Coals of Fire
"COALS of fire with a vengeance,"
is how Douglas Hyde describes an experience he had during a recent visit to Jersey, where he had gone to lecture for the C,Y.M.S. Eight weeks after the island was liberated from the Nazis, when he was news editing the Daily Worker, he sent a senior reporter over to do a series of articles attacking the authorities for their alleged collaboration with the Nazis. The series was designed to assist a Communist group which was making the most of the prevailing mood of hatred for all
" collaborators." On this occasion the attacks were more-than-usually unfair in view of the smallness of the island and the total impossibility of any known saboteur continuing to exist for more than five minutes.
Angry Editor IN particular, the island's main paper. the Evening Post, was picked out for attack and the reports published in the Daily Worker. which caused a sensation at the time, were illustrated by extracts and facsimiles of its contents during the occupation. The articles were later published as a pamphlet and questions were asked in Parliament. Last week Douglas Hyde called at the Evening Post' office and met the editor (a non-Catholic). who told him that he had never been more angry In his life than when, after suffering so much for years. he found himself attacked by the Daily Worker in this way.
But that evening the front page of But that evening the front page of
the Post was dominated by a large picture of his arrival at the airport, and the report of his lecture at the Town Hall led the paper again in the next issue. The headline read: " How Christians can meet the challenge of Communism. Understand your Faith. live it, and speak out about it."
The ZYX of English LAST week our home was reit.' freshed by the arrival of a charming French young lady who has come to this country for a period to learn English. Cooperating in the common task of teaching her is the boy, aged 6, who holds out objects and rattles out the English names of the different parts. But not wishing to see his pupil progress perhaps faster than he himself does at his lessons in school. he held out a hook, and declared : " Koob." Our friend looked even more puzzled than usual this time, koob not ringing any hell at all. The boy then triumphantly pointed out that "knob " was "book " the wrong
way round. Perhaps he was a good teacher ; that is a word she will
Crowded Academy A VERY rapid run through the " Royal Academy, peering over people's heads and almost through their legs, left me with the impression that this year's show is a very considerable improvement on the exhibitions of the last few years. I recommend a visit when the crowd
thins a bit. I am told that some 14,000 pictures were submitted. and I take my hat off to any selection committee which can weed out 13.000 and leave a thousand of the best.
The ' Problem' Picture OBVIOUSLY, Stanley Spencer's polyptych of the Resurrection at the last day, which has been so widely reproduced, dominated the show, both by its size and the imaginative effort required to paint it. When I got near it, I lapsed on to an unoccupied corner of a bench, and thus overheard an old lady exclaiming to her companion that with a filthy book you can throw it out of the window (not a very good idea anyway), but a painting like that is bound to stick somewhere and go on doing infinite harm. This shows how wide diversity of view can go. It is true that Spencer's efforts at a sort of ultra-realism within his own original imagination often comes near satire or caricature, and can be so interpreted. But his intention is certainly most seriously Christian, and presumably. whichever way you look at it, the rising from the tombs on the last day will look very different from a picnic in a cemetery, Here you get the clothed bodies semi-petrified and distorted and vegetated in their long contact with the earth--an idea which allows of infinite ingenuity in patterning and texturing the whole picture in a typical Spenserian way.
This Academy, which, this year, is one of contrasts, has no stronger one than the contrast with Alan Sorrell's " Fatima " and Spencer's work, as they hang together.
Churchill Again THOUGH it is the fashion to do so,
I must put in a word for Winston Churchill. I was on the look-out for one or two of his pictures which I had seen reproduced, but I was genuinely arrested by one canvas which seemed to me to stand out by its simplicity, composition and colour. Looking at my catalogue I saw it was " Lake Carezza in the Dolomites." by Winston S. Churchill,
Hon. R.A. Stanley Reed's portrait of Archbishop Downey was causing much comment owing to the "trompe-oeil" of the purple silk dress. Straightforward and impressive was the head of Mgr. Knox. by Arthur J. Pollen. Among the watercolours, which made a far more interesting showing than the recent R.I. exhibition, Pitchforth was outstanding to my taste. A word, too, for that little tour-de-force, a highlyfinished Bottocellian picture of a girl arid cat, called " Sarah," by Michael E. Jensen. The royal pictures were, I thought, among the most disappointing, though they photograph well.
The Greater Evil?
LAST Sunday at Mass our parish priest paid a high tribute to the non-Catholics of our very nonCatholic district for the way in which they supported his whistdrives, bazaars. dances (including St. George's Dance), the profits from which maintain the little church with its very small Catholic congregation, "Certainly there is no bigotry here," he declared. It gave me quite a shock not to hear him say : "There is no bigamy here," as 1 had just been reading Dr. Hulme's account of the country apostolate in the current Catholic Gazette, where he quoted the difficulties as one simple Catholic put it : " It is very difficult here. People are so bigamous! "
Entry into Peru MY note last week drew from the ' Peruvian Consulate the answer for which I had hoped. but had been unable to obtain. The Consulate now assures us that for permanent entry into Peru the question of religion does not arise at all. All Peru wants to know, if you intend to reside there, is whether you have the means to support yourself when you get there and anything relevant to that.
St. Jude's Corner
()WING to what the B.B.C. calls a technical hitch in other words my throwing the wrong letter into the wastepaper basket-1 am unable to direct to its source a letter to "St. Jude's Corner — April 28, 1950." Would the would-he recipient let me have again name and address?
Message for a Friend MAY I assure my very regular correspondent K. W. Wheeler, who writes without giving a full address. that 1 always read her letters with the greatest interest and pleasure—even requests like "Let's have a lot more about the doggies
and less compost." Jr.
This is not, how This is not, how
ever, a request for a fuller address which would lay me under an obli
gation ! But if she really does enjoy writing, I enjoy nadirs