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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-03-20
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, 1920-03-20" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 158.



March 10th, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.

There are one hundred thousand more people living in London than in New
York. But they are only just living.

* * *

"The Home Rule Bill," says _The Irish Unionist Alliance_, "would, if put
into operation, cause friction in Ireland." We are sorry to hear this, for
friction is the last thing we want to see in Ireland.

* * *

M. GRABSKI, who has just asked for the loan of three thousand million
francs, is the Polish Minister of Finance. Yet people say there is nothing
in a name.

* * *

A Welsh Prohibition Bill is suggested. We think it should be pointed out
that the Welsh language is natural and not due to over-indulgence.

* * *

DEMPSEY, the American Boxer, is to be charged with "draft-dodging." The
other charge of COCHRAN-dodging will not be proceeded with.

* * *

Gold in the mouth, says the American Academy of Dental Science, is out of
date. Much the same applies to gold in the pocket.

* * *

We understand that an American syndicate has been formed for the purpose of
acquiring the sole rights in a suit of clothes by a London tailor.

* * *

American whisky is said to create in consumers a desire to climb trees.
British whisky, on the other hand, seems to create in the Americans a
desire to cross the Atlantic.

* * *

With reference to the road-mender who fell down last week and injured
himself an explanation has now been given. It appears that the colleague
next to him must have moved.

* * *

No fewer than twenty-seven poems on Spring have been received by one weekly
paper editor. Yet there are people who still maintain that the crime wave
is on the wane.

* * *

"The Irish swear by two staple beverages," says _The Daily Mail_. We feel,
however, that an Irishman who was really trying could swear by more than
this.

* * *

We understand that the Foreign Office takes a serious view of the large
number of public-houses which have been burgled during the last few weeks.
It is feared that it may be the work of a foreign spy who is endeavouring
to secure the recipe of British Government ale.

* * *

"A large number of army tanks have been sent to Africa," announces an
article in a daily paper. However, as the brontosaurus is supposed to
devour four of these delicacies at every meal, it is feared that unless a
great many more are sent out immediately this dainty animal may be faced
with extermination.

* * *

A morning paper announces that all airships of "R 34" type are now
obsolete. We have decided to stick a pin in each of ours.

* * *

From Ireland comes the pleasing news that the wife of a well-known Sinn
Feiner has just presented her husband with a little bomberette.

* * *

Since the publication of Professor KEITH'S statistics of efficiency,
showing the superiority of the physical condition of miners over that of
almost every other class of worker, the argument, so popular with the
advocates of nationalisation, that a miner's occupation is a most unhealthy
one, has been given a rest.

* * *

"I doubt if even the youngest child to-day will live to see the real fruits
of the War," said the Bishop of Lincoln last week. Another unmerited slight
on the O.B.E.

* * *

"Visitors to the Zoo," says _The Daily Mail_, "should not miss the rare
spectacle of the highest five animals under one roof--the gorilla, the
chimpanzee, the orang-outang, the gibbon and man." Naturally everybody is
asking, "Who is the lucky man?"

* * *

A merciless campaign against rats is to be waged by the inhabitants of a
large Yorkshire town. This is supposed to be the outcome of the continued
indifference with which these rodents have treated the many propaganda
campaigns which the town has organised.

* * *

Liverpool City Council is to consider the appointment of women park-
keepers. In support it is urged that when it comes to persuading a paper
bag to go along quietly the superior tact of a woman is bound to tell.

* * *

Arrangements for the continuation of the Food Ministry, it is stated, are
still incomplete. It would be a thousand pities if a mere abundance of food
should lead to the disappearance of this valuable department.

* * *

"Will the gentlemen on the Allied Surrender List," says the _Berlin
Official Gazette_, "inform the German authorities of their address?" This
is a typical piece of Teutonic duplicity. There are, of course, no
gentlemen on the List.

* * *

The chiffchaff has been heard in Hampshire and a couple of road-peckers
were observed last week hovering in the neighbourhood of Wellington Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Holiday-maker_ (_in difficulties._) "OH, DASH IT! THERE
GOES THAT LETTER MY WIFE GAVE ME TO POST A WEEK AGO."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER IMPENDING APOLOGY.

    "Principal ---- said there was a historical connection between the
    Royal Asylum for the Insane and the University of Edinburgh."--_Scots
    Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The British rule in India is as savage as that of the Turk in
    Armenia."--_Washington Times._

Not the "_George_ Washington Times," you'll note.

       *       *       *       *       *

MEN AND THINGS OF THE MOMENT.

    [Mr. Punch cannot hold himself responsible for the views expressed in
    the following correspondence.]

THE MALLABY-DEELEY EMPORIUM.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--I want you to use your influence with that great
philanthropist, Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY. I know that he is too modest to claim
to be a benefactor of the race, but I am at least right in calling him
"Mr.," for that is how he describes himself on his shop-window, and he
would never have done that if he had not desired to avoid confusion with
the common tradesman. Well, I want you to enlist his powerful sympathy in
the cause of the struggling middle classes, to which body I belong. I refer
particularly to our crying need for dinner-jackets at reasonable prices. I
am one of those who spend their holidays at seaside hotels, where people
make a point of dressing for dinner in the hope of giving their fellow-
guests the impression that this is their daily habit in the home circle. In
view of the early advent of Spring I approached my tailor, the other day,
with inquiries as to the cost of an abbreviated dinner-suit. His prices
were as follows:--jacket £10 10s. 0d.; waistcoat £3 3s. 0d.; trousers £4
10s. 0d.; total £18 3s. 0d. I am old enough to recall the time when the
most _élite_ tailors of Savile Row charged no more than £10 10s. 0d. for a
complete evening costume, uncurtailed.

I am all for the cheap supply of "gentlemen's lounge-suits" for the
so-called working-classes to lounge in. I know of no surer antidote to the
spirit of Bolshevism. But let us not forget the claims of the middle
classes, who are the backbone of the Empire. If Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY cannot
help us in the direction I have indicated, then let Mr. KENNEDY JONES, on
behalf of the Middle Class Union, put a hyphen to his name and open a shop
for the sale of evening wear at demi-popular prices.

  Yours faithfully,
  SURBITONIAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--It would be a thousand pities if Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY'S
beneficent scheme should fail for lack of advertisement. Could you not
persuade your colleagues of the Press to publish from day to day the route
of his car's progress from his private residence (or the terminus from
which he debouches) to his place of business, as in the case of the new
Member for Paisley? My only fear is that the Coalition Government might be
suspected of adopting the Wee Free methods of publicity for political ends;
but this would surely be an unworthy suspicion in the case of a movement
designed for the benefit not of a party, but of mankind.

  Yours faithfully,
  STAGE MANAGER.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DECLINE OF LEARNING.

DEAR SIR,--I look for your sympathy when I say that I regard the abolition
of compulsory Greek at Oxford as tantamount to the collapse of the last
bulwark of British Culture. It is idle for the advocates of this act of
vandalism to protest that the spirit of Ancient Hellas can be adequately
conveyed in the form of translations, and to illustrate this futile
argument by reference to the authorised version of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Admirable as that version may be, is it for a moment to be supposed that it
can take the place of the original as a source of spiritual education? or
that our appreciation of Holy Writ would not be a hundred-fold increased if
it were fortified by a knowledge of the first principles of Hebraic syntax
and by an elementary acquaintance with Hebraic composition. It is
impossible to estimate the influence of such knowledge in tending to endear
the Bible to our youth. To me indeed it has always been incomprehensible
that our Prelates, who presumably have the welfare of the Church at heart,
have never insisted on making Hebrew a compulsory subject for Responsions.

And now Greek has gone and Oxford is the home of one more lost cause. The
gods (of the gallery) may be with the winners, but it is the losing side
that still appeals to

  Yours incorruptibly,
  CATO.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_THE TIMES'_ FLIGHT."

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--His many friends (among whom I take leave to count myself)
will heartily sympathise with Dr. CHALMERS MITCHELL on the engine troubles
he has passed through, culminating in the enforced curtailment of his
scientific expedition. It is gratifying to think that the pure and lofty
spirit of research which animated the great newspaper-proprietor who sent
him forth on this mission has been vindicated by the Doctor's discovery of
an unmapped volcano. Regrettably the conditions under which he observed it
precluded him from making an expert survey of it, and even from securing
specimens of its geological structure. The possibility of such an
unfortunate contingency, which may have escaped the consideration of the
promoter of the expedition, was recognised by other scientists. But it was
confidently expected by his Zoological _confrères_ that his voyage of
exploration would add largely to our knowledge of the habits and customs of
the fauna of Africa, and notably of the giraffe, as coming, by the
exceptional development of its neck, within closest range of his vision as
he flew through the vast inane.

Even better opportunities for the observation of animal life would, it was
thought, occur during the occasional intervals spent on _terra firma_ for
purposes of repose or repair. And indeed one is greatly intrigued by the
following terse and airmanlike entry in the log for February 20th: "Much
disturbed by lions." Nothing is said of the actual capture of one of these
interesting denizens of the jungle, but reference to such a feat might well
have been omitted out of regard for brevity. Is it too much to hope that
the enterprise of _The Times_ may yet be rewarded by the addition of a live
lion to the Zoological Gardens?

In any case, by the exceptional opportunities he enjoyed for a careful
study of leaking cylinder jackets, insulating tape, red-leaded joints and
missing engines the intrepid Doctor must have added largely to his
knowledge of mechanical science, to say nothing of the botanical
discoveries he made when his machine came within a few inches of contact
with a banana-tree.

I, for one, look forward eagerly to his return, when he will be able to
narrate his experience with a fulness and freedom of language impossible in
cabled despatches.

  Yours faithfully,
  STANLEY LIVINGSTONE JONES.

       *       *       *       *       *

A "MALADE IMAGINAIRE"?

    "Bath-chair wanted, small lady good condition."--_Ladies' Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

A CHOICE OF SINECURES.

    "LADY-NURSE-HELP; three girls (12, 10, eight); two maids kept; month's
    holiday (fortnightly); salary £40."--_Daily Paper._

    "WANTED, a Housemaid, wages 27s. 6d., no duties."--_New Zealand Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lady would like to Join jolly Family for Dinner every night."--_Advt.
    in Daily Paper._

Yes, but how long would they remain jolly?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Windsor Castle Niggers, from His Majesty's Chapel Royal, gave an
    excellent programme."--_Local Paper._

The programme merely announced them as "Windsor Castle Singers," but this
no doubt was to give the audience a greater surprise.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The revival of the Hunt Ball, and the intelligence that the Race Ball
    is also to be re-introduced next month, has restored the ---- dance
    season to its pre-war brilliance. The Hunt event passed off with
    _éclair_."--_Local Paper._

Supper seems to have been all right, anyhow.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A CONVERTED SPIRIT.

GENIUS OF ALCOHOL. "AND TO THINK THAT I WAS ONCE REGARDED AS AN IMPEDIMENT
TO LOCOMOTION!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mayfair Copper._ "NOW THEN, GET A MOVE ON, TARZAN. THIS
AIN'T A MONKEY NEIGHBOURHOOD."]

       *       *       *       *       *

WON ON THE POSTS.

(_With the British Army in France._)

The decisive victory of the Racing Club de Petiteville--late the _deuxième
équipage_ of the Sportif Club de Petiteville--over the _troisième équipage_
of the Société Athlétique de Pont Neuf would not appear to have any bearing
on the washing of Percival's collars and pyjamas; but, according to Elfred
Fry, there was a poignant connection between the two.

When the Sportif Club received the challenge they doubted whether to accept
it, as the Société Athlétique was rumoured to include several veterans
approaching fifteen years of age and of tremendous physique. On being
conceded the choice of ground, however, they took up the gage and trained
and practised with such vigour that two days before the date of the match
Georges Darré, right back, punted his toe through a previously suspected
weak spot in the ball and irreparably ruined it. The Société Athlétique was
informed of the disaster and asked to supply a ball, but they answered that
no known authority or precedent existed for visiting teams providing the
accessories. There was also an insinuation that the story of the burst ball
was a fabrication, designed to give the Sportif Club a loophole of escape
from a contest that spelt certain defeat.

Stung to the quick, the _deuxième équipage_ made an urgent appeal to the
_premier équipage_ of the Sportif Club, who replied that this was the first
intimation they had had of the existence of a _deuxième équipage_, and
recommended a tourney at marbles or a combat of peg-tops as being more
suitable to their tender years.

Naturally this insult could not be brooked, and it was decided to break
away from the parent body and reorganise under the title of the Racing Club
de Petiteville; but this did not help them to solve the question of a new
ball. Then it was that Théo Navet, left half, and son of the
_blanchisseuse_ in the rue Napoléon, had an inspiration, and Percival's
pyjamas became linked up with the destinies of the club.

       *       *       *       *       *

"It wouldn't surprise me, Sir," said Elfred on the evening when Petiteville
was ringing with the news of the Racing Club's victory by 4 _buts_ to 2,
"if you are the only officer in Mess to-night with a reelly clean collar."

"And why am I singled out for so much honour?" asked Percival, taking the
slacks which Elfred produced from between the mattresses. "Has the
Washer-women's Union handed in notices and made a complimentary exception
in my case?"

"Well, Sir, you _'ave_ been favoured, but it weren't a strike," explained
Elfred. "You know, Sir, there's been an alarming short ration of coal an'
fuel down in the village for a long time, an' two days ago Madame Navet,
who does the orficers' washing, came up an' said she was bokoo fashay but
the washing was napood for the week, becos she couldn't buy, beg, borrer
nor steal enough fuel to keep her copper biling.... Do we wear the yaller
boots to-night, Sir, or the _very_ yaller ones?"

"The light pair," said Percival, "to give tone to the clean collar. But go
on."

"Well, I put it to Madame as my orficer was a very partickler gent, an'
she'd gotter do our washing even if she 'ad to light 'er fire with the
family dresser. She said she was desolated; she 'adn't sufficient coal to
take the chill off a mouchoir. I thought of trying to borrer a sack for 'er
from the quarter bloke, but our relations 'ave never been the same since
the time I took my weekly ration of 'Pink Princesses' back an' arsked 'im
to change 'em for cigarettes with a bit o' tobacco in.

"After she'd gone I took a kit inventory 'an found we was down to our last
clean collar, an' we looked like bein' a bit grubby in the matter of
pyjamas. I went a walk to the canteen to think it over, an' on my way
Madame's lad came up an' said 'is team 'ad an important match for two days
later an' could I possibly oblige 'em with a football. Being a sportsman--I
take a franc chance in the camp football sweep every week--I said I'd try
what I could do, knowin' of a ball which me an' the other batmen punt about
in our rare hintervals of leisure. But then the thought of that washing
that wasn't washed came into my mind.

"'See 'ere, Meredith,' I says. 'Je voo donneray a ball si votre mère does
our washing toot sweet.'"

"'E looked blue at this an' said they couldn't get fuel nohow.

"'Compree scrounge?' says I.

"It seems 'e did. It seems scrounging for fuel 'ad reached such a pitch in
the village that people took their backyard fences in at night, 'an they
'ad posted a policeman on the station to prevent 'em sawing away the
waiting-room. But our washing 'ad to be done, 'an I thought if I got the
whole of this football team scrounging they might find something as
everyone else 'ad overlooked. So I pretended to be indifferink.

"'Very well,' says I. 'San fairy ann. Napoo washing--napoo ball.'

"That set 'em to work. Next day little boys were scraping the village over
like fowls in a farmyard, getting a chip 'ere an' a shaving there, an'
making themselves such a nuisance that there was talk of calling the
gendarmerie out. They would 'ave done, too, only he'd laid down for a nap
an' left strict orders 'e wasn't to be disturbed. Then they slipped into
the Camp, trying to lay nefarious 'ands on empty ration boxes, but the Camp
police spotted 'em an' chivied them off. I never seen our police so
exhausted as they were at the end of that day.

"'I can't think what's taken the little varmints,' said the Provost-
Sergeant. 'It ain't the Fifth of November.'

"On the whole it wasn't a good day's 'unting, but this morning I was waited
on by a deputation wearing striped jerseys, which they appeared to 'ave put
on at early dawn. They said the fire was lit under the copper, 'an could
they 'ave the ball?

"'Doucemong!' says I. 'Allay along, an' let's see the fire first.'

"Yes, it were lit, but only just. The water was lukewarm an' the fuel 'ad
nearly all burned away, an' Madame was standing looking at it hopelessly.

"'Pas bong,' says I to the lads. 'Pas assay chaud. Voo scroungerez
ongcore.'

"They was frantic, becos it was nearly match time. I felt inclined to give
'em the ball, but the thought of you, Sir, in a dirty collar--"

"You may keep the pair of old riding-breeches you borrowed without
permission," interrupted Percy.

"Thank you, Sir. Then all at once the lads 'ad a confab an' went away, an'
in a few minutes they was back with some lovely straight planed props of
timber, an' they chopped 'em up in a jiffy 'an got the fire roaring 'ot,
an' I gave 'em the ball, an' your collars is done an' the rest of your
things is out drying an' will be finished to-morrow."

"Of course I'm grateful," said Percival. "You might tell your young friends
I'm willing to be a vice-president of their club--on the usual terms.
What's the name of it?"

"They tell me it's called 'The Racing Club,'" said Elfred. "But I think,
Sir, you'd better give your subscription to the other club in the
village--'The Sportif Club.' You see, Sir, they 'ad a match on to-day as
well, an' when they arrived on the ground they found someone 'ad been and
scrounged their goal-posts!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I SAY, EXCUSE ME, DEAR OLD TOP, BUT YOU MUSTN'T WEAR THAT
GUNNER TIE NOW YOU'RE DEMOBBED. IT SIMPLY ISN'T DONE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ANNIVERSARY.

Having unexpectedly retained possession of my seat in the Tube the other
evening I over-read myself and ran past my station, so it was rather late
when I reached home.

"Hullo!" I called out cheerily.

"Hullo!" echoed Margaret in a flat sort of voice; "you back?"

I refrained from facetiousness and told her that I was.

"Oh!" she said.

"Well, well, Margaret," I said in a bright and bustling manner, "we haven't
got on very well so far, have we? Can't you think of some subject on which
we can conduct a conversation in words of more than one syllable? The
skilful hostess should so frame her questions that not even the shyest
visitor can fall back on a simple Yes or No. Now," I continued, spreading
myself luxuriously over the chesterfield, "you know how shy I am. Try to
draw me out, dear. I'm waiting."

I lit a cigarette. Margaret looked reproachfully at me.

"What was yesterday?" she said.

"Tuesday, my dear. We will now have a little chat about Tuesday. Coming as
it does so soon after Monday, it not unnaturally exhibits--"

"Tuesday the 25th of February," said Margaret solemnly.

"Possibly, my dear, possibly. But I cannot say that I find your remarks
very interesting. They may be true, or they may not, but they certainly
seem to me to lack that agreeable whimsicality usually so characteristic of
you."

"Our wedding-day," said Margaret impressively.

"Was it really?" I said in a whisper. "And you let it pass without
reminding me. Oh, how could you?"

Margaret smiled.

"I didn't think of it till this morning--after you had gone," she said.

We both smiled. Then we laughed.

"You know, we really are a dreadful couple." I said. "Your fault is greater
than mine, though. I'll tell you why. Everyone knows that a man--especially
a manly man--" I tugged my moustache and let my biceps out for a run--
"never remembers anniversaries, whereas a woman--a womanly woman--does."
Here I plucked a daffodil from a bowl near by and tucked it coyly behind
her ear.

"It really is rather awful of us." Margaret restored the daffodil to its
young companions. "We've only been married three years, too, and yet
already--" She threw out her arms in a hopeless gesture.

"Still," I said presently, with my hand full of her hand--"still I daresay
we shall get used to it in time--forgetting the day, I mean. After about
the fourth lapse there will be hardly any sting in our little piece of
annual forgetfulness."

"We mustn't forget to remember we've forgotten it, though, Gerald, so that
we can test the waning powers of the sting."

"I can see this habit growing on us," I said dreamily; "a few more years
and we shall forget we are married even. I shall come home one day--
provided I remember where we live--and be horrified to find _you_
established in my house and using my sealing-wax. Or maybe I shall arrive
with some little offering of early rhubarb or forced artichokes only to be
sternly ordered away by a wife who does not recognise me. 'Please take your
greens round to the tradesmen's entrance,' you will say coldly."

"I think," said Margaret, "that we ought to be extra nice to each other
now, seeing how short our married life may be. Let's begin at once. You let
me tidy your desk every day for you and--"

"Won't twice a week satisfy you?" I asked desperately.

"Perhaps; and anyway"--she put a little packet into my hand--"here's _my_
present to you, even though you did forget yesterday."

"You are a dear, Margaret. And now I'll tell you something. It was--"

Just then James came in and announced dinner. James is all our staff; but
her other name is Keziah, so we had no choice.

As we sat down I took a small box out of my pocket.

"Give this to your mistress, please," I said to James.

"O-o-o. How ripping of you, Gerald! So you did remember, after all."

"As soon as I got to the station this morning," I said, "I remembered that
our wedding-day was to-day."

Margaret lifted her eyebrows at me. "To-day?"

"Yes. You are a little behind--or in front of--the times, I'm afraid. The
twenty-fifth was a Tuesday last year, but it's trying Wednesday for a
change now. Many Happy Returns of the Day, dear."

We both laughed.

"Now let's look at our presents," said Margaret happily.

       *       *       *       *       *

DORA AT THE PLAY.

    ["You cannot buy a cigarette, or an ice, or a box of chocolates in a
    theatre after eight o'clock--by order of D.O.R.A."--_Advt. passim._]

  Attentive swain, whose lady has commanded you to be at her
  Disposal as an escort on a visit to the theatre,
  I give you precious doctrine that is certainly worth sticking to,
  At least as long as Dora is alive on earth and kicking too.

  If you would keep your fair companion satisfied and cheery, some
  Provision must be made to fill the intervals so wearisome,
  For many a gallant fellow has discovered with a shock o' late
  That after 8 P.M. it's still a crime to sell a chocolate.

  Though you may haunt the bar till ten and confidently mutter "Scotch,"
  _She_ may not even clamour for a humble slab of butterscotch,
  And should the heat suggest an ice--may I be rolled out flat if I
  Distort the truth--it's courting gaol that harmless wish to gratify.

  As for yourself, if you should yearn for blest tobacco's medium
  In those long waits between the Acts to while away the tedium,
  And find you're out of cigarettes, remember that to sell any
  A minute past the fatal hour is counted as a felony.

  Unless the pair of you affect the life ascetic, you'll
  Be well advised to carry in a hamper or a reticule
  A goodly store of provender, both smokeable and eatable,
  For Dora's in the saddle yet and seemingly unseatable.

       *       *       *       *       *

BROODY.

    "Will the Imperial Government hen proceed to a new conquest of Southern
    Ireland?"--_Daily Paper._

No, we expect it will be left sitting.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "HIDDEN MUMMIES.

    The Museum authorities are receiving numerous inquiries when the
    mummies will be on view, particularly for school children."--_Daily
    Paper._

We hope that the N.S.P.C.C. will see to it that all mummies are allowed to
return to their families without further delay.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

THEN AND NOW.

[_From an Early-Victorian pocket "Etiquette for Gentlemen_":--"If you so
far forget what is elegant as to smoke in the street or park, at least
never omit to fling away your cigar if you speak to a lady."]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BEHIND THE SCENES IN CINEMA-LAND.

IT IS A TERRIBLE MOMENT FOR THE FILM ACTOR WHEN HE REALISES THAT HE IS
GETTING TOO FAT TO PLAY HERO, AND NOT FAT ENOUGH TO BE FUNNY.]

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLF NOTES.

(_With acknowledgments to Mr. A.C.M. Croome._)

APPROACHING.

TAYLOR--or was it JAMES BRAID?--begins one of his classic and illuminating
chapters with the quotation "_Ex pede Herculem_," nor can even we of the
Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society venture to differ from so eminent an
authority or grudge him so apt a phrase. _Verb. sap._ and, let me add,
_sat_. To those, few perhaps in actual reckoning (though I, wearing of
right the wine-dark vesture--were there half Blues in HOMER'S time?--cannot
compete with JOHN LOW _et hoc genus omne_, Cantabs confessed, in the
prestidigitation of numerals and weird signs of values)--to those, then,
few, but of many parts appreciative, who followed a certain foursome at
Addington last week, my premiss should be intrinsically incontrovertible.
Partner, whom I had "made" with a drive well and truly apportioned--_ex
carne ictum_--partner, after much self-searching and mental recursion to
the maxims of TOM MORRIS and LA ROUCHEFOUCAULD, took his ball on the--_O
horribile dictu_ (or shall I say _horresco referens_?)--well, to be
meticulously exact, partner shanked it. And it is just here that those who
have also enjoyed a University education will pick up--even as partner
failed to do--what I, who write, am driving at.

Remembering how dear old W.G.--in those halcyon days when Gloucester was
worthy of the cheese whereof she is now so chary a producer--used to score
with that heavy cut between point and cover, I too, greatly daring, cut it
and laid it (the ball, not the cheese) dead. _De mortuis_ ... For assuredly
it _was_ good.

The one adornment of this episode should have been a quotation from
ARISTOPHANES. It is not, however, given to all men always to remember. _Non
cuivis_, in fact.

OF IMPACT.

It was at the ensuing consumption of Bohea, or of its substitute as
provided by a paternal Government, that one of the party, with the rashness
of a _d'Artagnan_, reverted to the question of weight of clubs. ABE
MITCHELL'S driver, of course, gave him a handle; but himself he, unaided,
gave away. For it is not to be boasted by every man that he has been
blessed with an _Alma Mater_, and that consequently logic is to him even as
hair and teeth--save only that these twain be not false. For, said this
unhappy wight, increase the weight and the corollary is length increased.

Then arose a certain justly eminent author, whose list of tales is equalled
only by the tale of his handicap, and demonstrably discounted weight
without pace.

It was then agreed that a test _ad hominem_ should be applied, and that the
result of such test should determine the individuality of him who should
settle with our Ganymede. Partner and I pushed--_gemitu et fremitu_--a
bulky sideboard against a paper ball. The inertia of the object was barely
overcome.

Then the man of letters flicked it across the room with finger and thumb.
And the original theorist became the poorer by the commercial estimate of
four teas and jam.

PUTTING.

It has been said elsewhere, yet may not therefore be wholly lacking in
elemental veracity, that putting is the devil. Systems more numerous than
dactyls and spondees in Classic verse, patent putters outnumbered only by
howlers in Oxford responsions, bear witness to this graceless statement.
Quite lately in these columns have I confessed--_pulvere cineribusque_--
that our side had twice failed at the inconsiderable distance of two yards,
even after discarding the small thirty-two. But that further confession
will be forthcoming is now wildly and preposterously problematical. For I
have discovered the true exorcism for demoniac influence in putting. It is
this: First catch your putter. Put the whole length of the shaft up your
sleeve. Then--but I must retain something for next Saturday's notes, and,
besides, I fancy the secretary of the Club where I am inditing these words
has his frugal eye on the consumption of the note-paper. But what I have
written I have written. _Litera scripta manet._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Eminent London Architect_ (_submitting his designs to our
Village Victory Memorial Committee and warming to his work_). "...AND,
SURMOUNTING THE WHOLE, A GRACEFUL FIGURE OF VICTORY, WITH WREATH--SO."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COALITION OF 1950.

"Aren't you being rather badly hit by the price of tobacco?" I asked
Charles, whose pipe is a kind of extra limb to him.

"I have just been composing the plot of a novel," he replied with apparent
irrelevance. "It begins something like this:--

"'Slowly and softly the violet dusk set in. The beautiful young Première
stood at the window of her yellow-and-black boudoir, gazing a little
wistfully at the almost deserted pavements of Downing Street. A white
pigeon perched--'"

"They aren't white," I said; "they're a sort of purply pinky grey."

"All right," said Charles, unmoved, "only it rather spoils the sentence. 'A
sort of purply pinky grey pigeon perched pompously--'"

"Never mind the pigeon," I said, "tell me what was the trouble with the
B.Y.P."

"A change in the leadership of the Opposition. The old leaderess had just
retired and her place had been taken by a new one, a man this time, young
and handsome as Apollo, who had thrown up the Chair of Cinematography at
the London University to plunge on to a political platform."

"What was the programme," I inquired, "of this--er--furniture-remover?"

"He was a reactionary," said Charles. "The Première's party had won a not
too sweeping victory at the polls on prohibition (not of alcohol, of
course--that had been done long ago--but of tobacco)."

"How on earth did she do it?"

"National economy, mostly," answered Charles. "She had the wives' vote
solid, and they carried the more docile of the husbands with them. She had
to throw out bribes to the unmarried electorate of both sexes, of course,
bribes which she had since been attempting to pay. Powder and chocolates
had been made cheaper. There was the Endowment of Cinemas Act of 1948, and
the Subsidized Football Bill of '49. But all these extravagances had
largely ruined the effect of the abolition of tobacco. At the beginning of
that year she had been obliged to cancel the State holiday on Mondays--"

"Why Mondays?" I inquired.

"Everyone feels beastly on Monday."

"But I don't see why they should feel any better on Tuesday."

"It was twenty-four hours nearer Saturday," he replied, "and Saturday was
also a State holiday. Labour, of course, was infuriated, and unrest was
every day becoming more apparent. The by-elections were going against the
Première. And now this new handsome young hero had arisen not only to
crystallise the support of his own sex, but capture the hearts of all the
female electorate under twenty."

"Twenty!" I gasped.

"Everyone over fifteen had the franchise," said Charles calmly. "Now mark
you, the programme of the Opposition was very cunning. They only proposed
to reintroduce cigar and cigarette smoking. Edward Oburn, the young leader,
being a film actor, naturally smoked nothing but exquisite Havanas. In this
he had the support of the wealthier employers, but the enormous army of
cigarette-suckers, male and female, was with him.

"But I don't see how he proposed to cut down expenses," I objected.

"He was going to tax the printing of all words over two syllables in
length," replied Charles. "The Press of those days was not affected by the
proposal, but a considerable revenue was expected from scientific books,
high-brow novels and Socialistic publications. Well, the Première, as I
say, was a prey to sad reflections, when suddenly the chur-chur of a
taxi--"

"Aren't you thinking of night-jars?" I said.

"Possibly I am," he admitted; "it may have been a chug-chug. Anyway, it
threw a wide arc of light into the gloom and stopped at the door of No. 10.
A few moments later the door of the boudoir was flung open and the
Chancellor of the Exchequer was announced."

"What did _she_ want?"

"She was a he this time, and had come to announce the inevitable--the very
thing that the Première was thinking about and fearing. 'We must have the
Bachelor Tax,'" he said.

"Now, the Bachelor Tax had been tried some twenty years before, but had
failed, partly owing to the number of passive resisters who had had to be
forcibly fed, and partly owing to the number of men who had shown
substantial proof of recurrent rejections. How were they to bring in a
reasonable and satisfactory Bill? After a long consultation, lasting
several hours beyond midnight--"

"Did the taxi go on chugging?" I asked.

"Shut up. They decided eventually that if a bachelor made a written
proposal and was rejected he was entitled to have his case tried before a
jury of women, who should decide whether it was a reasonable offer and one
that should normally have been accepted. If they found that it was, he was
to be exempt from further efforts. The Bill was accordingly drafted, and
carried easily, and the sequel no doubt you have guessed. On the day after
it became law the beautiful young Première received a neatly-typed offer of
marriage from Edward Oburn. They met; there was a scene of the utmost
beauty and pathos; they became engaged, and the Coalition Government of the
middle of 1950 began."

"How long did it go on?" I inquired.

"Until the day of revolution," said Charles pleasantly, refilling his foul
old briar--"the great day when Fleet Street ran with blood and the
pipe-smokers put up barricades in the Strand, and Piccadilly became a
reeking shambles. Have you got a match?"

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Knowledgeable Female_ (_interpreting costumes to the
crowd_). "AND 'IM--'E'S A ESQUIMOKE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The chauffeur, who sprang into the vehicle as it started off, was
    injured when it collided with a lamppost. Both were removed to
    hospital.--_Daily Paper._

It is hoped that when the lamp-post has recovered it may throw some light
on the accident.

       *       *       *       *       *

"'In a few more fleeting years'

    The ---- will still be Earning Money for its owner when other cars have
    caused their owners to become but a memory."--_Provincial Paper._

The advertiser ought not, we think, to have suppressed the names of these
murderous machines.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE KINDEST CUT OF ALL.

WELSH WIZARD. "I NOW PROCEED TO CUT THIS MAP INTO TWO PARTS AND PLACE THEM
IN THE HAT. AFTER A SUITABLE INTERVAL THEY WILL BE FOUND TO HAVE COME
TOGETHER OF THEIR OWN ACCORD--(_ASIDE_)--AT LEAST LET'S HOPE SO; I'VE NEVER
DONE THIS TRICK BEFORE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

[Illustration: MR. ASQUITH SITS UP AND TAKES NOTICE.

"THE MANCHESTER SCHOOL OF POLITICS IS DEAD AND THERE IS NO GOING BACK TO
IT."--_Mr. NEIL MACLEAN._]

_Monday, March 1st._--Calendar note (extracted from _The Wee Free
Almanack_): "Asquith comes in like a lion."

Everybody wanted to see the victor of Paisley make his _rentrée_. The
Peers' Gallery was so crowded with his former colleagues that Lord
ROTHERMERE had scarcely room for the big stick which typifies his present
attitude towards the Government. Poor Lord BEAVERBROOK was quite in the
background; but I am told that on historic occasions he always prefers,
with characteristic modesty, to be behind the scenes.

As the hero of the hour walked up the floor, escorted by Sir DONALD MACLEAN
and Mr. THORNE, his supporters did their best to give him a rousing
welcome. But they were too few to produce much effect, and a moment or two
later, when Mr. LLOYD GEORGE left the Treasury Bench to greet his old chief
behind the SPEAKER'S Chair, they were compelled to hear the young bloods of
the Coalition "give a louder roar."

Finding the traditional seat of the Leader of the Opposition still in the
occupation of Mr. ADAMSON, Mr. ASQUITH bestowed himself between the Labour
Leader and Mr. NEIL MACLEAN, with whom he entered into conversation. If he
was endeavouring to expound for his benefit the moral of Paisley I am
afraid he had but a poor success, for in the ensuing debate on food-control
the Member for Govan shocked Liberal hearers by declaring that "the
Manchester School is dead and there is no going back to it." In opposing
the continuance of D.O.R.A. Captain ELLIOT was again in good form. His best
_mot_, "With the Cabinet a thing is always either _sub judice_ or _chose
jugée_," will take a good deal of beating as a summary of the Ministerial
method of answering Questions.

[Illustration: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS ON THE CLOTHING DIFFICULTY.

MR. G.R. THORNE TO ASK MR. MALLABY-DEELEY (CONTROLLER OF SUITINGS) WHAT IS
THE PRICE OF HIS LATEST CUT.

LT.-COL. WILL THORNE TO ASK WHETHER ANY REDUCTION IS MADE IN PROPORTION TO
QUANTITY OF CLOTH PURCHASED.]

I understand that Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY disclaims being the customer to whom
the Disposals Board sold 577,000 suits of Government clothing. He makes a
point of never being over-dressed.

A suggestion that in view of the difficulty of filling diplomatic vacancies
the Government should appoint suitable women to some of these posts was
declined by the PRIME MINISTER on the ground that it was not practicable at
present. I doubt if he would have had the hardihood to make this avowal but
that Lady ASTOR had been ousted from her usual seat by Mr. PEMBERTON
BILLING.

_Tuesday, March 2nd._--Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY might be described as a
pacificist who conducts a persistent offensive. He accused the WAR MINISTER
of having made a false statement about Conscription in America, and later
on made an allusion to General DENIKIN which Mr. CHURCHILL, to the
satisfaction of the House, which does not exactly love the Central
Hullaballoonist, described as "a singularly ill-conditioned sneer."

Lord WINTERTON, once the "baby" of the House, is still one of its most
popular figures. Members were quite interested as he proceeded to explain,
with an engaging blush, that a "hard case" which he had brought to the
notice of the WAR MINISTER was his own, and sorry when the SPEAKER brought
the narrative to a sudden stop by observing, "This is not the moment for
autobiography."

The FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS was roundly abused for having spent £3,250
on tapestry for Hampton Court Palace. But when it turned out that the panel
in question was the long-missing number of a set belonging to Cardinal
WOLSEY, and that its recovery was largely due to the enterprise and
munificence of the right hon. gentleman himself, the House agreed that his
completion of "Seven Deadly Sins" was a venial offence.

[Illustration: THE HULLABALLOONIST.

LIEUT.-COMMANDER KENWORTHY.]

Other Estimates evoked more healthy criticism. Sir FREDERICK BANBURY was
eloquent upon what he called a "hotel for gardeners" at Kew. Mr. HOGGE was
for rooting up the Royal Botanical Gardens, since they were hardly ever
visited by Scotsmen, and Captain STANLEY WILSON inveighed against the
extravagance with which the British delegates were housed in Paris. Sir
ALFRED MOND admitted that they "did themselves very well," but pleaded that
they could hardly be expected to go to Montmartre--at least not
collectively--and pointed out that some of the criticisms should be
addressed to other Departments. He was not responsible, for example, for
"clothes of typists."

_Wednesday, March 3rd._--Among the things that they do better in France,
according to Lord SUDELEY, is the popularisation of picture-galleries and
museums. He instanced the pictures on French match-boxes. But were they
always confined to reproductions of Louvre masterpieces? My recollection is
that at one time they took a wider range and were distinctly more striking
than the matches.

One was reminded of PRAED'S lines--

  "Hume, no doubt, will be taking the sense
  Of the House on a question of thirteen-pence"--

when the Government very nearly came to grief to-night over a question of
five pounds for the Inland Revenue offices in Manchester. In vain Mr.
BALDWIN pointed out the desirability of giving proper accommodation to the
gentlemen who pick our pockets in the interest of the State. The House was
still obstinate, until Mr. BONAR LAW declared that the Government would
resign if they did not get their "fiver." As he undertook, however, not to
spend it without further leave, the vote at last went through.

_Thursday, March 4th._--Lord BUCKMASTER'S scheme for preventing the
bankruptcy of the State is to make everybody invest a portion of his
capital in Government securities and to withhold the interest until such
time as the State should find it convenient to pay. This, he explained to
his own satisfaction, was quite different from that dangerous expedient, a
levy on capital. Lord PEEL took a more cheerful view of the situation, and
indicated that it was quite unnecessary for noble lords to get the wind up,
since the Government would have no difficulty in raising it.

Even the most rigid economists will not cavil at the latest addition to our
financial burdens. The PENSIONS MINISTER announced an addition of close on
two millions a year to the annual charge. The increase is chiefly for a
much-needed improvement in the allowances made to disabled officers, who
have hitherto been but scurvily treated.

Mr. HIGHAM objected to receiving an answer about the telephones from Mr.
PIKE PEASE. He demanded a reply from the PRIME MINISTER, not from a
representative of the department impugned. The SPEAKER, however, pointed
out that there were limits to the PREMIER'S responsibilities: "He does not
run the whole show." After this descent into the vernacular I half-expected
that Mr. LOWTHER would dam the stream of Supplementaries that followed
with, "Oh, ring off!" but he contented himself with calling the next
Question.

The debate on the Third Reading of the War Emergency Laws (Continuance)
Bill was chiefly devoted to Ireland. Captain WEDGWOOD BENN, after spending
a whole week in that country, is convinced that all the trouble is due to
the Government's reliance upon D.O.R.A., and declared that the only people
who were not in gaol were the murderers. That would mean that there are
some four million assassins in Ireland; which I feel sure is an
exaggeration. The two hundred thousand mentioned by the CHIEF SECRETARY
would seem to be ample for any country save Russia.

Scarcely was this gloomy episode over than the House was called upon to
pass a Supplementary Estimate of £860 for "Peace Celebrations in Ireland."
As £500 of this sum was for flags and decorations, which, in Mr. BALDWIN'S
phrase, "remain for future use," the Irish outlook may, after all, be not
quite so black as it is painted.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hawker_ (_to lady who is in bitter need of fuel_). "EAGER
AS I AM, MADAM, TO EXPLAIN THE MERITS OF THESE LOGS AT FOURTEEN SHILLINGS A
HUNDRED, I CANNOT IGNORE THE NOTICE EMBLAZONED ON YOUR GATE, AND THEREFORE
WISH YOU A VERY GOOD DAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A BUY ELECTION.

    [The excellent precedent set by Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY in supplying needed
    goods at cheap rates may prove a little awkward if adopted by
    Parliamentary Candidates, as shown in the following anticipatory
    report.]

Quiet confidence reigned in the ranks of the Muddleboro Labour Party. The
action of their Candidate, Mr. Dulham, in arranging for a co-operative milk
supply at sixpence per quart, was supposed to have won the hearts of all
householders. They had no fear of Mr. Coddem, the representative of the
great BOTTOMLEY party. It was true that Mr. Coddem had taken over a local
brewery and was supplying beer at threepence per pint. But the Labour
stalwarts argued that, in the first place, this would lose him the women's
and temperance vote, and, in the second place, the electors would drink the
brewery dry in double-quick time. All those who failed to get cheap beer
would revenge themselves on the Candidate who had failed to keep his
promise.

The Wee Free cause was nearly hopeless. Their candidate, Mr. Guff, had made
a desperate bid for popularity by offering, in conjunction with _The Daily
News_, cocoa at reduced rates. But the Labour Candidate had put the pointed
question, "Who made cocoa dear in the first place?" and Mr. Guff had evaded
the question.

When Mr. Stilts, the National Party Candidate, promised the public cheaper
honours--urging that, if he were returned, it would be unnecessary to
subscribe to party funds to get a title--the voters were quite unmoved.
Perhaps they knew that they could get the O.B.E. for nothing, anyhow, and
had no higher ambitions.

The Coalition Candidate, Mr. Jenkins, alone said nothing. _The Star_, that
famous organ of the Anti-Gambling Party, proclaimed triumphantly that the
odds offered in the constituency were ten to one against Jenkins. But Mr.
Jenkins lay low and said nothing. Or rather he achieved the not impossible
feat in a Parliamentary contest of saying nothing and saying a good deal.

But the day before the poll Mr. Jenkins's polling cards were delivered.
They were headed, "Vote for Jenkins and Kill Profiteering. Give up this
card at your polling-station for free samples of silks in my great blouse
offer. I sell for 9s. 11-3/4d. a blouse usually priced at two guineas. Not
more than six sold to any one voter. OUT SIZES NO EXTRA CHARGE."

A quarter-mile queue of lady-voters was standing outside the polling booths
at eight o'clock. Hundreds of them had their husbands in custody with them.
In vain were representations of the Full Milk Jug and the Flowing Pint Pot
paraded before them. The Wee Free procession, headed by a Brimming Cocoa
Cup, was received with jeers.

When the poll was declared the figures ran--

  Jenkins (Coalition) ... 20,428
  Coddem (Bottomley) ... 9,344
  Dulham (Labour) ... 9,028
  Guff (Wee Free) ... 2,008
  Stilts (National Party) ... 49

And _The Daily News_' headline the next day was--

  "CORRUPT MINORITY CANDIDATE CARRIES MUDDLEBORO."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DÉMODÉ.

_She._ "SOMEWHAT ARCHAIC--WHAT?"

_He._ "YE--ES. ALL RIGHT SIX WEEKS AGO. _QUITE_ ACADEMICAL NOW."]

       *       *       *       *       *

COMMERCIAL CANDOUR.

From a poultry-breeder's advertisement:--

    "My strains of Rhodes are only too well known."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Miss Winnie ----, the charming and talented actress, writes:--'I am
    quite positive--I owe my present health and spirits to ----.'"--_Advt.
    in Daily Paper._

    "Poor Miss Winnie ---- has had to retire suddenly from the revue--
    doctor's orders."--_Same paper, same day._

We should have liked to hear the Advertisement Manager's view of the News
Editor.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "OO, LUMME! WOT PRICE REGINALD IN 'IS MALLABY-DEELEYS?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FREUD AND JUNG.

    [A reviewer in a recent issue of _The Times Literary Supplement_ asks,
    "Why should the characters in the psychological novel be invariably
    horrid?" and is inclined to explain this state of affairs by the
    undiscriminating study of "the theories of two very estimable
    gentlemen, the sound of whose names one is beginning to dislike--
    Messrs. Freud and Jung."]

  In QUEEN VICTORIA'S placid reign, the novelists of note
  In one respect, at any rate, were all in the same boat;
  Alike in _Richard Feverel_ and in _Aurora Floyd_
  You'll seek in vain for any trace of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

  They did not fail in colour, for they had their PEACOCK'S tales;
  Their heroines, I must admit, ran seldom off the rails;
  They had their apes and angels, but they never once employed
  The psycho-analytic rules devised by JUNG and FREUD.

  They ran a tilt at fraud and guilt, at snobbery and shams;
  They had no lack of Meredithyrambic epigrams;
  The types that most appealed to them were not neurasthenoid;
  They lived, you see, before the day of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

  (I've searched the last edition of the famous _Ency. Brit._
  And neither of this noble pair is even named in it;
  Only the men since Nineteen-Ten have properly enjoyed
  The privilege of studying the works of JUNG and FREUD.)

  Their characters, I grieve to say, were never more unclean
  Than those of ordinary life, in morals or in mien;
  They had not slummed or fully plumbed with rapture unalloyed
  The unconscious mind as now defined by Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

  The spiritual shell-shock which these scientists impart
  Had not enlarged or cleared the dim horizons of their art;
  They had not learned that mutual love by wedlock is destroyed,
  As proved by the disciples of the school of JUNG and FREUD.

  The hierophants of pure romance, ev'n in its recent mood,
  From STEVENSON to CONRAD, such excesses have eschewed;
  But the psycho-pathologic route was neither mapped nor buoyed
  Until the new discoveries of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

  That fiction should be tonic all may readily agree;
  That its function is emetic I, for one, could never see;
  And so I'm glad to find _The Times Lit. Supp._ has grown annoyed
  At the undiscriminating cult of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

  Let earnest "educationists" assiduously preach
  The value of psychology in training those who teach;
  Let publicists who speak of Mr. GEORGE, without the LLOYD,
  Confound him with quotations from the works of JUNG and FREUD--

  But I, were I a despot, quite benevolent, of course,
  Armed with the last developments of high-explosive force,
  I'd build a bigger "Bertha," and discharge it in the void
  Crammed with the novelists who brood on Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I S'POSE I MUSTN'T GO IN THE GARDEN WHILE YOU'RE RESTING,
MUMMY?"

"NO, DEAR--IT'S TOO DAMP."

"IF I _DID_ GO IN THE GARDEN WHILE YOU'RE RESTING, MUMMY, WOULD YOU PUNISH
ME OR REASON WITH ME?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OPERATICS.

It has been suggested before now that Opera might be improved if the
singing were done behind the scenes and the performance on the stage were
carried out in dumb show by competent actors who looked their parts. But
the idea that the movements on the stage would correspond with the
utterances off it is not encouraged by the present lack of collusion
between singers and orchestra--I refer to cases where a performer is
required to simulate music on a dummy instrument.

This reflection was forced upon me at a recent performance of _Tannhäuser_.
It is true that Miss LILLIAN STANFORD as the _Shepherd_ fingered her pipe
in precise accord with the gentleman who played the music for her. But Mr.
MULLINGS, as _Tannhäuser_, took the greatest liberties with his harp. He
just slapped it whenever he liked, without any regard to the motions of his
collaborator. As for Mr. MICHAEL, who played _Wolfram_, he was content to
fill in the vocal pauses with a little suitable strumming; but when he sang
he was so distracted by his own voice that he left his harp to play the
accompaniment without visible assistance from his hand.

For the fine performance which Mr. ALBERT COATES conducted I have no word
but of praise, except that I could have wished that Miss ELSA STRALIA had
borne a closer resemblance to what is expected of _Elisabeth_. She seemed
to want to look as much as possible like _Venus_, whose very opposite she
should have been in type as in nature. Her colouring upset the whole scheme
of contrast, and one never began to believe in the sincerity of her
spiritual ideals or that her death from a broken heart was anything but an
affectation.

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LEONINE REVIVAL.

Amongst the dead lions of the past, some of us have prematurely reckoned
those of Peterborough Court. MATT. ARNOLD was supposed to have
administered, if not the _coup de grâce_, at any rate a serious blow to
their gambollings in _Friendship's Garland_.

It is therefore a matter for unfeigned rejoicing to find that they are not
only alive but rampant, with all their old splendid command of polysyllabic
periphrasis. One need only turn to the notice of "The John Exhibition" in
last Thursday's _Daily Telegraph_, from which we select the following
page:--

"It [the exhibition] is a display of purposeful portraiture that helps one
to realise the effect which Theotokopoulos produced upon his watchful
contemporaries, and to understand why the Cretan continued to walk alone on
his way. If some insist on finding modern El Greco versions of Inspectors
and Inquisitors-general in this John gathering, compounded of comparatively
innocuous personalities, the privilege is, of course, permissible, and
incidentally brightens conversation in irresponsible circles."

But a higher level of full-throated _bravura_ is attained later on:--

"If reiteration may also be the mark of the best portraiture, _pace_ Lord
Fisher, commendation should be given to Mr. John for continuing to
visualize the great seaman as Jupiter Tonans flashing in gold lace."

How delightful it is, after the arid methods of the modern critics, bred up
on BENEDETTO CROCE, to hear the old authentic leonine ecstasy of SALA,
"monarch of the florid quill!" Mr. Punch, once hailed by the _D.T._ as "the
Democritus of Fleet Street," on the strength of his "memorable monosyllabic
monition," in turn salutes the immortal protagonist of the purple
polysyllable.

       *       *       *       *       *

WITCHCRAFT.

(_A Mediæval Tragedy._)

"I want," said the maiden, glancing round her with tremulous distaste at
the stuffed crocodile, the black cat and the cauldron simmering on the
hearth, "to see some of your complexion specialities."

"You want nothing of the kind," retorted the witch. "Why prevaricate? A
maid with your colour hath small need even of my triple extract of toads'
livers. What you have really come for is either a love-potion--" she paused
and glanced keenly at her visitor--"or the means to avenge love
unrequited."

The maiden had flushed crimson. "I wish he were dead!" she whispered.

"Now you are talking. That wish is, of course, the simplest thing in the
world to gratify, if only you are prepared to pay for it. I presume Moddam
would not desire anything too easy?"

"He had promised,", broke out the maiden uncontrollably, "to take me to the
charity bear-baiting matinée in aid of unemployed ex-Crusaders. The whole
thing was arranged. And then at the last moment--"

"Precisely as I had supposed. A case for one of our superior wax images,
made to model, with pins complete. Melted before a slow fire ensures the
gradual wasting of the original with pangs corresponding to the insertion
of each pin."

The customer's fine eyes gleamed. "Give me one."

"I will sell you one," corrected the witch. "But I should warn you. They
are not cheap."

"No matter."

"Good. I was about to observe that since our sovereign liege KING RICHARD
granted peace to the Saracen the cost both of material and labour hath so
parlously risen that I am unable to supply a really reliable article under
fifty golden angels."

"I have them here."

"With special pins, of course, extra."

"Take what you will." The maiden flung down a leathern wallet that chinked
pleasingly. The witch, having transferred the contents of this to her own
pocket, proceeded to fashion the required charm, watched by her client with
half-repelled eagerness.

"Hawk's eye, falcon's nose, raven's lock, peacock's clothes," chanted the
crone, following the words with her cunning fingers.

"How--how know you him?" Panic was in the voice.

The other laughed unpleasantly. "Doth not the whole district know the Lord
Oeil-de-Veau by reputation?" She held out the image. "Handle him carefully
and use a fresh pin for each record."

The maid snatched it from her hands and was turning towards the door of the
hut when a low tap on its outer surface caused her to shrink back alarmed.
The witch had again been watching her with an ambiguous smile. "Should
Moddam wish to avoid observation," she suggested, "the side exit behind
yonder curtain--" In an instant she was alone. Flinging the empty wallet
into the darkest corner the witch (not without sundry chuckles) slowly
unbarred the entrance.

On the threshold stood a slim female figure enveloped in a cloak. "The love
potion I had here last week," began a timid voice, "seems hardly
satisfactory. If you stock a stronger quality, no matter how expensive--"

"Step inside," said the witch.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some couple of months later the ladies of the house-party assembled at
Sangazure Castle for the Victory jousts were gathered in the great hall,
exchanging gossip and serf-stories in the firelight while awaiting the
return of their menkind.

"Hath any heard," lisped one fair young thing, "how fareth the Lord
Oeil-de-Veau? They tell me that some mysterious ailment hath him in
thrall."

At the words the Lady Yolande Sangazure (whom we have met before) was aware
of a crimson flood mounting swiftly to her exquisite temples. Strange to
add, the same phenomenon might have been observed in a score of damosels
belonging to the best families in the district. The hall seemed suffused in
a ruddy glow that was certainly not reflected from the exiguous pile of
post-Crusading fuel smouldering on the great hearth.

"Tush!" broke in the cracked voice of a withered old dame, "your news is
old. Not only hath the so-called fever vanished but my lord himself hath
followed it."

"Gone!" The cry was echoed by twenty voices; twenty embroidery-frames fell
from forty arrested hands, while nine-and-thirty dismayed eyes fixed
themselves upon the maliciously-amused countenance of the speaker. Only
one, belonging to the Lady Beauregarde, who squinted slightly, remained as
though unmoved by the general commotion.

"Moreover," continued the old dame, "report saith that with him went his
leman, who, having some art in necromancy, transformed her beauty to the
semblance of a witch and provided her own dowry by the sale, to certain
addle-pated wenches, of charms for which her lover himself prepared the
market."

"But--his fever?" an impetuous voice broke in.

"Cozening, no doubt. Of course the tale may be but idle babble; still, if
true, one would admit that such credulous fools got no more than they
deserved."

She ceased, well satisfied. "I fancy," observed the Lady Yolande coldly,
"that I hear our lords returning." And in the eloquent silence a score of
fair young minds slowly assimilated the profound truth (as fresh to-day as
eight hundred years ago) that Satan finds some mischief still for the
impecunious demobilised.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO JESSIE

    (_"one of the Zoo's most popular elephants," now deceased_).

  Jessie of the melting eye,
    Wreathed trunk and horny tegum-
  Ent, whom I have joyed to ply
  With the fugitive mince-pie
    And the seasonable legume,
  Youth has left me; fortune too
    Flounts my efforts to annex it;
  Still, I occupy the view,
  Bored but loath to leave, while you
    Make the inevitable exit.

  Ne'er again for blissful rides
    Shall our shouting offspring clamber
  Up your broad and beetling sides;
  Ne'er again, when eventide's
    Coming turns the skies to amber
  And the fluting blackbirds call,
    Poised above a bale of fodder
  In your well-appointed stall
  Will you muse upon it all,
    Patient introspective plodder.

  Once, an anxious mother's care,
    Day by day you roamed the jungle,
  Felt the sunshine, sniffed the air;
  Life, methinks, was passing fair;
    But of that no mortal tongue'll
  Tell. Perhaps you never thought
    If it bored you or enraptured
  Till the wily hunter caught
  You and all your friends and brought
    Home to England, bound and captured.

  Jessie, fairest of your race,
    Now you're gone and few will miss you;
  There will come to take your place
  Creatures less replete with grace;
    Elephants of grosser tissue
  Will intrigue the public sight;
    That, old girl, 's the common attitude.
  Still, these few poor lines I write
  May preserve your memory bright,
    Since the pen is dipped in gratitude.

  ALGOL.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

_P.-W.S._ (_having struggled over many ploughed fields_). "NOW THEN, MY
LAD, FETCH 'IM OVER 'ERE AND I'LL GIVE YOU A TANNER."

_Bucolic Profiteer._ "NOA, YE DOAN'T! GIVE OI TEN BOB OR OI LETS HE GO
AGAIN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

We are apt to think of Lord NORTHCLIFFE as the "onlie begetter" of the New
Journalism. But here comes Mr. KENNEDY JONES, M.P., to remind us, in _Fleet
Street and Downing Street_ (HUTCHINSON), that he too had a very large share
in its parentage. And up to a point he is a proud father. Circulations
reckoned in millions instead of thousands, journalistic salaries raised
from hundreds to thousands, advertisement-revenues multiplied many-fold--
these are some of the outward signs of the success of a policy which the
author summarised when he told Lord MORLEY, "You left journalism as a
profession; we have made it a branch of commerce." But there is another
side to the medal. _Frankenstein's_ monster was perfect in everything save
that it lacked a soul. In all material things the New Journalism is a long
way ahead of the Old; and yet, after chronicling its many triumphs--
culminating in the capture of _The Times_--its part-creator is fain to
admit that "public distrust of news is the most notable feature in
journalism of recent years," and that the influence of the daily Press on
the public mind has hardly ever been at a lower ebb. This frankness is
characteristic of a book which on nearly every page contains something to
startle or amuse. The author's experiences on his first day in London,
including an encounter with a sausage-seller (more friendly than CLEON'S
rival); his negotiations for the purchase of _The Times_, and his offer of
the editorship to Lord CURZON, who unfortunately refused it; the
_provenance_ of "The Pekin Massacre," which originated, it appears, not
with a "stunt" journalist, but with a Chinese statesman wishing to pull the
Occidental leg--these and many other incidents are admirably described by a
writer who, though he long ago doffed his journalistic harness, has not
forgotten how to write up a "good story." Be your opinion of the New
Journalism what it may I guarantee that you will find its champion an
agreeable companion.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are parts of Mr. W.J. LOCKE'S latest novel, _The House of Baltazar_
(LANE), which will, I fear, make almost prohibitive demands upon the faith
(considered as belief in the incredible) of his vast following. To begin
with, he introduces us to that problematical personage, whose possibility
used to be so much debated, the Man Who Didn't Know There Was A War On.
_John Baltazar_ had preserved this unique ignorance, first by bolting from
a Cambridge professorship through amorous complications, next by living
many years in the Far East, and finally by settling upon a remote moorland
farm (locality unspecified) with a taciturn Chinaman and an Airedale for
his only companions. This and other contributory circumstances, for which I
lack space, just enabled me to admit the situation as possible. Naturally,
therefore, when a befogged Zeppelin laid a couple of bombs plonk into the
homestead, the ex-professor experienced a mental as well as a bodily
shake-up. I had no complaint either with the transformation that developed
_John Baltazar_ from the only outsider to apparently the big boss of the
War; while the scenes between him and the son of whose existence he had
been unaware (a situation not precisely new to fiction) are presented with
a sincere and moving simplicity. So far so good, even if hardly equal to
the author's best. But the catastrophe and the melodramatics about
War-Office secrets, preposterously put on paper, and still more
preposterously preserved, simply knocked the wind of reality out of the
whole affair. A pity, since Mr. LOCKE (though I prefer him in more
fantastic vein) has clearly spent much care upon a tale that, till its
final plunge, is at least lively and entertaining.

       *       *       *       *       *

The amateur of lace, whether as expert or owner, will be pleasantly stirred
by learning that another book has been added to the already large
bibliography of a fascinating subject in _The Romance of the Lace Pillow_
(H.H. ARMSTRONG), published at Olney from the pen of Mr. THOMAS WRIGHT.
Olney, of course, has two claims on our regard--COWPER and Lace, and it is
now evident that Mr. WRIGHT has kept as attentive an eye on the one as on
the other. His book makes no pretence to be more than a brief and frankly
popular survey of the art of lace-making chiefly in Northamptonshire and
Bucks, and to it he has brought a wealth of various information (which the
average reader must take on trust) and an enthusiasm that can be judged by
his opening statement that "lace ... is the expression of the most
rapturous moments of whole dynasties of men of genius." So now you know.
Even those of us who regard it with a calmer pulse can take pleasure in the
many excellent photographs of lace-work of different periods and schools
that adorn Mr. WRIGHT'S volume. As for the letter-press, though I will not
call the writer's style wholly equal to his zeal, his chapters are full of
interesting gossip, ranging from the late KATHERINE OF ARAGON (the
originator, according to one theory, of English lace-making), to some jolly
stuff on the literature of Bobbins and the old Tells, or working-songs,
sung by "the spinners and the knitters in the sun, and the free maids that
weave their threads with bones." I have a fancy that the whole volume has
been more or less a labour of love (never certainly did I meet an author
with such a list of helpers to thank), so I am glad to think that its
reward in one sense is already assured.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _The Fairy Man_ (DENT), a most engrossing phantasy, Mr. L. COPE CORNFORD
takes for raw material a family of Maida Vale, victims of all those petty,
sordid, but deadly troubles known only to the middle class. Without
warrant, explanation, or excuse he introduces into their routine a sudden
touch of magic; the tired City man, the acid foster-mother, the children
(mercifully devoid of any priggishness), and the pre-eminently human
housemaid and cook are transplanted for a moment into the age of the
knights-errant. Thither also are transplanted their special friends and
enemies, all retaining their modern identities and their current troubles,
and all getting unpleasantly involved in the troubles of the ancients, to
boot. Eventually the interlude is found to have provided the solution of
the difficulties, pecuniary and other, of the home in Maida Vale; and I
will say no more than that a very telling story ends well and naturally. No
reader should imagine he has read all this before; the admixture of fairy
imagination with the intensely practical things of life is something new,
and there is a definite purpose in it all. The book may be labelled
intellectual, but the characters always remain very human; thus _George_,
finding himself back in the times of a thousand years ago, says critically,
"It looks old, but it feels just the same;" and his father, seeing him
engaged in an assault on the castle, shouts, "George! put that sword down
instantly." Mr. CORNFORD makes his points with such discretion and
understanding that even the most solid materialist must, after reading,
feel a little less sure of himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

I rather think that if I had the opportunity of discussing with ELINOR
MORDAUNT her _Old Wine in New Bottles_ (HUTCHINSON) and had the courage to
say what was in my mind: "Don't you think perhaps that your vigorous and
unexpected characters are out of story-land rather than out of life?" and
if she riposted, "But is it necessary they should be like life if they are
life-like?" I should be left with no more effective retort than "Quite," or
something just as futile. For there's no doubt that these queer villains,
Chinese dealers, bold sailormen, travellers, rapt lovers, do get over the
footlights in an effective way. They do the things that are only done in
magazines, but they do them with a gusto which engages the attention.
Perhaps indeed that's what the author meant by her ingenious title; though
I suppose her device of setting before each story a longer or shorter, more
or less relevant, passage from the Old Testament gives a clearer clue to
the precise way in which she interprets "nothing new under the sun." I
cheerfully prescribe of this old wine one or two bottles at bedtime. Better
not, I think, the whole case at a sitting.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tramp._ "YES, MUM, I'M AN OLD SOLDIER; FOUGHT IN THE--"

_Mrs. Tommy Atkins._ "D'YOU STILL REMEMBER THE ARMY TRAINING?"

_Tramp._ "THAT I DO, MUM. HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN A SINGLE WORD O' COMMAND."

_Mrs. T.A._ "THEN, ABOUT--TURN! QUICK--MARCH!"]





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