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BY THE EDITOR.
THE names of the contributors to this volume and the titles of their essays speak for themselves, and need but few words of introduction. And these may more fitly be concerned, not so much with the individual essays, as with their mutual relation and general significance.
Lectures addressed to the Royal Society of Literature, as is usual with such bodies, are purely a matter of individual choice. There is, for better or for worse, no attempt to arrange them in a series, still less to make them the mouthpiece of any school or movement. It is therefore of real interest to find that four of the six addresses given between March and November, 1922, and here printed, deal with fundamental problems and principles. The present and future state of the English language, English dramatic art, English literature and English painting are successively passed in review. Moreover, the underlying theme of Mr. Chesterton's paper on William Cobbett is the present order of English social and economic life, which Cobbett denounced in advance, and which is now being weighed in the balance. Thus each of these essayists, in the particular sphere of his interest, has instinctively felt that we are