" Sometimes I Go Mad "
HAVE had a good example of the change
of mind that has come about on the Continent. We used to have a German maid who was a great admirer of Hitler and Nazism. She left before the War and became Swiss by marrying in that country. In a recent letter she writes: " Sometimes I go mad with anger for the person who is responsible for all this grief. The poor soldiers and how many are dying in Russia now I My three brothers must be somewhere in Russia, though God knows where, as my parents haven't had any news for two months. The wife of the eldest got a little daughter and my brother doesn't even know yet that he became a father. The last news we had from him was when he was in Crete." That German woman has learnt more from Hitler than she ever will from Lord Vansittart.
pROM a very direct source — which has nothing to do with any belligerent propaganda—I hear that Franco may have been very dissatisfied with the recent speech he made and which caused such anger here. It appears that the speech *as written for him—as is often the case—and that when he came to read it in public he made it clear by-gesture, dropping of sheets of manuscript, losing his place, that he was dissatisfied. I find this hard to believe, but I do not doubt that he did make a mess of this delivery since my information conies from someone who saw him. Franco is, of course4 preeminently a soldier, and, as a politician against the grain, he may be made the victim of his entourage much more than he himself realises. Certainly much is kept from him.
The Chances of "Henri V"
THE possibilities of a restoration of the French monarchy have been discussed in this paper. The other day I met a person who has known the Comte de Paris since be was a boy and who still hears from him. His view was that the French pretender was fairly optimistic about his chances, but unlikely to agree to anything until the war issue was clearer. He is anxious to have a chance of running France, but not at all anxious for a precarious restoration dependent on foreign goodwill. The Comte de Paris believes in Petain and Weygand, but is highly doubtful about other Vichy politicians.
MY friend had a great admiration for the " personal qualities of the Comte de Paris and thinks that France is lucky to have him in the background. He told me of how the Comte decided to live in a very Communist quarter of Belgium, despite the repeated warnings of all his friends. After the Pretender had been settled for some time in his home, a remarkable change came over the district, led by the Mayor who, after having been an avowed Communist, turned Catholic and monarchist,
Harry Tolfree's News
MANY of my readers will be interested to LL hear that Harry Tolftee, the Y.C.W. leader now in the Army, whose work has become so well known. is engaged to be married to Miss Janet Sudbery, who likewise has been in the Y.C.W. since its beginning and has worked hard in the " Catholic Worker " group. Harry Tolfree writes to me to say that both his fiancee and himself have made so many friends through this paper that they hope that I can make this engagement known to them, now that so many are scattered.
Harry Tolfree is still busy at the old job: "I am at present working at a scheme of Catholic Action in the Forces and have tried a number of experiments with varying degrees of success. The ' thing,' however, is always in mind and with God's help we shall succeeo."
The Sickert Exhibition
THE Sickert Exhibition reminded me of one of the most typically French retorts that I have ever heard. Sickert, it will' be recalled, was a friend of the great French impressionist painter, Degas, and paintings of Dieppe in the exhibition recall that friendship. It was an impressionist theory that landscape painting should be done outof-doors and not in the studio. But Degas demurred " La peinture, cc nest pas du sport," he roundly protested. Had he tried to paint in an English summer, he would have expressed himself even more strongly. Sickest, I believe, agrees with his friend and paints in comfort.
Talking of painting I must especially recommend the brilliant article in the current Dublin Review by Robert Speaight on Rouault, " the monk of modern art." I hope to induce Mr, •Speaight to introduce this greatest of contemporary religious artists to ow readers with illustrations. Fr. D'Arcy is the fortunate possessor at Campion Hall of a drawing of Christ by Rouault who is now in Paris. He is over seventy. Pax Romana in Allied Armies Q. Aylward, who has just resigned the chairmanship of the University Catholic Federation of Great Britain which he has held for the past three years, has told me that the Federation intends to continue its Pax Romana work here by enlarging its Foreign Affairs committee, and one representative of each of the allied nations and dominions is to be invited to join so that contacts can be made with all university groups in the Allied armies as, for instance, the newly-established Polish Faculty of Medicine in Edinburgh.
134 Years Ago I HAVE come across a quotation from that staunch Protestant, Sydney Smith, written in 1807, which is remarkably apposite to the discussion in the " Week by Week " article above. It is also interesting to think that the fate of the Church was just as much in the forefront of political discussion then as to-day. We wrote: ., We are told that this is not a fit period—that a period of universal war is not the proper time for dangerous innovations in the constitution: this is as much as to say that the worst time for making friends is the period when you have made enemies; that it is the greatest of all errors to stop when you are breathless and to lie down when you are fatigued. Of one thing I am quite certain: if the safety of Europe is once completely restored, the Catholics may for ever bid adieu to the slightest probability of effecting their object."
A Ghost Story—Not Original
" Er) you believe in ghosts?" asked a man in a railway carriage to the person sitting opposite him Certainly," replied the latter, and disappeared.