Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/566

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esting statement of his relations with Mrs. John Taylor, whom, after twenty years' acquaintance as a married woman, after the death of her husband, Mill married. There is a critical examination of his extravagant claims in regard to the talent of this lady, and also of Mill's attitude toward the "woman question" generally.

There are various important points, on which Dr. Bain disagrees with Mill, which we should like to have seen further elucidated, and to a consideration of some of these we may return in future. But the points of objection are generally well taken. We are gratified to observe that Dr. Bain holds exactly the opinion which we have maintained in regard to Mill's celebrated "University Address" on education. As the questions involved are of permanent interest, it may be well to quote what Bain says about this performance of Mill:

The St. Andrews address was a very lengthened performance; its delivery lasted three hours. It aimed at a complete survey of the higher education. Its absolute value is considerable; but, in relation to the time, place, and circumstances, I consider it to have been a mistake. Mill had taken it into his head that the Greek and Roman classics had been too hardly pressed by the votaries of science, and were in some danger of being excluded from the higher teaching; and he occupies nearly half of the address in vindicating their importance. The second half is a vigorous enforcement of the claims of science.

The performance was a failure, in my opinion, for this simple reason, that he had no conception of the limits of a university curriculum. The Scotch universities have been distinguished for the amount of study comprised in their arts degree. Mill would have them keep up the classics intact, and even raise their standard; he would also include a complete course of the primary sciences—mathematics, physics, chemistry, physiology, logic, and psychology—to which he would add political economy, jurisprudence, and international law. Now at present the obligatory sciences are mathematics, natural philosophy, logic, and moral philosophy. If he had consulted me on this occasion, I should have endeavored to impress upon him the limits of our possible curriculum, and should have asked aim to arbitrate between the claims of literature and science, so as to make the very most of our time and means. He would then have had to balance Latin and Greek against chemistry, physiology, and jurisprudence; for it is quite certain that both these languages would have to be dropped absolutely, to admit his extended science course. In that case he would have been more careful in his statements as to the Greek and Latin languages. He would not have put these languages as synonymous with "literature"; and he would have made much more allowance for translations and expositions through the modern languages. He would have found that at the present day we have other methods of correcting the tendency to mistake words for things than learning any two or three additional languages. He would not have assumed that our pupils are made all "to think in Greek"; nor would he have considered it impossible to get at the sources of Greek and Roman history without studying the languages. If he had a real opponent, he would not have given the authority of his name to the assertion that grammar is "elementary logic." His mode of speaking of the style of the ancient writers, to my mind at least, is greatly exaggerated. "Look at an oration of Demosthenes; there is nothing in it which calls attention to itself as style at all. . . . The Athenians do not cry out, What a splendid speaker, but, Let us march against Philip." He also gives way to the common remark that the teaching of Latin and Greek could be so much improved as to make it an inconsiderable draft upon a pupil's energies. On this point he had no experience to go upon but his own, and that did not support his position.

In the scientific departments he carries out strictly the Comte hierarchy of the fundamental sciences, and, in this respect, the address was valuable as against the mischievous practice of culling out a science from the middle of the series, say chemistry, and prescribing it by itself to the exclusion of its forerunners in the hierarchy. While he speaks fairly and well on the mathematical and physical sciences, his remarks on the moral and political display, as usual, the master's hand. He next goes on to talk of free thought, on which he maintains a somewhat impracticable ideal for our universities. From science he proceeds to art, and enforces a favorite theme—the subservience of poetry to virtue and morality. One feels that on this topic a little more discrimination was necessary; art being a very wide word. His conclusion was a double entendre: "I do not attempt to instigate you by the prospect of direct rewards, either earthly or heavenly; the less we think about being rewarded in either way, the better for us."

In the reception given to the address, he was most struck with the vociferous applause of the divinity students at the free-thought passage. He was privately thanked by others among the hearers for this part.

The Medical Adviser in Life Assurance. By Edward Henry Sieveking, M. D. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 206. Price, $2.

The author's object is to furnish the reader with information which, if it is to be found at all in the ordinary works of medicine, is so scattered as not to be readily