Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/429

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fulfillment of his own mission as the founder of a new school of philosophy.

In seeking to rectify past judgments and to form a more just idea of the relative greatness of these two eminent men, we must remember, not only that the father was self-made, while John Stuart Mill had James Mill for a teacher, but we must remember also that the father had to make himself over again after he had at first been very bady constructed. He was educated as a clergyman in the orthodox school of Scotch Calvinism, and was of course early saturated with the whole order of ideas which belongs to that system. From this he got himself free by a total rejection of the whole body of theological belief that belongs to Christianity. He therefore began the reconstruction of his views and opinions late in life, and had to work them all out for himself. His son, on the contrary, had the immense advantage of beginning early a systematic training in the line which he pursued without a break through life. James Mill was an independent and indeed a masterly thinker in the fields of psychology, of political economy, of logic and the philosophy of government, and he was a pioneer of modern English liberalism. John Stuart Mill ran in upon all these subjects, revising, amplifying, and making them his own through the accomplishments of a wider erudition and a more thorough preparation; but if he had possessed more of his father's quality he would have broken loose from more of his father's errors, and the system of thought that is now identified with both names might have been made more enduring than it is.

Dr. Bain's life of James Mill is a very interesting book. It is interesting in its biographical features and as a delineation of a strong and remarkable character; and it is also especially instructive as a history of the times, as illustrated by the active and influential career of a man who had much to do with the reshaping of modern liberal opinion in social and political affairs. James Mill was a man of immense intellectual activity, as shown not only by the "Analysis. of the Human Mind" and the "History of India," but by a host of lesser productions, such as articles contributed to cyclopædias and to many of the leading reviews, all of which were able in thought and written with remarkable clearness and force.

The Winners in Life's Race; or, the Great Backboned Family. By Arabella B. Buckley. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 367. Price, $1.50.

As a popular scientific writer the position of Miss Buckley is now assured. Her knowledge is sound, her judgment trustworthy, and her power of elementary exposition much above the common standard. Her first book, "A Short History of Natural Science," was needed and was well done. The "Fairy Land of Science" was also excellent. "Life and her Children" struck into the new biological path, and gave an interesting account of the invertebrates, or the lower forms of living creatures. The present work is a continuation of it into a higher field, although the present is an independent and self-explanatory work.

The work we now have from Miss Buckley was much demanded. We wanted a popular book on the vertebrates, the backboned family from the historic or evolution point of view. This made necessary unusual qualifications in the writer, and implied a knowledge of geology and paleontology, as well as natural history. Miss Buckley had been for many years the secretary and special student of Sir Charles Lyell, and had therefore the best opportunities to become familiar with those branches that have now become indispensable parts of biology. Miss Buckley says of the method of her book:

"I have therefore endeavored to describe graphically the early history of the backboned animals, so far as it is yet known I to us, keep strictly to such broad facts as ought in these days to be familiar to every child and ordinarily well-educated person, if they are to have any true conception of natural history. At the same time I have dwelt, as fully as space would allow, upon the lives of such modern animals as best illustrate the present divisions of the vertebrates upon the earth; my object being rather to follow the tide of life, and sketch in broad outline how structure and habit have gone hand-in-hand in filling every available space with living beings, than to