Pictures Again AS one who occasionally visited the National Gallery before the war to find myself almost alone, I was interested last week to note that it was not easy to get a comfortable view of any of the great pictures now returned to their home. The numbers at about the lunch hour were quite. startling. So was the comment one overheard. it was appreciative and intelligent. I really think sotinething has happened during the war. Art and music are appreciated in London to-das as never before. I cannot speak about music, but I found myself Seeing the pictures with a new eye. I could tiace school after school of painting in the lines and colour of the rugged, yet sweeping Greco's in which powerful realism is attained through the use of formal and almost abstract patterns. I could see the controlled luxuriance of the Titians and the Rubens as something final in its own line. I could gaze in amazement at the artistry and boldness of the great Rembrandt portraits in which the head was like a doint or focus of living light. And, unlike Professor Bodkin, I was grateful for the manifold experimentation of recent and contemporary painting since its sincerity had educated me to appreciate the great, just as this method of manifold trial and error will certainly lead to a too long delayed rebirth of great painting.
They Are Dying for Them .CAUGHT without reading matter in a hotel the other day, I found four pages of one of the biggest American Catholic papers lying in my bag. It afforded an amusing and instructive soporific. My eye lirst caught an enormous advertisement, " 24 PR ivAre
Spacious Rooms : Largest selection of caskets in Chicago. There are 3 great f ursen Chapels—on the North. West and South Sides—with 24 Private Chapel Rooms, all unusually spacious, thoroughly air-conditioned and beautifully appointed. These are available to all, regardless of cost. Far economical and perfect funeral service . . ." Another advertisement, illustrated with a picture of a tough athlete, was entitled "Corrective Exercise for Clergymen." Of other curiosities I could write, but I merely add that the issue was May 4, four days before VE-Day, yet the front page contained nothing but news and pictures of Catholic Jubilees, Anniversaries, Breakfasts and Luncheons.
Walsingham NOW that travel need not be so " necessary," there is a reviiral of pilgrimages to Waleingham. I hear that the first one to be organised will be exclusively for children and young people. Last month a thousand American soldiers heard Mass in the Priory grounds. the first Mass said there since the Reformation.
The " Walsingham arrow " brooch, which is one of the designs of the original pilgrim signs, is being worn again. Mr. Martin Gillett, the antiquarian, describes how this sign was discovered. " In 1877 while an old house was being pulled down a fifteenth century mould of white lias was found for casting six tokens at a time. These bore the doece of the Annunciation and lily pot surrounded by small emblems of the Trinity and the Star "ief David in connection with an arrow for fixing the sign to a hate' Walsingliam has been represented by at least three signs, this authority tells me. One was an ampulla or bottle to contain water from the holy wells, and another was a medallion with the scene of the Annunciation with the inscription " Walsynham."
I Salute the 0.P.s READERS of this paper will find " themselves in great sympathy as always) with the latest issue of Blackfriars. I recommend especially Fr. Vann's article on Fatima and the People's Theology. Some find it difficult to place the Fatima apparitions and the devotion to the heart of Mary in a philosophic approach to Catholic teaching. Fr. Vann (whom no one will accuse of emotionalism or sugary theology) shows the link. Fr. Ripley HU an article on the Lay Apostolcue. Author and subject are old friends of ours. And the Editor in his comment strikes very directly at the fundamental 'Christian problems of the world's real crisis which is not war, but peace. As a product of the Jesuits I salute the Friars Preacher.
Two Reprints wHAT a rest to pick up books with " no reference to contemporary affairs! This is the charm of two Sheed and Ward reprints recently 'issued. The Monument to St. Augustine, by various writers, and Christopher Dawson's little work on the Oxford Movement. I happened to possess both, but the excellent reprints caused me to dip again into them. Those who know them not at all
should not hesitate to get them. The Dawson book is particularly appropriate for this year. The burning of our books has this compensation, it draws attention again to the best in the past, and I hope ouripublishers will vie with each other in selecting and reprinting what is often so much more valuable than current literature.
Cardinals in Oxford ' MY Dear ' Jotter,'—The article on
• L'a Newman and Littlemore tempts me to ask if any one of your readers could say offhand where there is to be found a statue of Newman wearing a cardinal's hat? The answer is, in the quadrangle _of St. Mary's Hal!, Oriel College, Oxford, Newman's old col lege. Strangely enough, there is a statue of another, less well-known Cardinal, on the front of the building looking down on the High. It is Cardinal Allen, founder of Douai, and he is depided wearing a biretta. The Cardinal was a Fellow of Oriel and Principal of St. Mary Hall, sometimes pronounced Scimary Halt—ALFRED GROWN."
Tail-piece A CHARLADY was asked whether " she enjoyed the Churchill electoral broadcast.
"Oh. I've no time for such a lot of nonsense," she answered. " Besides I know whom I'm going to vote for."
" Why, Mr. Churchill, of course."