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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tics, Dudley Baxter and Leone Levi with taxation. Le Play may fairly be called the father of the scientific family budget. His studies of four English families[1] are the most complete economic pictures of English popular life to be found in literature. With the aid of some local authority he chose what was thought a fairly typical family, and then, frankly explaining his scientific object and securing confidence, he set himself to study it. Nothing of economic interest is too unimportant for him to record. A minute inventory and valuation of clothes, furniture and household goods; a detailed account, item by item, of income from all sources and of expenditure upon all objects for a year, with the quantities and prices of foods, &c.; a description of the family, member by member, their past history, their environment, how they came to be where they are and to earn their living as they do; their resources in the present, their provision for the future; their meals, hygiene and recreations; their social, moral, political and religious observances—nothing escapes him. And the whole is organized, classified, fitted into a framework identical for all cases, with the painstaking and methodical industry of the naturalist. Contrasted with this the realism of novelists, the occasional excursions of journalists, the observations of professed economists, are pitiably incomplete. As early as 1857 Le Play found one ardent admirer in England, Mr. W. L. Sargant, whose Economy of the Laboring Classes," avowedly inspired by Le Play, is a valuable and interesting piece of work. Since then, however, with the magnificent exception of Mr. Charles Booth, little has been done to throw light upon the mode of life of the wage-earners of England. The Board of Trade heralded the formation of its Labor Department by issuing a blue book—unhappily without sequel—entitled "Returns of Expenditure by Working Men," in 1889, and the Economic Club has published a useful collection of studies in 'Family Budgets' 1896. But we shall probably still depend very much upon foreign observers for fuller knowledge of the subject. M. René Lavollée, an adherent who may almost be called a colleague of Le Play, has devoted to England a whole volume of his important work 'Les Classes Ouvrières en Europe: études sur leur situation matérielle et morale.[2] t M. Urbain Guérin, another member of the Société d'Economie Sociale, founded by Le Play to carry on his work, has recently added a study of a tanner's family in Nottingham to Le Play's gallery of portraits; and some of the young members of the Musée Social and the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques have come among us animated with the same scientific curiosity. A vivid (and, so far as Newcastle is concerned, a trustworthy) sketch by a German miner, "How the English Workman Lives," just translated into English, is our


  1. Les Ouvriers Europeens, Paris, folio, 1855.
  2. Paris, 1896, tom, iii., 656 pp., large 8vo.