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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158,  June 23, 1920
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158,  June 23, 1920" ***

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VOLUME 158, Jan-Jul 1920

June 23, 1920.


Kieff has been retaken by the Bolshevists. It looks as if the Poles
will have to win the place three times in succession before it becomes
their own property.

* * *

Annoyed by a small boy who was sucking sweets and laughing a parson
recently stopped in the middle of his sermon and refused to go on
with it. We are informed that the boy in question has since received
several tempting offers from other parishes.

* * *

A motorist, summoned the other week, admitted to having knocked three
people down one day and two people the next. If only this progress can
be steadily maintained!

* * *

Traffic in Finsbury Park was considerably delayed the other day by
a crowd which collected in the main street in order to watch two
bricklayers who had deliberately removed their coats.

* * *

A weekly paper states that the winding up of the Ministry of Munitions
will not be completed until next year. After all it is just as well
not to rush things.

* * *

"Only the small boy knows the joys of ice cream," says an evening
paper. Inside information, we presume.

* * *

A New York writer thinks that a man with a large family of girls is
fortunate. On the contrary, in these days, just as he gets the last
one married off, the first gets a divorce and comes back home.

* * *

"The secret of health," said Professor DARSONVAL of the French Academy
of Science, "is to walk on the toes." This is better than the plan
adopted by Tube travellers of walking on other people's.

* * *

At the Business Exhibition there was shown a waistcoat-pocket
calculator guaranteed to juggle with figures up to five thousand
pounds. This should be just the thing for persons ordering dinner at a
London restaurant.

* * *

"In 1924," says a contemporary, "Mars will be only thirty-five million
miles from the earth." It has not yet been decided what can be done
about it, but we understand that Lord NORTHCLIFFE has the matter in

* * *

Scotland Yard is warning people against a man who perpetrates fraud by
means of the telephone. It is to be hoped he will soon be captured so
that the secret of how he gets through can be wrested from him.

* * *

"An expedition in search for gold," says a contemporary, "will leave
Glasgow next week." In view of their object no surprise is felt that
they have decided to leave Scotland.

* * *

Mr. ROBERT HYDE, a chemist of Pittsburg, claims to have obtained sugar
from sawdust. This is not so very remarkable. Several people in this
country have succeeded in obtaining sugar from a grocer.

* * *

"On July 1st," says an official notice, "all banks in the United
Kingdom will be closed." To avoid disappointment, holders-up are
requested to enter the date in their engagement books.

* * *

Whilst assisting with the repairs to his church a clergyman in the
Midlands has had the misfortune to injure his thumb with a hammer. It
still remains a mystery what the clergy say on such occasions.

* * *

Although this year the majority of lady-shoppers are practising in
private for the summer sales there are still a few who have again
adopted the Underground Railway as their training quarters.

* * *

The principle of the League of Nations has now been accepted by all
the Great Powers with the exception of America and Mr. BOTTOMLEY.

* * *

A bargee summoned in Warwickshire for saying what he thought of the
Government was acquitted, but was told that if he repeated the offence
the fine would be five pounds. We understand that he is saving up for

* * *

"We must thank Germany for the present high cost of living," says an
evening paper. Personally, at the risk of appearing ungrateful, we
shall do nothing of the sort.

* * *

During a recent debate on crime a well-known doctor stated that,
although his house was often left empty, no attempt had ever been
made upon it. We hear, however, that he has since been visited by the
secretary of the Burglars' Union and has agreed to await his turn.

* * *

In reply to several correspondents we have now much pleasure in
announcing that it is not necessary to wear kilts whilst taking the
oath in the Scottish fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TIME: _Monday Morning._


_The Other_ (_bound Citywards_). "REALLY. WELL, YOU MIGHT KEEP A

       *       *       *       *       *




  _Muslim Outlook._

We can well believe this.

       *       *       *       *       *

  There was a young man of the Peak
  Who had kippers for tea once a week;
    As he hated the taste
    It was rather a waste,
  But it gave him a feeling of _chic_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It was learned yesterday, on enquiry at the offices of the
    City of Dublin Steampacket Company, that there is no truth
    in the statement that the officers and crews of the company's
    boats had been served with six months' notice in into a new
    contract for the carrying of the Government."--_Irish Paper._

We doubted it from the start.

       *       *       *       *       *



In this lecture I shall deal with the production of Lyrics, Blank
Verse and (if I am allowed) Hymns (Ancient and Modern).

First we will write a humorous lyric for the Stage, bearing in mind,
of course, the peculiar foibles, idiosyncrasies and whims of Mr. Alf
Bubble, who will sing it (we hope). Mr. Bubble's principal source of
fun is the personal appearance of his fellow-citizens. Whenever a
new character comes on the stage he makes some remark about the
character's "face." Whenever he does this the entire audience rolls
about on its seat, and cackles and gurgles and wipes its eyes,
and repeats in a hoarse whisper, with variations of its own, the
uproarious phrasing of Mr. Bubble's remark. If Mr. Bubble says, "But
look at his _face_!" the audience, fearful lest its neighbours may
have missed the cream of the thing, splutters hysterically in the
intervals of eye-wiping and coughing and choking and sneezing, "He
said, '_What_ a face!'" or "He said, '_Did_ you _see_ his face?'" or
"He said, 'Is it a _face_?'"

All this we have got to remember when we are writing a lyric for Mr.
Bubble. Why Mr. Bubble of all people should find so much mirth in
other men's faces I can't say, but there it is. If we write a song
embodying this great joke we may be certain that it will please Mr.
Bubble; so we will do it.

Somebody, I think, will have made some slighting remark about the
Government, and that will give the cue for the first verse, which will
be political.

We will begin:--

  Thompson ....

I don't know why the people in humorous lyrics are always called
Thompson (or Brown), but they are.

  Thompson, being indigent,
  Thought that it was time he went
  Into England's Parliament,
      To earn his daily bread ....

That is a joke against Parliament, you see--Payment of Members and all
that; it is good. At the same time it is usual to reserve one's jokes
for the chorus. The composer, you see, reserves his tune for the
chorus, and, if the author puts too much into the verse, there will be
trouble between their Unions.

Now we introduce the _face-motif_:--

  Thompson's features were not neat;
  When he canvassed dahn our street
  Things were said I won't repeat,
      And my old moth-ah said:--

This verse, you notice, is both in metre and rhyme; I don't know how
that has happened; it ought not to be.

Now we have the chorus:--

    "Oh, Mr. Thompson,
    It isn't any good;
  I shouldn't like to vote for you,
    So I won't pretend I should;
  I know that you're the noblest
    Of all the human race ...."

That shows the audience that _face_ is coming very soon, and they all
get ready to burst themselves.

  "I haven't a doubt, if you get in,
  The Golden Age will soon begin--
    But I DON'T LIKE--your FACE."

At this point several of the audience will simply slide off their
seats on to the floor and wallow about there, snorting.

The next verse had better be a love-verse.

  Thompson wooed a lovely maid
  Every evening in the shade,
  Meaning, I am much afraid,
      To hide his ugly head ....

_Head_ is not very good, I admit, but we must have _said_ in the last
line, and as we were mad enough to have rhymes in the first verse we
have got to go on with it.

  But when he proposed one night--
  Did it by electric light--
  Mabel, who retained her sight,
      Just looked at him and said:--

Now you see the idea?

  "Oh, Mr. Thompson,
    It isn't any good;
  I shouldn't like to marry you,
    So I won't pretend I should;
  I know that you have riches
    And a house in Eaton Place ....

(Here all the audience pulls out its handkerchief)

  I haven't a doubt that you must be
  The properest possible match for me,
    But I DON'T LIKE--your FACE."

I have got another verse to this song, but I will not give it to you
now, as I think the Editor is rather bored with it. It is fortunate
for Mr. Bubble that he does not have to perform before an audience of

Having written the lyric the next thing to do is to get a composer
to compose music for it and then you get it published. This is most
difficult, as composers are people who don't ever keep appointments,
and music publishers like locking up lyrics in drawers till the mice
have got at the chorus and the whole thing is out of date.

By the time that this song is ready Mr. Bubble may quite possibly have
exhausted the _face-motif_ altogether and struck a new vein. Then we
shall have wasted our labour. In that case we will arrange to have it
buried in somebody's grave (Mr. Bubble's for choice), and in 2000 A.D.
it will be dug up by antiquaries and deciphered. Even a lyric like
this may become an Old Manuscript in time. I ought to add that I
myself have composed the music for this lyric, but I really cannot
undertake to explain composing as well as poetry.

The serious lyric or Queen's Hall Ballad is a much easier affair. But
I must first warn the student that there are some peculiar
customs attaching to this traffic which may at first sight appear
discouraging. When you have written a good lyric and induced someone
to compose a tune for it your first thought will be, "I will get Mr.
Throstle to sing this, and he will pay me a small fee or royalty per
performance;" and this indeed would be a good arrangement to make. The
only objection is that Mr. Throstle, so far from paying any money to
the student, will expect to be paid about fifty pounds by the student
for singing his lyric. I do not know the origin of this quaint
old custom, but the student had better not borrow any money on the
security of his first lyric.

For a serious or Queen's Hall lyric all that is necessary is to think
of some natural objects like the sun, the birds, the flowers or the
trees, mention them briefly in the first verse and then in the second
verse draw a sort of analogy or comparison between the natural object
and something to do with love. The verses can be extremely short,
since in this class of music the composer is allowed to spread himself
indefinitely and can eke out the tiniest words.

Here is a perfect lyric I have written. It is called, quite simply,

  Sunshine in the forest,
    Blossom on the tree,
  And all the brave birds singing
    For you--and me.

  Kisses in the sunshine,
    Laughter in the dew,
  And all the brave world singing
    For me--and you.

I see now that the dew has got into the second verse, so it had better
be called quite simply _The Dawn_.

You notice the artistic parallelism of this lyric; I mean, "The brave
birds singing" in one verse and "The brave _world_ singing" in the
next. That is a tip I got from Hebrew poetry, especially the Psalms:
"One day telleth another; and one night certifieth another," and so
on. It is a useful trick to remember, and is employed freely by many
modern writers, the author of "The King's Regulations," for example,
who in Regulation 1680 has the fine line:--

    "Disembarkations are carried out in a similar manner to

That goes well to the Chant in C major by Mr. P. HUMPHREYS.

But I am wandering. It is becoming clear to me now that I shall not
have time to do Blank Verse or Hymns (Ancient and Modern) in this
lecture, after all, so I will give you a rough outline of that special
kind of lyric, the Topical Song. All that is required for this class
of work is a good refrain or central idea; when you have got that, you
see how many topics you can tack on to it. But if you can tack on Mr.
WINSTON CHURCHILL you need not bother about the others.

Our central idea will be "Rations," and the song will be called _Heaps
and Heaps_:--

  Now Jimmy Brown

(always begin like that)

      Now Jimmy Brown
      He went to town,
    But all the people said,
  "We're rationed in our jam, you know,
    Likewise our cheese and bread;
  But we've lots of politicians
    And Ministers galore,
  We've got enough of them and, gee!
    We don't want any more."


  We've had heaps and heaps and heaps of Mr. SMILLIE (Loud cheers);
    We've had heaps and heaps and heaps of our M.P. (Significant chuckles);
        At political carouses
        We've had heaps of (paper) houses
    But though we WAIT, no houses do we SEE

  (Bitter laughter).

  The khaki-boys were good enough for fighting,
    But now we hear the khaki-coat is barred;
  If they ration us in Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL,
    Why, anyone may have my ration-card!


All you have to do now is to work in some more topics. I don't think I
shall do any more now. The truth is, that that verse has rather taken
it out of me.

In my next lecture I shall deal with Blank Verse and "The King's


       *       *       *       *       *



  _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, Act III., Sc. 1.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ELIMINATION.



_Stranger._ "MR. SAMUEL TOOLEY?"






       *       *       *       *       *


    Ground game flew from their nesting places with shrill
    cries."--_Daily Paper._

Odd behaviour for hares and rabbits?

       *       *       *       *       *

Professional Candour.


  _Advert. in South African Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "FOR SALE.--A chance for Art Collectors:--Beautiful Enamel on
    Gold by Email de Geneve."--_Singapore Free Press._

We understand that the advertiser has also for sale some priceless
statuary by the eminent sculptor, Plâtre de Paris.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "By Lady M---- S----.

    My favourite quotation is: 'Things are what they are, and the
    consequences will be what they will be; why, then, should we
    wish to be deceived?'--_Samuel Butler._"--_Daily Sketch._

It always looks well, when mentioning the name of the author of one's
favourite quotation, to get it right. There seems to be an Analogy
here between Lady M---- S---- and that PHARAOH "who knew not JOSEPH."

       *       *       *       *       *


The anti-scarlet fever raging throughout the country is causing the
Government the deepest concern, and many schemes for modifying the
present khaki uniform of our troops, instead of reverting to the old
red and blue for ceremonial wear, have, it is well known, been under
consideration by the tailoring experts of Whitehall. Bright and brainy
as are most of the projects, we are authorised to state that the
following memorandum at present holds the field, being considered to
provide the greatest measure of economy and utility, nattiness and

       *       *       *       *       *

The flat-topped service cap (to begin with the private's head) is to
undergo considerable alterations, the crown becoming dome-shaped, the
peak disappearing and a brim being added eight inches wide and curving
deeply downwards. This detail will be carried out for summer in
chip-straw, for winter in crown velours, and completed with a ribbon
in the regimental colours (to take the place of the regimental badge),
with two streamers in the rear, like those of the Glengarry bonnet,
but greater in length and width. The chin-strap will be made of white
elastic, but not pipeclayed, and worn permanently round the chin.

       *       *       *       *       *

Owing to the expense of brass buttons and the bother of cleaning them
the S.D. frock will cease to be worn, a Cardigan taking its place both
for winter and summer use. The old shades of grey-brown elephant and
mole will disappear, but in deference to the views of the pacifists
a pale pink will be substituted for the unpopular red. White facings
will surround the collar, cuffs and bottom edge of this garment, which
will extend to a depth of eight-and-a-half inches above the knee-cap.
If side-arms are worn they will be of a miniature size and suspended
round the neck to hang in front by means of a lariat decorated with
coral beads. Non-commissioned rank will be indicated by bangles round
the right wrist.

       *       *       *       *       *

Service trousers and puttees are both clumsy in appearance and awkward
to put on, and will be replaced by a variant of the Scottish kilt,
navy blue in colour and without the sporran or pleats. Under this
will be worn pink socks, supporting the _motif_ of the Cardigan, and,
instead of the ammunition boot, tan shoes, fastened by means of a
single cross strap and button, a mechanism which can be taken down and
reassembled with remarkable ease.

       *       *       *       *       *

A small haversack will be carried by a cord attachment in the right
hand, and will contain the following items of small kit:--

One housewife.

One hold-all. [This will be filled with the usual toilet requisites,
including a toothbrush, to be employed for the first time, in view
of the abolition of brass buttons, for the purpose of brushing the

One front hair glass.

One back ditto.

Six safety-pins.

One tin shoe-cream.

One tin face-cream.

It will be compulsory to shave the upper lip, but, in order to
minimise expense at the barber's shop, the hair will be worn not less
than ten inches in length and brushed with a downward and backward
movement of the right hand away from the crown, so as to leave the
forehead clear and conceal the ears.

White cotton gloves will be worn, one on each hand.


       *       *       *       *       *

Our Erudite Contemporaries.

    "Slightly to vary the old Greek proverb, we must beware of the
    Bishops when they pay us compliments!"--_John Bull._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Policeman._ "YOU SAY YOU SAW THE MAN. WHAT SORT OF A

_Lady_ (_giving the information_). "OH, A CLEAN-SHAVED BLOKE--SAME AS

       *       *       *       *       *


  I know a solemn secret to keep between ourselves--
  I heard it from a sparrow who heard it from the elves--
  That always after 2 A.M., before the first cock-crow,
  The elfin people fill the Tubes just full to overflow.

  The grown-ups do not know it; they put the trains to bed
  And never guess that magic will drive them in their stead;
  All day the goblin drivers were hiding in the dark
  (If mortals catch a fairy's eye they take it for a spark).

  Elves patter down the subways; they crowd the moving stairs;
  From purses full of tiddly-winks they pay the clerk their fares;
  A Brownie checks the tickets and says the proper things:
  "Come pass along the car there!" "Now, ladies, mind your wings!"

  They're never dull like mortals who read and dream and doze;
  The fairies swing head downwards, strap-hanging by their toes;
  When _Puck_ is the conductor he also acts as host
  And sets them playing Leapfrog or Coach or General Post.

  I'd love to travel with them! The sparrow says he thinks
  I'd get from here to Golder's Green for three red tiddly-winks;
  Two yellows pay to Euston, four whites to Waterloo;
  Perhaps I'll go some moonlight night; the question is--will YOU?

       *       *       *       *       *


    [Being specimens of the work of Mr. Punch's newly-established
    Literary Ghost Bureau, which supplies appropriate Press
    contributions on any subject and over any signature.]


_By Lady Vi Fitzermine, Leader of Society's Revels._

Are we growing dull? That is a question which in these pip-inducing
times of peace one is frequently constrained to ask; and in the view
of many, I fear, there can be but one answer.

During the late lamented War it was almost impossible for any rightly
constituted woman to experience the pangs of boredom. When one wasn't
making things vibrate in the hospitals of France and Flanders there
was always abundance of excitement on the Home Front--flag-days,
tableaux, theatricals, dances and other junketings in aid of this or
that charity. And when the supply of charities threatened to run dry
it was always a simple matter to invent new ones. All you had to do
was to organise a drawing-room meeting, put the names of the Allied
nations in one hat and of the more or less recognised necessaries of
life in another and draw out one paper from each receptacle. You there
and then registered a new charity out of the result and advertised
some thrillingly expensive form of entertainment in support of the
Society for the Supply of Chewing-gum to the Czecho-Slovakians, or any
other equally pathetic cause.

In those days a charity began at an At Home and usually ended at the
Coliseum or the Albert Hall--or (in a few unfortunate cases) in the
Bankruptcy Court. Nowadays, however, people are deplorably sceptical
on the subject of new appeals to the pocket, and many folk find time
hanging heavy on their hands in consequence. It is for us who are of
what I may call the organising class to break down the walls of this
growing prejudice, which, if not checked in time, threatens to add
seriously to the general volume of unrest. Hence it is necessary
to scrap a good many of our old ideas and to realise that for all
essential purposes the exotic form of charity is played out. To-day
a Society woman who wishes to maintain her position as _arbiter
elegantiarum_ must tap other sources of inspiration and supply.

It is in these circumstances that I confidently fall back upon the
Middle-Class Mother. After all, who was always the chief financial
support of my wartime enterprises? The Middle-Class Mother. It was to
her heart that the cry of the Croat, the moan of the Montenegrin, the
ululation of the Yugo-Slav made its most effective entry. It was she
who lavished her husband's pay or profits on the entrancing vision of
the Countess of Bustover as Britannia or of Lady Aaronson as England's
Girlhood. So I have determined that she shall now have a show to
herself, and we shall see whether she will subscribe to her own
charity as wholeheartedly as she did to those of our suffering Allies.

Without a doubt the Middle-Class Mother is a very deserving
institution and has done extremely good work in the past, which
I regret that the space at my disposal does not permit me to
particularise. I must perforce content myself with announcing that on
her behalf a grand Zoological Fancy Dress Ball will be held next month
at Valhalla, which will be converted for the occasion into a realistic
representation of a Bear Garden. I myself am appearing as Queen of the
Polar Bears, and by way of augmenting the takings I propose to sell
hugs at a guinea per head. The whole of the proceeds, after the
expenses have been deducted, will go to the Middle-Class Mothers'
Mutual Criticism Society, an animated body of which I have the
privilege to be founder and hon. president.

       *       *       *       *       *


  It was an earl's daughter, she lived in a tower
    (Ding-dong, ding-a-dong-dey),
  And she was as fair as the loveliest flower
    That nods in the girdle of May.
  The floor of her bower was strewn with green rushes;
    Full many knights' banners hung waving above;
  And round her young minstrels stood singing like thrushes
    Brave ballads of lovers and love,
    Wooings and cooings of love.
  But over their harping and over their singing,
    When twilight came mantled in lilac and grey,
  Would sound the sweet clangour of chapel-bells ringing
    "Ding-dong, ding-a-dong-dey,"
    From over the hills and away.

  It was an earl's daughter, she lived in a tower
    (Ding-dong, ding-a-dong-dey),
  But the salt sea arose in a terrible hour
    And smothered her singing in spray.
  It changed her to rock, and she lies in her chamber,
    Her faithful stone minstrels all crouched by her side;
  Above her, weed banners of crimson and amber
    Wave slow in the sweep of the tide,
    Hither and yon on the tide.
  Yet down through the fathoms of twilit green water
    Where eerie lights glimmer and strange shadows sway,
  The steamer bells ring to the earl's little daughter,
    "Ding-dong, ding-a-dong-dey,"
    Ring out and sail on and away.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Itinerant Photographer_ (_to couple who are in the
middle of a quarrel_). "'ERE Y' ARE, SIR! THE LATEST IN 'IGH-CLASS

       *       *       *       *       *


"Now mind, my boy, what you've got to do is to tell all your friends
you are out looking for a job, and they'll give you introductions.
Nothing like 'em; a friend at court, you know, and all that." This was
from one of the friends to whom I had applied for a post. The advice
was all he had to offer me.

I acted on it, and found my friends only too ready to give the
required introductions. With alacrity they minuted me on from one to
another till I felt as if "passed to you, please" had been scrawled
all over me. But I persevered, and eventually weeded out from my list
of introductions half-a-dozen that were addressed to solid men, high
up in the City, who might be counted on not to miss the chance of a
good thing. That is how in the early days of the Peace I was disposed
to regard a demobilized young officer who had worn red tabs.

The first name on my selected list was John Pountney, of the firm of
Laurence, Pountney & Co. My wife's uncle had been at school with John
Pountney's brother, who unfortunately had no connection with the firm.
But no matter; I filled up a form in the outer office--"Nature of
Business, personal"--and sent it in with my note of introduction
attached. John Pountney saw me. He did all the talking in quite an
affable manner, told me of his son's experiences in the War, deplored
the high price of petrol and his wife's difficulties in obtaining
servants, and then: "Well, let's get to business. So you would like
good employment in the City? What can you do?"

I began: "Well, Sir, when I was on the Staff----" He interrupted:
"Now, don't go on to say that you can organise;" and he shook a
finger at me playfully and was off once more with an anecdote about an
officer in his son's regiment.

Eventually I found myself being bowed out in a rather dazed condition.
Only one thing emerged at all clearly out of the whole interview; and
I took from my pocket a sheet of paper, on which I had jotted down
my most telling qualifications, and with a stub of blue pencil
regretfully but firmly biffed out item No 1, Organising Ability.

I next approached the firm of Walbrook Bros., armed with a letter
from a man who had once belonged to the same golf-club as the senior
Walbrook brother.

"I can't read your friend's name," said this magnate, "but whoever he
is he seems to think that you are the sort of man who might be useful
in my business. What can you do?" and he leaned back patiently in his
chair, finger-tips to finger-tips, but with all the appearance of one
ready to pounce at my first weak statement.

"For the best part of four years," I began, "I have been living in
France, and----"

He pounced. "Ah, French! I thought so. Now if you had said Spanish, or
even Russian ..."

He frowned as the thought crossed his mind that I might yet say either
of them. But I didn't, and he was free to expatiate on the alleged
advantages of Spanish and a sound commercial education. The end was
that I found myself once more in the street, this time erasing the
word "Languages" from my dwindling list.

And so it went on. Mr. Hall, of the firm of Copt and Basing Hall,
begged me not to speak of any capacity I might possess for controlling
men. (Item No. 3: Disciplinary Power and Habit of Command.) He himself
was able to do all the controlling that his staff would be likely to
require. Mr. Throgmorton, managing director of the firm of Capel Sons
and Threadneedle, Ltd., hoped at the outset that I would not speak of
my mathematical proficiency. Many men were inclined to make a fetish
of mathematics. He feared I might be one of them from the fact that I
had begun to speak of (item No. 4) the tabulation and co-ordination of

After a week of this sort of thing I had acquired nothing but
experience, and my experience now gave me an idea. I drew up a new
list of important firms to which I had received no introductions
at all, and selected one which I knew was presided over by a man
of almost world-wide fame. Taking my courage and nothing else in my
hands, I entered the inquiry-office.

"Slip, please," I said briskly to the youth behind the counter, and he
handed me the customary form. Disregarding the spaces to be filled in,
I scribbled diagonally across the paper the name of the great man,
and wrote underneath: "Have called in passing, and cannot stay many

This I signed and handed to a messenger, remarking in a hurried and
off-hand manner, "Say that, if he's engaged, I'd rather come another
day, as I don't want to miss the 12.5 to Hatfield."

I had no desire to catch it either; but Hatfield is where the great
man lives. This was my ingenious method of getting through the outer
defences, and it worked. The youth behind the counter supposed I must
be a personal friend (did I mention that I have an "air" and a power
of controlling?... Ah, yes, item No. 3), and sped the messenger on
his way. Not only so, but my message must have deceived the great one
himself, for I was admitted to the Presence immediately.

He stood before me, holding my slip in his hand, with a puzzled frown
on his face. The frown deepened as he failed to recognise me.

"You need have no fear," I said; "I have no letter of introduction."
And I smiled pleasantly at him.

His look of apprehension vanished, and I continued, unfolding my
blue-pencilled list of accomplishments:--"Listen: I am no organiser;
my knowledge of French may be dismissed as negligible (this from
the man with whom Jeanne Vincent had deigned to converse in her
own tongue!); I profess no power of controlling my fellow-men; my
mathematical ability isn't worth a rap, and, as to statistics, I
neither tabulate nor co-ordinate them with any degree of readiness."
Thereupon I bowed, with hands extended, as who should say, "You behold
me; that's the sort of man I am."

He smiled faintly. "Excuse me, but what _can_ you do?"

"That," said I, "is for you to discover. If, when I shall have worked
in your office for say three months"--he started--"you are unable to
find any use for me, then you are not the kind of man I take you for."
And I drew myself up, striking what I hoped was a dignified attitude.

He stared at me for some seconds.

"You have references?" he asked.

"Of course," I answered, "but I know enough not to produce them till
they are called for."

Then he pressed a bell. "I am going," he said, "to introduce you to my
manager. You have certain qualifications which I think may be useful
to us."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Member._ "WHAT'S THE BEEF LIKE TO-DAY? IS IT EATABLE?"


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Bored Little Girl._ "AREN'T YOU NEARLY CLEAN NOW,

       *       *       *       *       *


"Do you know anything about golf?" I asked Pottlebury by way of making
conversation with a comparative stranger, and immediately afterwards
knew I had made a mistake. I should have inquired, "Do you golf?" or
"Are you a golfer?" and no evasion would have been possible.

"I should think I do," he replied. "I suppose there's hardly a course
between here and Strathpeffer that I haven't visited. English and
Scottish, I know them all."

"And which is your favourite course?"

"That is a difficult question," he remarked judicially. "Only last
night I was arguing about the comparative merits of Westward Ho! and
St. Andrews. Both are easily accessible from the railway, but if you
take your car the latter is to be preferred. You get your life bumped
out of you on those North Devon roads."

"I wasn't thinking of the travelling facilities," I observed coldly.

"No, of course. It's what you find at the other end that counts. Well
then, travelling aside, there is much to be said for Sandwich. The
members' quarters are comfortable--very comfortable."

I must have made a disparaging gesture, for he immediately

"But, if it's only lunch you want, I advise those Lancashire clubs
round Southport. They know how to lunch in those parts--Tweed salmon,
Welsh mutton and Whitstable oysters."

"No doubt your judgment is correct," I replied, "but I----"

"And at one of them they keep a real French _chef_ who knows his
business. I wouldn't wish for a better cuisine anywhere."

"There are other things," I remarked loftily, "besides those you

"Exactly; that's why I like to see a good bridge-room attached and
enough tables to accommodate all comers. They have that at Spotworth.
You can often get a game of poker as well."

"But don't you see," I exclaimed, "that all these things, are mere
accessories and circumstances?"

"That is true," he murmured; "they are but frames as it were of the
human interest. After all there's nothing to equal a crowd of jolly
good fellows in the smoking-room. I've had some excellent times down
at Bambury--stayed yarning away to all hours. Some of the best fellows
I ever met belonged to that club."

"You don't talk at all like a golfer," said I.

Pottlebury laughed. "I was forgetting. If it's whisky you want you
can't beat Dornoch and Islay. We've nothing in England to touch them.
Why, I've met some of the keenest golfers of the day at Islay--nothing
less than a bottle a day apiece."

"Sir," said I severely, "it is clear that you have never struggled
like grim death with an opponent who was three up at the turn until
you were all square at the seventeenth, and then found yourself after
a straight drive with an easy baffy shot to----"

"One moment," said Pottlebury; "what exactly _is_ a baffy?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Asking For It.

    "----'s have dozens of other cars available; £65 to £1,700;
    call and insult us."

  _Motoring Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HIS FIRST PATIENT.



       *       *       *       *       *


_Monday, June 14th._--As an Ulster Member, Mr. LINDSAY protested
against the availability of return-tickets between Ireland and England
having been reduced from six months to two. Sir ERIC GEDDES explained
that the change had been made to stop the illicit traffic in
return-halves, though he hastened to disclaim any suggestion that
Members of Parliament were concerned in it. The grievance is probably
not of large dimensions. It is difficult to understand why anyone
leaving Ireland in these days should want to go back there.

The PRIME MINISTER did not seem to favour the suggestion, pressed upon
him from many quarters, that the Government should cause an estimate
to be made of the national income, and then limit public expenditure
to a definite proportion of that amount. A private person may cut
his coat according to his cloth, but the Government, he argued, is
unfortunately obliged by circumstances to reverse the process. Even so
the taxpayer may be forgiven for thinking that the State costume still
bears some superfluous trimmings.

When economy is proposed, however, it is not always popular. Sir JOHN
BUTCHER, in protesting against the Government's proposal to sell
the _Brussels_, the late Captain FRYATT'S ship, was expressing a
wide-spread feeling. But Colonel LESLIE WILSON disarmed criticism by
pointing out that if all British vessels with heroic associations
were to be kept as exhibition-ships a large proportion of the British
mercantile marine would be laid idle.

A few years ago the General Manager of one of the English
railways--the late Sir GEORGE FINDLAY, I think--declared that he could
look after the whole of the Irish railways and have three days a week
left for fishing. Nowadays, I suppose, the Irish lines are not laid in
such pleasant places. At any rate the best part of two days has been
occupied in deciding whether in the new scheme for the government of
Ireland they should be administered by the Central Council or the two
Parliaments, and under the compromise eventually reached they will be
more or less subject to all three authorities.

The debate was chiefly remarkable for the evidence it provided that
the Ulstermen are developing into the strongest of Home Rulers--almost
Sinn Feiners, according to one of their critics--where their own
province is concerned.

_Tuesday, June 15th._--Mr. CHURCHILL had again to withstand attacks
upon his Army uniform proposals, this time on the ground that the
reversion to scarlet and pipeclay would entail extra labour and
expense upon the private soldier. His confidence that Mr. Atkins would
not grudge the short time spent on cleaning his full dress, so closely
bound up with regimental traditions, was endorsed by Mr. BILLING, who
said, "The time occupied is about twenty minutes, and I speak from

[Illustration: THE BUTTON EXPERT.


A statement that the issue of bagpipes to certain Irish regiments
was under consideration brought protests from Scottish Members, who
evidently thought that their own national warriors should have a
monopoly of this form of frightfulness. But Mr. CHURCHILL pointed
out that the Irish Guards were already provided with bagpipes, and
Lt.-Commander KENWORTHY horrified the Scots by declaring that the
pipes were not an indigenous product of their country, but had been
imported from Ireland many centuries ago.


Further progress was made with the Government of Ireland Bill. A
proposal to strengthen the representation of the minority in the
Southern Parliament was sympathetically received by Mr. LONG, who
thought, however, that the Government had a better method. As that
consists in a proposal to exact the oath of allegiance from every
candidate for election and to give the KING in Council power to
dissolve any Parliament in which more than half the members have
not taken the oath, it is sufficiently drastic. Having regard to
the present disposition of the Sinn Feiners there seems to be mighty
little prospect of a Parliament in Dublin before the date known in
Ireland as "Tib's Eve."

_Wednesday, June 16th._--In both Houses Addresses were moved praying
His Majesty to appoint two additional Judges of the King's Bench
Division. The motions met with some opposition, principally on the
score of economy, and it was suggested that no additions to the Bench
would be required if the existing Judges resumed the old practice
of sitting on Saturdays. This drew from the LORD CHANCELLOR the
interesting information that the Judges devoted their Saturdays to
reading "the very lengthy papers that were contained in their weekly
_dossier_." It is no doubt the great length of these documents that
accounts for the peculiar shape of the bag that Mr. Justice ----'s
attendant was carrying when I met him at Sandwich a few Saturdays ago.

Lord BIRKENHEAD soothed the economists by pointing out that the new
Judges would probably more than earn their salaries of five thousand
pounds a year. In accordance with the prevailing tendency court-fees
are to be raised, and at Temple Bar as in Savile Row our suits will
cost us more.

Until Colonel LESLIE WILSON moved the Second Reading of the Nauru
Island Agreement Bill I don't suppose a dozen Members of the House of
Commons had ever heard of this tiny excrescence in the Western Pacific
with its wonderful phosphate deposits. Captured from the Germans
during the War, it is now the charge of the British Empire, and the
object of the Bill was to confirm an arrangement by which the deposits
should be primarily reserved for the agriculturists of Australasia,
New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It produced a debate of
extraordinary ferocity. Young Tories like Mr. ORMSBY-GORE vied with
old Liberals like Mr. ASQUITH (on whom the phosphates, plus the Louth
election, had a wonderfully tonic effect) in denouncing the iniquity
of an arrangement by which (as they said) the principles of the League
of Nations were being thrown over, and this country was revealed as a
greedy monopolist. Thus assailed both by friend and foe Mr. BONAR LAW
required all his cool suavity to bring the House back to a sense of
proportion, and to convince it that in securing a supply of manure for
British farmers the Government were not committing a crime against the
comity of nations.

Answering questions for the Irish Government in these days is rather
a melancholy business, but the ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND resembles
Dr. JOHNSON'S friend, in that "cheerfulness will keep breaking in."
Thus he excused the Government's non-interference with the Sinn Fein
"courts," whose writ now runs over half Ireland, on the ground that
for all he knew they might be voluntary courts of arbitration; and
when Major O'NEILL expressed the hope that he would at least take
steps to protect the British public from the criminals "transported"
by sentence of these mysterious tribunals he blithely disclaimed
responsibility, and said he was quite content that they should be out
of Ireland.

Considering the counter-attraction of the Ascot Gold Cup, Mr. BALFOUR
had a surprisingly numerous audience for his discourse on the League
of Nations. His enumeration and analysis of the League's various
enemies were in his happiest vein of philosophical humour. His
conclusion was that the League had much less to fear from its avowed
foes than from its fanatical friends, who were already attempting to
put upon it tasks for which it was unfitted, and even to supply it
with an International Police Force. Its proper weapons were not armies
and aircraft, but Delay and Publicity.

This formula, so reminiscent of Wait and See, did not prevent Mr.
ASQUITH from hinting in the politest manner that the League was not
likely to prevent the wars of the future unless it made some effort to
stop those now in progress.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Nephew_ (_after several hair's-breadth escapes_). "NOT



       *       *       *       *       *


I don't think I have ever read a short story about a film, so I have
made one up myself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Viviana Smith was born in Battersea. At twelve years old she ran about
the streets with holes in her stockings and played a complicated game
with chalk squares and a stone. She had the accent of London streets,
which is the only accent that can pierce through the noise of London
traffic. But she had hair the colour of marsh-marigolds, a Vorticist
mouth and patent enlargeable eyes. In the street she made eyes at
errand-boys, and at school she made eyes so large that there was no
room to dot them.

At the age of seventeen she went in for the Purple Pomegranate film
competition, and was selected from five hundred thousand candidates
to be a motion-picture star. She starred some. At the beginning she
played in romantic comedy films with woodland scenery and rustic
bridges and pools where she tickled for trout. She tickled so well
that one could almost hear the trout laugh. Later she played in
"crook" melodrama, where somebody was always peeping through the door
when the secret patent was being taken out of the office safe, and
where men always kept arriving in motor-cars and going up flights of
steps with their faces turned to the audience and going down flights
of steps with their faces turned to the audience and getting into
motor-cars again. They never missed a step. There is something about
this feat which holds a cinema audience spellbound.

Later she rode on untamed mustangs and fell over cliffs gagged and
bound, and sometimes she was even promoted to slide or twirl into a
bakehouse and tumble with a talented cast of actors and actresses into
a large trough of dough. When they had wiped the dough off they all
came back into the bakehouse one after another and tumbled into the
dough-trough again. Repetition is the soul of wit.

One day Viviana met Ignatius Vavasour, the poet. For two years he had
worshipped her afar on the screen. He had seen her in so many reels
that she made him giddy. He had seen her in _Youth's Yodelling
May-tide Hour_, length five reels, and in _Hate's Hideous Hand of
Crime_, length six reels, and in _Gertie Flips the Flap-jack over_,
length seven reels and a half. He had never heard her speak, but he
had seen her beautiful lips ripple into a thousand artless expressions
of grief and joy. He did not know whether he loved her most when she
was tripping through a silvan glade, with meadow-sweet in her hand,
or when she was gliding gracefully over Niagara Falls in a tar-barrel;
when she was cracking the door of a strong room with a jemmy or when
she was getting the dough out of her hair with a rake. But as soon as
he had seen her out of the pictures he knew that he loved her best as
she was. He knew that he could not live without her. He told her so.

"But, Mr. Vavasour," she protested.

"Call me Iggie," he cried.

"But you have only known me such a short time," she said. "You have
seen me, you say, a hundred times on the films, and I daresay you
admired me immensely, but tell me this, Iggie, Is it my real character
that you love?"

"No, no! A thousand times no!" he exclaimed.

"Then I cannot marry you," she answered coldly, turning away.

Crushed with disappointment Ignatius staggered from the room. He had
no thought for poetry now, but wandered feverishly about the streets,
searching for some mad excitement to stifle his despair. He played
billiards and _vingt-et-un_. He took to drugs and to drink. He even
had thoughts of standing for Parliament. But he soon found that the
sorrow, gnawing at his heart was one that politics could never
assuage nor alcohol drown, not at least at the present price of green

One day as he slouched miserably along the pavement he saw the
advertisement of a lecture outside the door of an institute. "The
Ideal in Philosophy and Art," said the placard; and, scarcely knowing
what he did, Ignatius went in. But the lecturer had barely begun to
expound his theme, which he did in the following forcible words:
"The categorical subjectivity of all intuitive apperceptions of the
ideal"--when a wild light flashed in the poet's eyes and he started
from his seat and rushed madly from the room. The lecturer wondered
mildly what had happened, but blinked and went on. What had happened
was that Ignatius Vavasour was pounding like a prize American trotter
to the nearest telephone box.

"Viviana," he cried an hour later, when he had got through, "you
remember what you said the day we met? Is it your real character that
I love? And I said 'No.'"

"Yes, Iggie," she said with a catch in her voice.

"Did you mean Rabbits, Eggs, Eggs, Lloyd, or Babbits, Eggs, Albatross,

"Albatross," she moaned.

"Well, it is. I mean, I do," he cried.

"Viviana, will you marry me?"

"Sure, Iggie," she answered softly. "Good-bye."

       *       *       *       *       *

And now that I have written this story I am going to get it filmed.


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Could we gather grapes from thorns or pigs from
    thistles?"--_Report of Lecture delivered by the
    Astronomer-Royal of Scotland._

As far as English thistles are concerned (we cannot speak for
Scotland) the answer is in the negative.

       *       *       *       *       *


When the club secretary first wrote and told me that it was proposed
to acquire two pictures (one Naval and one Military), which were
to hang in the club as worthy reminders of the Great War to future
generations--when he wrote and told me this, and suggested (apparently
as an afterthought) that a cheque from me would further the project, I
was content to keep the matter in view.

When he wrote, some months later, and told it me all over again,
accompanying the afterthought on this occasion with a printed
subscription form, I took the trouble to reply, letting him know that
I was keeping the matter in view.

When he wrote a third time, affording me a glimpse of the guileless
faith he had in me, I felt genuinely sorry for the poor chap.

He said there were many possible reasons to account for the
non-arrival of my cheque. I might, for example, be abroad, somewhere
out of reach of postal facilities, or perhaps the cheque had been
lost in the post. Of one thing only he was sure--there had been no
parsimonious intent on my part.

I was able in some sort to relieve his mind of anxiety by mentioning
that I was still a resident at the address in Cheshire under which I
last wrote to him. I even assured him that, so long as my tailor did
not forsake his present attitude of friendly remonstrance, it was
improbable that I should proceed abroad. Nor had I as yet any reason
to suspect that great public institution, the post. The fact was that
I still had the matter in view.

As regards the pictures, I said that I had a friend who was in
love with the daughter of an A.R.A., and who, in telling me about
a financial controversy between himself and his prospective
father-in-law, had let slip the information that a slump in artists'
prices was imminent. In view of this I suggested that the agreement
with the artists commissioned by the club should for the present be a
verbal one and elastic in its wording.

In the last part of my letter I reviewed the history of my own
connection with the club, covering a period of five years. I recalled
the epoch-making day when I received my first letter from Mr.
Secretary--a letter acquainting me of the fact that I was a full-blown
member--all but, at least. What was thirty guineas? And each year
since then, I reminded him, I had disbursed a further ten guineas
without a murmur.

On the other side of the account I showed in tabulated form all the
change the club had given back:

  Use of soap, 1916                     0-1/2
  Laundering of towel, ditto            3
  Use of soap, 1919                     1
  Laundering of towel, ditto            3
  Fifty per cent. excess for ditto      1-1/2
  Stolen: Three matches, one tooth-pick 0-1/4
  Total                                 9-1/4

I pleaded a moral right to dispose of the balance. I suggested that
seventy-three pounds nine shillings and twopence three-farthings
(waiving the question of interest) might be sufficient to buy a third
War picture, the interior of a Government office during the tea-hour,
or something of that sort. I begged that he would lay the matter
before the Committee.

I am not very hopeful about my letter. Probably he has spent that
seventy-three pounds odd already on stationery and postage-stamps.

I think that, if it finds its way into print, I may send him half the
proceeds of this article. No harm in keeping the matter in view, at
all events.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By our Modernist Critic_).

A certain amount of dissatisfaction has been expressed with the
Negro Rhapsody by Mr. JOHN POWELL, performed by the New York Symphony
Orchestra, at their concert last week. According to the analytical
programme the composer has sought _inter alia_ to depict "the
degenerative frenzy of a Voodoo orgy" and "the physical impulses
of the adult human animal," culminating in "a flood of primal
sensualism." Yet, if the Press is to be believed, the performance fell
lamentably short in the epileptic quality so finely displayed by many
of the coloured Jazz-band players now in London. None of the audience
had to be removed; _The Morning Post_ only speaks of the "becoming
picturesqueness of design" of the Rhapsody; while _The Times'_ critic
did not care much for it because it took too long to get to business,
and adds that he was not very sure what its business exactly was.
This, in view of the extremely explicit statement of the composer's
aim given in the programme, seems to us most unjust.

Here is a gifted composer with high and serious aims--for what could
be more instructive or spiritual than a musical rendering of "the
degenerative frenzy of a Voodoo orgy"?--and the musical critics either
evade the issue by talking vaguely of picturesqueness or deny that he
means business. Verily the lot of the composer is hard. Quite recently
I heard of a native British symphonist who had composed a remarkable
orchestral Fantasy dealing with the psychology of members of the
N.U.R. engaged in the railway transport of fish and milk. I have not
heard the music, because unfortunately it has not yet been performed,
but I have read the programme, and nothing more stimulating can be
imagined than the final section, in which a terrific cannonade of
milk-cans is combined with a marvellous explosion of objurgation
from the fish-porters on strike. Yet if it were to be performed
_The Morning Post_ would probably dismiss it with a few polysyllabic
platitudes and _The Times_ affect ignorance of what it was all about!

In view of the misconceptions and misinterpretations to which serious
composers are subject, we are not surprised to hear that a society
has been formed for the purpose of giving "silent auditions" of modern
masterpieces. No orchestra nor any instrument will be employed, but
each member of the audience will be provided with a full score. The
first hour will be devoted to the study of the music; the audience
will then write down their impressions for half-an-hour; subsequently
the composer will expound his aims from the platform; and the price
of admission will be returned to the student whose impressions accord
most closely with the composer's "programme." In this way the cost of
concert-giving will be considerably reduced, and it is also hoped
that the consumption of sedative tablets, which has reached formidable
dimensions amongst frequenters of symphonic concerts, will be rendered

Our only criticism of this admirable scheme is this--that the number
of amateurs who can read a modern full-score at sight is still
somewhat limited. The view that "heard melodies are sweet, but those
unheard are sweeter" might be quoted in support of "silent auditions"
were it not for the unfortunate fact that KEATS, who expressed it, is
now completely out of fashion with our emancipated Georgians. But
the broad fact remains that the forces of reaction are by no means
crushed. The Handel Festival has been revived at the Crystal Palace;
and Handel-worship is anathema to the Modernist, as redolent of
roast-beef, middle-class respectability and religious orthodoxy.
Only recently a brilliant writer compared his oratorios to
mothers'-meetings. The revival of these explosions of pietistic
jumbomania is indeed a sad set-back to those ardent reformers who seek
to elevate and purify public taste by the musical delineation of "the
degenerative frenzy of a Voodoo orgy."

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: I WON'T KEEP YOU A MOMENT]

[Illustration: HAVE A CIGAR?]



[Illustration: YOU ARE A HEALTHY MAN, BUT----]

[Illustration: YOU MAY FALL ILL----]

[Illustration: OR THE WORST MIGHT----]

[Illustration: SIGN HERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *



This is a play about a Northampton shoe-manufacturer of Scottish
nationality. There is, of course, nothing quite like leather, and
I can well believe that the lucrative properties of the boot trade
(notwithstanding its alleged association with atheistic principles)
must at one time or other have attracted this prehensile race; yet I
doubt if Northampton, home of the cobbling industry, ever encouraged
a Scot to penetrate its preserves. Mr. LOUIS ANSPACHER, who wrote the
play, may have some inside knowledge denied to me, though his name
does not vividly indicate a Scots origin; but it is certain, if his
_Wallace Craigie_ really came from over the border, that he was
no true Scot, for his dialect showed obvious traces of Sassenach

I have a mind that moves slowly and I hate to be hustled at the
opening of a play. I hate an author to plunge me into a whirl of
movement and a medley of characters as if he assumed that I was
intimate with circumstances known only to himself and his cast. I want
to be told, very quietly, where I am, and if he does not tell me I
become peevish. But, even if I hadn't been put off at the start, I
don't think my sympathies would ever have been very deeply engaged. I
soon saw that, whatever happened to anybody, I should easily bear
up. Mr. LOUIS CALVERT did all that was humanly possible to correct
my indifference, but his _Daddalums_ (as you might gather from such a
name) was not one of those heroic figures whose struggles against the
perversity of fate are apt to melt even the cold hearts of the gods
(Olympian). This old cobbler, suddenly grown rich, whose one ambition
was to make his son "_Tammas_" a gentleman (as he understood the
term), at any cost to the boy's soul, was asking for trouble from the
beginning. And when he got it I was far less sorry for the old fool
than I was pleased at the chances which this turn of fortune gave to
the versatility of Mr. CALVERT.

But the interest of the play lies not so much in the plot--worked
out mechanically, with one or two saving touches of ingenuity, to
a conventional conclusion--as in the character of this lovable old
boot-maker, whose single aim in life was to give his son the best that
money could buy. His heart, I think, began by being fairly large, but
got contracted through specialising in this passion. Snobbery is alien
to his nature, but he becomes a snob for _Tammas's_ sake. Stubborn and
domineering with others, he is as putty in the boy's hands. He has no
use for his other child--a girl. She, like himself, must be sacrificed
if it suits the young gentleman--as it did.

I won't say that any very nice psychological subtlety was needed
for the portrayal of a character whose ruling motive was so clearly
advertised, but it had its lights and shadows, responsive to changing
conditions, and Mr. CALVERT was quick to seize them all.

The boy's part was too unsympathetic to be played easily. But he had
one saving virtue; he never practised his snobbery on the old man who
encouraged it. He still called him "Daddalums," and that, I take it,
was what the papers would call an "acid test" of his piety. As his
fortunes declined Mr. LISTER rose to the occasion. The tighter the
corner the better he coped with it.

Mr. HENDRIE'S _Fergus McLarnie_, whose people must have migrated to
Northampton from the neighbourhood of Thrums, was an admirable crony;
but he insisted too much and too deliberately on a Scottish accent
that made for obscurity. In a broader vein Miss AGNES THOMAS played
the part of _Ellen, the Maid_ (another Scot), with a humour which even
an Englishman (like myself) found no difficulty in appreciating. Miss
EDYTH OLIVE, as the hero's neglected daughter, acted with a very nice
self-repression, which was all that could be expected of her rather
colourless part.

The first-night audience was very warm in its appreciation. Yet I
must doubt whether a play that is chiefly concerned with the
highly-developed paternity of a boot-manufacturer will make a very
poignant appeal to the sentiment of the public.

For one thing they may find the love-interest too sketchy. Of the
boy's two fiancées one was impossible, and the other (_Rose_) just a
perfunctory phantom that flitted vaguely from time to time across
the stage. She must have known it was a play of father and son, where
girls didn't really count. Poor _Rose_, so unassertive! How modestly
she kept herself in the background in that last scene where _Tammas_,
having "dreed his weird" (as they would say in Northampton) and
redeemed his past, comes back from Canada, flings himself into his
father's arms, remains there listening to a sustained exposition of
parental loyalty, and only after a considerable interval remarks the
presence of his future wife. She took it very well, but if I know
anything of the British public it won't be so easily pleased.

O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SCOTS WHA HAVER.

  _Wallace Craigie_      MR. LOUIS CALVERT.

  _Fergus McLarnie_      MR. ERNEST HENDRIE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Matinée in aid of the Housing Association for Officers' Families, of
which the QUEEN is a Patron, will be held at the Winter Garden Theatre
on Thursday, June 24th, at 2.30 P.M. The programme includes a Mime
play, for which Mr. EUGÉNE GOOSSENS will conduct Mr. ARTHUR CLARKE
JERVOISE'S music. Mrs. CHRISTOPHER LOWTHER, who appears in the play,
is also arranging "An Elizabeth Episode," in which the STUART-WILSON
Sextette will sing.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, Lad, about 14 or 15, for telephone. Good wages; good
    opportunity to learn confectionery."--_Local Paper._

We often wondered how these telephonists occupy their time.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Shop Window Wanted within stone's throw of Brook Street and
    Bond Street."

  _Daily Paper._

With so many Bolshevists about we think the advertiser should have
used a less provocative phrase.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy._ "THAT'S THE SORT OF DOG I'M HAVIN'."



       *       *       *       *       *


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

_The Secret Corps_ (MURRAY) is the title of a book on espionage,
before and especially during the War, every page of which I have read
with the greatest possible entertainment--the greatest possible,
that is, for anyone at home. To get the real maximum out of Captain
FERDINAND TUCHY'S astonishing anecdotes one would, I suppose, need
to be under a table in Berlin while they were being perused by the
ex-chiefs of Intelligence on the other side. It is a book so stuffed
with good stories and revealed (or partly revealed) mysteries that I
should require pages of quotation to do it anything like justice. It
can certainly be claimed for Captain TUCHY that he writes of what
he himself knows at first hand, and that his knowledge, like that of
another expert, is both extensive and peculiar, gleaned as it was from
personal service in Russia, Poland, Austria, Belgium, France, England,
Italy, Salonica, Palestine, Mesopotamia and several neutral States.
Still, absorbing as his book is, it suffers perhaps from being what
its publishers call "the first authentic and detailed record." One
feels now and then that posterity (which gets all the good things) may
score again in the revelation of yet more amazing details for which
the hour is not yet. Meanwhile, here to go on with is a fund of
thrilling information that will not only hold your delighted interest,
but (if you make haste before it becomes too widely known) ensure your
popularity as a remunerative diner-out.

_One after Another_ (HUTCHINSON), by Mr. STACY AUMONIER, is a tale
of social progress: of the steps--I imagine this is where the name
justifies itself--by which the son and daughter of a Camden Town
publican rise to higher or at least more brilliant things. You might
suppose this plan to promise comedy, but the fact is otherwise. Really
it is an angry book, and though there is laughter in places it is
mostly angry laughter, with a sting in it. Somehow, whether speaking
in his own person or through the voice of his hero, Mr. AUMONIER
gives me here (perhaps unjustly) the impression of having a grievance
against life. Yet it cannot be said that _Tom_ and _Laura Purbeck_
found their climb from Camden Town unduly arduous, since in a
comparatively short time one has made a position and pots of money as
a fashionable house-decorator, and the other is a famous concert star
and the wife of a marquis. I think my impression of unamiability must
be derived from the fact that the entire cast contains not one really
sympathetic character. Old _Purbeck_, who ruled his bar like an
autocrat and believed in honest alcohol (and fortunately for himself
died some years ago), comes nearest to it. _Laura_, of whom the author
gives us spasmodic glimpses, is vividly interesting, but repellent.
_Tom_, the protagonist, I found frankly dull. Perhaps I have dwelt
overmuch on defects. Certainly the story held my attention throughout,
even after my-disappointment at finding nobody to like in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

A lot of diaries make very poor reading, because people who are
conscientious enough to keep them at all keep them conscientiously and
fill them with nothing but facts. Mr. MAURICE BARING of course has
no empty scruples of this kind, and _R.F.C. H.Q. 1914-1918_ (BELL AND
SONS), though it has plenty of statistics in it and technical details
as well, is in the main a delightful jumble of stunts and talks and
quotations from Mr. MAURICE BARING and other people, culinary details,
troubles about chilblains and wasp-bites, and here and there an
excellently written memoir of some friend who fell fighting. The main
historical fact is, of course, that our airmen from small beginnings
reached a complete ascendancy at the end of 1916, and then suffered a
set-back, reaching their own again when the mastery of the Fokker was
overcome. The author himself was _liaison_ officer and interpreter
at H.Q., and stuck to General TRENCHARD throughout, although he was
urgently requested to go to Russia. Scores of eminent people make
brief appearances in his book, and the following is a fair sample of
his method:--"_January 3rd, 1917._--An Army Commanders' Conference
took place at Rollencourt. My indiarubber sponge was eaten by rats."
Happily his diary escaped.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieut.-Colonel JOHN BUCHAN, in his now familiar _rôle_ of the serious
historian, has been officially commissioned to tell a tale more
thrilling in heroisms, if perhaps a trifle less madcap, than anything
his unofficial imagination has given us. His latest volume, _The South
African Forces in France_ (NELSON), though naturally it does not
break much new ground, still contains a good deal that was well worth
sifting from the mass of war history and is written with a vigour that
could not be excelled. The proudest claims of the South Africans
are, it seems, that they finished "further East" when the cease-fire
sounded (I wonder if this will go unchallenged), that they were three
times practically exterminated, and that they were the most modest
unit in the field--the author of course being solely responsible for
letting us know this last. Their terrible fights, not only at Delville
Wood, but even more at Marrière Wood and Messines, are beyond question
amongst the greatest feats of arms of the War, and on the last two
occasions their stand in the face of odds went far to save the Allied
cause in the black months of 1918. Since, as the author joyously
notes, Dutch and English elements in the South African forces lived
and died on the field like brothers, we may all agree with him,
politics or no politics, that there has been something fundamentally
right for once about the Empire's treatment of their country. This
alone would give the book importance and interest outside the Southern
dominions to which it is first addressed. In Capetown and Pretoria it
will be _the_ history of the War.

       *       *       *       *       *

In _John Bull, Junior_ (METHUEN) Mr. F. WREN CHILD sets out to record
the difficulties which a "home-trained boy encounters at a public
school." Whether his picture of school-life as it was some years ago
is true or not, it is unlikely that there will be keen competition
among public schools to claim the original of _St. Lucian's_; and I
do not think that tender-hearted mothers need fear that their own
children will be beset by the temptations which _Brant_ had to
encounter, for in his hectic career he was unfortunate enough to have
card-sharpers, whisky-drinkers and other unusual types of boyhood
among his fellow-pupils, and with such company it is not to be
wondered at that he was more often in than out of trouble. But, since
he helped to solve the mystery which was perplexing _St. Lucian's_, it
would seem that whatever happened to his soul he contrived to keep
his head. Boys with a taste for amateur detective work might derive
enjoyment from this tale, and to them I recommend it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Novice._ "I AM A LITTLE ABSENT-MINDED, SO YOU MUST

       *       *       *       *       *

_Stephen Manaton_, heir to great possessions, found that his wealth
and worldly position were slipping away from him, but as compensation
against his losses he had the supreme satisfaction of discovering that
the girl of his choice loved him solely for himself. So with the best
will in the world I could not shed tears over _The Manaton Disaster_
(HEATH CRANTON), though I admit that Miss PHILLIPPA TYLER does her
strenuous best to set my sympathy in motion. Possibly she tries a
shade too hard, and in future I hope that she will cut shorter--or
even cut out completely--the soliloquies of her heroes. Miss TYLER
has the dramatic sense, and an author who can write over a
hundred-and-fifty words without a full-stop is not to be thwarted
by trifles; but she dissipates her forces and fails to reach the
catastrophic climax at which she apparently aimed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ways of the humorist are hard indeed, and it must be particularly
exasperating, even if you are a clergyman, to be told by some
disgruntled reviewer, as "GEORGE A. BIRMINGHAM" must, I am afraid,
here be told, that his latest, _Good Conduct_ (MURRAY), is not up
to standard. _Virginia Tempest_, the tomboy, the extremely unworthy
recipient of the good conduct prize at _Miss Merridew's_ academy, has
her points, but her pranks are played with or against such dull folk:
an editor and assistant editor for whom I blush; an emporium owner
who is kinder and wealthier and stupider than he is diverting; an
assistant schoolmistress, a surgeon, a Futurist-painter, a bishop.
None of these worthy people commands my respect or laughter. The high
spirits seem not entirely genuine. A casual lapse into Brummagem, I
take it.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, for 3 months, nice Bedroom and small paddock for

    "Six Acres Freehold Land, with Two Cottages, near Southampton;
    suitable pigs and poultry."--_Provincial Paper._

With bedrooms for ponies and cottages for pigs, what chance has a
human of getting housed?

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158,  June 23, 1920" ***

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