Monasile theology is fashionably obsolete today, and the good St. Thomas has no great influence on our everyday souls. But those ""seven deadliest sins"" he enumerated as dingly generative of further vices are ever active spiritual components--even in the age. No one could better expose these disarmingly malicious demons than the seven British given free field in this modernized treatise on the ""ancient"" sins. Angus Wilson on Envy, Evelyn Waugh on Slth, Christopher Sykes on Lust, W.H. Auden on Anger in these discursive essays sin becomes the subject for subtle erudition and witty personal appraisal. Even more candid are Edith Sitwell's eulogy of proper Pride and Patrick Leigh Former's guide to civilized Gluttony. Covetousness personified in ""The Downfall of Jonathan Elax"" is Cyril Connolly's satiric slight on a common flaw. Prefaced by fan Femig, this is cunning criticism of sins that are, after all, hardly mortal and may even be praiseworthy in the right dimensions. The entertaining witticism produces more pleasure than discomfort in all sinning souls...the best of British balm for minor spiritual ailments.