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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 19, 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, January 19, 1916" ***

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VOL. 150, JANUARY 19, 1916***


VOL. 150

JANUARY 19, 1916.


In a description of Lord KITCHENER'S home at Broome Park we read that on
the way there one passes a kind of crater known by the rustics as "Old
England's Hole." And a little farther on you come to the man who got Old
England out of it.


A German professor advocates the appointment of State matrimonial
agents. Elderly and experienced ladies and gentlemen should be employed
to bring young people together, and "unostentatiously to give them
practical counsel, conveying their remarks tactfully, and in such a way
as not to awaken the spirit of contradiction found in youthful minds;"
paying due regard, moreover, to theories of eugenics and heredity. The
Winged Boy disguised as an antique German professor makes an attractive


Some anxiety was caused in America by the news that the FORD Peace party
was to meet in the Zoo at the Hague. But they have all emerged safely.


The Governor of South Carolina, who was one of the members of this
heroic mission, left the Hague in a great hurry and returned to America
before the rest of the delegates. Much curiosity is expressed as to what
the Governor of North Carolina will have to say to him on this occasion.


In spite of the Government's official discouragement of any further rise
in wages a demand for an increase of no less than 33-1/3 per cent, has
been made by the "knockers-up" in the Manchester district. For going
round in the chill hours of the morning and wakening the workers, these
blood-suckers (chiefly old men and cripples) receive at present the
princely remuneration of threepence per head per week; and they have now
the effrontery to ask for fourpence.


The German Government has decided to raise the charge for telegrams.
WOLFF'S Bureau has instructed its correspondents that in order to meet
this new impost the percentage of truth in its despatches must be still
further diminished.


Before the opening of the Luxemburg Parliament two members of the
Opposition threw the chairs belonging to Ministers out of the window. It
is feared that something of the kind may be attempted at Westminster,
since several Members have been observed to cast longing eyes upon the
Treasury Bench.


With a view to increasing the food-supply the German Government have
extended the time for shooting hares from January 16th to February 1st,
and for pheasants from February 1st to March 1st. The dachshund season,
we understand, will be continued for the duration of the War.


Count KOSPOTH, a member of the Prussian Upper House, in the course of an
energetic plea for economy, remarks that "at one's country-seat one can
very well do without a motor-car, and even with two to four horses in
stables instead of six or eight." This was read with great satisfaction
by the Berlin _Hausfrau_ on a meatless day when the bread-card was


The House of Commons was quite relieved when Sir GEORGE REID took his
seat. There had been some fears that he would take two.


A young woman who mistook Vine-street police station for a tavern, and
was fined ten shillings for drunkenness, is reported to have expressed
the opinion that there is room for improvement in the nomenclature of
our public edifices.


"My grave doubt," writes a Conscientious Objector regarding his fellows,
"is whether there is any reasonable chance that most of them will be
able to convince a tribunal that their conscientious objection is real."
It may comfort him to know that his doubt is very widely shared.


"DEAR MR. PUNCH," writes a soldier at the Front who has been reading the
Parliamentary reports,--"Do you think an officer out here who developed
'conscientious objections' might get a week's leave?"


In the course of a debate in the Reichstag on the German Press Bureau it
was revealed that the Censor had struck out quotations from GOETHE as
being dangerous to the State. Our man who tinkered with KIPLING is
wonderfully bucked by this intelligence.


Bread is the staff of life, and, in the view of certain officers in the
trenches, whose opinions we cannot of course guarantee, the life of the
Staff is one long loaf.


Extracted from the report of an enthusiastic company commander after a
brisk action with some tribesmen on the Indian Frontier: "The men were
behaving exactly as if on ceremonial parade. They laughed and talked the
whole time...." We seem to recognise that parade.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from letter from an Unconscientious Slacker.

[Illustration: "DEAR LORD KITCHENER,--I am not a good walker, which
prevents my joining the Infantry. As I have no experience of horses, the
Cavalry is also out of the question. The Artillery I don't care for on
account of the noise, and flying makes me giddy. The A.S.C. does not
appeal to me, and the R.A.M.C. would entail some very unpleasant duties.

"So you had better not worry about me. Perhaps when the fine weather
comes I may think about the Navy. I am rather keen on boating...."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We have from the first declared that should the voluntary
    system fail to supply the men needed to win the war and who
    could be spared from civil war we would accept and support it."

    _Manchester Guardian._

Unfortunately, to judge by the proceedings at the Labour Conference, the
claims of civil war are very heavy.

       *       *       *       *       *

This paragraph from "Town Topics" in _The Liverpool Echo_--

    "We know that many of our men--especially the single ones,
    judging by the Derby figures--are sheltering behind skirts"--

helps to explain this one:--

    "Several lady tram-conductors in the city declare they are
    denied the common courtesies far more by women passengers of the
    female gender than by men."

The insistence upon the sex of the uncivil females is necessary to
distinguish them from the male civilians.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "FURNISHED house (small) wanted in Edinburgh; with ballroom, h.
    & c."--_Scotsman._

Hot for the chaperons and cold for the dancers.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Thirty-nine Members voted against the Second Reading of the
Military Service Bill.]

               You that in civilian lobbies,
                    While the battle-thunder rolls,
               Hug your little party hobbies,
                  So to save your little souls,
Treating England's deadly peril like a topic for the polls;

               Half of you--the record's written--
                  Lately strode to Downing Street
               And for love of Little Britain
                  Wallowed at the PREMIER's feet,
Urging him to check the wanton waste of our superfluous Fleet.

               Had your passionate prayer been granted
                  And the KAISER got his way,
               Teuton crushers might be planted
                  On our hollow tums to-day,
And a grateful foe be asking what you want for traitors' pay.

               Disappointed with the Navy,
                  You in turn were keen about
               Putting Thomas in the gravy,
                  Leaving Thomas up the spout,
Lest if adequately aided he should wipe the strafers out.

               Well, our memories may be rotten,
                  Yet they'll stick to you all right;
               Not so soon shall be forgotten
                  Those whose hearts were fixed more tight
On the salvage of a fetish than the winning of the fight.

               When the Bosches bite the gutter
                  And we let our tongues go loose,
               Franker words I hope to utter
                  In the way of free abuse,
But at present I am badly hampered by the party truce.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


DEAR MR. PUNCH,--I know you must be longing to have my analysis of the
Derby figures. I hasten to comply, for I may say that I have never,
since the War began, had finer scope for my individual talents. Never
have I had--not even in the great Copper Controversy--a bunch of figures
of which it may more truly be said that they are not what they seem,
that there is more in them than meets the eye, and that they contain
wheels within wheels. And first of all, Sir, I hope you will allow me to
explain where I am in this matter; everybody's doing it; and you will
then see at once the moral grandeur of my attitude. I am a convinced
believer in the Voluntary System, always have been--on principle. But I
am willing to sacrifice even that for victory. If it can be shown that
by compulsion _one single man_ can be added to our forces who would not
have volunteered (even if he had been scientifically bullied), I will be
willing to adopt conscription. But, Sir, it cannot be shown.

The crux of the situation admittedly lies with the figures of the Single
Men. (In case of misapprehension I should make it clear that when I
spoke above of "one single man" I did not mean one unmarried man, but
one sole man). We have to begin our attack upon this figure of 651,160
unstarred single men unaccounted for. It seems a good many. But wait a
bit. We shall now proceed to concentrate a powerful succession of
deductions. It only needs a fearless and patriotic ingenuity.

Let us not disregard obvious facts. From this number
we must subtract--

(1) Ministers of religion   5 per cent.
(2) Mercantile Marine       5 "
(3) Medically unfit        40 "
(4) Criminals               1-3/4 "
(5) Badged                 10 "
(6) Indispensables         10 "

Total 71-3/4 per cent. You see we are already getting on. But before
going any further we had better consolidate the ground already won by
making certain additions, in case any one man has been counted twice.
These are--

(1) Ministers of religion who are also medically unfit.
(2) Criminals in the mercantile marine.
(3) Ministers of religion in the mercantile marine.
(4) Criminals who are medically unfit.
(5) Indispensable criminals.
(6) Badged criminal ministers of religion.

These categories taken together may be put at 7-1/4 per cent. of our
71-3/4 per cent., and must be deducted from the deductions. There are
also the blind, halt and maimed, deaf, dumb and inebriate, but I am
willing to throw all of them in so as to be on the safe side.

So far we have to deduct, then, some 66-1/2 per cent. from our total. We
must do better than that if we are to get on the right side of
negligibility. So now we come to examine the canvass. A good many men
were not canvassed, or at least misunderstood the canvasser. I know of
one man in my constituency (unstarred, unbadged, fit, single and of army
age) who thought the fellow had come to collect for Foreign Missions, to
which he has a conscientious objection.

Along with these I propose to deduct the great class of what I shall
call the Self-centred. These are they who not only were never canvassed,
but didn't even so much as hear about it, who had probably given up
newspapers as a war economy and were living quiet virtuous lives in
out-of-the-way places. Add to them removals and conscientious objectors
(_less_ allowance for conscientious removals) and we have a total not
short of 27-1/2 per cent.

Then again, as the supply of recruits becomes exhausted, it must always
be remembered that we are dealing with a residuum. That is to say, those
that remain are always growing more conscientious, more criminal, more
unfit, more mercantile and so on. However, I count nothing for that, for
I haven't much of my total left to dispose of, and I have still to deal
with spoiled cards.

Everyone who has assisted at a contested election knows very well that
many mistakes occur. I propose to allow 3 per cent. for illegible cards
which prevented the canvasser from tracking his prey, 4 per cent. for
those who failed to find the recruiting office owing to misdirection,
but will be sure to find it before long, and 1/2 per cent. for sundries,
such as men who were temporarily confined to the house.

Our final result is thoroughly satisfactory, and one that must give
Compulsionists some food for thought, for however much they may wish to
introduce the principle they cannot desire to reduce our forces in the
field in the middle of a great war. In a word, we must deduct 101-1/2
per cent. from 651,160. That gives us an adverse balance of 9,767. This
means that, if the present Bill is to go through and compulsion is
definitely adopted, nearly half a division of our present army must be
disbanded forthwith. It is just as well that we should see clearly what
we are heading for.

It has given me great pleasure to have the opportunity of clearing up
this vexed question.

I am,  Yours as usual,


       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: "Why do we torpedo passenger ships? Because we are being
starved by the infamous English."]


[Illustration: "Who says we are in distress? Look what our splendid
organisation is doing!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Nurse_ (_of private hospital_). "A message has just come
in to ask if the hospital will make a little less noise, as the lady
next door has a touch of headache."]

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Even the food of the men was wholesome and
    abundant."--_Report_ of a German Correspondent who visited the
    High Canal Fleet.]

  Sing ho! for the Fleet in the Kiel Canal.
  Where every man is the KAISER's pal,
    And lives upon beer and bread;
  And they all have food, so help them BILL!
  For every officer gets his fill
    And even the men are fed.

  His beard as long as his hair is short,
  VON TIRPITZ says with a mighty snort,
    "We've money and men and boats;
  We're here to-day and we're here to-morrow;
  Pass up the beer and drink death to sorrow;
    Why, even our Navy floats!

  "Behind the locks of our snug retreat
  We hurl defiance at JELLICOE'S Fleet
    From Rosyth down to Dover!
  We look across at the wet, wet sea
  And we drink our beer till even we
    Are almost half-seas over!

  "Our men can eat, and they even drink;
  They walk and talk, and they almost think;
    They can turn to the left and right;
  And when we strike a blow in the back,
  Or sink a liner or fishing-smack,
    By Odin, they even fight!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Two headlines that appeared side by side in the same issue of an Evening



       *       *       *       *       *

    "'Most of the world's real literature was written by poor
    authors in their garrets.'

    'Quite so. Homer, for example, wrote in the Attic.'"--_Evening

Did he now? And we were always taught that he wrote (or, rather, sang)
in the Ionic.

       *       *       *       *       *

From an article on the Clyde disputes:--

    "Contrary to the instructions of the Munitions Ministry,
    peace-prices are sometimes reduced, with resulting friction."

    _Daily News._

We are glad to learn that the Scotch workmen do not belong to the
peace-at-any-price brigade.

       *       *       *       *       *


Every January so long as I can remember it has been difficult; but this
year more so than ever. I cannot say why, except that last year was
peculiarly eventful and momentous.

The odd thing is that one begins so well. For the first day, at any
rate, one can do it quite easily; but it is after then that one has to
be vigilant; and however vigilant one is there are off-guard moments
when the fatal slip occurs.

Nor will any mechanical device assist you, for nothing can successfully
defeat the wandering of the mind. Continuous concentration is an
impossibility; there is nothing for it but habit--a new habit that shall
be as strong as the old--or the total cessation of all correspondence
and (O that 'twere possible!) all making out of cheques.

Still conquest comes sooner or later, and I have reached that point in
my own struggle. I have at last finally got over the tendency to write

       *       *       *       *       *

    "As a result of the Labour Conference at Westminster yesterday,
    a resolution was sunk on Lake Tanganyika."--_Western Daily

The best place for it.

       *       *       *       *       *


A friend of mine has started as manager of his first theatre these
holidays. It may seem to you an unpropitious moment for such a
beginning, but in many ways this special theatre is exceptionally well
guaranteed against failure. The proprietor was kind enough to invite my
presence at his opening performance. As a matter of fact I had myself
put up the money for it.

Naturally I was anxious for the thing to be a success. The theatre
stands on what you could truthfully call a commanding situation at one
end of the schoolroom table. It is an elegant renaissance edifice of
wood and cardboard, with a seating accommodation only limited by the
dimensions of the schoolroom itself, and varying with the age of the
audience. The lighting effects are provided in theory by a row of oil
foot-lamps, so powerful as to be certain, if kindled, to consume the
entire building; in practice, therefore, by a number of candle-ends,
stuck in the wings on their own grease. These not only furnish
illumination, but, when extinguished (as they constantly are by falling
scenery) produce a penetrating aroma which is specially dear to the
managerial nostrils.

The manager, to whom I have already had the pleasure of introducing you,
is Peter. I have been impatiently waiting for the moment of Peter's
first theatre, these nine years. Like marbles or _Treasure Island_, it
is at once a landmark and a milestone in the present-giving career of an
uncle. So I had devoted some considerable care to its selection.

In one respect Peter's theatre reminds me of the old Court in the days
of the VEDRENNE-BARKER repertory. You recall how one used to see the
same people at every performance, a permanent nucleus of spectators that
never varied? The difference is that Peter's permanent nucleus are
neither so individually agreeable nor in any true sense enthusiasts of
the drama. Indeed, being painted on the proscenium, with their backs to
the stage, the effect they produce is one of studied indifference. Nay
more, a horrible suspicion about them refused to be banished from my
thoughts; it was based partly upon the costumes of the ladies, partly on
the undeniably Teutonic suggestion in the gentlemen's uniforms. However,
I said nothing about this to Peter.

Despite the presence of these unpleasing persons, the opening
performance must be pronounced a real success. Perhaps more as a
spectacle than anything else. Scenically the show was a triumph; the
memory of the Forest Glade especially will remain with me for weeks by
reason of the stiff neck I got from contorting myself under Peter's
guidance to the proper angle for its appreciation. But histrionically it
must be confessed that things dragged a little. Perhaps this was due to
a certain severity, not to say baldness, in the dialogue as spoken. Not
having read the script, I have a feeling that it might be unfair to
judge the unknown author by the lines as rendered by Peter, who was
often pre-occupied with other anxieties. As, for example, the scene in
the Baronial Castle between its noble but unscrupulous proprietor and a
character introduced by Peter with the simple notice: "This is a
murderer coming on now."

_Baron._ Oh, are you a murderer?

_Murderer._ Yes.

_Bar._ Oh, well, you've got to murder the Princess.

_Murd._ All right.

_Bar._ That's all of that scene.

Crisp, of course, and to the point; but I feel sure that there must have
been more in the interview as originally written.

Perhaps, again, the cast was to blame for whatever may have been
disappointing in the performance. Individually they were a fine company,
passionate and wiry of gesture, and full of energy. Indeed their chief
fault sprang from an incapacity to remain motionless in repose. This led
to a notable lack of balance. However sensational it may be for the exit
of every character to bring down the house, its effect is unfortunately
to retard the action of the piece.

Personally I consider that the women were the worst offenders. Take the
heroine, for example. Lovely she may have been, though in a style more
appreciated by the late GEORGE CRUIKSHANK than by myself; but looks are
not everything. Art simply didn't exist for her. Revue might have been
her real line; or, better still, a strong-woman turn on the Halls. There
was the episode, for instance, where, having to prostrate herself before
the Baron, she insisted upon a backward exit (with the usual result) and
then made an acrobatic re-entrance on her knees.

Tolerant as he was, even Peter began at last to grow impatient at the
vagaries of his company. Finally, when the Executioner (a mere walker-on
of no importance whatever) had twice brought ridicule upon the ultimate
solemnities of the law by his introduction of comic dives off the
scaffold, the manager rang down the curtain. Not before it was time.

"They're lovely to look at," he observed, surveying the supine cast,
"but awfully difficult to do anything with."

"Peter," I answered gratefully, "as an estimate of the theatrical
profession your last remark could hardly be improved upon."

Of course he didn't understand; but, being dramatist as well as uncle, I
enjoyed saying it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Nervous Country Gentleman_ (_as taxi just misses an
island_). "Do drive carefully, please. I'm not accustomed to taxis."

_Driver_ "That's funny! I ain't used to 'em, neither. As a matter o'
fact I've only taken this on for a bet."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "February 3.--A total eclipse of the sun, partly visible at
    Greenwich as a partial eclipse. Eclipse begins to be visible at
    Greenwich at 4.31 P. M.; ends after the sun has set."

    "February 3.--A partial eclipse of the moon, partly visible at
    Greenwich. Begins at 4.31 P. M."--_Churchman's Almanack._

This double obscuration will make navigation very difficult for

       *       *       *       *       *


My companion had the habit of muttering to himself and I was relieved
when he leant over and spoke to me. He was a dry little man of middle
age, with a nervous kindly face and eyes that twinkled with the
voluntary spirit. I had seen him on summer evenings clipping his hedge
and pruning his roses, for we lived nearly opposite to each other.
Suddenly he emerged from his newspaper and said in a quick determined
way, "What this country wants, Sir, is more buttonholes. The best suits
have only two buttonholes; that is to say, only two that are
superfluous, the rest are all needed by buttons. It's a scandal, Sir!"

"Isn't there one at the bottom of the waistcoat?" I asked.

"Quite useless," he said with much energy, though smiling very kindly.
"Quite useless for the purpose. The matter," he added, "would not be so
urgent if we had more sleeves. Worse even than the dearth of buttonholes
is the lack of eligible sleeves. In peace time two sleeves may have been
sufficient; to-day ... Well, you can sympathise." He looked (still
smiling) at the khaki armlet that bound my arm and the Special
Constable's badge that nestled in my overcoat.

He had the shy decisiveness of a man who seldom spoke his mind. If
necessary I would have wrested his name from him and pretended a
relationship with his wife. But he needed no encouragement.

"At the beginning, when one was just a special constable, it didn't
matter so much. I wore my badge and my armlet when I was on duty and
sometimes when I was not. Even when I joined our Volunteer Corps I was
not seriously embarrassed. After all, one could alternate the badges and
the armlets and, at a pinch, wear them all together. Then I became an
unskilled munition worker, which meant three badges and two armlets. At
first I wore two on my overcoat and three inside. Then I would give some
of them a rest, generally to find that I was wearing the wrong ones on
the wrong occasions. Altogether it was very confusing."

"So far," I said with some sympathy, "I can follow you. I am myself an
unskilled War Office clerk; but you have forgotten Lord DERBY'S armlet,
which at the moment has the place of honour with me."

"No," he said, "I have that too. And I have another badge. I earned it
on New Year's Day."

He took off his spectacles and rubbed them mechanically. It gave him a
very detached appearance and he spoke gently, without malice.

"I have an aunt," he said, "by self-election, a most worthy woman, who
was my mother's cousin. It came to her ears that I had become a
teetotaler for the duration of the war. It appears that there is a badge
for temporary teetotalers. She brought me one. She begged me with tears
in her eyes to wear it. I remonstrated. I pointed out that if every
public and private virtue is to be symbolised in this fashion, people
with few vices and a willing heart would soon be perpetually in

"And what happened?" I asked.

"I wavered for a time and then happily I found a way out. A few days ago
it occurred to me that there must be other means, as yet untried, of
advertising one's patriotism. I saw a notice in a restaurant I sometimes
go to, 'No Germans or Austrians Employed Here.' 'Happy proprietor,' I
said, 'who can so trumpet his honesty without increasing either his
badges or his armlets!' The fact is that it set me thinking. Eventually
I hit on a plan. It was very disappointing to my aunt, but it answers

"May I ask?" I said; "it might be useful."

"Oh, certainly, certainly. We have bought a little enamelled plate and
had it fixed to our gate. You may have noticed it. It has the words, 'No

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Adoring Damsel._ "And you _will_ wear it always, _won't_

_Popular young Sub._ "Thanks awfully. It's frightfully decent of you,
and all that, but--er--you see, there's a lot of other little chaps
waitin' to do their bit; I'm afraid he'll have to take his turn with the
rest." ]

       *       *       *       *       *


MY DEAR CHARLES,--You didn't catch sight of any mention of me in
despatches, did you? I have been rather too busy myself to read the list
properly, but I did just have time to cast a casual eye over the "H's,"
and I didn't notice the name of "Henry" standing out in heavy-leaded
capitals. It must be an inadvertence, of course. They must have said
something about me, as, for instance: "Especially to be remarked is the
noble altruism of Lieut. Henry, who on more than one march has been
observed to take his pack, containing all his worldly goods, off his
back and to hand it without ostentation to some lucky driver of a
limber, saying, 'Take it, my lad; your need is greater than mine.'" Or
again, referring to my later career: "The pen is mightier than the
sword, but Lieut. Henry's indelible pencil, when engaged on official
correspondence, is mightier than both." Or at least, at the very
beginning of things, I'm quite sure the Mentioner devoted a passing
phrase to me: "By the way, I have just received a consignment described
on the Movement Order as 'Officer, one, Henry, Lieut.' Speaking frankly
as between ourselves, what is it exactly? In any case I would gladly
exchange for a dozen tins of bully beef."

Talking of despatches, I see that our old friend the Regimental
Anarchist has not escaped notice. I never thought he would, for a less
unnoticeable man I don't remember meeting. He is one of those big untidy
fellows, very nice for purposes of war and all that, whom not the
cleverest adjutant could manage to conceal on a ceremonial parade. His
service equipment alone was notorious in the division. While we were
still in England he and I used to share a billet. Every night the last
thing I saw before going to sleep was the Anarchist trying on a new
piece of personal furniture. He had at least a hundred aunts, and each
of them had at least a hundred bright ideas; besides which few days went
by but he paid a generous visit to the military outfitter. Never in my
life shall I forget the sight of him during our last moments at home.
While others were stuffing into themselves the last good meal they
expected to taste for three years or the duration, he was putting on
patent waterproof after patent waterproof. He stepped forth at last,
sweating at every pore, and it wasn't raining at the time and didn't
look like raining till next winter. The 38-lb. limit prevented his
putting more than four coats into his valise, and his method of packing
didn't economise space. If there had been any limit, however generous,
to the amount of room an officer may occupy in the column of route we'd
have had to go abroad without our Anarchist, and a much quieter and more
respectable life we'd have had that way.

Even in our earliest days in B.E.F., when we were well behind the firing
line, he started playing with fire. Thinking that we shared his low
tastes he would gather us round him and lecture us on the black
arts.--"This little fellow," he would say, fetching an infernal machine
out of his pocket--"this little fellow is as safe as houses provided he
has no detonator in his little head. But we will just make sure." A
flutter of excitement would pass round the audience as he started
unscrewing the top to make sure. "Of course," he'd continue, finding the
screw a bit stiff and getting absorbed in his toy--"of course, if there
_should_ happen to be a detonator inside, you have only to tickle it and
almost anything may happen." While he'd be struggling with the screw,
the front row of the audience would be shifting its ground to give the
back rows a better view. "You can't be too careful," he'd say, passing
it lightly from one hand to the other in order to search for his
well-known clasp-knife, "for if you're not careful," he'd explain,
tucking the bomb under his arm so as to have both hands free to open the
knife--"if you're not careful," he'd say, suddenly letting go the knife
in order to catch the bomb as it slid from his precarious hold--"if
you're not very careful" (getting to real business with the murderous
blade), "very--very--careful...." But none of us were ever near enough
by that time to hear what would happen if we weren't (or even if he

And then those strange nights in the trenches, when he and I used to be
on duty together! I would be waiting in our luxurious, brightly-lit
gin-palace of a dug-out for him to join me at our midnight lunch. He'd
come in at last, clad in his fleece lining, the only survivor of his
extensive collection of overcoats, its absence of collar giving him a
peculiarly clerical look. He'd sit down to his cocoa, but hardly be
started on the day before yesterday's newspaper (just arrived with the
rations) before the private bombardment would begin. I would spring to
attention; he would go on reading. "Hush!" I'd say. (Why "Hush!" I don't
know.) "What's all that for?" "Me," he'd say, turning to the personal
column. And then I'd know that, seizing the opportunity of being
unobserved, he'd been out for nocturnal stroll with a handful of bombs,
seeking a little innocent pleasure. The gentlemen opposite, not being
cricketers themselves or knowing anything about the slow bowler, had, as
usual, mistaken him for a trench mortar and were making a belated reply.

Only his servant accompanied him on these jaunts. He was a nice quiet
villain, whose lust for adventure had, I always imagine, been long ago
satisfied by a dozen or so gentle burglaries in his civilian past. He
didn't want to kill people; his job in life was to keep his master alive
and well fed. So when the latter went out bombing he thought he might as
well go out with him, and occupy himself picking turnips for to-morrow's

When the Anarchist wasn't distributing bombs he was collecting bullets.
Being untidy by nature, he didn't particularly care where they hit him,
provided they didn't damage his pipe. That was all he cared about, his
lyddite and his tobacco. I often wonder how it was he didn't get the two
habits of his life mixed up--fill a pipe with H.E., light it and finish
off that way. But he didn't; he has just gone on collecting lead,
letting it accumulate about his person until it got too heavy to be
convenient and then resorting to the nearest hospital to have it
removed. I hear he's there now, the result, I gather, of a bit of a
show. It was his servant who was walking about that unhealthy field at
that imprudent time and found him. One would like to paint a romantic
picture of the meeting, but I doubt if there was much romance about it.
I am quite sure all the Anarchist cared about was his tobacco pouch and
all the servant was interested in was the further collection of
vegetables, just in case.

I can see our Anarchist, lying in his little white bed in the hospital,
surrounded by his sevenpenny racing novels (with or without covers), his
tins of navy-cut (some empty, some full), his fleece lining, his
compass, his socks, his field-glasses, his ties, his revolver and his
last month's letters (some opened, some not), all jumbled happily
together, with his ragged old shaving-brush reigning proudly in the
midst. I doubt if he knows he's been "mentioned," for one could never
get him to take interest in any news which wasn't "sporting"; possibly
he is made suspicious by the uncomfortable presence of unopened
telegrams in all corners of his bed. But one thing I do hope, and that
is that this bed is, at any rate, not strewn, inside and out, with
unexploded hand-grenades.

Yours ever, HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: "What do you think of the paper this morning, Sir?"]

[Illustration: "Quite time we had compulsion, eh?"]

[Illustration: "No good shutting our eyes to facts."]

[Illustration: "What we want is more energy."]

[Illustration: "Of course mistakes will happen"--]

[Illustration: "And it's no good pouring cold water on enthusiasm."]

[Illustration: "I'm hoping for that 'forward push' in the Spring."]

[Illustration: "Well, it will be a great relief when it's all over."]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


_From Jim Figgis, Whitty Bridge, to George Roberts, South Farm,

_Dec. 5th._ 1915.

DEAR GEORGE,--I hear the remount officer is coming round your part. I
have a compact little bay horse, just the sort for the Army. We must all
do our bit now, so here's our chance. The Vet says the horse has
laminitis in his off fore foot, but it's all my eye. Anyhow he's the
useful sort they require for the Army. They wouldn't look at me if I
offered him, but you can get round them. Give me fifty quid and I'll
send him over.

Your friend, J. FIGGIS.

_From George Roberts to Jim Figgis.

Dec. 7th,_ 1915.

DEAR JIM,--Yours to hand. No one can say that you're not a good patriot,
and I won't be No. 2. But fifty quid for that little horse--not me. Say
thirty and he's mine, sound or unsound.

Yours, G. ROBERTS.

_George Roberts to the Hon. Mordaunt Fopstone, White Lion Hotel,

_Dec. 10th,_ 1915.

DEAR SIR,--Hearing you are looking out for horses for the Army I write
to say I have one or two which I shall be pleased to place at your
disposal and at a very reasonable price, as in these times we must all
give up something for the country. I shall be pleased to see you at any
time convenient, except Tuesday, when I have to be at our local
Agricultural Show.

Yours to command,


_From the Hon. Mordaunt Fopstone to George Roberts._

_Dec. 11th,_ 1915.

DEAR SIR,--Thank you for your letter. It is very satisfactory to find
local people of your position anxious to help. I will call at your farm
on Friday next and see the horses you refer to. With thanks,

Yours truly, M. FOPSTONE.

P.S.--I have been warned against a man named Figgis. Do you know him?

_From George Roberts to the Hon. Mordaunt Fopstone._

_Dec. 13th,_ 1915.

DEAR SIR,--Friday will suit me very well for your call, at any time you
please. You are quite right to avoid Figgis; he is one of the small
horse-dealing class who are a discredit to our country districts. Any
further information is at your service.

Yours to command, G. ROBERTS.

_From the Hon. Mordaunt Fopstone to George Roberts._

_Dec. 21st_, 1915.

DEAR MR. ROBERTS,--I have now pleasure in enclosing cheque for £65 for
bay horse. As stated to you when I called at South Farm, I was not in a
position to go beyond £60 without further authorisation; this I have now
obtained. Thanking you for the patriotic spirit you have shown in this
little business,

Yours truly, M. FOPSTONE.

_From the Adjutant, Royal Beetshire Hussars, Tickful Camp, to Messrs.
Davison Bros., The Mart, Southtown._

_Jan. 1st,_ 1916.

Please enter bay gelding, aged, sent herewith, in your next sale without
reserve, as he is not sound and of no use to Army.

_Memo. from Davison Bros. to Adjutant._

_Jan. 17th_, 1916.

DEAR SIR,--Herewith please find cheque £5 4s. 3d. for bay gelding, being
amount realised for same, less our commission and expenses.

Yours faithfully, DAVISON BROS.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Times_ heads an article, "Unity in the Air." It deals, however,
with the new Anglo-French Aviation Conference and has nothing to do with
the latest _Peter Pan_.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


(Extracted from the Diary of Toby, M.P.)

[Illustration: _The Speaker_ (_lapsing for the first time from
Parliamentary etiquette at the sight of Sir GEORGE REID ready to take
his seat in the House_). "_Advance, Australia_!"]

_House of Commons, Monday, January 10th_.--In spite of sharp rebuke
administered by SPEAKER last week the PERTINACIOUS PRINGLE to the fore
again--to be precise, to the _Forward_. This the name of weekly paper
that is published in Clyde district, and has of late emerged from
obscurity by "deliberately inciting workers," as LLOYD GEORGE said, "not
to carry out Act of Parliament passed in order to promote the output of
munitions." On motion for adjournment PRINGLE perceived opportunity of
attacking MINISTER OF MUNITIONS. Accused him of suppressing the sheet
because it had reported proceedings at meetings attended by him in
Glasgow, at which his speech was interrupted by noisy minority. This
course of procedure imitated by PRINGLE when LLOYD GEORGE, replying,
quoted passages in the paper making violent attack on the KING and
systematic attempts to stem flood of recruiting.

"These things," said the MINISTER, in passage loudly cheered, "meant
life or death to our men in the field. They are not suitable matters for
Parliamentary sport. We are dealing in tragedies. I am doing my best to
save the men at the Front. I am entitled to be helped, not to be

OUTHWAITE, coming to assistance of PRINGLE, otherwise prangling all
forlorn, jumped upon by Captain CAMPBELL.

"If I had the Hon. Member in my battalion at the Front," he said, "he
would be strung up by the thumbs before he had been there half-an-hour."

This scarcely Parliamentary; but it passed the Chair, leaving the
gallant Captain, who modestly wears well-won ribbon of D.S.O., time to
adjure the House to "get on with the War."

_Business done._--In House barely half full Motion carried calling upon
Government to enter into consultation with the Overseas Dominions in
order to bring economic strength of Empire into co-operation with our
Allies in a policy directed against the enemy.

_Tuesday._--Said with truth that a speech in the House of Commons,
however forcible and eloquent, rarely influences a vote. Some orators,
however, have gift of stirring the soul to emotions that carry a man to
actions beyond range of conventionality. Such an one is the Right Hon.
THOMAS LOUGH, commonly and affectionately known through several
Parliaments as "Tommy." One of small faction of Liberals who have not
withdrawn opposition to Military Service Bill. Declaiming against it
just now on motion for Second Reading, he described it as a sham.

"It is not true," he said, "that young unmarried men have held back. On
the contrary they have come forward nobly and in great numbers."

Vindication of a maligned class so affected somebody seated in the
Strangers' Gallery that he loudly clapped his hands. This a decided
breach of order. The Assyrians (in form of Gallery attendants) came down
upon him like a wolf on the fold. Ordered him to withdraw. He explained
that he was so entirely at one with argument of the Hon. Member for West
Islington that he preferred to remain to listen to continuance of his
speech. Assyrians insistent on his immediate departure. Martial spirit
of young unmarried man roused. Refused to budge. Whereupon the
Assyrians, lifting him out of the seat, carried him forth _vi et
armis_--free translation, by legs and arms.

From his seat below the Gangway Mr. FLAVIN watched procedure with
wistful eyes. Remembered how towards break of day dawning on an
all-night sitting held towards the close of last century he also was
carried forth shoulder high, not by officers of the House in nice white
shirt fronts, with glittering badges hung round their necks, but by the
common or street policeman helmeted and belted. As he journeyed he sang,
"God save Ireland," his compatriots, more or less attuned, joining in
the chorus.

Recognition of historical incident sharply marks contrast in attitude of
Irish Members then and now. Still fighting for Home Rule they stopped
short of no outrage upon order, systematically and successfully
obstructing public business. Military Service Bill offers enticing
opportunities for exercise of old tactics. They might, if they pleased,
keep House sitting for weeks fighting Bill in Committee line by line,
word by word, as was their custom of an afternoon, and half-way through
the night, in days of old. Other times other manners. Interposing early
in debate JOHN REDMOND announced that his party, having made their
protest against Bill in Division Lobby on First Reading, would withdraw
from further opposition.

_Business done_--Second Reading of Military Service Bill moved.

_Wednesday._--Sir GEORGE REID, having completed term of service as High
Commissioner of Australia, took his seat as Member for St. George's,
Hanover Square. Carefully dismounting at Bar from his native steed he
was introduced by BONAR LAW, Unionist Colonial Secretary, and HARCOURT,
Colonial Secretary in late Liberal Government. This concatenation of
circumstance, testifying to universal esteem and exceptional personal
popularity, unique in Parliamentary records.

New-comer will serve in double capacity. Nominally Member for St.
George's, he will also be Member for Australia, an innovation that will
probably have wider scope and formal recognition when the Overseas
Dominions have completed their splendid work of helping the Mother
Country to bring the War to triumphant conclusion.

GEORGE REID'S career on a new stage will be watched with keen interest
in his two antipodal homes. Since, six years ago, he came to London, he
has acquired the reputation of being one of the best after-dinner
speakers of the day. How will the qualities that ensure success in that
direction serve him at Westminster? MACAULAY truly said, "The House of
Commons is the most peculiar audience in the world. A place in which I
would not promise success to any man."

The MEMBER FOR SARK puts his money (or such portion as is left after
paying War taxes) on the Member for St. George's, Hanover

Debate on Second Reading of Military Service Bill resumed. Best thing
said during two days' talk was an incidental remark of BIRRELL'S.
Relating history of Bill in Cabinet he said he had felt it his duty to
say something about Ireland.

"What I said," he added, "is of course known only to those of my
colleagues who were sitting round the table and to such representatives
of the London Press as were sitting underneath it."

This hint explains mystery clouding the fact that whilst the secrets of
Cabinet Councils are held to be inviolable there are morning papers able
habitually to give detailed information of what passes behind the locked
and barred doors.

_Business done._--Second Reading of Military Service Bill carried by 431
votes against 39.

_Thursday._--After advancing three minor Government Bills a stage, House
adjourned at 5.30.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sailor (who has been reprimanded by young officer for
not saluting him)._ "Beg pardon, Sir; but you Tommies are all so much
alike." ]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Guest_ (_who has been asked to a theatre dinner-party_).
"I say, I thought--"

_Host._ "Oh, don't bother about your clothes, old chap. People will only
think you're a bit old-fashioned."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Extract from an Indian Service register:--

    "Service Order 41 of 1914, dated 16-10-14. He was appointed
    acting Forest Guard and posted to Surumoni beat, in place of
    Chowdri Zaicko, Forest Guard, who was devoured by a tiger with
    effect from the forenoon of 16th Oct. 1914."

       *       *       *       *       *


Here where the world is quiet except for the noise of the rain trickling
into one's valise through the nooks and crannies of one's rustic
apartment--here where there is no peril from above and no peril from in
front, neither peril of enfilade, here too--it is a Base I am doing this
sentence about--we have our problems.

To begin with there is the glorious uncertainty of things. Some men are
here to-day and the far side of Wipers to-morrow night. Others arrive
from England thirsting for all sorts of things that no sane man ever
wants to have anything to do with, and are kept doing a bomb course and
a machine-gun course on alternate days for eight months. There is a tale
told of one such who, when he was finally sent to the trenches, was
returned as hopeless after three days because he would do nothing except
sit beside a machine gun trying to fill the belt with grenades. There is
no sadder story in the War.

Now if I knew for certain that I was going to be here eight months I
could marry and settle down. Or if I knew for certain I was for Wipers
to-morrow night I could make a new will--not that there's anything the
matter with the old one, but I met a man on leave who put me up to some
good tips in will-making--and settle up. But as it is part of our
military system for junior officers not to know anything I dare not even
have my letters forwarded.

Anyhow, Bases are not what they were in my young days. Of course there
were always parades; but you obviously couldn't parade while you were
busy over some Alternative Necessary Duty. Alternative Necessary Duties
were always my strongest suit. On the evening of my arrival in camp I
would summon the Band Sergeant and provide him with my programme of
work. On Monday he would please arrange for a criminal in my detail. On
Tuesday I would use my influence in the matter of obtaining clothing for
my detail. This would be a very laborious task, involving three
signatures in ink or indelible pencil; but no matter, to a good officer
the comfort of his men comes before everything. On Wednesday I would pay
my men. Rotten job, paying out, but ensures Generous Glow, and no
expense unless you lose the Acquittance Roll. On Thursday I would read
Standing Orders to the latest arrived draft; maybe they had had this
done to them once already, but one cannot be too particular. A private I
know of who had only had Standing Orders read to him once got into awful
trouble through carelessly kicking a recalcitrant corporal on the head.
That just shows you. On Friday--but I weary you, if that be possible.
Suffice it that the Base went very well then.

The trouble began, as usual, high up. The G.O. Commanding something most
frightfully important inspected one of our parades one morning and found
7,528 other ranks under one Second-Lieutenant. All might have been well
if the Second-Lieutenant had not forgotten to fire the correct salute of
fourteen bombs (or whatever was the correct salute). The G.O.C.
investigated. He searched the woods and delved in the instructional
trenches, but never another officer came to light. So he went home and,
after a bad lunch--we surmise--set himself to abolish Alternative
Necessary Duties in a formal edict. No officer is to absent himself from
a parade except by the express orders of an O.C. Base Depôt.

This happened several days ago, and the ruling is probably obsolete by
now, but I am wondering how I shall break the news to the G.O.C. if I
should happen to meet him on one of my morning walks into town; and in
my heart of heart I know that one fine morning I shall be cowardly, and
wake before nine, and attend my first parade at army Base. Some zealous
despatch rider will dash hot-foot to the G.O.C. with the news, and he
will come and rub his hands and chuckle and gloat. It will be a Black

Here too there are minor points of etiquette that vex one. Is it correct
for me, having bought half a kilo of chocolates while waiting for a
train, to kill further time by eating them out of a paper bag under the
surveillance of an A.S.C. sergeant? or ought I to offer a few to the
sergeant with some _jeu d'esprit_--never coarse and never cruel--about
bully beef? Of such are the complexities with which a Base harasses the
soul of an officer nurtured in the genial simplicity of trench life.

       *       *       *       *       *

From an account of the Peace demonstration in Berlin:--

    "The people simply turned up themselves, and everyone was highly
    turned up themselves, and everyone was highly pleased with the
    result."--_Egyptian Mail._

It seems to have been a complete revolution.

       *       *       *       *       *


The "motive" of Mrs. Pumfrey Lord's new novel is Christian Science, and
the hero, the Duke of Southminster, is understood to be a composite
portrait of Lord ROSEBERY and Mr. GLADSTONE. The character of the evil
genius of the plot, Lord Rufus Doldrum, is partly modelled on
ALCIBIADES, but in its main lines is reminiscent of Mrs. EDDY and Major
WINSTON CHURCHILL. On the other hand the eccentric Lord Wymondham, who
creates a sensation by appearing at a Cabinet meeting in
accordion-pleated pyjamas, is understood to be an entirely imaginary
personage. The novel, which has been running in _Wanamaker's Weekly_,
will shortly be published by the Strongmans.

A Poet who Counts.

Mr. Ouseley Pampfield, who has been recuperating at Buxton after
spraining his ankle while getting out of his magnificent motor, is now
seeing his new volume of poems through the press. Under the arresting
title of _The Soul of a Passivist_ they will shortly be published by the
firm of Coddler and Slack.

The Jimmisons Again.

The Long Lanes will shortly publish a new "Jimmison" novel, The
_Factota_. The heroine is a young lady enamoured of the doctrine of the
economic independence of women. She enters a Draper's Emporium in
Manchester and works her way up to the post of manager, but heads a
strike of the work-girls. The claims of romance, however, are not
overlooked, for in the long run _Retta Carboy_--for that is her charming
name--wins the hand and heart of the junior partner's chauffeur, who
turns out to be son of the Earl of Ancoats. The scene in which the
Rolls-Royce, frightened by the sight of some Highland cattle, executes a
cross-cut counter-rocking skid, is one of the finest things the
Jimmisons have ever done.

Armageddon in the Making.

Governesses, so long the butt of unkindly satire, have at last come by
their own. Miss Bertha Bowlong, who was governess to the KAISER in the
late "sixties," is shortly about to publish her reminiscences of her now
all-too-notorious pupil. Strange to say it never occurred to her to set
them down till quite recently, nearly fifty years after the event. The
book, which is now announced by the Talboys, is rich in illuminating
anecdotes of the future WAR LORD, as well as vivid portraits of MOLTKE,
BISMARCK, TREITSCHKE, MÜNCHHAUSEN, Eulenspiegel, Dudelsack and other
luminaries of the Prussian capital.

The Charm of Cannibalism.

Miss Ermyntrude Stuggy (Mrs. Raymond Blott), whose extraordinary novel,
_The Lurid Lady_, was described by Father BERNARD VAUGHAN as the most
"precipitous" book he had ever preached on, has returned to England
after two years' residence among the cannibals of the Solomon Islands.
Hence the title of her forthcoming volume, _The Adorable Anthropophagi_,
which is already announced by Messrs. Hybrow and Garbidge. The contents
explain why Mr. Blott has heroically preferred to remain with the

Major Finch's Great Discovery.

Major Hector Finch, the famous Nationalist M.P., philosopher,
psychologist and scholar, has made a remarkable literary discovery. It
is that _Johnson's Dictionary_ is not, as is generally supposed, the
work of BEN JONSON, but of SAMUEL JOHNSON, the son of a Lichfield
bookseller. This epoch-making revelation, briefly and modestly outlined
in a letter to _The Daily Chronicle_, will be set forth in detail in a
massive volume of 1,000 pages, with a portrait of the author, to be
issued shortly by the House of Swallow and Gull.

Odds and Ends.

_The Vegetarians_, a novel with a strong dietetic interest by Janet
Melinda Didham, is announced by the firm of Gherkin Mark.

_The Molly Monologues_ is the alluring title of a volume of sketches by
Richard Turpin, shortly appearing with Pincher and Steel.

Miss Loofah Windsor, who wrote _The Washpot_, a successful story of last
summer, has just finished a new one of a humorous type, called _What--no
Soap_? which the Dinwiddies will publish in a month or two.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A few lucky corps actually had geese to pave the way for the
    Christmas pudding; they were quartered in some place where a
    whip round among the officers and a ride to the nearest town or
    village secured enough geese to feed a battalion."

    _Jersey Morning News_.

Somehow we feel that this might have been more tactfully expressed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Dillon harangued the House for three-quarters of an hour on
    militarism, _The Daily Mail_, Suvla BaBy, and sundry other

    _Daily Mail_.

An extended report of his remarks on this interesting infant would have
been welcome.

       *       *       *       *       *


To many people wholly free from superstition, except that, after
spilling the salt, they are careful to throw a little over the left
shoulder, and do not go out of their way to walk under ladders, and are
not improved in appetite by sitting thirteen at table, and much prefer
that may should not be brought into the house--to these people,
otherwise so free from superstition, it would perhaps be surprising to
know what great numbers of their fellow-creatures resort daily to such
black arts as fortune-telling by the cards.

Yet quite respectable, God-fearing, church-going old ladies, and
probably old gentlemen too, treasure this practice, to say nothing of
younger and therefore naturally more frivolous folk; and many make the
consultation of the two and fifty oracles a morning habit.

And particularly women. Those well-thumbed packs of cards that we know
so well are not wholly dedicated to "Patience," I can assure you.

All want to be told the same thing: what the day will bring forth. But
each searcher into the dim and dangerous future has, of course,
individual methods--some shuffling seven times and some ten, and so
forth, and all intent upon placating the elfish goddess, Caprice. There
is little Miss Banks, for example, but I must tell you about her.

Nothing would induce little Miss Banks to leave the house in the morning
without seeing what the cards promised her, and so open and
impressionable are her mind and heart that she is still interested in
the colour of the romantic fellow whom the day, if kind, is to fling
across her path. The cards, as you know, are great on colours, all men
being divided into three groups: dark (which has the preference), fair,
and middling. Similarly for you, if you can get little Miss Banks to
read your fate (but you must of course shuffle the pack yourself) there
are but three kinds of charmers: dark (again the most fascinating and to
be desired), fair, and middling.

It is great fun to watch little Miss Banks at her necromancy. She takes
it so earnestly, literally wrenching the future's secrets from their

"A letter is coming to you from some one," she says. "An important

And again, "I see a voyage over water."

Or very seriously, "There's a death."

You gasp.

"No, it's not yours. A fair woman's."

You laugh. "Only a fair woman's!" you say. "Go on."

But the cards have not only ambiguities, but strange reticences.

"Oh," little Miss Banks will say, her eyes large with excitement,
"there's a payment of money and a dark man."

"Good," you say.

"But I can't tell," she goes on, "whether you pay it to him or he pays
it to you."

"That's a nice state of things," you say, becoming indignant. "Surely
you can tell."

"No, I can't."

You begin to go over your dark acquaintances who might owe you money,
and can think of none.

You then think of your dark acquaintances to whom you owe money, and are
horrified at their number.

"Oh, well," you say, "the whole thing's rubbish, anyway."

Little Miss Banks's eyes dilate with pained astonishment.
"Rubbish!"--and she begins to shuffle again.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_dictating letter to be sent to his wife_). "The
nurses here are a very plain lot--"

_Nurse._ "Oh, come! I say! That's not very polite to us."

_Tommy._ "Never mind, Nurse, put it down. It'll please her!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

From "Notes for the Use of New Chaplains," by an Indian Archdeacon:

    "I have only given advice on matters where, to my own knowledge,
    an ignorance of procedure has led to adverse criticism with
    regard to breeches of etiquette."

Somebody seems to have been making fun of the venerable gentleman's

       *       *       *       *       *



(_From Theodore Roosevelt, U.S.A._)

It's bully to live in a country where you can say what you like about
the bosses, and that, Sir, is what I've been doing and mean to go on
doing to you. There's no manner of question about it, you're the biggest
boss and the most dangerous that we in this country have ever come up
against, and if our Government had only got a right idea of its bounden
duty we should have protested against your conduct, yes, and backed our
protest by our deeds long before this; but the fact is there's too much
milk and water in the blood of some of our big fellows. They whine when
they ought to be up and denouncing, and they crouch and crawl instead of
standing upright like free and fearless men, and giving the devil's
agent the straightest eye-puncher of which the human arm is capable. I
thank Heaven, Sir, that I'm not made on that plan. I'm out to fight
humbug and hypocrisy, even when they masquerade as friendship and
benevolence; and when I see a fellow coming along with hundreds of pious
texts in his mouth, and his hands dripping with the blood of innocent
women and children, why, I've got to say what I think of him or die. For
my own part--

  "On Bible stilts I don't affect to stalk,
  Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk;
  For man may pious texts repeat
  And yet religion have no inward seat."

A man called HOOD wrote that nearly eighty years ago, but it's quite
true still. I wonder what he would have written if he'd had the bad luck
to know about you and your disgusting appeals to the Almighty, whom you
treat as if He were always waiting round the corner to be decorated with
the Iron Cross.

Now mind, I don't want you to deceive yourself. If I dislike you and
feel as if I'd sooner kick you than shake hands with you, it isn't
because I'm a peace-at-any-price man. No man can say that about me
without qualifying for a place within easy reach of ANANIAS; but when I
decide to take part in a scrap--and there's few scraps going that I
don't butt into sooner or later--I like to feel that I've got a bit of
right on my side. But how can _you_ feel that when you over-run Belgium
and burn down Louvain--that's the place that made your heart bleed,
bah!--and when you shoot down Belgian hostages and do to death an
English nurse? All that never seems to strike you. You go on thinking of
yourself as a holy humble man whom everybody wilfully mistakes for a
bully and a tyrant. Well, you can't fool everybody all the time, you
know, and in this case it happens that everybody has got some sound
horse-sense in his head. Who wanted to hurt you? You'd put together a
great army and your commercial prosperity was a pretty good business
proposition. You'd got a navy and you'd got a very meek and submissive
people, which didn't prevent them from being harsh and domineering and
cruel so far as other peoples were concerned. If you wanted to have folk
afraid of you there were plenty to humour you by pretending to tremble
when you frowned and shook your head. But you weren't going to be
satisfied. You must have a war so as to show what a great general you
were, and you shoved on the old man FRANCIS JOSEPH and kept urging him
from behind until everyone got tired by the impossibility of making you
come out fair and square on the side of peace.

Well, you've got your war, and I hope you like it. This isn't one of
your military promenades. This is hard, long fighting against men whose
only wish was to be left alone. You've forced them to form a trust for
the purpose of trust-busting, and in the end they'll wear you out and
have you beaten to a frazzle in spite of all you can do. You've lost
millions of men and millions of money, and you don't seem to get on with
your final and decisive victory, and you're still the vainest and the
loudest man on earth. Isn't it just about time you saw yourself as the
rest of us see you, an irritable lime-light hero, whose favourite effort
is to sink a _Lusitania_ and pretend he had to do it because he didn't
think she'd go down or because there were too many women and just enough
children in the world? All I can say is that I've had more than enough
of you.


       *       *       *       *       *


    [The German General Staff declares that for air-warfare there
    are still lacking international laws of any kind.]

  When Peace lured the Powers to her House at the Hague
  With promises specious and welcome though vague
  Of a time when the terrors of war should lie hid
  And the leopard fall headlong in love with the kid,
  She drew up a set of Utopian rules
  For the guidance of all the best bellicose schools.

  Among the more notable schemes that she planned
  She fashioned them bounds to their methods on land,
  Taught the whole of them, too, how humane they could be
  If a scrap should occur, as it might, on the sea--
  In a word, pruned the pinions of war everywhere
  Save the one place that war could fly into--the air.

  But the Hun, he forswore what he vowed at her shrine,
  And behaved like a fiend on the soil and the brine;
  Then he turned to his Zepps, and remarked, "I can fly,
  And she never laid down any law for the sky;
  Here's a chance for some real dirty work to be done;"
  And he did it by simply out-Hunning the Hun.

       *       *       *       *       *

How to Save Your Teeth.

From the Soldiers and Sailors Dental Aid Fund (43, Leicester Square),
which has done exceptional service during the War, comes the story of an
old lady who applied for a set of teeth for her soldier grandson. When
asked if he would know how to take care of them, she replied that she
would give him the benefit of her own experience, having always made it
a rule to remove her artificial teeth at meal times.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two cuttings from one issue of _The Egyptian Mail_:--


    ANOTHER 1,000,000,000 MEN WANTED."

    "WANTED proof-reader for the Egyptian Mail."

It certainly does want one; but for the sake of the gaiety of nations we
trust it won't get him.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "With regard to the expeditionary force, the unexampled heroism
    and determination of our troops enabled them to establish a
    foothold on the tip of the peninsula, but photographs confirm
    the reports of eye-witnesses that they were literally holding on
    by their eyelids to the positions they had occupied."--_Sunday

And the subsequent abandonment was performed like winking.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a draper's notice:--

    "On Friday and Saturday the shops will be open until the usual
    hours, although lights will not be visible outside. Customers
    are requested to open the doors to obtain admittance."

    _Rugby Advertiser._

And not to climb through the windows, or come down the chimney, please.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _British Officer_ (_in his best French_). "Êtes-vous un
fumier, Monsieur?"

_French ditto_ (_with only momentary hesitation_). "Mais oui,

       *       *       *       *       *


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

I forget just how long it is since Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT united _Edwin
Clayhanger_ and _Hilda Lessways_ in the bonds of matrimony. Time goes so
fast these days that I met them again, and _Auntie Hamps_, and _Maggie_,
and _Clara_, and the rest of the Three Towns company, as after an
enormous interval. They themselves however have changed in nothing,
except perhaps that the habit of introspection and their phenomenal
capacity for self-astonishment have become more pronounced. "He thought,
'I am I; this wife is my wife; and if I put one foot before the other I
shall go inevitably forward.' And it seemed to him stupendous." I do not
say that this is a quotation, but it represents a habit of mind that is
in danger of growing, upon _Edwin_ especially. He seems never able to
share my own entire confidence in Mr. BENNETT'S efficiency as creator.
Of course nothing very much happens in the course of _These Twain_
(METHUEN). It is simply a study of conjugal existence in its effect upon
character; briefly, how to be happy though married. In the end _Edwin_
seems to hit upon a sort of solution with the discovery that injustice
is a natural condition to be accepted rather than resented. So one
leaves the two with some prospect, a little insecure, of happiness.
Needless to say the study of both _Edwin_ and _Hilda_ is marvellously
penetrating and minute, almost to the point of defeating its own end. I
had, not for the first time with Mr. BENNETT'S characters, a feeling
that I knew them too well to have complete belief in them. They become
not portraits but anatomical diagrams. But for all that the accuracy of
his observation is undeniable. One sees it in those minor personalities
of the tale whom he is content to record from without. _Auntie Hamps_,
for example, and Clara are two masterpieces of portraiture. You must
read _These Twain_; but if possible take time over it.

       *       *       *       *       *

American improvements are the wonder of the world. America seems to have
the knack of taking hold of old stuff and turning it into something full
of pep and punch. You remember a play called _Hamlet_? No? Well, there
is a scene in it, rather an impressive scene, where a man chats with his
father's ghost. Mr. ROBERT W. CHAMBERS, America's brightest novelist,
has taken much the same idea and put a bit of zip in it. In his latest
work, _Athalie_ (APPLETON), the heroine, who is clairvoyant, sees the
ghost of the hero's mother, who prevented the hero from marrying her,
and cuts it. "A hot proud colour flared in her cheeks as she drew
quietly aside and stood with averted head to let her pass." In all my
researches in modern fiction I cannot recall a more dramatic and
satisfying situation. It is, I believe, the first instance on record of
a spectre being snubbed. SHAKSPEARE never thought of anything like that.
As regards the other aspects of _Athalie_, the book, I cannot see what
else a reviewer can say but that it is written by Mr. CHAMBERS. The
world is divided into those who read every line Mr. CHAMBERS writes,
irrespective of its merits, and those who would require to be handsomely
paid before reading a paragraph by him. A million eager shop-girls,
school-girls, chorus-girls, factory-girls and stenographers throughout
America are probably devouring _Athalie_ at this moment. My personal
opinion that the book is a potboiler, turned out on a definite formula,
like all of Mr. CHAMBERS' recent work, to meet a definite demand, cannot
deter a single one of them from sobbing over it. As for that section of
the public which remembers _The King in Yellow_ and _Cardigan_, it has
long ago become resigned to Mr. CHAMBERS' decision to take the cash and
let the credit go, and has ceased to hope for a return on his part to
the artistic work of his earlier period, when he wrote novels as opposed
to Best Sellers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let me heartily commend to you a book of stories by doughty penmen
turned swordsmen for the period of the War--A. E. W. MASON, of the
Manchester Regiment; A. A. M., of the Royal Warwicks; W. B. MAXWELL,
"Q.," of the Duke of Cornwall's L.I.; OLIVER ONIONS, A.S.C.; BARRY PAIN,
R.N.A.S.; and just short of a dozen others. Published by Messrs. HODDER
AND STOUGHTON, under title, _The Red Cross Story Book_, to be sold for
the benefit of _The Times_ Fund. It's the sort of book about which even
the most conscientious reviewer feels he can honestly say nice things
without any too thorough examination of the contents. With that thought
I started turning over the pages casually, but found myself dipping
deeper and deeper, until, becoming entirely absorbed, I abandoned all
pretence of professional detachment and had a thoroughly good time. I
should like to be able to state that the quality of these stories of
humour, adventure and sentiment was uniform, if only for the sake of
this appropriate word. But I can say that the best are excellent, the
average is high, and the tenor so varied as to suit almost any age and

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Severe mental collapse experienced by a journalist who
attempted to write an article on the rat plague in the trenches without
making any reference to "The Pied Piper of Hamelin."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. B. G. O'RORKE, Chaplain to the Forces, has written a short account
of his experiences in confinement--_In The Hands of the Enemy_
(LONGMANS). Seeing that he was allowed, as a minister of religion,
unique opportunities of meeting our officers (though not men of the
ranks) shut up in different fortresses, and particularly because he has
been thoughtful enough to mention many of them by name, his narrative is
one which nobody with near friends now in Germany can afford to miss.
The general reader, on the other hand, may have to confess to some
disappointment, since the foggy shadow of the Censor, German or English,
still looms over the pages here and there, blotting out the sensational
episodes which we felt we had reason, if not right, to expect; and if
their absence is really due to Mr. O'RORKE'S steady refusal to indulge
us by embellishing his almost too unvarnished recital the effect is just
the same. Or perhaps the suggestion of flatness is to be ascribed to the
enemy's failure on the whole to treat certain of his victims in any very
extraordinary manner, and if so we can accept it and be thankful. There
are lots of interesting passages all the same, such as the account of
the specially favourable treatment of officers from Irish regiments,
accorded in all Teutonic seriousness as preparatory to an invitation to
serve in the ranks of Prussia; or the pathetic incident of the
white-haired French priest sent to the cells for urging his congregation
to pray _pour nos âmes_. Nowhere outside the Fatherland, I should
imagine, would prisoners be forbidden to pray even _pour nos armes_, and
the stupidity of the misunderstanding is typical enough. The cheerful
dignity shown by prisoners under provocation makes a fine contrast to
such pitiful smallness, and of that this little book is a notable

       *       *       *       *       *

I suppose it would not be possible to travel in the Pacific without a
fountain-pen and a note-book. At all events this seems a privation from
which the staunchest of our literary adventurers have hitherto shrunk.
Do not however regard this as anything more than a casual observation,
certainly not as implying any complaint against so agreeable a volume as
_Voyaging in Wild Seas_ (MILLS AND BOON). There must be many among the
countless admirers of Mr. JACK LONDON who will be delighted to read this
intimate journal of his travellings in remote waters, written by the
wife who accompanied him, and who is herself, as she proves on many
pages, one of the most enthusiastic of those admirers. You may say there
is nothing very much in it all, but just some pleasant sea-prattle about
interesting ports and persons, and a number of photographs rather more
intimate than those that generally illustrate the published travel-book.
But the general impression is jolly. Stevensonians will be especially
curious over the visit to Samoa, concerning her first impressions of
which Mrs. LONDON writes: "As the _Snark_ slid along, we began to
exclaim at the magnificent condition of this German province--the
leagues of copra plantation, extending from the shore up into the
mountainous hinterland, thousands of close-crowded acres of heavy green
palms." This was in May, 1908. Vailima was at that time the residence of
the German Governor (a desecration since happily removed); but the
LONDONS were able to explore the gardens and peep in at the rooms whose
planning STEVENSON had so enjoyed. Later of course they climbed to the
lonely mountain grave of "the little great man"--a phrase oddly
reminiscent of one in an unpublished letter of RUPERT BROOKE (about the
same expedition) that I had just been reading. Mrs. LONDON deserves our
thanks for letting us share so interesting a holiday in these restricted

       *       *       *       *       *


(Violet Martin).

  With _Flurry's_ Hounds, and you our guide,
  We've learned to laugh until we cried;
  Dear MARTIN ROSS, the coming years
  Find all our laughter lost in tears.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 19, 1916" ***

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