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1839 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XIII - The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill 1812-1848 Part II 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XIII - The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill 1812-1848 Part II, ed. Francis E. Mineka, Introduction by F.A. Hayek (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963).
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TO AN UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT1
[Rome, March 11, 1839]
I have returned here after passing about three weeks very pleasantly in Naples, and the country about it. I did not for some time get any better, but I think I am now, though very slowly, improving, ever since I left off animal food, and took to living almost entirely on macaroni. I began this experiment about a fortnight ago, and it seems to succeed better than any of the other experiments I have tried. [The remainder of the letter describes Naples and the neighbourhood—“Pompeii, Baiæ, Pæstum, &c.”]
TO AN UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT1
[March 21, 1839]
As for me I am going on well too—not that my health is at all better; but I have gradually got quite reconciled to the idea of returning in much the same state of health as when I left England; it is by care and regimen that I must hope to get well, and if I can only avoid getting worse, I shall have no great reason to complain, as hardly anybody continues after my age (33)2 to have the same vigorous health they had in early youth. In the meantime it is something to have so good an opportunity of seeing Italy.
TO JOHN ROBERTSON1
[Italy, April (?), 1839]
I have been very much annoyed by seeing announced in the advertisement of the Review the article2 which, in a letter that must have reached you in time, I so very particularly requested you to omit; and my annoyance has not been diminished by the manner in which the announcement is made, which is fitter for the Satirist or the Age than for any periodical which lays claim either to a literary character or a gentlemanly one.
I certainly never contemplated making any work in which I was engaged a vehicle for either attacking or defending the reputation of women, and in whatever way it has been done, it must make the Review consummately ridiculous. However, it is of no use writing more about what is past mending.
TO JOHN ROBERTSON1
Rome, 6th April, 1839.
I have, as you see, taken plenty of time to consider about the manner in which what you told me about Lord Durham in your last letter affects the position of the Review and the question of continuing or not to carry it on.
The result is to strengthen very greatly the inclination I had before to get it off my hands. I shall form no sudden resolution, and above all shall wait till I see Lord Durham myself before I make up my mind finally. But if his purposes are such as he appears to have declared to you, I do not feel myself particularly called upon to tender him any other aid than that of my good wishes. He may be quite right, and there may be no better course to be taken than the one he means to take, but it cannot lead to the organization of a radical party, or the placing of the radicals at the head of the movement,—it leaves them as they are already, a mere appendage of the Whigs; and if there is to be no radical party there need be no Westminster Review, for there is no position for it to take, distinguishing it from the Edinburgh.
For my own part, I feel that if the time is come when a radical review should support the Whigs, the time is come when I should withdraw from politics. I can employ myself much better than in conducting a ministerial review, and should think my time and money ill spent in doing only what the Examiner and the Chronicle and all that class of publications can do and are doing much more effectually. In short, it is one thing to support Lord Durham in forming a party; another to follow him when he is only joining one, and that one which I have so long been crying out against.
If he shows any desire to cultivate my acquaintance I shall respond to it, shall give him my opinion freely whenever he asks it, and any help in a private way which he may think that he needs and that I can give; but as for the Review, even if he would bear the whole expense and leave me the entire control, I doubt now whether I should accept it. On the other hand, any chance of the Review’s paying its expenses without being considered as his organ, or that of persons who are acting in concert with him, is still farther off than before.
I am sorry that my political article should have been inserted in any shape in a posture of affairs so unsuitable to it, and as I am sure it must have been very much altered to be put in at all, I do hope you have not put my signature to it.2
I do not feel clear about publishing even another number.3 I have not put pen to paper except to write letters since I left Pisa, and I do not intend to do so: when I reach England I shall for some time be extremely busy; and to work hard for a thing one has almost determined to give up seems waste of labor. I shall be glad if you can avoid entering into any positive engagements about articles for the July number till I return and can look about me.
I have begun to improve in health (I think so, at least) since the weather grew hot,—it is now complete summer here,—and I expect much more benefit from the three months to come than I have derived from the three that are past. When will you write again?
J. S. Mill.
TO MRS. JAMES MILL1
19th May 1839
My dear mother—
I have been some days in this strange & fine old place, the most singular place in Italy—& I write to say that I am going to set out almost immediately on my return. I shall go by the Tyrol, & through Germany, slowly; if you write very soon, write to Mannheim; if not, to Brussels. As to how far the object of my journey has been attained, that is rather difficult to say, & I shall probably be able to say more about it after I have been for some time returned & have resumed my regular occupations. I certainly have not recovered my former health; at the same time I have no very troublesome complaint & no symptoms at all alarming & I have no doubt that by proper regimen & exercise I shall be able to have as good health as people generally have, though perhaps never again so good a digestion as formerly. In this however I shall be no worse off than three fourths of all the people I know. I am not the least liable to catch cold—I never was less so in my life, & all idea of the English climate being dangerous for me may be entirely dismissed from all your minds. I shall in time find out how to manage myself—indeed I think I have in a great measure found it out already.—I have found no letters at Venice except one old one from Robertson. I do not know if any have been written but I shall leave word to send them after me to Munich where at any rate I hope to find some. Will you shew this or tell the contents of it to Grant2 & thank him warmly from me for his unwearied obligingness & kindness—& will you or the boys tell Mr. Robertson that his letter without date, but bearing I think the postmark 1st April, & directed to Rome, did not for some reason or other reach me there, but has followed me here, & is the last I have had from him & I am hoping for another with fresher news about himself & all other matters—also that I have not yet seen the review, for although they take it at the reading room in Florence, they had not yet got the last number. I have been unusually long without English news having neither had any letters nor seen any newspapers but of very old date. But I shall make it all up six weeks hence.—I have had a most pleasant stay in Italy & may say that I have seen it pretty thoroughly—I have left nothing out except Sicily, & a few stray things here & there. I have been last staying at the baths of Abano in the Euganean hills, not far from Padua—most lovely country, more of the English sort than Italy generally is—but the weather for a month past has been as bad as a wet English summer except that it has never been cold. Italy is a complete disappointment as to climate—not comparable as to brightness & dryness to the South of France, though I can easily believe that some parts of it are more beneficial to certain complaints. Among other fruits of my journey I have botanized much, & come back loaded with plants. By the bye among those I want Henry to dry for me, I forgot to mention the common elder. Italy is no disappointment as to beauty, it is the only country I have ever seen which is more beautiful than England—& I have not seen a mile of it that is not beautiful. I expect to enjoy the passage of the Alps exceedingly if the weather will let me, & there seems to-day some chance of its clearing—it is the first day without rain for a fortnight past.—Let me hear from some of you soon.
J. S. Mill
TO JOHN ROBERTSON1
Munich, 31st May, 1839.
On arriving here I found your letter of the 13th of May from Edinburgh.
Another letter had followed me from Rome to Venice, though it must have reached Rome in time to have been given to me there.
I hope by this time you see your way through your troubles and annoyances, and are in better spirits and health.
About the state of politics and about the Review it is of no use writing much when we shall see each other so soon. I have seen no English papers since the turn-out and turn-in of the ministry,2 and what I know of it is chiefly from letters, the latest and most explicit of which is from Buller.3 But I expect no change whatever in the politics of the ministry as long as Melbourne is at their head; and when a change does come it will be so gradual and imperceptible that the Review will not profit much by it. I must get rid of the Review not only on account of the expense, but the time and exertion. I think myself, and still more everybody else, including the doctors and the India House people, will think, that I must not undertake so much work; especially when I first come back and have a long arrear of business at the I.H. It will be quite impossible for me to write anything for the Review, and the next number must certainly appear without anything of mine in it. I can better spare even money than time and labor for that number.
And I see no prospect of Lord Durham or anybody else taking it off my hands, as matters stand at present. I ought not to drop it without trying to preserve an organ for radicalism by offering it to any radical who would carry it on, on radical lines. Do you think Dilke4 would now be willing to take it, and would you sound him on the subject? I have not yet seen the last number, for though the reading-room at Florence takes it, everything is so long in coming that they are always far behind. I shall probably see it at Brussels. Will you thank Buller for his letter, and say I would answer it if I were not likely to see him so soon?—but I am so little able to judge of the present state of the public mind in England that I cannot judge whether he or the ten radicals who voted against the ministry5 were in the right. I think it likely that I should have done as he did, because the ministerial measure was probably right in itself, however absurdly defended; but if Grote and Molesworth thought the measure bad, I think they were right in voting against it. Buller’s remarks on the general state of politics seem to me sensible and right; whether his practical views are right or not will depend very much on the conduct of the ministry, which I feel persuaded will entirely disappoint both him and you. The radicals will not insist on any conditions, and if they did the ministry would reject them.
I shall leave this place in a day or two for Mannheim and the Rhine, from whence I shall go to Brussels, where I hope to find a letter from you. I shall be in London at latest on the 30th of June. I am coming back not at all cured, but cured of caring much about cure. I have no doubt I shall in time get accustomed to dyspepsia, as Lafontaine hoped he should to the regions below.
J. S. Mill.
TO AN UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT1
[Munich, May 31, 1839]
I am not at all cured, but I cease to care much about it. I am as fit for all my occupations as I was before, and as capable of bodily exertion as I have been of late years—only I have not quite so good a stomach.
TO JOHN STERLING1
24th July 1839
My dear Sterling
I did not need the arrival of the second packet to know whether the article2 would suit me or not—& if I could have had any doubts, that packet would have removed them—the contents of that same not being liable to even the minor objections which I might have raised to the first.
There are, as you surmised, (but confined almost entirely to the introductory part) many opinions stated in which speculatively I do not agree; but the time is long gone by when I considered such differences as those are, matters of first rate moment; & if I have a fault to find with your Introduction—it is a fault only with respect to my readers—viz. that it gives an account of the transcendental part (if I may so call it) of Carlyle’s opinions in somewhat too transcendental a manner; & not interpreting his views in language intelligible to persons of opposite schools, will scarcely serve to recommend him to any (some of the religious excepted) who are not already capable of appreciating him in his own writings. But “I speak as to the wise—judge ye what I say.”
In the passage on Superstition, I think you hardly do justice to Carlyle’s meaning. When he called Voltaire the destroyer of European superstition,3 I do not think he meant by superstition those fears & anxieties respecting the invisible world, which I understand you to mean that nothing but religion can save a meditative & sensitive character from—I think he meant by superstition, all such dogmatic religious belief as is not well grounded, & will not bear a close investigation, & especially, in his view, any religious belief resting on logic, or external evidences. If this be his meaning, what you say on the subject is scarcely in place—& the more commonplace meaning which I suppose him to have had, is perhaps maintainable, viz. that the first acute sceptic whose writings obtained European popularity, was thereby the destroyer for ever in the European mind of the absurdities which had entwined themselves with religion & the groundless arguments which were currently used in its support.
I have not a word more to say in the way of criticism—I am delighted with the article, & so I am persuaded will almost everybody be, whose good opinion is desirable—
ever truly yours
J. S. Mill.
TO EDWIN CHADWICK1
I have not yet been able to manage a visit to you—& I do not like a flying visit, especially when it is also a first visit2 —shall you be able to go down on Saturday? We all hope so very much.
J. S. Mill
TO JOHN ROBERTSON1
13 Pall Mall, East, Friday.
Though I cannot find fault with you for not coming to town this week, it has happened unluckily, as I was waiting impatiently to talk with you about Horne’s article and Mrs. Hall’s.
The former I send. You will hardly believe that the fellow has not even mentioned any one of the plays he pretends to review. It is a mere dissertation (though for him tolerably well done) on his dreadful ennuyeux subject of the “precarious state of the drama,” which nobody on earth cares for except playwriters by profession, and which he and a few others have made so dreadfully vulgar by their raving about it that the very sight of the words is disgusting to everybody of common good taste. Will you decide as to this article as you like, and write to Horne about it?2 He has already been at the printer’s, it seems.
As for Mrs. Hall’s,3 I have not yet dared to touch it. It is beyond all measure bad, and impossible to be made better. It has no one good point but a few of the stories towards the end, and those are told cleverly and with sprightliness, no doubt, but in the tone of a London shopkeeper’s daughter.
If I have my way we shall reject it totally, but if you could possibly suggest to me any means of making it endurable I should be happy to try them.
One thing I am determined on: nothing shall go to Paris under my sanction and responsibility showing such ignorance and such cockney notions of France and French matters as this does.
J. S. M.
Leigh Hunt’s article4 is with the printers, and with some leaving out it does very well.
TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1
My dear Gustave
I am happy to hear from you again after so long an intermission of our correspondence.
I have received your little pamphlet2 and have read it with the interest with which I always read anything of yours. I find in it, as I did in Les Deux Mondes,3 a foundation of what seems to me important truth—I have long been convinced that not only the East as compared with the West, but the black race as compared with the European, is distinguished by characteristics something like those which you assign to them; that the improvement which may be looked for, from a more intimate & sympathetic familiarity between the two, will not be solely on their side, but greatly also on ours; that if our intelligence is more developed & our activity more intense, they possess exactly what is most needful to us as a qualifying counterpoise, in their love of repose & in the superior capacity of animal enjoyment & consequently of sympathetic sensibility, which is characteristic of the negro race.
I have even long thought that the same distinction holds, though in a less prononcé manner, between the nations of the north & south of Europe; that the north is destined to be the workshop, material & intellectual, of Europe; the south, its “stately pleasure-house”4 —& that neither will fulfil its destination until it has made its peculiar function available for the benefit of both—until our work is done for their benefit, & until we, in the measure of our nature, are made susceptible of their luxury & sensuous enjoyment.
Thus you see I am very well prepared to give a favorable reception to your speculations & to join in your aspirations—& I am not less desirous than at any former period to keep up that sort of intellectual communion with you which I have already enjoyed. I do not find my enjoyment of speculation at all abated though I see less & less prospect of drawing together any body of persons to associate in the name & behalf of any set of fixed principles. Still, no good seed is lost: it takes root & springs up somewhere, & will help in time towards the general reconstruction of the opinions of the civilized world, for which ours is only a period of preparation, but towards which almost all the things & men of our time are working; though the men, for the most part, almost as unconsciously as the things. Therefore “cast ye your bread on the waters, & ye shall find it after many days.”
I am much concerned to hear of your father’s late illness & Adolphe’s indisposition—pray assure them both, Adolphe especially, of my affectionate regards & tell me when you next write, very particularly, how they are.
ever truly yours,
J. S. Mill.
TO JOHN STERLING1
28 September 1839
My dear Sterling
I have done by the separate copies2 according to your directions, except that Carlyle having called on me the day I received your letter, I gave him the copy destined for him. He expressed great interest about it—& seemed to expect something much less favorable than he will probably find it. Putting together my idea of the man & of the thing, I cannot think but that he must be on the whole greatly pleased with it.
I would have written to you immediately after receiving your answer to my last if it had occurred to me that there could be any doubt about the satisfactoriness to me of that answer. I felt that you were quite right & I wrong about the way in which that part of the article would be taken by the majority of English religious people3 —I though your corrections as far as they went diminished the force of my objections even in regard to the non-religious—& though I continued to think that there would have been a better way of stating Carlyle’s creed, I felt quite unable to state what that better way would be, or to satisfy myself that it would be a better way from your point of view. Taking the article altogether, & notwithstanding that those of its thoughts to which I subscribe with a heartiness of assent & sympathy that I seldom feel in reading any speculations ancient or modern, are inseparably interwoven with views of the fundamentals of philosophy which I am unable rather than unwilling to adopt—I yet think there has been nothing published for many years so likely both to fix the attention of the best spirits & to be a source of light & warmth to them—& instead of thinking of it as you say you do with little pleasure, it will always be one of the most agreeable facts in my connexion with the review that this article appeared in it. I am even now not alone in thinking that it will be received by many as the appearance of a not insignificant new element in the present chaos of English opinion—& that many will look out eagerly for the future manifestations of the same.
If I carry on the review to another number it will be partly in order to publish in it an article on Coleridge4 which I have always thought desirable as a counter-pole to the one on Bentham. I shall write the article whether it appear in the review or elsewhere—& have begun a fresh study of Coleridge’s writings for that purpose—but as there is so much of Coleridge which is not to be found except by implications in his published works, which are only one of the channels through which his influences have reached the age, I am fearful of understating both his merit & his importance—or rather of not producing sufficient detailed evidence to bear out my general estimate. I should have much preferred to see the subject treated by some one better versed in Coleridge, did it not seem essential to my purpose that the likeness should be taken from the same point of view as that of Bentham. It would be of most essential service to me to receive any suggestions or warnings from you, which may occur to you as needful, & especially such as would preserve me against overlooking any of the great thoughts, (whether general philosophic conceptions or single truths leading to important consequences) which he has contributed to the philosophy either explicit or implicit of the age, or which he has powerfully aided in deepening or diffusing. (I am ashamed of all this clumsy expression but you will understand what I mean). One essential part of my notice of him will be an attempt to enumerate & appreciate the principal of those thoughts, & perhaps that will be the only valuable part of the article. I hope therefore that I may be able to make it not absurdly incomplete.
I quite think with you that it is no part of my vocation to be a party leader, but at most to give occasional good advice to such as are fitted to be so. Whether I have any better vocation for being a philosopher, or whether you will think so when you see what I am capable of performing in that line, remains for the future to decide. I hope to give materials for the decision before long, as I can hardly fail I think to finish my Logic in the course of next year. I have endeavoured to keep clear so far as possible of the controversy respecting the perception of the highest Realities by direct intuition, confining Logic to the laws of the investigation of truth by means of extrinsic evidence whether ratiocinative or inductive. Still, I could not avoid conflict with some of the subordinate parts of the supersensual philosophy, which for aught I know may be as necessary to it as what may appear to me its fundamental principles & its only important results. I doubt therefore whether I can expect anything but opposition from the only school of metaphysical speculation which has any life or activity at present. But nous verrons. I have at all events made many things much clearer to myself than they were before—& that is something, even if I am destined to be my only disciple.
I am very far from agreeing, in all things, with the “Analysis,”5 even on its own ground—though perhaps, from your greater distance, the interval between me & it may appear but trifling. But I can understand your need of something beyond it & deeper than it, & I have often bad moods in which I would most gladly postulate like Kant a different ultimate foundation “subjectiver bedürfnisses willen” if I could.
I have left till the last what I have now barely room for—I consider myself your debtor not only in gratitude but pecuniarily for all that you have written in the review except the article on Montaigne6 —that I as willingly accepted as you kindly offered. I hoped however that the profits of the review might some time or other enable it to pay its debt to you for that article too; but for the others you ought to be & must be paid now; gratuitous assistance to such an extent ought neither to be received nor given except where the giver is at least as well able to do without payment as the receiver is able to pay: what I have lost by the review is not so much as to be of importance to me, & this will not make any material addition to it. When I asked you to write I fully contemplated payment & would gladly have obtained cooperation like yours at any price I could afford. So when you next write pray tell me where & to whom I shall pay what is your due for this article & Simonides7 —& now adieu—
J. S. Mill
TO JOHN STERLING1
My dear Sterling
I am very happy that you have put it in my power to acquit myself of a small part at least of the obligation I owe you. I know where I can get a copy of the Biographie Universelle at a very reasonable price—as well as Guizot’s writings; & those you mention of my father’s of course. But all these together are such a very small set off against two such articles as those, that you must really tell me of some other books that would be useful or pleasant to you, so that I might add them to the packet—& tell me where they should be sent.
I suppose you have got the review by this time—at least your father has, whom I saw yesterday & with whom I had some talk about your article2 —he likes it very much but thinks you pass too lightly over Carlyle’s faults—which as was to be expected, he exaggerates.—There is nothing of mine in the review except a few words of note at the end of your article. There is on the whole little in this number to interest you. The best thing is an article on Oliver Cromwell3 by the editor, Robertson, which I should like you to read because I think it the first thing he has written which does anything like justice to his sentiments & capacity. Your very kind offer about reviewing Gladstone4 I will think about. In reviewing Coleridge I cannot help going over much of the same ground, as his “Church & State” must of course be very prominent in any such view of him as I should take—this however is partly a reason for, as well as partly against, the treatment of the subject by you in the same number. I see no reason at all for your depreciating comments on the article on Carlyle—not that there are not things to be said against it, but I am convinced no competent judge except yourself, will see those things in as strong a light as you do—one naturally is a severe critic upon oneself. There is, no doubt, occasional looseness of expression—but also, frequently, great aptness & even condensation of it; & even something exceedingly like the stile of Coleridge himself, of whom I have been reading sentences which I could easily have mistaken for yours. I have come to this conclusion about your writing, that the more important & universal the subject, the better you treat it.
I have read through with great interest the little volume lately published by Pickering containing the Church & State & the Lay Sermons.5 In the former I see more & more to admire, though I think, there & elsewhere, he runs riot with the great historical conception of a certain idea of the scope & fitting attributes of some social elements working in the minds of people from age to age without distinct consciousness on their part. This I am aware is the natural result of his system of metaphysics, but I who do not believe in pre-existent ideas see in as much as is true of this doctrine (& that much of it is true I contend as strongly as he) only the first confused view, suggested by our various instincts, of the various wants of society & of the mutual correlation of these.—On the particular doctrines of his political philosophy—it seems to me that he stands almost alone in having seen that the foundation of the philosophy of the subject is a perception what are those great interests (comprehending all others) each of which must have somebody bound & induced to stand up for it in particular, & between which a balance must be maintained—& I think with him that those great interests are two, permanence & progression. But he seems to me quite wrong in considering the land to be essentially identified with permanence & commercial wealth with progression. The land has something to do with permanence, but the antithesis, I think is rather between the contented classes & the aspiring—wealth & hopeful poverty—age & youth—hereditary importance & personal endowments.—As I think the Church & State the best, so the Lay Sermons seem to me the worst of Coleridge’s writings yet known to me—though there are excellent passages in them.
I think exactly as you do about the doctrine which resolves the pleasure of music into association. I seem to myself to perceive clearly two elements in it, one dependent on association, the other not—& those elements combine in very varying proportions, as e.g. the former predominating in Gluck & Beethoven, the latter in Mozart.
I heard from Mr Sterling yesterday more than I liked to hear about the state of your health, though I trust not enough to inspire any serious apprehension. Do take care of yourself for you can ill be spared publicly or privately & by few (out of your own family) so ill as by
J. S. Mill
As I finish this letter, behold a note from Carlyle.6 He says “Sterling’s is a splendid article: in spite of its enormous extravagance some will like it; many are sure to talk of it & on the whole to be instructed by it. No man in England has been better reviewed than I,—if also no one worse.”—So far so good: & as for the “extravagance” I doubt not his modesty applies that appellation mainly to the praise.
The Moral Philosophy Chair at Glasgow is vacant, & my friend Nichol has written to me about finding some fit person to fill it—it is in the gift of the Professors & any good man would be sure of all that Nichol & Lushington7 could do for him. Can you recommend any one? Alas that you are not in a condition to take it yourself.
It is worth, Nichol tells me, about £700 a year, & gives employment only for six months.8
TO JOHN MITCHELL KEMBLE1
14th October 1839
My dear Sir,
There would be very great weight in the objections which you state to a junction of the two reviews2 if the L. & W. really represented the sentiments of the great majority of those who buy it—but I do not believe this to be the case—I believe that the buyers of the L. & W. buy it only because it is the radical review & because they are radicals, i.e. people who wish to carry their changes beyond those which would be consented to by Whigs or Tories, & in particular who would widen the basis of the representative system. Provided these are the conclusions arrived at, I believe they will allow the writer to chuse his own premises. Among the points of principle which you enumerate, the Ballot is the only one which might threaten to set the readers of the L. & W. at variance with you, but I think rather because opposition to the ballot is interpreted as opposition to all radicalism. When the repudiation of the ballot is construed with a large declaration in favour of extension of the suffrage, yet on principles quite opposite to those of Chartism I do not think it would be found a very serious obstacle. The ballot though in my opinion necessary, & but little objectionable, is passing from a radical doctrine into a Whig one as will be seen the moment it is carried. It is essentially a juste milieu, middle class doctrine.
If I thought I could do better for my principles, different as they are in some important respects from yours, than by placing my review under your guidance, I would do so: but as in the present state of affairs in this country I know of no disposal I could make of it, without having to get over objections fully as strong and even stronger, I accept your offer of writing to Mr. Beaumont3 on the subject although I can hardly expect that your unfavourable opinion, if it should continue, will not turn the scale against me. I do not utterly despair of your ultimately taking a more favourable view of the position, because I firmly believe that any set of writers promulgating extensive views of political & social improvement, freed from party trammels & exhibiting an example of superiority to the littlenesses of the age & of its notions of statesmanship, may obtain all the support which it possessed or can be hoped for by the L. & W. as at present conducted.
Yours very truly
J. S. Mill
TO JOHN STERLING1
My dear Sterling
I am truly sorry that you have found it necessary to renounce your project of reviewing Gladstone, but I cannot contest the reasons you assign for giving it up. I wish most heartily that there were any other channel through which you could conveniently do it, as I am sure it would do much good & for myself I feel a special desire to have your view of the matter in print. The British & Foreign Review has already had a tolerable article on Gladstone & Maurice2 —otherwise that might have been a less exceptionable vehicle under the circumstances you mention, than, I feel, mine would be likely to be.
I imagine your books must have reached Clifton by this time—they are certainly on the way—at least they were all at Hooper’s some days ago.
I have set to work upon an article on Coleridge, partly in consequence of the encouragement you gave me. It will not be a popular article; & perhaps not one person who reads it will like it; probably few will derive much benefit from it; but if I do what I have thoughts of doing, viz. to collect the few things I have printed which are worth preserving & republish them in a volume,3 I shall be glad to have this among them because some of the others, without this, would give a false view of my general mode of thinking—& besides I sometimes think that if there is anything which I am under a special obligation to preach, it is the meaning & necessity of a catholic spirit in philosophy, & I have a better opportunity of shewing what this is, in writing about Coleridge, than I have ever had before.
Touching your question to me, whether I think that we know a sufficient number of Laws of particular Phenomena to be able to mount up to the Laws of the whole system of which they are a part—if you mean, to such laws as that which Coleridge ascribes to Heraclitus & Giordano Bruno, the essential polarity of all power4 —I do not think that the time is come for such wide generalizations, though I do not consider the attainment of them hopeless at some future period. I am afraid that the only principles which I should at present recognize as laws of all Phenomena, are some of those which for that very reason are classed by Kant as laws of our perceptive faculty only—subjective, not objective—as for instance the subjection of all phenomena to the laws of Time & Space. But it would require a good deal of explanation before we could make ourselves understood by each other on this matter, & for my part I dare say I may have something to learn on this subject from the German philosophers when I have time to read them. You may think it presumptuous in a man to be finishing a treatise on logic & not to have made up his mind finally on these great matters. But mine professes to be a logic of experience only, & to throw no further light upon the existence of truths not experimental, than is thrown by shewing to what extent reasoning from experience will carry us. Above all mine is a logic of the indicative mood alone—the logic of the imperative, in which the major premiss says not is but ought—I do not meddle with.
My notion, a vague one enough, about the reason of Charles’s consent to Strafford’s death5 is that he was frightened at the discovery of the “army-plot” just at that time—I have no recent familiarity with the details of the history, & Robertson is in the country.
ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1
12th Nov. 1839
My dear Gustave
I can answer your two questions. Buxton,2 a rich brewer, is the head of the English Abolitionists—the principal supporter, & present successor, of Wilberforce:3 & like him, a leader in what is called the religious world. He is, I believe, a very honest & well-meaning man. The object of the last bill relating to the Portuguese slave trade4 (the legality of which on principles of international law is very doubtful) was to assume the right of search, capture, & condemnation of Portuguese vessels in our own Admiralty Courts, in all cases in which the same rights could be exercised over English vessels; including cases in which the only proof of a ship’s being destined for the slave trade, is the appearance & fitting-up of the vessel itself. How far this bill will be executed time must shew. It goes much beyond anything warranted by existing treaties, & is justified only by the disregard which the Portuguese government has systematically shewn towards those treaties.
There is no later edition of my father’s history5 than the third, which I believe was that of 1826; & it is not often I think, to be met with under the full publishing price. But a bookseller, who has lately bought the copyright, has announced a new edition,6 with a continuation; & this, no doubt, will bring down considerably the price of the old editions. Your friend therefore will be likely to have a better bargain by delaying his purchase for some months.
I have read with interest the two notices you sent me, of your little tract,7 & I will not lose any opportunity of getting it noticed here; but I am not sanguine of doing any good by it. Our people are not ripe for any generalizations of so wide & ambitious a kind—for which even you have only been prepared by St Simonism. And you know very well that large ideas must be made to look like small ones here, or people will turn away from them. This is not a place for speculative men, except (at most) within the limits of ancient & traditional Christianity. The chief recent development of scientific speculation here is one of reaction, similar to that of De Maistre.8 Have you heard of the new Oxford school?9 If not, I shall have much to tell you when I have time to write you a long letter.
To whom, at the Ambassador, here, shall I address the letters which are to be under cover to M. Armand Lefebvre?10
J. S. Mill
My kindest remembrances to your father & Adolphe.
TO THOMAS CARLYLE1
[Early Dec., 1839]
It is a glorious piece of work,2 & will be a blessed gospel to many, if they read it & lay it to heart.
I took a great piece of paper, to make notes upon, but found scarcely any to make. When I had done reading, the scrap which accompanies this3 was all I had written. But I would strongly recommend the omission of much of the quotation from Sauerteig,4 not because it is not true & good & beautiful in itself, but because much of it is not at all, or in a very inferior degree, pertinent to the subject. The historical view of the “eras” serves, I think, merely to interrupt the flow of the thoughts & feelings, & to make the conclusion comparatively flat. Yet what is said of the two tasks of England, & especially the constitutional task, must stand in some shape or other, though I think rather as your own than as Sauerteig’s.
I incline to think that the condition of the working classes has not deteriorated; but all that you say on the matter, ought to be said by those who think it, & the far greater part of it, I think too. And the tone in which it is said, does not assume more certainty than the case admits of—while all the practical conclusions hold equally, howsoever the fact stands in that respect.
I should be very averse to disturb any other arrangement you may have made, or may wish to make—but it would delight me much to let this be the last dying speech of a Radical Review. I do not think a radical review ought to die without saying all this—& no one else could say it half as well. Any number of copies of it might be printed in pamphlet form from the same types.5
TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1
27th December 1839
My dear Gustave
I have been a long while without answering your last letter—which I should not have been if I could have given you any information worth sending on African affairs. I do not believe there has been any voyage on the Niger since Laird & Oldfield:2 if there has, I am sure you will find references to it in Buxton’s book.3 It is said that there is to be another expedition soon to ascend the river in steamboats, but I do not know whether it is to be fitted out by Government or by individuals. I am very little conversant with the affairs of Western Africa or I could perhaps tell you more.
The continuation of my father’s history4 will come down to the last renewal of the Company’s charter, in 1833. The whole, continuation & all, will be contained in eight volumes, which will cost 10s. 6d. or 12 shillings each, & will be published, it is hoped, monthly, beginning next February or March, so as to be completed within the year. But I think it very doubtful whether they will be able to complete it within so short a time.
You have not told me what information you wish for about Ireland, or our Asiatic affairs. As for the Oxford School, it is a new Catholic school without the Pope. It has revived & reasserted the old Anglican doctrine, that the English Church is the Catholic Church—that the Church of Rome since the Council of Trent is schismatic—& it claims in behalf of the Church, a real Spiritual Power, similar & almost equal to that which was exercised by the Catholic Church before the Reformation. The depositary of this Spiritual Power is, according to them, the body of ordained Clergy, that is, ordained by Bishops deriving their authority by apostolic succession from Jesus Christ. The principal peculiarity of this school is hostility to what they call ultra-Protestantism. They recognise tradition, & not the scriptures merely, as one of the sources of Christianity. They dislike the word Protestant altogether, as a word which denotes only negation and disunion. And they urge all the arguments of the 19th century against the 18th, of the St Simonians against the école critique, all these they urge against Protestantism of the common English kind. Some of them have even revived prayers for the dead, keeping saint’s days, &c., & one of their leaders has published a book of Latin hymns,5 including some to the Virgin. They reprobate the “right of private judgment” & consider learning rather than original thinking the proper attribut[ion]6 of a divine. They discourage the Methodistical view of religion which makes devotional feeling a state of strong excitement, & inculcate rather a spirit of humility & self-mortification. This is a very vague description of them but I have not studied them sufficiently yet to give a better. It is one of the forms, & the best form hitherto, of the reaction of Anglicanism against Methodism, incredulity & rationalism. They hold many of the opinions of Laud7 & the semi-Catholic high-church divines of Charles the First’s times, & their doctrine, which is spreading fast among the younger clergy, is giving great offence to the evangelical part of the Church (you know the Calvinistic part of it, who fraternize with the Dissenters, take that name) which had previously been increasing very much in numbers & influence. They are passive obedience men, & one of their chiefs preached a sermon on the 5th of November in which he said that we ought to beg forgiveness of God for the sin of our ancestors in turning out James the Second.8 Among others of their proselytes it is said that Gladstone, the only rising man among the Tories, is one; the man who will probably succeed Peel as the Tory leader, unless this prevents him. The principal chiefs are Dr Pusey, an Oxford Professor, & Mr. Newman.
ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
[1. ]Excerpt published by Bain, JSM, p. 45. MS not located. Bracketed portion is Bain’s summary.
[1. ]Excerpt published by Bain, JSM, p. 45. MS not located. Bain notes that the letter was written ten days after the preceding one.
[2. ]The parenthesis is probably by Bain.
[1. ]Published by Towers, p. 67. MS not located.
[2. ]The April number (XXXII, 459-75) contained an article by Robertson, “Criticism on Women,” a defence of women in general but in particular of women writers like Mrs. Norton, Lady Morgan, Miss Edgeworth, and Miss Martineau against the satirical, critical assaults which Robertson labels “Crokerism.”
[1. ]Published by Towers, p. 70. MS not located.
[2. ]“Reorganization of the Reform Party,” LWR, XXXII (April, 1839), 475-508, bore JSM’s usual signature, A.
[3. ]Another number did not appear until Oct.; it carried no article by JSM.
[1. ]MS at LSE. Addressed: Mrs Mill / 18 Kensington Square / Kensington / London / Inghilterra. Postmarks: VEN / . . . . / and LONDON / 29 / MAY / 1839. Published, with minor variations, in Hayek, pp. 108-9.
[2. ]Horace Grant.
[1. ]Published by Towers, pp. 71-72. MS not located.
[2. ]On May 7 the Melbourne ministry resigned but within forty-eight hours, after Sir Robert Peel’s failure to form a government, was reinstated.
[3. ]See Buller’s letter of May 21 to Robertson, published by Towers, p. 71.
[4. ]Charles Wentworth Dilke.
[5. ]The desertion of ten Radical members from the Whigs on the Jamaica bill division on May 6 led to the temporary dissolution of the Melbourne government.
[1. ]Excerpt published by Bain, JSM, p. 45. MS not located.
[1. ]Addressed: Rev. John Sterling / Manor House / Clifton Place / Clifton / near Bristol. Postmark: LS / 24 JY 24 / 1839. MS at King’s. Published in Elliot, I, 112-13. Sterling had moved his family from London to Clifton the preceding month.
[2. ]Later note in JSM’s hand: “The article on Carlyle [‘Carlyle’s Works,’ LWR, XXXIII (Oct., 1839), 1-68], republished in Sterling’s collected writings.”
[3. ]In his essay on Voltaire, first published in the Foreign Review, III (April, 1829), 419-75.
[1. ]Addressed: Edwin Chadwick Esq. / Poor Law Commission Office / Somerset House. Postmarks: TP / Leadenhall St. and 2 AN2 / AU6 / 1839. MS at UCL.
[2. ]“First visit,” i.e., to the newly established home of Chadwick, who had married Rachel Dawson Kennedy on July 23.
[1. ]Published by Towers, pp. 65-66. MS not located. Not dated by Mrs. Towers, but the reference to Mrs. Hall’s article seems to establish the approximate date.
[2. ]The decision was evidently in the negative, for no such article appeared. R. H. Horne was apparently continuing on the theme of one of his earliest books, The Exposition of the False Medium and Barriers Excluding Men of Genius from the Public (London, 1833).
[3. ]Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), editor and novelist, wife of Samuel Carter Hall (1800-1889), editor and miscellaneous writer. Her one article published in LWR seems to have been the one referred to here: “Heads of the People,” XXXIII (Oct., 1839), 162-81.
[4. ]“New Translations of the Arabian Nights,” ibid., pp. 101-37.
[1. ]Addressed: Monsieur / M. Gustave d’Eichthal / 14 Rue Lepelletier / à Paris. Postmarks: LONDON / 14 / SEP / 1839 / F.B.O., and ANGL / 16 / SEPT / 39 / CALAIS. MS at Arsenal. Published in Cosmopolis, IX, 368-69, and in D’Eichthal Corresp., pp. 171-73.
[2. ]Lettres sur la race noire et la race blanche (Paris, 1839), in collaboration with Ismayl Urbain.
[3. ]See Letter 197, n. 2.
[4. ]Cf. Tennyson, “I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house” (“The Palace of Art”).
[1. ]Addressed: Rev. John Sterling / Manor House / Clifton Place / Clifton / near Bristol. Postmark: LS / 28 SP 28 / 1839. MS at King’s. Two paragraphs published in Elliot, I, 113-14.
[2. ]Of Sterling’s review of Carlyle in the Oct., 1839, LWR.
[3. ]See Letter 260.
[4. ]JSM did publish his article on Coleridge, in the last number of the LWR under his proprietorship, March, 1840, XXXIII, 257-302.
[5. ]James Mill’s Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (1829).
[6. ]See Letter 243, n. 2.
[7. ]See Letter 245, n. 2.
[1. ]Addressed: Rev. John Sterling / Manor House / Clifton Place / Clifton / near Bristol. Postmark: LS / 2 OC 2 / 1839. MS at King’s. Published in part in Elliot, I, 114-15.
[2. ]“Carlyle’s Works.” See previous letter, and Letter 260.
[3. ]LWR, XXXIII (Oct., 1839), 181-256.
[4. ]W. E. Gladstone’s The State in its Relations with the Church (London, 1838); no review of it appeared in LWR. See Letter 267.
[5. ]On the Constitution of Church and State [3rd ed.], and Lay Sermons [2nd ed.], ed. H. N. Coleridge (London: William Pickering, 1839).
[6. ]In A. Carlyle, pp. 169-70, but dated Monday night [Oct. 7, 1839]; a more likely date for Carlyle’s letter is Sept. 30, 1839. See also Carlyle’s letter to Sterling, Sept. 29, 1839, in A. Carlyle, pp. 222-27.
[7. ]Edmund L. Lushington (1811-1893), professor of Greek at Glasgow University; later the brother-in-law of Alfred Tennyson.
[8. ]The last two paragraphs of the postscript are written at the top of the first page.
[1. ]From copy supplied by Professor Ney MacMinn of MS in his possession.
[2. ]The British and Foreign and the London and Westminster. The merger was not effected.
[3. ]Thomas Wentworth Beaumont (1792-1848), politician, and owner of the British and Foreign Review.
[1. ]Addressed: Rev. John Sterling / Clifton / near Bristol. Postmark: LS / 4 NO 4 / 1839. Part published in Elliot, I, 116. MS at King’s.
[2. ]“The State and the Church,” BFR, IX (Oct., 1839), 433-66.
[3. ]This plan was eventually carried into execution with the publication of his Dissertations and Discussions, vols. I and II, 1859; vol. III, 1867; vol. IV, 1875.
[4. ]S. T. Coleridge, The Friend (1818), I, 155-56, footnote.
[5. ]Sterling was working on his tragedy, Strafford, published in 1843.
[1. ]Addressed: Monsieur / Gustave d’Eichthal / 14 Rue Lepelletier / à Paris. Postmark: LONDON / 12 / Nov / 1839 / F.B.O. MS at Arsenal.
[2. ]Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786-1845), philanthropist.
[3. ]William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the great Evangelical abolitionist.
[4. ]A bill enacted Aug. 19, 1839, because of Portugal’s failure to abolish the slave trade in accordance with treaties of 1810, 1815, and 1817. See Annual Register, LXXXI (1839), 242 ff.
[5. ]The History of British India, first published in 1817.
[6. ]The fourth edition, with notes and continuation by H. H. Wilson (9 vols., London, 1840-48).
[7. ]Probably D’Eichthal’s Lettres sur la race noire et la race blanche. See Letter 263, n. 2.
[8. ]Joseph de Maistre (1754?-1821), leader of Neo-Catholic and anti-revolutionary movement in France.
[9. ]See Letter 270 for JSM’s description of the Oxford or Tractarian movement.
[10. ]Armand E. Lefebvre (1800-1864), diplomatist and writer.
[1. ]MS at NLS. Part published as note to Carlyle’s letter of Dec. 6, 1839, to JSM, in A. Carlyle, pp. 171-72.
[2. ]Carlyle’s Chartism, the MS of which he had sent JSM to read. Pencilled note on MS: “Enclosed in an ms of T. Carlyle marked ‘Rejected fragments of Chartism.’ (Ms. taken out long ago. A.C.)”
[3. ]A copy of this letter, also at NLS, includes the following scraps of criticism:
[4. ]Like Professor Teufelsdröckh in Sartor Resartus, Sauerteig, another mythical German professor. Carlyle disregarded JSM’s advice; chap. viii, “New Eras,” of Chartism consists almost wholly of quotations from Sauerteig’s supposed History of the Teuton Kindred. Sauerteig also appears in Carlyle’s Past and Present (1843).
[5. ]Carlyle rejected JSM’s offer; the pamphlet was published before the end of Dec., 1839, by James Fraser. See also Carlyle’s contemptuous remarks on the subject of JSM’s offer, in J. A. Froude, Thomas Carlyle: A History of His Life in London, 1834-1881 (2 vols., New York, 1884), I, 148.
[1. ]Addressed: Monsieur / Gustave d’Eichthal / Rue Lepelletier à Paris. Published, with omissions, in Cosmopolis, IX, 369-71, and in D’Eichthal Corresp., pp. 174-77. MS at Arsenal.
[2. ]See Macgregor Laird and R. A. K. Oldfield, Narrative of an Expedition into the Interior of Africa, by the River Niger . . . in 1832, 3, 4 (2 vols., London, 1837).
[3. ]Sir Thomas F. Buxton, The African Slave Trade (London, 1839).
[4. ]See Letter 268.
[5. ]Probably Isaac Williams’ Hymns Translated from the Parisian Breviary (1839).
[6. ]Page torn.
[7. ]William Laud (1573-1645), Archbishop of Canterbury.
[8. ]Presumably the sermon by Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882), Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, Patience and Confidence the Strength of the Church. A Sermon preached on the fifth of November before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary’s . . . (Oxford, 1837). The sermon was reprinted several times. It was attacked in ER, LXVI (Jan., 1838), 396-415. For a discussion of the sermon and the subsequent controversy, see Henry P. Liddon, Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey (4 vols., London, 1893-97), II, 16-20.