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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, November 10, 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, November 10, 1920" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 159.



November 10th, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.


Now that the Presidential elections are over it is hoped that
any Irish-Americans who joined the Sinn Fein murder-gang for
electioneering purposes will go home again.

       * * *

Owing to pressure on space, due among other things to the American
election, the net sale controversy in one of our contemporaries was
held over on Wednesday last. We are quite sure that neither Senator
HARDING nor Mr. COX was aware of his responsibility in the matter.

       * * *

Lord HOWARD DE WALDEN says, "I would rather trust a crossing-sweeper
with an appreciation of music than a man who comes from a public
school." We agree. The former is much more likely to have been a
professional musician in his time.

       * * *

The mystery of the Scottish golf club that was recently inundated with
applications for membership is now explained. It appears that a caddy
refused a tip of sixpence offered him by one of the less affluent
members, and the story somehow leaked out.

       * * *

At one Hallowe'en dinner held in London the haggis was ten minutes
late. It is said that it had had trouble with a dog on the way and had
come off second best.

       * * *

The man who was heard last week to say that he had no idea that Mrs.
ASQUITH had published a book of memoirs has now, on the advice of his
friends, consented to see a doctor.

       * * *

The clergy of Grays, in Essex, are advocating the abolition of Sunday
funerals. It is said that quite a number of strict Sabbatarians have a
rooted objection to being buried on the Sabbath.

       * * *

According to an evening paper hawthorn buds have been plucked at
Hornsey. We don't care.

       * * *

A Liberal Independent writes to ask if the Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, who has
been elected Lord Rector of Edinburgh University, is the well-known
Prime Minister of that name.

       * * *

A firm of music publishers have produced what they describe as a
three-quarter one-step. It will soon be impossible to go to a dance
without being accompanied by a professional arithmetician.

       * * *

It seems that high prices have even put an end to the chicken that
used to cross the road.

       * * *

"Only through poverty," says Mr. MAURICE HEWLETT, "will England
thrive." As a result of this statement we understand that several
profiteers have decided to get down to it once again.

       * * *

A Japanese arrested at Hull was found to have seven revolvers and two
thousand rounds of ammunition on him. It was pointed out to him that
the War was over long ago.

       * * *

A contemporary refers to a romance which ended in marriage. Alas! how
often this happens.

       * * *

The United States Government has decided to recognise the present
Mexican Government. Mexican bandits say they had better take a good
look at them while there is yet time.

       * * *

A Prohibitionist asserts that Scotland will be dry in five years. Our
own feeling is that these end-of-the-world prognostications should be
prohibited by law.

       * * *

An Oxford professor has made himself the subject of a series of
experiments on the effects of alcohol. Several college professors of
America quite readily admit that they never thought of that one.

       * * *

A correspondent writes to a contemporary to say that he wears a hat
exactly like _The Daily Mail_ hat, and that he purchased it long
before _The Daily Mail_ was started. The audacity of some people in
thinking that anything happened before _The Daily Mail_ started is
simply appalling.

       * * *

Three stars have recently been discovered by an American. No, no; not
those stars, but stars in the heavens.

       * * *

"Whilst returning to camp one night I walked right into a herd of
elephants," states a well-known explorer in his memoirs. We have
always maintained that all wild animals above the size of a rabbit
should carry two head-lights and one rear-light whilst travelling
after dark.

       * * *

A small island was advertised for sale last week. Just the sort of
thing for a bad sailor to take with him when crossing the Channel on a
rough day.

       * * *

"Everyone knows," a writer in _The Daily Mail_ declares, "that
electric light in the poultry-house results in more eggs." There may
be more of them but they never have the real actinic taste of the
natural egg.

       * * *

An American inventor has devised a scheme for lassoing enemy
submarines. This is a decided improvement on the method of just
sticking a pin into them as they whizz by.

       * * *

Since the talk of Prohibition in Scotland, we are informed that one
concert singer began the chorus of the famous Scottish ballad by
singing "O ye'll tak the dry road."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mrs. Jones_. "YOU'D SEE IN THE PAPERS, JOHN, ABOUT THE
AGITATION IN FAVOUR OF THE WIFE GOVERNING THE HOME."

_Mr. Jones_. "WELL, CARRY ON, DEAR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

From an article on "Bullies at the Bar":--

    "He who had read his 'Pickwick'--and who has not?--will never
    forget the trial scene where poor, innocent Mr. Pickwick is as
    wax in the hands of the cross-examiner."

    _Provincial Paper_.

We regret to say that, in our edition, _Mr. Serjeant Snubbin_ omitted
to put his client in the witness-box, and consequently _Mr. Serjeant
Buzfuz_ never had a chance of showing what he could do with him.

       *       *       *       *       *

=BEFORE THE CENOTAPH.=

NOVEMBER 11TH, 1920.

  Not with dark pomp of death we keep their day,
    Theirs who have passed beyond the sight of men,
    O'er whom the autumn strews its gold again,
  And the grey sky bends to an earth as grey;
  But we who live are silent even as they
    While the world's heart marks one deep throb; and then,
    Touched by the gleam of suns beyond our ken,
  The Stone of Honour crowns the trodden way.

  Above the people whom they died to save
    Their shrine of sleep is set; abideth there
  No dust corruptible, nought that death may have;
    But from remembrance of the days that were
  Rises proud sorrow in a resistless wave
    That breaks upon the empty sepulchre.

D. M. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

=OUR INVINCIBLE NAVY.=

PRIZE-MONEY.

The really intriguing thing about Naval prize-money is the fact that
no one knows exactly where it comes from. You don't win it by any
definite act of superlative daring--I mean to say, you don't have to
creep out under cover of darkness and return in the morning with an
enemy battleship in tow to qualify for a modicum of this mysterious
treasure. You just proceed serenely on your lawful occasions,
confident in the knowledge that incredible sums of prize-money
are piling themselves up for your ultimate benefit. I suppose the
authorities understand all about it; nobody else does. One just lets
it pile. It is a most gratifying thought.

During the more or less stormy times of the First Great War, we of the
Navy were always able to buttress our resolution with golden hopes
of a future opulence denied to our less fortunate comrades in the
trenches. Whenever the struggle was going particularly badly
for us--when, for instance, a well-earned shore-leave had been
unexpectedly jammed or a tin of condensed milk had overturned into
somebody's sea-boot--we used to console each other with cheerful
reminders of this accumulating fruit of our endeavours. "Think of the
prize-money, my boy," we used to exclaim; "meditate upon the jingling
millions that will be yours when the dreary vigil is ended;" and as
by magic the unseemly mutterings of wrath would give place to purrs
of pleasurable anticipation. Even we of the R.N.V.R., mere temporary
face-fringes, as it were, which the razor of peace was soon to remove
from the war-time visage of the Service--even we fell under the spell.
"Fourteen million pounds!" we would gurgle, hugging ourselves with joy
in the darkness of the night-watches.

In the months immediately following demobilisation I was frequently
stimulated by glittering visions of vast wealth presently to be
showered upon me from the swelling coffers of a grateful Admiralty.
During periods of more or less temporary financial embarrassment
I would mention these expectations to my tailor and other restless
tradespeople of my acquaintance. "Fourteen millions--prize-money, you
know," I would say confidentially; "may come in at any time now." I
found this had a soothing effect upon them.

As the seasons rolled by, however; as summer and winter ran their
appointed courses and again the primrose pranked the lea unaccompanied
by any signs of vernal activity on the part of the Paymaster-in-Chief,
these visions of mine became less insistent. I was at length obliged
to confess that another youthful illusion was fading; prize-money
began to take its place in my mind along with the sea-serpent and
similar figures of marine mythology. I was frankly hurt; I ceased even
to raise my hat when passing the Admiralty Offices on the top of a
bus.

That was a month or two ago; everything is all right again now. I once
more experience the old pleasing thrill of emotion when riding down
Whitehall. I have come to see how ungracious my recent attitude was.

A chance meeting with Bunbury, late sub-Loot R.N.V.R. and a sometime
shipmate of mine--Bunbury and I had squandered our valour recklessly
together aboard the Tyne drifters in the great days when Bellona wore
bell-bottoms--sufficed to bring me head-to-wind.

In the course of conversation I referred to the non-fulfilment of our
early dreams; I spoke rather bitterly.

"And there are fourteen millions somewhere belonging to us," I
concluded mutinously.

Bunbury regarded me with pained surprise. "Really, old sea-dog," he
said, "this won't do. Never let the engine-oil of discontent leak into
the rum-cask of loyal memories, you know. Now listen to me. Two years
ago you and I wore the wavy gold braid of a valiant life; we surged
along irresistibly in the wake of NELSON; we kept the watch assigned.
Does not your bosom very nearly burst with pride to call those days to
mind? It does. What then? Has it never once occurred to you that the
last remaining link between us and the stirring past is this very
prize-money you are so eager to soil with the grimy clutch of avarice?
Don't you realize that this alone exists to keep our memory green in
the minds of our old leaders at Whitehall? Picture the scene as it is.
Someone mentions the word 'prize-money.' Immediately the Lords of
the Admiralty reach for their record files and begin turning over
the pages. They come upon the names of John Augustus Plimsoll--
yourself--and Horatio Bunbury--me. 'Ah,' they exclaim fondly, 'two of
our old gunroom veterans--when shall we look upon their like again?'
Then they get up and go out to lunch.

"A month or so later the same thing occurs; once more our names leap
out from the type-written page. 'Brave boys,' they murmur, 'gallant
lads! What should we have done without them in the dark days? They
shall have their prize-money this very--why, bless my soul, if it
isn't one o'clock!'

"Surely," pursued Bunbury earnestly, "you appreciate the fine
sentimental value of this one last tie? As long as our prize-money is
in the keeping of the Service we can still think of it with intimate
regard; we can still call ourselves BEATTY'S boys and hide our blushes
when the people sing 'Rule, Britannia.' You must see that this is the
only large-hearted way of looking at the matter."

"Bunbury, old sailor," I said, swallowing a lump in my throat, "you
have done me good; you have made me feel ashamed of myself."

       *       *       *       *       *

There can be no doubt that Bunbury is right. I am so convinced of it
that when next my tailor inquires anxiously what steps are being taken
for the distribution of prize-money I shall put the matter to him just
as Bunbury put it to me. He is certain to understand.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Commercial Candour.=

    "The newest fashions are now being displayed in ----'s new
    dress salons, so that it is an easy matter to select an entire
    winter outfit with the minimum of ease."--_Evening Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir Harry Johnston's 'The Gay Donkeys' has passed its fifth
    edition in London."--_Australian Magazine_.

A clear case for the S.P.C.A. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Authors).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ENCOURAGE HOME INDUSTRIES.

LORD ROBERT CECIL. "I TRUST THAT AFTER ALL WE MAY SECURE AT LEAST YOUR
QUALIFIED SUPPORT FOR OUR LEAGUE OF NATIONS?"

U.S.A. PRESIDENT-ELECT: "WHY, WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH OURS?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Stout Gentleman (overhearing political discussion)_.
"LOOK HERE, MY GOOD FELLOW--I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO YOUR ARGUMENTS; AND
LET ME TELL YOU WE'RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT."

_Politician_. "LUMME, GUV'NOR, YOU'D BETTER COME IN THE MIDDLE OF IT
THEN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=UNAUTHENTIC IMPRESSIONS.=

I think the time has come for me to follow the example of so many
other people and offer to the world a few pen pictures of prominent
statesmen of the day. I shall not call them "Shaving Papers from
Downing Street," nor adopt the pseudonym of "The Man with the Hot
Water (or the Morning Tea)," nor shall I roundly assert that I have
been the private secretary, the doctor, the dentist or the washerwoman
of the great men of whom I speak. Nevertheless I have sources of
information which I do not mean to disclose, except to say that heavy
persons who sit down carelessly on sofas may unknowingly inflict
considerable pain, through the sharp ends of broken springs, on those
beneath.

I shall begin naturally with Mr. LLOYD GEORGE.

There is probably no statesman of whom such widely different estimates
have been formed as the present Prime Minister of Great Britain. I
have heard him compared with THEMISTOCLES, with MACCHIAVELLI, with
MIRABEAU (I think it was MIRABEAU, but it may have been one of those
other people beginning with "M" in French history. Almost everybody in
French history began with an "M," like the things that were drawn by
the three little girls in the well), and even with the younger PITT.
I have heard him spoken of as a charlatan, as a chameleon, as a
chatterbox, and, by a man who had hoped that the KAISER would be
hanged in Piccadilly Circus, as a chouser. Almost all of these
estimates are thoroughly fallacious. Let us take, for instance,
MACCHIAVELLI. It was the declared opinion of MACCHIAVELLI that for the
establishment and maintenance of authority all means may be resorted
to and that the worst and most treacherous acts of the ruler, however
unlawful in themselves, are justified by the wickedness and treachery
of the governed. Has Mr. LLOYD GEORGE ever said this? He may have
thought it, of course, but has he ever said it? No. When one considers
that besides this dictum MACCHIAVELLI wrote seven books on the art
of war, a highly improper comedy, a life of CASTRUCCIO CASTRACANI
(unfinished, and can you wonder?), and was very naturally put to the
torture in 1513, it will be seen how hopelessly the parallel with Mr.
LLOYD GEORGE breaks down.

Let us turn then to the younger PITT. I have read somewhere of the
younger PITT that he cared more for power than for measures, and
was ready to sacrifice great causes with which he had sincerely
sympathised rather than raise an opposition that might imperil his
ascendency. That is just the kind of nasty and long-winded thing that
anybody might say about anybody. It was by disregarding this kind of
criticism that the younger PITT kept on being younger. But apart from
this, does Mr. LLOYD GEORGE quote HORACE in the House? Never, thank
goodness. How many times did WILLIAM PITT cross the English Channel?
Only once in his whole life. That settles it.

The predominant note--I may almost say the keynote--of the PRIME
MINISTER'S character is rather a personal magnetism such as has never
been exercised by any statesman before or after. When he rises to
speak in the House all eyes are riveted on him as though with a
vice until he has finished speaking. Even when he has finished they
sometimes have to be removed by the Serjeant-at-Arms with a chisel.
His speeches have the moral fervour and intensity of one of the Minor
Prophets--NAHUM or AMOS, in the opinion of some critics, though I
personally incline to MALACHI or HABAKKUK. This personal magnetism
which Mr. LLOYD GEORGE radiates in the House he radiates no less in
10, Downing Street, where a special radiatorium has been added to the
breakfast-room to radiate it. Imagine an April morning, a kingfisher
on a woody stream, poplar-leaves in the wind, a shower of sugar shaken
suddenly from a sifter, and you have the man.

It has been said that Mr. LLOYD GEORGE has quarrelled with some of
his nearest friends; but this again is a thing that might happen to
anybody. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE may have had certain slight differences of
opinion with Lord NORTHCLIFFE, but what about HENRY VIII. and WOLSEY?
and HENRY V. and _Falstaff_? and HENRY II. and THOMAS À BECKET?

Talking of THOMAS À BECKET, rather a curious story has been told to
me, which I give for what it is worth. It is stated that some time ago
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE was so enraged by attacks in a certain section of the
Press that he shouted suddenly, after breakfast one morning in Downing
Street, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent scribe?" Whereupon
four knights in his secretarial retinue drew their swords and set out
immediately for Printing House Square. Fortunately there happened to
be a breakdown on the Metropolitan Railway that day, so that nothing
untoward occurred.

I sometimes think that if one can imagine the eloquence of SAVONAROLA
blended with the wiliness of ULYSSES and grafted on to the strength
and firmness of OLIVER CROMWELL, we have the best historical parallel
for Mr. LLOYD GEORGE. It ought to be remembered that the grandfather
of OLIVER CROMWELL came from Wales and that the PROTECTOR is somewhere
described as "Oliver Cromwell _alias_ Williams." Something of that old
power of dispensing with stupid Parliamentary opinion seems to have
descended to our present PRIME MINISTER. There is one difference,
however. OLIVER CROMWELL'S famous advice to his followers was to trust
in Divine Providence "and keep your powder dry." Mr. LLOYD GEORGE puts
his powder in jam.

K.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Our Patient Fishermen.=

    "Mr. ----, jun., had another salmon on the Finavon Water.
    This is the second he has secured since the flood."--_Scotch
    Paper_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "DON'T TURN YOUR 'EAD AWAY, MY LORD. WHY, DURIN' THE
WAR IT WAS ALL 'MA, MA, 'AVE YOU ANY MATCHES?'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

=NEW RHYMES FOR OLD CHILDREN.=

THE WHALE.

_AIR._--_"The Tarpaulin Jacket."_

  The whale has a beautiful figure,
    Which he makes every effort to spoil,
  For he knows if he gets a bit bigger
    He increases the output of oil.

  That is why he insists upon swathing
    His person with layers of fat.
  You have seen a financier bathing?
    Well, the whale is a little like that.

  At heart he's as mild as a pigeon
    And extremely attached to his wife,
  But getting mixed up with religion
    Has ruined the animal's life.

  For in spite of his tact and discretion
    There is fixed in the popular mind
  A wholly mistaken impression
    That the whale is abrupt and unkind.

  And it's simply because of the prophet
    Who got into a ship for Tarshish
  But was thrown (very properly) off it
    And swallowed alive by "a fish."

  Now I should not, of course, have contested
    The material truth of the tale
  If the prophet himself had suggested
    That the creature at fault was a whale.

  But the prophet had no such suspicion,
    And that is convincing because
  He was constantly in a position
    To see what the miscreant was.

  And this is what punctures the bubble,
    As JONAH, no doubt, was aware:
  "A _fish_" was the cause of the trouble,
    But the whale is a _mammal_. So there!

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *


=THE LIGHT FANTASTIC.=

"Dancers are born, not made," said John.

"_Some_ are born dancers," corrected Cecilia, "others achieve
dancing."

"Well, I'm not going to have it thrust on me any way," retorted John.
"I never have liked dancing and I never shall. I haven't danced for
years and years and I don't intend to. I don't know any of these
new-fangled dances and I don't want to."

"Don't be so obstinate," said Cecilia. "What you want doesn't matter.
You've got to learn, so you may as well give way decently. Come along
now, I'll play for you, and Margery will show you the steps."

"If Margery attempts to show me the steps I shall show her the door.
I won't be bullied in my own house. Why don't you make your brother
dance, if somebody must?" said John, waving his arm at me.

"Come on, Alan," said Margery; "we can't waste our time on him. Come
and show him how it's done."

"My dear little sister," I said sweetly, "I should simply love it, but
the fact is--I can't."

"Can't," echoed Margery. "Why not?"

"I hate to mention these things," I explained, "but the fact is I
took part in a war that has been on recently, and I have a bad hip,
honourable legacy of same."

"Oh, Alan," said Margery, "how can you? Your hip's absolutely fit, you
know it is. You haven't mentioned it for months."

"My dear Margery," I said, drawing myself up, "I hope your brother
knows how to suffer in silence. But if you suppose that because I
don't complain--Great heavens, child, sometimes in the long silent
watches of the night--"

"Well, how about, tennis, then?" said Margery. "You've been playing
all this summer, you know you have."

"All what summer?" I asked.

"That's a good one," said John; "I bet she can't answer that."

"Don't quibble," said Margery.

"Don't squabble," said Cecilia.

"Yes, stop squibbling," said John.

"I'm not quabbling," said I.

John and I leaned against each other and laughed helplessly.

"When you have finished," said Cecilia with a cold eye, "perhaps you
will decide which of you is going to have the first lesson."

"Good heavens," said John tragically, "haven't they forgotten the
dancing yet?"

"We may as well give way, John," I said; "we shall get no peace until
we do."

"I suppose not," said John dismally "Very well, then, you're her
brother you shall have first go."

He waved me politely to Margery.

"Not at all," I said quickly "Brothers-in-law first in our
family--always."

"Could we both come together?" asked John.

"No, you can't," said Margery.

"Then we must toss for it," said John, producing a coin.

"Tails," I called.

"Tails it is," said John, walking across the room to Margery.

And the lesson commenced.

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Chassée_ to the right, _chassée_ to the left, two steps forward, two
steps backward, twinkle each way--"

"Five shillings on Twinkle, please," I interrupted.

Margery stopped and looked at me.

"You keep quiet, Alan," shouted Cecilia, cheerfully banging the piano.

"I shall never learn," said John miserably from the middle of the
room, "not in a thousand years."

"Yes, you will," encouraged Margery. "Just listen. _Chassée_ to the
right, _chassée_ to the left, two steps forward, two steps back,
twinkle each way--"

"Take away the number you first thought of," I suggested, "and the
answer's the Louisiana Glide."

"To finish up," said Margery, "we grasp each other firmly, prance
round, two bars...."

"That sounds a bit better," said John.

" ... then waltz four bars," continued Margery, "and that's all. Come
on, now."

They came on....

"Good," said Margery as they finished up; "he's doing it splendidly,
Cecilia."

John beamed complacently.

"I got through that last bit rather well," he said; "'pon my word,
there's more in this dancing than I thought. I quite enjoyed that
twinkling business."

"Have another one," I suggested.

"Don't mind if I do," said John. "May I have the pleasure?" with a
courtly bow to Margery.

They re-commenced.

"That's right," said Margery; "now two forward."

"I must have a natural genius for dancing," said John, conversing
easily; "I seem to ... Do we twinkle next?"

"Yes," said Margery.

"I seem to fall into it naturally."

"Look out!" shrieked Margery.

I don't know exactly what happened; I rather think John got his gears
mixed up in the twinkling business. At any rate, one of his feet shot
up in the air, he made a wild grab at nothing and tripped heavily
backwards into the hearth. The piano was drowned in general uproar.

John arose with difficulty from the ashes and addressed himself
haughtily to Cecilia.

"I can understand that these two," he said, waving a black but
contemptuous hand at Margery and myself, "should scream with delight.
Their whole conception of humour is bound up with banana-skins and
orange-peel. But may I ask why _you_ should have hysterics because
your husband has fallen into the fireplace?"

"'You seemed to fall into it so naturally,'" I quoted in a shaky
voice.

"Darling," sobbed Cecilia, "I am trying--please--if only you would
take that piece of soot off your nose--" She dabbed her eyes and wept
helplessly.

John rubbed his nose quickly and walked to the door.

"If you want my opinion of dancing," he said bitterly, "I think it's a
low pagan habit."

"'Twinkle, twinkle, little star,'" sang Margery.

"Bah!" said John, and banged the door.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW UTOPIA.

[Suggested by Mr. J. H. THOMAS'S book, just out, with a Red Flag on the
wrapper.]

  O England, with what joy I hail
    The master-hand that calms and cools
  In THOMAS'S entrancing tale,
        _When Labour Rules_.

  There will be no more serfs and slaves;
    There will be no more feudal fools;
  The KING may stay, if he behaves,
          When Labour rules.

  Workers, in Downing Street installed,
    Will never think of downing tools;
  Strikes clearly never will be called
          When Labour rules.

  The hand of brotherhood that knits
    At present Tom and Dick with Jules
  Will be extended to good Fritz,
          When Labour rules.

  The vile capitalistic crew
    Of human vampires, sharks and ghouls
  Will vanish in the boundless blue
          When Labour rules.

  Our children will be standardized
    In psycho-analytic schools,
  And brains completely equalized
          When Labour rules.

  O Paradise! O frabjous day!
    When 'neath the flag of flaming gules
  Labour shall hold unchallenged sway--
          When THOMAS rules.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FOLLOWING THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS OF _THE DAILY MAIL_
HAT--

--WE LOOK FORWARD ANXIOUSLY TO _THE TIMES_ CRAVAT--

--_THE TELEGRAPH_ COAT--

--_THE CHRONICLE_ QUILTED BAGS

--_THE HERALD_ PATENT SABOTS.

STUDY OF AN IMPARTIAL READER.

=MANNERS AND MODES.=]

       *       *       *       *       *

=GENF AND THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.=

"Genf," like "Genève," is the Swiss for "Geneva." It was selected,
nearly two years ago, as the seat of the League of Nations. In a few
days the League arrives; and I doubt if any person, firm, company,
corporation or league, having provided itself with a seat, ever waited
so long before it came and sat upon it.

You will remember a learned treatise of mine in these pages on the
subject of Lucerne, written in August last, when our PRIME MINISTER
came and sat there. I make my living by writing up the towns of
Switzerland as one by one they get sat on. As there are not more
than half-a-dozen eligible towns in Switzerland, and as we shall have
exhausted two of them in less than half a year, the living I make is
a precarious one; in other words I shall soon be dead. Well, well! A
short life and a merry one, say I. You must admit a touch of subtle
merriment in that word "Genf."

To get to Geneva you provide yourself with a passport, a book of rail
and steamer tickets, a ticket for a seat in the Pulman car, a ticket
for a berth in the sleeping-car and a ticket for the registration of
your luggage. In short, by the time you are in France you will have
had pass through your hands one passport and eleven tickets; and the
first thing you will do upon settling down into the French train is to
compete and intrigue to get a twelfth ticket for your lunch. You will
find that this useless ticket will follow you all the way to Geneva
and will always assert itself when you are accosted by a ticket
inspector. I even know a traveller who arrived eventually at the
Swiss frontier with no other paper of identity or justification; for
a passport which should have given his name, address, motive for
travelling, shape of mouth, size of nose and any other peculiarities,
he could only tender documentary evidence of his having eaten the
nineteenth lunch of the first series of the day before.

Two things catch the eye about Geneva. In the first place it is on a
lake, and in the second place it is always brimful of International
Unions, Leagues, Congresses and Conferences. The lake is navigated
in the season by a fleet of sizeable steamers, and one of these, a
two-hundred tonner, used to call every morning of the season at the
little pier outside my house to take me to business, and brought me
back again every evening. By the pier rests an old, old man whose
only duty in life it is to catch the hawser as it is thrown from the
incoming liner. Twice a day for four months that hawser was thrown for
the old man to catch, and twice a day for four months he missed it. I
spoke to him about this on the last day, and he showed a fine courage
which nothing can depress. Next season he means to try again. As he
will be out of a job in the interval I am plotting to secure for him
the post of naval expert to the League.

Turning from the lake to the international delegates, who abound
in Geneva, it is to be noted that the last lot here were the
International Congress of Leagues of Women. Their main agendum was to
pronounce their complete independence of men. One of these delegates
went for a row on the lake and fell in. She was pulled out again by a
man.

You will find that Geneva was nominated as the seat of the League in
the Peace Treaty of Versailles. Ever since, the people of Geneva have
been busy conjecturing what the League of Nations will do upon its
arrival in Geneva. It will do exactly what you and I would do in
similar circumstances. Stepping out of the station exit it will hurry
off to its hotel. But when Leagues go to hotels they buy the darned
things outright. I don't know what they do about notices on the walls;
alter some and remove others, no doubt. The international delegates
will be requested to ring once for the political expert, twice for the
military expert and three times for the naval expert. If my old man
gets the last-named job they will have to ring rather more than three
times if they want him to come up _at once_ and discuss schemes for
readjusting the various oceans.

As to the other usual decorations of hotel bedroom walls, the notice
will be removed which informs all concerned that the management will
not be held responsible for valuables, unless these be deposited in
the office safe, though this will not be intended to indicate that the
new management has doubts as to the safety even of its own safe.

The "Hôtel National," which is the hotel in question, was in process
of complete reconstruction when the purchase took place. A bathroom
has been annexed to every room. Presumably every international
delegate will have a suite allotted to his nation. The question I ask
myself is this, Will he put himself in the room and his secretaries
in the bathroom, or himself in the bathroom and the secretaries in the
room? And the answer I make to myself is as follows: The delegate will
appoint the room to be his room and the bathroom to be his bathroom
and will leave his secretaries to make the best of things out in the
corridor. The suggestion you will probably make is that there are more
suites of rooms than nations; that I must leave you to work out for
yourself. The number of suites of rooms is ascertainable, but no one
seems able to inform me how many nations there are. Personally every
time I pick up a newspaper I seem to discover a new one. However that
may be, the nations are now all formed into their League, and may the
best one win the Cup Final, say I!

F. O. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Profiteer's Wife._ "HEAVENS! MARGARET HAS ELOPED
WITH THE CHAUFFEUR IN THE CAR."

_The Profiteer._ "_WHAT!_ NOT THE NEW ROLLS-ROYCE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SPREAD OF EDUCATION.

1914.

"Don't 'e look lovely in 'is uniform?"

"I do like a play wiv a bit of fightin' in it."

"O, ain't 'e sweet!"

"Makes you feel all shiverylike when 'e waves 'is sword an' all, don't
it?"

"Oo, I 'ope they're not going to fire no guns."


1920.

"E's got civvy boots on!"

"Take 'is blinkin' name, Sergeant, an' get 'is blinkin' 'air cut."

"What are yer, Sick Parade?"

"Fall in, defaulters."

"'Oo stole the rum?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

=FOR THE CHILDREN.=

Mr. Punch comes once more, hat in hand, to beg for help in a good
cause. This time he asks the generous aid of his readers on behalf
of the Victoria Home at Margate, of which Her Majesty the QUEEN is
Patroness. This Home cares for invalid children, from very little
ones of only a few months old, to boys of twelve years and girls of
fifteen. There is room for between fifty and sixty of them and they
stay, on an average, for the best part of a year, during which they
receive careful medical attention, and have all their needs tended,
body and mind. Many of them have lost a leg or an arm and nearly all
have some bandaged limb, yet, with these disabilities, they contrive
to learn the duties of a loyal Scout and are very proud of their
uniform.

The cost of drugs, of surgical dressings and all house-keeping
necessaries has risen enormously and the Home is compelled to plead
for further help. Mr. Punch invites his readers to send for a report
and see for themselves the very touching pictures which it gives,
in an admirable set of photographs, of the life of these children in
their happy surroundings.

All communications and gifts should be addressed to the Secretary of
the Victoria Home for Invalid Children, at 75, Denison House, Vauxhall
Bridge Road, S.W.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Minister's Wife._ "ARE YOU ALWAYS AS FEEBLE AS THIS,
MR. MACPHERSON? DO YOU NEVER FEEL STRONGER?"

_Macpherson._ "AH WEEL, ME'M, AS THE MEENISTER WAD TELL YE HIMSEL',
ANY SMA' MEASURE O' HEALTH THAT AH HAE IS JUST ABOOT MEALTIMES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

"The Unknown Warrior."

WESTMINSTER ABBEY, NOVEMBER 11TH, 1920.

  Here lies a warrior, he alone
  Nameless among the named and known;
  None nobler, though by word and deed
  Nobly they served their country's need,
  And won their rest by right of worth
  Within this storied plot of earth.
  Great gifts to her they gave, but he--
  He gave his life to keep her free.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW JOURNALISM.

    ["In New York Mr. Harding leads by a figure something like
    the circulation of _The Daily Mail_. Pennsylvania gives him
    a majority which appears equal to the circulation of _The
    Evening News_. It is phenomenal."--_The Evening News._]

The method which is being used just now by some of Mr. Punch's
contemporaries to draw attention to their circulations does not, it
will be seen, tend to numerical nicety, though doubtless it has its
advantages from the advertising point of view. The following items of
news are intelligently anticipated.

       * * *

The licences cancelled in one district in Scotland, as a result of
the recent local veto poll, total exactly half the number of quires of
"returns" of last week's _Pawkiesheils Gazette_. It is insignificant.

       * * *

An analysis of the miners' votes in the Lancashire coalfield proves
that there were as many men in favour of rejecting the Government
proposals as would have provided ten readers for each copy sold (_not_
merely printed) of the last issue of _The Chowbent and Chequerbent
Chronicle_. It is magnificent.

       * * *

It is estimated that, if three more distinguished statesmen and
another woman of letters can be prevailed upon to write piquant
reviews of Mrs. ASQUITH'S autobiography, the sale of the work will
probably greatly exceed the numbers of copies of the latest Blue Book
issued by H.M. Stationery Office. It is unthinkable.

       * * *

It is confidently expected that, if the protests against a certain
cinema plot can be sustained for a few days longer, as many people
will go to see the show in the first week as there are feet in the
film--without counting those who will sneak round for a free view of
"The Stage Door of the Diadem Theatre." It is good business.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "An ex-Army officer was charged with stealing cooks valued at
    51/- from Messrs. ----'s."--_Sunday Paper._

At that price they must have been very plain cooks.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SHRINE OF HONOUR.

"WHO GOES THERE?"

"I HAVE NO NAME. I DIED FOR MY COUNTRY."

"PASS, UNKNOWN WARRIOR."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.=

_Monday, November 1st._--In response to a renewed demand for the
Admiralty's account of the Battle of Jutland the PRIME MINISTER
made the remarkable statement that it was very difficult to get "an
official _and impartial_ account," but he added that the Government
were willing to publish all the reports and despatches on the subject
and leave the public to judge.

  Who shall decide, when Admirals disagree?
  Why, JULIAN CORBETT, or the great B.P.

Owing to the unexpectedly rapid passage through Committee of the
Government of Ireland Bill last Friday, the way was cleared for a
number of British measures. Although dealing with the most diverse
subjects they were alike in one respect--without exception they
incurred the hostility of Sir F. BANBURY. Whether it was a proposal
to reduce the dangers of employing women in lead processes or to give
married women in Scotland the same privileges as their English sisters
(including the duty of supporting an indigent husband), or to hold
an Empire Exhibition, or to set up Juvenile Courts, the hon. baronet
found reason for opposing them all.

Once or twice he secured the support of Sir JOHN REES, but for
the most part he was _Athanasius contra mundum_, maintaining his
equanimity even when Mr. HOGGE advised him to "marry a Scotswoman;"
or Lady ASTOR expressed her regret that he had not women, instead of
bankers, for his constituents.

[Illustration: "ATHANASIUS CONTRA MUNDUM."

SIR FREDERICK BANBURY.]

The Government had no reason to complain of his activity, which may
indeed have prevented the intrusion of more dangerous critics; for
despite his efforts every Bill went through.

_Tuesday, November 2nd._--The most striking thing in Lord LOREBURN'S
speech upon Irish affairs seemed to me to be his uncompromising
declaration that he was "no supporter of Mr. ASQUITH." He endorsed,
however, his former chief's demand for an independent inquiry into the
reprisals, but his motion was defeated by 44 to 13.

[Illustration: "No supporter of Mr. ASQUITH."

LORD LOREBURN.]

Ever since Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS defeated Mr. CHURCHILL at Manchester
he has felt it his duty to keep on his track. Convinced that our
policy in Mesopotamia is due to the WAR MINISTER'S megalomania he is
most anxious to bring him to book. The prospect of a Supplementary
Estimate for the Army seemed likely to furnish the desired occasion.
But when he pressed Mr. CHURCHILL on the subject the alleged
spendthrift airily replied that there was no hurry; "I do not
immediately require money."

The gloom of the daily Irish catechism was a little brightened by an
interchange of pleasantries between Mr. STANTON and Mr. JACK JONES.
On this occasion the latter had rather the best of it. "Golliwog!"
he shouted in allusion to his opponent's luxuriant _chevelure_.
Mr. STANTON could think of no better retort than the stereotyped
"Bolshie!" and when Mr. JONES rejoined with "You ought to be put into
Madame Tussaud's" Mr. STANTON was reduced to silence. But is it not a
scandal that these entertaining comedians should only get four hundred
a year?

On the Agriculture Bill Sir A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN was faced with an
urgent demand for a separate Wages Board for Wales. First he wouldn't;
it would be "an exceedingly inconvenient and expensive arrangement."
But the Welshmen were so insistent that he changed his mind, and when
the vigilant Sir FREDERICK BANBURY challenged the new clause on the
ground that it would impose a fresh charge on the Exchequer Sir
ARTHUR was able to convince the SPEAKER that, though there would be
"additional expenditure," there would be no "fresh charge." Such are
the nice distinctions of our Parliamentary system.

_Wednesday, November 3rd._--When Mr. CHURCHILL, some sixteen years
ago, crossed the floor of the House, his man[oe]uvre was regarded as
a portent, and men talked of "a sinking ship." It cannot be said
that Lord HENRY BENTINCK'S sudden appearance among the Labour Members
created anything like the same sensation, even though he was joined a
little later by Mr. OSWALD MOSLEY. Lord HENRY has always derived his
political opinions rather from his heart than his head, and has lately
developed a habit of firing explosive Questions at Ministers from his
eyrie behind their backs. They will probably find his frontal attacks
less disconcerting.

[Illustration: "OLD GOLLIWOG."

Mr. C. B. STANTON (_As viewed by Mr. JACK JONES_).]

While Lord HENRY was in the House, off and on, for thirty-four years
before discovering that he was on the wrong side, Mr. MOSLEY has made
the same discovery after an experience of barely as many weeks. From
his new perch he inquired this afternoon if Government cement was
being sent abroad, to the detriment of British builders. Dr. ADDISON
contented himself with professing ignorance of any such transaction.
A less serious Minister might have replied that the Government needed
all their cement to mend the cracks in the Coalition.

News that the coal-strike was over reached the House during the
evening. Mr. BRIDGEMAN, always cautious, "understood" that the men
had been "recommended" to go back to work. Mr. ADAMSON, fresh from the
Conference, was much more downright. "The strike," he said, "has been
declared off, and the men return to work." So that's that.

_Thursday, November 4th._--Lord SALISBURY'S complaint that the
Government's policy in Egypt was shrouded in more than Egyptian
darkness brought a spirited reply from Lord CURZON, who declared that
every stage in the negotiations had been fully revealed in the Press.
If no definite decision as to the future government of the country
had been published that was simply because the Cabinet had not yet
had time to make up its collective mind. Judging by Lord MILNER'S
subsequent account of his Mission, it would appear that the process
will be long and stormy. The Mission went to Cairo to sound the
feeling of the Nationalists, but for all practical purposes they might
as well have stopped in London, where they ultimately interviewed
ZAGHLUL PASHA and his colleagues, and obtained information which
materially altered and softened their previous views. The best
Nationalists were not anti-British, but simply pro-Egyptian. Lord
MILNER'S final appeal, that his piece should not be hissed off the
stage before it had been heard, sounded a little ominous.

Mr. L'ESTRANGE MALONE is not very popular in the House of Commons just
now. When he rose to address a "Supplementary" to the WAR MINISTER
he was so persistently "boo-ed" that the SPEAKER had to intervene to
secure him a hearing. Mr. LOWTHER probably repented his kindness when
it appeared that Mr. MALONE had nothing more urgent to say than that
Mr. CHURCHILL would be better employed in looking after the troops in
Ireland than in reviewing books for _The Daily Mail_.

For the third day in succession Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR essayed to move the
adjournment in order to call attention to what he called "the policy
of frightfulness" in Ireland. This time the SPEAKER accepted the
motion, but the ensuing debate was of the usual inconclusive kind. Mr.
DEVLIN gave another exhibition of stage-fury. He objected to the
word "reprisals" being used for the "infamies" going on in Ireland,
declared that the Government were responsible for all the murders and
prophesied that the present CHIEF SECRETARY, "with all his outward
appearance of great masculinity," would fail, as BALFOUR and
CROMWELL--the House enjoyed this concatenation--had failed before him.

In points of detail Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD conceded a little more to
his critics than on some former occasions. He undertook to consider
whether the Government should compensate the owners of creameries
or other property wrongfully destroyed; and he admitted that some
constables had exceeded their duty, nine of them being actually under
arrest on various charges. But on the main point he was adamant.
Quoting the remark of a police-sergeant at Tralee, "They have declared
war upon us and I suppose war it must be," the CHIEF SECRETARY said in
his most emphatic tones, "War it will be until assassination stops."

[Illustration: "Old Mother Goose was delighted when she saw what a
fine bird her son had provided her with."

WALES AND SIR A. GRIFFITH-BOSCAWEN.]

       *       *       *       *       *

STUTTFIELD AND THE REDS.

Stuttfield was nothing of a NERO. He would never have fiddled while
Rome burned. He would have been more likely to imagine that Rome was
burning when there was really nothing more going on than a bonfire.
He is one more example of the pernicious influence of sensational
literature upon a nervous temperament.

It all began through Stuttfield finding a copy of _The Daily Blast_ in
a railway carriage last June. This journal is printed on white paper,
but the tendency of its contents is ruddy--that is to say, it has
"Red" leanings. It was a revelation to Stuttfield.

"Are people _allowed_ to say such things?" he asked me in horror.

"My dear fellow, no one takes it seriously," I said. "Don't you
worry."

But Stuttfield did worry. _The Daily Blast_ had the same effect upon
him as a snake has upon a rabbit; it terrified him, yet he could not
run away from it. In fact he became a regular subscriber and continued
so despite some rumours that it was supported financially by the
Rougetanians--rumours which required, and received, a great deal of
explanation.

Then, through the offices of his man-servant, he obtained a copy of
_The Volcano_.

_The Volcano_ appears to be in advance of _The Daily Blast_ in its
ideals, and immensely so in their expression. But here again I assured
Stuttfield that no one took them seriously. "I don't suppose they
take themselves seriously," I assured him. "They want to sell _The
Volcano_, that's all."

"Yes," said Stuttfield, "but they do sell it, and people read it."

"I expect the circulation's about two thousand a week," I said
consolingly. But Stuttfield, as I could see, was not consoled.

I met him at intervals after that, and on each occasion he seemed to
be more obsessed with the notion that the "Reds" would overwhelm us
all shortly.

"Russia is Red," he whispered; he always whispers now for fear of
being overheard by a Red agent, though there was not very much risk of
that in St. James's Street. "And what about India and China?"

"Red, black and yellow--the Zingari colours," I said ribaldly, and
Stuttfield left me in disgust.

Then I heard from a friend that he had sold his cottage at Redhill.
This was a bad sign, and I went to see him. I found him much worse.

"You've taken an overdose of _The Volcano_," I said.

He seized my arm with trembling fingers.

"The Red Revolution is upon us," he hissed.

I laughed. "Don't you worry about the Red Revolution. You come out to
lunch."

He would hardly be persuaded. Clubs and restaurants would be attacked
first, he thought. If we lunched together it had better be in
an eating-house in Bermondsey. "I have a disguise," he said, and
disclosed a complete proletarian outfit.

"Well, I haven't," I said. "Not that these clothes of mine will lead
anyone to mistake me for a capitalist. But, so far as lunch goes,
hadn't we better be killed by a Red bomb at the Fitz than by tripe in
Bermondsey?"

Stuttfield could not but admit the sense of this, so we started out.

It is widely recognised that Flag Days, however admirable their
objects, have been a little overdone. But it was sheer bad luck that
brought Stuttfield face to face with a flag-seller just as we were
entering the Fitz. She came at him with a determined aspect and began
"The Red Cr----"

It was enough. Poor Stuttfield was across the pavement and into a taxi
before I could stop him. There was nothing for me to do but follow
him.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"Waterloo," he answered through blanched lips. I could get nothing
more from him.

At Waterloo he sprang out, leaving me to pay the cab, and disappeared
into the station. I followed as quickly as I could, but he was nowhere
to be seen.

"Where would he go to hide from the Reds?" I asked myself. Suddenly I
had an idea about his destination.

I was right. In the foremost carriage I found him. I tried to persuade
him to come out, but he clung to the rack. So I left him. I have not
seen him since.

I hope he feels safe in the Isle of Wight.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "You can burn your slack cook in oven in our ----
    Grate."--_Advt. in Daily Paper._

But now that the coal strike is over we shall try to put up with our
cook a little longer.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Our Reverend Spoonerist (calling at the Deanery)._ "IS
THE BEAN DIZZY?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "WALLASEY'S LOW FIGURE.

    POPULATION JUMP--FROM 21,192 TO 99,493 IN 28 DAYS."

    _Liverpool Paper._

We do not know why this should be described as a "low figure." To us
it seems remarkably good going.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The weather forecast for Sheffield and district for the next
    twenty-four years is as follows:--

    Wind southerly, light, freshening later; cloudy or overcast;
    probably some rain later; visibility indifferent to fair;
    mild."

    _Yorkshire Paper._

It is hoped however that some improvement may be shown in 1945.

       *       *       *       *       *

Puck's Record Eclipsed.

    "For five minutes I was in the Mercantile Marine and the Navy.
    During these five minutes I made a complete circuit of the
    globe."--_Letter in Welsh Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The pruning-fork is being applied in order to bring the
    staff within the capacity of the accommodation."--_Provincial
    Paper._

After which harmony will be restored by means of the tuning-knife.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It did one good, on entering the Queen's Hall last night, to
    find every seat in the building, even to those at the back
    of the rostrum, occupied by the London Symphony
    Orchestra."--_Evening Paper._

An audience is often so distracting.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fortune-Teller (to client)._ "A DARK MAN HAS BEEN
HOVERING ABOUT YOUR PATH FOR THE LAST MONTH."

_Client._ "OH, THAT MUST BE THE AGENT WHO'S BEEN WORRYING ME TO INSURE
MY LIFE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=THE MOTHER-IN-LAW MYSTERY.=

In a provincial paper I find the following passage:--

    "Counsel stated that the prisoner's mother was in court. Later
    he informed the Judge that he had made a mistake; it was the
    prisoner's mother-in-law. A general laugh throughout the court
    followed this 'correction.'"

We have here in a nutshell the case for traditional communal humour,
and once again we are set to wondering why--except possibly to allay
some whimsical twinges of self-respect--dramatists ever try to
invent new jokes at all. Even more are we set to wondering why this
particular joke never fails.

In the present case the injustice done to an honourable class of
women--that is to say, those who provide lovers with their loves (for
that is how these relationships begin)--was the greater because no
doubt, when the laughter had subsided a little, every eye sought
for the lady in question. Normally we have not the opportunity
of visualising the butt at all. It is enough that she should
be mentioned. Nor would any grotesque details in her costume or
physiognomy make the joke appreciably better. It requires no such
assistance; it is rich enough without them; to possess a married
daughter is all that is necessary to cause gusts of joyful mirth.

That it is not the lady herself who is funny could--no matter how
Gothic her figure--be proved in a moment by placing her in the
witness-box and asking her to state her relationship to the prisoner's
wife. She would say, "I am her mother," and nothing would happen. But
if the question were, "What is your relationship to the prisoner?" and
she replied, "I am his mother-in-law," sides would split. Similarly
one can imagine that if the husband's reply to the counsel's question,
"Who was with you?" had been, "My wife was with me," there would have
been no risible reaction whatever; but if the reply had been, "My
wife's mother was with me," the place would have been convulsed. Of
course the true artist in effect would never say, "My wife's mother,"
but "My mother-in-law." It is the "in-law" that is so exquisitely
amusing and irresistible.

But both would be the same person: the gravest thing on earth,
it might be, in every other respect--even sad and dignified--but
ludicrous because her daughter happened to have found a husband.

To inquire why the bare mention of the mother of a man's wife should
excite merriment is to find oneself instantly deep in sociology--and
in some of its seamiest strata too. While exploring them one would
make the odd discovery that, whereas the humour that surrounds
and saturates the idea of a wife possessing a maternal relative
is inexhaustible, there is nothing laughable about the mother of a
husband. A wife can talk of her husband's mother all day and never
have the reputation of a wit, whereas her husband has but to mention
her mother and he is the rival of the Robeys.

As for fathers-in-law, low comedians would starve if they had to
depend on the help that fathers-in-law give them. Fathers-in-law do
not exist. Nor do brothers-in-law or sisters-in-law, except as facts;
but the joke is that they can be far more interfering (interference
being at the root of the matter, I take it) than anyone in the world.
It is the brother-in-law who knows of absolutely safe gilt-edged
investments (which rarely succeed), and has to be helped while waiting
for something to turn up; it is the sister-in-law who is so firmly
convinced that dear Clara (her brother's wife) is spoiling the
children. But both escape; while many really charming old ladies,
to whom their sons-in-law are devoted, continue to be riddled by the
world's satirical bullets.

What is to be done about it? Nothing. Only the destruction of the
institution of marriage could affect it.

E. V. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

=MY APOLOGIA.=

(_Lines accidentally omitted from a notorious volume of Memoirs._)

  If life is dull and day by day
    I see that wittier, wiser
  England where I was wont to play
  (Being as bold as I was gay)
  Keep passing rapidly away
    All through the German KAISER;

  If "Souls" are not the things they were,
    If caste declines and Vandals
  Go practically everywhere
  From Cavendish to Berkeley Square,
  And dowdy frumps without the "air"
    Monopolise the scandals;

  There is but one thing left to do--
    And what's a sporting flutter worth
  Unless one takes a risk or two?--
  "I'll shock the world," I thought, "anew,"
  And (ultimately) did so through
    The firm of THORNTON BUTTERWORTH.

  Two worlds indeed. The mighty West
    Poured out her untold money
  To gaze upon my palimpsest;
  I think that Codex A was best,
  But parts of this have been suppressed;
    Publishers are so funny.

  And now my fame through London rings
    In well-bred speech and _argot_;
  At mild suburban tea-makings
  The postman knocks, and poor dear things
  Tear wildly at the parcel-strings
    When MUDIE gives them MARGOT.

  Pressmen have tried to make a lot
    Out of a certain instance
  Of mild misstatement as to what
  Happened in 1914. Rot!
  All I can say is that my plot
    Has much more _verve_ than WINSTON'S.

  Well, never mind. The work is done;
    People who do not need it--
  The wit, the fire, the force, the fun,
  The pathos--let them simply shun
  This frightful book, shout "Shame!" and run;
    Nobody's _forced_ to read it.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dentist (after preliminary inspection)._
"EXTRAORDINARY THING--THERE'S ONE OF YOUR TEETH ONLY HALF STOPPED."

_Patient._ "AH, THAT WERE T'OOTHER DENTIST. T' LAAD 'URT ME, SO AH
GAVE 'IM A GOOD LICK IN T' JAW."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=NOMEN, OMEN.=

(_By our Medical Correspondent._)

No one who is interested in the possibilities of psycho-therapy
can view without serious misgiving recent tendencies in artistic
nomenclature. Some of us are old enough to remember when the trend
was in the direction of Italianisation; when FOLEY became SIGNOR FOLI;
CAMPBELL, CAMPOBELLO, and an American from Brooklyn was transformed
into BROCCOLINI. The vogue of alien aliases has passed, but it may
return, and it is to guard against the formidable and deleterious
results of its recrudescence that the following suggestions, are
propounded, not merely in the interests of Gongorism or of an
intensive cultivation of syncretic euphuism, but in accordance with
the most approved conclusions of psycho-analytic research.

It may be urged--and the objection is natural--that there can be
little danger of a relapse in view of the heroic and patriotic
adhesion of some of our most distinguished artists to their homely
patronymics. No doubt the noble example of CLARA BUTT and CARRIE TUBB
is fortifying and reassuring, and there are also clamant proofs that
denationalisation is no passport to eminence. But it would be foolish
to overlook the existence of powerful influences operating in an
antipodal direction. I confess to a feeling approaching to dismay when
I study the advertisement columns of the daily papers and note the
recurrence, in the announcements of impending concerts, of names of
a strangely outlandish and exotic form. In a single issue I have
encountered KRISH, ARRAU, KOUNS and DINH GILLY. The Christian names of
some of these eminent performers are equally momentous and perturbing,
_e.g._, JASCHA, KOFZA and UTT.

My grounds for perturbation are not imaginary or based on the
hallucinations of a hypersensitive mind. They are prompted and
justified by the notorious facts, established by the leading
psycho-analysts, that, just as mellifluous and melodious names
exercise a mollifying influence on the activities of the sub-conscious
self, so the possession or choice of strange or ferocious appellations
incites the bearer, if I may be permitted to use so commonplace a
term, to live up to his label.

It is therefore with all the force at my command that I entreat and
implore singers, players and dancers to think, not once but twice or
thrice, before they yield to the fascination of the unfamiliar and
adopt artistic pseudonyms calculated to intensify the "urges" of
their primitive instincts. It is not too much to say that a singer
who deliberately assumes the name of Pongo, Og or Botuloffsky runs a
serious risk, in virtue of the inherent magic of names, of developing
qualities wholly unfitted for the atmosphere of a well-conducted
concert-hall.

I believe that the question of establishing a censorship of artists'
names has been seriously considered by Dr. ADDISON, in view of its
bearing on public hygiene, and that he estimates the cost of staffing
the new department as not likely to exceed seven hundred and fifty
thousand pounds a year. Still, in these days when State economy is so
needful, it would be better if the desired effect were attained by the
pressure of enlightened public opinion rather than by the operations
of even so inexpensive a department as that contemplated by the
MINISTER OF HEALTH.

       *       *       *       *       *

=IN FLANDERS FIELDS.=

These famous verses, which originally appeared in _Punch_, December
8th, 1915, being the work of a Canadian officer, Lieut.-Colonel
MCCRAE, who fell in the War, have been subjected to so many
perversions--the latest in a letter to _The Times_ from a Minister of
the Crown, where the closing lines are misquoted as follows:

  "If ye break faith with those of us who died,
  We shall not sleep, though poppies bloom in fields of France"--

that Mr. Punch thinks it would be well to reproduce them in their
correct form:--

  In Flanders fields the poppies blow
  Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
  Scarce heard amid the guns below.

  We are the Dead. Short days ago
  We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
          In Flanders fields.

  Take up our quarrel with the foe:
  To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
  We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
          In Flanders fields.

       *       *       *       *       *

=AT THE PLAY.=

"FÉDORA."

It may or may not be well that the War has modified our estimate of
the value of life; but it is a bad thing for the legitimate drama. And
in the case of _Fédora_ the bloody _régime_ of LENIN has so paled
our memory of the terrors of Nihilism that SARDOU'S play seems almost
further away from us than the tragedy of _Agamemnon_. In our callous
incapacity to be thrilled by the ancient horrors of forty years ago we
fall back on the satisfaction to be got out of the author's dexterity
in the mechanics of his craft.

And here the critic's judgment is also apt to be more cold-blooded.
He recognises the crude improbability of certain details which are
essential to the tragic development of the play. The death of _Count
Vladimir_ (accented on the first or second syllable according to the
temporary emotion of the speaker) was due to the discovery of a letter
in an unlocked drawer where it could never possibly have been thrown,
being an extremely private letter of assignation. The death of
_Fédora_, again, was the direct result of a letter which she
despatched to Petersburg denouncing a man who proved, in the light of
fresh facts learned a few minutes later, to be the last (or last but
one) that she would wish to injure. It is incredible that she should
not have hastened to send a second letter withdrawing her charge;
"instead of which" she goes casually off on a honeymoon with his
brother, and apparently never gives another thought to the matter till
it is fatally too late.

However, I am not really concerned at this time of day with the
improbabilities of so well-established a tragedy, but only with the
most recent interpretation of it. And let me say at once that, for the
best of reasons, I do not propose to compete with the erudition of my
fellow-critics in the matter of previous interpreters, for I bring a
virgin mind to my consideration of the merits of the present cast.

_Fédora_ is the most exhausting test to which Miss MARIE LÖHR has
yet put her talent. The heroine's emotions are worked at top-pressure
almost throughout the play. At the very start she is torn with
passionate grief for the death of her lover and a still more
passionate desire to take vengeance on the man who killed him. When
she learns the unworthiness of the one and the justification of the
other those emotions are instantly exchanged for a passionate worship
of the late object of her vengeance, to be followed by bitter remorse
for the harm she has done him and terror of the consequences when he
comes to know the truth. And so to suicide.

I will confess that I was astonished at the power with which Miss LÖHR
met these exigent demands upon her emotional forces. It was indeed a
remarkable performance. My only reservation is that in one passage
she was too anxious to convey to the audience the intensity of her
remorse, when it was a first necessity that she should conceal it
from the other actor on the stage. It was nice and loyal of Mr. BASIL
RATHBONE to behave as if he didn't notice anything unusual, but it
must have been as patent to him as to us.

Of his _Loris_ I cannot say too much in admiration. At first Mr.
RATHBONE seemed a little stiff in his admirably-fitting dress-clothes,
but in the last scene he moved through those swift changes of
emotion--from joy to grief, from rage to pity and the final anguish
and horror--with extraordinary imagination and resource.

Of the others, Mr. ALLAN AYNESWORTH, as _Jean de Siriex_, played in
a quiet and assured undertone that served to correct the rather
expansive methods of Miss ELLIS JEFFREYS, whose humour, always
delightful, afforded a little more relief than was perhaps consistent
with the author's designs and her own dignity as a great lady in the
person of the _Countess Olga_.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Matinée in aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children
will be given at the Garrick Theatre on Wednesday, November 17th,
at 2.30, when a comedy by Mr. LOUIS N. PARKER will be presented,
entitled, _Pomander Walk_ (period 1805).

It is hoped that at the Alhambra Matinée on November 16th one thousand
pounds will be raised to complete the special pension fund for actors,
which is to be a tribute of affection to the memory of Mr. SYDNEY
VALENTINE, who, in the words of Mr. MCKINNEL, "did more for the rank
and file of the theatrical profession than any actor, living or dead."

       *       *       *       *       *

="The Dog it was who Died."=

    "At Dovey Board of Conservators at Barmouth it was decided
    to ask Major Dd. Davies to hunt the district with his otter
    hounds, and failing this the water bailiffs themselves should
    attempt to stamp them out."--_Welsh Paper._

Major DD. DAVIES' answer is not known to us, but we assume that he
said, "Well, I'm Dd."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Royal Surrey Theatre. Grand Opera. To-night, 8, Cav. and
    Pag."--_Daily Paper._

More evidence of the paper-shortage.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Affluent Sportsman (after a long blank draw)._ "NOW I
BET YOU WE'LL FIND AS SOON AS I LIGHT ONE OF MY HALF-DOLLAR CIGARS."
_Friend._ "DON'T YOU THINK WE MIGHT MAKE A CERTAINTY OF IT IF I LIT
ONE TOO?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

=OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.=

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

I do not think that even the most phlegmatic of Englishmen could
read _Francis and Riversdale Grenfell: a Memoir_ (NELSON) without a
quickening of the pulses. This is not to suggest that Mr. JOHN BUCHAN
has sought to make an emotional appeal--indeed he has told the tale
of these devoted brothers with a simplicity beyond praise--but it is
a tale so fine that it must fill the heart, even of those who were
strangers to them, with joy and pride. I beg you to read the memoir
for yourselves, and see how and why it was that these twin brothers,
from Eton onwards, radiated cheerfulness and a happy keenness wherever
they went. "Neither," Mr. BUCHAN writes, "could be angry for long, and
neither was capable of harshness or rancour. Their endearing grace of
manner made a pleasant warmth in any society which they entered; and
since this gentleness was joined to a perpetual glow of enthusiasm
the effect was triumphant. One's recollection was of something lithe,
alert, eager, like a finely-bred greyhound." Those of us who were not
personally acquainted with FRANCIS and RIVERSDALE GRENFELL will, after
reading this Memoir and the Preface by their uncle, Field-Marshal Lord
GRENFELL, seem to know them intimately. FRANCIS won the first V.C.
gained in the War, but when he read the announcement of it in _The
Gazette_ his brother was already killed and his joy of life was
quenched. "I feel," he wrote to his uncle, "that I know so many who
have done and are doing so much more than I have been able to do
for England. I also feel very strongly that any honour belongs to my
regiment and not to me." In that spirit he met his death a few months
later. In work and sport, in war or peace, the twins were ardent,
generous and brave, and their deaths were as glorious as their lives
were gracious and radiant. The profits of Mr. BUCHAN'S book are to
be devoted to the funds of the Invalid Children's Aid Association, in
which the brothers were deeply interested.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are certain tasks which, like virtue, carry their reward with
them. No doubt Miss ELEANOUR SINCLAIR ROHDE would be gratified if
her book, _A Garden of Herbs_ (LEE WARNER), were to pass into several
editions--as I trust it will--and receive commendation on every
hand--as it surely must--but such results would be irrelevancies. She
has already, I am convinced, tasted so much delight in the making
of this, the most fragrant book that I ever read, in her delving and
selecting, that nothing else matters. Not only is the book fragrant
from cover to cover, but it is practical too. It tells us how
our ancestors of not so many generations ago--in Stuart times
chiefly--went to the herb garden as we go to the chemist's and the
perfumer's and the spice-box, and gave that part of the demesne much
of the honour which we reserve for the rock-garden, the herbaceous
borders and the pergola. And no wonder, when from the herbs that grow
there you can make so many of the lenitives of life--from elecampane
a sovran tonic, and from purslane an assured appetiser, and from
marjoram a pungent tea, and from wood-sorrel a wholesome water-gruel,
and from gillyflowers "a comfortable cordial to cheer the heart," and
from thyme an eye-lotion that will "enable one to see the fairies."
Miss ROHDE tells us all, intermingling her information with mottoes
from old writers and new. Sometimes she even tells too much, for,
though she says nothing as to how lovage got its pretty name, we are
told that "lovage should be sown in March in any good garden soil."
Did we need to be told that? Is it not a rule of life? "In the Spring
a young man's fancy...."

       *       *       *       *       *

To my mind, amongst the least forgettable books of the present year
will be that to which Mr. SETON GORDON, F.Z.S., has given the title
of _The Land of the Hills and the Glens_ (CASSELL). Mr. GORDON has
already a considerable reputation as a chronicler of the birds
and beasts (especially the less approachable birds) of his native
Highlands. The present volume is chiefly the result of spare-moment
activities during his service as coast-watcher among the Hebrides.
Despite its unpropitious title, I must describe it without hyperbole
as a production of wonder and delight. Of its forty-eight photographic
illustrations not one is short of amazing. We are become used to fine
achievement in this kind, but I am inclined to think Mr. GORDON goes
one better, both in the "atmosphere" of his mountain pictures and in
his studies of birds at home upon their nests. To judge, indeed,
by the unruffled domesticity of these latter, one would suppose Mr.
GORDON to have been regarded less as the prying ornithologist than as
the trusted family photographer. I except the golden eagle, last of
European autocrats, whose greeting appears always as a super-imperial
scowl. Chiefly these happy results seem to have been due to a triumph
of patient camouflage, concerning which the author suggests the
interesting theory that birds do not count beyond unity, _i.e._,
if two stalkers enter an ambush and one subsequently emerges, the
vigilance of the feathered watchers is immediately relaxed. Should
this be true, I can only hope that Mr. GORDON will get in another book
before the spread of higher education increases his difficulties.

       *       *       *       *       *

I should be inclined to call Mr. NORMAN DOUGLAS our only example of
the romantic satirist, though, unless you have some previous knowledge
of his work, I almost despair of condensing the significance of this
into a paragraph. For one thing the mere exuberance of his imagination
is a rare refreshment in this restricted age. His latest book,
with the stimulating title of _They Went_ (CHAPMAN AND HALL), is an
admirable example of this. Certainly no one else could have created
this exotic city with its painted palaces and copper-encrusted towers,
a vision of sea-mists and rainbows; or peopled it with so iridescent a
company--the strange princess; the queen, her mother; the senile king
who should have been (but wasn't) her father; _Theophilus_, the Greek
artist; the philosophic old Druidess, and the dwarfs who "chanted
squeaky hymns amid sacrifices of mushrooms and gold-dust." Perhaps
this random quotation may hint at the fantastic nature of the tale;
it can give no idea of the intelligence that directs it, mocking,
iconoclastic, almost violently individual. Plot, I fancy, seldom
troubles Mr. DOUGLAS greatly; it happens, or it does not. Meanwhile
he is far more concerned in fitting a double meaning (at least) to the
most simple-sounding phrase. To sum up, _They Went_ is perhaps not
for idle, certainly not for unintelligent, reading; for those who
can appreciate quality in a strange guise it will provide a feast of
unfamiliar flavours that may well create an appetite for more.

       *       *       *       *       *

That clever writer, Mr. A. P. HERBERT, would lightly describe his
story, _The House by the River_ (METHUEN), as a "shocker." But
there are ways and ways of shocking. He might wish to show us the
embarrassments of a fairly respectable member of the intellectual
classes, living in a highly respectable environment, when he finds
that he has committed homicide; and he might make the details as
gruesome as he liked. But there was no need to shock the sensitive
when he made his choice of the circumstances in which the poet,
_Stephen Byrne_, inadvertently throttles his housemaid. It is a
fault, too, that his scheme only interests him so far as it concerns
_Stephen_ and his society, and that the horror of the tragedy from
what one may loosely call the victim's point of view does not seem to
affect him at all. Otherwise, even for the sake of brevity, he could
not so flippantly refer to the body, sewn in a sack and thrown into
the river, as just "Eliza." He may argue that he never thought of the
corpse as a real one and that the whole thing was merely an experiment
in imaginative art; but his details are too well realised for that,
and so is his admirable picture of the society of Hammerton Chase,
W., a thin disguise for a riverside neighbourhood easy to recognise.
I could never get myself quite to believe that _Stephen's_ friend,
_Egerton_, accessory after the fact, would so long and so tamely have
borne the suspicion of it; but for the rest Mr. HERBERT'S study of his
milieu shows a very intimate observation. If his _Stephen_, in
whom the highest poetic talents are found tainted with a touch
of coarseness, may not always be credible, the passion for
self-expression which leads him on to versify his own experience in
the form of a mediæval idyll, and so give himself away, is true to
life. But my final impression of Mr. HERBERT'S book--he will perhaps
think I am taking him too seriously--is that his many gifts and
notably his humour, whose gaiety I prefer to its grimness, are here
exercised on a rather unworthy theme.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MARTYRS OF SCIENCE:--THE INVENTOR OF TOFFEE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

=Fashions for Proxy-Fathers.=

    "The bride entered the church on the arm of Mr. T. ----, of
    Happy Valley (who acted in loco parentis and was charmingly
    attired in crepe-de-chine)."--_South African Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Is there anyone amongst the thousands of men who will benefit
    who will be some an (please let the word remain, Mr.
    Editor) as not to show his appreciation in the same
    way?"--_Educational Paper._

Personally we think the Editor was a little too complaisant.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Transcriber's Note:

Page 361: Changed "corresponent" to "correspondent"

(A corresponent writes to a contemporary)


Page 362: Removed extraneous single closing quote.

("Sir Harry Johnston's 'The Gay Donkeys' has passed its fifth
    edition in London.'"--_Australian Magazine_.)


Page 368: Changed "Pulman" to "Pullman"

(a ticket for a seat in the Pulman car)]





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