III.] ORGANIC STABILITY. 27
ances, each a distinct step in the improvement of one or other of the three primary types, and there are or may be in each of the three an indefinite number of varieties in details, too unimportant to be subjects of patent rights.
The broad classes, of primary or subordinate types, and of mere deviations from them, are separated by no well-defined frontiers. Still the distinction is very serviceable, so much so that the whole of the laws of patent and copyright depend upon it, and it forms the only foundation for the title to a vast amount of valuable property. Corresponding forms of classification must be equally appropriate to the organic structure of all living things.
Model.-The distinction between primary and subordinate positions of stability will be made clearer by the
help of Fig 1, which is drawn from a model I made. The model has more sides, but Fig. 1 suffices for illustration. It is a polygonal slab that can be made to stand on any one of its edges when set upon a level table, and is