1 JUNE 1934, Page 6

I doubt if there is any other pair of figures

in con- temporary literature who are so constantly bracketed together in the thoughts of readers as Mr. G. K. Chesterton and Mr. Hilaire Belloc. They are, of course, intimate friends. Mr. Chesterton has illustrated at least one brochure by Mr. Belloc. Both belong to the romantic order of writers. Both are protestants in relation to the modern world of progress, and Roman Catholics in re- ligion ; and it is " in recognition of the services which, by their writings, they have rendered to the Catholic Church " that the Pope has just bestowed the Knight Commandership, with Star, of the Order of St. Gregory the Great on each of them. I imagine that the most valuable specific contribution of both to their religion lies in the fact that they have championed in the most humane possible way certain Roman Catholic moral pre- eepts which are by no means universally accepted today. (For example, concerning divorce, or eugenics.) The Catholicism of Francis Thompson was eclectic ; Mr. Belloc and Mr. Chesterton have carried theirs out into the highways and hedges. How very facile principes, by the way, Messrs. Belloc and Chesterton are among Roman Catholic writers in this country. Is there anyone at all of their standard ?