Page 8, 3rd February 1939

3rd February 1939
Page 8
Page 8, 3rd February 1939 — IN A FEW WORDS
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IN A FEW WORDS

Yeats

DY the death of W. B. Yeats, Ireland LI has lost the most famous of her men of letters. and a brilliant chapter of literary history ends. Gone is the last of that brilliant company that founded the Abbey Theatre and built up a school of letters celebrated far.

Perhaps I should make an exception —President Hyde, whose translations from the Gaelic inspired the school, is with us still; but he scarcely belonged to the movement.

What He Missed

tOR long past, Yeats was out of Isar! mony with Ireland and wrote little of national or literary consequence. By Lady Gregory's death, his strongest bond with national Ireland was broken. His advocacy of divorce, and many attacks upon what Catholics hold dear, destroyed for Irishmen the hopes that he raised in 1921, when he wrote for a while under the influence of Pegny, Claudel and Jammes, and seemed on the way to a Christian reconciliation. He himself confessed to an embitterment that he knew to be injurious to his work, and wrote :

We and our bitterness have left no traces

On Munster's fields and Connemara' skies.

A Poet on a Poet

I MET Yeats from time to time in the I Saville Club, when he was always the centre of a small crowd of members. He looked the poet to the full, and his rich voice, speaking steadily, clearly and insistently, left the others dumb. He was undoubtedly a major poet, but he will not be ranked among the greatest, for his exquisite verse was on the precious side, and he never wrote anything of spacious theme and treatment. An Irishman, himself a poet, writes of him to me, and says that many " must be sad to-day as when the sunset fades from the highest clouds and night closes on the day."

Gagging Judge Rutherford

EVERY post brings the CATHOLIC HERALD another copy of a leaflet entitled "Roman Catholics Anxious To Gag Judge Rutherford," sent In by readers who have received it. The leaflet describes at length how the CATHOLIC HERALD, " knowing its statements were untrue, has published such retraction and has paid the legal costs as demanded." This is in reference to an account sent us by our New York Correspondent to the effect that American radio stations cut short a relay of an address by Judge Rutherford in the Albert Hall. It appeared that our correspondent was misinformed and that only three circuits in the U.S.A. cut short the speech.

Such mistakes, which cannot be checked in time in London are bound to happen, but as for "Roman Catholics" trying to gag Judge Rutherford, I can put my hand on my heart and publicly assert that I don't myself know who Judge Rutherford is, or what he stands for. So much for trying to gag him.

Propaganda •

VT pamphlets of these Judge Rutherford

pamphlets makes me wonder once again at the organization, persistence and apparent funds behind anti-Catholic propaganda. I know, because so many of them ultimately find their way to my desk. We can do little in reply, due to lack of funds and system. I like to think, too, that we dislike descending to this sort of thing. I wonder how many realise the terrific preponderance of preMadrid literature, as compared with proNationalist literature, in this country! It was brought home to me vividly the other day when the English representative of one of America's most popular picture papers (selling widely in Britain) told me that be had never received a pamphlet or bulletin from the Spanish Press Services, the only serious pro-Nationalist propaganda organisation in this country. Red stuff Inundates him.

Two Ways of Killing

GIVE me the Communist Daily Worker any day in preference to the so-called "independent" nine and Tide. If those who run the Daily Worker were in power and found it necessary to get rid of the Mee of us think they would shoot us cleanly. The ladies who run Time and Tide would pretend to convert Us while weakening our resistance with some subtle drug and finish us with a slow working poison—and all not for the sake of the revolution (which they reject), but to prove themselves right. The poisonousness of their present attack upon the Government and especially upon the Prime Minister, " the man who has brought our country to its present terrible . pass "—their attack is nearly always personal—has to be read to be believed. I have wanted to say that for a long time and now I have &Lid it. But the excuse this week is to draw attention to surely one of the funniest letters that ever reached the stage of print.

Westminster Remembers

IT is fitting that John F. Bentley's cenI tenary should have had its chief celebration last Monday, at Westminster Cathedral, since that great church is the architect's principal monument. But there are those who insist to me, whenever I talk to them about the eajhedral's creator, that "Bentley was at heart a Gothic man.'

Such persons need go no further than Watford to remember the centenary devotionally, and at the same time to feed their admiration on the Gothic side; for in the Church of Holy Rood we have certainly one of the most beautiful of the smaller Gothic churches in the Archdiocese.

Which reminds me that Holy Rood's rector, Mgr. Canon Jackman, must have lived longer with Bentley's genius than any other Westminster priest. He crossed the Thames, with Archbishop Bourne, in 1903, and spent twenty-three years or more in the shadow of the Cathedral,

Not St. Anne's

BENTLEY'S fame as a cathedralbuilder mats sufficiently and securely upon Westminster. The Catholic Eneyelopmdia, I notice, makes a slip in crediting him also with St. Anne's Cathedral at Leeds, a building designed by Eastwood. When the West Riding church had its stone-laying, Bentley had been several months in the grave.

THE JOTTER




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