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John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XII – The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill 1812-1848 Part I [1812]

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John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XII – The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill 1812-1848 Part I, ed. Francis E. Mineka, Introduction by F.A. Hayek (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/249

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About this Title:

Vol. 12 of the 33 vol. Collected Works contains Mill’s letters written between 1812-1837.

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The online edition of the Collected Works is published under licence from the copyright holder, The University of Toronto Press. ©2006 The University of Toronto Press. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of The University of Toronto Press.

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
COLLECTED WORKS OF JOHN STUART MILL
volume xii
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

The Collected Edition of the works of John Stuart Mill has been planned and is being directed by an editorial committee appointed from the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto, and from the University of Toronto Press. The primary aim of the edition is to present fully collated texts of those works which exist in a number of versions, both printed and manuscript, and to provide accurate texts of works previously unpublished or which have become relatively inaccessible.

Editorial Committee

f. e. l. priestley, General Editor

j. m. robson, Associate Editor

v. w. bladen, alexander brady, j. b. conacher

w. line, r. f. mcrae, a. s. p. woodhouse

marsh jeanneret, francess halpenny

Edition: current; Page: [iii]
The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill 1812-1848
Edited by FRANCIS E. MINEKA The Class of 1916 Professor of English Cornell University
With an Introduction by F. A. Hayek, f.b.a. University of Freiburg i.B.
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS
ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

Copyright, Canada, 1963, by

University of Toronto Press

Printed in Canada

London: Routledge & Kegan Paul

Edition: current; Page: [v]

to the members of

THE CORNELL UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 1916

Edition: current; Page: [vi] Edition: current; Page: [vii]

Preface

credit for the conception of this edition belongs to Professor F. A. Hayek, who while a member of the faculty of the London School of Economics nearly twenty years ago began an organized effort to assemble the widely scattered early letters of John Stuart Mill. At that time the only collected edition of Mill’s correspondence was the one edited by Hugh S. R. Elliot which was published in 1910. It contained 268 letters, largely from the last twenty-five years of Mill’s life; only fifty-two of the letters were from the period covered by the present edition. A considerable number of the early letters had been published elsewhere, but in no one place could one find the correspondence for the period of Mill’s life to which approximately three-fourths of his Autobiography is devoted.

Professor Hayek’s decision to assemble as complete a collection as possible through the year 1848 was wholly sound. In that year, with the publication of Principles of Political Economy, Mill became a widely recognized public figure, and his correspondence thereafter often took on much more of a public character as his advice and his opinions were sought by correspondents from all over the civilized world. By 1848, also, were virtually completed most of the correspondences with the friends and intimates of his youth and early manhood, with Thomas Carlyle, John Sterling, J. P. Nichol, Robert Barclay Fox, W. J. Fox, Gustave d’Eichthal, Auguste Comte, Alexis de Tocqueville, and John and Sarah Austin. These series of letters constitute the best supplement to the most interesting and moving sections of Mill’s Autobiography, for they reveal many sides of Mill’s intellectual and emotional development during the formative and most productive years of his life.

These were the years of which he later said, in commenting on his early reaction against orthodox Benthamism, “I found the fabric of my old and taught opinions giving way in many fresh places, and I never allowed it to fall to pieces, but was incessantly occupied in weaving it anew.” The new strands in the fabric were by no means wholly of British origin, though Mill acknowledged the importance of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle in the reshaping of many of his views. The imported strands came in part from Germany (usually somewhat transmuted in the writings of Carlyle, Coleridge, and Coleridge’s disciple, John Sterling), but more significantly from France. Most important were the strands emanating from the Saint-Simonians Edition: current; Page: [viii] (as seen in the correspondence with D’Eichthal) and from the positivism of Comte and the critical views of democracy held by Tocqueville.

Mill was not engaged solely in reweaving the fabric of his opinions during these years, however; he was also busily engaged in trying to influence the opinions of others. For five years he edited a radical quarterly, the London and Westminster Review, and during that same time he worked behind the scenes to force the Radicals in Parliament into concerted action. The letters between 1835 and 1840 present the best picture available of his activities as an editor and of his hopes and frustrations as a thwarted politician.

Little will be found in the present edition, however, to throw more light upon one of the major influences in Mill’s life between 1831 and 1848—that of Mrs. Taylor. I have included the two letters of this period by Mill to Mrs. Taylor which Professor Hayek first published in his John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship and Subsequent Marriage (1951), but no additional letters to Mrs. Taylor before 1849 have been found.

The 534 letters and excerpts of letters published herein comprise all the personal letters that I have been able to find, except that I have excluded a small number of undated and undatable short notes of little significance. No effort has been made to include the letters written for publication in newspapers, which are listed in the Bibliography of the Published Writings of John Stuart Mill edited by Ney MacMinn, J. R. Hainds, and James McNab McCrimmon (1945), nor to include official letters written by Mill in carrying out his duties at the East India Company.

All fifty-two of the letters before 1849 published by Elliot, including eighteen to Carlyle, eighteen to John Sterling, and six to Edward Lytton Bulwer, have been re-collated wherever possible and for the first time annotated. Included also are some other series of Mill’s early letters that had been published before the appearance of Elliot’s edition: twenty to Gustave d’Eichthal, edited by Eugène d’Eichthal; twelve to John Pringle Nichol, edited by William Knight; twenty-one to John Robertson, edited by Mrs. G. D. M. Towers; forty-four to Auguste Comte, edited by Lucien Lévy-Bruhl; fifteen to Robert Barclay Fox, edited by H. N. Pym; nine to Macvey Napier edited by the latter’s son; and eighteen letters and excerpts from letters, largely to Mill’s family, included by Alexander Bain in his life of Mill.

Several other series were published after Elliot’s edition appeared: thirteen letters to W. J. Fox in Richard Garnett’s life of Fox; nine to George Henry Lewes in Anna T. Kitchel’s George Lewes and George Eliot; and fourteen to Alexis de Tocqueville edited by J.-P. Mayer in his Edition: current; Page: [ix] collected edition of Tocqueville’s work. All have been re-collated wherever the originals have been available.

Mill’s letters to John Pringle Nichol have not been found, and the text of these is that published by William Knight. The text of the letters to Tocqueville is reproduced from J.-P. Mayer’s edition of the works of Tocqueville and has not been re-collated, though additional annotation has been provided. Even very brief published excerpts from otherwise unlocated letters have been included, in the hope that they may provide clues to the eventual finding of the originals.

It has been possible to add a good many as yet unpublished letters to the various series published by Elliot and others—notably letters to Carlyle, D’Eichthal, R. B. Fox, W. J. Fox, and Napier. A number of additional series, of which hitherto either none or only a scattered few had been published, appear in print for the first time: letters to Edwin Chadwick, Albany Fonblanque, John and Sarah Austin, Joseph Blanco White, William Tait, Aristide Guilbert, Henry S. Chapman, John Mitchel Kemble, Henry Cole, and Sir John F. W. Herschel. In all, this edition contains 238 hitherto unpublished letters and 72 letters which have previously unpublished passages.

While Professor Hayek was chiefly responsible for the assembling of the letters, the work of editing and annotating has been mine. The method I have followed in preparing the text has been to reproduce the original as closely as possible, and I have rarely yielded to the temptation to insert a bracketed sic. I have silently transferred in a relatively small number of letters dates and addresses from the end to the heading of the letter. In rare instances only has punctuation been inserted and then the insertion has been noted. Mill’s letters in French are presented as they were written; errors have not been corrected and obsolete spellings have not been modernized. The text of his letters to Comte has been collated with the originals in the Library of the Johns Hopkins University; the text of Lévy-Bruhl’s edition differs in paragraphing, punctuation, and spelling from that of the original letters, though in other respects it is very accurate.

The first note to each letter provides the following information: the location of the manuscript when it is known (some transcribed by Professor Hayek as early as 1943 cannot now be located); addresses and postmarks where they have been available; the place of publication of previously published letters. If no printed source is indicated, the letter, to the best of my knowledge, has hitherto been unpublished. Except for several letters published in full by Michael Packe in his biography of Mill, no mention has been made of excerpts published by him, since he had full access to Professor Hayek’s collection. The editor has located over sixty additional letters since the publication of Mr. Packe’s biography.

Edition: current; Page: [x]

A good deal of effort has been expended upon dating as accurately as possible letters not dated by Mill. Sometimes it has been possible to do such dating by means of external evidence that is corroborative of details in the letter (e.g., Letters 11 and 382); at other times I have had to depend solely on internal evidence. In some instances previously published letters (e.g., Letters 47 and 96) were incorrectly dated, and corrections have had to be made.

Recipients of letters and names of persons mentioned have normally been identified only on the occasion of their first appearance in the letters. To avoid the necessity of an over-abundance of cross-references, an extensive name and subject index is provided. The page reference set in bold type after an indexed name indicates the location of the identifying note. Authors of books mentioned in the letters usually have not been otherwise identified.

While I have made some successful efforts to enlarge Professor Hayek’s original collection, I am by no means assured that additional early letters may not yet make their appearance. In fact, I hope that the publication of this edition will bring to light many more. Efforts to trace many once in the possession, for instance, of Alexander Bain, the first biographer of Mill, have proved thus far unavailing. I should appreciate receiving information of any uncollected Mill letters, since I am planning, in collaboration with Professor Dwight N. Lindley of Hamilton College, an edition of the later (1849-1873) letters. If additional early letters come out of hiding, it may be possible to include them in an appendix to the later letters.

There remains the pleasant task of acknowledging generous help from many persons and institutions. Professor Hayek in his Introduction to this edition has acknowledged some of his indebtednesses during the period when he was collecting the letters. Since he has turned over to me all his extensive correspondence relating to the collecting, it is incumbent upon me to acknowledge on his behalf—and my own—major contributions during that period by the following persons: W. H. Browning, W. C. Dickinson, the late Mrs. Vera Eichelbaum, Miss Philippa G. Fawcett, J. L. Harlan, the late Norman E. Himes, the late Lord Keynes, J. A. La Nauze, Ney MacMinn, J. M. McCrimmon, Emery Neff, A. M. Carr Saunders, Hill Shine, the Right Rev. Charles L. Street, Jacob Viner, and Gordon Waterfield. In addition many individuals, too numerous to mention here, generously answered queries and offered useful suggestions.

My own debts incurred since I took over in 1953 the task of editing the letters have likewise been many. In efforts to enlarge Professor Hayek’s collection I have been aided by H. L. Beales, Joseph Hamburger, Peter M. Jackson, Cecil Lang, J.-P. Mayer, Anna J. Mill, James M. Osborn, John M. Edition: current; Page: [xi] Robson, Henry Siegel, Jack Stillinger, and William E. S. Thomas. Alice Kaminsky, Dwight N. Lindley, Emily Morrison, and Robert Scholes have provided me at various times with valuable research and editorial assistance. Among my colleagues at Cornell I have received generous help in spotting allusions and tracing quotations from M. H. Abrams, Robert M. Adams, Harry Caplan, David Davis, J.-J. Demorest, Ephim G. Fogel, and Gordon Kirkwood, and from a former colleague, Luitpold Wallach. Professor John M. Robson of the University of Toronto by his critical reading of the manuscript at a late stage gave me the benefit of his extensive knowledge of Mill, thereby considerably improving the edition. A former graduate student of mine, Dr. Eileen Curran, collated some letters for me and supplied useful information from her detailed knowledge of the history of English periodicals. George H. Healey and Felix Reichmann of the Cornell University Library staff have been unfailingly helpful. Mertie Decker and Eleanor Rosica have typed what must have seemed to them endless numbers of pages of manuscript. Among British librarians I have been chiefly indebted to Mr. G. Woledge and Mr. C. G. Allen of the British Library of Political and Economic Science of the London School of Economics, to Mr. A. N. L. Munby of the Library of King’s College, Cambridge, and to J. S. Ritchie of the National Library of Scotland. J.-P. Mayer and his publishers (the Librairie Gallimard) have granted me permission to reprint the letters of Mill in the copyrighted edition of the works of Alexis de Tocqueville. Indebtedness to the many libraries which possess the originals of these letters is recorded in the notes to the letters, but I should like to express here in particular my thanks to the four libraries which have by far the largest holdings: those of The Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, the National Library of Scotland, and Yale University. I acknowledge also with gratitude a Faculty Research Grant from Cornell University and funds for travel and research from the endowment provided by the Cornell Class of 1916 for the Professorship which I have the honour to hold.

Professor Hayek at the close of his Introduction implies that in this project the fun was all his, but the hard work, mine. I can only say that I have deeply appreciated the opportunity he gave me to do the work. I have had fun too.

Francis E. Mineka
Cornell University

The hope expressed in the foregoing Preface that more of Mill’s earlier letters can still be located has been in small part fulfilled by the addition of three letters that have come to light while this edition was in process. Edition: current; Page: [xii] Since pagination was already completed at this point, the three letters have been added at the end of the second volume (Volume XIII of the Collected Works) and assigned numbers appropriate to their place in the sequence. References to these additional letters have been included in the Index.

F.E.M.
Edition: current; Page: [xiii]

Contents

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Introduction

john stuart mill has not been altogether fortunate in the manner in which his memory was served by those most concerned and best authorized to honour it. It is true that his stepdaughter, heir, and literary executor, Helen Taylor, promptly published the Autobiography, which chiefly determined the picture posterity formed of Mill, and that the only other manuscript ready for publication was also rapidly printed. But during the next forty years, while Mill’s fame persisted undiminished, little was done either to make his literary work more readily accessible or his other activities better known. There are few figures of comparable standing whose works have had to wait nearly a hundred years for a collected edition in English to be published. Nor, while his reputation was at its height, did any significant information become available that would have enabled another hand to round off the somewhat angular and fragmentary picture Mill had given of himself. He had been quite aware that his more public activities would be of interest to later generations and had begun to mark some of the copies of his letters which he had kept as suitable for publication. But Helen Taylor appears increasingly to have been more concerned to prevent others from encroaching upon her proprietary rights than to push on with her own plans for publication. It was only when the material so jealously guarded by her finally passed to one of Mrs. Mill’s granddaughters, Mary Taylor, that an outsider was called in to publish some of the more readily accessible correspondence. Again, however, Mary Taylor reserved to herself part of the task which she was hardly qualified to carry out and in fact did not bring to completion. When at last after her death the papers in her possession became generally accessible, interest in Mill seems to have been at a low point and those papers were allowed to be widely dispersed. Nothing illustrates better the temporary eclipse of his fame than that some of the institutions which then acquired important parts of these papers did not trouble to catalogue them for another fifteen years.

It would seem that at least in his native country, during the period between the two great wars, Mill was regarded as one of those outmoded figures of the recent past whose ideas have ceased to be interesting because they have become commonplace. Most of the battles he fought had been won and to many of those who knew his name he probably appeared as a Edition: current; Page: [xvi] somewhat dim figure whose On Liberty they had been made to read at school but whose “Victorian” outlook had lost most of its appeal. There was, perhaps, also some suspicion that his reputation had been somewhat exaggerated and that he had not been a great original genius but rather an honest, hardworking, and lucid expositor of ideas that other and greater minds had originated. He even came to be regarded, very unjustly, as the last of the “orthodox” tradition in economics and politics. In fact, however, few men have done more to create the intellectual climate in which most of what he stood for was finally taken for granted.

The gradual but steady revival of the interest in John Stuart Mill in the course of the last twenty years is based on a truer understanding of the significance of his work.1 Though nothing could be more misleading than to represent him as a “typical” Victorian or a “typical” Englishman (he certainly was neither), he was one of the most representative figures of the changes of thought that were germinating during his lifetime. During the forty years after his death he governed liberal thought as did no other man, and as late as 1914 he was still the chief source of inspiration of the progressive part of the intellectuals of the West—of the men whose dream of an indefinitely peaceful progress and expansion of Western civilization was shattered by the cataclysms of war and revolution. But even to that development Mill had unquestionably contributed by his sympathies for the rising aspirations of national self-determination and of socialism. His reputation declined with the confidence in the steady advance of civilization in which he had believed, and for a time the kind of minds who had believed in him were attracted by more revolutionary thinkers.

It must probably still be admitted that it is not so much for the originality of his thinking as for its influence on a world now past that Mill is chiefly of importance today. We may still discover that he is a better guide to many of our present problems than is generally appreciated. But there can be no question that his influence is such that to the historian of thought all information we have about Mill’s activities, his contacts, and about the channels through which ideas reached him and through which he acted upon others is nearly as important as his published work. This is particularly true of a man like Mill who strove to keep his mind open to new ideas but upon whom accident and personal idiosyncrasies nevertheless acted to decide in some measure what would and what would not enter his system of thought.

The present volume contains some of the most important sources of Edition: current; Page: [xvii] information we have on all the different spheres of Mill’s activities. The work on the collection of these letters started about the same time as the new interest in Mill began to make itself felt but for reasons presently to be explained, publication has been long delayed. Some of the early results of these efforts have however already been used in various contributions to our knowledge of Mill which have appeared during this period, particularly in Mr. Michael Packe’s vivid Life of John Stuart Mill (1954). The following brief account of the circumstances which led to the present edition may be found useful.

Although more than fifty years ago there were published two volumes of Letters of John Stuart Mill, edited by Hugh S. R. Elliot, these were in the main confined to the last twenty-five years of Mill’s life. Of the earlier and most productive period the edition contained only three series of letters which happened to have been returned to Mill or his heirs. Many more belonging to this period have been published in some thirty different places, while an even larger number of unpublished letters was found to be dispersed among many private and public collections.

This unsatisfactory state of affairs, of which every student of nineteenth-century ideas must soon become aware, induced me nearly twenty years ago to attempt to bring together the main body of Mill’s early correspondence as a supplement to the existing collection. This soon proved a much bigger task than I had anticipated and a task, moreover, which in one sense I had started too late and in another sense too early. Eighteen or even thirteen years earlier I should still have found together all or at least part of Mill’s own papers which in the meantime had been dispersed; and as it soon appeared, much important information had been destroyed by fire during the bombing of London only a few months before I started my work. On the other hand, wartime conditions in England made inaccessible for the next five years some of the material that had to be examined. In the circumstances I carried the task of collection as far as was then possible, but had in the late forties to postpone its completion, first temporarily and then, consequent upon my move from London to Chicago, indefinitely. By then I had completed the editing of one rather special set of Mill’s letters which, for reasons explained in the Introduction to the edition published in 1951 (John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship and Subsequent Marriage [London and Chicago, 1951]) seemed to demand separate treatment. That experience taught me that if I was not for years to abandon all my other work I could not adequately perform the same task for the complete collection. I was therefore only too grateful when not long after, an expert in the field, Professor Francis E. Mineka of Cornell University, agreed to assume responsibility for that arduous task. Edition: current; Page: [xviii] The editing of the present volume is entirely his and in the course of this work he has also been able to add to the collection of transcripts I had assembled over sixty additional hitherto unpublished letters by Mill.

It may be useful if, before commenting on the character of the present volumes, I give a brief account of the fate of the books and papers which were in Mill’s possession at the time of his death, so far as this became known in the course of the search for his letters. Mill died on May 7, 1873, at Avignon, where for the preceding fifteen years he had spent much of his time in the house he had bought to be near his wife’s grave.2 His stepdaughter and sole heir, Helen Taylor, continued to live there most of the time for another thirty years, jealously guarding her exclusive rights to all of Mill’s literary remains and steadfastly refusing requests for permission to publish any of his letters. The draft of a letter of hers written not long after Mill’s death (on the back of a letter addressed to her, dated July 30, 1873) shows that she was then contemplating publication of some of his letters:

I have all my dear stepfather’s letters, preserved, looked through from time to time by himself, arranged in order by myself, and left by him in my hands with directions, verbal and written, to deal with them according to my judgement. When the more pressing task of the publication of his MSS. is completed, I shall, if I live, occupy myself with his correspondence, if I do not live it will be for my literary Executors to decide what to do with it.3

It seems that by “all [her] dear stepfather’s letters” she meant no more than the drafts he had begun to keep from about 1848 or 1849. But she did make some efforts to recover from the heirs of his correspondents sets of earlier letters in exchange for those written to him and it was probably in this manner that the letters to Sterling and Bulwer included in the Elliot edition came to be among the Mill papers.

Nothing came of Helen Taylor’s plans for publication and the Mill papers rested at the Avignon cottage until 1904, when Helen Taylor’s niece Mary Taylor (the younger daughter of Mrs. Mill’s son Algernon) succeeded in persuading the old lady, who at seventy-three appears to have been somewhat peculiar and senile, to return to England. Early in 1905 a friend of Mary Taylor’s (Mary Ann Trimble, who earlier had spent some time at Avignon with Mary Taylor) returned to Avignon and, with the assistance of a married couple who had accompanied her from England Edition: current; Page: [xix] (according to a diary Mary Taylor kept at the time) did there “the work of three months in three weeks. Half a ton of letters to be sorted, all manner of rubbish to be separated from useful things, books to be dusted and selected from, arrangements to be made for sale, and 18 boxes to be packed.”4

A considerable part of Mill’s library and at least some of his papers were disposed of at a sale held at Avignon from May 21 to 28, 1905.5 Some of the manuscripts were acquired by a local bookseller, Romanille, from whom at least one bound volume was bought by an American scholar,6 while a London clergyman bought a manuscript entitled “On Social Freedom” which he published (reputedly with the consent of Helen Taylor, who had died a few months before it appeared) as a posthumous work of Mill in the Oxford and Cambridge Review of June, 1907, and which was republished in book form under Mill’s name as late as 1941, though it now appears that it was not a work by Mill but a manuscript sent to Mill for his opinion by one of his admirers.7

On their return to England Helen Taylor had been taken by her niece to Devon, where she died at Torquay on January 29, 1907. As she appears, in the words of the younger woman, long before that time to have “lost her memory to a great extent,” all business, even the signing of legal documents, was conducted on her behalf by Mary Taylor. One of the first steps taken by the latter soon after the return to England was, on the advice of John Morley, to give that part of Mill’s and Helen Taylor’s library which had been stored in London to Somerville College (one of the women’s colleges at Oxford). Miss Taylor retained a few books and Somerville College was to be entitled to dispose of what it did not want and in the course of 1906 actually sold some of the books.8

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It seems that shortly after Helen Taylor’s death Mary Taylor placed the collection of Mill’s correspondence in the hand of Mr. Hugh S. R. Elliot. Little is known about him or the authority he was given and the fragments of information we have about the proceedings are somewhat puzzling. There is extant an account by Mr. Elliot of his relations to Mary Taylor9 from which the following passages may be quoted:

As to the private letters of Mill to his wife & daughter, we hesitated for a very long time about them; but Miss Taylor, who is a lady of very peculiar ideas and habits, did not wish them to be published. She has it in her mind to bring out another volume in a few years’ time, consisting exclusively of Mill’s letters to his wife, daughter, and sisters; but wants to delay this until the last of Mill’s sisters10 is dead. Whether it will ever be done I cannot say. She guards the letters very jealously; and it was only after much pressure and persuasion that I was allowed to see them at all.

As to her published introduction, following mine in the book, it was entirely an afterthought. In the study of the private letters, I formed a very unfavourable opinion both of Mrs. Mill and of Miss Helen Taylor. It appeared to me that they were both selfish and somewhat conceited women, and that Mill (who must have been a very poor judge of character) was largely deceived with regard to them. Of course I could not state my views openly in a book which is published by Miss Mary Taylor at her own expense. But in my original introduction, I found it impossible to allude to the women without unconsciously conveying into my language some suggestion of what I thought. To this Miss Mary Taylor took the strongest possible exception. I reconsidered the whole matter, but found myself unable to speak any more favourably of them than I had done. For some days Miss Taylor declined even to see me, and we were completely at a deadlock; but at last it was agreed that I should omit all mention of Mill’s private life and that Miss Taylor should herself write a second introduction (for which I took no responsibility) and say what she liked. I did not greatly care for her contribution, but it was a necessary compromise. Myself, however, I entertain no sort of doubt that Miss Taylor is right in her main belief that there was no “guilty” intrigue. . . .

There is, on the other hand, an account which the late Sir Frederick R. Chapman gave twenty-five years ago in a letter to an American scholar:

Miss Mary [Taylor] mentioned another fact that seemed very strange to me. She had placed the whole of the copies of Mr. Mill’s correspondence at the disposal of Mr. Elliot when assisting him in the preparation of the published letters. When he had made his selection he induced her to destroy the rest save only what she termed the “intimate letters” which she intended to embody in another book. I understand that the book has never appeared.

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Assuming that she has told me the actual facts I should say that her weakness is as remarkable as Mr. Elliot’s meaningless advice or request to destroy the balance of the letters which must have been very numerous.11

Though Sir Frederick’s recollection was no doubt correct, there is every reason to doubt Miss Taylor’s account of the events and it is by no means certain that any destruction of letters did take place at that time (whatever may have happened at Avignon in 1905). Not only most of the letters which Mr. Elliot published but so many others are known to have been preserved that I am on the whole inclined to think that nothing was destroyed then.

Mary Taylor appears to have proceeded with her plan of preparing a further volume of family letters and it seems that by the beginning of 1918 she had, with the assistance of Miss Elizabeth Lee (sister of Sir Sidney Lee and author of the article on Helen Taylor in the Dictionary of National Biography), completed a typescript and was negotiating through a literary agent (Mr. A. P. Watts) with Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. concerning publication. Since the files of all parties involved (the literary agent, the publishers, Miss Mary Taylor’s solicitors and, at least in part, her literary executors) were destoyed by fire during the London “Blitz” in December, 1940, it is now impossible to say with certainty why it was not published. But some letters of Mary Taylor together with the recollections of one of the partners of the literary agents (Mr. C. A. Watts, who in his old age still distinctly remembered the “irresponsible Miss Mary Taylor”) show that after a period of irresolution Miss Taylor suffered a “nervous breakdown,” accompanied by insomnia and illusions. After certification she was in March, 1918, taken to an institution in London where she died on November 6, 1918.

In her will Mary Taylor had left all copyrights and letters and correspondence referring to John Stuart Mill and Helen Taylor to the National Provincial Bank Ltd. as residuary legatees and literary executors who were to be free to use this material in any way they saw fit. An inventory of her possessions mentions among the contents of “a gunpowder proof safe,” a collection of “Public Letters to and from J. S. Mill A to Z,” and a packet of private letters. The former together with various other manuscript material the Bank decided, on the report of a Mr. P. W. Sergeant who had been asked to value them, to sell by auction, while it was thought that “the intimate letters relating to the family quarrel . . . could not be offered for sale publicly.”

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A first sale was accordingly held at Sotheby’s of London on March 29, 1922, which produced a gross amount of £276.19.-. Of this, however, £200 were paid on behalf of the Trustees of the Carlyle House Memorial Trust for a set of seventy-seven letters by Thomas Carlyle to Mill (which in the following year were published by Mr. Alexander Carlyle in Letters of Thomas Carlyle to John Stuart Mill, John Sterling and Robert Browning [London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1923]). The twenty-one lots of Mill manuscripts proper seem all to have been bought by various London booksellers and altogether to have fetched no more than £76.19.-. They appear to have contained numerous notebooks, mostly botanical, and miscellaneous correspondence. Most of the Mill manuscripts now in various American libraries derive from this sale.12 Quantitatively the largest part (although much of it of a kind not readily salable otherwise) was in 1926 sold by one of the booksellers to the Library of the London School of Economics, where it constitutes the nucleus of the Mill-Taylor Collection, since much enriched by many additions.

Because of the loss of part of the relevant files of the National Provincial Bank, we do not know why the sale of a large part of the papers was postponed for five years. But on June 27, 1927, Sotheby’s sold another fourteen lots described as “The Property of Miss Mary Taylor, dec.,” containing mostly letters to Mill, but also one lot containing “upwards of 132 autograph letters to his wife on literary work and travel.” It seems that both the material now at Yale University Library and that acquired by Lord Keynes and now at King’s College, Cambridge, derive from this sale. The National Provincial Bank apparently retained only the small collection of correspondence exchanged between Mill and his brothers and sisters and a few family documents and portraits, all of which were in 1943 presented by the Bank to the London School of Economics for inclusion in the Mill-Taylor Collection.

Although it seemed appropriate to use this occasion to give an account of what happened to Mill’s own books and papers, the material deriving from them could in fact make little contribution to the present edition. This is intended to cover the period up to 1849, which, because Mill did not then keep copies of his letters, is so little represented in Elliot’s edition of his letters, which was based on his papers. In so far as the present collection was to go beyond bringing together the considerable number of earlier letters that had been published in a great variety of places and a few unpublished ones known to be preserved in libraries, the main effort had to be directed towards tracing descendants of Mill’s correspondents in the Edition: current; Page: [xxiii] hope that some of their papers might be preserved. This indeed absorbed the greater part of the time I was able to devote to the project, yet the results were not great. Even in England, where in general family papers are preserved perhaps longer than anywhere else, two wars have led to the destruction of much of the extraordinary quantity of manuscript material which had accumulated by 1914. It was not so much destruction by enemy action as the appeal for old paper for salvage and the insistence of air-raid wardens that lofts should be cleared of all inflammable matter which caused most of the loss. In more than one instance it seemed at least likely that what I was searching for had only a short while before left the place where it had rested undisturbed for two or three generations. I should add that wherever I succeeded in tracing descendants of Mill’s correspondents, my inquiries were invariably met with the greatest courtesy and helpfulness. I can of course not claim that I have exhausted even all the likely leads and no doubt in the course of time further letters by Mill will turn up by accident. But while I do not feel that further systematic search in England would be likely to produce much, there may well be such opportunities on the Continent and particularly in France which, during the greater part of the time I was engaged on this work, was inaccessible to me. If, for instance, good fortune had somewhere preserved the letters which for some years after his visit to France as a boy Mill wrote to his “first friend” Antoine Jérôme Balard,13 later a distinguished chemist, these would probably tell us more about his early development than any document which might still be found in England.

There are various obligations I have incurred in the work on the material now published in this volume and which I wish to acknowledge in this place. All the work I did on the collection was done while I held a professorship at the London School of Economics and Political Science and I have received all sorts of assistance from the Economic Research Division of that institution, including the provision of assistance and of some funds for various incidental expenditures. Dr. Ruth Borchardt and Miss Dorothy Salter (now Mrs. F. H. Hahn) in succession helped me for long periods of the work. I must also especially mention the Library of the London School of Economics, or the British Library of Political and Economic Science as it is officially called, which as custodian of the Mill-Taylor Collection not only has provided much of the material of this book but also has often helped by buying at my suggestion documents to which I otherwise might not have obtained access. It was in these circumstances very generous of the authorities of the School to give first to me and then Edition: current; Page: [xxiv] to Professor Mineka permission to use the material collected in any way we thought best. Of the many others who in various ways have helped I ought to single out the National Provincial Bank Ltd. which, after so many years conscientiously watching over the interests of Mill’s heirs, finally decided to hand over to the uses of scholarship what the bombs had spared of the papers of the late Mary Taylor.

The chief credit for the appearance of this edition, however, belongs of course to the editor. Only those who have tried their hands at this kind of task at least on a small scale will appreciate the amount of painstaking care and ingenuity that has to be devoted to an edition of the size of the present one before the reader can use it with the implicit trust and ease which a good editor’s work assures. I am the more indebted to Professor Mineka because he was prepared to take over the more burdensome part of the task I had half-playfully commenced. The tracing of unpublished manuscripts is the kind of detective work which most people will enjoy doing as a recreation in their spare time. But while the pleasure of the hunt was largely mine, the solid hard work to which the reader owes this edition is entirely Professor Mineka’s.

F.A.H.
University of Chicago
Edition: current; Page: [xxv]

Abbreviations and Short Titles

A. Carlyle: Letters of Thomas Carlyle to John Stuart Mill, John Sterling and Robert Browning, ed. Alexander Carlyle, New York, 1923

Arsenal: Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Paris

Autobiog.: Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, published for the first time without alterations or omissions from the original manuscript in the possession of Columbia University, with a Preface by John Jacob Coss, New York, 1924

BFR: The British and Foreign Review, or European Quarterly Journal, 1835-44

Bain, JSM: Alexander Bain, John Stuart Mill: A Criticism: With Personal Recollections, London, 1882

Bain, James Mill: Alexander Bain, James Mill: A Biography, London, 1882

Brit. Mus.: British Museum, London

Caroline Fox, Journals. See Pym

Cosmopolis: “Letters of John Stuart Mill to Gustave d’Eichthal,” ed. Eugène d’Eichthal, in Cosmopolis, VI (April-May, 1897), 21-38, 348-66, and IX (Feb.-March, 1898), 368-81, 780-90

D’Eichthal Corresp.: John Stuart Mill, Correspondance inédite avec Gustave d’Eichthal, 1828-1842, 1864-1871, éd. Eugène d’Eichthal, Paris, 1898 (same as preceding, but translated into French)

Dissertations: John Stuart Mill, Dissertations and Discussions: Political, Philosophical, and Historical, 4 vols., London, 1859-75

ER: The Edinburgh Review, 1802-1929

Early Draft: The Early Draft of John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography, ed. Jack Stillinger, Urbana, 1961

Elliot: The Letters of John Stuart Mill, ed. Hugh S. R. Elliot, 2 vols., London, 1910

FQR: The Foreign Quarterly Review, 1827-46

Fawcett: Mrs. [Millicent] Fawcett, Life of the Right Hon. Sir William Molesworth, London, 1901

Fraser’s: Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country, 1830-82

Garnett: Richard Garnett, The Life of W. J. Fox . . . , concluded by Edward Garnett, London, 1910

Hayek: F. A. Hayek, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship and Subsequent Marriage, London and Chicago, 1951

JSM: John Stuart Mill

Edition: current; Page: [xxvi]

Johns Hopkins: The Johns Hopkins University Library

Kew: Archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

King’s: Keynes Collection, King’s College Library, Cambridge University

Kitchel: Anna T. Kitchel, George Lewes and George Eliot: A Review of Records, New York, 1933

Knight: “Unpublished Letters from John Stuart Mill to Professor Nichol,” ed. William Knight, in Fortnightly Review, LXVII (May, 1897), 660-78

LSE: The British Library of Political and Economic Science, at the London School of Economics and Political Science

LWR: London and Westminster Review, 1836-40

Leeds: Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

Lévy-Bruhl: Lettres inédites de John Stuart Mill à Auguste Comte, publiées avec les réponses de Comte, éd. L. Lévy-Bruhl, Paris, 1899

Lindley: Dwight N. Lindley, “The Saint-Simonians, Carlyle, and Mill,” unpublished Columbia University dissertation, 1958 (available from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Logic: John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive; Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation, 2 vols., London, 1843

MR: The Monthly Repository, 1806-38

MacMinn, Bibliog.: Bibliography of the Published Writings of John Stuart Mill, ed. Ney MacMinn, J. R. Hainds, and James McNab McCrimmon, Evanston, Ill., 1945

Mayer: Alexis de Tocqueville, Œuvres, papiers et correspondances, édition définitive publiée sous la direction de J.-P. Mayer, Paris, 1951- , tome VI, Correspondance anglaise, éd. J.-P. Mayer et Gustave Rudler, Paris, 1954

Mineka, The Dissidence of Dissent: Francis E. Mineka, The Dissidence of Dissent: The Monthly Repository, 1806-38, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1944

Morrison: Catalogue of the Collection of Autograph Letters and Historical Documents Formed between 1865 and 1882 by Alfred Morrison, compiled and annotated under the direction of A. W. Thibaudeau, 6 vols., London, 1883-92, IV

NLS: The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Napier Corresp.: Selections from the Correspondence of the late Macvey Napier, Esq., ed. by his son, Macvey Napier, London, 1879

Packe: Michael St. John Packe, Life of John Stuart Mill, London, 1954

Pankhurst: Richard K. P. Pankhurst, The Saint Simonians, Mill and Carlyle, London, [1957]

Pym: Memories of Old Friends, Being Extracts from the Journals and Letters of Caroline Fox, from 1835 to 1871, ed. H. N. Pym, 2nd ed., 2 vols., London, 1882

QR: The Quarterly Review, 1809-

Edition: current; Page: [xxvii]

Tait’s: Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1832-61

Thom: The Life of the Rev. Joseph Blanco White, Written by Himself; with Portions of his Correspondence, ed. John Hamilton Thom, 3 vols., London, 1845

Towers: C. M. D. [Robertson] Towers, “John Stuart Mill and the London and Westminster Review,” Atlantic Monthly, LXIX (Jan., 1892), 58-74

Tuell, John Sterling: Anne Kimball Tuell, John Sterling: A Representative Victorian, New York, 1941

UCL: Library of University College, the University of London

WR: Westminster Review, 1824-1914

Yale: Yale University Library

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THE EARLIER LETTERS OF JOHN STUART MILL
1812–1837

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lf0223-12_figure_001.jpg

Letter 1, to Jeremy Bentham, from MS in the British Museum

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1812–1830

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
July 28, 1812
Newington Green
Jeremy Bentham
Bentham, Jeremy
1.

TO JEREMY BENTHAM1

My dear Sir,

Mr. Walker3 is a very intimate friend of mine, who lives at No. 31 in Berkeley Square. I have engaged him, as he is soon coming here, first to go to your house, and get for me the 3.d and 4.th volumes of Hooke’s Roman history.4 But I am recapitulating5 the 1.st and 2.d volumes, having finished them all except a few pages of the 2.d. I will be glad if you will let him have the 3.d and 4.th volumes.

I am yours sincerely
John Stuart Mill.
Newington Green
,
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John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
September 13, 1814
2.

TO AN UNIDENTIFIED FRIEND OF THE FAMILY1

I have arrived at Ford Abbey without any accident, and am now safely settled there. We are all in good health, except that I have been ill of slight fever for several days, but am now perfectly recovered.

It is time to give you a description of the Abbey.2 There is a little hall and a long cloister, which are reckoned very fine architecture, from the door, and likewise two beautiful rooms, a dining-parlour and a breakfast-parlour adorned with fine drawings within one door; on another side is a large hall, adorned with a gilt ceiling; and beyond it two other rooms, a dining and drawing-room, of which the former contains various kinds of musical instruments, and the other is hung with beautiful tapestry.

To this house there are many staircases. The first of them has little remarkable up it, but that three rooms are hung with tapestry, of which one contains a velvet bed, and is therefore called the velvet room. The looking-glass belonging to this room is decorated with nun’s lace.

Up another staircase is a large saloon, hung with admirable tapestry, as Edition: current; Page: [5] also a small library. From this saloon issues a long range of rooms, of which one is fitted up in the Chinese style, and another is hung with silk. There is a little further on a room, which, it is said, was once a nursery; though the old farmer Glyde, who lives hard by, called out his sons to hear the novelty of a child crying in the Abbey! which had not happened for the whole time he had lived here, being near thirty years. Down a staircase from here is a long range of bedrooms, generally called the Monks’ Walk. From it is a staircase leading into the cloisters. The rest of the house is not worth mentioning. If I was to mention the whole it would tire you exceedingly, as this house is in reality so large that the eight rooms on one floor of the wing which we inhabit, which make not one-quarter of even that floor of the whole house, are as many as all the rooms in your house, and considerably larger.

I have been to the parish church which is at Thornecomb. Mr. Hume3 has been here a great while. Mr. Koe4 came the other day, and Admiral Chietekoff5 is expected. Willie6 and I have had rides in Mr. Hume’s curricle.

[He goes on to say—] What has been omitted here will be found in a journal which I am writing of this and last year’s journeys. [He then incontinently plunges again into descriptive particulars about the fish-ponds, the river Axe, the deer-parks, the walks, and Bentham’s improvements.]

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Oct. 27th 1817
Ford Abbey
Mrs. Harriet Burrow
Burrow, Mrs. Harriet
3.

TO MRS. HARRIET BURROW1

Dear Grandmother,

I write to you now, as both my Sisters are writing, and there is not likely to be another parcel going to town for a great while.

I have very little news to tell you: Willie has informed you of the accident which has happened to James’s2 eye. Willie, Harriet,3 and Clara,4 have Edition: current; Page: [6] begun music: and you learn from Willie’s and Clara’s letters, this also. Willie and Clara are ready to begin the first lesson: Harriet has not finished the treble notes.

The rainy weather has at length set in here, after an exceedingly dry autumn. I am however very glad to say, that no rain now can do any injury to the crop, which is almost all in.

We are still learning to write. How much Willie and Clara have improved you will know by reading their letters.

I hope that all my aunts and uncles are very well. I did not know that I had a new little cousin, till Willie saw it in the paper. I believe my Mother has written to you a very long letter: and I suppose that she has told you all the little news that we have: so that I have very little to tell you: moreover, I had only two days notice to write four letters: or else I would probably have written more.

We are all in very good health, except little Jane,5 who has got a little cough. I had lately the tooth-ache very bad. I hope that you are also in very good health.

Since we were here, there has been a groping in the pond for eels. Mr. Bragg’s two sons went into the mud, (after almost all the water had been let out) and groped with their hands for eels. Those caught were, many of them, very large ones. A number of trout, caught in the river, were afterwards put in that pond.

All of us send our love to you and all our other relations, and our good friends. I am,

Your affectionate Grandson
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
July 30, 1819
Acton Place, Hoxton
Sir Samuel Bentham
Bentham, Sir Samuel
4.

TO SIR SAMUEL BENTHAM1

My dear Sir,

It is so long since I last had the pleasure of seeing you that I have almost forgotten when it was, but I believe it was in the year 1814, the first year we were at Ford Abbey. I am very much obliged to you for your inquiries with respect to my progress in my studies; and as nearly as I can remember I will endeavour to give an account of them from that year.

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In the year 1814, I read Thucydides, and Anacreon, and I believe the Electra of Sophocles, the Phœnissæ of Euripides, and the Plutus and the Clouds of Aristophanes. I also read the Philippics of Demosthenes.

The Latin which I read was only the Oration of Cicero for the Poet Archias, and the (first or last) part of his pleading against Verres. And in Mathematics, I was then reading Euclid; I also began Euler’s Algebra, Bonnycastle’s principally for the sake of the examples to perform. I read likewise some of West’s Geometry.

Æt. 9.—The Greek which I read in the year 1815 was, I think, Homer’s Odyssey. Theocritus, some of Pindar, and the two Orations of Æschines, and Demosthenes on the Crown. In Latin I read the six first books, I believe, of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the five first books of Livy, the Bucolics, and the six first books of the Æneid of Virgil, and part of Cicero’s Orations. In Mathematics, after finishing the first six books, with the eleventh and twelfth of Euclid, and the Geometry of West, I studied Simpson’s Conic Sections and also West’s Conic Sections, Mensuration and Spherics; and in Algebra, Kersey’s Algebra, and Newton’s Universal Arithmetic, in which I performed all the problems without the book, and most of them without any help from the book.

Æt. 10.—In the year 1816 I read the following Greek: Part of Polybius, all Xenophon’s Hellenics, The Ajax and the Philoctetes of Sophocles, the Medea of Euripides, and the Frogs of Aristophanes, and great part of the Anthologia Græca. In Latin I read all Horace, except the Book of Epodes; and in Mathematics I read Stewart’s Propositiones Geometricæ, Playfair’s Edition: current; Page: [8] Trigonometry at the end of his Euclid, and an article on geometry in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia. I also studied Simpson’s Algebra.

Æt. 11.—In the year 1817 I read Thucydides a second time, and I likewise read a great many Orations of Demosthenes and all Aristotle’s Rhetoric, of which I made a synoptic table. In Latin I read all Lucretius, except the last book, and Cicero’s Letters to Atticus, his Topica, and his treatise, De Partitione Oratoria. I read in Conic Sections an article in the Encyclopædia Britannica (in other branches of the mathematics I studied Euler’s Analysis of Infinities and began Fluxions, on which I read an article in the Encyclopædia Britannica), and Simpson’s Fluxions. In the application of mathematics I read Keill’s Astronomy and Robinson’s Mechanical Philosophy.

Æt. 12.—Last year I read some more of Demosthenes, and the four first Books of Aristotle’s Organon, all which I tabulated in the same manner as his Rhetoric.

In Latin, I read all the works of Tacitus, except the dialogue concerning oratory, and great part of Juvenal, and began Quintilian. In Mathematics and their application, I read Emerson’s Optics, and a Treatise on Trigonometry by Professor Wallace, of the Military College, near Bagshot, intended for the use of the cadets. I likewise re-solved several problems in various branches of mathematics; and began an article on Fluxions in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia.

Æt. 13.—This year I read Plato’s dialogues called Gorgias and Protagoras, and his Republic, of which I made an abstract. I am still reading Quintilian and the article on Fluxions, and am performing without book the problems in Simpson’s Select Exercises.

Last year I began to learn logic. I have read several Latin books of Logic: those of Smith, Brerewood, and Du Trieu,2 and part of Burgersdicius, as far as I have gone in Aristotle. I have also read Hobbes’ Logic.

I am now learning political economy. I have made a kind of treatise from what my father has explained to me on that subject,3 and I am now reading Mr. Ricardo’s work4 and writing an abstract of it. I have learnt Edition: current; Page: [9] a little natural philosophy, and, having had an opportunity of attending a course of lectures on chemistry, delivered by Mr. Phillips, at the Royal Military College, Bagshot,5 I have applied myself particularly to that science, and have read the last edition of Dr. Thomson’s system of chemistry.

What English I have read since the year 1814 I cannot tell you, for I cannot remember so long ago. But I recollect that since that time I have read Ferguson’s Roman and Mitford’s Grecian History. I have also read a great deal of Livy by myself. I have sometimes tried my hand at writing history. I had carried a history of the United Provinces from their revolt from Spain, in the reign of Phillip II., to the accession of the Stadtholder, William III., to the throne of England.

I had likewise begun to write a history of the Roman Government, which I had carried down to the Licinian Laws. I should have begun to learn French before this time, but that my father has for a long time had it in contemplation to go to the Continent, there to reside for some time.6 But as we are hindered from going by my father’s late appointment in the East India House,7 I shall begin to learn French as soon as my sisters have made progress enough in Latin to learn with me.

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I have now and then attempted to write Poetry. The last production of that kind at which I tried my hand was a tragedy. I have now another in view in which I hope to correct the fault of this.

I believe my sister Willie was reading Cornelius Nepos when you saw her. She has since that time read some of Cæsar; almost all Phædrus, all the Catiline and part of the Jugurtha of Sallust, and two plays of Terence; she has read the first, and part of the second book of Lucretius, and is now reading the Eclogues of Virgil.

Clara has begun Latin also. After going through the grammar, she read some of Cornelius Nepos and Cæsar, almost as much as Willie of Sallust, and is now reading Ovid. They are both now tolerably good arithmeticians; they have gone as far as the extraction of the cube root. They are reading the Roman Antiquities and the Greek Mythology, and are translating English into Latin from Mair’s Introduction to Latin Syntax.

This is to the best of my remembrance a true account of my own and my sisters’ progress since the year 1814.

I hope Lady Bentham, and George,8 and the young ladies are in good health.

Your obedient, humble servant,
John Stuart Mill.
To Sir Saml. Bentham.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
17 Janv. 1821
Montpellier
Sarah Austin
Austin, Sarah
5.

TO SARAH AUSTIN1

Madame

Je n’ai reçu que depuis deux jours la lettre dont vous avez bien voulu m’honorer. Croyez, Madame, à ma réconnaissance de tout ce qu’elle contient: réconnaissance qui aurait été grande, si vous aviez écrit sous de Edition: current; Page: [11] meilleures auspices: jugez donc combien elle doit l’être dans le cas actuel. J’avoue que je ne suis point digne de cet effort que vous avez fait pour m’écrire: puisque deux ou trois lignes à la fin d’une lettre à mon père sont tout ce que vous avez eu de ma part, depuis que j’ai quitté l’Angleterre. Je vous prie de vouloir bien pardonner ma negligence, et recevoir cette lettre en expiation de ma faute. Puisque vous lisez toutes mes lettres à mon père, il est inutile que je vous raconte la manière dont je m’occupe ici: la lettre qui accompagne celle-ci vous donnera tous les renseignemens là dessus que vous pouvez désirer. Il ne me reste donc plus qu’à vous remercier des bons conseils que vous me donnez: ne doutez pas qu’ils ne produisent tout l’effet que vous souhaitez.

Le cours publics que je suis dans ce moment ne termineront pas encore de quelque temps. Le professeur de Logique3 ne fait guère que d’entrer dans son sujet: le professeur de Zoologie4 n’a fait encore que douze leçons. Il est cependant probable que si les cours durent encore longtems, je n’en attende pas la fin: Je partirai d’ici au milieu du mois prochain, pour retourner à Paris. J’aurai donc l’honneur de vous revoir avant qu’il soit longtems: J’espère que nous aurons l’occasion de causer ensemble sur toutes les choses dont vous parlez, et sur beaucoup d’autres dont je n’ai pas la place ni le tems de vous entretenir momentanément. Ce sera alors que j’aurai l’honneur de vous assurer moi même de ma reconnaissance, non seulement de l’interêt que vous prenez à tout ce qui m’arrive, mais de la bonté avec laquelle vous vous êtes donner la peine de soigner l’éducation de mes sœurs: Je ne sais si elles sentent toute l’étendue de cette bonté, mais je vous assure que je la sens, et que je ne manquerai pas de vous en remercier, à mon retour, de vive voix. — Je suis très fâché que vous ne jouissiez pas d’une santé pareille à mes vœux: J’espère qu’elle vous sera Edition: current; Page: [12] bientôt rendue. Veuillez bien, assurez Mr votre époux de mes sentimens de réconnaissance pour lui; et croyez, Madame, que je serai toujours,

Votre serviteur très obligé
J. S. Mill

Pardonnez mon embrouillomanie.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
25 Avril 1821
Paris
James Mill
Mill, James
6.

TO JAMES MILL1

[
Paris
]
Mon cher père,

Je vous écris cette lettre de Paris, où je suis arrivé hier, après un heureux voyage. Vous voyez que mon départ a été un peu retardé, presque de jour en jour, mais je n’ai pas la place de vous donner des détails: ce sera pour la prochaine lettre que je ne tarderai pas à vous envoyez. Il y a long tems que je ne vous ai rien ecrit. Ce n’est pas qu’il me manquait de la matière, mais il y a bien près d’un mois que je devais partir incessamment de Montpellier, par consequent pour diminuer le post, je n’ai pas voulu pas ecrire avant mon arrivée ici. J’aurai encore de quoi remplir deux longues lettres pour ramener le journal à la date de la présente. Je vous les enverrai de suite.

J’apprends par vos deux lettres à M. Say,2 qu’il a eu l’extreme complaisance de me communiquer, qu’il est décidé que j’irai passer quelque tems à Caen. Je suis bien convaincu que vous avez formé cette determination après avoir bien pesé le pour et le contre: et c’est certainement vous êtes le plus capable d’en juger. Cependant malgré le respect que je dois à M. Lowe,3 et les bontés qu’il a pour moi, je ne vous cache pas que je suis fâché d’aller chez lui en revenant de chez M. Bentham, et cela principalement parceque je vois bien que cela fait de la peine à toute la famille. Ne croyez pas qu’ils soient guidés par l’amour propre, mais leur plus grand desir était toujours que je revinsse chez vous aussitôt que je les eusse quittés pourque vous puissiez juger des instructions qu’ils ont eu la bonté de me donner, et savoir si leurs idées cadrent avec les vôtres. Ce n’est pas le sentiment d’un seul d’entre eux mais de toute la famille; et je ne puis que me féliciter qu’ils n’aient pas su d’abord que je devais aller Edition: current; Page: [13] ailleurs que chez vous après les avoir quittés: car s’ils l’avaient su je suis persuadé qu’ils ne se seraient jamais donnés tant de peine pour mon instruction—Je ne puis plus ecrire; croyez que je serai toujours

votre dévoué et obéissant fils
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
1822
Autumn
James Mill
Mill, James
7.

TO JAMES MILL1

[
Norwich
]

[The letter begins with a short account of his studies. He read Blackstone (with Mr. Austin) three or four hours daily, and a portion of Bentham’s “Introduction” (I suppose the “Morals and Legislation”) in the evening.] I have found time to write the defence of Pericles3 in answer to the accusation which you have with you. I have also found some time to practise the delivery of the accusation, according to your directions. [Then follows an account of a visit of ten days with the Austins to the town of Yarmouth, with a description of the place itself. The larger part of the letter is on the politics of Norwich, where “the Cause” (Liberal) prospers ill, being still worse at Yarmouth. He has seen of Radicals many; of clear-headed men not one. The best is Sir Thomas Beever,4 whom he wishes to be induced to come to London and see his father and Mr. Grote.5 At Yarmouth he has dined with Radical Palmer,6 who had opened the borough to the Whigs; not much better than a mere Radical.] I have been much entertained by a sermon of Mr. Madge,7 admirable as against Edition: current; Page: [14] Calvinists and Catholics, but the weakness of which as against anybody else, I think he himself must have felt. [The concluding part of the letter should have been a postscript—]

I wish I had nothing else to tell you, but I must inform you that I have lost my watch. It was lost while I was out of doors, but it is impossible that it should have been stolen from my pocket. It must therefore be my own fault. The loss itself (though I am conscious that I must remain without a watch till I can buy one for myself) is to me not great—much less so than my carelessness deserves. It must, however, vex you—and deservedly, from the bad sign which it affords of me.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
14 Novr. 1822
Q[ueen] S[quare]
Mr. George Grote
Grote, Mr. George
Mrs. George Grote
Grote, Mrs. George
8.

TO MR. AND MRS. GEORGE GROTE1

My dear Sir and Madam,

I crave pardon for addressing you jointly. It is a liberty for which, like a true lawyer, I have two reasons, a technical and a rational one. My technical reason (for confirmation of which vide Blackstone) is that baron and feme are one person in law. My utilitarian reason is that to do otherwise might imply that I failed of rendering to one of you, the tribute of gratitude which your friendship so justly deserves at my hands.

I have little news to tell you, save that which regards the Util. Soc.2 On this subject my father still preserves the most profound silence. (I am sure that I shall often remind you of the pleasure with which I anticipate its meetings, by the life-and-death style in which I speak and write about it). The unsettled state of mind in which Alfred3 has been, and is still kept, from the uncertainty of his destination, has prevented him from giving any attention to the thing: and I have great fears that in the event of his being able to enter into it at all he will still have too little time to read and to study hard on Utilitarian subjects. Still I have great hopes of him, but I Edition: current; Page: [15] have greater hopes of R. Doane,4 who as I see, is very much in earnest about the thing, who has read my father’s Pol. Ec.5 with great attention as a preparative. He has also made considerable progress in writing his introductory essay; and I will venture to prophecy, from what I know of him by his conversation and by the application which he shows, nothwithstanding his want of encouragement, that he will be an active and useful member, and will profit by the Society, as well as that he will be a source of profit to all the other members.—I have not seen Mr. W. Prescott6 since I saw you last, but it is unnecessary that I should see him till Alfred’s fate is decided. As for myself, I have not only completed Jug True,7 but have commenced writing for the Util. Rev.8 and I hope that, on your return, the Defence of Pericles,9 which is now undergoing a transmutation from a highly illegible to a tolerably legible state, will undo all the impression which the accusation may have made on your mind. (A propos, pardon this scrawl).

You who interest yourself so strongly in favour of M. Berchet,10 will be delighted with Santa Rosa:11 who grows every day in the good opinion of all the Utilitarians who see him. I hope to see him play a conspicuous role in your society: both for his own sake, and for yours.

ERRATUM in your letter. For STERN MORALIST read DESPONDING PHILANTHROPIST. It is the more appropriate appellation. The other I do not think at all correct.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [16]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday February 19, 1827
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
9.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

Dear Chadwick

As Graham2 is unable to walk tomorrow we had better perhaps postpone our walk to next Sunday.

Very truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday March 26, 1827
E.I.H. [East India House]
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
10.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

E.I.H. [East India House]
Dear Chadwick

If you have any influence with Thwaites,2 you will oblige me greatly by exercising it in favour of a gentleman of the name of Taylor3 who is about to appear for the first time as a public singer, at the Concert at Covent Garden or Drury Lane (I forget which) on Wednesday. I could tell you much about Mr Taylor which would interest you very strongly in his behalf, but this I reserve till I see you. I believe his qualifications to be of a very high order, but he does not ask to be praised, he is only anxious that if he Edition: current; Page: [17] should sink, he may sink quietly, without being treated with severity or with ridicule.

Very truly yours
J. S. Mill

I should say perhaps that I write to you not at his request but at that of his relations who are my very particular f[riends].4

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Thursday April 12, 1827
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
11.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

Dear Chadwick

Being engaged to breakfast with McCulloch2 tomorrow, I cannot walk before breakfast—but if the weather should be sufficiently fine to tempt you out I shall hope to meet with you chez Graham at eleven: Elliott3 has been informed.

I hope you are not the “young law student of Lyon’s Inn” whose chère amie tried to throw herself into the Thames yesterday?

yours most truly
J. S. Mill

P.S. What is the reason that you lawyers always have pens with nibs an inch wide?

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday 1827
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
12.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

Dear Chadwick

Graham is absolutely engaged tomorrow, & I am conditionally so. I have therefore agreed with Grant2 not to walk tomorrow unless Elliott comes, Edition: current; Page: [18] which I understand is not probable—But if you think he will come, pray come yourself and I shall be ready to join you.

Very truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
April 24, 1827
Jeremy Bentham
Bentham, Jeremy
13.

TO JEREMY BENTHAM1

I certainly did not understand you to have expressed any desire that my name should be in the title page. Nevertheless, if you positively require it, I am willing that it should be so,2 rather than that you should imagine I had taken less pains with the work under the idea of its being (so far as I am concerned) anonymous. But I confess I should greatly prefer that my name should be omitted. That the work should be benefited by it is out of the question. I myself might be benefited inasmuch as it would prove that you thought me worthy to be the editor of a work of yours. But on Edition: current; Page: [19] the other hand very little of the labour which I have bestowed upon the book appears on the face of it, or can be known to any one who was not acquainted with the MS.3 If my name were annexed to it people would think that I wished to make a parade either of your good opinion [of]4 me, or of the few notes which I have added.5 The notes are not of sufficient value to make it of any consequence to the public to know who wrote them—I should be very sorry to be suspected of wishing to obtain a reputation at a cheap rate by appearing before the public under the shelter of your name.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
1827
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
14.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

Dear Chadwick

Tooke2 cannot come this evening—therefore I must beg you to defer your visit till further notice—Tuesday & Friday next he is disengaged, therefore I hope you will also keep yourself at liberty for one of those days—I cannot yet answer for myself.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Tuesday 1827
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
15.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

Dear Chadwick

Tooke will be with me tonight.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [20]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Nov. 27, 1827
Westminster
Arthur Aylmer
Aylmer, Arthur
16.

TO ARTHUR AYLMER1

London Debating Society

Sir

The half yearly subscription2 for September last being now due, you are requested to forward it, with all arrears of former subscriptions, to my address.

I am, Sir
Your most obt. Servt.
J. S. Mill, Treasurer
1 Queen Square
Westminster
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Friday Dec. 22, 1827
E.I.H.
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
17.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

E.I.H.
Dear Chadwick

I am requested by Mr. & Mrs. George Grote to beg the favour of your company at dinner this day se’nnight at six—62 Threadneedle Street. You will meet Graham and Roebuck,2 & probably myself.

Very truly yours
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [21]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Jan. 14, 1828
Westminster
W. H. Ferrell
Ferrell, W. H.
18.

TO W. H. FERRELL1

London Debating Society

Sir,

I have the honour to recal [sic] your attention to my last half yearly circular, and to request that your arrears of Subscription, amounting to £1 may be discharged at your earliest convenience.

I have the honour to be,

Your obedient Servant
J. S. Mill, Treasurer.
1 Queen Square
Westminster
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
25 janvier 1828
Londres
Charles Comte
Comte, Charles
19.

TO CHARLES COMTE1

Mon cher Monsieur Comte

Je m’occupe depuis quelque temps d’une critique de la Vie de Bonaparte par Sir Walter Scott,2 et surtout des deux premiers volumes, contenant une esquisse historique de la révolution française. Je ne me dissimule pas combien la tâche que je me suis imposée est au dessus de mes forces; mais on est ici dans une si crasse ignorance sur la révolution, et tous, jusqu’aux individus les plus instruits, ont des idées tellement ridicules sur la nature de cette crise politique, qu’avec mon peu de lumières et de connaissance des faits j’ai crû pouvoir faire quelque chose pour dessiller les yeux de mes compatriotes. C’est pour avoir des renseignemens un peux moins imparfaits sur quelques-uns des évènements les plus remarquables de la révolution, Edition: current; Page: [22] que j’ose vous prier de vouloir bien m’indiquer les preuves sur lesquelles s’appuient trois faits, énoncés comme certains dans votre Histoire de la Garde Nationale.3

1° L’intention qu’eut la cour, dans les jours antérieurs à l’époque de 14 juillet, de faire le procès des chefs du parti populaire.

2° L’intention qu’elle eut de faire la contre-révolution, en-fesant partir le roi de Versailles pour aller à Metz, à l’époque du repas des gardes du corps dans les premiers jours d’octobre 1789.

3° Les assurances solennelles faites par le roi à M. de Lafayette, avant le voyage de Varennes, qu’aucun projet d’évasion n’était entré dans sa tête.

Les preuves que j’ai pu recueillir sur ces trois faits ont bien assez de poids pour que moi en me[. . . ?]4 particulier je n’en doute nullement. Cependant elles ne montent pas audessus d’une grande probabilité, et il faut quelque chose de plus que des probabilités, pour satisfaire à un public aussi prévenu que le nôtre. Vous me ferez donc, Monsieur, le plus grand plaisir, en m’indiquant les moyens de parvenir à une certitude plus parfaite à l’égard de ces circonstances.

D’ailleurs, comme il est probable que vous ayez lû l’ouvrage de Sir Walter Scott, je n’ai pas besoin de vous dire combien d’obligation je vous aurais de toute indication que vous voulûssiez bien me donner relativement aux erreurs de ce livre. Elles sont si nombreuses, qu’il est impossible de les relever toutes; mais, d’autant qu’on connaît un plus grand nombre, on est à portée de faire une meilleure choix, pour démontrer l’infidélité de cet ouvrage prétendu historique, et le faire tomber dans le decrédit absolu qu’il mérite.

Pour vous épargner pourtant une peine inutile, je dois vous dire que je sais déjà à peu près tout ce qu’on peut apprendre en lisant la plupart des Mémoires sur la Révolution, ainsi que les ouvrages historiques de Mignet,5 Toulongeon,6 et autres. Dans le cas donc où vous eussiez la bonté de me donner quelques renseignemens, il n’est pas besoin de vous occuper de ces matières-la.

Mon père me charge de le rappeler à votre souvenir, et de vous prier de servir d’interprète à ses sentimens auprès de Mme votre épouse, ainsi que de M. et Mme Say, et de leur aimable famille. Veuillez bien agréer le témoignage de mon respect et de mon amitié.

J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [23]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
10th March 1828
John Bowring
Bowring, John
20.

TO JOHN BOWRING1

My dear Sir

Your letter, which I received this morning, is a more good-natured one than I fear mine was. I am much obliged to you for not being offended at my taking huff as I did, and I will now tell you exactly what I think of Mr George Bentham’s book2—and what I am ready to say of it, if you think that it would be more satisfactory to Mr Bentham3 than an entire omission.

I do not think that Mr. G. B’s book affords any proof of want of talent—far from it—but many of haste, and want of due deliberation. This mistake was, as it seems to me, that of supposing that he was qualified to write on such a subject as Logic after two or three months’ study, or that so young a logician was capable of maintaining so high a ground as that of a critic upon Whately.4 The consequences of his mistake have been twofold: first of all, he has produced nothing but minute criticism, which even when most just, is particularly annoying to the person criticized when so much stress appears to be laid upon it. This minute criticism is often just, sometimes very acute, but frequently, also, if I am not mistaken, altogether groundless. Instead of this, a good critic on Whately should have laid down as a standard of comparison, the best existing or the best conceivable exposition of the science, & examined how far Whately’s book possesses the properties which should belong to that. In the second place, Mr George Bentham seems not to be aware, that Dr Whately is a far greater master of the science than he is, & that the public will think the disproportion still greater than it is. It would therefore have been wiser in him not to have assumed the tone of undisputed & indisputable superiority over Whately, which marks the greater part of his critique. To be entitled to do this, a writer should not only be superior, but prove himself to be superior, in knowledge of the subject, to the author whom he criticizes. He should let people see that if he differs from Whately, it is not because W. knows more than he but because he knows more than W.

Edition: current; Page: [24]

I have put this more strongly, and enlarged upon it more fully, to you, than I should in the W. R.5 But I should think it wrong, in noticing the book, not to say something of this sort.

Very truly yours,
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
April 23, 1828
Westminster
Benjamin Keen
Keen, Benjamin
21.

TO BENJAMIN KEEN1

London Debating Society

Sir

The half yearly subscription for March last being now due, you are requested to forward it, with all arrears of former subscriptions, to my address.

Arrears £2

Subscrn 10/

I am, Sir
You most obt. Servt.
J. S. Mill, Treasurer
1 Queen Square
Westminster
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
27 juin 1828
Londres
Charles Comte
Comte, Charles
22.

TO CHARLES COMTE1

Londres
Mon cher M. Comte

Vous me ferez plaisir en voulant bien accepter quelques exemplaires de ma critique de Walter Scott,2 dont M. Bodin3 a la bonté de se charger. Je vous prie d’en garder autant que vous voudrez, et de placer les autres Edition: current; Page: [25] comme vous le trouverez bon. Je vous engage seulement à en faire part à M. Say, et de lui en donner un ou deux, s’il veut bien me faire l’honneur de les accepter.—Comme il est très probable que j’écrive encore quelques articles de revue, sur la révolution française et sur l’ancien régime, je désirerais beaucoup que ceux qui pourraient avoir les moyens et la bonne volonté de me faire parvenir des renseignemens utiles là dessus, pûssent juger au moyen de cette brochure, quelles sont ceux qui me manquent. Au reste, je ne vois guère que [?] moi en angleterre qui rendent justice à la révolution.

Agréez, Monsieur, l’expression de mes sentimens respectueux.

J. S. Mill

J’ai lieu de vous remercier très sincerement, de m’avoir fait faire la connaissance de M. Victor Jacquemont.4 Il me paraît très estimable à tous les égards.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Nov. 26, 1828
Westminster
Archibald Thomson
Thomson, Archibald
23.

TO ARCHIBALD THOMSON1

London Debating Society

Sir

The half-yearly subscription for September last being now due, you are requested to forward it, with all arrears of former subscriptions, to my address.

Arrears 10/

Subscrn 10/

I am, Sir,
Your most obt. Servt.
J. S. Mill, Treasurer

The same to Mr Alfred Thomson (£1.)

1 Queen Square
Westminster
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Thomas Coates
Coates, Thomas
23A.

TO THOMAS COATES (see page 742)

Edition: current; Page: [26]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
11th March, 1829
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
24.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear friend,

I have been so much occupied of late that I have not had leisure even to think of writing to you, and if your brother2 had not afforded me the present opportunity, I should probably have deferred that pleasure some time longer. I hope that you will receive the Statements and Reports of the Council of the London University3 along with this letter, the Warden4 having promised to send them to me in time to be given to your brother before his departure. If he should omit to do so, which I trust he will not, I will take the earliest subsequent opportunity of sending them to you. I am glad to hear that you are busily engaged in writing on the subject of England, and am not surprised to learn that you find a great number of unexpected difficulties in giving an account of the state of society here.5 As there is nobody even in England who is by any means qualified to treat so immense a subject with any thing like completeness, it would be very wrong in you to be discouraged by finding that there is a great deal that you do not know—it is sufficient if you know, as I am satisfied you do, very much on the subject of England which is known to few, perhaps to none of your countrymen. It would have been a good thing for the interest of your book, if you had been here at this moment: you would have seen, what you did not see when you were here, a state of great political excitement. The excitement does not reach the labouring classes, but it pervades all the rest of the community to such a degree that, as I am credibly informed, it has to a great degree put a stop to buying and selling, at least Edition: current; Page: [27] on a large scale, as no one can think of any thing except the Catholic question. Since the debate in the House of Commons, and the majority of 188 in favour of the question, nobody doubts the success of the bill;6 and it is very gratifying, and most creditable to our ministers, that they have not clogged the measure with any objectionable or ungracious provisoes or restrictions. The most disgraceful artifices have been employed by the Duke of Cumberland7 and Lord Eldon8 in order to work upon the mind of the King; & it is a fact which you may rely upon, that the Duke of Wellington, the Lord Chancellor,9 and Mr Peel,10 left Windsor on Wednesday last out of office, their resignations having been accepted, & the Anti-Catholics had already begun to arrange a ministry when the King grew alarmed and sent off an express to beg the Duke of Wellington still to consider himself in office. It is of the greatest importance that the probable effect of this measure should be known in France. Its effect in Ireland will be a trifle compared to its effect in England. It forms an era in civilization. It is one of those great events, which periodically occur, by which the institutions of a country are brought into harmony with the better part of the mind of that country—by which that which previously existed in the minds only, of the more intelligent portion only of the community, becomes the law of the land, and by consequence raises the whole of the community to its own level. The greatest advance in the national mind, until thus adopted by the government and incorporated in the institutions of the country, is the advance only of the leading minds, of those who already were furthest in advance: It does not bring forward the whole nation, but widens the distance between the advanced posts and the rear. Much as we have improved in the last 20 years, it is only a part of us that has improved, there remained millions of men in a state of the same brutal ignorance and obstinate prejudice in which they were half a century ago. But this measure will bring forward the rear-guard of civilization: it will give a new direction to the opinions of those who never think for themselves, & who on that account can never be changed unless you change their masters & guides. The intelligent classes lead the government, & the government leads the Edition: current; Page: [28] stupid classes.—Besides all this, the alteration of so important and so old a law as that which excludes Catholics from political privileges, has given a shake to men’s minds which has loosened all old prejudices, and will render them far more accessible to new ideas and to rational innovations on all other parts of our institutions: our ministry, moreover, having been so reviled and attacked by the Tory & high church party that it never can act in concert with them again, must now throw itself wholly on the liberals for support. As for the Tory party, it is broken; it is entirely gone. It placed all on this stake, & it has lost it. What would not in itself have taken much from their power, will now utterly destroy it, because, as they had mustered all their strength to resist this question, it is their decisive overthrow. Ten or twelve years ago, Lord Sidmouth11 said to an acquaintance of mine, that the King’s government had not strength to do any thing which the clergy opposed. That idea is now at an end; the clergy have opposed this with all their might, & as they have failed, the influence of the church, its moral influence at least, is gone. The Church has no hold on the affections of the people: All its influence rested upon the opinion of its power: It is now seen to have very little power; and the effect of this discovery will be so great that I really begin to think that I shall see the downfall of the church in my time. I have said nothing to you on any subject except the Catholic question, but it is so much the most important event now happening that I could hardly have chosen a topic likely to be more interesting to you. By the way, it is now certain that our ministers are disposed to carry freedom of trade even further than their predecessors: I hope that you will do the same. Believe me,

Yours ever
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Wednesday April 15, 1829
India House
John Sterling
Sterling, John
25.

TO JOHN STERLING1

India House
Dear Sterling

I have given a greater number of perusals to your note than I believe I ever gave to any epistle before. I should not however have troubled you with any answer to it, if you had not seemed to take sufficient interest in Edition: current; Page: [29] what concerns me, to lead me to believe that I might talk to you upon a subject so entirely personal as the state of my own mind without your considering it a bore or an intrusion. I was unwilling that you should leave the London Debating Society without my telling you how much I should regret that circumstance if it were to deprive me of the chance not only of retaining such portion as I already possess, but of acquiring a still greater portion of your intimacy—which I value highly for this reason among many others, that it appears to me peculiarly adapted to the wants of my own mind; since I know no person who possesses more, of what I have not, than yourself, nor is this inconsistent with my believing you to be deficient in some of the very few things which I have. But though I feared that this loss to myself would, or at least might, be the consequence of your resignation I never imputed that resignation to any other cause than those which you have stated, and which are, in good truth, cause sufficient. I am now chiefly anxious to explain to you, more clearly than I fear I did, what I meant when I spoke to you of the comparative loneliness of my probable future lot. Do not suppose me to mean that I am conscious at present of any tendency to misanthropy—although among the very various states of mind, some of them extremely painful ones, through which I have passed during the last three years, something distantly approximating to misanthropy was one.2 At present I believe that my sympathies with society, which were never strong, are, on the whole, stronger than they Edition: current; Page: [30] ever were. By loneliness I mean the absence of that feeling which has accompanied me through the greater part of my life, that which one fellow traveller, or one fellow soldier has towards another—the feeling of being engaged in the pursuit of a common object, and of mutually cheering one another on, and helping one another in an arduous undertaking. This, which after all is one of the strongest ties of individual sympathy, is at present, so far as I am concerned, suspended at least, if not entirely broken off. There is now no human being (with whom I can associate on terms of equality) who acknowledges a common object with me, or with whom I can cooperate even in any practical undertaking without the feeling, that I am only using a man whose purposes are different, as an instrument for the furtherance of my own. Idem sentire de republicâ, was thought by one of the best men who ever lived to be the strongest bond of friendship:3 for republicâ I would read “all the great objects of life,” where the parties concerned have at heart any great objects at all. I do not see how there can be otherwise that idem velle, idem nolle, which is necessary to perfect friendship.4 Being excluded therefore from this, I am resolved hereafter to avoid all occasions for debate, since they cannot now strengthen my sympathies with those who agree with me, & are sure to weaken them with those who differ.—Yours faithfully

J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
15th May 1829
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
26.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear d’Eichthal,

Many thanks to you for your interesting letter, which has been read not only by Tooke2 and myself but by several others of our friends with very great pleasure. Before I say more, I will answer the question which Edition: current; Page: [31] your brother has just put to me in your name. The Parliamentary accounts of the expenses of management, amounts of deposit, and other information relating to Saving Banks are not at all mixed up with those of Benefit Societies. They are quite separate.—Nothing of much importance or interest has taken place here since the settlement of the Catholic question,3 except the discussion respecting the duties on Silk,4 which shews that our ministry is disposed not only to persevere in the measures of their predecessors with respect to free trade, but to carry the principle still further. It is much to be feared that they will not take the opportunity which the present state of our relations with Portugal affords, for abrogating the Methuen treaty,5 by which we are bound to admit the Portugal wines at a lower duty than those of other countries. If we were free from this engagement, it might be hoped that your ministry would consent to lower the duties on some of our manufactures, on condition of our lowering those on your wines. But I suppose the stupid affairs of Russia & Turkey would prevent any discussions between the two Governments on commercial policy at present.6—I am glad to hear that you have made so much progress in your work on England.7 I am however inclined to think from your letter to Tooke, that there is some danger of your praising this country beyond its due. You were very naturally struck with the superiority of the English to the French in all those qualities by which a nation is enabled to turn its productive and commercial resources to the best account. But this superiority is closely connected with the very worst point in our national character, the disposition to sacrifice every thing to accumulation, & that exclusive & engrossing selfishness which accompanies it. I am well aware how much of this is owing to our political institutions, under which every thing is accessible to wealth and scarcely any thing to poverty. But I fear that the commercial spirit, amidst all its good effects, is almost sure to bring with it wherever it prevails, a certain amount of this evil; because that which necessarily occupies every man’s time & thoughts for the greater part of his life, naturally acquires an ascendency over his mind disproportionate to its real importance; & when the pursuit of wealth, in a degree Edition: current; Page: [32] greater than is required for comfortable subsistence,—an occupation which concerns only a man himself & his family,—becomes the main object of his life, it almost invariably happens that his sympathies & his feelings of interest become incapable of going much beyond himself & his family. You must have observed even while you were here, although mixing as you did, with the best class of Englishmen, how difficult it is to interest them in any thing which has not some bearing upon what they call their advancement in life. In all countries you find men in middle life in a great degree selfish & worldly, but there are few countries besides this where even the young men are many of them avowedly so. In France or Germany the laughable aberrations of sentiment & enthusiasm are common, the odious ones of coldness & selfishness rare. In this country the reverse is the case. Here, it requires great tact & knowledge of society to enable a man to appear deeply in earnest on any subject without exposing himself to be laughed at—& the etiquette of what is called good society is to appear profoundly insensible to every impression, external or internal. You say that you dread to think what a great nation we shall be, now when we have got rid of bigotry. I do not myself think that bigotry was, or is, our worst point. It is indifference, moral insensibility, which we have need to get rid of. I wish that I saw the least chance of our improving in this respect, without either a political revolution, or such a change in our national education as it would, I fear, require a revolution to bring about. You are far ahead of us in France. You have only to teach men what is right, & they will do it: they are uninformed, but they are not prejudiced, & are desirous & eager to learn. Here, the grand difficulty is to make them desire to learn. They have such an opinion of their own wisdom that they do not think they can learn; & they have too little regard for other people to care much whether they learn or no, in things which only interest the nation in general, or mankind at large. Our middle class moreover have but one object in life, to ape their superiors; for whom they have an open-mouthed & besotted admiration, attaching itself to the bad more than to the good points, being those they can most easily comprehend & imitate. It is true that those who wish to do good, are here enabled, by that esprit d’association which you so much admire, to effect more, in proportion to their numbers, than they do in France. It is a great fault in your nation to surround themselves as you say with an atmosphere of personal vanity, which makes them desire to get all the honour of every thing to themselves, & not to call in the cooperation of others lest they should be compelled to share the credit with them. The fault of your public men certainly is, a desire for display. Here there is not so much anxiety of that kind. Applause which “leads to nothing”, is less valued. But the applause which has Edition: current; Page: [33] exchangeable value, that which produces its worth in pounds sterling, or in substantial power, the applause of the ruling classes, is as highly esteemed & as anxiously sought after here as elsewhere. We are it is true improving rapidly; chiefly however in throwing off prejudices. We no longer think our institutions the best possible; but we commit gross blunders in every attempt we make to mend them. Still it is something to have a fair field open. Sound ideas and good sense applied to public affairs, have, I believe, considerably more chance of being listened to & exercising influence at the present moment than at any time in the last hundred years. But where are they to be found? There are no men of talents among us. Our writers & our orators are, almost to a man, des gens mediocres. I do not know whether yours are any better; probably not; but they will be. We have at any rate not one member of either house of parliament who approaches within twenty degrees of M. de Broglie.8—Tooke desires me to ask you, whether you can recommend to him any French works adapted for the instruction of the people on the elements of the sciences of politics & morals. It seems that the Society for the Diffusion of Useful (or rather Useless) Knowledge9 has appointed a Translation Committee, of which Tooke is likely to be one of the most active members. I suppose that if there be any such works they must be very recent, I am almost sure there are none prior to the present century.—He also wishes to know whether you can point out any works which it would be worth while for him to read, for his own instruction, on French Administration, & on the science of Administration in general—a science so little studied here that we are indebted to France both for the name & the very idea.—Of course the thing goes on here as well as every where else, but it has been so little thought of or studied scientifically that the very word itself is not yet naturalized in our island. Tooke also wishes to know whether a collection of the works of St Simon10 & his school, just sufficient to give him an idea of their general views & Edition: current; Page: [34] principles, would be voluminous or expensive. I am only now about to begin to read the work of M. Comte11 which you so strongly recommended to me. When I have read it, I shall be extremely desirous of having some discussion with you on the principles of the Producteur party, especially that respecting “l’hérédité de la proprieté,” on which subject their doctrine as you express it seems to me a great heresy, but of course I cannot tell what I should think of it until I know with what qualifications & reservations they receive it. I myself think, with Mr Bentham, that property ought to escheat to the state in preference to collateral heirs, where there is no testamentary disposition. You will probably have perceived from our debates that the proposition of introducing some system of Poor Rates into Ireland is about to be seriously entertained by our Government.12 The progress of opinion on this subject within a few years has been very striking. I am inclined to think that the discussions on this subject will be extremely instructive, & well worthy of attentive consideration from your statesmen.

Believe me yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
8th October 1829
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
27.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear d’Eichthal

I can hardly expect forgiveness for having allowed so long an interval to elapse without writing to you, especially after you so warmly invited me, not only to write, but to correspond and discuss with you on some of the subjects on which it is of most importance that you, and I, and all men, should think rightly. The truth is however that it was long before I found time to read the books which you were so kind as to leave with me, and since that time I have been too much occupied with other things to be Edition: current; Page: [35] able to write to you at all. I have not yet been able to read any of the articles of the Producteur.2 I cannot therefore give you my opinion so fully as I may perhaps hereafter, on the doctrines of the St Simon school. As far however as I can judge at present, if I were ever to become a proselyte of that school, it would rather be on the grounds of your last letter to me, than of any of the books I have read. In your letter I do not know that there is much in which I disagree though there are some things. I cannot say as much for the books. When I read the “Opinions Littéraires, Philosophiques et Industrielles”3 which I took up with some expectations, I was perfectly astonished at the shallowness of it. It appeared to me the production of men who had neither read nor thought, but hastily put down the first crudities that would occur to a boy who had just left school. When, however, I read Comte’s “Traité de Politique Positive,”4 I was no longer surprised at the high opinion which I had heard you express of the book, & the writer, and was even seduced by the plausibility of his manner into forming a higher opinion of the doctrines which he delivers than on reflexion they appear to me at all entitled to. I find the same fault with his philosophy, that he does with the philosophy of the eighteenth century [;] it is only the partie critique which appears to me sound, the partie organique appears to me liable to a hundred objections. It abounds indeed, with many very acute remarks though all of them of a kind which the progress of events is suggesting at this moment to all minds, which are au niveau du siècle throughout Europe: but it is a great mistake, a very common one too, which this sect seem to be in great danger of falling into to suppose that a few striking and original observations, are sufficient to form the foundation of a science positive. M. Comte is an exceedingly clear and methodical writer, most agreeable in stile, and concatenates so well, that one is apt to mistake the perfect coherence and logical consistency of his system, for truth.5 This power of systematising, of tracing a principle to its remotest consequences, and that power of clear and consecutive exposition which generally accompanies it, seem to me to be the characteristic excellencies of all the good French writers; and are nearly connected with their characteristic defect, which seems to me to be this: They are so well satisfied with the clearness with which their conclusions Edition: current; Page: [36] flow from their premisses, that they do not stop to compare the conclusions themselves with the fact though it is only when they will stand this comparison that we can be assured the premisses have included all which is essential to the question. They deduce politics like mathematics from a set of axioms & definitions, forgetting that in mathematics there is no danger of partial views: a proposition is either true or it is not, & if it is true, we may safely apply it to every case which the proposition comprehends in its terms: but in politics & the social science, this is so far from being the case, that error seldom arises from our assuming premisses which are not true, but generally from our overlooking other truths which limit, & modify the effect of the former. It appears to me therefore that most French philosophers are chargeable with the fault which Cousin imputes to Condillac,6 of insisting upon only seeing one thing when there are many, or seeing a thing only on one side, only in one point of view when there are many others equally essential to a just estimate of it. If I were to point out all the instances in which this fault is observable in Comte’s book, I must go through every page, for it pervades his whole book; & as it seems to me, it is this fault which alone enables him to give his ideas that compact & systematic form by which they are rendered in appearance something like a science positive. To begin with the very first and fundamental principle of the whole system, that government and the social union exist for the purpose of concentrating and directing all the forces of society to some one end. He cannot mean that government should exist for more than one purpose, or that this one purpose should be the direction of the united force of society to more than one end. What a foundation for a system of political science this is! Government exists for all purposes whatever that are for man’s good: and the highest & most important of these purposes is the improvement of man himself as a moral and intelligent being, which is an end not included in M. Comte’s category at all. The united forces of society never were, nor can be, directed to one single end, nor is there, so far as I can perceive, any reason for desiring that they should. Men do not come into the world to fulfil one single end, and there is no single end which if fulfilled even in the most complete manner would make them happy. Then again when M. Comte comes to enquire what this end is, it must be either the dominion of man over man, which is conquest, or the dominion of man over nature, which is production: the first was the end of society in the ancient world & in the feudal ages, (not true in the least)—this is gone by, therefore the other must be the end of society now: why so, pray? Are conquest & production, the only two Edition: current; Page: [37] conceivable purposes that human beings can combine for! This is one of a thousand things which shew that the St Simon philosophy could only originate in France. If M. Comte were a native of England, where this idol “production” has been set up and worshipped with incessant devotion for a century back, & if he had seen how the disproportionate importance attached to it lies at the root of all our worst national vices, corrupts the measures of our statesmen, the doctrines of our philosophers & hardens the minds of our people so as to make it almost hopeless to inspire them with any elevation either of intellect or of soul, he would have seen that a philosophy which makes production expressly the one end of the social union, would render the only great social evil, of which there is much danger in the present state of civilisation, irremediable. It leads too, to the grand practical conclusion of the St Simon school, that the business of government must be placed in the hands of the principal industriels, the pouvoir temporel at least, & the pouvoir spirituel in the savans & artistes: I do not know how it may be in France, but I know that in England these three are the very classes of persons you would pick out as the most remarkable for a narrow & bigotted understanding, & a sordid & contracted disposition as respects all things wider than their business or families. I have a thousand things more to say on this subject, but I must pass to another. There is according to M. Comte only one law of the development of human civilisation. You who have been in England can say whether this is true. Is it not clear that these two nations, England & France, are examples of the advance of civilisation by two different roads, & that neither of them has, nor probably ever will, pass through the state which the other is in? It is the lower animals which have only one law, that of their instinct. The order of the developement of man’s faculties, is as various as the situations in which he is placed. It is melancholy to observe how a man like M. Comte has had all his views of history warped & distorted by the necessity of proving that civilisation has but one law, & that a law of progressive advancement; how it blinds him to all the merits of the Greeks & Romans (& the demerits of the middle ages) because there was improvement in some things at such periods, he thinks there must have been so in all: why not allow that while mankind advanced in some things, they went back in others? There is positively no place for England in M. Comte’s system: he has given a list of all the states which the social system can be in, and England is in none of them. Notwithstanding all this there are many excellent & new remarks in M. Comte’s book: & if people could be contented to take part & leave the rest, these doctrines would probably receive the proper corrections & modifications & would be very valuable. But if the proselytes of Saint Simon insist upon forming a sect, which is a character above all to be avoided by independent Edition: current; Page: [38] thinkers [,] & imagine themselves under a necessity, if they belong to the sect, to take all its dogmas without exception or qualification, they will not only do no good but I fear immense mischief. Substituting one fragment of the truth for another is not what is wanted, but combining them together so as to obtain as large a portion as possible of the whole. I have not even left myself space to tell you with how much pleasure I have read your pamphlet, which has made almost an entire convert of me, and the few sheets which your brother shewed me of your work on England.7 I shall however write to you again by your friend, I hope I may now say our friend, M. Victor Lanjuinais,8 whom I hope I shall see more of when he returns from Scotland; what I have seen of him I like extremely. Meanwhile believe me

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
7th November 1829
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
28.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

India House
London
My dear d’Eichthal,

As I am several letters in your debt, I take advantage of the departure of our friend M. Lanjuinais2 to pay one instalment. To my great regret I have seen but little of M. Lanjuinais during his residence here, having been prevented first by his absence from town, then by my own, afterwards by his again, and finally by his departure before the expected period. However he permits us to hope that we shall see him again for a short time in the early part of next summer.—One object which I have in writing to you at present is to inform you of a project which we have formed and which there is some prospect though but a doubtful one of our being able to realize, of starting a morning newspaper, of which Chadwick should be the editor, and almost all your friends in this country frequent writers.3 The prospects of success would be very encouraging. You know in how low a state the newspaper press of this country is. In France the best thinkers & writers of the nation, write in the journals & direct public Edition: current; Page: [39] opinion; but our daily & weekly writers are the lowest hacks of literature, which when it is a trade, is the vilest & most degrading of all trades, because more of affectation & hypocrisy, & more subservience to the baser feelings of others, are necessary for carrying it on, than for any other trade, from that of a brothelkeeper upwards. We are not in so low a state here, as not to have in some measure found this out; & there is consequently rather a general sense of the needfulness of some newspaper conducted by men really in earnest about public objects, & really forming their opinions from some previous knowledge & not from the mere appearances of the moment, or the convenience of party advocacy. The old ties of party and the attachment to established opinions have at the same time been so greatly weakened among all the reading classes, that the times are very favourable for starting new opinions, and especially any which hold out sufficient hopes of extensive good, to enlist in their behalf that enthusiasm and dévouement, which are now wandering about the world seeking an object worthy of them. We possess moreover the means of rendering this paper the best as a mere vehicle of intelligence; as a mere newspaper in short, which yet exists; & have therefore no doubt of its success provided we can raise the money which of course is doubtful, but of which we have considerable hopes. As this newspaper will pay very particular attention to French affairs, and will endeavour, as one of its grand objects to make its readers understand not only French politics but the whole social state of France, including all that is doing in the world of literature & philosophy by that active and important member of the European community, & in short to explain the character of that general movement which is taking place in the human mind all over the Continent of Europe but especially in France, we shall be very anxious to have a first rate correspondent at Paris, capable of supplying, (along with the general news of the day in politics, literature & philosophy) sound & enlarged views on all these subjects. I imagine there is scarcely any person except yourself who, with the other necessary qualifications, possesses that knowledge of England, which a Frenchman writing for Englishmen would need, & I am speaking the sentiments of all my expected collaborateurs when I request, that if we succeed in realizing our scheme, you will undertake this department of it. We should wish to have regular letters as often as you could find time to write them, similar to those in the Times, which, though by no means first rate, have done great good here. Of course we should not wish you to undertake so great a portion of our labour without participating in our reward (the pecuniary part of it I mean) either in the shape of a regular engagement, or of a proportion of the profits in case of success, according to your own preference, and to the amount of capital which we can succeed in raising, to commence our operations. If by ill fortune you should not Edition: current; Page: [40] be disposed to undertake what I have proposed to you, I beg that you will consider whether there is any other person whom you could recommend to us for the same purpose, or with whom you could divide the task. In the mean time, as it is best that a scheme of this sort should be known to as few persons as possible until it is certain of being prosecuted, it will be desirable that you should not speak of it more than may be necessary for obtaining what we want.—I have not left myself room to say much to you on the Saint Simon school, & indeed, having been out of town, I have not yet had an opportunity of reading any of the articles of the Producteur.4 I am chiefly anxious at present to tell you of the things which I approve and admire in this school, as I am rather afraid that my former letter may have left an impression on your mind, that I do not think so highly of them as I actually do. In the first place then I highly approve and commend one of the leading principles of their system, which they have established to conviction, the necessity of a Pouvoir Spirituel. They have held out as the ultimate end towards which we are advancing & which we shall one day attain, a state in which the body of the people, i.e. the uninstructed, shall entertain the same feelings of deference & submission to the authority of the instructed, in morals and politics, as they at present do in the physical sciences. This, I am persuaded, is the only wholesome state of the human mind; & the knowledge that we ought to look to it as the ultimate end, has a great tendency to protect us from many errors which the philosophers of the 18th century fell into, & which all will be liable to who suppose that the diffusion of knowledge among the labouring classes & the consequent improvement of their intellects is to be the grand instrument of the regeneration of mankind. Before, however, this state can be attained or even aimed at it is necessary that several great steps should be taken in the improvement of the social organisation; & principally that the great social sinister interests should be removed, since while these exist, those, who would otherwise be the instructed classes, have no motive to obtain real instruction in politics & morals, & are subjected to biasses from which the students of the physical sciences are exempt. They can drive a trade in the ignorance and prejudices of others; they either write for the classes who have sinister interests, and minister to their selfishness and malevolence, or else, addressing themselves to the common people, they find in the well grounded discontent of the people against their institutions sufficient materials for acquiring popularity without either instructing their intellects, or cultivating right habits of feeling and judging in their minds. I object altogether to the means which the St Simonists propose for organizing the pouvoir spirituel. It appears to me that you cannot organise it at all. What is the pouvoir spirituel but the Edition: current; Page: [41] insensible influence of mind over mind? The instruments of this are private communication, the pulpit, & the press. If you attempt to collect together the instructed, you must have somebody to chuse them, & determine who they are: in what respect, then, will this differ from an elective national assembly, with a qualification for eligibility, not a qualification of property but of education?—The second great service which in my opinion the St Simonists have rendered, is not by having been the first to notice (for all persons of course have adverted to it more or less) but having illustrated more copiously than had been done before, and having paid more attention & attached more importance than other philosophers to the fact, that institutions which if we consider them in themselves, we can hardly help thinking it impossible should ever have produced any thing but the most unqualified mischief (the Catholic church for example) may yet, at a particular stage in the progress of the human mind, have not only been highly useful but absolutely indispensable; the only means by which the human mind could have been brought forward to an ulterior stage of improvement. A due attention to this great truth, which is the result of enlarged views of the history of mankind, is also thereby a necessary condition to those views. Without it, there is no possibility of viewing or judging past times with candour, or trying them by any standard but that of the present. And yet, he who does not do this, will judge the present as ill as the past. For surely at every present epoch there are many things which would be good for that epoch, though not good for the being Man, at every epoch, nor perhaps at any other than that one: & whoever does not make this distinction must be a bad practical philosopher even for his own age, yet he will not make the distinction for the present who does not make it for the past. Every age contains countries, every country contains men, who are in every possible state of civilisation, from the lowest of all, to the highest which mankind have reached in that age, or in that country. Yet one hardly meets with a single man who does not habitually think & talk as if whatever was good or bad for one portion of these countries or of these individuals was good or bad for all the other portions. It is very unlikely that any person who is imbued with the spirit of the St Simon school, should fall into this error. They have, and their system tends to produce even as it appears to me in excess, that eclecticism, and comprehensive liberality, which, as it widens the range both of our ideas and of our feelings, is far more pardonable & less mischievous even when most exagéré, than the opposite fault. They have that spirit which is most opposed to the spirit of criticism and disceptation; that which induces us, not to combat but to pass over & disregard the errors in what is presented to us, in order to seize and appropriate to ourselves that portion or fragment (however diminutive) of truth, which there must necessarily Edition: current; Page: [42] be at the bottom of every error, which is not a mere fallacy in ratiocination. As the great danger to mankind is not from seeing what is not, but from overlooking what is; since clever & intelligent men hardly ever err from the former cause, but no powers of mind are any protection against the evils arising from imperfect and partial views of what is real; since not errors but half truths are the bane of human improvement, it seems to follow that the proper mode of philosophizing & discussing for a person who pursues the good of mankind & not the gratification of his own vanity, should be the direct opposite of the philosophie critique of the last century: it should consist, not in attacking men’s wrong opinions, but in giving them that knowledge which will enable them to form right ones that will push off the wrong ones, as the new leaves push off the withered ones of the last year. The great instrument of improvement in men, is to supply them with the other half of the truth, one side of which only they have ever seen: to turn round to them the white side of the shield, of which they seeing only the black side, have cut other men’s throats & risked their own to prove that the shield is black. It is not sufficiently considered by many zealots for even right opinions, that you have done little or nothing for a man when you have merely given him an opinion. An opinion suggests hardly anything to an uninformed mind; it may become a watchword, but can never be a moving & influencing and living principle within him. Words, or any thing which can be stated in words, benefit none but those minds to whom the words suggest an ample store of correct and clear ideas, & sound & accurate knowledge previously acquired concerning the things which are meant by the words. It is therefore of little use altering men’s opinions, & it is often very mischievous to unsettle them, until you have brought their minds to that higher state of cultivation, of which better opinions are the natural & almost spontaneous growth. But merely in order to do this, we must not attack their opinions en masse, but fix our attention on what is good in those opinions, & endeavour to lead them on from this & through this to something better. This is practical eclecticism. Without intending it I have been illustrating at great length one of the most valuable parts of the St Simon philosophy, though not at all peculiar to it, the distinction between the partie critique & the partie organique of any philosophy & between the critical, & the organical, epochs of the human mind. I am inclined to think that one idea connected with this matter, did really originate with them, viz. that a principle may be valuable & in a certain sense even true comme principe critique which comme principe organique or even as a simple logical proposition is false. The logical explanation of this I take to be, that a proposition, though false as a whole, may comprehend as part of itself, may logically include the negation of some prevailing error. I think that the St Simonists have also Edition: current; Page: [43] great merit in having pointed out as the first step in the investigation of practical political truths, to ascertain what is the state into which, in the natural order of the advancement of civilisation the nation in question will next come; in order that it may be the grand object of our endeavours, to facilitate the transition to this state. Keeping this in view, it will often follow, that we must uphold or even establish institutions which are liable to produce great evils, evils which in other states of society might be without alloy; provided that these institutions have, at the same time, a tendency to counteract other mischievous tendencies, which happen to be more prevailing or more to be apprehended in that age, by which of course must always be meant, in that state of the human mind. On this subject I should differ from the St Simonists, chiefly in this respect; they seem to think that the mind of man, by a sort of fatality or necessity, grows & unfolds its different faculties always in one particular order, like the body; & that therefore we must be always either standing still, or advancing, or retrograding; whereas I am satisfied, that better consideration would shew, that different nations, indeed different minds, may & do advance to improvement by different roads; that nations, & men, nearly in an equally advanced stage of civilization, may yet be very different in character, & that changes may take place in a man or a nation, which are neither steps forward nor backward, but steps to one side. Here ends, I believe, all that I have to say at present on the St Simon school.—Tooke has shewn me all your letters; in the last there are two things which pleased me extremely. One is your remark that analysis & synthesis have directly opposite meanings in mathematics from what they have in philosophy: this, which is not only a just but a profound observation, also occurred to Dugald Stewart,5 the second volume of whose Philosophy of the Mind contains that with many other excellent remarks on similar subjects. The other is, your observation that there is no incompatibility between the morality of enlightened self-interest & that of dévoûement: neither of these phrases comprises the principle of morals, but they express two kinds of impulses, both of which might, & do to a certain extent, lead men to virtue, & which it is desirable to put forward alternately as incentives to it, according to the age, the nation, or even the individual, whom you are addressing.

I hope soon to hear from you after having merited that pleasure by these two long letters. For the present believe me

Yours most sincerely
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [44]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
9th February 1830
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
29.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear Gustave

I had for several weeks been on the point of writing to you a long letter on the great subject which you have so deeply at heart, and had just for the first time obtained an interval of leisure for that purpose, when the horrible event took place which has deprived me of one whom I had counted upon as a friend and companion through my whole life.2 I could not mix up the first intelligence of our loss with an abstract philosophical discussion. Poor Mr Tooke3 was anxious that you should be informed of it, and wished me to communicate it to you, but I anxiously hoped that you might learn it first through some other channel. I am deeply indebted to you, my dear Gustave, for your expressions of sympathy in my own affliction.4 There is no ground for the apprehensions which you express of my being overcome and crushed by this unexpected blow. Many who knew him and loved him less than I did, have felt the immediate shock much more forcibly. It is not the intensity, but the durability of such grief, which bears hard upon me, and I feel it most in the enervation, & almost extinction, for the present, of all my activity, and all my concern for mankind or for my duties. It seems to me as if I had never cared for any one but him, and had never laboured but for his sympathy and approbation. Yet though I should detest myself if I ever ceased to think and feel as I now do concerning his loss, I know that this effect of it will not last. The more affectionately I cherish his memory, the more ardently shall I pursue those great objects in which he took so deep an interest. I should care little for life or for mankind, but for the thought that there are among them a few men like him, & that all have in them the capacity of becoming at least an approximation to what he was. There are yet two or three living, but for whom I should no longer value existence: for though there have been a few, very few, who had sufficient native energy and firmness to pursue cheerfully the good of posterity, without being Edition: current; Page: [45] upheld by the aid and encouragement of some in their own generation, I am so far removed from that state of mind that I can just understand it sufficiently to believe it possible. But as I have said before, those who made life valuable to me are not all gone, and though scarcely any of them were equal to Eyton and none superior to him in purity and singleness of mind combined with warmth and kindliness of affection, yet I cannot entirely droop or relax in my exertions while they survive, and remain unchanged towards me, and progressively improving in the developement of their intellectual and moral capabilities. I know too, that our loss will be an additional bond of connexion to me with those who loved him and who pursue the great objects of his life. The time however when I shall feel this effect of it has not yet arrived.

While I write this, I have received your note enclosing Eyton’s last letter to you:5 the expression of his last thoughts and feelings on the great interests of humanity. It was kind in you to send it, particularly now when the last relic of our friend must be so valuable to you. I had however seen it already, as he shewed it to me before he sent it off. I accept gratefully your offer of sending a reply to it, addressed to me; but I do so, only because I should be interested by any thing which you would write on those topics; for though I fundamentally agreed with him, his objections to the St Simonian philosophy are not exactly those on which I should mainly insist, nor are stated in the exact terms or manner in which I should urge them. I am not about to make this letter a controversial one, for this event has so scattered my thoughts that I have been able to carry on no continued train of reflexion since it occurred. Besides, I have a great dislike to controversy, and am persuaded that discussion, as discussion, seldom did any good. This may shew you how completely I am cured of those habitudes critiques, which, you seem to suppose, are the only obstacle to my adopting the entire doctrine of your school. The esprit critique is almost the only one which prevails among the best and most instructed men of this country as well as of France; and it will be one of the objects of my philosophical and practical labours, (as it would have been one of those of poor Eyton if he had happily lived to pursue his designs), to contribute to the formation of a better spirit. This is a debt which I owe partly though not entirely to the St Simonian school: I had much changed from what I was, before I read any of their publications; but it was their works which gave order and system to the ideas which I had already imbibed from intercourse with others, and derived from my own reflexions. A part of the objection I have to controversy, is that it keeps up the esprit critique. I am averse to any mode of eradicating error, but by establishing and inculcating (when that is practicable) the opposite truth; a truth of some Edition: current; Page: [46] kind inconsistent with that moral or intellectual state of mind from which the errors arise. It is only thus that we can at once maintain the good that already exists, and produce more. And I object to placing myself in the situation of an advocate for or against a cause. I will read the books of those from whom I differ, I will consider patiently and mature in my own mind the ideas which they suggest, I will make up my own opinion, and set it forth with the reasons. When I see any person going wrong, I will try to find out the fragment of truth which is misleading him, & will analyse and expound that; I will suggest to his own mind not inculcate in him as from mine the idea which I think will save him. And when this is done, or at least if it were universally done, no one’s offended amour propre would make him cling to his errors; no one would connect, with the adoption of truth, the idea of defeat; and no one would feel impelled by the ardour of debate & the desire of triumph, to reject, as almost all now do whatever of truth there really is in the opinions of those whose ultimate conclusion differs from theirs. In short, I do not insist upon making others give up their own point of view & adopt mine, but I endeavour myself to unite whatever is not optical illusion in both. When by this means I shall have clearly embraced in my own view the entire truth, & shall be able to represent to others that whole, of which they have before seen a part, I shall have great confidence in their ultimate adoption of it. Truth will then have no enemy but the esprit critique, which makes men unwilling to look for truth in the midst of error; & I am unwilling to strengthen this spirit by maintaining any opinions in the spirit of argumentation and debate. This being the system which I have determined to act upon, I shall of course apply it to my intercourse with you. I will read every thing which you may be so kind as to send me, whether from yourself or from the results of the united labours of your school. All that I have read of their works is of a character to make me wish to be acquainted with all their other speculations. If the result of the perusal of these works should be, my entire conversion, which I regard as extremely unlikely, I shall at once confess it; if I desire further explanations, I shall solicit them from your kindness, and I will always state to you my reasons for differing where I do differ. But on no account will I discuss with you. And therefore I do not feel that I should be justified in encouraging the project which you give me some hints that you have formed, of coming to England with a view to my complete initiation in the St Simonian doctrine. As a friend whom I extremely value, and who shared with me the friendship of him whom we have lost, it would give me great pleasure to see you, and to converse with you; and I am both touched and flattered that you should think me of so much importance either to yourself or to society, as to think of undertaking a journey with the sole view of bringing me over to opinions identical with Edition: current; Page: [47] your own. But I am well convinced that if this be ever accomplished, it will not be the effect of any sudden or rapid conviction produced by a few days or weeks of verbal discussion, but the result of time and my own reflexions aided by those works, & those suggestions, which I hope you will continue to furnish me with, from time to time. I should therefore decline all verbal controversy even if you were here. It would only risk the weakening or altering our present feelings towards each other, as we should probably find each other much more intractable than we expect, and as almost every man shews himself in dispute worse than he really is & appears unreasonably wedded to his opinions when called upon to defend them on a sudden, & is apt to put forward other arguments than those which have really made an impression on his own mind.

I no longer adhere to the objections I formerly urged against the St Simonian school, as some of the points which I objected to, appeared from a perusal of the Producteur (every word of which I have read with as great care and interest as any book I ever saw) never to have been held by them in the sense in which I thought them objectionable, & as you informed me in your answer6 to my two letters that the other points had been given up. I was much pleased to find that although you are a sect, you are an improving sect, and that your creeds are not made up never to be altered. Of all the improvements in your doctrine, mentioned in your letter, I fully approve: but I still retain all my objections to your practical views, to your organisation, which appears to me impracticable, & not desirable if practicable, like that of Mr Owen.7 You know, however, that I have not yet read or heard the reasons which you can adduce and my mind therefore remains open to conviction. But your proposal that when I am convinced of the soundness of your views I should correspond and cooperate with your society induces me to state to you at once the reasons which would prevent me from doing so even if I were convinced that the whole body of your doctrine is true. It appears to me utterly hopeless and chimerical to suppose that the regeneration of mankind can ever be wrought by means of working on their opinions. I think that mankind, and I am sure that my own countrymen, are in a state of mind which renders them incapable of receiving a true doctrine générale, or of understanding it in a true sense if they did receive it. In France it is perhaps possible that they might receive it, but not in the sense in which it is meant, nor would it produce, even admitting its truth, the good effects which you Edition: current; Page: [48] anticipate from it. I can conceive a whole people professing St Simonism, and acting precisely as they do now, just as there have been & are many entire nations professing Christianity, & whose conduct is yet utterly selfish and worldly, and in defiance of the whole scheme of Christian ethics. In England, on the other hand, the very idea of beginning a reformation in men’s minds by preaching to them a comprehensive doctrine, is a notion which never would enter into the head of any person who has lived long enough in England to know the people. Englishmen habitually distrust the most obvious truths, if the person who advances them is suspected of having any general views. To produce any effect on their minds, you must carefully conceal the fact of your having any system or body of opinions, and must instruct them on insulated points, & endeavour to form their habits of thought by your mode of treating single and practical questions. When you have gained a high reputation with them for knowledge of facts, & skill and judgment in the appreciation of details, you may then venture on enlarged views; but even then, very cautiously and guardedly. A journal which should start by a systematic exposition of far-sighted views and extended principles, would not have twenty subscribers. I conceive therefore that your school, in their method of proceeding, by declaring themselves the apostles of a new doctrine, and seeking to inculcate that doctrine first, and to produce all other kinds of good as consequences of that, are violating the first & greatest rule of their own philosophy, which is, that we ought to consider what is the stage through which, in the progress of civilization, our country has next to pass, and to endeavour to facilitate the transition & render it safe & healthy. I am convinced that my own country & I suspect that France must pass through several states before it arrives at St Simonism, even if that doctrine is true; & that although we ought to arrive if we can at a general system of social philosophy, and to keep it always in our own view, we ought not to address it to the public, who are by no means ripe for its reception, but to avail ourselves of the good which is in them, to educate their minds by accustoming them to think rightly on those subjects on which they already think, to communicate to them all the truths which they are prepared for, and (in England at least where the philosophie critique has never yet got the better of the doctrine théologique et féodale) to endeavour to alter those parts of our social institutions and policy which at present oppose improvement, degrade and brutalize the intellects and morality of the people, & by giving all the ascendency to mere wealth, which the possession of political power confers, prevents the growth of a pouvoir spirituel capable of commanding the faith of the majority, who must and do believe on authority. You are also I am convinced mistaken in supposing that the religious feelings which prevail here, are of a character with which St Simonism would at all be Edition: current; Page: [49] capable of allying itself. But of this I must write hereafter, and it shall be soon. Excuse the very imperfect exposition of my sentiments which I have given. Mr Tooke I understand is somewhat recovered from the dreadful shock, Mrs Tooke is still very ill. I have seen neither since it occurred.

Yours affectionately
J. S. Mill.

On reading this letter again today (10th. February) I think I can express my meaning better by saying that I conceive your error to be this: you imagine that you can accomplish the perfection of mankind by teaching them St Simonism, whereas it appears to me that their adoption of St Simonism, if that doctrine be true, will be the natural result and effect of a high state of moral and intellectual culture previously received: that it should not be presented to the minds of any who have not already attained a high degree of improvement, since if presented to any others it will either be rejected by them, or received only as Christianity is at present received by the majority, that is, in such a manner as to be perfectly inefficacious.

I have a thousand other things to write, and your future letters shall be answered without any repetition of this unseemly delay.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
March 6, 1830
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
30.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear Gustave

I take the opportunity of a friend who is going to Paris, for fulfilling the intentions of our deceased friend as expressed in his last letter to you, by sending you the enclosed pamphlet of Dr Channing,2 the American preacher. I quite agree in his admiration of it, and I conceive that it expresses very clearly and forcibly the great vice of your system as well as that of Mr Owen, and many others qui courent le monde aujourd’hui. I hope you will read it and tell me what you think of it.

I have read and forwarded the letter to Mr Burns.3 The report which it Edition: current; Page: [50] contains of the proceedings at one of your meetings would have convinced me if I were not already satisfied, of the unfitness of your scheme for this country at least. It would be impossible to induce any one here to look at it with a serious face. I wonder how you have hitherto escaped the jokers and epigrammatists of the Parisian salons.

Pray be so good as to make my remembrances to Adolphe. I will write to him as soon as I have time & I hope he will write to me.

Yours in great haste
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
26 May. 1830
India House
Henry Cole
Cole, Henry
31.

TO HENRY COLE1

My dear Cole

As I know that you are acquainted with Dr Hooker,2 which is an honour I have not attained to, I should be obliged to you if you would do me the favour to communicate to him the accompanying notes which I made in looking over his excellent British Flora3 just published. I request you however to do so only in case you should think on reading them, that there is any thing in them which might possibly be interesting to Dr Hooker.

The only points which I myself think of any consequence, are those which relate to Œnanthe aprifolia & Vicia sativa, & you would not be far wrong if you were to suppose that most of the remainder are put down chiefly to make up a number. However it is possible that some of the Stations mentioned may be unknown to Dr Hooker.

As I am very favourably situated for observing the plants of Surrey, which have hardly been observed at all since Ray’s4 time if we except those in the immediate vicinity of London, which are figured in Curtis’s Flora Edition: current; Page: [51] Londinensis5 and many of which appear to have become extinct in the situations where Curtis found them I may possibly be able hereafter to make other communications of a nature similar to this, if the present one should prove to be of any use. I have explored some parts of the County very fully, and almost every part of it more or less, but I expect to make many more discoveries before I have done.

Pray excuse my troubling you in this matter, and believe me

Yours ever,
John S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
7th August 1830
Sarah Austin
Austin, Sarah
32.

TO SARAH AUSTIN1

Dear Mrs Austin

At your request I put into writing what I said to you the other night on the subject of Mr Austin’s lectures.2 What appears to me of most importance is that he should not spend time in endeavouring to make the lectures which have been already delivered, better than they are. They stand greatly in need of curtailment, but I do not believe that there is a single member of the class who would wish them to be changed in any other respect. There is only one opinion expressed in the lectures which I have heard controverted at all; & the manner of exposition has excited the admiration of every body. The only fault found is, that the different points are over explained; that they are dwelt upon longer & repeated oftener, than is necessary to a complete understanding of them. I am certain that all which the class would desire in respect to the earlier lectures is that they should be very much abridged & perhaps many of the historical details dispensed with altogether: not because those details are not considered Edition: current; Page: [52] useful & interesting, but because it is impossible to do every thing, and because there are other things which they are much more anxious to know.—Though the class were extremely delighted with the course as far as it went, they certainly were very much disappointed that Mr Austin did not get through a greater portion of the subject; & they anticipate with great pleasure the completion of it in the lectures on which he has obtained for them the privilege of attendance, at the conclusion of the next year’s course. The only thing which in my opinion could at all endanger the permanent success & utility of the professorship, would be his not being able to include a view of all the essential parts of the science in his next series of lectures. Now the present class very well know that next to his health, the great cause of his getting through so little was his being obliged to prepare his lectures as he went on, not having them ready written. If he spends any time in improving his present lectures, more than is necessary for sufficiently shortening them, he will be in precisely the same difficulty, with the remainder of his subject, as he was this year with the whole of it. On the contrary, if he contents himself with using the scissors abundantly, & sets about the preparation of the subsequent lectures immediately, he will be several months in advance, & will be able, without that fatigue & harassing excitement which destroy his health, to prepare the lectures carefully, include a large portion of the subject in each, & avoid repetition & over explanation.

I would not recommend his continuing the Tables at present, as those which are printed embrace the entire field of law, & it is of so much more importance that he should complete his course of lectures next year.

From the very high opinion which has been expressed of the last course by those to whom I have lent my notes, I have considerable hopes that the class next year will be satisfactory in respect of numbers. But I should not be at all discouraged even if the number was small—because it is only a complete course, which can do much to spread the reputation of the lecturer. If he should be able to complete the subject next year, I have not the least doubt that he will have a numerous class the year after.

I deem it however of the greatest importance with a view to his class next year, that he should deliver an interesting introductory lecture. I know his well grounded aversion to vague generalities, & I know as certainly as he does, that it is impossible to teach any thing that is worth knowing of a whole science, in a short general view. But it is not necessary that an introductory lecture should be an abridged view of the science. The best introductory lectures extant are not so: Brown’s3 introductory lecture to Edition: current; Page: [53] his course of metaphysics for example. The proper notion of an introductory lecture seems to be that it should resemble the preface to a book, which gives the reasons for writing the book & the reasons for reading it. Especially on the moral sciences, whose rank as sciences or whose scientific character itself is not generally recognized, there seems to be an ample field for remarks of a most useful description in opening a course of lectures. He might explain, what is meant by general jurisprudence: in what respect a course of jurisprudence differs from a course of lectures on the law of any particular country, & also from lectures on the science or art of legislation: the grounds of the opinion, that there really is a science of general jurisprudence, & that it is worth studying: proof of the perverting & confusing effect of the study of law as it is commonly pursued, without being accompanied by the study of jurisprudence: examples of the erroneous notions usually formed as to what jurisprudence is, & the silly talk of Blackstone,4 & others of our lawyers, when they erect the technical maxims of their own law into principles of jurisprudence. All these topics, with a hundred others of the same kind, which will occur to Mr Austin himself, would afford ample materials for a highly useful introductory lecture, & one which need not be chargeable with vagueness or generality. I am satisfied, & so are several others of the class, that if his introductory lecture of last year had treated of these topics, in the manner in which we all know he would have treated them if at all, his class would have been twice as numerous as it was. I am quite convinced that if he delivers a lecture of this kind next year, he will have a numerous class, & that if he does not, he will have a comparatively small one.

But if he will not write such a lecture as this, let him not think of writing another but deliver the first lecture of the course itself as his introductory lecture. The general remark last year in his class room after the close of his lecture on Law in general, was, that it was very unfortunate that he had not delivered that very lecture instead of his introductory one.

Yours affectionately
J. S. Mill.

P.S. The one opinion which, as I mentioned in the letter, has been controverted, is this: that every right of action must be founded on an injury. Excuse bad penmanship, as I write unavoidably in haste.

Edition: current; Page: [54]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Aug. 13, 1830
Paris
James Mill
Mill, James
33.

TO JAMES MILL1

[
Paris
]

I have had some conversation with M. Say,2 and a great deal with Adolphe d’Eichthal and Victor Lanjuinais, and I have been a very assiduous reader of all the newspapers since I arrived. . . . At present, if I were to look only at the cowardice and imbecility of the existing generation of public men, with scarcely a single exception, I should expect very little good; but when I consider the spirit and intelligence of the young men and of the people, the immense influence of the journals, and the strength of the public voice, I am encouraged to hope that as there has been an excellent revolution without leaders, leaders will not be required in order to establish a good government. [He then goes on to give a detailed account of how the revolution was accomplished—the flinching of the generals of the army, the cowardice and meanness of Dupin3 above everybody. He has the lowest opinion of the ministry, not a Radical among them except Dupont de l’Eure;4 all mere place-hunters. Thiers,5 at the meeting for organizing the resistance, showed great weakness and pusillanimity. (I heard him long afterwards say he detested Thiers.) Of the new measures he praises most the lowering of the age-qualification to the Chamber from 40 to 30: he Edition: current; Page: [55] has seen no one that attaches due importance to this change.] I am going to the Chamber of Deputies to-morrow with Mr. Austin, and next week, I am to be introduced to the Society of “Aide-toi,”6 where I am to be brought in contact with almost all the best of the young men, and there are few besides that I should at all care to be acquainted with. . . . I have heard an immense number of the most affecting instances of the virtue and good sense of the common people.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
August 20th, 1830
Paris
James Mill
Mill, James
34.

TO JAMES MILL1

[
Paris
]

I have mixed very much among the people since I arrived, and have taken every opportunity which I could find or make of conversing with persons of all classes. The result so far exceeds all my previous expectations of good, that I can scarcely trust it without further experience. The fact with which I have been most struck in the French people, is the extraordinary simplicity of character which seems to pervade them all, especially the working classes. I have conversed with many who have taken part in the three days’ contest, not to mention the wives and families of some of them, and I have invariably found that their sole anxiety was to convince me that they had acted right, or rather there seemed to be no design to make any particular impression upon me, but they appeared to come out with what was uppermost in their own minds, and that was the morality and lawfulness of their resistance. I have not perceived the slightest tinge of fanfaronnade or vanity in their language or in their sentiments. I have not heard one word of self-applause, nor boasting about the heroism or dévouement of the people of Paris, nor any credit taken to themselves for Edition: current; Page: [56] having preserved order or avoided excesses; it does not seem to occur to them at all that they have done any thing extraordinary. They had but one idea, that of fighting for their legal rights, and the observance of the legal rights of others followed as an immediate corollary. The inconceivable purity and singleness of purpose, almost amounting to naïveté, which they all shew in speaking of these events, has given me a greater love for them than I thought myself capable of feeling for so large a collection of human beings, and the more exhilarating views which it opens of human nature will have a beneficial effect on the whole of my future life. Though I mention particularly their language and conduct with respect to politics, I have seen the same simplicity of character in their every day intercourse, and I could relate various traits of it, but I will not, because none of them separately prove much, though their number, and the total absence of all indications of a contrary nature, constitute a strong body of evidence.

Another most striking circumstance, is the total absence of acrimony with which they speak of the authors of the attempt to establish despotism. This speaks wonderfully in favour of their character as a people, even if it should lead them, as I fear it will, to a culpable leniency in their treatment of these great offenders. The feeling of satisfaction at having got rid of men whom they despised, appears to have superseded all personal feelings of hostility against the individuals, and the struggle bore in their minds so exclusively the character of self-defence, that the ulterior purpose of executing vengeance upon their enemies hardly occurred to them. The conduct of the manufacturing population of the faubourgs has been exemplary. Attempts were made to excite disturbances among them, with a view to the destruction of machinery and the exclusion of foreign artizans. A large body of them assembled and marched to the Prefecture of Police with a petition on these two subjects. The prefect, M. Girod (de l’Ain)2 came out and agreed [argued?] the matter quietly with them, in a short and pithy speech, upon which they very peaceably marched back. The next day, however, the attroupemens were rather more numerous and considerable, and I know from several quarters, that the government were seriously alarmed; they arrested some of the instigators, some of whom proved to be criminals returned from the galleys, and three were printers of an ultra-Catholic and royalist journal. But the next day all was quiet, and people who had been much alarmed the day before, confessed that there was no danger. It is very curious to see proclamations stuck about the streets, from all sorts of obscure individuals, sometimes of the humblest class, on all subjects which came uppermost. On this occasion there Edition: current; Page: [57] appeared several excellent placards from common workmen, explaining to their fellow-labourers the interest which they had in maintaining the security of property, and the advantage they ultimately derive from all improvements in the productive power of labour. I will try to procure one or two of these placards and take them to England with me, though I fear it will be rather difficult to get them. Among other curious placards which are stuck up, there is an exculpatory one from the charcoal-carriers (charbonniers). A deputation of these people had waited upon Charles the Tenth a few days before the coup d’etat on the occasion of a fête, and it had been reported that one of them had used some expressions of encouragement to him, which gave great offence to the remainder of the people. The charbonniers finding themselves in consequence slighted and looked shy upon by the other classes of the people, put forth this proclamation, signed by several of them in behalf of the rest, saying, that they had gone to the Tuileries because they could not help it, as they would have been thrown out of employment and reduced to starvation if they had not, but that none of their number had used any such expressions as those described [ascribed?] to them, and that they had fought like the others on the 28th and 29th. This vindication, which I have seen numbers of men in ragged coats spelling out as they best could on the walls, did not, it seems, produce the desired effect; consequently the charbonniers assembled, hoisted an enormous tri-coloured flag, and proceeded to the Prefecture of Police, where the eternal M. Girod de l’Ain came out and was harangued by them; heard their justification of themselves, and their complaint against the sort of stigma which had been thrown upon them; told them that he believed their story, and hoped that nobody would thereafter say any thing to their disadvantage, so thereupon they marched back. I have seen as much of my former friends at Paris as their time would allow, and have made a number of new acquaintances; this, however, is a very bad time for making the acquaintance of any of the known men, as they are for the most part employed, or are soon likely to be employed on public duties. I have, however, been able to compare a multitude of testimonies on the recent and present state of affairs, and have found that what I have hitherto told you is perfectly correct in the gross, though incorrect in many of the details. Thus, I have now reason to believe that what I told you respecting the good conduct of Lafitte3 during the revolution was at least exaggerated and that he was scarcely an exception to the general apathy and cowardice Edition: current; Page: [58] of the monied classes. On the other hand, it is not true that none of the Deputies took part in the fight. There are about fifteen or sixteen, all members of the extrême gauche, whom, as I am assured by — of the Society Aide-toi the Society can perfectly count upon as the devoted friends of the people (and this I already begin to see in their Parliamentary conduct). Of these, as many as were at Paris, took a share from the first in the whole business, and ran the same risk with the others. You will not be surprised to hear that Lafayette4 and his son are among these fifteen or sixteen, but Benjamin Constant5 is not, nor Lafitte, nor Casimir Perier,6 nor almost any one whom you probably knew by name. Though the libéraux in the Chamber of Deputies are generally so little to be relied upon (and those in the Upper House are in general much worse), I have the greatest confidence in the force of circumstances and of public opinion. The cry is becoming general for the dissolution of the Chamber, and there are already signs, that in order to prolong their political existence, they will consent to make a number of the required concessions. Within the last day or two the newspapers have assumed a much more decided tone than before in favour of important alterations in the constitution, and in particular a considerable extension of the elective franchise. There are about 100 resignations or annullations of election, and a law is now passing through the Chamber, compelling all who accept places to vacate their seats, as in England. This law is retrospective to the beginning of the present session, and it is said that many place-holders will lose their seats. These elections are expected to strengthen exceedingly the bands of the côté gauche. The Edition: current; Page: [59] Society Aide-toi, which contributed so greatly to the success of the two last general elections, will apply itself with the same rigour, and with a great increase of power, to the management of the approaching partial one. My next letter7 will relate chiefly to this Society, which is one of the most powerful and best organized political bodies that ever existed, and the leading members of which will most certainly, in a few years, direct the destinies of France. They are quite eager to place me au courant of all their proceedings, and to give me all kinds of information concerning France, and I shall endeavour to keep up a correspondence with some of them when I return to England, as I think it may be of considerable use. I had almost forgotten to tell you that one of the things most talked of here, is a proposition for reading [sending?] a deputation to thank the people of England for their subscriptions. I believe that an exaggerated notion of the amount of the money subscribed had much to do with this scheme, and that it is not likely to be realized immediately, if at all. If the deputation goes, * * * will probably be a member of it.

I have not told you a tenth part of what I have to say. I shall write again in a day or two.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Aug. 21, 1830
Paris
James Mill
Mill, James
35.

TO JAMES MILL1

Affairs are now in so strange and critical a situation, that I have determined to write you a letter to-day, in spite of my having sent you a hasty, long epistle yesterday. I hope the matter it will contain will prove a sufficient apology.

The Chamber of Deputies is now an Assemblée Constituante, possessing, in fact, the power of working any reform, no matter how extensive. No outward force opposes itself, or can oppose itself, to its determinations, on any ground derived from right springing from existing or past institutions. It has elected a monarch: it has suppressed the religion of the state; it has declared every peer created by Charles to be no longer a peer. Its power, in short, is illimitable, provided it act in accordance with the will of the people. The fear is not, that it will hazard too much, that it will exceed the people’s wishes, but that it will fall far short of what the people most vehemently desire. It seems the universal opinion, that both in ability and intention it is unfit for its situation—that it is no fair representation of the French nation—that it is calculated seriously to retard improvement, and in Edition: current; Page: [60] great measure for the present moment to nullify, in a beneficial sense, the effects of the present revolution. Elected under circumstances widely different from the present, its intended mission was of a different character from that which has now devolved on it. Under Charles the electors and the vast body of the people had identical interests; the popular candidates were then those who combated Charles: under Philippe the electors and the people have widely different interests; they who were popular candidates have lost that character, and since the courage of the Parisian workmen has routed the old enemy, and placed them at the head of affairs, they have begun to play the master, and to attempt the subjugation of the very class to whom they owe even their very existence. This is practised after various forms and under various names; all their proceedings being replete with deeply instructive lessons for those who are accustomed to abuse the people.

When the workmen of Paris, after three days’ fighting, had driven out Charles and dispersed his army, they were absolute masters of the city. In the midst of their highest excitation, in the moment of victory, surrounded by their dead and wounded brothers, fathers, aye, and children and wives and mothers—these men, these ignorant, despised, and long-abused people shrunk from all unnecessary carnage—the moment resistance ceased, that moment they abstained from assault—they took equal care of the soldier who had opposed and of the citizen who had aided them. Surrounded by every temptation that perfect licence could offer, not one excess was committed. Vast treasures passed through their hands untouched, and signal punishment was immediately the lot of any one who for one instant departed from the strictest honesty and decorum. (One man was shot by his comrades for stealing a melon.) These men were actually starving, and yet they would take no recompense. Having effected their glorious object, they calmly retired to their homes and resumed their accustomed avocations. The educated and the rich now came upon the stage. The hour of danger was passed, one government was overthrown, another was to be framed. Compare the conduct of this party with that of the people, the mob, who had fought during the ever memorable three days.

No sooner was it ascertained that all danger was really past, than a hungry crowd appeared, eager for place and careless of public interests. The old generals and courtiers of Napoleon, the abettors and fautors of Charles, the rich bourgeois, all appeared in the character of place-hunting courtiers of Philippe. A spectacle more disgusting can hardly be imagined. The scoundrels who had been the willing instruments of despotism under Charles, and Louis, and Napoleon, now came to be on the watch for the good things that were to be anew distributed in consequence of the popular victory. The Chamber of Deputies was, in fact, now to be the distributor. In the first place the crown was given to the Duke of Orleans: this was Edition: current; Page: [61] perhaps a matter politically wise, or at least necessary. Then came the Ministers. You know the choice. Sebastiani,2 who has never done, and is incapable of doing any thing good: Gérard,3 whose first act has been to create himself a Marshal of France: Dupin, who has lost all public confidence by his cowardice and base servility: Guizot,4 a favourer of the new Aristocracy: Louis,5 who is universally disliked, perhaps I might say despised: in short, not one person, Dupont excepted, has been chosen who has the confidence and good will of the people. Now come the acts of those persons. First, a constant striving to shield the instruments of the late Government from punishment. The magistrature continued. The very men who had opposed the liberty of the press; who had condemned and severely punished every writer who was bold enough to attack the Ministry of Charles; who to their utmost had striven to maintain his abominable despotism; these men are continued in their situations. Next, in the moment when a new Government was to be framed, a mere juridical law, viz. relating to punishment, is introduced, solely to preserve the late Ministers from death. Then comes the series of operations carried on to maintain power in their own hands. The first grand instrument to this end is delay; this, in the first days of their sitting, was so palpable, that it roused the indignation of the young men who surrounded the door of the Chamber, and gave a healthy movement to this corrupt body, by the salutary influence of fear. There was shown an unwillingness to propose explicit and formal guarantees; these, however, they were obliged to propose. The King, better than they, met them more than half way; he was more willing to offer than they to propose guarantees. The law of election next occupied their attention. It is curious to see how this has been dealt with. When we first arrived, every journal, with perhaps the single exception of the Courier, Edition: current; Page: [62] endeavoured to stultify the people, and convince them that no necessity for change existed. This would not do, the public were too wise, so, gradually, step by step, and as slowly as possible, the journals have turned round, and now the lowering the suffrage is almost universally proposed; but the Chamber has done nothing more than abolish the double vote and make the age required in the elector 25, in the elected 30. The qualification has not been touched, neither as regards the deputy nor the electors. They have been exceedingly busy, however, in changing the prefects, the mayors, and all the place-holders in the departments. Their friends have now come in, and the situation of deputy has at length become a profitable appointment. But as for regulating the internal government in a way to secure peace and safety to the citizens, they seem never to dream of the necessity of such a thing. Every thing really important is formally put off to the next session, and matters by which humbug may have influence are taken into consideration. They now pretend to be occupied with the accusation of the Ministers. They have instituted a committee, which committee yesterday moved for new powers, and obtained them; but they have so completely mystified their very plain duty, that I can by no means understand what they are driving at. One thing is plain, they are doing every thing to create delay, in the hope that the public indignation will subside.

During all these sad delays the country is really without a Government, and here we cannot but compare the conduct of the people and the Deputies, and offer homage to the former. Without a Government, the country is nevertheless perfectly quiet: since the revolution not a single murder or robbery has taken place in Paris. Again, the poor starving workmen assembled some days since, and went in a body to the Prefect, beseeching him to exclude all the foreign workmen. The Prefect made them an excellent speech, pointing out to them the error under which they lay, and the poor fellows immediately returned, and quietly dispersed. Are not these speaking examples of true devotion to the cause of good government; as splendid as the conduct of the Deputies is base? I know no more important matter for investigation than would be now the state of the popular mind at Paris, and the causes which produced it. There appears among the victors of the three days no personal feeling, nothing but a desire to manifest to the world the justice of their cause, to prove that they have been actuated by no sinister interests, but were led on solely first to defend themselves, and then to rid themselves of an evil which was no longer supportable. The same spirit which then directed still continues to influence them. No riot, no attempt at pillage, no vain glory has been manifested by them. They calmly await the requisite reform of their Government, despairing indeed of much good from the present Chamber, but looking forward with hope to the next. So far from the journals being now in advance of the Edition: current; Page: [63] people, it is plain that the people are impelling the journals forward. They have now to make a great advance, or others will arise, and being au niveau of the people, will completely ruin the existing papers. It is strange to see how little of true knowledge those now in existence contain. They all can declaim well, but I have often heard more real sense, and really applicable knowledge, in one conversation, than has been contained in all the journals that have appeared since I arrived here. A new and very different set of instructors is now evidently required by the people.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
27 August 1830
Paris
James Mill
Mill, James
36.

TO JAMES MILL1

[
Paris
]

I have been exceedingly fortunate during my stay here, in having been brought into contact with a much greater number of persons such as I most desired to know, than I could possibly have had reason to expect at a time when all persons of any note are so much occupied. I am even much inclined to believe that I know more of the views and expectations professed by the different coteries than many of the men themselves, as it seems to me that most people at Paris associate chiefly with the men, and read the journals, of their own precise nuance d’opinion. But I consider myself particularly fortunate in having formed an acquaintance with M. Tanneguy Duchâtel,2 and with the principal members of the society Aide-toi.

I have had some most interesting conversations with M. Duchatel whose correspondence with Mr. Wilmot Horton3 you probably remember. I knew him by reputation as one of the most enlightened men in France, and particularly as one of those who had profited most by the writings of the English political economists. I found that this was perfectly true. He seems to me to unite in an extraordinary degree the best qualities of a young Frenchman (for he seems to be under thirty) with the acquirements of an instructed Englishman, and especially with a knowledge of details and a habit of reflection on important practical questions, which few Frenchmen possess, the events of the last fifteen years having called into exercise few Edition: current; Page: [64] valuable qualities except those of a party pamphleteer, or at most a writer on the first principles of government. Most of the men with whom I converse seem to be well aware of this deficiency, or at least, readily admit it when stated. If there were many young men like Duchâtel, you would soon see a great difference in the character of their newspapers and of their parliamentary debates. At present any one of twenty men whom one could name in England could write every day the leading articles of all their newspapers as rapidly as his pen could move. But now when all the great questions of legislation, education, & social improvement in general will be brought on the tapis successively, the men who are already prepared to discuss these subjects avec connaissance de cause will soon occupy almost exclusively the ear of the public, & will also, if things go on smoothly, obtain the greatest influence in the government. Duchâtel is already appointed a conseiller d’état. What he told me about the present state of politics I will tell you another time. The information he gave me concerning the state of the labouring classes, the division of property, the restraints on population, & the state of education I have not time to put on paper just now, but I believe that Roebuck has written a long letter to Mr. Grote4 on the subject, which he has probably shewn to you. I shall see M. Duchâtel as often as I can while I remain here, & shall endeavour to obtain his permission to correspond with him. He made very particular enquiries respecting you and your occupations.

The society Aide toi et le Ciel t’aidera is composed of men probably much less instructed than M. Duchâtel, but far more democratic in their opinions and more capable of taking a leading part in turbulent times by their qualifications as men of action. They are all young men, & most of them have been engaged in active hostility to the government from very early youth; several who belonged to the society have even suffered capital punishment for having engaged in some of the numerous conspiracies which have existed at different periods since the restoration. M. Odilon-Barrot,5 the most distinguished avocat in the Courts at Paris, was president of the society for some time, & is still a member, but being now préfet of Paris he of course can take no part in their proceedings. The present organisation of the society was, I believe, formed for the purpose of facilitating anti-royalist elections under the Villèle ministry:6 they had, and Edition: current; Page: [65] have, correspondents all over France, and without some such association these elections certainly would not have taken the turn they did, especially as all the liberal newspapers were then tied up by the censorship. The success of the last elections was also in a great degree owing to the efforts of the society; & they were the first persons who gave the signal for the late revolution, in which the little concert & organisation which existed was wholly their work. They are in constant communication with Lafayette, & with a very small number of deputies, the few whom they believe to have a real wish for the establishment of a popular government in France, the purpose for which they now remain united, & in the pursuit of which they are willing, & believe themselves able, to overturn the present ministry if it refuses the concessions which they consider necessary. I have no doubt that when the exertions of these people become more visible than they have been hitherto, they will be called the republican party: but it certainly is not true that they wish to establish a republic. If it had depended upon them, they would have made the duke of Orleans king, but after making considerable alterations in the constitution: and they appear now to regret extremely that when they had arms in their hands, when the people looked to them as their leaders & would have obeyed them before the hommes du lendemain had made their appearance, they did not proceed to the Hotel de Ville with Lafayette and Audry de Puyraveau7 & declare Lafayette lieutenant general of the kingdom & themselves a provisional government, by a proclamation signed by Lafayette & countersigned by their president: who being in correspondence with every considerable town would have been followed by the leading liberals all over France, all of whom are in the habit of receiving L’Empulsion from the society. The society is not wholly composed of men of the same shade of opinion but the committee takes care to have a majority always on its side; the members of the committee are agreed on the following points: that as an ultimate end, universal suffrage should be aimed at: that however in the present stage of education among the people, not above one third of whom can write (M. Duchâtel told me that some members even of the departmental colleges could not write their names) they ought to be satisfied with a considerable extension of the suffrage; that the whole people might however either now, or in a very little time, be admitted to chuse a body of electors, that there should be no hereditary peerage, & no conditions of eligibility except the age of 25. They are extremely dissatisfied with the conduct of the ministry. They say, that the men who have profited by the revolution are afraid of the men who made the revolution, & for that very reason. In consequence, the ministers have no confidence in what the society, who know more about Edition: current; Page: [66] the state of the country than anyone else, tell them respecting the general dissatisfaction they are exciting in the departments by some of the appointments which they have made & by their efforts to keep down l’élan révolutionnaire all over the country. The situation of the ministers is certainly difficult, but they have the folly to be guided in their appointments not by the wishes of the district itself but by the recommendation of the deputy, who nine times out of ten is a man who dreads the popular feeling, & who is so little of the same mind with the public that he has not the slightest chance of being reelected. The members of the society appear to be apprehensive that in consequence of the pusillanimity of the ministry the royalists may be able to raise disturbances in some of the provinces: but from what I can learn, this appears to me very improbable. You may judge of the degree of influence which the society is supposed to have among the people, by the circumstance that Lafayette, a few days ago when there was some danger of violent proceedings on the part of some bodies of workmen, sent to request that the society would issue an address to the labouring classes. Lafayette is in constant communication with the society, & several of the leading members are on his staff. I am to be presented to him by the president of the society next Tuesday, which is the day on which he receives company. I find in all those people the most friendly inclinations towards England: which I am glad to know as I am convinced that I shall hear the contrary asserted in many quarters at home, in the progress of events. They also seem to have a much better comprehension of English politics than is common in France: they understand the vices of our government, they see through the Whigs, & at the same time they, or at least those of them who have been in England, know enough of the state of feeling in English society to be aware of the mischief that might arise from their fraternising with any party among us, and especially from their connecting themselves with the disreputable part of our radicals. I think that I have myself been of some use in putting them on their guard against Sir Thomas Beevor and Cobbett,8 against Bowring9 and people of that kind. If you see Mr. Edition: current; Page: [67] Murray10 of The Times, pray tell him that his visit to Lafayette has evidently been of great use. It is probable that two or three members of the society will (as individuals) come to England shortly. If they do, we must exert ourselves to the utmost to make their stay there useful & agreeable and to make them as much our friends as we possibly can, since the occasions will be innumerable when they will need such information & such advice as we & our friends can alone give them among Englishmen advice which they are at present very well disposed to receive from us as they know how hearty we are in their cause.

Lanjuinais will probably come—I am very anxious that he should be acquainted with you.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
12th October 1830
East India House
William Jackson Hooker
Hooker, William Jackson
37.

TO WILLIAM JACKSON HOOKER1

East India House
.
Dear Sir,

Pray accept my most sincere thanks for the very interesting and handsome present of specimens which you have been so obliging as to confer upon me.

I will take an early opportunity of sending to you specimens of the few plants, which I was so fortunate as to find that I had had greater opportunities than yourself of observing. I shall also avail myself of your permission to communicate to you any observations which I may hereafter be able to make, that are likely to be at all interesting to you. I had not the slightest idea when I made the former ones, that they could be of any value to any one except myself.

I have gathered for you some specimens of what I imagine to be the Atriplex erecta; it is certainly the only Atriplex to be found in the station mentioned by Smith,2 and it has not the characters of any other English Edition: current; Page: [68] Atriplex. The valves of the calyx of the fruit are in many instances very thickly set with projecting sharp points, but these points do not amount to prickles, being composed of the same herbaceous substance with the calyx itself; and moreover the calyx has not unfrequently, though in a slight degree, the appearance of the leaves of the ice-plant, which must arise from a number of small shining glands, easily rubbed off by the touch. I do not know whether the specimens will preserve this character when dry, therefore I mention it now, having examined the plant more minutely than I ever did before. I have not Smith’s work by me at this instant, else I would consult it to see whether his Atriplex erecta possesses the last mentioned character.

I will endeavour to collect Fungi for you, indeed I have already picked up some, but I am afraid I shall not be able to effect much this autumn.

Believe me
most sincerely yours
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [69]

1831

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
26th January 1831
India House
William Jackson
Jackson, William
38.

TO WILLIAM JACKSON HOOKER1

India House
.
My dear Sir,

I owe you many apologies for having so long delayed forwarding to you the small parcel of specimens which is all I have to offer in return for all those which you were so good as to send me. The fact is that I have been so completely engrossed by other occupations that I have not been able, till now, to perform the annual duty of looking over my herbarium.

The specimens I now send are, I regret to say, not in general very good ones, but they are the best I have; I will endeavour to procure better ones next summer. I began collecting fungi so late, & had so little time to hunt for them, that I am able to send only two or three I am afraid very common ones.

You will find however specimens such as they are of all the plants which you expressed a wish to see, except one, as to which I must plead guilty to having misinformed you, the Thalictrum majus. How I came to commit this blunder I cannot conceive, as the plant is entered both in my herbarium and in my catalogue as Thalictrum flavum. In compensation I send you a plant which, I believe I did not mention before: the Lilium martagon, a plant new to the British flora, but certainly wild, & as far as it is possible to judge, indigenous.

It fills, as I imagine, nearly the whole of an extremely thick & close coppice wood, near Headley in Surrey. I first saw it about four years ago, when the coppice or rather a part of it was cut down, & the ground was seen to be covered with this plant; but as it never flowered I did not know what it was, though I wondered at it a good deal; but in June this year (I believe shortly after I wrote the notes on your Flora2 to which I owe the privilege of corresponding with you) I discovered in another corner of the wood, a considerable number of full grown plants all of them on the point of flowering, two of which I gathered & now send to you. They are badly preserved, but there is no doubt of the identity of the plant, & as little of its being completely wild: If it ever escaped from a garden, it Edition: current; Page: [70] must have been at a very remote period, for there is no garden near, & the immense abundance of the plant in this coppice proves that if not indigenous, it is as completely naturalized as a plant can possibly be.

If chance, or your zeal for science, should ever bring you into the neighbourhood of Dorking3 (the most beautiful probably in the S. of England) it would be a great pleasure to me to shew you this spot, as well as the habitats of various other rare plants in that neighbourhood.

I have not been able to learn anything more respecting the Verbascum ferrugineum in the vicinity of Hampton Court & the Moulseys [sic], as I am no longer residing in that neighbourhood, but I will endeavour to revisit the spot. It certainly is not indigenous there, but it appeared to me to be completely naturalized. From your sending me the Rhynchospora alba, I conclude that it may not be known to you that the boggy or rather the wet parts of Cobham common in Surrey are covered with it. Accept once more my best thanks for your letter & its accompaniments & believe me

Most truly yours
J. S. Mill.

P.S. I send but one specimen of the Lycopodium from Esher Common, having lost the other.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
March 1st 1831
India House
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
39.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

India House
My dear Gustave

I write to you merely a few lines to shew that I am not inclined to neglect my absent friends. Adolphe will tell you every thing which I could say in a letter, and much more.

Edition: current; Page: [71]

Your two friends, M. Janski and M. Bontemps,2 have not had more success in converting me to St Simonism than Duverryer [sic]3 and you; but if you are sufficiently catholic, in the original & correct sense of the word, to rejoice at any progress which does not bring any proselytes within your pale, I think you will be pleased with two or three articles of mine in the Examiner, headed “The Spirit of the Age”,4 which Adolphe is so kind as to take charge of for you.

Your doctrine begins to be talked of, & to excite some curiosity here—I have been the means of making it known to some persons, at their request: & in short, although I am not a St Simonist nor at all likely to become one, je tiens bureau de St Simonisme chez moi.

Pray commend me to Duveyrier; and to your two chiefs,5 even; if their haute mission has not prevented them from retaining any trace of me in their remembrance.

tout à vous
J. S. Mill

Je vous félicite de l’acquisition de Globe.6

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Spring or summer 1831
Sarah Austin
Austin, Sarah
40.

TO SARAH AUSTIN1

How I wish I were by your side, and could speak to you instead of writing. You may lay down your anxiety, my dear Mütterlein, I hope never to resume it.

In the first place, the shutting up the University for a year is a cock-and-bull Edition: current; Page: [72] story.2 Romilly3 tells me that it was talked of by one or two of the members of council among themselves, but never was proposed to the Council, & R. is firmly persuaded it never will be proposed, & would have no chance of being carried.

Romilly is in better spirits about the University than he has long been. He says that he and my father and Mr Wm Tooke4 met together yesterday & looked over papers &c. &c. to see what could be done to reduce the expense, & the result was such as to convince Romilly that by the end of next year the receipts will exceed the disbursements.

So much for the University. Then Romilly tells me that it is now certain or nearly certain that a Professorship of Jurisprudence will be endowed by subscription for three years.5 I do not know whether I ought to have told you this as long as there could be even the slightest doubt: but I do not think there can be the slightest, from the manner in which he spoke of it, and besides I could not help telling you. However let us keep our joy to ourselves for the present. I never could bring myself to believe that we should lose you, and now I am sure we shall not.

Now you must write me a joyful note to make amends for your sorrowful one.

Ihre Söhnchen,
J. S. M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
27 August 1831
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
41.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear Gustave

I suppose it is of no use writing to you about any thing except what relates to the doctrine of St Simon. With respect to the translating of the St Simonian books, I think the time has hardly come for it—indeed my Edition: current; Page: [73] own opinion is that to have any chance of making converts in this country it would be advisable not to translate the existing books, but to write new ones better adapted to the state of the English mind. However I was told some time ago by Mr Owen, that some of his friends were translating your works.2 Whether they understand them sufficiently to be able to translate them in the proper manner, I do not know—but I suspect not.

I do not know to what merits of my own, as respects the doctrine of St Simon, I am indebted for regularly receiving the Globe—but I beg you to make my acknowledgments to your chiefs, and to accept them yourself, for the great pleasure which it has afforded me. I read it regularly and have derived great advantage from it, and though there is as little chance as ever of my becoming one of you, I do not differ from you nearly so much as I did.

I am much obliged to you for introducing me to the acquaintance of Mr Silsey,3 and I hope you will confer on me a similar favour whenever any of your friends comes to this place.

Pray make my affectionate remembrances to Adolphe and all friends. Is there any chance that Lanjuinais will come here in the approaching vacation?

Yours most truly
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Oct. 7, 1831
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
42.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Sir

When I wrote to you this morning that I was about to dine with a Frenchman who was an intimate friend of mine I was not aware that both the brother and the uncle of that friend were known to you, the first (M. Edition: current; Page: [74] Gustave d’Eichthal) in correspondence with you, and the uncle3 a friend of your brother. My friend is extremely desirous of making your acquaintance, and as he leaves town for Edinburgh on Tuesday, Monday next is the only day on which I could have an opportunity of introducing him to you. If it is quite convenient and agreeable to you, it would be a great pleasure both to me and to him if you would permit us to call upon you on that evening. I think I may promise that you will like him.

He is acquainted with no person at Edinburgh, and if when you see him you should be disposed to give him any introductions there, I am sure they will be well bestowed and properly appreciated.

Believe me
Yours most truly
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
20th of October to the 22d. 1831
India House
John Sterling
Sterling, John
43.

TO JOHN STERLING1

Dear Sterling

You must have wondered at not hearing from me sooner; and not without good reason. It is true that I have not heard from you non plus, so that we seem to have been equally neglectful of one another. But, 1. very probably a letter from you is now on its way here. 2. Your silence ought only to be counted from your arrival,2 and mine from your setting out. 3. I have had only my ordinary occupations, while you have had all the trouble of settling in a new place, of commencing an entirely new mode of life and kind of occupation, and when this was just done, you were turned out by a vile hurricane & obliged to begin the whole thing over again.3 4. A letter from home is still more precious than even the most Edition: current; Page: [75] interesting letter from abroad. 5. Though you have not written to me, you have to others, & I have seen part of what you wrote: now when a man is a great way off, his letter to one of his friends may be taken mutatis mutandis as a letter to all, but that cannot be said of their letters to him.—You see I have stated the case against myself as strongly as I can, in order to leave you nothing to add to it. As I have no excuse to make which will not leave my case worse than it is already, I can only make you the best reparation in my power by writing you an exceedingly long letter this time. I suppose it is right to assume that you must desire en premier lieu to hear about public affairs, now when they are in so ticklish a state: but really I can tell you little more than you will learn from the newspapers. The rejection of the Reform Bill by the large majority of 41 in the House of Lords,4 has given an immense impulse to the mouvement in this country. All chance that the Bill when passed should prove a healing measure is at an end. The House of Lords is now as much detested as ever the House of Commons was. Nothing less than the creation of from 60 to 100 liberal Peers, to change the character of the House, can now give it any chance of remaining in existence. It is said that they flinch, and will pass the Bill without any new creation, but that will not now save them. They will come into collision with the Reformed House on some other point, & will certainly go to the wall. You may consider the fate of the Church as sealed. Only two Bishops voted for the Bill; about five more staid away, the rest voted against it.5 The hierarchy being thus, as a body, hostile to it, while the temporal Peers were almost equally divided, the first brunt of public indignation has fallen upon the Prelacy. Every voice is raised against allowing them to continue in the House of Lords, and if I do not express my conviction that they will be excluded from it before this day five years, it is only because I doubt whether the House itself will last so long. I cannot say I regret either the approaching downfall of the Peers or that of the Church. I certainly think it desirable that there should be a conservative branch of the legislature; and that there should be a national clergy or clerisy, like that of which Coleridge traces the outline, in his work on Church & State.6 If therefore I thought that the present Peerage & Clergy would ever consent to become the peerage of a government constituted on anti-jobbing principles, & the clergy of a non-sectarian church, I should Edition: current; Page: [76] pray for their continuance. But they never will. Can a Peerage so ignorant as ours is proved to be by its recent vote, of the spirit of the age, & the feelings of the people, ever be able to fulfil with judgment the ends of a checking body, which are, to yield to all steady impulses of opinion, which are likely to be permanent, & to resist those which are in their nature temporary & changeable? And as for the clergy, who does not see that they are mainly divisible into two great categories, the worldly-minded, & the sectarians? I know that you will not agree with me, but I think that Coleridge would, in thinking that a national clergy ought to be so constituted as to include all who are capable of producing a beneficial effect on their age & country as teachers of the knowledge which fits people to perform their duties & exercise their rights, and as exhorters to the right performance & exercise of them: now I contend that such persons are to be found among all denominations of Christians, nay even among those who are not Christians at all: provided (which I deem an essential condition in the present stage of human progressiveness) they abstain from either directly attacking, or indirectly undermining Christianity, & even adopt (as far as without hypocrisy they can) those means of addressing the feelings & the conscience, to which a connexion with Christianity has given potency. An infidel who attempts to subvert or weaken the belief of mankind in Christianity, ought not in my opinion to form a part of the national clerisy; not because he may not be performing a conscientious duty in so doing, but because it is to me a proof that he misunderstands the wants & tendencies of his age, & that the effect of his exertions would probably be to make men worse instead of better by shaking the only firm convictions & feelings of duty which they have, without having even a remote chance of furnishing them with any effectual substitute. Accordingly in France, where Christianity has lost its hold on men’s minds, my reasoning would not apply. There, I believe that a Christian would be positively less fit than a St Simonian (for example), to form part of a national church. These then are my ideas of a church establishment; ideas which I shall promulgate to the public in some shape or other when I shall see a good opportunity for their being attended to. But I feel certain that no church, not founded on this comprehensive principle, can, or ought to stand. I believe that if any class of Christians, Socinians for example, or even Deists, or Atheists, were excluded you could not select your clergy from the remainder of mankind without including persons less fit in every respect than some whom you would exclude. Besides, you would then retain that encouragement to hypocrisy, that holding out of worldly motives first to the adoption & next to the obstinate retention of particular creeds, which has disgusted so many high-minded men with church establishments: which has made them to be considered as obstacles to improvement, as the Edition: current; Page: [77] creation of a class with an interest adverse to the progressiveness of the species. In the present age of transition, everything must be subordinate to freedom of inquiry: if your opinions, or mine, are right, they will in time be unanimously adopted by the instructed classes, and then it will be time to found the national creed upon the assumption of their truth.—But what chance is there that the Church as at present constituted, will consent to undergo, even by the most insensible steps, this transformation? and that, too, at a time when insensible steps will not suffice. If they would, the recent elevation of Whately to the archbishopric of Dublin & of Maltby7 to the bishopric of Chichester, would greatly encourage me; the former because I think him one of the fittest men in the country to hold a high station in a national church such as I conceive it should be; the latter for the very reason which makes others disapprove of it, his want of orthodoxy. But all this might do while the people were attached to the Church. At present they are hostile to it: hostile consequently, to all church establishments, because they know of none better than this: & they would be more likely to accept an entirely new one, than one which they considered to be a transformation of this. Why is it almost the natural course of things in politics, that destruction must precede renovation? It is because reform is delayed till the whole attachment of the public to the entire of the institution is gone, & then they feel a distrust of anything which looks like patching up the old edifice. So I believe it to be both with Church & State at this moment. You have no doubt seen in the English papers, the speeches at public meetings and the various Resolutions which have been agreed to. These are generally very strong; but they were, in every case, the weakest which there was the least chance that the people would have adopted. Almost everywhere, if any person came forward & proposed stronger Resolutions, they were carried by acclamation, much to the dissatisfaction of those who called the meeting & prepared the proceedings. I am convinced that we are indebted for the preservation of tranquillity solely to the organisation of the people in Political Unions. All the other Unions look to the Birmingham one, & that looks to its half dozen leaders, who consequently act under a most intense consciousness of moral responsibility & are very careful neither to do nor say anything without the most careful deliberation. I conversed the other day with a Warwickshire magistrate who told me that the meeting of 150,000 men a few days previous would have done any thing without exception which their leaders might have proposed. They would have passed any resolutions, marched to any place, or burnt any man’s house. The agricultural people are as determined as the manufacturers. The West is as exalté as the North. Colonel Napier Edition: current; Page: [78] made a speech at the Devizes meeting the other day8 for the express purpose (as I hear) of letting the men in the North perceive, that the West is ready to join in any popular movement if necessary; & since that speech (which the leaders in vain attempted to prevent him from delivering) he has received numbers of letters from all parts of the country, saying that they all look to him as their leader, & are ready to place themselves under his command. If the ministers flinch or the Peers remain obstinate, I am firmly convinced that in six months a national convention chosen by universal suffrage, will be sitting in London. Should this happen, I have not made up my mind what would be best to do: I incline to think it would be best to lie by and let the tempest blow over, if one could but get a shilling a day to live upon meanwhile: for until the whole of the existing institutions of society are levelled with the ground, there will be nothing for a wise man to do which the most pig-headed fool cannot do much better than he. A Turgot,9 even, could not do in the present state of England what Turgot himself failed of doing in France—mend the old system. If it goes all at once, let us wait till it is gone: if it goes piece by piece, why, let the blockheads who will compose the first Parliament after the bill passes, do what a blockhead can do, viz. overthrow, & the ground will be cleared, & the passion of destruction sated, & a coalition prepared between the wisest radicals & the wisest anti-radicals, between all the wiser men who agree in their general views & differ only in their estimate of the present condition of this country.—You will perhaps think from this long prosing rambling talk about politics, that they occupy much of my attention: but in fact I am myself often surprised, how little I really care about them. The time is not yet come when a calm & impartial person can intermeddle with advantage in the questions & contests of the day. I never write in the Examiner now except on France, which nobody else that I know of seems to know any thing about; & now & then on some insulated question of political economy. The only thing which I can usefully do at present, & which I am doing more & more every day, is to work out principles: which are of use for all times, though to be applied cautiously & circumspectly to any: principles of morals, government, law, education, above all self-education. I am here much more in my element: the only thing that I believe I am really fit for, is the investigation of abstract truth, & the more abstract the better. If there is any science which I am capable Edition: current; Page: [79] of promoting, I think it is the science of science itself, the science of investigation—of method. I once heard Maurice10 say (& like many things which have dropped from him, its truth did not strike me at first but it has been a source of endless reflexions since) that almost all differences of opinion when analysed, were differences of method. But if so, he who can throw most light upon the subject of method, will do most to forward that alliance among the most advanced intellects & characters of the age, which is the only definite object I ever have in literature or philosophy so far as I have any general object at all. Argal, I have put down upon paper a great many of my ideas on logic, & shall in time bring forth a treatise: but whether it will see the light until the Treaty of Westphalia is signed at the close of another cycle of reformation & antagonism, no one can tell except Messrs. Drummond,11 M’Niel,12 Irving,13 & others, who possess the hidden key to the Interpretation of the Prophecies. I have just put the finishing hand to my part of a work on Political Economy, which Graham & I are writing jointly:14 our object is to clear up some points which have been left doubtful, to correct some which we consider to be wrong, & to shew what the science is & how it should be studied. I have written five essays; four on detached questions & one on the science itself. Graham is to write five more on the same subjects: we are then to compare notes, throw our ideas into a common stock, talk over all disputed points till we agree (which between us two, we know by experience to be by no means an indefinite postponement) & then one of us is to write a book out of the materials. Graham is to add a sixth essay on a very important part of the subject which is above my reach, & which I am only to criticize when it is done. I am now resting upon my oars. Yesterday I completed my task, & having reached a sort of landing-place (vide the Friend)15 I have asked Edition: current; Page: [80] myself what recreation I could offer myself by way of reward for past & encouragement to future exertions; & nothing better has yet occurred to me, than writing to you. The next thing I shall do will be to complete my speculations on Logic: very likely I shall not get to the end of the subject yet, viewed as I understand it; but I shall at least gather in another harvest of ideas, & then let the ground lie fallow a while longer.16 After this I shall probably put down upon paper a vast quantity of miscellaneous ideas which are wrought out to a certain extent in my head, but which it would be quite premature to publish for a long while to come. I have nothing in view for the public just now, except (when the Reform Bill shall have past) to resume my series of papers headed the Spirit of the Age;17 and to write an article or two for the Jurist (now about to be revived) on some abstract questions of general legislation.18 When I shall have completed all this, then if the East India Company is abolished and funded property confiscated, I shall perhaps scrape together the means of paying my passage to St Vincent’s & see whether you will employ me to teach your niggers political economy. I take it for granted that if a Reformed Parliament should begin taking measures for the emancipation of the slaves, you will all join the United States, who being lovers of liberty, will I trust go to war with Republican England to restore you & the other colonists, to the inalienable rights of freemen.

I have done nothing in this letter but talk to you about the world in general and about myself. I must now talk to you about other people, and particularly about several new acquaintances of mine that I had not made or had only just begun to make when you left this white world. First of all, I went this summer to the Lakes,19 where I saw much splendid scenery, and also saw a great deal both of Wordsworth and Southey;20 and I must tell you what I think of them both. In the case of Wordsworth, I was particularly struck by several things. One was, the extensive range of his Edition: current; Page: [81] thoughts and the largeness & expansiveness of his feelings. This does not appear in his writings, especially his poetry, where the contemplative part of his mind is the only part of it that appears: & one would be tempted to infer from the peculiar character of his poetry, that real life & the active pursuits of men (except of farmers & other country people) did not interest him. The fact however is that these very subjects occupy the greater part of his thoughts, & he talks on no subject more instructively than on states of society & forms of government. Those who best know him, seem to be most impressed with the catholic character of his ability. I have been told that Lockhart21 has said of him that he would have been an admirable country attorney. Now a man who could have been either Wordsworth or a country attorney, could certainly have been anything else which circumstances had led him to desire to be. The next thing that struck me was the extreme comprehensiveness and philosophic spirit which is in him. By these expressions I mean the direct antithesis of what the Germans most expressively call onesidedness. Wordsworth seems always to know the pros and the cons of every question; & when you think he strikes the balance wrong, it is only because you think he estimates erroneously some matter of fact. Hence all my differences with him, or with any other philosophic Tory, would be differences of matter-of-fact or detail, while my differences with the radicals & utilitarians are differences of principle: for these see generally only one side of the subject, & in order to convince them, you must put some entirely new idea into their heads, whereas Wordsworth has all the ideas there already, & you have only to discuss with him concerning the “how much,” the more or less of weight which is to be attached to a certain cause or effect, as compared with others: thus the difference with him turns upon a question of varying or fluctuating quantities, where what is plus in one age or country is minus in another & the whole question is one of observation & testimony & of the value of particular articles of evidence. I need hardly say to you that if one’s own conclusions & his were at variance on every question which a minister or a Parliament could to-morrow be called upon to solve, his is nevertheless the mind with which one would be really in communion: our principles would be the same, and we should be like two travellers pursuing the same course on the opposite banks of a river.—Then when you get Wordsworth on the subjects which are peculiarly his, such as the theory of his own art—if it be proper to call poetry an art, (that is, if art is to be defined the expression or embodying in words or forms, of the highest & most refined parts of nature) no one can converse with him without feeling that he has advanced that great subject beyond any other man, being probably the first Edition: current; Page: [82] person who ever combined, with such eminent success in the practice of the art, such high powers of generalization & habits of meditation on its principles. Besides all this, he seems to me the best talker I ever heard (& I have heard several first-rate ones); & there is a benignity & kindliness about his whole demeanour which confirms what his poetry would lead one to expect, along with a perfect simplicity of character which is delightful in any one, but most of all in a person of first-rate intellect. You see I am somewhat enthusiastic on the subject of Wordsworth, having found him still more admirable & delightful a person on a nearer view than I had figured to myself from his writings; which is so seldom the case that it is impossible to see it without having one’s faith in man greatly increased & being made greatly happier in consequence. I also was very much pleased with Wordsworth’s family—at least the female part of it. I am convinced that the proper place to see him is in his own kingdom—I call the whole of that mountain region his kingdom, as it will certainly be as much thought of hereafter by the people of Natchitoches or of Swan River, as Mænalus and the Cephissus, or Baiae and Soracte by ourselves, and this from the fortuitous circumstance that he was born there & lived there. I believe it was not there that you were acquainted with him, & therefore I am not telling you an old story in talking about the little palace or pavilion which he occupies in this poetic region, & which is perhaps the most delightful residence in point of situation in the whole country. The different views from it are a sort of abstract or abridgment of the whole Westmoreland side of the mountains, & every spot visible from it has been immortalised in his poems. I was much pleased with the universality of his relish for all good poetry however dissimilar to his own: & with the freedom & unaffected simplicity with which every person about him seemed to be in the habit of discussing & attacking any passage or poem in his own works which did not please them.—I also saw a great deal of Southey, who is a very different kind of man, very inferior to Wordsworth in the higher powers of intellect, & entirely destitute of his philosophic spirit, but a remarkably pleasing & likeable man. I never could understand him till lately; that is, I never could reconcile the tone of such of his writings as I had read, with what his friends said of him: I could only get rid of the notion of his being insincere, by supposing him to be extremely fretful and irritable: but when I came to read his Colloquies,22 in which he has put forth much more than in any other work, of the natural man, as distinguished from the writer aiming at a particular effect, I found there a kind of connecting link between the two parts of his character, & formed very much the same notion of him which I now have after seeing & conversing with him. He seems to me to be a Edition: current; Page: [83] man of gentle feelings & bitter opinions. His opinions make him think a great many things abominable which are not so; against which accordingly he thinks it would be right, & suitable to the fitness of things, to express great indignation: but if he really feels this indignation, it is only by a voluntary act of the imagination that he conjures it up, by representing the thing to his own mind in colours suited to that passion: now, when he knows an individual & feels disposed to like him, although that individual may be placed in one of the condemned categories, he does not conjure up this phantom & feels therefore no principle of repugnance, nor excites any. No one can hold a greater number of the opinions & few have more of the qualities, which he condemns, than some whom he has known intimately & befriended for many years: at the same time he would discuss their faults & weaknesses or vices with the greatest possible freedom in talking about them. It seems to me that Southey is altogether out of place in the existing order of society: his attachment to old institutions & his condemnation of the practices of those who administer them, cut him off from sympathy & communion with both halves of mankind. Had he lived before radicalism & infidelity became prevalent, he would have been the steady advocate of the moral & physical improvement of the poorer classes & denouncer of the selfishness & supineness of those who ought to have considered the welfare of those classes as confided to their care. Possibly the essential one-sidedness of his mind might then have rendered him a democrat: but now the evils which he expects from increase of the power wielded by the democratic spirit such as it now is, have rendered him an aristocrat in principle without inducing him to make the slightest compromise with aristocratic vices and weaknesses. Consequently he is not liked by the Tories, while the Whigs and radicals abhor him. And after all, a man cannot complain of being misinterpreted, who always puts the worst interpretation upon the words and deeds of other people. As far as I have yet seen, speculative Toryism and practical Toryism are direct contraries. Practical Toryism simply means, being in, and availing yourself of your comfortable position inside the vehicle without minding the poor devils who are freezing outside. To be a Tory means either to be a place-hunter and jobber or else to think that (as Turgot expressed it) tout va bien, parce que tout va bien pour eux; to be one qui ayant leur lit bien fait, ne veulent pas qu’on le remue. Such Toryism is essentially incompatible with any large and generous aspirations; nor could any one who had such aspirations ever have any power of realizing them under our system, whatever might be his attachment to the forms of the Constitution, because the inert mass of our sluggish and enervated higher classes can be moved by nothing that does not come from without, & with a vengeance; they cannot be led, but must be driven: the clamours of the “fierce democracy” Edition: current; Page: [84] can alone stir their feeble and lazy minds, & awaken them from the sleep of indifference. What can you do when there is no faith in human improvement, & every glaring, disgusting evil which they cannot deny is set down as the inevitable price we pay for social order, & irremediable by human efforts? “It is all very true, but what can we do?” is the ready answer of everybody who can possibly avoid doing something; & you can say nothing in reply but this, “Then if you can do nothing for that society which has hitherto made nobody the happier unless it be yourselves, the rest of mankind must try what they can do to improve their own lot without your assistance, & then perhaps you may not like their manner of proceeding.” If there were but a few dozens of persons safe (whom you & I could select) to be missionaries of the great truths in which alone there is any well-being for mankind individually or collectively, I should not care though a revolution were to exterminate every person in Great Britain & Ireland who has £500 a year. Many very amiable persons would perish, but what is the world the better for such amiable persons.23 But among the missionaries whom I would reserve, a large proportion would consist of speculative Tories: for it is an ideal Toryism, an ideal King, Lords, & Commons, that they venerate; it is old England as opposed to the new, but it is old England as she might be, not as she is. It seems to me that the Toryism of Wordsworth, of Coleridge (if he can be called a Tory) of Southey even, & of many others whom I could mention, is tout bonnement a reverence for government in the abstract: it means, that they are duly sensible that it is good for man to be ruled; to submit both his body & mind to the guidance of a higher intelligence & virtue. It is therefore the direct antithesis of liberalism, which is for making every man his own guide & sovereign master, & letting him think for himself & do exactly as he judges best for himself, giving other men leave to persuade him if they can by evidence, but forbidding him to give way to authority; and still less allowing them to constrain him more than the existence & tolerable security of every man’s person and property renders indispensably necessary. It is difficult to conceive a more thorough ignorance of man’s nature, & of what is necessary for his happiness or what degree of happiness & virtue he is capable of attaining than this system implies. But I cannot help regretting that the men who are best capable of struggling against these narrow views & mischievous heresies should chain themselves, full of life & vigour as they are, to the inanimate corpses of dead political & religious systems, never more to be revived. The same ends require altered means; we have no new principles, but we want new machines constructed on the old principles; those we had before are worn out. Instead of cutting a safe channel for the Edition: current; Page: [85] stream of events, these people would dam it up till it breaks down every thing & spreads devastation over a whole region.

Another acquaintance which I have recently made is that of Mr. Carlyle,24 whom I believe you are also acquainted with.25 I have long had a very keen relish for his articles in the Edinburgh & Foreign Reviews, which I formerly thought to be such consummate nonsense; and I think he improves upon a nearer acquaintance. He does not seem to me so entirely the reflexion or shadow of the great German writers as I was inclined to consider him; although undoubtedly his mind has derived from their inspiration whatever breath of life is in it. He seems to me as a man who has had his eyes unsealed, and who now looks round him & sees the aspects of things with his own eyes, but by the light supplied by others; not the pure light of day, but another light compounded of the same simple rays but in different proportions. He has by far the largest & widest liberality & tolerance (not in the sense which Coleridge justly disavows,26 but in the good sense) that I have met with in any one; & he differs from most men who see as much as he does into the defects of the age, by a circumstance greatly to his advantage in my estimation, that he looks for a safe landing before and not behind: he sees that if we could replace things as they once were, we should only retard the final issue, as we should in all human probability go on just as we then did, & arrive again at the very place where we now stand. Carlyle intends staying in town all the winter: he has brought his wife to town (whom I have not seen enough of yet to be able to judge of her at all): his object was to treat with booksellers about a work which he wishes to publish,27 but he has given up this for the present, finding that no bookseller will publish anything but a political pamphlet in the present state of excitement. In fact literature is suspended; men neither read nor write. Accordingly Carlyle means to employ his stay here in improving his knowledge of what is going on in the world, at least in this part of it, I mean in that part of the world of ideas and feelings which corresponds to London. He is a great hunter-out of acquaintances; he hunted me out, or rather hunted out the author of certain papers in the Examiner28 (the first, as he said, which he had ever Edition: current; Page: [86] seen in a newspaper, hinting that the age was not the best of all possible ages): & his acquaintance is the only substantial good I have yet derived from writing those papers, & a much greater one than I expected when I wrote them. He has also, through me, sought the acquaintance of Fonblanque29 (of the Examiner) whom I found him to be an admirer of, and who though as little of a mystic as most men, reads his writings with pleasure. I expect great good from Fonblanque; he is fashioned for the work of the day, as befits one who works for the day, but he is one of those on whom one may most completely rely for being ready to turn over a new leaf when the old one is read through.

I have to add yet another new acquaintance to all these, and one who is by no means the least remarkable among them; I mean Stephen,30 the Counsel to the Colonial Office, son of the Master in Chancery. I have only yet seen him two or three times, but I hope to see much more of him, especially as I have now gone to live in his immediate neighbourhood, at Kensington.31 I have hardly met with any person who seems to me to take such just views of the age and of futurity as he does; to be so free from any exaggeration or one-sidedness, and to combine the speculative & the practical in so just a proportion. He cannot fail hereafter to exercise a great influence over the destinies of his country, not so much perhaps by what he does, as by what he makes other persons do. He is at this moment the directing spirit not only of the Colonial Office but of several other departments of the government: under great restraints & disadvantages of course, from the unteachable quality of those placed over him & their dread of anything like a principle, arising from their consciousness of inability to comprehend in one view all that is involved in it & all the consequences to which it leads. Stephen is reputed a saint: I do not know in what sense he is one, though I know that he carries the observance of the Sabbath to the extent of puritanism. But if all the English evangelicals were like him, I think I should attend their Exeter Hall32 meetings myself, and subscribe to their societies. I will write to you at greater length about Stephen when I have seen more of him.

Edition: current; Page: [87]

As for our common friends and acquaintances here, I have but little to tell you concerning them. Mrs. Austin will of course write to you. I do not know whether the subscription for endowing the Jurisprudence chair is yet full,33 but no doubt is entertained that it will be so. Mr. Austin is still engaged in bringing out his first eight lectures, which are soon to appear. He is in good health & spirits upon the whole. I have not seen or heard anything about Maurice; I hope our separation is not to be everlasting. Wilson34 has very recently returned from Germany, where he has spent about a year. I have seen very little of Charles Buller;35 you are probably aware that he is not in this Parliament, but he is sure of being returned for Liskeard when the Bill passes. The greatest change that has occurred in any one since I saw you is in Roebuck; he has pulled off his strait jacket, and now moves freely: his mental powers are no longer enslaved by fixed forms of words, and phrases strung together syllogistically with the false appearance of Euclidean demonstration. His intellect has greatly expanded, & the asperities of his character are much softened: and though there still remains, & possibly may always remain, much in his mental character which you and I would greatly object to, I have now no doubt of his being a useful, powerful, and constantly improving member of the only Church which has now any real existence, namely that of writers and orators.

The Colonization scheme36 is going on prosperously. They have formed a plan for a new colony, to be settled on their principles on the coast of Southern Australia near the place where the newly discovered navigable river discharges itself into the sea. They are endeavouring to form a Land-Company to settle the country, & have the promise of an excellent Charter from Government when the company is formed. The Colonial Office I believe to be heartily with them at present. Our friend Graham has gone into the scheme with his usual vigour, & is now one of their leading minds: he wrote their last two pamphlets. Wakefield37 now moves openly in the thing, though it is not declared publicly that he was the originator of it; but there is no reason now for keeping his connexion with it altogether a secret, as he has made himself very advantageously known to the public Edition: current; Page: [88] by, really, a most remarkable book on the punishment of death, founded on the observations he made while in Newgate.38 You are aware that our old enemy, Wilmot Horton,39 has gone to Ceylon as governor, so that he no longer stands in the way of a rational scheme of colonization.—The St Simonists are making immense progress in France, & are doing great good there: France has nobody comparable to them on the whole. They talk of sending missionaries here; that will do them no good, I think.—This letter I hope will call forth an equally long one from you. I beg to be duly remembered to Mrs. John Sterling.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
30th November 1831
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
44.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear d’Eichthal

I know you too well to write to you on any subject except that of the great, and truly apostolic work in which you are engaged, and to which, though I am very far indeed from entirely agreeing with you, I have for some time been accustomed to look, as the greatest enterprise now in progress, for the regeneration of society.

I am greatly indebted to you and your associates, for being thought worthy to receive the Globe. If I did not sympathize with you in any other respect, it would still be a noble spectacle to see a body of men standing erect and fronting the world as you do. But the daily reading of the Globe, combined with various other causes, has brought me much nearer to many of your opinions than I was before; and I regard you as decidedly à la tête de la civilisation.

I am now inclined to think that your social organisation, under some modification or other, which experience, no doubt, will one day suggest to yourselves, is likely to be the final and permanent condition of the human race. I chiefly differ from you in thinking that it will require many, or at least several, ages, to bring mankind into a state in which they will Edition: current; Page: [89] be capable of it; & that in the mean time they are only capable of approximating to it by that gradual series of changes which are so admirably indicated and discussed in the writings of your body, and every one of which independently of what it may afterwards lead to, has the advantage of being in itself a great positive good. Your system, therefore, even supposing it to be impracticable, differs from every other system which has ever proposed to itself an unattainable end, in this, that many, indeed almost all attainable good lies on the road to it.

You, I am aware, think that all who adopt your system, prove thereby that they are capable of performing all which it would require of them if it became universal. I think not. But since you think so, it was your duty to commence, as you have done, the experiment of realizing it on such a scale as is permitted to you. I watch the experiment; and watch it with all the solicitude and anxiety of one, all whose hopes of the very rapid and early improvement of human society are wrapt up in its success.

If men of such ardent and generous enthusiasm, such strong and penetrating intellects, and such extensive views, are found unable to act up to their own conceptions of duty, what hope is there for the rest of mankind? If the Saint-Simonian society holds together without schism & heresy, and continues to propagate its faith and extend its numbers, at the rate it has done for the last two years—if this shall continue for a few years more, then I shall see something like a gleam of light through the darkness. But if not—then what is done will not be of no avail; I shall not despair, nor ought you. But it will be a grievous downfal[l] to our hopes.

Write to me sometimes, my dear friend. Be not afraid that your labour will be lost. I have never yet read a single article in the Globe which has not wrought something within me; which I have not been in some measure the better for. And if the hour were yet come for England—if it were not as vain to seek a hearing for any “vues organiques” in England now, as it would have been for your master St Simon in the height of the revolution—I know not that I should not renounce every thing, and become, not one of you, but as you.

But our 10 août, our 20 juin, and perhaps our 18 Brumaire,2 are yet to come and which of us will be left standing when the hurricane has blown over, Heaven only knows.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [90]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
6th December 1831
London
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
45.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

London
My dear d’Eichthal,

Ever since your note was given to me by M. Arlès,2 I have been turning over in my mind your ideas concerning the dissemination of your principles in this country, and considering to what persons the Globe might be sent with prospect of advantage. I should not recommend its being sent either to the leading newspapers or to the leading members of parliament. It would not be read, or it would be read just enough to be altogether misunderstood. I have however thought of a few persons to whom it would be useful. Some of these I know to be in some measure prepared to receive many of your opinions favorably. Others will make your doctrine known by attacking it. Now since you have been violently attacked already by Southey, in so widely circulated a work as the Quarterly Review,3 & mentioned in several newspapers of large circulation, as a set of dreamers and visionaries, it is desirable that you should be attacked a great deal more, & by a great variety of persons, in order that being attacked on all sides, your doctrine may have all its sides laid bare and divulged. Each person in pointing out the things which he dislikes, will shew to some other person that there are things which he would like. While you are only attacked as anarchists & levellers, you will excite no attention here, but when you come to be represented by A as anarchists; by B as absolutists; by C as levellers; by D as hierarchs; by E as infidels; by F as mystical religionists; by G as sentimentalists; by H as metaphysicians & political economists; & so forth; the public will see that an absurdity which has so many different faces, cannot be quite an absurdity; or at least, that it is an absurdity unlike others, & worth studying.

Among the young members of parliament (as for the old ones, they are hopeless) I only know two to whom there would be the least use in sending the Globe; & of them I am not sure. One is Mr T. Hyde Villiers,4 the same who originated in parliament the proposition for equalizing the duties on French & on other foreign wines. He has now a place in the government; Edition: current; Page: [91] he is secretary to the India Board, & his address is there. (N.B. Do not confound the India Board with the India House.) His brother5 is now at Paris as one of the commissioners to negociate about free trade.

The other member of parliament to whom I allude is Mr Edward Lytton Bulwer6 (his address is 36, Hertford Street, May-fair.) He is the author of several literary productions which have been very successful; & he is now the editor of the New Monthly Magazine, a periodical publication of considerable sale, very frivolous until lately, but which under his management has become very much the reverse. If you ever see it, you will remark in it des vues d’avenir which are exceedingly rare in this country.

It is not worth while to send the Globe to any of our daily newspapers; but if you send it to Mr Sterling7 (South Place, Knightsbridge) who is one of the principal writers in the Times, there is some chance of its being of use. I know that he has read particular articles in the Globe, & has been much pleased with them. It may be of use to send it to two of our best provincial papers, if you can do so conveniently, the “Scotsman”, an Edinburgh paper, and the “Brighton Guardian.” The former, with some prejudices, is the most “progressif” of all our newspapers, scarcely excepting the Examiner. The Brighton paper is remarkable for a certain force and boldness of speculation, though the writer is sadly abroad.

Your should certainly send the Globe to Colonel T. Perronet Thompson,8 the principal proprietor of the Westminster Review. He is partially acquainted with your doctrine, & likes some things in it, but dislikes others: I believe he has some notion of writing in his review about you. I am satisfied no one can do so without going egregiously wrong, unless he be a regular reader of the Globe. If your packets are sent to the Westminster Review office, Wellington Street, Strand, they will reach him.

If you like to send the Globe to Southey, his address is Robert Southey Esq. Keswick, Cumberland. Your brother will be able to advise you about sending it to Professor Wilson9 of Edinburgh, the principal writer in Blackwood’s Magazine, the great organ of our Tories. If you do, he will be sure to write about you; he will compliment you, and attack you, and will say a great deal about you which the public will not hear from any Edition: current; Page: [92] one else, and which will excite their curiosity; he did all this for our utilitarian school of the old Westminster Review. But it will be matter of accident & humour whether he treats you as well-meaning men or impostors.

One of the most “progressif” men in this country is Dr Whately, lately appointed Archbishop of Dublin; which is in itself equivalent to a revolution in the Church. He is well entitled to receive the Globe. So is the Reverend J. Blanco White,10 (Oriel College, Oxford), a Spanish Catholic priest, of considerable abilities, now a clergyman of the Church of England. He is acquainted at least with Comte’s book, & by this time (I have no doubt) with your subsequent publications, & is on the whole well disposed towards you. Any impression made upon these two men will spread far and wide.

You should send the Globe to Mr Stephen (James Stephen Esq. Kensington Gore) Council to the Colonial office; one of the ablest men connected with our Government, & a very important man in it, whoever happens to be minister. Although an Evangelical Christian, that is, a sort of Puritan and connected with Puritans, he is one of the most progressif men we have, & I have heard him speak of your master Saint Simon with considerable praise. I think it would be of great use to send him the Globe, & that it will interest him greatly if he has time to read it.

Mr Empson,11 (Harcourt Buildings, Inner Temple) Law Professor at the East India College, and one of the principal writers in the Edinburgh Review, is a very proper person to receive the Globe.

I believe you already send it to the Rev. W. J. Fox,12 the enlightened and eloquent Unitarian preacher. If you do not, you should commence doing so without delay.

Perhaps the Reverend Dr Arnold,13 Head Master of Rugby School near Birmingham, would be a proper person. He is one of the most enlightened and liberal of our clergy; but I am not sufficiently acquainted with his turn of mind to be able to judge in what manner your doctrines would affect him.

When I can think of any other fit persons, I will write to you again.

I will thank you not to shew this letter to any person except Adolphe, and M. Enfantin or such other of your associates as it may specially concern, as I should be sorry that any of the persons I have mentioned should know that I had written to you any particulars concerning them.

Edition: current; Page: [93]

From what M. Arlès has told me concerning the late change in your society, I am inclined to think that it is a beneficial one; but I regret exceedingly to learn that it has detached M. Bazard & several others altogether from your body. I suppose I shall learn from the Globe such particulars as I am not yet acquainted with. If not, I beg you to write to me, as there is nothing which I am more anxious to be apprised of, than the internal history of your society.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [94]

1832

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Wednesday 25 Jany. [1832]
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
46.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear Gustave

I will answer your questions one by one.

1. I do not think that M. Lemire2 could at first support himself here by giving lessons in French. I think that in two or three months he might be able to do so, if his friends and yours exert themselves. I am sorry to say that my exertions are pre-engaged in behalf of another.

2. I shall have great pleasure in dining with you tomorrow to meet Mr Crellin.3 I will come to you straight from the India House.

3. I will endeavour to obtain for you or Duveyrier an admission to the London Institution.4

4. Most of those who receive the Globe in this country have received it only a short time, and several of them are likely to be prejudiced against you at first. Perronet Thompson, for instance, is thinking of writing against you, in the Westminster Review,5 of which he is one of the chief proprietors. Stephen, and Hyde Villiers, are men in office, whose whole time is occupied; and though you should, I think, throw yourself in their way if an opportunity offers, I do not think it would answer any good purpose to call upon them. Most men in this country have a strong prejudice against any attempt to talk them over as the vulgar say; to talk to them with the view of effecting any particular change in their general habits of thinking.

Of all whom you mention I think Bulwer and Empson are the only two with whom there would be any use in your having a personal interview Edition: current; Page: [95] for the present. I will give you an introduction to Bulwer whenever you please. Empson I should like to speak to on the subject before you make any attempt to see him; besides, he is seldom to be found at home except by appointment. But I could easily contrive that you should see him—& probably Perronet Thompson also.

Yours affectionately
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Jan. 28, 1832
India House
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
47.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

India House
My dear Gustave

Mr Grote desires me to say that he will have great pleasure in cashing any bill of yours, whether signed by yourself or Duveyrier. I am also desired by him & by Mrs Grote to say that they hope very much to see you, & when you return from your journey to Paris they will ask you to fix a day for visiting them at Dulwich & not returning till the next day. Grote & I had much conversation respecting the St Simonian doctrine during the evening: he has a tolerably accurate knowledge of its general features, & I think you would not lose your time in conversing with him.

Would it be inconvenient to you to take with you to Paris some numbers of the Examiner for Marchais2 & for M. de Lasteyrie?3

Edition: current; Page: [96]

I will give you a copy of tomorrow’s Examiner (which contains some mention of St Simonism) for le père Michel Chevalier.4

The missing numbers of the Globe have not yet reached me, but I suppose I shall find them here on Monday morning.

You will oblige me by making my best acknowledgments to le père Enfantin, if he retains any recollection of me, for the great pleasure and profit which I have derived and am continually deriving from his words and deeds.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday Jan. 30, 1832
India House
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
48.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

India House
My dear Gustave

I send you a copy of the Examiner which contains my notice of the St Simonians. It is very incorrectly printed. This copy is for Chevalier; if you wish for one for yourself in addition, I will procure it for you.

I would ask you to take with you a few numbers of the Examiner for Marchais & for M. de Lasteyrie, if I had any means of sending them to you soon enough.

A friend of mine whom I hope you will soon be acquainted with, has had some conversation with Mr Sterling respecting St Simonism, and represents him as so hostile to it, that I think there would be no use whatever in my mentioning the subject to him or in your attempting to see him. Indeed from all I hear of the opinions & feelings which your doctrine is exciting in those who have but recently received the Globe, I expect that for a considerable time much obloquy will fall not only upon the St Simonians, but even on all who venture to hint the possibility of their being other than madmen or rogues. My saying as much for them in the Examiner as I have done, est déjà un acte de courage.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [97]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
April 3d. 1832
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
49.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
My dear Sir,

I am sorry that you should think of apologizing for a proposal by which I ought to be, and am, very much flattered. There was no brusquerie on your side to be apologized for, but much dullness and incapacity of speaking intelligibly on mine: as is usual when I am taken unexpectedly and have anything to say on the spur of the moment. I learn every day by fresh instances, that only when I have a pen in my hand can I make language and manner the true image of my thoughts. This is not only a fault in itself, but an index to many other faults.

What I would say now, and would have said at the moment, but for my habitual unreadiness, is, that nothing would be more agreeable to me than to be allowed to insert in the Monthly Repository anything I might write which might be so fortunate as to be deemed fit for it; but that I would avoid, as I always do, any literary engagement, wishing to write nothing for its own sake, but always because I am led to write it by the course of my habitual pursuits, and in execution of the general purposes of my life. Most persons, if I were to say this to them, would set me down as a perfect monster of affectation and self-conceit; yet it is only putting into words what all persons ought at all times to have in their minds, as the guiding principle of their conduct. If it were my vocation, as it is probably yours, to instruct the general public, by preaching, public speaking, and popular writing, I should devote myself to it; and there is scarcely any person with whom I should be so proud to cooperate as with yourself. But this is not what I am fittest for; nor do I find that time renders me fitter for it, but rather the contrary. Times and circumstances may come in which I should probably think it my duty, however unfit, to buckle to the task, and make it, for the time, the principal aim of my life. But at present many things, far less conspicuously useful, but yet not unworthy that some one should make them his chief object of intellectual pursuit, must continue to hold the first place in my thoughts. And no one can do anything well, Edition: current; Page: [98] in this earthly pilgrimage of ours, in doing which he steps out of his way and delays his journey.

I will not, therefore, make any promise, nor should I feel justified in leading you to reckon upon my offering anything to the Monthly Repository. But what I do not undertake, it by no means follows that I shall not do; and I was even thinking at the very time when your note reached me, of writing something which might possibly suit the design of the Repository. At all events, whenever I do write anything of the kind, I can find no mode of disposing of it that would be more pleasing to me than by giving it to the world under your auspices.2

With many thanks for the extremely delicate and flattering tenour of your note

Believe me

Most truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
24th May 1832
London
John Sterling
Sterling, John
50.

TO JOHN STERLING1

London
My dear Sterling

The manner in which time passes over our heads without our perceiving it is quite frightful. It is now seven months since I wrote to you, and if I had not referred to a memorandum-book to learn the fact, I should not have thought it was three. Absence! All persons, some few excepted, are sufficiently prone to neglect the absent, not because they forget them, but because there is always something to be done for things or persons near at hand, which, it seems at the moment, will less bear to be put off. But I think this is peculiarly a fault of mine. I neglect almost every person whose daily life is not intermixed with my own. However this may be, accept my confession, and believe that, notwithstanding all appearances, you are as much and as often in my thoughts as when you were in England.—It seems to me that there is a very great significance in letter-writing, and that it differs from daily intercourse as the dramatic Edition: current; Page: [99] differs from the epic or narrative. It is the life of man, and above all the chief part of his life, his inner life, not gradually unfolded without break or sudden transition, those changes which take place insensibly being also manifested insensibly; but exhibited in a series of detached scenes, taken at considerable intervals from one another, shewing the completed change of position or feeling, without the process by which it was effected; affording a glimpse or partial view of the mighty river of life at some few points, and leaving the imagination to trace to itself such figure or scheme as it can of the course of the stream in that far larger portion of space where it winds its way through thickets or impenetrable forests and is invisible: this alone being known to us, that whatever may have been its course through the wilderness, it has had some course, & that a continuous one, & which might by human opportunity have been watched and discovered, though to us, too probably, destined to be for ever unknown. What wonder therefore if when seen at these distant intervals, the stream sometimes seems to run east, sometimes west, and its general direction remains as mysterious as that of the Niger? Yet if such glimpses are numerous, some general tendency shall predominate even in the few furlongs of water-way which they may chance to disclose, and it shall not remain doubtful towards what sea, in the long run, the waters tend to discharge themselves.

I had no idea when I began this letter, that I should yield to the habit of moralizing and poetizing which has grown upon me. But I meant to say something very simple. When you wrote to me, you promised a longer letter, which was to give me some notion of a slave colony; and glad shall I be to receive it; but after all, that will be, in itself, no more valuable to me, than any other information on the same subject from any person with equal opportunities and deserving of equal reliance: but what I can have only from you, and what would be far more valuable to me, whether resulting from a letter respecting slave colonies or from anything else, would be a knowledge of you, namely of what has passed and is passing in your own mind, and how far your views of the world and feelings towards it, and all that constitutes your individuality as a human being, are or are not the same, are or are not changed. That is the knowledge which it is the most proper object of letters, between friends, to communicate; otherwise if their separation is prolonged, they cannot help becoming more or less strangers to one another.

As for myself, I doubt not but that I have much to tell you of this kind which you, and even myself eventually, might read with interest. For I know that there never pass seven months of my existence without change, and that not inconsiderable or unimportant: and I really do not recollect what my last letter to you2 was about (except that part of it was about Wordsworth Edition: current; Page: [100] and Southey) or what was my state of mind when I wrote it; only I remember that I must have had much to say, since my epistle amounted to a quarto volume. It is not of much use to write to you about politics. You of course know from the newspapers and from your other friends through what a sea of troubles “the Bill”3 has at last been navigated in safety to within sight of land. You know the utter prostration or rather annihilation of the Tory party; how all the vitality has gone out of them; they having most unwisely chosen to make this the decisive, the final struggle; which accordingly it is. One unspeakable blessing I now believe that we shall owe to the events of the last ten days; to whatever consummation the spirit which is now in the ascendant, may conduct us, there is now a probability that we shall accomplish it through other means than anarchy & civil war. The irresistible strength of a unanimous people has been put forth, and has triumphed without bloodshed: it having therefore been proved, once for all, that the people can carry their point by pacific means, the natural and habitual reluctance of mankind to suffer and to inflict wounds and death, yet remains and may yet remain in its pristine strength, being no longer liable to be gradually worn away by the perpetual recurrence of the thought & feeling that these are the necessary though bitter means to some ardently desired end. What will come next it is quite vain to attempt to anticipate. Much grievous disappointment—some consequent moral and intellectual good, some evil;—some oversetting of evil and wrong; as yet little setting up of right; but above all a clear field to work in and a consequent duty on all whose vocation is not different, to address themselves to the work.

With regard to our common acquaintances, most of what I have to tell is, I think, favorable; many, and some from whom it was scarcely to be expected, have become “sadder and wiser men.”4 By sadder, I do not mean gloomier, or more desponding: nor even less susceptible of enjoyment, or even gaiety; but I mean that they look upon all things with far deeper and more serious feelings, and are far more alive to those points in human affairs, which excite an interest bordering on melancholy. Their earnestness, if not greater, is of a more solemn kind, and certainly far more unmixed with dreams of personal distinction or other reward. This is also, in a measure, the case with myself; except that, so far as respects the last point, the change had taken place long before. I have long since renounced any hankering for being happier than I am; and only since then have I enjoyed anything which can be called well-being. How few are they who have discovered the wisdom of the precept, Take no thought of the morrow; Edition: current; Page: [101] when considered as all the sayings of Christ should be, not as laws laid down with strict logical precision for regulating the details of our conduct; since such must be, like all other maxims of prudence, variable: but as the bodying forth in words of the spirit of all morality, right self-culture, the principles of which cannot change, since man’s nature changes not, though surrounding circumstances do. I do not mean by using the word self-culture, to prejudge any thing as to whether such culture can come from man himself, or must come directly from God: all I mean is that it is culture of the man’s self, of his feelings and will, fitting him to look abroad and see how he is to act, not imposing upon him by express definition, a prescribed mode of action; which it is clear to me that many of the precepts of the Gospel, were never intended to do, being manifestly unsuited to that end: witness that which I have just cited; or the great one of doing to all men as you desire that they should do to you; or of turning the left cheek &c. which last the Quakers have made themselves ridiculous by attempting to act upon a very little more literally than other people. All these would be vicious as moral statutes, binding the tribunal, but they are excellent as instruction to the judge in the forum conscientiae, in what spirit he is to look at the evidence; what posture he must assume in order that he may see clearly the moral bearings of the thing which he is looking at.

I have not seen, nor scarcely heard, of Maurice, since you left England. Can you tell me anything of him? Trench5 I have seen, and had some correspondence with. He seems to me to take a most gloomy view of the prospects of mankind—gloomier even than yours, in your letter to Mrs Austin who (par parenthèse) has not been very well lately, but is recovering. Carlyle passed the whole of a long winter in London; & rose in my opinion, more than I know how to express, from a nearer acquaintance. I do not think that you estimate him half highly enough; but neither did I, when I last saw you.

It was worthy of your kindness to think not only of your friend, but of your friend’s friends, and to pick up sea-shells for them on the other side of the globe because we had once done so together at Looe.6 It is one of the things which so few persons would have thought of besides yourself.

I hope and believe that I shall not again allow so long an interval to Edition: current; Page: [102] elapse without writing to you. I had great compunction in not writing to you when we learned the melancholy fate of poor Torrijos7—and I should have done so, but that I am little fitted for comforting the afflicted, and I knew not in that case, of any comfort to administer. It was chiefly with reference to you, and to Madame Torrijos, that it seemed to me there was ground for sorrow; though the extinction of such a man, even when there was little more for him to do or to enjoy, seemed like the violent blotting out of a star from heaven.

With many kind remembrances to Mrs Sterling, believe me, affectionately yours,

J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
29th May 1832
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
51.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House
My dear Friend,

To be moderate, I will only thank you twice: once for writing, and once for being the first to write. The good-natured excuse which you make for my silence will not serve me: I always felt that I ought to write first, and not you; but it always seemed that there would be some better time for writing than the present one. In particular, I have had an unusual number of letters to write since I saw you: and to me it appears a very weighty matter to write a letter: there is scarcely anything that we do, which requires a more complete possession of our faculties, in their greatest freshness and vigour; and all the more so, because if it is elaborate it is good for little. Besides, I knew that I was corresponding with you, in some Edition: current; Page: [103] measure, through the Examiner.2 All this is not intended as an excuse, but a confession; that you may see what paltry reasons sufficed with me for putting off the discharge of a duty. But it is very idle to complain of my own faults, instead of mending them; as every man can, if he will; and as I trust I yet shall, all the less slowly from having known you.

I believe I have fulfilled most of your parting injunctions; some of them, however, less soon than I might and ought. For several weeks after your departure, I waited for some time when it would be quite convenient to call upon poor Glen:3 till finding that no such moment arrived, I did at last what I might have done at first, disregarded convenience and did the thing out of hand: and the great joy which it seemed to give him, satisfied me not that I had done right, for I was thinking much more of you than of him; but that you had done right in instigating me to call upon him. Since that time we have seen each other frequently: and I have cultivated his acquaintance the more, because he has so few persons in London besides me who are at all able to help or encourage him. I have been much struck by the exact manner in which every opinion that you have ever expressed to me about him has been proved true by what I have since seen of him; Mrs Carlyle’s opinion in so far as it differed from yours, was, I am satisfied, entirely groundless. I am somewhat doubtful however, how far he is capable of deriving much advantage of an intellectual kind from the intercourse of others: his mind seems to be always in his own thoughts and in them only; & these not matured but extemporaneous: it seems almost time thrown away to give out thoughts to him; he seems never to lay hold of them. But if any one could teach him to make a proper use of his own materials, it would be doing to him an unspeakable service, & to others much good through his means. I do not see my way clearly to being able to assist him in this respect, but I see that our intercourse affords some sort of satisfaction to him, and therefore, probably does him some kind of good: what, and how much, will doubtless in time be made manifest. He talks of writing to you, and I am sure that it would make him extremely happy to hear from you: what he saw of you has evidently made a very deep impression upon him.—I have also called upon Fraser:4 only once, however; but in his case there was not the same strong inducement: I have no doubt that we shall see more of each other.

Edition: current; Page: [104]

Your parting gift, the paper on Biography and on Johnson,5 has been more precious to me than I well know how to state. I have read it over and over till I could almost repeat it by heart; and have derived from it more edification and more comfort, than from all else that I have read for years past. I have moreover lent it to various persons, whom I thought likely to reap the same benefit from it, and have in no instance been disappointed: among others, to some in whom it has created, or increased, a most earnest desire to see and know you, and who are most worthy that this desire should be gratified; as I trust it one day will be, if possible through my means, unless an iron Necessity, insuperable by the free will of man, should hereafter, as heretofore, prevent.

Thanks for what you tell me respecting your recent occupations. I look forward with very delightful anticipations to your review of the Corn Law Rhymer,6 and to your paper on Göthe:7 it was a disappointment to me that the former did not appear in the last Edinburgh, though I knew it was scarcely possible. Taylor8 tells me that Southey is writing an article9 on the same subject, & is in communication with the author, who is a real working man, named Reuben Elliott.10 I have seen no review of his poems as yet, except in the Monthly Repository, the Unitarian periodical, edited by Mr Fox, whom I conjecture to be the author of this particular paper.11 The tone of it is very good, and there are very few persons who could have written it, but I think it misses the most striking aspect under which the poems can be looked at; viz. as works which will go down to posterity as one of the principal memorials of this age; from which a large portion of its character will be known, which is registered in little else of a permanent nature: being chiefly those melancholy features in the position of the working class towards the other classes and towards the world altogether, which have impressed upon so earnest and so loving a heart, a character of almost unrelieved gloom, bitterness, and resentment. The poet Edition: current; Page: [105] just shews enough of his natural character to render the portraiture of the artificial one which is superinduced upon it more deeply impressive. I am convinced that these poems, having, as they have, sufficient intrinsic merit to live, will hereafter be a text for annotations, explanations, and commentaries without end, & that future historians, (when such, worthy of the name, shall arise) will build largely upon it.

With respect to Göthe, there was a short obituary notice of him in the Examiner,12 which you would not like. I could have kept it out if I would have undertaken to write something myself, at the instant; but as I knew my own ignorance, and would not write at haphazard, the matter was put into the hands of those who thought they knew, & in reality did know, more, but yet (as seems pretty obvious) not enough. The article was made up of two fragments written by two different persons. So rare in this country is any, even the most common-place, knowledge of Germany, that none of the other papers gave any observations at all on the extinction of the greatest man then living in Europe: and Bulwer in his next number, that is in the small print, drafted his notice almost entirely from that in the Examiner. How yours in the next number,13 will square with it, he probably cares as little, as I dare say you do.

As you see the Examiner, you are acquainted with the greater part of what I have been busy about, since you left us. To the papers signed A.B.14 you must add every thing which has been written about France, except the notices of the cholera, and a review of a trumpery pamphlet. If you should happen to see the second number of Tait’s Magazine, you will see in it an article of mine,15 on a book which I have also reviewed in the Examiner16 by our acquaintance Cornewall Lewis. If you have not seen it and will let me know how I may best send you a copy, I will do so, though unless it interest you as being mine, it scarcely will otherwise. On the whole, the opinions I have put forth in these different articles are, I think, rather not inconsistent with yours, than exactly corresponding to them; & are expressed so coldly and unimpressively that I can scarcely bear to look back upon such poor stuff. I have not yet come up even with my friends the St Simonians; & it would be saying very little even if I had.

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A propos of the St Simonians, they have been obliged to give up the Globe and everything else which they had in hand. The immediate causes of their stoppage are certain legal obstructions which have been thrown in their way by some of the seceding members, & a demand of 130000 francs by the Government (very insidiously allowed to reach that amount before it was brought forward) for arrears of stamps, & penalties for infraction of the stamp laws. In the later numbers of the Globe, there was, I think, on the whole some evidence of improvement in their views and feelings—Enfantin and about fifty more, among whom are our two friends d’Eichthal and Duveyrier, have now retired to a place called Ménilmontant at a short distance out of Paris, where they are all living together, and are employed, as they assert, in training themselves to preach to the world by their example, which, they are beginning to find out, is after all the most impressive and in every way profitable aspect of the life even of those whose vocation it is to be the Speakers of the Word. This is decidedly un progrès, as they would say; & if you believe them, their present state, like every thing else which has happened to them or to any son of Adam, is for the best; that is, for the greatest ultimate success of the St Simonian faith. It is difficult to conjecture how far this optimism of theirs is itself a faith, or a mere trick of self-deluding vanity, determined to put the best face upon every thing both to themselves and others. I do not know many of the particulars of their life at Ménilmontant; but it appears that one feature of it is to do without domestic servants, which they consider a vestige of slavery: & they take their turns to perform all menial offices for one another. I do not know how they reconcile this with their maxim, à chacun selon sa capacité, but I suppose they have some salve or other for it. Their adoration for Enfantin seems to be on the increase rather than on the wane; & it is well to reverence the best man they know, but I wish they had a better still.

With regard to politics, their aspect of things has somewhat changed since you wrote, and the momentary check sustained by radicalism has been converted into a triumph, far more complete than could have been achieved otherwise. The Tory party, at least the present Tory party, is now utterly annihilated. Peace be with it. All its elevated character had long gone out of it, and instead of a Falkland17 it had but a Croker,18 instead of a Johnson19 nothing better than a Philpotts.20 Wellington himself found that if he meant to be minister he must be a Whig; and the rest of his Edition: current; Page: [107] party though in the main Whigs already, did not chuse that particular phasis of Whiggery & determined to be nothing at all; & truly they had no very great step to make into absolute non-entity. There is now nothing definite and determinate in politics except radicalism; & we shall have nothing but radicals and whigs for a long time to come, until society shall have worked itself into some new shape, not to be exactly foreseen and described now.

Mrs. Austin has been very far from well of late, but is nearly recovered. She often talks of Mrs Carlyle and you. Austin began lecturing immediately after your departure, and part of my occupation since you went away has been in attending his lectures.21 Buller is now here and in good health: he has written a very pleasant article in the Foreign Quarterly Review on Prince Pückler’s book,22 which I think you would like to read.

On the very day on which you went away, Taylor wrote to me to propose that we should call upon you together. He is very well, and as usual, very busy governing the West Indies: a difficult work, of which he more than all other persons is the workman.

I am in no immediate want of the three little volumes; therefore they may wait any convenient opportunity.

I do not think I have any more facts to tell you; and I have filled my letter with nothing else. Another time I shall not wait for such an accumulation of what, after all, is very secondary material for a letter—especially between you and me, so little of whose conversation used ever to turn upon mere incidents. Make my heartiest remembrances to Mrs Carlyle and believe me

Most truly yours (and hers)
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
30th May 1832
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
52.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL AND CHARLES DUVEYRIER1

India House
My dear d’Eichthal and Duveyrier

Nothing but the pressure of a variety of occupations has hindered me for so long a period from writing to you; not to tell you anything, for I Edition: current; Page: [108] have nothing to tell; but to ask for news of you and all that you do, as I no longer have regular intelligence of you through the Globe.2

I am unable to be with you on the first of June, as I had previously engaged myself to pass the short vacation which this house allows me, in a different place and in a different manner.3 And I should prefer visiting Paris, and you, at any other time. To attend such a summons as that which was issued in the last number of the Globe, to those who have placed their avenir in St Simon, would be to associate and identify myself with the St Simonians: now this would be an act of religious dévouement, and highly meritorious, in any person who was completely associated with you par les sentiments; but in me, it would be nothing of the kind; and would even give a false idea of the feelings I entertain towards your society. I did not go to Weimar to attend the funeral of Göthe, nor to Birmingham to join the Political Union, nor to Warsaw to encourage the Poles; yet my sympathies were with all three, just as they are with you.

For the same & various other reasons, I did not, as Duveyrier suggested, write a series of letters on St Simonism for the Morning Chronicle. St Simonism is all in all to you, St Simonians; but to me it is only one among a variety of interesting and important features in the time we live in, & there are other subjects & other occupations which have as great a claim upon me as it has, in themselves, & a much greater from being, just now, more in season. St Simonism therefore must wait its time, & you may rely that it shall have justice done to it, as far as that is possible from my point of view, on the first favorable opportunity.

I have been extremely pleased with the later numbers of the Globe. The seceders from your society certainly had excellent remplaçans: Cavel, Delaporte, and Lagarmitte4 are anything but ordinary men. Now when I have mentioned names, I beg that when you write, you will send me the names of all the St Simonians who have retired to Ménilmontant or who remain in the Rue Monsigny. I shall treasure up their names, and should like much to be acquainted with them all. Tell me all you can about each of them in particular.

Tell me also what are your pursuits, your thoughts & projects, where you now are. I have some knowledge of the mere exterior of your lives from Edition: current; Page: [109] Duveyrier’s letter to Mrs Crellin, but I want to know what you are meditating, what are your studies, & travaux d’élaboration, now that you are not propagating your ideas among the public. This temporary secession might be for you the occasion of un grand progrès. I suppose that a St Simonian can learn only from his own thoughts or those of other St Simonians; but I who am not a St Simonian, though I greatly admire the St Simonians, & think that they are in many respects far ahead of all Europe, am yet firmly convinced that you have yet much to learn, in political economy from the English economists (inferior as they are to you in many points) and in the philosophy of history, literature and the arts, from the Germans. Certainly I think you have far surpassed all these people in some things, but have fallen far short of them in others: & that a more diligent study of them would change some of your opinions, and suggest to you many positive thoughts of great value, which would bring down some of your generalities & abstractions into detail.

I did as d’Eichthal wished in regard to Father Enfantin’s parting address: after ascertaining that Black5 would print it, I translated it for him & it appeared in the Morning Chronicle6 (it was however very incorrectly printed). With regard to the delay in my letter which appeared in the Globe,7 you are, I suppose, aware that Desprat8 kept it for a fortnight or three weeks, in expectation of an opportunity. It was very well translated, though with some omissions & abbreviations which made it rather more St Simonian than I intended.

I wrote two letters to Adolphe d’Eichthal9 during our crise politique, which contained all I had to say on that subject. I shall write to him a longer letter very shortly, & request him to shew it to Gustave.

All your friends here, whom I know, are very well. I have seen Mrs Crellin twice; elle est très intéressante. Write soon & often, now you have leisure. Ever yours

J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [110]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
June 29th 1832
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
53.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

My dear Gustave

The object of my present letter is not to tell you news, for I have none to tell; nor to discuss, for I have not time. It is merely to thank you for your letter; to say how glad I always am to hear from you, and how much I wish that the exalted destiny which you still believe to await you, may be realized; to send you two numbers of the Examiner in continuation of those which I hope you have already received through Desprat; & to beg you to ask of Duveyrier the two following questions;

1st. What he did with the ticket to the library of the London Institution:2 William Prescott to whom it belongs, has asked me for it.

2dly. Whether he has done with my Examiners for 1831 and the beginning of 1832.

The gentleman who takes this letter will bring any thing back. He will be at Paris for a week or two, and his address is, Mr Rowland Mackenzie,3 chez M. Roy, Route de Choisy, Barrière d’Italie.

Many remembrances to Duveyrier, and to all friends. In your letter you say that you send me the list of the inhabitants of your retreat at Ménilmontant, but it has not reached me.

Believe me
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
17th July 1832
London
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
54.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear friend

Many thanks for your little note.2 I hope this letter will find all your perplexities at an end, and the paper on Göthe3 proceeding smoothly, or perhaps long since finished and sent off. I recognise in your account of Edition: current; Page: [111] what was passing in your mind, a very perfect picture of what I often experience in mine; especially if I attempt to give a general view of any great subject, when I feel bound not merely to say something true, but to omit nothing which is material to the truth. I also participate in what you call your superstition, about never turning back when one has begun. Were it not that imperfect and dim light is yet better than total darkness, there would be little encouragement to attempt enlightening either oneself or the world. But the real encouragement is, that he who does the best he can, always does some good, even when in his direct aim he totally fails. For although the task which we undertake is, to speak a certain portion of precious Truth, and instead of speaking any Truth at all, it is possible our light may be nothing but a feu follet, and we may leave ourselves and others no wiser than we found them; still, that any one sincere mind, doing all it can to gain insight into a thing, and endeavouring to declare truthfully all it sees, declares this (be it what it may), is itself a truth; no inconsiderable one; which at least it depends upon ourselves to be fully assured of, and which is often not less, sometimes perhaps more, profitable to the hearer or reader, than much sounder doctrine delivered without intensity of conviction. And this is one eternal and inestimable preeminence (even in the productions of pure Intellect) which the doings of an honest heart possess over those men of the strongest and most cultivated powers of mind when directed to any other end in preference to, or even in conjunction with, Truth. He who paints a thing as he actually saw it, though it were only by an optical illusion, teaches us, if nothing else, at least the nature of Sight, and of spectra and phantasms: but if somebody has not seen, or even believed that he saw, anything at all, but has merely thrown together objects and colours at random or to gain some point, it is all false and hollow, and nobody is the wiser or better, or ever can be so, from what has been done, but may be greatly the more ignorant, more confused, and worse.

I have read your little paper on Göthe in Bulwer’s Magazine.4 There was little in it which I had not already heard from your lips, otherwise there are passages which would if they had been entirely new to me, have excited me to much thought, and may therefore do that service to any other mind which is prepared for them. I do not myself, as yet, sufficiently know Göthe, to feel certain that he is the great High Priest and Pontiff you describe him; I know him as yet only as one of the wisest men, and men of greatest genius, whom the world has yet produced; but if he be not all that you say he is, certainly no other man has arisen in our times, who can even for a moment be suspected of being so. In him alone, of all the celebrated men of this and the last age, does a more familiar knowledge, Edition: current; Page: [112] and the growth of our own faculties, discover more and more to be admired and less and less to be rejected or even doubted of. Who shall succeed him? or when shall he find even an unworthy successor. There is need that the “march of mind” should raise up new spiritual notabilities; for it seems as though all the old ones with one accord were departing out of the world together. In a few days or weeks the world has lost the three greatest men in it, in their several departments; Göthe, Bentham, and Cuvier;5 & during the same period what a mortality among those second-rate great men, who are generally in their own time much more celebrated than the first, because they take pains to be so; such men as Casimir Périer, or Mackintosh,6 or Sir William Grant,7 or General Lamarque,8 or the last of Scotch judges, John Clerk of Eldin,9 or even (to descend low indeed) Charles Butler.10 And here is Sir Walter Scott about to follow.11 I sometimes think that instead of mountains and valleys, the domain of Intellect is about to become a dead flat, nothing greatly above the general level, nothing very far below it. It is curious that this particular time, in which there are fewer great intellects above ground and in their vigour, than can be remembered for many ages back, should be the precise time at which every body is cackling about the progress of intelligence and the spread of knowledge. I do believe that intelligence and knowledge are less valued just now, except for purposes of money-making, than at any other period since the Norman Conquest, or possibly since the invasion of the Romans. I mean, in our own country. But even in Germany, the great men seem to have died out, though much of their spirit remains after them, and is, we will hope, permanently fixed in the national character.

I have not been idle since my last letter, but have rather read, than either meditated or written: all that I have written you must have seen in the Examiner; it consists of sundry papers on French politics and two long articles on Pledges,12 which are in very bad odour with some of our Edition: current; Page: [113] radicals. It is a proof of the honest and brave character of Fonblanque, that he wished to have these articles: every thing he ever prints that does not chime in with common-place radicalism, costs him money; his paper is in a perpetual alternation of slowly working its way upwards by its liveliness and ability and then tumbling plump down all at once by some act of honesty. I do not know that this has happened in the present case, but I have little doubt of it.

I am about to make a short ramble in the country just now,13 after which I shall return to work, and I hope with more solid and valuable results than I have hitherto done: that so I may produce something worthy of the title you give me, and in which I rejoice, that of one of your scholars. You also call me one of your teachers; but if I am this, it is as yet only in the sense in which a schoolmaster might speak of his teachers, meaning those who teach under him. I certainly could not now write, and perhaps shall never be able to write, any thing from which any person can derive so much edification as I, and several others, have derived in particular from your paper on Johnson.14 My vocation, as far as I yet see, lies in a humbler sphere; I am rather fitted to be a logical expounder than an artist. You I look upon as an artist, and perhaps the only genuine one now living in this country: the highest destiny of all, lies in that direction; for it is the artist alone in whose hands Truth becomes impressive, and a living principle of action. Yet it is something not inconsiderable (in an age in which the understanding is more cultivated and developed than any of the other faculties, & is the only faculty which men do not habitually distrust) if one could address them through the understanding, & ostensibly with little besides mere logical apparatus, yet in a spirit higher than was ever inspired by mere logic, and in such sort that their understandings shall at least have to be reconciled to those truths, which even then will not be felt until they shall have been breathed upon by the breath of the artist. For, as far as I have observed, the majority even of those who are capable of receiving Truth into their minds, must have the logical side of it turned first towards them; then it must be quite turned round before them, that they may see it to be the same Truth in its poetic that it is in its metaphysical aspect. Now this is what I seem to myself qualified for, if for any thing, or at least capable of qualifying myself for; and it is thus that I may be, and therefore ought to be, not useless as an auxiliary even to you, though I am sensible that I can never give back to you the value of what I receive from you.

I have no news worth telling you; scarcely any news of any kind. Mrs. Edition: current; Page: [114] Austin is quite recovered. Charles Buller is now in Cornwall; he was a little indisposed when he set out, but is now I trust in good health. Pray make my most friendly remembrances to Mrs. Carlyle, and let me hear from you in due season.

Yours ever faithfully,
J. S. Mill.

Glen bids me tell you that he has heard from your brother,15 who is at Naples, very well, and comfortable. I told Glen that you had made affectionate mention of him in your letter, at which he seemed much gratified.16

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Aug., 1832
Harriet Taylor
Taylor, Harriet
55.

TO HARRIET TAYLOR1

Benie soit la main qui a tracé ces caractères! Elle m’a écrit—il suffit; bien que je ne me dissimule pas que c’est pour me dire un éternel adieu.

Cette adieu, qu’elle ne croie pas que je l’accepte jamais. Sa route et la mienne sont séparées, elle l’a dit: mais elles peuvent, elles doivent, se rencontrer. A quelqu’époque, dans quelqu’endroit, que ce puisse être, elle me trouvera toujours ce que j’ai été, ce que je suis encore.

Elle sera obéie: mes lettres n’iront plus troubler sa tranquillité, ou verser une goutte de plus dans la coupe de ses chagrins. Elle sera obéie, par les motifs qu’elle donne,—elle le serait quand même elle se serait bornée à me communiquer ses volontés. Lui obéir est pour moi une nécessité.

Elle ne refusera pas, j’espère, l’offrande de ces petites fleurs, que j’ai apportées pour elle du fond de la Nouvelle-Forêt. Donnez-les lui s’il le faut, de votre part.

Edition: current; Page: [115]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Sept. 1, 1832
John Taylor
Taylor, John
56.

TO JOHN TAYLOR1

I.H.
My dear Sir

Two acquaintances of mine, MM. Jules Bastide2 and Hippolyte Dussard,3 distinguished members of the republican party in France, have been compelled to fly their country for a time in consequence of the affair of the fifth & sixth of June. They were not conspirators, for there was no conspiracy, but when they found the troops and the people at blows, they took the side of the people. Now I am extremely desirous to render their stay here as little disagreeable as possible, and to enable them to profit by it, and to return with a knowledge of England and with those favourable sentiments towards our English hommes du mouvement which it is of so much importance that they and their friends should entertain. I am particularly desirous of bringing them in contact with the better members of the Political Union, that they may not suppose our men of action to be all of them like the Revells and the Murphys whom they saw and heard on Wednesday last.4 Yourself and Mr. Fox are [the]5 persons I should most wish them to see. But I do not like to give them a letter of introduction to you without first ascertaining whether it would be agreeable to yourself. Will you therefore oblige me with a line to say, if possible, that you will allow me to tell them to call upon you, or otherwise to say that you would rather not. I have not mentioned the matter to them, nor shall I do so until I have the pleasure of hearing from you.

Ever truly yours
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [116]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
13th September, 1832
Sarah Austin
Austin, Sarah
57.

TO SARAH AUSTIN1

My dear Mutterlein

How could you so far misunderstand me as to suppose that it could be a question with me whether I would sacrifice two days to you? I thought that it would be sacrificing two days of you. That was one reason among others why I wished you to be consulted.

The letter I have received this morning from Polvellen, & which informs me of the cause which will unfortunately keep you there for some time longer,2 decides the question, & I shall not set out from this place till Thursday next. I do not expect to be at Devonport before Saturday, as I shall probably take Bath in my way & bring on Roebuck along with me.

But remember that whatever may happen, I stay at Polvellen no longer than you do. So you must either stay there to the end of my time or be punished for suspecting me by knowing that you carry me off prematurely.

The letters which accompany this have been here (one of them at least) some time in expectation of some opportunity for conveying them. But I believe there was no urgency. I have sent to Tait’s Magazine (for the number which will appear on the 1st of next month) a notice of Mr. Austin’s book,3 which though it is but short you will I think be pleased with—& what I value much more, you will be pleased with me for writing it.

Affectionately yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
17th September 1832
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
58.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House
My dear Carlyle

You did me but justice in supposing that I had for some time been in hopes of a letter from you before I received your last.2 When it arrived, it found me in a state of as impatient expectation as one should be in Edition: current; Page: [117] for an event which does not depend upon oneself. I plead guilty to having neglected the biographical department, having nothing to relate which seemed important to myself, and forgetting that all news is important to those who can see nothing and have few opportunities even of hearing. To begin therefore with myself, not only as the person whom I see oftenest and with whom I am most intimate, but as almost the only person (known to you) whom I have seen for the last two months, all others having long been absent from this Babylon, or at least Babel, of ours.—Your letter found me still in London, where I still am, but where I hope to be no longer after Thursday next. I had not promised to pass more than a fortnight of my holydays with the Bullers, & not wishing to lose entirely the benefit of the long summer days, I made a walking tour for a previous fortnight about the end of July, & then returned to allow others to be absent; and have been kept in town ever since. During this interval of from five to six weeks, I have worked if not harder, yet with more obvious fruits than I have done during any period of equal length for years past, having begun and finished three several papers on subjects extremely various. The first & longest is a political and moral dissertation on the rights and duties of the state with regard to endowments for public purposes,3 or what you call in Scotland mortifications, including the estates of ecclesiastical & other corporations, universities, &c. This will appear in the Jurist, a quarterly journal or review of Legislation & Jurisprudence, carried on by several friends of mine, radical-utilitarians of a better than the ordinary sort, of whom I think sufficiently well to be able to cooperate with them in their own field of usefulness, though perhaps they would not always join me in mine. The second & shortest of my three articles, I have sent to Tait; it is a short review of Mr Austin’s book on Jurisprudence,4 & was chiefly intended as a recommendation of that work, though there is besides, some “doctrinal matter” as Napier5 I suppose would call it, & a good deal of critical matter. Finally, I have written a rambling kind of article,6 in which many, I will not say great, but big things are said on a small occasion, namely in the form of strictures on a well-meaning but flimsy article which recently appeared in the Monthly Repository. Touching this Monthly Repository7 let me here say two or three words, as you probably do not know what it is. Till lately it was conducted by a Committee of Unitarian ministers & was a sectarian publication, the “Evangelical Magazine” of Edition: current; Page: [118] the Unitarians. Not long since, it was placed under the editorship, & soon after became the property of Mr. Fox, the same who has figured in the Political Union in London, and who, though no Göthe or Jean-Paul, is fit for better things than to be either a Unitarian preacher or a radical orator. Since the M.R. has been under his management, it has gradually divested itself of its sectarian character, and is much improved in all respects, though the editor & his writers are very far from seeing to the bottom of things yet. They are but Unitarians & liberals, unsectarianized, & with a larger & more tolerant spirit than common. Into my first parcel of books I will put some numbers of this periodical, which will, I think, like Bulwer’s,8 acquaint you with a new phasis of mind: at least I know nothing that is exactly like it, & among the persons whom Mr Fox most frequents I have met with several men & women who are decidedly characters, realizing an idea of their own & free from halfness of all sorts. I am not sure, indeed that much of this individuality appears in the Monthly Repository. When you next come to town I think you would like to know some of these people, as they also would to know you, for they are mostly great admirers of your writings, which however I am very doubtful whether they would find so much to their liking if they understood them thoroughly. As for this article of mine, those who best know me will see more character in it than in anything I have ever published; other people will never guess it to be mine. You, I hope, will find all the three articles true, the only praise I covet, & certainly rarer than any other in our times. But in this last you will find many things which I never saw, or never saw clearly till they were shewn to me by you, nor even for some time after. I think that the M.R. is read by persons with open improvable minds, & that ideas thrown among them will find soil in which to germinate; especially as they read their own magazines for doctrine, & others only for amusement. You see I adhere to my system, which is to be as particular in the choice of my vehicles, as you are indiscriminate, & I think we are both right. Do not buy any of these things; I will send them to you, with the exception perhaps of the no. of Tait, which in order to send I must first buy, & which would be a sorry half-crown’s worth either to you or me; and which moreover will not like claret improve by travelling, nor be taken in gratis as ballast.

Every man’s work is the chief part of his life, and since my return to town it has been the whole of mine, except some little reading, which is also in some sort work. Among things read “during the period under review,” as we at this house say in our despatches, are to be numbered your two articles on the Corn Law Rhymer and on Göthe.9 The former I Edition: current; Page: [119] found true: the latter I believe to be so, rather on your authority & from such knowledge as I myself have of Göthe than from what is said of him in the article: it does not, I think, carry so much of its own evidence with it as might have been wished: whether more might have been done is a question on which I can only express a doubt. In the meantime, I think I can perceive that your writings are making some way; awakening, though but partially, some minds. At least I find more people than before, or certainly more than I knew of, who do not dismiss them at once as “mysticism”, “raving”, &c. &c. &c.

The Austins are still at Polvellen, where Mr. Austin has had two successive attacks of illness, from the last of which he had not completely recovered when I last heard. Mrs Austin was busy translating Falk’s memoir of Göthe;10 & Charles Buller was writing an article for the Foreign Quarterly, on I know not what subject, which he had delayed beginning till they were obliged to shut him up for some hours a day for the express purpose: so at least says Mrs Buller. I have seen Glen but twice since I came to town, once for a moment only. He did not, it seems, write anything about Fanny Kemble. The paper therefore to which you allude must be the work of Diabolus.11 I think he (Glennus not Diabolus) seemed less uneasy in mind than formerly; this might be accidental: in other respects he is much the same. It always seems to please him much when he hears that you continue to take interest in him.

You will have learnt from an article of mine in the Examiner,12 the only one I have written for the last two months, that our friends the St Simonians have been tried. Enfantin, Chevalier & Duveyrier have been sentenced to a year’s imprisonment & a fine: Barrault13 & Rodrigues14 only to a trifling fine. They were convicted on the charge of forming a society for the discussion of political & religious subjects without leave of the government, & also on a charge of preaching immoral doctrines, a charge founded on the theory of la femme libre.15 There were other charges on which they were Edition: current; Page: [120] acquitted. Duveyrier is said to have made a very striking defence: Enfantin’s seems to have made little impression except that of the ludicrous. There was much in the conduct of them all, which really one cannot help suspecting of quackery. In the witness-box, none of them would take the oath without Enfantin’s permission: this he refused, on the ground that the name of God is not mentioned in the form of the oath. In defending himself, he several times made a long pause pour attendre des inspirations, & he gave strange looks at various people, to shew as he said the power of a look. The St Simonians all wear beards, and a peculiar costume, & marched to the place of trial in a body, singing if I recollect right, a succession of hymns, written and set to music by themselves. Enfantin claimed to have two women as his counsel, one of whom was Cecile Fournel,16 who you may remember protested so vehemently against the immorality of his doctrines, but who has since, with her husband,17 returned into the bosom of his church. When one remembers Irving, one believes that all this may be sincere. Yet surely there is an admixture of charlatanerie in it, I mean on the part of the Supreme Father.

Adolphe d’Eichthal has been here; I saw him for a few minutes only: he has had the cholera, & looked in very indifferent health.

Now as to books. I have not either Dumont or Babbage,18 but I expect to have the former very soon; when I do I will send it. My own collection of books is a very strange one: it consists partly of books collected when I was writing on some particular subject; these are chiefly on the French Revolution, & French political history from Louis 14th downwards: & partly of books which I bought because they were not to be found in my father’s library: which accounts for my having scarcely any standard English or French prose books. I am richest in the minor & the very recent French writers. I have most of the standard German & Italian books; the former you do not want, nor probably the latter. I have various classics, chiefly the poets, as my father cares less about them. For the same reason, I have many of the later English poets, whom my father despises. I am rich in no other department nor can I give any general idea of my other books.

Edition: current; Page: [121]

I have not yet received the books you took with you, but as I have not particularly wanted them I have not enquired at Longman’s,19 & I will give them a fortnight’s grace till I return. I have not yet hit upon any arrangement that would do, for sending you the Examiner, but I hope to find the means when I return to town. The only copy I have of my own, I keep for reference, and cannot well do without: the only inconvenience of sending it, would be that it must be sent back, but that is a sufficiently considerable one to induce me to seek for some other expedient before I resort to this, which may remain in reserve, as a last resort.

Fonblanque is better, but not yet strong or well. He is at present in the country. He goes on writing with his usual fertility, but I think he feels himself a little at fault in the altered situation of politics, & it is creditable to him that he is conscious of it. If coincidence were proof of causation, I should say that the pledge-mania had been abated by the tone which his paper has taken respecting it. What may be true is, that the Examiner has furnished arguments to those who were not disposed to give pledges, & has shewn that a person may refuse them without being a Tory & all that is wicked, a tax-eater & what not. I finish this letter in the presence of my friend John Wilson, who offers to be the bearer of it as far as Edinburgh, but as he is not going nearer to you I prefer availing myself of a Government frank which I can generally have for the asking. With best remembrances to Mrs Carlyle, believe me

Yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
18 October 1832
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
59.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
My dear Sir

My friend André Marchais, who pays me the compliment of making me the depository and instrument of all the plans he forms for bringing about a good understanding between the patriotic party in France and the best of the English radicals, has suggested something which appears to me Edition: current; Page: [122] highly important and to which, if you think well of it, you have it in your power to be mainly instrumental.

You are aware of the virulent and unceasing persecution which Louis-Philippe keeps up against the liberal press, insomuch that the Tribune has been prosecuted between sixty & seventy times. Out of the first sixty prosecutions, resulted even against this violent paper only five verdicts: but though the prosecutors succeed only in one case out of twelve, the Court imposes such heavy fines that the liberal press cannot long exist under such oppression and the editors are almost always in prison. An association has therefore been formed at Paris, of which my excellent friend Marchais is the secretary, for the purpose generally of promoting the liberty of the press, and specially of raising subscriptions to pay the fines. You will find the prospectus of the Association in the third page of the enclosed Courrier Français.

Now those among the French patriots who know enough of the English radicals to desire their cooperation & sympathy are anxious to obtain subscribers in England for this association, and above all they wish that the Political Unions should bear some public testimony of sympathy and fraternity on this important occasion. No one can do more than you can to bring both these things about, and no one can judge more soundly what would be the best mode of doing it.

The more you see & converse with French people, the more importance you will attach to things of this kind. Every such mark of sympathy produces a great momentary effect; but they require to be, again & again, repeated: for so few Frenchmen ever come here, that they do not learn, except from such public occurrences, that the English people, all but the Tories,2 esteem, and wish well to, the French. Bastide, for example, came over as he confesses, full of prejudice against the English, but is already quite an altered man & is most eager to convince those of his countrymen who have never been here, that the English are not as many Frenchmen think, aristocrats at heart even to a man, & full of jealousy & selfish animosity against France.

I am anxious to say many things to you about this & other matters connected with it, & particularly to engage most earnestly your good offices in favour of Dussard & Bastide; to give the one all the consolations possible in his exile, & the other every means of knowing England, as he has begun a most interesting correspondence with the French journals which from his high standing in the republican party will carry weight. But of this hereafter as of much else which ought to be in common between us two.

Ever faithfully yours
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [123]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
20th October 1832
India House
William Bridges Adams
Bridges Adams, William
60.

TO [WILLIAM BRIDGES ADAMS]1

India House
My dear friend

I should have returned the Preface2 immediately after receiving your note; but I had it not at this house, & all yesterday I was too much engaged to be able to write to you. Now, however, I send the MS. with the very few pencil marks which you will find on it. I am glad that you want it, as I suppose I may conclude that the work itself is nearly or quite finished.

I am as desirous as you can possibly be, that we should meet & converse frequently at some length, and I had declined a very pressing & agreeable invitation for Friday3 rather than put you off again—do not be angry with me—it was not from “punctilious ceremony” which I should never think of observing with a friend; but because I feared that you would think I was indifferent to your repeated invitation, & that I did not feel the value of friendship like yours. However the obstacle this time came from your side & I consequently was able to accept the other invitation, therefore do not regret that you happened to be engaged.

What you say respecting myself in your note I know you feel, and it is therefore very precious to me. We two possess what, next to community of purpose, is the greatest source of friendship between minds of any capacity; this is, not equality, for nothing can be so little interesting to a man as his own double; but, reciprocal superiority. Each of us knows many things which the other knows not, & can do many things which the other values but cannot himself do, or not so well. There is also just that difference of character between us which renders us highly valuable to Edition: current; Page: [124] each other in another way for I require to be warmed, you perhaps occasionally to be calmed. We are almost as much the natural complement of one another as man and woman are: we are far stronger together than separately, & whatever both of us agree in, has a very good chance, I think, of being true. We are therefore made to encourage and assist one another. Our intimacy is its own reward, & we have only to consider in what way it may be made most useful to both of us.

Never express any regret at taking up my time with any of your productions. I will not, (because I know you would not wish it) postpone to them, anything which is really of more immediate urgency: I say more immediate, because no employment of my time can be in itself better or more useful. I know of no one man now living who, take him for all in all, has a larger share of the qualifications (opportunity being included) for effecting unspeakable good, than you have; at the same time I feel that this good may be unboundedly increased by association & collision with other minds, & that for this advantage you are thrown principally on me, because your incognito4 cuts you off from so many others from whom you might derive much of the same benefit. Although I agree with you in thinking that on the whole the reasons predominate in favor of your remaining unknown, I often regret that you are cut off by it from any certain knowledge how many more persons there are than you are aware of, who are qualified morally & intellectually to think, act, and feel with you. In your loathing of the very idea of being patronized I can fully sympathize—but you are in no danger of that; because you are not a littérateur who administers to people’s amusement, but a thinker & writer whose doings affect their substantial interests, & who therefore when you are not valued & esteemed, will be disliked & feared, but at least always treated de puissance en puissance. Moore5 or Campbell6 might be patronized, but Place7 or Cobbett never could, because nobody ever gives himself airs with persons who have power of their own, independent of, & for some purposes paramount to his.

Believe me
Yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [125]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
22d October 1832
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
61.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

When I received your last,2 I was on the point of writing to you, for the special purpose (in addition to all general ones) of giving you intimation of the existence of a person who is willing to undertake for the punctual transmission of the Examiner by Monday’s post on the condition on which such things are frequently done, namely that he and you shall each pay half the subscription. You have therefore this resource in case of need, and though I have no experience by which to judge of the punctuality of the person in question, I will undertake to rebuke him for every breach of it which may be notified to me from you. As you surmise, I have written nothing in the Examiner lately, except a little article relating among other things to the trial of the St Simonians.3 I write nothing regularly for the Examiner except the articles on French affairs: everything else is the exception, not the rule; and even of those little notices of France in the middle of the paper, there has been a suspension since July last, owing partly to my two absences from town, & partly to the uninteresting nature of all the passing events in that country. The same post however which brings you this letter, will bring an article of mine on the Doctrinaires & the new French Ministry,4 & from this time you may expect to see these notices resumed. As for other newspaper-writing, it has been suspended by the more serious work mentioned in my last letter to you, which being over, other things will now have once more their turn.

What you say of Fonblanque is partly true,5 or rather it is all true, but not the whole truth. It is only accident that makes him attach himself to Politics, but the bent & character of his mind renders war against the False his vocation instead of effort towards the True. He is essentially a commentator Edition: current; Page: [126] on sophistry, hypocrisy, and folly. Under other circumstances he might have been a writer on manners or morals, not politics, but it would always have been in the same way: he used to write such things in the London Magazine & other periodicals formerly. He has no systematic or solid acquirements, & now unfortunately has no leisure to supply that want. To no one would it be more important to “have leave to sit wholly silent for some three years from this date, till he shall have got to the bottom of many things.”6 But, as you too truly say, jacta est alea; he must toil day and night to gain a subsistence by giving out what is in him, never stopping to take in more; even that problem is a hard enough one, determined as he is to have nothing to do with Lying in any form, and having other mouths to feed besides his own, with, I greatly fear, little prudence in pecuniary matters to keep his course which is impeded by so many unavoidable obstacles, clear of any avoidable ones.

I will immediately send you Thiers’s History of the French Revolution7 with perhaps some other French books, and some numbers of the Fox periodical.8 What you say of Unitarians9 is true of them as a class, but not of every individual among them. They seem to me to be a conceited sect, who think that God has given them a book for their guidance and that yet they are so wise that they can set the book itself right when it tells them anything different from what they could have found out of themselves. Fox, however, is not a half-man, but three quarters of a man at least: I do not know him sufficiently to be able to affirm more, but what I do know, makes me feel sure that a time will come when he will part company with Unitarianism and Unitarian preaching. I am satisfied that he would have done it long ago but that a Unitarian preacher may preach almost anything he pleases. It is the sort of necessity he is under of addressing himself to a set of Pharisaical formalists and word-mongers twice every Sunday when he could find fitter audience elsewhere, that will ultimately disgust him with his present ostensible calling. As for his political speeches, I only know them as you do by bad reports, very bad indeed, for they make the speeches feeble, when all who ever heard them concur in saying that they are very powerful & effective. But his politics are but a small part of himself, & few people so well qualified to have influence over others in that walk, overvalue its importance so little. Him among others you should know personally, & Edition: current; Page: [127] the first time you are in London this among many other good works of the same sort do I reserve for myself to bring about. I do not think he writes much in his own Magazine. One paper “An Autumn in London”10 I know to be his; it is very unlike his usual manner, but shews greater powers of a certain sort than I think he commonly evinces. The articles on Goethe are by Crabbe Robinson,11 you therefore know all that is in them. A curious sort of man, Talfourd12 the barrister, who wrote the paper on Hazlitt in the Examiner13 (interesting but hollow & unsatisfactory) told me the other day that Goethe must be an impostor because Robinson praises him so highly. N.B. Talfourd admires Schiller exceedingly in Coleridge’s translation.14

The Westminster Reviewer whom you are curious about is Lieutenant-Colonel T. Perronet Thompson, author of various pamphlets on Political Economy, part proprietor & now almost sole writer of the Westminster Review. He is a man of very extensive acquirements, besides having seen much of the world. Among other things he is a considerable mathematician, & has written what I believe to be the only good systematic book ever written on the physical principles of Music.15 That book is the only work of his I ever saw which shews him to be capable of looking at more than one single aspect of each individual thing. He has an understanding like a pin, going very far into a thing, but never covering a larger portion of it than the area of a pin’s point. He is a singular man, very clever in his way, & possessed of a rare faculty of familiarly illustrating & pushing into every corner of a large & complicated subject the one idea which is all he ever has thereon. From his writings you would judge him to be much of a coxcomb, from his conversation & demeanour one of the most modest of men. He is the most unalloyed of Radicals past, present, & to come, in every acceptation of that title whether among men or gods.

Tait, I am inclined to think, will succeed: narrow as it is, there is more heartiness and resolvedness about that magazine than about Bulwer’s,16 or any other so-called Liberal periodical now going. Then it is radical, which Edition: current; Page: [128] the others are not, & so far better adapted to the inclinations of the mass. There is besides I think, a possibility of improvement in those writers: they have nothing or but little to give up, only to take in a wider range. I know none of them personally except one, that one however has written most of their best articles; he is an early & valued friend of mine, whom I once thought incurably narrow, but who has made such advances within the last eighteen months that I have the greatest hopes of him: Roebuck, who has lately made so much noise at Bath.17 If No 3 of Tait, & the number for this month (October) should fall in your way, it may be interesting to you to run through his two articles on Rousseau.18 Though you will desiderate much that is not there, yet if you know our Benthamic Utilitarians, you will acknowledge that it requires much vigour of intellect in one trained in that school, to be capable of writing those articles they are so unlike all that he can have learned from his instructors. I shall be much surprised if he do not turn out to be one of the very few men whom we have any chance of seeing in politics for an indefinite period. He has a strength of will which has had no parallel in that field since Napoleon. Would not a Napoleon-idéologue be an odd combination?

On the whole there are scarcely any left of the old narrow school of Utilitarians; what now distinguishes those who were so, (besides that as you say they were the reoriginators of any belief among us) is that they are decidedly less narrow than almost any other persons who aspire to the character of Thinkers in this country. The character of the school if such it could be termed, was to see clearly what they did see, though it was but little. This quality I have hopes that they will retain, as their views expand. You say that young minds do not end as they began; but besides this, the young minds have already far larger views than the old. Among those whom I know, the older a man is, the more of his belief is negative, & the less he thinks it worth while for him to throw his mind into that of any other man, or look at Truth from any other man’s position. None however of them all has become so unlike what he once was as I myself, who originally was the narrowest of them all, having been brought up more exclusively under the influence of a peculiar kind of impressions than any other person ever was. Fortunately however I was not crammed; my own thinking faculties were called into strong though but partial play; & by their means I have been enabled to remake all my opinions.

Charles Buller is not only sure of Liskeard,19 but is at this time one of the most popular and important men in the Eastern Division of Cornwall; Edition: current; Page: [129] he speaks at all the meetings where the radical candidates face their constituents, & always makes the best speech of the day. Unhappily his health continues delicate & uncertain; & he has not acquired what was chiefly deficient in him, the power of continued & persevering application to business. I almost despair of his ever doing anything considerable, for want of this one quality. All the members for the Eastern Division of Cornwall, both county & towns, will be radicals, with perhaps one exception. It is a good genial kind of radicalism, that of the Cornish people, not mere hunger speaking out its cravings in maxims of politics. The rest of the Buller family are in their usual condition of mind, & body, & estate.

Austin was very ill for a time in Cornwall but recovered, & was completely set up in health & spirits by a little tour to the Land’s End in which I accompanied him & Mrs Austin.20 Her silence therefore cannot be occasioned by any untoward circumstance, but probably by her translation of Falk, about which she is very busy. I go there tonight to help resolve some doubts about a metaphysical chapter. I must resolve them in my own head first for it is a chapter which I was able to make nothing of when I tried it at Polvellen. I doubt not that she will speedily write; you & Mrs Carlyle are perpetually in her thoughts & frequently on her lips. I have not seen Glen since my return, but will very speedily call on him if he does not on me. I will also call on Fraser21 whom I have not seen at all this summer.—Tell me when you go to Edinburgh, & where to address you there. We must as you say, see Edinburgh together one day, & (I will add) soon. If it be in summer, that will be a more convenient mode to me of passing a vacation in your company than visiting you at Craigenputtoch. There are several reasons for this.

Ever yours affectionately
J. S. Mill.

I understand from Napier’s son that the books were sent, the neglect therefore is at Longman’s & the remedy is in my own hands.—The St Simonians are not yet in prison, having appealed to the Court of Cassation: more of them hereafter. They have in the press (or by this time out of it) a full account of their trial: They will doubtless send it to me, & so will I to you. The article on them in the Westminster Review22 is as you surmise by the man I told you of, Col. Thompson. I look forward with great interest to your paper on Diderot:23 I have long wished for such a Edition: current; Page: [130] paper from you. Buller has written a paper for the same review (it is out by this time) on the reign of Louis 18th.24 I have not yet seen “The Tale.”25

Assure Mrs Carlyle of my best regards.26

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
7th November 1832
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
62.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

I am highly gratified by what you say of my paper on Currency,2 and no less so at the notes you propose to add as from yourself, as I agree with you so decidedly and so warmly on both points that if we could have known each other’s minds before I wrote the article, I would gladly have touched upon those collateral questions in the text.

As to the excellence of the Scottish system of banking I have no doubt of it, nor that the issue of notes down to £1, where the solvency of the issues is as well provided for as it is under that system, should be subject to no restriction except convertibility, into cash or into the notes of some Government Bank. I rejoice much at the view your Magazine has taken of this question, because many of our most enlightened radicals and political economists in this part of the world are of a contrary, and therefore in my view a wrong, opinion upon this point.

Then as to the National Debt, I agree with you and with Jefferson in thinking that no generation is entitled to mortgage the fruits of the labours of posterity: on us who have only our earnings (I mean myself for example) the National Debt is not, I admit, a sacred obligation: but it is so, on all who have inherited property from the generation which borrowed the money, for no one has a moral right to take his father’s property and leave his father’s debts unpaid. But we cannot distinguish between inherited and acquired property after so many years, and therefore, agreeing with you that it is a question of choice between one injustice and another, I hold Edition: current; Page: [131] that the least injustice would be done by paying off the debt at once by a tax on all actually acquired and accumulated property; viz. the funds themselves, the land, and all capital, but not laying any part of the burthen upon income not derived from property.

If [it]3 was possible to leave the debt unpaid and throw the interest of it upon property exclusively, I should consider that still better; but it would not do, since it would be a penalty on future accumulation, taxing those who save, and letting the prodigal go free.

I shall be happy to hear whether you agree with me in these opinions. At all events you have a right to add any notes you please, as from yourself. Believe me, my dear Sir

Very truly yours
J. S. Mill

I will write to Mr Nichol very soon;4 in the mean while, accept my thanks for the introduction.5

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
29th November 1832
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
63.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir,

Finding it impossible to recast the article,2 or find any place at which the matter you require could be inserted without breaking the thread of the argument, I have thrown the whole into a note, which may be annexed at the end, or may, if you prefer it, form a Supplement to the article. But on the whole, I think it should rather be a note, as that will excuse the very general and summary mode in which the questions are disposed of.

I think the hints I have thrown out respecting the National Debt will at least afford a subject of reflexion to thinking men—I should like much to learn from you what is thought of them by any of the persons whom you consider as authorities on this class of subjects.

I am much gratified by what you say of the success of the Magazine; which deserves it so well that I am not surprised it should obtain it.

Believe me
My dear Sir
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [132]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
27th December 1832
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
64.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

In your last letter,2 received now upwards of a month, you said, “you will write soon again”—ill have I responded to this call; having been hindered therefrom by various occupations and thoughts, some of a pleasant, but more of a disagreeable kind, whereof the last alone are entitled to be received as any even the poorest excuse for this negligence. My conscience, however, now speaks to me in so reproachful a voice that I can no longer resist its commands.

During the interval you will have received my packet of books; of each and all of them save one I have spoken to you: that one is “The English in France”3 a sketchy kind of book, composed of essays & tales, all intended to throw light upon France, painting it & all it contains en beau, a view of the matter which is entitled to be attended to, were it only because of its rarity: there is also much truth in the book, though not much depth, and on the whole it is as worth your reading as any other book in that parcel. A propos of writings about France, that article in the last number of the Foreign Quarterly was not Buller’s; his was on the reign of Louis 18th & has not yet appeared, it will doubtless appear in the next number along with your Diderot4 which I am very anxious to see. Cochrane5 seems to me much what you describe him; a man he seems too who has a great love of fairness, and is above all an enemy of extremes—and who proves himself an impartial arbitrater between conflicting opinions by letting each in its turn speak through his pages, in as softened a voice as may be, whereby in truth his Review the better fulfils its mission, by representing the more correctly the attitude which English minds of all parties and sorts have taken up towards foreign nations. All reviews are hotch-potches with no definite object or presiding principle—but this kind of review can perhaps be so with less incongruity and absurdity than any of the others: so that if you & the Right Hon. T. P. Courtenay6 appear side by side in it, we must not be shocked at the proximity.—As for myself, I have not written much Edition: current; Page: [133] since you last heard from me: except one or two articles in the Examiner, among which may be mentioned one on the French & English newspapers7 & one last Sunday on Corn Laws & Tithes,8 besides one not yet published, on Taxation:9 also an article which will appear in Tait’s January number, on Currency & the National Debt,10 & a paper for Fox’s January number.11 This last attempts something much higher, and intrinsically more valuable, than all these writings on politics, but with far less success: it is not nearly so good of its kind, because I am not so well versed in the subject. It embodies some loose thoughts, which had long been floating in my mind, about Poetry and Art, but the result is not satisfactory to me and will probably be far less so to you—but you will tell me to what extent you think me wrong, or shallow. I wrote the paper from conviction (else it had never been written) but not from that strong conviction which forces to write: rather because I wished to write something for Fox, and thought there was a clearer field open for him in that direction than in the political one. This number of Fox shall be sent to you in the next parcel. The periodicals which I send you are given, you will recollect; not to be returned. I have also to send you, when I have done reading it, a printed copy which I have received of the trial of the St Simonians.12 Of the speeches I have read Duveyrier’s alone appears to me to have any other merit than that of a strong conviction. I have heard, but not from themselves, that Duveyrier and Eichthal have given up St Simonism. This as the newspapers say “needs confirmation,” & if true, will excite in you as in me, great curiosity to know how it took place and what they are to be henceforth. I have been reading with considerable interest some numbers of the Revue Encyclopédique, which is conducted by a body of seceded St Simonians: I am on the whole much pleased with them: they have retained almost all the good which ever was in St Simonism, & are not become sceptics but rather prophets of a religion to come—they see that St Simon though a man far beyond his generation, was but a false Christ, and they appear to be expecting the true. Jules Lechevalier13 and Abel Transon14 have taken up with the system of M. Charles Fourier,15 a man who has been writing for many years large and obscure books shewing how the Edition: current; Page: [134] world is to be saved. From an account of part of his system given by Transon in an article in the Revue Encyclopédique,16 I gather that the moving force which is to change the world is to be “l’attraction passionée,” mankind are to be made to Love le travail by various contrivances, which are to end in making them masters and controllers of physical nature: the sea I believe is ultimately to consist not of salt water but lemonade; I understand this is no joke, but the serious persuasion of M. Fourier.—Tell me if you have yet seen Dumont’s Mirabeau or Babbage’s books;17 if not I will endeavour to put them also into the next parcel.—The books you sent were never received at Longman’s; they were sent by Mr Napier to Black’s: so that the fault lies either with the last-named bookseller or with the carriers of whatever description. Napier’s son, who is here, has written to his father about it, & traced the matter thus far: if it can be traced further, it will be, so give yourself no trouble about it.

So the Elections are over. Almost all the candidates in whose success I took any personal interest, have succeeded. Among them are three men who, I expect, will do something: these are, Grote, Roebuck, & John Romilly: to these, if his inapplication will let him, we shall both be happy to add Charles Buller. All the rest will talk, & not do: nor will anything worth doing be really done for a while to come. One of the most likely doers among the young men, the only one among the official young men, has departed from us: poor Hyde Villiers.18 He was an earnest workman, who would have plied his trade of politics honestly, and if not with first rate talents, yet with such as well used had been sufficient to do much. Take him for all in all we shall not soon find his equal among that class of men.—I suspect that I shall have to dip my pen in politics oftener and deeper than in proportion to the value I attach to it compared with other things; for it is the only subject to which, just at present, anybody will listen; and now that my friends have buckled to that work I must not desert them, but give such help as lies in me. Fonblanque still labours on, in his unsatisfactory, yet not wholly unprofitable vocation. You will have seen that he has gained an accession of power, that is of circulation, by the purchase of a rival radical paper.19—Austin is in tolerably good spirits, lecturing to a very small but really select class, and getting daily a clearer insight into his subject, as well as into other subjects still more important. But of him you will have heard at full length, for two days ago I saw at his Edition: current; Page: [135] house a letter to Mrs Carlyle from Mrs Austin, ready folded up and sealed.—For various reasons I did not make use of your note to Leigh Hunt20 as an introduction to him, though hereafter I shall be very happy to have another such opportunity: the note, however, went to him; the address (as I learnt at Moxon’s)21 was correct. Does the Examiner now reach you regularly? You will see in it very soon a paper of Charles Buller’s on certain Election matters22—it will be either a letter or an article. His health I am sorry to say is still precarious—very slight causes are enough to derange it. I called on Glen a short time after my return from Cornwall, but found he had left his lodgings and gone into Scotland, where I suppose you have seen him. He must be back by this time, but whether to the same place I have not yet enquired, for which I have no excuse to make but the poor one I made for my delay in writing to you. I have seen, I believe, no one else in whom you take an interest. I shall send this letter to Messrs Bell & Bradfute,23 as it is probable you will be at Edinburgh or on your way thither before this reaches you: do not punish my sins of omission by delaying to write to me, but write soon and at length. I trust you will soon hear from me again—I say I trust when if I really trusted in myself, I should say I am sure.

Yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill

Kindest remembrances to Mrs Carlyle, who I hope still thinks of me sometimes.24

Edition: current; Page: [136]

1833

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
16th January, 1833
India House
John Pringle
Pringle, John
65.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

I had fully resolved that of us two, you should not be the first to write; and here have I allowed a fortnight to elapse since receiving your letter before I have ever acknowledged the reception of it. This you would I am sure excuse if I could tell you in what manner my time and thoughts have been engrossed. From the time when I first saw your papers2 in Tait’s Magazine, I have been ambitious of the honour of your acquaintance, and now that I am privileged to communicate with you I am not disposed to let the privilege lapse from disuse. It has often struck me that one of the many causes which prevent those who cultivate moral and political truth from occupying the place and possessing the influence which properly belong to them as the instructors and leaders of mankind, is that they never consider themselves as other labourers do, to constitute a guild or fraternity, combining their exertions for certain common ends, and freely communicating to each other everything they possess which can be used to promote these ends. As to the particular subject which has made us two known to each other—political economy—there are so many talkers about it, and so few (you will I am sure agree with me), even among professed economists, who study it scientifically, that all who do, ought to know each other.

[. . . .]3

I long to see the article which it was my luck to anticipate—that we should agree on such a point was to be expected, as it is evident we look at these subjects from the same station or Standpunkt, as the Germans call it.

Is there any chance of your coming to town? I fear there is little of my soon visiting your part of the world—though my father’s birthplace is Edition: current; Page: [137] very near Montrose,4 at the foot of the Grampians. I fear there are not many persons in your neighbourhood with whom you can profitably discuss these subjects, or who even take any interest in them. On selfish principles I ought to be glad of this, as it gives me a chance of oftener hearing from you. Pray write soon, if you have time, and believe me,

Most sincerely yours,
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Jan. 23, 1833
William Tait
Tait, William
66.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

I shall probably send you, in time for your March number, a short review of an excellent book, the Producing Man’s Companion, by Junius Redivivus2—whom I think the very best popular writer whom the enlightened radicals count in their ranks—though I like his personal articles in the Examiner less than the many admirable papers he has written in the True Sun, Mechanics Magazine & various other periodicals.

Believe me
Yours ever truly
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
2d February 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
67.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House
My dear Carlyle

First let me dispatch the matters of business. Cochrane is apprised of your present residence: That Holcroft2 is so you will have learnt before this by receiving the Examiner direct. Holcroft’s address is 13 Bartlett’s Edition: current; Page: [138] Buildings, Holborn: as the people at the Adelphi, he says, well knew: Mr Badams’s3 address is 8, Old Church Street, Paddington. Holcroft writes, speaking of you “I am sure he must have given me up as a careless & negligent person & unworthy of having any thought bestowed upon him, for to my shame be it said that I have written but once to him since he left London. I earnestly respect & love him and could have wished for more frequent interchange of ideas, but I really dread to expose myself to his critical lash as an unauthorized correspondent. When you write, ask him if he will let me know under his own hand and seal how he and his wife are, and also whether I may venture to send him a frank.”—I ought to have apprised you sooner of his address and Mr Badams’s; however, you know them now—the fault is not repaired but it is stopped.—You shall very soon receive another packet of books. Let me hear from you first, however, whether you have access to the books I am going to mention. There exists a very voluminous collection of Memoirs of the French Revolution.4 A considerable part of this I have, & among others two volumes of Mémoires sur les Prisons,5 chiefly the “personal narratives” of people who were in confinement during the epoch of “Terror”: I never have read those two volumes, strange as it may seem, & know not exactly the worth of the contents—but I should think they could not fail to be interesting, and to answer your purpose in some degree. If you have not access to these two volumes where you are, I will send them. Next—have you the means of getting the Memoirs of Levasseur?6 He was one of the less noted members of the montagne party, & wrote his life or rather got it written very recently in order to justify that party—he is evidently a highly conscientious, well meaning man, with something of the spirit of an old Roman, and his book lets one into the aspect of that period as it presented itself to the honester minds among the actors, in a manner which has interested me deeply. Your friend Fraser lent it to me, and would, I am sure, allow me to forward it to you if you cannot get it at Edinburgh. You would learn more about Danton from this book than from any other I know—it is astonishing how little is known of such a man. Then, I have in the collection already mentioned the “Vieux Cordelier”7 of Camille Desmoulins, which I think would interest you. The Memoirs of Mme Edition: current; Page: [139] Roland8 you have, of course, read. I have several other memoirs of girondists but they are little more than long elegies.—Mirabeau, Danton, and Bonaparte are the only men who appear other than common in Thiers’ pages:9 but there were other remarkable men besides those three: Robespierre especially, who strangely enough, has been spoken of by all parties as a mediocre man, & Thiers thinks him so: it was always a puzzle to me how a mediocre man could remain master of the field among so many competitors, until I read some of his speeches and then saw that he was by far the most skilful of the combatants in every sense of the word.—On the whole, however, it is wonderful how little can be traced of the private and social life of that period. There is positively much more of it in Thiers than in any other of the innumerable books on the revolution which I have read. There is more of it (as is often the case) in their professed fictions than in their histories: a novel by Picard which I have, entitled “Le Gil Blas de la Revolution”10 is worthy of some account in this respect, & I have been told that there are novels of Pigault Lebrun11 which paint several periods of the revolution very vividly.—You have characterized Thiers’ system of ethics most accurately.12 I am afraid it is too just a specimen of the young French littérateurs, and that this is all they have made, ethically speaking, of their attempt to imitate the Germans in identifying themselves with the past. By dint of shifting their point of view to make it accord with that of whomsoever they are affecting to judge, coupled with their historical fatalism, they have arrived at the annihilation of all moral distinctions except success and not success.—The “Soirées de Neuilly”13 mentioned by that “English in France” man,14 I have, & admire it much as a literary work; it also paints, as I believe correctly, some of the aspects of French life under the restoration. But above all, to have a notion of French life as it is, you should get hold of the “Livre des cent et un”.15 It professes to be a description of Paris under all its aspects; & as all the French writers of the day who are deemed fit to write in it, do so, it must be instructive even if the 101 have painted nothing but the state of their own minds. Then I have various St Simonian documents Edition: current; Page: [140] to send to you. The society is broken up, & a large portion including Duveyrier and d’Eichthal is at Naples: Duveyrier and Stéphane [Flachat?]16 are now editing a daily paper. I will send you Duveyr[ier’s]17 letter to me on the subject, which is a very odd one. He professes not to have changed a single opinion, and yet he admits that his whole line of conduct is changed. Those of the St Simonians who retain their connexion with the Pere Suprême and with each other, have made themselves prolètaires and gone off in a body to Lyons to work on the canals and railroads. Enfantin & Michel Chevalier are in prison. Bazard, I think I told you, is dead. The writers in the Revue Encyclopédique have retained all or nearly all that was good in the doctrines of the St Simonians, & now content themselves with prophesying a new religion. Latterly some of them seem to be looking out for it in a strange enough quarter—the East—they think that as the East only partially known, has given us something so good as the Bible, when we know it perfectly it will give us something infinitely better. This seems to me a stranger delusion than even Fourier’s.—Do you know anything of the writings of somebody who writes everywhere & on all subjects and signs Junius Redivivus?18 probably you only know what he has written in the Examiner, which are chiefly radical personalities and good for very little; but the man has great worth in him, & I should like to send to you various productions of his. He takes so much pains to conceal his name and properties, that he is probably some obscure person who thinks that the disclosure of his obscurity would diminish, not increase, the attention paid to his writings. You should know him however, as far as he can be known from his writings, for I am sure he would interest you more than most people would.—I know something of Miss Martineau19 personally: her books, some of them at least, deserve I think all the praise they have received: I suspect all the good in her, comes out in them. She is about thirty, bred a “Socinian liberal,” and I believe substantially so still: narrow, and matter-of-fact I should say, in the bad sense; the best about her, being indefatigable industry and a ravenous thirst for knowledge & acquirement of all kinds, at least all intellectual kinds. Brougham20 has been taking pains to attach her to his car, and has paid so many attentions to her that for the present he has spoiled her: she will, however I think, end by finding him out. She has, I find, the faculty of making herself Edition: current; Page: [141] personally disliked, by means it would seem of inattention to Christ’s percept “judge not, that ye be not judged.”

I hoped to have found your Diderot in the pre[sent]21 Foreign Quarterly, but was disappointed. I myself have written little, published nothing except some matters on a property tax, which you will have seen in the Examiner.22 Meanwhile my time, though I can scarcely say it has been employed, has not been wasted; something either good or bad will come of it—let us hope the best.

I have not received those books yet—at all events the loss must be mine, not yours, as it could in no way have been averted by you—perhaps, though that is little to the purpose, it might by me, had I not delayed so long making any enquiry at Longman’s. I have little news of anybody. The Austins are in their usual state—Austin lecturing to six or seven persons only, but those of a kind he likes. This strange Wittenagemote calling itself a reformed parliament is just meeting, & we are to see what it is to do: all that seems certain is, that it is to reform the Church—heaven bless the mark! where, I wonder, will they find a Church to reform.—Buller is by this time in town, but I have not seen him: did you recognize a letter of his in The Examiner respecting election petitions?23 there will be another tomorrow on the private business of the House24—good symptoms—he can work if he chuses, well, & I will hope that he will.

Write again soon, in spite of the slackness of my correspondence—I do not want any of those books25 and shall not, for a long time to come—keep them therefore as long as you like or till a convenient opportunity offers for sending them. Commend me to Mrs Carlyle, and believe me

Ever faithfully yours,
J. S. Mill

I have been reading Bourrienne26—it gives one a much more distinct idea of Napoleon than I had before: but I still cannot, with you, allow the one excellence strength of will, to outweigh the entire want of any virtuous purpose, and the willingness to employ any even the most paltry means.27

Edition: current; Page: [142]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
28 February 1833
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
68.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

I send you a paper on Junius Redivivus,2 for your Magazine, in case you think it worthy of insertion.

By the same opportunity I send a copy of a tract of mine on a topic of great immediate interest3—I add another copy which I will thank you to forward to Mr Nichol when you have an opportunity.

Many thanks for the trouble you took about the Professorship.4 Nobody in this country has been heard of whose claims are at all equal to those of Mr Nichol. When I have anything definite to communicate—I will write to that gentleman direct.

Believe me
My dear Sir
Ever sincerely yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Friday March 1, 1833
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
69.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
Dear Mr Fox

I will write a short paper for the next M.R. on Junius Redivivus.2

That article on Mehetabel Wesley3 is very painful—as it ought to be—but beautiful and valuable, beyond anything that I have read either in the M.R. or elsewhere for many, many months. It is a good number, altogether, though the first article4 is, I think, the weakest. You seem to me to overpraise Edition: current; Page: [143] Leigh Hunt5—I say you, that is, I assume that you are the writer, partly for that reason—I think you often overpraise, & the cause is, the keen sense of enjoyment which all things give you, that have anything of good or beautiful in them. I have fallen under the same accusation but for an opposite reason—the best gave me so little enjoyment compared with what it should give, that I could not afford not to like, even things which were very imperfect indeed.

That at least is over—I have grown excessively fastidious now.

I got home by one o’clock the other night—thanks to an accidental meeting with a cab at the beginning of Islington.

Ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
9th March 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
70.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

I ought to write oftener; though not exactly for the reason you jocularly give. I ought; and I would, if my letters were, or could be, better worth having: yet, even such as they are, not being altogether valueless to you, they shall become more frequent. Truly I do not wonder that you should desiderate more “heartiness” in my letters,2 and should complain of being told my thoughts only, not my feelings; especially when, as is evident from your last letter, you stand more than usually in need of the consolation and encouragement of sympathy. But alas! when I give my thoughts, I give the best I have. You wonder at “the boundless capacity Man has of loving”—boundless indeed it is in some natures, immeasurable and inexhaustible: but I also wonder, judging from myself, at the limitedness and even narrowness of that capacity in others. That seems to me the only really insuperable calamity in life; the only one which is not conquerable by the power of a strong will. It seems the eternal barrier between man and man; the natural and impassable limit both to the happiness and to the Edition: current; Page: [144] spiritual perfection of (I fear) a large majority of our race. But few, whose power of either giving or receiving good in any form through that channel, is so scanty as mine, are so painfully conscious of that scantiness as a want and an imperfection: and being thus conscious I am in a higher, though a less happy, state, than the self-satisfied many who have my wants without my power of appreciation. You speak of obstacles which exist for others, but not for me. There are many of Earth’s noblest beings, with boundless capacity of love, whom the falseness and halfness which you speak of, have so hemmed round and so filled with distrust and fear that “they dare not love”. But mine is a trustful nature, and I have an unshakeable faith in others though not in myself. So my case must be left to Nature, I fear: there is no mind-physician who can prescribe for me, not even you, who could help whosoever is helpable: I can do nothing for myself, and others can do nothing for me; all the advice which can be given, (and that is not easily taken) is, not to beat against the bars of my iron cage; it is hard to have no aspiration and no reverence but for an Ideal towards which striving is of no use: is there not something very pitiful in idle Hoping? but to be without Hope were worse?

You see it is cold comfort which I can give to any who need the greatest of comforts, sympathy in moments of dejection; I, who am so far from being in better mental health than yourself, that I need sympathy quite as much, with the added misfortune that if I had it, it could do me no good. When you knew me in London I was in circumstances favourable to your mistaking my character, and judging of it far too advantageously: it was a period of fallacious calm; grounded in an extravagant over-estimate of what I had succeeded in accomplishing for myself, and an unconscious self-flattery and self-worship. All that is at an end; which is a “progress” surely. I would not now take the greatest human felicity on such terms.

But this is enough for the present, in this strain; perhaps I may say more another time. Let me rather think of you, and what can be done to improve your environment. Your picture of Edinburgh is triste enough, and might serve, I fear, a fortiori, for all other provincial towns: there is an odour of literature and intellect about Edinburgh; at Glasgow, Liverpool, & the like, there is little else than the stench of Trade. London is better; far better; bad though even it be. There are here, in infinitesimal proportion indeed, but in absolute number more than a very few, actual believers some, whom I and even you could call true believers; to a very great extent, or entirely: among whom your thoughts would not fall like hand-grenades and put them to flight, but would at least be caught up and cherished, probably planted and reared into fruit. If you determine to leave Craigenputtock, there is surely no place so good as this; at least in the most important of all good things which locality can bring—kindred Edition: current; Page: [145] companionship. But you will have more things to consider, doubtless, that even that greatest of all, and you will not give that less than its proper weight.

I have no news to tell—the Reformed Parliament has not disappointed me any more than you; it is (as Miss Martineau, I understand, says of Brougham) so ridiculously like what I expected: but some of our Utilitarian Radicals are downcast enough, having deemed that the nation had in it more of wisdom and virtue than they now see it has, and that the vicious state of the representation kept this wisdom & virtue out of parliament. At least this good will come out of their disappointment, that they will no longer rely upon the infallibility of Constitution-mongering: they admit that we have as good a House of Commons as any mode of election would have given us, in the present state of cultivation of our people. They are digging a little nearer to the root of the evil now, though they have not got to the tap-root: read Roebuck’s paper on National Education in Tait’s last number;3 while you have the number in your hand, look at the first article4 in it, which is his also. He is narrow, still, but the other parliamentary radicals are narrower; all but our friend Charles [Buller], who has the finest understanding of the set, but wants strength of will. For myself, I have well-nigh ceased to feel interested in politics. The time is not yet come for renovation, and the work of destruction goes on of itself without the aid of hands. If any man of clear Insight were in parliament just now, I hardly know what he could hope or aim at, unless to sow in some few of the more impressible minds, the seeds of a renovation which will not be yet, nor soon. The Bad, God wot, is tumbling down quite as fast as is safe where there is nothing of Good ready to be put into its place: what need of help in rolling the ball down hill? I was wont to think that the benches of the House of Commons might be as a pulpit, from whence a voice might make itself heard further and more widely than even from your pulpit and mine, the Periodical Press. But what sort of a voice must it be which could be heard through all this din: what were a single nightingale amidst the cawing and chattering of 657 rooks and magpies and jackdaws? Truly if there were not in the world two or three persons who seem placed here only to shew that all is not hollow and empty and insufficient, one would despair utterly. It is only the knowledge that such persons have an actual existence on the sa[me globe]5 with us, which keeps alive any interest in anything besides oneself, or even could I but believe that the good I see in a few comes note from any peculiarity of nature, but from the more perfect developement of capacities and powers common Edition: current; Page: [146] to us all—and that the whole race were destined, at however remote a period either of individual or collective existence, to resemble the best specimen of it whom I have myself known—I verily believe, with that faith, I could be content to remain to eternity the solitary exception—

As for work, I have written perhaps of late not less than usual: but (except what has been already mentioned to you) nothing noteworthy that is likely to be soon published, except a notice6 for Tait of that book of Junius Redivivus, which same book you will soon receive in a parcel through Fraser; along with two articles of mine which I have formerly written to you about; sundry Memoirs of the French Revolution; the Trial of the St Simonians; & two letters which contain all I know of their subsequent proceedings & present state. (Those former books which miscarried have been traced to this house, though I have not been able to recover them.) My parcel for you at present waits only for William Fraser’s permission to send you his copy of Levasseur’s Memoirs:7 a permission too late applied for, & which has not yet reached me.—Junius Redivivus will interest you, were it only for this, that he too is evidently a believer: a true believer I think it may be said, so far as his faith has yet reached. There is vigour, & a capacity of Insight in him; & if we may judge from the quantity he writes (the quality being never positively bad, & often very good), an altogether indomitable power of work.—I have seen nothing of your writing for a long time: Cochrane, I see, has not yet printed your paper on Diderot; when shall we see it? deeply interesting it is sure to be.—You know something of Fraser’s Magazine: do you know, or can you guess, the authorship of a recent paper on Byron?8 it looks like the production of some half-fledged pupil of yours.

I have asked an instructed and clever Frenchman now here (one of the editors of the National) about the authenticity of those revolutionary portraits;9 to which I also am no stranger. He tells me that the genuineness of many of them is very doubtful, and without any hint from me he at once instanced Danton; some of whose relations he knows, and has seen an authentic portrait. Danton he says was ugly, but not ignoble, either in mind or feature, and the portrait in the Collection wrongs him grievously.

As you conjectured, I have lost sight of poor Glen: only because I am Edition: current; Page: [147] utterly ignorant of his place of abode: at his old lodgings they believe him to be still in Scotland, with his brother and such other relatives as he may have. I therefore know not what to do with your letter: poor fellow, it would have gladdened him to the very bottom of his soul to have received it, or but to have known that you had written to him: you probably have better means of discovering his whereabout in Scotland than I have.—Of our common friends or acquaintances I have little to tell. Austin is lecturing to fit audience though few, & will, I think, very probably go to live either at Berlin or at Bonn. He is still subject to his fits of illness, but they are I think less frequent. Mrs Austin is very much as usual: Falk is not yet through the press. The Bullers are all in London. I fear they have lost money by failures in India, not enough to impoverish them, but any loss falls heavily on people who live up to their income.

Yours ever faithfully,
J. S. Mill

I have heard nothing of Detrosier10 for a long time: I believe he has returned to Manchester with the intention of setting up a school, or else of continuing to go about lecturing on physical subjects as he did formerly with some success.11

Make my best remembrances to Mrs Carlyle—I sometimes hear of her through Mrs. Austin. I do not say, “write soon” but I know you will.12

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
30th March 1833
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
71.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

I will immediately write to Mr Nichol2 myself. The appointment of the Professor3 is still, I understand, quite undetermined—Mr Nichol’s letter to you went to France, with the recommendation of my father and Mr Senior.4 I think he should decidedly make himself known in any way to Talleyrand,5 whose opinion would have very great weight.

Edition: current; Page: [148]

With respect to the article on Junius Redivivus,6 I myself have not made up my mind on the question whether the situation of the working classes is on the whole better or worse than it was: I worded the article so as if possible not to commit the Magazine to a decided opinion, but I thought the testimony of a writer who evidently knows much of the working people, an article of evidence very fit to be received, though not sufficient to decide the question. Could not you let the article stand as it is, and express your dissent from the opinion of J.R. in an editorial note? If not, I should like to see the article again before it is printed; not from any fear that you should “spoil” the article, but because when anything is to be left out, a writer almost always thinks it necessary that something else should be put in.

As to the matter of fact in dispute I feel convinced from the great diversity of opinion among equally good observers, & from the result of the enquiries of the Poor Law Commission, that the truth varies very much in different parts of the kingdom & among different classes of workmen.

Are there any other parts of the article which you object to?

I am so little master of my own time, and so little capable moreover of writing with spirit on any subject in which I do not happen to be feeling an interest at the moment, that I do not ven[ture]7 to promise to write at any given time on a given subject. As for Currency, I think it is blowing over—with regard to France I am so thoroughly sick of the wretched aspect of affairs there that I have written little about them in the Examiner for a long time.

Believe me
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
11th & 12th April 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
72.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

I write to you again a letter which I could wish were better worth having—really an apology for a letter: Your last, which you called so, deserved a better name. I would write, if it were only to thank you for having a better opinion of me than I have of myself. It is useless discussing which Edition: current; Page: [149] is right; time will disclose that; though I do not think that my nature is one of the many things into which you see “some ten years farther” than I do. At all events I will not if I can help it give way to gloom and morbid despondency, of which I have had a large share in my short life, and to which I have been indebted for all the most valuable of such insight as I have into the most important matters, neither will this return of it be without similar fruits, as I hope and almost believe; nevertheless I will and must, though it leaves me little enough of energy, master it, or it will surely master me. Whenever it has come to me it has always lasted many months, and has gone off in most cases very gradually.

I have allowed myself to be paralysed more than I should, during the last month or two by these gloomy feelings, though I have had intervals of comparative brightness but they were short. I have therefore a poor account to render of work done. Tait has not yet published that paper on Junius Redivivus, but in the meantime I have written another on the same subject for Fox, (a much better one as I think), which has appeared in the April number,2 and should have been sent if I had got it in time for Fraser’s parcel: you shall have it by the first opportunity. With this exception I have written little, and read less: but this shall have an end.

You will have received long before this time by Fraser, two tracts of mine, of very different kinds, a political or rather ethico-political one on Church & Corporation Property,3 and the one I told you of, long ago, in Fox’s periodical, on Poetry and Art.4 That last you promised me a careful examination and criticism of: I need it much; for I have a growing feeling that I have not got quite into the heart of that mystery, and I want you to shew me how. If you do not teach me you will do what is better, put me in the way of finding out. But I begin to see a not very far distant boundary to all I am qualified to accomplish in this particular line of speculation. I have sent you fewer books than I thought I should have had to send: three volumes of Levasseur, the fourth I have read but Fraser has not yet got it: I shall put it into some future parcel. Of the proportion in which this book is the work of Levasseur himself, and the proportion in which it is got up by Achille Roche5 the editor, one of the clever young political journalists of the day, I know no more than the book itself indicates, which does not seem to aim at concealing anything. The Soirées de Neuilly6 I have lent to somebody and omitted to take the precaution of making a memorandum, so I have not been able to get it for this parcel. I have sent two volumes of Memoirs on the Prisons which Edition: current; Page: [150] I have not read; & another volume in which the only thing of value is the Vieux Cordelier by Camille Desmoulins. The account of Robespierre & the others by Villatte7 is, I believe, worthy of no regard: he was one of the instruments of their tyranny, wrote this book after their fall in hopes of getting himself off, and I believe was guillotined after all. I have also sent the Trial of the St Simonians, a letter from d’Eichthal, & one from Duveyrier. I have lately heard again, both from, and of, the latter. He is now writing, in the Revue des deux Mondes, which he says is the first in France in the department of literature and art, & to which a number of their most celebrated writers, so far as any of their writers can be called celebrated, contribute. He writes to me “je me lance décidément dans le drame et le théâtre. Je fais une grande pièce, mais comme cela ne fait pas vivre pour le moment je cherche à gagner mon pain courrant par quelques articles de journaux. J’ai quelqu’espoir d’avoir à la revue des deux mondes où j’ai beaucoup d’amis, la fonction de rediger la chronique de quinzaine politique et théâtrale. En attendant je n’entends plus parler de d’Eichthal, qui est toujours en Italie.” What I have heard of Duveyrier is, that being condemned to a year’s imprisonment along with Enfantin & Chevalier, he applied through his relations for a pardon from the government, & obtained it, I suppose by declaring his intention of quitting the Father of Humanity. This I heard from a friend of his.—Such part of the St Simonians as remain faithful, or at least a large body of them headed by Barrault,8 have as I find from the French newspapers, set out for the East (Constantinople I was told was their first destination) pour chercher la femme libre. This seems greater madness than I had imputed to them. It is among the inmates of a harem that they expect to find a woman capable of laying down or as they say revealing the new moral law which is to regulate the relations between the sexes! it will be lucky for them if the search is attended with no disagreeable personal consequences to them except only that of not finding. These St Simonians have done so much good, that one regrets they were not capable of doing more. One of the seceding members writes of them in the Revue Encyclopédique that the St Simonian society is the only spiritual fruit of the Revolution of 1830: it is literally so: the excessive avidity & barrenness of the French mind has never been so strikingly displayed: there are such numbers of talkers & writers so full of noise and fury, keeping it up for years and years, and not one new thought, new to them I mean, has been struck out by all the collision since I first began attending to these matters, except only those which the St Simonians have set afloat among them. It is no wonder that minds so little productive Edition: current; Page: [151] as the French should run wild with an interesting truth when they have had it impressed upon them. St Simon really for a Frenchman was a great man. Enfantin likewise pourrait bien être aussi une espèce de grand homme as Voltaire said: the others were probably mere redactors and amplifiers of their thoughts, a talent as common in France, as the power of original thinking seems to be rare.—If you can get hold of it at Edinburgh, read a novel called Arthur Coningsby,9 by John Sterling: he is one of the men who would most interest you among those here; and his book will interest you; I should much like to know what it looks like when seen from your point of view.

Though I am sick of politics myself, I do not despair of improvement that way; you hear the cackle of the noisy geese who surround the building, I see a little of what is going on inside. I can perfectly sympathize in Bonaparte’s contempt of the government of bavards: talking is one thing and doing another: but while every corner of the land has sent forth its noisy blockhead to talk, over head I am near enough to see the real men of work, and of head for work, who are quietly getting the working part of the machine into their hands, and will be masters of it as far as anybody can be with that meddling and ignorant assembly lawfully empowered to be their masters. After that let even one man come, who with honesty, & intellect to appreciate these working men, has the power of leading a mob,—no rare combination formerly, though a very rare one now; and there will be as good a government as there can be until there shall be a better people. It is a real satisfaction to me to know, & in some cases to have even been able somewhat to help on, several men who are now gaining by dint of real honesty & capacity a considerable and increasing influence though not an externally visible one, over the underworkings of our government. Some of them are as I am convinced, among the very fittest persons in the country to have that influence, fit or not as they may be in a greater or less degree for still higher purposes. A chacun selon sa capacité is far enough from being realised, to be sure, but the real deviation great as it is, falls far short of the apparent. It is much more in their apparent than in their real power that such men as Brougham and Althorp10 are exalted above their proper station.

Fonblanque you see goes on hammering at the politics of the day, for better for worse: I have seen less than usual of him lately. The public mind is coming round to him: the popularity of the Reform Ministry will soon be at as low an ebb as that of the poor Patriot King. How long is this dreary work to last, before a man appears? Mrs. Austin is at present laid up with Edition: current; Page: [152] the prevalent influenza, a sort of cold accompanied with fever: she and her husband seem to have almost resolved to emigrate into Germany this autumn. The Bullers are here: Charles has gone the Western Circuit this spring, and got some briefs: I have increasing hopes of his steadiness and power of work. I have little to tell of any one else whom you know here. Is De Quincey still in Edinburgh? do you ever see him? and what do you think of him?11 Your criticism on Miss Martineau is, I think, just: she reduces the laissez faire system to absurdity as far as the principle goes, by merely carrying it out to all its consequences. In the meantime that principle like other negative ones has work to do yet, work, namely, of a destroying kind, & I am glad to think it has strength left to finish that, after which it must soon expire: peace be with its ashes when it does expire, for I doubt much if it will reach the resurrection. I wish you could see something I have written lately about Bentham & Benthamism12—but you can’t.

My best thanks to Mrs Carlyle for the few words of kindness she added to your last letter—I keep so little note of time that I know not whether I have redeemed my promise of writing after a less interval than usual—but you will write soon.—

Yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill

I should have availed myself of the opportunity you afforded me to make acquaintance with Leigh Hunt, did I not find it absolutely necessary, if I mean either to work or to enjoy society, to restrict rather than to extend the number of my acquaintance. He is worth knowing, and a time may come for that among other things.—Have you seen Archibald Alison’s History of the French Revolution?13 If you have, just tell me whether it is worth reading, or reviewing—I suppose it is wrong, when one has taken the trouble to accumulate knowledge on a subject, not to work it up if one can into some shape useful to others—and if I am to write about the F.R. it may as well be while my recollections of the original authorities are fresh.14

J.S.M.
Edition: current; Page: [153]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
18th May 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
73.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

By this time you are again in your wilds,2 and have had time to feel yourselves at home and settled there, and you are expecting a letter from me—and I have two to acknowledge and if so might be to repay. I have many things to say, too; at least they seem many before I begin to say them; they will seem few before I have done.—First, then, I have read your paper on Diderot.3 Of the man, and of his works and of his cotemporaries, so far as I think at all, I think very much as you do: yet I have found more to differ from in that article of yours than in anything of your writing I commonly do. The subject seems to have carried you, and me as your reader, over a range of topics on which there has always been a considerable extent of undiscussed and unsifted divergence of opinion (pardon this galimatias of mixed metaphors) between us two; on some of which too I sometimes think that the distance has rather widened than narrowed of late. That may be my loss, and my fault; at all events it seems to me that there has been on my part something like a want of courage in avoiding, or touching only perfunctorily, with you, points on which I thought it likely that we should differ. That was a kind of reaction from the dogmatic disputatiousness of my former narrow and mechanical state. I have not any great notion of the advantage of what the “free discussion” men, call the “collision of opinions,” it being my creed that Truth is sown and germinates in the mind itself, and is not to be struck out suddenly like fire from a flint by knocking another hard body against it: so I accustomed myself to learn by inducing others to deliver their thoughts, and to teach by scattering my own, and I eschewed occasions of controversy (except occasionally with some of my old Utilitarian associates). I still think I was right in the main, but I have carried both my doctrine and my practice much too far: and this I know by one of its consequences which I suppose would be an agreeable one to most men, viz. that most of those whom I at all esteem and respect, though they may know that I do not agree with them wholly, yet, I am afraid, think, each in their several ways, that I am considerably nearer to agreeing with them than I actually am. In short, I know that I Edition: current; Page: [154] have been wrong, by finding myself seated in the Gig4 much more firmly than I have any business as an honest man to be. So you see, I am only about to have in all its fullness, that sincerity of speech for which you give me credit. I only had it thus far hitherto, that all I have ever spoken, by word of mouth or in writing, I have firmly believed, and have spoken it solely because it was my belief. Yet even that, in these days, was much, but not enough, seeing that it depends upon my own will to make it more.—The result of all which is that with you as well as with several others very unlike you, there will probably be a more frequent and free communication of dissent than has hitherto been, even though the consequence should be to be lowered in your opinion; that indeed if it were to be the result would be conclusive proof that I have been acting wrong hitherto, because it would shew that for being thought so highly of I had been partly indebted to not being thoroughly known—which I am sure is the case oftener than I like to think of.

You see there will be so much the more to talk over when we meet: and that will be this summer, unless, which is always possible, I should not be in a state of mind in which meeting with any one is profitable or delightful to me. I believe I am the least helpable of mortals—I have always found that when I am in any difficulty or perplexity of a spiritual kind I must struggle out of it by myself. I believe, if I could, whenever anything is spiritually wrong with me I should shut myself up from the human race, and not see face of man until I had got firm footing again on some solid basis of conviction, and could turn what comes into me from others into wholesome nutriment. I am often in a state almost of scepticism, and have no theory of Human Life at all, or seem to have conflicting theories, or a theory which does not amount to a Belief. This is only a recent state, and as I well know, a passing one, and my convictions will be firmer and the result of a larger experience when I emerge from this state, than before: but I have never found any advantage in communion with others while my own mind was unsettled at its foundations, and if I am not much mended when my vacation-time comes round, I will rather postpone a meeting with you until I am.

I have neither written nor read much since I last wrote to you, except one or two trifling things in the Examiner: including however one of a somewhat more weighty kind (though not much) which you will see in a week or two probably in that paper, under my old signature A.B.5 I think I shall write more now, because I begin to see some things a little clearer, though many things which I once thought I understood—I now believe cannot be known with true Insight but by means of faculties which cannot Edition: current; Page: [155] be acquired and which to me have not been given, save in most scanty measure. Alison’s book which I asked you about, I have procured and read: the man is quite inconceivably stupid and twaddling, I think beyond anybody who has attempted to write elaborately on the subject. He has no research; the references with which he loads his margin are chiefly to compilations. I could write something about him or rather about his subject; but I could employ myself better unless there were some widely-circulated periodical that would publish it:6 the Edinburgh Review perhaps would, were it not that I should wish to shew up Macaulay’s ignorance of the subject and assumption of knowledge, as shewn in that very review.7

The long-missing parcel of books has at length turned up, and I have received intimation that the second is at Longman’s. I did not mean you to return those Repositories, but they are not, to you, worth my sending back again. Keep all I send you henceforth. On learning that my parcel was not in time for Fraser’s monthly packet, (which I thought I had taken care that it should be) I sent two more numbers of the Repository to be added to it, in one of which is the article I told you of, concerning Junius Redivivus. The passage you saw quoted about Books and Men, was from that; so there is not evidence therein of “another mystic”; so much the worse.8 I was much interested by learning that your recent thoughts have been so nearly of the same kind; tell me what you have thought since, especially since you have thought of the question practically, as altering your own future choice of a mode of activity. The difficulty of comparing two magnitudes and distinguishing which is greatest, is as well all know, vastly enhanced when the magnitudes themselves are of almost infinitesimal smallness, and that unhappily seems to be the case at present with the portion of good, that one can see clearly a prospect of achieving in any course that one can chuse. Yet it seems to me that if one had a proper stage and proper tools, more is to be accomplished just now by the doer of the deed than by the sayer of the word—words are so little listened to now but when they are the prelude or the accompaniment to some deed; my word again is partly intelligible to many more persons than yours is, because mine is presented in the logical and mechanical form which partakes most of this age and country, yours in the artistical and poetical (at least in one sense of those words though not the sense I have been recently giving them) which finds least entrance into any minds now, except when it comes before them as mere dilettantism and pretends not to make any serious call upon them Edition: current; Page: [156] to change their lives. But then, what career is open to the doer, if either in your position or in mine? write to me what has been passing in you on this matter, whether of a general kind or as affecting yourself individually.

I am sure I have twenty other things to say, but cannot think of them at this instant; I shall write again the sooner. Let me ask you this one question; Have you seen the book published by the Poor Law Commissioners?9 If you have not, let me send it to you—often you have complained how little of the state of a people is to be learnt from books; much is to be learned of it from that book, both as to their physical and their spiritual state. The result is altogether appalling to the dilettanti, and the gigmen, and the ignorant and timid in high stations; to me it has been, & will be I think to you, rather consoling, because we knew the thing to be unspeakably bad, but this I think shews that it may be considerably mended with a considerably less amount of intellect, courage, and virtue in the higher classes, than had hitherto appeared to me to be necessary. Any way the book cannot fail to interest you, because any authentic information as to any human thing is interesting to you. I regard this enquiry with satisfaction under another aspect too; that it has been more honestly and more ably performed than anything which has been done under the authority of Govt. since I remember: and has, in consequence, been the means of getting some of the best men I know, for such purposes, put into other work of the same kind, and decidedly embarked in the same career. You will find among them my friend John Wilson whom you have seen; he is now Secretary to the Factory Commission. Chadwick also, the ablest of them all, may be said to be at the head of that Commission.

I know not of any news to tell. I have seen little of Fonblanque lately. The Austins are still bent upon going to live in Germany after the conclusion of his present course of Lectures. At the Literary Union I can learn no more of Glen than I knew before. Kindest remembrances to Mrs. Carlyle.10

Charles Buller is well, and in spirits, and increasingly disposed to work; he will not be lost, it were pity he should: his career will be politics I think, not the best career, far from that, but he will I now think, demean himself therein like a true man: his superiority to all those people is even now, little as he has yet done, beginning to be felt, and he is gaining influence which will enable him to utter such truth as is in him with some certainty of being listened to—he is pure-minded and not a self-seeker, I am sure of that.11

Edition: current; Page: [157]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
[18] May 1833
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
74.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
Dear Mr Fox

If there are any rumours that I was writing anything for the M.R. of this month, I am sorry I cannot confirm them. I have abundance of vague intentions of writing for you, but I have been very idle of late, and in fact never have been in a state more unfit for work; from various causes, the chief of which is, I think, a growing want of interest in all the subjects which I understand, and a growing sense of incapacity ever to have real knowledge of or insight into the subjects in which alone I shall ever again feel a strong interest. I have written nothing lately but a short article on that “Pauline”,2 which will not, I believe, be too long for the Examiner, and if so, will probably appear there.3 That I have written chiefly because you wished it.4 I fear there would scarcely be time to write anything which you would care for, now, this month, but if there is any subject within my range, on which you wish to have two or three pages only, tell me so and I will try what I can do.

I feel so unequal to any of the higher moral and aesthetic subjects, that because I would rather write something than nothing, I have had thoughts of offering you a few pages on a stupid book lately published by a man named Alison,5 and pretending to be a history of the French Revolution. I am sick of that subject, but I could write something on it which perhaps would be of more use to the M.R. than something better would be—your having got over the “Unitarian storm”6 with so little damage to the vessel is a real victory.

Edition: current; Page: [158]

I knew not that you were to be in K.T.7 on Wednesday, and I seldom go there without some special reasons on that day of the week, for as it cannot be right in present circumstances to be there every evening, none costs so little to give up as that in which there is a much shorter time and only in the presence of others. Had I known of your going I would have gone—as it is, I must take my compensation at Clapton—as I will very soon.

I did know the neighbourhood of Limpsfield—part of it at least—in my childhood, and have walked to it and about it since, but am not familiar with it. I do not know the particular walk you allude to, though your description enables me to conceive it almost as if I knew it. I mean to renew my acquaintance with Limpsfield, and cultivate it, and perfect it—that seems to me the only place on earth where it is possible to be happy—although it is you who have been there, and not I.—should I say although? and not rather because?

Does the Political Cyclopœdia8 plan go on thrivingly? where in heaven and earth are you to find writers? It is very easy to find people who can write ill, but very difficult to collect together even one or two who can write well, especially when the purpose is didactic, not controversial.

Ever yours
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday May 20, 1833
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
75.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
Dear Mr Fox

I am obliged to write in great haste, so I will only say this that I will write something on Alison2 but that will be too late for this number—and that I will be with you at Clapton as soon as I am allowed by being off duty at Edition: current; Page: [159] Kensington where my father whose sight is disabled for the present by inflammation, has need of me to read to him. He may have recovered by Wednesday, but at any rate I cannot dine with you for I shall not get away from this place early enough for that. Au reste I will come to you in a day or two whether he has recovered or not.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Wednesday June, 1833
I.H. [India House]
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
76.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I.H. [India House]
My dear Mr Fox

It is really not my fault that the French Revolution2 is not yet completed; you shall have it, I think I may say, in two days at most. It will be a poor thing though—

As for me, I am going to K.T. [Kent Terrace] today, despite its being Wednesday. However meet we must, and soon too.

W.A.3 is wrong, as Fonblanque was. I thought so from the first, & as soon as I found others thought differently, I made the matter sure by enquiry at the Colonial Office, from the highest authority (nearly) namely the head of the West Indies Department there.4 He tells me (as I expected) that the slave is to pay nothing directly or indirectly towards his ransom. He is to be free ¼th now, & entirely in twelve years; & is not to be required to work for his master (or to work at all) during the ¼th nor is his master to be required to give him employment nor to pay him any rate of wages. So all commentary on the manifold absurdities & impossibilities of that part of the plan is useless now when it is abandoned.

I wrote a notice of “Pauline” for the Examiner which could not be inserted, & I am to alter & enlarge it for Tait.5

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [160]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
July 4, 1833
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
77.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
My dear Mr Fox

I am afraid I shall altogether forfeit all character with you for knowing my own mind or for telling it, by so constantly talking about going to see you, and never doing it. So I will not talk about it any more, but will do it all the sooner; & in the mean time I write to say how happy I shall be to bear my testimony to the Cause,2 by maintaining it in the M.R. in the manner you propose, against the threatened attack. Of all propositions which could have been made to me for writing anything either in the M.R. or elsewhere, that is what I should like best—because it is the subject I am most interested in, and to be treated in the manner in which I think myself most equal to treating it. I have always done more justice to a subject when I have treated it controversially than when I have attempted a systematic exposition. I should not do for the pulpit, for I am always cold when I “have all the palaver to myself”: and besides I always find most to say when I do not feel under an obligation to say all that can be said.

Pray let me know when I am to begin, that is, let me have the paper I am to reply to, as early as may be.

Yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill

I think I have found out Pel Verjuice,3 but I do not want to be told who he is—I like the new number of the M.R. very much, except the article on the education of women4

Edition: current; Page: [161]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
5th July 1833
London
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
78.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

I wrote a short letter to you intending to send it by your brother2 when he went to Craigenputtoch; but he did not find time to call on me again and I having very foolishly mislaid his address, did not find out his place of abode till some hours after he had left town. As the letter was very short and had little in it, I cancelled it and determined to write a longer and better; which however I have not set about till now. In the meantime I have received your letter, which was welcome on many accounts: on none more than because it recognises in express words, what has always been tacitly recognised but seldom spoken or written about by either of us, the negative part of the relation between us—the fact that we still differ in many of our opinions, perhaps as you say (though of this I am not sure) throughout the range of a “half-universe.” I certainly shall not hesitate to shew you “the length and breadth of my dissent.” But the truth is, I had persuaded myself for a long time that the difference was next to nothing; was such as counted for little in my estimation at least, being rather in some few of our speculative premises than in any of our practical conclusions. When I came to review my opinions and ask myself after a considerable period of fresh thought and fresh experience, the deliberate question, which at some periods assumes a more serious and solemn aspect than at others, what I believed? what were my convictions? I found that they were, and for the present could not but be, more materially divergent from yours than I had for a time believed. As soon as I felt quite sure of this, I told you so; and though I wrote as if in a sceptical and unsettled state of mind, the very fact that I wrote at all about it proved that I had come into a more settled state. I think that I have obtained something like a firm footing, and additional rather than new light; I can hardly say that I have changed any of my opinions, but I seem to myself to know more, from increased observation of other people, and increased experience of my own feelings. All which is thus acquired must be clear gain; it is increased knowledge of the only valuable kind, knowledge of Realities; and it must be for want of intellect or for want of will if with additional ground to build upon, I cannot raise my edifice of Thought to a greater height and so look round and see more of Truth than I could see before. But of all these things we shall both write Edition: current; Page: [162] and speak hereafter. Concerning my journey to Craigenputtoch all I can at present say is that if I go not thither I shall go nowhere else. However it will not, at all events be in August, for in that month my father will be absent, and it is inconvenient for both of us to be away from the India House at the same time. It cannot be till he return.—I had the pleasure of an hour’s conversation with Dr. Carlyle on his passing through London, and was glad to learn that he is to be an inmate of Craigenputtoch all this summer and autumn.—My occupations for some time back have been rather internal than external; I have not been working much, but much has been working in me. I have written little, partly because I was better employed in obtaining whereof to write, than in writing, partly also because of press of business at the India House, and of certain temporary domestic occupations in my father’s house. I have completed scarcely anything but a poor, flimsy, short paper on that book of Alison’s, which I undertook in an evil hour, when the subject was as remote as possible from those which were occupying my thoughts and feelings at the time; and which I accordingly performed exceedingly ill, and was obliged to cancel the part which had cost me most labour. What is left, (it is not worth your perusal) will appear in the Monthly Repository: short as the whole is, it has been divided into two parts, of which one has appeared: it had been better to reserve the whole for another number. I shall in future never write on any subject which my mind is not full of when I begin to write; unless the occasion is such that it is better the thing were ill done than not at all, that being the alternative.—What you say of that paper of mine on Poetry and Art3 is exactly what I think respecting it myself. I do not think it contains anything erroneous, but I feel that it is far from going to the bottom of the subject, or even very deep into it; I think I see somewhat further into it now, and shall perhaps understand it in time. I think I mentioned to you that I have carried the investigation (rightly or wrongly as it may be) one step farther in a paper (being a review of a new poem) which I wrote for the Examiner: it proved too long for Fonblanque, and it is to appear in Tait,4 after such additions and alterations as I see it absolutely requires, and which I have not yet found time to give it. You say, you wish that you could help me in this matter; you can, and do, help me in all such matters, not by logical definition, which as I think I have said or written before, I agree with you in thinking not to be your peculiar walk of usefulness; but in suggesting deep and pregnant thoughts which might never have occurred to me, but which I am quite able when I have them to subject to all needful logical manipulation. This brings to my mind that I have never explained what I meant when writing once before in this strain I called you a Poet Edition: current; Page: [163] and Artist. I conceive that most of the highest truths, are, to persons endowed by nature in certain ways which I think I could state, intuitive; that is, they need neither explanation nor proof, but if not known before, are assented to as soon as stated. Now it appears to me that the poet or artist is conversant chiefly with such truths and that his office in respect to truth is to declare them, and to make them impressive. This, however, supposes that the reader, hearer, or spectator is a person of the kind to whom those truths are intuitive. Such will of course receive them at once, and will lay them to heart in proportion to the impressiveness with which the artist delivers and embodies them. But the other and more numerous kind of people will consider them as nothing but dreaming or madness: and the more so, certainly, the more powerful the artist, as an artist: because the means which are good for rendering the truth impressive to those who know it, are not the same and are often absolutely incompatible with those which render it intelligible to those who know it not. Now this last I think is the proper office of the logician or I might say the metaphysician, in truth he must be both. The same person may be poet and logician, but he cannot be both in the same composition: and as heroes have been frustrated of glory “carent quia vate sacro,” so I think the vates himself has often been misunderstood and successfully cried down for want of a Logician in Ordinary, to supply a logical commentary on his intuitive truths. The artist’s is the highest part, for by him alone is real knowledge of such truths conveyed: but it is possible to convince him who never could know the intuitive truths, that they are not inconsistent with anything he does know; that they are even very probable, and that he may have faith in them when higher natures than his own affirm that they are truths. He may then build on them and act on them, or at least act nothing contradictory to them. Now this humbler part is, I think, that which is most suitable to my faculties, as a man of speculation. I am not in the least a poet, in any sense; but I can do homage to poetry. I can to a very considerable extent feel it and understand it, and can make others who are my inferiors understand it in proportion to the measure of their capacity. I believe that such a person is more wanted than even the poet himself; that there are more persons living who approximate to the latter character than to the former. I do not think myself at all fit for the one; I do for the other; your walk I conceive to be the higher. Now one thing not useless to do would be to exemplify this difference by enlarging in my logical fashion upon the difference itself: to make those who are not poets, understand that poetry is higher than Logic, and that the union of the two is Philosophy—I shall write out my thoughts more at length somewhere, and somewhen, probably soon. Yours faithfully,

J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [164]

I am so far from seeing any intolerance in your dislike of Speculation, unless it be either of the highest kind, or interesting for the sake of its interesting author, that I am exactly in the same case. I shall attend to this in making up my parcels for you hereafter. I have Madame Roland’s memoirs and will send them with the Poor-Law book and what else of interesting I can get together.—What I said about “infinitesimal smallness” did not refer to the work itself but to the effect—no doubt in another sense, all who do all they can, do equally, and that infinitely. But when we are to chuse what we shall do, we must compare the results, and the difficulty is how to compare things infinitely small.5 Tell me what you think about this, for it will perhaps lead to the root of some of the chief differences of opinion between us—6

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
10th July, 1833
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
79.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

Every letter I write to you begins with apologies for not writing sooner, and certainly not before they are due; though if “good intentions” might suffice (which they never can), I have been intending to write any time for the last four or five weeks. The first thing I have to say is that I fear there is no chance of the French Professorship.2 Bowring has returned, I have seen him, and he says that the choice of a professor has been retarded by the impossibility of an agreement between the body who chuse and the ministry who confirm. “De Broglie and Guizot,” he says in a note to me, “won’t appoint Comte”3 (he married one of Say’s daughters, you may know him as the author of the Censeur Européen and a work on Legislation), “and the professors and members of the Institute won’t appoint anybody else, and the matter rests there. Rossi”4 (the friend of Dumont,5 professor of droit public or something of the kind at Geneva) “has been sent for to Paris and is arrived; but it is doubtful whether he will be put forward by the Ministry. Comte seems determined not to give way.” I do Edition: current; Page: [165] not think Comte the fit man—the most that can be said is that he will not do harm or discredit the science; but he is not profound in it. He is an excellent man, however, and the new Academy of Moral and Political Science in the Institute have recently shown some spirit by choosing him their perpetual secretary, contrary to the wishes of the Government, who oppose him because he is against them in politics. Their first idea of appointing an English economist was much better, but, perhaps, they would have found it difficult where the candidate had not established a high European reputation, to make out such a case as would justify in the eyes of Frenchmen the preference of a foreigner, however highly qualified, over “native talent,” for it is not with us in political economy as it has long been with Italy in music—there is not a prejudice in our favour—therefore there must be a natural prejudice against us.

What you say in your last on the extreme desirableness of banding together the English Gironde is perfectly just and has been often thought of by almost all the leading philosophic reformers here, never more than lately; but it never was brought to any practical result nor, I fear, will it until the crisis becomes considerably more imminent than at present. The lamentable truth is that our Gironde, like the other Gironde, are a rope of sand; what our friend Tait (or rather the author of his first article for May)6 said of them is not much, if at all, exaggerated. There are no leaders, and without leaders there can never be organization. There is no man or men of commanding talents among the Radicals in public life, or those whose position in respect of pecuniary independence enables them to put themselves forward personally. If there were but two or three men with your energy, what you propose might be done, and much else.

About a twelvemonth ago steps were actually taken for the formation of a Society for the Diffusion of Moral and Political Knowledge.7 Hume had consented to be chairman, Warburton8 vice-chairman, Grote treasurer, J. Romilly secretary, and there was a very creditable list of names for the Committee; they were to cause works to be written, and they were also to sanction others which were not written for them. No arrangements had been made, however, for the commencement of any work but one, which was only to be sanctioned, a Political Penny Magazine, of which Roebuck was to be the editor, and the appearance of which was to depend Edition: current; Page: [166] on alterations in the law, or on the chances of being able to evade it. The Ministry made private intimations to the parties concerned in this Penny Magazine Scheme, that the taxes on knowledge were to be taken off; fully believing this, they suspended their proceedings until that event. The Ministry broke faith with them, and in the meantime Roebuck got into Parliament, everybody’s mind became otherwise occupied, and nothing was done.

I have little hope of any of the present race of parliamentary radicals. Some of them are full of crotchets, others fastidious and overloaded with petty scrupulosity; none have energy, except Roebuck and Buller; Roebuck has no judgment, Buller no patient persevering industry. Those two, however, will improve, and we shall hear more of them every year; all the others will remain, I think, very much the same men they are now. There is really more to be hoped from new converts like Clay9 and Gisborne,10 who are in the habit of uttering their sentiments boldly, than from the men who were Radicals in Tory times, and got the habit of prudence and temporizing which they cannot break themselves of even now.

What are we driving to? I do not expect a Revolution, because I think any unanimous demand of the people of this country will always be yielded to, as it was last year; but it is difficult to conjecture what acts of injustice they might, under circumstances of excitement, be provoked to demand. I expect a series of such Parliaments as this, with a step gained at every election. The cause of the evil is one which I foresaw and predicted long before—the anomaly of a democratic constitution in a plutocratically constituted society. Till changes take place which can only be remotely promoted by any Reform Bill, the people will continue from necessity to select their representatives from the same class as before, avoiding only those who are committed to principles which the people abhor. The consequence is they must take the feebles. All the marked and energetic men in the higher classes, a few excepted, were committed against Reform; that was the natural consequence of their education and the circumstances of those times. The people, therefore, threw them aside, and selected men from the second or third rank, who were not committed because it had never been thought worth while to ask their opinion, such men as would say they were for the Reform Bill, and the Whig Ministers. But further than this, they were not at all better than their class in opinions or feelings, and inferior to their predecessors in talent and judgment. They have acted as such men were sure to do: what will happen? There will be a fresh purgation; these being now disgraced will be thrown aside, and there will be a third levy from the self-same class, consisting of the same sort of men Edition: current; Page: [167] or still feebler ones, but who will say they are for the particular measure then most called for at the particular time by the people, and most recently resisted by the present house. That particular measure will then be carried, and all other things will go as badly as they do now. The same next time, and so on till the real waking minds of the country renounce money-getting, and till they are paid for devoting their time to legislation.

Have you considered the effect of the proposed Commutation of Tithe? The compulsory part of it is I perceive to be postponed till another year. As it will stop the increase of tithe at least in corn—as no new land, or new improvements will pay any tithe—it strikes me that the commuted tithe will continue wholly, or partially, a tax on the consumer, until the least productive land or capital shall, by the extension of cultivation and population, yield a rent equal to the commuted tithe, and after that it will become wholly a rent-charge. Do you think I am right? You continue I see to write with great spirit and excellent effect in Tait. I am much gratified by your favourable opinion of my tract on endowments.11 You have, I dare say, recognized me in The Examiner on the Bank Question;12 the article was superficial, and could not consistently with its purpose be otherwise. Nobody, except you and me, seems to write on that side of the question. My father quite agrees with us. Pray do not imitate my neglect in not writing soon, and believe me,

Yours very faithfully,
J. S. Mill.

You promised me a letter on the Property Tax—I never was more in need of it.13

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
12 July 1833
John Sterling
Sterling, John
80.

TO JOHN STERLING1

My dear Sterling

I have been very long in writing to you and have only time to write a few words now—Taylor’s answer to your question2 is briefly this—“I have not heard of any plans of the Govt for the education of the negroes, nor do Edition: current; Page: [168] I expect to hear of any. Certainly if there were to be any Commission of enquiry on the subject, Sterling could not employ his time more serviceably to the ends which he has at heart than by getting himself placed upon it—nor would the Govt be likely to meet with any person half so well qualified to conduct such an enquiry.” So much for these statesmen of ours—they always remind me of what Southey said to me at Keswick—pointing in a little Bible-book for children in size and shape an inch cube, to a wood-cut of Samson with a gate on his back about twenty times his own size, he said “that is like Lord John Russell3 carrying away the British constitution” & sure enough that is about the proportion between the men & the work they have in hand.

I suppose you have by this time returned from your journey up the Rhine. I shall be much interested by the impression German literature and philosophy make upon you on a nearer acquaintance. That question between Schelling’s view and Schleiermacher’s is the one great question on the subject of religion. My own views as far as I have any fixed ones are much nearer to Schleiermacher’s than to Schelling’s and Coleridge’s.4 With them I do not at all see as my mind is at present constituted any chance of my ultimately agreeing. I think I am even further from them than I was. I suspect that your mind and mine have passed that point in their respective orbits where they approximate most—and that our premisses are now more nearly the same than our conclusions are likely to be. I think I am becoming more a Movement-man than I was, instead of less—I do not mean merely in politics, but in all things—& that you are becoming more and more inclined to look backward for good. However I am talking without book, for who in these times knows what he shall think rightest & best six months hence? Yours faithfully

J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [169]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
July, 1833
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
81.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

This note will be given to you by Mr. R. W. Emerson2 of Boston (United States) who having been long a reader of your writings, is desirous to take the first opportunity of making your acquaintance. Mr. Emerson met with our friend Gustave d’Eichthal at Rome, and was by him referred to me as one who could give him the introduction to you which he wished for—I have great pleasure in doing so—Yours faithfully

J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
2nd August 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
82.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

This letter will be as you desire, extremely biographical: I was conscious myself of a deficiency in that department, in my last: which however was wholly autobiographic; for what is my life made up of, in the main, but my thoughts and feelings? I have no actions to relate except occasionally the promulgation of some thoughts and feelings. But I am now to speak of others rather than of myself. And first, of those in whom you are most interested. You have probably heard that the Austins do not quit England. The Chancellor is to appoint or has actually appointed a Commission to digest the Criminal Law and Austin is to be one of the members. This is work for him of the kind which he most likes, and for which he is best fitted: it is also a provision for him: he is to have £500 a year while it lasts, and it will doubtless lead to other employment in the same line. All his good fortune comes to him at the same time: the four Inns of Court, chiefly at the instigation of Bickersteth2 (the most valuable man in the profession of the law—do you know about him?), have resolved to found Edition: current; Page: [170] two Lectureships, one of English Law, the other of Civil Law and Jurisprudence: this last it is not impossible that Austin may be appointed to: it is compatible with his other employment and will add £450 to his income. So he is likely to be placed in the best circumstances possible for him, whether we consider his usefulness or his own happiness. There are no fears now but for his health: I have always thought that anxiety was the chief cause of his frequent illnesses; they have been, however of late, considerably more frequent than formerly though less severe—he is ill now; as soon as he is fit to travel they are going out of town, probably to some place on the north coast of Devonshire, where they will remain till October, when he returns to commence his new duties. Mrs. Austin is now overloaded with proposals for translating; her fame as a translator has been, very deservedly, raised much higher by this “Falk.”3 As she will not now be at all dependent on the profits (McCulloch4 would take me to task—I should say wages) of her literary undertakings, she will now be at liberty to consult only her own judgment of what will do most good: she will persevere, I have no doubt, and be useful.—You ask me about Grote: I happen to be able to tell you more about him than almost any one, having been intimate with him almost from my boyhood, though less so than formerly in proportion as I have diverged from his opinions: he is a Utilitarian; in one sense I am so too, but he is so in rather a narrow sense; has therefore a belief, a firm one, in him most deep and conscientious, for which chiefly he lives and for which he would die. He is a highly instructed man; an excellent scholar; has made great progress in writing a History of Greece,5 some of the manuscript of which I have seen; it will be a work of great, though not of consummate merit: he was one of the first of his rank and station to proclaim strong Benthamic-Radical opinions; he published a pamphlet6 of merit, in defence thereof against the Edinburgh Review, as long ago as 1820, when not so old as I am now, and another7 two years ago just before the Reform Bill. He is a man of good, but not first-rate intellect: hard and mechanical; not at all quick; with less subtlety than any able and instructed man I ever knew: with much logical and but little aesthetic culture; narrow therefore; even narrower than most other Utilitarians of reading and education: more a disciple of my father than of any one else: industrious, brave, not very active or spirited; universally beloved for his extreme goodness, his simplicity, uprightness, and gentleness; Edition: current; Page: [171] resembling Ricardo in that particular, though a far inferior man to him in powers of intellect. He is by far the most considered of the radicals in the H. of C. [House of Commons] is more nearly their leader than any one else, & would be so altogether but that he has not the kind of talents which fit a man for a parliamentary leader; he has not sufficient readiness, decision, & presence of mind. After all I have said of him you will be surprised to learn that he reads German. He will be a man of considerable weight in politics soon. As I am on politics, I will ask you if you have seen, except in the abridgment which the Examiner will give,8 Roebuck’s speech on proposing a resolution for the establishment of a national education of the whole people: I should like you to see it, for it is a better exhibition of him than I think you have seen: it has raised him considerably, I think, in most people’s estimation, which is seldom matter of praise but is really so in this instance. It was beginning to be supposed that he could do nothing: he has shewn now that he can; and we must add him to Grote and Buller to make up the only three among the radical members who have not disappointed the expectations of their friends. Of these three, and of all the rest, Buller is as you once said the only one who possesses any the smallest genius. But several of them may be and will be valuable as ‘honest Artisans.’—I can tell you something of Detrosier.9 He is again in London, and has some prospect of picking up a living as a lecturer on experimental physics: he is, it seems, accustomed to the craft, and qualified for it; he has made the attempt even here with success, and the only doubt about his having several profitable engagements arises from the freshness of his fame as Secretary to the Political Union. Assuredly Radicalism is not yet the road to wealth and honours, though its turn I think is coming. In the meantime Detrosier, poor fellow, with a foolish wife and two or three children, has some difficulty in making the two ends meet; however he has friends here, who will not let him be in want.—I had a short note from Gustave d’Eichthal the other day, dated from Rome, merely to introduce an American named Emerson, who had sought an introduction to me as a means of obtaining one to you: this I of course gave him;10 he is going into Scotland and may possibly seek you out: he appears to be a reader and professes to be an admirer of your writings; therefore you might possibly do him some good: but from one or two conversations I have had with him, I do not think him a very hopeful subject. Of Fonblanque I have not seen very much lately; except (as you have) through the Examiner: in which I myself have written very little of late: almost the only paper I Edition: current; Page: [172] have sent to him for some time you will see in the next or the next but one:11 I will let you find it out if you can; there is not much in it; it is all political. I have indeed written less of late than for a long time before; no longer for the reason I formerly mentioned, but literally from the pressure of comparatively trivial occupations, yet which in the particular circumstances were not such. The little remainder of my little paper on Alison’s book12 has just appeared: the two numbers of the M.R. containing it, shall reach you somehow soon. I have sent you no books this month, because I really could not get together enough to make it worth while: I had only the Poor Laws book. I have a promise of a copy of the Factory Commissioners Report:13 when it comes, shall I send it? Madame Roland I had lent, and it did not return to me till a day or two too late. I have now a copy (borrowed) of one of Babbage’s two books:14 you once expressed a wish to see them: have you still that wish? or has it been satisfied! Now I have also (if you would care to see it) a book of Bulwer’s, entitled “England & the English.” I have not yet looked into it: but a Frenchman who is now in London said of it to Mrs. Austin, that though he had been here only a month that book did not tell him any one thing that was new to him: it must therefore be a very poor book. I told you in one of my letters15 that I had been writing something about Bentham & his philosophy; it was for Bulwer, at his request, for the purposes of this book: contrary to my expectation at that time, he has printed part of this paper ipsissimis verbis as an appendix to his book: so you will see it; but I do not acknowledge it, nor mean to do so. I furnished him also at his request with a few yet rougher notes concerning my father, which he has not dealt so fairly by, but has cut and mangled and coxcombified the whole thing till its mother would not know it: there are a few sentences of mine in it, something like what they were when I wrote them; for the sake of artistic congruity I wish there were not. This I still less own, because it is not mine, in any sense. About my going to Craigenputtoch there will be some uncertainty till the very time, because the only contingency which would prevent it may happen at any time, and will remain possible to the very last. You will not hear positively that I am coming till the post immediately preceding my arrival—yes you will though, for I shall travel rather slowly. I am sorry that your brother’s speedy return to Italy will prevent me from meeting him at Craigenputtoch: but I shall at all events see him on his passage through Edition: current; Page: [173] London?—I have read the first part of your Cagliostro;16 not yet the second: I know not why you should call it “half mad”; it is merely like much of your writing, half ironical, half earnest; it may be of use to some people: If human beings would but do thoroughly all they do, I believe with you that Good would be much more forwarded than Evil: halfness is the great enemy of spiritual worth: whatever shames any human being out of that, is of unspeakable value. I have left little room for any of the many things I could willingly say on your last letter; neither is the letter before me, which however frequently happens to be the case when I am answering your letters. Do not mistake what I meant when I talked of logic; I did not mean it in the sense in which your answers to Sir William Hamilton17 (who I suppose is the “schoolman” you allude to) would apply to it. Of logic, as the theory of the processes of intellect, I think not wholly as you, yet nearly: he who has legs can walk without knowledge of anatomy, yet you will allow that such knowledge may be made substantially available for the cure of lameness. By logic however I meant the antithesis of Poetry or Art: in which distinction I am learning to perceive a twofold contrast: the literal as opposed to the symbolical, and reasoning as opposed to intuition. Not the theory of reasoning but the practice. In reasoning I include all processes of thought which are processes at all, that is, which proceed by a series of steps or links. What I would say is that my vocation is, I think, chiefly for this last; a more extended & higher one than for any branch of mere “Philosophy of Mind” though far inferior to that of the artist.—We shall talk doubtless of these things, and also of many others, not excepting the one you mention, Paris—My notion of it is chiefly taken from its recent literature, which is exactly what Goethe called it, the literature of Despair—die Litteratur der Verzweiflung. You will not wonder at that—nor do I.

Buller who is about to write to you will put this letter under his cover—Yours faithfully

J. S. Mill.

Thanks to Mrs. Carlyle for her two lines, and best remembrances to her and to Dr. Carlyle.

Edition: current; Page: [174]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
6th August 1833
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
83.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

You must have been a good deal surprised at hearing nothing from me respecting the literary article which was to be transferred from the Examiner to your Magazine.2 The fact is that for some weeks past the pressure of other occupations had left me no time to take the article in hand and fit it for your use: and now at length when I had begun to rewrite it for you, I find that the work it is a review of (a poem named Pauline) has been disposed of in your last number by a passing notice,3 in terms of contempt which though I think the poem was overpraised in the Monthly Repository, I cannot consider it to deserve. So I hope you will receive this as my apology for not fulfilling my engagement.

Believe me
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
5th September 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
84.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

You have probably heard from Dr Carlyle before this reaches you, that I shall not, after all, see you this autumn. There were about twenty chances to one that I should, but it is the twenty-first which has taken effect in Reality. I was mistaken, too, when I said that if I went not to Craigenputtoch I should go nowhere: I am going to Paris: the same cause which I then thought, if it operated at all, would operate to keep me here, now sends me there.2 It is a journey entirely of duty; nothing else, you will do me the justice to believe, would have kept me from Craigenputtoch after Edition: current; Page: [175] what I have said & written so often: it is duty, and duty connected with a person to whom of all persons alive I am under the greatest obligations. If I had not so short a vacation the two journeys would not be incompatible, but alas for him who must abide eleven months of the year at a desk in Leadenhall Street! All the compensation I can make to you will be to write often and fully, and tell you all I see and hear at Paris that will interest you. You said something in one of your letters about a projected residence of some time at Paris for yourself—it would not, I think, be pleasant to you, but extremely melancholy; everywhere however there is food enough for that—and I do believe that for observation of realities, at least human spiritual realities, there is no place in the world like Paris in the present age, for the reason you mentioned, that individualities of character are there unchained, not being kept down and fashioned to a model by a common overruling Belief—but again, nowhere in Europe, if I am not greatly mistaken, are there so few individualities of character as at Paris. I suspect Prussia is the only country pleasant to live in for one who loves mankind—but for that very reason not the fit place for one who is capable of being their spiritual benefactor in any however small a degree unless he was born there.

Dr Carlyle has been so good as to take charge of some books for you: viz. two Reports of the Factory Commission, full of the biography of history; the works of Madame Roland, the noblest character by far of the French Revolution, perhaps of France itself; though far from the most brilliant; & the two numbers of the Repository which contain my flimsy paper on Alison. That last was hardly worth sending; keep it however. I meant you to keep Junius Redivivus; I have other copies: it is not, however, worth sending back, to you. That and all the other books, came safe. What did you think of the Vieux Cordelier?3 Villate’s book,4 which pretends to let one into the secrets of the Terreur I believe to be a mere tissue of lies and exaggerations: he was a juré of the revolutionary tribunal, deeply implicated in all the horrors of the time, and anxious by making great disclosures to save his own neck from the reaction, to which unless my memory fail me he nevertheless fell a sacrifice.—The Poor-Laws book, Dr Carlyle tells me you have: indeed I thought you would, for it has been very widely circulated: write me word what you think of it. Write to me also about your brother: he stays here so short a time that I shall not know him, only lay the foundation for future knowledge; but I have already seen enough to respect and like him and to hope for his future friendship.—I forgot to ask whether you have seen that “Arthur Coningsby”—it is scarcely worth sending,—though decidedly worth reading: perhaps it may go with other books:—also Bulwer’s book.

Edition: current; Page: [176]

I have read the latter half of Cagliostro with very great pleasure; greater than the first half: and I look forward to the appearance of Teufelsdreck5 with great satisfaction: by the impression it makes upon me now, as compared with that which it made on the first reading, I shall have a kind of measure of the space which I have franchi (as the French say) in the interval; whether forwards, backwards, or to one side. I have certainly changed much since you knew me; in some things I have become, I think, more like yourself, in others more unlike; I am partly reconciled to not seeing you this year by the thought that next year I shall probably be firmer on my legs, spiritually speaking, and shall have a clearer and more fixed insight into what I am to be and to do, than I have at present, and that the relation between us will then be (much more than now) what you once called it, “a relation between two Somethings” and not between a Something & a Nothing.

—About that Cagliostro and that Teufelsdreck, by the way, it has frequently occurred to me of late to ask of myself and also of you, whether that mode of writing between sarcasm or irony and earnest, be really deserving of so much honour as you give to it by making use of it so frequently. I do not say that it is not good: all modes of writing, in the hands of a sincere man, are good, provided they are intelligible. But are there many things, worth saying, and capable of being said in that manner which cannot be as well or better said in a more direct way? The same doubt has occasionally occurred to me respecting much of your phraseology, which fails to bring home your meaning to the comprehension of most readers so well as would perhaps be done by commoner and more familiar phrases: however this last I say with the most perfect submission, because I am sure that every one speaks and writes best in his own mother tongue, the language in which he thinks.—I have just received a copy of some Evidence taken by the Poor Law Commissioners on the subject of Education, affording some striking instances of the good effect produced upon the very rabble of London by even such imperfect schooling as they now sometimes receive: shall I send it in my next parcel?

I am now reading, very sedulously, Voltaire’s Correspondence: I have never read it before. It throws much light upon the spiritual character of that time, and especially of its literary men. How strangely Voltaire’s own character has been mistaken; and how little does he seem to have been conscious of what he was about, to have had even any settled purpose in it. He certainly had no intention of being the Patriarch of any sect of Destructives, & if the priests would have let him alone, he would have let them Edition: current; Page: [177] alone. In the greater part of his lifetime he seems to have been timid excessively, and would have abstained from almost anything in order to remain quiet at Paris. But after he had found the quiet he sought, at a distance, it was the revival of persecution as evinced by the suppression of the Encyclopédie, the condemnation of Helvetius’s book, the speech of Le Franc de Pompignan at the Academy denouncing Voltaire himself personally, the success of Palissot’s comedy of Les Philosophes, the abuse of the Philosophes by Fréron & others, &c., &c.6 it was these things which erected Voltaire after the age of sixty-five into the leader of a crusade against Christianity; & it was then, too, that he seems to have found out that wit and ridicule were capable of being powerful weapons in his hands. He always seems to have despised the French, & thought them incapable of philosophy, or even of science; and he continually lamented that they insisted upon taking to speculation, which they were unfit for, and neglected the beaux-arts (what beaux-arts!) which had been the glory of the siècle de Louis 14.

I have no more room—mit Glück und Heil

J. S. Mill.

I shall remain here till the middle of October probably, so that your letters will reach me as usual. I cannot get a frank this time; all Parliament is out of town. My kindest remembrances to Mrs. Carlyle.7

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Sept. 7, 1833
India House
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
85.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

India House
My dear Mr Fox

I am ashamed to say I can give no hope that Blakey2 will be ready on Monday—though I think part of him will be. But I have nearly made up my mind to transfer to you the paper on Poetry3 which I thought of putting Edition: current; Page: [178] at the head of a review of Tennyson somewhere. I think I could make a better review of Tennyson, and with the same ideas too, in another way.

If you like the idea, and if you see her4 before Monday, will you mention it to her—you know it is hers—if she approves, it shall be yours. I shall see her on Monday myself, and then I will speak of the matter to her. [Ye]s—she is like hers[elf]—if she is ever ou[t]5 of spirits it is always something amiss in me that is the cause—it is so now—it is because she sees that what ought to be so much easier to me than to her, is in reality more difficult—costs a harder struggle—to part company with the opinion of the world, and with my former modes of doing good in it; however, thank heaven, she does not doubt that I can do it—

Yes—I shall see you often, I hope, at Clapton when she is gone—6

yours ever
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
24 September 1833
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
86.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

You have not heard from me as a contributor to your Magazine for some time past. I am now about to make up for my neglect by making a proposal to you which if accepted would furnish you with a “stock in hand” but which it is very probable may not suit you.

I have had by me for some time, five Political Economy essays,2 ready for publication; four of them on particular points, containing views which I am desirous to submit to the judgment of the scientific students of the science,—in continuation and completion of Ricardo’s doctrines. The fifth is a dissertation on the science itself,3 and on the proper mode of studying Edition: current; Page: [179] it. The last may be considered as comparatively popular; the other four are, as from their nature and object they cannot but be, somewhat abstract; not more so however than De Quincey’s “Templar’s Dialogues” in the London Magazine.4 There is no use in publishing these tracts as a separate voume, for few would read them and nobody would buy them. They must therefore remain in my desk unless they will suit you. In length they would average I think about the dimensions of an article on such subjects in the Edinburgh Review. They would not be attractive to the bulk of Magazine-readers, and the only chance of their suiting you lies in the extremely miscellaneous character of such a Magazine as yours, which should and does contain matter for almost all classes of readers. The high character which your work is establishing for itself in Political Economy would also make any elaborate paper on that subject less out of place in your pages than in those of any other periodical.

If you do not think the proposition quite inadmissible, be so good as to write to me, and I will send you one or two of them for your inspection—I should also be much obliged to our friend Mr Nichol if he would favour me with his remarks on them before anything is determined upon.

If you should finally resolve to publish them in the Magazine, I shall further request of you to have 100 copies of each, struck off for me & at my expense, to give away to the few persons who can be expected to take any considerable interest in such speculations.

I have not seen much in the Magazine lately which I could ascribe to Mr Nichol—nor have I heard from him—I hope he is not ill?

The French Professorship I fear is out of the question—the choice lies between Comte & Rossi.5

Most truly yours
J. S. Mill

I have not given up the idea of those “Essays on the Ambiguities of the Moral Sciences”6 but for the present I see no chance of my having time for it—7

J.S.M.
Edition: current; Page: [180]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
5th October 1833
Mickleham, near Dorking, Surrey
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
87.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

Mickleham, near Dorking, Surrey
,

(don’t direct hither, though.)

My dear Carlyle

Two of your letters, both well deserving a better answer than this will be, have been waiting a long time for it: such as it is you shall have it now: You ask me to write with abandonment—it is pleasant in many ways to be asked that, and by you—doubt not but that I shall do so, more and more—I have not, and have never had, any voluntary or rather intentional reserve with any one whom I value, certainly not with you—but that is not enough—I am sensible in myself of a want of spontaneousness, a self-consciousness even in the act of confiding, which is perhaps natural enough in a born metaphysician as I am in the very worst sense, but which I dislike extremely both in myself and wherever else I see it, and which I believe I am getting rid of. There will I think be perfect spontaneous confidence, the abandonment you speak of, in the fullest sense, between us two, some time; I think as soon as we are completely intimate; I was going to say completely know each other, but that is an impossibility, as you well know. In the meantime it is very grateful to me to find that everything which brings me nearer to you, brings you also nearer to me, and that every approach to a closer intimacy is responded to as soon as made. Our friendship is a strong healthy young plant, which being in a good soil may be left to itself to grow. So no more of that at present—Now I will say that I am going to Paris probably at the end of this week. If I could have another letter from you before I go, well: if not, write when you are moved thereto, and a friend at the India House will forward your letter to Paris, for I do not wish to be five weeks without it. What you wish to be ascertained for you at Paris, shall be so; I shall be able to obtain the fullest and exactest information. Touching French dictionaries I am fully as ignorant as yourself: I learnt the language in the country itself, and acquired the colloquial part of it in greater perfection than most English do, so had never occasion for the sort of dictionary you want: I believe there is none good, none but such as you probably have; but I will inquire about that, too. Before I go I will send a parcel to Fraser’s for you, containing Bulwer, Coningsby, and more French Memoirs if I can find any more worth sending. I am afraid you have already had the best of them. Edition: current; Page: [181] With them shall go the October number of the Monthly Repository: containing two articles of mine: one, a review of a foolish book by a man named Blakey, of Morpeth, called a History of Moral Science;2 for writing which he is utterly unfit, being a man who as you would say, has no eyes, only a pair of glasses and I will add, almost opake ones. The other article3 is the little paper I told you I was writing in further prosecution of, or rather improvement on, the thoughts I published before on Poetry and Art. You will not find much in the first to please you; perhaps rather more in the second, but I fear you will think both of them too much infected by mechanical theories of the mind: yet you will probably in this as in many other cases be glad to see that out of my mechanical premisses I elicit dynamical conclusions—and I have a paragraph at the end of the article on Blakey’s book by way of manifesto, to tell people that I don’t care one straw about premisses except for the sake of conclusions. I have been very busy and active in writing lately; even on politics; did you detect me in those long-winded answers (in the Examiner) to the ministerial pamphlet?4 but I tell it not to the profane. Your approval of the Alison paper was very gratifying; I also am conscious that I write with a greater appearance of sureness and strong belief than I did for a year or two before, in that period of recovery after the petrification of a narrow philosophy, in which one feels quite sure of scarcely anything respecting Truth, except that she is many-sided. Did you ever read Schleiermacher’s paper on Socrates? I have been reading it in a number of Connop Thirlwall’s “Philological Museum,”5 a Cambridge classical periodical of merit: Schleiermacher’s theory of Socrates is that besides knowing “that he knew nothing,” he however knew also what knowledge was, and how it was to be come at: that was exactly my case and was the faith I also professed and taught for some years unconscious all the while that I had nothing else to teach: I have now got at some few things more: all of which, as they become clearer to myself, will be shewn to you either in what I publish, or in letters, or personal communication. You suggest to me, what I have many times thought of, the advisableness of my writing something more elaborate than I have yet written on the French Revolution: it is highly probable I shall do it sometime if you do not; but besides the difficulty of Edition: current; Page: [182] doing it tolerably, there is a far greater difficulty of doing it so as to be read in England, until the time comes when one can speak of Christianity as it may be spoken of in France; as by far the greatest and best thing which has existed on this globe, but which is gone, never to return, only what was best in it to reappear in another and still higher form, some time (heaven knows when). One could not, now, say this openly in England, and be read—at least by the many; yet it is perhaps worth trying. Without saying out one’s whole belief on that point, it is impossible to write about the French Revolution in any way professing to tell the whole truth. A propos I have been reading the New Testament; properly I can never be said to have read it before. I am the fitter to read it now; perhaps there is nobody within the four seas so utterly unprejudiced on the subject. I have never believed Christianity as a religion, consequently have no habitual associations of reverence, nor on the other hand any of contempt like so many who have become sceptics after having been taught to believe; nor have I, like so many, been bored or disgusted with it in my youth. As far as I know your impressions about Christ, mine from this reading are exactly the same. How strikingly just for instance is your contrast in your last letter, between the Christ of the Gospels, & the namby-pamby Christ of the poor modern Christians.6 Many things have struck me in reading this book. One is that nearly all the good of the four Gospels is in St Matthew alone; & we could almost spare the other three. Mark and Luke however do no harm; but John has I think been the cause of almost all bad theology: the Christ of that Gospel also strikes me as quite unlike the Christ of the other three; a sort of Edward Irving, one might say. How clearly one can trace in all of them the gradual rise of his conviction that he was the Messiah: and how much loftier & more self-devoted a tone his whole language & conduct assumed as soon as he felt convinced of that. Reading his history has done me along with much other good, this in particular, that it has completed my hatred of the Gig: I can hardly feel easy now under the thought that I have one foot in it still: I shall probably dismount altogether from it in time.—It was more than I hoped for that your brother should form any favourable judgment of me from the very little he can have seen, and that not of the best kind. I am persuaded that I owe his good opinion chiefly to your testimony. He appeared to me very like you: though I cannot doubt but that there are differences enough: it was the likeness too of a scholar to his master.

Edition: current; Page: [183]

Of your friends or acquaintance here I have little to relate: most of them are away from London & have not written to me. Only Rowland Detrosier is doing exceedingly well as a lecturer on physics—picking up also some money by writing—and he will do something and be of use: a man of clearer or quicker understanding I never saw: only he has had no help, and no materials for his understanding to work on: the most abstract truths when they are presented to him he seizes almost at a glance, & possesses himself of their spirit, not their letter merely. He will thrive best under my teaching just now; he is not yet ripe for yours. He is eager, ardent, and indefatigably laborious; and to the extent of his faculties, most serious in his purpose of knowing and teaching the Truth.—If I had known you as well when you were in London as I do now, how many more persons should I have brought to see you! I now know that any human being is interesting to you, all who have self-subsistence eminently so: now even of those I could have made you acquainted with not a few. Since you were so much pleased with Emerson7 I feel encouraged to try you with almost any person whatever who has any sort of good in him: I should have thought he was about the last person who would have interested you so much as he seems to have done. But you, yourself, are doubtless in many things, changed, and as you have several times intimated, changing: I greatly desire to know in what, and how much; should be still more gratified if I could in any way aid you, paying back thereby some small part of the good, of that and so many other kinds, which I have received from you. I have done little for you yet; perhaps am incapable of doing much: but it was part of my former character, the character I am throwing off, that I seldom wished or ventured to argue with my teachers: I do not mean mere logic-fence, but that I was content to receive without giving, & rather avoided occasions for expressing difference of opinion. In that however as in much else “I will mend” as you said of something far less important—The Austins are at Boulogne—but I have not heard from them. Falk I am sorry to hear sells but indifferently. I find both from enquiry and observation that the puffing system has worn itself out, even more rapidly than seemed likely: & a united chorus of praise from all the press will scarcely now sell fifty copies of any work: Effingham Wilson8 the bookseller is so sensible of this that he has resolved to cease advertising the praises of periodicals and to sell his wares by samples, advertising passages of the works themselves. Thus does all lying contain the seeds of its own destruction: when all human speech has ceased to Edition: current; Page: [184] be believed, it seems as if men must recommence speaking the truth: yet who knows? for how many centuries has the whole East persevered in lying, although the fact that “all men are liars” there forms part of all men’s knowledge of the world. Bulwer’s book9 is considerably better than I expected; the “tenuity” does not amount to more than semitransparency. There was one thing in what you said of Madame Roland which I did not quite like—it was, that she was almost rather a man than a woman: I believe that I quite agree in all that you really meant, but is there really any distinction between the highest masculine & the highest feminine character? I do not mean the mechanical acquirements; those, of course, will very commonly be different. But the women, of all I have known, who possessed the highest measure of what are considered feminine qualities, have combined with them more of the highest masculine qualities than I have ever seen in any but one or two men, & those one or two men were also in many respects almost women. I suspect it is the second-rate people of the two sexes that are unlike—the first-rate are alike in both—except—no, I do not think I can except anything—but then, in this respect, my position has been and is, what you say every human being’s is in many respects “a peculiar one.”—

I shall write from Paris—probably more than once.

Yours faithfully,
J. S. Mill

Make my kindest respects to Mrs Carlyle and crave her forgiveness (though as it was a matter of moral necessity, not choice, that is hardly the right word) for the postponement of my visit.10

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Friday Oct. 10, 1833
I.H.
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
88.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I.H.
Dear Mr Fox

I go off this evening & therefore shall not see you which I am sorry for.

Thanks for your kind offer of doing anything for me during my absence2—The only thing which occurs to me, that you could do, would be to Edition: current; Page: [185] send us a copy of the Repository for next month. You might send it to Dussard, whose address is 9 Great Castle Street Cavendish Square[;] he has opportunities for Paris once or twice a week.

I send “Pauline”3 having done all I could—which was, to annotate copiously in the margin, and sum up on the flyleaf—on the whole the observations are not flattering to the author—perhaps too strong in the expression to be shewn to him.4

I also send three numbers of the Plato5 for your inspection and judgment. They cannot in any case be used until I return for it is necessary they should be carefully looked over, some passages altered, and some preliminary matter written—Let us hope that the arrival of Elliott’s drama6 will relieve you from any difficulty in filling the present number—if not, you must write it all yourself—I do not think the remainder of those scraps will help you much. A propos I had them actually in my pocket at Clapton but neglected to give them to you—I am sorry your brother7 has had the trouble of calling for them.

You shall hear from me very soon—as I hope I shall from you

Farewell—
J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Nov. 5 or 6, 1833
Paris
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
89.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I could have filled a long letter to you with the occurrences and feelings and thoughts of any one day since I have been here—this fortnight seems an age in mere duration, and is an age in what it has done for us two.2 Edition: current; Page: [186] It has brought years of experience to us—good and happy experience most of it. We never could have been so near, so perfectly intimate, in any former circumstances—we never could have been together as we have been in innumerable smaller relations and concerns—we never should have spoken of all things, and in all frames of mind, with so much freedom and unreserve. I am astonished when I think how much has been restrained, how much untold, unshewn, uncommunicated till now—how much which by the new fact of its being spoken, has disappeared—so many real unlikenesses, so many more false impressions of unlikeness, most of which have only been revealed to me since they have ceased to exist or these which still exist have ceased to be felt painfully. Not a day has passed without removing some real & serious obstacle to happiness. I never thought so humbly of myself compared with her, never thought or felt myself so little worthy of her, never more keenly regretted that I am not, in some things, very different, for her sake—yet it is much to know as I do now; that almost all which has ever caused her any misgivings with regard to our fitness for each other was mistaken in point of fact—that the mistakes no longer exist—& that she is now (as she is) quite convinced that we are perfectly suited to pass our lives together—better suited indeed for that perfect than for this imperfect companionship. There will never again I believe be any obstacle to our being together entirely, from the slightest doubt that the experiment would succeed with respect to ourselves—not, as she used to say, for a short time, but for our natural lives. And yet—all the other obstacles or rather the one obstacle being as great as ever—our futurity is still perfectly uncertain. She has decided nothing except what has always been decided—not to renounce the liberty of sight—and it does not seem likely that anything will be decided until the end of the six months, if even then finally. For me, I am certain that whatever she decides will be wisest and rightest, even if she decide what was so repugnant to me at first—to remain here alone—it is repugnant to me still—but I can now see that perhaps it will be best—the future will decide that.

When will you write again—she shewed me your letter—it is beautiful in you to write so to any one, but who could write otherwise to her?

I am happy, but not so happy as when the future appeared surer.

I had written thus far before receiving your letter, and I am glad of it. I have now taken a larger sheet and copied the above into it.

Your letter does indeed shew that you do not at all “understand her state” and never have understood it—this I have only lately begun to suspect, & never was quite sure of it till now—and I see that under the presumption that you were more aware than I perceive you are of the real state of her feelings, I myself have said & written things which have confirmed you in the wrong impression.

Edition: current; Page: [187]

You seem to think that she was decided, and is now undecided—that the state of feeling which led to the separation has been as you say “interrupted” and is to be “recommenced.” Now this is an incorrect and so far a lower idea of her than the true one—she never had decided upon anything except not to give up either the feeling, or the power of communication with me—unless she did so, it was Mr. Taylor’s wish, and seemed to be necessary to his comfort that she should live apart from him. When the separation had actually taken place, the result did as you say seem certain—not because we had willed to make it so, but because it seemed the necessary consequence of the new circumstances if the feelings of all continued the same. This was the sole cause & I think cause enough for the hopefulness and happiness which I felt almost all that month and which must have made a false impression on you. I never felt sure of what was to be after the six months, but I felt an immense increase of the chances in my favour. When I came here, I expected to find her no more decided than she had always been about what would be best for all, but not to find her as for the first time I did, doubtful of what would be best for our own happiness—under the influence of that fact and of the painful feelings it excited, I wrote to you. That doubt, thank heaven, lasted but a short time—if I had delayed my letter two days longer I should never have sent it.

If Mr. Taylor feels as you believe he does, he has been very far from telling her “all he feels”; for his last letter to her, which came by the same post as this of yours (the first she ever shewed to me) is in quite another tone. He is most entirely mistaken in all the facts. Her affection for him, which originated in gratitude for his affection & kindness, instead of being weakened by this stronger feeling, has been greatly strengthened, by so many new proofs of his affection for her, & by the unexpected & (his nature considered) really admirable generosity & nobleness which he has shewn under so severe a trial. Instead of reviving in absence, her affection for him has been steady throughout; it is of quite another character from this feeling, & therefore does not in the least conflict with it naturally, & now when circumstances have thrown the two into opposition she can no more overcome, or wish to overcome the one, than the other. The difference is, that the one, being only affection, not passion, would be satisfied with knowing him to be happy though away from her—but if the choice were absolutely between giving up the stronger feeling, & making him (what he says he should be) durably wretched, I am quite convinced that either would be [more?]3 than she could bear. I know it is the common notion of passionate love that it sweeps away all other affections—but surely the justification of passion, & one of its greatest beauties & glories, is that in an otherwise fine character it weakens no feeling which deserves to subsist, Edition: current; Page: [188] but would naturally strengthen them all. Because her letters to Mr. Taylor express the strong affection she has always felt, and he is no longer seeing, every day, proofs of her far stronger feeling for another, he thinks the affection has come back—he might have seen it quite as plainly before, only he refused to believe it. I have seen it, and felt its immense power over her, in moments of intense excitement with which I am sure he would believe it to be utterly incompatible.

Her affection for him, which has always been the principal, is now the sole obstacle to our being together—for the present there seems absolutely no prospect of that obstacle’s being got over. She believes—& she knows him better than any of us can—that it would be the breaking-up of his whole future life—that she is determined never to be the cause of, & I am as determined never to urge her to it, as convinced that if I did I should fail. Nothing could justify it but “the most distinct perception” that it is not only “necessary to the happiness of both”, but the only means of saving both or either from insupportable unhappiness. That can never be unless the alternative were entire giving up. I believe he is quite right in his impression that the worst for him which is to be expected at the end of the six months is her remaining permanently here. She will if it is in human power to do so, make him understand the exact state of her feelings, and will as at present minded, give him the choice of every possible arrangement except entire giving-up, with a strong wish that her remaining here may be his choice; with a full understanding however that the agreement whatever it be, is to be no longer binding than while it is found endurable. This seems but a poor result to come of so much suffering & so much effort, but for us even so the gain is great.

She has seen and approved all that precedes, therefore it is as much her letter as mine. So now you know the whole state of the case.

She is on the whole far happier than I have ever known her, and quite well physically though far from strong—I have many anxious thoughts of how she is to bear the being again alone with so little of hope to sustain her. I am so convinced of all I have written above, that if the final decision were already made (whatever it might be) I am certain that the fact of Mr. Taylor’s being to be here so soon after I am gone would be a real & great good to her—but now, I am afraid unless she sees her way clearly to some tolerably satisfactory arrangement in the first few days of his visit she will only be made more unhappy by being made to feel still more keenly the impossibility of avoiding great unhappiness to him.

You know, perhaps, that her brother4 has been here—nothing could have been better or sweeter than all he said & did—he was even friendly.

Can I do anything for you here—see any one, or bring over anything for you—I shall leave Paris probably Friday week.

Edition: current; Page: [189]

It is idle, almost, to say any thanks for all you are saying and doing for our good & for such part of the interest you feel in it, as regards me personally—I may be able some time or other to make some return to you for it all, more than by invoking as I do, all the blessings earth is heir to upon you and yours.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Nov. 22, 1833
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
90.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

In our conversation the other evening the more important matters of which we were thinking and talking made me forget to say that if you will send to me those Plato papers,2 I will try to make them fit for the M.R.

You are I suppose provided for the next number—otherwise in a day or two I could finish one of those things.

I have the strongest wish, and some hope, that there will some day arrive a sketch of Paris, in the manner of some of your local sketches—if there does, it will be the most beautiful thing ever written—she has spoken quite enough to me at different times, to shew what it would be.

Have you seen Mr. Taylor? he has received a letter by this time, part of which she has sent to me, and which if he was still in the state in which you last saw him, will certainly put him completely out of it. Ed. Hardy3 while he confirms all you told me of the impression her precious letter made upon him when it came, bringing back his old hopes and theories, affirms positively that all this had quite gone off before he received any other letter, & that his acquiescence in her return to him is not given under the influence of those hopes and theories but of a real intention of being with her as a friend and companion. His conduct & feelings now, will shew whether this is correct. I shall be anxious to know your impression when you shall have seen him in his present state.

It seems he had written to her again since I left Paris—she writes “I had yesterday one of those letters from Mr. Taylor which make us admire & love him. He says that this plan & my letters have given him delight—that he has been selfish—but in future will think more for others & less for himself—but still he talks of this plan being good for all, by which he means me, as he says he is sure it will ‘prevent after misery’ & again he wishes for complete confidence. I have written exactly what I think without reserve.”

I have not time to write another word.

J.S.M.
Edition: current; Page: [190]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
25th November 1833
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
91.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

My dear Carlyle

As might have been anticipated I found no time while at Paris to write to you, and though I have now been in London a week, I have not been able till now to collect my thoughts for the sort of letter which my conscience tells me I ought to write. Let me dispose of business matters first. I have made the various inquiries you wanted made. First about the mode of living at Paris. M. Comte,2 whom you may have heard of as a writer, & who is now Secretaire Perpetuel to the new Academy of Moral and Political Science, a man who has tried both countries & who lived in a very simple stile in both, who has lived in both as a man ever in narrow circumstances—married and having two or three children—he is my first witness, & he says that Paris & London are much on a par: that you may live luxuriously in Paris for less money than in London, but that for any stile of living not luxuriously, the expense is nearly the same in both cities, with perhaps a slight advantage in favour of Paris. Tanneguy Duchâtel,3 who is an economist & statistician & I should think accurate in his facts, says that un député may if he chuse live at Paris during a six months session of the chamber for 300 francs (£12) a month if alone, for at most 500 francs (£20) if he have a wife and no children. The chief article of necessary consumption which is dearer at Paris than en province or in England, seems to be dress: that, if you stay only six months or so you can carry out a supply of for the whole time I suppose. You can have in the best quarters of Paris, lodgings which I think would perfectly suit you for 200 francs a month. This would include accommodation for a maid servant. Your food would be decidedly cheaper than in London. As to other matters, there is the most ample & ready access to many excellent libraries; some difficulty, but not I believe impossibility, in having permission to take books home with you. All persons of all sorts are accessible with the greatest ease to any one who had such introductions as you would have. A little way out of Paris the expenses are decidedly less, viz. houserent less, food of all sorts cheaper by the cost of conveyance and the very high octroi. In executing your smaller commissions at Paris I have had great assistance from Adolphe d’Eichthal who is much pleased Edition: current; Page: [191] at the prospect of your going there. The books which I ordered were not ready when I left Paris & I do not even know what the bookseller whom Adolphe employed had & had not been able to get. I fear there is no Dictionnaire Neologique but that appended to the Dict. de l’Academie. The Hénault4 I expect to receive immediately, together with a map of the province “Ile de France” & I have hopes of several tracts on the collier affair.5 Adolphe has sent your questions to several people whom he thought likely to be able to give you information, of whom one only has yet given him any answers; a certain Baron Darnay,6 who was then (viz. during the procès) a conseiller au parlement: his responses, which do not give much information, I inclose. Apropos I find that the parcel I destined for you did not go, last month; the cause being that Fraser promised to send for it, and faithlessly neglected to do so. I have ordered no very great number of books, & of those I doubt whether many would interest you much: the works of Ballanche,7 a sort of palingenesic philosopher now in some repute; Beranger’s8 poems; the Proverbes of Leclerc;9 no memoirs except those of the Abbé Morellet10 which I had read before, & know to contain several revolutionary scenes which would interest you. But it seems to me that the writing, buying, and reading of books has come to an end in France as well as here; in France it may perhaps revive sooner than here, having been extremely rife only five years ago & perhaps only temporarily interrupted by the débordement de la politique et des petits écrits. Here it has perished by a gradual decay, and the causes of its melancholy fate are I fear permanent.

But now to attempt to tell you anything about France and Paris! I cannot; one or two personal portraits I think I could give you, & that is the sum of all my personal knowledge—I can only say, go and look; look & you will certainly see: there is abundance to be seen, known, & judged of in six months or a year, little or nothing in one month, especially when the object of one’s visit is not exclusively to see. Except of some few individuals, I have brought back no impressions but very general ones, & of these scarcely one of which I am quite certain, except this one that there is an infinity of things to see, & that it requires a less piercing eyesight Edition: current; Page: [192] to see them, than here, because the natural signs and expressions of feeling & character are in a much less degree repressed by the ponderous dull atmosphere of custom & respectability which weighs upon them here. It really does seem to me that people care infinitely less in Paris about keeping in the gig: or what comes to the same thing when we are speaking of a people, the gig is lower, far nearer to the ground, does not so easily break down with you, & it is easy stepping in as well as out. It does appear to me that it needs little or no courage at Paris, to make the openest profession of any kind of opinions or feelings whatever. It is the very place which a speculative man should desire for promulgating his opinions, for you startle nobody, you are sure of an audience; sure of being supported, & what is perhaps still better, sure of being attacked. How different here. Littérateurs and artists there are I fancy next to none—those who pass for such I had not time to go amongst, but you easily might. I could, had I stayed longer. I suspect we have been too much impressed, you and I and others, by the Literature of Despair.11 I was in hopes that despair was the necessary consequence of having no Belief, in a nation at least, though not always in an individual: but I fear that is only in the nobler spirits, or at least the young persons of strong feelings and artistical capabilities. In France I see every reason to believe that the mass of the well-to-do classes can make themselves comfortable without either God or Devil, either literal or constructive, and are well satisfied to eat their pudding in quiet—those I mean who have enough pudding to eat, which is an infinitely larger proportion than in this country. Most of the educated people have enough to make them comfortable, and there is very little of the artificial demand for more money which the striving & straining for respectability occasions here; respectability there does not depend upon money. All agree that any man who can dress decently may dine with or go to the soirées of anybody, & mix on terms of perfect equality with all whom he meets. Then the peasantry commonly have their bit of land, & consider themselves also as lords of the soil: except, therefore, the ambitious spirits & the working population of Paris and the great towns, people seem to be tolerably content with their lot. The government has for the last year or two made great efforts to fix the attention of the people on les intérêts matériels, on schemes of commercial improvement, railroads & the like; & they are half mad, many of them, about railroads, in mere unreasoning imitation of England & England’s “prosperity.” The trades of Paris, like the manufacturers of Lyons have formed unions & are all striking for wages, i.e. the skilled labourers, those who are highly paid already: & impartial people, such as Adolphe d’Eichthal, say that their object is not so much, more money, as to elevate their rank in society, since at present the gentlemen will not keep Edition: current; Page: [193] company with them & they will not keep company with the common labourers. The revolutionary part of the republicans have opened a connexion with these Trade Societies, and attempt to turn them to purposes of revolution, with what success I know not: they themselves say “the greatest,” the other republicans say “not so great,” the non-republicans say “none at all,” from all which I infer that nothing can be known about it. If I had stayed I should have managed to attend some of the meetings of these workmen: though it seems they are jealous of the presence of gentlemen, even gentlemen-republicans. On the whole, politics are for the present very much out of vogue: nor do I know what is in vogue, except railroads: not the theatres, for people are ceasing to go there: not literature, for nothing is written or read except the usual succession of novels which went on even during the Reign of Terror. The newspapers, even, are little read compared with two years ago; & even la propagande républicaine has taken refuge in little penny papers which are hawked every Sunday in the streets & on the boulevards. One must be at Paris to know how profoundly irreligious the French are: the higher kind of books and newspapers have got beyond the irreligious state and are mostly prophesying a religion or regretting the impossibility of one—or have at least learnt to recognise a historical value in the religions of the Past or at most think it an old joke, too stale to be revived now: but the little feuilles which one buys as one goes into a theatre, are the representatives of the Voltairian philosophy at present: the summits of the national intellect have emerged above it, and it has descended to envelop & overshroud the lower regions. Our friends the St. Simonians now St. Simonians no longer, have done much good, & are still doing some. The Père,12 as you may have seen in the newspapers, having been let out of prison before his sentence was expired, has gone, with Fournel & some others of the set who were engineers, to persuade the Pacha of Egypt to let them cut a canal across the Isthmus of Suez—whereby the deux mondes, the Orient & the Occident, are still to be réunis by means of them. What has become of those who went to Constantinople in search of la femme libre I do not know. One or two, especially Jules Lechevalier & Abel Transon, have become disciples of Fourier, a sort of Robert Owen who is to accomplish all things by means of cooperation & of rendering labour agreeable, & under whose system man is to acquire absolute power over the laws of physical nature; among other happy results, the sea is to be changed into lemonade. Some have become Catholics; but among these are none of the considerable men of the set. The great majority have retained of St Simonianism about as much as is good and true, dropping the rest. The Bazard portion have mostly become republicans, the Enfantin portion, who were rich, strong partisans of les moyens pacifiques, have become Edition: current; Page: [194] juste milieu men in politics, endeavouring to work out improvement with the existing machinery. The government, acting I suppose on the judicious maxim that a Utopian désenchanté is very manageable, has restored to most of them who were engineers miners or the like, their rank in the service. Michel Chevalier was scarcely out of prison when they selected him to be sent to the United States to study their canals & railways. Flachat is now one of the three editors of the Constitutionnel, where he writes good articles on free trade & such like matters: he seems a sensible man, without much enthusiasm left in him; he stuck to them to the last, & had by his own account a fièvre cérébrale from the suffering & anxiety it caused him; after which he was very near becoming a Christian: now he seems to be left with a vague presentiment that there will be a religion some time or other. Leroux,13 & Reynaud,14 whom you remember as the protester against Enfantin, (both of whom I saw) go on prophesying a religion in the Revue Encyclopédique; their notions are somewhat singular, Reynaud’s especially who thinks that the future religion will not be revealed, nor brought to light at once, but will be evolved gradually by le progrès de la raison publique, like a science. They have all sorts of vagaries too about the “Orient” & are grubbing into Sanscrit and Chinese literature in hopes of finding something which may help towards raising up this religion which is to be built up, brick after brick. I recollect in a number of the Revue Encyclopédique one of them says in express terms that since we know hardly anything of the East except the Bible, & since that is so good, doubtless if we knew more we should find something still better.—Among the individuals of another kind whom I saw & formed an acquaintance with, two made a particular impression upon me; two perfectly self-subsistent men in the best sense, or I am greatly mistaken in them; & in that, honorably distinguished from Frenchmen in general. Both these are republican leaders; leaders however of two very different sorts of republicans; or rather, not leaders, but men who follow no other person’s lead, and whom every one is glad to follow. These are, Carrel,15 the editor of the National, & Cavaignac,16 whose speech when on trial for a conspiracy two years ago I translated & inserted in the Examiner,17 where you may have seen it.18 I knew Carrel as the most powerful journalist in France, sole Edition: current; Page: [195] manager of a paper which while it keeps aloof from all coterie influence & from the actively revolutionary part of the republican body, has for some time been avowedly republican; & I knew that he was considered a vigorous, energetic man of action, who would always have courage & conduct in an emergency. Knowing thus much of him, I was ushered into the National office where I found six or seven of the innumerable rédacteurs who belong to a French paper, all dark-haired men with formidable moustaches (which many of the republicans have taken to wearing) & looking fiercely republican. Carrel was not there, & after waiting some time I was introduced to a slight elegant young man with extremely polished manners, no moustaches at all, and apparently fitter for a drawingroom than a camp; this was the commander-in-chief of those formidable looking champions. But it was impossible to be five minutes in his company without perceiving that he was accustomed to ascendancy, & so accustomed as not to feel it; instead of that eagerness & impetuosity which one finds in most Frenchmen, his manner is extremely deliberate; without any affectation he speaks in a sort of measured cadence, & in a manner of which your words “quiet emphasis” are more characteristic than of any man I know: there is the same quiet emphasis in his writings: a man singularly free, if we may trust appearances, from self-consciousness; simple, graceful, almost infantinely playful as they all say when he is among his intimates, & indeed I could see that myself; & combining perfect self-reliance with the most unaffected modesty; in opinions, & political position, the Fonblanque of France; like Fonblanque, too, standing quite alone (je n’aime pas, said he to me one day, à marcher en troupeau) occupying a midway position, facing one way towards the supporters of monarchy & an aristocratic limitation of the suffrage, with whom he will have no compromise, on the other towards the extreme republicans who have anti-property doctrines, and instead of his United-States republic, want a republic de la façon de la Convention, with something like a dictatorship in their own hands: he calls himself a Conservative Republican (l’opinion républicaine conservatrice); not but that he sees plainly that the present constitution of property admits of many improvements but he thinks they can only take place gradually or at least that philosophy has not yet matured them: & he would rather hold back than accelerate the revolution which he thinks inevitable, in order to leave time for ripening those great questions, chiefly affecting the constitution of property & the condition of the working classes, which would press for a solution if a revolution were to take place. As for himself he says that he is not un homme spécial, that his métier de journaliste engrosses him too much to enable him to study, and that he is profoundly ignorant of much upon Edition: current; Page: [196] which he would have to decide if he were in power; & could do nothing but bring together a body generally representative of the people, & assist in carrying into execution the dictates of their united wisdom. This is modest enough in the man who would certainly be President of the Republic if there were a republic within five years & the extreme party did not get the upper hand. He seems to know well what he does know: I have met with no such views of the French Revolution in any book, as those I have heard from him.—A very different man from Carrel is Cavaignac; he is president of the Société des Droits de l’Homme, who are the active stirring revolutionary party, who look up to Robespierre, and aim at l’égalité absolue: he is for taking the first opportunity for overthrowing the government by force, & thinks the opportunity must come in six months, or a year at farthest: a man whose name is energy; who cannot ask you the commonest question but in so decided a manner that he makes you start: a man who impresses you with a sense of irresistible power & indomitable will; you might fancy him an incarnation of Satan, if he were your enemy or the enemy of your party, & if you had not associated with him & seen how full of sweetness and amiableness & gentleness he is: intense in everything, he is the intensest of atheists, & says, “je n’aime pas ceux qui croient en Dieu” because “it is generally a reason for doing nothing for Man”: but his notion of Duty is that of a Stoic; he conceives it as something quite infinite, & having nothing whatever to do with Happiness, something immeasurably above it: a kind of half Manichean in his views of the universe: according to him man’s Life consists of one perennial & intense struggle against the principle of Evil, which but for that struggle would wholly overwhelm him: generation after generation carries on this battle, with little success as yet: he believes in perfectibility, & progressiveness, but thinks that hitherto progress has consisted only in removing some of the impediments to good, not in realising the good itself; that nevertheless the only satisfaction which man can realise for himself is in battling with this evil principle & overpowering it; that after evils have accumulated for centuries, there sometimes comes one great clearing-off on one day of reckoning called a revolution; that it is only on such rare occasions, very rarely indeed on any others, that good men get into power, & then they ought to seize the opportunity for doing all they can; that any government which is boldly attacked, by ever so small a minority, may be overthrown, & that is his hope with regard to the present government. His notion of égalité absolue is rather speculative than practical: he says he does not know whether it should be by an equal division of the means of production (land and capital) or by an equal division of the produce: when I stated to him the difficulties of both he felt & acknowledged them; all he had to propose were but a variety of measures Edition: current; Page: [197] tending towards an equalisation of property: & he seems to have a strange reliance on events, thinking that when the end is clearly conceived, the circumstances of the case would when power is in the right hands, suggest the most appropriate means. Cavaignac is the son of a Conventionalist and regicide. He is a much more accomplished man than most of the political men I saw there; has a wider range of ideas, converses on Art, & most subjects of general interest: always throwing all he has to say into a few brief energetic sentences, as if it was contrary to his nature to expend one superfluous word. Just as I was coming away he gave me the first two numbers of a periodical work19 which a set of republicans have just set up. All of it seems to be rubbish except the introductory discourse, which is by Cavaignac, and which is an exposition of his philosophy, his idea of “the significance of man’s life”: it contains all that I have just written to you & much of the same sort, but my impressions were not derived from it, but from his conversation; and the essay appeared to me a complete résumé of the man: such as it is, it made no sensation whatever; it flew over the heads of Carrel & the rest, they all voted it vague, abstract, metaphysical, & the like: you will be struck with it; I send it in Fraser’s parcel. I am to correspond with Cavaignac and Carrel & various others and shall know much more of them I hope: with Carrel I am to establish an exchange of articles; Carrel is to send some to the Examiner and I am to send some to the National, with liberty to publish them here. I could tell you much more of these men & other men, but this is enough for one letter—let me hear your remarks & questions, and they will remind me of a hundred things which I have omitted. I have other things to write, too, not about Paris: but they must wait. On the whole, I think you will go to Paris next summer, and I probably shall pay my visit to you there instead of Craigenputtoch. You will find several persons there eager to be friendly, among others, Cousin.20 His name reminds me of a hundred things to tell you in my next.—Let me hear from you soon. My best remembrances to Mrs Carlyle.—Vale mei memor.

J. S. Mill

Read Buller on Mirabeau in the Cochrane Review21—did you detect me in the Exr reviewing Miss Martineau, & Col. Napier?22

Edition: current; Page: [198]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
26th November, 1833
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
92.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

Roebuck, Strutt,2 Buller, and other radical members of Parliament have a scheme to start a radical review as their organ,3 with individual signatures like J.R., in which we should all of us write—the thing looks possible, and everybody seems so eager about it that I really think it will come to pass.

If so, it will train up both readers and writers for The Monthly Repository, The Examiner, Tait, and all. Strength is multiplied by division when it is growing strength. [. . .]

The Examiner has hoisted a flag of distress. Fonblanque cannot go on, and the paper may stop any week. He can retrench so as to cover the weekly loss if he had £1000 in hand. This he proposes raising by inducing 100 persons to pay £10 each, for which they are to receive his paper for ten years, and for which (without counting on any increase of sale) he can carry it on on the chance of reduction of the stamp duties within that time. What think you of the scheme? And if you think well of it, would you—not subscribe yourself—but mention the proposition to any persons you know who would?

A much better plan selon moi would be that someone who has £1000 should put it down himself to become the proprietor, keeping Fonblanque as editor only, and the other persons interested remaining creditors of the paper. If I were not in the India House and were going to remain in England I would do so immediately, that is, I would propose it to Fonblanque, who I think must consent—and I would have him as political editor and take the literary and art department myself. But that it seems cannot be—and I fear nobody else will—though it would at worst be only an advance without interest, at best an extremely profitable investment.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
30 Novembre 1833
India House
Victor Cousin
Cousin, Victor
93.

TO VICTOR COUSIN1

Mon cher Monsieur,

Parmi les documents que vous avez désiré avoir au sujet de ce qui ce fait ici sur l’éducation considérée comme affaire d’Etat, je n’ai pu encore me procurer que le discours de mon ami Roebuck,2 qui m’a chargé de Edition: current; Page: [199] vous en faire hommage en son nom. Vous verrez qu’il donne à l’élection populaire le choix des instituteurs primaires. Vous mettrez peut-être cela sur le compte du radicalisme; mais radicalisme ou non, je crois que, dans notre pays, où la centralisation n’est nullement dans les mœurs, c’est la le seul moyen de faire accepter par la nation l’éducation forcée.

Quant au commencement d’exécution que reçoit aujourd’hui ce principe introduit, pour ainsi dire, par supercherie, dans nos lois, mon ami Chadwick, qui en est l’auteur principal, m’a promis des renseignements que j’aurai l’honneur de vous faire parvenir par la première occasion. C’est alors que je prendrai la liberté de vous écrire plus au long.

Je n’ai pas encore vu Madame Austin, à qui cependant j’ai envoyé depuis longtemps les petits ouvrages que vous m’avez confiés pour elle. Un léger mal aux yeux qui m’a forcé de rester chez moi le soir, ne m’empêchera sans doute pas beaucoup plus longtemps d’aller la voir. Je ne sais pas si elle vous a écrit. Son adresse est, 5 Orme Square, Bayswater.

Agréez, mon cher Monsieur, l’hommage de mon profond respect.

J. S. Mill

Si vous vouliez me donner des nouvelles de votre santé, vous me feriez un très grand plaisir.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
22d December 1833
Kensington
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
94.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

Kensington
My dear Carlyle

Your letter had been hoped for and expected & in one sense waited for, a considerable time—for I had various matters of interest to write to you about, but as I hoped for a letter so soon I delayed writing till I could make my letter answer yours.

One of those matters is, the affair of the Examiner, of which you have heard somewhat from Hayward.2 It is in difficulties, and those of so serious a kind, that if something had not been done or attempted immediately to save it, there was danger of its stopping altogether. The cause is melancholy enough, being less the circumstances of the paper, though it is not prosperous, than those of Fonblanque himself, who, like his father before him, has wanted firmness to restrain his expenses within his means. Since he Edition: current; Page: [200] enlarged the paper in January 1831, it has yielded him little; it allows him nominally £500 a year; reckoning that in addition to its other expenses it has during these three years lost on the average £6 a week; which coming out of his £500 reduced it to below £200. He, meantime, has been living at a rate most needlessly expensive, and is at last so completely drained, & his credit I should think so completely exhausted, that he can go on no longer. Strange that a man who writes so feelingly and powerfully on this same weakness should so act—but not at all strange, only melancholy, that one who so acts, possessing intellect, should so write. If his difficulties do not ruin the paper, it is in no danger; for means of retrenchment present themselves to the extent of £8 or £9 a week, by discharging Chadwick,3 whose work Fonblanque takes upon himself in addition to his own; and by cheaper arrangements for printing and paper; which however depend upon first paying off an arrear to his printer & stationer. £1000 would do all this, & start him fair with £500 a year & an improving property; for advertisements, the great source of profit to a paper, have as you must have observed with pleasure, multiplied exceedingly in the Exr since the reduction of the duty. The £1000 it were to be wished that some one person of the right disposition should have advanced, becoming thereby proprietor, in the place of F. whose personal circumstances would then have ceased to compromise the paper, & who would of course have been retained as editor. This I would myself have proposed to do, were not my position with regard to the India House, which hampers my freedom of action in a thousand ways but which shall not hamper it always, in this case an insuperable obstacle. What has been attempted is, to raise the money in subscriptions of £10 each from 100 persons, each of whom is to receive the paper gratis for ten years. Sixty promises have been obtained, the remaining forty are still to seek: as many as twenty more are I think as good as certain—but less than the whole hundred will not do, for the debts on the paper amount to £780 & money to the extent of the remainder will then be wanted to start it fair, or perhaps (for I know not) to keep poor Fonblanque out of the King’s Bench. I am doing all I can to interest people in the matter—& should have written to you among the first, had I not known that you could do little (if anything) in the way either of subscribing or procuring subscriptions. I think we shall succeed, but it will require a vigorous effort.—The sale of the Examiner does not much exceed 3000 copies. This is as you say a scandalous symptom, yet there are many causes that contribute to it besides the scandalous ones that first suggest themselves. Of course it can only expect buyers (readers are quite another matter) from radicals: now of these the more vulgar sort find as much radicalism in other papers, of a more direct and palpable kind, with greater breadth, as the painters say: for Fonblanque’s genius, fine as it is, goes all Edition: current; Page: [201] into the details—not into the general mode of treating a subject: he does not go straight to the main point, despising all little side views, dwell upon that & make that tell—like the Times, which with materials of no intrinsic value whatever writes powerfully for popular effect, as Fonblanque might do with his powers, though scarcely with his turn of mind. Then F.’s allusions, expressions, stile, all the garb of his thoughts is intelligible, or at least impressive, only to persons of literary, one might say almost classical education, & most of them are not radicals.—Not to mention that such as do not take a daily paper, require in a weekly one a better abstract of news—that I hope will now in some degree be mended. Then the more moderate radicals are revolted by the tone of hatred in which the paper is written. This feeling extends to many who would have no objection to, but would applaud, the utterance of the bitterest truths, but do not like a perpetual carping at little things, honestly indeed, yet often unfairly & making no personal allowances, sometimes misstating altogether the kind of blame which is deserved, & meting it out in unequal measures to different people, so as to give an appearance of spleen & personal antipathy to individuals—especially to some of the Ministers, & among them, most perhaps to some of those who deserve it rather less than the others. In all this there is much truth; on the other hand much also is to be said for Fonblanque, but on the whole not enough to acquit him entirely. So he has really no partisans at all, & loses by almost all his excellencies and by his faults too. At the very time when he was offending the moderate radicals by the nature of his attacks on the ministry, he was losing at the rate of 100 subscribers every week for some time by resisting the anti-police furor. Still, the position of the paper will be a good one if this money can be raised, & raised I hope it will be.

I have another piece of news to tell you: the principal radicals in parliament & many of those out of it have a scheme for starting a new quarterly review, & are exerting themselves so much for it that they will probably succeed in setting it going.4 The first promoters of it were Roebuck, Buller, & I; & we shall probably be the surest & most regular contributors, though there will be abundance of others—All the educated radicals to whom the thing has been mentioned enter into it with a degree of warmth unusual with them & offer both pecuniary & literary assistance. There is but one exception—& that one I lament to say is Grote—who has gradually sunk into a state always too congenial to him, of thinking that no good is to be done & who therefore will certainly never do any—at most no harm, & scarcely that, for it is harm to discourage others. A bookseller is willing to take the risk for two years provided editorship & writers are found for that period—in order to do so, the rich radicals, Edition: current; Page: [202] Strutt, Warburton, Sir. W. Molesworth,5 the Marshalls6 of Leeds, & others, are going to raise money of the necessary amount among themselves & their friends, in shares of £25 or £50 the same person being allowed to take any number. The plan (Roebuck’s & mine, to which all have at once assented) is, to drop altogether every kind of lying; the lie of pretending that all the articles are reviews, when more than half of them are not; and the lie of pretending that all the articles proceed from a corps, who jointly entertain all the opinions expressed. There is to be no we; but each writer is to have a signature, which he may avow or not as he pleases, but which (unless there be special reasons to constitute an exception) is to be the same for all his articles, thus making him individually responsible & allowing his opinions to derive what light they can from one another. The editor answers only for adequate literary merit, & a general tendency not in contradiction to the objects of the publication. They would I believe make me editor if I would take it—but I cannot; hampered again! but this time it is of little consequence, for I hope they will have Mr. Fox, who will be quite as fit: if they will not have him, there are other candidates not unfit though not so fit. If this scheme goes on, I hope you will write for the review or at least in it. As an organ of utterance it will be at least more congenial to you than Fraser’s Magazine. It is true the prejudices of our Utilitarians are at least as strong against some of your writings as those of any other persons whatever, & though the individual signature would smooth many difficulties, even that would hardly, with them, have covered your “Characteristics” or “Teufelsdröckh” (were you afraid of the word Dreck?) but such an article as that on Johnson they would have delighted in; that on Ebenezer Elliott & various others of yours would have suited them perfectly. In fact, I hardly know one of your opinions, as often as you do not feel yourself called upon to make a direct attack upon themselves, which they would have any difficulty in getting on with: and I expect no difficulty in getting a passport for any of mine, which except in mere metaphysics, are quite as unlike theirs as yours are: what revolts them is the combination of opinions new & often strange to them, with a manner (to them) equally new & still more strange, & which prevents them not only from understanding your meaning but from desiring to understand it. I have never found one of them who, after taking the trouble to read enough of your writings to understand any thing of your drift, did not recognise in them much more of what he deemed good than of what he deemed bad; it is true I have found few who would take that trouble, & some of those few Edition: current; Page: [203] would not have done so if they had not had faith (derived from my testimony) that it was worth while. I tell you this, to let you know how the land lies. There is nothing in what I have said that needs be any obstacle to your writing for this review—it simply shews under what conditions either of subject or else of manner your writings will be acceptable to it. To me your manner being the natural clothing or rather skin of your thoughts, is (whenever I understand those) all that it should be: so however is Plato’s: whom however I would not counsel to preach at St Paul’s in good Attic Greek: of course I am exaggerating, for the purpose of illustration. Here is a letter neither menschlich nor geistlich but wholly dinglich: you will be I think not more than a week without another letter; there is so much of the two former kinds to be said. I have not answered your letter, as you see. As for your letters, they are never, I think, more menschlich than when they are geistlich, nor more geistlich than when menschlich. Yours affectionately

J. S. Mill

I long to see your Collier7 book, yet could wish for the sake of it that you had received long since what you will receive soon, unless the diligence to which Adolphe d’Eichthal has entrusted it, prove unfaithful. This is, (if I rightly recollect, for I have not his letter by me) a collection, in two volumes 8vo, of all the pièces du procès; a book without which, he says, everybody says there is no getting any conception of what it was. This book is to come, along with the Hénault,8 & shall go by Fraser’s next, if it come in time. I know not why my parcel had not yet reached you. Do you still desire Babbage’s book on Manufactures?9 I have at length borrowed it, & can lend. The Roland is mine, and I do not want it: your books have never returned after, generally much before they were needed. Beaumarchais’10 works since you have not read them will be of the greatest value & interest to you—they throw light on a great deal, had immense effect at the time, & are works of real genius. I have them not; but will endeavour to borrow them—it is quite a new idea to me that you have need of them.—Fraser’s address is or was lately, 22 Wilton Crescent. I see little of him. my kind regards to Mrs Carlyle.11

Of the St Simonians next time; vide also a forthcoming Examiner.12

Roebuck, & much else, postponed.13

Edition: current; Page: [204]

1834

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
12th January 1834
Kensington
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
95.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

Kensington
My dear Carlyle

Your little note dated the 24th was evidently written before you received my letter written I forget when, but which I fear lost the first week’s post. I am therefore still expecting an answer to that letter, but shall not wait for it, mindful that I still owe you an answer to your last long letter,2—and a fuller answer too than can be given in any moderate space. I feel that letter a kind of call upon me to a more complete unfolding to you of my opinions and ways of thinking than I have ever yet made; which however cannot be all accomplished at once, but must be gradual. In the very fact that there has not been that full explanation, and that I feel moved to it now, you may see that there has taken place a great change in my character and one of which you will wholly approve—a change, not from any kind of insincerity, but to a far higher kind of sincerity than belonged to me before. This change has been progressive, and had barely begun to take place when you were in London two years ago. I was then, and had been for some years, in an intermediate state—a state of reaction from logical-utilitarian narrowness of the very narrowest kind, out of which after much unhappiness and inward struggling I had emerged, and had taken temporary refuge in its extreme opposite. My first state had been one of intense philosophic intolerance; not arising from the scornfulness of the heart but from the onesidedness of the understanding: seeing nothing myself but the distorted image, thrown back from many most oblique and twisted reflectors, of one side only of the truth. I felt towards all who saw any other side, not indeed a feeling of disdain, for that never was in my character but the very utmost excess of intellectual vilipending. At that time I was thought to outrer the doctrines of utilitarianism, even by those who Edition: current; Page: [205] now consider me a lost sheep who has strayed from the flock and been laid hold of by the wolves. That was not wonderful; because even in the narrowest of my then associates, they being older men, their ratiocinative and nicely concatenated dreams were at some point or other, & in some degree or other, corrected and limited by their experience of actual realities, while I, a school-boy fresh from the logic-school, had never conversed with a reality; never seen one; knew not what manner of thing it was; had only spun, first other people’s & then my own deductions from assumed premisses. Now when I had got out of this state, and saw that my premisses were mere generalizations of one of the innumerable aspects of Reality, & that far from being the most important one; and when I had tried to go all round every object which I surveyed, and to place myself at all points of view, so to have the best chance of seeing all sides; I think it is scarcely surprising that for a time I became catholic and tolerant in an extreme degree, & thought one-sidedness almost the one great evil in human affairs, seeing it was the evil which had been the bane of my own teachers, & was also that of those who were warring against my teachers. I never indeed was tolerant of aught but earnest Belief; but I saw, or seemed to see, so much of good & of truth in the positive part of the most opposite opinions & practices, could they but be divested of their exclusive pretensions, that I scarcely felt myself called upon to deny anything but Denial itself. I never made strongly prominent my differences with any sincere, truth-loving person; but held communion with him through our points of agreement, endeavoured in the first place to appropriate to myself whatever was positive in him, & if he gave me any encouragement, brought before him also whatever of positive might be in me, which he till then had not. A character most unlike yours; of a quite lower kind, & which if I had not outgrown, & speedily too, there could have been little worth in me.—Do you remember a paper I wrote in an early number of Tait,3 reviewing a book by a Mr. Lewis (a man of considerable worth, of whom I shall have something more to say yet). That paper paints exactly the state of my mind & feelings at that time. It was the truest paper I had ever written, for it was the most completely an outgrowth of my own mind & character: not that what is there taught, was the best I even then had to teach; nor perhaps did I even think it so; but it contained what was uppermost in me at that time; and differed from most else that I knew in having emanated from me, not, with more or less perfect assimilation, merely worked itself into me.—Now from this my intellectual history, in relating which I have faith that I have not presumed too much upon your interest in me, you will easily see why it is that we two have so rarely canvassed together, or even mentioned to each other our differences. I never or rarely felt myself called upon to come into Edition: current; Page: [206] collision with any one, except those to whom I felt myself altogether superior, & with whom if I had any intellectual communion it was not for the sake of learning but of teaching. I have not, till lately, and very gradually, found out that this is not honest; that although I have not positively, I have negatively, done much to give to you and to others, a false opinion of me: though the deliberation with which you form your opinions, always waiting for sufficient grounds, has I think protected you from forming an actually false opinion of me, & I have only to accuse myself of not having afforded you sufficient means of forming the true. Whether if you knew me thoroughly I should stand higher, or lower, either in your esteem or in your affection, I know not; in some things you seem to think me further from you than I am, in others perhaps I am further from you than you know. On the whole I think if all were told I should stand lower; but there cannot fail, any way, to be much which we shall mutually not only respect but greatly prize in each other; and after all, this, as you & I both know, is altogether of secondary importance; the first being, that we, and all persons and all things, should be seen truly—and as they are.

Our differences are indeed of the first importance, and to you must appear of infinite importance; though for reasons which you will feel the force of, they do not, in my feeling, throw me to so great a distance from you as they perhaps will in yours. The first and principal of these differences is, that I have only, what appears to you much the same thing as, or even worse than, no God at all; namely, a merely probable God. By probable I do not mean as you sometimes do, in the sense of the Jesuits, “that which has weighty authorities in its favour”. I mean that the existence of a Creator is not to me a matter of faith, or of intuition; & as a proposition to be proved by evidence, it is but a hypothesis, the proofs of which as you I know agree with me, do not amount to absolute certainty. As this is my condition in spite of the strongest wish to believe, I fear it is hopeless; the unspeakable good it would be to me to have a faith like yours, I mean as firm as yours, on that, to you, fundamental point, I am as strongly conscious of when life is a happiness to me, as when it is, what it has been for long periods now past by, a burthen. But I know that neither you nor any one else can be of any use to me in this, & I content myself with doing no ill, by never propagating my uncertainties. The reason why I think I shall never alter on this matter is, that none of the ordinary difficulties as they are called, as the origin of evil, & such like, are any serious obstacles to me; it is not that the logical understanding, invading the province of another faculty, will not let that other higher faculty do its office; there is wanting something positive in me, which exists in others; whether that something be, as sceptics say, an acquired association, or as you say, a Edition: current; Page: [207] natural faculty. So you see I am nearly as proper an object of your pity as Cavaignac; nevertheless I do not feel myself so, having, as I have, other supports, which the want of that one cannot take away. With respect to the immortality of the soul I see no reason to believe that it perishes; nor sufficient ground for complete assurance that it survives; but if it does, there is every reason to think that it continues in another state such as it has made itself here, & no further affected by the change than it would be by any equally great event during its sojourn on earth, were such possible. Consequently in all we do here we are working for our “hereafter” as well as our “now.”—Now, were you aware that I was in such a state of uncertainty on these main points? I am almost sure that you were not much mistaken in the matter, but yet were not quite certain that you knew.

Another of our differences is, that I am still, & am likely to remain, a utilitarian; though not one of “the people called utilitarians”; indeed, having scarcely one of my secondary premisses in common with them; nor a utilitarian at all, unless in quite another sense from what perhaps any one except myself understands by the word. It would take a whole letter to make it quite clear to you what I mean; & I feel perfectly that I have stated the difference between us in a manner & in terms which give no just idea of what it really is, & that every explanation I shall hereafter make will show that difference to be less than the words I have used seem to import. One of the explanations I have to give, I partly indicate by saying, as I do most fully, that I entirely recognise with you the “infinite nature of Duty”.4 Yet by this too, if unexplained, I should convey an idea of as much greater an agreement with you than the truth warrants, as I do in the other case of a less agreement. This also must wait till another time for a fuller developement. You will see, partly, with what an immense number & variety of explanations my utilitarianism must be taken, & that those explanations affect its essence, not merely its accidental forms, when I tell you that on the very point on which you express your belief so kindly & with so much ménagement and appeal to my future self, & promise not to be angry if I differ from you “even with vehemence”, I agree & have long agreed with you, even in the most decided and vehement manner. I have never, at least since I had any convictions of my own, belonged to the benevolentiary, soup-kitchen school. Though I hold the good of the species (or rather of its several units) to be the ultimate end, (which is the alpha & omega of my utilitarianism) I believe with the fullest Belief that this end can in no other way be forwarded but by the means you speak of, namely by each taking for his exclusive aim the development of what is best in Edition: current; Page: [208] himself.5 I qualify or explain this doctrine no otherwise than as you yourself do, since you hold that every human creature has an appointed task to perform which task he is to know & find out for himself; this can only be by discovering in what manner such faculties as he possesses or can acquire may produce most good in the world: meaning by the world a larger or a smaller part of it as may happen. Thus you think it a part of your duty, of your work, to address yourself, through the press, to the “species” at large. Further than that I do not go; perhaps even less far. And when once I have written down my Belief & sent it forth in such manner as happens or seems to be the most effectual within my reach, I harass myself as little as you do with any thought about the consequences; being like yourself perfectly satisfied that what I have done, if done in the spirit of my own creed, will “prove in reality all & the utmost that I was capable of doing” for mankind.

And now do not “take it ill” if I say how much it surprised me that you should think it necessary to say you would not “take it ill” if I differed from you. I never for an instant suspected that you would take ill any difference of opinion while you continue fully assured that the dissentient is sincere, earnest, & truth-loving: and you never allow me to be under a moment’s fear that you are unassured of that in my case. Grieved you might be at what you might deem my errors, but that feeling you could not mean to disavow; nor would it be any pleasure to me, but the contrary, if you could.—In your recent letters you have several times expressed surprise at opinions & feelings of mine which you did not expect, & which you have said proved to you how little you yet know me; & which in truth did shew, how small a part of my character I had yet shewn to you; so much smaller a part than I was aware of: truly I begin to think that instead of being as I once thought I was, the most self-conscious person living, I am much less self-conscious now, (whatever I was once) than almost anybody. But what most shews how little I had afforded you an insight into, is that the fact of my having recently read the New Testament, & what I wrote to you of the impressions it had made upon me,6 should have formed as it seems to have done, an era in your opinion & feeling concerning me. In my own history it is no era; it has made no new impression, only strengthened the best of the old: I have for years had the very same idea of Christ, & the same unbounded reverence for him as now; it was because of this reverence that I sought a more perfect acquaintance with the Edition: current; Page: [209] records of his life, that indeed gave new life to the reverence, which in any case was becoming or was closely allied with all that was becoming a living principle in my character.

Here is a very long letter; yet how little it says of all that is to be said! However you see that you are likely to know much more of me hereafter than you have known hitherto. I must expend this remaining space on matters of fact. The two volumes on the collier, together with Henault7, came from Adolphe d’Eichthal & went off immediately, I hope in time to go by Fraser’s last parcel. I wonder at your not having received the other books. The Examiner subscribers amount now to 80 of the required 100, & others are known to be coming.—The review proceeds hopefully, but assurance is needed of a greater number of acceptable writers. The paper on the Repository was mine, also that in last Examiner on the new number,8 & I have recommenced my French articles. The paper on Miss Martineau9 was really a paper on Impressment. D’Eichthal says you will find much on the collier in the history by the Abbé Montgaillard,10 and in the Mémoires secrets de Bachaumont:11 this last person wrote down the doings & talkings of every successive day. The 2 vols I have sent, contain the mémoires of the different parties in the cause. How find you the Goesman Memoires?12 Make my kind remembrances to Mrs Carlyle and believe me Faithfully yours

J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
17th January, [1834]
Kensington
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
96.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

Kensington
,
My dear Sir,

Your letter gave me the pleasure your letters always do, and that is a constantly increasing pleasure, for every fresh communication discloses new points of agreement and sympathy. Whoever else may have difficulty Edition: current; Page: [210] in co-operating, we two shall find it easy; for wherever we turn our minds separately to the same subject, we seem always to arrive at the same, or at the lowest, perfectly harmonious conclusions. . . . About the Review—though I felt almost sure that you would approve of it, and enter into it with the warmth which I wish were as characteristic of all our friends as of you, it is no less a satisfaction to me to find that I was not mistaken. The project advances, and if we had a sufficient list of good writers on whom we could rely so as to be independent of chance contributions, we could start almost immediately; but, unhappily, “the harvest is great, and the labourers are few”—there are scarcely any first-rate minds forming—indè origo mali—we want such an organ quite as much to train up public instructors, to erect a Normal School of Literature as for any temporary or party purposes. Though I do not say so to any one whose zeal I am afraid of damping, I do not think we shall be ready before the 1st of January next year. We can do little till Parliament meets, and our friends come to town; and our arrangements will not be made in time to publish the first number before the end of the session, which is so bad a time for a new literary undertaking that it will be better to postpone, and employ the delay in accumulating a stock of good articles to start with. Meantime, we shall increase our corps, and shall ascertain the result of several experiments, especially Tait’s reduction of price (Roebuck, who has just come from Bath, says the reduction will tenfold the sale in that city, but then Tait’s magazine means Roebuck’s magazine, at Bath, where his popularity is boundless. I say boundless, because he is able to get over everything though constantly meeting with rubs. Two public meetings have been necessary to obliterate the impression produced by his having, in Tait, termed Watts’ hymns a “wretched farrago”).3 About an editor—the fittest who has presented himself, and also the least objected to hitherto, is Mr. Fox, whom you know probably most as a writer in The Westminster Review, and leader of the Political Union in London. His principles, opinions, talents, and attainments, render him, I think, eminently fit; the objection is his being a Unitarian minister, and that objection is only as to the appearance, not the fact, as you well know if you ever read The Monthly Repository, of which he is editor and proprietor, and has divested it of its sectarian character so completely as to have lost the support of almost all the Unitarians. His religion, of the most unobtrusive kind, is what the religion of all denominations would be, if we were in a healthy state—a religion of spirit, not of dogma, and catholic in the best sense. For writers, those we most rely on for regular support are my father, who, if he continues to be satisfied with the conduct of the Review, will, I have no Edition: current; Page: [211] doubt, write frequently; Roebuck, Buller, and myself (the originators of the scheme), Fonblanque, John Wilson, secretary to the Factory Commission, a most valuable man; Fox himself, to whom we have now the pleasure of adding you. Strutt and Hawkins4 will write occasionally. Many others, some of them most valuable, have promised assistance, but we cannot count upon them to the same extent. With some of the very best it is on the cards whether they will be able to give us much of their time or none; for instance, Chadwick, the poor Law Commissioner, one of the most remarkable men of our time in the practical art of Government, Dr. Southwood Smith,5 and a variety of others. Can you help us to swell the list? Since I have mentioned The Monthly Repository, I will exhort you if it falls in your way to read it, and I should be happy, if it does not, to send you a number now and then as I am anxious both for Mr. Fox’s sake and for its merit, to spread it abroad in every way—it has an uphill fight for success, having lost almost all its old circulation and gained an entirely new one—and it has little or no bibliopolic support. It is highly gratifying to me to find my views on the definition and method of Political Economy6 coinciding with those of so competent a judge as yourself—it is by the approbation of such persons as you (and how few they are) that the fate of such speculations must be decided—but I hope for more from you than simple approbation, you who will enter perfectly into the spirit of all I have written so far as it is true, will also be able to add much to it and to suggest all manner of further developments, clearer explanations and apter illustrations, and I most earnestly beg you to do so—as I am ambitious that the essay, even if for that end it should remain unpublished for twenty years, should become classical and of authority; and as I am persuaded that the foundation of the truth is here, I do not despair by the help of the very few whose help is worth having in such a case, of gradually perfecting the execution until it may deserve more than an ephemeral existence. I was prepared for our agreeing in the main, as I think we always shall on questions of philosophic method, because we always have hitherto, and because we have both of us laid the foundation in the study of physics. Though my acquaintance with either mathematical or experimental science is not profound as yours is, but extremely superficial, it is sufficient to have enabled me to lay hold of the methods and appropriate to myself fully as much as any metaphysician has ever done, the logic of physical science—yet I feel great imperfections still in that department, and look forward to soliciting much of your aid not only for little things like this but for a much more elaborate work on Logic which Edition: current; Page: [212] I have made some progress in. I am extremely glad that you are writing for the F.Q.7 an article which I have long wished written, and look forward to its perusal with great expectation both of pleasure and of valuable suggestions for the guidance of my own mind. It is a great honour to my MS. that you should wish to quote anything from it in your article; I most readily delegate to you absolute powers over it for that purpose; only the very flattering expressions which you are kind enough to apply to it in your letter induce me to request that if you mention my name (which I leave to your option) the quotation may be left to speak for itself. The passport of your recommendation is given by the fact of its insertion, and the public have seen so much of coteries of men puffing one another into a fictitious reputation that one is anxious to avoid any such appearance—but you do not need that I should say to you these things—though if I were writing of you perhaps I should. My habit and inclination is to simplicity in all things, and I can as little conceive that a man of any dignity of character can feel hurt by praise as by blame—but one is obliged to defer to appearances and avoid vulgarising oneself by being confounded with the herd of those who quack for a reputation. Tait has shown his usual want of delicacy (he has the least nicety of perception of all men I know) in laying praise with a trowel on his own contributors as he does—if I had not been past blushing I should have blushed the other day both for him and those of us whom he bedaubed in a recent number.8

Yours ever,
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
13th February 1834
India House
William Tait
Tait, William
97.

TO WILLIAM TAIT1

India House
My dear Sir

A few weeks ago I cashed the accompanying draft for our friend Roebuck and I now send it, but am in no hurry for payment.

The first number of your new series is I think better than any of the old—and I like the getting up & the outward & inward appearance of the new much more than of the old.

Edition: current; Page: [213]

Is the “English Opium-Eater” the author of the clever gossiping paper on Hannah More?2 and is it permitted to ask who he is? & also who is the writer on “the Decline & Fall of the Empire of Fashion”?3

The paper I like least is that on the “Streets of London.”4

I shall expect with some anxiety the result of the experiment of lowering the price. Roebuck says that it will increase tenfold the sale at Bath—but Bath is not a fair specimen, for Tait to the Bath people means Roebuck, & all his party who can afford it are sure to buy it—

Ever yours
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Friday Feb. 14, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
98.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I send the first of the notes2—I have two short ones besides, which I do not send yet, because something may occur in the remaining days of the month to change them.

You will tell me when I must close the series & send them to press?

On looking again at those two articles in the last M. R. I wonder how I could ever have said what I did say to their disadvantage—but I suppose first impressions, in a question of manner, are most likely to be right.

Thibaudeau3 is so dilatory that I fear I shall scarcely have my French paper for this month.

I like the Coriolanus4 better on a second reference to it.

I hope we shall meet oftener—we four or rather five5—as we did on Tuesday—I do not see half enough of you—and I do not, half enough, Edition: current; Page: [214] see anybody along with her6that I think is chiefly what is wanting now—that, and other things like it—

J. S. M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Feb. 22, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
99.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

On second thoughts I do not find so much to say as I expected about tithes—a few lines will do their business.2 If it would not be troublesome & expensive to add & subtract when the article is in type, we might see how much it prints to, & then judge. I go on at all events, writing the notes, so if it be found worth while to introduce a half sheet in the manner you mention, there is sure to be matter enough to fill it up.

On the subject of attendance3 I agree with you, & will subjoin the sentence you suggest—respecting libel4 I adhere to the full extent of my opinion, and should be glad if you differ from me to make the M.R. the scene of an amicable controversy on the subject. I think “tolerance, freedom, and sincerity” would not be generated; to suppose they would, is to suppose that the revelations in question would ultimately lead to this, that true statements would be believed & false ones disbelieved: now my whole argument rests upon this as its foundation that truth, in any rational sense of the term, cannot in such cases be got at by the public; that true charges cannot be distinguished from false ones by such a tribunal. I should expect one of two results; that the lives of all but the independent in fortune & brave in heart, would be thoroughly artificialized, by becoming one continued struggle to save appearances & escape misinterpretation, or else that freedom would work itself out by what seems to have taken place in America, calumny & scandal carried to such a length that nobody believes anything which appears in print, & as none can escape such imputations, nobody regards them.

J.S.M.
Edition: current; Page: [215]

[Postscript probably intended for Eliza Flower]

The three beautiful children5 shall have justice done them on the appearance of the third6—The birth of the eldest was announced,7 and a good word spoken for the expected family—

February8 is a beauty—but March9 is grand—

I wish I could give him10 half of my health and take half of some of his other endowments.

J.S.M.

Now I hope you will get this in time—

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Feb. 24, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
100.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

Let it be so by all means. You will have received today from her,2 the note on Tithe.3 As the subject will have got on into another stage by next month, this might if there be room & if it is worth while, be added at the end of the No. as a separate short article.

I know all about the Saturday scheme, & in any way if it takes effect I hope to have a share in it. How could it give pain, or anything but extreme pleasure to me? but all the pros and cons have been discussed yestereven and she will have told you all that we think about it.

On the truth question she completely agrees with me.4

Health and peace and blessing and love to both—and continue to give some love to me as I do to you—

J.S.M.

It was sweet of you to write those last words.5

Edition: current; Page: [216]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
2d March 1834
Kensington
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
101.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

Kensington
My dear Carlyle

This is going to be a strange miscellaneous kind of a letter. I have a long arrear of little things to bring up, and for the present few great ones to say—and am in a mood in which it is impossible for me to say them if I had, for nothing but the most dogged determination not to lose another post could induce me to overcome the extreme aversion which I feel to writing a letter this morning. I must take your two letters as an index of the subjects to be written about. First, to answer your questions as to the projected Periodical. On a rough classification of periodicals into Tory, Whig, & Radical, there are as you truly say, various radical reviews & magazines already; even radical-utilitarian ones; but the radical-utilitarians who promote this new project, do not recognise in any of the existing works what they want; they wish to throw the combined strength of the most thoughtful & fertile-minded of the radicals into one publication, of a more weighty & elaborate character than any magazine can be; allowing itself to treat subjects at greater length than the Repository, or Tait; excluding all things which compromise the radical cause by platitude, or mediocrity, or ignorance, or subservience to any popular delusion; & on the whole representing as favourably as the materials admit, the radical intellect, which certainly is not, & never has been, fairly represented. Tait and the Westminster give an altogether exaggerated notion of its poverty and bareness. The “philosophical radicals” are narrow enough, it is true, though few of them are so narrow as Col. Thompson, the presiding spirit of the Westminster Review. But many of them are far from being empty; and they are generally much offended by the emptiness of the radical publications. I have no doubt that this review if it be started, will be one with which it will be pleasant to be associated; one will have not only more freedom, but far better companionship than in any publication which has yet existed. I have no doubt of its being established, except that which arises from my abundant experience of the incapacity of the radicals to cooperate. Those of them who have money, & station, are mostly impracticably fastidious; men of small objections; men to whom small difficulties appear great ones. They mostly surprised me by taking up this Edition: current; Page: [217] scheme with warmth.—Your papers on Knox, & on Authors,2 would both, I think, be extremely suitable to such a work: suitable both in respect to the subjects, & to the light in which you are likely to place them—You have time before you however, for as it will not be possible to start the work until the dead time of the year, we think it better to wait for the beginning of the next. Before the time therefore when it will be necessary to set about one or other of your articles, you will have heard more; I hope, seen: for if you come to London you can judge for yourself.

I greatly commend your project of establishing yourself here; which I have long thought would, as far as all circumstances are concerned of which I could judge, be the best thing you could do. I have thought so, this much more than ever, lately, in proportion as I have seen that you are capable of deriving much pleasure & support from communion with persons who are even a little superior to the herd in any of the elements of spiritual worth. I can now promise you, what I had not ventured to promise a year ago, that you will find many more persons than you expect who will be more or less in sympathy with you, & interesting to you. Any way, you will find many more here than anywhere else. Meantime you may reckon upon my doing all I can to smooth the way to your coming, & when you are come, to your finding all that you do or may seek.

The parcel of books came through Tait, a considerable time before they were announced; & came safe, but, by what misadventure I know not, saturated with whiskey: from the odour of which it will require considerable airing to free them, so thoroughly are they impregnated. You have not told me whether you will have Babbage. I have not much else to send you, except Repositories. I would send Montgaillard & Bachaumont3 if I had them or knew how to obtain them but by ordering them from a bookseller. Of the former I once read the first two volumes, & found much in them which at that time interested me; you will find the title in the review I wrote for the W.R. of Scott’s Napoleon4 if you still have the copy I gave you (if you have not I will send you another). Of Bachaumont, a work in innumerable volumes, I know nothing but what I may have read of it in the spurious Memoirs of Louis 18th,5 which they say were almost wholly Edition: current; Page: [218] made up from it, & which were certainly most amusing & most like an authentic picture of what one may suppose to have been going on then. By the way, have you ever read the Memoirs of St Simon?6 (the Duc de St Simon in the time of Louis 14th.) From what I read of it formerly (an abridged or rather mutilated edition) & from all I have heard of it since the complete edition appeared, I should think that no more complete setting before one’s eyes of a set of human creatures, had ever been achieved: the creatures themselves it is true were as little worth it, as any who have really existed can well be. Adolphe has repeated his recommendation of Montgaillard & Bachaumont, which therefore I suppose would be of real & great use to you.

What of work I have been doing lately has been chiefly for the day, until something of a more durable kind ripen itself within me. You will have recognised in the Examiner the resumption of my papers on French politics.7 Besides these I have written in the last Repository & mean to continue during the session “notes on the newspapers”8 so as to present for once at least a picture of our “statesmen” & of their doings, taken from the point of view of a radical to whom yet radicalism in itself is but a small thing. This was worth doing I think, & I have not been capable of doing much else lately. The Repository is also publishing some notes of mine upon Plato,9 mostly written long ago, which I thought might be of some interest & perhaps use, chiefly because they do not speculate and talk about Plato, but shew to the reader Plato himself. Copies of these I will speedily send to you through Simpkin & Marshall.—I am not at all “amazed” at your reading Homer, & should like very much to hear all you will have to say about him.—I entirely agree in what you say about Beaumarchais; of Morellet10 I have no very accurate recollection.

I have scarcely heard at all from any of my acquaintances (correspondents I cannot call them) at Paris; except a note from Cousin asking me to do some things for him, & the least, or shortest word of salutation from Cavaignac. His preface to “Paris Revolutionnaire”11 impressed me, much as it did you. It was to me, also, a résumé and piecing together of many scattered and fragmentitious notions gathered from his conversation. I have no doubt of the perfect sincerity of the paper; that is, of its containing the genuine views of life and human nature, which have possessed themselves of his convictions, & by which he steers his own course. He is Edition: current; Page: [219] accused however, of being much influenced by vanity, & the love of popularity: I should have thought, without ground, had not the most keen-sighted & penetrating discerner of character I ever knew, drawn from opportunities of observation at least equal to mine, that very inference.—I am not much surprised at not hearing from Carrel, as he is in such a state of persecution & harassing from the French government. This you will have learnt from the Examiner.

Fonblanque’s business goes well. Thanks for your mention of it to Tait; who has subscribed, & promised to speak to others. There is no necessity however for any further exertions, as the money is now all obtained or as good as obtained.

I would say something in acknowledgment of your so kind answer to my letter of “revelations” but I really cannot, just now, say anything of what I would say. I would rather ask of you, to speak more & more freely to me on those subjects & unfold to me more & more your whole mind in regard to them. I will also ask one or two questions more: Is not the distinction between Mysticism, the mysticism which is of Truth, & mere dreaming, or the substitution of imaginations for realities, exactly this, that mysticism may be “translated into logic?” I mean in the only sense in which I ever endeavour so to translate it. You will understand what I mean. Logic proves nothing, yet points out clearly whether and how all things are proved. This being my creed, of course none of my mysticism, if mysticism it be, rests on logic as its basis; yet I require to see how it looks in the logical dialect before I feel sure of it. And if I have any vocation I think it is exactly this, to translate the mysticism of others into the language of Argument. Have not all things two aspects, an Artistic and a Scientific; to the former of which the language of mysticism is the most appropriate, to the latter that of Logic? The mechanical people, whether theorists or men of the world, find the former unintelligible, & despise it. Through the latter one has a chance of forcing them to respect even what they cannot understand—and that once done, they may be made to believe what to many of them must always be in the utmost extent of the term “things unseen.” This is the service I should not despair of assisting to render, & I think it is even more needed now than works of art, because it is their most useful precursor, & one might, almost say, in these days their necessary condition.

Expand to me also more & more the meaning of “Humility” and “Entsagen.”

I had almost forgotten to mention the cost of those books. The Mémoires Adolphe was obliged to pay 24 francs for; if they be not worth that to you, they will (when you have done with them) to me, who am a sort of collector of books on French history. The Hénault cost (I think) 12 francs. Edition: current; Page: [220] There were I believe no others. Adolphe said he knew of no Dictionnaire Néologique, and we tried together to get a map of the “Ile de France” but could not find one. A map of the department of Seine et Oise might be got of course, & I expected that Adolphe would have sent it if he still found it impossible to procure the other. It can be got immediately if it would still be of use.

I am thinking of ordering from Paris a series which is in the course of publication & which from notices in the National I see to be very interesting, “Histoire parlementaire de la revolution française”12 being by far the completest collection ever made of original documents; including debates in the Clubs, & so forth. There are likewise memoirs concerning & papers of Mirabeau,13 published by a relation of his & undoubtedly authentic, but I fear having but little in them. These I shall attempt to borrow & look through before I buy them.

Thiers completely verifies the impression his history makes. Even among French ministers he stands out, conspicuously unprincipled.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
15th April, 1834
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
102.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

The inclosed statement is all that I have been able to think of that can at all promote your purpose. It is taken from the annual statistical volume now published by the Board of Trade, and prepared by Mr. Porter,2 of that department; a most valuable collection, which you ought to have, as it will not only save you hundreds of troublesome references, but also afford much information, the very existence of which you would not otherwise know of. This account, like many others in the volume, was prepared from returns furnished by the Inspector General of Exports and Imports Edition: current; Page: [221] expressly for that work. The table of protections annexed to Sir Henry Parnell’s book3 is classified by himself; at least, he gives a separate list of those which he considers to be inoperative; and I, judging only by conjecture, am unable to correct it in any point. But for your purpose, which does not require minute accuracy, the enclosed paper may perhaps afford sufficient materials. I suppose you have Sir Henry’s book.

I had been a letter in your debt for a most unreasonable time before I received your last, and I know not how to excuse myself for being so, for such a letter as yours was most assuredly deserved better treatment. Every letter I receive from you discovers, I will not say more and more points of agreement between us, for that would be little, but more and more traces of a general conformity in our views and in our methods; and this strikes me more whenever we travel on new ground. For instance, I was wondering whether you were a reader of Coleridge, and should certainly have asked you the question very soon, when you unexpectedly wrote to me about him exactly what I think of him myself—except, by the way, when you say, “as a politician he seems unprincipled.” I think he is not unprincipled but principled—his views on politics are, I have reason to believe, systematic. Did you ever read his little work on Church and State?4 If not, read it; if you have, tell me whether you agree with it in the main (I mean the Church part of it) as I do. Few persons have exercised more influence over my thoughts and character than Coleridge has; not much by personal knowledge of him, though I have seen and conversed with him several times, but by his works, and by the fact that several persons with whom I have been very intimate were completely trained in his school. Through them, too, I have had opportunities of reading various unpublished manuscripts of his; and, on the whole, I can trace through what I know of his works, pieced together by what I have otherwise learned of his opinions, a most distinct thread of connection. I consider him the most systematic thinker of our time, without excepting even Bentham, whose edifice is as well bound together, but is constructed on so much simpler a plan, and covers so much less ground. On the whole, there is more food for thought—and the best kind of thought—in Coleridge than in all other contemporary writers; and it is in many respects a great good that almost all the most accomplished and zealous of the rising defenders of the Church of England are pupils of his. They are mischievous only in this, that they will be effectual in keeping up, for a time, what they will not be effectual in shaping to their ideal of what it ought to be.

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I am expecting with great anticipations of pleasure, your paper5 in the Foreign Quarterly—on a subject I have long wished to see treated as you will treat it—and also your tract on the Corn Law6 controversy. You should have a Bread-eaters’ Union to counteract the Bread-taxers’ Union. That Fife Herald7 interested me exceedingly; one so seldom has the pleasure of seeing a fallacy torn up by the roots, instead of being merely lopped, or at most levelled with the ground. What an immense superiority the scientific study of any detached point, by which I mean the habit of viewing it in its relations to all the rest of the field of which it forms a part, gives one over the mere dealers in εἰκότα και σημει̑α !8 I was forcibly struck with this when, soon after reading your Fife Herald, I read Lord Milton’s address to the landowners on the corn laws9—well meant, but as feeble and shallow as may be expected from those who, as Plato says, “study pottery in the pot itself;”10 or, as Bacon says, “Naturam rei in ipsâ re perscrutantur.”11 It is a primitive fallacy to imagine that assurance of truth can be had by looking at the subject-matter in the concrete, without that process of analysis which men term abstraction. But that is the wise, practical way; and, for want of disciplined minds, you cannot make people understand that no conclusion obtained in that way ever rises above a more or less strong presumption, requiring to be philosophically verified—brought to the test of analytic investigation.

As for those Essays,12 not only I do not want them but I beg you to keep them by you a while longer, and to annotate them copiously—they have much need of it. By-the-bye, I believe almost all that I have written in the fourth essay13 concerning Interest is erroneous but it may lead you to think on the subject, if you have not already.

The Review scheme has been slumbering temporarily for want of assurance of a sufficient number of writers. O for ten men with your ardour Edition: current; Page: [223] of character, and rectitude of intellect! I am not meaning it as praise, but as the expression of a lamentable fact that I know not any three except you, me, and Mr. Fox, who I feel sure will always be moving and could always move together—and I could name perhaps fifty who have every requisite except some one. There is always some fatal want. Now, by way of a beginning, will you say how much you think you could undertake to write regularly? I mean on the average, not to tie you to a particular time. We want sixteen sheets a quarter or thereabouts—if you will undertake for one sheet in every number, I will do the same, and I will see what others will do—but our poor Radicals! what a miserable figure they make in Parliament!

Yours ever faithfully,
J. S. Mill.

The “Philosophy of Taxation” is an excellent subject, and you will do it ample justice.

I have not yet sent the St. Simonians,14 but I will send them almost immediately, and some numbers of the Monthly Repository with them.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
28th April 1834
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
103.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House
My dear Carlyle

I received, a week ago, your little note2—it had not escaped me that for an unusual length of time I had not heard from you—but I had ascribed it to the very cause you mention3—which is also the cause of my not having written for so long a period. The same reason will make this letter an empty one; nor should I write it did I not know that the most intrinsically worthless communication between us two is valuable to both. All that either cares about is so much better spoken than written of. You will find me too “altered & altering”; perhaps more so than you expect; more, Edition: current; Page: [224] too, than will probably be quite intelligible to you, without my opening up to you many incidents in my spiritual history, which, on a principle which I have heard you also profess, I like not to speak fully and freely of, until I myself have a sufficiently clear perception of the meaning and bearing of them. But I too have what for a considerable time was quite suspended in me, the “feeling of growth.” I feel myself much more knowing, more seeing, having a far greater experience, of realities, not abstractions, than ever before; nor do I doubt that this superior knowledge and insight will one day make itself available in the form of greater power, for accomplishing whatever work I may be called to, shall I say also for chusing the work which I may most worthily perform? Every increase of insight carries with it the uncomfortable feeling of being separated more & more widely from almost all other human beings; this one would the less care for, did it not also damp all those feelings which prompt one to exertion through the hope of success, I mean any other success than is constituted by the struggle itself. One feels more & more that one is drifting so far out of the course of other men’s navigation as to be altogether below their horizon; not only they will not go with us, but they cannot see whither we are steering, & they believe if they ever catch a glimpse of us, that we are letting ourselves go blindly whither we may. However this must be, & may be, borne with, when one’s own path is clear—and mine is always becoming clearer.—On every account which I can judge of, I am convinced that you do wisely in coming to London. Nowhere else, at least nowhere in this country are there so many realities to be known & communed with; whereof not a few in the shape of true-hearted men and women, who to the extent of their intellect or experience, believe aright & act according to their belief. There are very few of them in whom there is not wanting something of the very first importance, but still there is in many enough & more than enough of good to give you a stronger interest in them than merely that which you have in all Actualities. Some of these I shall have opportunities of making known to you, & you to them, to the mutual advantage and pleasure of both.—I should send to you various books, if you were not so soon to be here; among others several numbers of the Repository, with writings of mine in them: but a much more remarkable production than anything of mine is a novel which has lately appeared, entituled “Eustace Conway” written by a far superior man,4 evidently, to the author of “Arthur Coningsby” but the tone of thinking is much the same. You will read it with great interest I am sure, though you will probably differ from many of the author’s opinions as widely as I do—but you will perhaps agree in a greater number of them. I thought I had told you that the author of Arthur Coningsby is John Sterling, who at that Edition: current; Page: [225] time was in the ferment & effervescence of the process of forming his opinions & his character—now he has become as you say “compacted and adjusted” & like all Coleridge’s disciples has become a sort of conservative & churchman—he is going into orders—but will not keep upon terms with any lie notwithstanding—he is able, which it is happy for him that he is, still to believe Christianity without doing violence to his understanding, and that therefore not being, to his mind, false in the smallest particle, he can & does denounce all which he recognises as false, in the speculation or practice of those among whom he is about to find himself.5 I believe there are not a few such persons, & that many of the most earnest and most genially-natured of the youth of the English Universities are gone or going into the clerical profession with similar views. If the Church conformed to their ideal of what it should be, I could say to them, Ite fausto pede; but they will not regenerate it from within so soon as it will be pulled down from without.—I long to hear all you could say about Homer—I hope you will, some time, write & publish it. Mr Austin is better: Buller, poor fellow, is but indifferently in health. Have you yet seen Mrs Austin’s Cousin?6 Her preface is the truest & best piece of printed writing I have read for many months. Yours faithfully

J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
June 17, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
104.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I have some news for you. Molesworth, without any suggestion or solicitation, has spontaneously offered to establish, at his own expense, the review2 we were talking of—making but one condition viz. that substantially it shall be under my direction—he knows that I cannot on account of my position in the India House, be myself the editor, or be ostensibly connected with the review in any way, except as an occasional writer—but he will appoint his editor under the complete understanding that he is to be guided altogether by me.

Edition: current; Page: [226]

This is a much more feasible scheme than the former one3—because there will be but one person to satisfy, and he a man of decided movement principles, docile, and who will certainly be pleased with the thing if it is such as will please us. At the same time we must not allow him to throw away his money—we must see our way clearly to being able to carry it on before we announce it—a failure would be disastrous to the cause.

I am anxious to talk over the matter with you and let us lay our heads together to see what can be done—a great part of the chance of success will depend upon the degree in which you can cooperate.

We can speak of it as Molesworth’s review—none out of our own circle should be told that I have more to do with it that any of the rest of us.

Do think about it—& if you do not come to me in a day or two, we will come to you.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
June 26, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
105.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

I have sent to P.R.2 I think about as much matter as we agreed upon. I have no subjects remaining, except the Beer Bill,3 on which I shall send (today) a single paragraph; the debate on education & crime; & the admission of Dissenters to the Universities:4 on these last subjects I shall write something & send it, but if necessary it can stand over to next month, with an announcement to that effect.

I should like to have a proof—

The following are the titles:

Abolition of Patronage in the Church of Scotland

Mr Rawlinson & the man of no religion

Business of the House of Commons

The Tom-foolery at Oxford

Parliamentary Monstrosities

The Ministry.

Edition: current; Page: [227]

William Adams will like my notes this time—at least the first five. There is much of “the devil” in them.

How are you? do, one of you, write & let me know.

Our affairs have been gradually getting into a more & more unsatisfactory state—and are now in a state which, a very short time ago, would have made me quite miserab[le]5 but now I am altogether in a higher state than I was & better able to conquer evil & to bear it. I will tell you all about it some day—perhaps the first time we meet—but by that time perhaps the atmosphere will be clearer—adieu—

I have not spoken much to you about our affairs lately, as I did while she6 was away; partly because I did not so much need to give confidence & ask support when she was with me, partly because I know you disapprove & cannot enter with the present relation between her & me & him.7 but a time perhaps is coming when I shall need your kindness more than ever—if so, I know I shall always have it—8

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Summer, 1834
Harriet Taylor
Taylor, Harriet
106.

TO HARRIET TAYLOR1

I have been made most uncomfortable all day by your dear letter sweet & loving as it was dearest one—because of your having had that pain—& because of my having given you pain. You cannot imagine dearest how very much it grieves me now when even a small thing goes wrong now that thank heaven it does not often happen so, & therefore always happens unexpectedly. As for my saying “do not let us talk of that now” I have not the remotest recollection of my having said so, or what it was that I did not want to talk about—but I am sure that it was something which I considered to be settled & done with long ago, & therefore not worth talking any more about, a reason which you yourself so continually express for not explaining to me or telling me about impressions of yours, uncertainty about the nature of which is tormenting me—& I have latterly learnt sufficient selfsacrifice, sometimes to yield to that feeling, & leave off asking you questions which you tell me it is unpleasant to you to answer. But whatever it was that we were talking about on the common I am sure if I had thought that anything remained to be said about it, much more if I had thought that such a matter as whether we can or cannot be in complete sympathy, had Edition: current; Page: [228] depended on what remained unsaid, I should have been a great deal more anxious to have everything said, than you would have been to say it. O my own love, if you were beginning to say something which you had been thinking of for days or weeks, why did you not tell me so? why did you not make me feel that you were saying what was important to you, & what had not been said or had not been exhausted before? I am writing you know in complete ignorance about what it was—but I am sure I have tormented you enough & long enough by refusing to acquiesce in your seemingly determined resolution that there should be radical differences of some sort in some of our feelings, and now having found, & convinced you, that there are none that need make us unhappy, I have learnt from you to be able to bear that there should be some—consisting chiefly in the want of some feelings in me which you have. But I thought we perfectly knew & understood what those were, & that neither of us saw any good in discussing them further—& when I ask you questions which you do not like to answer, it is only to know what is paining you at the time—not meaning to discuss feelings any more if it is feelings and not facts that are annoying you.

I know darling it is very doubtful if you will get this before I see you—but I cannot help writing it & perhaps I shall feel easier afterwards. at present I feel utterly unnerved & quite unfit for thinking or writing or any business—but I shall get better, & don’t let it make you uncomfortable mine own—o you dear one.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday July 14, 1834
William Johnson Fox
Johnson Fox, William
107.

TO WILLIAM JOHNSON FOX1

We had a great deal more discussion after we left you, and we all (three) most decidedly think that since the crisis in the congregation2 appears to have been brought on principally by the belief3 that a fact, which would be of the greatest importance in their eyes, though of none at all in yours, Edition: current; Page: [229] is true—it would be very foolish that you should not have the full advantage of its not being true. Even supposing that your separation from the chapel were inevitable in every case, the effect on your future prospects will entirely depend upon that fact being denied or not—& whether you feel it consistent, or not, with your personal dignity to deny it, we are quite convinced that we, and all your friends, ought. While that fact is denied and deniable, all who are otherwise favourably disposed to you will not be afraid to stand by you, & there will be at least a strong diversion in your favour against the tide which will set in against you. But if it were made impossible for any one to defend you except those who were willing to encounter the odium of justifying all which is now alleged against you, I am afraid you will be worse situated than if no defence were made at all, since people will make it a matter of conscience to discountenance what they consider the open profession & vindication of immorality.

This being the case, I should not, if I were in your situation, think myself bound to court attention to the fact that expediency only & not principle was the cause of your not having gone to the full length of what they assert. If they put that very question to you, no doubt you ought to say so—but I think not otherwise. It seems to me quite enough if you appeal to those articles in the Reposy4 as containing your principles on the subject. You might say that you have acted no otherwise than in consistency with those principles; and if they ask you whether the particular fact is true, you might deny altogether their concern with it or right to enquire into it, but nevertheless profess your willingness voluntarily to give the information sought, by denying the assertion. We all think it of great importance that every public mention of the charge should be accompanied by mention of your denying it—& also that the effect of this denial should not, unless it be absolutely necessary to your integrity, be injured by the public profession of the extent to which your principles go in that one matter. She5 went to Walworth yesterday to endeavour to induce Mr Hardy6 to move in the matter—I know not yet with what success. But it is of importance that the steps they take should be in a better spirit & taste than if the affair is left to its original promoters it probably would happen.

all quite well
let me hear from you
J.S.M.
Edition: current; Page: [230]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
August 20, 1834
London
Adolphe Narcisse Thibaudeau
Narcisse Thibaudeau, Adolphe
108.

TO [ADOLPHE NARCISSE THIBAUDEAU]1

London

I have great pleasure in introducing to you Mr Thomas Holcroft, whose father is doubtless known to you by his dramatic writings, if not by his other works, and whose mother was the daughter of Mercier,2 your father’s3 colleague in the Convention.

Mr Holcroft is desirous of learning & observing as much as can be learned in a few weeks about French affairs, especially politics, and with your knowledge both of France & England he will learn more from you in two or three conversations than from any one else in as many months.

I am anxious to hear from you about the Globe. Did you receive my letter, and will the proposal suit you?

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
30th August, 1834
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
109.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

I need not say with how much pleasure I have read your letter, and how gladly I close with your proposal about a series of Political Economy papers for the Review.2 I anticipate that you will have a far less formidable idea of the said Review by the time a number or two have appeared; I should think better of our times than I do if I thought it were possible to bring together a corps of writers who would contribute only articles of “a very exalted cast.” If there are one or two such articles in every number my utmost hopes will be satisfied. However, there is no immediate necessity for an article on the state of the science generally, and we need not, therefore, discuss the sufficiency of the modest reason you give for not writing one. The article you offer for the first number is one I have long been desirous to see written, especially since (which is only lately) I became acquainted Edition: current; Page: [231] with Chalmers’s book,3 which I have just finished a very careful perusal of. I have derived many new ideas from it, and it has even suggested an entirely new view of the order in which the truths of the science ought to be arranged. What he understands, he explains very clearly and forcibly. It is unfortunate that he is so profoundly ignorant of some branches of the subject.

About publishing my concluding essay4 in the Review; I think with you, but am afraid it would take up too much room. The essay on gluts5 must be entirely remodelled; there is much new speculation to be added to it. I think I shall, some time or other, write a Treatise on the whole Science. I am fearful that the Essay on Wages and Profits,6 which you say you do not quite understand, is little better than elaborate trifling, and that the doctrine that profits depend on wages, though scientifically correct, does not present the more important aspect of the law of profits, perhaps not the ultimate law at all, and is, therefore, of little use in philosophy. The whole of the speculation on productive and unproductive7 I must revise, or rather reconsider ab initio. I am impatient for your remarks on the commercial essay.8 There is no hurry about the MSS. nor about the St. Simonian books.

Those scraps on Poetry in the Repository9 I believe to be true as far as they go, but that is not far. There is much more ready to be written in the Review on that matter. I am much obliged to you for the little paper you sent me. I do not see any traces of the thoughtlessness or want of information you speak of, nor of presumption, unless you allude to the sarcastic sentence on Bentham. I think I agree in your view of the character of Hamlet, though you appear to go farther or to have gone farther at that time with the Coleridgian and German metaphysics than I do. But it is a great pleasure to meet you as I do in all regions of speculation. I believe, contrary to the vulgar opinion, that there never was a first-rate mind which was not universal, I mean in its studies, reflections, and feelings, although almost everyone must limit himself to a comparatively narrow sphere in his actual contributions to science, or art, or the business of life, for want of time to acquire the requisite practical skill in many different lines of activity.

Edition: current; Page: [232]

I have a strong wish, of a higher kind than curiosity, to see anything which you ever write on any subject. I should like particularly to see your paper for The F.Q. as soon as it is in a state in which you would like to let it out of your hands.

Your plan, in The Fife Herald, for the adjustment of the corn laws, is good, under certain conditions, but I doubt it will be with that question as with the Catholic—it will not be carried at all until it be carried out and out.

I will write to the Australian people10 about your suggestion. They intend, I know, to have agents in various parts of the country; and Scotch labourers, both agriculturists and mechanics, are of the very kind they will most value. They will, I doubt not, grant free passage from the outset.

Brougham is only showing his true character, which is much public spirit and little honesty, with extreme excitability and a tongue ungovernable either by good feeling or discretion.11 It is quite false, I believe, that he drinks, but there is madness in the family; and his flightiness is only the temperament of madness, without the actual disease.12 Our friend Tait appears to sell well, but his writers are mostly naught. Let me hear from you soon again, and believe me,

Yours ever faithfully,
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
4 septembre 1834
India House
Victor Cousin
Cousin, Victor
110.

TO VICTOR COUSIN1

Mon cher Monsieur,

Il y a déjà bien longtemps que je me reproche tous les jours de n’avoir pas répondu à votre aimable lettre. Je ne veux pas retarder davantage ma réponse.

Edition: current; Page: [233]

Je savais que les séries des Rapports des deux Sociétés n’étaient pas complètes. Ceux qui manquaient aux envois, manquaient aux Sociétés elles-mêmes. J’ai pourtant renouvelé ma demande à l’une et à l’autre Société, en y ajoutant celle de vous envoyer tous les ans le rapport annuel. J’ai reçu de M. Dunn,2 secrétaire de la British and Foreign School Society, une réponse des plus promptes, dans laquelle il disait qu’il tâcherait d’obtenir pour vous, de quelque membre de la Société, le Rapport de 1832, et qu’il se préparait de vous écrire incessamment. Le Secrétaire de la National Society, le Révérend J. C. Wigram,3 ne m’a point répondu. Peutêtre serait-il en correspondance avec vous. Si non, une lettre de vous pourrait bien avoir un meilleur résultat. L’adresse est Central national schools, Westminster.

Quant aux Poor Law Reports, Mme Austin n’est nullement coupable de leur non-arrivée. Permettez-moi d’écrire en mauvais français, quand je n’en ai pas de bon. Le fait est que mon ami Chadwick, qui vous envoya les Factory Reports, n’a pas envoyé ceux de l’Enquête des pauvres. Cependant, il m’a promis de vous envoyer incessamment le Rapport général; plus, un volume de rapports choisis des Assistant Commissioner; plus, son propre rapport en entier, dès qu’il en aura des exemplaires. C’est tout ce qui est en son pouvoir, bien qu’il soit nommé secrétaire du Bureau des pauvres, créé par la nouvelle loi.

Nous travaillons toujours à la cause de l’éducation. Cette année, Roebuck a prononcé un nouveau discours encore meilleur que le premier;4 et il a obtenu un comité d’enquête, qui a fait du bien et qui annonce un renouvellement d’enquête dans la session prochaine. Le système coërcitif effraie surtout nos sectaires religieux, soit dans le sein de l’Eglise, soit hors d’elle. Le public l’a assez bien accueilli. En attendant, nous aurons, d’ici à la fin de l’année, un commencement d’écoles normales. En fait de fonds, les anciennes dotations suffisent, dès que le gouvernement les reprend d’entre les mains de mandataires infidèles, qui les gaspillent sans pitié. Je ne parle pas des Universités, mais des nombreuses Charity schools, et surtout des fondations, où des écoles devraient être et ne sont pas. Mais nos Universités, plus encores que nos Académies, ont besoin d’une réforme et même d’une réorganisation complète. L’Eglise seule s’y oppose, parce que les établissements d’Oxford et de Cambridge lui appartiennent; et s’ils ne forment pas de chrétiens, ils forment des churchmen.

Edition: current; Page: [234]

Malgré le retard que j’ai mis à répondre à votre lettre, j’ose encore vous prier que vous me chargiez de toute autre commission que vous auriez à faire ici.

Veuillez agréer ma plus haute éstime.

J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
14th October, 1834
London
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
111.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

Dear Sir,

When I received your first letter on the subject of the office, I happened to be in Buckinghamshire, thirty-five miles from London, taking advantage of the short holiday time which we are allowed at the India House. I wrote immediately to my father. When I received your second note it was Saturday, and, of course, writing again to hurry him would have done no good, the election coming on so soon as Tuesday. I found yesterday on my return that he had actually prepared a letter, which he expected to get Mr. Senior to sign along with him, but was prevented by a sudden attack of illness, from which he has only just recovered; and it would at all events have been too late. So you see it was not from any want of zeal on his part or on mine, but from cross-accidents, that the certificate did not reach you; a circumstance which I should extremely regret if it had any influence on the result of the election. We are both of us very sorry that the Edinburgh Bailies did not do themselves the honour of electing you; but the office after all was no very advantageous one, and one at least equally suitable to you can hardly fail to fall in your way. My father thinks that a professorship in a Scotch university2 would suit you; and it may be in his power to be of some aid to you in obtaining one, if it were vacant. He thinks you would promote your success by writing in some work more known and talked of among the people on whom such things depend, than any you write in now; as, for instance, if you were to write something for that new society of the chancellor’s for the diffusion of Political Knowledge.3 For my part I feel certain, notwithstanding my father’s name and Grote’s, and those of several other Radicals,4 that the society in question Edition: current; Page: [235] will be thoroughly Whig; but Political Economy, at least, is of no party. I am satisfied that my father will do everything he can to serve you, whenever he can find any opportunity.

Your long letter, received last month, interested me very much. I am glad that so competent a person as you are, has turned his attention to the philosophy of mathematics. I have thought, and even written on the subject, ever since I began to speculate on metaphysics at all; but with very imperfect success. I think, however, that my logical speculations have at length given me a clue to that subject also, and that I shall be able to get to the bottom of it in time; but I shall need all the help I can obtain from you, and from any other of the very few who have any capacity for such enquiries. One thing which I had already meditated, your letter has determined me to do; and that is, as you have found my Political Economy speculations not uninteresting to you, to request that you will allow me to send to you as much as is written of my book on Logic; if book it can be called, which is but the raw material out of which I shall some time or other make a book.5 I anticipate the greatest pleasure and advantage from your remarks, whether they are in confirmation or contestation of my own ideas; and I see you are exactly in that stage of your enquiries, on this particular subject, in which what I have done may perhaps help you over some difficulties. You will then, I know, lend a hand to help me over mine.

For the present I am obliged to suspend this, which is my favourite pursuit, in order to stick to the Review. I am writing for it an attack upon Sedgwick’s precious discourse,6 which you perhaps know. I am not yet convinced of the possibility of using that Political Economy discourse7 for the Review. The first part, on the definition, strikes me as being too technical; and the latter part, on the method of the science, though it may, as you suggest, admit of condensation, would I think, to produce any effect in a popular review, require amplification also, and illustration from the mistakes actually committed by individuals or schools of political economists. This might be done, though it scarcely suits my vocation, which is not for illustration or exemplification; I am always much too dry and abstract. But then I should be stirring up divisions among Political Economists, Edition: current; Page: [236] and giving a handle to the enemies of the science; which such men as Torrens8 and Malthus and even Senior are constantly doing, and which I systematically avoid. I am even anxious that in your article on the theory of a “glut of capital,” you should avoid the phrase “glut” or any other which will bring you into seeming collision (though not real) with my father’s and Say’s doctrine respecting a general glut. It may easily be shown that they were right; and yet that Chalmers and Wakefield9 are not wrong. However, I need not say these things to you.

You were mistaken in ascribing the article on Bentham’s Deontology10 to me; it was written by the Rev. James Martineau,11 brother of Harriet Martineau, and a Unitarian minister at Liverpool. He is a clever man, and has consented to be a frequent contributor to our Review. I think him one of the best metaphysicians of the day; as he has shown by a series of articles on Dr. Priestley, which appeared in The Monthly Repository early in 1833,12 and which if you have not read them, are worth your reading. I agree in your high opinion of much of the article on that unfortunate book, which Bowring has made out of fragments of Bentham;13 but I do not agree with him on all points. I dissent particularly from his adoption of what is called the selfish system, and which he has put under the same mantle as the utilitarian doctrine. I once wrote a brief statement of my views respecting Bentham’s philosophy, and Bulwer printed it as an appendix to his England and the English,14 where, perhaps, you have seen it. It is not, and must not be, known to be mine. You will observe, if it fall in your way, that my views differ from Mr. Martineau’s both in going further and in not going so far. On the whole, the article disappointed me. There are few who can grapple with first principles on any subject. Of all views I have yet seen taken of the utilitarian scheme, I like Austin’s best, in his book on The Province of Jurisprudence;15 but even that falls very far short of what is wanted.

Edition: current; Page: [237]

The few sketchy paragraphs which I added to the notes on the Phaedrus16 do not give any just notion of my metaphysical creed, which is quite different from that of the Condillac school, and comes nearest to Hartley’s and my father’s. Have you ever read my father’s metaphysical work?17 If not, let me send you a copy. I think it explains completely the cause of our attaching the ideas of infinity and necessity to space and time. I know not that anyone can analyse or explain succession and co-existence, when reduced to their simplest forms. The theory of association presupposes them both, and divides associations into synchronous and successive. We must, I think, rank them as ultimate laws of our minds, or (what is the same thing in other words) of the phenomena of nature.

Believe me, yours ever faithfully
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
26th November, 1834
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
112.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

Your letter gave me all the pleasure such a letter from you must give. I feared I had made an unfavourable impression on you merely from consciousness of my own want of tact in expression, by which I continually give notions of my feelings and character different from the true ones.

I like your plan for the article on Chalmers exceedingly. I think, however, that the main point might be put in a more trenchant manner than you put it. . . . If you do not agree with me, write in your own way, which will probably in that case be the right one.

I should wish, if convenient to you, to have the articles on Tithes2 first, and as soon as possible, because that is absolutely indispensable for the first number. The other, not being of temporary interest, we may be Edition: current; Page: [238] obliged to postpone till No. 2, in consequence of the superabundance of serious, and, to the many, dull articles. I am obliged myself, having now finished a very long article on that precious “Discourse” of Sedgwick’s,3 to turn to a literary subject,4 though out of my proper line, merely to give relief to the number. The article on Sedgwick will, I am sure, interest you. I have said a number of things in it which I have never put into print before, and have represented the “utilitarian theory of morals,” as he calls it, I think for the first time in its true colours. At all events, I have incidentally represented my own mode of looking at ethical questions; having never yet seen in print any statement of principles on the subject to which I could subscribe.

I will send the Logic5 very soon. I anticipate the greatest help in it, both from your general powers of thought and from your peculiar acquaintance with the philosophy of algebra, in which I am myself far from profound, but yet have found the little I do know to be of the utmost possible use.

Well, here is the trial come at last,6 and has already done more good than the Whigs would have done in a twelvemonth. The movement has advanced several years by this universal demonstration throughout the country, at once of hatred to the Tories, dissatisfaction with the Whigs, and conviction of the necessity not only of reforms, but of further constitutional reforms. We begin to think here that Peel will not accept office and that there will be no Tory ministry. At all events, whoever is in place, the march of Reform is wonderfully accelerated. How nobly and with what wisdom the people have acted. In the meantime our friends, as individuals, have gained vastly in importance and reputation. You have seen how this crisis has called Buller out, and made him what I always knew he was capable of being. If he improves his position, as I think he will, he will now be a very important man in Parliament. Roebuck also has raised himself greatly. We now see the importance of the rallying point which Lord Durham7 has afforded. Any banner, placed so high that what is written upon it can be read by everybody, is all-important towards forming a party; but Lord Durham has really acted with consummate skill and in Edition: current; Page: [239] the best possible spirit. Whether he is ever minister or not, we have a great prize in him.

I will not fail to send Malthus’s book8 as soon as I can get a copy of it.

Believe me, ever faithfully yours,
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
28th November 1834
India House
Adolphe Narcisse Thibaudeau
Narcisse Thibaudeau, Adolphe
113.

TO ADOLPHE NARCISSE THIBAUDEAU1

India House
My dear Thibaudeau

I have not had a single line from you since you left London: however as I have myself been almost equally remiss, we will consider that account as balanced, & now I will proceed to business.

We are going to start our Review immediately. The first number will appear in two months unless we should think it necessary to postpone it till the public know who is to be minister, & are willing to read something besides newspapers. Now, it is of the utmost importance that we should have the best articles possible on France: & for this purpose we are anxious to keep up a regular communication with you & Carrel, or whichever of you has most leisure. It has occurred to me that the following arrangements might be made. 1. You, or Carrel, of both, might send articles, to be translated here, with liberty for us to make such alterations as are necessary to adapt them to the English public. In your articles, little alteration would probably be necessary, because you know England: in Carrel’s, probably much more. 2dly. In other cases, some one here might write the articles, from materials furnished by you, the payment being equally divided. To give you an idea of what I mean: We want an article on Henry Bulwer’s France.2 Now what I should like would be that you, or if you have not time, Carrel, should take the trouble to read the book attentively, & write down every remark of importance which occurs to you on it, particularly in the way of correcting matters of fact. With such annotations before me, I could venture to review the book, & I am sure that I could make a very good article & one which would serve both countries extremely. But without such help I should not like to attempt it. Now tell me what you think of such an arrangement.

Edition: current; Page: [240]

In the second place—if you would not object to send me the National in exchange for the Examiner, I beg you will send it by post, & I will pay the expenses, reduced as they now are.

In the third place, there is now at Paris a Mr. Priaulx,3 a young man of a rich Guernsey family, who is a particular friend of Wilson,4 of the Globe, & a clever & interesting person. He is authorized to communicate with you on all subjects relating to the Globe. Wilson has asked me to give Mr Priaulx a letter of introduction to you. Will you be so kind as to consider this an introduction.

On the state of our politics5 you will learn as much from the English newspapers as I could tell you. The change of Ministry would have been a great evil if the people had remained quiet; but after the demonstration they have made, I think the effect will be very good. It is very probable that Peel will not chuse to accept office; if he does not, the whole thing is at an end. But if the Tories do come in, it must now be as Reformers, & even greater reformers than the poor Whigs were, otherwise they will be turned out on the very first day of the session. We might have waited whole years for such a unanimous declaration from the whole country in favour of the ballot, triennial parliaments & a further extension of the suffrage, as this has produced. We shall have no more now of the “final measure.”6 Be assured that the Movement has gained immensely by all this, & is gaining every day. In fact, it is impossible that anything which produces political excitement should not now do good. I am quite tranquil & easy about public affairs whichever way the present crisis terminates. We shall either have a Tory ministry granting large reforms, & a Whig & Radical opposition demanding larger; or we shall have the Whigs in again, & the two parties competing for the favour of the Radicals, who will evidently be the supreme power in the country; for all the present demonstrations are the work of the radicals; not a Whig stirs a finger even to bring the Whigs into place again.

Will you make my best regards to Carrel. I will write to him soon.—Pray write to me as soon as possible.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill

I send you the Examiners. I suppose it is to you & not to Carrel that they should now be sent.

Edition: current; Page: [241]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
29th November 1834
India House
Gustave D’eichthal
D’eichthal, Gustave
114.

TO GUSTAVE D’EICHTHAL1

India House
My dear d’Eichthal

You would have a right to be greatly offended with me for having made no answer to two such letters as yours. I assure you my silence did not proceed from indifference; I was deeply interested in all the particulars you told me about Greece,2 and highly gratified by the intelligence respecting yourself. I can only say that between my occupations, which have been unusually great, & my natural laziness, I always procrastinated, feeling that I ought not to write a short letter, & shrinking from the trouble of writing a long one: but I hope now that we shall correspond regularly. My present letter may be interesting to you, being written while we are in the midst of a political crisis. You have heard by this time of the dismissal of the Whig ministry & the reappointment of the Duke of Wellington, who however waits until Peel returns from Italy to form a Ministry. When this most unexpected event occurred, our friends were in some apprehension at first, because they knew how the lukewarmness, the temporizing, and general imbecility of the Whigs, had cooled the ardour of the people in their support, & it seemed not improbable that the people, thinking the Whigs no better than the Tories, might quietly look on. That was the hope of the Tories themselves. But the result has completely disappointed them. The conduct of the people has been noble. There has been one unanimous shout from the whole nation that they will not have the Tories on any terms; declaring at the same time that the Whigs have not satisfied them, & that they must have a ministry who will not only give them the consequences of the Reform Bill, but further organic reforms; the suffrage extended to all householders, triennial elections, & vote by ballot. Happily, Lord Durham had just before placed himself at the head of the radicals, first at the Edinburgh dinner to Lord Grey,3 by taking up the gauntlet which Brougham had thrown down; next at the dinner given to himself Edition: current; Page: [242] by the Glasgow Reformers,4 where he publicly declared for the three constitutional changes which I have just mentioned. His words have gone forth & been reechoed by the whole people, & the Movement party now everywhere look to him. There have been already some addresses to the King to appoint him Minister. Nevertheless, he will not be minister yet, nor perhaps ever: he is too vain, too imperious, & too much the slave of mere temperament. But you need fear nothing for us; the Tories, at first elated, are already crestfallen: the growing opinion is, that Peel, when he sees the state of the country, will not accept office; & if he refuses, the Duke of Wellington will not go on. At all events, if they do take office, they will not survive the first day of the session except by outbidding the Whigs in popular measures. Their own calculations do not give them a majority in the elections if they dissolve parliament at present, & my belief is that they will not. At any rate, be assured that the Movement has advanced exceedingly by these events. You will be glad to hear that Buller & Roebuck have taken a most conspicuous part in this crisis, & have distinguished themselves exceedingly, Buller especially, who has headed the London reformers throughout, even from the first day. Roebuck at that time was out of town. They are sure to be important men in the history of their country before long. Roebuck during the last two sessions has risen in reputation & influence both in & out of Parliament, in a degree which would astonish you. The other radicals have all disappointed us: even Grote, who has been very inactive. Only one other man in the House, Clay, from whom we expected nothing, has distinguished himself on the popular side. I consider it certain that either the Whigs will come in again, with the Tories no longer resisting them in front & the people more than ever pressing them on from behind; or there will be a Tory ministry which will do more for the people than the Whigs have yet done, & a strong popular opposition consisting of the radicals joined by the best of the Whigs.

And now for our personal share in the Movement. One of the radical members, a friend of Buller’s and mine, Sir William Molesworth, is about to establish a review at his private expense, & all our friends are to write in it, as well as all the Movement writers whom we have thought it worth while to ask; not one has refused. It will, unless I am much mistaken, be infinitely the best review ever yet published. You must not look in it for a doctrine générale et unitaire; you know as well as I do that English minds are not yet ripe for that; but whatever vues d’avenir there are in England, will be presented there in full detail. The object is, to rally the instructed radicals round a common standard, & induce the other radicals to follow them. And now I have a request to make. You have it in your power to serve us and our cause & to serve Greece at the same time, by chusing Edition: current; Page: [243] our review as a means of making known here, the present state of Greece. If you would send us, either as a review of Thiersch’s book,5 or in the form of an original essay, an article on the recent history, & present state & prospects of Greece, you will do us a great favour. We have no objection to publish the severest strictures on the conduct of our own Government or its functionaries, provided we are not committed to any facts which cannot be substantiated. We have the most perfect reliance on you, & should publish without hesitation any statement which came from you or recommended by you. The same article might be made a means of furthering your views of colonization, by giving publicity to the facilities & advantages the Greek Government affords to settlers, & by shewing the very favorable prospects which the state of Greece holds out to speculations of that kind. Our first number will be published in two months,6 but I hope you will be able either to write, or get written for us, a paper which can appear in the second.

I suppose your plans of colonization are by this time in some degree matured. I have no doubt you are right in thinking it desirable that the first emigration should be of capitalists, & of mechanics and artizans. I have no doubt of your success. Numbers of both, are emigrating every year from this country, & if they feel any confidence in the security of person & property in Greece, they will emigrate thither as readily as to any other place. I can suggest no plan, except that of appointing some mercantile house in England the agent of the Greek Government for emigration, & making extensively known through them, the terms on which the Government will grant land, & the advantages of all other kinds which it will hold out. The main point is, to convince our capitalists that they & their property will be safe. This must be done by giving publicity, & repeated, continual publicity to all that the Government has done & goes on doing to restore order. I know no one thing so likely to have that effect, as the article I am proposing to you to write for our review, which we could get quoted & commented upon by the whole of the newspaper press, London & provincial. There are plenty of first-rate mechanics in Scotland who are ready to go, but they must be taken out by capitalists who will ensure them employment when there. The grand thing is to gain the confidence of capitalists. This depends wholly upon the impression you can make concerning the state of the country.

I am most truly glad that the Greek Government has had the good sense to place so important a department of its affairs in the hands of yourself, & of two such men as you describe your colleagues. If they chuse all their Edition: current; Page: [244] other agents as well, I have no fear for the good administration of their country. The absence of a territorial aristocracy, & the deep root which popular municipal institutions seem to have in the country, are immense advantages. Have you seen Urquhart’s book, “Turkey and its Resources”?7 If so, is it to be depended upon?—Pray do not imitate my negligence, but write to me soon, & believe me

Ever faithfully & affectionately yours
J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
10 Dec. 1834
I.H.
Edwin Chadwick
Chadwick, Edwin
115.

TO EDWIN CHADWICK1

I.H.
My dear Chadwick

Monsieur Guilbert,2 one of the editors of the Bon Sens,3 has come over here to learn all he can of the present condition & prospects of this country and its people. Your assistance would be of great use to him, by indicating documents & letting him know your own general views, & you will much oblige me by doing anything to aid him which your occupations allow.

Ever yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Dec., 1834
Francis Place
Place, Francis
116.

TO FRANCIS PLACE1

Dear Mr Place

M. Guilbert, one of the editors of the French newspaper, “Le Bon Sens,” is desirous of the pleasure of your acquaintance. He is anxious to learn all he can about the state, moral, physical and intellectual of our working people, and nobody can tell him more on the subject than you can.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [245]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
18th December, 1834
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
117.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
,
My dear Sir,

I am grieved to hear of your narrow escape, and most heartily congratulate you and myself that the danger is past. By all means keep yourself as quiet as possible, and do not even think of any intellectual exertion till you are completely recovered. I once lost a most valued friend, one of the most valued I ever had—though not to be compared with you in intellect—in consequence of a similar disease—the eldest son of Tooke, the political economist.2 I believe he brought on the malady almost entirely by intense and unremitting study. I most earnestly entreat you, for the sake of us all, not to expose yourself to a similar danger. It is better that our first number should even appear without your article, than that your health should be exposed to the slightest risk. However, I hope that your health will be firmly re-established before we shall need your article. We do not think of publishing the first number while the crisis3 lasts; and on the whole, if your paper reaches us by the end of January, I have no doubt that it will be in time. When I know whether a still longer delay will be compatible with its appearance in the first number, I will let you know.

On the whole, our prospects grow better and better—those of the Review, I mean, though I might add, those of the nation too. The Review is, and will be, principally deficient in articles on literary subjects. If you have leisure, may I hope that you will give some assistance in that department, as well as in your own peculiar one? I am obliged to do the same; and I find that we can in general trust none except our scientific writers with even our literary subjects. I shall have two in the first number; one on Sedgwick, and one on Tennyson’s Poems4—the best poems, in my estimation, which have appeared since the best days of Coleridge.

Have you seen Peel’s address to the electors of Tamworth?5 Was there ever such empty mouthing? Nothing appears clearly in it but that he means to halve the reforms of even the poor Whigs. I hope they will dissolve Parliament. It will be a thousand pities now to lose the triumph which the elections will give us.

Yours in haste,
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [246]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
25 Dec. 1834
Kensington
Albany Fonblanque
Fonblanque, Albany
118.

TO ALBANY FONBLANQUE1

Kensington
My dear Fonblanque

Could you insert the enclosed2 in your next paper?

You are fighting the good fight nobly—and you are the only writer (except Buller occasionally in the Globe) who are doing it with any spirit.

I send copies of the Prospectus of the new review. Some notice of it in your paper would be useful—but perhaps not during the present excitement. We shall send round our advertisements presently; & the Prospectus will appear in the January periodicals.

We do not think of publishing our first number till after the crisis:3 & consequently not till after the meeting of Parliament, unless (which is most unlikely) the Tories should be so discouraged by the result of the elections as to retire.

Will you allow me to remind you of our hopes of an article from you for the first number? & to say that I am ready to work for the Examiner to any extent that could be needful while you are about it.

We have promises of support (as writers) from my father, Grote, John Austin, Bailey of Sheffield,4 Peacock,5 Fox, James Martineau of Liverpool, Nichol of Montrose, Cornewall Lewis, Buller, Roebuck, Wilson,6 Strutt, Mrs. Austin—everybody in short whom we thought worth asking, except Bulwer, and he has almost promised. But without you we should be weak in some very important departments—& there would not be sufficient relief to our heaviness & dulness.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [247]

1835

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
1835
James Martineau
Martineau, James
119.

TO JAMES MARTINEAU1

The last two pages of the concluding paper2 made an impression upon me which will never be effaced. In a subsequent paper of my own in the “Repository” headed “The Two Kinds of Poetry” (October, 1833) I attempted to carry out your speculation into some of those ulterior consequences which you had rather indicated than stated.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Jan. 17, 1835
India House
Aristide Guilbert
Guilbert, Aristide
120.

TO ARISTIDE GUILBERT1

India House
My dear Sir

When I had the pleasure of seeing you today, I forgot to mention that I shall not be here on Monday, as I am going with my brother3 (who is destined for the civil service in India) to the East India College near Hertford. We must therefore defer our next conversation till Tuesday.

Yours most truly
J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [248]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
26th February 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
121.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

I am truly delighted to hear that you are willing to cooperate in the new Review. There are few persons whose aid could be of so much, or nearly so much, importance to it, both with reference to its usefulness & to its success.

I do not know if you have yet seen the Prospectus. It has appeared on the cover of most of the reviews & magazines. The spirit of the review will be democratic, but with none of the exclusiveness and narrowness of the Westminster Review; & the plan adopted of individual signatures enables the various writers to indulge the liberty of individual opinion within considerably less narrow limits than are imposed by the plan of most reviews.

I will immediately send you some copies of the Prospectus under Sir William Molesworth’s cover. I suppose Senior2 told you that Sir William is the founder & proprietor of the review.

We hope to publish the first number by the end of March. I fear its fault will be, a deficiency of literary & other light matter & a superabundance of politics. At our first starting there is no way in which you could be of so much assistance to us as by writing some of those excellence pieces of literary criticism several of which you wrote for the former London Review;3 such as that on Pollok’s Course of Time,4 for instance. I am afraid of trespassing on your kindness & “riding a willing horse to death” but yet I cannot help saying that if you could be prevailed upon to write something of this kind, even though short, for the first number, it would be of so much importance to the review that we would gladly keep the number open for it even till the last moment.

Edition: current; Page: [249]

I have not read Tocqueville’s book,5 but from what Senior says of it, I have no doubt of the great value to us of such a review of it as you would make. For this we can give ample time, as it could not be printed before the second number.

The editor of the review is Thomas Falconer6 Esq. 7 Gray’s Inn Square, a friend of mine whom I think very highly of. As I am in continual communication both with him & with Sir W. Molesworth, any letter to me answers all purposes, and I should be proud to increase our acquaintance by corresponding with you on review matters.

Believe me
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
2d March 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
122.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir,

The objection to “Pompeii”2 is that Bulwer writes for the review; & it would be impossible to review it fairly without pointing out the gross blunders in scholarship & even in Latin grammar; now as no principle requires that we should point out errors of this kind in our friends, it is of no use wounding their amour-propre & depriving ourselves of their hearty cooperation.

But the other subject you mention, the works of Martinez de la Rosa,3 would suit the review perfectly. The prose translations which you propose will be quite sufficient.

Edition: current; Page: [250]

Mr. Falconer will see this note, & if you receive it you may know that he agrees with it. I have no doubt that if he can suggest any other subject which would to him appear preferable, he will not omit to avail himself of the kind disposition which you manifest towards the review.

You have, I presume, received some copies of the Prospectus by this time

Believe me
Most truly yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
5th March 1835
India House
Richard Bentley
Bentley, Richard
123.

TO RICHARD BENTLEY1

India House
My dear Sir

I send M. Fiévée’s memorandum on the nature of his work, and a note of my own stating what I know of M. Fiévée.2 I should think the work might, if published in France, reckon upon a great sale in France itself, where the author does not wish to publish it himself, lest his work should be supposed to have some party object.

If Mr Bentley should wish for any further information I will give it, or obtain it from M. Fiévée, and if he thinks there would be any use in my meeting him I will (though it would be rather inconvenient) call upon him or should be glad to see him if he happened to be coming into the City.

Ever yours
J. S. Mill

[The enclosed note]3

Monsieur Fiévée is one of the cleverest and liveliest French writers of the present age, as his “Correspondance politique et administrative”4 published in the first few years after the restoration of the Bourbons sufficiently shews. His political opinions & the general character of his mind bear more resemblance to Burke than to any other English writer; though his great experience as a man of office & business, has supplied him with Edition: current; Page: [251] much more practical knowledge of the affairs of the world than Burke had. He was much trusted by Napoleon, although Napoleon knew him to be in correspondence with the exiled family. It is well known that Napoleon’s conseil d’état was composed of all the ablest administrators in France: M. Fiévée, besides being one of his préfets, was for a long time a member of this body. M. Fiévée enjoys a very high character in France & his statements may be depended upon. His sentiments and personal connexions were mostly royalist, but he gradually became alienated from that party as he found that they could not be induced to govern in a manner suited to the wants & circumstances of the age. He has never attached himself to Louis Philippe or his government.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday March, 1835
I.H.
Albany Fonblanque
Fonblanque, Albany
124.

TO ALBANY FONBLANQUE1

I.H.
My dear Fonblanque

Thanks for the ticket. Thursday does quite as well. As you so kindly permit me I will some day soon ask for an order for Lestocq;2 but I cannot yet say when.

I send a short paper on Swiss politics, which has been sent to me from (& is written by) Siebenpfeifer,3 one of the leading German radicals, & now a Professor in the University of Berne. If it suits you it can be published & I shall be happy to translate it if necessary but I suppose your subeditor now renders you independent of such help.

Molesworth I know means to send you the sheets of the London Review. I suppose you guess the authorship of the Dialogue on the Ballot.4 There are parts of it in which I do not wholly agree, but the speculations you allude to are not among them.

It is a great loss to the review not to have anything of yours in the first number—but if you could find time to write anything in the second, though I know how much you are occupied, your aid is too important not to be very urgently pressed for.

Ever faithfully
J. S. Mill

Bulwer will write for the 2d number & is zealously with us.

Edition: current; Page: [252]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
7th March [1835]
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
125.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House

My dear Carlyle—I will endeavour as you advise, to think as little as I can of this misfortune,2 though I shall not be able to cease thinking of it until it is ascertained how far the loss is capable of being repaired—or rather reduced to a loss of time & labour only—There are hardly any means I would not joyfully take, if any existed by which I could myself be instrumental to remedying the mischief my carelessness has caused—That however depends not upon me. But there is one part of the evil—though I fear the least part—which I could repair—the loss to yourself of time & labour—that is of income. And I beg of you with an earnestness with which perhaps I may never again have need to ask anything as long as we live, that you will permit me to do this little as it is, towards remedying the consequences of my fault & lightening my self-reproach. It is what you would permit as a matter of course if I were a stranger to you—it is what is even legally due to you—and to have brought an evil upon a friend instead of a stranger is already a sufficient aggravation of one’s regret, without the addition to it, of not being allowed to make even the poor amends one would make to a stranger.

Edition: current; Page: [253]

If I could convince you what a relief this would be to me, & what an act of friendship—to say nothing of justice—it would be on your part I am sure you would not hesitate—Yours affectionately

J. S. Mill.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Tuesday March 10, 1835
India House
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
126.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

India House
My dear Carlyle

Nothing which could have happened, could have been at this time so great a good to me as your note,2 received this morning. I never thought it probable, & I wonder now how I could have thought it possible, that your answer would be different: it could not be so (gigmanity out of the question); but my anxiety made me exaggerate the chances against me.

Yes—when the thing is again done, & I have realised the feeling of certainty that another volume is there, as true & as beautiful as the former, all will be wholer than ever. I never before felt so fully the whole amount of the good of having somewhat more than one actually needs for urgent wants. That which can buy peace of conscience is precious.

You shall see or hear from me again almost immediately—but I will not take the Fête des Piques3—not that I believe such a thing could possibly happen again, but for the sake of retributive justice I would wear the badge of my untrustworthiness. If however you would give me the pleasure of reading it give it to Mrs. Taylor—in her custody no harm could come to it4—and I can read it aloud to her as I did much of the other—for it had not only the one reader you mentioned but a second as good. I can borrow De Stael’s Considerations5 easily—as my father has them. I did not think of them when I sent you other books—as there are very few facts in them—they are mostly speculations.6

Edition: current; Page: [254]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
19th March 1835
India House
Aristide Guilbert
Guilbert, Aristide
127.

TO ARISTIDE GUILBERT1

India House
My dear Monsieur Guilbert

You have much reason to complain of me for not writing to you sooner. The fact is, I waited too long for an answer from the Globe, which I might have had sooner if I had taken a little more trouble. I got an answer the very day before I received your letter; & I have been so busy ever since, & have had to write so many letters that I was obliged to put off yours—knowing that you were already doing whatever was right, while others perhaps were not.—First, about the Review; I considered that from the first as certain. Molesworth, the very first time I mentioned it to him, agreed at once to your being our correspondent at Paris; & since receiving your letter he is very glad that he did consent. As for terms—you said, 150 or 200 francs per month; it will be either sum, according as you understood it. Your cooperation would be cheaply purchased at either price. Only, as our review is in some degree a doubtful speculation & our funds not unlimited, I have proposed to Molesworth & I now propose to you, to make the engagement at first for three months only. At the end of that time we shall know whether we can reckon upon sufficient assistance from French contributors to make it worth while retaining a French correspondent (though of this your letter leaves little doubt) & also, whether the success we can expect at first for our review, is such as renders it unnecessary for us to restrict our expenses to the utmost. If you agree, then, we will consider you as the correspondent of the review, from the 1st of this month (March) at 150, or 200 francs as you understand it. The payment will be made at the times & in the modes most convenient to you.

We are all much delighted with all you have done for the review, & with the prospects your letter holds out. The name of Carrel has done much for us already: his speech before the Chamber of Peers2 has spread his fame in this country. The editor3 of one of our best journals, the Spectator, advises strongly that we should request Carrel’s permission to print his signature at full length. We shall be delighted to have an article on Courier4 from him. Edition: current; Page: [255] Half a page, of the most general kind, will be sufficient on the subject of Courier as a Hellenist; you have judged quite correctly that it is not in that point of view we wish for an appreciation of that great writer. The plan you have marked out for M. Nisard’s first article,5 seems very good. It is necessary to keep in mind that the English public are almost entirely ignorant that there exists a contemporary French literature; & their ideas of French writers are still those of the Voltaire period. The object therefore should be, first, in a general article, or more than one if necessary, to give a general view of the change which has taken place in French literature, & afterwards to follow this up by separate articles on separate writers. This, M. Nisard, from what I have seen of his writings, will I am convinced, do in the way best suited to us. I have seen a letter from him to his German friend, M. Garnier,6 which shews him to be extremely well satisfied with my letter, & I am therefore well pleased at that scène de comédie which you recollect. He expresses a wish to remain anonymous, & says that you agreed in the expediency of it—I dare say you suggested it to him, though he thinks the suggestion came from himself.

The changes in French philosophy I think I shall myself treat in the review,7 & shall be greatly indebted to you for all hints, & for suggesting to me all the books which I should read.

About placards, & advertisements, I will write to you again. There will be time, for the review will not appear for at least a fortnight. There will however be notices of it in some of the London papers before it appears.—We are anxious to have M. Nisard’s first article in the second number, which will be published in June. Will you therefore beg him to set about it at his earliest convenience. The same request to Carrel; except that as his article is on a special subject, & not one of a series, we need not press him to have it ready by any given time, though of course the sooner the better. As both these articles will be very interesting, we will not limit them in point of space: say if necessary 30 to 40 pages of the review: & you know our pages are much larger than those of the French reviews.—We should like to exchange our review with any French reviews which may be willing, & which you may recommend. Carrel’s offer of articles on the principal men of the Revolution is highly prized, & I will write to you again about it. We shall not want an article on the Salon this year at least; we must first prendre notre place as to Art in general. Cavaignac’s writing Edition: current; Page: [256] I am afraid will not suit England; we will say nothing to him just yet, unless you have already spoken to him. Dussard8 will be of considerable use to us, though at present I will not propose any article to him, as we already overflow with the sort of articles which he would write. The fact is, his line is also the line of most of us. We shall have an article on the Liberty of the Press very soon; & at all events we shall not fail to notice Carrel’s admirable speeches. Tell us how many copies you would like to have of the sheets of the review & through what conveyance.

The Globe, it seems, is not inclined to have a regular correspondent at Paris—but would willingly insert, & pay for, occasional articles written in English. You know the kind of tone which suits the position of that journal.

As for politics, my dear friend, the game is up, as we say. The Tories will remain in place. The Opposition have spoiled all by their want of spirit & courage. The day after their victory in the choice of a Speaker, they could have done anything they pleased: the prestige of strength was wholly on their side. This instead of giving them courage, made them tremble lest their small majority should escape from them: & by conceding every point to the most timid among them, lest they should lose one or two votes, they have made such perpetual demonstrations of a belief in their own weakness that instead of one or two they have lost scores. The attempt to expel the ministry has been abandoned; they now only harrass them in detail. This reproach I address to our own friends as well as to others. Grote, Clay, and Warburton have spoiled all. Roebuck & Molesworth are the only ones among our friends (Hume I do not reckon such, though I esteem him much) who have a grain of spirit or energy. Those two are staunch, & if need be we shall unfurl the banner of our review against the radicals as well as the Whigs and Tories. They are giving us du Maughin et Odilon Barrot9 over again. All parties are cowardly & torpid with us.

I am really grown so indifferent to all that these people do, that I cannot prevail upon myself to enter further into particulars; but you will see what we say in the review. The public mind, however, with us, is steadily progressive, & will force more & more improvements upon even a Tory ministry; for ministries, with us, always yield when they see that public opinion really requires it. We shall have either a Peel, or a Peel & Stanley10 ministry, for years to come, I think.

Edition: current; Page: [257]

We shall be glad to have Paul de Kock11 from M. Barba,12 on the terms you mention. If the proprietors of the Histoire Parlementaire will send it to us we will promise to make it the text of our first article on the French Revolution.13 In general we shall be glad to receive any books which may be sent to us, though whether we can notice them will depend upon many various circumstances; but if not in the review, I can almost always, if they have any merit, get them favourably noticed somewhere. Will you thank all our friends for their kind interest in the review. The articles in the Bon Sens on England were true, & good: thanks for sending them. By the bye, do not write on the outside “for the Examiner.”

Ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday March 23, 1835
I.H.
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
128.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

I.H.
My dear Carlyle

Notwithstanding all which you said on Thursday night, I cannot feel that I have made you anything like compensation by placing you exactly in the same pecuniary state as when you began to write, the time which you have expended in writing being lost and gone, without result either to yourself or any one else, except the doubtful one of your making a better book the second time.

It would be not only more accordant with my conception of the justice of the case, but would be a much more complete relief to my conscience and in every way more pleasant to me, if you would consent to receive the sum I first mentioned2 or at least something intermediate between that & the smaller one. This would be a gratification to me only inferior to that of being permitted to make compensation at all.

Ever affectionately yours
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [258]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
15th April 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
129.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

I have learnt to my great surprise this morning, that owing to some inexplicable misunderstanding, Crabbe2 has not yet been sent to you. You will, however, receive it immediately, along with your copy of the London Review and as we wish the second number to appear in June, we shall be very glad to have your article in the shortest time in which you can write it satisfactorily to yourself.3

Mr James Martineau, with whom I know you are in communication, has kindly offered to review for our next number, Bailey’s excellent “Rationale of Representation”.4 Perhaps you would do us the favour to say to Mr Martineau that after a good deal of deliberation among the three or four persons who take most share in the conduct of the review, it has appeared to us that a subject involving so directly and comprehensively all the political principles of the review, should be retained in the hands of the conductors themselves, rather than placed in those of a contributor, however highly valued, who is not in direct and continual communication with them. But for this consideration, there is no writer for the review in whose hands we would rather see such a subject. The objections which Mr Martineau thought might be felt to his undertaking an article on Robert Hall,5 we should not feel to be objections at all unless he himself felt them so, or unless he would feel bound to enter into a discussion of Hall’s theological tenets, which probably he would not. In mentioning Hall, it was however, only intended to throw out a suggestion; & if Mr Martineau would either dislike that, or prefer any other subject, there is no wish to press it upon him. We are only anxious to have, at as early a period as may be convenient to him, some article from his pen. Anything similar or comparable to those admirable papers on Priestley in the Monthly Repository,6 would be of the greatest value to us.

Would you and Mr Martineau have the kindness to mention any quarters—especially public institutions & the like—to which it would be advantageous Edition: current; Page: [259] to send copies of the review. Molesworth is disposed to distribute it pretty extensively—the first number at least—as the cheapest, and most useful, mode of advertising it.

I have begun to read Tocqueville. It seems an excellent book: uniting considerable graphic power, with the capacity of generalizing on the history of society, which distinguishes the best French philosophers of the present day, & above all, bringing out the peculiarities of American society, & making the whole stand before the reader as a powerful picture.—Did you ever read Guizot’s Lectures?7 If not, pray do.

Ever yours truly
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Monday April 20, 1835
I.H.
Albany Fonblanque
Fonblanque, Albany
130.

TO ALBANY FONBLANQUE1

I.H.
Dear Fonblanque

Thanks for your mention of the London Review.3 I hope you will give us a formal article besides4—as we shall have but a poor chance of success unless our friends exert themselves for us—some of them are treating us as friends usually do.

We all greatly regret that the review was obliged to appear without anything of yours in it; & we hope exceedingly that you will write something in the second number. Nothing has occurred to any of us which we should like so much, as an article on the magisterial interferences with the people. But as you are so fully occupied, we should be too happy to have anything which you could do most easily & in least time.

If you give us something, we shall have an excellent bill of fare for No 2, twice as good as No 1.

Yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
Edition: current; Page: [260]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
April 20, 1835
Albany Fonblanque
Fonblanque, Albany
131.

TO ALBANY FONBLANQUE1

How do you like the new Cabinet?2 All things considered I am very well satisfied with it—but I hope you will push them to the ballot & a few other things—they can’t stand without.

Ever yours
J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday Spring or summer, 1835
I.H.
Thomas Carlyle
Carlyle, Thomas
132.

TO THOMAS CARLYLE1

I.H.
My dear Carlyle

If you have no objection to receive the Chronicle instead of the Globe, for the next fortnight or thereabouts, I find that to be the most convenient arrangement now when the whole household except my father & myself are in Surrey & my brother2 still at the East India College.

If however you would rather have the Globe I can still contrive to supply you with it.

Ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill

I shall probably be with you on Monday evening.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
8th May 1835
India House
Aristide Guilbert
Guilbert, Aristide
133.

TO ARISTIDE GUILBERT1

India House
My dear Monsieur Guilbert

I yesterday, by making a casual enquiry, learnt to my extreme astonishment, that no remittance had yet been made to you. I imagined I had Edition: current; Page: [261] taken measures which had ensured its being done long ago. I have now set the matter to rights, & you will receive without delay 450 francs, for the months of March, April, & May. Pray let me know whether you have received copies of the review. They were sent, or at least orders were given for their being sent, through Black & Young, booksellers here. If you have received them I hope you have considered yourself at liberty to give them, in exchange or otherwise, whenever you thought it useful to the review to do so.

I have not written to you about the change of ministry2 because I knew not what to write. I fear the whigs will do as little for the people as they possibly can: all their speeches & manifestoes indicate it, except Hobhouse’s speech at Nottingham:3 & you will see, that even Lord John Russell’s defeat in Devonshire by the intimidation practised by the Tory squires & parsons will not make him an advocate of the ballot. Brougham, however, being excluded from office, is putting forth pamphlets & articles of very decided radicalism to the extreme annoyance of his former associates. You see how justly I described him to you.

At the late change it was well understood that the radicals as a body would not consent to take office. They thought, justly, that they had more power out of office than in it. To several members of the body (but to none of the leaders) offers were made of places, which they all refused, unless the leaders came in too. Brougham is reported to have said to a near relation of a cabinet minister “this may succeed, but it is the first time the attempt has been made to form a ministry excluding the able men of all parties.” I don’t believe this, but the mot is excellent.

Toqueville’s book, “de la démocratie en amérique” is an admirable book. Can you tell me anything of Toqueville? What is his history? & in what estimation is he held in France?

We are anxious to receive the notice you promised respecting Paul de Kock. When & how is the copy of his works, to be paid for? We persist in our intention of bringing out our second number before the end of June.—Ever truly yours

J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [262]
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
19th May 1835
India House
Aristide Guilbert
Guilbert, Aristide
134.

TO ARISTIDE GUILBERT1

India House
My dear Guilbert

You may judge how much we have been annoyed by the neglect of the booksellers to send the copies of the review to Paris. It is one of numerous instances of such negligence which have occurred to us, proving the great difficulty of making a review succeed which is not the property of a bookseller. On receiving your letter I took immediate measures for having the omission supplied, & I hope it has been so. Pray apologize to our friends, & present copies to such of them, & of your editors & littérateurs generally, as you think ought to have it; obtaining for us in exchange, when you can, all your best periodicals.

You are aware that we do not want an article on Paul de Kock, but merely a short notice, to serve towards writing an article. The article itself is to be written by one of our English contributors, a man of great wit & learning.2

I have not received Carrel’s letter. We attach great importance to having his article in our next number.3 You do not say anything about his autograph. I have done nothing with it as yet.

I am much disappointed that M. Nisard has been obliged to renounce an undertaking for which he was so eminently qualified. We gladly accept his offer of separate articles on Victor Hugo, Lamartine &c. but it appears to us indispensable that they should be preceded by a general article on the new French literature generally. We do not wish for a detailed history of its origin—since that would cost M. Nisard so much research—but a general character of the old, & of the new literature, could cost neither much time nor labour to the author of those admirable papers in the Revue de Paris.

I said nothing about the article which M. de Cormenin4 was so kind as to offer, because we should not have room for it for some time to come, & it is as well not to fix on a subject long beforehand. But his cooperation would be highly valuable to us.

As for politics—the grand struggle will be at the next registration. Peel’s Edition: current; Page: [263] speech at Merchant Tailors’ Hall5 speaks the voice of the whole party. The Tories will strain every nerve to get a majority in the Commons—but we shall beat them.

Yours ever
J. S. Mill.

The review is exciting great attention here, & already possesses very considerable political influence, which every number we publish will still further increase—J.S.M.

We will send you all the affiches we can spare.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
19th May 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
135.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

I should have written to you sooner, but I really could not make up my mind at once what to say about Tocqueville. I was quite ignorant of Falconer’s intention to make such a proposition to you, & I am by no means confident that I can write such an article on the book as I wish to see written. It is not a subject requiring familiarity with the politics of the day, & I am far from being convinced that the Review will not be a loser by my writing the article instead of you. However if the subject is one on which you would rather not write, & it would be a relief to you to place it in other hands, that is decisive—& there are some disadvantages in having articles which involve the political principles of the review (though this does not involve them nearly so much as Bailey’s book)2 written at a distance from the conductors of the review & by contributors not in daily intercourse with them & with the details of whose opinions they are not conversant. I have therefore no objection to write the article if it be your wish & Falconer’s also, for the third number.3

Many thanks for your remarks, which will be of great use to me.

Our second number is full—including your article on Crabbe, which I Edition: current; Page: [264] hope the negligence of Willmer4 will not prevent us from having the benefit of. We confidently reckon upon some paper of Mr Martineau for No. 3. Would he review the “Second Travels of an Irish Gentleman”?5 It would be very important to make that book more known.

May we reckon upon your undertaking to give an account of Guizot’s Lectures?6

I think our future numbers will far surpass our first—with which, though it was fully as good as I expected, on the whole I was far from being pleased.

Would you be kind enough to suggest to us any subjects on which we ought to have articles—& to Mr Martineau, any on which you think he might be induced to write.

Ever yours faithfully
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
May 26, 1835
James Martineau
Martineau, James
136.

TO JAMES MARTINEAU1

In the opinions you express respecting a Church Establishment I entirely agree, and though some of the habitual contributors to the review still differ from us, the general tone of the review will, I have reason to hope, be that which you approve. A considerable change is, I think, taking place in the tone of thinking of the instructed Radicals on that point. Indeed, as they have (very generally) so far departed from Adam Smith’s doctrines as not to admit the voluntary principle even with respect to secular education, it would be very strange if they admitted it with regard to religious. The mistake, I think, is in applying the test to the doctrines which the clergy shall teach, instead of applying it to their qualifications as teachers, and to the spirit in which they teach. When you give a man a diploma as a physician, you do not bind him to follow a prescribed method; you merely assure yourself of his being duly acquainted with what is known or believed on the subject, and of his having competent powers of mind. I would do the same with clergymen. . . . One of the most important objects which the review could be instrumental to, would be to discredit dogmatic Edition: current; Page: [265] religion and encourage the boldest spirit of rationalism. This too is the spirit which is spreading among the young and cultivated members of the English clergy. This I know from my acquaintance with some striking instances of it. There will shortly appear a posthumous work of Coleridge2 (which I saw in manuscript before his death) altogether smashing the doctrine of plenary inspiration, and the notion that the Bible was dictated by the Almighty, or is to be exempt from the same canons of criticism which we apply to books of human origin.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
11 Juin, 1835
Alexis de Tocqueville
de Tocqueville, Alexis
137.

TO ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE1

Vous me demandez, mon cher Monsieur, dans quelles limites doit s’exercer la collaboration que j’ai osé vous demander en faveur du London Review. C’est une question fort naturelle, mais qu’il n’appartient pas aux rédacteurs de la Revue de résoudre. La Revue n’a pas pour but la propagation d’un système donné, d’une doctrine générale et unitaire; je n’ai pas besoin de vous dire que jusqu’ici cette doctrine est encore à créer. En défaut d’une théorie complète, les fondateurs du London Review ont désiré que cet ouvrage périodique devînt un recueil des meilleures idées du siècle, notamment en fait de philosophie politique: et dans ce but ils voudraient obtenir la coopération des plus forts penseurs et des hommes les plus éclairés de notre temps, du moins parmi ceux qui sympathisent avec les tendances dominantes du siècle. Cette seule condition est de rigueur, attendu que pour pouvoir travailler utilement avec des amis du mouvement il faut l’être soi-même.

Dans une réunion de pareils hommes il ne vous appartient pas de jouer un role secondaire. Aussi ce que nous vous demandons n’est pas une collaboration en second ordre: nous ne vous invitons pas à mettre votre talent à notre disposition pour exposer ou pour discuter telle ou telle série d’idées ou de faits. nous vous engageons à fixer, de concert avec nous, ce que sera la Revue elle-même; dans quel esprit, et sous l’influence de quelles idées, elle sera faite. La Revue a la prétention de représenter ce qu’il y a de plus avancé dans les doctrines démocratiques: c’est précisément ce que vous avez, vous-même, ou créé, ou fait ressortir avec une vigueur jusqu’ici inconnue, des faits ou des principes connus. Vous êtes donc fait pour dicter des conditions à la Revue, et non pour en recevoir d’elle. Notre vœu serait que vous vouliez bien vous joindre à nous, et vous servir de la Revue Edition: current; Page: [266] comme organe de vos opinions. Elle est déjà l’organe de ce qu’il y a de meilleur parmi nos hommes du mouvement; mais ces hommes, avec de grandes connaissances spéciales, sont, du moins la plupart d’entre eux, tellement au-dessous de votre niveau quant aux idées générales, que la direction que vous pourrez imprimer à la Revue par vos articles et par l’influence qu’exerceront ces articles sur les autres rédacteurs, décidera peut-être si ce journal servira à éclairer le public anglais sur les questions de haute politique, ou seulement à exciter l’esprit démocratique sans lui donner des principes capables de régler sa marche.

Quant aux moyens particuliers de présenter vos idées, aux questions particulières à traiter, etc., il ne nous appartient pas de vous les indiquer, encore moins d’y mettre des bornes. Un esprit comme le vôtre sait toujours ce qu’il peut et ce qu’il lui convient de faire, mieux que ne pourrait le lui indiquer même son plus intime ami. Tout ce que nous pourrons, c’est de vous dire de quoi nous avons le besoin le plus pressant. Il y a deux pays très importants à bien comprendre, ce sont la France et les Etats-Unis : nous ressentons un grand besoin d’expliquer ces pays à nos compatriotes; nous-même nous ne les connaissons pas assez pour cela et il n’y a peut-être que vous au monde qui soit capable de la faire. Ce serait déjà un cours de haute politique qu’une série d’articles de vous sur ces deux pays; vous avez assez fait vos preuves pour que nous ayons dans la justesse et dans la profondeur de vos vues, ainsi que dans leur impartialité, une confiance que nul autre écrivain ne saurait nous inspirer; vous êtes, enfin, précisément l’homme qu’il nous faut pour écrire sur ces deux pays, et s’il nous fallait désigner un sujet, c’est par là, et en premier lieu par la France, que nous vous prierions de commencer.

Veuillez, mon cher Monsieur, agréer l’hommage de mon éstime et de mon attachement.

J. S. Mill
India House
.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
23d June 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
138.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

Such a letter as your last might well have called forth an earlier acknowledgment than this. I assure you if I have delayed writing to you it was not for want of sympathizing in the warmest manner in all the Edition: current; Page: [267] feelings which your letter expresses. I wish to heaven there were more persons capable of feeling & thinking in the same manner—& most earnestly do I hope that your sufferings bodily & mental may come to an end, & give you many years of tranquillity & activity at a time when such men are more than ever needed.

As for Guizot—there can be no objection whatever to making two articles provided each can be made in form independent of the other. English readers do not, I think, like articles which are ostensibly continued through several numbers of a periodical, but to the reality they do not object, only to the appearance. Therefore pray adjust it in the manner you find most convenient. I quite agree with you that only the most scanty justice can be done to the subject in one article.

I have not yet read Lord Brougham’s Discourse2 but the opinion of all competent judges with whom I have conversed accords with yours, which is besides in accordance with the character of his mind. He knows no subject well, having never seriously studied anything: he has more half knowledges than perhaps any man of our time, but I never could perceive that he had any complete knowledges at all, & I observe, all who really know any one of the subjects he writes about, think him a very wonderful man, but wonder why he is so unwise as to write on that particular subject.

Is there any literary subject which you would undertake for No. 3, in addition to Guizot? Forgive my encroaching upon you in this stile!3

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
1st July 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
139.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

I write chiefly to inform you that I am about to set out for the Rhine next Saturday,2 & shall not be back till the 10th of August, therefore till Edition: current; Page: [268] that time it will devolve upon Falconer to correspond with you respecting the review.

Lamb3 will be immediately sent—before sending Anster’s Faust4 we are anxious to know in what way you think of treating it—for it would seem too difficult to make an article on one of the most celebrated of Goethe’s works, without entering into a complete examination of Goethe himself, his writings & his influence—& that is so great a subject, that we must think of it, & discuss it among ourselves for a good while before we can safely embark upon it. Will you write to Falconer expressing your views & inclinations as to the matter?

The review will be published next Wednesday unless something unexpected should delay it. I am anxious to know what you think of the article “The Church & its Reform”;5 it is not such as you, or such as I would have written, & perhaps is too brusque in manner, but I think it will do us no discredit.

I should gladly write to you many more things but I am pressed for time. I shall read your work with great interest when I return.

Ever most truly yours
J. S. Mill

M. de Tocqueville will be at Liverpool in a few days. I suppose he has an introduction to you from Senior, but I will at all events write to him & ask him to call upon you.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
14th August 1835
India House
Aristide Guilbert
Guilbert, Aristide
140.

TO ARISTIDE GUILBERT1

India House
My dear Guilbert

I yesterday remitted to Monsr Delamarre Martin Didier, a banker of Paris, for you, the sum of 870 francs, which, with about five francs overpayment last time, will about make up,

Edition: current; Page: [269]

1. the 400 francs for Messrs Maurel & Blanchard2

2. the 300 francs due to yourself for the months of June & July, & 150 francs for the present month

3. the 25 francs due from myself to M. Faucher3 for the notice on the subject of M. de Tocqueville.

When I asked you to procure notices of Paul de Kock, & Leclercq,4 I did not contemplate their being so elaborate as those which you have furnished nor costing so much to the review. Both works are already in the hands of a distinguished English writer,5 & of course we could not use, & did not wish to pay for, two criticisms of the same author: but as English reviewers are often ignorant of various things, necessary to be known in reviewing a French author, I was anxious that any particulars, the ignorance of which might expose our English reviewer to the commission of blunders, might be supplied to him from France. I do not say this by way of complaint; you did the best you could for the review, & the articles, that on Paul de Kock especially, are worth much more than we are to pay for them. I mention it only to account for your misunderstanding with Falconer. I never told him of the articles, but gave them at once to the gentleman who is reviewing Paul de Kock & Leclercq for us. The review will only pay for them when the articles are finished, & that was always my intention: but I always intended to advance whatever money might be needful from my own funds, being indemnified by the review hereafter; and this I have done by the remittance I have made to you. By applying to M. Didier you will be able to receive the money immediately.

How do you like our second number? It is well liked here, but has not yet acquired a large circulation, & its progress is so slow that we are obliged to economize our funds as much as possible. I consequently do not like to recommend to Sir William Molesworth to be at any further expense for a Paris correspondent. We originally hoped for some sale at Paris & for considerable aid from the Paris literary men of our own way of thinking: but we do not seem likely to have any sale at all, nor any literary assistance of much importance except from M. Nisard, even if we succeed in obtaining his. I feel myself very strictly accountable for the expenditure of funds which are not my own, & as Sir W. Molesworth is only willing to risk a limited sum on this experiment, I should regret much if that sum were not made to go as far as possible.

We have not yet received any French newspapers or reviews in exchange for our review: have you been able to effect any exchanges?

Edition: current; Page: [270]

Will these odious laws against the press pass?6 & if they do, will any person of the least public spirit or love of freedom, consent to live in France under them?

Our Lords will pass the corporation bill,7 with modifications, very bad in themselves, but leaving much good. They will not pass the Irish Church Bill. Have you taken notice of the numerous public meetings, & how the speeches & petitions almost always declare the House of Lords a nuisance.

Have you seen any of Roebuck’s pamphlets?8 They now sell 10,000.

Ever yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
28th August 1835
India House
Joseph Blanco White
Blanco White, Joseph
141.

TO JOSEPH BLANCO WHITE1

India House
My dear Sir

I have now been about a fortnight returned from my continental excursion, but have been too much occupied in various ways to be able to write to you before: & I must now for the same reason cut this note very short.

I write in the first place to say how exceedingly pleased I have been with your pamphlet on Heresy & Orthodoxy.2 It seems to me one of the most efficient protests which have been made in our time against the doctrine which has been the bane of Xianity, the doctrine that religious duty consists in the reception or adoption of a particular set of opinions, & not in the state of the affections & will.

In the next place, as we are obliged to think seriously now about our third number, we are anxious to know whether we can expect from you either the paper on Guizot,3 or any literary article, which, as we are scant of such articles for this number, would be particularly precious.

Edition: current; Page: [271]

You mentioned Lamb’s Specimens of early English Dramatists as a subject—have you written anything upon it?

Believe me
Ever yours
J. S. Mill

Pray inform me particulars of the state of your health.

John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Sept., 1835
Alexis de Tocqueville
de Tocqueville, Alexis
142.

TO ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE1

My dear M. de Tocqueville,

I write in English because it takes me so much more time to write in French. To you who understand English so perfectly I need not apologise.

Your letter2 was most grateful to me on every account—for the expressions of personal friendship, which I hope I shall never deserve to forfeit—& which I trust I may some day have it in my power to prove to you how deeply I value. Next to that I was most delighted with the sure prospect your letter affords of our obtaining from you a cooperation which, while it would be of the greatest importance to the London Review would probably do more good in this country than the London Review itself; for, while a strong & general desire has of late years grown up here, to know something about France, there is as yet no source from which knowledge can be drawn. We have not so much as one readable history of the Revolution; & not our people merely, but our politicians & publicists, know about as much of France as they do of Timbuctoo. They do not even know the titles of the most celebrated books, or the names of the most celebrated men. Hardly any, even instructed Englishmen . . .3 even looked . . . [at] Paul Louis Courier,4 or Guizot’s lectures,5 or Thiers’ history.6 I do not think there are two hundred who if you spoke to them of these works would not be obliged to ask what they were. Therefore you see, my dear M. de Tocqueville, you need [not] be afraid of being tedious, or telling a twice told tale, if you write to the English about what France was before the Revolution. I should ask you to do so, even if it were not necessary as a preparation for Edition: current; Page: [272] understanding the France of the present day. In itself it is a matter most necessary to be set forth & interpreted to the English. And besides, if the mere facts, the mere husk of the ancien régime, were ever so stale to us, it would come fresh & with all the colours of youth out of your hands; for the oldest thing seems new when shewn as you shew it, in all kinds of previously unsuspected relations to all the other things which surround it.

Either the form of letters, or that of articles, would suit the plan of our review; perhaps that of letters, which you suggest, would be best, as leading the reader to feel that each paper is part of a series. Do not restrain yourself in space. We can afford you on an average between 30 & 40 pages of each number, & a page of the L.R. is equal to at least two of your book.

Almost everybody here thinks that the ministers, & the House of Commons, have shewn a deplorable want of energy & courage in the contest with the Lords.7 It is not that. . . . However . . . the Lords & the Tories are the sufferers, in this instance. You can hardly conceive how the tone of the public about them is changed since I last saw you. Six months or a year ago, everybody would have been satisfied with a fournée of peers; now nobody mentions, or thinks of such a thing; everybody is full of the necessity of an absolute reorganization of the House: & by this time next year everybody will be for abolishing it, (at least as a hereditary & aristocratic body) altogether.

What you say of the probable effect of these . . . laws against the Press,8 is encouraging, & in itself . . . highly probable. I know, too, that Carrel thinks . . . as you do on the subject—& him I conceive to be, next to you [the] best authority I know on the state of France. He has been desirous to moderate his tone, & this gives him an opportunity of doing so without loss of influence.

I have nearly finished a review of your book [for the] L.R.9 The chief merit of it will be in the extracts: if I [have] succeeded in introducing them so as to excite attention to them I have done all I have aimed at. My article will be, as you [will] see, a shade or two more favourable to democracy than your book, although in the main I agree, so far as I am competent to judge, in the unfavourable part of your remarks, but without carrying them quite so far. The third number will appear in a fortnight & we shall endeavour to bring the fourth out in December, in which we hope to have your first article. Apropos, did M. de Beaumont. . . .

Ever, my dear M. de Tocqueville, yours faithfully,

J. S. Mill.
Edition: current; Page: [273]

Pray make my kindest remembrances to M. de Beaumont.10 I will write to him very soon.

Is there a chance of your writing anything about Ireland for the French? It would be very instructive.

J.S.M.
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
Saturday 3d Oct. [1835]
I.H.
Thomas Falconer
Falconer, Thomas
143.

TO THOMAS FALCONER1

I.H.
My dear Falconer

I write to report progress. D’abord I wish you would by the first post, write to Pringle,2 to say that from the length to which some of our articles have gone, & the great quantity of matter not acceptable to light readers, which the number will contain, we are obliged to put off his article to No iv.3 which is the less to be regretted as matter of the kind will be likely to be more read then than now. You may add (if you will venture to do so on my testimony) that the article is very good, & will be useful to us.—I want him to receive the first notice of the postponement from us, & not from the advertisement.

We shall be out next week. The only matter not sent to press is my Postscript4 (which I think you will like) & the last half of Buller’s article,5 which he promised shd have been here yesterday. What we have of it is very good, & pleasantly written. On the whole it is a good number. We shall rather exceed our 16 sheets, though we must omit the Nebulae.6 By the bye, Nichol sent to me by post the first sheet of the Nebulae, saying that an accident had rendered his MS. illegible & that he was obliged to recopy it: & would send by every post one sheet, using thereafter alternately Grote’s & Roebuck’s frank: consequently I have received no more, both being out of town. But as we have not room for it, that is of no consequence.

Edition: current; Page: [274]

Chapman7 goes on very well.

Molesworth wants to write on Orangm.8 & I should like him to do so, but as the Atlas man9 wants the same thing, & as it may be good to have a friend in the Atlas—will you tell me how I can manage to get a sight of some numbers thereof, that I may see how he writes.

Nichol says his mode of treating the subject, being scientific & a priori, will not interfere with Wakefield’s.10

We are to print 1000 of Law Reform11 & sell it for 6d. That was Chapman’s ultimate opinion. We must distribute it very largely. Could not you send some to the agents for the Political Pamphlet?12

I have set on foot a greater quantity of advertising than usual, as people complain of our not being advertised enough.

Ever yours
J. S. Mill
John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
7th October, 1835
India House
John Pringle Nichol
Pringle Nichol, John
144.

TO JOHN PRINGLE NICHOL1

India House
My dear Nichol,

In consequence, I suppose, of Grote’s and Roebuck’s absence from town, I have received no part of your article on “Nebulae”2 except the first sheet, which you sent to me direct. This, however, is of the less importance, as the unexpected length of some other articles would at all events have compelled us to omit it from this number. We will have it set up as soon as we receive it, and send you a proof—for we mean to bring out No. 4 in December. I hope your article on “Chalmers” will be ready by that time. The one on “Quetelet”3 would in that case be better postponed.

Edition: current; Page: [275]

You will, I think, like No. 3; and No. 4 will be excellent. De Tocqueville has promised us a set of articles containing all that he knows and thinks about Maree.4 Grote has promised one on “Greek History;”5 and we have many other good articles, either ready or in prospect. But we are particularly anxious for the one on “Chalmers.”

I shall read Combe’s book6 with a pleasure increased by receiving it from you. Phrenology, no doubt, may be to a certain extent reconciled with analytical psychology, that is, if it can be discovered that certain nervous peculiarities, affecting the kind or the intensity of our sensations, have to do with peculiar conformations of the brain. Thus, for instance, what they say about their “organ of amativeness” has some foundation, because we know that nymphomania can be traced to inflammation of the cerebellum. It is, I believe, ascertained that the nerves of external sense terminate mostly, if not wholly, in the cerebrum, those of internal in the cerebellum and spinal marrow. What or how much can be inferred from this I do not know. But the difficulty I feel in limine about phrenology is the insufficiency of the induction. I do not believe in anybody’s judgments of the characters of individuals from anything the public ever know of their history. Besides, many of the skulls t