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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, January 3, 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 3, 1917" ***

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VOL. 152.

January 3, 1917.

[Illustration: Vol. Clii.]

       *       *       *       *       *


"Yes, Sir," said Sergeant Wally, accepting one of my cigarettes and
readjusting his wounded leg,--"yes, Sir, discipline's the thing.
It's only when a man moves on the word o' command, without waiting to
think, that he becomes a really reliable soldier. I remember, when
I was a recruit, how they put us through it. I'd been on the square
about a week. I was a fairly smart youngster, and I thought I was
jumping to it just like an old soldier, when the drill sergeant called
me out of the ranks. Look 'ere,' he said, 'if you think you're going
to make a fool o' me, standing about there till you choose to obey
the word o' command, you've made a big mistake.' I could 'a' cried at
the time, but I've been glad often enough since for what the sergeant
said that day. I've found that little bit of gag useful myself many a

I was meditating with sympathy upon the many victims of Sergeant
Wally's borrowed sarcasm when he spoke again.

"When I first came up to London from the depôt," he said, "I'd a
brother, a corporal in the same battalion. You know as well as I do,
Sir, that as a matter o' discipline a corporal doesn't have any truck
with a private soldier, excepting in the way of duties, and my brother
didn't speak to me for the first week. Then one day he called me up
and said, 'It ain't the thing for me to be going about with you, but
as you're my brother I'll go out with you to-night. Have yourself
cleaned by six o'clock.'

"Well, I took all the money I'd got--about twelve bob--and off we

"We had a bit o' supper first at a place my brother knew of, and a
very good supper it was. My brother ordered it, but I paid. Then we
got a couple of cigars--at least, I did. Then we went to a music-hall,
me paying, of course. We had a drink during the evening, and when we
came out my brother said, 'We'd better come in here and have a snack.'

"'Well, I ain't got any money left,' I sez. My brother looked at me
a minute, and then he said, 'I don't know what I've been thinking of,
going about with you, you a private and me a corporal. Be off 'ome !'
And he stalks away.

"Yes, Sir, discipline's the thing. Thank you, I'll have another

       *       *       *       *       *


    "The bride, who was given away by her father, looked happy and
    handsome in a beautiful red fern dress."--_Allahabad Pioneer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Now with the New-born Year, when people issue
    Greetings appropriate to all concerned,
  Allow me, WILLIAM, cordially to wish you
    Whatever peace of mind you may have earned;
        It doesn't sound too fat,
  But you will have to be content with that.

  For you will get no other, though you ask it;
    No peace on diplomatic folios writ,
  Like what you chucked in your waste-treaty-basket,
    Torn into fragments, bit by little bit;
        In these rude times we shrink
  From vain expenditure of pulp and ink.

  You hoped to start a further scrap of paper
    And stretched a flattering paw in soft appeal,
  Purring as hard as tiger-cats at play purr
    With velvet padding round your claws of steel;
        A pretty piece of acting,
  But, ere we treat, those claws'll want extracting.

  You thought that you had just to moot the question
    And say you felt the closing hour had come
  And we should simply jump at your suggestion
    And all the Hague with overtures would hum;
        You'd but to call her up,
  And Peace would follow like a well-bred pup.

  But Peace and War are twain (see _Chadband's_ platitude);
    War you could summon by your single self,
  But Peace--for she adopts a stickier attitude--
    Takes two to mobilise her off the shelf;
        Unless one side's so weak
  That, try his best, he cannot raise a squeak.

  When things are thus and you have had your beating,
    We'll talk and you can listen. Better cheer
  I've none to offer you by way of greeting,
    But this should help you through the glad New Year;
        It lacks for grace, I own,
  But let its true sincerity atone!


       *       *       *       *       *


A special constable is allowed to bore his beat-partner in moderation.
I have no doubt that I bore mine. In return I expect to be moderately
bored. In fact a partner who flashed through all the four hours might
attract Zeppelins. But Granby! In human endurance there is a point
known as the limit. That is Granby.

Years back some Government person in a moment of fatuity made Granby
a magistrate. Magistrates should learn to condense their wisdom into
sentences. Granby beats out his limited store into orations.

It was my misfortune to arrive late at the station the other night
and to find that the other specials had craftily left Granby to be my
partner. The results of unpunctuality are sometimes hideous.

Directly we had started our lonely patrol Granby gave what I may
describe as his "bench" cough and began, "When I was at the court the
other day a very curious case came before me." He was off. If Granby
delivers to prisoners in the dock the speeches he recites to me the
Government ought to intervene. No man however guilty ought to have a
sentence _and_ one of Granby's orations. He might be given the option.
Personally, for anything under fourteen days I should be tempted to
serve the sentence.

Just when he was at his dreariest I heard a remarkable treble voice
down a side-street singing, "Keep the Home Fires Burning." "Sounds
like a drunk," I said promptly; "we ought to investigate this." Had it
been a couple of armed burglars I should have welcomed their advent if
it stopped Granby.

We went down and found a stout lady sitting on the pavement warbling
Songs Without Melody.

"Gerout, Zeppelin," she observed as a flash-lamp was turned on her.

"A distinct case of intoxication _plus_ incapability," observed
Granby. "We must take her to the station. You can charge her. I have
so many important engagements this week that I can't spare time to be
a witness."

I saw that a wasted morning at the police-court was to be thrust on

"I also have many important engagements this week," I replied.

"This duty is to be taken seriously--" began Granby.

"Yes," I said, "if we don't run her in we ought to see her home. She
can't stay here rousing the street."

"That was what I was about to suggest as the proper course for
you when you interrupted me," said Granby. "Where do you live?" he

"Fourteen, Benbow Avenue," replied the lady; "and pore Uncle Sam's
been dead eleven years."

"Come on," I said. "Get up and we'll see you home."

The lady pushed me aside, gripped Granby's arm and said
affectionately, "'Ow you remind me of pore ole Jim in 'is best days
afore 'e got jugged!"

Granby snorted as he dragged the lady onward. I think he knew that I
was smiling in the darkness.

"Jus' like ole times, when we was courtin' together," continued the
lady. "If it 'adn't been for a bronze-topped barmaid comin' between
us, what might 'ave been! ah, what might 'ave been!"

This tender reminiscence prompted the lady to sing, "Come to me, sweet
Marie," with incidental attempts at a step-dance. The _finale_ brought
us to Benbow Avenue.

"I shall speak to her husband and caution him severely about his
wife's conduct," said Granby to me.

I shrank into the background ready to move off directly the oration

Granby knocked at the door and it opened.

"I have brought your wife home in a state--" he began.

"Ain't I 'ad a nice young man to take me for a walk while you've been
sitting guzzling by the fire?"

"You been taking my missis for a walk," said the indignant husband.

"I am a magistrate and a special constable--" began Granby.

"More shame to you. It's the likes of you 'oo disgraces the upper

"Shut the door, Bill," said the lady. "Don't lower yourself by talking
to 'im. I never could abide a man as smelt o' gin meself."

The door slammed and Granby strode towards me.

"The ingratitude of the lower classes is disgraceful. I am tempted to
despair of the State when I think of it. The only way is to let these
occurrences pass into oblivion, to set oneself resolutely to forget
them as if they had never been."

I agreed; but since then Granby has always eyed me curiously. I think
he suspects that I am not forgetting resolutely enough.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Field Officer writes: "Yesterday I was saluted by an Australian
private. It was a great day for me."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Enthusiast_. "AS A PATRIOT, MADAM, WILL YOU SIGN THE

       *       *       *       *       *



My Dear Charles,--What about this Peace? I suppose that, what with
your nice new Governments and all, this is the very last thing you
are thinking of making at the moment. I wouldn't believe that the old
War was ever going to end at all if it wasn't for the last expert and
authoritative opinion I hear has been expressed by our elderly barber
in Fleet Street. At the end of July, 1914, he told me confidentially,
as he snipped the short hairs at the back of my head, that there was
going to be no war; the whole thing was just going to fizzle out. Now
he says it is going to be a very, very long business, as he always
thought it would.

I find it difficult to maintain consistently either the detached point
of view, in which one discusses it as if it was a European hand of
bridge, or the purely interested point of view, in which one regards
it only as a matter affecting one's individual comfort. I know a Mess,
well up in the Front where they measure the mud by feet, in which
they were discussing the War raging at their front door as if it had
nothing to do with them beyond being a convenient thing to criticise.
Men who were then likely to be personally removed at any moment by
it saw nothing in the progress of it to be depressed about. As the
evening wore on and they all came to find that they knew much more
about the subject than they supposed, they were prepared to increase
the allowance of casualties in pressing the merits of their own pet
schemes. No gloom arose from the possibility that this generous offer
might well include their own health and limbs. There was no gloom;
there was even no desire to change the subject. Indeed, the better to
continue it they called for something to drink. There was nothing to
drink, announced the Mess Orderly. Why was there nothing to drink?
asked the Mess President, advocate of enormous offensives on a wide
front for an indefinite period of years, if need be. The Mess Orderly
explained that more drink was on order, it had not arrived because
of difficulties of carriage. Why were there difficulties of carriage?
Because of the War. "Confound the War," said the Mess President. "It
really is the most infernal nuisance."

I know a Captain Jones, resident a cottage on the road to the
trenches (he calls this cottage his "Battle Box"), whose mind was very
violently moved from the impersonal to the personal point of view by a
quite trifling incident. He has one upstairs room for office, bedroom,
sitting, reception and dining room. His meals are brought over to
him by his servant from an estaminet across the road over which his
window looks. The other morning he was standing at this window waiting
for his breakfast to arrive. It was a fine frosty day, made all the
brighter by the sound of approaching bagpipes. Troops were about to
march past, suggesting great national thoughts to Jones and reminding
him of the familiar details of his own more active days. Jones
prepared to enjoy himself.

Colonels on horses, thought Jones as he contemplated, are much of a
muchness--always the look of the sahib about them, the slightly
proud, the slightly stuffy, the slightly weather-beaten, the slightly
affluent sahib. Company Commanders, also on horses, but somehow or
other not quite so much on horses as the Colonels, are the same
all the army through--very confident of themselves, but hoping
against hope that there is nothing about their companies to catch
the Adjutant's eye. The Subaltern walks as he has always done,
lighthearted if purposeful, trusting that all is as it should be, but
feeling that if it isn't that is some one else's trouble. Sergeants,
Corporals, Lance-corporals and men have not altered. The Sergeants
relax on the march into something almost bordering on friendliness
towards their victims; the Corporals thank Heaven that for the moment
they are but men; the Lance-corporals thank Heaven that always they
are something more than men, and the men have the look of having
decided that this is the last kilometre they'll ever footslog for
anybody, but while they are doing it they might as well be cheerful
about it. The regimental transport makes a change from the regularity
of column of route, and the comic relief is provided, as it has always
been and always will be provided whatever the disciplinary martinets
may say or do, by the company cooks.

This was a sight, thought Jones, he could watch for ever. He was sorry
when the battalion came at last to an end; he was glad when another
almost immediately began. He was in luck; doubtless this was a brigade
on the move. He proposed to have his breakfast at the window, when
it came as come it soon must, thus refreshing his hungry body and
his contemplative mind at the same time. The second battalion, as the
first, were fine fellows all, suggesting the might of the Allies and
the futility of the enemy's protracted resistance. Again the comic
relief was provided by the travelling cuisine, reminding Jones of the
oddity of human affairs and the need of his own meal, now sufficiently

The progress of the Brigade was interrupted by the intervention of
a train of motor transport. Jones spent the time of its passing in
consulting his watch, wondering where the devil was his breakfast and
ascertaining that his servant had indeed gone across the road for it
at least forty minutes ago.

It was not until there came a break, after the first company of the
third battalion, that the reason of this delay became apparent.
There was his servant on the far side of the road, and there was his
breakfast in the servant's hand, all standing to attention, as they
should do when a column of troops was passing....

The remainder of that Brigade suggested no agreeable thoughts to
Captain Jones. He saw nothing magnificent in the whole and nothing
attractive in any detail of it. It was in fact just a long and
tiresome sequence of monotonous and sheeplike individuals who really
might have chosen some other time and place for their silly walks
abroad. And as for the spirit of discipline exemplified in the
servant, who scrupled to defy red tape and slip through at a
convenient interval, this was nothing else but the maddening
ineptitude of all human conceits.

A wonderful servant is that servant of Captain Jones; but then they
all are. Valet, cook, porter, boots, chambermaid, ostler, carpenter,
upholsterer, mechanic, inventor, needlewoman, coal-heaver, diplomat,
barber, linguist (home-made), clerk, universal provider, complete
pantechnicon and infallible bodyguard, he is also a soldier, if a very
old soldier, and a man of the most human kind. Jones came across him
in the earlier stages of the War, not in England and not in France.
The selection wasn't after the usual manner or upon the usual
references. He recommended himself to Jones by the following

A new regiment had come to the station; between them and the old
regiment, later to become the firmest friends, some little difference
of opinion had arisen and, upon the first meeting of representative
elements in the neighbouring town, there had been words. Reports,
as they reached Jones at the barracks some four miles from the town,
hinted at something more than words still continuing. Jones, having
reason to anticipate sequels on the morrow, took the precaution of
going round his company quarters then, and there, to find which of his
men, if any, were not involved. "There's a fair scrap up in town," he
heard a man saying. As he entered, a second man was sitting up in bed
and asking, "Dost thou think it will be going on yet?" Hoping for the
best, he was for rising, dressing, walking four miles and joining in.

Jones stopped his enterprise that night, but engaged him for servant
next day. I don't know why, nor does he; but he was right all the
same. Yours ever, HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _M.O._ "WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU, MY MAN?"




       *       *       *       *       *

    "Will anyone knowing where to obtain the game of 'Bounce'
    kindly inform A.T.?"--_Advt. in "The Times."_

"A.T." should address himself to the Imperial Palace at Potsdam.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The whole vicinity of Hooley Hill
  Is smitten with a devastating chill,
  And the once cheerful neighbourhood of Pleck
  Has got the hump and got it in the neck.
  The residential gentry of Pont Rug
  No longer seem self-satisfied or smug,
  And the distressed inhabitants of Nantlle
  Are wrapped in discontent as in a mantle.
  Good folk who Halted once at Apsley Guise
  Are now afflicted with a sad surprise,
  While Oddington, another famous Halt,
  Is silent as a sad funereal vault;
  And the dejected denizens of Cheadle
  Look one and all as if they'd got the needle.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Dr. ---- has RESUMED PRACTICE.

    ---- AND ----, UNDERTAKERS."

_West Australian_.

       *       *       *       *       *


According to President WILSON Germany also claims to be fighting for
the freedom of the smaller nations. Her known anxiety to free the
small nations of South America from the fetters of the Monroe Doctrine
has impressed the PRESIDENT with the correctness of this claim.


Unfortunately Count REVENTLOW has gone and given away the secret that
Germany does not care a rap for the rights of the little nations. It
is this kind of blundering that sours your transatlantic diplomatist.


General JOFFRE has been made a Marshal of France. While falling short
of the absolute omnipotence of London's Provost-Marshal the position
is not without a certain dignity.


The announcement that the Queen of HUNGARY's coronation robe is to
cost over £2,000 has had a distinctly unpleasant effect upon the
German people, who are wondering indignantly how Belgium is to be
indemnified if such extravagance is permitted to continue.


It is stated that as the result of the drastic changes in our railway
service the publication of _Bradshaw's Guide_ may be delayed. At a
time when it is of vital importance to keep up the spirits of the
nation the absence of one of our best known humorous publications will
be sorely felt.


The failure of King CONSTANTINE to join with other neutrals in urging
peace on the belligerents must not be taken as indicating that he is
out of sympathy with the German effort.


The County Council has after mature deliberation decided to set aside
ten acres of waste land for cultivation by allotment holders. It is
this ability to think in huge figures that distinguishes the municipal
from the purely individual patriot.


In anticipation of a Peace Conference German agents at the Hague have
been making discreet inquiries after lodgings for German delegates.
The latter have expressed a strong preference for getting in on the
ground floor.


The weighing of a recruit could not be completed at Mill Hill, as the
scales did not go beyond seventeen stone, and indignation has been
expressed in some quarters at the failure of the official mind to
adopt the simple expedient of weighing as much as they could of him
and then weighing the rest at a second or, if necessary, a third


It is rumoured that tradesmen's weekly books are to be abolished. We
have long felt that the absurd practice of paying the fellows is a
relic of the dark ages.


The statement of a writer in a morning paper that Wednesday night's
fog "tasted like Stilton cheese" has attracted the attention of the
Food Controller, who is having an analysis made with the view of
determining its suitability for civilian rations. We assume that it
would rank as cheese and not count in the calculation of courses.


Austria has forbidden the importation of champagne, caviare and
oysters, and now that the horrors of war have thus been thoroughly
brought home to the populace it is expected that public opinion in the
Dual Monarchy will shortly force the EMPEROR to make overtures to the
Allies for a separate peace.


As a protest against being fined, a Tottenham man has stopped his
War Loan subscriptions. Nevertheless, after a series of prolonged
discussions with Sir WILLIAM ROBERTSON, Mr. BONAR LAW has decided
that the War can go on, subject to the early introduction of certain


The Duke of BUCCLEUCH has given permission to his tenants to trap
rabbits on the ducal estates. It is hoped that a taste of real sport
will cause many of the local residents, though above military age, to
volunteer for similar work on the West Front.


The prisons in Berlin are said to be full of women who have offended
against the Food Laws, and in consequence of this many deserving
criminals are homeless.


A party of American literary and scientific gentlemen have obtained
permission to visit Egypt on a mission of research. In view of the
American craze for souvenir-hunting it is anticipated that a special
guard will be mounted over the Pyramids.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'I am being overwhelmed with letters offering services from
    all and sundry,' Mr. Chamberlain said yesterday.

    'As I haven't even appointed a private secretary at present,'
    he added, 'it is obviously impossible for me even to open
    them.'"--_Daily Sketch_.

We suppose the Censor must have told him what they were about.

       *       *       *       *       *


  An ancient castle crowns the hill
    That flanks our sunlit rockbound bay,
  Where, in the spacious days of old,
  Stout ALBUQUERQUE set his hold
  Dealing in slaves and silks and gold
    From Hormuz to Cathay.

  The Dom has passed, the Arab rules;
    Yet still there  fronts  the morning light
  Erect upon the crumbling wall
  The mast of some great Amiral,
  A trophy of the Portingall
    In some forgotten fight.

  The wind blows damp, the sun shines hot,
    And ever on the Eastern shore,
  Faint envoys from the far monsoon,
  There in the gap the breakers croon
  Their old unchanging rhythmic rune
    (The noise is such a bore).

  And week by week to climb that hill
    The SULTAN sends some  sweating knave
  To scan the misty deep and hail
  With hoisted nag the smoky trail
  That means (hurrah!) the English mail,
    So we still rule the wave!

  Hurrah!--and yet what tales of woe!
    My home exposed to Zeppelin shocks,
  The long-drawn agony of strife,
  The daily toll of precious life,
  And a sad screed from my poor wife
    Of babes with chicken-pox.

  All this it brings--yet brings therewith
    That which may help us bear and grin.
  "Boy, when you hear the boat's keel scrunch,
  Ask the mail officer to lunch;
  But give me time to peep at _Punch_
    Before you let him in."

       *       *       *       *       *



What (writes a returned traveller) has happened to London's
taxi-drivers? When I went away, not more than three months ago, they
occasionally stopped when they were hailed and were not invariably
unwilling to convey one hither and there. But now ... With flags
defiantly up, they move disdainfully along, and no one can lure them
aside. Where on these occasions are they going? How do they make a
living if the flag never comes down? Are they always on their way
to lunch, even late at night? Are they always out of petrol? I can
understand and admire the independence that follows upon overwork;
but when was their overwork done? The only tenable theory that I have
evolved is that Lord NORTHCLIFFE (whose concurrent rise to absolutism
is another phenomenon of my absence) has engaged them all to patrol
the streets in his service.

Sometimes, however, a taxi-driver, breaking free from this bondage,
answers a hail; but even then all is not necessarily easy. This is the
kind of thing:--

_You_. I want to go to Bedford Gardens.

_The Sunbeam_ (_indignantly_). Where's that?

_You_. In Kensington.

_The Sunbeam_. That's too far. I've got another job at half-past four
(_or_ My petrol's run out).

_You_. If I gave you an extra shilling could you just manage it?

_The Sunbeam_ (_scowling_). All right. Jump in.

This that follows also happens so frequently as to be practically the
rule and not the exception:--

_You_. 12, Lexham Gardens.

_The Sunbeam_. 12, Leicester Gardens.

_You_. No; LEXHAM.

_The Sunbeam_. 12, Lexham Road?

_You_ (_shouting_). No; Lexham GARDENS!

_The Sunbeam_. What number?

_You_. TWELVE!

To illustrate the power that the taxi-driver has been wielding over
London during the past week or so of mitigated festivity, let me tell
a true story. I was in a cab with my old friend Mark, one of the most
ferocious sticklers for efficiency in underlings who ever sent for the
manager. His maledictions on bad waiters have led to the compulsory
re-decorating of half the restaurants of London months before their
time, simply by discolouring the walls with their intensity. Well,
after immense difficulty, Mark and I, bound for the West, induced a
driver to accept us as his fare, and took our places inside.

"He looks a decent capable fellow," said Mark, who prides himself on
his skill in physiognomy. "We ought to be there in a quarter of an

But we did not start. First the engine was cold. Then, that having
consented and the flag being lowered, a fellow-driver asked our man to
help him with his tail-light. He did so with the utmost friendliness
and deliberation. Then they both went to the back of our cab to see
how our tail-light was doing, and talked about tail-lights together,
and how easy it was to jolt them out, and how difficult it was to know
whether they had been jolted out or not, and how jolly careful one had
to be nowadays with so many blooming regulations and restrictions and

Meanwhile Mark was becoming purple with suppressed rage, for the clock
was ticking and all this wasted time should, in a decently-managed
world, have belonged to us. But he dared not let himself go. It was
a pitiful sight--this strong man repressing impulse. At any moment
I expected to see him dash his arm through the window and tell the
driver what he thought of him; but he did not. He did nothing; but I
could hear his blood boil.

Then at last our man mounted the box, and just at that moment (this is
an absolutely true story) it chanced that an errand-boy asked him the
way to Panton Street, and he got down from the box and walked quite a
little way with the boy to show him. And while he was away the engine
stopped. It was then that poor Mark performed one of the most heroic
feats of his life. He still sat still; but I seemed to see his hat
rising and falling, as did the lid of WATT's kettle on that historic
evening which led to so much railway trouble, from strikes and
sandwiches to _Bradshaw_. Still he said nothing. Nor did he speak
until the engine had been started again and we were really on our way
and thoroughly late. "If it had only been in normal times," he said
grimly, "how I should have let that man have it. But one simply
mustn't. It's terrible, but they've got us by the short hairs!"

No doubt of that.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress_ (_to maid who has asked for a rise_). "WHY,


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Gretchen_. "WILL IT NEVER END? THINK OF OUR AWFUL


       *       *       *       *       *







    [_The brilliant Editor of "Pal Athene," who has been aptly
    styled "the leading light of the democracy," contributes what
    is perhaps the most wonderful and powerful article which we
    have had the pleasure of publishing from his trenchant pen._]

Words won't do it, my friends. We don't want speeches. We want
_action_. I ask you to give the Buskers socks. Kick this Chorus of
Five Hundred out of the orchestra. Ostrichise the Government! Give
them the bird!

If I read my countrymen aright (and who does if I don't?), what they
are saying now is, "We must have a definite plan of strong action.
We are not going to fight any longer with speeches and despatches."
That's the way, Athenians! Good luck to you! Zeus bless you. And the
same to you, Tommy Hoplites and Jack Nautes, and many of them! _You_
don't mean PHILIP to be Tyrant of Athens, do you? _You_'re not going
to have him turning our beautiful Parthenon into a cavalry stable?
_You_'re not going to see the Barbarians hanging up their shields
on the dear old statue of Athene. Of course you're not. When I walk
through the city and see, as I pass the houses of my humbler brethren,
the neat respectable little altars and the good old well-used
wine-presses (which I never do without breathing a little prayer,
uncantingly, straight from the heart), I say, "It's a foul calumny to
pretend that the people are not all right. They are, Zeus bless 'em!
All they are waiting for is a lead. And action!"

We've got to have a strong policy, my friends, and my tip to you
is--"Trust the Army! Curse the politicians!" It's no use sitting
still while ÆSCHINES AND Co. are spouting. You and I, my brothers and
sisters, as I'm proud to call you, _we_ don't spout, do we? We mean
business! _And PHILIP means business too_! At any moment he may come
down on us and devastate our quiet picturesque little demes which we
all love so well and get disgustingly drunk on _our_ wine. So give
us the word, ÆSCHINES AND Co.--not many words, please, but just _one_
word--and we'll tackle him as he ought to be tackled and put a pinch
of Attic salt on his tail. We don't want _this_ PHILIP, but we _do_
want a fillip of our own. Meanwhile, are we downhearted? I _don't_

(_Another powerful philippic by Mr. Demosthenes next week._)

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Private Jones, V.C., single handed captured 102 Germans;
    limited number for sale, best offers; proceeds military

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The towing to Madrid of the Greek steamer _Spyros_ lacks
    confirmation."--_Daily Telegraph_.

We always had our doubts about the report.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Nevertheless, though nobody has ever sympathised with the
    goose that laid the golden eggs, it is now widely recognized
    that it was bad policy to kill him."--_G.B. Shaw in "The

Even in War-time, you will notice, "G.B.S." cannot get away from the

       *       *       *       *       *

FREMDENBLATT.--Mr. Lloyd George will recognise one day that the
Allies put their heads in a sling on the day they rejected Germany's
terms."--_Daily Paper_.

But we may trust little DAVID to know what to do with a sling.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *



  I am the White House typewriter!
  I am the Voice of the People
  And then some!
  I speak, and the Western Hemisphere attends,
  All except Mexico and WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN,
  Who has a megaphone of his own.
  I am the soul of a great free people!
  Hence the _vers libre_
  Which breathes the spirit of Democracy
  Because anybody can do it.

  Who secured a second term of office for my master, President WILSON?
  It was not.
  It was I!
  Though the others helped, especially Gen. OTIS.

  I am of antiquated design, as invisible as Colonel HOUSE and nearly as
      useless as Senator WORKS,
  But as my master only works me with one thumb
  (For fear of saying something that might have to be explained away)
  I do very nicely.
  And when it comes to throwing the bull
  I am the real Peruvian doughnuts.

  I was new once, but obscure,
  Wasting my freshness on a _Life of Jefferson_ (extinct)
  And a _History of the United States_,
  Which by the kindness of the Democratic party and the   MCCLURE Syndicate
  Is now appearing in dignified segments on the back page of provincial
  Along with _Dainty Diapers_ and _Why I Love the Movies_, by MARY

  I am the Defender of Liberties!
  Never have I hesitated to tell Germany not to do it again;
  Never have I failed to protest in the severest terms when the British
      Navy threatened to interfere with business.
  Next to Mr. LANSING,
  Who is said to use a Blickensderfer,
  I am the hottest little protester in Protestville,
  And in consequence nobody loves me,
  Nor even _The Spectator_,
  Which never did like Democrats, anyway.

  But now I am the Harbinger of Peace
  By special request.
  Imperial Germany,
  Sated with victory and a shortage of boiled potatoes,
  Implores me to save the Entente Powers from utter annihilation,
  And the prayer is echoed
  By Sir EDGAR SPEYER and the other neutrals.
  So my keys tap out the glad message
  Of friendship for all and trouble for none.

  I ask them what they are fighting about,
  And if it is really true that Belgium has been invaded,
  And propose that we should all  get together and talk it over
  Nice and quietly over tea and muffins
  And away from all the nasty blood and noise.

  Thus I address them,
  And humane Germany
  Almost falls on my neck in her anxiety to comply with my request;
  But the stiff-necked Entente,
  With an old-fashioned obstinacy reminiscent of the LINCOLN person at his
  Merely utter joint and several sentiments
  The substance and effect of which appear to be


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bill_ (_coming to after a shell has hit his dug-out_).

_William_. "OH, A GOODISH BIT, BILL."




       *       *       *       *       *



Once upon a time a man lay dying.

He was dying very much at his ease, for he had had enough of it all.

None the less they brought a priest, who stretched his face a yard
long and spoke from his elastic-sided boots.

"This is a solemn moment," said the priest. "But sooner or later it
comes to us all. You are fortunate in having all your faculties."

The dying man smiled grimly.

"Is there any wrong that you have done that you wish redressed?" the
priest asked.

"None that I can remember," said the dying man.

"But you are sorry for such wrong as you have done?"

"I don't know that I am," said the dying man. "I was a very poor hand
at doing wrong. But there are some so-called good deeds that I could
wish undone which are still bearing evil fruit."

The priest looked pained. "But you would not hold that you have not
been wicked?" he said.

"Not conspicuously enough to worry about," replied the other. "Most of
my excursions into what you would call wickedness were merely attempts
to learn more about this wonderful world into which we are projected.
It's largely a matter of temperament, and I've been more attracted by
the gentle things than the desperate. Strange as you may think it, I
die without fear."

"But surely there are matters for regret in your life?" the priest,
who was a conscientious man, inquired earnestly.

"Ah!" said the dying man. "Regret? That's another matter. Have I no
occasion for regret? Have I not? Have I not?"

The priest cheered up. "For opportunities lost," he said. "The lost
opportunities--how sad a theme, how melancholy a retrospect! Tell me
of them."

"I said nothing about lost opportunities," the dying man replied; "I
said that there was much to regret, and there is; but there were no
opportunities that in this particular I neglected. They simply did not
present themselves often enough."

"Tell me of this sorrow," said the priest. "Perhaps I may be able to
comfort you."

The dying man again smiled his grim smile. "My greatest regret," he
said, "and one, unhappily, that could never be remedied, even if I
lived to be a thousand, is--"

"Yes, yes," said the priest, leaning nearer.

"Is," said the dying man, "that I have known so few children."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sentry_ (_for the second time, after officer has
answered "Friend," and come up close_). "HALT! WHO GOES THERE?"



       *       *       *       *       *


    Sergeant Storr stated that he saw Shann on a lighter in the
    Old Harbour. He failed to produce his registration card and
    could offer no reason why he had not reported for service.
    Subsequently he said he was 422 years of age."--_Hull Daily

Passed for centenarian duty.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, strong Boy, about 14, for milk cart; to live
    in."--_Provincial Paper_.

He will at least have the advantage of living close to his work.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "THE BHAKTHI MARGA PRASANGA SABHA.--At Nagappa Chetty Pillayar
    Vasantha Mantapam, 322 Thumbu Chetty Street, Georgetown,
    to-morrow 4 P.M. Bramhasri Mangudi Chidambara Bhagavathar will
    give a harikatha on 'Pittukkumansuman tha Thiruvilayadal.'"
    --_Madras Paper_.

We like the words and should be glad to hear the tune.

       *       *       *       *       *





  Where d'ye buy your earrings,
  Your pretty bobbing earrings,
  Where d'ye buy your earrings,
    Moll and Sue and Nan?
  In the Cherry Gardens
  They sell 'em eight a penny,
  And let you eat as many
    As ever you can.

  Moll's are ruddy coral,
  Sue's are glossy jet,
  Nan's are yellow ivory,
    Swinging on their stems.
  O you lucky damsels
  To get in Cherry Gardens
  Earrings for your fardens
    Comelier than gems!



  The bung is lost from Newington Butts!
  The beer is running in all the ruts,
  The gutters are swimming, the Butts are dry,
  Lackadaisy! and so am I.
  Who was the thief that stole the bung?
  I shall go hopping the day he's hung!



  Nine Elms in a ring:
  In One I saw a Robin swing,
  In Two a Peacock spread his tail,
  In Three I heard the Nightingale,
  In Four a White Owl hid with craft,
  In Five a Green Woodpecker laughed,
  In Six a Wood-dove croodled low,
  In Seven lived a quarrelling Crow,
  In Eight a million Starlings flew,
  In Nine a Cuckoo said, "Cuckoo!"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "On Sale, 2,300 Oak barrels; edible: offers
    wanted."--_Manchester Evening News_.

Are these the first-fruits of the new Food Control?

       *       *       *       *       *

From battalion orders:--

    "Men transferred from Command Depôt will be fed up to the day
    of departure."

Even commanding officers occasionally have a glimpse of the obvious.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In expressing regret that we had dropped the word 'culture'
    out of our vocabulary because of Germany, the Archdeacon of
    Middlesex gave the following definitions:--

    'Kultur'--Had for 'Culture.'--A word its god the State,
    and which describes a was practically spirit of sympathy
    materialism, the result with all that is beaubeing
    simply mechanitiful, true, honest, cal efficiency, and
    pure."--_Liverpool Echo_.

Even now it is not very clear.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Jan_ (_repeating the Question for the tenth time in

_Jarge_ (_answering the question for the tenth time in two hours_).



_Jan_. "NOA."


       *       *       *       *       *


It is reported that, should the measures recently adopted by the
railway companies with a view to "discourage unnecessary travelling"
prove insufficient, other expedients, of a more stringent character,
may be resorted to. By the courtesy of an official we are able to give
details of some further innovations that have been suggested.

(I.) The Platform Staff at the chief stations will be specially
trained to answer all enquiries from civilian passengers in an
ambiguous or quasi-humorous manner.

Thus detailed instructions are to be issued giving the correct form
of reply to such questions as, "Can I take this train to Rugby?" The
answer in this case will convey a jocular suggestion that the task is
best left to the engine-driver; and others in the same style.

In all cases of urgency the formula "Wait and see" to be freely
employed for purposes of discouragement.

(II.) In the case of exceptionally popular tickets, such as those to
Brighton, a strictly limited number of impressions to be struck off,
which will be disposed of by public auction to the highest bidder.

(III.) When stoppages (whether necessary or disciplinary) take place
between stations, preference to be given to the interior of tunnels.
All artificial light will then be cut off, and the officials of the
train will run up and down the corridors howling like wolves.

(IV.) On hearing the declaration of any would-be traveller (as
"Margate") it shall be optional for the booking-clerk to reply, "I
double Margate"; when his opponent, the public, must either pay twice
the already increased fare or forfeit the journey.

(V.) The quality of buns, pastry and sandwiches at the station
refreshment-rooms to be drastically revised. A return to be made
to the more "discouraging" models of fifty years ago, which will
be specially manufactured under the supervision of the Ministry of

(VI.) All the too-attractive photographs of agreeable places on
the company's service at present exhibited in the compartments to
be removed, and in place of them the frames to be filled with such
chastening subjects as "Marine Drive at Slushboro' on a Wet Evening,"
"No Bathing To-day" (Bude), or "Fac-simile of a typical week-end bill
at the Hotel Superb, Shrimpville." It is felt that if this last item
does not cause people to stop at home nothing will.

       *       *       *       *       *



    Lieutenant-General Sir W.R. Robertson, Chief of the Imperial
    General Staff, was unanimously elected an hon. member of
    the Zoological Society of London at the December general
    meeting."--_The Times_.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "By a Ministerial decree, chickens can be raised in the
    courtyards of houses in Rome."--_Daily Express_.

And we are now confidently expecting some "Lays of Modern Rome."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "£5 REWARD,--Lost, on November 28th, in Kensington, BLACK
    ABERDEEN TERRIER, name 'Cinders' on collar, also Lt.-Col.
    ---- and badge of S.W.B. Regiment.--Kindly return to Mrs.
    ----."--_The Times_.

Let us hope the Colonel at least has found his way home.

       *       *       *       *       *


  His shape was domed and his colour brown,
  And I took him up and I get him down
  In the lamp's full light, in the very front of it,
  Ready and glad to bear the brunt of it;
  And then, having raised my hand and blessed him,
  I thus in appropriate words addressed him:--
  "Oh, soon to be numbered with the dead,
  Your fortunate brothers, prepare," I said,
  "Prepare to vanish this very day
  And go to your doom the silent way.
  For DEVONPORT's Lord will soon decree,
  With his eye on you and his eye on me,
  That you're only a useless luxury;
  And, since the War on the whole continues,
  We must tighten our belts and brace our sinews,
  And give up the things we liked before,
  And never, like _Oliver_, ask for more.
  Since this is so and the War endures,
  I am bound to abandon you and yours,
  And wherever I meet you I must frown
  On your sweet white core and your coat of brown.
  But no, since you are the only one,
  The last of a line that is spent and done,
  I shall give myself pleasure once again
  And set you free from a life of pain.
  Prepare, prepare, for I mean to punch you,
  My lonely  friend, and to crunch and munch you."

  So saying I smiled in a sort of dream
  On my absolute ultimate chocolate-cream;
  Then swiftly I reached my hand to get him
  And popped him into my mouth and ate him.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Burglar_. "THEY SEEM TO BE JUST FINDING OUT

_Second Burglar_. "COMB 'EM OUT. THAT'S WOT I SEZ. COMB 'EM OUT."]

       *       *       *       *       *


"Maman! à quel saint prie-t-on--" began Jeanne. Ah! but no, a
recollection flashed across her mind and was reinforced by other
memories. "J'en ai fini avec les saints," she mused, proceeding to
the other end of the room where, full of intention, she busied herself
among some books. Yes, she was now quite disillusioned; that latest
blow, on her recent tenth birthday, had confirmed finally her
long-growing suspicion--prayer to the saints was unavailing.

After a time; "Maman, pour que Papa vienne en permission à qui faut-il
que l'on s'adresse?"

"A son colonel, mon enfant. Mais, ma fi-fille, tu sais...!"

Jeanne, with an air of having something to decide for herself, paid
no heed, but resumed the study of her picture-book description of the
French Army, murmuring: "Un colonel--est-ce que c'est comme un saint,
ou bien est-ce que c'est comme le bon Dieu lui-même?"

Some moments of deep silence spent in intense study ended with a
triumphant: "Bon! j'y suis." That was exactly what she had wished
to discover, the very source of power. "'Les officiers attachés à un
général pour l'exécution et la transmission de ses ordres,'" re-read
Jeanne, and commented, "Et tout cela s'appelle l'_é-tat ma-jor_ du
général. Bon! c'est bien comme je le pensais; c'est le général qui est
à la tête de tout."

Her course was now quite clear. She urged and encouraged herself: "Il
faut absolument que Papa vienne en permission. _Je--le--veux!_" And,
that her intentions might not be thwarted, absolute secrecy must
be maintained, at least in so far as the chapter relating to her
terrestrial tactics was concerned; no one would oppose intercession
_auprès du bon Dieu_.

"Il faut m'adresser à tous les deux en même temps," pronounced Jeanne,
taking a sheet of note-paper. "J'écris directement au général" (since
time and space have to be allowed for in earthly negotiations, the
order must be thus)--"et je prie le bon Dieu en personne." That both
positions should be assailed simultaneously, operations must be
begun in this quarter in the morning, at the hour of the first postal

"Point de saints, ni de colonels--maintenant je
comprends--l'_é-tat-ma-jor_ dans l'Armée et les saints au Paradis,
c'est tout comme!"

       *       *       *       *       *



Five hours is a great space out of a man's life, but that was
precisely the time taken by Mr. ARTHUR COLLINS to present his _Puss in
New Boots_, so that I had leisure to study the book of the words, sold
shamelessly to the unsuspecting (of whom I was not one), and compare
the rough sketches of our three standard authors of the Lane, Messrs.
COLLINS, SIMS and DIX with the version, by no manner of means final,
of the comedians. A pantomime book is on the whole rather a mournfully
unsubtle document. The thing is frankly not meant to be read when the
blood is cool. It is the Action, Action and again Action of such hefty
knock-abouts as WILL EVANS, ROBERT HALE and STANLEY LUPINO that makes
the dry bones live and the old squibs crackle. And it is good fun to
watch the audience at their share of authorship, setting the seal of
their approval upon the happy wheeze, the well-contrived business,
and blue-pencilling with their silence the wash-out or the too obscure

[Illustration: DIANA OF THE LANE.

_The Baroness_ ... Mr. ROBERT HALE.]

The show is substantially new throughout--new songs, new scenery, new
japes, new acrobatics. A new Puss, too, as well as new boots; and,
without any reflection on little Miss LENNIE DEANE, who was quite an
adequate Puss of pantomime, we may regret Miss RENÉE MAYER.

Miss FLORENCE SMITHSON still delights the curious with her Swedish
exercises in alt, and makes a very pretty lady of high degree for a
pantomime marquis, who is no other than Miss MADGE TITHERADGE stepping
down from the "legitimate" and bringing an air and an elocution
unusual and admirable. She made her excellent speaking voice do duty
in recitative for song, and the innovation is not unpleasing. If it
be fair in frivolous public places to dig down to those thoughts that
better lie too deep for tears, Mr. ALFRED NOYES' _A Song of England_,
clear spoken by her with tenderness and spirit, is a better instrument
than most.

Mr. HALE's _Baroness_ challenges comparison with Mr. GEORGE GRAVES's.
She is perhaps more womanly ("no ordinary" type), less grotesquely
irrelevant and profane--though she does her bit. On the other hand,
she is more active and less repetitive. When, the good fairy endowing
her with beauty, she appeared as DORIS KEANE in _Romance_, that was an
applauded stroke. And when she lied beneath the tree of truth and the
chestnuts fell each time truth was mishandled, thickest of all when
it was asserted that a certain Scotch comedian had refused his salary,
this was also very well received. On the whole, then, a satisfactory

Mr. LUPINO (the miller's second son) is really an exquisite droll,
and I don't remember to have seen him in better form. He has some of
the authentic ingredients of the old circus clown--a very valuable

Mr. WILL EVANS is always good to watch, always has that air of
enjoying himself immensely that is the readiest way to favour. He
seemed at times to be, as it were, looking wistfully for his old pal,
GRAVES; missed probably that companionable nose and those reliable
_da capos_ which give such opportunity for the manufacture of gags;
whereas Mr. HALE is a "thruster." But cooking the _recherché_ dinner
in the gas cooker that becomes a tank, and putting up the blind and
laying the carpet--here was the WILL EVANS that the children of all
ages applaud.

I always find the Lane big scenes and ballets more full of competing
colour and restless movement than of controlled design. But the Hall
of Fantasy, with its spiral staircases reaching to the flies, was an
ambitious effort crowned with success. The dance of the eight tiny
zanies was the best of the ballet. The Shakspearean pageant at the end
might be (1) shortened, and (2) brightened by the characters throwing
a little more conviction into their respective aspects--notably the
ghost of _Hamlet's_ father. However, as a popular tercentenary tribute
to "our Shakspeare" the scheme is to be commended and was as such


       *       *       *       *       *


    [The Executive of the German Sporting Clubs and Athletic
    Associations have issued a manifesto expressing satisfaction
    at the substitution of German for English words and phrases.
    "German sport," it declares, "in future places itself
    unreservedly on the side of those who would further German
    Kultur. German Song and German Art will in future find a
    home in German sport." This new patriotic programme has been
    greatly applauded in the Press, the _Berliner Tageblatt_
    observing that the culture of soul and body must proceed
    _pari passu_, with the result that "not only will the German
    sportsman become a beautiful body, but a beautiful soul
    as well. Every club must have its library, not filled with
    sensational novels, but with works of art. And before all else
    the club-house must be architecturally beautiful--an object
    from which he may obtain spiritual edification."]

  The German is seldom amusing,
    Since humour is hardly his forte,
  But I've frequently smiled in perusing
    His latest pronouncement on sport;
  For it seems that he thinks it the duty
    Of sportsmen to aim at the goal
  Of adding to bodily beauty
    A beauty of soul.

  They've made a good start by proscribing
    All English and Anglicised terms,
  To counter the risk of imbibing
    Debased philological germs;
  And they've coined a new wonderful lingo,
    Which only a Teuton can talk,
  Resembling the yelp of a dingo,
    A cormorant's squawk.

  But in spite of his prowess Titanic,
    His marvellous physical gift,
  The soul of the athlete Germanic
    Still clamours for moral uplift;
  So we learn without any emotion
    That, his ultimate aim to secure,
  He must bathe in the bountiful ocean
    Of German _Kultur_.

  In the process of character-building
    Hun Art (_Simplicissimus_ brand),
  With its _rococo_ carving and gilding,
    Must ever advance hand in hand
  With its sister, Hun Song, that inspiring
    And exquisite engine of Hate,
  Whose efforts we've all been admiring
    So largely of late.

  Thus, freed from all sentiment sickly,
    The sportsman whom Germany needs
  Will help to exterminate quickly
    All weak and effeminate breeds;
  And, trained in the gospel of BISSING,
    Will cleave to the Hun decalogue
  Which rivets the link, rarely missing,
    'Twixt him and the hog.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Parlourmaid wanted for Sussex; under parlourmaid kept; Roman
    Catholic and spectacles objected to."

Our own preference is for a Plymouth Sister with _pince-nez_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Cook_ (_who, after interview with prospective
mistress, is going to think it over_). "'ULLO! PRAMBILATOR! IF YOU'D

_The Prospective Mistress_. "OH! B-BUT IF YOU THINK THE PLACE WOULD

       *       *       *       *       *



Miss ETHEL SIDGWICK (long life to her as one of our optimist
conquerors!) still keeps her preference for the creation of charming
people and her rare talent for making them alive. But I wonder if she
is not refining her brilliant technique to the point of occasional
obscurity of intention. At least I know I had to re-read a good
many passages to be quite sure what was in fact intended. An implied
compliment, no doubt; but are all readers so virtuous? ("or so dull?"
quoth she). _Hatchways_ (SIDGWICK AND JACKSON) is one of those happily
comfortable, just right houses with a hostess, _Ernestine_, whom
everybody loves and nobody (save her husband, and he not in this
book) makes love to. Holmer, on the other hand, is the adjoining ducal
mansion with a distinctly uncomfortable dowager still in command who
can't even arrange her dinner-parties and fails to marry her sons to
the right people. Perpetually Hatchways is wiping the eye of Holmer,
and this touches the nerve of the great lady. Her sons, _Wickford_,
the authentic but hardly reigning duke, and _Lord Iveagh Suir_, the
queer impressionable (on whom the author has spent much pains to
excellent effect), both take their troubles to _Ernestine_. And a
young French aviator (this is a pre-War story), guest at Hatchways,
analyses and discusses situations and characters from his coign of
privilege--a device adroitly handled by the discreet author, who adds
two charming girls, coquette _Lise_, _Iveagh's_ first love, and
wise, loyal, perceptive _Bess_, whom he found at last. To those who
appreciate subtle portraiture let me commend this study.... I feel
just as if I had been for a long week-end at Hatchways, anxiously
wondering, as I write my "roofer," if I shall be so lucky as to be
asked again.

       *       *       *       *       *

I think there is little doubt that you will agree with me in calling
_The Flaming Sword_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) as noble and absorbing
a story of fine work finely done as any that the War has produced.
It is the history, told by herself, of Mrs. ST. CLAIR STOBART's Red
Cross Mission "in Serbia and Elsewhere." The frontispiece, Mr. GEORGE
HANKIN's moving picture of _The Lady of the Black Horse_ (a name
always to be honoured among our Allies), catches the spirit of the
heroic tale and prepares you for what the _Lady_ herself has to tell.
Mrs. STOBART is no sentimentalist; fighting and the overcoming of
obstacles are, one would say, congenial to her mettle; time and again,
even in the midst of her story of the terrible retreat, with the
German guns ever thundering nearer, she can yet spare a moment to
strike shrewdly and hard for her own side in the other struggle
towards feminine emancipation which is always obviously close to
her heart. Certainly she has well earned the right to be heard with
respect. Read this high-spirited account of the difficulties--mud,
disease, prejudice, famine--through which the writer brought her
charge triumphantly to safety, and you will be inclined, with me, to
throw your critical cap into the air and thank Heaven for such women
of our race, which would be to invite, not unsuccessfully, some
withering snub from the very lady you were endeavouring to praise.
But that can't be helped. Meantime of her exploit and the book that
recounts it I can sum up my verdict in the only Serbian that I have
gleaned from its pages--_Dobro, Dobro!_ For a translation of which you
know where to apply.

       *       *       *       *       *

So many battle books have been pouring from the press lately that
it is difficult to keep pace with them, and harder still to find
something fresh to say of each; but _quot homines tot_ points of
individual interest, and for those whose concern lies more especially
with the New Zealand Forces and their campaigns I can very safely
recommend a volume which the official war correspondent to that
contingent and his son have jointly published under the title of
_Light and Shade in War_ (ARNOLD). Whether it is Mr. MALCOLM ROSS who
supplies the light, and Mr. NOEL ROSS the shade, or _vice versa_, we
are given no means of ascertaining. Between them they have certainly
put together an agreeable patchwork of small and easily read pieces,
most of which have already appeared in journalistic form. It is
perhaps parental prejudice that makes Mr. Punch consider the best of
the bunch to be "Abdul," one of three slight sketches that originally
saw the light in his own pages. _Abdul_ is a joy, also a thief, a
society entertainer, and a Cairo hospital orderly. I can only hope
that the story of how he displayed his patient's sun-browned knees as
a raree show to the convulsed G.O.C. and lady, who were visiting the
hospital, is at least founded on fact. The publishers are entirely
justified in saying that these impressions, made often under actual
fire, have both colour and intimacy. So I wish them good luck in the
campaign for popular favour.

       *       *       *       *       *

_François Villon, His Life and Times_ (HUTCHINSON) is one of those
fortunate volumes that arrive to fill a long vacant corner. So far
as I know, with the exception perhaps of STEVENSON's study, there has
been no means by which the casual reader, as apart from the student,
could correct his probably very vague ideas about the Father of
Realism. Mr. H. DE VERE STACPOOLE, approaching the subject not for
the first time, here essays a brief life and appreciation of the poet,
told in picturesque but simple style. Sometimes indeed the simplicity
is apt to appear overdone, so that one gets a suggestion that the
story is being presented to us in thoughts of one syllable. Apart
from this, however, there is much to be said for Mr. STACPOOLE's vivid
reconstruction of mediæval France, and the Paris that sheltered VILLON
himself, TABARY, MONTIGNY and the others--that group of shadows whom
we see only by the lightning of genius. They and their contemporaries
pass before us here like a pageant woven upon tapestry. Occasionally
indeed Mr. STACPOOLE looks suddenly round the tapestry, even (one
might say) tears a hole in it and pushes his head through, with a
startling effect. But as he has always the good excuse of sympathy
with his subject one easily forgives him these generous impulses. As I
said before, a book that has had its place long reserved.

       *       *       *       *       *

If you happen to remember that most excellent book, _Brother-in-Law
to Potts_, you may recall that the principal motive in it is the
spiritualising influence of a certain Lady Beautiful, very lightly
and even intangibly presented, on the lives of some other persons of
a more material clay. In _Obstacles_ (CHAPMAN AND HALL), Mrs. "PARRY
TRUSCOTT" has returned to her previous subject, but with the notable
difference that she now traces the influence brought in turn to bear
upon the lady herself, who emerges from her semi-divine obscurity to
become the heroine of the story. If in her background sketch of the
munitions factory where _Susannah_ elects to work the writer does not
trouble much about technical detail or even attempt to suggest any
particular acquaintance with such matters as lathes or shell bodies,
yet she does convey, with striking simplicity and naturalness, the
impression of a world at war, and for the rest she is content to bring
her heroine in contact with the lives that are to affect her and the
environment of comparative poverty that is to help her to a decision.
What that decision was, and how unnecessary too, is sufficiently
indicated if I say that she was blessed with most understanding
parents, who positively preferred that her suitor should be a poor
man. And so the happy future that surely no authoress and most
certainly no male reader could have the heart to refuse to so
delightful a _Susannah_ is available to complete a picture touched
throughout with singular grace and charm. In particular the little
snap-shots of two ideal family households, the one that includes the
heroine, and another, much humbler, which she enters as an honoured
guest, go to make this volume, all too short though it is, one that I
can recommend with quite unusual pleasure and confidence.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Waitress_. "NO, SIR, THE MANAGEMENT 'AS NO REASON

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Lord George H. Cholmondeley, M.C., Hotts Royal Horse
    Artillery, who has just been promoted to the rank of mayor in
    that Territorial Corps."--_Cheshire Observer_.

We congratulate His Worship and also the Hotts.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The General Committee and all clergy and ministers (as well
    as the choir) are invited to sit on the orchestra."--_Western
    Morning News_.

We are afraid the orchestra has not been doing its best.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "WRAPPING paper (in sheets and reels) and Twins; large stock.
    Please state size required, and we will quote best cash
    terms."--_Irish Paper_.

An obvious attempt to cut into the trade of the dairyman whose
speciality is "Families Supplied."

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, January 3, 1917" ***

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