a little false; on the whole one might go further and fare worse; the wisest course would be to live with it, and make the best and not the worst of it. The writer urged that we become persecutors as a matter of course as soon as we begin to feel very strongly upon any subject; we ought not therefore to do this; we ought not to feel very strongly even upon that institution which was dearer to the writer than any other - the Church of England. We should be Churchmen, but somewhat lukewarm Churchmen, inasmuch as those who care very much about either religion or irreligion are seldom observed to be very well bred or agreeable people. The Church herself should approach as nearly to that of Laodicea as was compatible with her continuing to be a Church at all, and each individual member should only be hot in striving to be as lukewarm as possible.

The book rang with the courage alike of conviction and of an entire absence of conviction; it appeared to be the work of men who had a rule-of-thumb way of steering between iconoclasm on the one hand and credulity on the other; who cut Gordian knots as a matter of course when it suited their convenience; who shrank from no conclusion in theory, nor from any want of logic in practice, so long as they were illogical of malice prepense, and for what they held to be sufficient reason. The conclusions were conservative, quietistic, comforting. The arguments by which they were reached were taken from the most advanced writers of the day. All that these people contended for was granted them, but the fruits of victory were for the most part handed over to those already in possession.

Perhaps the passage which attracted most attention in the book was one from the essay on the various marriage systems of the world. It ran:

`If people require us to construct,' exclaimed the writer, `we set good breeding as the corner-stone of our edifice. We would have it ever present consciously or unconsciously in the minds of all as the central faith in which they should live and move and have their being, as the touchstone of all things whereby they may be known as good or evil according as they make for good breeding or against it.'

`That a man should have been bred well and breed others well; that his figure, head, hands, feet, voice, manner and clothes should carry conviction upon this point, so that no one can look at him without seeing that he has come of good stock and is likely to throw good stock himself, this is the desideratum. And the same with a woman. The greatest number of these well-bred men and women, and the greatest happiness of these well-bred men and women, this is the highest good; towards this all government, all social conventions, all art, literature and science should directly or indirectly tend. Holy men and holy women are those who keep this unconsciously in view at all times whether of work or pastime.'

If Ernest had published this work in his own name I should think it would have fallen stillborn from the press, but the form he had chosen was calculated at that time to arouse curiosity, and as I have said he had wickedly dropped a few hints which the reviewers did not think anyone would have been impudent enough to do if he were not a bishop or at any rate some one in authority. A well-known judge was spoken of as being another of the writers, and the idea spread ere long that six or seven of the leading bishops and judges had laid their heads together produce a volume, which should at once outbid Essays and Reviews and counteract the influence of that then still famous work.

Reviewers are men of like passions with ourselves, and with them as with every one else omne ignotum pro magnifico. The book was really an able one and abounded with humour, just satire, and good sense. It struck a new note and the speculation which for some time was rife concerning its authorship made many turn to it who would never have looked at it otherwise. One of the most gushing weeklies had a fit over it, and declared it to be the finest thing that had been done since the Provincial Letters of Pascal. Once a month or so that weekly always found some picture which was the finest that had been done since the old masters, or some satire that was the finest that had appeared since Swift or some something which was incomparably the finest that had appeared since something else. If Ernest had put his name to the book, and the writer had known that it was by a nobody, he would doubtless have written in a very different strain. Reviewers like to think that for aught they know they are patting a Duke or even a Prince of the blood upon the back, and lay it on thick till they find they have only been praising

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