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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 22, 1916
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 22, 1916" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 150, MARCH 22, 1916***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 150

MARCH 22, 1916



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "How is it you're not at the Front, young man?"

"'Cause these ain't no milk at that end, mum."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

Portugal is now officially at war with Germany, and the dogs of
frightfulness are already toasting "_der Tagus_."

       ***

At first the report that ENVER PASHA had gone to pay a visit to the tomb
of the PROPHET at Medina caused a feeling of profound depression in
Constantinople; but it is now recognised that there was no other course
open to him, as MAHOMET was not in a position to visit the Pasha.

       ***

SVEN HEDIN is reported to be at Constantinople, on his way to the
Turkish Front. It is supposed that he will undertake the writing of the
official despatches, a duty to which the innate modesty of the Osmanli
prevents him from doing full justice.

       ***

A salmon containing a label marked "U 100" was recently caught in the
Avon. No trace of the crew has been found.

       ***

It has been discovered in Germany that General HINDENBERG is descended
from CHARLEMAGNE, and an attempt by certain admirers of the Prussian
General to visit the scenes of his ancestor's exploits has only been
abandoned as the result of an unaccountable opposition on the part of
the French.

       ***

"Bigamy," declares Mr. Justice Low, "is as low a form of crime as
drunkenness." On the other hand there is this to be said for it, that it
is seldom found, like drunkenness, to develop into a habit.

       ***

A large number of German barbers, it is said, have become naturalized
since the commencement of the War, and are now engaged in capturing the
trade from the British barbers, many of whom have been taken for
military service. Not for nothing, it seems, did the KAISER in one of
his famous speeches, "The razor must be in our fist."

       ***

Mr. TENNANT told the House of Commons last week that the War Office had
3,000,000 goat skins. As the statement has given rise to a certain
uneasiness it should be explained that all the goats have been safely
extracted.

       ***

Notwithstanding reports to the contrary, says an official German
telegram, the new submarine warfare is in full swing. It should only be
a matter of time before those responsible for it find themselves in a
similar situation.

       ***

A draughtsman of Babylonian and Assyrian antiquities has been discharged
by the British Museum in the interests of economy. The artist, it is
reported, has already had several attractive offers of employment as a
Parliamentary cartoonist.

       ***

Onions, we are told, have reached the unprecedented price of thirty
shillings a hundredweight, and several of the old established onion bars
in the City may have to close their doors.

       ***

It is useless, Mr. HUGHES warns his English admirers, to defeat Germany
in the field unless adequate steps are also taken to stop her inroads
upon the Empire's trade. What is wanted is, of course, a counter-stroke.

       ***

A well-informed neutral states that the Grand Admiral TIRPITZ'S
unexpected retirement was caused by a rush of blood to the hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Bulgarian Atrocity.

    "The position in Monastir is intolerable, owing to the orgies of
    the Bulgarian comitadjis. The Greek refugees are in a pitiable
    plight, especially now the Greek consul has 1 ft."--_Balkan
    News._

Thus crippled he cannot, of course, display his usual activity.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE KAISER ON KILIMANJARO.

[Correspondence in _The Times_ has recalled the fact that Kilimanjaro,
from whose neighbourhood the enemy has just been expelled, was included
in German East Africa at the special desire of the KAISER (then PRINCE
WILLIAM OF PRUSSIA). It appears that he took a peculiar interest in the
fauna and flora of that district. Incidentally, the highest peak of
Kilimanjaro (19,000 feet) is named Kaiser Wilhelm Spitze. The author of
these lines does not claim a close acquaintance with the natural history
and botany of this region, and cannot therefore vouch for the accuracy
of his details.]

  O mountain of the sounding name,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  Almost as loud as my own fame,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  Plucked from my Empire's jewelled hem
  I deemed you once the fairest gem
  In my Colonial diadem,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

  Not for your height, though you are high,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  And practically scrape the sky,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  But for the beasts and birds and flowers
  That nestle in your snowy bowers
  I loved you best of all my dowers,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

  In one of my Imperial jaunts,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  I looked to penetrate their haunts,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  It was among my dearest hopes
  To slay canaries on your slopes
  Or trap elusive antelopes,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

  I had a passionate wish to snare
                                    (Kilimanjaro!)
  Your local beetle in his lair,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  O'er precipices stiff with ice
  (Perils for me are full of spice)
  To cull your starry edelweiss,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

  Alas! the lovely vision fades,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  Never amid your musky glades,
                                    Kilimanjaro--
  Never shall I (_Gott strafe_ SMUTS!)
  Surprise your monkeys gathering nuts
  Or chase your wombats' flying scuts,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

  And when, as I suppose it must,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  My spirit sheds its mortal crust,
                                    Kilimanjaro!
  They'll find beneath my mailéd vest
  Your name indelibly impressed
  (Along with Calais) on my chest,
                                    Kilimanjaro!

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "With the use of the various kinds of periscopes we could see
    quite clearly every movement on the German side, and even hear
    them talking."--_Daily Chronicle._

Try our new periscope, with telephone-attachment.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a sale catalogue:--

    "Remains of Summer Waistcoats, from 3/11."

Nothing doing. Our motto is _Vestigia nulla retrorsum_.

       *       *       *       *       *

UNWRITTEN LETTERS TO THE KAISER.

No. XXXVI.

(_From Herr WOLFGANG OFFENMAUL, an actor_).

Most Gracious Majesty,--How strangely and uncomfortably the Fates sport
with us! It is but two years ago, I remember, that it came into my head
to look forward to the far-off day when I should shake off the stage and
all its agitations, its triumphs, its disappointments and even its
jealousies and its quarrels, and should be able to live my own life in
the pleasant and happy world of reality. But I put the thought by, for
much still remained to me to be endured and achieved in my profession,
and I thought that some day, if matters turned out favourably, I might
have the supreme glory of impersonating _Hamlet_ or _Macbeth_ under the
very eye of your Imperial Majesty and of noting that you were not
displeased with the performance of one of the most devoted of your
subjects. This hope, springing up in my breast, gave me new strength and
a fresh joy in the often dull round of my daily task, for in matters of
the stage your Majesty, being, as we often say among ourselves, the
greatest actor of us all and having from the earliest years imbibed the
love of the footlights and the limelight, is an incomparable judge of
the true histrionic art, and a word of praise from you is worth columns
and columns in the newspapers. It is to us as when a cobbler's boots are
praised by a rival cobbler.

And there is another point which then kept me from giving way any
further to my dreams of retirement from the theatre. Real life, so calm
for the most part and so regular, is but a dull thing to those who live
a fictitious life on the boards, in the midst of excitements and honour
and crimes, with murder and sudden death awaiting them, as it were,
round the corner. After _Hamlet_ has seen his mother's death, has killed
_Laertes_ and the _King_ and has himself expired, what is it to him to
come to life again and to sit down, without his royal trappings to a
supper of sausage and potatoes, while his wife sits by and darns his
stockings and the baby begins to cry in its cot? So thought I, and
resolved to continue my career of acting, though I acknowledged that
some day, perhaps, in the very distant future, retirement might have its
attractions.

All this was before the War broke out. When that happened I, like the
rest, was seized and thrust into a uniform and made to remember my drill
and was presented with a rifle and a bayonet. Finally, with my regiment
I was marched off to the Front in France, where I still linger in daily
expectation of death. Dreadful things have I seen, men blown into
nothingness by shells, men pierced through and through by the steel,
women murdered and worse than murdered, and children crushed under
fallen walls--sights I cannot bear to think of, though they force
themselves upon me and murder sleep. I was, perhaps, unduly contemptuous
of real life, but now I abhor it and try in vain to put it away from me.
I desire with a full-hearted longing to return to that life of
imagination where the most dreadful bloodshed ends at about eleven
o'clock every evening, without leaving any impression on those who take
part. Yes, give me again the life of the theatre and remove far away
this brutal scenery of trenches and shells and bombs and quick-firers
and men summoned from peace and ease to cut one another's throats
because a histrion KAISER has so willed it and none of his subjects
dared to say him nay. To get away from this and never to return to it I
would willingly consent to play the _First Murderer_ in _Macbeth_ for
the remainder of my life. It would be an innocent and an honourable
occupation compared with what I am forced day by day and night by night
to endure.

Yours, in respectful despair, WOLFGANG OFFENMAUL.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ANOTHER CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR.

Mr. McKenna. "PREMIUM BONDS TO HELP TO WIN THE WAR! OH, MY DEAR FRIENDS!
THINK OF OUR MORAL PRINCIPLES!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WATCH DOGS.

XXXVI.

My dear Charles,--I am afraid you'll be worrying about me again,
wondering why I'm lying doggo, what mischief I'm up to, or whether
anything has happened to me. Something has happened, but I'm not quite
sure myself what it is. Anyhow, I'll tell you all I know. It wasn't in
the _Gazette_ proper; it was in the "Memoranda." It referred to a Second
Lieutenant (Temporary Lieutenant), intimating that he was to hold the
acting rank of Captain while engaged in present duties, which looks to
me as if they are giving nothing away but want to keep in with me till
they have settled up matters with the Bosch. When the trouble shows
signs of being about to end, they'll either make me a Temporary General
and hand me over to the enemy as a sop, or else they will turn round on
me and tell me that, being a Temporary Memorandum, I'm nothing at all;
am I going quietly or must they put the handcuffs on me? As the saying
is, "it ain't 'ardly safe"; at any moment one may find oneself in a
bowler hat being jostled by the crowd and wholly estranged from Mr. Cox,
of Charing Cross. Meanwhile I'm a Captain, or parading as such, and I
carry in my pocket a leash of "crowns" and a yard of braid (with
adhesive back) in case of further developments.

Talking of civilian hats, by the way, my particular class of soldier,
never spoilt by over-fussing, has dismal expectations as to the
_finale_. We feel that, when the other side sees light and is prepared
to submit to judgment, with costs, we shall be the last to leave for
home, and when we get there all the beer will be sold out.

Meanwhile I'm going along nicely, and by saying nothing but looking a
lot I've created quite an air of importance around me, which induces all
sorts of regimental officers to salute me at first sight and to wish
they hadn't on further acquaintance. It's an ever-increasing difficulty,
this matter of saluting: in a part of the world where there's a General
round every other corner I can never make up my mind on the spur of the
moment what to do about Majors and suchlike. Some like a salute, others
don't. I have invented a gesture of my own which is entirely
non-committal and gives satisfaction to both. Those who don't look for a
salute put it down to an excess of geniality; those who do expect one
put it down to ignorance combined with anxiety to please.

Only once has it got me into trouble so far. The occasion is worth
mentioning, since I was at the time talking to a General in a public
place. (Yes, there we were, talking away about nothing in particular,
"conversing," I might say, just as it might have been you and myself
passing the time of day. _Very_ impressive). A Major, one of the
expectant sort, came up from behind the General; when he was within
distance of the august back he saluted it. It was one of those salutes
which could be felt, but, as it happened, the General didn't feel it.
The problem at once arose, what was I to do, with the Major's stony eye
full upon me? The waggle, obviously, but in a modified degree, since it
doesn't do to be fidgetting with your hands when you're being talked to
by your elders and betters. I went through the motions, therefore,
meaning them to mean that, though I was chatting with a General, yet I
wasn't above saluting a Major. He mistook the movement, however, and
thought that I thought that, because I was chatting with a General,
therefore he'd saluted me! My goodness, we nearly lost the War that
time!

But don't you believe all this talk about military discipline. Take the
case of my own Colonel, for instance, a man who, before he took to staff
work, had probably dug enough trenches, put out enough barbed wire and,
generally, made enough mess of respectable agricultural land to earn for
himself a special vote of censure from the United Association of French
and Belgian Farmers. Now, there's a soldier, if ever there was one; but
are his orders obeyed when they don't fit in with the convenience of his
subordinates?

You shall judge for yourself. The other day he made up his mind, not
casually or by the way, but in writing, duly signed, sealed and
circulated, that "The moon will rise to-morrow at 4.43 A.M." Did the
moon comply? No, Sir, it did not; I'm told it was absent from parade
altogether. Did my Colonel put it under arrest? Did he even call for its
reasons in writing? Again, no. On the contrary, he weakly gave in,
saying that he'd got the time out of an almanack supplied by his
Insurance Company, and that "the man from the Insurance" was to blame
for sticking the pages together and getting him into an inappropriate
month. What I say is an order's an order, and it is nothing to do with
the moon where the Colonel gets his ideas from.

Call it fear or favour, I only know that when I'm informed that I am to
rise at 5 A.M. to-morrow morning, and, with no intention of disobeying,
I ask very quietly and very politely if they remember that this is March
and not July, at the very least I shall be told that I ought to be
ashamed of being a civilian instead of openly behaving as such. Yours
ever, HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *
ANOTHER INDISPENSABLE.

[Illustration: The war artist's model.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Herodias?

    "Any lady requiring Head of two Parlourmaids or Under
    Parlourmaid, we know of several."--_Morning Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Bombardier G. Dougherty, R.A.M.C. ... has been given the D.C.M.
    ... for twice repairing telephone wires under a terrific storm
    of fire."--_Morning Paper._

Conscientious objectors will note the new rank and duty of R.A.M.C. men.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Two large jewel robberies in London, in which property to the
    value of several thousands of pounds has been stolen, are being
    invested by the police."--_Morning Paper._

In Exchequer Bonds, no doubt. But we hope they have reserved a few pairs
of bracelets for the thieves when they catch them.

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. JOHN'S PORTRAIT OF MR. GEORGE.

The generally favourable opinion of MR. AUGUSTUS JOHN'S striking
portrait of MR. LLOYD GEORGE is not shared by everybody. The following
criticism of the picture has reached us, and as it represents a point of
view which, so far as we know, has not found sympathy in the Press
opinions which have already appeared, we print it for the edification of
the artist, the sitter and any others who may have a few moments to
devote to the subject.

I should like to say (writes our correspondent) on behalf of myself and
of many worthy members of my congregation that MR. AUGUSTUS JOHN has
missed a great opportunity in painting his portrait of our greatest
Welshman.

In the first place, surely it lacks dignity. In it Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, who
is pre-eminently a man capable of looking you straight in the eye, is
depicted as looking someone else obliquely in the eye. I would that his
strong features had been accompanied by a direct and thoughtful gaze,
instead of that petulant side-glance, which to all of us who know the
smiling candour of the MINISTER OF MUNITIONS is so foreign an
expression.

I cannot speak with authority about the sitter's raiment. At the same
time I must register my dislike of these clothes, which appear to have
the mud of the golf-links still fresh upon them. Surely the artist
should have persuaded Mr. LLOYD GEORGE to wear his black coat and vest
for the occasion.

Hanging from a cord is something in the nature of an aid to vision. I
cannot determine whether it is a pince-nez or a monocle. The uncertainty
is irritating. Is it possible that the MINISTER has taken to wearing a
single eye-glass? If so, why has not the artist put it in the sitter's
eye? And as to the hair--Heaven forbid that I should cast any reflection
upon any man of Mr. LLOYD GEORGE's age possessing abundant locks; on the
contrary, I congratulate him; but in all my experience I have never yet
known a portrait to be taken without the sitter being requested first of
all to brush his hair. Why has Mr. AUGUSTUS JOHN flown in the face of
all precedent by neglecting this simple yet desirable precaution?

I feel very strongly that nothing in the portrait indicates the sitter's
nationality, his profession, his love of home, his favourite recreation
or his religious convictions. These, I venture to say, are grave
omissions. The picture is sadly wanting in suitable accessories. If I
had been painting it I should have put a simple yellow daffodil in the
MINISTER'S buttonhole, and pictured through an open window a sunlit bed
of leeks, with perhaps a goat gambolling among them. I should have
represented the MINISTER OF MUNITIONS in his study practising putting
with a small bomb. And on the wall should have been a life-size portrait
of the Rev. Dr. CLIFFORD.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Officer at Front_ (_reading letter from home_). "The
other day we went to see the ruins of a house which had been bombed by a
Zeppelin. You can't imagine what it was like!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"The elements so mixed" again.

    "The air is the new element, and all the evidence suggests that
    we are at sea in it." _Star._

       *       *       *       *       *

Le Mouton Enragé.

    "Sheep, and also other wild animals, have a trying time in
    procuring their necessary food."

That's what makes them so wild.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Hero at Zero.

    "Fish for the Canadian troops. The supply has been organised by
    Major Hughie Green, who is known as the 'Canadians'
    Fishmonger-General,' and has travelled in a frozen condition
    2,000 miles across the Dominion."--_Daily Mirror._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A young farm hand who appealed to the Coalville Tribunal for
    exemption yesterday, when asked whether an older brother could
    not take his place on the farm, replied that his brother's feet
    were too small for work on the land."--_Morning Paper._

We hope that his own are not too cold for work in the trenches.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Mark Blow will be known henceforth as 'Mr.
    Mark.'"--_Theatrical Paper._

The Blow may have fallen, but this British Mark shows no decline.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW PATRIOTISM.

Epoch-Making Assembly.

A public meeting, summoned under the auspices of the Candid Friends of
England, has just been held at the Hall of the Grousers' Company, in
Little Britain. The chair was taken by Mr. OUTHWAITE.

The Chairman, opening the meeting, said that the inception of the League
was due to a number of public-spirited men who had come to the
conclusion, very unwillingly, that the country was still insufficiently
instructed as to the inherent and abysmal incapacity of every member of
the Government. (Cheers.) It was true that certain sections of the Press
did what they could to point this out, and there was also the noble,
patriotic and self-sacrificing work carried on in the House at
Question-time. (Loud cheers.) But he was sorry to say that there still
remained a considerable and, alas! not wholly negligible number of
persons in the country who hugged the quaint superstition that a Cabinet
Minister could be earnest, capable and diligent. It was these benighted
folk whom they desired to reach and convert. Not till every Englishman
had been convinced that England was rotten could he (the speaker) and
his friends rest content. (Frantic applause.) They were met to-day to
listen to the views of various eminent gentlemen as to how best to
spread this gospel.

Sir ARTHUR MARKHAM, who was received with cheers, said that no one who
had followed his recent speeches could be in any doubt as to the
turpitude and sloth of the men whom a mischievous caprice had set at the
head of this country's affairs. He for one should never cease to clamour
for their dismissal. He begged to move a resolution that in the opinion
of that important and representative meeting a complete change of
Government was instantly necessary. (A Voice: "Not only now, but
always.") No doubt there was something in what that gentleman said, but
for the present perhaps "always" had better be omitted. The essence of
the truest patriotism was distrust of one's rulers and dissatisfaction
with one's country. (Hear! Hear!).

Mr. AUSTIN HARRISON, in seconding, said that the finest heritage of an
Englishman was freedom of speech, and the more that freedom became
licence the finer the Englishman. (Cheers.) By freedom of speech he
meant the right to say instantly whatever came into one's head,
particularly if it appeared to belittle one's own country. Because one
could not belittle England really. England was too great for that. But
it was salutary to try. It was also valuable to our Allies, because it
tended to prove to them how much in earnest and how united we must be.

A great sensation was now caused by the appearance of "An Englishman"
from Carmelite Street. This gentleman, who, like the man who dined with
the KAISER, desiring his anonymity to be respected, wore a John Bull
mask and brandished an ebony cane, made the PRIME MINISTER the special
mark of his attack. What, he asked, could be expected of a politician so
crafty and lost to shame as to bid the House wait and see? Was it not
the very essence of good statesmanship to blurt out everything at once?
Only a craven time-server would say wait and see. Waiting was a
contemptuous proceeding wherever practised, and seeing required eyes,
which Heaven knows the PREMIER woefully lacked. (Cheers.) What right had
an incorrigible hoodwinker such as Mr. ASQUITH to advise anyone to see?
It was monstrous. Let the people get rid of this impostor without a
twinge of compunction, and the sooner the better. As to swapping horses
in mid-stream being unwise, perhaps it was, but it was not unwise in the
way that waiting to see was. (Applause.)

Another masked gentleman, who was understood to be "Callisthenes" of
Oxford Street, now rose to make a few useful suggestions. He said that
as the only journalist who wrote what was practically the leading
article in four evening papers every day, he surely was entitled to
speak with some authority. The question was how to get it into the
country's head that England's only chance for recovering her
self-respect and winning the War was to cry stinking fish? (Loud
cheers.) Well, the best way was to keep on saying it in and out of
season. His experience had taught him that everything will bear saying
not merely three times, but three thousand times and three.

Mr. AMERY said it was ridiculous to suppose that any Cabinet Minister
wished the War to end or England to be victorious. The contrary was an
axiom on which the whole future of his political creed was based. One
had but to look at them to see how flabby and vacillating they were and
how devoted to the pickings of office.

Mr. HOGGE said that the Chairman in his opening remarks had disregarded
one of the most valuable media for spreading the blessed news that
England was at her last gasp, throttled by place-hunters and parasites.
That was the variety stage. It was wonderful what a good comic song
could do. He had heard one only the night before, in which its singer
had been vociferously applauded at the end of a verse which stated that
there were now no German spies in England because they had all been
naturalised and given War Office clerkships. That was the kind of home
truth which the public appreciated and even paid their money to hear.
There could not be too many songs of that kind.

Mr. BERNARD SHAW said that another way was to induce publishers to issue
new and amended editions of those popular writers who had been betrayed
by impulsiveness or short-sight into eulogies of England. He remembered
several such unfortunate outbursts in the works of the national poet.
There was, for example, that ill-balanced utterance of the dying JOHN OF
GAUNT in praise of our little isle; but of course one could not expect
the intellect to be at its best just before dissolution. Still, they
would all agree that SHAKSPEARE would be the wholesomer without that
passage. (Cheers.)

The Chairman then put the resolution to the meeting and it was carried
unanimously. In bidding the gathering farewell the Chairman impressed
upon them that their rule of life should be a constant and voluble
mistrust of our leaders. It should be a point of honour with them to
deny that the FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY could possibly know anything
about the Navy, or wish it to succeed; that the CHANCELLOR OF THE
EXCHEQUER could possibly know anything about finance; or the PRIME
MINISTER have the elements even of common intelligence. (Loud cheers.)

The meeting then broke up singing either "For they (the Cabinet) are
wholly bad fellows," or "Fool Britannia, Britannia's fooled and slaved."

       *       *       *       *       *

Fashions for Fathers.

    "The bride was given away by her father, who was daintily gowned
    in a pale blue silk dress, with veil and orange blossoms lent by
    the bride's eldest sister."--_Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Very often it happens that a blank space is seen in the press,
    especially in the _Sheung Po_, the organ of the Seventy-two
    Guilds. It is surprising to see to-day's issue of that paper. A
    space, about one and a half feet long and six feet wide, is
    vacant. Only five words remain in that space, namely, 'Taken
    away by the Censor.'"--_South China Morning Post._

Some of our censors should go to China. They would have real scope
there.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The French Government emphatically and categorically denounce
    as lies many statements made in the German official reports on
    the fighting in the Verdun theatre. Although, they say, the
    Germans usually travesty the truth, they have not before issued
    such fragrant lies."--_Provincial Paper._

Their offence is rank; it smells to heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

DRESS "AS USUAL."

(_A Protest from Mr. Punch_.)

[The National Organising Committee for War Savings has issued an appeal
against extravagance in women's dress.]

  Certain ladies--just a section
    Of our spindle side--
  Swerving in a wrong direction,
    Dress have deified;
  And, as incomes grow more slender,
  Bring discredit on their gender
  By refusing to surrender
   Fashion for their guide.

  Most of England's wives and daughters
    Play a noble part,
  In the very deepest waters
    Never losing heart;
  Danger and privation braving,
  Nursing, helping, toiling, slaving,
  Thinking vastly more of saving
    Than of looking smart.

  Highly-paid officials slate us,
    Dwelling on the ills
  Which infallibly await us
    In our empty tills;
  But these frenzied fair ones, furious
  in the quest of the luxurious,
  Still pursue a most injurious
    Cult of frocks and frills.

  True, our Ministerial teachers
    Fail us in the fight,
  For the practice of the preachers
    Sins against the light;
  Still "Two Wrongs"--for so the sages
  Crystallize the lore of ages
  Gathered at successive stages--
    "Do not make a Right."

  Birds of Paradise are grateful
    Under skies serene;
  But the human type is hateful
    On a tragic scene;
  When the outlook's drear and cloudy
  _Punch_ would rather see you dowdy
  Than extravagant and rowdy
    In your dress and mien.

  True simplicity is tasteful;
    Think before you spend;
  Woeful want attends the wasteful
    In the bitter end;
  You who, when the world is mourning,
  All remonstrance lightly scorning,
  Only think of self-adorning,
    Sadden _Punch_, your friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let Sleeping Birds Lie.

    "Someone had said it was 'far better to have the birds driven
    over one than to have to wake them up.'"--_Scottish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Council of the Poetry Society has confirmed the appointment
    of Mr. Galloway Kyle as acting editor of the 'Poultry Review.'"

Now that official action has been taken we may expect an increase in the
number of lays.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Exhilarated Visitor_ (_leaving Club_). "The feller who
caught that fish's dem liar."]

       *       *       *       *       *

EYE-WASH.

(_A Military Episode in Two Scenes_.)

Scene I.--_The outskirts of a wood. Time, during an inspection of our
Battalion "at its duties."_

Second-Lieutenant Wood _and his platoon are erecting a wire
entanglement. To them enter_ Second-Lieutenant Brown _in great
excitement_.

S.-L. _Brown_. I say----

S.-L. Wood. Run away, dear. No time for you. Brass hats expected in
large numbers.

S.-L. B. I've lost my platoon.

S.-L. W. Have you looked in _all_ your pockets, Freddy?

S.-L. B. I sent it up under the Sergeant, and he must have mistaken the
place, strafe him! And I told the Adjutant I'd be the other side of this
wood, doing Visual Training, when the General came round.

S.-L. W. (_impressed at last_). My hat, you're in for it! Look out, here
they come.

Second-Lieutenant Brown _fades into the landscape_.

_Enter the_ General _and the_ C.O., _with_ Staff-Captain, Adjutant _and_
Sergeant-Major. _The Platoon labours on and takes no notice_.
Second-Lieutenant Wood _comes to attention and salutes_. _The_ General
_remarks on the fine physique of the men, inspects the wire entanglement
and explains how_ _he used to do it when he was a subaltern_. Private
Hogg, _a recruit unused to Generals, stands gazing awestruck, but
catches the_ Adjutant's _eye and, gets on feverishly with his work. The
cortège passes on, and the platoon heaves a sigh of relief and stands
easy._

_Re-enter_ Second-Lieutenant Brown.

_S.-L. W._ Go away, my good man; we've nothing for you.

_S.-L. B._ I say, like a good chap----_They confer earnestly._ Curtain.


Scene II.--_The other side of the wood. Time, two minutes later._

_Enter_ Second-Lieutenant Brown _at the double with_ Second-Lieutenant
Wood's _platoon. He hurriedly gets it to work at Visual Training._

_Enter_ General, _with suite as before. The platoon carries on, taking
no notice._ Second-Lieutenant Brown _comes to attention and salutes.
The_ General _praises the appearance of the men and explains how Visual
Training was taught before the Crimean War. The_ Adjutant _suddenly
recognises_ Private Hogg _and develops a nasty cough._

_The General (to C.O. as they move away)._ But do you think, Colonel,
that either of those smart young officers of yours would keep their
heads in a sudden emergency?

_The_ Adjutant _restrains a natural desire to wink at the_
Sergeant-Major.

Curtain.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_home on leave_). "Come on, Miss, hurry up with
the lift! I've only got five days."]

       *       *       *       *       *

NURSERY RHYMES OF LONDON TOWN.

I.--KINGSWAY.

  Walking on the King's Way, lady, my lady,
  Walking on the King's Way, will you go in red?
  With a silken wimple, and a ruby on your finger,
  And a furry mantle trailing where you tread?
  Neither red nor ruby I'll wear upon the King's Way;
  I will go in duffle grey with nothing on my head.

  Walking on the King's Way, lady, my lady,
  Walking on the King's Way, will you go in blue?
  With an ermine border, and a plume of peacock feathers,
  And a silver circlet, and a sapphire on your shoe?
  Neither blue nor sapphire I'll wear upon the King's Way;
  I will go in duffle grey, and barefoot too.

  Walking on the King's Way, lady, my lady,
  Walking on the King's Way, will you go in green?
  With a golden girdle, and a pointed velvet slipper,
  And a crown of emeralds fit for a queen?
  Neither green nor emerald I'll wear upon the King's Way;
  I will go in duffle grey so lovely to be seen,
  And Somebody will kiss me and call me his queen.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The depression in northern India has continued to travel
    eastwards and is to-day affecting north-east India.

    Forecast: Some rain in the submarine districts of north-east
    India."

    _Amrita Bazar Patrika._

It's a wet life anyhow, and submarines were made to be depressed.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARMLETS AND THE MAN.

[Illustration: Mr Punch (_to attested married man_). "SO YOUR COUNTRY
CALLS ON YOU SOONER THAN YOU THOUGHT. I CONGRATULATE YOU."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Tuesday, March 14th._--Ministers as they passed through Palace Yard on
their way to the House shuddered as they observed a long, black,
wicked-looking motor-car, shaped like a torpedo. In this machine Mr.
PEMBERTON-BILLING, the new Air-Member for East Herts, had done most of
his electioneering. Now he had arrived to take his seat and, rumour
said, to make his maiden speech. Would the Front Bench survive it?

If the new Member could have jumped straight from the steering-wheel
into the Chamber, and with his eloquence still at white-heat have got
his fulminating message off his chest, strange things might have
happened. But fortunately or unfortunately the procedure of the House
discourages these dramatic effects. For nearly an hour he had to wait
and listen to Ministerial replies to questions which he must have found
painfully trivial.

Even when the weary catechism was at last over there was a further
delay. With great lack of consideration for the dignity of East Herts
the PRIME MINISTER had been so careless as to catch a bad cold, and was
not in his place. On his behalf, therefore, Sir EDWARD GREY made a
statement regarding the entry of Portugal into the War. The gist of it
was that the most ancient of our Allies has acquired a good-sized Fleet
at no expense to herself, and that Germany is confronted by a new enemy
in Africa.

At last the new Member was called upon to take his seat. Belonging to no
party he could not, of course, enjoy the usual official escort to the
Table. But, like another young man in a hurry who in somewhat similar
circumstances preferred scorpions to whips, Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING seemed
quite satisfied with the ministrations of Mr. RONALD MCNEILL and Sir
HENRY DALZIEL.

Dispensing with the usual period of rest and refreshment, he assumed his
seat immediately after shaking hands with the SPEAKER. Who knew but that
Mr. LOWTHER, recognising the anxiety of Members to hear the latest War
news from East Herts, might call him at once?

[Illustration: THE HUSTLER FROM EAST HERTS.

Mr. Pemberton-Billing introduces himself to Mr. Tennant and Mr.
Balfour.]

Routine, however, was too much for romance. For an hour or more Mr.
TENNANT rambled over the wide field provided for him, but without
stumbling upon anything very fresh or startling, unless indeed it was
the discovery that "Intelligence is a very delicate matter." This
occurred in the course of a protracted description of what was being
done to protect the country against air raids. The organisation of the
anti-aircraft defences was now complete for London and was approaching
completion for the country. But Mr. TENNANT hastened to add for Mr.
BILLING'S benefit--the standard would be still further raised when more
material was available.

When he was in the Government Mr. HOBHOUSE was not less economical of
information in his official utterances than any of his Ministerial
colleagues. Now that he is out of it he is all for full disclosure. Why
had Mr. TENNANT said nothing of Gallipoli or Salonika, Loos and Neuve
Chapelle? Why, if we were allowed to know that three million goatskins
had been provided for the Army, might we not know how many men were
going to wear them? In his view the result of the East Herts election
was due to the Government having kept Parliament in the dark.

At last the stage was clear for Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING, who, considering
how long he had been kept waiting, made a creditable _début_. He had, it
is true, no startling revelations to make, or, at any rate, did not make
them. His principal point was that we must exterminate the Zeppelins,
and that we had aeroplanes enough and pilots enough to do it now. He
would be delighted to introduce Mr. TENNANT to the men and the machines,
while as for bombs he was prepared to lay them on the Table of the
House. For a first performance it was quite good, even if not entirely
equal to the advance-billing.

_Wednesday, March 15._--I am rather surprised that none of the evening
papers had the enterprise to come out to-night with a contents bill
bearing the words--

  "Great Attack on Portsmouth,"

for the legend would have been not only startling but unusually
accurate. The House of Lords assembled this afternoon in the expectation
of hearing important statements from the Earl of DERBY and Earl
KITCHENER on the recruiting crisis. What it was at first compelled to
listen to was the Earl of PORTSMOUTH giving his views on the
Anglo-Danish Agreement. With dogmatic ponderosity he declared that the
Agreement was losing us the friendship of the other Scandinavian
countries, that it was not preventing goods getting into Germany, and
that it ought to be abrogated forthwith.

I doubt if any of the Peers present had ever heard anything like the
castigation which the Marquis of LANSDOWNE administered. Where did the
noble Earl collect the kind of information that he had seen fit to pour
forth? He seemed to have swallowed a lot of stories purveyed by people
who were no friends to this country. There was not a word of truth in
the suggestions he had made, and the Government, far from abrogating the
Agreement, intended to maintain and develop the policy on which it was
based. It was a great pity that the noble earl should have identified
himself with an agitation that was neither wise nor patriotic.

Lord PORTSMOUTH'S family name is WALLOP; this afternoon he lived up to
it.

At the present moment Lord DERBY is perhaps the most prominent man in
the country next to the Prime MINISTER. Yet he is not a member of the
Government. When to-day he rose from the Opposition benches to defend
his conduct as Director-General of Recruiting and inspirer of the PRIME
MINISTER'S famous pledge to married men, he illustrated the anomaly by
the remark that, while he was doing his best to get that pledge
fulfilled, Lord SELBORNE, who was a member of the Government, had been
telling the farmers that he (Lord DERBY) did not speak with authority.

Later he did a second turn--this time in his capacity as Chairman of the
Joint Air Committee. Quite the most satisfactory part of his reply was
the announcement that Lord MONTAGU himself had consented to become a
member of the Committee. It is, of course, contrary to all the
traditions of the British Government to give a man a job which he
understands already. But in war-time even the most sensational
experiments must not be ruled out.

_Thursday, March 16th._--The House of Commons is so constructed that no
matter how often the party-system is expelled it will always return. In
spite of the Coalition, or perhaps because of it, the old strife of
Whigs and Tories has revived, though the lines of cleavage are quite
different from what they were.

The new Tories are the men who believe that the War is going to be
decided by battles in Flanders and the North Sea, and would sacrifice
everything for victory, even the privilege of abusing the Government.
The new Whigs are the men who consider that the House of Commons is the
decisive arena, and that even the defeat of the Germans would be dearly
purchased at the cost of the individual's right to say and do what he
pleased.

Naturally these latter object to the shortening of the Parliamentary
week, and to-day they took a division on the subject. Into the "No"
Lobby flocked a motley crew--the champions of the single men who don't
want to fight at all, the upholders of the married men who protest
against being called upon to fulfil their engagement until every single
"_embusqué_" has been dragged out of his lair, and, paradoxically
enough, the universal conscriptionists who would force everyone to
serve, but are opposed to piecemeal compulsion. The Government carried
their point easily enough by 128 votes to 67, but evidently have to
reckon with a new concentration of forces which may be more dangerous in
the future.

When the House of Commons passed the Bill prohibiting duelling it ought
to have made an exception in favour of its own members. Nothing would
have done more to raise the tone of debate, for offenders against
decorum would gradually have eliminated one another. This afternoon, for
example, Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD twitted Mr. HOGGE with sheltering himself
under the patriotism of a soldier stepson, and Mr. HOGGE retaliated with
the suggestion that Sir HAMAR ought to be with his regiment. A hundred
years ago this would have meant a meeting in Hyde Park and a possible
vacancy at Sunderland or East Edinburgh. To-day it merely brought a
rebuke from the CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES.

Again, in the days of our rude fore-fathers Sir JOHN SIMON would have
felt constrained to send a challenge to Mr. WALTER LONG. The late HOME
SECRETARY had delivered an attack upon the Government which Mr. LONG
declared would be heartily welcomed in Berlin. For a much less serious
accusation than that the Duke of WELLINGTON called out Lord WINCHELSEA.
Sir JOHN SIMON has no such resource, and must continue to suffer under
the imputation--a little consoled, no doubt, by the companionship of Mr.
HOGGE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Officer (handing despatches_). "Now, mind. If you're
captured with this you must eat it."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Young Lady, competent, wishes drive taxi, commercial or private
    car; preferably a doctor; advertiser has had three years'
    surgical training."--_Provincial Paper._

She should be useful, whatever happens.

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"Kultur at Home."

Each of the authors--Mr. RUDOLF BESIER and Mrs. JOHN SPOTTISWOODE--has
personal knowledge of the home-life of the Bosch; and their excellent
sketch of Prussian manners might have served usefully as a warning to us
if we could have seen it a few years ago. But at this time of day, after
nineteen months' experience of the enemy, I doubt its utility as a
source of illumination.

It would be futile to represent the Prussian officer as an angel in the
house, for we have long since learned to know him as a devil in the
field. And it is almost as futile to picture his prodigious
self-conceit, his vile taste in dress and furniture, his conjugal
infidelity, his habit of treating his women-folk as menials, since these
vices are human and venial in comparison with what the War has revealed.
Anyone might easily hazard the conjecture that the murderers of Belgium
had never entertained too fastidious a respect for womanhood; and after
the destruction of Louvain and Ypres it is mere bathos to insist that
the perpetrators of these outrages against art had previously cherished
a Philistine affection for antimacassars and plush sofas.

A common difficulty with me when I witness stage tragedies arising out
of a marriage of uncongenial types is to understand how the couple ever
came together. And so here, when the English girl, _Margaret Tinworth_,
in face of poverty and parental disapproval, marries a Prussian officer
in a small garrison town, and then finds all sorts of unbearable
conditions in her surroundings, one asks oneself, and fails to discover,
what kind of glamour he had cast over her that most of these conditions,
already patent enough in the society in which she had moved, had
contrived either to escape her notice or to appear tolerable. True, she
had gone to Germany to find release from the solitude of a motherless
home, where an unsympathetic father had no attention to spare from his
art treasures; but, with so admirable an aunt as _Lady Lushington_ to
chaperon her in her own country, it was not easy to see why she must
needs resort to exotic consolation.

[Illustration:
GERMAN FRIGHTFULNESS REPULSED.

_Lieutenant Kurt Hartling_ ...  Mr. Malcolm Cherry
_Margaret Tinworth_ ...  Miss Rosalie Toller.]

However, I do not propose to set my judgment up against that of the
authors, male and female, in regard to the credibility of her taste in
men, since, after all, the heart of a woman is a thing past finding out.
But I do venture to dispute the reasonableness of her ultimate attitude
in conditions where this enigmatic organ was not directly concerned. For
you are to understand that in the Third Act the brutality of her husband
and the insults hurled at England, which she was expected, as a
Prussianised wife, to approve, had become more than she could bear; and
in the last Act we find her in a Luxembourg hotel on her way home to
England under the care of _Lord_ and _Lady Lushington_. It is the 4th of
August, 1914; Germany has declared war; German regiments are marching
through the town; England has not yet spoken. The girl is in grievous
doubt as to whether she ought not, in the changed circumstances, to
return to her Prussian home. One could easily appreciate her attitude if
she had argued, "I am German by marriage; though I have lost my love for
my husband it is my duty, when he is risking his life for his country,
the country of my adoption, to go back and watch over his home for him."
But that was not her argument; her argument was that England--the
England that she had so stoutly defended against German ridicule and
contempt--had been false to her honour as the sworn friend of France,
and that it was her business to go back to Germany and eat humble pie.
Whatever the audience may have felt about these reflections on the
conduct of England, they must at least have been irritated by the
fantastic improbability of the girl's motive. Very fortunately at this
juncture the voice of the paper-boy is heard in the street conveying the
thrilling news of our tardy entry into the quarrel; and a glad
_Margaret_, having recovered her respect for her native land, consents
to return home to it.

Miss ROSALIE TOLLER played the part with great charm and sympathy, and
with a lightly-worn grace and dignity that were pure English. Serving as
a foil to her in taste and deportment and social tradition, the _Elsa
Kolbeck_ of Miss DOLLY HOLMES-GORE was extraordinarily German--a quite
remarkable performance.

Miss MARIANNE CALDWELL as _Frau Major Kolbeck_, the hostess of
_Margaret_, made a most lovable drudge; and Miss DORA GREGORY had no
difficulty in showing how the wife of a Prussian Colonel, though in her
husband's eyes her main purpose in life may be to minister to his inner
man, can wield an authority little less than that of the All-Highest
over the wives of the regiment. Female society in the little garrison
town was further represented by Miss MAY HAYSACK and Miss UNA VENNING,
who played, with more than enough vivacity, a brace of giggling
flappers, very curious about the more private portion of the bride's
trousseau.

Miss VANE FEATHERSTON, as _Lady Lushington_, had too little to do, and
did it most humanly; and Mr. OTHO STUART illustrated with a very natural
ease the kind of simple friendship, as between a man and a woman, which
it takes an Anglo-Saxon intelligence to understand.

The officers, though there might have been more of the blond beast about
them, were sufficiently Prussian, and Mr. MALCOLM CHERRY, as
_Margaret's_ husband, indicated with much precision the change in the
behaviour of a German gentleman, after marriage, towards the lady he has
consented to honour with the thing he calls his heart.

Apart from the one or two doubtful points which I have referred to, the
play went well, though it seems a pity that so much insistence should
have been laid upon the lack of culture (English sense) in households
where the strictest economy was essential. One was conscious of a rather
painful note of vulgarity in the attitude of _Margaret's_ father, where
he sniffs at the sordid environment of her German home. Impecuniosity is
of course a prevalent trouble among German officers in small garrison
towns; but one would have preferred that if bad taste in dress and
furniture had to be ridiculed the laugh should have been at the expense
of a richer society. Finally, I wonder a little that the authors, who
must have known better, should have helped to perpetuate the popular
misconception by which the German word "Kultur" is regarded as the
equivalent of our "culture."

O. S.


"A Kiss for Cinderella."

No well-fed person need ever quite expect to understand one of Sir J. M.
BARRIE'S mystery plays at a single sitting. That's one of his best
trumps, of course. But it always seems to me that, like so many writers
of genius, he never quite knows what are his best and what his poorest
things, and just tosses them to us to sort out for ourselves. In this
new instance, to work off a piece of strictly professional criticism, it
is clear that both prologue and epilogue are much too protracted. It is
a sound dramatic canon, which not even our most brilliant chartered
libertine of stage-land can flout with impunity, not to keep your
audience in too long a suspense while preparing your salient theme, nor,
after quickening their interest and firing their imagination, to chill
with the obvious or distract with the irrelevant.

Sir JAMES'S _Cinderella_ is maid-of-all-work to the housekeeper of a
retired humourist turned painter (Mr. O. B. CLARENCE), a vague peppery
sentimental old bachelor with an ideal of which a full-sized cast of the
"Venus di Milo" stands for symbol in his studio. _Cinderella_ is dumpy
and plain (that is the idea which Miss HILDA TREVELYAN tries loyally but
without much success to suggest to us), but she has the tiniest possible
feet. Regretfully admitting the superiority of Venus's "uppers" she
takes heart of grace, knowing from history how important in princely
eyes is her own particular endowment. She is always asking odd
questions, such as "why doctors ask you to say ninety-nine" and tailors
measuring gentlemen's legs call out "42-6; 38-7." She also has a queer
_penchant_ for stealing boards, betrays some connection with a firm,
Celeste et Cie. of Bond Street, and knows some German words. Which
concatenation of facts justifies the old bachelor in consulting a
friendly policeman (Mr. GERALD DU MAURIER). Bond Street turns out to be
a mean street, Celeste et Cie the name under which _Cinderella_ trades,
dealing in medical treatment, shaves, friendly counsel or dressmaking
all at a penny fee. Also she keeps in a Wendyish sort of way a _crêche_
for orphan babes in boxes evidently made of the borrowed boards.

Our policeman, coming to work up his case, loses his heart. But
_Cinderella's_ mind is preoccupied with her ball. Ill from overwork and
underfeeding, she wanders into the street, falls faint--and dreams her
ball. Whereupon our authentic magician, coming to his own, lifts a
curtain of her queer little mind and gives us an all too short glimpse
of the state function, with an _h_-dropping, strap-hanging King and
Queen out of a pack of cards; their disdainful Prince, who is none
other, of course, than our policeman done into a bewigged _Monsieur
Beaucaire_; a moody and peremptory Peer, _Lord Times_; the Censor
(black-visored, with an axe); a grotesquely informal Lord Mayor; a bevy
of preposterous revue beauties with their caps set at the Prince,
against an all-gold background with the orphans babbling in a royal box
above the throne. Of course you have the heroine's belated entry, her
triumph and her abrupt flight, and the voice of the distraught Prince
crying after her, which is of course the voice of her own policeman, who
finds her and takes her to hospital. Then convalescence in a cottage
(alleged, really a palace) by the sea and the final declaration of
"romantical" policeman's love.

Sir JAMES banked heavily on Miss HILDA TREVELYAN as his _Cinderella_.
The English tradition of manufacturing parts to fit your players,
instead of training players to create your parts, was never more
shrewdly followed. She was most adorable in the exquisite business of
arranging the offer of her policeman's hand. Mr. DU MAURIER'S bobby was
as delightfully honest, plain-witted, heavy-booted and friendly a fellow
as ever held up a bus or convoyed a covey of children across a street.
But as the Prince, who was "so blasted particular," he had a chance of
showing that rare talent for the grotesque which no part has given him
since his inimitable _Captain Hook_, I wish indeed we could see more of
him in this rich vein. _Mr. Clarence_ was the vague old gentleman (or
the vague old gentleman, _Mr. Clarence_) to the life. Miss HENRIETTA
WATSON, as the hospital doctor, bullied her patients and probationers in
the approved manner of medical autocrats of the gentler sex. An
excellent _Lord Mayor_ (Mr. LISTON LYLE), an irrepressible wounded Tommy
by Mr. A. E. GEORGE and an aristocratic probationer by Miss ELIZABETH
POLLOCK, were notable performances. Many others also ran--and ran well.
The piece should do the same.

T.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration:

_Optimistic Second_. "Keep it up, Bill; you're winning!"

_Boxer_. "Well, if I'm winning, Jim, the other poor bloke must be
copping something."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Kennel Companions.

    "Lady wishes join another in dogs' boarding home; trial first as
    paying guest."

    _Bournemouth Daily Echo._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The wedding was a quiet one. The bridegroom's party, who
    motored from Colombo, were met some distance away from the
    Walauwa by a procession of forty-five elephants, dancers, etc.,
    and was conducted to the bride's residence, where they were
    welcomed. Shortly after the arrival of the bridegroom's party, a
    wedding breakfast was served, seventy-five sitting down to a
    sumptuous repast."--_Ceylon Observer._

We wonder how many elephants, dancers and guests are required for a
noisy wedding, This, we note, was a quiet one.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GREAT PETITION.

    ["A notice has been received by parents whose sons are at Rugby
    School that, owing to increased cost of living, an extra week's
    holiday is to be given in the Easter vacation so that
    boarding-house masters should not feel the strain."--_Letter to
    "The Daily Mail."_]

Chapman major put down _The Daily Mail_ and looked round No. 11 study.
"Think of those Rugby blighters having all the luck," he protested.

"These prices will ruin old Dabs, and a jolly good job. The old beast
needs ruining." This from Dyson, occupied in writing out two hundred
Greek lines (with accents).

"The Head," said Chapman major, "may be a beast, but he's a bally
patriot. He swishes twice as hard on a day when the War news is bad. I
felt the fall of Namur more than anyone in England. What do you chaps
say to getting up a petition to him stating that under the distressing
circumstances we are ready to make sacrifices and give up two weeks'
school?"

"Rot," cried Dyson. "Hundred-and-seventy more to do before call-over.
I'd rather go on ruining Dabs."

But even Dyson, when once his lines were finished, caught the infectious
spirit of patriotism, and, like the rest, appended his signature to the
following prose composition from the laborious pen of Chapman major:--

"To the Rev. the Head Master,--Whereas the Great War for the liberties
of Europe involves sacrifices from all, and the rise in prices must
cause considerable difficulties, hitherto endured with noble
self-effacement, to house-masters, We, the undersigned, feel that a
corresponding sacrifice on our part is necessary, and respectfully pray
that we may be permitted to give up two weeks of the Easter term, thus
allowing ourselves more time for war-work in our respective homes and
relieving our house-masters from an overwhelming burden."

The petition was formally handed to the Head.

For two days he gave no sign. Then on the morning of the third day he
arose to address the school:

"In the dark days through which we are passing, when the liberties of
Europe tremble in the balance ("Hear, hear," from Chapman), it gratifies
me very much to receive a petition from the school suggesting that in
consequence of the financial strain there should be a prolongation of
the customary Easter vacation. It pleases me to see that the financial
responsibilities of the house-masters are appreciated by their charges.
Would that our _Government_ had the same patriotic horror of
extravagance! However we must consider the _post-bellum_ conditions. All
the intellect of England will be needed after the War ("Double holiday
task," prophesied Dyson). Yet I feel that steps must be taken on the
lines of your petition (an enthusiastic friend here patted Chapman on
the back). So, after consultation with the house-masters, I have
arranged that in future only two courses will be served at dinner, and
that there will be a reduction in the number of breakfast dishes. Thus
without your being handicapped in the intellectual contest your laudable
and patriotic desire to reduce expenses will be met. I may repeat that
your consideration for your house-masters, who perform useful and
necessary functions, has gratified me."

Number 11 study that night was barricaded against all comers. A howling
crowd in the corridor was demanding the blood of Chapman major.

"Didn't I tell you to keep on ruining Dabs?" said Dyson. "Now the old
beast will be wallowing in Exchequer Bonds bought out of our sausages
and suet."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Engineer-Storekeeper (dictating)._ "Two gross fire
bricks."

_Stoker (writing)._ "Two gross fire b--r--i--x."

_Engineer-Storekeeper._ "'B--r--i--x' don't spell bricks."

_Stoker._ "Well, wot _do_ it spell?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

Daylight-Saving.

    "Cook-General Wanted ... Comfortable home ... No washing or
    windows."

    _Morning Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Irish Sentry (placed, to enforce an order, on road which
is shelled by enemy whenever used by a body of men)._ "Ye'll have to
wait, Sorr, for somewan else to go wid ye before ye can pass along
here."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

(_By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks_.)

Even those who have overloaded their shelves with books about the War
must, I think, find a place for _From Mons to Ypres with French_, by
FREDERIC COLEMAN (SAMPSON LOW). It is a most remarkably vivid and varied
record of the writer's experiences, set down in a very simple and direct
style, without the least effort at flummery and high-falutin. I can
speak for one reader at any rate on whom it made a very deep impression.
Mr. COLEMAN is, by his own account, an American and an automobilist.
Those who get his book will judge him, by the unadorned account of what
he did, to be a man of great courage and modesty, with an imperturbable
shrewdness and a humour proof against all dangers and disappointments.
Driving, as he did, a motor-car for the British Headquarters, and in
particular for General DE LISLE, he saw as much fighting as any man need
wish for and had magnificent opportunities of forming a judgment on the
effects of German shell-fire. There is a pathetic photograph of his car
hit by a shell outside Messines. I have spoken of the simplicity and
directness of Mr. COLEMAN'S style; he himself describes his book as a
plain tale. It has, indeed, that kind of plainness which in dealing with
enterprises of great pith and moment has a peculiar brilliancy of its
own. The account, for instance, of the Cambrai--Le Cateau battle, with
all its vicissitudes, is extraordinarily graphic and interesting, and
the story of the charge of some fifty men of the 9th Lancers against
more than twice their number of German Dragoons of the Guard stirs the
blood as with the sound of a trumpet. Delightful too is the narrative of
how Major BRIDGES found two hundred completely exhausted stragglers
seated despairingly upon the pavement of the square at St. Quentin, and
how by means of a penny whistle and a toy drum he got them to move and
brought them eventually to Roye and safety. Altogether a capital book.

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Great Success_ (SMITH, ELDER) is about a new-risen literary star,
_Arthur Meadows_, his loving, unbrilliant wife, and a coruscating
society lion-huntress, _Lady Dunstable_. Having heard this much, you
will hardly need to be told that _Lady D._ takes up the author
violently, that he is dazzled by the glitter of her conversational
snares, and that the story resolves itself into a duel between her
ladyship and (I quote the publishers) "the wife whom she despises and
tries to set down." Nor are you likely to be in any uncertainty about
the final victory. This is brought about, with the assistance of the
long arm of coincidence, by _Doris_, the neglected wife, finding herself
in a position to prevent her rival's unsatisfactory son from contracting
matrimony with a very undesirable alien. _Doris_ indeed, and another
female victim of _Lady Dunstable_ (also deposited on the scene by the
same obliging arm), get busy unearthing so various a past for the
undesirable one that she retires baffled, epigrammatic brilliance bites
the dust, and domesticity is left triumphant. It is a jolly little
story, very short, refreshingly simple, and constructed throughout on
the most approved library lines. If the writer's name were not Mrs.
HUMPHRY WARD, I should say that she ought to be encouraged to persevere,
and even recommended to try her hand next time at something a little
more substantial.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let me recommend Mr. ROTHAY REYNOLDS' _My Slav Friends_ (MILLS AND BOON)
as a corrective to Mr. STEPHEN GRAHAM's _Holy Russia_, which I
prescribed some while ago with faint reservations. Both writers set out
to interpret our mysterious ally to us. Mr. GRAHAM always looks through
a rosy-tinted monocle. Mr. REYNOLDS takes the road of balanced
appreciations, candour and kindly humour--unquestionably more effective
in the matter of making sincere proselytes. He has produced a
fascinating book, discreetly discursive--a book that seems to let you
into the real secrets of a people's soul. He believes in the sincerity
of Russian promises to Poland, and claims that the Poles share his
belief, but he does not pretend that this most unfortunate of nations
has no grievances against its suzerain. I wonder whether our perverse
Intelligences are capable of making the deduction that, if the
progressives in Russia can forget their quarrel with reaction for sake
of our great common cause, they themselves might mitigate some of the
severity of their anti-tsarism. Mr. REYNOLDS has much that is to the
point to say about the good old British legends of darkest Russia now
chiefly kept going by third-rate novelists and unscrupulous journalists.
He makes it clear that, though there is much to change, changes are
coming as fast as they can be assimilated, indeed even a little faster.
Finally I wish that those who control the destinies of our theatre might
read what is written here of the traditions of the stage in a country
where the drama is an art, not a mere speculation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Despite its name there is a simple directness about the theme of Mr.
WARWICK DEEPING'S _Unrest_ (CASSELL) that I found refreshing. _Martin
Frensham_ was a dramatist, and the fortunate possessor of an adoring
wife, a charming home and a successful reputation. So quite naturally he
grew bored with all three. Then there came on the scene one _Judith
Ruddiger_, a widow, with red lips, who drove a great touring-car with
abandon, played masculine golf and generally appealed in _Frensham_ to
the elemental what-d'you-call-'ems. So these two decided to plunge into
the freer life by the process of elopement. I was a little disappointed
here. There had been so much chat about the Big Things that I had
expected a rather more expansive setting to their adventure than Monte
Carlo, followed by a round of first-class hotels. Moreover _Judith_, had
a way of addressing her companion as "partner," which emphasised her
wild Western personality to a degree that must have been almost painful
at a winter-sports' resort full of schoolmasters. So I was hardly at all
astonished when before long _Frensham_ grew more bored than ever.
Meanwhile the adoring wife (whom the author has sketched very
sympathetically and well) had refused to divorce him; and so in the long
run--well, you can see from the start where the long-run is destined to
end. But you will probably not like a pleasant tale the less for this.
Mr. DEEPING certainly has courage. There is a scene or two in which he
takes his amazonian _Judith_ to the very edge of bathos. "She could
shoot straight with a pistol, and proved it by bringing a revolver to
the summer-house, and making _Frensham_ hang his hat on the rail-fence
that ran along the wood." Rough wooing for timid dramatists! I couldn't
resist picturing how the late Mr. PÉLISSIER would have handled this
situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Contributor to "Poet's Corner" in country paper_. "I'm
afraid I'll have to charge something for my poems now that paper has
gone up."]

       *       *       *       *       *

I wonder whether EVELYN BRAXSCOMBE PETTER just decided that her novel
could not be up to date without a German spy and so forth, or whether
she really set out to do her bit for the War by commenting on the
Teutonic idea of honour. Anyhow, one must admit that her _Gretchen
Meyer_ is drawn with rather uncommon skill, even if her subterranean
mental processes are never exactly elucidated in _Miss Velanty's
Disclosure_ (CHAPMAN AND HALL). Though educated in England and
dependent, to their misfortune, on English friends for maintenance,
there always lurked in _Gretchen's_ attitude of impartial selfishness a
certain muffled hostility to the ways of this country, and particularly
to an objectionable habit she found in us of placing an exaggerated
value on straightforward dealing. This culminated in a quite gratuitous,
and indeed even insane, demand on the man who for his sins was in love
with her that he should surrender either his English ideal or her. That
he did as wisely as honestly in letting her go and be d----d to her, I
for one had no doubt, nor I think had the authoress, for, although she
could never quite forget that _Gretchen_ was her heroine, endowing her
with a kind of beauty and even baldly labelling her attractive, it is
really, on the whole, a designedly repulsive person she has presented to
us. Though an interesting study in Teuton perfidy and certainly better
written than the columns of most evening papers, I can hardly recommend
the book as a restful change from that class of literature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. H. B. MARRIOTT WATSON has invented a gentleman of the road, _Dick
Ryder_, of whom his publishers, METHUEN, confess themselves very proud
in that nice way they have. Armed with a bodkin and a barker he rushes
and tushes his way through life, slitting weasands and dubbing every
cully he meets a muckworm in the pleasant idiom current (so I take it on
faith) in the time of our second JAMES. I should have been more
impressed with this hero's feats in the first few tales of _As it
Chanced_ if they had been in the very faintest degree plausible. Never
surely were such preposterous fights, in which the whole action of a
score of desperate opponents is completely suspended while the
redoubtable one brings off his splendid stunts. I gratefully remember
once having been helped through a dull day by _The House on the Downs_.
Unless memory gilds my judgment the author put some reasonable amount of
invention into that. But these collected tales are rather indifferent
pot-boiling if you are to take any other standard but that of the
gallery's formula for yarns of adventure. Perhaps, "as it chanced," my
war lunch did not agree with me. But anyway I really cannot quite
honestly commend this volume to any but the most stalwart of Mr.
MARRIOTT WATSON'S many loyal friends.





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