Morals are, obviously, influenced in most cases by example and the atmosphere of the home; but are not these themselves mainly produced, whether consciously or not, by the teaching and tone of these who profess to think? In these latter days most thought reaches us through fiction, most emotion through drama.
Without hesitation, I would maintain that an immense number of novels now being written contain much deadly poison.
Let me not be misunderstood. I have no wish to draw down the blinds again upon vital questions of sex, to bring out once more the comfortable “wraps” of Victorian days, to uphold reserve if not silence, or shut the door upon open talk. Nor would I say to youth: “We are older and therefore we know; believe us, things were far better and happier in our time.”
Such a reproach were neither wise nor true. Human nature, like all forms of life, always grows and improves (in a long view), steps on towards the Ideal. But to-day we must face the sharp arrest of all normal progress, the actual throw-back to savagery, caused by the war: which came, as a moral influence, upon minds unsettled by the Revolution of Ideas that had set in before 1914.