Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

and by Herschel as in accordance with the spirit of my doctrines. It is so in some degree, though far more psychological than entered into my plans. Though I think much of his psychology unsound for want of his having properly grasped the principle of association (he comes very close to it now and then), there is much of it of a suggestive kind."

From the Comte letters it appears that he had another relapse of his indisposition at this time. Comte earnestly urges him to try a change of climate—Naples or Lisbon—to fortify him for the next few years against "le séjour spleenique de Londres," "What is the opinion, I do not say of your doctors, whom you have little faith in, but of those of your friends who are biologists?"

I passed three months in London in the summer of 1844, and saw him frequently as before. I have no special recollections of his work this summer. In the autumn he took his long-deferred holiday, and was absent from London two months. He came back quite recruited, and in the course of the winter wrote his admirable article on "The Claims of Labor," which appeared in the "Edinburgh" in the following spring.

I had several letters from him in the winter of 1844-'45, but they say little about himself. He remarks of the review of his "Logic" in the "Eclectic Review," that the reviewer differs from him on the Syllogism which he understands, and agrees with him on the rest of the book without seeming to understand it. He announces with satisfaction, as a most important conquest for Comte, the appearance of Littré's papers in the "National" newspaper. This, however, was immediately followed by his renewed and final exclusion from the Polytechnic examinership; for which one resource was suggested—to start a Positive Review; a scheme that bulks largely in the correspondence for some months, and receives from Mill a qualified support. In March, 1845, he writes to me: "Have you seen Ward's book, 'The Ideal,' etc.? It is a remarkable book in every way, and not the least so because it quotes and puffs me in every chapter, and Comte occasionally, though with deep lamentations over our irreligion." The Comte correspondence shows that he had written to Comte informing him of Mr. Ward's allusions. Comte is very much flattered, and thinks the compliments deserved, because of the justice he had rendered to Catholicism (p. 323).

The summer of 1845 was marked by an interesting incident. In June the British Association met at Cambridge, Sir John Herschel in the chair. I was at the meeting, and listened to Herschel's address. One notable feature in it was the allusion to the recent works on the "Logic of Science," by Whewell and Mill especially, on both of whom Sir John bestowed high encomiums. He also mentioned Comte, but in a very different strain. There was, I remember, a good deal of buzz among Mill's friends that were present, at this unexpected men-