ABSTRACT

Very few people can be happy unless on the whole their way of life and their outlook on the world is approved by those with whom they have social relations, and more especially by those with whom they live. It is a peculiarity of modern communities that they are divided into sets which differ profoundly in their morals and in their beliefs. This state of affairs began with the Reformation, or perhaps one should say with the Renaissance, and has grown more pronounced ever since. There were Protestants and Catholics, who differed not only in theology but on many more practical matters. There were aristocrats who permitted various kinds of action that were not tolerated among the bourgeoisie. Then there came to be latitudinarians and free-thinkers who did not recognise the duties of religious observance. In our own day throughout the Continent of Europe there is a profound division between socialists and others, which covers not only politics but almost every department of life. In English-speaking countries the divisions are very numerous. In some sets art is admired, while in others it is thought to be of the devil, at any

rate if it is modern. In some sets devotion to the Empire is the supreme virtue, in others it is considered a vice, and yet in others a form of stupidity. Conventional people consider adultery one of the worst of crimes, but large sections of the population regard it is excusable if not positively laudable. Among Catholics divorce is totally forbidden, while most non-Catholics accept it as a necessary alleviation of matrimony.