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at call, produce such another store- of writing a text-book. He did house of valuable and pertinent not dream that people would supinformation. Whatever we think pose his work to evolve a complete of his reasoning, we at least system. He rarely argued. A acknowledge that he first gave us volume of essays is not looked upon full opportunities for reasoning. as a treatise; nothing more than Nor must we forget that the the cover and the common title materials so gained were often the connects the separate essays. result of his valuable destructive Smith did little more than put forth criticism, which relieved the world such a series of essays, each of of many decaying and useless which dealt with some economic systems. Indeed, beyond taking subject. He would have said, “ If part in this great destructive move- you want to know what I think of ment of the age, Adam Smith such and such a matter read such cannot be said to have proposed and such a chapter of my book, any definite aim to his system. To but I publish no political economy point out the futility, the injustice, Bible!” Of all books on the subthe impolicy of all restraint on ject of economics, probably the industry was his great work. He “Wealth of Nations” is the worst seemed to think that once Nature from which to teach principles. was left unshackled she would be Of all books from which to teach sufficient guide to herself. The the scope of the subject it remains French Revolution had not dis- to this day the best. It is with the pelled that notion.
“Treatise on the Law of War and We find that Adam Smith was a Peace” as it is with the “Spirit of man of his own age-no seer, no Laws” and the “Essay on Human genius born out of time. All the Understanding." Their method ideas he made use of were in other seems cumbersome to moderns, and men's minds as well. The air was nothing is easier than to pick thick with them. He cast a beam errors in them; yet Mackintosh of light across the field of vision, groups these along with the and made the ideas visible like “Wealth of Nations " as forming dust motes.
with it “ the works which have The outcry about the perplexed most directly influenced the opinion and illogical arrangement of “The of Europe during the last two Wealth of Nations" is much too centuries." The faults of the loud. The illogical arrangement “ Wealth of Nations” are only was not considered in the time of the those we should expect from one writer. No treatise written in his who uses the inductive method in century would stand our tests as to exploring a region of confused order. There was a learned sloven- facts. The only wonder is that liness in all that appeared then; the “Wealth of Nations” can preeven style was sluggish and in- tend to system at all. Nowadays elegant; sentences were crowded we easily enough attain system, with ridiculous colons and semi- but not so easily interest. A colons that check the reader's pro- hundred people still read the gress like five-barred gates on a “Wealth of Nations” with fasci. highway. If the best scholars and nation for every single reader of men of science in Smith's time had more orderly treatises on economics. been asked to prepare a series of This apology only goes the primers such as we are so fond of length of saying that the “ Wealth now, they would have made a sorry of Nations ” had as much system job of it. Smith had no intention as was needed for its author's * The first, Wakefield, so far as he annotates at all.
purpose. There are some novelists who write for the mere love of discoursing agreeably and analysing wittily. There are others who do not care to digress or linger, wherever they are tempted so to do; they cut and fit so as to produce a rounded, perfect plot. So there are philosophers who love to dabble in facts—to worm out curiosities of history, to make a museum, and leave others to form an opinion on what they produce. Adam Smith certainly had his own opinion on what he observed, but he was first of all the observer. In short, his forte was analysis, not synthesis. And so the chief charm of his book is description. In the very first chapter he wins the attention of the very child by rambling through a pin manufactory, and finding all the marvels of industry in a single pin. So in that wonderful chapter on Rent. His theorising is not very good, or very convincing ; but each page is turned faster than the other, as we skip from the price of corn to the price of butcher's meat in Prince Henry's time; from that to affairs in Holland; from that to ancient Italy; then to Columella and the extravagant gentleman - farmers ; then to Maryland through Cochin China; then to kitchen gardens, vineyards, sugar plantations, tobacco, rice, potatoes, and the
effect of these last on the beauty of the women and the strength of the men in Ireland.
It is curious to read the notes of Wakefield, or Buchanan, or M'Culloch, on the “ Wealth of Nations,” and observe how upon every chapter of the text they-at least the first* and last-have corrections to record. These corrections are not all satisfactory; many of them are untenable contradic. tions. But they discountenance the notion reigning in some minds, that the “ Wealth of Nations" is the standard by which all other systems are to be judged.
If a lecturer were appointed for the special purpose of publicly examining that book in the light of modern speculation, he would be sure—no matter whether he belonged to the school of Ricardo, or Mill, or Bastiat—to find faults in every chapter. We are not like the middle - age pedants, who covered the face of the earth with commentaries on Aristotle, all assuming at the outset the infalli. bility of that philosopher. We now judge Adam Smith as we judge Aristotle. We point the finger at every error they made; and yet we call one the father of ancient political economy, and the other the father of modern political economy.
ERIC S. ROBERTSON.
CHARLES LAMB AT EDMONTON.
To whatever region the Christ's ture and composition; a mural or Hospitallers may migrate, it is to sculptural record.” By another, be hoped that they will not forget who wrote at the same time, it the grave of their old school-fellow, was suggested that granite was the Charles Lamb. The sexton at proper material for the headstone, Edmonton will tell you that a and that a bust and tablet might party of “Blues” pay periodical find a place in the neighbouring visits to the churchyard, and, wind. church. Surely the man had never ing through a grove of memorial entered Edmonton Church-fusty, masonry of the usual ugliness, and beetling with galleries! And proceed to do honour to the narrow did he suppose that Lamb ever resting-place of the Lambs. What entered it? The end of all unclean beasts, with appetites more these proposals has been better ghoulish than the ghouls, are sup- served by the several editions of posed to browse in English church. Lamb's works published since 1875, yards, that the monuments of the among which is the good and dead should be fenced off with cheap “ Popular Centenary Edi. iron railings? The grave of tion," edited by Charles Kent. Charles and Mary Lamb is neither It is said at Edmonton that walled nor hurdled off ; it has the Americans in large numbers visit simple green coverlid that, one the grave. Lamb has certainly fancies, gives sounder sleep than been fully appreciated across the any other—a grass mound kept Atlantic. It is to the “ Eliana" first free from weeds by the blue-coat collected by Mr. J. E. Babson, of boys, among others. The head. Boston, U.S., that we owe the stone bears Cary's inscription, the completeness of our recent editions footstone the initials and dates, of the works; and articles from “C. L., 1834, M.A.L. 1847.” time to time in the Atlantic
The stones and grave are as Monthly by the same hand show modest and unpretending as were that Mr. Babson's countrymen the pair they commemorate, and retain their interest in everything it is to be hoped that well-meaning pertaining to the gentle essayist. meddlers will let them continue as Nearly two years were spent by they are. In 1875, the centenary the Lambs at Edmonton, extending of Lamb's birth, Mr. Bell, the then from Charles's fifty-eighth year to head master of Christ's Hospital, his sixtieth, when he died. They proposed to raise a fund for one or were almost barren of literary more of the following objects :“ An fruit. For the sister's sake, the English essay prize, in the shape of household gods had been transbooks or medals (which might bear planted from the stir of the great on one face the profile of Lamb); city to the quiet, first of Enfield, a scholarship for the encourage- and then of Edmonton, and they ment of the study of English litera- seemed to dwindle, peak, and
pine in this retirement. Not but it was to London that his only did Mary's illness grow upon thoughts turned, measuring the her; but the survivors among her distance in miles and minutes, brother's friends, none of them thinking only of when he should men of leisure, could see very little next go there, and when next his of him at that distance from friends would come to see him. London. In those days you did To the Temple clung memories of not reach Edmonton in half an the time when he and his sister hour from Liverpool-street, but had to live on the salary of a clerk. intrusted yourself to the tender ship in the East India House, bemercies of the stage from the ginning at a bare £70 a year; of “ Swan," Snow Hill. By this his first appearance in print as a stage, no doubt, came the parcels sonneteer in Coleridge's company; of of books hot from the press of those famous Wednesday evenings friend and publisher Moxon. The when men met, “ the mere reckon. fearful joy of peeping between the ing of whose names is like counting leaves of these leaves not to be the stars in a constellation"-evencut, for the books were to be re. ings which Talfourd has compared turned in saleable condition-was to the evenings at Holland House. one of the pleasures of these later Some of us would have enjoyed days. Mary's taste always ran the Wednesday parties most. more after novels than folios, * and Cold beef on the sideboard, the village library was ransacked where everyone helped themselves, in her interest; but for Charles, the prints cut out of all Charles's for whom social intercourse and old books pasted on the walls, troops of friends had taken the darling folios on the shelves, porter, place of close literary studies, the punch, and cards, Hazlitt's briltime was out of joint. It is not liant talk, with now and then a lay surprising to hear that the hostel. sermon from Coleridge. Even ries about Enfield and Edmonton busier and noisier than the Temple knew him well. To one especially, was that first-floor over the brazier's near Edmonton, bearing the queer shop at the corner of Russell-street, sign of "The Cart Overthrown,"and Covent Garden, the home of the decorated with pictures of the Lambs for six years. Authors and angler's gentle craft, one can fancy actors came and went all day long his steps often directed. But his and after playhouse hours, till even walk, say those villagers who their host unwillingly confessed remember him, was oftenest along that he was too little alone. The the road to London.
removals to Colebrooke Cottage, The field walks between Edmon Islington — where George Dyer, ton and Enfield are still pleasant, “dear blundering old soul,” stepped and Lamb professed to enjoy them; from their door into the New Rivert
* “We are both great readers in different directions. While I am hanging over (for the thousandth time) some passage in old Burton, or one of his strange contemporaries, she is abstracted in some modern tale, or adventure, whereof our common reading. table is daily fed with assiduous fresh supplies."--" Mackery End, in Hertfordshire," “Essays of Elia.”
"I do not know when I have experienced a stranger sensation, than on seeing my old friend G. D., who had been paying me a morning visit, a few Sundays back, at my cottage at Islington, upon taking leave, instead of turning down the right-hand path by which he had entered—with staff in hand, and at noonday, deliberately march right forwards into the midst of the stream that runs by us, and totally disappear." “ Amicus Redivivus," “ Last Essays of Elia.”
-to Chase Side, Enfield, and informant, still living in Edmonton, finally, in the spring of 1833, to remembers a cloud of feathers Edmonton, were for Mary Lamb's blowing across the road, which sake; but the quiet and seclusion poor Mary had torn from the bed of country life did not keep her and was strewing out of the winmalady in check. Absolute re- dow. Another, the late parish straint became necessary, and this clerk of Edmonton, remembered was found at the house of the being startled, as he worked in the Waldens, in Church-street, Ed. next garden, by Mary Lamb ratmonton. The Waldens were used tling at the bars of her window. to such cases, and had taken care These recollections of the villagers of Mary Lamb before. They now give a melancholy significance to agreed to take no other patients, Lamb's words when writing to and the brother and sister lodged Wordsworth in 1833 : “I see little and boarded there till Charles's of her; alas ! I too often hear her. death. Mary stayed with Mrs. Sunt lachrymæ rerum ! and you and Walden for several years longer, I must bear it.” until she was removed to a similar Let it not be forgotten that establishment in St. John's Wood, when Charles died he had “ borne where she died.
it” for nearly forty years. Alone A daughter of Mrs. Walden, a and unaided he had supported his school girl at the time of Charles's sister from the day of their mother's death, and who recalls that event death onwards, to save her from as happening during one of her what John Lamb, the elder brother, Christmas holidays, tells me that thought her proper doom-lifeMary was ill for more than six long confinement in an asylum. months out of the twelve at that His was more than a husband's time. She describes her as a care for her. Through all these troublesome and unhappy patient, forty years he never let her leave her mind constantly running upon him, except when certain signs her mother's death. During a fit of well known to both of them foreinsanity thirty-seven years before told the approach of a severe Mary Lamb had killed her mother attack. On one such occasion they with a table knife. Mrs. Moxon, were met walking hand-in-hand on Lamb's adopted daughter—the the field-path to the asylum, and it “Emma Isola” of his corre was noticed that they were crying. spondence-tells an anecdote which After Charles's death his works sadly illustrates the relation in followed him, for Mary was awarded which Mary stood to this tragedy a pension by the authorities of the of her early life. During the whole East India House as if she had of Mrs. Moxon's “residence with been his widow. the Lambs she was completely Bay Cottage, Church - street, ignorant of the terrible event. One Edmonton, stands back from the night Charles and Mary Lamb and road mid-way between the railway herself were seated at table. The station and the church, and nearly conversation turned on the elder opposite a building described on Lamb, when Miss Isola asked why its walls as “a structure of hope she never heard mention of the founded in faith, on the basis of mother Mary thereupon uttered charity, 1784,” a charity school for a sharp, piercing cry, for which girls. The aspect of the cottage Charles playfully and laughingly has not changed since the Waldens rebuked her, but he made no owned it. Close high iron palings allusion to the cause.” Another and a long strip of garden, crossed