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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 147, August 12, 1914
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, Volume 147, August 12, 1914" ***

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

VOLUME 147, AUGUST 12, 1914***


VOL. 147

AUGUST 12, 1914


A gentleman with a foreign name who was arrested in the neighbourhood of
the Tyne shipyards last week with measuring gauges and a map in his
possession explained, on being charged, that he was looking for work. It
is possible that some hard labour may be found for him.

       * * *

"Members of Parliament will not suffer," was the comfortable statement
of Mr. JOSIAH WEDGWOOD during a speech on the subject of the War. As a
matter of fact, owing to the French cooks employed at the House of
Commons having returned to their country, the _menu_ at the House will
have to consist, until the end of the session, of plain English fare.

       * * *

The foresight of the British Public in refusing to subscribe the large
amount of money asked of them for the Olympic Sports in Berlin is now

       * * *

Although still under twenty-one years of age, and therefore not yet
liable for military service, GEORGES CARPENTIER has gallantly joined the
colours as a volunteer. It would be pleasant if he and the Russian
HACKENSCHMIDT could shortly meet in Berlin.

       * * *

A dear old lady writes to say that she was shocked to read that Sir
ERNEST SHACKLETON'S ship, on leaving the Thames, was hooted at by
sirens, and that such conduct makes her ashamed of her sex.

       * * *

Meanwhile, thoughtful persons are wondering whether there will be any
fighting at the South Pole. It will be remembered that the Austrians
were also fitting out a South Pole expedition, and friendly rivalry
between the two nations may soon become impossible.

       * * *

The W.S.P.U. has written to the Press to contradict the statement that
the Union has issued instructions that acts of militancy are to be
suspended during the European crisis. The Union, we understand,
considers the statement calculated to cause serious injury to its

       * * *

Which reminds us that _The Liverpool Evening Echo_ was, we fancy, the
only paper in the country to announce a sensational victory for
feminism, and we congratulate our contemporary on its _coup_. We refer
to the following announcement:--"At a meeting of the Fellows of All
Souls' College, Oxford, Mrs. Francis William Pember was elected Warden
in place of the late Sir William Anson."

       * * *

The Hon. Sec. of the Fresh Air Fund appeals to ladies to send him their
hair combings, every pound of which will provide a poor child with a day
in the country. We like this idea of turning Old Hair into Fresh Air.

       * * *

The London General Omnibus Company is appointing one lady and a number
of men to act as interpreters and guides. Their costumes, we should say,
will attract a considerable amount of attention, for the lady, we are
told, will wear a braided frock coat and black skirt and straw-topped
peak hat, while the men will work in double shifts.

       * * *

By the way it is rumoured that several of our railway companies intend
to follow the example of the L. G. O. C. and employ interpreters to
translate to passengers the names of the railway stations as announced
by porters and guards.

       * * *

At the recent meeting of the British Medical Association at Aberdeen a
doctor advocated the eating of onions and garlic. This should certainly
produce an uninhabited area in one's immediate neighbourhood, and so
render one less liable to catch infectious diseases.

       * * *

"I know not," says Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT, "why I find an acrid pleasure in
beholding mediocrity, the average, the everyday ordinary, as it is; but
I do." Can it be, ARNOLD, because we are all attracted by our opposites?

       * * *

We are authorised to deny the allegation that Lord GLADSTONE, when he
was booed upon his arrival at Waterloo from South Africa, remarked
gaily, "Ah, I see I have not done with my friends the Booers yet!"

       * * *

It is nice to know in these days of lost reputations that Oriental
hospitality, at any rate, shows no signs of decadence. A correspondent
has come across the following announcement in a tailor's shop in
Tokio:--"Respectable ladies and gentlemen may come here to have fits."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: "DO YER LOVE ME, 'ERB?"


       *       *       *       *       *


    "The lasting delightful perfume of the age. One who can prove that
    the perfume of _Otto Mohini_ is not lasting for four days by putting
    five drops on the handkerchief will be rewarded Rs. 100 cash. Try
    only small tube and get the reward."--_Advt. in "The Hitavada."_

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dr. Roux, head of the Pasteur Institute, has made a communication
    to the Academy of Science showing microbes is not only possible, but
    would be far better."

    _Rangoon Gazette._

But we don't quite see what the Academy can do about it.

       *       *       *       *       *



    President of the Society of Manicurists."

    _Advt. in "The Studio."_

We know an artist whose work gives us the impression that he might be
President of the Society of Chiropodists.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lord Provost Stevenson is proving a serious rival to Principal
    MacAlister as a linguist. Sir Daniel yesterday addressed public
    gatherings in English, Italian, and Spanish."

    _Glasgow News._

Now that he has mastered English, he must have a try at Scotch.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "You are Germans. God help us."

    Berlin Castle. _Signed "WILLIAM."_

       *       *       *       *       *


    England, in this great fight to which you go
      Because, where Honour calls you, go you must,
    Be glad, whatever comes, at least to know
      You have your quarrel just.

    Peace was your care; before the nations' bar
      Her cause you pleaded and her ends you sought;
    But not for her sake, being what you are,
      Could you be bribed and bought.

    Others may spurn the pledge of land to land,
      May with the brute sword stain a gallant past;
    But by the seal to which _you_ set your hand,
      Thank God, you still stand fast!

    Forth, then, to front that peril of the deep
      With smiling lips and in your eyes the light,
    Stedfast and confident, of those who keep
      Their storied scutcheon bright.

    And we, whose burden is to watch and wait--
      High-hearted ever, strong in faith and prayer,
    We ask what offering we may consecrate,
      What humble service share?

    To steel our souls against the lust of ease;
      To find our welfare in the general good;
    To hold together, merging all degrees
      In one wide brotherhood;--

    To teach that he who saves himself is lost;
      To bear in silence though our hearts may bleed;
    To spend ourselves, and never count the cost,
      For others' greater need;--

    To go our quiet ways, subdued and sane;
      To hush all vulgar clamour of the street;
    With level calm to face alike the strain
      Of triumph or defeat;--

    This be our part, for so we serve you best,
      So best confirm their prowess and their pride,
    Your warrior sons, to whom in this high test
      Our fortunes we confide.

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


Anything more peaceful than the outward aspect of the Isle of Wight, as
I have seen it from Totland Bay during the past week, it would be
impossible to conceive. For the most part the sun has been shining from
a blue sky on a blue and brilliant sea; men, women and children have
been swimming and splashing joyfully in a most mixed manner, and the
whole landscape has had its usual holiday air. These, however, are
deceptive appearances. We have felt and are feeling the imminence of
war, and, though our judgments are firm and patriotic and prepared for
sacrifice, our minds are clouded with a heavy anxiety. Our newspapers
arrive at about 11 o'clock, and at that hour there is a concentrated
rush to the book-shop. There we make our way through stacked volumes of
cheap reprints to the counter where two ladies are struggling womanfully
against the serried phalanx of purchasers. These two dive head-first from
time to time into a great pile of the morning's news and emerge
triumphantly with _The Times_ for Prospect House or _The Telegraph_ for
Orville Lodge, and so on through the crowd of applicants until all are
satisfied. This is the great event of our day. At the grocery stores on
the opposite side of the road, news telegrams are shown on a board, and
with these we eke out the knowledge of our fluctuating fate. Close by,
too, is posted up a proclamation by the officer commanding the troops in
the Island. He bids us not to walk too near a fort or to convey to any
casual person such knowledge as we may have gained about the movements
of troops, and we are commanded "to at once report" anything suspicious.
I am sure the gallant officer will display as much vigour in the
battering of his country's foes as he has shown in the splitting of the
KING'S infinitives. Going for my newspaper this morning I saw at a
distance an elderly gentleman of a serious aspect revolving steadily
round and round a tall iron post. It was not until I came closer that I
realised the meaning of his strange gyrations. The proclamation had been
inconsiderately pasted round the post and he was endeavouring to read

On Thursday last, nearly a week before the actual proclamation of war,
the wildest rumours were afloat here. A motherly lady assured me with a
smile that the German fleet might be expected at any moment. "The
British fleet," she told me, "has been overwhelmed and sunk in the North
Sea. The Germans have determined to capture the Isle of Wight, so we are
none of us safe." I asked her where she had heard this dreadful news.
"Oh, it's all over the village." Thereupon she moved calmly into a
bathing cabin and had a patriotic dip. In another quarter I was told
that the Island could not fail to be cut off, and awful things were
prophesied as to what would happen to us unless we made our way to the
mainland with the utmost promptitude. The supply of eggs was to run
short; meat was to go up to famine prices or be reserved entirely for
the soldiery, our intrepid defenders; bread was to become a luxury
obtainable only by millionaires. All this was reported on the authority
of a man who had it from another man who had it from a banker who was in
close touch with the War Office in London. So far what is true is that
steamers no longer come to Totland Bay, and anyone who wants to visit us
here can get no nearer by boat than Yarmouth--not, of course, the home
of the bloater, but our own little island Yarmouth, round the corner. In
the meantime a good deal of patriotic self-denial is going on amongst
the juvenile population. A friend of mine, aged seven, hearing the talk
about all the coming privations, has decided to remove chocolates, buns
and sponge-cakes from his dietary, and several young ladies have agreed
to take milk instead of cream with their breakfast porridge.

This morning we were brought face to face with the grimmest reality of
war we have so far experienced. A boy-scout called at the house and
produced an official paper asking for the names and addresses of any
aliens who might be residing in the house. We have one such alien, a
German maid for the children, a most unwarlike and inoffensive alien.
Her name was entered on the form and the boy-scout disappeared to call
at other houses. Since then, at intervals of about half-an-hour, other
boy-scouts have called and produced similar forms. I have just dismissed
a party of three, telling them that they seemed to be overlapping. They
smiled and said, "Thank you," and retired. I look out of the window and
behold two more approaching. They are doing the thing thoroughly.

P.S.--Another notice is out warning us that it is known there are a lot
of spies in the Island, and that we must not loiter near a fort lest we
be shot. It is rumoured that soldiers are to be billeted on us
(enthusiastic cheers from the younger members of the family).

    R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Turnip, beef, carrots, and onions, if of suitable variety, would in
    a favourable autumn yield fair-sized bulbs."--_Manchester Evening

_New Song._ "When father carved the bulb."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: BRAVO, BELGIUM!

       *       *       *       *       *


All books should be in one volume. I always thought so, but now I know.
The reason why I know is because I possess two or three thousand books,
and I have recently moved into a new house, and the books were at first
put on the shelves indiscriminately as they came out of the packing
cases. And how better spend a wet bank holiday than in arranging them
properly--bringing parted couples together, adjusting involuntary
divorces, reuniting the separated members of families and tribes?

This is the merciful work on which Parolles and I have been engaged for
too long. (I call her Parolles because she is so fond of words of which
neither the meaning nor pronunciation has quite been mastered.) We meet
each other all over the house with pathetic inquiries, "Have you seen
Volume IV. of _Dumas' Memoirs_?" "No, but have you noticed Volume I. of
_Fors Clavigera_?" It is like a game of "Families."

The worst of the game is that one cannot concentrate. I may ascend the
stairs bent wholly upon securing Volume III. of PROTHERO AND COLERIDGE'S
_Byron_, and then chancing to observe Volume II. of INGPEN'S _Boswell_ I
leap at it in ecstasy and, forgetting all about the noble misanthrope,
hasten back with this prize and join it to its lonely mate.

My _Dictionary of National Biography_, for all its fifty-eight volumes,
not counting Supplements or Errata, was simple, on account of its size
and unusual appearance. But what word can I find to express the
annoyance and trouble given us by a small Pope in sheepskin? We roamed
the house together--there are shelves in every room--striving to collect
this family; but three of them are still on the loose. There is a
Balzac, too, in a number of volumes not mentioned on any title-page and
not numbered individually, so that time alone can tell whether that
group is ever fully assembled. But as we placed them side by side we
could almost hear them sigh after their long separation--though whether
with satisfaction or annoyance who shall say? Volumes, may be, can get
as tired of their companions as human beings can.

During such an occupation as this a vast deal of time vanishes also in
trying to remember where it was that I saw that copy of _Friendship's
Garland_, so as to place it with the other Arnolds. Even more time goes
in dipping into books which I had clean forgotten I possessed, such as
_The Cricketers' Manual_, by "Bat," in which my eyes alighted upon this
excellent story:

"The Duchess de Berri, being present at a match between two clubs of
Englishmen at Dieppe [in 1824], looked on very attentively for nearly
three hours, then, turning to one of her attendants, said, '_Mais, quand
est-ce que le jeu va commencer?_'" But the time which I have frittered
away in this frivolity is as nothing compared with that wasted by
Parolles, who has a way of subsiding upon the ground wherever she may
happen to be and instantly becoming absorbed in the printed page. It is
not as if she exercised any selective power, as I do. All books are the
same to her in that they contain type on which the eye can fasten to the
detriment of her labour. In every room I have stumbled over her long
black legs as she thus abused her trust.

And not only has she read more than I have, but she has become steadily
dirtier than I, too; partly because of a native _flair_ for whatever
makes smears and smudges, and partly because, her hair being long and
falling on the page, owing to her crouched attitude when perusing, it
has to be swept back, and each sweep leaves its mark. Considering how
they set themselves up to be superior and instruct, books are curiously
grubby things.

And, as I said before, they should be in one volume.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _First Politician._ "SAY, BILL, WOT'S THIS BLOOMIN'

_Second Politician._ "WELL, YE SEE, IT'S LIKE THIS. YOU DON'T PAY


       *       *       *       *       *


The noise of the retreating sea came pleasantly to us from a distance.
Celia was lying on her--I never know how to put this nicely--well, she
was lying face downwards on a rock and gazing into a little pool which
the tide had forgotten about and left behind. I sat beside her and
annoyed a limpet. Three minutes ago I had taken it suddenly by surprise
and with an Herculean effort moved it an eighteenth of a millimetre
westwards. My silence since then was lulling it into a false security,
and in another two minutes I hoped to get a move on it again.

"Do you know," said Celia with a puzzled look on her face, "sometimes I
think I'm quite an ordinary person after all."

"You aren't a little bit," I said lazily; "you're just like nobody else
in the world."

"Well, of course, you had to say that."

"No, I hadn't. Lots of husbands would merely have yawned." I felt one
coming and stopped it just in time. Waiting for limpets to go to sleep
is drowsy work. "But why are you so morbid about yourself suddenly?"

"I don't know," she said. "Only every now and then I find myself
thinking the most _obvious_ thoughts."

"We all do," I answered, as I stroked my limpet gently. The noise of our
conversation had roused it, but a gentle stroking motion (I am told by
those to whom it has confided) will frequently cause its muscles to
relax. "The great thing is not to speak them. Still, you'd better tell
me now. What is it?"

"Well," she said, her cheeks perhaps a little pinker than usual, "I was
just thinking that life was very wonderful. But it's a _silly_ thing to

"It's holiday time," I reminded her. "The necessity of sprinkling our
remarks with thoughtful words like 'economic' and 'sporadic' is over for
a bit. Let us be silly." I scratched in the rock the goal to which I was
urging my limpet and took out my watch. "Three thirty-five. I shall get
him there by four."

Celia was gazing at two baby fishes who played in and out a bunch of
sea-weed. Above the sea-weed an anemone sat fatly.

"I suppose they're all just as much alive as we are," she said
thoughtfully. "They marry"--I looked at my limpet with a new
interest--"and bring up families and go about their business, and it all
means just as much to them as it does to us."

"My limpet's business affairs mean nothing to me," I said firmly. "I am
only wrapped up in him as a sprinter."

"Aren't you going to try to move him again?"

"He's not quite ready yet. He still has his suspicions."

Celia dropped into silence. Her next question showed that she had left
the pool for a moment.

"Are there any people in Mars?" she asked.

"People down here say that there aren't. A man told me the other day
that he knew this for a fact. On the other hand, people in Mars know for
a fact that there isn't anybody on the Earth. Probably they are both

"I should like to know a lot about things," sighed Celia. "Do you know
anything about limpets?"

"Only that they stick like billy-o."

"I suppose more about them _is_ known than that?"

"I suppose so. By people who have made a speciality of them. For one who
has preferred to amass general knowledge rather than to specialize it is
considered enough to know that they stick like billy-o."

"You haven't specialized in anything, have you?"

"Only in wives."

Celia smiled and went on, "How do you make a speciality of limpets?"

"Well, I suppose you--er--study them. You sit down and--and watch them.
Probably after dark they get up and do something. And of course, in any
case, you can always dissect one and see what he's had for breakfast.
One way and another you get to know things about them."

"They must have a lot of time for thinking," said Celia, regarding my
limpet with her head on one side. "Tell me, how do they know that there
are no men in Mars?"

I sat up with a sigh.

"Celia, you do dodge about so. I have barely brought together and
classified my array of facts about things in this world, when you've
dashed up to another one. What is the connection between Mars and
limpets? If there are any limpets in Mars they are fresh-water ones. In
the canals."

"Oh, I just wondered," she said. "I mean"--she wrinkled her forehead in
the effort to find words for her thoughts--"I'm wondering what
everything means, and why we're all here, and what limpets are for, and,
supposing there are people in Mars, if we're the real people whom the
world was made for, or if _they_ are." She stopped and added, "One
evening after dinner, when we get home, you must tell me all about

Celia has a beautiful idea that I can explain everything to her. I
suppose I must have explained a stymie or a no-ball very cleverly once.

"Well," I said, "I can tell you what limpets are for now. They're like
sheep and cows and horses and pheasants and--and any other animal.
They're just for _us_. At least so the wise people say."

"But we don't eat limpets."

"No, but they can amuse us. This one"--and with a sudden leap I was
behind him as he dozed and I had dashed him forward another eighteenth
of a millimetre--"this one has amused _me_."

"Perhaps," said Celia thoughtfully and I don't think it was quite a nice
thing for a young woman to say, "perhaps we're only meant to amuse the
people in Mars."

"Then," I said lazily, "let's hope they _are_ amused."

       *       *       *       *       *

But that was nearly three weeks ago. Ten days later war was declared.
Celia has said no more on the subject since her one afternoon's unrest,
but she looks at me curiously sometimes, and I fear that the problem of
life leaves her more puzzled than ever. At the risk of betraying myself
to her as "quite an ordinary person after all" I confess that just at
the moment it leaves me puzzled too.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *


It was a seaside railway station, the arriving place of one of those
health resorts where people flock in their millions to enjoy a little
peace and quiet together. He, no doubt as a punishment for a misspent
youth, was the station-master; she was one of those many kind ladies who
come to meet their relatives and to make their arrival even more
peaceful and quiet than such events usually are.

"Was that the train from London?" she asked him.

He temporized. "Have you asked a porter?" he enquired.

She nodded.

"And have you asked another porter?"

She nodded again.

"And then the foreman porter? And then a ticket collector? And then the
inspector? And then a casual post-man? And then did you come across your
original porter and try him again?"

She admitted the list without a blush.

"And now tell me all about your dear lost one--a weak, helpless man, no

"It was my husband," she explained.

"A medium-sized man, in a macintosh and a straw hat, of course?"

She acquiesced.

"But none the less," continued the official, "a man of sterling worth?
You do not think he can be in some lost property office _en route_,
waiting to be called for?"

The suggestion was an attractive one, but was rejected. "Then," he said,
"let us go and discuss this intimate tragedy in some less public spot."

He took her to his office and begged her to be seated. "Repose all
confidence in me, Madam," he said, "for I am not without experience in
husbands. Good fellows on the whole, with their gladstone bags and their
pince-nez and their unmistakable respectability. But somehow they have
not acquired the knack of arriving when they are expected. Yours is the
seventh who has failed us by this train. True, the other six were coming
from Liverpool, whereas the 6.30 has come from London, but that is no
excuse for them or us."

"My husband is coming from London," she asserted, searching in her
reticule for documentary evidence.

He looked out of the window, avoiding her eye. "In less than twenty
minutes we have a nice fat competent train arriving partly from
Birmingham, partly from Manchester, partly from Sheffield and partly
from Birkenhead. There is even a dusty bit at the end which will have
come all the way from Scotland, though why I cannot say. It will be
simply full of husbands; you wouldn't care to try it, at any rate to let
us show it you?"

"But my husband," she repeated.

"Is essentially a London man? Madam, we do not wish you to take any of
these husbands we shall show you if they do not suit your requirements;
but do let us show them you."

"I know that my husband is coming from London," she persisted.

"Believe me, Madam," he protested, "I should not accuse you of being
mistaken, even if your husband should prove to be in this train I
recommend. He might have deceived you."

She refused to budge. "My husband's postcard says he is coming in the
6.30 train from London. The train has come and he is not in it."

The station-master asked to be allowed to see the postcard, not, he
explained, because he didn't believe her, but because he would like to
have his worst suspicions of his Company's inefficiency confirmed.

She handed it to him. He read the announcement, made briefly and without
enthusiasm, of the husband's proposed arrival "by the 6.30 train
to-morrow." The woman smiled with triumph; the station-master referred
to the postmark. He did not smile triumphantly. He was too old a hand
for that.

"Will you allow me to intercede as a friend for all parties?" he asked.
"Give him and us another chance; go away now and give us all twenty-four
hours to think it over. Then call again, and, if your patience is
rewarded, be generous and forgive us all."

After some debate she was induced to see reason in the proposal and
consented to take the lenient course. She rose to go.

"And if," said the station-master, showing her out, "if a train should
arrive at 6.30 from London to-morrow and disgorge this husband of yours,
won't you do us all a little kindness? Won't you make a point of telling
the porter, all the porters, foremen porters, ticket collectors,
inspectors, casual postmen and even myself? You have no idea what a
change it would be for us to hear a lady saying, 'My husband ought to
have come by this train, and he has!'"

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


    "An attempt was made by the fountain in Piccadilly Circus to head a
    procession for Buckingham Palace to pay homage to King
    George."--_Daily Mail._

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Sergt. ---- found Mrs. ---- sitting in a pool of blood in a
    semi-conscious condition. The flow of blood was arrested, and a
    doctor summoned."--_Northern Echo._

       *       *       *       *       *


(_With acknowledgments to "The Musical Herald."_)

_I THINK I am a tenor, but after taking lessons continuously for six
years from sixteen different masters I am still in doubt, and what is
more, I am not quite certain whether I want to be. Did not somebody once
say that a tenor was not a man but a disease? I am a healthy normal
subject, and recently won the lawn-tennis singles at our local
tournament. What puzzles me is my upper register. After reaching the top
A, if I relax the wind pressure and slant the voice in a slightly
backward direction towards the nasal cavities, I can produce a full rich
B flat, or even C, with the greatest ease. My family do not like it, but
family criticism is seldom satisfactory. Can you tell me whether this is
a legitimate use of my vocal resources or not; also, whether the
resinous quality of my voice is likely to be affected by my wearing
stand-up collars of more than 2-1/2 inches in height? I have read
somewhere that starched linen is a bad conductor of sound._--MARIO

ANSWER.--It is hard to tell whether you are a tenor or a forced-up
baritone without hearing or seeing you. Tenors are generally short,
stubby men with brief necks, while baritones are for the most part tall,
spare and long-necked. It was HANS VON BÜLOW who said that a tenor was a
disease, but he was a pianist and a conductor. Do not "grouse" if you
can sing tenor parts and yet retain the volume and virility of a
baritone. JEAN DE RESZKE began as a baritone and is said to have earned
£20,000 a year. The nasal tone that you speak of, when it approximates
to the whinnying of a horse or, better still, the trumpeting of an
infuriated rogue elephant, is a most valuable asset, but should be used
with moderation in the family circle. Do not say "resinous"; "resonant"
is probably the word you mean. High stand-up collars are certainly to be
avoided, as they constrict the Adam's apple and muffle the tone of the
voice. A soft turn-down collar, such as those supplied by Pope Bros., is
greatly to be preferred and imparts a romantic and semi-Byronic
appearance highly desirable in an artist.

_I am a railway porter with a good bass voice, and having read that the
great Russian singer who has been appearing at Drury Lane began life in
that position and is now paid at the rate of £400 a night, I am anxious
to follow his example, if I can obtain adequate guarantees of

ANSWER.--It is always dangerous to generalise from exceptional
individual cases. Are you over six feet high, and have you corn-coloured
hair and blue yes, like CHALIAPINE? Again, Russian railway porters are
in the habit of shouting the names of stations, not only in a loud
voice, but with scrupulously clear articulation. Do not rashly abandon
your career on the railway on the off-chance of a vocal Bonanza.
Remember the words of the poet:--

    O, ever since the world began,
    There never was and never can
    Be such a very useful man
      As the railway porter!

_My voice is of good compass and volume, but it is lacking in the "rich
fruity tone" which, according to popular novelists, is indispensable to
the exertion of a magnetic influence on the hearer. Is it possible by
diet to remedy this deficiency?_--CONTRALTO.

ANSWER.--The use of an emollient diet is recommended by some authorities
with a view to improving and enriching vocal tone. You might try a
course of Carlsbad plums, Devonshire cream, and peach-fed Colorado ham.
But it is easy to overdo the plummy tone, which is apt to become

_Kindly explain the following terms taken from an article on SCRIABINE
which recently appeared in a leading daily paper: Psychical
conjunctivitis; Katzenjammer; Cephaloedematous; Hokusai; Asininity. What
is the difference between the portamento and "scooping"? Why do opera
singers show such a marked tendency to embonpoint? Am I wrong in
preferring the cornet to any other wind instrument?_--ANXIOUS ASPIRANT.

ANSWER.--This is not a general information bureau, but we will do our
best. (1) Conjunctivitis is properly a disease of the eyes; "psychical
conjunctivitis" would be a sort of mental squint. "Katzenjammer" is the
German for "hot coppers." "Cephaloedematous" is not in the New Oxford
Dictionary, but apparently applies to a sufferer from swelled head.
HOKUSAI was a Japanese artist, and "asininity" is the special quality of
the writer of the article from which you have taken these words. (2)
"Scooping" is the vulgarisation of the portamento, (3) Operatic singers
grow stout because they drink stout; also because much singing
tends to expand the larynx, pharynx and thorax, as well as the
basilico-thaumaturgic cavities of the medulla oblongata. (4) There is
nothing criminal in preferring the cornet to any other wind instrument.
Many pious people prefer MARIE CORELLI to MILTON.

       *       *       *       *       *


When Araminta said that I must speak to the man next door about his
black cat, I was greatly perturbed. It appeared that the animal had
acquired the habit of spending the night in our house, and that Harriet
didn't like it. I said that black cats brought good luck, and, anyhow,
by night all cats were grey. Araminta replied that this one was as black
as a bilberry and took fish. Walking out into the garden I began to
meditate deeply.

Perhaps you do not immediately grasp what a terrible and dangerous thing
it was that Araminta had requested me to do. Between next door
neighbours in the area of Greater London there subsist relations of an
infinite delicacy. They resemble the bloom upon a peach. They combine a
sense of mutual confidence and esteem with absolute determination not to
let it get any further. Mr. Trumpington (Harriet vouched for his name)
and myself were certainly acquainted. In a sense you may even say we
were friends. If I happened to be murdered or assaulted by a footpad
there was not the smallest reason to suppose that Mr. Trumpington would
refrain from giving the police every assistance in identifying the
criminal. Similarly, if Mr. Trumpington's house caught fire, it was
certain that I should be one of the first to offer him the loan of our
garden syringe.

As things were, what happened was this. Twice or thrice a week we nodded
pleasantly to each other over the wall that divided our demesnes,
through the interstices of our respective hollyhocks; once, only once,
in a mad burst of irresponsible gaiety, Mr. Trumpington had gone so far
as to murmur, "Good aft-" to me, and I had responded effusively,

And now all this atmosphere of quiet sociableness was about to be
destroyed through the paltry misdemeanours of a subfuse cat. For I had
not the smallest doubt as to what would happen. Mr. Trumpington was a
mild amiable-looking man. There was not the faintest prospect of his
flying into a rage. He would not say, "What right have you to interfere
with the private affairs of another man's domesticated fauna?" He would
not ask me why I had inveigled his beautiful black cat on to my
poisonous premises. No, we should talk together reasonably, amicably,
and as man to man. Mr. Trumpington would promise to do all he could to
give his cat pleasant, cheerful evenings at home, and I should agree
that it was very hard to prevent a young cat from wanting to see a bit
of life. "Cats," we should say, nodding our heads wisely, "will be

And then from cats we should pass on to dogs, to sport, to politics, to
business, to heaven knows what. And the next day we should be compelled
to pick up our conversation where we had dropped it. We should discuss
our gardens and our family affairs. Things would go from bad to worse.
All our privacy and peace would disappear. We might almost as well break
down the wall that divided us at once. Possibly (thought of horror) his
wife would call on Araminta....

Still pondering ruefully, I turned round at the bottom of the garden
path, and behold, sitting on the party-wall between Mr. Trumpington's
garden and mine, was the debateable cat. An impulse of murderous rage
possessed me. I took an old golf-ball from my pocket and hurled it as
hard as I could at the potential destroyer of my peace. The black cat
was no sportsman. It dodged, and disappeared hastily on the Trumpington
side. At the same moment from behind a large clump of hollyhocks I heard
the sudden cry of a strong man in pain, followed by a stilled oath. I
squatted down instantly behind a thick rosebush; then, rising to peer
cautiously, I saw a most painful sight. I saw the horrible
transformation which may be caused in the features of an ordinary and
amiable man by an access of sudden rage and the impact of a brambled
golf-ball on the end of the nose. I squatted again.

"Confound the infernal fool! Who did that?" said the face of Mr.
Trumpington, looking through the hollyhock peepholes, the buds of which
rapidly began to turn from a lightish pink to deep rose.

It is always a more dignified policy to ignore a man in a temper, so it
was not until about ten minutes had elapsed, and silence reigned, that I
crawled painfully away into safety.

About five minutes later a note was brought round by hand from next
door. It ran as follows:--

"Mr. Trumpington will feel greatly obliged if Mr. Brown will prevent his
black cat from constantly straying upon his, Mr. Trumpington's,
flower-beds. He also requests that when Mr. Brown wishes to persecute
his black cat he should not do so when the animal is sitting on Mr.
Trumpington's wall, as this practice is attended with considerable risk
to Mr. Trumpington's life and limbs."

I sat down and wrote a reply.

"Mr. Brown," I said, "greatly regrets that a golf-ball playfully thrown
at Mr. Trumpington's black cat whilst sitting on his, Mr. Brown's, wall,
should have caused annoyance to Mr. Trumpington."

       *       *       *       *       *

When I went out into the garden on the following day I could see Mr.
Trumpington's head, tastefully framed in pink hollyhock buds, apparently
following the spoor of a green-fly. He looked up almost at once and
caught my eye, but made no sign of recognition. I breathed a sigh of
relief. Thank heaven, I thought to myself, the worst has not happened.
The danger that I feared yesterday has blown over. There is no immediate
prospect of Mr. Trumpington and myself becoming boon companions. I
strolled a little further down the path, and, still occupying its old
strategic position on the party-wall and licking its fur in the sun, I
beheld the black cat.

As I approached him he smiled an ambiguous smile, and jumped down once
more upon Trumpington soil. A wave of great friendliness for the unhappy
quadruped swept over me. "Persecute," I thought; "not likely." I went
indoors and, after a short consultation with Harriet, came out again
carrying a small round fish-cake on a spoon. I lobbed it far and wide
over the wall, and it fell noiselessly and quite in the middle of Mr.
Trumpington's most buttony calceolaria-bed. Some time later I was
rewarded by the sight of a black cat stealing with a look of grateful
memory on its face towards the Trumpington back-door.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


My house, though in the eyes of the rate-collector fully occupied, has
now for several weeks stood with an unmistakably vacant stare. My cook
alone, with a young lady friend for company, dwells there. What our
great ballad-writers call the patter of tiny feet is stilled. The
seaside has demanded its toll, and I have for a time accompanied the
evacuating host.

The other day, for a brief space, I returned home--a home which at the
first glance seemed to be as I had left it. But as I approached I was
confronted with a change. The gate, which in normal times used to swing
shakily on its hinges and keep on chattering against its post (in the
vain effort to shut) whenever the wind was in its teeth, now leaned
against an adjacent bush in listless inaction. One of its hinges had
been broken. I learned the details of the tragedy from the gardener.

It was one of them I-talians, I gathered. Seeing, with the
nice instinct of their race, that my house must be the abode of
music-lovers--detecting this from various subtle signs invisible to
me--they had drored their horgan through the gateway and up the grand
carriage sweep which, leading to the handsome portico entrance, is one
of the outstanding features of all that well-situated and desirable
double-fronted brick and carved stone residential property which
recently I was wise enough to acquire for a mere song. Well, these
I-talians had drored their instrument up the drive and played to the
front door for ton minutes. The cook and her friend, I learned
afterwards, heard them and, being satisfied to enjoy the entertainment
without payment, had remained out of sight. For ten minutes they played,
the man turning the handle, his wife smiling and bowing to the windows.
Then, in the fine frenzy known to all great artists who are
unrecognised, they drored it down again to the gate. The fine frenzy was
proved by the fury with which the woman flung wide the portal that the
horgan might be drored out. She flung it back too far, and the hinge, a
soulless thing of cast-iron, snapped.

The gardener--no musician--who had happened to see them arrive, and,
anticipating trouble, had been watching unperceived, hurried to the
scene of the catastrophe.

"I knowed they was a-goin' to do it," he said, "the 'inge bein' in a bad
way already. It's lucky there was a policeman 'andy. I said you'd 'ave
the law of 'em."

"But I don't want the law of them," I protested.

"Well, they're going to pay for a new 'inge any'ow."

"Rather hard luck on them, isn't it? I can't make them do that."

"Don't you worry your 'ead, Sir," said the gardener. "It don't come out
of their pocket. All these I-talians is run by one man. Millionaire, so
they tells me. Any'ow, it's settled now."

"Well, perhaps it'll teach them to be more careful."

"I 'ope not, Sir," said the gardener. "'Ave another one or two of 'em in
'ere, and we'll get the gate so as it won't bang."

       *       *       *       *       *


"Aunt Phemie" in _The Globe_:--

    "A hen is a bird and not an animal."

This official statement will come as a great surprise to all our
feathered friends.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "He no longer on his return would proclaim to his brother that he
    had beaten old Major Waggett (his especial foe) by two up and three
    to play."--_Methuen's Annual._

And why not? Because his brother had just bought a shilling book called
"Golf for the Beginner." However, he could still tell his Aunt Lavinia,
who knew no better.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday, Aug. 3._

--When EDWARD GREY stood at Table to make momentous statement on
position of Great Britain confronted by spectacle of Europe in arms, he
faced a memorable scene. House crowded from floor to topmost range of
Strangers' Gallery. LANSDOWNE, "BOBS," GEORGE CURZON and other Peers
looked on and listened. Amongst them LORD CHIEF JUSTICE for first time
obtained view of House from novel point of vantage.

Owing to spread of complications, supply of Ambassadors accustomed to
repair to Diplomatic Gallery restricted. No room for Germany to-day.
Absent, too, the popular figure of Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, familiar
these many years in London Society. Russia, Spain, Sweden and Greece
were there in the persons of their representatives; and Belgium,
conscious that words about to be uttered were big with her fate.

The sight they looked down upon was strange and moving. Setting of scene
worthy of drama which finds no full parallel in world's history. Keen
eyes accustomed to study potentialities of nations discerned in the
gathering a new portentous fact. A week ago to-day political parties in
House of Commons preserved customary attitude of hostility. Across the
floor they snapped at each other distrust and dislike. Long-brooding
revolt of armed forces in Ireland had leaped into flame. Mob and
military had come to blows. Victims of the affray lay dead in the
streets of Dublin. In the House rancour between Unionists and Home
Rulers increasingly bitter.

Here was opportunity for loyal and trusted friend on the Continent to
play long-planned game. England's difficulty was Germany's opportunity.
Swiftly, unscrupulously, taken advantage of.

Foreign Representatives to-day beheld a startling transformation. Party
lines obliterated. LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, whose conduct throughout
crisis has been splendidly patriotic, rallied his forces to the side of

"Whatever steps they think it necessary to take for the honour and
security of this country," he said amid burst of general cheering, "they
can rely upon the unhesitating support of the Opposition."

This attitude, in full accordance with highest tradition of British
Party politics, not unexpected. Glad surprise followed when JOHN REDMOND
assured the Government they might forthwith withdraw from Ireland every
man of their troops.

"The coasts of Ireland," he added, "will be defended from foreign
invasion by our armed sons. For this purpose Nationalist Catholics in
the South will be only too glad to join hands with armed Protestant
Ulstermen in the North."

Illustration: IN A JUST CAUSE. (Sir EDWARD GREY.)

"The last time I saw rows of chairs brought in and set down on floor of
the House for convenience of Members who could not find room elsewhere,"
mused the MEMBER FOR SARK, looking on from one of the side galleries,
"was in 1886, when GLADSTONE introduced his first Home Rule Bill. Twelve
months earlier, under guidance of Land League, Ireland was in a parlous
state. Coercion Act in full force. Jails thronged with patriots
convicted under its rigorous clauses. Still there were left at liberty
enough to maim cattle and shoot at landlords. If Germany had happened to
step in at that epoch it would have been a perilous time for England.
The House of Commons after many years' hesitation has offered to bestow
Home Rule upon Ireland and this is Ireland's first articulate response.
Her Nationalists range themselves with Ulster by the side of Great
Britain threatened by a foreign foe."

_Business done._--FOREIGN SECRETARY, amid prolonged cheers, announces
that England means to stand by France in the coming war, and will fulfil
her Treaty obligations to Belgium.

_Tuesday._--Rising from Treasury Bench PREMIER walked down House as if
he were about to leave it by glass door. Reaching the Bar he halted and
turned about to face crowded benches watching him with quickened
anxiety. Grave events have within the last few days made him the Herald
of War. What might be this new missive he held in his hand?

"A message from HIS MAJESTY," he said, "signed by his own hand."

Advancing to Table he handed document to the Clerk who passed it on to
SPEAKER. All heads were bared as Message was read. It announced that
Proclamation would forthwith issue mobilising the Regular Army and
embodying Territorial Forces.

This the significant supplement to statement made by PREMIER immediately
on SPEAKER taking the Chair. It told how telegram had that morning been
sent to German Government demanding assurance of maintenance of Belgian

"We have asked," said the PREMIER as quietly as if he were mentioning
request for early reply to a dinner invitation, "that a satisfactory
answer shall be given before midnight."

House knew what that meant. On the stroke of midnight Great Britain and
Germany would be at war.

A cheer almost fierce in its intensity approved the epoch-making
challenge. The House knew that England's hands were clean; that she was
spotlessly free from responsibility for the slaughter and sorrow, the
destruction of prosperous cities, the devastation of fruitful lands, the
breaking-up of Empires, that might follow on Germany's final
jack-booting of the emissary of peace.

Since the danger-signal was flung out by thrusting to the front the
puppet figure of aged AUSTRIAN EMPEROR making ponderous attack on little
Servia, EDWARD GREY, representing a Ministry supported by a loyal
Parliament and a united Kingdom, has night and day been tireless in
effort to avert war. If yielded to, such interference would be fatal to
plans, diligently elaborated in the dark over a period of months,
probably a full year, by our old friend and frequent guest, the GERMAN

Accordingly, after maintaining till last moment favourite disguise of
peacemaker "on easy terms with Heaven," WILLIAM, innocent sufferer by
"the menace of France," throws aside the cloak.

House of Commons' immediate response was to pass in five minutes all
outstanding votes for Army, Navy and Civil Services amounting to

_Business done._--PREMIER announces dispatch of ultimatum to Berlin and
imperative demand for answer before midnight.

_Wednesday._--Benches less crowded than hitherto during week of
tumultuous interest. Explanation forthcoming in fact that something like
a hundred Members belonging to Territorial Service have buckled on their
armour and responded to call of mobilisation.

PREMIER'S announcement that "since eleven o'clock last night a state of
war has existed between Germany and ourselves" hailed with deep-throated
cheer. Its volume nothing compared with that which burst forth when he
concluded statement with casual remark that to-morrow he will move a
Vote of Credit for one hundred millions sterling. Had he mentioned the
sum as an instalment paid in advance by Germany on account of war
indemnity House couldn't have been more jubilant.

BYLES of Bradford uneasy in regard to Bill introduced by HOME SECRETARY
authorising imposition of restrictions upon aliens in time of war or
great emergency. Thinks it might cause inconvenience to worthy persons.
Otherwise Government receive unanimous support for various legislative
proposals rendered necessary by state of war.

CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER reports conclusions arrived at in conference of
leading bankers and manufacturers met at the Treasury to consider best
way of grappling with unprecedented financial situation created by
events of past fortnight. Happy thought to include in invitation his
predecessor at the Treasury. In accordance with patriotic spirit
obliterating party animosity, SON AUSTEN promptly accepted invitation.
Gives valuable assistance to LLOYD GEORGE in recommending proposals to
appreciative House.

In short, whatever may be happening in Belgium or the North Sea,
Millennium reigns at Westminster.

_Business done._--Many Bills advanced by various stages.

_Thursday._--In moving Vote of Credit for one hundred million sterling
PREMIER wholesomely lets himself go in comment on the "infamous
proposal" of Germany that for a mess of pottage (extremely thin) England
should betray her ally, France. Crowded House loudly sympathised with
righteous indignation.

Fresh burst of cheering when he pays finely phrased tribute to EDWARD
GREY, as the "Peacemaker of Europe."

Captain Lord DALRYMPLE of the Scots Guards lends opportune gleam of
martial splendour to bench where he sits arrayed in khaki uniform that
has seen service in the Boer War. The PREMIER'S eye catching a glimpse
of it, he with great presence of mind asked for authority to strengthen
the army by an additional half-million of men.

In its present mood the House denies him nothing.

_Business done._--Vote of Credit for £100,000,000 granted with both

_Monday, Aug. 10._--House adjourned till Tuesday the 25th.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: "ONE TOUCH OF POTSDAM...."

Sir EDWARD CARSON. "A marvellous diplomatist, this German KAISER."

Mr. JOHN REDMOND. "Yes, he's made comrades of us when everybody else had

       *       *       *       *       *

The Mad Dog of Europe.

    "The dog, to serve some private ends,
    Went mad and bit the man.

       * * *

    The man recovered from the bite;
    The dog it was that died."


       *       *       *       *       *



    _The Times._

And to increase it, we hope, to Mr. CHESTERTON.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Constructed after the best models._)



[_SYNOPSIS OF PRECEDING INSTALMENT_:--_Ralph Wonderson, the famous
athlete, while on a mountaineering expedition in Switzerland, encounters
Lady Margaret Tamerton, whom he has not seen since childhood. With her
are her brother, Lord Tamerton; her cousin, Sir Ernest Scrivener; and
three Swiss guides. They combine to make an ascent of the Wetterhorn
under Ralph's leadership. Early in the climb Ralph discovers that Sir
Ernest Scrivener is none other than his own mortal foe, Marmaduke
Moorsdyke. A perilous traverse of a glacier has to be undertaken. All
cross in safety except Sir Ernest, who makes imprudent remark which
causes a line of overhanging_ séracs _to collapse upon him and sweep him
down the glacier. Ralph dives unhesitatingly to the rescue of his
deadliest foe._]

Rather than face a second traverse of the awful glacier the remaining
members of the party continued the ascent. With shaken nerves they
pressed on to the best of their ability, but it was nearly dark when
they at length reached the summit, hoping to find another and easier
route to the foot.

But luck was against them. A devastating blizzard enveloped them, and
they lay huddled together behind a rock, chilled to the bone by the
driving particles of ice and snow.

"There is no escape," said Lord Tamerton mournfully to his sister, Lady
Margaret. "We must prepare to meet our deaths like true mountaineers."

"True fiddlesticks!" replied Lady Margaret with spirit. "Ralph will come
back to us."

"Do you love him, Madge?" asked her brother.

"Yes," she replied simply.

"Then he will surely come back."

Even as he spoke a tall figure loomed out of the blizzard and raised his
hat with cold formality.

"Your cousin is safe in the hospital at Interlaken," said Ralph,
addressing Lord Tamerton with marked constraint. "He has merely
sustained a fractured patella. With your permission we will now

"What is the matter, Ralph?" cried Lady Margaret pleadingly; but,
ignoring her question, he busied himself in tying on the rope.

The descent which followed is still spoken of with bated breath by the
Swiss guides, than whom there is no more generous body of men in the

Unerringly Ralph led his companions through arêtes, glissades,
bergschrunds, rücksacs, gendarmes, vorwaerts, couloirs, aiguilles, never
hesitating, never flinching from any obstacle, heedless, it seemed,
alike of the raging blizzard and the ever-thickening darkness. At times
he was obliged to carry the others one by one along razor edges of hard
blue ice. At times he would cling precariously by one hand to a
projecting splinter of rock, while with the other he lowered them all
bodily into the depths of a crevasse, gripping his ice-axe meanwhile
steadfastly between his teeth. Once at least he was compelled to hang
downwards by his toes while he hewed steps beneath him in a
perpendicular wall of ice. And through it all his face retained its
stern impassivity and he addressed no word to his exhausted companions.

At length the most wonderful feat in the history of climbing was
finished, and the party, weary but thankful, stood at the foot of the

The three guides fell on their knees before their rescuer, but he
ignored them and turned his cold, hard gaze upon Lady Margaret.

"You are now safe," he said icily. "My presence is no longer necessary.
Take the third turning on the left, the second on the right and the
fifth on the left, and then ask again. Before I leave I ought perhaps to
congratulate you upon your approaching marriage to your--er--amiable
cousin;" and without waiting for a reply he was gone.

       *       *       *       *       *

Alone, Ralph Wonderson sat upon a rock and reflected that no food had
passed his lips since that hurried breakfast in the Fahrjoch Hut.
Wearily he drew out a packet of sandwiches from his pocket.

A moment later he was racing back to his former companions. In his day
he had been half-mile champion, but now he knocked a full minute off his
previous best time.

He found the others as he had left them. Lady Margaret looked up with a
glad cry as he flew round the corner.

"Madge," he cried, waving the piece of newspaper which had been wrapped
round his sandwiches,--"Madge, you _can't_ marry him!"

Lord Tamerton leaped forward with a white face. "What do you mean?" he
hissed. "You are mad. She _must_ marry him, or the family is ruined."

"She _can't_ marry him," repeated Ralph calmly. "Sir Ernest Scrivener
_alias_ Marmaduke Moorsdyke is married already! Read this."

And he thrust the fragment of newspaper into Lord Tamerton's hand.

With a low cry of content Lady Margaret fell into her lover's arms. "Oh,
my dear!" she murmured.

And as they stood clasped in a close embrace the clouds parted and far,
far above them appeared the beautiful white summit of the Wetterhorn
shining dazzlingly in the sunlight.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


Orator, in Hyde Park:--

    "An' when the German Ambassador left St. Petersburg 'e spat in the
    Russian Ambassador's face. An' the Russian Ambassador in Berlin 'e
    spat in the German Ambassador's face."

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Full reports of the Petersfield Gymkhana, Eastmeon Show, and
    Liphook Horticultural Exhibition and Sports, will be published in
    to-morrow's issue of the 'Hampshire Telegraph and Post,' which will
    contain also a complete record of news of the Great European
    War."--_Portsmouth Evening News._

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter was addressed to a Hong Kong chaplain by his

    "Pleas sur excuse me this morning for I ham sitting for my examining
    asion at the peak schools for my certificate sur and I will be down
    as soon as possible sur to deliver the letters sur And if I ant
    there before you go away sur put the keys under the steeps sur."

We feel confident he passed all right.

       *       *       *       *       *


Every August Bank Holiday we have a short Mixed Open Tournament at our
lawn-tennis club. It's quite a small, homely affair, but as our
President, Sir Benjamin Boogles, always offers two valuable prizes
(hall-marked), every member who can possibly enter does so. Each year
hitherto the Tournament has been finished in the one day; but this year
it is not finished yet--in fact, in one instance the first game of the
first set is still undecided, and the winners in the other sets are
anxiously awaiting the result in order that the second round may proceed
before the end of the season. As I am one of the actors--I might almost
say the protagonist--in this protracted drama, I will explain the

Wilbrooke, our crack player, who can easily give most of us forty and a
bonus of five games in the set, and still beat us, recently became
engaged to Pattie Blobson, who is a hopeless rabbit at the game, this
being her first season. Not unnaturally she insisted on his entering the
Tournament with her. I always enter with Joan, and though we are neither
of us exactly rabbits it would be rather hard to find a zoological term
that would fittingly describe our standard of play. Of course there is
no handicapping in "Opens," and Joan and I usually reckon to be knocked
out in the second round at latest, though we did once get into the third
round owing to one of our opponents, a doctor, being summoned to a case
in the middle of play.

Now this year we both thought our tennis would be over for the day after
the first quarter of an hour, as we were drawn to play our first round
against Wilbrooke and Pattie. However, I won the toss, and to that fact
the subsequent _impasse_ may be attributed. I elected to serve first,
leaving Wilbrooke the choice of sides. The sun was not shining, so there
was little in it from the point of view of light; but the east end of
the court is just a trifle higher than the other, so he chose that.

I served first, and though I never peg them in to rabbits, I felt
justified in sending down a medium-paced ball in my partner's interests.
It pitched correctly, broke (unintentionally) and buried itself in
Pattie's skirt.


I banged my first ball to Wilbrooke with all my might. It fell within
the Club precincts, but that's the best I can urge for it. My second was
an easy lob, which he smashed, and, in spite of my efforts to give it a
clear path, it caught me in the small of the back.


My next serve to Pattie was a fault, which I followed up with an
ordinary "donkey" drop, towards which she rushed in the impetuous
fashion characteristic of the genuine rabbit, with the result that it
bounced scathless over her head.


I then got a fast ball over to Wilbrooke, but returning it was child's
play to him, and he drove it like lightning down the centre-line before
I had time to call "Leave it to you, partner."


Again I served Pattie a fault. At the second attempt the ball performed
Blondin tricks on the wire of the net, and for one of those "moments big
as years" I feared we had lost the game, the service to Wilbrooke being
a mere formality; but fortunately the ball fell the other side of the
net, and my third delivery Pattie tipped to the wicket-keeper.


I now determined to send two--if necessary--fast ones to Wilbrooke on
the chance that one might shoot and be unplayable. But my first ball
went into the net, and the _locale_ of the second can only be dimly
surmised, for it went over the fence into the open country.


It was at this point that I began to realize that so long as I did not
serve a double-fault to Pattie, Wilbrooke could never win the game, and
when we had played nine more deuces I communicated the intelligence to
Joan. Meanwhile, the other sets had all finished, and the players came
up to see why we were still hard at it. At the twenty-fourth deuce the
Tournament secretary remarked: "Last game, I suppose? Hurry up, we can't
get on." I explained to him that this was only the first game of the
set, and that similar prolongations were likely to recur when my partner
served in the third game and I again in the fifth.

The news spread rapidly, and for a time we were the most unpopular
quartet in the Club; but by the time we had reached our eighty-third
deuce, and luncheon (the gift of Lady Boggles) was served, hunger and
anger began to abate simultaneously, and the situation was discussed
with humour to the exclusion of all other topics. At the end of the
morning's play I was certainly feeling a trifle done up, but it says
much for the recuperative properties of chicken galantine and junket
that after the interval I felt quite invigorated and good for service
_ad infinitum_. Efforts were made to induce us to toss for the set, but
neither of us would consent to this, Wilbrooke maintaining that under
normal conditions I could not possibly win the game, and I arguing that
under existing conditions--with which I was more intimately concerned--I
could not possibly lose it, and therefore to toss would be a mockery.
Thus there was no alternative but to play on.

I suggested to Joan that as her presence on the court was not strictly
essential she should join in a friendly set with some of the other
unemployed. But she would not hear of it. She wanted to be in at the
finish, if there was ever going to be a finish, she said; and so we

When we were summoned to tea (kindly provided gratis by Miss Vera
Boogles) we had amassed 265 deuces, and though my right arm ached and my
service was a trifle wobbly I was still scoring the vantage point (and
losing it at once) with the utmost regularity. But the temporary
cessation of hostilities, associated with about half-a-pound of Swiss
roll and three Chelsea buns, served to restore me, and after tea we went
at it again until half-past seven, when, with the score at 394 deuces,
the net got tired and collapsed, and we adjourned.

We have since met on every available evening in our endeavours to bring
the game to a conclusion; but the score is still deuce, and at that it
will probably remain unless one of the following contingencies arises:--

(1) Pattie may improve so much with the constant practice that she will
be able to return my service; in which case it will settle the game, for
wherever we put the ball Wilbrooke is bound to get hold of it and drive
or smash it so that we can't return it.

(2) I may serve Pattie a double-fault. But I am now in splendid
training; my right biceps is like a cricket-ball, and I feel that I
could serve all day without tiring. Besides, the quality of my service
is improving, which counteracts, in a measure, the possible improvement
in Pattie's game.

(3) We may get a bright sunshiny evening, when the sun will be straight
in Wilbrooke's eyes; in which case, with my improved service, I may
possibly get a fast ball over which he will be unable to see.

Anyway, it is now certain that I belong to the Bulldog Breed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir ERNEST SHACKLETON as reported in _The Evening News_:--

    "The last articles which we took on board were two gramophones with
    a large number of records and a case of hyacinth blubs."

The last-named are often mistaken for spring onions by those who come
too near with their lachrymal nerves.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


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

As in the enervating luxury of peace, so in the stern stringency of war
we have always a use, and a good use too, for the humourist. But he must
be a jester of the right sort; not bitter nor flippant, not over
boisterous nor too "intellectual." Humour for humour's sake is what we
want, and in these anxious hours something to make us laugh quietly and
unhysterically, if only by way of temporary relief. Mr. IAN HAY hits the
mark about eight times in every ten in _A Knight on Wheels_ (HODDER AND
STOUGHTON), which is not at all a bad proportion for three hundred and
nineteen pages. He has some delightful ideas, which, happily, he does
not overwork: a case in point is the brief but rapid career of _Uncle
Joseph_, who employs the most criminal methods in order to attain the
most charitable ends. The story is a simple one--youth, laughter and
love; and the motor car plays an important but not a tiresome part in
it. The author's attitude towards women is slightly cynical but very
lighthearted, and clearly he loves them all the time: indeed, I think
Mr. HAY, while alive to existing faults, loves everything and everybody.
In return most people will be prepared to love him. And he deserves to
be loved for the sake of a book which has a happy beginning, a happy
middle and a happy end, together with lots of incidental laughter.

       *       *       *       *       *

"There is a teacup storm in the Close, I hear. The Dean altered the time
of closing the Minster for summer cleaning or some such trifle, and did
not consult the Chapter, which had already made its holiday
arrangements." This sentence, chosen at random from _Quisquiliae_, the
diary of _Henry Savile_, will do well enough to support my contention
that _Dr. Ashford and His Neighbours_ (MURRAY) is going to be a great
boon to the cathedral cities of our Midland shires. Under the form of a
narrative of social life in Sunningwell, Dr. WARRE CORNISH has elected
to arrange his views on religion, art, literature, politics and the
questions of the day, sometimes putting them into the mouths of his
characters and sometimes into the note-book of the afore-mentioned
_Henry Savile_, a leisured cripple whose disquisitions on letters and on
people are, if a trifle rambling, at any rate delightfully critical and
much more interesting and profound than certain others which flow
periodically from the windows of cloistered retreats. _Mr. Henry Savile_
quotes from the Classics perhaps a little too freely for the taste of a
decadent age, and his friends, _Dr. Ashford, Lady Grace_, the bishop's
wife, _Olive_, her niece, and _Philip Daly_, nephew of an archdeacon and
parliamentary candidate for Sunningwell, would be a little more amusing
if they were treated in a more Trollopian manner, and did not so
faithfully discuss the burning controversies of the time. But, after
all, the great excitement in _Dr. Ashford and His Neighbours_ (and I
really cannot advise any resident in--shall we say Mercia?--to be
without it) is the chance it affords for such questions as: Who is the
Dean? Does the author really mean Canon X? Are we living in Sunningwell,
or is it L----? Even I myself, in this metropolitan backwater, have made
one or two ingenious guesses, but wild taxicabs would not drag them from

       *       *       *       *       *

At this time of day to attempt criticism upon a new novel by MISS RHODA
BROUGHTON seems almost impertinent. The tens of thousands to whom she
has given such pleasure before now would probably be willing to read
anything that was put before them with the guarantee of her name.
Fortunately in the case of _Concerning a Vow_ (STANLEY PAUL) this
confidence would be by no means misplaced. I can say at once, with my
hand upon my reviewer's heart, that in freshness and vivacity and power
of sprightly character-drawing here is a story that need fear comparison
with none of its most popular predecessors. The vow of the title was
that exacted by _Meg Champneys_ on her death-bed from her sister
_Sally_, binding the latter not to marry _Edward Branley_. _Edward_, in
some fashion that was never made quite clear to me, had previously
jilted both the sisters. But this all happened before the beginning of
the book. In it poor _Edward_ is made so pitiable and heart-broken a
figure that I found it hard to credit his previous infidelities.
However, most of the other characters detested him, and said that
nothing was too bad for him; and as they themselves were delightful and
quite human people I am ready to suppose that they had their reasons. Of
course _Edward_ and _Sally_ were really in love all the time, and of
course too they find resistance to this impossible; though I must own
that their method of circumventing the vow reminded me dangerously of
the young man who used a cigarette-holder because he had been told to
keep away from tobacco. I speak flippantly; but as a matter of fact the
story of _Edward_ and _Sally_ is not free from tragedy, very simply and
movingly told. If _Concerning a Vow_ does not add to Miss BROUGHTON'S
popularity it will only be because this is impossible; it certainly will
do nothing to lessen it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Barber_ (_to victim._) "WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE

       *       *       *       *       *

I think that Mr. W. R. TITTERTON is a little late in the day; his book,
_Me as a Model_ (PALMER), recalls happy memories of that past and
already romantic period when _Trilby_ was the talk of the hour and Paris
the centre of all Bohemian licence. Mr. TITTERTON has the DU MAURIER
manner, but his jocular skittishness, aided by asterisks, exclamation
marks and suspensive dots, has curiously little behind it. It is not
enough to-day to paint the gay impropriety of models and the
devil-may-care penury of lighthearted artists. _Trilby_ began the
movement, _Louise_ ended it, and Mr. TITTERTON is behind his day. I am
glad, however, to learn that he was so splendid a model. The students at
JULIEN'S fall back aghast before his magnificent figure, and now, in
every gallery in Europe, sculptures and paintings of Mr. TITTERTON are
to be seen by the vulgar crowd, very often for no charge at all; and
that, of course, is delightful for Europe. And, according to his title,
that is doubtless the final impression that the author wishes to convey.
I intend on my next trip abroad to search for Mr. TITTERTON in all the
galleries. My only means of discovery are the pictures of the author
with which his book is filled, and here, if the illustrator (a very
clever fellow) is to be trusted, I am frankly puzzled by the attitude at
JULIEN'S towards their model. There is very little in these
illustrations to justify it.

       *       *       *       *       *

If I am not mistaken, _The Jam Queen_ (METHUEN) marks the first
incursion of Miss NETTA SYRETT into humorous fiction. In that, or any,
case, she has written a story which deserves a considerable success.
_The Jam Queen_ is to a large extent what would be called in drama a
one-part affair. There are plenty of other characters, many of them
drawn with much unforced skill, but the personality of the protagonist,
the Jam Queen herself, overshadows the rest. _Mrs. Quilter_ is an
abiding joy. There have been plutocratic elderly women, uneducated but
agreeable, in a hundred novels before this; but I recall few that have
been treated so honestly or with so much genuine sympathy. Mind you,
Miss SYRETT is no sentimentalist. Ill-directed philanthropy, Girtonian
super-culture, the simple life with its complexities of square-cut
gowns and bare feet--all these come beneath the lash of a satire that is
delicate but unsparing. Yet with it all she has, as every good satirist
should have, a quick appreciation of the good qualities of her victims.
Even _Frederick_, the pious, as contrasted with the flippant, nephew of
aunt _Quilter--Frederick_, with his futile institute for people who want
none of it, his blind pedantry, and his actual dishonesty in what he
considers a worthy cause--even he is punished no further than his actual
deserving. Perhaps in telling you that _Mrs. Quilter_ has two nephews,
an idle and an industrious one, I have told you enough of the scheme. It
is, after all, no great matter. _Mrs. Quilter_ must be the reason for
your reading the book, and your reward. She is real jam.

       *       *       *       *       *

The tales Miss ETHEL DELL includes Within _The Swindler_ (UNWIN) pleased

    Not by their thrills or interludes
      Of tenderness--these hardly seized me;
    Not by their people, though the pack
      Were amiable and pleasant creatures,
    Barring the villains who were black
      And villainous in all their features.

    By none of these my pulse was jerked
      Out of its normal calm condition,
    But by the plots, with which I worked
      A quite exciting competition;
    A point was mine if, at the start,
      I guessed the way a yarn was tending;
    Miss DELL'S, if by consummate art
      She failed to use the obvious ending.

    The first two tales she won on; three
      And four were mine; five hers; six, seven
    And eight I got hands down; and she
      Got square with nine and ten. Eleven
    Is still unwritten, and I bide
      Impatiently its birth, for that'll
    Finally, so I trust, decide
      The issue of our hard-fought battle.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 147, August 12, 1914" ***

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