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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-04-25
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, 1920-04-25" ***

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VOL. 158.

April 28, 1920.


GENERAL DENIKIN is now in London. This is the first visit he has paid to
this country since his last assassination by the Bolshevists.

       * * *

New proposals regarding telephone charges are expected as soon as the
Select Committee has reported. If the system of charging by time in
place of piece-work is adopted it will mean ruination to many

       * * *

The Swiss Government has issued orders that ex-monarchs may enter the
country without passports. It is required, however, that they should
take their places in the queue.

       * * *

It is reported that a Londonderry man walked up to a Sinn Feiner the
other day and said, "Shoot me." We understand that the real reason why
the fellow was not accommodated was that he omitted to say "Please." The
best Sinn Feiners are very punctilious.

       * * *

"The drinking of intoxicants," says an American prohibitionist, "causes
early death in ninety-five cases out of a hundred." Several Americans,
we are informed, have gallantly offered themselves for experimental

       * * *

"It is a scandal," says a contemporary, "that the clerks at Llanelly
should ask for twelve pounds fifteen shillings a week." But surely there
is no harm in asking.

       * * *

According to a weekly paper not only is CONSTANCE BINNEY a famous screen
star, but she is also a first-class ukelele player. The latest reports
are that the news has been received quietly.

       * * *

"If slightly cut before cooking, potatoes slip out of their skins
easily," says a home journal. This is better than frightening them out
of their skins by jumping out from behind a door and saying "Boo."

       * * *

Mr. WILLIAM AIRD, the germ-proof man, has been giving demonstrations in
London. It is reported that last week a germ snapped at him and broke
off two of its teeth.

       * * *

"In New York the other day," says a contemporary, "the sky kept
streaming silver sheen; mistlike lights pulsated in rapid flashes to the
apex and piled-up stars could be seen." The fact that New York can still
see things like this must be a sorry blow to the Prohibitionists.

       * * *

"Working men have been hit very hard by the tyrannical Budget,"
announces a morning paper. We too are in sympathy with those miners who
are now faced with only one bottle of champagne a day.

       * * *

"These cotton boom profits," said the President of the Textile Institute
recently, "are abnormal and unhealthy." The Manchester man, however, who
recently came out with innumerable spots resembling half-crowns as the
result of the boom, declares that no inconvenience is suffered once the
dizziness has passed away.

       * * *

From Bungay in Suffolk comes the news that a water-wagtail has built its
nest in a milk-can. We resolutely refrain from comment.

       * * *

A youth recently arrested in Dublin was found not to have a revolver on
him. He is being detained for a medical examination.

       * * *

A great many people are committing suicide, says the Vicar of St.
Mathew's, Portsmouth, because they have nothing to live for. We
disagree. _The Weekly Dispatch's_ accounts of the next world are well
worth staying alive for.

       * * *

Airships under construction, declares Air-Commodore E. M. MAITLAND, will
make the passage to Australia in nine and a-half days. In tax-paying
circles it is said that the fashionable thing will be to start now and
let the airship overtake you if it can.

       * * *

More than a million Americans, it is stated, are preparing to visit
Europe this summer. It is thought that there is at least a sporting
chance that some of them will be hoist with their own bacon.

       * * *

"The man who does not know Latin," says the Dean of DURHAM, "is not
really educated." Several uneducated business men are said to have
written to the DEAN asking the Latin for what they think of the new

       * * *

At a recent wedding in Tyrone young men who had come to wish the bride
and bridegroom luck lit a fire against the door, blocked the chimney
with straw, broke the windows, threw water and cayenne-pepper on the
wedding-party and bombarded the house with stones for two hours. It is
just this joyous, care-free nature of the Irish that the stolid
Englishman will never learn to appreciate.

       * * *

We understand that the man who tried to gain admission to the Zoo on
Sunday by making a noise like a Fellow of the Zoological Society was
detected in the act.

       * * *

A person who recently attempted to commit suicide by lying down on the
Caledonian Railway line was found to have a razor in one pocket and a
bottle of laudanum in the other. The Company, we understand, strenuously
deny the necessity of these alternatives.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Lady_ (_to manager of Servants'


       *       *       *       *       *

A Callous Crowd.

    "The christening ceremony was performed by Lady Maclay,
    wife of the Shipping Controller. Thousands of people saw
    her go down the slips, and cheers were raised as she
    took the water without the slightest hitch." _Daily

We gather from the expression, "without the slightest hitch," that not
one of the onlookers made any effort to save the lady.

       *       *       *       *       *



  THIS twelvemonth at the grindstone I have ground,
    Toiling to meet the toll of profiteers,
  And now comes AUSTEN, budgeting around,
    "Comes the blind Fury with the abhorréd shears"
  (MILTON), and leaves me naked as a poodle,
  Shorn--to the buff--of my laborious boodle.

  I own it irks me little when he goes
    For fancy weeds and wine of fizzy brands;
  But I protest at parting through the nose
    For what the meanest human life demands;
  Nothing is sacred from his monstrous paw,
  Not letters, no, nor even usquebaugh.

  That beverage, which invites to balmy sleep
    (Guerdon of toil), is on the upward ramp;
  My harmless doggerel--in itself so cheap--
    Despatched by post will want a larger stamp;
  Nor have I any wives or children to
  Abate the mulcting of my revenue.

  But if you tell me I am asked to bleed
    For England; if, by being rudely tapped,
  My modest increment may help at need
    To spare some Office which would else be scrapped;
  If my poor fleece of wool by heavy cropping
  Can save the Civil Estimates from dropping;--

  If I can keep in comfortable ease
    But one superfluous Staff for one week's play;
  If from my squalor I may hope to squeeze
    The wherewithal to check for half a day
  The untimely razing of a single Hut--
  'Tis well; I will not even murmur "Tut."

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE public torturer hurried home in an irritable frame of mind. The day
had been for him one long round of annoyances. When he commenced his
duties that morning, already exasperated by the thought that if the
drought continued the produce of his tiny patch of ground would be
completely ruined, he was aggrieved to find that far more than his fair
share of a recently arrived batch of heretics had been allotted to him.
During the midday break for refreshments his dreamy assistant had
allowed the furnace to go out, bringing upon the torturer's own head a
severe censure for the consequent delay. In the afternoon, glancing
occasionally through the narrow window, he was mortified to see that the
promising rain-clouds, which might yet have saved his cabbages, were
dispersing; and then, to crown all, just as he was finishing for the day
he had caught hold of a pair of pincers a trifle too near the white-hot
end and seared his hand.

As he approached the cottage which was enshrined in his heart by a
thousand sacred associations as home, the torturer strove to rise
superior to his worries. He whistled bravely as he crossed the threshold
and caressed his wife with his usual tenderness. Intuitively she divined
the bitterness of the mood which lay beneath the torturer's seeming
cheerfulness, but she stifled her curiosity like the wise little woman
she was and hastened to lay his supper before him. Through the progress
of the meal--prepared by her in the way the torturer loved so well--she
diverted him with her lively prattle. And at length, when she trod on
the dog and caused it to give out a long-drawn howl, she made such a
neat allusion to the Chamber and heretics that the torturer laughed till
the tears streamed down his cheeks.

After the table was cleared the torturer's little blue-eyed girl came
toddling up to him for her usual half-hour's cuddle. It made a beautiful
picture--the little mite with her father's merry eyes and her mother's
rosebud mouth, sitting on the torturer's knee, her golden hair mingling
with his beard. And how her silvery laugh brightened the place as she
played her favourite game of stretching her rag doll on a toy model of a

The sound of rain outside brought the torturer and his wife to the door.
As they stood side by side watching the downpour the last vestige of the
torturer's ill-humour passed away. This rain would mean a record year
for his cabbages, and would do wonders for his beans, which were already
a long way more forward than those of the executioner.

He realised now that he had allowed the mishaps of the day to worry him
unduly. After all, his hand had suffered little more than a scorch and
no longer pained him, and, although the censure he had received in the
Chamber and the possible consequences had been very disquieting, yet he
was now able to assure himself and his wife that if henceforth he kept
his assistant from wool-gathering all would be well.

Suddenly he fell back trembling from the threshold, his face blanched
with terror. A large rain-drop had splashed on his forehead, reminding
him abruptly that before coming home that evening he had neglected to
fill the water-dripping apparatus, which might be required at dawn for
the more obstinate of the heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE fact that the Bishop-Elect of PRETORIA, the Rev. NEVILLE TALBOT, is
no less than six feet six inches high, surpassing his predecessor by two
inches, has been freely commented on in the Press. Anxious to ascertain
from leaders of public opinion the true significance of the appointment,
Mr. Punch has been at pains to collect their views. How divergent and
even contradictory they are may be gathered from the following

Sir MARTIN CONWAY, the Apostle of Altitude, as he has been recently
denominated, welcomed the appointment of Bishop TALBOT as a good omen
for the campaign which he is so ably conducting. "Nothing," he remarks,
"has impressed me so much in the works of TENNYSON as the line, 'We
needs must love the highest when we see it.' Mountain or building or
man, it is all the same. I never felt so happy in all my travels in
South America as when I was in Patagonia, the home of tall men and the
giant sloth. At all costs we should recognise and cultivate the human

The Bishop of HEREFORD (Dr. HENSLEY HENSON) expressed the hope that the
appointment of bishops would not be governed solely by an anthropometric
standard. It would be a misfortune if the impression were created that
preferment to the episcopal bench was confined to High Churchmen.

The Editor of _The Times_ declined to dogmatize on the subject. He
pointed out however that the average height of the Yugo-Slavs exceeded
that of the Welsh. The claims of small nations could not, of course, be
overlooked, but he considered it as little short of a calamity when a
Great Power had an undersized Prime Minister. Short men liked short
cuts, but, as BACON said, the shortest way is commonly the foulest.

Dr. ROBERT BRIDGES (the Poet-Laureate) writes to say that, having given
special study to the hexameter, he was much interested to find that the
measure now in vogue amongst bishops was that of six feet and over. He
hoped to treat the subject exhaustively in his forthcoming treatise on
Ecclesiastical Prosody.

Colonel L. C. AMERY, M.P., strongly deprecated the attempt to identify
excessive height with extreme efficiency. In the election to Fellowships
at All Souls no height limit was imposed. NAPOLEON and the late Lord
ROBERTS were both small men, and he believed that the remarkable
elusiveness displayed by Colonel LAWRENCE in the War was greatly
facilitated by his diminutive stature. The testimony of literature
throughout the ages was almost unanimous in its condemnation of giants.
He had never heard of a small ogre. On the subject of SHAKESPEARE'S
height he could not speak with assurance, but KEATS was only just over
five feet. Jumbomania, or the worship of mammoth dimensions, was a
modern disease. Far better was the philosophy crystallised in such
immortal sayings as "Love me little, love me long," and "Infinite riches
in a little room."

Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY, M.P., observed that, man being an imitative animal
and bishops being regarded by many as good examples, there seemed to him
a serious danger of an epidemic of what he might call Brobdingnagitis.
Fortunately the results would not be immediately apparent, otherwise he
would be compelled to raise his tariff for cheap suits. A rise of six
inches in the average height of his customers would throw out all his
calculations and eat up the modest margin of profit which he now allowed

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: A DISTURBER OF THE PEACE.

    ENTENTE POLICEMAN (_to Germany Militant_). "ARE YOU

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Café Genius._ "THE FACT IS WE MAKE

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The weather of the week has been characteristic of the
    month. A dawn breaks with a fair sunset."--_Scotch

Of course this happens only very far North.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_According to local legend, Whitby Abbey possesses a ghost which only
appears in a blaze of sunshine_).

    MEN there may be so immune from timidity
      Never a spectre could fill them with fright,
    Men who could keep their accustomed placidity
      Were they to meet in the gloom of the night
    Lady Hermione tramping the corridor,
      Wicked Sir Guy with his fetters adrag,
    Or a plebeian who shrieked something horrid or
      Carried his head in a vanity bag.

    Not such am I. Every hair at the vertical,
      I should resort to hysterical screams
    Did a diaphanous Lady (or Sir) tickle
      Me on the cheek in the midst of my dreams;
    Yet when, at Yule, I hear people converse on all
      Manner of spooks round the log in the grate,
    Often I wish that I too had a personal
      Psychic experience I could relate.

    I am a coward when midnight looms murkily,
      But when the sunlight of noon's at its best
    I could face calmly--I'd even say perkily--
      Nebulous figures as well as the rest;
    So I'll to Whitby, and (on the hypothesis
      That she'll obligingly come to me there)
    Wait in its abbey (see text). By my troth, this is
      Just such a ghost as I'm ready to dare.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE news that the price of lounge suits will have risen to twenty-four
pounds by the autumn has created something of a sartorial panic in the
City and the West End.

Famous old wardrobes are being broken up on all sides by owners anxious
to acquire fresh clothing before it is too late, whilst the small
properties thus created find eager tenants amongst those who cannot
afford a new outfit at all.

Many tailors who have built new suits are beginning to dispose of them
on three or five year repairing leases, and possession of these may
sometimes be secured from the present occupiers on payment of a
substantial premium.

Gentlemen possessing both town and country sets of suitings are in many
cases letting the latter in order to come up to London for the season,
whilst others are resorting to various economical artifices to meet the
crisis. Plus four golf knickers, let down, make admirable wedding
trousers for a short man, and many are the old college blazers dyed
black and doing duty as natty pea-jackets.

In the City, of course, fustian and corduroys are almost the only wear,
and there is much divergence of opinion on the Stock Exchange as to the
best knot for spotted red neckerchiefs and the proper way of tying the
difficult little bow beneath the knees.

In Parliament, where of course the old costly fashions have long been
out of vogue, the change is equally noticeable. Lord ROBERT CECIL, for
instance, habitually wears the white canvas suit in which Mr. AUGUSTUS
JOHN painted him; Lord BIRKENHEAD mounts the Woolsack in an old cassock,
which, as he points out, not only allows a very scanty attire underneath
it, but gives him particular confidence in elucidating St. Matthew;
while the PRIME MINISTER himself set off for San Remo in a simple set of
striped sackcloth dittos. Many Members are having their old pre-war
morning coats turned; Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL in machine-gun overalls, Mr.
MALLABY-DEELEY self-dressed, Sir EDWARD CARSON in a simple union suit,
are conspicuous figures, and Mr. HORATIO BOTTOMLEY by a whimsical yet
thrifty fancy often attends the House in the humble attire of the Weaver
in _A Midsummer Night's Dream_.

Even in the Welsh collieries it is becoming the habit to go down the
pits in rough home-spun, and reserving the top hat, morning coat and
check trousers for striking in.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Assistant._ "I'M AFRAID WE'RE RIGHT OUT

       *       *       *       *       *



    _Evening Standard._

The gallant General is not the only one who is worn out with this
hopeless task.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir John Cadman, head of the British Oil Department,
    has left Birmingham for San Remo."--_Evening Paper._

Was this the last hope of restoring calm to the "troubled waters"?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "He has represented Lowestoft at St. Stephen's--one of
    the most important fishing centres in the country--for
    many years past."

    _Daily Paper._

The House of Commons seems to have been confused with Izaak Walton

       *       *       *       *       *


    Miss ---- played badly and tore up her card as well as
    many other ladies of note."

    _Provincial Paper._

But it is hoped that this method of thinning out the competitors will
not be generally resorted to.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Speaking at Manchester last night Lord Haldane advocated
    a great and new national reform by enabling the
    Universities to train the best teachers of their own
    level to go out and do extra Mural teaching on a huge

    _Provincial Paper._

We gather that in our contemporary's opinion it is high time that our
Universities recognised "the writing on the wall."

       *       *       *       *       *


THE great auk is but a memory; the bittern booms more rarely in our
eastern marshes; and now they tell me Brigadiers are extinct. Handsomest
and liveliest of our indigenous fauna, the bright beady eye, the flirt
of the trench coat-tail through the undergrowth, the glint of red
betwixt the boughs, the sudden piercing pipe--how well I knew them, how
often I have lain hidden in thickets and behind hedgerows to study them
more closely. How inquisitive the creature was, yet how seldom would it
feed from the hand. And now, it seems, they are gone.

Vainly I rack my brains to envisage the manner of their passing. Is
there to be nothing left but silence and a shadow or a specimen in a
dusty case of glass preserved in creosol and stuffed with lime? Or did
not the Brigadiers rather, when they felt their last hour was upon them,
retire like the elephants of the jungle to some distant spot and shuffle
off the mortal coil in the midst of Salisbury Plain or (for so I still
picture it despite the ravages of a rude commercialism) the vast
solitude of Slough?

Or it may be that they underwent some classic metamorphosis, translated
to a rainless paradise, where they dreamed of battalions for ever
inspected and the general salute eternally blown.

  "And there, they say, two bright and agéd snakes
  Who once were brigadiers of infantry
  Bask in the sun."

Anyhow, I cannot believe that ex-Brigadiers die. They only fade away.
Fade away, I think, like the Cheshire Cat in _Alice in Wonderland_,
leaving at the last not a grin but a scowl behind them. "_Brigadiers
will fade away_," I imagine, ran the instruction from the Army Council,
"_passing the vanishing point in the following order:--_

    (1) _Spurs._
    (2) _Field Boots._
    (3) _Main body._
    (4) _Brass hat._
    (5) _Scowl._"

But oh, how they will be missed, with their insatiable hunger for
replies! I remember one in particular, very fierce and black-moustached,
who used to pop up suddenly from behind a Loamshire hedge with an
enormous note-book in his hand and say to unhappy company commanders,
"The situation is so-and-so and so-and-so; now let me hear you give your
orders." And the Company-Commander, who would have liked to read through
_Infantry Training_ once or twice and then hold a sort of inter-allied
conference with his Platoon-Commander, putting the Company
Sergeant-Major in the chair, felt that after frightfulness of this kind
mere actual war would probably be child's-play. And yet they tell me he
was a pleasant enough fellow in the Mess, this Brigadier, and liked good
cooking. Now I come to think of it, he faded away before the War came to
an end. He faded away into a Major-General.

How different from this sort was the type that could always be placated
by a glittering bayonet charge or a thoroughly smart salute! I remember
one of this kind who came charging across the landscape, his Staff
Captain at his heels, to a point where he saw a friend of mine
apparently lost in meditation and sloth. Unfortunately the great man's
horse betrayed him as he tried to jump a low hedge, and, when he had
clambered up again and arrived in a rather tumbled condition to ask
indignantly what had happened to the scouts, "They have established a
number of hidden observation posts," my friend replied, keeping his
presence of mind, "and are making an exact report of everything that
transpires on the enemy's front," and he waved his arm towards the scene
of the catastrophe. It was not thought necessary to examine their notes.

In France Brigadiers were mainly divided into the sort that came round
the front line themselves, and the sort that sent the Brigade-major or
somebody else who had broken out into a frontal inflammation to do it
for them. It is difficult to say which _genus_ was the more alarming.

The first was apt to exhibit its contempt for danger by strolling about
in perilous places for five minutes and leaving them to be shelled in
consequence for a week.

The second sort was apt to issue orders depending for fulfilment on a
faulty map reference or a landmark which had been carelessly removed by
an H.E. shell. One of the most _intransigeant_ of this kind whom I
remember could always, however, be softened by souvenirs; a cast-off
Uhlan's lance or the rifle of a Bosch sniper went far to console him for
the barrenness of a patrol report. I feel sure he must have faded at

But it was in battle that their wild appetite for information was most
amazingly displayed. At moments when nobody knew where anybody else was
or whether the ground underneath him was likely to remain in that sector
more than a few moments or be detached and transferred to another, they
would send by telephone or by a runner wild messages for an exact
_résumé_ of the situation. It was at such times, I think, that some of
those eminent war correspondents recently knighted would have done
yeoman service in the front line. I can imagine them telephoning
somewhat after this manner, in answer to the querulous voice:--

    "All hell has broken loose in front of us. The earth
    shivers as if a volcano is beneath our feet. The
    pock-marked ridges in the distance are covered with the
    advancing waves of field-grey forms. Our boys are going
    up happily shouting and singing to the battle. Sorry, I
    didn't quite catch what you said about being in touch on
    the right. The brazen roar of the cannon is mingled with
    the intermittent rattle of innumerable machine guns. Eh,
    what? What?"

Yes, I think the Brigadiers would have liked that. But, alas, it could
not be. And now they have gone, with their passion for questions, never
to return, or never till the next A.C.I. cancels the last.

  "And now no sacred staff shall break to blossom,
  No choral salutation lure to light,"

as SWINBURNE put it; or

  "All the birds of the air fell a-sighin' and a-sobbin'
  When they heard of the death of poor Cock Robin,"

as No. 1 platoon of A Company used to sing. Ah, well.


       *       *       *       *       *


  THE darkness my footsteps were swathed in
    Is drenched with a luminous spray;
  For a chain's length the kerbstone is bathed in
    A spindrift of silvery grey;
  By the roadside is mistily glimmering
    A wall phosphorescent with pearls,
  All glancing and dancing and shimmering
    Like star-dust that swirls.

  Where the high-road dips down to the dingle,
    A coppice in arabesque gleams
  Whose traceries melt and commingle,
    Like ghost trees in moon-fretted streams,
  As the tremulous glamour sweeps o'er it
    And skirts the inscrutable sky;
  Then, Fairyland flitting before it,
    The car flashes by.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sport in Ireland.

    "In a collision between his vehicle and a tramcar
    yesterday a passenger was injured and removed to

    For other Sporting News see Page 6."

    _Irish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


    _Le Réveil_ (_Beyrouth_).

A popular establishment, we feel confident.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.


      [It is announced that at a coming Charity
      Ball there will be a dance to the music of
      SAINT-SÄENS' _Le Cygne_. Our artist
      anticipates the moment of the Dying Swan's

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Host_ (_to friend who feels faint._)
    OF"--(_suddenly remembering the Budget_)--"SODA!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


TEA was over, a clearing was made of the articles of more fragile
virtue, and Timothy, entering in state, was off-loaded from his nurse's
arms into his mother's.

"Isn't he looking sweet to-day?" said Suzanne. "It's really time we had
him photographed."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, why do people as a rule get photographed?"

"That," I said, "is a question I have often asked myself, but without
finding a satisfactory answer. What do you propose to do with the

"There are dozens of people who'll be only too glad to have them. Aunt
Caroline, for instance----"

"Aunt Caroline one day took me into her confidence and showed me what
she called her scrap-heap. It was a big box full of photographs that had
been presented to her from time to time, and she calculated that if she
had had them all framed, as their donors had doubtless expected, it
would have cost her some hundreds of pounds. While her back was turned I
looked through the collection. Your photograph was there--and mine,

"Anyhow, we shall want one to keep ourselves. Think what a pleasure it
will be to him when he grows up to see what he looked like as a tiny

I called to mind an ancestral album belonging to my own family that I
had carefully kept guarded from Suzanne precisely for the reason that it
contained various presentments of myself at early ages in
mirth-compelling garments and attitudes; but of course I could not now
urge that chamber of horrors in opposition to her demand.

"Besides," she went on, "we needn't buy any copies at all if we don't
like them. Snapper and Klick are continually worrying me to have Baby
taken. Once a week regularly, ever since the announcement of his birth
appeared, they've rung me up to ask when he will give them a sitting.
Sometimes it's Snapper and sometimes it's Klick; I don't know which is
which, but one of them has adenoids. We can't do any harm by taking him
there, because they say in their circulars they present two copies free
and there's no obligation to purchase any."

"I wonder how they make that pay?"

"Oh," said Suzanne, "they keep the copyright, you know, and then when he
does anything famous they send it round to the illustrated papers, which
pay them no end of money for permission to reproduce it."

"But by the time _he_ does anything famous," I objected, "won't this
photograph be a trifle out of date? Supposing, for instance, in twenty
or thirty years' time he marries a Movie Queen----"

Just then the telephone-bell rang, and Suzanne, as is her wont, rushed
to answer it, dropping Timothy into my arms on the way.

"Hello!" I heard her say. "Yes; speaking. Yes, I was just going to
write. Yes; that will do quite well. What? Yes, about eleven. Good-bye."

"Not another appointment with the dressmaker?" I inquired.

"No. Curiously enough it was Klick again--or Snapper--and his adenoids
are worse than ever; I suppose it's the damp weather gets into them. So
I said we'd take Baby to-morrow."

"I don't quite see the connection," I said. "Besides, aren't they

"Now you're being funny again. Save that up for to-morrow."

"What do you mean?" I asked in some alarm. "And why did you say _we'd_
take Baby?"

"Why, of course you've got to come too. You can always make him laugh
better than anyone else; it's your _métier_. And I do want his delicious
little dimples to come out."

"Do I understand that I'm to go through my _répertoire_ in cold blood
and under the unsympathetic gaze of Messrs. Snapper and Klick? Suzanne,
it can't be done."

"Oh, nonsense! You've only got to sing _Pop Goes the Weasel_ in a
falsetto voice and make one of those comic faces you do so well, and
he'll gurgle at once. Well, that's settled. We start at half-past ten

The coming ordeal so preyed upon my mind that I spent a most restless
night, during which, so Suzanne afterwards told me, I announced at
frequent intervals the popping of the weasel. The day dawned with a
steady drizzle of rain, and, after a poor attempt at breakfast, I
scoured the neighbourhood for a taxi. Having at last run one to earth, I
packed the expedition into it--Suzanne, Timothy, Timothy's nurse and
Barbara (who begged so hard to be allowed to "come and see Father make
faces at Baby" that Suzanne weakly consented).

Arrived at our destination, Suzanne bade the driver wait. "We shall
never find another cab to take us home in this downpour," she said, "and
we shan't be kept long."

We were ushered into the studio by a gentleman I now know to have been
Mr. Klick. He aroused my distrust at once by the fact that he did not
wear a velvet coat, and I pointed out this artistic deficiency in a
whisper to Suzanne.

"Never mind," she whispered back; "we needn't buy any if they're not

Timothy, who had by now been put straight by his attendant, was
carefully placed on all-fours on a pile of cushions, which he promptly
proceeded to chew. Mr. Klick, on attempting to correct the pose, was
received with a hymn of hate that compelled him to bury his head hastily
in the camera-cloth, and Suzanne arranged the subject so that some of
his more recognisable features became visible.

"Now then," she said to me, "make him smile."

With a furtive glance at Mr. Klick, who fortunately was still playing
the ostrich, I essayed a well-tried "face" that had almost invariably
evoked a chuckle from Timothy, even when visitors were present. On this
occasion, however, it failed to produce anything more than a woebegone
pucker that foreshadowed something worse. Hastily I switched off into
another expression, but with no better result.

"Go on, Father," encouraged Barbara, who had been taking a breathless
interest in these proceedings; "try your funny voice."

Mr. Klick had emerged from cover and was standing expectantly with his
hand on the cap.

Dear reader, have you ever been called upon to sing _Pop Goes the
Weasel_ in a falsetto voice before a fractious baby, a small but
intensely critical child, a stolidly contemptuous nurse, an agitated
mother and a gaping photographer, with the knowledge that success or
failure hangs upon your lips, and that all the time a diabolical machine
in the street below is scoring threepence against you every minute or
so? Of course you haven't; but possibly you may be able to enter into my
feelings in this hour of trial. With a prickly heat suffusing my whole
body and a melting sensation at the collar I struggled through the
wretched lyric once. Timothy regarded me first with scorn and then with
positive distaste. In desperation I squeaked it out again and yet again,
but each succeeding "pop" only registered another scowl on the face of
my offspring and another threepence on that of the cabman's clock.

I was maddened now, and Suzanne sought to restrain me; but I shook her
off violently and went on again _da capo_, and was just giving vent for
about the seventeenth time to a particularly excruciating "pop" when the
door of the studio opened and a benevolent-looking old gentleman
entered. He gazed at us all in wonderment, and, overcome by mingled
shame and exhaustion, I sank into a chair and popped no more.

"Ah, Mr. Snapper," said Mr. Klick, "we were just trying to get this
young gentleman amused."

Mr. Snapper, who, I should imagine, was the adenoid victim, looked first
at me and next at Timothy, and then blew his nose vigorously. It was not
an ordinary blast, but had a peculiarly musical _timbre_, very much like
the note of a mouth-organ. It certainly attracted Timothy's attention,
for he at once looked round and the glimmer of a smile appeared upon his
tear-stained face.

"That's it!" cried Barbara excitedly. "Do it again."

"Oh, _please_ do," entreated Suzanne.

Mr. Snapper, adenoids or no adenoids, was a sportsman. He quickly
understood what was required of him and blew his nose again and again.
And with each blow Timothy's smile became wider, the dimples grew
deeper, and Mr. Klick at the camera was pushing in and pulling out
plates for all he was worth. At last Mr. Snapper could blow no more, and
with profuse thanks we gathered ourselves, together and departed. On our
arrival home the cabman, fortunately, was induced to accept a cheque in

The photographs have turned out a great success. One in particular,
which shows the first smile breaking through Timothy's tears, is of a
very happy character, and Mr. Snapper has asked and received permission
to send it to the illustrated Press under the title, "Sunshine and
Shower"; and Aunt Caroline has not only been given a copy, _but has had
it framed_.

Now, when I am called upon to produce a laugh from Timothy, I no longer
make faces or "pop." I have discovered how to blow my nose like a
mouth-organ. It's trying work, but the effect is magical.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: "Y' EVER HAD A BARF, BILLY?"


       *       *       *       *       *

Redintegratio Amoris.

    "The Public is hereby notified that myself and my Wife
    Millicent ---- is together again. I got hasty and
    advertised her with no just cause. FITZ ----."--_West
    Indian Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "This telegram had been preceded by others, which were,
    unfortunately, contrary to instructions at the Post
    Office, delivered at this office, which was closed, and,
    therefore, not opened."--_Irish Paper._

That, of course, would be so.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At a meeting of the Child Study Society on Thursday,
    April 29th, at 6 p.m., Sir A. E. Shipley, G.B.E., D.Sc.,
    F.R.S., will give a lecture, illustrated by lantern
    slides, on biting insects and children."

    _British Medical Journal._

And we had always thought him such a kind man!

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Gloomy Artist._ "YES, I GAVE HER ALL MY
    LIKED--HALF-A-CROWN OR A COUPLE OF BOB----" (_Pauses for
    exclamations of horror at the sacrifice._)

    _Friend._ "AND DID THEY SELL?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Being the scenario of a modern doggerel Epic._)

  THE lady I choose for the theme of my lay
  Is a portent "conspicuous even to-day,"
  For, though she was freely condemned and abhorred,
  She was never suppressed and she can't be ignored.

  Her parents, most anxious to give a good time
  To their children, if only they helped them to climb,
  Unconsciously aiding the new Self-Expression
  Left all from the start to their daughter's discretion.

  No nurse was allowed to rebuke her or warn her,
  No governess put her to stand in a corner;
  At six she revealed a peculiar joy
  In the taste of old brandy, and dressed like a boy;
  At eight she had read CASANOVA, CELLINI,
  And driven a toasting-fork into a tweeny;
  At ten she indited and published a story
  Described by _The Leadenhall News_ as "too gory."
  One governess after another was tried,
  But none of them stopped and one suddenly died.
  Then she went for a while to a wonderful school
  Which was run on the plan of the late Mrs. BOOLE;
  But no "ethical safeguards" could ever restrain
  So impulsive a heart and so fertile a brain;
  And a fire, for the kindling of which she was held
  Responsible, led to her being expelled.

  On the strength of her fine pyromaniac rage
  For a season or two she appeared on the stage;
  Her dancing was crude and her voice was a blank,
  But she carried it off by superlative swank,
  And married a swarthy and elderly milli-
  Onaire who was killed in an earthquake in Chile.
  A militant during the Suffrage campaign,
  In the War she adopted the cause of Sinn Fein,
  And, according to credible witness, was seen
  In the thick of the fighting at Easter, '16.
  Escaping arrest by a dexterous dodge
  She became a disciple of OLIVER LODGE,
  Gave lectures on Swedish and Swiss callisthenics,
  Eurhythmics (DALCROZE) and Ukrainian eugenics.
  Last, married in haste to a Bolshevist don,
  She dyed her hair green and was painted by JOHN,
  Eloped with a squat anthropophagous Dago
  And finds a fit home in Tierra del Fuego.

       *       *       *       *       *



    _"Star" Headlines._

We have read the article carefully, but the Member to whom this
Leap-Year proposal was made is not mentioned.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: IN A CUSHY CAUSE.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday, April 19th._--Primrose day in the House of Commons was more
honoured in the breach than the observance. Barely a dozen Members
sported Lord BEACONFIELD'S favourite flower (for salads), and one of
them found himself so uncomfortably conspicuous that shortly after the
proceedings opened he furtively transferred his buttonhole to his
coat-pocket. Among those who remained faithful were Lord LAMBOURNE (in
the Peers' Gallery), who had for this occasion substituted a posy of
primroses for his usual picotee, and, quaintly enough, Mr. HOGGE, who
had not hitherto been suspected of Disraelian sympathies.


      "A primrose by a river's brim
      A yellow primrose was to him
        And it was nothing more."

    "Mr. HOGGE had not hitherto been suspected of Disraelian

For a Budget-day the attendance was smaller than usual. But it was large
enough to prevent Mr. BILLING from securing his usual seat. The SPEAKER,
however, did not smile upon his suggestion that he should occupy one of
the vacant places on the Front Opposition Bench, and curtly informed him
that there was plenty of room in the Gallery. Thither Mr. BILLING betook
himself, and thence he addressed a question which Mr. HOPE, the Minister
concerned, was unable to catch, his ears not being attuned to sounds
from that altitude.

Otherwise Question-time was chiefly remarkable for the loud and
continued burst of cheering from the Coalition benches which greeted Mr.
WILL THORNE'S suggestion (_à propos_ of LENIN'S industrial conscription)
that "it would be a very good thing to make all the idlers in this
country work." Mr. THORNE seemed quite embarrassed by the popularity of
his proposal, which did not, however, appear to arouse the same
enthusiasm among his colleagues of the Labour Party.

It was four o'clock when Mr. CHAMBERLAIN rose to "open the Budget" (he
clings to that old-fashioned phrase), and just after six when he
completed a speech which Mr. ASQUITH (himself an ex-Chancellor of the
Exchequer) justly praised for its lucidity and comprehensiveness.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN could not on this occasion congratulate himself (as his
predecessors were wont to do) on the accuracy of his forecasts. He had
two shots last year, in Spring and Autumn, but both times was many
millions out in his calculations. Fortunately all the mistakes were on
the right side, and he came out with a surplus of one hundred and
sixty-four millions (about as much as the whole revenue of the country
when first he went to the Exchequer) to devote to the redemption of

But that did not content him. For an hour by the clock he piled up the
burdens on the taxpayer. His arguments were not always consistent. It is
not quite easy to see why, because ladies have taken to smoking
cigarettes, an extra heavy duty should be imposed on imported cigars; or
how the appearance of "a new class of champagne-drinkers" justifies a
further tax upon the humble consumer of "dinner-claret."

Nor is it easy to follow the process of reasoning by which the
CHANCELLOR convinced himself that the Excess Profits Tax, which last
year he described as a great deterrent to enterprise and industry, only,
justifiable as "a temporary measure," should now be not merely continued
but increased by fifty per cent.

    [Illustration: _Mr. CHAMBERLAIN._ "I DON'T CARE WHAT

This proposal seemed to excite more hostility than any other. But the
single taxers were annoyed by the final disappearance of the Land Values
Duties (the only original feature of Mr. LLOYD GEORGE'S epoch-making
first Budget). Mr. RAFFAN pictured their author being dragged at the
Tory chariot-wheels, and Dr. MURRAY observed that the land-taxes were
evidently not allowed "on the other side of the Rubicon."

The general view was that the Government had shown courage in imposing
fresh taxation, but would have saved themselves and the country a great
deal of trouble if they had been equally bold in reducing expenditure.

_Tuesday, April 20th._--When a local band at Cologne recently played the
"Wacht am Rhein" the British officers present stood up, on the ground
(as they explained to a surprised German) that _they_ were now the Watch
on the Rhine. But are they? According to Colonel BURN the Army of the
Rhine is now so short of men that it is compelled to employ German
civilians as batmen, clerks and even telephone-operators; and Mr.
CHURCHILL was fain to admit that it would not surprise him to hear that
"some assistance has been derived from the local population."

The Carnarvonshire police are peeved because they are not allowed to
belong to any secret society except the Freemasons, and consequently are
debarred from membership of the Royal Ante-diluvian Order of Buffaloes.
Mr. SHORTT disclaimed responsibility, but it is expected that the Member
for the Carnarvon Boroughs, who is notoriously sympathetic to
Ante-diluvians (is not his motto _Après moi le déluge_?), will take up
the matter on his return from San Remo.

Having had time to consider the Budget proposals in detail Mr. ASQUITH
was less complimentary and more critical. Good-humoured chaff of the
PRIME MINISTER on the demise of the Land Values Duties before they had
yielded the "rare and refreshing fruits" promised ten years ago, was
followed by a reasoned condemnation of the proposed increase in the wine
duties, which he believed would diminish consumption and cause
international complications with our Allies. The CHANCELLOR, again, had
thought too much of revenue and too little of economy. He urged him--in
a magnificent mixture of metaphors--to cut away those parasitic
excrescences upon the normal administrative system of the country which
now constituted an open tap.

_Wednesday, April 21st._--The abolition of the Guide-lecturer at Kew
Gardens was deplored by Lord SUDELEY and other Peers. But as, according
to Lord LEE, out of a million visitors last year only five hundred
listened to the Guide--an average of less than three per lecture--the
Government can hardly be blamed for saving a hundred pounds.
Retrenchment, after all, must begin somewhere.

Sir DONALD MACLEAN cannot have heard of this signal example of
Government economy or he would not have denounced Ministers so
vehemently for their extravagance. His most specific charge was that in
Mesopotamia they were "spending money like water in looking for oil."

In a further defence of the Budget proposals Mr. CHAMBERLAIN disclaimed
the notion that it was the duty of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to
denounce in the House the Estimates which he had approved in Cabinet.
His business was to find the money. Circumstances had altered his
attitude to the Excess Profits Duty, and he was now determined to stick
to it. Did not a cynic once say that nothing succeeds like excess?

Mr. BARNES, who was loudly cheered on his return to the House, joined in
the cry for economy. "Some departments," he declared, "existed only
because they had existed."

The country clergy are without doubt the most over-rated persons in the
country--I mean, of course, from a fiscal point of view. Consequently
the House gave a friendly reception to a Bill intended to relieve them
of some of their pecuniary burdens.

_Thursday, April 22nd._--When Dr. MACNAMARA was Secretary to the
Admiralty no Minister was clearer or more direct in his answers. Now
that he has become Minister he has laid aside his quarter-deck manner
and adopted tones of whispering humbleness which hardly reach the Press

He ought to take example fro Mr. STANTON, who never leaves the House in
doubt as to what he means. This afternoon, his purpose was to announce
that a certain "Trio" on the Opposition Benches was in league with the
forces of disorder. "Bolshies!" he shouted in a voice that frightened
the pigeons in Palace Yard.

Later in the evening Mr. STANTON indicated that unless the salaries of
Members of Parliament were raised he should have seriously to consider
the question of returning to his old trade of a coal-hewer, at which I
gathered he could make much more money with an infinitely smaller
exertion of lung-power.

    [Illustration: "If, as appears to be the case, it is for
    the moment more or less decently interred, its epitaph
    should be not _Reguiescat_ but _Resurget_" (cheers).

    _Mr. ASQUITH on the Land Values Duties._]

The vote for Agriculture and Fisheries was supported by Sir A.
GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN in a speech crammed full of miscellaneous information.
We learned that the Minister once smoked a pipe of Irish tobacco, and
said "Never Again"; that the slipper-limpet, formerly the terror of the
oyster-beds had now by the ingenuity of his Department been transformed
into a valuable source of poultry-food, and that the roundabout process
by which the Germans in bygone days imported eel-fry from the Severn for
their own rivers, and then exported the full-grown fish for the
delectation of East-end dinner-tables, had been done away with. In the
matter of eels this country is now self-supporting.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The stock markets showed a good deal of uncertainty
    this morning and dealers marked prices lower in many
    cases to protect themselves against possible sales on
    the Budget proposals, particularly the excess profits
    duty and the corruption tax."--_Provincial Paper._

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN omitted to mention the last-named impost, but no doubt
that was his artfulness.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE authors of the guide-books have signally failed to discover the
really interesting parts of Law-land. I have looked through several of
these works and not one of them refers, for example, to the
"Bear-Garden," which is the place where the preliminary skirmishes of
litigation are carried out. The Bear-Garden is the name given to it by
the legal profession, so I am quite in order in using the title. In
fact, if you want to get to it, you _have_ to use that title. The proper
title would be something like "the place where Masters in Chambers
function at half-past one;" but, if you go into the Law Courts and ask
one of the attendants where that is, he will say, rather pityingly, "Do
you mean the _Bear-Garden_?" and you will know at once that you have
lost caste. Caste is a thing you should be very careful of in these
days, so the best thing is to ask for the Bear-Garden straightaway.

It is in the purlieus of the Law Courts and very hard to find. It is up
a lot of very dingy back-staircases and down a lot of very dingy
passages. The Law Courts are like all our public buildings. The parts
where the public is allowed to go are fairly respectable, if not
beautiful, but the purlieus and the basements and the upper floors are
scenes of unimaginable dinginess and decay. The Law Courts' purlieus are
worse than the Houses of Parliament's purlieus, and it seems to me that
even more disgraceful things are done in them. It only shows you the
danger of Nationalisation.

On the way to the Bear-Garden you pass the King's Remembrancer's This is
the man who reminds HIS MAJESTY about people's birthdays; and in a large
family like that he must be kept busy. Not far from the King's
Remembrancer there is a Commissioner for Oaths; you can go into his room
and have a really good swear for about half-a-crown. This is cheaper
than having it in the street--that is, if you are a gentleman; for by
the Profane Oaths Act, 1745, swearing and cursing are punishable by a
fine of one shilling for every day-labourer, soldier or seaman; two
shillings for every other person under the degree of a gentleman; and
five shillings for every person of or above the degree of a gentleman.
This is not generally known. The Commissioner of Oaths is a very
broad-minded man, and there is literally no limit to what you may swear
before him. The only thing is that he insists on your filing it before
you actually say it. This may cause delay; so that if you are feeling
particularly strongly about anything it is probably better to have it
out in the street and risk being taken for a gentleman.

There are a number of other interesting functionaries on the way to the
Bear-Garden; but we must get on. When you have wandered about in the
purlieus for a long time you will hear a tremendous noise, a sort of
combined snarling and roaring and legal conversation. When you hear
that, you will know that you are very near the bears. They are all
snarling and roaring in a large preliminary arena, where the bears
prepare themselves for the struggle; all round it are smaller cages or
arenæ, where the struggles take place. If possible you ought to go
early, so that you can watch the animals massing. Lawyers, as I have had
occasion to observe before, are the most long-suffering profession in
the country, and the things they do in the Bear-Garden they have to do
in the luncheon-hour, or rather in the luncheon half-hour, between
half-past one and two.

This accounts perhaps for the extreme frenzy of the proceedings. They
hurry in a frenzy up the back-stairs about 1.25, and they pace up and
down in a frenzy till half-past one. There are all sorts of bears, most
of them rather seedy old bears, with shaggy and unkempt coats. These are
solicitors' clerks, and they all come straight out of DICKENS. They have
shiny little private-school handbags, each inherited, no doubt, through
a long line of ancestral solicitors' clerks; and they all have the
draggled sort of moustache that tells you when it is going to rain.
While they are pacing up and down the arena they all try to get rid of
these moustaches by pulling violently at alternate ends; but the only
result is to make it look more like rain than ever.

Some of the bears are robust old bears, with well-kept coats and loud
roars; these are solicitors' clerks too, only better fed; or else they
are real solicitors. And a few of the bears are perky young
creatures--in barrister's robes, either for the first time, when they
look very self-conscious, or for the second time, when they look very
self-confident. All the bears are telling each other about their cases.
They are saying, "We are a deceased wife's sister suing _in forma
pauperis_," or "I am a discharged bankrupt, three times convicted of
perjury, but I am claiming damages under the Diseases of Pigs Act,
1862," or "You are the crew of a merchant-ship and we are the editor of
a newspaper." Just at first it is rather disturbing to hear snatches of
conversation like that, but there is no real cause for alarm; they are
only identifying themselves with the interests of their clients; and,
when one realises that, one is rather touched.

At long last one of the keepers at the entrance to the small cages
begins to shout very loudly. It is not at all clear what he is shouting,
but apparently it is the pet-names of the bears, for there is a wild
rush for the various cages. Across the middle of the cage a stout
barricade has been erected, and behind the barricade sits the Master,
pale but defiant. Masters in Chambers are barristers who have not got
proper legal faces, and have had to give up being ordinary barristers on
that account; in the obscurity and excitement of the Bear-Garden nobody
notices that their faces are all wrong. The two chief bears rush at the
Master and the other bears jostle round them, egging them on. When they
see that they cannot get at the Master they begin snarling. One of them
snarls quietly out of a long document about the Statement of Claim. He
throws a copy of this at the Master, and the Master tries to get the
hang of it while the bear is snarling; but the other bear is by now
beside himself with rage, and he begins putting in what are called
interlocutory snarls, so that the Master gets terribly confused, though
he doesn't let on.

By-and-by all pretence of formality and order is put aside and the
battle really begins. At this stage of the proceedings the rule is that
no fewer than two of the protagonists must be roaring at the same time,
of which one must be the Master. But the more general practice is for
all three of them to roar at the same time. Sometimes, it is true, by
sheer roar-power the Master succeeds in silencing one of the bears for a
moment, but he can never be said to succeed in cowing a bear. If anybody
is cowed it is the Master. Meanwhile the lesser bears press closer and
closer, pulling at the damp ends of their rainy moustaches and making
whispered suggestions for new devilries in the ears of the chief bears,
who nod their heads emphatically but don't pay any attention.

The final stage is the stage of physical violence, when the chief bears
lean over the barricade and shake their paws at the Master; they think
they are only making legal gestures, but the Master knows very well that
they are getting out of hand; he knows then that it is time he threw
them a bun. So he says a soothing word to each of them and runs his pen
savagely through almost everything on their papers. The bears growl in
stupefaction and rage, and take deep breaths to begin again. But
meanwhile the keeper has shouted for a fresh set of bears, who surge
wildly into the room. The old bears are swept aside and creep out,
grunting. What the result of it all is I don't know. Nobody knows. But
the new bears----

    [EDITOR.--I am much bored with this.

    AUTHOR.--Oh, very well.]

    A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Mistress._ "AT TWO O'CLOCK THIS MORNING,

    _Mary._ "OH, 'E DID, DID 'E? 'AD 'E RED 'AIR? I'LL LARN

       *       *       *       *       *

From the directions on an omnibus ticket:--

    "Passengers are requested not to stand on top of the Bus
    back seats for smoking."

This is a thing we never do.

       *       *       *       *       *



OF course nobody could possibly suspect Sir JAMES BARRIE of plagiarising
(save from himself), yet it will explain something of the atmosphere of
_Mary Rose_ if I say that it is a story with such a theme as that
admirable ghostmonger, the Provost of Eton, would whole-heartedly
approve--thrilling, sinister, inconclusive--with (shall I say?) just a
dash of Sir ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE in his other-worldly mood to bring it
well into the movement. Naturally the variations are sheer BARRIE and of
the most adroit.


    _Mary Rose_ . . . MISS FAY COMPTON.
    _Harry_ . . . .   MR. ROBERT LORAINE.]

_Mary Rose_ is in fact a girl who couldn't grow up, because whenever she
visited a little mystery island in the Outer Hebrides "they" who lived
in a "lovely, lovely, lovely" vague world beyond these voices would call
her vaguely (to Mr. NORMAN O'NEILL'S charming music), and she would as
vaguely return with no memory of what had passed and no change in her
physical condition. This didn't matter so much when, as a mere child,
she disappeared for thirty days; but when, mother of an incomparable
heir of two, she was rapt away in the middle of a picnic for twenty-five
years, and returned to find a husband, mother and father inexplicably
old and changed, and dreadfully silent about her babe--well, you see for
yourself how hopeless everything was. As if there were not enough real
tragedy in the world and it were necessary to invent!

I don't think it fair to tell you any more. You shouldn't suffer these
thrills at second-hand. But I can say that, in spite of making it a
point of professional honour to try to keep a warm spine and check the
unbidden tear from trickling down my nose (which makes you look such an
ass before a cynical colleague during the intervals), I was beaten in
both attempts. The "effects" were astonishingly well contrived by both
author and producer (Mr. HOLMAN CLARK). You were not let down at the
supreme moment by a hurried shuffle of dimly seen forms or the click of
an electrician's gear suggesting too solid flesh. The house was in a
queer way stunned by the poignancy of the last scene between the young
ghost-mother and the long-sought unrecognised son, and had to shake
itself before it could reward with due applause the fine playing of as
perfect a cast as I have seen for a long time. There's no manner of
doubt that Sir JAMES "got it over" (as they say) all right.

Miss FAY COMPTON makes astonishing strides. Her _Mary Rose_ had adorable
shy movements, caresses, intonations, wistfulnesses. These were traits
of _Mary Rose_, not tricks of Miss COMPTON. And they escaped
monotony--supreme achievement in the difficult circumstances. Mr. ROBERT
LORAINE in the doubled _rôles_ of _Mary Rose's_ husband and son, showed
a very fine skill in his differentiation of the husband's character in
three phases of time and development, and of the son's, with its family
likeness and individual variation. Mr. ERNEST THESIGER, who seems to
touch nothing he does not adorn, gave a fine rendering of as charming a
character as ever came out of the BARRIE box--the superstitious,
learned, courteous crofter's son, student of Aberdeen University,
temporary boatman and (later) minister. He did his best incidentally, by
rowing away without casting off, to corroborate the local legend that
the queer little island sometimes disappeared. Miss MARY JERROLD was
just the perfect BARRIE mother (of _Mary Rose_). Mr. ARTHUR WHITBY'S
parson, Mr. NORMAN FORBES' squire, Miss JEAN CADELL'S housekeeper, left
no chinks in their armour for a critic's spleenful arrow.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "It was one of those perfect June nights that so seldom
    occur except in August."

    ---- _Magazine._

The result of Daylight-saving, no doubt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: THE AGE OF UNREST.


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  No more to bits of china (though I love it),
    To coloured prints no more my fancy roams,
  Or all the works of art I used to covet
    In other people's homes.

  Old first editions, Sheffield plate and brasses,
    Weapons of CROMWELL'S time and coats of mail,
  Gate-tables, QUEEN ANNE chairs and aught that passes
    For craft of CHIPPENDALE--

  Such things no more I spend my hard-earned cash on
    (Fain though the spirit be, the purse is weak);
  Yet strong within me burns the ruling passion
    For anything antique.

  To haunt the sales for "finds" no more my job is;
    I've found at length, to satisfy my bent,
  A wider sphere for this my last of hobbies,
    Which costs me not a cent;

  Where I can see my friends possess the treasure
    Their souls desire, nor envy them for that;
  My game's to scan my fellow-man at leisure
    Divested of his hat;

  Among my own coevals, whom at last Time
    Is taking by the locks at forty-nine,
  Searching (a quaint but inexpensive pastime)
    For balder heads than mine.

       *       *       *       *       *


IN the belief that the numerous signs and notices, such as those
containing warnings and advice to the public, with which the eye is so
familiar, might be employed as suitable _media_ for commercial
advertisement, the following suggestions are offered for what they are


    When you walk upstairs
    be sure your boots are
    shod with PUSSYFOOT
       Rubber Heels.

       * * *

           DOWN THE CORD.=

    Then light a NAVY LIST Cigarette.

      That alone is worth the £5.

       * * *


     It's not your job.

    Let STIKKOTINE do it.

      Sticks anything.

       * * *


    If your baby is a GLOXO baby
       keep it on your knee.

    GLOXO builds _bulky_ bairns.

       * * *


    Unless you are wearing
       Won't wet feet.

       * * *


    Wait till he hears

       * * *


    Ring up your newsagent and order
          your DAILY WAIL.

           Billion Sale.
           Order it now.
           CHU CHIN CHOW.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "CHARLES ----

    This week, DRIVEN FROM HOME. Next week, AT SEA."

    _Daily Paper._

Surely this pitiable case ought to be brought to the attention of the
Actors' Benevolent Association.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: _Epicurean._ "AH, YOU LITTLE REALISE HOW

       *       *       *       *       *


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

I HAVE a mild grievance against that talented lady, Miss MARJORIE BOWEN,
for labelling her latest novel "a romantic fantasy." Because, like all
her other stories, _The Cheats_ (COLLINS) moves with such an air of
truth, its personages are so human, that I could delightfully persuade
myself that it was all true, and that I had really shared, with a
sometimes quickened pulse, the strange fortunes of the sombre young
hero. But--fantasy! That is to show the strings and give away the whole
game. However, if you can forget that, the coils of an admirably woven
intrigue will grip your attention and sympathy throughout. The central
figure is one _Jaques_, who comes to town as a penniless and love-lorn
romantic, to be confronted with the revelation that he is himself the
eldest son, unacknowledged but legitimate, of His Majesty KING CHARLES
THE SECOND, then holding Court at Whitehall. It is from the plots and
counter-plots, the machinations and subterfuges that follow that Miss
BOWEN justifies her title. Certainly _The Cheats_ establishes her in my
mind as our first writer of historical fiction. The character-drawing is
admirable (especially of poor weak-willed vacillating _Jaques_, a
wonderfully observed study of the STUART temperament). More than ever,
also, Miss BOWEN might here be said to write her descriptions with a
paint-brush; the whole tale goes by in a series of glowing pictures,
most richly coloured. _The Cheats_ is not a merry book; its treatment of
the foolish heroine in particular abates nothing of grim justice; but of
its art there can be no two opinions. I wish again that I had been
allowed to believe in it.

It must be unusual in war for a commander-in-chief to be regarded by his
opponents with the respect and admiration that the British forces in
East Africa felt towards VON LETTOW-VORBECK; from General SMUTS, who
congratulated him on his Order "Pour le Mérite," down to the British
Tommy who promised to salute him "if ever 'e's copped." The fact that
VON LETTOW held out from August, 1914, till after the Armistice with a
small force mainly composed of native askaris, and with hardly any
assistance from overseas, is proof in itself of his organizing ability,
his military leadership and his indomitable determination. As these are
qualities which are valued by his late enemies his story of the
campaign, _My Reminiscences of East Africa_ (HURST AND BLACKETT), should
appeal to a large public, especially as it is written on the whole in a
sporting spirit and not without some sense of humour. His descriptions
of the natural difficulties of the country and the methods he adopted
for handling them are interesting and instructive. But in military
matters his story is not altogether convincing; for if his "victories"
were as "decisive" as he represents them how is it that they were
followed almost invariably by retirement? The results are attributed in
these pages to "slight mischances" or "unfavourable conditions" or
merely to "pressure of circumstances." Would it not have been better,
while he was about it, to claim boldly that he was luring us on? This is
a question on which one naturally refers to the maps, and it is
therefore all the more regrettable that these contain no scale of
mileage, an omission which renders them almost meaningless. How many
readers, for instance, will realise that German East Africa was almost
twice the size of Germany? The translation on the whole is good, though
some phrases such as "the at times barely sufficient ration" are rather
too redolent of the Fatherland.

       *       *       *       *       *

I see that on the title-page of his latest story Mr. W. E. NORRIS is
credited with having already written two others (specified by name),
etc. Much virtue in that "etc." I cannot therefore regard _The Triumphs
of Sara_ (HUTCHINSON) precisely as the work of a beginner, though it has
a freshness and sense of enjoyment about it that might well belong to a
first book rather than to--I doubt whether even Mr. NORRIS himself could
say offhand what its number is. _Sara_ and her circle are eminently
characteristic of their creator. You have here the same well-bred
well-to-do persons, pleasantly true to their decorous type, retaining
always, despite modernity of clothes and circumstance, a gentle aroma of
late Victorianism. Perhaps _Sara_ is the most immediate of Mr. NORRIS'S
heroines so far. Her money-bags had been filled in Manchester, and from
time to time in her history you are reminded of this circumstance. It
explains much; though hardly her marriage with _Euan Leppington_, whose
attraction apparently lay in being one of the few males of her
acquaintance whom _Sara_ did not find it fatally easy to bring to heel.
Anyhow, after marriage she quickly grew bored to death of him; so much
so that it required an attempt (badly bungled) by another woman to get
_Euan_ to elope with her, and a providential collapse of the very
unwilling Lothario, to bring about that happy ending that my experience
of kind Mr. NORRIS has taught me to expect. I may add that he has never
done anything more quietly entertaining than the frustrated elopement;
the luncheon scene at the Métropole, Brighton, between the angry but
amused _Sara_ and a husband incapacitated by rage, remorse and chill, is
an especially well-handled little comedy of manners.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir JULIAN CORBETT, in writing the first volume of _Naval Operations_
(LONGMANS), has carried the semi-official history of the War at sea only
as far as the Battle of the Falklands; but if the other three or four
volumes--the number is still uncertain--are to be as full of romance as
this the complete work will be a library of adventure in itself. Hardly
ever turning aside to praise or blame, he says with almost unqualified
baldness a multitude of astounding things--things we half knew, or
guessed, or longed to have explained, or dared not whisper, or, most of
all, never dreamt of. Here is a gold-mine for the makers of boys' books
of all future generations to quarry in. Think, for instance, of the
liner _Ortega_ shaking off a German cruiser by bolting into an uncharted
tide-race near the Horn; or the _Southport_, left for disabled by her
captors, crawling two thousand miles to safety with only half an engine;
or the triumphant raider _Karlsruhe_, her pursuers baffled, full to the
hatches with captured luxuries, bands playing, flags flying, suddenly
blown up in mid-Atlantic. The game of hide-and-seek, as played by the
_Emden_ and her like, naturally figures very largely in a volume which
HENTY could hardly have bettered. The author's veracious narrative,
leaving all picturesque detail to the imagination, gets home every time
by the sheer weight of its material. The War in Home waters is no less
fascinatingly reconstructed, and the case of maps contains in itself
living epics for all who study them with understanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

In writing her second book Miss HILDA M. SHARP has allowed herself what
is, I suspect, the lady novelist's greatest treat, the extraordinary
achievement of using the first person singular and making it masculine.
She has done it very well too, and I am happy to recall that, in another
place, I was among the many who prophesied good concerning her future
when she made her _début_ as a novelist with _The Stars in their
Courses_ in Mr. FISHER UNWIN'S "First Novel Library." _A Pawn in Pawn_
comes very properly from the same publisher. It has one of those plots
which it is most particularly a reviewer's business, in the reader's own
interest, not to reveal, but it is permissible to explain that the
"pawn" of the title is a little girl adopted from an orphanage, where,
as someone says, "the orphans aren't really orphans," by _Julian
Tarrant_, whom a select circle acknowledged as the greatest poet that
the last years of the nineteenth century produced. Miss SHARP earns my
special admiration by getting through the inevitable description of the
beginning of the Great War in fewer words than anybody whose attempt I
have yet encountered, and steers throughout a pleasant course midway
between a "bestseller" and a "high-brow." _Lydia_, the "pawn," is very
charming, but quite possibly so, and though, of course, she must marry
one of the three men interested in her adoption Miss SHARP will probably
keep most of her readers, as she did me, in doubt as to which it is to
be until quite the end of the book. I think that he may prove an
acquired taste with most readers; but directly I found that he was apt
to quote the reviews in _Punch_ I realised that he was a man of
discrimination and deserved his good luck.

       *       *       *       *       *

    [Illustration: "PROPER FED UP WIV YOU, I AM. CRY, CRY,

       *       *       *       *       *

An Urgent Request.


    Members are requested to hand in their Share Pass Books
    for Audit Purposes to the Head Office on or before AT
    ONCE."--_Local Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Rev. ---- writes:--'I have a Cousin residing in the
    Transvaal who has been living on three plates of
    porridge made of ---- for five years, and is well and
    strong on it.'"--_South African Paper._

It sounds very sustaining.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-04-25" ***

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