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baleful imbroglio, as if that had been its one on the faults and defects of others, even function in life. Who, in this miserable fig. the greatest men." * These qualities ure, would recognize the brilliant, beautiful, were certainly conspicuous by their aband cheerful John Sterling, with his ever
sence in John Mill. flowing wealth of ideas, fancies, imaginations,
The circumstances which led to Mill's with his frank affections, inexhaustible hopes, audacities, activities, and general radiunt vivac" acquaintance with the Foxes were suffi
Late in 1839, or ity of heart and intelligence, which made the ciently melancholy:t presence of him an illumination and inspiration early in 1840, Henry Mill, his younger wherever he went? ... Once for all, it is un- and favorite brother, then in bis ninejust, emphatically untrue, as an image of John teenth year, was far gone in consumption. Sterling. Perhaps to few men that lived along “ Probably encouraged – Carlyle thinks with him could such an interpretation of their - by Sterling, he came with his mother existence be more inapplicable.*
and sisters to Falmouth. There also came Caroline Fox possessed every qualifica- Sterling and Calvert; all three seeking reftion justly to criticise Carlyle's work, and uge of climate." To the Mills as well as thus she did so:
to Sterling and Calvert “the doors and
hearts of this kind family”. we quote That it is calculated to draw fresh obloquy Carlyle's words of the Foxes on the subject of it, is a very secondary con.
thrown wide open, sideration to the fact that it is a book likely
Henry Mill is de
as “a most to do much harm to Carlyle's wide enthusiastic scribed in the “Memories public. It is painful enough to see the memo- beautiful young creature, almost ethereal rial of his friend made the text for utterances in the exquisite delicacy of his outline and innuendoes from which one knows that he and coloring, and with a most musical would now shrink even more than ever, and voice.” God alone can limit the mischief.
But he can.
John Mill afterwards joined the sor. That the book is often brilliant and beautiful, rowing group which surrounded the dyand more human-hearted than most of Car. lyle’s, will make it the more read, however ing, bed of Henry, and became intimale little the world may care for the subject of the vith the Fox family., Henry Mill, like memoir. The graphic parts and the portraiture his elder brother, delighted in a study are generally admirable, but not by any means John Mill's proficiency in which, we susalways so.t
pect, is not generally known even among
bis admirers. We now turn to John Stuart Mill. These diaries not only show him in a
Botanical students, more than thirty years more genial light than any previous ac- ago, turning over the leaves of the English count of him,f but they also abundantly
"Flora,” encountered the frequent name of illustrate and justify Bishop Thirlwall's !: S. Mill, as an authority for the habitat or
the varieties of flowers. Before the earliest of remark: “I always considered Mill a no- these papers was written, the author, stripling ble spirit, who had the misfortune of hav: as he must have been, was already known to ing been educated by a narrow-minded distinguished men as a faithful observer of pedant, wlio cultivated his intellectual Nature. A holiday walk through the lanes faculties at the expense of all the rest, and orchards of Kent, which would have yielded yet did not succeed in stilling them.” § to most youths a week's frolic and a bag of
The elder Mill left a decidedly unpleas- apples, filled his tin box with the materials of ant impression upon some of those who a naturalist's reputation. knew him. Sir John Bowring, who was Even when Henry was "fast fading associated with him in the earliest years from the eyes of those who loved him, of the Westminster Review, described be peculiarly enjoyed looking into flowers, him to Caroline Fox as “stern, harsh, and and amused himself in helping his sister sceptical,” and added that Bentham said to press flowers she had collected, and of him that “he rather hated the ruling making the foundation of an berbarium.|| few than loved the suffering many:" || Before leaving the subject of John While another intimate associate, Grote, Mill's botanical pursuits, we may men. spoke of him as “ having all that cynicism tion that he gave Caroline a calendar of and asperity which belong to the Bentha: the odors that scent the air, arranged mian School, and of the readiness and seeming preference with which he dwelt
Personal Life of Grote, p. 21.
t. James Mill died June 23, 1836. Henry was then * Life of Sterling, p. 6.
in his fifteenth year. † Vol. ii., P: 173
I Vol. i., p. 102. Conf. Carlyle, p. 260. Brin, p. 61. Mill in his Autobiography makes no mention of Ś Martineau, Miscellaneous, vol. i.. p. 63. This the Foxes, or his friendship with them.
was written in 1859, the thirty years therefore are now § Bishop Thirlwall's Letters to a Friend, p. 295.
fifty. li Vol. i., p. 216.
V Vol. i., pp. 132-5.
" In a
chronologically according to the months, Bain admits that Mill's opinions beginning with the laurel and ending with very fairly set forth; but the thing," he the lime. It is addressed " To Miss Car- adds, “ wanting to do full justice to his oline Fox, from her grateful friend, J. S. conversation is to present it in dialogue, Mill." *
Mill continued his botanical so as to show how he could give and take pursuits to the very close of his life. with his fellow-talker. A well-reported If James Mill
, in the case of John Mill, colloquy between him and Sterling would did not entirely succeed in his endeavor be very much to the purpose.” * to stifle all religious belief and devotional glorious discourse on reason, self-governaspiration, he was even less successful ment, and subjects collateral,” of which with bis other children. We read the fol- Caroline professes herself unable to give lowing entry in Caroline's diary:
but the barest idea, “ Sterling was the Mamma had an interesting little interview
chief speaker, and John Mill would occawith Henry Mill. ... She led the conversa sionally throw in an idea to clarify an tion gradually into a rather more serious chan- involved theory or shed light upon a pronel, and Henry Mill told Clara † afterwards, found abysmal one.”ť of this conversathat her kind manner, her use of the words tion such a report as Mr. Bain desires thee and thou, and her allusions to religious would have been most valuable and intersubjects, quite overcame him, and he was on esting, but it would be doing Caroline the point of bursting into tears. She gave him Fox great injustice to estimate her reca hymn-book, and Clara marked one which she ords of Sterling and Mill's conversations specially recommended –“ As thy day thy as of no higher value than Senior's “Con: strength shall be.” For the last few evenings versations with Distinguished Persons.” they have read him a psalm, or some other part of Scripture. I
"every one of whom speaks precisely
in the style of Mr. Senior himself, and Within ten days of his death he con not with the wit and vivacity of the orig. versed tranquilly with his brother about inal interlocutor.” | Those who rememhis past lise, in which he thought he might ber. Mr. Senior in the discharge of the have done more and done better; but he judicial functions of his office, ş and the hoped his death might be of some use to difficulty verging on impossibility of getothers – he felt perfect confidence in ting into his mind any idea not previously looking to the future. "We have all we lodged there, will appreciate this criticould desire of - comfort,' were John cism. Caroline Fox had a singularly acMill's own words, in seeing him in this curate memory, and an equally singular most tranquil, calm, composed, happy power of giving from recollection a constaie.” $
densed report of what she heard, Caroline first heard from Sterling of derfully vivid and almost literally correct,” Mill “ as a man of extraordinary power to use words applied by J. Mill to notes and genius, the founder of a new school of a sermon taken by another of the Fox in metaphysics, and a most charming com- family. That they were equally applicapanion.”. From Clara Mill she learned ble to Caroline's notes, may be proved by low their father "bad entirely educated comparing her notes of Carlyle's lectures John, and made him think prematurely, with his published volumes. Friends, it so that he never had the enjoyment of life appears, cultivated talent || of this kind. I peculiar to boys, which he felt to be a In a sentence, the reconstruction of great disadvaniage.” || The first impres- which, on grammatical principles, Mr. sion be made on her she thus describes : Bain foretells is likely to become one of “ A very uncommon-looking person ; such the stock exercises in our manuals of Enacuteness and sensibility marked in his glish composition,** Mill tells us, "I am exquisitely chiselled countenance, more one of the very few examples in the resembling a portrait of Lavater than country of one who has not thrown off any other that I remember. His voice is religious belief, but never had it," and he reúnement itself, and his mode of express- further tells us that his father, in giving ing bimself tallies with voice and counte- him an opinion contrary to that of the nance.” |
world, thought it necessary to give it as Many and various are the conversations of Mill which these volumes record. Mr.
Bain, p. 191.
# Edinburgh Review, No. 316, Oct. 1881, p. 475. • Vol. i., p. 166.
Ś One of the Masters in Chancery.
See J. S. Mill's letter to R. B. Fox, vol. ii., ap§ Ibid., pp. 107, 145.
pendix, p. 318. j Ibid., p. 132.
† Vol. i., p. 141.
1 Vide vol. i., p. 182 et seg.
+ P. 175
one which could not prudently be avowed mon opinion, all self-interest. He had read to the world. This lesson,” he adds, “ of Sewell and Rutty before he was ten years old. keeping my thoughts to myself at that His father much adınired Friends, thinking early age was attended with some moral they did more for their fellow-creatures than
He (J. S. Mill) much addisadvantages, though my limited inter- any other body. . course with strangers, especially such as and values that testimony against a priesthood
mires the part Friends have taken about tithes, were likely to speak to me on religion,
as at present organized. * prevented me from being placed in the alternative of avowal or hypocrisy."
Two days after Henry Mill's death The moral disadvantage he speaks of Calvert spoke to Caroline Fox may have unconsciously affected him of the great humility compatible with high throughout his life.
metaphysical research, of John Mill standing Sterling, who in 1840 had long been in- on one side, and himself on the other, of his timate with Mill, told Caroline Fox:“ It brother's death bed, when Calvert remarked : was a new thing for Mill to sympathize This sort of scene puts an end to reason, and with religious characters. Soine years
faith begins.” The other emphatically ansince he had so imbibed the errors which swered • Yes.” The conversation which folbis father instilled into him, as to be quite ing as, coming from the first metaphysician of
lowed displaying such humility and deep feel. a bigot against religion. Sterling thinks the age, was most edifying.f he was never in so good a state as now.” † We read also of Mill sitting for hours at
Here we have only Caroline's note of the foot of Calvert's bed,°" who had a Calvert's report of Mill's conversation. racking headache,” expatiating on the de. Probably be meant and said only what he lights of "John Woolman " (which he is wrote to a friend under domestic sorrow : reading) and on spiritual religion, which "To my mind the only permanent value he feels to be the deepest and truest. In of religion is in lightening the feeling of this Calvert “thoroughly delights.” Cal- total separation which is so dreadful in a vert, we may remark, was brought up real grief.".. We know, from the " Essay among Friends, but by this time had be on Theisn," that he thought "the bene. come an Evangelical Churchman. Speak. ficial effect of the indulgence of hope, ing to Caroline of motives, Mill said: "It with regard to the government of the uniis not well for young people to inquire verse and the destiny of man after death, too much into them, but rather judge of is far from trifling.” actions, lest, seeing the wonderful inix- Very shortly after Henry Mill's death, ture of high and low, they should be dis- John Mill wrote Barclay Fox a letter of couraged; there is, besides, an egotism acknowledgment of the kind attentions in self-depreciation : the only certain mode shown by the Fox family to Henry, of of overcoming this and all other egotisms which Mr. Bain says: “ It is for Mill unis to implore the grace of God.”
usually effusive, and teems with characWe cannot but think that Caroline Fox teristic traits. One not a Christian adhas in her notes of this conversation dressing a Christian family upon death, mixed up her own ideas with those of and wakening up the chords of our comMill, and the reference to the grace of mon humanity, is a spectacle worth.ob. God must be her own interpretation of, or serving." S gloss on, Mill's words. Shortly after this
In the letter to which Mr. Bain refers conversation, Mill, à propos of the Fal- occurs this passage: mouth quarterly meeting of the Friends, wanted to know all about the constitution such an event || calls forth, there is always some
Among the many serious feelings which and discipline of the Society, and ihen one which impresses us. most, some moral “ dilated on the different Friends' books which each person extracts from it for his own he was reading;” on “John Woolman" more especial guidance; with me that moral he
is, “Work while it is called to-day; the night
cometh in which no man can work.” ... At philosophized on the principle that was active least we know this, that on the day when we in him—that dependence on the immediate shall be as he is, the whole of life will appear teaching of a superior being, which gave him but as a day, and the only question of any moclear views of what was essentially consistent ment to us will then be, Has that day been or inconsistent with Christianity, independent wasted? Wasted it has not been by those of and often opposed to all recorded or com
* Vol. i., p. 160. * Autobiography, pp. 43-4.
f Ibid., pp. 138-9.
Pain, 140. I Vol. i., pp. 156–7: “John Woolman" is a work
$ Ibid., p. 61. well known among Friends.
U The death of Henry Mill.
+ Vol. i., P. 213.
who have been, for however short a time, a | term the mind, as distinguished from the spirit source of happiness and of moral good even to or soul, merely that spirit looking at things, as the narrowest circle. But there is only one through a glass darkly, compelled, in short, by plain rule of life eternally binding, and inde- the conditions of its terrestrial existence to see pendent of all variations in creeds, and in the and know by means of media, just as the mind interpretation of creeds embracing equally the uses the bodily organs; for to suppose that the greatest moralities and the smallest; it is this : eye is necessary to sight seems to me the noTry thyself unweariedly till thou findest the tion of one immersed in matter.
What we highest thing thou art capable of doing, facul- call our bodily sensations are all in the mind, ties and outward circumstances being both and would not necessarily or probably cease duly considered, and then DO IT." *
because the body perishes. As the eye is but
the window through which, not the power by Another of these letters refers to a which, the mind sees, so probably the undersermon on the atonement by a Welsh standing is the bodily eye of the human spirit preacher, one of those, to use Macau which looks through that window, or rather lay's words, “whose rude eloquence which sees (as in Plato's case), the camera rouses and melts hearers who sleep very obscura images of things in this life, while in composedly while the rector preaches on another it may or might be capable of seeing the Apostolical succession." Mill says the things themselves. I do not give you this of it:
as my opinion, but as a speculation which you
will take for what it is worth." It is a really admirable specimen of popular
On the death of Barclay Fox:eloquence of a rude kind. It is well calculated to go to the very core of an untaught hearer. It came over Caroline so strongly [to use her
I really believe even this does good when own words to Clara Mill] that Barclay would it really penetrates the crust of a sensual and like Mill to be told how mercifully he had been stupid boor, who never thought or knew that dealt with, and how true his God and Saviour be had a soul, or concerned.himself about his had been to all his promises, that I took courspiritual state. But, in allowing that this may age and pen and wrote him a long history. do good, I am making a great confession; for I hope I have not done wrong or foolishly, I confess it is as revolting to me, as it was to but I do feel it rather a solemo trust to have Coleridge, to find infinite justice, or even hu- such a story to tell of death robbed of its sting man justice, represented as a sort of demoni. and the grave of its victory. * acal rage that must be appeased by blood and
The editor informs us that both Mill anguish, but, provided it has that, cares not whether it is the blood or the anguish of the and his wife sent replies full of tenderness guilty or the innocent. It seems to me but and deep sympathy, but unfortunately one step farther, and a step which in spirit at they cannot be found. least is often taken, to say of God what the It will be remembered that in Mill's Druids said of their gods that the only accepta: account of his mental development, after ble sacrifice to them was a victim pure and his acquaintance with his wife, he says: without taint. I know not how dangerous may
In this third period (as it may be termed) of be the ground on which I am treading, or how far the view of the atonement which is taken my mental progress, which now went hand-inby this poor preacher may be recognized by hand with hers, my opinions gained equally in your society; or by yourself, but surely a more and those which I had understood before i
breadth and depth. I understood more things, Christian-like interpretation of that mystery is
now understood more thoroughly. I had now that which, believing that Divine wisdom pun• ishes the sinner for the sinner's sake, and not completely turned back from what there had from an inherent necessity.omore heathen than been of excess in my reaction against Benthe heathen Nemesis, holds, as Coleridge did, thamism. I had, at the height of that reacthat the sufferings of the Redeemer were (in tion, certainly become much more indulgent to accordance with the eternal laws on which the common opinions of society and the world, this system of things is built) an indispensable the superficial improvement which had begun
and more willing to be content with seconding means of bringing about that change in the hearts of sinners, the want of which is the real
to take place in those common opinions, than and sole hindrance to the universal salvation became one whose convictions on so many of mankind.t
points differed fundamentally from them. I
was much more inclined than I can now apWe have space left for only one other prove to put in abeyance the more decidedly extract from these letters. It relates to heretical part of my opinions, which I now
look upon as almost the only ones, the assera curious speculation of Barclay Fox, respect, tion of which tends in any way to regenerate ing a duality in the hyper-physical part of society. But, in addition to this, our opinions man's nature. “Is not,” says Mill, “what you were far more heretical than mine had been in
the days of my most extreme Benthamism. Í • Vol. i., p. 173 et seq. + Vol. ii., p. 317.
Conf. Caroline Fox's later views on the Atonement, vol. i., p. 24, quoted ante.
| Autobiography, pp. 230-1.
• Ibid., p. 237;
Dates are but scantily given in the After an interval of many years CaroAutobiography," but we know that line, for the last time, saw Carlyle at MenMill's acquaintance with Mrs. Taylor tone, where, after his wife's death, Lady began in 1831, and so when he visited Ashburton kindly induced him to visit Falmouth, had already lasted nine years. her. “It made me,” Caroline says, “sad We do not know at what date Mill fixed to think of him, his look, and most of his the height of his reaction against Ben- talk, were so dreary.” And no wonder ; thamism, and of his undue conformity to we never read anything more melancholy the world. Nor do we know whether he than her vivid sketch. Carlyle was by refers to his intercourse with the Foxes as nature vain and egotistic, and therefore one of the occasions when he put in abey- spiteful :* he had a merely provincial ance his heretical opinions, and was over-education. His life, for the greater part indulgent to society and the world. of it, was one of poverty, and always of
On the whole, although there is some physical suffering; in his earlier years he difficulty in reconciling these conversa- mixed little with any society. At all tions and letters of Mill's with other ex- times he despised ordinary people, and pressions of his views, the difficulty is many who were far more than ordinary. probably more apparent than real. In his In his later years — to borrow words in intercourse with the Foxes he exempli- which Mill was described by one who fied, what one who knew him well has knew him from early years - he" affected told us, that he was “peculiarly consider something of the life of a prophet, surate and gentle in his relations with sin-rounded by admiring votaries, who minis. cere, and estimable persons, holding tered to him largely that incense in which opinions which he believed to be errone prophets delight." † As portrayed by ous."
Caroline Fox in these latter days, he reIt is high time to bring this over.long sembles nothing so much as Bunyan's paper to a close, but before doing so, we Giant Pope, “grown so crazy and stiff in must refer to a Cornish philosopher, of his joints, that he can now do little more whom mention is made, who thought that than sit in his cave's mouth grinning at civilization and knowledge of the arts is pilgrims as they go by, and biting his rather "retro- than progressive, and was nails because he cannot come at them."
on all who thought otherwise. At this last meeting Carlyle, after railing Adam and Eve, he held, were perfect in “at the accursed train with its devilish all sciences, literature, and art, and ever howls and yells, driving one distracted," since their time we have been steadily went on to the state of England: forgetting." *
This is a new light in which to consider our first parents. It is
"Oh! this cry for Liberty! Liberty! which difficult to realize Adam holding "inartic- is just liberty to do the devil's work, instead of ulately," as Carlyle would have said, the binding him
with ten thousand bands - just principles of the "Novum Organum," or those sort of places. Why, it is all going
going the way of France and America, and Eve "inarticulately” anticipating Mrs. down hill as fast as it can go, and of no sig. Mill in ber views on “the subjection of nificance to me. I have done with it. I can women."
take no interest in it at all, nor feel any sort of Of Carlyle, the world has lately heard hope for the country. It is not the liberty to almost as much as for the present it cares keep the Ten Commandments that they are to hear. But of Caroline's many recol- crying out for — that used to be enough for lections of him, we cannot refrain from the genuine man — but liberty to carry on their noticing one or two. Carlyle, without own prosperity, as they call it. And so, there doubt, åped Johnson, and not least in the is all shoddy. Go into any shop you will, and
is no longer anything genuine to be found. It habit in discussion of taking, on any sub-ask for any article, and ye'll find it all one ject, the opposite side to that taken by enormous lie. The country is going to perdi. any one, with whom he might be talking. tion at a frightful pace. I give it about fifty More suo, Carlyle was lecturing to the years yet to accomplish its fall.” Spoke of Foxes and compared Francia, the dictator Gladstone —"Is not he a man of principle?” of Paraguay, with Cromwell, much to the “Oh, Gladstone! I did hope well of him once, disparagement of Francia. Mrs. Carlyle and so did John Sterling, though I heard he broke in with " Why, a short time ago the right thing for a State to feel itself bound
was a Puseyite, and so forth. Sull, it seemed Francia was all in favor, and would be again if you had but a little contradic. tion.” †
* See his letter to his mother, Froude's Life of Carlyle, vol. i., p. 25t; and vol. ii., p. 348.
+ Edinburgh Review, January, 1874, as quoted by Ibid., p. 29.
Bain, p. 187.
* Vol. ii., p. 250.