Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/39

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JOHN STUART MILL.

but they had now resumed their footing of intimacy. Grote was living chiefly in the country, but when he came into town he made a point of arranging walks and talks with Mill. From the time of my introduction to Grote, I was usually asked to join them. I remember well our first meeting at the London Library, and subsequent walk in Hyde Park. Their conversation took an exceptional turn; how it came I can not exactly remember, but they went over all the leaders of the Reformation, discussing their several characteristics. The subject was not one that either was specially informed upon. As Grote was then on the eve of bringing out the first two volumes of his "History," this was a natural topic; but much more so, after the volumes were out. But Grote was never satisfied if we parted without coming across some question in metaphysics or philosophy. Although his time was mainly given to the "History," he always refreshed his mind at intervals with some philosophic reading or meditation, and had generally a nut to crack when we came together. Plato and Aristotle were never long out of his hands; he was also an assiduous reader of all works on science, especially if they involved the method of science; but the book that was now oftenest in his hands, in the intervals of work, was Mill's "Logic." I doubt if any living man conned and thumbed the book as he did. "John Mill's 'Logic,'" I remember his saying, "is the best book in my library." He had not the same high opinion of any of Mill's other books. He was himself one of nature's logicians; he was a thoroughgoing upholder of the Experience-philosophy, and Mill's "Logic" completely satisfied him on this head. Often and often did he recur to the arguments in favor of a priori truth, and he was usually full of fresh and ingenious turns of reply. It was only in Mill that he could find a talker to his mind in this region, as in philosophy generally. Equally intense was his devotion to utility as the basis of morals, and still more varied was his elucidation and defense of the principle; on that topic also he had few that he could declare his whole mind to, and this was another bond of attraction to Mill. Toward himself, on the other side, Mill had an almost filial affection, and generally gave him the earliest intimation of his own plans; but, much as he loved Grote's company, his movements were under the control of a still greater power. Notwithstanding their wide agreement, and numerous bonds of sympathy from this cause, as well as from long intimacy, Grote had always a certain misgiving as to his persistence in the true faith. He would say to me, "Much as I admire John Mill, my admiration is always mixed with fear," meaning that he never knew what unexpected turn Mill might take. This I regarded as an exaggeration due to Grote's gloomy temperament, as well as to the shock of the "Bentham" and "Coleridge" articles; and to Mill's consequent making himself at home with Maurice, Sterling, and Carlyle, with whom Grote never could have the smallest sympathy.