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LETTERS

OX THE

LAWS OF MAN'S NATURE

AND

DEVELOPMENT.

LETTERS

ON THE

LAWS OF MAN'S NATURE

AND

DEVELOPMENT.

PY

HENRY GEORGE ATKINSON, F.G.S.,

AND

HARRIET MARTINEAU.

“ But the commandment of knowledge is yet higher than the command-
ment over the Will : for it is a commandment over the reason, belief,
and understanding of Man, which is the highest part of the mind, and
giveth law to the will itself. For there is no power on earth which setteth
up a throne, or chair of state, in the spirits and souls of men, and in
their cogitations, imaginations, opinions, and beliefs, but knowledge and
learning."-- Bacon.

LONDON:

JOHN CHAPMAN, 142, STRAN D.

MDCCCLI.

.

LONDON:
PRINTED BY RICHARD KINDER,
GREEN ARBOUR COURT OLD BAILEY.

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This book is in reality what it appears to be,-a correspondence between two friends. The responsibility for its publication is mine. For some years, I had been taking a stronger and stronger interest in Mr. Atkinson's views on a group of subjects which I had been contemplating from my youth up, with incessant curiosity, and, till of late, slight satisfaction. Last year, I asked him to permit me to inquire of him, in some sort of sequence, about his researches into the nature and position of the Human Being; and the replies I have received seemed to me to require of us both the discharge of that great social duty,—to impart what we believe, and what we think we have learned. I therefore suggested the publication of our letters. Among the few things of which we can pronounce ourselves certain, is the obligation of inquirers after truth to communicate what they obtain : and there is nothing in the surprise, reluctance, levity, or disapprobation of any person, or any number of persons, which can affect

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