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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-05
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, 1920-05-05" ***

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

VOL. 158, MAY 5, 1920***


VOL. 158

MAY 5, 1920


We understand that Lord FISHER, who is reported to have taken a week off to
say what he thought about the Budget, has asked for an extension of time.

       * * *

Germany has decided to abolish gradually all titles of nobility. They will
disappear Von by Von.

       * * *

Six hundred Irish emigrants left for New York last Wednesday on board the
_Celtic_. All, we understand, were advised before leaving that the price of
a man's votes, after the first five or six, isn't what it was in former
Presidential elections.

       * * *

"I hope I will not come back until the basis of a real peace with Russia is
secured," said Mr. SNOWDEN on the eve of his departure. There are other
people who don't much mind what cause detains him.

       * * *

An earthquake is reported in California, and a volume of poems by the POET
LAUREATE is announced. What a breathless week!

       * * *

"What is wanted in our prisons," says a well-known preacher, "is more
humanity; in the Irish prisons in particular the right kind of humanity."
Even in the rare cases where we get hold of it we don't seem able to keep

       * * *

The Liverpool and District Federation of Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods,
protesting against Sunday cricket, declare their anxiety to maintain in
every way the traditional sacredness of the English Sabbath. With roast
beef at its present price this seems scarcely possible.

       * * *

A "uniform evening dress for women" was advocated at a discussion on
"Fashions" by members of the Lyceum Club. Smart Society, it is observed, by
a gradual process of elimination is working down to something of the kind.

       * * *

"Increased party bitterness," says a Berlin correspondent, "is becoming a
feature of German life." A sharp cleavage of opinion is detected between
the party that refuses to comply with the terms of the Peace Treaty and the
section that merely intends to evade them.

       * * *

It appears that a man has been fined five pounds for using bad language
about Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL. Latest reports from the district are to the
effect that his remarks were rather good value for the money.

       * * *

A weekly paper advocates the sterilizing of all foodstuffs. This is a
decided advance on the old custom of sifting soup through a set of

       * * *

Germany, says Mr. JAMES DOUGLAS, lost the War. It is said that even the
ex-Kaiser now admits that everything seems to point that way.

       * * *

A Madras tiger cub, we are informed, has been born at Pontypridd. We can
only suppose that the animal did not know it was Pontypridd.

       * * *

Futurist painters, says a contemporary, are becoming scarce in America. The
wave of crime that followed the War seems to be falling off.

       * * *

The Department Committee of the Falkland Islands suggest that whales should
be marked by a small projectile. This is much better than screwing the
monster into a vice and carving its name and address on it with a chisel.

       * * *

A Beachy Head correspondent writes to a daily paper to say that he has seen
a peculiarly bright light in the sky. Quite a number of people are asking,
Can it be the sun?

       * * *

A morning paper reports that the Government is now offering for sale all
machinery, fixtures and fittings installed in a certain large aerodrome in
Hampshire. It is rumoured that they will be willing to buy them back from
the purchasers at an enhanced price in order to equip a new aerodrome in
the same locality.

       * * *

According to a witness at Willesden Police Court a carter charged with
insulting behaviour swore for twenty minutes without repeating himself. We
understand that the Bargees' Union take a very serious view of the matter.

       * * *

"The cost of cremation is now exceptionally low," announces a Sunday paper.
Inexpensive luxuries are so rare in these days that one is tempted to give
it a trial.

       * * *

Replying to Sir K. FRASER, Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN stated that he was not
prepared to levy an equalizing tax on total abstainers. The belief that
they are already sufficiently punished is widely held.

       * * *

"Man, naturally funny, desires to be trained for stage funny-man" (_Times_
Advertisement). The initial handicap is bound to tell against him. He
should try the House of Commons.

       * * *

Twenty-one pigs have died at Woking as the result of eating phosphorus. The
owner was apparently unaware that it has taken years to accustom the
American pig to a phosphorus diet.

       * * *

Hythe Council is offering sixpence a dozen for dead wasps. Hunters may
bring their captures in on the hoof but must slaughter them before they can
touch the money.

       * * *

A South Wales miner charged with trapping birds was found to be wearing
three coats. As this might have been due to an oversight on the part of his
valet it was not included in the charge.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE THINGS WE WRITE.


       *       *       *       *       *

Our Tireless Terpsichoreans.

     "Miss ----'s dance will take place on the 22nd and terminate on the
     29th for this season."--_Advt. in Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

     "That fine sporting neighbourhood, Epsom, is represented by a big
     cheque from the town cub."--_Evening Paper._

Good dog!

       *       *       *       *       *


     [It is feared that the Treaty with the Turk will not be signed in time
     for him to receive an invitation to join the Allies and their late
     enemies, towards the end of May, at the Conference to be held at Spa,
     where it is proposed to discuss a common scheme for the regeneration
     of the world.]

  Sweet after hopes deferred that make
    The stomach feel so queer,
  To think the Peace for which we ache
    May very soon be here;
  That, though but scarce two years have passed
    Since we contrived to win it,
  The War, if things go on so fast,
    May end at any minute.

  Yet must the pace be hotter still
    With less of "hum!" and "ha!"
  If we would have our pleasure's fill
    And meet the Turk at Spa;
  How nice if he could only come,
    Fresh from Armenian slaughter,
  And join our Mixed Symposium
    Over a mineral water!

  His ripe experience would show
    Just how (by Allah's grace)
  To make this world of sin and woe
    Into a better place;
  And, though we failed to cure at sight
    All ills that want allaying,
  At least (between the Acts) we might
    Together go a-Maying.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


There had been a long silence between us. We sat lunching comfortably at
the Ritz, and the Spring air came pleasantly in at the open window beside
us. I watched the people passing by and commented on some of them to Tony,
but he seemed completely wrapped in meditation.

Really it was a little aggravating. Spring always thrills me to the tips of
my fingers; I had put on my very nicest clothes; we were eating the very
last word in lunches, and there was a glorious atmosphere of holiday in the
air; but it was all lost on Tony.

Suddenly he roused himself. "It's a queer thing," he began _à propos_ of
nothing, abstractedly toying with his _pêche Melba_ and lapsing into
thoughtful silence again.

"Shouldn't be surprised," I retorted sharply.

Then I looked across at him and my heart smote me. He is extraordinarily
good to look upon--fair crinkled hair, Saxon colouring and blue eyes that
can warm up so delightfully at moments.

"What is queer, Tony?" I went on more gently, conscious that in spite of
his abstraction his gaze was wandering appreciatively in my direction, so
that I felt my new blouse was not entirely wasted after all.

"Well, the fact is," he roused himself to start, "I've been making some
_very_ interestin' experiments."

"Oh!" I said, a trifle disappointed.

"Yes, very interestin' indeed. You know, of course, that I've only been
demobbed about six months, so there's no ghastly hurry or anythin', but I
rather feel that I ought to begin to think of doin' somethin'--some
business, profession sort of affair, I mean. Havin' made up my mind more or
less, I thought I'd come up to town yesterday and have a talk with one or
two of the fellows I know who have got jobs--get a few tips and so on."

"That sounds an awfully good idea," I encouraged him.

"Well, it was rather," he agreed modestly, "but on my life, Betty, you'd
never believe----Well, I'll tell you.

"I dropped in first of all on Dixon. Not a bad chap at all, one of
those--you know--solicitors. Partner in an A1 firm an' all that. They're
fairly rakin' in money at present with this boom in Divorce Court stunts.

"Anyway we began talkin' about old times and so on, as I hadn't seen him
for ages. We got laughin' over some of his funny stories about their
stuff--no names or anythin' like that, of course--and then bit by bit I
started tellin' him what was really at the back of my mind about takin' up
the work. I don't think he grasped it quite at first, but when he did he
just leant back in his chair and looked at me with a kind of pityin'
expression. 'My dear old boy,' he said, 'take it from a friend, one who has
been through it--don't! It's a dog's life; years of training; work all day
and night. No peace. Responsibility all the time. You know, dear old
fellow, what you want is a soft job. Why don't you start stock-brokin' or

"Well, of course that was a bit of a set-back; still I thought, 'Are we
down-hearted?' So I trotted on round to old Simkins--remember that
stockbroker chap we ran into at the Gaiety the other evenin'? He's a decent
sort of fellow; clever an' all that too--but not by way of overworkin'

"Well, I got to his office and asked him out to lunch at the Club, but he
wouldn't hear of it. 'My dear old man,' he said, 'you're comin' right along
with me to the Carlton, and we're goin' to have the best lunch they can
turn out. I tell you I've struck lucky this morning; absolutely had a

"Well, I thought that sounded pretty cheery, so we toddled off, and I must
say they did us jolly well. It seemed just the chance to get him to talk in
a pally sort of way, so I simply put it to him straight and told him what I
was thinkin' of doin'. He listened to me a bit doubtfully for a few minutes
and then leaned across the table and put his hand on my arm, interruptin'
me. 'Don't you do it, my son,' he said. 'As a pal I warn you. The work! the
worry! the carking anxiety! Take my word for it the life of a stockbroker
isn't fit for a dog.'

"Seemed funny, didn't it? Only he was so insistent that I began to get the
hump about it myself too and after a little while I managed to leave him
and rolled off to get cheered up by Bird. Teddy Bird's one of the best of
fellows--always merry an' bright. They manufacture ladies' jumpers or
somethin' of the sort; they were on Army clothin' durin' the War; pots of
money, of course; not doin' too badly now either.

"I just blew in an' told him to come on the binge or somethin' to cheer me
up. He wanted to know what I had got the hump about, so I told him about
these other two chaps, and really I was beginnin' to think what a let-off I
had had. Then a bright idea flashed into my mind. Why shouldn't _I_
manufacture somethin'? It seemed such a toppin' good scheme that I asked
him straight out what he thought about it.

"'My poor innocent lad,' he said, 'don't you yet realise the sort of
existence fellows like me have to lead? Labour troubles, money troubles,
taxation on profits. Why, good heavens, it's little better than a dog's

"I kind of felt crumpled and left him."

Tony looked across at me gloomily.

There was a heavy silence. I couldn't think of anything comforting to say.
He paid the bill and we started threading our way towards Piccadilly.

"But, Tony," I finally suggested rather desperately, "you said just now
there isn't such a ghastly hurry. Why don't you just stay round and amuse
yourself for a bit till something crops up?"

He turned and gazed at me reproachfully.

"My dear Betty," he said, "I thought you understood me better than that.
For a fellow of real ambition and keenness for gettin' on, it's absolutely
feedin', an existence like this, just messin' about. It's the limit. Why,
it's nothin' better than a dog's----"

I glanced at him quickly and he flushed crimson to the ears.

"What I mean to say--oh, hang it!" he stuttered, waving his cane. "Hi,
taxi! That's right. Hop in, Betty. We've just about time to get a look in
at the Palladium. You know one wants cheerin' up these days. Thinkin'
seriously about things is so beastly worryin'."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


(_With the British Army in France._)

How Jane contrived to inspire affection and bitter rivalry in the hearts of
Sergeant Bulter and Chippo Munks is hard to imagine. She was not beautiful
or agreeable or even intelligent. And she was certainly fickle and greedy.
If Sergeant Bulter persuaded her to accompany him for a walk she was quite
likely to return with Chippo; and if Chippo invited her to dine the end of
the dinner was usually the signal for her to leave in search of the further
hospitality of Sergeant Bulter.

Nevertheless both soldiers wooed her with an intensity that nearly brought
them into deadly conflict. The climax was precipitated by an announcement
in Battalion Orders that ran:--

"All ownerless dogs straying about the Camp will be secured by the Camp
police for destruction. Owners of dogs will therefore ensure that their
dogs are provided with collars showing names of owners, and such dogs are
not permitted to stray about the lines unattended."

On reading this Chippo laboriously inscribed an old identity disc--

"B" COY.,

and sought out Jane in her usual corner near the cook-house. He was
threading the disc with a piece of string when Sergeant Bulter appeared.

"What are you doin' to that dawg?" demanded the Sergeant.

"Fittin' 'er with a necklace," replied Chippo.

"Well, you can keep it to hang yourself with," said Bulter triumphantly;
"she's already provided."

Chippo perceived, what he had previously overlooked, that Jane's neck was
encircled with a collar marked--


A sick feeling of disappointment came over him, but he dissembled.

"I reckernize the family likeness, Sergeant," he remarked and walked away,
whilst Jane, with callous disregard for his sufferings, meditated whether
to dine with the Ration Corporal or the Sergeant Cook, or both.

Chippo walked gloomily in the direction of the town. As he approached the
_place_ the blaring of cornets and sounds of hilarity reminded him that
Quelquepart was holding its annual _foire_. Merry-go-rounds and swing-boats
were not in harmony with Chippo's mood, and the performance at the
gaudily-painted Guignol struck him as particularly dreary, but the sight of
Ferdinand Delauney's Grande Loterie, with its huge red wheel and tempting
array of prizes, roused him to animation. Ferdinand was attracting
investors by methods of persuasion which Chippo, as an acknowledged
"Crown-and-anchor" expert, recognised as masterly.

"Reckon I'll try a franc's-worth of Ferdy's prize bonds," he said. "But I
expect it'll just be my luck to win a dog-collar or a muzzle."

In due course the wheel began to revolve, and it had scarcely stopped
before Ferdinand jumped from the platform and embraced Chippo with emotion.

"_Mon ami_," he said, "_mes félicitations! Vous avez gagné le premier

Opening a crate he extracted an athletic young cockerel, which he thrust
under Chippo's arm, and the latter walked away with a prize for which he
had not the slightest use.

Presently the cockerel began to struggle, and Chippo, after considering all
methods of transport, took the string intended for Jane from his pocket,
attached it to the rooster's leg and marched it before him. He had not
proceeded far before he was confronted by the scandalised Sergeant Bulter,
with Jane trailing miserably at his heels.

"Hi!" shouted the Sergeant, "what do you mean parading the town like a
blamed poultry show?"

"A chap must 'ave a bit o' company when he goes out. _I_ ain't got no dawg
now," replied Chippo pathetically.

"Dawgs is one thing," said the Sergeant, "and a mangy wry-necked rooster
wot's probably missing from some-one's back-yard is another. It ain't

"It's as regimental as a yellow flap-eared mongrel wot's bin enticed away
from its rightful owner," said the insubordinate Chippo. "There ain't
nothink in _King's Regs._ against it."

"P'r'aps there ain't," said Bulter; "but it ain't soldierlike."

"One minit, Sergeant. Wot's our regimental mascot? It's a goat. An' what's
the Dampshires'? A chattering monkey. If monkeys an' goats is soldierlike
so's poultry."

The Sergeant was silenced, and Chippo and his rooster proceeded on their
way, giving a finished exhibition of the goose-step.

Thereafter Chippo and his pet ostentatiously paraded the lines, selecting
the occasions when the Sergeant was starting out for a constitutional.
Though Bulter's feelings were sorely outraged he preserved an air of icy
aloofness, which Jane imitated as long as she was on the lead. This
apparent indifference should have been a warning to the cockerel, but he
did not know Jane's peculiar temperament. The full revelation came one
morning when they met in the lines unattended by their respective masters.
The rooster quickly fell a victim to feminine duplicity, and Jane carried
the mangled bundle of claws and feathers and dropped it at Chippo's feet.

Chippo took the remains to Sergeant Bulter.

"See what your dawg's done," he said with indignation.

"An' a good job too," answered Bulter.

"You 'ear that?" appealed Chippo to another N.C.O. who was standing by. "He
was allus jealous of me 'avin' a pet, so 'e deliberately set 'is dawg on
it, an' now 'e's gloatin'."

"See 'ere, my lad," spluttered Bulter, "you'll be for orderly-room
to-morrow if you ain't careful."

"Very well, Sergeant," said Chippo meekly; "it'll give me a chawnce to make
my complaint to the orficer."

"'Ow do you mean?"

"Why, against you for flat disobedience of Battalion horders. If you 'adn't
let your dawg run about the lines unattended this wouldn't 'ave 'appened."

The Sergeant's face bore the expression of a quack compelled to swallow his
own pills. Chippo continued relentlessly and untruthfully--

"I 'ear she's bit the Colonel's groom an' pinched the joint from the
Warrant Orficers' Mess. She never oughtn't to be at large, she didn't."

Rarely in his career had Bulter shown such visible discomfiture.

"Of course," added Chippo casually, "if Jane was _my_ dawg I'd 'ave no
grounds for complaint."

When your strong man is compelled to submit to the inevitable he usually
does it ungracefully. Bulter took the collar from Jane's neck and pushed
her over with his foot.

"Take the brute," he said, "an' if ever I see 'er round this Mess again
I'll shoot 'er!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fatuous Person._ "ARE YOU A DIVER?"


       *       *       *       *       *

     "Paris, Friday.--The High Court of the Senate resumed in public its
     hearing of the Caillaux trial.... The jury found the prisoner guilty.
     Mr. Justice Darling postponed sentence."--_Scotch Paper._

No other journal appears to have noticed this remarkable extension of the
_Entente Cordiale_.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I have been told, and do not doubt,
    That Devon lanes are dim with trees,
    And shagged with fern, and loved of bees,
  And all with roses pranked about;
  I do believe that other-where
  The woods are green, the meadows fair.

  And woods, I know, have always been
    The haunt of fairies, good or grim;
    There the knight-errant hasted him;
  There _Bottom_ found _King Oberon's_ Queen;
  The Enchanted Castle _always_ stood
  Deep in the shadow of a wood.

  But I know upland spirits too
    Who love the shadeless downs to climb;
    There, in the far-off fabled time,
  Men called them when the moon was new,
  And built them little huts of stone
  With briar and thistle over-grown.

  The trees are few and do not bend
    To make a whispering swaying arch;
    They are the elder and the larch,
  Who have the north-east wind for friend,
  And shield them from his bluff salute
  With elbow kinked and moss-girt root.

  There, when the clear Spring sunset dies
    Like a great pearl dissolved in wine,
    Forgotten stragglers half-divine
  Creep to their ancient sanctuaries
  Where salt-sweet thyme and sorrel-spire
  Feed on the dust of ancient fire.

  And when the light is almost dead,
    Low-swung and loose the brown clouds flow
    In an unhasting happy row
  Out seaward over Beachy Head,
  Where, far below, the faithful sea
  Mutters its wordless liturgy;

  Then Sussex gods of sky and sun,
    Gods never worshipped in a grove,
    Walk on the hills they used to love,
  Where the _Long Man of Wilmington_,
  Warden of their old frontier, stands
  And welcomes them with sceptred hands.


       *       *       *       *       *

Improving upon Nature.

From an hotel advertisement:--

     "Fishing on lake and stream, also 4-1/2 miles Vyrnwy River, recently

     _Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


     _"John Bull" Poster._

This accomplished marksman seems to have missed his man at the first

       *       *       *       *       *



(_Specially contributed by our mendacious Paragraphical Expert after the
best models._)

Wonderful is the lure that Cardinal WOLSEY'S ancient seat has for all
classes of Londoners, especially now when the spires of pink and yellow
blossoms rise amidst the dark foliage of Bushey Park, but it is not
generally known how many celebrities of the day are attracted to Hampton
Court Palace unobserved by anybody but me, who make a habit of noticing
this kind of thing. Leaders in the worlds of politics and art wander on the
closely-shaven lawns or through the stately chambers, where our English
kings made their home and in most cases left their bedsteads behind for
posterity to admire. It is as if some irresistible compulsion drove the
great minds of the present to commune with the mighty shades of the past.
Either that or because the return fare from Waterloo is comparatively

       *       *       *       *       *

Paying my penny to visit the Great Vine the other day, I found myself alone
in the conservatory with none other than the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
himself, who was regarding this magnificent specimen of horticulture with
evident interest through his monocle. After mentioning to him that its
record output was twenty-two hundred clusters, I could not resist the
temptation of asking him whether he thought the manufacture of home-grown
wines would be stimulated by the provisions of the present Budget. Mr.
CHAMBERLAIN, however, returned an evasive reply and went out to join Sir
EDWARD CARSON, who was pacing up and down in front of the Orangery.

       *       *       *       *       *

Other well-known politicians whom I have noticed here lately have been Lord
BEATTY and Lord FISHER strolling arm-in-arm beside the Long Canal, and Mr.
JACK JONES looking contemptuously at the Kynge's Beestes; and the other
day, owing to identical errors in our choice of _routes_, I bumped into Sir
ERIC GEDDES no fewer than five times during one afternoon in the Maze. The
LORD CHANCELLOR is another frequent visitor. For one who has the mitigation
of the harsher features of our marriage laws so much at heart, these
Courts, where "bluff KING HAL" celebrated so many of his cheeriest
weddings, have a special charm. It is true that the eighth Henry was a
little one-sided in his ideas of reform, but that was the fault of his age
rather than himself, and, like the present National Party, he had, as the
LORD CHANCELLOR put it, the great heart of the people behind him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nor is it only statesmen who haunt the great palace. Nowhere else but here,
where JAMES I.'S company of actors, including WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE,
performed, can Mr. HENRY AINLEY obtain the requisite atmosphere which
inspires his swift variety of impersonations, and I am told that his sudden
remark of, "Oh, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth," made to one of
the attendants who had been for many years in the army, was nearly the
cause of a slight fracas. Mr. H. G. WELLS has sometimes been seen staring
open-mouthed at the painting of the Olympian cosmogony which adorns the
ceiling and walls of the Grand Staircase, and in the wych-elm bower Sir J.
M. BARRIE tells me that he often thinks out the titles of his new plays. It
was here, in fact, whilst he was weighing the delicate question, "Why did
Alice-Sit-By-the-Fire?" that the sudden happy answer occurred to him,
"Because Mary Rose."

       *       *       *       *       *

P.S.--I forgot to say that Lady DIANA DUFF-COOPER frequently comes down
here. Or, at any rate, if she doesn't, I shall say she does, because I
always mention her in my paragraphs.


       *       *       *       *       *


  Not for me the profiteer's
        Lucky hauls,
  But a prospect of lean years
        That appals;
  Yet, although I dimly grope
  On an ever downward slope,
  I espy one gleam of hope--

  When the experts prophesy
        Further squalls,
  And my income, never high,
        Falls and falls,
  Then the twenty-guinea suit
  Is to me forbidden fruit,
  But I cordially salute

  Not to mention other woes,
        Other calls,
  Paying tailors through the nose
        Greatly galls;
  So farewell, expensive tweeds,
  Though my manly bosom bleeds,
  For the situation needs

       *       *       *       *       *

     "NURSERY Governess (not over 40) wanted for three children, girl 10
     years, twins (boy 2, girl 8)."--_Times._

Oh, gemini!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mrs. Smythe de Willoughby._ "WAS THE GROCER'S BOY IMPUDENT


       *       *       *       *       *


The study door burst open and one end of Elizabeth--the articulate end--was
jerked into view.

"Wot will you 'ave for lunch?" she demanded breathlessly. "Lamb or 'am?"

Abruptly recalled from the realms of fiction-writing, I (her mistress)
looked up a little dazed. "'Lamb or 'am,'" I repeated dully, "lamorram?
Er--ram, I think, please, Elizabeth."

Having thus disposed of my domestic obligations for the day I returned to
my writing. I was annoyed therefore to see the other end of Elizabeth
travel round the doorway and sidle into the room. Her pretext for
entering--that of dusting the roll-top desk with her apron--was a little
thin, for she has not the slightest objection to dust. I rather think it
cheers her up to see it about the place. Obviously she had come in to make
conversation. I laid down my pen with a sigh.

"I yeerd from my young man this morning," she began. A chill foreboding
swept over me. (I will explain why in a minute.)

"Do you mean the boiler one?" I asked.

"'Im wot belongs to the Amalgamated Serciety of Boilermakers," she
corrected with dignity. "Well, they've moved 'is 'eadquarters from London
to Manchester."

There was a tense silence, broken only by Elizabeth's hard breathing on a
brass paper-weight ere she polished it with her sleeve.

"If 'e goes to Manchester, there I goes," she went on; "I suppose I'd quite
easy get a situation there?"

"Quite easy," I acquiesced in a hollow voice.

She went out leaving me chill and dejected. Not that I thought for one
moment that I was in imminent danger of losing her. I knew full well that
this was but a ruse on the part of the young man to disembarrass himself of
Elizabeth, and, if he had involved the entire Amalgamated Society of
Boilermakers in the plot, that only proved how desperate he was.

I have very earnest reasons for wishing that Elizabeth could have a
"settled" young man. You see, she never retains the same one for many weeks
at a time. It isn't her fault, poor girl. She would be as true as steel if
she had a chance; she would cling to any one of them through thick and
thin, following him to the ends of the earth if necessary.

It is they who are fickle, and the excuses they make to break away from her
are both varied and ingenious. During the War of course they always had the
pretext of being ordered to the Front at a moment's notice, and were not,
it appears, allowed to write home on account of the Censor. Elizabeth used
to blame LLOYD GEORGE for these defects of organisation. And to this day
she is extremely bitter against the Government.

In fact, she is bitter against everyone when her love affairs are not
running smoothly. The entire household suffers in consequence. She is
sullen and obstinate; she is always on the verge of giving notice. And the
way she breaks things in her abstraction is awful. Elizabeth's illusions
and my crockery always get shattered together. My rose-bowl of Venetian
glass got broken when the butcher threw her over for the housemaid
next-door. Half-a-dozen tumblers, a basin and several odd plates came in
two in her hands after the grocer's assistant went away suddenly to join
the silent Navy. And nearly the whole of a dinner service was sacrificed
when LLOYD GEORGE peremptorily ordered her young man in the New Army to go
to Mesopotamia and stay there for at least three years without leave.

You will now understand why I was dejected at the perfidy of the follower
belonging to the Boilermakers' Society. I saw a dreary period of discomfort
ahead of me. And worst of all I was expecting the Boscombes to dinner that
very week. They had not before visited us and Henry was anxious, for
business reasons, to make a good impression on them. I will not elaborate
the case. All I can say is that there is no earthly possibility of making a
good impression on any living thing if Elizabeth is in one of her bad
moods. And it would be no use explaining the situation to Mrs. Boscombe,
because she has no sense of humour; or to Mr. Boscombe, because he likes a
good dinner.

Finally, the Domestic Bureau failed me. Hitherto they had always been able
to supply me with a temporary waitress on the occasion of dinner-parties.
Now it appeared these commodities had become pearls of great price which
could no longer be cast before me and mine (at the modest fee of ten
shillings a night) without at least fourteen days' notice.

The Bureau promised to do its best for me, of course, but reminded me that
women were scarce. I asked, with bitterness, what had become of the surplus
million we heard so much about. They replied with politeness that, judging
from the number of applications received, they must be the million in
search of domestics.

Returning home from the Bureau I found Elizabeth studying a time-table. "I
see it's a hundred and eighty-three miles to Manchester," she commented,
"an' the fare's 15_s._ 5-1/2_d._"

"That's an old time-table you've got," I hastened to remark; "it is now £2
6_s._ 4-1/2_d._--return fare."

"I shan't want no return ticket," said Elizabeth grimly.

Sickening outlook, wasn't it?

       *       *       *       *       *

The day of my dinner-party dawned fair and bright, but Elizabeth was
raging. Things got so bad in fact that about mid-day I decided I must
telephone to the Boscombes and tell them Henry had suddenly been taken ill;
and I was just looking up the doctor's book to find something specially
virulent and infectious for Henry when Elizabeth came in. Amazing to
relate, her face was wreathed in smiles.

"They've sent from the Domestic Boorow," she began.

"What!" I exclaimed, "did they get me a waitress after all?"

She smirked. "They've sent a man this time. A footman 'e was before the
War, but since 'e's been demobbed 'e's been out of a job. That's 'ow it is
'e's takin' temporary work and----"

"He seems to have told you quite a lot about himself already," I

She smirked again. "I 'adn't been talkin' to him ten minutes before 'e
asked me wot was my night out. 'E isn't 'arf a one."

"It seems he isn't," I agreed. And I sent up a silent prayer of
thankfulness to Heaven and the Domestic Bureau. "But what about the
amalgamated boilermaker?"

"Oh, 'im!" She tossed her head. "'E can go to--Manchester."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_ (_tendering half-crown_). "I'M _SO_ SORRY, I HAVEN'T


       *       *       *       *       *

A Legacy of the War.

No one will lightly forget the noble services rendered by the Y.W.C.A. to
our troops and those of our Allies during the War, and many of Mr. Punch's
friends must have given practical expression to their gratitude. But we are
liable to forget that the end of the War has not brought an end either to
the work of the Y.W.C.A. or to the claim which that work has upon our
recognition. There is pressing need of accommodation and protection and
healthy environment for the large army of girls who have been demobilized
and are now engaged in, or seeking for, civilian employment. The funds of
the Y.W.C.A. do not admit of the establishment and maintenance of
sufficient hostels for this good purpose. At the moment a chance is offered
to them of purchasing a large, suitable and perfectly-equipped
house--rented during the War, and after, by the Y.W.C.A.--in a
densely-populated district in South London. The offer holds good for only a
few days, and, if it is not taken, over two hundred girls will be turned
adrift to wander in search of lodgings. The price is thirty thousand
pounds. It is difficult to think of any cause to which money could be more
usefully subscribed. Mr. Punch begs his readers to send to the promoters of
this good work some token of their sympathy and appreciation. Gifts should
be addressed to the Hon. Emily Kinnaird, 4, Duke Street, W.1.

       *       *       *       *       *


     It would be grossly misleading to say that Congress, in its present
     frame of mind, would accept actual responsibility for a country whose
     place on the map of Europe is not even known to the average
     citizen."--_Daily Paper._

Even we ourselves were under the impression
that it was still in Asia.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The Conference of San Remo is virtually over, but the caravanserai of
     peace must make yet another journey before its goal is reached."

     _Irish Paper._

Forthcoming song by Mr. LLOYD GEORGE: "Where my caravanserai has rested."

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  Oh, a ship in the Tropics a-foaming along,
  With every stitch drawing, the Trade blowing strong,
  The white caps around her all breaking in spray,
  For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day.

  (And it's "Haul away, girls, steady an' true,
  Polly an' Dolly an' Sally an' Sue,
  Mothers an' sisters an' sweethearts an' all,
  Haul away, all the way, haul away, haul!")

  She's logging sixteen as she speeds from the South,
  The wind in her royals, a bone in her mouth;
  With a wake like a mill-race she rolls on her way,
  For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day.

  The old man he stood on the poop at high noon;
  He paced fore and aft and he whistled a tune;
  Then put by his sextant and thus he did say,
  "The girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

  "Of cargoes and charters we've had our full share,
  Of grain and of lumber enough and to spare,
  Of nitrates at Taltal and rice for Bombay,
  And the girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

  "She has dipped her yards under, hove-to off the Horn;
  In the fog and the floes she has drifted forlorn;
  Becalmed in the doldrums a week long she lay,
  But the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day!"

  Oh, hear the good Trade-wind a-singing aloud
  His homeward-bound chantey in sheet and in shroud;
  Oh, hear how he whistles in halliard and stay,
  "The girls have got hold of the tow-rope to-day!"

  And it's oh for the chops of the Channel at last,
  The cheer that goes up when the tug-hawser's passed,
  The mate's "That'll do," and a fourteen months' pay,
  For the girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

  (And it's "Haul away, girls, steady an' true,
  Polly an' Dolly an' Sally an' Sue,
  Mothers an' sisters an' sweethearts an' all,
  Haul away, all the way, haul away, haul!")

  C. F. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Political Prodigy.

     "Mr. Runciman is one of the coming men in British politics. As
     statesmen go, he is a young man. He is just under 5."

     _Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

From a recent novel:--

     "... had bought the long-uninhabited farmhouse ... and was converting
     it into a little _ventre-à-terre_ for his widowed mother."

It looks as if the old lady intended to go the pace.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "COOK-GENERAL Wanted; all nights out; piano, well furnished sitting
     room; month's holiday with wages each year; three days off per week;
     washing sent out; wage, one guinea per week."

     _Northumbrian Paper._

With another three days off and the cooking put out as well as the washing,
the Cook-General's Union would, we understand, be almost disposed to
recommend the situation to the notice of their less experienced members.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RECKONING.



     [A Conference of the Allies, to which representatives of Germany have
     been invited, is to be held at Spa, the late G.H.Q. of the German

       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday, April 26th._--Among the many Members of the House who have held
His Majesty's commission there are, no doubt, some rather eccentric
persons, but that hardly justified Mr. PALMER in suggesting that they
should be deprived in debate of the customary prefix "gallant." The SPEAKER
gave no encouragement to the idea, and was still more shocked by Mr.
DEVLIN'S proposal that all these courteous expressions should be dropped,
and that Members should "call each other by own names." It would certainly
add to the pungency but not to the peacefulness of debate if the
Nationalist Leader were allowed to refer to "Sir EDWAR-R-D CAR-R-SON,"
instead of to "the right honourable gentleman the Member for Duncair-r-n."

At Question-time Lord ROBERT CECIL was informed that a report on the state
of Ireland was being prepared and would shortly be circulated. But a
further crop of outrages so moved him that he could not wait for the facts,
and forthwith moved the adjournment. The ensuing debate was not very
helpful. Lord ROBERT demanded the restoration of law and order in tones so
vigorous that an hon. Member called out, "A New Cromwell!" He did not seem
to like the comparison and later on took most un-Cromwellian exception to
the Government's methods of "coercion." Mr. BONAR LAW'S speech could in the
circumstances be little more than an elaboration of "Do not shoot the
pianist; he is doing his best."

[Illustration: "The Hon. Member says I am like OLIVER CROMWELL."--_Lord

_Tuesday, April 27th._--On the report of the Budget resolutions there was,
of course, the usual attempt to get rid of the tea-duty. As Colonel WARD
sarcastically pointed out, opposition to this particular impost has been
for years the "by-election stunt" of every party in turn. To-day the
rejection was moved by the Labour Party, and when the CHANCELLOR OF THE
EXCHEQUER asked if in exchange they were prepared to extend the income-tax
downwards Mr. J. H. THOMAS boldly declared that for his part he was quite
ready. But as it appeared that his idea of the exemption-limit was £325 a
year Mr. CHAMBERLAIN thanked him for nothing.

Among the varied and ingenious arguments adduced by Colonel GUINNESS
against the increased tax on sparkling wines the one that he evidently
thought most likely to soften the heart of the CHANCELLOR was that it would
reduce consumption, since at current prices it would be an offence against
good taste for anyone in this country to be seen drinking champagne. But
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN could not agree. In his view the larger the taxation on the
bottle the greater the patriotism of the consumer.

[Illustration: "Who has a better right [than the Labour Party] to a good
dinner and a good cigar?"--_Mr. JACK JONES._]

In advocating a slight relaxation of the cigar-duty Mr. HURD quoted Mr.
BONAR LAW for the _dictum_ that the excellence of a dinner largely depended
upon the quality of the cigar that followed it, and went on to remark that
he did not on this matter expect the support of the Labour Party. Mr. JACK
JONES stentoriously resented this slur upon their taste. "We like a good
cigar as well as anybody," he shouted, adding somewhat superfluously, "Who
has a better right to a good dinner?" This outburst may have shaken the
CHANCELLOR'S conviction that Havana cigars are indubitably of the nature of

_Wednesday, April 28th._--According to the Duke of RUTLAND, who made an
eloquent plea for the better protection of wild birds, their worst enemy is
the village schoolmaster, whose motto seems to be, "It's a fine day; let us
go out and collect something." I cannot help thinking that his Grace must
have some special dominie in his mind and was arguing from the particular
to the general.

The story of Lady ASTOR'S seat is beginning to resemble a penny novelette.
Evicted by the bold bad Baronet below the Gangway the heroine has been
enabled by the courtesy of one of Nature's noblemen, in the person of Mr.
WILL THORNE, to find a new home in the precincts of the Labour Party, and
seems quite happy again.

Since the American Senate takes so kindly an interest in our affairs as to
pass resolutions in favour of Irish independence, Mr. RONALD MCNEILL
thought it would be only friendly if the House of Commons were to
reciprocate with a motion in support of the Filipinos' claim to
self-determination. Mr. BONAR LAW fought shy of the suggestion and
preferred Sir EDWARD CARSON'S idea that it was better for each country to
leave other countries alone. "I would be very thankful," he added rather
wistfully, "if Ireland would leave us alone." But his appeal fell on deaf
ears, for, at the instance of Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR, the House spent most of
the evening in discussing the threat of the Irish dock-labourers in
Liverpool to paralyse the trade of the port unless the Government released
the hunger-strikers at Wormwood Scrubs.

The rest of the time was spent in getting the House to agree to the
expansion of the Excess Profits Tax. This was largely secured by the
special pleading of Mr. BALDWIN. His argument that to call the tax
"temporary," as his chief did last year, was quite compatible with
maintaining and even increasing it, was more ingenious than convincing, but
his promise that, if the shoe really pinched the small business and the new
business, the CHANCELLOR would do his best to ease it, combined with an
urgent "whip" to secure a big majority for the impugned impost.


_Thursday, April 29th._--Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL gave an account of the
Easter riots in Jerusalem, where Jews and Moslems have been breaking one
another's heads to the glory of God, for all the world like Irishmen in
Belfast. He also promised to give further information as soon as Lord
ALLENBY'S report should be received. Lord ROBERT CECIL, who has lately
developed an unlawyer-like tendency to jump to conclusions ahead of the
facts, made what sounded distinctly like a suggestion that the British
officers on the spot had been remiss in their duty, and thereby earned from
Mr. CHURCHILL a dignified castigation which pleased the House.

Crowned with olive-branches plucked from San Remo the PRIME MINISTER
celebrated one of his now familiar peace-triumphs. Everybody knows the
procedure on these occasions--the crowded House, the cheers raised by the
faithful Coalitionists as the victor is seen making his way to the Table,
and then the speech, so unvarying in its construction that I fancy there
must be a sealed pattern for it in the archives of No. 10, Downing Street.
First comes a recital of the immense difficulties of the problems to be
solved--in this case including a really serious difference of opinion with
our good friends the French; then a little comic relief at the expense of
his arch-critic in the Press, who on this occasion had surpassed himself in
"simian clatter"; next a summary of the wonderful results achieved--chiefly
the establishment of direct relations with the hitherto boycotted
Governments of Russia and Germany; and lastly a declaration that all
differences and difficulties had melted away, and that henceforward the
Allies would be a band of brothers.

Once more Mr. ASQUITH disappointed his more impetuous supporters and
displayed his statesmanship by a speech in which he practically said ditto
to the PRIME MINISTER; the only suspicion of a sting being contained in his
suggestion that the Supreme Council had now outlived its usefulness and
should promptly be replaced by the League of Nations.

Mr. BOTTOMLEY, on the contrary, was all sting and no statesmanship. I
gather that he has been conducting an unofficial conference on his own, and
as the result of his conversations with distinguished but anonymous foreign
statesmen has arrived at quite different conclusions from those of the
PRIME MINISTER. The fact that he was kept waiting on the pier at Boulogne
while the British Delegation went off in a special steamer, on which he was
not invited to embark, may have imparted an extra spice of rancour to his

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Betty (hearing the cuckoo's call the first time)._ "MUMMY,

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Customer._ "I SEE CORONODORAS ARE GOING TO BE FIVE


       *       *       *       *       *


Whenever we spend a week in London we never seem to find time for the
things we really want to do. After dinner, on our last night at home, I say
to Angela, "Let's see--have we any engagements this trip?"

And Angela answers, "Don't you remember? We're dining with the Hewetsons on
Thursday, and on Saturday the Etheridges are taking us to a symphony
concert. Then there's your sister."

"Oh, ring her up, and suggest we come to dinner on Sunday. We don't want to
waste a proper night on Nellie."

"All right. That leaves us four evenings for ourselves. I suppose you want
to see the Quartermasters' Exhibition at Olympia?"

"What's that?"

"I can't think which part of the newspapers you read. Why, they've had
columns and columns about it."

"Ah, that's how I missed it. I only look at the 'late news.' It seems a
waste of time to read the rest."

"Well, it's an exhibition showing the wonderful work done by Quartermasters
in the War. There are Quartermasters checking stores----"

"Are they shown wondering where they ought to stand on a battalion parade?"

"I don't know about that; but we see them indenting for coal----"

"And regretting their inability to issue same?"

"Very likely. Anyhow, everything is arranged practically under the actual
conditions. The exhibition started in an Army hut in St. James's Park, but
proved such a success it had to be moved to Olympia. Why, Mr. CHURCHILL was
there one day this week."

"Did he make a speech?"

"He either made a speech or left by a side-door. I can't remember now, but
I know he was there."

"Why can't we go in the afternoon?"

"They say it's better at night, because the whole place is lit up by
hurricane lanterns and looks like fairyland."

"Oh, very well. That leaves us three evenings. We----"

"There's this French season at the Central. The papers say that no one who
appreciates good acting can afford to miss that. It's packed, I believe....
Besides, one finds one's French comes back very easily. By the end of the
evening I can generally follow most of what they say."

"H'm. We shan't be able to see ROBEY and BERRY and GRAVES and LESLIE HENSON
and DELYSIA in two nights."

"No-o.... Besides, everybody says one ought to see this Japanese man in
_Romeo and Juliet_. I hear the way he swarms up the creeper in the balcony
scene is quite too wonderful. They made him do it four times the first

Thus we are left with six evenings of duty and one of enjoyment, unless
Angela happens to hear that there is a 'cellist from Spitzbergen or a
Bolshevik soprano whom it is social death not to be able to discuss. In
that case we get no fun at all.

The Hewetsons, who live in London and can enjoy all these opportunities for
improvement and still have time for Mr. ROBEY and the rest, think me a
terrible Philistine. But, as I pointed out to Hewetson, he suffers just as
acutely when he has a holiday and goes to Paris. Hewetson holds that there
is only one theatre in Paris, the Variétés. But by the time he has
accompanied Mrs. H. to the Français, the Opéra, the Opéra Comique and the
Odéon, to say nothing of the Théâtre des Arts, he is due back at the
office. When I explained this to him, his whole attitude changed at once,
and he implored me to accept his subscription for shares in my company. But
his heart-rending account of his last visit to Paris, before the War, when
he and Mrs. H. spent two days hunting round the Louvre (Musée) under the
impression that the RODINS were kept there, suggested a wider scope for my
schemes, and it seemed to me that the only fair way of acknowledging this
was to make Hewetson a director.

And now I must tell you about my company, for, although we are in danger of
becoming over-capitalised, there are still one or two shares we are willing
to sacrifice, practically at par. The company is known as High-brows, Ltd.,
and is "designed to meet the requirements" of the countless thousands who
detect a familiar note in the conversation with Angela just recorded. The
idea is simple and, like all simple ideas, great. We buy a house in each of
the chief capitals of the civilised world, and to this house the visitor
hurries as soon as he has left his luggage at the hotel. Each house will be
arranged in the same manner, so that no knowledge of the language of the
country is required to enable the stranger to find his way about.

The ground floor will consist of one large hall or room, combining the
functions of waiting-room and Fine Art Gallery. Reproductions of the
principal pictures and statues of the national museums will occupy two
walls and the centre carpet, the remaining walls being hung with the more
astonishing examples of contemporary painters. (We are not anticipating any
inquiries for contemporary sculpture). A minimum of ten minutes is allowed
for this room. When your turn arrives you mount to the first floor, which
you find divided into two parts. In each of these a cinematograph is
installed, one "featuring" prominent artists in the standard dramas of the
particular country--works like _Le Cid_, _Macbeth_, _Faust_, or _Peer
Gynt_; while the other runs through the more discussed scenes of any
current entertainment which conceivably one "ought to see."

The first of these programmes is designed primarily for foreigners, and is
meant to save them the fatigue of a visit to national or subsidised
theatres, where these exist. The second is intended to meet the
requirements of natives. Each bill will last an hour, and, though clients
are entitled to see both performances, full-time attendance at either
carries with it the right to proceed to the next floor. Here again are two
more rooms. In the first of these a gramophone renders in turn the leading
vocalists and instrumentalists (serious) of the country. (Say
half-an-hour.) So far you will have been put to a minimum expenditure of
one hour and forty minutes, and, as only five minutes is allowed for the
last room, the time total cannot be considered excessive.

In this last room is nothing but a row of desks. You wait your turn before
one of these; then you hand in your name and receive a pass. On this is
printed a certificate that you, the above-mentioned, are acquainted with
the masterpieces tabulated overleaf. Thus in less than two hours (inclusive
of possible delay in the waiting-room) you are free to spend your holiday
exactly as you choose. It is hoped that in time these certificates may come
to be accepted as carrying complete immunity, for at least a month, from
every form of intellectual treat.

Hewetson wanted the certificates to be issued in the waiting-room. He said
it would save time. But I decided that, if the prestige of the institutions
and their certificates is to be kept up, unscrupulous people must have no
chance of obtaining a pass and slipping away without going up-stairs.
Indeed, I am adding an elaborate system of checks, by which it will become
impossible to reach the Discharge Bureau without spending the requisite
time in each room. The first room is the danger. In the crush people might
escape to the cinemas before their ten minutes is up. My idea is to hand to
each entrant a lump of High-brow stickjaw, guaranteed not to dissolve in
less than the stipulated period, and to station a lynx-eyed dentist at the
foot of the stairs....

Hewetson in his simple-minded way also wanted the company to be called the
Holiday-makers' Enjoyment League, or the Society of Art-Dodgers, or some
such name. He even thought the houses should be painted in bright
attractive colours. I pointed out to him that they should be uninviting and
dull in appearance, and that a uniform sobriety, a suggestion of yearning
and uplift, in every feature of the company's appeal would not only allow
thousands of hypocrites, like Angela, to seek relief at our doors, but
would actually confer on people like Hewetson and me a stamp of that same
intellectual passion from whose manifestations we are engaged in escaping.

       *       *       *       *       *


                 CUP FINALS.

     Admission: 1s.; Grand Stand, 1s. extra.

              (Including Tax).

     All Seats Free.          No Collection.

     Please bring your Bible for reference."

     _Welsh Paper._

The Welsh may not, like the English, take their pleasures sadly, but are
evidently expected to take them seriously.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "PARTNERSHIP.--Ex-Regular officer, owing hotel at fashionable spa,
     desires to meet lady or gentleman, with capital."--_Daily Paper._

Before replying we should like to know the amount of the bill he owes.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a short story:--

     "Unconscious of the waiter at her elbow with pad and pencil poised for
     her order, unconscious also of her husband, now her happy tête-à-tête,
     she spoke aloud: 'One never knows!'"--_Monthly Magazine._

How they must have enjoyed their cosy _vis-à-vis_.

       *       *       *       *       *



  I would not be the tomtit's mate,
  For, even if I were not late,
  It seems as though he'd gird at me,
  Saying, "Quick, quick," eternally.

  The chaffinch you would never think
  Was much addicted to strong drink,
  Yet all the Spring you'll hear him say, "Oh,
  There's cheaper beer in County Mayo."

  The jay, whatever he is after,
  Makes the woods ring with ribald laughter;
  "Hee, hee, ha, ha," he says, and then
  "Ha, ha, hee, hee, ha, ha," again.

  The plover over fields brown red
  Weeps for her children who are dead;
  Still day and night she cries to you,
  "_Mes pauvres petits! La grande charrue!_"

  So silently the screech-owl flies
  You sometimes scarce believe your eyes,
  Until you start to hear him shout
  To timid mice, "Come _out_! Come _out_!"

  Are baby martins in the nest
  With extra-loving parents blest?
  That they should murmur sleepily,
  "Oh cuddle me, oh cuddle me."

  When first the chiff-chaff comes your way
  You're glad, it means Spring's come to stay;
  But soon you wish he'd change his song
  With his "Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff" all day long.

  Those white-throats in the raspberry canes!
  They never take the slightest pains
  To hide from you how much they steal,
  But say, "Thief, thief," throughout their meal.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

     "Your £20 at ----'s buys £25 worth elsewhere."--_Advt. in Provincial

       *       *       *       *       *

A Humane Edict.

     "Notice is hereby given that the washing of motor cars and vehicles,
     and the washing of widows, etc., by hose has been prohibited."

     _Tasmanian Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Accountant wanted for Motor Companies in West End; must have
     experience in Bookkeeping."--_Weekly Paper._

Not perhaps an unreasonable stipulation in the circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

From "Books Wanted":--

     "Orlando Furioso, 4 vols. 1773. Fine building."--_Publisher's

We dare say it is. But what we are looking out for in this connection is
ADDISON'S works.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A USE FOR MODERN ART.]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


(_A Classical Revel, after the Press accounts of last week's Italian

Ancient history became luminous at Covent Garden last week, when the great
ghosts of the past, from ROMULUS to NERO and from EGERIA to AGRIPPINA, were
seen one-stepping gaily in _toga_ and _stola_ at the great Roman ball. It
was the night, not of the Futurists, but the Præteritists, and right
royally did they avail themselves of their chance.

Perhaps the most arresting of all the costumes were those worn by Lord
garbed in a magnificent _toga purpurea_, elaborately adjusted so as to show
the laticlave on his _tunica_. Over this was a sumptuous _lacerna_ of
silver tissue fastened over the right shoulder with a diamond _fibula_. On
his head he wore a _petasus_ of hyacinthine hue, out of which sprang three
peacock's feathers. He was shod with curule shoes, or _mullei_, fastened
with four crimson thongs. Mr. LANSBURY'S costume was simpler but not less
striking, consisting of scarlet _braccæ_ or barbarian pantaloons, a
jade-green _synthesis_, buckskin _soleæ_ and an accordion-pleated _pileus_.
Lord HOWARD DE WALDEN as MÆCENAS attracted general attention by the lustre
of his amethystine _tunica_ and the crimson heels of his _crepidæ_, which
may not have been archæologically correct, but were certainly a happy
thought. Mr. BERNARD SHAW, who personated CATO of Utica, wore hygienic
sandals, a white _toga_ and a brown felt Jaeger _pileus_. Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE
as MARCELLUS, the best boy of ancient Rome, formed an agreeable contrast to
the numerous Messalinas, Poppæas and Cleopatras who lent a regrettably
Pagan element to the assembly. But Lady ASTOR as CORNELIA, mother of the
GRACCHI, was an austere and dignified figure in her panniered Botticelli
_stola_, with pearl-embroidered red wings, and a _flabellum_ (or fan) of
albatross feathers with gold bells attached. The grandeur that was Rome,
again, was revived in Mr. JOHN, who assumed the _rôle_ of his namesake,
AUGUSTUS, and in Mr. BOTTOMLEY, who as HORATIUS FLACCUS imparted a Sabine
simplicity to the scene.

It is a pity that a good many of the guests had indolently taken advantage
of the fact that ancient Roman dress was not obligatory, and yet it must be
admitted that some of them looked the Roman part to perfection. The
unadorned rigours of evening dress only threw into greater relief the truly
Cæsarian lineaments of Lord RIDDELL, the stoical independence of Mr.
CHARLES TREVELYAN and the aquiline dignity of Mr. TICH (Parvus).

It may be added that the use of Latin was not compulsory, but that one of
the guests, who appeared as Phuphluns, the Etrurian Bacchus, and partook
freely of the excellent neo-Falernian supplied by the firm of LEONES,
expressed the pious hope that he would not suffer too much from _calida
æra_ on the morrow.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mr. Pim Passes By."

Our Mr. A. A. M.'s play is now comfortably settled in its new home (No. 3)
at The Playhouse. A correspondent informs Mr. Punch that since the opening
night Mr. DION BOUCICAULT'S popular part has been developed to the slight
disturbance of the balance of things; not so much by new dialogue as by
deliberate iteration and portentous pauses. That on his first entrance he
now studies a photograph with his nose close up to the glass, forgetting
that, if he is as short-sighted as all that, the protracted gaze which he
had previously directed upon the ceiling must have been fruitless. That
Miss IRENE VANBRUGH has dispensed with whatever serious element there was
in her part and relies for her brilliant effects almost completely on its
irresponsible frivolity. That Mr. BEN WEBSTER has come on remarkably; and
that the part of the flapper is now played according to nature by the right

Mr. Punch's advice to any who have hitherto passed by is to go in and see
_Mr. Pim_ doing it.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Now one just hates to drag in personal experiences, because it looks
     as if one were trying to pose as a nero, which thing I hate."

     _Illustrated Paper._

We heartily share the writer's dislike of the character.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Works Manager_ (_to applicant for post as night-watchman_).


       *       *       *       *       *


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

Few will deny that, in writing _The Life of Lord Kitchener_ (MACMILLAN) so
soon after the death of the great Field-Marshal, Sir GEORGE ARTHUR has at
least displayed the courage of his affection, since to publish such a work
in a time of controversy like the present is inevitably to trail a coat of
many colours, each a challenge to some particular prejudice. If, however,
one can avoid any such attitude of _parti pris_ and regard these three
dignified volumes simply as the record of a great man by one who best knew
and admired him, they will naturally be found of compelling interest. The
three main chapters, so to say, of the story, Africa, India and Whitehall,
will each call up vivid associations for the reader; each has been told
carefully, with just sufficient detail. Perhaps circumstances made it
unavoidable that Sir GEORGE ARTHUR should, if anything, rather overdo the
discretion that is the better part of biography; certainly in the result
one gets what might be called a close rather than an intimate study of a
figure that in life was already almost legendary. If any man of our time
was fittingly named great this was he--alike in his single-minded
patriotism, his success and that touch of austerity which no anecdotes of
exceptions can wholly disprove. In surveying his career of merited triumphs
one remarks how often it was given to him--as at Omdurman and Pretoria--to
redeem early disaster, and one feels again the pity of it that he might not
live to see his noblest task accomplished at Versailles. No doubt the last
word upon KITCHENER OF KHARTUM cannot be written yet awhile; in the
meantime here is a book that will have its value as history hereafter, and
is to-day a grateful tribute to one who nobly deserved gratitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

Personally speaking, I could find it in me to wish that Mr. MAURICE HEWLETT
would consult a good man about the Saga habit, which appears to be growing
upon him, to the loss (or so I think) of all those who were lovers of his
more human and companionable fiction. But I repeat that this is no more
than individual prejudice, based on the fact that these Norse chronicles
(of unpronounceable people in prehistoric times) leave me singularly cold.
This apart, however, _The Light Heart_ (CHAPMAN AND HALL) may be admitted
an excellent sample of its kind. It is all about the friendship of
_Thorgar_ and _Thormod_, with the former's untimely death, and the
punctilious attempts of the latter to fulfil his social obligation in the
matter of exterminating the slayers of his friend; also, as second theme,
the love of _Thormod_ for _King Olaf_, and the ending of both of them--and
of the tale also--in the heroic battle of Sticklestead. One way and
another, indeed, you seldom saw a short book that contained more bloodshed,
or in which love-making (oh, Mr. HEWLETT!) played a smaller part. There was
a "slip of a girl" in the early chapter of whom I had hopes, but sterner
business caused her to be too soon eliminated. Skill and learning _The
Light Heart_ has in plenty, and an engaging suggestion of the early
artistic temperament in the character of _Thormod_, fighter and song-maker.
But I fall back on my old complaint of being left cold; and that I should
suffer that way from the work of Mr. HEWLETT gives you the measure of our

       *       *       *       *       *

In his last grim and terrible work, _Realities of War_ (HEINEMANN), Sir
PHILIP GIBBS has fairly flung aside the restraint, enforced or
self-imposed, that marked his despatches from the fighting fronts, to
present war, the horrible, senseless nightmare, as it really appeared to
him. His work as a correspondent emphasised for him the accumulated
miseries of thousands rather than any individual's share, and his point of
view is as remorselessly gloomy as can be imagined. He is detailed in
disgust; he is passionate in pessimism. He presents not only the soldier's
distaste for trenches and machine guns, and his desire for the things of
familiar life, but also, with surprising vehemence, his hatred of generals
who give blundering orders from comfortable billets in the rear, or of
munitioners in England who keep optimistic in spite of bad news from the
Front. He does not pretend to be quite fair in his criticisms, for
obviously the higher command had to keep out of the firing-line and
somebody had to work--and hard too--to supply the torrent of munitions
demanded. Sir PHILIP admits all that, but in a kind of agony calls on God
and man to realise the meaningless horror of it all and forbid, at any
price, the possibility of its recurrence. If sometimes unjust and nearly
always tragical, the book none the less is free from anything like

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. WARD MUIR writes with one eye on the evening papers, and the very title
(not to mention the wrapper) of _Adventures in Marriage_ (SIMPKIN) lures us
without any sense of difficult transition from the news of the day to the
realms of romance. Fifteen stories are contained in this book, of rather
unequal length and merit, nearly all of them dealing with a tense situation
between husband and wife, several of them calculated to lift the hair, and
one or two sufficiently ingenious in mechanism, I should think, to raise a
curtain. The adventures are not all unhappy, and the author would seem on
the whole to balance the scales fairly evenly between those who desire to
reform the Divorce Law and those who would rather reform the world. With
the exception of the first the tales are all effectively told and, if the
machinery is fairly obvious, it does not click too much. The last on the
list is much lengthier than all the others, belonging to the classic
magazine school, which ransacks the bowels of the earth for a new and
terrible setting. Here the heroine, a beautiful Chinese girl, is discovered
by the hero, a missionary, in the cinnabar caverns of Hang Yiu, where the
workers have never seen the light of day, are mostly blind and spend the
intervals of labour in opium sleep. I like this yarn and recommend it to
the attention of anybody who feels that marital squabbles are beginning to

       *       *       *       *       *

An excellent purpose will have been served by _German Spies at Bay_
(HUTCHINSON) if it is carefully digested by those scaremongers who during
the War insisted that spies were as plentiful as sparrows in Great Britain.
Mr. FELSTEAD tells us the truth, and, though it may offer too little of
sensationalism for some tastes, it is very comforting to read. The fact is
that the spies of the enemy were pounced upon so promptly and had such a
harrowing time that both their quantity and quality gradually sank to
something very like zero. It is no exaggeration to say that most of the
miserable creatures who came spying to this country never had a dog's
chance from the word "Go." One cannot waste one's sympathy upon those who
for mercenary motives consented to be spies, but I am glad that Mr.
FELSTEAD pleads on behalf of such men as CARL LODY. "Some day," he writes,
"when the nations of the world grow more sensible, there will be two
methods of treating spies. Those who can prove patriotism as the inspiring
motive will be dealt with as prisoners of war; the hirelings will be
condemned to the death they richly deserve." The rules, as they stand,
decreed that LODY had to be shot, but, if he could have received the
treatment which brave men have a right to demand all the world over, I do
not believe that even the most rabid Germanophobe would in his heart have
been sorry.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Mountain Memories_ (CASSELL) must, if honestly named, concern itself to a
certain extent with mountains, but even those of us who have never felt the
smallest wish to climb can read it with great pleasure. For although Sir
MARTIN CONWAY does mention some of his mountaineering feats this book is
concerned primarily with the spirit rather than with the body. "A
Pilgrimage of Romance" is its sub-title, and, though there can't be many
Pilgrims who have done better climbing, I doubt if any more difficult feat
stands to his credit than this of putting these impressions of the quest of
beauty so clearly and delicately before us. The least deviation from the
path of modesty would have led him into trouble, but he never makes it.
"Reader," he writes, "if you and I are to be real comrades we must share
the same adventures of fancy and of soul.... My fairies must be thy fairies
and my gods thy gods. Hand-in-hand we must thrill with a single
rapture--'_le coeur en fleur et l'âme en flamme_.'" For myself I am well
content (whether he addresses me in the second person singular or plural,
or both--as here) to have vicariously achieved such heights in the person
of so admirable an agent.

       *       *       *       *       *


     [It is suggested that those who occupy houses containing more
     accommodation than they need should be compelled to allow their
     superfluous rooms to be occupied by less fortunate people.]


       *       *       *       *       *


     'The Trial Scene' from 'Julius Cæsar,' as given at the Coliseum this
     week, struck me as somewhat dull, or should we say out of place?
     Detached from the body of the play, the scene must have perplexed some
     of the audience unfamiliar with the written word."

     _"The Rambler" in "The Daily Mirror."_

Possibly he would have preferred the "Tent Scene" from _The Merchant of

       *       *       *       *       *

     "WILD ANIMALS.--I have been told that when men are attacked and eaten
     by wild animals there is no sensation of pain. Can anyone who has had
     experience confirm this?"--_Weekly Paper._

Referred to Sir A. CONAN DOYLE.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-05" ***

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