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Cannot subscribe % and there is a want of consistency in the motives and feelings ascribed to him at the outset of his public life . But the narrative is usually written in the very best manner . Mr . Gleig tells a story , and especially a story of battle and adventure , excellently well . The life of Marlborough is only commenced in this volume . How far the author is qualified to illustrate the science of war , and appreciate the distinctive qualities of its great masters , remains to be shown in the continuation of the series . The biographies in the present volume are as captivating as romances .
$ 8 Critical Notices ~ ± History and Science . ^
The Working-Man ' s Companion . Rights of Industry . I . Capital and Labour . —London , Charles Knight , 1831 . Holding , as we have long done , the opinion that political economy is the science of all others the most necessary to be extensively understood in the present condition of society , we hail all attempts to render it familiar and interesting to the mass of the people . We rejoiced in the appearance of the * Results of Machinery ; ' and , though somewhat
disappointed in the book itself , were willing to overlook its defects of arrangement , &c . in consideration of the great benefit which must arise from this first exhibition of the subject therein treated in a popular form . We were equally disposed to a favourable regard of the work before us ; but notwithstanding all our endeavours to think the best of it , we cannot be persuaded that it is suited to its object , or that its execution does credit to the society by which it is issued . If it had been the first attempt of an individual writer , published with *
out authority , we should have honoured the benevolence of the project , and been very tolerant of its faults , while we thought it our duty to expose them ; but we see no inducement to toleration in the present case . Associations like that under whose auspices the Working-Man ' s Companion is issued , have no excuse for-not taking care that all they publish is as good as it can be made . It is not enough that they
discern the wants of the people , and do something towards supplying them ; they ought , moreover , to furnish the best information , conveyed in the best manner ; and this they have not done in the present instance . We like the intention of this book ; we like its subject ; we like its cheapness ; and , what is more , we approve its general views : but there our approbation ends . Jts style is unsuitable to its object ; and the hopeless confusion of its contents neutralizes much of what is good in them . If there is any department of knowledge in which perspicuous
division of subject and arrangement of materials is easy to the teacher and essential to the learner , it is political economy . Facts may almost be said to classify themselves , and principles to assume their own true order ; and we should have scarcely believed it possible to collect such a mass of valuable information , and to announce such important
principles as we find in this little volume , to so little purpose . We have a mob instead of a regiment of illustrations ; and we can answer for ourselves that , if we had never studied the argument before , we should have had a very vague idea of it now . It is truly mortifying that so mottled a fabric should have issued from machinery which is boasted # f aa combining such ample resources .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1832, page 58, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1804/page/58/