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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 19th, 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, August 19th, 1914" ***

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  PUNCH,

  OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 147.

  AUGUST 19th 1914.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A QUICK CHANGE OF FRONT.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NATURE OF A MORATORIUM.

"It's a big ship" (I could overhear Ethel's voice through the open
nursery window). "I know perfectly well it is. It's one of the
Cunarders."

"Well, you're quite wrong then," (this from Jack). "It was passed
through Parliament. You can't pass a ship through Parliament."

"It's the sister ship to the _Lusitania_--so there!"

Joan's thoughtful voice intervened.

"I can tell you what it is," she said. "It's a place for burying
people--a sort of big tomb where they put dead kings. There's one at
Windsor."

Curiously enough I was myself at the moment rather puzzled as to what it
was and how it worked.

"Do you know, William," I said to my host, "that you are owing me ten
pounds and I've got to get home to-day, and I've no money?"

"Oh, but I shan't pay it now," he replied shamelessly.

"Why not?"

"I'm going to put a Moratorium on you. I don't know, of course, if
that's quite the correct phrase. The thing is new to me. But at least I
can see how it works. You had better try James. He owes you five, and he
never reads the papers, so he may not have heard of it."

I went at once into the library, where I found James making up a parcel
of three half-sovereigns to send to his bank. No one is going to accuse
James of hoarding gold.

"About that fiver," I began.

"Ah, yes. I was just coming out to talk to you about that before you
went," said he. "Now that I'm sending all this stuff to the bank I'm
just afraid I may be a bit short. I'll tell you what I think we ought to
do, you and I, I think we ought to enter into a temporary Moratorium.
All the best people are doing it. Of course I don't know if that's the
right phrase. But I begin to see how it works."

"It doesn't apply to sums under five pounds," said I severely.

"That's true. I admit it's a pretty narrow squeak. I just managed to get
on board, so to speak. Still, as the debt is five pounds----"

"I'll take £4 19_s_. 11_d_.," said I, and held out my hand.

"That's not playing the game," said James. "Can't you see you're going
to encourage all sorts of panic if you go about reducing debts in that
sort of way? What is to become of British credit if a man in your
position shows himself willing to accept sweeping reductions for the
sake of getting hold of cash? I'm just a little ashamed of you."

"Well, I've got to get home to-day. The ticket costs over five pounds,
and I've only got sixteen shillings."

"Nothing simpler, my dear fellow," said James cheerfully. "You ask the
booking-clerk for a ticket--pick it up--cover him with a Moratorium (if
that's the proper phrase) and hop into the train. The sixteen bob will
come in for tips."

I went back to William and sat down. "The upshot of it is, William," I
said, "that I can't go. You had better consider pretty carefully what
you're doing. I don't think the Moratorium was intended to work in this
sort of way. I've got to report myself at the War Office, and I can't
go. You may think you're acting as a good citizen should. You may not be
hoarding gold or hoarding food, but you are hoarding _me_."

"It doesn't apply to National Insurance payments," said William
brightly, "if that's any help to you."

"It only goes on till the 4th of September," I reminded him, "and the
bank rate was recently as high as ten per cent. and may easily go up
again. You've got to pay interest on it, you know."

That was where I had him. "How will you take it?" he asked, thrusting a
hand into his pocket.

"In new pound notes," said I.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIES IRAE.

_To the GERMAN KAISER._

  Amazing Monarch! who at various times,
    Posing as Europe's self-appointed saviour,
  Afforded copy for our ribald rhymes
          By your behaviour;

  We nursed no malice; nay, we thanked you much
    Because your head-piece, swollen like a tumour,
  Lent to a dullish world the needed touch
          Of saving humour.

  What with your wardrobes stuffed with warrior gear,
    Your gander-step parades, your prancing Prussians,
  Your menaces that shocked the deafened sphere
          With rude concussions;

  Your fist that turned the pinkest rivals pale
    Alike with sceptre, chisel, pen or palette,
  And could at any moment, gloved in mail,
          Smite like a mallet;

  Master of all the Arts, and, what was more,
    Lord of the limelight blaze that let us know it--
  You seemed a gift designed on purpose for
          The flippant poet.

  Time passed and put to these old jests an end;
    Into our open hearts you found admission,
  Ate of our bread and pledged us like a friend
          Above suspicion.

  You shared our griefs with seeming-gentle eyes;
    You moved among us cousinly entreated,
  Still hiding, under that fair outward guise,
          A heart that cheated.

  And now the mask is down, and forth you stand
    Known for a King whose word is no great matter,
  A traitor proved, for every honest hand
          To strike and shatter.

  This was the "Day" foretold by yours and you
    In whispers here, and there with beery clamours--
  You and your rat-hole spies and blustering crew
          Of loud Potsdamers.

  And lo, there dawns another, swift and stern,
    When on the wheels of wrath, by Justice' token,
  Breaker of God's own Peace, you shall in turn
          Yourself be broken.

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

A DETERMINED ISLAND.

II.

I continue this record of our daily lives at Totland Bay on August 12th.
Before it appears in _Mr. Punch's_ columns great and decisive events may
have happened, but at present, except for such slight distractions as I
shall relate, we are still calm and peaceful. When we think or speak of
Belgium our faces glow, and we are all resolved, should the need arise,
to do as Belgium has done, and to do it in the same resolute and
unconquerable spirit. In the meantime we rush for the newspapers with a
constantly increasing eagerness. At about 11 A.M. the whole of Totland
Bay is filled with people reading their papers in the open air.
Everybody bumps into everybody else, but nobody minds. A gentleman the
other day set out in a canoe and read the morning's news to a party of
swimmers, who appeared to be much invigorated by what they heard.

On Sunday night, just as we had finished dinner, we suddenly heard the
report of a great gun from the fort at the Needles. The explosion was
followed by three plaintive answering notes from a fog-horn. "They're
firing at a ship," said someone, and out we all rushed to the nearest
vantage-point, and even as we ran another gun went off and again the
fog-horn answered with its bleat. The searchlights were striking great
shafts of light along the Solent, and far away their beams outlined the
shape of a big ship. She was still advancing on her course, when--Bang!
another violent explosion shattered the night. This time it came from
the fort just over the pier of Totland Bay. The echoes reverberated and
rumbled, and the shot tore past close to the ship. Now she took the
warning. There were no more appeals from the fog-horn. Slowly she turned
and disappeared into the darkness. Possibly she had been at sea for a
long time and knew nothing of the war. How she must have marvelled at
this strange and dreadful welcome from the Isle of Wight. We went to our
beds that night with a feeling of perfect security.

On land, too, we have had our excitements. Yesterday afternoon, when the
heather-clad slopes of Headon Hill were crowded with picnickers, there
was a sudden alarm of spies. Some men, reported to have been conversing
in German, were said to have been peering into cracks in the ground and
otherwise behaving in a most suspicious manner. The alarm was given, and
almost instantly, springing as it were from the very bowels of the
earth, came some half-dozen soldiers running with rifles and fixed
bayonets. Amid the shouts of the children they spread about the heather
in their hunt, but nothing came of it, for the "spies," though they were
caught, turned out to be some Italians resident in Totland Bay and
fervently British in their sympathies.

I mentioned last week that we had a children's maid, a German, in our
household. Since then, in obedience to the Act, she has been registered
as an "alien enemy." I took her by train to Newport for that purpose. On
arriving at the station I hailed a fly. "Where to, Sir?" said the
driver. "To the police-station," I answered, and the man broke out into
a grin. "It isn't a serious offence," I added, but I doubt if he
believed me. At the police-station, however, they were quite prepared
for us, and in a very few minutes Maria Hasewitz--that is her eminently
German name--had had all the particulars of her birth-place, her age,
her height, and her personal appearance entered on a blue form by a
jocose and affable sergeant. "Brown eyes, I _think_," said the sergeant;
"height, five feet four inches; no beard _or_ moustache, ha-ha. Now sign
here and make a mark with your left thumb in this space. That'll pin you
down; no escape after that, ha-ha." He produced a board covered with
some black sticky substance, dabbed her thumb in it, dabbed it hard on
the paper, and, lo, Maria Hasewitz had been registered and had
undertaken not to move five miles from Totland Bay without a special
permit.

At present this particular alien enemy is engaged, together with all the
other available female members of the household, in making pyjamas for
our soldiers. Wonderful deeds are being done all round me with scissors
and needle and thread. A sewing-machine has been requisitioned.
Button-holes are being manufactured with immense expedition. A good deal
of "basting" is being got through. In my illimitable ignorance I had
hitherto imagined that basting was something that you did to a joint of
meat with a big ladle and some gravy. If you did it sufficiently the
joint came out succulent, if not it became dry and you abused the
butcher. However, we live and learn. Part, at any rate, of three suits
of pyjamas that are to go to the Red Cross to-day has been severely and
completely basted without either gravy or a ladle.

    R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: WELL MET!

GREAT BRITAIN JOINS HER ALLIES IN THE FIELD.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

Even war has its humours. "In the midst of perfect peace the enemy
surprises us," is a sentence from a proclamation not by the King of the
BELGIANS but by the GERMAN KAISER.

       ***

WILHELM II. is said to be extremely annoyed in his capacity as a British
Admiral that he is not being kept fully informed as to the movements of
our Fleet.

       ***

The danger, of course, of a fondness for a place in the sun is that one
may get burnt.

       ***

The coming generation would certainly seem to be all right. Even
children are taking part in the fray. The Boy Scouts are helping
manfully here, and at Liége the Germans, we are told, used nippers for
cutting wire entanglements.

       ***

A vivid idea of the horrors of the return journey from the Continent to
England after the declaration of war may be gained from the fact that a
lady, in recounting her experiences in a contemporary, states that she
was thankful to get back to Battersea.

       ***

General VILLA, it is stated, has now virtually proclaimed his
independence of General CARRANZA, and hostilities are said to be
imminent. We caution these gentlemen, however, that we are not prepared
at this juncture to take a great deal of interest in their little war,
and, if they take our advice, they will postpone it.

       ***

At the present moment, fortunately, one does not hear much of the sex
war, but sex-pride compels us to draw attention to an account in _The
Liverpool Echo_ of a recent agricultural show, from which we learn that
"in a class for cows, in which there was a score of entries, Mr. S.
Sanday won with pedigree dairy bulls."

       ***

The news that a large number of yachts had been placed at the disposal
of the Admiralty was, no doubt, responsible for a statement in _The
Birkenhead News_ of the 8th inst., to the effect that the Hoylake Town
Band, consisting of Bavarians, in a moment of patriotic fervour during
the crisis struck up "_Der Yacht am Rhein_."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _GERMAN KAISER._ "Donnerwetter! No wonder I've missed my
appointment. The silly idiots have given me an 1870 time-table."

       *       *       *       *       *

Overheard in the heather of a grouse moor:--"What ho! The Moratorium."

       ***

In feline circles it is being pointed out with some pride that not only
are there Dogs of Wars but that Active Service Kits are being advertised
very freely.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: AT THE OFFICIAL PRESS BUREAU.

_MR. F. E. SMITH_ (_against his gallant instincts_). "Permit me, Madam."

       *       *       *       *       *

"We, as a party," says Mr. KEIR HARDIE in _The Labour Leader_, "surely
have a right to make a special protest against this altogether useless
and unnecessary conflict." The KAISER'S address, KEIR, is Potsdam,
Berlin (Germany).

       ***

We rejoice to hear that the thousand fresh herrings which a certain
cosmopolitan financier purchased at the outbreak of the war to store up
have one and all gone bad.

       ***

Paris now has a "Rue de Liége." And, in order to obviate any feeling of
jealousy, a certain virulent microbe which has just been discovered by a
Belgian scientist is, we hear, to be called the "Wilhelm Germ."

       ***

We trust that the Dutch are taking every precaution to protect the
Palace of Peace at the Hague.

       ***

Brick-box, the Irish Guards' pet terrier, has been sent for the present
to a dogs' home. In the event of their going abroad the Irish Guards
hope to bring back with them a certain other dog who seems to have gone
mad.

       ***

The British Isles have been defeated at Lawn Tennis, but we really
shan't mind so long as we win the war.

       ***

"On shop after shop in Paris," says _The Evening News_, "is the notice,
'Maison fermée à cante du de départ du patron et les employés sous les
drapeaux Français.'" Sorry, _Evening News_, but we cannot believe your
statement in its entirety. We are afraid you did not get it confirmed by
the Official Press Bureau.

       ***

According to the St. Petersburg _Gazette_ the Germans have arrested the
Grand Duke CONSTANTINE CONSTANTINOVITCH at Badwildungen. The Russian
Government admits that the GRAND DUKE has published several volumes of
verse.

       ***

According to a statement in _The Globe_ "the German liner, _Belgia_,
having run short of coal, put in at Newport (Mon.) to-day, and was
seized as a prize. She has over £250,000 worth of food on board,
including 400 tons of cheese, 73 German reservists, and also a large
amount of specie." The last two items must, of course, be regarded as
emergency rations.

       ***

An unfortunate misprint:--

"WAR NEWS IN A FEW LIES."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE MONOPOLIST.

_Late Arrival_ (_wishing to put his machine in bicycle rack_). "WELL,
UPON MY WORD, THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS! CADDIE, WHO PUT HIS BICYCLE LIKE
THAT?"

_Caddie._ "CAN'T SAY FOR SURE, SIR. THE KAISER, I SHOULD THINK."

       *       *       *       *       *

HOW WAR IS "MADE IN GERMANY."

(_Extract from the KAISER'S Diary._)

Letter captured bearing mark of Venezuela Consulate at Berlin. Stamp not
put on straight. Insult to me--therefore to the flag. Proceed to issue
ultimatum to Venezuela. Venezuela omits to concede one of the 421 points
raised. Declare war on Venezuela and publish address to my
people:--"Owing to this wicked and determined challenge to Our nation,
We have been forced, greatly against Our wish, into a quarrel with a
powerful and designing enemy," etc., etc.

Consignment of Chicago sausages, arriving Hamburg, is found to bear
label "The Best." Deliberate blow at German supremacy. Germany is the
Sausage Queen. Ultimatum to United States. Reply unsatisfactory, so
declare war. Speech to my people:--"Owing to this wicked," etc.

Despatch from Pomeranian farming district to effect that a Cochin-China
hen has peaked at representation of German Eagle in picture-book. At
once issued ultimatum to Cochin-China demanding humble and complete
apology, otherwise war would be declared. Received immediate reply,
stating that as Cochin-China belongs at present to France I may save
myself the trouble of a fresh declaration of war. Do so.

Read statement that "heat in neighbourhood of equator surpasses that of
any other part of the world." See in this a direct challenge to our
sovereignty. _We_ are the hottest stuff in the world. Declare war on all
countries abutting on equator. Speech to my people:--"Owing to this
wicked," etc.

Hear South Pole Republic showing signs of activity. Involves serious
menace to our pacific plans. Issue ultimatum. Hear later that President
is a penguin. As, however, withdrawal of ultimatum is out of the
question, have despatched warships. Speech to my people:--"Owing to this
wicked," etc.

Having five minutes before lunch, declare war on Spain, Portugal, Tibet,
Lapland and the Principality of Monaco. Reasons and ultimata to follow.

Declare war on Bosnia and Herzegovina, but subsequently remember that
these territories were recently absorbed by my ally. Undignified to
cancel ultimatum, so declare war on said ally.

Make painful discovery that, in spite of overtime at Imperial printing
works, I am out of ultimatum forms. Urgent instructions have been sent
to hasten delivery of forms, which are of course so printed that only
the name of the offending country has to be filled in.

       *       *       *       *       *

Apparently no more countries remain to be challenged. Must find some at
all costs.

Sudden inspiration. Have issued ultimatum to my own country that, if she
does not find fresh countries for me to fight before midnight, war will
ensue.

_Midnight._ No new countries found. I declare war on Germany.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Journalistic Manner.

"Every inch of Belgium will be fought for foot by foot."--_Daily
Telegraph._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OLD ORDER CHANGES.

A thousand years ago I won a cup for jumping. It was not a very good
cup, but then it was not a very good jump. Such as the cup is, however,
it stands on a shelf in my library, and I have ways of directing the
attention of visitors to it. For instance, if a collector of old prints
is coming to dinner, I hang my oldest print just above the cup, ready
for him; we take our--or better, his--cigars into the library, and I
say, "Oh, look here, I picked this print up last week; the man said it
was a genuine Eyre and Spottiswoode; you might give me your opinion." He
gives me his opinion ... and then his eye wanders down. I see him
reading the inscription on the cup.

The inscription says: "Long Jump, 1739," or some such date. "First
Prize, won by ----" and then my name very big and splendid. Underneath
comes the school crest, followed by the motto, "_Dat Deus Incrementum_,"
though I have never jumped any further since. Its shape is the ordinary
sherry-glass shape. It is my only cup, and I am proud of it.

I look up as I write, and I see the--by the way, I don't know if you
have ever tried "looking up as you write." It is a common thing for
reflective writers to say they do, but you should never believe them. It
is impossible to write properly when looking somewhere else. What we do
is to stop and slew our necks round, and then take a fresh dip in the
ink. Well, slewing my neck round as I stop writing, I see my precious
cup standing on its shelf, and ... horror! It is standing upside down!

This comes as a surprise to you, but it is no surprise to me. The thing
has been going on for months. It is months ago that I first spoke to
Celia about it.

"It's Jane," she said. "She always puts it like that when she's been
dusting."

"Yes, but what for? Just to catch the eye?"

"I suppose because you always stand glasses upside down when you've
cleaned them--to keep the dust out."

"But if she'd only think a moment she'd see that I don't drink out of
this, and that glasses don't have 'First Prize, won by ----'"

"Jane isn't here to think, she's here to work."

This seemed to be a distinction drawn between Jane and me.

"You see what I mean," I said, "don't you? It's very difficult to read
the cup upside down. A stranger mightn't know who--er--who had won it."

"But don't you always turn it back again? I do, if ever I see it."

"Yes, but--but---- Oh, well, it doesn't matter."

I went back to the library. It was difficult to explain why I minded;
because, after all, to fill a pipe, light it and sit down to work every
morning is very little less trouble than to turn a cup round, fill a
pipe, light it and sit down to work every morning. Anything regular soon
gets taken for granted. And yet I was annoyed. I think it was the
_silliness_ of standing a First Prize upside down which annoyed me. That
and the apparent difficulty of getting into communication with Jane
about it.

For it was difficult. One day I went very humbly to Celia and said--

"I know I'm a baby about it. Forgive me. But it's getting on my mind. Do
tell Jane about the cup."

"It's awfully hard," she said, after a little thought. "You see, it's
such a very, very small thing that it never seems quite the right moment
for it. And if, after I'd told her, she said 'What?' I couldn't possibly
say it again."

"You must be very articulate the first time. Lead the conversation
slowly round to long-jumping or the difficulty of reading on your head,
and then casually but articulately----"

"Well, we'll see," said Celia. "Of course, if I ever caught her doing
it, I'd tell her. Perhaps I shall."

Well, we saw. We saw that the thing still went on. The direct approach
to Jane was evidently impossible. So I tried sarcasm.

Sarcasm, directed into the blue in the hope of hitting the person you
want, may not be effective, but it does relieve the feelings. I had a
thoroughly sarcastic morning all to myself. My deadly irony took the
form of turning _everything_ in the library upside-down. The cup was in
position already; I turned up two pewter mugs (third prizes in
Consolation Races), the flower bowls, the cigarette box, the lamp, a
stool, half-a-dozen pictures, two photographs and the mahogany clock.
They all stood on their heads and sneered at Jane. "Why don't you do the
thing properly while you're about it?" they said to her. I felt
extremely well after I had finished.

Celia stood in the door and gurgled to herself.

"You baby," she smiled.

"On the contrary," I said, "I have made a dignified yet subtle protest.
You wouldn't move in the matter so I had to do something. I flatter
myself that a sense of her past silliness will rush over Jane like a
flood when she comes in here to-morrow morning."

"If Jane's flooded at all," said Celia, "it will be with the idea that
the master's mad. But I don't think she'll notice it particularly."

Next morning everything was right side up again--except the cup.

"It's no good," I told Celia; "she is obviously determined. Perhaps it
means more than we think to her to have that cup upside-down. Its
beauty, the memories it brings back, the symbolism of it, these things
touch some hidden spring ... Still I _am_ master in my own house." And I
turned the cup round again....

Another month passed and I could bear it no longer. Yesterday I made up
my mind. I would speak to Jane myself. I turned my First Prize the right
way up, and then looked for Celia.

"Celia," I said firmly, "where is Jane?"

"She's gone out," said Celia softly. "Her--her man goes off to-day."

       ***

An hour later, with bands playing and people cheering, they wheeled out
of barracks, brown and businesslike. Jane was in the front somewhere,
waving her handkerchief--not such a silly Jane, after all. And at the
back, very proud for her, Celia and I stood silent, with a something in
the throat that had come there suddenly....

And this morning the cup was upside-down again. Well, well, if she likes
it that way, that way let it be.

But take warning, O Jane! When your man--here's luck to him!--comes
back, then I shall assert myself once more. My cup, "Long Jump, 1739.
First Prize," shall stand the right way up; either that or you leave my
service. I am determined about this....

Meanwhile we can share the daily paper.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Dear _Mr. Punch_,--You may remember that QUEEN VICTORIA recorded in her
_Journal in the Highlands_ that 'Vicky sat down on a wasps' nest.'
'VICKY,' of course, was destined later to be the mother of WILHELM II.
Can we not see in the present situation rather a remarkable example of
heredity?--Yours, etc., MEDICO."

       *       *       *       *       *

From a _Daily Chronicle_ special correspondent--

    "A little meat and plenty of vegetables take one a long
    way--lettuce, soup, eggs, en surprise, peas, dessert, voila--even
    the very poor can afford such a dinner in Brussels."

A seven-course dinner is certainly more than we can afford in England.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: "IT'S AN ILL WIND ..."

_Old Cock Grouse._ "I SEE THEY'VE ALL GONE SHOOTING EAGLES."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PRIVATE VIEW.

I take train home every evening from one of our best stations. Crowned
heads fairly tumble over one another there in their anxiety to get a
first glimpse of London. Personages are matters of daily arrival.

The other night I reached my station just as a Personage was due. A
drive led from his platform to the outside world. On one side of it were
lined up the public six deep. On the other side of it was the left
luggage office. Four policemen saw to it that no person crossed to the
other side except on business.

I began crossing.

"Not that side," said Robert, "unless you want the left luggage."

"The left luggage," I explained, "is my one desire."

I crossed.

The clerk was unusually prompt.

"What's yours?" he said.

"Since you ask," I replied, "I could do with a small stout; or,
alternatively, a sherry and bitters."

He kept silence, but with a touch of urgency in it. It is hard to
temporize when confronted with a businesslike silence. Yet my view of
the drive was worth fighting for.

"I might leave my watch," I continued after a brief hesitation, "but the
fact is I left it last week with my only godson. Have you a godson? You
know what they are--always wanting something."

"Come along, now," said the official brusquely. Robert, too, was
becoming restive.

"Very well; I will deposit my hat. You will be careful with it, won't
you?"

He accepted my hat untenderly.

"What name?"

"George," I said; "but they call me 'Winkles' at home."

He was a man not easily moved. He wrote down "George" without hesitation
on a bit of pink paper and asked for twopence as he gave it to me.

Just then, to my great relief, the Boat Express arrived. I searched in
all my pockets and at last found half-a-sovereign.

I told you he was a man not easily moved. He gave me nine-and-tenpence
without a word, but with more halfpennies than was quite nice.

There was a stir in the crowd. I must hang on yet a little, or give it
up, or stand six deep. I cannot stand standing six deep. But it is the
duty of every citizen to welcome Personages.

Then I bethought me of my pink paper.

I summoned the man who was not easily moved and presented it. "The
deposit," I explained, "was a hat--a felt hat--I cannot be sure of the
size, but at a guess I should put it somewhere between 7 and 8."

But he had already retrieved it.

I took it and replaced it on my head as I turned in the nick of time to
take it off to the Personage. He gave me a very sweet smile, the memory
of which I cherish so fondly that I am loth to attribute it to the
fashionable dent I subsequently discovered in my bowler.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the present restriction of Sport we sympathize with that section of
the Press which makes it a speciality. However, there are outlets; and
one of our Sporting contemporaries has burst forth into history, as
follows:--

    "Once again England is faced with a crisis. There has been nothing
    like it since Alexander the Great burned his boats and crossed the
    Rubicon."

An Infant Prodigy.

    "Although only in his 41st year Mr. F. E. Smith is a Master of Arts
    ..."

    _Pall Mall Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Medical Officer._ "SORRY I MUST REJECT YOU ON ACCOUNT OF
YOUR TEETH."

_Would-be Recruit._ "MAN, YE'RE MAKING A GRAN' MISTAKE. I'M NO WANTING
TO BITE THE GERMANS, I'M WANTING TO SHOOT 'EM."

       *       *       *       *       *

A FIRST CHARGE.

_Mr. Punch's_ appeal is once more for the children. Most earnestly, and
with great confidence, he begs his readers to care for those little ones
whose fathers and brothers are serving under the Flag for our country's
honour and the defence of our homes, or may suffer through loss of work.
All gifts to the National Relief Fund should be addressed to H.R.H. The
Prince of Wales, at Buckingham Palace.

       *       *       *       *       *

A PLEA FOR PEGASUS.

  Ye mobilisers of that other arm
    Whose might is famed superior to the sabre's,
  Who furnish forth the wherewithal to charm
    The Special Correspondent to his labours,
  And by whose enterprise we're daily fed on
  Reports of Armageddon.

  List to my plaint. It is not that I tire
    Of those despatches--picturesque effusions--
  Which by the witness of a later wire
    Are proved to rank among the Great Illusions;
  Though much to be deplored, such news, I'm willing
  Freely to own, is thrilling.

  But when your pages, shrunken through the scare
    Of that worst blow of all, a paper famine,
  Dispense exclusively Bellona's fare,
    And, failing battle tales, you simply cram in
  Facts about spies, commodities and prices,
  I writhe beneath this crisis.

  I can support the other pains of war:
    Transport disorganised and credit shaken,
  The fear of hunger knocking at the door,
    And threepence extra on a pound of bacon;
  In fact, I'd be the most resigned of creatures
  If you'd compose your "features."

  Could you not lift a corner of the mask
    That makes these solemn days so much more solemn?
  A very little ray is all I ask
    To light the utter darkness--say a column
  Of "stories" which your slang describes as "snappy;"
  With these I could be happy;

  With these my topic Muse I might entice;
    But war has left her mute, and me despairing.
  They call for horses; must I sacrifice
    The steed with whom I've taken many an airing?
  Poor Pegasus--and none too well-conditioned!
  Must _he_ be requisitioned?

       *       *       *       *       *

From parallel columns in The Evening News:---

    "Haelen is forty-five miles northwest  | "The centre of the battle was
    of Liége; it is fifty miles            | at Haelen (thirty miles
    east of Brussels."                     | northwest of Liége
                                           | and thirty miles
                                           | from Brussels)."


This is simply to deceive the Germans.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE WORLD'S ENEMY.

THE KAISER. "WHO GOES THERE?"

SPIRIT OF CARNAGE. "A FRIEND--YOUR ONLY ONE."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Fond Mother_ (_full of war news_). "DON'T GO TOO FAR
OUT, GIRLS. YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL WITH ALL THIS FIGHTING GOING ON."

       *       *       *       *       *

MR. PUNCH'S HOLIDAY STORIES.

II.--THE ISLAND CUP RACE.

Cowes week was drawing near to its brilliant climax. Through the blue
waters of the Solent a swarm of palatial steam yachts, saucy outriggers,
graceful cutters and wasp-like motor boats jostled one another in their
efforts to gain safe anchorage after the strenuous excitement of the
day's racing. Everywhere could be heard the clank of mooring chains,
mingled with the full-flavoured oaths of sailor men.

Gradually silence fell upon the scene, broken only by the melodious
murmur of numberless gramophones and the soft strains of the band of the
Royal Yacht Squadron.

As the sun descended lower beneath the horizon the dusk deepened, and
presently thousands of Chinese lanterns twinkled through the gloom from
mast and yard-arm. Lady Margaret Tamerton, leaning idly against the
barnacle of her brother's yacht, the _Seamaid_, drank in the beauty of
the night with deep inhalations.

The voice of young Lord Tamerton at her side at last broke the spell of
silence.

"Madge," he said softly, "Wonderson has not yet arrived. If he doesn't
come, our chances of winning the Island Cup to-morrow are practically
hopeless."

"Don't worry, Fred," replied Lady Margaret. "Ralph never fails....
Listen, he is coming now."

And, indeed, the muffled beat of oars was heard approaching from the
darkness. Soon a slim white boat came gliding up to the prow of the
_Seamaid_. Ralph Wonderson, a tall athletic figure in his immaculate
flannels and straw boater, poised himself on the gunwale, gathered
himself for a spring, and leaped with the agility of a cat to the
bowsprit of the yacht. Sliding rapidly down this, he nodded easily to
Lord Tamerton and clasped the beautiful figure of Lady Margaret in his
arms.

"S-sh!" he whispered warningly, laying his fingers on her lips, as she
would have spoken. "Nobody must know I am here till to-morrow. That is
why I came aboard like that. Listen. Your cousin, Sir Ernest Scrivener,
_alias_ Marmaduke Moorsdyke, is here, and is plotting to kidnap you.
There is a traitor somewhere on this yacht who supplies him with all
information. The attempt is to be made to-night."

"To-night!" murmured Lady Margaret in horror. "What am I to do? His
ingenuity is dev--er--fiendish."

"It shall be baffled," replied Ralph reassuringly. "I have thought it
all out. It would be dangerous for you to leave the yacht because, in
view of to-morrow's race, neither your brother nor I could accompany
you. There is only one place on board where you can pass the night in
assured safety--the crow's-nest."

"The crow's-nest," repeated Lady Margaret, clapping her hands. "What
fun! I shall be rocked to sleep beautifully, and of _course_ they will
never think of looking for me there."

"Come," said Ralph, taking her hand. "There is no time to lose, and none
of the crew must be allowed to see you. We don't know whom we can
trust."

Snatching her in his arms, he carried her easily up the frail rigging,
his mountain training showing in every step he took. Five minutes later
he returned alone and dropped noiselessly to the deck. He looked round
cautiously; there was nobody in view except Lord Tamerton.

"It's all right, Fred," he whispered. "Let us turn in."

They descended the broad staircase arm-in-arm. No sooner had they
disappeared than a dark figure crept with a low chuckle from underneath
a coil of rope and dropped silently over the yacht's counter.

A phosphorescent gleam disturbed the darkness of the water.

       ***

Early next morning Ralph Wonderson ran nimbly up the rigging of the
_Seamaid_, carrying a tray loaded with toast, eggs, tea and marmalade.
He tapped at the door of the crow's-nest. There was no response. After a
pause he tapped again and cautiously pushed open the door. The
crow's-nest was empty!

"Betrayed," cried Ralph, clapping his hand to his forehead. A moment
later two soft-boiled eggs devastated the snowy whiteness of the
_Seamaid's_ deck.

Despite their precautions, Lady Margaret had been spirited away during
the night. As soon as he had recovered from the shock of the discovery,
Ralph ran to Lord Tamerton and acquainted him with the terrible news.
There was a period of agonised and fruitless discussion.

"Wait! I have an idea," exclaimed Ralph presently. He pressed an
electric bell, and a steward appeared almost simultaneously.

"Jenkins, fetch me a race card," said Ralph.

"Yes, Sir," replied the steward. "I anticipated your request and have it
here."

Ralph and Lord Tamerton bent their heads over the card.

"See," said the former. "It is as I hoped. Among the entries for the
Island Cup we have the _Watersnake_, owner Sir Ernest Scrivener. He will
sail her himself, that is certain. It is equally certain that he has
Madge on board. If I know anything of him he will not let her out of his
sight. Fred, by yonder centreboard I swear that before the race is over
we will win her back."

_Bang!_ It was the signal for the competitors to line up for the great
race for the world-famous Island Cup.

       ***

Of all the thousands who pressed themselves against the straining booms
none realised that the race was for a prize far more precious than a
mere cup of gold valued at two thousand guineas.

The _Watersnake_ was in front, a clear hundred yards separating her from
the pursuing _Seamaid_. All the other yachts lagged hopelessly in the
rear.

Scattering the foam at their bows, the two boats rushed along the blue
lane of clear water which lay between the booms. Ralph, at the wheel of
the _Seamaid_, gazed anxiously forward. Could they do it?

"Let loose the spinnaker," he commanded gruffly. "Haul on the signal
halyard. Lower the keelson."

The orders were swiftly executed, and the _Seamaid_ leaped forward with
a bound. The distance between the two vessels rapidly lessened.

"Fred," said Ralph, "you must take the wheel for a time. I'm going
forward to board the _Watersnake_."

Lord Tamerton obediently grasped the wheel, while Ralph ran forward and
crept along the bowsprit. The intervening space was now very small.
Bracing himself for the effort, he shot through the air and landed upon
the deck of the _Watersnake_. The first object which met his gaze was
Lady Margaret, her wrists bound, lying beside the barnacle.

Sir Ernest Scrivener uttered a horrible oath as he recognised the
features of his successful rival. For an instant he loosened his grasp
on the wheel. The vessel yawed in her course and he was compelled to
seize the spokes again.

       ***

Before Scrivener could command his wits sufficiently to shout an order
to his crew, Ralph had caught up Lady Margaret in his arms and dashed to
the side of the vessel. Deprived of his skilled command, the _Seamaid_
had dropped behind; it was impossible to leap back to her decks.

Without hesitation, Ralph dived into the water, and still supporting the
now unconscious form of Lady Margaret, swam rapidly towards the yacht.
Two minutes later he was gripping the wheel and concentrating all his
immense will power upon the task of winning the race.

Inch by inch the _Seamaid_ crept up to her rival. Despite all
Scrivener's efforts, the gap grew less and less.

And now the winning post was close at hand. Could it be done? Could it
be done? The frantic spectators behind the boom shouted themselves
hoarse. Lord Tamerton bit his thumbs till the blood ran.

Nearer drew the _Seamaid_. Nearer and nearer. Nearer still. At the
critical moment, Ralph, with a mighty effort, pushed down the wheel.

A bare three inches parted the _Watersnake_ from the winning post when
the slight shudder ran through her which told that the prow of the
_Seamaid_ had touched her stern. The bump had been made; the race was
won.

       ***

Ralph Wonderson stood with the magnificent Island Cup in his hand,
filled to the brim with bubbling champagne.

"To the restoration of the fortunes of the house of Tamerton," he said
as he raised it to his lips.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _The Turkey Buzzard_ (_to the Sea Eagle_). "You may call
yourself a Turkey Buzzard if you like, but they'll still know you by
your white feather."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE VIKING SPIRIT.

    ["The week-end was dull and much rain fell, but this did not spoil
    the visitors' pleasure. The sight of the sea in a turbulent mood was
    a great attraction."--_Seaside note in daily paper._]

  It has rained for a week down at Shrimpton;
    'Tis zero or less in the shade;
  You can paddle your feet in the principal street
    And bathe on the stony parade;
  But still on our holiday pleasures
    No thoughts of discomfort intrude,
  As we whisper, "This sight is a bit of all right,"
    For the sea's in a turbulent mood.

  There's nobody harks to the pierrots;
    For music we don't care a straw;
  And the "comic" in vain chants the usual strain
    Concerning his mother-in-law.
  Unbought are the beach's bananas;
    Our souls are all far above food;
  Not a man of us dreams of consuming ice-creams
    When the sea's in a turbulent mood.

  You may prate of the fervour of Phoebus
    Of days that are calm and serene,
  When a tint as of teak is imposed on the cheek
    That is commonly pallid (when clean);
  But _we_ have a taste that's æsthetic;
    Mere sunshine seems vulgar and crude,
  As we gather to gaze with artistic amaze
    On the sea in a turbulent mood.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Beekeepers' Record_, referring to the photograph of a group of
prominent beekeepers, says:--"Mr. Dadant's well-known features are
easily spotted." We are sorry, but a little cold cream will sometimes do
wonders.

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

"FOR NUTS."--The origin of this curious phrase to indicate incompetence
in any pursuit or pastime--_e.g._, "He can't play for nuts," etc.--is
obscure; but its antiquity is incontestable. Thus one of the fragments
of ENNIUS runs: "_Nucibus non ludere possum_." Perhaps the most
plausible theory is that which views the phrase as a heritage from our
simian ancestors, among whom nuts were the common medium of exchange. On
this assumption a monkey--whether gorilla, chimpanzee, baboon or
orangutan--who was described as unable to do anything "for nuts,"
_i.e._, for pecuniary remuneration, was obviously inefficient. Another
explanation, which we believe is supported by Mr. EUSTACE MILES, scouts
the notion of an ancient origin of the phrase and fixes the _terminus a
quo_ by the recent introduction of vegetarian diet. Nuts being a prime
staple of the votaries of this cult, a person who cannot do anything
"for nuts" means, by implication, a carnivorous savage who is incapable
of progress. Lastly, there remains the ingenious solution that the
phrase as commonly employed involves a misspelling. It ought to be "four
nuts," and playing four nuts was an ancient but simple game, which may
be connected with the cognate phrase about knowing or not knowing "how
many beans make five."

       *       *       *       *       *

POLLY PERKINS: WAS SHE A REAL PERSON?--A careful search in the registers
of Paddington in the early and mid-Victorian period reveals so many Mary
Perkinses as to render the task of identification peculiarly difficult.
It will be remembered, however, that the heroine of the famous ballad is
described as not only "little," but "pretty;" indeed, she is spoken of
as being "as beautiful as a butterfly and as proud as a queen." So far,
however, these clues to her appearance have yielded no solid results.
The representatives of the famous family of brewers have been unable to
throw any light on the subject, and an application to the managing
director of the London and General Omnibus Company has also proved
unproductive. (Polly Perkins "married the conductor of a twopenny
'bus.") Her brilliant appearance suggests a possible relationship with
Dr. PERKINS, the famous pioneer of the aniline dye industry; but this,
as well as the theory that she was a descendant of PERKIN WARBECK, is
mere surmise.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FIRST MAN WHO ATE AN OYSTER.--The most widely circulated account of
this feat is that which ascribes it to the notorious Roman epicure
Publius Esurius Gulo, who was nicknamed Bellipotens from the rotundity
of his figure. According to the account given in the _Gastronomica_ of
Voracius Bulbo (ii. 18) Gulo was always making daring experiments, and,
when bathing at Baiae on a very hot day, and seeing a bivalve which had
rashly opened its jaws in the sun, he dexterously inserted a stone and
conveyed the contents to his mouth on the point of the pin of his
_fibula_. He was subsequently created a proconsul by NERO. The only
drawback connected with this account is the fact that oysters were
recognised as delicacies in Rome at least a hundred years before NERO.
It is right to add that the genuineness of Bulbo's _Gastronomica_ has
been seriously impugned, the best authorities (including FRANCATELLI)
being convinced that the treatise was the work of a sixteenth-century
_farceur_ who belonged to the royal house of Paphlagonia.

       *       *       *       *       *

PARLOUR PATHOS, SPECIMENS OF.--The best specimens of this interesting
emotional product are to be found in the words of Royalty Ballads. A
good instance is to be found in the following choice quatrain:--

  Nature cares not whence or how,
    Nature asks not why;
  'Tis enough that thou art thou,
    And that I am I.

       *       *       *       *       *

COMPARATIVE COUPLETS.--The correct form of this literary disease is as
follows:--

  A chair without a leg
  Is like a hen without an egg.

But it is emphatically not to be encouraged, as excessive indulgence in
the habit has been known to lead to the break-up of happy homes.

       *       *       *       *       *

NAMES OF GOLF CLUBS.--The latest addition to the list is, so far as we
are aware, the "Sammy," but efforts are being made to induce the St.
Andrews authorities to sanction the "Biffy," a combination of the
jigger and the baffy, and the "Duncher," a powerful weapon for
extricating the ball out of rushes, tar and other viscous lies.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE JUGGINS FAMILY.--This family claims descent from Joskin ap Gwyggan,
the last native prince who ruled in Dwffryn. The earlier lines in the
descent are doubtful. The various families claiming to spring from
Joskin adopted different patronymics in the fifteenth and succeeding
centuries, amongst which may be noted Joskins, Gherkin, Guggenheimer,
and Gaga.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE OLD REFRAIN.

_First Old Lady._ "MY DEAR, WHAT _DO_ YOU THINK OF THIS WAR? ISN'T IT
TERRIBLE?"

_Second Old Lady._ "AWFUL! BUT IT CAN'T LAST LONG; _THE POWERS WILL
SURELY INTERVENE_."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _The Patriot._ "HOARD MY GOLD! I'D STARVE FIRST!"

       *       *       *       *       *

MIDDLECOMBE _v_. PADDLEWICK.

I.

    _Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe._
    Room 99, X.Y.Z. Offices,
    Whitehall,
    _8th August, 1914._

DEAR CHARLIE,--Can you possibly turn out for us on Thursday next _v_.
Paddlewick? We lost to them rather heavily in May last and are anxious
to give them a sound beating. Their fast bowler is playing for them
again, I hear, and we absolutely rely on your help. Can you get off for
the day?

    Yours ever, P. R.

II.

    _Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick._
    Room 83, P.Q.R. Offices,
    Lombard Street,
    _9th August, 1914._

MY DEAR PHIL,--Thanks for yours. Will try to manage it next Thursday,
but am doubtful. My chief, though a capable official, is no sport, and I
anticipate difficulties. I had a day off only two weeks ago for cricket.
Will do my best.

    Thine, C. H.

III.

    _Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick._
    P.Q.R.
    _10th August, 1914._

MY DEAR PHIL,--Awfully sorry; no luck _re_ Thursday. Boss hopeless. I
broached the matter this morning (without actually asking for
permission), but I fear the worst. You had better get another man for
the Paddlewick match. So sorry.

    Yours ever,
    CHARLIE HOLCOMBE.

IV.

    _Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe._
    X.Y.Z.
    _10th August, 1914._

MY DEAR CHARLIE,--We shall be absolutely in the cart without you.
They've got an awfully hot fast bowler. Bartram now tells me he can't
possibly turn out, and you are the only really decent bat I know. We
simply _can't_ lose to Paddlewick again--we shall never hear the last of
it. (No one need know that you don't play regularly for Middlecombe.) Do
try your best, old man. Mightn't your Aunt Martha be seriously ill?

    Yours ever, PHIL.

V.

    _Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick_
    (_wire._)

Aunt Martha dying. All well. Boss absent Thursday, so can explain to him
afterwards. HOLCOMBE.

VI.

    _Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe_
    (_wire._)

Good boy. Funeral 11.30. Train Paddington 10.5. Lunch 1.30. Draw 6.30.
PHILIP.

VII.

    _Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick._
    Room 83, P.Q.R. Offices,
    _14th August._

MY DEAR PHIL,--I regret that I was forced to leave somewhat hurriedly
after the game last night. I have nothing to add to what I told you at
lunch as to the identity of the Paddlewick Spofforth with my chief, of
whose sporting talent I was in ignorance. But if you should hear of a
good berth going anywhere I should be extraordinarily grateful.

    Yours ever,
    CHARLIE HOLCOMBE.

P.S.--It was doubly unfortunate (in a way) that I should have scored a
six and three fours in one over from his bowling.

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD STYLE AND NEW.

I.--OLD STYLE.

_He._ Has anyone seen the paper?

_She._ I haven't.

_He._ Didn't it come this morning?

_She._ Very likely not. The boy often forgets it. You're the only person
who ever looks at it.

_He._ Well, I suppose I must wait till I get to the Club; but I dare say
there isn't anything that matters in it.

_Or_

_She._ Have you done with that paper, my dear?

_He._ Absolutely; there's nothing in it. There never is. I can't think
why we waste money in taking it.

_She._ Then perhaps I may have it for a pattern?

_He._ Why, certainly. I've no use for it.

II.--NEW STYLE.

_The whole family_ (all together).

{Has the paper come yet?
{What's the news?
{Where's the paper?
{What about Liége?
{I say, where's the paper?
{Isn't the paper here yet?
{What's the matter with the people?

_Or_

_The whole family_ (all together again).

{I say, father, you might read quicker.
{Can't you tear it in half?
{Do tell us the news.
{Do read it out loud.
{What about Liége? Quick!
{Oh dear, why don't we have ten copies of it?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The 'Daily Telegraph' Algeciras correspondent, wiring yesterday,
    says news from Gibraltar reports a naval fight off the Canaries. One
    of the latter was sunk and the other captured and brought to
    Gibraltar."

    _Liverpool Evening Express._

Our own canary protests indignantly at this treatment of its allies.

       *       *       *       *       *

In order to be in the very admirable fashion the L.C.C. has decided, we
understand, to change the name of Jermyn Street to Jellicoe Lane.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: THE LOCAL TOUCH. _East Anglian._ "TELL YOW WHAT THAT IS,
SIR: THAT THERE KAISER 'E 'ONT NEVER BE SATISFIED UNTIL 'E'S RUINED
MUDBOROUGH."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A BRAVE MAN. "LARGE LAGER, WAITER."

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

MR. DORNFORD YATES, whose name I seem to recall as a contributor to the
magazines, has written a book of the most agreeable nonsense which he
has called _The Brother of Daphne_ (WARD, LOCK). For no specially
apparent reason, since _Daphne_ herself plays but a small part in the
argument, which is chiefly concerned with the brother and his love
affairs. This brother, addressed as _Boy_, was a bit of a dog, and an
uncommonly lucky dog at that. The adventures he had! He apparently could
not go out for the simplest walk without meeting some amiable young
woman, divinely fair and supernaturally witty, with whom he presently
exchanged airy badinage and, towards the end of the interview, kisses.
What distressed me a little at first, till I tumbled to the spirit of
the thing, was the discovery that the charmer was always a fresh one,
and in consequence that these osculations had, so to speak, no
matrimonial significance. Perhaps, however, _Boy_ recognised an
essential similarity in each of his partners. He may, for example, have
been deceived by the fact that they all talked exactly the same Dolly
dialogue--light, frothy and just a little more neatly turned than is the
common intercourse of mortals. You know the kind of speech I mean. It is
vastly pleasant and easy to read; but I must decline to believe that any
young man could have the amazing fortune to meet fifteen pretty girls
who all had the trick of it. Still, that by no means lessened my
enjoyment of an entertaining volume, notice of which would be incomplete
without a word of praise for the illustrations of Mr. C. W. WILMSHURST,
a favourite black-and-white artist of mine, whose name is unaccountably
omitted from the title-page.

       *       *       *       *       *

If DOROTHEA CONYERS knew as much about English syntax as she does about
Irish, and were as certain in the handling of a story as she is in the
conduct of a horse, _Old Andy_ (METHUEN) might be taken at a single
refreshing gallop. As it is, I advise the reader to tackle it piecemeal,
a brisk run here and there, followed by a considerable breather. For the
novel is put together in a scrambling fashion, being full of repetitions
of almost identical scenes and making very little definite way in a
forward direction. There are the usual Irish peasantry and farmers who
worship the horse for pecuniary and sentimental reasons, as the
Israelites worshipped the golden calf; the usual hunting people, who
either ride straight and are grimly sarcastic or talk very big and go
for the gates; and the usual English visitors, who astound by their
guilelessness and simplicity when confronted by aboriginal horse-copers
and native bogs and stone-walls. If cubbing be included, I should be
afraid to say how many meets are described in this book, or how many
hunt-breakfasts and heavy teas in Irish interiors--interiors of
cottages, of course, I mean--resulting in how many tricky deals and
harmless tosses in the heather and the mud. But if you follow my lead
there is plenty of pure joy in _Old Andy_, and the most and the best of
it perhaps is to be found in the remarks of grooms, servant-girls and
casual country folk, who as often as not have no kind of connection with
the thread of the tale. "'If meself an' the Masther wasn't rowlin' rocks
all the day yestherday, he would be within long ago,' replied the
covert keeper." "If there is one rabbit with a skinned nose there's a
hundther, an' they runnin' by mistake to the door they're used to be
at." Such scattered flowers of speech abound in a book whose very want
of construction is perhaps symbolical and a reflection of the charming
incoherence of the Irish mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is my painful experience that, when a novelist sets out to write a
tale of English country life, the better he is at the job the more
sombre is the finished product. Mr. GEORGE STEVENSON is very good indeed
at his job; he has sincerity and power, and a certain austere aloofness
that will take him far; and the result is that _Jenny Cartwright_ (LANE)
is about as gloomy a story as ever I read. Above everything else, what I
noticed about this book was its freedom from all straining after effect.
Whatever takes place, I fancy Mr. STEVENSON saying, do not let us be
sentimental about it. Half the characters in the book seem to come by
violent ends; of the two chief women, one commits suicide and the other
is hanged. Mr. STEVENSON, one can only suppose, speaks of life as he
finds it. There are really two stories, that of _Beatrice Barrington_,
the faithless wife of _Sir Philip_, and the dreary mockery of life up at
The Court, with its hatreds and subterfuges, its crippled master,
frightened children and spying servants. This is the county as the
author sees it. Linked with this is the life of the farm, where _Jenny_
is brought up by an uncle who hates her; where she tends his bedridden
wife; where her cousin _Beatrice_ goes wrong; where _Beatrice's_
betrayer is killed in an accident, and her baby falls into the fire; and
where finally the dour uncle himself, after shooting the young squire
who has offered dishonourable addresses to _Jenny_, allows her to pay
the penalty of his crime. There is undeniable strength about the book
and it holds the attention; but I dispute the right of anyone to call it
cheerful.

       *       *       *       *       *

CYNTHIA STOCKLEY has the writing quality in her; she can both see and
feel; she can do man-talk with a plausibility beyond the reach of most
of her sex; and she works with a refreshing dash and freedom. With a
certain carelessness also sometimes; as thus: "The other, turning to
run, got a shot in his leg that put him out of business, but in spite of
which he managed to crawl away." And there are little kakophonies, such
as: "He was loved, openly and gladly, back." The work is good enough to
make worth while the cleansing of these defects. The author certainly
puts into a short story more thought and characterisation than is common
in these days of half-hours with even the best authors through the
medium of magazine pot-boilers. _Wild Honey_ (CONSTABLE) is the title of
the first (not quite the best) of an excellent bunch. It sums up the
bitter-sweet of South Africa, which is the setting of all these stories
of love, adventure, horror and the wild. They give a strong impression
of fidelity of draftsmanship, though here we know so little that is
intimate of the dark continent that we cannot judge how far actual
occurrences are based on fact or probability. But CYNTHIA STOCKLEY has
some of the mysterious qualities of a possible South African laureate.
Perhaps she will contrive to put away a little weakness for tall and
scornful aristocratic women; but, in any case, I can commend her book
confidently to all intelligent beach-haunters.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The price of bread has just been fixed by the authorities at 32
    centimes the kilometre."--_Globe._

So you can get a couple of yards of French roll for about
half-a-farthing. Not bad for war-time.





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