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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-02-11
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, 1920-02-11" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 158.



February 11th, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.

"If a burglar broke into my house," says Lady BEECHAM, "I should use the
telephone to summon help." Lady BEECHAM seems to have a sanguine
temperament.

* * *

Asked how she would act in case a burglar broke into her house, Miss IRIS
HOEY said she would stand before him and recite SHAKSPEARE. If anybody else
had said this we should have suspected a cruel nature.

* * *

A libel action arising, out of the representation by a German artist of the
ex-CROWN PRINCE as a baboon is to be heard shortly. It is not yet known who
is to prosecute on behalf of the local Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals.

* * *

Nine thousand officials have been appointed to control the food supplies in
Petrograd. English Government officials regard this arrangement as the work
of an amateur.

* * *

It is said that the exchange crisis is regarded by Mr. C.B. COCHRAN as a
deliberate attempt to divert attention from the DEMPSEY contest.

* * *

The rumour that CARPENTIER and DEMPSEY, in order to avoid further fuss and
publicity, have decided to fight it out privately, appears to have no
foundation.

* * *

Wrexham Education Committee is reconsidering its decision against teaching
Welsh in the elementary schools. The pathetic case of a local man who was
recently convicted of stealing a leg of beef owing to his being unable to
give his evidence in Welsh is thought to have something to do with it.

* * *

A domestic servants' union has been formed and an advertisement for a good
plain shop stewardess (two in family; policeman kept) will, we understand,
shortly appear in _The Morning Post_.

* * *

During the recent gales on the West Coast of Ireland the anemometer
registered the unprecedented velocity of one hundred-and-ten miles per
hour. A number of cases of anemonia are reported from the Phoenix Park
district.

* * *

According to _Men's Wear_, silk hats are to be increased in price by at
least thirty per cent. Is it by this process, we wonder, that they hope to
drive Mr. CHURCHILL out of business?

* * *

A pig and sty constituted first prize at a recent whist drive at Bishop's
Waltham. We understand that a difference of opinion between the winner and
the pig as regards the user of the sty has ended fatally for the latter.

* * *

It is reported that the Victory badge now being worn extensively in New
York is to be replaced by another bearing the inscription, "We did them."

* * *

"I intend to tour England," says a Prohibition lecturer, "and I will not be
hurried." We recommend the railway.

* * *

A Tralee man charged with shooting a neighbour said he had no desire to
break the law. It seems that he mistook the man for a policeman.

* * *

A French physician declares that a gift for yawning is one of the most
valuable health-assets. This should be good news for revue-producers.

* * *

"Honesty," says Dr. INGRAM, "is the best policy after all." All the same
some of our profiteers seem to get along pretty well, thank you.

* * *

The egg-laying competition promoted by _The Daily Mail_ has proved a great
success. It is most gratifying to learn that the hens have done their best
for "the paper that got us the shells."

* * *

"The influenza microbe," announces a medical journal, "has made its
appearance in many parts of the country and is slowly but surely making its
way towards London." With any other Government than ours a simple
suggestion that the sign-posts _en route_ should be reversed would have
been at once adopted.

* * *

During the last four weeks exactly four hundred and ninety-nine rats have
been destroyed in a small town in South Bedfordshire. It is hoped that as
soon as these figures are published a sporting rodent will give itself up
in order to complete the fifth century.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHY HAVEN'T YOU GOT ON SPURS?"

"I WAS GOING TO SPEAK ABOUT THAT, SIR. I REGRET I ACCIDENTALLY OMITTED TO
PUT THEM ON THIS MORNING, AND CONSEQUENTLY HAVE CAUGHT COLD. SO I WAS GOING
TO ASK YOU TO BE KIND ENOUGH TO GRANT ME LEAVE UNTIL--"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A champagne support was provided in the lower hall."--_Local Paper._

Very sustaining, we feel sure.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The paper supports the proposed formation of a first army of 'shock
    troops,' which would be capable of preventing the mobilisation of a
    great Germy army."--_Evening Paper._

Anything to keep the influenza at bay.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The times for the incubation of the eggs of various birds are as
    under:--

  Ostrich     41 days.
  Gnu         49 days."--_Poultry-Keeping._

"Gnus, indeed!" said the Emu.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO AMERICA

(_deferentially hinting how others see her and what they think of her
threatened repudiation of her PRESIDENT'S pledges_).

  When you refuse to sign the Peace
    Except with various "reservations,"
  And prophesy a swift decease
    Impinging on the League of Nations;
  When you whose arms (we've understood)
    Settled the War and wiped the Bosch out
  Regard the whole world's brotherhood
        As just a wash-out;

  You say, in terms a little blunt,
    "This scheme that you are advertising
  Was all along a private stunt
    Of WILSON'S singular devising;
  His game we weren't allowed to know;
    Under a misty smile he masked it;
  We never gave him leave to go
       (He never asked it).

  "And you, poor credulous Allies,
    Found in this fellow, self-appointed,
  The worth he had in his own eyes
    And let him pose as God's anointed;
  Taking no sort of pains to see
    Whether or not he had a mandate,
  Like puppy-dogs the other Three
        Out of his hand ate."

  But how if _we_ had queered his claim
    Or questioned his credentials, saying,
  "Who is this WOODROW What's-his-name?
    And what's the _rôle_ he thinks he's playing?
  Is he a Methodist divine?
    Or does he boom Chicago bacon?"--
  I think that I can guess the line
        You would have taken.

  "Behold a Man," I hear you say,
    "Of peerless wit and ripe instruction,
  Elect of Heaven and U.S.A.--
    Surely an ample introduction;
  He comes to put Creation right;
    He brings no chits--he doesn't need 'em;
  Who doubts his faith will have to fight
       The Bird of Freedom!"

  O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

"SMALL ADS."

"Where do you get servants from?" I asked.

"From small ads.," said Phyllis promptly.

I picked up the paper from the floor where I had thrown it in the morning.
My wife is one of those rare women who always leave things where you put
them. It is this trait that endears her to me. I ran my trained eye over an
ad. column.

"Got it at once," I said with pardonable pride. "How's this?--'General
(genuine), stand any test trd. £70 possess. s. hands yrs. s.a.v.'"

"I like genuine people," said Phyllis thoughtfully. "And under the
circumstances"--(here she looked hard at me, as if I were a circumstance)--
"under the circumstances I think we ought to have one that will stand any
test. Seventy pounds is out of the question, of course, but she might come
for less when she sees how small we are. What does 's. hands yrs.' stand
for?"

"I don't know," I said; "I can only think of 'soft hands for years.'"

"I should like her," said Phyllis. "Their hands are the one thing against
Generals. She must be a nice girl to take such care of them. Think how
careful she'd be with the china. What's 'trd.'?"

"I'm afraid it must mean tired," I said.

"Oh, she'd soon get rested here," said Phyllis; "I don't think that need be
against her. She's probably been in a hard place lately. Are there any
more?"

"Plenty," I said. "How does this one strike you?--'General. no bacon.
possess. 2 rms. £45 wky. s.a.v.'"

"I like that one," said Phyllis. "She must be an awfully unselfish girl to
go without bacon. I don't see how we are going to spare two rooms, though,
unless she's willing to count the kitchen as one. Forty-five pounds a week
must be a printer's error. But we can easily afford forty-five pounds a
year."

"It may mean that she's 'weakly,'" I suggested.

"That wouldn't matter much," said Phyllis; "and I like her the better for
being honest about it."

"'Wky.' _might_ stand for 'whisky,'" I hinted darkly.

Phyllis blanched. "Then she's no good," she said; "I simply couldn't stand
one that drinks. What's the next one like?"

I read on: "Domestic oil no risk. 6 dys. trd. s. hands 10 yrs. s.a.v."

"I wonder whether that means that she _can_ cook on an oil-stove or that
she _can't_ cook on any other kind? And does the 'no risk' refer to her or
the stove? It's not very clear. I don't think we'll take up this one's
references. Besides I shouldn't like one that was tired for six days."

"Out of every seven," I added, "and the seventh day would be the Sabbath,
and her day off."

"Go on to the next," said Phyllis firmly.

The next one merely said; "General. Kilburn tkg. £40 1 rm. s.a.v."

"It would be nice to have a taking sort of girl," I thought (unfortunately
aloud).

"We won't think of her, the hussy!" said Phyllis. "Pass me the paper,
please."

"They all seem to want 's.a.v.,'" she said. "What do you suppose it means?
I wish they wouldn't use so many abbreviations. 'S.a.' stands for Sunday
afternoon, of course, but I can't think what the 'v.' is for. Of course
we'll give them Sunday afternoons free, if that's what it means. I only
wonder they don't want an evening off in the week as well. I call them most
reasonable. And there are so many to choose from. I always understood from
mother that they're so hard to get."

Then she turned the paper over.

"Oh, you are stupid!" she said. "You've been looking at the 'Shops and
Businesses for Sale' column."

"So've you," I snapped.

And then I regret to say we had our first quarrel.

I told Phyllis firmly that she is not at all tkg., nor would she stand any
test; that no one could engage her, much less marry her, without taking
risks; that she hadn't had s. hands for yrs., that _she_ wouldn't go
without her bacon for anyone, and that I should be jolly thankful if she
would take every blessed s.a.v.

I admit that Phyllis was more dignified. She merely sailed out of the room,
remarking that I made her trd.

       *       *       *       *       *

"OUR INVINCIBLE NAVY."

In continuation of a paragraph in his last issue, Mr. Punch expresses his
regret if the article which appeared under the above title in these pages
on January 14th has unwittingly given offence to any one of his readers
through others having connected him with the character of _Reginald
McTaggart_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE CONSCIENTIOUS BURGLAR.

PAISLEY HUMANITARIAN. "IF I COULD ONLY BE QUITE SURE THAT I SHOULDN'T BE
DISCOURAGING HIM FROM SAVING."

[Mr. ASQUITH has pronounced himself cautiously in favour of a Capital Levy,
on the condition, amongst others, that it must not be allowed to discourage
the habit of saving.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: JULIUS CÆSAR ON THE LINKS.

_Actor_ (_whose knowledge of SHAKSPEARE is greater than his golf_). "'O,
PARDON ME, THOU BLEEDING PIECE OF EARTH.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

RINGS FROM SATURN.

(_Extracted from various issues of "The Daily Mandate."_)

I.

_To the Editor of "The Daily Mandate."_

SIR,--For a number of years I have been experimenting in wireless telephony
with my installation on the heights of Lavender Hill. On several occasions
recently I have been puzzled by mysterious ringings of the bell attached to
the instrument, which have obviously been set up by long-distance waves. On
taking up the receiver, however, I have been unable to make out any
coherent message, but only a succession of irregular squeaks, although once
I distinctly, heard a word which I can only transcribe as "Gurroo." I have
no doubt in my own mind that one of the more advanced planets is trying to
get in touch with us by means of wireless telephony, and that once we have
deciphered the code we shall be able to converse freely with its
inhabitants. I myself incline to the belief that these rings emanate from
Saturn, which, in spite of its great distance from the earth, is just as
likely to wish to communicate with us as any other planet.

Yours faithfully,

DIOGENES DOTTLE, F.R.S.

II.

Mr. Dottle's remarkable letter, published in our issue of yesterday,
suggesting that inhabitants of Saturn have been endeavouring to communicate
with the earth by means of wireless telephony, has created profound
excitement in scientific and other circles. To a representative of _The
Daily Mandate_ a number of well-known men expressed their views on the
matter, which will undoubtedly stimulate further investigation into the
momentous possibilities of this epoch-making revelation. The opinions
advanced, which are, on the whole, highly favourable to Mr. Dottle's
theory, are as follows:--

_Sir Potiphar Shucks, the famous astronomer_: "The possibility that Saturn
is inhabited is one that, in the absence of incontrovertible evidence
either way, should not lightly be set aside. Assuming that it is inhabited,
that its people are skilled in the use of wireless telephony and that it is
possible to set up waves of sufficient intensity to travel all the way from
Saturn to us, I see no reason why communications of the nature suggested by
Mr. Dottle should not at some future date become an accomplished fact."

_Mr. Artesian Pitts, the well-known imaginative historian_: "I have long
held the belief that Saturn is inhabited by a type of being possessing a
cylinder-like body composed of an unresisting pulp, a high dome-shaped head
filled with gas, and long tentacles, bristling with electricity, through
which all sensations are emitted and received. These tentacles would act as
an ideal telephonic apparatus, so that there is every likelihood of Mr.
Dottle's having actually received a message from Saturn. I take 'Gurroo' to
be Saturnian for 'Hello.'"

_Signor Tromboni, the pioneer of wireless telephony_: "We are making
arrangements to test Mr. Dottle's interesting theory, and for this purpose
are erecting a special installation on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is
several thousand feet higher than Lavender Hill. At our own stations we
have frequently noticed mysterious ringings, which we have hitherto
ascribed to carelessness on the part of operators; but Mr. Dottle's letter
opens up a new world of possibilities. _The Daily Mandate_ is to be
congratulated on the prominence it has given to the subject, which has
already had the effect of sending Tromboni shares up several points."

_Mr. G. Shawburn_: "It is an insult to Creation to assume that ours is the
only populated planet. Of course Saturn is inhabited, but, unlike our own
world, by people of intelligence. In the matter of mental advancement
Saturn can make rings round the earth. All the same I don't for one moment
suppose that Mr. Dottle knows what he's talking about."

_The POSTMASTER-GENERAL_: "Nothing is known in the Department under my
control of telephone calls having been received from Saturn or the
neighbourhood. I do not propose for the present to take any steps in the
matter."

_The LORD MAYOR_: "Saturn is a long way off."

III.

(_Extract from leading article._)

"... Again we ask, 'What is the Government doing?' For several days now our
columns have been ringing with the world-wide acclamation of this
stupendous discovery, beside the potentialities of which the wildest
efforts of imaginative literature are reduced to pallid and uninspired
commonplaces. Even so cautious a scientist as Sir Potiphar Shucks has
declared that the idea of Saturn being inhabited is one that 'should not
lightly be set aside,' and has announced his conviction that under
favourable conditions communication with that planet should in the near
future become 'an accomplished fact.' Other eminent leaders of thought and
action, including Signor Tromboni, are even more enthusiastic in their
reception of the great theory first given to the world by Mr. Diogenes
Dottle in a letter to _The Daily Mandate_. But the POSTMASTER-GENERAL is
content to treat the question with the airy scepticism and obstructive
complacency that have rendered the London Telephone service a byword of
inefficiency, and refuses even to make a grant in aid of the work of
investigation.

"In these circumstances the proprietors of _The Daily Mandate_ have much
pleasure in announcing that they will pay the sum of ten thousand pounds to
the first man, woman or child in the British Empire who can produce
evidence of having received an intelligible telephonic message from Saturn,
and a further sum of one hundred thousand pounds to the first person to
send a message to that planet and receive a clear reply. The services of a
Board of distinguished experts are being engaged for the purpose of testing
and adjudicating all claims.

"_Meanwhile the POSTMASTER-GENERAL must go._"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Indignant Egoist._ "BE CAREFUL UP THERE WHAT YOU'RE
DROPPING. THAT PRECIOUS NEARLY HIT ME!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It may safely be said that there are more millionaires to the square
    yard in Bradford than in any other city in the country, not even
    excepting London or New York."--_Daily Paper._

The news that Britain has annexed the United States will comfort those who
thought it was the other way about.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The incessant singing of a cricket in a London church compelled the
    preacher to shorten his sermon."--_The Children's Newspaper._

We may now expect increased enthusiasm for the "Sunday Cricket" movement.

       *       *       *       *       *

A VERMIN OFFENSIVE.

There was a faint scuffling sound behind the wainscot.

"There it is again," said Araminta.

"Not a doubt of it," I replied, turning pale.

Thrusting on my hat I rushed up the hill to the Town Hall and asked to see
the Clerk of the Borough Council immediately.

"I have reason to suspect," I said in a hoarse low whisper, as soon as I
was shown into the man's presence, "that our premises are in imminent
danger of being infested. Counsel me as to what I should do."

"It is your duty as a good citizen to take such steps as may from time to
time be necessary and reasonably practicable to destroy the vermin," he
said in a rather weary and mechanical tone.

"I hope I am not one to take my civic duties lightly," I replied with some
_hauteur_, "but observe that I merely said I had reason to suspect the
imminence of the peril. I should like to know the legal definition of
infestment, if you please. I cannot definitely say that house-breaking has
taken place as yet. I do not know that there has even been petty larceny.
There may have been merely loitering with felonious intent."

"What is the size of your premises?" he inquired.

"It is more a messuage than a premises," I explained. "About twelve feet by
ten, I should say--speaking without the lease."

"And how many vermin do you expect it to be about to harbour?"

"None have actually hove in sight at present," I said reassuringly, "but
there is a sound of one in the offing--in the wainscoting, I mean."

"In a residence of your size I should say that a single mouse would
constitute infestation within the meaning of the Act, so soon as it forces
an ingress. It will then be your bounden duty to demolish it. How about
purchasing a trap?"

"You are sure that is better than hiding behind the arras and hitting it
over the head with a pole-axe?" I inquired anxiously, "or proffering it a
bowl of poisoned wine?"

"Poison is no longer supplied free," he answered coldly, and I went out.

Very luckily, as I hastened up the hill, I had observed a building with the
words, "Job Masters. Traps for Hire," written upon a wooden board. I went
inside and found an elderly man sitting at a desk in a small office. He
looked extremely patient. "Are you Job?" I asked breathlessly. "I have come
to buy a mouse-trap."

Appearances, of course, are quite often deceptive. They were in this case.
The elderly man was very much annoyed. When he had explained matters
forcibly to me I went on down the hill and entered an ironmonger's.

"I wish to buy a trap to catch a mouse," I said to the assistant behind the
counter.

"Certainly, Sir. What size?" said the lad politely.

"Small to medium," I replied, rather baffled. "It has only a medium-sized
scratch."

He showed me a peculiar apparatus made of wire and wood containing
apparently a vestibule, two reception rooms, staircase and first-floor
lobby, with an open window and a diving-board. Underneath the window was a
small swimming tank.

"I don't want a hydropathic exactly," I explained. "I propose to
exterminate this rodent, not to foster longevity in it. How does it work?"

He pointed out that, after examining the various apartments, the animal
would be allured by the fragrance of a small portion of cheese placed above
the diving-board; overbalancing, it would then be projected into the water,
where it would infallibly drown. "It is a thoroughly humane instrument," he
assured me, "and used in the best 'omes."

I bought it and went on to a cheese foundry. Araminta was rather scornful
of the sanatorium when I came home with it and set it, loaded and trained,
on the dining-room floor; but the children were delighted. It ranked only a
little lower than the pantomime, and if only we could have secured an
outside visitor to it I believe that it would have defeated the Zoo. To
visit it with a sort of wistful hope became the principal treat of the day.
But, alas, the mansion remained untenanted. Sometimes during a lull in
conversation we would hear the faint scuffling again, but after about six
days I became convinced, by kneeling down and placing my ear to the carpet
like an Indian, that the noise was even fainter than it had been at first.
A terrible suspicion seized me. I dashed out and rang the bell of the flat
next door.

"It is just as I feared," I said to Araminta on returning a few moments
later. "We are not going to be infested after all. The vermin has been
sighted in No. 140B."

"We must make the best of it," she said, trying to speak cheerfully,
"though it _is_ hard on the children, poor dears."

"I wasn't thinking of the children," I replied bitterly; "I was thinking of
the expense. If we had been living in a house instead of a flat we could at
least have deducted it from the rates."

I sat down and made out a bill as follows to the Clerk of the Borough
Council, heading it:--

  _On Account of Spurious Infestment._
                                        s.  d.
  To one Mouse Institute and Aquarium   5   6
  "  Cheese                             0   6
  "  Labour at 2/6 per hour             0   7-1/2
                                        ---------
  Total                                 6   7-1/2

The man replied coldly that the householder was responsible for all
expenditure incurred in precautionary measures and that the Council was in
no way liable for the costs resulting from an offensive that failed to
materialize. He ended with the rather rude postscript, "What kind of cheese
did you use?"

This was a bit sickening. However, by threatening to lay information
against him, I have at last succeeded in inducing the occupier of 140B to
take over the abattoir at a very satisfactory valuation. It was between
that and buying his mouse.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

TWO NIGHTMARES.

    [_Dreamed after reading in a daily paper that "any style of dress that
    lessens one's self-confidence should be tabooed" (sic)._]

  I travelled from the Sussex hills
    With confidence divine,
  Full of the conscious power that thrills
    My heart when life is mine,
  And strode to Lady Fancy Frills
    With whom I was to dine.

  Her guests had come from Clubs and Courts
    And Halls of wealthy Jews;
  As they surveyed my running shorts
    I felt my courage ooze,
  While conscious power, grown out of sorts,
    Leaked through my canvas shoes.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Then I re-travelled South by West
    Inflated with a joy
  Which in the suit I called my best
    No buffet could destroy;
  I may remark I'd come full-dressed
    From lunch at the Savoy.

  But when the hills began to shout
    I coloured to the roots,
  And when the valleys cried, "Get out!"
    To the last word in suits,
  My joy, displaced by sudden doubt,
    Leaked through my spatted boots.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the mysterious Marconigrams:--

    "They may be the effort of sentiment beings in some neighbouring planet
    to communicate with us."--_Evening Paper._

Can we have broken in on a conversation between _Venus_ and _Mars_?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

PROFITEERING IN THE WEST END COMPELS MAYFAIR TO PUT ON ANY OLD RAGS AND DO
ITS SHOPPING IN SHOREDITCH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BEHIND THE SCENES IN CINEMA-LAND.

"WILL YOU STAND BACK, SIR? YOU'RE SPOILING THE PICTURE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A CONFLICT OF EMOTIONS.

(_With the British Army in France._)

"I've seen rivetters at New York pie-foundries and stew-specialists on
North Sea trawlers," said Percival severely, "but I never realised how
monotonous feeding could be till I got into a Mess controlled by Binnie."

Binnie puffed his pipe severely, being of the tough fibre which enables
Mess Presidents to endure. Frederick, who had been silent, rose from his
seat, heaved a distressing sigh and left the room.

"There's the moral that adorns the tale, you--you public danger!" continued
Percival, indicating Frederick's retreating figure. "Look to what a
condition that once bright youth has been brought by your endless stews and
curries."

"Not a bit of it," answered Binnie lightly. "Frederico could eat patent
breakfast food and toasted doormats without taxing his digestion. His
complaint is the tender passion. I recognise the symptoms."

"It looks like an acute attack, anyhow," said Percival, rising, "and prompt
counter-irritants are indicated. But I'll confirm your diagnosis first."

Inside Frederick's quarters the sound of regular and sustained sighing
suggested that the sufferer was in the throes of a spasm of melancholy.
Percival entered and narrowly escaped being drawn into the vortex of a
particularly powerful inspiration.

"Freddy, old pard," he said kindly, "why so _triste_? If the trouble's
financial, my cheque-book is unreservedly at your service. Havin' no
balance at the bank I've no use for it myself."

"It's not that--at least not worse than usual," groaned Frederick.

"Then tell me all about it."

"It's a long story," commenced Frederick.

"Let me off with a synopsis," interrupted Percival.

"Once upon a time," continued Frederick, "there was a big war, which made
quite a stir in the daily papers and was a common subject of discussion in
the clubs. There were many casualties, amongst them being a blithe young
laddy who came down to the Base with a fractured maxilla caused by nibbling
an M. and V. ration without previously removing the outside tin--or
something of the sort. He was sent to hospital and devotedly tended by a
Sister of exquisite beauty--such a figure and such hair! It wasn't exactly
auburn and not exactly burnished bronze--"

"And it wasn't pale puce and it wasn't ultramarine," broke in Percival
impatiently. "Tell me what it was, not what it wasn't."

"I can't. It baffled description. Well, they drifted apart; but often
afterwards, when that young laddy was studying his Manual of Military Law
in his lonely dug-out, the image of Sister Carruthers glowed on the printed
page. But I never met her again until the other day, when I was having a
gentle toddle round Quelquepart and saw her gliding along the quay.
Something gripped me by the heart; I took my courage in both hands and
spoke to her.

"'Don't you remember me, Sister?' I said. 'It was you who nursed me in No.
99 General.'

"She looked at me coldly.

"'As you are the third young officer who has adopted a similar method of
introduction this afternoon,' she said, 'you must forgive me if I ask for
some confirmation.'

"'Surely you haven't forgotten?' I cried. 'You drew me a sweet little
design in dots and dashes to hang over my bed. When I was evacuated to
England I wanted to thank you, to ask if we might meet again, but you
thrust a clinical thermometer between my teeth and told me not to speak
till you gave me permission. Then you left me, and I was whisked away to
the boat clinging grimly to the thermometer, inarticulate and heartbroken.'

"'And I presume your object in speaking to me to-day is to return the
thermometer?' she said primly.

"That's where I took the full count," continued Frederick, sadly. "If I
could have produced any old thing in the thermometer line my _bona fides_
would have been established an' I could have gone ahead like cotton-mill
shares. Instead of which, she'd said Good-day and gone while I was thinkin'
out explanations. Since that time I've been parading Quelquepart simply
bristling with thermometers, but I've never met her again."

"The old Army fault of unpreparedness," remarked Percival. "You ought to go
to hospital."

"Don't be juvenile! What have hospitals to do with heartache?"

"Everything, if you go to the right one--the one where your ministering
angel ministrates, for instance."

"Percival, old ace," said Frederick, with admiration, "you'll rank among
the world's great thinkers yet. Turn on the current again and tell me what
is my complaint."

"Digestive trouble," said Percival promptly. "There's already been rumours
about, and you'll be doing a public service by going to dock with
dyspepsia. Binnie will be so stricken by remorse that he'll at once start
providing the Mess with decent food."

"Then for your sakes I'll rehearse the symptoms. But my curse will be on
your head if I get to the wrong hospital."

It was unfortunate that the M.O. was in an unsympathetic mood next morning.
He thumped Frederick on the lower chest and pooh-poohed the idea of
hospital. "All you want is a few of these tablets," he said, "and you'll be
fit as nails in a day or two."

Frederick crawled away dispiritedly to confide in Percival. That sapient
youth counselled perseverance.

"You must go right off your feed," he said. "Let the doc. see you feebly
pecking and he'll soon get alarmed. In the meantime I'm off to give Binnie
critical accounts of your appetite and send him to market right away."

Only a burning passion and stealthy bars of chocolate could have sustained
Frederick through the next few days. To sit down to breakfast with a
healthy appetite and refuse his egg and rasher put the biggest possible
strain on his constancy. His task was made doubly difficult by the scheming
of Percival, who was constantly inciting Binnie to procure fresh
delicacies.

"You've crocked poor Freddy," he said; "and there will be others going the
same way if you don't improve the messing. Now I saw some nice plump
chickens to-day in the...."

Thus harried, that evening Binnie provided a dinner that almost reduced
Frederick to breaking-point. Only the fact that the M.O. was sitting
opposite gave him strength to refuse the soup and fish, to trifle with the
chicken and turn wearily from the sweet. As the savoury was being served he
caught a scrap of conversation across the table.

"... to the boat to see her off for demob.," the M.O. was saying to the
Padre. "Jolly nice girl--Jim Carruthers' daughter, you know."

Frederick pricked up his ears.

"I remember," said the Padre. "She used to be at 99 General."

There was no doubt who was the girl referred to. Frederick sat back in his
chair with a heavy sense of disappointment and loss. He felt acutely sorry
for himself. But presently above the pain in his heart there arose a
stronger and more compelling feeling.

"Corporal," he said, "I think after all I'll try one of those crab patties.
Or you might tell the waiter to bring in _two_."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Conversationalist._ "EXTRAORDINARY CRIME WAVE WE'RE
HAVING--ER--AH--FOR THE TIME OF YEAR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

PICTURES.

  "Some likes picturs o' women" (said Bill) "an' some likes 'orses best,"
  As he fitted a pair of fancy shackles on to his old sea-chest;
  "But I likes picturs o' ships" (said he), "an' you can keep the rest.

  "An' if I was a ruddy millionaire with dollars to burn that way,
  Instead of a dead-broke sailorman as never saves his pay,
  I'd go to some big paintin' guy, an' this is what I'd say:--

  "'Paint me _The Cutty Sark_' (I'd say) 'or the old _Thermopylæ_,
  Or _The Star of Peace_ as I sailed in once in my young days at sea,
  Shipshape an' Blackwall fashion too, as a clipper ought to be.

  "'An' you might do 'er outward bound, with a sky full o' clouds,
  An' the tug just droppin' astern an' gulls flyin' in crowds,
  An' the decks shiny-wet with rain an' the wind shakin' the shrouds.

  "'Or else racin' up-Channel with a sou'-wester blowin',
  Stuns'ls set aloft and alow an' a hoist o' flags showin',
  An' a white bone between her teeth, so's you can see she's goin'.

  "'Or you might do 'er off Cape Stiff in the 'igh latitudes yonder,
  With her main-deck a smother of white an' her lee-rail dipping under,
  And the big greybeards drivin' by an' breakin' aboard like thunder.

  "'Or I'd like old Tuskar somewhere around--or Sydney 'eads, maybe,
  Or Bar Light, or the Tail o' the Bank, or a glimp o' Circular Quay,
  Or a junk or two, if she's tradin' East, to show it's the China Sea.

  "'Nor I don't want no dabs o' paint as you can't tell what they are,
  Whether they're shadders or fellers' faces or blocks or blobs o' tar,
  But I want gear as looks like gear an' a spar that's like a spar.

  "'An' I don't care if it's North or South, the Trades or the China Sea,
  Shortened down or everythin' set, close-hauled or runnin' free;
  You paint me a ship as is _like_ a ship an' that'll do for me.'"

  C.F.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Old-fashioned Aunt._ "GOOD HEAVENS, CHILD! YOU'RE NOT GOING
OUT LIKE THAT? YOU LOOK LIKE A CHORUS-GIRL."

_Modern Maiden._ "OH, COME, AUNT! I DON'T LOOK AS HORRIBLY RESPECTABLE AS
THAT, SURELY?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

EGYPTIAN DARKNESS.

    "Several letters have appeared in the native Press in some of which
    they ask Minindirect way, as they have done, but in a indirect way they
    have done but in a clear clear manner which cannot be interpreted two
    ways."--_Egyptian Gazette._

Or, so far as we are concerned, even one way.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ANOTHER "RESERVATION."

STARVING EUROPE. "GOD HELP ME!"

AMERICA. "VERY SAD CASE. BUT I'M AFRAID SHE AIN'T TRYING."

["Relief would be found in the resumption of industrial life and activity
and the imposition of adequate taxation. The American people should not be
called upon to finance the requirements of Europe in so far as they result
from failure to take these necessary steps."--_Mr. CARTER GLASS, Secretary
of the United States Treasury._]]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BIG-GAME CURE.

    [In common with everything else, wild animals have risen considerably
    in price.]

  In other times I might have made
    For those wild lands where growls the grisly,
  Have tracked him (with some native aid)
    And held a broken-hearted Bisley;
  Now that my Maud has murmured, "Nay,"
    Shrinking from matrimony's tight knot,
  I might have acted thus, I say
    (Contrariwise, I might not).

  In any case to-day I shrink
    From thus evading Sorrow's trammels;
  A sense of duty bids me think
    How costly are the larger mammals;
  To kill them just to soothe my mind
    Would seem to savour of the wasteful,
  A thing all patriot poets find
    Exceedingly distasteful.

  Not mine the immemorial cure;
    The voice of conscience warns me off it;
  I'll leave the following of the spoor
    To those who follow it for profit;
  I feel they would not thank me for
    Turning the jungle to a shambles,
  Who speculate in lions or
    Have elephantine gambles.

  And so this poet will not roam;
    Remaining on his native heath, he
  Will seek an anodyne at home,
    Nor look beyond the Thames for Lethe;
  And if he fades away, denied
    The usual balm in cardiac crises,
  Say only this of him, "He died
    A prey to soaring prices."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL.]

       *       *       *       *       *

HOW TO ACT IN EMERGENCIES.

_The Weekly Dispatch_ symposium, in which various celebrities discuss the
way to act in the event of a burglar being found in the house, shows the
need for a little advice in case of emergencies. We append the following
very helpful hints:--

The old plan of offering a burglar a cigarette and asking him to take a
chair while you telephone to the police is not now so successful as in the
past. The best plan is to tackle the fellow right away. For this purpose
you should step behind him, take hold of his coat and force it over his
face. Then tie his left arm to his right leg across the back. Properly
carried out, this method rarely fails.

       *       *       *       *       *

To attract the attention of the young lady behind a post-office counter,
fire a revolver three times in succession, using blank cartridges. After
first aid has been rendered to the attendants step up to the counter and
purchase your stamp.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you should be knocked down by a taxi, don't be alarmed and try to creep
out from under the thing. And don't blame the driver. Apologise to him,
and, as you are being carried away, shake hands and tell him that while it
was his cab it was your fault. Treated in this manner, drivers are not
nearly so offensive when they knock you down the next time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Should the telephone-bell ring in your house, don't get excited. Keep calm.
Remember General GRANT. Remove the women and children to a place of safety,
lift off the receiver and say, "Good Heavens! Whoever can it be?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us suppose that you are being attacked by a man with a chopper. Wait
until the weapon is well poised over your head. Just as he begins the down
stroke step aside smartly. The hatchet will then be found buried in the
ground. This means that bygones are bygones.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ARE THEY RISING THE DAY, SIR?"

"NO."

"AH, WEEL, JUST BIDE A WEE. THEY AYE TAK BEST IN THE COOL OF THE EVENING."]

       *       *       *       *       *

PETER AND JUDY.

Except for the fact that they had different sets of parents and were born
some hundred miles apart, Peter and Judy are practically twins.
Consequently, after an interval of three months, strenuous efforts were
made by the two young mothers to bring about a proper introduction between
the two wonders.

The occasion was to be one of great importance, for it was Judy's very
first tea-party, marking, as it were, the dawn of her social career. For
days the post-office wrestled with the correspondence necessary to bring
about the meeting. The mothers, both in person and by proxy, had scoured
the precincts of Kensington and Oxford Street respectively for the
necessary adornments to do their offspring justice, changing their minds so
often that the assistants came to take as much interest in the party as if
they were going to it themselves.

And yet, when the great moment arrived and the strong silent man was borne
into the room, round-eyed and expectant, he found his hostess already tired
out with her first tea-party and fast asleep. He could scarcely believe his
eyes; nor could Judy's scandalised father.

Peter was very good about it. He bore this chilly reception stoically,
deprecating any desire to wake the sleeping beauty--deprecating, in fact,
any interest in her or her cot whatsoever. Ignoring the efforts of the Big
People to fix his attention by pointing him directly at the main object of
the tea-party (they should have known that babies like looking the _other_
way always) he remained passively interested in a fascinating brass knob,
the while getting his gloves into a satisfactory state of succulence before
the Big People should take it on themselves to remove them.

At last his patience is rewarded. The hostess, sighing sleepily, is
beginning to show signs of realising her responsibilities. Two immense
arms, two enormous fistfuls of fingers gather her up and she is borne
through the air triumphantly.... Peter and Judy are introduced.

I doubt whether any two people in this world ever displayed greater
indifference. Solemnly they turn their eyes upon every other object in the
room except each other. It is not until the number of permutations in which
two people can look at everything is exhausted mathematically that their
eyes meet at last.

Then they cut each other dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

Side by side they recline on the couch. Judy, pouting with sleep, is
buffeting her face with her little white boxing-gloves, while Peter stares
fascinated at the fire, quite sure that social functions are not in his
line. "O-o!"

With only three months' experience, Judy has not yet attained complete
mastery of the art of manipulating difficult things like limbs.
Inadvertently, and in excess of zeal to kick higher than any other baby,
she has landed out a beautiful backhander and caught Peter hard in the
tummy. Peter's eyes open wide. Creases appear on his face and widen. A
cavern opens and a roar follows:--

"Ya--o-o!"

"Hullo!" (Judy looks up in amazement, for there is only one noise in the
house like that, and she has the sole rights of it). "Hullo, is that me? I
didn't know I was doing it"--(the roars from Peter continue)--"but I
suppose I am. I must be. Let's have a lot more of this very good noise I am
making--Ya--o-o!"

The duet produces a crescendo astounding to them both, for there has never
been a noise so wonderful as this in all their experience. Then to Judy a
very strange thing happens. She pauses for breath, but the noise goes on.
"This is amazing--how do I do it?..."

She joins in again--and then Peter stops. He too is puzzled vaguely.
However, bother introspection, the concert proceeds, both artists doing
their level best. Now one of them pauses, now the other, and at length
serious doubts begin to creep in. There is something queer afoot--
something....

The matter resolves itself. Turning suddenly they behold each other, both
yelling splendidly. Amazement! Cavern confronts cavern! Face to face they
roar their hardest, demanding the reason for this strange phenomenon, "this
other me who does when I don't."

They pause--their mouths remain agape. Slowly they close and smiles
succeed. Joy! A _reasonable_-sized face at last. What a relief after the
enormous faces, the great mouths, the Cyranese noses of the Big People who
are wont to come and peer. Here at last is a true face, a face that--no,
they both agree not to dwell unduly on the discovery.

Indifferent to each other once again they regard the special objects of
their attention, their hands waving gently in the air, seeking the fairies
that babies' hands are always trying to catch.

Ha! their hands have met.

"Hoo! It's a _reasonable_ hand. It's got proper fingers, not stumps of
bananas."

"Moreover," says Peter politely, "if you care to take advantage of my offer
you will find that it is properly moistened, succulent and suitable to a
baby's taste. You needn't mind; I prepared it myself."

"Goo! Gool-gur!" All is peace and chuckles. Hand-in-hand they survey their
mothers. "_Our_ mothers, yours--mine. Ha, ha--he, he--goo!"

The inner thoughts of the two babies may be hidden from me (I accept the
punishment), but I know--I _know_ what the two mothers are thinking of.
Twenty years hence, a paragraph in _The Times_: "Peter--Judy--" Oh, you
fatuous mothers!

L.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Public interest remains unabated in the remarkable occurrences at the
    poultry-house farm at Brickendon, where spirit rappings in the morse
    code have been heard for weeks past.... One question put to the spirit
    last night was 'How many people are outside?' And the reply was
    'Rorty,' which proved to be correct."--_Liverpool Paper._

And possibly furnishes some clue to the identity of the spirit concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Officer._ "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT THERE?"

_Lighterman._ "COAL."

_Officer._ "I CAN SEE THAT. WHAT KIND OF COAL?"

_Lighterman._ "BLACK COAL."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MORE INTENSIVE PRODUCTION.

  When first I learned to play the fool
    In various (unaccepted) verses
  There was, I found, one golden rule
    For poets who would line their purses.
  "If ye," it ran, "to wealth would mount,
    For silk attire would change your tatters,
  Mere quantity will never count;
    Quality is the thing that matters."

  Broadly this precept, too, was laid
    On grosser forms of human labour;
  _E.g._, on Jones's antique trade,
    Or Brown, the sausage-man, his neighbour;
  Until of late, throughout a land
    Reeling from strikes and "reconstruction,"
  A cry was heard on every hand,
    A clamour for "Increased Production."

  While "makers," then, gird on their might
    And merchants buzz like bees in clover;
  When Jones is sawing day and night
    And Brown shows twice his last turnover;
  Shall I not follow where they've led
    And, at the PREMIER'S invitation,
  Double my output, Mr. Ed.?--
    I look for your co-operation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'Oh, to be in England now that Noel's near.'

    So, one might adapt one of Kipling's lines."--_Indian Paper._

What do they know of BROWNING who only KIPLING know?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "LADY wishes to travel in exquisite lingerie."--_Daily Paper._

By all means; but why should she be content to wear an inferior quality
when she is stationary?

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"MR. TODD'S EXPERIMENT."

A new terror--or else a new attraction--has been added to the British
Drama. Mr. WALTER HACKETT has brought the scent of the cinema across the
footlights. When he wants to inform you of certain episodes in the hero's
past career, or let you know what he is doing when he is out of sight, he
throws the main stage into darkness and lights up a smaller one on which he
gives you as many as six little tabloid plays within the play.

Such a scheme has its obvious conveniences for the playwright, and should
greatly simplify the difficulties of stage-craft. Those introductory
statements which are required to explain the opening conditions and need
such adroit handling will no longer be necessary. You just put everybody
wise by a series of _tableaux parlants_. No longer need the author worry
about the best way of conveying to his audience the details of any action
that takes place off the stage; he just turns on a playlet and there it is.
Altogether, with a couple of the unities disposed of, he ought to have a
much easier time.

On the other hand he is going to have trouble with his principal stage and
put his actors to the inconvenience of playing in a painfully congested
area. Thus, in _Mr. Todd's Experiment_, the permanent scene was the hall of
a house, with a large tapestry occupying more than half of the wall.
Lurking behind this tapestry was the stage for the tabloids, and the
general company had to crowd themselves into the remainder or wander
forlornly about in the space in front of the tapestry. The playlets again
are almost bound to be just concentrated episodes, probably elemental in
theme and certainly elementary in treatment.

The excuses for their interpolation in _Mr. Todd's Experiment_ were not
marked by a very great subtlety. There was really none for the first three,
which simply relieved _Mr. Todd_ of the tedious recital of the hero's
disillusionments in love. The next two were introduced by way of
illustrating his alleged gift of clairvoyance; and the last served frankly
to fill in the interval while the rest of the company was away at dinner.
The general effect of all these desultory little _Guignols_ was perhaps
rather cheap, and not very complimentary to the intelligence of those of us
who had outgrown a childish _penchant_ for peep-shows.

[Illustration: _Willoughby Todd_ (_Mr. HOLMAN CLARK_). "BE YOUR OLD TRUE
SELF. MAKE THE WOMEN ADORE YOU."

_Arthur John Carrington_ (_Mr. OWEN NARES_). "YOUR ADVICE IS GOOD. I WILL
NOW TAKE OFF MY BEARD AND BE OWEN NARES ONCE MORE."]

_Mr. Todd's Experiment_ (for I have spoken only of Mr. HACKETT'S) was to
restore a _blasé_ and valetudinarian young man of thirty to a proper state
of energy by recalling the memories of his past loves and so reviving in
him a desire to stand well in the eyes of the sex. For this purpose he
produces (1) a bunch of wood-violets to suggest (through the nose) the
environment of his first passion; (2) a specially-tipped brand of
cigarettes to revive (through the mouth) the sentiment of his second; and a
gramophone record to recover (through the ear) the associations of his
third.

So well does he succeed that the hero pulls himself together, shaves off
his beard, becomes our OWEN NARES again, and sallies forth, habited for
conquest, to pay calls on all the three. From all the three he retires
disillusioned, having found them as egoistic as himself, and in the end
finds solace rather shamelessly, in the love of a devoted slave who might
have been his for the taking any time in the last several years.

The matter was pleasant enough, but its interest must, I think, have left
us indifferent if it had not been for the diversion afforded by the
playlets. While the idea was original, the presentation of it seemed to
have a touch of amateurishness, though I would not go so far as to agree
with the old fogey, played by Mr. FRED KERR, who pronounced the scheme to
be "all Tommy rot." With the exception of one character--the devoted
slave--the lightness of the dialogue, mildly cynical, was due not so much
to its wit as to the absence of ponderable stuff. The easy trick, so
popular with the modern playwright, of letting the audience down in the
middle of a serious situation was illustrated by the hero when, being in
deadly earnest, he tells every woman in turn that she is the only woman he
has ever loved.

As _Mr. Todd_, Mr. HOLMAN CLARK was as fresh as he always is; but Mr. OWEN
NARES could hardly hope to satisfy the exigent demands of adoration in the
part of young _Carrington_. Who, indeed, could sustain his reputation as a
figure of romance when addressed as "Arthur-John"? Mr. FRED KERR, who
played _Martin Carrington_, the cantankerous uncle, cannot help being
workmanlike; but he was asked to repeat himself too much. The best
performance was that of Miss MARION LORNE, in the part of the hero's one
devout lover, _Fancy Phipps_; her quiet sense of humour, salted with a
slight American tang, kept the whole play together.

O.S.

"TEA FOR THREE."

Playwright Mr. ROI COOPER-MEGRUE, and principal players Miss FAY COMPTON,
the wife; Mr. STANLEY LOGAN, the friend, and Mr. A.E. MATTHEWS, the
husband, made a first-rate thing of two-thirds of _Tea for Three_.

The wife is without blemish physically or morally. The husband is faithful
with a single-minded fidelity in thought, word and deed that looks (and, I
am assured by equally innocent victims, is) positively deadly. The friend
"frits and flutters" about in a distinctly casual, not to say polygamous,
mood, but has one sacred place in his untidy heart in which the wife is
enshrined. He can manage to sustain life so long as he may come to
triangular tea on Thursdays. But the faithful husband puts his foot on
that.

Hence the stolen lunch for two with which the play opens. Philosophy there
is, and very good philosophy too, from the flutterer and fritter, and such
love-making as every virtuous woman (at heart a minx) allows. She is sorry,
doubtless, for the suffering she causes, but (this is my gloss, not, I
think, the author's) is really enjoying it like anything and taking jolly
good care to look her best. Then follow little lies and as little and as
needless and quite innocent indiscretions; and the jealous husband on the
rampage.

All this excellently put together, seasoned with wisdom and wit and most
capably played; Miss FAY COMPTON, admirable example of a pretty actress who
won't let herself be captured by stage tricks, making everything explicable
except her continued love for her intolerable bore (and Turk) of a husband;
Mr. A.E. MATTHEWS handling a desperately unsympathetic part, which was
already beginning to look impossible, with great adroitness; and Mr.
STANLEY LOGAN, though badly hampered by a shocking cold and fighting a
coughing audience, carrying the bulk of the good talk and lifting it gently
over the few difficult places with a brilliant and well-concealed art.

Thus till towards the end of the Second Act. Then a bad, a very bad, fairy
stuffed into Mr. MEGRUE'S head the idea of the suicide lottery. The
infuriated husband, finding his wife in her friend's room at 7 P.M.
(frightfully improper hour), sternly offers his bowler (or Derby) hat, in
which are two cards. The one marked with a cross is drawn by the flutterer
and means that he is for it. He is to kill himself within twenty-four
hours.... And all this with perfect seriousness.

You will see how the Third Act of a comedy which had tied itself in this
kind of a knot simply could not be played. The author had completely
sacrificed plausibility, and it was not uninteresting to see him twisting
and turning, hedging and bluffing to save it; and a little uncomfortable to
note the conviction oozing away out of the performers.... Queer also that
it isn't more generally recognised that to come to the theatre with a loud
persistent cough is a form of premeditated robbery with violence.

T.

       *       *       *       *       *

A NEW LEAGUE OF NATIONS.

The latest development in connection with the International Brotherhood
movement is the establishment of a College of Correct Cosmopolitan
Pronunciation. The need of such an institution has long been clamant, and
the visit of the Ukrainian choir has brought matters to a crisis. At their
concert last week several strong women wept like men at their inability to
pronounce the title of one of the most beautiful items on the programme--
"Shtchedryk." Again, as Mr. SMILLIE must have bitterly reflected, how can
we possibly render justice to the cause of Bolshevism so long as we are
unable to pronounce the names of its leaders correctly? The same remark
applies to the Russian Ballet; the Yugo-Slav handbell-ringers; the
vegetarian Indian-club swingers from the Karakoram Himalayas; the
polyphonic gong-players from North Borneo; the synthetic quarter-tone
quartette from San Domingo; the anthropophagous back-chat comedians from
the Solomon Islands; not to mention a host of other interesting companies,
troupes, corroborees and pow-wows which are now in our midst for the
purpose of cementing the confraternity of nations.

Suitable premises for the College have been secured in the heart of Mayfair
and a competent staff of instructors has already been appointed, who, with
the aid of gramophones, will be able to train the students to perfection in
the requisite command of the most explosive gutturals, labials and
sibilants. Doctor Prtnkeivitchsvtnshchitzky will be the director of the
College; Dr. SETON WATSON and Mr. WICKHAM STEED have kindly undertaken to
supervise the Yugo-Slav section, and the list of patrons and patronesses
includes the names of the Prince of Prinkipo; Madame KARSAVINA, so long a
victim of the mispronunciation of her melodious surname; Dr. DOUGLAS HYDE,
the famous Irish scholar; Prenk-Bib-Doda, the Albanian chieftain; Sir
RABINDRANATH TAGORE; Lord PARMOOR; Sir THOMAS BEECHAM and the Dowager Begum
of BHOPAL.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORE ADVENTURES OF A POST-WAR SPORTSMAN.

HE DETERMINES TO MASTER THE ART OF CRACKING A WHIP.]

       *       *       *       *       *

PEGASUS AT POLO.

    "The following teams have entered for the Lahore Polo Tournament:--4th
    Cavalry, 17th Cavalry, 21st Lancers, 33rd Cavalry, 39th Central India
    Horse, Lahore, the Fox-hunters from Meerut, and the Royal Air Horse
    from Delhi."--_Civil and Military Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

AN UP-TO-DATE COSTUME.

    "For your evening dress I advise you simply to buy a piece of broad
    silver ribbon, pass it twice round the waist and knot it at the side,
    with a little bunch of berries and leaves caught into the knot."--
    _Ladies' Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

REVOLT OF THE SUPER-GEORGIANS.

WILD SCENES AT A MEETING OF PROTEST.

An Indignation Meeting, to protest against the outrageous attacks levelled
against Georgian writers and critics by Professor NOYES in his recent
lecture at the Royal Institution and by Mr. A.D. GODLEY in an article in
the current _Nineteenth Century_, was held last Saturday evening at the
Klaxon Hall. The chair was taken by Mr. EDWARD MARSH, C.M.G., who was
supported on the platform by a compact bevy of Georgian bards; but at an
early stage of the meeting it became apparent that a majority of those
present in the body of the hall were extremists of violent type, and
eventually, as will be seen, the proceedings ended in something
approximating to a free fight.

Mr. MARSH began by a frank confession. He had taken a First Class in the
Cambridge Classical Tripos. But the days in which he had been steeped to
the lips in Latin and Greek were long past, never to return. For many years
he had not composed hexameters, elegiacs or iambics. He had thrown in his
lot with insurgent youth, not as a competitor or rival, but as an advocate,
an admirer and an adviser. Indeed, if he might venture to say so, he
sometimes acted as a brake on the wheels of the triumphal Chariot of Free
Verse. He was not an adherent of the fantastic movement known as "Dada." He
had no desire to abolish the family, morality, logic, memory, archæology,
the law and the prophets. A little madness was a splendid thing, but it
must be methodic. Still, for the rest he was a Georgian, heart and soul,
and it pained him when men who ought to know better raised the standard of
reaction and sought to discredit the achievements of his _protégés_. These
attacks could not be passed over in silence, and the meeting had been
convened to consider how they should be met, whether by a reasoned protest
or by retaliation.

Miss Messalina Stoot, who punctuated her remarks with the clashing of a
pair of cymbals, observed that as a thorough-going Dadaist she had no
sympathy with the half-hearted attitude of the Chairman. It was a battle
between Dada and Gaga, and emphatically Dada must win.

Mr. Mimram Stoot, who accompanied himself on the sarrusophone, endorsed the
iconoclastic views of his sister. The only poetry that counted was that
which caused spinal chills and issued from husky haughty lips. The moanings
of mediæval molluscs were of no avail, though they might excite the
crustacean fossils of Oxford, the home of lost causes.

Mr. Seumas O'Gambhaoil wished to protest against Mr. NOYES' statement that
there were ten thousand Bolshevist poets in our midst. This was a shameless
underestimate of the total, which was at least twice that figure. Mr.
GODLEY'S offence, however, was much worse, as he was an Irishman, though of
the self-expatriated type to which GOLDSMITH and MOORE belonged. The rest
of Mr. O'Gambhaoil's speech was delivered in Irish, but he was understood
to advocate a repatriation of all Irish renegades to be tried and dealt
with by the Sinn Fein Republic.

Mr. Caradoc Cramp applauded the sentiments of the last speaker, but
considered that he avoided the real issue. The Chairman had declared
himself a Georgian, but that was not enough. The worst enemies of Free
Verse were to be found in that camp. In technique and even in thought there
was little to choose between many so-called Georgians and the most effete
and reactionary Victorians. He alluded to the War poets, or rather the
"Duration" poets, most of whom were already back-numbers. Between these and
the Post-war poets, the true super-Georgians or paulo-post-Georgians, it
was necessary to make a clean cut. To protest against Messrs. GODLEY and
NOYES was a mere waste of time and energy. They might just as well protest
against the existence of an extinct volcano or the skeleton of the
brontosaurus. The real danger to be faced was the intrinsic subjectivity of
the early and mid-Georgian poets, of whom the Chairman had been so powerful
and consistent a supporter. He accordingly called for volunteers to storm
the platform, and, a large number having responded to his appeal, Mr. MARSH
was dislodged from the Chair after a gallant fight. A resolution of
adherence to the principles of "Dada" having been passed by a large
majority, the meeting broke up to the strains of the famous song--

      a e ou o youyouyou i e ou o
              youyouyou
    drrrrdrrrrdrrrrgrrrrgrrrrrgrrrrrrrr
          beng bong beng bang
  boumboum boumboum boumboum.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Gentleman, Interested in Tattooing and largely covered, would like to
    hear from other enthusiasts to compare notes."--_Times._

We trust the "bare-back" mode is not going to spread to the more modest
sex.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a "stores" circular:--

    "THIS WEEK'S ECONOMY OFFERS.

    Honey in Sections, each 3/9, three for 14/0."

The economy consists, of course, in buying them one at a time.

       *       *       *       *       *

WATER-BABIES.

  In a limbo of desolate waters,
    In the void of a flood-stricken plain,
  You will find them--the sons and the daughters
          Of tropical rain.

  For when rivers are one with the ocean,
    When the ricefields and roads are no more,
  There's a feeling of magic, a notion
          Of fairyland lore;

  And the babies of Burma can revel
    In a nursery of whirlpool and slime,
  Where it thunders and rains like the devil
          For weeks at a time.

  They paddle their rafts through the jungle;
    They swim through a network of leaves;
  They clamber with never a bungle
          To dive from the eaves.

  'Tis an orgy of goblins, an image
    Of nudity flouting the flood,
  Of shorn-headed brownies who scrimmage
          And splash in the mud.

  As we row neath a tamarind, one'll
    Roll off with a gesture of fright,
  Bobbing up like a cork at our gunwale
          And gurgling delight.

  But never a stanza shall measure
    The joy of that desperate crew
  Of four-year-olds scouring for treasure
          Astride a bamboo.

  Their fathers smoke, huddled in sorrow,
    Their mothers chew betel and fret,
  And the pariahs howl for a morrow
          Which shall not be wet;

  The plovers wheel o'er them complaining,
    And it's only the babies who pray
  That the skies may be raining and raining
          For ever and aye.


  J.M.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER MESOPOTAMIAN SCANDAL.

    "The commodious and fast ss. 40 will leave Basrah for Baghdad and all
    intermediate ports on Saturday morning at 9 A.M. Passengers will embark
    at 10 A.M."--_Basrah Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "END OF COTTON SUIT.

    DRAMATIC COLLAPSE."--_Daily Paper._

We are more than ever convinced of the superior wearing qualities of
woollen.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia agrees to the
    admission on passport of Indian merchants, students, tourests, with
    there irrespective wives."--_Indian Paper._

But ought any Government to encourage this sort of thing?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dancing Man_ (_at Galleries of New Primitive Art Society_).
"ONE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT, WITH SUCH A GOOD FLOOR, THEY MIGHT HAVE PUT UP
SOME BETTER PICTURES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Following the iconoclastic spirit of the age, Mr. BARRY PAIN has essayed in
_The Death of Maurice_ (SKEFFINGTON) the revolutionary experiment of a
murder mystery tale that does not contain (_a_) a love interest, (_b_) a
wrongly suspected hero, (_c_) a baffled inspector, (_d_) an amateur, but
inspired, detective. It would be a grateful task to add that the result
proves the superfluity of these time-worn accessories. But the cold fact is
that, to me at least, the proof went the other way. From the first I was
painfully aware of a lack of snap about the whole business, and I am more
than suspicious that the author himself may have shared my unwilling
indifference. _Maurice_ was an artistic bachelor, a landowner, a
manufacturer of jam, a twin (with a bogie gift of knowing at any moment the
relative position of his other half, which might have been worked for far
more effect than is actually obtained from it), and a reputation of making
enemies. He had also an unusual neighbour, in the person of a young woman
whose unconventionality led her to perambulate the common at midnight,
playing the first bars of _Solveig's Song_ upon the flute. One night, at
the close of the first chapter, a gun was heard. But you are wrong to
suppose (however naturally) that the flute-player was the victim. It was
_Maurice_. And of course the problem was, who did it. I have told you my
own experience of the working out; nothing written by Mr. BARRY PAIN can
ever be really dull, just as no story starting with a mysterious murder can
lack a certain intrigue; but the fact remains that my wish, heroically
resisted, to look on to the last chapter was prompted more often by
impatience than by any compelling curiosity. Others may be happier.

       *       *       *       *       *

The author of _A Journal of Small Things_ has done much to make us
understand the sufferings of stricken France and the more intimate sorrows
of war. _Chill Hours_ (MELROSE) deals with that dark period before the end,
when, to some, it seemed all but certain that the will to victory must
fail. Of the three parts of this gracious little book the first consists of
six sketches of life behind the lines, life both gentle and simple, as
affected by war. "Odette in Pink Taffeta," an episode of bereavement, is in
particular exquisitely visualised. "Their Places" and "The Second Hay"
treat, with a quiet intensity of conviction, of the absolutely deadening
absorption, by overwork and anxiety, of peasant wives and children left to
carry on in the absence of their men. The third part is a series of
hospital vignettes. They do not attempt to be too cheery, but they have the
stamp of realised truth. "Nostalgia," the second part, is in another
mood--recalled memories of the beauties of a loved land and of dear common
things affectionately seen. To those who dare look at war with open eyes
and who take pleasure in sincere and beautifully-phrased writing I commend
Mrs. HELEN MACKAY'S book without reserve.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Somewhere in Christendom_ (ALLEN AND UNWIN) is somewhat embarrassing to a
reviewer, for it has the theme of a great book with the manner of a trivial
one. It is the history of a very much smaller nation, Ethuria, left
despoiled and starving at the end of a nine-years' war, in which its great
neighbours have used it as a battle-ground. Revolution begins, but a woman
prophet steps in and switches it off in an unusual direction. The Ethurians
perfect among themselves that fellowship which is the nice ideal behind
many nasty manifestations in the real world, and, when next they are
invaded by neighbouring nations anxious to use them as an excuse for
belligerency, they resolutely stick to their guns (only the metaphor is
most unsuitable), refuse to find any cause of quarrel with their "foreign
brothers," and finally persuade them to abandon the ideals of war, so that
peace on earth becomes a reality at last. Here is the book's theme; its
working out allows for a boxing match between the President of Hygeia and
the Foreign Secretary of Tritonia as the minimum of hostilities; a wicked
newspaper lord, who pulls strings in both countries, and a faithful butler
to the Royal Family, who becomes assistant state nursemaid and cleans
silver as a hobby. Though I quite agree with Miss EVELYN SHARP and the
Ethurians that it _is_ love that makes the world go round, I am not so sure
that either hers or theirs is the best way of advocating their common
cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

You may remember an original and striking book of papers about the theatre
under the title of _Buzz-Buzz_. Its author, JAMES E. AGATE, has now
followed it with another, called, rather grimly, _Responsibility_
(RICHARDS). You will be absolutely correct in guessing that this is not a
treatise on revue, being indeed an autobiographical novel of (I feel bound
to add) precisely the same calibre as, in the sister realm of drama, made
the name of Manchester at one period a word of awe. Why do these young
Mancunians recollect to such stupendous purpose? Here is Mr. AGATE, with an
introduction of forty-four pages, all about time and infinity, before he
can get his protagonist so much as started anywhere at all. It is a little
like one of those demon-scenes out of the pantomimes he describes so
lovingly--"_Do so! May safety and success attend on Crusoe._" But of course
the subsequent action is more responsible. I imagine Mr. AGATE'S picture of
young-man life in the Manchester of the nineties to be very much like the
real thing. Relaxation was not wholly remote from it. Cotton and
commandments were broken with equal facility. Also you may be impressed by
the number of Germans in it. Finally, after telling us, sometimes
engagingly, sometimes verbosely, all he can remember about Lancashire, Mr.
AGATE brings his hero to Town, levers him along, year after year, and gets
(almost on his last page) to his big situation. I won't spoil it.
_Responsibility_, which might better have been called "Garrulity," is a
novel containing boredom and charm in about equal proportions; not to
mention promise for the days when its author has learned to discipline his
too-ready pen.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the early part of 1915 until the end of 1917 Admiral Sir REGINALD
BACON commanded at Dover, and from the preface to _The Dover Patrol_
(HUTCHINSON) we can gather that he is smarting under a considerable sense
of injustice and injury. Of the merits of his case--he frankly describes
his dismissal as brutal--I do not pretend to judge, but can safely assume
that the other side have something to say for themselves, if they care to.
However, you are not to suppose that this is a bitter book. Most generous
are the praises which the Admiral bestows upon his subordinates; his venom
he reserves for just the chosen few who, no doubt, can bear it. Apart from
personal recriminations, of which some of us must be more than tired, these
two portly volumes are of real historical value. You will find in them not
only a record of actual achievements, often carried out under desperately
difficult conditions, but also of projects which for one reason or another
were never fulfilled. "Why don't we try to land on the Belgian coast?" was
a question our amateur strategists were never weary of asking. Well, here
is their answer. Here, too, are countless photographs, charts, plans and
diagrams--a really wonderful collection. Even if you are not in the least
interested in Sir REGINALD'S grievances you will find him a writer who has
a lot of useful things to say and knows how to say them.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EFFECT OF THE CRIME WAVE.

[Illustration: _Both._ "HM! HE _LOOKS_ RESPECTABLE--]

[Illustration: --_STILL_, ONE NEVER KNOWS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The normal average amount of clothing required in a temperate climate
    such as ours is: _One pound weight of clothing to every one stone
    weight of the body_.... Thus the clothes of a child weighing 3 stones
    should be 3lb., and for a man or woman weighing 10 stones the clothes
    should weigh 10lb. This is a definite statement; at any rate, disprove
    it who can."--_Sir JAMES CANTLIE in "The Daily Mail."_

We gave instructions to our Mathematical specialist to work out the
figures, and his report is that he finds them substantially correct.





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