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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 11, 1914
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 11, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146, MARCH 11, 1914***


VOL. 146

MARCH 11, 1914


A contemporary describes one of the deported Nine as the Brain of the
party. This is a distinction which just eluded Mr. BAIN.

       * * *

The Admiralty has decided that, in the place of the grand manoeuvres this
year, there shall be a surprise mobilisation. Last year's manoeuvres were,
we believe, something of a fiasco, but to ensure the success of the
surprise mobilisation five months' previous notice is given.

       * * *

"Every man," says the Bishop of LONDON, "must be his own Columbus and find
the continent of truth." This is the first time that we had heard America
called the continent of truth, and one wonders where the present fashion of
flattery is going to end.

       * * *

We read that a Russian writer named LUNATCHARSKY has been expelled from
Germany. Is it possible that he is a relative of Mr. MAX BEERBOHM'S friend

       * * *

At the Grand Military Meeting at Sandown Park, two young millionaires
figured as amateur jockeys. We understand now the meaning of the expression
"putting money on a horse."

       * * *

"Futurist frocks," we are told, were a feature of the Chelsea Arts Club
ball. Just as in these days "Fancy Dress" often seems to mean that the
dress is left to the fancy, Futurist frocks, we presume, are frocks that
may appear in the future.

       * * *

An American journalist has been pointing out how London lags behind other
great cities in the matter of shop-window dressing. There would seem to be
no limit to our decadence. Even our shop-windows are inadequately clothed.

       * * *

A meeting has been held at Kingston to consider the possibility of
providing "some counter attraction" for the young people who frequent the
streets on Sunday evenings. Seeing that most of them are at the counter
during the week--you catch the idea?

       * * *

"Monkey nuts are dangerous," said Dr. ROUND at an inquest last week.
Judging by the mild-looking specimens one sees walking about in the streets
appearances are certainly deceptive.

       * * *

A contemporary, by the way, propounds the question: Why does the "nut"
always wear his headgear on the back of his head? This custom is certainly
queer, for, if he really cared about his personal appearance, he would wear
the hat over his face.

       * * *

We regret to learn that an attempt to teach a modern Office Boy manners has
failed. A friend of ours met his Office Boy in the street, and the lad
merely nodded to him. To shame him the Master raised his hat with mock
solemnity, at which the lad said, "That's all right, but you needn't do

       * * *

The fashion, which originated on the Continent, of having the face and neck
painted with miniature works of art is reported to be spreading to London.
And the practical Americans are said to be considering a further
development in the form of advertisements on the face by means of neat
inscriptions, such as "Complexion by Rouge et Cie," "Teeth by Max Gumberg,"
and "Dimples excavated by the American Face Mining Co."

       * * *

"England," says General CARRANZA, "is the world's bully." The General must
please have patience with us, for there are signs that we are improving. In
the same issue of the evening paper which reported this dictum of his the
following announcement appeared under the heading "LATEST NEWS":--"There
were no bullion operations reported at the Bank of England to-day."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Curate_ (_forte_). "... TO HAVE-AND-TO-HOLD."

_Bridegroom_ (_deaf_). "EH?"

_Curate_ (_fortissimo_). "TO--HAVE--AND--TO--HOLD."

_Bridegroom._ "TO 'AVE AND TO 'OLD."



       *       *       *       *       *


     [In a letter addressed to _The Times_, headed "PASS THE BILL AND TAKE
     THE CONSEQUENCES," Sir WILLIAM BYLES makes the statement:--"I for one
     will take the risk without hesitation."]

  Darkling I sing. Ere Tuesday's hour for tea
    Shall set this doggerel in the glare of day,
  He who adjured us still to "wait and see,"
    He will have tweaked the mystic veil away,
  And you will know--whatever it may be.

  You, but not I; for I have yet to wait.
    Far South, beneath (I hope) a stainless sky
  The pregnant news shall find me, rather late,
    Powerless to watch the ball with steadfast eye
  Through sheer distraction as to Ulster's fate.

  Fain would I have upon my well-pricked ear
    Such tidings fall as prove that party pride
  Yields with a mutual grace. And yet I fear
    These desperadoes on the Liberal side--
  BILL BYLES (for one), the Bradford Buccaneer.

  "Pass"--so he boldly writes--"the Bill and take
    (His conscience will not let him run to "damn")
  "The Consequences." That is why I shake
    Even as when the shorn and shivering lamb
  Observes the wolf advancing in his wake.

  I see him bear, this dreadful man of gore,
    A brace of battleaxes at the slope;
  I see him fling his gauntlet on the floor,
    And (shouting, "BYLES for REDMOND and the POPE!")
  Let loose the Nonconformist Dogs of War.

  Ah! take and hide me in some hollow lair,
    Red hills of Var! and ye umbrella-pines,
  Cover me like a gamp! I cannot bear
    This Apparition with its armed lines
  Humming the strain, "_Sir BYLES s'en va-t-en guerre_."

  _March 7._

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


It was the opening of the new Parliament of 1919 A.D.

They had got IT.

If you can't guess what they had got you must be obtuse.

The great procession of Women M.P.'s formed in Trafalgar Square. Behind
them were the ruins of the National Gallery (the work of the immortal Miss
Podgers, B.Sc.); before them were the fragments of the Nelson Column (Miss
Tunk's world-famous feat).

The free fight concerning the leadership of the procession was settled by
the intervention of mounted police. They decided that all the would-be
leaders should march abreast with two armed policemen between each pair of
them to prevent casualties by the way. So the head of the procession
started off sixty abreast down Whitehall.

It was a magnificent spectacle. All the M.P.'s wore green-and-white wigs
because it was the fashion, and in addition green-and-white whiskers to
assert their equality with men. Each processionist carried a model of her
greatest work. There was Mrs. Spankham with a superb model of Westminster
Abbey--its petrolling had been the greatest stroke in convincing the voters
of the pure motives of the feminists. Miss Sylvia Spankham bore aloft the
City Temple, Miss Christabel Spankham the Albert Hall, whilst Mrs. Lawrence
Pothook waved triumphantly a lovely representation of King's Cross Station.
Magnificent too was Mrs. Drummit riding astride a fire-engine as an emblem
of peace and goodwill.

The crowd viewed the procession with awed silence, only breaking into
cheers when Miss Blithers, blushing modestly, held up a cardboard
representation of the Albert Memorial she had nitro-glycerined. Miss Bliggs
marched triumphantly in a bishop's mitre bearing a pastoral staff, in
recognition of her great feat in forcibly feeding a wicked bishop who had
written a letter to the Press against forcible, feeding. Misunderstood by
the crowd was Mrs. Trudge, who wheeled a perambulator containing two
babies. The onlookers thought that Mrs. Trudge was about to take her
innocent offspring to the House of Commons, and those out of hat-pin range
murmured, "Shime," "Give the kids a chawnce." They did not know that Mrs.
Trudge was no base slave of man, that she had no children of her own, and
that the wax babies she wheeled in the perambulator merely indicated that
she was the heroine who had doped a nursemaid with drugged chocolate and
abducted a Cabinet Minister's twins.

Unhappily Miss Bolland also passed unidentified, though she held a
cardboard tube aloft. Not even a taxi-driver cheered as the intrepid lady
passed who had blown up the electrical-generation station of the Tubes and
made London walk for a month. There too was Mrs. Tibbs, brave in her
misfortunes. She had missed her election by one vote just because, when she
came to the booth to vote for herself, lifelong habit had been too strong
for her and she had phosphorused the ballot box.

An unfortunate breeze from the river played havoc with the processionists'
whiskers, and one or two of the weaker spirits in the ranks argued that
some of the Government offices in Whitehall ought to have been left
standing for protection--at any rate till the procession was over.

On they went, each of the twenty leaders in front explaining how SHE had
led the movement to triumph. On the top of the fire-engine Mrs. Drummit
danced a futurist dance, symbolic of the subjection of man. At last they
reached the portals of the House. The leaders broke into a run to secure
front places on the Government benches.

"Stop," cried a police superintendent, rushing from the building.

"The days of man's tyranny are over!" shouted twenty voices together.

"Maybe," said the police superintendent, "but some of 'em are catching up
to you. They've dynamited the Houses of Parliament, and if you go inside
you'll pop like roasted chestnuts."

And as they watched the flame the leaders realised the sad fact that they
had not left a building standing in London roomy enough for a Parliament.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

     "---- Tooth Brushes are so constructed that the bristles get right
     into the smallest crevices of the teeth. Moreover the bristles
     positively won't come out."--_Advt. in "London Opinion."_

That has sometimes been our bitter experience.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Choir Inaudible.

     "The chorus gave ample evidence of having made great strides since
     their last appearance in public, all the items for which they were
     responsible being well sustained and rendered in first-class style.
     Special mention should be made, however, of their rendering of 'A
     Spring Song,' which was given in quite a professional manner, the
     chorus dispensing with both music and words, and the audience evinced
     their appreciation of this really fine effort by long continued
     applause, to which the chorus responded by repeating it."

     _Avalon Independent._

There would probably be no words to the applause and very little music; so
the chorus could easily repeat it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GIFT FOR GIFT.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BRUTE AGAIN.




       *       *       *       *       *



The statement made in these columns by a well-informed correspondent that
the incomparable NIJINSKY is so delicate that by his doctor's decree he is
obliged to abstain from all forms of exercise save that involved in his
beloved art, gives us, in the vivid phrase of our neighbours, "furiously to
think." At the first blush incredulity prevails, but recourse to the annals
of history, ancient and modern alike, furnishes us with abundant
confirmation of this strange anomaly. HANNIBAL was a martyr to indigestion,
while his great rival, SCIPIO AFRICANUS, suffered from sea-sickness even
when crossing the Tiber. Wherever we look we are confronted with the
spectacle of genius fraying its way to the appointed goal in spite of
physical drawbacks which would have paralysed meritorious mediocrity. WOLFE
was a _poitrinaire_, and NELSON would never have passed the medical
examination to which the naval cadets of to-day are subjected. But the case
of NIJINSKY is more tragic because abstinence from skating and riding, of
which he was passionately fond, entails greater anguish on so sensitively
organised a temperament than it would on a mere man of action, and the
suffering of a great artist may lead to international complications which
it is terrible to complicate. Russian dancing is as necessary to the
well-being of our social system as standard bread, yet when we think of the
sacrifices which its hierophants undergo in order to minister to our
pleasure the sturdiest Hedonist cannot escape misgivings. Still, we may
find consolation in the thought that sacrifice is necessary to perfection.
Such sacrifices take various forms. In the case of NIJINSKY we see a man of
immense brain power specialising in a most exhausting form of physical
culture to remedy his extreme delicacy. At the opposite extreme we find
cases of men so extraordinarily powerful that they are obliged to abandon
all exercise and lead a purely sedentary life in order to counteract their
abnormal muscularity. Thus Lord HALDANE, who in his earlier days thought
nothing of walking to Cambridge one day and back to London on the next, has
now become more than reconciled to the immobility imposed on the occupant
of the Woolsack.

It needs no little exercise of the imagination to form a mental picture of
Lord HALDANE as a member of the Russian ballet, or, to put it in a more
concrete form, making the famous flying exit in _Le Spectre da la Rose_.
Could fancy be translated into fact, the drawing power of such a spectacle
would be prodigious. On the other hand, and in view of the notorious
adaptability of the Slavonic temperament, we can well imagine NIJINSKY
proving an admirable Lord Chancellor. Exchanges of this sort would add to
the comity of nations besides enhancing the amenities of public life, and
it is perhaps not too much to hope that provision for carrying this out may
be in the Government's scheme for the Reform of the House of Lords.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "New Zealand mutton was yearly increasing in public

It mustn't get too powerful.

       *       *       *       *       *

From an advertisement of a land sale in _Ceylon Morning Leader_:--

     "An undivided 1/3 + 1/36 + 1/2 of 3/80 + 1/24 + 1/2 of 1/18 parts of
     the land called Vitarmalage Gamwasama at Yatawala in extent 500
     amunams paddy sowing."

A chance for a newly-created peer who wants a family seat from which to
take his title and quarterings.

       *       *       *       *       *

The meeting of ANTONY and CLEOPATRA as described in HUTCHINSON'S _History
of the Nations_:--

     "When they met first he was twenty-nine and she was sixteen; now he
     was forty-two and she was twenty-seven."

Anyhow she would say so.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Kind Old Gentleman._ "WHAT A DELIGHTFUL LITTLE PET! I HAVE

       *       *       *       *       *


"Enid," I said, "we must offer something to somebody."

"You don't mean Squawks?" she pleaded piteously.

"I wish I did," I sighed. Squawks is a Pomorachshund--at least I think so;
though Enid inclines towards the Chowkingese theory. Anyhow, he himself has
always realised that someone had blundered, and has worked steadily to make
a dog of himself.

"Well, if it's not Squawks, I don't care," remarked Enid.

"I wish you'd take some interest."

"What in?"

"In what I say."

"What _did_ you say?"

"We must," I repeated, "offer something to somebody."

"That's not very enthusey. Unless"--and her whole face brightened--"you
mean what you call your reading-chair. It threw me on to the floor and
knelt on me only yesterday; and I know Aunt Anne----"

"Enid," I said sternly, "that's not the point."

"I was afraid not."

"The thing is, one must be in the swim. Everybody is offering things right
and left now. Look at SUTHERLAND, DERBY--even LLOYD GEORGE."

"I didn't know they were friends of yours."

"Not exactly; but----"

"Then why so familiar?"

"My dear," I explained, "that _is_ the point. Once get your name in the
papers at the end of a two-column letter and you are the friend of all the
world--it gives one an _entrée_ to the castle of the Duke and the cottage
of the crofter."

"Even before you've written it?"

"I have written it!"

"Oh, how splendid! Where?"

"In here," I said, tapping the best bit of my head.

"Oh, _that_!" And then, pensively: "Next time Mary Jane has a brainstorm,
I'll tell her to call you 'Charley.' Poor girl!"

"I don't think you quite appreciate," I remarked.

"I don't. What exactly do we stand to gain?"

"There's the rub. Not lucre. Perish the thought! But one begins to be a
power, an influence. People whisper in the Tube, 'Who's that?' '_That!_
Don't you know? Why Him--He! The man who is making the Government a
laughing-stock. The man who holds the Empire in the palm of his hand. The
man who----'"

"Thanks," said Enid. "We had better buy a gramophone. I thought you were
getting fidgety at home."

"Dearest," I explained, "it is not that. It is because I feel in me a
spirit that will not be denied. Give me the opportunity and I will make
this land, this England----"

"Hush, Squawks. Was'ms frightened then, poor darling!"

"That dog----"

"Hush!" said Enid to me. "How are you going to begin?"

"It is quite simple. Somebody writes something to the papers."

"Yes; so far it sounds easy."

"Now that something is hideously disparaging to my class and calling. I
promptly answer him."

"That is, if you can be funnier at his expense than he at yours."

"I shan't be funny at all."

"No?" said Enid thoughtfully.

"Mine will be a scathing indictment, and of course I shall bring in the
political situation. He writes back, evading the point at issue. I crush
him with figures and statistics, and make him a practical offer--a few
deer-forests, a paltry township, or my unearned increment, as the case may

"The mowing-machine is out of order," Enid remarked.

"I quote passages in his letter as the basis of negotiation. He pretends to
accept. I point out how, when and why he has been guilty of paltry
quibbling, and show that the Party he supports fosters such methods and

"Is that all?"

"No. And that is just where I shall differ from everybody else. I shall go
on where they have stopped. Having made one individual ridiculous, I shall
broaden the basis of operation. With consummate skill I shall gradually
draw the public officials down into the arena."

"Don't forget the gas-man; he was very rude last month."

"Not that kind," I explained. "Cabinet Ministers, Secretaries of State, the
whole machinery of government shall writhe under the barbed shafts of my
mockery. Ridicule is the power of the age. Ridicule in my hands shall be as
bayonets to NAPOLEON, as poison to a BORGIA." I gasped.

"Help!" said Enid, taking up _The Daily Most_. "Here's the very
thing," she went on. "Somebody called 'A. Lethos'----"

"Pah! A pseudonym."

"Well, anyhow, he says that all political writers are worthless sycophants.
You might begin on that."

"I will," I cried. "But craven anonymity is not my part. My name shall
stand forth boldly. Fate's linger points the way. How do you spell
'sycophant'? The type has gone a bit dizzy over it."

And I plunged into the fray.

"Sir," I began; and there followed 2,000 words of closely-woven argument,
down to "I remain, Sir, your obedient Servant."

I read it through carefully, looked up "sycophant" in the dictionary, and
wrote it all out again.

Then I showed it to Enid.

"Why have you spelt 'sycophant' like that?" she asked.


"No, 'y.'"

"It _is_ a 'y.'"

"Oh!" (Pause.) "What about the offer? Mr. Lethos says that ninetenths of
what is written nowadays is only worth the ink and paper."

"The offer," I reminded her, "will come later."

"Oh! I just thought---- You might get rid of those articles on 'Happiness
in the Home' at cost price. They're running up to quite a lot in stamps."

I posted the letter to the Editor.

Next morning I seized the paper nervously. There was my name at the end of
a column and a half. I had begun.

I sat down to wait for the next step. It came with the mid-day post in a
letter from Saxby, who is--or was--my friend.

"Good old Tibbles," it ran; "I knew some juggins would rise, whatever I
wrote. But fancy landing you!--Yours ever, BEEFERS."

Now how _can_ a man save his country on a thing like that?

       *       *       *       *       *


  On days of gloom and sadness,
    When nothing brings relief,
  When men are moved to madness
    And women groan with grief;
  Though growing daily dafter,
    I might, as once I did,
  Have cheered myself with laughter,
    But laughter is forbid.

  If I should treat of CARSON,
    His guns and rataplan,
  It's something worse than arson
    To smile at such a man;
  Since chaff would make his pulse stir--
    And this he cannot brook--
  The more he talks of Ulster
    The solemner we look.

  Then, should I meet a CECIL,
    (Lord ROBERT or Lord HUGH),
  His manifest distress'll
    Be very sad to view
  Unless I'm in a proper,
    A gloomy frame of mind,
  And put a heavy stopper
    On mirth of any kind.

  Next POUTSEA brings his quota
    For giving me delight,
  Who wants to punish BOTHA
    By living in his sight;
  Or, foiled of such a strife-time,
    Decides to have a blow
  And spend a briny lifetime
    In sailing to and fro.

  And SEDDON, who gave greetings
    To those deported nine,
  Invited them to meetings
    And asked them out to dine,
  And begged of them and prayed them
    To be no longer banned,
  But hardly could persuade them
    To leave the ship and land.

  These two, the gloom beguiling,
    Might make me greatly dare,
  Might set my face a-smiling
    And win my soul from care;
  The fêted and the feeders
    Might well provoke some chaff;
  But no--they're Labour Leaders,
    And so we mustn't laugh.

  And, last, there's LAW, our BONAR,
    Who in a burst of tact
  Is minded to dishonour
    The loathed Insurance Act;
  With opposites agreeing,
    He faces North by South,
  And keeps the Act in being
    And kills it with his mouth.

  He too might smooth a wrinkle,
    Although he's stern and grim,
  And make my eyes to twinkle
    By seeing fun in him;
  Cursed be that cheerful vision,
    And cursed all sense of fun:
  It is a foul misprision
    To smile at anyone.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REVERIE.


       *       *       *       *       *


(_With acknowledgments to "The Daily Mail."_)

Have you anything you think of burning as useless, but would naturally
prefer to sell? Why not try one of our small advertisements? Every day we
receive thousands of letters testifying to their power. Here is one, picked
up at random:--

"Please discontinue my advertisement of a half-pair of bellows and a
stuffed canary, as the first insertion has had such remarkable results. On
looking out of my bedroom window this morning I observed a queue of some
hundreds of people extending from my doorstep down to the trams in the main
road. They included ladies on campstools, messenger boys, a sad-looking
young man in an ulster who was reading SWINBURNE'S poems, and others. Only
with difficulty could the milkman fight his way through to place the can on
the doorstep, and the contents were quickly required to restore a lady who
had turned faint for want of a camp-stool. While I was shaving, a motor
mail-van dashed up and left seven sacks of postal replies to the
advertisement. One by one, eighty-three people were admitted to view the
goods, and a satisfactory bargain was made with the last of these. I then
telephoned for the police to come and remove the disappointed thousands,
who were disposed to be riotous. My garden gate is off its hinges, the
garden itself has the lawn inextricably mixed with the flower-beds, my
marble step is cracked in three places, and my stair-carpet is caked with
mud. I do not know any other paper in this country in which a two-shilling
advertisement could produce such encouraging results."

       *       *       *       *       *



     "DEAR MYRA," wrote Simpson at the beginning of the year,--"I have an
     important suggestion to make to you both, and I am coming round
     to-morrow night after dinner about nine o'clock. As time is so short I
     have asked Dahlia and Archie to meet me there, and if by any chance
     you have gone out we shall wait till you come back.

     Yours ever,

     P.S.--I have asked Thomas too."

"Well?" said Myra eagerly, as I gave her back the letter.

In deep thought I buttered a piece of toast.

"We could stop Thomas," I said. "We might ring up the Admiralty and ask
them to give him something to do this evening. I don't know about Archie.
Is he----"

"Oh, what do you think it is? Aren't you excited?" She sighed and added,
"Of course I know what Samuel _is_."

"Yes. Probably he wants us all to go to the Wonder Zoo together ... or he's
discovered a new way of putting, or---- I say, I didn't know Archie and
Dahlia were in town."

"They aren't. But I expect Samuel telegraphed to them to meet him under the
clock at Charing Cross, disguised, when they would hear of something to
their advantage. Oh, I wonder what it is. It _must_ be something real this

Since the day when Simpson woke me up at six o'clock in the morning to show
me his stance-for-a-full-wooden-club shot I have distrusted his
enthusiasms; but Myra loves him as a mother; and I--I couldn't do without
him; and when a man like that invites a whole crowd of people to come to
your flat just about the time when you are wondering what has happened to
the sardines on toast, and why doesn't she bring them in--well, it isn't
polite to put the chain on the door and explain through the letter-box that
you have gone away for a week.

"We'd better have dinner a bit earlier to be on the safe side," I said, as
Myra gave me a parting brush down in the hall. "If any further developments
occur in the course of the day ring me up at the office. By the way,
Simpson doesn't seem to have invited Peter. I wonder why not. He's nearly
two, and he ought to be in it. Myra, I'm sure I'm tidy now."

"Pipe, tobacco, matches, keys, money?"

"Everything," I said. "Bless you. Good-bye."

"Good-bye," said Myra lingeringly. "What do you think he meant by 'as time
is so short'?"

"I don't know. At least," I added, looking at my watch, "I do know. I shall
be horribly late. Good-bye."

I fled down the stairs into the street, waved to Myra at the window ... and
then came cautiously up again for my pipe. Life is very difficult on the
mornings when you are in a hurry.

At dinner that night Myra could hardly eat for excitement.

"You'll be sorry afterwards," I warned her, "when it turns out to be
nothing more than that he has had his hair cut."

"But even if it is I don't see why I shouldn't be excited at seeing my only
brother again--not to mention sister-in-law."

"You only want to see them so that you can talk about Peter."

"Oh, Fatty, darling"--(I am really quite thin)--"oh, Fatty," cried
Myra--("lean and slender" would perhaps describe it better)--cried Myra,
clasping her hands together--(in fact the very last person you could call
stout)--"I haven't seen the darling for ages! But I shall see Samuel," she
added hopefully, "and he's almost as young." ("Svelte"--that's the word for

"Then let's move," I said. "They'll be here directly."

Archie and Dahlia came first. We besieged them with questions as soon as
they appeared.

"Haven't an idea," said Archie. "I wanted to bring a revolver in case it
was anything really desperate, but Dahlia wouldn't let me."

"It would have been useful too," I said, "if it turned out to be something
merely futile."

"You're not going to hurt my Samuel, however futile it is," said Myra.
"Dahlia, how's Peter, and will you have some coffee?"

"Peter's lovely. You've had coffee, haven't you, Archie?"

"Better have some more," I suggested, "in case Simpson is merely soporific.
We anticipate a slumbering audience, and Samuel explaining a new kind of
googlie he's invented."

Entered Thomas lazily.

"Hallo," he said in his slow voice, "What's it all about?"

"It's a raid on the Begum's palace," explained Archie rapidly. "Dahlia
decoys the Chief Mucilage; you, Thomas, drive the submarine; Myra has
charge of the clockwork mouse, and we others hang about and sing. To say
more at this stage would be to bring about a European conflict."

"Coffee, Thomas?" said Myra.

"I bet he's having us on," said Thomas gloomily, as he stirred his coffee.

There was a hurricane in the hall. Chairs were swept over; coats and hats
fell to the ground; a high voice offered continuous apologies--and Simpson
came in.

"Hallo, Myra!" he said eagerly. "Hallo, old chap! Hallo, Dahlia! Hallo,
Archie! Hallo, Thomas, old boy!" He fixed his spectacles firmly on his nose
and beamed round the room.

"You haven't said 'Hallo!' to the cook," Archie pointed out.

"We're all here--thanking you very much for inviting us," I said. "Have a
cigar--if you've brought any with you."

Fortunately he had brought several with him.

"Now then, I'll give any of you three guesses what it's all about."

"No, you don't. We're all waiting, and you can begin your apology right

Simpson took a deep breath and began.

"I've been lent a villa," he said.

There was a moment's silence ... and then Archie got up.

"Good-bye," he said to Myra, holding out his hand. "Thanks for a very jolly
evening. Come along, Dahlia."

"But I say, old chap," protested Simpson.

"I'm sorry, Simpson, but the fact that you're moving from the Temple to
Cricklewood, or wherever it is, and that somebody else is paying the thirty
pounds a year, is jolly interesting, but it wasn't good enough to drag us
up from the country to tell us about it. You could have written. However,
thank you for the cigar."

"My dear fellow, it isn't Cricklewood. It's the Riviera!"

Archie sat down again.

"Samuel!" cried Myra. "How she must love you!"

"I should never lend Simpson a villa of mine," I said. "He'd only lose it."

"They're some very old friends who live there, and they're going away for a
month, and the servants are staying on, and they suggested that if I was
going abroad again this year----"

"How did the servants know you'd been abroad last year?" asked Archie.

"Don't interrupt, dear," said Dahlia. "I see what he means. How very jolly
for you, Samuel."

"For all of us, Dahlia!" "You aren't suggesting we shall all crowd in?"
growled Thomas.

"Of course, my dear old chap! I told them, and they're delighted. We can
share housekeeping expenses, and it will be as cheap as anything."

"But to go into a stranger's house," said Dahlia anxiously.

"It's _my_ house, Dahlia, for the time. I invite you!" He threw out his
hands in a large gesture of welcome and knocked his coffee-cup on to the
carpet; begged Myra's pardon several times; and then sat down again and
wiped his spectacles vigorously.

Archie looked doubtfully at Thomas.

"Duty, Thomas, duty," he said, thumping his chest. "You can't desert the
Navy at this moment of crisis."

"Might," said Thomas, puffing at his pipe.

Archie looked at me. I looked hopefully at Myra.

"Oh-h-h!" said Myra, entranced.

Archie looked at Dahlia. Dahlia frowned.

"It isn't till February," said Simpson eagerly.

"It's very kind of you, Samuel," said Dahlia, "but I don't think----"

Archie nodded to Simpson.

"You leave this to me," he said confidentially. "We're going."

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


(_From "The Gladiator," Nov. 1914._)



The meeting of these teams on Saturday last produced a struggle of titanic
dimensions worthy of the best traditions of the famous combinations
engaged. On the one hand we saw the machine-like precision, the subtle
finesse so characteristic of the Whitebrook men, while at the same time we
revelled in the dash and speed, the consummate daring displayed by their
doughty opponents. We have witnessed many games, but for keenness and
enthusiasm this one must rank.... In a game where every man acquitted
himself well it is difficult to particularise; but Brown, Jones, Green and
McSleery for the Rovers, and Gray, Smith, Black and McSkinner for the
Broms, may be mentioned as being shining lights in their respective

(_From "The Gladiator," Nov. 1915._)



Before a huge crowd exceeding 60,000 these historic combinations met on
Saturday, and provided a rich treat for those who had the privilege to be
there. The officials of both clubs have been busy team-building, and the
sides differed in many instances from those antagonizing on the same ground
a year ago. That the changes have been judicious and beneficial Saturday's
game abundantly proved. The men played with great earnestness, evincing
much local patriotism, and in their contrasted styles--the polished
artistry, the scientific precision of the Rovers, and the dash and forceful
intrepidity of the Broms--were at their very best. We have seen many games,
but this must rank.... While every man did himself justice, it may not be
invidious to mention, for the Rovers, Gray, Smith, Black and McSkinner, and
for the Broms, Brown, Jones, Green and McSleery, as being bright particular
stars in their respective departments.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a literary weekly:--

     "It is a terribly accurate saying about the loud laugh and the vacant
     mind--Pope never got down surer to the bare bones of the truth."

Nor did GOLDSMITH when he pointed out the danger of "a little learning."

       *       *       *       *       *

From two consecutive items of "News in a Nutshell" in the _North-Eastern
Daily Gazette_:--

     "Lieut. ----, of an infantry regiment at Lemburg, Austria, fell fast
     asleep on February 14, and all efforts to wake him have proved futile
     ever since.

     A sleeper weighing 8 cwt. was found on the Great Western Railway near
     Banbury just before the arrival of a train from the north."

However, it was not the lieutenant.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Dream after losing a Dog._)

  Methought I saw the man that stole our Tim
    In a night vision; and "Behold!" he cried,
  "This was a task too easy for my whim,
    A job of little worth and little pride,
    An Irish terrier." Then his pal replied,
  "I know a place where you may pinch with ease
  One of these here carnation Pekinese.

  "You see them nasty spikes on that there wall?
    Climb it, and you shall find a little yard;
  An unlatched casement leads you to a hall,
    Thence to the crib where, odorous with nard,
    Slumbers the petted plaything; 'twere not hard
  Out of his cushioned ease (and gorged belike
  With sweetmeats) to appropriate the tyke."

  So, filled with high ambition and the hope
    Of gaining huge emolument, this man
  Hung to the toothed battlements a rope,
    Climbed and leapt down to execute his plan--
    But even as he leapt a noise began
  As when the Arctic icebergs break and grind;
  This was because his pants were caught behind.

  Awhile they tore, then stayed. And helpless there
    Betwixt the silvery moonlight and the ground
  He hung convulsive, grasping at the air,
    For two full hours it may be, whilst a hound
    Of the Great Danish breed, that made no sound
  Save a deep snarl, below him watching stood
  (This portion of my dream was very good).

  And much he vowed because of his great pain
    That he was the most dashed of all dashed fools
  And never would he steal a dog again,
    No (strite!) he would not. He recalled the rules
    That teachers taught him in the Sunday Schools
  And thought on serious happenings and the grave;
  And with dawn's earliest flush his trousers gave.

       *       *       *       *       *

  And having waited for a time I went
    To see him in the hospital. And hours
  Of earnest converse with the man I spent,
    Told him of Nemesis and what dark powers
    Punish our mortal crimes, and brought him flowers,
  Dog-roses and dog-violets, and read
  The Eighth Commandment out beside his bed.


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Daily Telegraph_ on the next Drury Lane melodrama:--

     "We are able to say on the very best authority that the idea at the
     root of the story is of a quite unusual nature; indeed, if secrecy
     were not for the moment imposed, one might even go a step further and
     declare it to be of startling originality."

As it is, one doesn't; for if once the secret got about that the play was
to be original there would be riots in Fleet Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Song, 'March of the Men of Garlick' (Tune, Welsh melody)."

     _Ripon Observer._

A pardonable mistake. The national emblem is of course the leek.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE WOOING.



       *       *       *       *       *


(_With acknowledgments to GILLRAY'S caricature of NAPOLEON as Gulliver
among the Brobdingnagians._)

     [Mr. D. M. MASON'S motion for the reduction of the Supplementary Navy
     Estimates was defeated by 237 votes to 34.]]

       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday, March 2._--In speech of flawless lucidity
displaying perfect command of columnar figures upon which strength of
British Navy is based, the WINSOME WINSTON moved Supplementary Estimates
amounting to two and a-half millions. These raise total expenditure of year
on the Navy to forty-eight millions. "A serious event," he admitted amid
sympathetic cheers from below Gangway to his right. Necessity arises from
increased expenditure on oil reserves; from demand for a quarter of a
million for the new aircraft programme, an item unknown to OLD MORALITY or
CHILDERS when successively at the Admiralty; from increment of wages and
acceleration of ship-building.

He might have mentioned that of grand total close upon two millions is
legacy left by former Ministry on account of liabilities incurred before
1905. Whilst present Government, austerely-minded, pay their way as they
go, meeting increased expenditure out of revenue, PRINCE ARTHUR, with
characteristically light heart, built ships and strengthened
fortifications, raising the money by loan, which he gaily left to posterity
to pay off. Posterity has this pleasant task in hand now, and will continue
to be engaged upon it for next twenty years.

WINSTON judiciously refrained from pressing the point. Had enough on his
hands with discontented supporters below Gangway, who resent
ever-increasing burden of Naval expenditure. RAMSAY MACDONALD lodged
protest on behalf of Labour Members; stopped short of moving reduction of
vote. This done by DAVID MASON of Coventry.

"A hollow demonstration," was GILBERT PARKER'S terse description of the
revolt. On a division Estimates were carried by a majority of 203. Only 34
voted for reduction.

Prolongation of debate plainly boring. By exception, one listener sat it
out with unwearied attention. Nothing precisely cherubic in face or figure
of Lord FISHER OF KILVERSTONE, better known on sea and land by the
affectionate diminutive JACKY FISHER. Nevertheless, as he sat perched in
Peers' Gallery immediately over the clock, a place ever associated with the
genial presence of EDWARD PRINCE OF WALES, there flashed across the mind a
familiar couplet sung by DIBDIN:--

  "There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft
  To keep watch for the life of poor Jack."

[Illustration: JACK'S JACK.

(Lord FISHER).]

Whilst jealous for maintenance of Naval power, no Admiral or Sea Lord did
more to improve conditions of life on the lower deck than did JACKY FISHER.
Retired from active service, his multiform commissions under hatches,
to-night his body has gone aloft to a seat in Peers' Gallery. There he
heard expounded biggest Navy vote submitted since days of the "Great
Harry." Exceptionally swollen by provision for reserves of oil fuel, a new
departure, for which he in his capacity as Chairman of a Royal Commission
has, as WINSTON testified, been chiefly responsible.

_Business done._--Naval Estimates discussed.

_Tuesday._--Another scene testifying to electricity of atmosphere. As
usual, explosion from unexpected quarter. House in committee on Naval
Estimates. Lord ROBERT CECIL, ever alert in interests of working-man with a
vote, moved reduction in order to call attention to housing accommodation
provided for men employed at Rosyth. Chairman ruled debate out of order on
Supplementary Estimates. Lord BOB nevertheless managed to sum up purport of
intended speech by denouncing state of things as "a scandal and disgrace to
the Government." At this stage Opposition Whips, counting heads, discovered
that, if not at the moment in actual minority, Government would, if
division were rushed, find themselves in parlous state. The word--it was
"Mum"--went round Opposition benches.

Unfortunately for success of plot Ministerial Whips also alive to

"After your ruling, Sir," said Lord BOB with ominous politeness, "I cannot
develop my argument, but I propose to persist in my motion, and will divide
the Committee."

Not if LEIF JONES knew it. For him, as for all good Ministerialists,
subject suddenly developed interest, urgently demanded consideration. This
he proposed to bestow upon it. A Bengal tiger about to lunch off a
toothsome native, discovering the anticipated meal withdrawn from his
reach, could not be more sublimely wrathful than were gentlemen on
Opposition benches. And LEIF JONES, too! The mildest-mannered man that ever
turned on a water-tap.

After a moment of petrified pause, natural to Bengal tiger on discovering
reality of his discomfiture, there burst forth roar of "'Vide! 'Vide!
'Vide!" From appearance of LEIF JONES'S lips, he was continuing his
remarks. Not a syllable rose above the storm. After it had raged for some
moments CHAIRMAN pointed out that, whilst divigation in direction of Rosyth
was out of order, it was competent to any Member to discuss the vote as a

This too much for A. S. WILSON, who has been surprisingly reticent since
Session opened.

"Is it right for the CHAIRMAN," he asked, "to protect the Government from
what may be an inconvenient position?"

"A grossly disorderly observation," the CHAIRMAN retorted.

A. S. withdrew the remark, the more willingly since designed effect gained.

COUSIN HUGH, for some time moving uneasily in corner seat below Gangway,
bounded to his feet. Member near him simultaneously rose. With sweep of
left arm, after manner of RICHARD III. directing the cutting off of the
head of BUCKINGHAM, he waved the appalled Member down. Was getting on
nicely with what he had to say when, like GRAND CROSS on historical
occasion, he "heard a smile."

It came from WINSTON.

"I notice," said COUSIN HUGH glaring on the Treasury bench, "that the FIRST
LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY, who is very ignorant on many matters, is amused at
this observation."

WINSTON explained that what he had laughed at was "the lordly gesture with
which the noble Lord swept away another honourable gentleman."

LEIF JONES, proposing to continue his remarks, presented himself again.
Greeted with fresh yell of execration. Battled for some moments with the
storm. Too much for him. Reached forth hand; seized imperceptible tankard
of invisible stout; gratefully wetted his parched lips withal. Refreshed,
he tried again; no articulate word dominated the din.

After further ten minutes of uproar, through which from time to time A. S.
WILSON tried to get in more or less relevant remark and was instantly
extinguished by the CHAIRMAN, who masterfully managed difficult situation,
WINSTON interposed. A bird of the air had brought news from Whips' Room
that all was well. Accordingly the FIRST LORD graciously conceded division
clamoured for.

Its result profound surprise. So far from Government lacking support, the
amendment was negatived by more than two to one. Majority rushed up to 140.

Evidently been a mistake somewhere.

_Business done._--Supplementary votes agreed to.

_Thursday._--Dramatic turn in position of Home Rule Bill. PREMIER hitherto
steadfast in deferring Second Reading till close of financial year. As
result of confabulation between two Front Benches arranged that
Supplementary Estimates shall be hurried up so as to make opening for
immediate debate on Second Reading.

Accordingly ST. AUGUSTINE BIRRELL to-day brought in Bill for First Reading.
No need of persuasion of silver tongue to carry this stage. Proceeding
purely formal. Fight opens on Monday, when PREMIER, moving Second Reading,
will explain his "suggestions" of amendment.

_Business done._--Home Rule brought in, being third time of asking. Welsh
Church Disestablishment Bill and Plural Voting Bill also read amid
vociferous cheering by Ministerialists.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I understand you have only one Welsh saint. Well, there'll
soon be another; it will be Saint Lloyd George. I would canonise him right
away."--_The Rev. Dr. CLIFFORD at Westbourne Park Chapel._]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "His brilliant flashes of wit and humour evoked hearty applause, and
     sometimes even laughter."--_Teesdale Mercury._

Almost the last thing you would have expected.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "One of the strongest traits in Mrs. Barclay's character is a love of
     all creatures, great and small--thrushes, wagtails and robins come to
     her when she calls, and she keeps a little box of worms to feed
     them."--_Woman at Home._

Sometimes the worms must wish she wasn't quite so loving.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Come, Nora, Nance and Nellie,
    Let us study BOTTICELLI
  When we feel the gnawing craving to be smart;
    If we want to be _de rigueur_
    We must educate the figure
  To show the downward trend of "plastic art."
    The outline should be slack,
    Slippy-sloppy, front and back,
  Till bodice, skirt and tunic--every stitch--
    Seems to call for the support
    Of the handy-man's resort--
  That naval gesture termed the "double hitch."
    The shoulders must be drooping.
    The knees a trifle stooping,
  And the widest waist, remember, takes the prize;
    When motoring or shopping
    The _coatee_ must be flopping
  Through a belt that's sagging downward to the thighs.
    But the evening toilette scheme
    Shows the opposite extreme,
  And, when for dance or dinner you're equipped,
    A clinging "mermaid's tail"
    The nether limbs must veil,
  While the corsage is the only part that's slipped.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "At the close of the match, Mr. Burnett, Kenmay, announced the result
     and called for cheers for the winners. Mr. J. Fulton, President
     English Province R.C.C.C., responded."--_Field._

We are sorry that Mr. FULTON was the only one. After his opening
"Hip--hip--hip" even the most timid or indifferent should have joined in.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Tickets purchased before the date will admit holders at 2 p.m. to
     view the machine used when 'looping the loop,' and the passenger
     carrying machine."

     _Advt. in "The Varsity."_

At the risk of embarrassing this anonymous Samson we shall go early and
view him.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Councillor Johnson said the Bye Laws wore not in a satisfactory
     state, and suggested that Councillor Bayman be added to the number."

     _Mossel Bay Advertiser._

Henceforward the penalty for breaking Councillor BAYMAN is forty shillings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Report received by a South African mine-manager:--

     "The mule being experimented with by feeding on bad mealies is still
     being carried out, but up to date the animal seems to keep in normal

They must carry him out again.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LANGUAGE À LA MODE.



       *       *       *       *       *



The news, which ran like wildfire through the town on Wednesday morning,
that Sir GEORGE ALEXANDER had signed the Covenant, must have stirred many
hearts; but those of us who saw him on the next night as the hero of Mr.
ALFRED SUTRO'S comedy are hoping that, at any rate, there will be no
fighting on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, and that sentry duty in the
evenings may be performed by less valuable signatories. For in _Jeffery
Panton_ he has really found a part to suit him, and a part which should
keep him busy for some months. Comedy is certainly his medium.

It is not, alas, Miss MARTHA HEDMAN'S, nor is English her language. Her
pretty foreign accent and tearful manner became her as a French girl in
_The Attack_, but it won't do for every part she plays. It didn't do in the
least for _Mrs. Guildford_. The difficulty of understanding what she said
was made greater by a surprising catarrh amongst the first-night audience,
so that her scenes had a way of going like this:--

_Jeffery Panton_ (_clearly_). But I must just talk to you a moment.

_Stall on left._ Honk--honk! Honk! H'r'r'm!

_Dress circle._ HONK! HONK!!

_Mrs. Guildford._ No, no, I must get on with my work.

_Stall just behind._ WHAT DID SHE SAY?

_Her neighbour._ Something about her work.

_Her other neighbour._ Honk--honk! H'r'm! Honk--honk!

_Gallery boy._ HONK--HONK--HONK!

_Several voices._ Sh'sh!

_Mrs. Guildford._ No ... I ... you ...

_Second gallery boy._ Stop that coughing there!

_Injured voice._ _I_ can't 'elp coughing!

_Several voices._ Sh'sh!

But I'm afraid the coughing was not always the fault of the microbes but
sometimes of Mr. SUTRO, who seemed to be exploiting a wonderful talent for
starting his Acts dully. The opening scene of the Second Act, between _Mrs.
Guildford_ and _Alice Exern_, was particularly tiresome. It went on a long
time, and seemed when audible to be only a recapitulation of Act I. We
simply had to cough.

I have said nothing of the story, for the reason that a summary of it would
hardly do it justice. It is slight, and yet just strong enough to carry two
or three pleasant creations and much happy dialogue. The important thing is
that Sir GEORGE is on the stage most of the time, has many delightful
things to say, and says them delightfully. There are also Miss HENRIETTA
WATSON, Miss ATHENE SEYLER, and Mr. HERBERT WARING, all excellent.

It remains to be said that the Two Virtues are Chastity and Charity; that
_Mrs. Guildford_ lacked (I think--but they were coughing a good deal just
then) the first virtue, and the other ladies the second; and that the
reclining chair in Act I. was kindly lent by--but the name of the generous
fellow will be revealed to you in your programme when you go.


       *       *       *       *       *

     "'Paphnutius' was given its first public performance in London
     recently. Miss Ellen Terry appeared in it as an abbcess."

     _Hong Kong Telegraph._

Our impersonation of a nasty sore throat "off" is still the talk of China.

       *       *       *       *       *


Leeson is the best of living creatures (as so many of us are), but he has
one detestable foible--he always wants to read something aloud. Now,
reading aloud is a very special gift. Few men have it, and even of those
few there are some who do not force it upon their friends; the rest have it
not, and Leeson is of the rest.

In fact, it is really painful to listen to him, because he not only reads,
but acts. If it is a woman speaking, he pipes a falsetto such as no woman
outside a reciter's brain ever possessed. If it is a rustic, he affects a
dialect from no known district. In emotional passages one does not dare to
look at him at all, but we all cower with our heads in our hands, as though
we were convicted but penitent criminals. So much for dramatic or dialogue
pieces. When it comes to lyric poetry--his favourite form of
literature--Leeson sings, or rather cantillates, swaying his body to the
rhythm of the lines. If any of the poets could hear him they would become
'bus-conductors at once; it is as bad as that.

Otherwise Leeson is excellent company and one likes dining with him. But
there's always hanging over one the dread that he may have alighted on
something new and wonderful, and at any moment....

Directly I entered the house last week I was conscious that this had
happened--Leeson had made another discovery. I had not been in the
drawing-room for more than a minute, and had barely shaken hands with Mrs.
Leeson, when he pulled from his pocket a thin book. I knew the worst at
once: it had about it all the stigmata of new poetry. It was of the right
deadly hue, the right deadly size, the right deadly roughness about the

"I've got something here, my boy," he said. "The real stuff. Let me----"

Just at this moment the door opened and some guests entered.

"Never mind," he remarked to me, as he approached to welcome them; "later.
It's wonderful--wonderful!"

Other guests arriving occupied him, and then a servant came in to say that
he was wanted on the telephone.

He returned with the message that Captain Cathcart was sorry to say he
could not possibly be there until a quarter-past eight. But please don't

It was now five minutes past eight.

"What I suggest," said Leeson, "is that we do wait, and that we fill up the
time by reading one or two poems by a new man that I've just discovered?
They're simply wonderful!"

He drew out the book and we all composed ourselves to the ordeal; Mrs.
Gaston, who is the insincerest creature on earth and has no thoughts beyond
Auction Bridge, even going so far as to say, ecstatically, "A new poet! How

But Mrs. Leeson stopped it. "Oh, no," she said, "don't let us wait. Very
likely Captain Cathcart will be later still." And with a sigh of relief
that was almost audible we marched down to dinner.

I thought that Leeson cut the time over our cigars rather short, and we had
no sooner returned to the drawing-room than he began again. "I won't keep
you more than a few moments," he said, "but I very much want your opinion
of a new poet I have discovered. I have his work here," and out came the
deadly book, "and I want to read one or two brief things."

"Oh, George, dear," said Mrs. Leeson, "do you mind postponing that for a
little? Miss Langton is very kindly going to sing for us, and she has to
leave early."

Leeson accepted the situation with as much philosophy as he could muster.

As a rule I am bored by amateur, or indeed any, singing after dinner, but I
looked at Miss Langton with an expression which a Society paper reporter
might easily have misconstrued.

Long before she had finished we were all calling out, "Thank you! Thank
you! Encore! Encore!"

Leeson alone was faint in his praises and his face fell to a lower depth
when she began again.

No sooner had she finished and gone than he was planning another effort,
but during the opportunity afforded by her departure we had, with great
address, divided ourselves into such animated groups that Mrs. Leeson, like
a tactful hostess, laid her hand on his arm and caused him again to
postpone it.

He wandered forlornly from chair to chair, seeking an opening, and at last
ventured to clear his throat and again ask if we would like to hear his new
poet. "I assure you he's wonderful!"

But at this moment old Lady Thistlewood uttered a little cry and at once
bells were rung for sal-volatile. Her ladyship, it seems, is subject to
attacks of faintness.

When next Leeson made his proposal the Buntons rose and, expressing every
variety of sorrow and regret, stated that they had no idea it was so late
and they must really tear themselves away; Mrs. Bunton tactfully taking
down the title of this dear new poet's book and its publisher.

This being the signal for the others to leave, I soon found myself alone.

"Now!" said Leeson with a triumphant expression. "Thank goodness they're
out of the way and we're quiet and snug. Now you shall hear my poet." He
felt for the book. "I tell you----" He stopped in dismay.

"I could have sworn it was in my pocket," he said, and began to hunt about
the room.

"Where on earth can it be?" he said.

I helped him to look for it, but in vain.

"Perhaps Mrs. Bunton took it?" I suggested.

"I'm sure she didn't," he replied.

"Perhaps Mrs. Leeson has it?" I said.

But she had not. The last time she had seen it it was on the table after
Mrs. Bunton copied the title.

Leeson was so utterly dejected that I felt almost sorry for him.

"Well," he said at last, "that's the strangest thing I ever heard of. What
a disappointment! I did want you to hear it."

But it was precisely because I didn't that in my own pocket was the
volume's present hiding-place. When the front door had closed behind me
half-an-hour later, I slipped it into the letter-box.

       *       *       *       *       *


  The birds see him first, jay and blackbird and thrush;
    They shriek at his coming and curse him, each one;
  With the clay of the vale on his pads and his brush,
    It's the Fallowfield fox and he's pretty near done;
  It's a couple of hours since a whip tally-ho'd him;
  Now the rookery's stooping to mob and to goad him;
  There's an earth on the hill, but he's cooked past believing,
  And his tongue's hanging out and his wet ribs are heaving.
  Here he comes up the field at a woebegone trot;
    He's stiff as a poker, he's done all he knows;
  Now the ploughmen'll view him as likely as not;
    There--they run to the paling and yell as he goes:
  Here's an end, if we live to be two minutes older;
  See, he turns a glazed eye o'er a mud-spattered shoulder;
  There's a hound through the hedgerow....
  Game's up, and he's beaten,
  And he faces about with a snarl to be eaten.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *




_By Tony Shovell._

The much-boomed fight between Nobby Keeks and Bill Cockles ended in
something of a _fiasco_, the last named being knocked out with a terrific
uppercut in the first round.

The men stripped well, and appeared in excellent fettle. The fight
commenced precisely at 11.22, only fifty-two minutes after the advertised

_1st Round._--Both men opened warily, sparring for an opening. Presently
Cockles stepped in and drove his left hard to the nose, drawing blood.
Keeks drew back, and Cockles, following up his advantage, got in a
nicely-judged left hook on the eye, which began to swell ominously. Though
his supporters were obviously chagrined, Keeks kept his head admirably, and
cleverly ducked under a right swing and clinched. At the breakaway Cockles
got his left home on the ribs, but in doing so left himself open, and Keeks
shook him up badly with a jab to the jaw. Cockles' hands dropped
momentarily, and Keeks, whipping in a smashing right uppercut, had his man
down and out.

A poor struggle, lost solely through carelessness.


_By Philip Keppermann._

At twenty-two and a-half minutes past eleven last night a man stood looking
wistfully over a sea of faces looming whitely through a thin blue haze of
tobacco smoke. At his feet lay stretched the limp body of his antagonist.
The disappearance of one eye; under a large red swelling, combined with a
patulous and rubescent nose, detracted to some extent from the dignity of
his appearance. An ugly patch of crimson over his left ribs held the
attention fantastically, morbidly. It was blood, human blood, his own
blood. The thought fascinated me....

Somewhere a voice was counting slowly, steadily,
unhesitatingly--_one_--_two_--_three_.... The voice had in it the
inexorable quality of Fate; it brought tears to the eyes like the wail of
the Chorus in some Greek drama.

I looked at the man by my side. His regard was fixed intently on the
prostrate figure in the ring. His fingers played uneasily with his
watch-chain. He wore evening dress, and I noticed that his tie was a little

Away outside we caught the distant hoot of a motorcar. A dog barked. Then a
woman in the audience sneezed; it seemed unwarrantable, impertinent, almost
a desecration....

The voice that was counting ceased. The limp figure did not move. The one
wistful eye of the victor closed for a moment in relief. There was a sudden
incursion of hurrying figures into the ring....

The great fight was over. Nobby Keeks had beaten Bill Cockles.

_By Theresa Chingles._

I was one of forty-four women who witnessed the great battle last night.
There were, it was said, over three thousand men.

On my left sat a young girl in a rose-pink evening dress, with a
dove-colour opera cloak covering her bare shoulders. Her eyes followed
intently the struggling figures on the stage, and I observed that she wore
an engagement ring with three diamonds.

A few seats away, surrounded by a swarm of men in evening dress, sat a
grey-haired woman, watching the fight with interest through a gold-rimmed
lorgnette. Her eyes twinkled as heavy blows were delivered, and when one of
the men began to bleed copiously from the nose, she uttered an exclamation
of delight. She wore black.

So far as I could observe, no woman present showed any sign of repulsion.
It seemed to me significant of the times. I whispered to my neighbour, "_O
tempora! O mores!_" but she replied coldly, "Not at all!" I checked my
impulse to add "_Autres temps, autres moeurs!_"

Of the actual fight I am not competent to speak. I was most interested in
the referee, whose strong mobile face reminded me occasionally of Lord
BYRON, at other times of Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL.

_By the Rev. Robert Shackleberry._

I had never seen a boxing contest before I was invited by the enterprising
editor of _The Daily Gong_ to witness the encounter last night between
"Nobby" Keeks and William Cockles.

I found an excellent seat reserved for me. It was nearing midnight when the
two men mounted the platform. Cockles came first, wearing a scarlet
dressing-gown with yellow collar and cuffs. He seemed to me a bluff,
hearty, good-tempered-looking man, though perhaps unduly prominent in the
lower jaw. Keeks, who followed, wore a bright green dressing-gown with a
pink sash, and shook hands with six or seven members of the audience. He
was taller and heavier than his opponent, and his features, to my mind,
more intelligent but less amiable.

There was a long delay, during which I was given to understand that the
men's hands were being bandaged for some reason. At length the swarm of
seconds and advisers disappeared to the sound of a gong, and the combatants
stood up and advanced upon one another. I was embarrassed to observe that
they were nearly nude, but my embarrassment did not seem to be shared by
any of the ladies present, so perhaps I have no right to complain.

The actual boxing did not last nearly so long as the preliminaries. This
was perhaps just as well, since Keeks, afterwards announced the victor,
unfortunately sustained considerable damage to his right eye and was also
losing blood from his nose--nasty injuries which, in my opinion, should
have led to the competition being stopped while he received medical
attention. No doubt the injuries were undesigned.

Cockles soon afterwards fell down, and refused to rise while some
individual slowly counted ten. This, I was told, indicated that he was
desirous of withdrawing from the contest before his antagonist sustained
any further damage. In my judgment this generosity merited the award of
victory; but no doubt the authorities know their business.

I was glad to have an opportunity of gaining a new experience, but on the
whole I must say I prefer a quiet rubber of whist.

       *       *       *       *       *


The personal distinctions, experiences, successes, opinions, anecdotes and
statistics of Dr. Peterson, F.R.C.S., M.R.C.P., are too many for me to
mention here, but are never too many for him to mention anywhere. That was
the difficulty with which the Governors of the St. Barnabas Throat and Ear
Hospital were confronted from the beginning to the end of their business of
administration. As member of their honorary staff he performed his fair
share of successful operations, but when it came to speech-making he had no
consideration either for his own throat or for anybody else's ears.

"It's my belief," said the Chairman, at the special meeting of the Board
called to arrange the programme for the opening of the new wing, "that the
whole of this project originated in Peterson's desire to make himself

"I certainly remember his introducing the matter to the Board," said
Thompson, "with a brief sketch of his own career."

"And if the foundation stone could only speak," said Vernon-White, "it
probably wouldn't be able to recall the name of the man who laid it, but
would repeat from memory the whole of Peterson's private history."

"Proposed, seconded and carried unanimously," reported the Secretary, "that
at the opening of the new wing no speech be made by Dr. Peterson."

"So much for our resolution," said Bainbridge. "Nevertheless the company
will have barely got seated before it hears Peterson wondering whether he
may occupy a moment of their valuable time with a little experience which
happened to him the other day."

"Even he will give way to Sir Thingummy," said Thompson, referring to the
great man who had been invited to make the great speech.

Bainbridge was always a pessimist. "Whether," he said, "the context be the
opening of the new wing or the duty of gratitude to the man that opened it,
the one subject the meeting will hear all about will be the son of Peter."

"Proposed, seconded and carried unanimously," reported the Secretary, "that
the vote of thanks to Sir Frederick Gorton be moved by the Chairman."

"I see myself," said the Chairman, "resuming my seat after a few moments of
inaudible confusion, and I hear a ringing voice crying forth: 'In rising on
behalf of the Medical and Surgical Staff to propose a vote of thanks to our
dear Chairman, I may perhaps be permitted to remind you that I joined that
staff in 1887, and that since I----?'"

"Who's the senior member of the staff?" asked the Chairman.

"Peterson," said Bainbridge.

"Who's the oldest in mere age?"


The Chairman thought hard. "The event is fixed for April 29th," said he.
"Whose week on duty is that?"

The Secretary looked up the books. His face fell. "Peterson's," he said.

"Proposed, seconded and carried unanimously," said the Chairman hurriedly,
without troubling to take the vote, "that Dr. Wilkes be appointed tomorrow
the vote of thanks to the Chairman, and that the Secretary be instructed to
explain the matter, with due tact and circumspection, to Dr. Peterson."

"Dear Peterson," wrote the Secretary,--"At the ceremony of the opening of
the new wing, my Board is particularly anxious that everything should go
with a swing, and that there shall be no possibility of any hitch. I am
instructed to ask you if you will be so good as to hold yourself in
readiness to make the big technical speech of the day in the unhappy event
of Sir Frederick Gorton failing to turn up. One is never safe with these
London men, and it is for that reason that the Board hopes you will not
mind putting yourself to trouble which may prove wasted. Some of the less
eloquent members of the Staff can be got to make the short formal

Sir Frederick turned up all right, as the Secretary had taken care that he
should, and declared the wing open, and thanked the Board for asking him.
Thereupon the Board, by its Chairman, thanked him, and he rose again and
very briefly thanked the Board for thanking him. Then Dr. Wilkes got up and
thanked the Chairman even more briefly still, and the Chairman got up again
and thanked Dr. Wilkes for thanking him. In fact, only one man didn't get
his share of formal gratitude, for no one thanked Dr. Peterson for rising
(if he might) to express a few words of thanks to Dr. Wilkes.

Anticipating this possibility, Dr. Peterson devoted the larger part of his
speech to thanking himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Grannie._ "AND WIT'S THE MATTER WI' ME RIGHT LEG, DOCTOR?"



       *       *       *       *       *


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

To read _An Englishman Looks at the World_ (CASSELL), a collection of
"unrestrained remarks on contemporary matters"--aeroplanes, CHESTERTON and
BELLOC, libraries, labour unrest, the Great State, and the like--by Mr. H.
G. WELLS, is to be delighted or infuriated according to your natural habit
of mind. If established in tolerable comfort in a world which you judge,
for all its blemishes, to be on the whole rather well run, you will resent
exceedingly this pert young man (for Mr. WELLS is still astonishingly
young) with his preposterous eagerness, his insane passion for questioning
and tinkering and most unfairly putting you and your kind in the wrong. You
will no doubt find excellent grounds for doubting his ability to
reconstruct; for suspecting what you will feel to be his pretentious
breadth of view, his assumed omniscience. But if, on the other hand,
thinking life in your sombre moments a nightmare of imbecility and in your
more expansive moments a high adventure of immeasurable possibilities, you
are straitened between cold despairs and immense hopes, you will readily
forgive this irreverent, self-confident critic-journalist any crude things
he may have said in his haste for sake of his flashes of perception, his
happily descriptive phrases, his inspiring anticipations, his uncalculating
candour, and above all his generous preoccupation with things that matter
enormously. "What we prosperous people who have nearly all the good things
of life and most of the opportunities have to do now is to justify
ourselves." That is a sentiment and a challenge repeated or implied
throughout the book. This Englishman looking at his world looks with quick
eyes. He is himself so intensely interested that he can only fail to
interest such as find his whole attitude an outrage upon their finally
adopted convictions and conventions.

       *       *       *       *       *

Have you noticed the way in which certain stories bear the mark of a
particular place or period? If ever there was a novel that vociferated
"Cambridge" in every line, _The Making of a Bigot_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON)
is that one. Well indeed may its paper wrapper display a drawing of King's
Chapel, though as a matter of fact only the action of the first chapter
passes in the University town. Miss ROSE MACAULAY has based her story upon
a quaintly attractive theme. Her hero, _Eddy Oliver_, is a type new to
fiction. _Eddy_ saw good in everything to such an extent that he allowed
himself to be persuaded into active sympathy with the aims of practically
everyone who was aiming at anything, however mutually irreconcilable the
aims might be. "He went along with all points of view so long as they were
positive; as soon as condemnation or rejection came in, he broke off."
Consequently, as you may imagine, his career was pleasantly involved. It
embraced the Church, various forms of Socialism, and at one time and
another some devotion to the ideals of Nationalism, Disarmament, Imperial
Service and the Primrose League. But please don't imagine that all this is
told in a spirit of comedy. Miss MACAULAY is, if anything, almost too dry
and serious; this, and her disproportionate affection for the word
"rather," a little impaired my own enjoyment of the book. It contains some
happily sketched types of modernity--all of them Cambridge to the
back-bone; and _Eddy's_ final discovery (which makes the bigot), that one
can't achieve anything in life without some wholesale hatreds, is genuine
enough--more so than the system of card-cutting by which he settles his
convictions. Miss MACAULAY has already, I am told, won a thousand pounds
with a previous book; this one proves her the possessor of a gift of
originality that is both rare and refreshing.

       *       *       *       *       *

I could imagine a novel with which I could sympathise deeply, based upon
the theme of England's regeneration by means of the right type of Tory
squire, but it would be a novel with a more credible hero and conceived in
a less petty spirit of party bias than Mr. H. N. DICKINSON has given us in
_The Business of a Gentleman_ (HEINEMANN). For, in the first place, _Sir
Robert Wilton_, who figured of course in _Keddy_ and _Sir Guy and Lady
Rannard_--he has, in fact, by this time married _Marion_, late _Sir Guy's_
widow--is far too jumpy and nervy a person to fit my ideal of a paternal
landlord, and what is, after all, more important, I feel convinced that his
tenants and stable-lads would have thought the same. Secondly, I refuse to
believe that a spinster, however soured, however much devoted to the cause
of Labour and misguided crusades for social purity, would have behaved as
_Miss Baker_ does in this book; and deliberately attempted to father a
false scandal on _Sir Robert_ merely because she hated his type. And if the
author replies that he knows of such an instance I maintain that it was
just one of those things which the art of selection should have prompted
him to leave out. I have, of course, no fault to find with Mr. DICKINSON'S
style, which as usual is curiously simple yet at the same time attractive,
nor with his powers of character-sketching. His schoolboy of seventeen,
_Eddie Durwold_, is in this book particularly good. It is the things that
these people do that bothers me. And if I might venture to rename _The
Business of a Gentleman_ the title I should choose is "The Escapade of an

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. SIDNEY LOW has paid some visits to Egypt and the Sudan, has kept his
eyes very wide open and has written _Egypt in Transition_ (SMITH, ELDER) in
consequence. The Earl of CROMER, who has also been there or thereabouts,
introduces the book to the notice of the public with an appreciative
preface. Am I then in a position to pass judgment? Yes, I am; for I can
claim to be literally more informed on the subject than most people, having
above my share of friends and relations who have been there. I have the
clearest possible picture of the country--a stretch of sand, some pyramids
in the background, and, in the centre foreground, smiling
enigmatically--not the Sphinx, but my friend or relation. I at once gave
Mr. LOW five marks out of ten upon discovering that none of his
illustrations reproduced himself on either on or off a camel. On less
personal grounds, I have no scruple in giving him the remaining five for
the vastly interesting facts, political, international, social and racial,
with which he entertained me. It requires no small skill in a dispenser of
such facts to make them entertaining. Twice only was I minded to quarrel
with him; once when he expressed a general contempt, based upon one
egregious example, for the foreign exports of Oxford and Cambridge, and
again when he got on to the subject of tourists, who include my nearest and
dearest, and abused them from the standpoint of a "visitor." In the first
case he was absurd, in the second, common-place; but he made ample
compensation for both by his memorable chapter of "Conclusions," in which
he gave me clearly to understand why East, being East, will never be joined
to West, always West, but yet how the twain have got within measurable
distance of one another.

       *       *       *       *       *

There must have been moments when NAPOLEON found St. Helena a little quiet
for a man of his temperament; when the monotony of his life there pressed
somewhat hardly upon him. On these occasions I like to think of him saying
philosophically to himself, as he remembered what Mr. RUDOLF PICKTHALL
calls "the last phase but two," "Well, after all, this isn't Elba. I've got
that much to be thankful for." In _The Comic Kingdom_ (LANE) Mr. PICKTHALL
shows how everybody on the island struggles to make a bit out of their
visitors. Little children rallied round with posies of wild flowers,
demanding large sums in payment. Bogus monks waved crosses at him, and, if
he pretended not to notice them, rolled in the dust under his carriage
wheels. There was never a moment when somebody was not calling with a bust
of the Emperor or Empress, price three hundred francs. And itinerant bands
played under his windows into the small hours of the morning. I can imagine
him saying, in the words of ORESTES, "Dis is a dam country." ORESTES was
the guide who conducted Mr. PICKTHALL through the island. It revolted him,
but he did it. "I tink we better leave to-morrow," was a sort of refrain
with ORESTES. He had a poor opinion of Elba, which I for one do not share.
After reading _The Comic Kingdom_ I feel that one of my coming holidays
must be spent climbing its hills and supplying its thirsty inhabitants with
wine. The scenery is apparently worth while, and the natives appear a
friendly lot. I like their enthusiasm for literature. They turned out in
their hundreds and insisted on Mr. PICKTHALL'S standing treat, just because
they mistook him for a great historian. When I tell them I write for
_Punch_ they will be all over me.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A WORLD'S WORKER.


       *       *       *       *       *

From a notice of "The New Standard Dictionary" in _The London Teacher_:--

     "The Dictionary is arranged in alphabetical order, thus being a great
     time saver, and one can find what is required with the greatest ease."

Otherwise it is so awkward, when you want to know how to spell "parallel"
in a hurry, to have to go through one volume after another until you come
to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

   Changed "there" to "three" in the second to last paragraph
   of "At the play" on page 195.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 11, 1914" ***

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