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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 5th, 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 5th, 1914" ***

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  PUNCH,

  OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 147

  AUGUST 5th 1914.

  Edited by Owen Seaman

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: HINTS TO MILLIONAIRES.

WHEN YOU BATHE ENGAGE _ALL_ THE BATHING-BOXES SO AS TO HAVE THE SEA TO
YOURSELF UNCONTAMINATED.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

SIR ROBERT LORIMER has been appointed architect for the restoration of
Whitekirk church, East Lothian, which was burnt down by Suffragettes
last February. There is a feeling among the militants that, since it is
owing to the exertions of women that the work has to be done, it ought
to have been given to a woman architect.

       ***

Two Suffragettes who were charged, last week, at Bow Street with
obstructing the police, refused to give their ages. Presumably the
information would have shown that they were old enough to know better.

       ***

A committee of the Metropolitan Water Board reports that Thames water is
purified at least 1,000 times before delivery to consumers. It looks as
if there may, after all, be something in the complaints which reach the
Board from time to time as to its water being absolutely flavourless.

       ***

The London Fire Brigade Committee has decided to ignore a demand from
the Corporation Workers' Union for the reinstatement of a fireman who
refused to obey an order on the ground that it involved too great a
danger to him. For ourselves we are surprised at the moderation of the
Union. We should have expected them to insist also on a medal for
life-saving being bestowed on the man.

       ***

Dr. IGNATIUS MOERBECK, an engineer living on the Amazon, asserts that
the river which Mr. ROOSEVELT claims to have placed on the map had long
since been surveyed by him. The prettiest touch in Dr. MOERBECK'S
statement is to the effect that the real name of the river is Castanha,
which means Chestnut.

       ***

Furs worth about £3,000 were stolen from a Chiswell Street firm last
week. This gives one some idea of the intensity of the recent cold snap.

       ***

Mr. LYN HARDING, it is announced, has acquired a new play in four Acts
entitled _Bed Rock_. Surely the lullaby touch in the title is a mistake?
Audiences are quite prone enough to fall asleep without these soporific
aids.

       ***

"I am not," says M. PAUL BOURGET, "responsible for the words I put into
the mouths of my characters." We await a similar declaration from Mr. B.
SHAW.

       ***

Another impending apology! Extract from the official Report of the
Annual General Meeting of a Company that publishes certain illustrated
papers:--"Our stock of published original black-and-white drawings, made
by many of the foremost artists of the day, stand at nothing in our
books."

       ***

A legacy of £10,000 has been left to a clerk in the Ashton-under-Lyme
Waterworks Office by a gentleman who had intimated that he "would
remember him in his will." We are so glad that this pretty old custom is
not dying out.

       ***

It is rumoured that a daring attempt to rob the Zoological Gardens has
been foiled. Plans, it is said, have been disclosed whereby burglars
after dark were to scale the loftiest peaks of the new Mappin terraces
and to fish for animals by means of highly-spiced joints attached to
ropes. It was hoped to secure a number of valuable bears, to be disposed
of to furriers.

       ***

We have been favoured with the sight of a circular issued by a Dutch
bulb grower and printed in English. The fatherly interest which he takes
in his creations does credit to his heart. "All bulbs who are not
satisfied," he says, "we take back and pay the carriage ourselves, even
if cheque has accompanied order."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BEES.

  The brown bee sings among the heather
   A little song and small--
  A song of hills and summer weather
   And all things musical;
  An ancient song, an ancient story
   For days as gold as when
  The gods came down in noontide's glory
   And walked with sons of men.

  A merry song, since skies are sunny--
   How in a Dorian dell
  Was borne the bland, the charméd honey
   To young Comatas' cell;
  Thrice-happy boy the Nine to pleasure
   That they for hours of ill
  Did send, in love, the golden measure,
   The honey of their hill.

  Gone are the gods? Nay, he who chooses
   This morn may lie at ease
  And on a hill-side woo the Muses
   And hear their honey-bees;
  And haply mid the heath-bell's savour
   Some rose-winged chance decoy,
  To win the old Pierian favour
   That fed the shepherd-boy.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LOGIC OF ENTENTES.

[_Lines composed on what looks like the eve of a general European war;
and, designed to represent the views of an average British patriot._]

_To Servia._

  You have won whatever of fame it brings
  To have murdered a King and the heir of Kings;
  And it well may be that your sovereign pride
  Chafes at a touch of its tender hide;
  But why should I follow your fighting-line
  For a matter that's no concern of mine?

_To Austria._

  You may, if you like, elect to curb
  The dark designs of the dubious Serb,
  And to close your Emperor's days in strife--
  A tragic end to a tragic life;
  But why in the world should I stand to lose
  By your bellicose taste for Balkan coups?

_To Russia._

  No doubt the natural course for you
  Is to bid the Austrian bird "Go to!"
  He can't be suffered to spoil your dream
  Of a beautiful Pan-Slavonic scheme;
  But Britons can never be Slavs, you see,
  So what has your case to do with me?

  But since Another, if you insist,
  Will be cutting in with his mailèd fist,
  I shall be asked to a general scrap
  All over the European map,
  Dragged into somebody else's war,
  For that's what a _double entente_ is for.

  Well, if I must, I shall have to fight
  For the love of a bounding Balkanite;
  But O what a tactless choice of time,
  When the bathing season is at its prime!
  And _how_ I should hate to miss my chance
  Of wallowing off the coast of France!

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

CUT FLOWERS.

"Do you notice anything particularly queer about this house, Charles," I
asked him, "now that Araminta has been forced to fly from it?"

(Araminta had gone home to visit her parents, not so much, as I
explained to Charles, because she was tired of living with me as because
I had invited him to come on a visit. She was to return on the following
day after a fortnight's absence, and I had promised faithfully to evict
him before she came).

"Except," said Charles, "that it is usual to offer one's guests the most
comfortable arm-chair in the messuage and not to eat all the fattest
strawberries oneself, I can't say that I do;" and he fluffed a second
mashie pitch with his cigar ash well short of the drawing-room fender.

"You don't," I insisted, "remark any unusual hiatus in the household
arrangements--anything that obviously betrays the absence of the
feminine touch? I suppose you know what this is?" and I took from the
mantelpiece a tall slender silver object.

"It seems to be a tin trumpet," replied Charles, "and why on earth you
can't keep my godson's toys in the nursery, instead of littering them
about----"

"Tin trumpet," I said cleverly, "be blowed! It is a vase--variously
pronounced to rhyme with 'parse' or 'pause,' according to one's
pretensions to gentility. It is a flower-vase, Chawles, and, what is
more, there ought to be flowers in it. The whole house, let me tell you,
should be a very garden of fragrant and luscious blooms. Instead of
which it is full of mocking cenotaphs such as this. When Araminta went
away she flung over her shoulder a parasol and a Parthian taunt. She
said, 'I'm certain there'll be no flowers in the house while I'm away,'
and now it seems she was jolly well right."

"Why ever can't the servants attend to the flowers?" said Charles
lazily. "They seem to be fairly competent people. There were four
match-boxes and _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ in my bedroom."

"There you touch one of the deeper mysteries," I explained to him.
"Probably in the most expensive and luxurious mansions they have a
flower-maid. A kind of Persephone who comes up from the underworld with
her arms full of gerania and calceolarias. 'Housemaid,' she would put it
in the advertisements, 'upper (where manservant kept); tall, of good
appearance; free; several years' experience; understands vawses.' And in
houses such as these the cinerarias would never wither or die. Every
what-not would be a riotous profusion of et-ceteras from week's-end to
week's-end. But with Jane it is different. Jane has her limitations. She
comprehends match-boxes and detective fiction, but Araminta does the
flowers."

"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" said Charles, bunkering his
cigar-stump badly to the right of the coal-scuttle.

"I want you to help me," I told him, "because I shan't have time to
attend to the matter myself. When I go out to-morrow I want you, before
you leave, to fill all the vases all over the house. Pink roses will be
the best, I think, and you can buy them at that little flowermonger's
across the road."

"But there are pink roses in the garden," he objected.

"Only a kind of double dog-rose," I told him. "We never allow the
dog-roses in the house: they haven't been properly trained. Besides you
would certainly pick all the puppies and scratch yourself to death.
There's no dog-rose without its tooth. You want the big ones that are
grown exclusively on short stalks without any roots. And Araminta will
never know that they haven't been there for several days at least."

"All right," said Charles, "I'll tackle the flower-smith for you."

When I came home on the following evening, before going upstairs, I
peeped timidly into the dining-room and found to my delight that Charles
had been as good as his word. All the vases had burst as though by a
miracle into radiant blossom. Taking courage I went up to the
drawing-room, found Araminta and saluted her, and then looked round with
a smirk of conscious self-satisfaction. Charles had chosen pink
carnations for the drawing-room, and the place was as starry as the
final chapter of a _feuilleton_.

"What do you think of the flowers?" I said proudly.

"They're simply _lovely_," she replied. "But----"

"But what?" I asked with a sudden vague qualm. "Don't you like pink
carnations?"

"I adore them," she said. "I was just going to ask how long they'd been
there, that's all."

"These particular ones?" I said airily. "Oh, two or three days, I think,
at most; not more than that."

"I see," she replied with a little smile. "That makes it more wonderful
still."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, there isn't any water, you see, in the vases."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: COOL STUFF.

THE TABLOID. "YOU CAN MAKE IT AS HOT FOR ME AS YOU LIKE, I SHALL _NOT_
DISSOLVE."

[The above is prospective. No sensible person desires a dissolution
during the present crisis abroad.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE ETHICS OF THE RING.

[Boxing champions receive almost as much pay for losing as for winning.]

_Manager_ (_to applicant for position of traveller_). "AND WHAT SALARY
WOULD YOU REQUIRE?"

_Applicant._ "£600 A YEAR IF I GIVE SATISFACTION; £400 IF I DON'T."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MAGIC NUMBER.

I have a telephone--a simple unpretentious toy, just like the next one.
Sometimes I think it must be exceptional, but anon I hear other
telephoners talking, and I realise that theirs too have the same
repertory of pretty mannerisms.

Especially I found matter for complaint _re_ Wilmer. Especially Wilmer
found matter for complaint _re_ me. Wilmer and I are friends and
neighbours. No doubt the people at the exchange had made a note of it.
For, if ever I rang up Wilmer, he, they told me, answered not. And, if
ever Wilmer rang up me, I, they told him, was engaged. To discover that
these things were not so, it was only necessary for the ringer to step
across the road; nay, even a shout from the garden was sufficient.

Having matter for complaint, we complained. After that nothing could
redeem us in the ears of our exchange. Formerly we got through to each
other once in four shots. Thereafter the blockage was complete.

So we laid our plans.

One evening at half-past eight I rang up the exchange. "I want 4792
Marble Arch," I began.

An interval. Then, "Sorry; there's no answer."

I made a bad-tempered noise, full of incredulity and baffled urgency.
And yet I was not wholly surprised; 4792 makes wall-papers up to 7 P.M.,
and then puts up the shutters.

I rang up the exchange.

"I want 5921 B City, please."

Again there was no answer. This was Wilmer's office. Wilmer, who was
standing behind me, made them ring it up twice again to make sure. Then
I went on to the other eight impossible numbers we had fixed on. They
were unresponsive to a man.

Ten rings, and not a single answer!

Then we crossed to Wilmer's house.

Wilmer rang up the exchange. Bitter experience has assured us that we
share the same operator.

"I want 4792 Marble Arch," he began.

4792 was still mute. So was 5921 B City. So were no fewer than all the
eight further numbers prearranged.

Then I went back again and rang up 4792. This precipitated the crisis.

"I'm sorry, Sir, but I'm nearly sure I can't get them. Would you let me
have a list of the numbers you want, and I'll get them when I can."

"The number I _really_ want," I said, "is Mr. Wilmer's, 729 Lane, but
I've given up trying to get _that_."

I was through to Wilmer like lightning; and a little later he rang me up
by the same strategy.

Nowadays, if Wilmer or I have any trouble in getting one another, we
have only to whisper 4792 Marble Arch, and we're through before we've
thought of what to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

MY HARDY ANNUAL.

I met him first three summers ago when he arrived from Baltimore with a
letter of introduction from a mutual American friend. He was a tall thin
clean-shaven man, a typical American of the inquiring rather than
commanding type--and not a millionaire, not indeed rich at all, and
rather nervous among waiters and wine lists: preferring a boarding-house
in Bayswater to a caravanserai (as the newspaper men always call the big
hotels). He had culture and desired more, and one way of getting it (one
way, I mean, of making sure that it should be gotten) was to talk with
every one he met. This I believe is an American custom.

Anyway, he arrived with his letter of introduction, and I did what I
could for him--asked him to lunch, told him about picture galleries,
adjured him not to see this play and that, and mentioned a few new
books. Our surest common ground being American men of letters, we
discussed them. We agreed that the early death of FRANK NORRIS was a
blow; that GEORGE W. CABLE had style; that JOHN FOX, Junior, could tell
a good story, but OWEN WISTER a better. My friend interested me greatly
by stating that he had been on intimate terms with that great man, MARK
TWAIN, and wondered if I had ever heard the story (which he used to tell
against himself) of the visitor to his house who, after a very
delightful stay, during which the humorist had been at the top of his
form, asked his daughter if her father was always like that? "Only when
we have company," she replied.

The next year my American friend turned up again, sending a letter in
advance to say that he would be at his old address in Bayswater at a
certain date, and again I wrote asking him to lunch with me, as before.
He was exactly the same, even to his clothes, and we talked of American
writers in what I remembered to be the identical terms of the previous
year. This is one of the disadvantages of annual meetings; there is no
advance. The familiar ground included our decision, reinforced, that
Mrs. WHARTON was a swell, but rather on the bitter side; that it was a
pity that MARY WILKINS had given up writing; that JOHN KENDRICK BANGS'
name, at any rate, was funny; that AMBROSE BIERCE was a man of genius,
and that OLIVER HERFORD'S continued residence in New York was a loss to
England.

"_À propos_ of humorists," said my friend, "I wonder if you have heard
that story of MARK TWAIN which he often told against himself. A visitor
to his house who had been greatly entertained by a constant flow of wit
and satire asked MARK TWAIN'S daughter if he was always in the same good
spirits. 'Only when we have company,'" she said.

In August of last year I was doomed to London owing to the frivolous
holiday proclivities of certain fellow-workers, and again my Baltimore
migrant was here, and again we met for our single _tête-à-tête_. He
looked, he said, on a year as wasted, unless a part of it was spent in
London and Paris. He was exactly as he had been; his voice had the same
slow mirthlessness and it uttered the same flat definitive comments. He
could not be surprised or shocked or amused. He had taken the world's
measure and was now chiefly occupied in adding to his collection of fine
men and lovely-minded women. I made an effort to get the conversation to
other than American literary personages, but it was useless. To discuss
Mr. ROOSEVELT he was unwilling. The name of HEARST--I mean Mr.
HEARST--touched no live wire, as it does with a few of his countrymen.
He had merely heard of Mr. BRISBANE, but had no information. Mr. WILSON
was doing well, he thought, on the whole. Reaching books at last, we
agreed again that it was a pity that Mr. JAMES LANE ALLEN wrote so
little nowadays and that Mr. HOWELLS had become so silent. Mr. HOWELLS,
it seemed, had felt the death of his old friend, Mr. CLEMENS--MARK
TWAIN--very deeply. Had I ever heard, he wondered, that story of MARK
TWAIN about a reply made to one of his visitors by his daughter?

"Yes, I have," I said.

"The visitor," he went on, "had asked her if her father was always in
the jovial and witty vein in which he had been during his--the
visitor's--stay."

"Yes, I know," I said.

"MARK TWAIN'S daughter," he continued, "replied that he was always like
that--'when they had company.'"

He looked remorselessly at me for his reward of laughter. Since he was
my guest he got it, but----

And then last week he arrived again, on his 1914 trip, and he is here
now, or perhaps he is in Paris. In Europe, at any rate. He told me once
more that across the Atlantic Mr. HENRY JAMES is no longer thought of as
an American; that Mr. JACK LONDON, it seems, is becoming one of the most
popular of writers; that ELLA WHEELER WILCOX sells probably more copies
of her poetry than any English writer sells stories. He had had the
pleasure of meeting Sir ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE in New York recently, but
when Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT was there he missed him, to his great regret.
America was still feeling the loss of MARK TWAIN. By the way, that was a
good story which MARK TWAIN used to tell against himself. A visitor----

But this time I was too clever for him. I gave a preconcerted signal to
a waiter, who hurried up to tell me I was wanted on the telephone. When
I returned it was to say good-bye.

And now I am safe till next summer; but last evening I met a lady who
had been taken in to dinner by the American a few days ago. "A little
bit pompous, perhaps," she said, "but he told me such a delightful story
about MARK TWAIN that I should like to meet him again."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Passenger._ "IT'S CURIOUS HOW THESE SEAGULLS FOLLOW A
STEAMER. DO THEY GO FAR?"

_Boatman._ "AY, SOMETIMES, BUT THEY'LL NOT FOLLOW HER FAR; SHE'S AN
ABERDEEN BOAT."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Latest from the Schoolroom.

    _Q._ (_put orally_). "Where do the following races live? Berbers,
    Hottentots....

    _A._ Barbers are to be found in large towns, but they are also found
    in some small places. They are the natives of the country, and their
    profession is to shave different men, for which they are paid. The
    Wottentots are animals that are found in the forests of England."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Seventy-miles-an-hour_ (_as he hurtles past
sixty-miles-an-hour_). "ARE YOU AWARE, SIR, THAT YOU _SLOW-MOVING_
VEHICLES OUGHT TO KEEP CLOSE TO THE KERB?"

       *       *       *       *       *

COCOANUTS.

(_A Bank Holiday Idyll._)

  Sing me, I said, O Muse, and sound the trump
   For him not least among our noble tars
  Who first on tropic isle was made to jump
  By reason of a pericranial thump
   And prospect of a galaxy of stars.

  And there in green retreat by coral chained
   Beheld the vision of the fibrous nut,
  And drank the nectar that its shell contained,
  And knew the goal accomplished and disdained
   The nasty skin-wound on his occiput.

  He did not see the feathered palm-trees wave;
   He did not see the beckoning yams beneath;
  The turtle moaning for its soupy grave,
  The sound of oysters asking for a shave
   He heard not--he was back on Hampstead Heath.

  For him no more the ocean seemed to croon
   Its endless legend to the listless sands;
  He walked abroad upon an English noon,
  And "Ah!" he murmured, "what a heavenly boon
   To rehabilitate our cock-shy stands!"

  In vain Aunt Sarah with her spinster vows
   Entreats the Cockney sport to try his skill;
  Her charms are languishing, but nuts shall rouse
  To sterner combats and with damper brows
   For 'Arriet's kindly glances 'Erb and Bill.

  "And ah, the little ones! With how much glee
   Their eyes shall gaze upon the oily fruit!
  I shall behold them scamper o'er the lea,
  Their warm young lips, in part from ecstasy,
   In part from palatable nut-meat, mute."

  Such was the man, I said, and praised the worth
   Of all who make the cocoanut their ploy;
  And thought, "I too will have a round of mirth,"
  And threw--and brought one hairy globe to earth.
   And, turning round, beheld a ragged boy.

  So smirched he was, so pitiful a lad
   That when I saw the teardrop in his eye
  I gave the nut to him. It made him glad;
  He took it proudly off to show his dad--
   His dad was the conductor of the shy.

  EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Latest Cinema Poster.

    "WANTED BY THE POLICE,
    4,200 feet."

In any other profession they advertise for hands. It is a pleasant
distinction.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a circus advertisement in India:--

    "It gives a great pleasure to all to see a goat, (1) riding on
    another goat, (2) placing its neck against the neck of the other,
    (3) walking on its knees, (4) pretending to lie dead, and many other
    feats of men."

For the moment we cannot remember to have performed any of these manly
feats.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARMAGEDDON.

The conversation had turned, as it always does in the smoking-rooms of
golf clubs, to the state of poor old England, and Porkins had summed the
matter up. He had marched round in ninety-seven that morning, followed
by a small child with an umbrella and an arsenal of weapons, and he felt
in form with himself.

"What England wants," he said, leaning back, and puffing at his
cigar,--"what England wants is a war. (Another whisky and soda, waiter.)
We're getting flabby. All this pampering of the poor is playing the very
deuce with the country. A bit of a scrap with a foreign power would do
us all the good in the world." He disposed of his whisky at a draught.
"We're flabby," he repeated. "The lower classes seem to have no sense of
discipline nowadays. We want a war to brace us up."

       *       *       *       *       *

It is well understood in Olympus that Porkins must not be disappointed.
What will happen to him in the next world I do not know, but it will be
something extremely humorous; in this world, however, he is to have all
that he wants. Accordingly the gods got to work.

In the little village of Ospovat, which is in the south-eastern corner
of Ruritania, there lived a maiden called Maria Strultz, who was engaged
to marry Captain Tomsk.

"I fancy," said one of the gods, "that it might be rather funny if Maria
jilted the Captain. I have an idea that it would please Porkins."

"Whatever has Maria--" began a very young god, but he was immediately
suppressed.

"Really," said the other, "I should have thought it was sufficiently
obvious. You know what these mortals are." He looked round to them all.
"Is it agreed then?"

It was agreed.

So Maria Strultz jilted the Captain.

Now this, as you may imagine, annoyed Captain Tomsk. He commanded a
frontier fort on the boundary between Ruritania and Essenland, and his
chief amusement in a dull life was to play cards with the Essenland
captain, who commanded the fort on the other side of the river. When
Maria's letter came he felt that the only thing to do was to drown
himself; on second thoughts he decided to drown his sorrows first. He
did this so successfully that at the end of the evening he was convinced
that it was not Maria who had jilted him, but the Essenland captain who
had jilted Maria; whereupon he rowed across the river and poured his
revolver into the Essenland flag which was flying over the fort. Maria
thus revenged, he went home to bed, and woke next morning with a bad
headache.

(_"Now we're off," said the gods in Olympus._)

In Diedeldorf, the capital of Essenland, the leader-writers proceeded to
remove their coats.

"The blood of every true Essenlander," said the leader-writer of the
_Diedeldorf Patriot_, after sending out for another pot of beer, "will
boil when it hears of this fresh insult to our beloved flag, an insult
which can only be wiped out with blood." Then seeing that he had two
"bloods" in one sentence, he crossed the second one out, substituted
"the sword," and lit a fresh cigarette. "For years Essenland has writhed
under the provocations of Ruritania, but has preserved a dignified
silence; this last insult is more than flesh and blood can stand."
Another "blood" had got in, but it was a new sentence and he thought it
might be allowed to remain. "We shall not be accused of exaggeration if
we say that Essenland would lose, and rightly lose, her prestige in the
eyes of Europe if she let this affront pass unnoticed. In a day she
would sink from a first-rate to a fifth-rate power." But he didn't say
how.

The Chancellor of Essenland, in a speech gravely applauded by both sides
of the House, announced the steps he had taken. An ultimatum had been
sent to Ruritania demanding an apology, an indemnity of a hundred
thousand marks, and the public degradation of Captain Tomsk, whose
epaulettes were to be torn off by the Commander-in-Chief of the
Essenland Army in the presence of a full corps of cinematograph artists.
Failing this, war would be declared.

Ruritania offered the apology, the indemnity, and the public degradation
of Captain Tomsk, but urged that this last ceremony would be better
performed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Ruritanian Army; otherwise
Ruritania might as well cease to be a sovereign state, for she would
lose her prestige in the eyes of Europe.

There was only one possible reply to this, and Essenland made it. She
invaded Ruritania.

(_"Aren't they wonderful?" said the gods in Olympus to each other._

_"But haven't you made a mistake?" asked the very young god. "Porkins
lives in England, not Essenland."_

_"Wait a moment," said the others._)

       *       *       *       *       *

In the capital of Borovia the leader-writer of the _Borovian Patriot_
got to work. "How does Borovia stand?" he asked. "If Essenland occupies
Ruritania, can any thinking man in Borovia feel safe with the enemy at
his gates?" (The Borovian peasant, earning five marks a week, would have
felt no less safe than usual, but then he could hardly be described as a
thinking man.) "It is vital to the prestige of Borovia that the
integrity of Ruritania should be preserved. Otherwise we may resign
ourselves at once to the prospect of becoming a fifth-rate power in the
eyes of Europe." And in a speech, gravely applauded by all parties, the
Borovian Chancellor said the same thing. So the Imperial Army was
mobilized and, amidst a wonderful display of patriotic enthusiasm by
those who were remaining behind, the Borovian troops marched to the
front....

(_"And there you are," said the gods in Olympus._

_"But even now----" began the very young god doubtfully._

_"Silly, isn't Felicia the ally of Essenland; isn't Marksland the ally
of Borovia; isn't England the ally of the ally of the ally of the
Country which holds the balance of power between Marksland and
Felicia?"_

_"But if any of them thought the whole thing stupid or unjust or----"_

_"Their prestige," said the gods gravely, trying not to laugh._

_"Oh, I see," said the very young god._)

       *       *       *       *       *

And when a year later the hundred-thousandth English mother woke up to
read that her boy had been shot, I am afraid she shed foolish tears and
thought that the world had come to an end.

Poor short-sighted creature! She didn't realise that Porkins, who had
marched round in ninety-six the day before, was now thoroughly braced
up.

(_"What babies they all are," said the very young god._)

    A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Invidious Distinction.

    "An Opening offers for a GENTLEMAN or Public School man...."

    _Advt. in "The Times."_

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At moderate expenditure he has increased the stock-carrying
    capacity of his holding many times over, and can now fatten both
    cattle and sheep, where formerly either had only a bear
    subsistence."--_Times._

To the question, "What do bears subsist on?" we believe the answer to
be, "Honey and American trappers."

       *       *       *       *       *

Where to wear your Hat.

    "The Misses Buckley (Llandaff) were dressed--the one in a cerise
    coat and skirt, relieved at the waist with a black patent band and
    hat to correspond...."--_South Wales Daily News._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Police Sergeant (having swallowed with gurgling sounds
and smacking of lips a pint of beer given him by publican at his back
door after hours) to intruding Constable._ "WHAT HAVE _YOU_ COME ROUND
HERE FOR?"

_Police Constable._ "I HEARD AN UNUSUAL SOUND, SIR."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DOUBLE CURE.

"The hair," said the assistant, "is very thick."

"If you refer to mine," I replied, "it is frightfully thick."

He looked at it reflectively. "It is very thick," he said; "very thick,"
and he jabbed the comb into it.

"On the other hand," I pointed out, "my skull is very thin."

"Yes, Sir."

"And the comb is very sharp."

He apologized, pulled the comb out, and jabbed it back not quite so
severely.

    "Very sharp," }
                  }we murmured together.
    "Very thick," }

"I will thin it out," he suggested.

"As long as you get it out painlessly, I don't mind," I said, and I lay
back and studied the bottles.

"It's a curious thing," I observed, "but mine is the only case for which
you hairdressers fail to provide."

"I don't quite follow, Sir."

"Well," I explained, "for any degree of baldness you provide remedies by
the hundreds. You offer to invigorate the hair, to dress it, to bring it
up in the way it should go, and to produce it in any quantity."

The light of battle came into the assistant's eye and he moved to the
wash-basin.

"Yes," he said, picking up a bottle of oily mixture, "this preparation,
for instance, is really to be recommended. The famous Criniline."

He held it aloft and the neighbouring assistant barely suppressed a
cheer. "I've sold----"

"That's all very well," I objected, "but where do I come in?"

"Well, Sir"--he held out his scissors--"these surely are effective."

"Cutting only makes it grow more quickly. The beastly stuff's so thick,"
I complained, "I can't do anything with it. What I want is some
stuff----"

"Preparation, Sir."

"----stuff for thinning my hair."

"For thinning the hair. Yes, Sir." He combed the atmosphere
thoughtfully. "I should like to sell you something, Sir."

Of a sudden he snipped excitedly. "I have it!" he exclaimed. He moved
back to the washstand and picked up a bottle. "The very thing," he said.
He looked round cautiously, bent down towards my ear and coughed
nervously. "Of course," he said, "this is--er--not a preparation for
your particular complaint. I--er--it--between our two selves, Sir, it
was--er--intended for other purposes."

"Yes?" I said.

"But, Sir, it may be just what you require."

"Yes, yes." I held my hand out for the bottle.

"Yes, Sir," he whispered. "It may be. At any rate I happen to know for a
fact there is no possible danger of its increasing the growth of the
hair."

And he handed me the famous Criniline.

To show my appreciation of his honesty I bought two bottles.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

From a Provision catalogue:--

    "Lamb.... Should shoulders be ordered Legs will be sent."

Very annoying.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "BERLIN. Saturday.--It is stated that the Crown Prince is to assume
    the command of the troops at Belgrade.--_Reuter._"--_Observer._

As this comes from Berlin we assume that the reference is to the GERMAN
CROWN PRINCE. If so, he's got on the wrong side by mistake.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Mary_ (_exploring_). "OH, LOOK, MUMMIE, I'VE FOUND A
SNUGGLER'S CAVE!"

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PACKER'S PLAINT.

  Yes, I must pack my things, and, what is worse,
  Must pack alone, for James, my faithful man,
  The ancient servitor who knows my wants,
  Is busy, and to-day he cannot aid.
  The house is in a turmoil, and the maids
  Speed to and fro without a moment's stay.
  The corridors and all the rooms resound
  With footfalls, and the lady of the house,
  Her sleeves tucked up (they always tuck their sleeves),
  Her working-apron girt about her form,
  Bustles around and issues her commands,
  As who should say, "Behold me as I pack;
  This is no place for men who do not pack.
  Who play with dogs, or smoke their cigarettes,
  Or read the papers, getting in the way
  Of workers." So she packs and packs and packs.
  Four children in their various rooms have spread
  All the contents of drawers upon the floor,
  A most insane disorder, while they eat
  Cream chocolates, for their mother is not there.
  They too wear aprons, and their cheeks are red,
  Their hair is tousled, and the rooms resound
  With battle-cry and challenge, and the air
  Is thick with things they hurl at one another.
  And I, too, yield and go to pack my things.
  Yet how shall man decide what he may want
  In four revolving weeks; what hats, what coats,
  How many collars and what handkerchiefs,
  What flannel trousers--all the articles,
  Shoes, scissors, waistcoats, gaudy ties and boots,
  Socks, safety-razor-blades and leather belts,
  Studs, links, dress-suit, and plain and coloured shirts,
  And undervests--the articles, in short,
  That make a man in very truth a man?
  Did AGAMEMNON, when he rushed to war,
  And sought the dreadful fields of Ilium--
  Did he pack up, or trust the thing to slaves,
  Saying, "Put in my six best pairs of greaves,
  Four regal mantles, sandals for the shore,
  And fourteen glittering helmets with their plumes,
  And ten strong breastplates and a sheaf of swords,
  And crowns and robes and tunics, and of spears
  A goodly number, such as may beseem
  The office and the valour of a King.
  Ay, and if one least thing you should forget
  Your lives shall pay the forfeit. Go and pack?"
  If it was thus that AGAMEMNON spake
  I envy him, for I must pack alone.
  I shall forget the necessary things
  And take the useless, having none to blame
  Save only my incomparable mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Sporting Offer.

From _The Times_ on the Servian Chief of Staff:--

    "As the Austro-Hungarian Army is imbued with a much too chivalrous
    feeling to deprive the Servian Army of its loader an opportunity
    will be given him to continue his journey to Servia to-day, and a
    special saloon carriage will be placed at his disposal.--_Reuter._"

An unusual luxury for a loader.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "HEADSTONE, cost £12, for £7; selling cheap through death of
    proprietor."--_Glasgow Evening Citizen._

Not sufficient reason for us.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: MUTUAL SERVICE.

BRITANNIA (_to Peace_). "I'VE BEEN DOING MY BEST FOR YOU IN EUROPE;
PLEASE DO YOUR BEST FOR ME IN IRELAND."

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Commons, Monday, July 27._--To-day set apart for consideration
of Navy Estimates. To-morrow assigned to Second Reading of Home Rule
Amending Bill come over from the Lords. Up to yesterday public attention
centred on latter event. Questions reverberated: What will Premier do
with the Bill? What will follow on his action?

This morning British Public wakes up not to one startling surprise but
to two. War is imminent in East of Europe. War has actually broken out
in streets of Dublin.

Nearer event illustrates afresh the unfathomable versatility of Ireland.
For months the country has been taught to expect armed outbreak in
Ulster. At any moment, we were told, the patience of the Ulster
volunteer, with current of events devised and controlled by constituted
authority, would collapse. Civil war would be in full swing.

At moment when postponement of threatened action had lulled public into
sense of security, news comes of conflict between armed volunteers and a
detachment of soldiers of the line. In newspaper columns appear stirring
pictures of populace thronging the streets and stoning the soldiers as
they march back to their barracks; of volleys fired in defence and
reprisal; of men, women and children falling dead or wounded in the
streets. And lo! the volunteers on the warpath are not Ulstermen, but
Nationalists. The city given up to murderous riot is not Belfast, but
Dublin.

House meets in half-dazed condition to face this amazing jumble of the
unexpected. JOHN REDMOND moves adjournment in order to discuss it.
Interest of situation intensified by circumstance that the rifle shots
fired by the O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, did more than kill three citizens
and wound thirty-two others. They threaten to dissolve compact between
Irish Nationalists and HIS MAJESTY'S Ministers. Sorely strained on
occasions, it has hitherto remained inviolate. With South and West of
Ireland looking on suspiciously at relations with Saxon Government--a
necessity admitted but its existence never liked--it behoved AGAG
REDMOND to walk delicately.

Accomplished feat with considerable skill. Appeared from official
statement that, as sometimes happens in Ireland in analogous cases--on
the Curragh, for example--someone had blundered into direct opposition
to Ministerial policy and intention. Troops had been called out by
authority of a minor official. Firing had opened in the streets of
Dublin without word of command from officer in charge of detachment.
Supreme representatives of Government, whether at the Irish Office or
Dublin Castle, were innocent of offence. They were simply
unfortunate--which in some cases is worse than being guilty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: "I have had considerable experience, perhaps a larger
experience than any man in this House, of being taken to task for the
actions of those who were my subordinates or my colleagues.
[Laughter]."--_Mr. ASQUITH._

       *       *       *       *       *

On the whole, debate carried through with marvellous repression of Party
passion. It is true LORD BOB suggested that Ministers should be hanged
(or "suspended," as he put it). That is only his way of expressing
diversity of opinion on matters of detail. Division keenly looked
forward to. Would Redmondites be satisfied with suspension of
Sub-Commissioner of Dublin Police when they demanded head of Chief
Commissioner on a charger? Would they abstain from the division, or
would they, joyously relapsing into original state of nature, "go agin
the Government"?

Catastrophe averted by resisting motion for closure and carrying debate
over eleven o'clock, when it automatically stood adjourned.

_Business done._--Clontarf "incident" discussed.

_Tuesday._--The elephant is justly proud of the range of its
adaptability. As every schoolboy knows, with its mighty trunk it can
uproot a tree or pick up a pin. Analogy found in case of House of
Commons, with perhaps a preference for picking up pins.

This afternoon the war-cloud lies low over East of Europe. News
momentarily expected--it arrived before the dinner-hour--that Austria
had declared war against Servia. Match thus applied to trail of
gunpowder, no one can say how far or in what direction the flame may
travel. Meanwhile ominous fact that by way of precaution other Powers
are preparing to mobilise. In addition to grave happenings abroad, we
have at home our own little war. Sudden outburst of fury in streets of
Dublin last Sunday indicates grave possibilities in the near future.

In these circumstances reasonable to suppose attention of House would be
centred on these contingencies, its demeanour attuned accordingly. On
the contrary, liveliest interest at Question-hour aroused by discovery
that persons employed in business of peeling onions are exempt from
payment of Insurance Tax.

House and country indebted to FRED HALL for disclosure of this
remarkable circumstance. As a rule his questions do not attract the
measure of attention their merit possibly demands. This largely due to
fact that they are so numerous, so constant in appearance on the paper,
and are doubled, sometimes trebled, by supplementaries devised in the
spirit the SPEAKER delicately describes as animated by desire rather to
give information than to seek it.

But this discovery of the super-eminence of the onion-peeler in the
matter of freedom from taxation instantly riveted attention. It was news
even to WORTHINGTON EVANS, who has spent his days and nights in
mastering obscurities of Insurance Act. From all parts of the House came
sharp inquiry for further information. Was the potato-peeler also
exempt? If not, why not?

Trying moment for WEDGWOOD BENN. Faced it with customary courage and
something more than habitual rotundity of official phraseology.

"Employment as an onion-peeler," he oracularly said, "has in a special
order been specified as a subsidiary employment, and contributions are
not required to be paid in respect of persons so employed."

That all very well as far as it went. It did not go to the length of
explaining the mystery that racked the mind of all sections of parties.
Why the onion-peeler in particular?

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: [According to Mr. HEALY'S interpretation of what he
called "a kind of foreshore doctrine of legality," the PRIME MINISTER
had laid it down that guns are liable to seizure on the shore below
high water mark, but that, once they are fairly on dry land, "the
proclamation has exhausted itself."]

    I.--OUTSIDE THE LAW. II.--WITHIN THE LAW.

       *       *       *       *       *

SPEAKER stayed storm of renewed interrogation by calling on next
question. Some time before ordinary calm was restored. On benches above
Gangway on Opposition side there is rooted belief that there is more in
this than meets the eye. LLOYD GEORGE is evidently at the bottom of what
begins to look like a bad business.

_Business done._--In Committee of Supply, Colonial vote agreed to.
Progress made with Education vote, amounting this year to modest total
of £9,480,621.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S HOLIDAY STORIES.

(_Constructed after the best models._)

I.--AN ALPINE ADVENTURE.

Inside the Fahrjoch Hut a merry clatter of tin mugs proclaimed that a
climbing party was supping. Ralph Wonderson paused for a moment,
thoughtfully stroking his crampons, before he threw open the door and
entered.

Two stalwart and sunburnt young Englishmen, a beautiful fair-haired
English girl, and three hirsute and jovial Swiss guides were feasting on
the sardines and dried plums which experience has shown to be the best
diet for mountaineers. They looked up cheerily as he entered, and
greeted him with the easy camaraderie of the mountains.

Gratefully relieving himself of his rope, ice-axe, _Baedeker_, goggles,
corkscrew, crampons and other impedimenta of the expert Alpinist, Ralph
seated himself beside the girl.

"You look tired," she said sympathetically.

"Yes," he replied, picking up a sardine by its tail and dropping it into
his mouth with the ease of one long accustomed to mountain huts. "Yes,
I've just satisfied a long-cherished ambition by doing the Matterhorn
and the Jungfrau in the same day without guides."

There was an instant chorus of admiration. The three guides rose to
their feet and gazed at the newcomer in astonishment.

"_Ja wohl! Auf wiedersehen!_" they said warmly.

There is no body of men in the world so free from petty jealousy as the
Swiss guides.

"It is nothing," said Ralph lightly. "What are your plans for to-morrow?
I rather thought of taking things easily myself and doing the
Wetterhorn. I wondered----"

"I'm sure we should be delighted to join you," said the girl, "if you
could consent to be accompanied by such undistinguished climbers. Let me
introduce ourselves. This is my cousin, Sir Ernest Scrivener. This is my
brother, Lord Tamerton. I am Margaret Tamerton."

"Lady Margaret Tamerton!" cried Ralph in amazement. "Little Madge! Don't
you remember me--Ralph Wonderson, your playmate as a child?"

"Ralph!" exclaimed Lady Margaret. "Oh, of course! And I haven't seen you
since you whitewashed all the guinea-pigs and were sent away to school."

       *       *       *       *       *

Several hours later Lady Margaret stood with Ralph on the terrace
outside the hut. Her eyes plunged into the awful abyss at their feet,
swept along the moonlit valley thousands and thousands of feet below
them, and fastened themselves upon the sinister crags of the Lyskamm and
the stupendous dome of Mont Blanc. A lump came into her throat.

"I don't know why," she said softly, "but I have a presentiment of evil.
Is the Wetterhorn _very_ dangerous?"

Ralph laughed lightly. "A child could climb it blindfolded in
midwinter," he said. "Trust yourself to me, little Madge, to-morrow
and--and----"

"For ever!" added Margaret almost inaudibly as they went into the hut
together.

Mingled happiness and foreboding strangely disturbed her breast, and she
sighed as she trod heavily on the face of one of the guides in climbing
to her shelf. She heard his low sleepy murmur of apology as she drew her
straw about her. There is no more courteous body of men in the world
than the Swiss guides.

Next morning, after a hasty toilet with a handful of snow, the party set
off shortly before sunrise. Ralph by general consent assumed the
leadership. Taking careful soundings with his ice-axe and using his
crampons with almost uncanny certitude, he guided his companions through
a moraine and debouched on to a tremendous glacier.

As he turned to survey those behind them he perceived for the first time
a scar under the left ear of Sir Ernest Scrivener.

"_Teufel!_" he exclaimed under his breath. "It is he! Moorsdyke! My
mortal enemy!" But his meditations were interrupted by the stern nature
of the work before them. Their route led them along the foot of a line
of towering and trembling _séracs_. The vibration of a whisper might
send them crashing down upon the party.

Placing one hand on his lips as a warning for silence, he dexterously
cut steps in the ice with the other. Progress was slow and nerve
racking. Every step had to be taken with infinite precaution. Once Lord
Tamerton slipped and would have fallen headlong to destruction had not
Ralph caught him by the ear and lifted him back into his steps.

But at length the trying passage was almost accomplished. Only Sir
Ernest Scrivener remained in peril.

Unconsciously Ralph removed his fingers from his lips. Inexperienced as
a climber, Sir Ernest imagined this to be a signal that the danger was
now over.

"I say," he began.

It was enough. In an instant the whole line of _séracs_ toppled from
their bases and thundered down upon him. Ralph did not hesitate. The man
was his most deadly enemy, but--he was Lady Margaret's cousin. Ralph
sprang to the rope; it snapped like thread between his fingers.

With a cry of despair Sir Ernest vanished in the roaring avalanche of
ice and snow. Throwing a quick reassuring smile to Lady Margaret, Ralph
joined his hands above his head and dived unflinchingly after him.

(_To be concluded in our next._)

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Golfer_ (_playing his second round in the day_). "INTO
  THIS BEASTLY BUNKER AGAIN, CADDIE!"

  _Caddie._ "NO, S'. THIS IS THE ONE YOU MISSED THIS MORNING."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WISER CHOICE.

    [A weekly paper points out that letters of proposal should be
    carefully timed to arrive in the evening, that being the sentimental
    time of the day when acceptance is most likely.]


  Good Sir, your directions are all very fine,
  But, when I propose by the pen trick,
  I shall look for a temper to tolerate mine,
  And mine is distinctly eccentric;
  If she, in the morning, is likely to grouse,
  If her breakfast demeanour is surly,
  There would not be room for us both in the house;
  I'm peevish myself when it's early.

  So rather I'd have her most critical mood
  Prevail at the time of my wooing;
  I'd like to be sure that the girl understood
  Exactly the thing she was doing.
  I feel in my heart it were better for me
  To double the risk of rejection,
  In order (if haply accepted) to be
  A calm and cold-blooded selection.

  Let my letter arrive when the day at its start
  Provokes a malevolent feeling;
  Her answer may puncture a hole in my heart,
  But Time is an expert at healing;
  And that will be better than learning too late,
  At the end of the honeymoon season,
  That the lady had only consented to mate
  In an hour that was bad for her reason.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a concert programme at Brighton:--

    "Parsifal.
    Tannhäuser.
    Walküre.
    Gotterdämmerung.
    Siegfried.
    Tristan and Isolde.
    Requiem for 3 cellos and orchestra."

The last item does not surprise us.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "ANSTRUTHER.--Comf. roofs, 2 beds, 25th July on; sea
    view."--_Glasgow Herald._

The fresh air craze is spreading.

       *       *       *       *       *

MNEMONICS.

For reasons of economy we get all our household requisites from
Moggridge's Stores in the Tottenham Court Road, where we have a deposit
account. Joan once worked out that by shopping in this manner we saved
ninepence-halfpenny every time we spent one pound four and fivepence
(her arithmetic cannot cope with percentages), besides having our goods
delivered at the door by a motor van. This is a distinct score off our
neighbours, who have to be content with theirs being brought round by a
boy on a kind of three-wheeled Black-Maria.

We are not on the telephone at home, so it is my part of the arrangement
to ring up Moggridge's when I arrive at my office, and order what we
want; that is, whenever I remember. But unfortunately I own the most
impossible of head-pieces. It's all right to look at from the outside,
but inside the valves leak, or else the taps run. Consequently it
generally ends in Joan's writing a note when I return home in the
evening. Thus I was not altogether surprised when, one morning after
breakfast, Joan asked me to repeat her orders. I did so. "That's not
what I said!" cried Joan. "That's only what you _thought_ I said. I did
not even mention smoked salmon. Now listen while I tell you again; or,
better still, write it down on a piece of paper."

"That's no good," I said. "I always lose the paper. But go on with the
list; I've got a very good idea."

"Two pounds of Mocha coffee," she began.

I picked up two coffee beans from the tray--Joan self-grinds and
self-makes the coffee every morning--and placed them amongst the loose
change in my trouser pocket.

"Fourteen pounds of best loaf sugar," she went on.

I drew my handkerchief from my sleeve, tied a small lump of sugar in a
corner of it, and then placed it inside my hat.

"Why put it in your hat?" asked Joan.

"Because," I answered, "I may not have occasion to draw my handkerchief
from its usual place, whereas I always _have_ to take my hat off."

"How will you remember the quantity?".

"Well, fourteen pounds make one stone, don't they? Before I remember the
hard thing is a piece of sugar I shall think it's a stone."

Joan sniffed contemptuously.

"Then there's my ring," she continued, "the diamond and sapphire one
that I left for resetting. The estimate they promised has not come, and
besides there's the----"

"Hold on a minute!" I cried. "Just tie a piece of cotton round my
married finger."

She did so. Then she went on:

"The drawing-room clock should have been sent home, cleaned, last
Friday. They haven't sent it."

"Perhaps they expected it to _run down_," I suggested.

Joan bore up wonderfully, and merely said, "Well--do something. Put the
sardines in your pocket-book, or the marmalade in your gloves."

"Those," I said, "are not, strictly speaking, mnemonics for sending home
cleaned clocks. They would be all right for a picnic tea-basket, but not
for the thing in question. Everything I have done up to the present is
suggestive of what I have to remember," and I turned my watch round in
my pocket so that it faced outwards.

"I see," said Joan. "Now, what's the cotton round your finger for?"

"Smoked sa--, that is to say, coff--, I mean the estimate for your
ring," I answered. "Is there anything else?"

"Another box of stationery like the last--the crinkly paper, you know.
They've got our die."

I tore a strip from the newspaper, crinkled it carefully and put it away
in my cigarette-case. A minute later I was on my way to the
railway-station.

A keen head-wind was blowing, causing my eyes to water and the tears to
flow unbidden. I explored my sleeve for my handkerchief. It was not
there. I could not possibly go to town without one, so I hastened home
again. Joan was at the window as I ran up.

"What is it?" she cried.

"My handkerchief!" I gasped. "I've forgotten----"

"Fourteen pounds of best loaf sugar!" called out Joan. "It's in your
hat."

As I hurried once more in the direction of the station I withdrew the
handkerchief from my hat and wiped my streaming eyes. The operation
over, I placed the handkerchief in my sleeve. I heard the whistle of a
train in the distance and instinctively took out my watch. It was
right-about-face in my pocket, and I lost a good half-second in getting
it into the correct position for time-telling. It was nine-seventeen. I
had just one minute in which to do the quarter-mile; but my _forte_ is
the egg-and-spoon race, and I missed the train handsomely.

There was an interval of twenty minutes before the next one was due, so
I thought I would have a cigarette. I opened my case, and a piece of
paper fluttered to the ground. I picked it up and glanced at it. On one
side I read that "... knocked out Submarine Snooks in the ninth round
after a hotly--contested ..." while on the other side I saw that "...
condition offers the gravest anxiety to his numerous friends and ..." I
threw the paper away, for it did not interest me, and walked up to the
bookstall to select a magazine. I had to remove my left glove in order
to get at my money, and in pulling it off I noticed a shred of cotton
come away with it. This meant an inside seam gone somewhere; and they
were new gloves, too. I threw a coin to the paper-boy, and two small
round objects like boot-buttons rolled on to the platform. Shortly
afterwards the train strolled up.

At the office I was so busy all day, arranging about the shipment of a
steam-crane to Siam (I am a commission-agent), that it was not until I
was seated in the train, going home in the evening, that I vaguely
remembered that I had forgotten something. I grew more and more uneasy,
and, with the idea of distracting my thoughts from an unpleasant
channel, I picked up an evening paper from underneath the opposite seat.
At some quite recent period it had obviously contained nourishment of an
oleaginous nature, but, though soiled, it was still legible. The very
first paragraph which I read served to remind me of Joan's forgotten
orders; but it brought me, nevertheless, an unholy joy, for it ran: "The
funeral of the late Mr. Jeremiah Moggridge, founder and managing
director of the mammoth stores which bear his name, took place this
afternoon. As a mark of respect the premises were closed for business
throughout the day."

So it would have been futile to ring them up in any case. I was saved!

On reaching home the first thing Joan said to me was--

"Did you order those things from Moggridge's?"

I didn't say anything. I merely handed her the evening paper and
indicated the saving clause. Joan read it through. Then she said--

"Yes, I _thought_ you'd mess it all up in spite of your ichneumonics, or
whatever you call them; and so after lunch I went to the call-office and
ordered the things myself."

"But Moggridge's was closed--didn't you read?"

"Yes," replied Joan; "but, next time you forget, don't try to establish
an _alibi_ with yesterday's evening paper."

       *       *       *       *       *

Our private telephone will be fixed by next week. I forget how much Joan
reckons we shall save by it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Rev. Brown._ "I'M AFRAID, MY DEAR YOUNG LADY, I KNOW
VERY LITTLE OF AGRICULTURAL MATTERS; IN FACT I DON'T KNOW THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MANGEL AND A WURZEL."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PASSING OF THE COW.

    [_The Soya bean, grown in Japan, Korea and Manchuria, is said to
    provide a perfect substitute for milk._]

   _Tout lasse, tout casse, tout passe_:
   All mortal flesh is grass,
  Mown down by Time at the appointed hour;
   And in the world of speed
   The noblest Arab steed
  Yields, O Combustion, to thy pent-up power.

   On Youth of ardent aim
   No more _Mazeppa's_ fame
  Or TURPIN'S feats exert their ancient spell;
   NAPIER and WOLSELEY stand
   No more for war's command,
  But only steel and rubber, oil and smell.

   Where once men safely strode
   Along the open road,
  A sinister and stertorous machine
   Exhales its acrid breath
   And deals impartial death
  To all the dwellers on the village green.

   And now, O gentle cow,
   Man's foster-mother, thou,
  Must tread the fatal path the horse hath trod,
   Since scientists have found
   That milk and cream abound
  Within the compass of an Eastern pod.

   No more shall we behold,
   As in the days of old,
  The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea;
   Or Mary, mid the foam,
   Calling her cattle home,
  Across the sands, the perilous sands o' Dee.

   Mourn, Alderney, and mourn,
   O maiden all forlorn,
  The cow with crumpled horn that filled thy pail;
   Mourn, damsels, mourn and sigh
   Who can no more reply,
  "I'm going a milking" to the curious male.

   Mourn too, for ye shall feel
   The change at every meal,
  Ye minions of the hearthrug; be not mute,
   Ye Persians, topaz-eyed,
   When mistresses provide
  This miserable Soya substitute.

   In legendary lore
   The cow was wont to soar
  With Dædalean art above the moon;
   But ah! the cardboard cows
   That by the railroad browse
  To no elopement prompt the modern spoon.

   On earth men owned thy sway
   From Lapland to Cathay;
  In heaven the Milky Way thy might confessed:
   Weaklings we saw become
   Strong, thanks to thee and rum,
  And Punch of all ingredients found milk best.

   But, heedless of a debt
   He never should forget,
  Ungrateful man is planning to replace
   By vegetable aid
   The kindly service paid
  By your mild-natured and sweet-breathing race.

   Yet, ere the Soya boom
   Achieves the dairy's doom,
  And rude bean-crushers oust the homely churn,
   Let one unworthy scribe
   Salute the vaccine tribe
  And lay his wreath upon their funeral urn.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Trippers.

    "The native inhabitants produce all manner of curios, the great
    majority of which appear to command a ready sale among the visitors,
    crude and commonplace as these frequently are."--_Bulawayo
    Chronicle._

They are; but, bless their hearts, they seem to enjoy themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "EXETER.--Young Cook-General, willing to learn; small family, no
    children; no basement. No religion preferred."

    _Western Morning News._

She forgot to add "No meals to serve."

       *       *       *       *       *

MY GIRL CADDIE.

As a matter of fact she was my gardener's chauffeur-son's girl. The
junior parent having been living chiefly on my garden or in my kitchen,
and now being at the end of his resources, it was suggested that I
should give his Amy a job. The proposal came from my wife, who had been
victualling Amy's mother and Amy's baby sister for some weeks. An
illuminating correspondence in the Press had done the rest.

For her first appointment at the tee Amy was nearly twenty minutes late,
and when she arrived it was in a mauve skirt, green stockings, an ochre
sporting coat and a hat which had once been my wife's. Seen against the
background of the native boy caddies, Amy might have been described as
picturesque.

"Mother says," said Amy, as we introduced ourselves--"Mother says she's
sorry you should be kep', but baby's used to going off, me rocking 'im,
and she was that busy, it being the day what she mostly washes."

"Very well, Amy," I said, realising the situation, "we must do better
next time. The gentleman I was to play would not wait; but perhaps, if
we just went round together, you could get an idea of your--your
duties."

Amy accepted my suggestion and my bag of clubs with an abstracted sniff.
She seemed to be more closely engaged in retorting by manual signals to
the distant provocations of her male rivals.

"Now, Amy," I reminded her gently, "you must learn how to make a tee."

Amy turned reluctantly and stared over my bent back at the Miss
Galbraiths, who were just starting for the ladies' course.

"First of all," I began more firmly, "you take a pinch of sand from this
box--so." Tee-making is not my forte, and I was painfully conscious that
I worked under the critical gaze of fully twenty expert eyes.

"If you please," said Amy in a brighter mood, "mother says I'll want
some things to clean up the sticks with."

I rose from my knees with a cricked back, but I had my Purple Spot
neatly balanced on a really creditable mound.

"We shall come to that presently, Amy," I explained. "When I have
finished playing you can take the clubs and make them nice and bright
with emery-paper."

Amy did not take this proposal encouragingly.

"Mother says I should want some turps," she informed me, "and brickdus'
and some whitin' to finish, and some methelay. She says she don't 'old
with the way Jimmy Baines and the rest of 'em does it. Mother says the
sticks should be cleaned proper, as they oughter be. She says she'd 'ave
give me the things, only she ain't got any, and I was to ask if it was
convenience to you to spare me the money to go to the village and get
'em. Then she'd show me 'ow."

I had discovered my driver behind Amy's back and was preparing to get
away, but these views of Amy's mother were so complete an innovation
that I paused. On the verge of a first drive I had never in my life
stopped to consider the ethics of golf-club cleaning. Why had not Amy a
pocket and a rag of sand-paper like resourceful Jimmy Baines? I don't
remember to have ever read anything on the niceties of the art of
scouring clubs. It is a subject on which the writers of golfing
articles--prolific enough, as Heaven knows, about other and more
negligible aspects of the game--seem to have adopted an attitude of
studied reticence.

"Look here, Amy," I said rather severely, "you really must not talk. You
must remember you are here to carry my clubs, not to tell me about your
mother. My iron clubs must be cleaned precisely as they always have been
cleaned. That is entirely your department of the game, and you must
stand at least three yards further away or I shall probably kill you."
Then I drove, sliced hideously, and landed in long grass a hundred yards
to the right.

Some premonition of feminine detachment prompted me to keep my eyes
rigidly on the tuft which concealed my ball, as I strode forward. But
half-way I turned. I _felt_ Amy was not with me. She was standing
precisely where I had left her, her hat off, her pink tongue stuck out
in the direction of the caddies' shed.

"Amy!" I shouted, and the sound of my voice had an indescribably
incongruous and humiliating echo. "Amy, come here at once; how dare----"

Amy came ambling across the fairway, hat in hand, my bag of clubs left
where she had deposited them upside down in the tee-box for greater
freedom in responding with gestures of defiance to the chaff of the
enemy.

"Now look here," I said as Amy stood wonderingly before me; "I am very,
very disappointed in you--very, very angry. You wanted to earn your
living, I understood?"

Amy's brows darkened but her lips were slightly tremulous.

"Mother won't let me go into the laundry," she said sulkily, "'cos
father says I'm not sperienced enough, and Jimmy Baines give me 'is
cheek, so I give it 'im back."

Thus we stood surveying the situation, my girl-caddie and I. There
seemed at the moment only one sane way of ending it.

"Very well, Amy," I said dispassionately, "you had better run home and
tell your mother--tell your mother to come up to the house after dinner,
if there's anything she needs."

Amy resigned her position without a murmur; but before she went she
extracted two paintless, weary-looking golf-balls from the pocket of her
mauve skirt and offered me them for sixpence.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COTTAGE.

  I know a wood on the top of a hill,
   Hyacinth-carpeted March till May,
  Where nights are wonderful, soft and still,
   And a deep-sea twilight hangs all day;
  The loving labour of fairy hands
   Has made it heavenly fine to see,
  And just outside it the cottage stands,
   The cottage that doesn't belong to me.
   A cottage, mind,
   And I'm sure you'd find
   It was damp and dirty and very confined;
  Oh, quite an ordinary keeper's cottage
   That doesn't belong to me.

  Creatures people the wood at night;
   Peaceable animals come and play;
  Pan's own pipes, if you hear aright,
   Charm you on as you go your way;
  And all the Arcady folk of yore
   Make songs of the days that used to be,
  Which carry perhaps to the cottage door,
   The cottage that doesn't belong to me.
   But it's miles from town
   And it's tumble-down,
   And the woodwork's done and the slates are brown;
  No one could really live in the cottage
   That doesn't belong to me.

  Fair be the towns by the river-side,
   Maidenhead, Richmond, Henley, Kew,
  Crammed with cottages far and wide,
   The thing for people like me and you;
  But I think of the haunting forest-lights
   And a path that wanders from tree to tree,
  Where the man of the cottage might walk o' nights,
   The cottage that doesn't belong to me.
   And it may be wrong,
   But it won't be long
   Before the feeling becomes too strong
  And I'll go and jolly well get that cottage
   That doesn't belong to me.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A NEW AQUATIC SPORT HAS BEEN INVENTED. IT IS KNOWN AS
"PLANKING," AND CONSISTS IN STANDING UPON A BOARD TOWED BY A FAST
MOTOR-BOAT. SOME WHO HAVE TRIED IT CONSIDER THE PLEASURE OVER-RATED.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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


_Reality_ (CASSELL) deserves to rank high amongst the novels of the
present season; it has, indeed, qualities that will cause it, if I am
not mistaken, to outlive most of them. The chief of these I can best
express by the word colour; by which I mean not only a picturesque
setting, but temperament and a fine sense of the romantic in life.
Perhaps I ought to have known the name of MISS OLIVE WADSLEY already. As
I did not, I can only be glad that _Reality_ has rectified the fault; I
shall certainly not again forget a writer who has given me so much
pleasure. The scene of the story is laid in Vienna, chiefly in musical
Vienna, and the protagonists are the young widow, _Irene van Cleve_, and
the violinist, _Jean Victoire_, whom she marries despite the
well-founded objections of her noble family. Some of the family, too,
are quite excellently drawn, notably a Cardinal, who, though he has
little to do in the tale, manages to appear much more human and less of
a draped waxwork than most Eminences of fiction. I have said that the
objections of _Irene's_ relations were justified, the fact being that
_Jean_ was not only a genius, but the most scatterbrained egoist and
vulgarian. Naturally, therefore, the alliance turned out a failure; and
the process is quite admirably portrayed. I liked least in the book the
end, with its sudden revelation of a superfluous secret. Had the secret
not been so superfluous it might have vexed me to have been so long kept
in ignorance of it. But this is a small matter. The chief point is that
_Reality_ has the pulse of life in it--in a word that it confirms its
title; which, indeed, is about the highest praise that a critic can
bestow.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am not at all sure how Mr. FRANK NORRIS, were he still living, would
have regarded the resurrection of this early attempt at realism, as
taught us by M. ZOLA--_Vandover and the Brute_ (HEINEMANN). He would, I
fancy, have softened some of the crudities and allowed a touch of humour
to lighten the more solemn passages. There are pages here that remind
one that _Vandover's_ creator was also the author of those magnificent
novels _The Octopus_ and _The Pit_; but I cannot, in spite of them,
place much confidence in the truth of _Vandover's_ life history. We are
told that he enjoyed his bath, and usually spent two or three hours over
it. When the water was very warm he got into it with his novel on a rack
in front of him and a box of chocolates conveniently near. Here he
stayed for over an hour, eating and reading and occasionally smoking a
cigarette. Can you wonder after this that poor _Vandover_ went utterly
to the bad, and is to be found on the last page doing some horrible work
with a muck-rake whilst an innocent child points an obvious moral? So
certain was _Vandover's_ doom, once that box of chocolates had been
mentioned, that I grew impatient and a little weary. If this is an age
of realism in fiction I think that _Vandover and the Brute_ should make
plain to any reader why, very shortly, we are going to have an age of
something else.

       *       *       *       *       *

Do not allow yourself to be put off by the title of _Captivating Mary
Carstairs_ (CONSTABLE)--now published for the first time in England. It
is not, as you might assume, a costume novel of eighteenth-century
tushery. This is what I expected; but as a matter of fact Mr. HENRY
SYDNOR HARRISON has written a tale about as unlike this as anything well
could be. It is a capital tale, too; American to the last epithet, and
crammed so full of the unexpected and adventurous that never (except
once) can you anticipate for a moment what is going to happen. The chief
adventure is abduction, the subject of it being _Mary Carstairs_, whose
father was separated from her mother, and, being a lonely old man with
a longing for a daughter's affection, took this melodramatic course to
secure it. In furtherance of his end he secured the services of
_Maginnis_, genial swashbuckler, and _Varney_, young, susceptible and
heroic, and despatched them on his yacht to apprehend one whom they
vaguely supposed to be "a little girl about twelve." This was the only
time in which I scored over Mr. HARRISON. I was as certain, when I read
thus far, that _Mary Carstairs_ was no child, but a grown-up beauty, as
I am now that I know the facts. Everywhere else the author had me beat.
His capacity for complications seems inexhaustible. I knew that _Varney_
was going to fall in love with _Mary_, but I did not know that he
himself had a double who would cause endless and thrilling confusions;
that _Maginnis_ would become involved in local politics to the extent of
endangering his life; and that even old _Carstairs_, _Mary's_ father,
would--but on second thoughts you had better share my unpreparedness
about him. I should sum up the book as a tale with a "punch" in every
chapter, some of them perhaps below the belt of probability, but all
leaving one, as is the way with punches, breathlessly concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monsieur de Rochefort_ (HUTCHINSON) did not even take himself
seriously; why then should I? To subject this airy romance, of Paris in
1770, to a minute criticism would be unnecessarily spoiling a good
thing, and I shall not therefore ask myself whether prisons were so
easily got out of or great statesmen so easily cajoled as Mr. H. DE VERE
STACPOOLE for present purposes assumes. I shall not examine the
historical accuracy of the portraits of the _Duc de Choiseul_ or of the
_Comtesse Dubarry_, nor shall I question the human probability of
villains so inept as _Camus_ or martinets so infallible and ruthless as
_de Sartines_. The most exacting connoisseur of vintage ports will in
his expansive moments admit the merits of a light wine from the wood,
offered him as such in due season; even so the most fastidious
novel-reader may in a holiday mood allow himself to be merely
entertained and diverted by these lighthearted but breathless adventures
in the Court of Louis XV. It is the greatest fun throughout; events are
rapid and the dialogue is crisp; moreover there is from the beginning
the comfortable certainty that, threaten what may, the unhappy end is
impossible. If DE ROCHEFORT had failed to marry JAVOTTE, I think that
Mr. DE VERE STACPOOLE would have incurred the unanimous displeasure of
all his readers, including those who at any other time would have
strongly protested against the marriage of so great a gentleman with so
humble a lady's-maid in any circumstances, let alone upon so very brief
an acquaintance.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Bridget Considine_ (BELL) is a pleasant story with something very
agreeable in its quality, which however I find hard to define. Miss MARY
CROSBIE has certainly a pretty gift for characterization, and this no
doubt accounts for a good deal of the charm; the rest is largely a
matter of atmosphere. The characters in the story whom you will most
remember are _Bridget_ herself and her father. The last especially is a
continuous joy--a man who in his journey through life had taken
instinctively the manner and aspect of a class to which he did not
belong; a decayed gentleman without ever having been gentle except in
mind; a needy adventurer without the spirit for adventure. Dragged up at
the slip-shod heels of such a parent, supporting herself with romantic
dreams when other nourishment failed, _Bridget_ grew to young womanhood
the very type, one would say, of the _Cinderella_ to be rescued from
poverty by a suitable _Prince Charming_. Thus when a combination of
accidents thrusts her, as secretary-companion, into the society of _Hugh
Delmege_, a budding politician, you will perhaps excusably plume
yourself upon seeing the rest of the tale beforehand. If so, you will,
as a matter of fact, be entirely wrong. _Hugh_ and _Bridget_ become
engaged, certainly, but----. There is much virtue in that "but," the
virtue of an unusual and convincing end to a story that has many charms,
not the least of them being its humour. Yes, I certainly liked _Bridget
Considine_ well enough to wish for more from the same pen. Its motto,
"Candidates for Humanity," is well chosen.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mr. WILLIAM SATCHELL, in a preface to _The Greenstone Door_
(SIDGWICK AND JACKSON), remarks that some Maori words are used so
frequently that he is "afraid the English reader will hardly be able to
avoid acquiring a knowledge of their meaning," his alarm is quite
unnecessary. Personally, at any rate, I am proud to know that _papa-tea_
means an untattooed person, and _waipiro_ an alcoholic beverage. But if
Mr. SATCHELL had feared that the young man who tells the story might be
found a little too self-complacent no protest would have been sounded by
me. For _Cedric Tregarthen_, the grandson of an earl, and also "The
Little Finger" of a Maori chief, was beyond my swallowing, though I
endured him obstinately until he reported _verbatim_ the opinion of his
beloved's governess. "'Good-bye, Mr. Tregarthen,' she responded. 'Or, if
you will allow me to say, "Good-bye, Cedric," it will better express my
feelings. I used to hate boys, my dear; but I shall love them all for
the sake of your gentleness and kindness. I am sure you will grow into a
very noble man.'" Now, I ask you, ought not dear _Cedric_ to have kept
this to himself? Give me for choice the Maori boy, _Rangiora_, and the
half-Maori girl, _Puhi-Huia_, humans fit to be loved and admired. The
pity of it is immense, because Mr. SATCHELL has a knowledge of his
subject that is beyond all praise, and the Maori part of his book is
worth reading again and again. But the trouble remains that Cedric lived
to tell the tale, while _Rangiora_ died and had to have his tale told
for him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _The Ancient Mariner._ "SEEN CHANGES? I SHOULD THINK I
'AVE, SIR. W'Y, WINKLETON USED TO BE THAT QUIET YOU COULD 'EAR A PIN
DROP! BUT LOOK AT IT NOW. WHAT WITH THE PICTURE PALACE AND THE PIERROTS
AND THEM SWING-BOATS AND THE PENNY BAZAAR, IT'S GOT TO BE A FAIR
PANHARMONIUM!"

       *       *       *       *       *

How they view things in Oregon.

    "SPORTS.

    Murderer uses ax to wipe out family of four."

    _The Morning Oregonian._

       *       *       *       *       *





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