I certainly have no desire to frighten the female readers to whom this free rendering of one of M. Zola's best books so largely appeals,—it is indeed a book with a good sound moral, fit for every thoughtful woman to peruse—but, in endeavouring to point out its scope and purport, I must, in the first instance, refer to some matters in which women, as nowadays educated, take as a rule but the scantiest of interest. Still many of them may have heard that in the opinion of various fin-de-siècle seers and prophets the future of the human race lies in collectivism, a prediction which I do not intend to discuss, but respecting which I may remark that during the last half century in this country there has certainly been a tendency in the direction indicated, even amongst classes which profess to hold every form of socialism in horror.
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