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a certain spider, swollen up to the first magnitude by destruc- search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things,
tion of infinite numbers of flies, whose spoils lay scattered brings home honey and wax?
before the gates of his palace, like human bones before the The fable requires no “ moral."
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

POPULAR STATISTICS OF GREAT BRITAIN, below: when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct

FRANCE, AND AMERICA. thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself, and in he went; where ex- | Among the useful sciences, the study of which has made so patiating awhile, he at last happened to alight upon one of rapid a progress during the present age throughout the printhe outer walls of the spider's citadel, which yielding to the cipal nations of Europe, there is not one entitled to take a unequal weight, sunk down to the very foundation. Thrice more forward rank than political economy, whether it be he endeavoured to force his passage, and thrice the centre considered with reference to the immensity of the objects shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, which it embraces, or to the important intiuence which a supposed, at first, that nature was approaching to her final right understanding of those objects is calculated to exert dissolution." (After some time the spider mustered courage over the permanent destiny of communities. to adventure out, and to attack the intruder with very foul and One of the most important branches of this science is violent language-such language as Mr. Colburn's spiders, comprehended under the name of statistics,-a name taken and other self-producing insects, now call · Criticism.') from the Latin word status, the state or actual condition of “* Good words, friend, said the bee, (having now pruned things, and which at once sufficiently indicates the objects himself and being disposed to be droll,) . I'll give you of the study, and prescribes its limits. my hand and word to come near your kennel no more ; Exclusively occupied with collecting and ascertaining I never was in such a confounded pickle since I was facts, with collating statements and in verifying calculaborn. — Sirrah,' replied the spider, .if it were not for tions, the study of statistics admits of no theories nor pecubreaking an old custom in our family never to stir abroad liar systems, and meddles not with probabilities. This against an enemy, I should come and teach you better pursuit calls for the exercise of the most scrupulous exactmanners.'— I pray have patience, said the bee,' 'or you'll ness, and the most rigid truth must preside over all its spend your substance, and for aught I see you may stand statements. It in fact provides the materials with which in need of it all, towards the repair of your house.'- the political or philosophic reasoner should occupy himself* Rogue, rogue,' replied the spider, yet methinks you the implements with which he must work-while endeavourshould have more respect to a person, whom all the world ing to establish those principles and to pursue that course allows to be so much your betters. — By my troth,' said the of action which are best calculated to secure the ultimate bee, the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and good of society. you will do me a favour, to let me know the reasons, that all What higher or more liberal objects of curiosity can be the world is pleased to use, in so hopeful a dispute. At entertained than the desire of ascertaining the resources of this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and pos- one's country-the moral character of its population---the ture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of direction, the extent, and the value of its industry? How controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and can any well-considered step be taken to advance and secure angry, to urge on his own reasons, without the least regard the improvement of a people in wealth, in morals, or in to the answers or objections of his opposite; and fully prede- happiness, unless through a knowledge of past and existing termined in his mind against all conviction.

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 inlieritance ? 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 portant to his personal interest, while they at the same time mathematics) is all built with my own hands, and the mate- may teach him how to avoid errors, and how best to corials abstracted altogether out of my own person.'

operate with others for securing the general welfare. “I am glad,' answered the bee, 'to hear you grant, at Entertaining this conviction, it is difficult to account for least, that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; the neglect which this study has experienced up to a period for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my comparatively recent. While disputants have arisen, among flights and my music; and Providence would never have whom we may number profound and original thinkers, who bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for have examined every point of political science with a force the noblest ends. I visit indeed all the flowers and blossoms of reasoning that does honour to the age, the facts which of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence, alone should form the groundwork, and which after all must enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, be the test of their reasoning, seem to have been thought their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in scarcely worth the trouble of collecting. From this reproach architecture, and other mathematics, I have little to say: in we are now, however, becoming free. An important beginthat building of yours there might, for aught I know, have ning has been made in various countries towards the collecbeen labour and method enough; but by woeful experience tion and registration of statistical knowledge ; and it is to be for us both, it is too plain, the materials are nought; and I hoped that our successors at least will not be subject to the hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider dura- disadvantage under which we have laboured, of being withtion and matter, as well as manner and art. You boast, out the means of comparing fact with theory, and of thus indeed, of being obliged to no other creature, but of drawing determining the value and the expediency of measures and spinning all from yourself; that is to say, if we may offered for public adoption. judge of the liquor in the vessel by what issues out, you Now and then, it is true, minds of a superior class have possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your been found willing, for the sake of the public advantage, to breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or dispa- submit to the drudgery of obtaining and registering statisrage your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are tical details. For the most part, however, these efforts have somewhat obliged for an increase of both to a little foreign been confined to limited objects and particular branches of assistance. Your inherent portion of dirt does not fail of inquiry. Nor, indeed, would it be possible for any indiviaequisitions, by sweepings exhaled from below; and one dual, however industrious, and however devoted to the task, insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy ano- to embark successfully in the work of collecting and arrangther. So that, in short, the question comes all to this : ing such comprehensive statistical details as are necessary whether is the nobler being of the two, that, which by a lazy in order to afford a complete view of the relative and compacontemplation of four inches round, by an overweening rative influence of measures and events, or to indicate in all pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and * “ Battle of the Books;" Nichols's edition of Swift, vol, ii, a cobweb; or that, which by a universal range, with long | p. 394:

their bearings the beneficial or the hurtful tendency of | nuaire," being those with which we have more immediate
various courses and modes of action and government. In concern, are compiled from various authentic sources.
order to arrive at so desirable a result, it appears necessary The names of the illustrious men who have composed the
that the number of persons engaged in the pursuit should Bureau des Longitudes" during the years of the appear-
be considerable, that their labours should be contempo- ance of this little volume, among which we find those of
raneous, and that the advantage of possessing such records Laplace, Biot, Arago, and De Prony, are sufficient guarantee
should be so universally acknowledged, that in every branch for the faithfulness of its details, and for their usefulness
of inquiry men should be found willing to collect and re. also, but it is much to be wished that a greater variety of
gister those particular facts which, as they fall within their information were admitted into its pages. Year after year
own personal knowledge and observation, they can there the same tables have been permitted to appear, accompanied
fore give to the world with every assurance of their truth. by very little new and additional matter. The work con-
But even when all this shall be accomplished, when the re- tains, however, some exceedingly valuable statements and
quisite number and description of persons shall have thus con- calculations concerning the population of France, and parti-
tributed their useful labours, there is yet another important cularly with regard to births, which calculations are entitled
instrument which must be put in action before society can to be received with every confidence, from their being
be enabled to reap all the advantages which should follow founded upon more than thirteen millions and a half of
from those labours;- the pages of well-conducted and children of both sexes born in that country between 1817
cheap publications—works which address themselves to and 1830. These tables are the more valuable to us be-
the inclinations and the means of the manymust be open cause, hitherto, we have nothing analogous to them in this
for the registration of such statistical facts as may be col- country, our registers of baptisms being confessedly incom-
lected.

plete from the fact of their not including the children of the
To a certain extent these publications already exist both various denominations of dissenters.
in England and in some foreign countries, where indeed Another great merit of the French “Annuaire" is its
they date from an earlier period than with us. We cannot, extreme cheapness. It contains a complete Almanac, with
perhaps, do a more acceptable service than by pointing out the various tables which usually accompany such works;
some of those annual depositories of statistical information tide-tables for the principal ports of Europe; comparative
which are within the reach of our readers, and by describing tables of the weights, measures, and moneys of different
the particular branches of the subject which are usually European nations, and several scientific notices, in addition
taken up by each, indicating thus the source whence each to its statistical tables; and the whole, which forms a volume
particular inquirer may probably draw the materials of of 280 pages, is sold for the sum of one franc, or about ten-
which he is in need. We propose on this occasion to confine pence English money, being only two-thirds of the sum
ourselves, as regards these matters, to the mention of such which in this country must be paid for the stamp required
works as are to be easily procured, and which are printed to legalize the sale of an Almanac.
in our own or in the French language.

The first and hitherto the most successful attempt in
The most antient of the year-books is the “ Almanach de England to impart statistical information in a popular
Gotha," which little work has now been regularly published form is only of recent date. The “ Companion to the
during a period of seventy-one years. Of this production Almanac," first published in 1828, and since continued an-
two impressions are put forth, one in the German, the other nually, has been brought out under the superintendence of
in the French language. The tone of this compilation is the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and has
essentially courtly. Originally ushered into the world under well answered the end for which it was designed. In
the old régime, when princes were everything and their the “preliminary observations," wherein the scope and in-
people nothing, it has retained its character to a degree tention of this work are explained, the Committee stated
which in the present day seems somewhat ludicrous. It their conviction that “it is of the first importance that a
presents to us, as its embellishments, the efligies, succes- great body of statistical facts relating to population, crime,
sively, of all the princes, great and small, of Christendom, education, and other subjects affecting the general welfare
and of their ministers. It is profound in genealogy, and of the community, should be gradually collected and reduced
gives, with the most scrupulous nicety, all the ramifications to a popular form;" and they therefore expressed their de-
of every "house" in Europe which is, or has been, dignified termination to avail themselves of the annual publication of
with princely attributes. It matters not to the conductors the work, in order “to make it the vehicle for disseminating
of this Almanach" that the uncourtly subjects of some the knowledge of this description of facts, which are con-
of these rulers may have ejected them from their thrones: stantly varying, both from the nature of the subjects them-
here they still are princes, and have their collateral branches selves, and the greater accuracy with which they are inves-
recorded equally with those of the potentates who have tigated."
stepped into their places. By consulting these pages, we may An examination of the seren volumes already put forth
become acquainted with eat names which, in spite of their by the Society will show the manner in which this determi-
antient standing in Europe, are, we suspect, but little known nation has been fulfilled. The amount of statistical infor-
in this island. We may here first be made aware of the mation which they contain is far greater than is to be found
existence of Prince Henri LXXII. of the illustrious house in any other popular miscellany. We believe ourselves
of Reuss-Lobenstein-Ebersdorf, and his truly illustrious correct in stating, that it is to the consciousness of the ad-
aunt, La Princesse de Reuss-Schleitz-Kæstritz. Nor are vantages of rendering statistical facts generally accessible,
the compilers of this little work unmindful of the corps as exhibited in this little work, that we owe the establish-
diplomatique, who are all made to figure in its pages, from ment, by the government itself, of an office for the collection
the prime ministers of France and England down to the and arrangement of statistical information upon every branch
maréchal de la cour of the illustrious prince of Hohenzollern- affecting the various interests of the country: If the hands
Sigmaringen.

to which the execution of this great public object is intrusted
The statistical portion of this “ Almanach" is far from should prove competent to the task, aided as they will no
being extensive, and deserves mention more from the cir- doubt be by all the power and influence of the government,
cumstance of its having been the earliest collection of the we may expect to derive from it the greatest advantages,
kind than from any intrinsic merit which it possesses; it The important work of legislation will no longer be carried
has, in fact, been left so far behind in this respect by its less forward in the dark, but means will be afforded for at least
courtly successors, that the work has ceased to have any forming a sound opinion of the tendency of measures through
value as a repository of statistical facts.

an acquaintance with the results which have followed other
The “ Bureau des Longitudes " of France, by one of the enactments, while a still more useful effect may be expected
rules framed for its regulation, is charged with the task of pre- to accompany the enlightening of government, which will
paring every year an Almanac in a cheap and useful form for thence be enabled to avoid those practical errors into which
the public. This little work makes its appearance regularly, different administrations have been too frequently led,
and is known as the “ Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes." through the absence of full and correct information.
Its astronomical and meteorological information are chiefly The publication of “ The Companion to the Al-
abridged from the more extensive work of the same scien- manac" has been followed by another beneficial result. It
tisic body, entitled “ Connaissance des Tems," a compilation has given rise to the compilation of a similar periodical
which has been published yearly since 1761. Some original work on the other side of the Atlantic ;—The American
scientific essays of great value have occasionally been ap- Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge, which was
pended. The statistical parts of the contents of the “ An- first published at Boston in 1830, confessedly owes its origin

to its British forerunner, and admirably follows in its steps. ment, by the elevation of their tastes, the scale of the people's Many of the statistical facts which it contains have reference morality and virtue will infallibly be raised. A love for to the United Kingdom, and are borrowed from the pages objects like those we now recommend is incompatible with of the “ Companion ;" but there is likewise in the American drunken riot or vulgar sports, with cruelty and ferocity of work a great amount

of information regarding various Euro- demeanour. We have no faith in the doctrine of human pean countries, as well as the different states of the American perfectibility ; but we have a fervent hope in the possibility Union, which is drawn from other sources, and a knowledge of a progressive amelioration to be extended to all classes of of which cannot fail to be useful. The conductors appear society; and we sincerely believe that this is to be advanced, to have a full conviction of the importance which a correct always in connexion with knowledge of facts must have in influencing the condition of society; and in the five volumes which they have pub

“Pure religion breathing household laws," lished, we find a great mass of information of the most inte by the diffusion of sound knowledge and good taste among resting character.

the people.

The indulgence of this good taste will be found to be

wonderfully cheap. Mr. Rogers has very admirably stated ILLUSTRATED EDITIONS OF ROGERS' POEMS. this fact in his preface to “an Epistle to a Friend,” which

poem is, in our opinion, the best of all his productions. “It 1. Italy, a Poem. By Samuel Rogers, 8vo. pp. 284. Moxon, is the design of this Epistle," says our poet, “ to illustrate 2. Poems. By Samuel Rogers, 8vo. pp. 295. Moxon.

the virtue of True Taste ; and to show how little she requires The poetry contained in these two volumes has long been to secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegancies of familiar to the lovers of elegant literature. It is chiefly, life. True Taste is an excellent Economist-she confines therefore, with regard to the present editions, which are

her choice to few objects, and delights in producing great 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 The volumes cost twenty-eight shillings each. They may works, of the Scholar of A pelles, who, not being able to appear expensive, but if expensive they are not dear: on the paint his Helen beautiful, determined to make her fine." contrary, when we take into account the number and excel The poet then proceeds to describe“ the cheap amuselence 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 self:beyond precedent. We consider it, indeed, as a remark

“ What though no marble breathes, no canvass glows, able proof of the spirit of the times, that a gentleman of

From every point a ray of genius flows ! independent fortune, like Mr. Rogers, should devote thou

Be mine to bless the more mechanic skill, sands of pounds to such a purpose ; and then look, not to

That stamps, renews, and multiplies at will; high prices paid by the few, but low prices to be paid by the

And cheaply circulates, through distant climes, many, for his reimbursement. Embellished books, not to be

The fairest relics of the purest times. compared with these, have often been published at four or

Here from the mould to conscious being start fire guineas the volume. Mr. Rogers knows this fact, and

Those finer forms, the miracles of art; might have calculated that such prices would not impede

Here chosen gems, imprest on sulphur, shine, their sale among the great and wealthy; but he knew

That slept for ages in a second mine; also that such prices would act as a check on the large

And here the faithful graver dares to trace

A Michael's grandeur, and a Raphael's grace! body of purchasers among whom he wished them to cir.

Thy gallery, Florence, gilds my humble walls; culate.

And my low roof the Vatican recalls ! ” Mr. Rogers has thus entitled himself to the honours of a diffusionist. The quality of the works of art he thus diffuses The library, the garden, the surrounding country, are is of first-rate excellence, and such as is calculated to ex- then enumerated among "the cheap amusements of the ercise a considerable influence on the taste of the age. man of taste; and the epistle concludes with a recom“Italy," upon which seven thousand pounds had been ex- | mendation to those who would enjoy true comfort and the pended, was published in 1830; before the end of 1832, real elegance of life, to limit their expenditure, and confine the sale of copies had nearly reimbursed the author, and the themselves to “one fair asylum," instead of roving through book was still in demand. Thus, within two years there many mansions-the mere tenants of a day. must have been more than seven thousand purchasers to Now, the pure fountains of enjoyment to which the poet pay the trade-price to the publisher. This result proved at guides the man of moderate fortune, may be approached, and once that Mr. Rogers was right in his calculation; and that even largely tasted of, by humbler or much poorer indivithere was a widely-spread love of art in the country. duals. At present, for a few shillings, and, in some in

With this conviction the second of these beautiful volumes stances, for a few pence, the industrious mechanic may was brought before the public at the commencement of the ornament his room with plaster casts from the antique, or present year. The engravings it contained were much more from the best of modern sculptors; and at a still cheaper numerous, and perhaps, on the whole, more exquisite, than rate he can procure “the chosen gems, imprest on sulphur those of its precursor. The volume of “ Italy” had fifty- -—the faithful representations of the Grecian Cameos and tiro embellishments; that of the miscellaneous poems has Intaglios, the medals and medallions, on which so much of seventy-two: but, in spite of the additional expense in the genius of the antients was lavished. Since the substicurred, amounting to hundreds of pounds, the second volume tution of steel plates (which can bear a great number of imis published at the same price as the first. The designs to both pressions without material deterioration) for copper platesworks, with the exception of two or three gems after the old since the progress made in lithography, and the perfection - Italian masters, have been furnished exclusively by Turner to which wood-engraving has been brought,--the same indiand Stothard, whom Mr. Royers justly describes as two vidual of limited means can afford to furnish himself with artists who would have done honour to any age or country. prints and engravings after the best masters; while, from The landscapes of the one, and the groups of figures by the the salutary change effected in part of the publishing trade, other, in the volumes before us, are among the most grace- he can now buy an instructive, elegant volume for a smaller ful things we ever beheld.

sum than he would spend on a Sunday's dinner, or an evenAlthough the poor man, whose susceptibilities and per- ing's carouse. It is thus that by a process of gradual acceptions may be naturally as exquisite as those of the quisition, nicely calculated according to his means, the poor richest or the highest, should not be able to afford the pur- man may, on a smaller scale, put himself in possession of chase of these books, he may enjoy their beauties and im- most of those things which give such enjoyment to the man prove his taste by studying them in an association with of great fortune and hereditary refinement. One of the others. The reading clubs and the district libraries, which most curious and, in some respects, one of the finest colwe hope to see extensively established, may very well | lections of engravings we ever saw in this country, had been afford the means of such purchases, and render even works made by a journeyman carver and gilder, who devoted the like these accessible to every honest, industrious individual savings of his weekly wages to that purpose ; and this was of the community.

many years ago, when the facilities for so doing were much In thus increasing and purifying the sources of their enjoy- 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.

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 Volumes XX. and XXII. of the Library of Entertaining Know- world with living beings, without which the world has no ledge, royal 18mo., pp. 249 and 271, price 98. Knight.

existence: he filled it with all the varied forms and vicissi

tudes of life: he filled it with men and heroes : he endowed This is the work, the former portion of which, relating to them with strength, swiftness, valour, and beauty. Even the Egyptian antiquities in the Museum, the “ Athenæum,” his gods are invested with the forms and the passions of we recollect, in a pretended review, described to its readers man; though they command the powers of nature, and as little more than a compilation from the catalogues and govern the elements, they are still human. The poet the commonest authorities. There was no extraordinary ma- stamped the gods of Olympus with those characters which lignity in this; the verdict was not that of a person who all succeeding ages looked up to as their models. He gave had examined the subject, and who then deliberately wrote a form to the conceptions of their deities, from which the the opposite of what he thought. We have no doubt the sculptor could never entirely deviate. The mythology, and judgment was passed in all simplicity, and in as much the imitative arts of the Greeks, are then inseparable; the honesty as is consistent with speaking without knowledge mythi were the parents of art; how they came we know not, and without inquiry,- which, however, is not a great deal. but we everywhere find them impressed with the character We acquit the critic of having looked beyond the title-page of locality. "Each striking feature of nature--fountain, hill, of the book, or of knowing anything more about it than that and river—was peopled with its deities: the beautiful spots it was one of the publications of the Society for the Diffusion of nature were nothing without inhabitants, and each of Useful Knowledge, and to be treated, therefore, in any became more familiarized to man by being invested with his way that would give him the least trouble.

form. Hence the whole religion of the Greeks became idenThe object of this publication is for the first time tified with the representations of the human figure, and to diffuse among the people of this country a knowledge every belief in superior powers assumed a form palpable to and right appreciation of the principles of high art in the senses. It does not appear that the art of the sculptor design, as exemplified in those wonderful remains which was originally employed to represent the human form, exare now universally acknowledged to present their finest cept as invested with the attributes of divinity; nor do we existing embodiment. For this purpose the two vo-conceive that statuary, till a comparatively advanced period lumes have been, in the first place, profusely illustrated in the art, was applied to any service but that of religion. with pictorial representations, which, although necessarily Even in the Panathenaic frieze of the Parthenon, we find on a small scale, have been recognised as conveying per- strictly a sacred subject, and the whole mode of treating it haps the truest transcript that has yet been given of the shows a subdued and sacred character. The representation expression of the animated stone. These have been accom of gods and heroes was the great province of early art, and panied by short, but accurate and satisfactory, explanations the Greeks, endowed with the passion for beauty, gave to of each figure or group-so that every visiter of the Elgin their divinities all the attributes of ideal perfection. ReliMarbles may now take along with him a guide that will at gion has ever been the only true and legitimate parent of once direct his attention to the points of interest in each, the arts. The early Christians neglected or persecuted and afford the information necessary to enable him to them, till at last the church of Rome, by employing them understand its subject. But the more elaborate portion of in her service, gave a new impulse to invention, and called the work consists of those comprehensive sketches of various into existence the most beautiful creations of the pencil."auxiliary departments of antient learning, some knowledge vol. ii. pp. 219–221. 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 MISS MARTINEAU'S ILLUSTRATIONS OF History of Athens in the first volume, and the con

POLITICAL ECONOMY. * cluding remarks on antient learning and art in general There are two points of view in which this work may be in the second. We wish we could give the instructive concluding paragraphs in this last-mentioned discourse, in considered, in neither of which it is our present object to which the writer winds up and applies the general prin- examine it. We are not going to inquire either into its ciples he had previously laid down; but we must content merit as a collection of tales, or into the correctness of the ourselves with transcribing the following shorter passage:

scientific principles which it inculcates. Upon the first of The oldest existing monument of Grecian art is the these heads, however, we may say, generally, that we agree Homeric poems, the ever fresh and living picture of an age with all the world in admiring the writer's brilliant execudifferent from any other that we know. They stand like tion of many parts of her task, and the eminent and varied some solitary monument with a name and without a date; powers she has displayed. In her most successful efforts before them we find nothing but what is vague and fabulous, we have a well-imagined and skilfully-developed story, and after them a blank of centuries. Yet who can doubt animated and effective narration, striking incident, humour, that, long before these poems or any part of them had an passion, pathos; pictures both of scenery and of character, existence, the mythology of those who spoke the Homeric true to nature, and full of life ; dramatic dialogue; with a language was embodied in material forms? The art of style always luminous and spirited, frequently irradiated by working in wood, metal, and ivory, had attained some

those felicities of expression that flash their meaning at degree of excellence. The excellence might not be that of once on the understanding and the fancy, and at times highly wrought perfection of parts, which is the province of rising to fervid eloquence. Perhaps mere force of delineainferior talent, but it consisted in simplicity of design, in the tion has been too constantly endeavoured after, and on the imitation of nature where nature was ever beautiful and whole the figures are in rather high relief. But for a work varied.

intended mainly, as we presume the present is, to answer “ In Homer, what is it that we admire ? What is it that

an immediate purpose, this is scarcely a fault.

The repremade these poems the theme of praise, and the model of the sentation strikes the eye all the more readily, and with the universal Greek nation during every age of its existence, more exciting effect in the first instance, for its somewhat from the time when their beautiful mythi were as strong in exaggerated vigour, howerer much that quality may mar the people's belief as the legends of modern days once

its permanent attraction and power. The error too, although were, to the later times when scepticism had divested them not one which the highest genius would be apt to fall into, of the charm of reality, and other superstitions had disfigured is such as could only

be committed by a writer of remarkatheir beauty? One cause is, that they reflect the truth of ble talent. The spirit of energy, indeed, is the distinction of nature, they preserve an image of never-tiring freshness. talent, as that of beauty is of genius; and the loftier exhibiThe mountains, the rivers, and the sea, the wide plains, the tions of the one are, as much as those of the other, beyond bright noon-day sun, the stillness and splendour of the calm the reach of mere ordinary ability. moon-light, are the eternal and unchangeable characters

With regard to the scientific part of the work,—the prinwhich form a bond of sympathy between all nations and ciples and deductions which are expressly stated in it, or ages. They speak in a language so full and varied, that which the stories are meant to impress and recommend—we man can only be its feeble interpreter. Yet the most strik- should, we believe, have generally to concur with the writer. ing characteristics of the Homeric poems are the simple and faithful pictures of nature. Sometimes by a single line, Fox.)

* Twenty-five monthly parts, demy 18mo., price ls. 6d. each,

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 aeceptance of her labours by flattering their preju- they may have to contend. Were it generally diffused among diees, 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 ** But we proceed to the main purpose of our notice, which state. The old arrangement, of a few with the right to is, to consider in how far Miss Martineau's work is likely rule and the many having nothing to do with the laws but to answer the end of diffusing a knowledge of the science to obey them, is everywhere overthrown or breaking up. which it professes to illustrate.

The people, long an effective power, have now, both in our Political Economy is, in a peculiar degree, a Science for own and other states, risen to be a recognized power; and are the People. It is, comparatively, without value until it has certain every day to attain to more ample recognition and been popularized. It shares, in this respect, in the nature greater influence. If governments, therefore, are now to act of the moral and prudential sciences, of which it is one; and an enlightened part, the people, from whom they spring, is distinguished from the purely speculative, and also from must be enlightened. If the principles of political economy the applied or mixed sciences. Its great aim and end is the are to regulate the conduct of ministers and parliaments, an regulation of conduct. Even its principles have little chance acquaintance with the science must be acquired by farmers of being perfectly ascertained, and developed in all their and manufacturers and tradesmen and mechanics, and bearings, until they they shall be generally reduced to prac- those other popular bodies whose voices make parliaments tice. The knowledge of the eternal truths of mathematics, and ministers. These bodies, with their new powers, have inor even of astronomy, or of the laws of motion, or of any other herited new duties also; emancipated, as they are, from their branch of physics, would be a most valuable acquisition in re- state of pupillage, they enter upon the responsibilities as well ference to the interests of the whole race, even although it as upon the rights of manhood, and must for the future lay should remain confined to the possession of comparatively a their account with having to look after their own interests few individuals. Millions might be benefited by the creations themselves. or results of the knowledge of which only one mind was the The conception of such a work as Miss Martineau has repository. Of course, even here the advantages of diffusion given us was a happy thought. A notion, in whatever way are immense, and of vast importance both to the public it may have arisen, had got possession of people's heads, utility of the science, and to its progress and enlargement. that political economy was both a very difficult and a very But still, with only a small number of persons proficients in dull branch of study; and we fear it was also commonly such a branch of learning as the mathematics, society in enough believed, though that was not so openly avowed, to general might share largely in the fruits of which that kind be one of very little use. With such a reputation, neglect of knowledge is productive. With moral knowledge the and avoidance were only what it had to expect. It was well case is altogether different. Unless this is diffused it mat- off where it was treated with the coldest civility; the bolder ters little that it should exist at all. A community wholly vulgar assailed it with their reproaches, or made it their ignorant, in general, of the principles of religion and morality, butt, whenever it came in their way. There was no other would be nothing the better for the light as to these sub- science so unhappily circumstanced- at once so disregarded jects which might be possessed by a few scattered indivi- by one-half of the multitude, so abused and buffetted by the duals. Such knowledge to be efficacious must be personal. other, so misunderstood by both. It is of little or no general use until it comes to be generally Miss Martineau's book must have done a vast deal to put disseminated. The same thing is also true, to a great extent, an end to all this. She has shown, by these interesting with the science of Political Economy. Even those princi- and many-coloured sketches, that her favourite science comples of this science which bear exclusively upon the practice prises within its dominion the whole length and breadth of of government, can rarely be applied by rulers, at least in social existence, and that there is hardly a step in the course free states, until they have won the assent of public opinion. of any man in which he may not derive guidance from its But the most important among the lessons which Political precepts, or discover an illustration of some one of its prinEconomy teaches, it is never to be forgotten, can only be re- ciples. Hitherto it has been represented chiefly as the science duced to practice by the people themselves. Until, there. of nations and governments; here we have it held up also fore, the science shall be popularized—that is to say, until the in the more picturesque light of a science for individuals and great body of the people shall be instructed in its principles, families. We cannot doubt that many persons to whom the - its most completely demonstrated conclusions must remain meaning of political economy was unknown, and its very name nearly a dead letter, and as barren of any effect upon the ad- distasteful, have been taught a more just appreciation of it vancement of civilization and human happiness as were the by these tales. To this extent, at least, they must have speculations of the schoolmen in the middle ages.

popularized the science. And this is much. Of Miss We do not, therefore, doubt that it is the destiny of Politi- Martineau's numerous readers, including many young cal Economy to become pre-eminently the study of the peo- minds in whom the passion for knowledge beats with a ple. It is the study in which, of all others, after those bounding pulse, it may fairly be supposed that a large involving the grand principles of religion and morality, they portion, by whatever attractions they may have been drawn hare the deepest interest. Without a knowledge of this to her volumes in the first instance, cannot have failed to science they are insufficiently qualified for the right per gather something of the wisdom of the parable along with formance either of their private or of their public duties. Its its entertainment. Many understandings must in this way use meets them at every step. They need its advice and have been turned to the contemplation of at least the outline direction in the formation of their domestic connexions and of the leading truths of political economy, and have received arrangements, in their marriages, in their expenditure, in a most favourable preparatory culture for the more metho. the disposal of their savings, in the education and settle- dical study of the science. ment of their children. It is the only knowledge that can We do not know that this is exactly Miss Martineau's enlighten them, and afford them safe guidance in all move own notion of what she has accomplished. In the preface ments they may make in relation to their businesses or to her first volume she says of former treatises on the trades, with the view of averting fluctuations of wages and science of political economy, “ They do not give us what profits, or meeting, with the best preparation, such depres. we want—the science in a familiar, practical form. They sions as cannot be warded off. This knowledge would save give us its history; they give us its philosophy ; but we them from wasting their power and their resources in those want its picture." The object of her own work she after

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