AFRICAN ANGELUS By C. C. Martindale, S.J.
Father Martindale gives us good measure. The episodes and impressions of his journey through South Africa fill over four hundred closely packed pages, and his publishers (Sheed and Ward) are to be congratulated on issuing the book at so reasonable a figure as 7s. 6d. The small, closely set type gives the pages a formidable appearance, which should not be allowed to deter the reader, who will find to his content much shrewd observation and a detached judgement expressing itself in a high-spirited enthusiasm of discovery. The author permits himself the satisfaction of a frankness which makes for good reading. Thus, on Jesse Jones' suggestion that a lingua franca should be created to deal with the language problem, he comments : "On this loathsome idea, see below, p. 351." We cannot do more than indicate his breadth of view. Of education, for instance, as now meted out to Africans, he is justly and .severely critical. The fact that some watches have Roman numerals on them seems to him a poor reason for teaching Roman numerals up to L." He is amused by a visitor ' who fell into paroxysms because she found girls eating not off a table, boys sleeping not in beds." 't'his is the conclusion of another school celebration conducted along the usual " speech-day " lines. "My burly neighbour nudged me from his side in the corresponding set of ribs, and said : 'What do you think of this?' I answered : I don't like it very much. He said : 'B—y eyewash.' I deducted something from his remark, to get at what he really meant." There seems to be something amiss with a footnote on p. 293, but that is the only error we detected in a book which has flung its net very widely.