justice.nHenry Ward Beecher, the most popularnpreacher in America, famous for hisnspellbinding crusades against slavery,nliquor, the secret vice and every othernevil, committed adultery with at leastnone woman of his congregation, a womannwho happened also to be a SundaynSchool teacher and the wife of an admiringnprotege of Beecher’s. The offense itselfnis not so revealing as the spirit of callousnexploitation with which it was carriednout and the deceit and hypocrisynwith which it was covered up. Beechernwas warmly defended by the establishmentnof his day. Most of the press declarednhis innocence and his parishionersnraised $100,000 for his legal expenses,nwhile those who brought the charges thatnwe now know to be true were hounded.nThe powers that be, then as now, rush tonthe rescue when their most valuablenasset, their pretense of superior moral vision,nis threatened. Henry’s deceit in thisnepisode was not merely a weakness displayednon one painful occasion. It was anway of life to a man whose fame andnriches were built upon a convenientlynabstract, unscrupulously aggressive, politicallynirresponsible moralizing. In hisnmemoirs, for example, Henry lied aboutnso simple a thing as a college debate. Henrecounted an occasion in which he hadncarried the house against a proposal fornthe colonization of blacks outside thenUnited States. In fact, he had not participatednin the debate in question and thenprocolonization side had won. Characteristically,nhe had falsely glorified hisnown role and distorted the historical recordnto make his antislavery stand date to anmuch earlier and more dangerous periodnthan it actually did.nThe story of the Beechers is that ofnpeople who proclaimed themselves thenchampions of freedom and morality andndemonized those who disagreed, whilenall the time keeping their hand in the tillnand their eye on the main chance. Thenchief lesson we can learn is that there isnsomething in the American fabric thatnguarantees that now and then such peoplenwill succeed outrageously. Today’sn8nChronicles of Culturensecular liberals will, of course, dismissnHenry Ward Beecher as simply a typicalnhypocritical Protestant moralist. Yet henwas one of them. He was a leading liberalnof his day, a cmsader not for souls but fornpolitical and social reform. He was annestablishment figure, not a small-townnvigilante. He spoke from a position ofnpower and respectability from which hensafely and irresponsibly rode to the outernlimits every fad of his day. Beecher is notnthe father of the Moral Majority; he is thenfather of the smug establishment figuresnwho juggle morality and sybaritic lifestylesnin an everlasting shell game. Today’snmorality movement comes out ofnthat other, quieter, Protestant tradition.nIts adherents are the attacked, not the attackers.nThey are not dogmatists seekingnto impose their narrow standards onnGood Guys with No LabelsnSaul Bellow: The Dean’s December;nHarper & Row; New York.nby Joseph SchwartznOaul Bellow’s ninth novel is a 20thcenturynversion oiA Tale of Two Cities,nbut with a difference in that it is concernednonly with “the worst of times”—i.e.,nthe present time in which we have “foolishnthoughts to think, dead categories ofnintellect, and words that get us nowhere.n” Bellow sees himself as a correctivento the Charles Dickens of “the best ofntimes,” while paying Dickens the complimentnof imitating his stmcture. Firstnthe corrective: as worshipers of progress,nthe West rejects the horrible. “Our outlooknrequires the assumption that each ofnus is at heart trustworthy, each of us isnnaturally decent and wills the good. ThenEnglish-speaking world is like this. Younsee it in the novels of Dickens, clearly.”nNext the compliment: the two cities arenChicago (London) and Bucharest (Paris),nDr. Schwartz is professor of English atnMarquette University.nnnmore enlightened fellow citizens. Theynare rather provoked into defending theirncommunities and standards from impositionsnby the arrogant purveyors of anfalse and imperialistic ethos.nThat strange combination of Puritanismnand democracy that wreaked sonmuch havoc in the 19th century, havingndone its work and reached the naturalnlimits of its expansion, began a retreat intonnarrower and less dangerous limitsnafter the debacle of Reconstruction.nSomething very similar is perhaps happeningnnow. If so, we can hope oncenagain for leaders for whom public life, asnfor Lee, is an arena for the exercise of privatenvirtue rather than, as for the Beechers,na vehicle for the social mobilizationnof private greed and discontent. Dnboth warnings to us. “Along the Parisn[read Bucharest] streets, the death-cartsnrumble, hollow and harsh.” And “InnEngland [read Chicago] there was scarcelynan amount of order and protection tonjustify much national boasting.”nAlbert Corde, the protagonist, is SydneynCarton-Charles Darnay. He and hisnwife (Minna Raresh-Lucy Manette) gonfrom Chicago to Bucharest because ofnthe condition of her mother (Dr. ValerianRaresh-Dr. Manette). Valeria had welcomednthe revolutionary take-over by thencommunists. Naively ideological, shenand her husband, roses in hand, hadngreeted the Soviet soldiers. Later, she fellninto disgrace for her dubious loyalty tonthe regime; she was rehabilitated butnnever again tmsted, and is now ill untondeath. The ruling revolutionary forcesnare arbitrary, cmel and vicious: forced labor,nhallucinogenic drugs in psychiatricnhospitals, sulfadiazine injections, electricnshocks. The government, having a monopolynon pain, sets the pain level.nEdmund Burke’s view of progress visa-visnthe French Revolution is anothernghost from the past. He is echoed inn