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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-19
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, 1920-05-19" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 158.



May 19th, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.

A Swedish scientist has invented a new building material called
sylvenselosit. It is said to cost one-fifth the price of the building
material in use in this country, which is known to the trade as
wishyumagetit.

       ***

A folding motor-car is said to have been invented which has a greater
speed than any other car. The next thing that requires inventing is a
folding pedestrian to cope with it.

       ***

Berlin manufacturers are experimenting in making clothing from
nettles. This is a chance that the nettle has long been waiting for.

       ***

A business magazine suggests that a series of afternoon chats with
business men should be arranged. Our war experience of morning back
chats at the grocer's is not encouraging.

       ***

The capture of General CARRANZA, says a Vera Cruz message, was a
mistake on the part of General SANCHEZ. We trust this does not mean
that they will have to start the thing all over again.

       ***

Those who understand the Mexican trouble say it is doubtful whether
America can deal with this war until the Presidential election is
over. One war at a time is the American motto.

       ***

We gather from a contemporary that people who have been ordering
large stocks of coal in the hope of escaping the new prices will be
disappointed. Still, they may get in ahead of the next advance.

       ***

The inventor of the silent typewriter is now in London. We seem to
know the telephone which gave him the idea.

       ***

A man at Bow Street Court complained that the Black Maria which
conveyed him there was very stuffy. Some prisoners say that this
vehicle is so unhealthy as to drive custom away from the Court.

       ***

Fruit blight threatens to be serious this year, says a daily paper,
and drastic action should be taken against the apple weevil. A very
good plan is to make an imitation apple of iron and then watch the
weevil snap at it and break off its teeth.

       ***

One North of England workman is said to be in a bit of a hole. It
seems that he has mislaid his strike-fixture card.

       ***

Immediately after a football match at Londonderry, one of the players
was shot in the leg by an opponent. The latter claims that he never
heard the whistle blow.

       ***

Dr. EUGENE FISK, President of the Life Extension Institute, promises
by scientific means to prolong human life for nineteen hundred years.
If this is the doctor's idea of a promise we would rather not know
what he would call a threat.

       ***

Wood for making pianos, says a weekly journal, is often kept for
forty years. "And even this," writes "Jaded Parent," "is not half long
enough."

       ***

With reference to the man who was seen laughing at Newport last week,
it is only fair to point out that he was not a ratepayer, but was only
visiting the place.

       ***

LARRY LEMON, says _The Sunday Express_, is considered to be better
than CHARLIE CHAPLIN. As he is quite a young man, however, it is
possible that he may yet grow out of it.

       ***

The Clerk of the oldest City Company writes to _The Times_ to say that
his Livery has resolved to drink no champagne at its feasts. Meanwhile
other predictions as to the end of the world should be treated with
reserve.

       ***

After the statement in court by Mr. Justice DARLING people
contemplating marriage should book early for divorce if they want to
avoid the rush.

       ***

"Why Marry?" says the title of a new play. While no valid reason
appears to exist many declare that it is a small price to pay for the
satisfaction of being divorced.

       ***

Three-fourths of the public only buy newspapers to read the
advertisements, says a contemporary. It would be interesting to know
what the others buy them for.

       ***

"Few people seem to realise," says a cinema gossip, "that Miss S.
Eaden, the American film actress, is fond of tulips." We are ashamed
to confess that we had not fully grasped this fact.

       ***

It appears that one newspaper has decided that May 24th shall be the
opening date for ceasing to notice the cuckoo. Will correspondents
please note?

       ***

"Things are unsettled in Ireland," says a gossip writer. We think
people should be more careful what they say. Scandal like this might
get about.

       ***

A certain golf club has petitioned the local Council for permission
to play golf "in a modified form." Members who recently heard the
Club Colonel playing out of the bunker at the seventh declare that no
substantial modification is possible.

       ***

A new invention for motorists makes a buzzing sound when the petrol
tank is getting low. This is nothing compared with the motor-taxes
invented by the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, which make the motorist
himself whistle.

       ***

In the opinion of a weekly paper no dog can stand the sound of
bagpipes without setting up a howl. This only goes to prove, what we
have always contended, that dogs are almost human.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Visitor._ "WHY DOES YOUR SERVANT GO ABOUT THE HOUSE
WITH HER HAT ON?"

_MISTRESS._ "OH, SHE'S A NEW GIRL. SHE ONLY CAME THIS MORNING, AND
HASN'T YET MADE UP HER MIND WHETHER SHE'LL STAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LIBERAL BREACH.

(_As viewed dispassionately by a looker-on._)

  WHEN dog with dog elects to fight
    I take no hand in such disputes,
  Knowing how hard they both would bite
    Should I attempt to part the brutes.

  So in the case of man and wife
    My rooted habit it has been,
  When they engage in privy strife,
    Never to go and barge between.

  Nor do I join the fighting front
    When Liberal sections disagree,
  One on the Coalition stunt
    And one on that of Freedom (Wee).

  Though tempted, when I see them tear
    Each other's eyes, to say, "Be good!"
  As an outsider I forbear,
    Fearing to be misunderstood.

  Fain would I use my gift of tact
    And take a mediatorial line,
  But shrewdly recognise the fact
    That this is no affair of mine.

  Yet may I venture to deplore
    A great tradition cheaply prized,
  And yonder, on the Elysian shore,
    The ghost of GLADSTONE scandalised.

  But most for him I mourn in vain
    Whom Fate has dealt so poor a fist
  (Recalling SHAKSPEARE'S gloomy Dane,
    That solid-fleshed soliloquist)--

  O curséd spite that he was born
    (ASQUITH, I mean) to close the breach
  And save a party all forlorn
    By mere rotundity of speech.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LIAR'S MASTERPIECE.

My friend Arthur's hobby is the stupendous. He conceives himself to
be the direct successor of the mediæval travel-story merchants.
War-tales, of course, are barred to him, for nothing is too improbable
to have happened during the War, and all the best lies were used by
professionals while Arthur was still serving. Once, however, in his
career he has realised his ambition to be taken for a perfect liar,
and that time he happened to be speaking the simple truth. I was his
referee and he did it in this wise.

When ALLENBY was making his last great drive against the Turk, he was
no doubt happy in the knowledge that Arthur and I were pushing East
through Bulgaria to take his adversary in the rear. We pushed with
speed and address, but just when it looked as if we should exchange
the tactical for the practical we stopped and rusticated at the hamlet
of Skeetablista, on the Turco-Bulgarian frontier.

Skeetablista was under the control of Marko and Stefan and an assorted
following of Bulgar cut-throats. Although the mutual hatchet had been
interred a bare three weeks we found ourselves among friends. Thomas
Atkins was soon talking Bulgarian with ease and fluency, while his
"so-called superiors," as the company Bolshevik put it, celebrated the
occasion by an international dinner in Marko's quarters. The dinner
consisted chiefly of rum (provided by us) and red pepper (provided by
Marco and Stefan).

These latter were bright and eager youths from Sofia military academy,
and while the rum and red pepper passed gaily round they talked the
shop of their Bulgarian Sandhurst in a queer mixture of English
and French. They made living figures for us of the KAISER, who had
inspected them not long before, of FERDIE and of BORIS his son, and
told moving tales of British gunfire from the wrong end. We countered
with KITCHENER, LLOYD GEORGE and the British Navy, while outside in
the night the Thracian wolves howled derisively at both alike.

"I should like plenty to travel away and see the other countries,"
said Marko, rolling us cigarettes after dinner. "This is a good
country, but _ennuyant_. 'Ow the wolfs make plenty _brouhaha_
to-night, _hein_? Stefan, did you command the guard to conduct our
frien's 'ome?"

Stefan waggled his head from side to side in assent.

"Yes," continued Marko, "to see Italie, Paris, Londres. Particulierly
Londres."

"I live in London," Arthur remarked.

"You live?" said Marko with interest. "Tell me, 'ow great is Londres?"

"How great?" repeated Arthur, doubtful what kind of greatness was
indicated, moral or material.

"_Oui_, 'ow great? From one side to the other side?"

"Oh, I see," replied Arthur, and took thought. "About twenty-five
kilometres, I suppose."

"Twenty-five!" Marko's eyes rounded with astonishment. "_Écoute,
Stefan; vingt-cinq kilomètres._"

"But--but," demanded Stefan, "'ow many people is there?"

"About six millions," replied Arthur, swelling with pleasure. At last
he had found his incredulous audience.

"But that is a nation! I do not know if there are so many in all
Bulgarie," cried Marko. "'Ow do they travel? No droski could go so
far--it is a day's march. But perhaps you 'ave tramway? In Sofia we
'ave tramway," he added, not without pride.

"There are trams, but most of the people travel in buses----"

"Bussesse?" interjected Stefan. "_Qu' est-ce que c'est_, bussesse?"

"Lorries--_camions_. Big automobiles containing many people. And there
are also underground railways, railways under the ground in a tunnel.
You know tunnels?"

"_Oui, galleria._ But a railway under a town--_mon Dieu!_" said Marko,
appalled. "'Ow do the people descend to it?"

"In lifts--_ascenseurs_. From the street."

Stefan nodded assent. "I 'ave seen _ascenseurs_ at Sofia," he said.

"In these tunnels," continued Arthur, visibly warming to his work,
"trains go to all parts of the town every three minutes, and the cost
is only twenty _statinki_. The streets above are paved with wood."

"With _wood! Kolossal!_" said Marko, forgetting our prejudice
against Bosch idiom in his wonder at this crowning marvel.

To what lengths of veracity Arthur would have gone I never knew,
for at that moment a trampling of feet and a hoarse command outside
announced the arrival of our escort, and Marko, still in a sort of
walking swoon of amazement, went out to give them their orders.

Stefan regarded us with twinkling eyes.

"Ah, _farceur!_" he remarked, shaking his finger waggishly at Arthur.
"I know all the time you make the joke, but poor Marko, you 'ave
deceived 'im _absolument_. Railway under the ground, streets of wood,
'e swallow it all. Oh, naughty _Baroutchik!_"

The wolves did not come near us and our escort on our way home,
but they could have had Arthur for the taking. At the moment he had
nothing left to live for.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Johannesburg tramway men started a lightning strike on
    Thursday owing to the suspension of a conductor."--_Daily
    Paper._

It seems a logical reason.

       ***

    "Do not waste any time in entering for our 'Hidden' Geography
    Competition."

    _Daily Paper._

Thanks for the advice; we won't.

       ***

    "LINACRE LECTURE.--Dr. Henry Head, F.R.L., 'Aspasia and
    Kindred Disorders of the Speech.'"--_Cambridge Calendar._

Yet this is the lady who is supposed to have inspired the most famous
of PERICLES' orations.

       ***

    "Furnished Railway Carriage in Surrey garden to Let; 3 beds;
    company's water, gas-cooker, and light: 2gs. weekly."

    _Daily Paper._

Miss DAISY ASHFORD seems to have foreseen this development when she
wrote of _Mr. Salteena's_ "compartments."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RELUCTANT THRUSTER.

MR. ASQUITH (_performing the function of a battering-ram_). "I CONFESS
THAT AT MY TIME OF LIFE I SHOULD HAVE PREFERRED A MORE SEDENTARY IF
LESS HONORIFIC SPHERE OF USEFULNESS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Profiteer (after trying a variety of patterns without
success)._ "WELL, IT LOOKS PRETTY 'OPELESS WHEN THEY WON'T 'AVE A GOLD
FLY. WHAT DO THEY EXPECT--DIAMONDS?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PERSONAL TOUCH.

(_By our tireless Political Penetrator._)

For some time past, I understand, the Government has been considering
steps to bring the personalities of Cabinet Ministers more prominently
into the public eye. "We are not sufficiently known," said Sir WILLIAM
SUTHERLAND, who has the matter in hand, "as living palpitating figures
to the man in the street. We do not grip the nation's heart. We lack
pep."

I told him that it was a pity about pep. I felt that the Government
ought to have pep. and plenty of it. If possible they ought to have
vineg. and must. too.

"You are right," he said. "Occasional paragraphs in the Press,
snapshots which take us very likely with one leg stuck out in front
as if we were doing the goose-step, rare provincial excursions and
bouquets from admiring mill-girls are all very well in their way, but
they are nothing to constant personal appearances at stated times
and in stated places before an admiring mob. The heroes of sport are
overshadowing us," he continued with a sigh, pushing me over a box of
cigars.

"What are you going to do about it?" I asked, lighting one and putting
another carefully behind my ear.

"You must remember first," he replied, "that this is quite a modern
difficulty. Statesmen of the past used to make their leisurely
progress through the town surrounded by retainers on horseback, or
in sedan-chairs, beautifully dressed and scattering largesse as they
went. THOMAS À BECKET, the great Primate and Chancellor, used to have
poor men to dine with him and crowds thronging round to bless him.
To-day, I suppose, JOE BECKETT in his flowered dressing-gown would
be a more popular figure than Lord BIRKENHEAD and the Archbishop of
CANTERBURY, if you can imagine them rolled into one. In CHARLES II.'s
reign, when politicians used to play _pêle-mêle_ where the great Clubs
are now, anyone could rub shoulders with my lord of BUCKINGHAM and,
if he was lucky, get a swipe across the shins with the ducal mallet
itself. That is the kind of thing we want now.

"I had thoughts of running popular excursions down to Walton Heath,
but I am not sure that the people would care to go so far even to see
Sir ERIC GEDDES carrying the home green and Lord RIDDELL--the Riddell
of the sands, as we call him affectionately down there--getting out of
a difficult bunker. So I am trying to arrange for a few putting greens
in railed-off spaces in St. James's Park near the pelicans, and we
also propose to hold there on fine summer days the breakfast parties
for which the PRIME MINISTER is so famous. We shall make a point
of throwing not only crumbs to the birds, but slices of bread and
marmalade to the more indigent spectators. We shall also try to get
two or three open squash racket courts in Whitehall, so that on hot
summer days the most carping critic who watches a rally between Mr.
AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN and the SECRETARY OF STATE for WAR will have to
admit that we are doing our utmost to eliminate waste-products."

"But what about the clothes and the stately progress and the
largesse?" I asked; the largesse idea had struck me with particular
force.

"We are thinking of goat carriages and overalls for economy," he said,
"and the largesse cannot, I am afraid, be allowed for in the Treasury
Estimates. But we shall certainly scatter a handful or two of O.B.E.'s
as we go."

"And how will you deal with the country and the outer suburbs?" I
asked when my admiration had partially subsided.

"Ah, there you have the Cinema," replied Sir WILLIAM enthusiastically.
"We are going to make great strides with the Cinema. Our first film,
which is now in preparation, deals with the Leamington episode and has
been very carefully staged. It has been necessary, of course, in
the interests of art to elaborate the actual incidents to a certain
extent. Coalition Liberals, for instance, were obliged to board the
train in the traditional manner of the screen, leaping on to it whilst
in motion and climbing, some by way of the brakes and buffers, some
along the roofs of the carriages, into their reserved compartment.
Then again we could not reassemble the actual gathering of Wee Frees
to represent the enemy, but we secured the services of actors well
trained in Wild West and "crook" parts, capably led by those two
prominent comedians, _Mr. Mutt_ and _Mr. Jeff_. The film ends, of
course, with the second meeting at the Central Hall, Westminster,
when _Messrs. Mutt_ and _Jeff_ again appear as comic and objectionable
interrupters, and are ignominiously hurled into the street.

"Very soon we hope to have all important Parliamentary debates filmed.
It will be essential, of course, to provide some comic relief, and we
are relying confidently on certain Members to practise the wearing
of mobile moustaches and to take lessons in the stagger, the butter
slide, the business with the cane and the quick reversal of the hat."

"In short you think politics should be more spectacular?"

"That's it," he said. "HOBBS the mammoth hitter and a little less of
the _Leviathan_."

Greatly impressed I bit off the end of his second cigar and went back
to the office to look up _Leviathan_.

V.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Farmer._ "DEAR ME! C-CAN I DO ANYTHING?"

_Airman._ "THANKS, BUT REALLY I THINK I'VE DONE ALL THERE IS TO BE
DONE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN OPTIMIST.

    "The pastor of the ---- Congregational Church has been ordered
    by his medical adviser to take a rest. The rev. gentleman
    is therefore spending a fortnight's holiday in
    Ireland."--_Provincial Paper._

       ***

    "During the period of waiting before the bridal party
    appeared, the organist played Wagner's 'Bridal Chorus,' and
    'Cradle Song' (Guilmant)."--_West Country Paper._

The organist seems to have been rather a forward fellow.

       ***

With the Polo-season imminent we feel that we must not withhold from
intending players the admirable and disinterested advice given in an
Indian Trade circular:--

    "The skill of a polo player lies in his well management of
    horse in the turmoil of Play. Ill-weighed Polo sticks make the
    situation worse if the horse is not so kept.

    We try our best to construct Polo sticks in such a way as
    may help the player in the blur of game and put him in a more
    progressing mood.

    Make a real pleasure of your game and not labour as other
    sticks than ours would tend to make it. A fond player would
    like to give anything for a good stick."

       *       *       *       *       *

HOME-SICKNESS; OR, THE SINN FEINER ABROAD.

(_After "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," with sincere apologies to Mr. W.
B. YEATS._)

  I will arise and go now to Galway or Tralee
    And burgle someone's house there and plan a moonlight raid;
  Ten live rounds will I have there to shoot at the R.I.C.
          And wear a mask in the bomb-loud glade.

  And I shall have great fun there, for fun comes fairly fast,
    Bonfires in the purple heather and the barracks burning fine,
  There midnight is a shindy and the noon is overcast
          And evening full of the feet of kine.

  I will arise and go now, for always in my sleep
    There comes the sound of rifles and low moans on the shore;
  I see the sudden ambush and hear the widows weep,
          And I like that kind of war.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

AURAL TUITION.

The only other occupant of the carriage was a well dressed man of
middle age, clad in English clothes, but from many slight signs
palpably a foreigner of some sort.

Soon after the train started I noticed that his mouth and throat were
twitching and I surmised that he was about to speak. But speech is
no term in which to describe the queer animal, vegetable and mineral
sounds which issued from him. First his mouth opened slightly and he
seemed about to sneeze. Next I was conscious of a scraping noise in
his throat, accompanied by a slight ticking. It appeared that he was
going to have a fit and I regretted that we were alone. The noise grew
louder, took on speed and rose in a crescendo almost to a screech.
Then a few more scrapes, as of a pencil on a slate, and I began to
detect that he was speaking. His lips did not move, so that his voice
had a curiously distant sound. Nevertheless the words were clearly
audible.

The following is what he said in a low, metallic monotone: "Good
morning, Sir. I am very pleased to meet you. Can you tell me what
o'clock it is? I am much obliged. I wish to descend at Manchester.
At what hour do we arrive there? There are few passengers to-day. The
weather is fine. I beg your pardon if I do not make myself clear. I
do not speak English perfectly as yet. No doubt I have need of much
practice. Can I send a telegram from the next station? Is there a good
hotel at Manchester? Will you do me the favour----"

"Stop," I cried, after having several times opened my mouth to answer
one or other of his questions.

As soon as I spoke the words ended with a sudden click; the voice
descended and became a scrape; at last silence.

"My dear Sir," said I, "I shall be happy to give you any information
I can if you will ask one question at a time. You evidently speak
English very well indeed."

His face lighted with approval of the compliment and then the whole
performance began over again. Once more the wheeze, the scrape, the
screech, the tick and all the rest of it. I became terrified at these
painful impediments in his speech.

I remembered that somebody had once told me what to do on such
occasions. It was either to throw the patient upon his back and move
his arms up and down in a travesty of rowing or to slap him violently
on the back. Seeing that the stranger was several times larger than
myself I chose with diffidence the latter course. Rising to my feet
I turned him round and thumped his back vigorously. He received the
treatment with amiable smiles. Next he produced from his pocket a
booklet, which he handed to me with a polite bow, desisting entirely
from his menagerie noises.

I am of a nervous temperament and needed some minutes' rest in which
to collect myself. Then I began to examine the stranger's gift.

It was a well-printed pamphlet, obviously an advertisement:--

  "HOW TO LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES.
  _The One Truly Scientific Method._

The only way to acquire the real accent of the native is to listen
repeatedly to the language spoken by a native. With our phonograph No.
0034 and a selection of suitable records the student may listen for as
many hours daily as he chooses to the voice of a native speaking his
own language."

Lower down I saw: "Contents of Records. No. 1, At the Hotel; No. 2, At
the Railway Station; No. 3, In the Train." Ah! there it was--the whole
monologue:--

"Good morning, Sir. I am very pleased to meet you. Can you tell
me----?"

The explanation relieved me; I turned to my fellow-traveller.

"My dear Sir," said I, "I congratulate you on being the perfect pupil.
Your teacher, could it feel such emotions, would be proud of you. Only
to an exceptional student can it be given so faithfully to reproduce
'His Master's Voice.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

FIGURE-HEADS.

  "You never see a decent figure-'ead,
        Not now," Bill said;
  "A fiddlin' bit o' scrollwork at the bow,
        That's the most now;
  But Lord! I've seen some beauties, more 'n a few,
        An' some rare rum uns too.

  "Folks in all sorts o' queer old-fashioned rigs,
        Fellers in wigs,
  Chaps in cocked 'ats an' 'elmets, lords an' dukes.
        Folks out o' books,
  Niggers in turbans, mandarins an' Moors,
        And 'eathen gods by scores;

  "An' women in all kinds o' fancy dresses--
        Queens an' princesses,
  Witches on broomsticks too, an' spankin' girls
        With streamin' curls,
  An' dragons an' sea serpents--Lord knows what
        I've seen an' what I've not!

  "An' some's in breakers' yards now, thick with grime
        And weathered white wi' time;
  An' some stuck up in gardens 'ere an' there
        With plants for 'air;
  An' no one left as knows but chaps like me
  How fine wi' paint an' gold they used to be
        In them old days at sea."

C. F. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

"BAG AND BAGGAGE."

    "According to present arrangements the Turkish Peace Treaty
    will be presented to the Turkish delegation on May 11 at
    4 p.m. in the Cloak Room of the French Foreign
    Office."--_Times._

These ceremonies are usually conducted in the Salon de l'Horloge, but
the new _venue_ was doubtless thought more appropriate for disposing
of the Turkish _impedimenta_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

THE STRIKE AGAINST THE PRICE OF CLOTHES IS SPREADING.

[_Fashion Note._--Lady Germanda Speedwell was seen walking in the Park
looking sweet in a rhubarb-leaf hat, the stalk worn at the side. Her
corsage was of clinging ivy leaves, in contrast to the fuller effect
of her banana-skin skirt. Her companion wore the usual morning-coat
and kilt of grass, but struck a new note with a pumpkin hat.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MAKING OF A CRISIS.

[We are privileged to-day to publish an unwritten chapter from Mr. H.
G. WELLS' _History of the World_. It is entitled "The Slime Age," and
has a topical interest since it outlines the methods of production of
the Crisis, the only article of which the supply to-day exceeds the
demand.]

Out of all this muddle and confusion and slipshod thinking there
arose one man with a purpose, one man who fixed his eyes on a single
inevitable goal and walked straight at it, not minding what or whom he
trod upon on the way. His purpose was the mass-production of crises,
and he created crises as rabbits create their young, nine at a time.
In those fuddled incompetent days before the Great War the crisis
was a little-known phenomenon. Here and there in the drab routine of
peaceful corpulent years there flashed in the prosperous firmament
the baleful light of a great anxiety. Agadir was one; CARSON and his
gun-runners was another. But they were few; they came like rare comets
and were forgotten.

Then in the Great War a new habit was born in the minds of the people,
the habit of crises. Even then at first they came decently, in ordered
succession--Mons, Ypres, the Coalition, Gallipoli. But the people's
craving was insatiable; the people cried for more crises.

Then this man stood up and said to the people, "I will give you
crises."

And he did. Instead of a casual crisis here and there, to every year
a crisis or two, he gave them a crisis every month, every week, every
day, and still they were not satisfied. And so, at last, out of all
the muddle and waste and pettifogging stupidity this man created
crises as men create matches, by the gross. And this was how he
created them:--

_Extract from "The Slime," April 3rd, a paragraph in the Foreign
Intelligence:--_

"BOBADIG, _April 1st._

"A party of French mules, passing to their quarters in the vilayet of
Arimabug, were to-day attacked by an Australian sheep on the staff of
the British Military Mission. It is feared that many of the mules were
injured. Feeling runs high among the peasantry, incensed already by
the failure of the British Government to provide mosquito-nets for the
sacred goats."


_Extract from a leading article in "The Slime," April 6th, on Land
Tenure in Wales:--_

" ... Parliament to-day will be occupied with the preposterous Budget
proposals, but we hope our legislators will find time to press the
PRIME MINISTER for an explanation of the outrageous incident at
Bobadig reported in our columns last week. There is only too good
reason to fear that the policy of alternate violence and inertia,
against which we have so often protested, has at last inflamed the
law-abiding animals of Bobadig ..."

_From "The Slime" Special Correspondent:--_

BOBADIG, _April 8th._

"Since my last message (much mutilated by the Censor) events have
moved rapidly. Two of the mules have died of their injuries in
hospital; three others lie in a dangerous condition at Umwidi, four
miles away, where they fled for refuge from the wanton onslaught of
the Australian sheep. This sheep, it now transpires, was the personal
attendant of General Riddlecombe, Head of the Military Mission, a
circumstance which is not calculated to allay the local animosity
which the incident has aroused. The situation will require all the
tact that the British Government can command."


_Extract from the Special Crisis Column of "The Slime," April 11th:--_

"ANGLO-ARMENIAN RELATIONS.
 GRAVE WARNING.

"In a telegram which we print in another column our Special
Correspondent in Armenia confirms to-day the serious fears to which we
gave expression in our issue of April 6th concerning the possibility
of a crisis in Anglo-Armenian relations. The incident of the Bobadig
mules is already bearing fruit, and we can no longer doubt that
popular feeling in the vilayet of Arimabug has been dangerously
inflamed by the obtuse procrastination of the British Government.
These unfortunate mules...."


"SCRATCHIPOL, _April 10th._

"Communications with Bobadig have broken down, but it is reported that
a mule was buried there on Sunday in circumstances of great popular
excitement. A large crowd followed the body to the cemetery and made
a demonstration after the ceremony outside the house of the local
veterinary surgeon, who is alleged to have treated the animal for
mumps instead of sheep-shock, with fatal results."


_From "The Slime," April 14th.--_

"GRAVE CRISIS.
 ARMENIAN ANGER.
 THE MURDERED MULES.

"As we feared, a serious crisis has arisen in Anglo-Armenian
relations. At Bobadig a third mule has perished and his interment was
made the occasion of a great popular demonstration against the policy
of Great Britain. In diplomatic circles no one is attempting to
conceal that the situation is extremely grave. The PRIME MINISTER has
returned to Downing Street from Le Touquet. Shortly after his arrival
the Armenian Minister drove up in a motor-cab and was closeted with
the PREMIER for a full ten minutes. After lunch, Lord Wurzel arrived
in his brougham. At tea-time the Minister of Mutton-Control dashed up
in a 24 'bus, followed rapidly by the Secretary of State for War on
his scooter. Mr. Burble wore an anxious look...."

_Extract from a leading article in "The Slime," April 16th:--_

"SPIT IT OUT.

"We trust it is not already too late to appeal to the Government to
extricate the Empire from the perilous position in which their wilful
stupidity has placed it. The news from Bobadig is exceedingly serious.
Another of the affronted mules has perished in circumstances of the
foulest indignity; it only remains for the other two to die for
the triumph of British statesmanship to be complete. These wretched
creatures are being slowly sacrificed for the foolish whim of a
British Prime Minister. No doubt remains that they have been subjected
to sheep-shock by the savage bites of the Australian animal. The
Government, blinded by its own infatuate folly and deaf to the storms
of popular indignation in this country, continues to treat them
for mumps.... By this test the Government will be judged at the
forthcoming election. They must realise that the time for trifling is
past. If the resources of the British Empire are unable at this date
to combat the menace of sheep-shock among the loyal mules of Bobadig,
then indeed.... At least we are entitled to ask for an explanation of
the presence of an infuriated sheep on the staff of a British General.
The PRIME MINISTER...."


_From "The Slime," April 17th.--_

"AT LAST.

The situation in Bobadig is easing rapidly. The Government has at last
carried out the instructions of _The Slime_, and we understand that a
Ministerial expert in sheep-shock has been sent to the assistance of
the surviving mules. But while we may congratulate ourselves on the
lifting of the clouds in that direction matters in West Ham give
ground for the gravest anxiety. The wood-lice of West Ham are
proverbially of an irritable nature, and the attitude of the
Government has been calculated for some time to inflame...."

_From "The Slime," April 19th.--_

"BOBADIG CRISIS OVER.

PREMIER YIELDS.

We are glad to report ..."

_From "The Slime," April 20th.--_

"WEST HAM CRISIS BEGINS.

WOOD LICE IN REVOLT.

GRAVE WARNING.

Once again we must warn the Government...."

And so on.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TRUE POLITENESS.

_Party in Check Cap._ "WILL YOU HAVE MY PLACE, SIR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Three swift fierce rounds between Beckett and Wells and the
    18,000 spectators at Olympia last night witnessed the close of
    yet another great ring drama."--_Daily Chronicle._

    "Beckett ... bowed more by instinct than of set purpose to the
    shouting, over-wrought people who from the floor of Olympia
    shot up to the ceiling."--_Daily Telegraph._

We had no idea until we read these paragraphs that the spectators took
such an active part in the proceedings.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _House-hunter (after another fruitless day)._ "WHAT
ABOUT TAKING THIS? WE COULD AT LEAST HANG OUR PICTURES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FAIRY BALL.

  "I am asked to the ball to-night, to-night;
  What shall I wear, for I must look right?"
  "Search in the fields for a lady's-smock;
  Where could you find you a prettier frock?"

  "I am asked to the ball to-night, to-night;
  What shall I do for my jewels bright?"
  "Trouble you not for a brooch or a ring,
  A daisy-chain is the properest thing."

  "I am asked to the ball to night, to-night;
  What shall I do if I shake with fright?"
  "When you are there you will understand
  That no one is frightened in Fairyland."

R. F.

       *       *       *       *       *

"WIT AND HUMOUR.

    Ashton and District Undertakers' Association have advanced
    the prices of hearse and carriages for funerals."--_Yorkshire
    Paper._

If this is the kind of humour that appeals to our contemporary it
should alter the heading to "Grave and Gay."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LUXURIES OF THE RICH.

_Club Member (owner of thirty thousand acre estate)._ "I TELL YOU
WHAT IT IS--I MUST REALLY GET MY HAIR CUT. DASH IT, I'VE GOT THE
MONEY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

COMMUNISM AT CAMBRIDGE.

    [Bolshevism and Communism claim many adherents among the young
    intellectuals at our ancient Universities.--_Vide Press._]

I am a Socialist, a Syndicalist, an Anarchist, a Bolshevist--whatever
you like to call me; if you wish to be precise, an International
Communist.

Anyhow, as such I am opposed tooth-and-nail to the iniquity of the
existing Competitive System. It is my intention to devote my life
to its eradication, in whatever form it may be disguised, and to
inaugurate an era of loving-kindness, peace, leisure and plenty,
similar to that now enjoyed by the people of Russia.

But my duties do not lie only in the distant future; they are here, in
the present, facing me in the University. For never, I think, was the
unclean thing, Competition, so prevalent and unabashed as at Cambridge
to-day.

Both in work and in sport is the evil rampant. Take as an example
the reactionary custom of dividing the Tripos Honours List into three
classes. Can you imagine anything more inducive to competition? Worse,
it is a direct invitation to the worker--often, I am proud to say,
unheeded--to exceed the one-hour-day for which we Communists are
striving.

Even more deplorable is the competitive spirit in sport; more
deplorable because more insidious. Even those whom we are wont to
regard as our comrades and leaders are not always proof against the
canker in this guise. I remember paying a visit to Fenner's, that
fair field corrupted by competition, to raise my protest against
inter-collegiate sports. To my indescribable grief and amazement I
beheld one whom I had always followed and reverenced--a man of mighty
voice oft lifted in debate--preparing to _compete_ (mark the word)
in a Three-Mile Race. "Stay, comrade," I cried. He heeded me not;
moreover, it certainly appeared to me that he attempted--thank God,
unsuccessfully--to win the race. Maybe I go too far in ascribing to
him this desire to come in first, with a resultant triumph over his
fellows; but was not his very entrance a countenancing of evil? Had
he considered the feelings of bitter enmity inspired in the many
who toiled behind him? And the encouragement to College rivalry!--a
rivalry in no way differing from that between nations, save that
College distinctions are, of course, less artificial.

It becomes obvious, I think, to every unprejudiced observer that most
of the games now unfortunately so popular at the University--rowing,
cricket, football and the like--_must go_. But let it not be assumed
that the Communist is averse from recreation properly conducted; far
from it. There is no possible objection to diabolo or top-spinning,
for instance, and, though competitive marbles must not be played
(whether on the Senate House steps or elsewhere), solitaire may be
permitted as in no way provoking the deplorable spirit of rivalry.

Of other games the Communist will discard bridge, billiards and
"general post"; and even "hunt-the-slipper" and "hide-and-seek" are
not altogether free from the competitive taint. But an excellent
game is open to him in "patience," while there is no pastime more
indicative of the true Communistic spirit than "ring-a-ring o' roses,"
so long as proper care be taken that at the last "tishu" all the
players collapse simultaneously.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HOMAGE FROM THE BRAVE.

"OLD CONTEMPTIBLE" (_to Member of the Royal Irish Constabulary_).
"WELL, MATE, I HAD TO STICK IT AGAINST A PRETTY DIRTY FIGHTER, BUT
THANK GOD I NEVER HAD A JOB QUITE LIKE YOURS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Monday, May 10th._--But for the presence of a handful of Irish Peers
and of Sir EDWARD CLARKE (looking little older than when he pulverised
GLADSTONE'S second Home Rule scheme in 1893) you would never have
thought that this was the first day in Committee of the Bill "for
the better government of Ireland." The Ulstermen were on duty in full
force, but the bench on which the Nationalists are wont to sit was,
like their beloved country, "swarming with absentees."

[Illustration: HARLEQUIN'S OFFENSIVE.

LORD HUGH CECIL.]

Lord HUGH CECIL, like _Harlequin_, smote everyone impartially, one
of his most telling strokes being the remark that the PRIME MINISTER
could not distinguish between the art of winning an election and the
art of governing a country; but otherwise his performance was about on
a par with that of Mr. JACK JONES, who spoke against the Amendment
and voted for it. Mr. BONAR LAW'S declaration that the Bill, however
unacceptable to Ireland at the moment, furnished the only hope of
ultimate settlement, coupled with the Ulster leader's promise that,
much as he loathed the idea of a separate Parliament, he would work
it for all he was worth, carried the day. Mr. ASQUITH'S Amendment was
knocked out by 259 to 55.

In subsequent Amendments other Members attempted to emphasise the idea
of ultimate union by calling the statutory bodies "Councils" instead
of "Parliaments," and by setting up a single Senate to control them
both. But they did not meet with acceptance. Captain ELLIOTT thought
the first as absurd as the idea that you could make two dogs agree
by chaining them together, and Mr. LONG dismissed the second with the
remark (which shows how rapidly his political education has advanced
since the Parliament Act) that he was in great doubt as to whether a
Second Chamber was in itself a protection for minorities.

[Illustration: A PROTESTING CONVERT.

SIR EDWARD CARSON.]

_Tuesday, May 11th._--Lord LONDONDERRY moved the second reading of the
Air Navigation Bill. An important part of the Bill relates to trespass
or nuisance by aeroplanes. The rights of the property-owner _usque ad
coelum_ will obviously have to be considerably modified if commercial
aviation is to be possible; but Lord MONTAGU entered a _caveat_
against accepting the provisions of the Bill in this regard without
close examination. Constant flying over a man's house or property
might, as he said, constitute a serious nuisance. Imagine an
"air-drummer," if one may so call him, hovering over a Royal
garden-party and showering down leaflets on the distinguished guests.

The little _coterie_ that is so nervously anxious lest this country
should do anything to assist the Poles in their attacks on the
Bolshevists was particularly active this afternoon. Even the SPEAKER'S
large tolerance is beginning to give out. One of the gang announced
his intention of repeating a question already answered. "And I give
notice," said Mr. LOWTHER, "that if the hon. and gallant Member does
repeat it I shall not allow it to appear on the Notice-paper."

Another hon. Member wanted to know why, if we were not helping the
Poles, we kept a British mission at Warsaw. "Among other things,"
replied Mr. CHURCHILL, "to enable me to answer questions put to me
here." A third sought information regarding the expenditure of the
Secret Service money, and was duly snubbed by Mr. CHAMBERLAIN with the
reply that if he answered the question the Service would cease to be
secret.

The rejection of the Finance Bill was moved by Mr. BOTTOMLEY. In his
view the CHANCELLOR was making a great mistake in trying to pay off
debt, especially if it meant the taxation of such harmless luxuries
as champagne and cigars. "Let posterity pay," was his motto. Still, if
Mr. CHAMBERLAIN was determined to persist in his foolish course, let
him give him (Mr. BOTTOMLEY) a free hand and he would guarantee to
raise a thousand millions in a month. The best comment on this
oration was furnished by Mr. BARNES, who strongly advocated a tax upon
advertisements.

_Wednesday, May 12th._--The prevalent notion that the only road
a Scotsman cares about is that which leads to England cannot be
maintained in face of Lord BALFOUR'S vigorous indictment of the
Ministry of Transport for its neglect of the highways in his native
Clackmannan. The Duke of SUTHERLAND was equally eloquent about the
deplorable state of the Highlands, where the people were not even
allowed telephones to make up for their lack of transport facilities.
"Evil communications corrupt good manners," and there was real
danger that the Highlanders would vote "Wee Free" at the next General
Election. Appalled by this prospect, no doubt, Lord LYTTON hastened to
return a soft answer, from which we learned that three-quarters of
a million had already been allocated to Scottish roads, and gathered
that the dearest ambition of Sir ERIC GEDDES was to share the fame of
the hero immortalised in the famous lines:--

  "Had you seen but these roads before they were made
  You would hold up your hands and bless General WADE."

Only Mr. KIPLING could do full justice to the story of the abduction,
pursuit and recapture--all within thirty-six hours--of an English
lady at Peshawar. Even as officially narrated by Mr. MONTAGU it was
sufficiently exciting. The most curious and reassuring fact was
that all the actors in the drama, abductors and rescuers alike, were
Afridis. It is to be hoped that this versatile community includes a
cinematograph operator, and that a film will, like the lady, shortly
be "released."

[Illustration: "SUMER IS Y-CUMEN IN."

SIR ROBERT HORNE WELCOMES A USEFUL ALLY.]

The miners' representatives made an unselfish protest against the
increase in the price of coal. Although it would justify them in
demanding a further increase in their present inadequate wage they did
not believe it was necessary or, at any rate, urgent. Sir ROBERT HORNE
assured them that it was, and that the present moment--the season in
happier days of "Lowest Summer Prices"--had been selected as the least
inconvenient to the public.

_Thursday, May 13th._--Ireland maintains its pre-eminence as the land
of paradox. Among the hunger-strikers recently released from Mountjoy
prison were (by an accident) several men who had actually been
convicted. The House learned to its surprise that these men cannot be
re-arrested, but are out for good (their own, though possibly not the
community's); whereas the untried (and possibly innocent) suspects may
be re-arrested at any moment.

The new Profiteering Bill, which, to judge by the criticisms levelled
against its exceptions and safeguards, will be about as effective as
its predecessor, was read a third time. So was the Health Insurance
Bill, but not until a few Independent Liberals, led by Captain
WEDGWOOD BENN, had been rebuked for their obstructive tactics by Mr.
MYERS and Mr. NEIL MACLEAN of the Labour Party. As the small hours
grew larger this split in the Progressive ranks developed into a
yawning chasm, and the Government got a third Bill passed before the
weary House adjourned at six o'clock.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sergeant._ "'OLD YER 'EADS UP! ALL THE FAG ENDS WAS
PICKED UP LONG AFORE YOU---- 'ERE, WHAT THE----?"

_Old Soldier (who has produced a small note-book)._ "ALL RIGHT,
SERGEANT, I'M ONLY KEEPING A RECORD OF THE 'FAG END' JOKE. I'VE NOW
HEARD IT TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN TIMES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It has been arranged that the Speaker shall make the
    presentation of plate [to Miss BONAR LAW], and Mr. Lloyd
    George and Mr. Asquith will take part."--_Daily Chronicle._

It is hoped that they will leave a substantial portion for the bride.

       *       *       *       *       *

A SMALL FARM.

To all of you who have begun to gaze pensively at railway posters, to
furrow your brows over maps and guide-books, or hover sheepishly about
the inquiry offices of Holiday Touring Agencies, I would whisper: "Go
to a small farm and bask."

You will note that I say a _small_ farm. A large farm has much that is
pleasant and pungent about it, but to my mind you cannot bask properly
on a large farm. You are too much in the way. The medley of barns,
byres, styes, rods, poles and perches is a hive of restless energy.
Unless you are walking about with a bucket or prodding something with
a stick you feel you have no right to be there. On a large farm you
are expected to accompany your host across a couple of ten-acre fields
to look at his young wheat. Some people can tell what is the matter
with a field of young wheat by merely leaning on a gate and glancing
at it. Unless I can feel its pulse or take its temperature I cannot
tell whether young wheat is suffering from whooping-cough or
nasal catarrh. All I can do is to nod my head sagely and say that,
considering the sort of Government we have got, it looks pretty
flourishing. Then my host remarks that he has got a young bull in
Bodger's Paddock (about three miles across country) that it will do
my heart good to see. That is the worst of a large farm; anything you
want is sure to be several fields away from you.

Now at the small farm which I recommend, but the address of which I am
not going to give away, you may lie and bask by the duck pond and be
quite in the picture. Further, if a sudden irresistible desire for
something--a hoe or a cow, for example--should come over you, you have
only to put out your hand and grab it. There is a compactness about
the place. They do not put the cattle in odd fields five miles apart,
but leave them to lounge round the duck pond or sit in the front
garden, where they can be collected without effort. There are
no energetic squads of farm-labourers; no bustling battalions of
land-girls with motor-plough attachments. The outdoor staff is
generally to be found sitting on a bucket by the duck pond rubbing at
a bit of harness and looking decently rural. When he has rubbed the
harness he stands up and looks at the young wheat. Then he turns
round and glances at the mangel-wurzel field. If the appearance of it
displeases him he reaches out for a rake and puts it right. Then he
sits on the bucket again and has lunch.

When you go to bed at this farm you knock your head against the lintel
of the sitting-room with a force corresponding to your height and
vitality. Then you hit your head a second time when ascending the
stairs and again on entering the bedroom. If you are a heavy breather
you sweep the ceiling clear of flies and cobwebs while you sleep.
At dawn, or possibly an hour or so before (for he is a nervously
conscientious bird), the farm cock steps off the roof of the cow-shed
on to your window-sill and bursts into enthusiastic admiration
of himself and things in general. Some people of an egoistic and
unimaginative temperament get up at once, in order that they may spend
the rest of the day telling you how much they enjoyed the sunrise and
what a fool you were to miss it. The true basker, on the other hand,
declines to be a party to a procedure which destroys the whole poetry
of dawn and reduces the proud chanticleer to the sordid status of an
alarum-clock. He simply pushes the bird off the window-sill with his
foot, turns over and goes to sleep. And later on, when the sound of
other people knocking their heads against various portions of the
building arouses him, he goes to sleep again.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Shopman._ "ARE YOU SURE ONE WILL BE SUFFICIENT?"

_Member of the New Plutocracy._ "WELL, I'VE ONLY ONE NECK, AIN'T
I?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "COUNTRY JOINER Wanted."

    _Advt. in Provincial Paper._

To work on the Channel Tunnel?

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIDGING THE LITERARY GULF.

(_Famous Publisher's Great Scheme of Reconciliation._)

Hearing on good authority that Mr. Blinkingham, the well-known
publisher, was about to launch an enterprise of a magnitude only
comparable with that of the _Ency. Brit._ or the _D.N.B._, Mr.
Punch hastened to headquarters for confirmation of the report, was
graciously admitted to his presence and furnished with the following
interesting details. Mr. Blinkingham, it may be mentioned, is at
all points a finely equipped representative of his class, handsome,
well-groomed and wearing his monocle with distinction. His sanctum is
furnished with delightfully catholic taste--Louis Quinze furniture, a
Japanese embossed wall-paper, pictures by BOTTICELLI and Mr. WYNDHAM
LEWIS and statuettes of PLATO, VOLTAIRE and Mr. WELLS (the Historian,
not the Bombardier).

After some preliminary observations on the deplorable condition of the
pulp industry, Mr. Blinkingham unfolded his colossal scheme. "By way
of preface," remarked the great literary _impresario_, "let me call
your attention to the momentous statement made by the Editor of _The
Athenæum_ in the issue of May 7th: 'We doubt whether there has ever
been a generation of men of letters so startlingly uneducated as this,
so little interested in the study of the great writers before
them.' The Editor of _The Athenæum_ takes a most gloomy view of
the situation, which is fraught with an atmosphere of hostility and
suspicion inimical to a revival of criticism. Yet he sees in such
a revival the only way of salvation, the only means of healing the
internecine feud which is now convulsing the young literary world.

"For my own part I am convinced that a better way is to lure back the
modernists to a study of great writers by presenting them in a more
palatable form, not by compressing or abridging them--for that has
been tried before--but by having them re-written in conformity with
present-day standards by eminent contemporary writers. This notion had
been germinating in my head for some time past, but I did not see my
way clear until I read the luminous and epoch-making remark of Mr.
C. K. SHORTER, that he would sooner have written _Tom Jones_ than any
book published these two hundred years. In a moment, in a flash, my
scheme took shape. 'He shall write it, or rather re-write it,' I said
to myself, and I have already submitted to this eminent man of letters
my rough _scenario_ of the lines on which FIELDING'S novel should
be brought home to the Georgian mind. In reply he has made a
counter-suggestion that the characters should be rearranged on a
Victorian basis, CHARLOTTE BRONTË replacing _Sophia_, THACKERAY _Mr.
Allworthy_, while the title-rôle should be assigned to an enterprising
publisher. But I am not without hope that he will adopt my plan.

"The revival of interest in the works of RICHARDSON, the other great
eighteenth-century novelist, is, I think I may safely say, a foregone
conclusion. Miss DOROTHY RICHARDSON has enthusiastically welcomed
the proposition that she should reconstruct the romances of her
illustrious namesake, and confidently expects, on the basis of the
method employed by her in _The Tunnel_, that she will be able to
excavate at least a hundred volumes from the materials supplied in
_Sir Charles Grandison_ and _Clarissa Harlowe_.

"Nor shall we overlook the earlier masters. Professor CHAMBERLIN,
whose thrilling lectures on QUEEN ELIZABETH and Lord LEICESTER
have been the talk of the town for the last fortnight, has kindly
undertaken to organise a new _variorum_ version of the Plays of
SHAKSPEARE, with the assistance of Mr. LOONEY, the writer of the
recently-published and final work on the authorship of the plays.
MILTON will be presented in both verse and prose, Mr. MASEFIELD having
promised to re-write his epic in six-lined rhymed stanzas, shorn of
Latinisms; while a famous novelist, who does not wish her name to
appear at present, has consented to recast it in the form of a romance
under the title of _The Miseries of Mephistopheles_.

"Returning to the eighteenth century, I am glad to be able to say
that a brilliant reconstruction of POPE'S _Dunciad_ is promised by
the SITWELL family, in which the milk-and-water school is held up to
ridicule, with TENNYSON in the place of dishonour formerly occupied by
THEOBALD. With a magnanimity that cannot be too highly commended, the
staff of _The Times_ has undertaken to adapt another forgotten work
under the title of _Grey's Eulogy_, with special reference to the work
of the League of Nations.

"I confess to feeling rather doubtful as to the possibility of
reviving any interest in the works of SCOTT, DICKENS and THACKERAY.
They are at once too near and too far. Still I hope to persuade Miss
REBECCA WEST to try her hand at _Vanity Fair_. Then there is GEORGE
ELIOT, another uncertain quantity, though perhaps something might
be made of _The Mill on the Floss_ if it were renamed _Tulliver's
Travels_, and given an up-to-date industrial atmosphere by Mr. ARNOLD
BENNETT. I have my eye on Mr. LYTTON STRACHEY as the man who could
make a fine modern version of _Tom Brown's Schooldays_. At the moment
he is too busy with his _Life of Queen VICTORIA_, but I feel sure he
will not lightly abandon so splendid an opportunity of unmasking the
pedantry and pietism of Dr. ARNOLD and throwing the white light of
truth on 'Rugby Chapel.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

BIRD CALLS.

III.

  The robin helps to brighten Winter days
  And, if you listen carefully, he says,
  "Oh please, oh please do leave some crumbs for me;"
  It's greed, but still he says it cheerily.

  The starling rolls his "r's" with unctuous joy
  And, preening, wonders whom he may annoy,
  Then imitates a hen, a water-fowl
  And next the "Be quick" of a white barn-owl.

  The heron has a fierce and yellow eye
  And eats up all our fishes on the sly;
  There seems to be but one he deigns to like,
  For all I hear him say is simply "Pike."

  Tree-creepers, like some busy brown field-mice,
  Unwearying chase the furtive fat wood-lice,
  Then round the oak-tree's bole they slyly peep
  And tell you what you thought you knew--"We creep."

  This is the way the sparrow calls his mate;
  He says it early and he says it late,
  He says it softly, but he says it clear:
  "Come unto me, come unto me, my dear."

       *       *       *       *       *

DRESS AT THE CURZON WEDDING.

    "Princess ---- wore a black hat, a cloak of tailless ermine,
    and a black and silver toque."

    _Daily Telegraph._

    "Then came Mrs. ---- in a dull golf hat."

    _Daily Graphic._

As a protest, we suppose, against the other lady's extravagance in
wearing a couple of hats.

       ***

    "John ----, a coloured man, was charged with using obscure
    language in Maria Street. The magistrates fined him
    5s."--_Welsh Paper._

Most unfair! Lots of men do the very same thing in Parliament and get
paid four hundred pounds a year for it.

       ***

Heading from pp. 516, 517 of _Punch's_ official rival, _The Telephone
Directory_:

    "SUBSCRIBERS SHOULD NOT ENGAGE ****** THE TELEPHONISTS IN
    CONVERSATION."

We should ourselves have placed the asterisks after the word "THE."

       *       *       *       *       *

ROYAL ACADEMY--SECOND DEPRESSIONS.

[Illustration: STUDY OF A CHILD, SOME GOATS AND A HORSE. THE HORSE IS
FULL OF FIRE AND LOOKS AS IF HE HAD JUST SPRUNG FROM HIS ROCKERS.]

[Illustration: "DOUBLE OR QUIT." A SPORTING OFFER BY A PROFITEERING
LANDLORD.]

[Illustration: _Fair Rosamond._ "OH, MY GOODNESS! IS THAT A DAGGER?"

_Queen Elinor._ "QUITE RIGHT, BUT IT'S ONLY TO HEIGHTEN THE DRAMATIC
EFFECT. I KNEW YOU WOULD PREFER POISON."]

[Illustration: THE EXHAUSTED SITTER AND THE INEXORABLE ARTISTS.]

[Illustration: PREHISTORIC PRIZE-FIGHTERS REMOVING A HEAVY-WEIGHT
CHAMPION AFTER HIS DEFEAT.]

[Illustration: WINDOW-DRESSING IS NOW ONE OF THE FINE ARTS. A CHARMING
GROUP OF WAX FIGURES MADE TO THE ORDER OF MESSRS. WHITERIDGE.]

[Illustration: _Excited Bather._ "SOMETHING QUEER ABOUT THESE ROCKS.
ONE OF THEM IS TICKLING ME ON THE BACK!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"WHY MARRY?"

This is a protracted discussion of a venerable topic and takes place
in a sun-parlour, which I regret to say is the brightest thing about
it.

_John_ is a dollar-snob--it is _John's_ parlour--and has two sisters,
_Jean_ and _Helen_. _John_ is easily the heavy-weight champion in
stage brothers. Sister _Jean_, who is entirely dependent on _John_,
loves a poor man, but under _John's_ guidance traps a rich one. Sister
_Helen_ (who has a job) also loves a poor man, but thinks marriage not
good enough. This was, I imagine, due chiefly to living with _John_
and _Mrs. John_. She may have got a touch of the sun-parlour. Her
man is a terrific young scientist, who once with four colleagues
deliberately let a dangerous Cuban mosquito nibble his arm. The
colleagues died while _Ernest_ survived, which I regretted. However he
became demonstrator at the Institute of Bacteriology, with _Helen_ as
his assistant, and in the excitement of the imminent discovery of
his new bacillus the two spend the night in the laboratory totally
unchaperoned. The discovery saved thousands of American babes, but it
ruined _Helen's_ reputation.

Here the narrative becomes confused, but anyhow _John_, who was a
trustee of the Institute, spent the three Acts in alternately sacking
and reinstating _Helen_ and _Ernest_, in thinking of a salary,
doubling it, adding thousands of dollars to it and taking away the
salary first thought of, together with the additions (and so _da
capo_), according as he wished to prevent the marriage because of
_Ernest's_ poverty, or bring it off because of _Ernest's_ disposition
to take _Helen_ to Paris (France) and dispense with empty rites, or
postpone it to gain time, or, on the contrary, have it celebrated
between the dressing and the dinner gongs in order to announce it
to important members of the family, who, if I understood the butler
aright, had already fallen on their food while host and hostess, two
pairs of lovers, Uncle _Everett_ and Cousin _John_ were bickering in
the sun-parlour.

Cousin _Theodore_, a guileless and dollarless clergyman, padded about
on the outskirts of the discussion, making obvious remarks about the
sanctity of marriage and enunciating the highest principles, which he
promptly swallowed. But it was Uncle _Everett_, the judge (the only
human figure in the bunch), who grasped the fact (long after I did,
but let that pass) that the two principal young egotists simply loved
being talked over at such gross length. To put an end to the business
he used a trick whereby, apparently according to the law of the
unnamed State in which the parlour was situate, the two were legally
married without intending it. They had the tact to accept this
solution, and this softened my heart towards them for the first time.

It was amusing to see Mr. AUBREY SMITH wondering how on earth he had
got into this play, and Mr. A. E. GEORGE prowling about the stage
intent apparently on showing how many ways there are of uttering
"Pshaw!" and "Tut-tut!" or noise to that effect. It isn't as easy as
it ought to be to do justice to players playing impossible parts; to
Miss HENRIETTA WATSON struggling pluckily and skilfully with her
_Mrs. John_; or to Mr. COWLEY WRIGHT or Miss ROSA LYND, so perfectly
appalling did _Ernest_ and _Helen_ seem to me and so anxious was I
to get them off to Paris respectably or otherwise. They never, by the
way, gave me the faintest impression that they could ever have done
work of any value in their laboratory.

I have no idea what the moral of this modern mystery play may be, but
I did gather that the authoress was seriously perplexed, not perhaps
in any startlingly new way, about the difficulties of marriage and the
conventional hypocrisies that hedge round that honourable institution,
but just forgot that serious argument cannot easily be conveyed
through the medium of fantastically impossible and uninteresting
people in an extravagantly farcical situation. The play was kindly
received.

T.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHY MARRY?"

_Mr. C. AUBREY SMITH (Uncle Everett)._ "DO _YOU_ KNOW THE ANSWER?"

_Miss HENRIETTA WATSON (Lucy)._ "THERE ARE A GOOD MANY QUESTIONS
ABOUT THIS PLAY THAT I WOULDN'T CARE TO HAVE TO ANSWER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MADNESS OF THE MACNAMARA.

(_From the Gaelic--with apologies to BON GAULTIER._)

  Weefrees swore a feud
    Against the clan McGeorgy;
  Marched to Leamington
    To hold a pious orgy;
  For they did resolve
    To extirpate the vipers
  With thirty stout M.P.s
    And all the Northsquith "pipers."

  "Lads," said HOGGE and BENN
    To their faithful scholars,
  "We shall need to fight
    To retain the dollars;
  Here's MHIC-MAC-NAMARA
    Coming with his henchmen,
  HEWART, KELLAWAY
    And several Front-Bench men."

         ***

  "Coot-tay to you, Sirs,"
    Said MHIC-MAC-NAMARA
  In a voice that reached
    From Leamington to Tara;
  "So you'd drum us out
    To enjoy your plunder,
  Adding to a crime
    Suicidal blunder."

  But the brave Weefrees,
    Heedless of his bawling,
  Drowned him with the storm
    Of their caterwauling;
  So MHIC-MAC-NAMARA
    And the valiant KELLAWAY
  Gave some warlike howls
    And in haste got well away.

  In this sorry style
    Died ta Liberal Party,
  Which in days of old
    Had been strong and hearty;
  This, good Mr. Punch,
    Is ta true edition;
  Here's your fery coot health
    And--bless ta Coalition!

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology.

    "We are glad to be able to state in reference to our Pastor
    that, though much improved in health, he is still unfit to
    resume his work amongst us."-- ---- _Congregational Magazine._

       ***

    "This should bring joy to the heart of every resolutionary
    Socialist."

    _The Workers' Dreadnought._

All the Socialists we have met answer to this description.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ADVENTURES OF A POST-WAR SPORTSMAN.

_P.-W. S. (otter-hunting for the first time)._ "TIRED? COOKED TO A
TURN! I WOULDN'T 'AVE COME SO FAR BUT ONE OF YOUR CHAPS TOLD ME YOU
'AD A STRONG DRAG UP THE RIVER AND I THOUGHT WE MIGHT ALL GO 'OME IN
IT. AND NOW 'E SAYS IT'S ONLY A SMELL 'E MEANT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

I should certainly call Mr. COMPTON MACKENZIE our first living
expositor of London in fiction. Indeed the precision with which, from
his Italian home, he can recapture the aspect and atmosphere of London
neighbourhoods is itself an astonishing feat. In _The Vanity Girl_
(CASSELL) he has happily abandoned the rather breathless manner
induced by the migratious _Sylvia Scarlett_, and returns to the
West Kensington of _Sinister Street_, blended subsequently with that
theatrical Bohemia in which _Jenny Pearl_ danced her little tragedy.
There is something (though by no means all) of the interest of
_Carnival_ in the new stage story; that the adventures of _Dorothy_
lack the compelling charm of her predecessor is inevitable from the
difference in temperament of the two heroines and the fact that
Mr. MACKENZIE with all his art has been unable to rouse more than
dispassionate interest in what is really a study of successful
egotism. From the moment when, in the first chapter, we encounter
_Dorothy_ (whose real name was _Norah_) washing her hair at a window
in Lonsdale Road, an eligible _cul-de-sac_ ending in a railway line,
beyond which a high rampart marked the reverse of the Earl's Court
Exhibition panorama, to that final page on which we take leave of
her as a widowed countess, sacrificing her future for the sake of
an Earl's Court of a different _genre_, her career, sentimental,
financial and matrimonial, is told with amazing vivacity but a rather
conspicuous lack of emotional appeal. It is perhaps an unequal
book; in parts as good as the author's best, in others hurried and
perfunctory. One of our more superior Reviews was lately debating Mr.
MACKENZIE'S command of the "memorable phrase." There are a score here
that I should delight to quote, even if the setting is not always
entirely worthy of them.

       ***

So long as "BERTA RUCK" will write for us such pretty books as
_Sweethearts Unmet_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON), we need never feel
ourselves dependent on America for our supply of sugary novels. This
home-grown variety is just as sweet, and really, I think, may be
guaranteed not only harmless but positively beneficial. The authoress
has evidently a tender pity for the young men and women whom our
social conditions doom either to have no companions among their
contemporaries or only the wrong ones. Her heroine represents the
too-much-sheltered girl alone in an elderly circle, her hero the
lonely young man who has no means of getting to know people of his own
sort (I can't say class, because the authoress seems rather uncertain
about that herself). Her story is written in alternate instalments by
"the boy" and "the girl," a method which encourages intimacy in the
telling as well as a sort of gushing attention to the reader not so
pleasant. Miss NORA SCHLEGEL has drawn a pretty picture of _Julia_ and
_Jack_ to adorn the wrapper, and I can assure everyone who cares to
know it that they are just as nice as they look; _Jack's_ passion for
abbreviation ("rhodos" for rhododendrons) being the only ground of
quarrel I have with them or their creator.

       ***

In _Passion_ (DUCKWORTH) Mr. SHAW DESMOND desperately wants to
say something terrific about love, money and power. His violence makes
one feel that one is reading under a shower of brickbats, and it is
the effort of dodging these which perhaps distracts the mind from his
message. (Is he a Marinettist, I wonder?) There are not enough words
in the language for him, so he invents fresh ones at will; while as
for grammar and syntax he passionately throttled them in Chapter I.;
nor did they recover. I will own that notwithstanding all this the
author has a way of making you read on to find out what it is all
about. You don't find out; but there, life's like that, isn't it? The
author's ideas of the operations of high finance are ingenuous. The
_Mandrill_ (do I rightly guess this to be a portrait distorted from
the life?), who is out to corner copper and "do down" the _Squid_
(head of the opposing copper group), is, if you are to judge by his
passionate exuberance at board meetings, about as likely to corner the
green cheese in the moon. I imagine the author saying, "_Mandrills_
mayn't be like that, but that's how I see 'em. It's my vision and mood
that matter. Take it or leave it." Well, on the whole I should advise
you to take it, first putting on a sort of mental tin hat. You'll at
least have gathered that Mr. DESMOND is a lively writer.

       ***

Of a war-story reviewed in these pages some months ago I remember
taking occasion to say that the author had damaged his effect by a too
obvious wish to injure the reputation of a certain cavalry brigade
(or words to that effect). Well, a book that I have just been
reading, _The Squadroon_ (LANE), might in some sense be regarded as
a counterblast to the former volume, since its writer, Major ARDERN
BEAMAN, D.S.O., has admittedly intended it as a vindication of the
work of the cavalry in the Great War. I can say at once that the
defence could scarcely have found a better advocate. Major BEAMAN
(who, I think superfluously, figures in his own pages in the fictional
character of Padre) has written one of the most interesting records
that I have read of personal experience on the Western Front. Partly
this is explained by his fortunate possession of a style at once
sincere, sanely balanced and always engaging. Also his story, apart
from the matter of it, reveals in the men of whom he writes (and
incidentally in the writer himself) a combination of just those
qualities that we like to call essentially British. Cavalrymen of
course will read it with a special fervour; but I am mistaken if
its genial temper does not disarm even so difficult a critic as the
ex-infantry Lieutenant--than which I could hardly say more. In short,
_The Squadroon_ is a belated war book in which the most weary of such
matters may well recapture their interest.

       ***

Written in the last great ebb and flow of the War, when the censorship
still prevented anything like carping criticism of matters near
the battle-front, _The Glory of the Coming_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON)
naturally resolves itself into a pæan of praise of the French and
British armies in general and the American troops in particular, both
white and black. Mr. IRVIN S. COBB brings good credentials to his
task, for he saw the advance of the German army through Belgium in
1914, and in this book he describes the combined resistance to their
last great effort before defeat. The accident, if we may so call it,
to the Fifth Army has had nowhere a more eloquent apologist. "They
were like ants; they were like flies," he says of the Germans; "they
left their dead lying so thickly behind that finally the ground seemed
as though it were covered with a grey carpet." There are interesting
strictures in the later chapters on some of the quaint semi-official
delegations and personages who persuaded the United States Government
to let them come over and visit the War; and there are a number of
quite good yarns of the Yankee private, related in the Yankee style.
But better than all the American stories I think I like that of the
Bedfordshire soldier who, when asked by the writer to direct him to
Blérincourt during the chaos of the great retreat, replied, "I am
rather a stranger in these parts myself." Perhaps by the way I ought
to make it quite clear that the title refers to the coming of the
American troops, and that, although the line, "He is trampling out the
vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored," is also quoted in the
prefatory stanza, there is nothing in the book about Mr. "PUSSYFOOT"
JOHNSON.

       ***

I suppose the War did throw up a great number of worthy pomposities
genuinely eager to serve their country in some conspicuous and
applauded way, and old _Mr. Thompson_, the principal figure in _Young
Hearts_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON), may be taken, on the authority of J.
E. BUCKROSE, as an East Riding variant of the type. He had always some
patent scheme for winning the War or improving the Peace, and no doubt
deserved all the ragging he got, though I lost my zest in the matter
before the author did. _Mr. Thompson_ had two daughters: a minx
(almost too minx-like for belief) and a never-told-her-love maiden of
sterling worth. The latter marries the good-young-man-under-a-cloud
(the cloud was, of course, a misapprehension or, alternatively, had a
silver lining), though the minx shamelessly tried to "bag him," as she
did every eligible male, the good sister tamely submitting under the
impression apparently that the other was a perfect darling. I indeed
seemed to be the only person who really understood what a little beast
she was--and possibly the author, who finally allotted to her the
beautiful unsatisfactory young man with the emotional tenor. Commended
for easy seaside reading.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO RECALCITRANT HOUSE-OWNERS: Let and let live.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ["I hear of a seaside hotel whose proprietors have
instructed their staff never to correct the pronunciation or use of
a word by a guest. If it is necessary to use the same term in the
conversation the guest's form of it is the one to be used; it saves a
lot of irritation, if not actual humiliation."--_Daily News._]

_Waiter (with anticipative tact) to holiday customer._ "ANY HORSE
DOOVERS, SIR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *





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