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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, July 1, 1914
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, July 1, 1914" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 147.



July 1, 1914.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

PROGRESS.

["Giving evidence recently before a Select Committee of the House of
Commons, Miss C. E. Collet, of the Home Office, said the commercial
laundry was killing the small hand laundry."--_Evening News._]

  The little crafts! How soon they die!
    In cottage doors no shuttle clicks;
  The hand-loom has been ousted by
    A large concern with lots more sticks.

  The throb of pistons beats around;
    Great chimneys rise on Thames's banks;
  The same phenomena are found
    In Sheffield. (Yorks) and Oldham (Lancs).

  No longer now the housewife makes
    Her rare preserves, for what's the good?
  The factory round the corner fakes
    Raspberry jam with chips of wood.

  'Tis so with what we eat and wear,
    Our bread, the boots wherein we splosh
  'Tis so with what I deemed most fair,
    Most virginal of all--the Wash.

  'Tis this that chiefly, when I chant,
    Fulfils my breast with sighs of ruth,
  To think that engines can supplant
    The Amazons I loved in youth.

  That not with tender care, as erst
    By spinster females fancy-free,
  These button-holes of mine get burst
    Before the shift comes back to me;

  That mere machines, and not a maid
    With fingers fatuously plied,
  The collars and the cuffs have frayed
    That still excoriate my hide;

  That steam reduces to such states
    What once was marred by human skill;
  That socks are sundered from their mates
    By means of an electric mill;

  That not by Cupid's coy advance
    (Some crone conniving at the fraud),
  But simply by mechanic chance,
    I get this handkerchief marked "Maud."

  This is, indeed, a striking change;
    I sometimes wonder if the world
  Gets better as the skies grow strange
    With coils of smoke about them curled.

  If the old days were not the best
    Ere printed formulas conveyed
  Sorrow about that silken vest
    For all eternity mislaid;

  Ere yet the unwieldy motor-van
    Came clattering round the kerbstone's brink,
  Its driver dreaming some new plan
    To make my mauve pyjamas shrink.

Evoe.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE.

There are warm days in London when even a window-box fails to charm, and
one longs for the more open spaces of the country. Besides, one wants to
see how the other flowers are getting on. It is on these days that we
travel to our Castle of Stopes; as the crow flies, fifteen miles away.
Indeed, that is the way we get to it, for it is a castle in the air. And
when we are come to it Celia is always in a pink sun-bonnet gathering
roses lovingly, and I, not very far off, am speaking strongly to
somebody or other about something I want done. By-and-by I shall go into
the library and work ... with an occasional glance through the open
window at Celia.

To think that a month ago we were quite happy with a few pink geraniums!

Sunday, a month ago, was hot. "Let's take train somewhere," said Celia,
"and have lunch under a hedge."

"I know a lovely place for hedges," I said.

"I know a lovely tin of potted grouse," said Celia, and she went off to
cut some sandwiches. By twelve o'clock we were getting out of the train.

The first thing we came to was a golf course, and Celia had to drag me
past it. Then we came to a wood, and I had to drag her through it.
Another mile along a lane, and then we both stopped together.

"Oh!" we said.

It was a cottage, the cottage of a dream. And by a cottage I mean, not
four plain rooms and a kitchen, but one surprising room opening into
another; rooms all on different levels and of different shapes, with
delightful places to bump your head on; open fireplaces; a large square
hall, oak-beamed, where your guests can hang about after breakfast,
while deciding whether to play golf or sit in the garden. Yet all so
cunningly disposed that from outside it looks only a cottage or, at
most, two cottages persuaded into one.

And, of course, we only saw it from outside. The little drive,
determined to get there as soon as possible, pushed its way straight
through an old barn, and arrived at the door simultaneously with the
flagged lavender walk for the humble who came on foot. The rhododendrons
were ablaze beneath the south windows; a little orchard was running wild
on the west; there was a hint at the back of a clean-cut lawn. Also, you
remember, there was a golf course, less than two miles away.

"Oh," said Celia with a deep sigh, "but we must live here."

An Irish terrier ran out to inspect us. I bent down and patted it. "With
a dog," I added.

"Isn't it all lovely? I wonder who it belongs to, and if----"

"If he'd like to give it to us."

"Perhaps he would if he saw us and admired us very much," said Celia
hopefully.

"I don't think Mr. Barlow is that sort of man," I said. "An excellent
fellow, but not one to take these sudden fancies."

"Mr. Barlow? How do you know his name?"

"I have these surprising intuitions," I said modestly. "The way the
chimneys stand up----"

"I know," cried Celia. "The dog's collar."

"Right, Watson. And the name of the house is Stopes."

She repeated it to herself with a frown.

"What a disappointing name," she said. "Just Stopes."

"Stopes," I said. "Stopes, Stopes. If you keep on saying it, a certain
old-world charm seems to gather round it. Stopes."

"Stopes," said Celia. "It _is_ rather jolly."

We said it ten more times each, and it seemed the only possible name for
it. Stopes--of course.

"Well?" I asked.

"We must write to Mr. Barlow," said Celia decisively. "'Dear Mr. Barlow,
er----Dear Mr. Barlow,----we----' Yes, it will be rather difficult. What
do we want to say exactly?"

"'Dear Mr. Barlow,--May we have your house?'"

"Yes," smiled Celia, "but I'm afraid we can hardly ask for it. But we
might rent it when--when he doesn't want it any more."

"'Dear Mr. Barlow,'" I amended, "'have you any idea when you're! going
to die?' No, that wouldn't do either. And there's another thing--we
don't know his initials, or even if he's a 'Mr.' Perhaps he's a knight
or a--a duke. Think how offended Duke Barlow would be if we put '----
Barlow, Esq.' on the envelope."

"We could telegraph. 'Barlow. After you with Stopes.'"

"Perhaps there's a young Barlow, a Barlowette or two with expectations.
It may have been in the family for years."

"Then we----Oh, let's have lunch." She sat down and began to undo the
sandwiches. "Dear o' Stopes," she said with her mouth full.

We lunched outside Stopes. Surely if Earl Barlow had seen us he would
have asked us in. But no doubt his dining-room looked the other way;
towards the east and north, as I pointed out to Celia, thus being
pleasantly cool at lunch-time.

"Ha, Barlow," I said dramatically, "a time will come when _we_ shall be
lunching in there, and _you_----bah!" And I tossed a potted-grouse
sandwich to his dog.

However, that didn't get us any nearer.

"Will you _promise_," said Celia, "that we shall have lunch in there one
day?"

"I promise," I said readily. That gave me about sixty years to do
something in.

"I'm like--who was it who saw something of another man's and wouldn't be
happy till he got it?"

"The baby in the soap advertisement."

"No, no, some king in history."

"I believe you are thinking of Ahab, but you aren't a bit like him,
really. Besides, we're not coveting Stopes. All we want to know is, does
Barlow ever let it in the summer?"

"That's it," said Celia eagerly.

"And, if so," I went on, "will he lend us the money to pay the rent
with?"

"Er--yes," said Celia. "That's it."


So for a month we have lived in our Castle of Stopes. I see Celia there
in her pink sun-bonnet, gathering the flowers lovingly, bringing an
armful of them into the hall, disturbing me sometimes in the library
with "_Aren't_ they beauties? No, I only just looked in--good luck to
you." And she sees me ordering a man about importantly, or waving my
hand to her as I ride through the old barn on my road to the
golf-course.

But this morning she had an idea.

"Suppose," she said timidly, "you _wrote_ about Stopes, and Mr. Barlow;
happened to see it, and knew how much we wanted it, and----"

"Well?"

"Then," said Celia firmly, "if he were a gentleman he would give it to
us."

Very well. Now we shall see if Mr. Barlow is a gentleman.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

Correspondence.

"Equal Rights" writes:--

    "Dear Sir,--Why are descriptive names confined to boxers, such
    as Bombardier Wells and Gunboat Smith? Why not Rifleman Redmond,
    Airman Churchill, Solicitor George, Golfer Asquith, Bushman
    Wilding, Trundler Hitch, Dude Alexander, Bandsman Beecham,
    Hunger-Striker Pankhurst? Or, to take Editors----"

[The rest of this communication is omitted owing to considerations of
space.--Ed.]

       *       *       *       *       *

WHEN THE SHIPS COME HOME.

[Illustration: Greece. "ISN'T IT TIME WE STARTED FIGHTING AGAIN?"

Turkey. "YES, I DARESAY. HOW SOON COULD YOU BEGIN?"

Greece. "OH, IN A FEW WEEKS."

Turkey. "NO GOOD FOR ME. SHAN'T BE READY TILL THE AUTUMN".]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "We're giving our pastor a new drawing-room carpet on the
occasion on his jubilee. Show me something that looks nice but isn't too
expensive."

"Here is the very thing, Madame--real Kidderminister."]

       *       *       *       *       *

EGYPT IN VENICE.

"_La Légende de Joseph._"

Those who know the kind of attractions that the Russian ballet offers in
so many of its themes could have easily guessed, without previous
enlightenment, what episode in the life of Joseph had been selected for
illustration last week at Drury Lane. But they could never have guessed
that Herr Tiessen, author of a shilling guide to the intentions of the
composer, would attach a transcendental significance to the conduct of
_Potiphar's Wife_. "Through the unknown divine," he informs us, "which
is still new and mysterious to her, an imperious desire awakens in her
to fathom, to possess this world"--the world, that is to say, which
_Joseph's_ imagination creates in the course of an exhibition dance. If
this is so, I can only say that her behaviour is strangely misleading.

The scene opens at a party given by _Potiphar_ in Venice. Venice, of
course, was not _Potiphar's_ home address; and I marvel a little at the
change of _venue_ when I think how much more harmony could have been got
out of an Egyptian setting. But then I remind myself that the Russian
ballet is nothing if not _bizarre_. The long banqueting-table recalls
the canvases of Veronese, but with discordant notes of the Orient and
elsewhere. _Potiphar_ himself, seated on a dais, has the air of an
Assyrian bull. By his side _Mme. Potiphar_ wears breeches ending above
the knee, with white stockings and high clogs.

For the entertainment of the guests there was a dance of nuptial
unveiling and a bout between half-a-dozen Turkish boxers. But it was a
decadent and _blazé_ company, and something more piquant was needed for
their titillation. This was supplied in the shape of an original dance
by the fifteen-year-old _Joseph_, whom my guide describes as "graceful,
wild and pungent." He was introduced in a recumbent posture, and asleep,
on a covered stretcher, and at first I had the clever idea that he was
the customary corpse that appeared at Egyptian feasts to remind the
company of their liability to die. But when he woke up and began to
dance I saw at once that I was wrong.

I now know all about the interpretation of _Joseph's_ dance; but I defy
anyone to say at sight and without a showman's assistance what precisely
he was after. In the Third Figure (according to my guide-book) "there is
in his leaps a feeling of heaviness, as if he were bound to earth, and
he stumbles once or twice as one who has missed his goal;" but how was I
to guess that this signified that his "searching after God" was still
ineffectual? or that when in the Fourth Figure he "leaps with light
feet" this meant that "Joseph has found God"? I don't blame the boy for
not knowing the rule that forbids one art to trespass on the domain of
another; but there is no excuse for Herr Strauss, who must have been
well aware that, for the conveyance of any but the most obvious
emotions, mute dancing can never be a satisfactory substitute for
articulate poetry.

However, _Potiphar's_ guests seemed better instructed than I was, for
they threw off their apathy and took quite an intelligent interest in
_Joseph's_ _pas seul_. Indeed, one young man (the episode escaped me at
the dress rehearsal, but I have it in the guide-book)--one young man,
"sobbing, buries his head in his hands, upsetting thereby a dish of
fruit." As for _Potiphar_, it failed to stir the sombre depths of his
abysmal boredom, but his wife, whose ennui had hitherto been of the most
profound, began to sit up and take notice, and at the end of the dance
she sent for _Joseph_ and supplemented his rather exiguous costume with
a gross necklace of jewels, letting her hand linger awhile on his bare
neck. Already, it will be seen, she was intrigued with the "unknown
divine." _Joseph_, on the contrary, received her attentions without
_empressement_.

In the next scene--after a rather woolly and unintelligible
interlude--we see _Joseph_ retiring to his couch in an alcove behind the
place where the banqueting-table had been. You will judge how urgent was
the lady's keenness to probe the mysteries of his divine nature when I
tell you that she could not wait till the morning to pursue her
enquiries, but must needs visit him in his chamber at dead of night, and
wearing the one garment of the hour. At first, still half dreaming, he
mistakes her for an angel (he had already seen one in his sleep), but
subsequently, growing suspicious, he repels her with a dignified
disdain. For I must tell you that, whatever the guide-book may allege
about the loftiness of her designs, the music gave her away. It
reverted, in fact, to the motive of those passages which had already
accompanied and illustrated the nuptial dance, the dance (as Herr
Tiessen calls it) of "burning Love-longing."

At this juncture, _Potiphar_ and his minions break upon the scene. His
wife, after denouncing _Joseph_, is distracted between passion of hatred
and passion of love, and there is some play (reminding one of
_L'Après-midi d'un Faune_) with the purple cloak which _Joseph_ had
discarded. Presently she eludes her dilemma by fainting.

Meanwhile it has been the work of a moment to order up a brazier, a pair
of pincers, a poker, a headsman and an axe. The instruments of torture
waste no time in getting red-hot; and we anticipate the worst. _Joseph_,
however, who has ignored these preparations and maintained an attitude
of superbly indifferent aloofness, suddenly becomes luminous under great
pressure of limelight; and most of the cast, including a ballet of
female dervishes, are abashed to the ground.

Now appears, on the open-work entresol at the back of the stage, an
archangel. The guide-book is in error where it says that he glides
downwards on a shaft of light radiating from a star. As a matter of fact
he walks down the main staircase to the ground floor. Approaching
_Joseph_ he takes him by the hand and "leads him heavenwards" by the
same flight of steps; and we are to understand that, in the opinion of
Herr Strauss, the boy's subsequent career, as recorded in the Hebraic
Scriptures, may be treated as negligible.

I should like, in excuse of my own flippancy, to assume the same
detachment, and to regard this ballet-theme as having practically no
relation whatever to Biblical history, but being just one of many themes
out of Oriental lore, mostly secular, that lend themselves to the drama
of disappointed passion. My only serious protest is against the
hypocrisy which pretends, with regard to _Potiphar's Wife_, to see a
spiritual significance in what is mere vulgar animalism.

I ought, by the way, to have said that, in a spasm of chagrin, she
chokes herself with the pearl necklace which lent the only touch of
superfluity to her night attire, and was carried out--but not up the
main staircase. Thus ends this sordid tragedy that so well illustrates
that quality in Herr Strauss to which my guide refers when he speaks of
his realization of a "poignant longing for divine cheerfulness."

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Excuse me, Sir, but would you like to buy a nice little
dawg?"

"No, thanks very much. He looks as though he would bite."

"'E won't bite yer _if you buy 'im_, Guv'ner."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ENIGMA.

    My love to me is cold,
  And no more seeks my gaze; I wonder why!
  The smile of welcome that I loved of old
    No longer lights her eye.

    One little week ago
  I asked no surer guide than Cupid's chart;
  I said, "Your eyes reveal the depths below,
    And I can read your heart."

    She let her shy gaze fall,
  And smiling asked, "Is then my face a screed,
  My brow an open love-letter, where all
    The world my thoughts may read?"

    Said I, "The world, I'll vow,
  Is blind! Myself alone may see the signs,
  And know the message written on your brow:
    I read between the lines."

    My dear to me is cold;
  Gone somewhere is the love-light from her eye;
  And, when our ways meet, stately she doth hold
    Her course. I wonder why.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Curiously, the Australian Minister of Defence in the last
    Parliament bore the same name as the Prime Minister in that
    which has just been dissolved."

    _Westminster Gazette._

A similar curious coincidence happened in England, the War Minister in
the last Parliament bearing the same name as the present Lord
Chancellor.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "MEN FOR THE ANTARCTIC.

    105 Canadian Dogs to go with Sir E. Shackleton."

    _Daily Express._

A gay lot, these Canadians.

       *       *       *       *       *

A SCANDALMONGRIAN ROMANCE.

(_By Francis Scribble._)

[_The following article, specially written for us by the Author of "Ten
Frail Beauties of the Restoration," "Tales Told by a Royal Washerwoman,"
etc., is another important contribution to the literature of the Royal
Dirty-Linen Bag._]

A day or two ago a short notice in the papers told of the death of Mrs.
Maria Tubbs at Cannes; but few, if any, of those who read that brief
announcement will have recognised in it the close of one of the most
amazing careers of the nineteenth century. Yet little surprise need be
expressed at this general ignorance, for who would think to find under
that somewhat common-place name the ravishingly beautiful Maria
Cotherstone, who, forty years ago, was swept by Fate into the track of
the late King of Scandalmongria, and well-nigh caused that singularly
unstable bark to founder? It is with the kindly object of rescuing her
romance from oblivion that this brief chronicle is written.

In 1873 the Scandalmongrian Minister in London was requested to find an
English lady to take charge of the two children of his Royal master,
and, after searching enquiries, he was successful, and Miss Maria
Cotherstone turned her back on England never more to return. She was
just twenty-two, fresh and blooming, possessed of the gayest of spirits,
delightful manners and the highest accomplishments. Quietly she assumed
control of the Royal schoolroom, and by her charm no less than by her
firmness she quickly won the respect and love of her charges. Well had
it been for her memory if her influence had never spread beyond the
walls of her schoolroom; this article had then been unwritten. But alas
for human nature! One day His Majesty's eyes fell upon the person of his
children's governess, and then began one of the most sordid intrigues it
has ever been my pleasure to recall. [A large statement, as readers of
our author's _Gleanings from a Royal Dustbin_ will readily acknowledge.
However, the succeeding three-quarter of a column of details, here
omitted, prove that there is at least some foundation for the remark.]

... And so their romance ended, and His Majesty returned to the bosom of
his family and became once more the righteous upholder of the sanctity
of the marriage tie. At first his easy-going Court smiled somewhat at
the claim; but, when one or two highly-placed officials presumed to
follow in the footsteps of their Sovereign, and were in consequence
banished irrevocably from his presence, Scandalmongrian Society realised
with a pained surprise that what is venial in a monarch may, in a
subject, be a damnable offence.

And what of Maria, the charming, fascinating, much injured Maria? For
several years she is lost, and then we hear of her marriage at Rome to
"John Tubbs, Esq., of London," and once again she vanishes, only to turn
up many years later at Cannes. She is a widow now, and a model of all
the virtues. Who so staid and respectable as Madam? Who so charitable to
the poor? Few, it is to be feared, will have recognised in that handsome
old lady, so regular in her attendance at the services of the English
Church, the beauteous Maria Cotherstone whose name was once on the lips
of everybody from one end of Europe to the other. It nearly happened,
indeed, that she went down to her grave with all her scandalous,
feverish past forgotten, leaving behind her only the fragrant memory of
her later life. But I have saved her. It is a queer story, quite
interesting enough to recall.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMEN.

[Illustration: _Mistress._ "That's a nicely-made dress you have on,
Jane. It's like the new parlourmaid's, isn't it?"

_Jane (a close student of the fashion catalogues)._ "Oh no, Ma'am,
_this_ is _quite_ a different creation."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

It is not only misfortune that makes strange bedfellows. Both Earl
Beauchamp and Sir Joseph Beecham appear in the recent Honours List.

       ***

By-the-by, it is denied that Sir Joseph Beecham was in any way
responsible for the Government's "Pills for Earthquakes," by which it
was hoped to avert the Irish crisis.

       ***

A New York cable announces that the Duke of Manchester is interesting
himself in a cinematograph proposition of a philanthropic nature, and
that the company will be known as the "Church and School Social Service
Corporation for the Advancement of Moral and Religious Education and
Social Uplift Work through the medium of the Higher Art of the Moving
Picture." It will of course be possible for the man in a hurry to call
it, _tout court_, the
"C.&S.S.S.C.F.T.A.O.M.&R.E.&S.U.W.T.T.M.O.T.H.A.O.T.M.P."

       ***

The penny off the income tax came just in time. It enabled several
Liberal plutocrats to buy a rose on Alexandra Day.

       ***

The balance-sheet of the German Company which had been running a
Zeppelin airship passenger service has just been issued, and shows a
loss of £10,000 on the year's working. This is not surprising, the
difficulty which all aircraft experience to keep their balance.

       ***

At the launch of the liner _Bismarck_ last week, the bottle of
wine--which was thrown by the Countess Hannah von Bismarck missed the
vessel, whereupon the Kaiser hauled back the bottle, and with his
proverbial good luck hit the target.

       ***

Five shots were fired last week at Baron Henri de Rothschild. At first
it was thought that this was done to stop the author of _Croesus_ from
writing more plays, but, when it transpired that the assailant was a man
who objected to the "Rothschild Cheap Milk Supply," public sympathy
veered round in favour of the Baron.

       ***

Messrs. Selfridge and Co. were last week defrauded by a well-dressed
man, who obtained two dressing-bags with silver fittings by means of a
trick without paying for them. This is really abominable. It is bad
enough when merely commercial firms are victimised: to best a
philanthropic institution in this way is peculiarly base.

       ***

"Mexican Rebel Split."

_Morning Post._

Now perhaps the other civilised Powers will intervene. We have heard of
many inhumanities marking the war in Mexico, but this treatment of a
rebel is surely the limit.

       ***

It is not often, we imagine, that the British Navy is used to enforce a
change of diet. H.M.S. _Torch_ has just been ordered on a punitive
expedition to Malekula Island, where certain of the natives have been
eating some of their compatriots.

       ***

An American woman, according to _The Express_, has a serious complaint
about the London policeman. She declares that she walked all the way
from Queen's Hall to Piccadilly Circus with three buttons of her blouse
undone at the back, and "not a single policeman" offered to do it up for
her. No doubt the Force was reluctant to interfere with what might turn
out to be the latest fashion. A Boy Scout who offered, the other day, to
sew up a split skirt got his ears soundly boxed.

       ***

Meanwhile the glad tidings reach us that women's skirts and bodices are
to fasten in front instead of at the back. Husbands all over the world
who have on occasions been pressed into their wives' service as maids,
only to learn that they were clumsy boobies, would like to have the name
of the arbiter of fashion who is responsible for this innovation, as
there is some thought of erecting a statue to him.

       ***

Some distinguished German professors have been discussing the question
of the best place in which to keep a baby in summer. It is
characteristic, however, of these unpractical persons that not one of
them suggests the obvious ice-safe.

       ***

"One of the first things the rich should learn," says Dean Inge, "is
that money is not put to the best use when it is merely spent on
enjoyment." It is hoped that this pronouncement may lead wealthy people
to patronise our concert-halls more than they do.

       ***

"£1,600," a newspaper tells us, "were found hidden in the cork leg of
Harry C. Wise while he was undergoing treatment in a hospital at
Denver." And now, we suspect, Harry's friends will always be pulling his
leg.

       ***

"Have you seen _Pelleas and Mélisande_?"

"No. Is it as funny as _Potash and Perlmutter_?"

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COLLECTORS.

My dinner partner was a self-made man and not ashamed of it.

"Do you take an interest in china, ma'am?" he asked me.

I felt that if I said "Yes" I should have to buy some. So I said "No,"
but he didn't wait to hear what I said.

"I think I may say," he continued, "that I have the finest collection of
old Dresden china in London."

He went into the figures, explaining the cost price and the difficulty
of storage.

"Oh," said I, "if you find it a nuisance, I've a parlour-maid I could
recommend to you; just the girl to help you to get rid of it."

At this point I think he had some idea of having the finest collection
of parlourmaids in Middlesex, but he made it small dogs instead. Was I
interested in these? No, but I supposed I'd have to be if he insisted.

"I don't think I should be far wrong," he began, but I hustled him
through to the end of his sentence.

"Finest collection in--?" I asked.

"England," he said.

He went over their points, and in an expansive moment I marvelled. This
was imprudent, as it caused him to search his mind for some further
spectacular triumph wherewith to amaze and delight.

"That," he said, looking up the table, "is my wife."

"Marvellous," said I.

He took this in the best part. "You refer to her diamonds?" he said.

"Did I?" said I.

"The finest collection in Great Britain," he declared, and spread
himself over the subject.

Later, in a mood of concession, he inquired as to my specialities. I had
none, at least none that I could think of. Determined to extract
something noteworthy, he questioned me on every possibility. Was I not
married? That was so, I agreed, but then so many women are.

"You have sons, ma'am?" he persisted, with that implacable optimism to
which, among other things, he no doubt owed his success in the world.

I thought of Baby. "Ah yes, of course," I said. "The finest collection
in Europe."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'In Norway,' she says, 'we do not eat one-third the quantity
    that the English eat; our meals are simpler and shorter. I
    believe that this is the cause of the enormous amount of
    indigestion that is suffered by the English.'"

    _Daily News and Leader._

So our doctor, who attributed our indigestion to lobster mayonnaise, was
wrong again.

       *       *       *       *       *

KINDNESS TO SUBJECTS.

[One of our illustrated papers recently published a picture of the King
of Spain in a motor-car which had broken down. The car was being pushed
along by some helpful people, and the comment on the picture was, "It is
these thoughtful little acts that make royalty so popular nowadays."
Lest it should be thought that the other potentates of Europe take less
trouble to make themselves beloved by their subjects, we hasten to give
a few instances which have come to our notice.]

[Illustration: Last week the King of Cadonia had his hat blown off in
the Blümengarten (the beautiful park near the Royal Palace). This kindly
act should deepen the affection in which the monarch is held by his
People.]

[Illustration: A few days ago the Crown Prince of Schlossrattenheim had
an accident with his aeroplane, which overturned near Schutzmeer.
Fortunately his Royal Highness fell on a retired Wuerst-haendler who was
walking on the beach.

The Crown Prince's devotion to his beloved subjects is well known, and
this tactful deed was only another instance of it.]

[Illustration: Yesterday Prince John of Pumpenhosen inadvertently
collided with a pleasure-yacht at the mouth the harbour of Krebs while
trying a new motor boat. All the passengers were saved and the Prince
showed no signs of fear.

This should enhance his great popularity, if such a thing were
possible.]

[Illustration: King Stephan III. of Servilia, while playing on the links
at Nibliksk last week, Initiated one of his equerries into the humour of
the game. By this thoughtful act his Majesty adds to the deserved love
and reverence in which he is held by the Servilians of all classes.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Alan_ (_to his mother, who is busy with a heavy
house-cleaning_). "Please, Mother, read me a story."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WALKERS.

  There were eight pretty walkers who went up a hill;
  They were Jessamine, Joseph and Japhet and Jill,
  And Allie and Sally and Tumbledown Bill,
            And Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  They were all in good training and all of them keen,
  And their chief wore a coat and a waistcoat of green;
  He was always a proud man and kept himself clean,
  Did Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  They intended to lunch when they got to the top
  On a sandwich apiece and a biscuit and chop.
  The provisions were carefully bought in a shop
            By Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  They were jesters of merit--the sort who can poke
  Funny tales in your ribs till you splutter and choke;
  But the best of the lot at a jibe or a joke
            Was Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  It was ten of the clock when the walking began,
  And they started with Tumbledown Bill in the van;
  And the rear was brought up by that excellent man,
            By Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  They went off at a pace I am bound to deplore,
  For they did twenty yards in a minute or more
  And a yard or two over, a capital score
            For Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  They had all that pedestrians fairly can ask:
  Smooth roads, sunny weather and beer in a cask,
  And a friend who could teach them to stick to their task,
            Viz.: Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  Yet I somehow suppose that they hadn't the knack,
  For in spite of it all they have never come back,
  And I own that the future looks dismally black
            For Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

  Now the walkers who seem to be stuck on the hill,
  They are Jessamine, Joseph and Japhet and Jill,
  And Allie and Sally and Tumbledown Bill,
            And Farnaby Fullerton Rigby.

R.C.L.

       *       *       *       *       *

King Peter of Servia.

(From _The Daily Mirror_.)

    "The proclamation, however, as given in a later message, reads
    thus:--To My Beloved People: As I shall be prevented by illness
    from exercising my royal power for some time, I order, by
    Article 69 of the Constitution, that so long as my cure lasts
    the Crown Prince Alexander shall govern in my name. On this
    occasion I recommend my dear fatherland to the care of the
    Almighty.

    (Signed) Peter."

"On this occasion" is perhaps a little invidious.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two consecutive books in _The Western Daily Press_ list of publications
received:--

"Ring Strategy and Tactics.

Charles Dickens in Chancery."

The boxing boom continues.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE EMERGENCY EXIT.

[Illustration: Scene--_A Tight Place_.

Child Herbert (_to "Wicked Baron"_). "MY LORD, I HAVE EVER REGARDED YOU
AS A PESTILENT VILLAIN--NAY WORSE, AN HEREDITARY IMBECILE. I THEREFORE
RELY ON YOUR BENEFICENT WISDOM TO FIND ME A WAY OUT OF THIS SINISTER
WOOD."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

(Extracted from the Diary of Toby, M.P.)

_House of Commons, Monday, June 22._--Great muster of forces on both
sides. Not wholly explained by second reading of Budget Bill standing as
first Order. A section of Ministerialists, purists in finance, took
exception to proposed procedure. Holt, spokesman at mouth of new Cave,
put down amendment challenging Chancellor of Exchequer's proposals. Here
was chance for watchful Opposition. If some thirty Ministerialists would
go with them into Lobby it would not quite suffice to turn out Ministry;
but it would be better than a Snap Division, with its personal
inconvenience of preliminary hiding in bath-rooms and underground
cellars.

Cassel, adding to Parliamentary reputation studiously attained, raised
subject on point of order. Underlying suggestion was that Budget Bill
should be withdrawn and reintroduced under amended form of procedure.
Speaker, whilst admitting irregularity, stopped short of approving
extreme course. Pointed out that the matter might be put right by moving
fresh resolutions.

This disappointing. Worse to follow. The Infant Samuel, making fresh
appearance in new part of understudy of Chancellor of Exchequer,
conceded point of procedure made by Radical Cave. Promised objection
should be fully met. Holt, amid ironical cheers from Opposition, said in
these circumstances would not move amendment. Incident reminded Walter
Long of story of the Colonel and the opossum up a tree.

"Don't shoot!" said the Opossum; "I'll come down."

Chancellor of the Exchequer had come down. No need for Colonel Holt to
discharge his gun.

Thus threatened crisis blew over. Members, cheered by promise of
reduction by one half of proposed increase in Income Tax, got away early
to attend various functions in honour of King's birthday.

_Business done._--Second reading of Budget Bill moved.

[Illustration: _Wicket-keeper_ (_Mr. Cassel_). "How's that?"

_Umpire_ (_Mr. Speaker_). "Out!"

_Batsman_ (_Mr. Lloyd George_). "Rotten antiquated rule!"

["I did not expect ... that hon. members would go rummaging in the
dustbins of ancient precedent to find obstacles to place in the way of
these proposals."--_Mr. Lloyd George on his Budget._]]

_House of Lords, Tuesday._--London season in full fling. May be said to
reach dizziest height in this birthday week. Social engagements numerous
and clashing. To-day House of Lords magnet of attraction of surpassing
force. The thing for _grandes dames_ to do is to go down to the House
and be present at opening of fresh tourney round Home Rule Bill.
Accordingly, the peeresses, alive to their responsibility as leaders of
high thinking and simple living, flock down to Westminster, filling
side-galleries with grace, beauty, and some finely feathered hats.

Seats on floor also crowded. Patriotic peers arriving late, finding no
room on the benches where the Union Jack is kept flying, cross over.
Temporarily seat themselves among the comparatively scanty flock of
discredited Ministerialists. Bishops muster in exceptional number. Their
rochets form wedge of spotless white thrust in centre of black-coated
laity seated below Gangway on right of Woolsack. Space before Throne
thronged with Privy Councillors availing themselves of the privilege
their rank confers to come thus closely into contact with what is still
an hereditary chamber.

[Illustration: "Bill presented to Lords as a sort of lay figure, which
they may, in accordance with taste and conviction, suitably clothe."]

In centre of first row Carson uplifts his tall figure and surveys a
scene he has done much to make possible.

Perhaps in matter of dramatic interest the play did not quite come up to
its superb setting. Principal parts taken by Crewe and Lansdowne.
Neither accustomed to move House to spasms of enthusiasm. Leader of
House, introducing what is officially known as Government of Ireland
Amending Bill, made it clear in such sentences as were fully audible
that scheme does not go a step beyond overture towards settlement
proffered by Premier last March.

Lansdowne expressed profound disappointment at this lack of enterprise.
"Rather a shabby and undignified proceeding on the part of a strong
Government," he said, "to come down with proposal they know to be wholly
inadequate, and to hint that we ought to assist them in converting it
into a practical and workable measure."

Actual condition of things could not with equal brevity be more clearly
stated. Bill presented to Lords as sort of lay figure, which they may,
in accordance with taste and conviction, suitably clothe. No assurance
forthcoming that style and fit will be approved when submitted to House
of Commons, final arbiters.

Meanwhile Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

_Business done._--The Commons still harping on the Budget. Tim Healy
enlivened proceedings by vigorous personal attack on "the most reckless
and incapable Chancellor of the Exchequer that ever sat on the Treasury
Bench." Lloyd George's retort courteous looked forward to with interest.

_House of Commons, Wednesday._--When, shortly after half-past five,
Chancellor Of Exchequer rose to take part in debate on new development
of Budget Bill, House nearly empty. Interests at stake enormous.
Situation enlivened for Opposition by quandary of Government. But
afternoon is hot, and from the silver Thames cool air blows over
Terrace. Accordingly thither Members repair, leaving House to solitude
and Chiozza Money.

Benches rapidly filled when news went round that Chancellor was on his
legs. Soon there was crowded audience. Sound of cheering and
counter-cheering, applausive and derisive, frequently broke forth.
Chancellor in fine fighting form. Malcontents in his own camp are
reconciled. Hereditary foe in front. Went for him accordingly. Walter
Long seated immediately opposite conveniently served as suitable target
for whirling lance. Effectively quoted from speeches made by him at
other times, insisting upon relief of the rate so heavily burdoned as to
make it impossible to carry out social reforms of imperative necessity.

"After these lavish professions of anxiety to help local authorities, I
did not," said the Chancellor, "expect the right hon. gentleman and his
friends would go rummaging in the dustbins of ancient precedent, to find
obstacles to place in the way of proposals of reform."

Carried away by his own eloquence, the Chancellor, whilst sarcastically
complimentary to Walter Long, went so far as to call him "The Father of
Form IV." The putative parent blushed. There were cries of "Order!" and
"Withdraw!" Speaker did not interpose, and Chancellor hurried on to
another point of his argument.

Quite a long time since our old friend Form IV., at one time a familiar
impulse to party vituperation, was mentioned in debate. This unexpected
disclosure of its paternity made quite a stir.

Son Austen followed Chancellor in brisk speech that led to one or two
interludes of angry interruption across the Table. When he made an end
of speaking, debate relapsed into former condition of languor. Talk
dully kept up till half-past eleven.

_Business done._--Further debate on Budget.

_Thursday._--Chancellor of Exchequer admittedly allured by what he
describes as "attractive features" of proposal to raise fresh revenue.
It is simply the levying of a special tax on all persons using titles.

Idea not absolutely new. Principle established in case of citizens
displaying crest or coat-of-arms. What is novel is suggested method of
taxation. Differing from the dog-tax, levied at a common rate, it is
proposed that our old nobility shall, in this fresh recognition of their
lofty estate, be dealt with on a sliding scale. A duke will have his
pre-eminence recognised by an exceptionally high rate of taxation.
Marquises, earls and a' that will be mulct on a descending scale, till
the lowly knight is reached. He will be compensated for comparative
obscurity in the glittering throng by being let off for a nominal sum.

Chancellor fears it is too late to adopt proposal this year, a way of
putting it which seems to suggest that we may hear more of it in next
year's Budget.

_Business done._--Hayes Fisher's Amendment to Budget Bill negatived by
303 votes to 265. Reduction of Ministerial majority to 38 hailed with
boisterous burst of cheers and counter-cheers.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Garden City Washing-day.

Our sensitive artist insists on a harmonious colour-scheme.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Lord Mayor (on hearing a certain Peel): "Turn again (in your grave),
Whittington."

       *       *       *       *       *

New song for old Cantabs.:--

"O. B., what can the maté be?"

       *       *       *       *       *

RUS IN URBE.

No, this is not the Russian ballet. It is the English Folk Dance
Society, and their performances at the Royal Horticultural Hall at
Westminster the other day showed that the Russian ballet is not to have
things all its own way. I am not going to moralise upon the salacious
quality of some of the themes of our exotic visitors, but certainly it
would be difficult to find a stronger contrast to their ruling passion
than is presented by the purity and simplicity of these country dances.

"Sellinger's Bound," danced to an air that lulled _Titania_ to sleep all
through the winter at the Savoy, was the most popular, with its ring of
a dozen dancers, hands joined, running together into the centre of their
circle, as if to honour some imaginary deity--possibly Mr. Cecil Sharp,
director of the Society, who has collected and revived the airs to which
they dance.

Then there were the Morris-dances, "Shepherd's Hey" (with nothing about
a "nonny-nonny" in it), and "Haste to the Wedding." There might perhaps
be a greater propriety in the latter if it were confined to men; but at
least it raised no apprehension that anybody was going to "repent at
leisure." In the "Flamborough Sword" dance, the men (with no Amazon
assistance) raced through the figure and out again, eight of them, armed
with bloodless wooden swords--a finely ordered riot.

"Lady's Pleasure," a Morris-jig for two men, lays hold of you at the
first bar, and again with a fresh grip and a tighter as the music slows
up for the dancers to do their "capers"--all to the music of Mr. Cecil
Sharp at the piano and Miss Avril at the fiddle.

The object of The English Folk Dance Society is to teach rather than to
perform in public. Hence the rarity of their displays, and the better
reason why we should seize, when they come, our chances of assisting at
these delightful exhibitions of an art whose revival has done so much to
restore to the countryside the unpretentious joys that gave its name to
Merrie England.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It was the time when Henry III. was batting with Simon de
    Montfort and his Barons"--_Straits Times._

But not at Lord's, which has only just celebrated its centenary.

       *       *       *       *       *

GREAT ECONOMY EFFECTED BY CO-OPERATION IN ADVERTISEMENT.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MILITANTS' TARIFF.

_Etna Lodge, W._

Mrs. Bangham Smasher, having entered into partnership with the Misses
Burnham Blazer, as General Agents of Destruction, begs to inform the
public that the firm will prepared to execute commissions of all kinds,
at the shortest notice, on the very moderate terms given below:--

                                                £   s.  _d_.

For breaking windows, per window                   0   7   6
For howling, kicking, or biting during service
in church, per howl, kick, or bite                 0  10   6
For sitting on doorsteps of obnoxious persons,
per hour, if fine                                  0  15   0
For sitting on doorsteps of obnoxious persons,
per hour, if wet                                   1   1   0
For damaging golf greens, per green                1  11   6
For throwing shoes at magistrates in court,
according to size and weight of shoe,
from                                               2   2   0
For beating officials connected with gaols         3   3   0
For slashing and hacking valuable pictures,
from                                               7   7   0
For bombs not intended to explode                  8   8   0
For burning down a house, according to value
and social position of owner, from                10   0   0
For insulting exalted Personages, per insult      10  10   0
For burning down a modern red-brick
church                                            15  15   0
For burning down a specially valuable and
interesting ancient one (eleventh and
twelfth centuries extra)                          21   0   0
For bombs warranted to destroy an ordinary
church.                                           30   0   0
For bombs suited to wreck really superior
Buildings, such as Westminster Abbey
and St. Paul's                                    50   0   0
For disturbing public meetings and the
general harassing and annoyance of all
peaceable and decent people                       No charge.

Bangham Smasher, Burnham Blazer & Co. beg to assume their patrons that
all the choppers, hammers, bombs, stones, etc., employed in their
business are of the very best quality, and only refined paraffin and wax
matches will be used in burning down any building.

Being in a position to offer such exceptional advantages they trust to
receive a large measure of support in their elevating and enlightening
work.

If none of the above is found suitable to the needs of intending
clients, a further list of assorted outrages will be supplied on
application.

       *       *       *       *       *

LOVE'S LOGIC.

  My happiness is in another's keeping,
    My heart delivered to a maiden's care,
  And she can cast it down or set it leaping
    (The latter process is extremely rare);
  Ah, would that love indeed had made me blind,
  That I might put her image out of mind!

  Yet if I looked at her with eyes unseeing
    Her voice and laughter would not pass unheard;
  I should not be a reasonable being,
    I still should tremble at her lightest word;
  How could I then gain freedom from the spell
  Unless I turned completely deaf as well?

  So, blind and deaf, I might perhaps recover
    A partial peace of mind, but all in vain,
  For memories pursue the luckless lover,
    And only death can ease him of his pain.
  Thus, having proved that I were better dead,
  I think I'll go and talk to her instead.

       *       *       *       *       *

BALM FOR THE BRAINLESS.

    ["If one man has more brains than another, which enable him to
    outstrip his fellows, is not that good fortune? What had he got
    to do with it? If your brain is a bad one, it is not your
    responsibility. If your brain is a good one it is not your
    merit. Some men have greater physical, mental, moral strength
    than others that enables them to win in the race. That is their
    good fortune and they ought to be grateful for it; and the one
    way they can best show their gratitude is by helping those who
    are less fortunate than themselves. Men endowed with any, or
    most, or all of these fortunate conditions ought not to be
    stingy in helping others who have not been so fortunate as
    themselves."--Mr. _Lloyd George at Denmark Hill, June 30_.]

As a result of Mr. Lloyd George's vivid and convincing pronouncement on
the responsibilities of the fortunate, we have been deluged with appeals
from all sorts and conditions of unlucky correspondents. We select the
following from among the most deserving cases in the hope that our
opulent readers may avail themselves of the chances thus offered of
redressing the partiality of fortune.

The Cry of the Cracksman.

_The Sanctuary, Crookhaven._

Sir,--Endowed by nature with an imperfect moral sense and a complete
inability to discriminate between _meum_ and _tuum_, I was irresistibly
impelled at an early age to adopt the precarious profession of
housebreaker. I have just served a sentence of three years, and was on
the point of resuming my career when I read Mr. Lloyd George's
epoch-making speech at Denmark Hill, in which he clearly defines the
duty of the State to redress the inequalities of moral as well as
material endowment by which so large a proportion of the community is
penalised. I am the master of a fine literary style and admirably suited
to discharge any secretarial duties, but it is only right that I should
clearly explain at the outset that it is no use offering me any post
unless it is so well salaried that I should never feel it was worth
while to explore or appropriate the contents of my employer's safe.

Respectfully yours,

Raphael Bunny.


The Luck of the Law.

_Railway Carriage Bungalow,

Shoreham, Sussex._

Sir,--It is precisely thirty years since I was called to the Bar, and
several of my contemporaries have already been elevated to the Bench,
while Sir John Simon, who is considerably my junior, is in the receipt
of a salary probably double that drawn by an ordinary Judge. My earnings
for the last ten years have exempted me from income-tax, but this is but
a poor consolation when I consider that were it not for the caprice of
fortune I should probably be returning £400 or £500 a year to the
Exchequer in super-tax. But not only have I been badly treated in regard
to mental equipment; I have been further handicapped by hereditary
conscientious objection to pay any bills. An annuity of £500 a year, or
only one-tenth of the salary of a Judge, is the minimum that my
self-respect will allow me to accept in payment of the State's
long-standing debt to

Yours faithfully,

William Weir.


The Cruelty of Competition.

Sir,--I confidently appeal for your support in the application for a
grant which I am forwarding to the Prime Minister. My son, aged 14, has
failed to win an entrance scholarship at Winchester and Charterhouse,
not from any fault of his own, but simply owing to the unfair
competition of other candidates more liberally endowed with brains. At a
modest estimate I calculate that the extra drain on my resources for the
next eight years in consequence of this undeserved hardship will amount
to at least £600, which I can ill afford owing to unfortunate
speculations in Patagonian ruby mines--another example of that bad luck
which, in the noble words of the Chancellor Of the Exchequer, it is the
privilege of the prosperous to remedy.

I am, Sir, yours expectantly,

(Rev.) J. Stonor Brooke.


_Vis inertiæ._

_Lotus Lodge, Limpsfield._

Sir,--A victim since birth to congenital lassitude, which has rendered
all labour, whether manual or mental, distasteful, nay, intolerable to
me, I find myself at the age of 41 so out of touch with the spirit of
strenuous effort which has invaded every corner of our national life
that I am anxious to confer on the State or, failing that, some
meritorious millionaire the privilege of providing for my modest needs.
A snug sinecure with a commodious residence and a good car--cheap
American motors are of course barred--represent the indispensable
minimum.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

Everleigh Slack.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some day, says the President of the Aero Club, we shall be able to go
into a shop and buy a pair of wings. But we can do that already; the
only difficulty is to fly with them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Gentleman, middle aged, would be glad of a few correspondents
    (40 to 60)."

    _T. P.'s Weekly._

Too Many.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SILENT CHARMER.

    [Speaking of flowers a contemporary recently remarked:--"These
    careless-looking creatures filling the air with delight, robbing
    tired brains of tiredness, are a delicate texture of coloured
    effort that has prevailed out of a thousand chances, aided in
    all that effort by man. Without man they would be but weeds--a
    profusion of Nature's quantity."]

  My dearest Thomas, I would not
    Deny the fact that you are clever;
  You've taught Dame Nature what is what
    At horticultural endeavour
  (She has not got that useful thing,
  The shilling book of gardening).

  She has her merits, but, of course,
    Her wild attempts won't stand comparing
  With such a floral _tour de force_
    As that geranium you are wearing;
  Yon chosen emblem of your skill
  Must surely make her wilder still.

  But give me Nature; when we meet
    She does not prattle of her posies,
  Dull facts of what begonias eat,
    The dietetic fads of roses,
  And how she strove with spade and spud.
  Or nipped the green fly on the bud.

  'Tis she that really soothes the brain,
    Spreading her weeds in bright profusion,
  And never troubling to explain
    How much they owe to her collusion,
  While, Thomas, _your_ achievements seem
  To be your one and only theme.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. J. C. Parke, writing in _The Strand Magazine_ on the best way to
beat Wilding, says:--

    "Personally, after close observation and from playing against
    him, I would suggest a determined attack on the champion's
    forehead from the base-line."

That ought to learn him.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "His Majesty has been pleased to confer the dignity of an
    Earldom of the United Kingdom upon Field-Marshal the Viscount
    Kitchener of Khartoum, P.G.C., B.O.M.G.C., S.I.G.C.M.,
    G.G.C.I.E."

_Newcastle Daily Journal._

The old orders change, yielding place to new.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a magazine cover:--

    "This magazine has been the turning point in many a man's
    career. Spend twopence and half-an-hour on it.... Price
    Threepence."

We would rather pay the threepence.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In our report of the wedding of Mr. Lee Kwee Law to Miss Chan
    Siew Cheen we inadvertently left out the following, who also
    sent presents_:----"--Straits Echo._

And then they inadvertently left them out again.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CURE FOR CRICKET.

There is no longer any doubt that golf is threatening the supremacy of
our national game. Judged by the only true standard--the amount of space
allotted to it in the daily press--it is manifest that the encroachments
of this insidious pastime have now reached a point where the cricket
reformer must bestir himself before it is too late. We are convinced
that so far we have been taking much too narrow a view. The time has
come to look for light and leading outside the confines of our own Book
of Rules. There are other games besides cricket. Let us call them to our
councils.

In the first place a valuable hint may surely be found in the
development of Rugby football. It is common knowledge what immense
results have followed the introduction, some twenty years ago, of the
Four Three-quarter System. No spectator (and we cannot exist without the
spectator) would ever dream now of returning to the old formation. Very
well. The same principle can be easily adapted to our requirements in
the form of the Three Batsmen System. The pitch would become an
equilateral triangle, and we should suggest that the bowler have the
option of bowling (from his own corner) at either of the two outlying
batsmen (at theirs). Lots of interesting developments would follow, as,
for instance, the institution of a sort of silly-point-short-mid-on in
the centre of the triangle. (Should he be allowed to wear gloves?)

Golf has also a lesson to teach us. We are all familiar with the huge
strides that have been made by the introduction of the rubber-cored
ball. We don't want to plagiarize, although a rubber-cored cricket ball
is a nice idea. Why not aim at the opposite extreme and try a ball
"reinforced" with concrete? The tingling of the batsman's fingers which
might result could be neutralised by the use of a rubber-faced bat. This
reform would, we believe, have one happy consequence. People wouldn't be
so keen to play with their legs.

As to lawn tennis--another dangerous rival--we hear a good deal in these
days about "foot-faults." That seems to show the trend of modern
thought. If we are to be in the swim we shall have to reconsider our
no-ball rule. Why not make it a no-ball every time unless the bowler has
both feet in the air at the moment when the ball leaves his hand? One
might put up a little hurdle--nothing obtrusive--only a matter of a few
inches high.

We believe that something might even be done by borrowing from hockey
the principle of the semi-circle, outside of which a goal may not be
shot. The whole pitch might be enclosed in a circular crease--which
would look uncommonly well in Press photographs. (We cannot exist
without the Press.) No fielder inside the magic circle would be allowed
to stop the ball with his feet.

Finally there is the case of billiards, not a game that is very closely
allied to cricket, but one from which much may be learned. How has
billiards brightened itself? By adopting the great principle of
"barring" certain strokes. Here we have got on to something really
valuable. We propose to go one better, and draw up a schedule of the
different conditions of barring under which matches may be played. It
will only remain for secretaries, when fixtures are made, to arrange the
terms by negotiation. In time to come, should we be able to carry our
point, we shall all be familiar with such announcements as the
following:--

  Notts. _v._ Surrey. (Cut-barred.)
  Gentlemen _v._ Players. (L.b.w.-barred.)
  England _v._ Australia. (Googly-and-yorker-barred.)

We do not pretend to have exhausted the subject, but we have made a
start. We must look about us. Something may be learned, we firmly
believe, even from skittles and ping-pong. Our national game cannot
afford to exclude special features. It should have the best of
everything.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Are you Mrs. Pilkington-Haycock?"

"No."

"Well, I am, and this is her pew."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Professional Candour.

    "The sermon over, a collection was taken, and hardly a person
    present did not contribute. Mgr. Benson's sermon went to the
    hardest heart there. Even the journalists contributed."

    _The Universe._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE HERE, THERE AND LONDON LETTER.

_With apologies to "The Westminster_ Gazette."_

The Home of the South Saxons.

Sussex, the county for which Mr. C. B. Fry (who hurt his leg in the
Lord's centenary match) used to play before he moved to Hampshire, is an
attractive division of the country to the south of London with a long
sea border. Mr. Kipling has praised it in some memorable verses, and
among frequent visitors to its principal town, Brighton, is the
Chancellor of the Exchequer. The word Sussex is a contraction of South
Saxon. All will wish the old Oxonian a speedy recovery from his strain.

A Monetary Proverb.

The origin of the old saying, "Penny wise, pound foolish," which has
come into vogue again in connection with the revised income tax--for who
can deny that the saving of the penny is wise?--is lost in obscurity;
but there is no doubt that it is very ancient. Many nations have the
same proverb in different terms as applied to their own currency. In
France the coins to which the saying best applies would be the sou and
the louis; in America, the cent and the dollar; and so forth.

Cordiality before Party.

The circumstance of Mr. Lulu Harcourt's unveiling a memorial to Mr.
Joseph Chamberlain and Mr. Austen Chamberlain at the Albert Dock
Hospital is not without precedent. On more than one occasion party
differences have been similarly forgotten. Thus several golf-players
contributed to _The Daily Telegraph_ shilling fund in honour of the
great W. G. Grace some few years ago. Such sinking of private
shibboleths is a very excellent thing and goes far to show how
thoroughly sound and healthy English public life really is _au fond_.

The Names of Colleges.

Exeter College, Oxford, which has just celebrated its six hundredth
anniversary, is not the only college which bears the same name as that
of a city. Pembroke is another. Keble is, of course, named after the
hymn-writer and divine; and Balliol, where C. S. C. played the wag so
divertingly, after Balliol. _À propos_ of Oxford, it is a question
whether that extremely amusing book, _Verdant Green_, is still much read
by freshers.

The Author of _The Little Minister._

Sir James Barrie, who is said to have written a revue for production
this autumn at a West-End Theatre, must not be confounded with the
French sculptor, Barye, in spite of the similarity of name. Barye is
famous chiefly for his bronzes of lions; and fortunately, in making his
studies of these dangerous animals, he escaped the fate which so often
befalls the trainer of wild beasts whose animals suddenly turn upon him.

       *       *       *       *       *

ONCE UPON A TIME.

The Alien.

Once upon a time a poet was sitting at his desk in his cottage near the
woods, trying to write.

It was a hot summer day and great fat white clouds were sailing across
the sky. He knew that he ought to be out, but still he sat on, pen in
hand, trying to write.

Suddenly, among all the other sounds of busy urgent life that were
filling the warm sweet air, he heard the new and unaccustomed song of a
bird. At least not new and not unaccustomed, but new and unaccustomed
there, in this sylvan retreat. The notes poured out, now shrill, now
mellow, now bubbling like musical water, but always rich with the joy of
life, the fulness of happiness. Where had he heard it before? What bird
could it be?

Suddenly the poet's housekeeper hurried in. "Oh, Sir," she exclaimed,
"isn't it a pity? Someone's canary has got free, and it's singing out
here something beautiful."

"Of course," said the poet--"a canary;" and he hastened out to see it.
But before he could get there the bird had flown to a clump of elms a
little way off, from which proceeded sweeter and more tumultuously
exultant song than they had ever known.

The poet walked to the elms with his field-glasses, and after a while he
discerned among the million leaves, the little yellow bird, with its
throat trembling with rapture.

But the poet and his housekeeper were not the only creatures who had
heard the strange melody.

"I say," said one sparrow to another, "did you hear that?"

"What?" inquired the other sparrow, who was busy collecting food for a
very greedy family.

"Why, listen," said the first sparrow.

"Bless my soul," said the second. "I never heard that before."

"That's a strange bird," said the first sparrow; "I've seen it. It's all
yellow."

"All yellow?" said the other. "What awful cheek!"

"Yes, isn't it?" replied the first sparrow. "Can you understand what it
says?"

"Not a note," said the second. "Another of those foreigners, I suppose.
We shan't have a tree to call our own soon."

"That's so," said the first. "There's no end to them. Nightingales are
bad enough, grumbling all night, and swallows, although there's not so
many of them this year as usual; but when it comes to yellow
birds--well."

"Hullo," said a passing tit, "what's the trouble now?"

"Listen," said the sparrows.

The tit was all attention for a minute while the gay triumphant song
went on.

"Well," he said, "that's a rum go. That's new, that is. Novel, I call
it. What is it?"

"It's a yellow foreigner," said the sparrows.

"What's to be done with it?" the tit asked.

"There's only one thing for self-respecting British birds to do," said
the first sparrow. "Stop it. Teach it a lesson."

"Absolutely," said the tit. "I'll go and find some others."

"Yes, so will we," said the sparrows; and off they all flew, full of
righteous purpose.

Meanwhile the canary sang on and on, and the poet at the foot of the
tree listened with delight.

Suddenly, however, he was conscious of a new sound--a noisy chirping and
harsh squeaking which seemed to fill the air, and a great cloud of small
angry birds assailed the tree. For a while the uproar was immense, and
the song ceased; and then, out of the heart of the tumult, pursued
almost to the ground where the poet stood, fell the body of a little
yellow bird, pecked to death by a thousand avenging furies.

Seeing the poet they made off in a pack, still shrilling and squawking,
but conscious of the highest rectitude.

The poet picked up the poor mutilated body. It was still warm and it
twitched a little, but never could its life and music return.

While he stood thoughtfully there an old woman, holding an open cage and
followed by half-a-dozen children, hobbled along the path.

"My canary got away," she said. "Have you seen it? It flew in this
direction."

"I'm afraid I have seen it," said the poet, and he opened his hand.

"My little pet!" said the old woman. "It sang so beautifully, and it
used to feed from my fingers. My little pet."

The poet returned to his work. "'In tooth and claw,'" he muttered to
himself, "'In tooth and claw.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HOW TO UTILISE THE ART OF "SUGGESTION."

The Doctor, six down at the turn, "suggests" to his opponent that they
are playing croquet, and wins by two and one.]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

(_By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerics._)

_Tents of a Night_ (Smith, Elder) is a quite ordinary story, about
entirely commonplace persons, which has however an original twist in it.
I never met a story that conveyed so vividly the nastiness of a summer
holiday that isn't nice. The holiday was in Brittany, just the common
round, Cherbourg, Coutances, Mont St. Michel, and the rest of it; and
the holiday-makers were _Mr._ and _Mrs. Hepburn_, their niece _Anne_,
and a rather pleasant flapper named _Barbara_ whom they had taken in
charge. _Anne_ is the heroine and central character of the holiday; and
certainly whatever discomforts it contained she seems to have done her
successful best to add to. "This is a beastly place!" was her written
comment upon St. Michel; and it was typical of her attitude throughout.
Of course the real trouble with _Anne_ was something deeper than drains
or crowded hotels or the smell of too many omelettes: she was in love.
Apparently she was more or less in love with two men, _Dragotin
Voinovich_ (whose name was a constant worry to _Anne's_ aunt, and I am
bound to say that I share her feelings about it) and _Jimmy Fordyce_, a
pleasant young Englishman who pulls the girls out of quicksands and
makes himself generally agreeable. In the end, however--but on second
thoughts the end, emotionally speaking, of _Anne_ is just what I shall
not tell you, as it is precisely the thing that redeems the book from
being commonplace. This you will enjoy; and also those remarkably real
descriptions of various plage-hotels in August, the noise, the crowds,
the long hot meals, the sunshine and constant wind, the sand on the
staircase, and the general atmosphere of wet bathing-gowns--all these
are a luxurious delight to read about in a comfortable English room.
Miss Mary Findlater evidently knows them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Dippers who have given a new meaning to the classical motto, _Respice
finem_, are so common amongst novel readers that Patricia Wentworth will
only have herself to thank if many who are unfamiliar with her work fail
to do justice to a book nine-tenths of which is thoroughly interesting
and excellently well-written. As a boy, the hero of _Simon Heriot_
(Melrose) is misunderstood, and although _Mr. Martin_, his step-father,
is a somewhat stagey specimen of the heavy and vulgar papa, the child's
emotions (as, for instance, when he pretends that the storm of his
parent's wrath is the ordeal of the Inquisition or some far-away battle
of paladins in which he is contending) are finely conceived, and many of
the later passages in _Simon's_ life--his unhappy love affair with _Maud
Courtney_, his relations with his grandmother and with _William
Forster_, the schoolmaster--are quite engrossing and give occasion for
memorable sketches of character. It is when the natural end of the story
is reached, and _Simon_ has come into his own and has just been wedded
to his proper affinity, that the structure seems to me to fall with a
crash. I might perhaps, though not without reluctance, have pardoned an
impertinent railway accident which leaves the young man apparently
crippled for life, but the last chapters, in which he finds spiritual
comfort and (after the doctors have given up hope) complete anatomical
readjustment through the ministrations of faith healing, alienated me
entirely. From the outset the obvious scheme of the novel is to bring
the hero back happily to the home and, if you will, the rustic church of
his ancestors; and, though the science of Christian healing may do all
that its adherents claim for it, it has about as much to do with the
case of _Simon Heriot_ as the dancing dervishes or the rites of Voodoo.

Demetra Vaka has melted my literary heart. By way of homage to her I eat
the dust and recant all the hard and bitter things I said and thought in
my youth concerning Ancient Greece; especially I apologise, on behalf of
myself and my pedagogues, for after regarding its language as a dead
one. _A Child of the Orient_ (Lane) has taught me better, though the
last object the author appears to have in view is to educate. This
"Greek girl brought up in a Turkish household" writes to amuse,
entertain and charm, and her success is abundant. Whether it is
attributable to the romantic particulars of the Turkish household or to
the ingenuous personality of the Greek girl, I hesitate to say, since
both are so captivating; but this I know, that, considered as
descriptive sketches or personal episodes, each of the twenty-two
chapters is a separate delight. For the ready writer material is not
wanting in the Near East; a fine theme is provided in the national
ambition of the Greek, who cannot forget his glorious past and be
content with his less conspicuous present. As for the love interest, who
should supply this better than the Turk? In these days of
cosmopolitanism there are bound to be romantic complications in the
lives of a polygamous people situate in a monogamous continent. By way
of postscript the authoress travels abroad and deals with alien matters;
her impression, I gather, is that if her ancestors of classical times
could see our world of to-day and express an opinion upon it the best of
their praise would be reserved for the fact of the British Empire, and
the worst of their abuse be spent upon what is known as American humour.
I am so constituted that I cannot but be prejudiced in favour of a
writer gifted with so profound a judgment.

       *       *       *       *       *

The creatrix of _Pam_ must look to her laurels. Slovenliness is the
aptest word to apply to the workmanship of _Maria_ (Hutchinson), the
latest heroine of the Baroness Von Hutten. _Maria_ has the air of having
been contracted for, while that fastidious overseer who lurks at the
elbow of every honest craftsman, condemning this or that phrase,
readjusting the other faulty piece of construction, has frankly
abandoned the contractor. _Maria_ was the daughter of an artist cadger
(name of _Drello_), friend of the great and seller of their autograph
letters, whereby he was astute enough to make a comfortable living.
_Maria_ had a dull brother named _Laertes_, who accidentally met a
highness, who fell very abruptly in love with _Maria_ and made her
strictly dishonourable proposals. _Maria_ drew herself up, compelled him
to apologise and go away, until the nineteenth chapter, when she made
similar proposals to the highness, now a duly and unhappily married
_King of Sarmania_. But she is saved by the chivalrous love-lorn dwarf,
_Tomsk_, who, with the irascible singing-master _Sulzer_, is responsible
for the chief elements of vitality in this rather suburban romance. And
I found myself never believing in _Maria's_ wondrous beauty and quite
sharing _Sulzer's_ poor opinion of her singing. But this of course was
mere prejudice.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _Grizel Married_ (Mills and Boon) Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
exhibits the highest-handed method of treating Romance that ever I met.
For consider the situation to be resolved. _Dane Peignton_ was engaged
to _Teresa_, but in love with _Lady Cassandra Raynor_, whose husband, I
regret to add, was still alive. _Dane_ and _Cassandra_ had never told
their love, and concealment might have continued to prey on their damask
cheeks, if Mrs. Vaizey had not (very naturally), wished to give us a big
emotional scene of avowal. It is the way in which this is done that
compels my homage. Off go the characters on a picnic, obviously big with
fate. _Teresa_ goes, and _Dane_ and _Cassandra_, the fourth being
_Grizel_, whom you may recall pleasantly from an earlier book; but,
though she fills the title _rôle_ in this one, she has little to do with
its development. Of course I saw that something tragic was going to
happen to somebody on that picnic--cliffs or tides or mad bulls or
something. But I don't suppose that in twenty guesses you could get at
the actual instrument of destiny. _Cassandra_ chokes over a fish-bone!
That's what I meant about Mrs. Vaizey's courage. And the reward of it is
that, after your first moment of incredulity, the fish-bone isn't in the
least bit absurd. Poor _Cassandra_ comes quite near to expiring of it;
and _Dane_, having thumped and battered her into safety, sobs out his
wild and whirling passion, while _Grizel_ and poor _Teresa_ have just to
sit about and listen. It really is rather a striking and original
climax; incidentally it is far the best scene in an otherwise not very
brilliant tale. But, having attended that picnic, I shall be astonished
if you don't, want to go on to the end and see how it all straightens
out.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Bargain Two-seater, with most of the accessories; only
done fifty miles; water-cooled-engine; owner giving up driving.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At 9.30 o'clock, as the fog lifted somewhat, the rescuing
    steamer Lyonnesse had sighted the Gothland, fast on the rocks,
    with a bad list to starboard, and apparently partly filled with
    pater."

    _Daily Chronicle._

"Our Special Correspondent's" father seems to be a big man.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "While the class watches, the teacher pronounces all the words.
    Then the whole class pronounces them while the teacher points,
    skipping around."--_Hawaii Educational Review._

A pretty scene, if the teacher is a man of graceful movements.





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