Punch,  59 (1870), 195.

Punch's Essays. I—Statistics  [1/3]



Essay, Drollery, Serial


Statistics, Mathematics, Societies

    Begins with several quotations from eminent people—including William Pitt (1st Earl of Chatham), Richard B Sheridan, and Philip D Stanhope (4th Earl of Chesterfield)—praising the study of statistics. Contends that it 'hardly needs this accumulated weight of unimpeachable testimony, and the unanimous verdict of history, society, and posterity' to 'confirm [...] that in Statistics a man possesses the surest solace in misfortune or on a wet morning'. Presents a long list of topics for statistical analysis, including, for example, the dimensions of a column containing all the eggs that have been consumed since their use as an article of food was first entered at Stationers' Hall. Considers that such questions captivate people of all ages 'and constitute an ample qualification for the Fellowship of the Statistical Society'. Contrasts the lasting interest of statistics with the fading appeal of such delights as the 'flavour of wine' and 'literary renown'. Concludes by counselling the reader to become 'a statistician, and you will ensure the respect of all the people in your neighbourhood, and live to an advanced age'.

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