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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, January 17, 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, January 17, 1917" ***

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 152.



January 17, 1917.



CHARIVARIA.

"Time to deal finally with Tino," announced an evening paper last
week, thereby doing a great deal to allay a disquieting impression
that the matter was to be left to eternity.

       ***

"KING CONSTANTINE," says the _Berliner Tageblatt_, "has as much right
to be heard as a common criminal." We agree, though few of his friends
have put it quite so bluntly.

       ***

The _Lokalanzeiger_ devotes three columns of a recent issue to the
advantages of the British blockade as a compulsory refiner of the
German figure. A still more desirable feature of it, which the
_Lokalanzeiger_ omits to draw attention to, is its efficacy in
reducing the German swelled head.

       ***

We know of no finer example of the humility of true greatness than the
KAISER'S decision to allow the War to continue.

       ***

A Berlin newspaper says that after the coronation of the EMPEROR KARL
at Budapest one of the jewels was missed from the Crown. Fortunately
for the relations between the two Empires, the German CROWN PRINCE is
in a position to prove an _alibi_.

       ***

To facilitate the delivery of milk, a certain Dairymen's Association
has suggested to the Food Controller that they should have recourse to
a pool. In most districts, however, recourse will be had as usual to
       ***

Lord RHONNDA'S appeal to the public to keep tame rabbits has been
enthusiastically taken up by all the smart people, and enterprising
_maisons_ are already offering driving coats, sleeping baskets and
silk pyjamas for the little pets at prices ranging from two guineas
upwards.

       ***

The tallest giraffe in the world has just died at the Zoo. The animal
came from Kordofan, where, Mr. POCOCK tells us, all the really tall
ones have been told.

       ***

It is reported that General VON BISSING is retiring from Belgium as
his health shows no signs of improvement. The blood baths he has been
taking have not afforded the expected relief.

       ***

It was stated at a London Tribunal that the War Office has just given
a contract for 2,400 waste-paper baskets. If further evidence was
required of our unshakable determination to carry the War to a
successful conclusion, it is surely provided by this indication of the
extent to which the public are helping the War Office with suggestions
as to how to win it.

       ***

Attention has been called to the waste of time and money involved in
the calling of grand juries where there are only one or two trifling
cases to be tried, and it is suggested that they might be able to
combine their juridical functions with some useful employment. A
correspondent who signs himself "Lifer" points out to us that the
grand jurymen he has met are just the men the nation needs for the
Tribunals if the combing-out process is to be effectual.

       ***

A man who was to have appeared before the Law Society Tribunal excused
himself on the ground that he was suffering from melancholia, and
regret was expressed by the military representative that he should
have been misinformed as to the nature of the entertainment.

       ***

The admission of a Stuttgart professor that trousers are a German
invention has given the liveliest satisfaction to our Highland
regiments, who have long had an intuitive feeling that the Hun
was guilty of even blacker crimes than those of which we had been
officially informed.

       ***

A "Longer Course for Cadets" is announced by a morning paper. The
Food Controller is to be asked to make public his reasons for this
obviously unfair discrimination between soldiers.

       ***

Men's wear, it is reported, will be twenty-five per cent. dearer this
year than last, but a good example in economy is rumoured to have been
set by a well-known actor manager, who now only wears a crease in one
leg of his trousers.

       ***

A burglar who broke into a Manchester wine stores made off with a
large sum of money, but none of the wine was taken. This once again
proves that total abstinence is absolutely essential to business
success.

       ***

Consternation has been caused among the pessimists (who have declared
that this will be a long War) by the recent statement of M. Louis
RABOURDIN, the French scientist, that in five thousand years the world
will be uninhabited.

       ***

A solicitor has been arrested in Ireland under the Defence of the
Realm Act for refusing to give away the confidential correspondence
of his client. The suggestion that a lawyer should be required to
give away anything has aroused a storm of indignant protest in both
branches of the profession.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady_ (_who has been damaged by motor-car_). "I SEZ TO
THE SHOVER, I SEZ, 'YOU MAY 'AVE AN ENGLISH NIME, BUT YOUR CONDUCK'S
TOOTON.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"ARGENTINE MEAT SHIPMENTS.

    The only shipment of mutton to the Continent during the week
    was 18,000 quarters of beef to France."--_Sheffield Daily
    Telegraph_.

Even the oxen in neutral countries are feeling a little sheepish.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A large section of the city will find its water supply rather
    intermittent in consequence of a burst of the Rivington water
    main at Twig-lane, Huyton, near Prescot. The main has an
    internal diameter of forty-four miles."--_Liverpool Paper_.

What an awful bore!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "SEVENTEEN-YEAR LOCUSTS TO APPEAR NEXT SUMMER.

    State Collee, Pa, Dec. 11.--The 17-yearg lgocgugsgt is due to
    appear agagingg gnext summer, according to C.H. Hadley, Jr.,
    an entomo-legeggggbmn TTMMggggob rr . . j Eas logist at the
    Pennsylvania State College."--_Erie Daily Times_.

The news has had a decidedly discomposing effect already.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A gamble with death in the Strand--seeing that the stake
    is precisely the same--should be quite as enthralling as a
    hairbreadth 'scape on the plains of Texas, even though
    the gambler wears a top-hat instead of sheepskin
    trousers."--_Manchester Guardian_.

The writer understates the case. The substitution of a top-hat for
trousers would add a piquancy of its own to the situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

FAITH AND DOUBT IN THE FATHERLAND.

      News of triumph, very cheering,
        Fills our marrows full of sap,
      News of FALKENHAYN careering
        Right across Roumania's map,
  Tales of corn to swell our tummies, tales of golden oil to tap.

      Everywhere we go victorious
        Over earth and on the blue;
      More and more superbly glorious
        Ring the deeds we dare and do,
  Till they sound almost too splendid to be absolutely true.

      Here and there, indeed, a sceptic
        Mutters language rather rude;
      Here and there a wan dyspeptic,
        Yielding to a peevish mood,
  Wonders why a winning nation finds itself so short of food.

      When carillons rock the steeple
        And the bunting's ordered out,
      I have noticed several people
        Ask themselves in honest doubt
  Why the War-Lord's lifted finger fails to bring a peace about.

      Yet, though England, crushed and quailing,
        Kicks his dove-bird down the stair,
      I shall trust, with faith unfailing,
        In my KAISER'S conquering air
  (Still I blame no man for thinking there must be a catch somewhere).

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *


RECOGNITION.

"Francesca," I said, "have you seen it?"

"It? What?"

"The announcement."

"What announcement?"

"I have been gazetted," I said.

"Did it hurt much?" she said. "Or were you able to bear it without a
murmur?"

"It's in _The Times_," I said, "and you shall read it, whether you
like it or not. It's in the place where I'm pointing my finger.
There--do you see it?"

"If you'd only take your finger away I might be able to. Thanks. My
hat! isn't it exciting? 'To be 2nd Lieutenant (tempy.) 1st Battalion,
Blankshire Regiment of Volunteers--' So it's come at last, has it?"

"Yes," I said, "it's come at last. They've recognised us."

"Well," she said, "it was about time, wasn't it? Here you've all been
form-fouring and two deeping and route-marching for two years or so,
and looking highly military in your grey-green uniforms, while the
authorities stood by and persuaded themselves you didn't exist; and at
last somebody comes along--"

"It was Lord FRENCH who came along--"

"Yes," she said, "Lord FRENCH comes along on a fine cold Sunday
morning and says to himself, 'Here are several hundred thousand men
who are panting to make themselves useful. Let's recognise them," and
from that moment you actually begin to exist. And then they bring down
your grey hairs with sorrow into the Gazette, and, instead of being a
Platoon Commander, you become a 2nd Lieutenant."

"'Tempy,'" I said; "don't forget the 'tempy.'"

"I won't," she said. "What does it mean? It sounds very irritable."

"It does," I said; "but as a matter of fact it's got nothing to do
with my temper. It means temporary."

"Anyhow it's a difficult word to pronounce in four syllables. I shall
do it in two."

"No, Francesca, you shall not. As the holder of His Majesty's
Commission I cannot allow you to go about the country saying tempy
when you mean tem-po-ra-ry."

"But why do they put in the word at all?"

"It's the War Office way of announcing that we're not to expect our
new-born joys to last for ever."

"To the end of the War is long enough for most people at the present
rate."

"Do not let us peer too anxiously into the dim and distant future.
Let us be satisfied with such a present as fate has assigned to us in
making me a 2nd Lieutenant temporary, with all the privileges that the
words imply."

"Right," she said. "I'm going to wire to your brother Fred to come and
stay here."

"Do you want him to come and rejoice with us over my new rank?"

"No," she said, "not exactly. I want to see how an elder brother, who
is a 2nd Lieutenant temporary of Volunteers gets on with a younger
brother who is a Colonel permanent in the real Army."

"I do not," I said, "like the word 'real' There's a disagreeable
invidiousness about it, and your mouth, you being what you are, should
be the last to use it."

'You'll have to salute him, you know."

"Yes," I said, "I certainly shall when I'm in uniform."

"And you'll have to call him 'Sir.'"

"Nonsense."

"You will," she said, "or you'll be court-martialled. And when he
comes into a room in which you're sitting, you'll have to jump up and
assume a rigid attitude until he's kind enough to wave his hand. Oh,
it will be a real pleasure to have Fred here now that you've been
thoroughly recognised. If you don't behave to him in a proper military
manner you'll be reported to Lord FRENCH, and then you'll be more
tempy than ever. Now that you're recognised you must do the thing
thoroughly."

"You'll be sorry for this when I'm guarding a railway line night and
day."

"No," she said, "I shan't. I shall keep you going with sandwiches and
thermos-flasks."

R.C.L.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CRAZE FOR SUBSTITUTION.

Extract from note written by the Commandant of a V.A.D. hospital to
the Sister-in-charge:--

    "I have just heard that the Medical Officer will not be able
    to come this morning. I have ordered the sweep."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "THE COFFEE SPECIALIST

    ROASTED FRESH DAILY."

    _North China Daily News_.

Yet we dare say the poor fellow meant well.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In the preliminary examination of patients the author
    introduces a test which is new to us; two or three breaths
    having been drawn through the nose, this organ is then punched
    by the anæsthetist, whilst the patient holds his breath as
    long as possible."--_The Practitioner_.

What the victim of this novel treatment says after recovering his
breath is happily withheld from us.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the Daily Orders of an Australian Battalion:--

    "MOVES OF OFFICERS.

    The following Officers have reported their arrival and
    departed respectfully."

Discipline in the Imperial contingents is evidently improving.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BANKRUPT BRAVOS.

SCENE: _Vienna, between the Sittings of the Conference._

SULTAN. "IT'S TIME WE GOT SOME MORE MONEY OUT OF WILLIAM. HE SEEMS TO
THINK HE'S DOING ALL THE FRIGHTFULNESS. HE FORGETS THAT I'M KNOWN AS
THE 'TERRIBLE TURK.'"

FERDINAND. "YES: AND THEY CALL ME 'FERDIE THE FEARFUL.'"

[The latter title has recently been conferred upon the TSAR of
Bulgaria by his subjects in recognition of his continued absence from
Sofia since the bombing of his palace.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _G.O.C._ "WELL, MY MAN, WHAT ARE YOU IN CIVILIAN LIFE?"

_Dejected Private_. "PROFESSOR OF GREEK HISTORY AT ONE OF THE
UNIVERSITIES, SIR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MINIATURE.

When I left her, Celia had two photographs, a British warm and an
accidental coffee-stain, by which to remember me. The coffee-stain was
the purest accident. By her manner of receiving it, Celia gave me the
impression that she thought I had done it on purpose, but it was not
so. The coffee-cup slipped-in-me-'and-mum, after which the law of
gravity stepped in, thus robbing what would have been a polite deed of
most of its gallantry. However, I explained all that at the time. The
fact remains that, in whatever way you look at it, I had left my mark.
Celia was not likely to forget me.

But she was determined to make sure. No doubt mine is an elusive
personality; take the mind off it for one moment and it is gone. So I
was to be perpetuated in a miniature.

"Can it be done without a sitting?" I asked doubtfully. I was going
away on the morrow.

"Oh, yes. It can be done from the photographs easily. Of course I
shall have to explain your complexion and so on."

"May I read the letter when you've explained it?"

"Certainly not," said Celia firmly.

"I only want to make sure that it's an explanation and not an
apology."

"I shall probably put it down to a bicycle accident. Which is
that?--No, no," she added hastily, "_Kamerad!_"

I put down the revolver and went on with my packing. And a day or two
later Celia began to write about the miniature.

       *       *       *       *       *

The stars represent shells or months, or anything like that; _not_
promotion. I came back with just the two--one on each sleeve.

We talked of many things, but not of the miniature. Somehow I had
forgotten all about it. And then one day I remembered suddenly.

"The miniature," I said; "did you get it done?"

"Yes," said Celia quietly.

"Have you got it here?"

"Yes."

"Oh, I say, do let me see it."

Celia hesitated.

"I think we had better wait till you are a little stronger," she said
very gently.

"Is it so very beautiful?"

"Well--"

"So beautiful that it almost hurts? Celia, dear, let me risk it," I
pleaded.

She fetched it and gave it to me. I gazed at it a long time.

"Who is it?" I asked at last.

"I don't know, dear."

"Is it like anybody we know?"

"I think it's meant to be like _you_, darling," said Celia tenderly,
trying to break it to me.

I gazed at it again.

"Would you get me a glass?" I asked her.

"A looking-glass, or with brandy and things in it?"

"Both ... Thank you. Promise me I don't look like this."

"You don't," she said soothingly.

"Then why didn't you tell the artist so and ask him to rub it out and
do it again?"

Celia sighed.

"He has. The last was his third rubbige."

Then another thing struck me.

"I thought you weren't going to have it in uniform?"

"I didn't at first. But we've been trying it in different costumes
since to--to ease the face a little. It looked awful in mufti. Like
a--a--"

"Go on," I said, nerving myself to it.

"Like an uneasy choir-boy. I think I shall send it back again and ask
him to put it in a surplice."

"Yes, but why should my wife dangle a beneficed member of the
Established Church of England round her neck? What proud prelate--"

"Choir-boy, darling. You're thinking of bishops."

As it happened my thoughts were not at all episcopal. On the contrary,
I looked at the miniature again, and I looked at myself in the glass,
and I said firmly that the thing must go back a fourth time.

"You can't wear it. People would come and ask you who it was and you
couldn't tell them. You'd have to keep it locked up, and what's the
good of that?"

"I _can't_ write again," said Celia. "Poor man! Think of the trouble
he's had. Besides I've got you back now. It was really just to remind
me of you."

"Yes, but I shall frequently be out to tea. You'd better have it done
properly now."

Celia was thoughtful. She began composing in her mind that fourth
letter ... and frowning.

"I know," she cried suddenly. "_You_ write this time!"

It was my turn to be thoughtful....

"I don't see it. How do I come in? What is my _locus standi? Locus
standi_," I explained in answer to her raised eyebrows, "an oath in
common use among our Italian allies, meaning--What do I write as?"

"As the owner of the face," said Celia in surprise.

"Yes, but I can't dilate on my own face."

"Why not?" said Celia, bubbling. "You know you'd love it."

I looked at the miniature and began to think of possible openings. One
impossible one struck me at once.

"Anyway," I said, "I'll get him to close my mouth."

       *       *       *       *       *

The stars represent something quite simple this time--my brain at
work.

"Celia," I said, "I _will_ write. And this time the miniature shall be
criticised properly. To say, as you no doubt said, 'This is not like
me,' I mean not like my husband--well, you know what I mean--just to
condemn it is not enough. _I_ shall do it differently. I shall take
each feature separately and dwell upon it. But to do this modestly
I must have a _locus_--I am sorry to have to borrow from our Italian
allies again--a _locus standi_ apart from that of owner of face. I
must also be donor of miniature. Then I can comment impartially on the
present which I am preparing for you."

"I thought you'd see that soon," smiled Celia.

A.A.M.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration r30/075th: _Recruiting Sergeant_. "WHAT ARE YOU FOR?"

_Recruit_. "FOR THE DURATION OF THE WAR, OR LONGER IF IT DOESN'T END
SOONER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

FASHIONS IN BOOK-WEAR.

    ["_Rose of Glenconnel_. A first book by Mrs. Patrick MacGill,
    telling of the adventures in the Yukon and elsewhere of
    Rosalie Moran. With coloured jacket. Price 5s. net."

    _Advt. in "Times Literary Supplement_."]

Extract from "Belle's Letters":--"Other smart books I noticed included
Mrs. BARCLAY'S _Sweet Seventy-one_, looking radiantly young and lovely
in a simple rose-pink frock embellished with rosebuds, and Mr. CHARLES
GARVICE'S _Marriage Bells_, utterly charming in ivory satin trimmed
with orange blossom. On another shelf I saw Mr. KIPLING'S _The Horse
Marines_, looking well in a smartly-cut navy blue costume with white
facings, and not far away was Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT'S _Straphanger_, in
smoked terra-cotta, and the pocket edition of DICKENS in Mrs. Harris
Tweed. Mr. Britling's new book, _Mr. Wells Sees it Through the Press_,
was looking rather dowdy in a ready-made Norfolk jacket, but Mr.
and Mrs. WILLIAMSON'S _The Petrol Peeress_ was very chic in a
delightfully-cut oil-silk wrap; and so was Sir GILBERT PARKER'S _This
Book for Sale_, in a purple bolero. Academic sobriety characterised
the gown worn by the POET LAUREATE'S _The Sighs of Bridges_, while Mr.
A.C. BENSON'S _Round My College Dado_ was conspicuous in a Magdalene
blouse with pale-blue sash."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "This was followed by a banquet in which Bro. W.S. Williams
    took a prominent part."--_Daily Chronicle_ (_Kingston,
    Jamaica_).

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTERS FROM MACEDONIA.

II.

MY DEAR JERRY,--No doubt you think from the light-hearted tone of my
last letter that life here is a bed of roses. In reality we have our
flies in the ointment--nay, our shirt-buttons in the soup. The
chief of the flies is artillery, both our own and that of the people
opposite; and the worst of the shirt-buttons is jam. It sounds
strange, but it is true.

There was a time in the olden days when we welcomed gunner-officers,
but those days are unhappily past since we met Major Jones. Learn then
the perfidy of the Major and _ex uno disce, omnes_.

I had a nice little 'ouse up in the front line, well hidden by trees.
It wasn't a _h_ouse, Jerry, I wish you to understand; it was merely a
little 'ouse standing in its own grounds like, with a brace or so of
chickens and a few mangel-wurzels a-climbin' round the place. You know
what it's like.

Well, Major Jones, who had been my guest several times in this little
'ouse of mine, came round a few days ago with a worried look and an
orderly.

"I want you to come and look at my telephone," he said hurriedly.

"What is it? Is anything wrong?" I asked sympathetically.

"I fear the worst. Something terrible may happen in five minutes," he
replied darkly.

I gripped his hand silently, and he returned the pressure with
emotion. In silence we walked the two hundred yards which lay between
my place and his observation post, and I watched while his orderly got
busy with the telephone.

"Is Number One gun ready?" demanded the Major.

It appeared that Number One was itching to be at it.

"Fire!" said the Major.

"Fire!" said the orderly.

A moment later there was a terrific explosion.

"Number One fired, Sir," observed the orderly.

"It is well you told us," I said sweetly, "otherwise I could never
have believed it."

But the Major heeded me not. He was staring over my shoulder.

"Good shot, by Jove!" he yelled. "A perfect beauty! Holed out in one!"

I turned to see what had caused his sudden joy. But where was my
little 'ouse? Had _it_ suddenly turned into that nasty cloud of dust?
Even as I looked my water-bucket reached the ground again.

"Awfully sorry, old man," said the Major, with a ghastly, pretence of
sympathy. "You see it was in our way."

I brushed aside his proffered hand (rather good that, Jerry. Let's
have it again. I say I brushed aside his proffered hand), and strode
back dismally to what had once been my home from home.

Now I live in a little dug-out beneath the ground, chickenless and
mangel-wurzelless, awaiting with resignation the day when the Sappers
shall find that I am in _their_ way and blow me up.

Another little game of the gunners is called "Artillery Duels."

In the good old days, when a man wanted a scrap with his neighbour, he
put a double charge of powder into his blunderbuss, crammed in on
top of it two horse-shoes, his latch-key, an old watch-chain, and a
magnet, and then started on the trail. It was very effective, but of
course some busy-body "improved" on it. Nowadays our gunners ring up
the enemy's artillery.

"Hallo! Is that you, strafe you? What about an artillery duel, eh?"

"Oh, what fun!" says the enemy. "Do let's." And then they start.

"A hearty give-and-take, that's what I like," remarks a cheery gunner
officer.

A moment later he rushes to the telephone.

"Is that you, enemy?" he asks. "I say, dash it all, old man, do be
careful! That last one of yours was jolly near my favourite gun."

"By Jove, I'm awfully sorry, old thing," calls back the enemy. "What
about shortening the fuses a bit, eh?"

"Good idea! Waken up the foot-sloggers too. They need it sometimes."

Then for fifteen minutes large shells rebound from the bowed head and
shoulders of the unfortunate infantryman.

Which reminds me of George.

George had a strafe-proof waistcoat procured by him from a French
manufacturer. He showed it to us proudly, and also the advertisement,
which stated that the waistcoat would easily stop a rifle-bullet,
whilst a "45" would simply bounce off it. It was beautiful but
alarming to see his confidence as he stood up in a shower of shells,
praying for a chance of showing off the virtues of his acquisition.

       *       *       *       *       *

We were very pleased to send to his hospital address to-day a postcard
bearing the maker's explanation that a .45 revolver bullet, and _not_
a 45 millimetre shell, was meant.

As regards the jam question, Jerry, the fault of the jam is that it
is never jam, but always marmalade. I feel too sore on the question to
write much, but I may just hint that we have heard that Brother Bulgar
sometimes gets real strawberry. It is just possible, therefore, that
you may hear of a raid soon.

  Yours ever,
  PETER.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CONVERT.

    ["One striking result of the War has been its humanising
    effect on woman."--_Daily Paper_.]

  The barbed shaft of Love hath pierced thy heart,
    Fair Annabelle; distracting is thy lot;
  Long hast thou thought thyself a deal too smart
    To be ensnared in Cupid's toils--eh, what?

  The ways of other maids, less intricate,
    Filled thee with pity to the very core;
  Kisses were unhygienic, out of date,
    And man a most unutterable bore.

  But now with young Lieutenant Smith, V.C.,
    Thou roamest, gazing shyly in his face;
  Nay, did I not surprise thee after tea
    Defying Hygiene in a close embrace?

  Shall I recall that old sartorial jest,
    The mannish coat which never seemed to fit,
  The bifurcated skirt and all the rest,
    Not half so pretty as thy nursing kit?

  All no! Thine happiness I will not vex,
    For thou art Woman once again I find;
  And Woman, though she cannot change her sex,
    Has always had the right to change her mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE PRIMROSE PATH FOR FLAPPERS.

    "WANTED, Two experi. MAKERS-UP (Females); also a few Girls to
    learn; good wages paid."--_Evening Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER IMPENDING APOLOGY.

From an obituary notice:--

    "In civil life he was employed as an attendant on those
    inflicted with weak minds. He joined the regiment at ---- Camp
    and was at once employed as Colonel ----'s servant."--_Burma
    Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mars is the name of a star so far off it would take a million
    years to walk there in an express train."

    "A miracle is anything that someone does that can't be done."

    "People who have always used tooth-brushes and who know the
    thing to do never use any but their own."

    "The Pagans were a contented race until the Christians came
    among them."--_Hawaii Educational Review_.

If _The Review_ can maintain this form the consciously comic journals
of the American Empire will have to look to their laurels.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RECRUIT WHO TOOK TO IT KINDLY.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Super-Boy_. "BUT, FATHER, IF WE HAVE ALREADY
CONQUERED, WHY DOES THE WAR GO ON?"

_Super-Man_. "BE SILENT AND EAT YOUR HINDENBERG ROCK."]

       *       *       *       *       *

WAR'S SURPRISES.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF "TAY PAY."

    [_The Daily Chronicle_ alludes to a recent article by Mr. T.P.
    O'CONNOR, M.P., as "a frigid survey of the situation."]

  The War has done many astonishing things;
  It has doubled the traffic in trinkets and rings;
  It has reconciled us to margarine
  And made many fat men healthily lean.
  It has answered the critics of Public Schools
  And proved the redemption of family fools.
  It has turned golf links to potato patches
  And made us less lavish in  using matches.
  It has latterly paralysed the jaw
  Of the hitherto insuppressible SHAW.
  It has made old Tories acclaim LLOYD GEORGE,
  Whose very name once stuck in their gorge.
  It has turned a number of novelists
  Into amateur armchair strategists.
  It has raised the lowly and humbled the wise
  And forced us in dozens of ways to revise
  The hasty opinions we formed of our neighbours
  In view of their lives and deaths and labours.
  It has cured many freaks of their futile hobbies,
  It has made us acquainted with female bobbies.
  It has very largely emptied the ranks
  Of the valetudinarian cranks,
  By turning their minds to larger questions
  Than their own insides or their poor digestions.
  It has changed a First Lord into a Colonel,
  Then into a scribe on a Sunday-journal,
  With the possible hope, when scribbling palls,
  Of doing his hit at the Music Halls.
  It has proved the means of BIRRELL'S confounding
  And given Lord WIMBORNE a chance of re-bounding.
  But--quite the most wonderful thing of all
  The things that astonish, amaze or appal--
  As though a jelly turned suddenly rigid,
  It has made "TAY PAY" grow suddenly frigid!
  When rivers flow backwards to their founts
  And tailors refuse to send in accounts;
  When some benevolent millionaire
  Makes me his sole and untrammelled heir;
  When President WILSON finds no more
  Obscurity in "the roots of the War";
  When Mr. PONSONBY stops belittling
  His country and WELLS abandons _Britling_:
  When the Ethiopian changes his hue
  To a vivid pink or a Reckitty blue--
  In fine, when the Earth has lost its solidity,
  Then I shall believe in "TAY PAY'S" frigidity.

       *       *       *       *       *

    DURATION OF THE WAR.

    "If the bid does not come early in 19717 the evidences of
    Germany's clamorous needs are strangely false."--_Evening
    Paper_.

Are we downhearted? No!

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from Army Orders in the Field:--

    "When Sections 3 and 4 have opened rapid fire, and the bullets
    have had time to reach the enemy, but not before, Sections 1
    and 2 move up into line with No. 3 and 4."

Aren't the Staff wonderful? They think of everything.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SNOWING HIM UNDER.

A FORECAST OF THE NEW BRITISH WAR LOAN.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Possible Purchaser_. "WHAT SORT OF DOG IS HE?"

_Dog-Fancier_. "'IM, LIDY? 'E'S A LITTLE PEDIGREE DAWG, 'E IS. AN'
THIS IS 'IS MOTHER ON THE LEAD--QUITE ANOTHER TYPE O' DAWG, BUT ALSO A
PEDIGREE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

PETHERTON AND THE PLURALIST.

"Hello!" I said, "a note from Petherton. What can my charming
neighbour want now?"

The letter ran as follows:--

SIR,--I find that George, the young man I employ as house-boy, has
become friendly with one of your maids, and I shall he glad if you
will co-operate with me so far as is possible in trying to prevent
their meeting, as I do not think it desirable that there should be
further communication between our households than is, unfortunately,
necessary.

I should not have troubled to write to you had it not been that George
strongly resented my interference with his private affairs when
I remonstrated with him just now on the matter. Servants are so
deplorably independent in these times, and men as useful as George are
so difficult to obtain, that I do not care to open the subject with
him again.

The maid of yours in question is the one who goes out on Wednesday
evenings. As that is also George's evening out, perhaps you could
arrange to let this particular maid go out on another evening instead.

  Faithfully yours,
  FREDERICK PETHERTON.

"What confounded sauce!" I said, and replied formally as follows:--

DEAR MR. PETHERTON,--It must, I am sure, be most alarming to you to
find that servants of ours are hobnobbing and perhaps discussing our
affairs. Unfortunately to make the alteration you suggest would throw
the whole of our domestic staff out. I know the maid to whom you
refer; she is our parlour-maid, and you are right in describing her
as "this particular maid." She is most particular. It is true that men
are hard to obtain for domestic employment, even ineligibles (and I
am sure yours is that), but maids are, if anything, more difficult to
find. My wife had no end of trouble in procuring this parlour-maid,
and she is a treasure whom we do not wish to lose.

I have been aware for some time that she is engaged in the pleasurable
occupation of what is known as keeping company with your factotum, but
thought it wise not to interfere.

It is still in the air, as one might say, that you are engaged in
experimental chemical work for the Government, and I should have
thought, and hoped, that this would occupy your mind to the exclusion
of such trivial affairs as servants' love-making.

  Yours sincerely,
  HENRY J. FORDYCE.


Petherton quickly countered with:--

SIR--I am sorry that I should have appealed to you in vain. It is not
a pleasure to write to you, and it is positively distasteful to have
to read your absurd letters in reply. I passed George in the village
this evening with his arm round your parlour-maid's waist. I was
absolutely disgusted, and must emphatically protest against such
familiarity even among the minor members of our households.

  Faithfully yours,
  FREDERICK PETHERTON.


Joyously I rushed to respond:--

DEAR PETHERTON,--Your letters, on the contrary, are a positive delight
to me. One of the reasons why I should not like to interfere is the
feeling that it might put an end to our correspondence.

Personally I cannot visualize the spectacle of similar familiarity
between any of the major members of our respective households.

I myself passed your man this evening as I was on my way to the
Vicarage, and at the moment he was in mild dalliance with our
housemaid. I say mild because they were only arm-in-arm. On my return
about an hour later I passed George again, and it is true that this
time he was with our parlour-maid, and had his arm round her waist as
you describe.

There is no doubt that the young man has a penchant for my staff, but
so far no Government secrets have reached my ears, and no details of
your personal doings, past, present or future.

"Carry on" is the motto of the day, so why not let well alone? Were
you never a young man?

  Ever yours,
  HARRY FORDYCE.


Petherton was getting very worked-up, to judge from his reply:--

SIR,--I disapprove of your levity. This is a serious matter to me.
On your own showing George's behaviour is scandalous, and although I
should scarcely expect you to look at the matter in its proper light
I should have thought that even you would have interfered now that
matters have reached such a state. Your attitude is intolerable.

I am well able to protect the Government's secrets, and my movements
could be of little interest even to you, but I do not think the
society of your maids desirable for a young man like George. I
strongly suspect that they are having a bad influence over him. He is
becoming careless in his work.

I accidentally overheard him say, in conversation with the grocer's
man, that he was--to use his own expression--walking out with a Miss
Parsons. Is this either your parlour-maid or housemaid? or is it some
third person?

  Yours faithfully,
  FREDERICK PETHERTON.


DEAR OLD CHAP (I replied),--Thank you for your cheering letter. I
hope neither of us will say or do anything that would terminate this
exchange of letters, which is keeping me from dwelling too much on the
War.

Miss Parsons is our cook, as worthy a young woman as ever riveted an
apple-dumpling or tossed a custard. She would make George an excellent
wife. Don't worry about the parlour-maid or housemaid. They would, I
am sure, be delighted to be at the wedding.

  Yours,
  HARRY.


Petherton's reply was prompt, personal and to the point:--

SIR,--Confound you and your entire staff! You ought all to be
interned. If George ever thinks of leaving me I trust it will not be
to marry one of your household. In the name of decency I must insist
on your taking strong action to end what is a positive scandal.

  Faithfully yours,
  FREDERICK PETHERTON.


It was Monday before I replied, then I wrote:--

DEAR FREDDY,--Let us mingle our tears. The worst is about to happen If
you were as good a churchgoer as one could wish, you would have been
in your pew yesterday morning, when the banns were read out (for the
first time of asking) "between George Goodman, bachelor, and Emily
Parsons, spinster, both of this parish," though this would not have
conveyed to you the appalling fact that your man is marrying my entire
staff all at once. I doubt, however, if you will be able to find cause
or just impediment, etc.

  Yours,
  H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "DIDN'T KNOW WOT 'APPINESS WAS TILL I GOT MARRIED."

"AND NOW YOU'VE 'AD TO LEAVE IT, EH?"

"WOTCHER MEAN, _LEAVE_ IT? I'VE COME BACK TO IT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT IN INDIA.

    "In the Punjab and Sind it has been possible to colonise
    uninhabited wastes, and flourishing communities, aggregating
    nearly two million inhabitants, are supported entirely by
    canal water."

    _Prof. STANLEY JEVONS, in "To-day."_

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Girl wanted, just leaving school, for Ruling
    Department."--_Provincial Paper_.

Does this mean that we are to have a flapper in the Cabinet?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FOLLOW-UP METHOD.

When you respond to an advertisement offering a booklet or a sample
free, you are pestered by the proprietor of the commodity advertised
with numerous communications importuning your custom, until in sheer
self-defence you make a purchase. Now I had occasion to answer an
announcement advertising for the services of a person with attainments
approximating to my own, decided that, in the event of my application
attracting no response, I would adopt the methods indicated above. For
the benefit of others I give below a record of my procedure and the
result.

My first letter detailed my qualifications, which were very
exceptional; explained that my intelligence and industry were far
above the average; that I was morbidly conscientious, and willing to
sacrifice all my own interests for the needs of the firm; that
the reason for leaving my last position was solely a matter of
circumstances over which I had no control, and that at an interview,
which I craved, I would explain everything to everybody's satisfaction
and prove my perfect eligibility for the post. And so forth.

I waited a fortnight. There was no reply. I therefore despatched a
follow-up letter. I explained my regret at receiving no response to
letter No. 1, and suggested that perhaps it had been inadvertently
overlooked, or had gone astray in transit. Alternatively I hinted that
perhaps the firm regarded the list of my qualifications as incredibly
pretentious, and I assured them that it in no way exaggerated my good
points. I had indeed become, if possible, even more conscientious and
industrious since I had last written, and having recovered from a cold
in the head from which I was then suffering I was actually in better
physical condition than before. I reminded the firm that in granting
me a preliminary interview they incurred no liability whatsoever.

Another two weeks went by, and still no answer. So I despatched
Follow-up Letter No. 2.

This briefly referred to my two previous communications, and asked
whether it was not clear to them that, by securing my services while I
was in possession of all my faculties and the full vigour and strength
of my being, there were advantages they could not possibly acquire
with me in, say, another thirty years, when I should probably be
suffering from rheumatism, chronic dyspepsia, deafness, dim sight,
loss of memory and certainly from approaching old age. I concluded by
offering them three days' free trial (I always do best in the first
three days); if I failed to give satisfaction by the end of that
period they could return me without incurring any obligation
whatsoever.

Again two weeks passed away, and there was still no answer. So I sent
Follow-up Letter No. 3.

In this I announced a Special Offer, viz., a reduction of twenty
pounds sterling (£20) on the salary originally asked if the firm
engaged me within ten days from the date of the offer.

I gave them twelve days in which to respond, but still received no
answer, so, after allowing a further two days' grace, I despatched
Follow-up Letter No. 4, stating that as they had evidently been
prevented from replying to my special offer I had decided to extend
the period for acceptance by fourteen (14) days, reckoning from the
date of the present communication. At the end of that period the
salary demanded would be increased by ten pounds (£10) over and above
that asked in my _first_ application. Thus, by accepting the existing
offer of twenty pounds (£20) reduction, they would really be securing
me at thirty pounds (£30) less than my market price.

I waited patiently for a further fourteen days, and then sent
Follow-up Letter No. 5.

This letter was quite brief. It made no attempt to disguise the fact
that I was hurt at the firm's silence, and it hinted at enquiries from
other employers of labour whose needs would have to be considered.
It intimated also that I could not possibly hold myself at the firm's
disposal indefinitely, and that unless a prompt reply was received
I could not guarantee acceptance. By way of a crushing suggestion of
niggardliness on their part I enclosed a stamped addressed envelope.

An answer came by return of post as follows:--

DEAR SIR,--In reply to your letter, we beg to say that the vacancy to
which you refer was filled some ten (10) weeks ago.

Yours faithfully, etc.


Now I know where I am. Without this persistence, which is the essence
of the following-up business, I should simply be where I am without
knowing it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady Cynthia_ (_showing wounded Tommies the ancestral
portraits_). "AND THIS IS THE FIRST EARL IN FULL FIGHTING KIT."

_Tommy_. "HE'S GOT HIS IDENTIFICATION DISC ALL RIGHT, MA'AM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

BACCHUS AT THE FRONT.

Extract from a speech by the KAISER as reported by _The Sun_
(Vancouver, B.C.):--

    "The campaign ... had been conducted according to the
    brilliant plans of Field-Marshal von Hindenburg.... The old
    god of bottles directed. We were his instruments and we are
    proud of it."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Among some of the best-informed bankers in the City the view
    taken in this respect is one which it may be well for the
    public at large to have repeated for their own guidance. The
    new War Loan, they say, will either be the last before the
    Allies impose on the enemy their own terms of peace, or it
    will not."--_The Times_.

We had already formed the same opinion, but we are glad to have it
confirmed on such high authority.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Barrow magistrates decided that _Ideas_ must not be sold
    after the closing hour."--_Daily Sketch_.

Unfortunately this will not prevent the bore from continuing to give
you his gratis.

       *       *       *       *       *

Demand--

    "Elderly English Girl wanted as companion to young lady for
    afternoon."--_Egyptian Gazette_.

and supply--

    "The age limit for Girl Guides was formerly 18 years, but it
    has now been raised to 81 years by general request."--_British
    Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_. "SOMETHIN' TO DHRINK, IF YE PLAZE, MISS."
_Helper_. "CERTAINLY. WILL YOU HAVE TEA OR COFFEE?"

_Tommy_. "NEITHER, THANK-YE." _Helper_. "COCOA, THEN, OR BOVRIL?"

_Tommy_. "NO, NO. NONE OF THEM FOR ME, MISS."

_Helper_ (_with asperity_). "WELL, WE'VE NOTHING ELSE EXCEPT WATER."

_Tommy_ (_earnestly_). "AN' I DAREN'T TOUCH THAT. D'YE SEE, MISS, WHEN
ME FATHER LAY DYIN'--GOD REST HIS SOWL!--HE SEZ TO ME, 'I'VE GIVEN YE
AN IRON CONSTITUTION, ANNYWAY, AN' LET YE SEE TO IT THAT YE NIVER TAKE
ANNYTHING THAT 'UD RUST IT ON YE.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE QUEST OF KNOWLEDGE.

MR. BLAIR, the L.C.C. Education Officer, is dissatisfied, according to
_The Daily Chronicle_, with the questions put at school examinations,
on the ground that they do not test the thoughtfulness and ingenuity
of the pupil. The "Why" as well as the "What" should be developed,
and to illustrate the value of the method proposed Mr. BLAIR suggests
various sample questions, e.g.:--

"How do you account for the density of the population in
Staffordshire?

"Find out from your atlas the distance from London to Glasgow.
How long would it take you to go there by train? What would the
third-class fare be at a penny a mile?

"How can we discover the minimum conditions necessary for the
germination of a bean?

"ARISTOTLE remarked that a bee will visit one type of flower only
during one journey from the hive. Find out if this is true, and,
if true, point out its significance from the point of view of the
flower."

As Mr. BLAIR remarks, a quest is better than a question. We agree, and
venture to start a few more quests:--

"Find out from _Who's Who_ the literary productions of Miss MARIE
CORELLI and Mr. HALL CAINE, and trace their effect on the density of
the population of Warwickshire and the Isle of Man respectively.

"ARISTOTLE remarked that one swallow does not make a summer. Find out
whether this is true, and, if true, explain its bearing on the thirst
of the swallower.

"Find out on your map the distance from Madrid to Jaffa, and state
what would be the cost of a cargo of Spanish onions and Jerusalem
artichokes delivered in the London Docks.

"What is the minimum time necessary for the incubation of a Scarlet
Pimpernel?

What are the statutory dimensions of a gigantic gooseberry? Have you
ever seen one, and if not why not?"

       *       *       *       *       *

    OUR YOUTHFUL HEROES.

    "C.Q.M.S.E.A. ----, brother of Mr. W.M. ----, Falmouth, spent
    his third birthday in the trenches on the 8th inst."--_Royal
    Cornwall Gazette_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "One or two of the Councillors are on war service, and their
    places will be kept warm for them.... Councillors ---- and
    J.R. ---- have not once been able to sit since they donned
    khaki."--_Southern Times_.

We infer that the Councillors in question are training for the
cavalry.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The British fleet bombarded Skarvika and Semuntoltos, south
    of Orfano. Marshall's 7, Martyn's 2. Wakefield (3), Stone
    (2), Cripps, and Turbyfield scored for the
    winners."--_Gloucestershire Echo_.

We like this idea of recording the names of the successful marksmen at
once, without waiting for the formal despatches.

       *       *       *       *       *

A DREAM SHIP.

  Oh I wish I had a clipper ship with carvings on her counter,
    With lanterns on her poop-rail of beaten copper wrought;
  I would dress her like a lady in the whitest cloth and mount her
    With a long bow-chasing swivel and a gun at every port.

  I would sign me on a master who had solved MERCATOR'S riddle,
    A nigger cook with earrings who neither chewed nor drank,
  Who wore a red bandanna and was handy on the fiddle,
    I would take a piping bos'un and a cabin-boy to spank.

  Then some fine Summer morning when the Falmouth cocks were crowing
    I would set my capstan spinning to the chanting of all hands,
  And the milkmaids on the uplands would lament to see me going
    As I beat for open Channel and away to foreign lands,

  _Singing_--

             Fare ye well, O lady mine,
             Fare ye well, my pretty one,
    For the anchor's at the cat-head and the voyage is begun,
    The wind is in the mainsail, we're slipping from the land
  Hull-down with all sail making, close-hauled with the white-tops breaking,
             Bound for the Rio Grande.
                   Fare ye well!

  With the flying-fish around us and a porpoise school before us,
    Full crowded under royals to the south'ard we would sweep;
  We would hear the bull whales blowing and the mermaids sing in chorus,
    And perhaps the white seal mummies hum their chubby calves to sleep.

  We would see the hot towns paddling in the surf of Spanish waters,
    And prowl beneath dim balconies and twang discreet guitars,
  And sigh our adoration to Don Juan's lovely daughters
    Till they lifted their mantillas and their dark eyes shone like stars.

  We would cruise by fairy islands where the gaudy parrot screeches
    And the turtle in his soup-tureen floats basking in the calms;
  We would see the fire-flies winking in the bush above the beaches
    And a moon of honey yellow drifting up behind the palms.

  We would crown ourselves with garlands and tread a frolic measure
    With the nut-brown island beauties in the firelight by the huts;
  We would give them rum and kisses; we would hunt for pirate treasure,
    And bombard the apes with pebbles in exchange for coco-nuts.

  When we wearied of our wand'rings 'neath the blazing Southern heaven
    And dreamed of Kentish orchards fragrant-scented after rain,
  Of the cream there is in Cornwall and the cider brewed in Devon,
    We would crowd our yards with canvas and sweep foaming home again,

  _Singing_--

             Cheerily, O lady mine,
             Cheerily, my sweetheart true,
    For the blest Blue Peter's flying and I'm rolling home to you;
    For I'm tired of Spanish ladies and of tropic afterglows,
  Heart-sick for an English Spring-time, all afire for an English ring-time,
             In love with an English rose.
                     Rolling home!

       *       *       *       *       *

MISGIVINGS.

Walking recently by Hyde Park Corner I met a man in a comic hat.
He was an elderly man, very well set up, marching along like an old
officer--quite an impressive figure with his grey moustache and
grey hair, had not this ridiculous affair surmounted him. It was not
exactly a hat, and not exactly a cap, but something between the two,
and it was so minute as to be almost invisible and wholly absurd. Yet
there was every indication that its wearer believed that it suited
him, for he moved both with confidence and self-satisfaction.

And as I watched him, and after he had passed, swinging his stick and
surveying the world with the calm assurance of a connoisseur of most
of the branches of life I began to entertain some very serious and
disturbing doubts. For (thought I) here is quite a capable kind of
fellow, of mature age, making a perfect guy of himself under the
profound conviction that he is doing just the reverse and that that
pimple of a hat suits him. No doubt, judging by the cut of his clothes
and his general _soigné_ appearance, he stands before his glass every
morning until he is satisfied. Had he (thought I) any accuracy of
vision he would see himself the grotesque thing he is in that idiotic
little cap. But his vision is distorted.

It was then that I began to go hot and cold all over, for I suddenly
realised that my vision might be distorted too. My hat hitherto had
satisfied me; but suppose that that too was all wrong. And then I
wondered if anyone really gets a true return from the mirror, or if we
are not all bemused; and, remembering those astounding hats in which
WINSTON used to be photographed a few years ago, I asked myself,
"Where are _we_, when even the great legislators can go so wrong?"

Although all this soul-searching occurred several days ago, I am still
nervous, and I never catch sight of my reflection in a shop window
without suspicion racking me; while to see a smile on the face of an
approaching pedestrian is agony.

But (you will say) why not ask the hatter or some intimate friend to
select the hat for you? I guessed you would suggest that. But it won't
help; I'll tell you why. Some years ago I knew a fat man with a big
head--a journalist of great ability--who made himself undignified by
perching upon the top of that great and capable head a little bowler.
Its inadequacy had always annoyed me, but never more so than when, on
my arriving at our place of servitude one morning (we were on the same
paper) in a new and perfectly becoming hat, he said to me, "That hat's
all wrong. You should never choose a hat for yourself. I _never_ do.
I get my wife to choose mine for me." Remembering this I am even more
unsettled than before. I see no hope.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress_. "OH, HE'S GONE INTO THE TRENCHES, HAS HE?
WELL, YOU MUSTN'T WORRY."

_Maid_. "OH, NO, MA'AM, I'VE LEFT OFF WORRYING NOW. HE CAN'T WALK OUT
WITH ANYONE ELSE WHILE HE'S THERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

(_BY MR. PUNCH'S STAFF OF LEARNED CLERKS_.)

The idea of publishing _Frederick the Great: The Memoirs of his
Reader, Henri de Catt_ (_1758-1760_) (CONSTABLE) was that we are all
so passionate against Prussianism that we want to plank down our money
for two volumesful of observations at first hand about the man who was
the source and origin of that dark and swollen stream. Personally,
we doubt the general zeal in this matter--not of Prussianism but of
FREDERICK. However, DE CATT, looking at a king from a queer angle,
is extraordinarily diverting. "Reader" was a euphemism for a patient
audience, including _claque_. FREDERICK, _incognito_ on a Dutch barge,
picked up the young scholar and marked him down as one who could be
induced by florins and flattery to take on the job of listening to
his patron's bad French verses and his after-dinner flutings of little
things of his own, his approving observations on his own conduct, his
battles, his philosophy of life and politics, no doubt calculating
that it would all be jotted down on fateful scraps of paper and given
a favourable colouring for the edification of the world. Well, the
great FREDERICK put it over me all right. Frankly I rather liked the
old fellow, his old clothes (there was at least no shining armour
swank at Potsdam in those days), his practice of solemnly cutting
capers for the benefit of his "reader," though I know not explicitly
what a caper is, his Billingsgate language, his real opinion of
VOLTAIRE, his charming, if possibly rare, acts of magnanimity, his
moderation in war, which was not all hypocrisy. In fact, if you
expect an ogre you will be disappointed. He could give the latest
Hohenzollern points in a good many directions. I ought, of course,
to add that a learnedly allusive preface by Lord ROSEBERY graces the
volume, and that the very competent translation is by F.S. FLINT.

       *       *       *       *       *

These are days when the more we know about Russia and things Russian
the better. Specially timely, then, is the appearance, in an
English translation, of _The Fishermen_ (STANLEY PAUL), by DIMITRY
GREGOROVITSH. It is a wonderfully appealing story, which has been put
into English--presumably by Dr. ANGELO RAPPOPORT, though he is only
credited on the title-page with the authorship of the Preface--in such
a way that the spirit of the original is admirably preserved. I had
not read a couple of pages before the charm of the style laid hold
upon me. The story is quite simple, concerned only with a group
of peasants, fisher-folk, living on the banks of a great river.
GREGOROVITSH is like TOURGENIEV in his devotion to peasant and country
types, but otherwise more akin to our own younger school of realists
in the minuteness of his observation. Throughout the story abounds in
character-study of a kind that, while building up the figure with a
thousand details, will add suddenly some vivid touch that brings the
whole wonderfully and unforgettably to life. An example of this is
_Akim_, that perfect type of the hopeless incompetent, whose very
futility, while it rightly exasperates his fellows, makes him a
delight to the reader; so that his death, at the end of the first
part, comes with an effect of personal loss. For my own part, as poor
_Akim_ had never once before accomplished what he set out to do, I
was quite expectant of his recovery, and proportionately disappointed.
Throughout also there are pen-pictures of Russian scenery, full of
vivid colour; while the story itself, though inevitably in a somewhat
minor key, is never sordid or pessimistic. Emphatically therefore a
book for everyone to read who cares to know the best in the literature
of our great Ally.

       *       *       *       *       *

MARGARET DELAND'S well-proved pen gives us a spirited sketch of a
modernist American woman in _The Rising Tide_ (MURRAY). I don't quite
know how this enigmatic sentence, which 1 have long puzzled over and
frankly given up, came to escape both author and reader: "Once Mrs.
Childs said to tell Fred her Uncle William would say it was perfect
nonsense." I feel sure it is not good American. However, _Freddy
Payton_ is a young girl who tells the inconvenient truth to everybody
about everything, and you may guess that such candour does not make
for peace. _Mrs. Payton_ elects to keep her idiot son in the house,
and _Freddy_ thinks an asylum is the proper place for him, and
says so. The late _Mr. Payton_ was a rake, and _Freddy_ derides her
mother's weeds on the ground that the widow is really in her heart
waving flags for deliverance, but daren't admit it. _Freddy_ offers
cigarettes to the curate, which is apparently a much greater crime
over there than here. _Freddy_ finally, carried along by the rising
tide, asks the man she loves to marry her, mistaking his friendship
for something stronger, and learns that, as the old-fashioned people
like her mother realise, men are essentially hunters and "won't bag
the game if it perches on their fists." I wonder! But _Freddy_ got
a better man--the diffident elderly man who was waiting round the
corner. In fact, _Freddy_ is rather a sport, and if Mrs. DELAND
intended her as a tract for the times, in the manner of Mrs. HUMPHRY
WARD, her shot has miscarried--at least so far as I am concerned.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FORCE OF HABIT.

HOW AN ESCAPED PRISONER OF WAR BETRAYED HIMSELF.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edmund Layton_, thick in the arm and at times, be it confessed,
thick in the head, was so thoroughly in love with _The Bright Eyes of
Danger_ (CHAMBERS), and the brighter eyes of _Charlotte Macdonell_,
Jacobitess, that in the rousing days of the YOUNG PRETENDER he not
only lightly risked his life when his lady was in need, but more than
once went out of his way to make things quite unnecessarily hazardous
for himself, when I or any other of his more canny Hanoverian friends
was longing to give him warning. For instance, when that taking
villain, _Philip Macdonell_, after beating him in the race for the
French treasure buried in the sands of Spey beside the sunken ship
(_vide_ the frontispiece mystery chart), soon after fell comfortably
into his hands, he had no more discretion than to take him out
to fight a duel; whereon, as we others foresaw, the wily villain
incontinently disappeared and the fun was all to begin again. Maybe
we might forgive him that, for of such staple are good yarns spun,
but why in heaven's name should bold _Edmund Layton_ of Liddesdale
go about to make himself and us miserable with feckless scruples that
ruined the happy ending we had fairly earned? Either he was right to
let CHARLES STUART escape that day in the mist, in return for former
generosity, or he was wrong; and one would have expected him to make
up his mind and there an end, and not fret himself into a pother and
Mr. JOHN FOSTER'S story into a most inartistic anti-climax over such
a subtlety. All the same a rattling good tale, full of hard knocks as
well as bright eyes, and with more than a smack of STEVENSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

I fancy that I ought perhaps already to know _The Wood-Carver of
'Lympus_ (MELROSE), which, hailing originally from America, seems to
have made many friends over here before reaching me in its present
form. I am glad, more especially at the present season, to extend
a grateful welcome to so kindly and charming a story. Miss MARY E.
WALLER has written a singularly refreshing and happy book, full of
passages that reveal a great sympathy for country life and the hearts
of simple people. _Hugh Armstrong_, the central figure, is a youth in
a New England mountain farm, condemned to perpetual inactivity through
an accident. At the beginning of the story we see him, in the depths
of misery, visited by a casual passenger from the stage coach, whose
attention has been caught by his story as related by the driver.
Thenceforward things mend for _Armstrong_. The stranger interests him
in wood-carving; orders pour in, which help to bring comfort to the
farm; books and letters arrive from unknown city dwellers. Thus the
tale is a record of increasing happiness, but kept (an important
thing) from cloying by the tragedy upon which it is built. If you
will not be put off by American dialect or by the rather startling
discovery that one of the kindliest characters is named _Franz_, you
will, I believe, find a brief stay upon '_Lympus_ most beneficial to
your spirits.

       *       *       *       *       *

    HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR BANKER.

    "The bankers of General Chang Tsolin, the Military Governor of
    Mukden, who suffered from financial troubles, were summarily
    executed by shooting on the charge of having disturbed the
    money market."--_Shanghai Mercury_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The DarDdaDneDlDleDs Commissioners sat again to-day at
    the House of Lords, when General Sir John Maxwell was
    examined."--i>Provincial Paper_.

Please do not imagine that that is what the gallant officer called
them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A LARGE BLACK DOG, no colour, strayed."--_The Times_.

    "THE LUCKY BLACK CAT, in all colours, made to order."--_The
    Queen_.

This is the kind of thing that drives a chameleon mad.

       *       *       *       *       *





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