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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 14, 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, October 14, 1914" ***

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  VOLUME 147.

  OCTOBER 14, 1914.


Strong drinks have now been prohibited all over Russia, and it looks as
if Germany is not the only country whose future lies on the water.

       * * *

Rumour has it that Germany is not too pleased with Austria's
achievements in the War, and there has been in consequence not a little
Potsdam-and-Perlmuttering between the two.

       * * *

"When the KAISER goes to places beyond the railway," we are told, "he
travels in a motor-car which, besides being accompanied by aides-de-camp
and bodyguards, is also watched by special secret field police." We are
glad to learn that every precaution is taken to prevent his escape.

       * * *

The KAISER once desired to be known as "The Peace King." His eldest son,
to judge by his alleged burglarious exploits, now wishes to be known as

       * * *

It is said that Major VON MANTEUFFEL, who superintended the destruction
of Louvain, has been recalled. We presume he will have to explain why he
left the Town Hall standing.

       * * *

We still have to go to Germany for news about our own country. The
latest reliable report is to the effect that there is now serious
friction between KING GEORGE and Lord KITCHENER, the former having
become alarmed at the raising of "Kitchener's Army." The WAR MINISTER,
the KING fears, is aiming at the throne, and it is now being recalled
that Lord KITCHENER, when a young man, was once told by a soothsayer,
"K stands for King."

       * * *

We learn from _The Daily Call_ that, in proportion to the number of its
inhabitants, Bâle is the richest city in Europe. The Swiss, we fancy,
will scarcely thank our contemporary for drawing attention to this fact
in view of the well-known cupidity of a certain neighbour of theirs.

       * * *

There is a proposal on foot to form a corps of Solicitors. By a pretty
legal touch it is suggested that they might train between six and eight.

       * * *

_The Daily News_ the other day, in describing the fortunate escape of a
midshipman from the _Cressy_, told its readers that, when pulled out of
the water, the cadet "was not wearing a single garment. He was provided
with clothes and eventually put on a British destroyer." While his
choice of covering does credit to the young gentleman's spirit, we think
he would have done better to put on the clothes.

       * * *

A naturalisation certificate has been granted to that clever English
authoress, the Countess ARNIM. We congratulate Elizabeth on escaping
from "her German Garden."

       * * *

"Few people," says _The Witney Gazette_, "are familiar with the history
and resources of Belgium." How true this is may be seen from our
contemporary's next statement:--"A large section of its population
consists of a race known as the Walloons, the ancient descendants of the

       * * *

"Father," asked the actor's little son, "why does the KAISER wear a
helmet with an eagle on the top of it?" "To show that he's 'got the
bird,'" replied the brilliant Thespian.

       * * *

By the way, the statement that "The TSAR has left for the theatre of
war" has caused the keenest satisfaction in histrionic circles, where it
is hoped that this illustrious example will cause the fashionable world
to revert to its habit of patronising the stage.

       * * *

General VON STEIN, who was responsible for the German official
_communiqués_, has, we learn from the German Press, been superseded.
Evidently he did not chronicle sufficient victories. The German public,
when it asks for _Brod_, does not care to get a _Stein_.

       * * *

An overheard conversation: "I see that both you and your wife have sent
blankets to the soldiers." "Yes. She sent mine, so I sent hers."

       * * *

A dear old lady who read about the theft of an Italian submarine last
week writes to say that she hopes that the police are keeping an eye on
our _Dreadnoughts_.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Take its "capital" from Prussia--
    You reduce the thing to Russia!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Perversely enough, whilst Ora's husband was a commonplace though
    intelligent attorney, Ora was married to a Montana mine-owner."

    _Books of To-day._

This was very perverse of Ora. She might at least have waited till her
first husband had ceased to be an attorney.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Gentlemen who are losing their employment owing to the War:_--1. The
German Colonial Secretary.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Identifying battles with rivers is very confusing to the reader who
    is not well acquainted with the geography of a little-known part of
    Europe. It misleads thousands when the Aisne is mentioned, and it is
    even more misleading when the river Victula comes into the

_Birmingham Daily Post._

This is quite true.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

Rates for Zeppelins.

"During the last few days," we learn, "a good many insurances have been
effected at Lloyd's on properties in London against the risk of damage
by Zeppelins." The premium accepted on banks appears to be about one
shilling per cent. But why insure banks? For our own part we would very
gladly take refuge in one of their strong rooms at the first sight of a
hovering Zeppelin.

After consultation with our insurance expert, who has carefully
considered the past record of German aircraft operating over undefended
cities, we now have pleasure in submitting a special scale of insurance
rates which ought to meet the needs of the public. Lloyd's are welcome
to it should they care to adopt it as it stands:--

Hospitals          £5 % per annum.
Dogs               2/11  "    "
Cats, chickens and
  canaries         2/9   "    "
Lamp-posts         1/1   "    "
Lord Mayors        _Nil_ "    "

       *       *       *       *       *


[_"The Cologne Gazette" tells us that we are lacking in understanding of
the high seriousness of the war; that we use sporting expressions about
it. "The Times," referring to this criticism, points out that, though we
do not pretend, like the Germans, to make a religion of war, our
sporting instinct at least enables us to recognise that to draw the
sword on women and children is "not cricket."_]

    Facing the guns, he jokes as well
      As any Judge upon the Bench;
    Between the crash of shell and shell
      His laughter rings along the trench;
    He seems immensely tickled by a
    Projectile which he calls a "Black Maria."

    At intervals, when work is slack,
      He kicks a leather ball about;
    Recalls old tales of wing and back,
      The Villa's rush, the Rovers' rout;
    Or lays a tanner to a pup
    On Albion (not "perfidious") for the Cup.

    He whistles down the day-long road,
      And, when the chilly shadows fall
    And heavier hangs the weary load,
      Is he down-hearted? Not at all.
    'Tis then he takes a light and airy
    View of the tedious route to Tipperary.

    His songs are not exactly hymns;
      He never learned them in the choir;
    And yet they brace his dragging limbs
      Although they miss the sacred fire;
    Although his choice and cherished gems
    Do not include "The Watch upon the Thames,"

    He takes to fighting as a game;
      He does no talking, through his hat,
    Of holy missions; all the same
      He has his faith--be sure of that;
    He'll not disgrace his sporting breed,
    Nor play what isn't cricket. There's his creed.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mr. Punch_ ventures to ask the help of his gentle readers on behalf of
the Women's League of Service, who are daily giving dinners in various
districts of London to expectant and nursing mothers, of whom many have
husbands serving with the colours. It is our hope that out of the
present war may come, for those who follow us, a happy freedom from the
menace of war; but our sacrifices will be in vain if no care is taken of
the mothers who are bearing children to-day. Among the poorer class, the
last person in the family to be fed is always the mother. _Mr. Punch_
invites those who have the welfare of the new generation at heart to
send gifts in aid of this national work to Mr. Dudley Cocke, 44, Gresham
Street, E.C.

       *       *       *       *       *

More Looting by the Kaiser's Family?

    "Prince Joachim, the Kaiser's youngest son ... was met at the
    railway station by his mother, who pointed proudly to the
    second-class altar cross on her son's breast."--_Eastern Daily

       *       *       *       *       *

The American Touch.

    "Great steel plates have been fixed about the ceilings and walls of
    a room which now shelters the famous Venus D. Milo."

_Toronto Daily Star._

       *       *       *       *       *


No. IV.

(_From DIETRICH Q. FRIEDLICHER, an American Citizen._)

KAISER WILHELM,--I've been hearing no end during the last month or two
about German efforts to capture American opinion. It seems you think us
a poor sort of creatures unable to find out for ourselves the right way
of things. You've been measuring our people up and you've got a kind of
fancy that we're running about our continent with our eyes staring and
our mouths gaping and our poor silly tongues wagging, and that we're
busy collecting thoughts from one another about this war in Europe so we
shan't look ignorant when we read what other countries are doing. "See
here," I'm supposed to be saying as I go around,--"see here! What's this
Belgium, anyway, and how in thunder does she come to stand out agin the
great German army? And why are the Germans knocking Belgium to flinders
and shooting her citizens? Ain't the Germans Christians? Ain't their
soldiers generous and their officers merciful? Well then, it kinder
puzzles me to see the way they're getting to work. It's no wonder the
Belgian is set agin them. They're a little lot, them Belgians are, and
it's a queer thing, ain't it, that they should make all this trouble?
But I dunno. Maybe, there's something to be said for 'em if we only
knew. Then there's the English. They say they're fighting for freedom
this time, and maybe they're right to stick to their word and back up
their treaties. But it don't seem very clear as far as I can size it up.
Won't some kind gentleman come along and give me the true story?"

That's what I'm supposed to be saying, and you thought you heard me all
the way from Potsdam, and you took a good deep think, and "Bless me,"
you said, "it's ten thousand pities to let old man Friedlicher go along
with his mind empty when there's a heap of good German opinions lying
around just asking to be put into it. I'll cable BERNSTORFF to fill him
up." So there's poor BERNSTORFF turning himself inside out to please you
and educate me. Don't he prove a lot? From 9 to 10 he lectures about
Germany's love for America and the beautiful statue of FREDERICK THE
GREAT at Annapolis; from 10 to 11 he socks it into England--says she's a
robber power and blacker'n any of the niggers she hires to do her
fighting for her; from 11 to 12 he settles Russia by calling her a
barbarian Empire; and from 12 to 1 he tells me how Germany's burning
Belgium for Belgium's good; and then he dismisses me and says, if I'll
come back to-morrow morning, he'll pitch me a story about the French
peril, and how Germany can help America to escape it.

KAISER, it's no good. My father was a German, and he knew your lot, and
he used to tell me all he knew. He had to quit Prussia pretty quick
after 1848--that's the year your great-uncle had to take off his hat to
the citizens of Berlin, and your venerable grandfather had to pay a
visit to England, German air not being good for his health. I know all
that there is to be known about you. I don't want any BERNSTORFF, no,
nor yet any DERNBURG, to tell me why this fight's fighting and to
explain the Belgian wickedness to me. You and your blamed professors and
soldiers, you've all been spoiling for war these ten years past, and now
that you've got it you're out to tell the Americans that the other
fellows drove you into it. All I've got to say is, I don't believe
it--and what's more, no sensible American believes it either. That's all
there is to it.

Yours sincerely,

       *       *       *       *       *

Motto for the KAISER (reported as having been last seen at Cologne):
"East, West, hame's best."

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: A NORTH SEA CHANTEY.

(_To the tune of "Tipperary."_)


       *       *       *       *       *


_Recruit (ex-Cyclist)._ "SORRY, SIR, BUT I'VE SPENT MOST OF MY TIME

       *       *       *       *       *


Since the publication of the manifesto in our columns signed by a large
number of eminent men who announced their intention of divesting
themselves of the un-Christian name of William, matters have moved far
and fast. Many of these gentlemen have already, in obedience to the
dictates of logic, assumed a new style, as may be gathered from the
following messages which the Press Bureau, without accepting
responsibility for them, graciously permits us to reproduce:--

The Reverend WILLIAM SPOONER, the revered Warden of New College, Oxford,
writes to say that, in deference to the unanimous desire of the
graduates and undergraduates of the College, he has decided to be known
in future as the Reverend Peter Spooner, as a tribute to the Kinquering
Cong of Serbia.

Mr. WILLIAM (WULLIE) PARK, the famous professional golfer, has decided
to assume the prænomen of Pinkstone (after Sir JOHN DENTON PINKSTONE
FRENCH), and is already known amongst his intimates as "Pinkie."

Mr. WILLIAM LE QUEUX has by a special deed poll assumed the title of
George Albert Nicolas Victor-Emmanuel Raymond Woodrow Le Queux, but for
literary purposes will briefly sign himself "Alb."

Mr. WILLIAM DE MORGAN, the famous novelist, as the son of AUGUSTUS DE
MORGAN, has happily hit on the idea of renaming himself Marcellus de
Morgan. But he is anxious to have it clearly understood that this does
not involve him in any claim to the authorship of _Marcella_.

A communication has been received by the Editor of _The Spiritualist_
from WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE, announcing his unalterable resolve to change
his Christian name because of the posthumous discredit attached to it by
the KAISER. Asked what he proposed to substitute for it, the Bard
created a prodigious sensation by announcing that he thought Francis
would do as well as anything else.

Sir WILLIAM JOB COLLINS, equally renowned in the spheres of politics and
medicine, has promptly recognised the impossibility of continuing to
wear a name which has been indelibly tarnished by the arch-disturber of
Europe's peace. He has accordingly elected to replace his first two
names by the ingenious and harmonious collocation of Thomas Habakkuk.

Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE writes to explain that, though his first name is not
William, it has painful historical associations with the success of a
former William. He therefore wishes it to be known that he will sign all
his articles, interviews and poems with the name Oliver Lodge David
Lloyd George Begbie, as an act of homage to the two great men who have
chiefly inspired him in his journalistic and literary career.

       *       *       *       *       *

Copy of letter to teacher:--

    "Dear Sir, will you please give my daughter a dinner, as she has no
    father and I have no means of getting her one, and oblodge."

       *       *       *       *       *



DEAR CHARLES,--You must forgive my writing this letter with a fountain
pen, but to do otherwise would be an act of ingratitude to my servant,
Private J. B. COX. I told him this morning that I had lost my pocket
pen, a cheap affair made of tin. I instructed him to find it, and J. B.
is one of those perfect factotums who do as they are told. He has a
sharp eye and no scruples, and so, owing to the fact that three other
officers live in my billet, he was able to find two valuable fountain
pens and one stylographic in no time. The exigencies of war necessitate
some little irregularity now and then; but how, I asked him, did he
justify this excess of zeal? J. B. is distinguished by a lisp among
other things. "It'th betht to be on the thafe thide, Thir," said he.

We had an all-night outpost job on this week, at which my company
achieved an unpremeditated success--unpremeditated by the authorities,
that is. Before setting out we had been threatened with the heaviest
penalties if we were discovered at any moment in a dereliction of duty,
which meant that the Adjutant proposed to pay us a surprise visit and
had every hope of discovering responsible officers asleep at their
posts. Those who know will tell you that the hour before dawn is that
during which an attack is most likely in real war; they also assert that
this is the most likely period for derelictions in imitation war, and
so, as we anticipated all along, this was the time selected for the
surprise visit. But we were not caught napping, Sir; every possible
approach to our picket was protected by strong groups, each instructed
to let no one pass on any account and least of all those who attempted
to trick them by a pretence of authority, however realistic that
pretence might be. Thus it fell out that when the Adjutant was sighted
he was instantly accosted and firmly apprehended. Inasmuch as he refused
to be led blindfold through our lines, he was not allowed to approach
our august selves at all, but was retained until such time as we cared
to approach him. Mind you, I'm not saying we were asleep; merely I show
you how thoroughly we do our work. It is not mine that is the master
mind; it is my skipper's, a man upon whose ready cunning I rely to bring
me to Berlin and its choicest light beer well in advance of all other
victorious forces.

It used to be our Brigadier's fad that officers commanding companies
should know the names of all their men, and lately he took upon himself
to test it. Captain after captain, upon being asked to name a selected
man, had to confess ignorance; not so my skipper. He knew them all.
"What is that man's name?" asked the Brigadier, indicating an
inconspicuous and rather terrified private, just that sort of man whose
name one would never know or want to know. (It was something rather like
Postlethwaite, I believe). "Two paces forward, Private Johnson," ordered
my skipper emphatically, fixing an hypnotic eye on the youth, and
adding, to prove his accuracy, "Now, my lad, your name's Joh----?"
"----nson, Sir," concluded the victim. That night, at dinner, the
Brigadier told the C.O. that, among many disappointments, he had found
one officer who seemed to know the names of his men "almost better than
the men did themselves." In accordance with J. B.'s maxim about being on
the safe side, it was a company order afterwards that, when asked, all
even numbers were to be "Evans" and odd numbers "Hodges," till further

Talking about names, I was quite homesick for old London when, in
calling the names and regimental numbers of a party, I found myself
bawling angrily for "Gerrard, No. 2784."

Catering, as we do, for all tastes, we have in our rank and file a
serio-comic artiste from the lower rungs of the music-hall ladder. We
had a busy time with him at our Great Inoculation Ceremony (First
Performance) on Saturday. We could not put too strict a discipline upon
men into whose arms we were just about to insert fifteen million
microbes apiece, and our private was not slow to seize his opportunity.
He insisted upon his fifteen million being numbered off in order to
discover whether there were any of them absent from parade; he wished to
know if they had all their proper equipment, and whether each had passed
his standard test. As the needle was inserted into his arm, "Move to the
left in fours," he ordered them; "form fours--left--in succession of
divisions--number one leading--quick-ma-harch." (It was the same
humorist who recently took a strong line about protective colouring, and
put in an application for a set of khaki teeth.)

At the moment of inoculation we were all, officers and men, very
facetious and off-hand about it, but as the evening came on we grew
_piano_, even miserable. Mess was not made any less sombre by
Wentworth's plaintive observation that "the doctor who had succeeded in
making a thousand of us thoroughly ill and debarred us from the cheering
influence of alcohol was probably at that very moment himself enjoying a
hearty debauch."

The only effect of the dose upon me was to induce a rather morbid
contemplation. I recalled the happy times when I was once, even as you
are, a barrister who rose at 8.30 A.M. (an incredibly late hour), did
next to nothing all day and, when I wanted to go away, just went. I used
in those gentle days to take off my hat to ladies (a long-forgotten
habit), and I never dreamed of calling anybody "Sir." I used to suppose
that I should rise from stuff to silk, from silk to ermine, to conclude
as a Judge on the King's Bench. It seems now that I may rise from stars
to crowns, from crowns to oakleaves, and end my days as a commissionaire
in--who knows?--His Majesty's _foyer_. I, who had hoped to dismiss your
appeals, may come instead to hail your taxi at the theatre door; may
even come to call _you_ "Sir." But for the moment I am

Yours thoroughly disrespectfully,


       *       *       *       *       *


"We are glad to hear, Mr. Wilton, that you have volunteered for active
service. We are proud to know that you are ready to do your duty as a
Briton. We shall be pleased to keep your place open for you during your
absence. And, Mr. Wilton, you might take a few thousand of our circulars
in your knapsack to be distributed among the enemy in the regrettable
event of your being taken prisoner."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


    "Down with the Teutons!" rose the people's cry;
      "Who said that England's honour was for sale?"
    Myself, I hunted out the local spy,
      Tore down his pole and cast him into jail.
    "An English barber now," said I, "or none!
    This thatch shall never fall before a Hun!"

    And all was well until that fateful morn
      When, truss'd for shearing in a stranger's shop,
    "Be careful, please," I said, "I want it shorn
      Close round the ears, but leave it long on top;"
    And, thrilling with a pleasant pride of race,
    I watched the fellow's homely British face.

    An optimist he was. "Those German brutes,
      They'll get wot for. You mark my words," he said,
    And dragged great chunks of hair out by the roots,
      Forgetting mine was not a German head.
    "Oh, yes, they'll get it in the neck," said he
    And gaily emphasized his prophecy.

    Ah me, that ruthless Britisher! He scored
      His parallel entrenchments round and round
    My quivering scalp. "Invade us 'ere?" he roared;
      "Not bloomin' likely! Not on British ground!"
    His nimble scissors left a row of scars
    To point the prowess of our gallant Tars.

    I bore it without movement, save a start
      Induc'd by one shrewd gash behind the ear.
    With silent fortitude I watch'd him part
      The ruin on my skull. And then a tear,
    A fat, round tear, well'd up from either eye--
    O traitorous tribute to the local spy!

       *       *       *       *       *


    Jules François is poet, and gallant and gay;
    Jules François makes frocks in the Rue de la Paix;
    Since the mobilisation Jules François's the one
    That sits by the breech of a galloping gun,
              In the team of a galloping gun!

    When the wheatfields of August stood white on the plain
    Jules François was ordered to go to Lorraine,
    Since the guns would get flirting with good Mr. KRUPP
    And wanted Jules François to limber them up,
              To lay and to limber them up!

    The road it was dusty, the road it was long,
    But there was Jules François to make you a song;
    He sang them a song, and he fondled his gun,
    Though I wouldn't translate it he sang it A1;
              His battery thought it A1!

    The morning was fresh and the morning was cool
    When they stopped in an orchard two miles out of Toul,
    And the grey muzzles spat through the grey muzzles' smoke,
    And there was Jules François to make you a joke,
              To crack his idea of a joke:--

    "The road to our Paris 'tis hard as can be;
    The road to that London he halts at the sea;
    So, _vois-tu, mon gars_? 'tis as certain as sin
    This wisdom that chooses the road to Berlin!"
              So they follow the road to Berlin.

       *       *       *       *       *


Before I introduce Bingo I must say a word for Humphrey, his sparring

Humphrey found himself on the top of my stocking last December--put
there, I fancy, by Celia, though she says it was Father Christmas. He is
a small yellow dog, with glass optics, and the label round his neck
said, "His eyes move." When I had finished the oranges and sweets and
nuts, when Celia and I had pulled the crackers, Humphrey remained over
to sit on the music-stool, with the air of one playing the pianola. In
this position he found his uses. There are times when a husband may
legitimately be annoyed; at these times it was pleasant to kick Humphrey
off his stool on to the divan, to stand on the divan and kick him on to
the sofa, to stand on the sofa and kick him on to the book-case; and
then, feeling another man, to replace him on the music-stool and
apologise to Celia. It was thus that he lost his tail.

When the War broke out we wrote to the War Office, offering to mobilise
Humphrey. Already he could do "Eyes _right_, eyes _front_." But the loss
of his tail was against him. Rejected by the medical authorities as
unfit, he returned to the music-stool and waited for a job. It was at
this moment that Bingo joined the establishment.

Here we say good-bye to Humphrey for the present; Bingo claims our
attention. Bingo arrived as an absurd little black tub of puppiness,
warranted (by a pedigree as long as your arm) to grow into a Pekinese.
It was Celia's idea to call him Bingo; because (a ridiculous reason) as
a child she had had a poodle called Bingo. The less said about poodles
the better; why rake up the past?

"If there is the slightest chance of Bingo--of this animal growing up
into a poodle," I said, "he leaves my house at once."

"_My_ poodle," said Celia, "was a lovely dog."

(Of course she was only a child then. She wouldn't know.)

"The point is this," I said firmly, "our puppy is meant for a
Pekinese--the pedigree says so. From the look of him it will be touch
and go whether he pulls it off. To call him by the name of a late poodle
may just be the deciding factor. Now I hate poodles; I hate pet dogs. A
Pekinese is not a pet dog; he is an undersized lion. Our puppy may grow
into a small lion, or a mastiff, or anything like that; but I will _not_
have him a poodle. If we call him Bingo, will you promise never to
mention in his presence that you once had a--a--you know what I
mean--called Bingo?"

She promised. I have forgiven her for having once loved a poodle. I beg
you to forget about it. There is now only one Bingo, and he is a
Pekinese puppy.

However, after we had decided to call him Bingo, a difficulty arose.
Bingo's pedigree is full of names like Li Hung Chang and Sun Yat San;
had we chosen a sufficiently Chinese name for him? Apart from what was
due to his ancestors, were we encouraging him enough to grow into a
Pekinese? What was there Oriental about "Bingo"?

In itself, apparently, little. And Bingo himself must have felt this;
for his tail continued to be nothing but a rat's tail, and his body to
be nothing but a fat tub, and his head to be almost the head of any
little puppy in the world. He felt it deeply. When I chaffed him about
it he tried to eat my ankles. I had only to go into the room in which he
was, and murmur, "Rat's tail," to myself, or (more offensive still)
"Chewed string," for him to rush at me. "Where, O Bingo, is that
delicate feather curling gracefully over the back, which was the pride
and glory of thy great-grandfather? Is the caudal affix of the rodent
thy apology for it?" And Bingo would whimper with shame.

Then we began to look him up in the map.

I found a Chinese town called "Ning-po," which strikes me as very much
like "Bing-go," and Celia found another one called "Yung-Ping," which
might just as well be "Yung-Bing," the obvious name of Bingo's heir when
he has one. These facts being communicated to Bingo, his nose
immediately began to go back a little and his tub to develop something
of a waist. But what finally decided him was a discovery of mine made
only yesterday. _There is a Japanese province called Bingo._ Japanese,
not Chinese, it is true; but at least it is Oriental. In any case
conceive one's pride in realising suddenly that one has been called
after a province and not after a poodle. It has determined Bingo
unalterably to grow up in the right way.

You have Bingo now definitely a Pekinese. That being so, I may refer to
his ancestors, always an object of veneration among these Easterns. I
speak of (hats off, please!) Ch. Goodwood Lo.

Of course you know (I didn't myself till last week) that "Ch." stands
for "Champion." On the male side Champion Goodwood Lo is Bingo's
great-great-grandfather. On the female side the same animal is Bingo's
great-grandfather. One couldn't be a poodle after that. A fortnight
after Bingo came to us we found in a Pekinese book a photograph of
Goodwood Lo. How proud we all were! Then we saw above it, "Celebrities
of the Past. The Late----"

Champion Goodwood Lo was no more! In one moment Bingo had lost both his
great-grandfather and his great-great-grandfather!

We broke it to him as gently as possible, but the double shock was too
much, and he passed the evening in acute depression. Annoyed with my
tactlessness in letting him know anything about it, I kicked Humphrey
off his stool. Humphrey, I forgot to say, has a squeak if kicked in the
right place. He squeaked.

Bingo, at that time still uncertain of his destiny, had at least the
courage of the lion. Just for a moment he hesitated. Then with a pounce
he was upon Humphrey.

Till then I had regarded Humphrey--save for his power of rolling the
eyes and his habit of taking long jumps from the music-stool to the
book-case--as rather a sedentary character. But in the fight which
followed he put up an amazingly good resistance. At one time he was
underneath Bingo; the next moment he had Bingo down; first one, then the
other, seemed to gain the advantage. But blood will tell. Humphrey's
ancestry is unknown; I blush to say that it may possibly be German.
Bingo had Goodwood Lo to support him--in two places. Gradually he got
the upper hand; and at last, taking the reluctant Humphrey by the ear,
he dragged him laboriously beneath the sofa. He emerged alone, with tail
wagging, and was taken on to his mistress's lap. There he slept, his
grief forgotten.

So Humphrey has found a job. Whenever Bingo wants exercise, Humphrey
plants himself in the middle of the room, his eyes cast upwards in an
affectation of innocence. "I'm just sitting here," says Humphrey; "I
believe there's a fly on the ceiling." It is a challenge which no
great-grandson of Goodwood Lo could resist. With a rush Bingo is at him.
"I'll learn you to stand in my way," he splutters. And the great dust-up

Brave little Bingo! I don't wonder that so warlike a race as the
Japanese has called a province after him.

A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Any Britons wishing to view the German prisoners at Frimley Camp
    can hire a car for £3 3_s._"--_Advt. in "Daily Telegraph."_

It seems that there are Britons _and_ Britons. We prefer the other kind.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Little Brown, who is in a hurry to catch his train, but finds it
impossible to get by owing to the crush, is struck by a brilliant idea._

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: RESULT.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


(_Being a mutinous suggestion which I somehow had no time to make to the

    Sergeant! Beneath the dim and misty vault
      I tire of making fours with endless trouble,
    And left inclines inclining to a fault.
      What is this pedantry? An empty bubble.
    The spirit is the thing. When you say "'Alt!"
      My 'eart--I mean my heart--is at the double.

    You, gazing only at the outward shell
      That nothing of this secret fire divulges,
    See only raw civilians, heaped pell-mell,
      Having the kind of chest that peace indulges;
    Viewed from one end our lines are like a swell
      On the deep ocean, full of kinks and bulges.

    You bid us wheel. At once ensues a rout
      That no hussar could compass with his sabre;
    The man in evening dress is much too stout,
      He seems to draw his breath with obvious labour,
    Whilst I--I beg your pardon, _Right_ about--
      Of course I bumped into my left-hand neighbour.

    But take (as I observed) the fire beneath;
      If ever foe should leap the shining margent
    That laps our island like a liquid wreath
      Then you would see us. Shimmering and argent,
    "Out bay'nets!" we would snatch 'em from the sheath;
      No '_shunning_ in that day, I think, O Sergeant.

    Meanwhile we want a foretaste of the joy
      That so much tedious tramping merely stifles:
    We want to fall upon our--well, deploy,
      And less of "Stand at ease" and fruitless trifles;
    _Der Tag_ will come (we whisper it with coy
      Half-bated murmurings), when we have rifles

    And uniforms. I want a uniform,
      Even if not of khaki's steadfast fibre,
    To make the bright-eyed maidens' hearts more warm
      And still the mockings of the street-boy giber;
    Meanwhile, I say, why not deploy and storm
      The sacred trenches of the Zoo-subscriber?

    The hour, the place invite. While here we stake
      Our country's weal on nugatory follies,
    What are these screams of insolence that wake
      The bosky silence with perpetual volleys?
    Give us the word to charge and let us take
      Yon outpost of the Eagles with our brollies.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "BURGLAR IN BURNING HOSE."--_Liverpool Express._

He must have walked into something pretty hot.

       *       *       *       *       *

Editorial Modesty.


    The Editor does not hold himself responsible for views expressed by

    SIR,--Your Leader of last week was uncommonly good, and I hope that
    the writer will give us more from his able pen.--COLONIAL."

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Public-house Diplomatist_ (_to second ditto, with whom
he has been discussing the ultimate terms of peace at Berlin_). "I

       *       *       *       *       *


That section of the public that has felt, while anxiously waiting for
definite news of our forces in France, that the communications from "an
eye-witness present with General Headquarters" are better than nothing,
has probably wondered at the recent paucity of despatches from this
descriptive writer. Is it possible that the following has strayed into
our hands from its proper destination?

A soft wind blew gently from the south-east, and before it the fleecy
clouds passed dreamily above the poplar trees. All was quiet; not even
an old public-school boy was washing his face. Then, gently but firmly,
the "boom, boom" of the guns assailed the ear, telling of battle not far

One's fountain-pen becomes quickly clogged amid the conditions of
warfare, for the dust blows freely over the plains across which the
troops have marched. For comfort in writing there is nothing like an
indelible pencil, and paper whose surface is slightly rough. The
quantity of ink carried among the stores of a modern army is negligible.
And I believe it is a fact that in the whole of the equipment of the
British Forces in France there is not a single roll-top desk!

Talking of dust, I saw last evening a sight which must have appeared
curious to one not acquainted with war. A young Professor of Mathematics
connected with one of our great Universities passed me with a smut on
his nose. Yet in times of peace he is one of those men who seldom leave
home in the morning without carefully brushing their clothes. It should
be borne in mind by the reader that the conditions of the battlefield of
modern times have little in common with those of life in our University

On the morning of the 1st our cavalry were busy with their horses, while
the artillery devoted themselves chiefly to their guns. All that day our
infantry stood in the trenches, and the smoke from the enemy's shrapnel
made fantastic shapes against the leaden grey of the Northern sky. While
I sat writing a young officer rushed in. He had kindly returned from the
firing line especially to tell me of a little incident he had witnessed
there. A private, hailing from Rotherhithe, calmly lit a cigarette amid
the hail of bullets, took two or three draws, and then threw it away,
growling, "These 'ere French cigarettes taste like bloomin' German
cartridges." An incident typical of many that occur in a single day.

This brings us to the 2nd. All day long the Germans, from their
entrenched position, have replied to our fire, but without any
noticeable consequences. The prisoners who are brought in appear to be
glad of the rest and change. Out of gratitude one of them offered to
shave the Commander-in-Chief free of charge.

The battle continued on the 3rd. There was a touch of autumn in the air
and the wind had changed slightly. Amid the shrieking of shells and the
hum of bullets the bark of a distant farm dog could be heard distinctly.
And so from day to day the War goes on.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The entire proceeds of yesterday's magnificent opening concert of
    the season of the Sunday Concert Society at the Queen's Hall, are to
    be divided equally between the Prince of Wales' Fund and the
    National Relief Fund."--_Evening News._

And even if one gets an odd half-penny more than the other, nobody will
really mind.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By Special P.C. XXX._)

We have three, each with its nuances of attraction, its delicately
different disadvantages. They are known as the Oil Wharves, the
Generating Station, and the Sewage Station. A wise decree from Scotland
Yard leaves us uncertain up to the very last moment of each evening as
to which will be our allotted beat. A gambling element is thus provided
to stimulate us.

The Oil Wharves gloom on a _cul-de-sac_ of nocturnal emptiness. Scarcely
does a human footstep come to rouse the petroleum-sluggish echoes. A
padding pussy makes a note of cheery liveliness in the lukewarm monotony
of the night-watch.

But against that dreariness must be set the four wooden chairs which the
Oil Magnates (blessings upon them and upon their children's children!)
provide for our comfort. Technically, it may be undignified for a
Special Constable to sit down. It is possible that a penalty of three
days in a dark cell awaits the transgressor. We do not know, and we do
not enquire. In that deadliest hour beyond the dawn, when the street
lamps splutter out and the ruthless morning light reveals us to one
another unwashed, unshaven and horribly all-nighty in appearance, it is
indeed a grateful relief to sit down on the wooden Windsor chair and
wait the six o'clock of release in blankness of mind.

The Generating Station, we are given to understand, does some magic with
electricity. That is not our concern. We are there to pace up and down
outside its walls, and watch for the man with the bomb. It has the
advantage of being a bulky building; therefore a long beat. Up to
midnight it looks over to a blank wall which forms a London lovers'
lane. We speculate on the progress of courtship. The Generating Station
is not odorous, and therefore is accounted the picked beat by the
æsthetes among us.

The Sewage Station, on the other hand, is very lively with odours. They
dominate our meals for at least twenty-four hours after duty. Some
attribute them to a candle-factory opposite, labelling them as warm
decomposing tallow. Another school of thought places them as the outcast
_débris_ of a sugar-factory. A scientist amongst us claims that they are
saccharine which has taken the wrong turning. To myself the taste
suggests mellow Limburger cheese.

They raised a classic law-suit a few years ago, taken up to the House of
Lords. On the one side a string of tough sturdy bargees testified that a
few whiffs made them totally unable to face their dinner. On the other
side an array of sanitary experts claimed that they were not only
pleasant and invigorating, but a potent factor in local longevity.

The machinery of the Station has hitherto been idle. Its borough
officials apparently do nothing but fitfully polish brasses. It seems
that these lucky sinecurists only work in times of violent storm, once
every few months.

The neighbourhood may be odorous, but it is full of human possibilities.
One midnight, two ladies started a scrap. A Special Constable, raw and
without experience of militant femininity, blew his police-whistle. The
whole slum-district turned out, dressed or half-dressed, like a fevered
anthill. It took the regular police half-an-hour to clear the streets,
the original cause of tumult vanishing in the swirl. In this
neighbourhood, we are informed, it is etiquette to blow a police-whistle
only when someone is being "done in."

We were also informed, in discreet whispers, that the "Guv'nor" of the
Station "had it in for us." His grievance was this: that while a rival
show across the river had been accorded a military picket by the War
Office, he had been fobbed off with a mere guard of Special Constables.
To date of writing, his wrath still smoulders.

Our hours of duty are filled with dulness, but we live in hopes. That
speeding motor-cyclist in the yellow oilskins--is he the mysterious
rider who has already shot down a round dozen of our number on lonely

He shuts off power. He stops. He gets off and fumbles with a lamp. Is it
a bomb in disguise? Our hands creep towards the truncheons concealed in
our trouser-legs. The Hour has struck, and England expects...!

Alas, he is only a belated cyclist, reputable and harmless. We console
ourselves with visions of 1915, when we hope to be mobilised, packed off
to the Continent in motor-buses, and assigned to beats in Berlin
(possibly renamed Berlinogradville City), while the Congress are
rearranging the map of Europe.

"Yes, madam, this is Unter den Linden. Straight on and fourth turning to
the left for the Siegesallee.... Oui, Monsieur, l'auto de luxe pour
Petrograd part à midi.... Nein, mein Herr, es ist verboten. Broadly
speaking, alles ist polizeilich verboten. You will be quite safe in
assuming that anything you yearn for just now ist strengstens
polizeilich verboten. Passen Sie along, bitte!"

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

"The Women our Shield."

From _Germany and the Next War_:--

    "We shall now consider how the tactical value of ... the screening
    service can be improved by organisation, equipment and training."

VON BERNHARDI seems to have overlooked the fact that a portion of the
"screening service" was living under the Belgian Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Whilst Germany is a large customer of England in other directions,
    it is not in hardware and ironmongery. On the contrary, she exports
    much more hardware to us than we buy from her."--_System._

It seems almost a pity that this delightful system cannot go on.

       *       *       *       *       *



_Dad_ (_preoccupied with his paper_). "H'M--WELL--BETTER JUST STICK 'EM

       *       *       *       *       *




Bertram Borstal turned out his pockets and spread their contents on the
table before him. There were seven postage stamps perforated with the
initials of his late employers, one three-penny-bit in silver, twopence
in copper, and a Bank of England note for 10_s._ "Irretrievably ruined!"
he muttered with closed lips. "I will offer my services to my country. I
will enlist."

He enlisted successfully until he reached the medical examination. The
doctor thrust a shoe-horn into Bertram's mouth. "Count up to 99," he
said. "Ug--koog--hee--haw--," Bertram began.

"That'll do," remarked the doctor, closing the jaws with a snap. "Any
constitutional ailment?"

Bertram blushed heavily. "Only chronic dyspepsia," he admitted at
length. The doctor gave a long whistle. Mistaking the sound a taxicab
drew up.

"You'd better jump in," he said kindly, taking Bertram's hand and
putting it inadvertently into his own pocket. "I regret to say I cannot
pass you for the Army."

"Ploughed!" exclaimed our hero. "But if I cannot go as a soldier I will
go as a spy. Drive me to Wigson's," he called to the taxi-driver as he
leapt on to a passing bus.

Half-an-hour later Bertram, disguised in the uniform of a spy, turned up
the Strand and his coat-collar simultaneously and walked rapidly to
Charing Cross station. He just managed to scramble into the 2.19 as it
steamed from the platform at 3.7.


That same evening (or the next) Bertram got out of the train at
Kartoffelnberg, hired a tandem and drove to the German lines. He went
straight to the General. "I shall be obliged if you will kindly tell me
the number and disposition of your forces, and how and when you propose
to advance."

He spoke in English, but the General--formerly Military Attaché at
Appenrodt's--happily understood him.

"Certainly," he replied. "Perhaps you would care to examine this map and
plan of campaign?"

Bertram thanked him, and commenced to trace them upon his spare vest.

"Don't bother to do that," said the General. "Take this set of
duplicates. The disposition of our forces is clearly marked in red ink,
and their numerical strength certified by a chartered accountant. The
only detail omitted is the number of women and children that will be
placed in the firing-line. Today's bag has not yet been reported."

An aide-de-camp galloped into the tent, flung himself from his exhausted
mule and saluted.

"In the name of our noble and august KAISER," he began, "I have the
honour to inform you that we have to-day captured 47 charwomen, 16
bedridden octogenarians and 21 babies in arms."

"_Zwanzigheit!_" exclaimed the General excitedly. "Place them in the
forefront of our brave Bogey Head Hussars, and order the advance for ten
o'clock to-morrow morning."

The aide-de-camp saluted, flung himself on to a fresh mule and galloped
hell for leather to the canteen.

"I am much obliged for the information you have given me," said Bertram
politely. "It is of paramount importance."

"You're quite welcome," remarked the General. "By-the-by, what do you
want it for?"

Our hero rapidly shaved off Wigson's moustache and drew himself up
proudly. "I am a spy," he said.

"I suspected as much," commented the General. "Kindly touch that bell on
the mantelpiece behind you."

Bertram touched it; it was as cold as ice.

"See if it will ring," suggested the General.

Bertram seized it by the handle and shook it violently. In a moment or
two it rang. A sentry entered.

"_Einzweidreivierfünf_," said the General, "and riddle him with bullets
at eight to-morrow morning."


Early the next morning a knock sounded on the door of Bertram's cell.
The doomed man crossed the room and shot back the bolt. An officer armed
with a howitzer entered.

"I am instructed to inform you," he said, "that as you are shortly to be
shot you are entitled, according to custom, to choose whatever you wish
for breakfast."

"Thank you," replied Bertram, "a cup of weak tea and a rusk.
Unfortunately I am a chronic dyspeptic, or I would take fuller advantage
of your kind hospitality."

A devilish gleam shot from the other's eyes as he heard those words.

"As you will be dead in an hour," he said, "the fact of your being a
dyspeptic need not trouble you any more than if you were an acrostic.
Let me therefore suggest that you try a sausage or a knuckle of pork."

Bertram reeled against the piano. Here was an opportunity to gratify his
palate without regard to the consequences. Quickly he made up his mind.

"Bring me then," he said, "a plate of sausage and sauerkraut, a slab of
marzipan and some Limburger cheese."


It wanted but a few minutes to eight, and Bertram Borstal, with steady
nerves, waited for the striking of the cuckoo-clock in the prison tower.
Once again a knock sounded upon the cell door, and with the utmost
_sang-froid_ he drew the key from his pocket and unlocked it. The
honorary secretary of Germany entered, preceded by three cripples and a

"I am ready," declared Bertram, calm but pale, "and resigned to my

"I am happy to say," said the secretary, "that I am unable to accept
your resignation. We recognise the fact that you are only a spy, and
therefore cannot strictly be said to be bearing arms against us. We have
therefore to apologise for having arrested you; but at the same time I
would ask you kindly to bear in mind that at these times we have much to
think about, and mistakes will happen. You are free."

"Free?" repeated Bertram, unable to believe either of his ears.

"Yes, you are free," said the secretary, "and I am empowered to add that
under the circumstances no charge will be made for your breakfast.

He withdrew, and Bertram, picking up his umbrella and gloves, quickly
followed him.


Half an hour later Bertram had again entered the German lines, imploring
to be shot for pity's sake. But it was too late; all the rifles were in
use in the firing-line. It was not till he heard this that Bertram
Borstal, racked with indigestion, realised the atrocious barbarity of
his reprieve.

       *       *       *       *       *


"It'll be over by Christmas all right," said James again, but without

"Maybe," I said; "Christmas, 1918, you mean, I suppose?"

James called me a rude name, as soldiers will, and relapsed into moody

I knew what the trouble was. He had booked a room at Spitzeheider for
three weeks in January. They were to be the same party as last year, he
had said at first; but on cross-examination it appeared that this
referred solely to a lady who was described with exaggerated unconcern
as being "rather a good sort."

And now here were James and I in one of KITCHENER'S camps at ----,
having taken an oath to defend the KING at all costs against his

True, James had been given an old form to read from, and had sworn
allegiance to KING EDWARD VII. without the officer noticing it; but
though at first he tried to clutch at this straw it was only a straw.

"I find now that KING EDWARD VII. died some years ago," he had said, "so
my oath is not binding, and, if the War is not over by Christmas I shall
point that out and retire."

However it was found that "His Heir" was mentioned, so that went by the

"Cheer up, James," I said, "Spitzeheider will be there all right in
1920, even if 'the same party' are all married to other people."

James did not think my remark in the best possible taste, and said as

Then he looked up from the map he had been studying with a glad cry. "Do
you know, I think it will be all right after all," he said; "I've been
working it out, and I think it more than possible that we shall by
January be guarding lines of communication somewhere not so very far
from the Swiss frontier. I can get three weeks' leave, join the party at
Spitzeheider, and at the end rejoin our gallant troops in the field."

"The Swiss won't much care for your marching into their country armed to
the teeth," I said. "You know, James, you cut a very commanding figure
in regimentals. I won't say that a somewhat conservative tailor has
altogether realised that we are inferior physically but superior
intellectually to prehistoric man--I mean the tunic is much too big and
the hat much too small. But you look every inch a recruit, and with any
luck by January you'll look like the best kind of War Lord. No, James,
the Swiss won't pass you through the Customs."

"Oh, that will be all right!" he said; "I shall take a change of clothes
and leave my uniform and rifle in the cloakroom at the frontier station,
and get them out again on the way back."

I saw he was in a mood for sweeping aside all difficulties and said no
more. But later I had a new thought for him. "James," I said, "I should
mention that little matter--about the three weeks' leave and the
cloakroom at the frontier station and all that--to your Colonel soon, if
I were you. He'll be busy out there, I dare say, and there will be no
time for explanations. If you've prepared the ground, things will go
smoother. You'll simply say, 'You remember you said you'd give me three
weeks' leave on this date, Sir,' and he'll say, 'All right,' and go on
with the battle, and you'll march off. Only," I added, "let me be there,
James, when you make your original request."

       *       *       *       *       *

The KAISER'S Proclamation (Aix-la-Chapelle) ordered the Germans to
concentrate their attention on the "treacherous English." We have
received several indignant protests from Scotland about the use of the
word "English" in place of "British."

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


"What's this we 'ear, Bill? Pleeceman been plaguin' of you to 'list,
that it?"

"Pleeceman, 'e says to me, 'You 'aven't a wife and you 'aven't a child,
nor you 'aven't no old mother dependin' on you....'"

"Pleeceman 'e did stop you then?"

"Pleeceman's a sight too busy sometimes."

"Thinks this new army depends on 'im and 'im alone."

"Took all the trouble to come after me, 'e did."

"Matter of three-quarter-of-a-mile?"

"All of that."

"Must 'ave felt yourself a bit important like."

"That's right. Uphill all the way to our place, it is, an' Pleeceman 'e
fair lost 'is wind. Pleeceman 'e look very fierce--'tis the uniform as
does it, you don't deceive me. Pleeceman 'e says, 'That's right, my fine
fellow; you sit at 'ome in your easy-chair,' 'e says, 'snoring o' nights
on your feather bed, while the brave chaps as is gone to the front lie
on planks o' wood an' eat their soup without so much as a spoon, for the
sake o' them who won't bestir theirselves though the trumpet calls.'"

"Pleeceman seems to think our friend 'ere's mighty particular."

"That's 'is idea o' bein' sarcastic like. Pleeceman'll play that game
once too often for the good o' 'is 'ealth."

"Pleeceman, I reckon, would 'ave been real proud if 'e could 'ave got a
fine young chap like you to fight for KING GEORGE."

"Pleeceman 'e says to me--when 'e come up to our place all 'urry-scurry
to see after me goin' forth again the enemy--'e says, 'A man as _is_ a
man 'as got to put 'is 'and to the plough now an' save 'is country,
while yet there is time.'"

"Pleeceman 'e talks wild when 'e's excited."

"It's takin' your 'and off of the plough, ain't it now?"

"Seems so to me--God, 'e knows."

"Pleeceman 'e says to me, 'You go to swell the number as is fightin' for
our England, an' honours'll be showered on you as thick as wapses round
a plum-tree in August,' 'e says; 'crosses an' stars an' 'alf the
alphabet after your name.'"

"Pleeceman 'e can go it--'istory books ain't in it with 'is

"Gen'rous, too, with what ain't 'is own, same as any man."

"Pleeceman 'e says, 'Go forth and fight for this our country an' we'll
give you a welcome back as 'll make you stand among us a couple o'
inches taller on that great day....'"

"Pleeceman 'e do talk wild when e's excited."

"Pleeceman 'e says, 'You shirk this plain duty a-starin' you in the
face, an' white feathers'll be sproutin' all over of you for a coward as
refuses to do 'is little share when nations are goin' at it 'ammer and

"Pleeceman is a sight too bad when 'e be fairly moved. What did you say
to that 'ere?"

"I says to Pleeceman--'You does your duty, anyway as far as it goes. But
you does it too late in this 'ere case."

"'Ow was 'e late?"

"'Cos I'd 'listed day before."

       *       *       *       *       *


_To Mrs. Robinson, The Wigwam, Threads, Nr. Bradford._

_From Mrs. Cushat, The Vicarage, Yellowcubs, Leicestershire._

_Oct. 8, 1914._

DEAREST SISSIE,--I have been far too busy to write before. In this
"Clash of Nations," as James finely said in his last sermon, I am
distracted to find suitable holiday amusements for the children.
Fräulein should have returned from her holiday in Berlin six weeks ago
and was prevented with all her boxes ready packed to come; but perhaps
it's as well, as James speaks of the Germans in the strongest
terms--quite rightly so, of course; but one would be sorry for the poor
girl to feel ashamed of her relations.

Our only alien is poor old Miss Schmidt, who has taught music for thirty
years. We all try to be lenient and nice to her at my work-parties,
which are widely attended. James calls them a mixture of Dorcas and
Bellona--ask Harry to explain. The boys are helping to make saddle-pads
for the horses at the front. They try each pad on our old Dobbin and are
wild for him to go on service at once; but James has just decided that a
Vicar's pony's place is in the last line of the Reserves.

You asked me how long the war would continue. We have had quite a lot of
talk with the Admiral and dear old General Ramrod about it; but James
says, with the utmost respect for their characters, that these naval and
military men are so hide-bound. In his opinion hostilities will be over
in two months from now. He says:

When the British Lion roars
Foreign legions go indoors!

You know his funny way. The boys are now shouting this all about the
garden, and trying to roar like lions. I have the greatest difficulty in
preventing them from going to fight other children out of sheer
patriotism. The darlings do look so nice and smart. I could not resist
buying them flags and tin swords and helmets like real soldiers in spite
of the Moratorium, which I called by mistake _crematorium_, and James
made delightful fun about it. He also said some clever thing about banks
which I can't recall; it may come to me later.

Every one talks of nothing but the war. Even the errand-boys must have
their say; I caught one of them setting up our nice loin chops in the
dusty drive and knocking them down with pebbles for bombs; while the
girl who fetched the laundry stayed for an hour in the kitchen teaching
cook First Aid bandaging, and dinner was spoilt in consequence. However
these are all the little discomforts of war and must be borne in a
cheerful spirit.

Your affectionate Sister, MARY.

P.S.--Dear James's joke was about John Bull and bullion. Harry will
understand and appreciate it.

       *       *       *       *       *


Relations used to be for the most part a bore, and, unless rich, it was
well that they were disregarded. But the war has altered all that. The
war has brought relations, no matter how humble, into fashion.

Not all, but some. I have as a matter of fact myself one brother in the
Fusiliers, in camp, and another who is a special constable and three
times has reported an airship by telephone; but these do not count. It
is fathers, brothers, cousins, sons, uncles and nephews at the Front who

Anyone who can refer to a real relation at the Front is just now
conversationally on velvet, while, if a letter from this relation can be
produced and read, everyone else must give way. SYDNEY SMITHS, THEODORE
three-a-penny to-day as against one obscure individual who happened to
have a brother in the trenches and a letter in his handwriting.

But that is not all. There is reflected glory too. To know a person who
has a relation at the Front is to be immeasurably promoted socially, and
most of the conversations which one overhears in trains and elsewhere
have some such opening as this: "A friend of my brother's has seen a
Belgian...." "A cousin of my wife's who is a doctor in a field hospital
says...." "I know a man who was talking with a wounded Tommy, and
he...." "An undergraduate friend of my boy's who is just back from
France...." Once stories begun in this way would empty a room; but not
so now. Now they no longer devastate but fascinate. It does not matter
what the stories are about, the fact remains that an opening gambit
which three months ago would stamp a man as a triple bore now holds
everyone breathless. In short, relations at last have come to their own.
Another achievement of WILLIAM HOHENZOLLERN!

For the most part they bear upon German atrocities, just as a little
while ago they were the preliminaries to unmistakable evidence of the
presence in this country of thousands of Russians travelling from
Scotland to Southampton by underground passage and other mysterious
ways. I myself believed in those Russians absolutely, and relinquished
them with pain and sorrow; and all because they were attested to by
other people's relations. This helps to show what a hold the relation is
getting on us. In fact no story of the war is now possible without some
kith and kin in it.

Personally I am much out in the cold. Those two brothers I told you of
may serve to fill a gap now and then--a gap left by other more
entertaining raconteurs--but they are not, as I said, any real good.
Both are in England, and one will never leave it. But if things were
different.... If only that soldier brother had joined earlier and had
written to me from Rheims, say, or Compiègne, how my stock would fly up!
Or if that other one would even now fling away his truncheon, enlist in
time to share the march to Berlin, and then sit down to tell me all
about it, what a swell I should become! How dinner-parties would
assemble to hear me!

As it is, I have to-day to do the best I can either with the tame
home-keeping exploits of these two, or, by listening with excessive
sympathy or by other parasitical endeavour, acquire a reversionary
interest in someone else's relation's narrative. I have even, in order
to cut some sort of a figure in a company where relations were being
used with dashing success--I have even gone so far as to appropriate the
gardener's boy's uncle, last heard of from Cambrai, as a personal and
communicative friend, and claim an intimate association with his letter

And how splendid if all that could be changed!

"My brother," I could say boldly and with truth,--"my brother has sent
me a few lines from Berlin, the substance of which you might care to
hear." Of course they would be falling over each other to hear, but that
is my artful way. "He camped out," I should go on, "in the Thiergarten.
He says that to see the French waving their arms and cheering on the top
of the Brandenburg Gate was one of the finest things possible to
imagine. He had one bit of special luck: he was chosen to be one of the
guard to protect the removal of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum pictures
which are coming to London. He says that among these is the famous
portrait of ALEXANDER DEL BORRO (No. 413A) which is among our little

That would be worth living for--the triumph of that relation's letter!
It cannot, I fear, be mine; but surely it will be somebody's....

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Sergeant_ (_looking for likely talent_). "DOES YOUR


       *       *       *       *       *


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

Some part of the fascination that I found in _Tributaries_ (CONSTABLE)
was perhaps due to the interest of a problem. On the cover I am told
that the author "chooses to be anonymous in order that his story should
not suffer from the least suggestion of a party bias." And of course,
after reading this, I simply had to discover who it was. By the time I
reached the last page I had formed a tolerably confident guess. But I
will not commit myself further than to say that no one, however
"well-known in Great Britain and America" (the publisher again is my
authority), need be ashamed to own up to _Tributaries_, which is quite
one of the best written novels of the year. It is the story of a modern
demagogue, a young apostle of political nonconformity, part charlatan,
part zealot, who comes to town from a provincial chapel, and ends up a
glorious failure as a soured and unpopular Cabinet Minister. There is an
unusual quality in the characterisation and humour of this story of
_Maurice Sangster_. Page after page abounds with touches of observation
which betray the practised hand. The end, in its dry, unemotional
justice, approaches real tragedy. One small point. _Maurice's_
father-in-law, who hates and wishes to humiliate him, finds his
opportunity when a turn of the party wheel throws the Minister out of
office and into poverty. Her father thereupon allows _Mrs. Sangster_
fifteen hundred a year for household expenses on condition that
_Maurice_, who is scraping a bare hundred by his pen, shall not learn of
this help till the old man's selected moment for abasing him. An
intelligent woman who read the tale objected that no man, even a
journalist, could long remain ignorant that he was spending fifteen
hundred pounds more than he earned. I think she had a case. But the book
remains a remarkable one.

My own feeling about _A Soldier of the Legion_ (METHUEN) is that it
suffers from some excess of plot. That clever couple, C. N. and A. M.
WILLIAMSON, can handle a complicated intrigue better than most; but here
their battle-front, so to speak, is of such extent that even they seem
to have found it impossible to sustain the attack at every point. We
began splendidly. When _Max Doran_, rich, popular and just betrothed to
a star of musical comedy, hears suddenly that he isn't _Max Doran_ at
all, but a pauper changeling, and that the real child of his parents (if
I make myself clear) is a dull-witted girl who has been spirited away to
Africa--I said to myself, now there is an exciting time ahead. So there
was, but not in the way I had expected. For when _Max_ goes out to
Africa to find the missing one he finds her all right, but himself gets
involved in a totally different and not so promising complication. The
consequence is that the career of the enriched _Josephine_ and her union
with the wicked lawyer (all things about which I greatly wanted to hear)
have to be dismissed in a few lines. As compensation we get some good
desert pictures and a moving description of life in the Foreign Legion,
of which _Max_ becomes a member. But his other African adventures, and
the sub-sub-plot of the abduction of a Moorish maiden by her Spanish
lover, left me disappointed and detached. Of course _Max_ embraces the
heroine on the last page; and I could not but admire the resource with
which, having dropped the curtain upon this climax, the authors ring it
up again for an added paragraph (my metaphor is getting somewhat
uncertain, but no matter), which brings the story to the warlike
present. On the whole a readable book, but not quite equal to the best
from the same firm.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since the short prefatory note to _Raymond Poincaré_ (DUCKWORTH) tells
me that the book was not hastily mobilised and sent into the firing line
earlier than its author had intended, I must conclude that he is
prepared to meet the onset of the critic. I will therefore suggest to
him--and this the more boldly because he is anonymous--that he sometimes
treats French politics, both international and domestic, with an
allusiveness rather tantalising to the average English reader. "The
events of 1904," he says airily, and expects us to remember them at
once. This is a Gallic trait which would have caused us, I suppose, had
we possessed it here, to allude to the open space at the top of
Whitehall as "the square of the 21st of October." There is a supreme
interest for us at the present moment in this study of the man whose
dignified attitude towards Germany during the Moroccan crisis, and
support of the _entente_ with ourselves, has gone far to alter England's
traditional policy in European affairs. It is noteworthy that the writer
takes a very firm line about our duty in this respect, and gravely
deprecates the then growing feeling of friendship with Germany. It is
his opinion that M. POINCARÉ probably "exercises more influence in his
own country ... as regards foreign policy than did any of his
predecessors." He would also have us appreciate the French PRESIDENT'S
many-sided ability as a lawyer, financier, and educationalist. Indeed,
his proposed Budget of 1906 might well have earned him a reputation as
formidable as that of one whom I will not name. They tell me that M.
POINCARÉ has been to the front. I hope I he saw there some worthy fruits
of his strong policy in time of peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have not before met with a book by A. S. M. HUTCHINSON, the author of
_The Clean Heart_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON). That is my loss, for he has a
curious intensity of vision, an arresting way of making objective his
thoughts by a sort of nervous battering emphasis of repetition. And he
has things to say. A curious theme and painful. One _Wriford_, editor
and novelist, breaks down from overwork and hovers about the ineffably
dread borderline, crossing and recrossing. And first that grotesque
tramp, _Puddlebox_, drunken, devout, affectionate optimist, with his
"Oh, ye loonies of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise Him and magnify
Him for ever;" then the oldest sea-captain living, with his "portograph"
in _The Daily Picture_; then a preparatory school, full of boys; last,
and most effectively, simple, sweet laughing _Essie_, daughter of the
cert. plumber--all help variously to win him out of his morbid wrestling
to mental and spiritual health. A live book this, and to be commended
very warmly. But there are one or two difficulties. Those grotesqueries
of the tramp and the fantastically laughable adventures of _Wriford_ in
his company--do they mingle quite smoothly with the painfully realistic
manifestations of poor _Wriford's_ state? Can so dreadful a theme ride
off successfully on so bizarre a steed? And then again, was not the
whole agony of the man on the physical and mental, not the spiritual
plane? For did not _Wriford_ before his illness give many obvious signs
of unselfishness? Is there not in effect a certain confusion of the
clean heart with the unclouded mind? I suspect the author has some
subtle sufficient answer. And anyway I urge everyone to make
acquaintance with two very lovable folk, the tramp and little _Essie_,
among many others.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ape's Face_ (LANE) takes its title from the name bestowed by her family
upon the heroine. It is not, you will admit, either a usual or an
attractive name; but then Miss MARION FOX is by no means a usual writer,
though she is in many ways a strangely attractive one. Perhaps you
recall certain earlier tales of hers which displayed the same
characteristics that you will find in this, though I think they were not
perhaps quite so definitely bogie. I used a wrong qualification there.
Definite is exactly what Miss FOX'S bogies are not, and in this they
show their own good sense, and hers. She knows quite well that to define
a supernatural element is to lessen enormously its flesh-creeping
capabilities. Your flesh will creep all right over _Ape's Face_ several
times; though perhaps you may agree with me at the end that the book is
really an enlarged Christmas tale, and would gain by being reduced to
magazine dimensions. I have I not yet told you what it is all about.
Very briefly, there is a family and a curse. This curse--with regard to
the exact details of which I still find myself a little vague--used to
express itself by causing murders from time to time among the brothers
and sisters of the House. The tale is told in a detached and purposely
elusive way that adds much to its effect, chiefly as it is felt by one
_Armstrong_, a stranger who comes to stay with the _Mortons_ at a time
when their very unpleasant family habit was due to manifest itself. "You
cannot move about the house without feeling that the thing has nearly
_broken through_." The italics in this chance quotation are mine, and
used to emphasize a rare feeling for the most haunting phrase, a feeling
which gives distinction throughout to the story.

       *       *       *       *       *

Illustration: _Special Constable_ (_to suspicious lounger_). "NOW, LOOK

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Experienced Chauffeur wants situation; careful diver."

    _Advt. in "Gloucester Citizen."_

A useful man in a whirlpool of traffic.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "When the foe was announced, the country men did open the doors of
    their stables to let the beasts over run in the neighbourhood.
    Amongst them was a bull, who came out in the street, similling,
    bending his hocks and waiterig anxious.

    At this time, the gun started to boom. The beast, then, urshed and
    gone away from the village. On the knoll a german section had just
    taken place. The bull fell amongst, his horns forward, fool of rage.
    He knocked down the Germans like skittles."

    _"Démocratie de L'Ouest (English-French edition)."_

This is almost as picturesque as some of the work of the "Eye-witness at
General Headquarters."

       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 14, 1914" ***

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