I PASS ON—as it may do you as much
good as it did me—the information that the Prime Minister has never felt more optimism and confidence than during the past two or three weeks. I cannot, say who told me, but the source is direct and authentic.
A Successful Leg-pull
ALAS for having persistently failed in every mathematical exam since I can remember! Everybody is writing to tell me that my leg has been badly pulled about the table I published last week. (I except one kind correspondent whose respect for me is so great that he thinks I was really trying to pull the legs of my readers.)
Anyhow the clerical correspondent writes: " If you look at the table you will see that the 1st and 4th lines in each case add up to 1941. It would be strange if they did not, considering that if you add any man's age to the date of his birth you must arrive at the present date. The addition of the 2nd and 3rd lines makes 1941 in each case by the application,of a similar principle."
Now I wonder if the gallant colonel who sent me the table had his leg pulled or was trying to pull mine?
Rosary During Mass
wax October comes the usual flood of v V letters from correspondents deploring the public recitation of the Rosary during Mass. They had a long run last year on our correspondence page so we are notrepeating them. One may well wonder, however, whether this particular devotion would have been promoted by recent Sovereign Pontiffs now that so much more emphasis is put upon an intelligent understanding of our participation in the Liturgy. In these accidental matters the practice of the Church changes and it may be that gradually the public recitation of the Rosary during Mass will fall out of use.
Our Lord and Women
QUARTERLY I unfortunately rarely
see is Christendom, the handsomely produced Anglican " Journal of Christian Sociology," published by Blackwells in Oxford. The current issue contains a delightful article on feminism by Dorothy Sayers in which she argues what a funny world this would be if men were educated to be as sexconscious as women are. If man, she writes, " front school and lecture-room, press and pulpit, heard the persistent outpouring of a shrill and scolding voice. bidding him remember his biological function. If he were vexed by continual advice how to add a rough male touch to his typing, how to be learned without losing his masculine appeal, how to combine chemical research with seduction, how to play bridge without incurring the suspicion of impotence." And Mils Sayers goes on originally to point out that it was not surprising that women " were first
at the Cradle and last at the Sepulchre " for the only Man who treated them as human beings was Our Lord. "A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as ' the women, God help us l' or the ladies, God bless them l' who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension ; who took their questions and arguments seriously. who never mapped out their sphere for them never urged them to he feminine or jeered at them for being female . . . There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity: nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesue that there was anything ' funny ' about woman's nature."
pROM the Sunday Express: — " All over I Britain people are asking, What is this great country, Soviet Russia, like? What is the system of life? How does it work?
Where does it differ from ours? Are the people content and happy? A very interesting book just published . . tells you the answer. It has a foreword by the Soviet Ambassador in London, M. Maisky, so you can take it that the facts arc authentic."
Any More for Confession?
WRITES a correspondent: "About the VT Priory at Haverstock Hill used as a bus stage, a thing happened there which gave great pleasure to Fr. McNabb. The bus conductor, with his hand on the bellstring, would call out Priory, and add, before ringing for the bus to go on—' any more for Confession?' " Silent or Talkie?
VOW that the excitement of legitimate 1st " class travel on 3rd class tickets has subsided, there are other innovations that I should like to offer for the consideration of the railway companies.
Surely more objectionable than cigarette, pipe or cigar smoke in a railway carriage is a chattering group who drown all attempts at concentration over a book?
Surely more terrible than the mere male presence to any woman who wants to talk, are the glaring countenances of those endeavouring to read through her conversation?
So why not abolish " No smoking " and " ladies only " compartments in favour of " talent " and " talking " compartments?
Duff Cooper and Ourselves
" SOME fell by the wayside. . ." This " seems to have been the fate of pronouncements in this paper which appear to have found ascii way to the French paper. Action Franfaise. That paper, speculating recently on the resignation of Mr. Duff Cooper, suggests thai he shares our views about the dangers of the Russian Alliance. That, according to the Vichy writer, was why our late Minister of Information fell from grace.
SHARE the surprise of the.Under-Secre
tary of State for Home Affairs that the editor of Forever Freedom, the " Pelican " anthology of historic passages on freedom, should go out of hit way in the House to persuade the Government to exercise restraint on a well-known weekly newspaper. It is surprising how those who shout loudest about freedom arc the first to deny it when their own convictions arc endangered. Lovers of freedom, largely because they have never had occasion to believe in anything passionately, they have failed to realise that a great deal of the intolerance in history (notably religious intolerance) is the product of that passionate conviction. And the first time they feel anything really strongly they, outdo the inquisitors themselves. I wonder if it has ever occurred to Colonel Wedgwood that the dictators who have considered themselves at war sinothey initiated their revolutions could justify their intolerance by exactly the same arguments as he justifies his. "Inter arma lege.c silent: in War everybody has to consider first the safety of the State." • Precisely. In fact, there's a good deal to be
said for intolerance. There is more than first meets the eye in the Catholic view that truth and justice are a good deal more important than liberty, Quite a number of Liberals are learning the lesson to-day, and, of course, outdoing Christians in their newfound love of intolerance