% LaTeX source for Athenaeum review of Quetelet




From \textit{The Athen\ae um}, 8 August 1835, pp. 593--594


\textit{On Man, and the Developement of his Faculties, \&c.}---[\textit{Sur 
l'Homme et le D\'eveloppe\-ment de ses Facut\'es \&c.}]  By A. Quetelet, 
Secretary to the Royal Academy of Brussels.  London: Bossange \& Co.


AMONGST the infinite variety of circumstances by which man is surrounded in 
nature and in society, there are but few whose cause is sufficiently simple 
and direct to become matter of intuitive perception.  By dint of long and 
painful study, a certain portion of these phenomena has been traced to causes 
operating by universal laws; which laws, being accurately ascertained, present 
a key, enabling the observer to calculate with the utmost precision the 
possible results of their agency.  In a far greater number of cases, either 
so obscure or so complicated, as to elude the perseverance of the inquirer: 
the law of their activity remains unascertained; and no safe inference can be 
drawn as to its consequences in any given contingency.  Man, however, by 
interest and by curiosity impelled to account to himself for whatever strikes 
upon his senses, invented an explanation of these last train of appearances, 
by referring them to an unknown and mystical principle which he christened 
Chance.  To say that a thing has happened by chance, is, indeed, merely to 
say that it has happened because it has happened!  The word, notwithstanding, 
has acquired, from use, a real and a philosophical meaning---either as a 
confession of ignorance, or as an abridged expression for an unknown formula.  
In this last sense, the value of a chance may become a fit subject for inquiry.

    In the most obscure cases of chance agency, it is usually not difficult 
to discover the action of some one or more known and determined laws as an 
element of the complex causation; and, on the other hand, in the practical 
application of the purest theorems of science, the result rarely fails to be 
partially affected by the agency of some uncalculated item.  Thus, in seeking 
to learn from the sun's altitude the position we occupy on the earth, we are 
enabled to calculated the astronomical causes on which the operation depends, 
to the utmost nicety; but a number of inappreciable causes---imperfection in 
the instruments, irregularity in the observer's powers, \&c., prevent a perfect 
certainty in the result.  In every complicated case, then, there are certain 
agencies which universally tend to produce an identical effect; there are 
others, accidental and variable in different instances, which tend to produce 
in each case a different consequence.  In throwing the dice, there is at every 
throw the same (presumed) equality of the faces of the die, the same solidity 
of all parts of its substance, the same number of possible events.  These all 
tend to produce the six separate faces of the die in every six throws.  On the 
other hand, there are the endless varieties of force employed by the gambler 
in shaking and projecting the die, unknown inequalities in the die itself, in 
the table which receives it, \&c.\ all tending to determine the throws in a 
series altogether irregular.  In any one fair throw, the action of the last 
set of causes so far overmasters that of the first, that it is impossible to 
determine what will be the event, scientifically, and not as a mere accidental 
guess.  It is found, however, by observation, that, in the long run, the 
reverse is the fact; that the constant causes predominate over the accidental; 
and that, by embracing a long series of events, an average result may be 
obtained, which will very nearly approximate to what from theory should happen 
were the constant causes alone in operation: for the unknown and varying 
forces are not the less under the influence of laws, because we cannot 
comprehend them; and the effects which they produce are consequently placed 
within some limits, so that in some undefined series of events, their 
eccentricities must be exhausted, and must balance and neutralize each other.

    Thus, to go back to the instance of the sun's altitude:--- in any one 
observation, it may happen, from a momentary defect in the powers of 
attention, from an accidental awkwardness in managing the instrument, that 
there shall arise a considerable error.  But if a great number of persons 
perform the same operation, the probability is, that their several errors 
will be of different sorts, and that the mean result of all the operations 
will, therefore, be a close approximation to the truth.

    The application of this mode of seeking after certainty, and reducing 
hazard to a determinate law, has long been applied by gamblers to the events 
of games of chance; and by insurance companies, to determining the probable 
duration of human life, and the still more incalculable chances of fire and 
shipwreck.  In the latter instance, it seems at first sight absolutely 
impossible that, the action of elements, so proverbially inconstant, should 
be reducible to any rule: yet so much otherwise is the fact, that though 
particular underwriters may in any given year be ruined by some great storm 
wrecking particular fleets of large value, the general business of an 
underwriter is as certainly prosperous as any other branch of industry; 
while competition keeps down the rate of insurance very closely to the real 
extent of the risk.

    This degree of certainty having been reached where accident seems to reign 
exclusively, it is not surprising that philosophers should have been tempted 
to apply so available a method to the appreciation of physiological and social 
facts, and to the assignment of the laws which regulate the ``developement of 
man.''  Accordingly, of late years, a great variety of particulars, relative 
to the individual and to society, have been subjected to this method; and a 
considerable increase of positive knowledge, (not otherwise obtainable) has 
been acquired.  The work before use embraces whatever has been most 
satisfactorily demonstrated in this way, together with the results of a vast 
many inquiries, instituted by the author himself, and a comprehensive view of 
the entire philosophy of the subject, calculated to guide future inquiries in 
their researches, and to give a determined direction to moral and 
physiological statistics, such as may render them a positive and practical 

    Upon the most superficial view of the organized structure of man, of the 
modes of its action, and even of the most complex itself, it will be found 
that there are certain particulars which may be considered as fixed; while 
there are others which may admit of considerable variation in different 
individuals.  Thus, every perfect man has a heart, lungs and stomach, two 
hands, and two feet; but every man has not the same complexion, stature, 
weight, \&c.  All men can run and walk, lift weights, digest alimentary 
substances, \&c.\ \&c.; but all men cannot exert equal forces, nor digest 
all aliments equally.  So, too, all men love and hate, desire to possess 
what is good, and to avoid what is evil, and to turn the elements that 
surround them, (to the extent of their knowledge and power,) to the purposes 
of self-preservation; while scarcely any two exhibit those propensities in 
the same kind and degree.  A very slight and superficial observance of the 
species had taught philosophers, that such variations were confined within 
narrow limits; and had enabled them to form an abstract conception of an 
imaginary being termed ``man,'' of whom a long series of propositions were 
applicable, though not strictly and rigorously predictable of any one 
individual man.  But while no particular human being is found precisely 
identical with this imaginary ``man,'' yet, in any number of men taken at 
hazard, there will be observed a manifest tendency to approach to it: and, 
the larger the number, the more close will be their average approximation 
to that standard. Now, as it is manifest that no general rules could be 
formed for the separate government of each man in society, applicable to 
his individual nature, or, in other words, that each man should be suffered 
to be his own law, it follows that a perfect and complete determination of 
the attributes of this abstract being is an essential preliminary to an 
efficient discharge of the task of legislation;  and it is a matter of 
experience, that false and superficial notions of human nature have introduced 
some of the most fatal errors in the social institutions of nations.  If, 
therefore, the application of a scientific method of investigation shall 
succeed in giving a greater precision to the received ideas of this point, 
a vast and important advantage will be obtained for the species.

    Of the many circumstances hitherto attributed to human nature, a 
considerable portion are assigned upon a coarse and rude observation; and 
others are assumed from refined speculations \textit{\`a priori} 
upon the supposed constitution of the animal.  The latter have been the 
subjects of endless dispute, and the causes of some of the most acrimonious 
contentions that have disturbed the peace of society.  Of those, the 
discussions on free will and necessity are a prominent instance.  It is, 
perhaps, too much to expect that any extent of observations will suffice to 
silence such disputes; and it is but too probable that if such a result were 
presumable, the expectation would only serve to discredit the inquiry.  
Without, however, looking to the possible attainment of this perfection, it 
is abundantly clear that the old methods of seeking to establish the true 
nature of the abstract man, which is the subject of legislation, have proved 
insufficient to their purpose, and that, therefore, the method of 
investigation embraced by the term Statistics, would be worthy of all 
attention, although its application had been attended by discoveries far 
less striking and satisfactory than those with which works of the description 
of M.\ Quetelet's have made us acquainted.  It is no small matter to have 
ascertained that from amidst the chaos of individual actions, whose sum 
embraces what we mean by human life, there arise as the result of every long 
series of observations, for the species at large, an order and progression of 
moral cause and effects sufficiently precise to become the subject of general 
reasonings, and the matter of general regulation; so that definite and precise 
consequences may be foretold of definite combinations of antecedents.  Nor is 
it any objection, that after many very accurate, but, perhaps, still 
insufficient observations of fact, individuals have been tempted by an 
instinctive desire of obtaining positive results, to generalise hastily, and 
have drawn false conclusions.  Such errors are inevitable in the progress of 
all sciences; but as long as the observations on which they are founded 
subsist, they may become, in the hands of subsequent inquirers, the materials 
for better and more logical investigation.  Thus, for example, it has been 
statistically established by M.\ Guerry\footnote{See Athen\ae um, No.\ 303.}, 
that in certain parts of France, crimes against property are more predominant 
than in others; and it has been further shown that these provinces were 
precisely those where education most abounded.  Hence it was inferred that 
education was a cause of the commission of this species of offence.  The fact 
thus ascertained is not the less a fact for having become the basis of an 
illogical conclusion: and subsequent reflexion showing that those provinces 
are likewise the richest and most active parts of the empire, renders it 
evident that the education and the crime are not cause and effect, but 
concurrent effects of a common cause.  The legitimate conclusion is, that 
in the rich provinces the matter of dishonesty is more abundant, and that, 
consequently, in the more usual language of morals, the temptation is greater.  
Such errors as these are of daily occurrence in the application of the best 
established laws; but they are particularly to be expected in the 
investigation of a subject so complicated as the moral nature of man.  
They are still, we repeat it, but so many steps to the discovery of the real 
relations of things: they are, in fact, errors necessary to the attainment 
of truth.

    The mode of investigation employed by M.\ Quetelet, in his estimate of 
the human faculties, is the same as that adopted in the formation of tables 
of mortality, which form the basis of life-insurance policies.  The particular 
subject being chosen, (suppose the weight of children at birth,) a 
considerable number of instances (and the more considerable the better) are 
taken, the individuals are weighed, and the result is entered in a tabular 
form, by which the extreme limits, the mean average, the proportion in which 
individuals deviate from it in various degrees, are easily ascertained.  
Every such item, moreover, is capable of being influenced by a variety of 
external causes; and the subject, accordingly, requires to be studied in 
relation to those causes; when all these have been examined, and the facts 
noted, the subject is exhausted, and the average conditions of that subject 
very rigorously demonstrated.

    Among the various particulars on which information is required, some are 
capable of direct reference to known standards, as of weight, measurement, 
monetary systems, \&c.: others are cognizable only by their effects.  Where 
these effects rare physical, we have only to adopt the admitted supposition 
that effects are proportionate to their causes, and an indirect measurement 
of this last class is no less easily attained than of the first; only greater 
attention is required in ascertaining the identity of the circumstances in 
which the forces to be measured are exerted.  With regard to moral qualities, 
the means of reducing them to calculation are less immediately obvious; and 
M.\ Quetelet is probably the first philosopher who has made the attempt.  
Wherever the manifestations of a moral quality are not purely physical, they 
cannot be the subjects of measurement.  The number of books or pictures 
produced is no test of the powers of the author.  So, the courage, the virtue, 
the prudence of different individuals cannot, by direct observation, be 
reduced to numbers.  The imputed absurdity of applying numbers to these cases, 
is thus treated by the author.

    Suppose two individuals in the daily opportunity of performing acts of 
courage with an equal facility; and suppose that, yearly, one of them performs 
500 such acts, and the other 300.  Now, though these acts may each have a 
different specific value, yet, (the two individuals being placed in like 
circumstances,) they may be regarded as collectively alike---in both cases.

    This being admitted, and also, that causes are as their effects, there 
will be no great want of reason in assigning to these individuals courage in 
the proportion of 500 to 300, or of 5:3; and this mode of appreciation would 
bear a greater character of truth in proportion as the observations extended 
over a greater number of years, and as the results varied within narrower 
limits.  The absurdity of such a calculation, then, must be looked for in the 
impossibility, first, of placing the two men in a position equally favourable 
to the manifestation of their courage; secondly, of taking an exact account 
of their conduct; and, thirdly, of collecting a sufficiency of such 
observations as would insure the least possible aberration from truth; or, 
in other words, the proportion is only absurd, in so far as its conditions 
are impossible to realize.

    But, suppose that these two individuals were Frenchmen, and represent, 
the one, the mass of Frenchmen between twenty-one and twenty-five years of 
age, and the other, those between thirty-five and forty; and suppose that 
instead of acts of courage, the question was concerning dishonesties, subject 
to the judgement of the criminal tribunals; then, there is reason for 
believing that the general tendency to theft is (in France), as regards men 
of these respective ages, in the proportion of five to three; and we may 
also conclude, that the men from twenty-one to thirty-five (who are, by the 
population returns, about as many as those from thirty-five to forty) are 
in possession of an equal facility in indulging their propensities to theft, 
and that the cases adjudged are of equal gravity in both instances. * * *

    In this case we may say then, first, that the individuals are very nearly 
placed in the same circumstances; secondly, that if we do not know the acts 
of theft they really commit, at least we know the probable ratio of their 
propensity; thirdly, that this ratio is the more worthy of confidence, 
because it is the result of many years observations, and that it varies 
annually within very narrow limits. * *  We may, therefore, regard, as highly 
probable, that the disposition towards theft of our two individuals, is very 
nearly what theory represents it, at least as regards France in its actual 

    If then, in a more perfect condition of society than the present, the 
same pains were taken to register acts of courage and virtue, as now are 
taken with acts of criminality, would not the means exist of measuring the 
relative degrees of these qualities at the different epochs of life?  The 
imputed absurdity, therefore, of attempting to determine this relation for 
the average man, is more apparent than real, and depends on the impossibility, 
at present existing in the actual conditions of society, of procuring the 
necessary elements for the calculation. *  *  *

    For the rest, it is sufficiently clear that this result could not be 
obtained by a direct comparison between two individuals, because the facts 
would not be numerous enough to warrant confidence in the conclusion, and 
because the individuals themselves might vary during the course of the 
examination.  This is not so with the abstract average man, concerning whom 
many observations may be collected in a short time.  We could not, by a 
comparison between two men, one of from twenty-one to twenty-five, the other 
from thirty-five to forty, determine their relative propensities to theft 
under equal circumstances, because this propensity might not have been 
revealed in a single overt act during the whole course of the observations; 
which is not so, when a large number of men of the same age are the subjects 
of examination.

    It is sufficiently obvious that, as these conclusions are not attainable 
by a direct examination of two individuals, so they are not applicable to an 
individual case of comparison.  If, for example, it were a question between 
two servants of twenty-five and of forty-five respectively, and that there 
were no other criterion of their honesty than that of their ages, it might 
be prudent to choose the elder man on the general principle; but the 
probability of error in doing so would be very great indeed.  But if, in the 
choice of a hundred servants, we were reduced to the same necessity, there is 
a probability of five to three that we should benefit by abiding by the rule.  
Although, therefor, the ascertained properties of the abstract average man 
can never be supposed to belong to any individual, this will still be the 
best rule for measuring the condition of society, as long as circumstances 
continue the same.

    Circumstances, however, change in the same societies with the lapse of 
ages, and are different in different societies; and in these instances, the 
average and abstract man will have qualities proportionally different.  
Philosophy, therefore, in its estimates of human nature has need of a 
repetition of the steps of the process; and, as it judges of a society by 
observations on the constituent individuals, so, to obtain a perfect 
knowledge of human nature, it must compare societies in all ages and climes.  
For constructing tables to this end, not even the smallest elements yet exist.

    We have only further to observe that, in this search after the average 
man, there is nothing new.  The very phrase, ``human nature,'' implies that 
there is a nature common to all, and distinct from that which exists in each 
individual, and such words as \textit{dwarf, giant, precocity, genius}, \&c., 
implying exception, imply also a rule to which that exception refers.  The 
novelty, if novelty there be, lies only in the attempt to substitute precision 
for vagueness, and in seeking in direct observations for the characteristics 
which have heretofore been principally deduced, \textit{\`a priori}, from
theoretical principles.

    From a consideration of these preliminaries, such of our readers as have 
honoured them with an attentive perusal (however previously unacquainted with 
the subject) will be able to form some estimate of the vast importance of the 
work under consideration---of the large field of inquiry it has opened---
and of the value of the conclusions that may be drawn from it in the business 
of education, legislation, and in the many estimates of conduct and 
contingencies connected with the daily concerns of life.  For example, in 
the case of an inquest on a child, found dead, when it is desirable to 
ascertain the fact of its having been born alive, and at the full term of 
gestation, as a preliminary to a judgement on the probable guilt of the 
mother in abandoning it, an increase of security would be attained, if, in 
addition to the purely physiological circumstances to be collected from 
inspection, were adduced the comparison of its weight and stature with 
those assigned to the average child at the hour of birth of the country in 
question.  So, likewise, if a man be found killed, and nothing decided 
offers itself to explain the fact, the known average ratio of suicides to 
murders in the general population, would indicate the degree of probability 
of his having destroyed himself: and the ratio of suicides in persons of the 
same age and sex as the victim would give an additional degree of precision 
to the conclusion.  In France, the ratio of suicides to murders is as 48:20, 
or nearly as 5:2.  Supposing, therefore, that there are marks of violence on 
a French corpse, which might have arisen equally form either cause, it is 
five to two that no murder has been committed; but if the victim is of an 
age at which suicides are rare, the probability of murder would be increased; 
whereas, in the contrary case, of the age being that at which suicides are 
most frequent, the probability would be much reduced.

    This probability may perhaps be thought very insufficient ground for a 
decision of the whole case; but as a \textit{probability}, to be set against 
\textit{any other probability} in the attendant circumstances, it is entitled 
to weight.

    In a subsequent notice we propose to enter more minutely into the details 
of these very interesting volumes.

From \textit{The Athen\ae um} 15 August 1835, pp. 611--613


\textit{On Man, and the Developement of his Faculties, \&c.}---[\textit{Sur 
l'Homme et le  D\'eveloppe\-ment de ses Facul\'s \&c.}]  By A. Quetelet, 
Secretary to the Royal Academy of Brussels.  2 vols.

  [Second Notice.]

IN our former notice of these volumes, it was attempted to convey to the 
general reader an insight into the philosophical principles, on which the 
author has proceeded in his inquiries.  We shall now notice some of the more 
striking results; first, however, promising a word concerning the value of 
statistical tables, or the credit which is due to their conclusions.  The 
doctrine of probabilities depending on the domain of constant causes over 
those which are variable and accidental, it follows that the number of 
instances to be compared must be considerable, before any conclusion can be 
obtained that is worthy of confidence.  At every extension of the data, the 
value of the consequence rises; and, all other circumstances being equal, 
M.\ Quetelet states that the probability of truth is as the square of the 
number of observations.  The value of a table is likewise affected by the 
skill and accuracy of the observer by whom it is constructed; a bad 
observation being capable of leading to positive error, which is worse than 
absolute ignorance.  Of these sources of doubt, it is to be observed, that 
the insufficiency of data is a circumstance that declares itself; and the 
reader has only to carry in his mind the relative number of instances stated 
in any two discordant tables, to decide on their respective trustworthiness.  
The comparative accuracy of different observers can only be collected from 
internal evidence of the pains taken to avoid error, and of the general 
capabilities of the parties.

    Although every new series of observations must necessarily add to our 
knowledge, either by coinciding with and strengthening foregone conclusions, 
or by widening the field of inquiry, or by placing it in new points of view, 
yet any considerable series that exhibits a mean result from which the 
maximum and minimum departure is in no case very wide, may be regarded, with 
safety, as offering a near approach to the truth.  This probability is much 
increased, when the average of tables, constructed under various 
circumstances, and by different observers, coincide, or differ only by 
trifling quantities.  In the first tables quoted by the author, it appears 
from an examination of fourteen millions and a half of births registered in 
France during a lapse of fourteen years, that the average number of male 
births to female was as 106.38 to 100, and that the annual departure from 
their mean result was extremely trifling.  The accuracy of this average is, 
therefore, highly probable; and the justice of this inference is still further 
confirmed by another table, in which thirty of the southern departments only 
were tried, and the result found was 105.95 to 100---a deviation from 106.38 
remarkably small.

    But when the author proceeds to inquire into the effect of climate on a 
more extended scale, in influencing the proportion of the sexes born in 
different countries, he is obliged to depend upon data taken from different 
sources, and, in all probability, of very unequal accuracy; the condition is 
thereby divested of some degree of \textit{prima facie} likelihood.  It 
appears, however, that in a table embracing sixteen of the different states of 
Europe, collected from different authorities, the average result is exactly as 
106 to 100; and this close approximation to the cipher afforded by the French 
tables, re-establishes our confidence in the fidelity of the process.  It may 
be concluded from this and other similar instances, when every care has been 
taken to reject such documents as are manifestly erroneous, and to use the 
best evidence attainable of statistical facts, that the smaller differences 
in the value of tables, arising out of a more or less accurate registration, 
will balance and neutralize each other, and may be safely disregarded.  
Although, therefore, the mental qualities, opportunities, \&c. of different 
observers are elements not subject to numerical estimation, yet, like, any 
other accidental and disturbing causes, they will disappear, whenever the 
series of observations is sufficiently extended.  All, then, that is 
necessarily to the attainment of truth, is the adequate multiplication of 
observations, under every imaginable variation of circumstance, until an 
average is obtained from the whole, from which the individual departures 
lie within the narrowest limits.

    M.\ Quetelet commences his researches by the investigation of physical 
facts, as being most easily appreciable in numbers.  After examining the 
general proportion of male to female births, he proceeds to inquire into the 
the external circumstances by which this proportion may be partially affected; 
and it appears, from a number of male births is relatively less predominant 
in cities than in agricultural districts, and less too among illegitimate 
than legitimate children.  A table, constructed by Mr.\ Babbage, of 
observations made in France, Naples, Prussia, Westphalia, and Montpelier, 
gives a mean average of 105.75 boys to every 100 girls born in wedlock; 
while to the same number of female illegitimates, the males are but as 
102.50 to 100.

    Of still-born children, the proportion of boys predominates over that 
of girls; and that of illegitimate over legitimate children.  At Gottingen 
the still-born legitimates were 3 per cent.\ on the whole births; while that 
of the illegitimates extended to 15 per cent.  The probable causes of this 
disparity are the agitation of the mother's passions during pregnancy, the 
greater physical and social difficulties of her situation, the low rank in 
life in which this species of vice predominates, together with the greater 
probability of direct efforts to produce abortion.  The fact is a striking 
illustration of the penal consequences, with which nature itself has 
surrounded sexual impurity, and of the decided worldly advantage attendant 
on the observance of the moral law.

    In Chapter V.\ our author takes up the subject of mortality.  In the 
north of Europe one death occurs for 41.1 inhabitants; in the centre, for 
40.8; in the south, for 33.7.  But, if England be excluded, the mortality 
of central Europe would be the lowest; indicating the general superior 
wholesomeness of temperate climates.  Excess of heat seems to be a cause 
of shortening human life; but it must not be forgotten that in the countries 
near the line, a defective civilization combines with temperature to 
exaggerate the results.

    Upon the value of the average duration of life, in determining the 
relative prosperity of nations, M.\ Quetelet has some excellent remarks:- 
``It may be said, that a nation is increasing in prosperity when it produces 
fewer citizens, but preserves them longer.  This condition is entirely to 
the advantage of the population; for if the numbers born are smaller, the 
useful subjects are more abundant, and the generations are not so frequently 
renewed, to the injury of the state.''

    ``Man, in his early years, lives at the expense of society.  He contracts 
a debt, to be repaid at a future day; and if he does not live to discharge 
it, his existence has been a burthen to his country.  To estimate this 
expense, it is sufficient to state that a child, from its birth till it 
attains to twelve or sixteen years, cost in the year 1821, in the hospitals 
of the Low Countries, 1110 francs\footnote{This sum is inexplicably small.  
It probably is the average cost of the entire inmates of these establishments,
of whom a large majority die in the first years of their admission};-- say, 
however, only 1000 francs.  Every individual, then, who survives infancy, 
contracts a sort of debt, which cannot, at least, be less than 1000 
francs---the sum thus paid by society for each infant, when abandoned to 
charity.  In France the annual births amount to 960,000, of which 9/20 die, 
before attaining to a serviceable maturity.  These 430,000 unfortunates may 
be considered as so many strangers, who, without fortune or industry, take 
part in the general consumption, and depart without leaving any other trace 
of their passage, save eternal regrets.  The \textit{expense of their 
maintenance, without  reckoning the time they have pre-occupied, represents 
the enormous sum of} 432 \textit{millions of francs}.  If we consider, on 
the other hand, the grief that such losses must occasion, which no human 
sacrifice can compensate, it will be perceived how important a subject they 
afford to the consideration of the legislator and philosopher.  It cannot be 
too often repeated, that the propensity of states consists less in the 
multiplication, than in the preservation of their component members.''

    This reflection gives a new item in the long account between mankind 
and their governors, on the score of useless wars, by which so many are 
cut off at the moment of their incipient utility, and the greatest possible 
waste is occasioned of the national resources.  In connection with this 
subject, we quote a remark of the author, that ``there exists a fixed 
relation between mortality and fecundity, or that the number of births is 
regulated by that of the deaths.'' In a certain sense this is true; for, 
supposing an epidemic to have thinned a population, it is to be presumed 
that the next generation will marry earlier and in greater numbers: but, 
as a general proposition, it should seem that the deaths are rather to be 
considered as a dependency on the births, than as a cause of their increase.  
One great cause of a large mortality in any population, is the hardship 
which surrounds infancy, among the lower classes.  Now, such hardship must 
obviously increase, as the circumstances of the poor deteriorate, and 
\textit{vice vers\^a}.  But an undue increase of population is a leading
cause of this deterioration; and, therefore, an excessive increase in the 
cipher of births, will generally produce a corresponding increase in the 
cipher of deaths.  In this matter, however, when all things are considered, 
there may be a recurrent cycle of causes and effects.

    ``At Vareggio, (says M.\ Bossi, in his `Statistique du D\'epartment de
l'Ain,') in the principality of Lucca, a small number of inhabitants, in a 
deplorable state of misery and barbarity, were from time immemorial annually 
attacked with intermittents.  But in the year 1741 sluices were constructed 
to oppose the entrance of the sea into the low lands, which had been 
previously flooded on the recurrence of high tides and tempests, the marshes 
disappeared, and with them the fevers; and at present this canton is one of 
the healthiest, most industrious, and richest spots on the Tuscan coast; 
and the vigour, longevity, and moral character of the people, are all 
proportionately improved.''

    ``So also,'' according to M.\ Villerm, `in the Isle of Ely, from 1813 
to 1830, of 10,000 deaths of all ages, 4731 occurred before the attainment 
of the tenth year; while in the other agricultural districts the average was 
but 3505: and between the ages of ten and forty, the deaths in Ely were 3712, 
while the general average, as before, was only 3142.''

    Here is to be observed, the concurrence of a direct morbific cause of 
mortality, with an indirect social agency, dependent on the poverty and 
destitution of the population.  In this case, it is likely that the malaria, 
in carrying off its contingent, merely supplied the place of a variety of 
other diseases, the usual concomitants of hardship, which would have acted, 
had the population been simply overstocked, and the district been naturally 
healthy.  Accordingly, the same author, from a series of observations made 
at Paris, has come to a conclusion, that wealth and poverty in the different 
arrondissements of that city, are more influential upon the duration of life, 
than all the circumstances together which may be considered as capable of 
affecting the climate of specific localities.

    In his inquiries on the influence of sex upon mortality, M.\ Quetelet 
states that ``there exists a peculiar cause of mortality, which presses on 
male infants before and immediately after birth.  Of the still-born, the 
number of males is as 3 to 2; while, between birth and the completion of the 
two first months, the mortality is as 4 to 3, nearly; and during the three 
following months as 5 to 4.

    ``From fourteen to eighteen, the mortality of females increases; between 
twenty-one and twenty-six, that of the male; and from twenty-six to thirty 
(the average epoch of marriage,) the deaths are equal; but during the period 
of fecundity, the female mortality again sensibly increases; and after that 
time it again diminishes, so that the deaths of the two sexes subsequently 
occur in the proportion to the respective actual numbers then surviving.''

    From those results, it may be concluded that the law of developement, 
in the two sexes, is not precisely the same, a fact of which we have 
physiological evidence.  There is nothing in external circumstances, to 
explain the early mortality of the males.  The increasing mortality of 
females, towards puberty, is more easily accounted for, partly by 
physiological causes, and partly by errors in the management of female 
youth.  The decrease of mortality among old women is probably a consequence 
of the stronger animals only surviving the accidents of earlier life.

    In touching on the influence of peace and war, M.\ Quetelet justly 
remarks, that statistical tables may lead to false conclusions, if employed 
without due consideration.  Of two countries, for example, in a state of war, 
one may suffer during its continuance by actual losses in battle, fatigue, 
and privations, and by a consequent diminution in the chances of marriage, 
or in the importation of corn; while another may not be sensibly affected by 
any of these calamities.  Mr.\ Sadler, deceived by the statistical tables 
concerning England, is led to deny the influence of war; whereas a comparative 
table of deaths, births, and marriages for Belgium and Holland, during ten 
years before, and ten years after the peace of 1814, shows that the precise 
reverse was the truth in that country.

    With respect to the influence of wealth on mortality, Mons.\ Quetelet 
notices the fact, ``that of the persons insured at the Equitable Society, 
a class eminently at its ease, only one in 81.5 died during the year 1800; 
while, on the contrary, among the black slave population, one out of every 
five or six perish annually; the general mortality of the negro soldiers in 
the British army being only one in 33.3.''

    On this head, the author most judiciously observes, ``the word riches 
requires explanation.  A great abundance of wealth is often only a means of 
indulging the passions in excess.  The most favourable condition of a people 
is that which affords it the real means of providing for the real wants of 
nature, without intemperance, and without the creation of fictitious wants.  
In general, therefore, as Mons.\ de Tracy observes,\footnote{Commentary on 
Montesquieu's `Esprit des Lois,' chap.\ xvi.---We take the opportunity of 
recommending this work, of a profound and original thinker, to the English
public.  Whether a translation would \textit{pay}, may be a matter of doubt;
but a translation is wanting to our literature; and some one of the 
knowledge-diffusing political societies could not employ its money to more
advantage than by undertaking the task.} the people are, in this 
sense, richer in nations that are counted poor, than in those esteemed 
wealthy.  In England, the richest of nations, a large portion of the 
population subsists on charity.  The rich provinces of Flanders, in like 
manner, count more paupers than Luxembourg, a province where great fortunes 
are rare, but where the population at large is in a state of ease.  The 
same is the case with Switzerland, and generally with most agricultural 
countries.''\footnote{We forebear to draw the political consequences of
this statistical truth.  They merit, however, the serious attention of a
nation in which so many institutions tend powerfully to promote the 
concentration of property into a few hands.}

    At page 220 are some curious facts respecting the influence 
of professions on mortality, collected by Dr.\ Caspar, of Berlin, from which 
it appears, that ``head work is more injurious than bodily labour; but that 
the combination of the two is the most wearing.  A sedentary life, free 
from all excesses, is, on the contrary, the condition most favourable to 
life.'' ``Of all professions, that of a physician, according to Dr.\ 
Caspar, is the most wearing; while that of the divine occupies the other 
extreme of the scale.  Of 100 divines, 42 reached 70 years and upwards---of 
100 physicians, 24 only attained that age.---Of a thousand deaths, between 
the ages of 23 and 62 inclusive, the years of greatest professional activity, 
there were---of physicians, 601---of divines, 345.

    In p.\ 233, is a table taken from the observations of Messrs.\ Baumann 
and S\"ussmilch, showing that the deaths of illegitimate children born who
arrive at maturity, are, to that of the legitimate, as 12.3 to 7; and it 
further is collected, that not more than a tenth of the illegitimate 
children born arrive at maturity.  Mons.\ Benoiston de Chateauneuf, in his
Considerations on Foundlings, is quoted at p.\ 233, for the astounding fact, 
that of 19,420 foundlings received during 20 years into the hospital at 
Dublin,\footnote{See report of the proceedings of the Statistical Section of
the British Association, in this day's \textit{Athen\ae um}.} only two 
thousand were remaining alive at the end of that term.  The following, taken 
from the tables of Mons.\ Gouroff, is conclusive as to the mischievous effect 
of Foundling Hospitals on the morals of a people: ``Mayenne, from 1799 to 
1811, had no establishment were taken indiscriminantly; and in that period, 
thirty infants only were exposed.  Napoleon established a `\textit{tour},' or 
machine for receiving children, without discovering the exposer; and between 
November 1811 and March 1815 (when the Duke of Hesse Darmstadt suppressed it) 
516 infants were received.  In the nine following years, the number of exposed 
was again reduced to nine.  The same authority states, ``that the mortality in 
foundling hospitals is frightful, while infanticide is scarcely prevented by 
their institutions, and that the destruction of human life they occasion is 
out of all proportion to the numbers they rescue.''

    From certain tables of helpful practice in England, it appears that there 
dies one patient in 16---In the H\^otel Dieu one in 6.8---In the Pit\'e one
in 8.2---In the Imperial Hospital, Petersburg, one in 4.5---In San Mateo, at 
Pavia, one in 10.7---In the clinical wards of Prof.\ Tommasini, at Bologna, 
one in 7.7.

    On this subject, Mr.\ Hawkins states that the relative mortality rarely 
depends on the treatment.  A friend took notes of the mortality under three 
physicians, in the same hospital.  One was an eclectic, one an expectant 
practitioner, and the third a follower of the tonic system.  The mortality 
was the same in each instance; but the duration of the diseases, and the 
nature of their convalescence differed very widely.  It is probable that 
a more extended table would make the deaths more proportionate to the 
protracted duration of the convalescencies.

    Relative to the effect of institutions on mortality, we find that at 
Velvorde, a Belgian prison, there died in 1802, one prisoner in 1.27 [!] 
of the mean population of the establishment---while, in 1817, the deaths 
were reduced to one in 30.36.  ``One may judge,'' says Mons.\ Quetelet, 
``from what has been stated, whether man, delivered to himself, and 
yielding to every excess, could, in any state of society, aggravate his 
mortality more, than a negligent and ignorant administration has often 
done.  Never, in the most dreadful plagues, in the most destructive wars, 
was the mortality equal to that at Velvorde, at the beginning of the century.''

    On the general question of population, Mons.\ Quetelet agrees very closely 
with the views of Malthus, which he reduces to the following formul\ae :-
``Population tends to increase in a geometrical ratio.  The sum of the 
obstacles, which are opposed to this tendency is, \textit{c\ae teris 
paribus}, as the square of the rapidity of actual increase,''---another 
instance of the analogy often found to subsist between mechanical laws and 
those which govern human action.  ``Never, therefore, can population advance 
so rapidly as to strike with violence upon its utmost possible limit.  In 
approaching that limit, the obstacles must multiply too rapidly to admit of a 
shock.  Nature will, it is true, levy her tribute of deaths in proportion to 
the nearness of approach; but, that debt being paid in detail, it will be 
sensible than if levied at once.''

    This is the actual state of most European populations.  A large tribute 
of deaths is taken, by crime and privation, but destructive famines are rare.  
Among many curious and refined observations respecting the the inferences to 
be drawn from the population, we find the following:---

    ``There is a difficulty which merits particular attention, for the 
importance of its solution to many questions of statistics and political 
economy; it relates to the inquiry whether two populations may not have the 
same ratio of births to deaths, and yet have two different durations of 
life resulting from a difference in the order of mortality, in relation to 
the ages of the defunct.

    ``Suppose, for greater simplicity, the same people to have annually 
the same number of births and deaths, if, at the end of one year a table 
were constructed, the average mean duration of life might perhaps be 
thirty years.  The next year, the mortality occurring in the same manner, 
and in the same proportions, would give the same result.  But if the list 
of deaths for the second year, a child of one year old were substituted 
for a man of forty, which would not alter the ratio of deaths to births, 
the mean average of life would be shorter, because there would be a loss 
of thirty-nine years.  But by this change, thought the mean average was 
lessened, society would be a gainer; because a useful man was preserved 
in place of an expensive infant.

    ``This serves to prove how much we should be on our guard against 
calculations of the mean duration of life, made on a small number of annual 
observations, and concerning a people either prospering or declining.''

    It shows, too, the folly of depending on this criterion alone, for 
estimating the prosperity of a nation.

    The subject of population concludes the first volume.  The contents of 
the second and more important, we shall reserve for a third notice.

From \textit{The Athen\ae um}, 29 August 1835, pp. 658--661.


\textit{On Man, and the Developement of his Faculties, \&c.}---[\textit{Sur 
l'Homme et le  D\'eveloppe\-ment de ses Facut\'es \&c.}]  By A. Quetelet, 
Secretary to the Royal Academy of Brussels.  2 vols.

  [Third Notice.]

PASSING over such parts of M.\ Quetelet's work as treat of certain 
physiological properties of man, such as his stature, weight, physical 
force, \&c., in favour of newer and more interesting matter, we arrive at 
his chapters on the `Developement of the Moral and Intellectual Qualities.'  
This, which is the most original part of the essay, presents phenomena of 
great interest to society---phenomena which, in this country at least, have 
hitherto been little studies; but which are now occupying considerable 
attention among statistical inquirers.

    The first chapter treats of the developement of the intellectual 
faculties, and commences with an account of the mode in which the author 
proposes to investigate the facts.

    The field (he observes) is immense; and, in the present state of the 
science, little more can be offered than a few simple indications, which 
may serve as land-marks to denote the first attempts at taking possession 
of the subject. * * * The intellectual faculties can only be appreciated 
by their effects, that is, by the actions or works they produce.  In 
attributing to a nation, as to an individual, all the works which it has 
produced, we may judge of its fecundity and intellectual force, as compared 
with those of any other nation; abstraction being however made of the 
obstacles which have impeded their respective energies.  Then, again, by 
taking an account of the ages at which the several authors produced these 
works, we have the necessary elements for estimating the law under which 
their intellectual powers were developed.  To render this knowledge more 
precise, a classification should be made of the different sorts of 
productions, such as musical, mathematical, literary, philosophic, \&c., by 
which we may arrive at the general conclusion.  The inquiry should be 
extended from nation to nation to determine how far the developement of the 
faculties is affected by the influence of localities.

    As an example of what may be effected in this way, the author tries the 
dramatic talent of France and England by observations on the 
chefs-d'\oe uvre of forty-seven French authors, and twenty-four English, 
taken respectively from `Picard's Repertoire,' and the `British Theatre.'  
In attributing to the works of these authors equal literary value, there 
is an obvious inaccuracy; but, though they all vary amongst each other in 
poetic merit, \&c., yet it is to be supposed that the variation is not 
greater on the French side, than on the English; and that, therefore, the 
accuracy of the general conclusion is not affected by the error.  The whole 
works of these authors are arranged in tabular form, and from this table it 
appears that, in both countries, the dramatic talent does not show itself 
before the age of twenty; that between twenty-five and thirty, it exists 
in considerable intensity, and goes on increasing till fifty or fifty-five.  
From that age it undergoes a sudden and abrupt declension, which would be 
more marked, if the quality of the works were taken into consideration, as 
well as their numbers.  In comparing the two nations, there is an apparent 
advantage on the side of England, on the point of superior precocity; but 
this, the author is inclined to attribute to the manner in which the numbers 
were obtained, and to the difficulty which French authors have experienced 
in getting their works represented in the theatre.

    Another curious fact (says Mons.\ Quetelet), obtained from the tables 
which I have constructed, is, that tragic talent shows itself earlier than 
comic.  The finest comedies on the French stage were not produced till the 
authors had attained to between thirty-eight and forty years of age, nor is 
there a single work belonging to \textit{la haute Com\'edie}, which was 
written earlier than at thirty.

    The author appears to attribute this relative precocity of tragic talent 
to its nearer connexion with the epoch of exultation of the passions; but, 
to us, it seems clear, that comedy, turning, as it does, on the ridicules 
of society, requires a longer knowledge of the world, and a better-worked 
intellect, for its production, than tragedy---which depends chiefly on that 
which is most general in human nature, and may be learned from books.

    In order to determine the point (he adds), the best method would be, to 
trace the law which governs the developement of talent in respect to music, 
painting, and whatever else tends to call the passions into play; and to 
study,  on the other hand, those faculties which seem the least connected 
with imagination and the passions.  It will appear in the subsequent pages, 
that the age of twenty-five is the epoch of the maximum energy of the 
passions; so that, if there be an art which depends on that energy, and does 
not require great previous acquirements, its maximum must also appear about 
the age of twenty-five.  The intellectual faculties arise, increase and 
decline in the progress of life; and each attains its maximum at a determinate 
epoch.  It would be important to determine the extreme limits of this 
scale---namely, the faculty which arrives the first to maturity, and that 
which is the latest at its maximum; because these would necessarily be simple, 
and totally independent of all collateral causes.

    Under the head of mental alienation, it is remarked, that ``if it be 
true that lunacy follows the developement of the intelligence, that fact 
will afford a measure of the accuracy of the preceding conclusions.  We 
have already seen that between thirty and fifty is the epoch of maximum 
dramatic production in France: it is also the epoch that produces the most 
numerous and obstinate cases of mental alienation.  The intellect commences 
its developement at twenty-five, the time when the physical developement is 
completed.  At this period also commences the maximum tendency to crime.''  
On this subject, the author adds, in a note, ``I am of the opinion, that the 
causes which tend to produce mental alienation, influence also the number of 
crimes, especially those against the person.  There is not, however, any 
direct numerical relation between the two quantities, because crimes are 
committed through other influences than that of insanity.''

    In page 130, vol.\ 2, mention is made of a work on insanity by Mons.\ 
Fabret, from which the following conclusions are drawn:---

    The number of female lunatics is about one-third more than that of males.  
The month of July is the period of most frequent attack for the females, 
while it is the third only in the scale, as applicable to man.  There is 
about a fourth more bachelors than married men insane.  Males are chiefly 
attacked between thirty and thirty-nine, women between forty and forty-nine.  
Melancholy predominates among women, a tendency towards suicide among men.

    The second chapter treats on the developement of moral qualities, a 
subject hitherto nearly untouched.  To estimate this element in any of its 
particulars (as, for instance, in what relates to prudence), recourse must 
be had to an appreciation of the overt acts which each quality originates.  
To proceed with the inquiry, the greatest number of instances possible should 
be collected, due attention being paid to the identity of position of the 
several parties.  In the choice of these materials, their classification 
and discussion, the greatest sagacity and rectitude of intention is necessary.  
The first observers would probably fall into many errors; but, even errors 
would not be useless to the future inquirers, provided candour and 
impartiality presided over the investigation: but the conducting such 
researches under the influence of preconceived ideas, would be a fatal 
impediment to the progress of the science.  If accurate information could 
be obtained of the statistics of savings banks, insurance-offices of all 
sorts, and all other institutions which have foresight for their object, 
and if the documents contained the ages, sexes, and professions, \&c., 
of the individuals who availed themselves of the institutions, enough would 
be known to make an approximate solution of the question.  In aid of these 
sources of information might be applied (under the necessary precautions) 
whatever could be gathered concerning the number and value of objects 
deposited with pawnbrokers, which would afford a sort of measure for the 
improvidence, as well of the distress, of the people.  The number of 
bankruptcies, tippling-house, gaming-tables, \&c., might be brought also to 
throw light on the subject.  The author quotes the table constructed by 
Mr.\ Babbage of drunkards brought before the police of London in 1832; 
from this table (as far as it can be relied upon), we may set down the 
female tipplers of London to the males as being two to three, a dreadful 
conclusion against the morality of the lower classes of women.\footnote{``It
requires to have been long an inhabitant of London,'' says M.\ Quetelet,
``and to be well acquainted with its peculiarities, to be able to draw
the proper conclusions from such numbers as these.''  The remark is of great
importance.  In the case before us, the numbers quoted are those of the
two sexes respectively \textit{taken up} for drunkenness by the police.
These embrace only the more profligate class, who are abroad in the streets
at undue hours; and of these, the number of men and women are probably in 
somewhere about the ratio above given.  Without the knowledge of this fact,
a very false inference would be drawn from the cipher.}

    In directing inquiry to the industry and productive faculties of a nation, 
any defect in positive information might be supplied from a consideration of 
the value of its revenues, the nature of the taxes, the imports and exports, 
the price of land, and the rate of wages; and, above all, the state of the 
population.  From these sources it appears, that France, as compared with 
England, is less peopled, has fewer inhabitants of cities, and fewer 
manufacturers.  The revenue of England is double that of France, and its 
exports, population for population, three to one.  In Europe, Russia excepted 
(and Ireland also), the numbers employed in agriculture are per square mile 
nearly equal throughout; the surplus production of each nation must therefore 
indicate the state of its manufacturing industry, or nearly so.

    The statistics of charitable institutions form a branch of this inquiry, 
but the author was compelled to pass it over, for want of the necessary 

    Under the head of Moral Developement, Mons.\ Quetelet places his 
observations on suicides and duels.  There is to be remarked (says our 
author, commenting upon the tables he produces, relative to these acts), 
a fearful agreement in the results of different years; and this uniformity 
extends to all crimes in general.  He notices, however, in a note, the 
tendency of imitation to produce temporary changes in the modes of suicide.  
The same observation might likewise be applied to all actions that are 
attended with extraordinary circumstances; of which the offence of Burking 
affords a remarkable instance.

    As might be expected from what has been said of mental alienation, the 
summer season is marked by an increase in suicides.  According to Dr.\ 
Casper, the suicides in cities are to those in the country, \textit{c\ae teris 
paribus}, as 14 to 4.  In Berlin, the male suicides were to the females as 
5 to 1.  According to the `Recherces Statistiques de Paris,' the ratio is 
nearly as 2 to 1.  These deviations from a common average, are too wide to 
allow of any general deduction, except that of referring them to a difference 
in the moral condition of females in the different cities.

    From M.\ Fairet's work the author deduces, that of male suicides (we 
presume in Paris), the largest number are bachelors; of female suicides, the 
larger number are married, which may be justly explained by the greater number 
of evils which sexual errors bring with them in society on the female.  Of 
suicides under fifteen years of age, the females double the number of males.  
With reference to the means of destruction, the males prefer the pistol and 
the knife; women prefer poison, voluntary falls from elevated places, and 
suffocation by charcoal.

    Chapter III.\ treats of the general nisus to crime.  In this chapter 
Mons.\ Quetelet goes over a great deal of ground which we have already 
discussed with our readers in our review of Mons.\ Guerry's `Essai sur la 
Statistique Morale de la France.'  It may however be necessary to state, 
that Mons.\ Quetelet's first work on the Statistics of Crime appeared before 
the publication of this Essay.  Supposing men to be placed in equal 
circumstances, the greater or less possibility of their committing crime 
constitutes this nisus.  Mons.\ Quetelet's object is to determine the 
influence of the seasons, of climate, sex, and age, upon this datum.  In 
a note (p. 164) he quotes an article on the statistics of crime, by M.\ 
Adolphe de Candolle, of Geneva, which states the disposition to crime to 
be composed of the relative morality of the individual---the temptation to 
which he is exposed---and the facility attendant on the commission of the 
specific offence: of these, he says, the first belongs to the individual, 
and the other two to externals.  The distinction may have its value in 
certain points of view; but even individual morality is derived in part 
from society, as well through precept as through example.  All the world 
is aware of the sudden and appalling degradation which follows the 
incarceration of young offenders among the veterans in crime.

    In judging the general disposition to crime from the returns of criminal 
tribunals, it is scarcely necessary to state, that the constancy of the 
ratio between known and undiscovered offences, must be taken for granted.  
This will, of course, vary in different states of society, and under 
different judicial arrangements.  It must differ also with respect to 
different crimes; for all do not provoke an equal vigilance on the part of 
society to repress them.  With respect to the same country, and civilized 
condition, however, these elements may be taken as constant, and therefore 
may be disregarded: of the safety of overlooking them, the constancy of 
the results hitherto obtained is an additional guarantee.

    In France, it appears from the \textit{Comptes g\'en\'eraux de
l'administration de  la Justice}, that during four years preceding 1830, there 
was an average of one accusation in 4,463 inhabitants.  Of 100 accused, 
there were 61 convictions; and, as these averages have, on repeated 
observation, been found to be remarkably constant, it becomes highly 
probable that they very nearly represent the true state of criminality 
of the country, and that safe indications may be drawn from them, as to 
what may be expected in the future.

    This possibility (Mons.\ Quetelet feelingly remarks) of assigning 
beforehand the number of accused and condemned, which any community may 
expect, is a matter of very serious reflection, since it involves the 
fate of thousands of individuals, who are impelled, in a manner that may 
be called irresistible, upon the tribunals and scaffolds that await them.

    The reflection applies alike to individuals and to legislative bodies: 
over both, the horrible notion of public vengeance still holds too powerful 
a sway; and the sentiment which inspires it is the more carefully to be 
guarded against, because it is instinctive,--- a part of those brute 
instincts, which require all the instincts of reason to keep in check: 
the wise alone are truly merciful.

    Subsequently to the author's writing the chapter under consideration, 
two more volumes of the 'Comptes Rendus' of the French tribunals have 
appeared, including the years 1830,1.  After giving, in a note, the general 
result of this additional information, Mons.\ Quetelet remarks upon it, that 
the revolution has made but a trifling difference in the numbers of accused.  
The number of acquitted is a little increased; and the same alteration has 
occurred likewise in Belgium, where institutions have been equally popularized.

    In comparing the criminal returns of France and Belgium, a circumstance 
is mentioned worthy of observation.  In the trials for offences against 
property in Belgium, the acquittals are to the condemnations as 16 to 84, 
or 1 to 5 nearly; while in France they were as 39 to 61, or nearly 3 to 5.  
In France, the trials are before a jury: in Belgium, before judges.  The 
probability, therefore, is that the want of skill of jurymen\footnote{The 
operations of the jury in France are not yet conducted with all that 
\textit{tact}, which a long experience has given to the jurymen of England.
It is probable, likewise, that the forced unanimity of English juries tends
to produce a salutary rigour, where the punishments are not disproportioned
to the offence.  We, ourselves, at least, are inclined to believe, that there
exists among Frenchmen a sickly sentimentality on the subject of estimating
evidence against the accused, which is not manifested in the verdicts of
Englishment.} in sifting evidence may explain a part of this great difference: 
but it is probable that a superior caution in admitting accusations on slight 
probabilities, may also go for something.

    In examining the question of the influence of professions, education, 
\&c., on crime, a relative table of crimes against person and property in 
France for the years 1828--9 is quoted, distinguishing four degrees of 
education from zero to the highest.  The result shows, that the educated 
commit more crimes of violence, in proportion to their offences against 
property, than the illiterate: the difference being respectively 
$\frac{1}{2.6}$ and $\frac{1}{3.2}$.  It does not, however, appear, whether 
this should be taken as an inference against education, or, what is infinitely 
more probable, as a consequence of the few offences against property committed 
by the upper and middle classes of society.  Want of space precludes our 
following the author through the very interesting details with which he 
pursues this inquiry.

    The discussions into which M.\ Quetelet enters respecting the influence 
of race, afford little or nothing for extract.  Of all the different causes 
which operate on social life, that is, perhaps, the one most difficult to 
trace, with any practical effect; the populations of modern Europe being 
so mixed and amalgamated, that little of positive can be concluded concerning 

    On the influence of the seasons on crime (in France), M.\ Quetelet 
gives the following \textit{r\'esum\'e}---

    The epoch of the maximum of crimes against persons coincides nearly with 
that of the minimum of crimes against property---namely, during the summer: 
in winter, the order is precisely reversed.  In January, the offences against 
property are nearly four times as numerous as those against the person; in 
June, they are only as 2 to 3.  This may be explained by the consideration 
that, in winter, distress and destitution are the most severely felt; whereas, 
in summer, the passions are in a state of excessive exaltation.

    As to the influence of sex, it appears that, in France, there are 
twenty-six accusations against females in every hundred for offences against 
property; in those against the person, the proportion is $\frac{16}{100}$: and 
it is further to be noted, that this ratio of 16 to 26 is that which subsists 
between the physical forces of the two sexes.  The particular inferences 
derivable from such general statements must, however, be subjected to a nice 
scrutiny in weighing all the details of difference in position, temptation, 
and defence, which surround the two sexes.  The same weakness and social 
dependence of the female on the male, and the same circumvallation of forms 
and etiquettes, which have a tendency to preserve a woman in the bosom of 
society from the commission of crimes, tell against her in causing an 
exaggeration of criminality, when once she has been driven to break through 
its lines, and becomes an outcast.

    Of all the causes which influence the nisus to crime, age is the most 
considerable.  The physical forces---the passions---the reason of man (the 
three elements which are most closely connected with the age of the subject), 
taken as data, will alone nearly suffice to determine at every epoch of life, 
what may be expected relative to the criminality of the population attaining 
to it.  The entrance into the career of criminality is naturally about the 
epoch at which the youth is compelled to assume self-dependence.  The 
corruptions, however, of the capital have advanced that epoch, for the 
children of the extreme poor and the abandoned: we therefore suspect that 
tables, modelled upon French society, would not coincide with those of London, 
and of the manufacturing districts of England.

    The proposition, so generally received, that poverty begets crime, Mons.\ 
Quetelet observes, requires modification.  The poorest provinces are often 
the most moral.  In confirmation of this, we can state, that dishonesty is a 
rare crime among the starving population of the south of Ireland.  This, in 
part, arises form the absence of the matter of criminality; and, in part, 
from the means of secreting and exchanging the stolen property.  A certain 
degree of movement in society is necessary to the prevalence of certain 

    In the fourth book, Mons.\ Quetelet enters upon his r\'esum\'e of the average
e man---that is, on the philosophy of the facts contained in the three 
preceding books.  The subject is not, he observes, a matter of mere idle 
speculation, since this ideal abstraction is the centre of gravity, on which 
the movement of society turns.

    In reference to the arts and literature, the consideration of the average 
man of the particular epochs and nations which afford the subjects of study, 
is a matter of known importance.  How false are those productions in which 
the author has overlooked the colouring and costume of the times, or the 
common attributes which distinguish one nation from another; and how 
necessary, on the other hand, is it to rise above these considerations, and 
to know what remains to average humanity, when all such local and temporary 
attributes are abstracted, in order that the protagonist, (placed under what 
circumstances he may,) shall still exhibit the feelings and passions of a 
man.  Of the necessity of referring to the average man in matters of art, we 
may refer to an article `On Certainty in Taste,' in the \textit{Athen\ae um} 
(No.\ 366), in which our correspondent has adopted some of the opinions of 
the author now before us.  In the development of art and literature, mankind 
have hitherto been content with such vague generalities, as are included in 
Horace's Art of Poetry; and even these have not always been made the most of.  
The love-sick heroes of the French tragedy are at total variance with the 
average man of Greece and Rome, which they are meant to represent.  We 
cordially agree with M.\ Quetelet, that, in the interest of art, there can 
be no harm in giving a greater precision to our ideas on this subject; but 
we are still inclined to think, that precision of knowledge is less a 
\textit{desideratum} in the present state of the arts, than discrimination 
in applying what is known.  The arts deal principally in generalities; and 
we doubt whether statistics will add materially to the resources of the 
Wilkies and the Walter Scotts.

    The value of statistical tables for determining the average man in 
relation to the natural and medical sciences, is self-evident.  All medical 
theories repose upon the supposition of such an abstraction; as all medical 
practice turns on the observation and calculation of the several divergencies 
from it, peculiar to each individual patient.  Hitherto the determination of 
the several attributes in health and in disease, of this ideal being, has 
been too vague and general, and medical theory consequently has been, and 
is, subject to endless and vexatious uncertainty and variation.

    Considering the average man in relation to the moral and intellectual 
attributes, Mons. Quetelet examines many points concerning the difference 
between the average man of a peculiar type and country, and the average 
type of humanity, with a view to determining in what particulars man is a 
stationary, and in what a perfectible, being.  This section of the work is 
full of curious and ingenious remark, and it will well repay the perusal.  
In the following opinion, however, we cannot exactly agree.  ``If,'' it is 
observed, ``an individual at any given epoch of society possessed all the 
qualities of the average man, he would represent all that is great, good, 
or beautiful.''  We question whether, in such a being, the springs of action 
would not be so accurately balanced as to neutralize each other.  The machine, 
we imagine, would want momentum, and its symmetry would want character.  
Our conception of the great, good, and beautiful, we rather think, contains, 
in a certain degree, the idea of excess; so that it is no play upon words to 
say, that the ``homme moyen'' would be a mediocre personage.  ``but,'' 
continues our author, ``this perfect identity cannot exist for individuals; 
they only resemble the average man in a few points;'' and the reason, as it 
appears to us, is, that certain attributes in their perfection are physical 
and moral incompatibles.  Is not a certain degree of physical insensibility 
necessary to the \textit{beau id\'eal} of courage?---a certain indifference 
to externals necessary to the power of profound generalization?---a certain 
defect in the power of considering things in their unity, necessary in the 
power of noting and imitating individual details in the arts, \&c.?  The idea 
of perfection, then, is not, we think, to be sought in an uniformity of 
individuals, but in their endless variety, and in the balancing of their 
several attributes in social co-operation.  In this sense, there is some 
truth in the remark of Mons.\ Cousin, quoted by our author, where he says, 
or seems to say, ``a great man is the result of an harmony between a particular 
and a general nature.''

    Mons. Quetelet next shortly examines the average man in reference to 
politics, and concludes his work by a chapter on the ulterior progress to 
be looked for, in this branch of science, and a review of the means requisite 
for giving perfection to an inquiry, which is, at present, only in its 
infancy.  It is obvious, from the perusal of M.\ Quetelet's work, that in 
giving the scanty and imperfect observations which hitherto have been made 
on the statistics of our moral and intellectual nature, his great object 
is to solicit public attention to a neglected subject; and to awaken 
curiosity to the mass of latent knowledge that is within the reach of 
exploitation.  The zeal with which this new science has been taken up, 
promises a rapid accumulation of facts; but the progress of the science 
will mainly depend upon the critical sagacity which shall be brought to 
their appreciation.  If speculative philosophy must gain by the use of 
statistical tables, the tables will, on the other hand, require all the 
lights of philosophy to interpret.  The formulation, therefore, of a sound 
critical canon is a primary desideratum; and it is to a writer of  Quetelet's 
elevated intellectual character, that the public will naturally look for 
such a work.  To a certain extent, the volumes before us may serve as a 
guide to the subject; but the subject is scarcely more than sketched; and 
the author cannot better follow up his publication than by a formal discussion 
of this branch of his subject.

    We have bestowed more space upon M.\ Quetelet's highly-important 
``Essay'' than comports perhaps with the general interests of our journal; 
yet, at every step of our very imperfect analysis, we have been cribbed and 
confined by the quality of the matter, and compelled to leave untouched much 
that is valuable and curious.  To the zeal and perseverance of the author, 
the science is deeply indebted for much of the progress it has made, and for 
much of the importance it has recently acquired in the eyes of philosophical 
Europe.  We consider the appearance of these volumes as forming an epoch in 
the literary history of civilization.