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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, April 4, 1917
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 152, April 4, 1917" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 152.



April 4th, 1917.



CHARIVARIA.

The KAISER has conferred upon the Turkish GRAND VIZIER the Order of the
Black Eagle. The GRAND VIZIER has had persistent bad luck.

       ***

"A few weeks ago," says Mr. ROBERT BLATCHFORD, I asked, "What manner of man
is the Tsar? And now he has abdicated." We understand that the EX-TSAR
absolves Mr. BLATCHFORD from all blame.

       ***

The Amsterdam rumour to the effect that eighty thousand German soldiers had
surrendered was followed the next day by the report that it was really
ninety thousand. It appears that a recount was demanded.

       ***

_The Evening News,_ ever ready to assist with economical hints, now throws
out suggestions for renovating last year's suit. No mention is made,
however, of the fact that people with fur coats can now obtain quite cheap
butterfly-nets for the moth-chasing season.

       ***

In the Reichstag a member of the Socialist Minority Party has denounced the
KAISER as the originator of the War. The denunciation made little
impression on the House, as it was generally felt that he must have been
listening to some idle street-corner gossip.

       ***

A cat's-meat-man informed the Southwark Tribunal at a recent sitting that
he served over four hundred families a day. The unwisdom of permitting cats
to have families in war-time has been made the subject of adverse comment.

       ***

"I swear by Almighty God that I will speak the truth, no nonsense, and
won't be foolish," was the form of oath taken by a witness at a recent case
in the Bloomsbury County Court. It was explained to him that this was only
suitable for persons taking office under the Crown.

       ***

It was urged on behalf of a man at the Harrow Tribunal that there would be
no boots in the Army to fit him. If a small enough pair can be found for
him it is understood that he will join the police.

       ***

We fear an injustice has been done to the large number of Mexicans who have
lately entered the United States. It was at first suggested that they were
of pro-German sympathies, but it now appears that they were only fugitives
who had fled from the elections in Mexico.

       ***

[Illustration: _Impressionable Grocer._ "BELIEVE, ME, MISS, IN WAR-TIME A
GROCER NEEDS A 'EART AS COLD AS AN 'INDENBURG."]

       ***

A man at Bristol charged as an absentee said that he had been so busy
wilting poetry that he had forgotten all about military matters. His very
emphatic assurance that he will now push on with the War has afforded the
liveliest satisfaction to the authorities concerned.

       ***

"Owing to restrictions on the output of beer," says a contemporary, "the
passing of the village inn is merely a question of time." Even before the
War it often took hours and hours.

       ***

It is announced that a wealthy American lady with Socialistic leanings
will, at the end of the War, marry a well-known conscientious objector at
present undergoing a term of imprisonment. The American craze for
curio-hunting has not abated one bit.

       ***

A woman in North London who two years ago offered her services to the
Government in any capacity has just been informed that her offer is noted.
There is good reason to believe that she will he among the first women
called upon for service in our next war.

       ***

Because a man had jilted her fifteen years ago, a Spanish woman shot him
while he was being married to another woman. It is a remarkable thing, but
rarely does a marriage ceremony go off in Spain without some little hitch
or other.

       ***

Proper mastication of food is necessary in these times, and we are not
surprised to hear that one large dental firm are advertising double sets of
teeth with a two-speed gear attachment.

       ***

According to _The Pall Mall Gazette,_ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE'S double was seen at
Cardiff the other day. The suggestion that there are two Lloyd Georges in
the world has caused consternation among the German Headquarters Staff.

       ***

The bones of a woolly rhinoceros have been dug up twenty-three feet below
the surface at High Wycombe, and very strong expressions have been used in
the locality concerning this gross example of food-hoarding.

       ***

Complaint has been made by a brass finisher at Oldham that his
fellow-workmen will not speak to him because he receives less wages than
they do. To end an awkward situation it is hoped that the good fellow may
eventually consent to accept a weekly wage on the higher scale.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTICE.

The Proprietors of _Punch_ are glad to announce that they find themselves
in a position to revert, for the time being at any rate, to the type and
size of _Punch_ as they were before the recent changes.

       *       *       *       *       *

PUNCH'S ROLL OF HONOUR.

WE record with deep regret the death from pneumonia of Captain HARRY
NEVILLE GITTINS, R.G.A., on Active Service. He was a member of the
Territorials before the outbreak of war, and, after serving two years at
home, went out to France in August of last year. His light-hearted
contributions to _Punch_ will be greatly missed.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE HOHENZOLLERN PROSPECT.

REFLECTIONS OF THE HEIR-APPARENT.

  When I've surveyed with half-shut eyes,
    Over the winking Champagne wine,
  What I shall do when Father dies
    And hands me down his right divine,
  Often I've said that, when in God's
    Good time he goes, I mean to show 'em
  How scorpions sting in place of rods,
    Taking my cue from REHOBOAM.

  But now with Liberty on the loose,
    And All the Russias capped in red,
  And Demos hustling like the deuce,
    And Tsardom's day as good as dead--
  When on the Dynasty they dance
    And with the Imperial Orb play hockey,
  I feel that LITTLE WILLIE'S chance
    Looks, at the moment, rather rocky.

  Not that the Teuton's stolid wits
    Are built to plan so rude a plot;
  Somehow I cannot picture Fritz
    Careering as a _sansculotte_;
  Schooled to obedience, hand and heart,
    I can imagine nothing odder
  Than such behaviour on the part
    Of inoffensive cannon fodder.

  And yet one never really knows.
    You cannot feed his massive trunk
  On fairy tales of beaten foes
    Or HINDENBURG'S "victorious" bunk;
  And if his rations run too short
    Through this accursed British blockade
  Even the worm may turn and sport
    A revolutionary cockade.

  Well, at the worst, I have my loot;
    And if, in search of healthier air,
  We Hohenzollerns do a scoot,
    There's wine and women everywhere;
  And, for myself, I frankly own
    A taste for privacy;  I should rather
  Not face the high light on a throne--
    But O my poor, my poor old Father!

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MUD LARKS.

THE French are a great people; the more I see of them the more I admire
them, and I have been seeing a lot of them lately.

I seem to have spent the last week eating six-course dinners in cellars
with grizzled sky-blue colonels, endeavouring to reply to their charming
compliments in a mixture of Gaelic and CORNELIUS NEPOS. I myself had no
intention of babbling these jargons; it is the fault of my tongue, which
takes charge on these occasions, and seems to be under the impression that,
when it is talking to a foreigner, any foreign language will do.

Atkins, I notice, also suffers from a form of the same delusion. When
talking to a Frenchman, he employs a mangled cross between West Coast and
China pidgin, and by placing a long E at the end of every word imagines he
is making himself completely clear to the suffering Gaul. And the suffering
Gaul listens to it all with incredible patience and courtesy, and, what is
more, somehow or other disentangles a meaning, thereby proving himself the
most intelligent creature on earth.

We have always prided ourselves that the teaching of modern languages in
our island seminaries is unique; but such is not the case. Here and there
in France, apparently, they teach English on the same lines. I discovered
this, the other day, when we called on a French battery to have the local
tactical situation explained to us. I was pushed forward as the star
linguist of our party; the French produced a smiling Captain as theirs. The
non-combatants of both sides then sat back and waited for their champions
to begin. I felt a trifle nervous myself, and the Frenchman didn't seem too
happy. We filled in a few minutes bowing, saluting, kissing and shaking
hands, and then let Babel loose, I in my fourth-form French, and he, to my
amazement, in equally elementary English. The affair looked hopeless from
the start; if either of us would have consented to talk in his own
language, the other might have understood him, but neither of us could,
before that audience, with our reputations at stake.

Towards lunch-time things grew really desperate; we had got as far as "the
pen of my female cousin," but the local tactical situation remained as
foggy as ever, our backers were showing signs of impatience, and we were
both lathering freely. Then by some happy chance we discovered we had both
been in Africa, fell crowing into each other's arms, and the local tactical
situation was cleared "one time" in flowing Swahili. Our respective
reputations as linguists are now beyond doubt.

We became fast friends, this Captain and I. He bore me off to his cellar,
stood me the usual six-course feed (with wines), and after it was over
asked how I would like to while away the afternoon. I left it in his hands.
"Eh bien, let us play on the Bosch a little," he suggested. It sounded as
pleasant a light after-dinner amusement as any, so I bowed and we sallied
forth.

He led me to his observation post, spoke down a telephone, and about twenty
yards of Hun parapet were not. "That will spoil his siesta," said my
Captain. "By the way, his Headquarters is behind that ruined farm,"

"Which?" I inquired; there were several farms about, none of them in any
great state of repair.

"I will show you--watch," he replied, talked into the 'phone again, and far
away a cloud, a cloud of brick dust, smoked aloft. "_Voilà!_"

He thereupon pointed out all the objects of local interest in the same
fashion.

"We will now give him fifty rounds for luck, and then we will return to my
cellar for a cup of coffee," said he, and a further twenty yards of Hun
parapet were removed.

Suddenly there came an answering salvo from Hunland, and a flock of shells
whizzed over our heads.

"Tiens!" my Captain exclaimed. "He has lost his little temper, has he?
Naughty, naughty! I must give him a slap. A hundred rounds!" he shouted
into the 'phone, and the German lines spouted like a school of whales
blowing.

Again the Bosch slammed across a heavy reply. My Captain leapt to his
'phone. "He would answer me back, would he? The impudence! Give him a
_thousand_ rounds, my children!"

Then for the next hour or so the sky was filled with a screaming tornado of
shells, rushing, bumping, and bursting, and the Bosch lines sagged, bulged,
quivered, slopped over, and were spattered against the blue in small
smithereens.

"And now let us see what he says to that," said my Captain pleasantly. We
waited, we watched, we listened; but there came no reply (possibly because
there was no one left to make one), and my Captain turned to me, shoulders
shrugged, palms outspread, a grimace of apologetic disgust on his mobile
face--like a circus-master explaining that his clown has got the measles:
"Nottin, see you? _Pas d'esprit, l'animal!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RUMOURISTS.

FIRST ASS. "AND I HAVE IT ON THE BEST AUTHORITY."

SECOND ASS. "INCREDIBLE!"       [_Goes off and repeats it._]]

       *       *       *       *       *

Certainly Hans the Hun does not seem to be enjoying the same high spirits
he did of yore. Possibly he is beginning to regret the day he left the old
beer garden, his ample Gretchen, and the fatty foods his figure demands.
The story of Patrick and Goldilocks would tend to prove as much.

The other day Patrick was engaged in one of those little "gains" which
straighten out the unsightly kinks in the "line" and give the
War-correspondents a chance to get their names in print.

Patrick and his friends attacked in a snowstorm, dropped into a German
post, gave the occupants every assistance in evacuating, and prepared to
make themselves at home. While they were clearing up the mess, they found
they had taken a prisoner, a blond Bavarian hero who had found it
impossible to leave with his friends on account of half-a-ton of sandbags
on his chest. They excavated him, told him if he was a good boy they'd give
him a ticket to Donington Hall at nightfall, christened him Goldilocks for
the time being, and threw him some rations, among which was a tin of
butter.

He listened to all they had to say in a dazed sulky fashion, but at the
sight of the tin of butter he gurgled drunkenly and seemed to go
light-headed. He spent a perfect day revelling in the joys of
anticipation, crooning over that butter, cuddling it, hiding it in one
pocket after the other. Towards dusk down came the snow again, and under
cover thereof the Bosch counter-attacked.

Patrick says he suddenly heard the bull voice of a Hun officer hic-coughing
gutturals, and they were on him. He had no time to send up an S.O.S.
rocket, and his machine-gun jammed. In a minute they were all mixed up, at
it tooth and claw as merry as a Galway election, the big Bosch officer,
throwing off a hymn of hate, the life and soul of the party. He came for
Patrick with an automatic, and Patrick thought all was up; and so it would
have been but for Goldilocks, who materialized suddenly out of nowhere,
deftly tripped up his officer from behind, and, dancing on his stomach with
inspired hooves, trod him out of sight.

Their moving spirit being wiped out, the Huns lost whatever heart they had
had, and went through their "Kamerad" exercise without further ado.

When the excitement was over Patrick sought out Goldilocks, and, shaking
him warmly by the hand, thanked him for suppressing the officer and saving
the situation.

"Situation be damned" (or words to that effect), Goldilocks retorted. "He
would have pinched my butter!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Clerk._ "YES, SIR, IT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT, SIR. TWINS I AM
HAPPY TO SAY, SIR. ANOTHER FIVE POUNDS A WEEK WILL COME IN VERY HANDY,
SIR."

_Employer_ (_imagining him to mean a rise in salary_). "ANOTHER FIVE POUNDS
A WEEK! GOOD LORD!!"

_Clerk._ "YES SIR. LORD DEVONPORT, SIR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FLOWERLESS FUTURE.

(_Notes from a Society newspaper of the coming vegetable epoch._)

PERSONAL PARS.

We regret to learn that Lady Diana Dashweed has returned from Nice
suffering from nervous shock. During a battle of vegetables at the recent
carnival Lady Diana, while in the act of aiming a tomato at a well-known
peer, was struck on the head by a fourteen-pound marrow hurled by some
unknown admirer. There is unfortunately a growing tendency at these
festivities to use missiles over the regulation weight.

       *       *       *       *       *

A daring innovation was made by last Wednesday's bride. One has become so
accustomed to the orthodox cauliflower bouquet at weddings that it came
almost as a shock to see her holding a huge bunch of rich crimson
beetroots, tied with old-gold streamers. The effect however was altogether
delightful.

       *       *       *       *       *

The decorations for a particularly smart "pink-and-white" dinner at one of
our smartest restaurants last evening were charmingly carried out in spring
rhubarb and Spanish onions, the table being softly illuminated by tinted
electric lights concealed in hollow turnips, fashioned to represent the
heads of famous statesmen.

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM THE SERIAL STORY.

"Sick at heart, Adela tottered across the room and, opening her bureau,
drew from its secret hiding-place an old letter. As she tremblingly removed
it from the envelope a few faded leaves fluttered down to the floor. It was
the brussels-sprout he had given her on the night they parted."

       *       *       *       *       *

AN INDUCEMENT.

    "WANTED, Nurse, £30, for three children, 13, 7, and 3 years: nurseryman
    kept."--_Evesham Journal_.

To help, we suppose, in making up the beds.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The stream proved treacherous in the extreme, being a succession of
    rapids and whirlpools. Often their magazine rifles and automatic
    revolvers were all that stood between them and death."--_Observer_.

We always use a Winchester repeater for shooting rapids.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Merely as photographs these postcards are remarkable. As ikons for men
    to vow by; as lessons for women to show their children in days to
    come--when the Hun octopus roots himself again in the comity of
    civilised nations, lying in wait at our doorways, stretching out his
    antennæ, like those foul things that lurk at sea-cavern mouths--these
    eight pictures have historical value."--_Daily Mail_.

Biologists too will be glad to have this description of the habits and
characteristics of that fearsome beast the _Octopus Germanicus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHAT'S FOR YOU, MISSIE?"       "I FORGET ITS NIME--BUT IT'S
A PINT O' WOT IT SMELLS LIKE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANTICIPATORY INTELLIGENCE.

(_Items gathered from the Dally Press of April 1st_, 1927).

LORD KENNEDY-JONES, Grand Editor to the Nation, announced yesterday that he
proposed to take no notice of the protest against the use of the words
"voiced," "glimpsed" and "featured" in official documents.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Earl of Mount-Carmel has left London on a protracted tour in Pulpesia.
He requests that no mention shall be made of his movements during his
absence in any newspapers. A special correspondent of _Chimes_ will, we
understand, accompany his lordship.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL gave further evidence yesterday before the
Dardanelles Commission.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord BILLING left England yesterday for New York in the Transatlantic
air-liner _P.B._

       *       *       *       *       *

"Polymachus," the famous descriptive journalist, yesterday published his
five-thousandth daily article on the policies, principles and opinions of
the house of Pelfwidge. An ox was roasted whole on the roof garden of the
famous emporium in honour of the event.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. GINNELL created a slight sensation in the House of Commons yesterday by
attempting to accompany on the Irish harp his speech in support of the
Atlantic Tunnel Bill.

       *       *       *       *       *

The SPEAKER of the House of Commons has ruled a Member out of order for
making a Latin quotation, the first heard at Westminster for nine years.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Right Hon. GILBERT CHESTERTON is recovering from a mild attack of
mumps. During the progress of the complaint his portrait was painted by Sir
AUGUSTUS JOHN.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rev. H. G. WELLS preached yesterday evening at the City Temple.

       *       *       *       *       *

Viscount GREBA (Sir HALL CAINE) takes his seat in the House of Lords
to-day, and is expected to make an important pronouncement on Compulsory
Manx at the Universities.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL'S portrait of Lord FISHER has been accepted at Madame
TUSSAUD'S Exhibition.

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD RHYMES FOR RATION TIMES.

  There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
  She had so many children she didn't know what to do;
  She gave them some broth without any bread,
  So as not to exceed her allowance per head.

  Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
    To get her poor dog a bone;
  But when she got there the cupboard was bare,
    And so the poor dog had none.
  She went to the kitchen and scolded the slavey,
  Who answered, "All bones must be boiled down for gravy."

  "Mary, Mary, quite contrairy, how does your garden grow?"
  "Early greens and haricot beans and cauliflowers all in a row."

  When good KING ARTHUR ruled this land he was a goodly king,
  He stored ten sacks of barleymeal to last him through the Spring;
  The Food-Controller heard thereof, and said, "This wicked hoarding
  Must not go on--and if it does I'll have to act according."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHILDREN'S TALES FOR GROWN-UPS.

v.

THE RIVALS.

The frog challenged the nightingale to a singing contest. "Of course for
gurgling and untutored warbling I know he has it," he said to his friend
the toad, "but in technique I shall beat him hollow."

So the jury was chosen. The nightingale proposed the lark, the thrush, the
blackbird and the bullfinch as experts in singing, and the frog proposed
the starling, the linnet, the chaffinch and the reed-warbler.

The nightingale was overcome with emotion at the generosity of the frog,
and insisted on adding the crow and the toad as experts in croaking.

The nightingale sang first, whilst his trade rivals sat and chattered. They
chattered so loud that the nightingale stopped singing in a huff.

"You are hardly at your best, you know, old thing," said the linnet
sympathetically.

"You will find these throat lozenges excellent for hoarseness," said the
blackbird.

"His upper register is weak--abominably weak," said the starling to the
lark.

"Perhaps if his voice were trained," suggested the lark.

Meanwhile the frog croaked away lustily, but no one listened to him. "The
jury must vote by ballot," he said as he finished the last croak.

"Of course we must," twittered the jury.

The frog won by eight votes to two.

"I voted for the nightingale," whispered the crow to the toad.

"So did I," whispered the toad.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LOSS.

For many reasons the passing of the poster is to be welcomed. For one
thing, it robbed the papers themselves of that element of surprise which is
one of life's few spices; for another, it added to life's many complexities
by forcing the reader into a hunt through the columns which often ended in
disappointment: in other words the poster's promise was not seldom greater
than the paper's performance. Then, again, it was often offensive, as when
it called for the impeachment of an effete "old gang," many of whose
members had joined the perfect new; or redundant, as when it demanded
twenty ropes where one would have sufficed.

But, even although the streets may be said to have been sweetened by the
absence of posters, days will come, it must be remembered, when we shall
badly miss them. It goes painfully to one's heart to think that the
embargo, if it is ever lifted, will not be lifted in time for most of the
events which we all most desire, events that clamour to be recorded in the
large black type that for so many years Londoners have associated with
fatefulness. Such as ("reading from left to right"):--

--------------  --------------  --------------  --------------
|            |  |            |  |            |  |            |
|            |  |            |  |   ALLIES   |  |   FLIGHT   |
|    FALL    |  |  STRASBURG |  |   CROSS    |  |     OF     |
|     OF     |  |   FRENCH   |  |    THE     |  |   CROWN    |
|    METZ    |  |   AGAIN.   |  |   RHINE.   |  |   PRINCE.  |
|            |  |            |  |            |  |            |
|            |  |            |  |            |  |            |
--------------  --------------  --------------  --------------

--------------  --------------  --------------  --------------
|            |  |            |  |            |  |            |
|            |  |  BRITISH   |  |            |  |            |
|  RUSSIANS  |  |    AND     |  | REVOLUTION |  |    FALL    |
|  NEARING   |  |  FRENCH    |  |     IN     |  |     OF     |
|  BERLIN.   |  |  NEARING   |  |  GERMANY.  |  |   BERLIN.  |
|            |  |  BERLIN.   |  |            |  |            |
|            |  |            |  |            |  |            |
--------------  --------------  --------------  --------------

--------------  --------------
|            |  |            |
|    THE     |  |            |
|   KAISER   |  |            |
|     A      |  |  VICTORY!  |
|  CAPTIVE.  |  |            |
|            |  |            |
|            |  |            |
--------------  --------------

And Finally--
--------------  --------------
|            |  |            |
|            |  |            |
|  AMERICA   |  |            |
|  DECLARES  |  |   PEACE!   |
|    WAR.    |  |            |
|            |  |            |
|            |  |            |
--------------  --------------

It will be hard to lose these.

       *       *       *       *       *

FRITZ'S APOLOGIA.

  Yes, war is horrible and hideous--
  It jars upon my sense fastidious,
  My "noble instincts," to decline
  To actions that are not divine.
  So, when I mutilate your pictures,
  So far from meriting your strictures,
  Compassion rather is my due
  For doing what I hate to do.
  It grieves my super-saintly soul
  Even to smash a china bowl;
  To carry off expensive clocks
  My tender conscience sears and shocks;
  I really don't enjoy at all
  Hacking to bits a panelled hall,
  Rare books with priceless bindings burning,
  Or boudoirs into cesspools turning.
  My heart invariably bleeds
  When I'm engaged upon these deeds,
  And teardrops of the largest size
  Fall from my heav'n-aspiring eyes.
  But, though my sorrow is unfeigned,
  Still discipline must be maintained;
  And, when the High Command says, "Smash,
  Bedaub with filth, loot, hack and slash,"
  I do it (much against the grain)
  Because, though gentle and humane,
  When dirty work is to be done
  I always am a docile Hun.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It is proposed to collect from Nottinghamshire householders bones and
    fat for the extraction of glycerine."--_Christian World_.

Poor "lambs"!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lady Companion Wanted, immediately, by young married woman; servant
    kept, and there are no children: applicant must be well educated, well
    read, well-bred, and of impeachable character."--_Provincial Paper_.

So as to give her employer something to talk about?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'Baghdad' written large on the wall of the terminus in English and
    Arabic reminded them that they had arrived. In the booking office, now
    deserted, there had been a rush for tickets to Constantinople. The last
    train had gone out at 2 a.m. A supper officer discovered the
    way-bill."--_Daily Paper_.

A poor substitute if he was looking for the bill-of-fare.

       *       *       *       *       *

From an Egyptian picture-palace programme:--

 "Sensationing.                          Dramatic.
               MARINKA'S HEART.
  Great drama, in 3 parts, of a poignancy interest,
  assisting with anguish at the terrible
  peripeties of a Young Girl, falling in hand, of
               Bohemian bandits.
  Pictures of this film are celicious, being taken
  at fir trees and mountan's of the Alpes.--
                Great success.
  Comic.                          Silly laughter."

The translator of the French original was probably justified in his
rendering of "_fou rire_."

       *       *       *       *       *

PROTESTS OF AN AMMUNITION MULE.

[Illustration: _Mule._ "WHAT ON EARTH'S HE STOPPING FOR?]

[Illustration: OH--GET A MOVE ON!]

[Illustration: NOW WHAT'S THE TROUBLE?]

[Illustration: WELL, OF ALL THE--]

[Illustration: HERE, HOLD ON--YOU WAIT FOR _ME_ NOW. HANG THESE FLIES!".]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bosch_ (_downed after long Homeric combat_). "KAMERAD!"

_Pat._ "BE JABERS, 'TIS THE WORD I'VE BEEN THRYING TO REMEMBER FOR THE LAST
THREE MINUTS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ADMIRAL DUGOUT.

  He had done with fleets and squadrons, with the restless roaming seas,
    He had found the quiet haven he desired,
  And he lay there to his moorings with the dignity and ease
    Most becoming to Rear-Admirals (retired);
  He was bred on "Spit and Polish"--he was reared to "Stick and String"--
    All the things the ultra-moderns never name;
  But a storm blew up to seaward, and it meant the Real Thing,
    And he had to slip his cable when it came.

  So he hied him up to London for to hang about Whitehall,
    And he sat upon the steps there soon and late,
  He importuned night and morning, he bombarded great and small,
    From messengers to Ministers of State;
  He was like a guilty conscience, he was like a ghost unlaid,
    He was like a debt of which you can't get rid,
  Till the Powers that Be, despairing, in a fit of temper said,
    "For the Lord's sake give him something"--and they did.

  They commissioned him a trawler with a high and raking bow,
    Black and workmanlike as any pirate craft,
  With a crew of steady seamen very handy in a row,
    And a brace of little barkers fore and aft;
  And he blessed the Lord his Maker when he faced the North Sea sprays
    And exceedingly extolled his lucky star
  That had given his youth renewal in the evening of his days
    (With the rank of Captain Dugout, R.N.R.).

  He is jolly as a sandboy, he is happier than a king,
    And his trawler is the darling of his heart
  (With her cuddy like a cupboard where a kitten couldn't swing,
    And a smell of fish that simply won't depart);
  He has found upon occasion sundry targets for his guns;
    He could tell you tales of mine and submarine;
  Oh, the holes he's in and out of and the glorious risks he runs
    Turn his son--who's in a Super-Dreadnought--green.

  He is fit as any fiddle; he is hearty, hale and tanned;
    He is proof against the coldest gales that blow;
  He has never felt so lively since he got his first command
    (Which is rather more than forty years ago);
  And of all the joyful picnics of his wild and wandering youth--
    Little dust-ups from Taku to Zanzibar--
  There was none to match the picnic, he declares in sober sooth,
    That he has as Captain Dugout, R.N.R.

C.F.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Would the Lady who took the Wrong Patent Leather Shoe (right) from
    ---- on 7th instant return same?"--_Provincial Press_.

And then she can recover the right shoe which was left.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Bethnal Green Military Hospital, formerly an infirmary, names its
    wards after British virtues, thus:--Courage, Truth, Fortitude, Loyalty,
    Justice, Honour, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Mercy, Grace, Candour,
    Innocence, and Patience."--_Evening Standard_.

We note with regret the omission of that eminently British virtue,
Humility.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE CATCH OF THE SEASON.

CONDUCTORETTE (_to Mr. ASQUITH_). "COME ALONG, SIR. BETTER LATE THAN
NEVER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Monday, March 26th._--Major PRETYMAN NEWMAN has a bright sense of humour
much appreciated by his fellow-countrymen from Ireland. His latest notion
is that journals "of a comic and serio-comic nature" should be deprived of
their stocks of paper in order that catalogues and circulars should
continue to appear. Mr. GEORGE ROBERTS expressed his regret at being unable
to discriminate between different classes of publications; but I understand
that several Members have offered to satisfy Major NEWMAN's taste for light
literature by lending him their old Stores catalogues.

Housewives who have been economising in their meagre supply of sugar in
order to have a stock for jam-making have been alarmed by a rumour that
they would be charged with food-hoarding and made to disgorge their
savings. There is not a word of truth in it, and they may rest assured, on
Capt. BATHURST'S authority, that our non-party Government entirely approves
this form of Conservatism.

[Illustration: MR. BRACE.]

Misled by Mr. BRACE's appearance--I have before now noted his likeness to
an amiable cat--Mr. SNOWDEN pressed his advocacy of a certain conscientious
objector called PETT to such lengths as to discover that even this kind of
cat has claws. "These conscientious objectors," said Mr. BRACE at last,
"are not the angels he thinks they are, and it is only with the utmost
difficulty that a large number of them will do anything like reasonable
work." Thus a PETT illusion has been shattered. Mr. SNOWDEN, however, has
plenty more.

_Tuesday, March 27th._--If British artisans, as at Barrow-in-Furness,
prefer to strike for Germany, it seems hardly reasonable to expect German
prisoners to work for England. The nature of the "disciplinary measures"
which caused the Germans promptly to return to work on normal conditions
was not disclosed, but it seems a pity that they are not tried in the other
case.

"We are getting on," as Sir HENRY CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN said on a famous
occasion. Formerly it was considered the height of Parliamentary
impropriety to say in so many words that an Hon. Member was not telling the
truth; and all sorts of more or less transparent subterfuges, of which Mr.
CHURCHILL's "terminological inexactitude" is the best remembered, were
employed to evade this breach of good manners. But the present House is
thicker-skinned than its predecessors, and heard without a tremor the
following conversation between the MINISTER OF PENSIONS and Mr. HOGGE:--
_Mr. Barnes:_ "I never said there was a scale." _Mr. Hogge:_ "Yes, you
did." _Mr. Barnes:_ "No, I didn't."

A little later on, Mr. SWIFT MACNEILL always a stickler for constitutional
precedent, attacked the Government for introducing important
Bills--including one for extending once more the life of this immortal
Parliament--without vouchsafing any explanation of them. He appealed to
the SPEAKER to condemn this procedure as being contrary to the spirit of
the standing order. Mr. LOWTHER explained that it was his business to
carry out the rules of the House, not to express opinions about the use
that was made of them. But he ventured to remind the Hon. Member that
under this rule a Home Rule Bill, a Welsh Disestablishment Bill and a
Plural Voting Bill had all been introduced on a single day. And it is not
on record that on that occasion Mr. MACNEILL entered any protest.

_Wednesday, March 28th_--Rumours that Mr. ASQUITH was about to make a
public recantation of his hostility to Women's Suffrage caused a large
attendance of Members, Peers and the general public. The interval of
waiting was beguiled by, among others, Mr. PEMBERTON BILLING, who, having
been told by Mr. MACPHERSON that the number of accidents during the
training of pilots during the last half-year of 1916 was 1.53 per cent.,
proceeded to inquire, "What is the percentage based on? Is it percentage
per hundred?" Mr. BILLING may be comforted by the recollection that a
greater than he, Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, confessed that he "never could
understand what those d--d dots meant."

The Editor of _The Glasgow High School Magazine_ must be a proud man this
day, for he has been mentioned in Parliament. It seems that he has been
refused permission to post his periodical to subscribers in neutral
countries, and Mr. MACPHERSON explained that this was in pursuance of a
general rule, since "school magazines contain much information useful to
the enemy." It is pleasant to picture the German General Staff laboriously
ploughing through reports of football-matches, juvenile poems and letters
to the Editor complaining of the rise in prices at the tuck-shop, in order
to discover that Second-Lieutenant Blank, of the Umptieth Battery, R.F.A.,
is stationed in Mesopotamia, and therefrom to deduce the present
distribution of the British Army.

The SPEAKER occupied the Chair during the discussion of the recommendations
of his Conference on Electoral Reform, and heard nothing but good of
himself. It was, indeed, a notable achievement to have induced so
heterogeneous a collection of Members to present a practically unanimous
report on a bundle of problems acutely controversial.

Only on one point did the Conference fail to agree, and that was in regard
to Women's Suffrage. But, after Mr. ASQUITH'S handsome admission that, by
their splendid services in the War, women had worked out their own
electoral salvation, even that topic seemed to have lost most of its
provocative quality; and there is a general desire to forget what the late
PRIME MINISTER described as a detestable campaign and bury the hatchet and
all the other weapons employed in it.

[Illustration: "CO-ORDINATION."

_Foreign Office._        _Admiralty_
LORD ROBERT CECIL.       SIR EDWARD CARSON]

Do you recall the distraught lady in _Ruddigore_, who was always charmed
into silence by the mystic word "Basingstoke"? More than once during Mr.
CLAVELL SALTER'S over-elaborated speech I hoped that he would remember his
constituency and take the hint. But he went on and on, occasionally
dropping into a vein of sentiment and working it so hard that I quite
expected to hear him say, "Gentlemen of the Jury" instead of "Mr. Speaker."
When it came to the division, however, he only carried some three-score
stalwarts into the Lobby, and the House decided by a majority of 279 to
support the Government's intention to give immediate effect to the
recommendations of the Conference.

_Thursday, March 29th._--Employers in want of agricultural labourers should
apply to Lord NEWTON, who has a large selection of interned Austrians,
Hungarians and Turks, and undertakes to supply an alien "almost by return
of post." The Turk is specially recommended, as, even if he fails to give
complete satisfaction, the farmer can relieve the monotony of an arduous
existence by "sitting on the Ottoman."

Brave man as he is, the FOOD CONTROLLER is not prepared to prohibit
entirely the manufacture of cakes and confectionery. But he is preparing to
do something hardly less daring, namely, to standardize the types that may
be sold.

An old spelling-book used to tell us that "It is agreeable to watch the
unparalleled embarrassment of a harassed pedlar when gauging the symmetry
of a peeled pear." Lord DEVONPORT, occupied in deciding on the exact
architecture and decoration of the Bath bun (official sealed pattern),
would make a companion picture.

The unwillingness of some young Scottish Members to volunteer for National
Service is now explained. It seems that by an unpardonable oversight the
appeals of the DIRECTOR-GENERAL, as published in the Scottish newspapers,
were addressed "to the men of England." The wording has now been altered--
not too late, I trust, for the country to obtain the valuable assistance of
Messrs. PRINGLE and HOGGE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The New-comer._ "MY VILLAGE, I THINK?"

_The One in Possession._ "BOBBY, OLD THING; I TOOK IT HALF-AN-HOUR AGO."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FOOD-SHORTAGE.

    "Wanted, Second-hand Cavity Pan, with agitators complete, for edible
    purposes."--_Manchester Guardian_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "No potatoes are to be served in future at any meal at the Portland
    Club, St. James's Square."--_Westminster Gazette_.

Hence the new name for this club--the Devonportland.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We shall have to work more harder."--_Daily Paper_.

And some of us will have to write more better English.

       *       *       *       *       *

HERBS OF GRACE.

v.

LAVENDER.

    Grey walls that lichen stains,
    That take the sun and the rains,
      Old, stately and wise;
    Clipt yews, old lawns flag-bordered,
    In ancient ways yet ordered;
      South walks where the loud bee plies
      Daylong till Summer flies;--
  _Here grows Lavender, here breathes England_.

    Gay cottage gardens, glad,
    Comely, unkempt and mad,
      Jumbled, jolly and quaint;
    Nooks where some old man dozes;
    Currants and beans and roses
      Mingling without restraint;
      A wicket that long lacks paint;--
  _Here grows Lavender, here breathes England_.

    Sprawling for elbow-room,
    Spearing straight spikes of bloom,
      Clean, wayward and tough;
    Sweet and tall and slender,
    True, enduring and tender,
      Buoyant and bold and bluff,
      Simplest, sanest of stuff;--
  _Thus grows Lavender, thence breathes England_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Baker._ "WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE LITTLE CHAP?"

_Mother._ "I GIVE IT UP. I'VE GIVEN HIM A BUN--I DON'T KNOW WHAT MORE 'E
WANTS. I CAN'T GET 'IM TO REALISE THERE'S A WAR ON."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CO-OPERATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS.

In view of the restriction of the paper supply it has been suggested that
advertisers should unite in cultivating the available space on a co-operative
intensive system.

For example, the various proprietors of three popular brands of cigarettes,
instead of having a page advertisement each, might combine in one single
page, like this:--

                   THREE OF THE BEST.

     _You cannot consider yourself a connoisseur of
    cigarettes unless you are able to distinguish at
    one and the same time the individually exquisite
    flavours of_
                    "THE BRASS HAT"
                    "THE OFFENSIVE."
                    "THE GAS ATTACK."

            _THERE IS NO OTHER PERFECT BLEND._

         These cigarettes are smoked in our patent
                "Trident" cigarette-holders.

                   Of all Tobacconists.

You see? Not only does each manufacturer still obtain the same sale for his
cigarettes, but he actually gains a third share in the profits of a new
accessory--the triple cigarette-holder.

Of course ingenuity of this sort is not required when the advertisers are
not in any sense rivals. All that is then necessary is what we may call the
_economic common factor of appeal_. For instance:--

         ARE YOU ON OUR WAITING LIST?

       The War Office | The Cricklewood
            Car.      |   Crematorium.

    _As soon as we are through with our urgent
    contracts we shall be happy to serve you._

Finally, we note that there are innumerable classifications of
_complementary trades_ which are, of course, eminently suited to
co-operative advertising. We append two samples of what may be done in
this direction.

                          I.

    _If you want to GET an Engagement as Mistress_--
             Solicit an interview at the
                  HOUSEWIVES' HOSTEL.

    _If you want to KEEP an Engagement as Mistress_--
        Have the whole of your Servants' Suite
                      CREATED BY
               THE CLASSY FURNISHING CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

                II.

      As Omar Khayyam said:--

    "_A Loaf of Bread_--"
           "MONKEY-NUTTO-BRAN"
      Contains the whole of the husk.

    "_A Flask of Wine_--"
             A Wise Host
           _PLUMES HIMSELF_
                on his
          CHÂTEAU VINAIGRETTE.

    "_A Book of Verse_--"
            "_PURPLE PIFFLE._"
                   By
             PERCIVAL DRIVEL.

        *       *       *       *       *

    "No submarines were sighted, but the vessel's commander steered a
    tortoise course through the danger zone."--_Newfoundland Paper._

Far, far better than turning turtle.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Metra laughed and deposited herself bewitchingly among the cushions on
    the davenport."--_London Magazine_.

Personally, we prefer a roll on the top of an American desk.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "By Regulation 35B of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, it is an
    offence for any person having found any bomb, or projectile, or any
    fragment thereof, or any document, map, &c., which may have been
    discharged, dropped, &c., from any hostile aircraft, to forthwith
    communicate the fact to a Military Post or to a Police Constable in the
    neighbourhood."--_Scotsman_.

Why this mistrust of Scottish policemen?

       *       *       *       *       *

EARLIER FOOD PROBLEMS.

Peace, I remember, had her alimentary perplexities not much less renowned
than war. At any rate I can think of two.

The first was some years ago, in Yorkshire, on one of those sultry and
stifling days of August which in winter, or even in such a March as we have
been suffering, one can view as something more desirable than rubies, but
which in actual fact are depressing, enervating, and the mother of
moodiness and fatigue. We had left Chop Yat early in the morning after a
night of excessive heat in beds of excessive featheriness and were walking
towards Helmsley by way of Rievaulx, all unconcerned as to lunch by the
way, because the ordnance map marked with such cordial legibility an inn on
the road at a reasonable distance. Moreover, was not Yorkshire made up of
hospitable ridings, and had we not, on the previous day, found lunch in
this cottage and tea in that, with no trouble at all, to say nothing of the
terrific spread confronting us at Chop Yat? Why then carry anything?

But we soon began to regret the absence of sustenance, for this kind of
weather makes for extreme lassitude shot through with rattiness, and under
its influence nourishment dies in one with painful celerity.

The blessed word "inn" was however on the ordnance map, and since it was
the one-inch scale that cannot lie we braced ourselves, mended and remended
our tempers, and plodded on. The dales no doubt are gorgeous places, but
under this grey humid sky anyone who wanted it could have had my share of
Billsdale (as I believe it was). Scenery had become an outrage. There was
no joy, no beauty; nothing was worth living for but that inn. As we
laboured forward we cheered each other by word-pictures of its parlour, its
larder and its cellar. A pork-pie ("porch-peen" I fancy the Yorkshiremen
call it) would probably be there. Eggs, of course. A ham, surely. Bacon, no
doubt. Yellow butter, crusty new bread, and beer. Indeed, let the rest go,
so long as there was beer. But beer, of course, was beyond any question; an
inn without beer was unthinkable.

Thus the miles wore away until, footsore, sticky and faint, we came upon
the hostelry itself--only to find, instead of any grateful sign and the
promise of delight, the frigid words, "Friends' Meeting House," painted on
the board....

That was one experience, over which a veil may well be drawn. The other was
not so long ago, in Sussex, a little before the War. This time we had not
walked, but had done that much more hungrifying thing--we had been for
hours in a motor-car, exceedingly engaged on the task of looking at houses
to let. At last, utterly worn out, in the way that motoring can wear out
body, soul and nerves, and filled with a ravening desire to tear meat limb
from limb, we came to an inn of which our host had the highest opinion--so
high, indeed, that, empty though we were, he had forced the car at
full-speed past at least half-a-dozen admirable but less pretentious
houses, where I, in my small way, had more than once been nourished and
sustained.

When, however, at last we did arrive at his desired haven, late in the
afternoon, when dusk was beginning to fall and blur with her gentle hand
the sharp lines of hill and tree, we acknowledged his wisdom, for in the
window beside the door, where we creakingly but joyfully alighted, were
visible, although no longer distinctly, a vast ham as yet uncut and two
richly-browned cold fowls. "There," said he, with a pardonable triumph,
"didn't I tell you?" and so, our lips trembling with the anticipation of
nutriment, we entered, flung off our wraps, and prepared, on the evidence,
for such bliss as earth too rarely affords. But alas for hopes raised only
to be shattered, for the host had nothing to offer us but bread and cheese.
The ham and chickens were of _papier-mâché_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sentry._ '"OO GOES THERE?"

_Jock._ "TWA SCOTCHES, AN' AWFU' UNDER PROOF."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "HOTEL. ---- Sitting Waiter required, good experience."--_Bournemouth
    Daily Echo_.

The inclusion of the functions of a waiter among "sedentary occupations"
explains a good deal.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Ex-Proprietor of a Cokernut Stall_ (_who has just had his
helmet shot off_). "WHAT'LL YE 'AVE, FRITZ--NUTS OR A SEEGAR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM LORD DEVONPORT'S LETTER-BAG.

I.--_From Professor Tripewell._

MY LORD,--You will, no doubt, forgive me for drawing your attention to the
fact that the rationing system, to which you have lent the credit of your
name, will bring us to the end of our food supplies in something
considerably less than a month from now. I am far from wishing to be an
alarmist, but it is as well that we should face the facts, especially when
they are supported by statistics so irrefutable as those which I am willing
to produce to you at any moment on receiving your request to do so.

Fortunately it is not yet too late to apply a simple and adequate remedy to
this condition of affairs. All you have to do is to issue _and enforce_ an
Order in the following terms:--

(1) Every occasion on which food, no matter how small the amount, is eaten
shall count as a meal.

(2) Not more than two meals shall be eaten by any person, of whatever size,
age or sex, in a day of twenty-four hours.

(3) No meal shall last more than ten minutes.

(4) The mastication of every mouthful shall last not less than thirty
seconds.

(5) A mouthful for the purpose of this Order shall not consist of more food
than can be conveyed to the mouth in an ordinary teaspoon.

I venture to think that this order, _if issued at once and drastically
applied_, will meet every difficulty, and that we shall hear no more of a
shortage.

       *       *       *       *       *

II.--_From Joshua Stodmarsh._

DEAR OLD SPORT,--It won't do--really it won't. I've been doing my best to
give your plan of food rations a fair run, and every week I've found myself
on the wrong side of the fence. I have never considered myself a large or
reckless eater, though I own to having had a liking for a good breakfast
(fish, kidneys and eggs, with muffin or buttered toast and marmalade) as a
start for the day. Then came luncheon--steak or chop or Irish stew, with a
roly-poly pudding to follow, and a top-up of bread-and-butter and cheese.
Tea, of course, at five o'clock, with more buttered toast, and then home to
a good solid dinner of soup, fish and _entrée_ and joint and some sort of
sweet. This just left room for an occasional supper--say three times a
week. It doesn't sound out of the way, now does it? And you must remember
that I'm not one of your thin, dwarfish, anæmic blokes that you could feed
out of a packet of bird-seed. No, I stand six foot, and I don't weigh an
ounce under seventeen stone. Dear old boy, you can't have the heart to ask
me to do it.

       *       *       *       *       *

III.--From _Miss Lavinia Fluttermere_.

DEAR LORD DEVONPORT,--I am writing on behalf of my sister Penelope as well
as on my own to bring before you a difficulty under which we are labouring
in connection with your Lordship's order in regard to the consumption of
food. We are two sisters, the daughters of a country clergyman, who died
when I was eighteen and Penelope a year and a half younger. I tell you this
to show you that we were not accustomed in our youth to luxurious living.
For many years now Penelope and I have lived together in a very small way
on the income of an annuity for our joint lives which was bought with a sum
of money left to us by an uncle. On this we have managed to get along
comfortably, and have even been able to pay for occasional help in the work
of our very modest household. When your Lordship's food order was issued we
determined to obey it strictly, being glad of an opportunity to show our
patriotic devotion to the cause of our country. "It will be hard for us,
Penelope," I said, "for we are not used to such quantities of meat, and
even the allowance of bread is too great, I fear, for our poor appetites;
but, since Lord DEVONPORT wishes it, all we can do is to obey, even though
this may entail a change in our manner of living and an increase in our
weekly expenses." Penelope agreed, and on this principle we have
endeavoured to act. We have, however, now found the task to be beyond our
capacity, though we have struggled loyally to fulfil the duty imposed upon
us; and we write to ask your Lordship to grant us some dispensation, lest
permanent plethora should ensue.

       *       *       *       *       *

IN A GOOD CAUSE.

Mr. Punch desires to support very heartily Lord BERESFORD'S appeal on
behalf of the fine work of the Ladies' Emergency Committee of the Navy
League, who supply warm clothing to the crews of men-of-war and mercantile
auxiliaries; equipment to Naval hospitals, and parcels of food and other
necessaries to Naval prisoners of war. The strain upon the Committee's
resources has been very heavy, and Mr. Punch is confident that his friends
will not allow our gallant sea-services to suffer through any need which it
is within their power to supply.

Cheques may be made payable to Admiral Lord BERESFORD, and addressed to the
Hon. Secretary, Ladies' Emergency Committee of the Navy League, 56, Queen
Anne Street, Cavendish Street, W.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "£1 REWARD.--Lost, Umbrella, engraved W.C.B. 1865-1915."--_The Times_.

We do not believe that such a faithful friend is lost; it has simply gone
out to celebrate its jubilee.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "FOOD IN FRANCE.

    A friend who was in France last week tells me that the only cheap
    article of diet just now is eggs, which are about 1-1/2d. each. Meat,
    he said, averages 5f. a kilo, which is about the equivalent of 5s. a
    pound."--_Daily Mirror_.

No wonder we are not allowed to have the metric system.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HUMOURS OF A REMOUNT DÉPÔT.

_Sergeant._ "FRIGHTENED OF 'IM, ARE YOU? DIDN'T YOU 'AVE NOTHIN' TO DO WITH
ANIMALS BEFORE YE JOINED UP?"

_Recruit._ "YESSIR. I WAS A LION-TAMER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

MR. CONRAD'S new hero is an unnamed chief-mate who gets his first command
to a sailing vessel, also unnamed--queer and of course quite deliberate
instance of the author's reticent, allusive method which is so entirely
plausible. Her last captain, who had some mad savage hatred of ship and
crew, died aboard her and was buried in latitude 8° 20'. The chief-mate,
who got the vessel back to port and remained under her new captain, is
convinced that the dead man haunts her vengefully; and one desperate
accident after another, racking a crew overwhelmed with fever, almost
persuades the captain to share the mate's illusion that 8° 20'--_The Shadow
Line_ (DENT)--is possessed by the dead scoundrel. I found the book less
interesting as a yarn than as an example of the astonishingly conscious and
perfect artistry of this really great master of the ways of men and words.
Mr. CONRAD never made me believe that the new captain would go so near
sharing his mate's superstitious panic (which is perhaps because I know
little of sailor-men save what he has taught me); and in the incident, so
curiously and deliberately detailed, of his finding the quinine bottles
filled with a worthless substitute, and letting them "each in turn" slip to
ground, I had again the most unusual shock of being unable to accept the
credibility of his invention. This is so rare an experience that it only
throws into relief for me the fine craft of this most brilliant of our
impressionists, who tells so much with such delicate strokes, so
conscientiously considered, so unerringly conveyed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_This is the End_ (MACMILLAN) is the kind of book that only youth can
write--youth at its best. It has the qualities and defects of its
parentage; but the qualities, a fine careless rapture, sensitive vision, a
wayward and jolly fantasy, challenging provocativeness, faintly malicious
humour, are dominant. Miss STELLA BENSON will grow out of her youthful
cynicisms and intolerances, will focus her effects, without losing any of
her substantial equipment. This is by no means the end. It is the second
step of a very brilliant beginning. Already it shows improvement upon her
first clever book, _I Pose_; a surer touch, a finer restraint. What is it
all about? Does that matter? It is the manner of the telling rather than
what is told that constitutes the charm. If I tell, you that _Jay_ runs
away from a respectable home, and, after a grievous experiment as a
bolster-filler, becomes a bus-conductor, has a romantic friendship with a
middle-aged married man, and marries the faithful _Mr. Morgan_, her dead
brother's soldier friend, I have told you just nothing at all. I will
merely add that you will be foolish if you miss this book.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have to begin by confessing that, despite its most attractive title, my
first glance into _French Windows_ (ARNOLD) produced in me some feeling of
prejudice. It was not that I failed to recognise both dignity and beauty of
phrase in the writing; on the contrary, I told myself that "Mr. JOHN
AYSCOUGH" had been betrayed by his own appreciation of beautiful phrases
into an indulgence in "style," a deliberate arrangement of his war-pictures
that was somehow out of harmony with the stark and horrible simplicity of
their subject. But I hasten to make confession that this was but a passing
and, I am convinced, a wrong judgment. Indeed, the abiding impression that
the book has left upon me is one of enormous sincerity. Both as a soldier
and a priest, the writer enjoyed (as his publishers quite justly say)
special opportunities for getting into touch with men of all sorts and
conditions. This, aided by his own gift of sympathy and comradeship, has
resulted in a book that is very largely a record of fleeting but genuine
friendships, made with individual soldiers, both French and English, in the
Western battle. Many of them contain portraits and character-studies (a
pedantic term for anything so sensitive and sympathetic as these tributes
to nameless heroes, but I can find no better) that linger in the memory. I
defy you, for example, to forget soon the story of that winter walk taken
by the writer and certain officer-boys of his unit to the Cistercian
Monastery, and what _Chutney_ said by the way; and what happened
afterwards. For the sake of such sincere and memorable sketches as this I
am more than ready to forgive what seemed like a touch of artifice
elsewhere.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. GEORGE MOORE, continuing his labours as reviser and editor-in-chief of
the Moorish masterpieces, has now directed his attention to _A Modern
Lover_. Finding this (presumably) not modern enough, he has refashioned and
republished it under the admirably comprehensive title of _Lewis Seymour
and Some Women_ (HEINEMANN). Not having the original at hand, I am unable
to indulge in comparisons; but there seems good reason to suppose that
_Lewis Seymour's_ relations with the three amiable ladies who assist his
artistic and amatory career remain very much what they probably were in the
beginning. As for the tale itself, that too will hardly belie your
expectation, being full of cleverness, carried off with an infectious
gaiety, and boasting (I use the word advisedly) more than a sufficiency of
that rather assertive and school-boy impropriety which the charitable might
quote as evidence of our author's perpetual youth. It is an interesting,
though perhaps futile, speculation to reflect how Mr. THOMAS HARDY, to
whose plots the present bears some resemblance, might have handled it. Had
_Lewis Seymour_ pursued his education in womanhood under the guidance of
the wizard of Dorchester there would probably have been less of the
atmosphere of holiday humour; but, on the other hand, we should almost
certainly have been spared the quite superfluous naughtiness of the
Parisian scenes. By the way, talking of Paris, surely I am right in
supposing that the vision of a revived Versailles was an experience of two
ladies? It is unexpected to find Mr. MOORE denying anything to "the sex."

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the late Mr. JACK LONDON'S alternative methods of writing, the defiantly
propagandist and the joyously adventurous, I, being an average reader, have
always preferred the latter; so that, remembering how separate and distinct
he usually kept his two styles, I expected, in taking up _The Strength of
the Strong_ (MILLS AND BOON), to be immediately either disappointed or
gratified. But, as it turns out, the half-dozen essay-stories that make up
this slender volume are by no means characteristic, for there is very
little plot in any, and even less attempt forcibly to extract a moral; and
amongst them are two not very successful North of Ireland studies that seem
to have no connection at all with the author's usual manner. The volume is
made up of social pictures, all (as Mr. LONDON liked to pretend) within his
own experience, presented impartially for you to study, and draw, if you
choose, your own conclusions. That experience ranges, comprehensively
enough, from a first-hand sketch of primeval man attempting rather
unhappily to group himself in clans and tribes, to a journalistic note of
the Yellow Peril that materialised, we learn, somewhere late in the
twentieth century and was overcome by science liberating disease--a Hunnish
method no longer novel. Of the series I like best the tale of the San
Francisco professor of dual personality, who by dint of much practical
study of labour problems came at last to cut loose from his own circle and
disappear in the army of industry. In this chapter alone is there a spark
of the volcanic fire, now unhappily no longer in eruption, that blazes in
such great stories as _The Sea Wolf_, _Adventure_ and _Burning Daylight_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Though there may be no very particular reason why you should be invited to
read _The Love Story of Guillaume-Marc_ (HUTCHINSON) it is, I vouch, a
vivid enough tale of its _genre_. Squeamish folk, perhaps, may think that
this is not the most opportune time at which to draw attention to the
blood-lust that was so marked a feature of the French Revolution. But,
granted that you do not suffer from squeams, you will find Miss MARIAN
BOWER a deft weaver of romance. Here love and adventure walk firmly
hand-in-hand, and from the moment _Guillaume-Marc_ makes his entrance upon
the stage until the happy ending is reached any day might have been his
last. The villain, too, is a satisfactory scoundrel, and cunning withal.
"Brains," he considered, "may conceive revolutions, but it is the empty
stomach which propagates them." I wonder whether they have the brains for
it in Berlin.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Helen_ (_who has been reckoning termination of the War by
counting opposite diner's prune stones_). "MOTHER, I _DO_ BELIEVE IT'S
GOING TO BE _THIS_ YEAR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

According to a recent official _communiqué_ from Petrograd, among the
captures on the Caucasian Front was "an apomecometer (an instrument for
estimating altitudes)." It is understood that the latest Turkish estimate
of the "All Highest" was captured with the instrument, but was found to be
unfit for publication.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The _Weser Zeitung_ now reports from Berlin that deliberations by the
    State authorities have led to the decision that from April 15 the meat
    ration will be increased to half a kilometre (about 17-1/2 ozs.) per
    week."--_Liverpool Daily Post_.

This must refer to the sausage-ration, which by reason of its length and
tenuity is now advertised by the butchers (civilian) of Berlin as "The
HINDENBURG line."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "STEAM LUNCH--50 ft. x 7-1/4 ft., fast, liquid fuel."--_Yachting
    Monthly_.

A meal of these dimensions should surely attract the attention both of the
FOOD CONTROLLER and the Liquor Control Board.





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