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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, March 14, 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, March 14, 1917" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 152.



March 14th, 1917.



CHARIVARIA.

It is rumoured that for his mismanagement of the Mexican affair the KAISER
has decided to teach Herr ZIMMERMANN a terrible lesson. He is to be
appointed Food Dictator.

       ***

"It is impossible to predict when the War will end," says Field-Marshal VON
HINDENBERG. Of course this is all nonsense. Many of our Military Experts
have predicted it more than once.

       ***

A French journal is of the opinion that the War will end this year, but the
Germans are not so pessimistic about it.

       ***

"Everything is going right for us," says the _Frankfurter Zeitung_. We
can't speak for everything, but it is quite true as far as the British Army
is concerned.

       ***

The Germans waste no time and are already dealing with the Unemployed
question. The KAISER has decided to give a dinner to Count BERNSTORFF.

       ***

"In America," says Dr. OTTO FLABE in the _Vossische Zeitiung_, "the
swindler and the cheat is a hero." It will be remembered how popular Count
BERNSTORFF said he had been during his stay there.

       ***

Just to show the British Parliament that it can be done, it is rumoured
that the KAISER is about to grant Home Rule to Mexico.

       ***

The Prussian Herrenhaus has passed a resolution demanding that the Imperial
Government should conclude an immediate peace on terms consistent with
Pan-German ideals, including annexation of Belgium and Poland, payment of
indemnity by the Allies, etc. The GERMAN CHANCELLOR is understood to have
replied in effect, "Go and do it yourselves."

       ***

Sofia announces that 35,000 Bulgarian geese are to be permitted to go to
Germany. As in the case of the Bulgarian Fox who went to Vienna, there
appears to be little likelihood that they will ever return.

       ***

After the bombardment of Margate, says the _Evening News_, rabbits were
found dead from fright in their hutches. To avoid the suspicion of
partisanship our contemporary should have explained that they were not at
the time in Government employ.

       ***

The cost of brown paper is said to have advanced to forty shillings a ton,
or four times its price in peace time. Its use as a substitute for "Havana"
tobacco (from which it can often be distinguished only by its aroma) is
probably responsible for the rise.

       ***

Allotment holders have been warned to be on their guard against wire-worms,
and special constables are keeping a sharp look-out by the potato-beds. A
still more efficacious method of protection is to enclose the allotment
with barbed wire-wormless.

       ***

Two speakers at a Ramsgate meeting recalled that they were chums
seventy-three years ago. The touching incident has resulted in a local
appeal for them to be drafted to the same regiment when their class is
called up.

       ***

The Cuckfield Council has appealed to householders not to put broken glass
in their swill. With all imports of glass-ware cut off, it is felt that
even our pigs must be required to forgo some of their accustomed
delicacies.

       ***

"The heavy tread of policemen often keeps me awake," said the Willesden
magistrate. He admits, however, that the darkened streets and the absence
of parental discipline make it more than ever necessary that the Force
should put its foot down firmly.

       ***

"Seagulls in Thanet," says a contemporary, "are coming to the backs of
houses and sharing crumbs with the sparrows." It is doing no more than
justice to a much abused bird to point out that the sparrows are also
sharing crumbs with the seagulls.

       ***

It appears from a contemporary gossip-writer that Count PLUNKETT has
definitely decided not to take his seat in the House of Commons until after
the War. This will be a relief to the authorities, who had feared that the
two events might clash.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTICE.

In order to meet the national need for economy in the consumption of paper,
the Proprietors of _Punch_ are compelled to reduce the number of its pages,
but propose that the amount of matter published in _Punch_ shall by
condensation and compression be maintained and even, it is hoped,
increased.

It is further necessary that means should be taken to restrict the
circulation of _Punch_, and beginning with this issue its price is raised
to Sixpence. The Proprietors believe that the public will prefer an
increase of price to a reduction of matter.

Readers are urged to place an order with their Newsagent for the regular
delivery of copies, as _Punch_ may otherwise be unobtainable, the shortage
of paper making imperative the withdrawal from Newsagents of the
"on-sale-or-return" privilege.

In consequence of the increase in the price of _Punch_ the period covered
by subscriptions already paid direct to the _Punch_ Office will be
proportionately shortened; or the unexpired value will be refunded, if
desired.

       *       *       *       *       *

The House of Commons Appeal Tribunal has just granted a brief exemption to
an importer of Chinese eggs, which are used, it was explained, by bakers
and for leather tanning. The bakers are believed to use them for dressing
the surfaces of penny buns.

       ***

The North Somerset Liberal Association have passed a resolution asking Mr.
JOSEPH KING not to offer himself as a candidate at the next election, and
it is thought likely that Mr. KING will ask his constituents to resign.

       ***

A Llanelly correspondent writes to a morning paper to say that a parrot
which he had kept for twenty years had just died. But surely the remarkable
thing is that it didn't die before.

       ***

"No one admits taking drink because they like it," said Mr. D'EYNCOURT the
other day. The popular idea is, of course, that the beastly stuff must be
got rid of somehow.

       ***

Broadstairs Council has been offered six pounds for a sand-artist's pitch.
The advance in price is attributed to the growing attraction of the place
for foreigners on a flying visit.

       ***

"Women will not undertake to rock a cradle after learning to drive a van,"
says Father Vaughan. But we trust they will still handle the baby ribbons.

       ***

Mr. EDWARD BACKHOUSE, the Stockton-on-Tees Peace candidate, is reported to
have had his first public meeting broken up. He is now of the opinion that
it serves us right if the War goes on for the present.

       ***

Kent rat and sparrow clubs are offering one shilling a dozen for rats'
tails. The price is small, but, as the President of a leading club points
out, the vendor is permitted to retain the balance of the rat for his own
purposes.

       ***

Some exception has been taken to Mr. H.W. FORSTER'S statement to the House
of Commons that only 250,000,000 sandbags have been used by the Army in the
current year. Several privates home on leave have assured us that they
themselves have filled at least that number while waiting for a single
counterattack.

       ***

A Scottish allotment holder, in the course of digging the other day,
discovered three sovereigns, a silver watch and a gold ring. Since this
discovery the authorities have been so overwhelmed by applications for
allotments that there is some talk of extending the Scottish boundary into
England, in order to cope with the business.

       ***

"It is essential," says Mr. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN, "that there should be some
light entertainment and amusement for the people." Several London
magistrates have promised to be funnier.

       *       *       *       *       *

HERBS OF GRACE.

I.

BORAGE.

  "Borage for courage,"
    The old saw runs.
  "Let's grow Borage
    And we'll beat the Huns!
  Whether for porridge
    Or puddings or buns,
  Let's go and forage
    For tons and tons.

II.

DILL.

          Water of Dill
          Is good to distil
  When babies are fractious and witches do ill.
          But why should we waste
          What gives such a taste
  To Summer-time salads that with it are graced?
          Old witch, work your will!
          Sweet babe, take a pill!
  And I'll eat my salad well flavoured with Dill.

       *       *       *       *       *

Short Service.

    "Under Housemaid wanted, for 25 minutes London."--_The Times_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology.

    "To-morrow week ... the Canadian regimental doctors will be deposited
    for safe keeping in Bristol Cathedral."--_Bristol Times and Mirror_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Art of Bathos.

    "Mr. Justice LOW has proved himself one of the ablest and most
    expeditious of our judges. He was one of three judges who decided, in
    May, 1915, that a winkle is a fish."--_Daily Graphic_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "London, 30th Jan.--The Fool Controller states that...."--_Indian
    Paper_.

We had not heard of the appointment of this Minister. But it has been made
none too soon.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a recent University examination paper:--

    "Three persons have four coats, five vests and six hats between them.
    In how many different ways can they dress themselves with them?"

A problem for the coming Clothes Controller.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "FASTER? NO, I AIN'T GOIN' NO FASTER, YOUNG 'IGH VELOCITY. I
AIN'T GOT BUT TWO SPEEDS, SLOW AND STOP."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FOOD OF LOVE.

A LYRIC OF MEATLESS DAYS.

  Eat to me only with thine eyes
    And I will munch with mine;
  Or let my lips but brush thy locks
    And I shall seem to dine;
  The hollow 'neath my belt that lies
    For flesh of beeves doth pine;
  Yet, might I wolf a roasted ox,
    I would, of course, decline.

  I sent thee once a juicy steak
    To prove thy troth and see
  If in that stern ordeal's test
    Stedfast thou still wouldst be;
  And thou thereof one sniff didst take
    And post it back to me,
  Since when I wear it next my chest,
    Potted, for love of thee.

O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A NATIONAL SKY-SCRAPER.

I have been often asked why the Government, foreseeing the inevitable
increase of Departments, had not the elementary imagination to build a
colossal sky-scraper to accommodate them all.

The objections to such an act of apparently obvious intelligence may be
briefly enumerated.

(1) With such a landmark whoever had business to conduct with a Government
Department would know where to find it, for which reason alone the system
of huts and hotels is to be preferred. The hotels are widely scattered and
the huts hidden away in odd corners of public gardens and parks, and even
in the bed of a lake. By the use of motor-cars (petrol being for official
and not for private consumption) such co-operation as cannot be avoided
between Departments is assured.

(2) Even in a single Department too close co-operation is not desirable. An
hotel, divided into hundreds of small rooms and flats, enables the occupant
of each room to be isolated, and each self-contained flat to have almost
the status of a sub-department. Thus the vexatious supervision, the easy
intercourse and rapid decision which are so disturbing to official routine
are avoided.

(3) The express elevators, by which the visitor is shot up to the higher
storeys of a sky-scraper, would suggest a certain directness and celerity
in official methods that is calculated to arouse false hopes.

(4) With many or all Departments in one building there would be the
temptation to place the entire clerical staff under Mr. Neville Chamberlain
as Director-General, who would transfer them from one office to another
according to the necessities of each day's work. Such mobility would be
unpopular, while the inevitable creation of a central Press-Bureau,
Publicity and Information Department would afford the Press a satisfaction
that it has done nothing to deserve.

(5) On the top floor of a sky-scraper is usually a luncheon-club; here the
various Ministers would meet daily, and could only with difficulty escape
the exchange of ideas.

(6) If all Government offices were in a single building the PRIME MINISTER
could make daily visits to each, and would find it hard to avoid comparison
between the organization and methods of his various Ministers.

These considerations alone finally dispose of any merits which the plan for
a national sky-scraper may seem superficially to possess.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

"SCRUTATOR TEMPORIS ACTI."--You are not the only one who holds that
Parliament could not be better or more patriotically occupied at the
present stage of the War than in devoting their energies to a discussion of
the Report of the Dardanelles Commission and the detailed evidence on which
it was based. We understand that your view is shared by all the keenest
patriots among the Central Powers.

"TUBER CAIN."--The earliest poet to sing of rationing was WILLIAM MORRIS,
who repeatedly described himself as "The idle singer of an empty day."

"A LOVER OF 'BUSTER BROWN.'"--We gladly gave publicity to your indignant
denial of any tribal relationship between "Buster Brown" and Filibuster
STONE.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Miss Adela Pankhurst attempted to-day at the Midland Junction, a
    strong Labour centre, to deliver a lecture directed against Mr. Lloyd
    George and Mr. Hughes.

    The audience sang her down with 'Rule Britannia' and 'Australia 5s. a
    box."--_Pall Mall Gazette_.

The latter song, no doubt, alluding to the entrance-fee charged by the
famous Boxing Kangaroo.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CENTRAL ISOLATION.

GERMAN KAISER. "YOU'RE ABOUT THE ONLY ONE LEFT FOR ME TO TALK TO."

KING OF SPAIN. "AND I'M NOT FEELING VERY CHATTY."

[It is reported that communication between Berlin and America has been
interrupted.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_. "HAVE YER GOT NOTHIN' TO DO ONLY WATCH US WORKING?"

_Loafer_. "NO."

_Tommy_. "THEN YER LOOK LIKE HAVIN' A THUNDERIN' IDLE TIME WHEN WE MOVE
FROM HERE, DON'T YER?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FIRST WHIP.

        As I wandered home
        By Hedworth Combe
  I heard a lone horse whinny,
        And saw on the hill
        Stand statue-still
  At the top of the old oak spinney
        A rough-haired hack
        With a girl on his back,
  And "_Hounds!_" I said, "for a guinea."

        The wind blew chill
        Over Larchley Hill,
  And it couldn't have blown much colder;
        Her nose was blue
        And her pigtails two
  Hung damply over her shoulder;
        She might have been ten,
        Or, guessing again,
  She might have been twelve months older.

        To a tight pink lip
        She pressed her whip,
  By way of imposing quiet;
        I bowed my head
        To the word unsaid,
  Accepting the lady's fiat,
        And noted the while
        Her Belvoir style
  As she rated a hound for riot.

        A lean form leapt
        O'er the fence and crept
  Through the ditch, with his thief's heart quaking;
        But the face of the maid
        No hint betrayed
  That she noticed the brambles shaking,
        Till she saw him clear
        Of her one wild fear--
  The chance of his backward breaking.

        Then dainty and neat
        She rose in her seat
  That the better her eyes might follow
        Where a shadow of brown
        Over Larchley Down
  Launched out like a driving swallow;
        And she quickened his speed
        Through bunch-grass and weed,
  With a regular Pytchley holloa!

        Raging they came
        Like a torrent of flame--
  There were nineteen couple and over,
        And a huntsman grey
        Who blew them away
  With the note of a true hound-lover,
        While his Whip sat back
        On her rough old hack
  And called to the last in covert.

        Then cramming down flat
        Her quaint little hat,
  And shaking the old horse together,
        She was off like a bird,
        And the last that I heard
  Was a "Forrard!" that died in the heather,
        As she took up her place
        At the tail of the chase
  Like a ten-season lord of the leather.

W.H.O.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In those same eighteen days, Sir Edward tells us, 607 ships of over a
    hundred tons arrived and 5,873 left our shores. A German newspaper, it
    seems, has been asserting that the mere terror of the submarine has
    swept the seas clean at one blow. Twelve thousand ships, in and out, in
    eighteen days, does not look, Sir Edward dryly remarked, so very like
    paralysis."--_The Times_.

Our Thunderer seems to have imitated its Bosch contemporary, for it has
swept the seas of some 6,000 ships by a stroke of the pen.

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE SPECTATOR" AND "THE TRADE."

A PAINFUL RUMOUR.

Last week one of our representatives had the honour of calling at the
offices of _The Spectator_ to inquire into the credibility of certain
strange rumours that have recently been current in The Trade. They were to
the effect that Mr. ST. LOE STRACHEY, Editor of _The Spectator_, having
gallantly volunteered under the National Service Scheme, had had allotted
to him, by one of the DIRECTOR-GENERAL'S subordinates, a post of national
importance at Messrs. Bassopp's Brewery. Mr. STRACHEY'S fertile and
forcible pen was (so the rumour went) to be employed by this firm in the
drawing up of some pungent advertisements under the headings, "The Weakness
of the Water Movement," "Up, Glasses!" etc., including a verse series, in
Horatian alcoholics, entitled, "Bonnie D.T."

It was reported that in the ironic circumstances in which he found himself,
Mr. STRACHEY felt it his duty to acquiesce loyally in the change of view
imposed upon him, and to adopt a policy of "Down, Spectators!"

Our representative is happy to state that he has the highest authority for
giving an unqualified denial to these sinister allegations.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a description of a wedding-breakfast:--

    "The toast of the presents was also duly honoured."--_South African
    Paper_.

After all, next to the bride and bridegroom they are perhaps the most
important feature.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Field Glasses, powerful magnification; sacrifice, 37/6; cost £175."--_New
Zealand Paper_.

We don't know about the magnification, but the diminution is most
remarkable.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE EVERLASTING ROMANCE.

The other day I did a perfectly dreadful thing: I intruded, all
unconsciously but in the most blundering way, on a love scene. It was in
the National Gallery, long famous as the meeting-place of affinities, in
the big room where the pictures lent by the Duke of WESTMINSTER and the
Duke of BUCCLEUCH are now hanging, and before I knew it I found myself
standing between two young people whose eyes were fixed on each other.
Naturally I moved away at once, but later I returned and made so bold as to
study them a little, for it was clearly, if not yet a passion, a mutual
interest of such tender depths that no outsider could affect it.

The boy--for he was no more--was one of the most beautiful that I have ever
seen. His hair was perhaps a thought longer than we encourage to-day, but
one always sees odd people in the National Gallery, where artists--most
careless of men--are now constant visitors, drawn there by the many new
pictures, and especially, perhaps, the modern French examples from Sir HUGH
LANE'S collection. His hair was the more noticeable because he carried his
hat in his hand; his clothes were noticeable too, being a shade too
fanciful for London in winter--but then, who cares how people dress in
London? I am sure I don't; and especially so when they have such eyes as
this boy's, dark and rich, and such a curve to such lips.

There he stood, perfectly still, his steady gaze fixed on the lady
opposite, while she in her turn never wavered in her gaze upon him. But
whereas there was something bold in his homage there was a half-shy way
with her. He was facing her squarely, but she looked at him a little
sideways, and a little curiously, in demure dubiousness. One could see that
she was enormously intrigued, but her interest was not expressed by any
movement. In fact neither moved; they remained some twenty yards apart all
the time I observed them: each, I suppose, leaving it to the other--the boy
because he was so young, the girl because she was already woman, and woman
likes to force advances from man.

I never saw a prettier thing than the little lady, with her cool white
skin, and the faintest flush on her cheeks, and her eyes not less dark than
the boy's but lacking the sensitive depths of his.

The odd thing was that, although they were so engrossed each in the other,
both, I observed, looked also at me. It struck me as not the least strange
part of this charming drama that its hero and heroine, while completely
absorbed in their own sympathetic relationship, should be able to turn a
calm survey upon a stranger too. This gift made them the more memorable and
perhaps explains why, for all the rest of the day and at intervals in the
night and morning following, I thought of these young people, speculating
as to how they were getting on; and perhaps that is why, the next
afternoon, drawn by invisible wires, I found myself in the National Gallery
again.

Will you believe it?--they also were there. This is an absolute fact. There
they were, exactly as I had left them. And yet, not exactly, for I am
certain that there was a hint more of seriousness in the lady's glance and
a shade more troubled earnestness in his. But as regards actual distance,
they were still as far apart, although certainly nearer in spirit.

Curiosity as to names is a foible which should be, I am convinced,
discouraged; but on this occasion I could not resist the desire to know
more of such assiduous habitués. Drawing one of the attendants aside, I
asked him if he could tell who these romantic young things were. "To be
sure," he said. "The young gentleman is 'The Blue Boy,' by GAINSBOROUGH,
and the young lady is the Lady ELIZABETH MONTAGU, by REYNOLDS."

Only portraits after all, you say. But don't be too hasty. Go rather to the
National Gallery and see for yourself. Maybe you will then realise that
there is more there than paint....

Shallow people talk about accidents. But the wise know that accidents do
not happen. The wise know that the War broke out in order that Grosvenor
House, where "The Blue Boy" normally resides, and Montagu House, the home
of this little Buccleuch lady with skin like an anemone, might be needed
for War-work, so that when the pictures were sent to the National Gallery
for safer keeping these two might be placed opposite each other in the same
room. Chance? The only chance is destiny.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Munition Worker_. "I'VE BOUGHT A PIANO."

_Foreman_. "GOT ANYBODY AT HOME WHO CAN PLAY IT?"

_Munition Worker_. "NO, NOT AT PRESENT; BUT WE'VE A FRIEND COMING ROUND
THIS EVENING TO PUT US IN THE WAY OF IT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Fish, or woman, for block work; must be exp. and accustomed to best
    class trade."--_Daily Paper_.

Why not combine the two and get a mermaid?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "MAN WHO WILL KEEP EYE ON POTATOES. MR. DENNIS AS VEGETABLE AND FRUIT
    DIRECTOR."--_The Daily Mirror_.

Mr. D. need not trouble; we prefer them without eyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A LEAN DAY.

_Luncheon Hostess_. "I DO HOPE YOU DON'T MIND, MRS. STOKER, BUT ON
WEDNESDAYS WE ONLY HAVE MEAT AT DINNER."

_Dinner Hostess_. "I DO HOPE YOU DON'T MIND, MRS. STOKER, BUT ON WEDNESDAYS
WE ONLY HAVE MEAT AT LUNCHEON."]

       *       *       *       *       *

_MON SOLDAT ET MON CURÉ._

"Donne un peu, Maman, s'il te plaît," said Jeanne eagerly.

Maman handed over the newspaper from which she had just read aloud and
explained the passage so full of touching interest to them both, and
Jeanne, with help at the difficult places, read out:--

_"'CITATIONS À L'ORDRE DU JOUR._

_Jacques Martin, soldat au 170e d'infanterie, grenadier d'élite, au cours
des combats du 26 et du 27 novembre, 1916, a, par son mépris du danger et
par son ardeur, assuré la progression dans un boyau défendu pas à pas par
l'ennemi._

_Le soldat Jacques Martin est Monsieur l'abbé Martin, curé de ----.'_

"Oui, nous savons bien d'où il est curé!" cried Jeanne, in admiration and
awe. "C'est bien beau, hein, Maman?" Then suddenly she became silent and
thoughtful, remembering the subsequent fate of her friend and hero.

"Dire qu'il est maintenant prisonnier en Alle... en Bochie!" she said. They
had known long ago that he was mentioned in despatches, and they had been
on the look-out for the glorious details in print, but only this morning
had they heard of his capture.

How proud they were of their gentle curé and brave soldier! Jeanne had at
first been greatly perplexed by the strange dual personality, with its
incompatibilities, and many were the questions that had arisen in her
active little mind. "Le curé de Suzanne, c'est autre chose," she reflected,
for though technically a soldier was he not a _brancardier_ rescuing the
wounded? Her own practical conclusions, however, and the answers to her
questions smoothed away many difficulties, and perfect faith in her friend
did the rest.

Still she had never been able quite to merge the _religieux_ and the
_poilu_ into one picture; besides, she liked to play with the idea and
confront the one with the other. "Que va dire Monsieur le curé lorsque le
soldat tuera un homme?" And she had slipped into the habit of calling him
"Mon soldat et mon curé," suddenly inspired to adapt the title of Cousin
Juliette's absorbing book, _Mon Oncle et mon Curé_, and she refused to
abandon it when told that they were two separate persons. For that matter
so were the _soldat_ and the _curé_.

"Maman, nous allons tout de suite préparer son paquet de conforts," urged
Jeanne. And, thinking out what comforts had best be included in the parcel,
her mind went off now in one channel, now in another, as she pictured the
priest or the _piou-piou_. The latter presented no difficulty--for him good
things to eat were the first necessity--but the _curé_ would require
spiritual comforts.

"Des livres de messe," she said to herself; and thereupon the image of the
cold and hungry soldier arose before her, and "un poulet ou un bon
bifteck!" she added. Then, her eye lighting upon an advertisement in the
newspaper before her, "Maman, que veut dire por-ta-tif?" she asked. The
explanation received, she clapped her hands with joy; yes, surely a
_portable_ one was the very thing! "Maman, si nous envoyions à mon curé un
autel por-ta-tif?"

But Maman thought that, all things considered, it would be better to send
only food in the first parcel. So Jeanne reconciled herself to the idea,
although the _curé_ still remained a shadowy figure in the background with
his own especial need.

And prisoners were cold as well as hungry. What a pity something _hot_
could not be sent.

"Tiens! J'y suis!" cried Jeanne. "Ô Maman, j'ai une si bonne idee! Si nous
envoyions un bon repas bien chaud dans _l'auto-cuiseur!_" Perhaps it would
keep hot for a day or two. _How_ long did it take for a parcel to reach
_Bochie?_

But Maman decided this plan could not be risked; there was often delay, and
the moist food might turn sour.

A little chilled but nowise daunted, for she was sure the hay-box would
come in somehow, Jeanne remained for some time plunged deep in thought.
Then came light and her face grew radiant. Why not send the _auto-cuiseur_
filled with dry food? _Les Boches_ would surely give, or sell, some boiling
water and let him just start cooking on their stove. And he would be able
to use the cooker constantly, buying _des choses pas chères_ to cook; and
yes, why not slip into the package a copy of _Plats économiques_, the
little cookery book whose recipes they had found so satisfactory?

"Et mon curé?" But now the two figures merged more nearly than ever before
into one, and Jeanne felt that _his_ first need was one with that of the
soldier, and the _marmite_ would hold enough for both.

"Mais _oui_," she exclaimed, "c'est cela!... Écoute, Maman! Envoyons
l'auto-cuiseur _aux deux_... Ne vois-tu pas que mon soldat pourra alors
manger tous les jours un bon repas bien chaud, et que mon curé pourra en
donner aux autres affamés? C'est là tout juste l'affaire d'un curé.
L'auto-cuiseur est comme ça deux cadeaux en un, comme mon soldat et mon
curé sont deux hommes en un!"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "GERMANY IS STARVING.--THE REAL FACTS."--_Cassell's Magazine of
    fiction._

Not exclusively fiction, we trust.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the Appendix to the Report of the Royal Commission on the Public
Service in India:--

    "The two last pensions depended entirely on the approval of Government,
    so that a man might retire after 85 years' service on Rs. 5000 pension
    only..."

And not before he had deserved it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Deptford Borough Council will recommend to the authorities that
    considering the brief period of darkness in May, June, July, and August
    resulting from the daylight saving scheme, it is desirable to dispense
    with street lighting during these months except at dangerous street
    crossings."--_Daily Express._

Apparently by a slight amendment of the Summertime Act Great Britain might
be transformed into the land of the Midnight Sun.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GREATER NEED.

FLORA (_To Ceres._) "ENTER, AND TAKE MY PLACE. THIS IS YOUR YEAR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

_Monday, March 5th._--General cheers greeted Mr. CHAMBERLAIN'S announcement
that the Government of India had undertaken to pay the interest on a
hundred millions of war-debt, but when he proceeded to say that part of the
new revenue required would be obtained by an increase in the cotton duties
there was a notable cooling of enthusiasm among Members from Lancashire.
Mr. RUNCIMAN at once sounded the alarm on behalf of Manchester by asking if
there would be a corresponding excise duty on Indian cottons. "All India is
against it," replied Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, who is finding, as his father did
before him, how difficult it is to get Englishmen to "think imperially"
where their own particular trade is concerned.

There is no doubt that the FOOD CONTROLLER possesses a sense of judicial
humour. Complaints have been made of late that while the ordinary British
citizen was expected to confine himself to four pounds of bread per week
the pampered German prisoner, instead of getting less, was given nearly
three times that amount. Lord DEVONPORT has now approved a new dietary
scale for prisoners, under which the bread ration will be cut down to
sixty-three ounces, or just one ounce less than the allowance of the free
and independent Englishman. On the Army Estimates Mr. PRINGLE attacked the
Salonika Expedition with a vigour which must have greatly pleased the
Bulgar. By a curious lapse of memory, as Mr. CHURCHILL pointed out, he
omitted all reference to the position of M. VENIZELOS and our honourable
obligations to our Allies.

Mr. CHURCHILL was indeed more statesmanlike than he has been of late, His
"amphibious intervention" was on this occasion quite justified. There was
good sense in his warning that, while perseverance towards a definite
objective was a virtue, "perseverance with an eye on the past" was an
equally serious vice; and I hope it signifies a determination on his part
not to allow his brilliant future to be all behind him.

_Tuesday, March 6th._--Ever since the War began, Mr. SWIFT MACNEILL'S most
cherished ambition--second, of course, to his desire to quit Westminster
for College Green--has been to get the Dukes of CUMBERLAND and SAXE-COBURG
deprived of their British titles. He has worried three successive
Governments on the subject, and some time ago received a definite promise
that it should be dealt with. A further question regarding it stood in his
name to-day, but when he rose to put it Mr. GINNELL squeaked out, "May I
ask you, Mr. SPEAKER, what this House has to do with these family matters?"
Mr. MACNEILL, of course, like most of his countrymen, has royal blood in
his veins, but nevertheless did not seem pleased with the allusion.

Further protests against the mutilation of the Dardanelles Report were made
by Sir WALTER ESSEX, Sir CHARLES HOBHOUSE, and Sir JOHN JARDINE. Free
disclosure to all Members of Parliament, and no preferential treatment of
party-leaders, was their demand. Mr. BONAR LAW manfully resisted their
assaults, and the SPEAKER declined to accept a motion for the adjournment.
A word from Mr. ASQUITH would no doubt have quelled the storm, but as one
of the favoured few who are to receive the full Report he felt himself, I
suppose, precluded from saying it. The late Mr. LABOUCHERE would probably
have suggested that the difficulty should be solved, on the analogy of a
famous edition of MARTIAL, by issuing the Report as expurgated, together
with an appendix containing all the omitted passages. But there is no
LABOUCHERE in the House to-day--more's the pity.

What Mr. HOGGE does not know about pensions is not worth knowing. He has
already made havoc of more than one Government scheme, and unless he has an
official ring put in his nose he will evidently do his best to upset the
latest of them. On the whole, however, Mr. BARNES'S exposition of the new
pension scheme was well received. Though not unduly generous--that would be
impossible in the circumstances--it will at least, as Capt. STEPHEN GWYNN
put it, "enable us to look disabled men in the face."

_Wednesday, March 7th._--Lords SHEFFIELD and PARMOOR are much disturbed
because British subjects have been interned without trial, and had to be
reminded by the LORD CHANCELLOR that there was a war in progress, and that
it was better that individuals should lose a portion of their liberties
than that the community should lose them altogether.

A full appreciation of this truth might have prevented the Irish
Nationalists from seeking at this moment to get Home Rule out of cold
storage. If the attempt had to be made Mr. T.P. O'CONNOR was not perhaps
the best person to make it. For over an hour he meandered through the more
melancholy episodes of Irish history, from the Treaty of Limerick to the
Easter Monday rebellion, rather in the manner of one of those film-dramas
of which he is now the Censor. I am afraid his endeavour to prove that
Ireland is not "an irrational country, demanding impossible things," was
not entirely convincing.

It failed, at any rate--although backed by a brief appeal by Major WILLIE
REDMOND, which touched the House by its manifest sincerity--to convince the
PRIME MINISTER that this was the accepted time for plunging Ireland once
more into civil strife. Those parts of Ireland that wanted Home Rule could
have it to-morrow if they wished; neither he nor any other British
statesman would force the people of N.E. Ulster under a government they
disliked. When those two facts were thoroughly understood there might be a
chance of a settlement.

[Illustration: A TRUE IRISHMAN.

_Mr. John Redmond_. "I'VE FINISHED WITH THE BRITISH EMPIRE--

--EXCEPT, BEDAD, THAT WE'RE GOING TO BEAT THE BOSCH!"]

Mr. JOHN REDMOND, refusing to continue what he regarded as a futile and
humiliating debate, marched out of the House at the head of his supporters.
This manoeuvre, rather effective in the Gladstonian era, did not much
impress the House on this occasion; for news that something of the kind was
intended had leaked out; and Mr. HEALY'S subsequent allusion to it as "a
dramatic skedaddle" was felt to be justified.

_Thursday, March 8th._--I should have thought that the Dardanelles Report,
which everyone is reading, contained enough sensations to satisfy the most
_outrée_ taste. But Sir CHARLES HOBHOUSE is still anxious to know the real
meaning of the tantalizing asterisks which occur here and there in it, and
wants a day to discuss the matter. Mr. BONAR LAW did not absolutely refuse,
but hoped that when his right hon. friend had examined the Report he would
forgo his desire for further information. It may safely be said that the
omitted passages, whatever they are, could hardly alter the public verdict
on the extraordinary notions of conducting a war which seem to have
prevailed in the Cabinet of which Sir CHARLES HOBHOUSE was himself a
member.

The determining factor in the inception of the Dardanelles affair seems to
have been the disastrous confidence of the then First Lord of the Admiralty
in the 15-inch guns of the _Queen Elizabeth_. The outcome recalls a verse
from a song popular when Master WINSTON was in petticoats:--

  "I joined the Naval Demon-strat-i-on,
  But we never fired so much as a gun,
  And the Turk he laughed and said, 'Oh, what fun!
  It's all on account of Eliza!'"

       *       *       *       *       *

    Distressing Sequel to Early Marriage.

    "An exciting scene on Waterloo Bridge was described at Bow-street
    yesterday when Lydia Wilderspin, aged 2, married, was charged with
    attempting suicide."--_Illustrated Sunday Herald._

       *       *       *       *       *

"RANK AND FILE.

    The following casualties are reported under various dates:--

    (The home team is Liverpool except where otherwise shown)."--_Liverpool
    Daily Post._

But surely this is an "away" match?

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from interview with French journalist:--

    "Mr. Lloyd George's face lit up proudly as he modestly replied."

Will the PRIME MINISTER please tell us how is is done? It might solve the
problem of getting about in the darkened streets.

       *       *       *       *       *

                "JAMES KENNEDY,
                Monumental Sculptor,
    Having been called up for Military Service, Mr. Kennedy is forced to
    close down his Business, all the other male members of the family being
    already on Service. He begs to take this opportunity of thanking all
    patrons who have accorded him their support in the past, and he hopes
    that any who might have business requiring his attention may be able to
    hold over same until his return to business."--_Ayrshire Post._

We shall do our best to oblige. "Live and let live" is our motto.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHILDREN'S TALES FOR GROWN-UPS.

II.

BELLING THE CAT.

"The only question is," said the old mouse, "who is to bell the cat?"

"An absurd question," said the strategist.

"It has finished the story for hundreds of years," said the old mouse
crossly.

The strategist turned his back on the old mouse. "What is needed," he said,
"is a plan. We must make the cat appear ridiculous, and the people of the
house will see it is no use as a mouser. Then they will turn it into a pet
cat and bell it themselves."

"Shall we send a deputation?" growled the old mouse.

"We must go out and hunt for food in the daytime," said the strategist.

"We shall all be killed," cried the mice, shivering with terror.

"No more than are killed now," said the strategist. "Less, in fact, because
cats do not see so well in the daytime."

And it turned out as the strategist predicted. Mice ran about boldly
everywhere, and though the cat caught some of them the people of the house
were dissatisfied. "We might as well drown that cat at once and get a real
mouser," said the master.

"Oh, don't drown poor pussy," said the little girl. "Do let me keep her."

"Well, mind you put a bell round her neck, then," laughed the master of the
house, "so that she may know that she's not a real mouser."

That night there was joy unheard of among the mice. They scampered about
happily, and ran away chuckling when pussy came tinkling along. The
strategist was crowned king.

Next day the real mouser arrived. His first victim was the strategist.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illumination.

    "In my youth I had learnt, by sedulously imitating the pantaloons in
    the harlequinades, to drop flat on my face instinctively, and to
    produce the illusion of being picked up neatly by the slack of my
    trousers and set on my feet again."--_Mr. Bernard Shaw in "The Daily
    Chronicle."_

This revelation of youthful self-culture helps one to understand so much
that Mr. SHAW does to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SCARECROW.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A SONG OF FOOD-SAVING.

    [Being a faithful effort to versify the article written by Dr. E.I.
    SPRIGGS, at the request of the FOOD CONTROLLER, on the food
    requirements of people of different ages and build.]

  Good people, who long for a lead
    On the paramount crux of the time,
  I pray you give diligent heed
    To the lessons I weave into rhyme;
  And first, let us note, one and all--
    Whether living in castles or "digs"--
  "Large people need more than the small,"
    For that's the first maxim of SPRIGGS.

  Now, as most of the food that we eat
    Is wanted for keeping us warm,
  The requisite quota of heat
    Is largely a question of form;
  And the ratio of surface to weight,
    As anyone readily twigs,
  Is the root of the point in debate
    As sagely expounded by SPRIGGS.

  Hence the more we resemble a sphere
    Less heat on the surface is lost,
  And the needful supply, it is clear,
    Is maintained at less lavish a cost;
  'Tis economy, then, to be plump
    As partridges, puffins or pigs,
  Who are never a prey to the hump,
    So at least I interpret my SPRIGGS.

  Next, the harder it freezes or snows
    The greater the value of fat,
  And the larger the appetite grows
    Of John, Sandy, Taffy and Pat.
  (Conversely, in Midsummer days,
    When liquid more freely one swigs,
  Less viand the appetite stays--
    This quatrain's a gloss upon SPRIGGS).

  For strenuous muscular work
    A larger allowance of grub
  We need than is due if we shirk
    Exertion, and lounge in a pub;
  For the loafer who rests in a chair
    Everlastingly puffing at "cigs"
  Can live pretty nearly on air,
    So I gather at least from my SPRIGGS.

  Why children need plentiful food
    He nextly proceeds to relate:
  Their capacity's larger than you'd
    Be disposed to infer from their weight;
  They're growing in bulk and in height,
    They're normally active as grigs,
  And exercise breeds appetite--
    This stanza is absolute SPRIGGS.

  Last of all, with an eloquent plea
    For porridge at breakfast in place
  Of the loaf, and for oatcake at tea
    A similar gap to efface;
  For potatoless dinners--with rice,
    For puddings of maize and of figs,
  Which are filling, nutritious and nice--
    Thus ends the Epistle of SPRIGGS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Short-sighted Lady._ "THAT'S RATHER AN AFFECTIONATE
COUPLE."

_Her Friend._ "THAT'S MY HUSBAND."     _Short-sighted Lady._ "OH, I'M SO
SORRY."

_Her Friend._ "AND I'M SORRY, TOO, FOR I SEE HE'S GOT HIS LIGHT OVERCOAT
ON, AND I TOLD HIM NEVER TO WEAR IT WHEN BRINGING HOME THE COALS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The L.C.C. had decided to grant only £5,300 amongst £21,000 teachers,
    which would average a shilling a head per week. (Shame!)"--_Daily
    Paper._

We agree. Why any War bonus at all to such bulging plutocrats?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "As I watched youths obediently obeying the whistle I wondered what
    football would be like after the war."--_Daily Paper._

At present it seems rather redundantly redundant.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Lady (an old resident, gushingly)._ "AH, MRS.
ROBINSON, I AM SO ASHAMED OF MYSELF FOR NOT HAVING BEEN TO CALL UPON YOU.
DO FORGIVE ME AND CONSIDER THIS AS MY CALL, WON'T YOU?"

_Mrs. Robinson (a new-comer, sweetly)._ "OH, CERTAINLY; AND YOU WILL
CONSIDER IT AS MY RETURN CALL, TOO, WON'T YOU?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"THE MAN WHO WENT ABROAD."

The authors of _The Man Who Stayed at Home_ (I preserve their modest
anonymity) have contrived a sequel to that exciting and veracious stage
account of secret service activities. _The Man Who Went Abroad_ on one of
those famous State-paper chases, in which conspirators conspire in the
least likely places, such as the promenade decks of liners, is the man who
spent his time in chimneys at home in the earlier part of the War--_Kit
Brent_.

[Illustration: THE MAN WHO STAYED IN HIS TENT.

_Christopher Brent._ MR. KENNETH DOUGLAS.

_Ani Kiraly._ MISS IRIS HOEY.]

He had a cousin, _Lord Goring_, Cabinet Minister, bound on a mission to
Washington; and _Kit_, who was as like his cousin as clean-shaven KENNETH
DOUGLAS was like KENNETH DOUGLAS with a toothbrush moustache, took his
cabin while the important peer preceded him in another boat. On board _Kit_
disports himself as a fatuous ass, of the kind that hyphenated Americans
(in plays) would naturally assume to be the staple of a British Cabinet.
Not that _Goring_ really was such an ass; but it was _Kit's_ plan to be so
guileless as to induce the enemy agents to think they had a sitter. And I
must say they were pretty easily induced. Their general schema was to get
those inevitable papers, copy and return them, and delay _Goring's_ visit
to Washington, while the late lamented BERNSTORFF put in a suggestion which
would make the British schemes, whatever they were--it was secret service,
so we, rightly, never knew--look foolish. And they had the Hunnish idea of
compromising the silly peer with an irresistible Austrian _danseuse (Ani
Kiraly)_, so that fear of exposure (by Hidden-Hand Press) of intrigue with
enemy aliens would make him hand over the "papers." _Brent_ played up to
all this. But the lady of the ballet fell really in love with him, and
besides was actually a Dalmatian and on the right side, a fact which she
proclaimed at the top of her voice on the promenade dock, though, as she
added, it meant death if discovered. In New York the _Kiraly_ appears in
_Kit's_ bed-bathroom in the early morning, for devilment; to our loud
enjoyment, for the great bath joke has an assured immortality. The
_Kiraly's_ husband appears too. Fat in fire. When _Kit_ goes to the
hyphenated's flat to exchange fake papers in his belt for letter
acknowledging _Kiraly's_ innocence, an agitated Hun appears with the news
that the real _Goring_ is in Washington, and the papers all spoof; which
was annoying, as a reading-glass had already disclosed to the chief spy the
British Government watermark, which obviously proved they were genuine.

Nothing for it but to clear out (through a portrait of the All-Highest),
leaving _Kit_ in the safe to suffocate. Enter police (comic). Where is
_Kit?_ Brain-wave. In the safe, behind secret panel. Problem: how to open
it. The service was evidently so secret that it had never told one of its
brightest young men about combination letter-locks. But the dancer
remembers that the chief spy had carefully explained to her the letters of
the combination. Release of _Kit_ and a curtain which suggested that the
initiative remained with the _Kiraly_.

The authors are to be congratulated. They provided a good unpretentious
evening's entertainment. No dull and pedantic realism for them. The
dialogue was bright, occasionally to the sparkling point. The players were
competent and zealous. Mr. KENNETH DOUGLAS gave the right variety to his
three parts, _Goring_ as he was, _Goring_ as he was assumed to be for
purpose of bluffing the enemy, and _Kit Brent_; and he played his great
bathroom scene with humour and complete discretion. Miss IRIS HOEY was a
charming innocent adventuress with heart of gold and eye of gladness; Mr.
HIGNETT, as _Kit's_ self-possessed man _Cosens_, quite admirable, with just
the right mixture of friendliness without impertinence and restraint
without servility. Mr. WENMAN as a superabundant gum-chewing impresario,
and Mr. EILLE NORWOOD as head villain, were quite plausible in the
interesting and unlikely situation. I must say I like this kind of nonsense
immensely.     T.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HOMEWARDS: AN ALLOTMENT IDYLL.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Cautious Prophecy.

    "... One of the reasons of the satisfaction is that the huge yield of
    the Loan effectively postpones any further borrowings on a similar
    scale until the end of the War. By that time victory should either have
    been attained or be in sight."--_Irish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A well educated young lady, the daugter of a French interned prisoner
    of war, desires to make the acquaintance with an English or American
    family to mutually improve the languages."--_Daily Paper, Lausanne._

The result will be awaited with interest in editorial circles.

       *       *       *       *       *

SEED POTATOES FOR PATRIOTS.

(_Garnered from the catalogue of the George Washington Seed Company._)

"_Adonis_."--Strikingly handsome oval tuber of the fashionable nigger-brown
shade. Never had a day's illness. Every "Adonis" potato is inoculated for
wireworm before leaving our grounds.

"_Automatic._"--Remarkable novelty; digs itself in, and jumps out of the
ground when ready. Self-peeling; skin comes off in the saucepan. Immense
boon to busy housewives.

"_Little Gem."_--For window-boxes. Flowers closely resemble Odontoglossum.
Much in demand for Mayfair mansions. Dainty electro-plated trowel given
away with every order for a hundred-weight.

The "_Beanato_."--Sensational discovery; the result of a cross between an
Early Rose potato and a scarlet-runner. Will take the place of ramblers on
pergolas. Blooms brilliantly all the summer; festoons of khaki fruit with
green facings in the autumn. Retains the lusciousness of the bean with the
full floury flavour of the tuber.

"_Argus_."--The potato with a hundred eyes. Never sprouts in less than
ninety-eight places. Should be put through the mincing-machine before
planting.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LOOK HERE, MISS! YOU'VE TAKEN A BIT OUT OF MY EAR!"

"SORRY, SIR; BUT, YOU SEE, I'VE BEEN ON THE DISTRICT RAILWAY FOR THE LAST
THREE MONTHS PUNCHING TICKETS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

War-Work.

"LADY.--Will any lady exercise a terrier (good-tempered), daily, for a
small remuneration?"--_Bournmouth Daily Echo_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kilties Dumbfounded.

Extract from Brigade Orders (Highland Brigade):--

    "Socks must be changed and feet greased at least every 24 hours. Socks
    can be dried by being placed in trouser pockets."

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

_Zella Sees Herself_ (HEINEMANN) is an unusual and very subtle analysis of
a single character. The author, E.M. DELAFIELD, has made an almost
uncannily penetrating study of the development of a _poseuse_. _Zella_
posed instinctively, from the days when as a child she alienated her father
by attitudinising (with the best intentions) about her mother's funeral. It
became a habit with her. In Rome, before the Arch of Titus, she thought
more of what she might acceptably say about it than of any wonder or beauty
in the thing itself. She fooled the honest man who imagined he was in love
with her by making herself, for the time, just what her fatal facility for
such perception told her he would most like her to be. The skill of the
book is proved by the increasing anxiety, and even agitation, with which
one awaits the moment that shall fulfil the title. It comes, bringing with
it that almost intolerable tragedy of the soul, the black loneliness that
waits upon insincerity. Then poor deluded _Zella_, seeing herself, sees
also the fate that eventually befalls those who have deliberately falsified
the signals by which alone one human heart can speak to and assist another.
That is all the plot of the story, told with remarkable insight and a care
that is both sympathetic and wholly unsparing. I am mistaken if you will
not find it one of the most absorbing within recent experience. But I am
not saying that it may not leave you just a little uncomfortable.

       *       *       *       *       *

BOYD CABLE is already one of the prose Laureates of the War, having earned
his wreath by _Between the Lines_ and _Action Front_. He now proves that he
is still entitled to it by _Grapes of Wrath_ (SMITH, ELDER). The two former
books gave us detached articles all relating to the one great subject. The
present book is a continuous story, the episodes of which are held together
by the deeds and characters of a quartette of friends, _Larry Arundel_,
_Billy Simson_, _Pug Sneath_, and the noble and adventurous American,
_Kentucky Lee_, who had enlisted in our Army to prove that "too proud to
fight" was a phrase which did not agree with the traditions of an old
Kentucky family. These four and the rest of the regiment, the Stonewalls,
are plunged into one of the big "pushes" of the British Army, and their
achievements in one form or another are thick on every page of the book.
The author has reduced the description of a modern battle to a fine art. No
one can describe more vividly the noise, the squalor, the terror, the high
courage, the self-sacrifice and again the nerve-shattering noise, that go
to make up the fierce confusion of trench-fighting. How anyone succeeds in
surviving when so many instruments are used for his destruction is a
mystery. The book is very certainly one to be read and re-read.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Separation_ (CASSELL) is another of those intimate studies of Anglo-Indian
life that ALICE PERRIN has made specially her own. The tragedy of it is
sufficiently conveyed by the title. Separation, of husband from wife or
parent from child, is of course the spectre that haunts the Anglo-Indian
home. It was, chiefly at least, for the health of their child _Winnie_ that
_Guy Bassett_ was forced to let her and his wife abide permanently in
Kensington while he himself continued his Eastern career as a
grass-widower. Very naturally, the result was all sorts of trouble. This
first took the form of a flirtation, only half serious, with an artful
young woman of the type with which Mr. KIPLING has made us familiar.
Unfortunately poor _Bassett_ escapes from this emotional frying-pan only to
plunge into the fire of a much more scorching attachment. But I will not
spoil for you an ingenious plot. For one thing at least the book is worth
reading, and that is the picture, admirably drawn, of the half-caste
_Orchard_ family, whose ways and speech and general outlook you will find
an abiding joy. Mrs. PERRIN has nothing better in her whole gallery, which
is saying much.

       *       *       *       *       *

You probably know Mr. BLACKWOOD'S elusive method of mystery-mongering by
now. None of his characters can ever _quite_ make out whether the latest
noise is a mewing cat, the wind in the trees or the Great God Pan flirting
with the Hamadryads. He meets in Egypt a Russian, consumptive with a hooked
nose and a rotten bad temper, and persists in seeing him as a hawk-man
dedicated to the wingéd god, Horus. "No one could say exactly what
happened." (They never can.) But it was something very solemn and
important, and in the end the Russian, in a fancy dress of feathers, was
found dead at the foot of the cliff, whither he had flown (or was it
danced?--well, no one quite knew). He all but carried with him little
golden-haired _Vera_, who was all but a dove. This is a quite
characteristic sample out of _Day and Night Stories_ (CASSELL). And the
conclusion I came to was that Mr. BLACKWOOD must get a lot of fun out of
staying in "cosmopolitan hotels." You need a special attitude for the
proper enjoyment of these mystical yarns. I read them all conscientiously
through, and I got far the best thrill out of "The Occupant of the Room,"
which, attempting less, was much more successful. "H.S.H.," His Satanic
Majesty, of course, who was climbing the Devil's Saddle and turned in to
the Club hut for desultory conversation about his lost kingdom with a
stranded mountaineer, left me inappropriately cold. I suppose I am immune,
a bad subject: but I feel as sure as I've felt about anything in the realm
of light letters that a charming writer is overworking an unprofitable
vein.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Mrs. Vernon's Daughter_ (METHUEN) is what one might call a story of
situation. That is to say, it leads up to, and declines from, one big
_scène à faire_. The scene, in this instance, is that in which _Demaris_,
who has always previously imagined her mother to be an undervalued heroine,
finds that on the contrary she is really no better (indeed a good deal
worse) than she should be. And as if this disillusion were not enough the
poor girl gets almost simultaneously the further shock of learning that the
same adored parent, supposed by her to be a tragédienne of the first water,
is in fact no more than a handsome stick, and unable (as they say) to act
for nuts. Jesting apart, I am bound to admit that Lady TROUBRIDGE has risen
admirably to the demands of her theme, and written a story both direct and
appealing. Perhaps (dare I say?) its emotion is rather more secure than its
grammar. The fact that she makes a duchess allude to "these kind of things"
struck me at first as a subtlety of characterization, till I discovered
that, some pages later, the author fell herself into the identical pit. But
I suppose there is hardly any one of us wholly innocent of this offence;
anyhow, it is only a small blemish upon a pleasant and (in its mild way)
interesting story.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady of rather uncertain age (filling in application form
for employment)._ "COULD YOU TELL ME WHAT YEAR I SHOULD HAVE TO BE BORN IN
TO MAKE ME TWENTY-EIGHT?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A large assortment of real fur soft felt cats (Clerical)."--_Advt. in
    "Glasgow Herald."_

The tame kind, we suppose, so popular at tea-parties.





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