of Christianity" (SOCRATES, London, 1932, pp. 132–133).


Thenceforth man's visible aspect, his body, became vile and despicable, and his invisible aspect the only exalted and valuable part of him. Henceforward, a pure soul was to justify even foul breath, and a sound biological attitude towards men became no longer possible.

A cripple, a hunchback, a person with any deformity or stigma of degeneracy, became as desirable as a normal man, because it could be argued on Socratic lines that his blemish, his stigma was not "himself" (whatever that meant!) and that his real self was hidden, and redeemed everything. In vain did the saner people of all civilizations protest, as even science is protesting now, that to divide up man in this way, and to lay all the stress on his soul, was a gross misinterpretation of the truth. Too many outcasts and toads saw their advantage in this Socratic hoax to relinquish it.

"The body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. . . . If through the spirit ye do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. . . . They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." 1

Thus cried Paul, the Socratic body-hater, and thus did contempt of the body become a household value in Europe. Everybody began to believe the lie that "beauty is only skin deep"; it has artificially-conditioned a number of unwholesome reflexes in modern man, and the young of to-day who go forth to choose a mate should beware of these reflexes.

Although the only sane course is to value man biologically and æsthetically as well as morally, through Socrates a wholly biological and æsthetic standard was converted into a wholly moral method of valuing him.

1 ROM. viii. 6–13; GAL. v. 24; COL. iii. 5.


Thus to-day, a girl from any class, but particularly from the uneducated class (now thoroughly saturated with Christian values, although but rarely Church-going) advised by an anti-Socratic, like myself, to refrain from marrying a physiologically botched man, replies instantly: "Oh, poor chap, he can't help it!"

Presumably a man can help being a thief, a seducer, a murderer. But he cannot help being a congenital degenerate. Therefore, since no moral stigma attaches to congenital degeneracy, no stigma whatever attaches to it. It is washed out because it cannot form the subject of an indictment.

This shows how the purely moral valuation promotes degeneracy and disease. For, in assessing the value of a mate, the modern person is prepared to forgive stigmata which are nobody's fault, and quite forgets that in thus soft-heartedly forgiving, he or she is cruelly foisting an undesirable parent on his or her offspring.

Add to this Christian pity, which is quite indiscriminate and makes people react with love and charity to all who suffer, irrespective of their value to posterity, and you have a combination of evils which makes complete degeneracy a calculable certainty.


I bow down in devotion and take refuge in all my venerable teachers, lords and treasuries of great love that is unconditional beyond all reference. I implore them to bless me and all other beings with their great compassion, so that loving-kindness, compassion, and bodhichitta take birth in our minds.

In all the births that we have taken in the unending circles of samsara, there is no being that has not once been our mother. And when these beings nurtured us, they were as kind to us as our own mothers have been in this present life. This is something our Teacher, the Buddha, has said not once but time and time again. And who is there who could doubt his word?

This is why we must adopt the practice of the seven-point instruction in causal sequence to train our minds in bodhichitta. [1] First, we must learn to recognize that all beings have been our mothers. Second, we must be mindful of the kindness they have shown us and, third, resolve to repay them. Fourth, we must feel a tender love for them and, fifth, great compassion. Sixth, we must then cultivate the extraordinary thought of universal responsibility, [2] and, seventh, come thereby to the unsurpassable result, the attitude of bodhichitta. We must likewise train ourselves repeatedly in the practice of the equalization and exchange of self and other. [3] Then, taking our teacher and the Three Jewels as our witness, we must take the vows of bodhichitta both in aspiration and in action, and keep them.

-- The Nectar of Immortality, by Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol


In any relation Christian pity is sentimental self-indulgence, but in mating it is criminal self-indulgence.

This does not mean that as an emotion pity should be suppressed altogether. The Church tried to malign Nietzsche by falsely interpreting him as having made this claim. It simply means that it should be differently conditioned from the way Christianity has conditioned it.

It should not be indiscriminate and uncontrolled. It should not be turned chiefly towards human rubbish. And it should not be self-indulgent.

The quality of pity should be measured according to the worth to humanity and posterity of the creature pitied.

The farmer cares not a rap for the "rights" of weeds, or whether they can help being weeds. He pities the nobler plant in its struggle against the ignoble, and refuses to sacrifice the former to the latter.

Every sixpence paid by a desirable couple in taxation and rates for the upkeep of human rubbish is a sacrifice of the greater to the less, and if such a desirable couple curtail their family to meet national expenditure for degenerates, we plainly kill the best to save the worst.


Nobody can deny that this is happening in over-Christianized England.

But at least we must free the choice of a mate from these artificially-conditioned Christian reflexes, bred in the fœtid atmosphere of Europe for the last two thousand years. To the male, uncontrolled Christian pity is particularly dangerous, because it often lends an extra fillip to his instinctive lust to protect and succour the female. Thus it may, and unfortunately often does, make the frail, delicate, sickly female more alluring, because she makes a heightened appeal to male strength. To the female, uncontrolled Christian pity is also dangerous, because it may, and often does, alas! stimulate the maternal instincts in her, and delude her into supposing that the increase in emotion thus generated is really an increase in love.

I have found this disastrously common among many fine working girls, and it seems to me as if the Eugenic Society were merely beating the air so long as, in its fight against dysgenic mating, it cautiously refrains from a frontal attack upon Christian and Socratic values, and the unhealthy reflexes that proceed from them. 1

True, one does not gain popularity by assuming this attitude. But I am writing a book for the guidance of young people in mating, and I cannot, therefore, honestly observe the caution observed by the Eugenic Society.

* * * * * * *

In regard to the sexual instinct itself, young people should also be on their guard against the artificially-conditioned reflexes of Christian sex-phobia.

Many English divines and Christian apologists, taking advantage of an uninformed gallery, have tried to defend Christianity against this charge. But their attempt is neither disingenuous nor candid; for sex-phobia, the loathing of sex, its joys, and everything connected with it, is fundamental in Christianity, and the charge is so fair and deserved that nothing could be more unconvincing than the struggles of the more rabid Christians to rebut it. 2

1 I again remind the reader that people who display this uncontrolled Christian pity to-day are by no means necessarily church-goers or believers in the dogmata of Christianity. These values have become part of the being of modern people, whether they are conscious of it or not, and even so-called atheists and agnostics are infected with them, as the case of Thomas Huxley proved.
2 The testimony from scholars and thinkers is overwhelming. See, for instance, the evidence collected from various sources in M.A.I., Chap. X. See Heine (H.S.W., Vol. VII, p. 70), Nietzsche's DER ANTICHRIST, Lecky's HISTORY OF EUROPEAN MORALS, Dr. Esther Harding's THE WAY OF ALL WOMEN (London, 1933, pp. 222–223), René Guyon (S.L.S.E., pp. 123–124), J. F. Nisbet (M.H., p. 48), Dr. R. Briffault (MO., III, pp. 252 sq. and 372 sq.), Ploss and Bartels (D.W., III. pp. 273–274), Iwan Bloch (D.P., p. 616). etc.


A typical example is Christopher Dawson's vain attempt to champion Christianity against Bertrand Russell. 1 Not once does he repudiate the charge of sex-phobia to the satisfaction of any intelligent man.

Another is Mr. G. W. Coutts's effort to scout the whole issue by concentrating on the actual words of Jesus. 2

Seeing that there is, according to Professor Guignebert, not a shred of evidence to prove that Jesus ever said anything he is alleged to have said, 3 that Christianity is and must be a matter of interpretation, and that, therefore, we are primarily concerned with what Christianity means as interpreted through the ages by the Churches, it is rather fatuous to refer to the ipsissima verba of Jesus, in the hope that we shall be induced to accept Mr. Coutts's private impression of what Christianity means.

My time is better occupied in warning youth against the sex-phobia bred in them by a religion one of whose earliest founders said: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman," 4 — "it is good for a man to remain a virgin", 5 and "he who gives a woman in marriage does well, but he who gives her not in marriage does better"; 6 a religion which made fish suitable food for fast-days and holidays because fish were supposed to be free from the taint polluting all animals that copulate (quae copulatione generantur); a religion, in fact, which so much encouraged total sexual abstinence that surgeons were once besieged in order to perform the operation of castration among the faithful, and Origen himself, one of the leading Fathers of the Church, emasculated himself for Christ's sake. It was only when, faced with the extinction of its congregation, Christianity saw the need of forbidding these extreme measures, that a less rabid sex-phobia began to prevail. But it is dishonest to claim that a fundamentally friendly attitude to sex therefore supervened in the Church. For as late as the Council of Trent (1545–1563), which conditioned the whole future of the Catholic Church, virginity and celibacy were still set above matrimony. 7


1 CHRISTIANITY AND SEX (London, 1930).
2 THE CHURCH AND THE SEX QUESTION (London, 1926).
3 LE CHRISTIANISME ANTIQUE (Paris, 1921, Chap. I).
4 I COR. vii. l.
5 Ibid., 26.
6 Ibid., 32.
7 See my M.A.I., p. 293.


Nor did Protestantism alter the position. On the contrary, it consolidated it. Martin Luther himself said: "Had God consulted me in the matter (of human procreation), I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them of clay in the way Adam was fashioned." 1 This is typical. Almost the whole of nineteenth-century England thought as Luther thought.

And yet your Couttses, your Dawsons, your Dean Inges and Dr. Alingtons, driven into a corner by the New Psychology, and by people like myself, who, at great personal loss, have spared no pains to reveal to their contemporaries the dangerous side of Christianity, now begin to retort, none too convincingly, that Christianity is not sex-phobic.

I can quote Jesus too, if Mr. Courts insists on referring to him. Jesus said: "There be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake." 2 How could he have admitted such a possibility, if the two ideas had not been connected in his mind? This is assuming, of course, that he ever said anything of the sort. But that proviso applies to everything he is alleged to have said in the Gospels.

Mr. Coutts tries to get round this and says it does not mean what it reads as meaning. But whom are we to consider the greater authority — Mr. Coutts or St. Cyprian, one of the most illustrious bishops of the Church and also one of its martyrs, who uses this very text from Matthew xix in order to support his plea for celibacy and rigid continency? 3

I cannot go into the whole evidence again, it is massive and overwhelming. I can but refer to my MAN: AN INDICTMENT, where the reader will find all the facts and references he may need to satisfy him that Christianity is, and always has been, sex-phobic.

It is all the more surprising, therefore, to find in a book recently written by Dr. Cyril Alington, late Head Master of Eton, and sponsored by Dean Inge, another attempt at rebutting this charge of sex-phobia, which I and a handful of other reformers have not ceased to hurl at Christianity.

1 TABLE TALK OR FAMILIAR DISCOURSE (trans. by W. Hazlitt, London, 1848, DCCLII, p. 307).
2 MATTHEW xix. 12.
3 TREATISES OF ST. CYPRIAN ON THE DRESS OF VIRGINS (trans. by Rev. Ch. Thornton, p. 118).


Dean Inge speaks highly of the book in his Introduction, and says that Dr. Alington "has answered the popular arguments against Christianity . . . in a way which should give the objector food for thought." 1

I have never shared the popular regard for Dean Inge's intellect, but, even so, was astonished that this extremely shallow book could satisfy him.

Dr. Alington makes one reply to my charge. He says: "There is no doubt that there was a period when Christian teachers gave a prominence to the question which seems to us exaggerated, nor that they lent themselves to her heresy that sex was in itself an unclean subject. It is as obvious that they do not take this latter view to-day as it is . . . etc." 2

And again: "No sane Christian to-day shares the horror of any sexual relationship which once drove thousands from the world."

So that in reply to my charge that Christianity has polluted the very spring of life by its disgusting sex-phobia. Dr. Alington says, in effect: "Nonsense! That is old fashioned! Modern Christianity takes a wholly different attitude." And he shrewdly but very misleadingly sums up his denial by saying: "No sane Christian to-day shares the horror of any sexual relationship," etc.

I propose to demonstrate the disingenuousness and lack of candour in this reply by merely asking the question: "How long is it since this alleged change took place? And on whose authority was it made?"


For, if we turn to the reports about missionaries now preaching and spreading the same creed as that defended by your Alingtons, Inges, Couttses and Dawsons, we find that whatever changes may have come over Christianity in England, engaged in a life and death struggle with critics like myself, we certainly do not find that Christian missionaries sent out from England have got hold of them. They still teach the innocent savage to be ashamed of the organs presumably given him by the Christian god for the purpose of procreation. They still teach the native women of Africa, Melanesia, Polynesia, to cover up the breasts presumably given them by the Christian god to suckle their offspring. "Couvrez ce sein que je ne saurais voir. Cela fait venir de coupables pensées!" [Google translate: Cover that breast that I can not see. That makes guilty thoughts come.]

1 THE FOOL HATH SAID (London, 1933, p. vi).
2 Op. cit., pp. 124–125.


And they carry on their teaching so consistently that their insistence on concealing the nakedness of the savage even of the tropics, and the disease it causes, are constantly mentioned as the chief cause of degeneracy and depopulation in certain areas. 1

Most travellers condemn Christian missions on this score; but evidence is not always easy to find, as in England, owing to the influence of the Church on the Universities and the Press, it is impossible for a man who exposes the shameful side of Christianity to get fair treatment.

We accordingly invite Dr. Alington and his sponsor to explain how they can candidly claim that sex-phobia is really vieux jeu [Google translate: old game] in Christianity.

But the more important question is, how does Christian sex-phobia influence youth unsoundly in the choice of a mate?

In the first place, by a persistent adverse selection against people normally sexed, it has produced a people largely deficient in genetic instincts, 2 and has thus substantially reduced human happiness.

Secondly, by making youth ashamed of their own sexual promptings (hence the enormous amount of repression, nervous debility, and auto-eroticism), it has also made them apprehensive of marked signs of sexuality in the sexual object, so that in England and countries like it, the asexual type, male and female, has come to be regarded as the desirable type.

Recently, this influence has led to a tendency in men to seek the "boyish" or "infantile" girl, with a minimum of sexual development, 3 and a tendency in girls to select the meek, rather soft and gentle type of youth.


1 See particularly N.E. (pp. 6, 51, 52) where Bryk condemns the missionaries for clothing the African native and refers to the Baganda women converts being taught that it is offensive to expose their breasts. See also John R. Baker (DEPOPULATION IN ESPIRITA SANTO, NEW HEBRIDES, Journ. Roy. Anthro. Inst., VIII, p. 79); ESSAYS ON THE DEPOPULATION OF MELANESIA (Cambridge, 1922), by the Rev. W. J. Durrad (pp. 8, 9, 10). On p. 9, he says: "In the encouragement of the wearing of clothes we are not the only offenders. The Presbyterian missionaries with far less excuse . . . have taught their converts to dress in European clothes." And see Felix Speiser's essay in the same volume (p. 31). By far the most stirring and convincing account of the sex-phobia of Christianity as now preached outside England is to be found in William Albert Robinson's DEEP WATER AND SHOAL (London, 1932, especially Chap. XVIII), because, in this book, the reader will find the opinions of a recent, wholly unbiased traveller, whose very simplicity and moderation make his charges of sex-phobia against the missionaries all the more formidable. At any rate all this evidence shows to what shifts Dr. Alington and his sponsor are driven in defending Christianity before an uninformed gallery at home.
2 P., where Gini finds this especially in Anglo-Saxon countries. See also S.L.S.E., p. 124, and HYMEN, OR THE FUTURE OF MARRIAGE, by Dr. Norman Haire (London, 1927, pp. 20–21).
3 See Part II, Chap. III, infra. See also most modern novels; for instance, Rose Macaulay's DANGEROUS AGES, where the desirable heroine is described as follows:
"There was a look of immaculate sexless purity about Gerda, she might have stood for the angel Gabriel, wide-eyed and young and grave."
See also THREE CAME UNARMED, by E. Arnot Robinson (London, 1933), where the heroine is described thus: "In Nonie, narrow of hip and thigh and light of build. Nature had for once forgotten to over-emphasize the utilitarian design of the normal female figure. . . . But Nonie's body was exquisite enough to be judged fairly outside the canons of sex. . . . Such loveliness does not depend on suitability for any particular function." Elsewhere Nonie's figure is said to be glorious "as that of a young athlete's". For a full appreciation of all the popular errors in this portrayal see Part II, Chap. III, infra, where other examples are given, particularly pp. 373–374.


In men it also leads to a preference for the girl "who has no nonsense about her", i.e. who can stand an unlimited amount of the stimulation of male companionship without becoming inflamed. This means that she is probably below par sexually. In girls it also leads to a preference for the male who "does not remind them that they are women", or, as I recently heard a misguided girl declare, "who does not look upon me as a woman."

This means an oblique bias in favour of low sexuality in mating, which necessarily causes great unhappiness in marriage, quite apart from its deleterious affect on the race.


The same bias also creates a phobia against beauty; because, since sexual intercourse with a healthy, good-looking specimen is, of course, known to be more enjoyable than with an ugly, unhealthy specimen, it is felt to be more sinful. Hence the slanders flung at beauty by all Christian fanatics! 1

Listen to one of the fathers of English Puritanism inveighing against physical beauty!

"The Graces of the Minde and the Soul . . . this is the only comlinesse and Beautie, which makes us Beautiful, and Resplendent in the Sight of God, of men and Angels," it is "the only culture and Beautie which the Lord respects." 2

"A studious . . . and eager Affection of Beautie . . . must needs be sinful and abominable . . . because it proceeds most commonly from an Adulterous, unchast, and lustful Hart." 3

1 We must always bear in mind that what most disturbs the sleep of the Christian sex-phobic is the thought that his neighbour may be having a good time sexually. He covers this envy up by pretending that he is anxious only to suppress "excessive" sexual indulgence. But those who know him, appreciate that he does not possess that love of humanity which makes a man solicitous about another's health. What he cannot endure is that another is having pleasure. See on this point, S.L.S.E. p. 123.
2 Prynne's UNLOVLINESSE OF LOVELOCKS (1628, p. 51).
3 Ibid., pp. 55, 56. See also pp. 182–184 infra.


"Those who have continent and chast affections," Prynne continues, "as they deeme this corporall and outside Beautie a needlesse and superfluous thing . . . they would rather obscure and neglect and quite deface their naturall Beauties, by inflicting wounds and scarres upon their faces, to make them more deformed, for feare lest others should be infatuated and insnared with them." 1

The attitude behind these passages has coloured our culture much more than most people recognize, and owing, as we shall see, to the profound relation between beauty and health, and between beauty and desirable qualities of body and mind, it represents a dangerous perversion of the truth.

Thirdly, Christian sex-phobia has so poisoned the art of life that for the first time in history a generation of men has arisen which, by its lack of sex-mastery, has weaned woman from her primary and fundamental pastime. Getting no "kick" out of sex (a fact they will admit in private), they naturally turn to other interests.

Fourthly, in Anglo-Saxon countries, which have suffered most from Christianity, there has been no attempt to organize suitable conditions to enable young men of all classes to enjoy safe sex-experience before marriage. 2 Most young men consequently postpone their first normal hetero-sexual intercourse much too long, sometimes until marriage.

This has a threefold effect.

(a) It rears monsters who may be guaranteed to alienate the most passionate girl from sex after their first twenty-four hours of clumsy, ignorant experimentation upon her. In fact, it makes sexual congress as unattractive as the most rabid Puritan could wish to have it.

(b) It leads to an enormous amount of auto-eroticism, which again causes much matrimonial misery. For the girl, who gets one of these chaste young men, usually marries an habitual masturbator. 3

(c) It makes healthy young men too eager in love, so that they grossly exaggerate the desirability of a particular sexual object.


1 Ibid., p. 57.
2 See W.V., p. 172.
3 See S.E., pp. 156–157, where Prof. Michels says: "We have to ask ourselves, when the interests of a pure young girl have to be considered, whether a man who has had a tender and passionate love experience is not after all preferable to the habitual masturbator . . . it must honestly be recognized that sexually abstinent young men, as they present themselves to-day, cannot offer to girls any guarantee of a happy marriage. . . . Generally speaking, the men who remain chaste are men of little worth." See also M.M. and M.A.R. (pp. 458–459, and 496). See also TAL. (Qiddusin, 29b), where Rabbi Hisda declares that "he who is 20 years old and unmarried [without heterosexual experience is implied] lives in sin."


Horrified by his choice, and unable to see the girl through the sex-starved man's transfiguring glasses, his friends and relatives exclaim, "Love is indeed blind!" But this is ignorance. It is not love, but lack of love, that is blind.

Tumescence is blind, especially when it has not been relieved except guiltily for years and years.

This, of course, leads to a good deal of dysgenic and ill-assorted mating.

The boy thinks the girl a goddess. But he is not really sane. The subjective momentum in him, driving him to the sexual object, is so powerful, that those about him, not suffering from his unrelieved tumescence, cannot understand his mania, and are not surprised when later on he comes round to their adverse view of the girl. 1 But this, of course, means a disastrous marriage.

Now normal pre-nuptial intercourse would obviously remove this evil; but it is important to insist that such sexual experience should not destroy the fillip that desire for a particular girl, chosen with greater sanity, gives to ambition in young men. 2 And it should not jeopardize their health.

What about girls?

In a young nubile female, inexperienced in sex, there is no such thing as chronic mechanical tension aching for relief. 3 There is a subjective momentum towards the male, but it becomes rather less than more discriminate with sexual intercourse. Indeed, the danger with the female is that the first sexual experience with an undesirable and unequal mate may increase rather than lessen her attachment. Besides which, when once the process of procreation is engaged, the instinct is gratified. 4

1 The classical example of the changed view that comes over a sex-starved man who achieves detumescence with a girl he has transfigured is, of course, to be found in 2 SAMUEL xiii. 4, 14, and 15, which describes how Amnon ached with love for Tamar, and how, when he had lain with her he hated her more than he had loved her previously.
2 For a detailed discussion of this, see my NIGHT HOERS, pp. 205–207.
3 See S.P.W., p. 70: "The average healthy and unattached adult woman, who is a virgin and has not been addicted to perverse habits can scarcely be said to suffer much from definite sexual desire. That is to say, she does not usually experience an uncontrollable desire for coitus." See also p. 71.
4 Schopenhauer understood this. He says (W.W.V., II, Chap. 44);. "The love of the man declines noticeably from the moment he gratifies his desire. That of the woman, on the contrary, increases from that moment."


Thus Arno Gasberg said: "Woman does not love as we do. Her inclinations prove that inasmuch as a father is necessary for her child, it is not so overwhelmingly important if it is this man or that man." 1

Provided he is competent sexually, the man in possession, no matter what he is like otherwise, enjoys a wonderful advantage with a young inexperienced woman.

Many authorities take the view that the unspoilt girl's impulse to the male, unlike his to her, is not a conscious desire for sexual gratification.

Count Keyserling says, "Only in exceptional cases does a woman's passionate nature awaken itself." 2 Havelock Ellis says: "The sexual impulse of woman shows great external passivity. It is more complicated, less readily arises spontaneously, more frequently needs external stimuli." 3 Rémy de Gourmont declares that "La femelle dort jusqu'au moment où le mâle la réveille"; 4 [Google translate: The female sleeps until the male wakes her up] while Dr. Fritz Lenz says: "Fortunately the innocent and immaculate maiden does not as a rule suffer from [sexual] abstinence . . . the majority of sexually untouched girls do not experience any direct sexual longing." 5 According to Dr. L. Löwenfeld, "the lack of sexual impulse persists in girls for an indeterminate time even after puberty, as long as they remain free from all experience of sexual stimulation." 6 And Dr. Herbert says: "Women being more passive in their sex lives, bear sexual abstinence on the whole much more easily, especially if the sex passion has not been roused in them by actual experience." 7

The girl's desire for the male is, therefore, different from his for her. His is a conscious hunger for sexual relief, and in cases of long abstinence, it blots out all considerations of taste and caution. Hers is less conscious, and not necessarily aware of the nature of the relief sought. Thus it is more easily educated prior to sexual experience, more amenable to wise criteria of choice, 8

1 A SURVEY OF THE WOMAN PROBLEM, by Rose Mayreder (London, 1913, p. 160). P.F.M., p. 75: "Sexual passion in a man tends to be an end in itself, while in a normal woman it is really only a means to an end."
2 B.M, p. 39.
3 S.P.S., III, p. 255.
4 P.L., p. 10.
5 M.A.R., pp. 458–483.
6 S.L.W., p. 174.
7 AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHYSIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY OF SEX. (London, 1917, p. 117), also p. 126: "With women the problem of abstinence is, on the whole, less urgent, as their sex passion, if not prematurely aroused, awakens much later, and is even then generally not quite so volcanic."
8 Hence some authorities think women have a more objective judgment of men than vice-versâ. Prof. Holle, for instance, says: "Woman thinks more biologically [in mating] for the simple reason that she is closer to nature" (W.S.H., p. 90).
Ludwig Klages (DIE GRUNDLAGE DER CHARAKTERKUNDE, Leipzig, 1928, p. 89) says: "Contrary to a very widespread prejudice, woman, at least in her judgment of persons, is usually more objective than man."


and more capable, from the standpoint of consciousness, of temporising. 1

Thus, in the male, sexual experience prior to choice is a sine qua non of sobriety and wisdom in selection. In the female sexual experience only tends to increase attachment — hence the sometimes staggering contentment of superior women with inferior males. 2

This is not to say that women are less sensual or less able to enjoy sexual intercourse than men, although these conclusions have been quite unjustifiably drawn by many from the circumstance that the unspoilt virgin does not consciously pursue the male for sexual relief. 3 Woman is normally just as sexual as man — often, in my opinion, more so. She is just as able to enjoy her sex experience and no less seriously injured than he is by a long wait after puberty before normal functioning begins.

That great authority. Dr. E. H. Kisch, sums the matter up very well by saying: "According to the general opinion, the sexual impulse is not so strongly developed in women as it is in men. . . . I do not believe this view of the slight intensity of the sexual impulse in women in general is well grounded, and can admit only this much, that in adolescent girls who are inexperienced in sexual matters, the sexual impulse is less perfect than in youths of the same age who have undergone sexual enlightenment. From the moment when the woman also has been fully enlightened as to sexual affairs, and has actually experienced sexual excitement, her impulse towards intimate physical contact and towards copulation is just as powerful as that of man." 4

1 S.P.W., p. 106: "In the young girl the cerebral sex-centre is more or less dormant unless it has been unnaturally stimulated."
2 Hence the view of some thinkers that women are indifferent to male beauty. See L.M., IX, 14: "Women do not care for beauty . . . it is enough that he is a man, they give themselves to the handsome and the ugly." See also C. Lombroso and G. Ferrero (LA FEMME CRIMINELLE ET LA PROSTITUÉE, Paris, 1896, p. 121): "En général la beauté et l'intelligence la laissent indifférente." [Google translate: In general beauty and intelligence leave it indifferent.] See pp. 170–171, infra.
3 P.F.M., p. 82. Hegar, Litzmann and P. Müller make the same mistake. See also Dr. Harry Campbell (DIFFERENCES IN THE NERVOUS ORGANISATION OF MAN AND WOMAN. London, 1891, pp. 209–210): "The sexual instinct is very much less intense in woman than in man." See Part II, Chap. III infra.
4 S.L.W., p. 168.


While unspoilt, therefore, the virgin is more easily educated in choice than the sex-starved male. The chief factor that blinds her to wise native promptings in mating is excessive vanity. This is, of course, additional to the other factors already ascribed to morbid current values.

If she is very vain, the first unworthy male, by abolishing her self-doubts, will so much elate her, that she runs the risk of regarding him as just as "perfect" as the sex-starved man regards the inferior girl.

This does not mean that excessive vanity may not act similarly with men. But whereas a girl without undue vanity and inferiority feelings (they always go together) will be more sober in choice than the sex-starved male, the male, in order to be sober in choice must be free from both undue vanity, inferiority feelings and chronic tumescence.

It is now necessary to deal with one other aspect of Christian influence on human life. I refer to the doctrine of selfishness and unselfishness, especially in so far as it may lead a person to suppose he or she can be loved for his or her "self" as that bluffer Socrates put it, or "unselfishly".

From the very beginning it would be well for all young people to recognize that on this question of unselfishness and selfishness and the praise and blame commonly accorded to each, Christian teaching is psychologically false. Owing to its early appeal to the pariah and the outcast, 1 this religion constantly reveals a psychology framed more on demagogic appeal than actual fact. The very command, "Love one another!" like the Mosaic command, "Honour thy father and thy mother", is based on a misunderstanding of normal mental processes.

Love and honour are not voluntary; they are a natural, inevitable and quite involuntary reaction to the lovableness and honourableness of the object, whether neighbour or parent.


No command can make one love anyone who is not lovable. 2 "Seek neighbours that are loveable so that you may inevitably love them", would have been more sensible. "Love one another!" is shallow and reveals a poor, almost benighted grasp of human psychology.

1 For data supporting this, see my WHO IS TO BE MASTER OF THE WORLD? (London, 1909).
2 TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, V, 2. "Love will not be spurred to what it loathes."


You might just as well say, "Admire one another", or "Esteem one another". These reactions depend on certain qualities in the other, and cannot be auto-generated in response to a command even from a god. 1

The same remarks apply to the Mosaic "Honour thy father and thy mother!" The proper command would have been: "Parents, make yourselves honourable in the sight of your children!"

Even as a child I knew that any honour I paid to my parents was purely reactive. Thus very early I appreciated the fact that in supposing love and honour to be voluntary, the Christian saviour and his putative father had gone astray. Evidently psychological insight is not a strong point with the holy family.

I was not surprised, therefore, when later on I found further errors in Christian psychology.

I take it that all intellectually honest persons know that in everything they do, they act either under compulsion, from inclination, or from self-interest. There is no such thing as a consistent course of so-called "unselfish" conduct that is not pursued for some kind of self-gratification. Charity is the most transparent of these. 2

Everybody, therefore, is consistently "selfish". The wise, however, are "enlightened egoists", i.e. they are "selfish" only up to the point when self ceases to be best served by "selfishness", as, for instance, in their relationship to immediate dependents who can minister to their happiness, in their relationship to menials, retainers, and friends, all of whom may make life happy or the reverse, for a central figure. And the unwise are "unenlightened egoists", i.e. they carry "selfishness" to a point which turns their environment against them, so that, in the end, "self" gets badly served and is made unhappy as the result of "selfishness".

The mistake is to suppose that the "enlightened egoist" is "unselfish", and that the "unenlightened egoist" is "selfish". Both are "selfish" — if the word has any meaning at all, but whereas the former is so with intelligence, the latter is so as a dolt and dullard.

1 See that great psychologist Stendhal (D.A., p. 12): "L'amour est comme la fièvre, il naît et s'éteint sans que la volunté y ait la moindre part." [Google translate: Love is like fever, it is born and extinguished without the volunté having any part in it.]
2 Those who would understand its true nature, especially when it comes prominently before the public in gifts to hospitals, good works, etc., should observe how constantly "charitable" people behave with the utmost meanness and callousness to relatives and friends, gifts to whom have no chance of becoming generally known.


Or consistent "unselfish" behaviour may be the outcome of abnormal congenital impulses — masochism, for instance. But even in this case, it is self-gratification. Or it may be a person's only ladder to power or conspicuousness in a small circle, or his means of reducing his environment to submission by giving it a guilty conscience (this is very common).

Truth to tell, however, it is life's chief charm and beauty that the acts which constitute the greatest benefit to all — the work of the good artist, the good legislator, the good actor, the good inventor — are unquestionably "selfish". They please the performer before the beneficiary.

Beside them, the acts of the officious spinster, who bustles interferingly about her parish, killing time by trying to stamp her importance on the minds of her neighbours, are wholly fatuous; yet these are called "unselfish".

This disposes of the antithesis. Now let us examine certain particular aspects of it.

In the home "selfish" means merely not doing what the person who uses the word wishes you to do, and "unselfish" means doing that same thing. Women are the chief abusers of these terms, and when they are dealing with a man who believes that "selfish" and "unselfish" mean something more than I have stated, they usually get their own way.

In the religious sense "selfish" means that you do not covet the Church's approval of how you live or the way you spend your money, i.e. that you regard yourself as the best judge of how your power should be exercised.

In the social sense, "selfish" means that you are not constantly fretting about what your neighbour thinks of you, or trying to seduce him to a good opinion of you. This offends the neighbour. If he is middle-class, the worst insult he will hurl at you is to call you "selfish". Because, unconsciously, what the neighbour likes best is the "vain" person who does worry about what others think of him. Such a man is not "selfish".

The terms are thus a sort of impolite sham, based on unsound psychology, and bear no relation to reality.

The beauty of Life and Nature is that all the most useful, vital, and important actions are so-called "selfish" actions. A so-called "unselfish" action (if it were possible at all) could not be relied on; because what ensures the punctual performance of the "selfish" act is that the performer wishes to perform it, and to take risks to perform it. Schopenhauer was shrewd enough to see this. 1

1 W.W.V., Chap. 44.


The verdict of Life and Nature is, therefore, against the so-called "unselfish" action. Nature has made all the actions on which her economy depends "selfish" actions.

People, like Spencer, who see altruism in a mothers care for her young, are self-deceivers, and betray the century of their origin by propagating such errors. 1

To see altruism or "unselfishness" in the exercise of a function for which a creature is equipped from head to foot, and who realizes her life-destiny, who secures her health and normal life-processes by having and suckling young, is almost as sensible as to see altruism in sweating, growing hair, or eating.


Even the fact that many women now lose their lives and suffer the tortures of the damned in childbirth does not make motherhood an altruistic undertaking. The breakdown or morbidity of a "selfish" function does not make it an "unselfish" function. The whole idea is, therefore, the most arrant nonsense, and based upon a foolish masculine view of womanhood. It was, however, largely reinforced as a superstition by the belief current in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that women not only derived no pleasure from sex, 2 but also that if they did, it was not decent or politic to admit it.

Fichte, one of the most influential exponents of these ideas, writing about the end of the eighteenth century, said:

"Only one sex is active in procreation. The other, however, is simply passive. 3 . . . It is, therefore, not unreasonable for the first sex [the male] to be bent on gratifying their sexual instinct . . .; but it is absolutely unreasonable for the second sex to be bent on gratifying their sexual instinct, because that would mean that they were making suffering an object to be striven after. 4 . . . Man can without loss of dignity, acknowledge his sexual instinct and seek its gratification. . . . But woman may not so acknowledge her sexual needs." 5

Scores of minor voices intoned the same chant, and the belief that the female sex-cycle is one long trial in "unselfishness" endures in thousands of unenlightened minds to this day.

1 See B.M., p. 33, where Keyserling, who is often tiresomely early Victorian, says: Woman "is the primarily altruistic element in humanity." Such a phrase is meaningless; but it betrays a prejudice and a generation.
2 This led many thinkers, including Lecky, to regard woman as the virtuous and moral sex. For, if you believed motherhood was self-sacrifice, it must be "unselfish" and therefore virtuous.
3 SÄMTLICHE WERKE (Berlin, 1845, II, Sect. 2, p. 329).
4 Ibid., I, Sect. 2, p. 307.
5 Ibid., p. 309.


When, however, we come to the love relationship, which is our chief concern here, "selfishness" and "selfishness" alone is not only the rule, but is insisted upon.

Tell your girl you proposed, not because you wanted her badly, or because it pleased you to have her, or because you thought your happiness would be best served by her, but because you loved her "unselfishly" and for her own sake, i.e. you did not yourself want her a bit, but merely wished to rescue her from her typing, or from her preposterous mother, or from her lonely back room. Tell her this, and see what she will say!

Imagine too a girl saying that she accepted you, not because she wanted you badly, or because she thought she would be happy with you, but because she thought you needed a housekeeper and a companion, and that she was prepared to sacrifice her taste and instincts in order to marry you. You would think her either gratuitously offensive, or else a liar.


Thus "unselfishness" cannot be made to find a place in this connexion any more than elsewhere. And beware of the lover, male or female, who prates about it. Give him or her a wide berth.

A girl wishes the man to want her "selfishly"; otherwise his attentions are an insult.

A man also wishes to be wanted because his girl thinks she will be happier with him than with another. Any other basis for a girl's attachment is an affront.

The beauty and magic of the sexual relationship lies precisely in the fact that each party gratifies the other by pursuing purely "selfish" aims. And the moment this changes to "unselfishness" the relationship is on the rocks. It means that the parties have ceased to inspire sufficient attachment in each other to make a small or great service a pleasure and a gratification of desire.

Most acquaintances of my generation know that for years I nursed my mother in illness. With pleasure I performed the most menial services for her. But let those who suppose that I was for one moment "unselfish" in that period, go to some training school in elementary psychology!

Thus the whole antithesis "selfish" and "unselfish", which springs from Christian ethics, and on which Christianity lays so much stress, is seen to be a huge bluff. Desirable as the demise of Christianity may be, it is even more desirable that this abortive offshoot of hers should pre-decease her. Only then will human relationships become crisp, clear-cut and clean. 1

1 When, later on, I discuss the desirable character in a mate, the reader will not, in view of the above, expect me to join in the popular parrot cry in favour of "unselfish" love, or of "unselfishness" in the spouse. And I hope that my failure to allude to such spurious desiderata will not be felt as a serious lack.


Finally reference must be made to a certain English legal provision and its bearing upon the choice of a mate.

Most civilizations seem to have provided for a period during which each party to a marriage contract could take careful measure of the other and determine whether the other could be tolerated as a permanent mate. But in England a legal process, differing in certain particulars from any other system of law, defeats the object of this probationary period. I refer to actions for breach of promise.

Since every available means should be used to find out as much as possible about the mate, a period of engagement seems admirably suited to provide the necessary opportunities for mutual trial and scrutiny.

If, however, at the end of such a period it is impossible, without the risk of an expensive lawsuit and possibly heavy damages, to come to the negative of the only two conclusions which lend some sense to the interval after betrothal, and if it is safe only to confirm the choice made before opportunities for close acquaintance and scrutiny occur, the engagement period becomes merely a fruitless, formal delay of marriage.

To reply that young people should know their own minds before they become engaged, is to forget that in a well-ordered household they are not allowed private and constant association with each other and each other's families before the engagement.

In the working classes, where the "walking out" period provides for intensive mutual scrutiny, breach of promise actions are rare. But in the middle-classes the engagement period really provides the first chance of becoming better acquainted.

In France and Germany, where breach of promise has not the consequences it may have in England, a foolish convention makes it almost as difficult to break off an engagement. This is the stigma which is supposed to attach to the parties, or to one of the parties, concerned.

In a book of remarkable essays, from which I shall often quote, no less than four contributors — Professor Friedländer, Dr. Fricke, Dr. Lorentzen and Dr. Julius Kleeberg — independently call attention to this, plead for a more rational attitude to broken engagements, and cogently argue that the utility of engagements is wholly forfeited unless they may be broken with impunity. 1

An action would seem to lie if a girl is jilted after an unduly long engagement, running into three or four years; because in that case her chances may be ruined. But even if this is conceded, a time limit should be set, and a part of the engagement period, say a year or perhaps nine months, should still be struck off as necessary probation. And it should be impossible to sue for damages if the breach occurs within that period. This would amount merely to modifying the present Common Law procedure so as to make only such breaches as occur after nine months actionable — surely a modification with which few would wish to quarrel.

Naturally, if a girl has been seduced under a promise of marriage, damages and heavy damages would be only fair, no matter how long the engagement had lasted. But that either party (usually the man nowadays) 2 should, after a necessary and approved period of probation, be liable to pay heavy damages if he or she changes an earlier opinion, is little less than insane, and makes engagements a farce.

We shall see in the sequel how much there is to find out and to learn about the mate and the stock and family history of the mate, for which the period of engagement provides the only opportunity. To attempt to cull some of this information if the intentions, at least of the man, were not serious, would be a piece of impertinence.

There can be little doubt — I have a few cases in mind as I write — that many an unwise union is consummated against the better judgment of one of the parties as the result of this ridiculous legal machinery, and the sooner it is repealed or modified the better it will be for English life.

1 W.S.H., pp. 20, 51, 61 and 98. See also an eloquent plea for better opportunities of mutual study and scrutiny before actual engagement, in WOMAN IN TRANSITION, by Annette M. B. Meakin (London, 1907, pp. 52–53).
2 The law allows for compensation to either sex, and as late as 1689 a man was awarded £400 damages for breach of promise (LORD RAYMOND'S REPORTS OF KING'S BENCH, I. p. 386), a sum equal to £1000 in modern currency. But nowadays, with the gynomania of judges, juries and the Press, such an award would be impossible, and it is only the woman who can hope to get damages in a breach action.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:24 pm

Part 1 of 3

Chapter II: The More Fundamental Desiderata

1. Consanguinity


In the choice of a mate, one of the first questions that arises is, Shall my mate be like me or unlike?

In this and the ensuing chapter I am going to oppose the modern, democratic and, I think, unhealthy doctrine of the desirability of the marriage of "opposites", and argue in favour of the marriage of similar, or like people. This will necessitate entering into the whole question of consanguinity.

Let the matter be reviewed for a moment in an unlearned, chatty manner.

What do we actually find lovers doing when they first wish to convince each other that they love, without, however uttering, the fatal words?

Do they not subject each other to a most searching examination regarding all their habits of mind and body, from the literature each favours, to the kind of food each prefers?

"Oh, you like that? — So do I!"

This is the incessant joyous refrain of the first ardent conversations, when each is secretly longing to tell the other that love has already been kindled.

"How funny that you should like eating the rind of oranges! So do I! — How strange! You like the Sankhayana-Brahmanas? So do I! How funny that you should always have stood up for vulgar old Clacton-on-Sea! I have always loved it!" — etc.

We have all held such conversations. We have all lied unscrupulously in trying to keep the two tastes absolutely identical. And we have all glowed when, at the end of the catechism, it became abundantly clear to both that there was not a single point, except perhaps the best material for knickers, on which we differed.

What does this mean? It is very deep and very unconscious; because everybody does it. Even those do it who consciously protest that they believe in marrying one's opposite.

Does it mean that there is a primitive instinct in men, as there is in animals, to choose their like, and to rejoice when their like has been found?

And does not all this catechizing about tastes indicate that there is also a desire to make certain that the instinct has been gratified?


Readers may object that it is a matter of pure caution to determine the tastes of a person with whom you may have to live. But it is much more than that. It is not an examination for discovering the tastes of the prospective partner. This is merely incidental. It is the expression of a desire to demonstrate that, no matter what the prospective partner's tastes are, one shares them with him or her. It is not an inquiry in which tastes are approved or disapproved, but in which the similarity of tastes, alone, is approved. It is the outcome of an unconscious, not a conscious, motive. Because very often, I repeat, he who indulges in such a fire of cross-questioning will in the next breath consciously and foolishly declare that he disbelieves in the desirability of similar tastes in spouses, and thinks life would be very dull if everybody thought alike, and so on — in fact, the customary twaddle of democratic, disputatious and restless social conditions.

I take it that this fire of cross-questioning, with the joy that follows every proof of similarity, is an indication that beneath the unhealthy democratic veneer there is a natural impulse, which we possess in common with the animals, to pursue our like. And that even when we have been misguided enough to choose a mate that is unlike, we try, at least in the spirit, to establish identity of tastes and a common matrix. 1

Now let us probe a little more deeply into the matter while still avoiding biology, anthropology and statistics.

1 The ancient Greeks evidently took it for granted that mating is with like and not unlike; for in Homer (ODYSSEY, XVII, 218) we read: "Heaven ever bringeth like and like together." See also Agathon's speech in Plato's SYMPOSIUM (195 B.), where he says: "Like to like as the proverb says." This is probably the idea behind Ovid's advice in ARTIS AMATORIA (II, 199, 200), although he gives no reason for it. Addressing men regarding their behaviour to their mistresses, he says: "Blame if she blames; approve whatever she approves. Affirm what she affirms and deny what she denies." See too Dr. Esther Harding (op. cit., p. 148) where, of a young couple, she says: "The assumption that they think alike in all questions matters relatively little here, for the ideas and attitudes of both are as yet hardly formed." Yes, but what is important is that the assumption is made. See also Roswell H. Johnson (Lecturer in Eugenics at Pittsburgh University) in E.R. (XIV, p. 258) on MATE SELECTION, in which he takes the view that mating is usually of like to like.


What is the innermost conviction of a man or a girl who says that one must choose one's opposite?

If the statement is deliberate, and not said for a joke, or by way of thoughtlessly repeating a popular tag, does it not indicate a desire for correction? I mean for the correction of one's stock or individual qualities, whether physical or psychological? And when there is a desire for correction may there not be self-contempt, inferiority-feelings — in fact, doubts as to one's general desirability?


A creature proud of his stock's desirable acquired characteristics does not seek an opposite, a correction, which, in his children, would nullify or adulterate the object of his pride. Why should he? In fact, as we shall soon see, there appears to be an instinct implanted in all sound animals and races of men to segregate and hold themselves aloof the moment they have distinguished themselves from the rest by any acquisition.

Only the unsound, the self-despising, have the instinct to seek correction or modification in marriage. Hence, possibly, the popularity of the idea of dissimilars mating in degenerate times. 1 Those people, too, who feel that they are much removed from the mean of their stock, or their nation, and are conscious of being odd, will tend to look for means of modifying their eccentricities in their children by the choice of a mate who displays characteristics unlike their own. 2

The sound, average person, however, tends to seek his like, and to shun his opposite, not merely out of instinct, but consciously, out of a desire to preserve his stock's achievements in quality. He seeks his like, moreover, because if he is an intelligent observer of his fellows, he knows that there are reasons enough for discord in marriage, without multiplying them unduly by the selection of a mate who, by morphology and temperament (which means, by insuperable and unmodifiable fundamentals), must disagree with him in hundreds of things.

1 See Dr. J. A. M. Périer. (Mémoires de la Soc. d'Anthropologie de Paris. 1860–1863. I, p. 215). "Cette théorie de la diversité des époux qui s'adapte si bien aux prédispositions morbides, nous semble donc trouver là seulement son application." [Google translate: This theory of the diversity of the spouses, which adapts so well to morbid predispositions, seems to us to find there only its application.]
2 See B.M., p. 317, where Ernst Kretschmer says: "Among a mixed material of sound human beings, marriages of contrast are decidedly more frequent, generally speaking, than those of similarity. The more extreme, the more one-sided, the temperaments are, the more strongly do they prefer marriages of contrast."


Those who, in this connexion, argue that life is made interesting by disagreements, are romantics without any knowledge of the fierce light which intimacy sheds on the smallest divergence from the life-partner, and of the exasperation that such divergences are wont to cause.

Married life is not parliamentary life. It is not an institution for diverting the nation with its quarrels. Debates and differences of opinion, especially those based on psycho-physical differences, do not, as a rule, lead to much entertainment or jollity in married life. It is important, therefore, apart from any biological reasons which may be adduced hereafter, and merely for the sake of peace and the durability of the mutual affection, to choose one's like in mating, unpopular though the doctrine may seem in these anarchical and democratic days. 1

Aristotle seems to have argued in favour of this view, because his only objection to incestuous marriages appears to have been that in them the love between the partners is likely to be excessive. 2 He apparently thought that similarity, which is, of course, more easily found between partners who are closely related, is conducive to greater love than dissimilarity.

The great modern authorities on genetics, Dr. Fritz Lenz and Professor Hermann Lundborg, both seem to argue that the marriage of one's like is advisable, and the latter quotes E. A. Theilhaber with approval when he ascribes the known comparative sterility of mixed Christian and Jew marriages to the ultimate impermanence of sympathy between unlike people. 3 The former explicitly says: "The marriages of people with pronounced differences of nature, culture and outlook, are not in the long run happy. . . . There is probably much to be said for the fact that feats of genius may result from the tension created by the discord resulting from mixed breeding; but, as a rule, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in the results of mixed breeding, and the condition of the offspring is more often than not unfortunate." 4


1 See Dr. S. Courtenay Beale: W.W., p. 35: "It is sometimes contended that people of opposite temperaments ought to marry . . . but we strongly doubt the soundness of the advice. For it is not a case of blending or balancing, but of harmonising; and two totally dissimilar temperaments will produce not harmony but discord."
2 See Moyse Amyraut: Considérations sur les droits par lesquels la nature reigle les mariages (Saumur, 1648, p. 223). I was unable to find Aristotle's own words, but as Amyraut is otherwise reliable, they probably exist. There is a passage in THE POLITICS (II, iv) which, at a pinch, might fit the meaning. But I may have missed a more explicit statement.
3 See R.B.M., p. 128.
4 M.A.R., pp. 503, 506.


It is true that in the latter part of this paragraph Dr. Lenz is referring to race mixtures or the mingling of markedly different stocks or types. But, as we shall soon see, differences of temperament and of so-called "mind" are inseparable from morphological differences, even within the same race; which means that differences between types must also produce disharmony.

Much in the same spirit, Dr. Périer, writing between 1860 and 1863, said: "We believe that, on the whole, except in the case of aberrations, there exists in the various branches of the human race a sort of instinctive aversion to matings between very different types." 1

In the little symposium on WHOM SHOULD ONE MARRY? six contributors refer to this question of similarity and dissimilarity of mates, and of these, three take the modern, popular and democratic view, which was also Plato's view, 3 that mates should be unlike. The first of these, Dr. W. Hagen, recommends the marriage of people of different characters and types, though he admits that this makes the relationship more difficult; for, he says, "There will remain on either side a residuum of the personality which the other will never be able wholly to understand." 3 Dr. Felix Hipert recommends a difference of temperament and character in the married, and the avoidance of too great similarity. 4 He gives, however, no convincing reason for this view.

Dr. Lorentzen, as I shall show in a moment, seems to take my view, for he not only recommends the choice of a girl of the same class as the man, but also seems to have observed marked similarities between all couples, young and old. He appears, therefore, to think that it is a law of Nature that like should choose like. 5

Two contributors, Herr von Schiber-Burkhardsberg and Dr. Eisenlohr, both advise a spouse from the same class or caste as the suitor. 6

1 Op. cit., p. 216. See also Count Arthur de Gobineau, p. 103 infra.
2 THE LAWS (trans. by Jowett, Oxford, 773). But Plato evidently believed, as most thinkers do, that like attracts like in the normal; for he says: "For somehow everyone is by nature prone to that which is likest to himself." Then, however, he advises marriage with opposites, whether in wealth or nature, in order to equalize things. See also footnote p. 44 supra.
3 W.S.H., p. 28. See also p. 29.
4 Ibid., pp. 36–37.
5 Ibid., p. 58.
6 Ibid., pp. 66 and 85.


Although this does not by any means guarantee similarity of type or temperament, it is an admission that similarity of a sort is required, more particularly as Eisenlohr is not in favour of the contrasts so much belauded in novels and romances, and believes that, in practical life, the more points the spouses can possibly have in common, the happier they are likely to be, far happier than as the result of the most interesting stimulations arising out of different views. 1

Dr. Fritz Kauffmann recommends the marriage of persons of the same economic and social status, 2 which is at least a step in the same direction.

According to Havelock Ellis, Leonardo da Vinci believed that parity and not disparity was attractive, and the celebrated sexologist argues that, at least in pigmentation and stature, like attracts like. 3

Arguing against the belief that married couples, as the result of the unconscious imitation of each other's expression, grow alike, Hermann Fol, in a small statistical survey of married people made in 1891, found "that couples tend to unite in accordance with the law of like to like, and not as a result of their dissimilarities, and that, consequently, the resemblances between aged married couples are not acquired as a result of conjugal life." 4

Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, who conducted a similar inquiry among only 50 married couples, found that similarity proved an attraction in regard to 182 characters, and dissimilarity in regard to 168 characters. 5

Dr. Lorenzen says definitely: "It has always struck me how fantastically alike in expression and bearing married couples are, not merely the old ones . . . but also the young ones." 6

Karl Pearson found a distinct likeness between the husbands and wives of two groups of 1000 and of 774 respectively, in regard to stature and eye-colour, and his tables show an undoubted tendency for like to marry like. 7

1 Ibid., p. 85.
2 Ibid., p. 88.
3 S.P.S., IV, pp. 196–198. See also M.H., pp. 177–178: "It is not a fact that snub noses seek to combine with aquiline, that tall men prefer short women, or that women of delicate sentiment are specially attracted by ignorant and boorish but vigorous men. . . . A good-looking man is not impelled to throw himself away upon an ugly woman; his inclination is to seek a partner as good or better than himself."
4 LA RESEMBLANCE ENTRE LES EPOUX (Rev. Scientifique, Paris, XLVII, p. 49).
5 G.K., II, pp. 42–43.
6 W.S.H., p. 58.
7 G.S., pp. 429, 431, 436.


"So far," he says, "I have only measured two characters, stature and eye-colour, yet in both there is a quite sensible tendency of like to mate with like. . . . Now these results are very striking; for two quite different groups of husbands and wives and for two very distinct characters, stature and eye-colour, we have found quite sensible measures of homogamy. We cannot doubt in the face of this that like actually tends to mate with like in the case of man."

Commenting on these findings. Dr. J. B. Rice says: 1 "This is opposed to the popular belief that men and women are attracted to their opposites, but a moment's reflection will verify from personal experience the conclusions of Pearson. Indeed, this is probably the reason for the belief that husband and wife grow to resemble one another. They were probably much alike in the beginning."

Kretschmer, on the other hand, who regards the marriage of opposites with favour, found that out of 100 marriages, 63 were of "predominantly dissimilar" people, 13 of predominantly similar, and 24 of people "about equally similar and dissimilar." 2

These observations, however, whether of Lorentzen, Karl Pearson, Nisbet, or Kretschmer, whatever else they may indicate, constitute no argument either for or against the marriage of opposites; because we are not so much concerned here with what is actually taking place to-day in our corrupt and very largely sick populations, highly differentiated and suffering under the appalling confusion of types and races described in Chapter I, as with what should be the practice both eugenically and hedonistically of couples who are now anxious to do the right thing. And the facts I shall adduce below in establishing my case in favour of consanguinity, leave little room for doubt that the ideal match, for both health and happiness, is that of like with like.

Paul Popenoe, summing up his own examination of the problem, writes: "Stating the results in the broadest possible way, it may be said that people tend to marry for unlikeness in sexual traits, and likeness in other traits. . . . Whatever the cause may be, it has been found beyond all doubt that, even in the most trivial details, husband and wife resemble each other, on the average, much more than would be possible if men and women married at random. They are indeed about as much alike as first cousins, or an uncle and a niece." 3

1 R.H., p. 262.
2 B.M., pp. 312–313.
3 M.M., pp. 38–40.


On the whole, therefore, it seems probable that the fundamental instinct of man is to mate with his like, no matter how much the modern democratic and anarchical bias in favour of "opposites" and "dissimilar mates" may have influenced the civilized world. 1

Before entering more deeply into this question, however, a word must be said about the attitude of persons afflicted with some visible congenital blemish.

According to the learned authors of HUMAN HEREDITY 2 "persons afflicted with congenital mutilation or malformation will usually mate with persons similarly afflicted, or with persons who are mentally below par." Such people, however, are sufficiently exceptional for it to be hazardous to draw inferences from their behaviour. A person with a visible congenital blemish may feel that he has a right only to another blemished person, although nowadays, unfortunately, there is no reason why he should feel this; for, as I have already shown, he has only to make it plain (if his congenital blemish does not do so) that he "can't help it", in order almost to compel the sentimental female, bred on modern morality, to accept him. But there is no doubt that the more noble among visibly congenitally blemished people would hesitate to propose to or to accept anyone but their like, "for", as the authors of HUMAN HEREDITY add, "those who are sound in mind and body will not accept them as life-partners." 3

Later on in the same work. Dr. Fritz Lenz, alone, maintains that "an individual suffering from a hereditary illness or anomaly seldom mates with a person suffering from the same illness or anomaly." 4

1 See p. 90, note 1, where the great genealogist, O. Lorentz, is quoted as saving: "Love prospers best where ancestors are reduced and where there is equality of rank and birth." His expression is AHNENVERLUST, which must mean "reduction of ancestors by mating consanguineously." He thinks that the attraction of like to like is on the whole irrepressible in man.
2 B.F.L., p. 461.
3 Unfortunately, I repeat, this is by no means always true. Where modern sentimentality and the purely moral estimate of man are both strong, such obstacles count for nothing. It would be better if they did.
4 Ibid., p. 513.


This appears incompatible with the paragraph previously quoted. But whereas congenital mutilations or malformations are usually visible, hereditary illnesses or anomalies are not necessarily so. I take it, therefore, that Dr. Lenz means that people who are aware of being victims of the latter deliberately
try to avoid as partners people with similar taints. This may be true. In any case it is not desirable; because it is in the interest of humanity that morbidity should be canalized. But if it is true, I suggest that it is only so of a certain cultivated class, and of the latter only among those who are health-conscious. 1

Turning now to the more difficult, but cognate, question, whether, from the deeper standpoints of biology, anthropology and eugenics, it is better for mates to be similar or dissimilar, we are confronted with the problems of heredity and consanguinity and cannot circumvent them.

Seeing that biologically the mate most likely to resemble a man or a woman is one from the same family — either sister or brother, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, mother or father, or, at least, first cousin, it behoves us to investigate the whole problem of consanguinity, and from our findings determine the precise genetic importance, if any, of likeness in mating.

Incidentally, the investigation may provide us with a deeper warrant for our thesis that the mating of the similar is preferable to the mating of the dissimilar.

I have made it sufficiently plain in the previous chapter that I see neither help nor any relation to reality in the arbitrary elevation of mind above body, or in the separation of the two. I have shown that this arbitrary differentiation popularized chiefly by that monster magician, Socrates, to save his own self-esteem, besides being worthless as a contribution to knowledge is actually an obstacle in the way of a clear understanding of man. 2

Unfortunately, however, it still governs the lay world. And, although one or two scientific men, like Dr. Draper, of America, and Sir Charles Sherrington over here, seem to be shaking themselves free from it, it still also governs science to a very great extent.

1 It was hardly true even of the cultivated classes early last century, otherwise it is impossible to account for such a plot as that in Lytton's PILGRIMS ON THE RHINE, published in 1854.
2 Apparently Socrates always lied quite unscrupulously in order to save his self-esteem. For instance, in trying to excuse his blunder in marrying the virago Xanthippe, he had the effrontery to say he had chosen her so that her bad temper might inure him to all sorts of people. (Xenephon: SYMPOSIUM, II, 10.) Diogenes Laertius makes him excuse himself for Xanthippe on the score that she made him better able to cope with the rest of the world. (LIVES OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS, Book II, 37.)


At all events I have found it helpful and more wholesome, to abandon this Socratic magic altogether, and when, therefore, I contemplate any great work of man, I regard it as the product of the man as a whole, not merely of his invisible side. If, therefore, he happens to be botched or bundled, I expect to find his botchedness reflected in his work, as it always is. If I see conflict and disorder in his creation, I look for conflict and disorder in his whole being, not only in his so-called "mind".

Contemplating the problems of health and culture on this non-magic basis, I find, a priori, that culture, in so far as it is social harmony and order, healthy and enduring, must be the product of an ordered, harmonious, healthy man.


And if I turn my eyes from the social chaos of to-day, back to the origins of the most harmonious and healthiest cultures, I suspect without inquiry that the people who created these cultures must have been unlike us at least in this that they were harmoniously constituted and vigorously healthy.

They were beautiful, harmonious, and wholesome, consequently their creations could not help being beautiful, harmonious and wholesome.

Turning now from these a priori conclusions to facts, what do we find?

We find not only that these early cultures were actually very harmonious, but also that their vigour and power must have been very great; for our culture owes what little beauty, harmony and health it possesses entirely to them.

A further interesting fact is that all these cultures arose in naturally or artificially confined areas, where broadmindedness, the universal brotherhood of mankind, internationalism, the love of one's neighbour, and other forms of claptrap were quite unknown.


We find these cultures originally in islands like Crete and Japan, peninsulas like India, Greece and Italy, naturally enclosed areas like Peru, Mesopotamia and Egypt, and artificially enclosed areas like China and ancient Palestine. 1

Furthermore, we know that where intercourse with the outside world, with the neighbour, is checked, the secluded people are condemned to inbreeding and very often close inbreeding, that is to say, at any rate, to a form of mating which brings like to like.

1 As far as I am aware Reibmayr was the first to call attention to this interesting fact (D.E.T.G., I, p. 9).


In the only cultures that have left a permanent mark on the world, we find, however, not merely inbreeding but also a strong conscious tendency to keep apart, to segregate. And this caused, in addition to a frontier of prejudice and suspicion between the secluded nation and the world outside, a series of frontiers within the nation itself, dividing off classes and castes. So that within the inbred mass smaller inbred classes were formed.

This was so among the Egyptians, the Jews, the Hindus and the Peruvians. In all these cases it was an unconscious instinct to separate, or a conscious pride of race and caste, that caused the segregation. 1


The same seems to have been true of the ancient inhabitants of these islands and their Germanic invaders. Thus, speaking of the fact that the Saxon invaders of Britain brought their wives and families over with them, Stubbs says: "The wives and families were necessary to the comfort and continued existence of the settlements. It was not only that the attitude of the Britons forbade intermarriages; the Saxons, as all testimony has shown, declined the connubium of foreign races." 2

It would seem as if men who have acquired a set of peculiar qualities possess an instinct to keep aloof from anyone who can adulterate these qualities. I could quote many facts to prove that animals have a similar instinct, but will content myself with only a few from Darwin.

Darwin tells us that "the alco dog of Mexico dislikes dogs of other breeds; and the hairless dog of Paraguay mixes less readily with the European races than the latter do with each other. . . . In Paraguay the horses have much freedom and . . . the native horses of the same colour and size prefer associating with each other, and . . . the horses imported from Entre Rios and Banda Oriental into Paraguay likewise prefer associating together. In Circassia . . . horses of three sub-races whilst living a free life, almost always refuse to mingle and cross, and will even attack one another.

"In a district stocked with heavy Lincolnshire and light Norfolk sheep, both kinds, though bred together, when turned out, in a short space of time separate to a sheep . . . the two kinds keep themselves as distinct as rooks and pigeons. . . . On one of the Faroe Islands, not more than half a mile in diameter, the half-wild native black sheep are said not to have readily mixed with the imported white sheep.


1 For a detailed account, with documentation, of measures taken by the Egyptians, Jews and Hindus to keep themselves pure and free from any mixture of foreign blood, see my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY, Chap. VII.
2 THE CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF ENGLAND (Oxford, 1897, p. 69), also p. 46, where, quoting Rudolf, author of the TRANSLATIO SANCTI ALEXANDRI, Stubbs says of the Saxons of the early Frank Empire: "They scarcely ever allow themselves to be infected by any marriages with other or inferior races, and they try to keep their nationality apart and unlike any other. Hence the universal prevalence of one physical type." See also op. cit., p. 18 for purity of Germanic races.


It is a more curious fact that the semi-monstrous ancon sheep of modern origin have been observed to keep together, separating themselves from the rest of the flock when put into enclosures with other sheep. With respect to fallow deer . . . the dark and pale coloured herds, which have long been kept together in the Forest of Dean, in High Meadow Woods, and in the New Forest, have never been known to mingle." 1

Darwin gives numerous similar facts about geese, cattle, monkeys and other animals.

In healthy cultivated man, this instinct is so pronounced as to be a matter of almost common knowledge. 2 Even among primitive peoples it has been noticed by scores of observers. Lotsy and Goddiju, for instance, say of the Bushmen of Kalahari: "Their women were not at all nattered by the attentions of their Bechuana lords. Instead of an honour, they looked upon intercourse with anyone not of their tribe, no matter how superior, as a degradation." 3

Pastor Mojola Agbebi, Director of the Niger Delta Mission, says: "No un-Europeanized native of tropical Africa seeks intermarriage with white people. Commercial intercourse and other unavoidable contact with white people may lead to a progeny of mixed blood, but no Tropical African pure and simple is inclined to marry a European or appreciates mixed marriages. . . . The unsophisticated African entertains aversion to white people." 4

1 V.A.P.U.D., II, pp. 8o. 81.
2 See two notes on previous page.
3 GENETICA, 1928. (HYBRIDISATION AMONG HUMAN RACES IN SOUTH AFRICA, pp. 146–147.) Also Otto von Kotzebue: A NEW VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD (London, 1830, I, p. 125), who says of the alleged mixing of the Tahitans and the Jeris on Tahiti: "The pride of the Jeris keeps them aloof from any such connexions, which, had they subsisted, must have long since destroyed the broad and acknowledged line of distinction."
4 PAPERS ON INTER-RACIAL PROBLEMS (Ed. by G. Spiller, 1911. The West African Problem, p. 344).


F. L. Hoffman also refers to the reluctance of different peoples to intermarry, and says: "An interesting instance is presented in the case of the Ainos of Japan, who are a distinct race from the Japanese, and who, after centuries of close association, are as distinct in their character and habits of life as if they had never come in contact with the superior race of Japanese." 1

Dr. H. Berkusky, referring to the laws against mixed breeding among savages, says that formerly a Zulu girl who had intercourse with a white man was killed by her own people, together with her child. The cross-bred child was also killed among the Pilagoi and Mahave Indians, while among the Orang-Laût of the Malacca Peninsula, all half-breeds are segregated, and a woman who mixes her blood is ostracized. Among the Inois of Annam, and the Karagasses of Southern Siberia, all girls who mix their blood are punished. 2 Hrdlicka tells us that when infanticide does occur among the Indians, the child "is of mixed blood." 3

Professor Nieuwenhuis tells us that intermarriage between the tribes of Central Borneo, although not prohibited, "occurs so rarely that the Taman-Dajak and Kajan-Dajak have lived over a hundred years close to one another without mixing." 4 Among other instances, Darwin says that even among the degraded Australian blacks, half-castes were killed, which indicates that there was a strong bias against mixing. 5 Among the peoples principally responsible for our civilization, the Egyptians, the Jews, the Greeks and the Saxons, the abhorrence of the stranger was so great that in some cases their very word for stranger was a term of opprobrium. 6 And each of these peoples was not only inbred, but also incestuous.

1 RACE TRAITS AND TENDENCIES OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO (New York, 1896) pp. 195–196). Also N.E., p. 115, where Bryk says: "In his race consciousness, the Black is extremely exclusive. This exclusiveness may go so far that a woman who has relations with a man of another race becomes the object of the most bitter persecution at the hands of her own people. . . . The very fact that a woman loves a man of another race lands her in the most tragic conflicts."
2 DIE SEXUELLE MORAL DER NATURVÖLKER (ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR SOCIAL WlSSENSCHAFT, 12 Jahrgang. Heft 12, p. 726).
3 PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL OBSERVATIONS AMONG THE INDIANS OF S.W. U.S.A. AND NORTHERN MEXICO, p. 166.
4 B.M., p. 74.
5 D.O.M., p. 170. Also Westermarck, THE HISTORY OF HUMAN MARRIAGE (I, pp. 39–41), where, among many other instances, the author says of the people of Lapland: "Marriages between Lapps and Swedes very rarely occur, being looked upon as dishonourable by both peoples; they are equally uncommon between Lapps and Norwegians, and it hardly ever happens that a Lapp marries a Russian." Regarding scarcity of offspring between English and Australian natives, despite extensive relations, see THE PHENOMENA OF HYBRIDITY IN THE GENUS HOMO, by Dr. P. Broca (London, 1864, pp. 47–60), who denies that hybrids were killed.
6 The Egyptians called all foreigners "impure Gentiles" (Herodotus, II, 158, and Wilkinson: THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS, London, 1878, I, p. 264). The Hebrews called the rest of mankind Goïm, and the Greek barbaros = not Greek, implied inferiority. After the Persian War it came to mean outlandish, brutal, rude. The word "was used of all defects which the Greeks thought foreign to themselves and natural to other nations." (Liddell and Scott: Article, barbaros.)


Can there possibly be any connexion between these sets of facts — that these peoples created our civilization, that they lived in enclosed areas, that they were closely inbred and incestuous, and that they were vigorously healthy and harmonious enough for their creations in culture to have indelibly stamped the whole of the modern world?

There is at present much prejudice against consanguineous and particularly against incestuous matings. Is it possible that like other superstitions, like the ascription of disease to some invading microbe and the belief in the superiority of the soul over the body, it is based merely on ancient magic?

If the modern prejudice against consanguinity and incest is part of the old magic stock-in-trade, it is important to get rid of it, because the vital question of the mating of like or unlike is involved, and because the people responsible for civilizing the world were probably greater than a people like ourselves who have left no stone unturned in order to decivilize it.

* * * * * * *

How does modern science regard inbreeding and incest?

I may say, straight away, that much as I was jeered at ten years ago for publicly advocating as a eugenic measure the repeal of our laws against incest, to-day I find almost the whole of authoritative science on my side.

Offspring of biologically related parents are subject to the possible impact of inbreeding. Such offspring have a higher possibility (see Coefficient of relationship) of congenital birth defects because it increases the proportion of zygotes that are homozygous for deleterious recessive alleles that produce such disorders (see Inbreeding depression). Because most such alleles are rare in populations, it is unlikely that two unrelated marriage partners will both be heterozygous carriers. However, because close relatives share a large fraction of their alleles, the probability that any such rare deleterious allele present in the common ancestor will be inherited from both related parents is increased dramatically with respect to non-inbred couples. Contrary to common belief, inbreeding does not in itself alter allele frequencies, but rather increases the relative proportion of homozygotes to heterozygotes. However, because the increased proportion of deleterious homozygotes exposes the allele to natural selection, in the long run its frequency decreases more rapidly in inbred population. In the short term, incestuous reproduction is expected to produce increases in spontaneous abortions of zygotes, perinatal deaths, and postnatal offspring with birth defects. This also means that the closer two persons are related, the more severe are the biological costs of inbreeding. This fact likely explains why inbreeding between close relatives, such as siblings, is less common than inbreeding between cousins.

There may also be other deleterious effects besides those caused by recessive diseases. Thus, similar immune systems may be more vulnerable to infectious diseases (see Major histocompatibility complex and sexual selection).

A 1994 study found a mean excess mortality with inbreeding among first cousins of 4.4%. Children of parent-child or sibling-sibling unions are at increased risk compared to cousin-cousin unions. Studies suggest that 20-36% of these children will die or have major disability due to the inbreeding. A study of 29 offspring resulting from brother-sister or father-daughter incest found that 20 had congenital abnormalities, including four directly attributable to autosomal recessive alleles.

-- Incest, by Wikipedia


If, however, the science of the past had done what it always should do, and had compared its own findings with the tastes and traditions of the greatest cultures of antiquity, it would necessarily have hesitated before supporting magic and religion; because history and anthropology confirmed the advocates of inbreeding.

Darwin, the greatest biologist of what will probably be known as the darkest age of English history, the nineteenth century, succumbed to the influence of his democratic and magic-ridden environment. One can see his great intellect battling with his emotional bias in favour of the sloppy errors of his day, and the fact that in the end it was defeated has left a blemish on the one great thing the nineteenth century attempted.

For, although he collected a mass of evidence pointing to the good results of inbreeding, and knew much of the historical and anthropological evidence I shall lay before you, yet he concluded his careful investigation with a verdict against inbreeding and incest.

Breeding is the process of producing a new individual by the conjunction of two germ cells, male and female.

In random-bred human stocks, like the stocks forming the populations of modern civilized countries, among which anybody may marry anybody except a close relative, and among which even cousin matings are comparatively rare, the hereditary equipment (germ-plasm) of each party to every mating is different. Each contains factors, genes, or developmental determiners of a kind not contained in the other. Each, therefore, has psycho-physical potentialities of a different type, with different qualities and accomplishments from the other. Each also has different morbidity-determining factors or genes. But it should be noted that in random-bred stocks, morbidity-determining factors tend to be spread so widely over the population that it is quite possible for each party to the mating, although quite unrelated, to possess one, two or more morbidity-determining factors in common. That is to say, that although, as a rule, the Miss Smith who marries the Mr. Brown brings him a tendency to a number of diseases with which he may not be tainted — say, diabetes, Bright's disease, and myopia, while he brings her a tendency to say, pthisis, hepatic insufficiency and gout — so that their offspring have only 50 per cent of all six diseases, it may happen nowadays, with disease as widespread as it is, that Miss Smith, though quite unrelated to Mr. Brown, brings him urticaria, gall-bladder disease and varicose veins, while he brings her hypothyroidism, varicose veins and myopia. So that although they hand on to their offspring only 50 per cent of the four diseases not common to both of them, they hand on 100 per cent of varicose veins.

When a male and a female from different families in such random-bred stocks are joined together in marriage, we may picture the process of the conjunction of their two germ-cells as an intermingling of portions of the supplies of wools from two different wool-shops, each supply containing the wools of different colours, qualities and strength. And, as in random-bred stocks there is always latent in the germ-plasm of both parties much that is deleterious, 1 we must imagine some of the wools from each shop as being diseased, infected and unsound.

1 A. D. Buchanan Smith, M.A.M.Sc., INBREEDING IN CATTLE AND HORSES (E.R., VIII, No. 3, p. 195). "There is latent in the germ-plasm of all random-bred stock much that is deleterious and only waiting its opportunity for expression."
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:24 pm

Part 2 of 3

Keeping to the analogy, which seems to be helpful, the reader will see that, although the probability is that the wools parcelled together at haphazard from each shop will be different in colour quality, strength and morbidity, there is a possible chance that the shops may contain several similar wools, and that some of these similar wools may come together in the same parcel.

If six parcels are made up from wools taken at haphazard from Shop I and Shop II, the chances are that most of the parcels will be inharmonious and discordant in themselves, and also disparate from one another, because we have seen that the supplies of wool in each shop are similar only in regard to a few wools. But it is also possible that one or perhaps two out of the parcels may by chance contain wools which are common to both shops. In which case, despite the haphazard blending, and the different supplies in each shop, a parcel will be produced which will be oddly harmonious, and more attractive than the other parcels. If, however, the similar wools which come together in a parcel happen to be the diseased, infected, or unsound wools in each shop, the parcel will be unlike the other parcels in view of its extreme morbidity.

As the coming together of similar wools from each shop in haphazard parcelling (random-breeding) is much less common than the joining of dissimilar wools, we must regard the production of a harmonious or of an extremely morbid parcel as less frequent in haphazard parcelling, than the production of a discordant or inharmonious parcel. For what usually happens is that when morbid wools from each shop come together they are morbid in a different way, so that not 100 per cent of one kind, but 50 per cent of two or more kinds of morbidity appears in each parcel.

It should, however, be remembered that when hundreds of thousands of such parcels with only 50 per cent of various kinds of morbidity are annually sent out into the world, the world gradually gets stocked with parcels containing latent morbidity, and that if these parcels are combined to produce fresh parcels, the 50 per cent may easily be made up to 100 per cent. 1

If we imagine the six parcels as children of the same parents, we can now understand how, in the same family, in a random-

1 See Dr. F. A. E. Crew (M.L., p. 388): "It is not known how widespread such recessive genes [determiners or morbidity in this context] are, but the fact that defective individuals appear in certain communities may be interpreted as meaning that individuals carrying the same gene have at last mated."


bred stock, one child will be extremely harmonious and better looking than its brothers and sisters, or even than either of its parents, another child quite unattractive, and another child, or two, delicate or actually diseased.

There is no space to enter into the question of dominants and recessives, 1 except to say that, if in some section of each of the six parcels of wool, some colour, or other quality, dominates over others so as to supersede without destroying them, the reader will perceive what happens when a dominant — say, brown — occurs. In that case the parcel, in one of its sections, will appear all brown. But the blue and red in that section are not destroyed. They are merely recessive. And if the parcel containing dominant brown is used for a further series of parcels, the blue and red will reappear in the section concerned.

Thus a child in a family of six, both parents of which have brown eyes, may have blue eyes. On enquiry, however, it will be found that blue was a recessive factor in each or one of the parents, each or one of them having had parents or grandparents with blue eyes.

In this way recessive morbid factors also pass from one generation to another, unobserved, unmanifested; but they suddenly turn up and cause consternation to those concerned.

Thus mixed breeding in random-bred stocks such as those composing the populations of modern civilized countries, has three principal results:—

(1) It may, by a stroke of pure luck, produce a new individual who is harmonious and symmetrical, with bodily parts proportionately correlated, and who is free from morbid factors, or possesses them only in innocuous, fractional proportions, or as recessives.

(2) It may, and usually does, produce an individual who is inharmonious and discordant, that is to say, who presents an asymmetrical whole, with bodily parts disproportionately correlated, and who has some morbid traits sufficiently pronounced to be displayed.

(3) And, by the same chance conjunction which produced (1) it may produce an unlucky individual, with a grave state of disharmony, showing itself in ugliness, mal-co-ordination and

1 In a book intended for the ordinary reader, it was not thought necessary to give more than a popular summary of the facts about breeding, or to enter narrowly into Mendel's laws. These can be studied in easily accessible popular works, and I recommend Dr. Crew's HEREDITY, or Dr. J. B. Rice's RACIAL HYGIENE.


dysfunction, and with an acutely grave correlation of morbid factors.

Even the lucky individual, however, who looks healthy, sound, and handsome in a random-bred stock, bears in his hereditary equipment the deleterious elements common to his parental stocks, which produced his less fortunate brothers. This explains why, in a random-bred stock, children are often so unaccountably inferior, and sometimes so unaccountably superior to their parents. In fact it explains all the anomalies which the opponents of the hereditary principle habitually advance as arguments against it, and which are thus seen to be no arguments against it at all.

There is, therefore, no certainty of reckoning with random-bred stocks, and it is all-important to remember that in such stocks, in which the germ-plasm (i.e. the hereditary equipment of the stock) is not stabilized, it is not safe to judge by appearances, especially in the case of an individual who is an exception, as regards vigour, beauty, or intelligence, in his stock or family. 1

This is, of course, also true of the so-called geniuses that sometimes arise in mixed random-bred stocks. They too are just lucky strokes which it would be ridiculous to hope to see repeated, for how could they breed true? The fact that Marcus Aurelius and Napoleon had no geniuses as sons is thus seen to be (quite apart from the mate in each case, who may have been unsuitable) no argument against, but rather in favour of, the hereditary principle. 2

Now what happens if we inbreed from stocks hitherto random-bred?

If instead of taking a male and a female from different families in a mixed random-bred stock, we take, say, brother and sister, mother and son, or father and daughter, we may picture the conjunction of their two germ-cells as an intermingling of portions of a supply of wool from only one shop; and we must imagine the supply of wools in the one shop as being divided into two halves, one half on one side of the shop and one half on the other; and each half of the stock as containing wools represented in the other half.

1 H., p. 63: "Another lesson that is to be learned from the facts of inheritance is that appearance alone is not a reliable guide to breeding ability and that a more certain method . . . is the progeny test." I think if Dr. Crew had inserted the words "in random-bred stocks", after the word "alone" he would have been more correct.
2 See infra, p. 113 et seq.


If, therefore, six parcels of wool are now made up of wools drawn in equal parts from both sides of the shop, it is obvious that the chances of similar wools coming together in one parcel are now much higher than in the case of the two separate shops previously considered. And this will be true not only of wools similar for good qualities and colour, but also for wools similar for morbid or lethal qualities. The more morbid or lethal wools there are in the shop, the higher will be the proportion of parcels with morbid elements. Moreover, as in this higher proportion the parcels are likely to have high percentages of morbidity, they will display acute degenerative signs. Either they will be so bad as to make it impossible to prepare a second series of fresh parcels from them, or if they are just sound enough for this to be done, the probability is that this third series of parcels will be too bad any longer to serve as stock for a further series of parcels.

Thus a rapid elimination of the unsound and morbid parcels takes place, 1 and the stock of wools, though very much reduced, is speedily cleansed of morbid elements. 2

Meanwhile, some highly harmonious parcels will have been produced, from which a further series of harmonious parcels can be combined and recombined. This process will tend to increase; for, as fast as the morbid elements concentrate in particular parcels and are sacrificed, the morbid wools available for fresh parcels are naturally reduced until they completely disappear.

Pari passu with this process of eliminating morbidity, all the parcels in the second, third and fourth series have, in this arrangement and quality of wools quickly become more and more alike, so that at every reshuffle it is more easy to stake on the product of any two parcels being like its parent parcels. 3 The parcels, in fact, become "homozygous" (i.e. having a like hereditary equipment), and can be relied upon to produce parcels like themselves. In a word, they breed true. 4 They are, therefore, in many important respects, quite unlike the parcels made tip

1 B.F.L., p. 109. "Inbreeding and reproduction from individuals who are closely akin favours the mendelising out of recessive developmental defects."
2 O.I.I.M., p. 97. "Inbreeding will purify a stock, but the process may be expensive." See also H., p. 61: "Inbreeding thus purifies a stock."
3 H., p. 65: "Inbreeding leads to a rapid increase in homozygosity, and when this state is reached, stability and uniformity will be reached."
4 H., p. 66: "Such individuals as have been made homozygous for the desirable characters will be far more valuable material in the hands of the breeder than the stock with which he started, for, in virtue of their hereditary constitution, they must now breed true for this character."


from the two different shops first considered, which in the language of genetics are called "heterozygous" (i.e. having different hereditary equipment), and it is essential to remember that this unlikeness is above all noticeable in the absence of recessive or any other kind of deleterious factors, which have all been mendelized out. As humans, they would therefore have become homozygous and stabilized, and we could begin to calculate with a considerable amount of certainty upon their offspring. 1

If then we continue to inbreed from them, we may do so quite safely, because the chances of morbid or lethal factors coming together in the offspring in any high percentage have now been removed. The stock is in fact pure and will breed true. 2

Beauty is likely to have increased, because, as we shall see presently, it is largely dependent on harmony; health is likely to have increased, because, in addition to the elimination of morbidity-determining factors, dysfunction, as we shall also see, will have been avoided by an increased correlation between the parts of the body; and appearance will become reliable as a measure of hereditary potentialities in germ-plasm, because the germ-plasm of the stock will have become stabilized.

Thus, although in the early stages of close inbreeding from a stock hitherto random-bred, a great number of casualties are produced by concentrating the deleterious factors in the stock, it should not be forgotten that a parallel concentration of the finer qualities of the stock takes place in other individuals, and that when once the deleterious factors have been mendelized out, the stock is purified; whereas in cross, or out-breeding, if a rapid production of casualties is avoided, it is only by covering up morbid factors and spreading them further afield.

It is now established, in fact, that consanguinity in itself is not a bar to mating. 3 If inbreeding results in disappointment it is not the method of mating that has created the taints revealed.

1 Buchanan Smith (op. cit., p. 194). "The primary effect of inbreeding is merely the creation of homozygosity . . . inbreeding per se is merely the stabilisation of the germ plasm.
2 R.H., p. 157. "Where no morbid variations exist, as in the case of old well-adapted families which tor several generations have been clear of defect consanguineous marriages may he practised with no bad effect. Indeed they tend to accumulate homogeneous determiners in the germ-plasm, and so families which are thoroughly healthy in all their members may practise consanguinity with advantage since each new union will result in the accumulation of favourable combinations."
3 H., p. 66.


The taints have merely been revealed owing to the concentration that occurs in inbreeding. 1

This, roughly, is what science has to say about the two methods of breeding. 2

It was all perfectly plain and could have been inferred sixty years ago from the facts of animal and human life.

What about the actual practice of Nature and the breeder of animals?

In the first place, we know that "the closest inbreeding occurs in plants, in which the egg-cells are fertilized by pollen cells produced by the same individual." 3

The common blue violet, 4 garden beans, the many species of the small evening primrose, are examples of such plants. While "the small-flowered Oenotheres are much more widespread in their wild condition in N. America than the large-flowered forms which are open pollinated, and hence have greater chances for crossing. The former have been more successful in an evolutionary way, despite their self-pollination." 5 Darwin tells us, "there exist, however, some plants which, under their natural conditions appear to be always self-fertilized, such as the Bee Ophrys (Ophrys apifera) and a few other Orchids; yet these plants exhibit the plainest adaptations for cross-fertilization. Again, some few plants are believed to produce only closed flowers, called cleistogene, which cannot possibly be crossed." 6

"Self-pollination is also the rule in wheat, oats, and the majority of the other cereal crops," says Professor Castle, "the most important economically of cultivated plants." 7

And the process cannot be attended by any recognizable ill-effects, otherwise these plants would not be with us to-day.

1 O.I.I.M., p. 97. "Inbreeding is only disastrous if the ingredients of disaster are already in the stock."
2 There was no need to burden these pages with a more elaborate statement. Those who feel the need of the latter are referred to the literature quoted in this and the following chapter.
3 W. E. Castle: GENETICS AND EUGENICS (Camb., Mass., 1916, p. 219).
4 R.H., p. 52. "There are plants which are definitely arranged so as to prevent cross-pollination and to make self-pollination not only possible, but certain. The common blue violet is such a plant, and there are many others."
5 H.E., p. 206.
6 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 69. The fact that the species to which Bee Ophrys belongs is one in which self-fertilization prevails, and is of a very prolific character, seems incompatible with the belief that self-fertilization is an unnatural or vicious form of propagation. (See William Adam, FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW, No. 12, Nov. 1st, 1865, p. 723.)
7 Op. cit., p. 220.


Turning now to animals, we find in them no instinctive safeguard against incestuous mating. 1 If there is any instinct at all, it is, as Ernest Crawley hints, one that directs the animal to the closest consanguineous matings. 2

As Dr. Briffault tells us, "reproduction without any regard to relationship takes place habitually in animal species, such as rats, rabbits, and other rodents, which by their fertility and vitality have become obnoxious as vermin." 3

On the authority of P. L. Sclater and O. Thomas, Brehm-Strassen and D. C. F. Macdonald and others, he also says that many animals appear to propagate exclusively by what we should term the closest incestuous unions. "Thus the African reedbuck usually brings forth two young at a birth, a male and a female; these, when they become mature, pair with one another, and the race is thus perpetuated by the union of brothers and sisters. The same appears to be true of most of the smaller species of antelopes. It is also the invariable rule among red-deer." 4

"At Fitzroy (Falkland Isles), near Mare and Island harbours, is . . . a herd of guanaco," Mr. Huth tells us, "numbering some twenty individuals, all sprung from a couple brought over as a present to the governor." Given to a Captain Packe, he "removed them to the neighbourhood of Fitzroy, where through necessarily breeding in-and-in, they have thriven and multiplied." 5

The herds of magnificent cattle in the Falkland Isles are all descended from a few introduced there from La Plata about a hundred and thirty years ago, and Darwin tells us they have been noticed to break up into smaller herds of different colours, which breed at different times of the year, and thus intensify the in-and-inbreeding out of which the whole herd originally sprang. 6

After enumerating a number of cases of close consanguineous mating in cattle, sheep, and antelopes, Darwin says: "Almost all the animals as yet mentioned are gregarious, and the males most frequently pair with their own daughters, for they expel the young males as well as all intruders, until forced by old age and loss of strength to yield to some stronger male." 7

1 R.H., p. 153. "Animals have no instincts tending to prevent inbreeding."
2 C.M.R., p. 412.
3 MO., I, p. 204.
4 MO., I, p. 205.
5 THE MARRIAGE OF NEAR KIN (2nd Ed., 1887, p. 265).
6 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 80. Also p. 99, where, of the deer in English parks, Darwin says: "Mr. Shirley, who has carefully studied the management of deer, admits that in some parks there was no admittance of foreign blood from a time beyond the memory of man."
7 Ibid., p. 102.


I am giving only the briefest selection of examples from authoritative investigators; but it would be easy to extend it considerably. Exigencies of space forbid more than a mere reference to such races of animals as the ponies of Shetland, the cattle of Guernsey and Jersey, the goats of Angora, and various breeds of dogs which, as Dr. C. Kronacher points out, have for a more or less long period of time been driven to the closest consanguineous unions and survived them without deleterious effects. 1

According to A. C. Brehm, 2 the nature of the troop or horde among monkeys makes constant matings between the head of the horde and his daughters, sisters and other close relatives, wholly inevitable; in fact, among all polygamous animals, whether gorilla, wild boar, or elephant, the leading male must enjoy the favours of his daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters, as long as he is able to keep other males away. Nor, as Mr. Huth points out, does the incest cease, when the old male is at last turned out; because the first in the field will most probably be his own sons or grandsons. 3

A new and recently authenticated case of naturally determined incest was discovered by the British Museum Expedition to the Gobi Desert in 1929, when a bird, the Eoörnis Pterovelox Gobiensis was found, which hatches twins at birth, a male and a female, and these same individuals later mate and are monogamous. 4

We also know of the rabbits of Australia, the pigs of New Zealand, and the cattle of South America — all offspring of a few individuals let loose on the soil. According to W. Hornady, a classical example of a huge stock of animals bred from only three ancestors is afforded by the red deer of New Zealand. The original three specimens were introduced from England in 1864, and only ten years ago the herd numbered five thousand. Yet they show no signs of disease, but are indeed superior in vigour and constitution to the original parent stock. 5

1 DER HEUTIGE STAND DER INZUCHTFRAGE (ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR TIERZÜCHTUNG UND ZÜCHTUNGSBIOLOGIE, Band II, Heft I, Berlin, Sept., 1924, p. 3).
2 THIERLEBEN (1876, I, p. 48). Brehm, it should be remembered, actually kept monkeys.
3 Op. cit., pp. 9–10.
4 QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY. See also Dr. Emile Laurent: MARIAGES CONSANGUINS ET DÉGÉNÉRESCENCES (Paris, 1895, p. 19), for a remarkable instance of close inbreeding of sheep in the flock at Mauchamp in Le Cher, which was wholly successful.
5 Kronacher (op. cit., p. 4).


Most of these facts were known to Darwin, and one or two have actually been taken from him.

And what do experienced breeders do?

Here the evidence conclusively points to the best results being obtained from the closest inbreeding.

But, just as in Nature, natural selection eliminates individuals which are the outcome of two polluted streams becoming confluent in consanguineous unions, so the wise breeder, who imitates Natures way, carefully weeds out unhappy specimens and carries on his inbreeding with constant selection.

For as we have seen, if morbid or deleterious factors still exist in a stock's germ-plasm, and they come together from both parents in incestuous breeding, then, instead of a confluence of two pure streams, leading to enhanced health, beauty and vigour, a confluence of impure streams occurs, which, of course, results in a stream doubly contaminated.

It is, however, remarkable that, owing to the ethico-theological superstition against inbreeding and incest, bad and ignorant breeders have until recently always ascribed to close inbreeding per se, and not to the pollution of the confluent streams, the bad results of their methods — so much so, indeed, that not only Darwin, who consulted many such ignorant breeders, but also countless other authorities, take it for granted that inbreeding in itself must be bad, particularly as it was forbidden by the table of affinities.

Settegast in 1868 in Germany took an even stronger stand than Darwin against inbreeding, with the result, as Kronacher shows, that for several decades nobody ever accomplished anything notable in the breeding of cattle or horses in Germany. 1 And it was only when Dr. de Chapeaurouge reversed Settegast's theological prejudices that Germany began once again to produce reputable strains of animals.

Paying no heed to the theorists, however, knowledgeable breeders all over the world have from time immemorial always practised inbreeding, accompanied by careful selection.

"One of the stock arguments used against inbreeding," says C. A. House, "is that under its influence stamina deteriorates. It is not so; nowhere is stamina required more than in the Homing Pigeon, and in no branch of the Fancy is in-breeding more practically and closely followed than in dealing with homing pigeons." 2

1 Op. cit., pp. 1–2.
2 INBREEDING (London, 1920, p. 6).


As long ago as 1825, Mr. N. H. Smith, a famous breeder, long resident among the Arabs, wrote: "I cannot say how often an incestuous breed may be carried on before degeneracy occurs, as I am not aware of that being the case in any instance, and experience is in favour of breeding from son and mother, father and daughter." 1

And it is this incestuous stock that has given our racehorses some of their finest qualities.

The Clydesdale breed of horses, as Mr. A. Calder shows, is also closely inbred. Their homozygosity "relative to the condition existing in the foundation stock, has been increased by 6.2 per cent due to inbreeding alone." 2 And Mr. House says: "From 80 to 90 per cent of the horses registered in recent volumes of the Shire Stud Book go back within half-a-dozen generations in direct line to three stallions living from thirty to forty years ago. These are Lincolnshire Lad, William the Conqueror and Matchless." 3

Writing of the famous royal Austrian breed of horses at Kladrub, Kronacher says: "They have been more or less closely inbred for about a century, and in spite of what many have said they display no signs either of physiological or morphological degeneration." 4

Among dog-breeders. Dr. de Chapeaurouge produced a closely inbred stock of pugs with complete success. 5 N. H. Gentry reports from America a successfully inbred stock of Berkshire pigs, while a Dutch landowner recently reared a stock of middle white breed without any evil effects from one imported boar and two sows. 6 Dr. Kronacher himself, starting with one male and three females (a mother and two daughters) bred a stock of ordinary goats in and in for eight generations, with no loss of size, physical development, milking capacity, or vitality. Indeed, their fertility tended to increase. And he declares that in this case he practised no selection whatsoever. 7

1 Huth (op. cit., p. 266).
2 THE ROLE OF INBREEDING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CLYDESDALE BREED OF HORSES (Proc. of the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, XLVII, 1927, p. 139).
3 Ibid., p. 24.
4 Op. cit., p. 3.
5 Ibid., p. 4.
6 Ibid., p. 2
7 Ibid., pp. 5, 10, and 21. Kronacher explains his success with goats as follows (p. 21): Bei den Ziegen handelte es sich um einen aus zwei nicht weit von einander entfernten Gehöften in etwas ablegender Gegend entnommenen Stamm ganz gewöhnlicher, gehörnter Landziegen. In solchen Verhältnissen ist und war die Inzucht meist seit langem etwas Gewöhnliches und der Bock wurde vielfach aus der Nachzucht im Stalle des Bockhalters selbst entnommen." Thus the deleterious elements in the germ-plasm of this goat family were probably mendelized out before the experiment started.


Scores of other cases could be quoted of sheep, rabbits, canaries, poultry 1 and other animals. But in cattle the success of close inbreeding has been so startling that Darwin felt compelled to suggest that some exception to Nature's law against incest must have been made in their favour! 2

Prejudice could hardly go further!

"Could I give my readers," says Mr. House, "a few pedigrees of Jersey cattle, they would be astounded to find how closely inbred are all the great milking families. Yet we are told inbreeding causes loss of stamina. If it were so, the Jersey cattle as a distinct breed would have been wiped out long ago, for no fresh blood is ever introduced into the island of Jersey. The reason why? — To keep the breed pure and free from any alien taint." 3

All successful breeders of Hereford cattle have also been advocates of this system. The famous cow Restless came of the most persistent inbreeding. The bull Bolingbroke, with his half-sister Phoenix, produced the bull Favourite. Favourite with his mother produced the cow Young Phoenix, a celebrated animal. With his daughter. Favourite then produced the famous bull Comet. He was thereupon put to his daughter's daughter, and again to his daughter's daughter's daughter. The produce of this last union had 93.75 per cent of Favourite's blood in her, and was put to the bull Wellington, who had 61.5 per cent of Favourite's blood. This union produced Clarissa, an admirable cow, who with the bull Lancaster, who had 68.75 per cent of Favourite's blood in his veins, produced the celebrated cow Restless. 4

1 Mr. Thomas Nesbit, of North Broomhill, Northumberland, writes to me about the fighting cocks his father once bred, as follows: "These fanciers, such as father, did not believe in out-crossing. The Americans, in contrast to this old English idea, believed in out-crossing. Father's experience is that the best you can do for the game bird breed is to bring it back to its own blood. In cases where you have an out-cross — i.e. two unrelated strains of pure breed breeding — father believes in putting the young cock back to his mother, or the full sisters to the mother. The hens of such breeding he recommends to be put back to the father or the full brothers of the father. This is, of course, only providing the breed is pure . . . inbreeding must be free from taint of any kind. When taint is known to exist you further intensify it by inbreeding." (July 10th, 1933.)
2 V.A.P.U.D., p. 102.
3 Op. cit., p. 26.
4 House (op. cit., p. 27). See also M.O.C., p. 464.


Such was the practice of Nature and experienced breeders when Darwin wrote the first authoritative book on breeding. And yet, so great was the ethico-religious bias at the time, that although he recognized crossing as a cause of degeneracy, he, together with other honest men, like Weissmann, Crampe, Ritzema Bos, Fabre and von Gaiata, concluded that too close consanguinity must be bad in itself, and lead to weakness, sterility and greater susceptibility to disease.

Overlooking much of what experienced breeders did and said, and all the historical and anthropological evidence available at that time, these scientists seemed not only to have been blinded to everything by the cases in which inbreeding with tainted stocks had, of course, led to bad results, but also performed experiments of their own which, astonishing as it may seem, without exception proved that inbreeding was harmful.

These experiments ended about 1900. They closed, as it were, the Dark Age of English history, and left Darwin's findings confirmed. These were:—

(a) That the consequences of close inbreeding are, as is generally believed, loss of size, constitutional vigour and fertility.

(b) That it is a great law of Nature that the crossing of animals and plants not closely related is highly beneficial and even necessary. 1

More recently, however, these conclusions began to be doubted. The work was taken up afresh, and in 1916 Professor Castle published the results of his experiments.

With his pupils he had successfully bred a small fly, Drosophila, brother and sister for 59 generations in succession, "without obtaining any diminution in either the vigour or the fecundity of the race." 2

1 An able writer on MARRIAGES AND CONSANGUINITY in the WESTMINSTER REVIEW (July, 1863) called Darwin's attention to the inconsistencies in this conclusion. Darwin wrote THE VARIOUS CONTRIVANCES BY WHICH ORCHIDS ARE FERTILIZED BY INSECTS in order to substantiate conclusion (b); but as the able WESTMINSTER REVIEW writer points out (p. 105): "When we come to look into the argument more closely, the first tincture of distrust is imparted to our minds by the fact that, after all, it is but an argument from final causes," etc. He then suggests an alternative theory which would equally account for Darwin's facts, and points out that Darwin's inferences are from the exception, not the rule. The article should be read in extenso, especially the facts of Hallett's inbreeding with wheat for five generations. "The length of the ears was doubled, their contents nearly trebled, and the tillering power of the seed increased fourfold" (p. 107) In the 2nd Ed. of Darwin's ORCHIDS (1877) there is no satisfactory reply to this WESTMINSTER REVIEW article.
2 Castle (op. cit., 221).


Moenkhaus inbred the same species for 75 generations, crossing brother and sister, "and found that the fertility could be either increased or decreased by selection. He got no bad results." 1 Hyde and Schultze achieved similar results with mice. Coperman and his assistants also obtained similar results with mice. Castle worked with rats, and Popenoe with guinea-pigs, and both reported complete freedom from any evil effects of inbreeding per se. 2

Dr. H. D. King, in America, experimented with white rats, mating brother and sister successively for 25 generations, and among the offspring of this inbred stock, rats were obtained which proved actually superior to the stock rats from which they had started. The males were 15 per cent heavier, and the females 3 per cent, while the fertility was nearly 8 per cent higher. 3 In the seventh generation of this incestuously inbred stock the largest albino rat ever bred was obtained. 4

Commenting on these experiments. Dr. Rice says: "[These] results lead to the very definite suspicion that the earlier investigators unconsciously selected animals in such a way as to lead to the diminished fertility or vitality, or else were using defective strains for their experiment." 5

What then is the position now?

"If undesirable characters are shown after inbreeding," say E. M. East and D. F. Jones, "it is only because they already existed in the stock. . . . If evil is brought to light, inbreeding is no more to be blamed than the detective who unearths a crime. Instead of being condemned it should be commended." 6

"The records of the breeds of domesticated animals," says Dr. Crew, of Edinburgh, "show that close inbreeding of sound stock, if associated with intelligent elimination of the weakly and abnormal, can be practised for many generations without any undesirable consequences. They show, in fact, that some degree

1 R.H., p. 153. See also Federley, DAS INZUCHTPROBLEM (Berlin, 1927, p. 13).
2 Federley (pp. 13, 14).
3 Ibid. (pp. 9, 10). Castle (p. 221).
4 Kronacher (op. cit., p. 5), who points out that Dr. King started experimenting with rats slightly sub-normal in size.
5 R.H., pp. 153–154, and O.I.I.M., p. 94, where Crew says almost the same thing, and concludes that the deleterious results of the previous work "must not be ascribed to the system of mating employed, but to other causes."
6 INBREEDING AND OUTBREEDING (London, 1919, p. 139). See also R.H., p. 156. "The type of defect is not determined by the inbreeding, but rather by the inherent defect of the original germ-plasm which has been allowed to come out when inbreeding has been practised."


of 'narrow' breeding is essential for progressive and permanent improvement leading to the production of a uniform and true-breeding stock." 1

"Continued crossing," says Professor Castle, "only tends to hide inherent defects, not to exterminate them; and inbreeding only tends to bring them to the surface, not to create them." 2 "If inbreeding exposes the undesirable," says Dr. Crew, "it equally thoroughly emphasizes the desirable, and the desirable will breed true when complete homozygosis in respect of the. characters is obtained." 3

"The healthy offspring of parents who are related have therefore far better hereditary prospects," says Dr. Fritz Lenz, "than the offspring of unrelated parents. There is no such thing as degeneracy, in the sense of a sudden and new appearance of morbid hereditary tendencies, due to inbreeding." 4

"En realité," le Gendre concludes, "la consanguinité exalte les tares héréditaires, mais ne les crée pas." 5

All inbreeding, however, to be successful, must be attended with the most ruthless selection.

In G. M. Rommel's experiment, for instance, thirty-three pairs of guinea-pigs were taken at haphazard and inbred. Pronounced defects in the form of infertility and decline in vigour became apparent in the resulting stocks, although the various families differed in this respect. At all events, in the twentieth generation of brother and sister matings, only sixteen of the thirty-three families survived; but these were superior to the original stock. 6

As a free-lance scientist of long standing in this matter, I therefore suggest the following provisional description of the effects of inbreeding and out- or cross-breeding respectively:—

Inbreeding canalizes and isolates health and other desirable qualities, just as it canalizes and isolates ill-health and other undesirable qualities. It stabilizes the germ-plasm, and this causes hereditary factors to be calculable. It therefore makes appearance

1 O.I.I.M., p. 93.
2 Op. cit., p. 224.
3 O.I.I.M., p. 99.
4 M.A.R., p. 471. See also M.O.C., p. 465.
5 R.H., p. 156. See also p. 154. And also Crew (H., p. 65), "It is now established that the effects of inbreeding depend not upon any pernicious attribute of this system of mating, but upon the hereditary conditions of the individuals involved."
6 Kronacher (op. cit., p. 5).


a guide to the individual's hereditary equipment. That it acts as a purifier of a stock or family is implicit in the opening sentence. Out- or cross-breeding conceals and therefore spreads ill-health and all qualities, desirable or undesirable, diluting and mixing them. It thus contaminates desirable stocks, but also tends to improve poor and degenerate stocks at the expense of sound stocks. As it renders the germ-plasm unstable it makes all calculations of hereditary factors impossible, and turns appearance simply into a snare and a mask.

* * * * * * *

All these conclusions apply equally to Man and beast; but I shall now deal especially with the historical aspects of inbreeding in so far as Man is concerned.

I need not repeat what I said at the opening about Reibmayr's claims regarding the segregating instincts of cultivated human stocks. What interests us more now is to see how far these endogamic instincts led, in the peoples to whom we owe civilization, to intensive inbreeding within certain groups.

In ancient Egypt, in addition to the national endogamy, which forbade mixing with the foreigner, incestuous unions prevailed both among the common people and among the ruler groups. Diodorus tells us, "It was a law . . . in Egypt, against the custom of all other nations, that brothers and sisters might marry with one another." 1

Philo, who was himself a native of Alexandria, writes: "The lawgiver of the Egyptians, ridiculing, etc. . . . and permitting men fearlessly and with impunity to marry all their sisters, whether by both parents, or by one. . . ." 2

G. Maspero, in the ANNUAIRE DE L'ÉCOLE PRATIQUE DES HAUTES ÉTUDES, says of the ancient Egyptians: "Marriage between brother and sister was the marriage most in vogue, and it acquired an odour of the utmost sanctity when the brother and sister contracting it were themselves born of a brother and sister who were likewise the issue of a union the same as theirs." 3 The same author, in his translation of an ancient Egyptian papyrus, shows that even among the common people the custom

1 HISTORICAL LIBRARY, I, ii. (Trans. by G. Booth. London, 1700.)
2 A TREATISE ON THOSE SPECIAL LAWS WHICH ARE REFERABLE TO TWO COMMANDMENTS IN THE DECALOGUE, the 6th and 7th. (Trans. by C. D. Yonge, M.A. London, 1855, III, c. IV.)
3 JOURN. OF HELLENIC STUDIES, VIII, p. 244. (Miss R. E. White on Woman in Ptolemaic Egypt).


must have been prevalent, and in his foot-note to the relevant passage, repeats in other words what I have quoted above. 1

Sir Marc Armand Ruffer, C.M.G., mentions the Amherst papyrus as being also a proof of brother and sister marriages among the common people in ancient Egypt, and maintains quite correctly that this custom lasted into late Roman times, seeing that in the reign of the Emperor Commodus two-thirds of the citizens of Arsinoë were said to have married their sisters. 2 Dr. J. Nietzold certainly supports the view that such marriages. were common in Ptolemaic and Roman times, 3 while J. G. Wilkinson makes it plain that these incestuous marriages were by no means confined to the ruling dynasties. 4 And Sir James Frazer, who may be relied upon to have sifted the evidence carefully, says: "The evidence of legal documents, including marriage contracts, tends to prove that such unions were the rule, not the exception, in Egypt. . . . Nor did the principle apply only to gods and kings. The common people acted on it in their daily life." 5

Commenting on these facts. Sir Armand Ruffer says: "As consanguineous unions were so common, the evil results should have been numerous and have attracted popular notice. Yet, as far as I know, no such observations are recorded in Egyptian literature." 6

With regard to the Pharaohs, the facts are more generally known, and have been so for some time. It is indeed established that from the earliest times they married their sisters if they could. Speaking of the wife of the Pharaoh, G. Maspero says:—

"She was only rarely a stranger. Almost invariably she was a princess born in the purple, a daughter of Ra, and as often as possible the Pharaoh's sister, who . . . more than anyone else

1 LES CONTES POPULAIRES DE L'EGYPTE ANCIENNE (4th Ed., Paris, 1911, p. 129). The passage reads: "Ahuri, notre fille, aime Nenoferkephtah, son frère ainé: marions les ensemble comme c'est la coutume."
2 ON THE PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF CONSANGUINEOUS MARRIAGES IN THE ROYAL FAMILIES OF EGYPT. (Proc. of the Roy. Soc. of Med., 1919. XII. Supplement SECT. HISTORY OF MEDICINE, p. 148).
3 DIE EHE IN AEGYPTEN ZUR PTOLEMÄISCH-RÖMISCHEN ZEIT (Leipsig, 1903, p. 12). On marriage of brother and sister: "Letzteres war enie alte Landessitte . . . offenbar sah man die Geschwisterehe als das natürlichste und Vernünftigste an."
3 Op. cit., I, p. 319. In III, p. 113, the author speaks of "a custom prevalent in Egypt from the earliest to the latest period, which permitted brothers and sisters to marry. . . . Many individuals even among the priesthood of early Pharaonic periods, are found, from the sculptures of Thebes, to have married their sisters."
5 ADONIS, ATTIS, OSIRIS (London, 1914, II, pp. 214–215).
6 Op. cit., p. 148.


on earth was qualified to share her brother's couch and throne." 1

Thus as early as the fourth dynasty, Queen Mirisônkhou, wife of Khephren, was the daughter of Kheops, and thus the sister of her husband. 2 Kings married their sisters in the XIIth, XIIIth and XVIIth dynasties, and in the glorious XVIIIth dynasty, seven of the rulers married their sisters or brothers (one ruler was a female, as we shall see); in the XIXth all but three did so, in the XXth every king did so, and in the XXIst consanguineous marriages were common.

Now I have so constantly found, both in the lecture hall and elsewhere, that thoughtful and otherwise quite honest people are prepared solemnly to declare, for no reason whatsoever, except perhaps the customary ethico-theological prejudice against incest, that all this incestuous mating led to degeneracy in the Pharaohs, that, at the risk of burdening these pages unduly, I feel I must offer an elaborate contradiction of this allegation.

The contradiction should be quite unnecessary. Because, as I have pointed out, if you study the glories of Egypt's thousands of years of civilisation, 3 and grasp that she and probably she alone (certainly she alone according to the diffusionists) 4 was responsible for everything that we have ever known or seen as culture and civilization, how could she possibly have had as rulers a series of families who were not exceptionally wise, tasteful, and above all creative? And how could these rulers themselves have succeeded in inspiring any but a great people? And yet, as we have seen, both rulers and people were almost entirely incestuous.

Let me, however, under the guidance of Breasted and Sir Armand Ruffer, 5 examine the monarchs of two dynasties — the XVIIIth and the Ptolemaic.

The first King of what the well-known Orientalist, Reginald Stuart Poole, calls the "glorious XVIIIth Dynasty" 6 was

1 HlSTOIRE ANCIENNE DES PEUPLES DE L'ORIENT CLASSIQUE (Paris, 1895, I, p. 270).
2 Ibid.
3 Predynastic Egypt, it should be remembered, was flourishing in 4500 B.C. The introduction of the calendar, when the year of 365 days was fixed, took place in 4241 B.C. (the earliest fixed date in history!) — an indication of the degree of civilization already achieved in those early days. See. J. H. Breasted, Ph.D., A HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS (London, 1908).
4 See G. Elliot Smith's IN THE BEGINNING (London, 1932), which gives a brief and able outline of the diffusionist's standpoint.
5 Sir Armand Ruffer prefaces his analysis of the two dynasties in question as follows: "In what follows we shall select for illustration only those families the physical and mental characters of the individuals of which are known." (Op. cit., p. 148).
6 E.B. (11th Ed. Art. EGYPT, p. 83).
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

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Ahmose I, who was the grandson of Tetishera and her brother, and the son of Aahotep and her brother. Thus he was himself the outcome of two incestuous unions, and no one knows how many more. We are, in fact, compelled on the grounds of the biological findings outlined above, to presume that Tetishera and her brother must themselves have come from an inbred stock 1 from which all deleterious factors had already been mendelized out, otherwise we cannot account for the soundness of Ahmose I.

Now what does history say of this product of two incestuous unions? The first task of the XVIIIth Dynasty, says Reginald Stuart Poole, "was to crush the Hyksos power in the north-east of the Delta; this was fully accomplished by its founder Ahmosi." Then follows a long record of Ahmose's other feats, which anyone can read for himself. 2

Of this Pharaoh, Breasted says: "Out of the chaos which the rule of foreign lords had produced, the new state and new conditions slowly emerged as Ahmose I gradually gained leisure from his arduous wars. . . . We find Ahmose I therefore in his twenty-second year undertaking the repair and equipment of the temples. His greatest work, however, remains the XVIIIth Dynasty itself, for whose brilliant career his own achievements had laid so firm a foundation." 3

Now Ahmose married his sister or half-sister, Nefertari, and by her had a son, Amenhotep I, who was thus the third product of known successive incestuous unions.

He too was a great conqueror, as R. S. Poole and Breasted both acknowledge, and fought successfully in Lybia and Ethiopia. 4 He married his sister, Aahotep II, by whom he had a daughter, Aahmes. Sir Armand tells us that "her portrait adorns the walls of the temple of Deir-el-Bahari, and without doubt her expression is fascinating; the features are refined, and it would be difficult to find a nobler countenance than that of this queen, the descendant of incestuous marriages of great-grandparents, grandparents and parents." 5

Now Aahmes married her half-brother, Thutmose I, the son of Amenhotep I by a slave called Senseneb. And "it is to him," says Breasted, "that Egypt owed the conquest of Upper Nubia,

1 The fact that they were Egyptians is in favour of this conclusion in any case.
2 Ibid.
3 Op. cit., p. 205.
4 Works already quoted.
5 Op. cit., p. 152.


over 400 miles beyond the old frontier of the Middle Kingdom, to Napata at the foot of the 4th cataract, where the southern frontier remained for nearly 800 years." 1

By Aahmes, Thutmose I, himself the fourth product of successive incestuous unions, had a brilliant daughter, Hatshepsut, who became the glorious Queen Hatshepsut I, who "cultivated the arts of peace", and who "while she lived . . . secured the devotion of her servants and held all ambition in check." 2 She married her half-brother, Thutmose II, the son of Thutmose I and a woman of semi-royal lineage, called Mutnefert. The couple had a daughter, Merytra Hatshepsut, who married Thutmose III, son of Thutmose II and Asab.

Thus Thutmose III was the seventh ruler of the dynasty, and the sixth in a continuously incestuous line, and yet he was certainly the greatest king of the dynasty, and perhaps the strongest ruler in Egyptian history.

R. S. Poole speaks of his "immense energy", and after enumerating his various feats, says: "He was the greatest Pharaoh of the New Empire, if not in all Egyptian history." 3

Breasted's eulogy of him, alone, covers a whole page and more of his history, and cannot be quoted here, except curtailed.

"His character," says Breasted, "stands forth with more of colour and individuality than that of any king of early Egypt, except Ikhnaton. We see the man of a tireless energy unknown to any Pharaoh before or since; the man of versatility designing exquisite vases in a moment of leisure; the lynx-eyed administrator, who launched his armies upon Asia with one hand and with the other crushed the extortionate tax-gatherer; the astute politician of many a court crisis, and the first great military strategist of the early east . . . reminds us of an Alexander or a Napoleon. . . ." And so on. 4

Now Thutmose III married his half-sister Merytra Hatshepsut, and by her had as son Amenotep II, the last distinguished monarch of the Dynasty, and, curiously enough — or, as I should say, naturally enough — the last to be born of an incestuous mating.

He led his armies with success into Syria, 5 and, according to

1 Op. cit., p. 208. See also E.B., where Poole gives eighteen lines of eulogy of Thutmose I and his glorious deeds.
2 Poole (op. cit.). But her whole record should be read.
3 Ibid., pp. 83–84.
4 Op. cit., pp. 241–242.
5 Poole (op. cit.).


Sir Armand Ruffer, "his physical strength was extraordinary and he claimed that no one could bend his bow." 1

He married Tiaa, who was unrelated to him, and had as son Thutmose IV; the latter married Mutemuya, who was unrelated to him, and had as son Amenhotep III; the latter married Tiy, who was unrelated to him, and had as son Amenhotep IV (Ikhnaton); the latter had daughters only by a wife unrelated to him, and he was followed by two sons-in-law, Sakere and Tutenkhamen, who ruled for a short while only; and an adherent named Eye or Ay, closed the dynasty.

Now, none of these later rulers was at all distinguished, with the exception of Ikhnaton, who was so chiefly as a religious reformer. On the other hand, the others were by no means nonentities, and although no longer the issue of incestuous unions, we must remember that they were directly descended from a closely inbred line. It is, however, interesting to see how the dynasty tails off more or less insignificantly the moment incest ceases.

Sir Armand Ruffer's comment on the whole dynasty is as follows: "There is no evidence to show that idiocy, deaf-mutism, or other diseases generally attributed to consanguineous marriages, ever occurred among the members of this dynasty, and as far as can be ascertained from mummified bodies, masks and statues, the features of both men and women were fine, distinguished and handsome. . . . The result of this inquiry is that a royal family, in which consanguineous marriage was the rule, produced nine distinguished rulers. . . . There is no evidence that the physical characteristics or mental power of the family were unfavourably influenced by the repeated consanguineous marriages." 2

The Ptolemies, however, are the object of the most passionate charges usually made on the score of incest. And if we do not remember that moral indignation is here the chief motive power, we too are apt to become passionate in rebutting them. One of the principal claims of the modern middle-class historian or student is that the incestuous practices of the Ptolemies must have led to degeneration, 3 otherwise how can we account for their terrible immorality?

1 Op cit., p. 158. See also Breasted (p. 247): "Physically he was a very powerful man, and claims in his inscriptions that no man could draw his bow."
2 Op. cit., pp. 165–167. See also Breasted (op. cit., p. 19) for a high tribute to the Pharaohs of the XVIIIth Dynasty.
3 Even Poole makes this error, although he should have known that, if incestuous practices led to degeneracy, the whole of Egypt must have sunk into the lowest depths of decay centuries before the Ptolemies were heard of.


There is so much error and latter-day ignorance and prejudice in this kind of claim that it is difficult to deal with it.

In the first place, it is essential to banish from one's mind all idea of any necessary connexion between immorality and degeneracy. Even the most enlightened members of the Eugenic Society are much too prone to assume this "necessary" connexion, and much erratic and dangerous eugenism is talked on that account.

Immorality may or may not be connected with degeneracy, and usually is not. In any case, immorality associated with degeneracy is usually of the least formidable and least dangerous kind and may generally be ignored.

It is not every burglar who is a degenerate, and those who are, are easily disposed of. The most dangerous kind of burglar, as the Rev. Thomas Holmes has clearly shown, is not the man who breaks into a house because he must have food for his starving wife and children, whom he is too degenerate to support; it is the man who, having no taste for the effeminate callings open to a full-grown and able-bodied man in our grossly over-urbanized and safe civilization, insists on pursuing a calling in which he can find danger, risks and the vicissitudes of the chase or of war. 1 But he is not a degenerate!

And yet the middle-class legislator or eugenist, from the safety-first environment of his or her drawing-room, is inclined to ascribe all crime to degeneracy. This savours rather of moral indignation masquerading as science.

Henry VIII was not a degenerate. Charles II was not a degenerate. The Borgias were not degenerates. Horatio Bottomley was not a degenerate. 2 If immorality were always a proof of degeneracy, there is hardly a character in the whole of the magnificent Italian Renaissance who would have escaped the charge Mr. Poole makes against the Ptolemies.

That is why it may be dangerous to have Puritans on the Council of the Eugenics Society — people who are all too ready

1 PICTURES AND PROBLEMS FROM LONDON POLICE COURTS (London, 1900), particularly pp. 212–213. See also Byron, who, in a letter to Mr. Murray (26.8.1821), said: "All the other professions [except highway robbery] are at present so ungentlemanly by the conduct of those who follow them, that open robbery is the only fair resource left to a man of any principles; it is even honest in comparison, by being undisguised." See also pp. 230–231 infra.
2 Having seen him and heard him I should be much surprised to learn there was anything degenerate in the man. But this did not prevent me from disliking him.


to advocate "the sterilization of criminals". This would too often mean getting rid of some of our best stocks.

When, therefore, the average middle-class male or female writes as Mr. Poole writes in the ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, or rises in the body of a lecture hall, to point out to me and my audience that the Ptolemies were immoral because they were degenerate, and that they were degenerate because they were incestuous, my heart always sinks before the task of exposing the mass of error involved in such a statement.

Of the Ptolemies, Ptolemy II was the first to marry his sister, but the marriage was without issue. It was by his wife Arsinoë II that he had Ptolemy III Euergetes. Ptolemy III married his sister and cousin, Berenice, and their son, Ptolemy IV, was thus the first fruit of incest in the line. Ptolemy IV married his sister, Arsinoë III, by whom he had Ptolemy V, who was thus the second monarch to be the issue of incest. Ptolemy V married Cleopatra I, with whom he was hardly connected, and had Ptolemy VI. The latter married his sister, Cleopatra II. He was succeeded by his brother, Ptolemy VII, who married his sister, Ptolemy VI's widow, by whom he had a son who ultimately murdered him. But it was by his second marriage to his niece, Cleopatra IV, the daughter of his brother and sister, that he had Ptolemy VIII and IX. Thus both Ptolemy VIII and IX, in addition to coming from closely inbred stock, were themselves the fruit of incest. By his second wife, Selene, his sister, Ptolemy VIII had two children, but they never came to the throne. Ptolemy IX, on the other hand, by his first wife, had Ptolemy X. With him the direct male line of the Ptolemies became extinct, and the throne fell to Ptolemy XI, Auletes, who was an illegitimate son of Ptolemy VIII, and it was he who became the father of the famous Cleopatra, the last reigning member of the family.

It is neither desirable nor possible to deny that the majority of these rulers were debauchees. But that they were degenerates, in the sense of being physiologically and morphologically below normal, is, I believe, false. We must remember that if they were connected with Egypt in her decline, this was inevitable from the nature of the case. They were a race of foreign rulers imposed on Egypt by conquest. They would hardly have been there had Egypt not started decaying before the inception of their dynasty. She had endured over four thousand years, and, through the increasing miscegenation of her people, her institutions were tottering. Her people were as debauched as the Ptolemies themselves, who only followed the general trend. But: from this to argue that they were degenerates is a far cry, and one that no record of history anywhere justifies. Indeed, Cleopatra, who captured the affections of the greatest man other time, and then succeeded in capturing one of his three distinguished successors, was a degenerate neither in looks nor wits. This daughter of a brother and sister, great-granddaughter of another brother and sister, and a great-great-granddaughter of Berenice, who was both cousin and sister to her husband might, as Mr. Huth remarks, "with advantage compare in astuteness to Catherine of France." 1

"The Ptolemies born from consanguineous unions were neither better nor worse," says Sir Armand Ruffer, "than the first four kings of the same family issued from non-consanguineous marriages, and had the same general characteristics. Their conduct of foreign affairs and of internal administration, was in every way remarkable and energetic. They were not unpopular in their capital, and the Alexandrians rallied round their rulers when the Romans entered Egypt and resisted the foreigner. . . . Their standard of morality was certainly not lower than that of their fellow townsmen. . . . The children from these incestuous marriages displayed no lack of mental energy. Both men and women were equally strong, capable, intelligent and wicked." 2

Prejudiced people, incapable of imagining the marvellous health that can be secured by four thousand years of the closest inbreeding, have said that after this long period Egypt came to an unhappy end through her incestuous practices. But the truth is that she declined only when her endogamic fences broke down and when the world about her had so far changed that she was confronted by forces, like Alexander, for instance, with which she was not equipped to cope.

Nor was Egypt an isolated case of endogamy and incestuous inbreeding in the East. Persia too was strictly endogamic; she

1 Op. cit., p. 37. Also B.F.L., p. 484: "In the few instances among human beings where inbreeding is known to have continued for many generations, as in the Ptolemies and in the ruling house of the Incas of Peru, no injurious consequences have been detected."
2 Op. cit., p. 189. Also p. 190. Of Cleopatra, Sir Armand says (p. 185): "Certainly the audacity, cleverness and resources of the Egyptian Queen, the last offspring of many incestuous marriages, compel our admiration, and had not Cæsar's murder put an end to her ambitions, she might have become the empress of the world! She was musical, artistic, and encouraged science; her good spirits were proverbial. She was considered a very fine linguist."


had an incestuous royal house, and the Magian aristocracy married their mothers.

Herodotus writes as if Cambyses (reigned 528 to 521 B.C.) had been the first to introduce incest into Persia. Referring to his murder of his sister and wife in Egypt, Herodotus writes:—

"She was his full sister, the daughter of both his father and his mother. . . . It was not the custom of the Persians, before his time, to marry their sisters. . . . Cambyses, therefore, married the object of his love [Atossa], and no long time afterwards he took to wife another sister. It was the younger of these who went with him into Egypt and there suffered death at his hands." 1

Ctesias, however, a contemporary of Herodotus, who lived for many years in Persia as private physician to King Artaxerxes Mnemon, and who wrote a history of Persia to correct the erroneous notions about that country which were current in Greece, seems to have spoken of incest in Persia as an established and general custom. His history has been lost, but the ancient writers had access to it, and Tertullian, on the authority of Ctesias, mentions the incestuous practices of the Persians in two separate works, 2 and does not limit these practices to any particular class.

Quintus Curtius, in his biography of Alexander the Great, also speaks of incestuous marriage at least among the Bactrians, a subject people of the Persians, 3 and Strabo assures us that the Persian Magi married their mothers. 4 Diodorus tells us that the Carian Satrap Mausolus married his sister Arthemisia; 5 Philo confirms Strabo, 6 while Clement of Alexandria declares, on the authority of Xanthus, an older historian than Herodotus, that the Magians cohabited with mothers and daughters, and that it was lawful to cohabit with sisters. 7 Josephus also tells us that

1 THE HISTORY (trans. by George Rawlinson, London, 1910, III, 31–32).
2 THE WRITINGS OF QUINTUS, SEPTIMUS, FLOR. TERTULLIANUS (trans. by Dr. Holmes) I. TO THE NATIONS, Chap. XVI. Also Vol I APOLOGY, C. 9.
3 HISTOIRE D'ALEXANDRE LE GRAND (trans. by V. Crépin. Paris, 1922, II, Book VIII, Ch. 2. Of the country named Nautaca, author says: "Le satrape en était Sisimithrès; il avait eu deux fils de sa propre mère, car chez ce peuple les mères ont le droit de se marier avec leurs fils."
4 THE GEOGRAPHY (trans. by W. Falconer, M.A., Book XV, Chap. III, para. 20).
5 Op cit., XVI, 36.
6 Op. cit., III, Ch. III. "For the magistrates of the Persians marry their own mothers, and consider the offspring of such marriages the most noble of men."
7 THE WRITINGS OF CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (trans. by Rev. William Wilson. I. The Instructor. Book I, Chap. VII): "But the children [of the Persians] only learn to use the bow, and on reaching sexual maturity have sexual intercourse with sisters, and mothers, and women, wives and courtesans innumerable."


Phraataces married his mother, 1 while we learn from Herodotus that Darius married his niece Phratagune, the daughter of his brother, Artanes. 2

It seems likely, therefore, that the story told by Herodotus that Cambyses was the first to introduce incestuous marriages into Persia was legendary, as it could hardly have become such a universally accepted custom in that country so soon after this king's death (521 B.C.), if it had been first introduced by him. Xanthus and Ctesias both speak of it as an established custom in their day which was less than fifty years after the death of Cambyses, and Herodotus is the only author, as far as I have been able to discover, who relates the story of the introduction by Cambyses. If Agathias had access to reliable sources of information (and writing in the sixth century A.D. he probably knew of many documents and histories now lost), he completely disposes of the account given by Herodotus; for he says that the custom of incestuous marriages was introduced into Persia by Zoroaster, that is to say, centuries before Cambyses lived. 3

Nor, as Mr. William Adam claims, does ancient history furnish any ground for supposing that the Egyptians and Persians suffered any physical degeneracy from these practices. 4

According to W. Robertson Smith, 5 the Phœnicians, and according to Dr. Périer, 6 the Assyrians, were regularly incestuous, as were also the Scythians and Tatars. 7

1 ANTIQUITIES (trans. by W. Whiston, London, 1865, Book XVIII, Chap. II).
2 Op. cit., VII, 224. See also St. John Chrysostom. ON THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS (Homily VII, Sect. 7). "Then nearest thou not the Persians, and that without any compulsion, have intercourse with their own mothers, and that not one or two individuals, but the whole nation?" (trans. by Rev. J. Ashworth, M.A., 1848).
3 HISTOIRE DE L'EMPEREUR JUSTINIAN (trans. by Cousin. Paris, 1671, Book II, Chap. X), where Agathias says of Persians: "Ce sont eux qui ont corrompu l'honnêteté des mariages quand ils ont permis que les frères ayent épousé leurs soeurs, que les oncles ayent pris leurs nièces pour femmes, que les pères soient devenus les maris de leurs filles, etc. . . . Ce sont les Perses de ce temps-ci qui ont négligé, ou plûtôt qui ont violé toutes leurs ancienne lois, et qui se sont laissé corrompre par les moeurs des étrangers que Zoroastre a introduites." Dr. F. von Spiegel, in his great work, ERANISCHE ALTERTHUMSKUNDE (Leipzig, 1878, III, p. 678), says definitely that the AVESTA ordained the marriage of relatives, and, referring to Herodotus and his statement about Cambyses, claims that "the custom certainly existed already before him."
4 Op. cit., No. XIII, Nov. 15, 1865, p. 81.
5 KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE IN EARLY ARABIA (Camb. Univ. Press, 1885, p. 163): "Among the Phœnicians, King Tabnith marries his father's daughter Amashtoreth, and at Tyre a man might marry his father's daughter down to the time of Achilles Tatius."
6 Op. cit, I, p. 196. "Les Assyriens épousaient aussi leurs soeurs; et c'est par une sorte de respect religieux, dit-on, et en mémoire de Sémirumis, quils s'unissaient avec leurs mères." This is also asserted by Agathias (op. cit. Book and Chap., as before).
7 Op. cit., p. 197; also Letourneau (op. cit., p. 66).


According to Robertson Smith, the ancient Arabs also avowed marriages which we should consider incestuous, 1 and Strabo states that they had intercourse with their mothers and sisters. 2 Robertson Smith declares that "incest existed before and up to Mahommed's time." 3 But Dr. Périer 4 seems to suggest that the Arabs and their kin are still very much inbred. 5 and he thus accounts for their having, like their horses (also closely inbred, as we have seen), survived to a wonderful extent the rigours of the Crimean War.

Thus the Jews, also an endogamic people, were from the earliest times surrounded by races all mating consanguineously, for the sake of purity. It is highly probable, therefore, that at least the aristocrats among them also practised incest in spite of the table of prohibited degrees.

Abraham certainly married his half-sister, Sarah. 6 Nahor married his niece, Milcah. 7 Lot, the sire of the Moabites and Ammonites, mated with his two daughters. 8 And when, in later years, incest was condemned and dropped, the editors of the Scriptures, evidently shocked by the fact that this sinful stock produced their great King David, 9 but unable to deny it, because the traditional story was too firmly rooted in the memories of the people, probably invented the details about Lot's daughters having made him drunk before lying with him, thus removing from the story its implied sanction of incest.

But the favour shown by Jehovah to the two tribes, which resulted from this double incest, is hardly consistent with the view that at that time the practice was condemned.

Nor did it cease with Lot and his daughters. It lasted far beyond the days of Moses and Aaron, who were both the fruit of incest, 10 down to David's own time. For we find Amnon, the

1 Op. cit., p. 163.
2 Op. cit., Book XVI, Chap. IV, para. 25.
3 Op. cit., p. 167.
4 Op. cit., p. 82. And he adds, of the Algerian Light Infantry, who are mostly Kabyles or Arabs, that they "ont résisté plus que les soldats des régiments français aux vicissitudes de la campagne de Crimée, et dernièrement aux épreuves de celle d'Italie." Lower on the same page he says the same of the Arab horses in the Crimea.
5 Robertson Smith seems to think this. See op. cit., p. 163.
6 GENESIS xx. 21.
7 Ibid. xi. 29.
8 Ibid. xix. 27–28.
9 Ruth, the Moabite woman, daughter of Naomi, married Boaz, great-grandfather of David. They had a son Obed, who was father of Jesse, who was father of David. JEWISH ENCYCL., Art.: Moab and Obed.
10 EXODUS vi. 26.


son of David, lying with his sister Tamar. Nor when Amnon tries to force her to the act does Tamar protest that it is unthinkable, impossible; but, strangely enough, says: "I pray thee speak unto the King, for he will not withhold me from thee." 1 This seems to indicate that, within the aristocracy, dispensation from the prohibited degrees could be secured from the ruler even at that comparatively late period in Jewish history.

Incestuous marriages are known to have been common in the Siamese aristocracy, 2 the Burmese, the Cambodians, the Mongols, 3 and many other peoples, including the ancient Scandinavians. 4

In Britain, whose ancient inhabitants, as we have seen, shunned the foreigner as a mate, we find, as late as the fifth century, Vortigern marrying his own daughter. Nor could the practice have been condemned, since the issue of this supposedly sinful union was none other than St. Faustus. According to Strabo, the ancient Irish married without distinction their mothers and sisters, 5 and it appears that Himneccius vouches for the fact that the ancient Germans used to marry their sisters. 6 We have already seen above that the ancient Saxons refused to mix their blood with the foreigner, and as we should expect, they were not only endogamic, but even within the nation itself forbade mixed marriages. Thus Stubbs tell us: "The race consists of four ranks of men, the noble, the free, the freedman, and the servi. And it is by law established that no order shall in contracting marriages remove the landmark of its own lot; but noble must marry noble, freeman freewoman, freedman freedwoman, serf handmaiden." 7

There is very conclusive evidence that the ancient Peruvians were endogamic, 8 and the proud Incas, refusing to mix their blood, married their sisters. 9 Gomara, confirming Garcilasso's

1 2 SAMUEL xiii. 13. The whole chapter should be read.
2 Périer, on the authority of La Loubère (op. cit., p. 218).
3 Huth (op. cit., pp. 74 –76). See also Périer (op. cit., p. 218).
4 Spencer, SOCIOLOGY, I, 607.
5 Op. cit., Book IV, Chap. V, para 4. See also Westermarck (HIST. OF HUMAN MARRIAGE, II, p. 87).
6 Huth (op. cit., p. 59), who may be consulted for many other instances.
7 Op. cit., p. 46.
8 HISTOIRE DES YNCAS ROIS DE PÉROU (trans. of Garcilasso de la Vego by Jean Baudoin. Amsterdam, 1715, I, p. 352). And W. H. Prescott, HISTORY OF THE CONQUEST OF PERU (London, 1878, p. 54).
9 GARCILASSO DE LA VEGA (op. cit., pp. 353–354): "On regardait comme une loi inviolable, depuis le premier Ynca, celle qui portait que l'hérifier du Royaume se mariât avec sa soeur aînée, conçûe d'un légitime mariage. . . . Mais s'il n'avait point de soeur légitime, il épousait sa plus proche parente de la Tige Royale, soit qu'elle fut sa cousine, sa soeur, sa nièce, ou sa tante. . . . Si le Prince n'avait point d'enfants de sa soeur ainée, il épousait la seconde, ou bien la troisième, jusques à ce qu'il en eut."


account, shows, as one might have expected, that the custom of incestuous marriages was common also, if not actually among the people, at least among the members of the military caste. 1 Prescott speaks of the incest of the Incas as a fact, and regards Gomara's confirmation of Garcilasso de la Vega as important. 2

A certain passage in Prescott, however, suggests that in the aloofness and incest of the Incas there was something more than mere pride of position or rank, and that both attitudes were due to a definite racial or caste quality, differentiating them from their subjects, which was kept pure by segregation. For Prescott says: "The crania of the Inca race show a decided superiority over the other races of the land in intellectual power." 3

Another people of antiquity who were strictly endogamous, and who forbade mixed marriages of all kinds, were the Greeks. Dr. Licht tells us that nowhere, at any time, "do very severe penalties appear to have existed for incest." 4 Marriages between brothers and sisters were in older times interdicted, though later they were allowed provided the spouses had different mothers. 5 In noble and conservative families, however, incestuous marriages probably continued until the fifth century B.C., as the marriage of Cimon and his sister, Elpinike, seems to show. 6

In spite of what Licht says, this was probably common in earlier times also, as we see not only from the relationship of Zeus and Hera, and Hyperion and Theia (both brother and sister marriages), but also from that passage in Homer, where we find the six sons of Aeolus living in peaceful marriage with their six sisters. 7

The Spartans apparently were allowed to marry a sister uterine.

So much for the people of antiquity, with whom I have dealt by no means exhaustively.

1 HISTOIRE GÉNÉRALE DES INDES OCCIDENTALES (trans. of Lopez de Gomara, by M. Fumée Sieur de Marly le Chastel, Paris, 1586, Chap. 124, p. 144. Of the "Orejones", the Peruvian men-at-arms, Gomara says: "Ceux-cy, qui sont proprement soldats, se marient avec autat de femmes qu'ils veullent, et mesme aucuns se marient avec leurs propres soeurs." In Chap. 194, p. 227, he says: "En matière de mariage, ils n'ont guères d'esgard à la parenté. . . . Ils se marient avec autant de femmes qu'il leur plaist: quelques Orejons espouzent leurs soeurs."
2 Op. cit., p. 9, footnote.
3 Ibid, p. 18.
4 S.L.A.G., p. 516.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid., pp. 517–518.


It is impossible to enter with any detail into the numerous cases of incestuous practice among uncivilized or semi-civilized peoples; but the reader will find some thirty of such cases given by Herbert Spencer, 1 Charles Letourneau, 2 Ploss and Bartels, 3 and Briffault 4 alone. Thus, according to these authors, we find incestuous practices established among the inhabitants of the Antilles, among the Hawaiians, the Kalangs of Java, certain inhabitants of Borneo, the peasants of Archangel, certain tribes in British Central Africa, the people of New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, among the Kadiaks, the Chippewayans, the Karens of Tenassarim, among the Kings and Queens of Cape Gonzalves and Gaboon (Africa), among the barbarous Chechemicas and the Panuchese, the people of Cali, and the Royal Family of the Sandwich Islanders. We also find incestuous practices among the Malagasy, the Veddahs, the inhabitants of Kiwai Island, the Maori, the old inhabitants of the Guatemalas, the Lubus of Sumatra, the Fijians, and the mountaineers of Bootan; while according to Malinowski, 5 what we should regard as incest (that is to say, marriage between nephew and aunt) occurs habitually among the Trobriand Islanders, and is held in high approval; it also occurs between brother and sister (though strongly deprecated) and father and daughter (regarded as extremely bad), while consanguineous marriages (between first cousins) are regarded as highly desirable. 6

The careful monographs of authorities like Shapiro, Dr. Rodenwaldt, Dr. Fischer and Dr. Voisin, on such closely inbred, though originally partially random-bred, stocks as the Pitcairn Islanders, the Kisar Hybrids, the Bastards of Rehoboth, and the people of the island of Batz, prove these people to be examples of almost contemporary experiments in close consanguineous breeding without harmful results.

Harry L. Shapiro refers again and again to the close inbreeding of the Pitcairn and Norfolk Islanders, "cousins marrying to such an extent that . . . everyone in the island was related." 7 And yet he reports that there had been no loss of fertility, 8 or stature, 9

1 SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 602 et seq.
2 Op. cit., pp. 65–66, etc.
3 D.W., II, p. 229 et seq.
4 MO, I, p. 218 et seq.
5 S.S.N.M., pp. 448, 449, 450.
6 Of the first cousins, Malinowski says: "The two are regarded by tradition as specially suited for intercourse and for marriage" (S.S.N.M., p. 450).
7 D.M.B., p. 25.
8 Ibid., p. 60. If the size of families is decreasing on Norfolk Island "contraception probably plays a part."
9 Ibid., p. 23.


or of any power to resist disease. 1 On the contrary, all three seem to have been greater than in the parent stocks. "On the whole," he says, "the Pitcairn islanders were remarkably healthy and free from many of the diseases which ravaged other parts of Polynesia. "And," he adds, "the mortality of the Pitcairn Islanders was very low, even during the worst of the epidemics." 2 In conclusion, he says, "The close inbreeding which the Norfolk hybrids have practised has not led to physical deterioration." 3

When it is remembered that all the inhabitants of Pitcairn Island, and later of Norfolk Island, are descended from an original stock consisting in 1790 of nine English mutineers, six Tahitan men, and fifteen Tahitan women, and that in 1800 all the men were dead except Alexander Smith, afterwards known as John Adams, Shapiro's investigation clearly shows that inbreeding, even of the closest kind, cannot create degeneracy where it does not exist. 4

Dr. Rodenwaldt, who investigated the Hybrids of Kisar, has written what is probably the most monumental and learned work on a contemporary experiment in human breeding. True, this experiment has been carried on since the seventeenth century. But it still continues; for of their segregation as a people, Dr. Rodenwaldt writes as follows: "The Hybrids of Kisar in this respect too [of further cross-breeding with natives] enjoy a wholly exceptional position. Their isolation and their caste-consciousness were obstacles to further miscegenation." 5

The principal group which he investigated had thirty-two ancestors, one-third of which were Europeans (Dutch, or else principally German and French), and two-thirds Malayan natives. They were very closely inbred. 6 But Rodenwaldt found none of

1 Ibid., pp. 62–63. Here he is confirmed by Henri Neuville, L'ANTROPOLOGIE, XLIII, No. 3–4, p. 275).
2 Ibid., pp. 62–63.
3 Ibid., p. 69. The people of Pitcairn and Norfolk Island certainly lose their teeth while still comparatively young; but one of their few ancestors, Edward Young one of the ordinal mutineers, "was said to have very bad teeth" (p. 61). Neuville, in a further article (op. cit., Nos. 5–6, pp. 488–489) discusses this, but adds nothing material to Shapiro. Miss E. Swanson, however, sheds new light on the question (B.M.J., 10.9.32, p. 576) by pointing out that, at least on Pitcairn, with its lack of cattle, the loss of teeth may be due to "the absence of milk from the diet in early life".
4 As regards intelligence, Shapiro says: "Most visitors to Pitcairn have rated the intelligence of the islanders very high" (D.M.B., p. 31; also p. 32). Neuville (op. cit., p. 270) gives 9 Englishmen, 12 Tahitan women, one with a girl eleven months old, and 6 Tahitan men.
5 M.A.K., I, p. 52.
6 Ibid., p. 108 and elsewhere; but particularly p. 305 et seq.


the alleged evil consequences of close consanguinity among them. "The examination of all the individuals of the Hybrid race we were able to get hold of," he declares, "gave us no grounds for supposing that the race had been weakened by inbreeding." 1 "Both physically and psychologically," he adds, "the race is to be described as thoroughly healthy," 2 and he maintains, "we are surely entitled to conclude that men in the past were too hasty in ascribing to the consequences of close consanguinity what were really the results of environmental influences." 3

Dr. Eugen Fischer, who investigated the case of the Bastards of Rehoboth, in German S.W. Africa — a hybrid people sprung from the marriage of Boers and Hottentots — leaves us in no doubt about the close inbreeding that has always been practised among them since the group became settled and isolated north of the Kanu Mountains, 4 but he denies any evil consequences from the practice. 5

He says, "Fertility has in no wise been lowered. At the very beginning, when the small group of people rapidly spread, there occurred the greatest number of marriages between relatives. But the only cases of infertility or lowered fertility we found were among families in which inbreeding had not occurred." 6 And he adds: "Thus one may say that, up to the present, the comparatively widespread practice of inbreeding had led to no evil results." 7

Dr. Auguste Voisin, who in 1865 investigated a closely inbred community on the island of Batz, tells us he wrote the history of every family while seated in the very homes of the people he describes. He saw and examined the children, questioned the mayor, the local priest and the old people of the community, and he declares that he is entitled to say that he has written only of what he saw. 8

The community of Batz (Loire Inférieure) lives on a peninsula,

1 M.A.K., p. 311.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid., p. 308. For details of highly inbred communities in Germany, see pp. 308–309.
4 R.B., pp. 23, 220–221.
5 R.B., pp. 220–222.
6 Ibid.
7 R.B., p. 222. On p. 220 he says fifty to seventy-five years ago marriages between brother and sister were frequent.
8 CONTRIBUTIONS À L'HlSTOIRE DES MARIAGES CONSANGUINS (MEM. DE LA SOC. D'ANTHROPOL. DE PARIS, II, 1865, p. 434).


cut off in the south by the sea, and in the north by salty marshes, and its members had, at the time of Dr. Voisin's report, very limited intercourse with the rest of the department. Nevertheless, in spite of the close inbreeding to which they were committed, Dr. Voisin found no morphological aberrations among them, no mental disease (idiocy, cretinism), no epilepsy, no deaf-mutism, no albinism, and no pigmentosa retinitis. 1 "Sterility," he says, "is almost unknown; for of the 46 marriages to which I refer, only two are childless (the couples in each case being consanguineous in the third degree). On the contrary the number of children is very high in the other families, seeing that 44 couples had in all 174 children." 2

He speaks of the majority of the people as being more than usually intelligent, well built, vigorous and beautiful in old age. 3

"My observations all tend to show," he says, "that consanguinity is in no way disastrous when the mated couples are healthy, well-constituted, and contribute no hereditary taint to the marriage." 4

"There are two children in the commune (the hamlet of Trigaté) who are sickly . . . their father and mother were not related. The married couple, Daniel, who are not related, have two inferior children (a boy and a girl). . . . But apart from these exceptions, all the children of the commune are strong, well developed, jolly and good looking. 5

Delage reports the case of Dr. Bourgeois, who wrote a history of his family, which was closely inbred for generations ever since 1729 without any evil effects, 6 and there are many other records of similar cases, 7 both in Europe itself, and in other continents. But the above examples must suffice for the present.

1 Ibid., pp. 434, 436–445.
2 Ibid., p. 435.
3 Ibid., pp. 435–444.
4 Ibid., p. 435. He adds: "Cancer is unknown in Batz and only one woman is known to be consumptive."
5 Ibid., p. 445. Dr. Voisin concludes (p. 447): "Cette étude m'a laissé convaincu que la consanguinité n'est nullement préjudiciable aux enfants, lorsque le père et la mère n'ont aucune diathèse, aucune maladie héréditaire, sont de belle santé, de forte constitution, dans de bonnes conditions climactériques et hygiéniques, et que, dans ces cas, la consanguinité ne nuit d'aucune façon au produit et à la race, mais au contraire, exalte les qualités, comme elle ferait les defauts et les causes de dégénérescences."
6 L'HÉRÉDITÉ (2nd Ed., Paris, 1903, p. 269, note).
7 See, for instance, R.H., p. 156, MO, I, pp. 217 et seq., and Huth (op. cit., chap. IV). Also E.R., XIV, pp. 131–132, for pedigree of a successfully inbred family, and Dr. E. Laurent (op. cit., pp. 27–28) for consanguineous mating with excellent results in Pouillac, Granville, Arromanches and le Portel.


* * * * * * *

Thus we have seen that man, like the animals, seems to have an instinct impelling him to canalize qualities acquired with pain; and the natural law appears to be, not as Darwin thought, to have crosses, but to avoid them. We have also seen that it is a mistake to suppose that man suffers any more than the animals do from the closest consanguineous matings, but that, on the contrary, when the original parent stock is healthy, or where all pathological elements have been mendelized out by close and even incestuous inbreeding, no harm but only good arises from the practice.

Hence the great genealogist, O. Lorenz, speaks of an instinct in man to lop his family tree and to reduce his ancestors. 1 Why?

Because by out-breeding or mixed breeding, both animals and man risk the loss of something conquered, some victory achieved by a particular group.

In proud peoples, irrespective of their degree of civilization, 2 we therefore find a tendency to endogamy, and within the confines of such endogamous peoples, a select group or class who practise incest.

Even in those tribes and races where incest is condemned by the laws or traditions, we frequently find the rulers or chiefs infringing the prohibited degrees in order to keep their stock pure. 3

Nor are the people addicted to these practices said to have been found in a state of degeneration or disease. On the contrary, most travellers comment on their great vigour and beauty. Captain Cook, who first discovered many of the Polynesian peoples, among whom the closest consanguineous matings were practised, constantly praises their fine physique. 4

1 R.B.M., p. 55. "Es gibt ein in der Menschennatur begründetes Beitreben, die Ahnenmasse zu verringen. Das Gesetz der Attraction des Gleichartigen und ebenbürtigsten wird zuweilen in kleinerem Spielraum verlassen und beseitigt, aber es ist im ganzen unausrottbar; denn die Liebe gedeiht am besten bei Ahnenverlust und Ebenburtigkeit."
2 Spencer: SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 608. "Nor does the diminution of incestuous connexions preserve a constant ratio to social evolution."
3 S.S.N.M., p. 474. Spencer: SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 606; Huth (op. cit., p. 75. See also Chap. II); Périer after Loubère (op. cit., p. 218). CAPTAIN COOK'S VOYAGES (ed. W. Anderson, London, p. 22).
4 See also Shapiro: THE DISAPPEARING PEOPLES OF THE SOUTH SEAS (Journ. of Amer. Mus. of Nat. History, XXX, p. 253). "The beauty of the Polynesian, his natural physical and social grace, created in the minds of the early navigators an impression of a race favoured by the gods." Darwin, despite his belief in the advantages of cross-breeding, was very fair in confounding the nonsense talked by those who blindly attacked incest. For instance, to those who said the depopulation of Melanesia and Polynesia was due to inbreeding, he replied:

"Some writers have suggested that the aborigines of islands have suffered in fertility and health from long continued inter-breeding; but in the above cases infertility has coincided too closely with the arrival of Europeans for us to admit this explanation (D.O.M., pp. 188–189). See also Périer (op. cit., p. 80) for various authorities on the beauty of the Polynesians when first visited.


"There is at least one case," says Ernest Crawley, writing of much later researches, "of a people living more or less in a state of nature, who actually seem to be physically benefited by inbreeding, namely, certain Fijian stocks, with whom first cousins are required to marry. Sir Basil Thomson has shown that these Fijians are considerably the superiors in all the usual physical tests, of those who forbid cousin marriage." 1

Pöch also reports the case of a Papuan tribe, the Monumbo, living in primitive conditions on the north coast of New Guinea and consisting of 500 souls, which, although practising the closest inbreeding reveals absolutely no signs of any evil consequences. 2

It is impossible that such evidences of the harmless or actually beneficial results of consanguinity in mating should not long ago have imprinted themselves upon men's minds and led to a strong prejudice in favour of consanguineous unions; hence probably the enormous numbers of peoples, too numerous to mention, who encourage cousin marriages, from the cultivated and civilized Mahommedans to the Trobriand Islanders.

1 C.M.R., p. 411.
2 R.B., p. 222, and M.A.K., p. 308.
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Re: The Choice of a Mate, by Anthony M. Ludovici

Postby admin » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:45 pm

Part 1 of 3

[b]Chapter III: The More Fundamental Desiderata

2. Consanguinity, (continued.)[/quote]

If all the above is true, why do we now find incest, close consanguineous matings, and sometimes even first cousin marriages generally forbidden?

The Victorian's glib answer to this question was that mankind had a natural horror of doing what is forbidden by Christian law, and that as transgression of this law led to degeneration its divine wisdom was demonstrated.

As a matter of fact the case is just the reverse.

When a race or stock has attained to purity, health, beauty and vigour, it is exogamy and miscegenation that produce degeneration. And when there is impurity, exogamy merely spreads it, and ultimately, after a brief spell of merely apparent improvement, which I shall deal with in a moment, aggravates it.

All through the last eighty or ninety years an animated controversy has raged between the various experts concerned on this very point. On the one hand, men like Count Arthur de Gobineau, Dr. Périer, Dr. Voisin, Delage, de Chapeaurouge, and others abroad, William Adam, Huth, Dr. Gilbert Child and many of the later biologists and anthropologists over here, and Professor Wilkinson in Holland, maintained that since incest brought no harm to pure stocks, and miscegenation was known to damage them, the exogamic laws all over the civilized, and various parts of the uncivilized world, could not possibly owe their origin to deliberate measures against biological degeneracy; while, on the other hand, a large body of scientists, like Dr. Cameron, Devay, Boudin, Darwin, Settegast, and many others, including anthropologists and sociologists like Westermarck, backed by the whole of popular prejudice and tradition in Europe, and arguing chiefly from their knowledge of inbreeding in tainted stocks, protested that since consanguineous matings did bring out disease, that is to say, canalize defects, therefore primitive mankind must have devised exogamy to prevent the supposed evil results of incest.

Comparatively early in the controversy, in 1877, Herbert Spencer, who certainly suffered from few Christian prejudices, issued a warning against ascribing too much biological concern to the instincts of primitive man. He said there was "little warrant . . . for ascribing to primitive instinct the negations of unions between those nearly related." 1

But, on the whole, those who defended as sound the taboos against incest carried on the controversy more as if the taboos were right and had only to be traced to their origin, than as if they were questionable and required justification. It was only when modern biological knowledge discredited the taboos more and more, and endeavours to justify them frequently failed, that ultimately the new position was adopted by such authorities as Crew, Ruggles Gates, Kronacher, Lenz, Rice and many others.

Among the first startling facts that careful investigation brought to light was that, until comparatively recent times, except for a few exceptions revealing no serious biological experience, no tribe or civilization which has forbidden incest, or close consanguineous mating, has ever done so for sound biological reasons, that is to say, out of the genuine knowledge of degeneracy caused by it.

This pointed to the suspicion that no connexion had been observed, either by primitive main, or by past civilized peoples, between the two phenomena, and that, therefore, if primitive and more highly civilized peoples of the past forbade incest and close consanguineous unions, it must have been for other than biological reasons.

Among primitive peoples, the reasons chiefly advanced for prohibiting incest (when it is prohibited) are that it causes epidemics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sterility in animals and women, the failure of crops, floods, death by lightning or in childbed, or through wild beasts. When they believe incest will affect offspring adversely, in a biological sense, they often believe also that it will affect the parents adversely too, a sign that the real grounds of objection cannot be fundamentally biological, based on an experience of cases. 2

A very typical case of the irrational prohibition of incest is given by Malinowski. If a Trobriand Islander, he says, be asked what happens to a couple caught in a breach of exogamy, the

1 SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 607.
2 T.E., IV, pp. 157–159. Also PSYCHE'S TASK (London, 1909, pp. 45–67) for an enumeration of examples of this.


native replies: "It entails by itself an unpleasant though not necessarily fatal disease. A swelling of the belly heralds the oncoming of this retributive ailment. Soon the skin becomes white, and then breaks out into small sores which grow gradually bigger, while the man falls away in a wasting sickness. A little insect, somewhat like a small spider or a fly, is to be found in such a diseased organism. This insect is spontaneously generated by the actual breach of exogamy." 1

Very often, among primitive people, and, as we have seen, even among civilized people, the prohibition between certain relatives is allowed, while it is disallowed and fiercely reprehended between others. Thus Spencer tells us that whereas the custom of the Veddahs "sanctions the marriage of a man with his younger sister, to marry an elder sister or aunt would, in their estimation, be incestuous, a connexion in every respect as revolting to them as it would be to us." 2

The Rev. L. Chalmers too reports that, although among the natives of Kiwai Island, in British New Guinea, the marriages of first cousins or of brothers and sisters are forbidden, a father may marry his daughter. 3

Among the Makusai Indians, on the other hand, while the marriage of a niece with her paternal uncle is strictly forbidden, her marriage with her maternal uncle is allowed. 4

Professor A. W. Nieuwenhuis tells us that among the Batak of Northern Sumatra, men may marry the daughter of their mother's brother, "whereas to marry the daughter of their father's brother is to commit incest." 5

These facts — and they represent only a select few — suggest that something other than a supposed dread of degeneracy based upon countless observations of the harmful effects of incest must have been the cause of the various prohibitions we find existing against consanguineous matings. As Lord Raglan says: "Where we find people who marry their nieces as a matter of duty, while they regard with horror the idea of marriage with women who are not related to them at all, it is, or should be, sufficiently obvious that their horror of incest is not based on a horror of marriage between relations." 6

1 S.S.N.M., p. 424.
2 SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 607.
3 NOTES ON THE NATIVES OF KIWAI ISLAND, FLY RIVER (Brit. New Guin.) Journ. of Anthrop. Inst., XXXIII, 1903, p. 124.
4 D.W., II. p. 230.
5 B.M., p. 69.
6 JOCASTA'S CRIME (London, 1933, p. 107).


Nor were the objections of the civilized people of antiquity to incest any more biological, which seems to show that when they held them, their observations had supplied no biological data in support of them.

Socrates certainly alleged that incest produced defective children, but the dialogue in which this is said shows how much more of a conjecture than a certainty the imputation is, particularly as he restricts the supposed evil results to incest in the direct ascending and descending line.

Hippias and Socrates are discussing marriage between parents and their children, and the question is put by Socrates whether those at the height of maturity have not better seed than those far past it. Hippias agrees they have. Socrates then suggests that those who are not at full maturity have not seed sufficiently energetic, and they ought not to have children.

Thus the objection raised by Socrates against incest seems to be only that it involves a disparity of ages. 1

Plato's mature and only objection to incest appears to have been that it was uncustomary. Arguing with Megillus about relations between parents and children and between brothers and sisters, the Athenian stranger says that the reason why such pleasures are extinguished is "the declaration that they are unholy, hated of God, and most infamous." And," he continues, "is not the reason of this that no one has ever said the opposite, but everyone from his earliest childhood has heard men speaking in the same manner about them always and everywhere, whether in comedy, or in the graver language of tragedy?" And Megillus agrees. 2

In THE REPUBLIC, moreover, Plato sees no objection to incest, provided only that "the lot chance to fall that way", and "the Delphian priestess also gives her sanction." 3

Aristotle, as we have seen, appears to object to incestuous unions only on the grounds that in them the love between the parties becomes too intense. 4 Ovid, as I show below, sympathized with this view.

Thus, not one of the three most prominent men of antiquity, who were all abreast of the knowledge of their time, and had

1 Xenophon's MEMORABILIA OF SOCRATES, IV, 20–23 (trans. by Rev. J. S. Watson, London, 1910).
2 THE LAWS, VIII, 858 (Jowett's trans., 1892, V).
3 V. 461 (trans. by J. L. Davis and D. J. Vaughan).
4 See Note 2, p. 46 supra.


opportunities for witnessing the evil effects of close consanguineous unions both abroad and at home (for Athenians were permitted to marry their half-sisters by different mothers, and Spartans their half-sisters by the same mother) had any knowledge of evil resulting from them, and their objections to incest were purely conjectural attempts to account for the laws that had come down to them and, as Plato truthfully says, were merely the outcome of custom.

Zeno (333–261 B.C.), according to Sextus Empiricus, was in favour of incest, and scornfully disposed of the usual objections to it. In a book intended for the general reader it is difficult to give Zeno's line of argument. Suffice it to say that he sees every reason in favour of incest, at least between mother and son, and bases his argument, if Sextus Empiricus reports him correctly, entirely on piety and solicitude. 1

This same author, who flourished about the end of the second century A.D., and who evidently had access to the works of both Zeno and Chrysippus, states that the latter also was in favour of incest, and propounded his views to that effect in his REPUBLIC. 2

Thus two of the most distinguished thinkers of Hellenistic Greece appear also to have approved of incest and to have known of no biological objections to it.

Ovid, a cultivated and aristocratic Roman (born 45 B.C.), au fait with every subject relating to Roman life, and with the authoritative accounts of life elsewhere, shared, with the rest of Rome, a horror of incest; but he is utterly at a loss to account for it. Had the practice been known, either in Rome or elsewhere, to be associated with bad biological effects, Ovid would most certainly have heard of them. Yet, in recounting the story of the incestuous love of Myrrha and her father, Cinyras, which he does very beautifully, he can think of no better reason for the horrible nature of the "crime" than "spiteful laws" made by "human civilization" against "what nature allows". 3

"Other animals mate as they will," Ovid declares, "nor is it

1 Those who cannot read the original will find a good translation in LES HIPOTIPOSES OU INSTITUTIONS PlRRONIENNES DE SEXTUS EMPIRICUS, Book III, Chap. 24.
2 Ibid. Chrysippus's own words are said to have been: "Il me semble que l'on peut aussi regler ces chases, comme elles ont été établies d'une manière qui n'est pas mauvaise chez quelques uns: qu'une mère puisse avoir des enfans de son fils et un père de la fille, et un frère de sa sœur de mère. This is confirmed by Diogenes Laertius VII, 188 (trans. by R. D. Hicks. London, 1925).
3 METAMORPHOSIS, Book X, 329, 330 (trans. by F. J. Miller. London, 1916).


thought base for a heifer to endure her sire, nor for his own offspring to be a horse's mate; the goat goes among the flocks which he has fathered, and the very birds conceive from where they were conceived." 1

Thus does Ovid reveal his sense of the quite arbitrary nature of his people's and his ancestors' "horror" of incest. While a few lines later on he even suggests, as Aristotle does, that incestuous love is fiercer than the love between members of different families, because "natural love is increased by the double bond." 2

It is not uninteresting also to note that the fruit of the illicit relations between Myrrha and her father is described by Ovid as being an exceptionally beautiful specimen of manhood. 3

Plutarch, who nourished in the first century A.D., knows nothing of any biological objection to incest. To the question why people do not marry their near kinswomen, he makes various replies. In one he anticipates Augustine by saying that possibly it is because "they wish to increase by marriage the size of their families and the number of their relations", in another he says that "quarrels take place in marriages between near kin," and in a third he says that marriage with relatives deprives wives of their natural protectors if and when they are ill-treated. 4

Thus we find two leading Romans, both cultivated and erudite, unable to account, at least biologically, for the incest-phobia.

Tertullian (160–240 A.D.), the most ancient of the Latin Fathers now extant, regards incest, of course, as wholly abhorrent, but he shows that his objections to it cannot be biological, because in a certain curious passage in AD NATIONES, he refers to what he regards as a most horrible example of incest — namely, that between a father and a son, that is to say, a homosexual union. 5 Nowhere does he speak of it as being biologically unsound.

Augustine, the most illustrious of the Latin Fathers (554–45 A.D.) condemned incest for sociological and not for biological reasons, because it heaped up relationships in one person, "while each of the relationships ought to have been held by a

1 Ibid., 324–329. Incidentally this passage throws interesting light on old Roman breeding practices.
2 Ibid., 333.
3 Ibid., 520–524.
4 QUEST. ROM., 6 (trans. by H. J. Rose. Oxford, 1924, p. 165a).
5 Op. cit., I, Chap. XVI, p. 455.


separate individual, so as to bind together by family affection a large number." Properly distributed, these relationships bring about a state of affairs in which "the social bond would not have been tightened to bind a few, but loosened to embrace a large number of relatives." 1

This is almost a complete anticipation of Adler, the twentieth-century psychologist who, scientifically aware (which Augustine was not) of the absence of biological grounds against incest, declares: "Incest falls under the interdict of communal sentiment, since it leads, like the marriage of blood relations, to isolation, and not to that mingling of strains which further the community". 2

I cannot, in this chapter, trace the history of the prejudice against incest and close consanguineous marriages m detail up to our own time. I can but give a brief sketch of it.

Huth tells us that he knows of no real scientific objection against the marriage of near kin until Shakespeare's time. 3 We certainly find, long after Shakespeare, cultivated and well-informed authors denouncing incest and consanguineous matings for every reason imaginable except a eugenic one.

For instance, as late as 1648, a well-informed and cultivated Frenchman, Moyse Amyraut, in a discussion of consanguinity which occupies the whole of one book 4 — a fact which argues in favour of his having collected all the relevant data and scientific opinion up to his time — comes to very much the same conclusion as Malinowski, who was to write some three hundred years later. He does not mention any biological grounds for man's horror of incest, although he had not Malinowski's reasons for knowing that there were no such grounds, and argues that incest was avoided by mankind chiefly in order to avoid social disorder.

"Thus," he says, "the vicious factor in uncle-niece and aunt-nephew marriages is the violation of paternal authority, in which the uncle and aunt participate to a notable degree; and the vicious factor in brother and sister marriages is the violation of that same authority, of which each party to such marriages bears on his brow the reflexion and image." 5

Over a hundred years later, in 1786, Dr. John Taylor, whose thorough and learned discourse upon consanguinity has been of

1 CITY OF GOD, II, Book XV, 16 (trans. by Rev. Marcus Dods. Edinburgh, 1871).
2 B.M., p. 366.
3 Op. cit., p. 24.
4 See Note 2, p. 46, supra.
5 Op. cit., p. 268.


great help to me and who appears to have gone to great pains to inform himself on the subject, ascribes the horror of incest to a natural abhorrence. In his final summing up he says: "It is doubtless a Breach of the Pudor Naturalis that God has implanted in every Subject of this relation. The Violence done to Nature, thus made to recoil upon herself, whose Effort and Disposition is to propagate, by Succession, one generation upon another, and not by those We bred, or those that bred Us, gives us the natural Detestation of this abominable mixture. There is again an Abhorrence even in the very Idea, to have the notions of Honour, Awe, Religion, and Duty mix with those of Carnality and Licentiousness." 1

From this it is clear that in the mind of a very learned Englishman, writing on incest and its prohibition for the instruction of others, there was, as late as 1786, no suspicion that there were any biological grounds against it.

How then has the democratic emphasis on the need of miscegenation on biological grounds, backed by pseudo-scientific opinion, and reinforced by the whole weight of popular prejudice, grown out of a mere religious prohibition?

The history is complicated, but briefly and simply it is more or less as follows:—

At the dawn of our era, the greater part of the civilized world, in which Persia and Egypt had long ceased to be paramount powers, found itself, through Roman ascendancy, in possession of laws favouring exogamy and frowning upon too close endogamy.

These laws, handed down probably from the prehistoric ancestors of those who observed them, 2 could not have had anything whatsoever to do with biological experiences adverse to incest, but were, there can be little doubt, based to a large extent upon magic. In this I am inclined to agree with Ernest Crawley and Lord Raglan, 3 though I admit that such sociological considerations, as we shall see, advanced by various authorities, including Malinowski, may have converted taboos, originally based on magic, into civilized laws.

1 ELEMENTS OF THE CIVIL LAW (3rd Ed., London, 1786, p. 319).
2 T.E., IV, pp. 153–154: "It appears highly probable that the aversion which most civilized races have entertained to incest or the marriage of near kin has been derived by them through a long scries of ages from their savage ancestors."
3 C.M.R., p. 414. "The belief in the injurious results of inbreeding is of religious origin, and parallel to the belief that sickness is due to sin or to violation of taboo." JOCASTA'S CRIME, pp. 113, 124–129, 191.


Thus, at the dawn of our era, we found ourselves ruled by these exogamic laws, partly Roman and partly Jewish. But at the beginning of our era a new faith came into being which, particularly at its inception and for the first four hundred years of its existence, was so hostile to sex and marriage that one of its leaders and founders, Origen, castrated himself for Christ's sake, and so many followed his example that the Church suddenly found itself compelled to forbid too literal an interpretation of her doctrine.

During this period, with its extreme hostility to sex and every relation of man and woman — a hostility which, as we have seen, went so far as to make fish suitable food for holy and fast days only because fish did not copulate — everything possible was done to make even normal and legitimate marriage as difficult as possible.

Let me quote what a perfectly impartial authority says about the Church's attitude to marriage at this period.

"The ideal of married life was that attributed to Mary and Joseph. Thus Augustine cited this as an example that a true marriage may exist where there is a mutual vow of chastity, and held that the sooner this relation was established the better. Marriage being then an inferior state, to be discouraged rather than the reverse, the tendency was rapidly to narrow the field within which it might be contracted. . . . The marriage of the laity was hampered by the creation of a number of impediments. The few and definite prohibitions of the Roman and of the Jewish law in the matter of marriage between kindred were indefinitely extended, until in 506 the Council of Agde laid it down that any consanguinity or affinity whatever constituted an impediment . . . . and, finally, to all this added the impediments created by 'spiritual affinity', i.e. the relations established between baptizer and baptized, confirmer and confirmed, and between god-parents, their god-children, and their god-children's relatives." 1

All this proves not only that no biological motive could have been behind the prohibitions, but also that the Church, without inquiring into the basis of the exogamic laws which she found in existence about her, and, above all, without ever questioning them, gladly accepted them as sacrosanct and eagerly seized every opportunity of adding to them.

Not content with that, however, when ultimately the extreme hostility to marriage abated in deference to the vis major, man's

1 E.B., 11th Ed., XVII, p. 754. See also Lecky's HISTORY OF EUROPEAN MORALS.


reproductive lust, the Church continued her prohibitions, not because any rational reasons had been found for them, 1 but simply because, in time, her power to grant dispensations for the removal of these impediments became an enormous source of profit.

This, no doubt, is the reason why the prohibitions against consanguinity in marriage came down to us wholly unquestioned, and why they gradually acquired, not only with the populace, but also, as we have seen, with scientific men, the character and . authority of divine ordinances, which science was not required to justify, but merely to explain.

Hallam, commenting on the Church's tendency during the Middle Ages to extend and multiply for venal purposes the exogamic prohibitions, says: "One readily apprehends the facilities of abuse to which all this led; and history is full of dissolutions of marriages, obtained by fickle passion or cold-hearted ambition, to which the Church has not scrupled to pander on some suggestion of relationship. It is so difficult to conceive, I do not say any reasoning, but any honest superstition, which could have produced these monstrous regulations, that I was at first inclined to suppose them designed to give, by a side-wind, that facility of divorce which a licentious people demanded, but the Church could not avowedly grant. This refinement would, however, be unsupported by facts. The prohibition is very ancient, and was really derived from the ascetic temper which introduced so many absurdities . . . dispensations have been made more easy, when it was discovered that they might be converted into a source of profit." 2

That there was no eugenic motive behind all this must be plain. Nor was even the remote origin and rationale of the exogamic laws she adopted understood by the Church. Seized upon first as an effective means of limiting hateful marriage, and then retained and extended for lucre, even to this day, neither the Catholic nor the Protestant Church regards them as eugenic in their operation, since although they both forbid the marriage of a healthy uncle and niece, and almost evaporate with fury over the marriage of a healthy brother and sister, they, together with their religious competitors, both constantly celebrate red-letter

1 The fact that the Church, following the law of Rome, forbids the marriage of an adopted child with the parent of the family that has adopted it, even after the adoption has been dissolved, alone shows that no biological precaution is behind the prohibition.
2 THE MIDDLE AGES (12th Ed., 1860, II, p. 209).


days when they marry two cripples, or deaf-mutes, or couples afflicted with hereditary diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, congenital cataract, diabetes, or what not, or when they marry two incurables, provided always they are not related.

When, however, with the rise of scientific method and the increase of scientific knowledge, together with the steady increase of degeneracy in Europe, through the arrest or partial elimination of natural selection and the general tolerance shown to the physiologically botched of every description, it began to be noticed that consanguineous marriages did indeed lead among the offspring to a higher or more acute incidence of the diseases noticed in the parents; when, moreover, stockbreeders, still unaware of the natural laws, observed that inbreeding in tainted stocks led to disastrous results; then science, religion and popular opinion, arguing backwards from a state of affairs more or less recent, hastily assumed that the prohibited degrees, which still awaited justification, must have been instituted by prehistoric man for eugenic ends. Thus the exogamic laws of the Jews and Romans, handed down to us, first through tribal traditions, secondly through asceticism, and lastly through cupidity, received a higher and quite fictitious scientific sanction, and consanguinity itself (quite apart from any taints in the parents) was believed to be the real cause of any mischief to which inbreeding led.

And we may conclude that, apart from the view of a few enlightened people, who began to make their voices heard from about the fifties of last century, this opinion still prevails.

It is utterly erroneous, and yet it has proved the main support of that democratic policy of miscegenation that has ruled Europe for about two thousand years, and has found its way into popular superstition in the form of such ideas as the necessity for the marriage of opposites, according to which, dark must cross with fair, tall with short, and even sick with sound.

These views, pandering to the self-contempt of the average degenerate, who is proud of nothing connected with himself, naturally led to a stampede in favour of the most extreme miscegenation.

If Europe had only known the truth, it would have seen that, when mankind became largely polluted, the time had come to slacken the laws against consanguineous unions, not to re-sanctify the prohibited degrees with the authority of science. The moment it was observed that evil resulted, even from such ordinary consanguineous marriages as those between first cousins, those stocks in which the evils occurred should have been induced to cultivate even closer consanguineous unions, not only in order to canalize the pollution, but also to exterminate it.

It was only slowly and timidly that the perplexity arising from the unexplained and unjustified laws and customs preventing consanguineous marriages began to express itself in Europe against this democratic wave in favour of random breeding.

Among the pioneers of the movement opposing these unjustified laws and customs, who championed the view that it was a mistake to regard consanguinity per se as the cause of the mischief when disaster followed inbreeding, were such men as Count Arthur de Gobineau (1854), Dr. Bourgeois (1879), Dr. Périer (1860), Gilbert Child (1862), Dr. Auguste Voisin (1865), William Adam (1865) and Henry Huth (1876). The first, Count Arthur de Gobineau, very far from supposing, as many did in his day, and many still do, that in man there was an instinct to cross, declared: "I think I am right in concluding . . . that the human race in all its branches has a secret repulsion from the crossing of blood, a repulsion which, in many of the branches is invincible, and in others is only conquered to a slight extent." 1 In the preface to the second edition of his book, he wrote in 1882: "At one time . . . the prejudice against marriages of kinsfolk was so great that it was a question whether they should be allowed the sanction of the law at all. To marry a first cousin, one was told, practically meant inflicting deafness and other hereditary diseases on the children in advance. No one seemed to recollect that the generations preceding our own, which were greatly given to these marriages, knew nothing of the maladies that were supposed to follow them. . . . These certain and indisputable facts convinced nobody; for everyone, whether he liked it or not, was busy pushing the claims of a fantastic Liberalism that had no love for cloistral exclusiveness and opposed all purity of blood." 2

Dr. Bourgeois then published what Delage calls "a thorough and exhaustive study" of his own family, descended from a consanguineous marriage in 1729. Out of 91 marriages in 130 years, 68 had been consanguineous, 16 of which had been

1 THE INEQUALITY OF HUMAN RACES (London, 1915, p. 29).
2 Ibid., p. 22.


cases of accumulated consanguinity; while "in the 23 marriages which were not consanguineous the death rate of children above seven years of age had been 15 per cent, although it had been only 12 per cent in the consanguineous marriages." 1

Dr. Périer, whom I have already quoted, concluded his learned essay on Consanguinity as follows: "It is true that, in the old days, consanguineous marriages were regarded as disastrous and strongly to be reprobated; but unless we are much mistaken, it is especially in this quarter that certain ignorant prejudices have retained most power." 2

Dr. Gilbert Child concluded "that close inbreeding is not, per se, contrary to any law of nature. That unless parents are themselves diseased close inbreeding does not tend to develop disease in their progeny." And, in anticipation of some of the most important discoveries of recent times, he said that marriages of blood relations "have a tendency to strengthen and develop in the offspring individual peculiarities of the parties, both mental and physical, whether morbid or otherwise; 3 and therefore in practice often do induce degeneration." 4

Dr. Auguste Voisin wrote in almost exactly the same terms; 5 William Adam said: "the alleged natural law prohibiting marriage in the direct line between ascendants and descendants ad infinitum is purely imaginary. There is not a particle of evidence adduced or adducible in its support. It is an established notion, but as far as I can perceive or judge, a baseless figment." 6 Then at a loss to find any biological grounds accounting for the alleged "horror of incest", he proceeded to explain it as the outcome of the laws relating to property, which, he thought, could not tolerate the confusion which would arise out of close consanguineous marriages. 7

Huth, who was one of the first to devote a whole book to the subject, concluded: "We have seen that there is no natural horror of incest, and that many peoples have practised and habitually practise it; while, on the other hand, we have seen that, whatever may be the reason of certain prohibitions that exist, they are certainly not due to any conscious or unconscious experience of any evil results." 8

But these writers made hardly any impression. Medical and

1 Op. cit., p. 269, footnote.
2 Op. cit., p. 215.
3 The italics are mine. A.M.L.
4 M.O.C. p. 465.
5 See pp. 88–89 supra.
6 Op. cit., p. 75 (Nov. 15, 1865).
7 Ibid., pp. 84–88.
8 Op. cit., p. 338.


kindred scientific books continued to take it for granted that "inbreeding must be bad per se", and when such authorities as Darwin, Weissmann, Crampe, Ritzema Bos, Fabre and Von Gaiata threw their weight on the side of European tradition and the accepted morality, there seemed to be no doubt that the prohibited degrees must have some biological foundation which primitive man's instincts, or observation, or both, had recorded in various taboos.

Although this meant overlooking much of the historical and anthropological evidence, it was a step which presented but few difficulties to the leaders of science in the nineteenth century. 1 Darwin easily disposed of the argument brought forward by William Adams regarding the origin of the incest ban in the institution of property, 2 and himself set the seal of authority on the belief that close consanguinity in mating was in itself deleterious.

I have already described how ultimately, through the weight of recent scientific opinion, Darwin's views were overthrown. But their overthrow did not make the origin of the taboos relating to incestuous matings any clearer. These still required to be justified and explained, and if, as now seemed plain, biological grounds could not possibly have been their basis, what was?

Ever since it became really doubtful that any instinct existed in man or beast against incestuous matings, a lively controversy has raged around this point, and many different views have been advanced to account, no longer with the help of fancied biological reasons, for the origin of the taboos.

Darwin thought that "although there seems to be no strong inherited feeling in mankind against incest, it seems possible that men during primitive times may have been more excited by strange females than by those with whom they habitually lived. . . . If any such feeling formerly existed in men, this would have led to a preference for marriages beyond the nearest kin. . . . etc." 3 Another of Darwin's theories bearing on the origin of incest

1 It seems always to be difficult for scientists, despite their supposed "objectivity", to overcome the influence of remote savage magic and superstition, so that this attitude of nineteenth-century scientists is not at all surprising. A recent example of the same stubborn survival of magic and superstition in medicine is the prevailing belief among medical men that diseases, septic conditions, and epidemics can be due to germs.
2 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 103.
3 Ibid., pp. 103–104.


taboos was that of the jealousy of all male quadrupeds and their tendency to keep the females to themselves, thus compelling younger males to exogamic practices. 1

Walter Heape and Dr. Westermarck more or less favoured Darwin's first theory regarding the greater attractiveness of strange females.

Dr. Westermarck, believing that "consanguineous marriages are in some way or other detrimental to the species", argues that only those people who cultivated and acted upon a horror of such marriages survived, and thus, through Natural Selection "a sentiment would be developed which would be powerful enough, as a rule, to prevent injurious unions. Of course it would display itself, not as an innate aversion to sexual connexions with near relatives as such, but as an aversion on the part of individuals to unions with others with whom they live." 2

McLennan, one of the first to try to explain exogamy scientifically, and the inventor of the term, argued that it was a scarcity of women that had obliged men to go outside their own group for wives, and so gradually established a prejudice in favour of foreign women. This became so strong that in time men were strictly forbidden to marry women of their own group. Another authority. Professor E. Durkheim, derived exogamy from a religious sentiment based on the occult or magical virtue which savages attribute to blood, above all to the menstruous blood of women. But deflowering meant the shedding of blood, and, if it was that of a relative, it was in some way a desecration of one's own godhead.

L. H. Morgan, on the other hand, argues that exogamy was first introduced to break up promiscuity and prevent especially the marriage of brothers and sisters. But he does not give any reason why it should have been necessary to do this. Sir James Frazer ably disposes of all these arguments except the last, 3 and, after admitting that the abhorrence of incest could not have arisen in any observation of its dire effects, 4 attempts

1 D.O.M., p. 590.
2 ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MORAL IDEAS (London, 1917, pp. 368–371). Walter Heape, in a letter to Sir James Frazer (1909) assumes that inbreeding is injurious per se. But in SEX ANTAGONISM (London, 1913, pp. 36–72) he supports Darwin's view that exogamy arose in the greater sex stimulation of the stranger. See also T.E., IV, p. 163.
3 T.E., IV, pp. 75–120.
4 Ibid., p. 155: "The idea that the abhorrence of incest originally sprang from an observation of its injurious affects on the offspring may be safely dismissed as baseless."


to answer the question left unanswered by Morgan by stating that the original ground for prohibiting incest must have been some sort of superstition. "What that superstition precisely was, in other words, what exact harm was supposed to be done by incest to the persons immediately concerned, I am unable to guess. Thus the ultimate origin of exogamy, and with it of the law of incest — since exogamy was devised to prevent incest — remains a problem nearly as dark as ever. All that seems fairly probable is that both of them originated in a savage superstition . to which we have lost the clue." 1

Such was the position in 1910 after no less an authority than Sir James Frazer had examined the problem of incest prohibitions in all its bearings, and it is more or less Ernest Crawley's and Lord Raglan's position, 2 except that the latter does undertake to offer a clue regarding the kind of savage superstitution in which the incest taboos probably originated.

What interests us particularly, however, is the fact that here we have the views of at least two modern scientific experts to the effect that a world-wide and, in civilized countries, very rigid set of laws against close consanguineous mating was originally based solely on savage magic and superstition.

Certain later contributions to the subject have, however, to some extent modified this position.

Thus Freud, on the grounds of his psychological researches, argues not only that incestuous desires are natural to all human beings, throughout their lives, and therefore that Westermarck and those who claim that men feel an instinctive aversion towards those with whom they live, must be wrong, but also that man's feelings towards incest are to be explained on the hypothesis of a primeval crime. 3

Dr. Malinowski, however, examining the whole question afresh, in the light of psycho-analysis, comes to the conclusion that very early in the history of human society it must have been perceived that incest was incompatible with the family, and since the family was most important for order and the promotion of culture, incest had to be suppressed. He accepts Freud's contribution in so far as it postulates a universal inclination in man to incest, but cannot therefore accept Freud's explanation of the origin of the prohibitions.

1 Ibid., IV, p. 165.
2 C.M.R., Chap. XVII. JOCASTA'S CRIME.
3 TOTEM AND TABOO. (London, 1919, pp. 28–29 and 206).
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