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a certain spider, swollen up to the first magnitude by destruc- | tion of infinite numbers of flies, whose spoils lay scattered before the gates of his palace, like human bones before the cave of some giant *** In this mansion he had for some time dwelt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person by swallows from above, or to his palace by brooms from below: when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself, and in he went; where expatiating awhile, he at last happened to alight upon one of the outer walls of the spider's citadel, which yielding to the unequal weight, sunk down to the very foundation. Thrice he endeavoured to force his passage, and thrice the centre shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, supposed, at first, that nature was approaching to her final dissolution." (After some time the spider mustered courage to adventure out, and to attack the intruder with very foul and violent language-such language as Mr. Colburn's spiders, and other self-producing insects, now call Criticism.') "Good words, friend,' said the bee, (having now pruned himself and being disposed to be droll,) I'll give you my hand and word to come near your kennel no more; I never was in such a confounded pickle since I was born.- Sirrah,' replied the spider, if it were not for breaking an old custom in our family never to stir abroad against an enemy, I should come and teach you better manners. I pray have patience, said the bee, or you'll spend your substance, and for aught I see you may stand in need of it all, towards the repair of your house.'Rogue, rogue,' replied the spider, yet methinks you should have more respect to a person, whom all the world allows to be so much your betters. By my troth,' said the bee, the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and you will do me a favour, to let me know the reasons, that all the world is pleased to use, in so hopeful a dispute. At this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and angry, to urge on his own reasons, without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite; and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction.

search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things,
brings home honey and wax?'
The fable requires no


AMONG the useful sciences, the study of which has made so
rapid a progress during the present age throughout the prin-
cipal nations of Europe, there is not one entitled to take a
more forward rank than political economy, whether it be
considered with reference to the immensity of the objects
which it embraces, or to the important influence which a
right understanding of those objects is calculated to exert
over the permanent destiny of communities.

One of the most important branches of this science is comprehended under the name of statistics,-a name taken from the Latin word status, the state or actual condition of things, and which at once sufficiently indicates the objects of the study, and prescribes its limits.

Exclusively occupied with collecting and ascertaining facts, with collating statements and in verifying calculations, the study of statistics admits of no theories nor peculiar systems, and meddles not with probabilities. This pursuit calls for the exercise of the most scrupulous exactness, and the most rigid truth must preside over all its statements. It in fact provides the materials with which the political or philosophic reasoner should occupy himselfthe implements with which he must work-while endeavouring to establish those principles and to pursue that course of action which are best calculated to secure the ultimate good of society.

What higher or more liberal objects of curiosity can be entertained than the desire of ascertaining the resources of one's country-the moral character of its population--the direction, the extent, and the value of its industry? How can any well-considered step be taken to advance and secure the improvement of a people in wealth, in morals, or in happiness, unless through a knowledge of past and existing circumstances, whence alone we shall be enabled to trace "Not to disparage myself,' said he, by the comparison effects to their primary causes? But it is not to statesmen with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond without only, or to men whose leisure and inclination prompt and house or home, without stock or inheritance? born to no pos- permit them to embark in the study of the higher or reasonsession of your own but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. ing branch of political science, that an acquaintance with Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature; a free- statistical details must be useful and desirable. Writings booter over fields and gardens; and for the sake of stealing, of this description, which bring under our view simple and will rob a nettle, as easily as a violet. Whereas I am a common facts that might otherwise pass unnoticed, are caldomestic animal, furnished with a native stock within my-culated to enlighten each individual upon some points imself. This large castle (to show my improvements in the mathematics) is all built with my own hands, and the materials abstracted altogether out of my own person.'

portant to his personal interest, while they at the same time may teach him how to avoid errors, and how best to cooperate with others for securing the general welfare.

Entertaining this conviction, it is difficult to account for the neglect which this study has experienced up to a period comparatively recent. While disputants have arisen, among whom we may number profound and original thinkers, who have examined every point of political science with a force of reasoning that does honour to the age, the facts which alone should form the groundwork, and which after all must be the test of their reasoning, seem to have been thought scarcely worth the trouble of collecting. From this reproach we are now, however, becoming free. An important beginning has been made in various countries towards the collection and registration of statistical knowledge; and it is to be hoped that our successors at least will not be subject to the disadvantage under which we have laboured, of being without the means of comparing fact with theory, and of thus determining the value and the expediency of measures offered for public adoption.

“I am glad,' answered the bee, 'to hear you grant, at least, that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit indeed all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence, enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture, and other mathematics, I have little to say: in that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labour and method enough; but by woeful experience for us both, it is too plain, the materials are nought; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration and matter, as well as manner and art. You boast, indeed, of being obliged to no other creature, but of drawing and spinning all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or disparage your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged for an increase of both to a little foreign assistance. Your inherent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions, by sweepings exhaled from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this: whether is the nobler being of the two, that, which by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that, which by a universal range, with long | p. 394.

Now and then, it is true, minds of a superior class have been found willing, for the sake of the public advantage, to submit to the drudgery of obtaining and registering statistical details. For the most part, however, these efforts have been confined to limited objects and particular branches of inquiry. Nor, indeed, would it be possible for any individual, however industrious, and however devoted to the task, to embark successfully in the work of collecting and arranging such comprehensive statistical details as are necessary in order to afford a complete view of the relative and comparative influence of measures and events, or to indicate in all "Battle of the Books;" Nichols's edition of Swift, vol. ii.

their bearings the beneficial or the hurtful tendency of various courses and modes of action and government. In order to arrive at so desirable a result, it appears necessary that the number of persons engaged in the pursuit should be considerable, that their labours should be contemporaneous, and that the advantage of possessing such records should be so universally acknowledged, that in every branch of inquiry men should be found willing to collect and register those particular facts which, as they fall within their own personal knowledge and observation, they can therefore give to the world with every assurance of their truth. But even when all this shall be accomplished, when the requisite number and description of persons shall have thus contributed their useful labours, there is yet another important instrument which must be put in action before society can be enabled to reap all the advantages which should follow from those labours;-the pages of well-conducted and cheap publications-works which address themselves to the inclinations and the means of the many-must be open for the registration of such statistical facts as may be collected.

To a certain extent these publications already exist both in England and in some foreign countries, where indeed they date from an earlier period than with us. We cannot, perhaps, do a more acceptable service than by pointing out some of those annual depositories of statistical information which are within the reach of our readers, and by describing the particular branches of the subject which are usually taken up by each, indicating thus the source whence each particular inquirer may probably draw the materials of which he is in need. We propose on this occasion to confine ourselves, as regards these matters, to the mention of such works as are to be easily procured, and which are printed in our own or in the French language.

The most antient of the year-books is the "Almanach de Gotha," which little work has now been regularly published during a period of seventy-one years. Of this production two impressions are put forth, one in the German, the other in the French language. The tone of this compilation is essentially courtly. Originally ushered into the world under the old régime, when princes were everything and their people nothing, it has retained its character to a degree which in the present day seems somewhat ludicrous. It presents to us, as its embellishments, the effigies, successively, of all the princes, great and small, of Christendom, and of their ministers. It is profound in genealogy, and gives, with the most scrupulous nicety, all the ramifications of every "house" in Europe which is, or has been, dignified with princely attributes. It matters not to the conductors of this "Almanach' that the uncourtly subjects of some of these rulers may have ejected them from their thrones: here they still are princes, and have their collateral branches recorded equally with those of the potentates who have stepped into their places. By consulting these pages, we may become acquainted with great names which, in spite of their antient standing in Europe, are, we suspect, but little known in this island. We may here first be made aware of the existence of Prince Henri LXXII. of the illustrious house of Reuss-Lobenstein-Ebersdorf, and his truly illustrious aunt, La Princesse de Reuss-Schleitz-Kostritz. Nor are the compilers of this little work unmindful of the corps diplomatique, who are all made to figure in its pages, from the prime ministers of France and England down to the maréchal de la cour of the illustrious prince of HohenzollernSigmaringen.

The statistical portion of this "Almanach" is far from being extensive, and deserves mention more from the circumstance of its having been the earliest collection of the kind than from any intrinsic merit which it possesses; it has, in fact, been left so far behind in this respect by its less courtly successors, that the work has ceased to have any value as a repository of statistical facts.

The "Bureau des Longitudes" of France, by one of the rules framed for its regulation, is charged with the task of preparing every year an Almanac in a cheap and useful form for the public. This little work makes its appearance regularly, and is known as the "Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes." Its astronomical and meteorological information are chiefly abridged from the more extensive work of the same scientific body, entitled "Connaissance des Tems," a compilation which has been published yearly since 1761. Some original scientific essays of great value have occasionally been appended. The statistical parts of the contents of the "An

nuaire," being those with which we have more immediate concern, are compiled from various authentic sources. The names of the illustrious men who have composed the "Bureau des Longitudes" during the years of the appearance of this little volume, among which we find those of Laplace, Biot, Arago, and De Prony, are sufficient guarantee for the faithfulness of its details, and for their usefulness also, but it is much to be wished that a greater variety of information were admitted into its pages. Year after year the same tables have been permitted to appear, accompanied by very little new and additional matter. The work contains, however, some exceedingly valuable statements and calculations concerning the population of France, and particularly with regard to births, which calculations are entitled to be received with every confidence, from their being founded upon more than thirteen millions and a half of children of both sexes born in that country between 1817 and 1830. These tables are the more valuable to us because, hitherto, we have nothing analogous to them in this country, our registers of baptisms being confessedly incomplete from the fact of their not including the children of the various denominations of dissenters.

Another great merit of the French "Annuaire" is its extreme cheapness. It contains a complete Almanac, with the various tables which usually accompany such works; tide-tables for the principal ports of Europe; comparative tables of the weights, measures, and moneys of different European nations; and several scientific notices, in addition to its statistical tables; and the whole, which forms a volume of 280 pages, is sold for the sum of one franc, or about tenpence English money, being only two-thirds of the sum which in this country must be paid for the stamp required to legalize the sale of an Almanac.



The first and hitherto the most successful attempt in England to impart statistical information in a popular form is only of recent date. The Companion to the Almanac," first published in 1828, and since continued annually, has been brought out under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and has well answered the end for which it was designed. the "preliminary observations," wherein the scope and intention of this work are explained, the Committee stated their conviction that "it is of the first importance that a great body of statistical facts relating to population, crime, education, and other subjects affecting the general welfare of the community, should be gradually collected and reduced to a popular form;" and they therefore expressed their determination to avail themselves of the annual publication of the work, in order "to make it the vehicle for disseminating the knowledge of this description of facts, which are constantly varying, both from the nature of the subjects themselves, and the greater accuracy with which they are investigated.”

An examination of the seven volumes already put forth by the Society will show the manner in which this determination has been fulfilled. The amount of statistical information which they contain is far greater than is to be found in any other popular miscellany. We believe ourselves correct in stating, that it is to the consciousness of the advantages of rendering statistical facts generally accessible, as exhibited in this little work, that we owe the establishment, by the government itself, of an office for the collection and arrangement of statistical information upon every branch affecting the various interests of the country. If the hands to which the execution of this great public object is intrusted should prove competent to the task, aided as they will no doubt be by all the power and influence of the government, we may expect to derive from it the greatest advantages. The important work of legislation will no longer be carried forward in the dark, but means will be afforded for at least forming a sound opinion of the tendency of measures through an acquaintance with the results which have followed other enactments, while a still more useful effect may be expected to accompany the enlightening of government, which will thence be enabled to avoid those practical errors into which different administrations have been too frequently led, through the absence of full and correct information.

The publication of "The Companion to the Almanac" has been followed by another beneficial result. It has given rise to the compilation of a similar periodical work on the other side of the Atlantic;-The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, which was first published at Boston in 1830, confessedly owes its origin

to its British forerunner, and admirably follows in its steps. Many of the statistical facts which it contains have reference to the United Kingdom, and are borrowed from the pages of the "Companion;" but there is likewise in the American work a great amount of information regarding various European countries, as well as the different states of the American Union, which is drawn from other sources, and a knowledge of which cannot fail to be useful. The conductors appear to have a full conviction of the importance which a correct knowledge of facts must have in influencing the condition of society; and in the five volumes which they have published, we find a great mass of information of the most interesting character.

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ment, by the elevation of their tastes, the scale of the people's morality and virtue will infallibly be raised. A love for objects like those we now recommend is incompatible with drunken riot or vulgar sports, with cruelty and ferocity of demeanour. We have no faith in the doctrine of human perfectibility; but we have a fervent hope in the possibility of a progressive amelioration to be extended to all classes of society; and we sincerely believe that this is to be advanced, always in connexion with

"Pure religion breathing household laws,"

by the diffusion of sound knowledge and good taste among the people.

The indulgence of this good taste will be found to be wonderfully cheap. Mr. Rogers has very admirably stated this fact in his preface to " an Epistle to a Friend," which poem is, in our opinion, the best of all his productions. "It is the design of this Epistle," says our poet, "to illustrate the virtue of True Taste; and to show how little she requires to secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegancies of her choice to few objects, and delights in producing great life. True Taste is an excellent Economist-she confines

THE poetry contained in these two volumes has long been familiar to the lovers of elegant literature. It is chiefly, therefore, with regard to the present editions, which are distinguished by the matchless beauty of their embellish-effects by small means; while False Taste is for ever sighments, that they demand our notice. ing after the new and the rare; and reminds us, in her works, of the Scholar of Apelles, who, not being able to paint his Helen beautiful, determined to make her fine." The poet then proceeds to describe "the cheap amuse


The volumes cost twenty-eight shillings each. They may appear expensive, but if expensive they are not dear: on the contrary, when we take into account the number and excellence of the engravings, which are all executed by first-ment of a mind at ease," and the resources at the command rate artists working under the guidance of a gentleman of of a man of moderate income; but let him speak for himexquisite taste, we must hold these books to be cheap almost beyond precedent. We consider it, indeed, as a remarkable proof of the spirit of the times, that a gentleman of independent fortune, like Mr. Rogers, should devote thousands of pounds to such a purpose; and then look, not to high prices paid by the few, but low prices to be paid by the many, for his reimbursement. Embellished books, not to be compared with these, have often been published at four or five guineas the volume. Mr. Rogers knows this fact, and might have calculated that such prices would not impede their sale among the great and wealthy; but he knew also that such prices would act as a check on the large body of purchasers among whom he wished them to circulate.

Mr. Rogers has thus entitled himself to the honours of a diffusionist. The quality of the works of art he thus diffuses is of first-rate excellence, and such as is calculated to exercise a considerable influence on the taste of the age. "Italy," upon which seven thousand pounds had been expended, was published in 1830; before the end of 1832, the sale of copies had nearly reimbursed the author, and the book was still in demand. Thus, within two years there must have been more than seven thousand purchasers to pay the trade-price to the publisher. This result proved at once that Mr. Rogers was right in his calculation; and that there was a widely-spread love of art in the country.


"What though no marble breathes, no canvass glows,
From every point a ray of genius flows!
Be mine to bless the more mechanic skill,
That stamps, renews, and multiplies at will;
And cheaply circulates, through distant climes,
The fairest relics of the purest times.
Here from the mould to conscious being start
Those finer forms, the miracles of art;
Here chosen gems, imprest on sulphur, shine,
That slept for ages in a second mine;
And here the faithful graver dares to trace
A Michael's grandeur, and a Raphael's grace!
Thy gallery, Florence, gilds my humble walls;
And my low roof the Vatican recalls!"

The library, the garden, the surrounding country, are then enumerated among "the cheap amusements" of the man of taste; and the epistle concludes with a recommendation to those who would enjoy true comfort and the real elegance of life, to limit their expenditure, and confine themselves to "one fair asylum," instead of roving through many mansions-the mere tenants of a day.

With this conviction the second of these beautiful volumes was brought before the public at the commencement of the present year. The engravings it contained were much more numerous, and perhaps, on the whole, more exquisite, than those of its precursor. The volume of "Italy" had fifty--the faithful representations of the Grecian Cameos and two embellishments; that of the miscellaneous poems has seventy-two: but, in spite of the additional expense incurred, amounting to hundreds of pounds, the second volume is published at the same price as the first. The designs to both works, with the exception of two or three gems after the old -Italian masters, have been furnished exclusively by Turner and Stothard, whom Mr. Rogers justly describes as two artists who would have done honour to any age or country. The landscapes of the one, and the groups of figures by the other, in the volumes before us, are among the most graceful things we ever beheld.

Although the poor man, whose susceptibilities and perceptions may be naturally as exquisite as those of the richest or the highest, should not be able to afford the purchase of these books, he may enjoy their beauties and improve his taste by studying them in an association with others. The reading clubs and the district libraries, which we hope to see extensively established, may very well afford the means of such purchases, and render even works like these accessible to every honest, industrious individual of the community.

In thus increasing and purifying the sources of their enjoy

Now, the pure fountains of enjoyment to which the poet guides the man of moderate fortune, may be approached, and even largely tasted of, by humbler or much poorer individuals. At present, for a few shillings, and, in some instances, for a few pence, the industrious mechanic may ornament his room with plaster casts from the antique, or from the best of modern sculptors; and at a still cheaper rate he can procure "the chosen gems, imprest on sulphur " Intaglios, the medals and medallions, on which so much of the genius of the antients was lavished. Since the substitution of steel plates (which can bear a great number of impressions without material deterioration) for copper platessince the progress made in lithography, and the perfection to which wood-engraving has been brought,—the same individual of limited means can afford to furnish himself with prints and engravings after the best masters; while, from the salutary change effected in part of the publishing trade, he can now buy an instructive, elegant volume for a smaller sum than he would spend on a Sunday's dinner, or an evening's carouse. It is thus that by a process of gradual acquisition, nicely calculated according to his means, the poor man may, on a smaller scale, put himself in possession of most of those things which give such enjoyment to the man of great fortune and hereditary refinement. One of the most curious and, in some respects, one of the finest collections of engravings we ever saw in this country, had been made by a journeyman carver and gilder, who devoted the savings of his weekly wages to that purpose; and this was many years ago, when the facilities for so doing were much fewer than they now are.

THE BRITISH MUSEUM.-ELGIN AND PHIGA- or a single word, he gives life to a description and a locality LEIAN MARBLES.

Volumes XX. and XXII. of the Library of Entertaining Knowledge, royal 18mo., pp. 249 and 271, price 98. Knight. THIS is the work, the former portion of which, relating to the Egyptian antiquities in the Museum, the " Athenæum," we recollect, in a pretended review, described to its readers as little more than a compilation from the catalogues and the commonest authorities. There was no extraordinary malignity in this; the verdict was not that of a person who had examined the subject, and who then deliberately wrote the opposite of what he thought. We have no doubt the judgment was passed in all simplicity, and in as much honesty as is consistent with speaking without knowledge and without inquiry,-which, however, is not a great deal. We acquit the critic of having looked beyond the title-page of the book, or of knowing anything more about it than that it was one of the publications of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and to be treated, therefore, in any way that would give him the least trouble.

The object of this publication is for the first time to diffuse among the people of this country a knowledge and right appreciation of the principles of high art in design, as exemplified in those wonderful remains which are now universally acknowledged to present their finest existing embodiment. For this purpose the two volumes have been, in the first place, profusely illustrated with pictorial representations, which, although necessarily on a small scale, have been recognised as conveying perhaps the truest transcript that has yet been given of the expression of the animated stone. These have been accompanied by short, but accurate and satisfactory, explanations of each figure or group-so that every visiter of the Elgin Marbles may now take along with him a guide that will at once direct his attention to the points of interest in each, and afford the information necessary to enable him to understand its subject. But the more elaborate portion of the work consists of those comprehensive sketches of various auxiliary departments of antient learning, some knowledge of which is essential to every one who would enter properly into the spirit of these noble sculptures. We would instance the two chapters on the Topography and on the History of Athens in the first volume, and the concluding remarks on antient learning and art in general in the second. We wish we could give the instructive concluding paragraphs in this last-mentioned discourse, in which the writer winds up and applies the general principles he had previously laid down; but we must content ourselves with transcribing the following shorter passage:"The oldest existing monument of Grecian art is the Homeric poems, the ever fresh and living picture of an age different from any other that we know. They stand like some solitary monument with a name and without a date; before them we find nothing but what is vague and fabulous, and after them a blank of centuries. Yet who can doubt that, long before these poems or any part of them had an existence, the mythology of those who spoke the Homeric language was embodied in material forms? The art of working in wood, metal, and ivory, had attained some degree of excellence. The excellence might not be that of highly wrought perfection of parts, which is the province of inferior talent, but it consisted in simplicity of design, in the imitation of nature where nature was ever beautiful and


"In Homer, what is it that we admire? What is it that made these poems the theme of praise, and the model of the universal Greek nation during every age of its existence, from the time when their beautiful mythi were as strong in the people's belief as the legends of modern days once were, to the later times when scepticism had divested them of the charm of reality, and other superstitions had disfigured their beauty? One cause is, that they reflect the truth of nature, they preserve an image of never-tiring freshness. The mountains, the rivers, and the sea, the wide plains, the bright noon-day sun, the stillness and splendour of the calm moon-light, are the eternal and unchangeable characters which form a bond of sympathy between all nations and ages. They speak in a language so full and varied, that man can only be its feeble interpreter. Yet the most striking characteristics of the Homeric poems are the simple and faithful pictures of nature. Sometimes by a single line,

to a name that continues as true to nature now as it was in the unknown age of the poet. But Homer also peopled his world with living beings, without which the world has no existence: he filled it with all the varied forms and vicissitudes of life: he filled it with men and heroes: he endowed them with strength, swiftness, valour, and beauty. Even his gods are invested with the forms and the passions of man; though they command the powers of nature, and govern the elements, they are still human. The poet stamped the gods of Olympus with those characters which all succeeding ages looked up to as their models. He gave a form to the conceptions of their deities, from which the sculptor could never entirely deviate. The mythology, and the imitative arts of the Greeks, are then inseparable; the mythi were the parents of art; how they came we know not, but we everywhere find them impressed with the character of locality. Each striking feature of nature-fountain, hill, and river-was peopled with its deities: the beautiful spots of nature were nothing without inhabitants, and each became more familiarized to man by being invested with his form. Hence the whole religion of the Greeks became identified with the representations of the human figure, and every belief in superior powers assumed a form palpable to the senses. It does not appear that the art of the sculptor was originally employed to represent the human form, except as invested with the attributes of divinity; nor do we conceive that statuary, till a comparatively advanced period in the art, was applied to any service but that of religion. Even in the Panathenaic frieze of the Parthenon, we find strictly a sacred subject, and the whole mode of treating it shows a subdued and sacred character. The representation of gods and heroes was the great province of early art, and the Greeks, endowed with the passion for beauty, gave to their divinities all the attributes of ideal perfection. Religion has ever been the only true and legitimate parent of the arts. The early Christians neglected or persecuted them, till at last the church of Rome, by employing them in her service, gave a new impulse to invention, and called into existence the most beautiful creations of the pencil."vol. ii. pp. 219–221.


THERE are two points of view in which this work may be
considered, in neither of which it is our present object to
examine it. We are not going to inquire either into its
merit as a collection of tales, or into the correctness of the
scientific principles which it inculcates. Upon the first of
these heads, however, we may say, generally, that we agree
with all the world in admiring the writer's brilliant execu-
tion of many parts of her task, and the eminent and varied
powers she has displayed. In her most successful efforts
we have a well-imagined and skilfully-developed story,
animated and effective narration, striking incident, humour,
passion, pathos; pictures both of scenery and of character,
true to nature, and full of life; dramatic dialogue; with a
style always luminous and spirited, frequently irradiated by
those felicities of expression that flash their meaning at
once on the understanding and the fancy, and at times
rising to fervid eloquence. Perhaps mere force of delinea-
tion has been too constantly endeavoured after, and on the
whole the figures are in rather high relief.
intended mainly, as we presume the present is, to answer
The repre-
an immediate purpose, this is scarcely a fault.
sentation strikes the eye all the more readily, and with the
more exciting effect in the first instance, for its somewhat
exaggerated vigour, however much that quality may mar
its permanent attraction and power. The error too, although
not one which the highest genius would be apt to fall into,
is such as could only be committed by a writer of remarka-
ble talent. The spirit of energy, indeed, is the distinction of
talent, as that of beauty is of genius; and the loftier exhibi-
tions of the one are, as much as those of the other, beyond
the reach of mere ordinary ability.

But for a work

With regard to the scientific part of the work,—the principles and deductions which are expressly stated in it, or which the stories are meant to impress and recommend-we should, we believe, have generally to concur with the writer. *Twenty-five monthly parts, demy 18mo., price 1s. 6d. each, Fox.]

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Her views appear to us to be, for the most part, sound and vain and destructive conflicts in which ignorance and passion enlightened, and to show that she is in full possession of her have heretofore so often driven them to engage; and would subject, as well as animated by a very earnest love both of teach them instead how to take the most advantage of all truth and of her species. She is a zealous and affectionate, circumstances in which they might be placed, to apply their but, at the same time, a perfectly honest teacher; and, exertions for the bettering of their condition most economialthough dedicating herself avowedly to the service of the cally and effectively, and to surround their position with the people, evidently quite incapable of seeking their approba- strongest defences against all the adverse chances with which tion or acceptance of her labours by flattering their preju- they may have to contend. Were it generally diffused among dices, or sparing them a lesson, however stern, in which our peasantry, and our manufacturing population, we should their ultimate welfare is involved. Even in this part of her have no more rick-burnings, no more demolition of machiperformance however, there is, we think, occasionally some- nery, no more unavailing strikes; and in course of time, thing of the same straining after effect which we have also, a greatly diminished pressure upon the market of labour, remarked as characterizing her moral descriptions and ex-with, as a consequence, a higher, or at least a steadier rate positions. An unnecessary degree of parade is sometimes of wages, and far less wretchedness than now exists. Or given to the demonstration of a very simple matter; or both view the matter in another light. Self-government is bedirectness and conclusiveness are sacrificed in an attempt to coming more and more every day the system of all nations be ingenious and original. having any pretensions to be accounted in a progressive state. The old arrangement, of a few with the right to rule and the many having nothing to do with the laws but to obey them, is everywhere overthrown or breaking up. The people, long an effective power, have now, both in our own and other states, risen to be a recognized power; and are certain every day to attain to more ample recognition and greater influence. If governments, therefore, are now to act an enlightened part, the people, from whom they spring, must be enlightened. If the principles of political economy are to regulate the conduct of ministers and parliaments, an acquaintance with the science must be acquired by farmers and manufacturers and tradesmen and mechanics, and those other popular bodies whose voices make parliaments and ministers. These bodies, with their new powers, have inherited new duties also; emancipated, as they are, from their state of pupillage, they enter upon the responsibilities as well as upon the rights of manhood, and must for the future lay their account with having to look after their own interests themselves.

But we proceed to the main purpose of our notice, which is, to consider in how far Miss Martineau's work is likely to answer the end of diffusing a knowledge of the science which it professes to illustrate.

Political Economy is, in a peculiar degree, a Science for the People. It is, comparatively, without value until it has been popularized. It shares, in this respect, in the nature of the moral and prudential sciences, of which it is one; and is distinguished from the purely speculative, and also from the applied or mixed sciences. Its great aim and end is the regulation of conduct. Even its principles have little chance of being perfectly ascertained, and developed in all their bearings, until they they shall be generally reduced to practice. The knowledge of the eternal truths of mathematics, or even of astronomy, or of the laws of motion, or of any other branch of physics, would be a most valuable acquisition in reference to the interests of the whole race, even although it should remain confined to the possession of comparatively a few individuals. Millions might be benefited by the creations or results of the knowledge of which only one mind was the repository. Of course, even here the advantages of diffusion are immense, and of vast importance both to the public utility of the science, and to its progress and enlargement. But still, with only a small number of persons proficients in such a branch of learning as the mathematics, society in general might share largely in the fruits of which that kind of knowledge is productive. With moral knowledge the case is altogether different. Unless this is diffused it matters little that it should exist at all. A community wholly ignorant, in general, of the principles of religion and morality, would be nothing the better for the light as to these subjects which might be possessed by a few scattered individuals. Such knowledge to be efficacious must be personal. It is of little or no general use until it comes to be generally disseminated. The same thing is also true, to a great extent, with the science of Political Economy. Even those principles of this science which bear exclusively upon the practice of government, can rarely be applied by rulers, at least in free states, until they have won the assent of public opinion. But the most important among the lessons which Political Economy teaches, it is never to be forgotten, can only be reduced to practice by the people themselves. Until, therefore, the science shall be popularized-that is to say, until the great body of the people shall be instructed in its principles, -its most completely demonstrated conclusions must remain nearly a dead letter, and as barren of any effect upon the advancement of civilization and human happiness as were the speculations of the schoolmen in the middle ages.

We do not, therefore, doubt that it is the destiny of Political Economy to become pre-eminently the study of the people. It is the study in which, of all others, after those involving the grand principles of religion and morality, they have the deepest interest. Without a knowledge of this science they are insufficiently qualified for the right per formance either of their private or of their public duties. Its use meets them at every step. They need its advice and direction in the formation of their domestic connexions and arrangements, in their marriages, in their expenditure, in the disposal of their savings, in the education and settlement of their children. It is the only knowledge that can enlighten them, and afford them safe guidance in all movements they may make in relation to their businesses or trades, with the view of averting fluctuations of wages and profits, or meeting, with the best preparation, such depressions as cannot be warded off. This knowledge would save them from wasting their power and their resources in those

The conception of such a work as Miss Martineau has given us was a happy thought. A notion, in whatever way it may have arisen, had got possession of people's heads, that political economy was both a very difficult and a very dull branch of study; and we fear it was also commonly enough believed, though that was not so openly avowed, to be one of very little use. With such a reputation, neglect and avoidance were only what it had to expect. It was well off where it was treated with the coldest civility; the bolder vulgar assailed it with their reproaches, or made it their butt, whenever it came in their way. There was no other science so unhappily circumstanced-at once so disregarded by one-half of the multitude, so abused and buffetted by the other, so misunderstood by both.

Miss Martineau's book must have done a vast deal to put an end to all this. She has shown, by these interesting and many-coloured sketches, that her favourite science comprises within its dominion the whole length and breadth of social existence, and that there is hardly a step in the course of any man in which he may not derive guidance from its precepts, or discover an illustration of some one of its principles. Hitherto it has been represented chiefly as the science of nations and governments; here we have it held up also in the more picturesque light of a science for individuals and families. We cannot doubt that many persons to whom the meaning of political economy was unknown, and its very name distasteful, have been taught a more just appreciation of it by these tales. To this extent, at least, they must have popularized the science. And this is much. Of Miss Martineau's numerous readers, including many young minds in whom the passion for knowledge beats with a bounding pulse, it may fairly be supposed that a large portion, by whatever attractions they may have been drawn to her volumes in the first instance, cannot have failed to gather something of the wisdom of the parable along with its entertainment. Many understandings must in this way have been turned to the contemplation of at least the outline of the leading truths of political economy, and have received a most favourable preparatory culture for the more metho dical study of the science.


We do not know that this is exactly Miss Martineau's own notion of what she has accomplished. In the preface to her first volume she says of former treatises on the science of political economy, They do not give us what we want-the science in a familiar, practical form. They give us its history; they give us its philosophy; but we want its picture." The object of her own work she after

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