198 ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE. [CHAP.
B. FORTUNATE ACCIDENTS.
We next come to a group of cases which imply a latent taste for science, namely, where a lifelong pursuit of it was first determined by some small accident. The previous indifference
or equilibrium of the mind was unstable, a push was accidentally given, its position was wholly changed, and it rested in one of stable equilibrium. These cases are not numerous-only 10 altogether-but I put them in the second place on account of their affinity to those in the first.
Physics and Mathematics.-(19). [Refer to this.]
Chemistry.-(1) Possession of a chemical box when I was a little boy. (3) From lectures I attended when a boy. (9) To reading by accident a book on chemistry.
Geology.-(2) Fossiliferous rocks near the school where I was.