Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/136

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ciety, and which he subsequently printed in "Macmillan's Magazine."

The London "Times" also, the organ and oracle of British opinion, has illustrated its idea of fair-play by never criticising or noticing any of Spencer's volumes. These volumes were being widely read; they were molding the opinions of thinkers; they were becoming influential in the universities; they were elaborately criticised in the reviews; they were replied to in numerous pamphlets and books; they were translated into all the Continental languages; they were guiding scientific investigation, and familiarizing the cultivated mind of the age with a new order of ideas, but they were never recognized by the London "Times" any more than if they were non-existent. George Henry Lewes said of Spencer that he alone of all British thinkers had organized a philosophy; but the "Times" had no information about it. The meanness of its course is the more palpable, as it never had any principles of its own to maintain, and said what it pleased on any subject; while Spencer was engaged upon a most formidable undertaking, with immense odds against him. But the "Times" has given in at last. Now that the world's verdict has been decisively rendered, it pluckily determines that this author's work must have attention.

And so it breaks the long silence by an elaborate review of "Ceremonial Institutions." There is nothing noteworthy about the article except the significance of its appearance in the "Times's" columns, and the ludicrous perplexity of the writer's position. He writes as if he thought his readers were asking, after twenty years' reticence, Why are you moved to speak now? The book he reviews is part of a series of works which can not be critically understood without reference to the previous volumes. But there is no reference to them—no intimation as to how Spencer was led to deal with the subject. It is, of course, easy in this way to make such a work appear very deficient, but the critic could do it no justice without convicting the journal in which he wrote of former inexcusable neglect. However, the "Times" has found it desirable to change its tactics, and it will no doubt do better next time.


England: Her People, Polity, and Pursuits. By T. H. S. Escott. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1880. Pp. 593. Price, $4.

In these pages Mr. Escott has endeavored to make a survey of modern England, presenting all the salient features of English social, political, literary, and industrial life in such a way as to give a correct picture. Of course, so large a subject can only be given in outline in this compass, but by a judicious use of materials a very large mass of information has been introduced and the subjects treated in approximately their relative proportions. The life and characteristics of the English village; the position and duties of the great landholders; rural administration and municipal government; the law-courts, the legislature, the crown, as well as the official system, all receive more or less attention. Hotel and traveling facilities and popular amusements receive such notice as their importance warrants. Considerable space is given to the condition and prospects of the working-classes, the relations they hold to the other classes of English society and to the state, and the conditions and some of the causes of poverty among them, and the means employed to alleviate it. Educational systems and measures, the structure of society, the relations of society to politics, commercial and financial features, are treated more or less fully, while a large place is given to the intellectual life, religious, scientific and literary. One of the most noticeable chapters in the book is that devoted to British philosophic thought. It is contributed by Mr. W. L. Courtney, of Oxford, and is an able and appreciative review of the subject. He recognizes fully