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44   NATURAL INHERITANCE.

[CHAP.

The Shape of Schemes is Independent of the Number of Observations.-When Schemes are drawn from different samples of the same large group of measurements, though the number in the several samples may differ greatly, we can always so adjust the horizontal scales that the breadth of the several Schemes shall be uniform. Then the shapes of the Schemes drawn from different samples will be little affected by the number of observations used in each, supposing of course that the numbers are never too small for ordinary statistical purposes. The only recognisable differences between the Schemes will be, that, if the number of observations in the sample is very large, the upper margin of the Scheme will fall into a more regular curve, especially towards either of its limits. Some irregularity will be found in the above curve of the Strength of Pull ; but if the observations had been ten times more numerous, it is probable, judging from much experience of such curves, that the irregularity would have been less conspicuous, and perhaps would , have disappeared altogether.

However numerous the observations may be, the curve will always be uncertain and incomplete, at its extreme ends, because the next value may happen to be greater or less than any one of those that preceded it. Again, the position of the first and the last observation, supposing each observation to have been laid down separately, can never coincide with the adjacent limit. The more numerous the observations, and therefore the closer the perpendiculars by which they are represented, the nearer will the two extreme perpendiculars approach the