12 OCTOBER 1934, Page 17


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] '

Sut,—I regret that, living in the country, I have not imme- diate access to the original Latin of Pope Innocent's Interdict.

I take the following extracts from a translation by the late Dr. Sebastian Evans (In Quest of the Holy Grail, 1898, p. 137) :

Whosoever shall request confession, let him have it Whensoever he will, and let him make lawful testament and with all solemnity, but without the Eucharist and without Extreme Unction.

"Let the bodies of the defunct as well clerics as laics, be placed wheresoever their friends will, without the churchyard, and especially where passers-by may be moved at the sight thereof, but. so that no priest be present at the funeral of Wes, albeit while the corpse Beth in the house a priest may privately make com- mendation of the soul, though without the cross and without holy water. C:erics defunct may well be laid aside in sealed trunks or in leaden vessels on the trees of the churchyard or on the wall, and let the bodies of religious be placed within their own precincts without opening the ground of the churchyard."

In a footnote Dr. Evans gave a list of references by which his translation (the first into English, he claims) may be checked. Of course, if it be a" fake," since exposed, I have been misled, and I am truly sorry. Has its genuineness been challenged ? If not, I submit that my picture of rural England's woe was no heightened one.—I am, Sir, yours faithfully, The Haven, Fowey, Cornwall. ARTHUR QI.TILLER-COCCH.