Welsh Nationalism APOLISH sociologist with whom I was talking the other day advanced the theory that popular feeling was more easily aroused by interference with traditional usages and cultural possessions than by political domination. This accords with the observation of a member of the C.H. staff who has recently returned from a holiday in Wales. He said that ninety-five per cent. of the people he passed in the street were speaking Welsh, but that Welsh nationalism as a political movement had no great influence. And he added that this use of the vernacular was due to no academic "revival," but was a popular thing, the spontaneous loyalty of the people to their native tongue.
ERHAPS my Polish acquaintance's
view explains the present popularity of Shakespeare. Besides the performance in London of Macbeth and Othello, Mr. Robert Atkins has been staging Twelfth Night and Midsummer Night's Dream. Perhaps " staging " is scarcely the right word; it suggests the conventional theatre. These performances have been given in Regent's Park. Does this mean that the sense of danger to our national traditions and culture finds a rallying point in the plays of our great dramatist?
Confidences THERE was one thing which this visitor to Wales told me which sounded like some faint recollection of a far-off simpler, uncommercialised and unsophisticated age. After making a purchase in a shop which he had never entered before, he found that he had not got the right change. The shopkeeper could not help him but solved the difficulty by saying: " Well, you'll be coming this way some other time; you can pay then." So he walked out of the shop with his unpaid-for purchase under his arm, wondering whether this confidence was to be attributed to his honest look or to the trustfulness of Welsh human nature.
Where's that Mouse ?
THE world crisis has gone so far
that you may find your cinema fare rationed. Disney cartoons, for instance, are getting rare commodities. My film critic tells me it's because Donald Duck is now quacking for America's Treasury Department ; Mickey Mouse has been drafted by the co-ordinator of InterAmerican Affairs, and the Three Little Pigs are helping to promote the war effort from Canada to points south of the border.
These subjects, we are assured, are being treated with all the usual Disney irreverence.
Can Anyone Help ?
" COULD you put me in touch with
an old friend of mine whose address I have lost?" pathetically writes Fr. Stanislaus Planned, S.J., from Poona. " His name is James Westville, Birmingham—a certain avenue. He subscribed in 1937 for this newspaper just for my sake. I am a new priest and wish to console the friends who were playing for me and helping me by sending them my priestly blessing in their hour of need."
The Woman's Salute
IT was strange that so ardent a feminist as Grace Conway, when she wrote last week about " Outward Signs " did not mention the advantage in this matter which men have over women. How misleading is the absence of any gesture of respect on the part of women passing the Cenotaph! The raising or removing of the hat as a sign of respect is a privilege reserved for the male sex. Even in church the woman is forbidden this " outward sign."
Snobbery, Direct and Inverted ONE of the most astute writers in Fleet Street, " Man-in-the-Street," says in this week's Newspaper World: "I dislike Hitler and all he stands for as much as the next man, but I wish some of our more irresponsible newspapers and comedians would stop sneering at him because he was at one time a house-painter.
" That is snobbery at its worst, and in this testing hour of democracy it is more than bad taste, it is bad policy. It is what Hitler has become, not what he was, that is causing a world upheaval.
" Going to the other extreme. I find equally silly and objectionable the sneers at the old school tie. That is inverted snobbery. Public schools have produced geniuses as well as dullards. So have the council schools. The village idiot has his counterpart in Mayfair. Then why sneer at the old school tie? It has the same effect on certain writers in the Press as King Charles's head had on the kite-flying old gentlemen in David CopperfieldS "
Guess 1 I WONDER if anyone could ever guess who wrote the following. To me it reads rather like the kind of article one might find in Black/riars: " This present community consists, as far as it is a framed thing, in a myriad contrivances for preventing us from being let down by the meanness in ourselves or in our neighbours. But it is like a motor car that is so emcumbered with non-skid, non-puncture, non-burst, non-this and non-that contrivances, that it simply can't go any more. I hold this the most sacred duty —the gathering together of a number of people, who shall so agree to live by the best they know, that they shall be free to live by the best they know. The ideal, the religion. must now be lived. practised. We will bring church and house and shop together. I do believe that there are enough decent people to make a start with. Let us get the people. Curse the Strachey who asks for a new religion—the greedy dog. He wants another juicy bone for his soul, does he? Let him start to fulfil what religion we have."
The writer was D. H. Lawrence—in a 1915 letter.
In Monte Carlo WO fewer than 420 British Monte .1 Carlo gamblers have, I hear, found a haven of rest for the duration in their old haunts within the Prince of Monaco's tiny domain. But they are not flush, so the British Consul gives those of them that ask for it £10 a month, which they do not have to pay back till after the war! Whether they can gamble it away or not, I do not know. Other British subjects, lying low in France and hearing of the rationless, taxless life where drink and seeshine are plentiful in Monaco, are trying to get in too. The Prince does not mind a bit, for he says that Britishers were always among the resort's best customers.
Creases YESVBS. said the war-worn soldier in ." bus to his companion, " when I came on the parade ground 'e asked where were the creases in my trousers. ' Sergeant-Major,' says I, ' I left 'cm in France.' " Which is, in a manner of speaking, a parable.