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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 26th, 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. 147, August 26th, 1914" ***

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  VOL. 147.

  AUGUST 26, 1914.


An eclipse of the sun took place on Friday last. It is supposed to have
been an attempt on the part of the sun to prevent the Germans finding a
place in it.


South Africa has now declared with no uncertain voice that she intends
to fight under the British Flag, and the KAISER'S vexation on realising
that the money spent on a certain famous telegram was sheer waste is
said to have been pitiable.


We hear, by the way, that HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY is also extremely annoyed
that so many English people should be resuming their summer holidays at
the seaside. This is considered a slight on the power and ubiquity of
the German Navy.


Some idea of how well the secret of their ultimate destination was kept
even from the soldiers of our expeditionary force may be gathered from
the fact that their favourite song on arriving in France was "It's a
long way to Tip-per-ar-y."


The German newspapers no doubt perceive in this a reference to our Civil
War in Ireland.


We are glad that the lie about the cutting-up of the Black Watch has
been scotched. May they yet live to be "The Black Watch on the Rhine."


A gentleman writes to _The Observer_ to mention that an American
surgeon, on bidding him farewell the other day, remarked, "Blood is
thicker than water." This statement, coming from a medical man, who
ought to know, is extremely valuable.



         _Daily Mail._

Yes, and now full of Turkey's coal.


The London Museum is open again. The Curator, we understand, would be
glad to add to his collection of curiosities any Londoner who is still
in favour of a small Navy.


The Devon and Somerset stag-hounds have stopped hunting, and there is
said to be a movement on foot among the local stags in favour of passing
a vote of thanks to a certain mad dog.


Which reminds us that that rare spectacle, a smile on the face of an
oyster, may now be seen. It has been decided that the Whitstable oyster
feast shall not be held this year.


The Duc D'ORLÉANS has sent back to the AUSTRIAN EMPEROR the collar of
the Golden Fleece which His Majesty conferred on him in 1896. One can
understand a Frenchman objecting to being collared by an Austrian.


It is, as is well known, an ill wind that blows no one any good. As a
result of the War the proceedings of the British Association are not
being reported at their usual length in our newspapers.


Another little advantage arising out of the War seems to have escaped
notice. Owing to the fact that such Germans as are left among us eat
much more quietly than formerly in order not to attract attention to
themselves, it is now possible to hear an orchestra at a restaurant.


The horse-race habit is, we suppose, difficult to shed. A newsvendor was
heard shouting the other day, "European War. Result!"


"An artist who called at a famous firm of etching printers," a
contemporary tells us, "found the men were away printing bank-notes." We
trust that they were authorised to do so.


"Cambridge public-houses," we read, "are to close at 9 P.M." Such dons
as are still up for the Long Vacation are said to be taking it gamely in
spite of the inconvenience of accustoming themselves to the new


Every day one has fresh examples of how the War is putting an end to our
internecine rivalries. For instance, _The Daily Mail_ is now issuing the
"Standard" History of the War.


Some of our contemporaries are referring to the Germans as "Modern
Huns." We would point out that, as a matter of fact, they are not real
Huns. They are wrong Huns.


"Thousands of young men without ties," complains a writer in _The
Express_, "remain indifferent to the call of their country." We are
afraid that this is true not only of those without ties, but also of
some who wear expensive cravats.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: FAIR LOOT.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "The idea is to make it possible for every individual to register
    for himself a number at the General Post Office.... All you do is to
    address him, say: '105051, care General Post Office,' and the
    officials look up 05051's latest address and forward the letter."

We fear that this is just what they would do.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The members of Caldicot Wesleyan Church Sunday School had their
    annual summer tea on Tuesday in a field kindly lent by Mr. W. Howard
    of Church Farm."

This comes under the heading "War Items" in _The Newport Evening Post_.
On applying to the Official Press Bureau, however, we were unable to
obtain from Mr. F. E. SMITH any confirmation of the rumour.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Chairman put the vote, and there being no answering cries of
    '!' declared the vote carried _nemine contradicente_."

         _Birmingham Daily Post._

After which the proceedings closed amid approving shouts of
"[Illustration of pointing finger]."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A large firm of contractors to hotels points out that a prominent
    form of waste is eating too much."--_Times._

Conversely, eating too much brings on a prominent form of waist.

       *       *       *       *       *

Motto for debtors: _Moratorium, te salutamus._

       *       *       *       *       *


    [Every lover of England is bound to give what he can spare--and
    something more--for the help of those who may suffer distress
    through the War. Gifts to the National Relief Fund should be
    addressed to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, at Buckingham Palace.]

      Come, all ye who love her well,
       Ye whose hopes are one with hers,
      One with hers the hearts that swell
       When the pulse of memory stirs;
      She from whom your life ye take
       Claims you; how can you forget?
      Come, your honour stands at stake!
        _Pay your debt!_

      By her sons that hold the deep,
       Nerves at strain and sinews tense,
      Sleepless-eyed that ye may sleep
       Girdled in a fast defence;--
      By her sons that face the fire
       Where the battle-lines are set--
      Give your country her desire!
        _Pay your debt!_

      He that, leaving child and wife
       In our keeping, unafraid,
      Goes to dare the deadly strife,
       Shall he see his trust betrayed?
      Shall he come again and find
       Hollow cheeks and eyelids wet?
      Guard them as your kith and kind!
        _Pay your debt!_

      Sirs, we should be shamed indeed
       If the bitter cry for bread,
      Children's cries in cruel need,
       Rose and fell uncomforted!
      Ah, but since the patriot glow
       Burns in English bosoms yet,
      Twice and thrice ye will, I know,
        Pay your debt!

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


                                            _August 19th._

During this season of splendid weather you may be sure that we in
Totland Bay have not been idle. We swim, men, women and children, and we
perform great feats of diving from the moored rafts which the
authorities have kindly provided for that purpose. And we toil off on
the usual picnic parties and inhale great draughts of health as we lie
on our backs on the heather-clad slopes of the hill. But even while we
pursue these simple pleasures our thoughts are with the great warships
in their ceaseless vigil in the North Sea or with the gallant fellows
who slipped away under cover of the night and are now taking their place
in the fighting line with our French and Belgian friends. England, too,
it seems, can perform a great operation of war on sea and land, and can
do it with a swiftness, a precision and a silence that no other nation
could surpass. So we hold our heads high and are proud to reckon
ourselves the fellow-countrymen of JELLICOE and KITCHENER. We have begun
well. May we have strength and resolution to endure without faltering to
the end.

I am glad to say that the sewing brigade, which I mentioned in my last,
shows an ever-increasing activity. All good female Islanders are busy
about the manufacture of pyjamas for the soldiery. One of the marks of
patriotism amongst our ladies is the possession of a pair of pyjama
legs. No picnic party is complete without them. When the men light their
cigarettes the women bring out their pyjamas and add stitch upon stitch.
Pyjama legs are awkward things in a breeze, being apt to flap about, but
they are resolutely tucked round arms or otherwise restrained, and the
needle continues its deft work in spite of all difficulties. Pyjama
jackets, too, are of course made in the proper number, but they are not
so dramatic in their movements as the legs, and I have not noticed them
so much.

I revert once more to KITCHENER'S triumphant feat in transporting our
army to France. We are not very far from Southampton, whence some of the
troops must have sailed, but beyond the merest vague rumours we heard
nothing. One lady, a fortnight ago, had word from some one that a
Belgian _padre_ had seen trucks full of British soldiers in Belgium. A
gentleman had heard from a school friend of his daughter that
motor-'buses of the General Omnibus Company had been seen in Brussels in
all their bravery of scarlet, apparently bound (if their painted
announcements might be trusted) for Cricklewood _viâ_ Brussels with a
full complement of soldiery and stores. Another lady knew, she said,
that her nephew, an officer, had already sailed for an unknown
destination. These were the reports, and they left us all guessing.

I am still in trouble about my tame alien, the children's maid, Maria
Hasewitz. Her permit, obtained at Newport with some labour, authorises
her to reside at Totland, but not to move more than five miles from the
limits of that place. Having decided to leave Totland with family and
household on Monday I have suddenly been brought up against the stone
wall of Maria's alienship. It was obviously necessary to secure
permission for this forlorn German girl to travel home with us. The idea
of dropping Maria into the sea five miles from here could not be
entertained, in spite of the fact that she is technically an enemy. So I
applied, stating the facts, to the Chief Constable, who, with a
promptitude and a courtesy which I desire to acknowledge, sent a
sergeant to interview me. Struggling against that sense of general and
undefined guilt which the propinquity of a police officer always
inspires and striving to assume an air of frank and confident honesty, I
approached the sergeant and learnt from him that, this being a
prohibited area, the Chief Constable could not give the required
permission to travel without the express authority of the HOME
SECRETARY, to whom he begged to refer me. I urged that it would be a
profound relief to the Chief Constable to get rid even of an alien so
harmless as Maria; but this plea the sergeant at once put aside. I have
therefore written to the HOME SECRETARY. If he refuses I wonder what
will happen to Maria.

P.S.--The Home Office has replied authorising Maria to embark at Ryde
and land at Portsmouth. This is like telling a Londoner to embark at
Hull and land at Bristol on his way to Windsor. I have telegraphed.

_Later._--The Home Office permits Maria to embark at Totland and land at
Lymington. All is at last well.

R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from "Notes from an Alsatian Valley" in _Chambers' Journal_:--

    "As a last word about this charming country, may I point out its
    advantages as a holiday playground? It offers attractions of many
    kinds to the sportsman.... The climate ... remains singularly warm
    right up to the end of October."

Rather _too_ hot a playground for holiday-makers just now.


       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Zealous Policeman (on German Spy duty, having got
motorist's name and address, etc., and received, in answer to his
further question, "And is this lady your wife?" a torrent of oaths very
much in the vernacular)._ "OH! PASS ALONG; YOU'RE A BRITISHER ALL

       *       *       *       *       *


While cordially endorsing all the deserved tributes that have lately
been paid to the tact and loyalty of our daily Press, we venture to
express a hope that the practice of printing every kind of contradictory
war report will not become of universal application to other forms of

Imagine, for example, being confronted with this kind of thing in the
Cricket specials:--



A telegram from Canterbury, dated 11 A.M., Aug 18th, states that the
great match has actually begun. No details are given.


Rumour's Agency learns that the resistance of Kent has everywhere been
entirely overcome; no fewer than forty-three of the home side have been
dismissed for sixteen runs. Twenty-nine wickets fell before lunch.

_Maidstone, Aug. 19. [Delayed in transmission]_.--The team has arrived
in Canterbury. Captain TROUGHTON, in a stirring address, pointed out
that hostilities had been forced upon the county, which however would
not be found unprepared. The greatest enthusiasm prevails among the
team, who are in capital health. WOOLLEY especially was never in better


A private telegram received in Liverpool states that SHARP took
seventeen wickets for no runs in eleven minutes. Up to the time of going
to press this had not been officially confirmed.

_Dover._--No credence is attached here to the reported success of
Lancashire. It is pointed out that in any case the figures given must be
greatly overestimated, not more than eleven men being employed on either
side. Most probably the casualties include both umpires and spectators,
and these losses would have no real effect on the game.

_Manchester._--It is confirmed here that WOOLLEY has resigned.

_Canterbury, noon, Aug. 18. (From our Special Correspondent.)_--At
last I am able to send you definite information. Amidst a scene of
breathless enthusiasm the two Captains prepared to toss. A roar of
cheering soon afterwards proclaimed that the coin had declared in favour

[Message breaks off here and has evidently been censored.]

Folkestone unofficial wires state that at lunch the scores stood--Kent
all out 463: Lancashire 14 for 2 wickets (both taken by WOOLLEY).


The Press Bureau have just issued a statement that no play has yet been
possible in the Kent v. Lancashire match on account of rain.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Pingoism in Japan may be matched by Jingoism here."--_Pittsburgh

Pingoism should be carefully distinguished from pongoism.

       *       *       *       *       *


    The awful silence of the British virgil in the North Sea is unbroken

_Newcastle Daily Journal._

We are glad to see our old friend VIRGIL spoken of as British. It is, no
doubt, the writer's forcible way of indicating Italy's sympathy.


I have bought a war map. My newspaper told me to, and I did. It came
yesterday with a host of little coloured flags on pins.

Helen and I surveyed it critically.

"Why, it's only an ordinary map of Europe," she said disgustedly.

"It won't be," I said, "when we've stuck the flags in."

I removed a picture and pinned the map to the wall.

"First of all there's Belgrade," I said.

"Where?" asked Helen eagerly.

"Er, er--somewhere round here, I know.... I do believe they've forgotten
to put it in...."

Gladys (who is only ten) found it for us eventually, and we arranged a
very fine battle there with a river in between.

The Meuse was easier. We infested its banks with our hosts and fixed a
splendid array of troops all along the Franco-German frontier. Next we
invaded Germany and Austria from the other side with several Russian
armies and put some local troops to meet them. Without boasting, I think
I may say the result was very pretty. But to our dismay we found we had
a number of armies left. Helen said they must fight somewhere.

"You can't keep all those troops idle," she said. "Look at the waste of
good material."

"That's true," I admitted. "Perhaps my newspaper can help."

It did indeed contain enough rumours of battles to dispose of all our
flags and a few dozen besides, but at the same time it urged me to
accept unofficial statements with the greatest reserve. Mr. F. E. SMITH,
it declared (it was a Liberal print; such are the vicissitudes of war)
was the only reliable authority. Helen and I decided we could accept
information from him alone. But Mr. SMITH gave us no help. I was worried
for the moment, I admit; here were all these armies left in the envelope
with nowhere to go to.

Then I had an inspiration such as comes to a man but seldom in a
lifetime. The Fates should decide.

I pushed the furniture out of the way, led Helen to the other side of
the room, blindfolded her, and thrust a British army into her hand.

"The idea is to walk across the room without looking and stick it
somewhere on the map," I explained. "Scandinavia and the Peninsula are
out of bounds until we hear further from the KAISER. If you hit them you
have another prod."

Helen planted her army near Moscow. I took a Servian flag and planted it
in the North Sea.

The game was very exciting while it lasted. I consider that I won it by
placing a French force in the environs of Vienna, an extraordinarily
good move. My newspaper would have been glad of the suggestion, I am

Gladys was handicapped by her height, but, taking everything into
consideration, I think she arranged some quite nice struggles in Sicily
and the Principality of Monaco.

Wilkinson came in after dinner. He collects the latest rumours and edits
them really well. Usually Helen and I find it wise to accept all his
statements without a murmur, but yesterday I disagreed with him.

"I'm sorry," I said gently, "but I don't think you've got things quite
right. This is more like the position of things at present," and I waved
my arm in the direction of our war map.

When at last he regained speech he made some remarks which might have
given offence to people less sure of themselves than I.

"No," I said, "I do know the flags of the nations, and so does my wife.
But I must beg you to keep that map a secret. You see, I have a friend
in the inner circle who has given me some information of which the
outside world knows nothing. I can rely on your discretion, I am sure."

"Of course, my dear fellow." He seemed dazed and strangely silent. He
had one long last look at the map and departed muttering to himself: "A
Belgian fleet off the Outer Hebrides! French troops in Nijni Novgorod!!
A Montenegrin squadron menacing Mitylene!!!"

It is strange how strong the force of habit is. I went to the City as
usual to-day. At lunch I met Collins, who told me he had it on very good
authority that there was an Austrian fleet bombarding the forts along
the Mersey and that a combined force of French and Russians had crossed
the Dutch frontier from Arnheim and was advancing on Berlin.

I hurried home to record these new developments on my map, and was
compelled, through shortage of flags, to displace the Servian fleet from
the North Sea and Gladys's Belgian contingent from Monte Carlo.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _German Bird._ "I SEE IT DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _The Hohenzollern (megaphonically)._ "TAKE COURAGE, MY

       *       *       *       *       *


"500,000 copies of 'With the Flag to Pretoria' were sold a few days
after publication and thousands were disappointed."--_Advt._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A FAUX PAS.

_London Hawker (addressing obvious Teuton)._ "WEAR YER FLAG, SIR."

       *       *       *       *       *


    Because beneath grey Northern skies
      Some grey hulls heave and fall,
    The merchants sell their merchandise
      All just as usual;
    Our cargoes sail for man's content
      The same as yesterday,
    And war-risk's down to 2 per cent.,
      The underwriters say.

    The clerks they sit with page and pen
      And fill the desks a-row,
    Because outside of Cuxhaven
      There's them to make it so;
    We go to lunch, as natural,
      From one o'clock till two,
    Because outside of Kiel Canal
      There's those that let us do.

    We check and add our pass-books up
      Or keep our weekly Boards
    Unhampered by the works of KRUPP
      And all the KAISER'S swords;
    At five o'clock we have our tea
      And catch our usual bus--
    So thank the LORD for those at sea
      Who guard the likes of us.

       *       *       *       *       *


The C.C.C.C. has been formed to provide for the wants of unpatriotic or
panic-stricken persons in all parts of the country.




HORS D'OEUVRES.--Ensure your _hors d'oeuvres_ by allowing us to turn
your bath into a sardine tank. Your basement too should make an
excellent oyster bed. We would flood it for you.

SOUPS.--The mock turtles we supply are quite tame, and while waiting to
be made into soup should keep your children amused. We also deliver
Salted Oxtail by the furlong. Send for patterns.

FISH.--Try one of our Frozen Whales and assure your fish course for the
next six months.

JOINTS.--Sheep-folds (with sheep) supplied at shortest notice to fit
your tennis court, or you might order one of our Handy Styes, which have
accommodation for half-a-dozen pigs (congenial company) and are suitable
for erection in a corner of any flat or private residence.

SWEETS.--Our "one ton" plum puddings placed in position on your premises
by our own cranes.

       *       *       *       *       *


    _A Grateful Customer writes_:--"Your transformation of my boudoir
    into a hen-pen is quite admirable, and enables us to face the future
    with complete calm. As your circular reminds us, one feels more
    comfortable about one's country when one is safe oneself."

    _Another writes_:--"Many thanks for prompt attention. The
    night-nursery makes an excellent cow-house, and the two cows used
    the passenger-lift with perfect success."

       *       *       *       *       *


So long as the order is large enough we will execute it. No orders for
less value than £50 accepted.


Our Hoarding Department has prepared a neat stocking capable of holding
750 sovereigns. Please ask to see one.

       *       *       *       *       *

All goods are delivered in our own heavily armoured pantechnicons.

A charming miniature White Feather, suitable for personal adornment,
will be presented to all customers.

Take no notice whatever of any warnings in the newspapers not to buy
largely. Think of yourselves. It is only you who matter. Buy now; buy

       *       *       *       *       *

From the regulations governing special constables:--

    "A special constable guilty of misconduct may be suspended from
    duty, and, if so suspended, shall forthwith give up his warrant
    card, truncheon, armlet, and whistle to the police officer
    suspending him."

What tune must he whistle to him?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Admiral Jellicoe has a reputation for thoroughness in the naval
    service, but a story which shows his kindly nature was told to me
    to-day (says 'F.' in the 'Citizen'). A defence boom was being
    constructed at Sheerness, and the admiral was dissatisfied with it.
    He told the officer in command of some defects, and said it was not
    so good as the boom at Portsmouth."

We feel sure there must be even better stories about him than this.

       *       *       *       *       *


Jeremy threw away the stump of his after-dinner cigar and began to light
another one.

"Where's the economy of giving up smoking when you've got lots of cigars
in the house?" he asked.

"Oh, Jeremy," said his wife, "who says you ought to?"

"The Vicar. He only smokes one non-throat cigarette a day himself. I
told him he ought to give that up, but he said it was different. I say,
it will want rather a large soldier for that shirt, won't it?" He sat on
the arm of his wife's chair and began to play with the sleeve.

"Jeremy, can't you find something to do?"

"Yes." He went out and returned with his golf clubs, which he began to
polish lovingly. "I think I shall have a round to-morrow. If FRANCIS
DRAKE played bowls when the Spanish Fleet was in sight, I don't see why
Jeremy Smith shouldn't play golf when the German Fleet is out of sight."

"I thought you said you weren't going to till the war was over?"

"I don't see why I shouldn't. Golf keeps us fit, and it is the duty of
every Englishman to be fit just now."

"But you really play golf because you like it."

Jeremy looked up at her in surprise.

"Really," he said, "I don't see why I shouldn't like doing my duty."

"Oh, Jeremy!" sighed his wife. "You know I didn't mean that."

"I know exactly what you meant." He dropped his clubs and began to pace
the room. "You're filled with the idea that the only way a man can serve
his country is by doing something he absolutely detests. That's why you
made me a special constable." He stopped and glared at her. "A special
constable! Me!"

"Darling, it was your own idea entirely."

"You said to yourself, 'There are men who would make excellent special
constables--men with red faces and angry moustaches who take naturally
to ordering other people about, men who instinctively push their way
into the middle of a row when they see one, men with a lust for gore,
great powerful men who have learnt ju-jitsu. But the fact that they'd
all rather like it shows that it can't really be their duty to join;
they wouldn't be making a big enough sacrifice. The men we want are the
quiet, the mild, the inoffensive, the butterflies of life, the men who
would simply loathe being special constables, the men who would be
entirely useless at it'--and, having said this to yourself, you looked
round and you saw _me_."

Mrs. Jeremy smiled and shook her head at her husband, sighed again, and
returned to her work.

"And so now I'm a special constable, and I wear a belt and a truncheon,
and what good do I do? Baby loves it, I admit that; Baby admires me
immensely. When Nurse says, 'If you're not a good girl the special
constable will be after you,' Baby shrieks with delight. But officially,
in the village, I am useless.... Oh but I forgot, I arrested a man this

"Jeremy, and you never told me!" said Mrs. Jeremy excitedly.

"Well, I wasn't quite sure at the time whether I arrested him or he
arrested me. But in the clearer light of evening I see that it was
really I who was doing the arresting. At any rate it was I who had the
belt and the note-book."

"Was it a German spy?"

"No, it was old Jack, rather drunk. I arrested him for being intoxicated
on a bridge--the one over the brook, you know, by Claytons. He put his
arm round my neck and we started for the Haverley police-station
together. I didn't want to go to the police-station, because it's three
miles off, but Jack insisted.... He had me tight by the neck. I couldn't
even make a note."

"Wasn't he afraid of your truncheon?"

"My darling, one couldn't hit old Jack with a truncheon; he's such a
jolly old boy when he's sober." Jeremy played nervously with his wife's
scissors, and added, "Besides he was doing things with the truncheon

"What sort of things?"

"Conducting the _Marseillaise_ chiefly--we marched along in time to it."
A smile spread slowly over Jeremy's face as the scene came back to him.
"It must have looked splendid."

"How dared he?" said Mrs. Jeremy indignantly.

"Oh, well, if you make your husband a special constable you must expect
these things. I consoled myself with the thought that I was doing my
duty ... and that there was nobody about. You see, we made a detour and
missed Haverley, and when we were nearly home again he left me. I mean I
released him. You know, I'm not what I call a _good_ special constable.
I did what I could, but there must be more in it than that."

Mrs. Jeremy looked up and blew a kiss to him.

"However," he went on, "I dropped in on him this evening and made him
sign the pledge."

"Well, there you are; you _have_ done some good."

"Yes, but I hadn't got my truncheon on then. I spoke as Jeremy Smith,
Esq." He put a brassey to his shoulder and said, "Bang," and went on, "I
should be no good at all at the front, and Lord KITCHENER would be no
good trying to paint my water-colours, but all the same I scored an
inner last night. The scene at the range when it got about that the
President had scored an inner was one of wild enthusiasm. When the news
is flashed to Berlin it will give the GERMAN EMPEROR pause. Do you know
that the most unpatriotic thing you can do is to make shirts for the
wounded, when there are lots of poor women in the village who'd be only
too glad of the job? Like little Miss Merton. And yet you think to get
out of it by making your husband a special constable."

Mrs. Jeremy put down her work and went over to her husband and knelt by
his chair.

"Do you know," she said, taking his hands in hers, "that there isn't a
man, woman or child in this village who is idle or neglected or
forgotten? That those who wanted to enlist have been encouraged and told
how to, and that those who didn't want to have been shown other ways of
helping? That it's all been done without any fuss or high-falutin or
busy-bodying, and chiefly because of an absurd husband of mine who never
talks seriously about anything, but somehow manages to make everybody
else willing and good-tempered?"

"Is that a fact?" said Jeremy, rather pleased.

"It is. And this absurd husband didn't understand how much he was
helping, and he had an idea that he ought to do something thoroughly
uncomfortable, so he ordered a truncheon and gave up golf and made
himself quite miserable ... and then put it all on to his wife."

"Well, why didn't you stop me?" said Jeremy helplessly.

"I wasn't going to be a drag on you; if you'd volunteered for a
submarine I should have said nothing."

"I should be useless in a submarine," said Jeremy thoughtfully; "I
should only fall over the white mice. But I really thought you
wanted---- Why then," he cried happily, "I might play golf to-morrow,
you think?"

"I wish you would," said Mrs. Jeremy.

Jeremy took up his brassey and addressed an imaginary ball.

"Sir Jeremy Smith playing golf in a crisis," he said. "Subject for
historical picture."

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *


_West Country Skipper (stationary in small Cornish port and ignorant
of our Navy's control of the sea)._ "IF I PUTS OUT AN' GOES EAST I BE

       *       *       *       *       *


MY DEAR BILL,--It is now upwards of a fortnight since we were torn
asunder, I being taken away to cope with the Germans and you being left
at home to protect our property against the predatory attacks of our
landlady. I imagine you would like to know how things are going with me,
but please don't trouble to answer, for I don't in the least want to
know how things are going with you. No one does, my boy; you are what we
refer to as a _something_ civilian. You must forgive us, Bill; it is one
of the too few pleasures in the life of the mobilized Territorial.

Has that rosy, well-groomed body of yours ever sought repose on the
tessellated floor of a public hall? Has it ever washed itself in an
enamel mug? Has it ever set out on a round of visits with luggage
limited to 35 lbs., inclusive of its bed? No, nor had mine before; and
yet it doesn't seem to suffer much harm from the experience. What is
more, we are beginning to find scope for little luxuries even in this
narrow compass; there are mess tins, for instance, of the larger sort in
which one may, with a little ingenuity, have a complete bath.

When I set off last Tuesday week, with my chest out and my eyes right, I
only got as far as the Infants School round the corner, where my company
was foregathered. Here we spent our time, the hundred odd of us, getting
together the necessaries of life: the most formidable of these was
undoubtedly the housewife. I confess to a faint heart when I think of
myself darning my socks in off moments between battles.

From the Infants School we went to the Town Hall to join the Battalion,
and the thousand of us marched to our war station, some thirty miles
away. I hope I looked like a soldier as I stepped out, but I felt more
like a general stores with all my stock hanging in my shop window. Next
time I do this sort of thing I'm going to have a row of pegs on my back
and an extra storey in my head-gear for oddments. There is no denying
that the whole arrangement is an efficient one, the only failure being
the cellar equipment. It seems to me that the War Office ought to have
discovered some shady nook about the human body where one's drinking
water could be kept cool. Also I think they have wasted space by not
utilizing the inside of one's field-glasses for the carriage of
something or other. A combination sword and razor would also be an

We increased in numbers as we progressed. At our war-station we joined
the Brigade, making us four thousand in all, and from there we joined
the Division, becoming about sixteen thousand. If we go on at this
pace, we shall be getting into the millions soon, and then I think
somebody's meals _must_ be overlooked. There's bound to be some limit to
the capacity of these organizing people, although it certainly hasn't
appeared yet. They moved our Brigade two hundred miles by train with
less shouting and fuss than is usual with the single British family
mobilising for its seaside resort. Their system of train-catching
however is worth mentioning.

Section Commanders were told to have their section ready by six-thirty.
That was the order issued by us Lieutenants responsible for
half-companies. We had been told to be ready by seven o'clock, under a
threat of execution on the following dawn. Hence the margin of half an
hour. We took our orders from our Captains, who had them from the
Majors, who had them from the Adjutant, who had them from the C.O., who
had them from the Brigadier, who had them from goodness knows where.
Every rank is prepared to be shot, if need be, but desires, if possible,
not to have it happen at dawn; so each officer, taking his order from
his superior, puts on his margin before instructing his inferior.

The Brigadier came round this morning to have a look at a guard. He
found our one and only T. B. Ponks doing sentry. "Turn out the guard,"
was the order. "Eh?" was the response. "Where is the guard?" asked the
flushed suite. "A dunno," said T. B. The suite was inclined to be fussy,
but our Brigadier is essentially human. "Where are the other lads?" he
asked genially. "They 'm in theer," said T. B., pointing to the entrance
with no particular enthusiasm. The Brigadier and his staff made as if to
enter. "'Ere, you," called T. B., now galvanized into activity, "you
can't go in theer," and he barred the way. We have since been lectured
on the elements of military ceremonial, but at the same time we have
been asked to volunteer as a unit for the fighting line if need be. I
think the Brigadier has his doubts as to how T. B. and his sort will
impress the Allies, but feels quite confident of their manner towards
the enemy. It was the same T. B. who, being sent by the magnificent
Lieutenant d'Arcy to summon Lance-Corporal Brown, was overheard calling,
"Hi, Mr. Brown, d'Arcy wants yer."

I must break off here, for I have had an intimation from Private Cox
that now is my opportunity to see his bare feet. A fortnight ago I might
have hesitated to accept this kind invitation; to-day I insist upon his
bringing them along at once. In fact, my hobby in life is other people's
feet; I have fitted a hundred pairs of them with socks and with boots,
and I have assisted personally at the pricking of their blisters and the
trimming of their excrescences. What a fall from our intellectual
heights! But so it is with us, Bill; if we can once get those boys' feet
in sound marching order, all the nice problems of the human soul which
we used to canvass may go to the---- But I suppose that I must reserve
that word for military use.

By the way, when the battalion was asked to volunteer, the men only
raised one point. They didn't trouble themselves about the work or the
risk of it, but they wondered whether anybody really _would_ look after
their homes and dependants when the excitement had died down a little.
Their scepticism may be due to a certain music-hall comedian who used to
declare as follows:--"And if, gentlemen, this glorious old country of
ours shall ever be involved in war, I know, I say, gentlemen, that I
know, there is not a man in this hall to-night who will fail to turn out
and see the troops off."

But to-day things are different, and these boys of ours, a noisy,
troublesome and magnificent crew, need have no fear about the homes they
leave behind them.

    Yours ever,          HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

    "WANTED.--Girls to sort nuts."

         _Advt. in "Liverpool Echo."_

The object is to find if there are any without grease on their hair.

       *       *       *       *       *


        *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


Thanks to the courtesy of the Editor we are able to publish the
following selections from the stories about cats sent in for the prize
competition organised by _The Scottish Meekly_. The first received a
complete edition of the sermons of Dr. Angus McHuish, the second a
mounted photograph of Sir Nicholson Roberts, and the third a superb
simulation gold pencil-case.


Here is a true story of a wild stray cat which I hope may interest your
readers. Some years ago I lived with my parents (my father being a
retired manufacturer of artificial eyes) on the banks of the river
Dodder, near Dundrum. In the back-garden there was an old summer-house,
where we used to store cabbages, disused kippers, Carlsbad plums and
other odds and ends, and here a stray cat took up his abode in an empty
porter cask during the latter part of January, 1901. He was of some rare
breed and very beautiful in appearance--a blend between a marmadillo and
a young loofah--but so savage that no one dared to touch him. During the
cold months of the year we placed bottles of stout in the summer-house
for him, the corks of which he drew with his claws, which were
remarkably long. In the summer-time he used to forage for himself,
subsisting mainly on roach, with an occasional conger-eel which he
caught in the Dodder. One day early in April, 1902, the cat--whom we
called Beethoven, because of his indulgence in moonlight fantasias--came
to the back door mewing, and on opening the door my father found that it
had lost an eye--probably in a fight--and evidently wished him to supply
the loss artificially, which he did. I have never heard a cat purr so
loudly as Beethoven did on that occasion. After that he completely lost
his shyness and became quite one of the family, singing in the choir on
Sundays and contributing to the larder during the week by his skill as a
fisherman. He lived with us until a few months ago, when he unhappily
died through inadvertently swallowing a cork. He is buried in our
garden, and on the stone are inscribed the following lines composed by
my mother--

    Here lies Beethoven in his grave,
    No earthly power could him save;
    An envious cork blocked up his breath
    And that was how he met his death.


         _Marine Villas, Brondesbury._


Piffles was a splendid pink Circassian--perfect in colour and shape,
with glorious topaz eyes. But the extraordinary thing about him was a
gift that he had for changing his colour. Thus my uncle, an old
Anglo-Indian who always drank a bottle of Madeira after dinner, declared
that from 10 P.M. onwards Piffles invariably seemed to him to be a
bright crimson with green spots. Another peculiarity of Piffles was that
he always followed the guns out shooting, and used to retrieve birds
from the most difficult places. He practically ruled the household, took
the boys back to school after the holidays, attended family prayers, and
was learning to play the pianola when he was unfortunately killed by a
crocodile which escaped from a travelling menagerie.

         (MISS) IVY WAGG.

         _The Oaks, Long Boughton._


Last year I had a cat who, whenever she was offended, used to go to my
bedroom and throw various articles out of the window. I was constantly
finding purses, powder-puffs, artificial teeth, safety-pins, hymn-books,
etc., on the lawn, and never suspected the culprit until she was caught
in the act.

She also had a habit of sitting on the top of the front door and
dropping golf-balls on the head of the postman, whom, either for his red
hair or his Radical opinions, she disliked bitterly.

She would eat and drink anything, including ice-pudding and green
Chartreuse, and was always peculiarly cheerful on Thursday evenings,
when _The Scottish Meekly_ reaches our house.

         D. MONK HOWSON.

         _Steep Bank, Grogport._

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


"What do you do?" asked Charles, "when people want you to play

"Sometimes I play," I said. "Sometimes I send Sophonisba. Sometimes I
tell them that my head-keeper is away and I am obliged to look after the
lop-ears. What happens to you?"

"Well, you know what lawn-tennis is like nowadays. In the bygone
butter-pat era I could hold my own with the best of them. Golf had
hardly come in, and when one wasn't playing cricket, and the spilliken
set had been mislaid, and tiddley-winks was voted too rough, a couple of
sets or so was rather fun. Soft undulating courts, very hard to keep a
footing on, and plenty of sticks and leaves to assist one's screws, and
patches of casual whiting here and there so that you could say that it
wasn't a fault but hit the line. Now all that is changed.
Panther-limbed, hawk-eyed young persons leap about the lawn dressed in
white from top to toe. They play on fast and level lawns, entirely
circumscribed by a kind of deep-sea trawling apparatus. They want you to
hit hard and well. I have only two strokes when I hit hard. One of them
pierces the bottom of the seine or drag-net fixed across the fairway,
the other brings the man round from the next-door garden but two to say
that his cucumbers are catching cold. And then I do not understand their
terms. What is a 'fore-hand drive'? It sounds like the coaching
Marathon. And how do you put on top spin? Do you wind your racquet round
and round the ball and then pull it away suddenly, or what? And
cross-volleys--what in the world are they?"

"Goodness knows," I said. "My own volleys are the best-tempered little
chaps alive. But, hang it! no one can force you to play lawn-tennis if
you don't want to."

"Can't they?" said Charles. "That's just the point. They do. They say to
me, 'You play golf and cricket; of course you can play tennis. Easiest
thing in the world.' Swish! swish! they go, making a ferocious
cross-hand top-lead from baulk with their umbrellas. 'That's how to do
it. You'll soon get into the way of the stroke.' 'That's just what I'm
afraid of,' I say, leaping nervously on to the table. But it's no good.
'Come round next Saturday afternoon,' they say, 'we shall be expecting
you,' and pass rapidly into the night before I can refuse."

"One can always have a sick headache," I reminded him.

"I did that once," said Charles. "I had been asked to play in a
tournament, and at dinner the next evening I sat next to the girl who
ought to have been my partner in the mixed handicaps, and we had
meringues. No, it isn't safe, and besides one might always want to play
golf. I think the best thing is to go once and trust to one's own skill
not to be asked again. Anyhow, I don't believe the Jenkinsons will give
me another invitation for some time."

"What happened?" I asked. "I suppose when they've sewn up the net and
bought new balls----"

"No, it wasn't that," he answered, with a dreamy smile. "You know the
Jenkinsons. You know how keen they are on tennis and how proud of their
court. I did everything I could to save them, but they would have me. I
said I had no racquet except the one I had used for landing trout in the
spring, and they told me I could get it restrung. I said I had no shoes,
and they told me any shoes would do. I couldn't tell them I had no
flannels, because they wouldn't have believed me. So I went. I wore an
old blue cricket cap on the back of my head: I wore long white trousers
not turned up, and I wore brown shoes."

"And your racquet?" I asked.

"I borrowed a real tennis-racquet," replied Charles; "one of those
narrow, rather wistful-looking things, with a kink in its head. I
thought it would complete the languid artistic effect and help to
convince them. It had rained a good deal in the morning, and I rather
hoped we might spend the time looking at the conservatory and have
muffins for tea. But no. When I reached the house I found that they had
decided to play. They laughed at me a good deal, of course--at my cap,
and my racquet, and my trousers, and my brown shoes. When we had taken
up our stations in the arena they told me I was to serve first. I sent
the ball high up into the air underhand and ran swiftly to the net." He
paused melodramatically.

"Go on," I said. "Was it the solar plexus or the eye?"

"No," he answered sadly, "I was unwounded; but that was the last stroke
I played. When I served that service they laughed at me again, but when
I ran to the net they ceased to laugh. They said they could easily find
someone else to complete the four. They pressed me to sit and watch for
the remainder of the afternoon. Indeed, they were quite firm about it."

"I don't understand," I said. "Was it your face that frightened them in
the blue cap?"

"Not so much my face," he answered gently, "as my feet."

"What was the matter with them?"

"There are big nails," he said softly, "in my brown golf shoes."

       *       *       *       *       *


_Jim_ (_from horse-box_). "NOT MUCH. NONE OF YOUR THIRD-CLASS FOR ME."

       *       *       *       *       *


It is a strange thing that, much as women have entered the writing lists
with men, there is one branch of literature which they rarely attempt.
Take away Mrs. BROWNING and CHRISTINA ROSSETTI and you will scarcely
find a love poem by a woman, or, at any rate, a love poem which takes
the woman's point of view. Probably many of the most cherished
sentimental songs which wake the echoes of the drawing-room and
conservatory are the work of women; but they write as men. It is always
the masculine aspect which is set before the public; the beloved is
always feminine. And yet marriage statistics show that precisely as many
men have married as women. But during the preliminary period of exalted
emotion any love poetry that was written was written by the men.

Surely, as the advancement of woman proceeds, and she adds territory
upon territory to her kingdom, she will redress the balance and write
love poetry too.

A very few changes in certain of the classic lyrics indicate how near
the two varieties of love poems can be: male and female. Thus, why
should not "he" as well as "she" have dwelt among untrodden ways? Why
should not "he" have walked in beauty like the night? POE wrote
magically about ANNABEL LEE; why should not one of his female relatives,
for example, have written in a similar strain? Something like this:--

    It was many and many a year ago,
      In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a gentleman lived whom you may know
      By the name of Hannibal Lee;
    And this gentleman lived with no other thought
      Than to love and be loved by me.

Women must see to it that men do not have it all their own way for ever.
LANDOR was moved to a perfect lyric by love of ROSE AYLMER. Is the
following any less perfect?

    Ah! what avails the sceptred race?
      Ah! what the form divine?
    What every virtue, every grace?
      George Aylmer, all were thine.

    George Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
      May weep, but never see,
    A night of memories and sighs
      I consecrate to thee.

George is of course not the only name, nor is Aylmer. The adaptrix,
however, must be careful that the Christian name is a monosyllable and
the other a dissyllable.

Again, in the following feminine version of a Shakspearean song the name
is subject to alteration:--

    Who is Bertie? What is he
      That all the girls commend him?
    Handsome, brave and wise is he;
      The heavens such grace did lend him
    That he might admired be.

Examples might be adduced from many poets, but two more will suffice. A
female TENNYSON might have begun a song in the following terms:--

    It is the youthful miller,
      And he is grown so dear, so dear,
    That I would be the pencil
      That trembles on his ear:
    For 'midst his curls by day and night
    I'd touch his neck so warm and white.

Finally, let us look at the very prince of love poets--ROBBIE BURNS.
Two of his most famous songs might as well have been written of swains
as maidens. Here is one in which in the most natural way in the world
lassie becomes laddie, and Mary, Harry:--

    Go, fetch to me a cup o' tea,
      And take it from a silver caddie,
    That I may drink a health to thee,
      A service to my bonnie laddie!
    The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith,
      Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry,
    The ship rides by the Berwick-Law,
      And I maun leave my bonnie Harry.

Is that injured by the change? Not a bit. And here is another in which
we have successfully introduced a variation of the original name:--

    Of a' the airts the wind can blaw
      I dearly like the west,
    For there the bonnie laddie lives,
      The laddie I lo'e best.
    There wild woods grow, and rivers row
      By mony a fleecy flock,
    But day and night my fancy's flight
      Is ever wi' my Jock.

After reading these famous stanzas in their amended form our women poets
may perhaps take heart and emulate them: to the immense delight of their
_fiancés_, who like to be wooed as well as to woo, and have never shied
very much at adulation.

       *       *       *       *       *



For weeks past the press had discussed little but the coming boxing
contest between Smasher Mike and the famous heavy-weight champion,
Mauler Mills, for a purse of £20,000 and enormous side stakes.
Photographs of the Mauler in every conceivable attitude had been
published daily, together with portraits of his wife, his two children,
his four maiden aunts and the pink-eyed opossum which he regarded as his
mascot. Full descriptions of his training day by day, with details of
his diet, his reading, his amusements and his opinions on war, divorce,
the clergy and kindred subjects, testified to the extraordinary
interest taken by the public in the titanic struggle.

But with regard to Smasher Mike the newspapers were at a loss. _The
Daily Flash_ indeed declared him to be the son of a popular Cabinet
Minister, and triumphantly published photographs of Downing Street, the
Woolsack, the Ladies' Gallery and Black Rod. _The Daily Rocket_, on the
other hand, described him as a herculean docker, discovered and trained
by a syndicate of wealthy Americans, and issued photographs of Tilbury
Station, Plymouth Hoe and the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour. The
fact remained that the identity of the daring challenger was a well-kept

Mauler Mills was too experienced a pugilist to be perturbed by the
mystery surrounding his adversary. The stakes had been handed in, and
the purse of £20,000, in one pound-notes, had formed a full-page
illustration in _The Trumpet_, with a photo of the Mauler eating
gooseberries inset. Content with this knowledge, he trained faithfully
and well, treated the interviewers with great courtesy, and publicly
announced that Smasher Mike would be knocked out early in the third
round by means of a left hook to the jaw.

The betting on Mauler Mills was a hundred to one.

Young Lord Tamerton was in desperate straits. The estate to which he had
succeeded at the age of ten had been administered during his minority by
a fraudulent executor, who had absconded to South America with his
ill-gotten wealth. Matters had since gone steadily from bad to worse,
and the young peer was now face to face with utter ruin.

An effort had been made to retrieve the family fortunes by the marriage
of his sister, the beautiful Lady Margaret Tamerton, to her cousin, the
wealthy Sir Ernest Scrivener, but the providential discovery that the
latter was already married under the _alias_ of Marmaduke Moorsdyke had
prevented the match. Since then Sir Ernest had been their implacable and
relentless enemy, and his desperate attempt to kidnap Lady Margaret had
only been frustrated by the skill and courage of the famous athlete,
Ralph Wonderson.

Lord Tamerton was seated at a grand piano, playing BACH and moodily
reflecting on these matters, when Ralph Wonderson himself entered the
room, vaulting lightly over piano and performer as he did so.

"What's the matter, Fred?" he asked. "You look blue."

Lord Tamerton dramatically threw £8 4_s._ 6_d._ on the table.

"This morning I pawned the Island Cup, which you won for us," he said
bitterly. "That is the result, and that is what stands between me and
starvation." His voice broke, "And--and between Madge and starvation,"
he added.

Ralph laughed gaily. "I'm not rich," he said, "and if I were I don't
suppose you'd accept money from me. But I came here purposely to put you
in the way of making it. Wager as heavily as you can on Smasher Mike.
The odds are a hundred to one against him. I can introduce you to a man
who will consider your name sufficient security for a loan of £5,000.
That will bring you in £500,000, which should secure you at any rate
from absolute privation. As for little Madge--well, I have a bare £8,000
a year, but if----"

A light step was heard behind him, and a small hand stole into his own.

"I would marry you," said Lady Margaret, "I would marry you if it were
only £7,000."

As the lovers gazed fondly into each other's eyes, a sinister figure
emerged from the grand piano and slipped out noiselessly through the
open door.

(_To be concluded in our next._)

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Burglar (to his mate)._ "SEE WOT PEOPLE GITS FUR BEIN'

        *       *       *       *       *

Sad Case of Cannibalism by Robert.

    "Milton scarcely heard her. He was too intent upon wondering how
    Robert came to be dining tête-à-tête with the one-time Adeline
    Goodrin, and--if the truth be told--upon that amazing woman,

         _"Daily Mail" feuilleton._

       *       *       *       *       *

From _Chemistry of Plant Products_:--

    "D'Arbamont concludes that starch, and presumably also sugar, may or
    may not be essential for the formation of chlorophyll."

We came to the same conclusion long ago.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Excited Veteran._ "THE ALLIES WILL PROBABLY REACH HERE

       *       *       *       *       *


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

The heroine of _Alberta and the Others_ (SIDGWICK AND JACKSON) was the
eldest of an orphaned family of girls and boys who were finding life a
little boring in an English village; and when an unexpected legacy made
her mistress of a couple of town lots in a place called Sunshine, in
Western Canada, nothing would content her but to emigrate with the whole
tribe--reinforced by a delightful _Aunt Mary_ and an animal known as the
Meritorious Cat--to the Land of Promise. The book is the history of how
they got on there. Naturally, from the circumstances of their start and
the giddy altitude of _Alberta's_ hopes, you will be prepared for its
being, to some extent at least, a story of disillusion. Miss MADGE S.
SMITH, who wrote it, says that it is all true; and indeed there is much
in the tale that stamps it as the outcome of personal experience. This
being so, I could wish that her attitude in the matter had been a little
less uncompromisingly English. In many ways the language and general
outlook of the daughter of an Oxford don will no doubt differ
considerably from that of a Canadian-born inhabitant of a prairie
township; but that is no good reason for assuming an air of patronage.
However, this defect, though it exists, is not so pronounced as to spoil
one's enjoyment of an entertaining record, written, as the publishers
say, "in high spirits throughout," and having, I fancy, just this much
fiction mingled with its obvious fact, that it ends with a general
pairing off and the prospect of three weddings--which seems, as _Lady
Bracknell_ observed in a similar connection, "a number considerably
above the average that statistics have laid down for our guidance." But
at least it is the _amende honorable_ to the Land of Promise.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the cover of _A Tail of Gold_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) I gather with
respectful interest that its author, Mr. DAVID HENNESSEY, recently won
four hundred pounds with another story in open competition. I did not
read the story in question, but in view of its satisfactory financial
result I may be permitted to express a hope that it was considerably
better work than the present volume. Let me be entirely fair. _A Tail of
Gold_ has some pictures of Australian mining life that are not without
interest; but I am bound to add that a careful and sympathetic perusal
has failed to disclose any other reason for its existence. The plot, so
far as there is one, concerns the chequered career of a certain _Major
Smart_, who seems to have been by no means all that a major should be.
Amongst other unpleasing peculiarities, he was apparently possessed of a
fetish that brought misfortune or death to all who were associated with
him. These results were in the main involuntary; but it is only just to
add that _Smart_ was not above assisting nature to take her course.
Thus, some years before the opening of the story, he had deliberately
buried one poor lady alive in a cave containing sulphide of mercury.
Never ask me why. I am as muddled by this as I am over his further
conduct in leaving with the corpse every possible clue in the way of
letters and ciphers that could bring his guilt home to him. In any
ordinary novel he would have been convicted in a few chapters; but _A
Tail of Gold_ wags (if I may use the term) so leisurely, and its action
is so much impeded by false starts and repetitions and general
haphazardness, that there is no telling how long it might not have
continued but for the limitations of volume form. No, I can't pretend I
liked it much.

       *       *       *       *       *

Madame ALBANESI, in _The Cap of Youth_ (HUTCHINSON), cannot be accused
of excessive kindness to her own sex, for the charming women of the
book are almost snuffed out by two poisonous females, _Lady Bollington_
and _Lady Catherine Chiltern_. Indeed these ladies are a little too much
of a bad thing, and, not for the first time, I am left thinking how
wonderfully Madame ALBANESI'S novels might be improved if she could
persuade herself to bestow an occasional virtue upon her wicked
characters. The heroine, _Virginia_, escaped from the hands of one of
the pair only to fall under the thumb of the other. I must admit,
however, that _Lady Catherine_ had some reason to be angry at having
_Virginia_ suddenly dumped upon her as a derelict daughter-in-law. Why
_Brian Chiltern_ married in haste and then left his wife to endure such
impossible conditions you must find out for yourself, but I fancy you
will agree that his delicacy of feeling amounted to sheer stupidity.
Nevertheless this story is bound to be popular, and I should have had no
complaint to make if I did not feel that its author has it in her to do
better work.

       *       *       *       *       *

Even readers to whom American humour is generally a little indigestible
may glean some smiles from _Penrod_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON), provided
that it is taken in small doses and not in the lump. If this book were
to be considered a study of the normal American boy I should cry with
vigour, "Save me from the breed," but as a fanciful account of a
thorough and egregious imp of mischief I can, within limits, offer my
congratulations to Mr. BOOTH TARKINGTON. The triumph of _Penrod_ lies in
the fact that, although he brought woe and tribulation to his relations
and exasperated his friends to the point of insanity, it is nevertheless
impossible to suppress an affection for him. Ofttimes and hard his
father chastised him with rods, but _Penrod_ merely accepted these
beatings as the price that had to be paid for leading an adventurous
life, and showed not the smallest signs of repentance. Yes, I like
_Penrod_, though I have not any great desire to meet him in the flesh.
It grieves me, however, that such a character as _Mr. Kinosling_ should
have been dragged in by the heels. If fatuous clerics are worth any
novelist's attention they certainly are not worth Mr. TARKINGTON'S, and
the only effect _Mr. Kinosling_ had upon me was to fortify my conviction
that it is far easier to begin a book of humour than to finish it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE NORTH SEA PERIL.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Loud swells the roar of traffic in the street,
      The motor-buses rumble on and wind
      Their plaintive warnings as they come behind
    Faint folk who dally, dazed by summer heat;
    The reckless taxis seem a deal too fleet
      To country cousins nervously inclined,
      And raucous news-boys fret the curious mind
    With spicy rumours of the foe's defeat.

    But suddenly a hush falls everywhere:
      Stopp'd is each taxi with its languid load,
      And, as the City's silence deeper grows,
    Only a barrel-organ churns the air
      While Peggy (in the middle of the road)
    Pauses to put some powder on her nose!

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Chaplin as an Apache.



         _The Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 26th, 1914" ***

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