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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 25, 1914
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, Vol. 147, November 25, 1914" ***

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November 25, 1914.


ENVER PASHA, in a proclamation to the Turkish troops, says: "The army
will destroy all our enemies with the aid of Allah and the assistance
of the Prophet." It is rumoured that the KAISER is a little bit piqued
about it.


We learn from a German paper that, since the brave Ottomans have
discovered that their Culture and that of the Germans are one, many
Englishmen who live in Crescents are crying out in fury for an
alteration of their addresses.


According to a Berlin journal, about 2,000 players of orchestral
instruments have been thrown out of employment by the war. It is
suggested that, with a view to providing them with more employment,
reverses as well as victories should be musically celebrated in the


We are glad to see that the names of battles in Belgium show a
tendency to become more cheery. The other day, for instance, we
had the battle of the Yperlee--and we may yet have a battle of


It is rumoured that a compromise has been arrived at in regard to the
proposal, emanating from America, that the war shall be stopped for
twenty-four hours on Christmas Day. The combatants, it is said, have
agreed to fire plum-puddings instead of cannon-balls.


Among the promotions which we do not remember seeing gazetted is that
of KARL GUSTAV ERNST, a German barber-spy. At the Old Bailey, the
other day, Mr. Justice COLERIDGE promoted him to be a Steinhauer or


    "'MIRACLE' PRODUCER KILLED."--_Daily Chronicle_.

This is unfortunate for the Germans, for if ever they needed a miracle
it is now.


"Information that has come into our possession," says _The Grocer_,
"proves _to our satisfaction_ that Germany has been receiving
plentiful supplies of tea from our shores through neutral countries
since the outbreak of hostilities." The italics are ours: the
satisfaction appears to be our contemporary's.


A cynic sends us a tip for the recruiting department of our army. "Why
go for the single man?" he asks. "We may expect just as much courage
from the married man. He has already proved his pluck."



The Germans, who have already been calling the Allied forces "The
Menagerie," should appreciate this item.


Angry newspaper men are now calling a certain institution the Suppress


A solicitor having announced that he is prepared to make the wills of
the men of a certain regiment free of charge, another enterprising
legal gentleman, not to be outdone, would like it to be known that he
is willing to act as residuary legatee without a fee.


In his interesting sketch, in _The Times_, of the PRINCE OF WALES'
career at the University, the PRESIDENT of Magdalen mentions that His
Royal Highness "shot at various country houses round Oxford." We hope
that this will not be quoted against the PRINCE by a spiteful German
Press, should any bullet marks be found one day on the walls of some
castle on the Rhine.


It came as quite an unpleasant surprise to many persons to learn from
Mr. ASQUITH that the War is costing us a million pounds a day, that
being more than some of us spend in a year.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RULING PASSION.


_Waitress (absent-mindedly)_. "YES, SIR; PURL OR PLAIN, SIR?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

The End of the Press Bureau.

    "Members of several guilds carried their banners in the
    procession which went round the church to the accompaniment of
    impressive music and the swinging of censors."--_South Western

If this had got about, there would have been a bigger crowd at the
ceremony. As it was, Fleet Street was taken by surprise, and only had
time to prepare a few fireworks for the evening.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Among other public buildings in a certain town which for many
    reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning ... on a
    day and date which I need not trouble to repeat...."

No, this is not from our Special Representative behind the Front; it
is the opening passage of _Oliver Twist_, and shows what a splendid
War Correspondent DICKENS would have made.

       *       *       *       *       *

Teuton Anatomy.

    "The clay feet of Germany will be revealed when we take off
    the gloves."--_Mr. ARNOLD WHITE in "The Sunday Chronicle."_

So that's where they wear them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Questioned with reference to a letter written by him to
    Steinhauer, in which he said, 'The name of the gentleman in
    Woolwich Arsenal is ----,' the prisoner said that was a false

It's a very silly name anyway.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The announcement issued by the Press Bureau that carrier
    pigeons are to be used officially for certain purposes is an
    extremely interesting reversion to what we had regarded as
    almost premature ways of carrying news."--_Westminster

Not so premature as the WOLFF method.

       *       *       *       *       *

More Information for the Enemy.

    SUFFICIENT FOR EIGHT MOUTHS."--_Aberdeen Evening Gazette_.

We insist on providing one of them.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Now came the drums and fifes, and now the blare of the brass
    instruments, and continuously the singing of the soldiers
    of 'Die Wacht am goose step, while the good lieges of
    Brus-Rhein.'"--_Adelaide Advertiser_.

A good song, but (so it has always struck us) a clumsy title.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from Army Routine Orders, Expeditionary Force, Nov. 9th:--

    "It is notified for information that shooting in the Forest of
    Clairmarais and certain portions of the adjacent country is

Clever Germans are now disguising themselves as pheasants.

       *       *       *       *       *


Helen and I are economising; so the other evening we dined at the

"That's no economy," you cry; so let me explain.

In common with most other folk who are not engaged in the manufacture
of khaki, or rifles, or Army woollens, or heavy siege-guns (to which I
had not the foresight to turn my attention before the war came along),
we have found it necessary to adopt a policy of retrenchment and
reform; and one of our first moves in this direction was to convert
Evangeline from a daily into a half-daily. Evangeline is not a
newspaper but a domestic servant, and before the new order was issued
she had been in the habit of arriving at our miniature flat at 7.30 in
the morning (when it wasn't 8.15), and retiring at 9 in the evening.

Now, however, Evangeline goes after lunch, and Helen, who has bought a
shilling cookery book, prepares the dinner herself.

On the day in question Helen suddenly decided to spend the afternoon
repairing a week's omissions on the part of Evangeline. It proved a
veritable labour of Hercules, the flat being, as Helen with near
enough accuracy gave me to understand, an "Aegæan stable." Tea-time
came, but brought no tea. Shortly before seven Helen struck, and
declared (this time without any classical metaphor) that she wasn't
going to cook any dinner that evening. Not to be outdone, I affirmed
in reply that even if she did cook it I wasn't going to clear it away.
So we cleaned and adorned ourselves and groped our way to the Rococo.

We were both too tired to go to the trouble of choosing our dinner,
and it was therefore that we elected to make our way through the
_table-d'hôte_, to which we felt that our appetite, unimpaired by tea,
could do full justice. Luxuriously we toyed with _hors-d'oeuvre_,
while the orchestra patriotically intimated that ours is a Land of
Hope and Glory; blissfully we consumed our soup, undeterred by
repeated reminders of the distance to Tipperary. It was with the fish
that the trouble started.

At the second mouthful it began to dawn upon me that what the band
was playing was the _Brabançonne_. I looked around, and gathered
that I was not alone in the realisation of that fact; for one by one
my fellow-diners struggled hesitatingly to their feet, and stood in
awkward reverence while the National Anthem of our brave Belgian
Allies was in course of execution. I looked at Helen, and Helen
looked at me, and we both tried not to look too regretfully at our
plates as we also adopted the prevailing pose. Not one note of that
light-hearted anthem did the orchestra miss, and when it was over the
warmth in our hearts almost compensated for the coldness of our
fish. We decided to jump at once to the _entrée_.

Whatever else may be said of the _Marseillaise_, there can be no
mistaking its identity. The first bar sufficed to bring the whole room
to attention, and a promising dish of sweetbreads shared the fate of
its predecessor. Before the final crash had ceased to reverberate we
sat down with a thump, resigning ourselves to the prospect of doing
double justice to the joint. But the orchestra was not so lightly
to be cheated of its prey. True, we held out as long as possible
while the Russian Hymn began to unfold its majestic length, and
Helen actually managed to convey a considerable piece of saddle of
mutton to her mouth while she was in the very act of rising. That
joint, however, was soon but a memory of anticipation, and our hunger
was still keen upon us when the funereal strains of the Japanese
Anthem coincided with the arrival of a wild duck. I had always
harboured secret doubts of the advisability of Japan's joining in the
War, and now they were intensified many times. Cold wild duck is an
impossibility even to a hungry man.

Ice-pudding, though scarcely satisfying, seemed to warrant the
expectation that it would at least survive whatever further ordeal the
band had in store for us. But that hope too was doomed to extinction.
When _God Save the King_ smote the air the growing lethargy of the
company of diners vanished, and all joined with a will in the recital
of all its verses. In the glow of loyal enthusiasm that filled the
room the ice gradually melted, and as we surveyed the fluid mess upon
our plates we knew that our dinner was gone beyond recall.

Weary and unappeased we crept home through the City of Dreadful Night.
I found a remnant of cold beef and some pickles in the kitchen, and on
this we went to bed. I slept but little, and on five occasions watched
Helen, who has dreams, get out of bed and stand to attention.

Of course it might have been worse; for the musicians of the Rococo
evidently had not learnt the national airs of Serbia and Montenegro;
and Portugal had not then been drawn into the War. But until the
trouble is over I shall avoid restaurants which harbour an orchestra.
As you say, it is no economy.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Illustrious Jester, who in happier days
  Amused us with your Prefaces and Plays,
  Acquiring a precarious renown
  By turning laws and morals upside down,
  Sticking perpetual pins in Mrs. Grundy,
  Railing at marriage or the British Sunday,
  And lavishing your acid ridicule
  On the foundations of imperial rule;--
  'Twas well enough in normal times to sit
  And watch the workings of your wayward wit,
  But in these bitter days of storm and stress,
  When souls are shown in all their nakedness,
  Your devastating egotism stands out
  Denuded of the last remaining clout.
  You own our cause is just, yet can't refrain
  From libelling those who made its justice plain;
  You chide the Prussian Junkers, yet proclaim
  Our statesmen beat them at their own vile game.

  Thus, bent on getting back at any cost
  Into the limelight you have lately lost,
  And, high above war's trumpets loudly blown
  On land and sea, eager to sound your own,
  We find you faithful to your ancient plan
  Of disagreeing with the average man,
  And all because you think yourself undone
  Unless in a minority of one.

  Vain to the core, thus in the nation's need
  You carp and cavil while your brothers bleed,
  And while on England vitriol you bestow
  You offer balsam to her deadliest foe.

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from a commercial traveller's letter to his chief:--

    "DEAR SIR,--On Wednesday next I want you to allow me the day
    off. My wife having lost her mother is being buried on that
    date and I should like to attend the funeral."

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from a child's essay on CROMWELL:--

    "In his last years, Cromwell grew very much afraid of plots,
    and it is said that he even wore underclothes to protect

We wonder if the KAISER knows of this.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CARRYING ON.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Worst Character in the village (who has repeatedly
been pressed by the inhabitants to enlist)_. "I DUNNA BELIEVE THERE AIN'T

       *       *       *       *       *


  "Here no howitzers speak in stern styles,
    Light and gay is the leathern bomb,
  We pay our sixpences down at the turnstiles,
    And that is our centre, name of Tom;
          Wild thunder rolls
          When he scores his goals,
  And up in the air go Alf and Ern's tiles;
    But what is this rumour of war? Whence cometh it from?"

  So said Bottlesham, best of cities
    Watching the ball from seats above.
  "Belgium ruined? A thousand pities!
    Bother the KAISER'S mailéd glove!"
          But it left no stings
          When they heard these things,
  Though they wept as the brown bird weeps for Itys
    On the day that the Wanderers whacked them two to love.

  Suddenly then the news came flying,
    "English mariners meet the Dutch,
  Tars interned, with the neutrals vieing,
    Beaten at Gröningen." Wild hands clutch
          At the evening sheets
          And the swift pulse beats;
  Is the fame of HAWKE and FROBISHER dying?
    The heart of the town is stirred by the NELSON touch.

  Six--five. It's true. And the tears bedizen
    The smoke-stained cheeks, and there comes a scream,
  "If our English lads in a far-off prison
    Are matched one day with a German team
          And the Germans win,
          They will say in Berlin
  That a brighter than all our stars has risen;
    Will even the Bottlesham Rovers stand supreme?

  "Infantry, cavalry, guard and lancer--
    Who on that day will bear the brunt,
  With twinkling feet like a tip-toe dancer
    Dribbling about while the half-backs grunt?
          There is only one
          Who can vanquish the Hun!"
  And Bottlesham town with a cry made answer,
    "There is only one; we must send our Tom to the front."


       *       *       *       *       *


While much has been written of the songs that inspire our own brave
troops on the march, little is heard of those affected by our Allies.

Happily _Mr. Punch's_ Special Eye-witness with General Headquarters in
the Eastern Area has been enabled to send us the words of a song
which, set to an old Slav air, is rendered with immense _élan_ by the
gallant Russians as they go into battle. It is as follows:--

  It's a hard nut is Cracow,
    It's a hard nut to crack,
  But it's not so hard to crack, oh!
    When once you've got the knack.
  Good-bye, Przemysl;
    Farewell, Lemberg (Lwow);
  It's a hard, hard nut to crack is Cracow,
    But we'll soon crack it now.

By the more cultured Russian regiments, _i.e._, those recruited in the
neighbourhood of the German frontier, the last line is rendered:--

  But we'll crack it right off,

to rhyme with Lvoff--the correct pronunciation of Lwow, according to a

       *       *       *       *       *



I commend Sir HERBERT TREE'S obvious desire to do his duty as an
actor-manager and a patriot. His true intent is all for our good; and
he supports his choice of a play in which _Falstaff_ is the central
obsession by a printed quotation from the words of "That Wise Ruler
Queen Elizabeth of England," where she says: "'Tis simple mirth
keepeth high courage alive." But yet he does not convince me that he
has chosen wisely here. For in the first place we are not closely
interested in civil war, as we came near to being in the dim Ulster
period; and patriotism, which it is his object to encourage, is like
to remain unaffected by a play in which our sympathies are fairly
distributed between rebel and royalist. In the second place I cannot
believe that the glorification of drunkenness and braggadocio in the
person of _Falstaff_ can directly assist the cause (which at this
moment needs all the help it can get) of sobriety and self-respect.

[Illustration: _The King_ (Mr. BASIL GILL) reclaims young _Harry_ (Mr.
OWEN NARES) from old _Harry_ (the Devil).]

Having made this protest I have little but praise for the performance
itself, though I think Sir HERBERT TREE'S own lethargy was not wholly
to be excused by the hampering rotundity of his girth; and that all
this deliberate sword-play, where you wait till your enemy has got his
right guard before you arrange a concussion between your weapon and
his, fails to impose itself as an image of War. But it was no fault of
the actors if we suffered a further loss of actuality by the
incredible amount of fine poetry and rhetoric thrown off by military
men at junctures calling for immediate action.

I also venture to make my complaint to the author that the _Falstaff_
scenes are given too great a dominance, diverting us from the main
issue so long that at one time we almost lost count of it; and that
the picture of that fat impostor lying supine in a simulation of death
within a few feet of the fallen body of the heroic _Hotspur_ was
repellent to one's sense of the proprieties.

Mr. MATHESON LANG was a brave figure as _Hotspur_; but, after lately
seeing that other keen actor, Mr. OWEN NARES, in the part of a modern
intellectual discussing the ethics of War, I could not quite get
myself to believe in him as _Prince Hal_. He spoke some of his lines
with a fine ardour, but he was too high-browed and slight of body, and
it was unthinkable that he could ever have persuaded _Hotspur_ to die
at his hands.

Sir HERBERT TREE affected an almost proprietary interest in the
bibulous humours of _Falstaff_, presenting them with an easy and
leisurely restraint; and Mr. BASIL GILL both in form and manner made a
quite good _King_. The minor parts upheld the standard of His
Majesty's; and a pleasant rattling of steel and shimmer of mail ran
through the scenes of active service. Mr. PERCY MACQUOID had seen to
it that the period was there, and Mr. JOSEPH HARKER had taken good
care that the jewelry of SHAKSPEARE'S verse should have the right
setting, though I could easily have mistaken his Gadshill scene for a
section of the Lake Country.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


Nothing is too good for our fighting men. Let my subscription to that
axiom be complete; and yet----

Well, it is like this. A man who is only a year or so too old for
active service, but feels as fit and keen as a boy, has so many
opportunities for regretting his enforced civilism and absence from
the arena that it is hard when additional ones are thrust upon him.

He may do his best at home. He may guard gasworks, or organise funds,
or campaign as an enlister, or visit the hospitals; but all the time
he is conscious that being here is so different from being there. It
galls him day and night, and the only thing that can help him at all
is the society of lovely women, and now he has lost that!

I hate to grumble, and I have, I believe, shouldered my share of the
new taxes like a man, but I am not made of such stern stuff as to be
superior to all human aid, and in my own case the mortification of
non-combating, which now and then becomes depressingly acute, is to be
alleviated only in this way. Nice women must do their part.

But do they? No. They did at first, but no longer.

Let me tell you. The other evening I found myself one of the
complacent hosts of a party of merry chattering young women, who
seemed to be quite satisfied with our attention. All of us were just
beginning to be very jolly, and I had actually forgotten my hard
destiny of inactivity, when who should come into the room but an
officer on crutches, who happened to be an acquaintance of each of our
guests but was unknown both to me and my other just too elderly male
friends. In an instant we were alone, and alone we remained for
certainly half an hour, while every attention was being paid by our
guests to that other. When at last they tore themselves away and
returned, their conversation was wholly confined to their wounded
friend's adventures, and we need not have been there at all, except to
pay the bill.

Now it is no fun to me to deceive anyone but myself, and hence I shall
not go about with my arm in a sling and win sympathy and attention to
which I am not entitled; but I do appeal to all the young women to
have a little pity on some of us compulsory stay-at-homes. Nothing is
too good for our fighting men. I repeat it. But just a tiny spark of
animation might be retained in the feminine eye when it alights upon
an old friend who is debarred from taking arms. Just a spark,
otherwise we shall go into a melancholy decline.

       *       *       *       *       *

Smart Work.

    "Owner gone to the front, friend offers his Wolseley ... £165,
    an extraordinary opportunity."--_Advt. in "Autocar."_

If we were not confident that we should be wrong in putting upon these
words the sinister interpretation which they invite, we shouldn't envy
the advertiser when the owner returns.

       *       *       *       *       *

From verses in _Punch_, October 21st:--

  "We have made progress near to Berry au Bac,
  And on our right wing there is nothing new."

From the French official report, November 12th:--

    "We have also made some progress around Berry au Bac."

And on the right wing there was nothing new.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


  Fan, the hunt terrier, runs with the pack,
  A little white bitch with a patch on her back;
  She runs with the pack as her ancestors ran--
  We're an old-fashioned lot here and breed 'em like Fan;
        Round of skull, harsh of coat, game and little and low,
        The same as we bred sixty seasons ago.

  So she's harder than nails, and she's nothing to learn
  From her scarred little snout to her cropped little stern,
  And she hops along gaily, in spite of her size,
  With twenty-four couples of big badger-pyes:
        'Tis slow, but 'tis sure is the old white and grey,
        And 'twill sing to a fox for a whole winter day.

  Last year at Rook's Rough, just as Ben put 'em in,
  'Twas Fan found the rogue who was curled in the whin;
  She pounced at his brush with a drive and a snap,
  "_Yip-Yap_, boys," she told 'em, "I've found him, _Yip-Yap_;"
        And they put down their noses and sung to his line
        Away down the valley most tuneful and fine.

  'Twas a point of ten miles and a kill in the dark
  That scared the cock pheasants in Fallowfield Park,
  And into the worry flew Fan like a shot
  And snatched the tit-bit that old Rummage had got;
        _Eloop_, little Fan with the patch on her back,
        She broke up the fox with the best of the pack.

       *       *       *       *       *


    [_The Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street, where
    many Belgian children are now being cared for, is in very
    urgent need of funds to enable it to maintain its beneficent
    work. The Treasurer will gladly receive and acknowledge any
    subscriptions that may be sent._]

  O generous hearts that freely give,
    Nor heed the lessening of your store,
  So but our well-loved land may live,
    Much have you given--give once more!

  For little children spent with toil,
    For little children worn with pain,
  I ask a gift of healing oil--
    Say, shall I ask for it in vain?

  For, since our days are filled with woe,
    And all the paths are dark and chill,
  This thought may cheer us as we go,
    And bring us light and comfort still;

  This, this may stay our faltering feet,
    And this our mournful minds beguile:--
  We helped some little heart to beat
    And taught some little face to smile.

R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MONITORS AT WORK OFF KNOCKE," says _The Daily Mail_, and by way of
reply the Germans knocked off work.

       *       *       *       *       *


This is a true story. Unless you promise to believe me, it is not much
good my going on.... You promise? Very well.

Years ago I bought a pianola. I went into the shop to buy a gramophone
record, and I came out with a pianola--so golden-tongued was the
manager. You would think that one could then retire into private life
for a little, but it is only the beginning. There is the music-stool
to be purchased, the library subscription, the tuner's fee (four
visits a year, if you please), the cabinet for the rolls, the man to
oil the pedals, the----however, one gets out of the shop at last. Nor
do I regret my venture. It is common talk that my pianola was the
chief thing about me which attracted Celia. "I _must_ marry a man with
a pianola," she said ... and there was I ... and here, in fact, we
are. My blessings, then, on the golden tongue of the manager.

Now there is something very charming in a proper modesty about
one's attainments, but it is necessary that the attainments should
be generally recognized first. It was admirable in STEPHENSON to
have said (as I am sure he did), when they congratulated him on
his first steam-engine, "Tut-tut, it's nothing;" but he could
only say this so long as the others were in a position to offer
the congratulations. In order to place you in that position I
must let you know how extraordinarily well I played the pianola.
I brought to my interpretation of different Ops an _élan_, a
_verve_, a _je ne sais quoi_--and several other French words--which
were the astonishment of all who listened to me. But chiefly I
was famous for my playing of one piece: "The Charge of the Uhlans,"
by KARL BOHM. Others may have seen Venice by moonlight, or heard
the Vicar's daughter recite _Little Jim_, but the favoured few
who have been present when BOHM and I were collaborating are the
ones who have really lived. Indeed, even the coldest professional
critic would have spoken of it as "a noteworthy rendition."

"The Charge of the Uhlans." If you came to see me, you had to hear it.
As arranged for the pianola, it was marked to be played throughout at
a lightning pace and with the loudest pedal on. So one would play it
if one wished to annoy the man in the flat below; but a true musician
has, I take it, a higher aim. I disregarded the "FF.'s" and the other
sign-posts on the way, and gave it my own interpretation. As played by
me, "The Charge of the Uhlans" became a whole battle scene. Indeed, it
was necessary, before I began, that I should turn to my audience and
describe the scene to them--in the manner, but not in the words, of a
Queen's Hall programme:--

"Er--first of all you hear the cavalry galloping past, and then
there's a short hymn before action while they form up, and then comes
the charge, and then there's a slow bit while they--er--pick up the
wounded, and then they trot slowly back again. And if you listen
carefully to the last bit you'll actually hear the horses limping."

Something like that I would say; and it might happen that an
insufferable guest (who never got asked again) would object that the
hymn part was unusual in real warfare.

"They sang it in this piece anyhow," I would say stiffly, and turn my
back on him and begin.

But the war put a stop to music as to many other things. For three
months the pianola has not been played by either of us. There are two
reasons for this: first, that we simply haven't the time now; and
secondly, that we are getting all the music we want from the flat
below. The flat below is learning "Tipperary" on one finger. He gets
as far as the farewell to Leicester Square, and then he breaks down;
the parting is too much for him.

I was not, then, surprised at the beginning of this month to find
Celia looking darkly at the pianola.

"It's very ugly," she began.

"We can't help our looks," I said in my grandmother's voice.

"A bookcase would be much prettier there."

"But not so tuneful."

"A pianola isn't tuneful if you never play it."

"True," I said.

Celia then became very alluring, and suggested that I might find
somebody who would like to be lent a delightful pianola for a year or
so by somebody whose delightful wife had her eye on a delightful

"I might," I said.

"Somebody," said Celia, "who isn't supplied with music from below."

I found John. He was quite pleased about it, and promised to return
the pianola when the war was over.

So on Wednesday it went. I was not sorry, because in its silence it
was far from beautiful, and we wanted another bookcase badly. But on
Tuesday evening--its last hours with us--I had to confess to a certain
melancholy. It is sad to part with an old and well-tried friend,
particularly when that friend is almost entirely responsible for your
marriage. I looked at the pianola and then I said to Celia, "I must
play it once again."

"Please," said Celia.

"The old masterpiece, I suppose?" I said, as I got it out.

"Do you think you ought to--now? I don't think I want to hear a charge
of the Uhlans--beasts; I want a charge of our own men."

"Art," I said grandly, "knows no frontiers." I suppose this has been
said by several people several times already, but for the moment both
Celia and I thought it was rather clever.

So I placed the roll in the pianola, sat down and began to play....

Ah, the dear old tune....

Dash it all!

"What's happened?" said Celia, breaking a silence which had become

"I must have put it in wrong," I said.

I wound the roll off, put it in again, and tried a second time,
pedalling vigorously.

Dead silence....

Hush! A note ... another silence ... and then another note....

I pedalled through to the end. About five notes sounded.

"Celia," I said, "this is wonderful."

It really was wonderful. For the first time in its life my pianola
refused to play "The Charge of the Uhlans." It had played it a hundred
times while we were at peace with Germany, but when we were at

We had to have a farewell piece. I put in a waltz, and it played it
perfectly. Then we said good-bye to our pianola, feeling a reverence
for it which we had never felt before.

       *       *       *       *       *

You don't believe this? Yet you promised you would ... and I still
assure you that it is true. But I admit that the truth is sometimes
hard to believe, and the first six persons to whom I told the story
assured me frankly that I was a liar. If one is to be called a liar,
one may as well make an effort to deserve the name. I made an effort,
therefore, with the seventh person.

"I put in 'The Charge of the Uhlans,'" I said, "and it played 'God
Save the King.'"

Unfortunately he was a very patriotic man indeed, and he believed it.
So that is how the story is now going about. But you who read this
know the real truth of the matter.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

Things worth waiting for.

    "Other pictures are announced, among them 'Trilby,' with Sir
    H. Beerbohm Tree in the title-rôle."--_Blackheath Local

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: FOR THREE DAYS ---- LAY WOUNDED.]





[Illustration: He found the village damaged. The above sketch gives the
exact positions of ---- and ----. To the right of the ---- can be seen
the ruins of the ----.]


[Illustration: AND CAME FACE TO FACE WITH ---- WHO SAID ---- ----.]

       *       *       *       *       *

To the Memory of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts of Kandahar and Pretoria.


  He died, as soldiers die, amid the strife,
    Mindful of England in his latest prayer;
  God, of His love, would have so fair a life
          Crowned with a death as fair.

  He might not lead the battle as of old,
    But, as of old, among his own he went,
  Breathing a faith that never once grew cold,
          A courage still unspent.

  So was his end; and, in that hour, across
    The face of War a wind of silence blew,
  And bitterest foes paid tribute to the loss
          Of a great heart and true.

  But we who loved him, what have we to lay
    For sign of worship on his warrior-bier?
  What homage, could his lips but speak to-day,
          Would he have held most dear?

  Not grief, as for a life untimely reft;
    Not vain regret for counsel given in vain;
  Not pride of that high record he has left,
          Peerless and pure of stain;

  But service of our lives to keep her free,
    The land he served; a pledge above his grave
  To give her even such a gift as he,
          The soul of loyalty, gave.

  That oath we plight, as now the trumpets swell
    His requiem, and the men-at-arms stand mute,
  And through the mist the guns he loved so well
          Thunder a last salute!

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



_House of Commons, Monday, 16th November._--"Let us think imperially,"
said DON JOSÉ in a famous phrase. Just now we are thinking in
millions. Suppose it's somewhere about the same thing. Anyhow PREMIER
to-day announced with pardonable pride that we are spending a trifle
under a million a day in the war forced upon mankind by the Man
Forsworn. To meet necessities of case he asked for further Vote of
Credit for 225 millions and an addition of a million men to Regular


Here was a chance for a great speech. Never before had English
Minister submitted such stupendous propositions. Some of us remember
how, thirty-six years ago, DIZZY, by way of threat to Russia, then at
war with Turkey, created profound sensation in town and country by
asking for Vote of Credit for six millions. At close of Boer War
HICKS-BEACH, then Chancellor of Exchequer, launched a War Loan of 30
millions. 'Twas thought at the time that we were going it, taking a
long stride towards national Bankruptcy Court. Now it is 225 millions
in supplement of a hundred millions voted in August. Moreover, the two
together do not carry us further than end of financial year, 31st of
March. Then we shall begin again with another trifle of same
dimensions or probably increased.

How Mr. G., had he still been with us, would have revelled in
opportunity for delivering an oration planned to scale! How his
eloquence would have glowed over these fantastic figures! HERBERT
HENRY ASQUITH (had he been consulted at the font, he would certainly
have objected to useless waste of time involved in a second baptismal
name) spoke for less than quarter of an hour, submitting proposals in
baldest, most business-like fashion. He wanted the men and he wanted
the money too. Fewer words spoken the sooner he would get them. So,
avoiding tropes and flights of eloquence, he just stood at Table, a
sort of humanized ledger, briefly set forth items of his account,
totalled them up and sat down.

WALTER LONG, following, voiced general dislike for prohibition that
keeps War Correspondents out of fighting line in Flanders. Deprecated
risk of circulating information useful to the enemy, but insisted,
amid cheers from both sides, that there might be published letters
from the front free from such danger "that would bring comfort and
solace to the people and would do more to attract recruits than bands
and flag-parading throughout the country."

Speaking later in reply, Mr. Spenlow ASQUITH, while sympathising with
WALTER LONG'S desire, explained that state of things complained of is
entirely due to Monsieur Jorkins Poincaré.

"We are not free agents in this matter," he said. "We must regulate
our proceedings by the proceedings of our Allies."

_Business done._--Vote of Credit for 225 million and authority to
raise another million men for Army agreed to without dissent.

_Tuesday._--Lords and Commons united in paying tribute to the life,
lamenting the death, of Lord ROBERTS--"BOBS," beloved of the Army,
revered in India, mourned throughout the wide range of Empire. Even in
Germany, where hatred of all that is English has become a monomania,
exception is made in his favour. "There are moments," writes a
sportsman in the German Press, "when the warrior salutes the enemy
with his sword instead of striking with it. Such a moment came with
the death of Lord Roberts."

Speeches in both Houses worthy of the occasion. Brief, simple, genuine
in emotion, they were well attuned to the theme. One of the happiest
things said was uttered by BONAR LAW: "In his simplicity, in his
modesty, in his high-minded uprightness, and in his stern detestation
of everything mean and base, Lord ROBERTS was in real life all, and
more than all, that _Colonel Newcome_ was in fiction."

PREMIER proposed that on Monday House shall authorise erection of
monument at the public charge to the memory of the Great Soldier. When
motion formally put from Chair heads were bared in farewell salute of
the warrior taking his rest.

Not the least touching note of eloquence was supplied during
proceedings in House of Lords. It was the empty seat at the corner of
the Front Cross Bench where on rare occasions stood the lithe erect
figure, in stature not quite so high as NAPOLEON, modestly offering
words of counsel.

_Business done._--CHANCELLOR OF EXCHEQUER, presenting himself to
favourable consideration of crowded House in homely character of
coalheaver filling bunkers of a battleship, introduced second Budget
of the year. Upon consideration House comes to conclusion that one is
quite enough, thank you. Proposals in Supplementary Budget are what
_Dominic Sampson_ might, with more than customary appropriateness and
emphasis, describe as "Prodigious!" Faced by deficiency of something
over three-hundred-and-thirty-nine-and-a-half millions, CHANCELLOR
launches War Loan of two hundred and thirty millions and levies
additional fifteen-and-a-half millions in taxation.

_Items:_ Income Tax doubled; threepence a pound added to tea; a
halfpenny clapped on price of every modest half-pint of beer

_Wednesday._--Monotony of truce in respect of Party politics varied by
wholesome heartening game. It consists of hunting down the German
spies and chivying the HOME SECRETARY. Played in both Houses to-night.
In the Lords HALSBURY attempted to make Lord CHANCELLOR'S flesh creep
by disclosure of existence of "ingenious system of correspondence"
carried on between alien spies and their paymaster in Berlin. HALDANE
replied that the matter had been closely investigated; turned out
there was "nothing in it." CRAWFORD fared no better. Imperturbable
LORD CHANCELLOR assured House that the military and civil authorities
in Scotland were cognisant of rumours reported by noble Lord. Every
case that seemed to warrant investigation had been looked into. Was
found that many were based on hearsay. Impossible to find evidence to
establish charges made.


Nevertheless, LONDONDERRY, having dispassionately thought the matter
over, came to conclusion that conduct of HOME SECRETARY was

This opinion, phrased in differing form, shared on Opposition Benches
in Commons. PREMIER explained that business of dealing with aliens is
not concentrated in Home Office; is shared with the War Office and the
Admiralty. Of late, on suggestion of Committee of Imperial Defence,
there has been established at War Office an Intelligence Department in
correspondence with the Admiralty and assured of assistance of the
Home Office wherever necessary.

That all very well. Hon. Members and noble Lords in Opposition not to
be disturbed in their honest conviction that MCKENNA is at the bottom
of the bad business.

_Business done._--On suggestion of BONAR LAW and on motion of PREMIER
Select Committee appointed to consider scheme of pensions and grants
for men wounded in the war, and for the widows and orphans of those
who have lost their lives.

_Friday._--Like MARLBROOK, WEDGWOOD BENN _s'en va-t-en guerre_. Has
sallied out with a troop of Middlesex Hussars to "join our army in
Flanders," where, according to contemporary testimony, once upon a
time it "swore terribly." His Parliamentary services, supplemented by
the Chairmanship of Committee controlling disposition of National
Relief Fund, might seem sufficient to keep him at home. But valour,
like murder, will out. So, as old _John Willett_, landlord of the
Maypole Inn, Chigwell, used to say when asked of the whereabouts of
his son, "he has gone to the Salwanners, where the war is," carrying
with him the good wishes of all sections of House and an exceptionally
full knowledge of the intricacies of the Insurance Act.

Many gaps on Benches on both sides. SARK tells me there are
seven-score Members on active service at the Front. One of the first
to go was SEELY, at brief interval stepping from position of Head of
British Army to that of a unit in its ranks.

News of him came the other day from Private JAMES WHITE, of the
Inniskilling Fusiliers, now in hospital at Belfast. Wounded by
fragments of a shell, WHITE lay for an hour where he fell. Then he
felt a friendly hand on his shoulder and a cheery voice asked how he
was getting on.

It was Colonel SEELY bending over him, regardless of heavy shell fire
directed on the spot by German batteries. He gave the wounded Fusilier
a cigarette, helped him to get up and assisted him to his motor-car,
in which he had all day been engaged in conveying wounded to French
hospital in the rear.

"He is the bravest man I ever met," said Private JAMES WHITE. "He was
as cool as the morning under fire, cheering us all up with smiles and
little jokes."

_Business done:_--Report of Supply.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE AIRCRAFT CRAZE.


       *       *       *       *       *


    [Recruiting in country districts is languishing because the
    folk hear nothing of their regiments, and local attachment is
    very strong. Unfortunately this ballad had to be founded on
    material supplied by the C----r. However, the permitted
    references to Germans ought at any rate to convince the public
    that the ballad has no connection whatever with the late Boer

  This is the tale of the Blankshires bold, the famous charge they
  This is the tale of the deeds they did whose glory never will fade;
  They only numbered _X_ hundred men and the German were thousands
  Yet on the battlefield of _Z_ they made the foeman fly.

  Calm and cool on the field they stood (near a town--I can't say
  Some of them hugged their rifles close but none of them turned a
  The Colonel (I must suppress his name) looked out on the stubborn
  And said, "My lads, we must drive them hence, else _A_ + _B_ will

  Then each man looked in his neighbour's face and laughed with sudden
  (The Briton fights his very best for algebra's formulæ);
  The hostile guns barked loud and sharp (their number I cannot
  And no one deemed the Blankety Blanks could face that fire and

  For Colonel O. was struck by a shell and wounded was Major Q.,
  And half a hostile army corps came suddenly into view;
  And hidden guns spat death at them and airmen hovered to kill,
  But the Blankety Blanks just opened their ranks and charged an
          (unnamed) hill.

  Half of their number fell on the hill ere they reached the German
  Général J---- cried out: "Très bon"; "Not half," said Marshal
  An angry Emperor shook his fist and at his legions raved,
  And then (the C----r lets me say) the cheery Blankshires shaved.

  Rally, O rally, ye Blankshire men, rally to fill the gaps;
  Seek victories (all unknown to us), bear (well-suppressed) mishaps;
  And when you've made a gallant charge and pierced the angry foe
  Your names won't get to your people at home, but BUCKMASTER will

       *       *       *       *       *



The truth is that the Belgians in Crashie Howe are enjoying a _succès
fou_. There is the enterprising Marie, who thinks nothing of going off
on her own, on the strength of an English vocabulary only a fortnight
old, overwhelming the stationmaster and boarding an ambulance train
full of wounded Belgians at the local station to ask for news of her
brothers. (We were all delighted when an adventurous letter
miraculously arrived from the Pas de Calais on Saturday and reported
that both brothers were well and unwounded.) There is Victor, who,
although only thirteen, is already a _pupille d'armée_ and has a
uniform quite as good as any fighting man. I can tell you he has put
our Boy Scouts in the shade. But Victor is afraid the war will be over
before he is old enough to get at it.

Then, again, there is the small Juliette, who is dark, with a
comfortable little face constructed almost entirely of dimples, and,
at the age of eight, has been discovered knitting stockings at a
prodigious pace while she looked the other way. I am afraid Juliette
is being held up as an example to other children of the neighbourhood,
but I think her great popularity may well survive even that. And there
is Louis, who is a marvel at making bird-cages, and Rosalie, whose
pride is in the shine of her pots and pans. They are all doing well.

Rosalie, it is true, has had a fearful bout of toothache, so bad that
she had to retire to bed for a day. When Dr. Anderson, whose French is
very good, had successfully diagnosed the trouble and told her that
the only cure was to have the tooth out, she plaintively replied that
she had thought of that herself, but, alas, it was impossible, for "it
was too firmly implanted." For my part I sympathised with Rosalie--I
have often felt like that.

The grandmother rather likes to sit apart, beaming, far from the
general throng, and it was for that reason that I selected her at the
very outset to practise on in private. I tried her more than once in
my sadly broken French; I even went further and tried her in
rapidly-improvised Flemish. Whenever I felt I was at my best I used to
go and have a turn at her, and, although she smiled at me like
anything and was awfully pleased, I never elicited the slightest
response. Now I know that she is almost stone deaf and hasn't heard a
word I have said. As I came sadly away after this discovery there
occurred to my mind the story of him who undertook to train a savage
in the arts of civilization, only to learn, after some years of
disappointing, unrequited toil, that his victim was not only a savage
but also a lunatic. I don't mean that to be disrespectful to
_Grandmère_--it is only a parallel instance of good work thrown away.

We are learning a good deal that is new about the art of knitting. One
thing is that the Flemish knitter cannot get on at all comfortably
unless the needles are long enough to tuck under her arms. I may
safely say that I never dreamt of that. At first they fumbled about
unhappily with our miserable little needles, but the ship's
carpenter--who makes the bird-cages--has found quite an ingenious way
out. He has mounted all the needles at the end of a sort of stilt or
leg of cane (like a bayonet), and since this innovation they are
working at a speed which, even in these days of universal knitting,
would be pretty hard to beat.

The children are really getting on famously at school. A very touching
little romance was enacted there one day. Eugène and Pierre, belonging
to different families, arrived in our midst on different days and did
not chance to meet each other at first. At school they happened to be
put, away from their compatriots, in the same room. Eugène is eight
and Pierre seven. It was, you may well guess, pretty lonely work for a
small Belgian in a roomful of Scotch boys, but both bore up bravely.
The subject, as I understand, was simple addition (which knows no
frontiers and looks the same in any language), and there is no
whispering or secret conversation in our school, I can tell you. There
they sat side by side for two hours, each contemplating the other as
an alien, each smothering pent-up feelings of home-sickness. And then
suddenly, at a single Flemish word from the schoolmaster, the moment
of revelation came; it dawned on both of them at once that they were
not alone, and, rising to their feet, they embraced with tears of

"Broeder!" cried Eugène.

"Broeder!" echoed Pierre.

That was nearly a week ago. By now Pierre is beginning to treat Eugène
in a slightly off-hand manner. He has hardly time for him. He has so
many Scotch friends.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "During the night a terrific gale raged in Manchester and
    surrounding districts, hail and sleet being accompanied by a
    torrential rainfall varied by Pendleton, Eccles, Seedley and
    other lightning."--_People_.

"Eccles lightning is the best."--(_Advt._).

       *       *       *       *       *


In the House of Commons on November 18, Mr. KING asked the UNDER-SECRETARY
FOR WAR whether he could state, without injury to the military interests
of the Allies, whether any Russian troops had been conveyed through Great
Britain to the Western area of the European War.

Mr. TENNANT'S reply:--"I am uncertain whether it will gratify or
displease my hon. friend to know that no Russian troops have been
conveyed through Great Britain to the Western area of the European

The firm and faithful believers in this beautiful tale are not to be
put off so easily as that, and there are so many thousands of faces to
be saved, and such numbers of ear- (if not eye-) witnesses of the
undying exploit, that we really must see if there is not after all
some loophole in the official pronouncement. Let us pause for further
scrutiny and meditations.

Why, of course, here it is. The UNDER-SECRETARY merely states his
imperfect knowledge of the bias of Mr. KING. He does not know whether
his questioner is one of the ardent souls who are ready to pass along
and adorn the latest legend from the Clubs, or a cold-blooded sceptic
fit only to be a Censor.

No, we are not to be done out of our Russians by any mere UNDER-SECRETARY
FOR WAR; certainly not one who is capable of such prevarication. And
anyhow, why should the Germans do all the story-telling?

       *       *       *       *       *


    "A PROTEST.--Is there any reason why the War should be made an
    excuse for the abandonment of the niceties of life? Dining at
    a West-End restaurant nowadays one might well imagine oneself
    in America, from the variety and incongruity of the dress of
    the male patrons."--_Advt. in "The Times."_

We fear that the protest is only too well justified. Indeed, much more
might be revealed were it not for the heavy hand of the C----r. Our
special representative reports:--

To the O.C., _Punch_ Battalion, Bouverie Brigade, Fleet Division,
E.C., of London Reserves.

  _A City on the river T----s.
  Nov. the --teenth._

Carrying out your order No. 69A, I made a night reconnaissance in
force. I have the honour to report that at dinner at a certain hotel
two hundred yards east by north of railway base C----g X, I counted
only five boiled shirts. Have reason to suspect that they were
subsidised by the management, and were worn by Stock Exchange members
thrown out of employment by the War and endeavouring to supplement
their private incomes.

The rest of the male costumes were mainly khaki. One man entered
dining-room with Buffalo Bill hat decorated with maple-leaf and A.M.S.
(Athabasca Mounted Scalpers), which he deposited on chair next to him.
The only nut present endeavoured to remove this object. The A.M.S. man
touched his hip-pocket significantly, and said: "The drinks are on

At the table next to him was a group of South American magnates in
tweed suits decorated with large buttons reading: "_No me habla de la
guerra!_" If the man from Athabasca should start conversation with
them about the war, it seemed probable that gun-fighting would ensue.
I therefore enfiladed the position and took cover. However, the
sergeant-waiter tactfully shifted a palm into screening position
between the two tables, and thus averted the spreading of the War to
Latin America.

Similar state of affairs existed in stalls of certain theatre within
outpost distance of P----y C----s. Ladies were openly knitting socks
and intimate woollen garments between the Acts. Management seemed
powerless to restore the conventions of peace-time.

At the C----n Tavern the bar-tender had pasted notice on mirror behind
him: "This Saloon closes at ten sharp. Gents are kindly requested not
to start nothing here." The announcement seemed to have been
effective, for very few bullet-marks were to be noted.

By midnight, L----r S----e and R----t S----t were comparatively clear
of dagos. This was due to efforts of street-cleaning corps (3rd County
of L----n Light Hose).

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Recruiting Officer (to brawny pitman who has just passed
his medical examination)_. "WHAT REGIMENT DO YOU WISH TO JOIN?"

_Pitman_. "I DON'T CARE."



       *       *       *       *       *



A correspondent in whose accuracy we place the highest trust informs
us of very remarkable results which have been achieved by the adoption
of a new means of alleviating pain and suffering invented by a lady in
London. This lady being suddenly taken with lumbago was in great agony
until she remembered our soldiers at the front, and thought how much
worse was a wound, and instantly, our correspondent is informed, some
of her own distress left her. The case has been investigated by
several eminent inquirers and they are satisfied with her story.

Meanwhile evidence of a similar nature comes from other parts of the
country, in every case recording a sense of personal well-being,
though only comparative, and an increased disinclination to complain,
upon the realisation of what it must be to be a soldier just
now--whether up to his knees in a flooded trench, or sleeping on the
wet ground, or lying in agony waiting to be picked up and taken to a
hospital, or being taken to a hospital over jolting roads, or going
without meals, or having to boil tea over a candle-flame, or awakening
from the operation and finding himself maimed for life.

Nor is the lenitive of this little effort of imagination confined to
bodily ills; for a well-authenticated case reaches us of a notoriously
mean man of wealth who was not heard to utter a single word of
grumbling over the new war taxes after realising what the soldier's
burden was too. Hence _Mr. Punch_ is only too happy to give publicity
to the discovery.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Spy Danger.

Extract from a letter written by an East Coast resident:--

    "The authorities are now looking for a grey motor-car, driven
    by a woman, who is thought to have a wireless apparatus

R.A.M.C. forward, please.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Sentimentalist (who has received socks from

       *       *       *       *       *


I had been drilling all the morning, and had spent the whole of the
afternoon squirming face downwards on the moist turf of Richmond Park
in an endeavour to advance, as commanded, in extended order. In the
morning--that is during compressed drill--I had been twice wounded.
Owing to lack of education a famous novelist had confused his left
hand with his right, with the result that when we were right-turned he
had dealt me a terrific blow on the ear with the barrel of his rifle.
It soon ceased to be an ear, and became of the size and consistency of
a muffin. My second casualty was brought about by a well-known
orchestral conductor, who however confidently he could pilot his
players through the most complicated Symphonic Poem was invariably out
of his depth whenever, the ranks being turned about, he was required
to form fours. His manoeuvre that morning had been a wild and
undisciplined fugue, culminating in an unconventional _stretto_ upon
an exceedingly dominant pedal-point, that is to say, his heel on my

Consequently when I arrived home in the evening, wet, soiled, hungry
and maimed, I felt that I needed a little artificial invigoration. A
bright idea occurred to me as I was waiting for the bath to fill.

"Joan," I cried, "don't you think I might open Johann to-night?" Joan,
who had been trying to decide whether it would not be more advisable
to have my sweater dyed a permanent shot-green and brown, demurred.

"I thought your anti-German conscience would not permit you to open
Johann until after the war's over," she called back.

"My anti-German conscience has been severely wounded," I replied. "It
hasn't sufficient strength to hold out much longer. In a few seconds
it will surrender unconditionally."

"Be brave," urged Joan. "Just think how proud you will be in days to
come when you look back to this evening and realise how, in the face
of the most terrible temptations, you triumphed!"

"That's all very fine," I remarked, "but to-night I feel I need Johann
medicinally. If I don't have him, there may be _no_ days to come. Do
be reasonable. Do you suppose that if the KAISER, for instance, were
bitten by a mad dog--a real one, I mean--that his anti-Ally conscience
would forbid his adoption of the Pasteur treatment?"

"Then if you really feel the need of a special refresher," said Joan,
"at least let me send Phoebe out for a bottle of some friendly or
neutral substitute."

A vivid recollection of Phoebe's being despatched once before in an
emergency for mustard and returning with custard flashed through my

"She's much too unreliable," I cried. "She'd get bay rum, or something
equally futile. It must be Johann or nothing."

"Then," said Joan, "let us say nothing"--an ambiguity of which I
determined to take full advantage.

Johann, I must now explain, was the sole survivor of six small bottles
of the genuine Rhine brand which Joan's uncle (who is in the trade)
had given her last Christmas. Number Five had been opened on the
evening of August Bank Holiday after a strenuous day on the tennis
courts. Later, when hostilities had started all round I had taken a
terrible oath that nothing of German or Austrian origin should be used
in our household until Peace broke out. This necessitated the
sacrifice of at least four inches of breakfast sausage and the better
part of a box of Carlsbad plums. Johann, being intact, was merely
interned. But at that time I had not anticipated that some three
months later I should be exhausted by long and tiring drills and

However, on this night my body cried aloud for Johann's refreshing
contents. I did not care two pins that he had been manufactured on the
banks of the Rhine, or that he was the product of alien and hostile
hands. After all, it wasn't Johann's fault; and besides, surely he had
been long enough in England to become naturalised. At any rate it was
both prejudiced and illogical to assume that Johann was my enemy
solely because he happened to be born in Germany.

The bath took some time to fill. The taps, I think, wanted sweeping.
But during the time that elapsed I made up my mind. Johann should be
opened. I slipped on my dressing-gown and went in search of him. When
I had secured him I met Joan on the landing; she was just going down
to dinner.

"Haven't you had your bath yet?" she asked. "Hurry up and--oh! you've
got Johann!"

"Yes," I said. "I have decided that there is no evidence to prove that
he is not a naturalised British bottle. I am going to open him."

"You renegade!" Joan cried. "If you dare so much as to loosen his cork
I'll--I'll give you an Iron Cross."

"I'm desperate," I answered. "I would still open Johann even if you
threatened me with the Iron Cross of both the first and the second

"Coward!" said Joan. "Still, if you're really determined to open him,
remember half belongs to me."

A moment later I had poured half the contents of Johann--his full name
is Johann Maria Farina--into my bath.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _She_. "THIS BE A TERRIBLE WAR, DOCTOR."

_He_. "IT IS, INDEED."




       *       *       *       *       *


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

In _The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman_ (MACMILLAN) that impenitent
pamphleteer, H. G. WELLS, returns yet again to the intriguing subject
of marriage, and in a vein something nearer orthodoxy. Not, certainly,
that worthy stubborn orthodoxy of accepted unquestioned doctrine, or
that sleeker variety of middle-aged souls that were once young, now
too tired or bored to go on asking questions, but an orthodoxy rather
that is honest enough to revise on the evidence earlier judgments as
too cocksure and hasty. _Sir Isaac Harman_ was a tea-shop magnate, and
a very pestilent and primitive cad who caught his wife young and poor
and battered her into reluctant surrender by a stormy wooing, whose
very sincerity and abandonment were but a frantic expression of his
dominating egotism and acquisitiveness. Wooing and winning, thinks
this simple ignoble knight, is a thing done once and for all. Remains
merely obedience in very plain and absolute terms on the part of lady
to lord, obedience which, in the last resort, can be exacted by
withholding supplies--not so uncommon a form of blackmail as it suits
the dominant sex to imagine. _Lady Harman's_ emancipation does not
take the conventionally unconventional form, for some deeper reason, I
think, than that her sententious friend and would-be lover, _George
Brumley_, could not altogether escape her gentle contempt; indeed, she
recognises _Sir Isaac's_ claims upon her for duty and gratitude in a
way which modern high-spirited priestesses of progress would scarcely
approve. She fights merely for a limit to the proprietorship, for the
right to a separate individuality, the right to be useful in a wider
sphere (a phrase that stands for so much that is good and less good).
Mr. WELLS has realised this gracious, shy and beautiful personality
with a fine skill. It is no mean feat. He might so easily have made a
dear mild ghost. And oh! if ladies of influence who regiment their
inferiors in orderly philanthropic schemes had some of the wisdom and
tolerance of _Lady Harman_ in her dealings with the tea-shop girls.
You see one instinctively pays Mr. WELLS the serious compliment of
assuming that he has something material to say about the things which

       *       *       *       *       *

As a demonstration of the irony of history, I can hardly imagine a
better subject for romance at the present moment than the fortunes of
WILLIAM OF ORANGE, and if Miss MARJORIE BOWEN'S _Prince and Heretic_
(METHUEN) shows some traces of having been rather hastily finished it
is easy to pardon this defect. The alchemist's assistant, part seer
and part quack, whom she introduces into the earlier part of the story
foretells the violent deaths of the young princes of the house of
Nassau and the ravaging and looting of the Netherlands by ALVA,
Defender of the Catholic Faith and servant of the House of Hapsburg;
but he cannot conjure up out of his crystal the sight of a Catholic
Belgium suffering these things, three hundred and fifty years later,
at the hands of a Lutheran King allied with a Hapsburg and fighting
for the sake of no cause but his own vanity. Most of the action takes
place in Brussels--a Brussels placarded with squibs against CARDINAL
GRANVILLE; and the final retreat of WILLIAM, ruined in everything
except his spirit, to join the army of the PRINCE DE CONDÉ, has a
pathetic significance to-day that not many historical romances can
claim. Miss MARJORIE BOWEN has a remarkable gift for the presentation
of a number of lifelike portraits against a vivid and gorgeous
background, and the successive pictures of the Dutch and Flemish
Schools which she creates in _Prince and Heretic_, make it, if not
quite so successful as _I Will Maintain_, at least a book which no
lover of the Lowlands can afford to miss.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Our Sentimental Garden_ (HEINEMANN) is one of the very pleasantest
garden-books I have encountered. One reason for this is that it is
about such a lot of other things besides gardens. Volumes that are
exclusively devoted to what I might call horticultural hortation are
apt to become oppressive. But AGNES and EGERTON CASTLE are persons far
too sympathetic not to avoid this danger. Instead of lecturing, they
talk with an engaging discursiveness that lures you from page to page,
as it might from bed to border, were you an actual visitor in the
exquisite Surrey garden that is their ostensible subject. One thing
with them leads to another. "Lilacs," they say. "Ah, lilacs--" and
immediately one of them is started upon a whole series of rambling, DU
MAURIERISH recollections of school-days in Second Empire Paris.
Kittens and Pekinese puppies, village types, politics (just a little)
and Roman villas--all these are the themes of their happy talk. "The
Garden Garrulous" they might have called the book; and I for one have
found it infinitely charming. Not that shrewd hints upon the choice of
roses, the marshalling of bulbs, and other such aspects of the theme
proper are wanting. Moreover, what they tell of garden triumphs is at
once realised for you by a prodigality of drawings scattered among the
text, some glowing in a full page of colour, others in line alone,
from the pencil and brush of Mr. CHARLES ROBINSON. Altogether a very
gentle book, of which one may echo the hope expressed by the writers
in their graceful preface that "some unquiet heart, labouring under
the strain of long-drawn suspense," may find in it "a passing
relaxation, a forgotten smile."

       *       *       *       *       *

Ernest students of military history should be grateful to Mr. EDWARD
FOORD for the patient labour and perseverance he has spent on the
compilation of _Napoleon's Russian Campaign of 1812_ (HUTCHINSON). The
book appears at a most opportune date, for most of us nowadays are
military critics, and here we can, if we like, compare the Russian
methods of 1812 with those of 1914. On the other hand, in these
strenuous days we may not have the time, even if we have the
inclination, to devote ourselves to campaigns a hundred years old. For
my own part, while frankly admitting the value of this book, I confess
that I had sometimes to skip in an endeavour to avoid being bewildered
by names and numbers. Using this desultory mode of progression I was
still abundantly informed and profoundly interested. Mr. FOORD is out
to give facts, however tedious, and I agree with him that it is the
business of an historian to be accurate before he is entertaining. Yet
I could have wished that he had been less parsimonious with his human
appeals, for whenever he unbends he can be at once interesting and
informing. The struggles of BARCLAY DE TOLLY against jealousy and
intrigues are vividly told, and nothing could be more graceful than
the tribute Mr. FOORD pays to the memory of that great soldier,
General EBLÉ. It is impossible to read the history of this disastrous
campaign without being impressed by the terrible penalties of
overweening arrogance and ambition, and without realising the flaming
spirit of patriotism that has glorified, and will always glorify, the
Russians in time of national peril.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _A Morning In My Library_ ("TIMES" BOOK CLUB), Mr. STEPHEN
COLERIDGE has put together an anthology of English prose which has
some high advantages to recommend it to popular favour even in what
the compiler calls "these tumultuous times." It is a small book and
fits easily into a coat pocket; it is well and clearly printed, and,
best of all, the selection is admirably made and does credit to Mr.
COLERIDGE'S taste. Every extract bears the stamp of inspiration, a
quality difficult to define but unmistakable. RALEIGH'S invocation to
Death; JOHNSON'S preface to the Dictionary; NAPIER'S description of
the battle of Albuera; RICHARD SHIEL'S appeal on behalf of his
fellow-countrymen, and ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S immortal speech at
Gettysburg--all these are to be found, and many more; and all go to
show the might, majesty, dominion and power of that great language
which it is our privilege to speak. I think we shall value that
privilege a little more highly and shall endeavour to place a more
careful restraint on our tongues and our pens after we have dipped
through Mr. COLERIDGE'S little book. He is a judicious guide, and such
explanations as he adds are always short and never tiresome. Yet it
must in fairness be added that KING CHARLES'S head, in the shape of an
anti-vivisection footnote, has once, but only once, crept into the
"memorial." However the fault is such a little one that those who love
noble English prose will easily forgive it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Old Lady (to wounded Officer)_. "OH, SIR, DO YOU 'APPEN

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber Notes

Typographical inconsistencies have been changed and are listed below.

Archaic and variable spelling is preserved.

Editors' punctuation style is preserved.

Passages in italics indicated by _underscores_.

Passages in bold indicated by =equal signs=.

Transcriber Changes

The following changes were made to the original text:

  Page 429: Added comma after =University= (In his interesting
            sketch, in _The Times_, of the PRINCE OF WALES'
            career at the =University,= the PRESIDENT of Magdalen
            mentions that His Royal Highness "shot at various
            country houses round Oxford.")

  Page 429: Removed repeated 'of' (the singing of the soldiers
            of 'Die Wacht am goose step, while the good lieges
            =of= Brus-Rhein.')

  Page 444: Was 'reconnaisance' (Carrying out your order
            No. 69A, I made a night =reconnaissance= in force.)

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