By G. Elliot Anstruther
IN far-off days of school and geography lessons, Papua was a piece of the globe that presented no attraction. "Manners none, customs nasty," as an earlier and more terse writer had expressed it of somewhere else, fitted eastern New Guinea to a T. Who would not resent being examined about a people whose chief quality was ferocity and whose pleasure it was to take a gastronomic interest in their kind? The only export of any use at all, to the school desks when the master wasn't looking, was the rhyme to Capua.
Comes 1940, and the whole Empire has cause for homage to the memory of a veteran Catholic administrator who has now finished his course, Sir John Hubert Murray must have had an even more wonderful way with him than had Father O'Flynn—a better way, too, with the primitive subjects of his sway. for the last thing he would do to a lazy Papuan was to lift him up with a stick! Humour, consideration, justice for the savage and trust in the savage's word: these were the weapons in an administrative conquest which, as one tribute of the week has said, " put Papua on the map."
Encouragement of missionary activity was naturally part of Sir Hubert Murray's programme. The Vicariate of New Guinea became the Vicariate of Papua in 1923, and to-day, in Mgr. Guynot de Boismenta of the Issoudutt missionaries, the Church has a hardworking Vicar-Apostolic with his centre on Yule Island,
A Warwickshire Scattering " CALLS bAuction Baddesley ClintonH Here, :indeed, is the " CALLS bAuction Baddesley ClintonH Here, :indeed, is the end of a long chapter, for next week is to see the dispersal of historic heirlooms .and other contents which for centuries past have gone to the interior making of one of England's most famous naoated manor-houses, a shrine of faith and a delight to every lover of the picturesque.
Can we not, in imagination, picture the stately rooms as they were in the glory of their Chippendale and Hepplewhite, their Jacobean carvings and their cabinets? The very names of many of the items breathe of a way of life in times differing much from our own, even if the twentieth century does again flirt with the idea of the Tallboy chest---. could many of us, by the way, explain, at the hearing, this piece of furniture?
Paintings and sketches are included in the sale. There was painting and sketching at Baddesley Clinton when a pious chatelaine of the house, Mrs Heneage Dering, gave her skill as an artist to honouring the English Martyrs. Of all Mrs Dering's pictures, the one probably best known is' of the scene at the last Mass in the chapel of the London Charterhouse.
Again That Murder
IN the matter of the stage portrayal of Canterbury's St. Thomas, Robert to Robert succeeds: Mr Robert Sansom, at the Mercury Theatre, has the rOla in "Murder in the Cathedral" so long associated with Mr Robert Speaight. T. S. Eliot's play has by now such a host of theatre-going admirers who have listened to the Archbishop, and the women of Canterbury. time after time, that these will be able to compare closely the renderings of this great part by the two actors.
With Becket such a good card to play for drawing the public fancy, will it occur to any producer to go back over theatrical tracks and revive that other presentation of the subject to which London gave eye and car in Victorian days? Tennyson's "Becket is not to be dismissed as a forgotten work; yet one needs to be elderly to recall it as a live item on the West End bills, and to see Irving under the Archiepiscopal robe. Truth to tell. Alfred Tennyson fared better as poet than as dramatist, and the modern stage seems to have no place fee his "Queen Mary," "Robin Hood," 'Harold," and other essays in stagecraft.
The success, at Mr Ellot'a hands, which has made St. Thomas of Canter. bury something like a stage classic— can we discern in it a case of time's revenge? Those who broke up the saint's shrine, more than four hundred years ago, ordered that no image of "Bishop Becket " should remain. They would have the slain Archbishop to become subsequently an unknown figure to the people at large. Eliot---Speaight.—. Sansone have changed all that!
Blount of Mapledurham
THE extinction of an old Catholio family, by the death of its last representative, must inevitably be an event fraught with pathos for most of the readers of this column. Miss Mary Lucy Blount, whose life of eighty-eight years closed last week, was the last, it is said. of the Blounts of Mapledurham. She did not die in the Oxfordshire mansion, which she and her sister left some years ago, making their home in Sussex. But to the last her memories will have been with the old chapel, St. Michael's, which hospitably threw open its doors for Mass to the faithful of the neighbourhood, and in which a special tribune preserved place for the family.
St. Michael's chapel at Mapledurhain is still a Mass centre. Once a month, on the second Sunday, a priest from Caversham serves its altar.
Two Servants of Eire
EIRE has made a change in Attorneys General. Mr Patrick Lynch, KC, appointed to that office about four years ago, has resigned and is succeeded by Mr Kevin Haugh, K.C., who in recent years has been to the fore as a leader for the State.
The outgoing Attorney-General is now more than a golden jubilarian of the Irish Bar, and it is thirty-four years since he took silk. He has long been a Bencher of King's Inns. Before he became Attorney he served the Fianna Fail side in Irish politics, for two years, as a member of the Senate.