The Later Writings of Mr. Mallock

THERE is no one of the more noteworthy authors of our day whose spiritual physiognomy it is so hard to make out from the sum of his writings as Mr. Mallock’s. There was really some reason for the doubt occasionally expressed, even by astute readers of the New Republic, whether that extremely clever volume was intended for a satire, or merely a picture of a certain phase of high life in the emancipated portion of the English upper class. That it was a malicious picture was evident enough; that it was the picture of a would-be moralist seemed equally clear ; but the dispassionate reader could hardly rid himself of the impression that the new censor appreciated with a zest somewhat too keen, for a reformer, the fascination of certain disguised immoralities at which he was perpetually and rather broadly hinting; and that some of his sharpest strictures savored of that specific bitterness which is due to a revulsion of personal feeling. The song of Dante’s lost lovers, for example, — “ Galeotto fu il libro, e chi lo scrisse” — though put into the mouth of a character for whom Mr. Mallock had not only shown no respect himself, but had shown superfluous reason why the reader should have none, was unfortunately good poetry. It was alive with feeling and skillfully versified. Either the vanity of the rhymer or the emotions of the man must have got the better of him when he was writing it to a degree which strangely nullified its presumed didactic purpose.

The impression produced by Positivism on an Island, if less incongruous, was hardly more satisfactory. There was no longer room for doubt that Mr. Mallock meant to express, in the fiercest manner of which he was capable, his hatred and fear of modern free-think-

ing, in all its phases, and to set in the most repulsive light possible its application to practical life. The trouble in this case was that his animosity seemed overdone. The one indispensable requisite for a satirist is self-command. If he have not this, even wit is useless to him. His nerves must be in such a condition that he can hold his subject at arm’s-length, and that steadfastly. But Mr. Mallock is so beside himself with anger that he falls into unpardonable coarseness. The outraged child, who can no longer express his emotions save by kicking and howling upon the floor, we may regard with a certain amused tolerance, especially if we feel that he has just cause for indignation, but his behavior cannot be considered edifying. In the more frantic transports of Mr. Mallock’s righteous wrath against “ positivism ” he is hardly quotable ; but take a few specimens of his milder and more decent mode of mockery.

“ ‘ Let us prepare ourselves,’ said Paul solemnly, as they sat down to dinner, ‘for realizing to the full the essential dignity of humanity, — that grand être which has come, in the course of progress, to consist of you and me. Every condition of happiness that modern thinkers have dreamed of is now fulfilled. We have but to seek each the happiness of the other, and we shall both be in a solemn, a significant, and unspeakable state of rapture. See,— here is an exquisite leg of mutton. I,’ said Paul, ‘ who like the fat best, will give up all the fat to you.’

“ ‘ And I,’ said Virginia resignedly, ‘ will give up all the lean to you.’

“ A few mouthfuls made Virginia feel sick. ‘ I confess,’ said she, ‘ I can’t get on with this fat.’

“ ‘ I confess,’ the professor answered, ‘ I don’t exactly like this lean.’

“ ‘ Then let us,’ said Virginia, ‘ be like Jack Spratt and his wife ! ”

“ ‘ No,’ said the professor meditatively, ‘ that is quite inadmissible. For in that case, we should be egotistic hedonists. However, for to-day it shall be as you say. I will think of something better to-morrow.’

“ Next day he and Virginia had a chicken apiece, only Virginia’s was put before Paul, and Paul’s before Virginia, and they each walked round the table to supply each other with the slightest necessaries.

“‘Ah,’ said Paul, ‘this is altruism indeed ! I think already I can feel the sublimity beginning.’ ”

. . . “ The two went out together. They stood on the smooth sands which glittered white and silvery in the dazzling moonlight. All was hushed. The gentle murmur of the trees and the soft splash of the sea seemed only to make silence audible. The professor paused close beside Virginia and took her hand. Virginia liked that, and thought that religion without theology was not, perhaps, so bad after all. Meanwhile Paul had fixed his eyes on the moon. Then, in a voice almost broken with emotion, he whispered, ‘ The prayer of the man of science, it has been said, must be, for the most part, of the silent sort. He who said that was wrong. It need not be silent; it need only be inarticulate. I have discovered an audible and a reasonable liturgy, which will give utterance, to the full, to the religion of exact thought. Let us join our voices and let us croon to the moon ! ’

“ The professor at once began a long, low howling. Virginia joined him until she was out of breath.

“ ‘ Oh, Paul,’ she said at last, ‘ is this more rational than the Lord’s Prayer ? ’ “‘Yes,’ said the professor, ‘for we can analyze and comprehend that; but true religious feeling, as Professor Tyndall tells us, we can neither analyze nor comprehend. See how big nature is, and how little — ah, how little ! — we know about it. Is it not solemn and sublime and awful ? Come, let us howl again! ’

“ The professor’s devotional fervor grew every moment. At last he put his hand to his mouth, and began hooting like an owl, till it seemed that all the island echoed to him. The louder Paul hooted and howled, the nearer did he draw to Virginia.

“ ‘ Ah,’ he said, as he put his arm about her waist, ‘ it is in solemn moments like this that the solidarity of mankind becomes most apparent.’ ”

All this is laughable certainly, and, to a degree, forcible, but the taste and temper of it are a little too bad.

Only the more striking and admirable, therefore, seemed Mr. Mallock’s change of manner, when, dropping the rôle of satirist, which he had so sadly and often grotesquely overacted, he asked the attention of the thinking world to a wholly serious discussion of the themes on which his mind had been so long exercised. Whatever the reader may think of his answer to the question, Is Life Worth Living ? or however he may rate the arguments that lead up to it, it is impossible to refuse to our author, speaking with so new and grave a dignity, our most intent and respectful attention.

The essays assembled under the rather startling title mentioned above1 have, indeed, a collective force other and greater than was fully foreseen for them by those who first read them in their fragmentary form. The author says himself, at the close of the dedicatory letter to his revered Mr. Rusk in, by which they are prefaced, that there was so much to add, to omit, to rearrange, and to join together, that his volume is virtually new.

It is unquestionably a book of moment, and its greatest effect is not certain to be immediate. Mr. Mallock describes himself in its introduction as “ an outsider in politics, literature, and theology,” but now, at least, we know the haven where he would be. Not many, we fancy, of the literary idlers who had known this writer only by his books, and read him for his vogue, had realized, before the publication of this book, whither the steps of his convictions were tending, or dreamed that one so perfectly at home in all the genteelest heresies, a kind of connoisseur in the instruments of modern warfare, was really provisioning for a siege in the most ancient stronghold of orthodoxy. Both weaker and stronger souls than his had traveled the same way in numbers, but nobody would have suspected him of being either a disillusioned woman of either sex, or a solitary and consummate spiritual artist like Cardinal Newman.

For Mr. Mallock is, at least, no volatile Pilate, and to the grave inquiry propounded in his title he returns an unhesitating answer. Life is worth living to one, and to one only, who holds the Christian faith ; and the only form of that faith now tenable is “ the oldest, the most legitimate, the most coherent of all, the faith of the Church of Rome.” He seems to say distinctly in his preface that he is not yet a Roman Catholic, but the claims of the Mother Church command the consent of his reason, and the arguments by which he finds them sustained he rehearses with no common fervor and force. There were, doubtless, honest readers of Mr. Mallock’s book who felt as if he were “ unmasked ” therein, and for whom it will always be hard henceforth to listen to him patiently. There were others of us to whom it merely appeared that he was now fully explained, and his motives in some sort justified; and we were ready to hail his entire, if somewhat tardy ingenuousness, to respect his new concentration of spirit, and especially to admire the strength, the terseness, and the unaffected felicity which the approximate settling of his mind seemed to have imparted to his literary style. We shall attempt a rapid summary of the contents of the volume.

In his opening chapter on the new import of this old question concerning the worth of life, Mr. Mallock shows very strikingly that, in spite of certain seeming resemblances between the mental doubts and distresses of our own and some long bygone periods, as, for instance, the time of Lucretius, to whom certain of the moderns are so fond of appealing, an everlasting change has been wrought in the conditions of the problem by the revelation of Christianity. “ It ” (Christianity) “ has done a work,” he says, “ and that work remains, and we all feel the effects of it, whether we will or no. Described in the most general way, that work has been this. The supernatural, in the ancient world, was something vague and indefinite; and the classical theologies, at any rate, though they were to some extent formal embodiments of it, could embody really but a very small part. Zeus and the Olympian hierarchies were dimly perceived to be encircled by some vaster mystery, which, to the popular mind, was altogether formless, and which even such men as Plato could only describe inadequately. The supernatural was like a dim and diffused light, brighter in some places and darker in others, but focalized and concentrated nowhere. Christianity has focalized it, united into one the scattered points of brightness, and collected other rays that before were altogether imperceptible. . . . And the practical result is this : when we, in these days, deny the supernatural, we are denying it in a way in which it was never denied before. Our denial is, beyond all comparison, more complete. The supernatural, for the ancient world, was like a perfume scenting life out of a hundred different vessels, of which only two or three were visible to the same men and nations. They therefore might get rid of these, and yet the larger part of the scent would still remain to them. But for us, it is as though all the perfume had been collected into a single vessel, and if we get rid of this, we shall get rid of the scent altogether. Our air will be altogether odorless.”

Now this more sweeping and unsparing denial the modern positivists (by whom, as he explains in a note, Mr. Mallock means not Comtists at all, but the whole body of the modern agnostics in the principles in which they agree) do actually assume to make. They deny the existence of a personal God, they reject the notion of individual immortality, they scorn all thought of supernatural sanctions for human welldoing, or divine compensations for human ills. Yet they profess — the more courageous and lusty of them — to find life well worth living for its own sake alone. The advancement of the human race as a whole, and the possible future improvement of its modes of living here below, they consider abundant substitutes for the personal hope of heaven ; and goodness is to them, in all cases, its own sufficient rationale and reward. To the positivists, or agnostics, therefore, Mr. Mallock addresses himself, and his attack is both fiery and adroit. Me takes their much vaunted enthusiasm for the general good of humanity where he finds what he considers its purest, and at the same time most impassioned, expression, namely, in the so-called hymn of George Eliot, beginning, —

“Oh, may I join the choir invisible
Of the immortal dead who live again
In lives made better by their presence! ” etc.

Analyzing what seems to him its true import, he finds it as hollow as it is highsounding, — “a song of little meaning, though the words are strong; ” its virtue, vanity ; its vast rewards, a cheat; all its specious hope and ardor and sympathy, voices and nothing more. “ How are these kindled ? ” he inquires, with vivacity, “ and what are they all about ?

They must, as we have seen, be about something which the science of sociology will not discover for us. Nor can they last, if, like an empty stomach, they prey only upon themselves. They must have some solid content, and the great thing needful is to discover this. It is quite true that to suffer, or even to die, will often appear dulce et decorum to a man ; but it will only seem so when the end he dies or suffers for is, in his estimation, a worthy one. A Christian might be gladly crucified if by so doing he could turn men from vice to virtue; but a conuoisseur in wine would not be crucified that his best friend might prefer dry champagne to sweet. All the agony and the struggles, then, that the positivist saint suffers with such enthusiasm depend for their value and their possibility on the object that is supposed to cause them.” But that object, Mr. Mallock reiterates, is not merely inadequate and unworthy, but unpresentable to the mind, and self-contradicted by the very terms in which it is expressed.

Again, in the chapters on Goodness as its own Reward, and Life as its own Reward, he argues with extreme impressiveness that both the reasonable bases of morality and all the high dignity and deep import of our being are bound up with the theism which modern thought is contemptuously spurning, and would perish if that were proved false. That greatest of all the arts, — the dramatic, — long languishing, as we know, will be struck with death in such a case, for from the days of the Greek tragedians onward its appeal and its mastery have been essentially moral and religious. “ In Macbeth, for instance, the main incident, the coloring-matter of the drama, is the murder of Duncan. But in wrhat aspect of this does the real tragedy he ? Not in the fact that Duncan is murdered, but that Macbeth is the murderer. What appals us, what purges our passions with pity and terror as we contemplate it, is not the external, the social effect of the act, but the personal, the internal effect of it. As for Duncan, he is in his grave. After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well. What our minds are made to dwell upon is, not that Duncan shall sleep forever, but that Macbeth shall sleep no more. It is not the extinction of a dynasty, but the ruin of a character. ... In Antigone its nature is yet more distinctly exhibited. We have for the central interest the same personal struggle after right; not after use or happiness ; and one of the finest passages in that whole marvelous drama is a distinct statement by the heroine that this is so. The one rule, she says, that she is resolved to live by, and not live by only, but, if need be, to die for, is no human rule, no standard of man’s devising, nor can it be modified to suit our changing needs, but it is —

“ ‘ The unwritten and enduring laws of God,
Which are not of to-day nor yesterday,
But live from everlasting; and none breathes
Who knows them, whence begotten.’ ”

The chapter on Love as a Test of Goodness, in which Mr. Mallock undertakes to show how the central passion of human nature was ennobled by the coming of Christianity, and into what depths, unsounded by the unconscious pagan, it must sink with the extinction of that faith, is in many respects the most interesting of the book. It is disfigured here and there by slight traces of that other manner of the author’s which we do not like; but naturally it makes a direct appeal, of one kind or another, to the experience of nearly all his readers; and it certainly sheds a new light on some of the most dubious and distasteful passages in his previous works, and serves, for the time being, fully to vindicate his own ideal of honor and purity. We are made more lenient even to the coarse despite with which he scathes his Mrs. Sinclair in the New Republic, if we may indeed regard it as the burning message of a prophet, impelled to convince the world of insidious danger

and gracefully disguised sin. He contemns in unmeasured terms the type of love which he finds reflected in so many of the poems and romances of the period, — the conscious and cultivated sensualism, the vapid sentiment, and withal the unnatural and incurable coldness. He contrasts the gorgeous indecencies of Mademoiselle de Maupin with the chaste effusion and sacramental tenderness of the De la Feronnays, and the solemn and mysterious ecstasy just glimpsed in the last moments of their communion upon earth by Monica and St. Augustine, — he who had drunk deeply, in his day, of a far less limpid draught. Mr. Mallock consoles himself, however, with the belief that the monstrous ideal of the Gautiers and the Swinburnes is, as a matter of fact, seldom realized, and that practically human love yet retains a large measure of the sweetness and sacredness which the general acceptance of positivist principles and their logical application to life will, he thinks, if accomplished, inevitably destroy. “ To return, then, to the subject of human love, we are now in a position to see that, as offered us at present by the positive school of moralists, it cannot, properly speaking, be called a positive pleasure at all, but that it is still, essentially, a religious one; and that when the religious element is eradicated, its entire nature will change. It may be, of course, contended that the religious element is ineradicable ; but this is simply either to call positivism an impossibility or religion an incurable disease. Here, however, we touch upon a side issue. . . . My aim now is not to argue either that positivism can or cannot be accepted by humanity, but to show what, if accepted, it will have to offer us. I wish to point out the error, for instance, of such writers as George Eliot, who, whilst denying the existence of any sun-god in the heavens, are yet perpetually adoring the sunlight upon earth; who profess to extinguish all fire upon principle, and then offer us boiling water to supply its place ; or who, sending love to us as a Cassandra, continue to quote as Scripture the prophetess they have just discredited.”

In the chapters on the Superstition of Positivism, and the Logic of Scientific Negation, Mr. Mallock confines himself strictly to the technical aspect of his discussion, claiming to meet the materialists on their own material ground, and to refute their imposing arguments, merely as arguments, by others more cogent yet. There is no need closely to follow him into a region where the interest of that general reader to whom, in the main, he addresses himself is sure to flag, and where the scientific reader with a parti pris is equally sure to find his ratiocination faulty and his conclusions null. The battle for the reality of happiness and the worth of life will never, it is safe to assert, be either lost or won in the regions of pure logic. Later, when our author begins plainly to indicate the gist of his message and the goal of his wanderings, when he strikes the flag of free-thought, so confidently carried by gallant spirits for three hundred years, surrenders the whole of Protestantism to those modern assailants of Christianity in whom he sees only the natural offspring of the errors of Protestantism, and records — soberly enough, indeed — his conviction that true religion must live or die with the unity and supremacy of the Roman church, he steps back upon ground where any intelligent man may meet him, and recovers the accent which appeals to the universal ear. A thousand resentful combatants will start up, fullarmed, to resist him at this point, and to their prowess we may safely leave, for the present at least, the defense of the Reformation. It is curious, however, to observe in passing the strange similarity, almost identity, of Mr. Mallock’s argument just here with that of his darling aversion, Mr. Matthew Arnold, in the essay, reprinted in his late volume, on Irish Catholicism and British Liberalism.

It is but fair to say that Mr. Mallock’s tone in these last decisive pages of his book is remarkably — some good souls will say jesuitically — mild and free from dogmatism. We go too far, perhaps, even in calling them decisive. It is rather that he espies a hope of rescue from the horror of great darkness and gathering tempest, which he feels to be descending upon the world, than that he finds his feet already planted upon unyielding land. His own final word in Is Life Worth Living ? is so subdued, for him, and so gently persuasive, that we prefer to close with it our hasty summary, the aim of which has been rather to bespeak justice for one of the most earnest and suggestive books of the past year, than to pronounce judgment upon it.

“ Thinkers like Mr. Leslie Stephen say that these beliefs [of the Catholic Christian] belong to dream-land, and they are welcome, if they please, to keep their terminology. It has at least this merit, that it recognizes the dualism of the two orders of things it deals with. Let them keep their names, if they will, and in their language the case amounts to this, — that it is only for the sake of the dreams that visit it, that the world of reality has any certain value for us. Will not the dreams continue when the reality has passed away ? ”

There can hardly be a reader of Mr. Mullock’s, who has followed him in good faith to the end of this, his incomparably noblest effort, but will bow to the appeal in its closing sentence, and join instinctively in the prayer to which that invites him. But all the meaning and efficacy of such a prayer must, of course, depend upon this, — that the phraseology which the writer wrests from his adversaries he indeed a fallacious one, and the dream be understood to be the reality, and the reality the dream. If that unspeakable something whereof Monica and Augustine were aware for an instant at Ostia, and which the saint mystically calls the “ first-fruits of the Spirit,” were not a reality, it was no more sacred than an illusion born of hasheesh. If those “ unwritten and enduring” and mysteriously begotten laws for which Antigone laid down her life were not realities, her death was a pitiful blunder. And of course the whole burden of Mr. Mallock’s endeavor in Is Life Worth Living?—the whole aim of his elaborate discussion—is the illumination, the definition, the establishment of these things as realities. What shall we say, then, when this guide and philosopher, whom in his moments of unction we have submissively allowed to take with us almost the tone of a director, resumes, after a few months’ silence, the subject over which he has labored so earnestly, but in a manner calculated both to confuse and to cheapen it ? He throws these additional reflections of his into a dramatic form, flooding them with sentiment, and toying languidly and affectedly with the vital inquiry which he had before grasped in so serious and manly a fashion. We might have let this latest effusion pass, as a rather weak society sketch, embellished with some graceful bits of versification, if the author had not entitled it A Dialogue concerning Human Happiness, thereby challenging our scrutiny of the piece, as an appendix to his highest argument. And what do we find there ? We find ourselves, first of all, taken back into those dubious marches of the demi-monde which appear alone to furnish the scenery of Mr. Mallock’s predilection. We are introduced to a number of rather cleverly outlined characters, concerning whom we feel strongly with the most exemplary of them, Mrs. Fitzgerald, that “ they may be very well at Nice,” but would not answer for acquaintances at home. We are asked to pity and admire a heroine to whom a profligate father had given the baptismal name of a courtesan mentioned by Plato, and who is described by an early lover of hers, to a vulgar adventuress who is full of curiosity about the Lady Diotima, as a singularly exact translation, into the key of modern life, of her Grecian prototype. “ She is the most fascinating of all classical characters to me,” he says, speaking of the original Diotima; “ I picture her to myself as a sort of George Sand of antiquity, half saint, half sinner, — the wise woman, at once, of prayer and pleasure, whom the wisest of the ancients [Socrates] found more wise than himself ! ”

“ ‘ As far as I can understand,’ said Mrs. Crane, ‘ you are not giving your friend a very brilliant character.’

“ ‘As far as what we mean by character goes,’ said Marsham, ‘ I believe her to be without reproach.’ ”

At the time of the story, the new Diotima and her whilom lover have become, in their several ways, she a voluptuous coquette, and he a polished coxcomb of thirty odd, but the woman is a devout Roman Catholic, the man an unbeliever. It is but fair, therefore, to infer that she is the mouth-piece of Mr. Mallock’s own opinions in the precious dialogue on human happiness which ensues when the two finally meet, and during the whole of which the attitude of the lady would be vulgarly described as that of throwing herself at her visitor’s head. It is, to say the least, one of the most baffling and bewildering dialogues ever reported. All which can possibly be gathered from it in the way of definite doctrine is that man’s only chance of happiness, and that a slender one, is to be early and often in love. It may be artistic to represent the interlocutors in such a case as rendered vague in thought and incessantly selfcontradictory by the stress of insurgent emotion, but it is not helpful to a right understanding of their views. We make room for a few of their remarks and rejoinders, at the point of the discussion where they are least discursive and ambiguous.

“ You cannot by reason,” says Philip, “ cure love as a caprice; but the love which is a caprice only is not the love you speak of. And love as an absorbing and life-long devotion, which takes into itself a man’s whole ambitions and emotions, — love like this reason assuredly can quench for those who have no faith to sustain them. Such love, you say, is the sun of the inner world. You are mistaken. It is not the sun, it is the moon. The moon is human affection, but the sun is divine faith. You who are a Catholic forget all this, for you know nothing of the loss from which others are suffering. But to offer love to those who have lost religion is to tell the poor to eat jam-tarts, when they cry to you that they have no bread.”

“I forget nothing,” she said angrily. “ I am a Catholic, it is true, and I trust I value my religion properly. But religion has nothing to do with the present question. You are beginning the matter at the wrong end. If you want to be a religious man, you must first be a man ; and you are not a man if you do not know how to love. How will you love God whom you have not seen, if you do not love your brother whom you have seen ? ”

“ That does but mean,” he replied, “ that if the tree is healthy it will bear fruit; not that we can have fruit without having any tree to bear it. You are confounding two things. Love is either a sacrament or a self-indulgence. If it be the former, the very essence of it is that it points to something beyond itself, and its power in that case must die, if our belief in that something ceases. If it be the latter, it is a feeling only.”

“ A feeling only ! ” she exclaimed. “ Yes, indeed, it is a feeling only, but a feeling so rapturous and so sacred that it needs nothing beyond itself except our thanks to the God who gave it, — God the giver who, at such times, willingly stands aside that his children may enjoy together this precious and most perfect gift.”

“ Surely,” said Marsham, “ this is a strange view for you, a Catholic. You profess a faith which teaches you that the one thing really worth our living for is the love, not of woman, but of God ; and though human love is indeed recognized and blessed by it, yet for those who would be perfect, it points out a more excellent way.”

“We cannot all be saints,” she said. “ It was not meant that we should be.”

After all, it is of no use. A few hours of noonday dalliance under the mimosas in discourse like this, and then the faithless swain departs, and on the evening of the same day he is drifting along the purple Mediterranean with another siren, who sings to him in a world-renowned voice a boat-song of his own composing, conceived in a sub-Swinburnian spirit, and of a really delicate and haunting melody. The forsaken one hears the strain faintly from her balcony, — and retires into a chapel to pray.

Now if Mr. Mallock is indeed morally in earnest, as his most considerable work seems clearly to show, and as we ourselves believe him to be, the sooner he drops this sort of perfumed parable, this theory of instruction by sighs and innuendoes, the better. The faith which he now assumes to defend, he is in far more danger of betraying. It is strange that so discerning a mind should ever for a moment have fancied that a method like this could prove otherwise than perplexing, disheartening, and demoralizing. Mr. Mallock is very severe upon George Eliot for the “ de-religionized morality, baseless, objectless,” and impossible, which she professes and upholds. But a moral ideal which is too obviously attainable is not worth upholding at all, and the one great imagination among the positive writers of the day does certainly bring moral incentives to bear upon the consciences of her readers with a quite extraordinary power. She searches out the weaknesses and insincerities of the human heart with a terrible illumination. She convinces of sin. She incites to self-conquest. She strengthens for self-sacrifice. Others of her school do the like, in a lesser degree, and until the Christian and Catholic apologist can do as much, he had better leave preaching to the free-thinkers. The sole justification of preaching, in any case, is the chance of making men better.

But it is not true that the skeptics, even the high-minded skeptics of to-day, have a monopoly of moral tact and power. Mr. Mallock need go no farther than the great modern writers of that church to whose communion he aspires, to find advocates of Christianity who add to the utmost stringency of moral requirement the glow of the apostolic age and the buoyancy of an unalterable hope. Like these far-seeing men, Mr. Mallock believes that the drear and still-advancing inundation of infidelity before which the lights of life are going out, one by one, is fed by the self-same bitter springs which first broke barriers in the philosophism of the great Revolutionary time, but which took their rise long before, when the law of intellectual license was proclaimed by the Protestant Reformation. The end of these things no man can yet foresee ; but during all the last century, while the church of the ages has been sustaining this latest and fiercest onslaught of unbelief, there has been an illustrious succession of warriors fighting inside her walls who have shown themselves consummate masters of the tactics of defense, and who have sold very dearly to their assailants their consecrated lives and powers. Mr. Mallock should learn of them. Let him study Joseph de Maistre on Voltaire, if he would know what are the most efficient weapons against atheism, and how wielded of a thoroughly loyal and chivalric Christian, a great scholar, a spotless gentleman, and a resolved and fiery adversary.

  1. Is Life Worth Living ? by WILLIAM HURREL MALLOCK. New York : G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 1879.