A PLAN FIXED UPON. 1859-60. ÆT. 39-40.
THE closing months of 1859 were occupied in fulfilling several literary engagements. Masson, my acquaintance with whom, made nearly ten years before, had ripened into a friendship which has since continued and increased in warmth, was at that time Editor of Macmillan's Magazine, then recently established. He asked me to write an article for him, and I agreed to do so. I had also arranged to write one for the Westminster on "The Social Organism," and one for the British Quarterly on "Prison Ethics."
Most readers are, I suspect, weary of the analyses, made for the purpose of showing the bearings of successive essays on the general doctrine which occupied my mind; but near as I am now to the end of the series, I may be excused for continuing them. That the conception of the Social Organism is an evolutionary one, is implied by the words; for they exclude the notion of manufacture or artificial arrangement, while they imply natural development. Briefly expressed in Social Statics, and having grown in the interval, the conception was now to be set forth in an elaborated form. The leading facts insisted on were, that a social organism is like an