A Roving Causerie
By G. E. ANSTRUTHER
The note, in last week's CATHOLIC HERALD, anent the fourth centenary of Blessed John Forest, has brought its writer a letter of criticism. " Would it not be better," the critic asks, " to leave off talking about Protestants burnt at Smithfield or Catholics burnt at Smithfield, and instead to pity, and honour the memory of, all men and women, whatever their religion, who died for their convictions?" '
That letter came from somebody who wrote even better than he knew; for if there is one place to be singled out more than another in which to give rein to his broad sentiment. that place is Smithfield. Was it a unique circumstance — perhaps some learned martyrologist can tell us—that there was a day there when Catholics and Protestants not only suffered death, for their respective convictions, at the same time, but actually shared the hurdles of humiliation on which they were drawn to the gibbets?
History bears witness to the facts, The date was July 30, 1540. The Catholics were BB. Thomas Abel, Richard Fetherston, and Edward Powell. all three secular priests and Doctors of Divinity. The Protestants were named Barnes, Garret, and Jerome. The Catholics had been condemned to death for their opposition to Henry the Eighth; the Protestants for teaching the Zwinglian heresy. The six men were drawn to Smithfield on three hurdles. Side by side, on each hurdle, lay a Catholic priest and a Zwinglian heretic, destined alike for eternity. Can it he doubted that in that last earthly ride, if words passed between two so divided in faith yet so closely united in fate, those words were not of enmity but of heavenly consolation?
A distinguished public servant in Malta, Hannibal P. Scicluna, KM., is to be honoured, next week, by Oxford University. In this case the degree of Master of Arts, honoris causa, comes to a man who in addition to much legal work on the island has found the time also for a considerable amount of historical research and writing. A pupil of St. Ignatius's College, and afterwards a student at Malta University, Scictuna was destined to have a good deal to do with the latter institution. For seven years he was the University's Secretary and Registrar, and he now holds the post of Librarian.
Various high honours already testify to the esteem in which Hannibal Scicluna is held by more than one country. France, for instance, made him, in 1930, a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur. Years earlier still, he received the dignity of Knight of Magistral Grace in the Order of Malta, of which Order a history is one of a number of his published works,
Lord Rennell, in The Times, may unwittingly have caused some flesh to creep. His letter was a plea for a statue of Shakespeare, to adorn, with great literary figures front other lands, the Ambrosian Library at Milan. So far, so good : there is no material for flesh creeping in that. But in detail his lordship remarked that owing to the Ambrosiaaa's ever-increasing numbers both in books and in students, " it was recently found necessary to extend the premises which were associated with the Church of St. Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan, and the new buildings enclose a colonnaded court."
Now tourists' memories are often based upon but hurried and slight acquaintance, and it is not always easy to keep in one's mind, after visiting a foreign city, the "lay of the land." There may be many who, reading Lord Rennell's sentence as it stands, and remembering the day when their itinerary took them to St. Ambrogio and its ancient and famous forecourt, will have associated that church and a trium with the Library's extension. Let any such fears be set at rest. St. Arnbrogio is at some distance from the Ambrosiana, which indeed has an old church for neighbour, but it is the church of the Holy Sepulchre, When the Jesuit Fathers of Mount St. Mary's open their new preparatory school, a few months hence, they will add one more to our Catholic preparatory schools in imposing settings. Barlborough Hall, in Derbyshire, from which mansion the boys will in due course be ready to proceed to Spinkhill, is an impressive Elizabethan pile, opulent of windows, designed on rich perpendicular lines, and altogether a fine acquisition. architecturally. for the Society, Our English public schools have done well in getting good and spacious and some cases almost palatial " preparatories." Barlborough is a case in point; but. one might cite also, without going far back in time, such mansions as Worth, in Sussex, for Downside; Gilling Castle, for Ampleforth; and a house of many Catholic memories in the Midlands, Grace Dieu, which is now the preparatory school for Ratcliffe.
Among several new Associates of the Royal Society of British Artists one notes with pleasure the inclusion of Mr. Philip Lindsey Clark, Already Mr. Clark held, like his father before him. the distinction of A.R.B.S.; he has also another honour, won in sterner fields than those of art— the D.S.O. a decoration conferred upon him in the war years for gallant service with the Royal Sussex Regiment.
Lindsey Clark's work as a sculptor is by now widely known, London holding many examples. In Westminster Cathedral and in other churches; on the façades of a number of our schools; in war memorials in England and in Scotland, one may see
the fruits of his skill. The Royal Academy and the Paris Salon have had exhibits from him. Altogether, his pieces roust by now be the makings of a long list, and all of us will wish for this good Catholic Craftsman that his future labours may make that list by many times longer