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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 15, 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 15, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146, APRIL 15, 1914***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

APRIL 15, 1914



CHARIVARIA.


Reuter telegraphs from Melbourne that the Commonwealth building in
London is to be called "Australia House." This should dispose
effectively of the rumour that it was to be called "Canada House."

* * *

"The Song of the Breakers," which is being advertised, is not, we are
told, a war song for the Suffragettes.

* * *

Some of the Press reported a recent happy event under the following
heading:--

"WEDDING OF MRS. PATRICK CAMPBELL."

Mr. GEORGE CORNWALLIS WEST would like it to be known that it was also
his wedding.

* * *

It was rumoured one day last week that a certain officer famous for his
picturesque language was about to receive a new appointment as
Director-General of Expletives.

* * *

"GOLD-PLATED TYPEWRITER,"

announces _The Mail_. We are sorry for the poor girl. Mr. GRANVILLE
BARKER, of course, started the idea with his gilded fairies.

* * *

Miss MABEL ROGERS, we read, is bringing a suit against certain other
girl students of Pardue University, Indiana, for "ragging" her by
tearing off her clothes. It seems to us that it is the defendants who
ought to bring the suit.

* * *

"Twelve small farmers," we are told, "were on Saturday sent for trial at
Ballygar, County Galway, on a charge of cattle-driving." Their size
should not excuse them.

* * *

One evening last week, _The Daily Mail_ tells us, the electric light
failed in several districts of Tooting and Mitcham. "A resident in
Garden Avenue," says our contemporary, "had invited about a dozen
friends to a card party. The host secured a supply of candles, in the
dim light of which the party played." It is good to know that in this
prosaic age and in this prosaic London of ours it is still possible to
have stirring adventures worth recording in the country's annals.

* * *

The power of the motor! "At the request of the Car," says _The
Westminster Gazette_, "M. POINCARE will leave on his visit to Russia,
after the national fêtes on July 14."

* * *

A couple of pictures by unknown artists fetched as much as £2,625 and
£1,837 at CHRISTIE'S last week, and we hear that some of our less
notable painters have been greatly encouraged by this boom in obscurity.

* * *

"This Machine," says an advertisement of a motor cycle, "Gets You
Out-of-Doors--and Keeps You There." Frankly, we prefer the sort that
Gets You Home Again.

* * *

The PREMIER, who was said to have "run away" to Fife, after all had a
"walk over."

* * *

"The Elizabethan spirit," says a _laudator temporis acti_, "is dead
among us." We beg to challenge this statement. When the Armada was
sighted DRAKE went on with his game of bowls. To-day, in similar
circumstances, we are confident that thousands of Englishmen would
refuse to leave their game of golf.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CAPTIVE GOLF.

DEFAULTING GOLF-CLUB OFFICIAL TRYING TO IMPART A LITTLE INTEREST TO THE
DAILY ROUND.]

       *       *       *       *       *

PROFESSIONAL ANACHRONISM.

Mrs. Andrew Fitzpatrick, who looped the loop last Friday at Hendon with
her son Hector, is certainly one of the youngest-looking women in the
world of her age--for she is put down in black and white as forty-four
in more than one book of reference. Her miraculous _Lady Macbeth_, which
she impersonated at the age of seven, is still a happy memory to many
middle-aged playgoers, though the miracle was eclipsed by the nine days'
wonder of her elopement and marriage to Mr. Fitzpatrick, the famous
Ballarat millionaire, on her thirteenth birthday. Her daughter Gemma,
who made her _début_ in Grand Opera at the Scala in 1895, is already a
grandmother; and her son Hector, who fought in the Russo-Turkish war of
1878, is the youngest Field-Marshal in the British Army.

M. Atichewsky, the famous Russian pianist, who gives his first recital
in the Blüthstein Hall next Wednesday, is no stranger to London
audiences, though he is only just twenty years of age. In the year of
QUEEN VICTORIA'S Diamond Jubilee he visited England as a _Wunderkind_,
being then only thirteen years of age, and created a _furore_ by his
precocious virtuosity. About eleven years later, while he was still in
his teens, he appeared at the Philharmonic Concerts with his second
wife, a soprano singer of remarkable attainments. The present Madame
Atichewsky, it should be noted, has a wonderful contralto voice, which
is inherited by her second daughter, Ladoga, who recently made her
_début_ at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, in Brussels.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Poetry of the Ring.

For two pugilists, shaking hands before the knock-out fight begins:--

  "Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech
      Each on each."

  _BROWNING, "Love among the Ruins."_

       *       *       *       *       *

     "It is interesting to learn that the swans on the lower lake have
     built a nest and that one of the pairs on the upper lake have
     followed suit, so that there is some possibility of signets on the
     lakes presently."

     _Beckenham Journal._


We shall be glad to see these freshwater seals.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE UNION OF IRISH HEARTS.

(_How the prospect strikes an Englishman._)

     ["In ancient times ... the Devlins were the hereditary horseboys of
     the O'Neills. (Loud laughter.)"--_From the "Times'" report of Mr.
     TIMOTHY HEALY'S speech in the House._]

    I love to fancy, howsoe'er remote
      The fiery dawn of that millennial future,
    That some fine day the rent in Ireland's coat
      Will be adjusted with a saving suture,
          And one fair rule suffice
        For lamb and lion, babe and cockatrice.

    In her potential Kings I clearly trace
      Ground for this hope; no bickering there, no jostling;
    If HEALY cares to hint that DEVLIN'S race
      Subsisted by hereditary ostling,
          That's just the family fun
        Brothers can well afford whose hearts are one.

    No less the picture of O'BRIEN'S fist
      Clenched playfully beneath a colleague's nose-piece
    Lets me foresee--a sanguine optimist--
      That Union which shall bring to ancient foes peace,
          When all who lap the Boyne
        Beg on their knees to be allowed to join.

    Still (to be frank) 'tis not alone the dream
      Of leagued Hibernians kissing lips with Ulster
    That warms my heart; there is another scheme
      That with a livelier motion makes my pulse stir;
          And this can never be
        Till we have posted REDMOND oversea.

    But, when he's planted on his local throne,
      The Federal Plan should find him far less sniffy;
    We shall have Parliaments to call our own
      Modelled from that high sample on the Liffey,
          And crown the patient years
        With joy of "England for the English" (_Cheers_).

    Meanwhile, amid the present rude hotch-potch,
      We natives must forgo this satisfaction,
    For still the cry is "England for the Scotch"
      (Or else some other tribe of Celt extraction);
          That's why I shan't be happy
        Till Erin's tedious Isle is off the tapis.

                                             O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BOMB.

I was rather glad to spend my eighteenth birthday in Germany, because I
knew my people would make a special effort in the matter of presents.
They did, and I turned the other girls at the _pension_ green with envy
when I wore them. The only thing that spoilt my day was that there was
nothing at all from Cecil, which was rather a blow.

However, the next morning I received an official document referring to a
parcel waiting for me at the Customs House, and lost no time in getting
there.

It was a long, low building, strewn with packing cases, cardboard boxes
and dirt, with a row of pigeon-holes--some big enough to take an
ostrich--on one side, and a counter defending a row of haughty officials
on the other. Several people were wandering aimlessly about, but no one
took the least notice of me, or appeared to realize I was in my
nineteenth year. So I approached an official in a green uniform with
brass buttons, standing behind the counter. He was tall and stout, and
his hair, being about one millimetre long, showed his head shining
through. He had a fierce fair moustache, and, owing to overwork or
influenza coming on, was perspiring freely.

Trusting he would prove more fatherly than he looked, I held out my
paper. He drew back haughtily, ejaculating: "_Nein!_" and jerked his
head towards a kind of letter-box on the counter. I pushed my paper in
the slot, hoping the etiquette of the thing was all right now; and, as
apparently it was, in his own good time he took the paper from the back
of the box, looked at it, glanced sternly at me, looked at the paper
again, and said severely:

"_Vee--ta--hay--ad?_"

I didn't know what he was driving at till I remembered my name was
Whitehead. So I replied, "_Ja_," thinking his pronunciation not bad for
the first shot. He turned to a pigeon-hole and laid a small square
parcel on the counter addressed to me in Cecil's scrawl. I held out my
hand, but he ignored it, and, picking up a fearsome-looking instrument
consisting of blades, hooks and points--which turned out to be the
official cutter--severed the silly little bit of string, unwrapped the
paper and disclosed a white wooden box with a sliding lid.

I bent forward, but he glared at me and moved it further away, slid back
the lid, removed some shavings and looked inside. His official manner
underwent a change; such a look of sudden human interest showed on his
fat clammy face that I thought he must have found some quite new kind of
sausage. But instead he drew out very gingerly a curious square black
box with a sloping front, two round holes at one side, and a handle at
the other. He put it down on the counter and glared at me.

"_Was ist das?_" he demanded.

"_Ich weiss nicht_," I replied, shaking my head.

It was clear he didn't believe me, and he kept it out of my reach,
turning it carefully about, and in response to a jerk of his chin two or
three of his colleagues came up and glared, first, at me, and than at
the suspicious object. However, he would not let them touch it, but,
squaring his chin and taking a deep breath, he turned the handle.

There was a faint ticking noise, but nothing happened, and I suggested
timidly that he should look through the peep-holes and see what was
going on inside. He frowned at my interference, but taking my advice all
the same, raised the box nearer his fierce eye and turned the handle
once more and with greater force. Instantly there was a loud whirr, and
a bright green trick-serpent leapt through the lid, caught him full on
the nose and sent him back sprawling among his packing cases, carrying
two of his friends with him.

I gave a bit of a squeak, but it was lost among the "_Ach Gotts_" and
"_Himmels_" all round me. Cecil in his wildest dreams had never hoped
for this. Whatever the consequences might be I meant to have my snake,
and while I was collecting it from the floor and cramming it back in the
box I discovered my defence.

Smiling my very best smile, I turned and faced the angry officials the
other side of the counter and, holding the box towards them, pointed to
three printed words underneath: "Made in Germany."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The Prime Minister left Cupar by the 5.29 train.... The motor
     arrived at the station at 5.55 and the party went in leisurely
     fashion down the station steps."--_Glasgow Herald._

What it is to be a Prime Minister! Ordinary mortals arrive at 5.28 and
go down the steps three at a time.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "It is, of course, impossible to dogmatise without conclusive
     evidence."--_Times._

You should hear our curate.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE FIGHT FOR THE BANNER.

JOHN BULL. "THIS TIRES ME. WHY CAN'T YOU CARRY IT BETWEEN YOU? NEITHER
OF YOU CAN CARRY IT ALONE."]

[Illustration: "AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MOSES?"

"PLEASE, TEACHER, IT'S MY FIRST SUNDAY HERE AND I DON'T KNOW ANYBODY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A NONENTITY.

He was a tramp, a mere tramp, clearly a man of no importance to you or
me or anyone else in the world. The evening was warm, the place secluded
and remote, and, other things being equal, he climbed over the hedge,
chose a comfortable position against a haystack, pulled from his pocket
a fragment of a newspaper and a fragment of a pipe and settled down.

A tramp, the merest tramp, seven miles from anywhere, sitting in a field
smoking a pipe and reading a newspaper--what can such a one matter to
the world at large?

The portion of the newspaper was that containing the law reports, not a
prime favourite with the tramp. The lengthy report which had squeezed
out other matter that might have been worth reading was a proceeding
before the Lords of Appeal, in which Sir Rupert Bingley, K.C., M.P., was
being very explicit and very firm about the exact limitations of the
power of the Divisional Court to commit for contempt. This was hardly
fit matter for the reading of a young and susceptible tramp, our man was
telling himself, when the name of a district which he had once traversed
cropped up in the case and caught his wandering attention.

The spot in question was on the wild Welsh border, and it was at a
remote farm thereabouts that the trouble first began over which their
Lordships and Sir Rupert, together with innumerable other senior
counsel, junior counsel, solicitors, law reporters, lay reporters,
ushers, and what-nots were so troubling themselves and each other. The
farmer's stack of clover had been destroyed by fire, and the farmer,
feeling that this was rather the affair of the Insurance Company than
himself, had asked for solatium. The Insurance Company asked who set the
stack on fire; the farmer didn't know; the Insurance Company, having
regard to the size and the recent creation of the policy, were prepared
to guess. The case was heard at Presteign Assizes and the farmer lost
it, the jury who tried it being not quite so sure as was the farmer of
his innocence in the matter.

Encouraged by this, the Insurance Company prosecuted the farmer for
perjury; but the jury that tried this case took almost a stronger view
of the farmer's virtue than he did himself and found a verdict of "Not
Guilty," adding a rider very depreciatory of the Insurance Company.
Encouraged by this verdict, the farmer sued the Insurance Company for
malicious prosecution, but the jury that tried this case had no faith in
either party and disagreed. Another jury were then put in their stead
and they as good as disagreed by finding for the farmer but assessing
the damages at one farthing.

It will be observed that their Lordships have not yet appeared in the
matter, whereas the haystack, the cause of all the trouble, had as good
as disappeared. Meanwhile our tramp, who had seen better days and was
something of a mathematician, calculated that the total sum spent on
counsels' fees alone up to this point was well over two hundred guineas.

Social reformers get mixed up in everything nowadays, and one appeared
in the affair at this juncture. Having chanced to be in court at the
hearing of the Malicious Prosecution suit, he had formed an opinion of
the last-mentioned jury, and in an extremely witty speech, had included
them specifically in the long list of people and things that were no
better than they should, be. One of the jurors had unhappily been among
his audience and, possibly because his experience of another's cause had
endeared him to litigation, he must needs start his action for slander.
By the time that action had been tried, and appealed, and a new trial
ordered and held, and the legal proceedings in the respective
bankruptcies of the social reformer and the juror were completed, the
total of counsels' guineas must have been well on the other side of a
thousand.

Everybody had now forgotten that there ever was a stack involved and no
one would have recollected that the Insurance Company had had anything
to do with it, had not the social reformer, in the course of his public
examination, ingenuously attributed his financial downfall to the
original misbehaviour of that company in disbelieving their
policy-holders when they declared that they were not incendiaries.
Thereupon, after a number of applications by counsel to a number of
courts, the Insurance Company got itself inserted in the Bankruptcy
proceedings, but not before an enterprising newspaper had taken upon
itself to assert that there was an element of truth in the contention of
the social reformer. And then it was that the Contempt proceedings
began, and were fought strenuously stage by stage, each side briefing
more and more counsel as they went along, until at last, when the case
came before their Lordships, there were more barristers involved than
could be seated in the limited accommodation provided at the bar of
their Lordships' House.

To calculate even roughly the final total of counsels' fees was no easy
sum to be done on the fingers. After wrestling with it a little, the
tramp leant back and puffed hard at his pipe--so hard that the sparks
flew and the smoke became thick around him--so thick that "Bless my
soul," said the tramp, rising hurriedly, "there's another stack I've
been and gone and set afire!"

A tramp, a mere tramp going about the country and setting fire to
stacks, is not even he to be reckoned with in the order of things?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Professor (to novice during his first lesson)._ "WHAT ON
EARTH ARE YER DOIN' OVER THERE? YER KNOW YOU'LL 'AVE TO COME AN' DO A
BIT OF IN-FIGHTING IF YER WANT TO FIND MY WEAK SPOT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

APRIL FOR THE EPICURE.

(_An effort to emulate the gustatory enthusiasm of "The P.M.G."_)

April, though regarded as somewhat suspect by meteorologists, appeals
with a peculiar force to gastronomic experts, owing to the number of
delicacies associated with the month.

FISH.

Oysters, like the poor, are still with us, but only till the end of the
month; hence, ostreophils should make the most of their opportunities.
But, besides the "king of crustaceans," as Colonel NEWNHAM-DAVIS happily
termed the oyster, the sea provides us with a quantity of other
succulent denizens of the deep. Foremost among these is the turbot; a
fish held in high honour since the time of the Roman emperors. Nor must
we omit honourable mention of lobster, whitebait, mullet and eels. It is
true that some people have an insuperable aversion from eels, but it is
the mark of the enlightened feeder to conquer these prejudices. Besides,
no one is asked to eat conger-eel at the best houses.

MEAT.

Beef, mutton and pork are in good condition, or, if they are not, they
ought to be. But the ways of the animal world are inscrutable,
especially pigs. Lambs, again, show a strange want of consideration for
the consumer, for, though April 12th is called "Lamb and Gooseberry-Pie
Day," lamb, like veal, is dear just now and shows no signs of becoming
less expensive. This is one of the things which independent back-bench
Members should ask a question about in the House of Commons, or, failing
that, they might write to _The Times_.

VERDANT STUFF.

Lovers of salads should now be conscious of a pleasing titillation, for
this is the green season _par excellence_. Watercress is at its
cressiest; and lettuce springs from the earth for no other reason than
to invite the attentions of those two culinary modistes, oil and
vinegar--the Paquins of the kitchen--and so be "dressed", with highest
elegance.

_LES PETITS OISEAUX._

Pheasants and partridges are, alas! not now obtainable except from cold
storage. But let us not grumble over-much. Let us rather remember that
the more they are neglected by the diner during the mating season the
more of them there will be to eat when the horrid period of restriction
is over. Among the rarer birds which are now on the market to compensate
us may be mentioned the bobolink, the dwarf cassowary, the Bombay
duckling and the skewbald fintail. The last-named bird, which comes to
us from Algeria, is renowned for its savoury quality and is cooked in
butter and madeira, with a _soupçon_ of cayenne. The effect of the
cayenne is to merge the too prominent black and white of the flesh into
an appetising grey. The Rhodesian sparrow is another highly esteemed
delicacy, which does itself most justice when seethed in a casserole
with antimony, garlic and a few drops of eau-de-Cologne.

RHUBARB.

This is an extremely painful subject. Let us hurriedly pass to something
more congenial.

EXOTIC FRUIT.

An agreeable seasonal feature is the widening of the horizon to the
fruit lover. All sorts of delightful foreign species and sub-species may
now be bad for cash or (if one is lucky) credit--such as bomboudiac,
angelica, piperazine, zakuska, shalloofs and pampooties. A delicious
pampootie fool can be made quite cheaply as follows: 3 lb. of
pampooties, 8 oz. of angelica paregoric, 1 imperial pint of sloe gin, 1
gill of ammoniated quinine, 9 oz. of rock salt. Boil the sloe gin and
quinine to a frazzle, put in the pampooties, cut in thin slices, and
take out an insurance policy.

PLOVERS' EGGS.

These eggs by a strange freak of nature are more easily obtainable in
April and May than in any other month. In fact in December they are
worth their weight in gold, and are then to be found on the tables only
of Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. HARRY LAUDER and Mr. JOHN
BURNS. To-day they are anything from ninepence to a shilling each, and
in a fortnight's time they will be sixpence each, with the added
pleasure to the consumer of now and then finding a young plover inside.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "BUY A PUZZLE, SIR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "On Wednesday of last week an express train dashed into a flock of
     sheep being driven over a level crossing at Northallerton to-day."

     _Meat Trades' Journal._

Only an express train could arrive a week early; the other ones are
always late.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a calendar:--

     "April 6th. Dividends due. 'We needs must love the highest when we
     see it.'"

Unfortunately we don't often see it.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOCTURNE.

(_A Golf-match has recently been played at Bushey by night._)

  Not in the noontide's horrid glare
    When nervousness and lunch combined
  And James's shoes and well-oiled hair
  Perturb me, but when Cynthia fair
        In heaven is shrined,
  I show my perfect form, and play
  Big brassie-shots like EDWARD RAY.
  By night I am _plus_ four. By day----
        Well, never mind.

  With elfin stance I stride the tee
    And deal my orb an amorous slap
  In the mid-moonshine's mystery,
  And Puck preserves the stroke for me
        From foul mishap;
  Pan saves me from the casual pot
  And Dryad nymphs upbear my shot
  Outstripping James's (James has got
        No soul, poor chap).

  The little pixies of the wood
    Come thronging round him while he putts;
  They do his game no kind of good
  But many an unseen toadstool-hood
        Their craft unshuts;
  They turn his eye-balls to and fro
  And make marsh-lanterns round him glow;
  He is all off, whilst I am--oh!
        One of the nuts.

  The gossips by the club-room fire
    Applaud my game with constant din:
  "Approach-work never was so dire,
  No mashies on this earth expire
        So near the tin;
  You ought to watch his tee-shots whizz
  At number nine. Hot stuff he is.
  The captain's lunar vase is his,
        If he goes in."

  And so I do. My argent sphere
    Goes speeding through the night's opaque;
  No hazards of the sand I fear,
  The heavenly huntress keeps me clear
        Of thorn and brake;
  Not Dionysus' spotted ounce
  More featly on the sward may bounce;
  I hover like a hawk at pounce,
        Putt out----and wake.

                              EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Spring Fashions.

     "A waistcoat of tan and a limp lawn collar flowing over the
     shoulders make a good suit."

     _Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

ORANGES AND LEMONS.

VI.--THE RECORD OF IT.

"I shall be glad to see Peter again," said Dahlia, as she folded up her
letter from home.

Peter's previous letter, dictated to his nurse-secretary, had, according
to Archie, been full of good things. Cross-examination of the proud
father, however, had failed to reveal anything more stirring than "'I
love mummy,' and--er--so on."

We were sitting in the loggia after what I don't call breakfast--all of
us except Simpson, who was busy with a mysterious package. We had not
many days left; and I was beginning to feel that, personally, I should
not be sorry to see things like porridge again. Each to his taste.

"The time has passed absurdly quickly," said Myra. "We don't seem to
have done _anything_--except enjoy ourselves. I mean anything specially
Rivierish.' But it's been heavenly."

"We've done lots of Rivierish things," I protested. "If you'll be quiet
a moment I'll tell you some."

These were some of the things;

(1) We had been to the Riviera. (Nothing could take away from that. We
had the labels on our luggage.)

(2) We had lost heavily (thirty francs) at the Tables. (This alone
justified the journey.)

(3) Myra had sat next to a Prince at lunch. (Of course she might have
done this in London, but so far there has been no great rush of Princes
to our little flat. Dukes, Mayors, Companions of St. Michael and St.
George, certainly; but, somehow, not Princes.)

(4) Simpson had done the short third hole at Mt. Agel in three. (His
first had cleverly dislodged the ball from the piled-up tee; his second,
a sudden nick, had set it rolling down the hill to the green; and the
third, an accidental putt, had sunk it.)

(5) Myra and I had seen Corsica. (Question.)

(6) And finally, and best of all, we had sat in the sun, under a blue
sky, above a blue sea, and watched the oranges and lemons grow.

So, though we had been to but few of the famous beauty spots around, we
had had a delightfully lazy time; and as proof that we had not really
been at Brighton there were, as I have said, the luggage labels. But we
were to be able to show further proof. At this moment Simpson came out
of the house, his face beaming with excitement, his hands carefully
concealing something behind his back.

"Guess what I've got," he said eagerly.

"The sack," said Thomas.

"Your new vests," said Archie.

"Something that will interest us all," helped Simpson.

"I withdraw my suggestion," said Archie.

"Something we ought to have brought with us all along."

"More money," said Myra.

The tension was extreme. It was obvious that our consuming anxiety would
have to be relieved very speedily. To avoid a riot, Thomas went behind
Simpson's back and took his surprise away from him.

"A camera," he said. "Good idea."

Simpson was all over himself with bon-hommy.

"I suddenly thought of it the other night," he said, smiling round at
all of us in his happiness, "and I was just going to wake Thomas up to
tell him, when I thought, I'd keep it a secret. So I wrote to a friend
of mine and asked him to send me out one, and some films and things,
just as a surprise for you."

"Samuel, you _are_ a dear," said Myra, looking at him lovingly.

"You see, I thought, Myra, you'd like to have some records of the place,
because they're so jolly to look back on, and--er, I'm not quite sure
how you work it, but I expect some of you know, and--er----"

"Come on," said Myra, "I'll show you." She retired with Simpson to a
secluded part of the loggia and helped him put the films in.

"Nothing can save us," said Archie. "We are going to be taken together
in a group. Simpson will send it to one of the picture papers, and we
shall appear as 'Another Merry Little Party of well-known Sun-seekers.
Names from left to right: Blank, blank, Mr. Archibald Mannering, blank,
blank.' I'd better go and brush my hair."

Simpson returned to us, nervous and fully charged with advice.

"Right, Myra, I see. That'll be all right. Oh, look here, do you--oh
yes, I see. Right. Now then--wait a bit--oh yes, I've got it. Now then,
what shall we have first? A group?"

"Take the house and the garden and the village," said Thomas. "You'll
see plenty of _us_ afterwards."

"The first one is bound to be a failure," I pointed out. "Rather let him
fail at us, who are known to be beautiful, than, at the garden, which
has its reputation yet to make. Afterwards, when he has got the knack,
he will be able to do justice to the scenery."

Archie joined us again, followed by the bull-dog. We grouped ourselves
picturesquely.

"That looks ripping," said Simpson. "Oh, look here, Myra, do you---- No,
don't come; you'll spoil the picture. I suppose you have to--oh, it's
all right, I think I've got it."

"I shan't try to look handsome this time," said Archie; "it's not worth
it. I shall just put an ordinary blurred expression on."

"Now, are you ready? Don't move. Quite still, please; quite----"

"It's instantaneous, you know," said Myra gently.

This so unnerved Simpson that he let the thing off without any further
warning, before we had time to get our expressions natural.

"That was all right, Myra, wasn't it?" he said proudly.

"I'm--I'm afraid you had your hand over the lens, Samuel dear."

"Our new photographic series: 'Palms of the Great.' No. 1, Mr. S.
Simpson's," murmured Archie.

"It wouldn't have been a very good one anyhow," I said encouragingly.
"It wasn't typical. Dahlia should have had an orange in her hand, and
Myra might have been resting her cheek against a cactus. Try it again,
Simpson, and get a little more colour into it."

He tried again and got a lot more colour into it.

"Strictly speaking," said Myra sadly, "you ought to have got it on to a
new film."

Simpson looked in horror at the back of his camera, found that he had
forgotten to turn the handle, apologised profusely, and wound up very
gingerly till the number "2" approached. "Now then," he said, looking up
... and found himself alone.

       *       *       *

As I write this in London I have Simpson's album in front of me. Should
you ever do us the honour of dining with us (as I hope you will), and
(which seems impossible) should there ever come a moment when the
conversation runs low, and you are revolving in your mind whether it is
worth while asking us if we have been to any theatres lately, then I
shall produce the album, and you will be left in no doubt that we are
just back from the Riviera. You will see oranges and lemons and olives
and cactuses and palms; blue sky (if you have enough imagination) and
still bluer sea; picturesque villas, curious effects of rocks, distant
backgrounds of mountain ... and on the last page the clever kindly face
of Simpson.

The whole affair will probably bore you to tears.

But with Myra and me the case of course is different. We find these
things, as Simpson said, very jolly to look back on.

                                               A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: [_Extract from Sentries' Orders_: "In case of man
overboard, will throw the ship's life-buoy overboard, and report to the
ship's officer on the bridge. In case of fire will at once report it
quietly to the ship's officer on the bridge."]

_Officer of the Watch (on transport)._ "WHAT DO YOU DO IN CASE OF FIRE?"

_Nervous Sentry._ "THROW MESELF OVERBOARD AN' REPORT AT ONCE TO THE
BLOKE ON THE BALCONY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

IN SEARCH OF PETER.

Martell is one of those men that you might live next door to for
half-a-century and never know any better. It is entirely owing to his
wife and her love for Peter that Martell and I have discovered each
other to be quite companionable fellows with many tastes in common, and
I am smoking one of his cigars at the present moment.

Peter is the most precious and the most coveted of my possessions. He is
coveted, or was, chiefly by Mrs. Martell, who fell in love with his name
and his deep romantic eyes. Apart from these I can see nothing
remarkable in him. He is certainly the most irresponsible hound that
ever sat down in front of a motor-car to attend to his personal
cleanliness, but still I should not like to part with him. "We must have
a Peter," was the text of Mrs. Martell's domestic monologues, and of
late, before the great disillusionment--that is, after hinting
delicately to me that she would like best of all to have _the_
Peter--she took to sallying forth, armed with the name, into the
purlieus of dog-fanciers to find a criminal that would fit the
punishment.

I was not altogether surprised, therefore, one afternoon when a note was
brought in asking me to step round and have a cup of tea. Martell was
monosyllabic as usual, and we sat and gazed into the fire.

"I don't suppose you would like to part with Peter," he said suddenly.

"I certainly should not," I answered.

Then, after a pause, "Could you tell a good lie?" he asked.

I looked up in astonishment, but just then Mrs. Martell entered and
plunged _in medias res_. She had just returned from the last of those
fruitless expeditions, and the slow realization that there can be only
one Peter in the world had brought her nearly to tears.

"And I've bought such a sweet little collar for him," she said, "with
'Peter' printed in big letters."

I remembered then that the original dog was in daily danger of being
arrested, his very aged collar having been chewed to pulp after his last
castigation therewith.

"And a dear little pair of soft slippers, one for him to play with, and
the other to smack him with if he's ever naughty, although I don't think
he could be--your Peter, I mean. Have you slippers for him?"

"Well, not a pair," I said, "and not exactly slippers. One's a
golf-ball, the other's more in the nature of a boot."

"Oh, but he 's such a sweet-tempered little creature, isn't he?"

I felt Martell's eye upon, me.

"Very," I said; "his early upbringing gave him a healthy body and a
mellow heart. He was born in a brewery, you know, and never tasted water
until I flung him into the canal the first day I had him. Since then, as
often as he has time, he goes to bathe in the scummiest parts, and then
comes and tells me all about it with any amount of circumstantial
evidence. Most enthusiastic little swimmer he is."

"What a funny dog! But I should never allow him to go out alone--if he
were mine, I mean. And what sort of food do you give him?"

"Well, he tried to swallow one of my white ties last night."

"Oh, but I should give him proper food," she said. "He doesn't hate
cats, does he? I couldn't bear a dog that did."

My eyes met Martell's for one moment, then I cleared my throat. Slowly
and sadly I opened the history of Peter militant, with unacknowledged
borrowings from the lives of other Peters with other names. Beginning
with cats I had seen in my garden looking as if they felt rather blurred
and indistinct, I passed on through cats speechless and perforated, to
cats that were. I told sad stories of the deaths of cats. I talked of
nights of agonising shrieks, and mornings of guilty eyes and
blood-stained lips. My store of reminiscences lasted five minutes, and
before Mrs. Martell had recovered from their recitation I pleaded a
pressing engagement and took my departure.

You will now understand why I count Martell among my friends and am at
this moment, as I said before, smoking one of his cigars. It came in a
box of a hundred, with the laconic note, "One for each."

As I write, my dog and my black kitten are barging in perfect accord all
round my legs in pursuit of a brand-new collar with "Peter" printed in
big letters.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NEW CRAZE.

"WHAT A TRAGIC FACE YOU HAVE, MISS POOTLE."

"YES, YOU SEE, I _ADORE_ MISERY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Notice outside a station of the Wirral Railway Co.:--

     "Loiterers on the Company's premises or annoying passengers will be
     prosecuted."

The passenger who annoys us most and seems worthiest of prosecution is
the fifth on our side of the carriage.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANNABEL LEE.

  Up and down on the fresh-ploughed levels,
    All for the sake of their lady fair,
  Two cock-partridges fought like devils,
    Hammer-and-tongs and a hop in the air;
  And I and "Basket" Annabel Lee--
  Elderly tinking gyp is she--
  We leaned on the paling and watched it go;
    And "Eh," said she, "now a fight 'tis cruel,
    But of all the compliments 'tis the jewel!
  May I die to-day, but I know, I know
    There's naught as a young maid's 'eart takes better
    Than a couple o' big chaps out to get her
  Through a dozen o' dustin' rounds or so.

  "Bet my bonnet it strikes you funny,
    Seein' I'm risin' seventy-three,
  To think o' me once as sweet as honey;
    Lor' how their fists went 'long o' me!
  Jake Poltevo and Pembroke Bill,
  I saw 'em then, and I sees 'em still,
  Eh, how their fists went--_thud! crack! thud!_
    None o' your booze-house scraps, Lor' love 'em;
    Turf to their feet and the sky above 'em--
  Stripped, bare-knuckle and mucked wi' blood;
    Queer thing, ain't it, I still thinks pleasure
    In the strength o' a man, bein' old, by measure,
  And plain, you'd say, as a pint o' mud?

  "Scared me fine at the time, though; weepin'
    I 'id my face in the 'azels low;
  Tip-toe soon I was back a-peepin',
    Couldn't 'a' helped were it never so;
  Each as good as the other chap--
  Bad old woman I be, may'ap;
  But eh, I loved 'em, the fine young men.
    Marry a one of 'em? Why no, never;
    They wasn't a-marryin' me whatever;
  But I likes to think of 'em now and then;
    For, of all the compliments, _that_ was candy,
    And--ain't them dicky-birds at it dandy?
  I knows the pride o' their pretty 'en!
  Eh, but I loved 'em, me fine young men!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FROM FIFE TO HARP.

MR. ASQUITH. "ONE MORE BONNIE TOOTLE, AND THEN BACK TO THAT DREARY OLD
HARP."]

[Illustration: A FORETASTE OF HOME RULE HARMONY

"Mr. Devlin here interposed with a remark which was not heard in the
gallery, and Mr. W. O'Brien, turning round to where the hon. member was
sitting, called out in an angry tone something which was not clearly
heard."--"_Times'" Report._]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: If only Sir EDWARD CARSON belonged to some other
oppressed nationality--Armenia, for instance!]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Commons, Monday, April 6._--At third time of asking Home Rule
Bill read a second time. Odd feature, in curious sitting that hotly
contested measure passed crucial stage without a division. House divided
on WALTER LONG'S amendment for its rejection. When thereupon SPEAKER put
the question that "the Bill be now read a second time" there was none to
say him nay. Some folk of hopeful habit see in this incident a forecast
of the end.

Debate unexpectedly decorous, not to say decidedly dull. TIM HEALY did
something to lift it out of rut. But he was more concerned to belabour
JOHN REDMOND and to dig DEVLIN in the ribs than to argue merits of
measure. Taunted his much-loved fellow-patriot and countryman with
facing both ways on question of exclusion of Ulster. ATTORNEY-GENERAL
declared that PREMIER'S offer of exclusion for period of six years was
still open. REDMOND, believing it was dead, had, TIM said, prepared its
coffin, "and now the ATTORNEY-GENERAL comes along and forces fresh
oxygen into the corpse."

As for DEVLIN, he was introduced accidentally at end of harangue. Had
interposed comment inaudible to main body of House, but safely assumed
not to be complimentary. WILLIAM O'BRIEN turned round with angry retort.

"There is," mused TIM, "one gentleman from whom on historical grounds I
had expected firmness in regard to Ulster. It is the gentleman who has
just interrupted me, and the grounds of expectation are that in ancient
time downward from the flight of the earls the DEVLINS were the
hereditary horse-boys of the O'NEILLS."

Remark perhaps scarcely relevant to Home Rule Bill or motion for its
Second Reading. But it soothed TIM and didn't hurt DEVLIN.

BIRRELL having made cheery speech on situation generally, PETO rose with
amiable intention of continuing debate. House had had enough of it.
Persistently cried aloud for division. Amid hubbub PETO shouted
dissatisfaction at top of his voice. Unequal contest maintained for only
a few minutes, when MCKENNA in charge of business of House during
absence of his elders nipped in with motion for Closure.

This carried, LONG'S amendment negatived by 356 votes against 276.
Majority for Government, 80. Motion for Second Reading unchallenged;
amid prolonged cheering from Ministerialists and Irish Nationalists Bill
read a second time.

_Business done._--For third time in course of three successive sessions
Home Rule Bill passes Second Reading stage.

_Tuesday._--BROWNING, longing to be in England "now that April's there,"
would have been disappointed had it been possible for him to turn up
to-day. So dark and dank that at three o'clock, when Questions opened,
electric light was turned on. Revealed dreary array of half-empty
benches. Had Closure been promptly moved a count out inevitable.

As in time of war the cutting off of superior officers brings
comparatively young ones to chief command, MCKENNA (in the absence of
PREMIER, CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER, and FOREIGN SECRETARY) sits in the
seat of the mighty in charge of Government business. Fills the part
excellently. Ten days ago SPEAKER cheered House by announcement that
there should be no more Supplementary Questions. Welcome resolution
either forgotten or deliberately ignored. Supplementary Questions,
almost exclusively argumentative, assertive, or personally offensive,
buzzed about Treasury bench like bees at mouth of hive. HOME SECRETARY,
alert, self-possessed, deftly parried attack.

While Questions on printed paper were being duly picked up, put and
answered, midway in melancholy proceeding there entered Distinguished
Strangers' Gallery a small group of gorgeously clad princes from the
storied East. They surveyed the scene with keen interest. In their
far-off home they had read and talked of the House of Commons, the
central controlling force of wide-spread Empire, whereof their
possessions were as a bit of fringe. They had travelled far to look upon
it. And here in this comparatively small chamber, scantily peopled, they
beheld it.

  Is this the face that launched a thousand ships
  And stormed the topmost towers of Ilium?

Fortunately for reputation of the House ROWLAND HUNT chanced to be to
the fore. The other day, burning with patriotism, he issued a circular
letter addressed to non-commissioned officers of the Army, advising them
how to act in certain contingencies relating to Ulster. It happens that
one CROWSLEY had previously circulated amongst soldiers at Aldershot a
handbill urging the men to disobey orders when on duty. He was
prosecuted for inciting to mutiny, convicted and sentenced. Members in
Radical stronghold below Gangway want to know wherein the two cases
differ, and why, if CROWSLEY is in gaol, the Member for South Shropshire
should go free?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL, to whom questions were addressed, diplomatically
discriminated. Came to conclusion not to employ services of PUBLIC
PROSECUTOR. So ROWLAND HUNT remains with us.

_Business done._--A couple of small Government Bills advanced a stage.
House talked out at eleven o'clock.

_Wednesday._--Adjournment for brief Easter Holiday. Back on Tuesday.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Sir EDWARD GREY (_in Sutherlandshire on the day of the
final debate on the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill_). "Ireland?
Ireland? Where have I heard that name?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COWL.

     _Murdoch McWhannel, 3, Poynings Avenue, Glasgow, N.W._, to _Messrs.
     Fairley and Willing, house-factors there_.

     _January 3, 191--._

     I have been seriously annoyed for some weeks now by a noisy
     chimney-cowl on your property at 15, Poynings Road. It is on the
     stack of chimneys at the rear of your property, and within about
     fifty yards of the back windows of this house. During the recent
     high winds the cowl has kept up a continual shrieking, day and
     night, which has been extremely destructive to "Nature's sweet
     restorer, balmy sleep." I trust that you will be so good as to have
     the cowl overhauled, and this cause of disturbance removed.

     _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_ to _Murdoch McWhannel_.

     _January 6, 191-._

     _Re_ your letter of 3rd curt., the chimney cowl at 15, Poynings
     Road shall have our immediate attention.

     _Murdoch McWhannel_ to _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_.

     _January 7, 191-._

     I have to thank you for your prompt and courteous reply to my
     letter of 3rd January, and am glad to know that the noisy cowl will
     have your immediate attention.

     _The Same_ to _the Same_.

     _January 14, 191-._

     May I remind you that in your letter of 6th January you were good
     enough to promise that the noisy cowl at 15, Poynings Road would
     have your immediate attention? Of course I know that it is
     difficult to get tradesmen to work so soon after the New Year
     holidays, but they should now be available, and the cowl is having
     a very serious effect on the health and nerves of the residents
     here.

     _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_ to _Murdoch McWhannel_.

     _January 17, 191-._

     _Re_ chimney cowl at 15, Poynings Road and your letter of 14th
     curt., we are surprised to receive same. We sent out a tradesman on
     January 11, who reported same date that he had oiled and adjusted
     the cowl, and that it would give no further trouble. If you are
     still troubled, some other cowl must be causing it now. We
     understand, from enquiries made on the spot, that there is a noisy
     one, not on our property at all, but on Hathaway Mansions. We hope
     you will find this explanation satisfactory.

     _Murdoch McWhannel_ to _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_.

     _January 19, 191-._

     I am surprised by the contents of your letter of 17th, for which I
     am much obliged. If your tradesman attended to a cowl on the back
     stack of your property at 15, Poynings Road, on January 11, he must
     have attended to the wrong cowl. One can readily understand that if
     he adjusted and oiled a cowl which had not been making any noise it
     would continue to be silent. The error might easily occur,
     especially so soon after the New Year holidays. This is the only
     explanation I can think of, for the noise has been as bad as ever.
     I trust you will have the matter further looked into, as the
     situation, especially in regard to my wife's nerves, is becoming
     more and more serious.

     _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_ to _Murdoch McWhannel_.

     _January 23, 191-._

     _In re_ chimney cowl at 15, Poynings Road and your letter of
     January 19, we can only say that it surprises us very much. We
     employ only the most competent tradesmen, who could not possibly
     make the kind of mistake you suppose. We beg to refer you to the
     part of our letter of January 17 referring to Hathaway Mansions.

     _Murdoch McWhannel_ to _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_.

     _January 24, 191-._

     I regret very much the tone of your letter of January 23. It is
     hardly courteous to suggest, as your letter does, that I cannot
     distinguish between the noise of a cowl on Hathaway Mansions, which
     are fully 150 yards away, and one which is practically just above
     my bedroom. As I write this letter, seated at a table at the window
     of my study, I can actually see the cowl shrieking--if you will
     pardon a figure of speech which has perhaps a Hibernian flavour. As
     my study is built out to the back of this house, it is parallel
     with your property at 15, Poynings Road. I am within fifty yards of
     the offending cowl. The noise it makes rises and falls in
     shrillness according to the speed at which the cowl revolves under
     the pressure of the wind. We are not disturbed at all by any cowl
     on Hathaway Mansions, but by this one of yours, about which I wrote
     you first so long ago as January 3. I have kept a diary of the cowl
     since then and for some days earlier, showing the number of hours
     per day that we have been annoyed by it, the number of times it has
     prevented us from getting to sleep at the usual time, the number of
     nights we have been wakened from the same cause, and the number of
     mornings when we have been prematurely wakened, often as early as
     seven o'clock, and prevented from getting to sleep again. I shall
     be glad to send you a copy of this document for your information.
     The original I must retain, in case any legal proceedings should be
     necessary, as I have had each item in the diary certified by my
     wife and our house-tablemaid, a very intelligent and observant
     girl. I hope, however, it may not be necessary to take any legal
     steps, such as an action of interdict and damages at my instance,
     or a prosecution for nuisance at the instance of the public
     authority, which in this case would be the City Council, to a
     number of which body I am not altogether unknown. In fact I may say
     I took the opportunity of mentioning the matter to Bailie McPartan
     at a municipal conversazione to which my wife and I were invited
     last week. I do not wish to trouble you by writing at any undue
     length on this subject, but I think it right and only fair to tell
     you that owing to the actual noise of the cowl, and perhaps even
     more (as our doctor says) to the mental strain of listening to hear
     whether it is going to begin again, my wife is on the verge of a
     complete nervous collapse, which seems likely to necessitate some
     weeks' rest cure in a nursing home, and possibly a trip to the
     Canaries. I am advised by my lawyer that these are contingent
     liabilities, the burden of which would fall upon you as the owner
     of the cowl. In these circumstances I feel sure you will favour the
     immediate removal of this nuisance.

     _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_ to _Murdoch McWhannel_.

     _January 27, 191-._

     Your letter of 24th curt. will receive immediate attention at the
     hands of our solicitors. Messrs. Samson and Samuel, 114, North
     Regent Street, to whom perhaps you will kindly address any further
     communications you may think necessary _re_ cowl.

     _Gilbert Macdonald, 5, Poynings Avenue, Glasgow, N.W._, to _George
     Willing, house factor_.

     _February 3, 191-._

     DEAR WILLING,--For Heaven's sake, as an old friend, spike or remove
     the chimney cowl that McWhannel at No. 3 has written you about. He
     has called on me twice and written three long letters, "to enlist
     my sympathy and support." He is the most poisonous kind of bore,
     and I'll gladly pay for the removal of the cowl, if that's the only
     way of muzzling him.

     _Reply by telephone, summarised._ _Willing_ to _Macdonald_.

     _February 4, 191-._

I would do so, for friendship's sake, but I've just sold the property. I
preferred that to having any more letters from him.

     _Messrs. Fairley and Willing_ to _Murdoch McWhannel_.

     _February 14, 191-._

     _Re_ your letters to Messrs. Samson and Samuel of January 29th and
     31st, and February 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th, and your telegrams of 12th
     and 13th, we have now pleasure in advising you that we have sold
     the property at 15, Poynings Road, including the cowl, to the
     Corporation. We understand that the Corporation propose to use the
     premises as a reception house in connection with their Home for
     Lost Dogs, and we trust that this arrangement will be satisfactory
     to you.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HINTS TO ARTISTS AND WRITERS WHO NEED TO ADVERTISE
THEMSELVES BY SOME ECCENTRICITY OF COSTUME.

WHILE THE MOST ELABORATE ATTEMPTS TO DRAW ATTENTION OFTEN FALL FLAT,
SOMETIMES THE SMALLEST DEVIATION FROM THE USUAL MAY PROVE
IRRESISTIBLE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

From an Oxford Street wine merchant's advt.:--

     "Equal to the so-called First Quality brands."

       *       *       *

     "He was defended by Mr. Macbottle of whisky."--_Scotch paper._

The Macbottles (of whisky) are a very well-known Highland clan.

       *       *       *       *       *

"At Sapphire Lodge in Vincent Square, W. A. Randall Wells has lately
painted two rooms in a manner which combines novelty very successfully
with a sound tradition." Speaking of the bedroom, _The Times_ goes on to
say that "there are passages from the 'Sensitive Blast' finely written
on vellum in every panel." Certainly this variation on the title of
SHELLEY'S poem seems to "combine novelty very successfully with a sound
tradition."

       *       *       *       *       *

A VILLAIN IN REVOLT.

  I have been in a fair dust-up in Denver City,
    Made many a baresark rush;
  I have bluffed with Death in my time and scooped the kitty,
    Smashing a cool straight flush;
  I have gouged my jack-knife deep in a victim's thorax
    (Golly, how the blood did gush!);
  I have scalped some dozens of skulls with an Indian war-axe
    Without being put to the blush.

  I've killed with stilettos at times and with crude sandbagging,
    Or a brute belaying-pin;
  With a twisted cord I have frequently done my scragging,
    And doped with devilish gin;
  I remember once in a boarding-house racket at Rio
    How my snickersnee snicked clean in;
  And I booted a blackguard to death with consid'rable _brio_
    One evening in Tien-tsin.

  I've run amok with a kris and sent men howling;
    With a kukri I've killed my prey;
  I'm an amateur still--I admit it--at disembow'ling,
    But I've settled a few that way;
  And I mind me well (for I still can sniff the aroma
    Of that particular fray)
  How I quartered and cut into ribbons some beggars at Boma
    On rather a busy day.

  But I'm blowed--being really a rabid humanitarian,
    And a vegetarian too--
  If I mean to devour an unfortunate fellow Aryan
    In the Island of Oahu.
  I have done dire deeds by request, without any evasion,
    But this thing I will not do;
  If they won't be content with a "fake" for this single occasion,
    My cinema job is through.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a list of popular novels:--

  "_The Beloved Premier_, by H. MAXWELL.
  _The Greater Law_, by VICTORIA CROSS."

Politicians can take their choice.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Latest Cinema Poster.

  "Our Sea Rooms now open.
  No Finer Death."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Men that Matter.

  Sound the clarion, FILSON, FYFE,
    To all the reading world proclaim
  One signed half-column, straight from life,
    Is worth a page without a name.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ART OF CONVERSATION.

I had a terrible experience yesterday, one of life's inky black hours
which will bring a shudder whenever in future days memory seizes an idle
moment to refresh herself. I had been dining with Scarfield and his
mother at Hampstead, and with the entry of the coffee he had pleaded a
sudden dyspepsia and withdrawn. So his mother, a dear colourless old
lady, undertook to entertain me. By her desire I lighted a cigar.

She mentioned that she had just returned from a visit to Glasgow, and I
remarked intelligently that Glasgow was a fine place. Considering for a
moment, she observed that she thought the weather in Glasgow was colder
than that of the South of England; and I said, Yes, very likely, I had
heard so. In about two minutes she qualified her statement by informing
me that the South of England was as a rule milder than Glasgow. I
replied that it appeared to me very possible, adding recklessly that
they had peculiarly mixed weather in Glasgow, which she seemed to think
rather a questionable presentment of the case for the North, for she
kept silent and ruminated for seven or eight minutes. My mind took a
little excursion to Putney, where I have friends. But, before I had
really settled at Putney, the lady's voice intimated that perhaps they
had more rain in Glasgow than in the South of England.

I came back from Putney with a slight mental wrench, yet sufficiently
clear-headed to say decidedly that Glasgow, on the whole, had a much
better climate than the South, because I had once spent a day there, and
the sun shone the whole time, so I ought to know. Then I started off
again, and had just reached Walham Green (one does not speak of these
places, but I may tell you that it is a station on the way to Putney,
where I have a friend), when she responded with lightning-like swiftness
that it couldn't be healthy to live in Glasgow. This bordered on
repartee, so I countered rapidly with the brilliant suggestion that a
good many people managed to live there, hoping she would not score by
the obvious rejoinder that a good many people died there. If she had, I
can't imagine how I should have extricated myself. Luckily she merely
murmured, "Ah, yes," and reflected. I was just stepping off the train at
a station (Putney--to be explicit, it is a lady friend) when there
seemed to be a collision, and I caught myself saying, "Indeed!" though I
don't know why. She nodded approval, however, and I ventured on a
meditative "Ye-es."

"But they don't seem to mind," she said, glancing at me blandly through
her spectacles. "_Do_ they?"

"You see," I answered, chancing it, "they are so used to it." She smiled
and agreed.

"That must be the reason," she said. For what, I hadn't the remotest
idea; but this just shows what presence of mind will do for one in an
emergency.

"What a difference they must find," I went on boldly, and lapsed into a
muse. She sighted it, however, and replied in less than five minutes--

"You mean now that the old-fashioned ones are coming in again?"

Here was a catastrophe. Did she refer to hats, or skirts, or Christmas
cards? What sudden original observation had I unfortunately missed
during that last journey South-westward? At all costs I must keep cool.
I pulled myself together and plunged.

"Yes," I said. "You see the old-fashioned ones were so awfully tight,
weren't they?"

"Tight?" she echoed. "Not _tight_."

"Well, not exactly _tight_," I answered, feeling rather distracted. "I
meant large."

She looked at me suspiciously, I thought. "_I_ think they're too long,"
she said, "and such a lot of people in them."

This was growing too complicated, and I wished heartily we had stuck to
Glasgow and its weather.

"One finds them," she added, "so hard to follow."

I racked my miserable brain for anything that was lengthy, populous, and
difficult to follow; in vain.

"Still," I gasped, glancing at the door, "one can always ... one can
generally ... one can sometimes sit down ... for a rest ... if one is
dreadfully tired," I explained.

She gazed at me reproachfully.

"I don't usually stand at the back of the pit," she said. "The last time
Fred took me we had stalls."

"How--how _jolly_!" I murmured. "I was thinking of--of----"

"If you please, Mr. Fred would like some soda-water and a few biscuits
taken up, Ma'am," said the servant, entering softly.

I rose.

"Must you go?" protested my conversationalist. "Oh, I am so sorry! But
come again soon--you have kept me quite lively. Good-bye."

I took the tube to Charing Cross and changed there for Putney and Ethel.
(Did I mention that her name was Ethel?) But when I told Ethel about it
afterwards she said she thought sarcasm in elderly ladies was very
objectionable.

       *       *       *       *       *

COMMERCIAL ART.

  Across the sundering gulf of time
    I lift a song to you,
  Melodious as a minster chime,
    Loud, I expect, as two.
  Years have flown swiftly since we met;
  Do you, remembered one, forget
    The rapturous moment and sublime
  When I drew near to you? I bet
    A half-a-crown you do.

  Your name I never learned--Hélène,
    Beryl, perhaps Marie,
  Phyllis, Estelle, or merely Jane--
    It makes no odds to me.
  I hymn you, maiden, none the less;
  I toil in rhyme and metre; yes,
    From noon till eve I bear the pain
  Of this prolonged poetic stress
    (With half-an-hour for tea).

  Carrots your hair was (_i.e._, red;
    "Carrots" is just my fun);
  Blue were your eyes, and from them sped
    A gleam that mocked the sun--
  I _think_ that's so, but, as I say,
  Time has moved quickly since that day,
    And few, too few, the words we said
  When languidly, as beauty may,
    You handed me a bun.

  Calmly you took it from the place
    Where it was used to sit,
  And I can still recall the grace
    With which you dusted it.
  I paid you, and we parted; so
  Life's rich adventures come and go!
    And did that brief glimpse of your face
  Set love within me surging? No,
    It didn't. Not a bit.

  I only sing because I must;
    Not mine the fret, the throb
  Of fevered passion; verse is just
    My livelihood, or job.
  Searching for themes, I had a clear,
  Swift vision of your dial; queer
    How such things happen, but I trust
  These lines will bring me in, my dear,
    £1 or 30s.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT THE COSTUMIER'S.

"OH YES, SHE'S SMART, BUT SHE HASN'T AN IDEA IN HER VOCABULARY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BURNING QUESTION.

Feeling that not all the representative voices have been heard with
regard to the question of smoking in theatres, _Mr. Punch_ has been
making further inquiries. The replies are appended:--

_General VILLA V. VILLA._ I think that smoking should be permitted
everywhere.

_Mr. MAX PEMBERTON._ I am totally opposed to giving theatres the same
comfortable rules as the variety halls. If people may smoke at musical
comedies they are in danger of avoiding revues.

_Mr. G. K. CHESTERTON._ I am in favour of giving the public all they
want. Let them smoke if they wish to, everywhere and everywhen. Let them
also chew and take snuff: a private snuff-box should be attached to
every stall.

_Mr. VICTOR GRAYSON._ I would support smoking in theatres if pipes were
permitted. But of course they won't be.

_Mr. BERNARD SHAW (to whom no inquiry was addressed, but that did not
prevent his sending a long letter on the subject, the purport of which
is that there should be no smoking anywhere)._ Had I ever smoked I
should not now be the first intellectual in Europe.

_Sir JAMES CRICHTON-BROWNE._ No smoking in theatres for me. And if I go
to the Gaiety and find that a cigar or cigarette on my right or left
singes my whiskers I will have the law of Mr. GEORGE EDWARDES.

"_Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch._" Let there be smoking, but let some
kind of control be kept on the brands of cigars that are smoked.

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ I am in favour of the extension of all taxable
luxuries.

_Mr. EUSTACE MILES._ Most London theatres are now so grossly
over-ventilated that I welcome the idea of tobacco as helping to redress
the balance.

_Master ANTHONY ASQUITH._ Surely if there is smoking in one house of
entertainment there may be smoking in another. I am sure my poor father
would agree.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FEDERAL SOLUTION.

(_See the daily papers_ passim.)

I.

     SIR,--At last a ray of sanity has fallen like oil on the troubled
     waters of the Irish controversy and has given a well-merited cold
     douche to the extremists on either side. It is now acknowledged
     that what for want of a better term I may call the Federal Solution
     holds the field, and any attempt to expel it will only plunge the
     objector still deeper in the mire and cover him with ridicule from
     head to foot.

     Long ago I adumbrated in the clearest possible way the fundamental
     outlines of this solution, and every hour which has passed has only
     sufficed, to strengthen a conviction which was already so deeply
     rooted as to be beyond the reach of hostile argument. What is now
     required to be done may be stated in a nutshell. Let the Government
     withdraw the present Home Rule Bill. They will thus dispose at once
     of the opposition of Mr. BONAR LAW, Sir EDWARD CARSON, Mr. J. L.
     GARVIN and Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN, and will provide themselves with a
     clean slate, which will be a peg on which any subsequent plan may
     be hung. Then let them bring in a Bill (or four or more Bills, if
     deemed necessary) for conferring autonomous governments on all the
     counties of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, every county to
     have the option of excluding itself for a period of not less than
     fifty or more than a hundred years by a majority of two-thirds of
     its electorate, women to count as two on a division. At the same
     time let the House of Lords be so reconstituted as to become in
     truth an Imperial Legislature, subject, however, to the veto of a
     new and impartial body to be composed of Field-Marshals,
     Archbishops, Judges and retired Lieutenant-Governors. Our Oversea
     Dominions could come into this scheme at any moment, if so desired.
     To this plan I can see no objections whatever except, perhaps, that
     its execution will take time and will stand in the way of other
     legislation--but anything that is worth doing takes time, and, for
     my own part, I want no other legislation.

                                         Yours, etc.,

                                                   JAMES B. HORNBLOWER,
                                                   Organising Secretary,
                                              Society of Federationists.

II.

(_In answer to the above._)

     SIR,--Dr. Hornblower is at his old games. His plan for settling the
     Irish question is no plan at all, as I have frequently shown.
     Whenever it has been submitted to the fire of criticism it has been
     found that it will not wash. It is quite useless to try to mix oil
     and vinegar in a jug that will not hold water.

     I do not wish to be misunderstood. I am a convinced supporter of a
     Federal Solution and have for many years endeavoured to remove the
     public apathy which I have found to exist in regard to this
     profoundly interesting question. My suggestion is that, in order to
     sift the matter thoroughly and, if possible, to strike out a new
     path, we should put our existing constitution into the melting pot
     and thus clear away the weeds which threaten to choke its fair
     growth. Let Parliament be a movable institution, sitting for one
     week in Australia, for one week in Canada, for one week in Ireland,
     and so on. In the course of a year it will have sat in all the
     component parts of the Empire, which will then, indeed, be an
     Empire on which the sun never sets, and in which Parliament always
     sits. It need not, of course, be the same Parliament in every case,
     but can be varied, to suit local customs and prejudices. As a
     symbol of unity His Majesty the King might be conveyed by a special
     service of air-ships from one country to another, so that he might
     always open every Parliament in person. England, Scotland, Ireland
     and Wales would thus take their proper places in the Empire by the
     side of Barbados, Canada and British Guiana, and there would be no
     jealousy because all would be treated equally. Only in this way can
     civil war be avoided and Ulster be satisfied.

                                         Yours, etc.,

                                                      BENJAMIN WOOLLET,
                                     Chairman of the Amalgamated League
                                      for the Federation of the Empire.

III.

(_In answer to the two preceding letters._)

     SIR,--Professor Woollet and Dr. Hornblower are both wrong. The only
     way in which a Federal Solution, such as we all desire, can be
     brought about is to convert the existing House of Lords--no change
     being made in its constitution--into the supreme and only
     legislative assembly of the whole Empire. The House of Commons, of
     course, would cease to sit, or it might take the place of the
     present London County Council. This is the true plan. All others
     are absurd. It is useless for people to say they do not want this.
     We insist on their having it.

                                         Yours, etc.,

                                                     JONATHAN FIREDAMP,
                                            President of Council of the
                                                   Federal Association.

       *       *       *       *       *

A MYTH OF BOND STREET.

(_The latest thing in female head-wear is said to be the "Minerva"
Hat._)

  Forgive me if my nerves were somewhat shaken;
    Pardon me if my pulse went pit-a-pat
  When I observed your tiny head had taken
          To a "Minerva" hat.

  Love at my heart's closed door, with loudest knockings,
    Won his admittance as I gazed on you
  Garbed in the gear of her, of all blue-stockings,
          The most superbly blue.

  For you seemed nobler far in form and feature;
    In wisdom, too, I deemed you now divine,
  And, though I felt myself a worthless creature,
          I swore to make you mine.

  I said, "I'll win this goddess. Though the siege is
    Long, I shall learn her wisdom if I can,
  Until in time she throws her nuptial ægis
          Over her Super-man."

  And then you spoke, in accents all too human,
    Glanced at me coyly from beneath your casque;
  My vision vanished, and I saw the woman
          Behind that heavenly mask.

  And straight I felt (so flippant was your mien) a
    Pain as I mused on Pallas and her fowl,
  And left the phantom of a faked Athena,
          A disillusioned Owl.

       *       *       *       *       *

Love's Labour Lost.

     "The Newcastle Fire Brigade were called upon last night to deal
     with an outbreak at----, where Mr. J. G---- carries on business as
     a firelighter manufacturer. Before much damage had been done, the
     firemen were able to extinguish the flames with chemicals."

     _Newcastle Daily Journal._

Once again we see how the economic instinct clashes with the artistic
temperament.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A POINT TO POINT IN IRELAND.

_Owner of Rank Bad Horse (who has given the mount to a stranger)._
"BEGORRA, I DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS A FRIEND OF YER HONOUR'S! TELL HIM TO GET
DOWN OFF THAT HORSE! SHURE, I THOUGHT HE WAS ONLY A ---- SAXON."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

A reflection that I could not resist after reading _Love the Harper_
(SMITH, ELDER) was that the Boy appears in this volume as a very
indifferent performer upon his instrument. For the muddle into which he
plunged the amatory affairs of the inhabitants of Downside was terrible.
Downside was a quiet delightful village, as lovingly described by Miss
ELEANOR G. HAYDEN, but the number of misplaced attachments it contained
seemed, as _Lady Bracknell_ once observed, "in excess of that which
statisticians have laid down for our guidance." There was _John
Harding_, the hero, who began by courting _Phyllis_, and subsequently
transferred his suit to _Ruth_. There was _Will_, his brother, an even
more inconstant lover, whom _Phyllis_ (still nominally betrothed to
_John_) adored at first sight, and who divided his own heart between
_Ruth_, _Phyllis_ and the crippled _Miss Mayling_. There was also _Ruth_
herself, who thought she had a Past (she hadn't, at least it was all
right really; but just in what sense it would be unfair to explain here)
and therefore imagined herself for no man. The story begins with a
wedding on the first page; and what with one thing and another I began
to fear that this was the last consummation we were likely to get. But,
of course, in the end---- But I shall not tell you how the couples
finally re-sort themselves, because this is the author's secret, and one
that she very craftily preserves till the last moment. It is
arithmetically inevitable that there must be an odd woman left over in
the end; but as to her identity I was entirely wrong, and so probably
will you be. This ending is perhaps the best thing--I don't mean the
words in an unkind sense--about a pleasant if not very thrilling story
of a country that Miss HAYDEN evidently knows with the knowledge of
affection.

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps some of those who remember J. BURGON BICKERSTETH captaining the
Oxford soccer team four years ago may be surprised to find him serving
his apprenticeship at sky-piloting in Alberta. And very manfully and
sincerely and tactfully he does it, to judge by the account which he
modestly renders in _The Land of Open Doors_ (WELLS, GARDNER). With
headquarters at Edmonton he rides and drives or swims (when the floods
are out or the bridges down) across this untidy country from shack to
shack, holding odd little services in dormitories and kitchens, and
evidently making friends with the rough pioneer folk, railway men and
small farmers, of his assorted acquaintance. The discouragements of such
a task must be immense; indeed, they peep through the narrative,
reticently enough, for grousing habits are not in the equipment of this
staunch and cheery young parson. His notes of this land of promise and
swift achievement are admirably observed. He has the gift of
characterisation with humour, is clever at reproducing evidently
authentic and entertaining dialogues, and has caught the Western idiom,
not only in these set reproductions, but unconsciously in his own
writing, which is singularly straightforward and attractive, nor
burdened with the sort of cleverness which the young graduate is apt to
air. Neither is there anything of the prig in his composition--his book
abounds in reported words which an earlier generation of clerics would
certainly have censored--but when he is saddened by the indifference,
the unplumbed materialism and what he sees as the wickedness of his
scattered flock he might remember for his comfort that valid and sane
distinction of the casuists between formal and material sin. Anyway,
good luck to him for a sportsman!

       *       *       *       *       *

I have often wondered why so few novelists select the English Lake
District as a fictional setting. I wonder still more after reading
_Barbara Lynn_ (ARNOLD), in which it is used with fine and telling
effect. Miss EMILY JENKINSON'S previous story showed that she had a rare
sympathy with nature, and a still rarer gift of expressing it. _Barbara
Lynn_ does much to strengthen that impression. It is a mountain tale,
the scene of which is laid in an upland farm, girt about by the mighty
hills and the solitude of the fells. Here, in the dour old house of
Graystones, is played the drama of _Barbara_ and her sister _Lucy_; of
_Peter_, who loved one and married the other; of the feckless _Joel_,
and the old bed-ridden great-grandmother, who is a kind of chorus to it
all. Practically these five are the only characters. Of them it is, of
course, _Barbara_ herself who stands out most prominently, a figure of
an austere yet wistful dignity, of whom any novelist might be proud. I
should hazard a guess that Miss JENKINSON writes slowly; one feels this
in her choice of words and her avoidance (even in the final tragic
catastrophe) of anything approaching sensationalism or melodrama. When
all, is said, however, it is for its descriptions that I shall remember
the book. The hot summer, with the flocks calling in the night for
water; the storm on the slopes of Thundergray; and the end of all things
(which, pardon me, I do not mean to tell)--these are what live in the
reader's mind. _Barbara Lynn_, in short, is an unusually imaginative
novel, which has confirmed me in two previous impressions--first, that
Miss EMILY JENKINSON is a writer upon whom to keep the appreciative eye;
secondly, that Westmorland must be a perfectly beastly country to live
in all the year round. Both of which conclusions are sincere tributes.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was at school, some years ago, with two brilliant twins called DUFF,
who between them captured, amongst other trifles, the Porson, two
Trinity scholarships, a Fellowship, and first place in the examination
for the Indian Civil Service. I mention them here as an example of the
minute care with which ALISTAIR and HENRIETTA TAYLER have compiled _The
Book of the Duffs_ (CONSTABLE). For I find their names and achievements
duly recorded in the list of (I should think) every male Duff born of
the stock of ADAM OF CLUNYBEG, _temp_ 1590, from, whom the present
Duchess of FIFE is ninth or tenth in descent. And that is only one
branch of the clan, only one of the numerous family-trees that make
these two bulky volumes a perfect forest of Duffs. I know now exactly
how _Macbeth_ felt when he saw Birnam Wood descending on Dunsinane. No
wonder he exclaimed, "The cry is still, _They come_." When I looked at
all these genealogies and lifelike portraits I had an appalling vision
of this great army of Duffs of Clunybeg and Hatton and Fetteresso and
the rest advancing towards me solemnly waving their family-trees. In the
van, with his Dunsinane honours thick upon him, marched
MACDUFF--MACDUFF, you know, who was also "Thane of Fife, created first
Earl, 1057, _m._ Beatrice Banquo." Then followed a long train of other
warriors--General Sir ALEXANDER, who fought in Flanders; Captain GEORGE,
who was killed at Trafalgar; Admiral NORWICH and Admiral ROBERT, also
contemporaries of NELSON; General PATRICK, who slew a tiger in single
combat with a bayonet; General Commander-in-Chief Sir BEAUCHAMP of our
own day--and I was afraid. Not, you understand, of their swords, but of
their trees. And then suddenly the spirit of _Macbeth_ came upon me
again. With him I shouted, "Lay on, Macduff; and damn'd be he that first
cries, _Hold, enough_." But, luckier than he, I have lived to tell the
tale, or rather to tell about it, and to recommend it to all those who
have arborivorous tastes. I can promise them that they will heartily
enjoy a good browse in the Forest of Duff.

       *       *       *       *       *

When a book is called _The Sea Captain_ (METHUEN) I do not think that
the hero ought to be the driest of dry-bobs for nearly a quarter of it.
If, however, Mr. H. C. BAILEY is a slow starter he knows how to make the
pace when he once gets going; indeed, he travels so fast and so far that
merely to follow him in fancy is a breathless business. When I have told
you that _Diccon_ belonged to the spacious times of ELIZABETH, I need
hardly add that his methods of winning fame and fortune on the sea were
as rough as they were ready. Mercifully he had a steady head and a very
strong back, or something must have given way under the strain that his
creator puts upon him. No hero in modern fiction has jumped so
frequently from the frying-pan into the fire with so little injury to
himself. But if I cannot altogether believe in _Diccon_ I admit an
affection for him. He was as loyal a lover and friend as could be found
in the Elizabethan or any other age, and although he treated troublesome
men without mercy his behaviour to women was marked by the extreme of
propriety; so, though you may insist that he was merely a pirate, I
shall still go on calling him a gentleman-adventurer, and leave him at
that.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OUR CURIO CRANKS.

THE MAN WHO COLLECTS THE CHALK USED BY FAMOUS BILLIARD-PLAYERS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Barbados Standard_ on an approaching Royal visit:--

     "The visit it is understood is fixed to begin on April 29 and to
     last until April 25. The visit is probably unprecedented."

It is.





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