By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, December 1, 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, December 1, 1920" ***

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


VOL. 159.

December 1st, 1920.


ACCORDING to _The Evening News_, lambs have already put in an
appearance in Dorset. People who expect the POET LAUREATE to rush to
the spot will be bitterly disappointed.

       * * *

"What was a golden eagle doing in Lincolnshire?" asks "L.G.M." in _The
Daily Mail_. We never answer these personal questions.

       * * *

The Public Libraries Committee of West Ham has declined to purchase
_The Autobiography of Margot Asquith_. It would just serve them right
if the publisher sent them a copy.

       * * *

Sir R. BADEN-POWELL recently declared that men contemplating matrimony
would do well to notice whether their prospective brides gave an
inside or an outside tread. We still maintain that the safest course
is to remain single and not be trodden on either way.

       * * *

The report that a British soldier has recently discovered a genuine
specimen of a small war, in which Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL had no hand
whatever, is now regarded as untrustworthy.

       * * *

A Scotsman knocked down by a car in New York was given a glass of
water and quickly regained consciousness. He is now making inquiries
concerning the number of times one has to be knocked down in order to
get a drop of spirit.

       * * *

Sea-gulls have been observed near the Willesden public parks. It is
assumed that they didn't know it was Willesden.

       * * *

A clothing firm advertises suits to fit any figure. It is not known
what eventually happened to the man who asked them to supply him with
a suit for a figure round about thirty shillings.

       * * *

An express train recently crashed through the closed gates of a
level-crossing in Yorkshire. As the driver did not pull up in order to
see what damage he had done, it is supposed that he was originally a

       * * *

Another walk from London to Brighton is being organised. It is
hoped that this habit will ultimately bring down the high cost of

       * * *

The Hammersmith Council, says a news item, has placed an order for
tiles in Belgium. Another shrewd stroke at the Sandringham hat.

       * * *

"Trade combinations," declares Sir ROBERT HORNE, "are not responsible
for the increased cost of living." We agree. The struggle for our last
shilling between the dogged-as-does-it butcher and the grocer who
never knows when he is beaten is _à outrance_.

       * * *

Next year is Census year, and people are kindly requested to be born
early in order to avoid the rush at the last moment.

       * * *

A new bathing-suit invented by an official of the Royal Army Clothing
Department is claimed to make drowning impossible. It is said to fill
a long-felt want among young kittens.

       * * *

Should this bathing-suit fail to save any person from drowning he can
call at the office and have his money back.

       * * *

We are asked to deny the rumour said to be current in Manchester to
the effect that the PRIME MINISTER was contemplating publishing a
Northern edition of his New World.

       * * *

"To be happy, marry a brown-eyed girl," says _The Daily Graphic_. A
correspondent writes to say that he invariably does.

       * * *

"My lodger," said a complainant at Clerkenwell Police Court,
"threatens to tear me up into pieces." It was pointed out to him that
this would be a breach of the law.

       * * *

During a duel on the cliffs near Boulogne one of the combatants
deliberately fired his revolver into the sea, whereupon the other
immediately fired into the air. There seems to be no end to the
dangers which beset submarine-sailors and airmen.

       * * *

A few days ago an angler at Southend-on-Sea fished up a silver chain
purse containing four one-pound notes. His claim that a large leather
wallet containing several fivers and a diamond ring broke the line and
got away after a terrific struggle is being received with the usual

       * * *

The many critics of the POSTMASTER-GENERAL should remember that
telephones are all right if people would only let them alone.

       * * *

Our heart goes out to the veteran philosopher who, when caught
climbing apple-trees in a farmer's orchard, pleaded that he had been
tampering with a thyroid gland.

        * * *

Five million typhoid germs, the property of Mr. JOHN GIBBON, are said
to be at large in Philadelphia, according to _The Daily Express_. One
of them is said to have got away disguised as a measle.

       * * *

According to _The Daily Mail_ a panic was recently caused in a
Manchester tea-room by a rat which took refuge in the leg of a
gentleman's trousers. This may not mean that the need of a new style
of rat-proof trouser has attracted the interest of Carmelite House
publicity agents, but we have our apprehensions.

       * * *

"Hard work will kill no one," declares a literary editor. Most people,
of course, prefer an occupation with a spice of danger about it.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Son_ (_thoughtfully_). "H'M, THET'S FUNNY; 'E WON'T LET ME LEARN TER

       *       *       *       *       *

"Madame ----, Dressmaker, Milliner, and Ladies' making paths, tree
lifting; planting; would suit nursery."--_Provincial Paper._

But would she do plain sowing?

       *       *       *       *       *


  I do not want a standard ball,
    So many to the pound;
      Whether its girth is trim and svelte
      Or built to take an out-size belt,
  I hardly seem to care at all
    So long as it is round.

  But it appears to my poor wit
    That we might well contrive
      A means by which the merest babe
      Would hold his own with MITCHELL (ABE),
  If we could have a standard _hit_
    (Especially the drive).

  I want a limit made to bar
    The unrestricted whack
      (A hundred yards I think should be
      The length on which we might agree),
  And if you pushed the ball too far
    You'd have to bring it back.

  And I should love a standard _lie_.
    A ball inside a cup
      Or latent under sand or whin
      Hampers my progress toward the pin;
  It would improve my game if I
    Could lift and tee it up.

  But most, when tongues of golfers wag,
    Talking their dreadful shop
      Of rotten luck and stymies laid
      And chip-approaches, TAYLOR-made--
  Oh, then I want a standard _gag_
    To make the blighters stop.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


"Very well," I said, "if Jones is laid up I'll go round myself."

Our French visitor chuckled quietly and then shrugged his shoulders by
way of apology.

"Pardon," he murmured with the most disarming politeness, "but your
English language it is so veray funny, and I 'ave not yet become quite
used to it. Is it not that it lack the accuracy, what you call the
logic, of the French?"

"Indeed," I said, without the least interest.

But my wife was all enthusiasm. She clapped her hands in delighted
agreement. "M. du Val is quite right, Dickie," she said. "We are a
frightfully illogical lot, aren't we? I mean, the French are able to
say just exactly what they mean."

"Your reinforcement, Madame, it completes my victory," replied the
Frenchman with a graceful gesture. "_Voyez, M'sieu'_," he added,
turning to me, "you 'ave just said zat your friend is laid _up_, when
the unfortunate truth is zat he is laid _down_, and because of zat you
will encircle, surround, make a tour of your person."

"There, you see," said my wife flatly, "it's all utterly illogical.
Think how logical the French are."

"Well, let us work it out," I said in hearty agreement. "As a start
I solemnly declare that the French are not so logical as they don't

"As they _don't_ think?" repeated my wife in surprise.

"Ah!" I retorted, "you are not so observant as you might not be. I was
merely giving you a little French idiom, 'logically' and 'accurately
done into English.'"

"Mister," I next asked our ally, "your visit to England, will she be

"Who's the lady?" interrupted my wife.

"M. du Val's visit, of course, dear," I informed her. "You forget that
the French are particularly logical with their genders."

"M'sieu'!" murmured the guest, rather puzzled.

"I asked," I went on for M. du Val's edification, "because if you
stay long enough you may have the pleasure of meeting the parents of
Mistress my wife. They are coming to the house of us next month. His
father is extremely anxious to see her daughter, whom he has not seen
since his wedding--"

"Whom in the world are you talking about?" muttered my wife.

"Monsieur will readily understand," I said wickedly, "that I allude
to my wife and their parents. I hope they will bring his brother with

"'Her,' you should say," my wife put in with the suspicion of a snap.
"There's only Johnny and me."

"It was of Johnny I spoke," I assured her. "And, by the way, if you
haven't heard the latest gossip it may interest you to hear that
the young rascal has formed an attachment, and is very proud of
her _fiancée_. She is an awfully pretty girl and quite athletic as
well--in fact, his arm is not nearly so small as Johnny's isn't, and
his carriage is perfect. Their eyes are lovely, while a poet would
rave about his sweet nose, her rosebud mouth and their longs blacks
hairs. Their shoes--"

"Oh, stop!" cried my wife. "You're muddling me all up. Are you talking
about Johnny or--"

"Name of a pipe, my cabbage," I said, determined to give her logic
with swear-words and endearments as well, "where has your reasoning
gone to? Any logical Frenchman would tell you at once that I wasn't
talking about Johnny, but about her girl. As I was saying, their shoes
have each a dinky Gibson bow on her."

"M'sieu'," reflected M. du Val in his polite way, "I begin to think
zat you are getting ze advantage over me."

"Don't take any notice of him, Mosseer," pleaded my wife indignantly;
"he's only pulling your leg."

"Pulling my--?" The Frenchman cogitated for a minute; then he
understood and smiled in a superior way again. "All the same," he
murmured quietly, "we French 'ave not _all_ ze illogicalness, _n'est
ce pas_?"

"Not quite all," I cheerfully agreed. "By the way, would you like to
come with us this afternoon to the great Review in Hyde Park? Her
Majesty the KING will be there, also the QUEEN and very likely His
Royal Highness Princess MARY--"

"I come wiz muchness of pleasure," assented our guest very hurriedly.
Then, being a thorough little sportsman, he added with a bow:--

"If M'sieu' could persuade _'er_ wife to wear _'is_ new 'at, so veray

       *       *       *       *       *

    =Another Apology Wanted.= "AN ATTRACTIVE EVENT AT ---- CHAPEL.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dogs frequently go straight to destruction in this way, but an
    official of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Animals
    told an _Evening News_ representative he did not think they had
    suicidal intentions."--_Evening News._

If they had there would be less need for the Society.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Persian Rugs for Sale by gentleman recently returned from Persia;
    various designs, old and modern; no dealers; preferably after six
    evenings."--_Daily Paper._

This gentleman seems to have brought back with him the methods of the
Oriental bazaar. Six evenings is about the average time for adjusting
a bargain.

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: =BALM FOR THE SICK MAN.=

THE TURK (_after reading report from Greece_). "WELL DID THE INFIDEL

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: _Parent (after tour of inspection of Art school)._

       *       *       *       *       *



The ridiculous tradition of government by K. C.'s has for some time
past been broken down, and quite a number of our present Ministers
have never taken silk in their lives, except from cocoons in a
match-box. There is at least one business man in the Cabinet, and even
the LORD CHANCELLOR, great lawyer though he is, is almost equally
renowned as a horseman. "He sits the Woolsack," a hard-riding Peer has
said of him, "almost as though he were part of it."

Of this tendency to break away from the Bar Dr. ADDISON is one of the
pleasantest examples. We Englishmen surely owe as much to our great
physicians as to our great lawyers, and in some cases indeed the
fees are even higher. After the Demosthenic periods and Ciceronian
verbosity of some of our previous rulers Dr. ADDISON'S bright bedside
manner with an ailing or moribund Bill is a refreshing spectacle. The
shrewd face under the shock of white hair is too well known to need
description. The small black bag and the slight bulge in the top-hat,
caused by the stethoscope, are equally familiar. Nor is there wanting
in Dr. ADDISON that touch of firmness which is so necessary to a
good practitioner and in his case comes partly, no doubt, from his
Lincolnshire origin, for he was born in the county which has already
produced such men as Sir ISAAC NEWTON, the late Lord TENNYSON, M.
WORTH of Paris, the present Governor of South Australia and HEREWARD

None but the robustest of officials is allowed to direct the affairs
of the new Ministry of Health. The patron saint of its Chief is St.
Pancreas and his eupepsia is reflected in his subordinates. His junior
clerks whistle continuously, his liftmen yodel, his typists sing. Of
his own official methods I have been privileged to obtain the report
of an eye-witness. Let us suppose that, as frequently happens, a
deputation of disappointed house-hunters has arrived to see him.

_Leader of Deputation._ We want houses and we won't wait.

_Dr. Addison (tapping his forehead and glancing significantly at his
Private Secretary)._ Tck, tck! That's very serious. Shall we feel the

      [_Leader of Deputation puts his hand out. Private Secretary
        takes out his watch. Sixty seconds elapse._

_Dr. Addison._ Do you take much walking exercise?

_Leader of Deputation._ No.

_Dr. Addison._ Ah, I thought as much.

  "After breakfast walk a mile,
  After dinner rest awhile."

What you need is a good sound constitutional every morning. If you
_see_ any houses, of course there is no objection to your _looking_ at
them. But keep on walking, mind; don't loiter. And come back to me in
a month's time and we'll see how you are then.

      [_Exit Deputation, looking slightly dazed._

Almost equally successful is Dr. ADDISON'S professional method
in dealing with representatives of the Building Trades Unions. A
bricklayers' leader, let us say, has expounded at great length the
technical difficulties which prevent rapidity of construction.

_Dr. Addison_ (_softly and suddenly_). Take a deep breath.
(_Bricklayer takes it._) Say ninety-nine! (_Bricklayer tries hard._)
Where do you feel the pain?

_Bricklayer._ In the shoulders and arms.

_Dr. Addison._ Tck, tck, we must go easy. Don't take it too quickly,
and we'll have you right again before the year's out. Try three bricks
a day and come and see me in a month's time.

These, however, are not the only methods by which Dr. ADDISON has
attempted to remedy the crisis. At his suggestion a permanent
sub-committee of the Cabinet, called "The Happy Homes for Heroes'
Panel," was appointed, and it was during one of its sessions that the
bright idea of Housing Bonds was originated, I believe by Sir ALFRED
MOND. If the campaign has not met with the success which it deserves,
the cause is probably to be found in the slightly unfortunate title
whose assonance suggests to the public mind the "House of Bondage" in
the Psalms. It would have been better, I think, to adopt Mr. AUSTEN
CHAMBERLAIN'S suggestion, which was "The Cosy Cot Combine."

However, things are not as bad as they might seem, and outside one
large suburb the other day I observed a gang of bricklayers actually
in operation, anxiously hovered over by a clerk from the Ministry,
thermometer in hand.

I think I have forgotten to mention in this brief sketch that Dr.
ADDISON has a frame of iron. Since I have said it of all the other
Cabinet Ministers of whom I have spoken, I ought certainly to say it
of iron. All that he really needs is the concrete.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Wealthy Parvenu_ (_showing acquaintance his house,
"ancestors," etc_.). "AH! AN' THEY'RE ALL TIP-TOP AN' PRE-WAR, MIND

       *       *       *       *       *


    [We print as it reaches us this strange incoherent ejaculatory
    effusion, signed "A Lover of the Old Italian Opera." With the
    general spirit of this valediction it is possible to feel a
    certain amount of sympathy, but the author is clearly inaccurate
    in including amongst the bygone glories of the institution which
    he deplores places, persons, musical and even culinary features
    which are by no means obsolete. We confess also to grave misgiving
    as to the purity of the writer's style, which in some lines seems
    to smack more of the debased Anglo-Italian of Soho than the
    crystal-clarity of the Tuscan of Carducci.]

  O TEMPI passati!--
  O Asti spumante!
  O scena cantante!
  Polenta, risotto,
  O contra-fagotto!
  Sordini, spaghetti,
  BELLINI, confetti.
  O cioppo dal grillo!
  TARTINI del "trillo,"
  _Barbière_, "Di tanti,"
  O fiaschi di Chianti!
  O dolce solfeggio!
  O caro arpeggio!
  Salsiccia con veggio!
  O lingua Toscana!
  O bocca Romana!
  O voce di petto!
  _Rigoletto_, _Masetto_,
  Stringendo e stretto,
  O notte di festa!
  E poi mal di testa.
  O Caffè di GATTI!
  O Brava! O Basta!
  O danza San VITO!
  _Clemenza di Tito_,
  _Sarastro_, "Qui sdegno,"
  Da capo, dal segno,
  O coloratura!
  O bella bravura!
  O "Salve dimora!"
  O _Norma_, _Dinorah!_
  O lunga cadenza
  Senza desinenza,
  O tempo rubato!
  Strumenti a fiato!
  O pingue contralto!
  O ponte di Rialto!
  O basso profondo!
  O fine del mondo!
  O "voi che sapete!"--

       *       *       *       *       *

[The kind of article which one may confidently look for in the
sporting columns of a penny newspaper at this time of the year.]

From the very beginning of the season I have insisted that our
objective should be "the winter's keep." Those who have stuck to me
all along and played my system are on velvet.

During the flat-racing year I have given a hundred-and-fourteen
selections. Let me just tabulate the results; I like tabulating, for
it fills my column in no time.

Selections. Won.  Second.  Third.  Unplaced.
  114        5       8       1        100

    N.B.--Non-starters neglected.

The above is a statement of which I may well be proud. I assert with
confidence that few sporting journalists can show anything like this

Certain captious correspondents like "O. T." and "Disgusted" have
pointed out that my selections during this period show a loss of £104
9s. 11-1/2d. on a _flat stake_ of £1. All I can say is that people who
bet increasing stakes are increasing, while people who bet flat stakes
are---- Well, that disposes of "Disgusted" and "O. T." My readers know
that my system is to have the minimum stake on the losers and the
maximum stake on the winners. We shall never attain that abstract
perfection, but we should keep this ideal before us. I believe in
idealism; it pays.

Take yesterday's selections, for instance. Here they are, with results

    1.00   Breathing Time       _Unplaced._
    1.30   Taddenham            _Unplaced._
    2.00   Aminta I.            _Unplaced._
    2.30   Giddy Gertie         _Non-starter._
    3.00   Transformation       _Unplaced._
    3.30   Likely Case          _Won--20 to 1 on._

That I consider a highly successful day's racing, provided your
stakes were proportionally placed; and here again I must insist on my
principle of maximum and minimum stakes.

Let us suppose, as naturally most of my readers did, that a backer
went to the course with a bookmaker's credit of twenty thousand pounds
and a thousand or so spare cash in his pocket. Being a shrewd man he
would place £1 on Breathing Time to win. (I daresay even "O. T." and
"Disgusted" did me the honour of following me so far.) On Taddenham,
true to my principles, our backer would raise his stake to £1 10s.
Aminta I. would carry £2, or £2 10s. if he were punting. But I cannot
too strongly discourage this habit of making violent increases in
stake; it is almost gambling. Much better put on only £2 with a
safe bookmaker, such as Mr. Bob Mowbray, of Conduit Street, whose
advertisement appears elsewhere in our columns.

To proceed, our backer finds to his relief that Giddy Gertie is a
non-starter and retires to the refreshment bar for a bracer. The 2.30
race being run off he returns to the Ring for the serious business of
the day. After examining Transformation in the paddock and listening
to the comments of the knowing ones--"Too thick in the barrel," "Too
long in the pastern," "Too moth-eaten in the coat"--he will exercise
caution and, instead of "putting his shirt" on Transformation and
plunging to the extent of, say, £5, will put up not more than £3 10s.
and await the result with calmness. When Transformation is returned
unplaced (or, as "O. T." and "Disgusted" would say, "also ran") our
backer is not abashed. Taking full advantage of his credit he places
his twenty thousand on Likely Case, together perhaps with the odd
thousand or so in his pocket, being careful, however, to ascertain
that his return ticket is still safely in his possession.

Our backer is shrewd enough to understand that this is a case for the
maximum stake. Strong in his faith in my principle he sees Likely Case
win with little surprise.

Returning to Town that evening he records his day's dealings in this

                       Lost.        Won.
                    _£   s. d.      £  s. d._
Breathing Time       1   0  0          --
Taddenham            1  10  0          --
Aminta I.            2   0  0          --
Giddy Gertie            --             --
Transformation       3  10  0          --
Likely Case             --      1,000   0  0
Expenses: Return
  ticket, entrances,
  three double
  b. & s., etc.      2   0  4          --
                    ---------   -----------
                    10   0  4   1,000   0  0
                                   10   0  4
      Balance                    £989  19  8

I may mention that the official s.p. of 20 to 1 on Likely Case is
distinctly cramped. On the course it was possible to obtain more
generous terms and lay only 19 to 1 on.

Thus one sportsman by careful observance of my principle has stacked
up a goodly array of chips towards his winter's keep. All this goes to
show that if a man will bet sanely and avoid "going for the gloves" he
can make a modest competence on the Turf.

This afternoon the Vale Selling Plate of 300 sovs. is down for
decision. To fill my space I cannot do better than give a list of


              st. lb.
  MAYANA       9   7   Digby.
  AVIGNON      9   3   Harris.
  WISE UNCLE   8   7   Holmes (O.)
  PERIWIG      7   7   Benny.
  BEATUS       7   0   Peters.

In Nurseries, Weight-for-age races and so on I make it a rule to give
only one selection, but in a struggle of this importance I expect to
receive a little more latitude. Of these, then, I take Mayana and
Periwig to beat the field. At the same time I feel strongly that Wise
Uncle's form at Kempton was not correct, and that he will nearly win,
if he can beat Beatus, who seems to be let in nicely at 7 st. All the
above will be triers, but it is doubtful whether any amount of trying
will enable them to beat Avignon, whose chances I am content to
support. I conclude by wishing my readers a good time over this race.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The worms, the worms, the wriggly worms,
    They keep on eating earth,
  And always in the grossest terms
    Complain about their birth;
  They have no eyes, they have no eyes,
    They cannot read a book;
  I wonder if they realise
    What dreadful things they look.

  The trowel cuts them quite in half,
    It is a bitter cup;
  They give a sour sardonic laugh
    And sew the pieces up;
  They sew them up and wind away
    With seeming unconcern,
  But oh, be careful! one fine day
    I hear the worm will turn.

  And though I don't know what it means,
    I know what reptiles are;
  They love to make unpleasant scenes
    When people go too far;
  However calm he seems to be
    When only cut in two,
  If you go cutting him in three
    I don't know _what_ he'd do!

  A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Effect of the Greek Imbroglio.=

    "Asked why _The Daily Mail_ had been asked to send a
    representative, Mr. MacSweeney stated that Mr. MacCormack
    had cancelled an agreement with his agent, which meant the
    cancellatino of a number of provincial engagements."--_Daily

       *       *       *       *       *


    With 43 Illustrations.


    With a real educational interest. Education
    without effort. Containing 25 animals, all
    perfectly drawn."--_Advt. in Glasgow Paper._

Not at all a bad description.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The Oxford University forwards created a very favourable
    impression against Major Stanley's XV. at Oxford yesterday, and
    were not to blame for the defeat of the University by 2 placed
    girls...."--_Daily Paper._

Here's to the maidens of STANLEY'S XV.!

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: =THE HANDY LITTLE CAR.=]

       *       *       *       *       *

When I speak of the place of the trombone in the band I am not
referring to his site or locality. That is for the conductor to
settle. My purpose is to give an intelligent reply to the oft-quoted
query, "Why the trombone?"

Everybody knows that it is not in the band for musical purposes. It
is not a musical instrument. The man who could extract music from a
trombone could get grapes out of a coal-mine.

No, its _raison d'être_ is mostly critical and punitive. It is there
to see that the orchestra does its job and to put the fear of a
hectic hereafter into the man who is out of step with his

The uninformed have a vague idea that the conductor should do that
with his little stick. But I put it to you, what use would a little
stick be against a man like the big drum? A meat-axe would have some
point, but the difficulties of conducting with a meat-axe will be
obvious to even the least musical.

When the French horn, in the throes of a liver attack, sees
supplementary spots on the score and plays them with abandon, or when
the clarionet (or clarinet), having inadvertently sucked down a fly
which in an adventurous mood has strolled into one of those little
holes in the instrument, coughs himself half out of his evening
clothes, does the conductor forsake his air of austerity and
use language unbefitting a solemn occasion? Does he pick up his
music-stand and hurl it at the offender? He does not. It would be a
breach of etiquette.

He simply signals to the trombone, who promptly turns the exit part
of his instrument on the culprit and gives a bray that makes the
unfortunate man's shirt-front crumple up like a concertina. That is

Then again the trombone is employed as a sort of brake when in a
moment of excitement the rest of the orchestra has a tendency to
overdo things.

For example, all will remember the throbbing moment at the end of the
drama, where the hero and heroine, murmuring "At last!" fall into each
other's arms and move slowly off the stage whilst the band starts
up MENDELSSOHN'S or GLÜCKSTEIN'S "Wedding March." The effect on an
orchestra is immediate and immense. Somewhere behind each of these
stiff shirt-fronts beats a heart that thrills at every suggestion of
romance. It is well known that, when at intervals during a performance
they retire through the man-hole under the stage, it is to imbibe
another chapter of ETHEL M. DELL or of "Harried Hannah, the Bloomsbury
Bride." And so the lingering embrace of the lovers sets them tingling
and they tackle the "Wedding March" at the double. The clarionet
(or clarinet) wipes the tears from his eyes and puts a sob in his
rendering; the cornet unswallows his mouthpiece and, getting his
under-jaw well jutted out, decides to put a jerk in it; the piccolo
pickles with furious enthusiasm; the 'cello puts his instrument in
top-gear with his left hand and saws away violently with the other;
the triangle, who has fallen perhaps into a Euclidian dream, sits
up and gets a move on; the stevedore--no, no, that is the next
chapter--the oboe, the French horn, the kettledrum, the euphonium, the
proscenium, the timbrel, the hautboy, the sackbut-and-ashes--all get a
grip of the ground with both feet and let her go.

They try to depict golden lands of radiant sunshine, where beautiful
couples stroll hand-in-hand for ever and the voice of the turtle
replaces that of the raucous vendor of the racing edition.

If they were allowed to have their way the effect on the unmarried
portion of the audience would be to send them rushing out of the
theatres and dragging registrars out of a sick-bed in order to perform
the marriage ceremony there and then.

But the trombone introduces the hard practical note, the necessary
corrective. His monotonous grunt is used to remind the audience of
marriage as it is lived in real life, of the girl at breakfast in
unmarcelled hair, of the man dropping cigarette-ash on the best
carpet, of double income-tax, of her family, of his, of her bills for
frocks, of his wandering off to golf or the club, and a host of other

A reaction takes place among the audience. Men who had been a moment
before estimating the price of a diamond-ring turn their thoughts to
two-stroke motor-bicycles, and girls decide that love in a cottage is
an overrated pastime--especially when you can't get the cottage--and
decide to wait a few years till a house or two has been built.

That is the chief function of the trombone--to pursue those who are
wandering in the clouds and bring them to earth with a crash.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Press Photographer_ (_to perfect stranger while
arranging group on departure of popular personage_). "HOLD YOUR HAT UP

       *       *       *       *       *

    =The Triumphs of Art.=


    _"Times" headlines._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Rhodes bowled Ryder for a duck, and off his very next ball he got
    Moyes smartly stumped by Dolphin at point."

    _Irish Paper._

DOLPHIN must have acquired "the long arm of coincidence."

       *       *       *       *       *


    _Japan Gazette._

No, don't let's.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Autumn made a lightning spring into winter yesterday."--_Daily

England's seasons seem to be getting hopelessly intermingled.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "---- Htl.--S. asp. Magnificently equipped."--_Daily Paper._

Patronized by the late QUEEN CLEOPATRA.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "TO LET, Furnished Bedroom, beard optional, terms
    moderate."--_Local Paper._

Would suit almost any young shaver.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A telephone call office has been opened at Mumps Post
    Office."--_Official notice._

SUBSCRIBER.--Can you give me Mumps?

OPERATOR.--No, but I have got a bad cold if that is any use to you.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


I was admiring Cripstock's barometer.

"Take it," he said.

"My dear Cripstock!" I exclaimed, as I pulled it from the wall.

"My dear fellow!" he replied, in tones more of gratitude than of

I have fastened it in my hall at the regulation distance from the
hat-rack and between the assegais. It will be nice company for the
dinner-gong, which it faces. I purposely did not place them side by
side, for fear of any error in tapping.

These delicate contrivances do not readily settle down in a new
home, and for a week I ignored the barometer. This may have seemed
unfriendly to a newcomer, yet surely it was kind not to observe any
faults it might display during its novitiate. When on the Saturday
morning I scrutinised it for the first time I saw it pointed to
"Stormy." I hastened over breakfast in order to get into the garden in
time to fix up the starboard fence. After working feverishly for three
hours, glancing at the sky at frequent intervals, I heard the "All
clear" signalled from a back window, the needle having swung round to
"Set Fair."

There it remained for several days, a marvel of accuracy. My poor
umbrella began to wear a look of neglect, but my walking-stick was
jubilant. "Set Fair" it was again on the Friday, and again I set out
with my happy malacca.

On my return wet through I had another proof of the excellence of my
faithful aneroid. Its needle pointed imperatively to "Change." This,
in fact, I had already decided to do, but to a less careful man the
instruction must have been of inestimable advantage.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_An "explanation" of another of the PREMIER'S election "promises."_)

  My emotion I well can remember
    O'er a "promise" that somewhere I'd seen
  One night, away back in December
    Anno Domini 1918.
  Happy tears in my orbs began wellin'
    As I read how the England-to-be
  Would become a fit messuage to dwell in
        For heroes like me.

  Refreshed by an access of ardour
    I returned to my business in town;
  But, as life seemed each day to grow harder,
    I despaired of its joy and its crown;
  Till, fed up with a "tale" for poor Tommies,
    My temper I finally lost,
  And pronounced that oracular "promise"
        A palpable frost.

  But I've tumbled at last to my error;
    For, although I am far from content,
  I know that this era of terror
    Is just what the Government meant;
  When through England so bell-like and clear rose
    That eager, that passionate vow;
  Since none but a race of real heroes
        Can live in it now.

       *       *       *       *       *

    =Commercial Candour.=

    "SITUATIONS WANTED. Housemaid, unscrupulously clean."

    _Melbourne Argus._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., has added 2-1/2 stones to his stature
    since he left the nursing home in Leeds."--_Daily Mail._

And three cubits to his weight.

       *       *       *       *       *

       *       *       *       *       *


We were talking of the sex, the dark and the fair, and "Give me," he
said, "a brunette every time. But how seldom one meets them now!"

I expressed surprise at this.

"Yes," he said, "it is so. Plenty of women with dark hair, but not
dark skins. The true brunette is very rare."

"I know one," I said; "probably the most perfect brunette in London."

"Young?" he asked.

"Yes," I said.

"Could I--would you take me to see her?" he asked.

"Certainly," I said.

"When?" he asked.

"Now," I said; "this afternoon. But we must hurry. Her servants have
orders not to let anyone in after four."

"You're sure she won't mind?" he asked.

"Absolutely," I said. "My friends are hers. I've introduced lots of
people to her and she's delighted."

He smiled blissfully.

Having obtained a taxi I gave an address in Regent's Park, but
told the driver to stop at a shop on the way "She loves sweets," I

"They all do," he replied, with the sententiousness of gallantry, as
though speaking from abysmal depths of knowledge.

"Yes, but she has a more catholic taste than most," I said. "She's the
only brunette--or, if it comes to that, the only blonde--I ever knew
with a weakness for--well, I'll make you guess."

"Preserved ginger?" he suggested.

"No," I said.

"American pop-corn?"

"Not that I know," I said.

"Tell me," he replied.

"Condensed milk," I said.

"Good Heavens!" he exclaimed. "Condensed milk? That's the oddest thing
I've ever heard."

"That's what I'm getting," I said; "and it won't injure your chances
with her if you take her a pot of honey."

"But I don't know her," he submitted.

"It doesn't matter," I said; "she's the most unconventional creature
in the world--just a child of nature."

"Delicious!" he murmured.

"She's a Canadian, you see," I added.

"Oh, a Canadian," he replied, as though that explained everything.
"And, by the way, what's her name?"

"She lets me call her Winnie," I said.

"And what do I call her?" he asked.

"Well," I said, "if I were you I'd call her Winnie too. She'd love

"This is extraordinarily interesting," he replied. "But you know I'm
far too shy to do a thing like that."

When, however, the time came and we were shown into Winnie's
drawing-room in Mappin Terrace and the most adorable brown bear in
captivity came lumbering towards us, he called her Winnie as naturally
as her keeper does or any of the Canadian soldiers whose mascot she
was, and he held the honey-pot for her until her tongue had extracted
every drop. She then clawed at his pocket for more.

"I told you she'd like you," I said.

"Isn't she a pet? And a brunette all right? I didn't deceive you."

"She's perfect," he said. "Absolutely _the_ Queen of She-Bears."

And so say all good Zoologicians.

E. V. L.

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: =A GERMAN INVASION.=


       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday, November 22nd._--Fortunately or unfortunately, according to
one's point of view, this deponent was not a spectator of the fight in
the House of Commons this afternoon, having been himself previously
knocked out by a catarrhal microbe possessing, as the sporting
journals say, "a remarkable punch." He therefore gives the fracas an
honourable miss.

The Tariff Reformers were horrified to hear from Sir ROBERT HORNE that
nearly four hundred thousand pounds' worth of clocks had been imported
from Germany this year. They were quite under the impression that when
we wound up the Watch on the Rhine clocks were included.

They were still more surprised to learn that without further
legislation it is impossible for British parents, when purchasing toys
for their children, to be sure that they are not the productions of
our late enemies. It would appear that the famous label, "Made
in Germany," which did so much to advertise the products of the
Fatherland before the War, has now outlived its usefulness; but the
goods are coming along just the same.


_Tuesday, November 23rd._--Lord BIRKENHEAD'S complete recovery from
his recent ear-trouble was attested by the ease and mastery of his
speech in moving the Second Reading of the Government of Ireland Bill.
Some men in this situation might have been a little embarrassed by
their past. But Sir EDWARD CARSON'S erstwhile "galloper" neither
forgot nor apologised for his daring feats of horsemanship, and
triumphantly produced a letter from his former chief assuring "my dear
Lord Chancellor" that "Ulster" had come round to the view that "the
best and only solution of the question is to accept the present Bill
and to endeavour to work it loyally."

For the rest he minimised the temporary partition of Ireland and laid
stress on the ultimate union to be effected by the Council of Ireland;
magnified the financial advantages--seven millions is the sum he
reckons Southern Ireland will ultimately have to play with--and hinted
that they might be further stretched "if peace were offered to us by
any body which was qualified to speak for Irish opinion."

For a time little encouragement came from the Irish Peers. Lord
DUNRAVEN moved the rejection of the Bill, on the ground that there
could never be permanent peace in Ireland until moderate opinion was
behind the law, and that moderate opinion would not be satisfied
without full financial control. Lord WILLOUGHBY DE BROKE spoke as an
unrepentant Unionist, and Lord CLANWILLIAM bluntly declared that the
Irish were one of those peoples who were unfit to govern themselves
and who had got to be governed.

[Illustration: "The balance step without advancing." LORD HALDANE.]

The Duke of ABERCORN, as an Ulsterman, supported the Bill, and Lord
HALDANE gave an elegant exhibition of the military exercise known as
"the balance step without advancing." It was not the Bill he
would have drafted, and the Government must pass it on their own
responsibility. Still he thought it should be given a chance.

In the Commons Sir ARCHIBALD WILLIAMSON gave an account of the
remarkable transmigrations of the Egyptian G.H.Q., which within a few
weeks was located at the Savoy Hotel, the Abbassiah Barracks and the
Eden Hotel. "Each move was made from motives of economy." Sir ALFRED
MOND is understood to be most anxious to know how this game is played.
He can manage the first moves all right, but never achieves a winning

_Wednesday, November 24th._--Those who were fortunate enough to hear
Viscount GREY'S speech on the Government of Ireland Bill speak of
it as on a par with that which he delivered as the spokesman of the
nation on August 3rd, 1914. To me it did not appear quite so plain and
coherent; but who can be plain and coherent about the Irish Question?
Lord GREY thinks, for example, that if the Government made a more
liberal offer to Nationalist Ireland the pressure of moderate opinion
would put an end to murders and outrages. But how would that moderate
opinion be able to overcome the terrorism of the secret societies,
which, as Lord BRYCE told the Peers, have dogged every Irish patriotic
movement since the eighteenth century and which will admit no
compromise with the hated invader?

The debate was neatly summarised by Lord RIBBLESDALE, who said, "We
are all Home Rulers, but each of us thinks the other fellow's brand is

The state of Ireland was at that moment being debated in the Commons,
when Mr. ASQUITH found himself saddled with the introduction of a
motion which, while nominally blaming the Irish Executive, really
accused the soldiers and police of attacking the lives and property of
innocent people. The awkwardness of the situation was reflected in the
terms of his indictment. At one moment the charge was that houses and
creameries were destroyed "without discrimination" between innocent
and guilty; at the next the House was asked to note "overwhelming
evidence of organisation." His only suggestion for a remedy was that
we should get into touch with "the real opinion of the great bulk of
the Irish people," but he did not indicate how it was to be done or
what the opinion would be when you got to it.

Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD is quite clear that you won't get to it until you
have crushed the murder-gang which is terrorising the great mass of
the Southern Irish people, not excluding "the intellectual leaders of
Sinn Fein."

Colonel JOHN WARD cleverly remodelled the resolution into a vote of
thanks to the servants of the Crown in Ireland for their courage and
devotion, and this was eventually adopted by 303 votes to 83.

_Thursday, November 25th._--For the first time in its history the
House of Lords gave a Second Reading to a Home Rule Bill for Ireland.
Up to the very last the issue was in doubt, for Lord MIDLETON'S motion
that the debate should be adjourned for a fortnight, in order that
a more generous financial scheme might be produced, attracted two
classes of Peers--those who are resigned to Home Rule, but want a
better brand, and those who won't have it at any price or in any

On the steps of the Throne sat the PRIME MINISTER, whose humility in
going no higher will doubtless receive favourable comment in Welsh
pulpits. He was accompanied--I will not say shepherded--by Sir HAMAR
GREENWOOD and Sir EDWARD CARSON. What signals, if any, passed between
this triumvirate and the Woolsack I cannot say, but the fact remains
that, after a brief chat with the LORD CHANCELLOR, Lord CURZON came
down heavily against the motion. An adjournment would be useless
unless it produced peace. But could Lord MIDLETON guarantee that even
the most complete fiscal autonomy would satisfy Sinn Fein? If later
on, when the Irish Parliaments were in operation, a demand came from a
united Ireland, the Government would give it friendly consideration.
Lord MIDLETON'S motion having been rejected by eighty-six votes, and
Lord DUNRAVEN'S by ninety, the Second Reading was agreed to without a

[Illustration: _Lord Curzon._ "Lord WILLOUGHBY DE BROKE still remained
a magnificent relic of the Old Guard."]

In the Commons a final attempt to defeat the Agricultural Bill was
made by the Farmers' Party. Mr. COURTHOPE declared that the Bill
would produce only doubt and uncertainty, whereas the farmer needed
confidence, a plant of slow growth (as we know on the authority of
another statesman), which would not flourish under bureaucratic
supervision. Sir F. BANBURY said the measure must end in
nationalisation, and he would prefer nationalisation--_cum_ proper
compensation, of course--straight away. The surprising statement by
a Labour Member, that the farmers had subsidised the nation to the
extent of forty millions a year by selling at less than world-prices,
may have helped to placate their champions, who had not quite realised
what generous fellows they were, for only a dozen stalwarts carried
their protest into the Division Lobby.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Learn to be independent of domestics. In four months I undertake
    to train any young girl of good family, and willing to learn, as a
    thoroughly competent and economical Plain Cook. Live in as one of
    family. Three maids kept. Mrs. ----."--_Church Times._

The advertiser seems to fight shy of her own medicine.

       *       *       *       *       *


If _Hansard_ would only introduce a little brightness into its bald
and unconvincing narrative of Parliamentary procedure it would provide
reading-matter which would grip the heart and stir the emotions,
winning many new readers from the students of fiction and other light
literature. _Hansard_ will otherwise never find it worth while to
organise sand-castle competitions for the little ones about its
certified net sales.

It suffers under the disadvantage of having no sporting expert, no
front-rank descriptive writer and no specialist in the humanities
(sometimes known as a sob-artist) on its staff. That is why it reports
a soul-stirring incident in the following terms?--

"Mr. X. struck out, and unintentionally hit an hon. member (Mr. Y.),
who was sitting in close proximity. Grave disorder having thus arisen,
Mr. Speaker rose and ordered the suspension of the sitting under
Standing Order No. 21."

How differently the thing might have been done if put into competent
hands. Would not something like the following (though far short
of perfection, we admit) have been more acceptable to the general

Mr. X's erstwhile florid face paled. An ugly look invaded his features
of normally classic beauty. Flinging off his braided morning-coat he
flew at his opponent. Parrying with his right he brought his left well
home with a middle-and-off jab, tapping the claret--a pretty blow,
whose only defect was that it struck the wrong face.

Other honourable Members hastened to join the _mêlée_. Pince-nez flew
in every direction, toupées were disarranged, dental plates shook to
their very foundations. The opposition pack worked well, displaying
brilliant footwork, tackling low and dodging neatly the dangerous
cross-kicks of their opponents. The heel-work, while above the
average, was too often below the belt.

Meanwhile the only lady Member present sat pale and bright-eyed, a
silent spectator. Her mind, working rapidly, sensed an impending
catastrophe. What could she do to emphasise the woman's point of view?
At the sight of blood she nerved herself with a supreme effort to
remain in her place. Then, springing to action, she tore her dainty
handkerchief into strips with which to provide the bandages which it
seemed would inevitably be needed.

At last silence reigned. The collar-studs were collected from the
floor of the House and the few remaining Members breathlessly awaited
the resumption of the sitting.

As the hon. Member apologised every throat was dry, but most of the
eyes were moist. The gracious acceptance of the apology moved strong
men to weep aloud until called to order. And there, in the background,
sat she whose woman's wit had shown the better way.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Commercial Menace.=

    "Taxis for Hire. Boats and Trains met. Picnic and Wedding Parties
    promptly attended to and executed with reliability."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "There were only 67 persons enjoying annual incomes of £200,000
    or over in 1918, upon whom a tax of about £28,000,000 was
    levied."--_Daily Paper._

What are we coming to!

       *       *       *       *       *


    VIOLINS.--For sale, several second-hand Violins."--_Local Paper._

They should harmonize well with the violas in the next bed.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. ---- (the bride's brother) was at the organ, and played the
    'Bridle March' (Lohengrin)."--_Local Paper._

While the happy pair were on their way to the halter.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "An advertisement in a morning paper for 20 laborers to do store
    work resulted in 400 applicants assembling in front of the
    Petersham P.O., where the advertiser had promised to meet them.
    To their intense disgust he failed to materialise. The general
    opinion is that the advertisement was a hoar."

    _Australian Paper._

A frost anyway.

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: =THE USES OF GESTURE.=

A sixpenny-bit--plain.

One penny--with aplomb.]

       *       *       *       *       *


G.B.R.L.'s are an old-established convention in my family. Joan and
Pauline ("Porgie" _libentius audit_) are exceptional authorities on
the animal world in general; exceptional, at any rate, for their
years, which respectively total four-spot-six and two-spot-five. They
confound their parents daily with questions relating to the habits of
marmots or the language of kiwis. But they never talk about
"lions," _tout court_. A lion is, _ex-officio_ and _ipso facto_, a
Great-Big-Roarin'-Lion--always has been: in short, a G.B.R.L.

It reminds me of a man I know who was made a G.B.E.; but that's
another story, and Joan wouldn't see the joke of it anyhow, though I
know she would smile politely.

But in this matter of lions, from which I am tending to digress, the
old G.B.R. convention has just been weighed in the balance and found
wanting. It came about in this wise. Joan's and Porgie's Uncle Barney
(his nose is _retroussé_, if anything, only he had the misfortune to
be born on St. Barnabas' Day) departed the other day for Afric's sunny
shores--for Algiers, in fact--to nurse a tedious trench legacy. This,
of course, was a matter of great concern to his nieces, in whose eyes
he is distinctly _persona grata_, owing to his command of persiflage
and taste in confectionery.

I went into the nursery on the fateful morning to break the sad news.
My daughters were at breakfast and I was just in time to hear Joan's
grace, "Thank God for our b'ekfas'--and _do_ make us good." The
extremely sanctimonious tone in which this was delivered, combined
with the melodramatic scowl which marred the usual serenity of
Porgie's countenance, convinced me that the morning had commenced
inauspiciously and that it would be well to gild the pill which I had
to administer.

"Hallo, stout women," I said cheerfully. Joan looked politely bored
but made no reply.

"Not 'tout wimmin," said Porgie heavily and uncompromisingly.
Obviously it was too early in the day for any of that sparkling
back-chat for which my daughters are so justly famed. So I got down to
hard tacks at once.

"Your Uncle Barney," I said, "is going to Algiers to-day."

I explained that Algiers was in Africa, where the black men come from.
Joan was mildly intrigued. She opined that her Uncle Barney would
follow the local customs (as she understood them) and wear no clothes.
I said I doubted if his medical adviser would approve of his
carrying international courtesy to such an extreme. Joan was frankly
disappointed. So I tried again.

"I expect he'll see some lions in Africa," I suggested.

Joan's interest revived. "Great-big-roarin'-lions," she corrected me.
Porgie expressed herself, as usual, in precisely similar terms.

"Yes," I said feelingly, "great big roarers. I expect they'll eat him
up quite soon."

Joan looked deeply concerned at this callous prediction, and the
corners of Porgie's mouth drooped ominously.

"I don't like roarin' lions," said Joan.

"Don't nike roarin' nions," said Porgie.

"Are they in cages?" suggested Joan hopefully. This was an excellent

"Of course they are," I said with great heartiness.

Joan was not satisfied. "Will they roar when they see Uncle Barney?"
she inquired.

This gave me my chance most unexpectedly. "I should just think they
will," I said. "If they see him dressed like your black men, they'll
roar till the tears pour down their cheeks."

"I 'spect they'd be laughing at him," said Joan, gracefully helping me

"I 'spect so," I replied.

"_I_ see," said Joan comfortably.

"_I_ see," said Porgie.

       *       *       *       *       *

So G.B.R.L. has come to have a new and a more genial significance,
thanks to Uncle Barney.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Vacant Possession, through sickness.--Capital Chop, with good
    living accommodation, in best business position."--_Daily Paper._

Purchaser will acquire a steak in the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Mrs. Bluff_ (_a popular pauper_). "NOW, FANNY, WHAT'LL YER SAY WHEN I

_Fanny_ (_thoroughly proficient_). "OH, THAT'S AN EASY ONE. I'LL PUT

       *       *       *       *       *

=Mr. Punch's Misquotations.=

Of a prima donna who sang in a private drawing-room: "At a party she
gave what was meant for mankind." (GOLDSMITH).

       *       *       *       *       *


    "The steam drifter Bruces landed at Buckie to-day the
    furthest-fetched catch of herrings on record. The herrings were
    caught on the Yarmouth grounds, over 4000 miles distant."

    _Scotch Paper._

The last detail seems as far-fetched as the fish.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lost, in Paragon Street or Station, Black Dog with purse, money,
    eyeglass and papers; name and address inside.--Reward returning
    same."--_Daily Paper._

But suppose the finder is an anti-vivisectionist?

       *       *       *       *       *

  There was a young lady named Janet,
  Who committed high treason in Thanet;
        She dressed up her cat
        In a _D**ly M**l_ hat,
  And was promptly fired out of this planet.

       *       *       *       *       *


Knowing that there was everything in my appearance to command respect,
I went into the manager's room with confidence. Lean and brown and
middle-aged, in a tweed coat and grey flannel trousers, which, though
not new, were well cut, I felt that I looked like one accustomed to
put in and take out sums from banks. There was no trying for effect,
no effort, no tie-pin. The stick I carried was a plain ash. The pipe,
which I removed from my mouth, had no silver mounting. Ah, but it
showed the tiny mother-of-pearl star which stamped it as a Bungknoll.
There was going to be no difficulty here.

"Good morning," I said. "I regret to trouble a busy man over a small
matter, but I wish to cash a cheque for ten pounds."

He was a quiet, capable-looking man with a rather tired expression.

"The cashing of cheques," he said, laying down his pipe, "is one item
of our duties."

"Unfortunately," I continued, "I have run short of money. I bought a
rather good print in a shop down the road and it has left me without
any. I can give a cheque on Bilson's, but the banks in town close
to-morrow and it would mean waiting three days, so I hope that you
will be able to--"

"You can bring someone to identify you, of course?" he said, reaching
for a bell.

"I am sorry to say that I am unknown here. I am all right at the
hotel, but I don't like to ask the people for money. I have brought
only a small bag, and what with the races and so forth I might expose
myself to a disagreeable refusal."

"Yes," he said, "you might. But I'm afraid I can't cash a cheque for
you without an identification. I'll send it for collection if you

"But that means waiting for days, and I haven't a shilling left.
I came here for a week to look at the country about your town--a
beautiful little town." I added this diplomatically.

"Do you think so? I consider it a hole. But I don't know much about
it as I'm only here for a week. However, I'm sorry I can't help you
except in the way I mentioned."

"But look here--do I look like the kind of man who plays tricks? Here
is my card and my club address. And letters"--I tore one out of an
envelope, but it was the one from Mosbyson's reminding me that they
had already applied twice for payment--"but letters are of little use
to identify one."

"They are," he agreed.

"The fact is, among other things, I want to buy another print which I
have just caught sight of. It may be snapped up at any moment, like
the one I snapped up yesterday."

"Let it go. It's probably a fake."

"Which one?" I said hotly. "The one I bought yesterday or the one I'm
going to buy?"

"Both. But I can't cash your cheque."

"But look at the mess I'll be in. Would you have me pawn my watch?"

"I would not; neither would I have you not do so, if you take my

"I see," I said bitterly. "In plain words you are indifferent to my

He smiled slightly and reached for a match to re-light his pipe.

My blood was up. I would not be defied by this man; at least, not
completely. "Very well," I said coldly, "I will leave my cheque for
ten pounds with you and take only a couple on account."

"I couldn't do that either."

"Well, a pound will have to do then."


"Then," I said in despair, "we come to the ridiculously small amount
of eighteenpence. Ha, ha!"

"And that," he answered, "would be equally objectionable."

I started. "Come," I said, "you are human after all. You can quote at
random from DICKENS. You read him?"

"I do. When not engaged in business pursuits." He looked anxiously at
the clock.

"Who was _Mrs. Chickenstalker_?" I asked sternly.

"She kept a shop. In _The Haunted Man_."

"Whom did _Mr. Wopsle_ marry?"

"Nobody. But hadn't you better see about your watch?"

"Not yet. How many glasses of punch did _Mr. Pickwick_ drink on One
Tree Hill?"

"Depends on how you count them. I make it eight."

"Correct. Look here--have you thought about the bagman's story--the
first one? He says it is eighty years since the events he relates took
place, and that would carry it back to 1747. And yet the traveller
damns his straps and whiskers. Why, if he'd worn strapped trousers and
whiskers in those days he'd have had a mob after him."

"Yes, and he wouldn't have been driving a gig on Marlborough downs.
He'd have been riding with pistols in his holsters, wrapped in a
horseman's cloak and wearing a plain bobwig. I've thought of that

"I see you have. But there's another--"

"Let me. Can you account for this? _Martin Chuzzlewit_ left _Mr.
Pecksniff's_ house in the late autumn--say the last of November to
be on the safe side. He stays five weeks in London and then goes
to America--say another five weeks. Then, after a week in _Major
Pawkins_' boarding-house, he goes to a place which is identified as
the original site of Cairo, Illinois--say another week. This would
land him there at the end of February, when everything is frozen
stiff. But they travelled down the river in a heat that blistered
everything it touched."

"No," I said jealously, "I have not thought of that. Wonderful, isn't
it, how one likes to catch DICKENS in a mistake? Like having a joke on
a good old friend."

"Exactly," he said ardently, "I wish I had more time--"

"If you're free this evening come and dine with me at the 'Bull.' At
about eight, if you can."

"I'd like to very much. Thanks. I'll come."

"I've thought of two more," I said; "but I'll go now, as you must be
busy, so good-bye for the present. A bit before eight."

"I'll be there. I am rather busy just now. Good morning." He rang the
bell. "Oh, Mr. Jounce," he said to the underling who appeared, "will
you please cash this gentleman's cheque?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady (to applicant for situation as cook)._ "HAVE YOU


       *       *       *       *       *


I am hoping very much that this story will, as Agony Column
advertisements put it, meet the eye of a certain Professor at a
certain Academy of Music. Of course I might tell it to him myself,
as he happens to be my Professor, at least from 7 to 7.45 on Friday
evenings; but it is a story which involves a great deal of explanation
and, well--things on the whole get believed better in print.

To be quite frank I did begin telling him at the time, but I saw that
the first two words had destroyed his faith in the rest of it. I don't
really blame him, for it began with "my cleaner," and I don't suppose
that he has the ghost of an idea that, if you teach cooking, as I do,
under the London County Council, they kindly keep a charlady to wash
up for you and so on, and they call her a "cleaner."

The Professor is a very bad listener. I might have managed to explain
to him what a cleaner is, but I never could have made him see why she
was having tea with me, so I gave it up.

Really it is so simple. She lives at Cambridge Heath; I live at
Croydon, which doesn't sound as countrified but is really so much
nicer that no Croydon people who knew Cambridge Heathers could help
asking them to tea at least once a year, when the garden was at its
best. My cleaner's visit is always very delightful, because she
makes the garden seem at least four times its usual size by sheer
admiration; but this year, just as she was getting into her stride, it
began to rain, and we had to seek refuge by the piano.

We sang "Where the Bee Sucks" and "Annie Laurie" very successfully,
and she at last unthawed to the extent of remarking that she would
give us a "chune," though she "hadn't stood up" to sing by herself
"for donkey's ears." Stipulating that someone should help her out if
the need arose, she investigated the inside of the piano-stool where
the music lives, looking for a suitable song, and made, to her horror,
the discovery that among all the odd pages it contained there was not
one that had ever adhered to a piece called "The Maxeema," nor yet to
a song which asks how someone is "Goin' to keep 'em down on the farm
now they've seen gay Paree?"

The painful incident was passed over at the time, "The Long Trail"
being discovered at the bottom of the pile and satisfactorily
negotiated, and I forgot all about it until the next Friday evening,
when, just as I was about to shake the dust of Cambridge Heath off my
shoes, my cleaner, rising from her scrubbing, wiped her hands on her
apron, produced two large limp sheets of white paper which resolved
themselves into the music I ought to have had and hadn't, and pressed
them upon me with all the eagerness of a more than cheerful giver.

A kind of panic seized me, for on Friday evenings I make the Academy
of Music as it were a half-way house on my way home. Under the
cleaner's kind and beaming glance there was nothing to do but put them
into the attaché case in which I carry my music and try to believe
that, wonderful man as he is, even my Professor wouldn't be able to
see inside it when it was shut, in fact that it only rested with me to
be quite sure that in his presence I only took out Chopin and not the
gentleman who was interested in farming.

And I managed nicely. I took out the "Nocturnes" and shut the case
up again before the cleverest (and nicest) of Professors could have
guessed the company they were keeping, and he was graciously pleased
to nod, instead of shaking his head, for most of the three-quarters of
an hour. He really must have been pleased with me, for at 7.45 he told
me that I showed marked improvement, and then kept me till 7.49 while
he explained that a _flair_ for the best of music such as I exhibited
was both uncommon and, from a Professor's point of view, exceeding
enjoyable. At 7.50--he, benign, I blushful--we approached the

"Allow me," said my Professor, reaching for it to replace Chopin; but
I snatched it up before he could get it. Like most truly great men he
is a little absent-minded, and he didn't seem to notice anything, but
just held out his hand in farewell. But when my Professor shakes
hands it means more than that; it means benediction, recognition,
salutation--lots of things; for it is rumoured at the Academy that he
never bestows that honour on any save those whom he regards as kindred
spirits, acolytes at the altar of Music, personalities, not pupils.

And then my attaché-case opened itself quietly, after the manner of
attaché-cases, and laid "'Ow're you goin' to keep 'em?" and "The
Maxeema" right side up, and their names in such large print too, like
an offering at his wonderful feet. Trembling at the knees I said:--

"My cleaner gave them to me."

But he looked at me and went on looking, and that is why I hope so
very much that he will read this very unlikely story.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A perfectly horrible prospect._)

  If I were a Member of Parliament[A]
    On a most inadequate stipend,
  Up in an attic and worn and spent
  And wondering how to pay my rent,
    And sucking an old clay pipe end,

  I'd write to BONAR and Mr. GEORGE,
    Or the party Whips that ran 'em,
  "Unless you want me to steal or forge
  You must make those Treasury blokes disgorge
    A thousand at least per annum.

  "Put it at that and make it free
  For the glory withers that used to be
  The sole reward of a stout M.P.
    As the cost of everything waxes.

  "What-not and Coalitionist
    Equally crave the shilling
  For a pot of beer or an ounce of twist
  As they trudge to their homes through the mire and mist
    From the long day's lobby-filling.

  "Radical joins Conservative
    In a concord wholly hearty,
  Wanting to know if the State will give
  An adequate wage upon which to live,
    And so does the National Party.

  "And the boots of the Labour Members creak
    And a terrible ghastly pallor is
  On the Wee Free face as it tries to speak;
  But ah! what a change to each sunken cheek
    If you put a bit more on our salaries!

  "Shibboleths old to the wind we'd fling
    And turn to the task that presses;
  Sound reforms would go with a swing
  And we might have a chance of lengthening
    Those fearfully short recesses.

  "There'd be the chance to show your tact
    In welding the hostile sections;
  Sworn and sealed in a mighty pact
  We'd put on the books the world's best Act
    Abolishing all elections."


[Footnote A: This beautiful opening line is not original. It is
borrowed, with due acknowledgments, from a once famous music-hall

       *       *       *       *       *

From an article on "History without Tears":--

    "There is no book that gives one a more comprehensive idea of the
    character of the Byzantine Empire, of the reasons for its decline
    and its disappearance, than Scott's 'Count Robert of Sicily.'"

Except perhaps Wrongfellow's "King Robert of Paris."

       *       *       *       *       *
[Illustration: _Sportsman (who has mounted boy for his first hunt in
Ireland_). "WELL, HOW DID YOU GET ON?"


       *       *       *       *       *


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

A new novel by ANTHONY HOPE certainly deserves in these days to
be considered a literary event of some importance. His _Lucinda_
(HUTCHINSON) seems to me both in plot and treatment equal to the best
of his work; as dignified and yet as lightly handled as anything
he has given us in the past. The plot (which I must not betray) is
excellent. From the moment when _Julius_, the narrator, making his
leisurely way to the wedding of _Lucinda_, is passed by her alone in a
taxicab going in an opposite direction, the interest of the intrigue
never slackens. Into an epoch of rather "over-ripe" and messy fiction
this essentially clean and well-ordered tale comes with an effect very
refreshing and tonic. ANTHONY HOPE'S characters as ever are vigorously
alive; in _Lucinda_ herself he has drawn a heroine as charming as any
in that long gallery that now stretches between her and the immortal
_Dolly_. In short, those novel-readers who are (shall I say?)
beginning to demand the respect due to middle age will enjoy in these
pages the threefold reward of present interest, retrospection and a
comforting sense that the literary judgment of their generation is
here triumphantly vindicated in the eyes of unbelieving youth. What
could be more pleasant?

       *       *       *       *       *

It is a delight to welcome the _Life of Mrs. R. L. Stevenson_
(CHATTO AND WINDUS), not only for the exceptional attraction of the
environment in which she lived for many years, but because under any
circumstances she would have been a remarkable woman. Once, when asked
to write her own life, she refused because it seemed to her like "a
dazed rush on a railroad express;" she despaired of recovering "the
incidental memories." So it fell to her sister, Mrs. VAN DE GRIFT
SANCHEZ, to undertake the task. A difficult one, for there was always
the fear that the personality of Mrs. STEVENSON might seem to be
overshadowed by that of her husband. But the author, in giving us many
interesting details about ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, has been careful
to select for the most part only those in which his wife was closely
concerned. "In my sister's character," she writes, "there were many
strange contradictions, and I think sometimes this was a part of her
attraction, for even after knowing her for years one could always
count on some surprise, some unexpected contrast which went far in
making up her fascinating personality." Contradictions undoubtedly
were to be found in her; thus during her later years Mrs. STEVENSON
intensely desired quietness and peace, and yet her love for change of
scene never seemed to abate; but she was constant in her devotion as a
wife and in her staunchness as a friend. Some excellent illustrations
are included in this volume, and the only fault I have to find with it
is that it lacks an index.

       *       *       *       *       *

In selecting his hero for _No Defence_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) from
the mutineers at the Nore, it may be admitted that Sir GILBERT PARKER
displayed a certain originality. With regard, to the _clou_ of his
plot, however, I can hardly say so much. Melodramatic young lovers
have (in fiction) gone to prison and worse rather than employ a
defence involving distress to the ladies of their choice, from ages
untold. _Dyck Calhoon_ did it when he was wrongly indicted for the
killing of _Erris Boyne_, who was a traitor in the pay of France and
incidentally the father of the heroine _Sheila_; though she knew
nothing of this and would have been badly worried if the hazards of a
defended murder case had brought it to light. Do you call the motive
sufficient? No more do I. However, _Dyck_ goes to prison, emerging
just in time to join the fleet and became a successful rebel under the
Naval soviets established by RICHARD PARKER. Subsequently he takes his
ship into action on the legitimate side, earns the quasi-pardon of
exile on parole in Jamaica, finds a fortune of Spanish treasure,
quells a black rising, is cleared of the murder charge (by the wholly
preposterous arrival in the island of the now aged lady who had really
done the deed--exactly like the _finale_ of a GILBERT and Sullivan
opera) and marries the heroine. A breathless plot, by which, however,
my own pulse remained unquickened. To be brutally frank, indeed, the
telling seemed to me wholly lacking in precisely the qualities of dash
and crescendo required to carry off such a tale. Costume romance that
halts and looks backward soon loses my following.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI._]

       *       *       *       *       *

Airedales and collies, according to Lieut.-Colonel E. H. RICHARDSON,
are notable for a truly remarkable and admirable characteristic. They
would honestly rather be at work than just playing round. All the
same, no one guessed before the War what they, and many other kinds of
dogs, were able and willing to do for their country in emergency on
guard and sentry duty, and, most of all, as battle-field messengers.
Moreover it took the genius of the man who of all the world knows
most of their mind to discover it. His book, _British War Dogs_
(SKEFFINGTON), is neither very brilliantly written nor particularly
well arranged (it contains quite a lot of repetitions and a system of
punctuation all its own), but it is of more than average interest.
The author details the training of war-dogs--literally "all done by
kindness"--and records many thrilling exploits and heroisms of his
friends. Further, he states at some length some rather attractive
views on dog metaphysics, of which one need say no more than that, if
you wish to believe that your four-footed pal has a soul to be saved
as well as a body to be patted, here is high authority to support
you. I think what one misses all through these pages is the dog's
own story. Without it one never seems to get quite to grips with the
subject. What were _Major's_ thoughts and feelings, for instance, when
carrying a message twelve miles in an hour over all obstacles, dodging
the shells as he ran? Not even Colonel RICHARDSON can find a way to
get a personal interview out of him.

       *       *       *       *       *

All the Scandinavian countries have in the last twenty-five years
produced novel-writers of power and distinction, but with the single
exception of the Swedish authoress, SELMA LAGERLÖF, whose great novel,
_Gosta Berling_, was awarded the Nobel Prize, and the Norwegian, KNUT
HAMSUN, whose extremely unpleasant book, _Hunger_, was published in
this country a score of years ago, few if any of them have been made
accessible to the average English reader. Now the Gyldendal Publishing
Company of Copenhagen has undertaken the neglected task of producing
English translations of the best Scandinavian fiction, the latest
of which is _Guest the One-Eyed_, by the Icelandic novelist, GUNNAR
GUNNARSSON. It is not a particularly powerful narrative, and is
marked by the characteristic inconsequence that tends to convert the
Scandinavian novel into a mélange of family biographies; yet the
author has been successful in weaving into his chapters some of the
beauty and magic of his native land, lovely and forbidding by turns,
and the charm and simplicity of its people. So when he makes _Ormarr
Orlygsson_ fling away the strenuous work of ten years and a promising
career as a great violinist to return to a pastoral life on his
father's Iceland estates, the step seems neither strange nor
unnatural. So with the perfectly villainous _Sera Ketill_, who at the
culmination of unparalleled infamies suddenly repents and becomes
the far-wandering and well-beloved _Guest_, we do not feel anything
strained in the author's assumption that in Iceland, at any rate, such
things easily happen. _Guest the One-Eyed_ is not a noteworthy novel
in the sense that _Gosta Berling_ was. Yet one would not have missed
reading it.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is interesting to watch heredity at play. Given the inclination to
write, what kind of a first book should we get from the son of one of
the most cultured and sensitive classical scholars and translators of
this or any day and from the grandson of the painter of the Legend of
the Briar Rose? The question is answered by Mr. DENIS MACKAIL'S _What
Next?_ (JOHN MURRAY), which on examination turns out to be a farcical
novel. The story has certain technical weaknesses, but these are
forgotten in the excitements of the chase, for the main theme is the
tracking down of a coarse capitalist who defrauded the hero of
his fortune and did something very low against England. With the
assistance of a new character in fiction, a super-valet, justice
is done and we are all (except the coarse capitalist and his son)
extremely happy. Mr. MACKAIL has invented some excellent scenes and he
carries them off with gaiety and spirit. In his second book (and for
the answer to _What Next?_ we shall not, I imagine, have long to wait)
he will amend certain little faults, not the least of which is a
tendency to give us the most significant events in the form of
retrospective narrative instead of letting us see them as they occur.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Bedroom Suite and a reasonable Piano Wanted."--_Provincial

It mustn't be "overstrung."

       *       *       *       *       *


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, December 1, 1920" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.