Front Page Titles (by Subject) 106.: MLLE LEONTINE FAY  EXAMINER, 22 MAY, 1831, PP. 325-6 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I
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106.: MLLE LEONTINE FAY  EXAMINER, 22 MAY, 1831, PP. 325-6 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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MLLE LEONTINE FAY 
For background, see No. 104. This article, headed “French Theatre,” appears in the “Theatrical Examiner.” It is described in Mill’s bibliography as “An article on Mlle Léontine Fay in the Examiner of 22d May 1831” (MacMinn, p. 16), and is listed (“Article on Madlle Léontine Fay”) and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set.
it is difficult to characterise or to criticise the performances of Mademoiselle Léontine Fay, because it is difficult to try by any standard that which might itself serve as a standard for trying every thing we could liken to it. It is impossible to describe what is her style, or in what character she excels; because she is not one of those persons who have a style, or who excel in any particular parts. If she were, she could not be, as she is, a woman of genius. An actor may distinguish himself in a certain line of characters, from a natural similitude in the turn of his own thoughts and feelings, to those which he is required to represent; or from possessing some incidental endowments, for the display of which such parts afford a peculiar scope. Or he may attain the semblance of greater variety and more abundant resources, by the mere ape-like quality of imitation: by the faculty of making his own voice, and his own face and limbs, reproduce the sounds, the motions, and the attitudes, which he has happened to hear and see. But what is hearing or seeing, without understanding? If he imitate the mere signs, without well knowing and intimately feeling what they are signs of, it matters not how accurately he may observe, nor how ample may have been his opportunities of observing; no care and pains will prevent a thousand inconsistencies from creeping in, or a thousand of the finer traits from escaping his notice. Let the most careful penman attempt to copy a long passage, in a language of which he does not understand one word, and we doubt whether, even if he were a Chinese, he could help making a hundred mistakes in spelling before the end.
A great actor must possess imagination, in the higher and more extensive meaning of the word: that is, he must be able to conceive correctly, and paint vividly within himself, states of external circumstances, and of the human mind, into which it has not happened to himself to be thrown. This is one of the rarest of all endowments; which is the reason why there are so few great dramatists and great actors. But he who is thus endowed, if he can act one character, can act all characters; at least, all which are in nature. And this is what is meant by the universality of genius. Let him who wishes it to be practically illustrated, go to see Mademoiselle Léontine Fay.
There is no mystery in this. If the actor were really such a person as the author conceived, and were really placed in the situation which the play supposes, he would actually have the thoughts and feelings which the author has pourtrayed: or else, the dramatist has not done his duty,—his conception is not in nature. But it rarely happens that the actor resembles the person he represents; and he never is in the precise situation. Yet, if he possesses sufficient sensibility and imagination to conceive vividly the character and the situation, this vivid conception will of itself suggest to him the very thoughts and feelings which he himself would have if he were such a character, and were placed in such a situation. He will think them and feel them, not indeed in so lively a manner as if the case really were his own, but vividly enough to represent them in the true colours of nature. This is the secret of great histrionic as well as of great dramatic genius; and we suspect that the other fine arts might equally be included in the assertion.
By this test, the sensibility and imagination of Mademoiselle Léontine Fay must be of the highest order. From the deepest tragedy to the gayest comedy, she identifies herself with every part, until you would swear that it, and it alone, was her own nature: that is, if the part be in nature. We apprehend, indeed, that in what are commonly called tragedies, or in the hotchpotch of buffoonery and caricature which men call a farce, she would be sadly at fault; for she has nothing conventional; and if she cannot find in herself something which answers to the words of the author, and from which those words might emanate, she would probably be more embarrassed in attempting to utter them than the feeblest and most insipid personage who ever tuned her voice to the sing-song of the theatre. Wherever feeling and taste are hindrances instead of helps, we are persuaded that Mademoiselle Léontine would fail. But this is seldom the case in the little dramas of the modern or recent French stage, in which alone she ever performs. These are of various degrees of merit, but they are always pictures of the real feelings of real human beings; they paint from the life, and not from faded paintings of manners and habits which never existed, or which have passed by. The genius of Mademoiselle Léontine ranges through several hundreds of such pieces, some of them exquisite, all natural and true; some calling forth a part of her wonderful powers; a few, very few, affording adequate scope to the whole.
For ourselves, had we written a drama of real life, whether of serious or comic interest, we should not desiderate any higher proof of its being true to nature throughout, than that it was such a piece as Mademoiselle Léontine could play.
THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE, V [Part 2]
This article is the last in the series beginning with No. 73 (q.v.), though the concluding paragraph makes it clear that Mill had further articles in mind; as late as October 1831, he was telling Sterling of his plans “(when the Reform Bill shall have past) to resume [his] series of papers headed the Spirit of the Age” (EL, CW, Vol. XII, p. 80). The article is headed: “The Spirit of the Age. / No. V. (concluded.)” and in the Somerville College set is similarly listed (“The Spirit of the Age, No. 5 concluded”) and enclosed in square brackets.
in the countries which remained Catholic, but where the Catholic hierarchy did not retain sufficient moral ascendancy to succeed in stopping the progress of civilization, the church was compelled, by the decline of its separate influence, to link itself more and more closely with the temporal sovereignty. And thus did it retard its own downfal, until the spirit of the age became too strong for the two united, and both fell together to the ground.
I have said that the three sources of moral influence are, supposed wisdom and virtue, the sacerdotal office, and the possession of worldly power. But in Protestant countries, the authority of the ministers of religion, considered as an independent source of moral influence, must be blotted out from the catalogue. None of the churches which were the successors of the Catholic church in the nations in which the Reformation prevailed, succeeded, as churches, to any portion of the moral influence of their predecessor. The reason is, that no Protestant church ever claimed a special mission from the Deity to itself; or ever numbered among the obligations of religion, that of receiving its doctrines from teachers accredited by that particular church. The Catholics received the priest from God, and their religion from the priest. But in the Protestant sects, you resorted to the teacher, because you had already decided, or because it had been decided for you, that you would adopt his religion. In the popular religions you chose your own creed, and having so done, you naturally had recourse to its ministers;—in the state religions, your creed was chosen for you by your worldly superiors, and you were instigated by conscience, or, it may be, urged by motives of a more worldly nature, to resort for religious instruction to the minister of their appointment.
Every head of a family, even of the lowest rank, in Scotland, is a theologian; he discusses points of doctrine with his neighbours, and expounds the scripture to his family. He defers, indeed, though with no slavish deference, to the opinion of his minister; but in what capacity? only as a man whom his understanding owns as being at least more versed in the particular subject—as being probably a wiser, and possibly, a better man than himself. This is not the influence of an interpreter of religion, as such; it is that of a purer heart, and a more cultivated intelligence. It is not the ascendancy of a priest: it is the combined authority of a professor of religion, and an esteemed private friend.
What I have said of the Scottish church, may be said of all Protestant churches, except state churches (which the Scottish church, notwithstanding its national endowment, is not). It may be said of all dissenters from our own establishment; except, indeed, those who inherit their religion, and adhere to it (not an uncommon case) as they would to any other family connexion. To the followers of the Church of England, a similar observation is wholly inapplicable: those excepted, who would abide by that communion for its doctrine, were it a dissenting sect. The people in general have not, nor ever had, any reason or motive for adhering to the established religion, except that it was the religion of their political superiors: and in the same ratio as their attachment to those superiors has declined, so has their adherence to the established church. From the time when the Church of England became firmly seated in its temporalities; from the period when its title to the fee-simple of our consciences acquired the sanctity of prescription, and when it was enabled to dispense with any support but what it derived from the stable foundations of the social fabric of which it formed a part; it sunk from its independent rank, into an integral part, or a kind of appendage, of the aristocracy. It merged into the higher classes: and what moral influence it possessed, was merely a portion of the general moral influence of temporal superiors.
From the termination, therefore, of that period of intellectual excitement and hardy speculation which succeeded the crisis of the Reformation, and which was prolonged in our own country to the end of the seventeenth century;—that moral influence, that power over the minds of mankind, which had been for so many ages the unquestioned heritage of the Catholic clergy, passed into the hands of the wealthy classes, and became united with worldly power. The ascendancy of the aristocracy was not so dictatorial and enthralling as that of the Catholic priesthood; because it was backed in a far inferior degree by the terrors of religion: and because unity of doctrine was not maintained, by the same powerful means, among the dominant class itself. Nevertheless, the higher classes set the fashion, as in dress, so in opinion. The opinions generally received among them, were the prevalent ones throughout the rest of the nation. A bookish man here and there might have his individual theories, but they made no converts. All who had no opinions of their own, assumed those of their superiors. Few men wrote and published doctrines which the higher classes did not approve; or if published, their books were successfully cried down, or at best, were little read or attended to. Such questions, and such only, as divided the aristocracy, were (modestly) debated by the people: whose various denominations or divisions were each headed by an aristocratic côterie. Even the Dissenters made amends for their preference of a vulgar religion, by evincing a full measure of pliability and acquiescence in all that concerned politics and social life; though the banner they in general followed, was that of a section of the aristocracy less wedded than the other section to the monopoly of the sect which possessed advowsons and archbishoprics.
The wealthy classes, then, from the revolution downwards, possessed all that existed both of moral authority and worldly power. Under their influence grew up the received doctrines of the British constitution; the opinions, respecting the proper limits of the powers of government, and the proper mode of constituting and administering it, which were long characteristic of Englishmen. Along with these arose a vast variety of current opinions respecting morality, education, and the structure of society. And feelings in unison with those opinions, spread far, and took a deep root in the English mind.
At no time, during this period, could the predominant class be said, with truth, to comprise among its members all the persons qualified to govern men’s minds, or to direct their temporal interests, whom the state of society afforded. As a whole, however, that class contained, for a long time, a larger share of civilization and mental culture, than all other classes taken together. The difficulties, to men of merit and energy, of lifting themselves into that class, were not insuperable; and the leading and active spirits among the governing body, had capacity to comprehend intellectual superiority, and to value it. The conditions, therefore, of a natural state of society were for some time, upon the whole, tolerably well fulfilled.
But they have now ceased to be fulfilled. The government of the wealthy classes was, after all, the government of an irresponsible few; it therefore swarmed with abuses. Though the people, by the growth of their intelligence, became more and more sensible of whatever was vicious in their government, they might possibly have borne with it, had they themselves remained as they were formerly, unfit, and conscious of their unfitness, for the business of government. But the comparative freedom of the practical administration of our Constitution—the extensive latitude of action which it allowed to the energies of individuals—enabled the people to train themselves in every habit necessary for self-government; for the rational management of their own affairs. I believe it would be impossible to mention any portion whatever of the business of government (except some parts of the defence of the country against external enemies), of which the exact counterpart is not, in some instance or other, performed by a committee chosen by the people themselves: performed with less means, and under incomparably greater difficulties, but performed unexceptionably, and to the general satisfaction of the persons interested. It is notorious that much of the most important part of what in most other countries composes the business of government, is here performed wholly by voluntary associations: and other portions are done by the government in so clumsy and slovenly a manner, that it is found necessary to have recourse to voluntary associations as a subsidiary resource.
When the people were thus trained to self-government, and had learned by experience that they were fit for it, they could not continue to suppose that none but persons of rank and fortune were entitled to have a voice in the government, or were competent to criticise its proceedings. The superior capacity of the higher ranks for the exercise of worldly power is now a broken spell.
It was in the power of those classes, possessed as they were of leisure and boundless opportunities of mental culture, to have kept themselves on the level of the most advanced intellects of the age; not to have been overtopped by the growth around them of a mass of intelligence, superior, on the average, to their own. They might also have preserved the confidence of the people in the integrity of their purposes, by abating each abuse, in proportion as the public conscience rose against it. They might thus have retained, in right of their virtue and intellect, that moral ascendancy which an intelligent people never long continues to yield to mere power. But they have flung away their advantages.
I have already adverted to the decline of the higher classes in active talent, as they became enervated by lazy enjoyment. In the same ratio in which they have advanced in humanity and refinement, they have fallen off in energy of intellect and strength of will. Many of them were formerly versed in business: and into the hands of such, the remainder committed the management of the nation’s affairs. Now, the men of hereditary wealth are mostly inexperienced in business, and unfit for it. Many of them formerly knew life and the world: but their knowledge of life is now little more than the knowledge of two or three hundred families, with whom they are accustomed to associate; and it may be safely asserted, that not even a fellow of a college is more ignorant of the world, or more grossly mistakes the signs of the times, than an English nobleman. Their very opinions,—which, before they had passed into aphorisms, were the result of choice, and something like an act of the intelligence,—are now merely hereditary. Their minds were once active—they are now passive: they once generated impressions—they now merely take them. What are now their political maxims? Traditional texts, relating, directly or indirectly, to the privileges of their order, and to the exclusive fitness of men of their own sort for governing. What is their public virtue? Attachment to these texts, and to the prosperity and grandeur of England, on condition that she shall never swerve from them; idolatry of certain abstractions, called church, constitution, agriculture, trade, and others: by dint of which they have gradually contrived, in a manner, to exclude from their minds the very idea of their living and breathing fellow-citizens, as the subjects of moral obligation in their capacity of rulers. They love their country as Bonaparte loved his army—for whose glory he felt the most ardent zeal, at a time when all the men who composed it, one with another, were killed off every two or three years. They do not love England as one loves human beings, but as a man loves his house or his acres.
Being such persons as has now been described, and being at last completely found out by the more intelligent, they no longer retain sufficient moral influence to give, as heretofore, vogue and currency to their opinions. But they retain—and the possessors of worldly power must always retain—enough of that influence, to prevent any opinions, which they do not acknowledge, from passing into received doctrines. They must, therefore, be divested of the monopoly of worldly power, ere the most virtuous and best-instructed of the nation will acquire that ascendancy over the opinions and feelings of the rest, by which alone England can emerge from this crisis of transition, and enter once again into a natural state of society.
A few months before the first of these papers was written, it would have seemed a paradox to assert that the present aera is one of moral and social transition. The same proposition now seems almost the tritest of truisms. The revolution which had already taken place in the human mind, is rapidly shaping external things to its own form and proportions.
That we are in a state of transition, is a point which needs no further illustration. That the passage we are in the midst of, will conduct us to a healthier state, has perhaps been rendered probable in the preceding papers, to some few who might otherwise have questioned it.
But it greatly imports us to obtain a far deeper insight into the futurity which awaits us, and into the means by which the blessings of that futurity may be best improved, and its dangers avoided.
How shall we attain this insight? By a careful survey of the properties which are characteristic of the English national mind, in the present age—for on these the future fate of our country must depend.
But “fit audience,” even “though few,”1 cannot be found for such discussions, at a moment when the interests of the day and of the hour naturally and properly engross every mind. The sequel of these papers must therefore be postponed until the interval of repose, after the present bustle and tumult. I shall resume my subject as early as possible after the passing of the Reform Bill.2
DEATH OF THE ABBE GREGOIRE
In this, Mill’s first obituary notice, he memorializes Henri, abbé Grégoire (1750-1831), a leading radical and former politician. The Archbishop of Paris, Quélen, having refused him the last rites unless he agreed to renounce his oath to the civil constitution, they were performed without the renunciation by abbé Marie Nicolas Sylvestre Guillon (1760-1847), a priest, writer, and practitioner of medicine during the Revolution. At first no church was permitted to receive his body, but eventually he was buried, to the accompaniment of fiery speeches, in the cemetery of Montparnasse. These unheaded paragraphs are described in Mill’s bibliography as “An obituary notice of the abbé Grégoire in the Examiner of 5th June 1831, included in the summary of French news” (MacMinn, p. 16); in the Somerville College set they are similarly listed (without the “An”) and enclosed in square brackets.
the celebrated abbé grégoire has recently died, after an illness of some length, and in extreme old age. The Archbishop of Paris refused to authorize the sacraments to be administered to him, or the funeral service to be performed, considering him as a schismatic, who had not made his peace with the Church. Clergymen, however, were found to perform these offices, in spite of the Archbishop. His schism consisted in having conformed to the ecclesiastical establishment of the Constituent Assembly, and having accepted the office of a Constitutional Bishop. M. Grégoire never renounced the Roman Catholic faith, but adhered to it openly throughout the reign of Terror, either from conviction, or because he scorned submission to an odious tyranny. Few characters have been the subject of greater calumny; none ever were more highly respected by all to whom they were really known. In 1819, the estimation in which his country held him was evinced in his being returned to the Chamber of Deputies, without any solicitation on his part, by the department of the Isère. This provoked a furious debate on the meeting of the Chamber; and his election was finally pronounced void, on a point of form.
M. Grégoire was a Member of the Convention when Louis XVI was tried.1 Being absent on deputation, he forwarded his vote in writing; it was for a verdict of guilty, but against capital punishment: and he persuaded three colleagues, who were joined with him in the same mission, to do the like.2 He was, and remained to the last, a firm Republican; and was one of the first persons in France (along with Brissot,3 and others) who made any public exertions for the mitigation and final extinction of Negro slavery.
ATTACK ON LITERATURE
This lengthy defence of state pensions for literary worthies was prompted by a leading article, “Literature and Patronage,” in the Brighton Guardian, 8 June, 1831, p. 2, from which the quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken. The Brighton Guardian responded, and Mill replied (see No. 111). The article is the first in the “Political Examiner,” and is headed as title. It is described in Mill’s bibliography as “A leading article headed ‘Attack on Literature’ in answer to the Brighton Guardian; in the Examiner of 12th June 1831” (MacMinn, p. 16); it is listed as title and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set.
in the year 1824, a Society was instituted, under the name of the Royal Society of Literature. With what definite views it was established, or what purposes of utility the association, as such, has ever promoted, we know not; and the members themselves, possibly, know as little. There were annexed, however, to the Institution, ten pensions, of a hundred guineas each, from the Privy Purse; to be held by as many persons, distinguished in the world of letters. And the individuals who were first selected to hold these moderate stipends were the following (we quote from the Englishman’s Magazine):1
Samuel Taylor Coleridge; the Rev. Edward Davies; Dr. Jamieson, the indefatigable compiler of the Scottish Dictionary; the Rev. T.R. Malthus; Matthias, the author of the Pursuits of Literature; James Millingen, Esq.; Sir William Ouseley; William Roscoe; the Rev. Henry J. Todd; and Sharon Turner.*
Perhaps no act of the late King, which is known to the public, was altogether so creditable to him as the grant of these pensions. While the debates on the Civil List are fresh in the recollection of our readers,2 we need scarcely remind them, that, of what is called the Privy Purse, a large part is granted by Parliament avowedly for purposes of liberality and munificence. These pensions were among the best examples which England had long seen, of well-directed munificence. They were too inconsiderable to excite the cupidity of tax-eating idlers. Several of the persons on whom they were bestowed, were in circumstances which rendered the accession to their incomes of real importance. The individuals were not selected on any narrow or exclusive principle; but had distinguished themselves in different modes, and in different walks of literature and philosophy. All, however, were men of reputation in their several departments; all, as writers, had proposed to themselves higher objects than merely to amuse; and none of them could possibly have acquired affluence, or even respectable subsistence, by such works as those to which they had dedicated themselves. A. or B. may think some of the number undeserving of what was bestowed upon them, and may imagine that he himself could have pointed out individuals better entitled to be so provided for. This was inevitable. We ourselves, as well as other people, could have suggested emendations in the list; but the giver was not bound to please us, or to please A. or B., but to satisfy the body of educated and cultivated Englishmen: and taking, as is proper, for the standard, the prevalent opinions and feelings, at the time when the grant was made, of the bulk of those whose approbation had the best title to be considered, it would be difficult to point out ten persons, the selection of whom, as the objects of the Royal liberality, would have been in every respect so unobjectionable.
These pensions, however, his present Majesty has, it appears, seen fit to discontinue. It, undoubtedly, rests with the King himself to decide in what manner that portion of his revenues which is set apart for acts of generosity, can be most worthily employed; and it is proper that, in the choice of objects, he should follow his own opinion, and not ours. On this subject it would be disrespectful to express more than regret, and our firm conviction that the one thousand guineas per annum which the Privy Purse will save by the stoppage of this annual bounty, will be expended, we know not how indeed, but most assuredly in a less useful manner, and for the benefit of less meritorious persons. We might be permitted to add, (what has been insisted upon with great force by some of our contemporaries) that when the odious Pension List, the wages of political, if not even of personal prostitution—the purchase-money of despotic power—the fragments of a nation’s spoil which the feasters have flung from their richly-furnished table to allay the hunger of some of the baser and more subordinate of their tools;—when this monument of iniquity has just been screened from revision, on the ground that, although there had been no promise, persons naturally expect to keep what they have once got;3 —the moment is ill chosen for resuming the scanty pittance which men, whose lives had been devoted to usefulness, had every rational ground to calculate upon retaining for their few remaining years. But it is in this spirit that an English government usually economizes. Whatever is enormous and unearned, it leaves undisturbed to the possessors. Its retrenchments bear uniformly and exclusively upon the ill-paid and the deserving.
But, as Rousseau well observes, one bad maxim is worse than a thousand bad actions,—because it leads to ten thousand.4 A report that Lord Grey, at the instigation of Lord Brougham, had tendered to Mr. Coleridge a grant of two hundred pounds from the Treasury (which, however, Mr. Coleridge declined),5 has furnished the Brighton Guardian with the occasion of an article, equal in length to half a page of The Times; the Vandalism of which, inconceivable, if any Vandalism could be inconceivable, provokes us to take up the pen. The matter with which the article is filled, is indeed, or should be, very little formidable, did the writer merely state the opinion of one rather perverse individual. But, unfortunately, this perverse person is but one man who is bold enough to utter what the whole tribe of the dunces are intimately persuaded of in their hearts, but do not dare to avow. They will soon, however, pluck up courage to proclaim and act upon it, if they find themselves countenanced by one or two persons (as this writer has proved himself to be) not untinctured with letters. It is, therefore, of some importance to analyse a performance, more abounding in the ideas and feelings characteristic of uncultivated minds, than is often the case with the productions of an understanding even superficially cultivated.
The object of the writer is to establish, that men of letters ought, in no case, to be provided for at the national expense. And though this is, in our opinion, a mischievous error, it is shared by too many superior men in the present day, to be matter of serious reproach to any one. It is a maxim in perfect harmony with the laissez faire spirit of the prevailing philosophy—with the idea by which, either consciously or unconsciously, nine-tenths of the men who can read and write, are at present possessed—viz. that every person, however uneducated or ill-educated, is the best judge of what is most for his own advantage, better even than the man whom he would delegate to make laws for him. The scope of the received doctrines is, to make mankind retrograde, for a certain space, towards the state of nature; by limiting the ends and functions of the social union, as strictly as possible, to those of a mere police. The idea that political society is a combination among mankind for the purpose of helping one another in every way in which help can be advantageous, is yet a stranger to the immense majority of understandings.
But if the conclusion at which this writer arrives, is common to him with many wiser men than himself, this is not precisely the case with the premises by which he supports it; for he goes the full length of averring that literary men are of no use; that the improvement of mankind is not, in the slightest degree, owing to them or their writings; and that we should be as far, or farther, advanced in wisdom and virtue than we now are, if the whole tribe had long since become extinct.
He begins by accounting for the high estimation in which literary men are held. It arises, he says, from the fact, that “literary men are the penholders of society, and they praise themselves and praise their pursuits.” In part also it is “a sort of traditionary sentiment.” After the breaking up of the Roman empire, all the knowledge of past times existed in a dead language; and was accessible only to literary men, who, consequently, met with “respect, and even veneration.” “There was, at the period of what is called the revival of learning in Europe, a considerable mine of valuable knowledge opened by literary men.” This, however, is no longer the case; because, peradventure, we now know everything; or, at least, one of us knows no more than another. Literature “is praised and honoured for what it once did,—not for what it now does.” He then holds forth as follows:
Do literary men, or does literature now improve and instruct mankind? To a certain extent, we admit that it does both. But amusement is afforded to thousands of people by Punch in the street, by a clown at the theatre, and by the shows at Vauxhall; and we have never heard any person venture to assert, that a fellow playing on Pan-pipes, making faces, performing extraordinary leaps, or rattling his chin till it sounded like a pair of symbols [cymbals],6 was a proper object for the national bounty, and ought to be pensioned in his old age, if he dissipated the halfpence or shillings he collected from the crowds. A man who writes a novel, or a play, or a poem, in respect of amusement, and in respect of being entitled to public rewards, is on the same footing as a mountebank or a puppet-showman. It is very possible that this amusement may be combined with some sentiments that may make the heart better; and it is equally possible, which we believe is in fact more generally the case, that the amusement is only made the vehicle of perverted sentiments, of conveying impurity into the mind, and of promoting the cause of vice, rather than of virtue. The use of literature, then, comes to consist in the truth and accurate knowledge which it contains. Unfortunately, however, those who have taught mankind truth have been prosecuted, not pensioned. De Foe, Horne Tooke, Thomas Paine,7 and a number of other writers, who have been the means of making useful, moral, and scientific truths known to the world, have been punished by the government, not rewarded. Governments always have been, and ever will be,—precisely because they are the offspring of conquest or of fraud, not of reason,—ready to prohibit literary men from searching after truth; so that if we should admit that literature, in the abstract, might be harmless, existing literature must have been mischievous. That system of corruption, which we are all now eager to pull down, has in fact long been supported by the majority of literary men. By all who have been pensioned,—by all who have sought any other patronage than that of the public, this miserable system has been favourably regarded, and they have endeavoured, and do endeavour, to uphold it.
Now, if this man’s insight into human nature, and into the future destination of mankind, does not enable him to form the conception of any other government than one which is “the offspring of conquest or of fraud, not of reason”—if his mind is fully made up that the human race shall for ever, in spite of themselves, have their necks under the feet of men disposed to restrain and persecute those who search after truth—it is natural that he should look with small favour on any literary labours which such governments are likely to esteem deserving of reward. For our part, we do not hold it to be a law of nature that governments shall endeavour to stop the progress of the human mind. We do not believe that, even in the present vicious constitution of political society, the majority of civilized governments have any such purpose, or are actuated by any such spirit. And we look forward to a time, and no very distant one, in which all the more vulgar and subordinate purposes of government will merge in one grand purpose of advancing the progress of civilization. Proceeding upon premises so different from those of our contemporary, no wonder that we should quarrel with his conclusion.
We must, however, [says he,] go a step further in speaking of literature, and say that it has little or no influence over the progress of society. It is the consequence, not the cause, of civilization. Literary men and philosophers may flatter themselves that they possess a great power over the hearts and minds of their fellow-men, and over the progress of society; but experience teaches a different lesson. Man is taught by events, not by books, which too often obscure the most plain facts.
For “it is now upwards of three hundred years since Sir Thomas More made those beautiful observations on punishing theft by death;”8 and theft still continues to be thus punished. “It is now also a hundred and thirty-nine years since Sir Dudley North published his Discourses on Trade;”9 and he wrote in vain, till there arose “a want of markets for our produce:” and “it is upwards of two hundred years since Lord Bacon taught that man was but the minister and interpreter of nature;”10 notwithstanding which, literary men are constantly recommending alterations in the structure of society; which, according to this writer, is a gross absurdity, since “human society, in its complicated relations, is as much a part of creation as minerals or flowers;” a proposition which is about as good an argument against improvements in the social science, as it would be against improvements in mining or horticulture.
So, because a man of genius may have an idea too far in advance of his age to gain many converts in it, men of genius have no more influence upon the destinies of society than dunces have. Because Sir Thomas More did not convince mankind of the barbarism of capital punishment, the labours of Beccaria, of Voltaire, of Bentham, of Romilly, in the same cause, have been useless and of none effect.11 Because Sir Dudley North perceived the advantages of free trade, while the politicians of the world, both practical and theoretical, did not read him, or were too stupid, or too much engrossed by other subjects, to understand him, therefore the truth which he detected would by this time have been incorporated in our laws, if Adam Smith, and Say, and Ricardo,12 and all men resembling them, had never existed. And this, because “man is taught by events, not books;” and events, it seems, never have any need of an interpreter; their language is as intelligible to any blockhead, who is not deaf, as to the greatest genius. If Newton had never lived, his next-door neighbour, no doubt, might have seen an apple fall, and in due time would have evolved the Principia,13 for man is taught by events.
This “ignorance of what mankind owe to books” (if we may borrow an expression from Mr. Coleridge)14 is most pitiable. We contend, in opposition to our contemporary, that mankind, instead of not being indebted to men of highly-cultivated intellects for any of the steps of their progress, are indebted to them for every step. Events might have spoken, or even cried aloud, but they would have spoken a foreign language: mankind could not have profited, and do not profit, even by the lessons of their personal experience, until a man of genius arises to construe those lessons for them. Before the press existed, the leading minds of a nation could bring themselves into contact with the national mind only by means of speech. The forum, the theatre, the pulpit, the school, were then the sources of illumination and mental culture. Since the discovery of printing, books are the medium by which the ideas, the mental habits, and the feelings, of the most exalted and enlarged minds are propagated among the inert, unobserving, unmeditative mass. And we challenge our adversary to a historical trial of the fact. From the Reformation to the present Parliamentary Reform Bill, he will not find one great moral or social improvement, the origin of which cannot be distinctly traced to the labours of men of letters. No one man of genius, it is probable, was ever indispensable; because, what he did, it is likely might have been done by some other: but by another man of genius. Had it not been for a few great minds, mankind would never have emerged from the savage state. Let the series of great minds be once broken off, and it is not clear that we shall not relapse into barbarism.
But mark the pseudo-metaphysical theory, which serves as a pedestal to this fine philosophical system. “Instead of society being modelled on, or formed by, the opinions of literary men or philosophers, all their opinions, as far as they are correct, are modelled on what they behold in the world. Every thought they possess, if correct, is a mere copy of external nature; and yet it is assumed, that by some little legerdemain arrangement of their reflections, they influence the course of the intellectual world:” and, we presume, whatever is “in the world,” and in “external nature,” is as visible to one man’s optics as to another’s. This style of philosophizing will carry us far. Every picture which Raphael ever painted, “if correct, is a mere copy of external nature;” of that nature, too, which we can see with our bodily eyes, not solely with those of our minds: argal, every man who has eyes, could have painted the Transfiguration.15 Lavoisier’s discovery of the composition of water,16 was “modelled on what he beheld in the world;” the hydrogen and the oxygen were always before us, in every rivulet, and in every cistern, “and yet it is assumed, that by some little arrangement” of retorts and gas apparatus, he “influenced the course” of the science of chemistry, and of the arts to which it is applied.
Finally, our contemporary adds:
It is clear, we think, whether looked at theoretically or as a matter of fact, that literature and literary men are of no more use to society, no more instrumental in promoting its improvement, than is any other class or any other art; and therefore, we conclude, no more to be pensioned and provided for out of the people’s purse than is the weaver, for his skill in cloth-making. The best reward for both is the common market of the world; and what will not sell there is worth no man’s labour.
From this we may learn, that the sale of a book is always in exact proportion to its utility; and mankind are as well able to discern, and as eager to seek, that which will enlarge and elevate their minds, as that which will please and beautify their bodies. The person whose mind is capable of conceiving an opinion of this sort, must be a precious observer of his age and of human nature.
If we were now to state our own opinion with respect to a public provision for literary men, we should suggest to this writer a distinction which, it would seem, is not “heard of in his philosophy.”17 We should remind him, that there are literary men, and literary works, whose object is solely to give immediate pleasure, and other literary men and literary works that aim at producing a permanent impression upon the mind. The first we should, with him, regard as being on the same footing in respect to public rewards, with “a mountebank or a puppet-showman:” not because amusement in itself is not a worthy object of pursuit, but because it is one for which mankind are always willing to pay the full value. Accordingly, the amusement of the poor, who cannot afford to pay for it, is a fit object of public provision; and doubtless, as civilization advances, will be so considered.
In addition, however, to these writers, whose aim is only to please mankind, there is another sort, who endeavour to educate them: to batter down obstinate prejudices; to throw light on the dark places; to discover and promulgate ideas, which must be meditated for years before they will be appreciated; to form mankind to closer habits of thought; to shame them out of whatever is mean and selfish in their behaviour; to elevate their tastes; to inspire them with nobler and more beneficent desires; to teach them that there are virtues which they have never conceived, and pleasures beyond what they have ever enjoyed. These, by the leave of our contemporary, are the labours, for which “the best reward” is not always “the common market of the world.” This is a literature which deserves a public provision, and which, unfortunately, is too apt to require one; because such are not the services which mankind are apt at first to requite with either their money or their thanks.
But no enemy to a cause ever did more for its injury, than is done to this cause by its friends, when they talk of giving “encouragement to literature.”18 The phrase grates upon our ears. Literature needs no encouragement. The man who engages in literature from the motive of money, is false to his mission. It is the curse of literature, that it is a trade. He who would inspire others with high desires, must himself be inspired with them. He would teach mankind to love truth and virtue for themselves, and shall he need any other stimulus than the love of truth and virtue, in order to inculcate them? What is due to literary men is not encouragement, but subsistence. They ask not to be rewarded,—they ask to be kept alive, while they continue to enlighten and civilize the world. They ask this, in order that they may not, like so many of the first men of our own country, be compelled to renounce or suspend the labours for which none others are fit, and devote their lives to some merely gainful occupation, in order that they may have bread to eat: or still worse, that they may not be compelled by penury and dire dependance, which eat up so many minds fit for better things, to prostitute their noble calling by base compliances—to pander to selfishness and malignity, instead of wrestling with them; to give utterance to the opinion which they hold not, to counterfeit the emotion which they feel not, to find justification for the evil-doer, instead of bringing him to shame—to become confounded with the meanest of mankind, by sycophancy and base hypocrisy—or if they sink not to this depth of infamy, at least to waste their highest powers, by mixing among the herd of those who write merely to amuse.
It is most true, as our contemporary affirms, that the majority of our literary men have long been of the low description, which we have just attempted to characterize. But why is this? For several reasons, one of the chief of which is, that such men, in this country, have not any public provision. In Germany and France, where, through the universities and various other institutions, a man of letters or science easily obtains, by the sacrifice of a small part of his time, a respectable subsistence—there, even under arbitrary governments, the lettered class are really the highest and most cultivated minds of their several nations. With us, they are dependant, for subsistence, upon the sale of their works, and must consequently adapt themselves to the taste of those who will buy. The buying class, until lately, have been the aristocracy: which explains why, as our adversary says, our corrupt institutions have “long been supported by the majority of literary men.” When, subsequently to this, the mass of the people became buyers, books were written which were addressed chiefly to them. As the people had not the sinister interests of the aristocracy, the writings which were addressed to them did not assume the same particular form of noxiousness and wickedness, as those which were written for the ruling classes: but they assumed other forms. And so it will be, if, by the Reform Bill and its consequences, all the corruptions of our government are done away. The people, as well as the aristocracy, like better to have their opinions confirmed, than corrected. The people as well as the aristocracy prefer those who chime in with their feelings, to those who endeavour to improve them. After the Reform Bill as before, it will be easier and more gainful to take men as they now are, with their vices and weaknesses, and to give them the food which pleases their vitiated palates, than to form their tastes and their constitutions to healthier nourishment. And such will be the character of all literature, which is got up for “the common market of the world;” until mankind shall have attained a degree of civilization, to which Parliamentary Reform may remove some of the obstacles, but which of itself it gives not, nor ever can give.
But to prevent these evils, it is not necessary that any thing should be added to the fiscal burdens by which we are already weighed down. It is not requisite that the people should be taxed to give pensions to men of literature and science. The endowments of our universities, now squandered upon idle monks, are an ample fund already existing; a large portion of which (the Fellowships) already is expended under that pretext, and is of right appropriate to that purpose and to no other. And a time, we trust, is coming, when to that, and no other purpose, it will be applied.
WHATELY’S INTRODUCTORY LECTURES ON POLITICAL ECONOMY
This is Mill’s first notice of an author he often referred to, Richard Whately (1787-1863), cleric and prolific writer on religion, philosophy, and political economy, who was Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford from 1829 until he became Archbishop of Dublin from 1831 until his death. The review, which appears in the “Literary Examiner,” is headed “Introductory Lectures on Political Economy: being part of a Course delivered in Easter Term, 1831. By Richard Whately, D.D., Principal of St. Alban’s Hall, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Oxford. [London: Fellowes, 1831.] 7s.” It is described in Mill’s bibliography as “A review of Whately’s Introductory Lectures on Political Economy; in the Examiner of the same date [as No. 109]” (MacMinn, p. 16), and is similarly listed (without the “A”) and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set.
by the statute relative to the Professorship of Political Economy endowed by Mr. Henry Drummond, it is prescribed, that the Professor shall hold his office only for five years; and that he shall annually publish at least one of his lectures.1 By virtue of the first provision, the late able and excellent Professor, Mr. Senior, has resigned the chair, and has been replaced by Dr. Whately; who now, in compliance with the second injunction of the founder, lays before the general public not one lecture merely, with which scanty measure he might have contented himself, but the first eight discourses, comprising the introductory division of his course.
If the English Church, and its Universities, possessed many such members as Dr. Whately; or if the few whom it does possess, exercised the influence which such men might be expected to exercise, over the general spirit of the body; the prospects of the Church in this era of general reformation would be very different from what they are. And of this no one seems better aware than Dr. Whately himself. An author who writes in earnest, if he writes much, cannot help betraying, to an intelligent reader, the predominant feeling of his own mind. Now, in Dr. Whately, the predominant feeling evidently is a consciousness and regret, that nearly all the most important branches of useful knowledge are possessed, in the present age, by various other persons indeed, but not by that profession which is set apart and paid for the purpose, or under the pretext, of civilizing and cultivating the human mind. And he is deeply anxious that these persons, whose duty and vocation it is to teach, should be prevailed upon to learn; in order that they may be at least upon a level with those who are under no peculiar or professional obligation of possessing knowledge. To impress upon them, both the propriety and the prudence of thus bestirring themselves, is the purpose which, more than any other, his labours, as an author, always seem to have in view. And a highly laudable purpose it is: though it might have been somewhat less prominent, without any loss to the general reader, who has neither a rectory nor a fellowship to preserve, and who desires knowledge for its own sake, and not on the score that it has become indispensable to the safety of tithes.
In all other respects, this production is excellent. We know of no existing work to which we can refer our readers for so clear, cogent, and analytical a refutation of the fallacies, and exposure of the perverse feelings, which disincline many weak, and some intelligent persons, from the study of a branch of knowledge pre-eminently important to all the best interests of mankind. We do not assert that the author has exhausted the subject; nor can it ever be exhausted. We even think that he has left unsaid several matters of importance, in order to have room for others which his lay readers, at least, could have better dispensed with. For example: he contends at great length against what he terms the false and dangerous impression, that Political Economy is unfavourable to religion. But where, we ask, was such an impression ever entertained, except at Oxford? and who would have suspected that it was entertained even there, if the Professor had not betrayed the secret? But, since he assures us that such is the fact, we are compelled to give credit to him; and to believe, that, in that ancient seat of learning, the race of theologians still survives, who condemned the discoveries of Galileo,2 inoculation, and the emetic, and who are firmly persuaded that God never intended mankind to know any thing more than what they know, on any subject whatsoever, moral or physical.
We have no where seen the good qualities of Dr. Whately’s manner of writing displayed to greater advantage than in this work. Among these we may mention, as the most valuable, first, that he is pre-eminently clear; and, secondly, that we may almost always learn from his writings much more than what we sought for in them. The first excellency he possesses, because he is perfectly master of all the steps in his own deductions. The second he owes to habits of general observation and reflection, by which (whatever be the subject on which he writes) he is supplied with materials, applicable indeed to his immediate purpose, but also covering a much larger extent of ground than that on which he happens to be building. It is by this test, more than by any other, that we distinguish the mind of general culture from that which is merely cultivated at one or two points. Every one must have known men and writers, who, if they confine themselves to what they are fit for, accomplish it excellently well, but without either using in the construction, or dropping by the way, one single idea which could possibly be of use for any purpose in rerum naturâ save that one. Dr. Whately is a man of a different description; and, consequently, all his works, even those with the most unpromising titles, are valuable.
REPLY OF THE BRIGHTON GUARDIAN TO THE EXAMINER
Here Mill responds to “Literature and Patronage,” Brighton Guardian, 15 June, 1831, p. 2, which replied to No. 109. The article, headed as title, appears in the “Political Examiner.” Described in Mill’s bibliography as “An article headed ‘Reply of the Brighton Guardian to the Examiner’; in the Examiner of 19th June 1831” (MacMinn, p. 17), the article is listed as title and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set.
the brighton guardian has honoured our article of last Sunday by a reply. His opinion is not changed; and as the manner in which he has again presented it has produced no change in ours, we have no wish that the discussion should proceed farther. The question will full surely reproduce itself often enough; connected, as it is, with principles which lie still deeper, and for which we may hereafter be called upon to do battle, not solely with our present antagonist, but with some of the strongest tendencies of the age. But as our contemporary, whose tone in conducting the controversy is temperate and decorous, thinks that he has reason to complain of ours, we are unwilling to quit the subject without attempting to remove this impression.
We admit that we wronged our contemporary in representing him to have asserted, that literary men are of no use. He merely affirmed (what, however, is substantially the same) that they do not, in any material degree, influence the opinions or sentiments of mankind; and this he now repeats, calling in, as his voucher, a writer in the Edinburgh Review, who says of men of genius, that they are “only the first to catch and reflect the light, which, without their assistance, must, in a short time have become visible to those who were far beneath them.”1 We well remember the passage: but we do not think that our contemporary derives much additional strength from such backers. The stronger should not lean for support upon the weaker. The doctrine, in the mind of the Edinburgh Reviewer, was but one of those crude and thoughtless paradoxes, which unsettled and juvenile minds think it clever to fling out at random: but in the mind of our contemporary, we are bound to allow that to all appearance it forms part of a connected course of thought. An opinion thus adopted belongs to a far higher quality of mind, but to one of which the aberrations are pregnant with far greater evil. Almost the only dangerous error is systematic error.
We must have looked at our contemporary’s productions with as perverse an eye, as we think he has at his subject, if we had, as he accuses us, classed him “with the tribe of dunces.” He will find, on reperusing our remarks, that we expressly distinguished him from that class. But we could not help testifying our sense of the immense advantage which he enjoyed, in having the whole tribe of dunces on his side: for we well know how numerous, potent, and united a body these are. And we know, that, in an age of transition, in which mankind have just found out that their guides have lost their way, the spell of intellectual superiority is broken, or greatly impaired, and the dunces are prone to believe that they are fully competent to their own guidance, and that instruction and intellect are no such mighty matters, after all. We are not blind to the danger, or to the ridiculousness, of the self-worship to which literary men are liable in common with all other possessors of power; but we deem the self-idolatry of ignorance rather more ridiculous and dangerous still; and the regret we felt at finding it countenanced by one who, in no sense, belongs to the ignoble fraternity, alone provoked us to the warmth of language of which our contemporary complains.
Be it remembered, that, lofty as are the claims which we have set up in behalf of genius, we have never asserted that men are entitled to consideration merely because they labour with the pen, rather than with the hod. The honour due to any man depends not upon his occupation, but upon the spirit in which he pursues it, and the qualities of mind which he evinces in carrying it on. Nor have we said one word in exaltation or vindication of the common herd of littérateurs, respecting whom our opinion, in the main, coincides with that of our contemporary. The whole mind of a reading nation is reflected in its literature; and we claim admiration solely for the nobler parts of both. But the highest literature is the food of the highest minds, without which they wither and die. The Globe of Thursday last contains an excellent article on the subject of this controversy, to which we have great pleasure in calling the attention of our readers.2
FLOWER’S MUSICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE WAVERLEY NOVELS
Eliza Flower (1803-46), composer, was the closest friend of Harriet Taylor (1807-58), whom Mill had met in the summer of 1830. Eliza and her sister, Sarah (1805-48), were protégées of W.J. Fox (1786-1864), the Unitarian preacher and journalist, who had contributed to the first number of the Westminster Review and was one of Mill’s closest associates in the early 1830s; he had been instrumental in introducing Mill and Harriet. Flower set to music psalms and religious poems (probably the best known was one for which her sister composed the verses, “Nearer, My God, to Thee”), as well as secular works. The first of the Waverley novels by Walter Scott (1771-1832) appeared in 1814. See also Nos. 155, 197, 201, and 229. The article, in a section called “Musical Review,” is headed: “Musical Illustrations of the Waverley Novels, dedicated (by permission) to Sir Walter Scott, Bart. By Eliza Flower. [London: Novello, .]” Described in Mill’s bibliography as “A review of Miss Flower’s Musical Illustrations of the Waverley Novels, in the Examiner of 3d July 1831” (MacMinn, p. 17), the article is similarly listed (without the “A”) and enclosed in square brackets in the Somerville College set.
we omitted to notice this publication among the musical novelties of the last month. Our apology is, that the music is of too high a character to be judged of hastily. Much of it, indeed, cannot fail to please, even at the first hearing: but, at the first hearing, it would most surely be underrated.
It displays taste and sensibility of the highest order, and no common genius—if the creation of that which is at once original and beautiful be the privilege of genius. Nothing can be conceived more unlike the everyday music which the composers for the common market copy from one another. So little are this lady’s compositions the result of imitation or memory, that they do not even resemble the works of the great masters. They have a character of their own; distinctly and strikingly individual; compounded, it should seem, of the peculiarities of the poetry, and those of the composer’s mind: founded on a strong conception of the meaning and spirit of the poetry; but adding so much to it, that the inspiration she gives is almost equal to that which she receives. One who can feel poetry so vividly, if she be as well accustomed to clothe her conceptions in the language of words as in that of melody, would surely give birth to poetry of her own, not inferior to that with which she has inseparably associated these most characteristic airs.
As the title implies, all the songs are selected from the Waverley Novels, and are most aptly chosen. Their character is extremely various; and the music rises and falls with the poetry. In proportion as more invention and resource is required, more is shown: the composer easily supplies all that the simpler and more ordinary subjects require; but she puts forth her strength in grappling with the more difficult ones. Yet the airs which are least poetical in themselves—or, rather, of which the poetry is of the least elevated kind—will probably be the more generally pleasing, for precisely the reason which makes Goldsmith1 a more popular poet than Milton, or a landscape of Claude a more general favourite than the St. Sebastian of Guido.2 Among this portion of the songs, we would particularly recommend to attention the serenade from the Pirate, “Love wakes and weeps;”3 and a sweet air called “The Song of Annot Lyle.”4 Nothing can be simpler, and at the same time less common-place, than this little melody. There is one very unusual interval in it, which gives a peculiar tinge to the whole, and which is scarcely ever found in modern music: though it is to be met with in one or two of the best Scottish airs.
The pieces which we ourselves most admire are the following three:—No. 5, “Meg Merrilies’ Chaunt,” a wail over a dying person. No. 8, “The Death of Madge Wildfire;” every one must remember that most affecting passage, perhaps, in the most pathetic tale of the whole Waverley series.5 The music consists of four different movements, of which the first two are beautiful melodies, of a somewhat subdued character; followed by two others most characteristically wild—the last of which declines into the loveliest passage, perhaps, in the whole volume. (P. 43.)
There is one other song of the same elevated character, No. 2, “The Lady in St. Swithin’s Chair.” This is an example of what we sometimes, though rarely, meet with—first-rate ballad music; that is to say, an air sufficiently simple not to seem too lofty for the plainer and merely narrative parts of a ballad, and which yet, when the words rise into energy and dignity, rises with them, and sustains them with a majesty equal to their own. But the highest flight of imagination is at the close of this ballad, in the music of the stanzas describing the appearance of the night-hag.
We envy the real lover of music the pleasure which he will receive from the accompaniment of the former of these stanzas, and from the melody of the latter, which changes to another strain of great sweetness in itself, and admirably embodying the character of the words.
Among the livelier pieces, our greatest favourite is No. 4, the “Song of Norman the Forester,” in the Bride of Lammermoor.7 These, perhaps, resemble one another too much, at least in their rhythm: but each in itself is pretty, and suited to the words.
No. 1 is a quartette;8 and several others terminate in quartettes or trios. These we have not yet had an opportunity of hearing properly executed: the melody, however, (as in so many of Mozart’s concerted pieces)9 shews itself in the accompaniment. No. 1, even as a mere instrumental piece, will please all lovers of chaste and expressive music.
One of the songs, No. 6,10 is avowedly a mere adaptation of a beautiful French air. The melody is as characteristic of the words as if it had been written for them; and it is extremely well arranged.
[1 ]John Milton (1608-74), Paradise Lost (1667), Bk. VII, 1. 31; in The Poetical Works (London: Tonson, 1695), p. 180.
[2 ]The elections returned a substantial majority for Grey and the Reform Bill. After Parliament resumed on 14 June, the second version was brought in, “A Bill to Amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales,” 2 William IV (25 June, 1831), PP, 1831, III, 9-46.
[1 ]Louis XVI (1754-93) was tried and executed in January 1793.
[2 ]Grégoire’s colleagues were Marie Jean Hérault de Séchelles (1760-94), Grégoire Marie Jagot (1751-1838), and EdouardThomas Simon (1740-1818).
[3 ]Jean Pierre Brissot (called de Warville) (1754-93), lawyer and radical reformer, was one of the founders in 1788 of the Société des Amis des Noirs.
[1 ]“Extraordinary Case of the Royal Associates of the Royal Society of Literature,” Englishman’s Magazine, I (June 1831), 264. The beneficiaries were Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), poet and philosopher; Reverend Edward Davies (1756-1831), master of a grammar school at Chipping Sodbury, better known for his Celtic Researches on the Origin, Traditions, and Language of the Ancient Britons (1804); Dr. John Jamieson (1759-1838), antiquary and philologist, friend of Walter Scott, who had compiled a two-volume Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language (1808); Thomas Robert Malthus (see No. 17); Thomas James Matthias (1754?-1835), probably best known for his Pursuits of Literature (1794-96), a satire on many authors, but whose scholarly Italian translations were his best works; James Millingen (1774-1845), archaeologist, who had compiled works in English, French, and Italian, on coins, medals, Etruscan vases, etc.; William Ouseley (1767-1842), orientalist, author of Persian Miscellanies (1795) and Oriental Collections (1797-1800); William Roscoe (1743-1831), historian, author of several works, including a Life of Lorenzo de’ Medici (1795) and an edition of Pope’s Works (10 vols., 1824); Reverend Henry John Todd (1763-1845), editor of Milton, Spenser, and Johnson’s Dictionary, author of numerous original works including a life of Cranmer (1831); Sharon Turner (1768-1847), historian, whose best known work was his History of the Anglo-Saxons from Their First Appearance to the Norman Conquest (1799-1805).
[* ]The first account of the affair appeared in The Law Magazine. [“Events of the Quarter,” The Law Magazine; or, Quarterly Review of Jurisprudence, V (Jan. and Apr. 1831), 523.]
[2 ]In the House of Commons on 28 Mar., 12 and 14 Apr., 1831 (PD, 3rd ser., Vol. 3, cols. 1102-12, 1253-5, 1371-85).
[3 ]See “Pension List,” The Times, 2 June, 1831, p. 2.
[4 ]Adapted from Jean Jacques Rousseau, Julie, ou La nouvelle Héloïse (1760), in Oeuvres complètes, Vol. VIII, p. 168 (Pt. 1, Letter 30).
[5 ]See The Times, 3 June, 1831, p. 2.
[6 ]Mill’s square-bracketed correction.
[7 ]Daniel Defoe (ca. 1659-1731), journalist and novelist, employed by the government as a writer, was fined and imprisoned in 1702; John Horne Tooke (1736-1812), philologist and politician, a supporter of John Wilkes, was several times tried for his opinions; and the publication of the writings of Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English-born political philosopher and revolutionary propagandist in the United States and France, led to prosecutions for libel (see Nos. 4 and 9).
[8 ]In A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke of the Beste State of a Publyque Weale, and of the New Yle Called Utopia (London: Vele, 1551), pp. [41-2] (Bk. I), by Thomas More (1478-1535).
[9 ]Discourses upon Trade (London: Basset, 1691), pp. 10-24, by Dudley North (1641-91), merchant and financier, M.P., one of earliest advocates of free trade.
[10 ]Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620), in Works, new ed., trans. Basil Montague, 16 vols. (London: Pickering, 1825-36), Vol. XIV, p. 31. (This edition gives the wording cited.)
[11 ]Cesare Bonesana, marchese di Beccaria (1738-94), Italian jurist and economist who influenced Bentham, best known for Dei delitti e delle pene (Leghorn: n.p., 1764). François Marie Arouet Voltaire (1694-1778), leading French philosopher, whose relevant writings include “Des lois,” Chap. xlii of Précis du siècle de Louis XV (1752), “De la peine de mort,” Sect. x of Commentaire sur le livre Des délits et des peines par un avocat de province (1766), “Des proportions,” Chap. x of L’homme aux quarante écus (1767), and “Du meurtre,” Art. III of “Prix de la justice et de l’humanité” (1777), in Oeuvres complètes, 66 vols. (Paris: Renouard, 1817-25), Vol. XIX, p. 379, Vol. XXVI, pp. 229-31, Vol. XL, pp. 60-7, and Vol. XXVI, p. 271, respectively. Bentham, Rationale of Punishment (1830), in Works, Vol. I, pp. 441-50, 525-32. Samuel Romilly (1757-1818), legal reformer, M.P., Solicitor-General 1806-07, associate of Bentham, Observations on the Criminal Law of England, as It Relates to Capital Punishments (London: Cadell and Davies, 1810).
[12 ]Adam Smith (1723-90), Scots political economist and moral philosopher, who was, like Jean Baptiste Say and David Ricardo, an advocate of free trade.
[13 ]I.e., Newton’s Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (London: Royal Society, 1687).
[14 ]Coleridge, The Friend, 3 vols. (London: Rest Fenner, 1818), Vol. II, p. 306.
[15 ]The Transfiguration, begun in 1519 and left unfinished, was the last painting of Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520).
[16 ]Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-94), French chemist, whose work on hydrogen led to his discovery in 1783 of the composition of water.
[17 ]Cf. Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v, 166; in The Riverside Shakespeare, p. 1151.
[18 ]Leading article on literary pensions, Morning Chronicle, 3 June, 1831, p. 2; cf. the article in the Englishman’s Magazine cited in n1 above.
[1 ]Henry Drummond founded in 1825 a chair of Political Economy at Oxford; the third of his stipulations sets the five-year limit (though re-election was possible after two years out of office), and the fourth requires the publication of at least one of a minimum of nine lectures delivered each year (broadsheet, dated 25 Apr., 1825, from the Delegates’ Room, Bodleian Library G.A. Oxon c. 41 ).
[2 ]Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), Italian mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, condemned by the Catholic Church for his observations confirming the Copernican theory.
[1 ]Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-59), “Dryden,” Edinburgh Review, XLVII (Jan. 1828), 3.
[2 ]Globe and Traveller, 16 June, 1831, pp. 2-3.
[1 ]Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74), poet and playwright.
[2 ]Claude Gelée (called Lorrain) (1600-82), landscape painter much admired by the Romantics; Guido Reni (1575-1642) painted several canvases of St. Sebastian.
[3 ]No. 13, “Serenade ‘Love Wakes and Weeps,’ ” p. 58, based on a ballad in Walter Scott, The Pirate, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1822), Vol. II, Chap. x, pp. 237-8.
[4 ]No. 11, “Annot Lyle’s Ballad,” p. 54, based on a ballad in Scott, A Legend of Montrose, in Tales of My Landlord, 3rd ser., 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1819), Vol. IV, Chap. xiii, pp. 277-8.
[5 ]No. 5, “Meg Merrilies’ Chaunt,” p. 21, based on a ballad in Scott, Guy Mannering, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1815), Vol. II, Chap. vi, p. 87; and No. 8, “Death of Madge Wildfire,” p. 34, based on a ballad in Scott, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, in Tales of My Landlord, 2nd ser., 4 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1818), Vol. IV, Chap. iii, pp. 67-71.
[6 ]No. 2, “Rose Bradwardine’s Song; or, St. Swithin’s Chair,” p. 6, based on a ballad in Scott, Waverley, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1814), Vol. I, Chap. xiii, pp. 188-90.
[7 ]No. 4, “Norman the Forester’s Song,” p. 18, based on a ballad in Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor, in Tales of My Landlord, 3rd ser., Vol. I, Chap. iii, p. 81.
[8 ]No. 1, “Hail to Thee,” p. 2, based on a ballad in Scott, Waverley, Vol. II, Chap. i, p. 14.
[9 ]Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), one of Mill’s (and everyone’s) most admired composers.
[10 ]No. 6, “Louis Kerneguy’s Song,” p. 25, based on a ballad in Scott, Woodstock, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Constable, 1826), Vol. III, Chap. ii, pp. 38-9.