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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150,  March 8, 1916
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. 150,  March 8, 1916" ***

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VOL. 150,  MARCH 8, 1916***


VOL. 150

MARCH 8, 1916


Germany is declared to have built a submarine that can go to the United
States and back. Future insults therefore will be delivered by hand.


Municipal fishshops are to be established in Germany. They will be
closely associated, it is understood, with the Overseas News Agency, and
will make a speciality of supplying a fish diet to sailors who are
unfortunately prevented by circumstances from visiting the high seas.


In his lecture before the Royal Institute last week Dr. E. G. RUSSELL
told his audience that there are 80,000,000 micro-organisms in a
tablespoonful of rich cucumber soil. If we substitute German casualties
for micro-organisms and deduct the average monthly wastage as shown by
the private lists from the admitted official total of available
effectives--but we are treading on Mr. BELLOC'S preserves.


The Government has announced itself as "satisfied with the measures
taken to prevent Canadian nickel from reaching the Germans." Except, of
course, in oblong pellets of insignificant size.


Answering a question of Sir ARTHUR MARKHAM in the House of Commons last
week, Mr. TENNANT said, "If there was a large force of troops in Egypt,
as to which it is undesirable that I should make any statement, it is
quite conceivable that the presence of a hundred and seventeen Generals
might be necessary." After all, if every one of them were just a
Brigadier-General, they wouldn't require more than half-a-million men to
keep them occupied.


Naval inspectors of cookery, it is officially announced, will hereafter
wear a narrow stripe of white cloth on their cuff. This is a simplified
form of the ancient heraldic emblem of the cook's guild, which was a
hair _frizzé naiant_ in a dish of soup _maigre_.


All kinds of cleaning and washing are to be dearer, and a patriotic
movement is already on foot among the younger set to do away with these
luxuries altogether in the interests of patriotic economy.


As a reward of its efforts to save the lives of war-horses, the
R.S.P.C.A. has now been officially recognized by the A.V.C. Some
hindrance to their work is however feared as the result of strong
protests lodged by the Westphalen Pie-makers' Association of Rotterdam,
which the Government, in its anxiety not to deal harshly with the
neutrals, is said to be carefully considering.


The owners of certain proprietary whiskeys have decided to put them up
sixpence a bottle. In response to this move the owners of certain
proprietary sixpences have decided not to put them down.


A correspondent of _The Times_ states that large numbers of Owls have
taken to visiting the trenches in Flanders. The War Office, strangely
enough, professes to know nothing of the circumstance.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

For Conscientious Objectors.

    "VARICOSE VEINS.--We stock all sizes, in best quality
    only."--_Advt. in Irish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

British Frightfulness.

    "A young woman was fried as a spy in London the other
    day."--_Sunday Pictorial._

       *       *       *       *       *

A Leap-Year Reminder.

    "February 29, 1916.--Last day for single men."--_Liverpool Daily

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We ... are no haters of peace. We want it more than anything in
    the world--except the triumph of evil."--_Star._

"A fallen star," we fear.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Lloyd George said that Cabinet Ministers had agreed to take
    one-fourth of their salaries in Exchequer bombs."

    _Provincial Paper._

The times call for strong measures, but we think this is going a little
too far.

       *       *       *       *       *


As seen through Teuton Eyes.

  These English--who can know their ways?
    When, flushed with triumphs large and many,
      We condescend with tactful signs
      To hint of peace on generous lines
  They answer in a flippant phrase
    That they're "not taking any."

  When from our conquering High-Seas Ark
    (Detained at home by stress of weather)
      We loosed the emblematic dove,
      Conveying overtures of love,
  Back came the bird with that remark,
    Minus its best tail feather.

  They said they never wanted war;
    Yet, when we talk of war's abating,
      And name the price for them to pay,
      They have the curious nerve to say
  That, when they please, and not before,
    They'll do their own dictating.

  How can you deal with minds so slow,
    With men who give no indication
      That we by any further shock
      Into their heads can hope to knock
  Enough intelligence to know
    That they're a beaten nation?

  Odd that we cannot make it clear
    That we have won; and even odder
      That other markets seem to jump,
      While our exchange is on the slump,
  And everything's starvation-dear
    (Excepting cannon-fodder).      O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


In that dim happy past, the Summer of 1913, I first saw him idly seated
in a deck-chair on the firm sands of----, on the East Coast. A quiet
detached figure amid a crowd of joyous children. Hard by a boy and girl
were building a moated fortress, but, alas! the swiftly incoming tide
eroded its foundations until the frowning battlements tottered to

Turning, the children faced him. He smiled.

"D'you know this one, Jacky?" he ventured.

"He's Dick," the little maid protested, "and I'm Betty."

"Now we're introduced, do you know this one?" he asked again.

Straightaway he plunged into the new game, moving back to where a smooth
stretch of sand lay invitingly. Immediately two minute shapes were
etched with his stick on its surface.

"What's those?"

"Hairpins, of course! You _always_ start with hairpins. And this,"
indicating a narrow oblong, "why, this must be that silver tray
someone's always leaving her hairpins lying about on. Now for the
hair-brushes--two of those--" (unerringly symmetrical)--"then the
comb--" (equipped with most effective sand-teeth)--"then a powder-box?
Well, a very little one----"

As fast as he thought of them, fresh articles (or their symbols) came
into being. There was no pause. "The shoe-horn, the button-hook, oh! and
a clothes-brush----"

Immediately following the last hair of the clothes-brush a rectangle put
in an appearance around these assorted objects.

"Mummy's dressing-table," asserted Master Dick authoritatively.

"Sound man! What else do we want?"

The children suggested alternately and in chorus the completion of the
plan. An armchair with cushions incredibly soft, a fire-place pokered
and tonged, a wardrobe (disproportionately enormous), two colossal
hat-boxes, and detail after detail, with finally the door, the key-hole
and the key.

       *       *       *       *       *

The little hamlet somewhere in France had been shelled spasmodically for
months. Possibly there was something faintly familiar in the seated
figure of that Captain of Engineers that caught my eye; one did not
often come across Captains of Engineers sitting on _débris_ in the
village street. He squatted on a pile of granular masonry before a
rudely prepared space surrounded by three small ragged children gazing
round-eyed at something he was drawing with half a Nilgiri cane in the
powdered rubble. I paused to look, and there arose before me the picture
of a man with a boy and girl on a bygone day in happy England.

"On commence avec le sel," he was explaining as he indicated the shape
of a salt-cellar. "Eh b'en, après ça quat' assiettes, des couteaux, des
fourchettes----" All the appurtenances of a homely table were quickly
put in. "Et puis la table, n'est-ce pas? Et surtout faut pas oublier
quelqu'chose à manger, eh, Jeanne?"

"Non, monsieur." But the little girl was busy pointing to where a small
brown bird pecked fruitlessly in the dust. "Regardez, donc, le p'tit
oiseau; il n'a pas mangé, c'lui là."

"Y a pas grande chose à manger; les Boches, vous savez, ont passé par
ici," added one of the two boys quite impersonally.

The Captain of Engineers continued quickly, "Maintenant il faut mettre
le--" he paused for the word--"le--table-cloth." The children grasped
his meaning from the comprehensive gesture. Rapidly he outlined chairs,
a delightful baby's cradle, a clock with cuckoo complete, a fire-place,
until at length a complete pictorial inventory had been made of the
contents of the living-room of just such a cottage as had obviously been
buried beneath the rubbish heap upon which he sat. Those children of the
stricken country-side entered with keenness into the spirit of the
make-believe. The little girl, searching for an appropriate stone to
place on the imaginary table for imaginary bread, thrust her hand down
among the _débris_ and, withdrawing it, exposed a relic. It was the
faded remnant of a baby's shoe, grotesque in the autumn sunshine.

"Oui, par exemple, les Boches ont passé par ici," said the little boy as
impersonally as before.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a Good Cause.

An auction of stamps will be held on the 13th and 14th of March at 47,
Leicester Square, in aid of the National Philatelic War Fund, the
proceeds to be given to the Societies of the British Red Cross and St.
John of Jerusalem. Collectors should seize this chance, as the Allies
may shortly be arranging to modify the map of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The year 1914 showed a drop of 441 million eggs in the year."
    _Trade Paper._

Taking our population as 46 millions this means 9-1/2 eggs dropped per
head in the year. Under the influence of the thrift campaign a great
effort is being made to drop only half an egg per head this year, but
should there be a General Election there may be a rise in the drop.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHO PAYS?



       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


Every Saturday, about four P.M., I am to be found worshipping at the
Shrine of the Open Mind. Once within its portals I put off the subfuse
vestments of J. Watson, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, and become simply Uncle
James. This alone is a tonic. To-day as I ascended the steps of the
temple there floated down to me the voices of the priestesses chanting,
evidently in a kind of frenzy, and to the air of a famous Scottish reel,
this rhyme----

  "Daddy is a Sergeant, a Sergeant, a Sergeant!
  Daddy is a Sergeant, a Sergeant of Police."

So I opened the nursery door and went in. An uncle has no honour in his
own country, and my two small nieces assaulted me immediately. Phyllis
dragged me to a chair, while Lillah shrieked unrelentingly in my ear
that Daddy was a sergeant.

"So the special constables have seen that your father is a born
policeman?" I said as I sat down.

"The _special_ ones," nodded Phyllis with profound pride.

"Magnificent," I murmured. "He has at last justified his choice of the
law as a profession."

"Tell us," said Lillah, with the air with which one speaks of a
self-made man who has just appeared in the Honours List--"tell us how
Daddy started."

"He went to the Bar," I said.

"Bar?" echoed Lillah.

"Why, yes," I said; "it's a place where people wait."

"Like a station?"

"Only the trains don't always come in. Anyway, on one side of the bar
are a lot of young men waiting for something to turn up, and on the
other a lot of old men writing autobiographies."

"But aren't there any middling-olders?" This is Phyllistian for men of
middle age.

"Not allowed," I said. "At the Bar you are either a junior or a

"What's that?"

"It's an illness that attacks people who aren't really famous."

Phyllis stared. "Like measles?"

I nodded.

"Oh," cried Lillah eagerly, "do the reminiscers go all pink?"

"They ought to," said I.

There was a silence. The round eyes of Phyllis were full of suspicion.

"Daddy said," she remarked slowly, "that he did law."

"So he does," I answered.

"Well, what's that, then?"

Small girls ask questions in two words which wise men must write books
to answer.

"The law," I answered warily, "gives reasons for things that are

"Like what?" said Phyllis.

I laughed a little uneasily. This was getting difficult.

"Oh--er--things like getting married," I said, "and refraining from
shooting little girls who ask questions."

I admit that this sort of joke is the last infirmity of an uncle's
otherwise noble mind. They regarded me sadly.

Then Lillah turned to Phyllis with a detached air. "Uncle James is being
grand," she said, "because he doesn't know what law is."

"Don't you?" said Phyllis.

"Perhaps not," I murmured feebly. The nursery makes very small beer of
the cynic. There was a moment's silence.

"You've told us wrong," said Phyllis sternly. "Daddy isn't ever wrong."

"So he's risen from his bar to be a sergeant," added Lillah, with the
air of one finishing a story with a moral.

I'm afraid I chuckled. It was in very bad taste, of course, but I
couldn't help it. I suppose George is one of the most egregious
Micawbers of the English Bar, whereas I---- why, I remember noticing a
brief on the mantelpiece in my chambers only last month.

"Poor Uncle James," said Phyllis in her best drawing-room tones,
"perhaps if you tried very hard----"

They had mistaken my laughter for that bitter disappointed kind you get
in the theatres.

"I know," said Lillah; "we'll play Germans, and Uncle James can pretend
he's a sergeant."

Yes, they were sorry for me. The table was pushed into the window and
became a waterworks of importance.

The invidious part of the alien enemy fell to Lillah. It was admitted
that she could glare best. "Besides," said Phyllis, "Lillah can make
growly noises come up from her tummy."

The complete Hun, as you perceive.

Phyllis became a "special," while I was her sergeant, the star part of
the piece. But the show was a frost, though Lillah gave an excellent
imitation, with the aid of a toy spider, of a Hun inserting bacilli into
the nation's _aqua pura_. Yes, I'm afraid I was the failure. I couldn't
get to grips with my part, and the whole thing was so obviously a
charity performance, with Phyllis ordering herself sternly about to try
and help me through.

We were halfway through the second house when a well-known step was
heard on the stairs.

Lillah turned, her eyes ablaze with worship. Phyllis trembled with
excitement. As I sat down I couldn't help thinking that we grown-ups are
just a little absurd. There is more than one thinks in the relativity of

Adoration? George was never going to get anything like it again in this
world. My mind mused on ambition. Why, the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER

The door-handle turned and I heard the small voice of Phyllis in my ear.

"Mummie says," she whispered, "we can't all be great."

Nice little maid!

Then we all lined up to receive the Sergeant.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Mother._ "YES, DARLING." _Betty._ "THEN I DON'T FINK

       *       *       *       *       *


    Constantinople, Saturday.--On the Canadian front there were
    outpost duels and local fighting at several points. These
    skirmishes are still going on."--_Evening Paper._

Forthcoming volume by Sir MAX AITKEN--_Canada in Turkey._

       *       *       *       *       *

From a description of a new enemy aeroplane:--

    "The whole machine is armoured, and the supper part is shaped
    like a reversed roof." _Provincial Paper._

Trust the Germans for looking after the commissariat.

       *       *       *       *       *


Great Public Meeting.

Mr Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, having stated that the
Government was following up its restrictions on the importation of paper
by drastic new rules concerning our supplies of ink, a public meeting of
protest was immediately called. Mr. T. P. O'Notor, M.P., took the chair,
and he was supported by many of the most illustrious ink-men of the day.

The Chairman, having first read a number of letters apologising for
absence, one of which was, of course, from Lord Southbluff, who
specialises in this epistolary form, proceeded to pour scorn on the
Board of Trade's decision. How can the Board of Trade, he asked
pointedly, know its business as well as we do? If it hopes, by
curtailing the supplies of ink that come to England, to make room for
the more important necessaries of life, it is mistaken. There is nothing
more important than ink. (Cheers.) Without ink what are we? (A voice:
"Not much.") Without ink, how can advertisements be written? (Cries of
"Shame!") Among all forms of human endeavour none was nobler than
putting one word after another. (Applause.) That is what SHAKSPEARE did.
(Hear, hear.) Always with the assistance of ink. (Cheers.) And what
would England be like without SHAKSPEARE? (Renewed cheers.) Had Mr.
RUNCIMAN thought of that? He (the speaker) would venture to say he had
not. In any case ink must be saved. (Loud applause.)

Mr. Harry Austinson, Editor of _The English Revue_, rose to protest
against the Board of Trade action. To put an embargo upon ink was, he
held, nothing less than an outrage. Ink was the life-blood of British
liberty, and he for one would never hesitate to spill the last drop,
either in his own select periodical or in a Sunday paper for the masses.
The mere fact that the feeling against ink was inaugurated by a Member
of the Government automatically proved it wrong. No good could come from
such a corrupt agglomeration of salary-seekers as the Coalition
Ministry. Speaking as one who knew Germany from within, he would say
that to put any obstacle in the way of the public expression of opinion
in England was to help the foe. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Bernold Pennit said that the Government's action paralysed him. For
years he had been in the habit of writing his ten thousand words a day.
It did not much matter what they were about; the point was that they
were written. Otherwise he could not keep in good health. Where another
man might do Swedish exercises, ride, walk, eat or play golf, he, Mr.
Pennit, wrote. (Hear, hear.) It might be an attack on British stupidity;
it might be a eulogy of Mr. ASQUITH; it might be a description of the
arrival of a ton of coal at an auctioneer's private residence in Handley
and its transference to the cellar and the discovery that there was one
hundredweight one stone short. Whatever the theme, there were ten
thousand words in any case, and unless he could write them daily he was
lost. The tragic thing was that he could write only in ink and with his
own hand. (Sensation.) Before meddling with ink there were all sorts of
things for the Government to forbid. Golf balls, for one. He wished to
express his complete dissatisfaction with Mr. RUNCIMAN's insane
proposal. (Cheers.)

Mr. Bolaire Hillock thought that a great deal too much fuss was being
made about ink. The Board of Trade was, of course, an ass; that goes
without saying (_ça va sans dire_); but it is childish of literary men to
come there and pretend to be nonplussed. Let them rather show themselves
superior to such trumpery legislation. As an old campaigner he could
tell them what to do. When he was an artilleryman in France, and writing
a series of articles on the Reformation at the same time, he mixed an
excellent substitute for ink out of the ashes of his pipe and claret.
There were countless things that could be utilised, including blacking,
seethed mushrooms, boiled ash-buds, and the juice of the pickled walnut.
With such resources as these we intended to go on writing and drawing
diagrams long after Mr. RUNCIMAN was forgotten. (Loud cheers.)

Lord Penge said that one of the purest pleasures of life was writing to
_The Times_, and how could that be done if there was no ink? Some people
doubtless could use pencil; but he personally could not. Others had
typewriters or dictated to typists, but that was beyond him. To him
there were few delights more complete than to dip his pen in the
forbidden fluid and begin, "Sir." (Applause.)

The Rev. R. Trampbell said that not during his whole career as a
clergyman of the Church of England could he remember a more monstrous
proposal than this one to reduce the supply of ink. To him ink was more
precious than radium, for it enabled him to express his thoughts and
thus come into intimate relationship with his fellow-beings. It might be
within the knowledge of the meeting that he was in the habit of
contributing every week an article on the War to the Sunday papers. It
was not on tactics, but on some subject of spiritual interest connected
with the War, and he had reason to believe that thousands, he might say
millions, of his fellow-countrymen and fellow-countrywomen found it
helpful. Was that to cease? England had too few inspired teachers for
this article to be lightly disposed of. He felt sure that he had the
great weight of his beloved Church of England at the back of him when he
uttered this protest.

Mr. Chester Gilbertson said that neither the restriction on ink or paper
would worry him. There was nothing he couldn't write _with_, and nothing
he couldn't write _on_. He had written many of his best articles with a
piece of chalk on one of his black coats, and many of his worst on cab
and railway-carriage windows with a diamond ring which he had compelled
a commercial traveller to relinquish. (Cheers.) Rather than not express
an opinion on whatever was forward, he would carve his views on a rock
and himself carry the rock to the printing office. (Loud cheers.) The
Runcimen of this world were created purely in order to be defied.

Mr. Bernard Jaw said that of course for the Government to pretend that
the cargo space now occupied by ink was needed for something else was
rubbish. The Government's real reason was that they were terrified of
the critics and thought to muzzle them in this way. But he for one--and
he knew for a fact that the Government dreaded his genius acutely and
would give much if they could still the blistering accuracy of his
pen--he for one would not be daunted.

At this point a special messenger arrived bearing a letter for the
Chairman, who, after reading it, asked leave to put the meeting in
possession of its terms, as it somewhat altered the situation. It was,
in fact, from the Board of Trade, and stated that, owing to a misprint,
the recent decision concerning ink had been misunderstood. It was not
ink that was to be restricted, but zinc. (Cheers.) In the circumstances
perhaps they might adjourn.

The meeting then broke up peaceably, although Mr. Bernard Jaw did his
best to collect an audience for a new speech on the monstrosity of
interfering with zinc.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Count Bernstorff finds that the Washington Government has left
    him in the air. Seemingly he is at sea."--_Morning Post._

As was said of a nobler character, "the elements are so mixed up in

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Jones (left at home to mind the children)._ "IF THE

       *       *       *       *       *


I met him near the entrance of the Institute, where I was waiting to see
the Superintendent. He approached with light, nervous steps, and his
haggard eyes met mine questioningly.

"A fine morning," I remarked.

"It is," he agreed; "and if you would be good enough to tell me the day
of the week--"

"It's Saturday," I said, wondering a little.

"I--I feared so," he said and clutched me by the arm. "Listen. This is
the day when I have to make up my five columns--seven hundred lines,
brevier type. It is my destiny to give advice, and you can have it
without the asking. Take, for example, the Rhode Island Rabbit--a noble
strain and rich in phosphates. Plant out at the beginning of April in a
mixture consisting of two parts road-grit, two parts table-scraps, and a
deed of assignment, and by the end of October they will be throwing up
magnificent clusters of yellow blossom. The Magellan Lop-eared is also
hardy and prolific, though pugnacious if reared under glass. In the
absence of a specified agreement a dose of tartaric acid that has been
well stewed with the mutton left over from Sunday will usually put
matters straight. Snip off shoots that show signs of becoming broody,
and give a mash of middlings at quarter-day.

"We now come to the Light Sussex Long-furred Goatlings. These can be
kept in hutches, which may be obtained at any oil-shop at about
fivepence per pint. Grasp firmly by the wings when lifting, and explain
the matter to your solicitor. Short-haired Pouters should be housed in
kennels which have been thoroughly disinfected with peat-moss,
cod-liver-oil emulsion and a good face-powder. A little boracic ointment
rubbed well into the roots before breakfast is also to be commended.
With regard to the Squirrel-tailed Borzois, during the period of weaning
try bicarbonate of soda, one scruple; sal volatile, one drachm; to be
taken every calendar month from date of contract."

A large, genial man, with an official manner--he was, I discovered, the
under-superintendent--approached, and the haggard man moved rapidly

"A painful case," I observed.

"Very," said the large man. "Journalist of the name of Criddle--Jabez
Wilberforce Criddle. He used to run the Gardening section of _The Sunday
Helio_. Then the chap that was responsible for the 'Legal Advice' was
called up, and Criddle got his column as well as his own. Next, the
'Poultry Gossip' man went, and they gave Criddle that, and when a week
later the 'Cookery Notes' woman took up V.A.D. work he got her share
too. He struggled along gamely enough until 'Auntie Gladys,' who ran
'Our Baby' column, became a tram-conductress; but, when they passed him
that, his mind went, and the proprietors sent him here."

I inquired as to the possibilities of recovery.

"There is hope," said the large man, "that the trouble may not last
beyond the duration of the War. But we shan't feel that we've made a
fair start until we've cured him of getting up in the night and tapping
his artificial teeth with a button-hook. He fancies he's dictating
'Answers to Correspondents.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

Clerical Candour.

    "In order to satisfy my mind I spent over two hours in a certain
    cinema ... Frankly I was disappointed. I saw nothing which could
    in any way be called indecent."

    _The Rev. F. H. GILLINGHAM, in "The Weekly Dispatch."_

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


(_An awful prospect._)

  Long, long ago, when I had not attested,
    I prized the liberties of this proud race,
  The right of speech, from haughty rulers wrested,
    The right to put one's neighbours in their place;
      I liked to argue and I loved to pass
      Slighting remarks on Robert, who's an ass,
      To hint that Henry's manners were no class,
    Or simply say I did not like his face.

  But things are changed. To-day I had a tussle
    With some low scion of an upstart line;
  Meagre his intellect, absurd his muscle,
    I should have strafed him in the days long syne;
      I took a First, and he could hardly parse;
      I have more eloquence but he more stars;
      Yet (so insane the ordinance of Mars)
    I must say "Yessir," and salute the swine.

  And it was hard when that abrupt Staff-Major
    Up to the firing-line one evening came
  (Unknown his motive, probably a wager),
    And said quite rudely, "You are much to blame;
      Those beggars yonder you should enfilade."
      I fingered longingly a nice grenade;
      I said those beggars were our First Brigade,
    But might not call him any kind of name.

  Yet not for ever shall the bard be muted
    By stars and stripes, but freely, as of yore,
  When swords are sheathed and I'm civilian-suited,
    I shall have speech with certain of my corps,
      Speak them the insults which I now but brood:
      "Pompous," "incompetent," "too fond of food,"
      And fiercely taste the bliss of being rude
    And unrestrained by Articles of War.

  That will be great; but what if such intentions
    Are likewise present in the Tenth Platoon?
  What if some labourer of huge dimensions
    Meet me defenceless in a Tube saloon,
      And hiss his catalogue of unpaid scores,
      How oft I criticised his forming fours,
      Or prisoned him behind the Depôt doors,
    Or kept him digging on the Fourth of June?

  Painful. And then, when all these arméd millions
    Unknot with zest the military noose,
  Will the whole world be full of wroth civilians,
    Each one exulting in a tongue let loose?
      And who shall picture or what bard shall pen
      The crowning horror which awaits us then--
      That civil warfare of uncivil men
    In one great Armageddon of abuse?

       *       *       *       *       *

A Pluralist.

The writer of a letter appearing in _The Daily Mail_ signs herself "Wife
of Group 41."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


In my first formal introduction to Frank he appeared, together with his
clothing and various belongings, as an item in a list of things to be
taken over. I knew him already by reputation, and I remembered some of
the occasions when he had appeared on parade. Also I knew that two
successive Company Commanders had managed in turn to exchange him with
some unsuspecting newly appointed O.C. Company for something more
tractable. This last process, indeed, accounted for my having to take
him over instead of the mild creature with the duck-waddle action which
my predecessor had ridden or, let me say, sat.

It became then my lot to take over Frank, or, to put it more correctly,
I was issued with him. That is part of the military principle of fixing
responsibility. Things are not issued to you; you are issued with them,
and you alone are accountable. I was issued with Frank and all his
harness and appointments and, incidentally, his parlour tricks. This was
the formal introduction. I didn't meet him at close range until later.
When I was issued with him I didn't even know his name. No previous
owner had ever thought of asking it, and had they asked they would not
have believed that a horse could be called Frank. On general principles
it seems wrong, but on nearer acquaintance I found that Frank was
exactly the name for him. The great thing about him was that if he
thought a thing he said it.

For example, when I first mounted him he thought he would prefer to
remain in the stable where he had been for the best part of a week. He
said so quite candidly. I am nothing very great as a handler of wild
animals, and he gave me three minutes made up of every action in his
_repertoire_--no limited one. At the end of it I very kindly dismounted.
I didn't want him to think I was not intelligent enough to understand
what he meant, and moreover I hated the idea of marring our first
meeting by refusing so unmistakable a request. So he was led back to his
quarters and the incident closed, if not with mutual goodwill at least
with some degree of satisfaction fairly evenly distributed among the

It was, I remember, on the next morning that the Mess Sergeant noticed a
shortage of lump sugar in one of the basins. I mention this merely
because it fixes in my mind the first day on which I had a comfortable
ride. Frank started out in a good temper and came home at his best pace,
hoping to get some more sugar. That, at least, is how I read his
meaning, and I pursued my policy of not misunderstanding him. After this
he developed a parlour trick which made me quite fond of him. When I
went to the stable he would put his nose round to the side pocket whore
I kept the sugar. He always got some, and he knew there would always be
some more when he got home.

Thus it became necessary to instruct him in topography. He quickly
learned that certain turnings led to the camp, and I was reduced to
subterfuges to prove to him that they did not. It was essential to go
over every road at various times in opposite directions. That confused
him, and though I disliked the deception I had to resort to it, with the
result that Frank finally accepted me at my own fictitious valuation as
a person who did not properly know his own mind.

But it took him some time to get into my ways. Once we spent twenty
minutes on a small stretch of road leading from the parade ground to a
railway bridge. I wanted to cross the bridge and Frank did not. I took
him towards the bridge and he took me back towards the camp. This
happened thirteen times. At the fourteenth there was a variation; he
changed his mind and we crossed the bridge. During the twenty minutes, I
remember, we had a further slight disagreement about a stick. I was glad
I had brought it, and he was not. But on the other side of the bridge we
let bygones be bygones. Frank had his moods, but he was always a

He was also a soldier. His strong point really was that he was excellent
on parade. He would look round, grasp the formation at a glance, and
drop into his place. He was never more happy than when route-marching;
never more unhappy than when compelled to break out of the line. Indeed,
so much did he enjoy column of route that when off duty with two or
three other horses he would play at route-marching, taking up a position
in Indian file and avoiding any sort of arrangement which brought him
abreast of his companions.

At last we had to part. I don't know the right way to express this.
Possibly I was reissued without him; I am not sure what the process was.
At any rate we separated, he remaining at the camp and I proceeding on
duty to the Depôt. I said good-bye to him and he nuzzled for the last
time at my side pocket. Having munched the sugar, he turned to the more
serious business of his manger. I think this must have been his way of
concealing his emotion.

       *       *       *       *       *


      Roll up, rally up!
      Stroll up, sally up!
  Take a tupp'ny ticket out, and help to tote the tally up!
  Come and see the Raggers in their "Mud and Slush" revoo.
  (Haven't got no money? Well, a cigarette'll do).
  Come and hear O'Leary in his great tin-whistle stunt;
  See our beauty chorus with the Sergeant in the front;
    Come and hear our gaggers
      In their "Lonely Tommy" song;
    Come and see the Raggers,
      We're the bongest of the bong.

      Roll up, rally up!
      Stroll up, sally up!
  Show is just commencing and we've got to ring the ballet up.
  Hear our swell orchestra keeping all the fun alive,
  Tooting on his whistle while they dance the Dug-out Dive.
  Come and see Spud Murphy with his double-ration smile,
  ('Tisn't much for beauty, but it's PHYLLIS DARE for style);
    Come and see our _scena_,
      "How the section got C.B.;"
    Bring a concertina
      And we'll let you come in free.

      Roll up, rally up!
      Stroll up, sally up!
  First and last performance. If you want to see it, _allez_ up!
  Come and sit where "Archibalds" won't get you in the neck
  (If it's getting sultry you can take a pass-out check).
  Come and hear the Corporal recite his only joke;
  See the leading lady slipping out to have a smoke;
    Sappers, cooks, flag-waggers,
      Dhooly-wallahs too;
    Come and hear the Raggers
      In their "Mud and Slush" revoo.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

    "The perfume _par excellence_ ... unapproached and
    unapproachable." _Advt. in Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


The Huns are so economical that they put even Truth into cold storage.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Cheery messages come through from General Townshend. He is
    sewing vegetable seeds and has asked for gramophone needles."
    _Lloyd's Weekly News._

The ordinary kind being unsuited for such delicate stitchery.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Tuesday, February_ 29th.--Mr. LLOYD GEORGE announced to-day that the
Members of the Cabinet had decided to take one-fourth of their salaries
in Exchequer Bonds. Murmurs of applause followed, and before they had
died away Mr. HOGGE launched his great joke. Leading up to it with the
remark that Exchequer Bonds can be sold the next day, he asked, "Would
it not be a good idea to call them the Laughing Stock?" Mr. HOGGE is not
one of the chartered jesters of the House so his _jeu d'ésprit_ just
caused "a laugh," as the reporters say, and nothing more.

On the Third Beading of the Consolidated Fund Bill Sir JOHN SIMON
renewed his attack upon the Military Service Bill. The tribunals, he
declared, were disregarding the appeal of the widow's only son; the
Yellow Form, of which the late Home Secretary takes the same jaundiced
view as he did of the Yellow Press, was being sent out indiscriminately
to all whom it did not concern: the War Office had issued a misleading
poster; and everywhere men were being "bluffed" into the Army. He
himself would have been inundated with correspondence if he had not had
the happy inspiration of diverting the flood into Mr. TENNANT's
letter-box. Passionately he called upon the Government not to imitate
Germany's brutality.

Mr. LONG, suave as usual, deprecated Sir JOHN SIMON'S ferocity, reminded
him that all cases of hardship could be considered by the Appeal
Tribunals, and promised to investigate the cases that had been
mentioned. "May I send in my list too?" asked Mr. WATT. But Mr. LONG,
unwilling to share the fate of Mr. TENNANT, suggested that the SECRETARY
FOR SCOTLAND would form a more appropriate dumping-ground for Mr. WATT'S

After Mr. SNOWDEN, Sir THOMAS WHITTAKER and Mr. LOUGH had reinforced Sir
JOHN SIMON'S case with added instances the Government found an
unexpected champion in Mr. HEALY. He was amazed to hear the late HOME
SECRETARY--"one of the Ministers who made the War"--gloating over the
inefficiency of the War Office at a moment when round Verdun was raging
a battle in which the fate of Paris, and perhaps of London, was
involved. Why had he not imitated the monumental silence of Mr. BURNS?
Instead, he, the suppressor of obscure Irish newspapers, had done more
to injure recruiting than any Connemara editor.

I never expected to live to hear the Bank of England described in the
House of Commons as a useless institution. In Mr. HEALY'S opinion, "The
Old Lady of Threadneedle Street," like the other who lived in a shoe,
has too many children, and her attempt to get 190 of them exempted from
military service moved him in a moment of "vituperative irrelevance," as
Mr. PRINGLE subsequently described it, to say the rudest things about
her financial capacity.

_Wednesday, March 1st._--Sir OWEN PHILLIPS, once Liberal Member for
Pembroke, returned to the House to-day as Unionist Member for Chester.
To signalise the capture of so gigantic a prize--he is 6ft. 6in. in his
stockinged feet--Lord EDMUND TALBOT and Sir G. YOUNGER, Unionist Whips,
conducted him to the Table; and as they are both of moderate height the
procession gave the effect of a _Mauretania_ going to her moorings in
charge of a couple of tugs.

When Dr. MACNAMARA moved a Supplementary Estimate of £10 for the Navy, I
was reminded of PRAED'S lines "On seeing the SPEAKER asleep in his

    "Hume, no doubt, will be taking the sense Of the House on a
    saving of thirteen pence."

But there were differences. The £10 was not an ordinary "ten-pun' note"
but was a "token" representing something like four and a half millions
received by the Fleet for services rendered to Foreign Powers and
others; and Mr. WHITLEY, who was in the Chair, too so far from being
asleep, was intensely wide-awake. Members who sought to discuss Naval
policy generally were promptly pulled up, and the SECRETARY OF THE
ADMIRALTY, when in his third or fourth attempt to explain the Vote he
remarked hypothetically, "Suppose we were to sell a battleship----" was
himself called to order, Mr. WHITLEY evidently regarding such a
reduction of the Fleet as unpatriotic even in imagination.

A vote for £37,000 to extend the British Consulate buildings at Cairo
united both sides of the House in criticism. Mr. ASHLEY thought what was
good enough for Lord CROMER should be good enough for his successor. Mr.
HOGGE, by a somewhat obscure process of reasoning, now understood why
the Germans were so anxious to get to Egypt. In vain Mr. LEWIS HARCOURT,
usually so persuasive, explained that they were now buying for £3 10s. a
metre land for which the owner wanted £12 a metre not long ago. Sir F.
BANBURY, shaking his _pince-nez_ at the Treasury Bench, retorted that
he might ask £5 for this pair of glasses, for which he had paid
half-a-crown (more war economy), but he would not expect to get it.

A vote for £50,000, to complete the purchase of the estate of Colonel
HALL-WALKER, who has presented his racing stud to the Government, evoked
some opposition and much facetiousness. Mr. ACLAND, who proposed it, did
not help his case by remarking that personally he regarded racing as a
low form of sport. The fact that some of the horses have been leased by
the War Department to Lord LONSDALE for racing purposes "on sharing
terms" caused Mr. MCNEILL to inquire whether Mr. TENNANT would act as
the Ministerial tipster; and Mr. HOGGE, who displayed a knowledge of
racing which will, I fear, shock the unco' guid of East Edinburgh,
thought it ridiculous that Ministers should preach economy in the City
and start a racing stud at Westminster.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IN HAPPY DAYS TO COME. _The Coalition Owners (Mr. ASQUITH

       *       *       *       *       *

_Thursday, March 2nd.--Ariel_, Earl of DERBY, has not entirely left the
Earth for the Air. His head, at any rate, is not in the clouds, for his
speech on the working of his own scheme was full of practical wisdom. He
was not afraid of the exemptions that the tribunals might give if left
to themselves, but he was a little concerned about SIMON and his scratch
crew of pro-shirkers who seemed to be doing their little best to prevent
the country from getting men.

       *       *       *       *       *


A large number of claims for exemption from military service were made
before the Bouverie Street Tribunal at its sittings last week.

Ike Feldmann (23) asked for exemption on the ground that he was an
agriculturalist and therefore excused under the Act. Questioned further,
he stated that at the present time he was employed in making artificial
onions for a firm of Bond Street milliners, but his uncle, who was
wealthy, had promised to buy him a farm as soon as the weather got
warmer. His application was rejected.

William Smith (31) stated that he was the President, Treasurer and
Secretary of the Anglo-Chinese Industries Association, Limited, and
urged that unless he was exempted the company must inevitably go into
liquidation, there being no one else familiar with its business.
Answering a question by the Chairman, applicant stated that the company
was formed to do a general mercantile business, but that at the present
time its activities were confined to manicuring Pekingese pugs. Asked
whether this work could not be done by women, applicant stated that it
had been tried, but that women seemed to get on the nerves of the dogs,
causing their hair to fall out. The application was refused.

An appeal was made on behalf of George W. Hopper (18), an employee of
the West End Delicacy Company, a concern engaged in the business of
supplying steak-and-kidney puddings to the large hotels. These
delicacies, the Secretary of the company explained, weighed about a ton
each, and Hopper was the only man who was strong enough to lift them out
of the ovens into the delivery wagon.

_A Member of the Board._ That is just the kind of man they want in the

The Secretary of the company stated as an additional ground for
exemption that Hopper had a wooden leg and bronchitis. He was put back
one group to give time for medical treatment of leg.

James Ponks (19), who appeared somewhat dazed at his surroundings,
explained in a confidential whisper that he was the caretaker of the
municipal macaroni beds in Regent's Park. Asked if he would not like to
fight for his country, he replied that he would, only MARTIN Luther had
appeared to him in a dream and ordered him to go into the dressed
poultry business. Referred to the Medical authorities.

Jim Bounce (30) stated that he had a conscientious objection to
fighting. He didn't like the Germans, but recognised that they were his
spiritual brothers.

_A Member of the Board._ Where did you get that cauliflower ear?

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the applicant's reply his appeal
was refused.

Arthur Small (35), proprietor of a fish and chips emporium, stated that
he was a widower and the sole support of his mother-in-law, two married
sisters-in-law, their husbands and their thirteen small children.

_The Chairman._ It seems a clear case for exemption.

Applicant hastened to explain that he did not ask for exemption as he
felt that his first duty was to his country. He would like, however, a
week in which to say good-bye to his relations by marriage. The request
was granted, the Chairman stating that the attitude of Small, who was
sacrificing everything for duty, did him the greatest credit.

      *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HAVEN.

On the famous site of The Star and Garter Hotel at Richmond Hill, a Home
is to be built for Soldiers and Sailors totally disabled by the War. The
work has been undertaken by the British Women's Hospital, and, on its
completion, Her Majesty the Queen will present the building to the
British Red Cross Society, by whom it will be maintained. The cost of
construction will be £50,000. Mr. Punch can think of no cause which
should appeal more strongly to the gratitude of the nation and he begs
his generous readers to send gifts in aid of it to The Hon. Treasurer,
"Star and Garter" Building Fund, 21, Old Bond Street, W.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Smooth Passage.

    "In the Lords Viscount French took his sea but it was a quiet
    affair."--_Morning Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "EMPLOYMENT as odd man offered to a disabled soldier in a very
    good gentleman's household."--_Morning Paper._

As the above advertisement appeared several times we are afraid the
gentleman must have been regarded as almost too good to be true.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bank Manager._ "Now please understand, Miss Jones, you
must make the books balance." _Miss Jones._ "Oh, Mr. Brown, how fussy
you are!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


  Some thirty years ago or more
    He tried his hand at gerund-grinding,
  But very speedily forswore
    The _rôle_ before its ties grew binding;
  He earned a living by his pen,
    Paid court to Clio and Melpomene,
  Until the War broke out, and then
    Enlisted--as a dug-out dominie.

  Shortsighted, undersized and weak,
    Intolerant yet self-distrusting,
  There could not well have been a "beak"
    Less fitted for the nice adjusting
  Of his peculiar point of view
    To that of forty-odd years later,
  Less eager to acclaim the New,
    Less apt for Georgian tastes to cater.

  He strove, 'tis true, to keep abreast
    Of MASEFIELD'S grim poetic frenzy,
  Sought Truth in WELLS, and did his best
    To like the Oxford of MACKENZIE;
  With YEATS he wandered in the Void,
    Tasted of SHAW'S dramatic jalap,
  Then turned with rapture unalloyed

  Thus handicapped, thus fortified,
    Behold him perilously faring
  Into a world where all are tried
    By boyhood's scrutiny unsparing;
  Where ev'ry trick of gait or speech
    Is most inexorably noted,
  And masters, more than what they teach,
    Are studied, criticised and quoted.

  His idols mostly left them cold--
  But they were quick in taking hold
    Of PRAED and J.K.S. and HILTON;
  And once undoubtedly he scored
    When, on a day of happy omen,
  He introduced them to A. WARD,
    The wisest of the tribe of showmen.

  But still his fervours left them calm--
    Emotion they considered freakish;--
  He felt with many an inward qualm
    That he was thoroughly un-beakish;
  His mood perplexed them; he was half
    Provocative, half deferential,
  Too anxious to provoke a laugh,
    Too vague where logic was essential.

  So, struggling on to bridge the gaps
    That seventeen from sixty sunder,
  And causing at his best, perhaps,
    A mild and intermittent wonder,
  At least he recognised the truth
    That there are other ways of earning
  The sympathy of clear-eyed youth
    Than by a mere parade of learning.

  And yet I think his pupils may
    In after years, at camp or college,
  Admit that in his rambling way
    He added to their stock of knowledge;
  And, as they ruefully recall
    His "jaws" on CLAUSEWITZ and JOMINI,
    Think kindly of their dug-out dominie.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Hide-bound red tape rules the day." SIR F. MILNER'S _Letter to
    "The Times."_

It is much more effective than ordinary unreinforced variety.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Happy Family.

    "A milk deliverer 31 years of ago, who applied for exemption,
    said his father was an Atheist, his mother was 'all the other
    way about,' and his brother was a Socialist, and if he went away
    there would be war at home. He considered that he should stay at
    home to keep the peace."--_Western Evening Herald._

But a merciful tribunal, thinking that he was more likely to find it in
the trenches, only exempted him for a month.

       *       *       *       *       *


My companion had come into the compartment hurriedly just as the train
started. He was a small, middle-aged, sandy-haired man with a straggling
tufted beard, the sort of beard that looks as if it owed its origin
rather to forgetfulness than to any settled design. The expression on
his face and, indeed, over his whole body was a deprecating one. He
reminded me of a dog who has transgressed and begs humbly for
forgiveness. He had no newspaper, and accepted the offer of one of mine
with a deference of gratitude that struck me as excessive. Soon after
that we slid into a conversation about the War and made most of the
usual remarks.

"It's wonderful," he said, "how the country maintains its financial
stability. Five millions a day, you know. It's a pretty big sum, and yet
nobody seems to feel it. Here we are, for instance, you and I,
travelling first-class."

"My next season-ticket is going to be third-class," I said. "All
business has been hit very hard, and we've simply got to economise."

"I daresay, I daresay," he said. "It may be so with some businesses. All
I know is my business hasn't gone off."

"Shipowner?" I said.

He gasped and shook his head emphatically. "Oh dear, no," he said.
"Nothing of that kind--wish I was. But you won't guess what I do, not if
I were to let you have a thousand guesses." His humility had vanished
and he looked almost triumphant.

"I give it up at once," I said. "What are you?"

"I," he said, "am the National Scape-Goat Association."

"The _what_?" I said.

He repeated his words. "I see you don't understand," he went on, "so
perhaps I'd better explain."

"Yes," I said, "much better."

"Well, it's this way," he said. "Have you ever written a book or been a
Candidate for a seat in the House of Commons?"

I said I hadn't.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "You'll understand what I mean. Take the
politician first. He issues an Address and makes speeches; in fact, does
things which make him known to thousands of people whom he doesn't know.
Do you follow me?"

I said I did.

"Well, then, somebody posts back his Election Address with 'This is
pitiful balderdash and most ungrammatical' written plainly at the bottom
of it. What would be your feelings if you got a thing like that?"

"I shouldn't like it," I said.

"Of course you wouldn't. You'd want to kick the writer, or at the very
least you'd want to write back to him and tell him what you thought of
him. But you can't do it, because of course he hasn't signed his name or
given any hint of his address. It's the same way with anonymous letters
of abuse. You can't answer them. So you 're done. You feel as if you'd
tried to walk up a step where there wasn't a step, and your temper
suffers. That's where the Association comes in. All you've got to do is
to write to us, enclosing fee. For half-a-guinea we send down to any
address in England one of our experts from the Assault-and-Battery
Department, and you're entitled to kick him once--we guarantee him
boot-proof, so you can kick as hard as you like. Or, if you prefer
writing to kicking, you can write to me as if I'd written the anonymous
letter or article or whatever it may be, and you can abuse me to your
heart's content for half-a-crown. For three shillings you can call me a
pro-German. Anyhow, the result is that your temper recovers and you feel
perfectly satisfied. It's well worth the money, isn't it? I'm thinking
of starting a Subscriptions' Department, to which you could write a
refusal of any application for money, even if you have to subscribe in
the end. It will give a man a pleasant glow to write to a clergyman, for
instance (I shall keep a dozen or so on the premises), and say he'll be
immortally jiggered if he'll subscribe to the Church Building Fund. But
the anonymous letter business will always be my chief source of profit.
Here's our prospectus, with all details. If you think any more of it
perhaps you'll let me know. I get out here. Good-bye."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Kaiser (reading English news of wood-pulp

       *       *       *       *       *

Kipling Revised.

    "Men of all castes had rallied to the Flag, and truly we had
    witnessed the truth of what the poet told us. 'The East is West
    and the West is East.'" _Surrey Mirror._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Alfred Billinger and Albert Robson, miners ... were fined 20s.
    each for trespassing in search of fame." _Provincial Paper._

Well, now they've got it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In the Metropolitan Police District the employment of special
    constables has resulted in a saving of five-eighths of a
    penny."--_Yorkshire Evening Post._

Very disappointing! Not even a whole copper.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the report of a Dairyman's Association:--

    "It further aims at insuring that the milk-supply for the city
    and district shall, like Cæsar's wife, be beyond suspicion, and
    it therefore enjoins on its members the necessity for taking
    every possible care that the sanitary conditions prevailing at
    the farms, in the dairies and during the transit of the milk to
    the public shall leave nothing to be desired. In short, its
    motto is, in these respects, '_Nilus secundus_'."--_Hampshire

If they must use water in their milk we are glad to think that the Nile
is only their second choice.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Sunday schools must try to 'wangle'--that was, a project
    their in-to 'wangle'--that was, to project their in-enlarged
    task, and attempt to do what seemed impossible."--_Provincial

We would not go so far as to say impossible, but they certainly seem to
have difficulties ahead.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Good fish, fruit, and rabbit business for sale. No opposition
    fish or rabbits."--_Bolton Journal._

It looks rather as if the fruit might disagree with you.

       *       *       *       *       *

Under the heading, "Musical Instruments, etc.":--

    "AMERICAN mammoth bronze turkey cockerels, strong, healthy,
    grand stock birds; 20s. each."--_Glasgow Herald._

You should hear these musical instruments throw off "Yankee-doodle."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Servant._ "I CAN'T GET THIS 'ERE TAIL LIGHT TO BURN,


       *       *       *       *       *


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

Mr. Maurice Hewlett's latest volume, _Frey and His Wife_ (WARD, LOCK),
suffers from the defect of being in reality a long short story puffed
out to the dimensions of a short novel; and in consequence, even with
large type--most grateful to the reviewing eye; Heaven forbid I should
complain of that!--and a blank page between each chapter, it has
considerable difficulty in filling its volume. It is a tale of antique
Iceland and Norway. The first part, which is really padding and has
nothing whatever to do with _Frey_ or his matrimonial affairs, treats of
one _Ogmund_, who was called _Ogmund Dint_, for the very good reason
that he had been literally dinted as to the skull. It was done by a
gentleman named _Halward_. Everybody naturally expected _Ogmund_ to dint
back; but he was something of a conscientious objector in the matter of
face-to-face dinting, and being too proud for vulgar conflict he bided
his time till he could cut _Halward_'s throat with the minimum of
personal inconvenience. End of padding and appearance of _Frey_. There
is a picture of _Frey_ on the cover by Mr. MAURICE GREIFFENHAGEN. You
know already what the GREIFFENHAGEN vikings are like--high-coloured,
well developed and (if I dare say it) sometimes a trifle wooden. _Frey_
indeed looked so very wooden that in my foolish ignorance I was tempted
to protest. But the astonishing fact is that Frey was not only wooden in
appearance, but in actuality. How then could he have for wife a slip of
a sixteen-year-old maid that you may have met before in Mr HEWLETT's
romances? This however is the real story, which (pardon me) I do not
mean to tell. If it is no tremendous matter, it will at least please an
idle hour, which will be almost time enough for you to enjoy every word
of it.

_These Lynnekers_ (CASSELL) is yet another example of the "family" novel
whose increasing popularity I have lately noticed. It is a clever and
interesting story--the name of Mr. J. D. BERESFORD assured me in advance
that it would be--and, when it is finished, the characters go on living
and speaking in one's mind, which is, I suppose, a sound proof of their
vitality. Yet in a sense vitality was just what most of the _Lynneker_
tribe chiefly lacked. They were an ancient and honourable house,
country-born to the third and fourth generation, and all of them far too
conventional and apathetic and fuss-hating ever to follow any but the
line of least resistance. All of them, that is, except _Dickie_, who was
the youngest of his father's numerous progeny, and in more senses than
one a sport. How _Dickie_ released himself from the shackles of family
tradition, how he grew up and bustled things about, and generally made a
real instead of a conventional success--this is the matter of the tale.
All the characters are well-drawn, and about _Dickie_ himself there is a
compelling virility that rushes you along in his rather tempestuous
wake. I am not sure that I altogether believe in his attitude towards
the question of sex. He appeared to think generally too little, and on
occasions remarkably too much, about it. Also the painful detail with
which the author lingers over the death of old _Canon Lynneker_ (that
attractive and human figure of ecclesiastical gentility) roused me to
resentment. When will our novelists learn that, as regards the physical
side of mortality, reticence is by far the better part of realism? This
marred a little my pleasure in a story for whose quality and workmanship
I should else have nothing but praise.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _To Ruhleben--and Back_ (CONSTABLE), Mr. GEOFFREY PYKE has such a
fine yarn to spin of his foolhardy proceeding in walking right into the
eagle's beak as correspondent for an English newspaper, at the end of
September, 1914, and (after some months' solitary confinement in Berlin
and his transfer to the civilian prisoners' miserable internment camp at
Ruhleben) walking right out of it again, that one can forgive him for
spreading his elbows for a piece of expansive writing when he was safe
home. To tell the truth he writes extraordinarily well; one's only
feeling is that the simplest idiom would be best for such an amazing
narrative, and Mr. PYKE is too young and too clever (both charmingly
venial faults) to write simply. When I tell you that this persistent
youngster, hardly out of his teens, patiently worked out a plan of
escape which depended for its efficacy on an optical illusion (the
precise secret of which he does not give away), and with his friend, Mr.
EDWARD FALK, a District Commissioner from Nigeria, part tramped, part
_bummel-zugged_ the two hundred and fifty miles or so from Ruhleben to
the Dutch frontier, disguised as tourists, with a kit openly bought at
WERTHEIM's, living, when marketing became too dangerous, on potatoes and
other roots burglariously digged from the fields at dark, you will
gather that this is some adventure. But I am afraid the publication will
not assist any other prisoners at Ruhleben to escape. It is pleasant to
note that the Commandant of the Camp, VON TAUBB, was a sportsman and
none too thickly tarred with the brush of Prussian efficiency; and that
the Governor, GRAF SCHWERIN, threatened resignation if a no-smoking
order, sent from headquarters, were insisted on. Indeed, the fact that
our young friend was not shot out of hand must stand as a small entry on
the credit side, not inconveniently crowded, of Prussia's account in the
recording angel's ledger.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _A Frenchwoman's Notes on the War_ (CONSTABLE) Mademoiselle CLAIRE DE
PRATZ discourses pleasantly and patriotically of sundry effects of the
War on French life and character. She is excusably proud of the part
which her fellow-countrywomen have played. The women of France seem to
have accomplished to admiration what we in England are only beginning to
understand. Quietly, almost automatically, Frenchwomen have slipped into
the men's vacant places and carried on the work of the country. The
industry and resourcefulness of the average Frenchwoman are proverbial,
but the author ascribes the peculiar readiness they have displayed at
the present time largely to compulsory military service, as well as to
the Frenchman's habit of discussing his work with his wife and daughters
and awakening their interest in it. Thus, when the local paperhanger was
called to the colours his wife repapered the author's country cottage
"quite as efficiently"; and thrilling indeed is the account of the
gallantry of one intrepid woman who, when the German Staff entered an
important town (from which the Mayor and Municipal Council had fled),
resisted their demand for a large war ransom. Widow of a former Senator
of the Department, she "alone remained, the sole representative of
officialdom." "We want to see the Mayor," said the invaders. "_Le Maire?
C'est moi!_" was the reply. "Then kindly direct us to some members of
the Municipal Council." "_Le Conseil Municipal? C'est moi!_" We are told
that the Teutonic officials were amazed--and no wonder. But in the end
they were forced to go without the money, and the town and its defender
were left in peace. I commend _A Frenchwoman's Notes on the War_ as a
most inspiriting record of what women can do; though the author
magnanimously admits that, "for the callings of the coal-heaver and the
furniture-remover," men, even in France, are still indispensable.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A PEACE WEDDING.


       *       *       *       *       *

For novels which require a guide to conduct me through them I confess
weariness, but in _That Woman from Java_ (HURST AND BLACKETT) I found
the glossary less fatiguing hero. Things were going badly for _Mrs.
Hamilton_ in the divorce case, "_Hamilton v. Hamilton_, co-respondent
_King_," when the judge broke down. That might have happened to any
judge, but, although I can follow the judicial _Bruce_ quite easily to
his sick bed, I cannot believe that he would, on his recovery, have
refrained from finding out how the case ended. Apparently being in love
with _Mrs. Hamilton_, he did not dare to enquire what happened; but a
more plausible explanation of his unenterprising conduct seems to be
that he had only to act like an ordinary man and the rather sandy
foundations on which E. HARDINGHAM QUINN's story are built would have
collapsed. Here in fact we have a tale in which the main complications
are caused by the characters behaving with a total lack of what the
Americans call horse-sense. But if you can get by this difficulty you
will admire, as I did, the reticence with which the troubles of the much
misunderstood heroine are told, and also admit that the colour of Java
has been vividly conveyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Save the Mark!

Germany's last word:--


And a very pretty word too. But it does not surprise us to learn from
the German Press that the Legislature will probably have to devote at
least three weeks to the discussion of the subject which it defines.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a book catalogue:--

    "_The Royal Marriage Market of Europe._ By Princess Radziwill.
    With eight half-ton illustrations."

It is thought that these must be portraits of German princesses taken
before the War had deprived them of their usual supply of butter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "ARTIST, Academy Exhibitor, paints gentlemen's residences."

_Sunday Paper._

Another result, no doubt, of the exigencies of War, but rather hard on
the ordinary house-decorator.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150,  March 8, 1916" ***

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