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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, August 18th, 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 18th, 1920" ***

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VOL. 159.

August 18th, 1920.


The grouse-shooting reports are coming in. Already one of the newly-rich
has sent a brace of gamekeepers to the local hospital.

* * *

"A few hours in Cork," says a _Daily Mail_ correspondent, "will convince
anyone that a civil war is near." A civil war, it should be explained, is
one in which the civilians are at war but the military are not.

* * *

Lisburn Urban Council has decided to buy an army hut for use as a day
nursery. It is this policy of petty insult that is bound in the end to goad
the military forces in Ireland to reprisals.

* * *

"Who invented railways?" asks a weekly paper. We can only say we know
somebody who butted in later.

* * *

"Mr. Churchill," says a contemporary, "has some friends still." It will be
noticed that they are very still.

* * *

"It may interest your readers to know," writes a correspondent, "that it
would take four days and nights, seven hours, fifty-two minutes and ten
seconds to count one day's circulation of _The Daily Mail_." Holiday-makers
waiting for the shower to blow over should certainly try it.

* * *

Coloured grocery sugars, the FOOD CONTROLLER announces, are to be freed
from control on September 6th. A coloured grocery is one in which the
grocer is not as black as he is painted.

* * *

A conference of sanitary inspectors at Leeds has been considering the
question, "When is a house unfit for habitation?" The most dependable sign
is the owner's description of it as a "charming old-world residence."

* * *

The Warrington Watch Committee, says a news item, have before them an
unusual number of applications for pawnbrokers' licences. In the absence of
any protest from the Sleeve Links and Scarf Pin Committee they will
probably be granted.

* * *

"I earn three pounds and fourpence a week," an applicant told the Willesden
Police Court, "out of which I give my wife three pounds." The man may be a
model husband, of course, but before taking it for granted we should want
to know what he does with that fourpence.

* * *

Scarborough Corporation has fitted up and let a number of bathing vans for
eight shillings a week each. To avoid overcrowding not more than three
families will be allowed to live in one van.

* * *

"Three times in four days," says a _Daily Express_ report, "a Parisian has
thrown his wife out of a bedroom window." Later reports point out that all
is now quiet, as the fellow has found his collar-stud.

* * *

"Who Will Fight For England?" asks a headline. To avoid ill-feeling a
better plan would be to get Sir ERIC GEDDES to give it to you.

* * *

A noiseless gun has just been invented. It will now be possible to wage war
without the enemy complaining of headache.

* * *

"Everyone sending clothes to a laundry should mark them plainly so that
they can be easily recognised," advises a weekly journal. It is nice to
know that should an article not come back again you will be able to assure
yourself that it was yours.

* * *

At the present moment, we read, dogs are being imported in large numbers.
It should be pointed out, however, that dachshunds are still sold in

* * *

A contemporary complains of the high cost of running a motor-car to-day. It
is not so much the high price of petrol, we gather, as the rising cost of

* * *

The police, while investigating a case of burglary in a railway buffet,
discovered a bent crowbar. This seems to prove that the thieves tried to
break into a railway sandwich.

* * *

Mexican rebels have been ordered to stop indiscriminate shooting. It is
feared that the supply of Presidential Candidates is in danger of running

* * *

"A Manchester octogenarian has just married a woman of eighty-six," says a
news item. It should be pointed out, however, that he obtained her parents'

* * *

"Although the old penny bun is now sold for twopence or even threepence it
contains three times the number of currants," announces an evening paper.
This should mean three currants in each bun.

* * *

A parrot belonging to a bargee escaped near Atherstone in Warwickshire last
week and has not yet been recaptured. We understand that all children under
fourteen living in the neighbourhood are being kept indoors, whilst local
golfers have been sent out to act as decoys.

* * *

It is announced that a baby born in Ramsgate on August 6th is to be
christened "Geddes." We are given to understand that the news has not yet
been broken to the unfortunate infant.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Exasperated Partner._ "LOOK HERE--DON'T YOU EVER GET YOUR


       *       *       *       *       *


    "Bishop ---- says he will not be able to consider any more proposals
    for engagements till after the summer of 1921."--_Local Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

AN ECHO FROM BISLEY.--A musical correspondent writes to point out that
sol-faists have an unfair advantage in the running-deer competition,
because they are always practising with a "movable Doh."

       *       *       *       *       *


GROGTOWN.--All available accommodation has been monopolised by Glasborough
visitors, among whom this resort is becoming more alarmingly popular every
year. Sixty charabancs arrived on Monday and the Riot Act was read several
times before the passengers could be induced to desist from their badinage
of the residents, most of whom have since retired behind the wire-
entanglements at Kelrose. The municipal orchestra was subjected to a brisk
fusillade of rock-cakes on Saturday night; the conductor and several of the
instrumentalists suffered contusions, and their performances have since
been discontinued. This has not unnaturally given rise to a certain amount
of dissatisfaction amongst the visitors, but otherwise there has been no
recrudescence of rioting. A company of the Caithness Highlanders, with
machine-guns, are now encamped on the links, and sunshine is all that is
needed to complete the success of the season.

KEGNESS.--On Tuesday the Mayor presented a jar of whisky, fifty years old,
to the winning charabanc team in the bottle-throwing competition, and the
subsequent scenes afforded much diversion. A notable feature at present is
a large whale, which was washed ashore in a gale about six months ago. The
oldest inhabitants declare that they have never known anything like it, and
it is certainly an unforgettable experience to be anywhere within a mile of
this apparently immovable derelict. Excursions to all surrounding places
out of nose-shot are extremely popular, and the beach is practically
deserted save by a few juvenile natives engaged in the blubber industry.

MUDHALL SPA.--Without the least reflection on chalybeates and the rest, it
must be allowed that the most popular beverage in Mudhall at present is
that which draws its virtue from a cereal and not a mineral source.
Hilarity is rife at all hours, and the effort to enlist a body of local
volunteers to control the exuberance of anti-Sabbatarian "charabankers" is
meeting with unexpected support. The casualties in the daily collisions
between the Hydropathic League and the Anti-Pussy-Foot-Guards are steadily
increasing and now compare favourably with those of any other Midland

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A Boylston (Massachusetts) farm labourer is said to havt bees
    identified as one of the heirs to a £400,000 estate at Dundte, for whom
    starches have betn made for years, but nothing is known at Dundee of
    such an estate."--_Daily Paper._

But this lucid paragraph should help to clear up the mystery.

       *       *       *       *       *


The rumour that a number of London's statues are to be moved to make room
for new has caused many a marble heart to beat faster; and on making a
round of calls I gathered that Sir ALFRED MOND has few friends in stone or
bronze circles. Not the least uneasy is George IV. in Trafalgar Square.
Uneasiness of body he has always known, riding there for ever without any
stirrups; but now his mind is uneasy too. "If they take Father from
Cockspur Street," he argued very naturally, "why not me?"

A few of the figures feel secure, of course, but very few. Nelson on his
column has no fears; Nurse Cavell is too recent to tremble; so is Abraham
Lincoln. But the others? They are in a state of nervous suspense, wondering
if the sentence of banishment is to fall and resenting any disturbance of
their lives. "_J'y suis, j'y reste_" is their motto.

Abraham Lincoln gave me a hearty welcome and extended an invitation that is
not within the power of any other graven image in the city. "Take a chair,"
he said.

I did so and am thus, I suppose, the first Londoner to put that comfortable
piece of furniture to its proper use.

"How do you like being here?" I asked.

He said that he enjoyed it. The only blot on his pleasure was the fear that
the Abbey might fall on him, and he therefore hoped that _The Times'_ fund
was progressing by leaps and bounds.

His immediate neighbours, on the contrary, exhibited no serenity whatever,
and I found Canning and Palmerston shivering with apprehension in their
frockcoats. The worst of it was that I could say nothing to reassure them.

Here and there, however, a desire for locomotion was expressed. Dr.
Johnson, in the enclosure behind St. Clement Danes, is very restive. I
asked him if he would object to removal. "Sir," said the Little
Lexicographer (as his sculptor has made him), "I should derive satisfaction
from it. A man cannot be considered as enviable who spends all his time in
the contemplation, from an unvacatable position, of a street to the
perambulation of which he devoted many of his happiest hours."

I ventured to agree.

"Nor," continued the sage, "is it a source of contentment to a man of
integrity to observe an unceasing procession of Americans on their way to
partake of pudding in a hostelry that has made its name and prosperity out
of a mythical association with himself and be unable to correct the error."

"Are you in general in favour of statuary?" I made bold to ask.

"Painting," said he, "consumes labour not disproportionate to its effect;
but a fellow will hack half a year at a block of marble to make something
in stone that hardly resembles a man. Look around you; look at me. The
value of statuary is owing to its difficulty. You would not value the
finest head cut upon a carrot."

But one effect of this General Post among the statues is good, and it
should delight Mr. ASQUITH. Cromwell, now outside Westminster Hall, is to
be moved into the House.


       *       *       *       *       *



  As MARY was a-walking
    All on a summer day,
  The flowers all stood curtseying
    And bowing in her way;
  The blushing poppies hung their heads
    And whispered MARY'S name,
  And all the wood anemones
    Hung down their heads in shame.

  The violet hid behind her leaves
    And veiled her timid face,
  And all the flowers bowed a-down,
    For holy was the place.
  Only a little common flower
    Looked boldly up and smiled
  To see the happy mother come
    A-carrying her Child.

  The little Child He laughed aloud
    To see the smiling flower,
  And as He laughed the Marigold
    Turned gold in that same hour.
  For she was gay and innocent--
    He loved to see her so--
  And from the splendour of His face
    She caught a golden glow.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "I have just completed a fortnight's tour on a tandem, and can
    recommend this form of a holiday as the best I know of.... One Sunday
    in June, without exaggeration, I was nearly killed twice, and my wife
    was overcome with fright."--_C.T.C. Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In a competition at Claygate, Surrey, three children caught 182 green
    wasps."--_Daily Paper._

It is believed that they would not have been caught if they had not been

       *       *       *       *       *

From a recent Admiralty Order:--

    "Approval has been given for frocks to be issued to N.C. Officers and
    men (Royal Marines) during the current year, for walking out purposes

It is believed that His Majesty's Jollies have received the order without
enthusiasm, on the ground that no mention is made of anything being inside
the frocks.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE ICONOCLAST.



[It is understood that a number of London statues, including that of George
III. in Cockspur Street, are to be removed by the Office of Works to make
room for new ones.]]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Heavy Father._ "PUT YOUR 'AT ON THIS MINUTE, SIR. DO YOU

       *       *       *       *       *


  'Twas last week at Pebble Bay
    That I saw the little goat,
  Harnessed to a little shay.
    Old was he and poor in coat,
  And he lugged his load along
  Where the barefoot children throng
  Round the nigger minstrels' song.

  But his eye, aloof and chill,
    Said to me as plain as plain,
  "I am waiting, waiting still,
    Till the gods come back again;
  Starved and ugly, mean, unkempt,
  I have dreams by you undreamt,
  And--I hold you in contempt!

  "Dreams of forest routs that trooped,
    Shadowy maidens crowned with vines,
  Dreams where Dian's self has stooped
    Darkling 'neath the scented pines;
  Or where he, old father Pan,
  Took the hooves of me and ran
  Fluting through the heart of man.

  "Surely he must come again,
    He the great, the hornéd one?
  Shan't I caper in his train
    Through the hours of feast and fun!"
  And he looked with eyes of jade
  Through the sunshine, through the shade,
  Far beyond Marine Parade.

      * * * * *

  Should you go to Pebble Bay,
    Golfing or to bathe and boat--
  Should you see a loaded shay,
    In the shafts a scarecrow goat,
  Tell him that you hope (with me)
  Pan will shortly set him free,
  Pipe him home to Arcady.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. P.F. WARNER has received countless expressions of regret on his
retirement from first-class cricket. Among these he values not least a
"round robin" from the sparrows at Lord's, all of whom he knows by name. In
the score-book of Fate is this entry in letters of gold:

  "Plum" _c_ Anno _b_ Domini 47.

Long may he live to enjoy the cricket of others!

       *       *       *       *       *

The test team of Australia being now complete, all correspondence on the
subject of its exclusions must cease. We therefore do not print a number of
letters asking why there is no one named Geddes on the side.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. FENDER and HOBBS are said to be actuated by the same motto, "For Hearth
and Home." Both are pledged to return covered with "the ashes."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the recent Surrey and Middlesex match Mr. SKEET bewildered the crowd by
fielding as if he liked it. Hitherto this vulgar manifestation has been
confined to HITCH and HENDREN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although so late in the season Yorkshire has great hopes of a colt named
HIRST, who has just joined the side. He was seen bowling at Eton and was
secured at once.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a strong feeling in Worcestershire that a single-wicket match
between LEE of Middlesex and Mr. PERRIN of Essex would be a very saucy

       *       *       *       *       *



Mr. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, who recently intrigued and perhaps just a little
scandalised the town with a most engagingly flippant and piquant farce all
about an accidentally bigamous beauty, certainly shows courage in launching
so serious a discussion as _The Unknown_. And in the silly season too. I
see that in a quite unlikely interview (but then all modern interviews are
unlikely) he defends his right to discuss religion quite openly on the
stage. Of course. Why should anybody deny that religion is to the normally
constituted mind, whatever its doxy, an absorbingly interesting subject; or
that the War hasn't made a breach in the barriers of British reticence?
Whether to the point of making a perfectly good married Vicar (anxious to
convict a doubting D.S.O. of sin) ask in a full drawing-room containing the
Vicaress, the Doctor and the D.S.O.'s fiancée, mother and father, "For
instance, have you always been perfectly chaste?"--I am not so sure. Nor
whether the War has really added to bereaved _Mrs. Littlewood's_ bitter
"And who is going to forgive God?" any added force. If that kind of
question is to be asked at all it might have been asked, and with perhaps
more justice, at any time within the historical period. For the War might
reasonably be attributed by the Unknown Defendant thus starkly put upon
trial to man's deliberate folly, whereas....

No doubt, however, Mr. MAUGHAM would say the shock of war has (like any
other great catastrophe) tested the faith of many who are personally deeply
stricken and found it wanting, while the whisper of doubt has swelled the
more readily as there are many to echo it. So _Major John Wharton, D.S.O.,
M.C._, having found war, contrary to his expectation of it as the most
glorious manly sport in the world, a "muddy, mad, stinking, bloody
business," loses the faith of his youth and says so, not with bravado but
with regret. The Vicar, with dignity and restraint, but without much
understanding and not without some hoary _clichés_; his wife, with venom
(suggesting also incidentally sound argument for the celibacy of the
clergy); the old _Colonel_ and his sweet unselfish wife, with affection;
and _Sylvia_, _John's_ betrothed, with a strange passion, defend the old
faith, _Sylvia_ to the point of breaking with her lover and getting her to
a nunnery--a business which will in the end, I should guess, lay a heavier
burden upon the nuns than upon _John_. The indecisive battle sways hither
and thither. It is the _Doctor_ who sums up in a compromise which would
shock the metaphysical theologian, but may suffice for the plain man, "God
is merciful but not omnipotent. In His age-long fight against evil we can
help--or hinder; why not help?"

The most signal thing was Miss HAIDÉE WRIGHT'S personal triumph as _Mrs.
Littlewood_--a very fine interpretation of an interesting character. Mr.
CHARLES V. FRANCE adds another decent Colonel to his military repertory.
This actor always plays with distinction and with an ease of which the art
is so cleverly concealed as perhaps to rob him of his due meed of applause
from the unperceptive. Lady TREE made a beautiful thing of the character of
_Mrs. Wharton_, whose simple unselfishness was the best of all Mr.
MAUGHAM'S arguments for the defence. Mr. R.H. HIGNETT nobly restrained
himself from making a too parsonic parson, yet kept enough of the
distinctive flavour to excite a passionate anti-clerical behind me into
clamorously derisive laughter; a very good piece of work. Miss O'MALLEY
acted a difficult, almost an impossibly difficult, part with a fine
distinction. Mr. BASIL RATHBONE'S _Major_ and Mr. BLAKISTON'S _Doctor_ were
excellent. I am sorry to be so monotonously approving....

I am not convinced that Mr. MAUGHAM'S experiment has succeeded.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. ---- maintained that it was extraordinuary that if he was only
    slightly dead deceased did not hear the lorry."--_Local Paper._

Most extraordinuary.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Generous Stranger._ "WILL YOU HAVE ANOTHER PINT? (_No


       *       *       *       *       *


George and I are two ordinary people. He studies the Weather Reports every
day; I do occasionally. He thinks he understands meteorology; I don't. But
lately I felt that I _must_ have some explanation of the weather, so I
asked George to explain it.

He said, "Certainly; it's quite simple. Take wind. Wind is caused by
differences of _pressure_."

"What _is_ pressure? Who is pressing what?"

"Pressure is what the barometer tells you--not the thermometer; you must
keep the thermometer out of this. Suppose it is very hot in London--"

"Don't be ridiculous."

"Well, suppose it is very hot at a place A--"

"I thought we were keeping the thermometer out of this."

"It comes in indirectly. But don't keep interrupting. If it is very hot at
the place A, the air at A rises. You see?"


"Obviously it does. If you light a candle--"

"Yes, yes, I do see that. Don't begin about candles."

"Well, the result of that is that there is less _pressure_ at A. In other
words, there is more room for the air to move about. When that happens the
air at the place B--"

"Where is that?"

"Oh anywhere. I told you to think of two places, A and B."

"No, you told me to think of a place A, and I am still thinking of it,
because it is very hot there."

"Well, this is another place, where the pressure is simply frightful. When
the air rises at A the air from B rushes over to A to fill up the gap, and
that is what we call wind."

"I see."

"No, you don't. It isn't quite so simple as that. Now, the atoms of air
rushing from B to A don't go _straight_ there, but they travel in--in sort
of _circles_."

"Why do they do that?"

"Well, the fact is that these atoms are so keen to get over to A, where
there is plenty of room, that they jostle each other, and that makes them
go round and round. If they go round and round _against_ the clock, like
that, they are called cyclones, or depressions, or low-pressure systems. If
they go with the clock, like that, it is an anti-cyclone."


"What do you mean--'Oh'?"

"What I said; but go on."

"Now suppose this air--"

"Which air?"

"The air from B. Suppose it is travelling in a cyclone--"

"But isn't a cyclone a low-pressure thingummy?"


"And didn't you say that B was a high-pressure place?"


"Then how does the air coming from B manage to be low-pressure stuff?"

"I see what you mean. There _is_ an explanation, but it would take too long
to hazard it now. Suppose the air is coming from B in an anti-cyclone, then

"All right. I'll suppose that."

"... it rushes over to A and fills up the gap. There is more pressure at A
and the barometer goes up--"

"Is it fine then?"

"No, it rains. You see, the air from B is colder than the air at A was
before the air came from B."

"I _don't_ see."

"Well, obviously it _must_ be."

"How 'obviously'?"

"Well, the whole thing started with it being very hot at A, you remember,
so that the air rose. If it had been hotter still at B just then the air
would have risen at B instead, and it couldn't have rushed over to A.
There'd have been a frightful muddle."

"There is."

"Well, it's your own fault for interrupting. This air, then--"

"Which air is this?"

"The air from B. The air from B cools the air at A--"

"But I thought the air at A had risen."

"Not all of it. And that makes it rain."


"Oh, well, I can't go into that. It's something to do with condensation.
Air absorbs more moisture when it is hot than when it is cold--"

"So do I. I understand that."

"When the air cools the water condenses."

"Is it fine then?"

"No, it rains, you fool."

"When is it fine?"

"Wait a bit. The falling of the rain of course generates heat--"

"Why 'of course'?"

"I can't explain _exactly_, but you know perfectly well that it's always
warmer on a cold day after the rain."

"Yes, but not on a hot day."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it isn't."

"It is, really. Anyhow, this is a cold day."

"No, it isn't. You said it was very hot at A."

"I'm not going to argue. You must take it from me that rain generates

"All right. Is it fine then?"

"No. Heat being generated the air rises. The result of that is that there
is less _pressure_ at A--"

"Is it fine then?"

"I've explained already what happens then. The air from B--"

"Do we begin all over again now?"

"More or less, yes."

"So that at this place, A, it's always raining or just going to rain?"

"Yes, if it starts by being hot there, as it did just now, I suppose it

"What happens if it starts by being cold?"

"It rains. I've explained that. The cold air can't contain so much

"Don't begin that again. What about B? Is it any good going there? We had
frightfully high pressure there at one time."

"Yes, but it rains so much at A that more and more air rushes from B to A
to fill up the gap caused by the air rising on account of the heat
generated by the rain falling, and very soon you get frightfully low
pressure at B--"

"Is it fine then?"

"No, it rains."

"You surprise me. But suppose it had started by being low pressure at B?"

"Why, then of course it would have been raining the whole time at B."

"Where would A have got its rush of air from then?"

"From the place C."

"Is it fine there?"

"No, it's raining. It is like B was after the air rose at A."

"Oh. Then whatever happens at these places, A, B and C, it _must_ rain."

"More or less, yes. More really."

"Are there any more places? I mean, if I am at A where ought I to go?"

"There is a place, D--"

"What happens there?"

"Conditions are favourable for the formation of secondary depressions."

"Then where do you advise me to go?"

"I'm not advising you. You asked me to explain the weather, and I have."

"I think you have. I understand it now."

       *       *       *       *       *

I hope you all do.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir,--I can recall no better description of a gentleman than this--

    'A gentleman is one who never gives offence unintentionally.'

    Unfortunately I do not know to whom tribute should be paid for this
    very neat and apt definition."--_Letter in Daily Paper._

We rather think the printer had a hand in it.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Guide_ (_after ascent of a hundred-and-twenty steps_).

_Perspiring American._ "GEE! I THOUGHT YOU SAID 'GARGLES.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *


Little Mr. Bowles was very happy as long as he was only second mechanic at
the garage of Messrs. Smith Brothers, of High Street, Puddlesby. It was
when he became a member of the Puddlesby Psychical Society that his
troubles began. Up till then he had been as sober and hard-working a little
man as ever stood four foot ten in his shoes and weighed in at seven stone
four. But above all he was an expert in rubber tyres; he knew them, I had
almost said, by instinct.

The Puddlesby Psychical Society believes in the Transmigration of Souls. As
I am not a member myself I'm afraid that that is all I can tell you about
it. It is a little difficult at first sight, perhaps, to see the connection
between Transmigration and rubber tyres, but if you will have patience I
think I can promise to show you _that_ at least.

One night our Mr. Bowles came home late from a meeting of the P.P.S., fell
asleep at once and had what he regarded as a "transmigratory experience in
a retrogressive sense." The world was not the world he knew. He perceived
that it was sundown on the 8th of August, 1215, that he was no longer plain
Bowles, but rather Sir Bors the Bowless, Knight of the Artful Arm, and
known to his intimates as "The Fire-eater"; that he had just been
challenged to fight his seven hundred and forty-seventh fight, and (for the
seven hundred and forty-seventh time) he had accepted. He soon added to the
stock of his information the fact that, as the challenged party, he had the
choice of time, place and weapons.

He was naturally a little perturbed at first, for the most formidable
warrior that he ever remembered fighting was his little sister, whose hair
he had pulled when they were children, and the biggest thing he had ever
killed was undoubtedly the hen that he had run over on the Boodle Road. He
felt inclined, therefore, in the first flush of terror, to propose as the
time 1925, as the place Puddlesby Football Field, and as the weapon,
motor-tyre valve pins, at two hundred yards. He even got as far as
mentioning these conditions to his friend Sir Hugh the Hairy, who, however,
did not seem particularly struck with the suggestion, but made a counter-
proposal of maces on horseback at the neighbouring lists in three days'

Before our hero knew what he was about he found that he had agreed. He got
through a deal of heavy thinking on his way home to his castle, but had
fortunately completed his plan of campaign before he arrived, for the
esquire of his enemy was awaiting him there, demanding to know the details
of the coming contest. He made the conditions suggested by Sir Hugh, merely
adding that the maces must be smooth and not knobbed, as was customary in
the better-class combats of that day.

He then began to make his preparations. At first he was considerably
depressed by the entire absence of all rubber, until dire necessity
compelled him to find a serviceable substitute in the shape of untanned
ox-skins. These he carefully sewed together with his own knightly hands,
coating the stitches over with pitch and resin. He was a good workman and
did not fail to be ready in time.

When the hour of combat arrived he vanished into the painted pavilion
reserved for him at one end of the lists, accompanied only by his faithful
esquire. Hastily he donned his suiting of reinforced ox-hide, which covered
the whole of his person from head to foot, and hung stiffly in folds all
round him. Then, holding out a metal tube which was attached to the front
of the costume, he presented it to his esquire, saying in the vernacular of
those stout times--

"Ho, varlet! Blow me down yon hole till there be no more breath in thy vile
bodie. Blow me hard and leally. Blow an thou burst in ye blowinge."

Whereupon the trusty varlet blew.

Thus it fell out that when the trumpet sounded and the Black Baron of
Beaumaris, his foe, rode forth from his sable pavilion, armed cap-à-pie in
a suit of highly-polished steel and bestriding a black and rather
over-dressed charger, he saw through the chinks of his lowered visor an
object which he would undoubtedly have mistaken for a diminutive
observation balloon if he had lived a few centuries later. In short, Sir
Bowles, having been sufficiently inflated by his now exhausted esquire, had
inserted his valve-pin into the tube (which he had tucked away and laced up
like an association football), and now emerged upon the lists with a
feeling of elation that he had not experienced for several days.

They approached each other. It was with some difficulty that our hero
wielded his mace, owing, first, to the inflated condition of his right arm,
and, secondly, to the unaccustomed weight of the weapon. His hold also upon
his curvetting steed was a little precarious, and he hoped that no one in
the crowd would notice the string that tied his legs together beneath the
horse's belly.

If the Baron was surprised at what he saw he made no sign, but, riding
straight at his strange antagonist, he dealt him a mighty blow on the left
side of the head, which had quite an unlooked-for result. The string which
attached our hero's legs held, it is true, but he naturally lost his
balance, and, being knocked to the right, disappeared temporarily from the
Baron's view. But the force of his swing was such that, at the moment when
he was head downwards under the horse, he still had enough way on to bring
him up again on the other side. No sooner had he regained a vertical
position than the Baron repeated the blow on the same spot and with the
same result.

Then the same thing happened again and again; and indeed Sir Bowles might
have revolved indefinitely, to the intense delight of the distinguished
audience, had not the string broken at the thirty-fourth revolution.

Now the involuntary movements of our hero had accelerated at every turn,
and when finally he parted company with his trusty steed he was going very
fast indeed. Falling near the edge of the lists, he found touch, first
bounce, in the Royal Box, whence some officious persons rolled him back
again into the field of play.

It must not be supposed that poor Sir Bowles was comfortable during these
proceedings. The rather ingenious apparatus whereby he had hoped to catch a
glimpse of his adversary had got out of order at the first onslaught, and
he was in total darkness. Moreover, he soon discovered that the haughty
Baron was taking all sorts of liberties with him; was slogging him round
the lists; in short, was playing polo with him.

But apart from the physical and mental discomfort of his situation he was
not actually hurt, and at length he felt himself come to rest. The Baron,
worn out by his unproductive labours, was thinking.

So was Bowles. He was just saying to himself, "Thank heaven I thought of
choosing _smooth_ maces. A spike would have punctured the cover in no
time," when he felt something which made his hair stand on end.

His enemy was fumbling at the lacing of his tunic!

Then poor little Sir Bowles gave himself up for lost and almost swooned
away. He felt the Baron undo the lace and pull out the tube. There was a
perplexed pause....

And just as the Baron was pulling out the valve pin little Mr. Bowles woke
with a shriek.

       *       *       *       *       *

I suppose it was the fact that he had come straight from a symposium on
transmigration that made little Bowles imagine he had been recurring to a
previous existence. I myself should have thought that the rules of the game
required the reincarnation of Sir Bors to be a rather more bloodthirsty and
pugnacious person than our hero; and the sequel seems to prove that little
Bowles thought the same. I think he felt he was not quite the man for this
sort of rough work, even in the retrospect of dreams. Anyway, shortly after
his painful experience he withdrew his subscription from the Puddlesby
Psychical Society and ceased for ever to assist at their séances.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Wicket-keeper_ (_by way of shewing sympathy to victim of
demon bowler_). "RUM GAME, CRICKET."]

       *       *       *       *       *



    Morea, Bombay for London, at Verseilles, 8th."--_Scottish Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "James ----, a boy of 13, was charged at Belgium, Greece, V and Czecho-
    Slovakia, and pleaded that he took the money because he felt he must
    have some amusement."--_Evening Paper._

The little Bolshevist!

       *       *       *       *       *

A "Historic Estate" is announced for sale in the following terms by a

    "In the Heart of the Albrighton Country, and in direst railway
    communication with Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Bristol and
    other northern and western centres."

Evidently a case where evil communications corrupt good spelling.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a feuilleton:--

    "Before the podgy dealer knew what had happened, she had sprung right
    round him, seized the telephone instrument and placed her mouth to the
    receiver. She smiled at him defiantly. 'Yes, I will,' she panted."--
    _Daily Paper._

And then, we suppose, she wrote to the POSTMASTER-GENERAL to complain of
the inefficiency of the service.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Junior Partner of Firm_ (_exempted on business grounds
during the War, interviewing applicant for employment, a demobilised
officer, D.S.O., M.C., mentioned twice in despatches and wounded three

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By a Student of Manners._)

The Roman satirist sang of poets reciting their verses in the month of
August. If he were alive now he would find as fruitful a subject in the
renovations and decorations of Clubland. Clubs are strange institutions;
they go in for Autumn not Spring cleaning. Happily all Clubs are not
renovated at the same time, otherwise the destitution of members would be
pitiful to contemplate. Even as it is the temporary accommodation offered
by their neighbours is not unattended by serious drawbacks. The standard of
efficiency in bridge and billiards is not the same; the cuisine of one
Club, though admirable in itself, may not suit the digestions of members of
another; the opportunities for repose vary considerably. In short, August
and September are trying months for the clubman who is obliged to remain in
London. But by October Pall Mall is itself again, and we are glad to be
able to state that in certain Clubs the amenities and comforts available
will be greatly enhanced.

For example the Megatherium, which is now in the hands of the decorators,
is being painted a pale pink outside, a colour which recent experiments
have shown to exert a peculiarly humanising and tranquillising influence on
persons of an irritable disposition. A sumptuous dormitory is being erected
on the top floor, where slow music will be discoursed every afternoon, from
three to seven, by a Czecho-Slovak orchestra. A roof-garden is being laid
out for the recreation of the staff, and the velocity of the numerous lifts
has been keyed up to concert pitch. Steam heat will be conveyed from the
basement to radiators on every floor, and each room is being provided with
a vacuum-cleaning apparatus, a wireless telephonic outfit and an American
bar. The renovation of the library is practically complete, the obsolete
books which cumbered its shelves having been replaced by the works of DELL,
BARCLAY, WELLS, ZANE GREY and BENNETT. Three interesting rumours about the
future of the Club may be given with due reserve--the first, that in the
near future women will be admitted to membership; the second, that Lord
Ascliffe has obtained a complete control of its resources; and the third,
that its name will be shortly changed to "Alfred's," on the analogy of

       *       *       *       *       *

From Smith Minor's French Paper:

    "Translate 'La femme avait une chatte qui était très méchante.'--'The
    farmer was having a chat with thirteen merchants.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Archbishop Mannix ... says he can go anywhere in England except to
    Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and possibly Fishguard."--_Daily

Another injustice to Scotland.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "But this Bill creates new grounds for the dissolution of the marriage
    bond, which are unknown to the law of Scotland. Cruelty, incurable
    sanity, or habitual drunkenness are proposed as separate grounds of
    divorce."--_Scotch Paper._

And so many Scotsmen are incurably sane.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE PROBLEM.

POLAND (_to Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, organizer of the Human Chess Tournament_).

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: GOING TO THE COUNTRY?

"I think it would be a calamity if we did anything to prevent the economic
use of charabancs."--_Sir ERIC GEDDES._

_First "Banc."_ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, Mr. BONAR LAW, Mr. BALFOUR, Mr.

_Second "Banc."_ Sir E. GEDDES, Mr. SHORTT, Mr. LONG, Sir ROBERT HORNE,




_Sixth "Banc."_ Mr. MONTAGU, Dr. MACNAMARA, Mr. MCCURDY, Mr. IAN

_Monday, August, 9th._--In an atmosphere of appropriate gloom the House of
Lords discussed the latest Coercion Bill for Ireland. Even the LORD
CHANCELLOR could say little more for the measure than that it might
possibly enable some of the persons now in custody to be tried; and most of
the other Peers who spoke seemed to think that it would be either
mischievous or useless. The only confident opinion expressed was that of
the elderly Privy Councillor, who from the steps of the Throne ejaculated,
"If you pass this Bill you may kill England, not Ireland." But despite this
unconventional warning the Peers took the risk.

The event of the day in the House of Commons was Colonel WEDGWOOD'S tie. Of
ample dimensions and of an ultra-scarlet hue that even a London and
South-Western Railway porter might envy, it dominated the proceedings
throughout Question-time. Beside it Mr. CLAUDE LOWTHER'S pink shirt paled
its ineffectual fires.

When Viscount CURZON renewed his anti-charabancs campaign and Sir ERIC
GEDDES was doing his best to maintain an even mind amid the contradictory
suggestions showered upon him, the Ministerial eye was caught by the red
gleam from Colonel WEDGWOOD'S shirt-front. At once, the old railway
instinct reasserted itself. Recognizing the danger-signal and hastily
cramming on his brakes, Sir ERIC observed that it would be "a great
calamity" to prevent the economic use of the charabancs.

_Tuesday, August 10th._--As Lord Great Chamberlain, and therefore official
custodian of the Palace of Westminster, Lord LINCOLNSHIRE mentioned with
due solemnity the regrettable incident of the day before. Lord CURZON
thought the offender (the Right Hon. A. CARLISLE) should be allowed to
explain his behaviour, and suggested that he should himself address to him
a suitable letter. Several noble lords--anticipating, no doubt, that,
whatever else came of it, the correspondence would furnish lively
reading--said "Hear, hear."

A week ago the Peers decided by a very small majority--28 to 23--that there
should be no Minister of Mines, but only an Under-Secretary. Lord PEEL now
sought to induce them to change their minds. His principal argument was
that a Minister would only cost five hundred pounds a year more than a
Secretary and would secure the "harmony in the coal-trade" now so
conspicuously lacking. The Peers evidently thought this too good to be
true, for they proceeded to reassert their previous decision by 48 to 23.



There was a big assemblage in the Commons to hear the PRIME MINISTER'S
statement on Poland. The Duke of YORK was over the Clock, flanked by the
Archbishop of CANTERBURY on one side and Messrs. KAMENEFF and KRASSIN (who
sound, but do not look, like a music-hall "turn") on the other.

Some facts bearing, more or less, on the situation were revealed at
Question-time. Mr. CHURCHILL denied that he had ever suggested an alliance
with the Germans against Bolshevism, and, as we are keeping the Watch on
the Rhine with only thirteen thousand men--just three thousand more than it
takes to garrison London--perhaps it is just as well. He has, I gathered,
no great opinion of the Bolshevists as soldiers. In his endeavour to
describe the disgust of our troops in North Russia at being ordered to
retire before "an enemy they cordially despised" he nearly dislocated his
upper lip.

For two-thirds of his speech the PRIME MINISTER was the sober statesman,
discussing with due solemnity the grave possibilities of the Russo-Polish
crisis. The Poles had been rash and must take the consequences. We should
not help them unless the Bolshevists, not content with punishment,
threatened the extinction of Poland's independence.

Then his mood changed, and for a sparkling quarter of an hour he chaffed
the Labour Party for its support of the Soviet Government, an
unrepresentative self-appointed oligarchy. To make his point he even
sacrificed a colleague. LENIN was an aristocrat, TROTSKY a journalist. "In
fact"--turning to Mr. CHURCHILL--"my right honourable friend is an
embodiment of both."

A brief struggle for precedence between Mr. ASQUITH and Mr. ADAMSON ended
in favour of the EX-PREMIER, who doubted whether the best way to ensure
peace was to attack one of the parties to the dispute, and proceeded to
make things more or less even by vigorously chiding Poland for her
aggression. Mr. CLYNES, while admitting that the Labour Party would have to
reconsider its position if the independence of Poland was threatened, still
maintained that we had not played a straight game from Russia.

Later on, through the medium of Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY, communication
was established between the Treasury Bench and the Distinguished Strangers'
Gallery. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE read the terms offered by the Soviet to the
Poles, and gave them a guarded approval.

_Wednesday, August 11th._--A Bill to prohibit ready-money betting on
football matches was introduced by Lord GAINFORD (who played for Cambridge
forty years ago) and supported by Lord MEATH, "a most enthusiastic player"
of a still earlier epoch. The Peers could not resist the pleading of these
experts and gave the Bill a second reading; but when Lord GAINFORD proposed
to rush it through goal straightaway his course was barred by Lord
BIRKENHEAD, an efficient Lord "Keeper."

A proposal for the erection at the public expense of a statue of the late
Mr. JOSEPH CHAMBERLAIN furnished occasion for the PRIME MINISTER and Mr.
ASQUITH to indulge in generous praise of a political opponent. Mr. LLOYD
GEORGE (with his eye on the Sovietists) pointed out that, as this was
"essentially a Parliamentary country," we did well to honour "a great
Parliamentarian"; and the EX-PREMIER (with his eye on Mr. LLOYD GEORGE)
selected for special note among Mr. CHAMBERLAIN'S characteristics that he
had "no blurred edges."

A humdrum debate on the Consolidation Fund Bill was interrupted by the
startling news that France had decided, in direct opposition to the policy
announced yesterday by the PRIME MINISTER, to give immediate recognition to
General WRANGEL. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE expressed his "surprise and anxiety" and
could only suppose that there had been an unfortunate misunderstanding. To
give time for its removal the House decided to postpone its holiday and
adjourned till Monday.

       *       *       *       *       *


Messrs. KAMENEFF and KRASSIN, the Soviet envoys, were in the Distinguished
Strangers' Gallery during the PRIME MINISTER'S speech on Poland last week.
Hence these tears:--

    "In conversation they seem to betray only a limited acquaintance with
    English, but every word of Mr. Lloyd George's utterance seemed
    intelligible to them. Not only did they follow him with eager interest,
    but often with animated comment."--_Evening Standard_.

    "The two did not exchange a single remark during the whole of the
    Premier's speech." _Evening News_.

    "Krassin could follow every word of Lloyd George. His colleague doesn't
    speak or understand English, so Krassin every few minutes leaned over
    and whispered a translation into the other's ear."--_Star_.

    "The Soviet envoys, especially M. Krassin, seemed somewhat restless,
    and appeared to take more interest in the scene than in the speech, but
    this I heard attributed to their difficulty in following the words of
    the Prime Minister."--_Pall Mall Gazette_.

       *       *       *       *       *


_229th ed., folio, 2 vols._ (_Sour and Taxwell, 85s._).

All persons interested in this entrancing subject will welcome the new
edition of Mr. Blewitt's famous work. The book is one which should be found
on every shelf throughout the country, and is undoubtedly, in its
combination of erudition and artistic merit, one of the masterpieces of
English literature. It has been well described by a more competent critic
as one which "it is difficult to take up when once you have put it down,"
and in this judgment most readers will, we believe, concur.

It seems needless for us to say anything about so well-known a work, and to
say anything new is, we believe, impossible. Mr. Blewitt is invariably
happy in his choice of subject, and in this treatise on _Real Property_ his
sparkling wit, his light style and clearness of expression do ample justice
to the perennial freshness of his subject. The reader is swiftly carried
from situation to situation and thrill follows thrill with daring rapidity.
The plot is of the simplest, but worked out with surprising skill, while
the events are related with that vivid imagination which the subject
demands. Who is there that does not feel a glow of exaltation and rejoice
with the heir when he comes, upon reversion, into the property from which
he has been so long excluded? Mr. Blewitt treats this incident with a sense
of romance and picturesqueness of language reminiscent of the ballad of
"The Lord of Lynn." In its facts the ballad bears a striking resemblance to
those so graphically described by our author, but in point of execution
lacks the true breath of poetic inspiration which pervades Mr. Blewitt's

Nor is his work wanting in pathos. There are few who will not sympathise
with the hero when he discovers that the life-estate of the fair widow whom
he adores with all the fierce yearnings of his passionate soul is subject
to a collateral limitation to widowhood. Mr. Blewitt's silence on the
disappointment which embittered his spirit and the doubts which tormented
his mind is more eloquent than any soliloquy of _Hamlet_.

It is not however in description but in characterisation that Mr. Blewitt
is pre-eminent. We know of nothing in works of this nature to equal the
skilful psychological analysis, the sympathy of treatment and the fidelity
to nature with which the author draws line by line the character of Q. The
description of him as seised in fee simple is a touch of genius. We can
remember nothing in the English language to compare with this unless it be
that brilliant passage in which Mr. Blewitt sketches in a few lightning
strokes the character of Richard Roe, a man at once pugnacious,
overbearing, litigious and utterly regardless of truth and honesty.

The learned editors have rendered a great service to the cause of learning
in publishing this new edition. The editing is very creditable to English
scholarship. The additional matter is a new note on page 1069, in which the
reader is referred to an article in a recent number of the _Timbuctoo Law
Review_, which, in fairness to the editor (of _Real Property_), is not, of
course, quoted here. The student will, we have no doubt, feel himself fully
recompensed by this new matter for the price of the new volumes and the
depreciation of the 228th edition.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NERVES ON THE GREEN.



       *       *       *       *       *


    Residents in the area between the county town and ---- are now able to
    do their shopping at either place with the maximum of inconvenience so
    far as travel is concerned."--_Provincial Paper._

Just as in London.

       *       *       *       *       *


    [_The Times_ in a recent article on events in the Film world announces
    the impending arrival in Europe of Miss DOROTHY GISH, adding, however,
    that the visit is mainly undertaken for recreation.]

  Let others discourse and descant
    Upon MANNIX the martyr archbish,
  Me rather it pleases to chant
    The arrival of DOROTHY GISH.

  Among the _élite_ of the Screen
    She holds an exalted posit.;
  But in Europe she never has been
    Hitherto, hasn't DOROTHY GISH.

  And it's well to consider aright
    That she harbours the laudable wish
  For a holiday, not for the light
    Of the lime, does Miss DOROTHY GISH.

  None the less with the wildest surmise
    Do I muse on the bountiful dish
  Of sensation purveyed for the wise
    And the foolish by DOROTHY GISH.

         * * * * *

  Will you strengthen the hands of LLOYD GEORGE
    Or frown on the poor Coalit.?
  Will you force profiteers to disgorge,
    Beneficent DOROTHY GISH?

  Do you hold by self-governing schools?
    Do you think that headmasters should swish
  Or adopt Montessorian rules,
    Benevolent DOROTHY GISH?

  Will they give you an Oxford degree?
    Will you learn to call marmalade "squish"?
  Will KENWORTHY ask you to tea
    On the Terrace, great DOROTHY GISH?

  Do you favour the Russ or the Pole?
    Will you visit the Servians at Nish?
  Are you sound on the subject of coal?
    Are you Pussyfoot, DOROTHY GISH?

  Are you going to be terribly mobbed
    When attending the concerts of KRISH?
  Are your tresses luxuriant or "bobbed"?
    Do tell us, kind DOROTHY GISH!

  Meanwhile we are moody and mad,
    Like SAUL the descendant of KISH,
  Oh, arrive and make everyone glad,
    Delectable DOROTHY GISH!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, Lady Clerk; one accustomed to milk ledgers preferred."--_New
    Zealand Paper._

But how does one milk a ledger?

       *       *       *       *       *


                  A SOUTH INDIAN LOVESONG.

  When the long trick's wearing over and a spell of leave comes due
  The most'll go back to Blighty to see if their dreams are true;
  There's some that'll make for the Athol glens and some for the Sussex
  There's some that'll cling to the country and some that'll turn to towns;
  But _I_ know what _I_'ll do, and I'll do it right or wrong,
  I'll just get back to the Blue Mountains, for that's where I belong.

  Athol's a bonny country and Sussex is good to see,
  But it's long since I left Blighty and I'm not what I used to be;
  And May in Devon's a marvel and June on Tummel's fine,
  And that may be most folk's fancy, but it somehow isn't mine;
  For _I_ know what _I_ like, and the Land of Heart's Delight
  For me is just on the Blue Mountains, for that's where I feel right.

  So I'll pack my box and bedding in the old South Indian mail
  And wake to a dawn in Salem ghostly and grey and pale,
  And over by Avanashi and the levels of Coimbatore
  I'll see them hung in the tinted sky and I won't ask for more;
  For _I_'ll know I'm happy and I'll make my morning prayer
  Of thanks for the sun on the Blue Mountains and me to be going there.

  The little mountain railway shall serve me for all I need,
  Crawling its way to Adderly, crawling to Runnymede;
  And the scent of the gums shall cheer me like the sight of a journey's
  And the breeze shall say to me "Brother" and the hills shall hail me
  While the clear Kateri River sings lovesongs in my ear,
  And I'll feel "Now I'm home again! Ah! but I'm welcome here."

  Clear in the opal sunset I shall see the Kundahs lie
  And the sweep of the hills shall fill my heart as the roll of the Downs
      my eye;
  And I'll see Snowdon and Staircase and the green of the Lovedale Wood,
  And the dear sun shining on Ooty, and oh! but I'll find it good;
  For _I_'ll have what _I_ wanted, and all the worrying done,
  Because I'm back to the Blue Mountains and they and I are one.

  There's peace beyond understanding, solace beyond desire
  For minds that are over-weary, for bodies that toil and tire,
  And over all that a something, a something that says, "You know,
  It's the one place of all places where the gods meant _you_ to go."
  Well, the gods know what _they_ know, and I wouldn't say them nay,
  And Blighty of course is Blighty, but it's terribly far away,
  So I'll get back to the Blue Mountains, and the betting is, I'll stay.


       *       *       *       *       *


    "E.H. ---- bawled consistently for the visitors, taking seven wickets
    of 168."--_Welsh Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


As a sufferer from the prevailing complaint, house-famine, I have started a
Correspondence Bureau, ostensibly for advising parents as to the pursuits
their offspring should take up, but really for propaganda purposes, the
object being the assuagement of this terrible evil.

Consequently my replies to inquiries are all moulded to this end.

For instance, one mother wrote from Surbiton:--

"My second son, Algernon, wishes to become a house and estate agent. Do
please tell me if you think this quite a fitting avocation for one whose
father is a member of the Stock Exchange."

I replied, "Quite. There is no nobler, and incidentally there are few more
lucrative occupations outside Bradford, unless it be that of a builder, in
which the scope is absolutely unlimited. I am enclosing a copy of last
week's _Builder and Architect_, in which you will find some great thoughts
expressed. Pray let Algernon read it. It may be the means of inducing him
to perform great deeds for England's sake."

Another fond parent wrote:--

"Can you advise an anxious mother as to a career for her only son, John
William? He is at present eight and a-half years old, has blue eyes and
fair hair and is a perfect darling, so good and obedient, but he is firmly
resolved to be a lift-man when he grows up."

I answered her soothingly thus:--

"John Willie is rather young to have made a final decision, I think. Let
his youthful aspirations run through the usual stages, liftman, engine-
driver, bus-conductor, sailor, etc. At fifteen or so he will have left
these behind, and for the next few years will probably settle down to the
idea of being nothing in particular, or else a professional cricketer. Then
he will suddenly, for good or evil, make his choice. Neither his blue eyes
nor his fair hair give any clue as to what that choice will be, but I
should let him keep both, as they may be useful to him.

"If he should determine upon a career involving manual work, I should take
steps to have him initiated into the Art and Mystery of Bricklaying. At the
rate we are moving the working-hours would probably be about eight per
week, with approximately eight pounds per day salary, by the time he
arrives at bricklaying maturity.

"It is difficult to say yet whether he would have to graduate in Commerce
before being eligible, but probably it would be necessary, as the best
bricklayers, I'm told, always carry a mortar-board, and there is a sort of
caucus in these plummy professions nowadays that is anxious to keep
outsiders from joining their ranks. But the country needs bricklayers, and
will go on needing them for years. Let John Willie step forward when he is
old enough."

To the mother who asked if I considered that her youngest boy would be well
advised to adopt the Housebreaking profession I wrote:--

"To which part of this profession do you refer? If to the Burgling branch I
would ask, 'Has he the iron nerve, the indomitable will, above all has he
the brain power for this exacting craft? Can he stand the exposure to the
night air, the exposure before an Assize jury, and the rigours of the
Portland stone quarries?' If so, let him take a course of illustrated
lectures at the cinema.

"If you refer to the other branch, the mere pulling down of houses, I say,
'No! A thousand times, no!' He should be taught that there is a crying need
for a constructive, not a destructive policy. Let him adopt one; buy him
drawing-paper and a tee-square at once, and teach him that the noblest work
of creation is (unless it be a bricklayer or builder) an architect. Though
the War is over we must still keep the home fires burning. This implies
chimneys, and chimneys imply houses, and few there be that can plan houses
that will both please the eye and pass the local authorities."

Lady Jubb wrote from Toffley Hall, Blankshire, to say that her elder son
(seventeen) had no ideas for the future beyond becoming Master of the
Barchester when he grew up, but that she was anxious that he should try for
some more lucrative post, official preferred.

I replied thus:--

"So your son looks no higher than a Mastership of Foxhounds. Well, well, I
suppose that so long as there are such things as hounds he, as well as
another, may take on the job of Master.

"But I thoroughly approve of your desire that he should try for something
higher in life, especially for some official post; and what official post
is or can be superior to that of a Borough Surveyor? Can you not persuade
him that this great office is what one chooses to make it, and that, as an
autocrat, the M.F.H. is hardly to be compared to the B.S., for, whereas the
former can at the most scorch the few people foolish enough to remain
within ear-shot, the latter can with a breath damn a whole row of houses
and blast the careers of an army of builders with a word."

And so the propaganda proceeds.

If my efforts result in even one house being erected I shall, I think, have
earned my O.B.E., though I would rather have the house.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _My Lady Bountiful._ "SO YOUR MOTHER IS BETTER THROUGH

_Little Girl_ (_doing her best to carry out instructions_). "YES'M. BUT SHE

       *       *       *       *       *


  Oh, civil life is fine and free, with no one to obey,
  No sergeants shouting, "Show a leg!" or "Double up!" all day;
  No buttons to be polished, no army boots to wear,
  And nobody to tick you off because you grow your hair.

  It's great to sleep beneath a roof that keeps the rain outside,
  To eat a daintier kind of grub than quarter-blokes provide,
  To rise o' mornings when you wish and when you wish turn in,
  To shirk a shave and never hear the truth about your chin;

  And not to have to pad the hoof through blazing sun or rain,
  Intent on getting nowhere and foot-slogging back again,
  To realise no N.C.O. has any more the right
  To rob you of your beauty-sleep with "Guard to-morrow night!"

  All this is great, of course it is, yet here we are once more
  Obeying sergeants just for fun and cheerier than before;
  We haven't any good excuse, we've got no war to win--
  But nothing's touched the kit-bag yet for packing troubles in.


       *       *       *       *       *


I have often wished I were an expert at something. How I envy the man who,
before ordering a suit of clothes from his tailor, seizes the proffered
sample of cloth and tugs at it in a knowledgable manner, smells it at close
quarters with deep inhalations and finally, if he is very brave, pulls out
a thread and ignites it with a match. Whereupon the tailor, abashed and
discomfited, produces for the lucky expert from the interior of his
premises that choice bale of pre-war quality which he was keeping for his
own use.

I confided this yearning of mine to Rottenbury the other evening.
Rottenbury is a man of the world and might, I thought, be able to help me.

"My dear fellow," he said, "in these days of specialisation one has to be
brought up in the business to be an expert in anything, whether cloth or
canaries or bathroom tiling. Knowledge of this kind is not gained in a

"Can you help me?" I asked.

"As regards tea, I can," he replied. "Jorkins over there is in the tea
business. If you like I'll get him to put you up to the tricks of

"I should be awfully glad if you would," said I. "We never get any decent
tea at home."

Jorkins appeared to be a man of direct and efficient character. I saw
Rottenbury speak to him and the next moment he was at my elbow.

"Watch me carefully," said Jorkins, "and listen to what I say. Take a
little leaf into the palm of your left hand. Rub it lightly with the
fingers and gaze earnestly thus. Apply your nose and snuff up strongly.
Pick out a strand and bite through the leaf slowly with the front teeth,
thus. Just after biting pass the tip of the tongue behind the front teeth
and along the palate, completing the act of deglutition. Sorry I must go
now. Good day."

Now I felt I was on the right track. I practised the thing a few times
before a glass, paying special attention to the far-away poetical look
which Jorkins wore during the operation.

At the tea-shop the man behind the counter willingly showed me numbers of
teas. I snatched a handful of that which he specially recommended and began
the ceremony. I took a little into the palm of my left-hand and gazed at it
earnestly; I rubbed it lightly with my fingers; I picked up a strand and
bit through the leaf slowly with the front teeth. Just after biting I
passed the tongue behind the front teeth and along the palate, completing
the act of deglutition.

So far as I could judge it was very good tea, but it would never do to
accept the first sample offered; I must let the shopman see that he was up
against one of the mandarins of the trade. So I said with severity, "Please
don't show me any more common stuff; I want the best you have."

The man looked at me curiously and I saw his face twitching; he was
evidently about to speak.

"Kindly refrain from expostulating," I went on; "content yourself with
showing me your finest blend."

He went away to the back of the shop, muttering; clearly he recognised
defeat, for when he returned he carried a small chest.

"Try this," said he, and I knew that he was boiling with baffled rage.

I took a handful and once more went through the whole ceremony. It was
nauseating, but the man was obviously impressed. At the conclusion of my
performance I assumed a look of satisfaction. "Give me five pounds of
that," said I with the air of a conqueror.

Next time I met Rottenbury I told him of my success.

"Oh, Jorkins put you up to the trick, did he?"

"He did. He taught me to titillate, to triturate, to masticate, to

"And with what result?"

"With the result that I have in my possession five pounds of the finest tea
that the greatest experts have blended from the combined products of Assam
and China."

"Tea?" he asked.

"Yes, tea of course. You didn't suppose that I was talking of oysters?"

"Did I tell you Jorkins was a tea-taster?"


"Well, then, he's not. He's in tobacco."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Alured," said my wife, "I wish you wouldn't buy things for the house. That
tea is low-grade sweepings."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LE GRAND PENSEUR.

(_With apologies to the late AUGUSTE RODIN._)


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir Otto Beit has returned to London from South Africa, where he
    turned the first sot of the new university."--_Daily Paper._

Turned him out, we trust.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In a brilliant peroration the Prime Minister warned his hearers that a
    nation was known by its soul and not by its asses."--_South African

Yet some of our politicians seem to think that England is not past braying

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The doings (or rather sayings!) in the Legislature we are watching
    with sympathy and some impatience, much as a bachelor bears with the
    gambling of children who come to the drawing-room for an hour before
    dinner."--_Weekly Paper._

And the worst of it is that the Legislature is gambling with _our_ money.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Miss ----, director of natural science studies at Newnham College,
    Oxford, will preside."--_Daily Paper._

We are glad to hear of this new women's college at Oxford, but surely they
might have chosen a more original name for it.

       *       *       *       *       *

A.G.J. writes: "Your picture of 'Come unto these Yellow Sands' in the
number for August 4th explains for the first time the obscure following
line, 'The Wild Waves Whist.'"

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


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

To review one of Mr. E.F. BENSON'S social satires always gives me somewhat
the sensations of the reporter at the special sermon--a relieved
consciousness that, being present on business, my own withers may be
supposed professionally unwrung. Otherwise, so exploratory a lash.... I
seldom recall the touch of it more shrewd than in _Queen Lucia_
(HUTCHINSON), an altogether delightful castigation of those persons whom a
false rusticity causes to change a good village into the sham-bucolic home
of crazes, fads and affectation. All this super-cultured life of the
Riseholme community has its centre in _Mrs. Lucas_, the acknowledged queen
of the place (_Lucia_ = wife of _Lucas_, which shows you the character of
her empire in a single touch); the matter of the tale is to tell how her
autocracy was threatened, tottered and recovered. I wish I had space to
quote the description of the _Lucas_ home, "converted" from two genuine
cottages, to which had been added a wing at right-angles, even more
Elizabethan than the original, and a yew-hedge, "brought entire from a
neighbouring farm and transplanted with solid lumps of earth and indignant
snails around its roots." Perhaps, apart from the joy of the setting, you
may find some of the incidents, the faith-healer, the medium and so on, a
trifle obvious for Mr. BENSON. More worthy of him is the central episode--
the arrival as a Riseholme resident of _Olga Bracely_, the operatic star of
international fame. Her talk, her attitude towards the place, and the
subtle contrast suggested by her between the genuine and the pretence, show
Mr. BENSON at his light-comedy best. In short, a charming entertainment, in
speaking of which you will observe I have not once so much as mentioned the
word "Cotswolds."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Michael Forth_ (CONSTABLE) will doubtless convey a wonderful message to
those of us who are clever enough to grasp its meaning; but I fear that it
will be a disappointment to many admirers of Miss MARY JOHNSTON'S earlier
books. Frankly I confess myself bewildered and unable to follow this
excursion into the region of metaphysics; indeed I felt as if I had fallen
into the hands of a guide whose language I could only dimly and dully
understand. All of which may be almost entirely my fault, so I suggest that
you should sample _Michael_ for yourselves and see what you can make of
him. Miss JOHNSTON shouldered an unnecessarily heavy burden when she
decided to tell the story of her hero in the first person, but in relating
_Michael's_ childhood in his Virginian home she is at her simplest and
best. Afterwards, when _Michael_ became intent on going "deeper and deeper
within," he succeeded so well that he concealed himself from me.

       *       *       *       *       *

Because I have a warm regard for good short stories and heartily approve
the growing fashion of publishing or republishing them in volume form, I am
the more jealous that the good repute of this practice should be preserved
from damage by association with unworthy material. I'm afraid this is a
somewhat ominous introduction to a notice of _The Eve of Pascua_
(HEINEMANN), in which, to be brutally frank, I found little justification
for even such longevity as modern paper conditions permit. "RICHARD DEHAN"
is admittedly a writer who has deserved well of the public, but none of the
tales in this collection will do anything to add to the debt. The best is
perhaps a very short and quite happily told little jest called "An
Impression," about the emotions of a peasant model on seeing herself as
interpreted by an Impressionist painter. There is also a sufficiently
picturesque piece of Wardour Street medievalism in "The Tribute of the
Kiss," and some original scenery in "The Mother of Turquoise." But beyond
this (though I searched diligently) nothing; indeed worse, since more than
one of the remaining tales, notably "Wanted, a King" and "The End of the
Cotillion," are so preposterous that their inclusion here can only be
attributed to the most cynical indifference.

       *       *       *       *       *

It may be my Saxon prejudice, but, though most of the ingredients of _Irish
Stew_ (SKEFFINGTON) are in fact Irish, and though Mrs. DOROTHEA CONYERS is
best known as a novelist who delights in traditional Ireland and
traditional horses, I am bound to confess that I enjoyed the adventures of
_Mr. Jones_, trusted employé of _Mosenthals and Co._, better than Mrs.
CONYERS' stage Irishmen. "Our Mr. Jones" is neither a _Sherlock Holmes_ nor
an _Aristide Pujol_, neither a _Father Brown_ nor a _Bob Pretty_, but
nevertheless he is an engaging soul and we could do with more of him. Mrs.
CONYERS' hunting _clientèle_ may much prefer to read about the dishonesties
of _Con Cassidy_ and his fellow-horse-copers and the simple but heroic
_O'Toole_ and his supernatural friends. But, as the average Irish hunting
man cares little more for books than he does for bill-collectors, his
preference may not be of paramount importance. In any case the Irish
ingredients of _Irish Stew_ would be easier to assimilate if Mrs. CONYERS
would refrain from trying to spell English as the Irish speak it. If the
reader knows Ireland it is unnecessary and merely makes reading a task. If
the reader does not know Ireland no amount of phonetic spelling will
reproduce a single one of the multitudinous brogues that fill Erin with
sound and empty it of sense. On the whole Mrs. CONYERS' public will not be
disappointed with her latest sheaf of tales. But it is _Mr. Jones_ who will
give them their money's worth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I was, I confess, a little sceptical--you know how it is--when I read what
Messrs. HODDER AND STOUGHTON'S official reviewer said of Mr. HAL. G.
EVARTS' _The Cross-Pull_: "The best dog story since The Call of the Wild,"
etc., etc. Well, I certainly haven't seen a better. Mr. EVARTS' hero,
_Flash_, is a noble beast of mixed strain--grey wolf, coyote, dog. The
Cross-Pull is the conflict between the dog and the wolf, between loyalty to
his master and mistress whom he brings together and serves, and the wolf
whose proper business is to be biting elks in the neck. Happier than most
tamed brutes he is involved as chief actor in a round up of some desperate
outlaws, among whom is his chief enemy, and he is fortunate enough to serve
the state while pursuing to a successful end his bitter private quarrel.
Brute _Brent_ gets and deserves the kind of bite which was planned by a
far-seeing providence for the elk.... You can tell when an author really
loves and knows animals or is merely "putting it on." Mr. EVARTS
understands, sentimentalises less than most interpreters; seems to know a
good deal. The story loses no interest from being set in the American
hinterland of a few decades ago. All real animal lovers should get this
book--they should really.

       *       *       *       *       *

If it be true art, as I rather think someone has said it is, to state what
is obvious in regard to a subject while creating by the manner of the
statement an impression of its subtler features, then Mr. PERCY BROWN, in
writing _Germany in Dissolution_ (MELROSE), has proved himself a true
artist. For in Germany about the time of the Armistice and during the
Spartacist rising certain things happened which got themselves safely into
the newspapers, and these he sets forth, mostly in headline form. Beyond
this Germany was a seething muddle of contradictions and cross-purposes,
which, it is hardly unfair to say, are capably reflected in his pages. Mr.
BROWN is a journalist of the school that does not stick at a trifle, a
German prison, for instance, when his dear public wants news. His crowning
achievement was to persuade Dr. SOLF, when Foreign Minister, to send
through the official wireless an account of an interview with himself,
which would, as he (SOLF) fondly hoped, help to bamboozle British public
opinion. When the article appeared, so well had the author's editor read
between the lines of the message that the journalist had to run for his
life. He was particularly fortunate too, or clever, in getting in touch
with the Kiel sailors who set the revolution going, but in spite of much
excellent material, mostly of the "scoop" interview variety, nothing much
ever seems to come of it all, and we are left at the end about as wise as
we started. All the same, much of the book's detail is interesting, however
little satisfaction it offers as a whole.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ann's First Flutter_ (ALLEN AND UNWIN) will not arouse any commotion in
the dovecotes of the intellectually elect, but it provides an amusing
entertainment for those who can appreciate broad and emphatic humour. Mr.
R.A. HAMBLIN has succeeded in what he set out to do, and my only quarrel
with him is that I believe him to have a subtler sense of humour than he
reveals here. _Ann_ was a grocer's daughter, and after her attempt to
flutter for herself had failed she married _Tom Bampfield_, a grocer's son.
_Tom_ had literary ambitions, and was the author of a novel which his
father thought pernicious enough to destroy his custom. Strange however to
relate, the novel failed to destroy anything except the author's future as
a novelist, and when _Tom_ did succeed in making some pen-money it was by
means of a series of funny articles in _The Dry Goods Gazette_--articles so
violently humorous that the author's father thoroughly appreciated them.
Mr. HAMBLIN'S fun, let me add, is never ill-natured. Even bilious grocers
will not resent his jovial invasion of their kingdom.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE PRUDENT LOVER.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "City gunsmiths have been busy these days furbishing up sportsmen's
    rifles for the '12th.'"--_Scotch Paper._

Personally we use a machine-gun.

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