Falling in Love eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 331 pages of information about Falling in Love.
same inherited endowments, would probably go on getting more and more woodenly accurate in its drawing; more and more conventionally correct in its grouping; more and more technically perfect in its perspective and light-and-shade, and so forth, by pure dint of accumulated hereditary experience from generation to generation.  It would pass from the Egyptian to the Chinese style of art by slow degrees and with infinite gradations.  But suppose, instead of thus rigorously confining itself to its own caste, this family of handicraft artists were to intermarry freely with poetical, or seafaring, or candlestick-making stocks.  What would be the consequence?  Why, such an infiltration of other hereditary characteristics, otherwise acquired, as might make the young painters of future generations more wide minded, more diversified, more individualistic, more vivid and lifelike.  Some divine spark of poetical imagination, some tenderness of sentiment, some play of fancy, unknown perhaps, to the hard, dry, matter-of-fact limners of the ancestral school, might thus be introduced into the original line of hereditary artists.  In this way one can easily see how even intermarriage with non-artistic stocks might improve the breed of a family of painters.  For while each caste, left to itself, is liable to harden down into a mere technical excellence after its own kind, a wooden facility for drawing faces, or casting up columns of figures, or hacking down enemies, or building steam-engines, a healthy cross with other castes is liable to bring in all kinds of new and valuable qualities, each of which, though acquired perhaps in a totally, different line of life, is apt to bear a new application in the new complex whereof it now forms a part.

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

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Falling in Love from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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