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has, with two brief intervals, since continued, and will be completed on the 1st October next: the issue of this volume being delayed until after that date.

Since commencing the work, I have not regretted that I was led to undertake it. Various considerations which seemed needful by way of introduction to the Principles of Sociology, presently to be written, and which yet could not be conveniently included in it, have found, in this preliminary volume, a fit place. Much illustrative material also, partly accumulated during past years and lying unused, I have thus gained an occasion for turning to account. Further, the opportunity has been afforded me of commenting on special topics which the Principles of Sociology could not properly recognize; and of commenting on them in a style inadmissible in a purely-philosophical treatise—a style adapted, however, as I hope, to create such interest in the subject as may excite to serious pursuit of it.

In preparing the successive chapters for final publication, I have, besides carefully revising them, here and there enforced the argument by a further illustration. Not much, however, has been done in this way: the only additions of moment being contained in the Appendix. One of these, pursuing in another direction the argument concerning academic discipline, will be found among the notes to Chapter IX.; and another, illustrative of the irrelation between intellectual culture and moral feeling, will be found in the notes to Chapter XV.

LONDON, July, 1873.




OVER his pipe in the village ale-house, the labourer says very positively what Parliament should do about the "foot and mouth disease.” At the farmer's market-table, his master makes the glasses jingle as, with his fist, he emphasizes the as, sertion that he did not get half enough compensation for his slaughtered beasts during the cattle-plague. These are not hesitating opinions. On a matter affecting the agricultural interest, statements are still as dogmatịc as they were during the Anti-Corn-Law agitation, when, in every rural circle, yoų heard that the nation wouļd be ruined if the lightly-taxed foreigner was allowed to compete in our markets with the heavily-taxed Englishman: a proposition held to be so self-evident that dissent from it implied either stupidity or knavery.

Now, as then, may be daily heard among other classes, opinions just as decided and just as unwarranted. By men called educated, the old plea for extravagant expenditure, that “it is good for trade," is still continually urged with full belief in its sufficiency, Scarcely any decrease is observable in the fallacy that whatever gives employment is beneficial: no regard being had to the value for ulterior purposes of that which the labour produces; no question being asked what would have resulted had the capital which paid for the labour taken some other channel and paid for some other labour. Neither criticism nor explanation appreciably modifies these beliefs. When there is again an opening for them they are expressed with undiminished confidence. Along with delusions of this kind go whole families of others. People who

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think that the relations between expenditure and production are so simple, naturally assume simplicity in other relations among social phenomena. Is there distress somewhere? They suppose nothing more is required than to subscribe money for relieving it. On the one hand, they never trace the reactive effects which charitable donations work on bank accounts, on the surplus-capital bankers have to lend, on the productive activity which the capital now abstracted would have set up, on the number of labourers who would have received wages and who now go without wages—they do not perceive that certain necessaries of life have been withheld from one man who would have exchanged useful work for them, and given to another who perhaps persistently evades working. Nor, on the other hand, do they look beyond the immediate mitigation of misery. They deliberately shut their eyes to the fact that as fast as they increase the provision for those who live without labour, so fast do they increase the number of those who live without labour; and that with an ever-increasing distribution of alms, there comes an ever-increasing outcry for more alms. Similarly throughout all their political thinking. Proximate causes and proximate results are alone contemplated. There is scarcely any consciousness that the original causes are often numerous and widely different from the apparent cause; and that beyond each immediate result there will be multitudinous remote results, most of them quite incalculable.

Minds in which the conceptions of social actions are thus rudimentary, are also minds ready to harbour wild hopes of benefits to be achieved by administrative agencies. In each such mind there seems to be the unexpressed postulate that every evil in a society admits of cure; and that the cure lies within the reach of law. “Why is not there a better inspection of the mercantile marine ?” asked a correspondent of the Times the other day: apparently forgetting that within the preceding twelve months the power he invoked had lost two of its own vessels, and barely saved a third. “Ugly buildings are eyesores, and should not be allowed,” urges one who is anxious for æsthetic culture. Meanwhile, from the agent which is to foster good taste, there have come monuments and public buildings of which the less said the better; and its

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