From London to Oxford
I FIND it hard Indeed to write here of my late colleague, G. E. Anstruther, whose popular column, " Of Persons and Places " has appeared for the last time on this page. I think it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that one could mention any place, any person associated with Catholicity and get an interesting paragraph about it. As far as London was concerned his knowledge was direct, and much of it gained in youth when he was in the habit of walking vast distances to explore. He thought nothing of walking from London to Oxford. Nor must it be supposed that his Interest was confined to ecclesiastiology, as the books he has written show. He was never happier than when dining on a Saturday night at the Savage Club and entertaining a friend to the famous concerts and entertainments which the members of the club give on that day of the week. Another passion of his was " Gilbert and Sullivan," and on rare occasions one could get him, even at the office, to sing one of his favourite tunes. All the educational reforms in the world and all the bright suggestions for bettering religious training will not succeed in producing a better man and a finer Catholic than this veteran of Victorian times.
Happy Crismiss !
NSTRUTHER'S love of light verge— he once wrote a song for Marie Lloyd, I am told—is illustrated by the following lines on the back of a postcard received by one of the staff last Christmas:
In days like these, when bread and cheese are better found than bacon. Receive, please, what is surely not a Christmas card well taken.
I tried to buy the right thing; I was told: " She wont like that one ";
So thereupon I fastened on this plain and common flat one.
"Coma, come," I said; "You'll do instead, though only one of many
Of bumble rank, and blankly blank, and sold for ten a penny.
No art, or verse, good, bad or worse, disfigures your fair brightness; Like virgin snow your lovely show is uncorrupted whiteness."
A now-spoilt white? Perhaps you're right: you judge me well in this, Miss; Yet anyway, it lets me say: God bless you. Happy. Crismiss I
F. S. A. Lowndes
CATHOLICS owe a debt to the late Mr F. S. A. Lowndes, who for years had been in charge of the obituary columns of The Times. Mr Lowndes, who died on Tuesday, took infinite trouble to obtain adequate and interesting notices of Catholic personalities, especially in the ecclesiastical ranks, who, until recent years, were dismissed with the shortest of mentions. In this work he was in touch with Catholic Journalists, and he set a new tradition. Mr Lowndes was the husband of Mrs Belloc Lowndes, the well-known novelist, and the father of Lady Iddesleigh and Senhora Susan Lowndes Marques.
The Saint and the Monkey
ST. THOMAS MORE kept a pet monkey in the gardens of his Embankment house. I wouldn't have known this fact had I not seen last week-end in Mr Eric Gill's studio at Pigotte, his untiniehed relief sculpture of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher destined for St. George's Chapel In Westminster Cathedral. And there, clinging to the hem of St. Thomas, was a suppliant (at the moment still hairless) little monkey—" symbolic of our bewildered generation who come to St. Thomas for help," explained Mr Gill. But he added that the monkey could substantiate with historical evidence his claims to a real existence. This magnificent work, towering above life-size, will not be ready for Westminster for some time. It shows our two English martyrs under the shadow of a kingly Christ crucified. The saints in profile look up towards Christ above them, and Mr Gill is having trouble with the conception of St. John Fisher's profile—there is no contemporary profile portrait of the bishop; Holbein's is fullface.
■ How do other people spend their bank bon. days? I found Mr Gin rolling his lawn.
" The Catholic and the War "
IN The Catholic and the War (B.O.W., 6d.), Hilaire Belloc has set hiraeelf the question : "What should be the attitude of the Catholic in the present European War?" and answered it, presumably to his own satisfaction, in about 10,000 words. He insists that he Is abstracting from a Catholic national's allegiance as a citizen, so his answer should apply equally to the British Catholic, the German Catholic, the Irish Catholic, and the Haiti Catholic. I cannot find his answer in a single sentence, but the following one is representative : " We are fighting this war, however, not only to chastise and break the contempt for honour, but also to destroy an outrage upon our common and European civilisation." His conclusion, in other words, is that this is a religious crusade against Germany to which the Catholics of the world, " as Catholics quite apart from their national allegiance," should rally.
" Great Rubbish"
TO borrow Mr Helloes own polite phraseology, most of this seems to me "great rubbish." I am not at all sure that I understand the meaning of that abstraction "the Catholic as Catholic," for every Catholic—other than those dedicated for supernatural reasons to the things of God alone--is a citizen, a family man, a member of a trade or business, etc., and his moral duties arise from the complex concrete situation resulting from his dual citizenship; citizenship of this world and citizenship of the next. And I am sure you cannot call upon the Church to judge a set of actions abstracted for convenience from ail the causes and all the circumstances. Finally, the more I think of his initial question the more I feel that its answer —if any answer be possible—would demand the detachment of the saints, the wisdom of the theologians, the learning of the historians, and the insight of the philosophers. In place of this, Mr Belloc has given us a somewhat severe version of the thesis of the Allies, a thesis serious enough to justify the war for a British or French national, but scarcely, I think, the final judgment of " the only moral agency permanently in being and consistent with itself and possessed of a rational framework, the moral theory of the Catholic Church."
QUITE unrecognised in one of Fleet Street's hostelries one day this week was the Comte de Paris, son of the Due de Guise, who is the claimant to the throne of France. The Comte is the only Royal (working) journalist in Europe, and he Is the editor-in-chief of the Courier Royale, published in Brussels, where be is domiciled, French law forbidding the claimant's family from residence in France.
Reading for To-morrow
MESSRS. SANDS are not publishing a great deal these days, and this is a pity after their success with such up-todate books as Derrick's study of Salazar and Prone° Means Business. At that time they had interesting and ambitious
plans s which eon to have been laid on
the shelf. But I can strongly recommend a recent publication of theirs in a different field. It is a kind of anthology from the works of Abbot Marrnion under the title Words of Life. Arranged in the format of a prayerbook, both in size and in the selection for each Sunday and feast-day of the year, it can be taken to church, where it would provide a few minutes' suitable spiritual reading before Mass begins. There are nearly 500 pages, so the 7e. 6d. is not excessive. I cull from it the thought : "Sadness is a breath of hell; joy is the echo of God's life in us." It forms part of to-morrow's reading, Saturday in Albis.
ACORRESPONDENT, himself a Dutchman, writes to say, in reference to my note last week, that the term "Roman Catholic " is habitually used in Holland.
"R.C. (in Dutch R.N., i.e., Rooms Katholiek)," he writes, " is the official epithet given in spoken and written language to institutions, organisations, etc., to distinguish them from their nonCatholic counterparts. We speak of the R.C. University, the R.C. State Party, the R.C. Insurance Company, the R.C. Football League, the R.C. Peasants' Association, etc. I do not know of any other country on the Continent using ' Roman Catholic."
A Fine Record
MY StonyhurstMagazine tells me of the fine rugger record Of the school. They have won all their matches in this school year and scored 148 points against 22. The fixture with Sedbergh seems to have fallen through, but the match against the scarcely leas redoubtable Rossall was handsomely won by 28 points to five. • The One rough air of the moors should make Stonyhurst boys into good footballers, but their record has not in general been as impressive as it might have been. This year they have clearly confounded their critics.
I wish space allowed us to report the games played by our public schools, but it is not possible. But I am always glad to report anything of interest in this column if the news comes my way.