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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, March 17, 1920
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 158, March 17, 1920" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 158, MARCH 17, 1920***


VOL. 158

MARCH 17, 1920


PRINCE ALBERT JOACHIM, it appears, did not take part in the attack on
a French officer at the Hotel Adlon, but only gave the signal. Always
the little Hohenzollern!


It seems that at the last moment Mr. C. B. COCHRAN broke off
negotiations for the exclusive right to organise the CARPENTIER


"Will Scotland go dry?" asks _The Daily Express_. Not on purpose, we


A new method of stopping an omnibus by a foot-lever has been patented.
This is much better than the old plan of shaking one's umbrella at


Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, we read, makes a study of handwriting. The only
objection that _The Times_ has to this habit is that he positively
refuses to notice the writing on the wall.


It is rumoured that the Government will construct an experimental
tunnel between England and the United States in order (1) to cement
Anglo-American friendship, and (2) to ascertain if the Channel Tunnel
is practicable.


Dr. C.W. COLBY, head of the Department of History, has taken Sir
AUCLAND GEDDES' place as Principal of McGill University. The report
that Sir AUCKLAND will reciprocate by taking a place in history awaits


"It is quite usual nowadays," a well-known auctioneer states, "for
mill hands to keep a few orchids." We understand that by way of a
counter-stroke a number of noblemen are threatening to go in for
runner ducks.


A Rotherham couple who have just celebrated their diamond wedding have
never tasted medicine. We ourselves have always maintained that the
taste is an acquired one.


A Greenland falcon has been shot in the Orkneys. The view is widely
taken that the wretched bird, which must have known it wasn't in
Greenland, brought the trouble on itself.


An alleged anarchist arrested in Munich was identified as a poet and
found Not Guilty--not guilty, that is to say, of being an anarchist.


With reference to the pending retirement of Mr. ROBERT SMILLIE from
the Presidency of the Miners' Federation, it appears that there is
talk of arranging a farewell strike.


The _Berlin Vorwaerts_ states that ex-Emperor CARL has been discovered
in Hungary under an assumed name. The Hungarian authorities say that
unless he is claimed within three days he will be sold to defray


We understand that Mr. Justice DARLING'S weekly denial of the reports
of his retirement will in future be issued on Tuesdays, instead of
Wednesdays, as hitherto.


When hit by a bullet a tiger roars until dead, says a weekly paper,
but a tigress dies quietly. Nervous people who suffer from headaches
should therefore only shoot tigresses.


Two out of ten houses being built at Guildford are now complete.
Builders in other parts of the country are asking who gave the word


"Marvellous to relate," says a Sunday paper, "a horse has just died
at Ingatestone at the age of thirty-six." Surely it is more marvellous
that it did not die before.


It is said that the Paris Peace Conference cost two million pounds.
The latest suggestion is that, before the next war starts, tenders
for a Peace Conference shall be asked for and the lowest estimate


A Walsall carter has summoned a fellow-worker because during a quarrel
he stepped on his face. It was not so much that he had stepped on his
face, we understand, as the fact that he had loitered about on it.


A painful mistake is reported from North London. It appears that a
young lady who went to a fancy-dress ball as "The Silent Wife" was
awarded the first prize for her clever impersonation of a telephone


We are glad to learn that the thoughtless tradesman who, in spite
of the notice, "Please ring the bell," deliberately knocked at the
front-door of a wooden house, has now had to pay the full cost of


After reading in her morning paper that bumping races were held
recently at Cambridge, a dear old lady expressed sorrow that the
disgraceful scenes witnessed in many dance-rooms in London had spread
to one of our older universities.


Tyrolese hats have reappeared in London after an interval of nearly
five years. We understand that the yodel waistcoat will also be heard
this spring.


A Welshman was fined fifteen pounds last week for fishing for salmon
with a lamp. Defendant's plea, that he was merely investigating the
scientific question of whether salmon yawn in their sleep, was not

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


    "The Oxford crew had a hard training for an hour and a-half
    under the direction of Mr. Harcourt Gold, who is to catch them
    at Putney."--_Evening Paper_.

But will they catch Cambridge at Barnes?

    "The Cambridge people have elected to use a scull with a
    tubular shank or 'loom.'

    "Oxford are using these sculls, too."--_Evening Paper_.

We have a silly old-fashioned preference for the use of oars in this

       *       *       *       *       *

    "On St. David's Day, Welshmen wear a leak in their
    hats."--_Provincial Paper_.

Lest they should suffer from swelled head?

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Direct Action," which was regarded as a novelty suitable for
    an age of reconstruction, has now, by the good sense of the
    Trades Union Congress, been relegated to its proper place in
    the old and discredited order of things.]

  In these, the young Millennium's years,
    Whereof they loudly boomed the birth,
  Promising by the lips of seers
    New Heavens and a brand-new Earth,
  We find the advertised attraction
    In point of novelty is small,
  And argument by force of action
    Would seem the oldest wheeze of all.

  When Prehistoric Man desired
    Communion with his maid elect,
  And arts of suasion left him tired,
    He took to action more direct;
  Scaring her with a savage whoop or
    Putting his club across her head,
  He bore her in a state of stupor
    Home to his stony bridal bed.

  In ages rather more refined,
    Gentlemen of the King's highway,
  Whose democratic tastes inclined
    To easy hours and ample pay,
  Would hardly ever hold their victim
    Engaged in academic strife,
  But raised their blunderbuss and ticked him
    Off with "Your money or your life."

  So when your miners, swift to scout
    The use of reason's slow appeal,
  Threaten to starve our children out
    And bring the country in to heel,
  There's nothing, as I understand it,
    So very new in this to show;
  The cave-man and the cross-roads bandit
    Were there before them long ago.


       *       *       *       *       *


In a short time now we shall have to return this flat to its proper
tenants and arrive at some assessment of the damage done to their
effects. With regard to the other rooms, even the room which Richard
and Priscilla condescend to use as a nursery, I shall accept the
owners' estimate cheerfully enough, I think; but the case of the
drawing-room furniture is different. About the nursery I have
only heard vague rumours, but in the drawing-room I have been an
eye-witness of the facts.

The proper tenant is a bachelor who lived here with his sister; he
will scarcely realise, therefore, what happens at 5 P.M. every day,
when there comes, as the satiric poet, LONGFELLOW, has so finely

  "A pause in the day's occupations,
  Which is known as the children's hour."

Drawing-room furniture indeed! When one considers the buildings and
munition dumps, the live and rolling stock, the jungles and forests
in that half-charted territory; when one considers that even the
mere wastepaper basket by the writing-desk (and it _does_ look a bit
battered, that wastepaper basket) is sometimes the tin helmet under
which Richard defies the frightfulness of LARS PORSENA, and sometimes
a necessary stage property for Priscilla's two favourite dramatic

  "He plunged with a delighted _scweam_
  Into a bowl of clotted cweam,"


  "This is Mr. Piggy Wee,
    With tail so pink and curly,
  And when I say, 'Good mornin', pig,'
    He answers _vewwy_ surly,
                  Oomph! Oomph!'"

and sometimes the hutch that harbours a cotton-wool creation supposed
to be a white rabbit, and stated by the owner to be "munsin' and
munsin' and munsin' a carrot"--when, I say, I consider all these
things I anticipate that the proceedings of the Reparation Commission
will be something like this:--

_He (looking a little ruefully at the round music-stool)_. I suppose
your wife plays the piano a good deal?

_I (brightly)_. If you mean the detachable steering-wheel, it is only
fair to remember that a part interchangeable between the motor-omnibus
and the steam-roller--

_He_. I don't understand.

_I_. Permit me to reassemble the mechanism.

_He_. You mean that when you put that armchair at the end of the sofa
and the music-stool in front of it--

_I_. I mean that the motor-omnibus driver, sitting as he does in front
of his vehicle and manipulating his steering-wheel like this, can
do little or no harm to the apparatus. On the other hand, the
steam-roller mechanic, standing _inside_ the body of the vehicle, and
having the steering-wheel in _this_ position--

_He_. On the sofa?

_I_. Naturally. Well, supposing he happens to have a slight difference
of opinion with his mate as to which of them ought to do the driving,
the wheel is quite likely to be pushed off on to the macadam, where it
gets a trifle frayed round the edges.

_He_. I see. How awfully stupid of me! And this pouffe, or whatever
they call it?

_I_. Week in and week out, boy and girl, I have seen that dromedary
ridden over more miles of desert than I can tell you, and never once
have I known it under-fed or under-watered, or struck with anything
harder than the human fist. Of course the hump does get a little
floppy with frequent use, but considering how barren your Sahara--

_He_. Quite, quite. I was just looking at that armchair. Aren't there
a lot of scratches on the legs?

_I_. Have you ever _kept_ panthers? Do you realise how impatiently
they chafe at times against the bars of their cage? Of course, if you

Finally, I imagine he will see how reasonable my attitude is and how
little he has to complain of. He will recognise that one cannot deal
with complicated properties of this sort without a certain amount of
inevitable dilapidation and loss.

As a matter of fact I have an even stronger line of argument if I
choose to take it. I can put in a counter-claim. One of the principal
attractions of old furniture, after all, is historic association.
There is the armchair, you know, that Dr. JOHNSON sat in, and the
inkpot, or whatever it was, that MARY, Queen of Scots, threw at JOHN
BUNYAN or somebody, and I have also seen garden-seats carved out of
famous battleships. And then again, if you go to Euston, or it may be
Darlington, you will find on the platform the original tea-kettle out
of which GEORGE WASHINGTON constructed the first steam-engine. The
drawing-room furniture that we are relinquishing combines the interest
of all these things. If I like I can put a placard on the sofa, before
I take its owner to see it, worded something like this:--

"Puffing Billy, the original steam-roller out of which this elegant
piece was carved, held the 1920 record for fourteen trips to Brighton
and back within half-an-hour." And after he has seen that I can lead
him gently on to Roaring Rupert, the arm-chair. Really, therefore,
when one comes to consider it, the man owes me a considerable sum of
money for the enhanced sentimental value that has been given to his
commonplace property.

Mind you, I have no wish to be too hard on him. I shall be content
with a quite moderate claim, or even with no claim at all. Possibly,
now I come to think of it; I shall simply say,

"You know what it is to have a couple of bally kids about the place.
What shall I give you to call it square?"

And he will name a sum and offer me a cigarette, and we shall talk a
little about putting or politics.

But it doesn't much matter. Whatever he asks he can only put it down
in the receipts' column of his account-book under the heading of
"Depreciation of Furniture," whereas in my expenses it will stand as
"Richard and Priscilla: for Adventures, Travel and Romance."


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A ST. PATRICK'S DAY DREAM

(MARCH 17).

THE IDYLLIST OF DOWNING STREET (_with four-leaved shamrock_). "SHE

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


About two months ago, after a course of travel literature and some
back numbers of _The Badminton Magazine_, I became infected with a
desire to spend a winter in the Alps, skating, sliding, curling and
yodelling in the intervals of ski-ing, skijoring, skilacking and
skihandlung. The very names of the pastimes conjured up a picture
of swift and healthy activity. As the pamphlets assured me, I should
return a new man; and, though I am greatly attached to the old one, I
recognised that improvement was possible.

I don't remember how it came about that I finally chose Freidegg
among the multiplicity of winter-sport stations whose descriptions
approximated to those of Heaven. I expect Frederick forced the choice
upon me; Frederick had been to Switzerland every winter from 1906 to
1913 and knew the ropes. I somehow gathered that the ropes were of
unusual complexity.

The entire journey was passed among winter-sporters of a certain
type. From their conversation I was able to learn that Badeloden
was formerly overrun by Germans; that Franzheim was excellent if you
stayed at the Grand, but at the Kurhaus the guests were unsociable,
while at the Oberalp you were not done well and the central-heating
was inefficient.

I ventured a few questions about the sport available, but was gently
rebuked by the silence which followed before conversation was resumed
in a further discussion of comforts and social amenities.

On arrival at the hotel I took out my skates, but, on Frederick's
advice, hid them again. "Don't let people see that you are a newcomer;
there won't be any skating for some weeks yet," said he.

"But why not?" I objected. "The ice must be at least six inches

"Well, it isn't done," he replied. "One's first week is spent in
settling down; you can't go straight on the ice without preparation."

On the third day a Sports' Meeting was held, as the result of which
a programme of the season was published. It was announced that there
would be, weekly, three dances and one bridge tournament; a theatrical
performance would be given once a fortnight, and the blank evenings
filled with either a concert or an entertainment. I began to wonder
how I could squeeze in time for sleep.

In order that boredom might not overtake the guests before evening
came, a magnificent tea was served from four to six. During the
afternoon one could visit the other hotels of the place and usually
found some function in progress. We were not expected to breakfast
before ten, and the short time that remained before lunch was spent
in a walk to the rink, where we would solemnly take a few steps on the
ice, murmur, "Not in condition yet," and return to the hotel.

After about a fortnight of this I announced to Frederick that I was
going to skate, no matter how far from perfection the ice proved to

Frederick was indignant.

"You'll make yourself both conspicuous and unpopular. The two
Marriotts are giving an exhibition to-morrow; if you spoil the ice for
them their show will be ruined."

"Very well, then," said I, "I will borrow some ski and mess about on
the snow."

"You can't do that," he replied, horrified; "the professionals are
coming next week for the open competition, and if they don't find
clean snow--"

"All right; I'll get one of those grid-irons and course down the
ice-run. I suppose that's what the ice-run is for," said I bitterly.

"And spoil the Alpine Derby, which you know is fixed for the tenth?"
Frederick addressed me with some severity. "Look here--you must choose
your sport and stick to it. I am a ski-er; you don't find me skating
or bobbing or curling."

"Or ski-ing," I added.

"Before ski-ing," he informed me, "one must have one's ski in perfect
condition. Mine are improving daily."

Frederick in fact spent his short mornings in giving instructions as
to how his ski were to be oiled and rubbed. All the most complicated
operations of unction and massage were performed upon them, and all
the time Frederick watched over them as over a sick child.

Next I was told that the height of the season had arrived. The round
of indoor entertainments went on and almost daily the guests walked to
some near point to witness performances by professionals who seemed to
tour the country for that purpose.

Just when there appeared to be a slight prospect of some general
outdoor activity (and Frederick's ski were pronounced perfect) a
thaw occurred. I am bound to say that the event was received
philosophically. Not a single member of the company made any
complaint; they faced adversity like true Britons and boldly sat
in the warm hotel to save themselves for the evening. Nor did their
distress put them off their feed; they punished the tea unmercifully,
showing scarcely a sign of the aching sorrow which devoured them.

Soon it froze again. The daily visit to the ice was made and
Frederick's ski were once more put into training.

As for me I began to believe that there was something shameful or
disgraceful in my desire to skate. So I left secretly for Sicily. Here
I can enjoy passive entertainment without being unpleasantly chilled.

Well, a few days ago I received from Frederick a letter, from which
the following is a quotation: "The final thaw has now occurred and the
season is ended. It has been one of the most successful on record. The
full programme was carried out to the letter; I wish you had been here
for the last Fancy Dress. My ski were really fit and I was looking
forward to some great days on the snow. I think I made a bit of a hit
too, playing _Lord Twinkles_ in _The Gay Life_."

The ski will no doubt miss Frederick's affectionate attention; he was
very fond of them.

Yesterday, by the purest accident I came across Claudia, like myself
enjoying the warmth and sunshine.

"Oh, you've been to Freidegg; how lovely! I went to Kestaag this year
and was very glad to leave. Nothing to do in the evening but sit round
a fire. All day the hotel was like a wilderness and outside nothing
but a lot of men falling about in the snow. They were too tired to do
anything during the evening. It was horrid. Next time I shall be more
careful and choose a nice bright place like Freidegg."

Next time I too shall be more careful.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Sombre Reveller._ "IS THIS PADDINGTON?"



       *       *       *       *       *


It was really Isabel's idea. But it must be admitted that the Foxes
took it up with remarkable promptitude. How it reached them is
uncertain, but maybe the little bird that nests outside her nursery
window knows more than we do.

The idea owed its inception to my attempt at explaining the
pink-coated horsemen depicted on an old Christmas card. I did my best,
right up to and including the "worry," in which Isabel joined with
enthusiasm. Then she went to bed.

But not to sleep. As I passed by the open door I heard a small
excited voice expounding to a lymphatic dolly the whole mystery of

"And there was a wood, and there was a smell. And all the peoploos
on '_normous_ huge high horses. And _nen_ all the hound-foxes runned
after the smell and eated it all up."

A fortnight later, taking a short cut through the Squire's coverts, I
sat down to enjoy the glory of woodland springtime. "There was a wood
and there was a smell." There certainly was; in fact I was all but
sitting upon an earth.

All this is credible enough. Now I hope you will believe the rest of
the story.

A dirty sheet of paper lay near Reynard's front doorstep. Idly
curious, I picked it up. Strange paper, a form of print that I had
never seen before; marked too with dirty pads.

It was a newspaper of sorts. Prominent notices adjured the reader to
"Write to _John Fox_ about it." The leading article was headed


"Foxes of Britain!" it began; "opposed though we have always been to
revolutionary politics, a clear line is indicated to us out of the
throes of the Re-birth. The old feudal relations between Foxes and
Men have had their day. The England that has been the paradise of the
wealthy, of the pink-coated, of the doubly second-horsed, must become
that of the oppressed, the hunted, the hand-to-mouth liver. In a
word, we have had enough of Fox-Hounds; henceforth we will have

Then the policy was outlined. Foxes could not hunt hounds--no; but
they could lead them a dog's life. They had been in the past too
sporting; thought too little of their own safety, too much of the
pleasure of the Hunt and of the reputation of its country.

Henceforth the League of Hound-Foxes would dispense justice to the
oppressors. No more forty-minute bursts over the best line in the
country; no more grass and easy fences; no more favourable crossing
points at the Whissendine Brook; no more rhapsodies in _The Field_
over "a game and gallant fox."

A Hound-Fox would be game, but not gallant. He would carry with him
a large-scale specially-marked map, showing where bullfinches were
unstormable; where the only gaps harboured on the far side a slimy
ditch; where woods were rideless; where wire was unmarked; where
railways lured to destruction--over and through each and every point
would the Hound-Fox entice the cursing Hunt.

As for the Hounds, they feared no obstacles, but they hated mockery.
_They_ should be led on to the premises of sausage factories; through
villages, to be greeted as brothers-in-the-chase by forty yelping
curs; into infant-schools (that old joke), where the delighted babes
would throw arms around their necks and call them "Doggie," until both
men and hounds would begin to question whether the game were worth the

Therefore let every eligible vulpine enroll himself to-day as a
Hound-Fox. They must be dog-foxes, rising three or over, of good
stamina, with plenty of scent, intelligent and preferably unmarried.
The League Secretary was ---- (here followed the name, earth and
covert of a well-known veteran).

There was other matter, of course. A "Grand Prize Competition--A
Turkey a Week for Life!" was announced. A humorous article on
Earth-Stoppers and, on the "Vixens' Page," a discussion as to the
edibility of Pekinese.

Absent-mindedly I crumpled up the astounding rag and thrust it down
the hole.

       *       *       *       *       *

I arose stiff, bemused. The hot March sunshine and the song of
birds had left me drowsy. A glance at my watch showed me, to my
astonishment, that was tea-time. So I made my way home.

The reception of my story was as cold as the tea. They weren't such
fools, they said, as to believe it. So, knowing your larger charity,
dear Mr. Punch, I send it to you.

And I shall await that retrospective article in some Maytime _Field_,
entitled "A Season of Disasters."

       *       *       *       *       *


    "_The Admirable Crichton_ is still one of the most captivating
    of modern plays, rich in humour, scenically 'telling' and
    close-packed with Barrieisms."--_Times_.

    "'Crichton' is one of the most agreeable Barrie plays, because
    it is so free from Barrieisms."--_Manchester Guardian_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The appearance of the Dean of ST. PAUL'S at a recent social gathering
not in the character of a wet blanket, but as a teller of jocund tales
and a retailer of humorous anecdotes, must not be taken as an
isolated and transient transformation, but as foreshadowing a
general conversion of writers and publicists hitherto associated with
utterances of a mordant, bitter, sardonic and pessimistic tone.

It is rumoured at Cambridge that Mr. MAYNARD KEYNES, mollified by the
reception of his momentous work, has plunged into an orgy of optimism,
the first-fruits of which will be a treatise on _The Gastronomic
Consequences of the Peace_. Those who have been fortunate enough to
see the MS. declare that the personal sketches of Mr. CLYNES, Mr. G.H.
ROBERTS, Mr. HOOVER and M. ESCOFFIER are marked by a coruscating wit
unparalleled in the annals of Dietetics. The account of a dinner
at the "White Horse" is perhaps the _clou_ of an exceptionally
exhilarating entertainment.

This agreeable swing of the pendulum is further illustrated by the
report that Mr. PHILIP GIBBS, by way of counteracting the depression
caused by his last book, is contemplating a palliative under the title
of _Humours of the Home Front_. It is hoped that the book will come
out serially in the pages of _The Hibbert Journal_.

Very welcome too is the report, not yet officially confirmed, that Sir
E. RAY LANKESTER is engaged on a genial biography of Sir ARTHUR CONAN
DOYLE, with special reference to his achievements in the domain of
psychical research.

Other similar rumours are flying about in Fleet Street, but we give
them with necessary reserve. One of them credits Mr. LYTTON
STRACHEY with the resolve to indite a panegyric of the Archbishop
of CANTERBURY. Another ascribes to Lord FISHER the preparation of a
treatise on _The Evils of Egotism_.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "We are at a crisis, and a critical one at that."--_Sir
    ARCHIBALD SALVIDGE in "The Sunday Chronicle_."

       *       *       *       *       *


A special matinée is to be given by Mr. CHARLES GULLIVER at the
Paladium, on Friday, March 19th, for the National Children's Adoption
Association. Mrs. LLOYD GEORGE, who makes a strong appeal for this
good work, will receive applications for tickets at 10, Downing
Street, S.W., and cheques should be made payable to her.

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.


       *       *       *       *       *



  _How doth the Barrister delight,_
    _According to his sort,_
  _To mix in any form of fight_
    _In any kind of Court._

  When Nurse's temper runs amok,
    And Cook is by the ears,
  And all the home is terror-struck
    By notices and tears,
  And Madame begs me estimate
    What argument or bounce'll
  Restore and keep the peace, I state
    Opinion of Counsel:--

  "With language dignified and terse
    And with a haughty look
  I should annihilate the Nurse
    And coldly crush the Cook;
  And, if they started in to weep,
    A word would make them stow it:--
  'That's not effective, merely cheap;
    And, what is more, you know it.'"

  "You'd bring the Cook," says she, "to book
    By just a look?" "I should."
  "By something terse you'd make the Nurse
    Feel even worse?" "I would."
  "You'd say to weep was merely cheap
    And, what was more, they knew it?"
  "I should," say I; and her reply
    Is: "Come along and do it."

  _How doth the Barrister delight_
    _In any low resort,_
  _And hurry from the losing fight_
    _To seek another Court._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mme. Tetrazzini had not been heard in London for five years
    and some little ooooooo aaaaaaaay shd cf cwyyy might have been
    busy on her voice. Well, it has scarcely."--_South African

Her many admirers will be glad to know this.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


In June, 1914, I took a house on the Thames, in order to make sure of
a good view of the Boat-Race; then a man threw a bomb at Serajevo and
ruined my plans. But now it is going to happen again. And instead of
fighting with a vast crowd at Hammersmith Bridge I shall simply walk
up into the bathroom and look out of the window. It is wonderful.

Yet meanwhile I have lost some of my illusions about this race. I have
a boat myself; I myself have rowed all over the course in my boat. It
is only ten feet long, but it is very, very heavy. Still, I have rowed
in it all over the course--with ease. Yet people talk as if it was
a marvellous thing for eight men to row a light boat over the same
water. Why is that? It is because the ignorant land-lubber regards
the river Thames as a pond; or else he regards it as a river flowing
always to the sea. He forgets about the tide. The Boat-Race is rowed
_with the tide_; they deliberately choose a moment when the tide is
coming in, and hope nobody will notice; and nobody does notice. The
tide runs about three miles an hour, sometimes more; if they just sat
still in the boat they would reach Mortlake eventually, and the crowd
would get a good look at them, instead of seeing them for ten seconds.
The race ought to be rowed _against_ the tide. Then it really would
be a feat of strength; then it really would take ten years off their
lives--perhaps more. Then perhaps small boys would drop things on them
from the bridges, as they do on me. I wonder they don't try to do
that now. There is a certain quiet satisfaction in dropping things
on people, especially if they are labouring under Hammersmith Bridge
against the tide, and I should imagine that the temptation to drop
things on a University crew would be almost irresistible. It is not
everyone who can look back and say, "In 1890 I hit the Oxford stroke
in the stomach with a stone." As it is, though, I suppose they go too
fast for that kind of thing.

But apart from the small boys on the bridges, the present system is
most unsatisfactory for people who know "a man in the boat." Even in a
football match it is possible for an aunt occasionally to distinguish
her nephew and say, "Look, there is Edward." But if she says, "Look,
there is Edward," meaning No. 5 in the Cambridge boat, you know she is
imagining. All she sees is a vague splashing between two bowler-hats,
or possibly the Oxford rudder moving at high speed through a horse's
legs. If the race were rowed against the tide we should all get our
money's worth; and the oars-men could then put more realism into their
"After-the-Finish" attitudes. As it is, they roll about in the boat
with a praiseworthy suggestion of fatigue, but nobody really believes
they are tired--nobody at least who has rowed on the Thames with the

No, I am afraid the actual race is a sad hypocrisy. But the training
must be terrible. Think of it. They started practising in the second
week in January: they row the race in the fourth week in March. For
ten weeks and more they have been "getting those hands away" and
driving with those legs and not washing-out. For ten weeks horrible
men with huge calves have shouted at them and cursed them and told
them their sins, like a monk telling his beads--"Bow, you're late;
Two, you're early; Three, you're bucketing; Four, you're not bucketing
enough." I listen painfully, hoping against hope that at least one of
the crew may be left out of the catalogue, that Stroke at least may be
rowing properly. But no, Stroke is not forgotten, and even Cox doesn't
always give complete satisfaction.

Sometimes I feel that I ought to row out in my little boat and offer
to tow the incompetents back to Putney. Yet they seem somehow to
travel very easily and well. But, however harmoniously they swing past
"The Doves" or quicken to thirty-five at Chiswick Eyot, I know that in
their hearts they are hating each other. Goodness, how they must hate
each other! For ten weeks they have been rowing together in the same
boring boat, behind the same boring back. I read with grim interest
about the periodical shiftings of the crew, how Stroke has moved to
the Bow thwart, and Bow has replaced Number Three, and Number Three
has shifted to the Stroke position. They may pretend that all this is
a scientific matter of adjustment, of balance and weight and so forth.
I know better. I know that Stroke is fed up with the face of Cox, and
that the mole on Number Two's neck has got thoroughly on Bow's nerves,
and that if Number Three has to sit any longer behind Number Four's
expanse of back he will go mad. That is the secret of it all. But
I suppose they each of them hate the coach, and that keeps them

Of all these sufferers perhaps Cox is most to be pitied. They all have
to eat what they're told, no doubt, yards and yards of beefsteak, and
so on. In the old days rowing men had to drink beer at breakfast; I
can't think of anything worse, except, perhaps, stout. But Cox doesn't
eat anything at all. He has to get thinner and thinner. And if there
is one thing worse, than eating beefsteak at breakfast it must be
watching eight rowing men eating beefsteak at breakfast and not eating
anything yourself.

Yes, beyond question Cox is the real hero. I watch him dwindling,
day by day, from nine stone to eight stone, from eight stone to seven
stone twelve, and my heart goes out to the little fellow. And what a
job it is! If anything goes wrong, Cox did it. He kept too far out or
he kept too far in, or too much in the middle. But who ever heard of
Cox doing a brilliant piece of steering, or saving the situation, or
even rising to the occasion? His highest ambition is for _The Times_
to say that he did his work "adequately"--like the _Second Murderer_

And at the finish he can't even pretend that he's tired, like the
other men; even if there was any spectacular way of showing that he
was half-frozen he couldn't do it, because he alone is responsible if
one of the steamers runs over them and they are all drowned. We ought
to take off our hats to Cox; though, of course, if we did, Stroke
would think it was intended for him.

But indeed I take off my hat to all of them; not because of the race,
which, as I say, is a piece of hypocrisy, being rowed with the tide,
but because of the terrible preparation for the race. I wonder if it
is worth it. It is true that they have lady adorers on the towing-path
at Putney, and it is even rumoured that they receive anonymous
presents of chocolates. But presumably they are not allowed to eat
them, so that these can do little to alleviate their sufferings. It is
true also that for ever after (if their wives allow it) they can hang
an enormous oar on the wall and contemplate it after dinner. But,
after all, I can do that too, if I like; for I too have rowed over the

And _I_ shall have a free view of the race. But none of them will see
it at all. They will all be looking at the back of the man in front,
except Stroke, whose eye will be riveted on the second button of Cox's
blazer. What a life!


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Shortsighted and quick-tempered Master of Hounds._


       *       *       *       *       *

    "To Let, permanent, Furnished Sitting-Boots (size 6);
    20s."--_Local Paper_.

No, thanks; we already have a pair that are no good for walking.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Enthusiastic Lady (at Musical At Home)_. "DO YOU

_Eminent Dyspepsia Specialist_. "THE WORDS ARE FAMILIAR."]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_The advancing price of rice has occupied much space in the papers of

  Maud, when you turned me down (a year to-morrow),
    Bidding me rise from off my suppliant knee,
  And, while regretful if you caused me sorrow,
    Murmured, "Sebastian, it can never be,"
  I did not lay aside my fond ambition;
    I told myself, in spite of what occurred,
  "This is her lunch or three o'clock edition,
            And not her final word."

  I merely marvelled at your eccentricity,
    Feeling convinced amid my blank amaze
  That, though you might "absent you from felicity
    Awhile," 'twas but a temporary phase;
  Convinced the mood impelling you to stifle
    The aspirations that I'd dared outline
  Was simply due to some extraneous trifle,
            Not any flaw of mine.

  A chill or toothache might have vexed you greatly;
    Perhaps you had a corn inclined to shoot,
  Or possibly the sugar shortage lately
    Had proved itself abnormally acute;
  In short, I felt that, though unkindly treated,
    A happier time to me would surely come,
  When my request (impassioned) would be greeted
            With no down-pointing thumb.

  Maud, it occurs to me you shunned a marriage
    Because that function, otherwise "quite nice,"
  Involved the facing of a friendly "barrage"
    Mainly composed of valedictory rice,
  Stinging the cheek and nestling in the clothing;
    If that was so, I share the feeling, sweet;
  For rice in puddings I've no special loathing,
            But I detest it neat.

  If such your reason was, there 's no material
    Objection to our union to-day;
  No risk remains of that offensive cereal
    Being employed in such a reckless way;
  You can say "Yes" without one apprehensive
    Thought that your brother is, a deadly shot;
  Rice as a missile now is too expensive.
            Anything doing--what?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "According to a Paris report, an Anglo-British force of 50,000
    are on their way to occupy Constantinople."--_Daily Paper_.

It is, no doubt, the peculiar composition of this force that has
aroused the apprehensions of French chauvinists.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Denikin's troops are fleeing partly in steamers, partly along
    the coast, leaving a large booby." _"Planters and Commercial
    Gazette" (Mauritius)._

    "A Bolshevist wireless says the Reds captured Tagonrog,
    Denikin's former headquarters, taking a huge booby."--_Same

The booby prize has apparently been awarded to the Reds, but we feel
that our contemporary might have put in a claim.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday, March 8th_.--I should hesitate to call Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD
the _Pooh-Bah_ of the Ministry, though he has something of that
worthy's sublime self-confidence and his capacity for taking any
number of posts. The House, which knows him both as Under-Secretary
for Foreign Affairs and Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department
of the Board of Trade, was surprised to hear him answering questions
relating to the nascent oil-wells in the United Kingdom, and to learn
that he had become "Minister for Petroleum Affairs." But there the
likeness ceases to be exact. _Pooh Bah's_ interest was in palm-oil.

[Illustration: CARRYING ON.


A few days ago the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER facetiously compared
the critics of the Government to the poet of _Rejected Addresses_
who declared that it was BUONAPARTE "who makes the quartern loaf and
Luddites rise." Out of the Government's own mouth the critics are now,
at any rate, partially justified, for the PRIME MINISTER announced
that the bread subsidy was to be halved, and that on and after April
12th the quartern loaf would rise--he did not quite know where.

In view of the occasional rumours of friction between Government
departments it is pleasant to record that the Ministry of Transport
and the War Office are on the friendliest terms. Invited to abolish,
in the interests of the taxpayer, the cheap railway tickets now issued
to soldiers, Mr. NEAL said it was primarily a question for the War
Office, as in this matter Sir ERIC GEDDES would wish to move in
harmony with Mr. CHURCHILL. As the WAR SECRETARY promptly announced
his intention of doing his best to maintain the soldiers' privilege it
is conjectured that he will return from the ride with Sir ERIC inside.

The new Member for Paisley delivered his maiden speech to-night, and
acquitted himself so well that in the opinion of Members many months
his senior he is likely to go far. The Government had proposed to
"guillotine" the remaining Supplementary Estimates in order to get
them through before March 31st. Some ardent economists, mainly drawn
from the Coalition, while ready to concede the end, protested
against the means, and proposed that the House should make its own

[Illustration: _RARA AVIS IN TERRIS_.

"Never since the days of Icarus had there been an aviator quite like
the right hon. gentleman [Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL]. He had displayed
much sympathy with the Air Force and had almost been one of its
martyrs."--_Lord HUGH CECIL_.]

Mr. BONAR LAW promptly perceived the advantage of transferring from
the Government to the House a disagreeable responsibility. Forgetting
that he was cast for the executioner, not the hero, he murmured, "It
is a far, far better thing," and graciously accepted the proposed
alternative. Mr. ASQUITH, not unwilling to help in establishing a
precedent which some day he himself may find useful, backed him up,
and the House, as a whole, congratulating itself on its escape from
the public executioner, cheerfully proceeded to commit _harakiri_.

_Tuesday, March 9th_.--Mr. SHORTT relieved our apprehensions by
stating that the few spurious "Bradburys" in circulation are of home
manufacture, and that, while a few specimens emanating from Russia had
been sent here for identification, they were so poorly executed that
they would scarcely pass muster in this country. It is comforting to
think that there is one British industry which has nothing to fear
from foreign dumping, but is cheerfully forging ahead.

The HOME SECRETARY also denied that there had been any remarkable
increase in pocket-picking or that schools existed for the training of
young criminals. As Sir MAURICE DOCKRELL pointed out, there is
indeed no need for them so long as the cinemas provide their present
facilities. _Fagin_ has been quite knocked out by the film.

The Parliamentary vocabulary extends apace. Mr. RENDALL, whose motion
on divorce had been postponed under the new arrangements for business
until after Easter, complained that Sir FREDERICK BANBURY had "done
him down."

Part of the evening was devoted to the bread-subsidy. The debate
incidentally illustrated the intellectual independence of Ministers.
A few days ago Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, in advocating the resumption of trade
with Russia, declared that "the corn-bins of Russia were bulging with
grain." To-night Mr. MCCURDY told the House that, according to his
information, the resumption of trade With Russia was not likely to
open up any large store of wheat or grain in the near future.
Possibly there is no real incongruity. The grain may be there, but the
Russians, greedy creatures, may be going to eat it themselves.

_Wednesday, March 10th_.--Even in the gloomy atmosphere of the
Upper Chamber the subject of divorce lends itself to humour. Lord
BUCKMASTER, who introduced a Bill founded on the recommendations of
the Royal Commission, performed his task with due solemnity, but
some of the noble Lords who opposed it were positively skittish. Lord
BRAYE, for example, thought that, if the Bill passed, _Who's Who_
would require a supplement entitled _Who's Who's Wife_; and Lord
PHILLIMORE illustrated the effects of easy divorce by a story of a
Swiss marriage in which the bride-elect was attended by four of the
happy man's previous spouses. He also told another of an American
judge who, having explained that in this department of his duties he
was "very strict," added, "Of course I make no difficulty the first
time, but if they come again within twelve months I want a good

Mr. HOGGE led a vigorous attack on the Ministry of Transport, which
he seemed to think had done very little for its money except to divert
the omnibuses at Westminster and so make it more difficult for
Members of Parliament to get to the House. Mr. KENNEDY JONES, who was
responsible for the innovation, rather hinted that in the case of some
Members this might not be altogether an objection. The brunt of the
defence fell upon Mr. NEAL, owing to the regretted absence of his
chief, who had been ordered away by his doctor for a much-needed
holiday and was reported to be recruiting himself on the golf-links.
If exercise is what he needs he could have got plenty of it in the
House to-night. Thanks to a persistent minority, Members were kept
tramping through the Lobbies for the best part of five hours, and did
not complete the full round of eighteen divisions until 2.15 A.M.

_Thursday, March 11th_.--Possibly the news of "direct action's" heavy
cropper at the Trade Union Conference had reached the Front Bench
before the PRIME MINISTER, in reply to a question regarding the
shortage of labour in the building trades, bluntly attributed it
to the stringency of the Trade Union regulations. When Mr. ADAMSON
attempted to shift the blame on to a Government Department Mr. LLOYD
GEORGE retorted that he would be perfectly ready to deal with any
peccant official if the Labour Leader for his part would deal with the
Trade Unions.

General SEELY repeated his familiar arguments in favour of an
independent Air Ministry, and Mr. CHURCHILL once more defended his
position, urging that it was better for the Air Service to have half
a Minister in the Cabinet than none at all. To a suggestion that
the lives of the Armenians might have been saved if we had sent more
aeroplanes to Asia Minor, Mr. CHURCHILL replied that unfortunately the
Armenian and Turkish populations were so intermingled that our bombs
would be dropping indiscriminately, like the rain, "upon the just and
unjust feller."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Actor_ (_who has brought friend in for supper--to
lodging-house keeper_). "TUT, TUT, MA! CEASE YOUR APOLOGIES. WHAT IF

_Ma_ (_politely bowing to stranger_). "HOW D'YE DO, SIR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By a Grateful Student of the New English Dictionary_.)

  I can conjugate the modern verb "to wangle,"
    And, if required, translate it into Greek;
  I can even tell a wurzel from a mangel;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I still can march eight furlongs at the double,
    Although I shall be seventy next week;
  I can separate a bubble from a bubble;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I know a catfish differs from a seamew;
    I don't expect Bellaggio at Belleek;
  I know a cassowary from an emu;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I'm acquainted with the works of HENRY PURZELL
    (My mastery of spelling is unique);
  I repeat, I know a mangel from a wurzel;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I'm proficient both in jotting and in tittling;
    I know a certain cure for boots that creak;
  I can see through Mr. KEYNES and _Mr. Britling_;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I can always tell a _hari_ from a _kari_
    ("_Harakiri_" is a silly pedant's freak);
  I can tell the style of CAINE from that of MARIE;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I never take a DEELEY for a DOOLEY;
    I never take a putter for a cleek;
  I never talk of HEALY, meaning HOOLEY;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.

  I understand the sense of "oils are spotty";
    I know the height of Siniolchum's peak;
  I know that some may think my ditty dotty;
    But I cannot tell a bubble from a squeak.


  I know the market price of eggs in Surrey,
    The acreage of maize in Mozambique--
  And now at last, thanks to immortal "MURRAY,"
    I've learned to tell a bubble from a squeak.


       *       *       *       *       *


DEAR MR. PUNCH,--I know you take no sides in party politics, but I
still think you would like to hear why it is that I have gone over to
the Independent Liberals. No, it has nothing to do with Mr. ASQUITH'S
triumphal procession and still less with the NORTHCLIFFE Press. The
fact is that till quite recently I belonged to the true blue Tory
school--was indeed probably the last survivor of the Old Guard--and
I found myself out of touch with the progressive tendencies of modern
Toryism, its deplorable way of moving with the times, its hopeless
habit of discarding what it would call the old shibboleths when it
wrongly imagined them to be outworn. My decision to leave a party that
has long ceased to deserve its honoured name was immediately due to a
Liberal Paper which editorially ridiculed the Liberty League, formed
for the defeat of Bolshevist propaganda, and pooh-poohed the idea of
the existence of dangerous Bolshevist elements in the country. This
attitude attracted me enormously; for I recalled the standpoint of the
same paper in the days before the War--how it ridiculed the alleged
German menace and pooh-poohed the idea of the existence of hostile
German elements in our midst. Here, I said, is the party for me; here
is your authentic Bourbon spirit--the type that learns nothing
and forgets nothing; that in the midst of a changing world remains
immovable as a rock. Yes, Sir, for a Tory of the old school there is
no place to-day except in the ranks of Liberalism.

  Yours faithfully,

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


Jones was reading his morning paper in the opposite corner seat with
unusual attention, and he disregarded my greeting.

"Why this absorption?" I inquired. "Usually you come to the station
with a piece of toast behind one ear, fastening your boots as you run,
and wake us all up with your first fine morning rapture."

"I was just taking a look at the exchanges," he replied. "The mark's
about the same price as fly-paper, and, judging by the news from New
York, your chewing-gum is going to cost you more shortly. Do you know
anything about the money market?"

"I occasionally see it stated that 'money is plentiful' in it," I
returned. "I should think it must be an ideal place."

"The most gorgeous thing in the world is to make a bit on exchange,"
he said. "There's such a splendid feeling of not having earned it, you

"I understand exactly," I replied. "Cox once credited me with an extra
month's pay by mistake. But I didn't realise that you ever had to
think about money matters after having run our Mess in France."

He appeared to take no offence. His capacity for being insulted in
that direction had probably been exhausted during the period in point.

"I know quite a lot about exchange," he remarked with a reminiscent
smile. "You remember that when I got pipped in France in '15, they
sent me out next time to Salonica. I hadn't been there very long
before the question of exchange cropped up. In the early days most
of us had English money only, and the villagers used to rook us
frightfully changing it. I remember sending my batman, MacGusgogh, to
a place for eggs, and he came back with the change for my Bradbury
in nickel. I had a good look at it, and on each coin was the mystic
inscription, 'DIHAP,' which is pronounced 'dinar.'

"'MacGusgogh,' I said, 'you pretend to be a Scotsman and yet you've
been diddled. This is Serbian money, and not worth a bean.'

"'Oh the deceitfu' deevils,' said he, 'there's neither truth nor
honesty in the leein' buddies, Sir. But here's your Bradbury, an', at
onny rate, we hae the eggs, Sir, for I paid for them wi' a label off
yin o' they Japaneesy beer bottles. It seemed an awfu' waste to spend
guid siller on folk that dinna ken when they see it.'"

I began to see the possibilities of the money market.

"I was round about there till the Armistice," Jones went on, "then I
drifted by stages to South Russia. All the Eastern countries live by
exchange. Practically the only trade they have is playing tennis with
each others' currency, and the headquarters of the industry in 1918
was South Russia. I thought I'd seen the limit of low finance when I'd
experienced the franc, lira, drachma, dinar, lev and piastre; but they
were all child's play to the rouble in 1918."

"I thought Russian money was all dud before that," I remarked.

"Not a bit of it," said Jones. "You see, it's not as if there were one
breed, so to speak, of rouble. There were KERENSKY roubles, and
Duma roubles, and NICHOLAS roubles, and every little town had a
rouble-works which was turning out local notes as hard as they, could
go. I missed a fortune there by inches."

"Tell me," I said, in response to his anecdotal eye.

"I had a job there which consisted of going backwards and forwards on
the railway between Otwiski and Triadropoldir in the Caucasus, a six
days' trip. The possibilities of the situation never struck me till
one day I, asked a shopman in Triadropoldir to give me my change in
Otwiski roubles--both towns had their own currency, of course. He gave
me five Otwiski roubles for one of his own town. I thought a bit about
that, and when I got back to Otwiski I tried the same thing, and found
I could get three Triadropoldir roubles there for one Otwiski."

"I see," I remarked, as the beauty of this arrangement dawned upon me.

"All I had to do therefore was to change my money in Otwiski for three
times as much Triadropoldir currency, and then go up the line to the
other place and change it back again, making fifteen hundred per
cent, on the round trip. Of course you couldn't always change the full
amount, but in a couple of months I had sixty thousand roubles--my
valise was crammed with them--and I was only waiting to get down to
the Field Cashier to change out and make my fortune."

"And did you?" I asked.

"No, I didn't. One morning the Reds arrived in Triadropoldir, and
my servant and I only just got away with the valise on one of those
inspection cars which you propel by pulling a handle backwards and
forwards. A section of Red Cavalry came after us, and we took it in
turns to work the handle."

"Your servant won't ever be short of a job," I commented. "He ought to
take to film-acting after that like a duck to water."

"We soon finished my servant's ammunition and they were closing in
on us fast. My hair had appreciably lifted my tin hat when I had a
brain-wave and threw out a double handful of rouble notes. It worked
like a charm; they all stopped to collect the money, and we had gone
quite a distance before they caught us up again, I threw out more
notes at intervals, and the last thousand roubles went just as we came
in sight of DENIKIN'S outposts fifteen miles down the line. We were
saved, but I had lost my fortune, for there was no chance of repeating
the operation."

I sighed. Then, without any regard for the conclusions of my
fellow-passengers, I silently raised both my hands above my head.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Ordinary Man_ (_to well-fed friend_). "HULLO! HOW ARE


       *       *       *       *       *

    "She had her hair cut short, and claimed to be a member of a
    tilted family."--_Provincial Paper_.

One with a bend sinister, we presume.

       *       *       *       *       *

  A leader of fashion at Ely
  Whose clothes were a bit down-at-heely
      Was quite overcome
      When he found he'd the sum
  That would buy him a Mallaby-Deeley.

       *       *       *       *       *


    _Heading in a Sunday Paper of a report of a demand made by
    Viennese clerks for doubled salaries._

For "CATS'," read "COATS'." _O_ the diff! as WORDSWORTH said.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Retriever Wanted; steady good worker: retrieve feather or
    fur, land or water."--_Provincial Paper_.

The exile of Amerongen could do with one of this breed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The act of the donor suggests the lines:

      "'How far doth that little candle throw its beams
      On like a good deed in a naughty world.'"
                                             _Daily Graphic_.

The author's name is not given, but we do not think he has improved

       *       *       *       *       *


    [In accordance with the new Territorial organisation some
    famous Yeomanry Regiments are to become Motor Machine-Gun

  Can a horseman turn from his heart's desire at the stroke of a
          statesman's pen?
  Can we learn to fight from a motor-car--we who were mounted men?
  In a petrol-tank and a sparking-plug shall we strive to put our
  And hang our spurs as a souvenir to gather reproachful rust?

  Shall we never again ride knee to knee in the pomp of squadron line,
  With head-ropes white as a mountain drift and curb chains all
  Will they dawn no more, those glorious days when the world seemed
          all our own,
  Who rode as scouts on an errant quest, alive, alert, alone?

  Can a man be made by a motor-car as a man is made by a horse,
  With strength in his back and legs and arms, and a brain of swift
  We cared for our mounts before ourselves, their thirst before our
  Shall we come to learn, with the same content, to think of an
          engine first?

  Grousing enough. Though times have changed a man may be needed yet.
  Shall we stand aloof in an idle dream to nourish a vain regret?
  Whatever England may ask of us our service must be hers;
  And a horseman's quality 's in his heart and not in a pair of spurs.


       *       *       *       *       *


The recent disclosures concerning the enormous stocks of frozen mutton
held by the Ministry of Food--some of it killed two years ago--have
put the Government on their mettle, and a vigorous campaign is now in
preparation with the object of inducing the public to assist in the
disposal of these overgrown supplies. Mr. Punch, being in touch with
sources of information not accessible to the general Press, has been
able to secure an advance copy of a popular appeal Which is about to
be issued broadcast by the Government. It runs as follows:--

"Men, Women and Children of the United Kingdom!"

"The time has now arrived when each one of you is privileged to
illumine these drab days of peace with a show of patriotism no less
brilliant than that which lit up the dark years of war. The task that
is demanded is a simple one, and no heavy price is exacted; all that
is required is a single-minded concentration upon the one essential
need of the moment.

"Your Government, solicitous as always for your welfare, has during
the past two years accumulated a vast store of nutritious mutton
to safeguard you against the peril of starvation. That danger being
happily averted, it is now up to you to eat the stuff. This is not
a problem that can be tackled by half-measures. If you desire to
preserve the financial stability of the Empire, and if you do not wish
to go on eating antiquated corpses of Australasian sheep for the rest
of your lives, you must set your teeth in grim earnest, eating against
time and chewing over time. You must consume mutton for breakfast,
mutton for luncheon, mutton for tea and mutton for dinner. In fact,
each one of you must in the interests of the State become a mutton

"Do you shrink from the task? Do you shirk the chop now that you
know what is at stake? An army marches on its stomach; the nation's
well-being hangs on yours. Henceforth, until the 'Cease Fire' sounds,
you must fall upon the domestic enemy as our gallant soldiers fell
upon the alien foe. No quarter must be given, no quarter, fore or
hind, be permitted to escape. Beef must be banned and veal avoided as
the plague; no Briton worthy of the name will claim a fowl.

"What are you going to do about it? Do you intend (to borrow a
Trans-atlantic phrase) to give the frozen mitt to the frozen mutt?
Or are you going to take it to your bosom and give it there, or
thereabouts, the home for which it has so long been vainly seeking?

"Do it now and do it always. Let your daily motto be--'_Revenons à nos

In addition to the foregoing, every British housewife is to be
supplied with a valuable booklet containing a number of official
recipes for dealing with mutton. Among the tasty dishes thus described
may be mentioned Whitehall Hash, Ministerial Mince, Reconstruction
Rissoles, Control Cutlets and Separation Stew.

Mr. Punch also learns that in honour of the campaign the Yeomen of the
Guard are henceforth to be popularly known as the "Muttoneaters."

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["We repeat our question, therefore, and expect a 'Yes' or
    'No' answer: _Have all the dumps been sold, or have they
    not_?"--_Daily Mail_.]

  While wealth untold lies heaped in idleness
    We will not see the nation go to pot;
  We ask you (kindly answer "No" or "Yes"):
    _Have all the dumps been sold, or have they not_?

  By many a shell-torn desolate chateau
    Stand monumental piles of martial store
  Reared up long since to stem a savage foe
    By labours of the Army Service Corps;

  And day by day, in spite of our advice,
    They linger wastefully to rust and rot;
  We ask (and let your answer be concise):
    _Have all the dumps been sold, or have they not_?

  No more may KELLAWAY in bland retort
    Disguise the truth with verbal circumstance;
  Our special correspondents still report:
    "Entrenching tools obscure the face of France.".

  The case is plain; the issue is distinct;
    You either answer now or out you trot
  (And kindly make that answer quite succinct):
    _Have all the dumps been sold, or have they not_?

       *       *       *       *       *


    "The acquaintanceship soon developed into a house where Miss
    ---- was living."--_Daily Paper_.

The chief obstacle to matrimony being thus removed, there could, of
course, be only one end to the story.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Committee has decided to call the contest the 'Golden
    Apple Challenge,' having in mind the legend of Paris giving
    a golden apple to Helen of Troy as the fairest of the three
    beautiful women who came to ask his judgment."--_Daily Mail_.

Personally we never attach much importance to these Paris legends.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


(_By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks_.)

During the past few years the plays and stories, especially
the stories, of ANTON TCHEHOV have so triumphantly captured
English-speaking readers that there must be many who will welcome with
eagerness the volume of his _Letters_ (CHATTO AND WINDUS). This happy
chance we owe, of course, directly to Mrs. CONSTANCE GARNETT, who here
proves once again that in her hands translation ranks as a fine art.
Both the _Letters_ and the Biographical Sketch that precedes them are
of extraordinary charm and interest. Because TCHEHOV'S stories are
so conspicuously uncoloured by the personality of their writer (his
method being, as it were, to lead the reader to a window of absolute
transparency and bid him look for himself), it comes almost as a shock
to find how vivid and many-hued that personality in fact was. Nor
is it less astonishing to observe a nature so alive with sympathy
expressing itself in an art so detached. More than once his letters to
literary friends are concerned with a defence of this method: "Let the
jury judge them; it's my job simply to show what sort of people they
are." They are filled also with a thousand instances of the author's
delight in nature, in country sights and scents, and of his love and
understanding for animals (from which of the Tales is it that one
recalls the dog being lifted into the cart "wearing a strained
smile"?) Throughout too, if you have already read the eight little
volumes that contain the stories--which I certainly advise as a
preliminary--you will be continually experiencing the pleasure of
recognising the inspiration for this or that remembered scene. In
short, one of the most fascinating books that has come my way for a
long time.

I needn't pretend that _Bed and Black_ (METHUEN), by GRACE S.
RICHMOND, is what is known to the superior as a serious work of art or
that the men (particularly) of her creating are what would be called
likely. But there's a sincerity about the writing which one has to
respect. Of her two heroes, _Red_ is _Redfield Pepper Burns_, the rude
and rugged doctor, and _Black_ is the _Rev. Robert McPherson Black_,
the perfect paragon of a padre in an American provincial town. The
author's main thesis is that padres are made of the right stuff.
_Black_, who was all for getting into the War from the beginning,
rushes off to Europe as chaplain with the first American drafts, gets
wounded, decorated and married. The conversion of _Red Pepper_, the
doctor, and of _Jane Ray_, who became _Mrs. Black_, is a little too
easily contrived to be very convincing. But this is a simple work for
simple souls who like a wholesome tale with a distinct list to the
side of the angels. Such untoward conduct as here appears is not
put in for its own interesting sake, but merely to bring out the
white-souled nobility of the principals.

       *       *       *       *       *

If I had to select an author likely to win the long-distance dialogue
race of the British Isles I should, after reading _Uncle Lionel_
(GRANT RICHARDS), unhesitatingly vote for Mr. S.P.B. MAIS. It is not
however so much the verbosity as the gloom of Mr. MAIS'S characters
that leaves me fretful. Nowadays, when a novel begins with a married
hero and heroine, we should be sadly archaic if we expected the course
of their conjugal love to run smoothly; but I protest that _Michael_
and _Patricia_ overdid their quarrels, or, at any rate, that we are
told too many details about them. And when these people were nasty to
each other they could be very horrid. All which would not trouble me
half so much if I were not sure that Mr. MAIS, in his desire to he
forceful and modern, is inflicting a quite unnecessary handicap upon
himself. At present he is in peril of wrecking his craft upon some
dangerous rocks which (though I know it's not the right name for
rocks) I will call "The Doldrums." My advice to him is to cheer up.
And the sooner the better, for all of us.

       *       *       *       *       *

There be novelists so fertile in literary resource or so catholic in
their choice of subject that the reader is never sure, when he
picks up their latest masterpiece, whether he is to have a comedy of
manners, a proletarian tragedy, a tale of Court intrigue or a satire
on the follies of the age. To the steady-going devotee of fiction--the
reader on the Clapham omnibus--this versatility is a source of
annoyance rather than of attraction, and I accordingly take pleasure
in stating that by those who like a light narrative, in which mystery
and romance are pleasingly blended, the author of _The Pointing Man_
can be relied upon to rill the bill every time. Conformity to type is
a strong point with this author as far as the mystery and romance are
concerned, but within those limits he (or she) provides an admirable
range of scene, character and plot. In _The Further Side of the
Door_ (HUTCHINSON), the once handsome and popular hero emerges from
a war-hospital badly disfigured and is promptly jilted by his fiancée
and avoided, or so he thinks, by his acquaintances. Disgusted he
buries himself in an old haunted house in the wilds of Ireland and
abandons himself to the practice of magic. The result is highly
successful, for he raises, not a spirit indeed, but something much
more desirable to a lonely young man who has been contemplating
suicide. So much for the romance. The mystery is provided by a
villain, an enterprising young married woman, and the sinister
denizens of a creepy boarding-house. I heartily recommend _Punch_
readers who like a mystery to buy the book and find out what happens.

       *       *       *       *       *

The publishers of _Sir Limpidus_ (COLLINS) call it, in large print,
a "new and amusing novel," but I am not confident about your
subscription to the latter part of that statement; for Mr. MARMADUKE
PICKTHALL'S irony is either so subtle or so heavy (I cannot be
positive which) that one may well imagine a not too dull-witted reader
going from end to end without discovering the hidden intent. The
subject of the tale, which has no special plot, is a numbskull
landowner, _Sir Limpidus_, son of _Sir Busticus_, lord of Clearfount
Abbey, and type (according to Mr. PICKTHALL) of the landowning class
that he evidently considers ripe for abolition. As propaganda to
that end he conducts his hero through the usual career of the
pre-war aristocrat, sending him to public school and Varsity (those
sufficiently broad targets), giving him a marriage, strictly _de
convenance_, with the daughter of a peer, and finishing him off as a
member of the Government, alarmed at Socialist hecklers and welcoming
the War as likely to give a new direction to forces that threaten to
become too strong for his well-meaning incompetence. "It would rouse
the ancient spirit of the people and dispel their madness.... Even
defeat as a united nation would be better than ignoble peace with the
anarchic mob supreme." Of course this may be highly amusing, but--
The fact is that, with a disappointment the greater from having genial
memories of a former book of his, I have to confess myself one of
the dullards for whom Mr. PICKTHALL'S satirical darts fall apparently
pointless. I am sorry.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am feeling a little peevish about _Ladies in Waiting_ (HODDER AND
STOUGHTON), because Miss KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN has often charmed me by
her writing in the past, and now she has disappointed me. Her latest
book contains five stories, all nicely written and set in charming
scenes; but their innocent sweetness is very nearly insipid, and
the fact that Miss WIGGIN'S only concern has been to find suitable
husbands for her six heroines (there are two in one story) makes them
curiously unexciting. Of course we all know that in American
fiction the hero and heroine will in the end marry, to their mutual
satisfaction; but unless the author can contrive _en route_ a few
obstacles which will intrigue the reader a marriage announcement in
the newspapers would be more economical and quite as interesting. It
is difficult to be "nice" and "funny," I know, and it was very noble
of Miss WIGGIN if one quality had to be left out to cling to the
niceness; but I hope that in her next book she will manage to be both.

       *       *       *       *       *

While reading _With the Mad 17th to Italy_ (ALLEN AND UNWIN) I could
not help feeling sorry that the public's appetite for war-literature
is reported to have become a little jaded for anything that is not
a book of revelations; and this because Major B.H. HODY, who was in
command of the 17th Divisional Supply Column, describes his trek from
Flanders to Italy with uncommon zest. It is an admirable account of
an achievement well worth recording, and the author in his advice
to C.O.'s, which seems to me full of wisdom and sound common-sense,
explains how it was that "the mad 17th" were from first to last "a
happy family." There is cause for deep sorrow in the thought that
Major HODY died suddenly at Cologne only a few weeks after his preface
was finished. He has left behind him a book which will be valued not
less for what it contains than for the sake of the man who wrote it.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _Songs of the Links_ (DUCKWORTH) Mr. Punch commends to his readers
the work of two of his contributors, Mr. R.K. RISK and Mr. H.M.


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