28 NATURAL INHERITANCE. [char.
intended to illustrate the meaning of primary and sub ordinate stability in organic structures, although the conditions of these must be far more complex than anything we have wits to imagine. The model and the organic structure have the cardinal fact in common, that if either is disturbed without transgressing the range of its stability, it will tend to re-establish itself, but if the range is overpassed it will topple over into a new position ; also that both of them are more likely to topple over towards the position of primary stability, than away from it.
The ultimate point to be illustrated is this. Though a long established race habitually breeds true to its kind, subject to small unstable deviations, yet every now and then the offspring of these deviations do not tend to revert, but possess some small stability of their own. They therefore have the character of sub-types, always, however, with a reserved tendency under strained conditions, to revert to the earlier type. The model further illustrates the fact that sometimes a sport may occur of such marked peculiarity and stability as to rank as a new type, capable of becoming the origin of a new race with very little assistance on the part of natural selection. Also, that a new type may be reached without any large single stride, but through a fortunate and rapid succession of many small ones.
The model is a polygonal slab, the polygon being one that might have been described within an oval, and it is so shaped as to stand on any one of its edges. When the slab rests as in Fig. 1, on the edge A B, corresponding to