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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, June 17, 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, June 17, 1914" ***

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

VOL. 146, JUNE 17, 1914***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

JUNE 17, 1914



CHARIVARIA.


"The Pocket Asquith" is announced, and we are asked to say that the
pocket in question is not Mr. REDMOND'S.

       ***

The discovery of gold particles in a duck's gizzard has, we are told,
caused a rush of mining prospectors to Liberty Township, Ohio. It is
expected that the duck will shortly be floated as a limited liability
company.

       ***

The Valuation Department has discovered at Llangammarch Wells,
Brecknockshire, 50 acres of land for which no owner can be found.
Anyone, therefore, who has lost any land is recommended to communicate
at once with the Department.

       ***

The ASTRONOMER-ROYAL, in reading his annual report at the Royal
Observatory last week, said that the mean temperature of the year 1913
was 50.5 degrees. Seeing that this temperature was one degree above the
average for the 70 years ended 1910, we consider that the epithet was
undeserved.

       ***

We hesitate to suggest that _The Times_ is catering for cannibals, but
it is certainly curious that a recent issue should have contained the
following headlines:--

"PREPARED FOODS. INFANTS, CHILDREN & INVALIDS."

       ***

By the way, the little essay on "Foods of Antiquity" omitted to mention
that these may still be picked up by curio-hunters at certain railway
buffets.

       ***

What has become of all the cabs which have been displaced by the taxis?
is a question which is often asked. It has now been partially answered.
According to a cable published last week, "The steamer _Rappahannock_
reports the presence of numerous icebergs and 'growlers' on the North
Atlantic steamship routes."

       ***

At last there are signs of a reaction against under-dressing on the
stage. The producers of a new revue advertise:--

50 REAL LIVE PERFORMERS. OVER 250 PARISIAN MODEL FROCKS AND HATS.

       ***

Mr. H. CSCINSKY, the author of the standard work, _English Furniture of
the Eighteenth Century_, says that 999 out of every 1,000 pieces of old
oak furniture in the present day are forgeries. The only way, therefore,
to ensure that you get a genuine specimen is to order 1,000 pieces, and
the furniture trade trusts that all collectors will take this elementary
precaution when purchasing.

       ***

The abandonment of the scheme for the rebuilding of the Lambeth Police
Court has caused some disappointment among local criminals, some of
whom, we are glad to hear, are ashamed to be seen in the present
structure.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: "Wotcher bin doin'--fightin'?"

"NO--BOOHOO--I BIN FOUGHT!"]

       *     *     *     *     *

Being convinced that Germany possesses too many Leagues and Associations
the town of Seesen, in the Harz, has established an "Association for
Combating the Mania for the Formation of Leagues and Associations"--not
realising until too late that they have thereby formed one more.

       ***

"Keep your arms" is Sir EDWARD CARSON'S latest advice to the Ulster
volunteers--and they have kept their heads so well that they should have
no difficulty in this respect.

       ***

An American clergyman got into trouble last week for holding up his hand
and trying to stop the traffic in the Strand. The sky-pilot found out
pretty soon that he was out of his element.

       ***

A man placed a bank paper bag containing £63 10s. on the counter at the
chief post-office in Swansea, one day last week, while he changed a
postal order. When he turned to pick up the bag it had disappeared. The
local police incline to the view that someone must have taken it.

       ***

A muddle-headed correspondent writes to express surprise on learning
that the day devoted to collections for the charities connected with the
Variety Stage should be known as "Tag Day." The old fellow had always
imagined that "Tag Day" was a toast on German war vessels.

       *     *     *     *     *

A TIME EXPOSURE.

  I turned the family album's page
    And noted with a smile
  The efforts of a bygone age
    At photographic style;
  There, pegtopped, grandpa could be seen,
    While grandma beamed, contented
  To know her brand-new crinoline
    The latest thing invented.

  And there Aunt Mary's looks belied
    Her gravity of dress;
  That great poke-bonnet could not hide
    Her youthful comeliness;
  There, too, was father when a boy,
    And elsewhere in the series
  A youthful cousin (Fauntleroy),
    An uncle in Dundrearies.

  And then before my scornful eye
    A smirking youth appeared,
  Flaunting a loose æsthetic tie
    And embryonic beard;
  With laughter I began to shake,
    Noting the watch-chain (weighty)
  And all the things that went to make
    A "nut" in 1880.

  I looked upon the other side,
    Still tittering, to see
  What branch the fellow occupied
    Upon our family tree;
  A name was scrawled across the card
    With flourishes in plenty,
  And lo! it was the present bard
    Himself at five-and-twenty.

       *     *     *     *     *

The Sprinter.

From a testimonial to a system of health culture:--

     "I think I have never felt so glorious as I do this morning. At
     4.30 I woke up after a wet waist pack, got hot water, cleaned
     myself, took a glass of lemon juice, exercised, and for the last
     three-quarters of an hour I have been running through your notes."

He mustn't take _too_ much exercise.

       *     *     *     *     *

THE COMPLETE DRAMATIST.

III. MEALS AND THINGS.

In spite of all you can do in the way of avoiding soliloquies and
getting your characters on and off the stage in a dramatic manner, a
time will come when you realise sadly that your play is not a bit like
life after all. Then is the time to introduce a meal on the stage. A
stage meal is popular, because it proves to the audience that the
actors, even when called GEORGE ALEXANDER or ARTHUR BOURCHIER, are real
people just like you and me. "Look at Sir HERBERT eating," we say
excitedly to each other in the pit, having had a vague idea up till then
that an actor lived like a god on praise and grease-paint and his
photograph in the papers. "Another cup, won't you?" says Miss GLADYS
COOPER; "No, thank you," says Mr. DENNIS EADIE--dash it, it's exactly
what we do at Twickenham ourselves. And when, to clinch matters, the
dramatist makes Mr. GERALD DU MAURIER light a real cigarette in the
Third Act, then he can flatter himself that he has indeed achieved the
ambition of every stage writer, and "brought the actual scent of the hay
across the footlights."

But there is a technique to be acquired in this matter as in everything
else within the theatre. The great art of the stage-craftsman, as I have
already shown, is to seem natural rather than to be natural. Let your
actors have tea by all means, but see that it is a properly histrionic
tea. This is how it should go:--

_Hostess._ You'll have some tea, won't you? [_Rings bell._

_Guest._ Thank you.

_Enter_ Butler.

_Hostess._ Tea, please, Matthews.

_Butler_ (_impassively_). Yes, m'lady. (_This is all he says during the
play, so he must try and get a little character into it, in order that
"The Era" may remark, "Mr. Thompson was excellent as _Matthews_."
However, his part is not over yet, for he returns immediately, followed
by three footmen--just as it happened when you last called on the
Duchess--and sets out the tea._)

_Hostess (holding up the property lump of sugar in the tongs)._ Sugar?

_Guest (luckily)._ No, thanks.

_Hostess replaces lump and inclines empty teapot over tray for a moment,
then hands him a cup painted brown inside--thus deceiving the gentleman
with the telescope in the upper circle._

_Guest (touching his lips with the cup and then returning it to its
saucer)._ Well, I must be going.

_Re-enter Butler and three Footmen, who remove the tea-things._

_Hostess_ (to Guest). Good-bye; so glad you could come. [_Exit_ Guest.

His visit has been short, but it has been very thrilling while it
lasted.

Tea is the most usual meal on the stage, for the reason that it is the
least expensive, the property lump of sugar being dusted and used again
on the next night. For a stage dinner a certain amount of genuine
sponge-cake has to be made up to look like fish, chicken or cutlet. In
novels the hero has often "pushed his meals away untasted," but no stage
hero would do anything so unnatural as this. The etiquette is to have
two bites before the butler and the three footmen whisk away the plate.
The two bites are made, and the bread is crumbled, with an air of great
eagerness; indeed, one feels that in real life the guest would clutch
hold of the footman and say, "Half a mo', old chap, I haven't _nearly_
finished;" but the actor is better schooled than this. Besides, the
thing is coming back again as chicken directly.

But it is the cigarette which chiefly has brought the modern drama to
its present state of perfection. Without the stage cigarette many an
epigram would pass unnoticed, many an actor's hands would be much more
noticeable; and the man who works the fireproof safety curtain would
lose even the small amount of excitement which at present attaches to
his job.

Now although it is possible, in the case of a few men at the top of the
profession, to leave the conduct of the cigarette entirely to the actor,
you will find it much more satisfactory to insert in the stage
directions the particular movements (with match and so forth) that you
wish carried out. Let us assume that _Lord Arthur_ asks _Lord John_ what
a cynic is--the question of what a cynic is having arisen quite
naturally in the course of the plot. Let us assume further that you wish
_Lord John_ to reply, "A cynic is a man who knows the price of
everything and the value of nothing." It has been said before, but you
may feel that it is quite time it was said again; besides, for all the
audience knows, _Lord John_ may simply be quoting. Now this answer, even
if it comes quite fresh to the stalls, will lose much of its effect if
it is said without the assistance of a cigarette. Try it for yourself.

_Lord John._ A cynic is a man who, etc....

Rotten. Now try again.

_Lord John._ A cynic is a man who, etc.... (_Lights cigarette_).

No, even that is not good. Once more:--

_Lord John (lighting cigarette)._ A cynic is a man who, etc.

Better, but leaves much too much to the actor.

Well, I see I must tell you.

_Lord John (taking out gold cigarette case from his left-hand upper
waistcoat pocket)._ A cynic, my dear Arthur (_he opens case
deliberately, puts cigarette in mouth, and extracts gold match-box from
right-hand trouser_) is a man who (_strikes match_) knows the price of
(_lights cigarette_)--everything, and (_standing with match in one hand
and cigarette in the other_) the value of---- pff (_blows out match_) of
(_inhales deeply from cigarette and blows out a cloud of
smoke_)--nothing.

It makes a different thing of it altogether. Of course on the actual
night the match may refuse to strike, and _Lord John_ may have to go on
saying "a man who--a man who--a man who" until the ignition occurs, but
even so it will still seem delightfully natural to the audience (as if
he were making up the epigram as he went along); while as for blowing
the match out he can hardly fail to do _that_ in one.

The cigarette, of course, will be smoked at other moments than
epigrammatic ones, but on these other occasions you will not need to
deal so fully with it in the stage directions. "_Duke (lighting
cigarette)._ I trust, Perkins, that ..." is enough. You do not want to
say, "_Duke (dropping ash on trousers)._ It seems to me, my love ..."
or, "_Duke (removing stray piece of tobacco from tongue)._ What Ireland
needs is ..."; still less "_Duke (throwing away end of cigarette)._ Show
him in." For this must remain one of the mysteries of the stage--What
happens to the stage cigarette when it has been puffed four times? The
stage tea, of which a second cup is always refused; the stage cutlet,
which is removed with the connivance of the guest after two mouthfuls;
the stage cigarette, which nobody ever seems to want to smoke to the
end--thinking of these as they make their appearances in the houses of
the titled, one would say that the hospitality of the peerage was not a
thing to make any great rush for....

But that would be to forget the butler and the three footmen. Even a
Duke cannot have everything. And what his _chef_ may lack in skill his
butler more than makes up for in impassivity.

A. A. M.

       *     *     *     *     *

From a column headed "Crimes and Tragedies" in _The Western Weekly
Mercury_:--

     "Sir J. W. Spear, M.P., has consented to become patron of the
     newly-formed Highampton Rifle Club."

And we are left wondering which it is.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: REFRESHING THE FRUIT.

MR. JOHN BURNS. "PERFECT! PERFECT! BUT JUST WANTS THE MASTER'S TOUCH."

(_Gives it._)]

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: _Cheery Passenger (in non-stop express)._ "WELL, I MUST
SAY IT'S QUITE A RELIEF TO ME TO 'AVE A GENTLEMAN IN THE CARRIAGE. IT'S
TWICE NOW I'VE 'AD A FIT IN A TUNNEL."]

       *     *     *     *     *

ROOSEVELT RESURGIT

  Once more the tireless putter-right of men,
  Our roaring ROOSEVELT, swims into our ken.
  With clash of cymbals and with roll of drums,
  Reduced in weight, from far Brazil he comes.
  What risks were his! The rapids caught his form,
  Upset his bark and tossed him in the storm.
  Clutching his trumpet in a fearless hand,
  The damp explorer struggled to the land;
  Then set the trumpet to his lips and blew
  A blast that echoed all the wide world through,
  And in a tone that made the nations quiver
  Proclaimed himself the finder of a river.
  Maps, he declared, were made by doddering fools
  Who knew no better or defied the rules,
  While he, the great Progressive, traced the course
  Of waters mostly flowing to their source.
  Emerged at last and buoyed up with the sure hope
  Of geographic fame, he made for Europe;
  Flew to Madrid, and there awhile he tarried
  Till KERMIT went (good luck to K!) and married.
  Next London sees him, and with loud good will
  Yields to the mighty tamer of Brazil,
  And hears and cheers the while by his own fiat he
  Lectures our Geographical Society.
  Soon to his native land behold him go
  To take a hand in quelling Mexico.
  Does WILSON want him? Well, I hardly know.

       *     *     *     *     *

IN THE NAME OF PEACE.

SIR,--I read with intense satisfaction that at the Peace Ball at the
Albert Hall last week the lady representing Britannia carried a palm
branch in place of the customary trident. This, I venture to think, is a
step in the right direction. For many years, from the pulpits and
platforms not only of our own land but of America, I have advocated a
substitution of peaceful objects for the weapons of bloodshed with which
so many of our allegorical figures are encumbered. I still wait for some
artist to depict the patron saint of this fair land of ours, not
attacking the dragon with a cruel sword, but offering it in all
brotherliness an orange, let us say, or a bath bun.

But, Sir, one feature of this ball (putting aside for a moment the many
reprehensible characteristics of all such entertainments) I must and do
protest against. What do I read in the daily press? When it was desired
to clear the floor, "a brigade of Guards, by subtle movements, drove the
masqueraders, who were to form the audience, behind the barricades."
Now, were I a member of the House of Commons--as some day I may be--I
would make it my business to stand up in my place and fearlessly demand
of the Minister for War an explanation as to how these men of blood came
to be admitted to a Peace festival. Was it with his knowledge that they
were present? and, if so, was it with his consent? I should also desire
to know whether the cost of the expedition would fall upon the British
tax-payer.

I am, Sir, Yours, etc., (Rev.) AMOS BLICK.

       *     *     *     *     *

AMENDING A BILL.

As the drought wore on to its third day I began to perceive that
siphoning the pinks with soda-water out of the dining-room window was
insufficient to meet the crisis. I rang up the nearest fire station and
told them in my most staccato tones that the garden was being burnt to a
cinder and would they please--but they rang off suddenly without making
a reply. It was then that I had a bright idea--so bright that the
thermometer which was hanging near my head went up two degrees higher
still.

"Araminta," I cried (she was out on the lawn tantalising a rose-bush
with a kind of doll's-house watering-can),--"Araminta, where does one go
to get hose?"

Araminta bridled.

"I didn't mean that," I said, hastily coming out of the French-window to
explain. "I meant the kind of long wiggly thing you fix on to a tap at
one end and it squirts at the other."

She unbridled prettily. "Oh, that!" she said. "Altruage's have them, I
suppose. Altruage's have everything. But I shouldn't get one if I were
you. I believe they're fearfully expensive, and I'm going to buy a
proper watering-can this morning."

My mind, however, was made up. "Expense," I thought, "be irrigated!" I
said nothing about it to Araminta, but I decided to act.

       *     *     *     *     *

The sun was still blazing with abominable ferocity at half-past twelve
when I crossed the threshold of the Taj Mahal Stores and button-holed
the first peripatetic marquis I could find.

"I want," I said, mopping my brows with the disengaged hand, "to see
some hose."

"Certainly, Sir," he replied with a beaming smile. "For wear on the
feet, I presume?"

"Not at all," I replied as coolly as possible. "For shampooing the
head."

He looked puzzled.

"I want it to water my pinks with," I explained.

A look of divine condescension overspread his features. "Ah, you require
our horticultural department for that, Sir," he said. "Fourth to the
left, fifth to the right, and ask again." And with an infinitely
horticultured gesture of the hand he motioned me on.

After a long and adventurous Odyssey and fifteen fruitless appeals I
sighted a kind of green island shore, where a young man stood in an
attitude of _hauteur_, surrounded by a number of pink and grey snakes
and brightly coloured agricultural machines.

Making my way to him I sank exhausted into a wheel-barrow and murmured
my request again.

"About what size is your garden?" he asked me when I had partially
recovered.

"Slim," I said, "slim and graceful, but not really tall. _Petite_ I
believe is the technical term. What sizes have you got in stock?"

"Perhaps about forty yards would do, Sir," he suggested, uncoiling a
portion of one of the reptiles at his feet. "I can recommend this as a
strong and thoroughly reliable article. Then you will want a union, I
suppose, and a brass nozzle and a drum."

"We all want union nowadays so much in everything, don't we?" I agreed
pleasantly, "but I'm not so sure about the drum. You see the baby makes
a most infernal noise as it is with a----"

He interrupted me to explain the uses of these things. The union, it
seemed, was a kind of garter to attach the hose to the tap, and the drum
was where the snake wound itself to sleep at night. "And the little
pepper-castor, of course," I said, "is what one puts at the end to make
it sneeze. I understand completely. If you will have them all sent round
to me to-morrow I will pay on delivery."

       *     *     *     *     *

When I got out into the street I found that a great change had taken
place. The sky overhead was black with imminent rain. A sharp shower
pattered at my heels as I sprinted for the 'bus, and when I disembarked
from it the gutters were gurgling with ill-concealed delight. As I
walked up the garden I noticed that the majority of the pinks were lying
in a drunken stupor upon their beds.

Araminta met me at the door. "Why, you must be wet through," she said.
"Go up and change instantly. And aren't you glad now you haven't got a
silly old hose after all?"

"I am indeed," I replied.

Whilst I changed I thought deeply, and after dinner I sat down and wrote
politely to Messrs. Altruage as follows:

"Mr. Hopkinson regrets that through inadvertence he ordered a quantity
of hose this afternoon in Messrs. Altruage's horticultural department
instead of their foot-robing studio. If Messrs. Altruage will kindly
cancel this order Mr. Hopkinson will call in the morning and select six
pairs of woollen socks."

In a climate like ours, I reflected as I posted the letter, there is a
good deal to be said for these mammoth stores.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: _Hodge._ "THAT'S THE BEST OF COMIN' EARLY, MARIA. WE'VE
GOT THE BEST SEATS IN THE 'OUSE!"]

       *     *     *     *     *

IN THE PARK.

  (_Souvent femme varie._)

    Little girls in June attire,
    Grumbling to your governesses,
  What is it that you desire--
    Chocolates or satin dresses,
  Jewels, or a tiny hound,
  All your own, to drag around?

    Governesses who betray
    Little love for your employment,
  If a fairy bade you say
    What would give you most enjoyment,
  Would your fancy not pursue
  Unsubstantial shadows too?

    "Fleeting joys have little use"--
    So, as teachers, you endeavour
  In your charges to induce
    Virtues which will last for ever;
  But, as women, you resent
  Anything so permanent!

       *     *     *     *     *

     "A half followed, which made Vardon dormy 3, and another half at
     the 16th, where he made a brilliant recovery after he had hit a
     spectator, gave him the match by 3 and 2."

     _Times._

The recovery of the spectator wouldn't matter so much.

       *     *     *     *     *

     "A man who gave the name of James DewTJnamedhiskmhmhfr mhafr awdih
     acsih frdw hurst was remanded at Doncaster to-day charged with
     attempting to pass a worthless cheque for 30s."--_Liverpool
     Express._

As soon as the cashier saw the first eighteen inches of the name at the
bottom of the cheque he had his suspicions.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: THE LAW OF THE AIR.

_"Suburbia" writes:_ "My neighbour says the air is free and nobody can
claim it. Granted. But what I say is--ought my neighbour, considering
the narrowness of his garden, to be allowed to erect what is called a
giant-stride for the amusement of his sons and their young friends? When
will this dilatory Government take such matters in hand?"]

       *     *     *     *     *

THE YOUNG EVERYTHING.

Under this comprehensive title Messrs. Byett and Prusit have arranged
for a new series of books for the youth of both sexes, the aim of which
is to provide instruction in a number of the most desirable and
profitable walks of life. The principle of the work is that it is never
too soon to end. The General Editor will be that profound and
encyclopædic scholar and publicist, Mr. ANTHONY ASQUITH, who will be
assisted by some of the ablest pens in the country.


THE YOUNG BANKRUPT, by Sampson Waterstock.

An exhaustive treatise on the right mismanagement of one's affairs, with
hints on the best method of bringing about a meeting of creditors. Among
the chapters are the following: "The Way to Carey Street;" "How to
settle things on one's Wife;" "Eccentric Bankrupts who have subsequently
paid in full, with Interest."


THE YOUNG BOOKMAKER, by Sharkey Hawker.

A complete guide to the Turf, than which few professions offer a more
exciting opening to a boy. How to calculate odds; how to cultivate the
voice; how to concentrate public attention on the wrong horse--these and
other topics are dealt with by competent hands.


THE YOUNG FILBERT, by Gilbert Hallam.

In this entertaining volume the complete art of youthful boredom and
ornamental and expensive sloth is exploited. Where to get clothes; how
much to owe for them; how soon to discard them and get others; what
adjectives to use; and where, the best nut food may be obtained--all is
told here.


THE YOUNG CENTENARIAN, by S. W. Calceby.

Hints on regimen by one of the most lucid and distinguished salubrists
of the day. Everything that can assist a boy or girl quickly to attain
to the status of honourable and decrepit old age is here carefully set
forth. The author guarantees that if his instructions are carried out
the conditions of centenarianism can be reached in ten years. "Lobster
salad for new-born babes" is one of his more original ideas.


THE YOUNG AUTHOR, by Brompton MacGregor.

This illuminating treatise contains the fullest directions yet given for
the securing of a mammoth circulation and a corresponding revenue. How
to exasperate Mrs. Grundy; how to secure testimonials from Bishops and
Archdeacons; how to get banned by the libraries--these and other
passports to fame and fortune are set forth with the utmost
particularity in this marvellous manual.


THE YOUNG COMPOSER, by Eric Kornstein.

This fascinating _brochure_ gives in a succinct and animated form
absolutely infallible instructions for storming the citadel of musical
fame. The enormous importance of capillary attraction, sartorial
extravagance and controversial invective are duly dwelt on, while the
charming tone and temper of the work may be gathered from the headings
of some of the chapters: "The Curse of Conservatoriums;" "The Tyranny of
Tune;" "The Dethronement of WAGNER;" "_A bas_ BEETHOVEN."


THE YOUNG AMERICAN, by Dixie Q. Peach.

In this priceless work everything that is most characteristic of the
great American nation is invitingly spread before the English youth, so
that in a few weeks he will be so well equipped with Transatlantic
details as (if he wishes) to be mistaken for a real inhabitant either of
a big London hotel or a Bloomsbury boarding-house.

       *     *     *     *     *

MR. B.

To the list of signally good men must now be added Mr. B. I do not say
that he should be included in any extension of _The Golden Legend_, but
no catalogue of irreproachables, beyond the wiles of temptation, can
henceforth be complete without him, and as a model of rectitude in
business his portrait should be on the walls of every commercial school.
I can see him as the hero of this tract and that, and in course of time
his early life may be written and circulated: _The Childhood of Mr. B.,
or, The Boy Who Took the Right Turning._

And who is Mr. B.? All that I know of him I find in an Eastern sheet
which I owe to the kindness of a friend--_The Bangkok Times Weekly
Mail_. Glancing through this minute and compact little paper, which is
as big as any paper ought to be, my eye alighted upon an extract from
_The North China Daily News_, and it is here that Mr. B. shines forth.

A certain dealer, it seems, had received an order for a machine, but,
being unable to deliver it, and wishing to avoid the penalties attending
a breach of the contract, he had to resort to guile. The following
letter to a confederate at once displays him as a Machiavellian and
introduces us to that inconvenient thing, a Far Eastern incorruptible:--

     "Regarding the matter of escaping the penalty for non-delivery of
     the Bar Machine, there is only one way, to creep round same by
     diplomat, and we must make a statement of strike occur our factory
     (of course big untrue) and please address person on enclosed form
     of letter, and believe this will avoid the trouble of penalties of
     same.

     "Mr. B. is most religious and competent man, also heavily upright
     and godly, it fears me useless apply for his signature. Please
     attach same by Yokohama Office, making forge, but no cause for fear
     of prison happenings as this is often operated by other merchants
     of highest integrity.

     "It is the highest unfortunate Sir. B. is so godlike and excessive
     awkward for business purposes."

So there you have Mr. B. Some day, perhaps, he may read this letter and
realise how extremely awkward an inflexible standard of morality can
make things for one's neighbours. The last sentence of all has a
pathetic ring, as of a Utopian throwing up the sponge: "I think much
better to add little serpent-like wisdom to upright manhood and thus
found good business edifice."

       *     *     *     *     *

     "£1 down secures a ---- bicycle for you in time for Whitsuntide."

     _Advt. in "Yorkshire Observer, June 9."_

So if you are in a hurry and want it by next Christmas you had better go
somewhere else.

       *     *     *     *     *

THE MAN OF THE EVENING.

To be perfectly fair, it was not that Dorice gave me too few
instructions, but rather too many.

"I'm over at Naughton," she said through the telephone; "I'm staying
with some people named Perry."

"How ripping of you to ring me up!" I said, flattered; "it's heavenly to
hear your voice, even if I can't see you."

It was a pretty little speech, but Dorice ignored it.

"There is a dance on here, to-night," she continued hastily, "and at the
last minute they are short of men, so I've promised to get them
someone."

I gripped the receiver firmly and groaned. I knew what was coming.

Dorice proposed that I should leave the office _instantly_ and catch the
next train to Naughton.

She adopted rushing tactics with which it was practically impossible to
cope.

All the time I was explaining to her how busy I was, and how I found it
out of the question even to think of leaving the office, she kept on
giving me varied and hurried directions.

I was to be sure to remember the steps she had taught me last time.

I was not to take any notice of a dark girl in a red dress, because she
wasn't the slightest bit nice when you really got to know her.

I was to drive straight to the hall, where Dorice would be looking out
for me.

"And now I can't stay any longer, and you must fly and catch the train,
and so 'good-bye,' and I'll keep some dances for you!"

"Half a minute," I protested. "Where do I----? What is the name of----?"

But Dorice, with that delightful suddenness which is one of her most
charming characteristics, had rung off, leaving my destination a
mystery.

However, there was no time to worry about details. I told a dreadful lie
to a man with whom I had an appointment, left the office and did
wonderful things in the way of changing my clothes, packing my bag, and
boarding a moving train.

At Naughton station I engaged a cab.

"Where to?" asked the driver, as he readied down for my bag.

It was the question I had been asking myself all the way in the train.

"That's just it," I said miserably, "I don't know."

He was a sympathetic-looking cabman--not one of the modern type, but the
aged director of a thin horse and a genuinely antique four-wheeler.

"It's rather an awkward situation," I explained doubtfully; "you see,
Dorice forgot--I mean I'm supposed to be going to a dance somewhere
round here. I was told to drive straight to the hall--I don't know
_what_ hall."

"That's all right, Sir," answered the sympathetic cabman encouragingly;
"you were told to drive straight to the 'all; that'll be Naughton 'All."

He proceeded to awaken the thin horse.

"There is a big do on there to-night, Sir. It's a fair way out, but I'll
'ave yer there in no time."

"My dear good man," I remonstrated nervously, "for heaven's sake don't
rush at things like that. Is this particular dance you wish to take me
to given by some people named Perry?"

"Perry? Lord! no! Sir John Oakham, lives at Naughton 'All. It's '_is_
party."

The sympathetic cabman was a little pained at my ignorance.

Dorice had not said who was actually giving the dance.

With vague misgivings I climbed into the cab.

"Go ahead," I said, with my heart in my boots; "drive away and let's get
it over."

It was a long drive, and more than once I was nearly killed through
hanging my body from the cab window in a vain attempt to catch a glimpse
of Dorice in one or other of the motors that passed us on the road.

At Naughton Hall I looked out for her expectantly.

There was not a soul in the room that I knew. In a fit of dreadful panic
I began to search desperately. Dorice was nowhere to be found, and the
hand started upon the first waltz.

To me it was like a nightmare.

One thing I remember was finding myself dancing with a Miss Giggleswick.

I don't pretend to explain how it happened. As far as I can make out,
some hospitably disposed person decided that he was expected to know me
and find me a partner.

Anyhow, I danced with a Miss Giggleswick, and also I talked to her.

I asked her very seriously if she knew anything of Dorice.

Miss Giggleswick thought I was referring to some new authoress.

"Yes--yes," she said thoughtfully, "I must have read some of them, but I
can't remember which ones--I'm so silly about names."

After a time I pulled myself together, and somehow escaped from Miss
Giggleswick. I made my way to the cloakroom, grabbed my coat and bag,
and rushed for the front door.

Once outside I ran for my life.

I ran down the drive and along the road towards Naughton.

I floundered on blindly through thick mud and pools of water.

"A fine night!" shouted a cheerful ass as I struggled past him.

I pulled up sharply and peered at him through the darkness.

"A fine night? Oh, yes, it's a fine night," I laughed wildly; "but just
tell me one other thing. Is there any other hall in this district except
Naughton Hall?"

"Noa--unless of course yer mean Naughton _Parish_ 'All," he added after
deep consideration.

"Has anybody ever been known to give a dance there?"

"Ay, I dare say."

With grim determination I clutched my bag and trudged on.

It was late when I crawled up the steps of Naughton Parish Hall.

I threw my things in a corner, scraped some of the mud off my trousers,
removed my bow from the back of my neck, and staggered in the direction
of the music. A one-step was just over, and the dancers were crowding
the foyer.

Dorice appeared with her partner.

I went and stood before her.

"Dorice," I stammered brokenly, "I--I've come."

Dorice excused herself from her partner and took me into a corner.

"Hear me first," I pleaded, utterly crushed. "Hear me first, Dorice.
I've done my best. I went to the wrong place. You rang off without
giving me the proper address. A blundering villain of a cabman took me
to--Naughton Hall. They made me dance with somebody named Giggleswick. I
escaped as soon as I could and came here. I ran a lot of the way."

I looked up at her beseechingly.

Then I discovered that my life was not blighted for ever.

Dorice was smiling upon me--yes, smiling! She leant forward eagerly and
touched my hand.

"_You've been to Naughton Hall!_" she whispered delightedly; "but, my
dear old boy, it's simply _the_ dance of the season round here! All
these people would do anything to get invited. The Perrys only gave this
dance so that they could use it as a sort of excuse for not being seen
at the Naughton Hall one!"

"Anybody could have gone in my place," I murmured; "I didn't enjoy it at
all."

Dorice got up and took hold of my arm.

"Come on," she said with suppressed excitement, "this is splendid!"

She took me through a crowd of people and introduced me to Mr. and Mrs.
Perry.

Then she raised her voice.

"He's sorry to be so late," she apologised as loudly as possible, "but
you see he was forced to look in at the Naughton Hall ball. However, he
got away as soon as he could and came on to us."

Mrs. Perry received me almost with open arms.

"We must try and find you some really good partners," she announced
enthusiastically.

"_Rather!_" echoed Mr. Perry.

It was then close upon midnight. For the two hours of the dance that
remained I was the man of the evening.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: WHAT LANCASHIRE THINKS.

_Old Lancashire Lady_ (_to young lady friend who has expressed her
intention of going by an excursion to the Metropolis_). "DOAN'T THEE GOA
TO LONDON; THEE STOP IN OWD ENGLAND."]

       *     *     *     *     *

Rumoured Mutiny in the Navy.

     "The destroyers patrolling the Irish coast are being boarded and
     searched for rifles by order of the Admiralty."--_Daily Express._

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: _Little Maid_ (_to new owner of country cottage_) "OH, IF
YOU PLEASE, SIR, HERE'S THE CHAIRMAN OF THE LITTLE CHIPPINGHAM AND WEST
HAMBLETON STREET LIGHTING COMMITTEE." (_Confidentially_) "IT'S REALLY
ONLY MR. BINKS, THE BUTCHER."]

       *     *     *     *     *

THE CALL OF THE BLOOD.

  Happy the man who brushes up his topper
    And sallies forth to call upon a maid,
  Knowing his converse and his coat are proper,
    That, come what may, he will not be afraid,
  Not lose his nerve, and yawn, or tell a whopper,
        Or drop the marmalade.

  Not such the bard; not thus--but Clotho (drat her)
    Was wakeful still, and plied a hostile loom--
  I sought Miss Pritt. She mooted some grave matter
    And looked for light; my lips were like the tomb,
  Sealed, though they say they heard my molars chatter
        Up in the smoking-room.

  Cold eyes regarded me. My front-stud fretted;
    A stiff slow smirk belied my deep unrest;
  My tea-cup trembled and my cake was wetted;
    My beauteous tie worked round toward the West;
  My brow--forgive me, but it really sweated;
        I did not look my best.

  To Zeus, that oft would make a mist and smother
    Some swain beset, and screen him from the crowd,
  I prayed for vapours; but his mind was other:
    Yet was I answered, though the god was proud,
  For, anyhow, I trod on Miss Pritt's mother
        And left beneath a cloud.

  Not to return. O'er fair free hills and valleys
    I can converse and carry on _ad lib._;
  On active tennis-courts (between the rallies)
    I can be confident, and none more glib;
  But not in drawing-rooms my bright star dallies--
        I'm not that sort of nib.

  We'll meet no more; but I shall send some token
    Of what I'm worth outside the world of teas--
  A handsome photograph, some smart things spoken,
    A few sweet verses (not so bad as these),
  And hockey-groups that show me stern and oaken
        And nude about the knees.

  It may be, though she deemed me dunder-headed,
    She'll sometimes take them from her chamber-wall,
  Or where they lie in lavender embedded,
    And tell her family about them all--
  About the gentleman she might have wedded,
        Only _he could not call_.

       *     *     *     *     *

     "John William Burrow, of Overton, who is about 16 years old, caught
     six salmon in the heave net last week, their respective weights
     being 9 lbs., 28 lbs., 5-1/2 lbs., 12 lbs., 22 lbs., 13 lbs., a
     total of 89-1/2 lbs. Last season, when between 13 and 14 years old,
     he caught three salmon. His record is probably unique for inshore
     fisher boys."--_Lancaster Guardian._

Anyhow the rate at which he grows up is.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: THE TRIUMPH OF THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM.

LORD HALDANE. "GROSSLY ILLEGAL AND UTTERLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL!--AS I SAID
THE OTHER DAY AT OXFORD; BUT TO THE HEART OF AN EX-WAR-LORD, HOW
BEAUTIFUL!"]

       *     *     *     *     *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Commons, Tuesday, June 9._--Recorded in Parliamentary history
how a debate on Budget of the day a great statesman began his speech by
utterance of he word "Sugar." Contrast of imposing personality of the
Minister and sonorousness of his voice with commonplace character of
utterance tickled fancy of House, then as now almost childishly eager to
be amused. The great man looked round with stern glance that cowed the
tittering audience. "Sugar," he repeated amid awed silence, and
triumphantly continued his remarks.

It wasn't sugar that occupied attention of House on resuming sittings
after Whitsun recess. It was Milk. Naturally Bill dealing with subject
was in hands of the INFANT SAMUEL. Debate on Second Reading presented
House in best form. Impossible for most ingenious and enterprising
Member to mix up with milk the Ulster question or hand round bottles
accommodated with india-rubber tubes and labelled Welsh Church
Disestablishment. Consequence was that, in Second Reading debate on Bill
promoted by Local Government Board, Members on both sides devoted
themselves to single purpose of framing useful measure.

[Illustration: THE INFANT SAMUEL.]

Animated debate on another Bill in charge of JOHN BURNS amending
Insurance Act in direction of removing administrative difficulties and
diminishing working costs. Nothing to complain of in way of acerbity.
Second Reading stages of both measures passed without division, and
House adjourned before half-past ten.

At Question time peaceful prospect momentarily ruffled. The SAHIB REES,
taking advantage of absence of SPEAKER, prolonging his holiday amid
balmy odours of Harrogate Pump Room, was in great form. With extensive
view he surveyed mankind from British Columbia to the Persian Gulf, just
looking in at Australasia to see what IAN HAMILTON has lately been up to
in matter of compulsory military service.

It was in Persian Gulf that squall suddenly threatened. SAHIB wanted to
know whether HIS MAJESTY'S ships in that quarter of the world "had been
engaged with gun-runners."

BYLES OF BRADFORD, seated on Front Bench below Gangway, pricked up his
baronial ears. What! More gun-running and nobody either hanged or shot?
On closer study of question perceived that use of ambiguous word misled
him. When the SAHIB enquired whether HIS MAJESTY'S ships had been
"engaged" with gun-runners he did not mean that they had rendered
assistance in illegal enterprises, nocturnal or other. On the contrary,
word had directly opposite meaning.

BYLES OF BRADFORD accordingly abandoned intention of putting
Supplementary Question, reserving his energy for his own searching
inquiry, which appeared lower down on paper, impartially denouncing
importation of arms "whether by the Ulster Volunteers or the National
Volunteers, or both."

[Illustration: "Who said 'gun-running'?"

(_With acknowledgments to a popular picture._)

("BYLES OF BRADFORD pricked up his baronial ears.")]

_Business done._--National Insurance Act Amendment Bill, and Milk and
Dairies Bill read a second time.

_Wednesday._--Attendance still small, especially on Opposition Benches.
Hapless Ministerialists, warned by urgent summons hinting at surprises
in store in the Division Lobby, loyally muster. Nothing happened;
perhaps in other circumstances something might.

Whilst the Benches are half empty Order Book is crowded. To-day's list
catalogues no fewer than 142 Bills standing at various stages awaiting
progress. Thirty-five are Government measures. The rest proofs of the
energy and legislative capacity of private Members.

Of course at this stage of Session only small proportion of Government
Bills are likely to reach the Statute Book; those in hands of private
Members have no chance whatever. Still, imposing display looks well on
paper. In its various developments adds considerably to amount of
stationery bill.

_Business done._--In Committee of Supply on Post Office Vote, a trifle
of £26,151,830, the Holt Report on postmen's demand for higher wages
discussed.

_Thursday._--Walking down Victoria Street on way to House of Commons,
as is my custom of an afternoon, I come upon my old friend the
sandwich-board man. He stands in the shadow of Westminster Abbey
panoplied back and front with boards making the latest announcement of
newcomers to Madame Tussaud's. Morning and afternoon, all day long, he
stands there, the life of London surging past. We generally have a
little chat, and occasionally he gets a cigar.

One mystery that long piqued me he solved. If you chance upon
sandwich-board men marching to head-quarters, like old _Kaspar_ at his
garden gate their day's work done, you will notice they always carry
their boards upside down. The passer-by, consumed by desire to know what
truth these proclaim, must needs assume inverted attitude in order to
profit by announcement. Why do they so scrupulously observe that custom?

"Point of honour," says my sandwich-board man. "What you call class
interests. We are paid little enough for so many hours' tramp. When the
hour of deliverance strikes we turn the board upside down. So we do when
we sit down by crowded thoroughfare to eat our mid-day bread-and-cheese,
or bread without cheese as may happen. Not going to give the master more
than he pays for."

What specially attracted me to-day was communication received from
MEMBER FOR SARK. Says he hears that WINTERTON is about to be added to
Madame Tussaud's!

[Illustration: THE WINTERTON WAX-WORK.]

Suppose this, next of course to Westminster Abbey, is highest compliment
possible for public man. On reflection I say not quite. LULU stands on
triple pinnacle of fame. On one or other the New Zealander, bored with
the monotony of the ruins of London Bridge, sure to hap upon his name
writ large.

There is the Harcourt Room in House of Commons, a spacious dining-hall
cunningly contrived with lack of acoustical properties that make it
difficult to hear what a conversational neighbour is saying. In time of
political stress this useful, as preventing lapse into controversy at
the table. Homeward bound from his last Antarctic trip, ERNEST
SHACKLETON discovered three towering peaks of snow and ice. One he named
Mount Asquith; another Mount Henry Lucy; a third Mount Harcourt.

Now a great shipping company, having business on the West Coast of
Africa, making welcome discovery of a deep water port in the estuary of
the Bonny River, have named it Port Harcourt.

This concatenation of circumstance more striking than the lonely
eminence of a pitch in the hall of Madame Tussaud, and a name flaunting
on her sandwich-board. Moreover than which, as grammarians say, SARK has
evidently been misinformed. My sandwich-board man has heard nothing of
reported addition to our Valhalla. Certainly his boards do not confirm
the pleasing rumour.

_Business done._--HOME SECRETARY announces intention of Government to go
to fountain-head of trouble with Militant Suffragists. Will proceed by
civil or criminal action directed against the persons who subscribe
sinews of war. Loud cheers from both sides approved the plan. Followed
at short interval by sharp report distinctly heard in Lobby. Was it echo
of the strident cheer? No. It was the ladies demonstrating afresh their
eligibility for exercise of the suffrage by attempting to blow up the
Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey.

       *     *     *     *     *

     "Candidates for divinity degrees at Cambridge should, it is
     proposed, be required to give evidence of a competent general
     knowledge of Christian theology."--_Times._

Every now and then the authorities get these bright ideas, and thus our
old Universities keep up to date.

       *     *     *     *     *

From a list of entries for the golf championship:--

     "Geo. Oke (Honor Oke)."--_Dundee Courier._

We will if he wins.

       *     *     *     *     *

     "How can you have precisely the same cottage on the north and the
     south side of a road? In the one case the larder is to the south,
     and the butler is melting."

     _Manchester Guardian._

He should return to the wine cellar.

       *     *     *     *     *

RED HEAD AND WHITE PAWS.

[_Why should the popular magazines monopolise all the tragic animal
sketches? Mr. PUNCH'S menagerie is just as ferocious._]

Silence reigned in the woods! Silence! Deep silence! Save for the
chortle of the night-jar, the tap of the snipe's beak against the
tree-trunks, the snores of a weary game-keeper, the chirp of the
burying-beetle, the croak of the bat, the wild laughter of the owl and
the boom, boom of the frog, deep silence reigned. The crescent moon
stole silently above the horizon. Wonderful, significant is that silent,
stealthy approach of the moon. Red Head lumbered from his lair and
crouched beside the shimmering fire of the furze. A startled grass-snake
strove to leap out of the way of the monarch of the woods--- a hurried
crunch and a string of thirty white eggs was left motherless, forlorn.

A careless cock-pheasant gurgled on a bough. In a moment Red Head had
silently scaled the tree. Two tail feathers alone remained to show an
awed game-keeper that Red Head had passed that way. A woodcock floated
silently on the bosom of the tiny lake. He did not note the ripple which
showed that a powerful animal was swimming towards him. A scream, and
the woodcock, trumpeting shrilly, is drawn into the depths.

[_Editor._ But what is Red Head?

_The Expert._ I am not quite sure whether he is a tree-climbing fox or a
swimming badger. Anyhow he might have escaped from a menagerie.]

Peace reigned in the hole of the bumble-bee. Weary with culling sweets
from the lime-trees, the heather-bloom, the apple-blossom and the
ivy-flower be had sought his humble couch. Suddenly great claws tear
away his roof-tree. Red Head is at work. Bees and honey make his nightly
meal.

White Paws had listened from his burrow. All seemed well. He darted
forth and bathed in the bright light of the full moon.

[_Editor._ Wasn't it a crescent moon?

_The Expert._ You must make allowances for development in the course of
a story. Suppose we say it was a full-sized crescent.]

Then White Paws, standing on his hind-legs, danced for sheer joy of
life.

A leaf bitten from a bough by a sturdy green caterpillar fell suddenly
to the ground. Like lightning White Paws darted to the top of an
immemorial elm. In a moment he was reassured and returned to his
graceful dance in the bosky dell.

But what is this? A hideous red head emanates slowly from a bush. A
protruding tongue vibrates in the pale moonlight. Weak, curious White
Paws wonders what this strange thing is. Beware, White Paws! Think of
thy tender mate and innocent cubs.

Drawn by a fatal curiosity he advances towards it. The awful glimmer of
Red Head's eye fascinates him. He must see. Nearer he draws and nearer.
A sudden plunge from the bush--a sickening crunch. Red Head has dined
for the fifth time in one evening.

Death and Silence reign in the woods. Save for the chortling of the
night-jar, the chirp of the burying-beetle, the snores of the
gamekeeper, etc., etc. (see above) one might imagine oneself in the
solemn stillness of Piccadilly Circus at midnight.

Death and Silence.

[_Editor._ "Yes, but the identity of the protagonists in this Sophoclean
tragedy is still a little in doubt."

_The Expert._ "Any nature sketch ends satisfactorily with a meal."]

All this time the crescent moon has been swelling silently under the
watchful stars. It is now at the full. So is Red Head. He has dined five
times. He sleeps.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: (_Lady Bountiful is entertaining some slum children at
her lovely place in the country._)

_Sister (to small brother who has just picked a daisy)._ "NAR VEN, 'ERB!
THE LIDY WON'T ARST YER AGINE IF YER GOW A-PICKIN' 'ER FLOWERS LIKE
THET!"]

       *     *     *     *     *

THE ROCK GARDENESS IN LONDON.

  (_A Ballad of Labels._)

  Dame Fashion, when she calls the tune,
    Must surely crave my pardon
  For prisoning me in leafy June
    Far from my Alpine garden.

  So that in crowded square or street
    My Fancy's playful mockery
  Plants all the pavement at my feet
    With favourites from the rockery.

  And so that, heedless to the claims
    Of passing conversation,
  I murmur to myself their names
    By way of consolation.

  The thread of compliment may run
    Through many ball-room Babels--
  I have one language, only one,
    The language of the labels.

  In Kedar's tents are festive hours,
    The _noctes_ and the _coenæ_;
  My heart is where _RETUSA_ flowers,
    And crimson-starred _SILENE_.

  I see the grey stones overhung
    With lilac and laburnum;
  I hear the drone of bees among
    Blue depths of _LITHOSPERNUM_.

  And in the box on opera nights
    Between each thrilling scene I
  Recall the miniature delights
    Of _MENTHA REQUIENII_;

  Admirers find me deaf and dumb
    To all their honeyed wheedling,
  I muse on _LONGIFOLIUM_
    And dream of _STORMONTH SEEDLINGS_.

  And, when they come to hint their loves
    Through all the usual stages,
  I wish I were in gardening gloves
    Among my Saxifrages.

       *     *     *     *     *

More Russian Methods.

     "EAST-END DEPUTATION RECEIVED BY WHIP."

     _Daily News and Leader._

       *     *     *     *     *

_The Daily News_, in describing an adventure between the CROWN PRINCE of
Germany (in a motor) and a peasant of Saarbrücken, ventures (with a
knowledge of the Saarbrücken dialect which we ourselves cannot claim) to
give the peasant's actual words:--

     "'Ain't 'eard nowt,' said the peasant; 'the lane be narrow like.
     You must just wait till I be druv ahead.'"

Its likeness to the Loamshire dialect of England will interest the
philologist.

       *     *     *     *     *

AT THE PLAY.

"AN INDIAN SUMMER."

We plunged into the action quickly enough. A breakfast-gong--a sip of
coffee--a bite of toast--and _Nigel Parry_ locks up his morning's
love-correspondence; _Helen_, his wife, breaks open the drawer and
peruses the damning letter; _Nigel_ returns and catches her red-handed.
After this we took a long breath and lingered over the moral aspect of
the situation. Indeed, during the next ten years nothing occurred except
the separation of the couple; the reported decease of the other woman
(whom we never saw, dead or alive), and the marriage of the boy _Parry_
with an actress bearing the ascetic name of _Ursula_. We now left the
old trail in pursuit of this red herring; and for the rest of the play,
up to the last moment, our attention was concentrated on the attitude of
the elder heroine to her daughter-in-law, to whom she had taken a
profound dislike at sight.

But something had to happen if the author was to bring about a
reconciliation of the original pair and so justify the symbolic title of
her play. Thinking it out, she seems to have recalled that it is
customary in these cases to let an accident occur to some junior member
of the family, over whose prostrate body the old ones may kiss again
with tears. Accordingly, no sooner had mention been made, quite
arbitrarily, of an automatic pistol, alleged to be unloaded, than old
stagers knew by instinct that _Ursula_ would shoot herself
inadvertently. This occurred with such promptitude that even the author
recognised that we should not be satisfied with so ingenuous an episode.
Complications had therefore to be devised at all costs. Young _Parry_
must be kept in ignorance of the fact that the episode was due to his
stupidity in leaving the weapon loaded. So _Ursula_ invents a story to
show that the wound in her thigh was due to a fall downstairs. It is
true that blood-poisoning--not amongst the more familiar sequelæ of a
fall downstairs--supervened. But the legend served well enough on the
stage. Among other effects it increased the irritation of the
mother-in-law, who felt that the accident indicated a criminal
carelessness in one who was about to make her a grandmother, a condition
of things that had been brought home to us in the course of some female
conversation flavoured with the most pungent candour. When the truth
came out, the proved devotion of the young wife causes an _entente_
between her and her mother-in-law, accompanied--for reasons which I
cannot at the moment recall--by a parallel reconciliation between the
senior couple. Personally, I felt that the threatened "Indian Summer"
was not likely to be much warmer than the ordinary English kind.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the play was the author's
attitude toward her own sex. Mrs. HORLICK frankly took the man's point
of view. Never for one moment did she attempt to encourage our sympathy
for _Helen_ as a wronged wife. Commonly in plays it is the woman,
married to a man she never loved, who claims the liberty of going her
own way and getting something out of life. Here it is the man who is the
victim of a marriage not of his own making (as far as love was
concerned), and the author, through the mouthpiece of the woman's
confidante, makes ample excuse for his desire to snatch some happiness
from fate.

[Illustration: CHILLY FORECAST FOR AN "INDIAN SUMMER."

_Nigel Parry_      Mr. ALLAN AYNESWORTH.
_Helen Parry_      Miss EDYTH GOODALL.]

Unhappily Mrs. HORLICK has much to learn in stage mechanism. The motive
of her exits when, as constantly, she wanted to leave any given couple
alone together, was insufficiently opaque. She began very well and held
our interest closely for some time; but long before the end we should
have been worn out but for the childlike charm and attractive
_gamineries_ of Miss DOROTHY MINTO as _Ursula_. Mr. ALLAN AYNESWORTH,
who acted easily in the rather ambiguous part of _Nigel Parry_, seemed
to share our doubts as to the chances of Mrs. HORLICK'S achieving
popularity at her first attempt, for he confided to us, in a brief
first-night oration, that she was engaged on another play which he hoped
to secure.

But no one will question the serious promise of her present comedy, and
I trust that in any future production she may be assisted by as
excellent a cast. For they all played their parts, however trivial in
detail, with great sincerity. Miss GOODALL was the only disappointment,
though the fault was not altogether her own. At first she was very
effective, but later her entries came to be a signal for gloom, like
those of a skeleton emergent from the family cupboard.

"PRINCE IGOR."

All is fair in Love and War, and the only ethical difficulty arises when
they clash. This was the trouble with _Vladimir Igorievich_, heir of
_Prince Igor_. Father and son had been taken in battle, and were held
captive in the camp of the Tartars; but, while _Prince Igor_ felt very
keenly his position (though treated as a guest rather than a prisoner
and supplied every evening with spectacular entertainments), _Vladimir_
beguiled his enforced leisure by falling in love (heartily reciprocated)
with the daughter of his captor, _Khan Konchak_. An opportunity of
escape being offered, _Prince Igor_ seizes it, but _Vladimir's_ dear
heart is divided between passion and patriotism, and before he can make
up his mind the chance of freedom is gone. A study of the so-called
"libretto" showed that this was the only thing in the opera that bore
any resemblance to a dramatic situation. Figure, therefore, my chagrin
when I discovered that the character of _Vladimir Igorievich_ had been
cut clean out of the text of the actual opera. I could much more easily
have dispensed with the buffooneries of a couple of obscure players upon
the _goudok_ (or prehistoric hurdy-gurdy), who wasted more than enough
of such time as could be spared from the intervals.

There was no part of adequate importance for M. CHALIAPINE, so he
doubled the _rôles_ of _Galitsky_, the swaggering and dissolute
brother-in-law that _Prince Igor_ left behind when he went to the wars,
and _Khan Konchak_, most magnanimous of barbarians. Neither character
gave scope for the particular subtlety of which (as he proves in _Boris
Godounov_) M. CHALIAPINE is the sole master among male operatic singers.
But to each he brought that gift of the great manner, that ease and
splendour of bearing, and those superb qualities of voice which, found
together, give him a place apart from his kind.

Of the rest, M. PAUL ANDREEV, as _Prince Igor_, gave his plaint of
captivity with a noble pathos. As for the chorus, it sang with the
singleness and intensity of spirit which are only possible to a
national chorus in national opera, and which (I hope) are the envy of
the cosmopolitans of Covent Garden.

The _clou_ of the evening was the ballet, already well-known, of the
Polovtsy warriors, executed with the extreme of fanatic fervour and
frenzy. The art of M. MICHEL FOKINE can turn his Russians into Tartars
without a scratch of the skin. BORODINE'S music, taking on a more
barbaric quality as the action travelled further East, here touched its
climax, and the final scene, where _Prince Igor_ returns home and
resumes the embraces of his queen, (a model of fidelity), was of the
character of a sedative.

"DAPHNIS ET CHLOË."

Those who complained--I speak of the few whose critical faculties had
not been paralysed by M. NIJINSKI--that in _L'Après-midi d'un Faune_
the limitations of plastic Art (necessarily confined to stationary forms)
were forced upon an art that primarily deals with motion, will have
little of the same fault to find in _Daphnis et Chloë._ Here there is no
fixed or formal posing, if we except the attitude adopted (after a
preliminary and irrelevant twiddle) by certain Nymphs to indicate,
appropriately enough, their grief over the inanimate form of _Daphnis_.
The dances in which, to the mutual suspicion of the lovers, _Chloë_ was
circled by the men and _Daphnis_ by the maidens, were a pure delight.
There was one movement, when heads were tossed back and then brought
swiftly forward over hollowed breasts and lifted knees that had in it an
exquisite fleeting beauty. But memory holds best the grace of the
simpler and more elemental movements, the airy swing and poise of feet
and limbs in straight flight, linked hands outstretched.

In the _pas seul_ competition M. ADOLPH BOLM as _Darkon_ did some
astonishing feats which made the performance of M. FOKINE as _Daphnis_
seem relatively tame and conventional; and if I, instead of _Chloë_, had
been the judge I should have awarded the palm to the former. I am sure
that _Chloë_ was prejudiced, though certainly _Darkon_ was a very rude
and hirsute shepherd, and had none of _Daphnis'_ pretty ways.

The dancing of the brigands was in excellent contrast with the methods
of the pastoral Greeks. I will not, like the programme, distinguish them
as "Brigands with Lances," "Brigands with Bows" and "Young Brigands." To
me they were all alike very perfect examples of the profession; though I
admit that the flight of their spears was not always as deadly as it
should have been, and that one of the arrows refused to go off the
string and had to be thrown by hand into the wings.

It is not easy at a first performance to take in everything with both
eye and ear, and I shall excuse myself from attempting to do justice to
M. RAVEL'S music. But I was free (the curtain being down) to listen to
one long orchestral passage which followed the capture of _Chloë_. It
was of the nature of a dirge, and it seemed to me to suggest very
cleverly the sorrows of a poultry-yard. I suppose _Chloë_ must have been
in the habit of feeding them and they missed her.

I hate to say one word of disparagement about a performance for which I
could never be sufficiently grateful. But I agree with a friend of mine
who complained to me of the way in which _Pan_ was presented. It was
this beneficent god who caused a panic among the brigands and so enabled
_Chloë_ to return to her friends, though I don't know why he ever let
her be captured, for he was there at the time. Well, I agree that he
ought to have been represented by something more satisfactory than a
half-length portrait painted on a huge travelling plank of pasteboard,
which was pushed about from Arcadia to Scythia (if this was the
brigands' address) and back again, appearing in the limelight, when
required, like a whisky sky-sign.

O. S.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: "CAN YOU LEND ME A COUPLE O' BOB, GEORGE? I'VE JUST HAD
MY POCKET PICKED."]

       *     *     *     *     *

TEMPORA MUTANTUR.

[Suggested by recent correspondence in a leading journal.]

WHY USE SPECS?

_A Centenarian's Testimony to the Editor of "The Chimes."_

SIR,--I was 117 on the 1st of April and have never used any artificial
aid to eyesight, yet I can read the articles for ladies on the Court
Circular page of your splendid publication without turning a hair. It is
true that I am, and have always been, of an iron constitution, having
practically dispensed with sleep for the last sixty years. For some
considerable time I have been able to do without physical sustenance as
well, owing to the extraordinarily nutritious nature of the contents of
your superb South American Encyclopædias.

Yours faithfully,

NESTOR PARR.


A PERFECT CURE.

_To the Editor of "The Chimes."_

SIR,--Is my experience worth recording? Until two or three years ago I
was entirely dependent on spectacles, and suffered unspeakable
inconvenience if I happened to mislay them. But since I became a
subscriber to your unique and unparalleled organ I have found my
eyesight so marvellously improved that I am now able to discard glasses
entirely. The extraordinary part of the business is this, that if I take
up any other paper I am utterly unable to decipher a word. As my wife
cleverly put it the other day, of all the wonderful spectacles in the
world the new _Chimes_ is the most amazing.

Yours gratefully, VERAX.


FROM AN ARTIFICIAL EYE-MAKER.

_To the Editor of "The Chimes,"_

SIR,--An extraordinary case of recovery of sight was brought to my
knowledge yesterday by an esteemed customer. About thirty years ago I
supplied him with an artificial eye to replace one which he lost while
duck-shooting in the Canary Islands. About six months ago he lost the
remaining sound eye through a blow from a golf-ball. I accordingly
fitted him with a second artificial eye, and you may imagine my surprise
when he came round to my place of business a few days later by himself
and read aloud to me the whole of your admirable leading article on
"Braces _v._ Belts." The therapeutic effect of high-class journalism on
myopic patients has, I believe, been noted by Professor Hagenstreicher,
the famous German oculist, but this is, I believe, the first instance on
record of a patient recovering his sight after both eyes had been
removed.

I am, Sir, etc., ANNAN EYAS.


CATARACT ARRESTED.

_To the Editor of "The Chimes."_

SIR,--Yesterday, which happened to be my ninety-seventh birthday, I
spent in reading your wonderful Potted Meat Supplement from cover to
cover. As there is more printed matter in it than in Mr. DE MORGAN'S
latest novel you might expect to hear that I am suffering to-day from
eye-strain. On the contrary the symptoms of incipient cataract, which
declared themselves a few months ago, have entirely disappeared, and I
was able to see the French coast distinctly this morning from my house
on the sea-front.

Yours truthfully,

_Folkestone._ JUDITH FITZSIMONS.


FROM OUR OLDEST SUBSCRIBER.

_To the Editor of "The Chimes."_

SIR,--I was 165 last birthday. I was in the merchant marine for upwards
of eighty years, and then became a Swedenborgian, but never had occasion
to consult an oculist. I was born in the reign of George II., or was it
Queen Anne?--I really forget which. My wife is 163, and we walk out,
when weather permits, and seldom omit church on Sundays. We both still
read your "Births, Deaths, and Marriages," and consider that they are
the best.

Yours venerably, W. A. G.

       *     *     *     *     *

Another Suffragette Outrage.

     "Among the elementary and fundamental rights and duties are (_sic_)
     the security of the person. But it is violated as much by he
     (_sic_) or she (_sic_) who challenges assault as by he (_sic_) or
     she (_sic_) who assaults."

The five "_sics_" are ours. The rest belongs to the leader-writer of
_The Morning Post_, on whom militancy seems to have had a painful
effect.

       *     *     *     *     *

     "A Central News telegram from Montreal states that Miss Edith
     Shaughnessy, daughter of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, was married at St.
     James's Roman Catholic Cathedral yesterday to Mr. W. H."--_Morning
     Post._

From the wedding presents, which were both numerous and costly: "Mr. W.
Shakespeare to Bridegroom--Sonnets."

       *     *     *     *     *

A correspondent in _The Exchange and Mart_ writes:--

     "At night Tree-Frogs are active and utter various sounds, some a
     pleasing chirrup (like mine), others a loud shriek."

We shall hope to hear the writer's pleasing chirrup in Bouverie Street
some day.

       *     *     *     *     *

ADVENTURERS.

  It must have been off a pirate trip,
    In a life forgot 'o me,
  That I saw the Barbary pirate ship
    Come close-hauled out of the sea;
  She crawled in under a goat-cropped scaur
    Beneath the fisher-huts,
  And she sent a dozen o' men ashore
    To fill her water-butts.

  I clambered up where the cliff sprung sheer
    Till I looked upon her decks
  And saw the plunder of half-a-year
    And the loot of her scuttled wrecks;
  There were gems and ivory, plate and pearl,
    And Tyrian rugs a-pile,
  And, set in the midst, was a milk-white girl,
    The loot of a Grecian isle.

  As white as the breasted terns that flit
    Was the smooth arm's rounded shape
  As she idly played with a pomegranate
    To anger a chained grey ape;
  And her Sun-God's self for diadem
    Had kissed her curls to gold;
  But blue--sea-blue as the sapphire gem,
    Her eyes were cold, sea-cold.

  And, gleam of shoulder and glint of tress,
    They sailed ere the sun went down
  And sold her, same as a black negress,
    For the marts o' Carthage town,
  Where she lived, mayhap, of her indolent grace,
    Content with her silks and rings,
  Or rose, by way of her wits, to place
    Her foot on the necks of kings.

  The deuce can tell you how this may be,
    'Tis far as I take the tale;
  For it's lives upon lives ago, you see,
    That the Barbary men set sail;
  So I only know she was ivory white,
    As white as a sea-bird lone;
  And her eyes were wonderful blue and bright
    And hard as a sapphire stone.

       *     *     *     *     *

The New Rowing.

     "Give a last pull at the oar with clenched teeth and knit
     muscles."--_The Young Man._

_The Cork Examiner_ on Sir PERCY SCOTT'S letter:--

     "'If a battleships is not safe either on the high seas or in
     rabour,' he asks, 'what is the use of a battlesh?'"

To be more accurate, this is how one puts it to one's neighbour after
dinner, when--the ladies having removed themselves, and the necessity
for mere social chit-chat being over--we men are at last able to devote
ourselves to the affairs of empire.

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: LIGHT CAR TRIALS.

_Spectator_ (_to exhausted competitor reduced to running on trial
hill_). "WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF THAT CAR RAN AWAY FROM YOU?"

_Competitor._ "THANK HEAVEN!"]

       *     *     *     *     *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

The title of a book should be a guide to its contents, a simple enough
rule which some authors overlook in their anxiety to start being clever
and eccentric on the very outside cover. The book-buying public will
appreciate Miss M. BETHAM-EDWARDS' title, _From an Islington Window,
Pages of Reminiscent Romance_ (SMITH, ELDER), and will gather from it
that this is a book for those who prefer a long life and a quiet one to
the short and thrilling. Incidentally I am relieved from divulging any
of the plots in order to demonstrate the nature of the twelve short
pieces embodied; enough to quote two typical sub-titles, "Mr. Lovejoy's
Love-story" and "Miss Prime," and to put upon the whole the label of the
author's own choice, "Early Victorian." Everybody knows where and what
Islington is and the sort of minor tragedy and comedy that would be
likely to occur in the lives of its inhabitants in the last reign but
one. No one would look there for epoch-making crises, but many will find
a longed-for relief from the speeding-up tendencies of modern romance.
Lastly, but for a tendency at times to affectation, the style of the
writer is as graceful and elegant as her themes are homely and serene,
and that, I think, is all about it.

       *     *     *     *     *

Mr. W. E. NORRIS is subtle; at least if my idea of the genesis of
_Barbara and Company_ (CONSTABLE) is the right one. I believe, then,
that Mr. NORRIS found himself possessed of plots sufficient for a number
of agreeable short stories, but that, knowing short stories to be more
or less a drug in the market, he very skilfully united them into one by
the simple process of making all their characters friends of _Barbara_.
Nothing could be more effective. For example, Mr. NORRIS thinks what fun
it would be to describe a race ridden by two unwilling suitors, the
prize to be the lady's heart, which neither in the least wishes to win.
Promptly _Miss Ormesby_, the heroine, is asked down on a visit to
_Barbara_, and the story is told, most amusingly and well, in a couple
of chapters. Again, the pathetic and moving tale of _Miss Nellie
Mercer_, the nameless companion, who blossomed into fierce renown as
_Senorita Mercedes_, the dancer, and died of it. Why should not this
same _Barbara_ have adopted the parentless girl in childhood? It is all
simplicity itself. Perhaps you may object that the useful _Barbara_
shows some signs of being a little overworked, and that few women are
likely to have had quite so adventurous a company of friends. In this
case I shall have nothing to urge, except that, so far as I am
personally concerned, Mr. NORRIS has such a way with him that if he
chose to people _Barbara's_ drawing-room with the persons of the
_Arabian Nights_ he could probably convince me that there was nothing
very much out of the ordinary in that assembly. And, after all, pianists
and writers and actors, all the kind of folk with whom _Barbara_
surrounded herself, are precisely those to whom short stories should,
and do, happen. Next time, however, I hope Mr. NORRIS'S inspiration will
be less fragmentary but equally happy.

       *     *     *     *     *

_Johnnie Maddison_ (SMITH, ELDER) was nice. And here and now I wish to
propose a vote of thanks to Mr. JOHN HASLETTE for having the uncommon
pluck to create a hero neither handsome nor strong. Brave of course he
had to be, or how should that which is written in the proverbs have
been fulfilled, but "he was slight," "he stooped a little," "he had an
ordinary face." (What hopes that brings to the hearts of some of us!)
For the rest, he lived in Sta. Malua, to which tropical port came _Molly
Hatherall_, intending to be married to a handsome scamp who spent all
his salary as a mining engineer and all the money he could borrow from
friends in losing games of poker to a man who made a profession of
winning them. Why he should have wanted to do this (for it seemed to be
his solitary serious vice) in a place like Sta. Malua I cannot imagine.
But there it is. For one reason or another the marriage was delayed, and
after a long mental struggle _Jno. Maddison_, who had fallen in love
with _Molly_, decided to tell her what kind of man her idol of romantic
chivalry really was. It raises, you see, a nice point of ethics, since
_Edmund Serge_ was popular at the club and, except for the brand of the
poker on his forehead, a pretty good fellow. Unfortunately Mr. HASLETTE
rudely slices the knot of his difficulty by making _Edmund_ embezzle
money and abscond at the critical point of the story. The telling of the
yarn is a little humdrum, but gains from a comparative leniency in the
matter of local colour--for I feel that Sta. Malua is the sort of place
which might have been rather ruthless about this--and the suspended
banns keep the interest fairly warm. But I am not sure that _Johnnie
Maddison_ might not have been nicer if he had escaped a suspicion of
priggishness and lost a trifle now and then at progressive whist.

       *     *     *     *     *

In Miss ELEANOR MORDAUNT'S new volume called _The Island_ (HEINEMANN)
all the tales have a common interest through their association with a
corner of Empire easily recognisable by those who have ever seen it. I
remember how greatly I have already admired Miss MORDAUNT'S power of
vivid and picturesque scene-painting; there are several stories in this
book that show it at its best. I wish I could avoid adding that there
are others that seem to me entirely unworthy of their author, at least
for any other purpose than that of boiling the pot. One of the best of
the tales, "A Reversion," is both dramatic and realistic; it bears a
strong resemblance to a sketch that recently made a successful
appearance at the Hippodrome; indeed the good qualities of Miss
MORDAUNT'S stories are precisely those that would help their development
into excellent little plays. One thing that I cannot help wishing is
that the writer had trusted a little more to my imaginative
intelligence. There is a certain kind of detail that is best confided to
this sanctuary, and Miss MORDAUNT'S difficulty seems to have been in
realising when all the sayable things had been said. At least one of the
stories plunges considerably beyond the limit of discretion and even
good taste. But the heat and the colour, the thrills and the devastating
_ennui_ of life for the English in the island, are as well rendered as
anything I remember in the fiction of Empire. For this alone there
should be a warm welcome for the collection, with all its faults, both
from those who know the original and those who need help in imagining
it.

       *     *     *     *     *

_The Purple Frogs_ (HEATH, CRANTON AND OUSELEY) I can only describe as
the most exasperating, not to say maddening, product of modern fiction.
What on earth Messrs. H. W. WESTBROOK and LAWRENCE GROSSMITH, the joint
authors, mean by it I have not the ghost of an idea. Occasionally signs
are detectable that the whole thing is a practical joke; still more
occasionally it even promises to become mildly amusing; and then again
one is confronted with an incident (such as the visit of the armed
maniac to the house of _Isambard Flanders_) serious to the point of
melodrama. Not for pages and chapters did I discover any excuse for the
title; and even then not much. But it appeared eventually that _Isambard
Flanders_ was jealous of the friendship between his wife, _Cicely_, and
_Stephen_, a young man who produced film-dramas; and that in order to
score off them he wrote a novel called _The Purple Frogs_, in which he
embodied his suspicions. The last half of the volume is occupied with
this tale within a tale. Here possibly we have a key to the purpose of
the collaboration. Anyhow, I permitted myself to form a theory that Mr.
WESTBROOK (or Mr. GROSSMITH) had written a novel too exiguous for
separate publication, and in this dilemma had appealed to Mr. GROSSMITH
(or Mr. WESTBROOK) to provide a setting. But which wrote which, and
why--these are problems that remain inscrutable. Yet another is
furnished by the fact that Miss ELLA KING HALL has composed for the main
story six "illustrations in music," duly reproduced. You may with luck
be able to smile a little at the quaintness of these. But on the
title-page they are said to be "arranged from the MS. notes of _Botolf
Glenfield."_ And _Glenfield_, being only a character in the novel
written by _Flanders_, couldn't possibly ... Help!

       *     *     *     *     *

[Illustration: THE CUBIST PHOTOGRAPHER.]

       *     *     *     *     *

SERENITY.

  A singular accident happened to-day,
    Distressing to witness (I chanced to be there).
  A motor-'bus entered a tea-shop, and lay
        In some need of repair.

  It was loaded with passengers, outside and in,
    Who straightway indulged in much turbulent talk;
  The latter declared that for less than a pin
        They would get out and walk.

  But the customers who, with deplorable zest,
    Of tea and hot crumpets were taking their fill,
  Regarding the scene as an innocent jest,
        Simply laughed themselves ill.

  Though I'm dreadfully nervous and suffer a shock
    At the slightest alarm, through that terrible fuss
  I was strangely composed and, as still as a rock,--
        I lay under the 'bus.





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