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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/459

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453
MENTAL AND MORAL HEREDITY IN ROYALTY.

grandparents were in grade 10. It is very easy to account for this high wave of intellect, for in the first place among the sixty-two ancestors who lie in five degrees of remoteness, one finds only two in a grade below 1 and only one below 5. These were Frederick I. of Prussia and George William of Brunswick, who were in 3; both lie remote. This alone is remarkable, and I doubt if the same would be true of any other chart, or indeed of any other family.

In the second place one sees the House of Orange four times in the fifth generation. This of itself would probably create only a small effect since this entire generation is considered to have only 318 per cent, of influence, but we see here a fortunate selection of the best, and four of its greatest descendants are found among the third degree of remoteness, and one in the second degree. Then the remaining part of the pedigree is filled in with what is best in the House of Brunswick, together with Elenora d'Olbrenze, a remarkable character.[1] She was of a good Dutch Huguenot family.

Among the forty included in this group (all ancestors of Frederick the Great to third degree, with nieces and nephews) we find five in 10, four in 9, six in 8, seven in 7, or nine of these forty are geniuses 9 or 10; and 22 are high in the talent class. There is a strong literary and musical bent among the descendants, and hereditary influence can be traced through both the mother and paternal grandmother of Frederick the Great, straight back to the House of Orange, from which it probably came. This is in spite of the fact that Frederick's father was entirely hostile to literature. The bent appeared decidedly in five of the ten. In the others it seems to have been absent. The pedigree calls for about half of them to show this imaginative type of mind, if we couple to the pedigree this idea: that strong mental characteristics do not freely blend, but tend to jump about, and, if appearing at all, appear in almost full force in those who inherit them in any conspicuous degree.

Whatsoever in Frederick the Great's fraternity environment would not properly account for either the appearance of the artistic taste or the fact only half showed it. This literary bent should be compared with Hanover, where eighty-seven persons show only four authors and these are every one of them in the extreme background and consequently do not influence the House itself. Among the House of Hanover a number of the princes were fond of study but none were authors.

Regarding the moral side among the Hohenzollerns, there were only a few who fell short. It corresponds perfectly in a general way with the pedigree. It is noteworthy that here as in Hanover no atrocious and violent characters appeared in the family, nor were any


  1. See Wilkins, 'Love of an Uncrowned Queen.'