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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-01-21
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. 158, 1920-01-21" ***

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VOL. 158.

January 21st, 1920.


We understand that the Frenchman who lost his temper so completely during a
duel with pistols that he threatened to shoot his opponent will be
suspended from taking part in similar encounters for the next six months.

* * *

A man who had half a ton of coal delivered to him without warning has been
removed to an asylum, where he is being treated for coal-shock.

* * *

Wrexham Education Committee has decided not to have Welsh taught in the
elementary schools. Doubts have recently arisen, it appears, as to whether
it will ever be the chosen medium of communication in the League of

* * *

"There is a movement on foot," says _The Daily Mail_, "to brighten the
dress of boys." Smith Tertius writes to say that, according to the best
opinion in his set, the waist should be worn fuller and less attention paid
to the "sit" of the shirt.

* * *

A man recently arrested in Dublin was found to have in his possession a
loaded revolver, three sticks of gelignite, four lengths of fuse, a number
of detonators and a jemmy. It is thought that he may have been dabbling in

* * *

"Demobilised men are doing such execution at the London World's Fair
Shooting Galleries," says a news item, "that the supply of bottles is
running short." Nothing, however, can be done about it till the PRIME
MINISTER returns from Paris.

* * *

"There is a proper time for the last meal of the day," says a medical
writer. We have always been of the opinion that supper should not be taken
between meals.

* * *

After addressing a meeting for two hours, says a contemporary, TROTSKY
fainted. A more humane man would have fainted first.

* * *

We feel very jealous of the suburban gentleman who wrote last week asking
what an O.B.E. was, and whether, if it was a bird, it should be fed on
hemp-seed or ants' eggs.

* * *

With reference to the wooden house which fell down last week, the builder
is of the opinion that a sparrow must have accidentally stepped on it.

* * *

Lord BIRKENHEAD describes the Coalition as an "invertebrate and undefined
body." Meaning that they have rather more wishbone than backbone.

* * *

An Indian native was recently sentenced to write a poem. In other countries
of course you commit a poem first and are sentenced afterwards.

* * *

Mr. F.H. ROSE, M.P., writing in _The Sunday Pictorial_, refers to the
Ministry of Munitions as "a veritable monument of superfluous futility."
For ourselves we don't mind futility so long as it isn't superfluous.

* * *

Will the lady who, during the Winter Sales' scramble, inadvertently went
off with two husbands please return the other one to his rightful owner?

* * *

Mr. J.H. SYMONS, the Weymouth draper novelist, has told a _Star_ reporter
that he only writes novels for a hobby. This sets him apart from the many
who do it with malicious intent.

* * *

A referee has lodged a complaint against the Football Club on whose ground
he was assaulted by several spectators who disagreed with his decisions.
Although sympathising with him we fear his attempt to rob our national game
of its most sporting element will not meet with general approval.

* * *

It is generally expected that, owing to the number of deaths from whisky
poisoning which have occurred of late, America may decide to go dry again.

* * *

It is reported on good authority that Mr. C.B. COCHRAN will visit America
daily until the signature of DEMPSEY'S manager is obtained.

* * *

LENIN, says a contemporary, has completed his plans for the overthrow of
civilisation. It seems that all our efforts to conceal from him its
presence in our midst are doomed to failure.

* * *

"A search for combined beauty and brains," says _The Daily Mail_, "has been
instituted by _The Weekly Dispatch_." We gather, however, that a good
circulation will also be taken into consideration.

* * *

According to the Technical Secretary of the Civil Aviation Committee a
vehicle has been designed which is equally at home in the air, on land, on
the water and under it. It is said to be distinguishable from Mr. WINSTON
CHURCHILL only by the latter's eloquence.

* * *

We understand that certain members of the betting classes have demanded
that the starting price for coal should be published each day in the early
evening papers.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCENE.--_Miles from anywhere._



_Tammas._ "AY--SHE'LL DO."]

       *       *       *       *       *


From a publisher's advertisement:--

    "'FALLING WATERS.' 'Not a dry page in it.'"

       *       *       *       *       *


    "The bride... carried a handsome bouquet of harem lilies."--_Local

       *       *       *       *       *


(_as they appear to be viewed by certain unofficial guardians of public

  When Peace superseded the strife and the stress
  Which the public regard as a gift for the Press,
  It was feared in the quiet that followed the storm,
  With nothing to do but retrench and reform,
  That the Town would be painted a colourless tint
  And the printers have nothing exciting to print.

  That fear was unfounded, I'm happy to say,
  And red is the dominant tone of to-day;
  So far from incurring a shortage of news
  While the place is made fit for our heroes to use,
  We cannot remember a rosier time;
  We have rarely enjoyed such an orgy of crime.

  There are scandals as nice for the reader to nose
  As any old garbage of carrion crows;
  Our mystery-mongers are full of resource;
  There's a bigamy boom and a vogue of divorce;
  To the licence of flappers we freely allude,
  And we do what we can with the cult of the nude.

  No, the War isn't missed; there's a murrain of strikes
  Where a paper can take any side that it likes;
  We are done with denouncing the filth of the Bosch,
  But we still have our own dirty linen to wash;
  Though we trade with the brute as a man and a brother,
  Our Warriors still can abuse one another.

  And if spicier features incline to be slack
  There is always the Chief of the State to attack;
  We have standing instructions to cake him with mud
  And a couple of columns reserved for his blood.
  Oh, yes, there is Peace, but our property thrives--
  We are having, I tell you, the time of our lives.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WANTED."



       *       *       *       *       *


    [_À propos_ of Premium Bonds it has been recalled that in his evidence,
    given some years ago before a Select Committee, the then Under-
    Secretary for Ireland stated that in that distressful country
    "lotteries are very much used for religious purposes by people of all
    denominations," and that "it would be flying in the face of public
    opinion, especially of the great religious bodies, to interfere with

Murphy has given up charity for ever. He was perhaps fuller of this virtue
than any other body in Ballybun, and his house was packed with things he
had won at raffles. When a brick tore a hole in the Orange drum our
Presbyterian pastor at once got up a bazaar for repairs to the chapel, and
Murphy won the finest silver tea-service this side of the Aran Islands.
Murphy knew no distinctions of race, creed or sex in the holy cause of
charity. When our Methodist minister, who is universally popular, as his
knowledge of a horse would be a credit to any denomination, got up an
Auction Bridge Drive in aid of the Anti-Gambling League, Murphy came home
with three pink antimacassars, a discourse by JEREMY TAYLOR and two months'
pay out of the pocket of McDougal, the organist, who seems to play cards by
ear. But Nemesis was lying in ambush for Murphy.

Three old ladies in Trim decided to get up a Tombola for the poor this
winter, and of course they sent Murphy a sheaf of tickets. As lotteries are
illegal they, being pious, hated them; anyway they decided to call it a
Tombola. They got the whole of Ireland to send them prizes, articles of
vertu and bric-à-brac, and any other old things that are of no use to
anybody, The carriage on the stuff and the printer's bill nearly ruined the
charitable ladies, but, as they said, the Tombola would pay all the
expenses, and if they could knock any more out of it the poor should have

If you sold a dozen tickets you could keep the thirteenth for yourself, and
as Murphy, on account of his charity, was so popular he must have sold
hundreds. People seemed to have an idea that the raffle was for a gondola,
and they thought it would look beautiful on the pond in front of the Town
Hall. Unfortunately our local poetess confirmed this error by writing a
poem about it called "Italy in Ireland," which was produced in _The
Ballybun Binnacle_, with a misprint about the gondolier's "untanned sole,"
which caused a fracas in the editorial office.

Murphy explained to all concerned that perhaps his Italian was rusty, and
anyway his time was so taken up reading lottery-tickets and other
charitable literature that he never knew what it was all for. It was a
Tombola, however, this time, and not a gondola, they were subscribing for.
It was a kind of Italian lottery which the police didn't mind because the
prizes were not in money or anything of value, but just Old Masters and
brick-bracks. Murphy has such a way with him that the editor and the
poetess each took a dozen tickets.

When the result of the draw was published Murphy won six prizes, but no one
grudged him them as he had taken so much trouble. The Grand Prize, a
"statue carved by an Italian artist, the finest bit of sculpture ever seen
in Ireland," was won by our popular grocer, Mr. McAroon. We were all
delighted. People trooped in crowds to McAroon's back-door after closing-
time to toll him so. The police took their names, but the magistrates, who
have a great respect for the fine arts, said that this was a day in the
artistic development of the Cinderella of the West which automatically and
_primâ facie_ regularised an extension of closing-hours.

McAroon said that his religion did not run much to statues, but that, to
show his tolerance to all denominations, especially to those on his books,
he would have it unveiled by his Minister. He would invite the Bishop and
all men of goodwill to be present at the ceremony. He would place it in the
corner of his garden overlooking the esplanade, where it would cheer the
simple mariners coming home after their arduous fishing toils, and perhaps
remind one or two of them (but he would mention no names) of a dozen or so
of porter that had been left unpaid for after a recent wedding.

The Ballybun express carries no goods whatever, except with the connivance
of the guard and driver, who are both very decent Ballybun boys, and will
bring anything down from Dublin for anyone. They promised to carry the
statue themselves from the railway station up to McAroon's house. If the
express was less than three hours late, which it was sure to be if it was
running smoothly, they could just beam-end the statue on its pedestal and
the presiding elder could unveil it with a hammer.

The train was not too late, just punctually late, and the guard had time to
hurry the statue along through the biggest crowd we have had for years in

The Minister said that he would not open the case with prayer, because it
might give offence to friends of other Christian denominations; he would
just knock the front off and let this matchless piece of statuary from the
blue skies of Italy dazzle them with its beauty. It needed no words from
him, but he would just like to remind any of his flock present that the
collection next Sunday was for the heathen both at home and abroad.

The statue then flashed out on us and left us breathless.

It was the most scandalous thing ever seen in Ballybun; it was Venus rising
from the sea without a stitch. There she stood with one hand raised toward
the sky and the other pointing at the backs of all the pious people in
Ballybun as they hurried indignantly home. Some of them blamed McAroon,
while others said that Murphy knew all the time what a Tombola really was
and that he ought to be ashamed of himself.

The Bishop ordered his people not to deal at McAroon's until Murphy had
removed the scandalous object. So many bitter things were said that
McAroon, who is obstinate when roused, vowed that as long as the sun shone
in heaven the lady should add lustre to his back-yard. The Minister however
tried to move him to a more prayerful spirit.

McAroon said it wouldn't be right to smash up for firewood a marble statue
that had cost five hundred pounds if a penny. The clergyman said that if
everybody stopped away from his store he would lose more than that in a
year, and that in any case, if McAroon suffered, he would suffer in the
holy cause of charity.

McAroon's piety was touched, and he said that in the interests of peace and
holy charity he would agree on a compromise. He had forsooth to keep his
vow and let the lady stop, but she had two outstretched arms and there was
always abundance of family washing on hand in the daytime at all events.
The clergy of all denominations agreed that his decision was in keeping
with the best traditions of a Family Grocer.

Murphy and McAroon made it up publicly. Murphy asked how anyone in Ballybun
could possibly know the Italian bathing regulations. Italy was a godless
country; but "anyway," said he, "hear you me. I have suffered so much in
mind from this that I have done with charity for ever."

Christian peace and friendship reign once more in Ballybun; but any visitor
who desires to see the beauties of Spagnoletti's famous masterpiece (what
McAroon calls his "Anna Dryomeny") without the washing to serve as a veil
must come by night and bring his own matches.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Wife_ (_to amateur politician_). "NAH THEN--WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? IN

       *       *       *       *       *


  All coiled down, and it's time for us to go,
  Every sail's furled in a smart harbour stow,
  Another ship for us an' for her another crew;
  An' so long, sailorman. Good luck to you!

  Fun an' friends I wish you till the pay's all gone,
  Pleasure while you spend it an' content when it's done,
  An' a chest that's not empty when you go back to sea,
  An' a better ship than she's been an' a truer pal than me.

  A good berth I wish you in a ship that's well-found,
  With a decent crowd forrard an' her gear all sound,
  Spars a man can trust to when it comes on to blow,
  An' no bo'sun bawlin' when it's your watch below.

  A good Trade I wish you an' a fair landfall,
  Neither fog nor iceberg, nor long calm nor squall,
  A pleasant port to come to when the work's all through...
  An' so long, sailorman. Good luck to you!


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE NEW POOR.



       *       *       *       *       *


(_With the British Army in France._)

"If I am to be a bold bad smuggler, old scream," said Percival, packing
pyjamas and parcels into his bag, "I demand the proper costume and
accessories of the craft. No self-respecting smuggler can be expected to
run a cargo in a British warm and field-boots."

"Of course, my swaggering buccaneer, if you want to do it in the grand
manner," answered Frederick, "I'll arrange for the saucy little cutter, the
sequestered cove an' the hard-riding exciseman with a cocked hat and
cutlass. But the simpler if less picturesque way is to dump your bag on the
counter at the Customs House and be taken with a fit of sneezing when the
Grand Inquisitor asks you if you have anything to declare."

"Whereupon he'll hand me a quinine tablet and, when I show signs of
convalescence, repeat the question in a loud voice. And if I don't know the
correct answer I'll find myself meditating in Portland or Pentonville.
That's what I'm exposing myself to by obliging corrupt an' unscrupulous
friends," continued Percival bitterly.

"Hang it!" expostulated Frederick, "the potty little bottle of scent I'm
asking you to deliver to my cousin Julia won't get you more than a
seven-days' stretch. And you've got _fourteen_ days' leave."

"Well, I won't grumble about that, although I'd arranged my programme
differently. But what about the box of Flor Fantomas I'm taking for the
Major, and the bottle of whisky with which the skipper has entrusted me for
the purpose of propitiating his projected father-in-law, to say nothing of
the piece of Brussels lace which Binnie says is for his aunt. Their
combined weight will just about earn me a lifer. I can see me wiring the
War Office for an extension of leave on urgent business grounds--nature of
business, to enable applicant to complete term of penal servitude."

"Don't, Percival, old crumpet," murmured Frederick, visibly affected; "the
thought of you languishing in a felon's cell, without cigarettes, gives me
a pain in my heart. Let me see what I can do for you."

In a few minutes he was back, beaming. "I've fixed it all right, _mon
lapin_," he said; "if the worst comes to the worst they'll bail you out
with the Mess funds. But they won't accept further responsibility. The
Major says, if a fellow who's spent his whole career dodging duties can't
dodge the duty on a box of cigars he doesn't deserve sympathy."

So Percival proceeded on leave with a heavy bag and a heavier conscience.
On the boat he was greeted hilariously by Gillow the gunner and Sparkes the
sapper, who invited him below to drink success to the voyage. In order to
give the voyage no chance of failure they continued to drink success to it
until the vessel backed into Folkestone Harbour, when they felt their
precautions might be relaxed.

"Thanks to our efforts we've arrived safely," said Gillow as they strolled
up on deck; "but the sight of jolly old England doesn't seem to be moving
you to mirth and song, Percival. Why this outward-bound expression when
we're on the homeward tack, my hearty?"

"It's the gnawing molar of conscience," said Percival ruefully; "I've got a
consignment of pink-ribboned parcels in my bag which I know to contain
contraband and which I also suspect--Frederick's and Binnie's anyway--to
contain amorous missives not meant for vulgar eyes. If I deliver the
parcels with the seals broken I shall get the glacial glare from the
damsels concerned, and when I get back scorpions and poisoned bill-hooks
will be too good for poor Percival."

"Phew!" whistled Sparkes. "They go through your baggage with a fine
toothcomb nowadays. Couldn't you drop over the side with your bag and drift
ashore on a deserted beach, disguised as a floating mine?"

"I've cut impersonations of hardware out of my _répertoire_ since the day I
failed to get past an R.T.O. disguised as a brass-hat," said Percival
sadly. "I suppose I must fall back on direct action. I've a feeling that
England expects every man this day to pay his duty."

On the quay there was the usual mad charge of porters. Percival indicated
his bag to one of them with a distracted air, and followed him to the
Customs House guiltily. The porter dumped the bag before an official, who
had a piece of chalk hopefully poised between his fingers.

"'Nything t' 'clare?" he asked, preparing to affix the sign which spelt

Percival blew his nose violently, hoping the chalk would descend to save
him the necessity of answering, but it remained poised in mid-air.

"Anything to declare?" repeated the official, with emphasis.

"Er," said Percival weakly--"nothing that you need worry about--only a few

"I'll have to trouble you for your keys, then," said the incorruptible.

Percival sighed dismally and produced them. Suddenly he noticed Gillow
declaring his baggage, and became so interested that he failed to perceive
that the official was in difficulties with the lock of his bag.

"This the right key, Sir?" demanded the latter at length.

"Oh, yes," said Percival absently. "But perhaps the bag isn't locked."

The bag wasn't. It opened easily, and the official plunged into a welter of
articles of personal use; but no parcels or dutiable goods came to light.

"P'raps you think it's a joke, wasting my time like this," snorted the
official indignantly. "All I can say is, it's an infernal bad one."

"Awf'lly sorry," said Percival sweetly, as his eye followed Gillow, who had
emerged unchallenged. "I must have forgotten to bring the parcels I spoke

Smiling cheerfully, he directed the porter to place his bag by the side of
Gillow's in a Pullman, and took his seat with an expression of complete

"How fares the master criminal?" asked Sparkes.

"A sympathetic friend took my troubles on his shoulders," said Percival,
"and got the parcels through with an effrontery which amazed me. I always
took him for an upright youth, too."

"Who was it?" asked Gillow.

"You! Didn't you notice you took my bag by mistake? But don't let it weigh
unduly on your conscience. Mine's clear anyway, and I feel that my troubles
are over."

But it was not till he got home and opened his own bag that he discovered a
quantity of broken glass, a pungent odour of whisky and Cologne water, a
discoloured parcel of lace and a box of sodden cigars.

"I was never meant for a smuggler," he groaned.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Oh the glory of the trappers!
    Oh to be as in this book,
  Chasing things in furry wrappers,
    Poking from their crevice-nook
  Loudly though they squeak and grumble,
    Squirrel fitch and Arctic cat
  (_Editor:_ "I do not tumble;
  Will you please explain this jumble?"
    _Author:_ "I shall come to that").

  Oh! (as I was just remarking
    When you interrupted me)
  Where the marabouts are barking
    It is there that I would be;
  Where on promontories stony
    All the loud Atlantic raves
  And the, if not very tony,
  Still quite practical seal coney
    Plunges in the wind-whipt waves.

  Where the graceful skunk opossum
    And the stylish leopard mink
  Scamper as you come across 'em,
    Climb upon the cañon's brink,
  Gambol with the pony musquash,
    Claimed not for a collar yet--
  Far away from London's bus-squash
  And advertisements of tusk-wash
    Are my yearning visions set.

  If such dreams and such romances,
    Editor and reader mine,
  Have not filled your heart with fancies--
    Silence and the lonely pine,
  Distant snows that cool the fever
    Of a weary world-worn soul,
  There where life is no deceiver
  And the wallaby-dyed-beaver
    Makes a very natural mole--

  If you have not heard the calling
    Of the lone, lone trail and far,
  Where the animals enthralling
    I have lately mentioned are,
  Nature splendid and full-blooded,
    Just a gun and pipe and dog
  (How those avalanches thudded!)--
  No? Why, then you can't have studied
    Perkins' Bargain Catalogue.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.


       *       *       *       *       *



This match of a hundred up was played in the handsome saloon of the
"Leadswingers' Arms" yesterday afternoon before an unusually dense crowd,
who both came in just too late to secure the table. It is understood that
the game was arranged as the result of a heated discussion during lunch the
same day, in the course of which Herbert had the effrontery to tell me--I
mean, to tell James--that what I--that is, he--knew about billiards
wouldn't cover the pyramid-spot. James, who some hours later thought of a
perfectly priceless repartee, which he has since forgotten, replied with
dignity by challenging the other to an immediate game. Herbert accepted
and, hastily finishing their lunch, the two repaired to the nearest

"I'm not due back at the office for another twenty minutes, so we've tons
of time," observed Herbert airily as they entered.

James looked at him, but said nothing. He had the better of the opening
manoeuvres, however, for he secured the only cue that possessed a
non-flexible tip; Herbert's was at the best of the semi-rigid type, a fact
which impelled him to declare that the place would soon resemble a popular
tea-shop. Not being pressed for an elucidation of this remark, he
volunteered one. "No tips," he explained as he tenderly chalked his.

Herbert won the toss and elected to break with spot, which appeared to be a
rounder ball than its fellow. Taking a careful and protracted aim at the
red, he only missed the object-ball by inches, his own travelling twice
round the table before finally coming to rest in baulk.

"Now then, Inman," he said, with a poor attempt at jauntiness, "score off
that if you can."

James's reply was a calculated safety-miss, which only failed of its
intention in that it left his ball about an inch away from the middle
pocket. The closeness of the contest may be gauged from the fact that at
this stage the game was called (or would have been called if the marker had
not gone out to his dinner) at one all.

"In off the white," declared Herbert, and promptly potted it. "Sorry," he
added almost before the ball was in the pocket.


[The continuous line shows the path of the striker's ball and the dotted
lines those of the object balls.]]

For some time after this episode, which chilled the atmosphere a trifle,
the exchanges were uneventful. A slight tendency towards "barracking" on
the part of the crowd was quickly stifled, however, by a brilliant effort
from James, who by means of all-round play built up an attractive break of

Herbert at once responded by taking off his coat, but for several innings
contributed nothing else of note except a powerful shot which pocketed the
red ball in the fireplace. After an agreement had at last been reached
about the rule governing this particular class of stroke, both players
settled down to their work and put in some useful breaks, runs of 3, 7 and
4 by James being countered by 2, 5, 6 and 3 (twice) by Herbert. The latter
was the first to reach the 50-mark, an event which the crowd signalised by
hanging up their hats and advancing to the table. When they were informed
that the game was one of a hundred up, they seemed disposed to argue the
matter, and from this stage their attitude towards the players became
openly and impartially critical.

The latter half of the match was marked by a somewhat peculiar incident.
With the game standing at 75 all Herbert made a stroke that left the red
hovering on the brink of a pocket. He waited anxiously, but with no result.
At this point one of the crowd emitted a prodigious yawn, and it was the
intense vibration set up from this act, so James declared, that induced the
ball to topple over into the pocket. In support of his contention that no
score should ensue he pointed to a framed copy of the Rules of Billiards on
the wall that balanced a coloured advertisement of Tommy Dodd whisky, and
recited the rule on vibration. Herbert strenuously denied that any such
phenomenon had taken place, and when James appealed to its author he was
met with such an outburst of elephantine sarcasm that he refrained from
further contesting the point.

After this the luck of the play went against James, and when, the marker
having by now finished his meal, the score was actually called at 90-99 in
his opponent's favour, he might have been excused for giving up the game as
lost. With dogged determination, however, he faced the situation. His own
ball was somewhere near the centre, the red about eighteen inches from the
top left-hand pocket, and the white midway between the right-hand cushion
and the D. With an almost superhuman stroke (but _not_, as was subsequently
averred, with his eyes shut) he smote the red, and his ball travelled
rapidly up and down the table. On the down journey it glanced off the
white, after which, still going at a tremendous pace, it made a complete
tour of the table and concluded its meteoric career in the bottom
right-hand pocket. Meanwhile the red and the white had both departed on
voyages of their own, the terminus in each case being the self-same pocket.
(_See diagram._) After the balls had been taken out, examined and counted,
and James's person had been searched to see if he were concealing any, the
marker pronounced this to be a 10-shot, and the game was thus strikingly
ended in James's favour.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


  "The Great Song of a Britisher is--
  'There's No Place Like Home.'
          STAY AT ----'S HOTEL,
  And you'll Sing it and Realise it."--_South African Paper._

    "The mere selling of an article is a simple matter, but keeping the
    customer sold is our principal aim."--_Advt. in West Indian Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Novice._ "WOULD YOU MIND MY PASSING, PLEASE?"


       *       *       *       *       *


I am, I hope, decently modest. When I said so once to Margery she remarked
that there was no need to make a virtue of necessity. But younger sisters,
of course...

I came down to breakfast at my usual time--as the others were finishing--
and found a letter awaiting me. I opened it under the usual fire of insults
from Margery and John. To-day I ignored them, however, and my young heart
gave a small jump. I am a modest young man.

"What's the matter with you, little Sunbeam?" asked John (he is Cecilia's
husband, through no fault of mine). "Is the tailor more rude than usual, or
has she found out your address?"

"The Vicar has asked him to sing at the Band of Hope," suggested Margery.

I commenced my breakfast.

"What is it, Alan?" asked Cecilia.

"Oh, nothing," I said easily. "The proof of a thing of mine that _Punch_
has accepted."

They hadn't a word to say for a few seconds, then Margery began:--

"Poor old dear, it must be some awful mistake."

I ignored Margery.

"But, Alan darling, how beautiful! You've been trying for years and years
and now at last it has happened. I _do_ hope it isn't a mistake," said
Cecilia anxiously. She was trying to be nice, you know. I'm sure she was. I
went on with my breakfast.

"Well, John," said Cecilia, "can't you congratulate him, or are you too

John sighed deeply and pondered.

"Terrible how _Punch_ has gone down since our young days, isn't it?" he
said heavily.

       *       *       *       *       *

I spent a miserable time until it appeared. Somehow or other Cecilia let
the great glad news get about the village. Farley, our newsagent and
tobacconist, held me when I went in for an ounce of the usual mild.

"So I 'ear you've 'ad a article printed by this 'ere _Punch_, Sir," he
said. "Somethink laughable it'd be, I suppose like, eh?"

"Not half," I said, striving hard to impersonate a successful humourist.

"Ah, well, it's all good for business," he said, as one who sees the silver
lining. "I've 'ad quite a number of orders for the paper for the next two
or three weeks."

I crept from the shop, only to meet an atrocious woman from "The Gables,"
who stopped me with a little shriek of joy.

"Oh, Mr. Jarvis, I've been dying to meet you, do you know. I always have
thought you so funny, ever since that little sketch you got up for the
Bazaar last summer. I said to my husband when I heard of your success,
'_I'm_ not surprised. After that sketch, _I knew_.' _Do_ tell me when it's
appearing. I'm sure I shall simply scream at it."

I escaped after a time and wondered whether it was too late to stop
publication of the horrible thing.

       *       *       *       *       *

I came down to breakfast and found John with a copy beside him. I looked at

"Yes," he said, "the worst has happened. It is in print. We have been
waiting for you to appear."

He turned the pages and cleared his throat.

"I shall now read the article aloud," he said. "Each time I raise my hand
the audience will please burst into hearty laughter."

Margery giggled.

"Cecilia," I said, rising, "if you don't control this reptile that you have
married, if you don't force him to hold his peace, if you allow him to read
one word, I'll throw the bread-knife at him and ... and pour my coffee all
over the tablecloth."

"John," said Cecilia, "have a little thought for others and read it quietly
to yourself."

Cecilia meant well, of course, but Margery giggled again.

John read it to himself in a dead silence, sighed heavily and passed it to

"We shall never live it down," he said, putting his head into his hands and
gazing moodily at the marmalade.

Margery read it and giggled three or four times; but Margery giggles at

Cecilia read it and beamed.

"Alan, dear," she said, "it's lovely! Of _course_ they accepted it. John,
you wretch, say you liked it." (Cecilia can be a dear.)

"Well, if I must tell the truth," said John, "it isn't quite so bad as I
expected. In fact I very much doubt whether he wrote it at all. If he
did--well, it's a marvellous fluke, that's all."

I smiled.

"You may smile, swelled-head," said John; "but I'll bet you five golden
guineas to a bad tanner you couldn't do it again."

"Done," I said.

After a few days, however, I realised that I had made a mistake. Even a bad
sixpence is worth something nowadays.

Cecilia and Margery vied with each other in offering me the feeblest
suggestions for articles that they felt sure would reduce a rhinoceros to
hysterics. John presented me with a copy of _A Thousand and One Jokes and
Anecdotes_ "to prove he was a sportsman," he said. I started to look for a
bad sixpence.

Then Margery said to me:--

"Why don't you write and explain the whole thing to the Editor and offer to
go halves if he prints it?"

I looked at her in amazement.

"You horrible little cheat!" I said.

       *       *       *       *       *

However, on thinking it over carefully there seems a lot to say for the
idea and it's really quite fair. Anyhow I can't possibly let John win. So
here's the story, and with any luck it will cost John five golden guineas.
But I shan't give the Editor half.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Little Girl (rather sceptical about what she regards as her

       *       *       *       *       *


From _Punch_:--


    The hymns to be sung will be (1) "All people that on earth do well."'--
    _Rangoon Times._"

From _The Manchester Evening Chronicle_:--


    The hymns to be sung will be (1) "All people that on earth do dwell."'

    _Rangoon Times_, quoted in _Punch_."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It was reported to the Sanitary Committee yesterday that the Inspector
    of Nuisances had made arrangements for the repair of the meteorological
    instruments."--_Local Paper._

Judging by our recent weather, quite the right man to look after it.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a money-lender's circular:--

    "Having been, perhaps, the richest nation in the world before the war,
    and wealth being only comparative, it is our empirical duty to achieve
    a like position again."

So that's why they are "trying it on."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The news, says the Paris correspondent of _The Times_, in itself is
    serious enough as showing the dangers of letting the Adriatic
    settlement continue to be at the mercy of a coup de theatre or coup de
    d'etat, whichever one may like to call it."--_Evening Paper._

We fancy the Paris correspondent of _The Times_ would prefer the former.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_As dispensed by the LORD CHANCELLOR and a predecessor_).

INJURED PARTIES (_simultaneously_).


       *       *       *       *       *


_Master of the Ceremonies._ "LOOK 'ERE! 'FORE MY MAN FIGHTS HE WANTS TWO

       *       *       *       *       *


"Dundee is dead," said my wife, returning from her morning visit to the

"I am very sorry to hear it," I replied, laying down the newspaper on the
breakfast-table, at which I still lingered; and indeed I was sorry. Dundee
had been our household cat from the earliest days of our married life, from
the time when he was a tiny kitten the colour of marmalade, which had
earned him his name.

"Cook is very much upset," my wife continued.

"Her distress does her credit," I answered.

"She talks of leaving."

I must confess with shame that a pang acuter than the first went through me
at the news, for Cook was one of those rare artists who understands the
value of surprise and never rides success to death.

"Ask her to reconsider her decision," I said.

"I have," said my wife, "and she remained immovable."

"Perhaps when the first shock has worn off?"

"There is just a chance."

"Yes, I am sure you can persuade her," I concluded, preparing to leave for
my office.

"Before you go," interrupted my wife, "what are we going to do about the

"How does one usually dispose of dead cats?" I asked. "I thought the

"Out of the question."

"I know it is forbidden by the by-laws of the Corporation, but a shilling

"How stupid you are! If anything were to decide Cook to go it would be
handing over Dundee's remains to the dustman. You know how particular Cook
is about funerals."

I knew indeed. The rate of mortality among her friends and relations was
abnormally high, and on account, as I suspect, of her skill in cookery she
was in frequent demand as a mourner. By continual attendance she had
cultivated a nice sense of what was fitting on these occasions and posed as
an authority on the subject.

"Very well, then, let's have him buried," I said.


"In our garden."

"Who by?"

"Palmer or Emily."

Palmer and Emily are respectively the parlour- and house-maid.

"Both would say it was not the work for which they were engaged. They would
leave at the same time as Cook, if I asked them."

"Who else can we get?" I asked.

"Yourself," my wife made answer.

"Me? But I can't be seen by all the street burying a cat." I should explain
that our only garden is in front of the house.

"If you wait till it is dark you needn't be afraid of anyone seeing you,"
protested my wife.

"And run the risk of being detected by some suspicious policeman. No, thank

"Then if you won't do it yourself you must find someone who will. It is our
last hope of persuading Cook to stay."

"By heaven!" I cried, looking at my watch, I am a quarter-of-an-hour late.
I must run."

This was my customary device to evade the embarrassing dilemmas which my
wife not infrequently thrust upon me at this hour. So for the moment I
escaped. All day in the office I was fully occupied. From time to time the
memory of Dundee lying stark in the basement obtruded itself upon my
thoughts, but I dismissed the vision as one does a problem one has not the
courage to face.

The problem remained unsolved when I stepped out of the train on my return
from the City. To gain time for reflection I resolved to make a détour. As
I struck into an unfamiliar side street, I looked up, and there in front of
me stood an undertaker's shop.

The inspiration! I entered. From the back premises advanced to meet me the
undertaker, with a visage tentatively wobegone, not yet knowing whether I
was widower, orphan, businesslike executor or merely the busybody family
friend. I unfolded my difficulty. Beneath the outer crust of professional
melancholy there evidently seethed within the undertaker a lava of

"Certainly, Sir, certainly," he said. "It is not perhaps strictly in my
line, but one of my assistants will be delighted to earn an extra shilling
or so by obliging you. What name and address?"

I joyfully gave both and made my way home.

Midway through dinner came a ring at the front-door bell. Palmer
interrupted her service to answer, and returned to me with a card on a

"A gentleman to see you, Sir," she announced.

"How strange, at this hour! Who can it be?" asked my wife.

"The gentleman to bury Dundee," I explained in a lowered voice, as I passed
the visiting-card, deeply edged with black, across the table to her.

Next morning my wife was able to announce that Cook had consented to stay.
The burial of Dundee by a real undertaker had gratified her sense of the
correct. I departed to the City filled with self-complacency.

For a month I dwelt in this fool's paradise. Then one evening my wife
gently broke the news.

"I have something serious to tell you. Cook has given notice."

"Who is dead now?" I asked.

"No one. She is engaged to be married."


"Yes, to the young undertaker."

"What young undertaker?"

"The one who buried Dundee."

It was too true. At supper, after the inhumation, a mutual esteem had
sprung up that rapidly ripened into love. The enterprising young
journeyman, so enamoured of his calling that he consented to inter dumb
creatures in his leisure time, had evidently discerned in Cook, with her
wealth of funeral lore, a helpmeet worthy of himself; while Cook on her
side, conquered by his diligence and discretion, considered she had secured
a respectable settlement for life, with the prospect of obsequies of the
highest class for herself.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Cheery Member (to Club pessimist_). "HULLO, OLD CHAP!

       *       *       *       *       *


[The Rev. KENNEDY BELL, in _The Daily Sketch_, deplores the dreariness of
parish magazines and suggests, with a view to brighten their contents, that
clergymen should serve an apprenticeship on the daily Press.]

  The Reverend Mr. KENNEDY BELL
  Is wholly unable to say all's well
  With the state of our parish magazines,
  And is moved to indicate the means
  Of making their pages bright and snappy
  And bored subscribers cheerful and happy.
  Now the most original of his hints
  For galvanizing these dreary prints
  Is this: That every parson, before
  He aspires to be parish editor,
  Should join the staff of a leading daily
  And learn to write genially and gaily.
  It may be a counsel of sheer perfection,
  And yet, perhaps, on further reflection,
  We may admit that something is gained
  By the plan of having clergymen trained
  In the very heart of the Street of Ink
  To paint their parish magazines pink.
  So generous laymen may haply decide
  That it _may_ be worth their while to provide
  Each KENNEDY BELL with stepping-stones
  To rise to the height of a KENNEDY JONES.
  But others, a small and dwindling crew,
  Possibly fit, but certainly few,
  And cursed with a most pronounced capacity
  For suffering from inept vivacity,
  Would gladly be reckoned as unenlightened
  Could they keep one class of journal un-"brightened."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "MY DEAR, YOU ARE NOT DANCING."


       *       *       *       *       *


It happened only a couple of weeks ago, but the horrible memory comes back
to me as if it only happened yesterday. It was my own fault, because with a
telephone loose about the place one ought not to encourage other pets.

"Well," I said to Sibyl, "there we are, and we must make the best of them."

Sibyl sniffed as she usually does when these periodical occurences happen
in our house.

"Which of them are you going to keep?" she asked, "and is it really
necessary to keep any of them?"

"Well," I said; "but----"

"What I mean to say," said Sibyl, "better do away with them when they are
quite young. It would be far more humane."

"I am with you up to a point," I said; "I admit they are not a very
prepossessing lot."

"How they came to be born at all is what I cannot understand," said Sibyl,
who is always like that when trying to be serious.

"Well," I said, "I have decided to keep one of them--No. 1."

"But surely," said Sibyl, "that the most delicate one of the lot."

That, I well knew, was quite true. Whether I should ever rear No. 1 was a
matter for time to prove. It was so delicate that once or twice already it
had been on the verge of collapse, but I had rallied it each time.

"As for the others," I said, "we shall have to get rid of them."

I need not go into painful details, but the thing was easily done. That
very evening, unfortunately, through an oversight, No. 1 perished also.

For this I blame McWhirter.

"The number of my bus is 21," he said in the theatre buffet that night; "by
the way what's yours?"

"Whisky," I said absent-mindedly, "and not much soda."

And it was only after I had drunk it that I realised my error. It was then
too late.

And that is how New Year Resolution No. 1--the most delicate of the
litter--passed away at the early age of one week.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Wanted, set of gold clubs, with bag, for lady."--_Local Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Her parents were hygienic, so they never let a germ intrude
  Within the cells and tissues of the girl they christened Ermyntrude;
  They bathed her body every hour and all internal harm allayed
  By pouring Condy's Fluid on her butter and her marmalade;
  And when they dressed her took good care to tuck her chest-protector in--
  Result, she grew up strong and fair as any peach or nectarine.


  She had no fear of lion or of tiger (in imprisonment)
  And in an awful storm at sea she asked the mate what mizzen meant;
  It was a plucky act; if I'd neglected to report it you'd
  Never have known the depth and true dimensions of her fortitude.
  If you remain agnostic, if you hold it still not proven, I'll
  Give fifty more examples of her courage when a juvenile;
  They lie in my portfolio, all printed, filed and docketed,
  Including one in which a stick of dynamite she pocketed.


  She also painted: one could tell her pictures mid a billion,
  So daubed were they with ochre blots and splashes of vermilion;
  She claimed to be a connoisseur of _objets d'art_ and curios,
  But what attracted notice was her openwork and lury hose,
  Fashioned in every colour from magenta down to cinnabar,
  Suggestive of a rainbow or the various liquors _in_ a bar.


  So when she came to twenty-one, the age they call discretional,
  The trooping of her followers was, in a word, processional.


  But she disdained flamboyant types and snubbed the gay and gildy brand;
  Instead she loved a decadent whose pagan name was Hildebrand,
  Until that sad occasion when she met him coming back o' night,
  His system loaded up with bhang and opium and aconite.


  An artist next attracted her; she turned on her cajoleries,
  And soon in unison they laughed at other people's drolleries;
  His speech was polychromous (as the speech of many a carman is);
  He mostly talked of masses, lights, half-tones and colour-harmonies;
  That was his doom, for one fine day he went to his sarcophagus,
  The word "_chiaroscuro_" stuck deep down in his oesophagus.


  I do not know; it may have been her hose that took poor Rendall in,
  Who previously had flirted with her elder sister, Gwendoline.
  This Rendall was a wholesale dealer, very rich and large in all
  His habits, though he always said his profits were but marginal.
  Well, Rendall kept on waddling round her, like a tired and tardy yak;
  His movements showed beyond a doubt that his disease was cardiac;
  He took her on the river; after thinking for a time, aloud
  He said, "I will propose to you; that is, of course, if I'm allowed."


  And she replied, "If I were going to propose, I'm blest if I
  Would personate an elder who is just about to testify.
  Now first of all I must remark that Love has come to grip you late
  In life, but, passing over that, I've certain things to stipulate:
  You must exhibit interest, as even Goth or Vandal would,
  In curios and bric-à-brac, in ivories and sandalwood;
  And you must cope with cameo, veneer, relief and lacquer (Ah!
  And, parenthetically, pay my debts at bridge and baccarat).
  I dote on Futurism, and so a mate would give me little ease
  Whose views were strictly orthodox on MYRON and PRAXITELES.
  You do not understand," she sneered, "so gross is your fatuity;
  Well then, I answer 'No,' without a trace of ambiguity."


  And Rendall turned back sad at heart; but in a stride his honey-bee
  Was in his arms exclaiming, "Then would wasted all your money be.
  Come, I will take you with your faults and try to make the best of you;
  Your purse is good; perhaps in time I may improve the rest of you."

                  [_Publishers' Note_.

  Readers who are not sated yet and still for more are hungering
  Will find Vol. II. describe how E. gave cause for scandal-mongering.
  Vol. III. narrates how R. became enamoured of a fairy at
  A ball, was robbed of all his wealth and joined the proletariat.
  How E. washed clothes to earn her bread, while R. reclined in beery ease
  Upon his bed, will be exposed in Vol. IV. of this series.
  And further volumes show exactly what was worst and best in E.,
  And how at last, aged eighty-four, she found her life's true destiny.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Just before the war we were in danger of having the ugly and even
    abominable word 'aviator' fostered upon us. Just as that word seemed
    victorious, _The Times_ suddenly announced that it had decided once and
    for all to use 'airman' instead, and there can be no doubt that the
    example there set, which was copied by journalists on other papers,
    secured the predominance of a good new English word over a deformed
    importation."--_Times Literary Supplement_.

    "The volume contains some 500 portraits of New England aviators."--
    _Same paper, same date, same page_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "QUARTER MILE CHAMPIONSHIP.--Record, Sgt. Smith (North Staffords), 5

  Wilkinson........ 1
  Goddard.......... 2
  Worsley.......... 3

An excellent win, Wilkinson putting in a wonderful spurt in the last 30
years."--_Indian Paper_.

From which we infer that he did not succeed in lowering Sergeant Smith's
remarkable record.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: "PLUMBER? OF COURSE NOT--]

[Illustration: I'LL PUT IT RIGHT.]

[Illustration: JUST GET ME A SPANNER--]

[Illustration: AND A HAMMER--]

[Illustration: AND A LADDER--]

[Illustration: AND SOME STRING--]

[Illustration: AND A WOODEN PLUG OR TWO--]



[Illustration: AND--]

[Illustration: THE DOCTOR."]

       *       *       *       *       *


The members of the League of Scottish Veterans of the World War met
recently in New York, and after "due deliberation" (_Query_, Can Scotchmen
deliberate "duly" in New York now?) passed a resolution demanding that
SHAKSPEARE'S tragedy, _Macbeth_, be removed from the curriculum of English
literature studies in American schools.

Apparently this was an example of "dry" Scotch humour. A neighbouring city
had previously banned _The Merchant of Venice_ from its schools on the
ground that the character of _Shylock_ was a libel on the Jewish race. If
Jewish children no longer had to pay for school editions of _The Merchant
of Venice_ should Scottish infants still have to squander their bawbees on
a play that insulted their forbears? Perish the thought! "We consider,"
they declared, "that if a Jewish gabardine is to be cleaned by American
Boards of Education the stain should likewise be removed from the Scottish
kilt." And if there are no reliable cleaners in the U.S.A. it should be
sent to Perth.

The example thus nobly set is being widely followed. The members of the
Southern Jazz-band Union met yesterday way down in Tennessee, and passed a
resolution demanding the elimination of _Othello_ from the educational
curriculum. The proposer declared with some heat that "no coloured
gentleman would spifflicate his missus wid a bolster on de word of a mean
white thief like dat _Iago_." The mere suggestion was dam foolishness and
an insult to the most prominent section of the freeborn citizens of the
U.S.A. "If dey gwine whitewash de Scotchman, why not de man ob colour too?"

At a representative meeting of Welshmen Mr. Jones ap Jones moved that, as a
protest against SHAKSPEARE'S treatment of _Fluellen_ and the Cymric
vegetable symbol, _Henry V._ "be no longer taught in Welsh schools or read
at Jesus College, Oxford, whateffer."

At a recent meeting of the S.P.R. it was proposed by Sir A. CONAN DOYLE, of
Oliver Lodge, Ether, Surrey, "that the Board of Education be asked, in the
interests of scientific truth, to suspend the teaching of _Hamlet_ until
the scenes in which the _Ghost_ appears shall have been emended in the
light of modern research by a committee of psychical experts appointed for
the purpose. The proposer quoted the line spoken by _Hamlet_ to the

  "Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,"

and said he would like to substitute for it, "Be thou a subjective
hallucination arising from an uprush of inhibited emotional disturbance
from the subliminal consciousness, or the objectivisation of a telepathic
communication from the extra-corporeal sphere of being, or, finally, a
manifestation to sensory perception of some supra-normal undulatory
movement of the ether."

He had always deprecated, he said, the meddling of untrained amateurs with
the details of psychic phenomena, and felt that the rule should be made
retrospective. An amendment was carried to add _Julius Cæsar_ and _Richard
III._ to the motion for similar reasons.

The Labour Party have decided to ask Mr. FISHER to ban _Coriolanus_ on the
ground that many of the speeches of the chief character betray an
anti-democratic bias, out of keeping with the ideals that should be set
before the rising generation. Phrases like "The mutable rank-scented many,"
applied to the proletariat, could only foster the bourgeois prejudices of
jaundiced reactionaries and teach the young scions of the capitalist
classes to look down upon the manual worker.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "For Sale Black Ebony Gentleman's Shaving Outfit."--_Local Paper._

We gather that our coloured brother is about to grow a beard.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_ (_buying music_). "OH, AND HAVE YOU GOT 'A LOVER IN


       *       *       *       *       *


  PORTA, the once notorious Michigander,
  Who launched the now exploded solar slander,
  Whereat ten thousand negroes stood aghast,
  In one short month into oblivion passed,
  But PICKERING'S momentous lunar screed
  Proves the persistence of this wondrous breed.
  Yet this in PICKERING'S favour let us state:
  He has no scare or scandal to relate--
  Nothing in any way that may impugn
  The credit or the morals of the moon;
  And on the other hand it does attract us
  To learn that she is growing sage and cactus.
  Hardly romantic vegetables, these,
  And not so edible as good green cheese
  Which nursery rhymers (banned by MONTESSORI)
  Associated with the lunar story.
  Still PICKERING'S vegetable views are tame
  Contrasted with Professor GODDARD'S aim;
  For he, as from the daily Press we learn,
  An obvious plagiarist of good JULES VERNE,
  Would have us build a Bertha fat enough
  To send a charge of high explosive stuff
  Across the intervening seas of space
  Bang into Luna's unoffending face.
  Meanwhile our own alert star-gazing chief,
  DYSON (Sir FRANK), is rather moved to grief
  Than anger by the astronomic pranks
  Played by unbalanced professorial cranks,
  Who study science in the wild-cat vein
  And "ruin along the illimitable inane."

       *       *       *       *       *


    "FOR SALE, NAVAL CADET'S (R.N.) MESS-DRESS; 39 inches side seam; pair
    cricket boots, purple velour hat, grey chiffon velvet dress."--_Daily

       *       *       *       *       *

    "SUEDE TURNIP, best varieties."--_Advt. in Tasmanian Paper._

No kid about this offer.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, at once, respectable Man for Polishing Porter."--_Daily

The manners of some of our porters notoriously leave much to be desired.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


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

_From Friend to Friend_ (MURRAY) is the name given, from the first of them,
to a collection of eight fugitive papers, prepared for republication by the
late Lady RITCHIE during the last months of her life, and now edited by her
sister-in-law, Miss EMILY RITCHIE. Fugitive though they may have been in
original intent, these pages are so filled with their writer's delicate and
very personal charm that her lovers will be delighted to have their flight
thus pleasantly arrested. Lady RITCHIE was above all else the perfect
appreciator. _Horas non numerat nisi serenas_; the gaze that she turns
smilingly upon old happy far-off days looks through spectacles rose-tinted
both by the magic of retrospect and her own genius for admiration. London,
Freshwater, Paris, Rome--these are the settings of her memories; and we see
them all by a light that (perhaps) never was on land or sea, in whose
radiance beauty and wit and genius move wonderfully to a perpetual music.
In truth, however, these eminent Victorians of Lady RITCHIE'S circle must
have been a rare company; I have no space for even a catalogue of
them--Mrs. CAMERON, with her vague magnificence, pouring letters and an
embarrassment of gifts upon her dear TENNYSONS; the KEMBLE sisters,
LOCKHART, THACKERAY himself, a score of great and (to the kindly
chronicler) gracious personalities live again in her pages. I should add
that the volume is rounded off by a short story, a late addition to the
_Miss Williamson_ series, which might be called a pot-boiler, were it not
somehow incongruous to associate so gentle a flame with any such
activities. Slight as it is, _From Friend to Friend_ forms an apt and
graceful finish to the work of one whose life was given to the claims of

       *       *       *       *       *

_Fanny goes to War_ (MURRAY) should be read by those who also went and
those who didn't. It is a chronicle of the adventures of the First Aid
Nursing Yeomanry in Belgium and France--vivid; inviting wonder, laughter
and sometimes tears; fresh and delicious. The account of the first visit to
the trenches awakens memories. Viewed from this distance it seems all to
have been so picturesque, such fun! The humour of Thomas, the intelligence
and tact of the good French _poilu_, the awful moments and the wild jests
in between--these are all shown. The splendid humour with which "PAT
BEAUCHAMP," the author, bravely endured her own casualty with its
distressing effects is typical in itself of that spirit in the Anglo-Saxon
race which made the Teuton race wish it hadn't. In my view, the _obiter
dictum_ of an anonymous Colonel sums up the values of this ladies'
contingent better than does the preface of the distinguished Major-General:
"Neither fish, flesh nor fowl," said the Colonel on having the constitution
of this anomalous unit explained to him, "but thundering good red herring!"
Time was, I believe and hope, when I myself, passing through the Base Port
on leave and being full of life and daring, have sighted a lady-chauffeur
of a motor-ambulance and have thrown a friendly glance, even a froward
smile, at her. Waiving all questions of propriety, I hope that this was so,
and that the lady-chauffeur was no less than "PAT BEAUCHAMP" herself, in
the later stages of her career overseas. Though her only response may have
been to splash mud over me, I should feel happy, now, thus to have paid my
respects to this gallant and high-spirited lady. I count myself among the
company, battalion, division, corps and army of her admirers.

       *       *       *       *       *

It certainly does not seem eight years, yet it must be fully that, since
JOSEPH CONRAD in _The English Review_ lifted a veil that lay between his
admirers and an interesting personality with the pleasantly discursive
papers which form the basis of the re-issued _A Personal Record_ (DENT).
Between then and now _Chance_, that masterly but difficult book, has by a
curious freak of public taste given Mr. CONRAD, hitherto the well-loved
favourite of the relatively few, a much wider constituency. To these late
comers, rather than to the older (and of course superior) Conradists, who
know it already, let me recommend this rambling, which is by no means to
say aimless, account of the wanderings of the MS. of _Almayer's Folly_,
some queer entertaining scraps of the author's family history, a
description of the encounters with the original _Almayer_, and those
vignettes of Marseilles which obviously were used as the background of _The
Arrow of Gold_. This record is one of those quiet friendly books that
flatter the devotee by a sense of peculiar intimacy with his hero. It is
also engagingly characteristic. Mr. CONRAD here unravels the fine threads
of his personal history and philosophy with the same artful reserve and
exquisite elaboration with which he evolves the creatures of his
resourceful imagination.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Life of Liza Lehmann_ (UNWIN), written by herself, and finished, as
her husband tells in a pathetic foot-note, "scarcely two weeks before her
death," is a book holding many special bonds of association with _Punch_,
not least the fact that her father-in-law, Deputy J.T. BEDFORD, was the
author of that _Robert, the City Waiter_, who was among the most famous and
popular of Mr. Punch's early creations. The volume that the writer has put
together is the record of a busy, successful and, on the whole, happy life,
passed in the company of interesting people, about many of whom Madame
LEHMANN has remembered some entertaining story. Chiefly, as is natural, the
persons recorded are the musical folk of the last half-century, from JENNY
LIND to Sir THOMAS BEECHAM; though in the allied Arts I was taken by a
pleasing and new anecdote of ROBERT BROWNING reciting _How they Brought the
Good News_ into an Edison phonograph, and overcome by loss of memory
halfway through the ordeal. One wonders if this rather surprising record
exists to-day. I am not going to assert that the non-technical reader may
not find the pages devoted to reprinted criticism rather over-numerous; old
newspaper files, like old theatrical photographs, too quickly fade. But the
author's humour endured; and I like to think that she could appreciate a
joke made at her own expense; witness her quotation from the gushing friend
who, at the moment of the first triumph of _The Persian Garden_,
overwhelmed the composer with the tribute, "_Do_ let me thank you! The
local colour is _too_ wonderful. I simply felt _as if I was at Liberty's_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

To the jaded reader I recommend _The Road to En-Dor_ (LANE) as a book which
should undoubtedly stir him up. It is the most extraordinary war-tale which
has come my way. With such material as he had to his hand Lieutenant E.H.
JONES would have been a sad muddler if he had not made his story
intriguing; but, anyhow, he happens to be a sound craftsman with a
considerable sense of style and construction. And he has a convincing way
of handling his facts that compels belief in the most incredible of
stories. Lieutenant JONES was a prisoner in the hands of the Turks at
Zozgad, and to amuse himself and his fellow-prisoners he raised a "spook"
which in time gained such a reputation that it had the Turkish officials
almost hopelessly at its mercy. From being merely a joke his spook soon
began to suggest, to him a way of escaping from the camp, and then, in
conjunction with Lieutenant C.W. HILL, he worked it for all it was worth.
His record of their adventures and of the sufferings, physical and mental,
which they had to face is really astounding; but I fear it will be received
coldly by the psychist. Spiritualism, indeed, is treated with scant
respect, and whatever our own view of this vexed subject may be most of us
will admit that Lieutenant JONES has considerable reason for his strong

       *       *       *       *       *

In _The Green Shoes of April_ (HURST AND BLACKETT) Miss RACHEL SWETE
MACNAMARA has got together quite a lot of people and situations that other
novelists have used before. There is the fine young Irishman soldiering in
India, the soulless actress who marries and leaves him, and the splendid
Irish girl, his true mate, whom he weds in happy ignorance of his first
partner's continued existence. But the hero has a maiden aunt, with a story
of her own, and the heroine a terrific grandmother who are Miss MACNAMARA'S
creations, and as she makes wife number one lie like a trooper in order to
preserve the happiness of wife number two a _soupçon_ of freshness is
imparted to the _réchauffé_. Of course the well-meaning first wife is not
allowed to succeed in her efforts, and _Beau_ and _Perry_ (you would never
guess from that which was which, but in this case it doesn't matter) have a
very bad time indeed until, reassured by a friendly barrister, they settle
down again into wedded happiness. These are the confiding souls whom
novelists and lawyers love, and I can see Miss MACNAMARA, by-and-by,
getting quite a nice story out of someone's attempt to oust their eldest
son from his inheritance. I hope she will.

       *       *       *       *       *



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