13 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 3

The paradoxes of modern life are perhaps the most extra-

ordinary features of that life. Thus, the pilgrimage to the shrine of the Sacred Heart is described in our papers,—generally by Roman Catholic correspondents,—on the same page with lists of the subscriptions to the John Stuart Mill memorial, and reports of the discussions carried on by the Internationalists at Geneva on the desirability of a universal strike and the duty of " universal anarchy." Moreover, the bona fides, whether of the devotees of Margaret Mary, the disciples of Mr. Mill, or of the followers of Jankowski, is absolutely unquestionable. The chaos of sincere modern convictions could hardly be more remarkable. Nor could the mutual tolerance of these various schools of visionaries be much more conspicuous than it is. No doubt, if either the first or the last school we have named got to the top, and could handle real power, the other two would have a bad time of it,—Mr. Mill's disciples being the only ones who hold a complete and, perhaps, extreme doctrine of non-interference in matters of opinion. But in the meantime, the moral and intellectual

habit of listening with equanimity to views at the farthest pole from one's own, is gaining strength in every direction,— sometimes almost to the chagrin of the zealots themselves, who not unfrequently are disposed to reproach themselves for finding the supporters of pestilent opinions such harmless and worthy persons. None the leas, may it be long before any school of strong theoretic tyranny has the chance of wielding physi- cal power, even in fair-play-loving and, on the whole, candid England !