Betsy, I'm not going to explain the facts of life to a guy pushing forty!
Statistical inquiry into the facts of life has long been employed, and in particular Francis Galton, within the Darwinian period, has advocated its employment and developed its methods.
That is, original investigation of special problems has to be carried out on a more gigantic scale than any economist of the historical school ever dreamt of or the world requires, with the certain knowledge that at the end of it all the general theory will not correspond with the facts of life.
For an abstract thinker he was strangely in love with the concrete facts of life.
In Prince Andrew's eyes Speranski was the man he would himself have wished to be--one who explained all the facts of life reasonably, considered important only what was rational, and was capable of applying the standard of reason to everything.