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THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY
crushing calamity of the sudden death of their first child, who had lived just long enough to become the apple of his father's eye. Kingsley, one of the most generous of men, though not one of the sharpest of dialecticians, had written a cordial letter of sympathy and taken occasion to set forth some of the beliefs in which he would himself have found consolation. Huxley replies at length, with a frankness creditable to both. He has no a priori objection to the belief in immortality. But it is totally without evidence, and the assertion that an unproved and unprovable doctrine is necessary to morality is altogether repugnant to him. The 'most sacred act of a man's life' is the assertion of a belief in truth. Men may call him whatever hard names they please, but they shall not call him 'liar.' The blow which had stirred all his convictions to their foundation, had not shaken that belief. 'If wife and child and name and fame were all lost to me one after the other, still I would not lie.' He speaks, as he says, more openly and distinctly than he ever has to any human being except his wife. He has been standing by the coffin of his little son, and his force and solemnity show how deeply he is moved. The clearness and moral fire are united as Mr.