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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/391

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LITERARY NOTICES.

share. A democrat in instinct and feeling, and holding the most radical views on grave questions of social polity and political government, Mr. Mill lived under the most compact and consolidated monarchical, aristocratic, and ecclesiastical system that the world possesses; and the history of his warfare with the ideas in which that system is embedded, while attractive as a philosophical study, has an especial interest for us, who cut loose from that order of things a century ago. Mr. Mill was never an active politician, and only tried his hand at parliamentary work for a short period, late in life; but he was much occupied with political and contemporaneous public questions, and was a virtual leader of a considerable party of men who devoted themselves to active political work.

Mr. Mill's estimates and criticisms of the thinkers of his time, and his analysis of their influence upon himself, are by no means the least interesting portions of his volume. Especially what he says of his mental indebtedness to the influence of his wife will be eagerly perused. He had already given expression to it in terms that have been thought to savor of exaggeration, but all that he had said before is here reiterated with increasing emphasis. In speaking of Carlyle, he observes: "I never presumed to judge him with any definiteness until he was interpreted to me by one greatly the superior of us both—who was more a poet than he, and more a thinker than I—whose own mind and nature included his, and infinitely more." After such a eulogy from the author of the "Logic," the question irresistibly arises, What could have been the preparation of so wonderful a mind? Mr. Mill offers his autobiography confessedly as a study in education, of which he regards himself, as he certainly was, a remarkable exemplification. But why did he forbear to utter a word in relation to the cultivation and history of that extraordinary mind which spanned and included such intellects as his own and Thomas Carlyle's? The question, moreover, will be wonderingly asked, why Mr. Mill, with all his chivalric feeling toward the opposite sex, never once mentions his mother, in the full sketch of his childhood, although his father figures prominently throughout. Perhaps she was not a woman of intellect, and took no part in his early culture; but she had a share in his being, and, whatever may have been the qualities or character of the mother of John Stuart Mill, they should not have been left out of consideration in an account by himself of his own life.

The autobiography is written in Mr. Mill's happiest style, and deserves to be, as it undoubtedly will be, very extensively read.

Sex in Education; or, a Fair Chance for the Girls. By Edward H. Clarke, M. D. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 181 pp. Price, $1.25.

This little volume breaks the monotony of the woman's rights discussion, and exposes one of its current fallacies—the coeducation of the sexes.

Whether or not there be sex in mind, Dr. Clarke shows that there is a great deal of it in body, and that this cannot be ignored in the work of education without entailing grave and often fatal evils upon the weaker sex. One would think that there is sufficient physiological knowledge current in the community to prevent an educational system that does not recognize and conform to the radical differences of sex; but, under pressure of a so-called reform, which starts from abstract assumptions rather than physiological data, the strong tendency is to put students of both sexes upon the same footing, regardless of all consequences. Dr. Clarke points out what some of these consequences are. He shows that there is not only a difference in powers of endurance, by which the average feminine constitution is certain to break down when brought into prolonged competition with the average male constitution, but, what is of far more importance, he shows that the feminine constitution is liable under these circumstances to a whole train of derangements and perversions that are peculiar to itself. The fact that women are designed to be mothers, while men are not, is very far from being a mere incidental circumstance that may be left out of the account in their early training. Nor can women, by declining to become mothers, escape from the peculiarities of their nature, so as to assume the career and encounter the discipline of men. The female destiny, which is to give birth to the