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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 25, 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 25, 1914" ***

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



*** Transcriber's Note:  Typo "Professsor" changed to "Professor" in the
last paragraph of the last page. The symbol + was used to bracket where
text appeared upside down in the original. ***



PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 146.



FEBRUARY 25, 1914.



CHARIVARIA.

THE GERMAN CROWN PRINCE has the mumps. It seems that his Imperial Father
was not consulted in the matter beforehand, and further domestic
differences are anticipated.

       * * *

KING SISOVATH of Cambodia, we learn from _Le Petit Journal_, was so pleased
with a white elephant sent him by the Governor-General of French Indo-China
that he has raised the animal--a fine female--to the dignity of a Princess.
The news soon got about, and considerable jealousy is felt at our Zoo,
where there is not so much as even a baronet among the inmates.

       * * *

General VON PLETTENBURGH, commanding the Prussian Guards Corps, has issued
a decree against the wearing of the so-called "tooth-brush" moustache,
pointing out that such an appendage is unsuitable for a Prussian soldier
and "not consonant with the German national character." The implication is
very unpleasant.

       * * *

"It is generally reported," says a contemporary, "that Sir EDWARD GREY
speaks no German, and French very badly. M. VENIZELOS, the Greek Prime
Minister, declared that he had the greatest difficulty in understanding Sir
EDWARD'S French." As a matter of fact a little bird tells us that on this
occasion our Foreign Secretary was speaking Greek.

       * * *

"Mr. Asquith," said _The Times_, "in a massage to the Liberal candidate for
South Bucks, emphasizes the prime importance of the Irish issue." There is,
of course, nothing like massage for rubbing things in.

       * * *

Herr BALLIN, head of the Hamburg-American Line, and Herr HEINEKEN, head of
the rival North-German Lloyd Company, came to London last week, and are
said to have concluded peace in the Atlantic rate war. We understand that
the arrangement is to be known as the Pool of London.

       * * *

The authorities at Barotse, _The Globe_ tells us, have put a price on the
heads of all lions there. One can picture the mean sportsman, with a pair
of field-glasses, picking out the cheapest before firing.

       * * *

     "61,000 TERRITORIALS SHORT."

     _Daily Mail._

Still, it is pretty generally recognised now that a small man may make
every bit as good a soldier as a big one, and, besides, there is always
less of him to hit.

       * * *

Among the temporary teachers appointed to carry on schools in Herefordshire
during the teachers' strike was an asylum attendant. This confirms the
report that many of the children were mad at finding that the schools did
not close in consequence of the strike.

       * * *

It is denied that the name of the Philharmonic Hall, where Mr. PONTING'S
moving pictures of the Antarctic Expedition are being shown, is to be
changed to the Philmharmonic Hall.

       * * *

RICHARD STRAUSS'S new work, dealing with the story, of JOSEPH and
POTIPHAR'S wife, is to be produced shortly in Paris. A musical play version
of it, entitled "After the Man," may be looked for here.

       * * *

From Rome comes the news that a young man who was being examined in a
hospital there has been found to have two separate stomachs. This
announcement that the ideal man has at last been evolved has caused the
greatest excitement here in Corporation circles.

       * * *

        "LYCEUM CLUB.
     100 YEARS OF PEACE."

     _Daily Telegraph._

Surely a record for a lady's club?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CLOSE OF THE COURSING SEASON.]

       *       *       *       *       *

          "CHANGE OF NAME.
                FROM
     JACOB GALBA IWUSHUKU-BRIGHT
                 TO
      GALBA IWUCHUKU OLUKOTUN."

     _Sierra Leone Weekly News._

We notice no improvement.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

Notice in a shop window at Reading:

     "TRY ----'S SAUSAGES: NONE LIKE 'EM."

       *       *       *       *       *

CIVIL WAR ESTIMATES.

(_A Ministerial Apology._)

  Your talk is vanity, you who lightly vouch
    That we, indifferent to the country's call, shun
  A crisis under which the People crouch
    Like DAMOCLES beneath the pendent falchion;
  That from our minds, incredibly deluded,
        Ulster is still excluded.

  It is not so. All day (between our meals)
    We find this topic really most attractive;
  In watches of the night it often steals
    Into our waking dreams, and keeps us active,
  Like sportsmen whom the rude mosquito chases,
        Trying to save our faces.

  But we have other tasks, and "Duty First"
    Must be our cry before we yield to Pleasure;
  Our Annual Estimates must be rehearsed
    Ere more alluring themes engage our leisure;
  The Budget's claims are urgent; Ulster's fate
        Can obviously wait.

  Besides, no Government should go to war
    Without the wherewithal to pay for forage,
  For ammunition and a Flying Corps
    And cannéd meats to stimulate the courage;
  And this applies, as far as we can tell,
        To civil wars as well.

  For, though our foes confine us to a sphere
    Of relatively narrow operations,
  We are advised that they may cost us dear,
    And therefore, in our coming calculations,
  As Trustees of the Race we dare not miss
        To estimate for this.

  Hence these delays--all carefully thought out.
    But when from hibernation we emerge on
  The vernal prime and things begin to sprout,
    Our Ulster policy shall also burgeon;
  With sap of April coursing through our blood
        We too shall burst in bud.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GREAT RESIGNER.

(_A Forecast._)

_March, 1914._

     Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN describes Mr. JOHN REDMOND as "brother to the
     middle-aged sea-serpent from the County Clare."

     Mr. JOHN REDMOND denies that he is a sea-serpent.

     Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN, having denounced this denial as "the last effort
     of a defeated dastard," resigns his seat for Cork City.

     Mr. O'BRIEN is re-elected without a contest.

_April, 1914._

     Mr. WILLIAM O'BRIEN in an impassioned speech advocates conciliation
     all round in Ireland, and refers to Mr. JOHN REDMOND as "a moth-eaten,
     moss-gathering malingerer of unparalleled ferocity."

     Mr. REDMOND is seen to smile.

     Mr. O'BRIEN, declaring that he has never been so much insulted in his
     life, resigns his seat for Cork City.

     Mr. O'BRIEN is re-elected without a contest.

_May, 1914._

     An Alderman of Cork fails to take off his hat to Mr. O'BRIEN.

     Mr. O'BRIEN summons a meeting of his supporters and, in a five-hours'
     speech, states that, in spite of the unexampled infamy of Mr. REDMOND,
     he will never abandon his efforts for Irish unity.

     Mr. REDMOND says nothing.

     Mr. O'BRIEN states that "the truckling truculence of a mock-modest
     monster of meretricious mendacity cannot be allowed to prevail against
     a policy of sober and sympathetic silence."

     Mr. REDMOND having abstained from a reply, Mr. O'BRIEN resigns his
     seat for Cork City and is shortly afterwards re-elected without a
     contest.

_June, 1914._

     Mr. ASQUITH, in moving the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill, does
     not mention Mr. O'BRIEN, who swoons in his place and is carried
     speechless from the House of Commons.

     On the following day Mr. O'BRIEN issues to the world a manifesto of
     60,000 words, in which he describes Mr. REDMOND as "a palsied purveyor
     of pledge-breaking platitudes," and announces that the Irish question
     can be settled only by the good will of men of all parties.

     Mr. REDMOND takes no notice.

     Mr. O'BRIEN declares that he can no longer pursue a policy of
     conciliation and mildness, and resigns his seat for Cork City as a
     protest against the "frenzied flaunting of flattery and folly" in
     which, he says, Mr. REDMOND spends his time.

     Mr. O'BRIEN, having been re-elected without a contest, immediately
     re-resigns twelve times in advance.

       *       *       *       *       *

CINEMA NEWS.

Final preparations have now been made to film Mr. THORNTON'S first day as
General Manager of the Great Eastern Railway. By kind permission of Lord
CLAUD HAMILTON representatives of all the other railway companies are to be
present to take notes, like the foreign military attachés in a war. A good
"movie" should result.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another film which should provide entertainment and instruction in the
highest degree is the "Day in the Life of Mr. C. K. SHORTER" which is now
being arranged for. The great critic will be followed hour by hour with
faithful persistence. He will be seen editing _The Sphere_ with one hand
and putting all the writing fellows in their place with the other. He will
be seen in that wonderful library of his which covers two acres in St.
John's Wood, reading, annotating and correcting; he will be seen at lunch
at his club with other intellectual kings, his intimate friends; shaking
hands with Mr. HARDY; entering a taxi; leaving a taxi and paying the fare;
dining with Sir W. ROBERTSON NICOLL; attending a first night and applauding
only when applause is merited; and finally returning home to read more
books. In all, about fourteen miles.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be regretfully learned by the great public, always ready for new
thrillers, that all efforts to induce Mr. BALFOUR to part with the cinema
rights of his Gifford lectures have failed.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "In consequence of the farm labourers and carters employed on various
     farms in the parish and village of Chitterne having come out on
     strike, work of all kinds, with the exception of lambing, is at a
     complete standstill."--_Bath and Wilts Chronicle._

These black-leg ewes!

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Mr. Kipling, who met with a warm deception."--_Daily Graphic._

Not a bit of it. Everyone was frankly delighted to see and hear him.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE THRONE PERILOUS.

AUSTRIA AND ITALY (_to the new Ruler of Albania_). "BE SEATED, SIR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mother_ (_to her boy, who has just struck his little sister
with his Teddy bear_). "WHY DID YOU HIT YOUR SISTER IN THE FACE, JOHN?"

_John._ "'COS IT WAS THE ONLY PART OF HER I COULD SEE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MUSICAL DIAGNOSIS.

DR. JAMES CANTLIE has reported that "the placing of a tuning-fork; against
the body of a patient enables him to gauge the limits of the liver with
almost hair-breadth precision." He believes that musical diagnosis will
prove reliable in the case of broken bones, and asserts that already it has
been proved that a fatty liver gives out tones distinct from a cirrhosed
liver.

A superb performance of Herr RICHARD STRAUSS'S "German Measles Concerto"
was given last night by the Queen's Hall orchestra. The tempo was
throughout wonderfully high. The three fine solo passages for the left
kidney were finely rendered; while the exquisite _diminuendo_ to
convalescence with which the work concludes greatly impressed a neurotic
audience.

The tuning-fork test has proved that several of the most popular of recent
rag-time tunes were originally scored by the brain of a patient who had met
with a severe concussion while attempting to escape over the high wall of
an Asylum for Incurable Idiots.

An interesting incident is reported in the Medical press from a well-known
Nursing Home. It appears that one of the female attendants, on applying the
tuning-fork to what was alleged to be the broken heart of a patient, was
astonished to obtain as response the first five bars of "You Made Me Love
You." The case has, we learn, been since discharged cured.

       *       *       *       *       *

NUPTIAL NOVELTIES.

     ["Two prominent members of the Herne Bay Angling Association were
     married on Saturday afternoon at St. Martin's Church, Herne Bay.

     An interesting feature of the wedding was the assembly of members of
     the association, who lined the pathway to the church door and formed
     an archway of fishing-rods, to which silver horseshoes had been
     attached.

     The bridegroom's father is not only president of the angling
     association, but captain of the Herne Bay Fire Brigade, members of
     which formed a guard of honour with crossed hatchets."--_Daily
     Chronicle._]

The nuptials of Mr. Desmond Waddilove and Miss Esther Priddie, whose
parents are prominently implicated in the milk trade, were marked by
several interesting and appropriate spectacular incidents. A specially
attractive feature was the progress of the wedding procession between a
double row of milk-cans. Later on the bride and bridegroom left for Cowes
(I.W.) amid a volley of pats of butter deftly hurled by the officials of
the Sursum Corda Dairy Company, Ltd.

Last Saturday the wedding of Mr. Nestor Young and Miss Leonora Dargle was
celebrated with great _éclat_ at St. Mark's, Datchet. Out of respect for
the calling of the bride's father all the wedding party proceeded to the
sacred edifice in bath-chairs, which imparted to the ceremony an air of
solemnity too often neglected at up-to-date weddings. The bridegroom's
father being a leading pork-butcher, imitation sausages formed part of the
trimmings of the bride's going-away dress.

Mr. Donald MacLurkin, the golf professional of the Culbin Sands Golf Club,
was married last Friday at Lossiemouth to Miss Janet Sutor, of Cromarty. A
charming effect was produced by a guard of honour, composed of members of
the golf club, holding aloft crossed brassies, beneath which the happy pair
passed into the church, while the caddies clashed niblicks and other iron
clubs. The bride wore a cream silk bogey skirt, slightly caught up so as to
show the pink dots of the stymied underskirt, and a simple Dunlop V
corsage. A dainty little pot-bunker hat completed a costume as novel as it
was natty.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ROYALISTS.

Eight of us travel up to town every morning by the Great Suburban Railway.
I have no politics. Gibbs is a Unionist Free Trader. Three of the others
are Radicals and three Unionists. On one side of the compartment are ranged
_The Daily Mail_, _The Daily Express_ and _The Daily Telegraph_. Boldly
confronting them are two _Daily Chronicles_ and a _Daily News_. Gibbs
contents himself with a _Daily Graphic_, while I choose every day the paper
with the least sensational placard.

You can imagine what the journeys are like. Filmer will put down his _Daily
Express_ and say with feeling, "If I could only get that infernal Welsher
by the throat." Then Rodgers will lay down his _Daily News_ and sneer,
"What has aggravated the toadies of the Dukes to-day?" In a moment the
battle is in full swing. Bennett breaks in with assertions that peace and
unity will never prevail till the Cabinet has been hanged. Chalmers makes a
mild proposal for the imprisonment of the Armament Ring which is gnawing at
the country's vitals. And when there has been a by-election and both sides
claim the moral victory I have no doubt that the men in signal-boxes think
that murder is taking place in our carriage.

However, one day Filmer made a reference to Marconi speculations which
caused Rodgers to shake the dust from his feet (an easy thing on the Great
Suburban line) and leave the compartment at the next station. Then Chalmers
and Simcox bore down on Filmer with statistics about our booming trade.
When we reached the next station, Filmer darted out of the compartment,
declining to travel any longer with a set of miserable Cobdenite Little
Englanders. I was horrified--not at the absence of Rodgers and Filmer,
which could have been endured--but at the idea that the gaps they left in
the carriage might be tilled up by even worse persons than politicians.
Suppose golfers took their places. On one occasion, when Gibbs had
influenza, an intruder had described to us the fixing of a new carburettor
to his car.

Then the great idea came to me--the formation of the Society. The next
morning I went up to Filmer and Rodgers as they stood apart from us and
each other on the platform and said, "Come to the others for a moment. They
want to apologise to you."

They didn't, but sometimes one has to choose between the cause of peace and
that of truth.

"Gentlemen," I said, "I have noticed this. Nearly all our little
controversies begin in one way. Somebody says, 'I call a spade a spade and
BONAR LAW (or LLOYD GEORGE) a lying, treacherous scoundrel.' I propose that
we form ourselves into the Society for Not Calling a Spade a Spade."

"What do you propose to call it? 'A Royal'?" This from Gibbs, who is a
master of auction bridge.

"By all means," I said. "It gives dignity and an enhanced value to a vulgar
agricultural utensil. And the Society can be called 'The Royalists' for
short. Its single rule is to be this, that any member speaking of any
politician of the opposite Party except in terms of eulogy shall be fined
ten shillings and sixpence. The fines to be divided equally between the
Tariff Reform League and the Free Trade Union."

For a moment there was hesitation. Then the Opposition rejoiced at the idea
of hearing the Radicals praise LAW and LONG, and the Radicals thought it
would be ecstasy to hear panegyrics of LLOYD GEORGE and MASTERMAN from the
Unionists.

The Society was formed at once and has proved an enormous success. Peace
and goodwill reign amongst us. It is a perpetual delight to see Filmer put
down his _Daily Express_ and with the veins bulging out from his forehead
say, "That accurate and careful financier who has so immeasurably raised
the status of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer"; or to hear Chalmers
remark, "Sad would it be if that most honey-tongued and softhearted of
politicians, dear F. E. SMITH, should have his life ended by a British
bayonet."

One or two prepare their delicate eulogies beforehand and refer to notes;
but this is thought unfair. The compartment, as a whole, prefers the
impromptu praise that has the air of coming from the heart.

I am thinking of offering to the House of Commons and the House of Lords
free membership in The Royalists. Perhaps Messrs. LLOYD GEORGE and LEO
MAXSE would consent to act as perpetual Joint Presidents, with Lord HUGH
CECIL and the Rev. Dr. CLIFFORD as Chaplains.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _MacBull._ "I SHALL BE A GAY GRASS WIDOWER FOR THE NEXT TWO
MONTHS--WIFE'S GONE FOR A HOLIDAY TO THE WEST INDIES."

_O'Bear._ "JAMAICA?"

_MacBull._ "NO, IT WAS HER OWN IDEA."]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "He is only a tame duck who with sheepish timidity attempts to
     controvert the determination of a body of frontiersmen from their
     purpose by firing at them with a water squirt."

     _Bulawayo Chronicle._

It sounds more like a wild duck.

       *       *       *       *       *

From Publishers' Announcements:--

     "'BORROWED THOUGHTS.'

     (A Handbook for Lent, with an Introduction by a popular Bishop.) Limp,
     9d."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Lot 3. Extra Dry, Cuvée Beservée, 60/-. A really excellent pure Wine,
     which we bought lying abroad."

We trust they won't sell it lying at home.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Generally crime is normal and no increase in mortality is reported.
     Little wandering, emigration, or emaciation is noticed. Cattle are
     being sold in large numbers in Hamirpur. Blankets are being
     distributed to the poor.

     (_For other Sporting News see page 8_)."

     _Advocate of India._

There is nothing narrow about the sporting tastes of our Oriental
contemporary.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Larry._ "TRESHPASSING, IS UT? JUST WAIT TILL WE GIT HOME
RULE. IVERY MAN'LL DO AS HE LIKES THIN--AND THIM'S THAT WON'T'LL BE MADE
TO!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE INVADERS.

From all sides news pours in concerning the rush for American managers of
English concerns. At last the excellence of the American businessman's
habits are being recognised, probably not a little owing to the vogue of
such plays as _Get-rich-quick Wallingford_, _Broadway Jones_ and _The
Fortune Hunters_, wherein we see hustling methods justifying by their
success all the odd measures which led to dollars. That the dominating
business man who thus rises to greatness has to marry a clerk or typist is
perhaps only a detail, but if the plays are to be taken as a guide it is
expected of him.

The great tailoring house of Tarn, which has just appointed a manager from
Cleveland, Ohio, on the advice of Lord CLAUD HAMILTON, has completely
transformed its cutting department. All jackets are now made to reach to
the knees, with shoulders that project beyond the wearer's body one foot on
each side. The trousers are wide at the knees and tight at the ankles, and
are very effective. Walking-sticks must not be worn with these suits.
Messrs. Tarn hope to bring back the frock coat very shortly, especially for
politicians.

The American scholar who has just been appointed to the Chair of English
Composition at Oxford has already made some drastic reforms. No longer may
the student write that he has a book "at home"; he must say "to home." The
participle "got" has gone in favour of "gotten"; while the only text-books
in use are of Trans-Atlantic origin. The University has adopted the college
cry of "No, No, No Eng Lish Need, Need, Need Apply!"

This yell will be used by Oxford partisans at the Inter-University Sports
during the performances of American RHODES Scholars.

The latest news to reach us as we go to press is that the directors of
various London music halls are thinking seriously whether or not they will
call in American assistance for their revues, either producers, actors or
musicians. But this is an innovating step which will require the deepest
thought.

       *       *       *       *       *

SINGING WATER.

  I heard--'twas on a morning, but when it was and where,
  Except that well I heard it, I neither know nor care--
  I heard, and, oh, the sunlight was shining in the blue,
  A little water singing as little waters do.

  At Lechlade and at Buscot, where Summer days are long,
  The tiny rills and ripples they tremble into song;
  And where the silver Windrush brings down her liquid gems,
  There's music in the wavelets she tosses to the Thames.

  The eddies have an air too, and brave it is and blithe;
  I think I may have heard it that day at Bablockhythe;
  And where the Eynsham weir-fall breaks out in rainbow spray
  The Evenlode comes singing to join the pretty play.

  But where I heard that music I cannot rightly tell;
  I only know I heard it, and that I know full well:
  I heard a little water, and, oh, the sky was blue,
  A little water singing as little waters do.

  R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN APOLOGY THAT MADE THINGS WORSE.

We had a fancy-dress ball on December 30th. They have these things in
nearly all Swiss Hotels and you have to put up with them. As a matter of
fact Matilda and I enjoyed ourselves. We supped well and danced quite
often. At 3.30 A.M. we set out for our rooms. We took a lighted candle with
us to keep us warm as we went. The way to get the most warmth from a candle
is to sit round it. As the corridor was cold, we sat round the candle
outside Miss Wortley's room, but this was quite accidental.

We didn't know that she had gone to bed at 10.30 P.M. with the primary
object of sleeping and the ulterior motive of getting up the next morning
in time to catch an early train. We weren't to know that she had wasted her
time from 11 P.M. to 3.25 A.M. listening to a procession of revellers
retiring to their rooms. We had no suspicion that she was just dozing off
for the first time when we stopped to warm ourselves. We really made very
little noise, though we may have laughed just a little. The report which
has got about, that I tried to climb up the wall to see the time, is
inaccurate. The clock is not nearly high enough up the wall to render this
necessary, and I didn't care a button what the time was.

If we had known that the Germans who ought to have been asleep in the room
opposite to Miss Wortley would come out into the corridor and shout in
their nasty guttural language, we should probably not have tried to find
out whether anything was attached to the other end of a piece of tape that
protruded from under their door. It was quite a long piece of tape, and
there was something attached to the end of it, though we never found out
what that something was. Anyway, it was too large to pass under the door,
though we pulled the tape quite hard. We had just given up our
investigation and reached our respective rooms when the German family
arrived in the corridor and commented on the matter.

I can't see that we were really to blame because Miss Wortley suffered from
insomnia, missed her early train next morning and had to pay an extra half
franc for having breakfast in her bedroom. She was very unpleasant about it
and went round telling everybody that we had kept her awake all night. She
was one of those women who----But there, I don't want to be nasty, and
anyone who reads this will guess the kind of woman she was.

The next day was New Year's Eve. After dinner we took part in an Ice
Carnival, then we saw the New Year in, and then we drank practically
everybody's health. At 2 A.M. I was sitting in the lounge talking to
Matilda when a kind of peaceful sensation came over me, and I began to be
sorry that there was any bad feeling between Miss Wortley and us; so I said
to Matilda, It's New Year's Day and I should like to start it on friendly
terms with everyone, including Miss Wortley. I think I shall apologise to
her about last night; we may have been a little thoughtless."

"I don't see what there is to apologise for," said Matilda, "but I suppose
it can't do any harm and it may help to make things pleasant all round. If
you're going to apologise I suppose I ought to do the same."

"Come on then," I said.

"Where to?"

"To apologise."

"Don't be absurd; we can't apologise now. We'll apologise to-morrow."

"We might miss her to-morrow, and we ought to do a thing like this without
delay and as early in the New Year as possible. If I don't do it now, I may
not feel apologetic later on, and I don't want to go through the year with
even a tittle of Miss Wortley's insomnia on my conscience."

Matilda seemed rather uncertain about it, but after a time recognised that
I was right, and we went up to Miss Wortley's room. I had to knock loudly
on her door before I got any answer, but eventually a sleepy voice said,
"Come in."

I didn't think that we had better do that, so I knocked again.

"All right, you can bring in the water."

"It isn't exactly your shaving water--in fact it's hardly time to get up
yet," I shouted.

"What's the matter? Is the place on fire?" I heard sounds as of a person
getting out of bed, so I said, "You needn't get up, it's only us. We wanted
to apologise about last night. We're sorry you didn't sleep very well. Of
course it wasn't altogether our fault, but still we thought that we should
like to apologise; in fact we didn't feel that we could go to sleep until
we had apologised; and--and we wanted to wish you a Happy New Year."

I am not sure that I did the thing very well, but I am sure that it would
have sounded better and that I shouldn't have ended so lamely if Matilda
hadn't been so tactless as to laugh in the middle. Somehow I got the idea
that the apology hadn't been accepted in the spirit in which it had been
tendered. Suspicious sounds came from within, including the click of a
water jug; also the German family opposite seemed to be under the
impression that it was time to get up--so we didn't wait to say Good-night,
but slipped quietly out of the way. Miss Wortley's door and the door
opposite opened simultaneously. There were two splashes like water thrown
from jugs, and I fancy that more than one person got wet. It isn't easy to
discover exactly what is happening when two people are shouting at the tops
of their voices in different languages, but I didn't gather that they quite
cleared the matter up to their mutual satisfaction.

       *       *       *       *       *

EVERY AUTHOR'S WIFE.

     ["What is the first step towards literary production? It is
     imperative, if you wish to write with any freshness at all, that you
     should utterly ruin your digestion."--_H. G. WELLS_.]

  "What have you dined on, husband mine?"
  "Chocolate creams and ginger wine."

  "What did you take as an appetiser?"
  "Haggis and Sauerkraut à la Kaiser."

  "Didn't they give you any sweet?"
  "Hard-boiled eggs and whisky neat."

  "And your fruit, I trust, was over-ripe?"
  "Doughnuts five with a pound of tripe."

  "Have you had nothing at all since then?"
  "Lobster and stout." "Then here's your pen,

  "You must do a chapter or two to-night;
  Have a banana and start to write."

       *       *       *       *       *

New Anglo-German Entente.

     "Young gentlemen wish young English lady to learn know for the common
     joint exchange for the language sunday by flying outs Pleasing
     writing at the office chiffre J. 810."--_Leipziger Neuste
     Nachrichten._

       *       *       *       *       *

     "NOTICE.

     In order to popularise the Corporation Crematorium, at Crematorium
     Road, the Corporation have decided as an experimental measure to
     abolish the fees now charged for the use of the Crematorium for one
     year."

     _Capital_ (_Calcutta_).

The inducement leaves us cold.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Infant Samson.

     "2s. 6d. REWARD will be paid for name of Small Boy who pushed a Cab
     Horse down in the Station Yard, Teigumouth."

     _Express and Echo_ (_Exeter_).

       *       *       *       *       *

More Commercial Candour.

From a Leeds grocer's circular:--

     "A perfection of blending is obtained in ---- Tea, which, upon
     analysis, is pronounced to be absolutely injurious to health."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "HAVE YOU ANY GOLF BALLS GUARANTEED TO GO STRAIGHT?"

"NOT HERE, MADAM. YOU MIGHT TRY THE CONJURING DEPARTMENT--FIRST FLOOR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE IDEAL FILM PLOT.

     [The brisk demand by Cinema companies for new picture-play stories has
     led many writers of talent to turn their attention to this fascinating
     branch of literature. Unfortunately they often fail not only to
     acquire a proper knowledge of the technique of the art, but to take
     steps to ascertain what the public really wants. With the object of
     helping authors in both directions we publish below a scenario which
     has been described by an authority as "the ideal film plot."]

THE FIREBRAND'S REDEMPTION.

_Persons_:

_Ferdinand_, a Cowboy.
_General Devereux._
_Phyllis Devereux_, his daughter.
_Joe_, a soldier.
_Cowboys_, _miners_, _soldiers_, _Indians_,
_etc._


PART I.

Ferdinand's _headlong career to the Devil is arrested by the beautiful_
Phyllis Devereux.

FIRST SCENE.--A drinking saloon in the Wild West. Cowboys, miners and
Western demi-mondaines playing cards at top speed and drinking heavily.
Enter _Ferdinand_, drunk and carrying a huge revolver in each hand and a
tomahawk between his teeth. He forces the bar-tender to "hands up" and
begins shooting down the bottles ranged along the counter. Enter _Phyllis_.
As soon as _Ferdinand_ sees her he drops the pistols and trembles
violently. _Phyllis_ regards him searchingly and leaves the saloon.
_Ferdinand_ follows unsteadily. Projection on screen:--

     --------------------------------
     | Gee, boys! Ferd's hit, sure! |
     --------------------------------

SECOND SCENE.--Outside the saloon. _Phyllis_ is seen entering a sumptuous
motor. _Ferdinand_ falls to his knees, but she disregards him. As the motor
moves away he prepares to strike himself on the back of the neck with his
tomahawk, but when the fatal blow is about to fall _Phyllis_ leans over the
back of the car and blows him a kiss. Enlargement of _Ferdinand's_ face
working with emotion and finally settling into an expression of immense
determination. Projection on screen:--

     ---------------------------------
     | I swear never to drink again! |
     ---------------------------------


PART II.

Ferdinand _is called upon to show himself worthy, but the old Adam
conquers_.

FIRST SCENE.--Outside _General Devereux's_ tent. Soldiers, Staff Officers,
etc. _General_ sits in full uniform at a table. Enter _Joe_, a very fat
soldier. He trips over his rifle, turns a somersault and salutes. The
_General_ points to the left and _Joe_ goes off. Enter _Phyllis_, who talks
and gesticulates with feeling. Projection on screen:--

     --------------------
     | Pop, I love him! |
     --------------------

Enter _Ferdinand_. Much talk and discussion. Projection on screen:--

     ------------------------------------------
     | You must prove yourself worthy of her! |
     ------------------------------------------

The _General_ points dramatically to the left and writes at great speed.
Projection on screen, in angular/handwriting:--

     ----------------------------------------
     | Send help at once! We are surrounded |
     | and in sore straits!--_Devereux._    |
     ----------------------------------------

He hands paper to _Ferdinand_. Both point dramatically to the left.
_Phyllis_ leans over her lover's shoulder and reads. All three point
dramatically to the left.

SECOND SCENE.--A wood. Enter _Joe_, walking cautiously. Suddenly a Red
Indian in full war paint rushes towards him. _Joe_ turns tail and flies.

THIRD SCENE.--More wood. _Joe_ is seen running at about thirty-five miles
an hour, pursued by seven Indians.

FOURTH SCENE.--A tract of rocky country. _Joe_ is seen running at about
fifty-two miles an hour, pursued by fifteen Indians.

FIFTH SCENE.--The bank of a river. _Joe_ is seen running at about
seventy-eight miles an hour, pursued by twenty-three Indians. He trips over
a stone and falls into the water. Enter _Ferdinand_ on horseback. He
dismounts and fires a revolver. Four Indians bite the dust. He fires again.
Four more Indians bite the dust and the rest fly. _Ferdinand_ shades his
right eye, peers into the river, dives in and presently reappears with
_Joe_. The latter feels anxiously in his pockets and produces a flask. He
hands it to _Ferdinand_, who drinks. Enlargement of _Ferdinand_ drinking.


PART III.

Phyllis _again to the rescue_.

FIRST SCENE.--The same. _Ferdinand_ and _Joe_ lie on the ground drunk.
Enter _Phyllis_ disguised as a soldier. Expressive despair. She searches
_Ferdinand's_ pockets and finds despatch, which is again projected on the
screen. She points dramatically to the left and looks doubtfully at
_Ferdinand_. Then she takes out a revolver, averts her eyes and shoots him
in the shoulder. Projection on screen:--

     ---------------------------------------
     | They will think he has been wounded |
     |    by the enemy and will suspect    |
     |               nothing!              |
     ---------------------------------------

SECOND SCENE.--A wood. _Phyllis_ on horseback riding at a great pace and
waving the despatch in her right hand.


PART IV.

_All's well that ends well._

FIRST SCENE.--A hospital. _Ferdinand_ and _Joe_ lying in cots and attended
by nurses. _Ferdinand_ signals to _Joe_ and they leap out of bed, gag the
nurses and tie them up with towels. Then they make a rope of bedclothes and
climb out of the window.

SECOND SCENE.--Outside the hospital. _Ferdinand_, in pyjamas, is seen
sliding rapidly down the rope. _Joe_ follows. The rope breaks and he falls
with a crash to the ground.

THIRD SCENE.--A field, with an aeroplane attended by mechanics standing in
it. Enter _Ferdinand_ and _Joe_ running. They climb into the machine, the
motor is started and they shoot out of the picture.

FOURTH SCENE.--The sky. An aeroplane flying very high and very fast.

FIFTH SCENE.--A forest. _Phyllis_ is tied to a tree and three Red Indians
are about to run her through with spears. Suddenly they look upwards as if
disturbed by some noise. At this moment _Ferdinand_ drops to the ground
from the top of the picture. He at once shoots the Indians and releases
_Phyllis_. The latter points dramatically to the right and produces a
paper. Projection on screen:--

     -------------------------------
     | 30,000 men will relieve you |
     | to-morrow!--_Conolly._      |
     -------------------------------

_Ferdinand_ and _Phyllis_ both point dramatically to the right.

SIXTH SCENE.--Outside the _General's_ tent. Soldiers and Staff Officers as
before. Enter _Ferdinand_ and _Phyllis_. _Ferdinand_ hands the despatch to
the _General_. Despatch is again projected on the screen. The _General_
rises and salutes with much emotion. All present salute, _Ferdinand_ clasps
_Phyllis_ in his arms to kiss her.

SEVENTH SCENE.--The Kiss--about twenty-five times life-size.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress_ (_discussing housemaid who has given notice_).
"WELL, OF COURSE, IF SHE WANTS TO GO SHE MUST. BUT IT SEEMS FOOLISH OF HER
IF HER ONLY REASON IS THAT SHE WANTS A CHANGE. SHE WON'T GET A BETTER PLACE
THAN THIS."

_Cook._ "THAT'S JUST WHAT I TELL THE SILLY GIRL, MA'AM. 'DEPEND UPON IT,' I
SAYS TO HER, 'YOU'LL ONLY BE GOING OUT OF THE FRYING-PAN INTO THE FIRE.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Mr. G. Dyson, who succeeded Mr. W. S. Bambridge as organist at the
     college a little over two years ago, is leaving to go to Rugby, as
     organist there. Since he has been at Marlborough Mr. Dyson has given a
     large number of much-appreciated recitals in the college chapel. The
     organ is still undergoing repair."--_The Standard._

We make no comment. This is Rugby's affair, not ours.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DESPERATE REMEDIES.

COLONEL HERBERT H. ASQUITH (_to Colonel ANDREW B. LAW, on observing that he
also has taken a leaf out of Lord CLAUD HAMILTON'S book_). "GUESS YOU WON'T
CUT ANY ICE, BONAR, UNLESS YOU SHAVE THAT MOUSTACHE OFF."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Commons, Monday, February 16._--WORTHINGTON EVANS charmed House
to-day by one of those little delicacies of feeling and taste favoured in
the assembly. MASTERMAN has met the reward of conspicuous success at the
Treasury by promotion to Cabinet rank. In his absence his place temporarily
taken at Question Time by WEDGWOOD BENN, who, while careful to deprecate
personal responsibility for promise to give 9_d._ for 4_d._, displayed
remarkable intimacy with intricacies of the Insurance Act. WORTHINGTON
EVANS, having as usual, after the leisure of a week-end, provided himself
with collection of conundrums based on its working, knew that when he came
down to-day he would find MASTERMAN'S seat empty.

Marked the occasion by presenting himself in mourning array--not the
profoundest black such as _Hamlet_ upon occasion affected, but a prevalence
of decorous colour provided in what is known in drapers' shops as "The
Mitigated Affliction Department." An uncompromising black tie was a
determining note in his attire, testifying to sincere regret at parting
from a Minister whom for three Sessions he has, so to speak, riddled with
conundrums.

Insurance Act has suddenly again sprung into prominence. By odd accident
revival is coincident with couple of by-elections going forward in
Metropolis. JOYNSON-HICKS much struck by circumstance that announcement of
scheme under the Act dealing with casual labour at the docks is promulgated
just now, when election is proceeding in a constituency where there happen
to be many docks and a multitude of casual labourers who have votes.

BONNER LAW, when he comes to think of it, equally surprised. Would the
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER oblige by explaining? As for LORD BOB CECIL, he
is so perturbed that he momentarily forgets he has leading question to
address to PREMIER designed to extract secret intention with respect to
amending Home Rule Bill.

LLOYD GEORGE, always ready to oblige, explains that scheme in question was
prepared last Autumn, had frequently been referred to by MASTERMAN whilst
still at the Treasury.

"I am sure," he added, with twinkle in his eye, "we owe a debt of gratitude
to Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS for calling further attention to the matter at this
particular moment."

Opposition not to be put off by badinage. Discover in apparently innocent
accident evidence of that deep-seated tendency to import bribery and
corruption into by-elections of which one of the Whips was this afternoon
made a terrible example.

Above and below Gangway Members popped up desiring to put further
questions. Too much even for patience of SPEAKER. Suggested matter had
better be raised upon debate.

"Why, cert'nly," said JOYNSON-HICKS.

[Illustration: Lord ROBERT CECIL is "perturbed."]

Accordingly, when at eleven o'clock debate on Address automatically stood
adjourned, and Members were anxious to get home, the JOCUND JOYNSON turned
up, and we had it all over again for space of half-an-hour.

_Business done._--ORMSBY-GORE moved amendment expressing regret that, in
spite of all they had heard to its detriment in Lords and Commons,
Government intend to proceed with Welsh Church Disestablishment Bill. On
division amendment negatived by 279 votes against 217. Reduction of normal
Ministerial majority hailed with delight on Opposition benches.

_House of Lords, Tuesday._--"What's this?" SARK asked, looking in at
half-past four and finding House crowded with throng of strangers blocking
approaches. "Is it the Land or the Church?"

"Neither," said MARCHAMLEY; "it's Marconi."

"Ah," said SARK, as if that explained everything.

On paper stood motion in name of AMPTHILL for appointment of Select
Committee to enquire into relation of Lord MURRAY with Marconi business.
The name, more blessed than Mesopotamia, stirred glad Opposition to
profoundest depths. Thought it over and done with; and here it was again,
blooming like the aloe, though after briefer interval. Excitement broke
through ordinarily ice-bound calm of the House.

Opposition benches crowded to fullest capacity. Privy Councillors and sons
of Peers jostled each other on steps of Throne. Peeresses flocked down by
the score. Curious effect of latest fashion in headgear displayed in side
galleries. Nearly every bonnet--or were they hats?--was loftily plumed with
black feathers, ominously familiar on hearses. It seemed as if the ladies
had come to bury Cæsar (of Elibank), not to praise or even condemn him.

MURRAY, arriving early, passed the Front Bench, where as ex-Minister he had
a right to sit. Found a place immediately behind in friendly contiguity to
former colleagues, Lord CREWE and Lord MORLEY. On stroke of half-past four
he rose and, producing sheaf of manuscript, began to read. In low voice,
with slow intonation, he turned over page after page, each scored with
acknowledgment of contrition and regret for mistakes made. He pleaded that
"my error, such as it was, was an error of judgment, not of intention." As
to purchase of American Marconi shares on behalf of the Liberal Party, "I
have," he said, "myself assumed the burden by taking over these shares at
the price paid for them at the date of purchase, and, as the House will
appreciate, at very considerable personal loss."

Throughout ten minutes he was on his legs MURRAY, in unconscious sympathy
with the hearse plumes that nodded over him from the side gallery at his
back, spoke in funereal note. In the Commons so frank a confession, so
ample an apology, would have been accepted with burst of general cheering.
Shrewd Members know that an assured method of gaining temporary popularity
is to commit a breach of order and take early opportunity of withdrawing
anything offensive that may have been said, apologising for anything
unseemly that may have been done. When, for example, RONALD M'NEILL
apologised for having chucked at the head of the FIRST LORD OF THE
ADMIRALTY a book containing rules for preservation of order in debate, he
was almost rapturously cheered.

Chilliness of the graveyard froze round MURRAY as he read carefully
prepared statement. When he sat down, faint murmur of applause rose from
scanty muster on Liberal side. No sound, whether of approval or
disapproval, broke the stillness of the serried benches opposite.

Effect contagious. LANSDOWNE almost inaudible. CREWE quite so. Strangers at
back of gallery, hearing no voice and seeing the Noble Lord standing at the
table nervously wringing his hands and twiddling his fingers, thought he
was conversing with the LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION by means of the deaf and
dumb alphabet.

AMPTHILL above these evidences of human weakness. LANSDOWNE in
characteristically chivalrous manner suggested that motion for Committee
should be withdrawn, affording opportunity to Noble Lords to consider
MURRAY'S statement and the best course to be taken upon it. AMPTHILL not
allured by such considerations. As he shrewdly remarked, if he consented to
withdraw his motion it could not be revived. All he would consent to was
not to insist upon proceeding with business at to-day's sitting. Stipulated
that his opportunity should not be hampered by "unavoidable delay."

On this understanding House adjourned, hoarse plumes in side galleries
forlornly nodding themselves out.

_Business done._--LLOYD GEORGE at bay in the Commons. His famous Budget
attacked afresh on motion of Amendment to Address. ANANIAS and SAPPHIRA
personally mentioned in course of debate. Amendment negatived by 301 votes
against 213.

_Thursday._--Upon inquiry and reflection LANSDOWNE discovered that in
matter of proposed Marconi Committee AMPTHILL is in fuller accord with
opinion of majority on his side of House than himself. Accordingly, adopts
AMPTHILL'S motion and moves it. CREWE offering no opposition, Committee
appointed without division.

In Commons, just after 11 o'clock, news came of defeat of MASTERMAN in
Bethnal Green. Turns out there was more in WORTHINGTON EVANS'S assumption
of "the inky cloak, good mother" than on Monday met the eye. Boisterous
scene of exultation in Unionist camp, jubilant cries of "Resign, Resign."
"Resign!" growled SARK. "Why should WILSON resign a seat just won? It is
true it was in a three-cornered fight, and by a majority of twenty-four he
represents minority of electors. But the seat is his, and of course he'll
keep it."

Curious how obtuse SARK can be upon occasion.

_Business done._--Debate on Address agreed to in Commons. Forthwith set to
on Estimates. Work cut out till 31st March. After that Home Rule and the
Deluge.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE MAN FROM BOGOTA.

Lord MURRAY OF ELIBANK (talking); Lord MOBLEY OF BLACKBURN (thinking).]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "ON SHROVE TUESDAY, FEB. 24,

     COOK'S FAST DAY EXCURSIONS TO BIRMINGHAM"

     _Midland Railway Leaflet._

The rest of us take our first "fast day," as usual, on Ash Wednesday.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CANAL.

     [_An attempt to express in futuristic "verse" the emotions aroused by
     a futuristic painting bearing the above title._]

  Mud, sedimentary, coffee-colour,
  And here a wedge, a sharp, keen, thrustful triangularity,
  And squares that writhe in painful green,
  Calling, clamouring--O venerable shade of EUCLID.
  Back in the ages, dusty, maculated,
  Across the slate-hued fogs of time,
  Behold them!--oblongs of sliding water
  And cubed banks,
  Bridges and barges, blatantly, wonderfully, inconceivably angular,
  Calling, clamouring--canal, canal, canal!
  Out on the sea, restive and sloppy,
  A waste of salinity,
  So they aver,
  There are ships with masts, sails, halyards,
  Spankers, booms and things;
  There are lobsters and jellyfish--not here.
  Nothing here but illimitable mysteries,
  Baffling unknowledgeableness,
  Fathomless, fainting from square to square,
  Oblongs and nosey triangles, ever so nosey,
  Shapes rhomboidal, perchance rhombohedral--who knows?
  Puce and mustard-tinted--delicate,
  Oh, most delicate the mustard!--
  And russet, cadaverous pink,
  They mingle, compaginate,
  And their voices mingle,
  They call me out of the frame,
  They call,
  Thinly and crazily,
  Canal, canal, canal--slimy, crawly-crawly water!

       *       *       *       *       *

     "LITERARY.

     FREE.--Our 160-page book, 'Hints for Home Decorators,' will be sent
     free on receipt of 1-1/2d. for postage. Full instructions on painting,
     staining, graining, varnishing, enamelling, stencilling, gilding,
     colour-washing, how to mix paints, colours, inks, dyes, and scores of
     valuable recipes."

     _Daily Citizen._

Now we know where our novelists get their local colour.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Rector_ (_thanking all who have contributed to the success
of the bazaar_). "AND AS FOR LADY BLANK, I SHOULD NOT LIKE TO TELL YOU WHAT
_SHE_ HAS DONE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DEADLY BUTTON.

We do not know whether the following incident occurred at Signor BEN
TROVATO'S famous restaurant on Fifth Avenue or not, but feel impelled, at
any rate, to quote it as a warning, on the authority of _The Globe_ of
February 19th, and _The New York American_:--

"Giving a well-satisfied sigh after dinner a Pittsburg man burst a button
off his waistcoat. It split in two. One half hit another man, with whom he
was dining, in the eye. As a result his _vis-á-vis_ may lose the sight of
his eye. The other half struck the convivo in the cheek, cutting the
flesh."

This new and hitherto unsuspected possibility in ballistics must be rightly
directed and also guarded against. There will be danger from the opposite
side of the table at City dinners at about the tenth course and onwards,
unless the wary guest can screen himself from the Corporation behind a
laager of fruit-dishes and substantial ornaments.

If two gourmets fall out over the respective merits of their favourite
_entremets_, the remedy is now easy. There is the duel by button. Each of
the principals, seconded by his particular waiter, after carefully taking
his opponent's range and bearings, will suspire and hit him in the eye. The
more replete combatant, having the greater equatorial velocity, will
probably win, but the tailor can do a good deal towards securing a flat
trajectory and freedom from swerve.

At Christmas dinners, Tommy, when adequately charged, can challenge a rival
amateur of plum-pudding to a rally over the dessert, instead of expending
his horse-power over crackers. A little training, of course, would be
needed to secure a combine fusillade.

It is only right to add that evening-dress waistcoats are henceforward to
come under those sections of the Geneva Convention which relate to missiles
and explosives. No soft-nosed buttons, or studs which are liable to
"bunch," are to be allowed. A special regulation further requires that
persons more than fifty inches in circumference, and fire-eaters who have
already marked their men, shall dine by themselves, or at any rate only at
a high table where there is no _vis-á-vis_. And page-boys are to be
compelled to use hooks-and-eyes, unless they are engaged for a wedding or
funeral salvo.

ZIG-ZAG.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Plural Voter.

     "At the Wilmot-street Schools ... the credit of being first fell to a
     well-known resident--a stone-mason by craft.... There was no mistaking
     the colour of his political opinions. He voted for Major Sir Mathew
     Wilson."--_Evening News._

     "'I am going to be the first man in England who ever voted at 7 a.m.,'
     said an enthusiastic workman at the Wilmot-street Station as he fell
     in with the opening of the front door. He voted for
     Masterman."--_Star._

       *       *       *       *       *

A message recently sent to a New Zealand chemist:

     "Please give the little girl a plaster for a man that a piece of wood
     blew off a shed and hit him in the rib."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "BAY GELDING, 5 years, 16 h.p., up to 13 stone; hunted up to date;
     good performer and temperate; quiet with road nuisances; 30 gs."

Thirty guineas for a 16 horse-power horse is absurd.

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"HELEN WITH THE HIGH HAND."

There is great entertainment at the Vaudeville for the admirers of Mr.
NORMAN MCKINNEL, among whom I propose to count myself whenever, as so
rarely happens, he takes an evening off from his tyrannical methods--seldom
very edifying when a woman is the victim. As the gentleman says in one of
OSCAR WENDELL HOLMES'S books, "_Quoiqu'elle soit très solidement montée, it
ne faut pas brutaliser la machine_." Here it is true that Mr. MCKINNEL
started out on his familiar courses, but he soon found that he had to do
with his match; that _Helen's_ hand was always a little higher than his
own. And, even when we saw him at his most dogmatic, the fact that the
question of sex, in its physical aspects, did not enter into their
relations--he was only her step-great-uncle--saved us from a great deal of
uneasiness. In all his moods, whether of blustering self-assertion or
reluctant surrender, of canny craft or protesting generosity, Mr. MCKINNEL
was equally admirable.

[Illustration: THE HIGH HAND.

_Helen Rathbone_    Miss NANCY PRICE.

_James Ollerenshaw_ Mr. NORMAN MCKINNEL.]

The local atmosphere of the Five Towns was established with less delay over
detail than is customary in this kind. There was a lot of tea-drinking, I
admit, but no doubt this beverage plays a strong part in the social life of
the Potteries. There was also much handling of domestic provisions--streaky
bacon, cheese, and so forth--but all this was proper enough in a play that
largely turned upon the changes in an old celibate's _ménage_. But in the
main it was a comedy of character, a struggle between youth and crabbed
age, in which the younger will and the quicker wit prevailed. As we first
see him, _James Ollerenshaw_ is a crusty, browbeating, misogynist, hoarding
his wealth, content with a mean habit of life, and convinced that nobody
can get the better of him. As we see him at the end he is a tamed man,
dependent on female protection against the wiles of a designing widow, and
established, at great cost, with his niece in the noble and ancient mansion
of her desire. There were subsidiary love-episodes, of course, but these,
though novel in some particulars, were relatively perfunctory. The
character of _James Ollerenshaw_ was the real matter of resistance.

Miss NANCY PRICE'S _Helen_ was a very probable performance. For myself I
found her a little too minx-eyed for my taste, but no doubt this was part
of the right Pottery touch. Minor characters were all brightly played, Miss
MIÉLE MAUND being particularly happy as a garrulous young girl in the first
flush of an engagement, who subsequently throws over her violent _fiancé_
on the ground that "she could never marry a man who pushes people into
lakes." Even the _vieux jeu_ of the designing widow took on a certain
freshness in the robust bands of Miss ROSINA FILIPPI.

[Illustration: MODES FROM "THE POTTERIES."

What Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT'S ladies wear to-day Vienna wears to-morrow.

_Lilian Swetnam_  Miss MIÈLE MAUND.]

I am in the fortunate position of having yet to read Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT'S
novel, from which Mr. PRYCE'S comedy has been adapted, and am therefore
free to treat the play itself on what I take to be its merits. It may be
that the adapter assumed in us a little previous knowledge of the history
of _Helen's_ love affair, or that at least there was an obscurity about her
past that wanted clearing up by retrospective illumination; but that is my
only possible criticism; and I heartily congratulate the Vaudeville
management on having at last discovered a play that promises to reward
their enterprise.

Not suspecting that there would be a change of hours after the second
night, I arrived on the third night punctually at 8, to find that the
performance was announced to begin at 8.30. Punctually at that hour I
returned, to find that it did not commence till 9; that in the meantime I
was to assist at a song-and-talk recital of which no threat had been
published. My quarrel is not with Mr. FREDERIC NORTON who did it, though
his clever entertainment began with some songs about fishes and things that
might have warmed a Penny Readings' audience but left me bitterly cold. My
complaint is of a wasted hour and a bolted dinner. I mention it only to
prove that, whatever the provocation he has suffered, a Dramatic Critic is
incapable of prejudice.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology.

     "ALBANIA'S NEW RULER

     HOW PRINCE WILLIAM WILL ENTER HIS KINGDOM.

     +FOUR+"

     _Westminster Gazette._

Looping the loop on all fours?

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Shooting on the river Doe, in Kirkcudbrightshire, Colonel Kennaway,
     Greenlaw, shot a fine specimen of the male gadwall, a comparatively
     rare visitor."--_Glasgow Herald._

Col. KENNAWAY (_to deceased male gadwall_). "That'll teach you to be so
beastly rare."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The Wigan County Licensing Sessions were held yesterday.
     Superintendent Kelly stated that fifty-four persons had been proceeded
     against for drunkenness, an increase of 124 over last
     year."--_Liverpool Daily Post._

Superintendent KELLY should join the Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "A recital was given yesterday afternoon by Dr. Walter Alcock, who
     bears the title of organist and composer to His Majesty's Chapels
     Royal, and assistant organist of Westminster Abbey, and happens to be
     also an organist of exceptional attainments."

     _Yorkshire Post._

The luck of Royalty is proverbial.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "WELSH PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

     Milward, after compiling a break of 73, failed at a very easy shot,
     otherwise the contribution might have been higher."

     _Sportsman._

It would seem certain, but--you never can tell with these wily Welshmen.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Wealthy Visitor._ "_YOU_ 'ARD UP! WOT DO _YOU_ DO TO MAKE
YOU 'ARD UP? I NEVER 'EAR OF YOU GETTIN' A CAR FOR £2,000 AS _I_'VE JUST
DONE, OR BUYIN' YOUR WIFE £3,000 WORTH O' JOOLREY AS _I_ DID LAST WEEK, OR
SENDIN' YOUR BOY A 'UNDED POUNDS-WORTH O' MECHANICAL TOYS AS _I_ 'AVE THIS
MORNIN'. YOU'VE 'AD BREAD AND CHEESE AND _I_'VE STOOD SIX JOLLY FELLERS A
CHAMPAGNE LUNCH--'OW CAN _YOU_ BE 'ARD UP?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DANGER SIGNAL.

     ["I think moods and colours are related to one another. For instance,
     you have to feel very happy and well to enjoy rose-pink."

     _Miss GLADYS COOPER._]

  Dear, did the afternoon seem dull and dreary?
    Sweet, did you murmur as the tears fell thick--
  "My true love cometh not and I am weary;
          This is a dirty trick"?

  Hear my excuse. With laudable precision
    I reached our rendezvous full early, but
  When you appeared in view, a rose-pink vision,
          I really had to cut.

  For oh! your costume made me apprehensive;
    That colour-scheme which caused my eyes to blink
  Proved you in joyous vein, while I was pensive
          And in no mood for pink.

  I wanted converse with the gentle lily
    And not the rose with all its flaunting show,
  Someone to stroke my hand and call me "Willie"
          In accents soft and low.

  If we had met, your gaiety had grieved me;
    There had been bitter back-chat to and fro;
  And so I stole away ere you perceived me;
          Dear, it was better so.

       *       *       *       *       *

For all Tastes.

     "Number of births on the 28th instant 16; number of rats trapped on
     the 29th instant 273."--_The Said Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE EXPERT IN EXCELSIS.

The invitation to Mr. ARTHUR BROCK, the well-known pyrotechnist, to express
his opinion of STRAVINSKY'S orchestral fantasia, "Fireworks," on the
occasion of its second performance at Queen's Hall on the 28th inst., has,
we are delighted to learn, been fruitful of a series of similar
invitations, not only in the sphere of music but also in the domain of art
and letters.

Thus we understand that the place of the ordinary musical critic of _The
Times_ will be taken at the next performance of _Parsifal_ by Mr. WATERER,
the great floricultural expert, and Mr. DEVANT, the eminent conjurer, with
a view to their contributing their impressions of the flower maidens and
the methods of the magician _Klingsor_ respectively.

Similarly, on the occasion of the next representation of WAGNER'S _Flying
Dutchman_ at Covent Garden, a signed criticism by the Chief Locomotive
Superintendent of the Great Western Railway will appear in the pages of our
contemporary.

The practice, which it is hoped will lend additional brightness to the
vivacious criticisms of _The Times_, is not to be confined to Opera. The
ASTRONOMER-ROYAL will be asked to record his impressions of BEETHOVEN'S
"Moonlight Sonata", and the officials of our leading lightships will be
asked to report upon PARRY'S "Blest Pair of Sirens."

The application of the new method to literature promises to be equally
interesting. It is an open secret that Messrs. GUNTER have been permanently
retained by _The Pastry-cook's Gazette_ to review all books dealing with
the Glacial Epoch, Ice-action and Arctic Exploration.

       *       *       *       *       *

A CHARACTER.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Under the title of "A Bygone" you recently published the
tale of a certain estimable butler and his one lapse, during many years'
service, into alcoholism. This reminds me of the shorter and sharper
history of our own James, who came to our Northern home on a Monday
afternoon and left upon the following morning.

For his chief characteristics be referred us, on application, to the
opinion of a (Mrs.) Elizabeth Brown, of "The Cottage," Bamston, near
Maidstone, Kent, who, he said, knew more about him than anybody else, and
would take him back into her service later if need and opportunity arose.
This opinion described him briefly but emphatically as honest, sober and
willing. By way of the usual caution we wrote to this good lady direct and
asked her to be so kind as to elaborate her views to us in confidence. In
reply she wrote that James had been with her for eleven years on and off,
had left her only because she was leaving "The Cottage," would be welcomed
back by her when she settled down again, and meanwhile was very honest,
very sober and very willing. There was that about the handwriting and style
of this letter which made us feel that the writer might not be one of the
old _noblesse_, but was, at any rate, a kindly, sensible and acute old
body, who knew now and always what she was talking about. Moreover it
indicated, but did not actually state, that the man had come to be regarded
in the writer's household with feelings more friendly than those usually
found between employer and employé: always, we thought, a strong
recommendation of an old servant. On the strength of this correspondence we
decided to give him a trial at least.

There was nothing peculiar about his appearance, except the suggestion of a
secret sorrow, which was no business of ours. His willingness was at once
apparent: our house being full for a hunt ball there was plenty of work for
him to do, but even so he found time between tea and dinner to put in a
preliminary polish of the silver, which, he told us, was his chief joy in
life, or rather one of them. Moreover he refused to go to bed until our
return from the ball, timed not to be earlier than 4 A.M., and insisted
that he would sit up for us.

We drove off after dinner without a qualm; for, though my wife declares
that she detected a suspicious smell of spirits as he put the carriage rug
over her, unhappily she did not think to mention this till the next day.
When we got back in the small hours we found that, in accordance with his
promise, he had indeed not gone to bed. There he was unmistakably in the
hall. But he wasn't sitting up.... No.... Rather, he was lying down, back
uppermost.... So much for his sobriety.

We resolved to show no mercy. Having promised to drive Captain Merriman,
one of our guests, to the station to catch the early train to London, I was
myself up betimes to see the sinful James also off the premises. His
sorrow, no longer secret, was very manifest; it was a cold wet morning; it
required some strength of mind to cast the fellow adrift and leave him to
find his own way, with bag and baggage, to oblivion. But I did it.

One does not leave much margin of time on these occasions, and it was not
long afterwards that we followed in the dog-cart; nor had we got far on our
road before we espied the back of James ahead of us--one of the saddest
backs I have ever seen. He had still four miles to go to the station; his
bag was obviously not light; he looked as if he would not get four more
yards without collapsing; no doubt he had had an exhaustive night; finally,
even that stern disciplinarian, Merriman, took pity. So, "Jump up behind,
you old blackguard," I called to him as I drew up alongside, and up he
climbed, cling-to his seedy bag and protesting that this was very much more
than he deserved.

As to his honesty you, Sir, must judge. The police doubted it from the
start, and their experience led them to be sure that the reference was
forged, that there was no "Cottage" and no Elizabeth Brown. No doubt he had
managed to get our letter delivered to him and had forged an answer to
that. On all points they were wrong and James was correct. There was "The
Cottage" all right, very much a cottage; it had been vacated by the tenant,
not voluntarily (who ever said it had?) but by reason of arrears of six
weeks' rent, at 5_s._ 6_d._ per week. The tenant's name was truly Elizabeth
Brown, though she was more commonly known as Old Bess, and she was the one
person to know all about our James, being his wife. And we've no reason to
doubt that she has taken him back into her service and was very glad to do
it too.

In short, I cannot claim that James lied to us in any particular. So much
for his honesty. As far as dishonesty was involved in the matter of the
bag, I am not in a position to complain of that, seeing that it was by my
agency alone that that bag got to the station, and it was at my expense
that our local porter deposited, _inter alia_, my wife's much valued
Georgian tea service and spoons in the London train, just about the time
that the theft of them was being discovered at home. Under the guilty
circumstances I prefer to remain

Your anonymous

CORRESPONDENT.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO MINKI-POO

(SHUTTING ONE EYE).

  I watch you, while the firelight glare
    Strews flick'ring fancies round the hall,
  Replete, with what exotic fare
    No watcher by The Wall
    Had ever thought to line himself withal.

  And, as I mark the locks that weave
    A curtain for your eyes of flame,
  I sometimes think if you'd a sleeve
    To help you in the game,
    You'd find a laugh or two to fill the same.

  For She in whose grey eyes there springs
    Ruth for the lowliest and the least
  Proclaims you heir of countless kings,
    An emblem from the East
    Of inward beauty in the outward beast.

  She says you miss the sidewise roll
    Of palanquins in Something-Chang,
  Or sigh for little bells that toll
    Beside the Si-kiang,
    And dream-dogs of your old Celestial gang.

  For me, I think that tiny heart
    Bears no such Oriental load;
  Your dreams concern no Pekoe mart
    Nor mandarin's abode,
    But some dim purlieu of the Edgware Road.

  Well, young pretender, have your fling!
    Though Fate forbade you to adorn
  The pompous pedigree of Ming,
    No particle of scorn
    Shall ever fall upon the Briton born!

       *       *       *       *       *

     "It was contended that the captain had been placed in circumstances of
     exceptional difficulty. The solicitor for the Board of Trade said that
     between six and seven hundred pilgrims from Mecca swarmed on to the
     ship at Beyrouth to return to Morocco."

     _Westminster Gazette._

Another result of the expiry of the WAGNER copyrights?

       *       *       *       *       *

     "She went out rather quickly by the door, but none of them
     laughed."--_From "The Cheerful Christian," by DAVID LYALL, in "The
     British Weekly."_

She must try the window next time, and then, if they still won't laugh, the
chimney.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Irate Gentleman._ "WHEN I 'ITS A MAN, 'E REMEMBERS
IT."

_Second Irate Gentleman._ "WELL, WHEN I 'ITS ONE, 'E DON'T."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

_The Golden Barrier_ (METHUEN) was an affair of sovereigns, and the way of
it was this. _Magdalen Tempest_, the heroine, had been left by her late
father the mistress of many fine houses, and stacks and stacks of money.
She had inherited also a disagreeable but honest butler, an aunt who was
even more disagreeable but not honest, and an agent who was--well, who was
the hero of the book. She had further gathered to herself a crowd of
hangers-on more or less artistic, and all given to requiring small
temporary loans. One of them, however, was a professed social reformer, a
bold bad man of doubtful extraction, who was leagued with the aunt in a
plan to marry _Magdalen_ to himself and secure control of the cash. So
_Magdalen_ gave a Venetian Carnival in her great house, and it came on to
thunder, and she found herself alone in a gondola with the painter
(favourite hanger-on), who attempted, too vigorously, to improve the
shining hour, and it was all rather awkward, when--romantically opportune
arrival of the hero (name of _Denvers_), who flung the painter into the
lake, clasped the heroine in his manly arms, married her and lived
happy----No. That is where you are too hasty. There remained still the
Golden Barrier. For, after an interlude of bliss, back came the intriguing
aunt, the social reformer and all the crowd (save the submerged artist) and
began to accuse _Denvers_ of living on his wife's cheque-book. How it ends
you must find out. If you object that there is very little in all this to
suggest the spirit of fine romance which you have learnt to associate with
the names of AGNES and EGERTON CASTLE, I can only say that (while my rough
synopsis does no justice to some pleasant characterization) I myself
greatly prefer these two writers in their earlier and brocaded mood.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems to me that Mr. FRANCIS BRETT-YOUNG has done quite a distinguished
piece of work in _Deep Sea_ (SECKER). I have not cared to miss a paragraph
of it and have certainly carried away an unusually vivid memory of that
unnamed West-country fishing-town which he has so cleverly peopled with his
creatures--with poor, simple, introspective _Jeffrey Kenar_, fisherman that
was, looking at life through the oddly refracting medium of his window of
old glass, and all but seeing visions; comely, bitter _Nesta_, his wife;
simple, loyal _Reuben_, _Jeffrey's_ friend, whose rejection of _Nesta
Kenar's_ overmastering passion turns her love to hate; _Reuben's_ gentle
wife, _Ruth_; and that sleek mortgagee, _Silley_, for whom men like
_Reuben_ toil that he may grow fat, nominally owning their vessels,
actually in heavy bondage to their shrewd exacting masters. There are dark
and deep waters of passion swirling in and out of these simple lives, and
the author, whose method is broadly impressionist rather than meticulously
realistic, contrives cleverly to suggest that what he imagines has in fact
been closely observed. He can make and tell a story and he can marshal
words with a certain magic. The tragedy ends peacefully with the resolution
of the too bitter discord of _Nesta's_ hate in love of the child of the man
she had wrongfully and vainly desired. A book to be read.

       *       *       *       *       *

Amongst the makers of what might be called, without in this case any
disparagement, the commercial short story, I think I should place Mr. P. G.
WODEHOUSE as easily my favourite. The comfortable anticipation that is
always mine on observing his name on the contents page of a popular
magazine has been renewed by the sight of it attached to a collection of
tales in volume form and called, after the first of them, _The Man
Upstairs_ (METHUEN). You must not expect a detailed criticism. All I can
promise you is that, if you are a Wodehouseite, you will find here the
author at his delightful best. He is winged and doth range. The heroes of
these tales include (I quote from the cover) "a barber, a gardener, a
play-writer, a tramp, a waiter, a golfer, a stockbroker, a butler, a bank
clerk, an assistant master at a private school, a Peer's son and a Knight
of the Round Table." So there you are; and, if you don't see what you want
in the window, you must be hard to please. Personally, I fancy I would give
my vote for the play-writing stories. "_Experientia_," as _Mrs. Micawber's_
late father used to observe, "_does it_"; and here I have the feeling that
the author is upon tried ground. But not one of the collection will bore
you; there is about them all too nice a deftness, too happy a gift of
phrase. I am told by the publishers that the American public fully shares
my approval of this engaging craftsman. It shows their sense. But, if there
is any threat of removing Mr. WODEHOUSE permanently to the other side of
the Atlantic, where already he goes far too much, my guinea shall head any
public subscription to retain him.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Punctilious Burglar._ "SORRY TO DISTURB YOU, GUV'NOR, BUT
_WOULD_ YOU MIND LETTING ME HAVE THE THRIPPENCE FOR YOUR SHARE OF THE
INSURANCE STAMP? THIS IS THE FIRST JOB I'VE HAD THIS WEEK."]

       *       *       *       *       *

In an extremely able but peculiarly unpleasant book, _The Questing Beast_
(SECKER), I think that Miss IVY LOW makes two serious mistakes. "Tell her,"
writes the heroine to a friend after the first of two irregular love
affairs, "that I thought, 'I am not that kind of girl,' and tell her that
there is no 'sort of girl,' and that life is a sea and human beings must
catch hold of life-buoys to keep them afloat." To this it may be answered,
however, that there _is_ "that kind of girl," and that _Rachel Cohen was_
"that kind of girl," and that it is a kind which deliberately rejects
life-buoys when flung out to them. The second mistake, as it seems to me,
in a novel which is in many ways a very clever piece of realism, is a
strong feminist or, at any rate, anti-masculine bias. Against the cunning
dissection of the character of _Charles Giddey_, a worthless and conceited
egotist, I have no complaint to make. It is one of the best things of its
kind that I have read for a long time. But it seems unlikely, to say the
least, that the heroine, after being deserted by the man she really loves,
should, considering her very erotic and unprincipled temperament, find
complete happiness in the publication of a successful novel and in devotion
to her child. I feel that on a nature like that of _Rachel Cohen_ even
Royalties and Press notices would eventually pall. And in pausing I may
remark that the beast _Glatisant_ cuts a very episodic and unsatisfactory
figure in the _Morte D'Arthur_. Pursued for a short while by _Sir
Palamides_ in his Paynim days, it scarcely comes into the cognisance of
KING ARTHUR'S Court and the Table Round. And I fancy that the circulating
libraries will feel the same about "_The Questing Beast_."

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not think that I can recall any novel that makes such insistent
demands upon the weather as does Miss JOAN SUTHERLAND'S _Cophetua's Son_
(MILLS AND BOON). The sun, the rain, the wind, the snow--these are from the
first page to the last at their intensest, wildest, brightest, most
furious, and as I closed the book and looked out upon a day of monotonous
drizzle I thanked Heaven for the English climate. But I imagine that Miss
SUTHERLAND was aware that nothing but the most vigorous of climatic
conditions would afford a true background for her hero's tempestuous soul.
_Lucien de Guise_ was unfortunate enough to be the son of a flower-girl,
and I had no idea, until Miss SUTHERLAND made it plain to me, how terrible
his friends and the members of the smartest of London's clubs--"Will's, a
place of great historic interest and brilliant reputation, developing
gradually into one of the most exclusive clubs in London, and very strictly
limited in numbers"--held so ignominious an origin. There is a scene in
Will's where _Colonel Maclean_, "a handsome man and a famous soldier,"
expels _M. de Guise_ "with a perceptible degree of asperity" in his
voice--a scene that does the greatest credit to Miss SUTHERLAND'S
imagination. Indeed, I am afraid that Miss SUTHERLAND'S ambition to write a
really dramatic story has driven her into incredibilities of atmosphere, of
incident, and of character. _M. de Guise_, with his flashing, gleaming
eyes, his love of liqueurs, his passion for smashing the most priceless of
Nankin vases whenever he sees them, is, surveyed under these grey English
skies, an unreal figure, and his world, I am afraid, too brightly coloured
to be convincing.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "RULER wanted for Ireland (N.S.); good wages, permanency to competent,
     reliable man.--Full particulars to Box 167, Daily News,
     Manchester."--_Daily News._

Don't reply to it, Mr. REDMOND. It is not in your line. It is a printer's
advertisement, merely.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The accident caused great excitement in the neighbourhood. A large
     crowd quickly gathered, and several medical men were hurried to the
     sport."--_Manchester Guardian._

Those well-known surgeons, _Mr. Robert Sawyer_ and _Mr. Benjamin Allen_,
enjoyed it most.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "A new French revue, entitled 'C'est Bon' (literally, 'It's Top-hole')
     is to be produced on Monday week."--_Evening News._

Or, more roughly, "That's good."

       *       *       *       *       *

In a catalogue of characters assumed at a Mayoral Fancy Dress Ball we are
informed by _The Birmingham Daily Mail_ that Professor and Mrs.
SONNENSCHEIN figured as "Socrates and Christian Thippe." Poor old pagan
XANTHIPPE! SOCRATES is well avenged.





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