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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, July 29, 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, July 29, 1914" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 147.



July 29th, 1914.



CHARIVARIA.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Signor ULVI, the inventor
of "F" rays. He is said to have eloped from Florence with an Admiral's
daughter. This was not discovered until Signor ULVI had got well away,
and his claim to be able to cause explosions at a distance would now
seem to be established.

       ***

General HUERTA is said to have taken with him on his flight securities
to the amount of £1,200,000. Even so it is typical of the grasping
nature of the man that he complained of having to leave Mexico City
behind.

       ***

A storm of indignation has been raised in Berlin by an order
(instigated, it is said, in a very high quarter) that all _cafés_ must
close at 2 A.M. A petition is being circulated which points out that
this order will kill Berlin's tourist traffic, "as the night life of
the city is the only attraction for visitors." This implication that a
certain exalted personage is not among the local attractions seems to
us to amount almost to _lèse-majesté_.

       ***

When Lieutenant PORTE's water-plane, "The America," refused to rise,
he should have tried changing its name to "The South America."

       ***

The Buckinghamshire Territorials, under their new commandant, Colonel
WETHERED, are going in for chorus-singing practice. This is a good
idea. Sung badly enough, these choruses should prove a valuable weapon
against a musical foe, such as the Germans.

       ***

Owing to an outbreak of mumps at Harrow School the summer term has
had to close some days earlier than usual. It is characteristic of
the generous nature of the Harrow boys that, in spite of this annoying
interruption of their studies, there has been very little open
expression of resentment against those who introduced the ailment.

       ***

Coventry's annual Lady Godiva procession took place last week, and was
a success. It is feared, however, that with the advance of fashion
the principal character--who on this occasion was attired in pink
fleshings draped with white chiffon--will be voted overdressed and so
fail to attract.

       ***

"To be well booted," says _The Times_, "is to feel well dressed, at
the top of one's power and joy." A small boy, however, who was well
booted by a larger boy the other day admits that he received a
good dressing, but holds that, apart from this, _The Times_ was
misinformed.

       ***

The announcement that in the course of excavations on the site of the
old General Post Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand, some old Roman tile
stamps have been discovered, has caused, we hear, a profound sensation
in philatelic circles.

       ***

Exceptionally rough weather is reported from the Bay of Biscay, and
it is said that on a certain passenger vessel even the valet of a
well-known nobleman was ill, _although he was an old retainer._

       ***

"Fishing with rod and line from a boat in the Downs at Deal," says
_The Daily Mail_, "Lord HERSCHELL and a friend caught 600 fish on
Sunday. The fish, mostly pouting, were hauled in three and four at a
time." We suspect they were pouting to show their annoyance at having
their Sabbath rest disturbed.

       ***

It is proposed in an L.C.C. report that barges should be used as
open-air schools on the river. Schools of language, presumably.

       ***

We are asked to deny that the fire which broke out at the bookstall
at the Hampstead station of the North London Railway last week was
produced spontaneously by a copy of one of MISS VICTORIA CROSS's
novels.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bather._ "I SAY! I SAY! THE CURRENT IS FRIGHTFULLY
STRONG; I'M BEING CARRIED OUT."

_Bathing Attendant._ "ALL RIGHT, SIR, ALL RIGHT! I'VE GOT ME EYE ON
YER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE USES OF OCEAN.

(_Lines written in an irresponsible holiday mood._)

  To people who allege that we
  Incline to overrate the Sea,
    I answer, "We do not;
  Apart from being coloured blue,
  It has its uses not a few--
  I cannot think what we should do
    If ever 'the deep did rot.'"

  Take ships, for instance. You will note
  That, lacking stuff on which to float,
    They could not get about;
  Dreadnought and liner, smack and yawl,
  And other types that you'll recall--
  They simply could not sail at all
    If Ocean once gave out.

  And see the trouble which it saves
  To islands; but for all those waves
    That made us what we are--
  But for their help so kindly lent,
  Teutons could march right through to Kent
  And never need to circumvent
    A single British tar.

  Take fish, again. I have in mind
  No better field that they could find
    For exercise and sport;
  How would the whale, I want to know,
  The blubbery whale contrive to blow;
  Where would your playful kipper go
    If the supply ran short?

  And hence we rank the Ocean high;
  But there are privy reasons why
    Its praise is on my lip:
  I deem it, when my heart is set
  On walking into something wet,
  The nicest medium I have met
    In which to take a dip.

  Ah, speed the hour already fixed
  When, mid the bathers (freely mixed),
    In a polite costume
  I mean to plunge beneath the spray
  And, washing from a soul at play
  The City's stain--three times a day--
    Restore its vernal bloom.

  Rocked like a babe upon the brine
  It is my dream to float supine
    And to the vast inane
  Banish awhile from off my chest
  The cares that hold it now obsessed,
  And even take a clean-cut rest
    From Ulster-on-the-brain.

                                  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Best Holiday Insurance.

_Mr. Punch_ ventures to hint to the gentlest among his readers that,
while there are excellent methods of insuring against the disturbance
of their holidays by accident or bad weather, the best way for them to
insure happiness is to offer a share of it to those who cannot afford
a holiday of their own. The very easy sum of TEN SHILLINGS means a
Fortnight among green fields or by the sea for one poor child, if
the gift is sent--and now is the moment--to the Earl of ARRAN, Hon.
Treasurer of the Children's Country Holiday Fund, 18, Buckingham
Street, Strand, W.C.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CRISIS.

    ["Lord Macaulay's prose seems to be finding favour again."
                                              _Oshkosh Sentinel._]

The place, too, was well fitted for such a gathering. Memories of
departed monarchs spoke from the rich hangings of the room in tones
that were not less eloquent for being silent. Here the FIRST GENTLEMAN
OF EUROPE had displayed the rounded symmetry of those calves which
had defied the serried legions of the French and, in their lighter
moments, had captured the wayward fancies of the fair or mitigated the
harshness of a statesman. This was the chamber where the SAILOR KING,
bluff but not undignified, had jested with his intimates, had smoothed
a frown from the rugged brow of WELLINGTON or held his own against the
eagle glance of GREY; the chamber where the great QUEEN, conscious of
her august destiny, had consecrated to grief such moments as could
be spared from the needs of Empire; the chamber where her son had
laboured for peace and extended the bounds of friendship; the chamber
where a DISRAELI, repaying scorn with scorn, may have spread his
snares, and a GLADSTONE, overwhelmed by the torrent of his own
eloquence, may have fallen into them.

Nothing was wanting to complete the solemnity of the spectacle.
Outside, the scarlet-coated sentries paced rigidly on their accustomed
rounds, and the populace, hemmed in by the strong arms and the panting
forms of the constabulary, cheered to the echo its favourites or
exchanged with one another the harmless sallies that give pleasure to
a crowd. Within, the KING himself, his face now clouded with anxious
thought, now lit with hope, gave a cordial welcome to the more
unwonted of the guests he had summoned to his presence, while busy
courtiers filled the corridors with an importance which lost nothing
in weight from being unwarranted by knowledge or experience. Lackeys
in the gorgeous liveries of the most brilliant Court in Europe were
in attendance, ready to minister to those whose failing strength might
need refreshment, or to execute with intelligence and despatch the
humbler duties pertaining to their office.

Nor were the chiefs unworthy of the scene to which they had been
called. There was the Speaker, LOWTHER, his brow beaming with the
good-humour which enabled him to abate pomposity without injuring
the feelings even of the pompous, and to calm with a happy phrase the
agitated waters of debate. There were ASQUITH, strong in the affection
of his friends, and LLOYD GEORGE, braced to action by the invectives
of his foes. There were LAW and LANSDOWNE, staunch defenders of the
citadel in which the last of the Tories, stern and unbending as ever,
had sought refuge. Waterford had sent JOHN REDMOND, the pride and
champion of a nation, the unwearied vindicator of Ireland's right to
govern herself. Through years of contumely and depression he had borne
aloft her standard, and now, when her triumph was all but achieved,
he was here to watch over a settlement which all desired, though
none hitherto had been able to bring it about. With him had come JOHN
DILLON, tall, dignified and stately, whose grey hair and admirable
bearing had won the respect and conciliated the temper of the most
fastidious assembly in the world. Arrayed against these two, sons
of Ireland no less than they, were CARSON and CRAIG; CARSON with his
saturnine face and his swift and piercing intelligence, CRAIG of the
burly form and uncompliant humour. Vowed to the Orange cause, and
dwelling fondly on memories of the Boyne, they denounced with equal
severity the religion of Rome and the political aspirations of the
majority of their fellow-countrymen. Such were the men who were now
met to decide the most momentous issue of our time.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE POWER BEHIND.

AUSTRIA (_at the ultimatum stage_). "I DON'T QUITE LIKE HIS ATTITUDE.
SOMEBODY MUST BE BACKING HIM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GLOSSOMANCY IS THE NEW SCIENCE WHICH ENABLES YOU TO
READ PEOPLE'S CHARACTERS BY THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF THEIR TONGUES. THE
ABOVE CANDIDATE FOR THE POSITION OF PARLOUR-MAID IS IN THE ACT OF
RESPONDING TO AN INQUIRY AS TO WHETHER SHE IS HONEST, INDUSTRIOUS,
GOOD-TEMPERED, TRUTHFUL AND OBLIGING. THERE IS FEAR THAT HER ACTION,
THOUGH PURELY SCIENTIFIC, MAY PROVE FATAL TO THE INTELLIGENT GIRL'S
CHANCES.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MUTABILITY.

"And now," I said, while the waiter was bringing the bill, "where
would you like to go?"

"I don't mind," he said. "What about a music-hall? I haven't seen one
for twenty years. There's a cinema about five miles from my place, but
it's too dear. Only the millionaires can use it."

"Very well, then," I said, "we'll go to a music-hall; but you'll find
that they've changed a bit."

"I don't mind," he said, "so long as there's something good. There's
so much variety in a music-hall, one turn after another, don't you
know, that you can't go far wrong."

My spirits sank. East Africa had kept his youth in camphor, and he had
no knowledge of the wonderful advances that we have been making. Turns
indeed!

"I'll do the best I can for you," I said, "but I'm afraid you'll be
disappointed."

"Oh, no," he assured me stoutly, "not in a music-hall. I've been
wanting to see one again for years. I suppose Jimmy Fawn isn't still
going?"

My spirits fell lower.

We went to one of the regular places, and, as I had feared, found
a revue in full blast. Topical talk, scenery and American songs
interminably. Every time a new person came on the stage my friend
eagerly perked up and lost his depression, hoping that at last it
might be one of his old delights--a juggler or knockabout or something
like that--but always he was disappointed.

"I say, where are we?" he asked. "This isn't a music-hall, is it?"

"One of the best," I replied.

He looked round in dismay.

"But where are the waiters?" he asked.

"Not allowed among the audience any more," I told him; "in fact, some
music-halls don't even have licences."

He stared at me in astonishment and sank into apathy. Coming up again
he said, "Do you remember those two fellows with enormous stomachs and
hooked sticks? They were funny, if you like. Don't you have that sort
of thing any more?"

"No," I said.

"Do you remember that act," he said--"I believe it was called the
Risley act--where a man lay on his back, with his legs up in the air,
and flung his family about with his feet? That was jolly clever. Don't
you have that any more?"

"No," I said.

"And the Sisters something or other," he said, "dashed pretty girls,
who did everything at the same time--are they gone for ever?"

"For ever," I said.

"And no comic songs either?" he asked.

"You've heard a lot of comic songs this evening," I replied.

"Oh, those," he said. "I don't call those comic. They're not comic
songs, they're comic-opera songs. Don't you have the others any more?"

"Not at this kind of hall," I said. "I daresay there may be a singer
or so left somewhere, with too big a coat and too small a hat, but not
here."

"Then what are all the old performers doing?" he asked.

"I believe they're starving," I said.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A NOVEL HOSPITAL AT SHEFFIELD."--_Yorkshire Post._

Some of them certainly want a bit of doctoring.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PROGRESS OF MAN.

(_By our Anthropological Expert._)

PROFESSOR KEITH, of the Royal College of Surgeons, reporting on the
skeleton of a prehistoric twelve-year-old boy recently discovered near
Ipswich, pronounces his stature to be much the same as the average
height of a modern boy of the same age, but the size of the head is
remarkably large. The professor states that he and his colleagues are
trying to get hold of people of every period, going as far back as
they can. They will then be able to differentiate the types that lived
in any period, and check the changes that came over them. So far,
however, there has been very little change.

Perhaps the most striking result of Professor KEITH's appeal so
far has come from the Isle of Man, where a magnificent three-legged
skeleton has been discovered in the Caves of Bradda. The remains have
been pronounced by Professor Quellin, the famous Manx anthropologist,
to be those of a man not less than 175 years of age, whose facial
angle bears so marked a resemblance to that of Mr. HALL CAINE as to
warrant the hypothesis that he was one of the royal ancestors of the
eminent novelist. Close to the skeleton was a long bronze trumpet,
from which Professor Quellin, after several ineffectual efforts,
ultimately succeeded in eliciting a deep booming note. Mr. HALL CAINE,
who has taken the liveliest interest in the discovery, is at present
studying the instrument, and will, it is hoped, give a recital shortly
in the House of Keys.

The recent excavations at the famous Culbin Sands, undertaken by the
Forres Antiquarian Institute, have also resulted in some remarkable
finds. Prominent among these is a complete set of golf clubs belonging
to the Bronze period. In regard to length the clubs are very much the
same as the average implements used at the present day, but the large
size of the heads is remarkable, the niblick weighing nearly half a
hundredweight. It is plausibly inferred that clubs of this pattern may
also have been used as weapons, as the dwellers in this district in
the Bronze period are known to have been of a warlike and tumultuous
disposition. The game is believed to have been introduced by some
Maccabæan settlers, the ancestors of the clan of Macbeth, who
flourished in the vicinity.

In that fine spirit of enterprise which has always characterised _The
Daily Lyre_, the proprietors of that periodical have offered a prize
of £5,000 for the most characteristic relic of ancient and modern
British civilization, to be sent in by October 1. Already several
notable exhibits have been forwarded for the competition. Mr. Ronald
McLurkin, of Tain, has submitted portions of the boiler of an ancient
locomotive, apparently used on the Highland Railway in the time of the
Boer War. Dr. Edgar Hollam, of Brancaster, has sent a fine specimen of
a fossilised Norfolk biffin, and Miss Sheila Muldooney, of Skibbereen,
a copy of _The Skibbereen Eagle_ containing the historic announcement
that it had its eye on the Tsar of RUSSIA. Sir GEORGE ALEXANDER sends
a daguerreotype of himself in knickerbockers with side whiskers and
moustache, and Mr. BERNARD SHAW the first interview with himself
that he ever wrote. It appeared in _The Freeman's Journal_ in the
"seventies" and is illustrated with six portraits, in one of which
Mr. SHAW appears in an Eton suit and a tall hat, "the only one I ever
possessed."

Sir HENRY HOWARTH has forwarded a copy of _The Times_ containing
his first contribution to that journal, a letter occupying a
column-and-a-half of small print, on the mammoth as a domestic pet in
the Court of the early Moghul Emperors. Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL competes
with an essay which he wrote, while a schoolboy at Harrow, on the
dangers of Democracy; and Master ANTHONY ASQUITH has sent the rough
notes of a Lecture on "The Balliol Manner" which he delivered many
years ago before a select audience at Claridge's. The contrast in form
and thought between this crude essay and his recent lectures on the
mysticism of RABINDRANATH TAGORE is quite amazing. We may also briefly
note the MS. version of an early sonnet by Mr. EDMUND GOSSE, addressed
to Sir SIDNEY LEE; several safety-pins and a sponge-bag which once
belonged to CHARLOTTE BRONTË and are now entered for the competition
by Mr. CLEMENT SHORTER; and a hot-water bottle used by S. T. COLERIDGE
when he was writing "The Ancient Mariner," now in the possession of
Sir HERBERT BEERBOHM TREE.

The interesting point that emerges so far is that while little change
is observable in the physique, habits and manners of the British,
as illustrated by these relics, up to the last ten years or so, the
development in every direction, since the foundation of _The Daily
Lyre_, has been quite extraordinarily rapid and pronounced. For
instance, a cast of the head of a modern "nut" shows a compactness
which compares most favourably with the overgrown cranium of the
prehistoric boy reported on by Professor KEITH.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Captain of the Preparatory School._ "WELL,
YOUNGSTER, WHAT IS IT? WANT MY AUTOGRAPH?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "To-day there are 2,000,000 muskrats in Bohemia, and, like
    rabbits in Australia, they are spreading all over the fruitful
    regions of the province and destroying fish in the breeding
    ponds."--_Daily Mail._

You should see our rabbit destroying our trout.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "She was a flesh and blood woman, fit to be the mother of
    husky sons."--_"Daily Sketch" feuilleton._

They would constantly rise up and call her blessed, and this would
account for their hoarseness. (Jones's jujubes are the best.)

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The sturgeon ... consists of fish, flesh, and fowl, the
    latter part commanding a good saleable price."--_Carlisle
    Journal._

The wings are particularly tender.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fashions for Men.

    "Lord Salisbury came with Lady Beatrice Ormsby-Gore, wearing
    blue charmeuse."--_Daily Mail._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Village Worthy._ "AH, I USED TO BE AS FOND OF A DROP
O' BEER AS ANYONE, BUT NOWADAYS IF I DO TAKE TWO OR DREE GALLONS IT DO
KNOCK I OVER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR COLOSSAL ARRANGEMENTS.

One of the most appalling scandals of modern times is the disgraceful
suppression by the Ginger-beer Press of news relating to the state of
affairs in the Isle of Wight. For some weeks we have not flinched
from filling our columns with picturesque accounts of the epoch-making
events taking place there; and yet the Ginger-beer Press has cruelly
put off its readers with the scantiest details, or else refrained from
any sort of reference. We make our protest all the more vigorously
because many of those readers have been driven to read our own journal
in preference to the erroneous and misleading sheets to which we have
referred.

This distressing state of things has forced us to make the fullest
arrangements for a constant stream of news to be supplied from our
branch offices at Ventnor, Totland Bay, the Needles, and other points
of the Island. We have despatched a huge staff of world-famous war
correspondents, descriptive writers, poets, photographers, Royal
Academy artists, gallopers, commissariat officers, and trained
bloodhounds. Field kitchens, field wireless equipment, and field
glasses are included among their impedimenta, and no single message
will be printed in our pages that has not been sent in some other
way than through the ordinary channels of the post, telephone and
telegraph. Each member of this army of artists, littérateurs and
tacticians possesses a hip pocket, fully loaded, two pairs of puttees,
a compass and a wrist watch.

Every day scores of women and children are leaving the Isle of Wight
for the mainland. Gunboats and cruisers are passing and repassing
before its shores, by order of the Admiralty; strong, silent men are
doggedly pursuing the business they have in hand. In the very heart
of the island some of the flower of the youth of our country is
being trained in the art of naval warfare, while the thunders of
gun-practice are heard every hour around the coast. Yet, search where
you will in the Ginger-beer Press during the last few weeks, you will
find practically no reference to these things.

We implore our readers, on the highest patriotic grounds, to inform
the few remaining adherents of the Ginger-beer Press that if they
desire the Truth it can be found only in our pages.

We have the pleasure of printing below the first of the astonishing
articles which have been sent already from our Expeditionary Staff:--

THE PRELIMINARY CALM.

_By Blinton X. Krapt._

The streets of Cowes are bathed in sunlight. Smart yachtsmen,
accompanied by daintily dressed ladies, walk hither and thither. The
shopkeepers chat pleasantly. The burly policeman drowsily pursues
his way. Children shout happily. Surely here is peace, says the
unsuspecting visitor.

A brown-faced man with a light beard and a heavy tread approached
us. "It is all right," said my companion to him; "this gentleman is
a friend." Then, lowering his voice, he added: "_He came over last
night._" "Beautiful place, Cowes, isn't it?" said the bronzed man. I
noticed that his hip pocket bulged. Yet none would have suspected that
his conversation was not of a perfectly ordinary character.

Entering the most sumptuous hotel in Cowes we had lunch. There was
nothing sinister about the place except that the waiters were German.
But I noted signs of understanding between them and my friend. "I have
been here before," he explained, with a quick glance about him.

So life goes on from day to day. We are waiting, waiting. The little
boot-maker in his shop is waiting. The tailor is waiting. The hotel
staffs are waiting. The passengers on the railway platforms are
waiting. On the surface life is gay and free from care; but what I may
have to tell you when it comes round to my turn to write again, who
can say?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TOP SLICE.


I.

_Letter from Mrs. Gregory-Browne to
      Mrs. Ribbanson-Smythe.
                Upper Tooting,
                  21st July, 1914._

MY DEAREST AGATHA,--I must tell you about an extraordinary occurrence.
They were all quite respectable people, indeed most respectable.
Perhaps I ought not to include Mr. Jones. He is, you know (I mention
this in the strictest confidence, dearest), he is not--well, you know,
he hardly belongs to our set. I cannot understand why James is so
absurdly fond of him.

It was my At Home day last week and quite a lot of people, really nice
people too, came in spite of the heat. The heat may have had something
to do with it, but I really cannot think what it was.

I handed a plate of bread-and-butter to Miss Niccole. To my surprise
she hesitated a moment and then took the plate and handed it to me.
When I declined she offered it to Mrs. Fitzroy-Williams-Adamson. You
know, dear, she is fourth cousin to a baronet. Then the extraordinary
thing occurred. Mrs. Fitzroy-Williams-Adamson took the plate and
offered it to Miss Niccole. When Miss Niccole declined it she offered
it to Mr. Wildegoose (pronounced Wildergos, you know, dear). Then it
was his turn. And so it went on. Really, it was most extraordinary.
Nothing like it has ever been known in our family. I really cannot
understand it.

Everybody passed the plate, and at last it came to Mr. Jones. He
pointed at the top piece of bread-and-butter. Yes, he actually
pointed. He then made the following extraordinary remark: "I say,
hasn't this broken loose from the bread-pudding, what, what?"
Thereupon he pushed it on one side and took the next slice. I was
ashamed and mortified for such a thing to happen in my house. Really,
it was most extraordinary.

Mr. Allen, the new curate, came in just then. He took the top slice,
but I caught him absent-mindedly putting it in a flower-pot. When he
saw me looking at him he blushed and started--started eating it,
I mean. However, he left most of it, and when everyone was gone
I examined it. It was perhaps a little hardened by the sun, but
otherwise it was quite a nice piece of bread-and-butter. I cannot
understand it at all. The whole thing was really most extraordinary
... most extraordinary.

    Your ever loving    SARAH.


II.

_Letter from Mrs. Ribbanson-Smythe to
      Mrs. Gregory-Browne.
                Chiswick,
                  22nd July, 1914._

MY DEAREST SARAH,--I have just read your most interesting letter,
and I quite agree that the whole occurrence was, as you say, most
extraordinary. I mentioned it to George. He says he has no doubt at
all that it was really a sound piece of bread-and-butter. I don't know
whether the enclosed cutting will help you to understand, but I am
sending it. It is from last Saturday's _Tooting Argus_. Somebody sent
it to George.

    Your loving    AGATHA.


III.

Extract from _The Tooting Argus:_--

GREAT NEW FEATURE.

PROBLEMS OF CONDUCT.

(CONDUCTED BY REGINALD AUGUSTUS PLANTAGENET-HARRIS.)

_Problem 3._--A. is paying a call. His hostess offers him
bread-and-butter. He notices that the top piece has suffered from the
heat. What should A. do?

Answer adjudged correct.--A. should politely take the plate from his
hostess, murmuring, "May I offer it to you?" If she refuses he should
offer it to his nearest neighbour. When the offending slice has been
got rid of in this way he can help himself to the next slice and then
return the plate to its owner.

Highly commended.--A. should explain to his hostess that he has a
peculiar hobby, to wit, collecting slices of bread-and-butter from
the houses of the great. His collection of Royal Family slices is
unrivalled. Might he have the pleasure and honour of adding to his
collection this dainty specimen? He should then reverently fold the
slice in two and place it in his breast-pocket.

[Our only objection to this is that it seems a rather greasy thing to
do.]

Incorrect answers:--(1) A. should make a facetious remark, such as,
"Hasn't this escaped from the bread pudding?" He should then playfully
but firmly push the slice aside and trust to luck on the next.

(2) A. must out of courtesy to his hostess accept thankfully whatever
she places before him. Any other course of conduct would be an
affront. It now however becomes his personal property and he can adopt
whichever of the following courses is most convenient--

(a) Secrete it in a fancy flower-pot or in the gramophone.

(b) If the dog is a silent eater hold it behind his back so that the
dog may get it.

NOTE.--If the dog refuses to touch it, say loudly, "I
cannot understand how any animal can decline such delightful
bread-and-butter." He can then openly dispose of it in the grate or
the waste-paper-basket on the ground that the dog's nose has vitiated
its freshness.

       *       *       *       *       *

LOVE'S LABOUR WELL LOST.

[_Lines inspired by a dark lady, who remarked_, à propos _of a recent
disaster, that all fair girls were untrustworthy._]

  Phyllis hath a roving eye,
    Palest blue--a candid feature
  Which informs the passer-by
    Phyllis is a flighty creature;
  Golden locks and fair complexion
  Also point in that direction.

  I, who had arranged to be
    Joined to Phyllis by the vicar,
  Now that she has jilted me
    Scorn to seek relief in liquor.
  Or the tears that folk are shedding
  (Having missed a swagger wedding).

  He who stole my love away
    Cannot hope for long survival,
  And I pity him to-day
    As I did a former rival
  Who believed her single-hearted
  When my own flirtation started.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Journalistic Touch.

I.

    "The Imperial yacht with the Tsar and Imperial Family on
    board steamed through the British lines yesterday, afterwards
    lunching on the British flagship."--_Bombay Chronicle._

II.

Of the Rose Walk at Purley:--

    "Then the material loveliness becomes the diaphanous veil
    through which glint realities of which all phenomena are
    expressions."--_Croydon Advertiser & Surrey County Reporter._

III.

    "His memory and his noble face, and reverend crown of snow,
    will be a green spot, and indelibly written in our minds,
    whilst life lasts."--_Methodist Recorder._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The work of restoring the church tower at Cheriton Bishop has
    been completed, and Mr. Leach has been completed, and Mr.
    W. Leach has entertained the men engaged on the work at
    tea."--_Western Morning News._

And so everyone is satisfied.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "To-day two Greek documents (one of them dated 88 B.C., and
    supposed to be the earliest document on parchment known) will
    be sold."--_Daily Graphic._

Scholarly letter-writers before the Christian era were always careful
to put B.C. after the year.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE YOUNG OF THE SEA-SERPENT.

With the approach of the silly season one's thoughts turn naturally
to the prospect of stealing into print and enjoying all the sweets
of authorship without the reception of a cheque to vulgarise them. An
infinite variety of topics, our representative gathered yesterday, is
now on the eve of discussion, and the quill that cannot find something
to say on at least one of them had better return to its native goose
without delay.

"Mother of Ten," we were informed by the courteous editor of _The
Halfpenny Bleater_, will as usual open that journal's discussion, and
this year her thoughts have turned to bathing fatalities. "Should
Land Crabs Learn Swimming" is the subject which she (or, to betray
an office secret, he) has selected. Due emphasis on the necessity for
university costume in the case of an affirmative reply to the question
will be laid by "Paterfamilias," who will contribute the second letter
of the series.

_The Morning Dip_ will maintain its reputation for intellectuality
with a spiritual discussion on "Has Life a Double Meaning?" or
"Is Existence a Joke?"--the exact title has not yet been decided.
"Constant Reader" has already bought a penny packet of assorted
stationery and charged it to the office petty cash, and only a really
good murder can prevent the early appearance of his letter. As readers
will remember, correct spelling is a feature of this author's work.

In pursuance of its settled policy _The Daily Giggle_ will appeal more
especially to the fair sex. There is more than a touch of pathos
in the signature "Orphan Boy," which will appear at the foot of his
letter on the subject, "Are First Cousins Kissable?"

Perhaps, however, the most vital question of all will be raised in
_The Daily Jingo_, where "Pro Bono Publico" will lay down his views on
"Our Softening Sinews." In his well-known style, which is so happy a
blend of public spirit and split infinitives, he will plead for less
indulgence in our dealings with the young. "We are," he says in his
peroration, which we were privileged to see, "raising up a soft breed,
and we shall live to bitterly rue it. The future of the race is, of
course, on the knees of the gods, but let us determine to also lay
it across the knee of parent and schoolmaster. So shall the rising
generation learn the merits of the strong right arm that has made
England what it is."

In conjunction with _The Perfect Little Lady_, which will discuss "The
Highest Type of Man," the editor of _The Brain Pan_ will throw open
his columns to all those with views on "The Most Attractive Girl." For
the start he has secured the services of "Virile Englishman," who
will put aside her knitting to take up the pen in obedience to his
commands. _The Perfect Little Lady_'s first letter will be contributed
by "Sweet Seventeen," who has studied her subject by diligent
attendance at all the best boxing matches of the current year.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Anglo-Indian Child._ "WHAT'S THIS, DADDY?"

_Father._ "THAT'S LIVER, MY DEAR."

_Child._ "LIVER! WHOSE LIVER?"

_Father._ "SHEEP'S LIVER."

_Child._ "AH! I WONDER WHAT GAVE _IT_ LIVER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'I do not see why, I do not see why,' he repeated, rising up
    and down."--_The Times._

We do not see how.

       *       *       *       *       *

A New Way to Deal with the Cold.

    "Originally fitted with luxurious saloons and cabins for
    tourists to Greenland and Spitzbergen, the Endurance is a
    very different ship to-day. Her cabins are being turned into
    store-rooms and officers and crew will sleep in odd corners,
    for two years' provisions have to be curried."--_Evening
    News._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The music of Borodin, the composer of 'Prince Igor,' is
    little known in England, apart from the Polovtsienne Dances
    which, owing to their wind and barbaric character, have
    been so popular a feature of the performances of the Russian
    Ballet."--_Musical Opinion._

Why drag in the wind? The strings were just as good as the wind when
we were there.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GIRL OF THE PERIOD.

_New Maid._ "VOILÀ, MA'M'SELLE."

_Débutante._ "HEAVENS, MY GOOD GIRL, THAT WON'T DO. HERE, GIVE ME THE
THINGS. WHY, HALF-WAY ACROSS THE ROOM NO ONE WOULD SEE I WAS MADE UP
AT ALL!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FACT AND FABLE.

  For miles I'd tramped by down and hill;
    With eve I found the happy ending;
  All in the sunset, golden chill,
    The collie met me, grave, befriending.
  I saw the roof-tree down the vale,
    Brave fields of harvest spread thereunder;
  The collie waved a feathery tail
    And led me to the House of Wonder.

  Houses, like people, so I've thought,
    Bear character upon their faces,
  Born of their company and wrought
    Upon by inward gifts and graces:
  Here, through the harvest's gold array
    And evening's mellow _far niente_,
  Looked kindliness and work-a-day,
    And happy hours and peace and plenty.

  And, lo, it seemed the Downs amid
    I'd found a folded bit of Britain,
  Laid by in lavender and hid
    The year--let's say--_Tom Jones_ was written;
  An old farm manor-house it is
    With fantails fluttering on the gables,
  A place of men and memories
    And solid facts and homespun fables.

  For Fact: a fortnight passed me by
    Mid ancient oak and secret panel
  And strawberries of late July
    And distant glimpses of the Channel;
  Fair morns to wake on--were they not?--
    Full of the pigeons' coo and cadence,
  Each day a page of CALDECOTT,
    All cream and flowers and pretty maidens.

  For Fable: as I smoked a pipe
    And havered with a black-haired cowman,
  Grey-eyed, in that fine Celtic type,
    As much the poet as the ploughman--
  "Seems kind of lucky here," said I;
    "The very ducklings look more downy
  Than others do." He grinned: "An' why?
  May happen, Sir, we feeds a brownie!

  "'There isn't many left,' says you;
    As hearts grow hard the breed gets rarer;
  Yet, when he goes, the luck goes too,
    And prices fall and boards be barer;
  But if so be you does your part
    An' feeds him fair and treats folk proper,
  Keepin' for all the kindly heart--
    The lucky Lad's a certain stopper!"

       ***

  Well, should you go by Butser way
    And hit the god-sent path, and follow,
  You'll find, at closing of the day,
    The old house in the valley-hollow,
  Laid by in lavender, forgot,
    The home of peace and ancient plenty;
  A brownie may be there or not--
    The hearts are kind enough for twenty!

       *       *       *       *       *

Cause and Effect?

    "Of the five catalpa trees in the Embankment-gardens the
    finest has been blighted. The tree is close to the National
    Liberal Club."--_Leicester Daily Mercury._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHAT OF THE DAWN?]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

[Illustration: Snapshots of certain Members who were _not_ on
their way to or from the Conference. Their expressions reflect the
pessimistic view which they entertained from the first as to its
chance of success in their absence.

(Sir WILLIAM BYLES, Mr. HOGGE, Mr. KEIR HARDIE, Mr. JOHN WARD, Mr.
WILLIAM O'BRIEN, Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL.)]

_House of Commons, Monday, July 20._--The T. R. Westminster is at
least equal to the old T. R. Drury Lane in capacity for producing
dramatic turns. When Members went off on Saturday for week-end holiday
the Ulster attitude was pretty generally understood. Ulster demanded
"a clean cut," with the alternative, phrased by CARSON, of "Come over
and fight us." The Cabinet after prolonged deliberation had resolved
to meet demand with firm _non possumus_: PREMIER was expected on
resumption of Sittings this afternoon to announce conclusion of
matter, adding such offer of concession on matter of detail as, whilst
providing golden bridge for Opposition, would avert revolt in his own
camp, where "conversations" with leaders of Opposition are regarded
with growing jealousy and suspicion.

New stage in long-drawn-out controversy sufficient to create
profoundest interest in to-day's proceedings. It would surely be the
beginning of the end. What exactly the PREMIER would say about further
concession to Ulster, and how the overtures would be received on Front
Opposition Bench, were questions on which might hang the issue of
peace or war.

PREMIER had a more startling message to deliver. From point of view
of dramatic effect it was a thousand pities his secret had been
prematurely disclosed. When he rose amid profound stillness of
crowded House everyone knew what he was going to say. In ordinary
circumstances his interposition at so critical a juncture would have
been hailed by resounding applause from the multiform sections that
contribute to making up of Ministerial majority. As matters turned
out, a frigid cheer greeted his appearance at the Table. To the
announcement that "in view of the grave situation the KING has thought
it right to summon representatives of Parties, both British and Irish,
to a Conference in Buckingham Palace, with the object of discussing
outstanding issues in relation to the problem of Irish government," he
had only one new thing to add. It was that the SPEAKER would preside
over the Conference.

This was the only passage in the brief formal conversation, to which
LEADER OF OPPOSITION and LEADER OF IRISH NATIONALISTS contributed,
that elicited general cheer. A high tribute to occupant of the Chair.

GINNELL saw his opportunity and seized it by the hair. He is one of
three leaders of the Irish Nationalists. Understood that his Party
consists of a single member, so shadowy that there are varied reports
as to his identity. Member for N.W. Meath leaped on to pinnacle of
enduring fame when the present Parliament met to elect a Speaker.
Before Mr. LOWTHER was qualified to take the Chair, and whilst as yet
no recognised authority existed, GINNELL, master of the situation,
delivered a long harangue. Proposed now to offer a few remarks "as an
independent Irish Nationalist."

SPEAKER on point of order restricting him to putting a question,
he "begged to ask the PRIME MINISTER what precedent he had and
what authority to advise the KING to place himself at the head of a
conspiracy to defeat the decision of this House?"

"Members desiring to take their seats will please come to the Table,"
said the SPEAKER.

The observation did not appear relevant. It met the occasion. It
brought up LEVERTON HARRIS, newly elected for East Worcestershire, who
found his welcome the warmer by reason of the fact that he had been a
passive instrument in avoiding what might under less adroit management
have developed into a disorderly scene.

_Business done._--PREMIER announces Conference upon Ulster question to
meet at Buckingham Palace on the invitation of HIS MAJESTY.

_Tuesday._--Dull sitting closed in lively conversation arising on
motion for adjournment. RUPERT GWYNNE, jealous for due observance of
traditions of House, has noticed with concern the departure for Canada
for indefinite period of Member for East St. Pancras. At Question
time asked CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER whether Mr. MARTIN had applied for
Chiltern Hundreds. Answered in the negative, he put a further question
to PREMIER, directing his attention to Act of 6 HENRY VIII. c. 16,
ordering that no Member of Parliament shall absent himself from
attendance except he have licence of Mr. SPEAKER. This upon pain of
having his wages docked. PREMIER brushed him aside with one of his
brief answers.

GWYNNE not the man to be shouldered off the path of duty when it
lies straight before him. Here was a Member in receipt of £400 a year
leaving the place of business where it was assumed to be earned, not
even taking the trouble to follow example of the clerk who, left
in sole charge of his master's office, wrote in legible hand, "Back
D'reckly," affixed notice to front door and went forth to enjoyment of
prolonged meal.

Since he could get no satisfaction at Question time he kept Members
in, after hour of adjournment, in order to debate subject.

Unfortunately it turned out that he was not exactly the man to
have undertaken the job. Amid laughter and hilarious cheering HOME
SECRETARY pointed out that here was a case of Satan reproving sin.
Reference to the records showed that during the time payment of
Members has been in vogue, of 687 divisions GWYNNE was absent from
424. (GWYNNE later corrected these figures.) During that time he had
drawn from the Exchequer salary amounting to £1,000.

"On his own principle, that payment should be in proportion to
attendance, the hon. Member," said the HOME SECRETARY, "is entitled
to only £400. Being so conscientious no doubt he will repay to the
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER the balance of £600."

HELMSLEY, gallantly coming to assistance of friend in dire straits,
himself fell into the bog. It appeared that of 1056 divisions taken in
two Sessions he had been absent from 602. Here was another unexpected
little windfall for the Exchequer.

At this stage it was found expedient to drop the subject; adjournment
not further resisted.

_Business done._--Budget Bill dealt with on Report stage.

_Thursday._--With that austerity that since Stuart times has marked
relations of House of Commons with royalty Mr. HOGGE is known at
Westminster simply as the Member for East Edinburgh, a position he
with characteristic modesty accepts. But blood, especially royal
blood, like murder, will out. Lineal descendant of one of the oldest
dynasties in the world's history, Mr. HOGGE cannot be expected always
and altogether to be free from ancestral influence. Something of the
hauteur of 'OGGE, King of Bashan (or, as some records have it, OG)
is discerned in his attitude and manner when, throned on corner seat
below Gangway, he occasionally deigns to direct the PRIME MINISTER in
the way he should go.

Such opportunity presented itself in connection with meeting of
Conference which through the Parliamentary week has centred upon
Buckingham Palace the attention of mankind. With respect to palaces
Mr. HOGGE is by family association an expert.

"Why Rookery?" _Miss Betsey Trotwood_ sharply asked _David
Copperfield_ when he casually mentioned his mother's postal address.

"Why Buckingham Palace?" asked Mr. HOGGE, bending severe glance on
Treasury Bench whence the PREMIER had judiciously fled.

St. Stephen's, which houses the Member for East Edinburgh, is also a
royal palace. Why then was not the Conference held within its walls,
instead of under the roof of what he loftily alluded to as "the
domestic Palace"?

This and much more, with covert references to machinations of the two
Front Benches, Mr. HOGGE wanted to know.

The PRIME MINISTER, uneasily conscious of the coming storm, had,
as mentioned, discreetly disappeared. As an offering to righteous
indignation he left behind him on the Treasury Bench the body of
ATTORNEY-GENERAL. That astute statesman avoided difficulty and
personal disaster by meekly undertaking to lay before the PRIME
MINISTER the views so eloquently and pointedly set forth by the hon.
Member.

Mr. HOGGE graciously assented to this course, and what at the outset
looked like threatening incident terminated.

_Business done._--Budget Bill passed Third Reading without a division.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Waiter._ "WHAT SAUCE WILL YOU TAKE WIZ YOUR FISH,
SAIR?"

_Polite Customer._ "WELL, WHAT DISINFECTANTS HAVE YOU?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Hogge: Can the Prime Minister say whether any of those
    taking part in the Conference attached any conditions to their
    entering the Conference?

    'I cannot sty,' replied the Premier."--_Evening News._

Was this quite worthy of the PRIME MINISTER? We ourselves do not care
for these personal jokes on people's names.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Asquith's statement was thus of sensational interest,
    because it represented the last effort at the eleventh minute
    of the eleventh hour to avert Civil War."--_Dublin Evening
    Mail._

No need to hurry. There are still forty-nine minutes left.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Finances of Cricket.

    "Cumberland batted first and reached the total of £272, C. A.
    Hardcastle (87), R. B. Brown (41), and R. C. Saint (27) being
    the chief contributors."--_Daily News and Leader._

       *       *       *       *       *

Suggested mottoes for the L.C.C.:--

    "PROGRESS MODERATELY."

      "TRAM UP A CHILD."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SUGGESTION FOR DEVELOPING A "WHITE HOPE" AMONGST OUR
'BUS- AND TAXI-DRIVERS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MISSIONARY.

  Where Oriental calm derides
    Our Occidental stress
  And Ninety-seven E. collides
    With Five-and-twenty S.,

  You'll find a product of the West,
    A Bachelor of Arts,
  Who blends a mind of youthful zest
    With patriarchal parts.

  Each morning mid his rubber trees
    He rides an ancient hack,
  A cassock girt above his knees,
    A topee tilted back.

  Now reining in his steed to preach
    A parable on sap,
  Now vaulting from his seat to teach
    The proper way to tap.

  His swart disciples knit their brows
    O'er algebraic signs;
  They build their byres, they milk their cows
    On scientific lines.

  They use his microscope and gaze
    On strange bacterial risks;
  They tuns their daily hymns of praise
    To gramophonic discs.

  And every evening after grace,
    When converts clear the cloth,
  He pins an orchid to its place
    Or camphorates a moth.

  Out of the world his path may run,
    Yet still in worldly wise
  He'll talk of feats with rod or gun,
    A twinkle in his eyes,

  And tell of tiger-stalking nights,
    Of mornings with the snipe,
  With never a pause save when he lights
    An antiquated pipe.

  We others earn our pensioned ease,
    The furlough of our kind;
  We book our berths, we cross the seas,
    But he shall stay behind,

  Plodding his round of feast and fast,
    Dreaming the dreams of yore,
  Of England as he saw her last
    In 1884.

                                J. M. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

More Impending Apologies.

I.

    "GREAT GALA NIGHT
           WHEN
     JOSEPHINE DAVIS
    WILL BID 'AU REVOIR' TO BOMBAY
    BY SPECIAL REQUEST."

    _Bombay Chronicle._

II.

    "At the hour of six the Rev. S. F. Collier gave out the only
    possible hymn--

        'And are we yet alive
         And see each other's face!'"

    _Yorkshire Post._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GESTICULATORS.

The supper-room was so full that I quite expected to find that, since
I was so late, the harassed head-waiter had taken the liberty of
presuming my death and letting someone else have my table; but there
it was, empty and ready for me. I sank into a chair with a feeling
of relief and, having ordered something to eat, began to examine the
room. There was not a spare place; everyone was eating and talking and
unusual excitement was in the air. From my remote corner I could not
catch any words, but the odd thing was that at every table one at
least of the men, who were all in evening-dress, was waving his arms.
Now and then a man would stand up to do this better. It was as though
they were all deaf and dumb, or cinema actors.

The next day at lunch I had a similar experience. I patronized another
restaurant, which seemed to be equally popular, and again every man
was gesticulating in a style totally foreign to the staid apathetic
Londoner. What could it mean? What was the reason?

I asked the waiter. He laughed. "Ah," he said, "I have notice it too.
It is funny, is it not? Zey all show each other how CARPENTIER won on
ze foul."

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ERROR IN ARCADY.

People who know us both have often expressed a doubt as to whether
Charles or myself is the more absent-minded and unobservant. I wish to
set the matter at rest once and for all.

We were discussing William's wedding, which had just taken place,
romantically enough, in the very heart of Herts--one of those quaint
little villages where no sound seems to disturb the silence of the
long summer day but the gentle bleating of horn to horn and the murmur
of innumerable tyres. Both of us had been there, and Charles came
round to talk to me about it a few evenings afterwards.

"I do hope the poor dear fellow will be happy," he said, lighting his
fifth match and pulling away vigorously at an ugly-looking briar.

"It really goes much better with tobacco in it," I said, passing him
my pouch. "Why on earth shouldn't William be happy? It seemed a very
pretty wedding. Did you notice how the rays of the sun coming through
the window lit up the best man's boots?"

"I daresay, I daresay," he replied. "As a matter of fact I couldn't
see the church part of it very well: I came late and was behind a
pillar at the back."

"Well, it all went beautifully," I told him. "Everybody stood up and
sat down in the wrong places as usual, and the friends of the bride
looked with extreme _hauteur_ at the friends of the bridegroom, and
_vice versâ_. I suppose you went to the reception afterwards. I never
saw you at all except for a moment on the platform going back. You
must have shaken hands with the happy pair and examined the presents?"

"I went to the house," said Charles. "I went in a motor-car on a seat
that took two men to hold down, and that hit me hard when I tried to
stand up. I caught a glimpse of William, but I couldn't find the room
where the presents were set out, so I went through almost at once
into the garden, where the feasting was going on. Do tell me about the
gifts. Was my little pepper-castor hung on the line?"

"I didn't notice that," I said, "but my butter-dish was doing itself
proud. It had sneaked up to a magnificent toast-rack with stabling
accommodation for about eight pieces, given by somebody with a title.
And you ought to have seen the fish-slices. The fish-slices wore
gorgeous. I expect William will spend a great part of his married
life in slicing fish. It will be a great change from golf-balls. But I
think you really ought to have said a few hearty and well-chosen words
to the young people."

"That's just it," replied Charles in a mournful voice. "I did. I
talked to the bride."

"Hang it, so did I!" I exclaimed rather indignantly. "Directly I got
in I went up to William and her and said to her, 'How glad you must be
it's all over!' and then quite suddenly it struck me that that wasn't
really the best thing to say in the circumstances, so I blushed and
trod on William's toe and passed on. What did you do in the garden?"

"Well, I wandered about on the lawn where there were lots and lots of
people," said Charles. "I didn't seem to meet anyone I knew, but the
flower-beds were most beautifully kept. I have seldom seen such a
display of cress sandwiches and champagne. After a bit I strolled down
through the shrubberies, went through a little wooden gate and found
myself amongst the raspberry canes. About a quarter of an hour later,
after a little fruity refreshment, whom should I meet walking along a
quiet shady path but the bride herself, all alone."

"Stealing away to get one last raspberry at the dear old home," I
said. "How romantic! What did you do? Hide?"

"No," answered Charles bitterly. "I only wish I had. I felt that now
or never was the time. I went straight up to her, and, feeling that
to talk about the weather or the theatres on such an occasion would be
rather footling, in spite of the fact that we'd never been introduced,
I plunged straight into it. 'You've never seen me before in your
life,' I said earnestly, 'because you haven't got eyes in the back of
your head, and I've never seen you because I can't look through stone.
What's more, I'm only a little silver pepper-castor, an insignificant
item in your cruet. But I must tell you how delighted I am to have a
chance of speaking to you.'"

"What did she say to that?" I asked.

"Well, you'd never believe it, but the girl looked quite nervous and
frightened, and positively began to walk away from me. I supposed I'd
begun on the wrong tack, so I hurried after her and started again.
'Marriage is a state full of the most serious responsibilities,' I
said, 'but one glance at you shows me that you are fully competent to
shoulder them all.'"

"That sounds as if you thought she looked a trifle statuesque," I
said. "Did she seem annoyed?"

"Worse," replied Charles. "She hurried on again without speaking a
word. 'Stop,' I cried, 'stop! I am a friend of the fairy prince;' and
just then we came out on to a piece of lawn, and she gave a little
shriek and actually ran away, leaving me standing where I was. I was
so ashamed and exhausted that I slunk back through the little gate and
had some more raspberries. When I had partially recovered I returned
to the upper part of the garden again, had two cups of tea in the big
tent, and made my way back to the station, where I saw you. If you
hadn't got into another carriage I should have told you about it at
the time."

"Then you never saw them going away at all?" I said.

"No," replied Charles; "did you?"

"Did I not?" said I. "You wouldn't believe the amount of rice I
started their married life with. About two milk puddings' worth, I
should say. And so you are not quite satisfied with William's choice?"

"Well, she seems to me to be rather an unresponsive and timid sort
of person," said Charles. "Not tactful, nor likely to make what the
newspapers call a charming hostess. I should have liked dear William
to marry someone who would be a social success."

I smoked for some time in silence, and then I had an idea.

"How was the bride dressed when you saw her, Charles?" I asked.

"Do I know how women are dressed? She was in white, of course, and
hadn't a hat on."

"But she had a train and a veil, I suppose. She hadn't a short skirt
by any chance?"

"Goodness, how do I know?" he replied. "I didn't notice all that. Why
do you ask?"

"Well, you only saw her once, you see," I said, "and you went through
that little gate at the bottom of the garden, didn't you?"

"I did," said Charles. "What's that got to do with it?"

"Nothing, nothing. Only I know that there were some people playing
tennis at the next house, and very likely the two gardens are
connected, and I'm wondering whether that girl----"

"Good heavens," said Charles.... "You haven't got such a thing as a
hairpin about you, have you? This pipe's stopped up."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Nambudiri school is progressing with the French motto of
    'Festina lente!'"--_The Malabar Herald._

More progress might be made with the old Latin tag, "_Trop de zèle._"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'As long as I can play as good a game of golf as I did to-day
    I will never get any cider,' was Mr. Rockefeller's reply to
    one of the friends who called to congratulate him."--_New York
    Sun._

He may, however, get older, even then.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOCIETY NOTES.

WE ARE SORRY TO HEAR THAT, THROUGH THE INCONSIDERATE ACTION OF THE
ANTIQUATED PEOPLE WHO STILL TAKE DOGS TO THE PARK, THE PET RAT OF
LADY PIPER HAD A NARROW ESCAPE FROM WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A SERIOUS
ACCIDENT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FOILING OF "THE BLARE."

(_Suggested to a slightly Hibernian brain by the recent ebullition of
generosity on the part of the popular press, which insures its readers
against holiday accidents whilst boating and bathing._)

  When I bolt from this city of vapour
    To bite the salubrious breeze,
  Do you know why I gambol and caper
    And plunge with a shout in the seas
      Twice the lad that I was
      For a lark? It's because
  I subscribe to that bountiful paper,
    _The Blare_, if you please.

  For I know that if currents are shifty,
    If cramp should arrive unaware,
  I shall die, but my end will be thrifty,
    And my host (being also my heir)
      Will be amply consoled
      By the thought of the gold
  (Which amounts to two hundred and fifty)
    He'll get from _The Blare_.

  "Pray take from your forehead those creases,"
    I cry to my friend on the yacht,
  "I admit that the mainsail's in pieces
    And most of the sheets in a knot;
      But remember that if
      We go _ponk_ on that cliff
  It's _The Blare_ will be paying your nieces
    A nice little pot."

  But whatever may crash into cruisers
    Or wherries when I am afloat,
  When the waves have destroyed me like bruisers,
    I call on my country to note,
      If _The Blare_ should pretend,
      When I've passed to my end,
  I was one of its constant perusers,
    It lies in its throat.

  To my tenantless rooms in the City
    The rags have been sent, and it's there
  That I'll burn them unopened and gritty
    Or, if (and it's little I care)
      I am whelmed in the wave,
      I shall laugh from my grave
  At the blow that I've dealt the banditti
    Who publish _The Blare_.

                                      EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "With one accord they all say, 'Welcome to Ireland!' 'No
    more delightful place,' says Mr. Birrell; 'A kindly welcome
    everywhere,' says Mr. Devlin; 'The most peaceful place in the
    world,' says Mr. Redmond."--_Daily Graphic._

Mr. REDMOND has overlooked the Balkans.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALL LIARS' DAY.

"So it's ----'s birthday to-day," said Fortescue (naming a very
well-known politician) as he looked up from his newspaper. "You'll
call and wish him many happy returns, of course, Ferguson?"

We who travel up together each morning by this train are pretty well
agreed about ----.

"Don't mention that man to me!" cried Ferguson. "He's absolutely the
biggest liar on earth. I can't imagine how he faces the world as he
does after having been exposed so many times. You'd think he would
want to crawl away into a hole somewhere. He can't have the least
sense of shame."

"Pardon me," interrupted the burly stranger seated in the corner.
"Pardon me; there is reason why he should. It is not _his_ fault if
he is addicted to inexactitude. He was predestined to it. It is the
irresistible influence of the day on which he was born. Every man born
on this day must inevitably grow up to be a liar; it is his fate, from
which there can be no escape."

"Oh, come!" protested Ferguson. "That sounds rather far-fetched, you
know, for these days."

"My dear Sir," retorted the other, brushing up his moustache
aggressively and glaring at Ferguson, "I happen to be President of the
Society for the Investigation of Natal Day Influences upon Character,
so I presume I may claim to know what I am talking about."

So truculent was his demeanour that nobody ventured to speak.

"My Society," he continued after a pause, "has conducted its
researches over a period of many years. I am going to give you just
a few examples out of thousands we have collected. Let us take a
significant date, February 29th. A man born on that day is a coward.
It is inevitable. Pusillanimity is born in him and can never be
eradicated.

"We had before us a month or two ago the case of a gentleman living
in a country town--a quiet, shy, studious recluse--born on this fatal
day. By some mischance he happened to pick up a journal in which was
an article on the Government by Mr. ARNOLD WHITE. He read it. He was
so terrified that he expired from heart failure. That sounds to you
incredible, but real life is often incredible. That is one of the
discoveries of our Society.

"I will give you a more remarkable instance still. A well-to-do
gentleman with the same birthday, whose case we have recorded in
our journals, is now, though perfectly healthy, bed-ridden under the
following amazing circumstances. He accidentally discovered that his
tailor, who had clothed him since boyhood, was an anarchist. After
this he was afraid to have any further dealings with the man, while,
on the other hand, he lacked sufficient courage to face the ordeal
of being fitted by a fresh tailor. For some time he used to sit up at
night and secretly sew patches into his trousers. Naturally this could
not go on for ever, and at last, when his garments were dropping to
pieces, he had to take to his bed.... You smile, Sir. Perhaps you
think I am exaggerating?"

His eyes flashed and his voice vibrated with such anger that I jumped
six inches out of my seat.

"Not at all--not at all," I stammered. "Only it occurred to
me--er--that he might have--er--b-bought them ready-made."

"Your knowledge of human nature must be singularly slight," replied
the other icily, "if you imagine that a man without sufficient courage
to be fitted by a tailor would be brave enough to wear ready-made
clothes."

"It seems to me, Sir," said Dean, coming to the rescue, "that your two
instances prove little, if anything. They may be mere coincidence."

The stranger leaned forward, frowned heavily and wagged his forefinger
at Dean, who wilted visibly.

"The Society for the Investigation of Natal Day Influences upon
Character," he said, "does not seek to build up a theory upon
isolated and arbitrarily selected examples. We deal with the subject
scientifically. To continue with this date, February 29th. After
several cases similar to those I have recounted had come to our
notice, we made out a list of two hundred and fifty men born on
this day. To each of them we sent a representative to ask for a
subscription to the Society. Though they had never heard of it before,
_every one of those two hundred and fifty was easily intimidated into
subscribing._

"Now let us consider another date--March 3rd. Several striking
instances had led us to suspect that a person born on March 3rd comes
into the world with an ineradicable passion for gambling. I will give
you just one of these. A gentleman one day imagined he was seriously
ill and called in a doctor. The latter laughed at his fears and
offered to bet him that he would live to be seventy. The temptation
was too great. The gambler closed with the offer, and on the eve of
his seventieth birthday drowned himself."

At this point Empson sniggered audibly. The speaker turned his head
and fixed his terrifying glance upon the delinquent. Poor Empson grew
very red, and endeavoured to cover his lapse by coughing noisily. The
other waited patiently till he had finished.

"Perhaps you wish to say something, Sir," he remarked coldly.

"N-no," said Empson. "Most interesting."

The President made a gesture which indicated that Empson was beneath
contempt and renewed his discourse.

"Continuing the same method of research," he said, "we compiled a list
of nearly four hundred persons born on March 3rd. To each of these we
sent particulars of a Derby Sweepstake. _Every one of them, gentlemen,
applied for a ticket by return of post._"

There was an impressive pause. The President looked round the carriage
defiantly as if challenging suspicion.

"One of our tests with regard to to-day's date--liars' day," he
continued presently, "was rather amusing. We hired a room in the City
for a week and sent out over three hundred letters to persons born
on that day. Our notepaper was headed, 'Short, Stay and Hoppett,
Solicitors,' and the letters were in identical terms. They said that
we had been endeavouring for some time to trace the relatives of one
Davy Jones, who, after acquiring a large fortune in Australia, had
died intestate, and we had that morning been given to understand that
the gentleman with whom we wore corresponding was a nephew of the
deceased, etc., etc. You guess what happened. _Every one of them
without exception claimed as his uncle this millionaire who never
existed._"

The train began to slow down, and the President rose to his feet.

"I get out here," he said. "I'm sorry. I should like to have
discussed the subject further. You, Sir"--he pointed threateningly at
Ferguson--"will doubtless in future refrain from blaming Mr. ---- for
a failing for which, as you see, he is in no way responsible."

Ferguson quaked and said nothing.

The President brushed up his moustache still higher and looked round
in triumph. All of us were completely cowed--all of us, except little
Windsor.

"Just a moment, Sir," said the latter gently. "Before you leave us
will you kindly accept this?"

He took out his tie-pin and laid it in the other's hand.

For the first time the burly one's confidence deserted him. He
reddened slightly and looked embarrassed.

"It's very kind of you," he said, "but really I--I don't quite
understand."

"It's a birthday present for you," said Windsor sweetly.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Humorous Artist._ "I'VE BROUGHT YOU AN ORIGINAL FUNNY
JOKE THIS TIME. A FRIEND OF MINE THOUGHT OF IT."

_Editor_ (after reading it). "YES, IT _IS_ FUNNY; BUT I PREFER THE
DRAWING THAT WAS PUBLISHED WITH IT IN THE 'SEVENTIES!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Three numbers of _The South Polar Times_ were brought out at Cape
Evans, the winter quarters of Captain SCOTT, during 1911. Mr. APSLEY
CHERRY-GARRARD, the editor, has now presented them to a wider circle
under the auspices of SMITH, ELDER, hoping that they will prove "a
source of interest and pleasure to the friends of the expedition." He
need have no fears. Of course a paper produced under such conditions
is in its nature esoteric, and many of its jokes are lost if you
"don't know Jimson." But if you have previously read _Scott's Last
Expedition_ then you _will_ "know Jimson"; you will feel that every
man at Cape Evans in 1911 was a personal friend of yours, and you
will be delighted with this facsimile reproduction of the paper which
delighted them. Personally I cannot read or see too much of the men
who are my heroes; and in a world where an ordinary school-girl is
allowed twenty-seven photographs of Mr. LEWIS WALLER I shall not
consider myself surfeited with two caricatures and a humorous
character-sketch of Lieutenant BOWERS. But there are contributions to
_The South Polar Times_ which have an interest other than the merely
personal. Mr. GRIFFITH TAYLOR, a tower of strength on the literary
side, is really funny in _The Bipes_--a paper (on the wingless bipeds
of Cape Evans) supposed to have been read by OATES' escaped rabbit to
the Royal Society of Rabbits. Mr. TAYLOR, as a recorder of history in
_Scott's Last Expedition_, was, I thought, a little too familiar; in
these and other articles he is much more at home. But it is upon
Dr. WILSON's pictures (both serious and comic) that _The South Polar
Times_ can most justly pride itself. I envy Mr. CHERRY-GARRARD so
prolific and brilliant a contributor. Still more I envy him (and all
his colleagues at Cape Evans) the knowledge of such a man. The more I
get to know of "BILL" WILSON, the more I understand that he was of
the very salt of the earth--a man to love whom was indeed a liberal
education, and to be loved by whom was a passport to the little
company of the elect.

       ***

When _John Barleycorn_ (MILLS AND BOON) came my way, I noticed that
the publishers had shown a reticence, unusual in these days, on the
outside paper cover; they didn't say a word as to the quality or
character of the contents. They had three good reasons: first, given
the name of JACK LONDON, there was no need of further advertisement or
lure; second, if they had started describing the book they would have
been unable to say with strict truth that it was or was not a novel,
for it isn't and it is; third, and best, they couldn't, as honest men,
have avoided mentioning that it is in a way a sermon on alcoholism,
and that, being said, might have acted as a deterrent, unless they
had explained (as they wouldn't have had room to do) how and why, when
they said "sermon," they didn't really mean "sermon." So they lay low
and said nothing, and I almost wish I had done the same, for no one
who has the lightest interest, practical or theoretical, in John
Barleycorn ought to be put off these alcoholic memoirs. The diarist
purports to have been first drunk at the age of five, again at the
age of seven, almost perpetually for a spell of years from the age of
fifteen, and yet to have taken over a quarter of a century to acquire
a liking for alcohol. That sounds odd, but is not unique. Not only
in California and not only in the lower grades of society, is
Youth, vigorous and unspoilt, bound to acquire the taste if it would
foregather on lively and intimate terms with its fellows; and not only
in the saloons of the Oakland water-front are fine youngsters drinking
themselves permanently silly because it is their only way of being men
among men, jolly good fellows among jolly good fellows. A sound enough
text for any sermon; and, I may honestly add, a sound enough sermon
for any text, with a strong smell of the sea and of adventure about
it. But I ask myself for what purpose the photograph of Mr. and Mrs.
JACK LONDON is inserted as a frontispiece? As well, I think, have had
a portrait of Mr. MILLS, with Mr. BOON inset.

       ***

Isn't _The Youngest World_ (BELL) an engaging title for a book? It
caught my interest at once. I am not altogether sure that the story
itself is as good as its name, but that still leaves a margin of
quality, and I for one have enjoyed it greatly--in patches. Let Mr.
ROBERT DUNN not too hastily condemn me if I say that he has written
a fatiguing tale. Partly I mean this as a high compliment. The
descriptions of hardships borne and physical difficulties overcome by
his hero are so vivid that they convey a sensation of actual bodily
strain in a manner that only one other living writer can equal. There
are chapters in the book that leave one aching all over. So long,
in fact, as Mr. DUNN's characters are content to do things, to climb
mountains, to ford rivers, to endure hunger and cold and weariness, I
am in close bodily sympathy with them; it is when they begin to talk
and to explain their mental states that my keenness is threatened by
another and less pleasing fatigue. It is not that the scope of the
story--a man's regeneration by love and hardship--isn't a good one:
quite the contrary. It is that I simply do not believe that human
beings, especially those that figure in this book, would ever talk
about themselves in this particular way. "In the name of our own
blood," she uttered softly, "of Love, the Future, and Victory...."
That is a random sentence from the last page, and very typical of Mr.
DUNN's dialogue. It is full of gracious qualities, thoughtful, and
throughout on a high literary level, but as a realistic transcription
of frontier talk it leaves me incredulous. Still the setting, I
repeat, is quite wonderful. You shall read the chapters that tell
of _Gail's_ ascent of Mount Lincoln, and see if they don't stir your
blood, especially where he reaches the top, alone (and therefore
unable to talk), and sees the world at his feet. You will exult in
this.

       ***

Mr. VICTOR BRIDGES has a very versatile pen and in most of the
twenty-one pieces of _Jetsam_ (MILLS AND BOON) which he has recovered
from the waves of monthly magazines and elsewhere there is a certain
amount of material for mirth. I do not however find him a startlingly
original humorist, whether on the river Thames, where he seems to
follow in the wake of Mr. JEROME K. JEROME, or in a Chelsea "pub,"
where his manners are reminiscent of the characters of Messrs. W.
W. JACOBS and MORTON HOWARD. Again, in the story called "The First
Marathon" (where, by the way, he states that "It is true that the word
'Marathon' was first used in connection with the old Olympian games,"
which seems a little unfair to MILTIADES), the fun mainly depends
on the use of such phrases as "Spoo-fer," "King Kod," and the
"Can't-stik-you-shun-all Club." Other stories are of the adventurous
or romantic type sacred to serial fiction, no fewer than three dealing
with escaped convicts on Dartmoor, and one (the first in the book)
describing the chance meeting of a man and a pretty girl on an
uninhabited island off the West Coast of Scotland. Here, for some
reason or other, the man insisted on calling his charming and unknown
companion _Astarte_, a name which, if I had been in her place, I
should have been inclined to resent. But Mr. BRIDGES' dialogue
is nearly always bright, and his knowledge of the machinery of
yarn-spinning excellent. There is just one other point however which
I should like to mention. The book includes a brand-new Russian
wolf-story, in which the heroes protect themselves from the bites of
these ferocious quadrupeds by putting on armour, which they find in
a deserted house. I don't object to that; but, when they leave the
railway line along which they have been travelling and plunge into a
forest-path they come to a place where the route forks and cannot make
out which of the two roads will be more likely to lead them back to
the railway. I do not feel that these men were the sort of people to
be trusted to wander by themselves in a desolate Siberian anecdote.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE CADDIE WHO SAW THE FAIRIES.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Our New Masters.

  _The KING can do no wrong._ Of late
    So ran the law; but, when to-day
  Kinglike he seeks to serve the State,
    Our super-monarchs frown and say:
  _The KING can do no right--unless
  By leave of half the Liberal Press._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Light-weight Angler.

    "Weighing 6 lbs. 7 oz., Mr. T. Snelgrove caught a golden
    carp whilst fishing in the mill pond at Addlestone,
    Surrey."--_People._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "He has slept ... nearly 365 days on board the Admiralty
    yacht."

This, from a _Daily Mail_ article in praise of WINSTON, is no doubt
meant kindly.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "C. E. Cox begs to announce that he is now prepared to drill
    wells, for water, gas, oil, cash or old clothes."_Red Deer
    Advocate._

For cash is our choice.

       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's Notes

In "The Young of the Sea-Serpent" (page 109), the original text read,
"So shall the rising generation learn the merits of the strong right
arm that has make England what it is."

In "An Error in Arcady" (page 116), the circumflex in "vice versâ" has
been retained from the original, but "shrubberries" has been replaced
with "shrubberies".

In "The Light-weight Angler" (page 120), "Addlestont" has been changed
to "Addlestone".





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