READERS who thy at some of our " headlines would find us very moderate by comparison if they looked at one of the illustrations in "Six Historic Fires," a little book published as a Festival contribution by the Fire Protection Association. -the picture is a reproduction of the tale page of a booklet issued by a London firm of printers and publishers describing the fire at the Tower of I.ondon in 1841. It reads: Latest Particulars of the AWFUL FIRE and Total Destruction of the TOWER OF LONDON, On the Night of Saturday, 30th October, 1841. A MILLION OF POUNDS In Property Destroyed, and 200,000 STAND AT ARMS with DREADFUL ACCIDENTS
AARTISTS, too, let their imagina tions blase, particularly the man who drew the picture for The Penny Sunday Times and People's Police Gazette. His effort was published under the caption :"Awful Conflagration at he Tower of London," A report of the fire says that efforts to put it out were hampered by the fact that the tanks under the Tower contained ery little water and that the tide was out. You will remember that in the much greater fire of London during the war also the firemen were hampered by the fact that the Thames was again very low—the reason why the Germans chose that particular night for the air raid.
Rattigan on Cricket
MAY as well mention in passing that the absent Jotter's wholehearted support of selective "viewing" was justified to the hilt last Sunday evening. -Fhe selection wasn't difficult, I admit, for there were only two items to be selective about — the television newsreel and a play by Terence Rattigan on cricket. The play was a brilliant piece of work that successfully combined the punch of the documentary with that light but sure and usually kindly handling of human situations for which the author of "Flare Path" and "French Without Tears" is justly famous. There was a realistic Test Match against which the plot unwound itself; there were real cricketers like Alec Bedser and Bill Edrich to set beside the fictitious cricketing hero: the shots of the Oval during "The Final Test" were superb; and the "regulars" in the "pub" scenes were true to life.
AS an artistic contribution to Festival Year, this essentially English comedy is ideal. And I can think of no liner analysis of cricket's place in the national life than that which Rattigan put into the mouth of his highbrow "Third Programme" poet who also happened to be cricket-mad: "But of course it's frightfully dull.Ire said in answer to the usual objection. "That's its whole point. The measure of thc superiority of cricket to all other games on earth is that it steadfastly refuses to cater to this boorish craving for ex• citement. To go to cricket to be thrilled, to go in fact to be anything hut lulled gently into a coma of beatific boredom is as idiotic as to demand that a poem should have a story or a ballet should have a plot.
Hollis the debater
pARL1AMENTARY proceedings -1these days have degenerated into such a mechanical grind—what with delegated legislation. guillotine measures, and " prayers" prolonged through all-night sittings — that it is most refreshing now and then to find a speaker whose manner and matter radiate wit, intelligence and common sense. Mr. Christopher Hollis, one of the ablest of our Catholic M.P.s, certainly gave the House much to think about — and laugh at itself about—when he spoke in last week's discussion on education. Hansard can be an accidentally misleading document in that it .quite naturally fails to give any adequate impression of a speaker's tone, delivery, and sense of timing. After all, Hansard sets out merely to be an accurate record of the day's business. I happened to mention to a lobby colleague of mine how amusingly shrewd I found the Hansard version of Hollis' contribution on this occasion. " Yes," he said, " but you should have heard it. Simply priceless. 1 he House loved it too." He put this down to the fact that all too few present-day M.P.s are Adepts in the real art of debate. One of Hollis' shrewder shafts. on the point that we are paying two and a half times as much for education as 10 years ago although there has been a drop in literacy. was in the best University debating society tradition: "There is something to be said for people being educated, and there is something to be said for people not being educated. But there is nothing to be said for paying through the nose for people not to be educated."
VVEN in these days you don't have to look far for big families. During the Young Christian Worker's study week at St, Mary's Training College, Strawberry Hill, someone mentioned that Bishop Bright, Auxiliary of Birmingham, one of Y.C.W.'s keenest supporters is one of a family of thirteen brothers and sisters. " That makes our family seem rather small," said a reporter, " there are only ten of us." A young fellow from Birmingham smiled and said: " There are seventeen of us."
pARDINAL Lienart's new "" Auxiliary for the diocese of Lille, Mgr. Henri Dupont, has a younger brother who has already been a Bishop for ten years: he was consecrated at the age of 39 for the African vicariate with the rather amusing name of Bobo-Dioulasso. Brother-Bishops arc not so rare as one might imagine. There are now, for instance, Archbishop Gaetano Cicognani, Papal Nuncio in Madrid, and his younger brother Archbishop Amick) Cicognani, Apostolic Delegate in Washington, and Canada can show Mgr. George Cabana. Coadjutor Archbishop of St. Boniface, and his younger brother, Bishop Joseph Cabana, Vicar Apostolic of Uganda. I know of no record, however. to compete with that of
the 13 Vaughan brothers and sisters. Besides the Cardinal there were Mgr. Roger Vaughan, second Archbishop of Sydney. and Bishop John Vaughan, who served as Auxiliary in his eldest brother's first diocese,
Salford Three of their brothers, including the celebrated Fr. Bernard Vaughan, were priests, and all their five sisters entered convents. Their nephew Francis became Bishop of Menevia, and another, Herbert, was the first Superior of the Catholic Missionary Society.
Aylesford ' stamp
TWO postage stamps have been issued by Malta to com
memorate the -77-171 seventh centenary of the vision of Our Lady of St. Isimon Stock with . he brown scapular. With my
• I thanks to the
Ireader who sent it, I reproduce here one of the stamps. al It is a reproduction of the famous painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Carmelite Church in Valletta.
Bats in the Belfry
SI'RANGE as it may seem, some
Anglican clergymen in rural parts are suffering in silence all the inconveniences of " bats in the belfry." Literally, not figuratively! And there appears to be no easy method of persuading these aimless creatures to seek other places of abode, thus—at one stroke—liberating the belfries and destroying the meaning of an ancient pleasantly English term of derogation. A reader has passed on information of one attempt which may interest the liturgically minded without altogether impressing the naturalists: " An Anglican clergyman, whomI knew well, told me that he had heard that. where incense was normally used, there were no bats. One week day he had a tremendous unceremonious burning of incense in the hope of ousting the bats from the church which he served. I cannot think that one conflagration would have been sufficient, but should be interested to know if there is any truth in the statement, or if those who put it forth have bats in their belfries."
YOUR DAILY MASS GUIDE
August 5-11 Sun., August 5. 12th after Pentecost, sd. Corn. of Our Lady of the Snow, Cr., Pref. of Trinity, last gospel of Our Lady. (Green.) Mon., August 6. The Transfiguration, d. 2 cl. Com. (in Low Mass) of SS. Xystus, Felicissinuss and Agapitus. (IVhire.) Tues., August 7. S. Cajetan, d. in /lac.) Wed., August 8. SS. Cyriacus, Largus, Smaragdus and others, d. West. S. Oswald, d. (Red.) Thurs., August 9. S. John Mary Vianney. d. Corn. (with last gospel) of vigil of S. Lawrence, and of S. Romantis. (White.) Fri., August 10. S. Lawrence, d. 2 el. w. S. oct. (Red.) Sat., August IL Our Lady's Saturday. s. Corn. of SS. Tiburtius and Susanna. (14/hire.)