In his gruesome descriptions of physical sufferings the author offends against good taste even more than the writer of 2 Macc., while both contrast very unfavourably in this respect with the sober reserve of the gospel narratives.
They have a superstitious objection to firing a gun, thinking that it offends the deities of the woods and valleys, and brings down rain.
The very sincerity of her piety and strength of her religious convictions led her more than once, however, into great errors of state policy, and into more than one act which offends the moral sense of a more refined age; her efforts for the introduction of the Inquisition into Castile, and for the proscription of the Jews, are outstanding evidences of what can only be called her bigotry.
Finally, art is not morality, because its end is always a work of art, not virtuous action: on the other hand, art is subordinate to morality, because all the ends of art are but means to the end of life, and therefore a work of art which offends against morality is opposed to the happiness and the good of man.
It is most difficult to appreciate aright this man of fervid imagination, of powerful and persistent convictions, of unbated honesty and love of truth, of keen insight into the errors (as he thought them) of his time, of a merciless will to lay bare these errors and to reform the abuses to which they gave rise, who in an instant offends us by his boasting, his grossness, his want of selfrespect.