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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 11, 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, February 11, 1914" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 146.

February 11, 1914.



CHARIVARIA.

SIR EDWARD GREY is to accompany the KING on his visit to Paris in April
next. Nobody will grudge the FOREIGN MINISTER this little treat, which
he has thoroughly well earned.

       * * *

According to _The Express_ the South African police discovered an
elaborate plot for kidnapping all the Ministers as a preliminary to
declaring a Labour Republic. In Labour circles, however, it is declared
that the scheme was drawn up for a joke. To this the South African
Government will no doubt retort that the kidnapping of the Labour
leaders was also a joke--and so the whole matter will end in genial
laughter.

       * * *

Speaking at Toronto, ex-President TAFT stated that the world would have
been much worse off without England. We believe that this is so. Without
England there might have been no American nation to speak of.

       * * *

Sir EDWARD GREY remarked at Manchester that at "the time when we built
the first _Dreadnoughts Dreadnoughts_ were in the air." So our
backwardness in naval aviation is no new thing.

       * * *

An attempt is to be made to raise thirteen French warships which were
sunk when the English and Dutch fleets routed the French off Cape La
Hogue. It is feared in nervous quarters that this may be used by the
Germans as an excuse for further increasing their fleet.

       * * *

Although it is frequently stated that our army is fit to cope with the
army of any Foreign Power it is evident that the War Office itself is
not quite satisfied, and reforms are instituted from time to time. For
instance last week it was officially announced that the title of
Deputy-Adjutant-General, Royal Marines, had been altered to
Adjutant-General, Royal Marines.

       * * *

"Arising out of" KID LEWIS'S victory last week over PAUL TIL, it is the
opinion among a good many Germans that the French Government, being
determined that the Entente should not be imperilled, decided to send
over a French boxer whom an Englishman could defeat.

       * * *

Letchworth Garden City is now considered large enough to possess its own
police court, and the Herts County Council has sanctioned its erection.
Four Letchworth residents have been made J.P.'s, and it is now up to the
residue to supply sufficient criminals to make the venture a success.

       * * *

Last week, in the City of London Court, a man was ordered to pay £15
damages and costs for pouring a basin of thick ox-tail soup over another
man. We are glad that this action has been held to be illegal, as thick
ox-tail is such nasty sticky stuff.

Meanwhile what the law is as to clear soup is a point which still
remains to be tested.

       * * *

According to figures published in our bright little contemporary,
_Fire_, property amounting to £359,875 was destroyed by fire in Great
Britain during the past year. This seems to us more than enough, but it
is not easy to satisfy a militant suffragette.

       * * *

Mr. "MARK ALLERTON" has suggested that London ought to have a special
golf course for beginners. If it could be arranged for spectators to be
admitted at a moderate charge we believe this might become one of the
most successful places of amusement in the Metropolis.

       * * *

A suggestion that school children shall be taken to museums, as a reward
for good school work, has been made by Lord SUDELEY. This is scarcely a
new idea. We remember that when we were at school there was a feeling
that the very good boys ought to be in a museum.

       * * *

We have been favoured with the sight of a letter from a money-lender, in
which the following remarkable passage occurs:--"The above terms are for
short periods, _to be repaid_ as mutually agreed upon _before the
advance is made_." The italics are ours, but the proleptic idea is a
happy invention of the author himself.

       * * *

    "SPRING IN THE AIR."

    _Daily Mail_.

We are sorry not to oblige our contemporary, but advancing years have
taken something from our resiliency.

       * * *

ANOTHER IMPENDING APOLOGY.

    "Dr. Glover, in giving up the Editorship of this most valuable
    periodical, has earned the grateful thanks of the whole
    Diocese."

    _Chichester Diocesan Gazette._

       * * *

    "A ridiculous fad that some society ladies are adopting at the
    present time is not to place any month on the date of their
    correspondence, simply giving the day of the year. Thus to-day
    will be marked '34, 1914.' This is not very difficult, but when
    it comes to, say, '271, 14,' it will need more than a little
    calculation to discover the actual date."

    _Pall Mall Gazette_ (_Feb. 4th_).

Even "to-day" is too difficult for our contemporary.

       * * *

"POTATOES, POTATEOS."

    _Advt. in "Bedale Chronicle"_ (_its full title being "Bedale,
    Leyburn and Hawes Chronicle," but that would make the name of
    the paper longer than the quotation from it--always a mistake._)

We don't care for the second helping.

       * * *

    "'Ha! ha!' the others laugh in their native tongue."--_Evening
    Dispatch._

You should hear us gargle in German.

       * * *

The Editor of _Punch_ has reproved his Dramatic Critic for referring to
_It_, in _The Darling of the Gods_, as "a precocious babe." He is
assured that Mr. BURTIE, who plays this neutral part, "has seen some
five-and-twenty summers, and has advanced intellectual views about most
things." _Mr. Punch's_ Dramatic Critic has been instructed to "give him
double bowing" by way of deferential compensation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Colonel._ "Dash it, Sir, what do you mean by not
having a light on your confounded hoop?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

BOWLES WITHOUT A BIAS.

    [With the author's congratulations to "Cap'n" TOMMY BOWLES on
    the appearance of his new quarterly review, _The Candid_, whose
    declared aim is "to deal with Public Affairs faithfully and
    frankly ... and without Party bias." Among its contents are
    articles on "The New Corruption: The Caucus and the Sale of
    Honours," and "An Opposition Impotent."]

  I know a man of simple mind,
    Gamaliel Nibbs by name,
  Whose early faith in human kind
    Burned like a Vestal flame;
  No wind of doubt that stirs the dust
    Fluttered that bright and constant taper;
  But oh, he had his dearest trust
    Pinned to his daily paper.

  Not once he paused awhile to ask
    Whence was their wisdom caught
  Who undertook the nightly task
    Of shaping England's thought;
  He pictured gods that drove the pen
    Aloof on high Olympian levels,
  And not a staff of haggard men
    Hustled by printer's devils.

  Then came a shock eight years ago:
    The Rads, he thought, were dished;
  The Tory Press had just to show
    The People what it wished;
  And yet, for all its wealth and size,
    For all its mammoth circulations,
  The country saw the Liberals rise
    And sweep the polling-stations.

  And, when the same sad case occurred
    Twice in a single year,
  Gamaliel, moulting like a bird,
    Mislaid his lightsome cheer;
  Yet, even so, he would not let
    His confidence in all that's best rust
  Until _The Pall Mall_ went and set
    Its teeth against "The Press Trust."

  The writer dropped some dreadful hints
    Of One whose sole decree
  Governed the views of various prints
    Not to be named by me;
  He disapproved of paper rings;
    In language almost rudely blunt he
  Dilated on the puppet-strings
    Pulled by a monstrous _Bunty_.

  Our hero's faith grew sick and pale,
    Yet was not all forlorn,
  Till Mr. MAXSE charged _The Mail_
    With blowing WINSTON'S horn;
  And drew his axe and dyed it pink
    With blood of Tories, blade to handle--
  Blood of a Press that chose to blink
    The late Marconi scandal.

  This finished off Gamaliel Nibbs.
    Beside his morning mess
  No journal lies to-day: he jibs
    At all the Party Press;
  He counts it stuff for common souls,
    And means to get his mind expanded
  By sampling truths that Mr. BOWLES
    Embodies in _The Candid_.

  Browsing on TOMMY'S fearless Tracts,
    A strong and generous food,
  He'll take his fill of meaty facts
    Not to be lightly chewed:--
  Corruption in the highest seats;
    Impotence in the Opposition;
  The Ship of State, with flapping sheets,
    Moving to mere perdition.

  A sovereign (net) for entrance fee--
    And Nibbs is on the list
  Of patrons who support a free
    Impartial pessimist;
  Yet shall his faith not wholly burst;
    He shares, in common with his "Cap'n,"
  The view that, when we reach the worst,
    Then nothing worse can happen.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CABINET MEETS.

_Mr. ASQUITH._ Perhaps the most important point before us, now that the
Naval Estimates are settled satisfactorily, is the question how we're to
get through the Session. The Labour Party seems discontented.

_Mr. HARCOURT_ (_airily_). I like talking over their denunciations with
them as they walk through the lobby with us afterwards.

_Mr. ASQUITH._ Yes, I agree that their altitude is not of overwhelming
importance. Oh, by the way, I have had an interview with Mr. REDMOND. He
is pleased to say that at present he is favourably disposed to us.

_All_ (_except Lord CREWE_). That's all right.

_Lord CREWE._ H'm.

_Mr. JOHN BURNS._ I----

_Mr. ASQUITH._ Pardon me if I interrupt, but there is a bad feeling in
the country. A paper known as _The Spectator_ even suggests the
impeachment of the Government.

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ I am not surprised. Unprincipled attacks are often
made on me by political muckrakers. I sometimes think that I shall give
up politics.

_Lord CREWE._ H'm.

_Mr. BIRRELL._ And suggestions are made that Ministers should be hanged
in Downing Street. Now in Dublin one allows a certain latitude, but in
Downing Street!

_Mr. MCKENNA._ I have consulted the police authorities on the point.
They inform me that the lamp-posts would only bear an exceedingly light
weight.

_Lord HALDANE._ That is most reassuring.

_Colonel SEELEY._ There's another threat. They talk of the Lords
throwing out the Army Bill.

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ Good--a saving of thirty (or is it fifty?)
millions--a great democratic Budget--and an election-winning cry, "The
Lords destroy the Army."

_Lord CREWE._ H'm.

_Colonel SEELEY._ But we need the Army.

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ What for? Its elimination would be a great moral
example to Germany. _Some_ nation must take the lead in the peace
movement.

_Mr. CHURCHILL._ The third great election-winner! I suppose National
Insurance and Land go back to the stable.

_Mr. BURNS._ I----

_Mr. BIRRELL_ (_hastily_). But there's Ulster. What about Ulster?

_Mr. CHURCHILL._ The solution is simple. We revive the Heptarchy.

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ The Heptarchy was a Saxon institution. It makes no
appeal to the ardent, fervid intensely religious Celt.

_Lord CREWE._ H'm.

_Mr. BURNS._ I----

_Mr. HARCOURT_ (_interrupting_). But what are we to do about Ulster?

_Mr. ASQUITH._ We must await the reply to our offer.

_Mr. BIRRELL._ But have we made an offer? I said we
had, but have we?

_Mr. MCKENNA._ (_acutely_). We might await a reply to our tentative
offer of an offer.

_Mr. ASQUITH._ Good, MCKENNA, very good. I appreciate the delicate
distinction.

_Lord HALDANE_ (_aside to Lord MORLEY_). Had MCKENNA been caught young
and forcibly educated, he would have made a metaphysician.

_Mr. ASQUITH._ We have not yet considered whether anything can be done
to remedy the temporary unpopularity of the Government.

_Colonel SEELEY._ Suppose HOBHOUSE resigned. (_A hum of approval._)

_Mr. ASQUITH._ Say, rather, accepted a lofty Imperial post.

_Mr. HOBHOUSE._ And made room for LLOYD GEORGE'S Man Friday! It would
mean a by-election in Bethnal Green, where he comes from.
(_Consternation._)

_Mr. BURNS._ I----

_Mr. ASQUITH_ (_suddenly_). I accept your resignation with great regret,
BURNS.

_Mr. Burns._ (_indignantly_). I was about to say that under no
circumstances would I resign.

_Mr. ASQUITH_ (_sadly_). Pardon me. I thought you were anxious for
leisure to complete your autobiography. Well, if there are no
resignations, I think we have ended the business of the day.

       *       *       *       *

A CLEAN SLATE.

[Illustration: BOTHA (_to himself_). "I BEG TO PRESENT YOU WITH THIS
TOKEN OF MY SINCERE APPROBATION."

HIMSELF (_to Botha_). "I ACCEPT IT IN THE SPIRIT IN WHICH IT IS GIVEN."]

       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Crafty Neighbor_ (_to stout old lady who has just
entered carriage with four on each side_). "Excuse me, Mum, but you'll
find more room on the other side--there are only four there."

_Old Lady._ "Thankee, Sir, so there be; I 'adn't noticed." (_Changes
over._)]

       *       *       *       *

THE CLUB MUSIC HALL.

The Royal Automobile Club having decided to enter into serious
competition with the Music Halls in order to encourage active
membership, it is rumoured that one or two other clubs are determined
not to be left behind, and the following announcements may be expected
shortly:--

PATHÉNAEUM CLUB.

Notice to Bishops-Elect.

Every Evening at 8 and Matinées (Weds. and Sats.) at 2.30:

"SHOULD A WOMAN CONFESS?"

Kinoplastieon drama by THE DEAN OF TOOTING.

Evenings at 10:

"THE SARUM LILY" in her marvellous Ecclesiastical Dances.

THE UNITED DIVERSITIES CLUB.

Every Afternoon at 2.30 and Every Evening at 9:

Grand Co-operative Concert and Variety Entertainment.

Davy Lloyd in His Great Land Act, with Troupe of Performing Scotch
Woodcocks.

  Bonnie Lawder ...  "_My True Blue Belfast._"
    Ted Carson and Chorus of Outlaws.

  Bertie Samuel ... _Heard at the Telephone_
    (farcical comedy).

  Reggie McKenna ...  "_Nose-bagtime._"
    By-electionscope.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RETROGRADE.

    "He wanted to see the town grow larger and the dates grow less."

    _Birmingham Daily Post_.

"Come where the dates grow smaller!"

       *       *       *       *       *

A KEY TO CUBISM.

The chief exponent of "the new geometric art" explains the whole
movement in the following passage, as reproduced in _The Observer_:--

    "Primitive space has entered into us, as it were.... Against
    that space within us, as against the space that appalled the
    savage from without, we erect always more hard and logical
    images.... All brute material, animate and inanimate, of earth,
    becomes an organism to confront the soul. Formerly the soul as a
    simple figure, like a ballet, faced the environing vagueness.

    "Appearance then, at present, becomes a dyke around the invision
    from within. And, as a consequence even of this, the appearance,
    as it is seen in art to-day, tends to be more removed from
    everyday objective reality than at any former period of art. A
    new religion is being built up, girder by girder, around the
    vague spirit. _Space_, the physical space of savage shyness, _is
    now on our side_."

The comment of the writer in _The Observer_ runs thus: "This, at any
rate, is the language of people who know what they are about."

_Mr. Punch_, being a little fearful lest the average reader of the above
passage may not share this knowledge of "what they are about," ventures
to add his own views on Cubism, confident that even those who disagree
will applaud his clarity.

From RAPHAEL until PCESZY TURGIDOFF (the brilliant young Slav whose
canvas has recently been acquired by the Royal Geological Museum) all
true artists have striven to adumbrate the eternal conflict between the
morbid pathology of Realism and the poignant simplicity of Nihilism. In
other and shorter words, chaos must ever be on the side of the angels.
But, until the advent of the new Truth, the whole mission of art had
trickled into a very delta of arid sentiment. The critic could walk all
the galleries of Europe and find nothing to lighten his melancholy until
he entered one of those caverns of earliest man and stood in ecstatic
reverence before the incomparable masterpieces wherein the first of the
Futurists created (with perfect parsimony of a sharpened flint) Man, not
as he is to his own dull eye, but Man as he is to the inner retina of
the universe. Man, the simple triangle on two stilts, the creature on
one plane and of one dimension, an outline without entity, a nothingness
staring, faceless, at the nothingness which baffles his soul.

Emotion, idealism, beauty--these have been always the evil spirits that
have fettered art. The new art has so exorcised them that they have fled
from it with demoniac cries. Pulziacco's splendid rhomboid, "Cleopatra";
Weber-Damm's tender parallelograms, "The Daughters of James Bowles,
Esq., J.P"; Todwarden Jones's rectilineal wizardry, "A Basket of
Oranges"; and Arabella Machicu's triumph of astigmatism, "The Revolving
Bookcase," are examples of this conquest of the inner retina over the
brutal insistences of form and matter.

Of still deeper significance is that terribly sad picture of Philip
Martini, "The Mumpers: a Group at Lloyds." Nothing is more illustrative
of the courage demanded for the struggle of the new art against
convention than this poignant work, wherein, true to the verities, the
artist has confounded realism in its own domain by the unrecognisable
faces of his sitters.

Let us sum up the new movement so clearly that the dullest will
apprehend. Surely the inhibition of all apperceptions in art is
correlative to the inner _ego_? That simple postulate granted, it will
be unquestioned that the true focus of vision should co-ordinate the
invisible. Faith we must have, or we faint by the roadside of the
intelligible. The only altruism is that which can defy the cold
brutality of things as they _are_, and convince us with things as they
_are not_. Thus alone can the contemplation of art bring us back to
primal infelicity, and restore in our souls the perfect vacuity of
infants and cows. Thus only can we achieve the suffusion of vision of
the happy inebriate.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sunday-school Teacher._ "And now, Tommy, about your
prize--would you like a hymn-book?"

_Tommy._ "A yim-book's all right, teacher, but--er--er--I'd sooner 'ave
a squirt."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TROPHY.

  I'd dined at home; I'd read till ten;
    I'd thought, "The space upon the wall
      Above the stuffed Thames trout
    Wants filling." That was really all:
  And then I closed my eyes, and then
      I let my pipe go out.

       *       *       *       *       *

  We crawled, the Khan of Khot and I,
    On a Thibetan precipice
      (It _was_ Thibet, I think),
    A place of snow and black abyss;
  We lay on rock--mid wind and sky--
      Above a beetling brink.

  For lo, along the ridge there fed
    The sheep that ne'er a shepherd know
      Save the shrill wind of morn,
    Five "_Oves Ammon_" of the snow;
  I saw the big ram lift his head,
      Twin-mooned in mighty horn.

  Broadside he turned, a mountain-god
    In sweep of coronal sublime,
      And the fierce whisper broke--
    The Khan of Khot's, he hissed, "_Tak time_!"
  And handed me my spinning-rod;
      And as he did I woke!

       *       *       *       *       *

  One thing at least is clear, and that's
    My empty wall is yet to fill;
      Though oft with even's shade
    I see that great head from the hill,
  Unstable as the Cheshire cat's,
      Look down therefrom and fade.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two quotations from _The Publisher's Circular_:--

    "Mr. Robert Bowes (who by the way is in his sixty-seventh
    year)...."

    "Mr. Robert Bowes is in his seventy-ninth year.... But then he
    is much younger than many older men."

So are all of us. Mr. BOWES'S distinction is in being twelve years
younger than himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALL'S WELL THAT BEGINS WELL.

[Illustration: The Mayoress kicks off for Squasham United.

Miss Dotty Devereux for the stage.

A Famous Scandinavian Poet for the Authors.

Her Ladyship for the Village.

Little Rosie for the Ramblers.

A Borough Councillor for the "Old Boys."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LESSON.

I was showing Celia a few fancy strokes on the billiard table. The other
members of the house-party were in the library, learning their parts for
some approaching theatricals--that is to say, they were sitting round
the fire and saying to each other, "This _is_ a rotten play." We had
been offered the position of auditors to several of the company, but we
were going to see _Parsifal_ on the next day, and I was afraid that the
constant excitement would be bad for Celia.

"Why don't you ask me to play with you?" she asked. "You never teach mo
anything."

"There's ingratitude. Why, I gave you your first lesson at golf only
last Thursday."

"So you did. I know golf. Now show me billiards."

I looked at my watch.

"We've only twenty minutes. I'll play you thirty up."

"Right-o... What do you give me--a ball or a bisque or what?"

"I can't spare you a ball, I'm afraid. I shall want all three when I get
going. You may have fifteen start, and I'll tell you what to do."

"Well, what do I do first?"

"Select a cue."

She went over to the rack and inspected them.

"This seems a nice brown one. Now then, you begin."

"Celia, you've got the half-butt. Put it back and take a younger one."

"I thought it seemed taller than the others." She took another. "How's
this? Good. Then off you go."

"Will you be spot or plain?" I said, chalking my cue.

"Does it matter?"

"Not very much. They're both the same shape."

"Then what's the difference?"

"Well, one is more spotted than the other."

"Then I'll be less spotted."

I went to the table.

"I think," I said, "I'll try and screw in off the red." (I did this once
by accident and I've always wanted to do it again). "Or perhaps," I
corrected myself, as soon as the ball had left me, "I had better give a
safety miss."

I did. My ball avoided the red and came swiftly back into the left-hand
bottom pocket.

"That's three to you," I said without enthusiasm.

Celia seemed surprised.

"But I haven't begun yet," she said. "Well, I suppose you know the
rules, but it seems funny. What would you like me to do?"

"Well, there isn't much on. You'd better just try and hit the red ball."

"Right." She leant over the table and took long and careful aim. I held
my breath.... Still she aimed.... Then, keeping her chin on the cue, she
slowly turned her head and looked up at me with a thoughtful expression.

"Oughtn't there to be three balls on the table?" she said, wrinkling her
forehead.

"No," I answered shortly.

"But why not?"

"Because I went down by mistake."

"But you said that when you got going, you wanted--I can't argue bending
down like this." She raised herself slowly. "You said--Oh, all right, I
expect you know. Anyhow, I _have_ scored some already, haven't I?"

"Yes. You're eighteen to my nothing."

"Yes. Well, now I shall have to aim all over again." She bent slowly
over her cue. "Does it matter where I hit the red?"

"Not much. As long as you hit it on the red part."

She hit it hard on the side, and both balls came into baulk.

"Too good," I said.

"Does either of us get anything for it?"

"No." The red and the white were close together, and I went up the table
and down again on the off-chance of a cannon. I misjudged it, however.

"That's three to you," I said stiffly, as I took my ball out of the
right-hand bottom pocket. "Twenty-one to nothing."

"Funny how I'm doing all the scoring," said Celia meditatively. "And
I've practically never played before. I shall hit the red hard now and
see what happens to it."

She hit, and the red coursed madly about the table, coming to rest near
the top right-hand pocket and close to the cushion. With a forcing shot
I could get in.

"This will want a lot of chalk," I said pleasantly to Celia, and gave it
plenty. Then I let fly....

"Why did that want a lot of chalk?" said Celia with interest.

I went to the fireplace and picked my ball out of the fender.

"That's three to you," I said coldly. "Twenty-four to nothing."

"Am I winning?"

"You're leading," I explained. "Only, you see, I may make a twenty at
any moment."

"Oh!" She thought this over. "Well, I may make my three at any moment."

She chalked her cue and went over to her ball.

"What shall I do?"

"Just touch the red on the right-hand side," I said, "and you'll go into
the pocket."

"The _right_-hand side? Do you mean _my_ right-hand side, or the
ball's?"

"The right-hand side of the ball, of course; that is to say, the side
opposite your right hand."

"But its right-hand side is opposite my _left_ hand, if the ball is
facing this way."

"Take it," I said wearily, "that the ball has its back to you."

"How rude of it," said Celia, and hit it on the left-hand side, and sank
it. "Was that what you meant?"

"Well ... it's another way of doing it."

"I thought it was. What do I give you for that?"

"_You_ get three."

"Oh, I thought the other person always got the marks. I know the last
three times----"

"Go on," I said freezingly. "You have another turn."

"Oh, is it like rounders?"

"Something. Go on, there's a dear. It's getting late."

She went, and left the red over the middle pocket.

"A-ha!" I said. I found a nice place in the "D" for my ball. "Now then.
This is the GRAY stroke, you know."

I suppose I was nervous. Anyhow, I just nicked the red ball gently on
the wrong side and left it hanging over the pocket. The white travelled
slowly up the table.

"Why is that called the grey stroke?" asked Celia with great interest.

"Because once, when Sir EDWARD GREY was playing the German
Ambassador--but it's rather a long story. I'll tell you another time."

"Oh! Well, anyhow, did the German Ambassador got anything for it?"

"No."

"Then I suppose I don't. Bother."

"But you've only got to knock the red in for game."

"Oh!.... There, what's that?"

"That's a miscue. I get one."

"Oh!.... Oh well," she added magnanimously, "I'm glad you've started
scoring. It will make it more interesting for you."

There was just room to creep in off the red, leaving it still over the
pocket. With Celia's ball nicely over the other pocket there was a
chance of my twenty break. "Let's see," I said, "how many do I want?"

"Twenty-nine," replied Celia.

"Ah," I said.... and I crept in.

"That's three to you," I said icily.
"Game."

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR READY WRITERS.

The astonishing rapidity attained by Mr. WALTER MELVILLE in the
composition of his plays as revealed in the evidence given in court last
week has suggested an appeal to other leading authors for information as
to their rate of production. We append the results herewith:--

Mr. MAX PEMBERTON observed that the speed of composition varied with the
literary quality of the work produced. Personally he found that by far
the most laborious and protracted mental effort was entailed in the
writing of _Revues_. He had calculated that the amount of brain force he
had spent on his last masterpiece was fully as large as that expended by
GIBBON on his monumental _History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire_. In evidence of the strain he added the following interesting
statistics. He had worn out thirteen of the costliest gold-nibbed
fountain pens; seven expert typists had been so exhausted that they had
to undergo a rest-cure; and finally he himself had consumed no fewer
than nineteen seven-and-sixpenny bottles of Blunker's Sanguinogen.

Sir EDWIN DURNING-LAWRENCE, Bart., poohpoohed the notion that the
moderns were more rapid producers than their forefathers. As the result
of his investigations he had conclusively proved that BACON was an
infinitely more rapid producer than any living author. His time-table
worked out as follows. BACON wrote _Chaucer_ in a little less than three
weeks. He completed the _Faerie Queene_ in one sitting, allowing for
refreshments, of seventy-four hours. The Plays of SHAKSPEARE occupied
him from first to last not more than ten months. _Montaigne_ was dashed
off in just a fortnight, while _Beaumont and Fletcher_, _Marlowe_,
_Greene_, _Webster_ and _Ben Jonson_ took him exactly 37-1/2 days. Next
to SHAKSPEARE'S Plays the _Divina Commedia_ was his most protracted
effort, costing him nearly four months of unremitting labour. Sir EDWIN
added in pathetic proof of the degeneracy of the moderns that his own
famous pamphlet had taken him twice as long to compose as _Chaucer_ had
taken BACON.

Mr. HALL CAINE strongly deprecated the tendency to put a premium on
rapid composition, as though there were any special virtue in speed. His
own novels, which were written with his heart's blood, represented in
their ultimate form a rigorous condensation of materials ten or even
fifteen times as bulky. It was in this process of condensation that the
self-sacrificing side of true genius was most convincingly shown. But,
great as was the strain involved in this painful process, even greater
was that imposed on a successful author by the cruel importunity of the
interviewer on the eve of publication. Such methods were absolutely
alien to his nature, but he had to set against his own convenience the
immeasurable disappointment which his refusal would cause his readers.
It was one of the most pathetic tragedies of genius that the dictates of
an austere reticence were so often set at nought by the impulses of a
tender heart.

Sir H. H. HOWORTH said that the 6,500 columns of _The Times_ which he
had filled in the last thirty years had been covered in exactly 3,000
minutes or 500 hours. In his contributions to _The Morning Post_, where
he was accorded a larger type, he had attained a slightly greater
velocity, almost equalling that of LOPE DE VEGA, the most prolific
writer on record. On the other hand, in his _History of the Mongols_ he
had adopted a rate of progress more in keeping with the leisurely habits
of the race whose records he was collating. He added the interesting
fact that, in spite of the saying _nomen omen_, both Dean SWIFT and
Archdeacon HARE were slow composers.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SECRET OF OUR COMMERCIAL SUPREMACY.

[Illustration: _Clerk_ (_to applicant for post of office-boy_). "The
guvnor's out. Call to-morrow at nine."

_Applicant._ "Oh, I say! Can't you make it later? I have my breakfast at
nine."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Coroners' juries have frequently placed on record their
    disapproval of amateur doctring."

    _Manchester Guardian._

Which, in the opinion of _Mrs. Gamp_, they ought to mind their own
business and not interfere with matters connected with religion.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Picture of a Boxer As Published Fifty Years Ago.]

[Illustration: And the picture of a boxer as published to-day.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MANES À LA MODE.

(_A vision suggested by the inspiriting rumour that green hair is about
to become fashionable._)

  In Springtide when the copses stir
    And hawthorn buds on boughs are seen,
  My love shall seek the hairdresser
    And have her hair dyed green.

  Gay priestess of a Dryad cult
    With leaf-like locks she'll haunt the trees,
  Securing this superb result
    With Boffkin's verdigris.

  And feathered songsters all secure,
    The merle, the lark, shall come and sit
  Amongst her emerald _chevelure_
    And build their nests in it.

  But when sweet Maytime draws to close
    Neaera still shall mark the date;
  She'll steal the red fires of the rose
    And daub them on her pate.

  The ensanguined peonies shall grudge
    Her flaming top-knot's stolen hue
  (The bill shall come from Messrs. Fudge,
    "To tincture, Two Pound Two").

  And bees and wasps to sip its bloom
    Shall buzz about that glorious tire
  And, having sipped, shall feel a gloom
    And painfully expire.

  Sad Autumn shall arrive, and still
    To suit the note the glades have struck,
  Moat sweetly shall Neaera swill
    Her poll with barber's muck.

  And now with gold and purple glow,
    Now russet and now rather wan,
  Weekly her scalp shall undergo
    Some transformation.

  Till lastly, when by chymic jolt
    And sheer corrosion of the thatch,
  What time the withering woodlands moult
    My love shall moult to match,

  And all those curls I loved to beg
    For keepsakes on the earth be strewed,
  Leaving her cranium like an egg
    Incomparably nude.

  What matter? She can start again
    And ape the season's altering rigs
  More simply, having lost her mane,
    With _repertoires_ of wigs.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Gold Coast Nut.

(_Copy of Letter addressed to a London Tailor_.)

    "Dear Sir--I beg to say these words to you. I deem you will not
    have any vexation about my requirement. You may be pleased for
    my saying, your name having recommened to me by a certain friend
    of mine. He knows very well, else he could not give your name to
    me. Because no one knows you in this Gold Coast, with exception
    of him. That you are the best tailor at city called London. I
    desiderate to deal with in England. On the receipt of this note,
    genial forward me your samples by returning mail together with
    price list. I will be pleased to open a great business with
    you.... I will gladly submit your good reply by my great
    opportunities, hoping you will not fail. Yours faithfully ----"

       *       *       *       *       *

"To name a girl after a battle or other public event," says _The Daily
News_, "is positively wicked, as it gives away her age. The numerous
'Almas' christened during the Crimean War had good reason to know this;
so have the 'Jubilees' and the 'Trafalgars.'" Quite so. We know a dear
lady who might easily pass for twenty if her parents had not named her
"Ramillies."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GIFT HORSE.

[Illustration: Mr. Asquith. "THERE YOU ARE, SIR; WARRANTED QUIET TO RIDE
OR DRIVE. HE'S BY 'CONVERSATIONS' OUT OF 'PARLIAMENT,' AND I'VE CALLED
HIM 'THE LIMIT.'"

Mr. Bonar Law. "MANY THANKS, BUT I DON'T SEEM TO CARE MUCH FOR HIS
TEETH."]

       *       *       *       *       *

QUESTION TIME.

[Illustration: _Effie._ "Mummy, when you and Daddy was engaged did you
engage him or did he engage you?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE THREE WISHES.

(_A Story for Little Innocents._)

Once upon the usual time, a poor but comparatively honest woodcutter
dwelt in a tiny hut on the edge of a great forest. Since he was so poor,
his fare was simplicity itself: black bread and a cheese of goat's milk,
washed down by draughts of cold water bottled at a neighbouring
spring--in a word, just those articles of food which your dear mamma has
nowadays to order specially from the most expensive shops.

Well, one winter evening the poor man was enjoying (if you can call it
so) his frugal supper as above, when there came a gentle tap at the
door; and on opening it he perceived upon the threshold a very old woman
dressed in a cloak of faded rags. She was so old and so remarkably ugly
that had she been a duchess not the most inventive of reporters could
have done better for her than "distinguished looking." So the
woodcutter, not unnaturally, regarded his visitor with some suspicion.

"Kind Sir," quavered the old woman, "I perish with hunger. Grant me, I
entreat you, a crust of bread."

"Ah!" said the woodcutter--to gain time. He was, of course, well aware
that there was at least a sporting chance of the old woman being a fairy
in disguise, in which case it would be perfectly sickening to have
neglected so good a thing. On the other hand he knew also that there
were a great many undeserving cases. As he was deliberating, however, he
perceived beneath the old woman's gown the glitter of a white satin toe,
and this decided him to risk it. [N.B. For our youthful readers, this is
an infallible sign for the detection of disguised fairies--try it at the
next pantomime you go to.] "Come in and welcome, Mother," said the
woodcutter, and flung wide the door.

Accordingly the old woman entered the hut, and having done apparent
justice to what was left of the woodcutter's meal, "Now," said she,
striking an appropriate attitude, "behold!" and in the twinkling of an
eye there she stood, the complete fairy, all shimmer and spangles.

"Well!" exclaimed the woodcutter, looking as astonished as he could
manage, "I haven't a notion how that's done!"

"And as a reward for your hospitality," continued the fairy, "choose
three wishes, and they shall be granted."

"I assure you," began the woodcutter politely, "nothing was further from
my----" but a look in the fairy's eyes stopped him. "Of course, if you
insist," he said; adding in rather a different tone, "Perhaps you'll
excuse me for putting the matter on a business-like footing."

So saying, he produced from his pocket a small pamphlet entitled, _On
Transactions with Fairies; with Some Hints to Beginners_. Having studied
this for a moment, "I suppose," said the woodcutter, "that by 'wishes'
you mean without restriction? Not anything within reason, or economies
of that sort?"

The visitor looked surprised and a little hurt. "There is no such thing
as reason in Fairyland," she said stiffly.

"The mistake was mine," said the woodcutter.

"Only one wish is closed to you," resumed the fairy; "you may not wish
to have any more wishes."

"That's a pity," said the woodcutter, "especially as I'd only just
thought of; it."

"An obvious precaution that we were obliged to take in our own
interests. We lost heavily in that way at one time. But consider well.
You have the choice of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. You can
become the most powerful monarch in the world. Beauty can be yours, or
wisdom or piety. You can--"

"I wonder," asked the woodcutter, "if you'd mind not talking for a
moment? This is a delicate crisis and demands concentration. I think
that first of all," he continued thoughtfully, "I will suggest that you
endow me with perfect and unalterable self-esteem for ever, so that in
case I make a fool of myself over the other two wishes I shall not have
the misery of perceiving it."

"It is done," said the fairy, and at once the woodcutter was sensible of
an inward elation like the effect of good champagne, only more so.

"I'm really managing this rather well," he thought with a smile. "I wish
the foreman of the lumber works, who called me a fool yesterday, could
see me now!"

And immediately there was the foreman, blinking and rubbing his eyes,
and gazing with irritation at the fairy and the woodcutter. The latter
laughed pleasantly.

"That," he said to the fairy, "is distinctly one up to you! If it wasn't
for the gift of self-esteem I should be calling myself every kind of
idiot. But the best of us are liable to error!"

"You have now," the fairy reminded him, "one wish left. Will you desire
that your task-master here be returned to the place whence he came?"

"I will not," said the woodcutter. "If it amuses him to stay, he is
quite welcome. If not, I imagine him to be capable of walking. Let me
see. At the present moment the only wants I can suggest are both few and
simple; a million pounds invested in Government stock, the constitution
of a gladiator, and to be as wise as the greatest fool on earth imagines
himself--these are the lot. But no doubt I shall recollect others
presently."

"One wish only," the fairy repeated a little sharply, "and that without
delay, for time presses."

"You needn't rub it in," said the woodcutter. "I have already made my
choice. Are you ready? Go! I wish to have everything I really want in
the world." He paused expectantly, and even a little apprehensively.

"It is done," said the fairy; but nothing happened.

"That's all right!" said the woodcutter with obvious relief. "I will
now, as an extra, wish both you and the foreman good evening."

Whereupon he bowed them politely out of the hut and returned chuckling
to his hygienic diet. Which appears to show that even in the year Once
men were not always the fools that they are usually represented.

       *       *       *       *       *

AIDS TO ADVERTISERS.

[Illustration: Miles of Free Advertisements by using Rubber Letter
Soles. (These can be inked at will by bulb attached to tubes running
down legs of operator.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NOSE HAS IT.

I was presiding at one of my periodical stocktakings.

"Sort them all out," I had said, "and let me see them."

When I had reached home they were all there, on view.

There were thirty-four this time. I went through them--A.H.L., T.W.T.,
E.F., G.H., M.L.K., O.T., B., F.W.H., and so forth.

"What a lot," I said.

"Yes; I think it's the biggest lot you've ever had. Last time there were
only seventeen."

"And what did we do about them?" I asked.

"You went through them and nothing happened."

"I didn't send any back?" I said in astonishment.

"No. You got ready to, and then, I don't know why, but you didn't."

"What a low trick!" I said. "Worse than borrowing books. Some of these
are pretty good, aren't they?"

"Yes, this one"--holding up F.W.H.--"is a beauty. The very finest
quality."

I took it and felt it.

"It is," I said. "I wonder where he buys them. Bond Street, I suppose.
Is there anything else as good as that one?"

"No, nothing quite so good; but these are all right;" and I was handed
E.F. and M.L.K.

I felt them too.

"Yes," I said, "they're first-rate."

I laid them on one side.

"Very well," I said, gathering the rest into a bunch, "see that all
those go back with my compliments, best thanks and regrets for the
delay. I'll keep these three a day or so longer for patterns."

Did I say that all this happened last year? It did.

Yesterday I had another borrowed-handkerchief parade and found
forty-three. The spectacle was not without its pathos. F.W.H. now had a
lot of holes; so had E.F. and M.L.K. But of a softness still!

All the old friends were there too, in spite of what I had directed.

"I thought these were to have gone back," I said. "Didn't I say so?"

"Yes; but--"

"But what?"

"I didn't think you really meant it."

I suppose I didn't.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Herr Ballin ... spends his whole day in the offices of his
    company on the Alster, and rarely leaves Hamburg except for
    business journeys or to escape from some public
    cemetery."--_Manchester Guardian._

Why is he so unpopular?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Some day, perhaps a few centuries hence, if it is desired to
    turn the ship to the starboard, the order starboard will be
    given, and to the star-order 'starboard' will be given, and to
    the star-simpler, does it not?"

    _Naval and Military Record._


Much.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "With the exception of the police, Press representatives, and
    photographers there were comparatively few people in the
    thoroughfare. The photographers were requested by the police to
    refrain from operating, and they withdrew, while the remainder
    found their virgil very cold and unexciting."

    _Newcastle Daily Journal._

We confess that the Roman poet often used to leave us cold and unexcited
too.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Motorist_ (_after very narrow shave_). "But _why_
all this fuss? We haven't damaged you. You can't bring an action against
us."

_Second Motorist._ "I _know_ I can't, sir, I _know_ I cant; that's just
my point."]

       *       *       *       *       *

LOVE'S LABOUR.

I walked into Charles's room with undoubted meaning--that is to say, he
could see I intended to be there.

"Hello!" said Charles. "Help yourself to a chair."

"Thanks," I said--"thanks," and I sat down.

Charles looked at me thoughtfully. "There's something the matter," he
said.

"Ah! You've noticed it too, Charles. I thought so myself."

"Have you any idea what it is?" he asked.

I looked him steadily in the face. "Charles," I began, "you are a
stockbroker. You know the value of money." He groaned.

"Very well, I have a question to ask you--a simple financial question.
It is this. What, in your opinion as a stockbroker, a level-headed
stockbroker, is the least one can start on?"

"It all depends," he said. "Of course there's the deposit of securities,
£1000, and then--"

I waved my hand. "My dear man," I said, "I'm not thinking of marrying
the Stock Exchange."

Charles closed his eyes. "Good Lord," he murmured. "Poor old thing. I
never thought of this. Take a cigarette--or perhaps you don't smoke
now."

I took a cigarette with a fine independence. I carried it further and
borrowed a match.

"Now," I said, "we must try and keep to the point. What is the least one
can start on?"

"I don't know," he replied. "I've never begun. By the way, I must
congratulate you. Who is she?"

"Daphne," I said, and smiled wanly.

"You don't look well."

"I love her," I said simply, and the pathos of it all fairly gripped me.

Charles smoothed his hair. "We'd better stick to business," he said.

In an instant I was a business man. "Right," I said crisply. "Let me put
the question in another way. What is the least on which one can start?"

"Well, it all depends on what sort of an establishment you wish to keep
up. If you--"

"Nothing," I said quickly, "is good enough for Daphne. She's so
absolutely sweet. She sings, Charles, divinely. She dresses perfectly.
She plays the pianoforte exquisitely. She sings, did I say, divinely."

"Talking of establishments," said Charles--

"You're right," I agreed, and I moved into a chair by the table and drew
out my fountain pen. "We shall want a house," I began helpfully.

"A house? Oh, yes, I know. One of those things with rooms. Just one
house would do for a start, I suppose?"

I regarded him sorrowfully. "Charles, this is a serious matter."

"There's humour in everything if you look for it. How about eight
hundred?"

"Eight hundred!" I laughed brokenly.

"Well, seven hundred?"

"Ha! ha!"

"Six hundred? Dash it, that's very little."

"Charles," I pleaded.

"I don't want to be hard," he said, "but in justice to the people who
come to stay with you I can't go any lower."

"Not if we did without wine?"

"Six hundred."

"Wine and cigars, Charles?"

"Six hundred."

"I'll give up auction."

Charles cleared his throat as though about to make a concession.

"Make it five," I pleaded. "Make it five and you shall be my best man."

"Very well," he said, "I make it five hundred."

"And now, Charles, good-bye."

"Why good-bye?"

"I love her," I said simply.

"Poor old thing," he said. "Let me know about the wedding. I must make a
point of being there."

I pressed his hand. "You're a brick," I said.

Then I hurried out into a taxi and drove to Daphne's.

She refused me.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LEAN-TO SHED.

(_Communicated by an eight-year-old._)

  I've a palace set in a garden fair,
  And, oh, but the flowers are rich and rare,
      Always growing
      And always blowing
  Winter or summer--it doesn't matter--
  For there's never a wind that dares to scatter
  The wonderful petals that scent the air
  About the walls of my palace there.
  And the palace itself is very old,
  And it's built of ivory splashed with gold.
  It has silver ceilings and jasper floors
  And stairs of marble and crystal doors;
  And whenever I go there, early or late,
  The two tame dragons who guard the gate
  And refuse to open the frowning portals
  To sisters, brothers and other mortals,
      Get up with a grin
      And let me in.
  And I tickle their ears and pull their tails
  And pat their heads and polish their scales;
  And they never attempt to flame or fly,
  Being quelled by me and my human eye.
  Then I pour them drink out of golden flagons,
  Drink for my two tame trusty dragons....
      But John,
  Who's a terrible fellow for chattering on,
      John declares
      They are Teddy-bears;
  And the palace itself, he has often said,
  Is only the gardener's lean-to shed.

  In the vaulted hall where we have the dances
  There are suits of armour and swords and lances,
  Plenty of steel-wrought who's-afraiders,
  All of them used by real crusaders;
  Corslets, helmets and shields and things
  Fit to be worn by warrior-kings,
      Glittering rows of them--
      Think of the blows of them,
        Lopping,
        Chopping,
        Smashing
        And slashing
  The Paynim armies at Ascalon....
  But, bother the boy, here comes our John
  Munching a piece of currant cake,
  Who says the lance is a broken rake,
  And the sword with its keen Toledo blade
  Is a hoe, and the dinted shield a spade,
  Bent and useless and rusty-red,
  In the gardener's silly old lean-to shed.

  And sometimes, too, when the night comes soon
  With a great magnificent tea-time moon,
  Through the nursery-window I peep and see
  My palace lit for a revelry;
  And I think I shall try to go there instead
  Of going to sleep in my dull small bed.
      But who are these
      In the shade of the trees
      That creep so slow
      In a stealthy row?
  They are Indian braves, a terrible band,
  Each with a tomahawk in his hand,
  And each has a knife _without a sheath_
  Fiercely stuck in his gleaming teeth.

  Are the dragons awake? Are the dragons sleepers?
  Will they meet and scatter these crafty creepers?
  What ho! ... But John, who has sorely tried me,
  Trots up and flattens his nose beside me;
  Against the window he flattens it
      And says he can see
      As well as me,
  But never an Indian--not a bit;
  Not even the top of a feathered head,
  But only a wall and the lean-to shed.

R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

IN EXTREMIS.

A Nut lay dying. He was twenty-five. He had had a good time--too
good--and the end was near.

There was no hope, but alleviation was possible. "Is there anything," he
was asked, "that you would like?"

He was plucky and prepared for the worst.

"Yes," he said, "I'd like to know what I've spent since I was twenty.
Could that be arranged?"

"Easily," they said.

"Good," he replied. "Then tell me what I've spent on my bally old
stomach--on food."

"On food," they replied. "We find that you have spent on yourself an
average of a pound a day for food. For five years that is, roughly,
£1825."

"Roughly?" said the Nut.

"Yes. Counting one leap year, it would be £1826. But then you have
entertained with some freedom, bringing the total to £3075."

"Yes," said the Nut. "And what about drinks?"

"We find," was the reply, "that on drinks your average has been eighteen
shillings a day, or £1643 8s. 0d. in all."

"Good heavens!" said the Nut. "What a noble thirst! And clothes?"

"The item of clothes comes to £940," they said.

"Only three figures!" said the Nut. "How did I come to save that odd
£60, I wonder?"

"Not by any idea of economy," they replied. "Merely a want of time."

"And let's see," said the Nut, "what else does one spend money on? Oh,
yes, taxis. How much for taxis?"

"Your taxis," they said, "work out at seven shillings a day, or £639 2s.
0d."

"And tips?" the Nut inquired.

"Tips," they said, "come to £456."

The Nut lay back exhausted and oxygen was administered. He was very near
the end.

"One thing more," he managed to ask. "What have I paid in cloak-room
fees for my hat and stick?"

"Only £150," they said.

But it was enough: he fell back dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "An extremely able statement of the case for Federation is made
    up in a little book by Mr. Murray Macdonald and Lord Charnwood,
    which is just published (T. Fisher Unwin, 22s. 6d.)"--_Daily
    News._

Look out for a really big book by the same authors, at £22.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have long waited for a good definition of "tact," and here it is in
_The Transvaal Leader_:--

    "The police handled the large crowds who assembled at the
    station with considerable tact. One obstreperous fellow who
    appeared to be the worse for liquor got the butt-end of a rifle
    in his jaw after grossly insulting a constable, and he was then
    chased off by the crowd, who appeared to appreciate the tact of
    the police."

       *       *       *       *       *

A chance for Mr. LLOYD GEORGE:--The Deforestation
of Bootle.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Instructor._ "Now then, none of that hupside down flying
'ere; you ain't in the haviation corps."]

       *       *       *       *       *

"FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES."

"You know this sort of thing isn't good enough," said I, returning the
document to Minerva.

"His charges are certainly high," observed the lady of the house; "but I
don't think, Jack, we could get as good a doctor anywhere for less
money."

"I don't complain about the charges; I suppose they are all right. What
I object to is this pompous way of telling me I am in his debt: '_Mr.
John Spratt to Dr. Thom. For Professional Services to date, Ten
Guineas_.'"

"But, my dear, they all do it like that."

"Then they shouldn't. Tradesmen give full particulars of all charges
made for their services: why not doctors?"

"Oh, they would never agree to _that_, Jack!" said Minerva in surprise.
"It isn't etiquette. After all, a doctor is a doctor!"

"Let us hope so. At times I doubt it. But that is not the story. How do
you suppose I am to check this account without the necessary details?"

"My dear," exclaimed Minerva, "how positively quaint you are! One never
dreams of checking a doctor's account; one simply pays. Imagine asking a
doctor for an invoice! The idea!"

"And a jolly good idea too," I said. "Then we should know where we were.
Would you pass your butcher's bills if they merely said, '_For
Commercial Services to date_'?"

"That is quite a different matter. Doctors are not butchers."

"Sometimes surgeons are, so it comes to much the same. Anyhow, I object
to paying money without knowing what for. Let's apply for an invoice, if
only for the principle of the thing."

"We'll do nothing of the sort," said Minerva rather sharply. "It sounds
so mean, Jack, to ask a doctor for a detailed account--almost as if we
didn't trust him."

"I shall mention that to the butcher next time I see him, and to the
other tradesmen. It will save you a lot of trouble about the domestic
accounts."

"Don't be absurd. If you're so anxious to have those petty details I
think I can remember all the doctor's visits for you, without worrying
him."

I drew out a sheet of account-paper.

"The first time he came this year," she began, "was to attend Tommy. You
remember--after that New Year party. He called twice--no, three times to
see him."

"'_Item_ 1,' I wrote. '_To overhauling and repairing Tommy's tummy, time
and material, say 15s_.' When Tommy next overeats himself I shall attend
to his little business myself. Yes?"

"Then there was Aunt Maria who was staying with us and imagined she had
appendicitis, poor old thing! You remember the specialist, Jack?"

"I remember the specialist's fee--three guineas for absolute tomfoolery!
'_Item 2. To diagnosing Aunt Maria and failing to find anything wrong
and recommending appendicitis_.... ' Shall we say a guinea for Aunt
Maria's put-up job? I ought to get my money back since nothing was found
in Aunt Maria. There should be at least a discount on false alarms."

"Then there was Baby," continued Minerva. "We didn't know what was wrong
with him--and really I don't think now there was very much the matter,
although I felt so anxious at the time. But the doctor never would
explain fully."

"Of course not; that would be giving the game away. '_Item 3. To baby to
rights, 2s. 11d_.'"

"Two-and-elevenpence for baby!" protested Minerva. "If Aunt Maria was
worth a guinea--"

"She was not. I said so at the time."

"--Baby is certainly worth more than two-and-elevenpence."

"Well, make it two pounds eleven. I don't care either way. What I want
is an approximate idea of the way this fellow makes up his total."

"If he's charging two pounds eleven for all the little he did to Baby,
he's certainly charging too much, Jack; and you ought to see him about
it at once."

"Well, what next?"

"That was all, I think.... Oh, no. There was the time about Maudie's
cold."

"Oh, those kids' colds!"

"Well, my dear, I have spoken to the children about it until I am tired.
Do be reasonable."

"'_Item 4. To thawing Maudie's chest, lubricating throat, and taking
hard edge off voice, time and expenses._' ... How much?"

"He was only twice at Maudie, three times at Tommy. What did you put
down for Tommy?"

"Fifteen bob; but Maudie is bigger than Tommy."

"She is big for her age," reflected Minerva. "I remember asking the
doctor if he thought she was growing too fast."

"He'd call that a consultation."

"'_Item 5. To advising on rate of speed recommended for Maudie's growth,
one guinea._'"

"I might have saved that charge," sighed Minerva. "But that was all. How
much does it come to?"

"Allowing two visits to Maudie to be equal to three visits to Tommy, the
total bill amounts to six pounds three shillings."

"But that's four pounds seven less than he charges."

"And observe I am allowing two pounds eleven for Baby's fidgets--or
rather for your fidgets about baby--on the basis of Aunt Maria being
worth a guinea a whim."

"Two pounds eleven for looking at Baby's tongue every other day when
there was nothing really the matter with him at all! It's preposterous,
Jack. There must be something wrong. You must see Dr. Thom at once about
that account. Call to-morrow, dear, on your way to town."

       *       *       *       *       *

I called. After all there is, as Minerva says, something inexpressibly
mean in asking a doctor for a detailed account. This thought occurred to
me as Dr. Thom shook hands, beaming as usual with that genial
heart-warming smile of his.

"Ah--er--Doctor--my wife would like to see you first time you're
passing," I managed to say.

"Nothing serious, I hope?"

"Nothing much. A little matter of detail--that is--I mean Maudie's
chest--or rather Tommy's stomach."

"Oh, we'll soon put that right, bless you. Don't you worry yourself
about that, Mr. Spratt. Beautiful morning, isn't it?"

       *       *       *       *       *

A little rough on Tommy, perhaps, but rougher on me.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE AMERICA CUP.

[Illustration: "Here comes two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion."

_A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act. V., Scene 1._

[It is announced that the Defender is to be named _Half Moon_.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WARRANT.

Our village cobbler, Roberts, has reduced the principle, "Put not thy
trust in any child of man," to its very lowest and worst. He regards
himself as simply born to be robbed and oppressed. Yet is he so mild and
uncomplaining and unassuming about it all that no one, even the most
persistent robber and oppressor, could ever find it in his heart to do
him down. But even so his pessimism and readiness to be done are such
that he must make it very hard for people to spare him sometimes. I have
this story from our local banker, who was called upon by the Income
Producer Company, Limited (of some obscure address in the City of
London) to put the matter right.

It appears that Roberts had, after many years of economy, amassed some
savings, which from the first he regarded as bound to land him in
trouble. He indulged in twenty £1 shares in the I. P. Co., Ltd., only
because he had to do something with the twenty pounds. He told everybody
that he neither expected to see his capital again nor even to get any
interest on it. He hinted darkly at worse things to come from the
transaction, though what these might be he didn't pretend to know.

I have no inside knowledge of the I. P. Company, except that its stock
doesn't appear among the use of Trustee Securities. But whatever
trustees may think of it, it did declare at the end of 1913 (after a
somewhat prolonged silence) a decent dividend on its ordinary shares.
Maybe this was by reason of its innate honesty; maybe it was simply
because it hadn't the heart to deny his rights to such a man as Roberts.
Anyhow it declared its dividend, and, what is more, proceeded to pay it
in the manner usual to limited companies.

And so in due course Roberts received a formidable-looking piece of
paper, with the title, in very impressive lettering, "DIVIDEND WARRANT,"
and below the figures £1 8s. 3d.

There must be many, among the uninstructed classes, who have no idea
what a dividend warrant may be, but few would, I think, at once take the
dismal view of the thing that Roberts took.

By return of post the Secretary of the Income Producer Company, Limited,
received an envelope addressed in a shaky hand and enclosing a postal
order for a pound, together with a letter from Roberts, in which he
prayed for a few days of grace, in which a poor but honest old man might
raise the further 8s. 3d. thus demanded of him by legal process.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The bride will be supported by five piers."

    _Evening Standard._

Read this aloud to your wife and see if she isn't jealous. And then try
her with this from _The Greater Britain Messenger_:--

    "Big Dams and what they mean to the Church."

She ought to be shocked.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _McTavish._ "Noo, ma frien', see me sendin' the wee ba'
scootin' ower the bonny bur-r-r-n!"]

[Illustration: _McTavish._ (_to caddie_). "Awa', ye great sumph, an'
tak' it oot o' yon dur-r-r-ty ditch!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

MR. CHARLES INGE has brought to the shaping of _Square Pegs_ (METHUEN)
some good and healthy thoughts about life and love and the waste of
both, so that you get a wholesome impression of soundness and sincerity.
And there's a dedication which makes one think the author is writing of
realities which have been seen at close quarters. _Bernard Farquharson_,
the big-hearted colonial, returning to England and seeing the waste of
potentially good men in preposterous casual jobs which cannot lead
anywhere, longs to give them the chances of the big spaces in South
Africa (where, of course, there are no Labour troubles and a man's a man
for a' that!). He ventures his capital in _The Dictator_, a Fleet Street
derelict, in order to promote his emigration scheme, and his capital
departs before either his public or the big-wigs are convinced. I can't
think that _Bernard_ had really thought out his scheme. And I wonder
what he would have done if the little band of square pegs he got
together in desperation hadn't had the sense to refuse his offer to ship
them over to South Africa with his few remaining sovereigns. They would
certainly have been in a fine round hole at the other side. But
_Bernard_ did a better thing. The only emigrant in his party was
_Leonora_, and I like to think they lived happily ever after on his
little orange-farm. I can only hope that his rival, _Pike-Sarpe_, a
horrible little unctuous cad of a solicitor, will shortly do something
to attract the official attention of the Law Society.

       *       *       *       *       *

There will, I have no doubt, be joy in many a gentle heart over the glad
news that Mrs. GEORGE WEMYSS, whose _Professional Aunt_ made for her so
many friends, has created yet another charming relation. _Grannie for
Granted_ (CONSTABLE) is the story of a delightful old lady who from her
country home takes a placid and grandmaternal interest in the affairs of
her descendants--their love affairs mostly, of course, or the engaging
chatter of the smaller third generation. Some of the sayings of the
latter are worthy examples of the "good enough for _Punch_" variety,
which, as most persons with married friends know too well, is a phrase
covering a wide range of quality. Most of them, however, are excellent
and ring true. Of the love-affairs I feel myself a less competent judge,
but I should fancy their appeal will be compelling to the expert. It is
perhaps impossible for a book of this type wholly to avoid the charge of
being sugary or pretty-pretty, but with my hand on my heart I can
declare that Mrs. WEMYSS has done less to deserve it than most other
writers would. I shudder, for example, to imagine what certain
Transatlantic novelists would have done with the same material. In fine,
here is as pleasant and likeable a treatise on _l'art d'être
Grand'-mère_ as anyone need wish to read. I am uncertain as to the
precise significance of the title, which may refer to the fact that you
have only to ask a grannie and get what you want, or to the equal truism
that grandmotherly devotion is often accepted as a matter of course.
However it doesn't really matter. The important thing is that the public
have asked Mrs. WEMYSS for "another of the same," and the request has
been appropriately "granted."

       *       *       *       *       *

I happen to have incontrovertible proof (of the external kind) that the
one and only Mr. G. K. CHESTERTON is the author of _The Flying Inn_
(METHUEN). Otherwise I should have judged, by internal evidence, that it
was the work of an inferior writer of the same name as himself, and,
curiously enough, the same initials. Though hesitating to encourage
litigation I should have been inclined to recommend Mr. CHESTERTON to
apply as soon as possible for an injunction to restrain this person from
doing anything further to damage the real G. K. C.'s reputation. I
should have hinted that every now and then I had come upon a passage
which might well be the work of the author of _Heretics and Tremendous
Trifles_, and that only the intolerable dulness of the book as a whole
persuaded me that it had been written by another hand. It deals with the
adventures of _Lord Ivywood_ and _Captain Dalroy_, men of opposite views
on the subject of temperance. _Lord Ivywood_, having by some mysterious
means (not explained) acquired despotic power in England, issued an
edict that all inns should be abolished. At the same time he decreed
that alcoholic liquor might be sold wherever an inn-sign stood. _Captain
Dalroy_ accordingly stole the sign of "The Old Ship," and carried it
about with him, setting it up wherever his fancy dictated. And that, on
my honour as a Learned Clerk, is the whole plot of a fat,
closely-printed book of more than three hundred pages. I hope I have a
fairly catholic appreciation of humour; certainly, I can enjoy most
things, from MEREDITH to the American coloured comic supplement; but
_The Flying Inn_ was too much for me. It cannot have been easy to write,
even given useful characters like _Lord Ivywood_ and _Captain Dalroy_,
whose remarks can be made to run into three or four pages; but it is
considerably harder to read. There are good things in it, just as there
is gold (I understand) in sea-water, but the process of extraction is
tedious.

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss UNA SILBERRAD's novels are invariably good, and _Cuddy Yarborough's
Daughter_ (CONSTABLE), is among the best of them. _Cuddy_ himself is
delightfully irresponsible, and I felt a pang of disappointment when he
disappeared from the scene, although, considering that he became
increasingly lazy and comatose as he grew older, his decease, perhaps,
was not premature. Apart from his affability, _Cuddy's_ only claim to
distinction lay in the fact that he was the father of his daughter.
_Violet's_ lot fell in rather stony places; as a child she was
practically the guardian of her own father, and after his death she was
governess to the child of a woman as irresponsible as _Cuddy_, but not
half so comfortable to live with. Men swarmed round this _Lady
Lassiter_, and she loved most of them. Under the circumstances it was
fortunate that she had a most unsuspicious and tolerant husband. With no
hesitation I recommend the tale of _Cuddy_ and his daughter to the
notice of all except the ultra-moderns. But, lest I should fail as a
critic if I did no carping, I will say that, though I do not belong to
any Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Infinitives, I should like
Miss SILBERRAD to look at page 94, where she will find one that is not
only split but split to smithereens.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the paper wrapper of _Sarah Eden_ (MILLS AND BOON) the publishers
themselves call it "a novel of great distinction." Filled as I am with
the natural lust of the reviewer to contradict a publisher about his own
wares, I am bound to admit that I can find no phrase more apt for the
impression this book has made upon me. There is exceptional distinction
in the scheme of Miss E. S. STEVENS' story, and there is even more in
the grave charm and dignity of its telling. It is the record of the
development of a singular and beautiful character; "a spiritual
adventure" might have been its sub-title, for the events in _Sarah
Eden's_ life were those of mind rather than body. There are two main
divisions of the story: in the first we watch _Sarah_ from her
beginnings as a quiet introspective child in her Devon home, and through
the short course of her unsatisfactory married life. With considerable
skill the author has here shown the various forces that were at work
building up the heroine's character, and that strange blending of a
practical and commanding efficiency with the idealism of a dreamer that
exactly fitted her for the part she plays in the second half of her
story. The change comes with the sudden death of her husband, and the
first of the ecstatic visions that compelled _Sarah Eden_ to leave her
native country and prepare a place for her Divine Master in the home of
His first coming. Thenceforward the scene is in Jerusalem, where _Sarah_
establishes herself at the head of her strange little company of
fanatics. You can see how large is the plan of such a tale; it is one of
which you could not reasonably expect a wholly satisfactory ending, and
to my mind the latter portion is the weaker. But there are some
delightful scenes of life in modern Jerusalem. And _Sarah Eden_ herself
remains always a profoundly moving personality. For her alone the book
deserves to be called "a novel of great distinction."

       *       *       *       *       *

BEHIND THE SCENES IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE.

[Illustration: Municipal inflator preparing a coachman for an important
public function.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A CRY FOR GUIDANCE.

(_In a weekly paper, a correspondent--presumably in the first
raptures--recommends falling in love as a cure for all worries._)

  It is all very well to go talking like that,
    But tell me, pray, how does one do it?
  How feel at the sight of a hobble or hat
    A passionate impulse to woo it?
  I'm eager enough of my woes to be rid,
    But Cupid needs help in the placing
  Of shafts in a heart that's apparently hid
    'Neath a tough pachydermatous casing.

  I have mingled with maidens--the tender, the hard,
    The coy and the clinging--in legions;
  But none has contrived to inflict on the bard
   A jolt in the cardiac regions;
  Must I turn for assistance to science or art,
    Or put my predicament meekly
  To "Mona" who handles affairs of the heart
    In _Sensitive Simperings_ (weekly)?

  Your wonderful cure, my beneficent lad,
    For me, who am ready to try it,
  Is robbed of its worth by your failure to add
    A hint as to how they supply it.
  So nice a prescription I'm anxious to trust;
    'Tis milder than pills or emulsion;
  But I can't _fall_ in love; I require to be thrust,
    And you ought to supply the propulsion.





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