I confess to being what Mr Gerard Noel (May 31) rather ungallantly terms an old-time Chestertonian, but one however who is jealous only of those comments which happen to be untrue.
Mr Noel says that a favourite pastime of Chestertoo's was literary "angling"; casting "baits" to catch adversaries at the end of his line. This is news to me. Chesterton was by nature a defendant, not a trapper.
Mr Noel warns new readers: "Above all, don't take him more seriously than he took himself, as do so many of his doting admirers, particularly among the `professional' Catholics."
All this might give the impression that Chesterton was flippant; that some of his writing was tongue-in-cheek, and therefore not to he taken seriously. Chesterton was himself a very humble man; hut his work though witty was all serious. He wrote: "Mere light sophistry is the thing that I happen to despise most of all things. I know nothing so contemptible as a mere paradox; a mere ingenious defence of the indefensible. I never in my life said anything merely because I thought it funny."
It would be interesting if Mr Noel explained which Catholics come within his category of "professional".
J. A. Riley 6, South Avenue,