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tion of this principle’ is the same which Mr. M‘Culloch employed for the same purpose in his famous assertion, that the increased value which wine derives from being kept in a cellar till it mellows, is entirely owing to the LABOUR bestowed upon it during the years it lies there untouched! Dramatizing this dictum, Miss Martineau—(oh! that M. Scribe could hear her!)-makes her Parisian wine-merchant talk to his wife of his cellar-full of Jabour' (p. 38); and having called in a hurricane to destroy an entire vintage in the South of France, she assures us, that the increased value of the wine-merchant's stock is owing, not to the consequent scarcity of wine (as plain folks would suppose), but to the dearness of labour !—which dearness of labour, however, she can only contrive to bring about at the same time, by actually extending her hurricane over the corn-fields of the North of France, as well as the vineyards of the South. But supposing that the two hurricanes had not happened together, where would be Miss Martineau's ' principle'?
Again — For Each and for All,' is intended to illustrate the principle' already refuted by us, that profits and wages (that is, the entire remuneration for labour) must be continually lowered with the advance man makes in numbers and civilization, through • the necessity of taking inferior soils into cultivation.' And how is this principle illustrated ? Not by any story in which the reader could perceive it at work--there might have been a difficulty in framing any such tale--but we are presented with a titled lady, the wife of a cabinet minister, who, while spending the autumn vacation at a country-seat, enters into discussions on the laws which regulate wages and profits with · Nanny White who keeps the little huckster's shop in the village,' and old Joel the sexton.' These two worthies enlighten the minds of the great Whig lord and his countess on the causes of the distress of the country, and dogmatically lecture them on the operation of the natural laws of distribution,' throughout several chapters of dialogue, which our readers would not thank us for extracting—but the burden of which is, that whenever a farmer takes into cultivation some inferior land,' the profits and wages of his neighbours instantly fall in consequence, on which account the said neighbours are naturally very angry with him! (p. 75.)-All this is so just, so clear, so self-evident, and so ably illustrated,' thut we do not wonder at our actual ministers having followed the example of
Lord F and resorted for lessons on political economy to Miss Martineau, who is evidently quite as capable of governing the nation as Old Joel himself.
We hardly think it worth while to remark upon another story, in which this lady is good enough to exemplify the phenomena of money, by supposing a Siberian market carried on very briskly for a whole day upon five mouse-skins, as the sole circulating medium
the said mouse-skins, from some unaccountable quality, being ten times as valuable at the end of the day as at the beginning. The mouse-skins are then carried off by the cat, or some travelling fur-traders, we forget which, and the Siberian colonists have recourse to a new kind of money, consisting of mammoth-bones ! Fancy a pocket-full of mammoth-tusks and tibiæ, with the grinders, we presume, for small change! And this trash is to bring political economy within the comprehension of babes and sucklings!
Our readers have by this time had enough of this damsel. We will only express our sorrow at observing, that in her remaining tales she still continues to harp on the necessity of limiting the number of consumers'! Nor is sorrow, perhaps, the word we ought to use. We should be loth to bring a blush unnecessarily upon the cheek of any woman; but may we venture to ask this maiden sage the meaning of the following passage :
A parent has a considerable influence over the subsistence-fund of his family, and an absolute control over the numbers to be supporied by that fund. Has the young lady picked up this piece of information in her conferences with the Lord Chancellor ? or has she been entering into high and lofty communion on such subjects with certain gentlemen of her sect, famous for dropping their gratuitous advice on
these matters into areas, for the benefit of the London kitchen· maids? We all remember Moore's • She Politician.'
'Tis my fortune to know a lean Benthamite spinster,
A maid who her faith in old Jeremy puts,
And hopes you're delighted with “ Mill upon Gluts,” ' &c. Did Miss Martineau sit for the picture? But no ;-such a cha, racter is nothing to a female Malthusian. A woman who thinks child-bearing a crime against society: An unmarried woman who declaims against marriage!! A young woman who deprecates charity and a provision for the poor!!!
Miss Martineau has, we are most willing to acknowledge, talents which might make her an useful and an agreeable writer. But the best advice we can give her is, to burn all the little books she has as yet written, with one or two exceptions ;-to abstain from writing any more till she has mastered a better set of ' principles' than the precious stock she has borrowed from her favourite professors ; and, in the mean time, to study the works of a lady who, with immeasurably greater abilities in every way, was her predecessor in the line she considers so wholly original — the
illustrating by fiction the natural laws of social welfare. Political economy is far more ingeniously as well as justly illustrated in the • Absentee' and • Castle Rackrent,' than in • Ireland. There is not indeed one tale of Miss Edgeworth’s but conveys some useful lesson on questions which materially concern the economy of society. But the difference between the two writers is, that the moral of Miss Edgeworth's tales is naturally suggested to the reader by the course of events of which he peruses the narrative; that of Miss Martineau is embodied in elaborate dialogues or most unnatural incidents, with which her stories are interlarded and interrupted, to the utter destruction of the interest of all but detached bits of them. *
ART. VIII.-The Causes of the French Revolution. Svo. i ..
pp. 274. London. 1832. ' THIS thin book, or rather thick pamphlet, is his booksellers 1. make no secret about it--the production of Lord John Russell. Some years ago his Lordship undertook what he called • Memoirs of the Affairs of Europe since the Peace of Utrecht,' and of these he had already presented to the world two massy volumes, which, however, the world was not pleased to accept. Had he continued his story on the original scale, Lord John must have become as voluminous as Thomas Aquinas, before he could have reached the peace of Amiens. But the construction of the Reform Bill, correspondence with Political Unions, and other useful public labours, have diverted his attention from the prosecution of this gigantic task; and we must be contented, it seems, with sixpence in the pound with a few detached sections on the most momentous revolution of modern times, which the noble author had at first designed to interweave with the narrative of his thirtieth or thirty-fifth quarto.
His Lordship is perhaps not aware,—for Whig lords, even when not cabinet ministers, have always been averse to hear wholesome truths,—that a man, who played a considerable part in that revolution, had already characterized his Lordship as a petit littérateur ;' but we do not believe that the French language has any diminutive by which that eminent person could express the contempt which he—and every man who knows anything of French
* It gives us much pleasure to see, that Miss Edgeworth's stories are now in the course of republication in a cheap series of monthly volumes, with corrections and notes, after the fashion of the current editions of the Waverley novels and the works of Lord Byron. But are we never to have any more new novels from her now. unrivalled hand ?
literature or history—must have for such an impudent catchpenny as this.
In the first place, these · Causes of the French Revolution' extend no farther than the death of Louis XV. The two first chapters eontain a very high-coloured description of the profligacy of the court during the latter years of that monarch; but they contain no attempt to prove that such profligacy led to a general system of misgovernment, or that such misgovernment existed either before or since. It is easy to produce instances of vice and folly in the upper classes of a nation, which may nevertheless not be, as regards the happiness and prosperity of the middle and lower classes, ill governed. Some theorists may dream that private vices may be public benefits; but let not the absurdity of such a position drive us into the contrary absurdity, that all the misfortunes of an empire are to be referred to the immorality of the fashionable world. But however this may be, Lord John at least takes no trouble about proving his position ; and it would have been very interesting to have followed the series of demonstration by which he should have proved that Louis XV.'s profligacy had excited the virtuous indignation of men quite as profligate, and a thousand times more wicked. The third chapter (twice as long as the other two together) gives us an account of the lives and personal adventures of the principal writers of that period, and more especially Voltaire and Rousseau. In the two hundred and seventy-four pages of this pamphlet, it is almost incredible how large a space is devoted to the most insignificant details. No less than three dinners are minutely described in different passages. The first, we are told, comprised good brown bread, made entirely of wheat;' 'a ham that looked very tempting ;' a bottle of wine, the sight of which rejoiced the heart, and a large omelette. The next, seventy pages afterwards, consists of juicy vegetables and mutton of the valley, admirably roasted. Of the third dinner the dishes are not recorded, but we are told that it began between five and six ; that it lasted nearly two hours, and was followed by different childrens' games,' and especially the royal game of goose!' It is a little hard to have the crambe repetita, and to have the game of goose continued by Lord John Russell. Lord John Russell is equally communicative as to all the dirty little amours of Rousseau, and revels through a dozen pages on Voltaire's liaison with Madame du Chatelet. Describing the same great man at a later period, he informs us, that• His usual habit was to stay in bed till twelve o'clock; till two, he wrote or received company; from two till four he was out in his carriage with his secretary; on his return he took coffee or chocolate, and worked till eight or nine, when, if well, he appeared at supper.
He went to bed at eleven or twelve, and never slept more than five hours. When he wished to write down his thoughts, he rang for his secretary, whose room was below his,' &c., &c.!!-p. 117. And such trifling, forsooth, is to pass for philosophy and historyfor a critical inquiry into the real causes of the French Revolution !
We are also bound to say, that short as this essay is, it affords conclusive proof that Lord John Russell is as slightly and superficially acquainted with the French language as with French history. Thus, for instance, in one of his favourite descriptions of a dinner, translated from Rousseau, he concludes by saying, that it was such as pedestrian never made before. Now, the original is tel qu'autre qu'un piéton n'en connut jamais, and we need hardly point out that these words do not bear the meaning which Lord John Russell gives them, but allude to the healthy appetite derived from a journey on foot-a mode of travelling which Rousseau frequently practised, and which he highly extols in his Emile. Thus again, Lord John repeats a good, but somewhat threadbare jest, in the following words :- Madame du Deffand said, on being asked whether she could believe that St. Denys had walked a whole league with his head under his arm ? Ét cependant ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute.' Every critical reader of French must at once perceive, as every one acquainted with the anecdote knows, that the words et cependant are inconsistent with the point of the bon mot.
In another place, talking of Sophie Arnoud (not. Arnaud ') the opera girl, (for such are his Lordship’s historical authorities,) Lord John tells us, “It was she who, seeing the head of the Duke of Choiseul placed on the reverse of a medal of Sully, said, “ I suppose it means, receipts and expenses," ' (p. 164). What Sophie did say was, “ la recette—et la dépense -i. é. the receipt and the expenditure. Now that he is an official personage, Lord John might be expected to understand the dialect of quarterday; at least it is hard upon poor Sophie that an English cabinet minister should destroy the only reputation she ever possessed that of wit.
We might also, were it worth while, prove his Lordship to be a frequent blunderer in even his slight sketches of the lives of Rousseau and Voltaire, which, while he thought he was translating, he has only transformed. To give a single instance : speaking of the children of the sentimental Swiss being sent to the Foundling Hospital, the Noble Paymaster observes, . It was for telling this secret that he quarrelled for ever with Diderot,' Now this is wholly incorrect. This secret was known so early as 1751, as we find by a letter of Rousseau's to Madame de Francueil on the 20th of April in that year, and it had even become a topic of
and Voltaire, wieven hislie, prove his I