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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, May 20, 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, May 20, 1914" ***

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VOL. 146, MAY 20, 1914***


Transcribers note:

      Stage directions are enclosed by equal signs (example: =Enter=).



PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

MAY 20, 1914



CHARIVARIA.


It is comforting to know that we need not yet despair of human nature.
Even the most abandoned politician may have one redeeming quality. For
example, _The Express_ tells us that Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL is a reader
of _The Express._

       * * *

It is reported to be the intention of General BOTHA to visit this
country in June or July, and the Labour Party here are said to be
already taking steps with a view to having him deported as an
undesirable.

       * * *

If Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN has been correctly reported he is even more of a
reactionary than most of his opponents imagined. In the course of the
debate on the Sunday Closing Bill he is said to have delivered himself
as follows:--"Drunkenness is diminishing, and I say Thank God; long may
it continue." The pious ejaculation would seem to be an expression of
gratitude for the joys of inebriety.

       * * *

"Does the nightingale really boycott the land of Llewelyn and Mr. Lloyd
George--and why?" asks an anxious inquirer in a contemporary. If it is
so we suspect the reason is a fear on the part of the bird that the
CHANCELLOR may get to know of the rich quality of his notes and tax him
out of existence.

       * * *

Mr. GEORGE STOREY has been elected a Royal Academician. This will
surprise no one. Burlington House has always favoured the Storey
picture. And as regards Mr. H. S. TUKE, who was promoted at the same
time, his serial tale, "Three Boys and a Boat," has now been running for
quite a number of years.

       * * *

"English," says Mr. BALFOUR, "is abominably difficult." But Erse is
worse.

       * * *

Despatched at Teddington twenty-three years ago a postcard has just been
delivered at Walton-on-Thames. The postal authorities trust that the
publication of this fact will induce people to exercise a little
patience when they do not receive correspondence which they expect,
instead of at once jumping to the conclusion that it has been lost.

       * * *

As a consequence of recent outrages at the Royal Academy the Council is
reported to be testing "unbreakable glass." No doubt the Indestructible
Paint Company is also circularising artists.

       * * *

A man walking across St. Paul's Churchyard gave a remarkable exhibition
of presence of mind one day last week. He was knocked down under a
motor-omnibus, but managed so to arrange himself that the wheels passed
clear of him. Cinema operators will be obliged if he will give them due
notice of any intention to repeat the turn.

       * * *

"The London General Omnibus Company advertises itself, so why shouldn't
we?" said the L.C.C. Tramways--so they had a nice little collision on
the Embankment last week.

       * * *

At the second annual celebration of "Mothers' Day" at the London Central
Y.M.C.A., an eloquent address was delivered by the secretary of the
association, Mr. VIRGO. The thought that, in spite of his name, this
gentleman, try as he might, could never become a mother is said to have
raised a lump in the throat of many a member of the audience.

       * * *

We are glad to hear that "Hospital Egg Week" has been a success. We find
it difficult, however, to believe one account, which states that
sufficient new-laid eggs have been contributed to last the whole year.

       * * *

"If Adam had lived till now," says Mr. SNOWDEN, "and had worked hard at
honest labour the whole time, and had been a thrifty man withal, he
would not have had an income like some of those enjoyed to-day." Mr.
SNOWDEN is apparently presuming that ADAM'S wife would have lived as
long as her husband.

       * * *

At his examination in bankruptcy a Clacton monumental mason attributed
his failure to the healthfulness of the neighbourhood. Suggested motto
for Clacton funeral artists: "_ Si monumentum requiris_--go elsewhere."

       * * *

Among probable forthcoming improvements at the Zoological Gardens is the
provision of a band on Sunday. But one great difficulty, we imagine,
will be to persuade the laughing hyena and certain other rowdy animals
not to take part in the performances.

       * * *

The didactic drama is with us again, and this time we are to be taught
to feel affection for the unpopular. _Love Cheats_ is the hortatory
title of a play to be produced by Miss HORNIMAN'S company next month.

       * * *

Mr. MARGAM JONES has written a volume entitled _Angels in Wales._
Nonconformists, we presume.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE NEW DRESS.

"Going along Oxford Street, are you? I should love to come with you, but
it would be a little hard on Bond Street. You see, I haven't shown it to
Bond Street yet."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "BAD LANGUAGE.
    FROM SIR HERBERT TREE.
    To the Editor of _The Daily Mail._"

We hope the Editor replied suitably.

       *       *       *       *       *

"WHO FEARS TO SPEAK OF"--NINETEEN-SIX?

[_Thoughts on "a Bill for the Better_ (sic) _Government of Ireland."_]


    There was an Isle all green and fair
      Where milk and whisky used to flow,
        Where, thanks to lavish legislators,
        The pious cult of pigs and taters
    Filled with content the balmy air--
      Eight little years ago!

    Distressful she had been, a land
      Of kine curtailed and burning ricks,
        Until we others oped our purses
        To rectify her feudal curses
    And freed the soil with generous hand--
      Prior to nineteen-six.

    Though still the casual moonlight raid
      Occurred at seasons, just for joy,
        New brands of owners, fat and thriving,
        Had lost their use for cattle-driving,
    And agitation's artful aid
      Pined for its old employ.

    Then came the Liberals in and eyed
      This land where Peace had poised her wings;
        And "O!" said they, "how sad a smutch on
        Our clean United Kingdom's 'scutcheon!
    It is our duty to provide
      A Better State of Things."

    Eight years ago! And now we see
      The dogs of war about to bay;
        The Bill for Ruling Ireland Better
        (Strangely enough) has so upset her
    That pretty soon there ought to be
      The DEVLIN'S self to pay.

    So, when the general atmosphere
      Becomes opaque with flying bricks,
        And those who ran the Home Rule movement
        Bid me applaud this marked improvement,
    From pure politeness I shall fear
      To speak of nineteen-six.

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

BUSINESSFRIENDSHIP.


Have you heard from ---- this year? Mine came last night. Of course (to
keep it among ourselves) I am not going to say who ---- is beyond
mentioning (for the purpose of handy reference) that he appears to have
been christened Josef and that the capital from which he writes (or
alleges that he writes) is associable with a high standard of musical
comedy. His communication is very much underlined, very profuse of the
mark of exclamation in quite unnecessary places (until, indeed, the sign
begins to assume an absolutely satirical value), and very ornate with
little amputated hands, all pointing out the short cut to illimitable
wealth. Now you understand.

The envelope was addressed, as Josef himself assures me that his future
communications will be, "in the most discreet manner," and yet....

"Put it into the waste-paper basket, my dear," I said to Philippa, who
had brought it in with some curiosity. "We need not open it. It is only
Josef offering us another fortune." Need I say that she at once opened
it?

My address, according to Josef, had been given to him "by a mutual
businessfriend." This threw me into a contemplation. Who could it be?
Spraggs had certainly toured the capitals of Central Europe last autumn,
but he never mentioned Josef on his return. Harris? Well, one would
scarcely call Harris a _business_friend. Filmer? No, Filmer is too
selfish, I fear, to do me so good a turn. Ah, of course! Kelly, dear old
burly rubicund Kelly, with his unfailing memory for an address and his
delightfully abbreviated style. And he goes everywhere too: the very
man. I can almost hear him saying it: "Then there's Johnson, my staunch
old businessfriend Johnson, whom I can trace right back as far as my
impressions of 1912; mustn't leave him out. I think I can--yes, I have
it: John Fdk. Johnson, 72, Chestnut Av., Mayfield Pk., S.W. You've got
that?" Josef has it.

Josef, it appears, possesses a few tickets, and I gather that for some
reason he does not require all of them himself. Naturally he turns to
the friend of our mutual businessfriend. Will I participate in the
distribution of "many, many million within five months?" The first prize
is one--but perhaps I had better express it as Josef loves to do. The
first prize is

                  --->ONE MILLION CRS.<---

The chance, he goes on to say, is "without any risk worth mentioning."
Still, he does mention it. He mentions it quite explicitly so that there
shall be no mistake. The risk is as follows:--

    1/4 Ticket sh 8/6.
    1/2 Ticket sh 17/.
    1/1 Ticket sh 34/.

"All tickets forwarded (paid for) belong to the customer," I am assured,
"from the moment of dispatch and play, of course, on his account."

I fancy I see what Josef means, but I don't think that the expression,
"play, of course, on his account," is altogether well chosen. I think it
might have been phrased more felicitously.

You will not be surprised to know that Josef's interest, stimulated by
our mutual businessfriend, goes beyond my mere personality. He reminds
me--Philippa is quite affected by this--that there are others. "The
astonishing advantages ... must induce to serious consideration anyone
who is looking after his own welfare, and that of those near and dear to
him as well."--Yet Josef can be almost stern when there is occasion, and
he tersely warns me that it is a chance which "probably NEVER WILL BE
OFFERED to you AGAIN!"

Ah, well.

I suppose that I shall give a miss as usual. It isn't that I doubt a
single word of Josef's splendid optimism on my behalf. It isn't that I
really mind the always, to me, inexplicable fact that every second
ticket is guaranteed to draw a prize, while the _lowest_ prize is double
the amount charged for the ticket. It isn't (altogether) that I distrust
Philippa's rosy presentiment. I think it is the concluding paragraph
that settles it. I read:--

    Will you become
    A MILLIONAIRE?

    Fill out this Order-Form and send it to me by return of post with
    the necessary remittance!

That last and entirely superfluous note of exclamation seems only to be
adequately vocalised as a chuckle. And as I listen it does not seem to
be myself that is laughing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. LLOYD GEORGE is already using his influence with the new WAR
MINISTER. In the Army Orders for March, 1914, we read:--

     "Paragraph 555, line 4. _For '4d.' substitute '9d.'_"

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE CONCERT OF SOUTH AMERICA.

THE MEDIATORS. "PARDON, MADAM, BUT YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE OF
THIS KIND OF THING. HOW DO YOU DO IT?"

EUROPA. "OH, WE JUST TALK AND TALK--AND THEN TALK!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _First Player (encouragingly)._ "Bad luck! Well tried!"

_Second Player (petulantly)._ "I didn't try for anything."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PIERCING OF THE VEIL.


"I think," says Dr. LYNCH in _The Daily Chronicle,_ "that a man leaves
some trace of himself in every sentence that he writes. What then of
works so extensive as Shakspeare's? Certainly we should see him through
and through if we only knew how to look."

_We_ do know how to look, and we have done so with results that can
hardly fail to astonish the reader. It has long been known, for
instance, that SHAKSPEARE was a good man of business, but until our
researches no one had realised quite how good. His theatre had to pay,
and he knew as well as any modern manager how to make it do so. That he
realised, for instance, the attractions of American dance tunes is
evident from his reference to "rags to split the ears of the
groundlings" (_Hamlet_, Act III., Scene 2).

Apart from his business SHAKSPEARE had private ambitions. We all know
that he applied for a grant of arms, but few are aware that he also
stood for Parliament, and, like many another, regretted the expense
after it was incurred. "Almost all," he says feelingly, "repent in their
election" (_Coriolanus_, Act II., Scene 3). His exact political views
are still uncertain, but, at any rate, we may be sure that he
disapproved of the Lords, for he boldly announced the fact in the _Two
Gentlemen of Verona,_ Act V., Scene 4, where he says, "One house, one
mutual happiness."

But these are serious matters. What of his hours of ease? That he golfed
there can now be no manner of doubt. In _The Tempest,_ Act IV., Scene 1,
he refers to the "short grassed green," and in _Hamlet_, Act II., Scene
2, he earns our respect by the simple statement, "I went round," without
any tedious details. Possibly the "thousand marks in links" in the first
part of _Henry IV._, Act III., Scene 3, explains this reticence, but, at
any rate, he occasionally found one whom he fancied he could beat;
witness his remark in _Twelfth Night,_ Act II., Scene 3, "Sir Toby, I
must be round with you."

And, golf over, he liked his pipe and his glass. The "smoke and lukewarm
water" mentioned in _Timon of Athens,_ Act III., Scene 6, only needs the
addition of a dash of whisky to make an evening any of us might enjoy;
and his words in _Anthony and Cleopatra,_ Act I., Scene 2, "We bring
forth weeds when our quick minds are still," will find an echo in many a
chest. In this connection it might be noted that he took an occasional
holiday in France. That at least seems a reasonable assumption when so
keen a smoker cries, as he does in _The Merchant of Venice,_ Act III.,
Scene 1, "I have another bad match."

       *       *       *       *       *

A VAGRANT.


        The humble bee
        No skep has he,
    No twisted, straw-thatched dome,
        A ferny crest
        Provides his nest,
    The mowing-grass his home.

        The crook-beaked shrike
        His back may spike
    And pierce him with a thorn;
        The humble bee
        A tramp is he
    And there is none to mourn.

        O'er bank and brook,
        In wooded nook,
    He wanders at his whim,
        Lives as he can,
        Owes naught to man,
    And man owes naught to him.

        No hive receives
        The sweets he gives,
    No flowers for him are sown,
        Yet wild and gay
        He hums his way,
    A nomad on his own.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SUFFERER.


Having engaged a sleeping-berth I naturally hurried, coin in hand, to
the conductor, as all wise travellers do (usually to their
discomfiture), to see if I could be accommodated with a compartment to
myself and be guaranteed against invasion.

The carriage was full.

I then sought my compartment, to learn the worst as to my position,
whether above or below the necessarily offensive person who was to be my
companion.

He was already there, and we exchanged the hard implacable glare that is
reserved among the English for the other fellow in a wagon-lit
compartment.

When I discovered that to him had fallen the dreaded upper berth I
relaxed a little, and later we were full of courtesies to each
other--renunciations of hat-pegs, racks and so forth, and charming
mutual concessions as to the light, which I controlled from below--so
that by morning we were so friendly that he deemed me a fit recipient of
his Great Paris Grievance.

This grievance, which he considered that everyone should know about,
bears upon the prevalence of spurious coins in the so-called Gay City
and the tendency of Parisians to work them off on foreigners. As he
says, a more inhospitable course one cannot conceive. Foreigners in
Paris should be treated as guests, and just now, with all this Entente
talk, the English especially. But no. It is the English who are the
first victims of the possessor of obsolete francs, two-franc and
five-franc pieces guiltless of their country's silver and ten-franc
pieces into whose composition no gold has entered.

He had been in Paris but an hour or so when--but let me tell the story
as my travelling companion told it to me.

"I don't know what your experience in Paris has been," he said, "but I
have been victimised right and left."

He was now getting up while I lay at comparative ease in my berth and
watched his difficulties in the congested room and thought what horrid
vests he wore.

"I had been in Paris but a few hours," he continued, "when it was
necessary to pay a cabman. I handed him a franc. He examined it, laughed
and returned it. I handed him another. He went through the same
performance. Having found some good money to get rid of him, I sat down
outside a café to try and remember where I had received the change in
which these useless coins had been inserted. During a week in Paris much
of my time was spent in that way."

He sighed and drew on his trousers. His braces were red.

"I showed the bad francs to a waiter," he went on, "and he, like the
cabman, laughed. In fact, next to an undressed woman, there is no stroke
of wit so certain of Parisian mirth as a bad coin. The first thought of
everyone to whom I showed my collection was to be amused." His face
blackened with rage. "This cheerful callousness in a matter involving a
total want of principle and straight-dealing as between man and man," he
said, "denotes to what a point of cynicism the Parisians have attained."

I agreed with him.

"The waiter," he continued, "went through my money and pointed out what
was good and what either bad or out of currency. He called other waiters
to enjoy the joke. It seemed that in about four hours I had acquired
three bad francs, one bad two-franc piece and two bad five-franc pieces.
I put them away in another pocket and got fresh change from him, which,
as I subsequently discovered, contained one obsolete five-franc piece
and two discredited francs. And so it went on. I was a continual target
for them."

Here he began to wash, and the story was interrupted.

When he re-emerged I asked him why he didn't always examine his change.

"It's very difficult to remember to do so," he said, "and, besides, I am
not an expert. Anyway, it got worse and worse, and when a bad gold piece
came along I realised that I must do something so I wrote to the Chief
of the Police."

"In French?" I asked.

"No, in English--the language of honesty. I told him my own experiences.
I said that other English people whom I had met had testified to similar
trouble; and I put it to him that as a matter of civic pride--_esprit de
pays_--he should do his utmost to cleanse Paris of this evil. I added
that in my opinion the waiters were the worst offenders."

"Have you had a reply?" I asked.

"Not yet," he said, and having completed his toilet he made room for me.

I thought about him a good deal and sympathised not a little, for he
seemed a good sort of fellow and might possibly have had his
calculations as to expenditure considerably upset by his adventures. It
certainly was a shame!

Later, meeting him in the restaurant-car I asked him to show me his
store of bad money. I wanted to see for myself what those coins were
like.

"I haven't got them," he said.

"You sent them to the Chief of the Police with your letter, I suppose?"
I said.

"No, I didn't," he replied. "The fact is--well--as a matter of fact I
managed to work them all off again."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: "Curfew _shall not_ ring to-night."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At the beginning of the season good bowling performances are not
    unusual--batsmen get themselves out so easily--but Barratt's
    bowling yesterday was better than his figures.... Five times
    yesterday he broke right across the wicket from leg, but none of
    those magnificent balls got wickets, perhaps because it was too
    early in the season."--_Times._

The beginning of the season seems rather a tricky time.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Death of Collar: Cobham Stud's severe loss."--_Yorkshire Post._

The converse of this accident occurred to us the other day, when our
Whitefriars collar lost its stud.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Richard I.... at once began to prepare the third crusade. In 1190
    he started, and reached Acre in June, 1911."

    _"Everyman" Encyclopædia._

Thus missing KING GEORGE Vth's Coronation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Customer._ "This is a beautiful chop, waiter, the best
you've ever----"

_Waiter._ "Yes, an' I won't 'arf cop nothing. That was the boss's chop
what I've giv you in mistake."

       *       *       *       *       *

VANDALISM.


The new proposals with regard to the water supply of the City of Glasgow
are causing, we are not surprised to learn, the utmost fury and
consternation throughout Scotland. Criticism has concentrated especially
upon two points: the imminent risk of submerging ROBERT THE BRUCE'S
Stone and, of course, the danger of tampering in however slight a degree
with the birthplace of ROB ROY. The passive resistance movement has
already assumed such proportions that one enterprising publisher feels
justified in announcing a new cheap edition of the "Waverley Novels,"
illustrated from local photographs.

There is, of course, another side to the question. As far as the stone
goes it is contended:--

(1) That no one knows why it should have belonged to ROBERT THE BRUCE,
where he got it or what he did with it when he had it.

(2) That the fact of its being under water would not impair its value in
any way and at the same time would give an historical flavour to every
glass of mitigated whisky thereafter drunk in the City of Glasgow.

(3) That it could very easily be shifted a bit up the hill if it is
desired to keep it dry, and a small permanent umbrella erected over it.

With regard to ROB ROY'S birthplace the contention is that it is
practically impossible to construct a new reservoir in these days
anywhere north of the Tweed which will not interfere in some way with
one or other of the places where ROB ROY was born.

It is not only Scotchmen, however, who have been touched to the quick by
this irreverent and thoughtless proposal. The whole literary profession
is up in arms. A memorial is being prepared to be presented to the PRIME
MINISTER, under the heading, "Hands off ROB ROY!" _Mr. Punch_ himself
has not been idle in the matter. He has spent the last week in eliciting
the opinions of some of our leading writers on this vital question.

Mr. WILLIAM DE MORGAN (in a charming, if rather discursive, letter of
32,000 words) demands legislation. "Who knows," he asks, "to what
lengths this modern craze for water supplies may go? It is even possible
that, within a century, attempts may be made to submerge that delightful
little cottage in the county of Essex where Ghost met Ghost."

Mr. BERNARD SHAW, interviewed on his doorstep, derided the action of the
Glasgow Corporation. No amount of water, he told our representative,
could have the least effect in making our modern cities less beastly
than they were. For his part, however, he was taking no risks. He had
that morning arranged for the erection of a spiked iron fence twenty
feet high round the (supposed) birthplace of _Eliza Doolittle._

Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT writes:--"I have every sympathy with the widespread
indignation of my fellow-authors, but personally I am not very closely
concerned. My position is secure: no one is likely to tamper with the
Five Towns in an attempt to improve their washing facilities."

"Might I suggest to the learned pundits of the House of Lords, if it is
not too late," writes Mrs. FLORENCE BARCLAY, "that a writer who, in his
day, enjoyed such a circulation as that of Sir WALTER SCOTT--this is, of
course, fundamentally a question of circulation--is not to be treated in
this cavalier fashion? For oneself, whatever fate may be in store for
the precious local associations of one's past work, it is fortunately
possible to make the future secure. I am laying the scene of my new
romance, of which the fifth chapter is almost completed, on the top of
an inaccessible hill."

Mr. H. G. WELLS points out that there is no particular need in his case
to take action. He hopes that by the day when the conditions in time and
space of his latest novel come into being every household in the country
will be supplied with its own water by a process of filtered absorption
from the atmosphere.

It is anticipated that something definite will be done by the special
committee of the Authors Society which has been appointed with the view
of extending the law of copyright so as to secure the author's undoubted
property in his local associations.

       *       *       *       *       *

BILLET DOUX.


Monday's breakfast is never a jovial affair. One always has the feeling
that something dreadful has happened or is going to happen. Thus, three
days ago I had with a light heart handed over my practice to a locum and
my books to an accountant, telling the one to look up my bad patients
and the other to look up my bad debts, while I went away to end the week
with the Wrefords. Twelve hours ago it had seemed that I should never
know such happiness in this world again as I had found with them, and
here we all were on Monday morning with everything changed, Mrs. Wreford
sulking in bed and Wreford displaying a polite but firm hatred of me and
all the world. In this case my feeling was that something dreadful _was_
happening.

"Mornin', Wreford," said I, as I took my place at table.

"Mornin', Everall," he grunted, barely looking up from his letters, and
that seemed to end the dialogue. When, however, one's host is also one's
most valuable patient, there is call for a special effort. He had all
the correspondence, I had none; in an emergency this suggested itself as
a matter of comment.

"To me," I said chattily, "things seem to be just as badly managed at
the Post Office as they were in SAMUEL'S time."

"Was there a post office in those days?" he asked, without noticeable
enthusiasm.

"_The_ SAMUEL HERBERT," I explained, and that again seemed to end it.

After a pause, "However," I said kindly, "you enjoy your letters and I
will find what consolation and company I can in a poached egg."

"Enjoy?" asked Wreford. "But you are being sarcastic, no doubt."

"Only panel doctors can afford to be that," I murmured.

Wreford's first letter appeared to pain him, and he looked at me
sternly, as if the evils of this life were all my fault. Then he unbent
a little.

"Tell me, Everall," said he, "have you enjoyed your little visit to us?"

The question took me by surprise but it was, at any rate, one to be
answered in the affirmative.

"And you are proportionately grateful?" he pursued.

I protested, somewhat lamely, that I most certainly was.

"Gratitude, it seems," said he, "may express itself in the most odd
manner."

"Mine," I replied stiffly, "will express itself in the customary
letter."

"What, another?" he asked, adding, after a pause, "Do you refer to the
note which your solicitors will write me forthwith and charge me
three-and-sixpence for?"

I thought deeply but was baffled. "It is full early in the morning for
the cryptic and abstruse," I said.

Wreford sighed as he slowly folded up his letter and put it in its
envelope. "It is the one moment in the week," he explained, "when the
very worst must be expected."

I begged him to elucidate the position.

"Suppose," said he, "you had invited a man to stay with you for the
week-end, had motored him down from town on the Friday night and given
him dinner and a nice big bed, and on Saturday more meals and more bed,
and on Sunday still more meals and still more bed, and on the Monday
morning a nice yellow-and-white poached egg all to himself."

"I quite appreciate all that," said I.

"And suppose, while he was still sitting at your table and working his
way through the bit of toast where the egg once sat, you received a
letter from him."

"A letter from me?" I cried.

"You said your thanks would be expressed in a letter, but the
promptitude of it has surprised even yourself, hasn't it? I should have
received it yesterday, but that there is no Sunday post, happily."

"You remember I said I was very grateful," said I, still not
understanding.

"And I said that gratitude had a queer way of expressing itself
sometimes," said he, handing over the letter at last. "Read it aloud,"
he added; "I find the style original."

"Harley Street, W. 25th April, 1914," I read. "Thomas Wreford, Esquire,
debtor to John Everall. For professional services, 1912 to 1913,
thirty-eight guineas."

"Go on," he said. "The postscript is where your gratitude becomes the
most exuberant."

"Your attention will oblige," I finished.

"Well, what do you think of it?" he asked with a smile.

"I prefer not to," said I, also smiling tentatively.

There was a silence. "However," said Wreford eventually, "let us say no
more about it." At this my smile became firmer and more expansive. "Let
us agree," he said significantly, "to let bygones be bygones."

My smile died out suddenly, as smiles do on a Monday morning.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In practice yesterday Mr. Hilton did 72 in a three-hole match."

    _Liverpool Daily Post._

We must challenge him at once.

       *       *       *       *       *

  HIGHWAY LOOT.


    Ah! the lapse of courtly manners,
      Ah! the change from knighthood's code
    Since the day when oil and spanners
      Ousted horseflesh from the road!
    This I realised most fully
      Last week-end at Potter's Bar
    When a beetle-flattening bully
      Held me up in Laura's car.

    "Where," I shouted, "are the graces,
      Officer, of days long dead?
    Never mind how hot our pace is,
      Conjure up the past instead;
    Dream of chaises and postilions,
      Turnpike bars that ope and shut;
    Try to get some more resilience
      Into your confounded nut.

    "Blooms are bursting in the covers
      Even as they burst to-day
    (Not to mention tyres); two lovers
      Post to Scotland, let us say;
    Sudden from the hedge comes TURPIN,
      Pistols cocked and debonair;
    Both the horses stand up perpen-
      dicularly in the air.

    "What occurs? The gallant caitiff,
      Noticing the swain is poor
    (Courtesy with him is native,
      Not like you, suburban boor),
    Bows, and says in accents sunny,
      'Pass along, Sir--make good speed;
    I'm convinced you've got no money
      And I do not want your bleed.

    "'Sweet be Maytime to your noses;
      Short is life, but love is sweet,
    There's a city man named Moses
      Whom I've simply got to meet;
    On you go, you two young larkers;'
      Then he bids his Jew disgorge
    Or reserves his brace of barkers
      For the coach of D. LLOYD GEORGE.

    "Such the good high Toby fashion;
      Surely in your bosom stirs,
    Constable, a like compassion
      For our two poor cylinders;
    All we have is vile and shoddy;
      See that low-hung touring brute--
    There's a bonnet! there's a body
      Worthy of a road-knight's loot!"

    Thus I spake; but, still phlegmatic,
      Imperturbable and stout,
    Rendering Doric for my Attic,
      Robert pulled his note-book out;
    Said, "Me dooty is me dooty,"
      And retiring to his trench
    Pondered further schemes of booty
      For the footpads on the Bench.

    EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The enthusiasm of the people was so great that it was not damped
    by a real Scotch milk."--_Liverpool Courier._

When did whisky ever damp the enthusiasm of a Scotch crowd?

       *       *       *       *       *


ROYAL ACADEMY--SECOND DEPRESSIONS.

Illustration: _Harlequin._ "Never Mind, My Dear; I'll Have A Few Words
To Say To The Limelight Man About This!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE CARD-SHARPERS.

_Near Female._ "Stop Cheating For A Minute While I Get My Portrait
Taken."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A PHANTASY IN THE CENTRAL HALL.--"CAUGHT."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A DEADLOCK.

"IF WE GO FORWARD WE'LL GET SUNSTROKE, AND IF WE GO BACK THERE'S A
BLIZZARD; SO WE MAY AS WELL STOP WHERE WE ARE AND HAVE OUR PICTURE
PAINTED."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: FLOODS IN THE THAMES VALLEY.

The family of a well-known stockbroker takes advantage of the situation
to practise a little first-aid, and incidentally get on with the week's
washing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: SINGULAR APATHY OF AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS DURING AN INVASION.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _The Sea-Maiden._ "Catch me!"

_The Shrimp-Hunter (regretfully)._ "I'D LIKE TO, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS
IS THE CLOSE SEASON FOR MERMAIDS."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE ART OF ACHIEVING THE IMPOSSIBLE--A CUBIST PICTURE GETS
A PLACE ON THE LINE.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: YOUTHFUL ATHLETES, WHILE TRAINING FOR THE NEXT OLYMPIC GAMES
(THREE-LEGGED RACE), ARE HAMPERED BY THE PRESENCE OF LARGE, FIERCE
BIRDS.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _First Territorial._ "WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OUR
MANOEUVRES, BILL?"

_Second Territorial (hitherto unacquainted with field-days)._ "THANK
'EVIN WE'VE GOT A NIVY!"

       *       *       *       *       *

BELOW THE WEIR.


    Beyond the punt the swallows go
    Like blue-black arrows to and fro,
    Now stooping where the rushes grow,
        Now flashing o'er a shallow;
    And overhead in blue and white
    High Spring and Summer hold delight;
    "All right!" the black-cap calls, "All right!"
        His mate says from the sallow.

    O dancing stream, O diamond day,
    O charm of lilac-time and May.
    O whispering meadows green and gay,
        O fair things past believing!
    Could but the world stand still, stand still
    When over wood and stream and hill
    This morn's eternal miracle
        The rosy Hours are weaving!

    Eternal, for I like to think
    That mayflowers, crimson, white and pink,
    When I am dust the boughs shall prink,
        On days to live and die for;
    That sun and cloud, as now, shall veer,
    And streams run tumbling off the weir,
    Where still the mottled trout rolls clear
        For other men to try for.

    I like to think, when I shall go
    To this essential dust, that so
    I yet may share in flowers that blow,
        And with such brave sights mingle,
    If tossed by summer breeze on high
    I'm carried where the cuckoos cry
    And dropped beside old Thames to lie
        A sand-grain on a shingle.

    Meanwhile the swallows flash and skim
    Like blue-black arrows notched and trim,
    And splendid kingcups lift a brim
        Of gold to king or peasant,
    And 'neath a sky of blue and white
    High Spring with Summer weaves delight;
    "All right!" the black-cap calls, "all right!"
        And life is very pleasant.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LANGUAGE OF COLOUR.


"My dear Clarice," I said, "I may say, in the circumstances, my very
dear Clarice, I like being engaged--to you, that is; no, I've never been
engaged before--but I don't see the sense of getting married. Even the
State seems to deride the idea of our union."

"What do you mean?" said Clarice. "I'm almost alarmed. Have they
discovered that you suffered from toothache as a boy?"

"It isn't," I said, "a question of eugenics. I was at Somerset House
to-day getting a copy of my birth certificate, and----"

"They surely didn't say anything about our engagement at Somerset House.
I didn't suppose they even knew of it," said Clarice.

"Ill news travels apace," I said. "But that by the way. I was about to
say that red is a noble colour. It is a bold, a striking colour. A day
on which a great event occurs is called 'a red letter day.' Black, on
the other hand, may mean nothing, or it may denote sadness."

"Why this going off at a tangent?" said Clarice. "Why this dissertation
on colours?"

"I say, that's a good word--I mean that long one just near the end. Did
you really learn it, or did you merely come by it? But, as I was saying,
red is a colour used for indicating notable events. The State considers
a birth is a notable event. Birth certificates are printed in red."

"And death certificates," said Clarice, "in black, I suppose?"

"Yes," I said, "a delicate hint that the State feels sad."

"And marriage certificates?" asked Clarice.

"Ah!" I said, "that's the strange thing. Nothing may be implied really,
but it is significant that they print them in----"

"Purple?" said Clarice eagerly.

"Verdant green," I said.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE NEW SHYLOCK.

MR. REDMOND. "LOOK HERE, I UNDERSTOOD YOU WERE TO GET ME MY FULL POUND
OF FLESH!"

MR. ASQUITH (_his counsel_). "YES, YES, I KNOW: BUT IT RATHER LOOKS NOW
AS IF WE MIGHT HAVE TO SETTLE FOR THREE-QUARTERS."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: MR. LLOYD GEORGE Regards MR. BALFOUR'S Attitude as
Bellicose.

"If every conciliatory offer put forward by the Government is to be
treated in the spirit displayed by the right hon. gentleman, that is the
way to promote civil war."

    _Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE BILL AND THE AMENDING BILL.

_Nurse ASQUITH._ "Now, take the powder like a good boy."

_Master BONAR LAW._ "Where's the jam?"

_Nurse ASQUITH._ "Oh, that comes later."

_Master BONAR LAW._ "Well, I want to see it now. What's it made of?"

_Nurse ASQUITH._ "I must have notice of that question."

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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


_House of Commons, Monday, May 11._--For a while PRIME MINISTER'S
protest against inordinate questioning, his announcement of
determination not to take part in further shorter catechism more or less
distantly related to the "plot" and the "coup," had wholesome effect. As
he stated, since the plot was discovered he had made seven hundred
replies to friendly inquiries. A Member below Gangway to his right added
the seven hundred and first. Wanted to know whether it is true that the
argumentative questions crowding the notice paper are the product of a
factory in the neighbourhood of Parliament Street, presided over by an
official whose name suggests that he has been "made in Germany."
Expeditiously turned out, as from a sausage machine, is it true that
they are nicely sorted and distributed among Members of the Opposition,
who in turn pelt the PREMIER with them?

After brief lull epidemic breaks out afresh. Twenty-three Questions
addressed to PRIME MINISTER to-day appear on printed paper. As each,
with the aid of semi-colons, represents two, three, occasionally five
distinct queries they reach aggregate of half a hundred. This not
counting Supplementaries.

Happily the PREMIER is incomparable master of the rare art of brief
reply, wherein he presents pleasing contrast to the manner of his old
master, GLADSTONE. Had he chanced to be Premier when the Fourth Party
were struggling into notoriety their task would have been more
difficult, their triumph delayed if not unattainable.

When GRANDOLPH, WOLFF and GORST, with PRINCE ARTHUR looking on, set
themselves to "draw GLADSTONE," as was their custom of an afternoon,
that astute personage became as a child in their hands. GRANDOLPH led
off with a question, to which long reply was made. WOLFF, profusely
grateful for the right hon. gentleman's courtesy, shunted the PREMIER on
to another track, along which he cheerfully sprinted. Then came JOHN O'
GORST. With the subtlety of a trained but not practising barrister he
put a third question, drawing a third speech. Thus merrily sped a
quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, deferring by so much the progress
of public business.

ASQUITH'S share in the conversation at the Question hour is based on a
familiar Biblical injunction. It is largely composed of "Yea, yea," and
"Nay, nay." In the case alluded to, wherein the Fourth Party gave play
to their insatiable desire for information, he would have replied to
GRANDOLPH, "Yes, Sir;" to WOLFF, "No, Sir." Had he been exceptionally
lured into verbosity he might have gone as far as to say, "The answer is
in the negative," or "in the affirmative," as the case might be. As for
JOHN O' GORST, he would have referred him to a speech made on a
particular preceding date, "to which I have nothing to add."

_Business done._--LLOYD GEORGE further explains his Budget. Resolutions
founded thereupon agreed to.

_Tuesday._--What at outset promised to be businesslike debate verging on
dulness suddenly leapt into flame and fury, signifying angry passion
stirred by Home Rule Bill. In studiously moderate speech PREMIER moved
resolution identical with that adopted last year, whereby Committee
stage of Home Rule Bill, Welsh Church Disestablishment and Plural Voting
will be forgone. Pointed out that Committee stage is designed for
purpose of providing opportunity of amending Bills. Since under
Parliament Act none of these measures can be amended in the Commons,
what use to go into Committee on them?

Being in increasingly businesslike mood PREMIER went a step further.
Abandoned proposal to submit and discuss "suggestions" to Home Rule
Bill. Authoritatively announced by WALTER LONG and others that the Lords
are predetermined to throw it out on second reading. What use then to
formulate and discuss suggestions that could be dealt with by the Lords
only in subsequent Committee? Finally announced intention of getting
Bill through all Parliamentary stages before Whitsuntide, placing it on
Statute Book by automatic process of Parliament Act. Will then bring in
Amending Bill dealing with Ulster.

It was PRINCE ARTHUR who roused crowded House from chilled condition
following upon douche of this application of ordinary business
principles to legislative procedure. In best fighting form. Stirred to
profoundest depths of scorn for actual working of that detested statute,
the Parliament Act.

"We are," he said, amid strident cheers from Opposition, welcoming their
old captain back to the fighting line, "asked to force through under the
Parliament Act a Bill which by hypothesis requires amendment. What is
worse than that is that we are to be compelled to read it a third time
and to part with it while we know that it is to be amended, but while we
have not the smallest conception in what respects or in what way."
Insisted that before Home Rule Bill is added to Statute Book Parliament
should know in what points it would be amended. "Let us have the
Amending Bill first."

PRINCE ARTHUR having stirred the embers of slumbering fire, CHANCELLOR
OF EXCHEQUER vigorously fanned them.

"If," he said, "every conciliatory offer put forward by the Government
is to be treated in the spirit displayed by the right hon. gentleman,
that is the way to promote civil war."

Hereupon storm burst over Opposition quarters. Shouts of "Shame!" and
"Liar" hurtled through the suddenly heated atmosphere. The CHANCELLOR'S
attempt to proceed with his speech baffled by continuous
cry,--"Withdraw! Withdraw!" At length SPEAKER interposed with suggestion
that the CHANCELLOR had been misunderstood. Claimed for him the right of
explanation. This conceded, LLOYD GEORGE pointed out that what he had
meant to say was that argument such as that forthcoming from Front
Opposition Bench, making it difficult for the Government to submit
proposals of peace, would have effect of promoting civil war.

PRINCE ARTHUR naturally falling into "old style" of House of Commons
debate, not only frankly accepted explanation but chivalrously took upon
himself blame of the outbreak, which he said "apparently arose from an
unfortunate expression of mine." Ended with pretty turn of grave satire
that greatly pleased the House.

After this, debate quietly proceeded to appointed end, everyone mutely
invoking

    Blessings on the falling out
      That all the more endears,
    When we fall out with those we love
      And kiss again with tears.

_Business done._--PREMIER'S resolution carried by 276 votes against 194.
Majority 82. House of Lords by common consent passed second reading of
useful little Bill for protection of grey seals threatened with
extinction by mercenary sportsmen.

_Thursday._--Remarkable how SHAKSPEARE (or was it BACON?) wrote not only
for all time but for all circumstance. The marvel came to light again in
scene in House yesterday.

Writing of the time of _Romeo and Juliet_ SHAKSPEARE reports dialogue
between two fighting men of the houses of _Capulet_ and _Montague._
Meeting _Sampson_ in a public place in Verona, _Abram_ truculently asks,
"Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?

_Sam._ I do bite my thumb, Sir.

_Abr._ Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?

_Sam. (aside, to his comrade _Gregory). Is the law on our side if I say
ay?

_Greg._ No.

_Sam._ No, Sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, Sir; but I bite my
thumb."

KINLOCH-COOKE, having put question to WEDGWOOD BENN, following it up by
two supplementary inquiries, put a third when the SPEAKER interposed.
Shrugging his shoulders in silent protest against this tyranny
KINLOCH-COOKE resumed his seat.

Said the SPEAKER sternly, "It is no good shrugging your shoulders at
me."

This is prosaic account of incident given in this morning's papers.
Refer to _Hansard_ and see how it runs.

_SPEAKER._ Do you shrug your shoulders at me, Sir?

_KINLOCH-COOKE._ I do shrug my shoulders, Sir.

_SPEAKER._ Do you shrug your shoulders at me, Sir?

_KINLOCH-COOKE (aside to WINTERTON)._ Is there anything in the Standing
Orders that forbids my shrugging my shoulders at the SPEAKER?

_WINTERTON (who is training for Speakership and has them all by heart)._
Yes.

_KINLOCH-COOKE._ No, Sir, I do not shrug my shoulders at you, Sir; but I
shrug my shoulders.

_SPEAKER._ Order! Order!

_Business done._--Another plot that failed. For some weeks Opposition
have not attempted to snap a division. Ministerialists, lulled into
sense of security, off guard. Secret preparations sedulously made for
trapping them this afternoon. Questions over, division challenged on
formal motion. Ministerial Whips awake in good time to emergency. Urgent
messages had been sent out to their men by telephone and special
messengers. Arrivals watched with feverish interest. Ministerialists
hurriedly drop in by twos and threes, presently by tens. ILLINGWORTH'S
massive brow, temporarily seared with wrinkles, smooths out. When, after
division, Clerk hands paper to him indicating that ambush has been
baffled, hilarious cheer rises from Ministerial benches. Renewed when
figures read by the SPEAKER show that the motion is carried by 255 votes
against 234.

"Not a high-class game in imperial politics," says SARK. "Rather akin to
the humour of making a butter slide on the pavement for the discomfiture
of unsuspecting passers-by. But boys will be boys."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: Mr. ROWLAND HUNT IN HIS BEST FORM.

"I don't know [laughter] what honourable Members [renewed laughter] are
laughing about [loud and prolonged laughter.]"

       *       *       *       *       *

A NATIONAL CALAMITY.

GREAT PERFORMER CONTEMPLATES RETIREMENT.


Once more the Atlantic liner has delivered Mr. Bamborough (_né_
Bamberger) back to us, and once more British concert-goers should in
consequence rejoice. But their natural jubilations are unfortunately
tempered by a momentous announcement which the great violinist made to
our representative at Plymouth last week, on the arrival of the _Julius
Cæsar,_ to the effect that he has decided to retire from the active
pursuit of his profession. On receiving the news of this national
calamity our representative fell into a heavy swoon, and was revived
with some difficulty. The thought of the permanent withdrawal from
public life in his golden prime of the great virtuoso, with his opulent
physique, his superbly Mosaic features and his luxuriant chevelure, was
altogether too poignantly overwhelming. Let us hasten then to reassure
our readers that the blow, though it must inevitably descend one day, is
mercifully deferred for a considerable period. To begin with, Mr.
Bamborough is under contract to give five farewell tours in the United
States at intervals of four years before entering upon the penultimate
stage of his severance from the British concert platform. This, which
will begin in the autumn of 1934, is likely to continue until the year
1948, when he is booked for an extended tour in Polynesia, Japan, New
Guinea and Java. On his return to England in 1950 he proposes to give
sixty farewell recitals at intervals of three months, culminating in a
grand concert at the Albert Hall.

"And then," mused the illustrious artist, "farewell to the platform for
ever! I find it hard indeed to realise that the concert-going public and
I by that time will have been intimate friends for more than seventy
years, but so it will be, for I was only nine when I made my first
appearance in London, in a velvet knickerbocker suit with pearl buttons
and a Fauntleroy collar. Still, it will all make a lovely retrospect for
me, and when I finally retire it will be with a heart very full of
gratitude to my generous friends in all four hemispheres of the globe."

"And after that?" suggested our representative, now partially restored
by these reassuring tidings.

"After that--literature," was the emphatic reply. "I have already signed
a contract with Messrs. Goodleigh and Champ to write my Reminiscences in
the form of a Musical Encyclopædia. My father-in-law, Sir Pompey
Boldero, is giving me valuable assistance in preparing the material, but
as he is already sixty-five I cannot, unhappily, count with absolute
confidence on his being spared to witness the completion of the work.
Still, he is so full of vigour that M. METCHNIKOFF considers his chances
of becoming a centenarian decidedly promising. In any case the
collaboration of my children, whose filial devotion is only equalled by
their talent, is secured, and Mrs. Bamborough, as you know, wields a
vivid and trenchant pen. But literature will not occupy all my time. My
estancia in the Argentine will need supervision, and I hope to spend an
occasional summer in the Solomon Islands, where the natives are
strangely attached to us."

Mr. Bamborough pointed out that Sir JOHNSTON FORBES-ROBERTSON, who also
returned by the _Julius Cæsar,_ had only drawn receipts amounting to
£107,000 in a tour of thirty weeks' duration, while he (Mr. Bamborough)
had netted no less than £150,000 in a tour lasting twenty-seven weeks
and three days. In addition to the receipts in specie, Mr. Bamborough
had received several nuggets from the gold miners in Colorado, and a
bull moose from Mr. KERMIT ROOSEVELT, while Mrs. Bamborough had been the
recipient of a highly-trained bobolink, and a charming young
alligator from the cedar swamps of Louisiana.

Other notable passengers on the _Julius Cæsar_ were Miss Topsy Cooney,
the famous coloured pianist, who plays only on the black keys and
entirely by ear; Little Dinky, the marvellous calculating boy, who does
not know the names of the numbers; and Elaine Runnymede, the child
contralto, who can only sing the whole tone scale.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Small Brother (whose sisters are working for their girl
guides' ambulance badge)._ "Come on, here's A bit of luck for you. I've
made Rupert's nose bleed."

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

From a catalogue:--

    "Also made in cheaper and better quality models."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Grumpy._ "Better put the diamond in the safe, my boy.
You'll be ruined if anybody steals it."

_Ernest._ "Yes, but the play will be ruined if nobody does."

    _Grumpy_ Mr. CYRIL MAUDE.
    _Ernest Heron._ Mr. EDWARD COMBEMERE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "GRUMPY."
(_As it might as well have been._)

ACT I.--THE CRIME.


=Scene--_Mr. "Grumpy" Bullivant's_ library. Enter his grand-daughter
_Virginia_ and _Mrs. Maclaren._=

_Mrs. Maclaren._ What a remarkable man Mr. Jarvis seems to be, dear--so
amusing at dinner! And he writes for _Tiddly Bits,_ he tells me. Where
_did_ you meet him?

_Virginia._ Quite accidentally in Hyde Park. He told grandfather a long
story about a gold brick, and grandfather was so charmed with him he
asked him down at once for the week-end.

_Mrs. Maclaren._ Such a knowledge of character your grandfather has,
love.

_Virginia._ Yes, but you must remember he used to be the cleverest
criminal lawyer of his time. He saw directly that Mr. Jarvis was a nice
man.

[=Exeunt.=

=Enter _Ernest Heron_ and _"Grumpy"_ by opposite doors.=

_Grumpy_ _(when the audiences delight at seeing _Mr. CYRIL MAUDE_ again
has at last been got under)._ Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow; tut-tut-tut-tut-tut
(_and other old-gentleman noises_). Ah, Ernest, my boy, what are you
doing here?

_Ernest._ Just back from Africa, uncle, with a diamond weighing--I mean
costing--ninety thousand pounds in my belt, which I'm taking up to the
firm in London. May I sleep here?

_Grumpy._ Do, my boy. (=Enter _Mr. Jarvis._=) Ah, Mr. Jarvis, let me
introduce my nephew, Mr. Heron. He's just back from Africa with a----
(_To himself_) No, perhaps better not. Well, good night to you both.
Wow-wow-wow, tut-tut-tut-tut.

[=Exit, followed, by _Mr. Jarvis._=

=_Ernest_ is left alone with his diamond. Seeing a suspicious shadow at
the window he rushes to it and leans out, so as to give anybody a chance
of sand-bagging him. The chance going begging, he takes his diamond from
his belt to see if it is still there. The only other precaution he can
think of is to draw the curtains. At this moment a hand steals through
the door and turns out the lights. A terrible struggle in the dark
ensues; there is a noise of somebody's larynx going; and then the
curtain goes down and up ... to disclose, the body of poor _Ernest_ on
the floor. Is he dead? Certainly not; he's got to marry _Virginia_; but
the diamond is gone.=

Act II.--THE SLEUTH-HOUND.


=Time--Next morning.=

_Grumpy._ Tut-tut. Is everything just as it was last night? Very well,
then. You say that when you discovered Mr. Ernest he was lying on his
back, and in his right hand he was clutching this--what did you call it?

_Ruddock (the valet)._ A dicky, Sir. A detachable shirt-front.

_Grumpy._ Excellent. Then the first question is--to whom did
this--er--richard belong?

_Ruddock._ Yes, Sir.

_Grumpy (musing)._ Could it have been his own? In the fierceness of the
struggle might he have torn it off in order to give himself greater
freedom? Was he offering it to his assailant as a bribe? Was he--but
first we must find if he was wearing one at all. Call Susan.

=Enter _Susan,_ the lady's-maid.=

_Grumpy._ Susan, you were the first to see Mr. Ernest when he came in
last night. Did you happen to notice if he was wearing a detachable
shirt-front, a--h'm--dicky?

_Susan._ Yes, Sir.

_Grumpy._ Ah! (=He hands her the all-important clue.=) Was this it?

_Susan (=examining it=)._ No, Sir.

_Grumpy._ Tut-tut, are you sure?

_Susan._ Yes, Sir; Mr. Ernest's was an india-rubber one. I know, because
he said he'd been travelling all day, and he asked me to sponge it for
him.

_Grumpy._ Thank you, Susan. Ruddock, we must find that india-rubber
richard. If Ernest has his assailant's shirt-front, what more likely
than that his assailant has Ernest's? Probably they exchanged them
before the battle, as, you may remember, Glaucus and Diomed did at the
siege of Troy.

_Ruddock._ Yes, Sir.

_Grumpy._ Every shirt-front we see we must suspect. Let us go and look
for some. [=Exeunt.=

=Enter _Jarvis_ and _Virginia._=

_Virginia._ Still in evening dress, Mr. Jarvis?

_Jarvis._ Yes, I was so busy fetching the doctor last night that I had
no time to change. I am going back to London now. (=Tenderly=) I should
like to think you had some little memento of me. (=He removes his shirt
front.=) Keep this and think of me sometimes when you look at it.

_Virginia._ Oh, Mr. Jarvis! But I must give _you_ something too. (=She
goes out and returns with one of her grandfather's shirt-fronts.=) Wear
this in place of the one you have given me--always. [=Exit.=

=Re-enter _Grumpy._=

_Grumpy._ Now, Mr. Jarvis, I wonder if you would help me. You were the
first to find the body last night. Would you mind lying down in the
position in which it lay? It may give me an important clue.

_Jarvis._ Certainly. (=He prepares to lie down.=)

_Grumpy._ Take care, you mustn't crumple your shirt-front. Perhaps it
removes? Ah, allow me. (=He detaches it and hastily substitutes the
other one for it.=) Ah, thank you so much. Here is your shirt-front
again.

[=Exit _Jarvis._=

_Ruddock (=eagerly=)._ Is that it, Sir?

_Grumpy_ (=examining Jarvis's shirt-front carefully=). No, linen,
confound it. Ruddock, we _must_ find that india-rubber richard. Who has
it? Ah!

CURTAIN.

ACT III.--TRAPPED.


=Scene--_Jarvis's_ rooms in London.=

_Keble (his man)._ Terrible thing that assault on Mr. Heron, Sir.

_Jarvis._ Yes, terrible.

_Keble._ I hope they don't suspect me of it, Sir.

_Jarvis._ Why on earth should they suspect _you_?

_Keble._ Well, I was known to be jealous of Mr. Heron, Sir. I found
Susan sponging his shirt-front, and Susan and I are as good as engaged.
_Jarvis (=mildly interested=)._ How _can_ you sponge a shirt-front?

_Keble._ It was an india-rubber one, Sir; they sponge off quite clean,
and save the laundry bill, Sir. My----

_Jarvis._ Good Heavens, I'm ruined!

=Enter _Isaac Wolfe,_ his partner. Exit _Keble._=

_Wolfe._ Got the diamond, my boy?

_Jarvis (moodily)._ Yes ... I'm done for; I must leave the country.

_Wolfe._ What d'you mean? You've got the diamond?

_Jarvis (rapidly)._ I throttled him in the dark and got the diamond. My
shirt-front fell off in the struggle. I noticed one on the floor and
picked it up. I thought it was mine. It was his; his had fallen off too;
and he was found with mine in his hand.

_Wolfe._ Well, why did you leave it there?

_Jarvis._ I thought it was his own--and that, anyhow, as long as we each
had one, no one would notice. But his was an india-rubber one!

_Wolfe._ And that's the one you've got now? Well, burn it.

_Jarvis (=burying his face in his hands=)._ It isn't! I cannot! I gave it
to Miss Bullivant. (=Grimly=) But I shall get it back again.

CURTAIN.

ACT IV.--THE SLEUTH-HOUND'S TRIUMPH.


=The Library again.=

_Grumpy._ Well, Virginia, and how's Ernest? Better, hey! He ought----
Good heavens, child, what's that you've got in your hand?

_Virginia._ Just a dicky, grandfather.

_Grumpy (excitedly)._ Let me look ... Virginia, it's an india-rubber
one! (_Sternly_) Where did you get this?

_Virginia._ Mr. Jarvis gave it to me.

_Grumpy._ Mr. Jarvis! Aha! (=He hides behind the sofa.=)

=Enter _Mr. Jarvis._=

_Jarvis (-to _Virginia_=)._ I'm afraid my conduct must seem very strange,
but I had to come back to see you. I--er--lost the shirt-front you gave
me. Could you let me have my own back again? You see, I'm going abroad
and I must have _one._

_Grumpy (=popping his head up=)._ Ah, Mr. Jarvis, did I hear you asking
for a shirt-front? Allow me to offer you one--an india-rubber one, Mr.
Jarvis! (=_Jarvis blenches._=) And the price, Mr. Jarvis, is the diamond
in your waistcoat-pocket!

CURTAIN--=except that _Ernest_ gets engaged to _Virginia_ first.=

       *       *       *       *       *

_Postscript._--On reading this through I feel that it hardly does
justice to the clever acting of Mr. MAUDE as an always delightful old
gentleman, the excellent support given him by the rest of the company,
and the pleasantly exciting melodrama provided for them by Messrs.
HORACE HODGES and T. W. PERCYVAL. To all of them my thanks for an
entertaining evening.

    A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Pat (having hung up an ostrich's egg on the hen-house
door)._ "There, ye deginerate little spalpeens, look at that and thry
what ye can do!"

       *       *       *       *       *

From a letter to _The Scotsman_:--

    "It goes without saying that when recognising a friend in the
    street one raises one's hat by the hand removed from that friend."

Of course. But it is proper to return the hand immediately after the
little ceremony with a few words of thanks.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "For the latter an excuse must be offered in that he was badly hit
    on the left hip by the previous ball--a yorker--to that which
    bowled him."--_Evening News._

In the over before he had been stunned by a sneak.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Yorkshire Daily Observer_ on the income tax:--

    "A Bradford widow has been left with five children under 15 years
    of age. Her income is £300 a ear."

Or £3,600 in all. We refuse to be moved by her hard case.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Miscellaneous Volumes. 10s. per cwt. (No theology.)

    Theology. 5s. 6d. per cwt."--_Catalogue._

Money being tight, we are ordering 8 stone 7 lbs. of theology for the
drawing-room.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Government has introduced another Bill to regulate the sale of
    milk and the inspection of dairies. This disgracefully dilutory
    Parliament of ours has been playing with similar Bills for five
    years."--_Daily Herald._

The dilutory milkman is really more to blame.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEDIATION.


[SCENE--_A room at Niagara Falls. The Argentine, the Brazilian and the
Chilian mediators are mediating; that is to say, they are sitting on
rocking chairs not very close to a large table covered with papers,
pens, ink, etc. A deep noise of falling water pervades the air. Out of
compliment to Canada the conversation is carried on in English._]

_Argentine Mediator._ Cold, isn't it?

_Brazilian Mediator._ Yes, there's a great deal of cold in the
atmosphere.

_Chilian Mediator._ We often get it colder than this in Chili.

(_A pause._)

_A. M._ There's a lot of water coming down.

_B. M._ Yes, and it keeps coming, too, doesn't it?

_C. M._ It isn't as noisy as I thought it would be, though.

_A. M._ Oh, I don't know. It's quite noisy enough.

_B. M._ Yes, it's very difficult to concentrate one's mind. We've got a
waterfall in Brazil which has the same effect. You can't do any work
near it. People go there for a rest-cure.

_C. M._ There are a good many waterfalls in Chili, too, and they make
more noise than this one.

(_A pause._)

_A. M._ How long do you think we shall be here?

_B. M._ A week, or a month, or a year--I don't know.

_C. M._ It's a dull place, isn't it?

_A. M._ Yes, it is, dull as ditchwater.

_B. M._ Dull as a ditchwaterfall. Ha, ha.

_C. M. and A. M. (together)._ Ha, ha. That's capital.

_B. M._ You fellows must remind me to telegraph that home to Brazil.

_A. M._ By the way, I see ROOSEVELT has been in Brazil.

_B. M._ Yes; isn't it awful?

_G. M._ Discovered a river, hasn't he?

_B. M._ Something of that sort. He'll discover the world next.

_A. M._ Anyhow, I'm glad he's not here.

_B. M._ By Jove, yes. Wouldn't it be dreadful if he were?

_C. M._ Don't. You make my flesh creep.

_B. M._ After all, I'm not sure he's worse than WILSON. They're all
alike, these Yankees. I've no use for them and their MONROE Doctrine;
have you?

_A. M._ Not the slightest. If they think we're children they'll soon
find out their mistake.

_C. M._ Hear, hear!

(_A pause._)

_A. M._ Anything new from Mexico?

_B. M._ No. Same old game.

_C. M._ What's HUERTA up to?

_B. M._ Sitting tight.

_A. M._ And what's VILLA doing?

_B. M._ Oh, he's been capturing Tampico a good deal lately.

_C. M._ Isn't a fellow called ZAPATA chipping in somewhere?

_B. M._ Yes, he's having a go too.

(_A pause._)

_A. M._ I say, you men, I've got an idea.

_B. M._ Out with it, then.

_C. M._ Yes, let's have it.

_A. M._ Well, then, suppose we start by saying that HUERTA and WILSON
must _both_ be eliminated. That'll please both sides. HUERTA will be
tickled to death if WILSON has to go, and WILSON will be delighted at
our backing up his policy. What do you think?

_B. M._ I can't think at all in this noise.

_C. M._ Nor can I, but I daresay it's all right.

_A. M._ I'm glad you like the idea. It's fair to both sides, you see.
That's what mediation's for.

(_Left mediating._)

       *       *       *       *       *

  THE BATH UNREST.


    My bath awaits me! It contains to-night,
      Besides the customary water--stay:
      Before I name ingredients, let me say
    Exactly who and what I am who write.

    (My bath awaits me!) I am known to fame,
      First, as a rising music-hall artiste;
      But, secondly and chiefly, I'm the beast
    Who Puts Things in his Bath. You've met my name.

    (My bath awaits me!) People come, you see,
      With sample packets of the Lord knows what,
      And want me to "endorse" the silly rot.
    Well, I "endorse"; receiving £. _s._ _d._

    (My bath awaits me!) But I specialise
      In baths. I will not "like it in my soup,"
      Nor "take five drops before I loop the loop";
    Nor will I "find it helps to keep off flies."

    (My bath awaits me!) Am I over-nice?
      I cannot "thank you for the lovely sox,"
      Nor shall "my children quarrel for the box."
    I Put It In My Bath. Let that suffice.

    (My bath awaits me!) Now, to take the list:
      Mustard, by thirteen makers; salt, by six;
      Saponica; Shampoona; Sozothrix;
    Eau-de-Cologne (nine samples); Bathex; Vrist.

    (My bath awaits me!) These and more than these
      (I drop the catalogue) in pungent strife,
      Stench hard at grips with stench for loathly life,
    Yon seething cauldron holds. Excuse a sneeze.

    (My bath awaits me!) Why the cauldron? Why
      Not desecrate the dustbin? Here's the rub:
      All the endorsements specify my tub;
    The dustbin is not mentioned. Can I lie?

    (My bath awaits me!) So I made a vow,
      Soon as the groaning shelf could bear no more,
      In one doomed bath to mix 'em. What I swore
    I've done. The night of reckoning is now.

    My bath awaits me! True. But then I said
      Not "use" but "put." Why have my beastly bath?
      Bed, too, awaits me; be the bedward path
    My choice. I do not Put Things in my Bed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The following are good dishes for a small luncheon, not a complete
    menu, but suggestions for filling one out with those light and
    tempting dishes which the jaded modern palate so greatly prefers to
    the solid English cookery of our forefathers."--_Truth._

That is all very well, but if one really wants filling out these little
kickshaws are no good; roast beef and Yorkshire pudding is the thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Folds of net and thick white face lighten the effect of the
    corsage."--_Westminster Gazette._

The writer seems keen, but we are not.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE SCRUTINEER.

_Eliza Jane._ "'Ere, that last one didn't seem like a full sack to me."

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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


Not the least attractive feature in Madame WADDINGTON'S new book, _My
First Years as a Frenchwoman_ (SMITH, ELDER), is the revelation,
undesignedly made, of a keen-sighted, vivacious, exceedingly womanly
woman. During her residence in France as the wife of a highly placed
Minister she had rare opportunity of watching the progress of historic
events from a favoured standpoint behind the scenes. When she married M.
WADDINGTON, in later years known to this country as French Ambassador,
the National Assembly was sitting at Versailles. THIERS, first President
of the Republic, had been overthrown and MACMAHON reigned in his stead.
Madame WADDINGTON was brought into personal touch with these statesmen,
with their successors, JULES GRÉVY, DE FREYCINET, CARNOT and with their
varied _entourage._ Of each she has something shrewd, sprightly and
informing to say. While immersed in international politics, perhaps not
wholly free from anxious conviction that she was in some measure
responsible for their direction, she had a seeing eye for frocks.
Frequently, when describing social gatherings at the height of political
crises, she stops to tell you how some lady was dressed and how the
apparel suited her. Amongst other men of the epoch she has something to
say about BLOWITZ, the famous Paris correspondent of _The Times._ It is
evident that, without premeditation, he managed to offend the lady. She
reports how Prince HOHENLOHE expressed a high opinion of the journalist,
remarking, "He is marvellously well-informed of all that is going on."
"It was curious," writes Madame, "how a keen clever man like the Prince
attached so much importance to anything Blowitz said." For the
side-lights which it flashes on high life in Paris at a critical period
of the Republic the volume possesses exceptional value.

       *       *       *       *       *

The subtleties of human motives, the fine problems of temperament, the
delicate interplay of masculine logic and feminine intuition, what are
these compared to blood, thunder, plots, counter-plots, earthquakes and,
from the final chaos, the salvage of the "sweetest woman on earth"
effected in the nick of time by a herculean and always imperturbable
hero? Mr. FRANK SAVILE is not out to analyse souls. The opening chapter
of _The Red Wall_ (NELSON) plunges us into a fray, irrelevant to the
narrative save in so far as it introduces _Dick Blake_ and _Eileen
O'Creagh_ and removes any possible doubt that might ever have been felt
as to their respective merits and their mutual suitability. That
preliminary complete, we proceed to the real business of the agenda, and
momentous, passionate, nefarious, diabolical, mysterious and incessantly
exciting business it is, covering the gamut of private emotions and
international complications. In such narratives I demand three things:
the first, that my author should combine a graphic (and grammatical)
style with the professional knack of imparting an air of probability to
his tale; the second, that things should go all wrong in the beginning
and come all right in the end; the third, that if any German schemers
are involved these should be eventually outwitted. Mr. SAVILE has
abundantly satisfied me in all particulars; although I incline to carp
at the opportuneness with which nature is made to erupt from time to
time, and I venture to suggest that men and women never were and are
probably never going to be like _Dick_ and _Eileen._ The book is,
however, of the sort which is to be read and enjoyed but not considered
further.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Joe Quinney,_ the curiosity shop man in Mr. HORACE ANNESLEY VACHELL'S
_Quinneys'_ (MURRAY), is undoubtedly a "card," not unrelated, I should
say, to Mr. BENNETT'S _Machen._ He is an entertaining fellow with his
enthusiasms, his truculences, his fluctuating standards of honesty. Mr.
VACHELL didn't quite get me to believe in _Joe's_ expert knowledge,
which indeed seemed to be turned on and off in rather an arbitrary way
as the exigencies of the story rather than the development and
experience of the character dictated; but he did make me see and like
the fellow. _Mrs. Quinney,_ that faithful timid soul, is admirably
drawn, both in her courtship and her matronly days. But I found
_Quinney_ a little hypocritical in his denunciation of _Miggott_, the
chair-faker, who was not really sailing half so close to the wind or so
profitably as _Quinney_ and his bibulous friend of a dealer, _Tamlin._
There are some interesting side-lights upon the astonishing tricks of
the furniture trade, which are reflected by the authentic experience of
the bitten wise. An entertaining and clever book; but why, why should H.
A. V. drop from his Hill into the discreditable fellowship of those who
have misquoted "honoured in the breach"?

       *       *       *       *       *

Anybody can understand how extremely annoying and inconvenient the
complete disappearance of a husband would be to a wife after a mere
fortnight or so of married existence, before he had even begun to
complain of the--well, anyhow that is what happens in Mrs. BELLOC
LOWNDES'S latest novel, _The End of Her Honeymoon_ (METHUEN). The
_Dampiers_ arrive in Paris, a Paris _en féte_ and crowded beyond all
custom because of the state visit of the TSAR, and are obliged to occupy
rooms on different floors of the _Poulains'_ hotel. Next morning _Mrs.
Dampier_ awakes to find herself in the awkward predicament of Ariadne on
the beach of Naxos, with the aggravation (spared to Theseus' bride) that
the hotel people absolutely deny that she came with a husband at all. A
punctilious if sceptical American senator (refreshingly guiltless of
accent) and his enthusiastic son and daughter take pity on her, and the
rest of the book resolves itself into a detective story, saved from
conventionality by the pleasantly distinguished style in which the
author writes and the intimate knowledge which she appears to possess of
the Paris _préfecture de police._ _Gerald Burton,_ the young American,
not entirely platonic in his solicitude, is baffled; _Salgas_, a famous
enquiry agent, is baffled; and I am ready to take very long odds against
the reader's unravelling the mystery, unless he happens to be familiar
with a certain legend of the plague (though no plague comes in here).
Indeed, it is only a chance conversation in the last chapter that throws
light, my dear Watson, on this particularly _bizarre_ affair. And what
then, you ask, had happened to _Jack Dampier_ after all? Ah!

       *       *       *       *       *

I wonder why it is that so many books about walking tours should be
written in much the same style. At least I don't really wonder at all,
since it is quite apparent that R. L. S. and _Modestine_ are the models
responsible for this state of things. And, since the style in itself is
pleasant enough, I don't know that any one need complain. What put me
upon this reflection was _Vagabonds in Perigord_ (CONSTABLE), which, for
the modulation of its prose, might almost have been an unacknowledged
work of the Master, but is actually written by Mr. H. H. BASHFORD. It
concerns the wanderings on foot of certain pleasure pilgrims along the
course of the river Dordogne; and is, for those that like such things,
one of the most attractive volumes I have met this great while. I liked
especially the author's happy gift of filling his pages with a holiday
atmosphere; there is, indeed, so much fresh air and sunshine in them
that the sympathetic reader will emerge feeling mentally bronzed. Nor
does Mr. BASHFORD lack an agreeable humour of phrase. "Those wonderful
three-franc dinners that seem to fall like manna upon France at seven
o'clock every evening" is an example that lingers in my memory.
Moreover, running through the whole is a hidden joke, and very cunningly
hidden too, only to be revealed in the last paragraphs. Not for worlds
would I reveal it here; I content myself with admitting that I for one
was entirely fooled. I am less sure whether as a record of travel the
book tempts to emulation. The drawbacks are perhaps too vividly rendered
for this--heat and thirst through the flaming June days, and by night
not wholly unbroken repose. But I am delighted to read about it all.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAM STOKER, whose too early cutting off saddened a wide circle of
friends, was the Fat Boy of modern writers of fiction. He knew how to
provide opportunity in fullest measure for making your flesh creep. A
series of stories named after the first, _Dracula's Guest_ (ROUTLEDGE),
is a marvellous collection of weird fancies wrought with ingenuity,
related with graphic power, that come as near EDGAR ALLAN POE as
anything I am acquainted with. There are nine, widely varying in subject
and plot. I have read them all, and am not ashamed to confess that,
finishing one before commencing another of the fascinating series, I
found it convenient and agreeable to turn aside for a while and glance
over less exciting pages. Not the least marvellous thing about the
banquet is that it is provided at the modest charge of a shilling.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: (_A nervous individual, having been advised by a
specialist that he must undergo an operation, calls upon his own doctor
to ask him to administer the anæsthetic._)

_The Doctor (a conscientious practitioner)._ "Well! I will administer
the anæsthetic, but--you know, I never like doing it. _The jury are
always down on the anæsthetist._"





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