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CHAPTER XI.: 1876–1880. - William Stanley Jevons, Letters and Journal 
Letters and Journal of W. Stanley Jevons, edited by his Wife (Harriet A. Jevons) (London: Macmillan and Co., 1886).
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To H. S. Foxwell, Esq.
Withington, 25th January 1876.
“Your account of the political economy class at University College, London, is certainly very discouraging. I never expected much, but could not have supposed there could be so poor a class.
“Last session I had, in my day class of political economy here, twenty-four students, in addition to an evening class of forty-two, held by a lecturer. This year I have ten day students, and an evening class, held by myself, of fifty-four. I have also a fair class in logic and philosophy of about thirty, in addition to an evening class of logic held by a lecturer.
“I am very well pleased with the first number of Mind, on the whole, so far as I have read it. Patteson's is a vigorous article. Venn's is able and interesting, but he much needs to be undeceived about Mill's logic.
“I only heard of poor Mansel's death a week or so ago. I had never seen him, but regret his untimely end. Your news about Sidgwick is quite news to me, and I am glad to hear it. Though my acquaintance with him is quite recent, I have conceived a great respect for Sidgwick in every way.”
To his brother Tom.
Owens College, 16th February 1876.
“There is a great deal I ought to write to you, but I have more letter writing to do than I like. Your American friends are evidently reading my book on Money, as I get long letters from different parts of the States and Canada requesting my perusal of pamphlets and books.
“…I am glad to say that Herbert Stanley is growing very well, and is already an amusing little creature. He has not the beauty of your children, but there are great signs of intelligence and character. …
“My professorship in the college is now advertised, and a fair number of applications will probably be received. We have not yet taken any steps about a house, but I shall probably go to London at Easter for a week of house hunting.
“I have been thinking much about your visit, and planning a scheme of action. … I will write again soon. At present I am filling up a half-hour at college, waiting for a concert of chamber music.”
To Professor Clifford.
Withington, 16th March 1876.
“I am very much interested to hear that you have been preparing a paper on the ‘Types of Compound Statements.’ I was not before aware that the subject had attracted your attention. It is impossible for me to guess how you could make an application of the grouping to hyperelliptic functions, having no idea what the latter are, but I am sufficiently glad to gather from all you say that my types of statement with three classes are not only valid but of some interest.
“I shall, of course, be much pleased to communicate the paper to the Manchester Philosophical Society, and the honorary secretary, when I mentioned the matter, naturally jumped at it. The society is, however, in the habit of closing its proceedings rather early in the year, and the last meeting named on the card is 18th April, but the secretary (Professor Reynolds) said the paper would be in time by 1st May.
“I quite feel what a privilege it is to live in an age when three or four men care about compound statements. I was lately pleased to meet with a correspondent (Mr. J. C. Monro of Barnet), who seemed to care whether Boole's views of probabilities were right or wrong. Even De Morgan exhibited a certain vagueness and apathy on this point when I tried to get his opinion many years ago. I look forward with great pleasure to my new life in London, and the new friends I may perhaps hope to make, but already I am beginning to feel the perplexities of house hunting, having been nearly on the point of taking a house at Hampstead.”
In March Mr. Jevons read a paper to the Manchester Statistical Society “On the United Kingdom Alliance and its Prospects of Success.” This paper brought a good deal of criticism upon him, and he was thought, by some of his friends, to be very bold in expressing his opinion “that the United Kingdom Alliance is the worst existing obstacle to Temperance Reform in the kingdom. It absorbs and expends the resources of the temperance army on a hopeless siege, and by proclaiming no quarter it drives the enemy into fierce opposition to a man.” But the paper was the result of several years' reflection upon the subject, and he saw no cause for changing his opinion, that in trying to pass a Permissive Bill the Alliance aimed at too much, and so hindered all reform.
To Rev. John Venn.
Withington, 26th March 1876.
“Thanks for telling Macmillan to send me a copy of your new edition, which shall have my very best attention, You admire Mill so much more than I do, that to a certain extent it makes us look from different points of view, but there is nothing like the free expression of opinion for getting towards the truth. There is no immediate prospect of a second edition of my Principles being required, but possibly in a year or two I may have an opportunity of correcting errors and omissions.
“I am greatly obliged to you for stating your objections to my remarks on Boole. I did not want to take up much space in that book with controversy, more especially as I had said what I had to say in my earlier essay, ‘The Pure Logic,’ of which I send you a copy. My logical notation stands or falls with the substantial accuracy of what I have said about exclusiveness of alternatives. The point is certainly a nice and debatable one, but fifteen years of consideration lead me to maintain what I have said. Doubtless Boole can express whether the alternatives are exclusive or not,
and so can my notation equally well,
but the point is that his notation necessitates the expression, so that, as he himself told me in a short correspondence, the terms are uninterpretable unless upon this condition. Thus x + y has no consistent meaning in his system except it be explained as (d) or (β). Until you decide which it is, it cannot be used. But one general result of my logical cogitations is that you always use terms subject to subsequent restrictions or explanations.
“I cannot see that I am wrong on p. 130. By ‘a condition concerning the exclusive nature of alternatives,’ I mean simply that terms, wherever joined by + in his system, must be held to be exclusive, since
would be actually uninterpretable—in fact a contradiction in terms.
“In answer to your remark that my is a concession to the laxity of common language, I can only refer you to pp. 82–85 in the Principles as to the latter part of my Pure Logic, of which I send you a copy.
“It is not easy to establish my view, but I am convinced of its truth. The best proof, perhaps, is to be found in the extreme simplicity and generality of my notation compared with the intricate and almost incomprehensible system of Boole. I am quite convinced that Boole's forms, and , have no real analogy to the similar mathematical expressions. In logic they merely indicate that a term agrees with, or is contradictory to, one or other, or both, or neither side of an equation. But they have nothing to do with the values 1, 0, ∞ and?
“As regards the form A = AB, I say on p. 49 that in Boole's logic expressions of the kind A = VB were freely used, but that I found indeterminate symbols only introduced complexity. I do not say that Boole exclusively, but only freely, used A = VB, that is, the form corresponding to x = vy. I am, of course, aware that he also used x = xy. My point in p. 49 is that the introduction of v or V at all is a mistake, and in no way an advantage. I think my remarks are correct, though very concise, but you should understand that in view of the extent of the book I felt obliged to restrict myself to a simple exposition of my own notation, avoiding all controversy.
“I am not sure whether you mean that my acknowledgments of dependence on Boole were not ample enough. I should be sorry if this were so, but you will find in the Pure Logic abundant recognition of the fact, and in my Elementary Lessons, which is the only one of my books widely read, the whole subject is put down under the heading of Boole's Logic. The fact is, that a friend well acquainted with the matter remonstrated with me for representing my notation as being that of Boole.
“If I ever come to a second edition of my Principles I shall be happy to amplify a little upon the points of agreement and difference with Boole.
“You will gather from the last chapter of the Pure Logic that I hold Boole's system to be absolutely perfect within itself, entirely self-consistent, but I deny that it is logic pure and simple.
“The relation to logic is one of so difficult a kind that I cannot say more than I have said in the Pure Logic.
“My machine is rather a large and awkward thing—about three feet high. There is only one in the world, and probably there never will be another. I would offer to send it, only it will not bear travelling, and I fear it would be useless to send it to you. I enclose a photograph and a paper giving full details of it. The abacus will do all that the machine can, and more, as it takes in five terms, but it is rather troublesome to use. If you like to show it to your students I shall be happy to send it with or without the black board, and you could return it to me after we are settled in London. It does the problems in a very short time if you get the knack of moving the combinations.”
In the Easter holidays Mr. Jevons spent ten days with his family at Grange on the coast of Morecambe Bay, and he then went on alone to Edinburgh to receive the honorary degree of LL.D., which the University of Edinburgh had conferred upon him. He was the guest of Dr. Hodgson at Bonaly.
To his Wife.
Bonaly, Colinton, N.B., 20th April 1876.
“Bonaly is a charming place—I had no idea a professor could have so nice a place. … The ceremony went off very nicely on the whole. Professor Maclagan made a speech laudatory of each LL.D., and said of me that the Principles of Science had put me on the same platform with Whewell and Mill. The students received me pretty well, especially when he referred to the Elementary Lessons, at which they applauded, much to my amusement. Professor Masson gave a very good address upon the arrangements of education in Scotland.”
“Hodgson says he is going to give up his professorship certainly; but I do not think Edinburgh would suit us, though Scotch professors have a nice position here.”
To the May number of the Fortnightly Review Mr. Jevons contributed an article on “Cruelty to Animals, a Study in Sociology.” In June he published his Primer of Logic as one of the series of Macmillan's Science Primers. It was designed as a guide to sound reasoning in the ordinary affairs of daily life for those who would not pursue the study of logic further, and as an introduction to the science for those who would pass on to the Elementary Lessons in Logic.
To R. O. Williams, Esq.
Withington, Manchester, 29th June 1876.
“Thanks for your letter of 2d May. I am sorry I have not been able to reply to it sooner, having been obliged by considerations of health to give up all work as far as possible.
“I quite agree with you that symbolical statements are calculated to deter ordinary readers from proceeding further, but it is necessary that the mathematical nature of a science should be stated nevertheless.
“I contemplate undertaking, as soon as possible, a new work on political economy generally, in which a more broad and popular view of the theory will be given, and then I can, in any future edition of the Theory, give the symbolical and purely mathematical view more fully.
“I took the liberty of sending you a copy of my Logic Primer just published.
“I am going abroad to-morrow for a tour of some length.”
The following day Mr. Jevons started for a tour in Norway, accompanied by his friend Professor Barker.
To his Wife.
Lillehammer, 6th July 1876.
“We have got so far quite well, and with delightful weather. We left Christiania by the afternoon train, very crowded and hot; but at Eidswold had a beautiful evening, with only a few people, and I had a good play on the piano. The next day the steamboat was very crowded with people returning from the timber fair, and the Lillehammer hotels were nearly full. … We hope to go on about the middle of the day, and in the meantime Barker and I are strolling up by the waterfall, Barker botanising vigorously. He evidently knows botany very accurately, in addition to his special knowledge of mosses, and is collecting any special Norsk plants. It suits me very well to loaf about with him and look for plants. Barker seems quite at home in Norway, and is rapidly picking up the language, which he often finds like Scotch. He will soon talk as well as I do.
“I have been a little troubled by my neck the last day or two, but feel well to-day, and hope to be very different in a week or two. Although very sorry to be away from you and the little one, I am quite sure it was the proper thing to do. Give the little fellow a kiss for me. It is a great pleasure to think of him, and he must be a great comfort and a good companion to you.
“There were two or three mosquitoes in the room last night, and I fear we shall have them in this fine warm weather; but we must push on to the Dovre. There is a young American, who amused me much, being utterly fresh, and reading out of Bennet's Phrases, of which there is a new and improved edition. I have had a good deal of conversation in English with an old gentleman named Tornon, who says he is the largest maker of the Norsk preserved meats which you know. It was a good idea to bring music, and I have played it nearly all through already. It sounded nicely in the large wooden room at Eidswold.”
To his Wife.
Dombaas, Dovre, 9th July 1876.
“…We are getting on very comfortably and easily, and there is no fear of my overdoing myself. You will probably have received my letter from Listad, which I delivered to the postman with my own hands. Since then we have slept at Moen, a small station, which we missed by going off to Vaage and coming back by a different road. We got dinner at Toftemoen, and I saw both Tofte himself and his brother. It seems that Tofte lives up at a farm on the hillside, where he has a good house; but in the absence of his son he comes down now every day to look after the station. He was a stout old man—anything but a dignified descendant of Harald Haarfager. But I am rather glad to have seen him. There are said to be more travellers going along the road than were ever known before, but they are mostly Norsk, and we have met very few English travellers since leaving Lillehammer—only, indeed, one party of a clergyman and some ladies.
“We have had no difficulty about quarters, nevertheless, and have usually had the stations to ourselves. Here we are spending Sunday very comfortably, and Dombaas proves, as I expected it to be, a desirable resting-place.
“I feel immensely better for the few days' carioling we have had. I intend to be extremely prudent about over-exertion; and, in spite of my somewhat wretched state of nerves during the last few months, hope to be better than ever before returning.”
To his Wife.
Kongswold, Sunday, 16th July 1876.
“I have been lazy about writing lately, and cannot say much this morning, as ‘Frökost’ will soon be ready. We have got on very slowly, partly owing to my inclinations, partly to Barker's botanising expeditions. Since I telegraphed to you at Dombaas we have been on the plateau of the Dovre Fjeld, two days at Fogstuen—the first small station, one day at Jerkin, and nearly three days here. I have found this a very pleasant station, nice, pretty rooms, attentive ‘pige,’ a good-toned piano; and so between music, fishing, walks, and a drive yesterday down to Drivstuen, I have got on very well. Here I have only succeeded in catching one fish. The river looks a good one, but for some reason or other the fish will not rise. At Jerkin I had an afternoon's fishing, with some little success, getting seven trout.
“Jerkin is also a good station, but is far from being so nice as this. It is in a dreary, exposed position far from the river, whereas this is just at the top of Drivdal, sheltered among the hills, and in front of a pretty river. After some inquiry we have decided on changing our route, and giving up the round by Trondhjem. We have heard poor accounts of the scenery and accommodation on the road from Trondhjem to Molde; nor does there seem to be anything very beautiful between here and Trondhjem. I am, therefore, writing for any letters which may be there, and we go back to-day over the Dovre, and then down the Romsdal. …
“I think I am better in health than ever I was in Norway before. I sleep perfectly, and can do more without fatigue. What a pleasure it will be to get back to you and the little one.”
To his Wife.
Aak, Romsdalen, 24th July 1876.
“Since I last wrote to you on our arrival here, I have been very lazy, doing nothing but reading novels and sitting in a boat fishing. We have, as usual, found it rather difficult to leave Aak. Yesterday, with fine weather, it was very delightful, and the Englands, a young man Sidgwick, the cousin of Henry Sidgwick, and a Scotchman, Mr. Milne, formerly an engineer in the Admiralty, make agreeable society.
“Yesterday Barker and Sidgwick clambered up the fjeld immediately behind the hotel, and Barker came down late in the evening with considerably increased respect for Norwegian mountains. He took my barometer, and found that the height was about 4000 feet. Most of the other mountains about, including the central one, are of similar height. The Romsdalhorn appears to be about 5000 feet, and the wild Vængetinderne, which lie behind, 1000 feet higher still.
“I have been out three times here to fish, but only caught fish the first time, namely, four river trout, of which one was about a pound in weight, and looked a beautiful fish. The salmon, unfortunately, have quite disappeared—perhaps because they have begun to net the river after Mr. Davenport's departure. …
“I was greatly pleased to hear of baby continuing well and lively. I long to see the little fellow again. I cannot think now how we did without a child. I hope you will keep visitors and the servants from playing with him, and exciting him too much. He cannot be better occupied than with amusing himself when he will do so. I like to see some of the little Norsk children, as they remind me of baby.
“…I will write again to Tom soon; but it is too much like work to write often. The hardest work I have done of late is reading Trollope's The Way we Live Now … No doubt Trollope has written too much, and many inferior tales, but his power of lifelike invention is unrivalled, in my opinion.”
To his Wife.
Söholt, Stor Fiord, Thursday, 27th July 1876.
“I was very glad to get two letters from you yesterday, when we arrived at this pretty place.
“In leaving Aak I carried out a wish I had felt to take the land and water route to Molde. We left Aak at 8 A.M., crossed from Veblungsnaes to Torvick, and then had a most beautiful drive to Alfarnaes, on another branch of the Romsdal Fiord. We passed a lake surrounded with pine-covered hills, and with the Romsdal Mountains towering up in the background; this was one of the most excellent pieces of scenery I ever saw. There were two more short boat stages and two more land stages before reaching Molde. The last was a one Norsk mile drive along the north shore of the Romsdal Fiord, with a fine view of the mountains in the distance, and very pretty houses, trees, and fields in the foreground. Along this road a number of well-to-do Norwegians have built villas like those in the neighbourhood of Christiania, and it is difficult to imagine a more delightful position for them. We got to Molde about 7 P.M., and as the fiord seemed very smooth, I suggested to Barker that we should at once take a boat, have tea (and cocoa), and row over to Vestnaes, thus avoiding the chance of rough water next morning. But this was one of those suggestions which, whether wise or not originally, proved unlucky. Buck, who kept the hotel, and never sent our letters on, has retired into private life in his own hotel, having apparently made his fortune. Another hotel has been opened by a Madame Wilkens, of whom we had heard no favourable accounts. When we went to her, and asked for ‘aftenspise,' and then a boat, she declined to let us have 'spise strax,’ and said a boat could not be had under two hours. She evidently wanted to keep us for the night, or two nights, till the steamer started. We therefore walked out of her house. I went and got my meal from an old woman who had a coffee-stall on the pier, and then, after much trouble, succeeded in getting a boat, but not before nine o'clock. Madame Wilkens could readily have done everything in half an hour or an hour. We got to Vestnaes all right about midnight, having been sixteen hours travelling four land and four water stages. We got beds at the inn, which is now open at Vestnaes, and came on yesterday to Söholt.
“We go on by the steamboat at 10 A.M. on Saturday morning. It will take us up the Geiranger and back the same evening, and land us at Hellesylt, and we shall, if possible, go on the next day (Sunday) to Faleidet.”
To his Wife.
Hotel Scandinavi, Bergen, 5th August 1876.
“…We are in misfortune just at present, the weather being dreadfully bad. We have had rain almost constantly for a week, and much wind. At Faleidet we were obliged to give up the expedition to the glaciers, which I have long intended to make. Tonning station has unfortunately been given up, and a journey of sixteen hours in rain and wind was not to be thought of. For the same reason I thought it best to give up the overland journey to Vadheim, and we took the Nord Fiord steamboat direct to Bergen. On the whole, we were well pleased with our journey. A little way down the fiord above Sandene the scenery began to grow very fine, and at last we came in full view of one of the most extraordinary fosses I ever saw, called the Oxenelven Foss, not mentioned in the books. It consisted of two great fosses and a number of small ones, and the larger ones were both divided into innumerable small falls from ledge to ledge of the rock, something like the Tvinde or one of the Laatefosse, but on a much larger scale. Owing to the rain these fosses happened to be very full of water, and presented a really wonderful sight, accompanied with a loud roaring noise as the steamer passed near them. The fosses were from 700 to 1000 feet high, though there was no single leap of more than perhaps 200 feet. Above the fosses were some gigantic mountains and rocks of very unusual form—one of them a great square mass with a precipitous side several thousand feet high. As the boat gradually steamed down a long broad reach of the fiord the view of these rocks and fosses was very fine, and quite unique in my experience. Excepting for the rain, we had an agreeable passage, as there were not more than about a dozen passengers at any time. … Bergen is the same as ever, except, indeed, that they have made a much-needed quay or pier just below this hotel, so that you can embark or disembark from the steamboats without small boats. I think that we shall go on to-morrow morning early by the Hardanger boat, and stay a few days at Odde, till the steamboat calls again.
“…Although I hope I am slowly recovering from my last breakdown, it is evident that for some time to come I must not work so hard again as I did last winter; and if I am to go on at all with my books for the present, I must be relieved of nearly all other work, in some way or other.”
To his Wife.
Odde, Hardanger, Friday, 11th August 1876.
“Our tour seems to draw rapidly to a close, and in leaving to-day at 1.30 P.M. by the steamboat for Eide, we may be said to begin our homeward journey. We want to get to Laerdal by Sunday, but it will be rather a hard push to get through, if there are many other travellers.
“We came from Bergen by the Hardangeren, and had a pleasant passage with fine weather, but too many passengers, as the Argo had just arrived from Hull. We went ashore for a few hours to sleep at Eide, in a new station inn close to the pier; then, without stopping for the Vöring Foss, we came on here, where we have spent four nights. I have been again to the glacier, which seems much increased, and is very beautiful and remarkable. The next day being fine, I drove up to Seljestad, as we did before, except that a capital new road is now made from Odde up to the Sandven Lake, and then along its left bank all the way to Hildal. I had a good horse and comfortable kjœrre, and liked the trip well. I climbed up a rock just above Seljestad, and had a good view of the Folgefond. Barker went the same day with some other people to the Skjæggedal Foss, and came back after fifteen hours—there having been some ladies in the party—much pleased. I have been amusing myself here with fishing in the fiord near to the inn, and caught about eighteen whiting and another fish. Last evening I tried the river here, after paying one mark for the privilege, but met with only, one little trout.
“By carefully avoiding any considerable exertion I keep pretty well, and I daresay I may feel still better after getting home.”
Lindström's Hotel, Laerdal, Sunday, 13th August 1876.
“Since writing the enclosed from Odde we have made a rapid movement, and succeeded in travelling from Odde to Laerdal in thirty-two or thirty-three hours. We left by the steamboat at 1.30 P.M., reached Eide about 6 P.M., chanced upon horses returning to Ornseim, which we engaged to Vossevangen, and drove straight off, and in spite of a delay of half an hour at that wretched intermediate station, got to Vossevangen at 9.30 P.M. Fleischer is very flourishing and was quite full, but made us up beds in the sitting-room. There were thirty-one travellers in the house. At 8 A.M. on Saturday we went off with one horse for Gudvangen: beautiful fine sunny weather. On the way we struck up acquaintance with a young man from Oxford and his wife, travelling with ‘tolk’ and maid, and they asked us to go with them in a small steamer which they had specially ordered for their own convenience from Gudvangen to Laerdal, for no apparent reason. In this way we got to Laerdal before 10 P.M. last night. We had a fine drive to Gudvangen, with little or no delay in changing horses. At Vossevangen I was disappointed in finding no letters, though it had occurred to me that there was not enough time for you to answer since my telegram. Here I found your long and very pleasant letter. … I shall probably do nothing but play with baby when I get home.
“The sale of the Logic Primer is very satisfactory. I should doubt whether any publication on logic ever sold so rapidly before.
“To-morrow we go to Haeg, and then, with occasional stoppages, over the Fille Fjeld, and probably down the Spirellen Lake.”
On the 1st September he wrote to his sister Lucy:—
“…I got home on Monday evening. … My journey was on the whole very enjoyable, and I never got the least tired of Norway. I should like to tell you all about it, but the story would be too long. … The labour of moving and entering on a new life and work weighs very much upon me, but perhaps I shall take a brighter view of things in a little time. Everything at home here is most happy; Harriet seems remarkably well, the little fellow all life and fun.”
To his sister Lucy.
21 Woburn Square, W.C., 15th September 1876.
“…You will be glad to hear that we have found and taken a house on a three years' agreement, with option to make it a lease for seven, fourteen, or twenty-one years.
“It is in many respects a charming house, semi-detached unfortunately, but that cannot be helped. … It is on the edge of the heath, quite high up, with glimpses of Windsor Castle and other distant views from the upper windows. A few yards from the door there is the full view from the heath.
…In a sanitary point of view it seems to be perfect. Of course there are objections to it; the garden being very small, and the position rather inaccessible—six or eight minutes' walk from the Hampstead omnibuses, and almost half an hour from the trains. But I think it will suit us capitally, and be for us quite a rus in urbe. I could not sleep last night for thinking of it. More when I see you.”
It was not without much regret that Mr. Jevons had resigned his position at Owens College. He had been on terms of warm friendship with his colleagues, and had much enjoyed the friendly social intercourse which had always been customary amongst the professors. Though he could not always coincide in opinion with them, there was never more than a friendly disagreement, as, for instance, when it was first desired to make Owens College into a university. Mr. Jevons was opposed to the idea, fearing that an increase in the number of universities would tend to lower the value of a degree. Even when he found that the scheme was supported by every one in the College except himself, he could not be shaken in his opinion; he would only go so far as to say that if there was to be a new university, it should not be Owens College alone, but a university comprised of Owens College and all the local colleges who wished, and were qualified by their teaching powers, to enter it—a plan closely corresponding to that which was ultimately adopted. He had a strong influence for good over his students, all the more perhaps because he was so unconscious of it. One of them has since written of him: “To me and to many others Professor Jevons was the embodiment of all that was high and just.” And another has written: “No one could help loving him; there were men in my year at college who would have thought it heaven to serve him. I was one of them. We found in him always much more than a teacher. I never knew a man that it did me more good to be in the presence of.”
Of his method of teaching the same gentleman has written: “He was not content with merely delivering his lectures, but was careful to ascertain whether his students understood what he was aiming at. I never knew a professor more conscientious, more diligent, and more sympathetic. I owe a great deal to him. He taught us how to think all about and in and out of a subject.”
He watched the future career of his students with much interest, and was always ready to give advice to those who sought it from him, or any other help that lay in his power, even when his own work pressed most heavily upon him; and he used to regret that his bad memory for faces, added to the change which a few years often caused in a young man's appearance, prevented him sometimes from recognising his former students if he accidentally met them, and thus made him appear less cordial than he really felt. But if they recalled their names to him, they always found that, though for the moment at a loss, he had not really forgotten them.
On the 2d October Mr. Jevons went to London to give the introductory lecture to his class on political economy; the subject he had chosen was “The Future of Political Economy.” The lecture was afterwards printed in the Fortnightly Review.
He wrote to his wife from University College on 3d October:—
“I have managed to get through the lecture without any conspicuous failure. The attendance was poor, and there was no liveliness worth speaking of, and no other speeches, simply a lecture. The humorous attempts answered very well, except that about the dog's idea of property, which failed. I am glad the affair is over and not worse.
“I saw the house yesterday, and was charmed with its position again, and with most other things relating to it.”
He returned to Manchester on the 5th, and in the middle of the following week he removed with his family to Hampstead.
Though Mr. Jevons left Owens College with regret, it was with much pleasure that he commenced his duties as professor at University College. He had always retained an affection for the place since his student days, and felt at home there at once. The duties of the professorship consisted of a course of lectures on political economy, beginning in October and ending at Easter; one lecture only was given each week, but during the first session Mr. Jevons gave two lectures a week.
Mr. Jevons had also this year been appointed examiner in logic to the University of London—an appointment which he held for five years. He began his duties this month.
His increased leisure was most welcome for his literary work, which seemed continually to grow upon him, as, in addition to new work, he had the preparation of second editions of the Principles of Science and the Theory of Political Economy in prospect. As soon as he was settled in London he began to prepare the second edition of the former, and it was published in 1877 in one volume, instead of two, that it might be more within the means of students who desired to use it as a text-book.
To E. J. Broadfield, Esq.
Hampstead, 19th October 1876.
“I was much concerned to see in the papers the announcement of the death of your father, of which I received further notice two or three days ago in the card which you kindly had sent. You must have known that you would be sure to have my warm sympathy in this loss. At his age it must of course have been looked for; but I can imagine that it is hardly less bitter when the separation actually comes. It is now more than twenty years since I lost my father, and thirty years since I lost my mother.
“I am sorry that I had not the opportunity of becoming better acquainted with your father. Knowing what his son is so well, I feel sure I must have found a great deal to esteem in him. Please send me a copy of the portrait when it is ready.
“We are now living in our London house, which, I hope, may be our home for many years to come; but it is as yet in a state of the greatest confusion, as we have only just chairs to sit down on. The situation, overlooking Hampstead Heath, is, to my mind and eye, very quaint and charming. My study looks to the back on old trees and gardens, and is, so far, delightfully quiet I am oppressed with things which I ought to do, and so will not say more at present.”
To his sister Lucy.
UniversityofLondon, Burlington Gardens, W., 27th October 1876.
“…Our house is still in a good deal of confusion, and I do not see how I can do much at it now for a week, as I have a large number, some 180 papers, to read for the B.A. examination, which is now going on. We continue to be pleased with our house in most respects. The heath is charming, and entices me out in a morning for a ramble in a way quite different from Withington.
…“My books are selling pretty well, 8000 copies of the Logic Primer in six months, and 3350 of the Elementary Lessons in the year. We shall probably have a new edition of the Principles of Science in the spring if I can prepare it.”
On the 27th November he wrote to his sister:
…“I have come to the conclusion that my move to London was a very wise thing, as far as we can see. There is so much more to interest one here and keep one active, without overworking one's head. My health is now better than it has been probably for ten years back.”
To John Mills, Esq.
2 The Chestnuts, Hampstead, 3d January 1877.
“My paper on ‘Sun Spots and the Price of Corn’ has not been published, and in fact withdrawn, because I found, with subsequent calculations, that the same data would give other periods of variation equally well. The method of averages adopted seems delusive in this case, and I hardly see any way of settling the matter conclusively. That the inquiry is far from being an absurd one is, however, shown by the remarkable fact since brought to view, that Sir William Herschel, at the beginning of the century, tried to explain the variations in the price of corn by the sun spots. I send you the MS. as it was read at the British Association and partially reported. Please, however, do not allude to it, except you add that I regard the conclusions as neither proved nor disproved.
“The organ has been quite successfully re-established, and seems to sound much better in this than in the former house. The tone comes out more and resounds about the house.
“I think we shall be charmed with Hampstead in the spring and summer; but the recent weather has not been such as to develop the pleasures of the heath.
“…The summer holiday and comparative relief from college work have been very beneficial to me, and I am now in pretty good working order. I am just engaged upon a new edition of the Principles of Science, and also upon a Political Economy Primer, to serve as a companion to my Logic Primer. I have not heard any concerts yet to compare with Halle's as a whole; but I have been repeatedly to the St. James' Hall popular concerts, where the chamber music is delightful.
To his sister Lucy.
Hampstead, 15th January 1877.
“…A new edition of the Principles is coming out in a few months. It will probably cost only half as much as the first. I have been a good deal occupied in preparing it.
“Our little fellow seems quite well, but gets on slowly with his teeth. I often think what it would be to lose him. He has charming little ways of amusing himself and others. He calls me ‘dada’ now, when he hears me come in, and is making various attempts to speak. Jane whistled to him one day when he saw a bird, so now he makes a curious gurgling in his throat whenever he sees a bird.”
To Professor Leon Walras.
Hampstead, 28th February 1877.
“I thank you much for sending me the copy of your four memoirs, which I have safely received. I am glad to see that you are proceeding with your inquiries, and have now found a theory of capitalisation. This appears to display all the originality and ingenuity which were so conspicuous in your previous memoirs. I am not myself much engaged at present upon political economy, being just now very busy in revising my book on the Principles of Science for a second edition, the first edition having been sold out. This work almost entirely prevents me from reading anything at present After it is done I propose to complete my examination of John Stuart Mill's philosophy, in which I shall show that the logical value of Mill's writings has been much misunderstood, and that he is really a bad logician.
“I have the pleasure of sending you, by post, a copy of a small elementary work on Logic for Schools. Books of this sort are sold in large numbers in England and America. I am intending to prepare also an elementary book on political economy for Messrs. Macmillan. My introductory lecture, printed in the Fortnightly Review, is about to be republished as a translation into French by M. de Fortpertius, in the Journal des Economistes for March, where you will no doubt see it. This, at least, is what I am informed.
“Some weeks ago I took the opportunity of reading Dupuit's Memoire de la Mesure de l'utilité des Travaux Publics, Annales des Fonts et Chaussées, 1844, which I had not previously seen. It is impossible not to allow that Dupuit had a very profound comprehension of the subject, and anticipated us as regards the fundamental ideas of utility. But he did not work his subject out, and did not reach a theory of exchange. It is extraordinary, too, what a small effect his publication had upon economists, most of whom were ignorant of its existence.
“I hope that your health is now re-established, and that you are able to avoid excessive exertion. I am now comfortably situated at Hampstead, and having only few lectures at University College or other occupations, am able to give my time to repose or to literary work, as seems fit.
“If you are ever coming to London, it would give me great pleasure to receive a visit from you here. If you have not been in England, there is something of interest here. I speak French very badly, but perhaps you speak English. In any case we would manage to discuss matters of common interest. At the end of June, however, I go to Norway, and may not return till the end of August.”
To the April number of Mind Mr. Jevons contributed an article on “Cram,” which was a defence of the system of competitive examinations, against those opponents who considered that examinations led only to cram.
At Easter he took a few days' holiday with his brother, visiting Canterbury for a second time, and then going on to Sandwich and Dover.
To George H. Darwin, Esq.
Hampstead, 30th April 1877.
“Thanks for your paper on the ‘Nebular Hypothesis.’ It is a very interesting and important one, and though you call it speculation, yet there is a basis of mathematical reasoning throughout, which makes it very different from ordinary speculation.
“I do not think Manns is at all conclusive against the theory, but the question evidently depends upon Mercury and Venus, which, if very oblique, lend much probability. I do not know whether your attention has been given to the curious difference between the planets referred to on p. 357, vol. ii. of my Principles, quoting from Chambers' Astronomy, 1st ed., p. 23. The marked differences between the exterior and interior group seem to show that there must have been some difference of origin.
“Would it be possible to account for the more rapid axial rotation of the outer planets by one nebula in a partial state of condensation encountering another of much less mass? Might not such a planetary nebula revolve for a time as a separate body, and only after a time be broken up into distinct planets with satellites? Can you approach, mathematically, the results of one nebula revolving round another? There intervenes, however, the question whether a nebula is to be treated as gas, or as a swarm of meteoric stones; or possibly both at the same time.”
During this spring Mr. Jevons was working at his Primer of Political Economy, which he was preparing for Macmillan's series of Science Primers; but the novelty of his life in London induced him also to go about more than he had done in Manchester, and more than he found himself able to do in subsequent years. During part of May his wife and little boy were absent from home. On the 13th May he wrote to his wife, after hearing a concert at the Albert Hall: “I had a pleasant day yesterday; the Wagner performance, in some parts, was very fine, and I believe he is a great musician. But much of the music is quite unsuited to so large a hall, and would require scenery to make it effective. The loud orchestral parts were magnificent.” And again on the 18th: “Yesterday, after writing in the morning, I went to the Academy for an hour, then to dine with the University of London Club, and afterwards to the Royal Society, where I rather luckily heard Tyndall describe his long series of experiments on spontaneous generation, etc.
“I have now begun to write the finished copy of the Primer, and am getting on with it very easily. I do not know whether I can finish it all before going to Norway, as the examinations interfere and the paper I propose to write for America.”
The paper for America which he refers to, was on the “Silver Question;” it was read at the American Social Science Association, and was afterwards published in the Bankers' Magazine for December of the same year.
To John Mills, Esq.
Hampstead, 30th May 1877.
“Can I trouble you to let me have back the MS. of my paper at the British Association, on ‘Commercial Crises and Solar Spots?’ I am working at the subject again, and am more convinced than ever that there is some connection; but it is a treacherous subject, and requires much care. I am not sure whether I have not found out the relation between the sun spots and the price of corn; but at present it is little more than a surmise.
“I have been having a great feast of music lately, between Rubinstein, Wagner, and minor performances. Several hearings of Rubinstein quite confirm the first impression that I gathered when I heard him in Manchester some years ago, namely, that he is one of the most extraordinary performers who ever lived—perhaps the most extraordinary. He realises one's ideal of musical creation more than I ever thought possible. I heard the Sonata, Op. 111, a few days ago. Wagner also has given me some new sensations.
“We discuss the subject of periodic crises next Friday at the Political Economy Club.”
As soon as the University of London examinations were over, Mr. Jevons went abroad for a tour with his brother, whom he joined at Hamburg, as Mr. T. E. Jevons had been staying with his family in the Tyrol.
To his Wife.
Hôteld'angleterre, Copenhagen, Tuesday, 3d July 1877.
“It seems now a long time since I left England, and we have seen a great deal. So far, our tour has succeeded well in spite of an unfavourable beginning.
“We went by rail to Lübeck, and were interested by the quaint old town. Then at 4 P.M. we took the steamboat for Copenhagen, sleeping on board, and getting in about 7 A.M. We have been much pleased with Copenhagen, which is a most lively, interesting town. We have been about twice a day to the museums, and that of old northern antiquities is altogether excellent.
“Soon after breakfast on Saturday we went to find Falbe Hansen, but he was not at his office, and we only saw him later on for a few minutes. On Sunday morning he came with a friend, Herr Madson, and took us to Thorwaldsen's Museum and some other places, and then to dine at a place some miles down the coast. There was a little misadventure, as the Danes were so busy talking that they forgot to land at the right place, and the steamboat appeared to be making off for Sweden. However, a few miles farther on, it called at another dining-place, and we had a good dinner with them, partly walking and partly driving home. It seems that on Sundays almost every one who can goes out to dine and amuse himself in the suburbs, where there are numberless cafes and hotels and music saloons. Every night, too, we have spent at Tivoli, which is a great pleasure-garden, something like that we visited at Gothenburg, but much larger. There are concerts with good music every evening, pantomimes, ballets, a great two-storied merry-go-round, many times as large as that at Hampstead, etc. etc. All the people of the town go there, and on Sunday night there were 10,000 or 15,000 there.
“As the time is short, we have decided to go to Sweden instead [of Norway], and our address will be the Grand Hotel, Stockholm.
“…There is much I might tell you, but time is too short I think it would have been a great mistake to take Tom on a hurried visit to Norway, and of course I shall like the novelty of Stockholm.”
To his Wife.
Jönköping, Lake Wettern, Sweden, 5th July 1877.
“We have now got nearly half-way to Stockholm, but, not wishing to travel day and night, have stopped at this town for a day.
“…I did not get your telegram until some forty hours after mine was sent, and it delayed us a day in Copenhagen, which was, however, a matter of no regret, as we were able to visit again the northern antiquities and spend our fourth night at Tivoli, where we had good music of Wagner and others, besides pantomimes, ballets, etc.
“We came from Copenhagen by Malmö and Lund and the usual railway route, the journey occupying twelve hours. Here we found a fine large hotel—in fact, a grand hotel—very clean and nicely kept in the Swedish style. …
“This town is celebrated for its manufactories of lucifer matches (Jönköping TÄndstickor), paper, etc., and it is also a kind of internal port of some consequence. We are going by boat from here to-night at 11.30, by the lakes and canals, to Stockholm, arriving after a journey of twenty hours. The lake is broad and the banks rise somewhat, but the scenery is not nearly so good even as Mjösen. This evening, after table d'hôte at four, we are going to a garden to drink our coffee to music. There is also a music-garden just under our windows at the hotel.
“I am remarkably well, and up to a good deal of exertion. I have given up all ideas of ill health, and drink coffee and live like other people. I need not say anything more about health, as it is becoming humbug. Tom seems much pleased with our lively travels, and I think it lucky that we gave up Norway. I sometimes regret the fiords and fjelde, but quite think it was best to come here instead.”
To his Wife.
Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Tuesday, 10th July 1877.
“We have not cared for Stockholm quite as much as might have been expected. We hardly like it so much as Copenhagen, though so much more beautiful a town in position. The gallery of pictures is very poor on the whole, and the palace, though large, is not interesting. The museum is almost next door, but the best part, the Antiquarian Museum, was not open till to-day, when I had a good look at it for nearly three hours. This hotel is very large and fine, and our rooms are very comfortable, but we scarcely like the place so much as the Hôtel d'Angleterre at Copenhagen. They have a curious way of making every one pay for the meals on the spot, which perhaps is wise on the whole, though rather troublesome.
“…I shall look forward very much to the time when I can bring you to these parts, of which we have hardly seen anything. The museums will admit of many visits, and there are many things we have not attempted to see.
“I am pleased to hear of the little fellow being so happy; I fear he will miss his playfellows when they go, but I must blow some bubbles for him.
“We are thinking of going to Upsala to-morrow for one or two nights, and then perhaps taking a steamer to the island of Gothland, where the town of Wisby is said to be worth seeing.”
To his Wife.
Grand Hotel, Stockholm, Friday, 13th July 1877.
“I am writing to-day to Gothenburg to take a berth for this day week, so that our journey is rapidly drawing to a close. I rather want to get home and see you again—in fact, I am a little homesick, and neither Tom nor I wish to prolong our journey. The Gothenburg boats are so much the best that I naturally prefer that route. …
“…Our trip to Upsala answered well, though we did not find much to detain us. The architecture of the churches both there and at Gamla Upsala, two or three miles off, is very curious. We walked to Old Upsala, where are three large mounds said to be the graves of Odin, Thor, and Frey. At a cottage near by we had the pleasure of drinking real mead, which has been drunk there for centuries back. It was very sweet and tasted of honey, but nevertheless agreeable,—something between very good ginger beer and very sweet champagne. It is drunk out of a horn. We found the hotel at Upsala remarkably pleasant and cheap. We had two beautiful bedrooms looking on the old church. This Grand Hotel still fails to give us a pleasant impression.”
To his Wife.
Witts Hotel, Kalmar, Sweden, 15th July 1877, 3 p.m.
“We arrived here an hour or two ago after an eventful visit to Wisby. I will tell you, when I get home, what a queer old place it is; anything but pleasant for a chance visitor, but very interesting. The walls of the town are nearly perfect, and a magnificent specimen of the fortifications of the twelfth century, probably larger and finer in some respects than those of Avignon which we saw. The churches also are very curious, being, with one exception, of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, unaltered except by partial destruction. All the hotels in the town were 'staengt,' i.e. closed, with one wretched exception, and that was full. We slept out at a nice little house, and ate partly at the hotel, partly at the Pavilion, where, as usual in Sweden, a brass band was playing most of the day. We had nice steamboats and very smooth passages both to and from Wisby. We are going this afternoon to visit Kalmar Castle with a very strange old Englishman living in Sweden, whom we take to be the Wandering Jew.
“I have written to Gothenburg to take my passage for the 20th. We go to-morrow en route to Lund, in the south of Sweden, where there is a university and a cathedral.”
To his Wife.
Hadshuset Hotel, Wexiö, Sweden, 18th July 1877.
“Since I wrote a few lines yesterday from Kalmar we have advanced one stage, and in an hour or two Tom and I must part at Alvestad Junction. …
“The old gentleman whom I described in my last as the Wandering Jew turned out a remarkable man, namely, Professor George Stephens, a well-known Englishman who settled in Copenhagen as Professor of English there. He is very much like Professor Blackie of Edinburgh, and during a walk at Kalmar and the journey thence he gave us his opinions on all kinds of subjects, and enlightened us much on Scandinavian topics.”
Mr. T. E. Jevons returned to the Tyrol, and Mr. Jevons crossed from Gothenburg to Hull. About a month after his return a little daughter was born on the 26th August, who was named “Harriet Winefrid,” her father thinking that the old-fashioned way of spelling the second name was the more correct form of it. In the latter part of September he was not well, and, needing a little change, he paid a week's visit to Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, where his sister, Mrs. Hutton, was staying. On the 27th September, the day after his return home, he wrote to his sister: “I got on well yesterday and had a pleasant time at Winchester, where I saw the old hall formerly in Winchester Castle, the Cathedral, and the Church of St. Cross again. They are all well worth seeing, besides other things in the town. … I liked my visit to Lyndhurst very much, so far as health would allow. Herbert seemed very pleased to see me last night; he showed it very prettily, and I could see an improvement in him, especially in speaking, since I went away.”
At the beginning of October his wife went, with the children, to pay a visit to her sister at Birkenhead. On the 4th Mr. Jevons wrote to her: “I have been rather busy attending the Librarians' Conference, last night from 7 to 10 P.M., and this morning from 10 to 1.30. It is interesting and amusing without being exciting. I do not think I shall be able to carry out any of the suggestions in my own library.”
To his Wife.
Hampstead, 8th October 1877.
“Thanks for your letter received this morning. I enclose Herbert's first letter. I daresay you can make him pretend to read it.
“…I feel quite well again, and have begun a little bit of writing at the Primer. Last night I went to the evening service at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, Smith-field, which I remembered seeing some twenty-five years ago. It is an interesting old piece of Norman architecture, the only one left in London after the great fire. Afterwards I heard the concluding voluntary at St. Sepulchre's.
“…I begin my class this afternoon.”
On the 9th he wrote to his wife: “My class came off rather well yesterday. The room was nearly full of students, including a good many ladies—several from last year's class. If they all really join the class it will be a decidedly good one, but I cannot know at present. I gave a rather good lecture, although I felt much disinclined for it.”
This autumn Mr. Jevons became one of the secretaries of the Statistical Society, and a member of the council. He took much interest in the work of the Society, and attended the meetings as frequently as possible.
It will be remembered that in 1868 Mr. Jevons had prepared three articles criticising various points in Mill's System of Logic. As the articles were declined by the magazine to which he offered them, he had no opportunity of making use of them before Mr. Mill's unexpected death took place. Mr. Jevons much regretted this; he would rather have published them during Mr. Mill's lifetime, but as that had not been done, he felt that he must keep them back for some time. Meanwhile his conviction that there were many errors and inconsistencies in various parts of Mr. Mill's writings deepened with continued study, and he determined to prepare a volume as A Criticism of Mill's Philosophy.
He had made some progress with it by this date, but having so much other work in hand, he felt that the publication would be delayed for some time longer, and he therefore readily accepted Mr. Strahan's invitation to publish portions of the book as articles in the Contemporary Review. The first appeared in December of this year.
To his brother Tom.
Hampstead, 16th December 1877.
“Excuse economy of paper; I never waste a sheet.
“I was pleased to get your letter last night, and this being Sunday evening (my letter-writing time), I answer at once.
“Have you seen the Contemporary Review, with my first attack on Mill? I am this evening finishing the proofs of the second article, which will be stronger in evidence, though rather stiffer. It is a good thing bringing them out at intervals in a magazine and then republishing them. I am determined to go through with the matter, and upset Mill's logic altogether.
“I have not been going much to amusements of late, but took a holiday on Friday to visit the Cattle Show and Temple Bar before it is pulled down.
“Rather more than a week ago I had an interesting night at the Political Economy Club, where I happened to sit next to an empty chair, and presently Gladstone came in and sat down next me. I reminded him of my name, when he at once talked about the Principles; and all through dinner, for some two hours, I had a long discussion with him, partly about Owens College, concerning which he made minute inquiries, but principally about legislative matters. He seemed desirous to discuss vaccination, and I am sorry to say he sticks to his idea that its value is not sufficiently proved to warrant making it compulsory. At any rate he considers the matter open to doubt. He argued that the vaccinators have changed their ground, and now think revaccination needful; and on my saying I would agree to compulsory revaccination if necessary, he held that that would be absurd, and reduced the thing to an absurdity. When I mentioned his speech at the Adam Smith Centennial, when he spoke against extending government, he rather gave in to some slight objections I made, and he would not object at all to compulsory vaccination if there were no doubt of its efficacy.
“I was naturally much interested in an opportunity of judging of the style of reasoning of such a man as Gladstone in discussion. He was awfully wideawake, and picked you up quickly enough if you made the least slip, but I always regret that he had not a more scientific education.
“Lord Granville was just opposite, and Lowe not far off, but I did not speak to them. Mundella opened the debate on the causes of depression of trade, and made some rather pointed references to the Coal Question, which he seems to admire. The discussion turned chiefly to trades' unions, but I did not say anything. By the by, Gladstone spoke of a tax on coal, and was quite clear that if there were any such it should be on all coal raised, not merely exports, but he would no doubt oppose any tax at all.”
To Herr W. Vissering.
Hampstead, 8th February 1878.
“I have sent you, by book post, a copy of the Journal of the London Statistical Society for December 1877, at p. 664 of which you will find a brief notice of your important book on ‘Chinese Currency.’ As this journal is in the possession of all the leading statisticians and economists, and is carefully indexed, it will, I hope, make your work somewhat known, as it deserves. I hope to have other occasions of bringing your valuable inquiries under the notice of English readers, though I am not just at present engaged in any writing in which it could be fitly done.
“It has occurred to me to ask whether you could render me assistance in an inquiry of much importance, regarding the periodical recurrence of monetary crises during the eighteenth century. I find that considerable crises occurred in England in the years 1763, 1772, 1782 or 1783, and 1793, and I have discovered some indications of a crisis in 1753. These crises were simultaneous with like events in Holland, and it is of course Holland which was the leading commercial nation at the time. Now, in regard to the theory of crises, it becomes most important to ascertain whether there were in Holland, in or about the years 1731–32 and 1741–42, any events at all corresponding to commercial crises or difficulties. This is the more interesting inasmuch as the great bubble of the South Sea Company occurred in the year 1720, so that I am not without hope of showing that from 1720 to the present time there has been a constant tendency to the periodical recurrence of these events.
“Being unacquainted with the history of commercial affairs in Holland at the time, and being unable also to read Dutch, I feel great difficulty in pursuing the inquiry. If, however, you or M. d'Aulnis de Bourouill could point out to me any information on the subject, or indicate the works in which it might be found, you would render me the most important assistance.
“Please give my sincere compliments to M. d'Aulnis de Bourouill when you have an opportunity.
“P.S.—I write at a time of intense political anxiety. As you will learn from the newspapers, the House of Commons, this morning at 1 A.M., passed a vote of £6,000,000 for war purposes, after an excited debate of remarkable character. If the Russians should really occupy Constantinople the war party here will have it all their own way, and it is impossible to foresee the results. There is an uneasy feeling in England that we may be on the brink of a great, in fact a European, war.
“I am entirely opposed to the war party here; but there can be no doubt that if once involved in war there would be no difference of opinion as to the necessity of carrying it to a successful conclusion.
“If Russia and Germany are determined upon aggression, then England will have to fight, as she has fought before.
“We may have made many mistakes in diplomacy in past years, but it has been done in the sincere love of peace. There is a horror in most people here of spending blood or money in the defence of Turkey, or in a wretched conflict like that in the Crimea, but of course Russia cannot be allowed to paralyse Europe as she has paralysed so large a part of Asia. I do not believe in the civilisation of Russia. It is a barbarous system of despotism, and it is surely inconsistent with the interests of humanity that such a Power should be permitted to extend herself much farther.”
To John Mills, Esq.
Hampstead, 11th February 1878.
“In a few weeks my Political Economy Primer will be out. I give a long chapter to Credit Cycles, which it occurs to me you may like to see before it is printed off. I therefore send proof by book post. In a day or two the first proofs will have to be returned.
“I thought it a good opportunity to disseminate your and my various ideas on the subject. The nature of the book does not admit of particular reference or discussion, but I hope you do not object to my introducing your name in a way which does not make you responsible for the statements. If you have any remarks to make, they would be much valued if received in a day or two. I hope that the Primer will have a large circulation, say fifteen or twenty thousand copies a year. I have now and then been going into the past history of crises with care, and am becoming more and more confident about the ten years' period. The matter is one difficult to establish from the paucity of information, but I believe I can detect an almost unbroken series of expansions of credit pressures or crises at approximate ten years' intervals since the South Sea Bubble of 1720, if not before. The physicists now reduce the sun-spot period to 10.23 years, so that the coincidence is as close as could be desired.”
To John Mills, Esq.
Hampstead, 14th February 1878.
“Thanks for your letters, also for the proofs and pamphlet. The latter seems very interesting as regards the letters of Gibbs, because he lets one a little into the arcana of the bank parlours. … I am quite aware that you insisted on the recurrence of these panics in spite of all kinds of casual incidents of the currency, etc. When I write more at freedom in the matter I shall bring it out clearly.
“What I want to do now is to prove the matter empirically, by actual history of last century occurrences. Formerly I thought, judging from various statistics, that the interval 1720–63 was a blank; but it is not so. I have now got an important link in the year 1732, when there was a bubble, or at least what they called stock-jobbing. It was so bad that an Act to prevent its recurrence, if possible, was passed in 1734; and a contemporary writer compared the bubble with that of 1720, no doubt an exaggeration, but a significant one.
“My impression is that the collapse of 1720 was premature, like that of 1873, and that about 1722 was the due time.
“My evidence concerning 1742 is yet very slight, as also 1753, but I hope to find plenty of evidence in a little time.
“1763 was a great crisis, as you no doubt know, and 1772, 1782, and 1793 were very distinct events.”
To Professor J. d'Aulnis de Bourouill.
Hampstead, 18th February 1878.
“I am very much pleased to hear of your appointment by the King as Professor of Political Economy at the University of Utrecht. I feel sure that the choice is a wise one, and that you are determined to advance the science of which you have made a study to so good a purpose. It will always give me great pleasure to hear of your success, and I hope that we may have, in due time, various economical works from your hand.
“Since I wrote to M. Vissering I have been engaged in following out the inquiry I mentioned to him, as regards recurrent commercial excitement, periods of activity, and depression of trade during the eighteenth century. The information is very scanty, and I cannot make more than surmises at present, but I am inclined to believe that there were small or great crises in or about the years 1701, 1711, 1720, 1732, 1743, 1753, 1763, 1772, 1782, 1793, 1805, 1815, 1825, 1836, 1847, 1857, and 1866. The periodicity is remarkable, and the average length of the period is somewhere about 10.3 years, so nearly the same as the sun-spot period—which is variously estimated at 10.45 or 10.23 years—that there can hardly be a doubt about the connection of cause and effect.
“About most of the crises there can be no doubt, but the earlier ones underlined are doubtful, and I am eagerly seeking information.
“If they could be shown to extend to Holland, the fact would be most interesting.”
To John Mills, Esq.
Hampstead, 20th February 1878.
“I now return the correspondence to Northwold. I have read Gibbs' letters with much interest. … No doubt a judicious raising of the bank rate in good time would do much to mitigate panics; but it would be requisite that bankers generally should learn to look ahead. Even the bank directors are now beginning to allow that there are tides in their accounts—a fact which Langton so clearly put twenty years ago. It is only quite recently, I believe, that the idea has been recognised in the bank, and I believe we may look for a more intelligent treatment of such matters in future. Gibbs is, I suppose, one of the best.
“I find it exceedingly difficult to procure information about the state of trade in the early part of last century; but I am gradually getting slight indications. The price of copper seems likely to be the best indication of the condition of credit, just as the price of iron is now the most subject to variation. I suspect that the periods of collapse are about as follows:—1711, 1720, 1732, 1743, 1753, 1763, 1772, 1782, 1793, 1805, 1815, 1825, 1836, 1847, 1857, 1866, 1873–77. The average interval is about 10.3 years. The sun-spot period is variously estimated, but either 10.23 or 10.45 seems the favourite number now. You see that the South Sea Bubble was one of the series, but it broke somewhat prematurely.”
To Herr W. Vissering.
Hampstead, 3d March 1878.
“I cannot enough thank you for your kindness in procuring the work on the Amsterdam Exchange, as also the pamphlet on the crisis of 1720. They contain exactly the kind of information which I need; and I expect to derive guidance from them, though I do not know Dutch. My English, joined to a slight knowledge of German and a few words of Danish, enable me to read a sentence here and there, and I have procured a dictionary to assist me.
“The references are invaluable. I do not yet despair of finding some distinct information about depressions of trade intervening between 1721 and 1763, so as to complete the decennial series. In London there was said to be stockjobbing in 1732 comparable with that of 1720, though this is obviously an exaggeration.
“I am interested to perceive that the pamphlet on 1721 is by your father, so that by good fortune I have the assistance of those perhaps the best qualified in any country to inform me.
“I am interested in your remarks on the Chinese labour, and should like to discuss it with you, if you happen to visit London. It is too important and difficult a question to be answered in a few words.
“We have a large Chinese library at University College, some 10,000 tracts collected by the Rev. Robert Morrison. I suppose nobody ever looks at them. Indeed, in the close neighbourhood of the British Museum it is of little use.
“I shall have the pleasure of sending you a copy of my new little book on Political Economy.”
To John Mills, Esq.
Hampstead, 24th March 1878.
“The evidence of bubbles and crises in the eighteenth century is apparently of a slight and fragmentary character, but when put together will have much circumstantial strength. I have nothing but fragmentary notes as yet, and much searching will be necessary.
“Only an hour or two ago I got valuable indications of the earliest bubble yet connected with the series from Mr. Cornelius Walford, being the number of insurance companies started in the undermentioned years:—
This is very important, as it clearly puts the South Sea Bubble in the series, and puts one before it which I had previously suspected.
“Then there was a bubble in 1732 which, in the Gentleman's Magazine, is compared to that of 1720 (or rather 1721).
“In 1743 there was a general and great rise in the price of wool, attributed to stock-jobbing.
“In 1753–54 there was a foreign drain and great scarcity of money; but I must search for more information. In 1763 there was a well-known Continental crisis, as also in 1773. About 1782 I have not much evidence yet; but 1792–93 was a great collapse, as you know. The difficulty of finding reliable information is very great.”
In March the Primer of Political Economy was published. Mr. Jevons' long experience in teaching the class of pupil teachers in Owens College had peculiarly fitted him for the task of explaining clearly and simply those parts of Political Economy which can be taught to young people. At the same time, he “hoped that this little treatise may also serve as a stepping-stone to a knowledge of the science among readers of a maturer age who have hitherto neglected the study of political economy.” No one, judging from the size of the book, could be aware of the time and labour that it cost him to prepare it. He was most anxious to make the best possible use of the limited space at his command.
To the Rev. Harold Rylett.
Hampstead, 24th March 1878.
“I thank you very warmly for writing out so much of my lectures and sending them to me. It is interesting to read what purports to be a verbatim report, but which has, I fear, undergone some improvement in the process. It is well known how much of the oratory we read is due to the reporters.
“As regards Shaw Lefevre's address, I cannot understand so large a reduction of cattle and sheep, because there has been no fall in price of meat or other cause to make the holding less profitable; and rise in wages of labourers would not much affect stock-farming. Decrease of corn-land is easy to understand. …
“I fear the transcription of the whole of the lectures will be a very long and tedious work, which I cannot venture to ask of you.
“Excuse my delay in answering your letter; but I have had a good deal to do, and cannot work long at a time, so that when pressed I have to leave letters for a time.
“I have been busy about the bringing out of the Primer, of which I think I sent you a copy.”
To W. H. Brewer, Esq., H.M. Inspector of Schools.
2 The Chestnuts, Hampstead, 24th March 1878.
“I have now actually got a second edition of my Theory of Political Economy in hand, and want to have it out next October, few copies now remaining. In addition to a general revision, I wish to add a bibliography of books relating to the mathematical treatment of political economy. I have your letter, written some years since, in reference to certain books, and shall find the trouble you then took valuable for my object But it would greatly oblige me if you would just look over the books again at your leisure; and, after carefully writing down the title of each bibliographically, add a few remarks as to the contents and value, the note to vary from a single line to a page or two, according to your caprice or your estimate of the value of the book.
“I suppose Macmillan has sent you a copy of my Primer, with the disinterested idea that you would immediately use your tyrannical powers to force it on the wretched pedagogues who tremble at your approach.
“Seriously speaking, would there be any way of bringing the need of elementary teaching of political economy forward again? or would it not be better to leave Dr. Watts and others to do that? Some people do not believe in primary teaching of political economy. … No one is more likely to judge well than yourself. What do you think? I feel both the great need and the difficulty, and have not committed myself to any strong opinion in the preface, but rather quoted the opinions of the authorities.”
To W. H. Brewer, Esq.
2 The Chestnuts, 3d April 1878.
“I now enclose your former letters, which contain many notes, but it would be a great convenience for me to have a brief account of each of the books you have in your possession. I enclose a paper which shows the form of entry in my bibliography. The subject grows upon me as I proceed. There are more books than you would suppose, and I find that the Memoirs of Dupuit in the Annales des Ponts et Chausées are most luminous and valuable. Though he chiefly applied his ideas to the tolls, bridges, etc., he had a perfectly correct notion of the theory of value. It is curious how such writings come to be forgotten.”
In the April number of the Contemporary Review, the second article, “John Stuart Mill's Philosophy Tested,” was published. During the year of his residence at Hampstead Mr. Jevons had renewed his experiments on microscopic particles; and in the April number of the Quarterly Journal of Science he published an article “On the Movement of Microscopic Particles suspended in Liquid,” which he had written early in 1877.
To E. J. Broadfield, Esq.
Hampstead, 7th April 1878.
“I was very sorry to hear from your last letter that you have so soon again had to bear another loss, and one less to be looked for. Sometimes I think that I am wanting in the imagination which alone can enable us to enter into other people's feelings—so far, perhaps, but only so far I may not feel with you so acutely as I should do. If indeed for your sorrows to remind me of my own is sympathy, then no one could feel more. … Not long since, too, I lost a brother in New Zealand, who died suddenly and all alone of another hopeless disease, under peculiarly touching circumstances. If any one has had cause to doubt the benevolent government of human affairs, it is I and my brothers and sisters; and yet nothing can eradicate from my mind the belief that there must be a brighter side to things, and that we do not see all. It may be very unscientific, and ‘exact thinkers’ like Mill may have proved the opposite. In that case I must consent to remain among the unscientific.
“But to come to business. I should like to spend a night with you at Prestwich. I could go next Monday and be with you some time in the evening, if you should be disengaged and not disinclined for a perfectly quiet visit. I should probably go first to Birkenhead. Please let me know exactly what you wish. I might put off my visit for a week, or even till after Easter; but I should like nothing better than to have a few hours' talk with you when I do go.
“I am much pleased with your few remarks on the Mill article. Some people seem to think that I am doing myself much harm by the articles; and I almost suspect some of them to mean that I have no straightforward purpose in writing as I do in the Contemporary. But the fact is my attack on Mill is as much a matter of the heart as the head; and I feel sure that, if I can succeed in convincing people of the groundless character of much of Mill's writings, the service to truth must be of an important character. Moreover, it is one so difficult to accomplish that I was warranted in accepting Strahan's offer, to insert some articles in the Contemporary Review. I do not always like the company I am in there; and yet, on the whole, their company is more congenial than that of the Comtists who reign in the Fortnightly. Mallock's article is an extraordinary production.
“I have three or four books of different sorts on hand, especially a new edition of the Theory of Political Economy, and I have worked myself a little below par, perhaps more than a little, so that a few days' rest will do me good.”
Mr. Jevons had been working very hard during the spring, and he now felt the effects of it on his health; he therefore determined to take a few weeks' holiday on the continent in May and June, returning home in time for his duties as examiner. His cousin, Mr. W. E. Jevons, was his companion.
Of his visit to Aix-la-Chapelle he wrote to his wife:—
“I am glad to have seen the cathedral there, the older octagonal part of which was built by Charlemagne about the year 800. It is somewhat on the model of St. Vitalis at Ravenna, and I was pleased to be reminded of our stay there. It contains a number of beautiful columns of marble and granite, some of which were brought from Rome and Ravenna. The choir, too, is very beautiful, like the Sainte Chapelle at Paris.”
And of Cologne:—
“Although I had seen it before, the cathedral surprised me by its beauty and splendour; and I think it is almost the ne plus ultra of Gothic architecture. The outside has been greatly restored, and the spires are getting on towards completion, though they must take some years yet We visited a number of other churches, most of which were fine Romanesque specimens.”
From Lucerne he wrote:
“Our time on the Rhine was a bright jolly time, and I seldom enjoyed travelling more than between Aix and Baden.
“…We had a most beautiful journey from Baden to Constance, through the heart of the Black Forest, by a line quite recently finished, which winds about among the valleys of the Black Forest in an extraordinary manner, rising 2000 feet, reminding me of the railway through the Apennines. The views were often lovely, and we could also see the inhabitants, with their large quaint houses with overhanging roofs.”
The weather was so bad that they could do little in Switzerland. He was much amused at going up the Rigi by railway. Afterwards they went on to Brienz and Interlaken, and then began their homeward journey.
He returned home to a solitary house. His wife, with the children, had been spending the time of his absence with her sisters; and she had not gone back because some of the children in the adjoining house at Hampstead had an attack of diphtheria. He could not join his family until the University of London examination was over, and he felt the enforced absence from his children very much; for as their intelligence began to develop they were an ever-increasing source of pleasure to him. He ended a note to his wife with these words—” When shall I see Boy again. Give them both a kiss for me.”
To his brother Tom.
Manor House, Eastbourne, 21st August 1878.
“When your last letter arrived, I had just written to you, and our letters crossed. Another letter is now, however, due, and I write after spending a very pleasant week in comfortable quarters at Mr. Russell Scott's country house at Eastbourne. It has suited us all very well, the boy being newly introduced to the beach with spade and bucket, and instructed in wading and paddling by myself. Harriet always enjoys the sea, and we have had some pleasant drives to Beachy Head, Pevensey Castle, etc.
“After some ten days at home, we go for three weeks in September, to Derbyshire, where we have taken lodgings near Matlock, at a breezy farmhouse called Castle Top Farm, near Cromford. The hot weather which we have had lately has not agreed with me, and I have made up my mind to spend my summers in Norway as much as possible.
“I did not feel well enough to go to the British Association at Dublin, but I sent a paper on the periodic recurrence of commercial crises, and their connection with the sun-spot period. I do not know what they will do with it Within the last few days I have had rather a disagreeable incident in the discovery, by Adamson of Owens College, of an unknown German book, by a man called Gossen, containing a theory of political economy apparently much like mine. There are, in fact, a whole series of books, hitherto quite unknown, even on the Continent, in which the principal ideas of my theory have been foreshadowed. I am, therefore, in the unfortunate position that the greater number of people think the theory nonsense, and do not understand it, and the rest discover that it is not new. I am getting on but slowly with the new edition, and altogether am rather at a standstill.”
The full title of the paper sent to section F of the British Association was “The Periodicity of Commercial Crises and their Physical Explanation.” As will be seen from many of his letters, Mr. Jevons had given much attention to the subject during this year, and each fresh confirmation of his theory was a source of great gratification to him.
When he was preparing the second diagram for his paper, which gave the annual value of exports, from England to India, from 1710 to 1810, in three year averages proportionally represented, his wife can never forget how eagerly he called her to the study, that she might see how strongly the decimal variation was marked in most parts of the curve.
To John Mills, Esq.
2 The Chestnuts, West Heath, Hampstead, N.W., 30th August 1878.
“Are we to have a crisis and collapse next October or not?
“Accounts which are sent me show a large increase of bankruptcies in the first half of ’78 compared with ’77, and the recent unexpected pressure in the money market is very curious, and might seem to foreshadow a greater pressure in October and November; in fact I think there must be such.
“But, on the other hand, the occurrence of such numerous bankruptcies is what often follows a collapse, so that the real crisis might be placed in the autumn of 1877. The sun-spot theory, on the other hand, would lead me to expect the collapse in 1878. My paper on the subject was, as you perhaps heard, read at the British Association at Dublin, but it has not yet been printed in full. I contemplate writing further on the subject soon.”
To H. S. Foxwell, Esq.
2 The Chestnuts, 1st September 1878.
“Thanks for your suggestion about De Quincey's book, which I will look into. I always thought it was not worth reading, but I daresay it was from a groundless prejudice against the writer.
“A remarkable book has been discovered by Adamson. It is by Gossen of Brunswick, published in 1854, and in a remarkable manner anticipates the principal results of Walras and me. No one seems ever to have heard of the book, and, not reading German, I was of course quite ignorant of its existence. The theory in question has in fact been independently discovered three or four times over, and must be true.”
To E. J. Broadfield, Esq.
Castle Top, Cromford, Derbyshire, 5th September 1878.
“We are now just settled in this quiet spot, and one of our first thoughts is, when will you come? We expect to stay till the 21st, and shall be happy if you will come at the time best suiting yourself. I am writing an article on English Public Amusements for the Contemporary, and shall probably send it off at the end of next week. If you could read and criticise it, your corrections would be of the utmost value; but you must, of course, not inconvenience yourself on that or any other account. I have got the main substance of it ready now, so that we could discuss it at any time in the next week.
“We like Castle Top and the people very much, but are not at present favoured with the best weather. It is too dull and dark and damp to render life very spirited up here, but it is a capital place for a little quiet work.
“The children are very well, and Herbert is delighted with the trains, which he watches with ever-renewed interest. The Cromford railway also receives his attention, and yesterday he gravely informed his mamma, ‘The train goes up with a rope. It is a very old line.’ This is information I had given him shortly before.”
To Professor Léon Walras.
Hampstead, 20th September 1878.
“I shall pay careful attention to your remarks on my list of works on political economy. If I mention those which use only the geometrical method, I must be careful to point out the difference. I am sorry that my want of knowledge of German will prevent me from properly treating the German economists. I am now informed that there is an almost unknown work by Hermann Heinrich Gossen, published at Braunschweig in 1854, which to a great extent anticipates my theory. Of this work, however, a friend promises me an abstract for my new edition.”
At the beginning of October he attended the meeting of the Library Association at Oxford.
To his Wife.
Clarendon Hotel, Oxford, 2d October 1878.
“…We are having a pleasant meeting on the whole, and I find some friends among the librarians. … Mr. Coxe, the Bodleian librarian, is a very pleasant old man, and we had rather a good meeting last night, after the dinner. At the Rector's dinner I sat next to Professor Max Müller, whom I was glad to get acquainted with. To-night I am to dine with Professor Rolleston. I think, when I get home, I will begin to consider the question of a catalogue of my books. If we had cards printed, I think you could gradually get on with it, and ultimately there would be great use in it.
“Oxford decidedly surpasses Cambridge in the number and beauty of the colleges. The new buildings, too, in some cases are very fine, especially Waterhouse's Balliol College, which I admired very much before knowing what it was. …
“I shall make a point of being at Paris on the night of the 4th.
“Does the ‘boy’ miss me?”
To his Wife.
Oxford, 3d October 1878.
“We had a decidedly pleasant day here yesterday, the members of the Association becoming better acquainted with each other, as far as I am concerned. We had a very lively dinner at Professor Rolleston's, both he and Rogers, who took the other end of the table, being good hosts. The soiree afterwards in the museum was also pleasing, owing to the beauty of the building, which, however, was only very partially lighted up. In the afternoon we visited Balliol College, Dr. Jowett showing us over the new hall and chapel, and the new reading-room established in the old dining-hall, in addition to the old library. In the reading-room I was naturally pleased to find two copies of the first edition of the Principles placed side by side. It is not often a library has two identical copies of a book of that sort.
“…Two of the booksellers here have the second edition in their windows. Mill's reputation is said to be rapidly declining in Oxford—in fact, they say he is almost overlooked in the examinations.
“After Balliol we went to All Souls, where there are fine libraries, and where they gave us old ale and very good tea.
“I am going to breakfast this morning with one of the secretaries of the Association, and must therefore close. I think I shall go to Dover this afternoon, but have not yet looked out the trains.
“I have some prospect of making important price-list discoveries in the Bodleian.”
He went to Paris, for a few days only, to see the Paris Exposition before beginning the work of the session.
To his brother Tom.
UniversityofLondon, Burlington Gardens, W., 31st October 1878.
“As usual, I seize a vacant hour in the B.A. examination to answer your last letter. I have been much pleased to hear about your country retreat in the Adirondacks. … It must much resemble my Norwegian life, barring the shooting, and barring also the interest and variety that attends the travelling from inn to inn in Norway. We must go there on the next opportunity. As to my visiting America, the expense, length of voyage, heat of the climate, etc., render such a trip scarcely practicable.
“I have now published my article on the Amusements of the People in the Contemporary Review. It is partly the outcome of our investigations in Denmark and elsewhere. I have not seen much notice of it in the press, though there have been several articles, I believe. Various friends have expressed themselves much pleased with it. The Spectator remarks that it is trite, which, perhaps, is a somewhat fair criticism.
“I have, as usual, got a series of books and articles on hand, all of which want writing immediately, and I sometimes feel desperate about ever getting them done. But the sale of the books is certainly encouraging; the Principles is soon to be in the third edition, and is adopted as a text-book at two or more universities.
“I hope your family are all well and flourishing as much as ever. It is a blessing to have such fine healthy children. Ours are in capital health, so far, and both get on very well, except that they will quarrel and fight, even at their tender age.
“We have now got into the thick of the normal sun-spot crisis, and when this is over, there will, I hope, be a rapid recovery of trade. I trust you will have a harvest these next few years.
To his brother Tom.
UniversityofLondon, Burlington Gardens, 14th November 1878.
“I was much pleased with your last cheerful letter, as it seems to show that you are all well and fairly prosperous. I hope business is better in New York than England, and that you have not suffered from the late great fall in corn and cotton. In any case, I trust that there is a good time coming now that the normal crisis is past.
“I have just written an article on crises, for Nature, and if I can, will send you a copy; but the American post office is so badly managed that there is little inducement to send papers or books. I have never received the Evening Post you sent.
“My theory of crises has the appearance of being a little too ingenious, and it requires some boldness to publish it without more evidence. But I have great confidence in its substantial truth, and when I have worked the thing out more, shall perhaps write an article for the Princeton Review on the subject, though when I can do it must remain uncertain.
“I am glad you approve my Amusements article. I intend, in the course of time, to treat a whole series of similar social subjects, but each article requires much consideration and reading, and I can only get on slowly. The press has not noticed the article much here, but I have heard of numbers of persons privately who read it with approbation.
“About politics, I confess myself in a fog. Sometimes I think Beaconsfield deserves hanging, and at other times I rather admire his cool and daring assertion of British power. But I prefer to leave la haute politique alone, as a subject which admits of no scientific treatment. I have enough to think and write about which I can somewhat understand, without troubling myself about things which I cannot understand.
“I have just had a pleasant lunch at my little club in Savile Row with Harry Roscoe and Huggins the astronomer. They are agitated by the supposed discovery of Lockyer that the elements can be decomposed. Harry has been going over the experiments with Lockyer at South Kensington, but is going to investigate the matter more at Manchester. My impression is, it is a mistake, and that Lockyer will have to draw in his horns, mais nous verrons.”
In the Contemporary Review for January Mr. Jevons published an article on “A State Parcel Post.”
To E. J. Broadfield, Esq.
Hampstead, 2d January 1879.
“It seems an age since I heard from you; indeed it was, I think, last year, and that is too far past to allow of my waiting longer before asking how you are. I see you now and then reported at the school board meetings, and I daresay the school work occupies you a good deal. I suspect that they will gradually put more and more work upon you.
“The main point, however, is, when will you come and pay the long-promised visit? Choose your own time, so that when you come we can have a good round of amusements. I am rather in want of diversion, having been sticking rather close to work for some months back. My health has been so remarkably better this autumn that I have taken to working double shifts, evening as well as morning.
“How do you like my Parcel Post article? It was rather hastily finished, and contains a few stupid blunders; but I think it is mainly unanswerable. I have plenty more articles to come, if Strahan does not tire of them.
“…But the burden of my letter is—come as soon as you can, and pay us a good visit, and in the meantime, write a line to say that the New Year promises well and happily for you, as it does for us.”
To M. A. de Foville, Chef du Bureau de Statistique du Ministère des Finances, Paris.
Hampstead, 1st February 1879.
“I am much indebted to you for your very kind letter on the subject of Commercial Crises, which I have been thinking over for a week or more. As regards the book of M. Juglar, I have had a copy for some time, though I have not read the whole of it with the care which it deserves. His information about the crisis of 1804–5 is valuable, in addition to others I have since gained, but it does not satisfy me, inasmuch as the crisis of 1809–10 was in any case a much greater one, and is the only great exception to the decennial periodicity.
“I have a good deal of information about the sun-spots and other physical fluctuations, but am yet far from fully acquainted with the facts of this complex subject I shall have an opportunity of consulting the Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes de 1878, in London, and expect to get from it the latest information.
“I cannot easily explain the greater regularity of the commercial series as compared with the physical series of events. The proper working out of so complex a subject must be a matter of time, and what I have printed is only the first germ of what I hope to publish in the course of some years. Other engagements will prevent me from following the matter up as rapidly and fully as I should like, but when I write anything more on the subject (in an American review or elsewhere) I shall have the pleasure of sending you a copy. In the meantime I will take the liberty of assuring you, with great confidence, that the theory is a true one, and will ultimately be proved to be so. But this must be a matter of time and labour.
“P. S.—The apparent irregularity of the sun-spot curve at the beginning of the century—1779, 1788, 1805, 1816—has been carefully discussed in England, and Mr. J. A. Brown has shown (Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1876, vol. xxvii., p. 563) that Wolf was probably wrong. For Wolf's minimum in 1776 he substitutes a maximum, and he thinks that there was a small maximum in 1797 overlooked by Wolf. Brown is a very able meteorologist, and he throws great doubt on the accuracy of some of Wolf's numbers. He conclusively proves, too, that the average period is not the 11.1 years of Wolf, but 10.45. Eventually it may be found that the physical fluctuations are more regular than is supposed, but the facts are numerous and complicated.”
On the same day he wrote to his brother:—
“…I doubt if any one really remembers a better skating season than we have just had—some six or seven weeks of frost, with only slight intermissions. Of late, I have been some four or five times to the great reservoir at the Welsh Harp, near Hendon, which I can reach in three-quarters of an hour by the Midland Railway. There we have enjoyed a run of one and a quarter mile straight on end, over fair, perfectly safe ice. In all, there is an unbroken space of 350 acres. Yesterday I did the mile and a quarter, with the wind in my favour, in five minutes fifteen seconds. Against the wind it was a different matter.”
To John Mills, Esq.
2 The Chestnuts, West Heath, Hampstead, N.W., 12th March 1879.
“It is very kind of you to ask me to go to Manchester for the silver debate, and to stay with you at the same time. I should like much to see you again at Northwold, and will hope for some opportunity of doing so. But the silver question would interfere with my class, which is held on Wednesdays; and as there is only just time before the end of the term to finish my promised course, it would create some inconvenience. After two weeks more of lectures I shall be free for the summer. As regards silver, I do not think there is much if any good in discussing it. The matter must be left to take its course. Nothing can be done, and it is beating the winds to talk as if we could set everything right as we like. Above all, the Indian currency problem is one which admits of no solution except that of laisser faire et laisser passer. In fact, any attempt to tinker it up would inevitably fail, and if a gold currency could be introduced there, which I do not believe, it would only intensify the comparative superfluity of silver and scarcity of gold, which is, or rather has been, at the bottom of some of our troubles here.”
To his sister Lucy.
AthenÆum Club, 18th March 1879.
“On the occasion of my first visit to my new club I think I had better use a little notepaper in writing you a few words, though I have nothing special to say. The Athenæum is a very fine place, and it required courage this afternoon to walk in and announce myself as a new member. However, the porters did not seem at all surprised, and I daresay I shall soon learn to enjoy the easy-chairs and sofas and the fine library, and numberless comforts and conveniences of the place, riot to speak of the society. It is also pleasant to know that I was elected through the support of a philosopher for whom I have a great regard and admiration.1 …”
To his brother Tom.
AthenÆum Club, 31st March 1879.
“Since last I wrote to you I have become, as you see, quite a swell, having been elected to this club under the rule allowing a limited number to be elected specially by the committee. It is a most luxurious place, with all kinds of swells about. I daresay I shall like it more and more as I become accustomed to it.
“I have been very busy of late with many things, but have rather run myself down, and need a few days' holiday. Just lately I have fortunately found the required keystone to my commercial crisis theory, in the prices of corn in India, which in a large part of the last century show a wonderful periodicity. I have got tired of my proposed Princeton article, but I must try what I can do soon.
“We are all well at home, the children very lively, and Winefrid becoming very winning and pretty. Yesterday I began a little lesson to ‘boy’ on the making of bread, and told him it was made of flour. ‘Do you mean cauliflower, papa?’ was what the little fellow asked, after some reflection.
“P.S.—I am the more pleased at my election to the club, inasmuch as it was Herbert Spencer who moved and managed it; and as he is a constant frequenter of the club, it will give me an opportunity of becoming well acquainted with him.”
In the first week in April Mr. Jevons and his wife paid a brief visit to his cousin Mr. Arthur Jevons, in the New Forest; and when she returned home to the children he remained away a few days longer by himself, being in need of a rest from work.
To his Wife.
The Three Swans, Salisbury, 8th April 1879.
“I have just received your letter, and am glad to find that all is right at home. I have decided to stay here the rest of my visit, only making excursions in the neighbourhood.
“This afternoon I shall probably go to Romsey, as the church there is said to be very well worth seeing.
“I like Salisbury very much; and it fortunately happens that they are having special musical services in the evening—8 to 9 P.M.—at the cathedral, which occupy the time very pleasingly. They have a fine new organ, with a good organist, and very careful singers, and with the cathedral lighted up by gas, the effect is very beautiful. Two nights they are going to have portions of Bach's Passion music.
“…I have done a great stroke in book-buying, having bought a remarkable collection of nearly five hundred economical and political pamphlets at about a halfpenny each. Some of them are evidently valuable and rare. One of them contains copperplate diagrams of prices for some centuries. One or two are by Robert Owen. I also got a carefully-written list of them all, as good as a catalogue.
“The cathedral has been elaborately restored, and looks much better than when we saw it.”
Among these pamphlets Mr. Jevons afterwards found one—Observations upon the present state of our Gold and Silver Coins, 1730, by the late John Conduitt, Esq., Member for Southampton and Master of His Majesty's Mint, which proved of rare, interest to him. He made a special reference to it in the article on “Sir Isaac Newton and Bimetallism,” which was published in his volume of Investigations on Currency and Finance.
To his Wife.
Salisbury, 9th April 1879.
“…Yesterday afternoon I saw Romsey Church, one of the best specimens of late Norman—beautiful and interesting. Dined there. Not having you to look things out, I made a mistake about the train, and had to wait one and a quarter hour at Romsey station. After getting back saw a little of the entertainment of the Vokes Family, whom I somewhat like. This morning I went to the cathedral again, and afterwards to the Blackmore Museum, which I found a very excellent little museum, and am pleased I did not miss it This afternoon I have been by rail to Wilton, where I was about half an hour in the Wilton House—that of the Sydneys and Herberts. Superb but of course small collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, like a very small Vatican. Many excellent pictures and portraits, especially Vandykes, one an enormous but good family group, filling the side of a room.
“I saw many of the family rooms, some of them delightful, especially the library. Saw the lock of hair which Queen Elizabeth gave Sir Philip Sydney, and had a glimpse of the beautiful park where he wrote poems, etc. etc. Then went to the beautiful and remarkable Wilton Church, a modern imitation of a basilica, built and decorated at a cost of £80,000. The detached campanile is one of the most beautiful towers I ever saw.
“…In the evening there is the Bach music at the cathedral.”
On the 24th April he published in Nature a second article on “Commercial Crises and Sun spots.” The second edition of the Theory of Political Economy was completed this spring; besides revising it, he wrote a new preface of considerable length, and it was otherwise enlarged; a list of mathematico-economic books and memoirs being given as an appendix.
To the Rev. Harold Rylett.
Hampstead, 25th April 1879.
“…My interest in Ireland is rapidly increasing, and when I had a run of a week through some parts, I resolved to come again. I think that when you have had time to become thoroughly acquainted with your part of the country I should much like to spend a few days with you, and see the state of things with my own eyes. My impression is increasing to the effect that landlordism is a terrible burden on the country, and that the just laws of England are rather a myth. In the middle of the summer I shall have to go to Norway for the benefit of my health, and perhaps it is too soon to suggest any definite time yet. The climate of Ireland in the middle of the summer would, I fear, be too relaxing for me, and I need bracing up a good
To his sister Lucy.
Buxton, 18th May 1879.
“…I have had rather a nice little tour, visiting Ely, Norwich, Peterborough, and Nottingham. At Ely I was specially pleased, and by great good luck went there the very night on which there was a performance of the Messiah by gas-light in the cathedral, which looked remarkably fine. Peterborough was also very pleasing. Norwich is an interesting old town. Besides the cathedral there, the Nottingham Castle Museum was well worth seeing. …
“This hotel (The Palace) is a very pleasant place after some of the commercial places I have been in; and I find a friend here, Mr. Hecht, the musician of Manchester, whom I always like to see. To-morrow morning I go to Manchester, and then in the evening home.”
And again on 21st May, he wrote:—
“…If you are in Epsom during the Derby week, I should certainly wish to visit you and see the races. I am thinking of republishing my article on Amusements in a much enlarged and improved form, and should like to make some references to the Derby. …”
To his brother Tom.
Chestnuts, Hampstead Heath, 18th June 1879.
“I have been much pleased to get your recent letters, especially as they give one a cheerful idea of your family and business. I think trade must revive now by degrees, and probably more in the United States than here, where there has been a considerable stock to credit. The extract about seccas in Brazil may prove to be of great importance, and I will try to follow it up as soon as possible, but I am engaged in so many things that, like the six omnibuses abreast through Temple Bar, they block each other's way.
“On 9th July I sail to Norway with Arthur Jevons, and hope to have a healthy, pleasant tour of five weeks. Until then I shall be almost taken up with examinations, as, in addition to the University of London, I am to examine this summer for the Indian Civil Service in logic and political economy, for which I shall get £40.
“I am thinking of bringing out my essay on the Amusements of the People as a popular Mudie book, and have just written to Macmillan proposing it. The subject is being a good deal taken up in England (though, perhaps, not in consequence of my article) and I hit the right moment to write upon it. Although we were neither of us very well, I always think our Dano-Swedish tour was a most instructive and interesting one.
“…Our children progress rapidly. The ‘boy' is very wide-awake. ‘Oh, silly papa,’ he remarked the other day, when I ran his kite into the middle of a fir-tree, and dragged it out with the loss of half the tail. He shows considerable musical taste, and conducts a band consisting of his own self, by the hour together, singing very melodiously to his own tunes.
“Winefrid is a shy little thing, but is for all the world like some of Reynolds' pictures. She is just beginning to talk.”
To his Wife.
Laerdal, Norway, Friday, 26th July 1879.
“…Arthur is altogether delighted with Norway, except, indeed, as regards the fishing, which is disappointing. He is one of the few who thoroughly appreciate the scenery and the people.
“We have had so far a most pleasant tour, visiting, however, for the most part, places familiar to me. Christiansand to Egersund by a pleasant steamboat; thence by a new railway to Stavanger. Then by the ‘Folgefonden’ (steamboat) to Utne, where we landed and slept—then Odde, Here I ventured to undertake the Skjeggedals foss expedition, and was rewarded by a most beautiful and glorious sight of the foss. But the work was just about as much as I could stand, beginning (after a row down the fiord) by four hours' walking, or rather scrambling, over rocks and rough stones, up and down rough ladders and nasty places.
“Then to Eide, and after sleeping at ‘Moellands,’ over the fjeld to Ulvik by a road which presented no particular difficulty, a stollkaere taking our luggage, while Arthur and I walked. About half-way we came on a beautiful little lake, where we stayed to fish, sending the boy on with the luggage, and to bring back beer and supper: which he did. The weather being very fine, we had an enjoyable day. At Ulvik we spent part of Sunday in the middle of a very social party of Norwegians, and in the afternoon went by steam to Vik, We had thought of visiting the Voring Foss, but abandoned it in favour of a day's fishing in the river, paying 4s. each for the privilege, but catching little or nothing. The road to the Voring Foss does not seem much better than that to the other, and is not really safe for horses. One lady in a large party fell off her horse and narrowly escaped falling into a river, her shawl actually going. I have felt glad I did not venture with you in former years, as in my then state of health, my nerves could never have stood taking you along such roads.
“At Vik we became intimate with a Norsk lady and her accomplished daughter, who played and sang to us, and lightened the hours which were not employed in fishing. We parted on the best terms at Ulvik. Returning to Eide by steamer, we drove the same evening to Vossevangen, where Fleisher and his Frue and the Fröken welcomed us as pleasantly as ever. They inquired after you, as have done also several people, so I showed them the photographs of the children. The house was, as usual, full of a medley of travellers from all parts.
“Our journey from Voss to Gudvangen was spoilt by a very rainy day, and from Stalheim we could barely see anything. I had a difference with two odious Englishmen, shopkeepers in the city, who were trying to get past us, and one of whom actually forced his cariole past mine, when, in a heedless moment, I left a little room.
“27th.—My letter was broken off by Arthur coming in to say that the road was broken by a flood in the river, somewhere between Husum and Blaaflaten. For some hours there was great anxiety in our party lest the odious Englishmen should not be able to pass and should return. … We have met with a most agreeable American party, consisting of two well-travelled ladies. They travel with a quiet brother.
“We hear this morning that the road is passable again, and Arthur, having found that the fishing is not free here, wants to push on to where we can do something.
“We have now the road to Christiania straight before us, and all is plain sailing. We shall just linger at Maristuen or elsewhere, as we feel inclined. My health is benefiting immensely, and I go through long days of sixteen or eighteen hours without any sensible fatigue. … I long to get back, however, and only stay here because I feel sure it does my health lasting good. I am often amused to hear travellers here quoting to me my own insertions in Bennett, especially what I said about our climb at Nystuen. The English and Americans are all wanting to go up.”
To his sister Lucy.
Maristuen, Valders, about 1st August 1879.
“…Arthur and I have had a most pleasant, and indeed glorious tour, so far, and though the ground gone over is almost as familiar to me as Hampstead, yet I enjoy it hardly the less. Arthur is charmed with Norge, and appreciates the scenery and life thoroughly. He fishes sometimes the whole morning, but is not satisfied with the trout he gets. Although our route is mostly old to me, I have been able to do some new things, such as visiting the great Skjeggedals foss in the Hardanger Fiord. This is difficult to reach, as it lies among high mountains, and requires first a row in the fiord, then a scramble of three hours over rocks, and then a long row on a grand lake. As you pass round a turn in the lake you see the great foss falling down in a great leap 1000 feet—a river pouring off the top of a mountain. It was an exceedingly beautiful sight, and with the possible exception of Niagara I have seen nothing more grand and impressive in that way. The whole excursion took us eleven hours; but two Swedish ladies did it the same day, and beat four men in the party. Yesterday evening I had again a great treat in a very successful ascent of the mountain Suletind, which lies above here. The air was so clear and the weather was so favourable that I determined yesterday to ascend without delay, and taking a native boy as guide, started at 4.15 P.M.; and after three hours' heavy walking, got to the top, which is 3200 feet above this place, and between 5000 and 6000 feet above the sea. The air was perfectly clear, and I saw to great distances. On the north there is a great range of craggy peaks of fantastic shapes, with glaciers on their sides. In the distance were two great snow-fields, and in every other direction were great mountains, and a desolate expanse of fjelds, with patches of snow and many lakes. It was a splendid sight. … This morning we have had a very amusing scene here, as the king travelled past about i P.M. His journey has been long looked forward to; but we are here so much among the mountains that only about a score of men and as many women could be got together at the station, where he changed horses—the farmers around being obliged by law to send sixteen horses for his use. I spent the morning agreeably with two young Norsk ladies, who are staying in another house which has recently been built for the old father and mother of the station. The ‘fröken’ (young ladies) induced the men to cut a lot of birch trees and decorate the road with two arches, in which I assisted them, sacrificing some old sea-lines for the purpose. It was altogether an amusing morning. When the king was so long in coming the ‘fröken’ induced the young men and girls to go into the house and have a dance, and I saw a very pretty dance of two, a young man and girl beginning rather solemnly and ending in a rapid valse. Then the king's approach was announced by the boys on the top of the hill, and they all ran out, the women grouping themselves very prettily on the door-step (as seems to be the etiquette) with the young ladies in front, and also the old lady of the place in a very formal, white-winged cap. As soon as the king's horses were taken out they made straight for the decorations and began to eat them. A young Swede and myself were the only men strangers present, and the king gave us a nod and a smile. The horses were changed in solemn silence, the king and the prince with him sitting in their small, open carriage all the time. The station-master had previously tried to train the people to give an ‘hurra,’ and once during the morning I heard some curious sounds, and going out, I found all the people grouped ready and practising ‘hurraying;’ but the effect was so poor that the idea was abandoned. About an hour after the king was gone, and while I was having dinner, the king's baggage unexpectedly came up, with women, men, and servants. Some mistake had been made, and the horses for these people had been sent away. A long piece of work ensued, of which I only imperfectly gathered the drift; but the king's men, who were very polite, improved the delay by drinking beer.”
To his Wife.
Nystuen, Norway, 1st August 1879.
“We are kept in the house this morning by a very cold windy day, with clouds and threatening rain, which does not suit the mountains. We intended to have gone up to the parts you know so well and fish the lakes there, but what we shall do now I cannot say. I have written some account of my ascent of Suletind in my letter to Lucy, and also of the king's journey through the Fille Fjeld. We hear that the king stayed three or four hours at Nystuen, and fished on the lake, while the prince, who was with him, went up the mountain which you know.
“We have had the usual succession of amusing little incidents. At Maristuen we were uncommonly comfortable, having the place nearly to ourselves, with a good waiting-girl and plenty to eat The old lady you probably remember has gone to live in a new house, built for the parents, opposite, and the son and his wife now occupy the old house as station-holders. The old lady came to shake hands with me, and was very friendly, and we were offered port wine and corn brandy as a mark of favour. We have some interesting fellow-travellers. In the house here just now is Ole Bull, the celebrated Norsk musician—a venerable-looking old man with a daughter. At Maristuen we had what seemed to be an English working-man making a tour, partly on foot—a short, strong man of some intelligence, for whom I acted as interpreter. …
“There is said to be a bear, with four little bears, going about this neighbourhood; it was seen at the other side of the lake, and also at the Saeters on the road, but we have not been able to catch sight of it. They are said to be harmless animals as long as not interfered with. You need not fear my falling into its clutches, for I shall not post this till I have gone on to the next station, where there is a post and no bears.
“I have had rather good fishing the last day or two in the river on this side of Maristuen, catching some eight or ten nice trout of a half or three-quarter pound each.”
Fagernaes, 8th August.
“We are now within one week of the end of our journey, as I have written to engage a berth for the Angelo of the 15th August. I have been very lazy of late, and you must excuse my not having written oftener. I think you told me not to write much. I do not know when you will get this, as there is no post, but I am sending it by diligence, that is, the diligence which now runs on the Fille Fjeld road, to Odnaes to be posted.”
To his little Son.
Station Hotel, Hull, Sunday, 17th August 1879.
“You will be pleased to hear that papa has got back from Norway, and is coming home to Hampstead the day when you get this, about four or five o'clock in the afternoon. Papa will like very much to see again mamma and you and baby. I hope that you are all quite well.
“Papa has come a long way over the sea, like the sea you saw at Eastbourne, and now he is coming by a railway train, and then in a cab up the hill at Hampstead.
“Papa is quite well, and has a great deal to tell you about Norway.
“Give mamma and baby some kisses for me, and tell them I am coming.”
To R. O. Williams, Esq.
Hampstead, 29th August 1879.
“I beg leave to thank you for your kindness in informing me of the adoption of my Political Economy Primer in Oakland.
“I believe I shall receive a certain royalty on the copies or editions sold by Messrs. Appleton and Company, though the profit on the American sale is usually not half that on copies sold in England.
“Among those who consider the subject dispassionately, there can be but one opinion about the justice and expediency of international copyright, and I quite expect that the American nation will presently feel this. It is only the interests of a limited number which lead them to persuade the people to the contrary.
“I do not pretend that the income from my books is a matter of indifference to me, as it makes a convenient and increasing addition to a very limited income. But I must also say that were there no profit—as there practically is not—upon certain translations, it is always pleasing to hear that the books are in use and are liked. I believe that school-books are one of the most important departments of literature, and I hope to be able to produce several others in logic or political economy.
“I am at present engaged rather arduously upon a Logical Exercises, designed for college use, and intended to exercise students in accurate thinking.”
To E. J. Broadfield, Esq.
Cuff House, Bulverhythe, Near Hastings, 15th September 1879.
“We have moved into pleasant healthy lodgings here for some weeks, and your letter has come on from Hampstead. In spite of the kindness of your invitation, I have not the least intention of visiting the Social Science Congress. In the first place, I must stay here and take care of the family; and, in the second place, I cannot endure the idea of being shut up with crowds of people talking social science. If I came at all I should prefer the Library Association, but even that is quite out of the question.
“…I find this is a capital place for work, and after my Norsk tour I am in good trim. The house is close to the sea, about two miles west of the end of St. Leonards, and is exceedingly quiet in position. But I walk into Hastings now and then for a little music and variety. The children enjoy themselves greatly, and are in high spirits.
On the 6th October he wrote to his sister Lucy from Bulverhythe:—“We are now within the last few hours of the end of our visit here, and are leaving this pleasant spot in beautiful sunny weather. We have, indeed, been very fortunate almost the whole of the four weeks, having had few days' rain. This is a capital place for children, being only a few minutes' walk from a beautiful quiet shore, where at low-water are sands to dig in. It has been an admirable place also for writing. On the pier at Hastings there is a capital string-band which gives three concerts a day, and I have often walked in, in the afternoon, stopping the evening sometimes. The little ones are wild with health and spirits. Herbert, although hardly four, is becoming a capital little walker.”
The writing to which he refers was the Studies in Deductive Logic, with which he made considerable progress during this month. To his friend Mr. James Sully he had written a few days previously: “My work on my Deductive Exercises in Logic gets on well, but it is like constantly setting oneself difficult papers and then answering them, and after four weeks' continuous examination of this sort every morning, working up the subject occasionally in the evening as well, I find my digestion slightly disordered.”
To H. S. Foxwell, Esq.
Hampstead, 14th November 1879.
“Your last letter was one of great interest to me, as I much value any such opportunity of getting to know what people think at Cambridge. As regards Macleod, I do not wish to enter into any dispute. I have said the most civil things I can of his books, and I see no need to dwell upon his errors, because they are not likely to do any harm.
“I regret leaving out Mr. Thornton's name as regards the wage-fund theory. It was an oversight. Cairnes professedly supports the theory, but his arguments really tend against it in a deadly manner. He cannot stop at any definite non-competing groups, and his ideas followed out lead to entire rejection of the theory.
“I daresay Sargant's book might have been mentioned also, but I forgot it. You will observe that my bibliography only extended to mathematical writers, and I certainly never intended, in a few pages, to sketch the history of political economy generally in a complete way.
“As regards the analogy of laws of wages and rents, of course I do not know what Marshall gave in his lectures in 1869, as I neither attended them nor have seen notes, unless, indeed, the answers of some candidates. But I do not remember that they said anything on the matter. My ideas on the subject have been gathered perhaps most clearly from Cournot's Recherches, which suggests the general method of attacking the subject However, if I am ever able to get through my large book on Economics, I shall take such a very different line of general treatment that there will not be much room for dispute. Many different lines of argument, including that of Cairnes, converge to something quite opposite to Ricardian doctrines.
“As regards Marshall's originality, I never called it in question in the slightest degree, having neither the wish nor the grounds. On the other hand, you seem to forget that the essential points of my theory were fully indicated as far back as 1862, at the Cambridge Meeting of the British Association. I have no reason to suppose that Marshall saw any printed report of my first brief paper; but of course, on the other hand, in my book of 1871 (Theory of Political Economy) I could not possibly have borrowed anything from Marshall. But these questions are really of little or no importance now that we have found such earlier books as those of Gossen, Cournot, Dupuit, etc. We are all shelved on the matter of priority, except, of course, as regards details and general method of exposition, etc.
“I have, of course, got Marshall's book, but have really not been able to read it with care, having my head full of Mill and De Morgan's logic, with some 150 London candidates as well. Now I have got 19 honour candidates in a two days' examination, some of them writing four books a piece in three hours! From what I gathered, in a cursory reading of the Economics, together with reliance on Marshall's scientific powers and the careful revision it had undergone, I welcomed the book as getting me out of a difficulty in regard to the Bankers' Institute examinations, for which I have proposed it as the first text-book. I hope, however, the Athenæum is not right in claiming the book as written on the lines of Mill exclusively. I thought there was much divergence. However, from considerations which it is difficult to describe briefly, I have suggested Mill's Political Economy for the Bankers' Institute, and I even use it in my own class still. Thus, however violent my attacks on the logic of Mill, I cannot be accused of one-sidedness. Nor am I inconsistent; for it is one thing to put forward views for rational judgment of competent readers, it is another thing to force those views upon young men by means of examinations. The Mill faction never scrupled at putting their lecturers and examiners wherever they could, but I believe it only requires a little clear logic and a little time to overthrow them.”
In the December number of the Contemporary Review he published his third article on “John Stuart Mill's Philosophy Tested.”
Mr. Herbert Spencer.