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ca. III.] ORIGIN OF TASTE FOR SCIENCE.   145

experience will have shown them how surely, in every case with which they have dealt, the great majority of causes, or what might be better named "pre-efflcients," admitted of being ana

lysed and grouped into natural orders, leaving a minority of unclassed influences, which themselves form a class of their own, and which can be reduced indefinitely, in proportion to the minuteness with which the statistician cares to pursue his analysis. The statistics of railway accidents will serve as an example. When Captain Douglas Galton was secretary of the railway department of the Board of Trade, he succeeded in sorting their causes into the groups in which we have since been accustomed to see them printed year after year. So long as the general system of management of a railway is little changed, the same statistical ratio is maintained among them, a given proportion of accidents being due to this cause, and another to that. We may therefore estimate with some certainty the saving of life and limb, or of material of various descriptions, that will be effected when any one of these causes shall be wholly or in part removed. Simi-