Pauperism, crime and insanity have in their etiology most important relations to heredity, that great fundamental law of Nature by which like must produce like, not in never-ending sameness, but in variety, tending on the one hand to improvement by environment, or by the same ever-powerful modification to destruction.
The child comes into the world with life and certain gifts from parents, often loaded with encumbrances so burdensome that they prove a curse to their possessor, sometimes so free that the heir at law has nothing to fear in the race of life. How the minute cells, that by their union make conception, microscopic as they are, should contain within themselves all the possibility and all the minutiæ of a life of pauperism on the one hand or of exalted statesmanship on the other is a mystery that can not now be solved.
The farmer recognizes the great law of
BROWER DR. THE LEGAL RESTRICTION OF MARRIAGE FOR THE PREVENTION OF PAUPERISM, CRIME AND MENTAL DISEASES. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(9):523–524. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610090009001d
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