Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1856 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XV - The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill 1849-1873 Part II
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1856 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XV - The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill 1849-1873 Part II 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XV - The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill 1849-1873 Part II, ed. Francis E. Mineka and Dwight N. Lindley (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972).
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TO LOUIS BLANC1
Mon cher Monsieur Louis Blanc
Je n’ai reçu votre aimable billet que ce matin—Je regrette bien ne pas pouvoir profiter de votre invitation pour ce soir et je vous prie de croire que je n’en désire pas moins la réalisation de l’espérance que vous m’avez donnée de vous voir plus souvent et de comparer mes idées avec les vôtres sur les grandes questions qui occupent aujourd’hui tous les esprits élevés. Je vous engage à ne pas vous décourager de venir à mon bureau par l’idée que vous me dérangerez. La semaine dernière a été exceptionnelle pour moi. Ordinairement, à l’exception du mercredi, mes occupations de bureau sont de nature à pouvoir être ajournées au moins pour une heure ou deux.
J. S. Mill
TO ARTHUR HARDY1
Jan. 21. 1856
My dear Mr Hardy
My wife has told you that we were much interested in the account of the Institution2 you have founded at Adelaide. Such means for the education of the young & the useful instruction of the old, are more important, if that be possible, in a new than even in an old country, as the helps & instruments to self cultivation are apt to be more scanty, & what is done or left undone now, will determine in a great measure what part the future Australian nation will take in the advancement of the world.
You are aware that Mr Duffy3 has lately emigrated to Australia. His immediate destination is Melbourne but in case anything should lead him to Adelaide I have ventured to assure him that you would be glad to see him or to be useful to him. He is a very valuable acquisition both privately & publicly to any colony in which he may determine to establish himself.
My wife’s health has been very precarious since her attack of hemorrhage4 but this last summer & autumn it has improved, & I have great hopes that she at last will now recover from that attack. She has suffered greatly both in feelings & in health from the unprincipled conduct of Arthur Ley & his wife about the Trusteeship of her marriage settlement.5 Her wish alone ought to have been sufficient to make him resign it—but when the immediate ground of our asking it was (tho’ of course not so said to him) that she knew from Caroline herself that he was not only in pecuniary difficulties but that there was a deficiency in his accounts as Treasurer of a Turnpike Trust, a man with the ordinary amount of honour & honesty would have been anxious to do so. Herbert’s not joining in the request6 was entirely immaterial as the settlement gives the power exclusively to her, & his not choosing to ask it was merely an instance of his usual contradictory disposition. My wife has sent you a copy of Caroline’s letter, full of vulgar taunts & malevolent insinuations. You might suppose from this that she had given some offence to Mrs Ley, or that there had been some previous quarrel, but there had been nothing of the kind—for some reason of her own, & very foolishly, Mrs Ley suddenly changed from her usual professions of great affection & regard, to this insulting letter, & this is the only answer she has given. My wife’s last letters both to her & Arthur Ley remain unanswered.
I found that the only legal protection in our power against a fraudulent trustee is to lay a distringas7 on the stock which prevents the possibility of its being transferred without notice given. This would enable us to apply to the Court of Chancery for an injunction. I have therefore taken this precaution, without which any accident to the other trustee would leave my wife’s & the children’s property entirely insecure.
Pray present my compliments to Mrs Hardy & believe me
very sincerely yours
J. S. Mill
TO GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE1
April 1. 1856
I am sorry to hear that you have got into the difficulty you mention,2 and am willing to assist. But first I must request you tell me exactly how much of the £130 you see any prospect of raising and whether £130 is the whole of what you can be called on to pay in consequence of bills accepted by you for Mr Leblond.
TO GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE1
April 5, 1856
You must excuse me for saying that in making yourself liable for Mr Leblond’s bill transactions you were throwing money which you could not spare into the mere gulf of a bankruptcy—injuring yourself and those dependent on you without doing your friend any good, and throwing away the possible means of serving him afterwards. It would have been a totally different thing if by so doing you could have saved him. I am
J. S. Mill.
TO HARRIET MILL1
I have done pretty well, dearest one, to get here in one day from Besançon—to do which I had to take a char at Orbe but I walked most part of the way, which was very agreeable after going to Pontarlier by the malle poste on a most uncomfortable outside seat, & stewing inside the diligence from Pontarlier to Orbe, seeing little or nothing. But I am well recompensed darling by this place. How very much I wish my own only one could see it. It is the very picture of peace. From my window I look quite up the lake & to the end of its valley which is called even on fingerposts Lavallée (par excellence). It is five or six leagues in length but you see entirely down or rather up the vista as it is quite straight, & the lake, though small compared with those we have lately seen, yet long enough & broad enough for beauty, lies between its bright green slopes which though very high for the Jura, do not shew their height from the great elevation of this valley but are covered with the richest & finest Jura pastures & Jura woods. The villages, this & another smaller one, do not in the least detract from the air of quiet—they are all large well looking houses, evidently inhabited only by their inhabitants, & looking straight upon the lake. The water itself is as peaceful as it is bright & clear. It has no apparent outlet, being entirely imbedded in hills—a bend (the only one) in the valley just at this place separates the Lac de Joux from a very beautiful smaller lake below it, quite shut in by mountains, but the water all seems to come out under ground into the Valorbe, another valley at a great depth below this, & so cut off from it that the road to this does not even lie through that: I enjoy the place much & you may suppose I am very well when I say that after climbing the Mont Tendre, a most beautiful mountain, one of the highest of the Jura, which with a rest on the grass at the top & the return took six hours, I only staid half an hour to eat a crust of bread & drink a whole jug of milk, & set off again to climb another mountain & make a round which took another five hours—& I am not now more tired than is agreeable. The views of the Alps here are splendid, especially that from the Mont Tendre—in spite of a great deal of haze towards Berne & Savoy. I saw the snowy range for a great distance, Mont Blanc tolerably & the Dent du Midi, the nearer Valais mountains & the whole lake of Geneva from end to end well, also the lake of Neuchâtel, the whole Jura, & France I should think nearly to Dijon. The evening walk was still finer: the bit of Valorbe which I descended to get to the source of the Orbe (the place where the water of the two lakes is supposed to come out) equals anything I ever saw—a narrow gorge between precipices but itself full of the richest Jura verdure of pasture & wood so high as almost to hide the precipices: & the source with its exquisite clearness & great mass of water coming out from under an amphitheatre of precipice in the heart of a wood far surpasses Vaucluse. I also went over in the rocks above a really immense cave but without any stalactites. If my beloved one was with me I could stay here with pleasure the whole week—the inn would do—a little below the mark of St. Martin but larger rooms. As it is I shall leave tomorrow: for quiet enjoyment one requires to be two—by oneself there is nothing but activity. I have been much tempted to go to Annecy—being so near & finding that those who left Besançon with me were to get to Geneva the same evening by aid of railway & steamboat. But I have resisted the temptation & shall go to Yverdon tomorrow—if the rest of the Jura were to be like this I should lose nothing. I shall put in this letter probably at Yverdon & I hope to be in time for the steamer & to land not at Neuchâtel but at St Aubin on the west bank from which Murray says it is but four miles to the Creux du Vent. What I shall do afterwards I do not know except that I shall return to Besançon from la Chaux de Fonds & shall try first to see Weissenstein & the Val Moutiers. This place has rather spoilt me for other places & this lake for other lakes. How very different a surroundment my darling’s has been these two days. No doubt she is now in Paris & I so hope in a not unpleasant lodging. Though I am very glad to have been here I am not half reconciled to the separation from my dear one—& the more I like the place the more I long for her presence. But I will try to make the time as useful as possible for my health & you see I have begun well today. Adieu my dearest wife with a thousand loves & kisses—your own
TO HARRIET MILL1
My dearest love, I wrote twice to Paris, once on Wednesday & once on Friday,2 which I hope came safely to her dear hands. The last brought me to that pretty little place Sonceboz, which lies at the junction of a valley & two gorges, one going downward & the other upward, both most beautiful: the valley is that of St Imier & is a good deal like the Val Travers. It is a very small neat village & would be very quiet, but as it is on the principal road into Switzerland by way of Bâle, & the diligences & voitures all stop here, there is generally some bustle going on. The inn is decidedly good, as well as decidedly cheap: I was charged 1½ franc a day for a good bedroom & bed, & the same for my usual breakfast: ½ franc a day for service. I got out at ½ past 8 yesterday & explored the whole of the Val Moutiers: going through the upper of the two gorges & through the Pierre Pertuis, which is not a tunnel being not longer than a mere gateway, the gorge being singularly closed by a mere wall of rock. This led into the Val Moutiers at Tavannes, for many miles beyond which it was an open valley in the full glare of the sun: the beauty consists in two narrow defiles, one above the other below Moutiers. I dined at a one o’clock table d’hôte at Moutiers & then walked on to the last turn in the further of the two defiles, from which the end of it is seen at a short distance. They are fine, but to us who have seen so much, not extraordinary: you have only to imagine a cleft winding through precipitous fir clad rocks of great height, in general just large enough for the road & the little river. The oddity is that the flat thick tables of which this rock is composed, instead of lying horizontal one on another, have been thrown up on end & stand vertically—& as many of them have mouldered or been washed out, those which remain are in some places like buttresses or gigantic bits of wall at right angles to the road. From Moutiers I took a car part of the way back (to Tavannes) & arrived a little before 8. This morning I started at ½ past 5 in the coupé of the malle poste along the Val St Imier (green & full of villages) then over a dividing ridge to this place—which is not at all like what I expected. Murray’s description of a great straggling village, composed of cottages each standing in its bit of ground, is as opposite to the truth as can be conceived—it would be thought in England a compact town, & there is not a cottage in it—all large houses & large blocks of houses, abutting at once on green fields at the outskirts, in a way which reminded me of Brighton—there are about half a dozen houses which have bits of garden in front like our suburbs & about half a dozen square patches of garden ground within the limits of the town: it has nothing whatever of a village except that it is macadamized instead of paved. Murray’s description must be copied from some old one: it looks an upstart place, having no promenades or planted trees like Neuchâtel though it has more inhabitants. Murray is equally out as to the country, which he calls bleak, desolate & bare of wood. It is one of the open valleys with sloping sides & those have fewer trees than the narrow ones, but this has many & is most cheerful & inspiriting. I have had a beautiful walk: first to a pass called the Col des Loges, about half way to Neuchâtel which is noted for the view of the Alps, & though it was very hazy, I saw a part of them very well: then a round over the summits climbing another noted mountain called Tête du Rond3 (or something sounding like it) from which the view of the Alps, Jura &c is still finer, then back through woods, over mountains & across the loveliest green valleys. The mountains though high are not a great height above this valley which is itself extremely high. I do not like the town; it is the only blemish in the [paper torn] Tomorrow I go to Locle & the Saut du Doubs, & that will be the finale. I have taken my place for Tuesday for Besançon when I shall have the happiness of finding a letter from her & in two days after I shall see her again. It seems already an enormous time since I parted from her. Time never seems long when I am with her, whether it is at home or travelling. I believe this journey has set me up as to health—I am afraid it has done very little for [paper torn] to the heat [paper torn]
TO GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE1
Sept. 21. 1856
On returning a few days ago from the Continent I found your note inclosing the reprint of my wife’s article in the W.R.2 on the enfranchisement of women. I think you were not justified in reprinting it without asking the permission of the author which you could easily have done through me, still less with many errors in the reprint. I have marked the principal of them in the margin of the copy you sent. One particularly offensive is the excessive vulgarity of substituting “woman” for “Women”; this occurs in several places and in the first paragraph. One of the purposes of writing the article was to warn the American women to disunite their cause from the feeble sentimentality which exposes it to contempt & of which the stuff continually talked & written about “woman” may be taken as a symbol & test,—& it is therefore very disagreeable to the writer to see this piece of vulgarity prominent on the face of the article itself.
I am yrs vy truly
TO ARTHUR HARDY1
Sept. 29. 1856.
My dear Hardy—
I did not receive your letter until more than a fortnight after its arrival, as we had not yet returned from our summer excursion, which this year was to Switzerland—& since we have been at home I have had so many things to write & to do that I have been unable to answer it until now. What you say concerning your Institution for working people appears to me encouraging: the success of the library seems to be everything that you could have hoped for, & that, besides being the thing of most importance, will probably in the end lead to the success of the other part of your plan: it is very satisfactory too that the example has been so speedily followed in other quarters.
The trust is in exactly the same state as when I last wrote to you.2 We sent your letter to Mrs Ley, but with no result. Any one who would write such a letter as she wrote to my wife without any other provocation than being asked to act honorably in the matter, has evidently no wish to do so. You are no doubt the only person whose opinion would have weight enough to induce her to do anything she does not like, and we therefore have still some hope that the thing will be done. It will depend on whether or not she thinks the doing it necessary to your satisfaction. I think it most unjust that my wife shd be [hampered?] by feeling that her affairs are partly in the hands of persons in all ways so untrustworthy & so ill affected towards her.
We read every book we can get about the Australian colonies always with fresh interest. They seem to be most prosperous & rapidly progressive communities; & that this is not wholly owing to the gold, is proved by the state of your colony where there are no diggings. I certainly think the Wakefield system, unpopular as it now is in Australia, & badly as it has been administered in some of the colonies, has been one of the chief causes of their unexampled growth. Wakefield3 you know has been for several years in New Zealand. If he should ever visit the colony which he planned & founded, & the only one in which his system has been faithfully executed, you will find him well worth knowing: he is not a mere man of one idea, but has great general power of mind & energy of character. My name would be a sufficient introduction to him.
I suppose Macaulay’s 3d & 4th volumes4 are as popular at Adelaide as in London. They are as you say, “pleasant reading but not exactly history.” His object is to strike, & he attains it, but it is by scene painting—he aims at stronger effects than truth warrants, & so caricatures many of his personages as to leave it unaccountable how they can have done what they did. If Sarah duchess of Marlborough5 had been nothing but a thoroughly unprincipled shrew without talent or any one valuable or amiable quality (as he makes her) could she have been, by mere personal influence, for many years the most powerful person in England? This disregard of consistency & probability spoils the book even as a work of art. What a difference between it & Grote’s Hist. of Greece,6 which is less brilliant, but far more interesting in its simple veracity & because, instead of striving to astonish he strives to comprehend & explain.
It is of no use writing to you about politics, as nowadays in the colonies you are as well up in all political news as we are.
Pray present my compliments to Mrs Hardy & believe me
yrs very truly
TO THE SECRETARY TO THE SUNDAY LEAGUE1
I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 3d instant asking my objections to the address of the National Sunday League.2
The passage to which I principally object & which has hitherto made it impossible for me, consistently with my own convictions, to subscribe to the League, is the following: “They themselves would be the first to oppose the opening of any frivolous & vicious places of amusement.”
That the Committee should limit their own endeavours to the opening of Institutions of a more or less scientific or literary character on Sundays may possibly be judicious; but it is not necessary for this purpose that they should join in stigmatizing the broader principle, the recognition of which I think should be their ultimate aim. With regard to “vicious places of amusement,” if there be any such, I would not desire that they should be open on any day of the week. Any place unfit to be open on Sunday is unfit to be open at all. But with regard to “frivolous” amusements I no more think myself justified in limiting the people to intellectual than to religious occupations on that day, & the Committee cannot but feel that if their disclaimer does them any service with those whom it is intended to conciliate, it will be by being understood as a protest against permitting, for example, music, dancing, & the theatre, all of which I should wish to be as free on the seventh (or rather the first) as on any other day of the week.
I am also unable to give my adhesion to various expressions in the Declaration which partake of the nature of a compliance with cant; such as the “desecration” of the Sunday, & the preservation of “its original purpose of a day of devotion.” The devotion which is not felt equally at all times does not deserve the name; and it is one thing to regard the observance of a holiday from ordinary work on one day in the week as a highly beneficial institution, & another to ascribe any sacredness to the day, a notion so forcibly repudiated in the quotations from great religious authorities on your fourth page & which I hold to be as mere a superstition as any of the analogous prejudices which existed in times antecedent to Christianity.
I am Sir