15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 18


LT° the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sm,—No one would maintain that More's Responsio ad Lutherum was a pretty piece of work. Theological squabblers have often been notably proficient in Latin Billingsgate, which usually gets a good way further than English in scurrility. More himself, in his peroration to the Responsio, apologizes for offending polite ears with unclean words, but, he explains, you can't touch Luther's book without using them. Luther's reply to Henry had been fully as coarse and rude as was More's to Luther. And the remark- ably cloacal passage quoted in part by your correspondent refers, surely, to Luther's own foul mouth, not to where ha "got his doctrine from." It runs, nec aliud in ore gestare, quam sentinas, cloacas, latrinas, merdas, stercora . . Bad enough, indeed ; but if your correspondent means to imply that More is not, therefore, a fit candidate for saintship, one may remind him that, for saints in controversy, such language is quite in order. Few of the saints have been mealy-mouthed, and most of them, when theologically irritated, could turn pretty coarse.—Yours, &c.,