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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-12
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, 1920-05-12" ***

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

VOL. 158, MAY 12, 1920***


PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 158

MAY 12th, 1920



CHARIVARIA.

We are pleased to note that the KING'S yacht _Britannia_ is about
again after being laid up since August, 1914.

       ***

Smoking and chatting periods have been introduced in some
Massachusetts factories. Extremists in this country complain that,
while this system may be all right, there is just the danger that
working periods might also be introduced.

       ***

We are pleased to report that the eclipse of the moon on May 3rd
passed off without any serious hitch. This speaks well for the police
arrangements.

       ***

"Audiences at the music-halls," writes an actor to the Press, "are
more difficult to move on Saturdays than on other days." This is not
our experience. On a Saturday we have often withdrawn without any
pressure after the first turn or two.

       ***

Sir L. WORTHINGTON EVANS, says a contemporary, has been asked to
investigate the mutton glut. What is wanted, we understand, is more
glutton and less mutt.

       ***

Mme. LANDRU, the wife of the Parisian "Bluebeard," has been granted a
divorce. We gather that there is something or other about her husband
which made their tastes incompatible.

       ***

It appears that Mr. JERRY MCVEAGH is of the opinion that the Home Rule
Bill is quite all right except where it applies to Ireland.

       ***

A visit to the Royal Academy this year again encourages us to believe
that, though we may be a bad nation, we are not so bad as we are
painted.

       ***

According to a morning paper a commercial traveller who became
violently ill in the Strand was found to have a small feather stuck
in the lower part of the throat. If people will eat fresh eggs in
restaurants they must be prepared to put up with the consequences.

       ***

The report that no inconvenience was experienced by any of the
passengers in the South London train which collided with a stationary
goods-engine now turns out to be incorrect. It transpires that a
flapper complains that she dropped two stitches in her jumper as a
result of the shock.

       ***

A water-spaniel was responsible last week for the overturning of a
motor-car driven by a Superintendent of the Police near Norton Village
in Hertfordshire. We understand that the dog has had his licence
endorsed for reckless walking.

       ***

According to a Manchester paper a new tram, while being tested, jumped
the lines and collided with a lamp-post. It is hoped that, when it
grows more accustomed to street noises, it will get over this tendency
to nervous excitement.

       ***

A serious set-back to journalism is reported from South Africa. It
appears that the Army aviator who flew from England to his home at
Johannesburg, after an absence of four and a half years, deliberately
arranged to see his parents before being interviewed by reporters.

       ***

In a London Police Court the other day a defendant stated that he
was so ashamed of his crime that he purchased a revolver with the
intention of shooting himself. On second thoughts he let himself off
with a caution.

       ***

Apparently the clothing of the Royal Air Force is not yet complete.
Large headings announcing an R.A.F. Divorce Suit appeared in several
papers recently, although its design and colouring were not mentioned.

       ***

Builders have been notified that the prices of wall-paper are to be
raised forty to fifty per cent. In view of the vital part played
by the wall-paper in the construction of the modern house, the
announcement has caused widespread consternation among building
contractors.

       ***

An American contemporary inquires why Germany cannot settle down. A
greater difficulty appears to be her inability to settle up.

       ***

A shop at Twickenham bears the notice, "Shaving while you wait."
This obviates the inconvenience of leaving one's chin at the barber's
overnight.

       ***

"Life and property," writes a correspondent, "are as safe in Hungary
to-day as they are in England." It should be borne in mind that there
is usually a motive underlying these alarmist reports.

       ***

"It is ten days," writes a naturalist, "since I heard the unmistakable
'Cuck, cuck, cuck' of the newly-arrived cuckoo at Hampstead." Not
to be confused with the "Cook, cook, cook!" of the newly-married
housewife at Tooting.

       ***

A weekly paper has an article entitled "The Lost Haggis." We always
have our initials put on a haggis with marking ink before despatching
it to be tailor-pressed.

       ***

At the annual meeting of the National Federation of Fish-fryers the
President asked whether it was not possible to make fried fish shops
more attractive. It appears that no serious attempt has yet been made
to discover a fish that gives off an aroma of violets when fried.

       ***

The Directors of the Underground offer a prize of twenty pounds to
their most polite employee. We have always felt that the conductor who
pushes you off a crowded train might at least raise his hat to you as
he moves out of the station.

       ***

After considering the Budget very carefully some people are veering
round to the theory that we didn't win the War, but just bought it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHAT'S 'IS BUSINESS?"

"'E'S A TAXIDERMIST."

"OH, IS 'E? WELL, 'E SEEMS TO 'AVE DONE BETTER OUT OF IT THAN I
'AVE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SCARECROW PROFESSION.

"WANTED, Youth of sixteen for one of the healthiest jobs in the world,
most of the time spent basking in the sun, listening to skylarks and
throstles; wages 35s. guaranteed to smart youth. Lots of weaklings
have been set on their feet and prepared to face the world at this
situation."--_Provincial Paper._


TO A BRICKLAYER IN REPOSE.

  Rest from your work, awhile, my son,
    And let a mug of beer replace
  The moisture--sign of duty done--
    That oozes from your honest face;
          Your tale of bricks,
  A long hour's task, already totals 6.

  Our goose that lays the bars of gold
    Must not incur too big a strain;
  Nor need you, as I think, be told
    To keep a check on hand and brain,
          Lest you exceed
  Your Union's limit in respect of speed.

  For homes a homeless people cries,
    But you've a principle at stake;
  Though fellow-workers, lodged in styes,
    Appeal to you for Labour's sake
          To fill their lack,
  Shall true bricklayers waive their Right to Slack?

  Never! You'll lay what bricks you choose,
    And let the others waste their breath,
  These myriads, ranged in weary queues,
    Who desperately quote _Macbeth_:--
          "Lay on, Macduff,
  And damned be he that first cries 'Hold, enough'!"

  Your high profession stands apart;
    By years of toil you've learned the trick
  (Like PHEIDIAS with his plastic art)
    Of slapping mortar on a brick;
          Touched too the summit
  Of science with your lore of line and plummet.

  And none may join your sacred Guild,
    Save only graduates (so to speak),
  Experts with hod and trowel, skilled
    In the finesse of pure technique:
          And that is why
  No rude untutored soldier need apply.

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *


KING'S REGULATIONS, PARA. 1696.

I have been in the Army for over five years; I have wallowed in
Flanders mud; I have killed thousands of Huns with my own hand; I have
seen my friends resume the habiliment of gentlemen and retire to a
life of luxury and ease; and yet I am still in the Army.

I am informed that I am indispensable and that, although I shall be
allowed to go in due course, the fate of the nation depends on my
sticking to my job for a short time more. It would be against the best
interests of discipline for me to tell you what my job is.

Last week I yearned for a civilian life and decided that not only
would I leave the Army but immediately and in good style.

I laid my plans accordingly and proceeded to Mr. Nathan's. There for
the expenditure of a few shillings I purchased the necessary material
for my guile.

I retired to my office, that is the desk that I sit at in a room with
two other officers, and I armed myself with a file which would act as
a passport to the Assistant of a Great Man, who in turn is Assistant
to a Very Great Man. They all reside at the War Office. I went there
and was conducted to the Assistant of the Great Man. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

I found him, after the manner of Assistants, working hard. He did
not look up, so I laid my file before him. It was entitled
"Demobilization, letters concerning," and this was followed by a
long number divided up by several strokes. Within the file were some
letters that had nothing to do with my plan and still less to do with
demobilization, but I hoped that the Assistant of the Great Man might
not delve too deeply into their mysteries.

My hope was justified. "A personal application?" he asked as he
glanced at the reference number.

"Undoubtedly, Sir," I replied, and something in the soldierly timbre
of my voice arrested his attention.

Carefully replacing his teacup in its saucer he raised his eyes
towards me. As he did so he started as though he had received a shock;
a look of perturbation came over his features; his cheeks assumed
an ashy tint and for a moment my fate trembled in the balance.
But gradually I could see his years of training were reasserting
themselves; the moral support of the O.B.E. on his breast was
restoring his courage; he muttered to himself, and I caught the words
"Superior Authority."

Still muttering he rose and retired into the next room. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

In less than a minute he reappeared and beckoned me to follow him.
I then knew that I should soon be in the presence of the Great Man
himself.

I stood in front of an oak desk and noticed the keen but suppressed
energy of the wall-paper, the tense atmosphere of war vibrating
through the room, the solid strength of England incarnate behind the
oak desk.

The Great Man spoke. His opening words showed that his interest was
centred rather in me personally than in the file that lay before him.
He spoke again, rose from his seat and disappeared. And as he went
I caught the words, "Superior Authority." In less than a minute he
returned and beckoned me to follow him. I then knew that I should
soon be in the presence of the Very Great Man himself. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

I stood in front of a mahogany desk and noticed the keener but more
suppressed energy of the wall-paper, the tenser atmosphere of war
vibrating through the room, the solid strength of the Empire incarnate
behind the mahogany desk.

The Very Great Man spoke. His opening remarks showed that his interest
was centred in me personally. He spoke again, and these are his exact
words: "Mr. Jones," he said, "I perceive that you are a student
of King's Regulations, and that you conform your actions to those
estimable rules. You will be demobilised forthwith, and in view of
your gallant service I have pleasure in awarding you a bonus of two
hundred pounds in addition to your gratuity; but please understand
that this exceptional remuneration is given on the condition that you
are out of uniform within two hours."

With my feet turned out at an angle of about forty-five degrees, my
knees straight, my body erect and carried evenly over the thighs,
I saluted, about turned and marched to the door. Everything had
proceeded according to plan.

As I reached the door the Very Great Man spoke to the Great Man. "You
will draft an Army Order at once," he said, "in these words: King's
Regulations. Amendment. Para. 1696 will be amended, and the following
words deleted:--'Whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.'"

I am still in the Army. The truth of the matter is that what I have
described did not really happen. My nerve failed me at the door of
Mr. Nathan's. But I believe that whiskers, detachable, red, can be
obtained from Mr. Nathan for a few shillings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Motto for the Anti-British _Écho de Paris_: "_Ludum insolentem ludere
PERTINAX._"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXPERT OPINION.

FIRST BRICKLAYER (_pausing so as not to exceed his Union's speed
limit_). "BOUGHT ANY OF THESE 'OUSING BONDS, MATE?"

SECOND BRICKLAYER (_ditto_). "NOT ME; THEY'LL NEVER GET NO 'OUSES
BUILT, NOT IF THINGS GO ON THE WAY THEY'RE GOING."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Incoming Batsman_ (_to Deep Field_). "ER--AM I GOING
RIGHT FOR THE WICKET, PLEASE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

DENMARK TO HAVE A MANDATE FOR IRELAND.

SENSATION IN POLITICAL CIRCLES.

Dashing round to Downing Street on our motor-scooter we were just
in time to catch Sir PHILIP KERR by one of his coat-tails as he
was disappearing into the door of No. 10 and to ask him whether the
strange rumour as to the PRIME MINISTER'S latest project was true.

"Perfectly," replied the genial Secretary, gently disengaging us. "Mr.
LLOYD GEORGE has been greatly struck by Mr. JACK JONES'S comparison of
Lord ROBERT CECIL to OLIVER CROMWELL, and has been studying the whole
Irish Question anew from an historical standpoint. He has decided that
the mandate for Ireland ought never to have been undertaken for the
Papal See by HENRY II. STRONGBOW----"

"Let's see, wasn't he a Marathon runner?" we asked.

"You are thinking of LONGBOAT," he replied. "The Earl of PEMBROKE was
invited to enter Ireland by DESMOND MACMOROGH, and between you and
me and the lamp-post DESMOND was a bad hat. Look at the way he stole
DEVORGHAL, the wife of TIGHEIRANACH O'ROURKE."

"Quite, quite," we replied. As a matter of fact, if he had mentioned
"The Silent Wife" we should have felt a bit more at home with the
situation.

"Now take the Danes," said Sir PHILIP. "Do you ever hear an Irishman
complain of the injustice done to Ireland by the Danes? After that
little scrap at Clontarf they accepted the Danish invasion quite
naturally. Anyhow, the Danes got there first, and the PRIME MINISTER'S
view is 'first come first served.'"

"But will Denmark undertake the mandate?" we asked doubtfully.

"Why not? They have Iceland already, and there is only one letter
different."

Scooting thoughtfully away, we went to visit Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR,
feeling sure he would have some light to throw on the situation. We
found him overjoyed with the proposal.

"Ireland and Denmark are simply made for each other," he pointed out;
"both are butter-producing countries and, welded together, they will
form one homogeneous and indissoluble pat. Peace will reign in Ireland
from marge to marge."

Mr. DEVLIN was less optimistic. The rule of Dublin Castle under OLAF
TRYGVESSON was, he declared, not a whit better than the rule of
Dublin Castle to-day. It was true that TURGES the Dane was King of
All Ireland in 815, but it was not until that chieftain had been
very rightly and carefully killed by MELACHLIN that the Golden Age
of Ireland began. He was doubtful whether Mr. EDMUND DE VALERA would
consent to be a toparch under Danish suzerainty. As for himself, he
held by the Home Rule Bill of 1914 or, failing that, BRIAN BORU.

When we asked Sir EDWARD CARSON how he viewed the prospect of becoming
a Scandinavian jarl, he adopted a morose expression reminding us not a
little of the "moody Dane."

"If the PRIME MINISTER'S proposal becomes law," he said firmly, "I
shall have no alternative but to hand over Ulster to Holland."

We scooted slowly back to the office, forced to the conclusion that
the Irish Question is not settled even yet.

       *       *       *       *       *

GENIUS AT PLAY.

  Shall I ever see again
  In the human head a brain
  Like the article that fills
  That interior of Bill's?

  Never a day can pass but he
  Makes some great discovery;
  His inventions are so many
  That you cannot think of any
  Realm of science, wit or skill
  That is not enriched by Bill.

  To relieve the awful strain
  Of possessing such a brain
  William always used to play
  Eighteen holes each Saturday.
  But he scarce could see at all,
  And he often lost his ball,
  Plus his temper and his pelf,
  So he made a ball himself,
  Which, if it should chance to roam
  Out of sight, played "Home, Sweet Home"
  On a small euphonium he
  Had inserted in its tummy.

  Next he wrought with cunning hand
  Round its waist an endless band,
  An ingenious affair
  Such as tanks delight to wear;
  And, inside, a little motor
  Started every time you smote or
  Even when you topped your shot;
  And, once started, it would not
  Stop, for if it came within
  Half a furlong of the pin,
  Then it was designed to roll
  Straight and true towards the hole.
  This is scarcely strange, because
  It was bound by Nature's laws,
  And a magnet was the force
  (Hidden 'neath its skin, of course)
  Which, thought he, would make it feel
  Drawn towards a pin of steel.

  When he practised first with it
  William almost had a fit,
  For the ball with sudden whim
  Started madly chasing _him_!
  "That's a game that I'll soon settle,"
  William said; "my clubs are metal;
  Spoons and other clubs of wood
  Will be every bit as good."

  Then he found to his dismay
  Every time he tried to play
  That the ball with sundry hoots
  Chased the hob-nails in his boots.
  Finally he had to use
  On his feet a pair of shoes
  Of a most peculiar shape
  Made of insulating tape.

  So the final test arrives
  When once more he tees and drives.
  Joy! As soon as he has hit he
  Sees it toddling down the pretty,
  Never swerving left or right
  Till it waddles out of sight,
  Plodding through a bunker and
  Braying like a German band.

  Reader, possibly you'll guess
  That the ball was a success.
  'Twas in fact a super-sphere,
  But--I shed a scalding tear
  On these verses as I write 'em--
  He forgot just _one_ small item
  Which (as small things often will)
  Simply put the lid on Bill:
  _For the hole proved far too small
  To accommodate his ball._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Best Man._ "'OW MUCH?"

_Parson._ "WELL, THE LAW ALLOWS ME SEVEN-AND-SIXPENCE."

_Best Man._ "THEN 'ERE'S 'ARF-A-CRAHN. THAT MAKES IT UP TO
'ARF-A-QUID."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "WANTED Situation by respectable middle-aged Girl; working
    housekeeper, can cook, bake; would not object to milk one cow
    (Protestant)."--_Ulster Paper._

As distinct from a Papal Bull.

       *       *       *       *       *


SINGULAR COINCIDENCE.

    "Having successfully towed the disabled American steamer
    Tashmoo 1,200 miles, the Fort Stephens, a Cunard steamer,
    arrived at Queenstown on Saturday."--_Daily Paper._

    "Having successfully towed the disabled American steamer
    Tashmos, with which she fell in last Monday, 200 miles, the
    Fort Stephen, a Cunard steamer, arrived at Queenstown on
    Saturday."--_Same paper, same day._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The King has notified his intention to command the attendance
    of Lieutenants of Counties and the Lord Mayors and the Lost
    Provosts of Great Britain, at Buckingham Palace on the 15th
    instant."--_Glasgow Paper._

Mr. Punch hopes that this additional publicity will lead to the
recovery of the missing magistrates.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE AUTHOR-MANAGERS.

Literature is becoming so commercialised that it is to be expected
that before long popular authors, who already surreptitiously practise
the tradesman's art, will go a step further and write their own
advertisements. No longer will they be content to get themselves
interviewed on the subject of their next book, their new car and
their favourite poodle, or to depend on the oleaginous eulogies of the
publishers.

For instance:

  MR. DOUGLAS DORMY
  begs to announce that he is
  NOW SHOWING
  his new Novel,
  THE HIDDEN HAND OF HATE,
  and confidently recommends it to
  his Customers.
  It contains no fewer than 92,563 of the
  _BEST WORDS_
  in the English Language
  and is guaranteed
  FREE from Split Infinitives.

Or again:

  Are YOU one of the
  mentally alert men, the wistful women,
  who have filled up an application form
  to-day for
  _PATTERNS OF CHAPTER ONE_
  of
  SEPTIMUS POSHER'S
  New great romance of love and mystery
  THE SICKENING THUD?
  If you have not already done so, lose
  no time, but write asking for sample of
  _OPENING CHAPTER_
  (where the PINK-EYED WOMAN prevents
  the marriage of ETHEL and LUDOVIC);
  of
  _CHAPTER NINETY_,
  with its nine SUPERB-QUALITY MURDERS;
  or
  _CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED_
  (the last), where ETHEL and LUDOVIC
  at last set out through the
  _FAIRYLAND OF LIFE_.

  You incur NO RISK in asking for these
  exquisite samples.

  _Write direct to SEPTIMUS POSHER._

Or yet again:

  MR. BOREAS BINKS
  has pleasure in announcing that his
  new volumes of
  _RECOLLECTIONS_
  is now showing at all Libraries. He
  can confidently claim that this work,
  entitled
  PEOPLE I HAVE MET AND
  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM,
  is absolutely the most refined volume
  of Scandal on the market. All the
  reminiscences are novel and tasty.

Or once more:

  KEATS WILLIAMS,
  _Poet and Critic_.

  Poems of every description completed
  at the SHORTEST NOTICE.

  Ask to see our choice SPRING LINES.
  _Specimens Free._
  EPICS within Two Days.
  ODES within a few Hours.
  Sonnets, Rondeaux, Triolets, Quatrains
  while you wait.

    _A well-known Judge writes_: "I should very much like to give
    you a trial. I am sure you deserve it."

       *       *       *       *       *

DER TAG ONCE MORE.

    ["One hundred Diplomatists' Writing Tables, Cupboards, etc.,
    for immediate delivery.--Office Furniture Manufacturers, ----
    and Co., ----, Berlin."--_The Times "Business Opportunities"
    column._]

  Lightly loose the silken cable,
  Swell, ye sails, by zephyrs kissed,
  Bearing me the walnut table
  Thumped by BETHMANN-HOLLWEG'S fist;
  Steering, not by course erratic,
  Safe to the appointed wharf,
  Bring, O bark, the diplomatic
  Kneehole desk of LUDENDORFF.

  Softly now, ye dockers, pardie,
  Cease your wrangling for a bit,
  Dump the seat whereon BERNHARDI
  Bowed his dreadful form to sit;
  Make no scratch however tiny
  When the circling crane-arm sags
  On the chair that rendered shiny
  HINDENBURG'S enormous bags.

  Blotting-papered, india-rubbered,
  Good as new, with pencils piled,
  Bring me the immortal cupboard
  Where the Hymn of Hate was filed;
  Who can say how oft, when brisker
  Beat the heart behind his ribs,
  TIRPITZ wiped upon a whisker
  Pensively these part-worn nibs?

  Here are _Kultur's_ very presses,
  Calendars that marked The Day,
  MAX VON BADEN'S ink-recesses,
  DERNBERG'S correspondence-tray;
  Gone the imperial years, and cooler
  Counsels on the Spree are planned,
  Still one may acquire the ruler
  Toyed with by a War Lord's hand.

  Waft them then, ye winds, let Fritz's
  Office furniture be mine;
  Each one of these priceless bits is
  Salvage from a Junker shrine;
  Breathing still the ancient essence,
  They shall give me, when I speak,
  Something of the German presence
  And the blazing German cheek.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

OWING TO THE SHORTAGE AND PROHIBITIVE PRICE OF SILK STOCKINGS, THE
LADIES MAYFAIR DECIDE TO DO WITHOUT THEM AND HAVE RECOURSE TO PAINT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress_ (_to maid who has just served boarders'
breakfast_). "WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT, JANE?"

_Jane._ "YOU, MUM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MANUAL PLAY.

One point emerges very clearly from the murky chaos of the industrial
situation to-day; and that is that the brain-worker will not for ever
be content to be merely a brain-worker, thinking and thinking, hour
after hour, day after day. He is beginning to realise his latent
capacity for manual labour; and he demands as his right a larger
opportunity for self-development, so that he too may escape from the
drudgery of brain-work and rise at last to the higher, freer life of
muscular exertion. There must already be many brain-workers who are
well-fitted to take their place in the ranks of manual labour; and the
cry goes up with increasing force that, given only that _opportunity_
which is every man's due, millions of their fellows are capable of
lifting themselves to the same standard.

In my house the cry goes up with peculiar force about Easter-time,
when I repaint as much of the house as I am allowed and whitewash the
rest, and can appreciate what I am missing in my everyday calling. It
is astonishing to think that one used actually to pay people money to
paint and whitewash, and looked on with meek wonder, for six weeks,
while they did it. Bourgeois I may be, but I have put aside that
folly. The Easter holidays now are to me the best holidays of
the year, because for four whole days I can do almost unlimited
decorating. I begin with the conservatory; I do it a delicate pale
blue, and it looks very lovely. The vine in the conservatory no longer
yields her increase as she used to do, but I can't help that. After
the conservatory I start on the basement, and the opportunities in the
basement are endless. It is a curious thing that brain-workers who do
much decorating in their spare time do most of it in the basement and
not in the rooms they have to occupy themselves. The basement is fair
game. Another curious thing is that the people who do have to occupy
the basement never seem to appreciate what you are doing for them.
They appear to think you are merely amusing yourself.

The best day for doing the basement therefore is Easter Monday, when
you can legitimately send the whole staff (if any) away for a holiday,
and commandeer the entire kitchen equipment. This point is more
important than you may suppose; since if the staff are at home and you
want to use the basement bucket or the soft broom (both of which are
essential for efficient whitewashing) it is almost certain that they
will at the same time want to put them to some preposterous use of
their own; and this causes either delay or friction, probably both.
Besides, they keep bustling about behind you and saying, "'T't, 't't,"
or "_Busy_ to-day!" in a surprised voice. This is most irritating, and
an irritated painter always goes over the edges.

When you have got rid of the staff (if any) you can get to work on the
scullery and whitewash the ceiling. Whitewashing is much superior to
painting. Painting looks lovely while you are doing it, but is very
horrible when it is dry, being streaky or blistery or covered with
long hairs. Whitewash looks horrible while you are doing it, but
marvellous when it is dry, which is much more satisfactory. In a life
of average prosperity and no small public distinction, including an
intimacy with a professional tenor and two or three free lunches with
noblemen, I can recall few moments of such genuine rapture as the one
when you creep down to the basement to find the whitewash dry at last
and brilliant as the driven snow.

The other thing about whitewashing is that it is done with a broom,
not with a finicking brush and a small pot, but a good fat bucket
and the housemaid's soft-broom. In this way you can really get some
_bravura_ into your work. And, except perhaps for watering the garden
with a hose, there is no quicker way of making a really good mess.
Whitewashing by this method, I find that it takes much longer to
remove the whitewash from the floors and other places where it is not
intended to go than it does to put the whitewash on the places where
it is intended to go; but the charwoman does the removing on Easter
Tuesday, and I still think that that method is the best. Especially,
perhaps, for outside walls, because in one's artistic frenzy it is
usual to cover most of the rose-trees with whitewash; they look
then like those whitewashed orchards, and visitors think you are a
scientific gardener, combating Plant Pests.

Personally I don't pay too much attention to the rather arbitrary
rules on painting laid down by the Painters' Union. Life is too
short. For instance, I don't put my brushes in turpentine when I
have finished for the day; and if I do I put the green brush and the
light-blue brush and the black brush and the white brush in the same
pot, and terrible things happen. I don't like my art to be hampered by
petty notions of economy, and if brushes persist in crystallising into
tooth-brushes when left to themselves for an hour or two I simply use
a new brush.

Nor do I insist on "cleaning thoroughly the surface before the paint
is applied." Anyone who sets out in practice to clean thoroughly the
surface of the basement before applying the paint will find that the
Easter holidays have slipped away long before any paint is applied at
all. Besides, one of the main objects of paint is to hide the dirt, so
why waste time in removing it?

On the other hand, I am not content with mere painting; I go in
thoroughly for all the refinements like driers and varnishes and
gold-size. Driers and gold-size are extremely necessary when painting
the basement, because if there is one thing the staff enjoy more than
tea-cups coming away in the 'and, it is really rubbing themselves
against wet paint and wandering round muttering complaints about it.
Without a driers or some drier or whatever it is, the basement
remains wet for ever, and all work ceases while the staff amble about,
ecstatically rubbing themselves against the doorposts and saying
"T'tt, t'tt," in a meaning way.

It is a sad quality of oil-paint that when it is dry it no longer
looks so lovely and shiny as it looks when it is wet. It was found
that the sense of disappointment which this produced was greater
than the Painters' Union could bear; so someone, in order to prevent
industrial strife, invented some stuff called varnish, by which, at
the very moment of disillusion, the maximum of shininess can be again
produced with the minimum of effort. It is one of the few inventions
which make a man grateful for the advance of science.

Well, that is all there is about painting. The only difficulty, once
you have begun, is to know when to stop. Painting is a kind of fever.
The painting of a single chair makes the whole room look dirty; so
the whole room has to be painted. Then, of course, the outside of the
windows has to be brought up to the same standard; and if once you
have painted the outside of a window you are practically committed to
painting the whole house.

The only thing that stops me painting is a turpentine crisis, which
usually occurs just before church on Sunday morning, when one has
three workmanlike coats of glossy enamel or pale-green on one's hands.
Week-end painters should keep a close eye on the situation, and
cease work while there is yet sufficient turpentine to cope with the
workmanlike coats; for I find that in these days the churchwardens
look askance at you if you put in a penny with a pale-green hand.

The extraordinary thing is that this painting fever doesn't seem to
afflict professional painters; they know exactly when to stop. But
then they don't appreciate the luxury of their lot. They don't realise
that theirs is one of the few forms of labour in which a man has some
tangible result (well, not tangible, perhaps) to show for his work at
the end of the day. There is nothing more satisfactory than that. It
is true, no doubt, that the professional painter would rather have a
windy article like this to show; all I can say is I would rather have
a bright-blue basement or a middle-green conservatory.

A.P.H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Young Lady_ (_making conversation_). "HOW PERFECTLY
SWEET! I'M SURE I MUST HAVE BEEN THERE. I REMEMBER THOSE GLORIOUS
PINES."

_Real Artist._ "I CALL THAT 'THE FERTILISING INFLUENCE OF THE SUN'S
RAYS ON THE MIND OF A POET LOST IN THOUGHT.'"

_Young Lady._ "HOW _PERFECTLY_ SWEET! NO WONDER HE LOST IT, POOR
DARLING."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE EVE OF GREAT POSSIBILITIES.

In a Press sighing deeply over the various Labour crises there is the
glad news that Mr. CLEM EDWARDS, M.P. (barrister), of the National
Democratic Party, has made a match with Mr. JAMES WALTON, M.P.
(miner), of the Labour Party, to "hew, fill and train two tons of coal
in the shortest time for fifty pounds a side." The contest is to take
place at Whitsuntide.

We hope that more Members of Parliament will follow suit, and
challenge each other to feats of wholesome toil, to the great benefit
of the nation.

In time no doubt the idea would take on with the masses and an immense
amount of useful work would be performed disguised as sport. August
Bank Holiday might become the great yearly fixture for a sort of
Gentlemen _v._ Players bricklaying competition, and we may one day
read of huge crowds being attracted to the East India Docks on Easter
Monday to watch stockbrokers, flushed with their victory of Boxing
Day, playing a return match with the dockers at unloading margarine.
The movement might expand until even on Labour Day work would be in
progress.

All this is, however, remote, but the solid fact remains that
during Whitsuntide of this very year work will actually be done in
a coal-mine. So far the miners themselves have expressed no official
views on the contest, but there is a general feeling of amazement
among them that anyone should work so hard on the chance of winning
a mere fifty pounds. For the public at large there is the gratifying
thought that Messrs. EDWARDS and WALTON are very nearly matched, and
they should therefore produce between them in their friendly struggle
the best part of four tons of coal, an unexpected windfall for the
nation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "POST OFFICE TREASURY BONDS.

    It should be noted that, as regards the Post Office issue,
    dividends on registered bonds will not be deducted at the
    source."--_Daily Paper._

Nor, we understand, has the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER any present
intention of confiscating the capital.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "AMERICA'S FIRST FLOATING BAR-ROOM. _THE CITY OF
    MIAMI._--300,000 dols. has been spent in fitting up this
    vessel for thirsty American citizens. She will ply between
    Miami, Fla. and Havana, Cuba. A special bilge keel is being
    fitted to steady ship and passengers."--_Shipping Journal._

A very necessary precaution.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fond and resourceful Mother._ "IT'S BABY'S BIRTHDAY
TO-MORROW. HE'S TOO YOUNG TO INVITE CHILDREN, SO I'M HAVING FIFTEEN
PEOPLE IN TO PLAY BRIDGE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

TO A COMING CHAMPION.

  The exodus was ended; stilled the urging
    To "wait and let the passengers off first;"
  I and my fellow-sufferers were surging
    Along the gangway in one short sharp burst,
  Clutching the straps so thoughtfully provided
    Stamping on any feet that lay about,
  And, Lady, it was then that you decided
    This was where you got out.

  I noted with an awestruck admiration
    The gallant way in which you faced the press,
  What force, what vigour, what determination,
    What almost everything but politesse;
  And then I gave back several hasty inches
    Before your mænad rush; I felt alarmed
  Lest you should use a hatpin in the clinches
    While I was all unarmed.

  So in a more or less intact condition
    You made your exit through the trellised gate,
  And (this, I must admit, is mere suspicion)
    Asked of a porter was your hat on straight;
  And lo! the bard, left dreaming _suo more_,
    Mused upon things the future hid from view;
  He looked adown the years and saw the glory
    England would win through you.

  For in my morning sheet I'd seen it bruited,
    Mid talk of Jazz and Fox Trot, plaids and checks,
  That boxing was a sport precisely suited
    To what it quaintly called the gentler sex;
  I thought about the coming day when bevies
    Of beauty would be found inside the ropes,
  And saw you, eminent among the "heavies,"
    The whitest of white hopes.

  I saw--and at the vision England's stock ran
    High above par--how in the padded strife,
  Beneath the auspices of Mr. COCHRAN,
    You'd whip the world, or should I say his wife?
  Our land once more would boast the champion thumper,
    The doughtiest dealer of the hefty welt,
  The holder of--but no, by then a jumper
    Will have replaced the belt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "OFFICERS' HEAVY-WEIGHTS.

    Final: Lt. W. R. Nicol (R.F.A.) knocked out Lt.-General Lord
    Rawlinson, Commanding at Aldershot."--_Sportsman._

That's more than LUDENDORFF could do.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Some years have passed since I last saw Mr. ----, and last
    evening I found him considerably aged. His one black hair is
    very grey."

    _Provincial Paper._

Probably the result of depression caused by loneliness.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Prince of ---- has returned recently from England where
    he was educated. He is to marry several wives, as is the
    custom of ----. His education is to continue."--_North China
    Daily News._

We can well believe it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Chester Vase resolved itself into a contest between a
    four-year-old and some three-year-olds, but in this case
    the four-year-old was Buchan, a Trojan among
    minnows."--_Provincial Paper._

The writer seems to be a student of "classic" form.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXIT THE MINISTERING ANGEL.

DR. BONAR (_to Nurse DEVLIN_). "_MUST_ YOU GO, NURSE? (_Resignedly_)
WELL, WE SHALL HAVE TO DO OUR BEST WITHOUT YOU."

(Nationalist Members have decided to take no further part in the
discussion of the Government of Ireland Bill.)]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Monday, May 3rd._--The PRIME MINISTER being confined to his bed and
Mr. BONAR LAW being engaged elsewhere in inaugurating the Housing
campaign the House of Commons was in charge of the HOME SECRETARY.
Consequently Questions went through with unusual speed, for Mr. SHORTT
has a discouraging way with him. The most searching "Supplementary"
rarely receives any recognition save a stony glare through his
inseparable eye-glass, as who should say, "How can So-and-so be such
an ass as to expect an answer to his silly question?"

[Illustration: "TOO MUCH OF A RAILWAY-MAN."

SIR ERIC GEDDES.]

People who consider that the MINISTER OF TRANSPORT is too much of
"a railway man" will, I fear, be confirmed in their belief. In his
opinion the practice of the Companies in refusing a refund to the
season ticket-holder who has left his ticket behind and has been
compelled to pay his fare is "entirely justifiable." He objected,
however, to Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE'S interpretation of this answer
as meaning that it was the policy of H.M. Government "to rob honest
people," so there may be hope for him yet.

It is wrong to suppose that the class generally known as "Young
Egypt" is solely responsible for the anti-British agitation in
the Protectorate. Among a long list of deportees mentioned by
Lieut.-Colonel MALONE, and subsequently referred to by Mr. HARMSWORTH
as "the principal organisers and leaders of the disturbances" in
that country, appeared the name of "MAHMOUD PASHA SULIMAN, aged
ninety-eight years."

[Illustration: THE SPRING-CLEANING (INDEMNITY) BILL.

THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL.]

The process of cleaning-up after the War involves an Indemnity Bill.
Sir ERNEST POLLOCK admitted that there was "some complexity" in the
measure, and did not entirely succeed in unravelling it in the course
of a speech lasting an hour and a half. His chief argument was that,
unless it passed, the country might be let in for an additional
expenditure of seven or eight hundred millions in settling the claims
of persons whose goods had been commandeered. An item of two million
pounds for tinned salmon will give some notion of the interests
involved and incidentally of the taste of the British Army.


[Illustration: "_L'ÉTAT C'EST MOI._"

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL.]

Lawyers and laymen vied with one another in condemning the Bill. Mr.
RAE, as one who had suffered much from requisitioners, complained that
their motto appeared to be _L'état c'est moi_. Sir GORDON HEWART, in
mitigation of the charge that there never had been such an Indemnity
Bill, pointed out that there never had been such a War. The Second
Reading was ultimately carried upon the Government's undertaking
to refer the Bill to a Select Committee, from which, if faithfully
reflecting the opinion of the House, it is conjectured that the
measure will return in such a shape that its own draftsman won't know
it.

_Tuesday, May 4th._--The Matrimonial Causes Bill continues to drag its
slow length along in the House of Lords. Its ecclesiastical opponents
are gradually being driven from trench to trench, but are still full
of fight. The Archbishop of CANTERBURY very nearly carried a new
clause providing that it should not be lawful to celebrate in any
church or chapel of the Church of England the marriage of a person,
whether innocent or guilty, whose previous union had been dissolved
under the provisions of the Bill. His most reverend brother of York
spoke darkly of Disestablishment if the clause were lost, and eleven
Bishops voted in its favour, but the Non-Contents defeated it by 51 to
50.

Captain WEDGWOOD BENN wanted to know whether swords still formed
part of the uniform of Royal Air Force officers, and, if so, why. He
himself, I gather, never found any use for one in the "Side Shows"
which he has described so picturesquely. Mr. CHURCHILL'S defence of
its retention was more ingenious than convincing. Swords, he said, had
always been regarded as the insignia of rank, and even Ministers wore
them on occasions. But the fact that elderly statesmen occasionally
add to the gaiety of the populace at public celebrations by tripping
over their "toasting-forks" hardly seems a sufficient reason for
burdening young officers with a totally needless expense.

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL is all for a quiet life. When the Dublin postal
workers announced their intention of stopping work for two days in
sympathy with a Sinn Fein strike, did he dismiss them? Not he. You
can't, as he said, dismiss a whole service. No, he simply gave them
two days' leave on full pay, a much simpler plan.

Thanks to the Irish Nationalists, who have announced their intention
of taking no part in the discussion of the Government of Ireland
Bill, Mr. BONAR LAW was able to drop the scheme for closuring it by
compartments. The new Irish doctrine of self-extermination has given
much satisfaction in Ministerial circles. Mr. CHURCHILL'S gratitude, I
understand, will take the form of a portrait of Mr. DEVLIN as _Sydney
Carton_ under the shadow of the guillotine.

On the Vote for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Colonel
BURN suggested that a new Department should be set up to deal with the
harvest of the sea. Dr. MURRAY approved the idea, and thought that the
Minister without Portfolio might give up loafing and take to fishing.

_Wednesday, May 5th._--Apparently it is not always selfishness that
makes Trade Unionists unwilling to admit ex-service men to their
ranks, but sometimes solicitude for the welfare of these brave
fellows. Take the manufacture of cricket-balls, for example. You might
not think it a very arduous occupation, but Dr. MACNAMARA assured the
House that it required "a high standard of physical fitness," and that
leather-stitching was as laborious as leather-hunting. It is true that
some of the disabled men with characteristic intrepidity are willing
to face the risk, but the Union concerned will not hear of it, and the
MINISTER OF LABOUR appears to agree with them.

Even on the Treasury Bench, however, doctors disagree. Dr. ADDISON
seems distinctly less inclined than Dr. MACNAMARA to accept
the claims of the Trade Unionists at their own valuation. The
bricklayers have agreed to admit a few disabled men to their
union--bricklaying apparently being a less strenuous occupation than
leather-stitching--but exclude other ex-service men unless they have
served their apprenticeship as well as their country. Upon this the
MINISTER OF HEALTH bluntly observed that the idea that it takes years
to train a man to lay a few bricks was in his opinion all nonsense.

_Thursday, May 6th._--Possibly it was because to-day was originally
assigned for the opening of the Committee stage of the Home Rule Bill
that Members in both Houses drew special attention to the present
state of lawlessness in Ireland. If their idea was to create a
hostile "atmosphere" it did not succeed, for, owing to Mr. LONG'S
indisposition, the Bill was postponed. Besides, the fact that every
day brings news of policemen murdered, barracks burned, tax-collectors
assaulted and mail-bags stolen, while to one class of mind it may
argue that the present is a most inopportune moment for a great
constitutional change, may to another suggest that only such a change
will give any hope of improvement.

It is, at any rate, something to know that Irishmen have not in trying
circumstances entirely lost their saving grace of humour. Thus the
writer of a letter to Lord ASKWITH, describing with much detail a raid
for arms, in the course of which his house had been smashed up and he
himself threatened with instant death, wound up by saying, "I thought
I would jot down these particulars to amuse you."

The Commons had a rather depressing speech from Mr. MCCURDY. His
policy had been gradually to remove all food-controls and leave prices
to find their own proper (and, it was hoped, lower) level. But in most
cases the result had been disastrous, and the Government had decided
that control must continue. Sir F. BANBURY complained of the conflict
of jurisdiction between the Departments. It certainly does seem unfair
that the FOOD-CONTROLLER should be blamed because the Board of Trade
is "making mutton high."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE PROFITEER'S CIGAR.

_Spokesman of Club Deputation._ "WE TRUST, SIR, THAT YOU ARE NOT
DELIBERATELY WEARING THAT BAND ON YOUR CIGAR, AS IT IS THE DESIRE OF
YOUR FELLOW-MEMBERS THAT YOU SHOULD OBLIGE THEM BY REMOVING IT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED--A BOOK SUBSIDY.

Mr. JOHN MURRAY, the famous publisher, has recently given a
representative of _The Pall Mall Gazette_ some interesting facts and
figures bearing on the impending crisis in the publishing trade. It
is a gloomy recital. Men doing less work per hour with the present
forty-eight hour week than with the old fifty-one hour week, and
agitating for a further reduction of hours; paper rising in price by
leaps and bounds. "Between the two they are forcing up the price of
books to a point when we can only produce at a loss." In other
words, we are threatened with not merely a shortage but an absolute
deprivation of all new books. The horror of the situation is
almost unthinkable, but it must be faced. We can dispense with many
luxuries--encyclopædias and histories and scientific treatises and so
forth--but among the necessities of modern life the novel stands only
third to the cinema and the jazz. It is possible that in time the
first-named may reconcile us to booklessness, but that time is not
yet.

What amazes us in Mr. JOHN MURRAY'S pessimistic forecast is his
failure to recognise and advocate the only and obvious remedy. By the
reduction of the Bread Subsidy fifty millions have been made available
for the relief of national needs. We do not say that this would be
enough, but if carefully laid out in grants to deserving novelists,
so as to enable them to co-operate with publishers on lines that would
allow a reasonable margin of profit, it might go some way towards
averting the appalling calamity which Mr. JOHN MURRAY anticipates.

The Ministry of Information is closed, but should be at once
reorganised as the Ministry of Fiction, with a staff of no fewer than
five hundred clerks, and installed in suitable premises, the British
Museum for choice, thus emancipating the younger generation from the
dead hand of archæology. Similarly the utmost care should be taken
to exclude from the direction of the Ministry any representatives
of Victorianism, Hanoverism, or the fetish-worship of reticence or
restraint. But no time should be lost. The duty of the State is clear.
It only needs some public-spirited and respected Member of Parliament,
such as Lieutenant-Commander KENWORTHY or Colonel JOSIAH WEDGWOOD,
to promote the legislative measures necessary to secure a supply of
really nutritious mental pabulum for the million.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Auctioneer_ (_selling summer "grass-keep_)". "NOW
THEN, HOW MUCH FOR THIS FIELD? LOOK AT THAT GRASS, GENTLEMEN. THAT'S
THE KIND OF STUFF NEBUCHADNEZZAR WOULD HAVE GIVEN TEN POUNDS AN ACRE
FOR."]

    "CONSCIENCE MONEY.--The Chancellor of the Exchequer
    acknowledges the receipt of 10/- from Liverpool.

    The charge for announcements in the Personal Column is 7/6
    for two lines (minimum), and 3/6 for each additional
    line."--_Times._

Any large outbreak of conscientiousness on this scale will mean ruin
for the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A band of armed ruffians disguised as soldiers held up
    a train near Parghelia, in Calabria, and carried off the
    contents of two vons, consisting chiefly of sausages."

    _Scotch Paper._


This is an abbreviated way of speaking. By "the contents of two vons"
the writer evidently means the contents of the baggage of two German
noblemen.

       *       *       *       *       *

    For Prospective Centenarians.

    "Salary, £50 per annum, rising upon satisfactory service by
    annual increments of £5 to a maximum of £880."--_Welsh Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

CONSPIRACY.

It all happened so naturally, so inevitably, yet so tragically--like a
Greek play, as Willoughby said afterwards.

Willoughby is my younger brother, and in his lighter moments is a Don
at Oxford or Cambridge; it will be safer not to specify which. In
his younger and more serious days he used to play the banjo quite
passably, and, when the Hicksons asked us to dine, they insisted that
he should bring his instrument and help to make music to which
the young people might dance, for it seems that this instrument is
peculiarly suited to the kind of dancing now in vogue. Willoughby had
not played upon the banjo for fifteen years, but he unearthed it from
the attic, restrung it, and in the event did better than might have
been expected.

Anyhow, he did not succeed in spoiling the evening, which I consider
went well, despite the severe trial, to one of my proportions, of
having to perform, soon after dinner, a number of scenes "to rhyme
with _hat_." Indeed, when I was finally pushed alone on to the stage,
any chagrin I might have felt at the ease with which the audience
guessed at once that I represented "fat" was swallowed up in the
relief at being allowed to rest awhile, for "fat" proved to be
correct.

It is not of dumb-crambo, however, nor of hunt-the-slipper (a dreadful
game), nor of "bump" (a worse game) that I wish to speak, but of that
which befell after.

It was a very wet night, and when the hour for our departure arrived
there arose some uncertainty as to whether we could find a taxi
willing to take us home.

"I will interview the porter," said Willoughby (the Hicksons live in
a flat), and he disappeared, to return in a few minutes with something
of the air of a conspirator.

"Get your coat on," he said curtly.

"Have you a taxi?"

"No, I have a car. Get your coat on, and be quick about it."

"A car?" I said. "What car? Whose car?"

Willoughby turned upon me. "If you prefer to walk, you can," he said;
"if not, get your coat on, as I say, and don't ask stupid questions."

I did not prefer to walk--would that I had!--but proceeded to bid my
host and hostess Good-night. Even as I was doing so the porter came to
the door.

"Hurry up, Sir," he called to Willoughby in a stage whisper. "He can't
wait; he's late already."

As we followed him into the hall the porter went on whispering to
Willoughby.

"Friend of mine. Always do me a turn. Going right to your square." He
continued to nod his head confidentially.

Willoughby turned to me.

"Got half-a-crown?" he grunted.

I had. The porter's head-noddings redoubled.

Arrived at the door, we found a resplendent car, a chauffeur of the
imperturbable order seated at the wheel.

"I'm very much obliged----," Willoughby began.

"That's all right, Sir," said the man. "I'm going that way."

We stepped in, drew the fur rug over our legs, and the car glided off.

"It's a nice car," said Willoughby.

"I understand that the chauffeur is a friend of the hall porter?" I
commented.

"That is so."

"And the owner of the car is----?"

"Some person unknown."

"Where ignorance is bliss----"

"I am a little doubtful if the chauffeur will mention our ride to his
master, if that is what you mean," said Willoughby.

"Have you considered the bearing of the law concerning Conspiracy on
this case?" I asked.

"I have not, nor do I intend to," said Willoughby airily. "The law
concerning Bribery and Corruption has a much more direct bearing. Got
two more half-crowns?"

I was searching for them as we turned into the square in which we live
and the car slowed down.

"Tell him it's at the far corner," I said.

And then suddenly a rasping voice sounded on the night air:--

"Here, Rodgers! Where are you off to? You're very late, you know--very
late."

The car had stopped with a jerk before a house which was certainly not
our house. A stream of light from the open door flooded the pavement.
On the steps stood Percival, the man I had that row with about the
Square garden. On the pavement, his hand outstretched to open the car
door, was he of the rasping voice.

"This is the owner," said Willoughby, and he laughed quietly to
himself. He always giggles in a crisis. I could have kicked him. But
at the moment I was hurriedly debating whether I could possibly escape
by the door on the far side without being seen. "A small thin man
might have done it," I thought. But, alas! I am neither small nor
thin.

Then the door of the car opened and Willoughby stepped forth into the
limelight, as it were. During the evening the dumb-crambo and such
had rather dishevelled his hair, and a wisp of it now appeared from
beneath the brim of an elderly Homburg hat pushed on to the back
of his head. Under his arm was the banjo. On his face was that
maddeningly good-natured smile of his.

"What are you doing in my car?" demanded the rasping voice.

Willoughby did not answer for a moment, but simply stood there
smiling.

Then he said, "Entirely my fault. Your chauffeur is in no way to
blame. The fact is we couldn't get a taxi, and my brother being rather
delicate----"

"What, another?" barked the rasper.

There was nothing for it. Acutely conscious as I was how emphatically
my countenance, flushed by the exertions of the evening, belied
Willoughby's description of "delicate," it was impossible for me to
remain in the car, and I stepped heavily out.

"It rhymes with _hat_," said Willoughby softly.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we slunk off down the Square, after as painful a five minutes as
I care to remember, Willoughby kept repeating, "Very unlucky--_very_
unlucky," till we arrived at our own door. Then he began to laugh.

"And what is the joke?" I asked.

"There is no joke," he said--"no joke at all."

"Indeed there is not," I said bitterly. "You must remember that,
unlike yourself, I live here permanently."

"I realise it," said Willoughby. "But do you not think, on
consideration, that that really gives you the advantage? I mean, you
have thus the opportunity of living down the unfortunate accusation of
inebriety that has been brought against us, which I shall not be in a
position to do."

I hate living things down.

       *       *       *       *       *

COMMERCIAL CANDOUR.

From a restaurant bill-of-fare:--

    "Develled Leg of Foul and Curly Bacon, 2/6."

       *       *       *       *       *

"WORMWOOD SCRUBS'S ILL-HEALTH.

    RELEASED TO PRIVATE HOSPITAL.

    Mr. Kelly, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, has released Wormwood
    Scrubs owing to his health."--_Australian Paper._

Some trouble in the cellular system, we gather.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. JAMES SEXTON, M.P., who was howled down at a meeting at St. Helens
recently, said he refused to bow the knee to a lot of body-snatchers
who wanted him to sacrifice his manhood and conscience to satisfy
their inclinations. A self-respecting sexton could do no less.

ROYAL ACADEMY--FIRST DEPRESSIONS.

[Illustration: A SPIRITED REPRESENTATION OF "CA' CANNY" ON THE KENTISH
COAST DURING THE INITIAL WORK ON THE CHANNEL TUNNEL, _circ._ B.C.
200.]

[Illustration: THE BULL-DOG BREED.

AN AGED COUPLE, THEIR FEATURES DISFIGURED BY MOSQUITO BITES, BRAVELY
CONTINUE TO SIT FOR THEIR PORTRAITS.]

[Illustration: THE KITTEN WHICH ALL WHO KNOW AND LOVE THE BEST
TRADITIONS OF THE ACADEMY WOULD EXPECT TO FIND IN THIS PICTURE HAS
EVIDENTLY STRAYED INTO]

[Illustration: THIS ONE. WE DRAW ATTENTION TO THIS SO AS TO PREVENT
VISITORS FROM WASTING THEIR TIME IN SEARCHING FOR IT ALL OVER THE
GALLERIES.]

[Illustration: _SEE BELOW._]

[Illustration: THE STOUT GENTLEMAN APPEARS TO FEEL SOME DISCOMFORT
FROM THE HEAT. THAT IS WHY THE HANGING COMMITTEE HAVE THOUGHTFULLY
SUSPENDED SOME ICE OVER HIS HEAD.]

[Illustration: THE FAMOUS MARIONETTE SHOW AT THE QUAI D'ORSAY.

MUCH INTEREST IS SURE TO BE TAKEN IN THIS PICTURE, AS MANY PEOPLE MUST
HAVE BEEN WONDERING WHAT THESE WORLD-FAMOUS STATESMEN LOOKED LIKE.]

[Illustration: HERE WE HAVE A SCENE OF DOMESTIC UNHAPPINESS IN A
SCOTTISH HOME. THE GOOD WIFE IS SCANDALISED BY HER HUSBAND'S LEVITY IN
DANCING ON THE SABBATH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PALACE AND THE COTTAGE.

(_After ANN and JANE TAYLOR._)

  High on a mountain's haughty steep
    Lord Hubert's palace stood;
  Before it rolled a river deep,
    Behind it waved a wood.

  Low in an unfrequented vale
    A peasant had his cell;
  Sweet flowers perfumed the cooling gale
    And graced his garden well.

  But proud Lord Hubert's house and lands,
    Of which he'd fain be rid,
  Long linger on the agents' hands--
    He cannot get a bid.

  On sauces rich and viands fine
    Lord Hubert's father fed;
  Lord Hubert, when he wants to dine,
    Eats margarine and bread.

  How diff'rent honest William's lot!
    He's cheerful and content;
  He always lets his humble cot
    At thrice its yearly rent.

  His dapple-cow and garden-grounds
    Produce him ample spoil;
  His lodgers pay him pounds and pounds,
    He has no need to toil.

  Lord Hubert sits in thrall and gloom
    And super-taxes grim
  Pursue him to his marble tomb,
    And no one grieves for him.

  But, when within his narrow bed
    Old William comes to lie,
  They'll find (I mean when William's dead)
    A tidy bit put by.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Navvy on girders_ (_soliloquising_). "'EAVEN 'ELP THEM
POOR PERISHERS UNDERNEAF IF THIS 'ERE CHAIN BREAKS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER HONOUR LIST.

(_From an Oxford Correspondent._)

The list of the recipients of honorary degrees to be conferred by the
University of Cambridge has already been announced. We are glad to
be able to supplement it by information, derived from a trustworthy
source, of the corresponding intentions of the University of Oxford.

The Oxford list is not yet complete, but the following names and the
reasons for which the distinction is to be conferred may be regarded
as certain and authentic:--

The Right Hon. WINSTON CHURCHILL, M.P., for his strenuous efforts to
brighten Sunday journalism.

Mr. AUGUSTUS JOHN, for unvarnished portraiture and the stoical
fortitude exhibited by him in face of the persecution of the Royal
Academy.

Mr. LOVAT FRASER, for his divine discontent with everything and
everybody and his masterly use of italic type.

Lady COOPER, the wife of the LORD MAYOR, for conspicuous gallantry in
advocating the taxing of cosmetics.

Sir PHILIP GIBBS, for his generous recognition of the services of
British generals during the War, and for promoting cordial relations
between all ranks in the Army.

Mr. WICKHAM STEED, for his invaluable and untiring exertions in
familiarising the public with Jugo-Slav geography.

All the above will receive the D.C.L. It is also proposed to confer
the degree of Honorary Master of Arts on the entire body of Oxford
road-sweepers, for their disinterested patriotism in accepting a wage
on a par with that received by many tutors and demonstrators of the
University.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANNA PAVLOVA.

Since I first saw her this year she has been a Sleeping Beauty (very
wide awake) and a Chrysanthemum and many other lovely things. In
_Autumn Leaves_, where her bloom is blown away by the fierce ardour of
the Wind, and she is left to die forsaken, she recalled a little the
moving sadness of her Dying Swan. It was a "choreographic poem" of her
own making--to music of CHOPIN--and I think I have never seen anything
more fascinating than the colour and movement of the _Autumn Leaves_
and the "splendour and speed" of the _Autumn Wind_. This was danced
by Mr. STOWITTS, and it couldn't have been in better hands or feet.
M. VOLININE is largely content to be a source of support and uplift
to his partner, but in _The Walpurgis Night_ he gave us an astounding
exhibition of poise and resilience. In _The Magic Flute_ (not MOZART'S
but DRIGO'S), Mlle. BUTSOVA had a great triumph. She has all the arts
and graces of her craft that can be taught, and to these she adds one
of the few gifts that no training can confer--the natural joy of life
that comes of just being young.

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Food prices were coming down. Soap had already been reduced
    1d. a lb."--_Daily Paper._

We tried it in 1917, but found it deficient in protein.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "YOU'RE SURE THIS IS WILTSHIRE BACON?"

"ER--I WOULDN'T LIKE TO GUARANTEE IT, MADAM--_NOT ABSOLUTELY_."

"WHERE DO YOU GET IT FROM, THEN?"

"WELL, IT _COMES_ FROM AMERICA, MADAM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Probably one of your first, and abiding, impressions of _The Third
Window_ (SECKER) will be that of almost extreme modernity. Certainly
ANNE DOUGLAS SEDGWICK (Mrs. BASIL DE SELINCOURT) has produced a
story that, both in its protagonists--a young war-widow and a maimed
ex-officer--and in its theme--spirit-communication and survival of
personality--is very much of the moment. It is a short book, not two
hundred pages all told, and with only three characters. You observe
that I have given you no particulars as to the third, though (or
because) she is of the first importance to the development. To say
more of this would be to ruin all, since suspense is essential to
its proper savouring; though I may indicate that it turns upon the
question whether the dead husband is still so far present as to forbid
the union of his widow and his friend. The thing is exceedingly
well done, despite a suggestion now and again that the situation is
becoming something too fine-drawn; I found myself also in violent
disagreement with the ending, though for what reasons I must deny
myself the pleasure of explaining. Perhaps the cleverest feature of
an unusual tale is the idea of Wyndwards, the modern "artistic" house
that is its setting--a house rather over deliberate and self-conscious
in its simplicity and beauty, lacking soul, but swept and garnished
for the reception of the seven devils of bogiedom. The atmosphere of
this is both new and conveyed with a very subtle skill.

       *       *       *       *       *

It must be admitted that Mrs. BELLOC LOWNDES'S young ladies enjoy
singularly poor luck, as is shown notably by their habit when in
foreign parts of picking up the worst people and generally surrounding
themselves with a society that it would be flattery to call dubious.
The latest victim to this tendency is _Lily_, heroine of _The Lonely
House_ (HUTCHINSON). It was situate, as you might not expect from its
name, at Monte Carlo, and _Lily_ had come there as the paying guest of
a courtesy uncle and aunt of foreign extraction, about whom she really
knew far too little. They had tried to postpone her visit at least
for a couple of days, the awkward fact being that the evening of
her arrival was already earmarked for an engagement that Auntie
euphemistically called "seeing a friend off on a long journey." If you
know Mrs. BELLOC LOWNDES at her creepiest, you can imagine the spinal
chill produced by this discovery. Gradually it transpires (though how
I shall not say) that whenever the _Count_ and _Countess Polda_ were
in want of a little ready cash they were in the habit of "seeing off"
some unaccompanied tourist known to have well-filled pockets. So
you can suppose the rest. If I have a criticism for Mrs. LOWNDES'
otherwise admirable handling of the affair it is that she depends
too much on the involuntary eavesdropper; before long, indeed, I was
forced to conclude either that _Lily_ possessed a miraculous sense
of overhearing, or that the acoustic properties of the lonely house
rendered it conspicuously unsuited for the maturing of felonious
little plans. But this is a trifle compared with the delights of such
a feast of first quality thrills.

       *       *       *       *       *

The extraordinary cleverness of _A Woman's Man_ (HEINEMANN) is the
thing which most impresses me about this life story of a French man of
letters, at the height of his fame somewhere in the eighteen-nineties.
He is made to tell his own story, and pitfalls for the author must
have abounded in such a scheme, but Miss MARJORIE PATTERSON seems
to have fallen into very few of them. _Armand de Vaucourt_ is a
self-deceiving sensualist who justifies his amours as necessary to
literary inspiration and neglects his wife only to find, too late,
that she has been his guardian angel, her love the source of all that
was worth while in his life and work. There have been such characters
as _Armand_ in fiction who yet made some appeal to the reader's
affection; it is the book's worst defect that _Armand_ makes none.
His recurring despairs and passions grow tedious; his final but rather
incomplete change of heart left me sceptical as to how long it would
have lasted had the book carried his history any further. _Armand_ as
a study of a certain type of egoist is supreme; my difficulty was
that I had no desire to study him. Even _Maria-Thérèse Colbert_, the
decadent wife of his publisher, a very monster among women, is more
interesting. Miss PATTERSON is on the side of the angels, but she
makes her way to them through some nasty mire, calling spades spades
with a vigour which seems to have prevented her from paying much
attention to some beautiful and hopeful things which also have
everyday names.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Germany's High Sea Fleet in the World War_ (CASSELL), which is
Admiral SCHEER'S addition to the entertaining series, "How we really
won after all," by German Military and Naval commanders, gives you, on
the whole, the impression of an honest sailor-man telling the truth as
he sees it and only occasionally remembering that he must work in one
of the set pieces of official propaganda. To a mere layman this record
is of immense and continual interest; to the professional, keen to
know what his opposite number was doing at a given time, it must be
positively enthralling, especially the chapter on the U-boats, with
its discreet excerpts from selected logs. Incidentally one
can't withhold tribute of reluctant admiration for the technical
achievements of the submarines and the courage, skill and tenacity of
their commanders and crews. Most readers will find themselves turning
first to the account of the Jutland battle. The tale is told not too
boastfully, though the Admiral claims too much. Perhaps that may be
forgiven him, as he certainly took his long odds gamely and fought his
fleet with conspicuous dexterity. Also the German naval architects and
ordnance folk proved to have a good thing or two up their sleeves,
and the gunnery, for a time at any rate, was unexpectedly excellent.
Naturally perhaps Admiral SCHEER may be claimed as supporting the
Beattyites rather than the Jellicoists. But he is biassed and goes
further than the most extreme of the former school. For his real
grievance against the British Navy, constantly finding vent, is that
it did not ride bravely in, with bands playing, to the perfectly good
battleground prepared with good old German thoroughness under the guns
of Heligoland.

       *       *       *       *       *

No pioneer work was ever more persistently attacked by the weapons of
ridicule and contempt than that of the Salvation Army, and I suggest
that all who sat in the hostile camp should read _William Booth,
Founder of the Salvation Army_ (MACMILLAN), and see for themselves
what ideas and ideals they were opposing. Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE has done
his work well, and the only fault to be found with him is that his
ardour has sometimes beguiled him into recording trivialities; and
this error strikes one the more as BOOTH, both in his strength and in
his weakness, was not trivial. When this, however, is said, nothing
but praise remains for a careful study both of the man and of his
methods. The instrument upon which BOOTH played was human nature, and
he played upon it with a sure hand because he understood how difficult
it is to touch the spirit when the body is suffering from physical
degradation. To this must be added a genuine spiritual exaltation and
love of his fellow-man and also an indomitable courage. Few men could
have emerged with hope and enthusiasm unquenched from such a childhood
as BOOTH'S; but we know how he lived to conquer all opposition and to
promote and organise what is perhaps the greatest movement of modern
times. In paying our tribute to him for his successful crusade against
misery and evil we are not to forget his wife, whose unfailing love
and devotion were his constant support.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. JOHN GALSWORTHY'S short stories and studies in _Tatterdemalion_
(HEINEMANN) are divided into "of war-time" and "of peace-time." I
think the greater part of the author's faithful company of readers
will prefer the latter. Mr. GALSWORTHY has less than most men the kind
of mind that can put off the burden of the suffering of war or submit
easily to the difficult need for us all to think one way in a time of
national crisis. But "Cafard," study of a _poilu_ in the despairing
depression that comes of the fatigue and horror of long fighting, who
is lifted back to courage by a little frightened beaten mongrel whose
confidence he wins, so forgetting his own trouble, was written, one
can feel, because the author wanted to write it, not because he felt
it was expected of him. Of the peace-time sketches "Manna," with the
theme of a penniless and eccentric parson charged with stealing a loaf
of bread and acquitted against the evidence, is as admirable as it is
unexpected in flavour. For the rest there is good GALSWORTHY, if not
of the very best, and but little that one would not praise highly if
it came from an author of lower standards.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dear Old Soul._ "THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BRINGING ME
ACROSS. I _DO_ SO HOPE YOU'LL GET SAFE BACK AGAIN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  Three members, quite immune to scowl or snub,
  Disturbed the quiet of the selfsame club;
  The first in resonance of snore surpassed,
  The next in raucousness, in both the last.
  Patience, exhausted, heaved a futile sigh;
  No force can cure them and they will not die.





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