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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 18, 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 18, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146.

February 18, 1914


"I come," said Mr. LLOYD GEORGE last week, "from a farming stock right
down from the Flood. The first thing a farmer wants is to be secure." It
was of course during the Flood that the insecurity of land tenure was
most noticeable.


Lord CARRICK, who a few months ago was appearing in a sketch at the
Coliseum, seconded the Address in the House of Lords. We are glad to
note the growth of ties between Parliament and the Stage, and we are not
without hope that before long a further link will be added in the person


A new form of flying boat is being built in America, in which it is
hoped that somebody may fly from Newfoundland to Ireland in fifteen
hours. In the event of Home Rule, we trust, for the sake of the intrepid
aviator, that a still fleeter flying boat will be designed for the
return journey.


A resident of Waltham Abbey has just received a letter with a Waltham
Cross post-mark on the back of the envelope dated February, 31, 1914. We
understand that the recipient proposes to return the letter to the Post
Office marked "Date unknown."


With reference to the Old Time Supper which is to be a feature of the
Chelsea Arts Club Ball we are requested to state that it must not be
taken that all the food offered for consumption on that occasion will
bear the stamp of antiquity.


An enterprising publisher has, it is rumoured, persuaded no less a
personage than Mr. LLOYD GEORGE to write some books for him, and we are
promised at an early date, "Essays on Lamb (shorn)," "The Fortunes of
Montrose," and other works of creative fancy.


"I was shaved yesterday by a highly intelligent young Pole," says a
writer in _The Express_. The Barber's Pole is of course a very old


"Old Masters--VELASQUEZ and so on--what are they?" said Mr. Justice EVE
last week during a case dealing with pictures. "I should turn them into
cash if they were mine." Seeing how often the old fellows painted EVE'S
portrait, this _dictum_ of his Lordship strikes one as ungracious.


Messrs. BRYANT AND MAY have issued a brochure describing how little
houses may be made out of matches. A companion volume, entitled "How to
light them," by a Suffragette, may be expected shortly.


It is sometimes asked, Why do so few individuals when sentenced to death
for murder take advantage of their right to appeal? The answer is,
Because the Court of Criminal Appeal has the power of increasing a


    "Samuel, in the spirit of a notorious member of his race, one
    Pontius Pilate, disavows all responsibility in the matter of the
    shooting of Englishmen in the Transvaal."

    _New Witness._

_Mr. Punch_ (to Mr. SAMUEL) _Ave! Civis Romane!_


[Illustration: _Butler_ (_to new servant from the country_). "When
you've quite finished cleaning next door's steps perhaps you would
kindly begin on our own."]


    "BRIC-A-BRAC.--'My Somali Book' is a work by Captain Mosse, who
    spent a considerable time in the country, which Sampson Low is
    about to publish."--_Daily Chronicle._

Modesty is all very well in its place, but to publish an area of over
400,000 square miles and then call the feat "Bric-à-Brac"--well!


    "The full penalty of £20 and costs was imposed at Croydon
    Borough Police-court upon Ernest Montefiore de Wilton, of St.
    James's-street, W., for exceeding the ten-mile limit at Southend
    on Jan. 25.

    Burroughes & Watts' Billiard Tables for Speed."--_Daily

Mr. DE WILTON, reading the advertisement: "No, thanks. A really slow
table for me."



Sir,--Is the nation properly alive to the seriousness of the educational
_impasse_ in Herefordshire? Personally I view with alarm the state of
things of which that is a symptom.

What will it mean if this sort of thing spreads, as I fear it may? We
shall have the children of our working-classes growing up ill-educated
and with imperfect manners. Their spelling will become phonetic. They
will cease to speak grammatically. They will lose their pleasing accent.
Their lack of instruction in arithmetic may even lead them into errors
savouring of criminality. Worse, they will fall back in their
appreciation of music, art and poetry. They will be reading trashy and
sensational literature rather than the classical works to which our
elementary education directs their tastes.

To my mind, the condition of things is grave in the extreme, and for the
sake of the children I beg the nation to wake up and put an end to
conditions which make these strikes possible.

Yours obediently,


Sir,--The most promising event of last week was the delightful strike of
school-teachers in that beautiful county of Hereford. Happy children,
thus to be freed from the shackles of our so-called education. They will
now go to the only school worth learning in--the school of Mother
Nature; and if only the strike will continue long enough we shall see in
years to come poets and painters and musicians making a glad procession
from their Herefordshire homes to carry light and joy into our dark

Yours ecstatically,



    "The Bishop of Zanzibar (Dr. Weston) arrived at Charing-cross
    from Paris yesterday afternoon.... He went to the House of
    Charity, 1, Greek-street."--_The Times._

And a very good address for him.


    "Shea, Blackburn Rovers' clever insight-right, scored all three
    goals for the Football League against the Southern League at New
    Cross."--_Westminster Gazette._

Selection Committee's insight also right, evidently.

       *       *       *       *       *


From a Competition in _People of Position_ (with which are incorporated
_West End Whispers and Mayfair Mysteries_). Prizes will be awarded to
the three readers who are first, second, and third in guessing the
identities of the greatest number of Society Personages indicated in the
Guess Who It Is series of articles.

First Prize, a copy of this year's _Debrett_. Second Prize, a copy of
last year's _Debrett_. Third Prize, a bound volume of _People of
Position_ (with which are incorporated _West-End Whispers and Mayfair

       *       *       *       *       *

She is a woman who matters very much indeed. By birth and by marriage
she belongs to two extremely ancient families, which were settled in
Britain when it was entirely covered with forests and inhabited largely
by wild beasts. But it is not any advantage of birth or of wealth that
has made her the great social figure she is. It is her extraordinary
charm and her arresting personality. She is not strictly beautiful, but
her smile is peculiarly her own--a rare distinction in these days when
there is so much that is artificial.

She has the reputation of being one of the three best dressed women in
Europe, and never wears anything, not even her boots, more than once.
Her wit is positively brilliant, and in this connection it may be
asserted once for all that it was she who first gave vogue to the
greeting, "Doodledo," an abbreviated form of "How d'you do," though
others have been given the credit for that sparkling pleasantry. In the
art of "setting down" she is unapproachable, combining gentle courtesy
with fine satire and mordant epigram, as on the occasion when a certain
pushing and impossible outside person claimed her acquaintance in public
with a loud "How are you?" With her own look and smile she turned and
gave him his _coup de grâce_--"Not any the better for seeing you!"--at
which an exalted foreign Personage, who was chatting with her laughed so
much that he fell into an apoplexy.

She and her husband are sometimes at their beautiful place in
Middleshire, and sometimes at their mansion in Belvenor Square. When
they are not in England they are generally abroad. She is devoted to
horse-riding, motoring, yachting, and ski-ing, but has not, like some of
her set, forgotten how to walk. On the contrary, when in town she may
occasionally be seen taking this old-fashioned form of exercise in the
Park, placing one foot alternately before the other in her charmingly
characteristic manner.

She has once or twice, in a delightfully mischievous spirit, amused
herself by flouting those very social ordinances of which she is an
acknowledged high priestess. When wars, strikes, and Governments are
forgotten, it will still be remembered how, some years ago when she was
a few months younger than she is now, she appeared in her box at the
opera on a MELBA (_and therefore a tiara_) night wearing a necklace of
spar beads and a large ribbon bow on her head. An electric shock ran
through the house; opera and singers were unheeded; and the beautiful
Countess of ---- tore the family diamonds from her head and neck, and,
with a shriek of despair, flung them into the orchestra.

The subject of our article could have shone in any or all of the arts,
had she cared to give her time and talents to them. Let it be said, too,
that, though surrounded from her infancy with "all this world and all
the glory of it," she has a serious side to her character, countenances
the Church, and by no means discourages religion.

It is widely known that she keeps a diary. Ah! if only that diary, in
its dainty, morocco, gold-clasped volumes, could be abstracted from the
wonderful mother-o'-pearl escritoire, carried out of the exquisite
Renaissance boudoir, down the noble staircase and out of the massive
hall-door, and, after the spelling, grammar and composition had been
slightly overhauled, if it could but be published and given to the eager
world, what an intellectual feast it would provide! And to the fair,
gifted, high-born diarist what a fortune it would bring, and what a
number of simply _absorbing_ libel cases!


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Daily Mail_ must be more careful with its posters. Here are two
recent examples:--





       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lady Dorothy Wood, sister of the Earl of Onslow and wife of the
    Hon. E. F. Wood, M.P., son and heir of Viscount Halifax, was the
    recipient of birthday congratulations yesterday, when the Earl
    of Erroll, of Slain's Castle, Aberdeenshire, completed his 62nd

The Earl of ERROLL'S turn for congratulations will come when Lady
DOROTHY has a birthday.

       *       *       *       *       *


Now that the Pantomime season is drawing to a close and the intelligent
student of this branch of Drama is tempted to pass it in review, it may
be useful to him to have a list of possible Pantomimes drawn up in a
tabulated form according to genus and species, that their finer
distinctions, so easily overlooked, may be the better apprehended. _Mr.
Punch_ has no hesitation in placing his nice erudition at the disposal
of his readers.

Pantomimes may be divided into those of a distinctly Oriental origin and
_milieu_ and those which are either associated with Occidental
localities or with none in particular. For convenience we may divide
them broadly and loosely into Oriental and Non-Oriental Pantomimes. Very
well, then.


A. With a ship (_Sinbad the Sailor_).

B. Without a ship.
  (a) With a cave.
    (1) Password to cave, "Open Sesame" (_The Forty Thieves_).
    (2) Password to cave, "Abracadabra" (_Aladdin_).

  (b) Without a cave (_Bluebeard_).


A. With a ship.
  (a) With a cat (_Dick Whittington_).
  (b) Without a cat (_Robinson Crusoe_).

B. Without a ship.
  (a) With a giant.
    (1) With a cat (_Puss-in-Boots_).
    (2) Without a cat.
      (i.) With a bean-stalk (_Jack and the Beanstalk_).
      (ii.) Without a beanstalk (_Jack the Giant-Killer_).

  (b) Without a giant:
    (1) With animals: sheep (_Bo-Peep_);
        wolf (_Little Red Riding-Hood_);
        goose (_Mother Goose_);
        uncertain (_Beauty and the Beast_);
        two children (_The Babes in the Wood_).

    (2) Without animals.
      (i.) With footgear: shoes (_Goody Two-Shoes_);
           slippers (_Cinderella_).
     (ii.) No particular footgear.
       (a) With a "Jack" (_Jack and
              Jill, Little Jack Horner, The House that Jack Built_).
       (b) Without a "Jack" (The Sleeping Beauty).

       *       *       *       *       *

Notice on a suite of furniture:--

    "Monthly payments 12/6. They will last a lifetime."


       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: The Old Postmaster-General (_to the New

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fair Yankee_ (_who, on her first visit to England, has
been told how extremely obliging the London policeman is_). "Say, would
you vurry kindly do up my shoe-string?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A far-away Project of educational Films._)

  O advent of the age of gold,
    O happy day for proud papas
  When Hellas shall her tale unfold
    On secondary "cinemas"!

  When "all the glory that was Greece
    And all the grandeur that was Rome"
  Shall hire on a perpetual lease
    The academic "Picturedrome."

  O OVID on the screen for kids!
    O Helicon attained by 'bus!
  O filmographic Aeneids!
   O vitoscoped HERODOTUS!

  Our boys shall note the sacred Nine
    Ascending their immortal peak,
  Also Apollo (he was fine
    In the old films as _Alf the Freak_).

  They shall behold TEIRESIAS
    Telling the doom of Thebes, and con
  With eyes but not with lips the crass
    Way in which OEDIPUS went on.

  They shall observe quite painlessly
    The heroes toiling as they sit
  Rowing upon the sun-kissed sea
    With black smuts racing over it.

  Some stout electroscopic "star,"
    Some Gallic beauty bistre-eyed,
  Shall show them in the years afar
    How Helen laughed, how Priam died,

  And how the good ÆNEAS came
    Through faked adventures on the screen
  To Latium, and what forks of flame
    Devoured a dummy Punic queen.

  What snares the Queen of Love employed,
    What Juno: mixed with local ads,
  These shall be thoroughly enjoyed
    By all appreciative lads.

  And some day, if the gods are kind
    To hearts so filled with classic feats
  In many a marble palace "cined"
    And puffed so oft in halfpenny sheets,

  Shall come revulsion, faintly stirred
    By Phoebus' and the Muses' laugh,
  Against the foul sins of a word
    Like spectodrome or vitagraph.

  Youth shall draw learning from the spring
    Pierian, and be taught to know
  The clustered verbal shames that cling
    About the moving picture show,

  Till at the last shall dawn a bright,
    A long-to-be-remembered day,
  When porticos of fanes of light
    Shall print Kinema with a K.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "H.M.S. Cumberland.

    Geneva, Tuesday.

    The Municipality to-day gave a luncheon in honour of the
    officers and cadets of the training ship Cumberland.--Reuter."

    _Naval and Military Record._

Another record for WINSTON. He alone could succeed in getting _H.M.S.
Cumberland_ to Geneva.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Widcombe Manor, Bath, in which Fielding is said to have written
    'Tom Jones,' is to come under the hammer shortly. It is one of
    the smaller houses erected by Indigo Jones."

    _Manchester Evening News._

It was, of course, the influence of his ancestor Indigo which so tinged
certain episodes in _Tom's_ career.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Ha! Someone has been sitting on it," cried Father William, snatching a
flattened object off the piano-stool in high irritation. "It's
abominable, you know," turning to me. "There are any number of cushions.
The house is stuffed with cushions. Why people should always pounce upon
this one and manhandle it in this way"--He put it on the table and began
punching and squeezing and puffing and smoothing it till it had expanded
to its full extent. Then he flicked the dust off it with his
handkerchief. "I'll put it back in its box under the sofa," he said. "I
can't understand how it ever got out."

He dropped into an armchair and instantly recovered his equanimity.

"And why should they spare that one?" I asked.

"That," said the old man solemnly, "is my bazaar cushion."

"I thought it looked as if it had escaped from a bazaar," said I.

"It came back only last night," he went on. "Are you a judge of
cushions? How do you like it? Pretty nice piece of work, eh?"

"Yes," said I cautiously. "Looks to me pretty well put together and all
that; but it's rather--well, hideous, isn't it?"

"Yes, yes," said Father William. "I suppose it's the colour you object
to. I confess it's a bit of an eyesore. But of course it has to be like
that. It's a case of protective colouring, you know."

I didn't quite follow his line of thought and there was a short pause.
"You would hardly think to look at it," the old man went on at last,
"that that cushion has stood between me and all the trials and
persecutions incidental to bazaars for nearly half a century. Perhaps
the plague is not quite so bad as it was in the old days when I was in
my first City parish, but I must say they were particularly active last
summer. They have taken to holding them outside now, with Chinese
lanterns, so that there is no close season at all. I had the wit at the
very outset to see that the thing must be grappled with. They used to
badger me in two separate ways. I was always expected to send some sort
of contribution--and then I had to go and buy things. That was the worst
of it. I used to dive about, harassed and pursued, searching in vain for
the price of my freedom, always confronted by smoking-caps and
impossible needlework. It was a fearful ordeal."

"I know," said I, with sympathy. "I know all about it."

"But I found a way out, thanks to my cushion. I bought it at a Sale of
Work for Waifs and Strays nearly forty-seven years ago, and I think you
will agree with me that it is a fairly good cushion yet. Of course it
has been re-covered more than once. It was getting altogether too well
known in Streatham at one time. It used to be blue with horrid little
silver spangles."

"And how does it work?"

"It is beautifully simple. I am told that a bazaar is contemplated and
asked if I will assist. Very well, I send my cushion. That is quite good
enough; no one would expect me to do more. Then I go, on the appointed
day, buy the cushion, and walk out with an enormous parcel for all the
world to see that I have done my duty. Then it goes back in its box. The
only bazaars that I am unable to assist are those which occur (as they
sometimes do) when my cushion happens to be out."

"And is it never sold?"

"Well, _look_ at it!" said Father William. "Of course it had to be of
such a nature that there was no danger of its going off too quick. I
used always to go early on the first day to make sure. But since the
last time it was re-covered I have had more confidence in its staying
powers. I find there is no particular hurry."

"Do you put a price on it?" I asked.

"Oh, no. I don't like to do that. That might put me in an awkward
position if it came out. But I find it fairly exciting on each occasion
to discover what I shall have to pay for it. It is generally more
expensive now than it used to be in the old days. I suppose it is the
rise in the cost of living. But I am seldom satisfied, either way. If it
is too cheap I naturally feel rather slighted, seeing that it was I who
sent it; and if it is too dear of course I am annoyed because I have to
buy it. And it fluctuates extraordinarily. I have more than once bought
it in at half-a-crown and come home burning with indignation, and, if
you will believe me, there was a blackguard at that big Sale of Work for
the Territorials in the autumn who had the effrontery to charge me a
guinea and a half. I was furious with him."

"I wish you would lend it to me, Father William," said I, after a pause.
"We are getting up a Jumble Sale in Little Sudbury."

"No," said Father William firmly, "no. Little Sudbury is barred. The
last time it was there on sale there was a very painful scene. I had
arrived rather late, I remember, and I found my cushion actually being
sold by auction along with a pair of worsted slippers and a woolly door
mat--in one lot. I thought it showed very poor taste. Besides, it is
already booked to appear six times in the next fortnight."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dear Old Lady._ "You have a picture in the window marked
ten-and-six, by a Mr. Holbein. Could you tell me if that is an original
painting or merely a print?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "How stupid are the degenerate Tories who call this man [Mr.
    LLOYD GEORGE] a demagogue."--_Mr. BEGBIE on Mr. LLOYD GEORGE in
    "The Daily Chronicle," Feb. 5._

    "He [Mr. Lloyd George] was, if you like, a demagogue."--_Mr.
    BEGBIE on Mr. BALFOUR in "The Daily Chronicle," Feb. 7._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Duke of SUTHERLAND, we see, values the diamond-studded gold watch
and chain, of which he has just been relieved by two desperate
Neapolitans, at £60. But the real question is, would the CHANCELLOR OF
THE EXCHEQUER accept that valuation?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Oh, Jockywock darling, you _must_ try and remember it's
a tricycle, not a bicycle."]

       *       *       *       *       *


According to the New York Correspondent of _The Daily Chronicle_, the
publication of a letter from Mr. CROKER, formerly the great Tammany
Chief, attacking his successor, Mr. MURPHY, has greatly strengthened the
campaign for purifying the Administration.

The recent meeting of the Statistical Society was rendered remarkable by
a letter from Mr. LLOYD GEORGE who, in regretting his inability to be
present, impressed upon the Society the need of upholding a vigorous and
fastidious accuracy in the use of facts and figures. "To gain a
momentary triumph over an antagonist in a public controversy by a
misquotation, even though only a fraction is involved, is, in my
opinion, an act which permanently disqualifies the offender from holding
any place of responsibility." These golden words, so the President
observed, ought to be engraved in indelible letters in every school in
the kingdom.

The dignified and telling rebuke recently addressed by Mr. BERNARD SHAW
to Mr. G. K. CHESTERTON, for undue indulgence in paradoxical gymnastics,
has given great satisfaction to the members of the Society for the
Promotion of Simplified Thought. As the President of the Society, Dr.
Pickering Phibbs, puts it, to have Mr. SHAW on the side of the angels is
enough to make the Powers of Darkness throw up the sponge.

Mr. KEIR HARDIE'S remarkable speech at Wolverhampton, when he declared
that it was the duty of Labour to uphold the British Constitution, has
profoundly impressed Mr. LARKIN and Mr. LANSBURY, who are of opinion
that the stability of the British Empire is now assured for at least one
hundred years.

The publication of a letter from Mr. ROOSEVELT, censuring President
WILSON for the prolixity and verbosity of his Presidential messages,
will, it is believed, lend a powerful impetus to the campaign on behalf
of brevity in public utterances.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "YOUNG LADY APPRENTICE WANTED--must be tall to learn all higher
    branches of the trade."--_Advt. in_ (_our favourite news-paper_)
    "_The Hairdressers Weekly Journal_."

You want to be tall to reach up to the higher branches.

       *       *       *       *       *
From an Aberdeen firm's advertisement:--

    Success comes in Cans, not in Can'ts.

    Once-a-year Clearance.

    To-day and Following Days.

    Wonder Values!

    Stimulants to Encourage Purchasers.

In the cans, we suppose.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_To the Editor of "Punch."_)

Dear Sir,--As I am not at all satisfied with the recent decision of The
Rules of Golf Committee on the position created by a cow carrying off a
ball in her hoof, I appeal to you to arbitrate in the following dispute
between myself and my friend A (for I am too courteous to expose his
actual name).

During some very wild weather we made an arrangement, before starting
out, that, in the event of another storm coming on, the game should be
decided by the score existing at the moment of our consequent

A was in receipt of six bisques. I holed out the first in five. A, who
was in well-deserved trouble all the way, holed out in ten. I remarked,
"One up!" to which A made no response. As we moved off to the second tee
there was a loud clap of thunder and the heavens burst over our heads. A
at once shouted above the tumult, "I take my six bisques and claim the
hole and the match." He then headed swiftly for the pavilion.

I cannot believe that he was justified in his claim. What do _you_

Yours faithfully, FAIR PLAY.

_Editor's Decision._--The original arrangement was bad in Golf Law. The
match is therefore off, and each party must pay his own costs.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Do you believe in magic?" Jack asked.

I hedged.

"Well, whether you do or not," he said, "I've got a rather rum story for

"Go ahead," I replied.

"Very well," he said. "It was on last Tuesday morning that I looked in
at the watchmaker's to see if my watch was mended yet.

"It was hanging up in the glass case above the bench where he worked,
with my name on a little tab attached to the ring.

"'No,' the man said, 'it's not done--in fact, I'm still observing it.'

"'But it seems to be recording the time all right,' I said.

"'Yes,' he replied--'seems, but it isn't. That's mere chance. Do you
know, it's so fast that it's gained exactly twenty-four hours since you
brought it in. That's not to-day's time it's registering, but
to-morrow's. Leave it here another week, and I'll have got to the bottom
of the mystery.'

"At first I was disposed to do so; and then I had an idea.

"'No,' I said, 'I'll take it.'

"'But it's useless to you,' he replied.

"'I'll take it," I said. 'Just for fun.'

"He gave it me reluctantly and returned to his labours.

"I walked away from the shop very thoughtfully. Here was a curious state
of things. I and the rest of the world were living on Monday, February
9th, while my watch was busily recording, a little too hurriedly, the
progress of time on Tuesday, February 10th. To see into the future has
ever been man's dearest wish, and here was I in possession of a little
piece of machinery which actually was of the future and yet could tell
none of its secrets.

"But couldn't it? Couldn't I wrest one at least from it?--that was what
worried me.

"As I pondered, a newspaper boy passed me bearing the placard
'Selections for Lingfield,' and in a flash I bought one. My watch knew
who had won! How could I extract that information from it?"

Jack paused.

"Good heavens," I interpolated, "what an extraordinary situation!"

"You may well say so," he said. "You see, if only I could share its
knowledge, I should be rich for life; for it was now only a quarter to
eleven, and the first race was not till one-fifty, and there was plenty
of time to bet.


"I continued on my way deep in thought," Jack went on, "when whom should
I meet but Lisburne? Lisburne is the most ingenious man I know.

"'Come and advise me,' I said, and led him to a quiet corner.

"'It's jolly interesting,' he remarked, when I had finished, 'but of
course it's black arts, you know, and we've lost the key nowadays. Still
we must try.'

"We discussed the thing every way, in vain.

"Then suddenly he said, 'Look here, this watch represents to-morrow.
That means it is through the watch that we must work. Here, let's get
to-day's _Mail_ and read it through the watch-glass and see if there's
any difference?'

"We got it and did so.

"Lisburne removed the glass, found the racing news and read them through
it. 'Good heavens!' he said, and turned white. 'Here, read this with
your naked eye,' he said, pushing the paper before me.

"I read 'Saturday's racing results: 1.30, Midas 1, Blair Hampton 2,
Chessington 3,' and so on. 'Prices, Midas 6-4,' etc.

"'Those are Saturday's results,' he said, shaking with excitement. 'But
now read them through the watch-glass.'

"I did so, and they immediately changed to Monday's results. I was
reading to-morrow's paper!

"'Look at the prices,' he cried.

"'The prices! I hastily ran through them. They were splendid. "Captain
Farrell 10-1, Woodpark 10-1, Flitting Light 4-1." And these horses,
remember,' he said, 'are going to run this afternoon!'

"'What's the next thing to be done?' I gasped.

"'The bookies,' he replied.

"'I suppose they're fair game,' I said.

"'Of course,' he replied. 'The very fairest. But that's nothing to do
with you, anyhow. You're in possession of magic and must employ it. They
are the natural medium. How much can you muster?'

"'I'd risk anything I could scrape up,' I said. 'Say £750. And you?'

"'Oh, I'm broke,' he replied. 'How many bookies do you know?'

"'Three,' I said.

"'Well,' he replied, 'I know three more, and we can find men who know
others, and who will bet for us. Because we must plant this out warily,
you know, or they'll be suspicious.'

"'Will you take it in hand,' I asked, 'leaving me £150 for my own

"'Of course,' he said, 'if you'll give me ten per cent.;' and having
copied out all the longer-priced winners through the watch-glass he
hurried off, promising to meet me at lunch.

"How to get through the intervening time was now the question. First I
went to the telegraph office, and then to the barber's to have my hair
cut. Forcibly to be kept in a chair was what I needed. The hair-cut took
only half-an-hour; so I was shaved; then I was shampooed; then I was
massaged; then I was manicured. I should have been pedicured, but the
clock mercifully said lunch-time.

"Lisburne was there in a state of fever. He had distributed the £600
among fourteen different commission agents.

"'Now we can have lunch,' he said, 'with easy minds.'


"'But suppose the whole thing is a fizzle,' I said. 'We've been far too
impetuous. Impulse was always my ruin.'

"'Oh no,' he said.

"'But if it's a fizzle,' I said, 'what about my £750?'

"'It won't be,' he replied. 'It's magic. Let's order something to eat.'

"He ate; that is the advantage of being on ten per cent. commission. I

Jack paused.

"Go on," I said. "Did the horses win?"

"Every one," he replied.

"At those prices?"


"Then you're frightfully rich?"

"No," he said.

"Why ever not? Surely the bookies haven't refused to pay?"

"Oh no."

"Then why aren't you rich?"

"Because I did the usual silly thing--I woke up."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Cafe Chantant.

    To the Editor of 'The Evening Post.'

    Sir,--In writing on the 4th February I omitted from the lists of
    names of two of our kind helpers at the Café Chantant, Messrs.
    Le Cheminant and the Victoria Dairy. Will you kindly allow me to
    do so now. Yours faithfully, M. P. PIPON."

    _"The Evening Post," Jersey._

Apparently the Editor wouldn't!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Yesterday a metal-gilt chandelier, 5ft. high, with branches for
    twenty-five lights, and numerous cut-glass pendants, fell at the
    one bid of half a guinea. The purchaser, who was sitting under
    it, seemed to be the most surprised person in the room."

    _Daily Telegraph._

If it fell on his head, we fear he must have been pained as well as

       *       *       *       *       *

    "N.B.--Welsh rarebit is most nourishing, and, with a plate of
    soap, makes an excellent dinner." _Bombay Gazette._

The soap, however nourishing, should be disguised; otherwise your guests
will misunderstand you.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Stewardess._ "We are just nearing the harbour, Madam.
Would you like some hot water?"

_Passenger_ (_faintly_). "It doesn't matter, thank you; I'm only going
to relations."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Preparations are already on foot for the great banquet to be given in
honour of the famous Russian novelist, Dr. Ladislas Plovskin, who is to
visit England in July. A representative committee has been formed, which
includes, amongst others, Sir GILBERT PARKER, Mr. CHARLES GARVICE, Mr.
Mr. EDMUND GOSSE, who will take the chair at the banquet. There is a
peculiar appropriateness in this, for it was Mr. GOSSE who, some ten
years ago, first called attention to Plovskin in one of his masterly
studies. Since then, Plovskin has gained the Nobel Prize and become the
object of a special cult which has centres from Tomsk to Seattle, and
from Popocatapetl to Oshkosh.

The address which will be presented to the great Muscovite fictionist
has been written by Mr. JAMES DOUGLAS, and is a masterpiece of sensitive
and discriminating eulogy. Thus in one passage Mr. DOUGLAS says, "while
preserving your own individuality with miraculous independence, you have
summed up in your work all the inchoate influences to be found in HOMER,
DANTE, SHAKSPEARE, VOLTAIRE and VERLAINE, and carried them to a pitch of
divine effulgence only to be equalled in the godlike work of our
marvellous MASEFIELD."

Dr. Plovskin is no stranger to England, for he was an intimate friend of
the late EDWARD LEAR, who alludes to him under the name of Ploffskin in
one of his touching lyrics, and, as we have seen, he owes almost
everything to the generous appreciation of Mr. GOSSE, to whom he has
dedicated his last novel, which bears the fascinating title of _The Bad
Egg_. Portions of this, it is to be hoped, will be recited at the
banquet by the author's brother-in-law, Mr. Ossip Bobolinsky, Managing
Director of the Anglo-Manchurian Steam Tar Company.

       *       *       *       *       *

In smart intellectual circles Tagore Teas are now all the rage. At these
elegant and up-to-date entertainments China tea is absolutely
proscribed, the refreshments, solid and liquid, being exclusively of
Indian origin. After tea the guests cantillate passages from the prose
and poetry of the Great Indian Master to the accompaniment of gongs (the
Sanskrit _tum-tum_) and one-stringed Afghan jamboons, for the space of
two or three hours, when their engagements permit. Sometimes the reading
is varied by mystical dances of a slow and solemn character, but all
laughter, levity and exuberance are sedulously discountenanced, the aim
of all present being to attain an attitude of serene and complacent
ecstasy which enables them to invest utterances of the most perfect
ineptitude with a portentous and pontifical significance.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The advent to the episcopal bench of Dr. Russell Wakefield--the
    only Anglican Bishop on record to wear a moustache with a
    clean-shaven chin--does not appear to have aroused so much
    comment as the appointment of Dr. Ryle to the See of Liverpool
    in 1884. It was then said that the new prelate was the first
    Anglican Bishop to wear a beard for over 200 years."--_The Daily

Dr. RUSSELL WAKEFIELD, of course, has not worn his moustache for a
quarter of that time.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a Hong Kong tradesman's circular:--


    These eggs are exceedingly pure and fresh, and can be proved by
    looking at or breaking them. The yelk when boiled--smell sweet,
    the white--glistened, relished, and favourable to health as

    TRY our taseeful eggs as their quality bears.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Winter Sport_ (_looking at a magnificent view of
the Alps_). "Not bad, that."

_Second Winter Sport._ "Yes, it's all right; but you needn't rave about
it like a bally poet."]

       *       *       *       *       *


  To-day it is not mine to sing
  A lay of love, a song of Spring;
  I tackle no uplifting thing
      Of arms and men;
  My muse is otherwise beguiled
  To gentler themes and measures mild;
  I sing of nature's artless child,
      The common hen.

  Little she has of lyric stuff;
  Her bows, I grant, are merely bluff,
  Her sternmost pile of windy fluff
      Would leave one cool;
  Yet never since the world was planned
  Was aught more lofty and more grand
  Regarded as a mother--and
      Such an old fool.

  In laying eggs is all her joy;
  Its rapture never seems to cloy;
  She knows no worthier employ
      In life than this,
  So to collect a fertile batch
  Still young, still fresh enough to hatch,
  And thus, by sterling effort, snatch
      A mother's bliss.

  But, though the futile one will lay
  (When she's in form) an egg per day,
  She always gives the fact away
      With loud acclaim
  That all the novel truth may know;
  Whereby the unsleeping human foe
  Derives a tip on where to go
      To get the same.

  It does not make her senses reel,
  This mystery, or dim her zeal,
  Till by degrees she seems to feel
      Her broken lot;
  She roams aloof, she grows depressed;
  And then, her broody sorrow guessed,
  Men lure her to a well-filled nest
      And bid her squat.

  And now behold her, warm and wide,
  Her rounded form well satisfied,
  Though even in her highest pride
      She has no luck;
  The offspring that she tends so well
  Are probably of alien shell;
  Indeed, for all that she can tell,
      They may be duck.

  Yes, one may grant that on the whole
  She would not thrill the poet soul;
  For, tho' she plays a decent _rôle_
      Beyond all doubt,
  Where mental qualities are lacked
  We find but little to attract;
  She does not make, in point of fact,
      The heart go out.

  But see her when some danger lies
  O'er her young brood, and, with wild eyes,
  Straight at the sudden foe she flies,
      Her full soul spurred
  To battle with the gnashing beak--
  A roaring tiger is more meek;
  And somehow one is bound to speak
      Well of the bird.


       *       *       *       *       *

From the "Found" column in _The Standard_:--

    "Fox Skin Fur, on Hog's Back."

The last place where you would look for it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Natal first innings--Barnes, 5 wickets for 44 runs; Rolf, 4 for
    59; Woolley, 6 for 6; Douglas, 8 for 8; Hearne, none for 15;
    Bird, 1 for 9.--P.A. Foreign Special Telegram."

    _Glasgow Herald._

And yet Natal won.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: The "Premier" Parrot (_emerging from profound thought_).

FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE _SAY_ IT AND GET IT OVER!" [_Parrot relapses into
profound thought_.]]

       *       *       *       *       *


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

_House of Commons, Tuesday, February_ 10.--Odd to find proceedings in
House to-day reminiscent of incident in a famous trial. Occasion
recognised as supremely momentous. Marks, within defined limit of time,
crisis of bitter controversy. Before Session closes fate of Ireland and
of the Ministry will be settled. PREMIER'S speech awaited with gravest
anxiety. Lobby thronged with animated groups. Before four o'clock--when
SPEAKER returned to Chair elate with consciousness of singular foresight
in having "for greater accuracy" possessed himself of copy of KING'S
Speech, presently read to expectant Members, most of whom heard it
delivered from the Throne two hours earlier--stream of humanity flooded
House, filling every seat and crowding Bar.

It was at preliminary gathering that case of _Bardell_ v. _Pickwick_ was
recalled. House awaiting arrival of Black Rod with summons to repair to
gilded Chamber. Message delivered, SPEAKER, escorted by SERJEANT-AT-ARMS
carrying Mace, marches off. From Treasury Bench and from Front Bench
opposite, Leader of House and Leader of Opposition simultaneously rise
and fall in. Other Ministers and ex-Ministers with mob of Members
complete procession.

When PREMIER and BONNER LAW met they heartily shook hands. CAPTAIN CRAIG
and MOORE (of Armagh) looked at each other in pained surprise.

[Illustration: _Mr. Pickwick_ (Captain Craig) regards with abhorrence
the exchange of salutations between _Serjeant Buzfuz_ (Mr. Asquith) and
his own counsel, _Serjeant Snubbin_ (Mr. Bonar Law).]

Here was the touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. When seated
in court awaiting opening of trial, _Mr. Pickwick_ observed a learned
serjeant-at-law make friendly salutation to his own counsel.

"Who's that red-faced man who said it was a fine morning, and nodded to
our counsel?" he whispered to his solicitor.

"Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz," was the reply. "He's opposed to us; he leads on
the other side."

_Mr. Pickwick_, it is recorded, regarded with great abhorrence the
cold-blooded villainy of a man who, as counsel for the opposite party,
presumed to tell _Mr. Serjeant Snubbin_, who was counsel for him, that
it was a fine morning.

Thus MOORE (of Armagh) and the COURAGEOUS CRAIG. Here were the
contending forces set in battle array, and the first thing they behold
is their Captain shaking hands with the commander of the enemy! An
ominous beginning, they agreed, well calculated to depress the spirits
of men who mean business.

It proved emblematical of what followed. Expected that stupendous
occasion would be marked by dramatic scenes, possibly by outbreak of
disorder. Nothing of that kind happened. Scene was indeed impressive by
reason of Chamber being crowded from floor to topmost bench of
Strangers' Gallery. Also, whilst PREMIER in unusually low-spoken,
comparatively halting voice, delivered critical passages of his speech,
there was movement marking intense interest. Multitude on floor of House
bent forward to catch the murmured syllables. Members crowding the side
galleries stood up in same anxious quest.

[Illustration: _Mr. John Burns_ (_holding list of the four new
appointments to Government Departments, including his own to the Board
of Trade_). "Excellent choices!--with perhaps the exception of Samuel,
Hobhouse and Masterman."]

Otherwise the accustomed signs and tokens of Parliamentary crisis were
conspicuously lacking. WALTER LONG, whose return to fighting-line after
bout of illness was warmly welcomed on both sides, pitched the opening
note a little low. Not fierce enough to gratify Ulster, he
correspondingly failed to irritate the Home Rulers.

As for PREMIER, his part, adroitly played, was to appear to be saying a
good deal without committing himself to definite pledges. Above all, not
to inflame controversy. He brought with him unusually copious notes, but
did not, as is his wont on such occasions, read from them the text of
especially weighty passages. Spoke slowly, occasionally in a murmur,
uttering his sentences as if deliberately weighing each word. Following
WALTER LONG, he was received with prolonged cheers, testifying to
personal popularity. When he sat down cheering was more polite than

Irish Nationalists barely contributed even to this circumspect note of
approval. Throughout nearly an hour's speech they sat in ominous
silence, listening to passages in which they seemed to recognise
disposition on part of PREMIER towards mood of _Benedick_, who, when he
said he would die a bachelor, never thought he would live to be married.

Had not PREMIER within the last twelve months frequently declared he
would never consent to exclusion of Ulster from Home Rule Bill? And
wasn't he now showing signs of disposition to surrender?

_Business done._--Parliament reassembles. WALTER LONG, on behalf of
Opposition, moves amendment to Address, calling upon Government to
appeal to country before proceeding further with Home Rule Bill.

_Wednesday._--Interest of sitting centred in speeches of CARSON and JOHN
REDMOND. Former met with rousing reception from Opposition. Some
Ministerialists would have liked to join in the demonstration, not
because they share CARSON'S views or admire his policy, but because they
instinctively feel admiration for a man of commanding position who has
sacrificed personal and professional interests to what he regards as the
well-being of his country. Esteem increased by merit of his speech. Only
once did he lapse into tone and manner of personal attack familiar to
House when Ulster Members and Nationalists, hating each other for love
of their country, join in debate. Turning round to top bench below
Gangway, where JOHN REDMOND sat attentive, he said: "If you want Ulster,
come and take her, or come and win her. But you have never wanted her
affections; you have wanted her taxes."

This stung to the quick. REDMOND, leaping to his feet when CARSON
resumed his seat, hotly denounced accusation as unworthy of his

House already began to show signs of satiety. Long intervals when
benches were empty. COUSIN HUGH, speaking at favourable hour of six
o'clock, failed to attract an audience to whom he might present his
cheering forecast of an interval of six weeks spent in listening to
speeches of Members below the Gangway, "poked up by the CHANCELLOR OF
crowded whilst CARSON and REDMOND spoke. Filled up again when CHANCELLOR
OF EXCHEQUER in brief speech wound up debate on behalf of Government,
and BONNER LAW, as usual unencumbered by notes, replied.

_Business done._--Demand for immediate dissolution negatived by 333
votes against 255. Opposition elate at reduced majority.

"I fancy," said PREMIER, smiling serenely upon the WINSOME WINSTON,
"they would gladly suffer from our complaint."

_House of Lords, Thursday._--Noble Lords, having disposed of Address,
already find themselves in condition of frozen-out gardeners who have no
work to do. Session but a few days old has already afforded fresh sign
of disposition to belittle hereditary Chamber.

[Illustration: "Noble Lords already find themselves in condition of
frozen-out gardeners who have no work to do."

(Lord Curzon and Lord Lansdowne.)]

It happened thus. On opening night Lord LONDONDERRY, making his way
along Peers' Gallery in Commons, came upon extraordinary sight. A
stranger on front seat overlooking sacred quarter allotted to Peers,
finding himself incommoded by hat and overcoat, neatly folded up the
latter, dropped it on the Peers' bench beneath and carefully placed his
hat upon it. Hadn't LLOYD GEORGE demonstrated that the land belonged to
the people? Here was undeveloped space. As a free man he claimed it for
his own uses.

LONDONDERRY, halting, angrily regarded the incumbrance. Turned about
with evident intention of calling attendant's notice to unparalleled
liberty. At that moment his eye fell on the countenance of the stranger.
Could it be? Yes; it was the school proprietor whose patriotic offer of
aid to Ulster in approaching civil war he had a few days earlier
reported to an admiring nation. Letter offered to provide for two sons
of any Ulster volunteer who fell in battle with the myrmidons of an
iniquitous Ministry. As sometimes happens, pearl of the letter was
hidden in the postscript. Writer explained that he could not very well
go to the war himself but would send his partner.

Recognition placed new aspect on little affair.>LONDONDERRY perceived it
was simple ignorance of customs of the place that led to apparent
indiscretion. So with genial nod passed on to seat over the clock.

Few minutes later outraged attendant, catching sight of the bundle,
peremptorily ordered its removal.

_Business done._--By 243 votes against 55 Lords carried MIDDLETON'S
amendment to Address demanding immediate dissolution. WILLOUGHBY DE
BROKE communicated to the MEMBER FOR SARK his conviction that this
hide-bound Government will take no notice of the mandate.

"Reminds me," said the Bold Baron, brushing away a manly tear, "of a
hymn I learned in the nursery:--

  'Tis not enough to say
    You're sorry and repent
  If you go on in the same way
    As you did always went.'"

       *       *       *       *       *


(_From "The Daily Sale."_)

_The Daily Sale_ has peculiar pleasure in announcing that another of its
insured readers has been gravely injured by an accident to the taxi-cab,
omnibus, train or tram, in (or on) which he was travelling at the time
of the disaster. The name of this reader (whose portrait is given) is
Mr. Vivian Brackendope, the well-known amateur actor of Burton-on-Beer.
Mr. Vivian Brackendope is indeed a lucky man. He is the ninth of our
readers to be badly smashed up during the past six weeks. Now, who will
be the tenth? Fill up the coupon on page 2 and _you_ will be eligible.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "In the list of successes in the Cambridge Local Examinations we
    notice the name of P. T. Harris, of Wellingborough Grammar
    School, who gained credit for himself and his school by passing
    in every subject and gaining four distinctions, the distinctions
    being gained in arithmetic, French, algebra, and Little Bowden
    Pig Club."

_Market Harborough Advertiser._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "COUNTRY LIFE: an Illustrated Journal for all interested in
    Country Life and Country Pursuits, complete from its beginning
    in 1897 to June 1906, _profusely illustrated with views of
    ancient and modern seats, Country scenes, sporting incidents,
    and portraits of winning horses, prize beasts, and fashionable

    _Bookseller's List._

An ungallant sequence.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Then, after a last earnest statement of the Ulster position by
    Mr. Gordon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer rose to wind up the
    Government."--_Daily Telegraph._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Ardent Young Lady Visitor_ (_who is being shown over
author's sanctum_). "How perfectly _sweet_ it must be to have a room
where one can work without being disturbed."]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _David Quixano_ (Mr. Walker Whiteside) to _Herr
Pappelmeister_ (Mr. Clifton Alderson). "I cannot take a fee for playing
in your orchestra. I am too Quixanotic to do a thing like that."]

       *       *       *       *       *


"The Melting Pot."

It is impossible not to respect the earnestness of Mr. ZANGWILL when he
treats of the persecution of his co-religionists in Russia, or their
social exclusion in America. But when he appeals to an English audience
he is addressing the converted. It is a good many years since the pogram
was a popular form of amusement in this country, and at present the Jew
is the flattered idol of English Society. It may seem surprising that
his play should have had so great a success in the States, where they
are not supposed to have a passion for hearing home truths. But then its
main theme is the glorification of America as the Melting Pot or
crucible into which are flung the wrongs and hatreds and slaveries of
the old world, to re-appear in the shape of justice and love and
freedom. This is the theme upon which _David Quixano_, a Kishineff Jew
who has lost all his family in a massacre, goes from time to time into
an orgy of lyrical raptures. And indeed the swiftness with which the
naturalised immigrant, of just any nationality, assimilates himself to
local conditions, instantly changing his heart with his change of sky,
and learning to wave his stars and stripes with the best of the
native-born, must seem miraculous to the ordinary patriot. And here we
touch the weak spot in Mr. ZANGWILL'S pæan of the Melting Pot. For those
who migrate to America for the sake of its democratic freedom are the
few; and those who go there for the sake of its dollars are the many;
and into the Melting Pot--or, to use an image more apposite to
indigenous tastes, its Sausage Machine--are thrown not only the wrongs
and hatreds of unhappy races but also the dear traditions of birth and
blood and family ties and pride of country, to emerge in a uniform
pattern without a past.

For his plot, Mr. ZANGWILL relies upon a very stagy coincidence.
_Quixano_ falls in love with a young Russian girl who conducts a
Settlement Home in New York, and conquers her prejudice against his
race, only to find that she is the daughter of the very officer who
permitted the massacre at Kishineff in which _Quixano's_ family had
perished, and himself been wounded. In turn he naturally has his own
prejudices to conquer, and does so. But not till he has scared us with
the fear that he is going to be false to his theory of purification by
process of the Melting Pot.

Mr. WALKER WHITESIDE, who plays the part, was excellent in his quiet
moods, and when he was obliged to rant was no worse than other ranters.
The superb solidity of Mr. SASS as the Russian officer served as an
admirable foil to the mercurial methods of _Quixano_. Miss PHYLLIS RELPH
as the heroine mitigated the effect of her obvious sincerity by a bad
trick of showing her nice teeth. Mr. PERCEVAL CLARK, as a young American
millionaire, was pleasantly British. Humorous relief of a cosmopolitan
order was provided by the Irish brogue of Miss O'CONNOR; the broken
English of Miss GILLIAN SCAIFE; the Anglo-German of Mr. CLIFTON ALDERSON
who played very well as _Herr Pappelmeister_ (Kapellmeister to a New
York orchestra); and what I took to be the Yiddish of Miss INEZ BENSUSAN
as the aunt of the hero, a pathetic figure of an old lady with firm
views about the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath, and a pedantic habit of
celebrating with a false nose and other marks of hilarity the
anniversary of the escape of the Chosen People from a Persian pogram
twenty-five centuries ago.

It might seem from this long catalogue of humorists that frivolity was
the prevailing note of the play. But I can give assurances that this was
not so. The prevailing note was a high seriousness, culminating in the
last Act, when tedium supervened. I attribute my final depression in
part to the scene--a bird's-eye view of New York from the roof-garden of
the Settlement House. It was impossible to share _Quixano's_ spasm of
exaltation in the matter of the Melting Pot as he gazed on this very
indifferent example of scenic art.

       *       *       *       *       *

"A Midsummer Night's Dream."

I am not sure that Mr. GRANVILLE BARKER'S faithful followers are being
quite kindly entreated by him. He happens to have a keen sense of humour
and for some little while he has been trying, with a very grave face, to
see how much they will swallow. This time, everybody else except the
initiated can see the bulge in his cheek where his tongue comes.

The alleged faults of the old school, which the new was to correct, were
(1) an over-elaboration of detail in the setting; (2) a realism which
challenged reality. ("Challenge," I understand, is the catch-word they
use.) Both these qualities were supposed to distract attention from the
drama itself. The answer, almost too obvious to be worth stating, is
that the grotesque and the eccentric are vastly more distracting than
the elaborate; and that, if you only sound the loud symbol loud enough
the audience has no ear left at all for the actual words. As for the
"challenging" of reality the new school would argue that, as the stage
is a thing of convention to start with--artificial light, no natural
atmosphere or perspective, no fourth wall, and so on--all the rest
should be convention too. The answer, again almost too obvious, is that,
since the audience has to bear the strain of unavoidable convention, you
should not wantonly add to their worry. And, anyhow, the human figures
on your stage (I leave out fairies and superhumans for the moment) are
bound to challenge reality by the fact that they are alive. If Mr.
BARKER wants to be consistent (and he would probably repudiate so
Philistine a suggestion) his figures should be marionettes worked by
strings; and for words--if you _must_ have words--he might himself read
the text from a corner of the top landing of his proscenium.

[Illustration: _Hermia_ (Miss Laura Cowie). "I upon this bank will rest
my head."]

And the strange thing is that no one in the world has a nicer sense of
the beauty of SHAKSPEARE'S verse than Mr. BARKER. Indeed he protests in
his preface: "They (the fairies) must be not too startling.... _They
mustn't warp your imagination--stepping too boldly between SHAKSPEARE'S
spirit and yours._" (The italics are my own comment.) He is of course
free, within limits, to choose his own convention about fairies, because
we have never seen them, though some of us say we have. Mr. CHESTERTON
naturally says they can be of any size; Mr. BARKER says they can be of
any age from little _Peaseblossom_ and his young friends to hoary
antiques with moustaches like ram's horns and beards trickling down to
their knees. And as many as like it, and are not afraid of being
poisoned, may have gilt faces that make them look like Hindoo idols with
the miraculous gift of perspiration. But he should please remember that
the play is not his own. It is, in point of fact, SHAKSPEARE'S, and I am
certain he was not properly consulted about the Orientalisation of the
fairies out of his Warwickshire woodlands. You will be told that he
_has_ been properly consulted; that he himself makes _Titania_ say that
_Oberon_ has "come from the furthest steppe of India," and that she too
had breathed "the spiced Indian air." But on the same authority Mr.
BARKER might just as well have fixed on Asia Minor or Greece as their
provenance. She charges _Oberon_ with knowing _Hippolyta_ too well, and
he accuses her of making _Theseus_ break faith with a number of ladies.
Clearly they were a travelling company and would never have confined
themselves to the costumes of any particular clime.

Anyhow, when at His Majesty's you saw _Oberon_ in sylvan dress moving
lightly through a wood that looked like a wood (and so left your mind
free to listen to him), you could believe in all the lovely things he
had to say; but when you saw Mr. BARKER'S _Oberon_ standing stark, like
a painted graven image, with yellow cheeks and red eyebrows, up against
a symbolic painted cloth, and telling you that he knows a bank where the
wild thyme blows, you know quite well that he knows nothing of the kind;
and you don't believe a word of it.

But, to leave SHAKSPEARE decently out of the question, I liked the gold
dresses of the fairies enormously, so long as _Puck_--a sort of adult
Struwel-Puck that got badly on my nerves--was not there, destroying
every colour scheme with his shrieking scarlet suit, which went with
nothing except a few vermilion eyebrows. I liked too the grace of their
simple chain-dances on the green mound (English dances, you will note,
and English tunes--not Indian). But in the last scene, where they
interlace among the staring columns, their movements lacked space.
Indeed that was the trouble all through; that, and the pitiless light
that poured point-blank upon the stage from the 12.6 muzzles protruding
from the bulwarks of the dress-circle. There was no distance, no
suggestion of the spirit-world, no sense of mystery (except in regard to
Mr. BARKER'S intentions).

The best scene was the haunt of _Titania_, with its background of
Liberty curtains very cleverly disposed. As drapery they were excellent,
but as symbols of a forest I found them a little arbitrary. I do not
mind a forest being indicated, if you are short of foliage, by a couple
of trees (in tubs, if you like) or even a single tree; but somehow--and
the fault is probably mine--the spectacle of hanging drapery does not
immediately suggest to me the idea of birds' nests. I am afraid I should
be just as stupid if Mr. BARKER gave me the same convention the other
way round, and showed an interior with foliage to indicate

The play itself, with its rather foolish figures from the Court and the
easy buffoonery of its peasants, does not offer great chances of acting;
and Miss LAURA COWIE was the only one in the cast who added to her
reputation. Her _Hermia_ was a delightful performance full of charm and
piquancy and real intelligence. Miss LILLAH MCCARTHY sacrificed
something of her personality to the exigences of a flaxen chevelure. Mr.
HOLLOWAY'S _Theseus_ was wanting in kingliness, and his hunting scene
was perhaps the worst thing in the play. He was not greatly helped by
his _Hippolyta_, for Miss EVELYN HOPE never began to look like a leader
of Amazons. Miss CHRISTINE SILVER'S _Titania_ had a certain domestic
sweetness, but even a queen of fairies might be a little more queenly.
Mr. DENNIS NEILSON-TERRY as _Oberon_ was a curiously effeminate figure
for those who recalled the manly bearing of his mother in the same part.
Of the two bemused Athenian lovers, Mr. SWINLEY, as _Lysander_, bore
himself as bravely as could be expected.

Mr. NIGEL PLAYFAIR had, of course, no difficulty with the part of
_Bottom_, and Mr. ARTHUR WHITBY'S _Quince_ and Mr. QUARTERMAINE'S
_Flute_ were both excellent. It is to the credit of the whole troupe of
rustic players that nobody tried to force the fun.

Apart from a slight tendency to hurry, a trick that, except in swift
dialogue or passionate speech, gives the effect of something learnt by
heart and not spontaneous, the delivery of the lines--and some of
SHAKSPEARE'S most exquisite are here--was done soundly.

Finally, no one who wants to keep level with the table-talk of the day
should miss this interesting and intriguing production, especially if he
hasn't been to _Parsifal_.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Be the only lady fireman In Yorkshire.]

[Illustration: Or be the only wooden-legged roller-skater in Holland

[Illustration: Or be the double of some celebrity.]

[Illustration: Or become unexpectedly heir to a large fortune left by an
uncle who emigrated to America at the age of six with half-a-crown, and
lived to become the Hairpin King. It is usual in this case to be
photographed just after you have realised that the fortune is in
dollars, not pounds. Sometimes the lawyer who discovered you, and
assisted you to establish your claim, is included in this photograph.]

[Illustration: Or make a musical instrument out of something else.]

[Illustration: Or you might be a foster-mother.]

[Illustration: Or you might, owing to lack of funds, sweep the chimney
of the Sunday-school yourself.]

[Illustration: But, after all, the pleasantest way is to back the winner
of a double and get £40,000 to 5/-.]

       *       *       *       *       *


  _"'Thou, too, hoar Mount! with they sky-pointing peaks,
  Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
  Shoots downward.'"_--_Daily Chronicle._

Conquered, alas! and by one of they dratted flying machines.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Eastbourne.--Furnished double-fronted villa, from April, for
    six or twelve months; facing south; near the downs, fifteen
    months from pier, five from 'buses."--_The Lady._

Too near for us.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A February Ode._)

  To-day the young year in her sleep was stirring
      In woods and hearts of men;
  To-night 'tis sharper and the cold's recurring--
      Septimius, what then?

  Draw in and talk of politics and speeches
      To the old tiresome tune?
  Not we who saw pale sunshine on the beeches
      Only this afternoon;

  Who saw the snowdrops frail in woodland hollows,
      Who heard the building rooks
  Herald a time of flowers and skimming swallows,
      Green fields and brawling brooks!

  Nay, pledge anew, Septimius, such gages
      Of May-time's radiant rout
  Till, as becometh fishermen and sages,
      Our talk shall trend to trout--

  To little trout, to little streams that scurry
      Where the hill curlews cry,
  O'er which the neophyte may splash and flurry,
      Yet heap his basket high;

  To careful trout, for pundits skilled and wary,
      That use upon the chalk,
  Plump and recondite, dubious and chary--
      On such shall turn our talk.

  Then since we're of the Faithful, vowed to follow
      Old Thames's placid flow,
  We'll breathe of his leviathans that wallow,
      In bated tones and low;

  And I mayhap shall say a word in token
      Of one prodigious friend
  Who lurks--excuse a statement more outspoken--
      'Twixt Marlow and Bourne End;

  While you, Septimius, set memory roaming
      To That which smashed amain
  Your trace of proof, and hint how some soft gloaming
      He yet shall come again.

  So shall we sit this firelit hour, contriving
      Blue halcyon days that hold
  The lisp of streams in crisping reed-beds striving,
      And meadows spun with gold.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Insurance business is ransacted."

    _Quarterly Post Office Guide, p. 154._

The influence of Mr. LLOYD GEORGE again.

       *       *       *       *       *


We gather from _The Daily Sketch_ that a reverend gentleman at Herne Bay
has just founded the S. P. M. C. A., or "Society for the Prevention of
Mental Cruelty to Animals," and holds, as part of his propaganda, that
the Zoo should be disbanded and abolished, and, in fact, that no wild
animals or birds should be kept anywhere in captivity at all.

The S. P. M. C. A. fills a long-felt want. Everyone with any sense of
politeness or tact must recognise that it is grossly improper to wound
the feelings of the lower orders of creation by the opprobrious use of
such epithets as ass, donkey, cat, mule, pig, goose, monkey, and so on.
Picture the mental torture and degradation undergone by the
self-respecting rodent who overhears the contemptuous exclamation,
"Rats!" Realise, if you can, the stigma attached to the hard-working
order of garden annelids when, possibly in their very presence, one
human being addresses another as a "worm"!

Then, again, take the deplorable breaches of etiquette on the part of
visitors at the Zoo. We ourselves have heard the most uncomplimentary
allusions made to the appearance of the baboons and the hippopotamus, in
the hearing of those unfortunate creatures, and quite regardless of
their _amour propre_. The callous Cockney takes care to insult his
helpless victims only when they are behind bars and cannot retaliate
effectively. One shudders to think of the mental humiliation that is
daily experienced by the warthog and the mandrill. And even the nobler
animals--the lions and bears--are not allowed to escape without
prejudicial comment, especially at feeding-time. Not the slightest
deference is paid to the private opinions and sentiments of these
carnivores by the vulgar crowd of sight-seers. The parrots alone can
ease their harassed souls and have the last word with the passer-by.

Meanwhile, we have to apologise to our cat for having recently upbraided
him rather too freely for his nocturnal habits and general lack of
discipline, not having considered the shock of such language to his
sensitive mind.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Young lady requires secretarial work of any kind, good writer
    and correspondent, accustomed to literary work, or would write
    up Parish fashions."--_Daily Mail._

Smocks are no longer being worn. Sun-bonnets may be expected in a few

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_ (_in small Irish hotel_). "Waiter, take away that
bottle and put some clean water in it."

_Waiter._ "Faith, Mum, the wather's all right; 'tis the bottle that's

       *       *       *       *       *


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

"Anyhow, I can remember this Court and can tell a tale it plays a part
in, only not very quick." Thus Mr. WILLIAM DE MORGAN, introductory, on
the fourth page of his latest novel, When _Ghost meets Ghost_
(HEINEMANN). Before it ends there have been as near nine hundred pages
of it as makes no difference; and the things that the author remembers
in the course of the tale, and the not-very-quickness with which he
tells it, must be seen to be believed. The main outline of this more
than leisurely plot is concerned with the coming together of two aged
twin sisters, each of whom has been living for years in ignorance of the
other's existence, so that they meet at last almost as ghosts. Hence the
title. But you will not need to be told that there is ever so much more
in the nine hundred pages than this. There are the children _Dave and
Dolly_, for example; likewise _Uncle Mo'_, and any quantity of humble
London types; not to mention the group that includes _Lady Gwen_, and
_Adrian Torrens_, and a score of others, all drawn with that verbal
Pre-Raphaelitism in which the author takes such obvious delight. For
myself I must honestly confess that I have found it a little
overwhelming; but that, after all, is a question of individual taste. I
suppose there is one comparison that is inevitable. I had meant to say
never a word about CHARLES DICKENS in this notice, but, like the head of
another CHARLES, it would come; and when the chief house in the story
began to rumble and finally collapsed in a cloud of dust--well, could
anyone help being reminded of how the same incident was handled by the
master of such terrors? In brief, this latest De Morgan left me with a
profound and increased respect for the author; some little envy for the
reader whose time and taste enable him to enjoy it as it should be
enjoyed; and, for proof-readers and reviewers, a very pure sympathy.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Duchess of Wrexe_ (SECKER) is, I think, the longest as it is
certainly the most substantial novel that Mr. HUGH WALPOLE has yet given
us. It is the work of one who has already made himself a force in modern
fiction, and after this book will have more than ever to be reckoned
with. Whether the reckoning will be to all tastes is another matter; I
incline to think not. Four hundred closely printed pages, in which
hardly anything happens to the bodies of the characters, but a great
deal to their spirits--this perhaps is toughish meat for the ordinary
devourer of fiction. But for the others this study of the passing of an
epoch, the time of the Old Society, as symbolised by the figure of the
_Duchess_, will be a delight. You might suppose from this (if you were
unfamiliar with your author) that we had here a social comedy. Nothing
in fact could be further from Mr. WALPOLE'S design. For him, as for his
characters, there is almost too haunting a sense of the tragedy of
trivial things. No one in the book is happy. The _Duchess_ herself,
stern, aloof, terrible, broken but never bent by the oncoming of the New
Order; the various members of the family whom she terrified; _Rachel_,
the granddaughter, between whom and the old woman there exists the bond
of one of those hatreds in which Mr. WALPOLE so exults; the secretary,
_Lizzie Rand_--all of them are tremendously and miserably alive. I think
the matter is that they have too much sensibility, of the modern kind.
They see too many meanings. A primrose by a river's brim, or more
probably in a flower-seller's basket, is not for them a simple primrose,
but a portent of soul-shaking significance. To make up for this the
author has gifted them with his own exquisite sense of colour and words,
and especially a feeling for the beauty of London that at times almost
reconciles them to life. But I could wish them merrier.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. HAROLD SPENDER'S new novel, _One Man Returns_ (MILLS AND BOON),
opens with a very powerful and dramatic situation. Nothing in its way
could be better than the description of the lonely _Trevena_ family, of
their vigil during the terrible storm, of the shipwreck and the sudden
arrival of the two strangers, father and son, who are its only
survivors. The father dies immediately without revealing his identity,
and the son, slowly nursed back to health by the devoted care of _Enid
Trevena_, resumes his life without any consciousness of the past, having
forgotten even his own name. As a matter of fact he is _Cyril Oswald_,
the lawful inheritor of Oswald Hall and great estates, which, of course,
pass into the possession of the nearest villain. This is _Major Harley_,
a gentleman of a lurid past and an infamous present, mitigated only by
the fact that he has a beautiful and amiable daughter, _Dorothy_, who,
having been educated at Roedean School, conceives herself to be
qualified to run after beagles. In the natural course of things she
sprains her ankle and is beloved by _Rupert Sandford_, the chief beagler
of the novel. She then quarrels with her disgraceful parent, is adopted
by _Mrs. Sandford_ (mother to _Rupert_), and becomes the affianced bride
of _Rupert_, though for a time she had been inclined to look with favour
on _Cyril_. This young gentleman eventually recovers his estates by
course of law and returns to Cornwall and _Enid_ just in time to cut out
that young lady from under the guns of _Merrifield_, a South African
millionaire who had complicated the situation by providing _Cyril_ with
money for his law-suit. What happened to _Major Harley_ is not stated,
but I presume he must have drunk off the phial of poison which such
desperate adventurers always carry concealed about their persons.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The matrimonial career of suburban lovers," says Miss JESSIE POPE in a
prologue to _The Tracy Tubbses_ (MILLS AND BOON), "is seldom variegated
by so many curious happenings as fell to the lot of Mr. and Mrs. _Tracy
Tubbs_;" and to this statement I can give my unqualified assent. No
sooner were the _T. T.'s_ married than they were beset by such wonderful
and various misfortunes that I should like to try and "place" them. The
Lion, I think, won in a canter, _Aunt Julia_ was a bad second, and The
Chafing-dish was third, while among the "also ran" were several
Policemen, The Balloon, _Cross-eyed Cranstone_ and The Motor-Bicycle.
But whether the _T. T.'s_ were nearly devoured by wild beasts or merely
annoyed by aunts and chafing-dishes, they continued to embrace each
other with magnificent heartiness whenever they had a moment to spare.
In short, Miss POPE'S high spirits never flag; and, even if you fail to
be amused by all the incidents in the _T. T.'s_ career, you will be glad
to make the acquaintance--under a new aspect, for Miss POPE'S talent as
a maker of light verse is established--of a writer so unaffectedly
cheerful and exhilarating.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot marry you or any man; _I am not free_," said _Polly Adair_ to
_Hemingway_, and the italics were her own. For my part, having been
rather pointedly informed earlier in the story that the lady was
understood in Zanzibar to be a widow, I began at this stage to suspect
that there was something lacking in the lateness of _Mr. Adair_. This
was a great pity, because _Polly_ and _Hemingway_ were obviously meant
for each other, as she and he and I and Mr. RICHARD HARDING DAVIS were
unanimously agreed. But there the fatal obstacle was, whatever it might
be. "I am not free," she repeated, and again the italics were her very
own. After much to-do, it came out that what she meant was that she had
a brother who oughtn't to be free; ought, if justice were done, to be
picking oakum or whatever else they pick in their leisure hours way back
in U.S.A. And this was the whole and the sole fatal obstacle!
_Hemingway_ took it as it came; Mr. DAVIS seemed quite pleased about it;
but I felt that I had been wantonly deceived. Baffle me by all means,
said I, but do not lie to me. Maybe I was not in a good temper at the
time, for the three preceding stories were not calculated to stir the
gentlest reader's sympathies. Possibly I am not in a good temper now,
for the three later stories (though "_The God of Coincidence_" only just
missed fire) were not distracting enough to deaden my sense of injury. A
pity, for _The Lost Road_ (DUCKWORTH) has such a good cover and the name
of such a good author on the back of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: As dress parades have become quite a feature of modern
life, surely the restaurant offers a rich field of advertisement for the
enterprising outfitter through the medium of waiters.]

       *       *       *       *       *


Notice in _Nash's Magazine_ at the beginning of a new serial:--

    "The theme of this story is a strange one handled with the
    consummate skill one expects from so clever a writer as
    Gouverneur Morris.... This story will stimulate your interest.
    It is quite different from anything Mr. Morris has previously

       *       *       *       *       *


    The appointment of Mr. W. W. Buckland, of Caius, to be Regius
    Professor of Civil War is in accordance with general
    expectation, though there were those who thought that the
    Government might go outside the circle of University
    teachers."--_The Record._

Mr. DEVLIN was surely indicated.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "CANARY WANTED.--Young, intelligent bird wanted for training.
    For right bird, right price paid. Apply, with bird, Tuesday
    morning next, at 11 o'clock. M. D., Stage Door, Palladium,
    London, W.C."

    _The Referee._

Dangerous, asking for the bird like that.

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 18, 1914" ***

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