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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 4, 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 4, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146, FEBRUARY 4, 1914***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

FEBRUARY 4, 1914



CHARIVARIA.

The statement, made at the inquiry into the Dublin strike riots, that 245
policemen were injured during the disturbances has, we hear, done much to
allay the prevailing discontent among the belabouring classes.

       * * *

"COALING THE STORES" is a headline which caught our eye in a newspaper last
week. To be followed, after the strike, we imagine, by "STORING THE COALS."

       * * *

A Russian officer, last week, shot the leader of a gipsy choir in a St.
Petersburg restaurant, not because he sang out of tune but merely because
he expressed resentment at the officer's conduct towards his daughter. It
is thought that the incident may lead to an Entente between Germany and
Russia.

       * * *

Our Navy standard of 16 _Dreadnoughts_ to 10 of the next most powerful Navy
is, says Mr. C. P. TREVELYAN, rough and ready. Well, in this matter our
standards may or may not be rough, but let's hope they're ready, anyhow.

       * * *

An organisation called "The Parents' League" has been formed in New York
for the purpose of simplifying the lives of children. This has caused a
considerable amount of uneasiness in juvenile circles, and it is said that
a "Hands-off-our-jam" party has already been formed.

       * * *

In a letter of Mrs. CARLYLE'S just published, the wife of the Chelsea sage
describes a cat as "a selfish, immoral, improper beast." This has given no
little satisfaction in canine circles, where the deceased lady is being
hailed as a human being with the insight of a dog.

       * * *

_The Cambridge Review_ is talking of dropping the publication of the
University sermon. It is possible, however, that the mere threat may have
the effect of making the sermons more entertaining.

       * * *

A volume entitled "The Great Scourge and How to End it" has made its
appearance. We had imagined this to be a treatise on the anarchist
activities of a certain section of the Suffragists until we discovered the
name of Miss CHRISTABEL PANKHURST as its authoress.

       * * *

Messrs. HUTCHINSON'S interesting _History of the Nations_, the first part
of which has just appeared, is something more than a mere compilation of
facts already known to us. We had thought that both photography and limited
companies were comparatively recent inventions. An illustration, however,
in this new work, entitled "Charles I. going to execution," bears the
description, "Photo by Henry J. Mullen, Ltd."

       * * *

Councillor SHERLOCK has been elected Lord Mayor of Dublin for the third
time in succession, and Sir ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE will be interested to hear
that there is some talk now of calling the local Mansion House "SHERLOCK'S
Home."

       * * *

Belief in the innocence of the dove dies hard. At Driffield, last week, a
Mr. DOVE, who was charged with conducting a lottery, was acquitted in spite
of his pleading guilty.

       * * *

A music-hall performer gave a turn in a King's Bench court the other day.
There was a time when a judge would have objected to his court being turned
into a theatre, but since the advent of comic judges the line of
demarcation has become blurred.

       * * *

According to Dr. FRANK E. LAKEY, of the English High School, Boston,
U.S.A., boys are at their naughtiest between 3 and 4 P.M.; and at their
best at 10 A.M. But surely most boys are awake and out of bed at 10 A.M.?

       * * *

     "POPULAR MICROBES

     AUDIENCE OF 2,000 AT A BLACKPOOL LECTURE."

     _Daily News._

One is so accustomed to think of the little chaps in millions that this
seems rather a poor attendance.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE HELPMATE.

_Newly-wedded Husband_ (_fresh from the altar_). "EXCUSE ME TAKING THE
LIBERTY, SIR, BUT DO YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW OF ANY PLACE WHERE MY WIFE COULD
GET A LITTLE CHARRING TO DO?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

HONORIFICS.

A cowardly hoax was recently perpetrated in Paris, where a number of
politicians consented to assist in raising a statue to Hégésippe Simon, the
educator of the Democracy and author of the famous epigram, "The darkness
vanishes when the sun rises," only to discover later that Hégésippe Simon
had never existed.

Needless to say, this has produced a profound impression upon public men in
this country, who are regarding invitations of a similar character with the
gravest suspicion.

For instance, Mr. WILLIAM ARCHER, on receiving a request for his assistance
in raising a monument to IBSEN, is reported to have replied cautiously that
he would like to know more about this writer before giving an answer.

Mr. CLEMENT SHORTER, on being asked to join the committee of a BRONTË
memorial, replied suspiciously, "Why do you ask _me_ of all people?"

Mr. J. L. GARVIN, on being approached on the subject of a bust of Mr.
FILSON YOUNG, is reported to have consulted his assistant-editor as to
whether the name might not be a pure invention; while Mr. G. K. CHESTERTON
remarked, when asked to assist in raising a bas-relief to CHARLES DICKENS,
that he didn't believe there was no such a person.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Mr. M'Call, K.C., said Dr. Keats had charge of the boys in the
     infirmary, and for the purpose of maintaining order he was sometimes
     compelled to resort to corporal astonishment."--_Glasgow Daily
     Record._

Billy Brown (_surprised_): "Ow!"

       *       *       *       *       *

In our last issue, quoting from a Johannesburg telegram, we referred to
_The Evening Chronicle_ as a "Labour organ." Its London Manager writes
protesting against this description; and we now offer our heartiest regrets
for the grave injustice that we seem to have done to our South African
contemporary.

       *       *       *       *       *

SMITHERS, B.C.

  I saw it on a map, most large and fine
    (I saw it with the naked eye--no dream),
  Showing how trains upon the Grand Trunk line,
    Grand but Pacific, run along by steam
  Right to Prince Rupert on the sea (a port)
        And there are brought up short.

  Smithers! I saw it on a map, I say,
    A panoramic map in Cockspur Street.
  And sudden in my heart began to play
    Echoes of old romance, and all my feet
  Fluttered responsive to the name's sheer beauty,
        So rhythmical and fluty.

  Smithers! The music of it filled my mouth.
    I saw Provence and that enchanted shore,
  And lotus-isles amid the dreamy South,
    And champions out of mediæval lore
  Looking at large for ladies in distress
        Round storied Lyonnesse.

  I was a _trovatore_ (with guitar);
    Venezia's airy domes above me shone;
  I heard Alhambra's fountains, faint and far;
    I broke the Kaliph's line at Carcassonne;
  All kinds of lost chords latent in my withers
        Woke at the name of Smithers.

  Ah, if in Avalon's vale I may not rest
    When envious Time has worn me to a thread,
  Then let me go to Smithers in the West,
    And on my gravestone let these words be read:
  _Attracted by its name to this fair scene_,
        _He died a Smitherene._

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COMMERCIAL SIDE.

Now that the Headmaster of Bradfield has decided to start a "Commercial
side," to enable boys to prepare at school for a business career, it may be
of interest to publish these fragments from the diary of another Headmaster
who has done pioneering work in a similar direction:--

_January 20._--First day of term. This morning, in Hall, I made the
momentous announcement that the School would shortly have a new
"side"--devoted to Business. School-boys are usually so conservative that I
had anticipated some signs of disapproval. Nothing of the sort. The speech
was received with loud cheers, renewed when I prophesied that the Waterloo
of the future would be won on the "Commercial side" of Fadfield. Truly a
hopeful outlook.

_January 21._--As I expected, the Commercial side has been the chief topic
of conversation among boys and masters. The latter are, I fear,
reactionary--realising, no doubt, their incompetence to deal with business
subjects. The boys are enthusiastic. I am constantly approached in the
corridors by lads who say it has always been their ambition to become a
Tipton or a Whiteridge, or a Gilling and Warow, as the case may be. One
little fellow quaintly confessed that he had always longed to be a "Mother
Spiegel." Great Britain's future in trade is assured if this spirit
continues.

_January 22._--Even the Classical VI. seems interested in my new project,
and questions proving a genuine keenness were asked me when I was taking
HOMER this morning. One boy propounded the doubtful but stimulating notion
that HOMER was really the name of some early Greek Co-operative Stores, and
that the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ were parts of a gigantic scheme of
advertisements. This is very illuminative and indicates that a real desire
for efficiency exists in the most unlikely quarters.

_January 23._--An example of the sort of prejudice one has to contend
against occurred to-day. Henderson, one of the House masters, sent across a
note asking what I should wish done in the following case. It appears that
a boy in his House named Montague has by some form of bargaining already
deprived three new boys of their pocket-money for the term. "Montague has
exhibited such an extraordinary commercial aptitude in this matter,"
Henderson wrote, "that I propose to flog him. Before doing so however I
thought I would ask for your assent, as you might prefer to make him a
prefect."

_January 24._--Brown Major, the Captain of Football, has been deputed to
ask me if I could arrange a Jumble Sale match against Giggleswick. Have had
to explain to a boy, Lipscombe, sent up for gambling, that the rule against
this is inviolable, and that I could not accept as an excuse for his
breaking it the fact that he intends, on leaving school, to adopt the
business of a bookmaker. Specialisation at school in all branches of
business is of course impossible.

_January 26._--M. Constantin, the French master, has come to me with a
complaint. Two days ago, for trying to dazzle him during lessons with a
sun-glass, he gave a boy named Dawkins 500 lines. To-day, instead of the
usual Racine, Dawkins handed him lines copied from an advertisement in the
daily press beginning:--"Perhaps you are suddenly becoming stout, or it may
be that you have been putting on weight for years...." As Constantin is
disposed to adiposity, he is convinced that Dawkins meant this for
impertinence. Dawkins, however, has explained to me that he is profoundly
interested in Patent Medicines, the sale of which he hopes to take up as
soon as he has qualified on the Commercial side. Pardoned Dawkins and
accepted M. Constantin's resignation.

_January 27._--I fear the school is taking the Commercial side too
literally--with unforeseen results. To-day there was a regrettable incident
in the tuck-shop, outside the door of which, unknown to Mrs. Harrison, a
placard was nailed up announcing "Harrison's Winter Sale. All goods at
sacrificial prices. Must be cleared. No offer refused." As a consequence
the boys burst into the place in a crowd, ate and drank everything they
could lay hands on, and paid for nothing. I have undertaken to rectify this
matter.

_January 28._--Mutiny is rampant. The boys, inflated by their success in
the tuck-shop, held "A Great White Sale" in most of the dormitories last
night. As a consequence, all towels, sheets, pillows, flannels, etc., are
inextricably mixed up, and a very large number can only be described as
"remnants." Seven masters have resigned, including Herr Wolff, who was
informed by a boy that he refused to handle the works of Schiller, because
they were "made in Germany." Personally flogged the boy.

_January 29._--Things are becoming intolerable. Three boys appeared in the
lower Modern class this morning in frock coats and false waxed moustaches
which they must have written to London for. They were sent up to me and had
the audacity to explain that they hoped to be shop-walkers some day and
wanted to practise. Another boy asked if a Hair Drill could be substituted
for the ordinary drill. Verily the reformer's task is a thankless one.

_January 30._--_Actum est_ ... This morning I announced to assembled boys
that I should not proceed with the Commercial side. The speech was received
in silence, except that one boy (whom, I regret to say, I was unable to
identify) called out, "And the next thing, Sir?" I fear there is no real
commercial zeal as yet among boys.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXIT TANGO.

THE SPIRIT OF DANCING (_waking up_). "WELL, THANK HEAVEN THAT'S OVER; ONE
OF THE DULLEST NIGHTMARES I EVER MET."]

       *       *       *       *       *

LIDBETTER.

The shopkeeper said he had not got it in stock, but he would get it for me.

"When?"

"By to-morrow morning."

"Before lunch?"

"Yes."

"For certain?"

"Yes."

Very well then, I would have it.

"Can I send it?" he asked.

"No, someone will call."

Very well. It should be ready for my man before lunch.

How did he know I had a man? I wondered. I had never been to the shop
before. Do I look like a man who has a man? I suppose I must. Yet I always
rather hoped that I didn't.

What had I said exactly? I had said, "someone will call."

Either, then, "someone" means, in such shops, a man-servant; or the fact
that I am a man-keeping animal is visible all over me.

I went on to wonder if, should he see Lidbetter, he would know that he
belonged to me. Did I not only betray the fact that I kept a man, but also
what kind of a man I kept?

Good old Lidbetter--what should I do without him? I wondered. How get
through the day at all? How, to begin with, get up?

The morning tea, the warmed copy of _The Times_ and _The Mail_ (only
Lidbetter would ever have thought of warming them), the intimation that the
bath (also of the right temperature) was ready--how should I be thus looked
after without Lidbetter?

And then the careful stropping of my razors. Without Lidbetter how could I
get that done for me?

Without him I am sure I should never change my neck-tie till it was worn
out, or get new shirts until mustard and cress had begun to sprout on the
cuffs of the old ones, or have a crease down my trousers like Mr. GERALD DU
MAURIER, or go out with anything but a dusty overcoat and dustier hat.

But with Lidbetter...!

How do people get on without Lidbetters? I wondered. I suppose there are
men who do not keep men and yet exist--men who can't say, "My man"? An odd
experience.

I wondered how old he was by now--Lidbetter. Difficult to tell the age of
that type, so discreet and equable. He might be anything from thirty to
fifty.

And what was his other name? Curious how I had never ascertained that. I
must ask him, or, better still, get him to witness something and sign his
full name. My will, say.

Talking of wills, perhaps I ought to leave Lidbetter something after such
faithful service.

Good old Lidbetter!

Thus musing I walked home.

The next morning I went to the shop and asked for the parcel.

"You surely won't carry it yourself?" the shopkeeper said. "I would have
sent it only I understood that your man would call."

"I haven't got a man," I said. "I've never had one."

"Pardon," he replied, and gave me the parcel.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: COMMERCIAL CANDOUR AT THE SALES.

"I ASSURE YOU, MADAM, THESE KITCHEN KNIVES REPRESENT THE GREATEST VALUE
EVER OFFERED AT THE PRICE."

"THEY CERTAINLY LOOK NICE AND SEEM VERY CHEAP. THE ONLY QUESTION IS--WILL
THEY CUT?"

"AH, MADAM, IF YOU ASK ME THAT, I'M BOUND TO SAY THEY WILL NOT; BUT THAT IS
THEIR _ONE_ FAULT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Two quite unique golf performances have been made on the Lutterworth
     course. The Rev. W. C. Stocks and Mr. F. Marriott were playing a round
     of eighteen holes last Friday, and at the third hole, which is an iron
     shot (145 yards), Mr. Marriott surprised himself and amazed his
     opponent by holing out with an iron. Then when they came to the eighth
     hole, which is 188 yards distance, the rev. gentleman went one better.
     Taking his brassey, he had the delightful experience of seeing his
     ball roll into the hole. Both shots were magnificently directed."

     _Market Harborough Advertiser._

We guessed at once that they must have been fairly straight.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE YELLOW FURZE.

(_A Tragedy in One Act, which may be played by the Abbey Theatre players
without fee._)


SCENE I.

     [_The kitchen in the_ M'Ganns' _house_. Mrs. M'Gann, Sheila M'Gann,
     Molly M'Gann, Aloysius Murphy, _and_ Jeremiah Dunphy _sit round the
     fire, top left centre. The door is top right centre. On the left side
     is a window. Four large grandfather clocks are standing here and there
     round the room. In front of the fire is seated a little wee bit of a
     pigeen. The Stranger is seated by the window, apart from the rest. As
     the curtain rises one of the clocks strikes two, another strikes
     eleven, while the others remain silent. It is thus impossible to tell
     what time it is. The Stranger gazes out of the window. No one speaks.
     The curtain falls._


SCENE II.

     [_Much the same, except that the window is now on the right side. The
     women are engaged in peeling potatoes. The Stranger is obviously much
     embarrassed at the sudden change in the position of the window._

_Jeremiah._ 'Tis a terrible night--a terrible wet night.

_Molly._ Sure an' it's yourself that has no call to say the same, Jerry
Dunphy, an' you saying a minute since that ye were as dry as ye could be!

     [_The rest break into a roar of laughter, with the exception of the
     Stranger and the pig._

_Aloysius_ (_slapping his knee_). A good wan, that! It's yourself is the
smart girl, Molly!

     [_The door is suddenly flung open with great violence and young_
     Michael _enters. He is carrying a number of hurls._

_Jeremiah._ Power to ye, Michael avick! And did ye win to-day?

_Michael._ Is it win? And will ye tell me why wouldn't we win?

     [Sheila _is about to speak, but checks herself as a thin piping voice
     is heard chanting outside_.

_The Voice._

      "There is a little man
      In a dirty wee shebeen,
    And the spalpeens do be leppin' in the bog."

     [_The voice ends on a high note, which quavers away into silence._

_Sheila._ The blessed Saints preserve us! What was that?

_Mrs. M'Gann._ Musha, don't be frightened, child! Sure, it's only poor ould
Blithero[1] Pat. (_She goes to the door and opens it._) Come in, Pat, and
have a bite an' a sup to warm ye this terrible night.

     [_The old man enters. He comes slowly over to the hearth, tapping with
     his stick, and seats himself in front of the fire. He seems to stare
     at the glowing turf. At last he speaks._

_Blithero Pat._ Comin' over the bog I met Black Finnegan. He had a powerful
drop o' the drink on him.

_Molly._ The Saints preserve us from that man!

_Blithero Pat_ (_continuing in a dull monotone_). And Shaun M'Gann was with
him.

     [Mrs. M'Gann _sits back with a look of horror on her face_.

_Aloysius._ Shaun does be a terrible man when he's on the drink.

     [_The pig rises and goes out by the door, which has been left open._

_Sheila._ The crathur! 'Tis himself can't bear to hear his master
miscalled.

_Blithero Pat_ (_still continuing in the same tone_). Shaun told me to tell
ye, Mrs. M'Gann, that he was coming home the way he'd kill ye entirely.

_Jeremiah_ (_starting up quickly, as the others recoil in horror_). We must
stop him. He's coming by the bog, ye said, Pat?

_Blithero Pat._ Ay! Be the bog it is.

_Aloysius._ Come on, all of ye!

     [_Exeunt hastily all but_ Blithero Pat _and the Stranger_.

     [Blithero Pat _chuckles softly. He then addresses the Stranger in a
     hoarse whisper._

_Blithero Pat._ Divil the bit he's comin' be the bog. He's comin' be the
cross-roads.

     [_The Stranger makes no reply._ Blithero Pat _laughs hideously and
     goes out_.

[Footnote 1: A Connemara word signifying blind.]


SCENE III.

     [_The same. The air is heavy with the scent of stout._ Mrs. M'Gann
     _sits before the fire. She still peels potatoes. The Stranger is
     almost concealed behind grandfather clock number four, from the
     shelter of which he peers nervously at the window, which has returned
     to its original position. A heavy step is heard outside._

_Mrs. M'Gann_ (_starting up in terror_). That's Shaun's step!

     [_The door is kicked open and_ Shaun _enters. He is fairly far gone in
     drink. As he looks at her she backs a step or two and stares at him
     wildly. He kicks over grandfather clock number one, which is evidently
     damaged by the fall, as it commences to strike wildly and
     insistently._

_Mrs. M'Gann._ Shaun!

     [_He staggers over and looks at her closely for a moment. Then he
     catches her by the throat, hurls her to the ground, and begins to kick
     her savagely. He laughs as he kicks her, for at heart he is not a
     bad-natured man. She gradually becomes still. At last he stops and
     looks at her._

_Shaun._ Mary! (_A pause. Then in a louder tone, with a note of alarm in
his voice_) Mary!

     [_He looks at her for two minutes in a dazed way and then staggers out
     of the room. The Stranger, who until this moment has not said a word,
     does not speak now. Grandfather clock number one continues to strike
     insistently._

CURTAIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCENE--_Village Concert--Squire's turn to sing._

_Official._ "'OPE YOU GETS ON ALL RIGHT, SIR. IT'S BEEN FAIRLY GOOD OOP T'
NOW."]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The first brick of the structural work was laid on Tuesday, Jan. 6th,
     and is proceeding rapidly."--_Clacton Times._

Destination unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE MASCOT CRAZE: A CUP-TIE OF THE FUTURE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

IVORY.

  O, chiefly procured by a fate that is harshish
    From ponderous pachyderms' innocent shapes!
  O, shipped of old time by the navies of Tarshish
    For SOLOMON'S court and the wondering gapes
                Of Jerusalem's Great Age,
                The invoice for freightage
    Including some items of peacocks and parcels of apes!

  O exquisite surface of Orient idols!
    O, hewn by the workmen of cunning Cathay
  For the sword-hilts of kings and their saddles and bridles!
    O, carved for Athene! O, chosen to-day
                For the match now proceeding
                Betwixt those two leading
    And infantile billiard antagonists, NEWMAN and GRAY!

  O, how shall I sing of thee, loved of immortals?
    Remember what breaks of thy boon have been born?
  Or describe how the dreams that go out at thy portals
    Are true by the test of the amethyst morn,
                Whilst the hopes that encumber
                Our profitless slumber
    Fare forth through the bonzoline exit--I should say the horn?

  Shall I ask why it is that the sagest of mammals
    Is toothed with such splendour, for woo or for weal,
  As compared with giraffes or hyenas or camels
    Or wombats? Why man, when he falls to a meal,
                Can suffer no tusk-ache
                From marmalade _plus_ cake
    To rival the infinite sorrows that Hathis may feel?

  These things I might prate of and should do with pleasure
    Except that they're far from the point of my song,
  Which is aimed at a dental adornment, a treasure
    Unheard of as yet by the ignorant throng,
                But an ivory fairer,
                More fleckless and rarer,
    Than ever was looted by trader from elephant's prong.

  For I care not for elephants, no, not a particle;
    Sorrows they have, but they cause me no ruth;
  And a fig for their tushes! I mentioned the article
    Merely to lead you along to the truth,
                To the fact of all wonder,
                Our baby (no blunder--
    You can not only feel, you can see it) has cut his first tooth.

  EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Box and Cox.

     "The doctors have stopped issuing bulletins regarding Sir Lionel
     Phillips whose condition continues to give satisfaction. He is able to
     lease his bed for a short time daily."--_Natal Mercury._

       *       *       *       *       *

     "When Lord Kitchener arrived in Cairo very few people were aware that,
     travelling on the same train as his lordship, were a crocodile, two
     hyenas and two civet cats. These animals had been presented to Lord
     Kitchener when he was at Kosti."--_Egyptian Gazette._

We wish we had had the luck to attend this levée.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE STRONG MAN.

     [_A fragment of a diary, signed H.H.A., which may be picked up in
     Bouverie Street some day._]

_Monday._--Although I continue to wear an enigmatic smile in public, I may
confess to myself that the situation causes me anxiety. The Home Rule Bill
was passed five days ago, and already there are signs of military activity
in Ireland. Anthony thinks I ought to proclaim martial law. In the course
of a short lecture at breakfast this morning he referred to the historic
case of South Africa, and reminded me of the enthusiasm with which the
Unionist Party greeted this stirring exhibition of the strong hand. Martial
law, he says, supersedes all other law, and the deportation of any person
whose presence is not desired becomes----At this point I had him deported
to the nursery, for I desired to be alone. All the same I feel that there
is a good deal in what he says, and I shall think it over to-night.

_Tuesday._--Martial law proclaimed. I have decided to be The Strong Man of
England. Force may be no remedy, but it is much esteemed by the Unionist
Party, and I don't see why WINSTON should be the only popular member of the
Cabinet.

_Wednesday._--Excellent. CARSON has been safely smuggled out of the
country. He travelled from Belfast to Liverpool in a packing-case labelled
"Oranges," and was then embarked in a whaler for Greenland. The ship, I
understand, has no wireless installation and will not stop at any port on
the way. As he had to leave Belfast rather hurriedly, without packing, I
have lent him a spare suit of WEDGWOOD BENN'S clothes. The authorities have
orders to deal with the other leading members of the Ulster Provisional
Government in the same way.

_Thursday._--The Ulster leaders have been safely deported. Unfortunately,
there was no ship immediately available for them, and at the present moment
they are in a pantechnicon labelled "Theatrical Troupe" (a tip from BOTHA)
touring the Cromwell Road. They go up and down twice in a day, I am told,
stopping nowhere on the way. Without their leaders the Ulstermen are
weakening, and they may be expected to accept the Home Rule Act peaceably
in the course of a few days. Martial law is certainly an extraordinary
solvent of the most difficult situation, and I can only wonder that I never
thought of it before.

_Saturday._--However hard one tries one can never please everybody. In a
fierce speech at Bootle last night, BONAR denounced me as (among other
things) a Tyrant, a Dictator, and an Autocrat! (The other things were not
so polite.) By an exhibition of the strong hand I have practically stifled
the Ulster Revolution, and this is all the thanks I get from the Unionist
Party. I have sent him a note, asking him to drop in in a friendly way and
chat about it. We haven't had one of our little conversations for a long
time.

_Monday._--BONAR refused my invitation indignantly, and actually made
another speech on the same lines at Pudsey. Even the Liberal papers
confessed that it was enthusiastically received; in fact, P.W.W. in _The
Daily News_ went so far as to say that a staunch Radical in the gallery
"paled suddenly" and later on "blenched." There was only one way of dealing
with this situation. BONAR LAW had become a serious danger to the State
(me), he was fomenting rebellion against authority (mine), and he would
have to go. I telegraphed instructions, and within half an hour BONAR had
left Pudsey for Farnborough as a grand piano. To-night he is strapped on to
an army aeroplane and launched into the _Ewigkeit_. The aeroplane has no
wireless installation and will, I am informed, stop nowhere until it
reaches its destination.

_Tuesday._--Strict Press censorship ordered. Unionist Papers are forbidden
to comment adversely on my operations. As a result, the first nineteen
columns of _The Pall Mall Gazette_ were blank this afternoon. In the
evening edition, however, the editor could no longer restrain himself, and
he is now waiting at the docks as a consignment of cocoa for SHACKLETON'S
South Pole party.

_Wednesday._--Overheard an unexpected compliment (paid me by a Unionist) in
a District train this evening. This gentleman said, "After all, he's a
strong man. One does know where one _is_ with a man like that." He had to
confess, however, that he didn't know where BONAR LAW was. Neither do I. My
new-found friend got out at the Temple, and I wish I could have followed
him and asked him to tea one day, but the fact that I was disguised and on
my way to Blackfriars Pier to see the LORD MAYOR'S departure in a submarine
prevented me. I have always wanted to witness one of these deportations,
and certainly the police were very nippy, if I may use the word. The LORD
MAYOR descended from a taxi in a straw-filled crate labelled "St.
Bernard--fierce," and was in the submarine in no time. It was his own fault
for summoning a non-party meeting of protest at the Guildhall. I hate these
non-party meetings--they're always more insulting than the other sort.

_Friday._--Anthony says that I shall have to get an Indemnity Bill through
the Commons; otherwise, when martial law is over, I may get hanged or
something. This is rather annoying. Deported Anthony to bed, but could not
get rid of my anxiety so easily. The Unionists of course will vote against
an Indemnity Bill, and so, I fear, will a good many Liberals and Labour
men, who say that I am undemocratic. Awkward.

_Saturday._--Still a little anxious about the I.B., but a great victory
over the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER at golf in the afternoon has restored
my spirits somewhat. We were square going to the eighteenth, and when I got
into a nasty place in the bunker guarding the green it seemed all over; but
with a sudden inspiration I proclaimed martial law (which, as Anthony says,
supersedes the ordinary laws) and teed my ball up. Thence easily to the
green and down in ten, DAVID arriving in his usual mechanical eleven. He
was a little silent at tea, I thought.

_Wednesday._--Excellent. This martial law is a wonderful thing. On Monday I
had the whole of the Opposition kidnapped and sent down by one of the
special Saturday trains, well guarded and labelled "Football Party," to
Twickenham. The train was guaranteed to stop for some hours at every
station on the way, and is not due at Twickenham till to-morrow morning.
Meanwhile my Indemnity Bill went triumphantly through the House this
evening, and now all is well.

_Thursday._--End of martial law. Rather a dull day on the whole.

A.A.M.

       *       *       *       *       *

Answer to a Clergyman.

No, dear Sir, your high calling does not excuse you from observing the
rules of civility common amongst laymen when writing to the Editor of a
paper which has expressed views that do not happen to accord with your own.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Dancing was engaged in around the bonfire to the skirl of the
     philabeg."--_Glasgow Herald._

On reading this we immediately went
round to our tailor and ordered a new
pair of bagpipes.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "A change has come over the domestic habits of the French middle
     class. This means that the money that would have been accumulated for
     the girl's diary is now in some cases diverted into other
     channels."--_T. P's Weekly._

Probably squandered on a packet of those useless New Year's cards.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bosun_ (_to new deck hand who has trodden on his toes while
hauling on a rope_). "'BEG YOUR PARDON,' INDEED! THAT'S BLOOMIN' FINE
LANGUAGE TO USE TO A SHIPS BOSUN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

LOCAL COLOUR.


I.

     _From the Editor of "The Globe Fiction Magazine" to Aubrey Aston,
     Esq._
     _May 5th._

DEAR MR. ASTON,--We are extremely sorry that we cannot see our way to using
_Red Shadows_. The idea is an excellent one, if a trifle improbable. But
you must be aware that West Africa has been worse handled by
fiction-writers than any other locality, and we are afraid we dare not risk
publishing a story in which the writer has drawn on his imagination for
local colour, however vivid that imagination may be. The West African
expert at our office assures us that _Red Shadows_ contains some
inaccuracies which would be bound to spring to the eye of any reader who
had been near the West Coast. We cannot imperil the reputation of a
magazine so widely circulated as ours, and we feel that in returning the
MS. we are in some degree safeguarding your own. Thanking you for the many
excellent stories you have let us have,

     Yours very truly,
     J. W. INGLEBY, Editor.


II.

     _Aubrey Aston to the Editor._
     _Laburnam Rise, Hornsey._
     _May 8th._

DEAR MR. EDITOR,--Thanks for your note. I cannot help feeling that you were
to some extent influenced by your knowledge of the fact that I had never
been near the West Coast. I hope, however, to visit the White Man's Grave
shortly and will possibly let you have some stuff from the spot.

     Yours,
     A. A.


III.

     _The Same to the Same._
     _From Sherbro, Sierra Leone._
     _June, 18th._

Mr. Aubrey Aston begs to enclose to the Editor of "The Globe Fiction
Magazine" another West African effort, and hopes that it may pass his
critic.


IV.

     _The Editor to Aubrey Aston._
     _July 31st._

DEAR MR. ASTON,--Herewith proof of _The Case of Mr. Everett._ I trust you
will be able to let us have some more West Coast tales while you are out.
Stories with the true African ring about them, from such a practised pen as
your own, are hard to come by. Our "critic" passed _Mr. Everett_ with
honours. You will no doubt see yourself by now how comparatively bald and
unconvincing _Red Shadows_ is, when set against a tale "hot from the oven."

     Yours very truly,
     J. W. I.

P.S.--Our West African expert asks me to thank you for information on
several points on which he had been hazy. It is news to him that the Mendes
have an Arabic strain in their blood; he had believed them to be pure
Zishtis. He had also been in the dark as to the origin of the "leopard"
murders.


V.

     _From Aubrey Aston to the Editor._
     _Hornsey, September 20th._

DEAR MR. EDITOR,--Many thanks for the proof (forwarded to me from Sierra
Leone) of _The Case of Mr. Everett_--which I return corrected--and for your
very gratifying note.

I'm afraid I have not yet found time to visit West Africa, but I still hope
to. When I do, I will perhaps let you have some tales "hot from the oven."
In the meantime I find the Travel section of our local library a more
comfortable and probably a more accurate source of copy. But I still have
to draw on my imagination to some extent. The Mendes may be pure Yanks for
all I know to the contrary; but I hope for their own sakes they aren't
Zishtis. It sounds such a horrible thing to be.

As for the "leopard" murders, I got my information from Major Kingsley,
D.S.O., who has been a Government officer in Nigeria and Sierra Leone for
fourteen years, so there may be something in it. As he is a close friend of
mine I sent my story to him out there for him to look through before
letting you have it, and he very kindly posted it direct to you. He has
written to tell me that the ignorance shown in it was such as to preclude
any possibility of improvement by revision.

By the way, Major Kingsley was the author of _Red Shadows_. He asked me as
a special favour to godfather it, as he believed an unknown writer stood no
chance. It is a perfectly true story. My kindest regards to your expert.

     Yours very truly,
     AUBREY ASTON.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FLOWERS OF SPEECH (U.S.A.).

_Wealthy American Westerner_ (_anxious to show his great appreciation of
the able and enthusiastic way in which the duchess has pleaded the cause of
her pet charity_). "WAAL, GOOD-BYE, DUCHESS. I WILL SEND YOU A CHEQUE,
SURE. I GUESS SOME OF THESE CHARITIES WOULDN'T BE SO SICK IF THEY HAD CRAZY
BOOMERS LIKE YOU TO BOOST 'EM ALONG."]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Many correspondents have asked whether Mrs. Cornwallis received this
     compensation because her husband was a reader of this
     journal."--_Daily Mail._

Could they have meant--correspondents being notoriously rude--that the
husband deserved it more?

       *       *       *       *       *

A CHARM

(_whereby a modern male adult mortal may be pleasantly initiated into the
fairy state_).

  O male adult, O male adult!
    This is the way we make a fairy:--
  _Quicunque vult
    Silvis terrisque imperare_,
  Think upon oaks and thorns and ashes,
  On glow-worms and on fire-fly flashes,
  On rooty loams and stony brashes!
  Then upon thyme and tansy think,
  On fields of sainfoin, ruddy pink,
  On dells deep down and rocks upreared,
  On lad's-love and on old-man's-beard,
  On spearmint and on silver sages,
  On colewort and on saxifrages!
    Then think on pools in dimmest haunts,
  Unwhipped of any wind that rages,
    Where the lithe flag her purple flaunts,
  Where frogs go plopping round the edge
  And gnats are humming through the sedge,
    And on the leaf of each wide lily
  The scaly newts do lay their eggs
  And the small people dip their legs
    To shatter the moonshine floating stilly
  O'er the pool's mystic weedy dregs!
  Think yet again on rolling hills
  Where little sleepy new-born rills
    Are bedded deep in upland mosses,
  Where tiny stars of tormentils
  Peer skyward with their golden gaze,
    Where lichened dikes and shallow fosses
  Are signs of far-forgotten days--
  Forgotten save by us who roam
  Those uplands nightly after gloam,
  And, linking in our magic rings,
  Whirl in a dazzle of dancing wings--
  Us only whose hot eyes beheld
  Fordone delights of vanished eld!
  Think on it! think on it!
  And think no more on what you quit--
  On hearth and home, on streets and shops,
  On trousers, ties, and hunting-tops--
  Think no more on City dinners,
  On office hours and all the winners--
  For you are fitted by field and dell
  Us to follow, with us to dwell,
  To be for ever free from harm,
  A fairy changeling by this charm,
  To be the lord of light and mirth,
  To be the lord of all the earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: (_After ORCHARDSON'S picture of NAPOLEON en route for St.
Helena._)

THE NEW BELLEROPHON:
OR, BOTHA'S SURPRISE PACKET.

(The Government of S. Africa are sending, as a present to the
Mother-country, the ten men whom they regard as their leading
undesirables.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE WORLD-WIDE ATTENTION AROUSED BY THE RECENT
CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT RULE 18, BY WHICH A PLAYER LOSES THE HOLE IF HIS
OPPONENT'S BALL STRIKES HIM, HIS CADDIE OR HIS CLUBS, IS ALREADY
BRIGHTENING GOLF. THE DOCTOR, WHO WAS PLAYING "THREE MORE," GOT "DORMY" AT
THE SEVENTEENTH WITH A BEAUTIFUL QUARTER BRASSIE BACKHANDER, WHICH TOOK THE
COLONEL IN THE LOWER CHEST.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BUT THE COLONEL SAVED THE GAME ON THE LAST GREEN. THE DOCTOR
(WHOSE CADDIE'S PLAY WAS BEYOND ALL PRAISE) WAS CAUGHT NAPPING, FOR HE
FAILED TO AVOID A STAB TO LEG (THE ODD) WHICH JUST FOUND HIS PUTTER.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A MODERN IDYLL.

(_With acknowledgments to various distinguished writers in this vein._)

To me the robin is a peculiarly attractive bird. It bears itself with a
sort of pompous pathos which moves me to a friendly tear and gentle
laughter.

       * * *

One came to the ledge of my parlour window the other morning, a not
infrequent occurrence. "Good morning, Robin Red-breast," quoth I; and it
acquiesced in an expressive silence. The conversation is generally
one-sided on these occasions. "Bird," I continued, "it may interest you to
know that I am writing a book. What about, you wonder? About any old thing
that happens to crop up--yourself, for instance." The robin tripped hither
and thither with vast self-importance. "Not so much of it," said I. "It
isn't your intrinsic worth but the fact that you chanced to crop up first,
that got you this publicity."

The robin flew away in high dudgeon as Martha entered the room bearing the
boiled eggs and tea with which it is my custom to break my fast.

       * * *

How long the greater tragedies of life lie hidden beneath the careless
surface! From a chance remark of this excellent Martha's, I have but now
discovered, after many years' experience of it, that what I have always
fondly supposed to be tea, she, who makes it, equally fondly supposes to be
coffee.

       * * *

There is only one other thing worth mentioning about Martha, and I will
mention it. For very many years, as she is in the habit of telling me once
a week, she has been walking out with a policeman. This has suggested to me
a quaint thought, that to marry a policeman is the cheapest and most
effective way of insuring against burglary, but otherwise, I confess, I
have shown and felt but little interest in this _affaire de coeur_.

       * * *

A letter lay on the table beside my plate. It was addressed to me. I picked
it up and, holding the envelope in my left hand, with the first finger of
my right hand I tore open the flap. I then withdrew the enclosure and,
standing with my back to the window so that the light fell on to the
written sheet, I read it.

       * * *

It was from my sister, my little sister Clare, and it told me that she was
engaged to be married. My sister, my little sister Clare, engaged to be
married, and to a partner in a firm of publishers of all people! Here was
news indeed! I own that Clare's publisher interested me very much more than
Martha's policeman.

       * * *

I remember nothing more until I looked up a few moments later to see a
robin once again upon my window-ledge. I would not swear that it was the
same bird, but, feeling that one robin was as good as another, I told it
all about Clare's publisher and what this might mean to all of us.

       * * *

Some days later I came down to breakfast, to find another letter lying on
the table beside my plate. This letter also was addressed to me. Having
gone through much the same process as that used with regard to my earlier
correspondence, I discovered that this was from Clare's _fiancé_. He
thanked me for my very kind congratulations of the 13th ultimo, and went on
to say that, with regard to the latter part of my letter, he was not quite
sure exactly what an idyll might be, and so my interesting description of
my embryo book conveyed little to him. Even so, he went on, he would have
been honoured to publish any book written by any relative of his dear
Clare, but that he dealt, to be candid, exclusively in legal text-books.

       * * *

To Martha, entering at this moment, I confessed that there was at least
this to be said for her and her man, that they had never concealed their
connection with that odious thing, the Law.

       * * *

Later, I read an extract from my manuscript aloud to the robin. He wore an
air of abstraction and I could see that his thoughts were running on other
matters more immediately concerned with his own interests.

       * * *

To me the robin is a peculiarly human bird.

       *       *       *       *       *

BLANCHE'S LETTERS.

     _REVUES_ AND THINGS.
     _Park Lane._
     _January 31st._

DEAREST DAPHNE,--I've been putting in quite a pleasant little time down at
Much Gaddington with Bosh and Wee-Wee. Theatricals were the order of the
night, and the best thing we did was a _revue_ written for us by the Rector
of Much Gaddington, who's a perfectly sweet man and immensely clever. It's
a better _revue_ than _any_ of those at the theatres, and as that dreadful
Censor had, of course, nothing to do with it the dear rector could make it
as snappy as he liked. Wee-Wee and I were two "plume girls," Sal and Nan,
in aprons, you know, and feathers and boots stitched with white; and our
duet, "Biff along, Old Sport!" with a pavement dance between the verses,
fairly brought down the house. The rector himself was _impayable_ in his
songs, "Wink to me only," and "Tango--Tangoing--Tangone!" But the
outstanding feature of the whole affair was certainly Dick Flummery, who
introduced his new and sensational _Danse à trois Jambes_, entirely his own
invention!

What Dick doesn't know about dancing isn't worth knowing, and he says all
the steps that _can_ be done with two legs have _been_ done, and for
_anything_ really novel another leg must be added. So he's had a clockwork
leg made, and he winds it up before beginning and makes its movements blend
in with the steps of his _real_ legs, and the effect is simply enormous!

People wrote to Wee-Wee from far and near begging to come and see "Hold
Tight, Please!"--that's the name of the rector's _revue_--so we decided to
give it in the village school-room for charity. Since then Dick's been
fairly snowed under with offers from London managers. They offer him big
terms, and if his colonel decides that the prestige of the regiment won't
suffer through one of its officers doing a three-legged dance at the Halls
Dick will accept. If the colonel objects, Dick will still accept, for then
he'll send in his papers, and go on the music-hall stage in earnest.

The rector has also had good offers for "Hold Tight, Please!" and he's busy
toning it down before it's given in front of the dear old prudish public.
He made us laugh one evening by telling us how he met his bishop lately at
a Church Congress or something, and the bishop said, "There's a report that
you've been seen once or twice lately at the Up-to-Date Variety Theatre,
Piccadilly Square, London. You're able to contradict it, of course?" "Oh,
that's quite all right, bishop," answered the dear rector; "I _have_ run up
to town several times in order to go to the Up-to-Date, but it was for
business, not amusement. I'm responsible for the new ballet there, 'Fun,
Frills and Frocks.'" So of course the bishop had no more to say.

I was talking to Norty yesterday about the state of Europe, and _when_
we're to know who's who in the Near East, and which of the kingdoms out
there are to be absorbed or abolished or allowed to go on; and he threw a
new light on things by telling me that these matters are a good deal in the
hands of the _stamp-collectors_--that when _they_ agree among themselves as
to what's to be done it _will_ be done. A great many people who matter very
much indeed are stamp-collectors, it seems, and it would make an _immense_
difference in the value of their collections if certain countries were
absorbed or abolished or allowed to go on. For instance, suppose anyone had
a complete set of Albelian stamps, and Albelia wasn't allowed to go on, the
set would become almost priceless. Norty says also that _heaps_ of
stamp-collectors who have been opposed tooth and nail to Home Rule on
principle have been won over by the Coalition with the promise that an
absolutely _sweet_ set of Irish stamps would be issued as soon as H. R.
became an accomplished fact. _Ainsi va le monde._

The swing of the pendulum is going to make the coming season a _stately_
one. It will be correct to be haughty and dignified. _Features_ will be _de
rigueur_, and aquiline noses will be very much worn. Dancing is to be
deliberate and majestic, and partners will not touch each other; as Teddy
Foljambe put it, "Soccer dancing will be in and Rugby dancing out." As far
as one can see at present, the most popular dance at parties will be the
war-dance of the Umgaroos, a tribe who live on the banks of some river at
the back of beyond. I can't tell you anything about them except that they
were found near this river doing this dance, and someone's brought it to
Europe. It's very slow and impressive, and a native weapon, like a big
egg-boiler with a long handle, is carried. The dance grows faster towards
the end and the native weapon is twirled. In a crowded room there'd be a
little danger here, and one would have to practise carefully beforehand.
Already Popsy Lady Ramsgate's maid, has brought an action against her for
"grievous bodily harm." In practising the war-dance of the Umgaroos, Popsy
twirled her weapon too wide and struck the girl on the head.

What do you think of the New Music, my child? No answer is expected. It's a
question few people _dare_ to answer. Norty's definition of the New
Humour--"the old Humour without the Humour"--won't do for the New Music.
It's quite out by itself. But on the whole it's darling music, full of new
paths to somewhere or other, and ideas and impressions of one doesn't know
what, and sprinkled all over with delicious accidentals that seem to have
been shaken out of a pepper-pot.

I've just got some piano studies of Schönvinsky's, to be played with the
eyes shut and gloves on, and they're too wonderful for words!

     Ever thine, BLANCHE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BACK FROM SWITZERLAND.

(1) SNAPSHOT, ILLUSTRATING THE COOLNESS DISPLAYED BY THE INTREPID
MOUNTAIN-CLIMBER, AS SENT TO FRIENDS. (2) A FULL-SIZED UNEXPURGATED EDITION
OF THE SAME.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LEGEND OF EVERYMATRON.

(Showing one of the reasons why the Tango is already _démodé_.)

(_With apologies to Mr. KIPLING._)

  This is the sorrowful story told at the Tango Teas
  Of the old folks dancing together, frivolous as you please:--

  "Our mothers, came to the dances; dignified matrons, they,
  They smilingly sat and watched us after we waltzed away.

  "Our mothers looked on at the dancing--that was their business then;
  Frowned on the detrimentals, smiled on the right young men.

  "Then came this Tangomania, and when the fad was new
  Badly it shocked the old folks--now they are doing it too!

  "Now we may watch our mothers, smiling and flushed and gay,
  Doing it, doing it, doing it, tangoing night and day,

  "Stamping a Texas Tommy, wreathing a Grapevine Swirl,
  Gleefully Gaby Gliding, young as the youngest girl.

  "We may not laugh at our mothers, for (between me and you)
  They can out-dance us often--get all our partners too!"

  This is the sorrowful story told by a chastened lot
  Of maidens sitting together, watching their mothers trot.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Nervous Lady_ (_in whose street there have been several
burglaries_). "HOW OFTEN DO YOU POLICEMEN COME DOWN THIS ROAD? I'M
CONSTANTLY ABOUT, BUT I NEVER SEE YOU."

_Policeman._ "AH, VERY LIKELY I SEES YOU WHEN YOU DON'T SEE ME, MUM. IT'S A
POLICEMAN'S BUSINESS TO SECRETE 'ISSELF!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OBLIQUE METHOD.

"I want to engage the next cook myself," I had said to my wife.

"Why?" she asked.

"Chiefly," I said, "because I am the only person in the house who minds
what is placed on the table. If the food is distasteful I complain of it;
you defend it; and we lose our tempers. Now it is perfectly clear that you
cannot guard against certain culinary monstrosities when you engage a cook.
I can. And coming from a man it will impress her more."

"Why can't I do it?"

"Because you haven't," I said. "You have engaged scores of cooks in your
time and everyone does a certain thing which infuriates me."

"Have it your own way," she said.

I meant to.

In course of time the prospective cook was ushered into my study. If I
liked her she was to stay.

"Good morning," I said. "There's only one thing I want to discuss with you.
Apple tart. Can you cook apple tarts really well?"

She said it was her speciality, her _forte_.

"Yes, but can you do them as I like them, I wonder."

How did I like them?

"Well, my idea of an apple tart is that there should be so much lemon in it
that it tastes of lemon rather than apple."

"Mine, too," she said. "I always put a lot of lemon in."

"And," I went on, "wherever the tart doesn't taste of lemon I like it to
taste of cloves."

"I was just going to say the same. I always put in plenty of cloves."

"In short, the whole duty of a cook who is given an apple to cook is," I
said, "to see that every scrap of the divine--of the flavour of the apple
is smothered and killed."

She looked at me a little in perplexity.

"Isn't it?" I asked.

"Yes," she faltered.

"Well," I said, "I've recently been to see my doctor and he says that there
are two things I must never touch again, at least in an apple tart: lemon
and cloves. Otherwise he can't answer for the consequences. Will you help
me to avoid them, at home at any rate? Will you?"

She was a good woman with a kind heart and she promised.

She has kept her promise.

Apple tarts in our house are worth eating.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRYING ON.

"I am going to London," I said.

"Going to London?" said the lady of the house. "What for?"

"To live a double life," I said. "Many men do it and are never found out
till they have been dead quite a long time. I'm going to begin to-day, and
first I'm going to call on my tailor."

"But you can't call on your tailor in those clothes."

"Why not?" I said. "He made the clothes, and the least he can do is to look
at them after I've worn them all these years."

"Dad's going to London in his old brown suit," said Helen to Rosie, who had
just entered the room.

"Oh, but he simply _can't_," said Rosie in a shocked voice.

"_I_ like the suit," said Peggy. "The trousers are so funny."

"They do bag at the knees," I admitted. "But then all sincere and
honourable trousers do that. There is, of course, an unmanly variety that
never bags and always keeps a crease down its middle, but you wouldn't have
me wear those--now would you?"

"You can wear what you like," said the lady of the house, "so long as you
don't wear what you've got on."

"Well," I said with dignity, "I'm not the man to insult an old friend. I
shall wear this suit, and, what's more, I shall get my hair cut, too."

"That's right; get yourself cropped like a convict."

"You ought to be proud," I said, "to have a husband who's got any hair to
crop. Some husbands are quite bald."

"And some want to look as if they were quite bald."

"Very well," I said, "I will give up the hair-cutting. Next week you shall
see me in love-locks for the rest of my life."

I then went up-stairs and changed into patent leather boots, black tail
coat and all that is necessarily associated with a black tail coat. This
costume I completed with a top hat extracted from its dim and dusty lair, a
dark overcoat, a walking-stick and a pair of gloves. Thus attired I set out
for the station.

In the garden I found the junior members of the family gathered together to
escort me. When they saw me they assumed an air of profound solemnity and
doffed imaginary hats in my honour.

"He's got his Londons on after all," said Peggy, thus lightly alluding to
my serious garments.

"Will his lordship deign to take my humble arm?" said Rosie.

"John," said Helen brightly, "run on, there's a good boy, and see if
they've got out the red carpet. We must certainly knight the
station-master."

They then formed up as a festal band--mostly big drums--and preceded me to
the garden gate, where they scattered and left me with a final cheer.

At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon I found myself in the West-end--not, of
course, in the whole of it, but in that particular part of it where my
tailor has his establishment. Up to that moment I had been eager to see
him, but now that I stood before his door all desire had vanished just as a
toothache disappears when you get almost within forceps distance of a
dentist. However I encouraged myself. "These clothes," I said, "have been
waiting for months in a half-sewn state and with makeshift button-holes.
They must be put out of their misery. It's to-day or never."

My entrance was warmly welcomed: "Try on? Yes, Sir. I'll call Mr. Thurgood.
Will you step in here, Sir?"

I stepped in through a door in a glass partition and found myself in the
familiar torture-chamber. The old coloured plates of distinguished
gentlemen in dazzling uniforms still hung on the walls. _Their_
trouser-knees didn't bulge an inch. They fitted into their suits as wine
fits into a decanter. Why couldn't I be like that? Also there were the
looking-glasses artfully arranged to show you your profile or your back, a
morbid and detestable revelation of the unsuspected.

"You're quite a stranger, Sir," said Mr. Thurgood, coming briskly into the
room, accompanied by a transitory acolyte bearing clothes. "Shall we try
the blue serge first?"

"No, Mr. Thurgood," I said, "we will first talk about uniforms. Could you
make me a uniform like that?" I pointed to an expressionless person tightly
wedged into a dark blue dress.

"An Elder Brother of the Trinity House," said Mr. Thurgood. "I did not
know--am I to congratulate? Of course we shall be proud to do it for you."

"Well, perhaps not yet, Mr. Thurgood. We must wait and see--ha-ha--wait and
see, you know. Let us get on with the blue serge." I took off my coat and
waistcoat.

"Let me help you with the trousers," said Mr. Thurgood. "They'll come off
quite easily over the boots." They did, and I caught a glimpse of my
undergarment as they came off, and clapped my hands on my knees. Why had I
not noticed this before? Each knee was picturesquely darned in an
elaborately cross-hatched pattern.

"I don't think," I said, "we'll worry about the trousers. I can take them
on trust."

"Do you really think so, Sir? It's a difficult leg to fit, you know. Plenty
of muscle here and there. Not like some. You set us a task. There's a good
deal to contend against in a thigh like yours."

"That's it," I cried with enthusiasm. "You can't do yourself justice unless
you've got lots to contend against. I shall make it harder for you if I
don't try on, and your triumph will be all the more glorious."

"It's a curious thing," said Mr. Thurgood, looking meditatively at my
hands; "I've got just such another patch of darning on _my_ knee," and he
pulled up his trouser. "It's funny how you forget to notice a little thing
like that."

"In that case," I said, "we will proceed with the trying on," and I removed
my hands. "I've got two of them, you see."

"So have I," said Mr. Thurgood. "They generally go together."

R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a story in _The Pall Mall Gazette_:--

     "'Willie was right,' he muttered. 'The evil men do live after them.
     The good oft lies interred in their bones, but maybe it was only folly
     with me, not evil.'"

WILLIE was certainly right, but that's not exactly how (in _Julius Cæsar_)
he put it.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "When the men went to the scale, the Welshman was found to be
     half-a-pound over the stipulated 8st., but he was allowed time to get
     this off, and just before three o'clock he passed the weight, while
     Ladbury weighed 7st. 14-1/4 lb."--_Yorkshire Post._

Rather bad luck on the Welshman, who had been sprinting madly round the
arena for some hours with eight ounces which nobody wanted, to find
afterwards that LADBURY'S extra four ounces were entirely ignored.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Since tea the crowd had swelled considerably."

     _South African News._

An air of dough-nuts hangs over this sentence.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Lady._ "HALLO, COUNT! WHAT'S HAPPENED?"

_The Count_ (_who has come off at the third obstacle_). "ONCE I JUMP AND MY
HORSE HE CATCH ME; THEN I JUMP AND HE ONLY CATCH ME A LITTLE; ANOZER TIME I
JUMP AND HE MISS ME ALTOGEZER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE QUALITIES THAT COUNT.

(_Suggested by a recent vindication of the "right but ruffling attitude" of
the new and true artist._)

  If you're anxious to acquire a reputation
    For enlightened and emancipated views,
  You must hold it as a duty to discard the cult of Beauty
    And discourage all endeavours to amuse.
  You must back the man who, obloquy enduring,
    Subconsciousness determines to express;
  Who, in short, is "elemental," "unalluring,"
    But "arresting" in his Art--or in his dress.

  Again, if you're desirous of attaining
    Pre-eminence in places where they play,
  Don't supply the smallest spoonful of the pleasing or the tuneful
    Or you'll chuck your very finest chance away.
  But be truculent, ferocious and ungentle
    And the critics will infallibly acclaim
  Your work as unalluring, elemental
    But arresting and exalted in its aim.

  Or is your cup habitually brimming
    With water from the Heliconian fount?
  Then remember the hubristic, the profane and pugilistic
    Are the only kinds of poetry that count.
  So select a tragic argument, ensuring
    The maximum expenditure of gore,
  And the epithets arresting, unalluring,
    Elemental, will re-echo as before.

  But if your bent propels you into fiction,
    You should clearly and completely understand
  That your duty in a novel is not to soar, but grovel,
    If you want it to be profitably banned.
  So be lavish and effusive in suggesting
    A malignant and mephitic atmosphere,
  And you're sure to be applauded as arresting,
    Elemental, unalluring and sincere.

  If you meditate a matrimonial venture
    That will turn the cheek of Mrs. Grundy pale,
  Don't be lured by pretty faces or by dainty airs and graces
    That entrap the unsophisticated male.
  No, look out for what is vital, transcendental,
    And ask yourself, before you choose your wife,
  "Is she wholly unalluring, elemental
    But arresting in her attitude to life?"

  In fine if you believe in self-expression
    And disdain to be a law-abiding man,
  You must cultivate a hobby of insulting ev'ry bobby
    Whenever you conveniently can.
  You'll find him quite impervious to jesting,
    But he has another less attractive side,
  Elemental, unalluring and arresting
    When his patience is intolerably tried.

       *       *       *       *       *

SECURITY.

"It's got to be," I said.

I must have been thinking aloud, for Joyce said quickly--

"What's got to be?"

"The silver," I said.

"It doesn't sound sensible," said Joyce.

"It isn't," I said, "at all sensible, but it's inevitable."

"What's inevitable?"

"That about the silver," I said.

"But you didn't say anything about the silver, except that it's got to be."

"Well, it's got to be--hypothecated."

"What's that?"

"I mean," I said, "that I'm--er--temporarily embarrassed, and the silver
has got to be made security for a loan--pawned, in fact--so that I can pay
the balance of the rent and catch up with my outgoings. Is that clearly
put?"

"Perfectly; but we can't spare the silver just now. The Armisteads are
coming to tea on Friday."

"But," I protested, "you don't understand. We don't keep a valuable stud of
silver tea-things for the Armisteads' amusement, but for our own, and
as--er--collateral." I was sure this would be beyond Joyce.

"But what am I to do?"

"Call out the reserves," I said.

"But they're such a mixed lot," said Joyce. "I should be ashamed of having
anyone to tea with them."

"Better," I said, "than having the bailiffs to dine and sleep."

"Ugh," said Joyce, "is it as bad as that?"

"It is," I said, "and all because Short won't send that cheque on account
of royalties till I've made some alterations to the last chapter. Our
landlord is becoming unmanageable. Besides," I said, "I hear there have
been one or two burglaries in this road lately, so the silver will be
safer."

"Look here," said Joyce, who declined to be scared by the idea of burglars.
"To-day's Tuesday. Wait till Thursday. Something's sure to turn up."

"Yes," I said, "a bailiff. But I'll wait till to-morrow if you like."

"Good. And in the meantime we'll both think hard of some other way."

That evening at dinner Joyce said, "I have an idea, but I'm not going to
tell you yet. Have you thought of anything?"

"Yes," I said. "I've got a brilliant scheme, but I'm going to keep it to
myself for the present."

"I knew you'd think of a way out," Joyce said, "if you gave your mind to
it."

My brilliant scheme was to pop the silver, and I managed to get away with
it next morning (Wednesday) without arousing Joyce's suspicions. I got £20
on it at the local hypothecary's, squared the landlord, leaving a few
pounds in hand, and hid the ticket in my writing-case. I spent the morning
on the alterations for Short, and the afternoon on the links, and lost
three good balls--curious coincidence, as I had found three such useful
ones at the pawnbroker's in the morning.

The evening of Wednesday passed off quietly. Joyce looked very cheerful and
didn't say a word about the silver, so I felt sure she hadn't missed it.
Uncle Henry had called, she said, and wanted us both to go and dine with
him at the Fitz on Saturday night, and she had accepted.

"Good," I said.

I suppose I looked very cheerful because Joyce said--

"Your scheme's come off, I suppose?"

"Oh, yes," I said, "it's come off--er--quite well. How's yours?"

"Mine was quite successful, thank you, and I shall get a new frock for
dinner on Saturday."

As I didn't want to give my scheme away just then, I didn't press Joyce to
reveal hers, and we retired for the night with honours easy.

When I got home on Thursday from a day in town, Joyce met me at the gate.
She looked scared.

"We've had a burglar," she said. "The silver's gone. Oh, why didn't I take
the warning?"

This was my big scene, but I never believe in rushing a good climax, so I
simply said--

"The silver gone? Dear, dear. A burglar, did you say? I told you they were
about."

"Really, I'm not joking," said Joyce. "Both Jessie and I were out this
afternoon and he must have got in by the scullery window, which I'm afraid
was unlatched."

I was enjoying her consternation immensely.

"A burglar?" I repeated. "How very interesting!"

"Oh," said Joyce, stamping her foot, "can't you _do_ something?"

"My dear Joyce," I said, fixing her with my eleven-stone look, "let us stop
this mummery. Behold the burglar!" and I struck the attitude that I thought
would have done credit to Sir HERBERT.

"You!" she said; "but----"

"Yes," I said. "Alone I did it. Aren't you glad? Come, do look glad and
ring down the curtain. The play is over."

"But that was on Wednesday."

"Yes," I said, "it was. On Wednesday, at ten o'clock of the forenoon."

"Well, on Wednesday after lunch, I wanted an envelope and at last found one
in your writing-case. I also found a ticket."

"Then you knew all the time?"

"Listen," said Joyce. "Uncle Henry called----"

"And asked us to dinner--good egg!"

"Well, I borrowed £25 from him and took the silver out of pawn."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE HOSPITABLE DOOR.

     [_A housewife in a contemporary says_:--"If my guests have friends in
     the neighbourhood they can ask them in without consulting my
     convenience at all, take them up to the bedroom, light the gasfire and
     make them quite comfortable there."]

  Dear Tom, when your neighbours invited me first,
    I made up mind to refuse,
  But that was before I was properly versed
    In the up-to-date hostess's views.
  If I (like ACHILLES) remain in my room,
    She'll never give vent to complaining.
  Though she misses my jests, she will kindly presume
    I am nevertheless entertaining.

  And so, since I've many a friend on the spot,
    I've quitted the comforts of town
  In order to keep open house for the lot
    In a chamber provided by Brown.
  They shall come to my bedroom; I'll give them good cheer;
    I'll ring for a handmaid and tell her
  To serve us at once with a dinner up here,
    Including the pick of the cellar.

  And then in due course round the gas glowing red
    Brown's choicest cigars shall be lit,
  And, if we like resting our feet on the bed,
    We may--it won't matter a bit.
  Our talk of old times shall be joyous and bright,
    Undisturbed we will gossip like billy-o,
  And I shan't break away to bid Brown a good night;
    'Twould savour of needless punctilio.

  Dear Tom, since I love you the best of them all,
    Call round here whenever you care,
  And, if you should run against Brown in the hall,
    Just give him an insolent stare.
  And when, from rusticity taking a rest,
    You come up to London and meet me,
  Remember the evenings when you were my guest,
    And take me out, Thomas, and treat me.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Zealous Boy Scout._ "YOU CAN CROSS BY THIS BRIDGE, SIR. IT
WILL SAVE YOU A LONG WALK ROUND."

_Cautious Stout Party._ "THANK YOU, MY BOY, BUT I'M AFRAID IT WOULD HARDLY
BEAR ME."

_Zealous Boy Scout._ "OH, THAT'S ALL RIGHT, SIR. WE HAVE FIRST AID AND
AMBULANCE ON THE OTHER SIDE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

The author of _Pantomime_ (HUTCHINSON) has placed me in something of a
quandary. In an ordinary way, finding a story with this title, in which
moreover the chief characters are spoken of as Princess and Principal Boy,
and the narrative is broken every now and then by fantastical little
dialogues with Fairies, I should have said at once that here was a clever
young writer whom a natural admiration for the work of Mr. DION CLAYON
CALTHROP had betrayed into the sincerest form of flattery. But Mr. (or
perhaps Miss) G. B. STERN has disarmed me by an open avowal of discipleship
and a dedication of the tale to Mr. CALTHROP himself. It is a quite
pleasant tale. Personally I may confess to a preference, which I suspect
most readers will share, for getting this precise form of whimsical romance
from the original firm; but there is more than enough spirit in G. B.
STERN'S work to persuade me that he or she will one day be worth reading in
an individual and unborrowed style. Two things in this story of _Nan_
pleased me especially. One was the chapter relating her experiences at the
Dramatic Academy, which is full of life and actuality, and should be read
by all middle-aged supporters of that institution who wish to obtain a
glimpse of its hard-working and high-spirited heart. The other is the
episode of the muddled elopement, in which _Nan_ and _Tony_, having got as
far as Dover on their way to the Higher Liberty, severally----But I don't
think I will spoil for you the delightful comedy of what happens at Dover
by repeating it. This at least shows G. B. STERN as the owner of a happy
gift of humour. Let us have some more of it soon, please, but if possible
in a more original setting.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. LEVERSON is one of those authors who baffle criticism by sheer high
spirits. She gives me first and last a prevailing impression that
novel-writing must be tremendous fun; and this is so cheering that it is
really impossible to be angry with her. Otherwise I might have some very
sharp things to say about her light-hearted disregard of syntax and
punctuation. Her pronouns, for example, are so elusive that not only am I
frequently in doubt as to whom the heroine will marry in the end but as to
which of the characters is speaking at any given moment. And not
infrequently what can only be careless proofreading leaves sentences that
contradict each other into an effect of nonsense. But just when I should be
noting all these subjects for legitimate censure I am probably devouring
page after page with giggles of delight for the wit and jollity of them.
_Bird of Paradise_ (GRANT RICHARDS) is in every respect a worthy companion
to its predecessors. There are no very severe problems in this story of a
group of Londoners, but plenty of the lightest, most airy dialogue, and
some genuine character-drawing, conveyed so deftly that you only detect it
afterwards by the way in which the persons remain in your memory. The whole
thing, of course, is modern to the last moment; tango-teas and Russian
ballets and picture-balls besprinkle the conversation. There is even a
passage about a certain famous shop that made me wonder whether the New
Advertising, familiar to readers of the afternoon journals had also invaded
the realm of fiction. You will observe that I have made no effort to repeat
the story; as it contains at least three heroines and five heroes the task
would be too complicated. But you can take it on trust as a comedy of want
of manners, brilliantly alive, exasperatingly careless, and altogether the
greatest fun in the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Once upon a time there were two highwaymen, _Charlie_ and _Crabb Spring_;
two men, not highway, _Saul Coplestone_ and _John Cole_; two marriageable
sisters, _Sarah_ and _Christina Rowland_. The highwaymen, being
pestilential and murderous, badly wanted catching; of the two potential
heroes, _Saul_ was a stout enough fellow on the surface but a poltroon at
bottom, while _John_, though less terrific in physique, was modest and
courageous to a degree. Of the sisters, _Sarah_ had most of the looks and
_Christina_ all the merits, so that at the beginning of things both _Saul_
and _John_ were concentrated upon the former, who, being a little fool,
preferred _Saul_, but, being also a little vixen, encouraged both. The
brothers _Spring_ appearing Dartmoor way, _Sarah_ promised, in an expansive
moment, to marry whichever of her suitors caught them single-handed. This
was apparently impossible, but nevertheless one of them did it. Need it be
said which? Need it be said which of the two sisters the proved hero
ultimately took to wife? No, this is one of those cases in which it is
impossible for the reader, with the best intentions in the world, not to
prophesy and prophesy accurately. None the less it is worth while to spend
time and money on _The Master of Merripit_ (WARD, LOCK) for the following
adequate reasons. It is from the pen of Mr. EDEN PHILLPOTTS; if the
conclusions are foregone, the excitement throughout is intense; the local
colour and the supernumerary characters are charming as usual, and the
scheme by which the villains were entrapped is admirable in design and
execution. This learned clerk, for all his expert knowledge of the art of
catching highwaymen, neither anticipated it nor, upon the most critical
reflection, is able to find a flaw in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was discussing Mr. GILBERT CANNAN with a friend, and he said, "I have
read many reviews of his books, nearly all of them good reviews, but not
one that made me want to read the book itself." Well, I am afraid this one
won't make him want to read _Old Mole_ (MARTIN SECKER). The hero, _Old
Mole_, otherwise _H. J. Beenham, M.A._, had himself written a book, and
this is what Mr. CANNAN says of it: "The essay was cool and deliberate,
broken in its monotony by comical little stabs of malice. The writing was
fastidious and competent. Panoukian thought the essay a masterpiece, and
there crept a sort of reverence into his attitude towards its author....
Then, to complete his infatuation, he contrasted Old Mole with Harbottle."
I am no _Panoukian_. Mr. CANNAN'S opinion of _Old Mole's_ book may stand as
mine of Mr. CANNAN'S book. But I can understand the _Panoukian_ attitude;
and when I read the _Panoukian_ reviews--referring inevitably to the
"damnable cleverness" of Mr. CANNAN--then I suspect that they have been
contrasting him with the _Harbottles_ of the literary world, the gushers
and the pushers and the slushers. After a month of these a fastidious
writer may well infatuate a reviewer. For myself, who have not had to wade
through _Harbottles_, I remain unstirred by _Old Mole_. Not a single
character, male or female, moved me to the least interest; they were all
cold, dead people, and Mr. CANNAN talked over their bodies. Clever talk,
certainly--he shall have that adjective again--but when it was over I had a
wild mad longing to take to the Harbottle. Even Mr. HALL CAINE ... but this
is morbid talk.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a preface to _In the Cockpit of Europe_ (SMITH, ELDER) Lieut.-Colonel
ALSAGER POLLOCK states that "the personal experiences of George Blagdon, in
love and war, have been introduced solely in the hope of inducing some of
my countrymen to read what I have to say about other important matters"--an
ingenuous confession which deprives my sails of most of their wind.
Otherwise I should have said that this book is not so much a novel as an
airing-ground for grievances, adding for fairness that these grievances are
national and not personal. A terrific war with Germany gives _Blagdon_
opportunity to win various distinctions, and _Marjory Corfe_ affords him
ample justification for falling in love; but although I grant, even in the
face of that preface, that _Blagdon_ is not completely a puppet, he is used
mainly to emphasize his creator's ideas. Officials at the War Office who
read _In the Cockpit of Europe_ may possibly require some artificial aids
to digestion before they have finished it, but both they and the
Parliamentary and Ministerial strategists will have to admit that their
critic's honesty of purpose is beyond all manner of doubt.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: USEFUL INVENTIONS.

THE FLOATING COLLAR-STUD--JUST THE THING FOR YACHTSMEN.]

       *       *       *       *       *

BUDDHA.

  The little jade Buddha (his favours increase!)--
          He's soapy and bland,
          And he sits on his stand
  And he smiles, and he smiles in an infinite peace;
  For he's old, and he knows that, whatever befall,
  There is nothing that matters, no, nothing at all.

  The little jade Buddha (on us be his balm!)--
          The Wheel turneth just
          As it must, as it must,
  So he sits in an ageless, ineffable calm
  Where apples and empires may ripen or fall,
  But there's nothing that matters, no, nothing at all



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

   The typographical error "sich" in the last paragraph of
   "Honorifics" on page 81 was replaced by "such".





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