"England WAS Happy"
[Schoolboys of today are England of tomorrow? The Catholic Herald hopes to prim from time to time the views of the younger generation of Catholics, whether public-5(1;Po' or factory or shop.]
Now it is spring and we are happy. We desire to be so but we fight shy of showing oar lightheartedness to others. They were carefree in the time of Richard.
Spring was a bright carnival of the forest to Robin Hood and his merrie men; even to the people at large. " The peasantry had their holidays and rustic games on which neither the Lord nor the priest looked unkindly."
Let the office boy quote this when next his grandmother passes swiftly out of this life.
The people of the towns were given to gambling which was popular both to high and low, and on the smooth garden lawns and the village green the men played at bowls. Wrestling was the great national sport and the sturdy yeomen strove for prizes. To market and fair came the acrobat and delighted the rude countryfolk with flashing knives and the handling of swiftly-moving balls. The bear ward could often be seen in the towns with his monkey, and in the summer evenings came the dancers and minstrels to the country revel.
It was the universal feeling of devotion and obedience to the Catholic Church, which lifted their minds out of the narrow groove of the material cares of life. Even in those times of corrupt government an great social evils, which drove men as outlaws to the woods; they were happy. In spite of the squalor and dirt of their narrow world the free spirit of the people broke all bounds. They would laugh and sing so that all the world might know this was " Merrie EngIande."
Calvin's Morbid Taint Doesn't it hurt us all, now that foreigners must call us a solemn race? There is no smile from those who pass by; the nation has not a cheerful face. Is there no longer any merit in a stranger's conversation, must we sit side by side in the bus and forget we have our tongues. They smiled years ago but now the troubles of Life are shown on every face, and the man in the tube never gives his seat to a lady, for we must all suffer and suffer alike. So we will smile on the bus conductor not in the hope that he will smile back but because he rarely sees a smile. We are not over emotional and it is that quiet never-be-serious attitude that has left England so beautifully unexcitable and conservative, but, we are not stoics, nor cynics, but just English.
Nevertheless Calvin has left behind him a morbid taint. Can' we not get rid of it outside the public-house?