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CONTENTS OF VOLUME XLIII.
County Government. By the Rt. Hon. Sir R. A. Cross, G.C.B., M.P.
of Criminal Investigations
The Municipal Organization of Paris. By Yves Guyot, Member of the Municipal
The English Military Power, and the Egyptian Campaign of 1882. By A
The Anti-Vivisectionist Agitation :
1. By Dr. E. De Cyon
2. By R. H. Hutton
Mrs. Carlyle. By Mrs. Oliphant
The Congo Neutralized. By Emile de Laveleye .
The Philosophy of the Beautiful. By Professor John Stuart Blackie .
Nature and Thought. By G. J. Romanes, F.R.S.
Cairo : The Old in the New. II. By Dr. Georg Ebers
De Mortuis. By C. F. Gordon Cumming
Wanted, an Elisha. By H. D. Traill, D.C.L.
Two Aspects of Shakspeare's Art. By T. Hall Caine .
Insanity, Suicide and Civilization. By M. G. Mulhall
The New Egyptian Constitution. By Sheldon Amos
A CONVERSATION AND A SPEECH, WITH AN ADDITION.
BY HERBERT SPENCER.
1.-A CONVERSATION : October 20, 1882.
[The state of Mr. Spencer's health unfortunately not permitting him to give
in the form of articles the results of his observations on American society, it is thought useful to reproduce, under his own revision and with some additional remarks, what he has said on the subject; especially as the accounts of it which have appeared in this country are imperfect : reports of the conversation having been abridged, and the speech being known only by telegraphic suminary.
The earlier paragraphs of the conversation, which refer to Mr. Spencer's persistent exclusion of reporters and his objections to the interviewing system, are omitted, as not here concerning the reader. There was no eventual yielding, as has been supposed. It was not to a newspaperreporter that the opinions which follow were expressed, but to an intimate American friend: the primary purpose being to correct the many
misstatements to which the excluded interviewers had given currency; and the occa
sion being taken for giving utterance to impressions of American affairs.-E..] HAS AS what you have seen answered your expectations ?
It has far exceeded them. Such books about America as I had looked into had given me no adequate idea of the immense developments of material civilization which I have everywhere found. The extent, wealth, and magnificence of your cities, and especially the splendour of New York, have altogether astonished me. Though I have not visited the wonder of the West, Chicago, yet some of your minor modern places, such as Cleveland, have sufficiently amazed me by the results of one generation's activity. Occasionally, when I have been in places of some ten thousand inhabitants where the telephone is in general use, I have felt somewhat ashamed of our own unenterprising towns, many of which, of fifty thousand inhabitants and more, make no use of it.
I suppose you recognize in these results the great benefits of free institutions ?
Ah ! Now comes one of the inconveniences of interviewing. I have been in the country less than two months, have seen but a relatively small part of it, and but comparatively few people, and yet you wish from me a definite opinion on a difficult question.
Perhaps you will answer, subject to the qualification that you are but giving your first impressions ?
Well, with that understanding, I may reply that though the free institutions have been partly the cause, I think they have not been the chief cause. In the first place, the American people have come into possession of an unparalleled fortune—the mineral wealth and the vast tracts of virgin soil producing abundantly with small cost of culture. Manifestly, that alone goes a long way towards producing this enormous prosperity. Then they have profited by inheriting all the arts, appliances, and methods, developed by older societies, while leaving behind the obstructions existing in them. They have been able to pick and choose from the products of all past experience, appropriating the good and rejecting the bad. Then, besides these favours of fortune, there are factors proper to themselves. I perceive in American faces generally a great amount of determination—a kind of "do or die” expression; and this trait of character, joined with a power of work exceeding that of any other people, of course produces an unparalleled rapidity of progress. Once more, there is the inven. tiveness which, stimulated by the need for economizing labour, has been so wisely fostered. Among us in England, there are many foolish people who, while thinking that a man who toils with his hands has an equitable claim to the product, and if he has special skill may rightly have the advantage of it, also hold that if a man toils with his brain, perhaps for years, and, uniting genius with perseverance, evolves some valuable invention, the public may rightly claim the benefit, The Americans have been more far-seeing. The enormous museum of patents which I saw at Washington is significant of the attention paid to inventors' claims; and the nation profits immensely from having in this direction (though not in all others) recognized property in mental products. Beyond question, in respect of mechanical appliances the Americans are ahead of all nations. If along with your material progress there went equal progress of a higher kind, there would remain nothing to be wished.
That is an ambiguous qualification. What do you mean by it?
You will understand me when I tell you what I was thinking the other day. After pondering over what I have seen of your vast manufacturing and trading establishments, the rush of traffic in your street-cars and elevated railways, your gigantic hotels and Fifth Avenue palaces, I was suddenly reminded of the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages ; and recalled the fact that while there was growing up in them great commercial activity, a development of the