Jesuits Do It Again
‘ZTALLHOLDERS at the Wim
bledon College Fête on WhitMonday were greatly impressed by Jesuit control over the elements. No one but the Fathers thought that the fete cuuld be held in the grounds. But, despite the steady pouring rain, stallholders were instructed to be ready to hold the fete outside since the rain would cease in time for the opening at two o'clock. With a few minutes to spare, it did. The same phenomenon. I am told, took place some years ago. I am also told that a boy was punished for openly doubting either the spiritual or technical influence of his masters. but this may be an exaggeration.
Seven Thousand Spend Six Thousand TNDER a cloudless blue sky and in unbroken sunshine, no fewer than 7,000 people enjoyed a perfect afternoon among the varied fair attractions. while money poured into the stalls, for
which a large surrounding area of sauth-west outer London was responsible. A miniature train was a great attraction, fathers persuading their children to take a ride so that they could sit with them supposedly to keep them safe. I saw a child buy the last toy on the toy stall as six o'clock struck. The long queue to the refreshment room, in the best traditions of non-abstemious but sober Catholicity, was witness to the excellence of the beverages and food. But perhaps the most outstanding feature was the trumpet band from Luncray and Ste. Marguerite sur Mer in Normandy, touring this country in memory of Lord Lovat's heroic landing at Luneray in 1942. No wonder the money raised for the extension of a new wing to Wimbledon College amounted to over £6,000.
The 'Saints' for four guineas nICTIONARIES of saints are "s" fairly numerous nowadays, and none is better than 10o Attwater's with its brief but always scholarly entries. hut lawns and Oates have gone to town with a sumptuous and excellent!) illustrated (colour and black and white) dictionary of some 500 large pages, printed in Holland. The price is four guineas. The illustrations, sometimes from coins as in the case of early English kings, must have taken a great deal of finding in some cases. There are nearly 200 of them. But the real trouble seems to have been taken over the contributors, the names of many of whom are well known as writers. Consequently. the loneer entries of the better-known saints, some of which run to near 1,000 words. have more than a mere reference value. But we are left to guess which writer.wrote which entry. One is surprised not to find the name of Fr. Brodrick as a contributor, for he is certainly the best authority on the Jesuit saints of the Counter Ilal'formation.Beati are not included, which is a pity. as some of them are far more interesting than the many early saints about whom we know so little.
Beauty in St. Paul's
HAVING for many years bussed on my way to work around St. Paul's, all the more visible because of surrounding destruction, I learned to love and admire it as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. But the contrast between the outside and
the inside seemed to me desastating. I even found it hard to understand how visitors could be bothered to wander round that cold, bleak, massive emptiness. Then Tast week I looked in and it seemed as though there had been a veritable transformation scene. Looking up the aisle to the choir and the new high altar with the blue and white glass behind it. I thought I had rarely seen anything lovelier. Everything had suddenly fitted into shape. Weight and coldness had disappeared as the eye peered through the vastness to the radiance in the distance. It quite took my breath away. The whole thing would be ruined by the suggestion that the altar should be under the dome. Today's St. Paul's can rival any church in the world. I feel sure,
Regional Artist A RE the provinces rich in " regional .artists ? One often wonders why we hear so little about painting or sculpture outside London. Recently, writes Iris Conley, our art critic, I heard again of a promising young Catholic painter, Lionel Miskin, whose early work was given a one-man show a decade ago in London and after that there was silence. Lionel Miskin had retired during that time to Cornwall to paint, and now out of his evident passion for that • part of England he has developed into an individual landscape and portrait painter. (A. L. Rowse, the historian, and Colin Wilson. the novelist, are among his sitters lately.) His understanding of the china clay region in particular, and his sympathy with the people who belong there, emerged strongly in a recent exhibition of his work in the Plymouth Art Centre. Of all Miskin's work, though, I should liked to have seen his mural of the Crucifixion with attendant figures in contemporary dress over the altar in the church at St. Austell.
'Paul's Walk' .ITURGICAL reform had little " place in the minds of our Catholic ancestors in London, if we are to believe R. J. Mitchell and M. D. R. Leys in their fascinating new book, "A History of .London Life" (I.ongmans 25s.). "Al some time before the end of the middle ages it had become a common practice to treat the great and noble church of St. Paul's as a thoroughfare for citizens, and even as a market place", they write. Part of the traffic, it seems, was rather like the modern com mercialism of shrines, but the stalls for the badges and souvenirs were act up within the church. Professional letter-writers helped the illiterate to draw up legal documents, and this was "a short seep to the allotting of piers in the nave to lawyers besides which they could receive their clients. . . . Bishop Braybrook in 1385 forbade 'the playing of ball' within the Cathedral, but to no effect". However, things got worse after the Reformation when "the central aisle of the nave of old St. Paul's --Paul's Walk -had become the greatest promenade in the whole kingdom' . It is good to remind ourselves sometimes that for all our faults we have moved far from some aspects of the "ages of faith". . Compare the wonderful reverence within Westminster Cathedral today. "A History of London Life" gets behind history and makes quite fascinating reading.
Translating into Catholic
A DO not recommend Peyrefitte's
"Special Friendships" (Seeker and Warburg, Ills.), not just because the author wrote, touch later, "The Keys of St. Peter". This is an early book which seems to me grossly to exaggerate, and even travesty, the system of discipline and watchfulness-over boys in a French Catholic boarding school. In fact, I only refer to it here for a quite accidental reason which infuriates me. I have often come across it. The book is translated by Edward Hyams, and I am sure he is excellently fitted, in a general way, for his job. But why cannot either the translator or the publishers at least have the courtesy to get some Catholic to vet a book like this for an accurate translation of familiar Catholic terms ? It would not cost them much. Here are a few examples of what I mean. Enfants-de-choeur is translated as "choir-boys" when it means acolytes. a word known to Mr. Hyams because he uses it elsewhere. Congregation is translated into "congregation" when it means "sodality". We refer to the "Blessed Sacrament", not the "Holy Sacrament". But the ludicrous limit is reached when he talks of "the painful mysteries of the Rosary",
INSTRUCTIONS TO YOUNG STAMP COLLECTORS, by Robert Bateman (Museum Press. I Zs. 6d.).
A USEFUL volume for any new " stamp collector, faced with a future assembling his or her stamps in albums. Selective collecting, stamp identification, stamp clubs, these are but a few chapters of a practical book