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apparently exhaust all reasonable possibilities: first, that in which each element selects its most suitable immediate neighbourhood, in accordance with the guiding idea in Darwin's theory of Pangenesis; secondly, that of more or less general co-ordination of the influences exerted on each element, not only by its immediate neighbours, but by many or most of the others as well; finally, that of accident or chance, under which name a group of agencies are to be comprehended, diverse in character and alike only in the fact that their influence on the settlement of each particle was not immediately directed towards that end. In philosophical language we say that such agencies are not purposive, or that they are not teleological; in popular language they are called accidents or chances.

Filial Relation.-A conviction that inheritance is mainly particulate and much influenced by chance, greatly affects our idea of kinship and makes us consider the parental and filial relation to be curiously circuitous. It appears that there is no direct hereditary relation between the personal parents and the personal child, except perhaps through little-known channels of secondary importance, but that the main line of hereditary connection unites the sets of elements out of which the personal parents had been evolved with the set out of which the personal child was evolved. The main line may be rudely likened to the chain of a necklace, and the personalities to pendants attached to its links. We are unable to see the particles and

watch their grouping, and we know nothing directly about them, but we may gain some idea of the various possible results by noting the differences between the brothers in any large fraternity (as will be done further on with much minuteness), whose total heritages must have been much alike, but whose personal structures are often very dissimilar. This is why it is so important in hereditary inquiry to deal with fraternities. rather than with individuals, and with large fraternities rather than small ones. We ought, for example, to compare the group containing both parents and all the uncles and aunts, with that containing all the children. The relative weight to be assigned to the uncles and aunts is a question of detail to be discussed in its proper place further on (see Chap. XI.)

1

Stable Forms.-The changes in the substance of the newly-fertilised ova of all animals, of which more is annually becoming known, indicate segregations as well as aggregations, and it is reasonable to suppose that repulsions concur with affinities in producing them. We know nothing as yet of the nature of these affinities and repulsions, but we may expect them to act in great numbers and on all sides in a space of three dimensions, just as the personal likings and dis

1 A valuable memoir on the state of our knowledge of these matters up to the end of 1887 is published in Vol. XIX. of the Proceedings of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, and reprinted under the title of The Modern Cell Theory, and Theories as to the Physiological Basis of Heredity, by Prof. John Gray McKendrick, M.D., F.R.S., &c. (R. Anderson, Glasgow, 1888.)

likings of each individual insect in a flying swarm may be supposed to determine the position that he occupies in it. Every particle must have many immediate neighbours. Even a sphere surrounded by other spheres of equal sizes, like a cannon-ball in the middle of a heap, when they are piled in the most compact form, is in actual contact with no less than twelve others. We may therefore feel assured that the particles which are still unfixed must be affected by very numerous influences acting from all sides and varying with slight changes of place, and that they may occupy many positions of temporary and unsteady equilibrium, and be subject to repeated unsettlement, before they finally assume the positions in which they severally remain at rest.

The whimsical effects of chance in producing stable results are common enough. Tangled strings variously twitched, soon get themselves into tight knots. Rubbish thrown down a sink is pretty sure in time to choke the pipe; no one bit may be so large as its bore, but several bits in their numerous chance encounters will at length so come into collision as to wedge themselves into a sort of arch across the tube, and effectually plug it. Many years ago there was a fall of large stones from the ruinous walls of Kenilworth Castle. Three of them, if I recollect rightly, or possibly four, fell into a very peculiar arrangement, and bridged the interval between the jambs of an old window. There they stuck fast, showing clearly against the sky. The oddity of the structure attracted continual attention, and its stability was much commented on. These hanging stones, as

they were called, remained quite firm for many years; at length a storm shook them down.

In every congregation of mutually reacting elements, some characteristic groupings are usually recognised that have become familiar through their frequent recurrence and partial persistence. Being less evanescent than other combinations, they may be regarded as temporarily Stable Forms. No demonstration is needed to show that their number must be greatly smaller than that of all the possible combinations of the same elements. I will briefly give as great a diversity of instances as I can think of, taken from Governments, Crowds, Landscapes, and even from Cookery, and shall afterwards draw some illustrations from Mechanical Inventions, to illustrate what is meant by characteristic and stable groupings. From some of them it will also be gathered that secondary and other orders of stability exist besides the primary

ones.

In Governments, the primary varieties of stable forms. are very few in number, being such as autocracies, constitutional monarchies, oligarchies, or republics. The secondary forms are far more numerous; still it is hard to meet with an instance of one that cannot be pretty closely paralleled by another. A curious evidence of the small variety of possible governments is to be found in the constitutions of the governing bodies of the Scientific Societies of London and the Provinces, which are numerous and independent, Their development seems to follow a single course that has many stages,

and invariably tends to establish the following staff of officers: President, vice-Presidents, a Council, Honorary Secretaries, a paid Secretary, Trustees, and a Treasurer. As Britons are not unfrequently servile to rank, some seek a purely ornamental Patron as well.

Every variety of Crowd has its own characteristic features. At a national pageant, an evening party, a race-course, a marriage, or a funeral, the groupings in each case recur so habitually that it sometimes appears to me as if time had no existence, and that the ceremony in which I am taking part is identical with others at which I had been present one year, ten years, twenty years, or any other time ago.

The frequent combination of the same features in Landscape Scenery, justifies the use of such expressions as "true to nature," when applied to a pictorial composition or to the descriptions of a novel writer. The experiences of travel in one part of the world may curiously resemble those in another. Thus the military expedition by boats up the Nile was planned from experiences gained on the Red River of North America, and was carried out with the aid of Canadian voyageurs. The snow mountains all over the world present the same peculiar difficulties to the climber, so that Swiss experiences and in many cases Swiss guides have been used for the exploration of the Himalayas, the Caucasus, the lofty mountains of New Zealand, the Andes, and Greenland. Whenever the general conditions of a new country resemble our own, we recognise characteristic and familiar features at every turn, whether we

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