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The Letters of John Stuart Mill. Edited, with an introduction,. by HUGH S. R. ELIOT; with a Note on Mill's Private Life by MARY TAYLOR. Two volumes. (London: Longmans, Green and Company. 1911. Pp. vi, 312; 408.)

The letters and other material collected in these volumes cannot fail to interest students of Mill's work. They relate to a great variety of topics and were written to many different persons in various countries. But there is a thread of unity running through: them, for most of them contain something on the writer's views on literary, social, and political subjects. Read in their order, they illustrate his method of thought and the maturing effects of time on his ideas. They disclose, even more fully than his books, the prodigious activity of the man.

Mill was a careful correspondent. He kept copies of all his. important letters, and seems to have written them with the thought of publication in mind. They are all in a serious vein; there is never a playful quip nor a bit of gossip, even in those written to his most intimate friends. They show that Mill's ordinary state of mind was grave or even sombre. The "riddle of the painful earth” oppressed him. He confesses that he could not drop a puzzle till he had found a solution; and the presence of so much evil, injustice, and suffering in the world, haunted him always. He wishes to believe in a good and loving Creator, but finds it necessary to deny His omnipotence and to assume that His beneficent designs are marred by the badness of His available material.

To do something toward lessening the miseries of the world was the ruling passion of Mill's life. Two classes of victims of social injustice appealed profoundly to his sympathies: the laboring classes and women. His letters show that his writings and his political activity were primarily inspired by the desire to promote remedies for the evils that afflict these classes. Unfortunately for his peace of mind, the only remedy which his reason could accept as effective in each case was at once extremely difficult and extremely unpopular. Restraints on increase of population and the extension of the suffrage to women found small support even in the classes they were designed to benefit. Hence much sadness.

In religion and in practical reforms Mill found himself out of real sympathy and touch with contemporary Englishmen. He wished to coöperate with other men, but his terms were seldom acceptable to other reformers. He laments that he was compelled to act so much alone. In truth his letters show that he had a


profound contempt for the mental capacity of his countrymen. John Bright, for example, he regarded as “a mere demagogue” (I, 233). He speaks of "the extreme difficulty of getting any ideas into England's stupid head" (I, 131). Again, "The characteristic of Germany is knowledge without thought; of France, thought without knowledge; of England, neither thought nor knowledge” (II, 377). Torn from their context these expressions seem arrogant, but they are only sad, the bitter protest of a despairing reformer, who finds himself only a voice crying in the wilderness.

As in everything about Mill, these volumes have a good deal regarding his connection with Mrs. Taylor. The very interesting biographical sketch by the editor has only a page on the subject; but it is supplemented by a ten-page Note by Miss Mary Taylor, granddaughter of Mrs. Taylor. The Note contributes some new and important facts. Both writers are confessedly desirous of defending Mill's memory. Accepting everything they say, two observations suggest themselves. First, that a social reformer who allows himself to fall in love with another man's wife, and who encourages her to bestow her affection and her society on him instead of her husband, is guilty of an offence against social order that no halo of personal purity can condone. It was a grievous sin, and grievously Mill's influence suffered for it.

The other observation is that, after all is said, the ascendency held over Mill by Mrs. Taylor remains as much a mystery as before. It does not appear from other sources that she was a specially intellectual or otherwise remarkable woman. Yet after twentyfive years of intercourse with her, Mr. Mill was still dazzled by her wonderful gifts. Words seem to fail him when he writes of her. There are in the letters various praises of her. In the fragment of a diary kept by him in the year 1854, three years after their marriage, there are some remarkable passages: "I write only for her when I do not write entirely from her" (II, 373) . . . . . . “The companion who is the profoundest and most far-sighted and most clear-sighted thinker I have ever known." These and other passages make it very clear that, in the words of the editor, "Mill set her up as an idol and worshipped her." But a living idol must have qualities to hold the idolater, and this woman held a critical philosopher to his worship for thirty years. For her he risked his fame and usefulness. For her he outraged the rights of her amiable husband, and brought on himself estrangement from his own mother and sisters and not a few friends. Yet we have only his


own testimony to her intellectual gifts, and the cameo likeness given of her seems to say that she was not even pretty. whole affair is a sad mystery.

Americans will read with special interest the considerable number of letters relating to our Civil War and to the attitude of the British Government and people towards the struggle. Mill's own sympathies were steadily and strongly on the side of the Union.

There are two excellent photogravure portraits of Mill; also a striking one of his father. There is a good index. The work of editing is done with tact and good judgment.

Harvard University.


Ausgewählte Lesestücke zum Studium der politischen Oekonomie. By KARL DIEHL and PAUL MOMBERT. (Karlsruhe: G. Braun. 1910. Pp. vi, 218.)

Leitfaden der Volkswirtschaftslehre. By A. ADLER. Sixth edition. (Leipzig: Gebhardt. 1910. Pp. 287.)

The "Selected Readings" constitute the first book of a series planned by Diehl and Mombert as aids in the investigation into certain economic problems by groups (seminars) of advanced students. This first volume deals with the theory of money, and divides itself into three groups of readings giving respectively the views of the mercantilists, of the "quantity theorists," and of the "cost-of-production theorists." The authors cited are Hörnigk, von Justi, Mun, Hume, Ricardo, Senior, Helfferich and John Stuart Mill.

To Mill is given the place of honor at the beginning of the book, not because the selections from his Principles of Political Economy would come first in the logical plan of the book, but chiefly because of his exceptional skill in exposition, and the unbiased critical tone of his work.

Each selection is prefaced by a short introduction the purpose of which is to set forth the author's contribution to the development of economic thought, and his place in the history of the science. This being all they attempt, these introductions are of slight importance to the purpose of the book. The main task of the collaborators was the choice of the readings, and where the range of choice is so wide it would be a work of supererogation on the part of the reviewer to criticize the selection which has been made. He can only voice his opinion that the task was well worth the doing.

That such books meet a real need is evidenced by their growing vogue in America and elsewhere, as well as in Germany. It is to be hoped that the promised volumes on Rent, Wages, and Value will be followed by still other topics of interest to the specializing student.

Professor Adler's "Outlines of Economic Theory" is avowedly for use in the higher professional schools, and for self-instruction. It aims to be comprehensive, with the result that the treatment of many topics is little more than a summary, and in places is even reduced to the form of a catalogue or enumeration. Within the limits imposed by this extreme compression, however, the book has the clearness and completeness which come from orderly arrangement and a careful consideration of the close relation sometimes existing between topics requiring separate treatment.

The author holds to the time-honored division of the subject into production, exchange, distribution and consumption. In many places his treatment is of necessity conventional. On such topics as the division of labor, money, credit, banking, the importance of capital, insurance, and luxury there are certain things which must be said, and which always are said. We are not disappointed. The author says these things, and if he adds anything more, it is likely to be a mere classification or enumeration, having a certain suggestiveness perhaps, for the thoughtful reader perusing for the first time a book on economics, but of no interest to anyone else. Controversial and especially technical matter is carefully avoided.

On the other hand, of some few topics the treatment is frankly and cheerfully disputatious. Professor Adler never misses a chance to break a lance with the bogey of Socialism. In these goodhumored jousts the enemy is generally routed, and frequently despatched, but out of pure pleasure in the sport our chivalrous author revives him after a few pages, and like a well-known character in Quentin Durward demonstrates his friendly feeling by renewed recourse to the lists. There are places, too, where the treatment if not always convincing is original and stimulating. This is especially true of the discussion of property, the family, and inheritance. The family is "the link between private property and inheritance." The family is "the earliest economic group": it is an "economic entity," the significance of which is not appreciated by the socialists. Socialism, by undermining private property and inheritance (in the means of production) would nolens volens destroy the

family. "Without inheritance the family is inconceivable." Testamentary power is a "necessary incident to the right of private property." "Without the right of inheritance credit could not exist," because, forsooth, the creditor would be without recourse on the death of his debtor! Yet Professor Adler prudently reserves to the state the right to tax inheritance (presumably with moderation). This is quite in accord with his views of the economic importance of the state, which he comes very near classifying as one of the "factors" in production.

It is perhaps because of limitations of space that we are given quite frequently a formula in lieu of an explanation. For instance, "supply is determined by cost of production." This form of words is given as explaining (on the side of supply) the fixation of price in general, and is repeated in connection with wages (the price of labor) and with interest (the price of capital). But though in general systematic to a fault, Professor Adler stops short of explaining Unternehmergewinn as partially determined by the cost of production of enterprisers. Definition is made a very simple matter. "Supply is the sum total of all the circumstances which tend to lower price." "Demand is the sum total of all the circumstances which tend to raise price." "Ground-rent is the income of the landlord in excess of the customary interest on the original capital invested."

The method followed in the book is chiefly deductive or analytical. But in discussing the question of method the author well says that "getting truth is more important than how to get it," and he recognizes the historical method to the extent of giving in the last chapter an outline history of economic ideas. This is perhaps the most condensed part of the book, but it is not without value to the reader, whom Professor Adler has especially in mind.

The bibliographical references in text and footnotes are well selected, and should be of value. The present edition (the sixth) aims to bring these, as well as the rest of the book, up to date. The lengthy catalogue of instruments of trade (Verkehrsmittel) is illustrative of this aim, as well as of the author's passion for classification. It includes such things as beasts of burden, porters, natural paths, and bicycles, and closes with motor balloons and flying machines. But in the matter of current economic writing in far-off America the book is not completely abreast of the times. To be sure, it alludes to Irving Fisher's books (1906 and 1907) and even quotes a summary of his interest theory, but the author's

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