Who Was Mr. Burns? Who Was Mr. Oates?
A5 I think I have mentioned before the really interesting history of the past is to be found, not in the generalisations of the popular books, but in the little details to be sought in the odd specialist work. Thus it is that in a booklet printed for private circulation, called Early Chapters in the History of Burns and Oates, we really live again in the Catholic England of a hundred years ago, though the information is limited to the business dealings of a publishing firm. at first High Church and then Catholic. In this case the business dealings were in large measure with no less a writer than Newman. Who was the pioneering Mr. Burns? Who was Mr. Oates? It is exciting really to know the men behind these famous names. Who was Mr. WashPourne?—that presumably is for another instalment. Meanwhile the research that went into this little work is neatly passed over to its reader who has to find pages 5 and 6 between pages 22 and 23. Very good for one's practice in investigation. Most week-ends, two large tables in my study arc stacked with books, pencil diaries and manuscript letters among all of which I have to find my way. so 1 was pretty quick about solving Burns and Oates' little puzzle for their friends.
The Voice of the Holy See IHAVE more than once expressed what I am sure is the surprise of very many of my readers at the little interest which is usually shown by Catholics in this country in the words of the Holy Father. For the most part those who do not read the Catholic Press remain entirely without any information even about the Pope's major acts and counsel throughout the whole year. I am therefore glad to recommend the enlarged Catholic Almanac which has blossomed this year Into The Catholic Almanac and Year Book for 1950Holy Year. for 3s. 6d. This year's book of over 150 pages contains in addition to a full calendar and useful information, two excellent features on " The Voice of the Holy See " and " The Church in the World." But presumably fewer people will buy it than buy the Catholic Press, so the problem of the remainder remains unsolved.
First No Digging Experiment I PROMISED my compost-inter ested readers some weeks back to give a faithful account of my first no-digging experiment. I chose an ex-strawberry bed which had not been dug for years. Having no ripe compost I used leaf-mould from a wood. i covered the ground with two inches of it, and a fortnight later pressed into this mould a row of broad beans, covering them with another two inches of leaf-mould. As far as I can see every bean has germinated, even though with the heavy rain it looked as though some might he washed away. By the time the plants were over an inch high I put some old sawdust round them to keep the roots warm in case of hard frost. They are now a good two inches high, very strong and healthylooking. Of course very bad frost
may get them—but. if not, we shall see.
The Prayer of St. Ambrose IAM afraid it is some years since I have used the famous prayer of St. Ambrose before Mass, which is normally divided into days of the week. In the Burns Oates New Missal the divisions are omitted, Reciting the prayer is one way of hearing Mass, for no prayer expresses the Mass better. There is one particularly beautiful paragraph. translated by Finberg-O'Connell, as follows: " Deign to look with compassion, Lord, upon these other offerings I lay before thee: the struggles of the poor, the perils of nations, the groans of captives. the desolation of orphans, the hardship of travellers, the helplessness of cripples, the anguish of the incurably sick, the failing strength of the aged, young men's sighs, the yearning of maidens, the grief of widows." Certainly, the world as we know its The Lasance Missal tackles suspiria fuyenum, vota virginum with "the trials and ambitious hopes of young men, the high desires of maidens."
Worth Supporting IPEEL we owe a good deal to Illustrated for last week's excellent illustrated feature about the Holy Father and the Holy Year by H. V. Morton. Moreover. they took the trouble to get it vetted by a responsible Catholic which is more than many papers would trouble to do. This week they are following it up with pictures on the Vatican City with special emphasis on the lives of the people who live there. We should give practical support to papers who give authentic news and pictures of Catholic interest to the masses whom Catholic papers cannot hope to reach.
A Parcel Scheme Becomes Real "THE Australian Express Parcel A Parcel Scheme Becomes Real "THE Australian Express Parcel 'THE have just delivered their two-millionth gift food parcel in this country." Put that way, it sounds beyond belief, and so we do nothing much about it. But when an actual parcel comes one's way, one begins to realise it very differently. As the result of a scheme by which the proprietors of a number of Australian papers have sent 12,000 parcels to those engaged on newspaper work in this country, a dozen of the parcels have reached the office of Tree CATHOLIC HERALD. That is real, and on behalf of those who will actually enjoy the parcels this Christmas, I at least should likepublicly to express the gratitude of the paper to Australia and the Daily Mirror, Sydney.
Scene en Famille AFRIEND of mine has a charming German help. The other day my friend was given a record of important world events which, when played, reproduced the voice of Hitler. Immediately the German help, who was in the room, stiffened and raised her arm in the Nazi salute. A very English cook grumbled later that these Germans start sooner or quite
later "they begin
to corrugate us."