Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/42

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32
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

cles in the 'Chronicle.' These last I may a little slacken now, having in a great measure, as far as may be judged by appearances, carried my point, viz., to have the waste lands reclaimed and parceled out in small properties among the best part of the peasantry." In another month he changes his tune. On the 27th January (1847) he writes: "You will have seen by this time how far the Ministry are from having adopted any of my conclusions about Ireland, though Lord J. Russell subscribes openly to almost all the premises. I have little hope left. The tendency of their measures seems to me such that they can only bring about good to Ireland by excess of evil. I have so indoctrinated the 'Chronicle' writers with my ideas on Ireland that they are now going on very well and spiritedly without me, which enables me to work much at the 'Political Economy,' to my own satisfaction. The last thing I did for the 'Chronicle' was a thorough refutation, in three long articles, of Crocker's article on the Division of Property in France." Two months later, he announced that the first draft of the "Political Economy" was finished. As to public affairs: "The people are all mad, and nothing will bring them to their senses but the terrible consequences they are certain to bring on themselves, as shown in Whately's speech yesterday in the House of Lords—the only sensible speech yet made in either House on the question. Fontenelle said that mankind must pass through all forms of error before arriving at truth. The form of error we are now possessed by is that of making all take care of each, instead of stimulating and helping each to take care of himself; and now this is going to be put to a terrible trial, which will bring it to a crisis and a termination sooner than could otherwise have been hoped for."

Before passing from this memorable winter, I may mention that Liebig, in a reprint of his "Animal Chemistry," handsomely repaid the notice taken of his researches in the "Logic," saying of his amended views that "he feels that he can claim no other merit than that of having applied to some special cases, and carried out further than had previously been done those principles of research in natural science which have been laid down" in Mill's book. Mill exultingly remarked: "The tree may be known by its fruits. Schelling and Hegel have done nothing of the kind."

Before arriving in London this year, I had another letter (5th of May). He delays to commence rewriting till he sees the upshot of the Irish business. "The conduct of the Ministers is wretched beyond measure upon all subjects; nothing but the meanest truckling at a time when a man with a decided opinion could carry almost anything triumphantly." I saw him as usual during the summer, but do not remember any incidents of importance. Grote was in town for several weeks on the publication of his third and fourth volumes, which was a new excitement. I went down to Scotland in the autumn, but having no longer any teaching-appointment there, I returned to London in