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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 156, January 29, 1919
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 156, January 29, 1919" ***

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VOL. 156.

January 29, 1919.


Peace is only a matter of time, says Mr. HUGHES. The ex-Kaiser is said
to be of the opinion that Mr. HUGHES might have been more explicit as
to who is going to get that "time."


Meanwhile the ex-Kaiser is growing a beard. He evidently has no desire
to share the fate of "Wilhelmshaven."


After reading the numerous articles on whether he should be charged
with murder or not, we have come to the conclusion that the answer now
rests solely between "Yes" or "No."


Mr. DE VALERA has been appointed a delegate of the Irish Republic
to the Peace Conference. The fact that he has not ordered the Peace
Conference to come to Brixton prison should satisfy doubters like _The
Daily News_ that Sinn Fein can be moderate when it wants to.


People in search of quiet amusement will be glad to know that there
will be an eclipse of the sun on May 29th.


Owing to the overcrowding of Tube trains we understand there is
some talk of men with beards being asked to leave them in the ticket


It is reported that an All-Tube team has applied for admission to the
Rugby Union.


A large number of forged five-pound notes are stated to be in
circulation in London. The proper way to dispose of one is to slip it
between a couple of genuine fivers when paying your taxi fare.


The ancient office of Town Crier of Driffield, which carries with it a
retaining fee of one pound per annum, is vacant. Several Army officers
anxious to better themselves have applied for the job.


A large number of "sloping desks," made specially for Government
Departments, are offered for sale by the Board of Works. The bulk of
them, it is understood, slope at 3.30 P.M.


The mysterious disappearance of sheep from Barnstaple has led to the
report that some Government Department has fixed a price for sheep.


"It is not practicable," says the London Electric Railway Company,
"for passengers to enter Tube cars at one door and leave by the other,
because the end cars have only one door." The idea of reserving these
cars for persons getting in or out, but not both, appears to have been


There is no truth in the report that the lodging, fuel and light
allowance of Officers is to be raised from two shillings and
sevenpence to two shillings and sevenpence halfpenny per day, the
cost of living having increased since the Peninsular War.


"What is reported to be the largest sapphira in the world," says
a contemporary, "disappeared when the Bolshevists took Kieff." We
suspect that the largest living Ananias had a hand in the affair.


It is not surprising to learn, following the Police Union meeting,
that the burglars have decided to "down jemmies" unless the eight-hour
night is conceded.


The rumour that there was a vacant house in the Midlands last week has
now been officially denied.


With reference to the Market Bosworth woman who, though perfectly
healthy, has remained in bed for three years, until removed last week
by the police, it now appears that she told the officers that she had
no idea it was so late.


"What can be done to make village life more amusing?" asks _The Daily
Mirror_. We are sorry to find our contemporary so ignorant of country
life. Have they not yet heard of Rural District Councils?


An Oxted butcher having found a wedding ring in one of the internal
organs of a cow, it is supposed that the animal must have been leading
a double life.


"In order to live long," says Dr. EARLE, "live simply." Another good
piece of advice would be: "Simply live."


A Streatham man who has been missing from his home since November,
1913, has just written from Kentucky. This disposes of the theory that
he might have been mislaid in a Tube rush.


"Distrust of lawyers," Mr. Justice ATKIN told the boys of Friars
School recently, "is largely caused by ignorance of the law." Trust in
them, on the other hand, is entirely due to ignorance of the cost.


Giving evidence at Marylebone against a mysterious foreigner charged
with using a forged identity book, the police said they did not know
the real name and address of the man. The Bench decided to obviate the
difficulty in the matter of the address.


In a Liverpool bankruptcy case last week the debtor stated that he
had lost six hundred pounds in one day rabbit-coursing. The Receiver
pointed out that he could have almost bought a new set of rabbits for

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

From a list of wedding presents:--

    "Case of sauce ladies from Mr. W. ----."--_Provincial Paper_.

No doubt he was glad to be rid of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The ---- National Kitchen has had to close down.... The great
    majority of the patrons were Army Pap Corps."

Who presumably required only liquid refreshment.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The German Government has protested to Russia against the
    'criminal interference' of olsheviks in the internal affairs
    of Germany."--_Daily Mail_.

Much correspondence will now doubtless take place, as it seems evident
that the Bolsheviks have sent their initial letter in reply.

       *       *       *       *       *


"If you belong to any of the following classes," said the
Demobilisation advertisement, "do nothing." So Lieut. William Smith
did nothing.

After doing nothing for some weeks he met a friend who said, "Hallo,
aren't you out yet?"

"Not yet," said William, looking at his spurs.

"Well, you ought to _do_ something."

So Lieut. William Smith decided to do something. He was a
pivotal-man and a slip-man and a one-man-business and a
twenty-eight-days-in-hospital man and a W.O. letter ZXY/999 man.
Accordingly he wrote to the War Office and told them so.

It was, of course, a little confusing for the authorities. Just as
they began to see their way to getting him out as a pivotal man,
somebody would decide that it was quicker to demobilise him as a
one-man-business; and when this was nearly done, then somebody else
would point out that it was really much neater to reinstate him as a
slip-man. Whereupon a sub-section, just getting to work at W.O. letter
ZXY/999, would beg to be allowed a little practice on William while he
was still available, to the great disgust of the medical authorities,
who had been hoping to study the symptoms of self-demobilisation in
Lieut. Smith as evidenced after twenty-eight days' in hospital.

Naturally, then, when another friend met William a month later and
said, "Hallo, aren't you out yet?" William could only look at his
spurs again and say, "Not yet."

"Better go to the War Office and have a talk with somebody," said his
friend. "Much the quickest."

So William went to the War Office. First he had a talk with a
policeman, and then he had a talk with a porter, and then he had a
talk with an attendant, and then he had a talk with a messenger girl,
and so finally he came to the end of a long queue of officers who were
waiting to have a talk with _somebody_.

"Not so many here to-day as yesterday," said a friendly Captain in the
Suffolks who was next to him.

"Oh!" said William. "And we've got an army on the Rhine too," he
murmured to himself, realising for the first time the extent of
England's effort.

At the end of an hour he calculated that he was within two or three
hundred of the door. He had only lately come out of hospital and was
beginning to feel rather weak.

"I shall have to give it up," he said.

The Captain tried to encourage him with tales of gallantry. There was
a Lieutenant in the Manchesters who had worked his way up on three
occasions to within fifty of the door, at which point he had collapsed
each time from exhaustion; whereupon two kindly policemen had carried
him to the end of the queue again for air.... He was still sticking to

"I suppose there's no chance of being carried to the _front_ of the
queue?" said William hopefully.

"No," said the Captain firmly; "we should see to that."

"Then I shall have to go," said William. "See you to-morrow." And as
he left his place the queue behind him surged forward an inch and took
new courage.

A week later William suddenly remembered Jones. Jones had been in the
War Office a long time. It was said of him that you could take him to
any room in the building and he could find his way out into Whitehall
in less than twenty minutes. But then he was no mere "temporary
civil-servant." He had been the author of that famous W.O. letter
referring to Chevrons for Cold Shoers which was responsible for
the capture of Badajoz; he had issued the celebrated Army Council
Instruction, "Commanding Officers are requested to replace the
pivots," which had demobilised MARLBOROUGH's army so speedily; and,
as is well known, HENRY V. had often said that without Jones--well,
anyhow, he had been in the War Office a long time. And William knew
him slightly.

So William sent up his card.

"I want to talk to somebody," he explained to Jones. "I can't manage
more than of couple of hours a day in the queue just now, because
I'm not very fit. If I could sit down somewhere and tell somebody all
about myself, that's what I want. Any room in the building where there
are no queues outside and two chairs inside. I'd be very much obliged
to you."

"I'll give you a note to Briggs," said Jones promptly. "He's the
fellow to get you out."

"Thanks _awfully_," said the overjoyed William.

A messenger girl took him and the note to Captain Briggs. Briggs
listened to the story of William's qualifications--or rather
disqualifications--and considered for a moment.

"Yes, we ought to get you out very quickly," he said.

"Good," said William. "Thanks _awfully_."

"Walters will tell you just what to do. He's a pal of mine. I'll give
you a note to him."

So in another minute the overjoyed William was following a messenger
girl to the room of Lieutenant Walters.

Walters was very cheerful. The thing to do, he said, was to go to
Sanders. Sanders would get him out in half-an-hour. He'd give William
a note, and then Sanders would do his best. The overjoyed William
followed the messenger girl to Sanders.

"That's all right," said Sanders a few minutes later. "We can get you
out at once on this. Do you know Briggs?"

"Briggs," said William, with a sudden sinking feeling.

"I'll give you a note to him. He knows all about it. He'll get you out
at once."

"Thank you," said William faintly.

He put the note in his pocket and strode briskly out in search of the
dear old queue.

"It will be quicker after all," he told himself, as he took his place
at the end of the queue next to a Lieutenant in the Manchesters.
("Don't crowd him," said a policeman to William; "he wants air.")

       *       *       *       *       *

And you think perhaps that the story ends here, with William in the
queue again? Oh, no. William is a man of resource. The very next day
he met another friend, who said, "Hallo, aren't you out yet?"

"Not yet," said William.

"My boy got out a month ago."

"H-h-h-how?" said William.

"Ah well, you see, he's going up to Cambridge. Complete his education
and all the rest of it. They let 'em out at once on that."

"Ah!" said William thoughtfully.

William is thirty-eight, but he has taken the great decision. He is
going up to Cambridge next term. He thinks it will be quicker. He no
longer stands in the queue for two hours every day; he spends the time
instead studying for his Little Go.


       *       *       *       *       *


  The larch-tree gives them needles
    To stitch their gossamer things;
  Carefully, cunningly toils the oak
  To shape the cups of the fairy folk;
    The sycamore gives them wings.

  The lordly fir-tree rocks them
    High on his swinging sails;
  The hawthorn fashions their tiny spears,
  The whispering alder charms their ears
    With soft mysterious tales.

  The chestnut decks their ball-room
    With candles red and white,
  While all the trees stand round about
  With kind protecting arms held out
    To guard them through the night.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LOST ALLY.


       *       *       *       *       *



  Lord CURZON rises with the lark--
  That is (at present) when it's dark--
  Breakfasts in haste on tea and toast,
  Then grapples with the early post,
  And reads the newspapers, which shed
  Denunciation on his head.
  Having digested their vagaries
  He calls his faithful secretaries
  And keeps them writing, sheet on sheet,
  Until he's due in Downing Street.
  The Cabinet is seldom through
  Until the clock is striking two,
  When Ministers, dispersing, munch
  Their frugal sandwiches for lunch.
  Then back into affairs of State
  Again they plunge from three till eight,
  Presiding, guiding, interviewing,
  Tea conscientiously eschewing,
  Until exhausted nature cries
  At half-past eight for more supplies.
  Another hasty meal is snatched
  And, when the viands are despatched,
  Once more our admirable Crichton,
  Though feeling like a weary Titan,
  Resumes the toil of brain and pen
  Till two is sounded by Big Ben.

         *       *       *       *       *

  The life of those whom duty spurs on
  To lead laborious days, like CURZON,
  Is not the life of BILLY MERSON
  Or any gay inferior person.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Selborne Society, which used to be a purely rural expeditionary
force, has lately taken to exploring London, and personally-conducted
tours have been arranged to University College in darkest Gower
Street, where Sir PHILIP MAGNUS and Sir GREGORY FOSTER will act
as guides, and to the Royal Courts of Justice, where Sir EDWARD
MARSHALL HALL, K.C., "will describe the methods of conducting civil
actions." What GILBERT WHITE would say to all this brick-and-mortar
sophistication we do not dare to guess. All that we venture to do is
to suggest one or two more urbane adventures.

Why, for example, should not a visit be paid to the House of Lords,
under the direction of the new LORD CHANCELLOR? Five minutes spent on
the Woolsack in such company not only would be a treasured memory,
but a liberal (or, at any rate, a coalition) education. After such an
experience all the Selbornians should come away better fitted to climb
the ascents which life offers.

Again, if Sir HORACE MARSHALL, the Lord Mayor, invited the Society to
the Mansion House they might be enormously benefited. Of turtle doves
they naturally know all; GILBERT WHITE would have seen to that; but
what do they know of turtle soup? Well, the LORD MAYOR would instruct
them. He would show them the pools under the Mansion House where these
creatures luxuriate while awaiting their doom; he would indicate the
areas beneath the shell from some of which is extracted the calipash
and from some the calipee; he might even induce the Most Worshipful
Keeper of the Turtles, O.B.E., to discourse on the subject.

Then there is New Scotland Yard. It would be a scandal for the
members of the Selborne Society not to visit that home of amity
and see all the New Scots at work in tracking down the breakers of
the laws that are made in the picturesque building with the clock
tower so close by. And not very distant is the War Office, where
mobilisation-while-you-wait may be studied at first hand, we don't
think. Indeed, London offers such opportunities that we shall be
surprised if the Selborne Society ever looks at a mole or a starling

       *       *       *       *       *



Of course we _know_ demobilisation is proceeding apace. We _know_ that
pivotal men are simply pirouetting to England in countless droves. We
know it because we see it in the papers (when they come), and it is a
great source of comfort to us. But since it is six days' train journey
and four days' lorry-hopping from where we sit guarding the wrong side
of the river to the necessary seaport, perhaps they have forgotten us,
or they are keeping all the pivots in this area for one final orgy of
demobilisation at some future date, which for the moment I am not at
liberty to disclose.

At present my poor friend Cook is sitting in the Company Mess with
his thoughts all of the inside of Army prisons, instead of the glowing
pictures he used to have of himself exchanging his battle-bowler for
the headgear of civilisation. He says I'm responsible for his state of
mind, because I first put the idea into his head. Well, I did; but I
don't see how you can blame the fellow who filled the shell if some
silly ass hits it on the nose-cap with a hammer.

It started like this. After the Demobilisation General Post had
sounded Cook spent his time writing to everybody who did not know him
well enough to down his chances, filled up all the forms in triplicate
and packed his valise ready to start off any time of the day or night
for England, home and wholesale hardware, which is his particular
pivot. I may say here that nominally this business is run by him
and his brother, and the fact that they are now both in the Army is
probably the chief reason why the manager in charge is able to make
the business pay. However, you know what people are; if they draw
receipts from a business nothing will persuade them but that they
must be there, "on the spot you know," to "look after it." So, seeing
his face grow longer and longer as the days went by without the
Quarter-Master coming round and handing him his ration trilby hat,
civvy suit and the swagger cane he hopes for, I said, "Why don't you
put in for two months' business leave?"

The air was at once rent with a fearful rush of leaves of his A.B.
153, and he ceased to take any interest in his platoon from that
moment. In vain I urged upon him the consummate folly of neglecting
to inquire more closely into the case of a reprobate in No. 11 Platoon
who had so far forgotten all sense of discipline as to set out his
kit with haversack on the left instead of the right (or _vice-versâ_,
I forget which, but the Sergeant-Major spotted it.). He even went
the length of saying he didn't care a cuss; and when I asked
him sarcastically if he had forgotten the Platoon Commander's
pamphlet-bible, "Am I offensive enough?" he said he thought he was,
and I agreed with him.

When the whole mess-room was simply a-flutter with torn-out leaves
from his A.B. 153, representing his abortive attempts to put down his
application succinctly and plausibly, we all began to take an interest
in his case. We crowded round and offered him most valuable hints.
Together we got through two very pleasant evenings and three or four
A.B.'s 153, and still the application remained in a tentative state.
We got on all right to start with, but it was after the "I have the
honour to submit for the approval and recommendation of the Commanding
Officer this my application for two months' business leave" that we
got stuck.

Of course _I_ know it was no use, anyway. I have seen these things go
forward before. They have no chance.

It was then that a stroke of genius (unfortunate, as it turned out,
but a stroke of genius nevertheless) occurred to me. "Why not say that
your manager is a complete fool and in his hands the business is going
to rack and ruin?" I said. He bit at it like a tiger, and only the law
of libel prevented him putting it into execution there and then; but
all the same we had a jolly fine argument (six of us) about it for
some three hours, and nobody got put out of the room for introducing
acrimony into the discussion.

Finally, he said that he was sure his brother wouldn't mind his saying
it about _him_, and the application went in as follows:--

_To Adjutant, First Crackshire Regt._

Sir,--I have the honour to submit for the approval and recommendation
of the Commanding Officer this my application for two months' business
leave in the following special circumstances:--

The necessity of my presence in the business (wholesale hardware) has
become more and more urgent of late. It is imperative that I should
get home at once owing to the total incapability of my partner to
carry out simple directions which are dictated by letters, and it
is no exaggeration to say that the business, which has been built
up almost entirely by my efforts, must inevitably collapse unless it
receives my personal attention at once.

My address would be, etc., etc., London.

  I am, Sir,
  Your obedient Servant, etc., etc.

The Adjutant looked serious when he read it. So did Cook, for he
thought the Adjutant had noted the London address and had remembered
the business was in Bristol. But it was all right. It wasn't that
at all really. Pencil and squared paper are poor means of conveying
information at any time, and when the Adjutant had been assured that
the business was really "wholesale hardware," and not "wholesale
hardbake," as he had first read it, everything went swimmingly. The
C.O. signed it and off it went on its momentous journey. Cook began
to take a renewed interest in his platoon, and, having discovered the
recalcitrant one of No. 11 actually coming on parade with only the
front of the tip of his bayonet-scabbard polished, he took a fiendish
delight in seeing the criminal writhing under the brutal and savage
sentence of three days' C.B.

A week later he got a great surprise. His brother-partner turned
up with a draft of men and found himself posted to the battalion.
The brothers met, as only brothers can, with the words, "What the
deuce are you doing here?" Highly elated, Cook told him about the
application for business leave and gloated over his chances of being
home first, and on full pay too. His brother was intensely amused,
and they both laughed heartily, when he told us that he himself, while
waiting at the reception-camp with the draft, had put in much the same
kind of application, saying the same kind of things about Cook.

But when they realised that both applications would be forwarded to
the same Divisional Headquarters for consideration the joke lost some
of its savour. And when the Adjutant called them up and handed the
two returned applications _pinned together_ both brothers needed all
their qualities of toughness and rigidity which, as I understand, are
acquired in the wholesale hardware business.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Shortsighted Traveller_. "IS THERE SOME DELAY ON THE

_Naval Officer_. "WHO THE ---- DO YOU THINK I AM, SIR?"

_Traveller_. "ER--N-NOT THE VICAR, ANYWAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *


    "Oak bedstead, 3 ft. 6 in., with wife and Wool Mattress, new
    condition, £5 10s. 0d. lot."--_Provincial Paper_,

    "One Parsel Furnishing goods curtains, cushion covers, etc.,
    Rs. 26; one bundle babies, Rs. 5.--Apply Mrs. ----."--_Ceylon

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Temporary Cook wants Hampshire."--_Morning Post_.

Really quite moderate. Some cooks nowadays seem to want the whole

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: POST-WAR PROBLEMS.

_Adjutant_ (_who has been interrupted in his real work by a summons
from Colonel_). "YES, SIR?"


       *       *       *       *       *


  When yesterday I went to see my friends--
    (Watching their patient faces in a row,
    I want to give each boy a D.S.O.)--
  When yesterday I went to see my friends,
  With cigarettes and foolish odds and ends
    (Knowing they understand how well I know
  That nothing I may do can make amends,
    But that I must not grieve or tell them so),
  A pale-faced Inniskilling, tall and slim,
    Who'd fought two years and now was just eighteen,
  Smiled up and showed, with eyes a little dim,
    How someone left him, where his leg had been,
  On the humped bandage that replaced the limb,
    A tiny green glass pig to comfort him.

  These are the men who've learned to laugh at pain,
    And if their lips have quivered when they spoke
    They've said brave things or tried to make a joke;
  Said it's not worse than trenches in the rain,
  Or pools of water on a chalky plain,
    Or bitter cold from which you stiffly woke,
  Or deep wet mud that left you hardly sane,
    Or the tense wait for "Fritz's master stroke."
  You seldom hear them talk of their "bad luck,"
    And suffering has not spoiled their ready wit,
  And oh! you'd hardly doubt their fighting pluck,
    When each new operation shows their grit;
  Who never brag of blows for England struck,
    But only yearn to "get about a bit."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Allies had threatened to destroy the Dardanelles if the
    Medina garrison did not surrender."--_Birmingham Mail_.

So, being reduced to its last Straits, the garrison surrendered.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "MATRIMONY--Young Lady (21), good prospects, wishes to
    correspond with young man, similar age, with a view to above;
    no rebels need apply."--_Irish Paper_.

But we guess there will be one Home Ruler in the family.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Replying to a query concerning the rumour that Messrs.
    Guinness were in treaty for the purchase of the National hell
    Factory, Parkgate Street, a representative of that firm
    said this afternoon: 'We have no statement to make at
    all.'"--_Irish Paper_.

We gather that the printer is a Prohibitionist.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At Doncaster on Saturday, Messrs. ---- sold for £7,100 the
    fully licensed house at Armthorpe known as the Plough Inn
    to the Markham Main Colliery Company, the proprietors of the
    colliery being sunk in the parish."--_Yorkshire Post_.

Not _spurlos versenkt_, we trust. Perhaps it is hoped that the Plough
will unearth them.

       *       *       *       *       *


Here is a simple method of aiding the admirable efforts of educational
Staff-Officers in the army.

Let all Regimental Orders be interspersed with items of information
likely to be of use in civilian life. Thus:--

53. ... will be rendered to this office, in triplicate, by noon

53A. _Etiquette, Points of_. It is not considered correct to address
an Archbishop as "Archie" unless one is on terms of considerable
intimacy with him. In writing to a Duchess never commit the vulgar
error of putting a stamp on the envelope; the sixth footman in a ducal
household is always provided with a fund in respect of unpaid postage
on incoming correspondence.

54. ... is placed out of bounds to all troops on account of an
outbreak of mumps.

54A. _Data, Geographical_.--Of all fish those of the Bay of Biscay are
perhaps the best nourished. An isthmus is a piece of land which saves
another piece of land from being an island. The principal exports of
Germany are prisoners of war.

55. ... to be read on three consecutive parades.

55A. _Theory_, _Untenable_, _Literary_.--The The theory that BACON was
a pork-butcher and derived inspiration for _Hamlet_ by gazing at the
viands in his shop has now been disproved.

56. ... and a sum of twopence per haircut will be chargeable against
public funds.

56A. _Courts, Foreign_.--The Sultan of Socotra is entitled to a salute
of fourteen popguns and one catapult. Before approaching the throne
of the Duke of the Djibouti one is required to take lessons from the
Court Contortionist.

57. ... and Company Commanders are reminded of their responsibility in
this matter.

57A. _World, the Animal_.--It is interesting to know that the inventor
of the Tank first planned that engine of warfare while watching
the peregrinations of the armadillo at a travelling menagerie.
The efficacy of our blockade was such that large consignments of
armadillo-fodder were prevented from reaching Germany, the consequent
demise of all German-kept armadilloes thus robbing our enemy of the
opportunity of devising a similar instrument.

58. ... will parade in full marching order at Reveille.

58A. _Facts, Historical_.--There once was a king who never smiled
again, but history might have recorded a different verdict had His
Majesty witnessed the spectacle of the Second-in-Command, on a frisky
horse, trying to drill the Battalion.

59. ... will therefore immediately submit rolls of all skilled
organ-blowers of Category B ii.

59A. _Information, General_.--If all the Treasury Notes circulated in
the United Kingdom since 1914 were placed end to end they might reach
from Bristol to Yokohama and back, but they would not constitute a
sufficient inducement to a London taxi-driver.

60. ... and this practice must cease forthwith.

60A. _Query, Our Daily_.--What is Popocatapetl? Is it an indoor game,
a cannibal tribe, a curative herb, or neither? Solutions are invited.

There are two very advantageous points about this scheme: (1) The
ingenious system of numbering would avoid interference with army
routine, which must go on: and (2) men might be encouraged to read
Regimental Orders.

This suggestion is made without hope of fee or reward. Its author does
not even ask for extra duty pay.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HIS STOCK-IN-TRADE.


_Sub._ (_in high spirits_). "RIGHT-O. ALL THE COFFEE YOU WANT AND THE


       *       *       *       *       *


"I wish 'as 'ow I warn't married."

Mr. Punt crooned out the impious aspiration as he sorted a judicious
modicum of hemp into the canary seed. He spoke in semi-soliloquy,
yet quite loud enough to reach the vigilant ear of Mrs. Punt, who was
dusting the cages at the other end of the live-stock store. She said
nothing in reply, but her eye fixed itself upon him with a glint
eloquent of what she might say later.

"Why is that, Mr. Punt?" I asked encouragingly.

"Why, it's on'y to-day, Sir, as I met a lidy, a widder lidy, friend o'
Uncle George's down Putney way, as 'as one leg, a nice little bit o'
'ouse property and two great hauk's eggs."

It did seem a rare combination of marriageable qualities. I asked the
value of a great auk's egg, and was surprised to learn that a specimen
had recently been sold at auction for something like three hundred
pounds. I inquired whether all the great auks' eggs that came on the
market were genuine, or whether "faked" specimens were to be met with.
I had heard, I thought, of "faked" eagles' eggs.

"Different kind o' bird altogether, Sir, and different kind o' egg.
Can't very well be imitated. You didn't think as I said great 'awk,
Sir?" he asked very anxiously.

"No, no; I understand," I hastened to assure him.

"The 'awk, Sir, is a bird o' the heagle kind; the hauk's a different
kind altogether--web-footed, aquatic--was, I should rather say,
seeing as 'ow 'e's un appily extinct. Hauk and 'awk, Sir--you take the

I said that I thought the distinction was perceptible to a fine ear
for the aspirate.

The phrase took the little man's fancy wonderfully. "That's it, Sir,"
he exclaimed, beaming up delightedly at me. "You've 'it it! Done it
in one, you 'ave. 'Fine ear for the haspirate'--that's what my darter
Maria 'ave and what I, for one, 'ave not. I'm not above confessing of
it; 'tain't given to all of us to 'ave everything, as the ant said to
the helephant when 'e was boasting about 'is trunk. Some there is as
ain't got no ear for music--same as Joe Mangles, the grocer down the
street, as 'as caught a heavy cold in 'is 'ead with taking 'is 'at off
every time as 'e 'ears 'It's a long long way to Tipperary.' Why, I've
knowed men," said Mr. Punt, in the manner of one who works himself up
to an almost incredible climax--"I've knowed men as couldn't tell the
difference between a linnet's note and a goldfinch."

"Astonishing," I said.

One of the canaries suddenly broke into a rich trill of song, as if to
add his personal expression of surprise.

"Now there!" Mr. Punt exclaimed, shaking a podgy forefinger at him.
"There's the bird as give all the trouble and cause words 'tween me
and Maria, 'e did. 'Artz Mountain roller, that bird is. Beeutiful 'is
note, ain't it, Sir?"

There really was a deep full tone, distantly suggestive of a
nightingale's, that favourably distinguished the bird's song from the
canary's usual acute treble.

"'I'm doubting, Maria,' I say to 'er," Mr. Punt resumed. "No longer
ago than this very morning I say it--'I'm doubting whether I did ought
to call that 'ere bird a 'Artz Mountain roller,' I say to 'er--me
meaning, o' course, as the 'Artz Mountains being, as some thinks, in
Germany, that pussons wouldn't so much as go to look at a canary as
called 'isself a 'Artz Mountain bird, as it might be a German bird,
for all as 'e'd never a-bin no nearer Germany than the Royal Road,
Chelsea, not never since 'e chip 'is little shell, 'e 'aven't.

"So I ask 'er the question, doubting like, and she up and say, all
saucy as a jay-bird, 'Why, certainly you didn't ought to call 'im so,'
she say.

"'Question is, Maria,' I says, 'in that case what did I ought to call

"'And I can tell yer that too, Dad,' she say--Maria did. 'You didn't
ought to call 'im 'Artz Mountain roller, but ha-Hartz Mountain roller.
That's the way to call 'im,' she says--impident little 'ussy! But
there--what's in a name, as the white blackbird said when 'e sat on a
wooden milestone eating a red blackberry? Still, 'e weren't running
a live-stock emporium, I expect, when 'e ask such a question as that
'ere. There's a good deal in 'ow you call a bird, or a dawg or a
guinea-pig neither, if you want to pass 'im on to a customer in a
honest way o' trade."

I assured Mr. Punt I had not a doubt of it.

"But I shall be a-practisin' my haitches, Sir," he promised
me, as I went out with the canary seed which I had called to
purchase--"practise 'em 'ard, I shall. It's what I ain't a-got at the
present moment--'a fine ear for the haspirate.' Beeutiful expression
that, Sir, if you'll excuse me sayin' so. But I don't see no reason
as a man mightn't 'ope to acquire it, 'im practising constant and
careful--same as a pusson can learn a bullfinch to pipe ''Ome, sweet
'Ome.' That haitch is a funny letter, but it's a letter as I shall
practise. Still, haitches or no haitches," he concluded, with a
profound sigh, "I wish as I knowed 'ow I could set about coming it
over that 'ere one-legged widder lidy at Putney what 'ave the two
great hauk's eggs."

Out of the dusty twilight in the far end of the shop Mrs. Punt's eye
gleamed balefully.

       *       *       *       *       *



I went into a tobacco-shop, tendered a pound note and asked for a
packet of cigarettes and a box of matches. With much regret and a
smiling face, she informed me she had the goods but no change.

What a dilemma! A shop with cigarettes and matches, but I couldn't
spare a pound note for them.

An inspiration!--I would go into the hairdressing establishment behind
the shop, have a shave--which I really didn't need--obtain change and
make my purchase. Besides, with so many barbers closed owing to the
strike, it was an opportunity.

This is what happened.

"Good morning, Sir. Your turn next but six."

A long, long interval.

"Shave, Sir? Lovely weather we're having. Razor all right, Sir?"

I said as little as possible; it is the only safe thing.

"Face massage, Sir?"

"No, thanks," I mumbled.

"Wonderful thing for the face, Sir; make a new man of you. Invigorates
the circulation, improves the complexion--"

"Oh, all right," I gasped.

And then for about twenty minutes snatches of conversation floated to
me through bundles of wet towels. My head was having a Turkish bath.
My face was covered with ointments and creams. Currents of electricity
played about my brow.

"Just trim your hair, Sir?"

I swear I said "No," but before I knew what was happening the scissors
were running merrily over my head.

"Singeing, Sir?"

"Er--no. I--"

"Finest thing in the world, Sir. It's a treat to see hair like this.
Just a bit 'endy,' but singeing will soon put that right."

Even had I been blind I should have discovered that I was undergoing
the process.

"What would you like for the shampoo, Sir? Eau de Quinine--Violet--"

"I don't think--"

My feeble protest was cut short.

"I always recommend Violet," he said, sprinkling my head profusely.

More rubbing, more towels, more electricity and finally a brush and

"I've a hair-lotion here, Sir--"

"No, thank you."

I meant it.

He helped me on with my coat, brushed off a deal of imaginary dust,
said something about skin softeners and bath requisites, but I'd had
enough for one morning, and I was yearning to get those cigarettes and
have a smoke.

I tendered my pound note.

He took it, and with his best smile said--

"Another sixpence, Sir, please."

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  There are many things Dora kept dark
    That she's now letting into the light,
  And to-day an astounding aerial barque
    Has suddenly sailed into sight;
  But its past makes no sympathies burn,
    And its future leaves interest limp,
  Compared with the rapture I feel when I learn
      That its name is the Blimp.

  Who gave it its title, and why?
    Was it old EDWARD LEAR from the grave?
  Since Jumblies in Blimps would be certain to fly
    When for air they abandon the wave.
  Was it dear LEWIS CARROLL, perhaps
    Sent his phantom to christen the barque,
  Since a Blimp is the obvious vessel for chaps
      When hunting a snark?

  And to-day, in the first-fruits of joy,
    I scarcely believe it is true
  That Blimp is a word we shall one day employ
    As lightly as now Bakerloo;
  And my reason refuses to jump
    To the fact that a man, not an imp,
  Can flash through the other and land with a bump
      From a trip in a Blimp.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It needs no very profound knowledge of the politics of
    South-Western Europe to surmise that neither Rumania nor
    Greece would lend military assistance of this kind without
    being promised something in return.--_Manchester Guardian_.

But a rather more profound knowledge of the geography might be useful.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is late in the day to draw attention to Mr. Punch as a prophet.
Everyone knows that his eyes have always discerned the farthest
horizon. None the less it is pleasant now and again to succumb to the
temptation of saying "I told you so," and especially when it is the
finger of a friendly reader that points the way to the Sage's triumph.
Were we in the habit of quoting from past numbers, as many of our
contemporaries do, we should print the following paragraph from the
issue of September 2nd, 1871:--


    "'According to _Le Havre_, about forty Prussian officers in
    mufti leave Dieppe every morning for England, their object
    being to visit the military establishments of Great Britain.'

"Here at last is an actual invasion! Prussian officers landing on
our defenceless shores, on the transparently flimsy pretext of making
themselves acquainted with our military establishments, at the rate
(excluding Sundays) of 240 a week, or in this present September, of
1,080 a month, or, amazing and terrifying total, of 12,520 a year! We
commend this startling announcement to the attention of the Cabinet
(Parliament, unfortunately, is not sitting), the Commander-in-Chief,
the War Office, the Commanders of all Volunteer Corps, the Author of
'The Battle of Dorking,' _Sergeant Blower_, and _Cheeks the Marine_."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_homeward bound, and determined not to

       *       *       *       *       *



    [To any English composer who has not yet contributed to the
    wave of music and dance which is now sweeping the country the
    writer offers the following as the basis of an entirely new
    and original dance, strictly national in character and full
    of that quaint old rustic, not to say aboriginal, grace which
    distinguishes modern dance-music.]

  Oh say, won't you stay down-away at the Sausage Farm?
  It's a scream, it wouldn't seem you could dream such perfect ch-e-arm;
    You can bet that Jazz'll be beat to a frazzle,
    And the old Fox Trot'll be a pale green mottle,
  When they gauge what's the rage of the age at the Sausage Farm.
          (CRASH! BANG! TINKLE!)

  _Come along, you'll be wrong if you miss that Sausage Roll._
  _Every pig does the jig, for he's in this heart and so-ul:_
    _See the old sow shout, "What about my litter?"_
    _But she dries those tears when she hears, poor crittur,_
  _That they're all at the Ball in the Soss-Soss-Sausage Roll._
          (TZING! BOOM! The lights go out.)

  Oh, haste, life's a waste till you're based at the Sausage Farm,
  Where the dog and the hog and the frog go arm-in-arm;
    And the farm-yard bosses can all do Sosses;
    The old man's crazy, and his poor Aunt Maisie,
  Over this hit of bliss (have a kiss) at Sausage Farm.
          (CLATTER! BUMP! The walls begin to crack.)

  _Come a-quick, you'll be sick if you miss that Sausage Roll,_
  _For the cow does it now and the cat we can't contro-ol,_
    _And I heard as she purred, "Oh, I've found my kittens,_
    _You could bet they'd get with the best-born Britons,_
  _For they're all at the Ball in the Soss-Soss-Sausage Roll."_
          (CRASH! BANG! The roof falls in.)


       *       *       *       *       *


    now required. Applicants must be unmarried, of good physique,
    with sound teeth, about 20 to 25 years of age, not less than
    57 ft. 10 in. in height."--_Weekly Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lloyd's agent at Chriseiansund telegraphs that
    wreckage marked 'Wilson Line' drifted ashore near
    Switzerland."--_Provincial Paper_.

Following the WILSON line the seas appear to be already behaving with
unusual freedom.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'George Eliot' (Mary Ann Evans), the gifted Warwickshire
    authoress, who wrote 'Adam Bede' and several other popular
    works."--_Daily Telegraph_.

We have noticed the name from time to time, and we are glad to know
who "GEORGE ELIOT" was.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a "multiple shop" catalogue:--

    "SMOKING ROOM.--The decorations are well worth a special note,
    and are quite unique of their kind, being without a match

Surely not "unique." We know a lot of smoking-rooms equally matchless.

       *       *       *       *       *


[The German Elections have resulted in a signal defeat for the

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hostess_ (_to small guest, who is casting lingering
glances at the cakes_). "I DON'T THINK YOU CAN EAT ANY MORE OF THOSE


       *       *       *       *       *


An evening newspaper informs its readers that arrangements are being
made for "a school for M.P.'s"--"a weekly meeting of Unionist M.P.'s
new to Parliamentary life, who will receive instruction in the forms
of the House. They will be taught how to address the SPEAKER, how to
frame a question," and so forth.

This intelligence is of particular interest in that it conveys an
admission that our new M.P.'s do not know everything.

Interviewed by a correspondent, Mr. Raleigh Quawe, the able young
educationist, who, it is understood, is watching the experiment with
some concern, said, "While I do not wish to seem to be giving away
too much to the gloom of youth, I cannot help feeling that the school
may be run on wrong lines unless the greatest care is exercised.
Will the opportunity be taken for testing methods which have been so
disastrously absent hitherto from our public school system? I would
urge those in authority to put away the old formulæ, and to ensure
the introduction of a right spirit in the school by the appointment of
young masters endowed with vision and enthusiasm.

"I hope that the worship of sport will not be encouraged. I was never
one who believed that our battles have been won on the playing-fields
of Westminster. I am confident that I am not alone in the hope that
the old games at Westminster will be abandoned.

"It is most important that there should be no suppression of the
emotional nature. Rob politics of emotion and the newspapers are not
worth reading; and it must not be forgotten that what Westminster does
to-day is read of by the British Empire to-morrow. No effort should be
spared to awaken the artistic sense of the pupils. If the pictures and
sculptures in and about the corridors of the Houses of Parliament are
not enough, let others be prepared. No expense should be spared. For
my part I see no reason why a little music should not be introduced

"Freedom of opinion should also be encouraged. One fault of our
educational system has been its tendency to produce mass-thinking.
This will never do among our Unionist Members of Parliament. Yes, I
would even advocate that some of the seniors should be allowed to
read _The Herald_ if they wished to do so, and I question whether _The
Nation_ would do any of them any harm."

       *       *       *       *       *


Notice in a watchmaker's window:--

    "No repairs except to watches recently purchased."

Advertisement in Provincial Paper:--

    "WALK IN,

    But you will be happier when you go out."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "An extraordinary plague of rats prevails on the Sheffield
    Corporation rubbish tips at Killamarsh. The rodents have
    constructed beaten tracks eight inches wide, extending to
    corn stacks on a local farm, where they have wrought munch
    havoc."--_Local Paper_.

Quite the right epithet, we feel sure.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We make a speciality of gorillas and chimpanzees. They are
    wonderfully intelligent and can be trained right up to the
    human standard in all except speech. One of our directors, Mr.
    ----, and his wife are both able to only be tamed to live in
    captivity."--_Irish Paper_.

A perusal of the above paragraph is said to have stimulated Mr. ----'s
gift of speech in a startling degree.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


  One day last week, it might be Wed-
    nesday, or even Friday,
  A day not yet entirely dead,
    A shortly-doomed-to-die day,
  The Naiad who lay stretched in dream
    Awoke and gave a shiver--
  The Naiad who has charge of stream
    And rivulet and river.

I had intended to write the whole of this article in verse, of which
the above is a shocking sample, but, on the whole, I think I will go
on in prose. When you have committed yourself to double rhymes, prose
is the easier medium. In verse it is more difficult to stick to your
subject, and as the subject in this case is a very important one and
deserves to be stuck to, I shall do the rest in prose.

Anyhow, the fact is that I have read a paragraph in one of the papers
about a proposed revival of rowing. Rowing, like other sports, has,
it seems, lain dormant for the past four years and a half. From the
moment in 1914 when war was declared it suffered a land-change;
shorts and zephyr and blazer and sweater were abandoned at once, and,
for the oarsman as for everybody else, khaki became the only wear.
Already trained by long discipline to obey, our oarsmen trooped to
the colours, and wherever hard fighting was to be done their shining
names are to be found on the muster-roll of fame. Some will return to
us, but for others there waited the _eternum exitium cymbæ_--a very
different craft from those to which they were accustomed, but they
accepted it with pride and without a murmur.

Bearing these things in mind, I went to Henley last week to interview
Father Thames. I found the veteran totally unchanged in his quarters
on the Temple Island, and immediately began the interview.

"Dull?" he said. "I believe you, my boy. But they tell me there's talk
of reviving the regatta. You tell them with my compliments not to be
in too great a hurry about it. Think of what Henley meant to the lads
who rowed. They hadn't learnt their skill in a day--no, nor in as many
days as go to a year."

"Do you then," I said, "consider the regatta only from the oarsman's
point of view?"

"Really," said the old gentleman, "there's no other. Not but what," he
added with a chuckle, "it gave them more pleasure to row their races
with lots of pretty faces to look on. Lor' bless you, I don't object
to 'em. It's the prettiest scene in the world when the sun shines as
it sometimes does. And that's enough talking for one afternoon." With
that he plunged, and nothing I did could bring him to the surface

       *       *       *       *       *


  Bound South from Japan to the port of Hong Kong
  We fell in with a little junk blowing along;
  We met her all bright at the breaking of day,
  And we gave her good-morning and passed on our way.
  She had stretched her red sails like the wings of a bat,
  And light, like a gull, on the water she sat;
  She had two big bright eyes for to keep a look-out;
  On her stern there were dragons cavorting about.
  And Mrs. Ah Fit by the kitchen did sit
  Preparing some breakfast for Mr. Ah Fit,
  The gentleman who, as we saw when we neared her,
  By waggling the tickle-stick skilfully, steered her.
  The little Fit men and the little Fit maids
  Were playing at tig round the brass carronades,
  And with all the delight of a juvenile Briton
  The littlest Ah Fitlet was plucking the kitten.
  With a "How do you do, Sir?" and "Hip, hip, hooray!"
  'Twas so they blew by at the breaking of day.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Comedian_ (_who has been instructed to modify his
humour to suit the taste of a select audience at a charity performance
at the local theatre_). "THERE YOU ARE! NOT A LAUGH! THIS IS WOT COMES

       *       *       *       *       *


"Not a bad possie," said George, looking round the village. "Let's
rustle a bivvie before the crowd comes along."

All George's performances in the art of rustling bivvies rank as star.
He permits no coarse and obvious gathering of an expectant horde about
the opening door; no slacking of straps and bootlaces until the final
"I will" is said on either side. He debouches in extended order on
the doomed house; gets his range and has the barrage well in hand (the
quantity and quality of Madame's gesticulations furnish the key to
this) before Colin drifts off the horizon and shows a peaked face with
haunting eyes over George's shoulder. Colin does not speak. That is
not his _métier_. He is the star shell illuminating the position; and
usually in about six minutes' time it is safe for John to put in an
appearance with the kit.

This is the recognised procedure, and it has served us indifferently
well up and down three years of war and a good deal of France and
Flanders. Therefore John was not to blame when, after waiting the
scheduled six minutes, he arrived to find the other two still in
the thick of it. Either Colin was not haunting up to form (which was
likely, as he had been over-fed lately) or George's French (which was
never made in the place where they make marriages) had scandalised

She stood in the door like some historical personage, probably the
Sphinx, and repeated a guttural kind of incantation while George
stretched his ears until they stood out more than usual in a struggle
to understand.

"Rotten patois some of these people speak," he said. "I believe she
has a room, though something's biting her. Likely enough Fritz went
off with all her furniture; but I've already explained twenty times
that that doesn't matter. _Écoutez, Madame._ We only want a room.
_Chambre-à-coucher._ We can furnish it. We have three beds. _Trois
lits._ _Trois_ stretcher-beds sent over from _Angleterre_. _À la
gare._ We've just seen them. _Trois lits nous avons._ Three beds."

"Beds!" Madame pounced on the word. "_C'est cela!_ No beds,
_Monsieur_. _Je n'en ai pas._"

"Ah, now we know where we are." George looked round triumphantly.
"_Écoutez, Madame._ We don't want beds. _Nous les desirons jamais._
We have them. _Trois lits._ We don't want them. We have beds.

"No beds," explained Madame firmly.

"But I've just told you--" George plunged again into the maelstrom,
and a pretty girl appeared from the firelit room behind to stir him
to his highest flights of eloquence. A smell of savoury cooking
came also, and out in the street night shut down dark and chill and
sinister, as it does in all the best novels. John let part of the
kit down on the door-sill. It was his way of explaining that at the
present moment there was a deeper, more intimate call than the Call of
the Wild. Colin moved up a step and turned the haunting-stop full on.
George redoubled his efforts, making them very clear indeed. We could
understand almost every word he said.

Then Madame answered, and we could understand that too.

"No beds," she said.

The pretty girl smiled in a troubled way and murmured something in a
soft voice.

"She says they haven't got any beds in the rooms. Fritz took them
all," interpreted George. "_Écoutez, Mademoiselle_. We have beds.
_Trois lits. Nous les avons. Tous les trois. Oui. À la gare.

Mademoiselle looked at Madame with a kink of her pretty brows. Madame
rose like a balloon to the need.

"No beds," she said very distinctly, with a rounding of eyes and
mouth. "No beds, Messieurs. No-o-o--_beds_."

Before George could recover John interfered. He makes a hobby of
cutting Gordian knots.

"Oh, what's the earthly use of telling 'em we have beds when they
can see for themselves that we haven't? They just think we can't
understand. Let's go up and take the rooms if they're decent. Then
we'll get the stretchers and put 'em up. That's the only sort of
argument we can handle."

Manfully George went to work again. And reluctant, and yet obviously
fascinated by his French, like a bird by a snake, Mademoiselle led
up the narrow stairs and into a sizeable room, clean as a pin and as
naked. On the threshold Madame washed her hands of hope.

"_Regardez!_ No beds. _C'est affreux!_"

George began again. He had courage. Whatever else Nature and luck
denied him there was no question of that. For a little it looked as
though he were in sight of the goal. Then Mademoiselle explained. They
were _désolées_, but the _sales Boches_ had stolen all the beds, and
Madame would not let the bare rooms to _Messieurs les Anglais_. It
would not be _convenable_ when they had no beds.

"No beds!" Madame appealed to the skylight as witness, and we looked
at each other. It was getting late and the others would have rustled
all the best bivvies by now. John had another brain-wave.

"Let's pantomime it. They always understand pantomime. There's no use
_saying_ we've got beds--not when George has to say it. We'll show

Earnestly we pantomimed stretcher beds--our own stretcher beds--and
reposeful slumber thereon. "_Mon Dieu!_" cried Mademoiselle,
retreating in haste. "No beds," repeated Madame, unconvinced and

"She means that she doesn't want to have us," said John in cold

"She'd be a fool if she did now," answered Colin grimly. "Let's get
out of this."

And then John had a third brain-wave. He ordered George on guard, and
descended with Colin in search of the concrete proof of our sanity.
And Madame's voice, faint yet pursuing, followed us down.

"No beds," it said.

In ten minutes we were back triumphant with the three stretchers. It
was a full six months since we had written to England for them, and
they had come at last. Visions of rest went upstairs with us, and
under the big eyes of Madame and Mademoiselle and several more Madames
who had collected as unobtrusively as a silk hat collects dust
we slashed at the coverings, ripped them off and disclosed--three

We did not attempt to meet the situation. We left it to the devil--or
Madame. And she, with the lofty serenity of one who through long
and grievous misunderstanding has won home at last, was completely

"No beds," she said.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Grieved Wife_. "OH, SIMON, ALL OVER YOUR NOO

       *       *       *       *       *

    "ADOPTION.--Fine healthy boy, 3½ years; entire surrender
    to good home. reception. 5 bedrooms; £1,100."--_Provincial

What an exacting young rascal!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Liebknecht was the son of a father who opposed tyranny in
    earlier days, who sounded the toxin for liberty."--_Express
    and Star_ (_Wolverhampton_).

But, to do old LIEBKNECHT justice, it was the son, not the father, who
spelt it that way.

       *       *       *       *       *



I expected, of course, when I declared the resolution, "Dogs not
Doormats," open for general discussion that there would be some pretty
plain barking, but nothing calling for the intervention of the Chair.
Britain's dogs are sound at heart, even if they do talk a bit wildly
about the Tyranny of Man and Rabbitism and Abolishing the Biscuiteer.
I don't agree with a lot of it myself--we Airedales have always been
conservatively inclined; but I am bound to say that three years in the
Army open one's eyes to a lot of things.

Nothing of a really seditious character was said until the Borzoi
commenced to address the meeting. I had always disliked the fellow
and half suspected him of being an Anarchist or the president of some
brotherhood or other. (It's funny how these rascals, whose one idea
is to get something which belongs to somebody else without working
for it, always call themselves a brotherhood.) But those Russian dogs
have such a shifty slinking way with them that you can't always tell
what they are driving at. This Borzoi chap had tried once or twice to
interest me in what he called the Community of Bones doctrine, but
I soon found out that his master was a conscientious objector and a
vegetarian and that the doctrine really meant that he would do the
communing and I would provide the bones.

The rogue began with some fulsome ingratiating remarks about how
pleased he was to see so many fine representatives of the canine
race prepared to maintain intact their sovereign doghood whatever
the sacrifice might entail. This brought loud applause from the young
hotheads; but I noticed traces of disgust along the backs of the older
dogs. The time had passed, he continued, for speeches and resolutions
and votes of censure. Dogs must act if Man, the enemy, was to be
finally crushed. I intervened at this point and told the Borzoi he
must moderate his language, upon which he began to bluster, shouting
that he would not be put down by an arrogant hireling of effete
Militarism. One learns to practise self-control in the trenches, so
I was able to repress an inclination to assert my authority then and
there. It was no use striking at man himself, he went on, for he
had guns and whips and stones at his command. We must strike at him
through his children.

Cries of dissent greeted this statement, and I really think the matter
would have ended then and there only it so happened that none of those
present were personally interested in children, except old Betty the
bulldog, who belongs to four little girls who treat her sovereign
doghood in a most disrespectful way. But old Betty had gone to sleep,
and, anyway, she is rather deaf and has no teeth, so it's likely she
would have confined herself to a formal snuffle of protest. "Yes,"
shouted the Borzoi, now thoroughly worked up, "let every dog take a
solemn oath to bite every child on every possible occasion--at least
when no one is looking--and Man, the oppressor, will soon come begging
for mercy and make peace with us on our own terms. No false loyalty
or ridiculous sense of chivalry must withhold us," he continued. "The
baby in the pram to-day is the man with the whip of to-morrow and must
be bitten with all the righteous fury of outraged doghood." Cries of
"Shame!" greeted this remark. I decided that it was time to interpose.
With all the severity at my command I bade the wretch be silent.

"Fellow dogs," I said, "it is clear that we must choose here and now,
once and for all, between Britishism and Bolshevism. Tails up those
who wish to remain British!" And of course every tail went up. "Tails
up, the Bolshevists!" But the Borzoi's was down beyond recall and
shivering between his legs. "That being your decision, ladies and
gentlemen," I continued, "the meeting will constitute itself a
Committee of Safety. Remarks have been passed about your Chairman
and the canine forces of His Majesty that cannot be allowed to go
unchallenged. All I ask is plenty of room and no favour."

All this time the Borzoi had been edging towards the door, and I
really think he would have tried to make a dash for it, only at the
last minute he caught the eye of the Irish wolfhound. It's no good
running away from a dog like that, so Bolshy decided to stay and face
the music. Well, as I said before, we war dogs are supposed to be as
modest as we are brave, so I will confine myself to saying that down
our way Bolshevism hasn't a leg to stand on. Of course Master, when
he saw my ear, pretended to be angry, but he knows a war dog doesn't
fight except for his country, and when the Borzoi's owner came round
next day to complain Master told him he was a miserable Pacifist and
had no _locus standi_. I told Master afterwards that the Borzoi had no
_loci standi_ either, because I'd jolly well nearly chewed them off;
and he laughed and gave me a whole cutlet with a lot of delicious meat
on it, saying he wasn't hungry himself.

Of course we dogs met again and adopted the rest of our platform; and
I don't mind saying I kept a pretty tight grip on the proceedings.
In fact, several resolutions, such as those dealing with "Municipal
Dog's-meat," "Rabbits in Regent's Park," "The Prosecution of
Untruthful Parlourmaids," "Shorter Fur and Longer Legs," were carried
without discussion. Naturally the meetings concluded with a vote of
thanks to the Chair, to which I replied (they tell me) felicitously.

That is how the War Dogs' Party came into being; and to-morrow I shall
tell that little terrier fellow from No. 10, Downing Street, that as
long as his master remains faithful to the Dog-in-the-Street the War
Dogs' Party will remain faithful to him.


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

    "'The little lass, and what worlds away,' one says to oneself
    on coming out of Mr. Rosing's recital."--_"Times'" Musical

It's the worst of music that it makes one so love-sick and

       *       *       *       *       *


"As," says one of Mr. Punch's many and very welcome correspondents,
"you will probably be writing for the benefit of your readers a short
handbook on how to be demobilised, I enclose for your guidance my
solicitor's bill. He was engaged from November 12th until I returned
home on leave on December 30th and took a hand in the game myself.
The chief work was tracing the various Government Departments to their
hidden lairs in which they indulge in the pleasing habit of exchanging

"Some day perhaps demobilisation will reach me. The sooner the better,
for I can never settle this account on my Army pay."

So much for the preamble. Here, with the alteration only of certain
names, is the document itself. Mr. Jones, it should be mentioned, is a
member of the firm to which the Officer in question (whom we will call
Mr. Lute) wishes to return:--

  1918.                                                 £  s. d.

  Nov. 12. Attending Mr. Jones on calling on
           the telephone as to Mr. Lute and
           advising him to make an application             6  8

   "   27. Attending Demobilisation Office,
           Whitehall Gardens, when the place
           was too crowded to be seen to-day.
           Engaged nearly two hours.                      13  4

           Writing Mr. Lute I was putting
           through application.                            3  6

   "   28. Attending New Bridge Street when I
           interviewed Official and he handed
           me pivotal form after explaining
           circumstances.                                 18  4

   "   29. Attending Mr. Jones on calling when
           Mrs. Lute was present, filling in
           form after discussing same. Engaged
           3 to 3.50.                                     10  0

           Copy to keep                                    1  0

   "   30. Attending New Bridge Street,
           interviewing Official, and he
           referred Mr. Lute's case to
           Mr. Bedford Smith, 105a,
           Portman Square, Head Food
           Department for your district                   13  4

  Dec.  2. Attending Portman Square,
           interviewing Official, when
           he said I had got the wrong
           form and requested me to
           go to Whitehall Gardens
           and ask them about it.

           Attending Demobilisation Office
           at Whitehall Gardens, interviewing
           Official when he wanted to know how
           I had got the form as I had no
           business to have it as the issue of
           them had been stopped, and I said it
           had been given to me, and he was
           unable to say what should be done
           with it, but in any event another
           form ought to be filled up, R.C.V.,
           and he handed me such form.
           Engaged 10.30 to 1; 2 to 3.45                3  3  0

  Dec.  3. Attending Portman Square office,
           when I said that I had been to the
           office at Whitehall Gardens and
           they wanted to know how I had got
           the pivotal form, but he took it
           in and said he would refer it to
           the local committee at once, and
           he gave me the name of the head man
           there and suggested we might push
           it if we went to him, and he had
           nothing to do with the R.C.V. form.            13  4

           Attending Whitehall Gardens asking
           what they wanted done with R.C.V.
           form and they said if it was sent
           in there filled up it would
           receive attention in its turn.                 10  0

           Writing Mr. Jones to get in
           touch with Local Authority.                     3  6

   "    5. Attending Mr. Jones on telephone as
           to getting into touch with local
           representative, which he would do
           at once                                         3  4

   "    6. Filling up same and writing
           them therewith                                  5  0

   "   11. Attending Mr. Jones on telephone
           when he said Committee had
           recommended application last
           Friday evening                                  3  4

   "   12. Attending Portman Square,
           interviewing Official and
           they had not received recommendation
           of local committee                              13 4

   "   13. Attending Mr. Jones, informing
           him thereof on telephone giving
           me reference No. and he would send
           on copy letter to him by local
           committee recommending application              3  4

   "   16. Attending Portman Square when they
           had not heard from local committee,
           handing them copy of their letter
           and they would act on that                     13  4

   "   18. Writing Mr. Jones as to further
           form, sent in to him to sign                    3  6

   "   19. Attending Portman Square when
           application had gone forward                   13  4

           Telephoning to Mrs. Lute to
           that effect. Like Mr. Jones.                    3  4

   "   20. Writing Mr. Lute as to the matter               3  6

   "   23. Attending Portman Square Official
           when application was on way to
           War Office and they said you would
           be demobilised shortly                         13  4

   "   31. Attending Mr. Lute, showing
           me correspondence and requesting
           me to see Demobilisation Department,
           Broad Street.

  Jan. 2.  Attending Broad Street when they
           had removed to Hotel Windsor and
           obtaining two forms to fill up to
           extend your leave while your case
           went through if necessary and they
           knew nothing about your case                   13  4

           Attending at your office getting
           Secretary to sign form.                        10  0

   "   4.  Attending Windsor Hotel when
           department disbanded and had
           gone to Lancaster Gate                         13  4

           Attending you reporting on
           telephone                                       3  4

   "   6.  Fare and expenses                              15  0
                                       Total            £14 5  0

       *       *       *       *       *



  Let meaner souls make merry
    O'er cups of ruby wine,
  With claret, port or sherry
    Their tunes incarnadine;
  Let little boys emphatic
    Become o'er ginger b.
  Myself I grow ecstatic
    About a drink called "Tea."

  Tea elevates one's pecker,
    Rejuvenates the mind,
  Enriches the exchequer,
    Yet never makes men "blind";
  When footsore and effete I'm
    From every ache set free,
  And not alone at tea-time
    I thank the Lord for "Tea."

  It tells of balmy breezes
    That blow "o'er Ceylon's isle"
  (While HEBER mostly pleases
    His accent here is vile)--
  Of some far-flung plantation
    Where Hindus bend the knee;
  And would my occupation
    Were prefixed (ah!) by "Tea"!

  'Tis told in classic fable
    The nectar served to Zeus
  At his Olympic table
    Was just a vinous juice;
  That such is purely fiction
    I heartily agree,
  Having the sound conviction
    'Twas nothing less than "Tea."

       *       *       *       *       *


    The Conference will be held in the imposing Salle de la Grande
    Horloge. The 'hall of the great clock' is about 30in. long by
    15in. wide."--_Liverpool Echo_.

"Imposing," indeed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Manchester's £6,000,000 scheme for obtaining water supplies
    from Haweswater was approved last night at a meeting of
    ratepayers in the Town Hall. The annual increased consumption
    of water had been a little over a million gallons per head per
    day."--_Daily Dispatch_.

The new slogan of the temperance enthusiasts--What Manchester drinks
to-day England will drink to-morrow.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *



I own that to find the publishers, those sometimes too generous
critics, writing upon the wrapper of _An English Family_ (HUTCHINSON)
an appreciation that bracketed it with _The Newcomes_, did little to
predispose me in its favour. Later, however, when I had read the book
with an increasing pleasure, I was ready to admit that the comparison
was by no means wholly unjustified. Certainly Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE has
written a very charming story in this history of the _Frothinghams_
and the growth of their typically English characters, maturing just
in time for the ordeal that has tested and (one is proud to think)
triumphantly approved the spirit of our country. In fact these memoirs
of _Hugh Frothingham_ are something more than an idle romance; there
is an allegory in them, and some touch of propaganda, cunningly
introduced in the fine character of _Torrance_, the great surgeon who
married one of the _Frothingham_ girls and was bombed in the hospital
raids. Through the varied activities of the family, as they develop,
passes the cleverly-shown figure of _Hugh_, the narrator, who,
starting with fairer prospects than any of the others, is ruined by
indolence and an income, and hardly saved by the War from degenerating
into the torpid existence of a social pussy-cat. _Hugh_ is an
admirable example of the difficult art of seemingly unconscious
self-revelation. Altogether I have found _An English Family_ greatly
to my taste, displaying as it does a dignity and breadth that recall
not unworthily the best traditions of the English novel. But did we
speak of _Serbia_ in 1914? I only ask.

       *       *       *       *       *

_High Adventure_ (CONSTABLE) is in certain ways the most fascinating
account of flying and of fliers which has come my way. Captain NORMAN
HALL, already well known to readers of _Kitchener's Mob_, tells us in
this later book how he became a member of the Escadrille Américaine
and how he learned to fly. And, as his modesty is beyond all praise,
I feel sure that he will forgive me for saying that it is not the
personal note which is here so specially attractive. What makes his
book so different from other books on flying is that in it we have
a novice suffering from all sorts of mishaps and mistakes before he
has mastered the difficulties of his art. Whether consciously or not
Captain HALL performs a very great service in describing the life of
a flier while his wings are--so to speak--only in the sprouting stage.
In an introduction Major GROS tells us of the work done by American
pilots before America entered the War, a delightful preface to a book
which both for its matter and style is good to read.

       *       *       *       *       *

I confess at once that _The Uprooters_ (STANLEY PAUL) is a story that
I have found hard to understand. There seems an idea somewhere, but
it constantly eluded me. To begin with, exactly who or what were the
Uprooters, and what did they uproot? At first I thought the answer
was going to name _Major_ and _Mrs. Elton_, who for no very sufficient
reason would go meddling off to Paris, and transporting thence the
brother and sister _Ormsby_ to Ireland. The _Ormsbys_ had been happy
and (apparently) harmless enough hitherto, but once uprooted they
promptly developed the most unfortunate passions--reciprocated,
moreover--for their well-wishers. The obvious and laudable moral
of which is, never remove your neighbour from his chosen landmarks.
Later, however, it became apparent that Mr. J.A.T. LLOYD had a more
subtle interpretation for his title in the activities of a band
of pacifists, headed by a multi-millionaire, who called himself an
American, though somehow his name, _Schwartz_, hardly inspired me
with any feelings of real confidence. On his death-bed, however, this
gentleman reveals blood of the most Prussian blue, confessing that his
wealth has actually been derived from the dividends of Frau BERTHA;
and as the War has by this time resolved the emotional difficulties
of the other characters the story comes to its somewhat procrastinated
finish. My own belief in it had to endure two tests, of which the less
was inflicted by a scene specifically placed in a "dim _second class_
carriage" on the L.&N.W.R. in 1916; and the greater by the _cri
de coeur_ of the lady, whose husband surprised her with her lover:
"Edmund, get that murderous look out of your eyes, the look of that
dreadful ancestor in the portrait gallery!" I ask you, does that carry
conviction under the circumstances?

       *       *       *       *       *

Really, the delight of the publishers over _Cecily and the Wide World_
(HURST AND BLACKETT) is almost touching. On the outside of the wrapper
they call it "charming," and are at the further pains to advise me
to "read first the turnover of cover," where I find them letting
themselves go in such terms as "true life," "sincerity," "charm"
(again), "courage," and the like. The natural result of all which was
that I approached the story prepared for the stickiest of American
cloy-fiction. I was most pleasantly disappointed. Miss ELIZABETH F.
CORBETT has chosen a theme inevitably a little sentimental, but her
treatment of it is throughout of a brisk and tonic sanity, altogether
different from--well, you know the sort of stuff I have in mind.
_Cecily_ was the discontented wife of _Avery Fairchild_, a young
doctor with three children and a fair practice. After a while her
discontent so increased that she betook herself to the wide, wide
world, to live her own life. And as both she and _Avery_ before long
fell cheerfully in love with other persons I suppose the move could
so far be counted a success. Before, however, the divorce facilities
of the land of freedom could bring the tale to one happy ending an
accident to _Cecily's_ motor and the long arm that delivered her
to her husband's professional care brought it to another. I am left
wondering how this dénouement would have been affected if _Avery_
had been, say, a dentist, or of any other calling than the one that
so obviously loaded the dice in his favour. I repeat, however, a
distinctly well-written and human story, almost startlingly topical
too in one place, where _Dr. Avery_ observes, "There's a lot of
grippe in town, and it's a thing that isn't reported to the Health
Department." The obvious inference being that it ought to be. _Avery_,
you observe, had more practical sense than the majority of heroes, few
of whom would ever have thought of this, or, at any rate, mentioned

       *       *       *       *       *

Baroness ORCZY's romance of old Cambrai, _Flower o' the Lily_ (HODDER
AND STOUGHTON), should not be regarded as in any way bearing upon the
more modern history of that remarkable city. It has nothing to do with
our war; it has a war of its own, a rapid affair of bows and arrows,
scaling ladders and such desperate situations as can be, and were,
saved by the arrival of the right man, single-handed, in the right
place at the right moment. Familiar as is his type in novels of
this adventurous kind, I think I shall never tire of the consummate
swordsman hero who impersonates, for political and matrimonial ends, a
man of infinitely higher degree but far less real worth than himself,
handling the vicarious business with an incredible adroitness, but
mistakenly carrying by storm the love of the lady for himself. The
lady is so confoundedly attractive in these circumstances, possibly
because there is about them a tonic which lends additional colour
to the feminine cheek and a new brilliance to the eye. And, however
bitter may be the first moment when the true personalities are
divulged, it all comes right in the end. Here is a story of intrigue
and battle and love, written in the necessary phraseology of the time
and woven round (and, I trust, consistent with) the historical contest
between the Spanish and French Powers, disputing the terrain of
Flanders; in every way a worthy successor of _The Scarlet Pimpernel_.
It is inevitable to suggest that this story should also be dramatised
in due course; it would make as a play an instant and irresistible
appeal to that great public which loves the theatre most when it is
most theatrical. And it is doubtless destined also for the Movies.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCENE.--_Cologne_--_Present Day_.


       *       *       *       *       *


    "Few people realise the difficulty senior officers in the Navy
    who are married and have children have in making both ends
    meet. Naval officers who entered over fifteen years ago did
    not, as a rule, come from the married classes."--_Sunday

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Whilst waiting to be bathed, an old blind female inmate of
    the ---- Institution fell to the floor, breaking her
    thigh. Her injury has accentuated her death from
    bronchitis."--_Birmingham Post_.

With a grave accent, we fear.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The war broke Germany's hold on world's wild animal trade,
    the New York Zoological Society chairman states. Zoos and
    circuses are now turning to British dealers to fill their
    cages."--_Evening Paper_.

Provided that the above paragraph has made the British dealers
sufficiently wild.

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