We hope by this time next year to have from a hundred and fifty to two hundred healthy families cultivating coffee and educating the natives of Borrioboola-Gha, on the left bank of the Niger.”

—Mrs. Jellyby, Bleak House, by Charles Dickens (1852)

Conceptions of morality change, never more so than in the lifetime of The New Criterion. If a person who died at the time of the first issue were to return to life, he would find himself in an angrier and more charged moral atmosphere than the one he had left—and one in which the principles that undergird Western civilization scarcely seem to be in evidence....


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