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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, June 10, 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, June 10, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146.

June 10, 1914


Mr. Redmond is said to have vigorously opposed the suggestion that
British troops should be sent to Durazzo on the ground that the present
is not a time when our home defences should be weakened.


The presence of some ladies on the Holyhead links disturbed Mr. Lloyd
George to such an extent, one day last week, that he foozled a shot, and
it is reported that the Government is at last contemplating serious
steps against the Suffragettes.


    "Lord Strathcona's Seat for Sale."

    _Daily Mail._

We would respectfully draw Mr. Masterman's attention to the above.


Europe's G.O.M., the Emperor Francis Joseph, is now so well that his
doctor's visits have been discontinued, but the statement that he went
for a long ride last week on a motor-bicycle is declared to be an


According to _The Express_ there was some little unpleasantness in Paris
last week owing to the Chairman of the London County Council claiming
precedence over the Lord Mayor. It is thought that this could never have
happened had the Lord Mayor taken his coachman with him.


Corsica is now claiming that Columbus was born there, and not in Genoa,
and there is much evidence to prove that the claim is well-founded.
Still, it seems a little bit greedy of Corsica, which already has some
reputation as the birth-place of another distinguished man. It is
possible, however, that Genoa may give way if somebody will reimburse
her for the very heavy expense of her statue of Columbus.


Owing to a strike the demand for patent-leather boots for Ascot cannot
be met, and many visitors to this race meeting will have to spend the
day in comfort.


The announcement that the Mappin Terraces at the Zoo have now been
opened has, we hear, caused considerable discontent among the animals in
the old-fashioned dens and cages. They consider that these too ought to
be opened.


By the way these new quarters are proving so popular among the animals
that there is some talk of advertising them extensively in Central
Africa and other haunts of big game with a view to attracting new
tenants to the Regent's Park Garden City.


Regulations for the killing of flies have been issued to the troops at
Aldershot. Curiously enough, artillery is not to be employed. One would
have supposed that this sport might have afforded invaluable training
for bringing down hostile aeroplanes.


From a statement just issued we learn that Mr. A. Lock, of Edenbridge,
has slaughtered more than 18,000 queen wasps, and that for eighteen
successive years he has secured premier honours for wasp-killing at a
local horticultural show. Orders, we learn from an exceptionally
well-informed insect, have now been issued to the W. (Wasps) S.P.U. to
sting Mr. Lock on sight.


"A census," we read, "is to be taken of all the birds of the United
States by the American Board of Agriculture," but we are not told what
particulars will be asked for. Probably merely name and address, not


"Pygmalion for Threepence" attracted a large number of the working
classes to His Majesty's Theatre in spite of the price being higher than
"A Twopenny Damn."


Among the workers' organisations which booked seats was the London Glass
Blowers' Society. Hitherto, we understand, the favourite expression of
the members of this Society has been the innocuous "You be blowed," and
it is sincerely to be hoped that Mr. Shaw's play will not have given
these gentle souls a taste for anything stronger.


After holding up an elderly man in broad daylight in an arcade off
Ludgate Hill last week two highwaymen ran away and were captured in the
Old Bailey. It is thought that the homing instinct took them there.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Hail to the Bard, the simple Bard,
    Who wrote the little song,
  And to his Muse, who laboured hard
    To help the work along.
  Health to the Candid Friend also
    Who had his word to say,
  And to the kindly G.P.O.
    That sped it on its way.

  A blessing on the Editor
    Who let it see the light;
  Likewise the patient Printer, for
    He got the colons right;
  Here's to the "sub," whose special line
    Was spacing it to fit,
  And to the cheery Philistine
    Who lit his pipe with it.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Empire Day Essay.

"Dear Teacher,--On Empire day we had a holiday. I had a flag on
Frideday. On Fridday I was very happy, was you Teacher when we had a

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The King has conferred the Grand Cross of the Victorian Order
    on M. Doumergue, the Premier of France."

And _The Sydney Sun_ heads this "Horrors in France." The Victorian
Order, however, is not really so dangerous as that.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: (_Just after feeding-time--Inner Temple._)

"Come on, 'Tilda, bring 'im along and let 'im look at the lawyers."]

       *       *       *       *       *


_"Nil mortalibus ardui est."--Q. Horatius Flaccus._

  When Horace made those sound remarks.
    Showing--in spite of Jove's decree--
  How mortals rode in impious arks
    Transilient o'er the sacred sea,
  How there was not beneath the sun
    A task so tough but what he'd back us
  Somehow to go and see it done
    (Such was the _flair_ of Flaccus);

  Little he guessed how wind and tide
    Should be the sport of human skill;
  How steel and steam should mock their pride
    And get the deep reduced to _nil_;
  How we should come in course of years,
    Either by cable or Marconi,
  To hold across the hemispheres
    A conversazione.

  He'd learn with even more surprise
    That, after working all this while
  On ways and means to minimise
    The severance of isle and isle,
  Erin we find as far away,
    As rudely severed by a windy sea,
  As Athens seemed in Horace' day
    From old Brundusium (Brindisi).

  Strange, too, in yonder hybrid land
    This myth about a racial knot
  Binding the gay Hibernian and
    The dourly earnest Ulster-Scot--
  Neighbours whose one and only link
    (A foil to their profound disparity)
  Is--thanks to some volcanic kink--
    A common insularity.

  Come, let us down this myth in dust;
    Let statesmen's time no more be spent
  To fake a "race" from what is just
    A geologic accident;
  Let a great brig across the strait,
    Where Scot to Scot may freely pass, go,
  And Ulster find her natural mate
    In consanguineous Glasgow.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


Standing on our front door-step you can see our garden running down at a
moderate speed to our front gate. Or, conversely, standing at the front
gate, you can see it mounting in a leisurely fashion to the front door.
In either case it consists of two narrow strips of lawn bisected by a
well-kept perambulator drive. Beyond the grass on either side blooms a
profusion of bless-my-soul-if-I-haven't-forgotten-agains and other
quaintly named old-world English flowers. On the left-hand strip of
lawn, looking gatewards, is the metal pin to which the captive golf-ball
is tied. On the right is the pear-tree, to which later on we have to
affix a captive pear.

"What I like about the garden," I said to Araminta when we first moved
in, "is the fact that it is in front, so that visitors, instead of
saying in a perfunctory way, 'Have you got a garden, too? How
delightful!' will be forced to murmur, 'How sweet the clover smelt on
your lawn as we came up the drive. What a perfectly entrancing
golf-ball.' If I must go to the trouble and expense of keeping up a
private pleasaunce I want everybody to see the pleasantry of it at

"Swank," replied Araminta. She is absurdly early-Georgian in the matter
of repartee.

Last Saturday I determined to mow the lawn. I put on my oldest suit of
clothes with the now fashionable slit-trouser leg, fastened the green
bonnet to the front of the car, and wheeled it out of the tool garage.
Araminta went out, saying airily that she would be back to tea. After a
little trouble I induced the instrument to graze the left-hand pasture
as far as the hobbled Colonel. Then, feeling that my shoulders wanted
opening a bit, I went indoors and fetched a brassie-spoon. I suppose I
must have been striking with unusual vehemence, but anyway, in playing a
good second to the fourteenth green, I sent the pin flying out of the
ground. The Colonel broke his parole and dashed rapidly to the topmost
boughs of the pear-tree on the right, carrying the rest of the apparatus
with him. There was nothing to do but to follow him, spoon in hand.

It was soon evident that the pear-tree had been over-looked during
spring-cleaning, for the foliage, though very luxuriant, was in an
extremely soiled condition.

I had just located the deserter when I heard feminine voices of unknown
proprietorship. It is the habit of quick masterful decisions in
important crises that has given to Englishmen an empire on which the sun
never holes out, and I decided instantly to remain where I was. If it
had been a mashie I might have faced them, but a brassie-spoon out of a
lie like that--no.

The callers came slowly up the path, rang the bell, chattered to the
servant, left cards, and retired. Without much trouble I could have
brained them with the brassie-spoon as they passed beneath me. But some
odd impulse of chivalry restrained me. It is blunders like these that
have wrecked the plans of the greatest generals. Just as they opened the
gate who should appear but--of course--Araminta? "Oh, I'm so glad I've
caught you!" she cried. "You _must_ stay and have tea now. We'll have it
in the garden. My husband's somewhere about. He said he was going to mow
the lawn, but I suppose he was too lazy." Lazy, indeed! Ha, ha! So like
a woman.

Peering angrily with one eye out of my leafy ambush, I tried hard to
attract Araminta's attention, but all in vain. Chairs were brought out
and tea came with some particularly cool-looking sandwiches; cups were
filled; spoons clinked; steadily the afternoon wore on. Flecks of fleecy
white cloud chased each other in the blue-domed heaven above me. From
far away rose the hum of the mighty city. In the next-door garden but
two I could see a happy family circle partaking of light sustenance. I
think it was nearly an hour-and-a-half before those infernal women left.
Araminta conducted them to the gate, said a lingering good-bye, and
wafted them down the road with wavings and smiles. When they were safely
off the premises I slithered down and confronted her, looking dignified
and stern, still holding the ball in one hand and the wooden club in the

Instead of bursting into tears, as I had expected, she went off into a
fit of idiotic giggles. "You--you don't mean to say you've been up in
that tree all tea-time! You are too funny. And you've got a great black
splodge over one eye. Do go and wash."

With an effort I controlled my rage. "In future," I said coldly, "when I
am--er--mowing the lawn, visitors will be served with tea in the second

"All right, dear," said Araminta; "and in future, when you are mowing
the lawn, you shall have yours taken up into the pear-tree."

Women have no sense of humour.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Our Leaders. "ENOUGH OF DEEDS! LET'S GET TO WORDS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Son (lately returned from big game shooting in Africa)._
"There I stood, the ferocious beast facing me, not a yard away--a
situation needing such calmness and courage as in this quiet little
suburb, my dear mother, you would never be called upon to display."

_Parlourmaid._ "If you please, 'M, there's another bison in the kitchen.
What would you wish done with it?"

_Mother (accustomed to Cockney accent)._ "Put it in Mr. Jack's room,
Beatrice, and take away the one that's chipped."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Scene--_A Restaurant._

_First Luncher._ Waiter, bring me the bill, please.

_Waiter._ Yes, Sir.

_Second Luncher._ No, I say, old man, this is mine. Waiter, bring the
bill to me.

_W._ Yes, Sir.

_F. L._ No, waiter, it's mine.

_S. L._ My dear old chap----

_F. L._ Yes, it's mine. Get it, waiter.

_W._ Yes, Sir.

_S. L._ But I asked you.

_F. L._ No, I asked you.

_S. L._ Yes, but I asked you first.

_F. L._ That doesn't matter.

_S. L._ Of course it does. And I've been doing all the ordering too.

_F. L._ That's all right. I'm glad you have. You do it very well.

_S. L._ Well, I want to pay.

_F. L._ Oh, no, my dear fellow. It's my lunch. I've been feeling like
the host all the time.

_S. L._ So have I. I haven't felt like a guest at all. It's my bill.

_F. L._ I couldn't hear of it. You came here to lunch with me.

_S. L._ Upon my soul, I thought you were lunching with me. I asked you,
you know.

_F. L._ You can't deny I asked you; I said, "We'll lunch together next
Thursday," didn't I?

_S. L._ That's all right, but I swear I asked you first. It was because
I had asked you that you said what you said.

_F. L._ Well, I look on it as my lunch, anyway.

_S. L._ Then why did you let me order the things and send back that

_F. L._ That's all right, old man. You've been lunching with me to-day.
Next time I'll lunch with you.

_S. L._ I'm not satisfied with it. I consider this my lunch.

_F. L._ No, no. It's mine. Here's the waiter.

_S. L._ Waiter, let me have that.

_F. L._ No, waiter, give it to me.

_S. L. (snatching the bill, glancing at it, and hastily slamming down a
sovereign)._ That's all right, waiter. Keep the change.

_W._ Yes, Sir; thank you, Sir.

_F. L._ Waiter, don't take that money. This is my affair.

_W._ Yes, Sir.

_S. L._ It's all over now, old chap. It's paid. Come along. (_Gets up._)

_F. L. (producing a sovereign)._ That's for the bill, waiter. I don't
know anything about that other money.

_S. L._ But it's paid. It's done with.

_F. L._ Oh, no. You mustn't do that. It's my lunch. I asked you, you
know. Why, I told my wife this morning that you were lunching with me

_S. L._ I asked you first, you know.

_F. L._ I don't think so, old chap; I don't indeed.

_S. L._ I assure you I never had a shadow of doubt about it. I took it
for granted that you knew you were lunching with me and I was the host.
Otherwise should I have made that fuss about the omelette? Should I now?

_F. L._ I was very glad you did. I felt that you felt at home.

_S. L._ It puts me in such an awkward position. Really, I should take it
as a personal favour if you'd let me pay.

_F. L._ No, no. No, no. This is my affair. I asked you.

_S. L._ I asked you first.

_F. L._ No, no. No, no. Come along. Here's your sovereign.

_S. L._ Well, I consent, but under protest. Next time you really lunch
with me.

_F. L._ Right-o. I'd love to.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lines of an alliterative character will occur to anyone who has
    read much poetry. There is a notable example in Shelley's

    'Singing still dost roar, and roaring ever singest.'"

    _Dublin Sunday Independent._

A man we know does this much better than any skylark.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Daily Chronicle_ (of Kingston, Jamaica) informs its readers that
"According to Theopompus, a waiter of the fourth century B.C., the
Epirots were divided into fourteen independent tubes." The waiters of
Epirus must have found this a great convenience when ordering meals from
the kitchen.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: (_An Imaginary Idyll of the Mappin Terraces at the

       *       *       *       *       *


Vagaries of the Moment.

_Park Lane._

Dearest Daphne,--This is completely a _jewel_ season. People may be just
as glittery as they like. Heads, necks and arms don't monopolise the
pretty-pretties now, and, what with jewelled tunics, girdles, shoes,
stockings and "_Honi soits_," as well as gems on what little corsage and
skirt one may be wearing, one's jewel-box may be quite _quite_ emptied
every evening. Indeed, if we hadn't plenty of jewels I sometimes wonder,
my dear, what our _grande toilette_ would consist of! And this has led
to the launching of "Olga's" latest triumph, the lock-up evening wrap--a
charming affair, thickly plated with sequins and fastening with the
dearest little _real_ locks all down the front from the throat to the

_À propos_, Beryl Clarges had such a darling adventure the other night.
She came out of the opera, meaning to go on to the Flummerys' and one or
two more places, with all her pretty-pretties on, and fastened securely
into her lock-up wrap. She got into her car suspecting nothing. But it
wasn't her own chauffeur and footman at all, Daphne! It was two
delicious robbers who'd managed to get possession of her car; and they
drove her out to Hampstead Heath and held a pistol to her head and said,
"Now, my lady, you've got on about thirty-thousand pound worth of
sparklers. Hand 'em over quietly and we won't hurt you." And Beryl
didn't turn a hair (she says) but answered, "You silly boys! I'm locked
into 'Olga's' new thief-proof wrap and you can't get anything but my
shoes. My maid always locks me in and lets me out, and she's got the
keys and you've left her behind!" And they tried to wrench the wrap
open, but it resisted, and Beryl put in some piercing g's in alt., and
help came and the robbers fled. And now she's the woman of the moment,
and her picture, standing on Hampstead Heath in her lock-up wrap,
defying ten robbers, is in all the weeklies.

Some people say it was all managed by her publicity agent, and others
declare it was a put-up thing between Beryl and "Olga." Anyhow, the new
"_manteau de sûreté_" is absolutely booming, and _entre nous_, _chérie_,
people who never wear anything more valuable than sequins and paste are
quite falling over each other to get thief-proof wraps!

There's quite a little rage among girls just now for _boxing_. Juno
Farrington, the Southlands' girl, is responsible for it. She's been the
acknowledged leader of the _jeunes filles_ since she first came out and
has set the fashion among them in everything, from inventing a new
cocktail to chaperoning her chaperon. (It was Juno who first started the
custom at parties of doing all the after-supper dances in the street and
finishing up the night at an early coffee-stall.) The Duchess of
Southlands was making her little moan to me the other day, and I told
her she ought to be so proud of dear Juno having _temperament_ and
_personality_. "Temperament and personality are all very well, Blanche,"
said the dear little invertebrate woman, "but worried mothers wish they
didn't develop till after marriage! If Juno's grandmamma knew how
_modern_ she is she'd leave everything she has to charity." Indeed it's
a constant effort for her parents to hide their girl's modernity from
the dowager--a dear old disapproving piece of antiquity whose youth
dates from remote ages of blushing, fainting, accomplishments and
downcast eyes. She's an immense fortune to leave, and Juno (so far) is
her heiress; but the girl seriously imperilled her prospects during the
very last visit the Southlands had from the dowager. The latter was
doing her everlasting knitting one day when she called out, "Here, Juno,
child, come and help me. I've dropped a stitch." And Juno went to her
and looked about on the floor and said, "Where did you drop it, Gran? I
don't see it anywhere!"

I'd a little dinner-dance on Thursday and Juno was one of several girls
who brought their mothers. "Oh, my hat and feathers!" she called out as
she looked over the menu; "none of your _à la_ dishes for _this_ child!
Sorry, old girl, but I'm in training. Will you order broiled steak and
pale ale for me? I'm going to box Tricky Sal, the coloured girl-boxer
from the Other Side. Wonder how she'll like my upper-cut and left-hand
jab! Isn't it glorious, people? I've got my ambition! I'm a White Hope!
See if we don't fill the Colidrome at our Grand Boxing Matinée!"

"Girlie," pleaded _la mère_, "you're joking! You wouldn't dream of
boxing except before just relations and intimate friends!" "Relations
and intimate friends be _somethinged_!" cried Juno. "I'm going to box in
front of the good old public! And the gate shall go to your Holiday Home
for Melancholy Manicurists, mother dear." "My only one, my Melancholy
Manicurists are quite _quite_ in funds," urged the duchess; "we want
nothing for them." "Don't worry your little head, dear," said Juno;
"they've _got_ to be helped and that's all about it!"

So the matinée at the Colidrome is to come off. The _pièce de
résistance_ will, of course, be Juno Farrington and Tricky Sal. Then the
Dunstables' two girls, Franky and Freckles, have promised a sparring
match if their mother doesn't get to hear of it down at Dunstable Castle
(they're going out with their aunt this season). Beryl and Babs will
wrestle. And they want me to give a show with the Indian clubs (no one
does them quite as I do, but I'm not a bit vain about it). Every seat is
sold already!

I believe people never had such a horror of bores and banality as they
have now--owing chiefly to the influence of our Anti-Banalite Club.
Silent dinners, at which one communicates only by wireless, are a good
deal done and are quite nice and restful, the general atmosphere (if
someone tainted with banalism seems inclined to speak) being, "I know
what you're going to say. Please--please--_please_ don't say it!" On a
little dinner of this kind at Bosh and Wee-Wee's last week there
descended a terrible man, a far-away cousin of Wee-Wee's, who hardly
ever leaves his _terres_ in some remote part of the country--the sort of
creature, you know, dearest, who always has a colour and a smile and an
appetite and who writes to the papers to say he's seen a bush growing
upside down or has heard the cuckoo singing in the night or has plucked
and eaten something in his garden in December! He began by _mentioning
the weather_! People quite jumped in their chairs, and Popsy, Lady
Ramsgate, gave a little scream. He followed this up by saying _town
seemed full_; and then, _à propos_ of having run up against a college
friend in town, informed us that _the world was a small place after
all_! When this last enormity was let loose upon us Norty said solemnly,
"Where's the nearest point policeman?" And, instead of taking the hint,
the creature began to hold forth about "that fine body of men, the
London police!" Wee-Wee was in sackcloth and ashes about it afterwards.
She says that sort of thing is in his family.

I had a serious talk with Norty about the Irish problem yesterday, and
he tells me there's a whisper in the Lobbies that _certain persons_ have
already sold the kinema rights of the first Irish Parliament to a film
company for a _colossal_ sum and, as the money is spent and the company
is _incessantly_ jogging them to deliver the goods, they're bound to put
the thing through! It's said that someone asked a Member of the
Government point-blank whether there was any truth in the rumour, and
was told, "The answer is in the negative-affirmative, Sir!"

Ever thine,


       *       *       *       *       *


    [Sir Alfred Mond states that there is absolutely no foundation
    for the announcement made in some newspapers that a peerage is
    to be conferred upon him and that his name is to be included in
    the list of this year's birthday honours.--_Daily Chronicle._]

  "No bally fear!
  I _won't_ be a peer;
  I've given my bond,"
  Says Sir Alfred Mond;
  "But it won't make me scunner
  If they elevate Brunner."

  "A belted earldom's far beyond
  My poor deserts: it _must be_ Mond.
  He's so distinguished, such a stunner
  In every sort of way," says Brunner.

  "As a thorough-going democrat
    I always travel steerage;
  I'd sooner eat my Sunday hat
    Than take a nasty Peerage;
  Such sops the snobbish crowd may soothe,
    But not yours truly, Handel Booth."

  "As a simple Knight
  I'm quite all right,
  But to make me a peer
  Would be rather queer;
  It might also disturb
  Sir George," says Sir Herb.

  "This time you've backed the winning horse,
  I'm bound to be a Duke, of course;
  But wait and see--the slightest hitch
  Might altogether queer my pitch;
  So mum's the word," says Little Tich.

  "The rumours of Our elevation
  Are totally without foundation.
  On peerages We turn Our backs,
  Signed with Our seal,
          _Revue_-King Max."

  "He that on frippery sets his heart
  May purchase titles such as Bart.;
  These garish gauds my spirit spurns,
  I'm greater as I am," says Burns.

  "Yon tale aboot ma Coronet
  Is comin' off, but not juist yet;
  Aw'm haudin' oot for somethin' smarter,
  For choice the Thistle or the Garter;
  Whichever ribbon is the broader
  A'll tak wi' joy," says Harry Lauder.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Voice from Above (to individuals entering house with
burglarious intent)._ "I say, you'd better come again after a while; we
aren't all in bed yet."]

       *       *       *       *       *


II.--Exits and Entrances.

To the young playwright, the difficulty of getting his characters on to
the stage would seem much less than the difficulty of finding them
something to say when they are there. He writes gaily and without
hesitation "_Enter_ Lord Arthur Fluffinose," and only then begins to
bite the end of his penholder and gaze round his library for
inspiration. Yet it is on that one word "Enter" that his reputation for
dramatic technique will hang. Why did _Lord Arthur Fluffinose_ enter?
The obvious answer, that the firm which is mentioned in the programme as
supplying his trousers would be annoyed if he didn't, is not enough; nor
is it enough to say that the whole plot of the piece hinges on him, and
that without him the drama would languish. What the critic wants to know
is why _Lord Arthur_ chose that very moment to come in--the very moment
when _Lady Larkspur_ was left alone in the oak-beamed hall of Larkspur
Towers. Was it only a coincidence? And if the young dramatist answers
callously, "Yes," it simply shows that he has no feeling for the stage
whatever. In that case I needn't go on with these articles.

However, it will be more convenient to assume, dear reader, that in your
play _Lord Arthur_ had a good reason for coming in. If that be so, he
must explain it. It won't do to write like this:--

_Enter_ Lord Arthur. Lady Larkspur _starts suddenly and turns towards

_Lady Larkspur._ Arthur! _You_ here? (_He gives a nod of confirmation.
She pauses a moment, and then with a sudden passionate movement flings
herself into his arms._) Take me away, Arthur. I can't bear this life
any longer. Larkspur bit me again this morning for the _third_ time. I
want to get away from it all. [_Swoons._

The subsequent scene may be so pathetic that on the hundredth night it
is still bringing tears to the eyes of the fireman, but you must not
expect to be treated as a serious dramatist. You will see this for
yourself if you consider the passage as it should properly have been

_Enter_ Lord Arthur Fluffinose. Lady Larkspur _looks at him with

_Lady Larkspur._ Arthur, what are _you_ doing here?

_Lord Arthur._ I caught the 2.3 from town. It gets in at 3.37, and I
walked over from the station. It's only a mile. (_At this-point he looks
at the grandfather clock in the corner, and the audience, following his
eyes, sees that it is seven minutes to four, which appears delightfully
natural._) I came to tell Larkspur to sell Bungoes. They are going down.

_Lady Larkspur (folding her hands over her chest and gazing broodingly
at the footlights)._ Larkspur!

_Lord Arthur (anxiously)._ What is it? (_Suddenly_) Has he been
ill-treating you again?

_Lady Larkspur (flinging herself into his arms)._ Oh, Arthur, Arthur, he
bit me this morning----

And so on.

But it may well be that _Lord Larkspur_ has an intrigue of his own with
his secretary, _Miss Devereux_, and, if their big scene is to take place
on the stage too, the hall has got to be cleared for them in some way.
Your natural instinct will be to say, "_Exeunt_ Fluffinose _and_ Lady
Larkspur, _R. Enter_ Lord Larkspur _and_ Miss Devereux, _L._" This is
very immature, even if you are quite clear as to which side of the stage
is L. and which is R. You _must_ make the evolutions seem natural.
Thus:--_Enter from the left_ Miss Devereux.

_She stops in surprise at seeing_ Lord Arthur _and holds out her hand._

_Miss D._ Why, Lord Arthur! Whatever----

_Lord A._ How d'you do? I've just run down to tell Lord Larkspur to----

_Miss D._ He's in the library. At least he----

_Lord A. (taking out his watch)._ Ah, then perhaps I'd better----

[_Exit by door on left._

_Miss D. (to Lady L.)._ Have you seen _The Times_ about here? There is a
set of verses in the Financial Supplement which Lord Larkspur wanted
to----(_She wanders vaguely round the room. Enter _Lord Larkspur_ by
door at back_). Why, here you are! I've just sent Lord Arthur into the
library to----

_Lord L._ I went out to speak to the gardener about----

_Lady L._ Ah, then I'll go and tell Lord----

[_Exit to library, leaving_ Miss Devereux _and_ Lord Larkspur _alone._

And there you are. You will, of course, appreciate that the unfinished
sentences not only save time, but also make the manoeuvring very much
more natural.

So far I have been writing as if you were already in the thick of your
play; but it may well be that the enormous difficulty of getting the
first character on has been too much for you. How, you may be wondering,
are you to begin your masterpiece?

The answer to this will depend upon the length of the play, for upon the
length depends the hour at which the curtain rises. If yours is an 8.15
play you may be sure that the stalls will not fill up till 8.30, and you
should therefore let loose the lesser-paid members of the cast on the
opening scene, keeping your fifty-pounders in reserve. In a 9 o'clock
play the audience may be plunged into the drama at once. But this is
much the more difficult thing to do, and for the beginner I should
certainly recommend the 8.15 play, for which the recipe is simple.

As soon as the lights go down, and while the bald stout gentleman is
kicking our top-hat out of his way, treading heavily on our toes and
wheezing, "Sorry, sorry," as he struggles to his seat, a buzz begins
behind the curtain. What the players are saying is not distinguishable,
but a merry girlish laugh rings out now and then, followed by the short
sardonic chuckle of an obvious man of the world. Then the curtain rises,
and it is apparent that we are assisting at an At Home of considerable
splendour. Most of the characters seem to be on the stage, and for once
we do not ask how they got there. We presume they have all been invited.
Thus you have had no difficulty with your entrances.

_As the chatter dies down a chord is struck on the piano._

_The Bishop of Sploshington (£2 10s. a week)._ Charming. Quite one of my
favourites. Do play it again. [_Relapses into silence for the rest of
the evening._

_The Duchess of Southbridge (35s. per week, to_ Lord Reggie). Oh,
Reggie, what _did_ you say?

_Lord Reggie (putting up his eyeglass--they get five shillings a week
extra if they can manage an eyeglass properly)._ Said I'd bally

_Lady Evangeline (to_ Lady Violet, _as they walk across the stage)._ Oh,
I _must_ tell you what that funny Mr. Danby said. [_Doesn't._ Lady
Violet, _none the less, trills with happy laughter._

_Prince von Ichdien, the well-known Ambassador (loudly, to an unnamed
gentleman)._ What your country ought to do----[_He finishes his remarks
in the lip-language, which the unnamed gentleman seems to understand. At
any rate he nods several times._

_There is more girlish laughter, more buzz and more deaf-and-dumb
language. Then_

_Lord Tuppeny._ Well, what about auction?

_Amid murmurs of_ "You'll play, Field-Marshal?" _and_ "Auction,
Archbishop?" _the crowd drifts off, leaving the hero and heroine alone
in the middle of the stage._

And then you can begin.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: At the Little Theatre Mr. Bertram Forsyth proposes to
reproduce scenes from plays as they were presented 100 or 150 years ago.
He will try, we are told, to restore the old-time atmosphere. An
orange-woman will nightly carry her basket through the theatre.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[_A correspondent, having failed to let his property through the
ordinary channels of advertisement, falls back upon "Mr. Punch's" help,
having noticed in his pages several examples of the charm of Commercial

House to be Sold, with Garage--or can be let alone; detached (owing to
subsidence of soil); standing on its own ground (except for a small
portion which is lying in neighbour's yard). There are three stories:
(1) that it is haunted, (2) that it is unfit for human habitation, (3)
that it is mortgaged up to the hilt. The title is undisputed.

The house faces N. and S.--or _did_ when last inspected. It commands a
magnificent view of the back gardens of the next street, where a weekly
regatta is held every Monday. For lovers of music there is a piano next
door and five gramophones within audible distance; an organ plays every
Saturday at the house opposite.

The sky-light affords an unobstructed view of the firmament--not
surpassed in the wilds of Scotland.

The garden is small, but cannot possibly be overlooked even by the most
short-sighted and unobservant. The soil is very fertile, grass growing
readily under the feet. The presence of the early bird indicates an
abundance of ground game. There is some fine ancient timber in a corner,
possibly the remains of a bicycle shed.

On the ground floor are three sitting-rooms, each with standing room
also; every one of them is a study. There is no actual smoking-room, but
one can be improvised in a moment by lighting any of the fires. There is
a large attic suitable for a billiard-room for short men. The
wine-cellar contains fifty cubic feet of water, thus ensuring a uniform
temperature; there is a large collection of empty bottles, which could
be left. The water supply is constant, so also are the applications for
rates. The drains on the property are immense. There is gas all over the
house. Summonses are served at the door, and the tradesmen call many
times daily and wait if you are out.

The owner is obliged to go abroad for private reasons and must dispose
of the property at once. The house, being concrete, can be seen at any
time, or an abstract can be had on application to the Caretaker who is
within--or should be. If not within will be found at the "King's Arms"
next door. For particulars apply to Phibbs and Gammon, Jerry Buildings,

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dr. A. M. Low, of Shepherd's Bush, states that he has
    discovered a process by which photographs can be sent four

    _Daily Express._

To show him that the discovery is an old one we are sending him ours. By
special messenger-boy process.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "On the concluding day Major Orman and the officers of the
    battalion were At Home to the station. The ladies of the latter
    assembled in their smallest frocks."--_Rangoon Gazette._

And in these days they can be very small indeed.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Art Dealer._ "'Ere y'are--old masters a tanner a time."

_Collector._ "I'll take this one."

_Dealer._ "That un's eight'npence, guvnor--it's very near new!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Written after a contemplation of one of our outer suburbs, and on
hearing of the threatened lock-out in the building trade._)

  Can this be true? that hodmen strike?
    The very thought my soul bewilders.
  Has Art, has beauty got no spike
    To perforate the breasts of builders?

  Her bricky teeth flung far and wide,
    On virgin fields my London browses,
  The amaranthine plains are pied
    With nutty little bijou houses.

  Here Daphne makes the junket set
    Or squeezes from the curd the pale whey,
  And drone of bees holies the Met-
    ropolitan and District Railway.

  Here Amaryllis tends the hearth
    Till, home returning from the City,
  Her Damon comes to weed the garth
    (Which makes his hands most awful gritty).

  Here in the golden sunset's haze
    Is love, I ween, no whit less hearty
  Than when it walked in soot-grimed ways,
    But, oh how chic and oh how arty!

  The cots themselves are spick and span,
    Filling with awe the gross intruder;
  Their style is early Georgian,
    Which looks like measles mixed with Tudor.

  Through little panes be-diamonded
    The scented dusk comes softly stealing;
  When you get up you strike your head
    Severely on the timbered ceiling.

  And some break out in sudden wings
    And bloom with unsuspected gables;
  The cubic area of the things
    Prevents one getting round the tables.

  To weave such nests, so fair, so coy,
    Should be the workman's _bonum summum_,
  To me it were all mirth, all joy
    To paint, to whitewash, or to plumb 'em.

  Far other was the task of thralls
    Who had to rear these inner suburbs,
  Piling the sad Victorian walls
    Where each wan window laced its tub-herbs.

  Small wonder had they cried, I wis,
    Shedding large tears amongst their mortar,
  "We cannot build such streets as this
    Without two extra pints of porter!"

  But now--ah well! Here is a bard
    Long versed in wild extravaganza,
  Knowing the foot-rule, and to lard
    With purple bits the pounding stanza;

  A little weary of the harp,
    Metres and rhymes that fail to dowel,
  Willing to turn from pains so sharp
    To some soft labour with the trowel.

  Sooner than let our love-birds pine
    For post-impressionistic dwellings,
  With all the windows out of line
    And curious humps and antic swellings,

  The motley Muse's maundering nous
    Cares nothing what the union rate is,
  If any young things want a house
    I'll build the kickshaw for them gratis.


       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology.

    "We are glad to hear that Canon N. S. Jeffrey has latterly made
    such good progress that he is now able to bet downstairs each
    day."--_Gazette-News for Blackpool._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "She was slightly troubled with sore chins, and went to the post
    in scratchy fashion."

    _Sporting Chronicle._

No wonder.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: General John Redmond. "ULSTER KING-AT-ARMS, IS IT? WE'LL

[See _Punch_, May 6, 1914.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Our large stores pride themselves on never bothering a
customer to purchase. Some of them go even further and seem to show
positive indifference. Above we see a customer resorting to extreme
measures to secure attention.]

       *       *       *       *       *


There is an idea already fermenting in the brains of many publishers
that their present method of printing personal assurances as to the
merits of their new productions is unsatisfactory. It is felt that these
eulogies are open to the suspicion of prejudice and should be replaced,
or supplemented, by the advance publication of the final chapter of the
author's work. _Mr. Punch_, anxious to promote this excellent change by
the publication of a specimen finale, has pleasure in anticipating the
fifty-first, and concluding, chapter of Mrs. H-mphry W-rd's projected
romance, _The Winning of Aurora_; and he is convinced that his readers
will not rest till they have secured the remaining fifty chapters.

Aurora let fall the book she was reading, a celebrated pamphlet on the
Oxford Tractarian movement, in a cover which was a miracle of
Italo-Moroccan tooling, and gazed thoughtfully at the scene before her.
Viewed thus in outline, her head in repose had something of the delicacy
of a Tanagra figure, while to the eye of a connoisseur the magnificent
yet girlish torso might have recalled a Bacchante by Skopas. To her
right rose the rugged sides of Garthfell, purple and scarlet in the
subdued light; to the left was Felsbeck, and from her feet the ground
fell away abruptly till it met the immemorial woods of Supwell. Among
them Aurora could distinguish the massive Boadicean keep of Supwell
Castle, strangely yet harmoniously blended with the neo-Byzantine
portico of white marble designed by Inigo Jones for the thirty-first
Earl. She remembered vaguely that she was attending a reception there
to-night; but her gaze soon left the noble pile--so typical of all that
is best in English architecture--to rest upon the humbler neighbouring
group of Lowmere cottages. In one she knew old Ralph, the shepherd, was
dying of a painful form of spinal catarrh, directly attributable to the
cesspool at his front door; in another the mother of fifteen children
was nursing the only remaining one through an attack of mumps, and in a
third the breadwinner was lying in the malignant grip of abdominal
influenza. Aurora mentally reviewed the chief points of Socialism,
Individualism, Syndicalism and Socinianism, as represented by the select
group of thinkers to which Cecil belonged.

Following a noiseless footman in the gorgeous Supwell liveries, Mrs.
Lovelord and Aurora took up their position under a rare palm at the head
of the great ebony staircase, which a royal personage was said to have
coveted, and watched the Earl and Countess receive their guests. Mrs.
Lovelord's keen eye noted that the Earl was standing on the Countess's
train, a priceless piece of Venetian point which had once belonged to
the Empress Theodora. Aurora's attention was attracted by a tall
grey-haired man wearing the Ribbon of the Garter half-hidden under a
variety of lesser decorations; he was talking eagerly, vivaciously to
the notorious Duchess of Almondsbury. Cecil, who had joined Aurora at
once, whispered that the man was Professor Villeray.

"They say he knows every crowned head in Europe," he said. The great
scientist was relating anecdote after anecdote of the people he had
known--Charlemagne, Machiavelli, Newman, Dickens, the Shakspeares,
father and son. There followed a racy story, inimitably told, of Miss
Mitford in her less regenerate days. Aurora turned away.

"Would you care to take a turn through the rooms?" Cecil asked. "The
Rembrandts are in tremendous form to-night--what?"

The house was one of historic interest and importance, with that blend
of magnificence and domesticity so typical of all that is best in
English life. Aurora's eyes wandered from the massive emerald
chandeliers, the envy of every connoisseur in Europe, to Raphael's
masterly "Madonna," which, with a daring harmony by Sargent, filled the
niches on either side of the great mantelpiece, itself a triumph of the
art of Niccola of Pisa.

"There's Sir John. I didn't think he'd be here with all this rumpus over
the Bill," said Cecil. The Prime Minister was deep in conversation with
the Marquis of Falutin, P.T.O., Q.T., R.S.V.P., the famous diplomat,
whose recent intervention in the Nice imbroglio had saved the European
situation. Aurora could see the flashes of his wit illuminating Sir
John's saturnine countenance. Her further progress was barred by Lady
Highflyer, who nodded to her, and said to Cecil, whose _petite intimité_
with all this great world struck Aurora anew:

"You heard Philip's got Jericho?" He nodded. "Such a relief. The Duke's
delighted, of course, especially after poor Erskine's fiasco, or perhaps
I should say _fiancée_. He's infatuated, I hear. Only £20,000 a year
between them! Ah, there's Madeline Duchess. Well, _a rivederci_."

She passed on, her dress, which had taxed the resources of the first
modistes of the day, Rue de la Paix, trailing heedlessly over the
priceless Aubusson. Aurora turned to find the Home Secretary at her
elbow. Instantly she was all eagerness and vivacity.

"Will there be a division?" she asked.

"Dear lady," he replied, "_qui vivra verra_. The Anabaptists are up in
arms, but----" He screwed his glass into his eye. "Had anything to eat?"
he asked, as three of the footmen passed with a jewelled tray of Pêches
Melba. "A Benvenuto Cellini, if I am not mistaken," he continued,
tapping the tray with his ring, a unique Pompeian intaglio of Venus
Anadyomene with the iynx. "The plates are fourteenth-century Venetian.
The only other set is in the Vatican, you remember." He removed a drop
of the Earl's champagne from his moustache. "Ah, I see Cantoforte's
going to sing. Marvellous man! I remember him in Paris in the
'forties--the roaring 'forties, as poor Dizzy called them."

"He only plays when Royalty's present," a woman behind Aurora whispered,
as the great artist broke into Palestrina's _Andante Furioso_. "They say
he charges a thousand a minute."

A memory of the Lowmere cottages assailed Aurora. At last she saw her
way clearly. Never had she so realised the possibilities of life.

"I will marry Cecil," she said to herself. "With his brains, a million a
year, and the breeding to which only the highest circles can attain, we
will regenerate England."

       *       *       *       *       *


  Men of Criccieth, on to glory!
  See, this banner, fam'd in story,
  Waves these burning words before ye--
    "David scorns to yield!"

(_With acknowledgments to the author of "The March of the Men of

    ["If there was any movement in the Liberal party ... it was a
    movement forward. The message of the by-elections to Liberals
    was ... to press on."--_Mr. Lloyd George at Criccieth._]]

       *       *       *       *       *

Little-known Heroes.

    "On Saturday last, an up-country woman attempted to commit
    suicide by laying herself across the rails. At that time the
    second up Passenger train was passing but slowly and the
    cow-catcher of the train almost touched the woman. The Driver
    stopped the train with great pluck."--_Times of Assam._

       *       *       *       *       *


I have four milk-boys as pets. They don't know it, but I cultivate an
intimate knowledge of their habits and study them as, once, years ago, I
was wont to study white mice and goldfish. I have watched their
development, listened to their song, and have made several interesting
discoveries about them.

When, after a hard evening's reading, perhaps, I jot down a few notes
and tumble into bed at 1 A.M., I do so with the delightful certainty
that at 6.30 the first of my pets will rouse me with his mellow
warbling. He (Number One) looks always on the bright side of things and
probably belongs to a club for incurable optimists, for he intersperses
his roulades with cheery spells of whistling. Should Number Two, who is
a pal of his, loom through the early morning mist with the lark and the
first motor-bus at the other end of the Terrace, no false modesty deters
him from making himself known; he gives a view-halloo that startles
every drooping cat in the district. He informs Number Two, while that
person is yet nebulous, a mere blur on the cosmos, that he went to the
local Empire last night, and that it was a bit of all right. With an
intermittent rumble he elicits the information that Geor-r-rge (that's
Number Two's name) went to his local Palace and had a treat of a beano.
And when they meet--exactly opposite my dwelling is the favoured
spot--the Can-can is performed with variations. Jolly fellows are One
and Two.

As for Number Three, I could tell you a little story about him. He has
had a love-affair. There was a time when he too joined in the dance and
song, as one might say; but all that is over for him. One morning he
turned up late, his usual merry call changed to a croak like that of a
bull-frog virtuoso. I peered between the curtains to make sure that it
was not Number Five (as yet hypothetical); but no--it was Three, with a
look on his face that could only bear one interpretation. Belinda had
been perverse, unkind, icy--had, in fact, thrown him over. You could
read it in the angle of his cap, in the broken lace dragging from his
boots, in his shuffling progress, and in the dulled gleam of his
brass-mounted cans. From that date he became a frowning pessimist,
perpetrating wheezes and squeaks and mumblings, quaverings and hoarse
murmurs, instead of the customary sportive yelp. 'Tis an unkind world,
according to Number Three.

Number Four generally arrives as the lingering chatter of his
predecessors dies away. He is rotund, judging by his voice (I have not
yet seen him); also I should say that he goes in for physical culture.
For, by the sounds that ascend to my window, his procedure is as
follows: he unhooks the empty can from the railings of the opposite
house and dashes it violently upward against the wall, catching it on
the rebound. This action he repeats a few times just to get into form;
it is, as it were, a muscular prelude. Then, taking seven or eight empty
tins from his trolley, he juggles with them, not very expertly, for some
of them break away into neighbouring areas and have to be retrieved; or
he will set the whole lot in the road and kick them round for five
minutes, brilliantly and wonderfully. This warms him. Picking them up,
he spends a relatively quiet interlude in sorting out the one he wants,
then fills it, bangs the lid down, and rehangs it in position. Having
repeated the process with the remainder, he glows with a sense of duty
done, and bursts into his farewell song; I often wish that it was his
swan-song. He produces in this vocal valediction noises which to the
ears of a Futurist composer might seem as Olympian music, but which to
my insufficiently educated taste are merely excruciating.

These, then are my four pets. I value them, for they teach me
self-denial and self-restraint; they rouse me at an hour when I might
otherwise be lost in slothful sleep; and they assure me that there is a
sphere in which taxes and politics really do not matter in the
slightest. Some day, I suppose, they will grow up. What will become of
their talents in the world of men it is beyond me to imagine. But Number
Four seems to have the makings of a politician.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Browns have taken the advice of the railways and
newspapers to "go early" for their seaside holidays.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Sprats should be cooked very fresh. Their condition can be
    ascertained by their eyes, which should be bright."

    _Cookery Book._

  How cold the culinary mind
    That household care absorbs!
  Can the observer really find
    Within yon sparkling orbs
  No message, nothing further than
  A fitness for the frying-pan?

  For oh, in that pathetic gaze
    What crowded memories dwell!
  What wistful dreams of briny days
    Beneath the surging swell,
  Ere fate had seized this little fish
  And plumped him on an earthen dish!

  Methinks I see him even now,
    As late he sailed along
  With smiling and unruffled brow
    Amid the finny throng,
  No gladder, gayer sprat than he
  In all the caverns of the sea.

  With what a rapture would he tweak
    The casual kipper's tail,
  Or nimbly sport at hide-and-seek
    Around the whiskered whale!
  (Do whales that haunt the ocean wave
  Wear whiskers? Some do, others shave.)

  And, when by hunger overcome
    He felt a trifle limp,
  What joy within his vacuum
    To stow the passing shrimp,
  And afterwards to sink and snooze,
  Soft-cradled on the nether ooze!

  Ah, yes, as I behold those eyes
    So bright, so crystal-clear,
  I feel within my own uprise
    A sympathetic tear;
  But supper's call one must obey,
  And so I dash the drops away.

       *       *       *       *       *


    A Pretty Thought--Tipsters--Our Feathered Friends--A Guide to
    Manners--Aiding his Suit.

A Pretty Thought.

_After reading that a number of letters have been written to the King on
his birthday by school children, my wife and I have decided that our
little girl, Clara, who is just six, shall write one for next year--or
possibly for Christmas--and we should be glad of your counsel in the
matter: as to how his Majesty is addressed, how to make sure that the
letter reaches him and receives proper attention, and so forth. Is there
any intermediary with whom one should get upon good terms?--J. U. T.

Your question is a very natural one, and we are glad to be able to reply
to it. The habit of writing to His Majesty is growing. He should be
addressed on the envelope as--

  His Majesty,
      Buckingham Palace,
          near Victoria Station,

and the envelope should be marked "Private" or "Personal," to ensure his
getting it. By a piece of great good fortune for you one of the papers
has very considerately published specimens of letters just sent to His
Majesty, and you can make those your model. The most suitable is perhaps

    "Dear King George,--I wish you many happy returns of the day. If
    I had one pound I would buy a suit of clothes with ten shillings
    and a watch for the other ten shillings. I hope you will have a
    long and fruitful reign."

Is not that charming in its _naïveté_ and whole-hearted delight in the
opportunity of congratulations and good wishes? We wish your little
Clara all success.


_I receive every day circulars from gentlemen who assure me that they
know for certain the winners of forthcoming races and asking me to let
them send me this information for a consideration. Do you think I should
be wise in doing so? Naturally I want to make my fortune.--H. M.

We reply to your question by asking another. How is it that these
gentlemen, with all their advantages of foreknowledge, are still so
anxiously in business?

Our Feathered Friends.

_Can you tell me how I can obtain information as to the means of
identifying the songs of birds? I hear a great many near our house in
the country, but I cannot put names to them. I am told that when Colonel
Roosevelt was last in England Sir Edward Grey took him for a long walk
in the New Forest to instruct him in English ornithology. Do you think
he would take me? I am a strong Free Trader and have traces of American
blood.--B. B. L. (Dorking)._

Sir Edward Grey, we fancy, has other things to do. You had better write
to "W. B. T." of _The Daily Mail_, or in his regrettable absence to "P.
W. D. I."

A Guide to Manners.

_I have a son for whom I desire a political future. What I should like
to get for him is a Member of Parliament who would converse with him on
statecraft, the British constitution and so forth, but it would have to
be one who was jealous for the honour and dignity of the House, and I
need hardly say that I should not care for a Liberal. Can you give me
any hints?--J. K. (Henley)._

We strongly recommend Mr. Ronald McNeill, Mr. Amery, Sir C.
Kinloch-Cooke, or Lord Winterton.

Aiding his Suit.

_Although an utterly unathletic man I am paying court to a lady who
dotes upon male proficiency in games. How would you advise me to forward
my cause?--M. L. G. (Harrow)._

We should advise you to put yourself into knickerbockers and a golfing
attitude and be photographed. Judging by their present contents, there
is not a paper in the country that would not be glad to print the
picture, and then you could show it to the lady and win.

       *       *       *       *       *


"You look worried," said Diana, "very worried, dear."

I smiled sadly. "It can't be helped," I said.

"Did you like my cake?"

"Very much; it wasn't that. I am a little worried, Diana."

"What a pity. Will you have some more, dear?"

"No, thank you."

Diana leant forward and cut a very large slice.

"No, really, thank you," I insisted.

"Right; this is for me."

"Diana," I said, "I've something on my chest." She looked surprised.
"Yes, there's something on my chest. I speak in a spiritual sense."

"Well, hadn't you better tell me what it is, dear?"

"I will," I said stoutly. "Diana, this--this engagement can't go on."
There was no fire in the room, so I gazed blankly into the radiator.

"What on earth do you mean, Dick?"

"It can't go on," I repeated.

"Why? Dick, you're joking."

"Joking!" I laughed a hollow mocking laugh. "Don't make it hard for me,

She crossed over and sat on the arm of my chair.

"Are you feeling ill, dear?" she inquired ever so sweetly.

For a moment I nearly gave way; then, with a tremendous effort, I braced
back my shoulders.... Diana fell heavily to the floor.

"Darling," I said as I picked her up, "I'm so sorry; I didn't see you
were sitting so near the edge. I'm----"

"All right," she replied. "And now what is it? You haven't changed
towards me?"

"Diana--I--oh, it's difficult."

"Yes, dear. Go on."

I gazed into the carpet. "I must begin at the beginning. I--it's

"Yes, dear; we've agreed about that."

"In the first place," I began, "I am a man of the utmost integrity."

"That doesn't matter, and, anyway, you're quite a dear."

I bowed gravely. "I try to look at things from a high standpoint," I
continued. "Now, Diana, I consider you are perfect. I love you intensely
because you are so perfect."

"Don't be silly, dear."

"I mean it. On the other hand, I know myself very well indeed."

"You think so."

"I do. And I have come to the conclusion, after many racking hours, that
I am not worthy of you. The proper course, the only course, is for me to
release you." And I sighed heavily.

"Well," said Diana, "of course it's a very pretty idea, and I'm glad
you're so fond of me, but the whole thing's absurd. I've accepted you
and there's an end of it."

"Diana, you're making it very hard."

"I'm making it impossible."

"No," I declared, "because--I release you now."

Diana fingered her handkerchief. "D--Dick, I refuse to be released. It's
too silly for w--words. Come over here."

With a great effort I didn't get up; instead I gazed at the ceiling.

"Diana," I said, "I'm disappointed in you. I'm trying to do the right
thing, the noble thing, and you mustn't stand in my way. You've no right
to stand in my----"

"Anyhow, I'm going to."

"You know," I said, "this puts me in a very awkward position--very
awkward. Diana, you must see my point of view."

"I can't."

"You mean you won't. I had expected more of you."

Diana smiled. "I thought you considered me perfect."

"I did."

"Well, you see, dear, I'm not."

I sighed. "I'm afraid not," I said. "I fear not."

Suddenly I sat up. "Good Lord!" I exclaimed. "Hooray!"

"What is it?"

"Don't you see? This puts matters on an entirely different footing.
Darling, you don't want me to do the right thing, therefore you're not

"No; that's settled."

"Well then, you don't deserve a perfect husband."

"I don't want one."

"That's not the point. You don't deserve one."

"No," said Diana.

"Then that's all right," I said; "because you won't get one." And I cut
myself a large slice of cake.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_Chairman (at Friendly Lead, proposing toast of the performers)._ "All
the hartists have give their services free, and I think you'll agree
with me, gentlemen, that the labourers are worthy of their hire."]

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["It is impossible for me to dine out either in private or in
    public without having those confounded telephones mentioned to

    _Mr. Hobhouse._]

  She was so young but fair to see;
    Her eye conveyed the glad regard;
  She murmured to the P.M.G.
    That life was very, very hard
  (It never crossed his mind that she
    Was double seven five Gerrard).

  She spoke of love, as ladies will;
    He thought it no affair of his;
  "I cannot say," he said, "until
    You tell me what your trouble is;"
  So while he ate and drank his fill
    She told him all about it, viz.:--

  "Augustus, handsome, tall and lean,
    Excels in every kind of sport;
  Such perfect men have rarely been,
    And cash with him is never short;
  His words are few and far between;
    He is the strong and silent sort.

  "His courage is sublime, and yet
    His manly shyness is absurd;
  Of all the girls he ever met
    It was myself he most preferred;
  He'd try and try, but couldn't get
    His wretched tongue to say the word.

  "Speech was to him a foreign art.
    He hired a poet of repute,
  Learnt yards of eloquence by heart,
    Came, full of it, to press his suit;
  At sight of me forgot his part ...
    What could I say when he was mute?

  "But there are ways and means for those
    Who like to sit and blush alone,
  And, undetected, to propose
    In phrases other than their own ..."
  (The P.M.G.'s suspicions rose;
    This sounded like the telephone).

  "And this, on second thoughts, was what
    Augustus hit upon, and he
  Affirmed a passion, strong and hot.
    Where one might hear but none might see,
  And was accepted on the spot,
    But not, confound you, Sir, by me.

  "Yours was the fault, you monster, who,
    Unmoved, unblushing, dare to dine!"
  Her victim turned a little blue
    And cleared his throat and muttered, "Mine?"
  "Yes, yours!" she cried. "You put him through
    (For good) to double seven _nine_!"

       *       *       *       *       *


"I am afraid," I said, "that I shall have to withdraw my permission."

"Withdraw your what?" said the lady of the house, emphasising every word

"Yes," I said, "I shall have to forbid you to go."

She laughed.

"It's not a bit of good," I said, "laughing like that. Laughter only
adds fuel to the fire that is raging in my breast. I am going to forbid
you to go."

"Don't waste your forbiddings," she said, "I'm not banns, and I won't be
treated as such. Besides, even banns are never forbidden in these days."

"Yes, they are," I said. "A bann was forbidden last week. A father of
eighty years, infuriated by the imminent desertion of a daughter of
fifty-five, got up in church at the third time of asking and said, 'I
object. Who's going to look after me?' The clergyman nearly swooned."

"And the unfortunate objecter was carefully removed by his friends. I
don't see that that's much of a help to you."

"Anyhow," I said, "I won't have it."

"It's too late to talk like that. In half-an-hour I start for Sandy Bay
to stay with Violet. My luggage is already at the station."

"Yes," I said, "and you leave me here alone to look after everything."

"Well, what of that?" she said. "Don't you often leave _me_ alone here
to look after everything?"

"Ah, but that's different. When I go away _rien n'est changé; il n'y a
qu'un Anglais de moins_."

"My own Parisian one!" she murmured.

"The mistress-mind remains and things go on being controlled. Lord love
you, _my_ absence makes no difference."

"What you mean is," she said, "that you simply can't get on without me.
Isn't that it?"

"If you put it in that way," I said, "you can't expect me to admit it."

"Well, it comes to that, doesn't it?"

"What I mean to say is that it's your fault."

"Aha," she said triumphantly, "I knew you'd mean to say that sooner or
later. Everything's my fault, of course."

"It is," I said, "an arguable proposition."

"And how do you prove it in this particular case?"

"Easily," I said. "You have neglected to train me for the daily work of
a household and a family."

"You never asked to be trained," she said.

"No," I said, "I was too proud and too sensitive. I did not come to you
and say, 'Let me beard the cook in her fastness. Let me order the
sirloin of beef for the mid-day meal. Let me rebuke the housemaid, or
raise her wages, or give her notice,' or whatever it is that one does in
the case of a housemaid. I did not ask that I too might be allowed to
talk bulbs or Alpine plants to the gardener. I did not plead that I
might order dresses or medicine for the girls, or watch over John's
putting to bed. All these things, because you were haughty about them, I
left to you; and you--what did you do?"

"I generally went and did them."

"And that," I said, "is just what I complain of."

"You wouldn't have liked it," she said, "if I hadn't."

"You ought," I said, "to have taken me into your counsels, instead of
leaving me to eat out my heart in total ignorance of all the things that
make the world a happier and a better place. Votes for women, indeed!
First let there be homes for men."

"Shall I ring for a glass of water?" she said.

"There must be no sarcasm," I said. "This is too serious for sarcasm.
Besides, think what will happen."

"Well, what?"

"John," I said, "will fall into the fishpond."

"You can have his clothes dried."

"No," I said, "I shall spank him. It is my only remedy."

"Anything else?"

"Peggy will tumble off her bicycle and cut her knee."

"Anyhow, you can't spank her for that."

"And there will be a message from the kitchen to say that there are no
mutton cutlets in England."

"You can eat beef or chicken."

"And Rosie will have to see the dentist, and Helen will want to go out
to tea, and there will be holes in all their boots; and ladies whom I
have never seen will call on you and will be shown in on me. Oh, it is a
terrible prospect!"

"It does sound rather blood-curdling," she said.

"And, after all, why do you want to go to Violet's?"

"She asked me, you know. That's one reason. And I shall be able to look
round for lodgings in August."

"Are we going to Sandy Bay in August?"

"Yes; didn't you know? And I shall have four days of perfect peace."

"You won't. You and Violet will disagree about hats, or the colour of a
dress, or the education of children, or the true way of putting men in
their proper place. It isn't everybody who agrees with you as I do."

"Yes, I know I shall miss you every minute of the time--that's what you
wanted me to say, wasn't it?"

"Yes, that was it. You really do know how to lead me by a silken

"And I shall probably get my breakfast in bed. You'll think of me, won't
you, when you're breakfasting with the children? And don't let John have
jam every day."

"I shall give him," I said, "a pot for himself."

"Good-bye," she said, pressing a paper into my hand. "I've written down
some things that _must_ be attended to."

"I shan't attend to them," I shouted, as she walked off.

"Breakfast in bed," she called back.

R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["I could reel out such a list of notorious Yorkshire criminals
    ... as would put every other county utterly out of the
    running."--_Extract from recent letter to "The Pall Mall

  Bah! to your boasts of the blackguards of Lancashire;
      Tush! to your talk of the rascals of Staffs;
  Come, let me openly mention as rank a shire
      (Yorks) as you'll find for the riffest of ruffs;
  Choose all the pick of your Cheese-shire or Pork-shire men,
      Men who have sunk in the deepest of mud;
  Deuce of a one can come near to us Yorkshiremen
      Born with Beelzebub's blue in our blood.

  "Nuts" who have long left the strait way or narrow gate
      Swarm on each side of the Swale or the Ouse;
  Huddersfield vies in its villains with Harrogate;
      Satan in Sheffield would shake in his shoes;
  Hull?--though you might not be driven to drat it, you'd
      Certainly substitute "e" for its "u,"
  And, from a purely unprejudiced attitude,
      We should pronounce it the worse of the two.

  Yorks has a side, you see, surely more sinister
      Far than the shires that would snatch at her fame;
  So, when you curse at our present Prime Minister,
      Calling him every conceivable name,
  We shall accept 'em with sangfroid and phlegm, as he
      Gives you this practical proof of his powers,
  Setting his seal to our sinful supremacy,
      Seeing he comes from this county of ours.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Doctor._ "Well, Mr. McPhearson, I'm glad to see you out
again. You've had a long illness."

_McPhearson._ "Ay, Doctor, and varra expensive. I was wunnerin' if it
was worth while at ma time o' life."]

       *       *       *       *       *


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

I have reason to believe that Scotland Yard has on occasion displayed
considerable intelligence, and I regret that novelists will never allow
it to be as cunning even as myself in guessing the identity of the
villains of their criminal plots. Mrs. Charles Bryce, for instance,
might, without unduly taxing the imagination, have credited the Force
with the coup of bringing to justice the murderer of _Mrs. Vanderstein_,
but she went out of her way to employ that marvellous amateur, _Mr.
Gimblet_, for the purpose. I must believe that he was marvellous,
because she says so; but in this case he did nothing and had little
opportunity of justifying his references. He merely believed what he had
the luck to be told and caused the miscreant to be arrested when of his
own motion he practically offered himself for arrest. There are, after
all, two phases of crime--the first, its commission, and the second, its
detection. Mrs. Bryce would have done better to confine herself to the
former, since she has an exciting tale to tell of _Mrs. Vanderstein's
Jewels_ (Lane) and shows herself well able to curdle the blood in the
telling of it. But, lacking that gift of logic which is essential to the
stating and the solving of detective problems, she endeavours to achieve
her ends by keeping back what are admitted, and not discovered, facts.
She is reduced to telling the same story twice, and I cannot say that I
was nearly as excited the second time as I was the first.

Once upon a time King James, being annoyed with the City because it
wouldn't lend him money, summoned the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to his
presence and, "being somewhat transported," threatened to remove his
Court to some other place. To this the Lord Mayor very politely but
readily retorted, "Your Majesty hath power to do what you please and
your City of London will obey accordingly: but she humbly desires that
when your Majesty shall remove your Court you would please to leave the
Thames behind you." I think this single instance from the history of the
City goes far to explain that peculiar pride in it which the Londoner
instinctively feels without exactly knowing why. I have not space to
argue with Sir Laurence Gomme upon his main point, its continuity of
policy and purpose from the Roman Empire till to-day, shown by the
records of London's past. I leave it to the scholar and antiquary. It is
my purpose to persuade the man in the street, to whom the names of
Palgrave, Freeman and Stubbs are not household words, to buy a copy of
_London_ (Williams and Norgate) for inclusion in his permanent library.
If I should insist upon his reading it then and there he would reply, as
one ignorant fellow to another, that he had not the necessary
understanding of the remote past and was too preoccupied with the
affairs of the present. Be it so, but none the less let him buy it and
at any rate glance at its many curious and admirable illustrations.
Later he will dip into it in search of further episodes after the manner
of that I quote, and lastly he will do the thing thoroughly, to find
that he is much more concerned with the past than ever he supposed; that
now he understands that "greatness which is London," and that he is
infinitely obliged for the recommendation of a not-too-learned clerk who
shared his own diffidence, even reluctance, in approaching so learned
and weighty a treatise.

I am sure that Miss Constance Holme has, in _The Lonely Plough_ (Mills
and Boon), written a clever and amusing novel. What she has not done is
to make herself intelligible. Some of the mist that enwraps the
background of her frontispiece has obscured her story and her
characters. I know that she is writing about lively and entertaining
people because there emerges, now and then, a page of dialogue that is
witty and alive; and I know that her story is dramatic because she tells
us now that someone "let out a screech," and now that he "uttered sharp
little sounds remarkably like oaths." I know, too, that the sea is
encroaching upon somebody's dwelling-place, and that someone else tries
to keep the waves in their place, but is no more successful than was the
great King Knut of blessed memory. Then there is a fine figure of a
land-agent and several ladies who talk the snappiest of slang. But the
mist and the sea have swept across Miss Holme's pages and blotted out
the rest of the affair. Not Meredith nor Robert Browning at their most
complex have been more baffling. I must admit, however, that the
description of a game of mixed hockey, somewhere in the middle of the
book, was delightfully fresh and vivid. Here, for a page or two, I could
rest from my grapplings with the story and join in all the excitement
and peril, that mixed hockey provides. Then there is _Harriet_, who
says, "Stow all that piffle." I should like to know more about
_Harriet_, who from that brief glimpse of her seems a lively vigorous
person, but the encroaching sea swallows her with the others, and there
is an end. I repeat that Miss Holme has written a clever dramatic story,
but the title is certainly the clearest thing about it.

  When Mr. Calthrop's at his best
    He weaves you tales of fauns and elves,
  And ancient gods come back to test
    Their humour on our modern selves;
  He finds romance in common clay;
    He lifts the veil from fairy rings,
  And points the unfamiliar way
    Of looking at familiar things.

  And at his second best, or less,
    His graceful manner still redeems
  With easy charm and cheerfulness
    More hackneyed, less seductive themes;
  Each page has something witty, wise,
    Well-turned, fantastic or jocose--
  Each page of _Breadandbutterflies_,
    From Mills and Boon, six shillings (gross).

Even though it has been seared by the tragic end of a youthful _liaison_
("It was in France, you know," and that seems to explain all to _Minella
Drake_, daughter of the Vicar of Goldringham) the heart of a Sussex
taxidermist appears to be exceptionally tender. Seldom can _Tom Murrow_,
through whose eyes we view the scenes and incidents of Mr. Tickner
Edwardes' _Tansy_ (Hutchinson), have sealed up badger or squirrel in its
glass _morgue_ without shedding on the fur some glistening tribute of
tears over a village sorrow. So much of his time in fact is occupied by
conversations of a sentimental nature with the two _Wilverleys_ (whose
aged father, _Mark_, by the way, having retired from active life on his
farm, habitually talks in rhymed couplets) that he can have had as
little leisure for stuffing specimens as he had to discern the love
gradually growing up for him in the bosom of _Minella_, his guileless
_confidante_. The background of _Tansy_ consists in the shepherd's
seasons of the Sussex downs (for _Tansy_, a splendid type of advanced
though rustic womanhood, is a shepherdess), and the plot of the story is
that of _Tess of the D'Urbervilles_, with the convenient variation that
the villain of the piece, having his pockets stuffed with cartridges,
disappears (as villains should) in a cloud of malodorous smoke. Mr.
Tickner Edwardes' knowledge of rural life and scenes is as thorough as
his description of them is charming, and, if the general impression
conveyed by _Tansy_ is a little too idyllic for those who have been
brought up in the rough school of Wessex agriculture, it is pleasant for
a moment to lend ourselves to the illusion of his sunny romance.

Unattractive as _Sophia Ree_ was in many ways, I frankly admit that she
was a lady of mettle. A stockbroker's typist, with a fortune of £2,000
and a salary of a few shillings a week, she no sooner obtained inside
information about the floating of _The South Seas Coastal Rubber
Development Company_ than she decided to apply for 2000 shares. They
were allotted to her, and in consequence she became a most important
person. In fact, she had only to say "_Gugenheim_" to her employers and
she had them at her feet. Why this was so you must discover for
yourselves; all that I, who am no expert in financial matters, can tell
you is that somehow her 2000 shares seem to have given her a position of
enormous power in the company, and that the _Gugenheim_ man wanted to
buy her out. Her sister _Judith_ kept bees and was an extremely good
woman. I never got really to understand her; and her wonderful power of
seeing into the future, which does not often go with apiculture, left me
unimpressed. The trouble with this book of Mr. E. R. Punshon's is that
the parts of it do not seem to fit into a symmetrical whole, but, at any
rate, a study of _The Crowning Glory_ (Hodder and Stoughton) has greatly
improved my knowledge of the behaviour of bears and bulls and bees.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Act III._--The final putt on the last green which is to
decide the fate of the house of Devereux.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, June 10, 1914" ***

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