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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, August 11, 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 159, August 11, 1920" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 159.



August 11th, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.


"We doubt," says a contemporary, "if the Government has effected much
by refusing to let Dr. MANNIX land on Irish shores." We agree. What
is most wanted at the moment is that the Government should land on
Ireland.

       * * *

We feel that the time is now ripe for somebody to pop up with the
suggestion that the wet summer has been caused by the shooting in
Belfast.

       * * *

Manchester City Council has decided to purchase the famous Free Trade
Hall for the sum of ninety thousand pounds. A thorough search for
the Sacred Principles of Liberalism, which are said to be concealed
somewhere in the basement, will be undertaken as soon as the property
changes hands.

       * * *

There is no truth in the report that Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, after listening
to the grand howl of the Wolf Cubs at Olympia, declared that it was a
very tame affair for anyone used to listening to Mr. DEVLIN.

       * * *

"Kangaroos and wallabies," says a Colonial journalist, "are about the
only things that the Australian sportsman can chase." Members of the
M.C.C. team declare that they expect to change all that.

       * * *

Reports that the gold had been removed from the Bank of Ireland to
this country for the sake of safety have caused consternation in
Dublin. There was always a possibility, the Irish say, that the Sinn
Feiners might not lay hands on the stuff, but there isn't one chance
in a hundred of it getting past Sir ERIC GEDDES.

       * * *

_À propos_ of the growing reluctance on the part of railway servants
to take tips from holiday-makers, it appears that they are merely
following the example set by the higher officials. We have positive
information that only a week or so since Sir ERIC GEDDES flatly
refused to take a tip from _The Daily Mail_.

       * * *

While approving in principle of the proposal that the finger-prints of
all children should be registered, Government officials point out that
the expense would certainly be out of all proportion to the advantage
obtained, in view of the prevailing high prices of jam.

       * * *

There is just this one consolation about the weather of late. So far
the Government have not placed a tax on rain.

       * * *

"Soldiers are very dissatisfied with the way in which ex-service men
are now being treated," states a Sunday paper. We understand that, if
this dissatisfaction should spread, Mr. CHURCHILL may call upon the
Army to resign.

       * * *

After exhaustive experiments Signor MARCONI has failed to obtain
any wireless message from Mars. Much anxiety is being felt by those
persons having friends or mining shares there.

       * * *

The youngest son of Sir ERIC GEDDES is learning to play golf. It
is hoped by this plan to keep his mind off thoughts of a political
career.

       * * *

A reader living in Aberdeen informs us that the last batch of Scotch
refugees arrived from England last Thursday in an exhausted condition.

       * * *

"Cats are very poor swimmers," states a writer in a weekly journal.
This no doubt accounts for the exceptionally high infantile mortality
among these domestic pets.

       * * *

Last week a wedding at Ibstock, Leicestershire, had to be postponed
after the ceremony had already begun, owing to the failure of the
Registrar to appear. It was not until the best man, who denied having
mislaid the Registrar, had been thoroughly searched that the ceremony
was abandoned.

       * * *

A burglar accused of stealing sixteen volumes of classical poetry was
sentenced to a month's imprisonment. The defence that he was insane
was evidently ignored.

       * * *

The Westminster magistrate, the other day, described a prisoner as "a
very clever thief." It is said that the fellow intends printing this
testimonial on his letter-paper.

       * * *

A man knocked down by a racing motorist in New York is reported to
have had both legs and an arm fractured, several ribs broken, and
other injuries. Motorists in this country incline to the theory that
it was the work of an amateur.

       * * *

A Swiss guide recently discovered a chamois within sixty feet of the
summit of the Jungfrau. Only on receiving the most explicit assurance
that the Fourth Internationale would not be held at Grindelwald would
the creature consent to resume its proper place in the landscape.

       * * *

According to the conductor of the Southern Syncopated Orchestra the
modern fox-trot has been evolved from a primitive negro dance called
"The Blues." The theory that the Blues are the logical outcome of a
primitive negro dance called the fox-trot is thus exploded.

       * * *

A gentleman advertises for an island for men who are fed up with
taxation. We can only say that Great Britain is just the very place.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Laird._ "NOW, WHO ON EARTH MIGHT THOSE PEOPLE BE,
DONALD, DRESSED LIKE TOURISTS?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In some ways the American woman, it must be confessed, can give
    we English points on good dressing."--_Evening Paper._

She might now extend her beneficence and include some points on
syntax.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The clergy had to work far more than forty-eight hours per day,
    but their pay was quite inadequate."--_Local Paper._

We don't see how it would be possible to give adequate remuneration
for such a feat.

       *       *       *       *       *


=IN DEFENCE OF DOROTHY.=

I was greatly pained to read, the other day, in one of our leading
dailies a most violent and uncalled-for attack on a popular favourite.
Perhaps I should say one who _was_ popular, for, alas, favourites have
their day, and no doubt this attack was but to demolish the reputation
of the setting star and enhance that of a rising one. Still it was
unnecessarily churlish; it criticised not only the colour of her
complexion, the exuberance of her presence, but her very name was held
up to ridicule, the fault surely of her god-parents.

There has been, not unnaturally, quite a sensation in her circle over
this attack; Papa Gontier and Maman Cochet clasped each other's
hands in sympathy and said, "What will people say next of _us_, a
respectable and time-honoured old couple, if they flout pretty popular
little Dorothy Perkins?" "Of course, if people who live in a brand-new
red-brick villa choose to invite Dorothy into their garden, one
can't expect her to look her best; but, after all, there's only that
languishing Stella Gray who can stand such a trial as that, and
perhaps the stout Frau Druschki." "She, poor thing, is quite out of
favour just now--hardly mentioned in polite society. Quite under a
cloud; in fact a greeting from Teplitz is the only one she gets."
"Now William Allen Richardson (there's a ridiculous long name, if you
like!) was saying only yesterday how grateful we should all feel to
dear Dorothy, who never seems to mind the weather and cheers us up
when all else fails." "I must say I don't feel quite sure of William's
sincerity, he is so very changeable, you know, and does not _really_
care to be seen in Dorothy's company."

Pretty little Mme. Laurette Messimé was quite hanging her head about
it all. "_I_ live in harmony with _all_ my neighbours," she simpered.
"Ah, yes," flaunted Lady Gay, in that unblushing manner of hers,
"that's very easy to do for colourless people." At this Caroline
Testout turned quite pale and stuttered, "Well, Dorothy _does_ scream
so." "Hush, hush, my children," said the deep voice of the venerable
Marshal Niel. Though yellow with extreme old age the old gentleman
bore himself proudly and his dress was glossy and clean. "We all have
our place in the world. Let carping critics say what they please,
whether it is Dorothy in her gay gown or Liberty in her revolutionary
wear, our showy American cousins, our well-beloved Scotch relations,
or our Persian guests--they are _all_ welcome, _all_ beautiful."
"Hear, hear!" murmured the other roses.

       *       *       *       *       *

=MORE MARGOBIOGRAPHY.=

PROPOSALS--CARLYLE--BISMARCK--DISRAELI--A NEW BROWNING POEM--NAPOLEON
ON LIVING BRITISH STATESMEN.

    [Readers of the vivacious but too reticent serial now appearing in
    _The Sunday Times_ may have noticed that the narrative is now and
    then interrupted by a row of what Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, during
    one of his conversations with Mrs. ASQUITH and JOWETT, called (to
    the immense delight of the MASTER OF BALLIOL) "those damned dots."
    Mr. Punch has, at fabulous expense, acquired the right to
    publish certain of the omitted passages, a selection of which is
    appended.]

=Many Admirers.=

No sooner was I in my earliest teens and had made up my mind as to
the best cigarettes, than proposals began to be a matter of daily
occurrence, so that whenever I saw the fifth footman or the third
butler stealthily approaching me I knew that he was concealing a
_billet doux_. Sometimes they were very flattering. Here is one,
written in the big boyish hand of a Prince of the Blood:--

    My beautiful, there is no one like you. They want me to marry the
    daughter of a royal house, but if you will say "Yes" I will defy
    them. We will be married by the Archbishop, who marries and buries
    so beautifully; but I shall never need burying, because those who
    marry you never die.

Poor boy, I had to send him a negative by the fifteenth groom in the
third phaeton, drawn by a pair of dashing chestnuts which another of
my unsuccessful adorers had given me. I noticed that when they got
back to Grosvenor Square the chestnuts had turned to greys.


=The Sage of Chelsea.=

THOMAS CARLYLE loved to have me trotting in and out of his house in
Cheyne Row, and we had endless talks on the desirability of silence.
"Yon wee Meg," he used to say, for he refused to call me "Margot,"
declaring it was a Frenchified name--"yon wee Meg is the cleverest
girl in Scotland--and the wittiest."

I remember once that RUSKIN was there too, and we had a little breeze.

RUSKIN (_patronisingly_). What do you think of the paintings of
TURNER?

MARGOT. He bores me.

RUSKIN (_drawing in a long breath_). Bores you?

MARGOT (_with a slow smile_). He probably bores you too, only you
daren't admit it.

What would have happened I cannot imagine had not dear old CARLYLE
offered me a draw of his pipe, while remarking laughingly, "She's a
wonder, is Meg; she'll lead the world yet."

One day he asked me what I thought of his writing.

MARGOT. Too jerky and overcharged.

CARLYLE (_wincing_). I must try to improve. What is your theory of
authorship?

MARGOT. I think one should assume that everything that happens to
oneself must be interesting to others.

CARLYLE (_as though staggered by a new idea_). Why?

MARGOT (_simply_). Because oneself is so precious, so unique.

I asked him once what he really thought of Mrs. CARLYLE, but he
changed the subject.


=Bismarck.=

It was in Berlin, when I was seventeen, that I met BISMARCK. It was at
the Opera, where, being a young English girl, I was in the habit of
going alone. The great Chancellor, who was all unconscious that I had
penetrated his identity, watched me for a long while between the Acts
and then overtook me on my way home and in French asked me to supper.

MARGOT (_also in French_). But I am not hungry.

BISMARCK. In Germany you should do as the Germans do and eat always;
(_with emphasis_) I do.

MARGOT (_scathingly_). I wonder if you are aware that I am English?

BISMARCK (_muttering something I could not catch about England lying
crushed at his feet_). But you are beautiful too! Some day you will be
a countrywoman of mine.

MARGOT. How?

BISMARCK. Because we shall make war on England and conquer it, and it
will then be our own and all of you will be our people and our slaves.
At least we should conquer it if----

MARGOT. If what?

BISMARCK. If it were not for a young man who will then be Prime
Minister. It is of him we are afraid.

MARGOT. What is his name?

BISMARCK. ASQUITH.

Could prescience further go? BISMARCK then left me with another
ungainly effort at French: _"Au revoir, Mademoiselle."_ But we never
met again.

=Disraeli's Last Days.=

I was with DISRAELI (who was one of the few men who did not propose to
me) not long before the end, and he gave me many confidences, although
he knew all about my friendship with GLADSTONE. But then I have always
chosen my friends impartially from all the camps. My exact memory
enables me to repeat my last conversation with DIZZY word for word:--

MARGOT. You look tired. Shall I dance for you?

(_Continued on page 104_).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE REAL MUSIC.

JOHN BULL. "I WISH THEY'D LET ME HEAR THE LADY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Wife (bitterly)._ "YES, IT MAKES A NICE OUTIN' FOR
ME, DON'T IT--SETTIN' IN THE RAIN ALL DAY GUARDIN' A TIN O' WORMS?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

DIZZY. No, no.

MARGOT _(brightly_). Let us be sensible and talk frankly about your
approaching death. Have you any views as to your biography?

DIZZY. Need there be one?

MARGOT. Of course.

DIZZY (_earnestly_). Would you write it? You would be so discreet.

I had to refuse, but I am sure I could have made a more amusing job of
it than MR. BUCKLE has done, in spite of the love-letters. What a pity
they didn't entrust it to my dear EDMUND GOSSE!

=A Browning Poem.=

Here is a little poem that BROWNING wrote for me on hearing me say
that when we were girls "we did not know the meaning of the word
'fast'":--

  We all of us worship our Margot,
  She's such a determined _escargot_.

=Talks with the Dead.=

The great NAPOLEON had died many years before I was born; and how
unjust it is that the lives of really interesting people should not
coincide! But with the assistance of my beloved OLIVER LODGE I have
had many conversations with him. Our first opened in this manner:--

MARGOT. Do you take any interest in current English politics?

NAPOLEON. _Oui_ (Yes).

MARGOT. What do you think of LLOYD GEORGE?

NAPOLEON. An opportunist on horseback.

MARGOT. I love riding too. I met most of my friends in the
hunting-field. You should have seen me cantering into the hall of our
town mansion. Who do you think our greatest statesman?

NAPOLEON. ASQUITH beyond a doubt.

Both PLATO and JULIUS CÆSAR, whom my beloved OLIVER has also
introduced to me, said the same thing.

E. V. L.


       *       *       *       *       *


FLOWERS' NAMES.

SOLOMON'S SEAL.

  Oh, lordly was KING SOLOMON
    A-stepping down so proud,
  With his negro slaves and dancing girls
    And all his royal crowd;
  His peacocks and his viziers,
    His eunuchs old and grey,
  His gallants and his chamberlains
    And glistening array.

  Oh, blithesome was KING SOLOMON
    That burning summer day
  When lo! a humble shepherdess
    Stood silent in his way;
  Then stepped down kingly SOLOMON,
    And proud and great stepped he,
  And there he kissed the shepherdess--
    Kissed one and two and three.

  Then proudly turned the peasant-maid--
    Pale as a ghost was she--
  "For all ye are KING SOLOMON,
    What make ye here so free?"
  Oh, lordly laughed KING SOLOMON,
    "Shalt be my queen," quoth he;
  "These kisses pledged KING SOLOMON
    And sealéd him to thee."

  Then on went splendid SOLOMON
    And all his glittering band,
  And the wondering white peasant-girl
    He led her by the hand;
  But in that place sprang flower-stems
    All green, for kingly pride,
  With the small white kisses hanging down
    With which he sealed his bride.

         *       *       *       *       *


SQUATTERS.

Ursula came into the study, carrying something that had once been a
photograph, but which the ravages of time had long since reduced to a
faded and almost indecipherable problem.

"Dear," she said, "you know this portrait of Clara's boy, the one
in the sailor suit, from my writing-table? I was looking at it just
now----"

I interrupted her (it really was one of my rushed mornings). "I've
been looking at it any time these fifteen years," I observed bitterly,
"watching it become every day more and more fly-blown and like nothing
on earth. What entitles it to special notice at this moment?"

"Nothing--much," said Ursula; but from the tone of her voice
experience taught me that sentiment was only just out of sight. "I was
wondering whether to burn it----"

"Good."

"And then I thought that, as he was married the other day and is quite
likely to have a boy of his own, it would be interesting to compare
this early portrait."

"It would," I assented grimly. Perhaps disappointment had made me
brutal. "There's almost nothing, from the Alps at midnight to
Royalty down a coalmine, with which it would not be equally safe and
appropriate to compare it. Only, as I gather that this involves its
continued existence for a further indefinite period, my one request is
that in the meantime you remove it. Shut it in the safe. Bury it. But
don't leave it about."

"Aren't you being rather excited about nothing?"

"No. This is a matter of principle, and I am speaking for your own
good. Fifteen years ago that photograph, unframed and in the first
flush of youth, was casually deposited on your writing-table. Perhaps
you only meant to put it out of your hand for a moment while you
attended to something else. But you know what the result has been. It
has remained there, gradually establishing a prescriptive right. No
doubt it has been dusted, with the rest of the room, seven times a
week...."

"Six times," said Ursula, smiling, but blushing a little too--I was
glad to observe that.

"... and as often been replaced. Its charm for the observant visitor
has, to put the thing mildly, long since vanished. I doubt if
either of us would so much as see it had it not attained for me the
fascination of an eye-sore. Yet it stays on, simply because no one has
the initiative to take action. To put it concisely, it is a squatter."

"Don't be ridiculous."

"I was never more serious in my life. This speckled travesty, this
photographic mummy, is but one example out of many. I do not know
whether other homes resemble ours in the same tendency towards the
mausoleum. But I strongly suspect it."

"What things are there besides this?" broke out Ursula, suddenly
defensive. "Tell me a list of them."

"You forget, sweetheart, that as a professional literary man my time,
especially in the morning, has a certain commercial value, but I will
endeavour to do as you ask. You would of course justly repudiate any
comparison between your own artistic setting and those Victorian
houses wherein the 'drawing-room book' reposed always in the same
sacred corner. Yet in the matter of derelict articles we are
millionaires, we are beset by squatters."

I could see that Ursula was impressed, though she tried to conceal
the fact. "Professional literary men seem to be strangely under the
dominion of one word," she began coldly.

At that moment a bell tinkled.

"Eliza!" cried Ursula; "and I'm not dressed." As she fluttered from
the room I had a distinct impression that she was not sorry for an
excuse to break off the interview.

I re-settled myself at my desk, smiling a little cynically. How
long would the lesson last? Then I happened to glance towards the
mantelpiece, beside which Ursula had been standing. There, hastily
propped against the clock, was that detestable photograph. It still
quivered in the movement of release, as though shaking its shoulders,
settling down palpably for another decade. With an uncontrollable
impulse I leapt up, seized the abomination and, flinging it on the
floor, ground it to powder with my heel.

In one word, the anti-squatting campaign had definitely begun.

A. E.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Navvy._ "WHY DON'T YER WEAR THEM BOARDS THE RIGHT WAY
ROUND?"

_Sandwichman._ "WOT! IN ME DINNER-HOUR? NOT ME!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Some five or six million years hence, therefore, it is
    prophesied, the earth will fall into the grip of an ice age. There
    will descend on all living things the blight of eternal cod."

    _Scotch Paper._

Although the danger is not immediate it deserves the serious
consideration of the FOOD CONTROLLER.

       *       *       *       *       *


=SQUISH.=

_(Being some notes on a bye-path in politics.)_


The Board of Agriculture has been biding its time. In the fierce light
of publicity which has been beating of late upon Mr. LLOYD GEORGE,
Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL and Sir ERIC GEDDES the attempt of this rustic
Ministry to assert itself has passed almost unnoticed. Our gaze has
been fixed upon the London railway termini, upon Warsaw and upon
Belfast; we have been neglecting Campden (Glos.). Yet in that town, I
read, "the Ministry of Agriculture has completed arrangements for a
commercial course in the State Fruit and Vegetable College to instruct
students in the manufacture of preserved fruit products."

I have considered the last part of the sentence quoted above very
carefully in the light of the Rules and Regulations governing
procedure in State Departments, Magna Carta, the Habeas Corpus Act and
the Constitutions of Clarendon, and have come to the conclusion that
it means "making jam." I am very sure, as the PRIME MINISTER would
say, that things are about to happen in preserved fruit products;
things will become very much worse and very much sterner in jam. And
if in jam why then also in jelly and in marmalade. Even at this moment
in the offices of the Board of Agriculture there are a number of
clerks, I suppose, sitting with schedules in front of them, something
like this:--

+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+
|            |No. of    |No. of    |No. of    |No. of    |No. of    |     |
|            |candidates|candidates|candidates|candidates|candidates|     |
|            |in        |awaiting  |fully     |trained   |full, but |Total|
|            |training  |training  |trained   |but not   |not       |     |
|            |in        |in        |          |full      |trained   |     |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|1. Jam      |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|2. Jelly    |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|3. Marmalade|          |          |          |          |          |     |
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|   Total    |          |          |          |          |          |     |
|            |          |          |          |          |          |     |
+------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+-----+

The perfect beauty of schedules framed upon this model is only to be
apprehended by those who realise that when they are filled in and
added up correctly the figure at the base of the vertical "Total"
column on the right is identical with the figure on the right of the
horizontal "Total" column at the base. It is the haunting magic of
this fact that gives to Government clerks the wistful far-away look
which they habitually wear.

It is not a good schedule this, of course--not a complete, not an
exhaustive one. After a month or so it will be discovered with a
cry of astonishment that no record has been kept of the number of
candidates who are being trained in jam or jelly (combined) but not in
marmalade, in jelly and marmalade (combined) but not in jam, and in
jam and marmalade (combined) but not in jelly. And so a new and a
greater schedule will have to be compiled. But even after that for
a long time no one will notice that nothing has been said about the
number of candidates who are being trained in jam and jelly and
marmalade all combined and mashed up together, as they are at a picnic
on the sands.

Of the many debatable issues raised by this new Government project, in
so far as it affects the spheres of jelly and jam, I do not propose to
speak now; I prefer to confine my attention for the moment to the fruit
product which touches most nearly the home breakfast-table--namely,
marmalade.

There are three schools of thought in marmalade. There are those who
like the dark and very runny kind with large segments or wedges of
peel. There are those who prefer a clear and jellified substance with
tiny fragments of peel enshrined in it as the fly is enshrined in
amber. And there are some, I suppose, who favour a kind of glutinous
yellow composition, neither reactionary nor progressive, but something
betwixt and between. There can be very little doubt which kind of
marmalade the State Marmalade School will produce.

And then, mark you, one fine day the President of the Board of
Agriculture will turn round and issue a _communiqué_ to the Press like
this:--

"Preferential treatment in the supply of sugar for the purpose of
conducting the processes of manufacture of fruit products will
henceforward be given to those who possess the Campden diploma for
proficiency in the conduct of the above-named processes."

And where is your freedom then? Cooks and housewives will be condemned
either to make State marmalade or to make no marmalade at all.
Personally I am inclined to think that the President of the Board of
Agriculture will go further than this. I think that encouragement will
be given to those who take the State Marmalade course to follow it up
with a subsidiary or finishing course of wasp treatment.

And in wasp treatment also there are three schools. There is what is
called the CHURCHILL school, which hits out right and left with an
infuriated spoon. Then there is the MONTAGU school, which takes no
provocative action, but sits still and says, "They won't sting you if
you don't irritate them;" it says this especially when they are flying
round somebody else's head. And lastly there is the Medium school,
which, choosing the moment when the wasp is busily engaged, presses it
down gently and firmly into the marmalade, so that the last spoonfuls
of the dish are not so much a fruit product as a kind of entomological
preserve. The last way, I think, will be the State way of dealing with
wasps, and a reward will probably be offered for the stings of all
wasps embalmed on Coalition lines.

The electorate has stuck to the Government through the Peace Treaty,
through Mesopotamia, through Ireland and through coal. Can it stick to
them, is what I ask, through marmalade?

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *


_MENS CONSCIA MALI._

  The lightning flashed and flickered, roared the thunder,
    Down came the rain, and in the usual way
  Pavilionward we sped to sit and wonder
          Was this the end of play.

  In scattered groups my comrades talked together,
    Their disappointment faded bit by bit,
  So soothing can it be to tell the weather
          Just what you think of it.

  But I--I sat aloof as one distressed by
    A painful tendency to droop and wilt;
  Though none suspected it, I was oppressed by
          A conscience charged with guilt.

  I watched the pitch become a sodden pulp, a
    Morass, a sponge, a lake, a running stream,
  What time a sad repentant _Mea culpa_
          Was all my musing's theme.

  Mine was the cricket sin too hard to pardon
    In one whose age should carry greater sense;
  On Friday night I'd watered all the garden,
          Thus tempting Providence.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mr. ---- asserted that the Russian people would be permitted
'untrammelled to pork out their own salvation.'"--_Canadian Paper._
And why not the Irish people too?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE MAN WHO WOULD GET TO THE SEASIDE.
TRAINS FULL.
CHARABANKS FULL.
AEROPLANES FULL.
THE LAST RESOURCE.
SEA, SAND AND HOTELS FULL.]

       *       *       *       *       *


THE COUNTER-IRRITANT

Most men have a hobby. Timbrell-Timson's is to bear on his narrow
shoulders the burden of Middle Europe. He calls it Mittel-Europa.
Lately he has been sharing his burden with me.

"You know," he said, frowning--he always frowns, because of the
burden--"I am rather uneasy about the Czecho-Slovaks."

"I'm not too comfortable about them myself," I said truthfully.

"There seems to be a certain lack of stability about their new
constitution," said T.-T., "a--a--a--what shall I say?"

"A--er--um--a," I put in.

"Exactly; just so," said T.-T. He then got into his stride and gave me
twenty minutes' Czecho-Slovakism when I was dying to discover whether
HOBBS had scored his two-millionth run.

As T.-T. talked my mind wandered away into regions of its own--Aunt
Jane's rheumatic gout, my broken niblick, the necessity for getting
my hair cut. But sub-consciously I reserved a courteous minimum of
attention for T.-T., and said, "H'm" and "Ha" with decent frequency.
He went on and on, shedding several ounces of the burden. I decided
that Aunt Jane ought to have a shot at Christian Science.

"... very much the same plight as the Poles," said T.-T., emerging from
a cloud of Czecho-Slovakism and pausing to clear his meagre throat.

I felt it was up to me. "Of course," I said, "the Poles don't strike
one as being--er--very--that is--"

"Precisely. They are not," said T.-T., as I knew he would. "But I am
very relieved to see that M. Grabski...."

This was something new and sounded amusing. "Grabski?" I said. "What's
happened to dear old--I mean, I thought M. Paderewski was--"

"I am referring to the recent Spa Conference," said T.-T. severely.

"Of course, how silly of me," I murmured.

T.-T. gave me another twenty minutes of Poland. Then he released me,
with a final word of warning against putting too much faith in M.
Daschovitch. I promised I wouldn't.

T.-T. shook me cordially by the hand and said, "It has been a pleasure
to talk to such a sympathetic listener."

What led me to revolt was T.-T.'s hat-trick. Three evenings in
succession he unloaded on me chunks of the burden. Probably he thought
the third time made it my own property.

I asked advice from Brown, a man of commonsense.

"During the Great War," said Brown, "I went down with pneumonia. They
painted my chest yellow, and, when I asked the Sister why, she said it
was a counter-irritant. That's what you want to use now, my lad. Stand
up to your little friend and beat him at his own game."

"But how?" I said. "I can't. What he doesn't know about the gentle
Czech isn't worth a cussovitch."

"Cultivate a counter-burden," said Brown, "and make him eat it as he
has made you eat his."

When I left Brown it was decided that I was henceforth to be an
authority on Mittel-Afrika. The next evening I was purposely
unoccupied in a corner of the smoking-room when T.-T. came in,
frowning and bowed down by his burden, to which apparently I had
brought no relief.

"Well, to-day's news from Mittel-Europa is hardly--" he began.

"Scarcely glanced at it," I said. "I was so busy with the news from
Mittel-Afrika--Abyssinia, in fact."

T.-T. looked surprised, partly, no doubt, because he knew as well as
I did that Abyssinia is nowhere near the middle of Africa. Then he
gained balance and reopened with the remark that "The ineradicable
weakness of the Czecho-Slovak is--"

"Just what I feel about the Ethiopians," I said.

"Of course there is in the Czecho a fundamental--" began T.-T. once
more.

"Not half so fundamental as in the Abyssinians," I said promptly.

T.-T. was puzzled but obstinate. The burden, I think, was rather bad
that evening. He tried me with Grabski and got as far as saying that
he had little respect for that gentleman's antecedents.

I broke in by comparing Grabski's antecedents with the antecedents of
B'lumbu, the Abyssinian Deputy Under-secretary of the Admiralty, much
to the detriment of the latter. Then I launched out into a long and
startling _exposé_ of what I called the Swarthy Peril. I told T.-T.
that the Ethiopians ate their young, and warned him that, unless he
was careful, they would soon be over here devouring his own spectacled
progeny. I told him about the Ethiopic secret plans for the invasion
of Mexico as a stepping-stone to the subjugation of Mittel-Amerika.
I hinted that Abyssinian spies were everywhere--that even one of the
club waiters was not above suspicion.

For thirty-five minutes I held T.-T. in his chair (may the Abyssinian
gods forgive me!). After the first three minutes he forgot his burden
and never a word spake he.

Then I released him with a final warning against putting any faith at
all in Gran'slâm, the Abyssinian Assistant Foreign Secretary, and as
we parted I said gratefully, "It has been a pleasure to talk to such a
sympathetic listener."

I don't think T.-T. really believes even now in the Swarthy Peril, but
the counter-irritant has done its work.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANOTHER GARDEN OF ALLAH.

[The Metropolitan Water Board announces an advance in the Water Rate.]

  I cannot fill the bounteous cup
    Munificently as of yore
  Because the water's going up
    (It didn't at Lodore);
  No longer now can I regale
  The canine stranger with a pail
    Drawn from my cistern's store.

  Let Samuel the sunflower die,
    Let Gerald the geranium fade,
  And all the other plants that I
    Have hitherto displayed;
  The virgin grass within my plot
  May call for water--I will not
    Preserve a single blade.

  Henceforth let Claude the cactus dress
    My garden beds, who bravely grows
  Without a frequent S.O.S.
    To water-can and hose.
  I've cast these weapons to the void
  And permanently unemployed
    Is Hildebrand the hose.

  Within the house by words and deeds
    I've run an Anti-Waste Campaign;
  On every tap the legend reads:
    "Teetotalers, abstain!"
  While on each bath and tub of mine
  I've drawn freehand a PLIMSOLL line,
    Impressionist but plain.

  When upward mount my chops and cheese
    I fain must bend beneath the blow;
  I have to pay the price for these
    Whether I will or no.
  But here at least, by dint of thought,
  I feel that I can bring to naught
    The rise in H_2O.

  You'll find that I shall keep in check
    The gross expense of water when
  Domestic _nettoyage á sec_
    Rules my ancestral den.
  I, unlike Nature, don't abhor
  A "vacuum"--to clean the floor:
    In fact I've ordered ten.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At Bremen ... the crowd seized the stalls in the market, and sold
    the goods at prices between 100 and 200 per cent. lower than the
    prices demanded."--_Provincial Paper._

The correspondent who sends us the above cutting demands similar
reductions in English markets in order that he may live within his
income of _minus_ two pounds a week.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: =INCORRIGIBLES.=

"EXCUSE ME, SIR--I'M DOWN HERE FOR A REST CURE, AND NOT ALLOWED TO
LOOK AT A NEWSPAPER. PERHAPS YOU WOULDN'T MIND TELLING ME WHAT KAFFIRS
STOOD AT YESTERDAY?"

"SORRY I CAN'T OBLIGE YOU. I'VE SWORN OFF NEWSPAPERS MYSELF. THIS IS
_THE SHRIMPTON COURIER_ FOR FEBRUARY 12 THAT MY LANDLADY WRAPPED MY
SANDWICHES IN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BEGINNER.

Six months ago Maurice Gillstone's flat was the home of unrest.
Maurice was one of those authors who tire of their creations before
completion. He would get an idea, begin to write and then turn to some
other theme.

It made the domestic atmosphere difficult. You would go to call on the
Gillstones and find them plunged in despair. Maurice would gaze at you
with a wild unseeing eye, pass his hand through his dishevelled hair,
mutter "The inspiration has left me," and fling himself into a chair
and groan. Mrs. Maurice would burst into tears.

The flat was strewn with fragments of manuscripts. Plays, novels,
poems (none finished) littered the rooms in profusion; a brilliant
but isolated Scene I., stray opening chapters of novels, detached
prologues of mighty epics.

"His beginnings are wonderful," Mrs. Maurice would wail between her
sobs; "keen critics and men of the most delicate literary taste rave
over them; but if he can't finish them, what's the use?"

It was very sad.

Then John Edmund Drall, the inventor of the non-alcoholic beverage
which is now a household word and an old friend of the Gillstones,
came along and tried to cure Maurice of his literary defect by the
sort of ruse one would employ on a jibbing horse. He sent Maurice a
bottle of his Lemonbeer and asked him to write an appreciation of that
noxious fluid.

"I have asked Maurice," Drall confided to me, "to scribble a
testimonial to Lemonbeer. It will kind of break the spell, and it
wouldn't be Maurice if he didn't turn out a perfect gem of literary
composition. I know my Lemonbeer is really good and I know that
Maurice is extremely appreciative. Maurice is under a spell. It must
be broken. If he can write a complete testimonial he will easily
finish all those beginnings of his." The idea seemed sound.

Well, Maurice drank the Lemonbeer and, in spite of an increasing
tendency to swoon, did begin to write a gem of a testimonial. He had,
however, written but the first four words of it when he fainted. These
words were "Lemonbeer is the best...."

Maurice would do anything for a friend, and, as I say, had actually
written "Lemonbeer is the best ..." after drinking a whole bottle of
it.

It was Drall's advertisement manager who said that in point of selling
power this testimonial was unsurpassed. "The finished completeness of
the composition," he said, "shows sheer genius. Just four words. A
word added or subtracted would ruin it."

When Maurice came to and learnt how brilliant he had been he simply
put on his hat and walked round to a Film Agency to say that he was
prepared to write--and complete--any number of masterpieces. Since
that day he has never looked back.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Commercial Candour.=

    "ANTIQUE SILVER.

    Mr. ---- invites all interested to inspect his fine stock which he
    can offer just new at exceptionally low prices."--_Daily Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: _Peggy._ "PLEASE, MISS JUDKIN, MUMMY SAYS WILL YOU
KINDLY LET HER HAVE A LITTLE BRANDY FOR OUR GOAT? IT'S VERY ILL AND
MUMMY IS AFRAID IT'S DYING."

_Miss Judkin._ "TELL YOUR MOTHER I'M VERY SORRY, BUT THE ONLY BRANDY
I'VE GOT IS VERY OLD."

_Peggy._ "OH, THAT WILL DO SPLENDIDLY. IT'S A VERY OLD GOAT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FAIR.

  Look up, my child, the sirens whoop
    Shrill invitations to the Fair,
  The yellow swing-boats soar and swoop,
    The Gavioli organs blare;
  Bull-throated show-men, bracken-brown,
  Compete to shout each other down.

  Behold the booths of gingerbread,
    Of nougat and of peppermints,
  The stall of toys where overhead
    Balloons of gay translucent tints
  Float on the breeze and drift and sway;
  Fruit of a fairy vine are they.

  Within this green fantastic grot
    Bright-coloured balls are danced and spun
  On jets ("'Ere, lovey, 'ave a shot");
    A gipsy lady tends a gun,
  A very rose of gipsy girls,
  With earrings glinting in her curls.

  Will marvels cease? This humble booth
    Enshrines a dame of royal birth,
  Princess Badrubidure, forsooth,
    The fattest princess on the earth;
  Come, we will stand where kings have stood,
  And you shall pinch her if you're good.

  The brasses gleam, the mirrors flash,
    How splendid is the Round-About!
  The organ brays, the cymbals clash,
    The spotted horses bound about
  Their whirling platform, full of beans,
  And country girls ride by like queens.

  Professor Battling Bendigo
    (Ex ten-stone champion of the West)
  Parades the stage before his show
    And swells his biceps and his chest;
  "Is England's manhood dead and gone?"
  He asks; "Won't no one take me on?"

  A big drum booms, revolvers crack;
    Who is this hero that appears,
  A velvet tunic on his back,
    His whiskers curling round his ears?
  'Tis he who drew the jungle's sting,
  Diabolo, the Lion King.

  Within are birds beyond belief
    And creatures colourful and quaint:
  Lean dingoes weighed with secret grief
    And monkey humourists who ain't;
  Bears, camels, pards--Look up, my dear,
  The wonders of the world are here!

  PATLANDER.

       *       *       *       *       *

"CELLS BELOW ZERO FOR T.B. PATIENTS.

Ink in Nurses' Pens Froze when Taking Men's Temperature."--_Canadian
Paper._

Personally, we prefer having ours taken with a thermometer.

       *       *       *       *       *

"OFFENCES UNDER THE LIGHTING ORDERS.

--At Thursday's petty session Emile ---- was paid £1 for having no
near side light on his motor car."--_Local Paper._

But ought foreign offenders to be favoured in this way?

       *       *       *       *       *

"Richmond camp is a scene of bustling activity from sunrise to
reveille, or 'Taps' as the Americans term it."--_Evening Paper._

And after that the boy scouts would appear to have had a nice long day
to themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IF WINSTON SET THE FASHION--

PREMIER (_entering Cabinet Council Room_). "WHAT--NOBODY HERE?"

BUTLER. "YOU FORGET, SIR. THIS IS PRESS DAY. THE GENTLEMEN ARE ALL
FINISHING THEIR NEWSPAPER ARTICLES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A LONG PARTNERSHIP.

_Capt. Wedgwood Benn_ (_to Mr. Asquith_). "ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU
TOOK THE GLOVES OFF AND HAD A GO AT 'EM YOURSELF?" _Top Row_ (_reading
from left to right_).--Mr. G. R. THORNE, Mr. DEVLIN, Sir DONALD
MACLEAN, Mr. CLYNES, Gen. SEELY, Col. WEDGWOOD. _Middle Row._--The
SPEAKER, Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY, Mr. BONAR LAW, Mr. LLOYD GEORGE,
Mr. ASQUITH, Capt. WEDGWOOD BENN. _Bottom Row._--Mr. GEORGE LAMBERT,
Mr. WHITLEY (_Chairman of Committees_).]


=ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.=

_Monday, August 2nd._--The rain that drenched the Bank-holiday-makers
had its counterpart inside the House of Commons in the shower of
Questions arising out of Mr. CHURCHILL'S article on the Polish crisis
in an evening newspaper. Members of various parties sought to know
whether, when the WAR SECRETARY said that peace with Soviet Russia was
only another form of war and apparently invited the co-operation of
the German militarists to fight the Bolshevists, he was expressing the
views of the Government; and if not, what had become of the doctrine
of collective responsibility?

The PRIME MINISTER manfully tried to shield his colleague from the
storm, but the effort took all his strength and ingenuity, and more
than once it seemed as if an unusually violent blast would blow his
umbrella inside out. His principal points were that the article did
not mean what it appeared to say; that if it did it was not so much
an expression of policy as of a "hankering"--("HANKERING. An uneasy
craving to possess or enjoy something"--_Dictionary_); that he could
not control his colleagues' desires or their expression, even in a
newspaper hostile to the Government, so long as they were consistent
with the policy of the Government; and that he was not aware of
anything in this particular article that "cut across any declaration
of policy by His Majesty's Government."

This does not sound very convincing perhaps, but it was sufficient to
satisfy Members, whose chief anxiety is to get off as soon as possible
to the country, and who voted down by 134 to 32 an attempt to move the
adjournment.

The CHIEF SECRETARY formally introduced a Bill "to make provision for
the restoration and maintenance of order in Ireland." Earlier in the
sitting the PRIME MINISTER had declined Mr. DE VALERA'S alleged offer
to accept a republic on the Cuban pattern, and had reiterated his
intention to pass the Home Rule Bill after the Recess.

Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR is a declared opponent of both these measures, but
that did not prevent him from contrasting the lightning speed of the
House when passing coercion for Ireland with its snail-like pace when
approaching conciliation. In fifty years it had not given justice to
Ireland; it was to be asked to give injustice to Ireland in fewer
hours.

_Tuesday, August 3rd._--That genial optimist Lord PEEL commended the
Ministry of Mines Bill as being calculated to restore harmony and
goodwill among masters and men. According to Lord GAINFORD the best
way to secure this result is to hand back the control of the mines
to their owners, between whom and the employés, he declared, cordial
relations had existed in the past. Still, the owners would work the
Bill for what it was worth, and hoped the miners would do the same.
Lord HALDANE said that was just what the miners had announced their
intention of not doing unless they were given a great deal more power
than the Bill proposed. But this lack of enthusiasm in no way damped
Lord PEEL'S ardour. Indeed he observed that he had "never introduced a
Bill that was received with any sort of enthusiasm." Mollified by this
engaging candour the Peers gave the Bill a Second Reading.

I am glad to record another example of Government economy. To Mr.
GILBERT, who desired that more sandpits should be provided in the
London parks for the delectation of town-tied children, Sir ALFRED
MOND reluctantly but sternly replied that "in view of the considerable
expenditure involved" he did not feel justified in adding to the
existing number of three.

Dumps suggest dolefulness, but the debate on the action of the
Disposals Board in disposing of the accumulations at Slough, St. Omer
and elsewhere was decidedly lively. Mr. HOPE led off by attacking the
recent report of the Committee on National Expenditure, and declared
that its Chairman, though a paragon of truth, was not necessarily a
mirror of accuracy. The Chairman himself (Sir F. BANBURY), seated for
the nonce upon the Opposition Bench, replied with appropriate vigour
in a speech which caused Sir GORDON HEWART to remark that the passion
for censoriousness was not a real virtue, but which greatly pleased
the Labour Party, in acknowledging whose compliments Sir FREDERICK
severely strained the brim of his tall hat.

After these star-turns the "walking gentlemen" had their chance.
Sixteen times were they called upon to parade the Division Lobbies
by an Opposition which on one occasion registered no fewer than
fifty-three votes.

_Wednesday, August 4th._--One of the few Irish institutions which all
Irishmen unite in praising is the mail service between Kingstown and
Holyhead. Even the Sinn Feiners would think twice before cutting this
link between England and Ireland. Yet, according to Lord ORANMORE AND
BROWNE, the British Post Office has actually given notice to terminate
the contract. He was assured, however, by Lord CRAWFORD that tenders
for a new contract would shortly be invited and that, whoever secured
it, the efficiency of the service would be maintained.

It was nearly eight o'clock before the Ministry of Mines came on. Lord
SALISBURY thought it would be improper to consider so important a
measure after dinner; Lord CRAWFORD thought it would be still more
improper to suggest that the Peers would not be in a condition to
transact business after that meal. He carried his point, but at the
expense of the Bill, for Lord SALISBURY, returning like a giant
refreshed, induced their Lordships to transform the Minister of Mines
into a mere Under-Secretary of the Board of Trade, thus defeating,
according to Lord PEEL, the principal purpose of the measure.

It was another day of rather small beer in the Commons. There were,
however, one or two _dicta_ of note. Thus Sir BERTRAM FALK, who
was concerned because Naval officers received no special marriage
allowance, was specifically assured by Sir JAMES CRAIG that the
Admiralty will not prevent men from marrying. I understood, however,
that it will not recognise a wife in every port.

_Thursday, August 5th._--With lofty disregard of a hundred-and-twenty
years of history the Duke of NORTHUMBERLAND informed the Peers that
the present state of Ireland was due to Bolshevism. Having diagnosed
the disease so clearly he ought to have been ready with a remedy, but
could suggest nothing more practical than the holding of mass meetings
to organise British public opinion.

Meanwhile the Commons were engaged in rushing through with the aid
of the "guillotine" a Bill for the restoration of order in the
distressful country. Mr. BONAR LAW, usually so accurate, fell into an
ancient trap, and declared that the Sinn Fein leaders had "raised a
_Frankenstein_ that they cannot control."

Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD made as good a defence of the Bill as was possible
in the circumstances. But neither he nor anybody else could say how
courts-martial, which are "to act on the ordinary rules of evidence,"
will be successful in bringing criminals to justice if witnesses
refuse to come forward.

Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR re-delivered the anti-coercion speech which he has
been making off and on for the last forty years. Mr. DEVLIN was a
little more up-to-date, for he introduced a reference to the Belfast
riots and drew from the CHIEF SECRETARY an assurance that the Bill
would be as applicable to Ulster as to the rest of Ireland.

Mr. ASQUITH denounced the Bill with unusual animation, and was sure
that it would do more harm than good. Cromwellian treatment needed
a CROMWELL, but he did not see one on the Treasury Bench. "CROMWELL
yourself!" retorted the PRIME MINISTER. The only unofficial supporter
of the Bill, and even he "no great admirer," was Lord HUGH CECIL; but
nevertheless the Second Reading was carried by 289 to 71.

The House afterwards gave a Second Reading to the Census (Ireland)
Bill, on the principle, as Captain ELLIOTT caustically observed, that
if you can't do anything with the people of Ireland you might at least
find out how many of them there are.

_Friday, August 6th._--The remaining stages of the Coercion Bill were
passed under the "guillotine." Mr. DEVLIN declared that this was not
"cricket," and refused to play any longer; but it is only fair to say
that he had not then seen our artist's picture.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "AN' WHEN I TOLD 'IM IN THE ORFICE THAT ME MONEY WASN'T
RIGHT, HE SAYS, ''ERE 'S A READY RECKONER--WORK IT OUT YERSELF;' AN'
BELIEVE ME OR BELIEVE ME NOT, BUT WHEN I LOOKED AT THE BLESSED BOOK I
FOUND IT WAS LAST YEAR'S."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At this stage the Chairman withdrew complaining of a head-ache
    without nominating a successor, darkness set in and there were no
    lights. Along with the Chairman some forty people also left in a
    body. What happened afterwards is not clear."

    _Indian Paper._

We don't wonder the reporter was baffled.

       *       *       *       *       *

DEAR MR. PUNCH.--_Re_ the authorship of SHAKSPEARE'S plays, may I
quote from _Twelfth Night_, Act I., Scene V.? Thank you.


  "'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
  Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on."


This is unquestionably bacon.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Vicar_ (_in a gallant attempt to cover his
opponent's eloquence_) _sings._ "WE PLOUGH THE FIELDS AND SCATTER--"]

       *       *       *       *       *

=ROAD CONDITIONS FOR CHARABANCS.=

The following road information is compiled from reports received by
the Charabanc Defence Association:--

The Lushborough road is good and free from obstruction as far as
Great Boundingley, but from Chatback to Wrothley the conditions are
unfavourable. The bridge one mile south of the former place has been
occupied by a strong force of unfriendly natives, and several cases of
tarring have been reported. There is, however, an alternative route
_viâ_ Boozeley, but great caution is advised in passing through
Wrothley, passengers being recommended to provide themselves with a
good supply of loose metal before entering the village, where most of
the houses are protected with iron shutters. Helmets should not
be removed before reaching Cadbridge, where there is no danger of
retaliation.

Bottles may be discharged freely all along the Muckley road as far
as Ruddiham, but caution is needed at Bashfield Corner, from which
a small band of snipers has not yet been dislodged, though their
ammunition is running short. Passengers should be prepared to use all
the resources of their vocabulary at Bargingham, where the inhabitants
enjoy a well-deserved repute for their command of picturesque
invective. It would be humiliating to the whole charabanc
confraternity if they were to yield their pre-eminence in this branch
of education to a small rural community.

Thanks to the vigilance of the well-armed patrols of the Charabanc
Defence Association the main roads in East Anglia are almost clear
of the enemy. Caution must still be observed in passing through
Garningham at night. One of the hardiest "charabankers" was recently
prostrated in that village by a well-aimed epithet from the oldest
inhabitant. A writer in a Norwich paper recently described the
area within ten miles of Whelksham as "a paradise for baboon-faced
Yahooligans." But these futile ebullitions of malice are powerless to
check the triumphal progress of the charabanc in the Eastern Counties.

But no route at present offers more favourable or exhilarating
opportunities to the high-minded excursionist than the main Gath road
from Scrapston to Kinlarry. Excellent sport is afforded just outside
Stillminster, where Sir John Goodfellow's greenhouses are within easy
bottle-throw of the road and furnish a splendid target. On the
whole, however, it is thought advisable to abstain from saluting
the neighbouring hospital for shell-shock patients with a salvo of
megaphones, local opinion being adverse to such manifestations.

       *       *       *       *       *

=RHYMES OF THE UNDERGROUND.=

  The Ealing trains run frequently,
    The Ealing trains run fast;
  I stand at Gloucester Road and see
    A many hurtling past;
  They go to Acton, Turnham Green,
  And stations I have never seen,
  Simply because my lot has been
    In other places cast.

  The folk on Ealing trains who ride
    They, pitying, bestow
  On me a look instinct with pride;
    But I would have them know
  That, while on Wimbledonian plains
  My humble domicile remains,
  I HAVE NO USE FOR EALING TRAINS,
    Though still they come and go.

       *       *       *       *       *

Conversation of the moment in a City restaurant:--

REGULAR CUSTOMER (_looking down menu_). "Waiter, why is cottage pie
never on now?"

WAITER. "Well, Sir, since this 'ere shortage of 'ouses we ain't
allowed to make 'em any more."

       *       *       *       *       *


THE REVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.

(_Written after reading Mr. Francis W. GALPIN'S "Old English
Instruments of Music_.")

  I am no skilful vocalist;
    I can't control my _mezza gola_;
  I have but an indifferent fist
    (Or foot) upon the Pianola.

  But there are instruments, I own,
    That fire me with a fond ambition
  To master for their names alone
    Apart from their august tradition.

  They are the Fipple-Flute, a word
    Suggestive of seraphic screeches;
  The Poliphant comes next, and third
    The Humstrum--aren't they perfect peaches?

  About their tone I cannot say
    Much that would carry clear conviction,
  For, till I read of them to-day,
    I knew them not in fact or fiction.

  As yet I am, alas! without
    Instruction in the art of fippling,
  Though something may be found about
    It in the works of LEAR or KIPLING.

  And possibly I may unearth
    In LECKY or in LAURENCE OLIPHANT
  Some facts to remedy my dearth
    Of knowledge bearing on the Poliphant.

  But, now their pictures I have seen
    In GALPIN'S learned dissertation,
  So far as in me lies I mean
    To bring about their restoration.

  Yet since I cannot learn all three
    And time is ever onward humming,
  My few remaining years shall be
    Devoted wholly to humstrumming.

  That, when my bones to rest are laid,
    Upon my tomb it may be written:
  "He was the very last who played
    Upon the Humstrum in Great Britain."

       *       *       *       *       *


THE SPIDER.

Lately we had occasion to consider the place of the grasshopper in
modern politics. Now let us consider the place of the spider in our
social life.

It seems to me that the spider is the most accomplished and in some
ways the most sensible insect we have in these parts. In my opinion a
great deal too much fuss has been made about the bee. She is a knowing
little thing, but the spider is her superior in many ways. Yet no one
seems to write books or educational rhymes about the spider. It is
really a striking example of the well-known hypocrisy and materialism
of the British race. The bee is held up to the young as a model of
industry and domestic virtue--and why? Simply because she manufactures
food which we happen to like. The spider is held up to the young as
the type of rapacity, malice and cruelty, on the sole ground that he
catches flies, though we do not pretend that we are fond of flies, and
conveniently ignore the fact that, if the spider did not swat that
fly, we should probably swat it ourselves.

The real charge against the spider is that he doesn't make any food
for us. As for the virtue and nobility of the bee, I don't see it. The
only way in which she is able to accumulate all that honey at all is
by massacring the unfortunate males by the thousand as soon as she
conveniently can, a piece of Prussianism which may be justified on
purely material grounds, but is scarcely consistent with her high
reputation for morality and lovingkindness. If it could be shown that
the bee consciously collected all that honey with the idea that we
should annex it there might be something to be said for her on moral
grounds; but nobody pretends that. Now look at the spider. We are told
that as a commercial product spider-silk has been found to be equal if
not superior to the best silk spun by the Lepidopterous larvæ, with
whom, of course, you are familiar. "But the cannibalistic propensities
of spiders, making it impossible to keep more than one in a single
receptacle ... have hitherto prevented the silk being used ... for
textile fabrics." So that it comes to this: if spiders are useless
because they eat each other, the bees do much the same thing (only
wholesale), but it makes them commercially useful. The bee therefore
we place upon a pinnacle of respectability, but the spider we despise.
Faugh! the hypocrisy of it makes me sick. My children will be taught
to venerate the spider and despise the bee.

For, putting aside the question of moral values, look what the spider
can do. What is there in the clammy, not to say messy, honey-comb to
be compared with the delicate fabric of the spider's web? Indeed,
should we ever have given a single thought to the honey-comb if it had
had no honey in it? Do we become lyrical about the wasp's comb? We do
not. It is a case where greed and materialism have warped our artistic
perceptions. The spider can lower itself from the drawing-room ceiling
to the floor by a silken thread produced out of itself. Still more
marvellous, he can climb up the same thread to the ceiling when he
is bored, winding up the thread inside him as he goes, and so making
pursuit impossible. What can the bee do to equal that? And how is it
done? We don't even know. _The Encyclopædia Britannica_ doesn't know;
or if it does it doesn't let on. But the whole tedious routine of the
bee's domestic pottering day is an open book to us. Ask yourself,
which would you rather do, be able to collect honey and put it in a
suitable receptacle, or be able to let yourself down from the top
floor to the basement by a silken rope produced out of your tummy, and
then climb up it again when you want to go upstairs, just winding up
the rope inside you? I think you will agree that the spider has it. It
is hard enough, goodness knows, to wind up an ordinary ball of string
so that it will go into the string-box properly. What one would do if
one had to put it in one's bread-box I can't think. When my children
grow up, instead of learning

  "How doth the little busy bee ..."

they will learn--

  How doth the jolly little spider
  Wind up such miles of silk inside her,
  When it is clear that spiders' tummies
  Are not so big as mine or Mummy's?
  The explanation seems to be,
  They do not eat so much as me.

That will point the moral of moderation in eating, you see. There will
be a lot more verses, I expect; I can see _cram_ and _diaphragm_ and
possibly _jam_ coming very soon. But we must get on.

The spider is like the bee in this respect, that the male seems to
have a most rotten time. For one thing he is nearly always about
two sizes smaller than the female. Owing to that and to what _The
Encyclopædia Britannica_ humorously describes as "the greater
voracity" of the female (there is a lot of quiet fun in _The
Encyclopædia Britannica_), he is a very brave spider who makes a
proposal of marriage. "He makes his advances to his mate at the risk
of his life and is not infrequently killed and eaten by her before or
after" they are engaged ("before or after" is good). "Fully aware of
the danger he pays his addresses with extreme caution, frequently
waiting for hours in her vicinity before venturing to come to close
quarters. Males of the _Argyopidæ_ hang on the outskirts of the webs
of the females and signal their presence to her by jerking the radial
threads in a peculiar manner." This is, of course, the origin of the
quaint modern custom by which the young man rings the bell before
attempting to enter the web of his beloved in Grosvenor Square.
Contemporary novelists have even placed on record cases in which the
male has "waited for hours in her vicinity before venturing to come
to close quarters;" but too much attention must not be paid to these
imaginative accounts. If I have said enough to secure that in future a
little more kindliness and respect will be shown to the spider in the
nurseries of this great Empire, and a little less of it wasted on the
bee, I have not misspent my time.

But I shall not be content. Can we not go further? Can we not get a
little more of the simplicity of spider life into this hectic world of
ours? In these latitudes the spider lives only for a single season.
"The young emerge from the cocoon in the early spring, grow through
the summer and reach maturity in the early autumn. _The sexes then
pair and perish_ soon after the female has constructed her cocoon."
How delicious! No winter; no bother about coal; no worry about the
children's education; just one glorious summer of sport, one wild
summer of fly-catching and midge-eating, a romantic, not to say
dangerous wooing, a quiet wedding in the autumn, dump the family in
some nice unfurnished cocoon--and perish. Is there nothing to be said
for that? How different from the miserable bee, which just goes on and
on, worrying about posterity, working and working, fussing about....

Yet all our lives are modelled on the bee's.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mr. Meere._ "YOU'LL REALLY HAVE TO BE MORE CAREFUL,
DEAR, HOW YOU SPEAK TO THE COOK OR SHE'LL BE LEAVING US."

_Mrs. M._ "PERHAPS I WAS RATHER SEVERE."

_Mr. M._ "SEVERE! WHY, ANYONE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT YOU WERE TALKING TO
ME."]

       *       *       *       *       *

DOWN-OUR-COURT CIRCULAR.

Why should not some of the other people, who also enjoy life, have
their movements recorded too? Like this:--

During Mr. William Sikes' visit to the Devonshire moors Mrs. Sikes
will remain in town.

       * * *

Mr. and Mrs. James Harris have arrived in London from Southend.

       * * *

Miss Levi, Miss Hirsch and Master Isaacson are among the guests at
Victoria Park, where some highly successful children's parties have
been given.

       * * *

Epping is much in favour just now, and a large number of (public)
house-parties have been arranged. Among those entertaining this week
are Mr. Henry Higgins, Mr. Robert Atkins and Mr. John Smith.

       * * *

Mr. Henry Hawkins, Mrs. Hawkins, Mr. Henry Hawkins, junior, and Miss
Hawkins left town on August 2nd for Hampstead Heath, for a day's
riding and shooting. A large bag of nuts was obtained. Mr. Hawkins has
not yet returned.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "LITTLE PROGRESS MADE.
  KING  STILL  DEFIANT."
  _Daily Paper._

  Oh, dear! Another complication!
  Who is the monarch? Which the nation?
  We breathe again. The Leicester pro.
  Kept up his end four hours or so.

       *       *       *       *       *
    "Another of the big round landlords of London is selling his
    estate.

    Sir Joseph Doughty Tichborne is selling his Doughty Estate of 14
    acres."--_Evening Paper._

It recalls the famous case. "The Claimant" would certainly have made
"a big round landlord."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Here then is a new development of serious local journalism. Just
    an unpretentious but exceedingly well-printed village sheet,
    breathing local atmosphere, emitting nothing that can possibly
    interest the natives."

_Local Paper._

But we seem to have seen journals like this before.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a Dutch bulb-grower's catalogue:--

    "Nothing but Inferior quality being sent out from my Nurseries. My
    terms are Cash with order only."

In matters of commerce this Dutchman appears to be maintaining his
country's reputation.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE ANNIVERSARY.=

It began as quite an ordinary day. I read my paper at breakfast and
Kathleen poured out the coffee. She wore that little frown between her
eyebrows that means that she is thinking out the menu for lunch and
dinner and hoping that Nurse hasn't burnt Baby's porridge again. This
is married life.

Then I started in a hurry for the office, hurling a "Good-bye, dear"
through the open window as I passed. The 9.15 leaves little time for
affection. That too is married life.

It was the sweetbriar hedge that made me decide to miss the 9.15. It
clutched hold of me suddenly and told me that the sky was very blue
and the woods very green, and that the office was an absurd thing on
such a day.

I went slowly back home round the outside of the garden wall. Someone
was singing in the garden. I stopped and whistled a tune. A face
appeared over the wall--rather an attractive face.

"Hello!" it said; "someone I knew a long time ago used to whistle that
tune outside my garden."

"Hello!" I said; "come out for a walk?"

"I can't come out at the bidding of young men on the highway. It isn't
done."

"Never mind. Come out."

"Have I ever been introduced to you?"

"Introductions went out years ago. Come by the side gate."

She came. She held a shady hat in her hand and walked on tip-toe.

"Sh!" she cautioned; "no one must see me. I have a reputation, you
know. I don't want the Vicar to denounce me from the pulpit on Sunday
in front of Baby."

"I will be quite frank with you," she went on, holding out her left
hand with a dramatic flourish; "I am married--I have a husband."

I gave a hollow groan; then, with a manly effort, I mastered my
emotion.

"I hope he's nice to you," I said.

"No, he isn't. He grouches off to the office in the morning and
grouches back in the evening and reads newspapers. He's just grouched
off now."

"The callous brute!" I hissed through my teeth.

"There's worse than that," she said darkly.

"No!"

"Yes. To-day, to-day is an anniversary, and he forgot it." The manner
was that of MADAME BERNHARDT.

"Anniversaries," I said reassuringly, "are difficult to remember. They
accumulate so."

"Are you defending him?" she protested.

"Er--no," I said hastily. "The man's an unmitigated scoundrel. He
ought to be divorced or something. What anniversary was it?"

"Our wedding-day," she said with a sob in the voice.

"Heavens!" I said. "Oh, the dastardly ruffian!"

"_You_ wouldn't forget your wedding-day, would you?"

"_Never!_" I said hoarsely.

"You're quite rather nice," she sighed.

"You're adorable," I said readily.

"How lovely! My husband never says things like that." And she leant
against my shoulder.

We got on rather well after that. We had lunch in an inn garden, where
you could smell lavender and sweet peas and roses and where there were
box hedges turned under magical spells into giant birds. We discovered
a stream in a wood with hart's-tongue fern growing along its banks. I
picked her armfuls of wild roses.

"It's to make up," I said, "because your brute of a husband forgot
your wedding-day."

"I'd love to be married to you," she said brazenly.

I turned aside to brush away a bitter tear.

It was almost dusk when we got back to the side gate.

"Good-bye," she whispered. "Go away quickly; I believe that's the
Vicar coming down the road."

Then she shut the gate with gentle swiftness in my face. I walked
round to the front door. She was in the hall.

"Hello!" she said; "I hope you had a good day at the office?"

"Thanks," I said; "pretty rotten."

"I've had a lovely day," she said; "I picked up such a nice young man
in the high road. He's taking me out to-night. He's just going to ring
up for seats."

Without a word I went to the telephone.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The Right Order of Things at Last.=

"A Gentleman would be pleased to Recommend his Butler in whose service
he has been three years."--_Daily Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "TO AMERICANS IN LONDON.--The ----, Cornwall, offers you
    comfortable home while on this side; far away from the madding
    crown."--_Daily Paper._

Republican prejudices respected.

       *       *       *       *       *

  There was a hard-swearing old sailor
  Whose speech might have startled a jailer;
  But he frankly avowed
  That the charabanc crowd
  Would not be allowed on a whaler.

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE PATIENTS' LIBRARY.=

Though a West-End physician of repute, he must, I think, have had a
course of American training, if rapidity of action be any indication
thereof.

Scarcely had the maid ushered me into his study and I had taken a seat
than he came forward brusquely, looked at me with the glowering eye of
the _Second Murderer_, grasped a large piece of me in the region of
the fourth rib and barked, "You're too fat."

Having been carefully bred I refrained from retaliation. I did
not tell him that his legs were out of drawing and that he had a
frightfully vicious nose. But before I had time to explain my business
he had started on a series of explosive directions: "Eat proper food.
Plenty of open air. Exercise morning, noon and night and in between.
Use the Muldow system. You need a tonic."

He turned to his table and was, I suppose, about to draw a cheque for
me on the local chemist's when I decided to say my little piece.

"Excuse me, Sir," said I mildly, "I am not a patient."

The combination fountain-pen and thermometer almost fell from his
hand.

"I am," said I, "the sole proprietor and sole representative of the
Physicians' Supply Association. I gave your maid my card. I have
called with a thrilling offer of magazines for your waiting-room."

"What dates?" said he, a gleam of interest in his dark eye.

"All pre-war," said I proudly; "none of them are later than 1900 and
some go back to 1880."

"Not B.C.?" said he, with a look in which hope and disbelief were
mingled.

"No," said I. "All are A.D.; but they include two Reports of Missions
to Deep Sea Fishermen in 1885--very rare. I'm sure they would match
splendidly the Proceedings of the Royal Commission on Aniline Dyes
which you have in the waiting-room."

"No," said he firmly. "I have one of the most important practices in
Harley Street. I likewise possess one of the finest collections of old
magazines in the profession. That blue-book on Aniline Dyes is barely
fifty years old. It was left me by my father, and I retain it simply
through affection for him in spite of its modernity. But the rest
go back to the Crimean vintage and earlier. When you have something
really old, come to me. But"--and he threw in a winning smile in his
best bedside manner--"not till then."

I am now in search of a young practitioner who is merely starting a
collection.

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration SCENE.--_A Flower Show: Garden Ornament Section._

_Mother._ "I DON'T CARE FOR THAT LITTLE FIGURE. HE'S TOO
EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FOR MY TASTE."

_Critical Little Girl_ (_who has lately taken part in
tableaux-vivants_). "HOW CAN YOU TELL WHAT CENTURY HE IS, MOTHER? HE'S
GOT NO CLOTHES ON."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

If sorrow's crown of sorrow is as the poet says, it should be equally
true that there is enough satisfaction in remembering unhappier things
to ensure success for _The Crisis of the Naval War_ (CASSELL), the
large and dignified volume in which Admiral of the Fleet Viscount
JELLICOE OF SCAPA, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., reminds us how near the
German submarines came to triumph in 1917, and details the various
ways by which their menace was overcome. It is a solid book, written
with authority, and addressed rather to the expert than to the casual
reader; but even the latter individual (the middle-aged home-worker,
for instance, remembering the rationed plate of beans and rice that
constituted his lunch in the Spring of 1917) can thrill now to read of
the precautions this represented, and the multiform activities that
kept that distasteful dish just sufficiently replenished. I have
observed that Viscount JELLICOE avoids any approach to sensationalism.
His book however contains a number of exceedingly interesting
photographs of convoys at sea, smoke-screens, depth-charges exploding,
and the like, which the most uninformed can appreciate. And in at
least one feature of "counter-measures," the history of the decoy or
mystery ships, the record is of such exalted and amazing heroism that
not the strictest language of officialdom can lessen its power to stir
the heart. Who, for example, could read the story of _The Prize_, and
the involuntary tribute from the captured German commander that rounds
it off, without a glow of gratitude and pride? Do you recall how we
would attempt to stifle curiosity with the unsatisfactory formula, "We
shall know some day"? Here in this authoritative volume is another
corner of the curtain lifted.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although he is still comparatively a newcomer, a book with the
signature of Mr. JOSEPH HERGESHEIMER is already something of a
landmark in the publishing season. To this repute _Linda Condon_
(HEINEMANN) will certainly add. In many ways I incline to think it, or
parts of it, the best work that this unusual artist has yet done. The
development of _Linda_, in the hateful surroundings of an American
"hotel-child," through her detached and observant youth to a womanhood
austere, remote, inspired only by the worship of essential beauty, is
told with an exquisite rightness of touch that is a continual delight.
Mr. HERGESHEIMER has above all else the gift of suggesting atmosphere
and colour (ought I not in mere gratitude to bring myself to say
"color"?); his picture of _Linda's_ amazing mother and the rest of
the luxurious brainless company of her hotel existence has the exotic
brilliance of the orchid-house, at once dazzling and repulsive. Later,
in the course of her married life, inspiring and inspired by the
sculptor _Pleydon_ (in whose fate the curious may perhaps trace some
echo of recent controversy), the story of _Linda_ becomes inevitably
less vivid, though its grasp of the reader's sympathy is never
relaxed. In fine, a tale short as such go nowadays, but throughout
of an arresting and memorable beauty. The state of modern American
fiction has, if I may say so without offence, been for some time a
cause of regret to the judicious; let Mr. HERGESHEIMER be resolute in
refusing to lower his standard by over-production, and I look to see
him leading a return towards the best traditions of an honourable
past.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not an impossible conception that _Sniping in France_
(HUTCHINSON) will still be available in libraries in the year 2020
A.D., and I can imagine the title then catching the eye of some
enthusiastic sportsman, whose bent for game is stronger than his
knowledge of history. Feeling that here is a new class of shooting for
him to try his hand at, he will hasten to acquaint himself with the
details and will discover that the first of the essentials is a
European war in full blast. Whether or not he will see his way to
arrange that for himself, I don't know and, since I shall not be
present, I don't care. But in any case he will be absorbed in an
eminently scientific and indeed romantic study of perhaps the most
thrilling and deadly-earnest big game hunting there has ever been, and
he will be left not a little impressed with the work of the author,
Major H. HESKETH PRICHARD, D.S.O., M.C., his skill, energy and
personality. As to this last he will find a brief summing-up in the
foreword of General Lord HORNE, and he will be able to visualise the
whole "blunderbuss" very clearly by the help of the illustrations of
Mr. ERNEST BLAIKLEY, of the late Lieut. B. HEAD, and of the camera.
There is undoubtedly much controversial matter in the book, which must
necessarily give rise to the most remarkable gun-room discussions. I
can well imagine some stout-hearted Colonel, prompted by his love for
the plain soldier-man and his rooted dislike of all "specialists,"
becoming very heated in the small hours of the morning about the
paragraph on page 97, in which a division untrained in the Sniping
Schools is in passing compared to a band of "careless and ignorant
tourists."

       *       *       *       *       *

Señor IBAÑEZ' new novel, _Mare Nostrum_ (CONSTABLE), is ostensibly a
yarn about spies and submarines, its hero a gallant Spanish captain,
_Ulysses Ferragut_, scion of a long line of sailormen. And there can
be no doubt of the proper anti-German sentiments of this stout fellow,
even though his impetuous passion for _Freya Talberg_, a Delilah in
the service of the enemy, did make him store a tiny island with what
the translator will persist in calling combustibles, meaning, one
supposes, fuel. But more fundamentally it is an affectionate song
of praise of the Mediterranean and the dwellers on its littoral,
especially the fiery and hardy sailors of Spain, and of Spaniards, in
particular the Valencians and Catalonians. Signor IBAÑEZ' method
is distinctly discursive; he gives, for instance, six-and-twenty
consecutive pages to the description of the inmates of the Naples
Aquarium and is always ready to suspend his story for a lengthy
disquisition on any subject, person or place that interests him. This
puts him peculiarly at the mercy of his transliterator, who has a
positive genius for choosing the wrong word and depriving any comment
of its subtlety, any well-made phrase of its distinction. Even
plain narrative such as the following is none too attractive:--"The
voluminous documents would become covered with dust on his table and
Don Esteban would have to saddle himself with the dates in order that
the end of the legal procedures should not slip by." What ingenuous
person authorises this sort of "authorised translation"?

       *       *       *       *       *

If I may say so without offence, Mr. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS reminds me
a little of those billiard experts who, having evolved a particular
stroke, will continue it indefinitely, to the joy of the faithful
and the exasperated boredom of the others. To explain my metaphor, I
gather that Mr. BURROUGHS, having "got set," to an incredible number
of thousands, with an invention called _Tarzan_, is now by way of
beating his own record over the adventures of _John Carter_ in the red
planet Mars. Concerning these amazing volumes there is just this to
say, that either you can read them with avidity or you can't read them
at all. From certain casual observations I conceive the test to be
primarily one of youth, for honesty compels my middle-age to admit
a personal failure. I saw the idea; for one thing no egg was ever a
quarter so full of meat as the Martian existence of incomprehensible
thrills, to heighten the effect of which Mr. BURROUGHS has invented
what amounts to a new language, with a glossary of its own, thus
appealing to a well-known instinct of boyhood, but rendering the whole
business of a more than Meredithian obscurity to the uninitiate. I
have hitherto forgotten to say that the particular volume before me is
called _The War Lord of Mars_ (METHUEN). I may add that it closes
with the heroic _Carter_ hailed as Jeddak of Jeddaks, which sounds
eminently satisfactory, though without conveying any definite promise
of finality.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Knight._ "LET'S SEE. WE HAVE ALREADY OVERCOME THE
CHIEF JAILER AND HIS TEN ASSISTANTS, AND SLAIN THE FEARSOME HOUND
WHICH GUARDED THE COURTYARD. WE HAVE NOW TO DESTROY THE ONE-EYED GIANT
AND THE BEAN-FED DRAGON, SCALE THE OUTER WALL, SWIM THE MOAT AND THEN
TO HORSE. COURAGE, SWEET LADY! YOU ARE PRACTICALLY SAVED."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Do Poultry Pay?=

    "Six Hens for sale, some laying 7s. each."--_Local Paper._

You will find three of them as good as a guinea-fowl.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "But the germ of Socialism or BZolshevism--however you like to
    call it--has hardly entered the Polish working-class blood."

    _Provincial Paper._

We fear, however, that it has got into our contemporary's
composing-room.

       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Note:

Page 116 corrected Typo: changed "Encylopædia" to "Encyclopædia".





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