19 SEPTEMBER 1925, Page 16

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—A great deal is

made of the " hard cases " which, human nature being what it is, must inevitably arise when marriage is regarded as indissoluble, save by death, once it is con- summated between two persons capable of entering into that relation. But if the principle of indissolubility is once abandoned, what is to take its place ? If divorce, with per- mission to enter into another union, is tolerated for any cause whatsoever, upon what principle can you limit its operation to some particular cause ? Social order cannot be maintained without the recognition of principles, and whatever principle of conduct is adopted by society " hard cases " are bound to arise. The marriage relation must be either permanent or not permanent ; it cannot be both unless the persons concerned are at liberty to choose which character they please and act accordingly. But if they are to be free to regard the relation as not necessarily permanent, then free love is bound to follow. If and when it does follow, the cases of hardness will be indefinitely multiplied. The sight of a man playing cards with three of his former wives will not be rare.—I am,