23 MARCH 1918, Page 12


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Is not a portion of the community losing its true moral balance with regard to this deadly evil P There appears to be a widespread and spreading movement, expressed or unexpressed, to condone the cause that Leads to the disease as a necessary evil, and to combat not the cause but the result alone. Those of us who endeavour to maintain the ideal of strong and noble manhood keep in remembrance that we possess like natures. So we are not out to throw stones at poor sinners, but rather to point out the degrada- tion of the transgression; and, making light of nothing, admitting no excuse, we only strive with all our being to bring them to a true understanding of the Cross as the one way into the Kingdom. And it is amazing to find how readily most men respond to plain friendly words, to the strong manly precept, divested of all cant and religions phrasing. If we have abundant cause for deep regret, we may yet as a result of this war have great cause for thankfulness as well, in this vital matter of the " forbidden fruit "—thankfulness, that the Anglo-Saxon, as represented by our brothers-in-arms from the United States, has justified his election to the place of trust; regret, that the Mother Country should have so failed to make good the opportunity. Cannot our manhood te'taught"(net so much b$' the pulpit as by all those who stpnd in places of authority) that it is the most splendid thing in the world for a man to maintain his cleanness and to control his every passion ? Hutitanum eit errare is after all only the excuse of those who' identify the human with the animal. We, on the other hand,. speak of a man as being " very human " when we discern in him a special measure of the divine. Surely this then should be our joint effort and crusade as oppOsed to the devising of salves and remedies that can only intensify the principal element of evil. There is no more ghastly, no more pitiable, object beneath the stars than a degraded woman who has sold her womanhood and become as 'a poor beast for beasts to prey upon. And the recovering of lost humanity is the costliest of processes. For God's sake, Sir, let us sound the alarm in real earnest, -and unite to combat this subtle principle which in its influence is as deadly within our borders as the brutal culture of the Hun with which we are engaged in death-grips upon the fields of battle.—I am,

Sir, Ste., L. L. [We have been obliged to reduce our correspondent's letter.—En. Spectator.]