British Institute in Rome
AFRIEND in Rome writes to me: " Douglas Woodruff gave an excellent lecture recently at the British Institute in Rome on Newman and Chesterton. It was a delight to hear his carefully prepared talk delivered in excellent English and without his once consulting notes." Douglas Woodruff is the second outstanding Catholic to address the British Institute in Rome; Arnold Lunn was there recently, and he made an excellent impression. The Director of the Institute, Mr Greenlees, is an old Downside boy. In Malta the British Institute strikes one immediately by its Catholic atmosphere. In the reading room a large picture of the Pope hangs on the wall, whilst the newspaper and magazine section contains many Catholic periodicals and papers. Peter Lunn is its secretary. Many English Catholics in Rome are hoping that the British Institute there will not fall to impress Its students in a similar way that there are such things as Catholic newspapers, etc., printed in English.
Et Te Sancte Pater Benedicte?
ABENEDICTINE monk has sent me a little book by an American layman called Rack to Benedict. The :lea behind it is that Benedictinism (perish the word, the author's own!) may again save a world on the edge of chaos as it did fourteen hundred years ago. Mr Louis Ward, the writer, has spent some time in a Benedictine monastery (St. Procopius', in Illinois, U.S.A.) and felt that peaceful spiritual attraction which is the Benedictine secret. But how to get the world in touch with it, that is surely the question. Can a Benedictine foundation be laid in the city, cheek by jowl with modern slums and slavery? Some day I shalt take a tube to Ealing and ask Dom Rupert Brace-Hall —who is headmaster of the Priory School there—about it. He will say nothing, I fancy!
New Jesuit Writer
IT was pleasing to see In last week's Spectator an article defending the Catholic claims in regard to education, written by a younger Jesuit whose name is scarcely known outside the society. It is never easy to get articles into that periodical, and a straight defence of a Catholic claim scarcely ever finds a place in one of the big weekly reviews. Mr Philip Prime, the writer of the article, obtained, I believe, a first in history at Campion Hall, and is now studying theology at Heythrop College. I have little doubt that his name will become very much better known as the years pass.
IN a map shop near the office: a hand some schoolroom map of large dimensions upon which is attached the label "Europe in 1925; offered at 17s. 6d." Expensive at that!
A letter from the K.H. News-Letter Service which begins: "I am enclosing several copies of the K.H. News-Letter, which was founded by Commander King-Hall, M.P., in 1936 to promote the democratic faith." A somewhat tactless way of introducing yourself to a newspaper that recognises only one faith.
The More the Merrier
SOME people appear to be very optimistic. Thus Time and Tide begins its last issue with a very rosy picture of the situation in Norway; practically hopes for the inclusion of Italy and Russia among our enemies; "the greater the intensity and extension of the war, the sooner it will be over and the completer the final success of Allied aims "; and ends with a halfsuggestion that an Allied invasion of Spain might not be a bad thing: "It is here [Catalonia] that the Allies may secure a foothold If the Germans and Italians succeed in dragging Spain into the war. There can be no doubt at all that an Allied force, arriving in Spain by land or by sea, would be received with immense jubilation by the Catalonians." As a journalist of some experience I am well aware that the phrase " there can be no doubt at all " nearly always introduces the most highly contentious section of any leader or note.
None of them would be Missed
THERE are certain publications which the country might well be spared in these days of extreme shortage of paper. I was reminded of them when reading the words of a Protestant clergyman preaching on "Are you clothes conscious ? " One gets tired seeing photographs of these well-dressed women in the papers. Still more tired do we get seeing photographs of one or the other of the world's best-dressed women with elaborate catalogues of their wardrobes and what they spend per quarter on their clothes. "It is an evil business, and the sums they spend wrapping up their selfish bodies are almost beyond belief. These pampered women most spend their time as well as their money in doing nothing but keeping themselves within the charmed circle of the world's silliest women—against what we must admit is very keen competition."
My Unquiet Corner
I HAVE been reading an American review of a new book, Revolution: Why, How, When! which has not, think, been published over here. The author, Robert Hunter, is an exrevolutionary. Some passages from the review make rather grim reading these days: "It is in no small degree due to the economic ravages of war that post-war depressions furnish opportunities for revolutionists. W h e n governments, either through inability or design, lose control over their finances and the value of their currencies the savers, the thrifty, the producers are destroyed. 'Suspicion, hatred. envy and malice inflame those who are suddenly deprived of their savings or livelihood,' says Mr Hunter, ' and terror of the multitude grips those who have managed to salvage something out of the wreckage.' Monetary manipulation paralyses the activities of capital which can only be created through long savings and careful planning over a period of years, This in turn reduces employment and ruins the middle classes as well as the workers. 'It is a teaching of history, often repeated,' says Mr Hunter, ' that when the middle class has been plun d ere d end demoralised no barricades have been left to check the movements of those aspiring to dictatorships.' "
AMAGAZINE deserving the highest praise, if only for its charming make-up and expert printing, The Word (organ of the Society of the Divine Word, the Dutch Missionary Order with a house in Worcestershire), brings me some encouraging statistics of the activities of the society in New Guinea. Over four thousand baptisms (with .22,212 preparing) is the society's boast, being an average of 120 baptisms per annum per priest_ 24 mission centres with 34 priests looks like a good deal of loneliness for these priest-pioneers.
/1 A LITTLE girl of my acquaintance, tired of the mysterious sums which she was called upon by her governess to do, retorted by asking the governess the answer to this one : " Once three boys, called Tom, Tim and Rob, found f63 16s. 9d.; three pounds of silver; ten tons of coal; five ivory hairbrushes; four oak chairs; two dead bodies; twelve valuable pictures; and thirty-three nuts in a cave. How did they divide it among themselves?"