[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]

The 199th meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on the eve of the last of the conversions of Paul, Jan 24th 1940.

[Much of this entry caused problems of transcription, and all uncertainties are marked in the text.]

The Princeps arrived in XXX attire. The meeting was also remarkable for the presence of the Comes Sacri Thesauri and for the absence of the Magister XXX XXX through illness. In the absence of the Magister the XXX XXX the sacred scroll could not be found, and the Pontifex was compelled to write the opening lines as best he could from memory. The meeting then proceeded to the initiation of Fratres Mitchell, (Hotlack?) and Waller, which was also done without the sacred scroll. The Pontifex then took the chair and welcomed the new fratres to the Magister’s XXX XXX XXX the minutes of the last meeting, none could be read XXX the XXX XXX XXX. Then Princeps then explained that it would be impossible XXX XXX XXX in XXX and suggested that it shall be held in a “local town assembly”. This being the proper sphere of the Senate was (info?) to the discussion. Frater Thompson announced that Prof XXX would read a paper on any XXX in the latter half of the term. The Pontifex then carried an act of censure against the Princeps for appearing in improper attire. The motion was seconded by the Caeremoniarius and carried unanimously. The Comes Sacri Thesauri then protested against the XXX of certain members of the Senate, XXX XXX XXX was alleged to have XXX XXX of his senatorial sash. The Pontifex then (objected?), and asked that (makes?) the (Comes?) definitely suspected XXX of the theft, he should be exempted from his protests. The Princeps then vacated the chair and XXX, XXX the meeting in the XXX of the XXX who asked Frater Carpenter to read his paper on ‘the History of Dissent from the Restoration to the time of Wesley’.

Frater Carpenter first traced the attitude of the govt. towards dissent throughout this period, and remarked upon the difference between the priorities of the Dissenters and the Roman Catholics. He then went on to show the lines by which the Dissenters attacked the established Church, both at the Savoy Conference and again in the time of Wesley and discerned a certain pettiness as well in the objections of the Presbyterians as in the time of Wesley. It criticised the complacency of the Bishops, and their lack of understanding of the dissenters. From this point, Frater Carpenter went on to give a short account of the work and importance of Wesley, with genial reference to his social and political views. In conclusion, he drew the attention of the meeting to the influence in the position of the dissenters in 1660, and towards the end of the 18th Century and drew the conclusion that in the interim, dissent (and?) party, had become inseparable. The paper was then discussed, and several views were XXX as to the motives which made men, especially business men, become dissenters. Prominent in the discussion were the Comes, who argued that Methodism acted as an opiates to the working classes, and the Caeremoniarius who offered frequent XXX, and offered much information concerning a XXX known as XXX Green. Although the precise motives of the new industrial and commercial magnates was admitted to be obscure, it was argued that Methodism was (encalically) the religion of the classes which (formed?) during the Industrial Revolution.

After the discussion a motion of sympathy with the Magister in his misfortune was passed. The Pontifex then said as much as he could remember of the closing rites.

J. C. Hatch (Princeps)
A. Briggs (Mag Rot)

The 200th meeting of the Confraternitas had been long awaited by fratres as a golden peak in the history of the society, and it had long been decided that our lady Clio should be rendered due homage by a suppliant host of acolytes. The Senate accordingly summoned all who had formerly knelt at her shrine to join in a (common) festival in Saturday February 17th [1940].

The Confraternitas was more than glad to welcome its chief support and stay in times past, the (Socius Honorabilis?) Frater Passant, after a sad absence in his XXX service. With him there returned Frater Smail, who forsook his military duties to draw nice again with the fellowship, of which he has been a chief cornerstone. Fratres Herd, Hooper and Latlow were also welcomed into our midst – and other present were Frater Thompson, our main stay in time of trouble, Frater Morgan, Frater Riches, Frater Mathew & (Jinglatan?), the Princeps, the Pontifex Maximus, the Magister Rotulorum, the Comes Sacri Thesauri, the Caeremoniarius, and Fratres Hunt, Brackenburg, Gillespie, Gill, Manners, Taylor, Blackburn, (Hopblock?) and Waller. Unfortunately the Fabricius and Frater Carpenter were ill and a unanimous vote of sympathy was passed towards them.

After the augmented opening rites had been pronounced, and minutes had been read, the society moved to the (dastly café?), which even if it was a forced (domiati and cutani?) fratres piously never allowed themselves to forget this – provided us with a (sand mad?) in a room, bedecked with pictures of our most illustrious fratres – Frater Cromwell, and also with XXX many trimmings to (radiate?) the glow of powerful lights, and to introduce a dim (ulifious?) light. The Princeps prepared a toast to the King, and then Frater Fricker (prepared?) the Confraternitas and Frater Passant the absent guests. Letters of excuse were read from several distinguished old senators and plebs – Frater Hatch, Wilkinson, Hind, Ashford, Secretan and Baiss, (and an XXX XXX arrived from Frater Scott-Giles).

After the report, fratres XXX in Frater Passant’s rooms, and to while away the opening minutes, the Pontifex Maximus read a collection of very amusing stories from Geraldas Conbrensis: there was an atmosphere of impending wonder, and it was with breathless awe that fratres echoed the entry of our muse, Clio. With remarkable promptitude, the Magister (extempaised?) an address of welcome and admiration, and Clio graciously responded, and to our great honour, blessed the Confraternitas for its loyalty and devotion. The Pontifex, Comes Sacri Thesauri and Magister were then (awaiyred?) in turn to answer for this administration, and Clio’s XXX was full of XXX and grace, for in her august view, there had never been a better Confrat. Then a tremendous clamour was bestowed on Frater Passant for his great loyalty “as shepherd of the Sidney sheep”. The entry of Cromwell’s ghost upset further proceedings for some time, but eventually after telling a sad tale of (moctaid vendolta) in the gay turmoil of Cambridge, he darted, warning Fraters to heed his example. Clio herself also prepared for her departure: coyly approaching the Princeps, she sang in his ear, and he listened, enchanted as the mariners of Ulysses by the luring XXX of the Sirens; and as a sign of subservience, he kissed her toe. And that after XXX giving us practical dos and don’ts as Tripos questions, Clio vanished to those XXX regions above the clouds, where History reigns supreme.

After such a breathtaking spectacle, fratres listened to a XXX XXX, where the Magister authorised the history of the Confrat. From the days when Clio worship was damnable unjust heresy to the dialectical materialism of most of last years fratres. Frater (Briggs?) had investigated in the Hatch papers, at Whikhl, and as far afield as a (Novean?) Monastry and he touched on the invention of chocolate biscuits and a certain brand of tobacco as characteristic contributions of the Confrat to the economic development of Britain, and to the reasons by Cromwell refused the crown. It concluded with some quotations from recent material.

Frater Fricker then entertained us with some mimiery and interruptions of melodramatic XXX and Frater Passant produced amid roars of laughter and thunderous applause some delightful Irish jokes in a delightful Irish tongue.

With that the official business terminated, and it was a characteristic suggestion of Fratre Smail that fratres should disperse for a short time, and only not by order but by the force of their passions, when they felt capable of it. And singing soon began! Frater Passant conducted with the ease of style that characterises the proms, and rolling choruses echoed through the College courts. And with XXX XXX, the proceedings went on, until at 10.45 the Closing Rites were pronounced by a jovial Pontifex and attended by a fratre gathering. Perhaps Clio was rather shocked, as she slipped her neck out to see the last celebrations in the warm and (expensive?) room, that has seem so much of the life of our flourishing Confraternitas and in any case, as one of the Senate remarked, it was the dawning of the Sabbath day.

F. E. Wilson (Pontifex Maximus)
A. Briggs (Mag Rot)

The 201st meeting of the Confraternitas was held in the Old Combination room at 8.30pm on Monday Feb 26th [1940].

Before this meeting adjourned to the great room, which is the scene of our Visitor’s Meeting, opening rites were said in Frater Thompson’s rooms, and guest welcomed in Frater Passant’s rooms. There was a (godly?) sprinkling of guests, and introducing the operator, the Princeps welcomed all who were among us by (grace?) (nostres?) night, especially those of the fairer sex, who are usually kept with unbending rigidity, outside our doors. The speaker needed no introduction – the Regius Professor of Modern History, Professor G M Trevelyan – and the subject he had chosen was “Whigs and Tories in Foreign Policy from 1688 – 1815”. It was a very good paper indeed, the speaker passing from the misnamed Tory XXX of the age of Marlborough to the Tory War of the Younger Pitt, (ent?) England had domestically avoided the dangers of militarism, for ever the Duke of Wellington loved to change into uniform. Clerical and Irish policy were touched upon, and the importance of (clingers?) evangelicalism on the trends of policy. Professor Trevelyan’s points were (cleverly?) brought out by skilful arrangement and planning; and he was warmly thanked at the close. The discussion proved very interesting: generalisations were advanced and added to, shrewd questions were asked, the possibilities of new theses was explored and everyone seemed to enjoy the proceedings, which had their humourous as well as their serious side: there were occasional peals of laughter for instance, and the Fabricius attempted to restage his scene of last year, by ruling a (nving?) match at the feet of the distinguished reader. The meeting set a high standard and, it was XXX by Fratre Passant, and it formed an admirable way of (leading in?) our third century of XXX.

F. E. Wilson – (Pontifex Maximus)
A. Briggs – (Mag. Rot)

The 202nd meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s rooms at 8.30pm on Wednesday March 6th 1940.

The Princeps was unfortunately unable to attend, and thus the Pontifex Maximus took the chair. After the minutes had been read and approved, the Socius Honorabilis drew attention to the complaint of the librarian that many of the library rules were being infringed and that many books were missing. After a short discussion, the meeting decided unanimously to send a resolution of regret to the librarian, and a sincere desire to conform to the rules in the future. It was also unanimously decided to hold a festival gathering in summer, or perhaps XXX details to be discussed by the Senate. Before the paper began, Frater Wilson pointed out that fratres were breaking the (dumptinary?) law and that some form of renitence should be expressed. Fratres continued to munch their biscuits, while the Pontifex threatened action.

After the bill had been signed by several fratres, including frater Hotopf who made a most welcome appearance, the Fabricius read his paper on “Some Aspects of C17 (could be C14) Thought”. After stressing the importance of the background of political and economic events, he went on to discuss the beginning of century in considerable detail from XXX to (Abelavn?) pointing out many interesting things on the way: he considered the political as well as the religious and intellectual thought of the period, as epitomised in such a figure as John of Edinburgh, and he also stressed the importance of art. It was a welcome tonic to XXX a XXX and time mechanical paper, ad fratres responded with a keen and intelligent discussion into which the chaplain and a fellow cleric, who both arrived late, both took part. From troubadour party to (universals?), our thoughts wandered, and continued to wander even after the closing rites were read at 11pm.

J. C. Hatch – Princeps
A. Briggs (Mag Rot)

The 203rd meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s room at 8.30pm on Wednesday March 20th [1940]

Frater Hatch was in the chair, and there was a good attendance of fratres. After the Magister had read the minutes of the last meeting, there was a short comic interlude when the Fabricius climbed up to the top shelf of the Socius Honorabilis’ bookshelf, amid angry cries from the Tribunes of the Plebs. The question of changing the constitution of the society was discussed at some length, much to the vilification of certain more conservative members of the Senate, and to the growing impatience of the Caeremoniarius who was anxious to begin his paper.

Frater Harrison eventually began his very absorbing paper on The Golden Road to Samarkand. After thanking the Magister Rotulorum for suggesting the title and Professor Power for inspiring his first interest in the subject, Frater Harrison traced the history of central Asia back to the earliest times when it acted as an immense vortex for the barbarian tribes, who poured into Europe. This area had various periods of great prosperity especially in the Age of the Great Khan, when it was the central point of a mighty empire. It was also the meeting place of East and west, the terminus of great nomads, some into Europe, some to Peking and some the Great Wall of China. These roads were the highways of XXX, of enterprise, of pottery, even of disease. There were various XXX XXX, and explorers and traders alike made them the most important thoroughfares of medieval XXX with (Savankand?) a flourishing city of merchants, of golden roofs of important markets, as cosmopolitan as any city in the world. Frater Harrison illustrated this early part of the paper with fascinating anecdotes, snatches of poetry and legends of early exploration. The second part of the paper dealt with the gradual eclipse of this area in world history and of the ultimate Bolshevikisation of the Golden City of XXX. The romance of Chinese traders has given way to the singing of Stalinist verse and the parody of workers in the capital of Russian Soviet Republic.

The paper, so well delivered with a grace that the Cearemoniarius has never lacked preceded a good discussion, a display of antics by an unusually active Fabricius, a display of drunken rhetoric by one of the other fratres, and a quiet ending to an evening of great interest and entertainment.

A. Briggs. (Princeps)

Decree of the Senate 1940 June 1st

Elected for the Senate 1940–1

Princeps – Frater Briggs
Magister Rotulorum – Frater Drukken
Fabricius – Frater Waller
Caeremoniarius – Frater Hunt
Pontifex Maximus – Frater Brachenburg
Comes Sacri Thesauri – Frater Gill

A Briggs – (Mag Rot)

Decree of the Senate. 1940. October.

Elected for the senate in view of the absence of several elected members.

Princeps: Frater Briggs
Magister Rotulorum: Frater Drukken
Pontifex Maximas: Frater Gillespie
Comes Sacri Thesauri: Frater Waller
Caeremoniarius: Frater Taylor
Fabricius: Frater Mitchell

A Briggs (Princeps)

The 204th meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s rooms at 8.15pm on Monday, October 21st 1940. Frater Briggs presided.

Three new fratres were initiated into the mysteries of the Confraternitas, immediately after the opening rites had been read. They were Fratres Angles, Stephenson and Stevenson. The Magister then read with great difficulty, the minutes if the last meeting, and the Princeps rose to welcome the new Fratres to the society. He explained the organisation and habiliments of the Confraternitas and refered to its ancient mythical origin. After regretting the absence of eminent Fraters, in particular the former Caeremoniarius and Tribune of the Plebs, in National Service, the Princeps extended a cordial welcome to the incoming Senators as well as the new members of the Confraternitas and concluded with pious hopes for the future.

The Pontifex, Fratre Gillespie, then addressed his pastoral family to the Confraternitas, amid sighs from the Comes who was growing impatient at the delay imposed by the Sumfluary Laws. The Pontifex referred to the doctrine of (transiniquation?) of Souls, for which, if we may express an opinion, there is no foundation in the ancient codex and which must therefore be suspected of heresy and employed the plural form on his behalf. He went on to warn new Fratres not to be bewildered with a natural awe at the neptunes they beheld and warned then concerning the extraordinary Sumfluary Laws which had been necessitated by vicious greed. Not traditional fears of the Terror by night but trust in the Plebs below, and a constant XXX in the pursuit of historical truth, with a spirit of humility, to our Lady Clio were enjoined on the Confraternitas. The Pontifex concluded with an expression of the highest doctrines of Senatorial infallibility and (sacerderal?) privilege, warning Fratres against divulgence of the mysteries, and commiting all to the care of Clio.

The Confraternitas then turned to the main business of the evening. The Princes introduced the Ceremoniarius Frater Taylor, who was to read a paper on “The Economic Foundations of American History” and then led the charge on the provisions. The Ceremonarius begun his paper on this novel and interesting subject with an analysis of the geographical and economic situation in the American colonies at the end of the colonial age. He described the imperial policy of Great Britain and the immediate precipitation of the War of Independence. The ineffectiveness of the new constitution arising out of that war was described and the growth of democracy and lack of centralisation which led to an attempt to revise the constitution.

He showed how the Federalist and Republican parties arose, and linked their rivalry with the economic clash of agriculture and capital. Further sources of conflict were found in the various economic interests of East, West and South, in the interest of the South in the retention of slavery following the invention of the Cotton Gun, and in the balance of representation in Congress between North and South. Various possible combinations were considered, and the eventual Civil War between North and South. This led to the abolition of slavery and the subsequent success of the Republicans against the Democratic Party, which it sought to replace in the South; with consequences of counteraction, terrorism and stagnation in that part. The American economy was then discussed in relation to agricultural expansion and immigration with the resulting political effects of cheap land and labour, together with the High Protection Tariff and the vast resources exploited in the gradual Westward migration in the Nineteenth Century. Thus arose the lawless egalitarian West with its dependence on the railway and Eastern finance.

The urbanisation growth of the industrial combines and concentration of wealth of the first decades of the present century led to large scale financial wrangling in politics, monopolization of enterprise, the sanctification of property and consequently, the organisation of labour, which was at first neither politically minded nor militant. The Dollar Diplomacy and expansion of the 1920’s was followed by the great Depression of 1929 and the New Deal of the Roosevelt administrations, which the Ceremoniarius regarded as the construction of a new social philosophy on the basis, however, of the same fundamental economic principles.

A lively discussion on this extremely competent paper ensued in which the Ceremoniarius answered questions chiefs relating to current American Politics. The Princeps ended the discussion by thanking Frater Taylor; and the closing rites were read shortly after 11pm. CROSSED OUT – Though it is doubtful whether the sobriety of the Comes was sufficient to appreciate that fact.

A. Briggs (Princeps)
G. M. Drukken (Mag Rot)

The 205th meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s rooms at 8.15pm on Monday November 4th 1940, with the Princeps in the chair.

After the recital of the opening rites, Frater Bulteel was initiated into the Confraternity. The Magister then read the Minutes, in which a concerted attack was made, with however only one successful result – vis. The deletion of the suggestion that it was “doubtful whether the sobriety of the Comes was sufficient to appreciate” the fact of the meetings conclusion. The Princeps next raised the question of inviting a guest to next term’s annual visitor’s meeting, Prof Penson, Prof Brogan, Prof Toad, Mr Christopher Dawson, Mr T. S. Elliot, Mr A. G. MacDonnell and Sir Hugh Walpole were suggested, but fratres with immediate and unanimous enthusiasm acclaimed the proposal that MR ARTHUR ASKEY be invited, and the Magister was instructed to write to him at once.

The Princeps then called on the Comes, Frater Waller, to read his paper on “The Rise of Estates in the Middle Ages”, which was punctuated, one might say syncopated, by regular pauses. He described the constitution of the Estates which as a rule numbered three, in England after the Norman Conquest and in France in both of which the assemblies of Barons passed from a basis in Germanic custom to a place in the feudal, monarchical system. The origins and existence of the Spanish Estates were also noted. It was with the growth of trade, rise of towns and increase in government responsibilities that he introduction of the third Estate become necessary. The origins of the third Estates were traced by the Comes to the financial needs of the Central Governments, and the form of representation was connected with Germanic custom of drawing knowledge from a number of men selected from the community “pro omnibus”. In England the Knights of the Shire and the (Bunghesses?) were gradually summoned to Parliament. In France the towns were encouraged as a counterblast to the nobility and to consent to taxes; in fact in crisis the Third Estate tended to take thing into its own hands. The Comes emphasised the role of Third Estate in France and Spain on the one hand, and in England on the other, where the Clergy as an estate of its own was seen excluding itself from Parliament. After a glance at the Scottish and Sicilian Estates, the Comes went on to consider the representation of towns n Spain and the Italian Estates with a wide use of untranslated Latin and Spanish phrases. The uniqueness of the English country and the contrast of Spain, with it lack of collective responsibility and control over finance brought the speaker to his final pause.

The subsequent discussion stressed the judicial as apart from the financial character of the rise of the Estates, and suggested their importance and value in propaganda for the central government. Finally, as the sands of time were running out and the Princep’s supply of beer with them, the meeting was terminated with pronouncement of the closing rites.

A. Briggs (Princeps)
B.M. Drukken (Mag Rot)

Elected Tribunes of the Plebs –

Frater Hotblack
Frater D. L. Stevenson

Election of the Tribunes of the Plebs:

Frater Hotblak
Frater D. L Stevenson

The 206th meeting of the Confraternitas was held in the Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday November 18th, 1940, at 8.15 p.m. The Princeps was in the chair; after the Minutes had been read, and, after the usual wrangling signed as correct.** The Comes then presented his budget for the term. The traditional ceremony of passing round the golden half sovereign was observed. The Comes revealed to his own amazement though not to his colleagues’, the heavy expenses of the term with regard to the consumption of food and liquor. With one eye, and only one eye, to the need of wartime economy, he followed the previous term’s example of putting forward a scheme for saving. The earlier scheme having failed, he proposed a capital levy on all alcohol consumed, the proceeds to go to a fund for his own consumption, at the rate of one mouthful per fruit [sp?]. A corresponding tax was to be imposed on the food consumed. (While this was going on the Fabricius was keenly aware of the inapplicability of this scheme to the current supply of biscuits). However much they might agree on the failure of all attempts to diminish alcoholic consumption, the Fratres did not take up the suggestion of the Comes with much enthusiasm and the Budget was eventually defeated rejected approved.

*the Magister reported that Mr. Arthur Askey [sp?] had sent a cordial reply, reluctantly declining the invitation to the visitors’ meeting. It was decided by ballot to invite in his place, in the following order of preference-{Mr. T. S. Eliot, Mr. Christopher Dawson, Sir Hugh Walpole, Prof. C. E. M. Joad, Prof. D. W. Brogan, Prof. Penson [sp?], Mr A. G. MacDonnell.

Frater Motblack then gave his paper on “The development of Communications and British Diplomacy in the Nineteenth Century”. After describing the powers possessed by British diplomats in the early nineteenth century, when communications were very bad, Frater Motblack showed how the coming of the Telegraph brought the continent in much closer reach of this country and facilitated the passage of news. As a result, control of envoys abroad was much easier and it was no longer possible for a British ambassador to call out the fleet on his own initiative. With the development of the railways, more direct contact diplomatic contact could be made between capitals, and special messengers were no longer at the mercy of brigands on their hazardous journeys across continents. Frater Motblack [sp?] concluded by reading an extract from a propagandist memorandum to the cabinet by a gentleman of strong Japanese sympathies, which aroused much disgust in the discussion that followed the meeting. A suggestion from the Magister was pigeon-holed, and the meeting dispersed; the Magister and Princeps, fortified respectively by a certain artificially induced confidence, a native [sp?] stubbornness of spirit, to a friendly discussion of the Stresa conference whose extraordinary tolerance + objectivity [A note dated to 2 December 1940 reads: ‘blind partisanship’] aroused enth admiration; the Comes to a drunken brawl with members of the plebs.

G. M. Drukken (Mag. Rot.)
A. Briggs (Princeps 1:XII:40)

The 207th meeting of the Confraternitas was held in Frater Passant’s rooms on Monday December 2nd 1940 at 8.15. The Princeps was in the chair. It was observed that the Comes, not to mention the Princeps hims had secreted a bottle of some mysterious non-alcoholic liquid, which by and by, with the assistance of the Princeps he was to imbibe with an air of privacy and abstemiousness throughout the evening.

After the opening rites the Minutes had been reported were read and the Magister had reported no further progress in the search for a speaker for the Visitors’ Meeting. Mr. T. S. Eliot had not yet replied to his invitations. Frater A. T. C. Hadden was then initiated into the Confraternitas and took his place at the among the devotees of Clio. The Princeps then called upon Frater Gillespie, Pontifex Maximus, to give his paper on “The Political Ideals of the Puritans”. After discussing the meaning of the term Puritan, the Pontifex traced the rise of the Puritan movement and showed the significance of its transition from a purely religious, to a political force. The influence of the Puritans on American constitutional development and also on later English and French political thinkers was dealt with. Separation of Church and State was essentially the sign that the Puritans had failed to establish a new Jerusalem. The paper concluded with a eulogy of OLIVER CROMWELL.

A lively discussion followed, which, however, inevitably turned to Hobbes, a topic dear to the soul of the Princeps, who, without entertaining any evidence adduced in their support, condemned as heresy some heterobriggsian [sp?] suggestions put forward by the Magister. The closing rites were read and the Princeps and Comes retired to break their spell of abstemption with a ceremonial sip.

A. Briggs (Princep).
G.M. Drukken (Mag. Rot.)

The 208th meeting of the Confraternitas took place on Tuesday January 28th 1941 at 8.15 in Frater Passant’s rooms. As the Pontifex Maximus had not arrived, Frater Wilson, the former Pontifex, making a welcome reappearance, read the opening rites and initiated two new Fratres, Frater Davidson and Frater Edwards into the Confraternity. In the absence as yet of the Princeps the Ceremonarius took the chair while the Magister read the Minutes of the last meeting. While these were being recited with all due solemnity, the Pontifex and Princeps made abrupt entries, the latter to oust the Ceremonarius from his hard [sp?] and newly won principial chair. At the end of the Minutes great resentment was expressed at the late arrival of the Comes, the Pontifex and the Princeps. Various motions of censure were proposed and registered, but the effect of a long cross-examination was the produce the excuse that the Princeps had been unable to dress himself, for which he blamed his laundry, and that the Pontifex had magnanimously waited to escort the Princeps under his umbrella of state through the rain – an excuse which was properly regarded as a high-flown pretext which would not hold water. The Fabricius was appointed official dresser to the Princeps.

The question of the loss of the Codex was raised, and a small committee from the senate appointed to look into the matter. The suggestion of the Comes that a general Hue and Cry be instituted was also approved.*

* He further suggested that an unscrupulous monk be hired to “discover” the Codex.

The Magister reported on the results of his efforts to find a speaker for the Visitors’ Meeting. He read letters of refusal from Mr. Eliot, Mr. Dawson, Sir High Walpole, Prof. Joad and finally satisfied the breathless impatience of fratres by revealing that Professor L. M. Penson of Redford College had agreed to speak on March 6th on “From Hostility to Friendship: Anglo-French relations from 1898-1906”.

The Princeps at last closed – or opened – the proceedings by calling on the Fabricius, Frater Mitchell, to read his paper on “The Paris Commune of 1871”. He began by setting the commune in its historical perspective, in relation to the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of the Second Empire in France, the establishment of the Republic, the siege of Paris and the election of an assembly at Bordeaux. The action of this assembly, which was largely reactionary and royalist, in repudiating the moratorium decreed during the siege, suppressing Republican newspapers, transferring the its seat to Versailles, and in attempting to remove guns from working class districts of Paris, led to provoked a resistance that won over members of the National Guard and left the capital under the authority of the Central Committee of the latter. The feeling already inspired in the small business men, in the citizens of Paris, in many Republicans, and in the National Guard, which had already led to the formation of local committees, now, after the temporary Prussian occupation of Paris, the Commune resulted in the election of the Commune.

The Commune, which was not all Socialist, but was clearly working-class in its constitution and its aims, was fatally weakened by the differences with the Central Committee, internal differences between Socialists and Neo-Jacobites, and the lack of effective military authority. Nevertheless the communards showed remarkable heroism and endurance in resisting the armies of M. Thièrs, who finally succeeded in “restoring order” with extraordinarily bloody results.

Though devoid of any attractive programme and of a modern conception of Socialism, the Commune provided a lesson for future revolutionaries and an example of working-class heroism and self-sacrifice. The subsequent discussion on the

The subsequent discussion dwelt on the national and local aspects of the decrees of the Commune, its significance in Paris the history of the Paris working-class and the contrast between Paris of 1871 and of 1940 in face of the suppression of its liberties.

Before the closing rites were read, the question of electing a Tribune of the Plebs to succeed Frater Motblack was raised and deferred. The meeting closed with the closing rites after 11 p.m.

G. M. Drukker (Mag. Rot.)
A. Briggs (Princeps)


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