This is the opening book in the cycle which bears the same name and it is now published here for the first time with the assurance of the strengthening, widening interest in the Lewis Eliot saga. While very much in character with the later volumes, in the slow, ruminative tempo-the grave, reflective temper -- it narrows its field of inquiry from the societal schism (old versus ""new men"") to the duality within one man. When we first meet George Passant, a solicitor in his early thirties, he is also the mentor of his group of proteges, a sort of benevolent ""bellwether"" happy in his disinterested dedication to youth- and to a broader idea of freedom. At the close, after a trial for fraud and misrepresentation (for which he was certainly partially, passively responsible) one is left to equate the contradictions of a man ""larger than life, and yet capable of any self-deception""; a man of many noble aims and aspirations which he destroyed in the pursuit of his own pleasures; an intimate friend who became"" a diffident stranger in the hostile world of men"". It provides a slowly, closely pursued examination and rationale and an enlightened discussion of questions of conscience and conduct and commitment. And as such, if within a narrower margin, it is filled with the concerns which are so fundamentally and essentially a part of this writer's work and have attracted a firm following.