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xxii   PREFACE

quiet investigation. Successes are of the most varied descriptions, but those registered in this book are confined to such as are reputed honourable, and are not obviously due to favour.

In attacking the problem it therefore becomes necessary to fix the attention, in the first instance, upon the members of some one large, special profession, as upon artists, leaders in commerce, investigators, scholars, warriors, and so forth, then to divide these into subclasses, until more appears to be lost through paucity of material than is gained through its increasing homogeneity.

Whatever group be selected, both ability and environment must be rated according to the requirements of that group. It then becomes possible, and it is not difficult, to roughly array individuals under each of these two heads successively, and to label every person with letters signifying his place in either class. For purposes of the following explanation, each quality will be distributed into three grades, determined not by value, but by class place -namely, the highest third, the medium third, and the lowest third. I n respect to ability, these classes will be called A, B, and C. In respect to environment, the grades will refer to its helpfulness towards the particular success achieved, and the classes will be called E, F, G. It must be clearly understood that the differences between the grades do not profess to be equal, merely that A is higher than B, and B than C ; similarly as to E, F, and G. The A, B, C may be quite independent of E, F, G,