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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 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, Vol. 146, April 1, 1914" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 146, APRIL 1, 1914***


Transcriber's note:

      The oe-ligature is represented in this text as "[oe]".



PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

APRIL 1, 1914



CHARIVARIA.


We are sorry to hear that the PREMIER is suffering from a troublesome
Gough.

       * * *

Poor Mr. ASQUITH, as though he had not already worries enough, is
getting into trouble for sending an exclusive statement to _The Times_.
He now stands convicted by his own party of being a _Times_-server.

       * * *

_The Premier Magazine_ is announced for sale. Is this, we wonder, the
Powder Magazine on which he has been sitting?

       * * *

At one moment it began to look as if the Admiralty, after all, was going
to change its mind and we were to have Grand Man[oe]uvres this year--off
the coast of Ireland.

       * * *

There are rumours that the Suffragettes are now preparing to blow up the
whole of Ireland, as they find that that little country has during the
past few days been distracting public attention from their cause.

       * * *

An appeal is being made for funds to enable the battlefield of Waterloo
to be preserved. A handsome donation has, it is said, been offered by
one of our most enterprising railway companies, the only condition made
being that the name shall be altered to Bakerloo.

       * * *

It is so often asserted that a Varsity career unfits one for success in
the bigger world that it is satisfactory to read that the PRINCE OF
WALES'S income from the Duchy of Cornwall was £85,719 last year, as
compared with £81,350 in the previous year.

       * * *

The Association of Lancastrians in London held their annual dinner last
week. It would have been a kindly and thoughtful act on the part of
those responsible for the dinner had they offered a seat to Mr.
MASTERMAN, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is now back in
town.

       * * *

Mr. Justice SCRUTTON has fined a man for saying "Hear, hear," in court,
and there is something approaching a panic among our Comic Judges lest
some colleague on a lower plane of humour should fine somebody, for
laughing in court.

       * * *

It has been said that we English take our pleasures sadly. By way of
compensation, apparently, we take our tragedies gaily. Under the heading
"AMUSEMENT NOTES" in _The Daily Mail_ we find the following
announcement:--"At the Scala Theatre a new colour film is promised for
Monday next, which is to depict in striking fashion the terrors of
modern scientific warfare."

       * * *

A contemporary describes the production, _Splash Me_, which was
presented at the Palladium last week, as "a Water Revue." The correct
expression is surely "Naval Revue"?

       * * *

Messrs. WEEKES AND CO. have published a "Song of the Aeroplane," and we
suspect that all concerned in this venture are terrified lest some
clumsy critic shall say, "Merely to hear this song makes one want to
fly."

       * * *

It is sometimes asked, Are we a musical nation? It is possible, of
course, that we are, but last week we were informed by an advertisement
that "the greatest song success of the season" is entitled "Popsy
Wopsy."

       * * *

A Mr. SNOOKS attained his 100th birthday last week. So much for those
who say that ridicule kills!

       * * *

Thetford (Norfolk) Corporation have decided to pay their mayor a salary
of £20 in future "owing to the heavy financial drain on his pocket." We
think it should have been removed and the cost charged to drainage
expenses.

       * * *

The coat-of-arms provided for the Metropolitan Asylum Board includes a
red cross, the golden staff of ÆSCULAPIUS, an eagle, a dragon, and red
and white roses. It sounds a mad enough medley.

       * * *

Answer to a correspondent: No, _Wild Life_ is not an organ of the
Militants.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Our Futurist Pygmalion (on seeing his Galatea come to
life)._ "OH, WHY DIDN'T I REMAIN AN IDEALIST?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEXT OF THE DANDIES.

(_According to our daily paper, sloppy untidiness is to be the fashion
this year._)

    I've jibed at Dame Fashion for many a year,
      Jibed bitterly rather than gaily;
    And over the follies of feminine wear
    I indulged in a diatribe daily;
    But now I must sing in a different strain
      And praise with a penitent vigour
    The kindness by which she was moved to ordain
      Untidiness strictly _de rigueur_.

    Though man from her fetters is commonly loose
      (For he has the pluck to withstand her),
    I take it that what is correct for the goose
      Will not be amiss for the gander;
    And I have a suit that for comfort and ease
      I'd always elect to be dressed in;
    The trousers have dear little bags where my knees
      Have made them a corner to nest in.

    The sleeves of the coat are all frayed at the end,
      The seams of the waistcoat have "started,"
    But I have a weakness for elderly friends,
      And now we need never be parted;
    No more when I wear it shall people esteem
      The bardlet in need of compassion;
    They'll merely consider him rather extreme
      In his fervent devotion to Fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "BOLTON W. 1, MANCHESTER C. 0.
  BOLTON WAN. 1, MANCHES. C. 0."

  _Sunderland Daily Echo._

It is still a little obscure, but "B. Wanderers 1, M. City 0" would
bring it home to everybody.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SPIRIT OF ULSTER AND THE ARMY.

(_An Appeal to Both Parties._)

    Still dreaming of the spell of Southern nights,
      Strange on my homing senses fall the raucous
    Shouts of Democracy, asserting rights
      It long ago committed to the caucus;
    Strange--in a Chamber run for party ends,
      Busy with private rancours, feuds, ambitions--
    The legend that the Nation's life depends
          Upon her politicians!

    Yet two things offer cheer: in Ulster there--
      Fanatic sentiment, you'll say, and scoff it--
    I see a hundred thousand men who care
      For something dearer than their stomach's profit;
    Under the Flag they stand at silent pause,
      True Democrats that hold by Freedom's charter,
    Resolved and covenanted for the Cause
          To give their lives in barter!

    I see young soldiers, too, who serve the KING
      (For half the wage a Labour Member cashes),
    Prepared, at honour's higher call, to fling
      Their gallant dreams away in dust and ashes!
    I care a lot for any laws they break,
      But more I care to see what sacrifices
    Men still are found to face for conscience' sake,
          Knowing how hard the price is.

    Ah, Sirs, and must you for a moment's gain--
      I look to both your camps with like appealing--
    Must you upon these virtues put a strain
      Irrevocably past the hope of healing?
    Cannot some gentler means be yet embraced
      That, when the common peril comes upon her,
    Such qualities of heart, too rare to waste,
          May shield our Country's honour?

                                        O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

EGBERT, BULL-FROG.

"Speaking," said my uncle James, "of dogs, did I ever tell you about
Egbert, my bull-frog? I class Egbert among the dogs, partly because of
his faithfulness and intelligence, and partly because his deep bay--you
know how those bull-frogs bark--always reminded me of a bloodhound
surprised while on a trail of aniseed. He was my constant companion in
Northern Assam, where I was at that time planting rubber. He finally
died of a surfeit of hard-boiled egg, of which he was passionately fond,
and I was as miserable as if I had lost a brother.

"I think Egbert had been trying to edge into the household for some time
before I really noticed him. Looking back, I can remember meeting him
sometimes in the garden, and, though I did not perceive it at first,
there was a wistful look in his eye when I passed him by without
speaking. It was not till our burglary that I began really to understand
his sterling worth. A couple of natives were breaking in, and would
undoubtedly have succeeded in their designs had it not been for Egbert's
frantic barking, which aroused the house and brought me down with a
revolver. It is almost certain that the devoted animal had made a
practice, night after night, of sleeping near the front-door on the
chance of something of the sort happening. He was always suspicious of
natives.

"After that of course his position in the house was established. He
slept every night at the foot of my bed, and very soothing it was to
hear his deep rhythmical breathing in the darkness.

"In the daytime we were inseparable. We would go for walks together, and
I have frequently spent hours throwing sticks into the pond at the
bottom of the garden for him to retrieve. It was this practice which
saved his life at the greatest crisis of his career.

"I happened to have strained my leg, and I was sitting in the garden,
dozing, Egbert by my side, when I was awakened by a hoarse bark from my
faithful companion, and, looking down, I perceived him hopping rapidly
towards the pond, pursued by an enormous oojoobwa snake, a reptile not
dangerous to man, being non-poisonous, but a great scourge among the
minor fauna of Assam, owing to its habit of pouncing upon them and
swallowing them alive. This snake is particularly addicted to
bull-frogs, and, judging from the earnest manner in which he was making
for the pond, Egbert was not blind to this trait in its character.

"You may imagine my agony of mind. There was I, helpless. My injured leg
made it impossible for me to pursue the snake and administer one where
it would do most good. And meanwhile the unequal race was already
drawing to its inevitable close. Egbert, splendid as were his other
qualities, was not built for speed. He was dignified rather than mobile.

"What could I do? Nothing beyond throwing my stick in the hope of
stunning the oojoobwa. It was a forlorn hope, but I did it; and it saved
Egbert's life, though not in the way I had intended. The stick missed
the snake and fell immediately in front of Egbert. It was enough. His
grand intellect worked with the speed of lightning. Just as the snake
reached him, he reached the stick; and the next moment there was Egbert,
up to his neck in the reptile's throat, but saved from complete
absorption by the stick, which he was holding firmly in his mouth.

"I have seldom seen any living thing so completely nonplussed as was the
oojoobwa. Snakes have very little reasoning power. They cannot weigh
cause and effect. Otherwise of course the oojoobwa would have nipped
Egbert till he was forced to leave go of the stick. Instead of doing
this, he regarded the stick and Egbert as being constructed all in one
piece, and imagined that he had happened upon a new breed--of
unswallowable frog. He ejected Egbert, and lay thinking it over, while
Egbert, full of pluck, continued his journey to the pond.

"Three times in the next two yards did the snake endeavour to swallow
his victim, and each time he gave it up; and after the last experiment
Egbert, evidently finding this constant semi-disappearance into the
other's interior bad for his nervous system, conceived the idea of
backing towards the pond instead of heading in that direction, the
process, though slower, being less liable to sudden interruption."

"Well, to make the story short, the oojoobwa followed Egbert to the very
edge of the pond, the picture of perplexity; and when my little friend
finally dived in he lay there with his head over the edge of the bank,
staring into the water for quite ten minutes. Then he turned, shook his
head despairingly, and wriggled into the bushes, still thinking hard.
And a little while later I saw Egbert's head appear cautiously over the
side of the pond, the stick still in his mouth. He looked round to see
that the coast was clear, and then came hopping up to me and laid the
stick at my feet. And, strong man as I was, I broke down and cried like
a child."

       *       *       *       *       *

From a revue poster at Birmingham:--

  "I DO LIKE YOUR EYES
    RECORD CAST."

We dislike that kind.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AFTER CLOSING HOURS.

RESTAURANT PROPRIETOR. "ANOTHER OF THESE NIGHT CLUBS! THEY'LL BE THE
RUIN OF ME."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OUR BOYS.

_Nephew (at preparatory school, to departing uncle)._ "WELL, GOOD-BYE,
UNCLE. AWF'LY GOOD OF YOU TO COME OVER--AND, I SAY, I HOPE YOU BACKED
OUTRAM FOR THE LINCOLNSHIRE?"

_Uncle._ "UNFORTUNATELY, MY BOY, I WASN'T ON IT."

_Nephew._ "YOU WEREN'T? WHY, WE WERE ALL ON IT HERE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A PEACE-PRESERVATION ACT.

Whereas _Mr. Punch_ has observed to his deep grief and chagrin that
political ill-feeling in Great Britain has increased, is increasing and
ought to be diminished, be it enacted--

(1) That no morning, evening or weekly paper be allowed to print
anything on its placard save one of these three phrases: "All the
Winners," "Tips for To-day," or "Latest Football"; providing that
nothing in this Act shall prevent _The Daily News and Leader_ from
substituting "Latest Free Church News" for "Tips for To-day."

(2) That no newspaper be allowed to announce more than one political
crisis per week under a penalty of £1,000 for each and every subsequent
crisis announced.

(3) That Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR be appointed grand political censor, and
that all descriptive expressions intended to be applied by people to
their political opponents be submitted to him, to ensure that such
phrases are properly saponaceous.

(4) That six prominent fire-brands in each Party be deported to Saint
Helena, and that they be chosen by ballot in this wise--the Liberals
will select the Tories, the Tories the Liberals, the O'Brienites the
Nationalists, and the Nationalists the O'Brienites. The Labour Party,
being specially qualified for the task, will select six of its own body
for deportation; and nothing in this Act is to hinder Mr. WEDGWOOD from
deporting himself if he thinks it needful.

(5) And whereas many highly respectable golfers of all shades of
political opinion have been put off their game by political happenings
at the week-end be it ordained that a gracious political truce reign
from Thursday midnight to Tuesday midday, and that during that time, to
be known as the Truce of _Mr. Punch_, no political crises, resignations,
refusals of resignations, re-resignations or snap-divisions be allowed
on any pretext whatever.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Yesterday afternoon a Cardiff prisoner who had been arrested on a
     warrant escaped from the custody of a police officer. The man
     bolted without the slightest warning."

     _Western Daily Press._

He was no gentleman. He might at least have said, "One, two, three--Go!"

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OLDEST OF THE ARTS.

     [Speaking at the annual meeting of the governing body of Swanley
     Horticultural College, Sir JOHN COCKBURN lamented that while that
     institution provided healthful and delightful occupation, for which
     women were eminently fitted, it suffered from a continuous epidemic
     of matrimony, not only among the students but even upon the staff.]

    AT Swanley College down in Kent
    The students' time is not misspent.
    Some of the arts at any rate
    Thrive in this Eden up-to-date;
    And doubtless each girl-gard'ner tries
    To win the term's Top-dressing Prize,
    Or trains her sense of paradox
    (While gathering "nuts" and "plums" and stocks)
    By taking Flora's new degree--
    "Spinster of Hearts and Husbandry."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "First he must learn to be a sailor.... Stepping in a small
     coasting craft, he put his shoulder to the wheel, determining, as
     many a boy has done before and since, to get to the top of the tree
     by plodding and perseverance."

     _Ashore and Afloat._

We don't recommend this as a beginning, however. Very often the captain,
who wants to steer himself, resents an additional shoulder at the
wheel--and invites you to the top of the masthead.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORE BRAINY IDEAS OF OUR DRAPERS.

CUSTOMER BEING CONDUCTED TO THE SPRING MILLINERY DEPARTMENT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MOON.

[_IMPOSSIBLE PLAY SERIES._]

A SUPER-PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA IN ONE ACT.

  _Persons of the Play._

  Lord Gumthorpe.
  Lady Gastwyck.
  Angela Thynne.
  Stud, _a butler_.

[_Author to Printer._--Oblige me by reversing your usual practice, and
printing the text in italics and the stage directions in roman type. My
request will, I hope, prove intelligible.]

_Scene._--The drawing-room at _Lady Gastwyck's_. A large, low room with
a mullioned window at the back through which moonlight steals. The
decoration of the room is Adams', though of rather a self-conscious
type, as the plan and construction of the house is obviously of an
earlier period. The furniture is Chinese Chippendale.

_Lord Gumthorpe_ is leaning against the window; _Angela Thynne_ is
leaning against the Chesterfield, and _Lady Gastwyck_ is leaning against
the Adams' fireplace. _Lord Gumthorpe_ is a tall, gaunt man, slightly
resembling the portrait of PHILIP IV. of Spain, by VELASQUEZ. He turns
towards _Lady Gastwyck_ and waves his long arms with a gesture of
indecision. He then turns back and looks out on to the lawn. _Angela
Thynne_, is a large, ill-proportioned woman, with curiously limpid blue
eyes, and a shrill hard voice like a fog-siren, that does not seem to
belong to her personality. One is always haunted with the idea that she
might be Scotch. _Lady Gastwyck_ rises. She is a short dark woman with
deep-set eyes and one very remarkable characteristic. She has apparently
only one eyebrow. She really has two, but they meet together in one dark
straight line, and give her a forbidding aspect. She has a habit of
walking with her chin thrust forward and her long arms curved like a
boxer's. She advances upon _Lord Gumthorpe_. He instinctively puts up
his hands as though expecting to be struck.

LADY GASTWYCK. _You think then that we--that is, that you and I----_

[She waves her hand towards the moonlit lawn. It might be an action of
dismissal, or an appeal to the elemental forces. _Lord Gumthorpe_ drops
limply on to the window-seat and presses his forehead against the stone
mullion. Then he stands up and gazes at her face, trying not to appear
to be looking at her one eyebrow.

LORD GUMTHORPE (with tremulous indecision). _Yes! but you see----_

[As he stands there the extraordinary resemblance between him and
VELASQUEZ' portrait of PHILIP IV. of Spain comes home to her with such
force that she is about to qualify her half-stated implication, when
_Angela Thynne_ drops her fan into the fireplace. She has moved to the
seat that _Lady Gastwyck_ had vacated. She is leaning forward with lips
parted, and her limpid blue eyes gazing at the dead embers. _Lady
Gastwyck_ recoils as though struck by a whip. She moves to the
Chesterfield and leans against it, biting her nails. _Lord Gumthorpe_
moves deeper into the recess, struggling with the emotions which the
astounding act of _Angela_ has produced. As he sits there, the
moonlight, pouring through the diamond panes of the window, throws
rhomboids of light on to the polished floor. It looks like some
enchanted chessboard. Leaning back and gazing with half-closed eyes, he
peoples it with fantastic rooks, and knights and bishops, when suddenly
the strangely penetrating voice of _Angela_ breaks the silence.

ANGELA. _Would it be possible for you two to----_

[There is a terrifying silence.]

_Lord Gumthorpe_ (greedily). _Pawn to Queen's pawn four!_

[He says this to gain time. For the besetting irresoluteness of the
Gumthorpes is consuming him. "If only she would----" he is thinking to
himself, rapidly reviewing the salient features of his past life. He has
not the courage to look at _Angela_, but his eyes wander in the
direction of _Lady Gastwyck_. She is leaning forward on the
Chesterfield, her chin resting on her hand, her eyebrow looking like an
enormous black moustache. He feels his way along the wall, keeping his
face towards _Lady Gastwyck_. He knows--he was educated at Eton and
Christchurch--that as the fan has fallen into the fireplace, unless it
has been removed, it will be there still. Very slowly he reaches the
grate and, without turning his head, picks up the fan. It is a moment of
intense emotion. The air is charged with electric suspense. _Lady
Gastwyck_ moves suddenly, and the rustle of her skirt sounds like the
rattle of musketry on a frosty morning. _Lord Gumthorpe_ drops the fan.
He gropes wildly in the fireplace but cannot find it again. Then with an
air of helpless resignation he goes back to the window-seat. He gazes at
the chequered pattern on the floor and mentally moves his king up one.
_Lady Gastwyck_ glances across at him, and it occurs to her that he has
aged during the last few minutes. He no longer looks like PHILIP IV. of
Spain, but more like the sub-manager of the White Goods Department of a
suburban Bon-Marché. She is anxious that _Angela_ shall not observe
this, and hence makes the following appeal.

LADY GASTWYCK (hysterically and _á propos_ of no one). _A maroon
underskirt! a maroon underskirt! That would be the thing! Fancy, Angela,
biscuit-coloured glacé with that coffee skin of hers and those teeth!
You must save her! Take her to Raquin! Let Raquin cut it as only he
knows how! Let her have---- Ah!_

[She bursts into tears and then stops, seeing that her effort has
failed, for a sombre silence ensues. _Angela_ has risen and is looking
at _Lord Gumthorpe_. _Lord Gumthorpe_ is standing with his arms folded.
He has just lost a bishop in the dim chiaroscuro of the window-seat and
has not heard her outbreak. Suddenly he looks up, and fixes his eyes
upon _Lady Gastwyck_ with a new sense of resolution. He advances
towards her, and gazing boldly at her eyebrow, that looks more than
ever like a moustache, calls out in a thin cruel voice.

LORD GUMTHORPE. _Why don't you wax the ends?_

[The effect of this bizarre question is startling. _Angela_ turns and
smiles gently like one who has done one's best at a deathbed, and is
almost relieved that the end has come. She walks almost serenely across
the room to the sideboard, and, taking up a piece of cheese and three
bananas, goes off to bed. But the effect on _Lady Gastwyck_ is
different, for directly she hears _Lord Gumthorpe_ make this remark she
realizes that he is a weak man.

There is a pond at the end of the lawn covered with green sedge. She
shivers. She has courage, but not that sort of courage. She rises and
leans against the Adams' fireplace. The Adams' fireplace leans against
her. It falls on to her with a tremendous crash.... _Lord Gumthorpe_
comes forward and gazes at the jumbled _débris_. He is conscious of a
sense of despairing conflict--the conflict between contemplative
amazement and some natural but well-controlled demand for concrete
action. An appalling conviction comes to him that he ought to _do_
something. Under the fallen mess of brick, marble, and wood there are
feeble undulations. A phrase keeps running through his mind--"Expressing
her primitive virility." He tries to think where he has read it, and
what it means, and how it could apply to the present case. The
undulations cease. He decides that the phrase could not apply to it. He
returns to the window-seat. A new horror obsesses him. The moon has
moved round. The chessboard has been blotted out. _In extremis_, _Lord
Gumthorpe_ falls back on his primitive instincts and rings for the
butler. There is an imperceptible pause. _Stud_ glides in and stands in
the middle of the room, tears of reverence and respectability streaming
down his cheeks.

LORD GUMTHORPE. (after an interminable pause). _Your mistress has
dropped her fan into the fireplace!_

[With a little croon of pleasure, Stud falls towards the fireplace.
Suddenly he stops, beholding the-fallen wreckage. For a fraction of a
second the fetters of a generation of servile habits are almost broken.
A fugitive expression of surprise passes over his face. Then,
remembering himself, he stumbles over the _débris_ and, groping among
the cinders, picks up the fan.

STUD (with finesse). _Here is the fan, my Lord. Shall I present it to
her Ladyship?_

LORD GUMTHORPE. (with extraordinary subtlety). _No, you may keep it. Her
Ladyship does not require it._

[_Stud_ goes out with the fan. _Lord Gumthorpe_ stands irresolutely
warming his hands at the fire. _Angela's_ father from Atlantis,
Tennessee, is heard outside in the hall eating cantaloup. The pips
rattle against the door. Unable to withstand this further symbol of
inevitable doom, _Lord Gumthorpe_ throws himself on to the fire. He is
burnt up. The fire is blotted out. Everything is blotted out.

CURTAIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Irritable Plus 4 (whose opponent is standing too close
behind him)._ "NOW THEN, SIR, WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THERE?"

_Mild 18._ "ONLY GETTING READY TO CLAP."]

       *       *       *       *       *

From an account of a football match by "Brigadier" in _The Daily
Record_:--

     "Cresswell sustained an injury, and took no risks, but R. M. Morton
     would have risked going at a battalion of dragoons with bayonets
     drawn."

There must be moments in these peaceful journalistic days of his
retirement when that grand old soldier, "Brigadier," wishes he were once
more charging at the head of his dragoons, with a drawn bayonet in his
hand.

       *       *       *       *       *

ORANGES AND LEMONS.

IV.--BEFORE LUNCH.

I found Myra in the hammock at the end of the loggia.

"Hallo," I said.

"Hallo." She looked up from her book and waved her hand. "Mentone on the
left, Monte Carlo on the right," she said, and returned to her book
again. Simpson had mentioned the situation so many times that it had
become a catch-phrase with us.

"Fancy reading on a lovely morning like this," I complained.

"But that's why. It's a very gloomy play by IBSEN, and whenever it's
simply more than I can bear I look up and see Mentone on the left, Monte
Carlo on the right--I mean, I see all the loveliness round me, and then
I know the world isn't so bad after all." She put her book down. "Are
you alone?"

I gripped her wrist suddenly and put the paper-knife to her throat.

"_We_ are alone," I hissed--or whatever you do to a sentence without any
"s's" in it to make it dramatic. "Your friends cannot save you now.
Prepare to--er--come a walk up the hill with me."

"Help! Help!" whispered Myra. She hesitated a moment; then swung herself
out of the hammock and went in for her hat.

We climbed up a steep path which led to the rock-village above us.
Simpson had told us that we must see the village; still more earnestly
he had begged us to see Corsica. The view of Corsica was to be obtained
from a point some miles up--too far to go before lunch.

"However, we can always say we saw it," I reassured Myra. "From this
distance you can't be certain of recognising an island you don't know.
Any small cloud on the horizon will do."

"I know it on the map."

"Yes, but it looks quite different in real life. The great thing is to
be able to assure Simpson at lunch that the Corsican question is now
closed. When we're a little higher up, I shall say, 'Surely that's
Corsica?' and you'll say, 'Not _Corsica_,?" as though you'd rather
expected the Isle of Wight; and then it'll be all over. Hallo!

We had just passed the narrow archway leading into the courtyard of the
village and were following the path up the hill. But in that moment of
passing we had been observed. Behind us a dozen village children now
trailed eagerly.

"Oh, the dears!" cried Myra.

"But I think we made a mistake to bring them," I said severely. "No one
is prouder of our--one, two, three ... I make it eleven--our eleven
children than I am, but there are times when Father and Mother want to
be alone."

"I'm sorry, dear. I thought you'd be so proud to have them all with
you."

"I _am_ proud of them. To reflect that all the--one, two ... I make it
thirteen--all these thirteen are ours is very inspiring. But I don't
like people to think that we cannot afford our youngest, our little
Philomène, shoes and stockings. And Giuseppe should have washed his face
since last Friday. These are small matters, but they are very trying to
a father."

"Have you any coppers?" asked Myra suddenly. "You forgot their
pocket-money last week."

"One, two, three--I cannot possibly afford--one, two, three, four----
Myra, I do wish you'd count them definitely and tell mo how many we
have. One likes to know. I cannot afford pocket-money for more than a
dozen."

"Ten." She took a franc from me and gave it to the biggest girl.
(Anne-Marie, our first, and getting on so nicely with her French.)
Rapidly she explained what was to be done with it, Anne-Marie's look of
intense rapture slowly straightening itself to one of ordinary gratitude
as the financial standing of the other nine in the business became
clear. Then we waved farewell to our family and went on.

High above the village, a thousand feet above the sea, we rested, and
looked down upon the silvery olives stretching into the blue ... and
more particularly upon one red roof which stood up amid the grey-green
trees.

"That's the Cardews' villa," I said.

Myra was silent.

When Myra married me she promised to love, honour and write all my
thank-you-very-much letters for me, for we agreed before the ceremony
that the word "obey" should mean nothing more than that. There are two
sorts of T. Y. V. M. letters--the "Thank you very much for asking us, we
shall be delighted to come," and the "Thank you very much for having us,
we enjoyed it immensely." With these off my mind I could really
concentrate on my work, or my short mashie shots, or whatever was of
importance. But there was now a new kind of letter to write, and one
rather outside the terms of our original understanding. A friend of mine
had told his friends the Cardews that we were going out to the Riviera
and would let them know when we arrived ... and we had arrived a week
ago.

"It isn't at all an easy letter to write," said Myra. "It's practically
asking a stranger for hospitality."

"Let us say 'indicating our readiness to accept it.' It sounds better."

Myra smiled slowly to herself.

"'Dear Mrs. Cardew,'" she said, "'we are ready for lunch when you are.
Yours sincerely.'"

"Well, that's the idea."

"And then what about the others? If the Cardews are going to be nice we
don't want to leave Dahlia and all of them out of it."

I thought it over carefully for a little.

"What you want to do," I said at last, "is to write a really long letter
to Mrs. Cardew, acquainting her with all the facts. Keep nothing back
from her. I should begin by dwelling on the personnel of our little
company. 'My husband and I,' you should say, 'are not alone. We have
also with us Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Mannering, a delightful couple. Mr.
A. Mannering is something in the Territorials when he is not looking
after his estate. His wife is a great favourite in the county. Next I
have to introduce to you Mr. Thomas Todd, an agreeable young bachelor.
Mr. Thos. Todd is in the Sucking-a-ruler-and-looking-out-of-the-window
Department of the Admiralty, by whose exertions, so long as we preserve
the 2 Todds to 1 formula--or, excluding Canadian Todds, 16 to
10--Britannia rules the waves. Lastly, there is Mr. Samuel Simpson.
Short of sight but warm of heart, and with (on a bad pitch) a nasty
break from the off, Mr. S. Simpson is a _littérateur_ of some eminence
but little circulation, combining on the cornet intense wind-power with
no execution, and on the golf course an endless enthusiasm with only an
occasional contact. This, dear Mrs. Cardew, is our little party. I say
nothing of my husband.'"

"Go on," smiled Myra. "You have still to explain how we invite ourselves
to lunch."

"We don't; we leave that to her. All we do is to give a list of the
meals in which, in the ordinary course, we are wont to indulge, together
with a few notes on our relative capacities at each. 'Perhaps,' you wind
up, 'it is at luncheon time that as a party we show to the best
advantage. Some day, my dear Mrs. Cardew, we must all meet at lunch. You
will then see that I have exaggerated neither my husband's appetite, nor
the light conversation of my brother, nor the power of apology, should
any little _contretemps_ occur, of Mr. Samuel Simpson. Let us, I say,
meet at lunch. Let us----'" I took out my watch suddenly.

"Come on," I said, getting up and giving a hand to Myra; "we shall only
just be in time for it."

                                                         A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARTISTES' ALIASES.

An interesting meeting was held at the Memorial Hall last Saturday in
order to discuss schemes of brightening the nomenclature of British
musicians.

Sir FREDERIC COWEN, who presided, said that whereas in the last century
it was the common practice of British singers to Italianize their
surnames, we had now gone to the opposite extreme of an aggressive
insularity. He thought that a compromise between the two entremes was
feasible, by which a certain element of picturesqueness might be
introduced into our programmes without exposing us to the charge of
deliberately seeking to denationalise ourselves.

Sir HENRY WOOD suggested that the method of the anagram or palindrome
yielded very happy results. Nobody could be charged with running away
from his name if he merely turned it upside down or inside out. For
instance, Miss MURIEL FOSTER would become Miss Leirum Retsof, which had
a pleasantly Slavonic sound, while Mr. HAMILTON HARTY would reappear in
the impressive form of Mr. Notlimah Ytrah.

Miss CARRIE TUBB protested vigorously against the proposal, on the
ground that, if it were adopted, her name would sound just like Butt,
which was already that of a contralto singer. (Sensation.)

Madame CLARA BUTT supported the protest, pointing out that, if the
suggestion were acted on, her name would sound just like Tubb, which was
that of a soprano vocalist. (Great sensation.)

Professor GRANVILLE BANTOCK pleaded eloquently for calling in the
glamour of the East to illuminate the drab monotony of our Anglo-Saxon
surnames. He was quite ready to be known in future as Bantockjee or
Bangkok, if the sense of the meeting was in favour of the change--always
subject, of course, to the consent of Sir OLIVER LODGE, the Principal of
Birmingham University. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. DELIUS was strongly opposed to any change of nomenclature being made
compulsory. He was quite sure that he would not compose nearly so well
under, _e.g._, the alias of De Lara. In any case, artists should be
safeguarded against the appropriation of their names by others.

Mr. ALGERNON ASHTON (who was greeted with soft music on muted violins)
deprecated all unseemly pranks. Nothing would induce him to change his
patronymic or turn it upside down or inside out.

Mr. LANDON RONALD expressed sympathy with musicians who were handicapped
by cacophonous or undignified names. For example, a singer called
Hewlett or Ball laboured under a serious disadvantage when competing
with artistes blessed with melodious appellations such as Bellincioni or
Sammarco.

Mr. BEN DAVIES observed that Welsh singers wore terribly hampered by the
poverty of their nomenclature. Two out of every three bore the surname
Davies, and at least one in three of our Welsh male soloists was
christened Ivor. Ivor was a good name in itself, but it was becoming
terribly hackneyed.

Mr. HENRY BIRD thought that all musicians should be at liberty to assume
names provided they were appropriate. But for a composer to call himself
Johann Sebastian Wagner was to court disaster. He ventured to submit the
following list for the benefit of persons who contemplated making the
change. For a soprano: Miss Hyam Seton. For a contralto: Miss Ritchie
Plummer. For a tenor: Mr. Uther Chesterton. For a bass: Mr. Deeping
Downer. For a pianist: Mr. or Miss Ivory Pounds. For a banjoist: Mr.
Plunkett Stringer.

Miss PHYLLIS LETT, in a brief speech, explained that her name was
all-British and had no connection whatever with Lithuania.

Ultimately, on the proposal of Lord HOWARD DE WALDEN, seconded by Mr.
JOSEF HOLBROOKE, a small committee was appointed, consisting of Sir
EDWARD ELGAR, Professor BANTOCK, Madame CLARA BUTT, Mr. BEN DAVIES and
Sir HENRY WOOD, to enquire into the different proposals, and the meeting
dispersed to the strains of "For he might have been a Rooshan."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES.]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The audience was divided into two sections; the Smith supporters
     cheered every blow Wye landed as a point for their man, while Wye's
     friends were equally enthusiastic on his behalf."--_Daily Mail._

With the SMITH supporters behind us, and a SMITH referee, we are
prepared to take on CARPENTIER.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration:_Mother._ "WELL, DARLING, DO YOU REMEMBER _ANYTHING_ THE
CLERGYMAN SAID?"

_Barbara._ "YES, MUMMY, I HEARD HIM SAY, 'HALF-PAST-SIX'!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"PUNCH" IN HIS ELEMENT.

(_Modelled on the Opening Chorus of "Atalanta in Calydon."_)

    Once in so many calendar spaces
      _Punch_, appearing on All Fools' Day,
    Fills with giggles the hours and graces,
      Causes the hares of March to stay;
        And the soft sweet hatters along the Strand
        Remember the dreams of Wonderland,
    And the chessboard world and the White King's faces,
      The hamless commons and all the hay.

    Come with loud bells and belabouring of bladder,
      Spirit of Laughter, descend on the town
    With tumbling of paint-pails from top of the ladder
      And blowing of tiles from the stockbroker's crown;
        Bind on thy hosen in motley halves
        Over the rondure and curve of thy calves;
    The night may be mad, but the morn shall be madder--
      Madder than moonshine and madder than brown.

    What shall I say to it, how shall I pipe of it,
      Weave it what strains of ineffable things?
    O that my Muse were a Muse with a gripe of it,
      Engined with petrol and wafted by wings!
        For the sorrows and sighings of winter are done,
        And _Punch_ is appearing on April 1,
    And a savour of daffodils clings to the type of it,
      And the buttered balm of a crumpet clings.

    For the merle and the mavis have joined with the "shover"
      In drowning the day and the night with their din,
    And all too soon the unwary lover
      Is walking about in vestures thin;
        And the "nuts" are buying their shirts of cotton,
        And, cast into storage cold, forgotten,
    From delicate necks they were wont to cover,
      'Possum by 'possum, the stoles come in.

    And soon is an ending of football rushes,
      The hold that tackles a travelling heel;
    And the front of the town with new fire flushes,
      The paints that follow the paints that peel;
        And the season comes with its gauds and gold
        When the amorous plaints once more are told,
    And the polished hoof of her partner crushes
      The damsel's shoes in the ballroom reel.

    And _The Times_ by day and _The News_ by night,
      Fleeter of foot than the Fleet Street kid,
    Shall hurry in motor-cars left and right
      Saying what Kent and Yorkshire did;
        And, stout as pillars of marble set,
        The copper shall capture the suffragette,
    And screen from peril and heave from sight
      The maid pursuing, the Minister hid.

    The P.C. comes with his mænad haul,
      Her hatbrim tilted across her eyes;
    The cricketer dips to the flying ball,
      His white pants billowing round his thighs;
        But thou, _Charivari_, week by week
        Remaining (I take it) quite unique,
    Shalt shake with laughter and pink them all
        With points that puncture the vogue that flies.

                                             EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THERE'S MANY A SLIP ..."]

[Illustration: AT THE DRESS REHEARSAL OF THE NEW COMIC OPERA,
"RESIGNATION" (AS PLAYED TWICE WEEKLY.)

_Seelius._ "I am undone!" [_Thrusts sword beneath armpit and expires._

_Actor-Manager._ "Capital! But try, if possible, to make it just a
_leetle_ more convincing."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

(EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.)

_House of Commons, Monday, March 23._--In arrangement for business of
week to-day set apart for discussion of Naval Estimates. That meant a
problematically useful, indubitably dull debate. As has been remarked
before, it is the unexpected that happens in House of Commons. Since it
adjourned on Friday portentous news came from Ireland, indicating
something like revolt among officers of the Army stationed there for
avowed purpose of backing up civil force in preservation of peace and
order. Wholesale resignations reported.

The very existence of the Army seemed at stake. Had mere business, such
as the voting of over £50,000,000 for upkeep of Navy, been to the fore,
benches would have been half empty. As it was, they were thronged. Over
the crowded assembly hurtled that indescribable buzz of excitement that
presages eventful action. The PREMIER and LEADER OF OPPOSITION appearing
on the scene were severally greeted with strident cheers from their
followers. PRINCE ARTHUR, the Dropped Pilot, at urgent entreaty
returning to the old ship in time of emergency, enjoyed unique
distinction of being cheered by both sides. Demonstration more eloquent
than ordered speech.

Questions over, SEELY read studiously prosaic statement of events
leading up to resignations on the Curragh. Someone had blundered, or, as
the SECRETARY FOR WAR, anxious above all things to avoid irritation,
preferred to put it, "there had been a misunderstanding." All over now.
Explanations forthcoming had smoothed out difficulty. Resignations
tendered had been withdrawn. Familiar military command "As you were"
obeyed.

That all very well. Opposition, upon whom crowning mercy had fallen from
beneficent heavens, naturally indisposed to treat unexpected boon in
niggardly spirit. BONNER LAW insisted on business being set aside and
opportunity provided for rubbing in the salt. Lively debate followed.
Speeches delivered with difficulty through running stream of
interruption. BYLES OF BRADFORD began it. Breaking in upon BONNER LAW'S
speech with pointed question he was greeted with savage shout of "Sit
down" that would have made the rafters ring, supposing there were any.
Under existing circumstances the glass ceiling looked down
compassionately, whilst BYLES, after remaining on his legs for what
seemed a full minute, resumed his seat.

Amid uproar that raged during succeeding four hours, SPEAKER, preserving
a superb equanimity, rode upon the whirlwind and directed the storm.
Whilst PREMIER was trying to make himself heard, HELMSLEY constantly
interrupted. SPEAKER made earnest appeal to Members to listen in
patience.

"There will," he said, "be plenty of time afterwards for anyone to ask
any question or to reply to any point."

WINTERTON, ever ready to volunteer in the interests of order, asked
whether JOHN WARD, seated opposite, had not sinned in same manner as
HELMSLEY.

"That is no reason why the noble lord should imitate him."

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," retorted
WINTERTON. Left House in doubt which was which.

Later SPEAKER dropped down on PAGE CROFT.

"The hon. member," he said, "is not entitled to interrupt because some
argument suddenly strikes him."

House laughed at this piquant way of putting it. SARK recalls curious
fact. 321 years ago the same dictum was framed in almost identical
phrase. Essential difference was that it was the Speaker of the day who
was rebuked. He was EDWARD COKE, whose connection with one LYTTELTON is
not unfamiliar in Courts of Law. Appearing at bar of House of Lords at
opening of eighth Parliament of ELIZABETH, which met 19th February,
1593, SPEAKER submitted the petition, forthcoming to this day on opening
of a new Parliament, asking for privilege of speech.

"Privilege of speech is granted," said the LORD KEEPER on behalf of the
QUEEN. "But you must know what privilege you have. _Not to speak
everyone what he listeth, or what cometh into his brain to titter._"

Eight o'clock struck before turmoil ceased and House got into Committee
on Navy Estimates. In a twinkling over £15,000,000 sterling voted. That
nothing to what straightway followed. Getting into Committee on Ways and
Means, House voted some £68,000,000 on account of the services of the
year.

After this, House was counted out. In imitation of proverbial character
of current month, having come in as a lion it went out like a lamb.

_Business done._--Tumultuous debate on Ulster side-issue. Huge sums
voted in Committee of Supply.

_Tuesday._--Renewal of yesterday's excitement round action of certain
officers of the Army in Ireland. SEELY promised to circulate in the
morning all papers relating thereto. To members of county councils,
parish councils, and the like obscure consultative bodies, it would seem
reasonable to wait opportunity for studying papers before debating their
contents. We have a better way at Westminster. Business set down was the
Army Vote. SEELY explained that for financial reasons it was absolutely
necessary money should be voted. Necessity admitted, this was done. But
not till four hours had been occupied in inflaming talk. As for the vote
for many millions, no time was left to talk about it. Accordingly agreed
to without comment or criticism.

AMERY struck note of Opposition criticism on Curragh affair by
describing "how meanly the SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR sneaked out of the
position into which he so proudly strutted a few days ago." More of same
genial kind of talk from benches near. But as debate went forward
Members evidently became possessed of growing sense of gravity of
situation.

It was the Labour Members who effected the change. For first time in
life of present Parliament they with united front took the lead at a
grave national crisis, representing without bluster the vastness of the
social and political force behind them. JOHN WARD in weighty speech
brought down the real question from nights of personal animosity and
party rancour. It was "whether the discipline of the Army is to be
maintained; whether it is to continue to be a neutral force to assist
the civil power; or whether in future the House of Commons, representing
the people, is to submit its decisions for approval to a military
junta.".

Warned party opposite that, the latter principle adopted, there will be
no picking and choosing. The private soldier has his conscience as well
as the commissioned officer. In cases of industrial dispute Tommy Atkins
would find in speeches made to-day by noble Lords and hon. Members
justification for refusal to shoot down members of his own class with
whose position he had conscientious sympathy.

J. H. THOMAS, Organising Secretary of Amalgamated Society of Railway
Servants, put this in briefer phrasing when he said, "General GOUGH may
feel keenly the Ulster situation. Tommy Atkins will feel not less keenly
the industrial situation." House listened in significant silence to
illustration pointing the moral. In November next four hundred thousand
railway men will come to grips with their employers. If they do not
obtain satisfactory terms they may simultaneously strike.

"If," their Secretary added, "the doctrine laid down by the Opposition
in respect to Ulster is sound it will be my duty to tell the railwaymen
to prepare for the worst by organizing their forces, the half million
capital possessed by the union to be used to provide arms and ammunition
for them."

_Business done._--Ominous debate arising on Ulster question. Army Votes
rushed through without discussion.

_Wednesday._--Sudden dramatic change in strained situation. Turned out
that SEELY'S guarantee to General GOUGH, accepted as satisfactory and
followed by withdrawal of that officer's resignation, had not been fully
brought to knowledge of the Cabinet. Learning of its concluding
paragraphs only when yesterday he read type-written, copy of White Paper
published this morning, PREMIER sent for SECRETARY FOR WAR and
repudiated them. SEELY, acknowledging his error, tendered his
resignation. PREMIER declined to accept it. In view of all the
circumstances he "thought it would be not only ungenerous but unjust to
take such action."

This strange story, told in two chapters, the first contributed by WAR
SECRETARY, the second by the PREMIER, listened to with strained
attention by crowded House. There followed debate whose stormy course
occasionally rose to heights exceeding those scaled on two preceding
days.

Only once was there manifestation of general hearty assent. Forthcoming
when the PREMIER warmly protested against "unfair and inconsiderate
attempts, not made on one side only, to drag into the discussion the
name of the KING."

"His Majesty," he added, amid burst of general cheering, "has from first
to last observed every rule that comports with the dignity of the
position of a constitutional sovereign."

_Business done._--Second Reading of Consolidated Fund Bill, on which
debate arose, carried by 314 against 222. Majority, 92.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SUGGESTED DESIGN FOR CAR WHICH, BY A SIMPLE ARRANGEMENT
OP MIRRORS, ENABLES THE SUPER-NUT TO DRIVE IN THE SPECIAL SUPER-NUTTY
POSITION.]

       *       *       *       *       *

CRUEL KINDNESS.

There was once a schoolboy who was caught fishing in forbidden waters.
He knew that the penalty was a switching (old style), and his
contemporaries were pleased to remind him of the fact. Five o'clock was
the hour fixed for the interview. The boy was small for his age, but
brainy. All day he studied how he might save his skin and disappoint his
friends, and at 4.30 he repaired stealthily to his dormitory to make his
plans. They consisted of a sheet of brown paper--all that remained,
alas, of a home-made cake--two copies of _The Scout_ and a chest
protector, which had been included in his outfit by a solicitious
parent. By means of the fatal fishing line he attached the combined
padding to his person, then, stiffly resuming his garments, knocked at
the dread portal as the clock struck.

The Head glanced down over his spectacles. The boy stood strangely
erect, and his face was brave though pale. A cane lay on the table. The
master's eye was sterner than his heart. His hand reached for the cane,
but he replaced it in a drawer, and for twenty minutes the listeners in
the corridor vainly pricked their ears for the accustomed sounds.

"Well?" they inquired anxiously when the victim reappeared.

"He only jawed me," replied the small boy; and he wept.

       *       *       *       *       *

An "agony" in _The Daily Graphic_:

     "Maud darling, did you see my last massage?... Ada."

No, ADA, but she heard about it. Stick to it and you'll soon be down to
twelve-stone-five again.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "In the Italian Chamber, on the 12th instant, there was only a
     majority of Bill. It is believed that the Giolitti Cabinet is
     tottering.--_Ostasiatischer Lloyd._"

     _North China Herald._

Gulielmo's casting vote cannot save them every time.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "On his motor-trip he never met any cat travelling either without
     lights after dusk or on the wrong side of the road."

     _Ceylon Observer._

Our dogs may well learn a lesson from this.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The bride carried a large bouquet of Harum lilies."--_South
     Staffordshire Times._

This sort has two stalks, of course.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress._ "WHY HAVE YOU PUT TWO HOT-WATER BOTTLES IN MY
BED, BRIDGET?"

_Bridget._ "SURE, MEM, WAN OF THIM WAS LEAKING, AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHICH,
SO I PUT BOTH IN TO MAKE SURE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ODD MAN.

    Jones is a man who is too topsy-turvy;
      Nothing is quite as it should be with Jones,
    Angular just where he ought to be curvy,
      Padded with flesh where he ought to have bones.

    Jones is a freak who attends to the labours,
      Small and domestic, that make up the home:
    Pays all the calls and leaves cards on the neighbours,
      Leaving his wife to be lazy at home.

    Does up her dresses without saying, "Blow it";
      Pays and forgets to say "Bother" or "Biff";
    Asks her to scatter the money and go it,
      Beams at her bills when the totals are stiff.

    As for his daughters, he gives them their chances,
      Rushes them round to reception and fête;
    Takes them himself to their concerts and dances;
      Always looks pleased when they want to stay late.

    Then he has meals which would make you grow thinner,
      Often absorbing with infinite glee
    Sponge-cakes at breakfast and crumpets at dinner,
      Whitstable oysters at five o'clock tea.

    Next he loves laughter: that is, to be laughed at--
      Every way's right for the man to be rubbed;
    Grins when he's sneered at and jeered at and chaffed at;
      Wriggles with pleasure whenever he's snubbed.

    Fiction, in short, in a million disguises
      Never created a crankier clod,
    More unaccountably made of surprises,
      More topsy-turvily fashioned and odd.

       *       *       *       *       *

CARPET SALES.

(_In accordance with the current announcements of the leading West-End
houses, and with no reference to Anglo-Russian diplomacy._)

    Carpets of Persia fashioned on Orient looms--
      Webs which the craftsman's hand with a patient cunning
        Wrought through the perfect marriage of warp and woof--
    Such as were laid, I imagine, in Bahram's rooms
      Where (since their removal) the lion and lizard lie sunning,
        And the ass, according to OMAR, stamps his hoof--
    Are selling off cheap, it is stated, for money down:
    _Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?_

    Carpets of Persia! (None of your home-made stuffs!)
      After long years on the loom and infinite labour,
        Piled in bales on piratical Arab dhows
    At Bunder Abbas, and brought by a crew of roughs
      (Each looking more of a cut-throat rip than his neighbour)
        Down Ormuz Strait through a series of storms and rows--
    Surely they ought to be bargains in London Town?
    _Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?_

    Carpets of Persia! Though not, perhaps, one of the best,
      Like those which adorn the Victoria and Albert Museum,
        Yet, since you assert that you're selling authentic antiques,
    I'd like to have one which the foot of a Caliph has pressed,
      Or one where the wives of a Wazir (I fancy I see 'em)
        Were wont to recline, curled up in their shimmering breeks,
    Or one whereon foreheads were rubbed before mighty HAROUN--
    _Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?_

       *       *       *       *       *

A POLITICAL CORRESPONDENCE.

     SIR,--It has been brought to my notice that at a meeting you
     addressed recently in your constituency you referred to me, and in
     the course of your remarks you said that I had employed in the
     House of Commons the "blustering artifice of the rhetorical
     hireling." May I ask you for your authority for this statement? I
     can only hope that your reply will avoid any ambiguity, and for
     your further enlightenment I may inform you that I am annoyed.

     I am sure I am acting as you would wish me to do in sending a copy
     of this letter to the Press.

                                 Yours faithfully,
                               N. Y. Z THOMSON-THOMSON.

       A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.


     SIR,--How like you to read an inaccurate report of my speech! The
     words I used--you will find them reported in _The Wastepaper
     Gazette_ for that week--were as follows: "We must then take these
     statements of Mr. Thomson-Thomson to be nothing but the blustering
     artifice of _a_ rhetorical hireling." You will, I am sure,
     appreciate the difference between the two versions. If you do not,
     I may add that I am prepared to endorse the opinion expressed in
     the accurate version and to raise the question in the House of
     Commons at an early opportunity.

     I am sending a copy, of this letter to the Press, as your reply
     will doubtless be irrelevant.

                                 Yours faithfully,
                               A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

       N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.


     SIR,--I have perused several reports of your speech, and with one
     exception they all agree that the word "the" was used and not the
     word "a." _The Wastepaper Gazette_, with which I think you are
     identified, is the only one which has printed your version of the
     speech, and I must therefore decline to accept your statement. Of
     course had the indefinite article been used it would have destroyed
     any ground for complaint. As you are attempting to evade the
     serious issue between us I can only conclude that your methods
     indicate the "blustering artifice of the rhetorical hireling."
     Unless I hear from you to the contrary I shall always maintain this
     view.

     I have sent a copy of this letter to the Press.

                                      Yours truly,
                                 N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON.

       A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.


     SIR,--My Secretary was much pained at your last letter. He has
     informed me of its contents. I can only say that I am surprised
     that a statesman of your undoubted ability should exhibit such
     peculiar controversial methods.

     The circumstances are not new. In 1911, in the House of Commons, I
     find that I formulated the same opinion of you in substantially the
     same words, yet no objection was then raised by you nor could any
     objection have been so raised.

     Since your election your attitude on every question has been
     deplorable, and although I am of the opposite party I may say that
     in this view I am in no sense actuated by party feeling. This is a
     matter too serious for the bitterness of partisanship.

     I repeat that in my opinion you have frequently employed the
     blustering artifice of a rhetorical hireling.

     Unless I hear from you within half-an-hour I shall send a copy of
     this letter to the Press.

                            Yours faithfully,
                         A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

     P.S.--Could you oblige me by letting me know who was the originator
     of the phrase?

       N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.

     SIR,--You have totally failed to substantiate the serious charges
     you made against me, and I am sorry, for the sweetness of political
     life, that you have not had the courage or the fairness to withdraw
     them.

     I am glad that we have been able to conduct this correspondence on
     the courteous lines which have ever characterised our public
     careers.

     I have sent a copy of this letter to the Press.

                            Yours faithfully,
                        N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON.

     P.S.--I do not know who was the author of the phrase. But I knew
     _you_ couldn't be.

       A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.

     SIR,--I have nothing to add to my last letter.

                                 Yours truly,
                           A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

     P.S.--I purpose sending a copy of this letter to the Press.

       N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some idea of last week's Parliamentary crisis may be gathered from the
following poster:--

          -------------
          |  CABINET  |
          | SENDS FOR |
          |  FRENCH   |
          -------------

Our neighbours across the water were too busy with their own troubles to
respond. Much better have sent for Germans. Their arrival might have
pulled us together.

       *       *       *       *       *

SHOP.

(_Spring Thoughts by One In Trade._)

    When the new Spring is drawing near
      There always rises in my blood
    A keen desire to see the year
        Fresh opening in the bud.

    From my tame task to wander free;
      For one brief day to get me gone
    To some sweet rural spot, and see
        How things are getting on.

    So, when a rising glass invites,
      Off by the ready train I fare;
    How sweet are all the country sights,
        How fresh the country air!

    Here every prospect has its charm;
      On every side I find a spell;
    There is a pleasure in a farm,
        And (almost) in the smell.

    'Tis sweet to see the pretty lambs,
      To mark them as they frisk and jump,
    Or nestle round their anxious dams,
        So placid and so plump.

    I hear the lark's ecstatic gush
      From his clear ambush in the sky;
    A blackbird (if it's not a thrush)
        Sings from a wood hard by.

    I climb towards an open lea
      Whereon the goodly cattle browse,
    And oh, it does me good to see
        Such oxen and such cows.

    And here and there an early calf
      Staggers about with weakling frame;
    It is a sight that makes me laugh;
        I feel so glad I came.

    The orchard with its early pink
      (Cherry, I'm told) adorns the scene;
    While the horse-chestnut (as I think)
        Is well-nigh turning green.

    So through the day I roam apart,
      And bless the happy dawn of Spring,
    Which thrills a butcher's homely heart
        With such sweet visiting.

    But soon the light begins to fade,
      And I must quit these rural joys
    To labour at my daily trade
        Mid London's dust and noise.

    Back to the buses and the trams,
      To think on Spring's recurring boon,
    Especially the calves and lambs:
        They will be ready soon.

                           DUM-DUM.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Carpentier was getting to be a sorry sight at the finish. There
     was hardly anything to indicate that Jeannette had been in a
     15-round glove-fight."--_Times._

     "All this Carpentier stood well, and quick as lightning at long
     range cut the mulatto's face to bits."--_Morning Post._

We think our contemporaries are carrying their rivalry with each other
too far.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE CRAZE FOR SALARIED OFFICIALS-SOME SUGGESTIONS.

1 WHY NOT HAVE _CONTROLLERS OF CONVIVIALITY_ TO CHECK OVER-INDULGENCE IN
EATING.

2 AND DRINKING?

3 OR _WARDENS OF REPUTATIONS_ TO SUPPRESS SCANDAL

4 AND TITTLE-TATTLE?

5 OR _CENSORS OF PHRASEOLOGY_ TO RESTRAIN BAD LANGUAGE?

6 BUT BEST OF ALL, MAKE _EVERYBODY_ AN _INSPECTOR OF OFFICIALS_, SO THAT
THE GREAT BRITISH PUBLIC CAN GET A LITTLE OF ITS OWN BACK.]

       *       *       *       *       *

COUNTRY LIFE EXHIBITION.

INTERESTING PROGRAMME.

Arrangements have now been completed for holding at the Piscicultural
Hall, Kensington, an exhibition, the aim of which is to impart
instruction in the art of living in the country. Such assistance is of
the highest value, since many persons otherwise capable enough are
unable to manage rural ways at once or deal with even such ordinary
difficulties as neighbours' visits, invitations to garden parties,
dinners, &c., political confessions, the retention of servants, the
lighting system, the Vicar's calls, and so forth.

HOW TO KEEP SERVANTS.

On this most difficult problem lectures will be given by a practised
chatelaine. Various different makes of gramophones will be on view, with
a list of tunes most acceptable to the servants'-hall. The maximum
possible distance of the house from the nearest picture palace has been
worked out from illuminating statistics. Useful hints about followers
may also be gathered here.

CHURCH.

Not every one in the country goes to church, but none can escape
acquaintance with the Vicar. Hints as to how to deal with him are freely
offered, and a variety of excuses for non-attendance have been drawn,
ranging from a headache to Quakerism. Also what to say when the Vicar
meets you on Sunday morning with your clubs. A list of minimum
subscriptions to all conceivable charities is on sale.

LIGHTING.

For country householders who are at present burning oil, but think they
would like an illuminant made of petrol or acetylene, a lecture will be
given by an expert, who will examine all the myriad plants on the market
and offer his opinion as to the least unsatisfactory. Diagrams of
gardeners' burns and other injuries in a failure to master the
intricacies of the engine are a popular feature. Also phonograph records
of what certain gardeners have said, in various dialects, when told to
tackle the new light.

COUNTRY INN SECTION.

Everything necessary to the successful management of a country inn is on
view here. Among the exhibits are a cup of coffee as prepared from
coffee and a cup of coffee as served in a typical inn. By studying the
two the inn-keeper may learn what is expected of him, and how to avoid
the mistake of serving coffee in which any flavour of coffee persists.

POLITICS.

Here the settler in the country is on very delicate ground and in need
of all his tact. As the exhibition lecturer will point out, he must,
before avowing his own political creed, ascertain that of his
landlord--particularly so if he has only a yearly tenancy. The chances
are that the landlord is a Conservative. If the tenant is Conservative
too, all is well; if the contrary--but we had better leave the details
to the lecturer.

NAMES OF FLOWERS.

A well-known horticulturist has invented a system by which the names of
flowers can be taught in the shortest possible time, especially as the
flowers have been carefully selected to exclude all but the fashionable.
After only two lessons the pupil is in a position to lead a visitor
through the garden and casually and accurately enumerate every
delphinium and climbing rose in it. Suitable adjectives to apply to
flowers are also provided.

DOGS.

Models of the two chief different types of country house--those which
the dogs may enter as they will, and those from which the dogs are
excluded--are on view.

WHERE TO LIVE.

A lecturer who knows every inch of the country within a forty-mile
radius of London will discourse at intervals on the respective merits of
each popular district. A list of the principal residents in each will be
available, together with a computation of the chances of a newcomer
being called on by any ladies with a title. In order to make this
department really efficient the intending new resident must of course
give true particulars as to his or her social history. Districts where
new residents who have been in trade, always excepting wine and the
motor industry, are not called on, are carefully marked on a special
Social map.

TAXIS.

A map of England, coloured to show where the tariff is 8_d._ a mile,
9_d._ a mile, 10_d._ a mile, and 1_s._ a mile, has been prepared.

RAILWAYS.

A careful examination of the railways out of London has been made, with
full particulars as to the speed of their trains, punctuality,
cleanliness, warmth, week-end tickets and so forth. Also hints for doing
the company by old hands. Also character sketches of the station-masters
at all likely stations.

AEROPLANES.

In order that accidents due to falling airmen may be guarded against, a
map has been designed for sale in the hall, showing those parts of the
country over which flights are most common.

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD CHINA.

    Little Wun-lee's father, Nang-Poo,
    Let her do just what she wanted to do;
    Made her processions with peacocky banners
    In the most regal and lavish of manners.

    Little Wun-lee's father, Nang-Poo,
    Was a magician who lived at Foo-choo.
    Now if you possess a magician of cunning
    Nothing you want should be out of the running.

    Little Wun-lee had all sorts of things--
    Fly-away carpets and vanishing-rings,
    Djinn as her footmen, and gem-spraying fountains,
    And lovely snow-leopards from ghost-haunted mountains.

    Little Wun-lee, combing her hair,
    Saw a blue butterfly float through the air--
    Saw a blue butterfly flicker and settle
    On an azalea's rosy pink petal.

    Little Wun-lee said: "By the MINGS,
    _That_ for your fly-away carpets and rings!
    Peacocks and palanquins? Powers and dominions?
    I'll have a pair of blue butterfly's pinions!"

    "Little Wun-lee," answered Nang Poo,
    "That's the one trick no magician can do;
    Never did wizard of land, air or water
    Magic blue wings on a little white daughter."

    Little Wun-lee, dainty and dear,
    Cried for a day and a week and a year--
    Cried till she died of a Thwarted Ambition,
    And nobody cared but Nang-Poo, the magician.

    Little Wun-lee, little Wun-lee,
    He buried her 'neath the azalea tree;
    And the burnished blue butterflies flicker and hover,
    And the rosy pink petals fall lightly above her.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Bloodthirsty Critic.

_The Nation_ on _Saint Augustin_, by LOUIS BERTRAND:

     "The student of Church history will do well to take Dr. Bertrand's
     Life."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Sportsman (on the way home after dinner)._ "HI!
LOOK OUT WHERE YOU'RE GOING!"

_Second Sportsman._ "LOOK OUT YOURSELF! YOU'RE DRIVING, AREN'T YOU?"

_First Sportsman._ "NO, I THOUGHT YOU WERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

I doubt if Messrs. ASQUITH, CHURCHILL, EDMOND, LLOYD GEORGE, or even
Colonel SEELY have leisure these days for novel-reading, and, if they
have, they might be reluctant to devote it to _The Ulsterman_
(HUTCHINSON). It does not treat of their favourite subject and, so far
from offering any solution of extant difficulties, adds yet another
complication to the Home Rule question. Everything from revenue to
religion having been discussed, no one but Mr. F. FRANKFORT MOORE has
thought to deal with the love interest. What is to be done, the tale
suggests, for the young lovers in the North whose families are loyal to
different sovereigns? _Ned_ was the son of a stalwart, if somewhat
snobbish, adherent of His Majesty KING GEORGE THE FIFTH; _Kate_ was the
daughter of a would-be subject of the Divine DEVLIN, and things could
never have gone well with them had it not been for the intervention of
_Ned's_ uncle, who had been so long out of Ireland that he had ceased to
cherish any keen feelings in the dispute, and had been so used by his
brother in the past that he was only too glad of the opportunity of
spiting him by getting his son married to a Papist. But there are other
cases, where no such facilities are at hand, and, if Mr. MOORE'S picture
is a true one, it must go hard with such couples. What is to be done for
them? Are they to be told to wait six years and see? I hope not, for
whatever they might see in the period could have no interest for them?
This matrimonial difficulty is one, at any rate, which, as all must
agree, even that reputed panacea, the General Election, cannot be
expected to cure.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think I never met a book more "racily" written--in a special sense of
the word--than _The Progress of Prudence_ (MILLS AND BOON). Horses and
hounds play so large a part therein as almost to be the protagonists;
certainly they are the chief influencing forces in the development of
the heroine, from the day when she attempts to purchase one of the pack,
under the impression that they are being exhibited for sale, to that
other day, some time later, when her own entry finishes second in the
Grand National. You will notice that _Prudence_ had progressed
considerably during the interval. Her early ignorance was due to the
fact that she had only just developed from a slum factory-girl into a
landed proprietress. The father of _Prudence_ had been a miser; and,
when he died in the attic where he and the girl had miserably lived, he
left her a fortune, and instructions to spend it on real estate. So Mr.
W. F. HEWER starts us on a pretty problem--how, in these circumstances,
will _Prudence_ get on? Of course, she gets on excellently; and
soon is as keen a rider to hounds and a judge of horseflesh as any
in a neighbourhood where those accomplishments are held in high
esteem. Equally of course there are men, nay lords, who fall under
the spell of her attraction; but when I tell you that the
groom-and-general-horse-master, whom _Prudence_ engaged, and under whose
tuition she so prospered, was a gentleman who had seen better days, you
will probably have already guessed the end of the tale. This is reached
after some scenes of pleasant humour and sentiment, and after I don't
know how many runs with hounds, given with a minuteness of detail that
shows Mr. HEWER to be a practised master of his subject. The same remark
applies to the various meetings at which _Prudence_ (surely a little
oddly named?) sees her colours carried to victory. Altogether a
stablesque romance that should appeal irresistibly to its own public.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Mailing of Blaise_ is Mr. A. S. TURBERVILLE'S first novel, and it
is easy to understand why Messrs. SIDGWICK AND JACKSON have drawn
attention to this fact. For the work reveals a great ignorance of, or a
supreme contempt for, the art of construction, and its theme is very
hackneyed; but at the same time Mr. TURBERVILLE observes so keenly that
I groan in the spirit when I think of so much labour misspent on a
subject unworthy of his talent. Here we have a boy with the artistic
temperament born into the house of one _Brown_, a Cheapside tailor with
puritanical prejudices and the mind of a sparrow. He and his rather
futile wife were enough to make anyone rebellious; but too much irony is
spent upon them, and it would have been less difficult to sympathise
with _Philip_ if his parents' point of view had been more fairly stated.
After many domestic frictions the son rushes away from London and lives
a Bohemian life (extremely well described) on the Continent, until he
marries a delightful and penniless wife. All the marks for charm go to
_Athénée_, unless a few of them can be spared for their child, _Blaise_,
who had, or so it seems to me, great trouble in thrusting his way upon
the scenes. _Philip_ and _Athénée_ were going to do great things for
their son, but unfortunately both of them were killed while he was still
a little child, and he had to be retrieved to the bosom of the _Brown_
family. The change from freedom to rigorous conventionality did not suit
poor _Blaise_, and I could not be very sorry when he annoyed most of the
_Browns_ by catching measles and petrified all of them by not
recovering. Still, he lived long enough to get his name into the title,
though this, I feel, was a bit of favouritism.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Way Home_, by BASIL KING (METHUEN), describes the spiritual
wanderings of a New Yorker, _Charlie Grace_, destined for the ministry;
rejecting it, because of his disillusionment through the practice of the
professing Christians about him, in favour of a hunt for the money which
alone he finds can earn respect; adopting in business the inverted
Christian motto, "Down the other fellow before he downs you"; drifting
in and out of loves clean and sordid; and finally, broken in health,
discovering the way, through the bitterness of a deeper disillusionment,
back to an estranged wife; and yet another way to somewhere near the
faith of his childhood and the peace of resignation. Barely is so
serious a theme treated by a novelist with such simplicity, sincerity
and eloquent reticence. Nobody need fear the dulness known as "pi-jaw."
The story is full of interest. The characterisation, extraordinarily
careful and balanced, is conveyed not only in description but in the
cleverly-constructed dialogue. It is part of the author's skill to
represent _Hilda_, _Charlie's_ wife, with her charming reserve and
dignity, as not a little difficult and exacting, and so to divide our
sympathies fairly between the two. There are many other living
characters, of which old _Remnant_, the sexton, with his queerly
American business notions of religion and dislike of the "riff-raff," is
too nicely absurd and human not to have been drawn from life. There is
very good stuff indeed in this book, which seems to me in every way an
advance upon _The Street Called Straight_.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is all a matter of taste. If you like that sort of book you will like
_The Great Attempt_ (MURRAY), for Mr. FREDERICK ARTHUR'S story is quite
good of its kind. But what sort of a book is it? Well, on page 31 one
character says to another character, "Now listen. Thou knowest that
there is some mystery regarding the heir to the estate. He is said to be
in hiding abroad. The truth is that they have cheated him out of his
inheritance and he can't do anything until he finds his papers." And yet
it is not entirely that sort of book, for Mr. ARTHUR is evidently a
thoughtful student of history, and he has drawn quite a vivid picture of
the events leading up to the battle of Culloden. His sympathies are on
the side of the PRETENDER and his cause, and he can see nothing to
approve of in the ranks of the Hanoverians. I am content to take his
word for the rights and wrongs of the case. The whole matter leaves me a
little cold. I have no actual grievance against the OLD PRETENDER,
though BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE is one of my pet aversions; but I consider
that enough fiction has been written about him already. In the matter of
subjects for novels I should like to institute an _Index Expurgatorius_.
It would contain the two PRETENDERS, the French Revolution, the American
Civil War, NAPOLEON, and most of the other well-worn names and events of
history, and would remove a powerful temptation from the path of the
young author. Missing heirs in search of papers I do not so much mind.
Indeed, I am on the whole fond of missing heirs. But missing heirs with
an historical background make me tired.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OUR CURIO CRANKS.

_Enthusiast (to diner who has just told a good story)._ "WOULD YOU MIND
REPEATING THAT? IT HAS BEEN SO WELL RECEIVED. I WISH TO ADD IT TO MY
COLLECTION OF RECORDS OF GOOD THINGS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Doing the Hat Trick in Two.

     "H. S. O. Ashington, who won three events last year, was expected
     to repeat the achievement yesterday. He figured in the hurdles,
     high and long jumps, and if he had not taken the high jump, which
     he won at 5ft. 8in., the probability is that he would have done the
     hat trick. His initial exertions, however, told against his
     hurdling."

     _Daily News._

Unfortunately the absence of them would have told still more against his
high-jumping.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dr. John A. Bassin performed a surgical operation at Poughkeepsie,
     New York, on a boy whose heart was too weak to permit the use of an
     anaesthetic, and who was lulled into unconsciousness by the strains
     of 'Highland Fling.'"

To make this story more credible the _Singapore Free Press_ heads it
"DACOITS IN BURMA."





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