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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, April 5, 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, April 5, 1916" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 150.



April 5, 1916


CHARIVARIA.

A SEVERE blizzard hit London last week, and Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING has
since been heard to admit, however reluctantly, that there are other
powers of the air.

       ***

After more than five weeks the bubble blown by Sir JAMES DEWAR at the
Royal Institution on February 17th has burst. A still larger bubble,
blown by some eminent German scientists as long ago as August, 1914, is
said to be on the point of dissolution.

       ***

At one of the North London Tribunals a maker of meat pies applied for
exemption on the ground that he had a conscientious objection to taking
life. His application was refused, the tribunal apparently being of the
opinion that a man who knew all about meat pies could decimate the
German forces without striking a blow.

       ***

Colonel ROOSEVELT says he has found a bird that lives in a cave, eats
nuts, barks like a dog and has whiskers; and the political wiseacres in
Washington are asking who it can be.

       ***

An exciting hockey match was played on Saturday between a team of
policemen and another composed of special constables. The policemen
won--by a few feet.

       ***

For gallantry at the ovens a German master-baker has just been awarded
the Iron Cross. This is probably intended as a sop to the Army bakers,
who are understood to have regarded it as a slight upon their calling
that hitherto this distinction has been largely reserved for people who
have shown themselves to be efficient butchers.

       ***

At a meeting of barbers held in the City a few days ago it was
unanimously decided to raise the price of a shave to _3d._ The reason,
it was explained, was the high cost of living, which tempted the
customers to eat far more soap than formerly.

       ***

In the Lambeth Police Court a man was convicted of stealing three
galvanized iron roofs. His explanation that he had had the good fortune
to win them at an auction bridge party was rejected by the Court.

       ***

A Mr. R. H. PEARCE, writing to _The Times_, says: "I once lived in a
house where my neighbour (a lady) kept twelve cats." Mr. PEARCE is
probably unique in his experience. Our own neighbours only go so far as
to arrange for the entertainment of their cats in our garden.

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRST CASUALTY OF THE NON-COMBATANT CORPS.

[Illustration: _Red Cross Man._ "What is it?"

_Stretcher-bearer._ "Shock. He was digging and he cut a worm in half."]

       *       *       *       *       *

An Appropriate Locale.

    "Bohemian Picture Theatre, Phibsboro' To-day for Three Days
    Only, Justus Miles Forman's Exciting Story, The Garden of Lies."

    _Irish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

VARIETIES.

    "A word that is always spelled swrong.--W-r-o-n-g."--_Wellington
    Journal._

We don't believe this is true.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "WOMEN ARE ASKED TO WEAR NO MORE CLOTHES than are absolutely
    necessary."

    _Dundee Courier._

Several cases of shock are reported among ladies who got no further than
the large type lines.

       *       *       *       *       *

ART IN WAR-TIME.

    [_A fragmentary essay in up-to-date criticism of any modern
    Exhibition--the R. A. excluded._]

In the Central Hall the Reduplicated Præteritists, the Tangentialists
and the Paraphrasts are all well represented. Mr. Orguly Bolp's large
painting, entitled "Embrocation," is an interesting experiment in the
handling of aplanatic surfaces, in which the toxic determinants are
harmonized by a sort of plastic _meiosis_ with syncopated rhythms. His
other large picture, "Interior of a Dumbbell by Night," has the same
basic idea without the appearance of it, and gives a very vital sense of
the elimination of noumenal perceptivity. M. Paparrigopoulo, the Greek
Paraphrast, calls one of his pictures "The Antecedent," another "The
Relative," and a third "The Correlative," but though they are thus
united syntactically each follows its own reticulation to a logical
conclusion, and carries with it a spiritual sanction, not always
coherent perhaps, but none the less satisfying. Miss Felicity
Quackenboss's portrait of Saint Vitus is perhaps the most arresting
contribution to the exhibition, and portrays the Saint intoxicated with
the exuberance of his own agility. It is a very carnival of contortion.
Mr. Widgery Pimble transcribes very searchingly the post-prandial
lethargy of a boa-constrictor, the process of deglutition being
indicated with great dignity and delicacy, as might be expected from so
austere a realist. From one angle the figure might be taken for a Bengal
tiger, and from another for a zebra--a good proof of the suggestiveness
of the artist's method. But, whether it be reptile or quadruped, the
spirit of repletion broods over the canvas with irresistible force. Mr.
Thaddeus Tumulty sends some admirable drawings in _pisé de terre_, one
of which, called "The Pragmatist at Play," is a masterpiece of
osteological _bravura_....

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dr. Solff, the German Minister for the Conolies, has left for
    Constantinople."

    _Egyptian Mail._

Another injustice to Ireland.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRUTHFUL JAMES

ON DOCTORS.

"You're not looking well," said the staff of _The Muddleton Weekly
Gazette_ sympathetically.

"No, Sir. Can't sleep, Sir. Haven't done for days till last night. I
went off beautiful quite early, and then the new nurse come and woke me
to give me my sleeping draught. That finished it for the night. Strange
thing, sleep. There's no sense about it. Take Bill Hawkins now, a pal of
mine in B Company. He was hit and took to hospital. Not serious at all.
'Me for a rest cure,' he says. But he was in that hospital for weeks and
weeks, getting worse and worse; he couldn't sleep a wink. The more they
drugged him, and the more sheep he counted, the more wide-awake he was.
The doctors got angry and called him an obstinate case. He said it
wasn't poisons but noise he needed, so they fetched an orderly and set
him banging one of them frying-pan baths with a ram-rod. In five minutes
Bill falls asleep as peaceful as a lamb, and the orderly, being tired,
stops. Up leaps Bill, wide awake as ever, asking what's wrong. Naturally
they couldn't bang a bath for him all night every night, and the house
surgeon was just thinking about getting ready a slab in the mortuary,
when Bill's brother, an engine-driver, comes along. He took Bill to his
box just outside Charing Cross station and made up a bed for him there.
Bill slept for three days solid and was about again in a week."

"Very fortunate," murmured the _Gazette_.

"So that time, you see, the doctors was done. But that don't often
happen. There was a doctor I knew out there, name of Gordon. Young
fellow he was, too, and very keen; seemed to think the War was started
specially to give him surgical practice, and he loved his lancets more
than his mother. He used to welcome cases with open arms, so to speak,
do his very best to heal 'em quick, and weep when he succeeded. Well, he
happened to be in our trench one day, showing our Sub a new case of
knives, when Charlie Black was carried in on a stretcher in an awful
mess.

"'I must operate at once to save your life,' he says.

"Charlie smiled as best he could and said he was agreeable.

"'But there's no anæsthetic here,' he says, 'and I can't do it without.
Couldn't you do a faint for me?'

"Charlie says he's sorry, but he's never practised fetching a faint at
will, like a woman can.

"'Well, then,' he says, 'you'll have to be stunned.' And he fetches a
small sandbag and gives it to the stretcher-bearer.

"'Chap here,' he explains to Charlie, 'will count up slowly, and when he
gets to fifty he'll hit you on the head with the sandbag and knock you
out.'

"Charlie grins, and the stretcher-bearer begins to count. When he gets
to ten he rolls up his sleeves; when he gets to twenty he takes a good
grip of the sandbag; at thirty he rolls his eyes and sticks out his jaw;
at forty, he lifts the bag over his shoulder and draws one foot back,
Charlie watching him all the time. 'For-ty-six,' he says slowly, 'for-ty
seven, for-ty-eight, for-ty-nine,' and then----"

"You're not going to tell me that he really----"

"No, he didn't," said Truthful James. "Charlie fainted."

"That was their intention, I presume?"

"Your presumption is correct, Sir. The doctor finished the job before
Charlie come to again. Smart, wasn't it?"

"Very smart indeed."

"But that's nothing. Nothing at all to what he could do. He once cut a
fellow open, took out his liver, extracted twenty-three shrapnel bullets
from it, bounced it on the floor to see it was all right, and put it
back, all inside of three minutes. And the fellow what owns the liver
hasn't had a to-morrow morning head-ache once since."

"He must be a very clever doctor," suggested the other, to fill in a
pause.

"Talking of doctors," James went on, "reminds me of a man I saw out
there who wasn't a doctor, leastways not one of ours. We was in the
fire-trenches one night when a voice hails us from the other side of the
entanglements. After the usual questions we brings him over the parapet,
and he explains to our Sub that he's been in front attending to some
wounded men in a listening post what was blown up. All perfectly correct
and proper; gives his name and rank, too, and is wearing an R.A.M.C.
uniform--rank, Captain. As he passes me on his way to the Sub's dug-out
I happens to catch sight of his face, and it give me quite a shock. I
was took ill immediate. I manages to stagger to the dug-out, and I
mutters hoarsely, 'Sir, I'm sick. I think I'm going to die.'

"'Sick?' says the Sub. 'You don't look sick.'

"'I'm sorry, Sir,' I says.

"'Well,' says he, turning to the other man, 'the Captain here will soon
put you right.'

"'Certainly,' says the Doc very sharp. 'Where do you feel pain--stomach,
heart, head?'

"'No, Sir,' says I, 'I got a nawful pain in me inn'erds.'

"'What did you say?' he asks.

"'In me inn'erds, Sir,' I says, 'spreading from me gizzard to me
probossis,' them being the only out-of-the-way words I could think of
off-hand.

"'H'm,' says he, pretending to understand perfectly, 'it is probably
nothing serious. You must diet yourself; take nothing but light food
and----'

"Here the Sub interrupts him, thinking there's something mighty queer
about a doctor what is so ready to prescribe diet for a probossis, and
asks him a lot more questions. Of course the beer was in the sawdust
then, and very soon a guard was called up to take our German Captain
Doctor Spy away to a safe place.

"It was lucky I knew his face. Before perfidjus Albion forced this war
on the poor KAYSER I'd seen him often in London. He was boss of a firm
above the place where I worked, and he used to order his Huns about in
their own language, and chuck his empty lager bottles out of his window
into our yard. I'm glad I got my own back for that."

"Jim," cried an orderly, "you're wanted for your dressing."

James rose languidly. "That means na-poo, then, Sir," he said.

"Na-poo?" echoed the _Gazette_.

"Where's your learning, Sir?" asked James. "That's French for 'no
more.'"

"I hope your dressing will not be painful," ventured the other.

"How would you like to have a probe rammed through your hand twice a
day?" demanded James with a smile. "But it's all part of the game.
Comforts for Tommy. Everyone has their own way of making us happy, not
forgetting the dear lady what sent us three hundred little lavender
bags, with pretty little bows on them, all sewn by herself, to keep our
linen sweetly perfumed. It's nice to think that they all mean well, and
I always follow the advice of the auctioneer what was trying to pass off
a plated teapot as solid silver."

"What did he say?"

"Look at the bright side," answered James over his shoulder as he
hurried away. "O reevwaw, Sir."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "On the night of February 29th ten thousand women marched
    through Unter Den London crying 'bread' and 'peace.'"

    _Daily Gleaner_ (_Kingston, Jamaica._)

We missed them in the Tube.

       *       *       *       *       *

"WAIT AND SEE."

[Illustration: Mr. Asquith. "WELL, AS WE SAY IN HOME, I HAVE BEEN, I
HAVE SEEN----"

Mr. Punch. "THEN YOU NEEDN'T WAIT ANY MORE, SIR; ALL YOU'VE GOT TO DO IS
TO GO IN AND CONQUER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PULLING OF PERCY'S LEG.

It was one of those calm quarters of an hour which sometimes happen even
in a Y.M.C.A. canteen. Private Penny, leaning over the counter, consumed
coffee and buns and bestowed spasmodic confidences upon me as I cut up
cake into the regulation slices.

"Oxo and biscuits, please," broke in a languid voice suddenly, and a
pale young man with an armlet approached the counter. I turned away for
the cup, and Private Penny, laying down his mug, addressed the newcomer.

"Who are you?" he inquired genially.

The young man surveyed him with cold superiority; then he turned to me.

"I'm a DERBY man, you see," he began complacently. "A lot of pals'll be
here presently, and we're all going to join this afternoon. They're
late."

"And what," I asked with resentment, for Private Penny was a friend of
mine, "are you going to join?"

It appeared that this superior person, after unprejudiced consideration
of the matter, had decided to join the A.S.C. He said he considered he
would be of most use in the A.S.C.; he said he was specially designed
and constructed by Providence for the A.S.C.; he said....

And then suddenly we became aware that Private Penny was mourning gently
to himself over a dough-nut.

"Pore chap!" he was muttering, "pore young feller--'e don't know. None
of 'em knows till it's too late, and then they finds their mistake. No
good to tell 'em--pore chap, pore chap--so pleased over it, too!"

"What's that you're saying?" the youth cut in anxiously.

"Young man," said Private Penny very solemnly, "if you'd take my
advice--the advice of one that's served his country twelve months at the
Front--you'd let the Army Service Corps alone. Not that I'm doubting
you're a plucky young feller enough, but you ain't up to that. It's
_nerve_ you want for it. Well, I wouldn't take it on myself, and I'm
pretty well seasoned. Why, you 'ave to go calmly into the mouth of 'ell
with supplies, over the open ground, when the Infantry's safe and snug
in the trenches. You ain't strong enough for it--reely you ain't."

"Er--" hesitated the young man.

"Well, I _had_ thought of the R.A.M.C. Mother's idea was----"

Private Penny groaned. "You know," he said with emotion, "I've took a
kind of fancy to you, Percy. And if it's me dying breath I
says--_don't!_ That kind of work ain't right nor proper for the likes of
you. Why, you 'ave to go out in the field there (and you ain't even
armed, nor protected, mind you!) and you 'ave to see the most _orrerble_
sights! Can't I tell by yer face, can't I see with me understanding eyes
that you're the sort that would go mad in no time if you 'ad some o'
them things to do? If it's me last word----" Emotion choked him.

Percy looked wildly around. "There's the Artillery," he gasped, "if
that's your advice."

Private Penny burst into a sob of uncontrollable anguish. "Percy," he
moaned, "if you want to break me heart, that's the way to do it! _Say_
I've advised you to that, if you like, but it ain't true. With all me
soul I says--_don't_ do it. Think, dear boy, think. Kinsider the
_guns!_--the noise--the smoke--the smell--the bursting shells all
round--the mad horses and mules everywhere. If you 'ave any affection
for me in your 'eart, Percival, leave the guns alone! If you can't
control your courage for my sake--your fool'ardiness, Percy!--think of
all your dear ones at 'ome and turn back before it is too late!"

Percy shuddered. "I might try the Engineers," he said hopelessly, "but
I don't----"

"If," said Private Penny in the still tones of despair, "_I_ have druv
you to this, I shall cut me throat. I can't live with that on me
conscience. 'Ave you thought of the danger of mining and sapping? 'Ave
you kinsidered field telegrafts? 'Ave you--'ot-'eaded and impulsive as
you are--'ave you kinsidered _anything_? Percy, if you're set on this
job, tell me quick, and put me out of me agony!"

"No," said Percy abruptly. "But"--with sudden misgiving--"w-what can I
do? I'm on my way to join and I must join _something_."

Private Penny pushed his mug over to be re-filled. "I'm an infantryman
myself," he said carelessly, "and I speaks as one that knows. And wot I
says is--if you wants a cheerful protected kinder life, with a quiet
'ole to 'ide yer 'ead in--if you wants rest and comfort, kimbined with
plenty o' fresh air--if you wants to serve yer King and country without
any danger to yer 'ealth, then the infantry's the life for you, and the
trenches is the place to spend it in. Ain't I been out there one solid
year, and no 'arm 'appened to me yet? It's child's play, that it is,
sitting there in a 'ole, with big guns booming over you protective-like
from be'ind and killing all the enemy in front for you. And yer food and
yer love-letters brought to you regular, and doctors and parsons to see
you whenever you feels queer. Take my advice, Percy my son--join the
Infantry at once and make sure of a gentleman's life. I've took a fancy
to you, and I tells you straight." And he eclipsed himself behind his
replenished mug.

"Thank you very much," said Percy gratefully, "I can see that the
Infantry is the place for me. I shall insist upon joining it. Thank you
_very_ much for all your advice----"

At this moment a great wave of khaki burst into the room and swept to
the counter, clamouring for attention. On the crest of it came Percy's
friends in mufti, and once, across the tumult, his voice reached my
ears. "... quite decided...." he was saying loftily, "some infantry
regiment or other just seems...." and he was jostled away in the centre
of an admiring group.

Involuntarily I looked across at Private Penny.

One eye met mine from behind an upturned mug, and the lid fell and rose
again, once, rapidly; he too had heard.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A Council of War in the Desert.

    "British Officers are here seen holding a 'bow-wow.'"--_Western
    Weekly News._

Very natural. In the desert most days are "dog-days."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Colonel_ (_on a round of inspection, during prolonged
pause in manoeuvres_). "And what is the disposition of your men,
Sergeant?"

_Sergeant._ "Fed-up, Sir!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEUTRAL NEWSMONGER.

  Who cheers us when we're in the blues
  With reassuring German news
  Of starving Berliners in queues?
      The Neutral.

  And then, soon after, tells us they
  Are feeding nicely all the day
  Just in the old familiar way?
      The Neutral.

  Who sees the KAISER in Berlin
  Dejected, haggard, old as sin,
  And shaking in his hoary skin?
      The Neutral.

  Then says he's quite a Sunny Jim,
  That buoyant health and youthful vim
  Are sticking out all over him?
      The Neutral.

  Who tells us tales of KRUPP'S new guns
  Much larger than the other ones,
  And endless trains chockful of Huns?
      The Neutral.

  And then, when our last hope has fled,
  Declares the Huns are either dead
  Or hopelessly dispirited?
      The Neutral.

  In short, who seems to be a blend
  Of Balaam's Ass, the bore's godsend
  And _Mrs. Gamp's_ elusive friend?
      The Neutral.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Humiliation of Jones, who hitherto has been accustomed to
drop off unaided].

       *       *       *       *       *

HINTS TO MANAGERS.

A new and very popular addition to the comic opera, _Tina_, at the
Adelphi, is a stage representation of "Eve," the writer of "The Letters
of Eve" in _The Tatler_, together with her retinue and her dog.

Here we see Journalism and the Drama more than ever mutually dependent,
and the developments of the idea might be numberless. _Lord Times_, in
_A Kiss for Cinderella_, already illustrates one of them; but why not a
complete play, with favourite newspaper contributors as the _dramatis
personæ_? or a revue, to be called, say, _The Tenth Muse_, or _Hullo,
Inky_!

Or, if not a whole play or revue, a scene could be arranged in which the
great scribes processed past. One group might consist of Carmelite
Friars, with "Quex" and "The Rambler," each with a luncheon host on one
arm and a musical-comedy actress on the other; "An Englishman," with his
scourge of knotted cords, on his eternal but honourable quest for a
malefactor; and "Robin Goodfellow," still, in spite of war and official
requests for economy, pointing to the glories of the race-course and
pathetically endeavouring to find winners. These would make an
impressive company--with a good song and dance to finish up with.

_The Referee's_ contribution would obviously be too easy; it would
simply be like a revival of _King Arthur_. The audience, however, would
be in luck when "Dagonet" got really warmed up to tell yet once more the
thrilling story of how he met HENRY PETTITT in the brave days of old.

A whiff of _The Three Musketeers_ would exhilarate the house at the
entry of "Chicot," the Jester of _The Sketch_; while finally we might
look for an excellent effect from "Claudius Clear" and "A Man of Kent,"
of _The British Weekly_, masquerading as the Heavenly Twins.

These notes merely, of course, touch the fringe of a vast subject. Many
other holders of famous _noms de guerre_ remain, such as "Mr. Gossip"
and "Mrs. Gossip," and "Captain Coe" and "A Playful Stallite," and
"Historicus" and "Atlas" and "Scrutator" and "Alpha of the Plough"; but
only "Eve" has had the wit to include pictures of herself in every
article; therefore only "Eve" can be instantly recognised. These others,
if they wish to be equally successful on the stage (and it is certain
they would like to be), must have always a portrait too. The Heavenly
Twins might like to use one, by Mr. WELLS, which already exists.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DOVE.

I was at first inclined to look upon this dove as being largely
symbolical. So far as I could gather it had never been here before--at
any rate no one could be found who had seen it here or in the
neighbourhood, and it seemed obvious that its sudden emergence, as it
were, out of nothing must have some high and dove-like signification.

Probably before the end of the week the KAISER would sue for peace and
swallow Mr. ASQUITH'S formula. Since then, however, Verdun has happened
and VON TIRPITZ has gone, and nobody seems in the least disposed to stop
the crash of arms. That being so, and the dove being still with us, I am
forced, in spite of myself, to look upon it as an entirely real bird and
to keep on wondering what strange freak brought it to us and made it an
honoured member of this household.

It arrived about ten weeks ago quite unexpectedly and suddenly. One
morning there was no dove; on the following morning, having fluttered
hither from I know not what remote and solitary region, it had perched
on the branch of a poplar set close to the house. There it remained
while we breakfasted, and from that point of vantage it broke out into a
long series of loud and melodious cooings that sounded like nothing so
much as a gurgling stream of benedictions poured out over the house and
those who dwelt in it by one who plainly proposed to be a grateful
though not a paying guest. It was wonderful to hear it.

From the branch this persistent and pleasing bird shortly removed itself
to the window-sill of one of the bedrooms, and into this room, when
breakfast was over, the children trooped. The dove was pecking eagerly
at the window-pane. "Let's open the window for it," said one of the
girls, "and see what happens." Very gently, then, the window was opened,
and what immediately happened was that, without the least sign of alarm,
nay rather with the air of one repeating a customary action, the dove
walked in, took a short flight, and settled on the toilet-table. There
it caught sight of its soft grey reflection in the looking-glass and at
once began to parade up and down before it, swelling itself out and
bobbing its head in evident admiration of the beautiful being so
fortunately offered to its view. Soon it attempted to approach this
vision, but was surprised to find itself foiled by the cold impermeable
surface of the glass. Puzzled, but not, I think, definitely hopeless--it
performs the same antics in one or other of the bedrooms every day--it
left the toilet-table, circled round the room and perched confidingly on
the shoulder of one of the little girls who were admiring it, and began
once more to coo in a very ecstasy of enjoyment.

Later on, food was provided for it, which it pecked up without the least
shyness. Since then it has established itself on a very firm clawing, if
I may use the term, as a necessary inmate of the house. Fluttering
through the passages it follows the maids from room to room in the
morning and shows the most lively interest in their work while beds are
being made or tables dusted. It has the most perfect trustfulness, not
merely allowing itself to be handled, but coming to perch on a wrist or
shoulder as if it had belonged there from, time immemorial. It really is
a pretty thing to have about the house, an embodiment of gentleness and
kindness, and, so far as a mere human being can judge, of an almost
dog-like gratitude and affection. I have seen a bullfinch swell up in a
passionate agitation of love when from its cage it beheld its dear
mistress enter the room, but it had never occurred to me before this to
attribute such a feeling to a dove. I ought, I suppose, to have known
better, as I now do. At this very moment it is cooing away like mad at
its declaration of undying love from its favourite haunt on the
mantelpiece of one of the bedrooms.

But it has another utterance which it employs at rare intervals. This is
a sort of high-pitched laugh thoroughly unsuited to its softness, a most
cynical and derisive sound which in so kind a beak seems to have neither
meaning nor purpose. But I overlook its rare laugh in consideration of
the cooing with which it blesses us and the general friendship which it
has vowed to this house.

       *       *       *       *       *

RECALLED.

[Illustration: The second great sale on behalf of the wounded will be
held at Christie's (8 King Street, St. James' Square) from the 6th to
the 19th of April, and from the 26th to the 28th. The entire
proceeds--no charge for their services being made by Messrs. Christie,
Manson & Woods--will be handed over to the British Red Cross Society and
the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. The exhibits are
still on view to-day (April 5th).]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Husband._ "Darlint, 'tis yer own Michael that's come
home to yez!"

_Wife._ "Sure, Mike, ye're not afther thrying anny of thim personating
thricks on me, are yez?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BOBBERY PACK.

  Andy Hartigan's dead and gone
    Over the hills and further yet,
  But he drank good port and his red face shone
    Like a cider apple of Somerset.

  Ten strange couples o' hounds he had
    (Gaunt old brutes that had hunted fox
  Back in the days when NOAH was a lad),
    Touched in the bellows and gone at the hocks--

  Hounds he'd stole from a Harrier pack,
    Hounds he'd borrowed an' begged an' found,
  Grey an' yellow an' tan an' black,
    Every conceivable kind o' hound.

  He called them "harriers," and a few
    _Were_ harriers--back when the world began--
  But they weren't particular where they drew
    An' they weren't particular what they ran.

  I mind him once of a bygone morn
    Ruddy an' round on his flea-bit horse,
  Twangin' a note on his battered horn
    An' cappin' them into the Frenchman gorse.

  They pushed a brown hare out of her form
    An' swung on her line with a crash of tongues;
  But a vixen crossed an' her scent was warm,
    So they ran her, screechin' to burst their lungs.

  They ran her into my lord's demesne,
    Where my lady's fallows were grazing free;
  They picked a stag and followed again,
    Singing like souls in ecstasy.

  They chased the stag up over the ridge
    With lolling tongues an' with heaving flanks;
  They lost him down by the Cluddlah bridge,
    But killed an otter on Cluddlah's banks.

  They had no shape an' they had no style;
    Their manners were bad an' their morals slack;
  They were noisy, but wonderful versatile,
    Andy Hartigan's bobbery pack.

       *       *       *       *       *

High (Explosive) Finance.

    "The issuing of premium bombs, whilst not, strictly speaking, a
    lottery or gamble, would give such people what they ask for, and
    that is a chance to get something unusual and tempting."

    _Evening Paper._

Unusual, certainly; but tempting?

       *       *       *       *       *

A War-Menu.

    "GIRLS experienced Wanted to feed on Wharfdale machines."

    _Nottingham Evening Post._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "BROADWOODWIDGER.--A new pipe organ has been installed at the
    parish church. A recital was given by the Rev. C. B. Walters, of
    Stokeclimsland, while a sermon was preached by the Rev. Canon
    Lewis, of Launceston."--_Provincial Paper._

The Broadwoodwidger example deserves imitation. Some sermons would be
much more tolerable if they had a musical accompaniment.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A mere automatic raising of the Income Tax strikes
    indiscriminately at the just and the unjust; it is just as
    likely to cripple the man who is supporting and educating a
    large family sybarite."

    _Evening Paper._

And a very good thing too. For ourselves, we have always discouraged the
growth of these bulky profligates in the domestic circle.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_ (_meeting small acquaintance_). "Hullo, Ethel, so
you've started one of those things?"

_Ethel._ "Yes, we're all having to come to them. Rather a drop-down
after the Rolls-Royce, but--war-time, you know."]

       *       *       *       *       *

YELLOW PRESSURE.

"Rather a funny thing happened the other day," she remarked.

"Yes?" I replied languidly.

"About you."

"Oh!" I said with animation. "Do tell me."

"It was at lunch," she explained, "at Duke's. The people at the next
table were talking about you. I couldn't help hearing a little. A man
there said he had met you in Shanghai."

"Not really!" I exclaimed.

"Yes. He met you in Shanghai."

"That's frightfully interesting," I said. "What did he say about me?"

"That's what I couldn't hear," she replied. "You see I had to pay some
attention to my own crowd. I only caught the word 'delightful.'"

Ever since she told me this. I have been turning it over in my mind; and
it is particularly vexing not to know more. "Delightful" can be such
jargon and mean nothing--or, at any rate, nothing more than amiability.
Still, that is something, for one is not always amiable, even when
meeting strangers. On the other hand it might be, from this man, the
highest praise.

The whole thing naturally leads to thought, because I have never been
farther east than Athens in my life.

Yet here is a man who met me in Shanghai. What does it mean? Can we
possibly visit other cities in our sleep? Has each of us an _alter ego_,
who can really behave, elsewhere?

Whether we have or not, I know that this information about my Shanghai
double is going to be a great nuisance to me. It is going to change my
character. In fact it has already begun to do so. Let me give you an
example.

Only yesterday I was about to be very angry with a telegraph boy who
brought back a telegram I had despatched about two hours earlier, saying
that it could not be delivered because it was insufficiently addressed.
Obviously it was not the boy's fault, for he belonged to our country
post-office and the telegram had been sent to London and was returned
from there; and yet I started to abuse that boy as though he were not
only the POSTMASTER-GENERAL himself but the inventor of red-tape into
the bargain. And all for a piece of carelessness of my own.

And then suddenly I remembered Shanghai and how delightful I was there.
And I shut up instantly and apologised and rewrote the message and gave
the boy a shilling for himself. If one could be delightful in Shanghai
one must be delightful at home too.

And so it is going to be. There is very little fun for me in the future,
and all because of that nice-mannered man in Shanghai whom I must not
disgrace. For it would be horrible if one day a lady told him that she
had overheard someone who had met him in London and found him to be a
bear.

       *       *       *       *       *

HERRICK TO JULIA.

(_War Edition_).

  When as in silks my Julia goes
  Then, then (methinks) how wanton shows
  That efflorescence of her clothes.

  But when I cast mine eyes and see
  Her drest for decent industry,
  Oh, how that plainness taketh me!

       *       *       *       *       *

FOR TRAITORS.

[Illustration: A WARNING TO PROMOTERS OF STRIKES IN WAR-TIME.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Tuesday, March 28th._--Sir EDWARD CARSON was back on the Front
Opposition Bench to-day, so much the better for his recent rest-cure
that he is credited with the desire to prescribe similar treatment for
other jaded politicians. Three of the potential patients--the PRIME
MINISTER, the FOREIGN SECRETARY and the MINISTER OF MUNITIONS--have
anticipated his kindly suggestion by going for a little trip on the
Seine, and are making arrangements with their Continental friends for
another on the Spree at a later date.

[Illustration: REST CURES.

Sir Edward Carson, M.D., anxious to prescribe.]

Before his departure Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, ever thoughtful for the welfare
of others, arranged with the Military authorities to give a change of
scene to six members of the Clyde Workers' Committee, who have been
recently over-straining their vocal chords. This was the impression I
got from Dr. ADDISON, who, like his great namesake, is a master of the
bland style; but Sir EDWARD CARSON thrust aside official euphemism and
bluntly inquired whether these men were not in fact assisting the KING'S
enemies, and ought not to be indicted for high treason.

The suppression of a number of _Sinn Fein_ papers in Ireland stimulated
Mr. GINNELL to the concoction of a Question about as long as a leading
article. To ensure a reply he addressed it simultaneously to the UNDER
SECRETARY FOR WAR and the CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND. In spite of this
precaution he was disappointed, for, owing to the storm, Mr. BIRRELL had
not received the necessary information from Ireland, while Mr. TENNANT,
no doubt for the same reason, had not even received the Question. Mr.
GINNELL is now convinced that the official conspiracy against him has
been joined by the Clerk of the Weather.

I shall hardly be surprised if the next time I walk down Whitehall I
find sandwichmen out with their boards inscribed--

  Westminster Aerodrome.
  Flying every Tuesday.
  Billing Breaks all Records.

The new Member for East Herts has displayed unprecedented dexterity in
catching the SPEAKER'S eye. In three weeks he has already spoken more
columns of _Hansard_ than many Members fill during a long Parliamentary
career. His speech to-day consisted almost entirely of a catalogue of
fatal accidents to aviators, due, he declared, to the faulty engines and
machines supplied to them by the Government--"though within twenty miles
of here we have a far better machine than the _Fokker_."

Previous to this we had listened to a bright and diverting dialogue
between Mr. DUDLEY WARD, representing the Anti-Aircraft Service, and Mr.
JOYNSON-HICKS, briefed by the Municipal authorities, on the question of
what happened at Ramsgate during the last raid. As they differed _in
toto_ on every detail the House was not much the wiser for the
discussion, but it was consoled by Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS' remark that "if
the MAYOR and TOWN CLERK have lied to me no one will be more pleased
than myself."

Members were much more impressed by the obvious sincerity and occasional
eloquence of the appeal on behalf of the East Coast towns made by Sir A.
GELDER. His indignation at the trick played on one place by the Military
authorities, who tried to allay public anxiety by mounting a dummy gun,
was shared by the House.

Mr. TENNANT did not attempt to deny or palliate this imposture, but he
made a fairly adequate reply to other counts of the indictment, and
promised a judicial inquiry into the casualties enumerated by Mr.
BILLING. The revelation that he himself has a son in the Flying Corps
was perhaps the most effective point in a speech which did not wholly
remove the impression that the Government has its head in the air rather
than its heart.

_Wednesday, March 29th._--There are more ways than one of getting into
the House of Commons. Mr. PERCY HARRIS, the new Member for the Market
Harborough division, who took his seat to-day, arrived by the
old-fashioned route of a contested election. He was just about to shake
hands with the SPEAKER when a khaki-clad stranger took a short cut from
the Gallery and reached the floor _per saltum_. Not only so, but before
he could be arrested this Messenger from Mars succeeded in delivering
his maiden speech, to the effect that British soldiers' heads should be
protected against shrapnel-fire. The SERJEANT-AT-ARMS, who had had a
narrow escape, goes further, holding the view that his own head should
be protected from acrobatic British soldiers.

To-day Mr. LONG had the difficult task of convincing the House that the
married men had no grievance, and that the Government were doing their
best to remove it. Only a man who has fought with bulls in Ireland could
hope to tackle such a paradox. Mr. LONG, having enjoyed that experience,
was fairly successful.

Sir EDWARD CARSON, who had been expected by some people to initiate a
raging "Down-the-Government" agitation, was comparatively mild, and,
admitting that his late colleagues had done something, chiefly blamed
them for not having done it earlier. Still he made it plain that in his
view compulsion all round was inevitable if Prussianism was to be
crushed. Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH agreed with him. The Government ought not to
bargain with the public; it ought to give them a clear and definite
command. Such sentiments, proceeding from one who still claimed to
belong to the Liberal Party, shocked Sir WILLIAM BYLES. Maintaining that
those who had voted against the Military Service Bill were the truest
friends of the PRIME MINISTER, he promised again to give him his
invaluable support "if he would only lead us to our accustomed pasture."
There is no justification, however, for the theory that the worthy
knight is a candidate for the Order of the Thistle.

_Thursday, March 30th._--In the Lords to-day Viscount TEMPLETOWN moved
that London should be declared a prohibited area, with a view to
removing the eight or nine thousand Germans still carrying on business
there. His argument was a little difficult to follow, for it included a
complaint that in Eastbourne, which is a prohibited area, a number of
aliens are residing in comfort and affluence. The Marquis of LANSDOWNE,
usually so logical, on this occasion answered inconsequence by
inconsequence. In one breath he asserted that to declare the whole of
the Metropolis a prohibited area would throw too much work on the
police; and in the next that it would have the effect of driving away
large numbers of aliens to places not so well policed as London is.
Lord BERESFORD caught the infection. In the course of a long question
designed to clear General TOWNSHEND of the responsibility for the
advance upon Bagdad, he remarked with startling irrelevance that if his
(Lord BERESFORD's) advice had been taken by the PRIME MINISTER the
_Lusitania_ would still be afloat and we should have lost no battleships
in the Dardanelles. He did not appear to attach undue importance to this
claim, and Lord ISLINGTON, who replied for the Government, did not think
it necessary to make any reference to it, but contented himself with
stating that the Bagdad advance was authorised on the advice of General
NIXON and the Indian Government, and professing official ignorance of
any representations on the part of General TOWNSHEND.

In the Commons the trouble on the Clyde was the _pièce de résistance_.
At Question time Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, fresh from the Paris Conference, had
to deal with a number of inquiries put by the little group of Scottish
malcontents whose notion of patriotism is to embarrass the Government on
each and every occasion. Mr. HOGGE wanted to know when the MINISTER OF
MUNITIONS was going to give the other side of the case--"the German
side," as an interrupter pertinently put it; and Mr. PRINGLE intimated
that a settlement could have been reached but for the unreasonableness
of the Government.

This gave Dr. ADDISON, usually the mildest-mannered man that ever lanced
a gumboil, an opportunity of administering to big accuser a much-needed
lesson in deportment. The hon. Member had first forced himself, without
invitation, into a private conversation in the Minister's room, and had
then given a totally misleading account of what took place. He had made
himself the spokesman of a body which had displayed "a treacherous
disregard of the highest national interests."

Mr. PRINGLE was as much surprised as if he had been bitten by a rabbit,
and wound up an unconvincing defence of himself with the remark that he
would rather keep silence than say anything to exacerbate feeling. It is
a pity that his friend Mr. HOGGE did not imitate this wise if rather
tardy reticence. He gave Mr. LLOYD GEORGE the lie when he was describing
how the disputes had interfered with the supply of guns urgently needed
by the Army, and provoked the retort that, instead of encouraging the
strikers by unfounded suggestions, he would be better employed if "with
what credit is left to him" he went down to the Clyde and tried to get
them to work.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _She._ "Good gracious! The Brown-Smiths!! I thought they
were so poor."

_He._ "Yes. But, you see, he's been supplying the Government with shells
for quite a fortnight!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A LETTER TO THE FRONT.

"Kin yer write a letter?"

"More or less," I said. I did not rate myself with Madame DE STAËL nor
with EDWARD FITZGERALD, but I forebore to mention these names because I
thought that they would not be familiar to my questioner. If you happen
to know Paradise Rents, Fulham, you will realise that neither Madame DE
STAËL, nor FITZGERALD is much read there. Moreover, the type that
addressed me had not the aspect of a literary man.

He was a man of some seven years, maybe, in company with a younger man,
perhaps of five. He was hatless, coatless, waistcoatless, but he had a
pair of trousers, short in the leg, precariously held by one brace. That
is the fashion in Paradise Rents. I had come upon these two young men
about Fulham as they were staring with absorbed interest into the
undertaker's shop advantageously situated for custom at the corner of
the Rents and the main street. Certainly it was a pleasant window.
Besides the legends and texts, the artificial wreaths and the pictures
of tombs and tombstones, there was a number of model coffins in
miniature. It was these that had fascinated the attention of the two
young men.

"I should like one o' them to ply with," said the elder covetously.

"What would yer do with it, Bill?" the younger asked.

"I'd put the old KAYSER in it, along wi' Farver."

It is rude to laugh at other people's conversation, particularly if you
have not been introduced to them, but I caught myself in an audible
chuckle over this fine blend of patriotic and filial sentiment. Then I
pulled myself but not in time; I had been detected.

If you wish to know what it is to be stared at, you should interrupt, as
I had, a conversation between two young men of about this age in Fulham
or elsewhere. They stared in unison and in silence until the tension
became unbearable, and one of them, the elder, whose name was Bill,
relieved it with the above quest on, "Kin yer write a letter?"

Perhaps my answer was a little modest. He regarded me doubtfully, then
asked--

"'Ow soon kin yer write a letter?"

"You mean, how long does it take me to write a letter?"

He nodded his head vehemently.

"Well," I began, "it rather depends, you know, on what there is to say."
I saw dissatisfaction cloud his face, and hastened to add, "Oh, well,
about ten minutes."

At that his expression cleared to astonishment. Passing that emotion, it
went to incredulity. It was a beautifully legible face, though
everything but clean. He made up his mind.

"Will yer come," he asked, "and write a letter for my granmother?"

We were on the heels of adventure now; no one could say what new country
this might lead to.

"Where does she live?" I asked.

"Just round the corner, two doors from my Great-aunt Maria's," he said,
astonished that I should not know,

"Lead on," I said, concealing my ignorance of the residence of
great-aunt Maria.

He took me by the hand, which I could not in courtesy decline, and led
me down Paradise Rents.

As a rule, in Paradise Rents, front doors stand open to the street, but
the door of Number 5, the abode of Bill's grandmother, was shut. On
tip-toe and with a strenuous effort Bill reached the latch. The door
opened and Bill shouted through it, by way of introduction:--

"She says she kin write a letter in ten minutes."

The person addressed, whom I understood to be the grandmother, was
engaged in scrubbing with a duster a deal table already clean enough to
make Bill's face much ashamed of itself. She was a large heavy old
woman, with a round colourless visage that suggested the full moon by
daylight, and wispy grey locks like a nimbus about it.

"Lor bless the child, Mum!" she exclaimed. "Bill, whatever d'yer mean by
it?"

"Says she kin write a letter in ten minutes," Bill repeated, with the
emphasis of grave doubt on the "says."

"Bless the child, Mum! I don't know whatever 'e's been saying. It's
truth as I did say as I wished I 'ad someone as could write a letter for
me to my son Frank, it being 'is birthday Tuesday and 'im out at the
Front. But there, it's not to say, as I can't write a letter myself if
I'm so minded, but I'm no great scholard and it do take me a long time
to finish--each day a word or two. About a week it take me to write a
letter, such a letter as I'd wish to write to Frank out at the Front,
for 'is birthday, to cheer 'im up."

"Frank's Bill's father, I suppose?" I said, by way of filling an
asthmatic pause.

"Lor bless yer, no, Mum. Bill's father wouldn't never go into no more
danger than what 'e'd find at the Red Lion. Married my pore daughter 'e
did, as died--a mercy for 'er, pore thing! That's 'ow it is Bill's
living along o' me."

"I see," I said. "Well, now--about the letter?"

A space more liberal than the operation strictly needed was cleared for
me on the polished deal table; a penny ink-bottle and a pen with a rusty
but still useful nib set upon it, and from a special drawer, with a
solemnity that of the character of sacred ritual, Mrs. Watt, as Bill's
grandmother informed me she was called, drew forth a single sheet of
notepaper. Its dimensions had been heavily curtailed by the deepest
border of mourning black that I ever had seen on English writing-paper.
Other nations surpass us in this evidence of respect, but Mrs. Watt's
paper was calculated to raise the national standard.

"Isn't this," I said, "rather--I mean is it quite suited for a birthday
letter, to cheer up Frank in the trenches?"

Mrs. Watt took the suggestion in quite good part, but gave it a decided
negative.

"'E would wish respect showed to 'is Aunt Maria, as died Wednesday was a
fortnight. You might tell 'im that, if you please, Mum."

I started off, as bidden, with this mournful communication, under the
eye, at first severely critical, then frankly admiring, of Bill's
grandmother.

"Lor," she exclaimed, "you be one to write the words quick!"

"What shall we say now?" I asked brightly.

"Wednesday was a fortnight as she died, sister Maria did, that's Frank's
aunt, and was buried a Saturday--what's too soon, as you'd say, but no
disrespect meant, the undertaker arranging first for the Monday--only
'aving a bigger job, with 'orses and plumes, give'im for the Monday, and
so putting my pore sister forward to the Saturday. 'Ave you got that
down, Mum?"

"Oh," I said, scribbling briskly, "am I to write all that?" It occupied,
even with much compression, space far into the second side of the
restricted paper.

"An' my only relative surviving," she resumed, "being brother George, as
is eighty-two, and crotchety at that, lives out 'Oxton way, so I wrote
to him about the funeral for a Monday, and when the undertaker puts it
forward to the Saturday I didn't have no one to send all that way, so
brother George--'e's eighty-two, and crotchety at that--'e didn't get no
notice for the funeral on Saturday at all, so o' course 'e didn't come.
You'll make all that clear to Frank, won't you, Mum?"

I scribbled hard again, and said I was doing my best.

"So brother George being crotchety, as I said, Mum, 'e sent me word as
'e wouldn't never speak to me again in this world, and 'e didn't know as
ever 'e would in the world to come--I'd like you to put that all in,
please, Mum, so's to let Frank know 'ow it all is. Now, do you suppose,
Mum, if I was to die, as brother George'd come to my funeral?"

I hardly knew what answer to make after the "cut everlasting" with which
George had threatened his sister, but I had an idea that I was beginning
to understand Mrs. Watt's tastes. "Well," I said weakly, "I don't
know--funerals are very pleasant things."

It was the right note and Mrs. Watt took it up keenly. "That's what I
always says, Mum," she said eagerly. "I'd sooner go to a good funeral
than I would a wedding any day of the week. You've got that down about
brother George? Yes, and please say as it was beautiful polished wood,
the coffin--and real brass 'andles."

"But, Mrs. Watt," I said despairingly, "that'll bring us quite to the
end of the paper, and we've never even wished him many happy returns
yet. Have you another sheet?"

"I haven't got no more than the one sheet, but I dessay as there's room
to say as I'm his loving mother, and 'ope it finds 'im well, as it
leaves me."

I managed to pinch in the traditional salutation; the sheet was enclosed
in an envelope as sepulchral of aspect as itself, and with much
misgiving I put Frank's birthday letter into the first pillar-box that I
found.

Just a week later I had occasion to go down Paradise Rents again. I had
no intention of calling on Mrs. Watt, being more than a little afraid of
the reception that her son Frank might have accorded to the letter that
was to bring bright cheer to his birthday. But she ran from her door as
I passed to meet and greet me. "Do step in, Mum," she entreated. "I must
'ave you see a letter as come this morning from my son Frank, as is at
the Front. Read that, if you please, Mum."

"She must be a real lady that wot comes visiting you," it said. "That
was a letter as she wrote. I don't know as ever I read such a beautiful
letter. All the trench 'as read it, and they says so too."

I sighed heavily with relief. Mrs. Watt was a judge of her son's
literary taste.

       *       *       *       *       *

EASIER SAID THAN DONE.

[Illustration: _Tommies (singing)._ "Keep the home fires burning".]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Visitor (at private hospital)._ "Can I see Lieutenant
Barker, please?"

_Matron._ "We do not allow ordinary visiting. May I ask if you're a
relative?"

_Visitor (boldly)._ "Oh, yes! I'm his sister."

_Matron._ "Dear me! I'm very glad to meet you. _I'm his mother._"]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"Stand and Deliver."

The Merry Monarch's world is too much with us. I can't imagine what it
is in that period that our actor-managers find so peculiarly appropriate
to present conditions, when we need all the inspiration we can get out
of our country's annals. It seems only the other day that in the same
theatre, His Majesty's--the play was _Mavourneen_--I was assisting at a
rout (is that the word?) of Restoration society. And here we have it all
over again with the same scheme of a pretty _débutante_ near to being
compromised by the Royal favour; with the old galaxy of Court ladies
inexplicably gay; the same old Duke of BUCKINGHAM; the old dull sport of
improvisations; the old pathetic lack of wit; a _réchauffé_ only
tempered by slight variations, such as the substitution of LELY for
PEPYS, and the failure of the Monarch himself to put in an appearance.

For the rest, a generous allowance of swashbuckling, of kidnapping, of
standing and delivering, of interludes for dancing and gallantry--in a
word all the approved features of the High Toby. Nothing, you will
guess, that threatened to overstrain our intelligence, but enough for
the moderate excitation of those sympathies which we always concede to
heroic villainy.

The _clou_ of the evening was the scene of the waylaying of his lover's
coach by _Claude Duval_ on the Newmarket road. Animals on the stage (as
distinct from the circus-ring) always make me nervous. Mr. BOURCHIER
seemed to have anticipated my apprehension. On the approach of the
travellers, having hitherto, with his horse's consent, sat motionless at
the cross-roads, he retired with it into the wings and there dismounted
and continued the scene on foot. But the memory of those few moments of
superb equitation remained with the audience, and when, at the fall of
the curtain, he led his steed forward by the bridle (a just tribute to
its connivance) the pair of them brought down the house--and not the
scenery, as I had feared.

I am no pedant that I should cavil at Mr. JUSTIN HUNTLY MCCARTHY'S
re-adjustment of history. It was all for our delight that _Claude
Duval_, instead of perishing on the scaffold, should escape from prison,
have his freedom confirmed by the KING'S pardon, confound everybody
else's knavish tricks and marry the lady of his heart. Nor do I complain
that the historic highwayman (as I am credibly informed--for I got the
facts from another critic) was only twenty-nine when they hanged him,
and that Mr. BOURCHIER is--well, let me say, past the military age, or
he wouldn't have been there at all. At the same time he will not mind my
saying that, though he brought a very gallant spirit to his work, he
lacked something of that resilience which is so desirable a quality in a
Chevalier of the Road. Perhaps I liked best in him the quiet restraint
with which he met the assaults of _Orange Moll_ upon his loyalty to his
lady. He was not given very many good things to say, but he made up for
this defect by dropping his aspirates and talking in what I took to be a
Serbian accent.

[Illustration: RIVER SCENE NEAR WESTMINSTER.

_Claude Duval_ (Mr. Bourchier) disposes of his rival, _de Pontac_ (Mr.
Murray Carrington) in a riparian duel.]

Not much subtlety was asked of Miss KYRLE BELLEW as _Duval's_ lover,
_Berinthia_; but she seemed to have learned a little more sincerity and
to depend less upon the prettiness of her face and her frocks. Of Miss
MIRIAM LEWES as _Orange Moll_ something more was demanded, and I should
have enjoyed without reservation her very picturesque performance but
for a certain stage-quality in her voice which was out of all consonance
with the part she had to play. Mr. JERROLD ROBERTSHAW as _Justice
Hogben_ was a most attractive old reprobate; Mr. CHARLES ROCK as a
strolling mummer played like the sound actor he is; and indeed the whole
cast--and not least in the smallest parts, such as Mr. HARTFORD'S
drunken _Gaoler_ and Mr. PEASE'S _Dognose_, with his delightfully
unemotional "Ay! ay!"--did very well indeed.

If the play opens rather deliberately there is no lack of action when
once it gets moving; but it was an exercise of bodies rather than of
minds. Swords flashed; barkers were flourished (though they never went
off); feet twinkled in the dance, and Mr. MURRAY CARRINGTON took several
astounding falls; but wits remained stationary. I do not wish to appear
exigent, but as one who likes to be amused as well as entertained I
could easily have done with a little more scintillation.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

"INJER."

(To the Author of "The Grand Tour," "Punch," January 26th, 1916.)

  I read your lines the other day;
    You got it down in black an' white;
  You seen them places wot you say;
    Well, I seen Injer--and you're right.

  You never know. I took the bob
    The days o' Mons an' Charley Roy;
  Flanders, I thought, 'ud do my job,
    An' me no better than a boy.

  But some'ow Flanders got a miss,
    An' I came East, the same as you,
  Right East, an' finished up wi' this;
    _I_ seen them towns and islands too.

  But Injer! Lor, it's like a book
    Or like a bloomin' fancy ball;
  There's somethin' every way you look,
    An' me--young me--I seen it all.

  I know about them "dark bazaars"--
    An' dark they is--I know them skies,
  An' suns an' moons an' silver stars
    An' 'ummin'-birds an' fiery-flies.

  I seen the palms an' parrokeets,
    I've 'eard the jackals in the night,
  I've ate them beas'ly Injian sweets
    An' smelt the Injian fires alight.

  But I'm with you, old P. an' O.;
    The goin' 'ome'll be the best;
  An' not the 'ome we useter know,
    But better, 'cos we've known the rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

TUBANTIA CRIME.

    "Sworn Evidence of Torpedo."

    _Liverpool Daily Post._

We hope it confessed its crime.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The village is in utter darkness these nights, and many of the
    lamp-posts are getting severe knocks, not speaking of the foot
    pedestrians."--_Ardrossan Herald._

Some of the foot pedestrians are said to have been less reticent about
the lamp-posts.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Would patriotic owner LEND INCUBATOR or Foster increase British
    production, or buy cheap? Every care; experienced; eggs waiting;
    ineligible; clergy ref."--_The Times._

It is a little cryptic; but we gather that, at any rate, the partial
soundness of these eggs will be guaranteed by the curate.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sentry (at Remount Camp)._ "Halt! Who goes there?"

_Weary Voice._ "One friend and two mules."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MIVINS'S NEW BOOKS.

Mr. Mivins begs to present

FOUR WONDERFUL WORKS

BY

Four astounding Authors.

       ***

PRINCE CHARMING.

By Egbert Gunn

(_Third large edition already exhausted_).

    "An incomparable achievement. The uniquest thing yet done by Mr.
    GUNN. He has eclipsed Balzac, wiped the floor with George Sand,
    while panting Tolstoi 'toils after him in vain.'"--_Daily
    Exhaust._

       ***

POTLAND FOR EVER!

By Roland Sennett.

    "The greatest literary portent of all time. Here the Black
    Country is painted in all its inspissated gloom by a
    master-hand--sardonic, salubrious, superb.... We approach this
    work on all-fours. Any other attitude on the part of a reviewer
    would be sheer blasphemy."

    _The Monthly Margarine._

       ***

THE UNPLUMBED ABYSS.

By Drax Homer.

    _First great Notice_: "By the side of Mr. Drax Homer, Edgar
    Allan Poe is a fumbler, and Gaboriau the veriest tiro. In these
    supremely arresting pages Mr. Drax Homer voices the cosmic
    mystery with unerring skill, and ranges over the whole gamut of
    the gruesome. He is the Napoleon of sensation, the Julius Cæsar
    of melodrama."--_Daily Idolater._

       ***

_The Book of the Day._

BRANDENBURG BABIES

By Guinevere Jaggers.

    "Of all the hundreds of English governesses privileged to enter
    the _penetralia_ of Potsdam, Miss Jaggers had the longest
    innings and writes with most authority. Her record teems with
    astounding happenings, appalling revelations and grotesque
    episodes.... There is nothing to touch it in the annals of
    candour. Pepys is not in the same street and Benvenuto Cellini
    not in the same parish. We recommend it to the perusal of the
    Premier--if he has the courage to tackle it."

    _The Oil and Vinegar Witness._

       *       *       *       *       *

Before the Hyde Election--

    "Mr. Davies maintains his optimism. He has reprinted one of his
    cartoons showing him chattering the party walls of 'Jacobson's
    Jellicoe,' with the big gun of efficiency."

    _Manchester Evening Chronicle._

But this attempt to drag the Navy into politics met with deserved
failure.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dwellers in the trenches are not the only fighters who know
    what it is to be up to the knees in seven feet of water."

    _Liverpool Daily Post._

We believe the Anakim were greatly troubled in this way.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "MATLOCK'S VETERAN SOLDIER HONOURED.

    154 Years in the Army."

    _High Peak News._

A veteran indeed.

       *       *       *       *       *

NURSERY RHYMES OF LONDON TOWN

IV.--Petticoat Lane.

  Up the Lane and down the Lane and all round about
  The Petticoats on washing-day are all hanging out;
  Some are made of linsey-woolsey, some are made of silk,
  Some of them are green as grass and some are white as milk;
  Frilled and flounced and quilted ones in Petticoat Lane,
  Some are worked in coloured nosegays, some of them are plain,
  Some are striped with red and blue as gaudy as can be,
  And one is sprigged with lavender, and that's the one for me.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir A. MOND said that the married men's grievance was that they
    might be called up before the tooth-combing process of which the
    right hon. gentleman had spoken had been carried out."--_The
    Times._

It sounds painful. Personally we intend to stick to the old-fashioned
brush.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Lloyd George, replying to Mr. Cowan, said the total salary
    received by Lloyd Kitchener was £6,250."

    _Portsmouth Evening News._

This is the first we have heard of this highly-remunerated official. We
hope it is not a case of nepotism.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

A literature of _Antarcticana_ is gradually growing up, and the last
volume, _With Scott: The Silver Lining_ (SMITH, ELDER), is a notable
addition to it. Let me say at once that I opened Mr. GRIFFITH TAYLOR'S
book with some trembling because I saw the difficulties in the way of
its success. In the first place I recalled the simple dignity with which
SCOTT wrote of his exploits, and I felt that to fall away from this high
standard would be to fail; secondly, anyone writing now of this
expedition must to a certain extent travel over ground already covered.
These are the main difficulties which Mr. TAYLOR had to fight against,
and he has overcome them. To a writer of his fluency and particular vein
of humour it could not have been an easy task to put a right restraint
upon his pen. The only criticism I have to pass on his style is that it
could quite comfortably have done without the cloud of notes of
exclamation in which it is enveloped. Apart from its great scientific
value the main interest of the book is found in the light that it casts
upon the characters of the author's companions. His observation is
always shrewd and always kindly; you are left to guess his dislikes from
his omissions. Mr. TAYLOR was himself in command, during SCOTT'S last
expedition, of two parties, and of the work done on these journeys he
writes with the modesty characteristic of men who speak of dangers and
adventures in which they have personally taken part. One opinion of his
I cannot refrain from quoting; it is that the tragedy of SCOTT'S
expedition was caused by Seaman EVANS'S illness. "I believe that, short
of abandonment, the party had no hope with a sick man on their hands."
No tale of heroism that the War has given us can obscure the noble
loyalty of this sacrifice. And to-day, when some of us have neither the
time nor the taste for lighter things, there should be a grateful
welcome for a book that deals with men whose courage and endurance
remain the imperishable possession of our race.

       *       *       *       *       *

Somewhere towards the end of _The Tragedy of an Indiscretion_ (LANE), we
arrive at the Court of Criminal Appeal, where, in the course of
unravelling the plot, one of the judges is moved to exclaim, "This is
the most hopelessly complicated story I ever had the pain of listening
to!" His lordship certainly has my sympathy. Personally speaking, the
first twenty pages of it nearly gave me a nervous breakdown, so wild and
whirling were the events into which it plunged. Let me start the thing
for you. _Ronald Warrington_, who was heir to the aged _Duke of
Glenstaffen_, eloped with _Mrs. Greville_, assuming for no very
understandable reason the name of his friend and secretary, _Essendine_.
So, the pair being established at an hotel, the supposed _Mr. E._ goes
to a station to buy an evening paper, is fallen upon by the real one,
and thrust into a train to attend the deathbed of his ducal relative.
_Essendine_ himself, entering the hotel to explain matters to the lady,
finds (1) that she is the wife who divorced him before marrying
_Greville_; (2) that she has just died of heart disease. Next, being of
a placidity almost inhuman, he decides to bury the corpse as that of his
wife, and not worry anyone with explanations. What he didn't know then,
or I either, was that another lady was at the moment gadding about
London in one of _Mrs. Greville's_ cast-off frocks, and pretending to be
that much-married female. And when in due course she is murdered, and
the strangely apathetic widower, _Mr. Greville_, who never set eyes upon
her, is arrested for the crime--well, you may begin to think that the
judge's remark was an understatement. What I should like to ask Mr. J.
W. BRODIE-INNES is, if this is his notion of an "indiscretion," what
would he have to say of a real social error?

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE MUSEUM.

[Illustration: _Soldier (on leave from the trenches visiting the sights
of London--before enlarged model of common flea)._ "Yes, that's it,
father! That's the kind I was tellin' you about. But it ain't much of a
specimen."]

       *       *       *       *       *

The name of the author of _Youth Unconquerable_ (HEINEMANN) is given on
the title-page as _Percy Ross_. But I would willingly take a small wager
on the probability that this name conceals a feminine identity. For one
thing, no mere man surely would attempt the task of depicting the sweet
girl graduate in her native lair, often as the converse has been done.
Certainly it is improbable that he would manage to convey such an
impression of actuality. For I am sure the life of an Oxford ladies'
college must be, for many, very much what it was for _Cherry Hawthorn_.
But I am afraid this is about all that I can honestly say in praise of
the story. _Cherry_ was a young woman with red hair (it is bright
vermilion in the ugly picture of her on the cover) and no fortune. Her
late father had made her the joint ward of two young men, one an Italian
prince, and one a semi-insane Welshman. _Cherry_ accepted this provision
with a promising placidity. She, and I, anticipated marriage with one or
other of the guardians. But that was before we had seen them. The
Italian turned out to be silly, while the Welshman recalled the gloomier
imaginings of the BRONTËS, and in the event came by an appropriately
violent end. However there was a third suitor, a Scotch Duke, so all was
well. Perhaps the tale may have more success with others than with me.
But I am bound to warn you that the style of it is a wild and wonderful
thing. One is, for example, unprepared to find a gentleman's hat and
stick referred to as "his extra-mural accoutrements." And this is no
rare example. The whole thing, in fact, seems more suitable to a very
popular magazine than to the dignity of that exclusive little windmill
that forms the HEINEMANN hall-mark.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Precisionists.

    "TRICYCLE for Sale cheap, 3 wheels."--_Suburban Paper._





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