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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, June 9, 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 9, 1920" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

VOL. 158, JUNE 9, 1920***


VOLUME 158, Jan-Jul 1920

JUNE 9, 1920.


Owing to heavy storms the other day one thousand London telephones
were thrown out of order. Very few subscribers noticed the difference.

* * *

A camera capable of photographing the most rapid moving objects in the
world is the latest invention of an American. There is some talk of
his trying to photograph a bricklayer whizzing along at his work.

* * *

"Perjury is now rampant in all our Courts and there seems to be no
way of preventing it," declares a well-known judge. Surely if they did
away with the oath this grievance would soon disappear.

* * *

"With goodwill on both sides," said Lord ROTHSCHILD recently, "the
Jews will make a success of colonising their own country." There will
have to be assets as well as goodwill, it is thought, if they are to
be made to feel thoroughly at home.

* * *

Mr. GEORGE BEER, the man who built the first glass houses in this
country, has died at Worthing. The man who threw the first stone
from inside has not yet been identified, but suspicion points to Sir

* * *

When the police order you to move on, said the Thames magistrate,
it is better to go in the long run. Others declare that it is quite
sufficient to melt from view at a businesslike waddle.

* * *

"The only way to get houses," says the Marylebone magistrate, "is to
build them." The idea of knitting a few seems to have been overlooked.

* * *

We understand that the Scotsman who was injured in the rush outside
the post-office on the last night of the three-halfpenny postage, is
now able to get about with the help of a stick.

* * *

New motor vehicles to take the place of the "Black Marias" are
now being used between Brixton Gaol and Bow Street. Customers who
contemplate arrest should book early to avoid the congestion.

* * *

Signor MARCONI has failed to get into touch with Mars. At the same
time we are asked to deny the rumour that communication has been
established between Lord NORTHCLIFFE and the PREMIER.

* * *

"Comedians," says a stage paper, "are born, not made." This disposes
of the impression that too many of them do it on purpose.

* * *

[Illustration: _Flapper._ "OH--AND I WANT SOME PEROXIDE. ER--IT'S FOR

* * *

It has been established in the Court of Appeal that the farther north
you go the larger are people's feet. Surprise has been expressed at
the comparatively small number of Metropolitan policemen who hail from

* * *

SYDNEY RICHARDSON, the London messenger-boy who went to America for
Mr. DAREWSKI, has just returned. It is said that one American wanted
to keep him as a souvenir and offered him a job as a paper-weight for
his desk.

* * *

The Trafalgar Hotel, Greenwich, famous of old for its whitebait
dinners, has been turned into a Trades Union Club. The report that the
Parliamentary Labour Party has decided to preserve the traditions
of the place by holding an annual red herring supper there is not

* * *

A certain brass band in Hertfordshire now practises in the evening on
the flat roof of a large factory. We understand that the Union of Cat
Musicians are taking a serious view of the matter.

* * *

A vagrant was before the magistrate last week, charged with tearing
his clothes and destroying all the buttons on them whilst in a
workhouse ward. It is not known at what laundry he served his

* * *

After announcing that the fox which had been causing severe losses to
poultry had at last been killed a local paper admits that the wanton
destruction of fowls is still going on. It is thought that another fox
of the same name was killed in error.

* * *

"The Irish will take nothing that we can offer them," says a
Government official. Outside of that they seem to take pretty much
what they want.

* * *

We think that the attention of the N.S.P.C.C. should be drawn to the
fact that several stall-holders on the beach of a popular seaside town
are offering ices at twopence each, or twelve for one-and-six.

* * *

A man was charged at the South Western Police Court with throwing a
sandwich at a waiter. Very thoughtless. He might have broken it.

* * *

A new instrument for measuring whiskey is announced. The last
whiskey we ordered seemed to have been squirted into the glass with a
hypodermic syringe.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Bull-dog Breed.

"H. Prew, b Staples, c L. Mitchell, c Ryland, b Rajendrasinhji,
17."--_Daily Paper._

The gallant fellow doesn't seem to have known when he was beaten.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Wanted, thoroughly capable Woman, to take management of
    canteen; one with knowledge of ambulance work preferred."

    _Provincial Paper._

A "wet" canteen, presumably.

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["A Skilled Labourer," writing to _The Times_, speaks of "the
    extremists" among the working classes as "cherishing a belief
    that the intelligence of educated persons is declining."]

  Doubtless, my Masters, you are right
  As to the lore which they delight
    To teach at Cambridge College;
  Contented with a classic tone,
  Those useful arts we left alone
  By which we might have held our own
    Against the Newer Knowledge.

  Even if I could still retain
  The ethics which my early brain
    Imbibed from ARISTOTLE,
  It would not serve me much to speak
  His views on virtue (in the Greek)
  When buying table claret (weak)
    At ten-and-six the bottle.

  Or when my tailor claims his loot
  Of twenty guineas for a suit
    Of rude continuations,
  I must remain his hopeless thrall,
  Nor would it move his heart at all
  Could I from JUVENAL recall
    Some apposite quotations.

  If I engaged a working-man
  To mend a leaky pot or pan
    Or else a pipe that's porous,
  He would not modify his fees
  For hours and hours of vacant ease
  Though out of ARISTOPHANES
    I said a funny chorus.

  I am a failure, it appears;
  I cannot cope with profiteers
    Nor with enlightened Labour;
  Too late I see, on looking back,
  Where lies the blame for what I lack;
  Why was I never taught the knack
    Of beggaring my neighbour?

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *



The first-class carriage was empty. I threw my coat into a corner
and settled myself in the seat opposite. Just as the train started to
move, the door was flung open and a tall lean body hurled itself
into the compartment and dropped on my coat. He was followed
instantaneously by a leather bag which crashed on to the floor.

"Say, these cars pull out pretty slick."

My intelligence at once conjectured that this was an American, one of
the thousands who have lately taken advantage of the exchange to spy
out the nakedness of our land.

I must admit that I understand American only with great difficulty. I
try to guess the meaning of each sentence from the unimportant words
which I can interpret. I surmised somehow that his speech referred to
the bag on the floor.

So I answered, civilly enough, "I hope your bag is undamaged. Excuse
me, I will relieve you of my coat." So saying, I pulled it from
beneath him and with a single movement flung it on the rack over my
own head.

The stranger spoke again after some moments. He appeared to have spent
the interval in repeating my words to himself, as though to grasp
their meaning. Yet, heaven knows, I speak plainly enough.

This time he said, "Guess my grip's O.K. But I ain't plunkin' my bucks
on the guy that says the old country's in the sweet and peaceful."

After this most extraordinary and unintelligible communication he
began to feel his pockets and his person all over, as though searching
for something. I felt myself at liberty to resume my study of _The

However, I was not to be left alone. Again he addressed me. "Guess I
gotta hand it to you."

"I beg your pardon," I observed, lowering my paper.

"You've got 'em all whipped blocks," he went on, his absurd smile
still persisting. "You're a cracker jack, you're a smart aleck. You've
done to me what the fire did to the furnishing shack. You've dealt me
one in the spaghetti joint. Oh, I gotta hand it to you."

I could understand little of the words, but I gathered from his manner
that he was congratulating me on something in the extravagant but
interesting fashion of the North-American tribes.

"You sure put the monkey-wrench on me," he continued. "You make me
feel like I couldn't operate a pea-nut stand. I'm the rube from the
back-blocks, sure thing. I ain't going to holler any--not me. I'm real
pleased to get acquainted. Shake."

I took his hand with as little self-consciousness as possible, not
yet having been able to understand what praiseworthy act I had
accomplished. I must admit none the less that I felt vaguely pleased
at his encomiums.

"There was a guy way back in Nevada used to have a style like yours.
They called him Happy Cloud Sim, and he had a hand like a ham.
See that grip? Well, Sir, Sim 'ud come right in here, lay his hand
somewheres about, and that grip 'ud vanish into the sweet eternal. You
could search the hull of the cars from caboose to fire-box and nary
a grip. He was an artist. Poor Sim, he overreached himself in Albany,
trying to attach a cash-register. The blame thing started ringing a
bell and shedding tickets all along the sidewalk. The sleuths just
paper-chased him through the burg. He was easy meat for the calaboose
that Fall."

I was at a loss to understand the relevance of this extremely
improbable narrative. It did not appear, on the face of it,
complimentary to connect me with a declared thief and gaol-bird. Still
it was my duty to be courteous to one who was for the time a national

"A most interesting story," I remarked, "and one which has the further
advantage of conveying a moral lesson."

"But you got Sim beat ten blocks," he resumed. "The way you threw your
top-coat up made Sim look like a last year's made-over. I never set
eyes on a dry-goods clerk as could fix a package slicker. I'll have a
lil something to tell the home town."

He looked out of the window. "Guess this is Harrow," he remarked, "and
we're pulling into the deepo. I may as well have my wad back."

So saying he put his hand into the folds of the coat over my head and
withdrew a roll of notes fastened with a rubber band. This roll he
then stuffed into his hip-pocket. I began to see the meaning of his

"If you think," said I indignantly, "that I saw you drop your notes
and deliberately rolled them up in the coat----"

"Nix on that stuff," he retorted jovially. "I know them dollar-bills;
they kinder skin theirselves off the wad and when you come to pay the
bartender they've hit the trail and you stand lonesome with a bitter
taste in your mouth, like LOT's wife."

The train stopped; the man stepped out with the unnecessary haste of
his kind.

"Well, I'm pleased to have met you," he concluded, still smiling
amiably through the window; "if ever you strike Rapid City, Wis.,
you'll find me rustling wood somewheres near the saloon. I'd like to
have got better acquainted, but I promised the folks I'd stop off here
and get wise as to how boys is raised in your country. They sure grow
up fine men. I reckon we 're way behind the times in Rapid City----"

The train passed out leaving me speechless with indignation.

It took me some moments to recover my normal balance. Then I confess
I was delighted to notice that the fellow, in his enthusiasm over the
alleged lightness of my fingers, had left his precious "grip" behind

It travelled with me to my destination. I hope it is still travelling.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORE HASTE, LESS MEAT.

_The Calf_ (_to the Butcher of the Exchequer_). "OH, SIR, IT SEEMS

       *       *       *       *       *


_Junior Partner_ (_in syndicate whose operations on the 2.30 race--six
furlongs--have gone wrong_). "THERE--DIDN'T I TELL YER DIAMOND'S PRIDE

       *       *       *       *       *


John looked up from his paper.

"Ah!" he sighed loudly, "how the world progresses."

There was silence. John sighed again.

"How the world progresses," he said a shade louder.

Cecilia and I continued reading.

"Can't _anyone_ ask a question?" asked John peevishly.

"Where do the flies go in the winter-time?" murmured Cecilia without
looking up.

I was weak enough to laugh. For some reason it annoyed John.

"Go on, go on, laugh!" he spluttered; "you're a good pair, you and
your sister. Say something else funny, Cecilia, and make little
brother laugh. What a crowd to have married into! Shrieks of laughter
at every feeble joke, but as for intelligent conversation----"

"Well, we're reading," said Cecilia; "we don't want intelligent

"There's no need to tell me that. I know it only too well. I haven't
been married to you for all these years without seeing that."

"'All these years,'" repeated Cecilia, aghast. "The vindictive brute."

"And," continued John bitterly, "I say again what I said just now: How
the world progresses."

"Well, there's no need to keep on saying it, dear old cauliflower," I
said; "we _know_ it progresses. What are we expected to say?"

"I know," said Cecilia brightly. "_Why?_"

John pulled himself up.

"Because," he said, "they are proposing in the paper here to start a
system of temporary marriages which can be dissolved if either party
is dissatisfied after a fair trial. I only wish somebody had thought
of it--how many?--eight years ago."

Cecilia's jaw dropped. I chuckled.

"You certainly bought that one all right, Cecilia old dear," I said.
"Can't you manage a witty retort? Try, sister, for the honour of the

Cecilia pulled herself together.

"Retort?" she said in surprise. "Why on earth a retort, my dear Alan?
When my husband makes his first really sensible remark for years I
don't retort, I applaud. If only I had known the sort of man he is
before I tied myself to him for life! What an actor he would have
made! Why, before we married----"

"'Nothing was too good for you,'" I encouraged. "Go on, Cecilia."

"Don't interrupt, Alan--nothing was too good for me. Afterwards----"

"Last year's blouses and a yearly trip to the Zoo. Shame!" I said.

"And what about me?" said John. "Haven't I been deceived? Didn't
you all conspire to make me think she was sweet and good? I remember
somebody telling me I was a lucky man. I realise now you were all only
too glad to get rid of her."

"Alan! How can you let him?" said Cecilia with a small scream of rage.

"Come, come," I said, "this family wrangling has gone far enough. You
_are_ married and you can't get out of it. Make the best of it, my
children, and be friends."

"Yes," said John sadly, "it is too late now. I must try to bear up;
but it is hard. If only this scheme had been started a few years
earlier. If only I could have taken her on approval."

He paused a moment and smiled softly.

"Imagine the scene," he resumed. "'Cecilia,' I should say, 'I have
given you every chance, but I am afraid you don't suit. For eight long
years I have suffered from your rotten cooking, your ... extravagance
... and so on ... _et cætera_ ... and I regret that I must give you
a month's notice, to take effect as from four o'clock this afternoon.
You have good qualities. You are honest and temperate and, to some
extent, not bad looking--in the evening, anyway. Your idea of keeping
household accounts is atrocious, but, on the other hand, you look
rather nice in a hammock on a hot summer day. But that is all I can
say for you. You have not given me the wifely devotion I expected.
Only last week, when I came home feeling miserable, you sat at the
piano playing extracts from some beastly revue, when a true wife would
have been singing "Parted" or even "Roses of Picardy." Again, you
invariably put our child in front of me in all things, such as the
last piece of cake or having an egg for tea. I am not jealous of the
boy, mind you, but I hate favouritism, and I won't play second fiddle
to Christopher or anyone else.

"'In fact, my dear Cecilia (I use the phrase in its formal sense
only), not being satisfied that you do all that was promised in the
advertisement, I have decided to return you without further liability
and ask for a refund of the cost of carriage. That will be all, thank
you. You may go.'"

There was a few moments' ominous quiet, and then Cecilia went over the
top with a roar of artillery and the rattle of machine guns. John put
up a defensive barrage. Cecilia raked him with bombs and Lewis guns.
He replied with heavy stuff. The air grew thicker and thicker.

"Shush!" I shouted through the din of battle. "Man and wife to wrangle
like this! Think of your good name. Think of the servants. Think of
the child."

Cecilia caught the last phrase and the noise subsided.

"Yes," she said, breathless but calm, "there's the hitch in your
plans, Master John--the child. If I go I take Christopher with me."

"That you don't. Christopher belongs to me. He is part of my
estate--in law. You _can't_ take him."

"Can't I?" said Cecilia. "Am I his mother or am I not?"

"Who pays his school-fees?" said John. "What's his name? Whose house
does he live in?"

Cecilia was gathering herself for another offensive when the door
opened and Christopher came in.

We looked at him and he paused in embarrassment.

"What are you all looking at me for?" he asked, smiling uneasily; "I
haven't done anything."

"He belongs to _me_," said Cecilia suddenly.

"He belongs to _me_," said John with decision.

Christopher knows his parents fairly well. "Whatever are you doing?"
he asked with a chuckle.

"Come here," said John.

Christopher advanced and stood between his mother and his father.

"I don't know what I'm inspected to do," he said.

"Christopher," said John, "to whom do you belong--to your mother or to
me? Think well, my child."

Christopher wrinkled his nose obediently and thought for a moment.

"Why," he said, his face clearing, "we all b'long to each other."

       *       *       *       *       *

"'The Heart of a Child,'" I said; "the beautifullest love-story ever
told. Featuring Little Randolph, the Boy Wonder."

They took no notice. They were all three busy rehearsing the final
reconciliation scene.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The Wife._ "MUST WE ALWAYS 'AVE CHAMPAGNE, 'ARRY? IT


       *       *       *       *       *

Our Erudite Contemporaries.

From a special golf correspondent:--

    "I cannot remember the Latin for a daisy, but most
    emphatically 'Delanda est.'"

_Daily Paper._

O Carthego!

    "'Pol-u-me-tis.' The Greek brings back the thundrous verse of
    Virgil. Echoes from the twilight of the gods."--_Daily Paper._

Poor old Götterdämmerung.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Sex-Problem.

    "White Milking Shorthorn Bull for Sale, £50."--_Farmers'

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A Good Canvasser wanted for Credit Gentlemen's wear; ready to
    wear and made to measure clothing."--_Daily Paper._

"One," in fact, "that was made a shape for his clothes, and, if ADAM
had not fallen, had lived to no purpose."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "To-morrow afternoon, the Dansant, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets
    inclusive 3s. 6d. Dansant (only) 2s. 6d."--_Provincial Paper._

The "the" seems cheap at a shilling.

       *       *       *       *       *



In this lecture I propose to explain how comic poetry is written.

Comic poetry, as I think I pointed out in my last lecture, is much
more difficult than serious poetry, because there are all sorts of
rules. In serious poetry there are practically no rules, and what
rules there are may be shattered with impunity as soon as they become
at all inconvenient. Rhyme, for instance. A well-known Irish poet once
wrote a poem which ran like this:

    "Hands, do as you're bid,
  Draw the balloon of the mind
  That bellies and sags in the wind
    Into its narrow shed."

This was printed in a serious paper; but if the poet had sent it up
to a humorous paper (as he might well have done) the Editor would have
said, "Do you pronounce it _shid_?", and the poet would have had
no answer. You see, he started out, as serious poets do, with every
intention of organising a good rhyme for _bid_--or perhaps for
_shed_--but he found this was more difficult than he expected. And
then, no doubt, somebody drove all his cattle on to his croquet-lawn,
or somebody else's croquet-lawn, and he abandoned the struggle.
I shouldn't complain of that; what I do complain of is the
_deceitfulness_ of the whole thing. If a man can't find a better rhyme
than _shed_ for a simple word like _bid_, let him give up the idea of
having a rhyme at all; let him write--

  Hands, do as you're TOLD,


  Into its narrow HUT (or even HANGAR).

That at least would be an honest confession of failure. But to write
_bid_ and _shed_ is simply a sinister attempt to gain credit for
writing a rhymed poem _without doing it at all_.

Well, that kind of thing is not allowed in comic poetry. When I opened
my well-known military epic, "Riddles of the King," with the couplet,

  Full dress (with decorations) will be worn
  When General Officers are shot at dawn,

the Editor wrote cuttingly in the margin, "Do you say _dorn_?"

The correct answer would have been, of course, "Well, as a matter of
fact I do;" but you cannot make answers of that kind to Editors; they
don't understand it. And that brings you to the real drawback of comic
poetry; it means constant truck with Editors. But I must not be
drawn into a discussion about them. In a special lecture--two special
lectures---- Quite.

The lowest form of comic poetry is, of course, the Limerick; but it is
a mistake to suppose that it is the easiest. It is more difficult to
finish a Limerick than to finish anything in the world. You see, in a
Limerick you cannot begin:--

  There was an old man of West _Ham_

and go on

  Who formed an original _plan_,

finishing the last line with _limb_ or _hen_ or _bun_. A serious
writer could do that with impunity, and indeed with praise, but the
more exacting traditions of Limerical composition insist that, having
fixed on _Ham_ as the end of the first line, you must find two other
rhymes to _Ham_, and good rhymes too. This is why there is so large
a body of uncompleted Limericks. For many years I have been trying to
finish the following unfinished masterpiece:--

  There was a young man who said "_Hell!_
  I don't think I feel very well----"

That was composed on the Gallipoli Peninsula; in fact it was composed
under fire; indeed I remember now that we were going over the top at
the time. But in the quiet days of Peace I can get no further with it.
It only shows how much easier it is to begin a Limerick than to end

Apart from the subtle phrasing of the second line this poem is
noteworthy because it is cast in the classic form. All the best
Limericks are about a young man, or else an old one, who said some
short sharp monosyllable in the first line. For example:--

  There was a young man who said "_If_----

Now what are the rhymes to _if_? Looking up my _Rhyming Dictionary_ I
see they are:--


Of these one may reject _hippogriff_ at once, as it is in the wrong
metre. _Hieroglyph_ is attractive, and we might do worse than:--

  There was a young man who said "If
  One murdered a hieroglyph----"

Having, however, no very clear idea of the nature of a hieroglyph I
am afraid that this will also join the long list of unfinished
masterpieces. Personally I should incline to something of this kind:--

  There was a young man who said "If
  I threw myself over a cliff
      I do not believe
      _One_ person would grieve----"

Now the last line is going to be very difficult. The tragic
loneliness, the utter disillusion of this young man is so vividly
outlined in the first part of the poem that to avoid an anticlimax
a really powerful last line is required. _But there are no powerful
rhymes._ A serious poet, of course, could finish up with _death_
or _faith_, or some powerful word like that. But we are limited to
_skiff_, _sniff_, _tiff_ and _whiff_. And what can you do with those?
Students, I hope, will see what they can do. My own tentative solution
is printed, by arrangement with the Editor, on another page (458). I
do not pretend that it is perfect; in fact it seems to me to strike
rather a vulgar note. At the same time it is copyright, and must not
be set to music in the U.S.A.

I have left little time for comic poetry other than Limericks, but
most of the above profound observations are equally applicable to
both, except that in the case of the former it is usual to think of
the _last_ line first. Having done that you think of some good rhymes
to the last line and hang them up in mid-air, so to speak. Then you
think of something to say which will fit on to those rhymes. It is
just like Limericks, only you start at the other end; indeed it is
much easier than Limericks, though, I am glad to say, nobody believes
this. If they did it would be even harder to get money out of Editors
than it is already.

We will now write a comic poem about Spring Cleaning. We will have
verses of six lines, five ten-syllable lines and one six-syllable. As
a last line for the first verse I suggest

  Where have they put my hat?

We now require two rhymes to _hat_. In the present context _flat_ will
obviously be one, and _cat_ or _drat_ will be another. Our resources
at present are therefore as follows:--

  Line 1-- ----
  "  2-- ... flat.
  "  3-- ----
  "  4-- ... cat or drat.
  "  5-- ----
  "  6--Where have they put my hat?

As for the blank lines, _wife_ is certain to come in sooner or later,
and we had better put that down, supported by _life_ ("What a life!"),
and _knife_ or _strife_. There are no other rhymes, except _rife_,
which is a useless word.

We now hold another parade:--

  Teroodle--oodle--oodle--What a life!
    Terumti--oodle--umti--oodle--cat (or drat);
  Teroodle--umti--oodle--umti--knife (or strife);
    Where have they put my hat?

All that remains now is to fill in the umti-oodles, and I can't be
bothered to do that. There is nothing in it.

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Will any gentleman requiring a House-keeper accept two
    decently brought up boys, age 12 and 8 years? Excellent cook
    and housekeeper; capable of full control."

    _Daily Paper._

Someone really ought to give these young sportsmen a trial.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.



       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


Don't you ever know the impulse, when you are idly turning the pages
of a telephone directory, to ring up some total stranger and engage
him in light conversation?

I do, quite intensely. In moments of ennui, when there is really
nothing to do in the office, the fear of discovery alone restrains me.
I'm not sure that I can rely on the professional secrecy of the girl
at the exchange. Has she strength of mind to refuse a righteously
indignant subscriber who demands to know (with imprecations) what
number has been talking to him?

I could take her into my confidence, I suppose. Only the thing
oughtn't to be elaborately premeditated; it should be sudden and
spontaneous, the matter of a happy moment. You get your number and

"Hullo! Is that Barefoot and Humpage, the architects? Can I speak to
Mr. Barefoot--or Mr. Humpage?"

"Mr. Humpage speaking. Who is that, please?"

"Well, I want you to design me a cathedral. By to-morrow afternoon, if

"To design you a what?"

"A cathedral. C-A-T-H---- but I expect you heard me that time. A
massive structure, you know, chiefly built of stone. As at Salisbury,
and Ely, and--well, probably you'll know what I mean. Now, as to

"Who are you?"

"I? Oh, I'm a collector of these buildings in a small way. But about
this one we're discussing. Something in the pre-Raphaelite manner, do
you think--with arpeggios dotted about here and there?"

Of course I don't know what Mr. Humpage would say at this point.
Therein would lie the fascination of these experiments--to discover
just what different people would say at that kind of point.

Take Mr. Absalom, for instance, who is described in the Directory as a
commission agent. How would he express himself, I wonder, if I were
to ring him up and request him to dispose, on the most advantageous
terms, of my commission in the Army?

Messrs. Wheable Brothers too. Just the people I've been looking for.

"You're the sand and gravel contractors, aren't you?" I should begin,
"Well, I know of some sand that badly wants contracting."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Perhaps I had better explain. You see, I always spend my holidays
at Pipton-on-Sea. This year, in fact, I'm going there in two or three
weeks' time. Earlier holidays--a splendid movement, what? See railway
posters. In June the average snowfall is only---- But the point is
that at Pipton there's a belt of about two miles of sand, even at
high-tide--several hundred yards, anyhow--and it _does_ spoil the
bathing so. Now if you could arrange to have this sand contracted to
half or a third of its present width? Perhaps you'll quote me terms.
Thank you so much."

Then there's the Steam Packet Company at a neighbouring port. One
might ask them to supply half-a-dozen small packets of steam for the
ungumming of envelope-flaps.

I find also in the Directory two or three gentlemen with the surname
of "George." I could profess to be an earnest Liberal opponent of
the PRIME MINISTER, accustomed to refer to him by that disrespectful

"Oh, is that Mr. George? Well, Sir, I wanted to have a word with you
on your handling of the European situation. Now, it's surely obvious
that the Jugo-Slavs--"

It seems possible that your victim now and then might enter into the
spirit of the thing and do his best to make the dialogue a success.
Contrariwise, if you were seeking violent excitements, you would ask a
retired admiral, let us say, his opinion on the question "Do flappers
put their hair up too soon?" or some such urgent problem of the day.
How jolly these promiscuous exercises in conversation might be!

       *       *       *       *       *


_Biddy_ (_recovering a spoon the morning after the party_). "SURE, ONE

       *       *       *       *       *


    ["Increased remuneration is attracting to the force a
    more intellectual and better class of recruit.... Police
    administration here is now organised in a more humanitarian
    spirit than formerly, and a policeman is as much encouraged
    to prevent the necessity of an arrest as to effect an
    arrest."--_Sir WILLIAM GENTLE (retiring chief of the Brighton
    Police Force, unofficially known as "Sir William Gentle's
    Gentlemen"), interviewed by "The Daily Sketch._"]

  O Robert, in our hours of crime
  Certain to nab us every time,
  Or, failing, fill a dungeon cell
  With someone who does just as well;

  Now you're a gentleman in blue
  Provided with a princely screw,
  More is expected of you still;
  You must _prevent_ us doing ill.

  No longer is it deemed enough
  To slip the hand within the "cuff,"
  To trap road-hogs and motor-bikes,
  Or merely to arrest _Bill Sikes_.

  Thus, when you take position at
  The window of an empty flat,
  And _Bill_ arrives to burgle it,
  Urge him his evil ways to quit;

  Or, posted in a public bar,
  Where men drink too much beer by far,
  Before them you might firmly put
  The arguments of PUSSYFOOT;

  Or, summoned to a scene of strife,
  Persuade the fellow with the knife
  By means of tactful reasoning
  That murder is not quite the thing.

  The world would profit if you took
  A leaf from out the Parson's book,
  Becoming a judicious blend
  Of "guide, philosopher and friend."

  Discard your truncheon for a tract;
  Strive to admonish ere you act;
  In Virtue's force enrol recruits
  And stamp out Belial with your boots.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_After the model of most of the dailies, by our specially unreliable
news service._)

It is reported that, owing to the present high price of labour, a
German Zeppelin is to be loaned to the Government to carry out the
demolition of the nineteen unnecessary City churches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Arrested on a charge of loitering with felonious intent, Thomas Wrott,
aged forty, of Featherleigh, Beds, stated that he was building a

       *       *       *       *       *

Though the titles of all the pictures in a recent Vorticist exhibition
were placed by a printer's error opposite to the wrong numbers in the
catalogue, none of the visitors discovered the mistake.

       *       *       *       *       *

Strike action is threatened in Manchester by the Amalgamated Society
of Tyldesleys, several Lancashire wickets having been taken by
non-union labour.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is reported that Lord FISHER was recently traversing _The Times_
with a belt of Biblical sentences when a cross-feed occurred, causing
the action to jam.

       *       *       *       *       *

A silver salver is to be presented to the Royal Automobile Club in
token of gratitude by octogenarian villagers of Sussex.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Experienced Cook-General Wanted; comfortable home; liberal
    outings; wages £40; policeman handy."--_Welsh Paper._

Would it not have been more tactful to say, "Copper in kitchen"?

       *       *       *       *       *


_Disgusted Plutocrat_ (_to partner, who has just missed a fifty-pound


       *       *       *       *       *


  In stone perdurable and bronze austere
    We have bequeathed the memory of the dead
    Unto the yet unborn; "'their name,'" we said,
    "'Liveth for evermore'; each happier year
  Shall see, we trust, before the unmossed stone
        Love and Remembrance wed."

  Though from dim hosts that narrow and recede
    Dear unforgotten eyes salute us still,
    Look back a moment, make our pulses thrill
  With the old music, though the festal weed
  Of Spring be cypress-girt, oblivion
        Will come, as Winter will.

  Ah, not oblivion drowsing love and pain
    Into dull slumber; still we can retell
    How young blithe valour broke the powers of hell;
  We grope for hands that will not stir again
  In ours, hear still in every carillon
        The cadence of Farewell.

  Not these things and not thus do we forget;
    But the informing spirit, the dream within
    And the high ardour that was half-akin
  To ancient faiths and half to hopes not yet
  Coherent, unperceived are surely gone,
        Like stars that dawnward set.

  Though "their name liveth," the dream they died to bring
    Unto fruition eludes our fumbling hold;
    The Othman riders gallop to their old
  Red revels, and the seas are darkening
  Round all the Asian shores, while one by one
        Depart the sweets of Spring.

  O you whom yet we mourn, for whom the song
    Of victory and sorrow dies not away,
    Well is it with you if beyond the grey
  Islands of sleep that you are met among
  No world-born memories win. May there be none!
        We have not remembered long.

  Yet if beyond the sunset's golden choir,
    Instead of one august enduring sleep,
    There waits a life where memory shall keep
  Her ancient force and hope her old desire,
  Now, even now, on altars cleft and prone
        Rekindle the pure fire!

  D. M. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


    One of the Prizewinners in Our Article Competition."--_Weekly

But ought an editor to give away his contributors like this?

       *       *       *       *       *

    "M. Deves, the leading French amateur [tennis] of the day, who
    was beaten in 1914 after 'une tutte à charné,' as the French
    say, will be competing."--_Daily Paper._

The French have a lot to learn about their own language.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dr. ---- will extract a tooth free from the person who
    will be kind enough to secure him an office in the Central

    _North China Daily News._

This is presumably meant as an inducement, but it sounds like a

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


_Tuesday, June 1st._--Tempted by the fine weather a good many Members
had evidently determined that the country was good enough for them
and that Westminster could wait. But Viscount CURZON was not of
their number. Was it not on the glorious First of June, a hundred
and twenty-six years ago, that his great-great-great-grandfather won
victory for his country and immortal fame for himself? On such
an anniversary he was obviously bound, no matter at what personal
inconvenience, to show a like public spirit. Accordingly, with a full
sense of responsibility, he addressed to the appropriate Minister this
momentous question: "Whether any fried fish shops are now the property
or under the control of the Ministry of Munitions; and if so how
many?" The House paused in awed anticipation of the reply, but
breathed again when Mr. HOPE announced that "No fried fish shops are
now nor, so far as is known, were ever conducted by the Ministry of

No other episode of Question-time rose to this high level. Next in
importance to it were Mr. BALDWIN'S revelations on the subject of
"conscience-money." It seems that in one particular instance it
cost the Treasury eleven shillings to acknowledge the receipt of
half-a-sovereign; but that was because the dilatory tax-payer insisted
that the depth of his remorse could only be adequately exhibited by a
notice in the "agony-column." In ordinary cases no charge is incurred.

Any conscientious Sinn Feiner who may have been fearing lest the
recent destruction of Inland Revenue offices in Ireland should prevent
the authorities from sending out the usual demand-notes, may now
forward his contribution direct to the Treasury without hesitation.
Mr. BALDWIN is doubtless relying upon the wide adoption of this
practice, for he stated that, although the damage might cause delay in
the collection, it was not expected that the ultimate yield of the tax
would be seriously affected.

[Illustration: _From left to right:_--The Whirlpool of Charybdis; THE

The discussion on the Navy Estimates was chiefly conducted by
Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY, who made half-a-dozen set speeches,
besides any number of informal interjections. To place them in order
of merit would be impossible, but of single passages that which
perhaps carried most conviction with his audience was the description
of the pre-war Navy as "a sort of pleasant service into which the
fools of the family could be put."

In the discussion on the Navy Estimates Rear-Admiral Sir REGINALD
HALL, resisting a proposal to hand over the coastguards to the
Board of Trade, surprised the House with the apparently reactionary
statement that "we do not want to run the Navy in water-tight

Commander BELLAIRS, enforcing the point that administration
must depend upon policy, recalled the fact that in his time "the
Mediterranean outlook" had given way to "the North Sea outlook," and
expressed the confident belief that we should next have "the Pacific
outlook." Well, let us hope we may. At any rate the House agreed with
the FIRST LORD that the best way to ensure it was to keep the Navy
strong and efficient, for by half-past eight it had passed all the
Votes submitted to it.

_Wednesday, June 2nd._--Derby Day and an adjournment of the House of
Commons! Mr. BALFOUR might well rub his eyes and wonder if there had
been a revival of the Saturnian days when Lord ELCHO used annually to
mount his favourite hobby and witch the House with noble horsemanship.
But on this occasion the adjournment lasted only half-an-hour, and
had nothing to do with Epsom. Chivalry, not sport, was its motive.
The House merely wished to do honour to its Leader by assisting at the
presentation of its wedding gift to Miss BONAR LAW (now Lady SYKES).

At Question-time Lord CURZON sought information regarding the British
Naval Mission recently captured at Baku, and inquired whether the
Government intended to continue negotiating with people who were
keeping our men in prison. Sir JAMES CRAIG could not say anything on
the question of policy, but to some extent relieved the anxiety of
the House by stating that the last news of the prisoners was that they
were seen playing football.

The complications of the Peace Settlement continue to increase. Thus
President WILSON has consented to delimit the boundaries of Armenia,
although the United States shows no desire to undertake the mandate
for its administration. No doubt it is with the kindly intention of
helping those dilatory Americans to make up their minds that Turkey
has asked for an extension of time before signing the Treaty.

The placid progress of the Government of Ireland Bill through
Committee was broken this afternoon when Captain COLIN COOTE proposed
to hand over the control of the armed forces of the Crown in Ireland
to the new Parliaments. His argument was in brief that these bodies
must be given serious responsibilities which would compel them to
unite. He wanted, as he said, to "infuse blood into their veins" at
whatever risk--_COOTE que coûte._

The idea of providing a probably Sinn Fein Parliament in Dublin with
submarines and aeroplanes did not appeal to the FIRST LORD OF THE
ADMIRALTY, who was hotly rebuked for his lack of imagination by
Captain ELLIOT. The fact that two young Coalitionists should have
advocated such revolutionary ideas inspired another of Sir EDWARD
CARSON'S gloomy variations on the theme that any form of Home Rule
must lead ultimately to separation.

_Thursday, June 3rd._--Sir HAMAR GREENWOOD, who took his seat on
Tuesday, answered Irish questions for the first time. His manner was
as direct and forceful as ever, but his matter, unhappily, consisted
chiefly in the admission of unpleasant facts regarding recent attacks
upon the police, with the invariable addition that "no arrests have
been made."

[Illustration: THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND. "No arrests have been

The hon. baronet who sits for Nottingham is so much impressed with the
necessity for economy that he ought to be known as _Rees angustæ_. But
he has no luck. Mr. FISHER offered the "frozen face" to his complaints
that the State is giving free education at the Ministries to
ex-Service men; and Mr. SHORTT was no more sympathetic to his plea
that the new policewomen should be abolished.

Mr. LLOYD GEORGE, looking delightfully cool in a new grey suit, made
a welcome reappearance after some weeks' absence. He gave a version
of the KRASSIN negotiations--which, according to his account, had
followed exactly the course marked out by the Supreme Council in Paris
and San Remo--very different from that presented in a section of the
Press, and he implied that the alleged perturbation of French public
opinion only existed in the imagination of "certain newspapers
which are trying to foment ill-feeling between two countries whose
friendliness is essential to the welfare of the world." His most
satisfactory pronouncement was that British prisoners must be released
before trade with Russia would be resumed.

In spite of the absence of the regular Opposition the FIRST LORD
OF THE ADMIRALTY is finding the Government of Ireland Bill a rather
unhandy vessel to steer. He dares not concede too many powers to the
new Parliaments lest he should be putting weapons into the hands
of our Sinn Fein enemies; on the other hand, he cannot reduce them
overmuch lest the Bill should cease to have any chance of conciliating
Irish sentiment.

The dilemma arose acutely over the clause relating to the Irish
police. When, if ever, should they be handed over to the new
Government? The Bill said not later than three years after the
appointed day. An amendment suggested "not earlier." Sir EDWARD CARSON
thought the only fair thing would be to allow the police to retire on
full pay directly the Bill came into force, instead of leaving them
with a divided allegiance and control. Eventually, on the Government
undertaking to modify their proposals, the clause was passed; but with
so many matters to be adjusted on Report it looks as if it will be a
LONG, LONG way to Tipperary.

[Illustration: "OH, EAST IS EAST."

_Mechanical Transport Officer._ "I TOLD YOU NOT TO DRIVE FAST THROUGH


       *       *       *       *       *



By the untimely death of the late Mr. Percival Murgatroyd we suffer
the irreplaceable loss of our youngest and perhaps most talented
master bricklayer. The story of his life is yet another example of
genius triumphing over adversity. Perce Murgatroyd was born in a
mean street. His father was a poor hardworking physician. Lacking the
influence necessary for the introduction of his boy to some lucrative
commercial calling he contrived at great self-sacrifice to educate him
for the Civil Service.

The long hours of grinding toil and the complete lack of sympathy at
home could not extinguish the divine fire of genius in the youthful
Murgatroyd. Exhausted and hungry as he often was at the end of the
day's work, he devoted his leisure to the study of bricks and mortar,
and out of his scanty pocket-money he bought for himself first a
trowel and later a plummet.

When I first made his acquaintance he was already, at the age of
twenty-five, assisting a bricklayer's helper, and was fairly launched
on a career of unbroken success which was to culminate in a master
bricklayership at the record age of thirty-eight.

Some of the finest things Murgatroyd did are to be found in and around
Tooting, a quarter which is becoming known as Murgatroyd's London; but
there is scarcely a district which does not cherish some gem from
his trowel. At Wanstead Flats, during some reparations to "Edelweiss
Cottage," there was discovered under the plaster a party-wall which
proved to be a genuine Murgatroyd. It is one of his early works,
executed with his studied reserve of power, and is marred only by
suggestions of the conventional haste of the early Georgian School,
from which Murgatroyd had not in those days completely broken away.
It is also worth while to make a pilgrimage to Walham Green, where all
that is best and most typical of the Master--that effect he obtained
of deliberate treatment of each individual brick--may be seen in a
perfect little poem--an outhouse (unfinished).

The fame of Perce Murgatroyd is founded on the quality rather than
the quantity of his output. To our eternal loss he suffered from a
temperament. He worked only by fits and starts. He never overcame a
superstition that "Monday was a bad day for good work." And he was too
conscientious an artist to attempt anything on days when the sky was
overcast and the light bad. Often too, when he had actually made a
start, he would stand, smoking furiously, in front of his work waiting
for an inspiration.

This habit of his was the primary cause of his premature end. Emerging
from some such fit of abstraction he became aware that it was
after twelve. Convivial spirit that he was, he hurried to join his
colleagues at their dinner, displaying remarkable agility as he
descended the scaffold. But the effort caused him to perspire, and he
took a chill, from which he never recovered.

The keynote of Murgatroyd's character was simplicity. Unaided he rose
to be pre-eminent as a bricklayer, but in private life he never became
accustomed to the exclusive society to which by his genius he had won
admittance. He never quite lost the mincing speech of the class from
which he sprang, nor could he acquire facility in the vigorous mode
of expression proper to his new and exalted station. "Not 'arf"
and "'Strewf" ever came haltingly to his tongue, and to the last he
struggled painfully with the double negative.

But the same indomitable courage which brought him to the top of his
profession eventually served him in his adopted social sphere, and in
the end he won through.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


I hope William likes it, for he brought it on himself. As soon as the
sad event was announced to me I discussed the matter most seriously
with Araminta. "A situation of unparalleled gravity has arisen,"
I said, "with regard to the wedding of William. It is going to be
carried out at Whittlehampton in top-hats. Picture to yourself the
scene. Waterloo Station full of lithe young athletes of either sex
arrayed for sports on flood and field, carrying their golf-clubs,
their diabolo spools and their butterfly nets, and there, in the midst
of them, me with my miserable coat-tails, the June sun glaring on
my burnished topper, and in my hands the silver asparagus-server or
whatever it is that I am going to buy for William. I tell you it isn't
done. They will come round and mock me. They will titter at me through
their tennis-racquets."

"Couldn't you wear a common or Homburg hat and carry your other in a
hat-box?" she suggested in that bright helpful way they have.

"Amongst the severe economic consequences of the recent great war,"
I replied coldly, "was, if you will take the trouble to remember, the
total loss of my top-hat box."

"Well, why not a white cardboard box, then?"

"No power on earth shall induce me to stand on Waterloo Station
platform dandling a white cardboard box," I cried. "Waterloo indeed!
It would be my Austerlitz, my Jena. I should never dare to read the
works of 'Man about Town' again. Besides, what about my morning-coat?"

"Well, I could pin the tails of it up inside if you like. Or what
about wearing an overcoat?"

"Your first suggestion makes me despair of women's future position in
the economic sphere. The second I would consider if I could settle the
hat problem."

And still thinking hard I rang up William.

"I suppose you couldn't possibly cancel this wedding of yours?" I
asked when I had explained the _impasse_. Self-centred as usual, he
flatly declined.

"Honestly, I don't see the difficulty at all," he went on. "I expect
you'll look a bit of a mug anyhow, and probably there'll be lots of
people on the platform dressed in morning-coats and top-hats."

"Nobody leaves London on a Saturday morning wearing top-hats," I
assured him, "nobody. If I were coming _in_ to London it would be
quite a different matter. I might be an officer in the Guards, or
M. KRASSIN proceeding to a deputation in Downing Street; but going
out--no. Look here, why not make it a simple country wedding--sports
coats and hayseed in the hair, and all that sort of thing?"

"Spats and white vest-slips will be worn by all the more prominent
guests," he replied firmly.

"Well, hang it, have the thing in London, then," I implored, "and
I'll promise to add the price of the return-fare to the cost of your
wedding present."

"The bride's parents reside at Whittlehampton, and the wedding will
take place from the home of the bride," he answered.

"You got that little bit out of _The Morning Post_," I said. "Couldn't
you persuade the bride's parents to take a house in London? There's
one just opposite us at only about thirty pounds a week. Stands in its
own grounds, it does, and there's a stag's head in the hall. There's
nothing like a stag's head for hanging top-hats on."

It was no good. You know what these young lovers are. Immersed in
their own petty affairs, they can pay no proper attention to the
troubles of their friends.

William rang off and left me once more a prey to harrowing despair.
There were only three nights before the calamity took place, and I had
terrible nightmares on two of them. In one I attended the wedding in
a bowler hat and pyjamas, with carpet slippers and spats. In the other
my top-hat was on my head and my vest-slip was all right, but I tailed
off into khaki breeches and trench boots. On the third day a gleam of
light broke and I rang up William again.

"I haven't quite settled that little hat problem I was talking to you
about," I told him. "Look here--can you lend me your old top-hat-box?"

"Haven't got one," he replied. "In the chaos consequent upon
Armageddon it somehow disappeared."

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Happily the morning of the wedding was cloudy and dull. I wore my
oldest squash hat and coat and went to Whittlehampton carrying my
present in my hand. As the train arrived the sun broke through the
clouds, and I also emerged from my chrysalis and attended the ceremony
in all the panoply that William's egotism had demanded. If it had
not been too late to get into the list you would have seen this entry
amongst the wedding gifts:--

"Mr. Herbert Robinson: Leather hat-box."

Perhaps if it had been a very full list it would have gone on:--

"Containing unique specimen of dappled fawn trilby headwear slightly
moth-eaten in the crown."

As I explained to William, it is customary to give useful rather than
ornamental gifts nowadays, but I could not refrain from adding a small
sentimental tribute.


       *       *       *       *       *


      Flashed Lizard to Bishop,
      "They're rounding the fish up
  Close under my cliffs where the cormorants nest;
      The lugger lamps glitter
      In hundreds and litter
  The sea-floor like spangles. What news from the West?"

      Flashed he of the mitre,
      "The night's growing brighter,
  There's mist over Annet, but all's clear at sea;
      Lit up like a city,
      Her band playing pretty,
  A big liner's passing. Ay, all's well with me."

      Flashed Wolf to Round Island,
      "Oh, you upon dry land,
  With wild rabbits cropping the pinks at your base,
      You lubber, you oughter
      Stand watch in salt water
  With tides tearing at you and spray in your face."

      The gun of the Longships
      Boomed out like a gong, "Ships
  Are bleating around me like sheep gone astray;
      There's fog in my channel
      As thick as grey flannel--
  Boom-rumble!--I'm busy; excuse me, I pray."

      They winked at each other
      As brother to brother,
  Those red lights and white lights, the summer night through,
      And steered the stray tramps out
      Till dawn snuffed their lamps out
  And stained the sea-meadows all purple and blue.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "Advertiser has Stole Skin, Russian Sables, for Sale."--_Daily

This is what comes of opening up trade relations with the Bolshevists.

       *       *       *       *       *

A provincial firm announces that it supplies "distinctive clothing for
men." And a very necessary thing, too, in these days of sex equality.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "EX-SOLDIER requires Loan of £100. What interest? No
    lenders."--_Daily Paper._

We should have thought "No interest! What lenders?" would have been
more to the point.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SQUIRE.]


[Illustration: SECOND UNDER TWEENY AT THE HALL. (_See Squire_).]



[Illustration: OLDEST INHABITANT.]

[Illustration: PARSON.]

[Illustration: BIRD SCARER (D.S.O., M.C.).]

[Among the Americans who will visit us this summer there may be some
not familiar with our countryside types. Mr. Punch hopes the above
will be useful.]

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


(_By a Student of anti-Coalition Political Psycho-Analysis._)

The announcement that a child of ten years old, recently described
by the Willesden magistrate as "a remarkable example of a child
kleptomaniac," has been handed over to an eminent specialist
in psycho-pathology, has not yet received the attention that it
undoubtedly demands. It is true that, in the beautifully alliterative
phrase of one of our contemporaries, "with the exception of a penchant
for petty peculations" the young offender "has always been a model
girl, industrious and truthful," thus justifying the belief of the
eminent specialist, that he could "wipe out the original sin" in her.
But the child is mother to the woman, and those of us who have been
gradually and conscientiously convinced of the total inadequacy of
the Government's policy towards Ireland, cannot but recognise in this
experiment an example which might be profitably followed in dealing
with what--with all due deference to Hibernian susceptibilities--we
are reluctantly driven to call the irregular conduct of certain
sections of Irish society.

With the exception of a penchant for petty pin-pricks at the expense
of the police, Ireland's behaviour has been exemplary in its industry
and humanity. So averse were a large number of her sons from the
employment of violence in any form that they refused to participate
in warlike operations against the enemy that threatened our common
Empire. So magnanimous was their charity that they found it impossible
to credit the harsh and unchristian allegations levelled at the
KAISER and his countrymen. But it could hardly be expected that so
high-spirited and energetic a race could indefinitely pursue a
course of inaction. The relentless logic which has always been a
distinguishing feature of the Celt has impelled them, since the
cessation of formal hostilities, to express their disapproval of a war
waged in their interests by indulging in demonstrations--if so harsh a
term may be permitted--directed against the _régime_ which has secured
them immunity from invasion, devastation and conscription, and at the
same time afforded them exceptional opportunities for amassing wealth.

It must be reluctantly admitted that some of these ebullitions
have bordered closely on what we may be forgiven for describing as
indecorum. But the motive was undoubtedly a generous instinct
of self-assertion. Ever since the days of CAIN, the first great
self-expressionist, there have always been richly-organised natures to
whom even fratricide is preferable to the dull routine of agricultural

None the less it is at least arguable that an indefinite extension
and expansion of the conduct now prevalent in the Sister Isle might be
fraught with consequences not altogether conducive to the longevity
of the minority. And while sad experience has proved the futility of
legislative panaceas there still remain the fruitful possibilities
inherent in an application of the principles of psycho-pathological
treatment based on the discoveries of FREUD. For our own part we are
convinced that herein lies the only solution of Ireland's discontent.

Therefore let the Government at once withdraw all troops and munitions
of war from Ireland, disband the R.I.C. and invite the leaders of
the Sinn Fein movement and of the I.R.B. to submit to a course
of psychiatric treatment conducted by an international board of
specialists, from which all representatives of the belligerent Powers
should be excluded, with possibly the exception of America. It seems
incredible that such an offer should be refused. If it is we can
only patiently acquiesce in the optimistic view of the famous Celtic
chronicler, GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS, that Ireland will be ultimately
pacified just before the Day of Judgment--_vix paulo ante diem

       *       *       *       *       *



"It comes of my having a sniff."

       *       *       *       *       *


_Amateur Engineer_ (_who has burst the boiler and shouted to the

       *       *       *       *       *


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

From what is known of the tastes of Sir IAN HAMILTON it might have
been supposed that he wrote his _Gallipoli Diary_ (ARNOLD) lest his
pen-hand should lose its cunning while wielding the sword. Indeed
he tells us of a rumour among his officers "that I spend my time
composing poetry, especially during our battles." But that he did not
write for the sake of writing must be clear to anyone who reads the
book, even if the author had not declared his motive in the preface.
Here he admits that, though "soldiers think of nothing so little
as failure," it was in fact the thought of possible failure that
determined him, at the very start, to prepare from day to day his
defence. Perhaps this is not quite the attitude of one who stakes
all upon the great chance. In another significant passage of
self-revelation he tells us how, on a tour of inspection in Egypt,
he met RUPERT BROOKE, "the most distinguished of the Georgians." "He
looked extraordinarily handsome ... stretched out there on the sand,
with the only world that counts at his feet." Whether in ordinary
times the world of art is or is not the "only world that counts,"
I cannot say, but I am certain that to a soldier entrusted with
an enterprise of so great moment the only world that should have
"counted" at that hour was the world of war. If the chapter which
describes the failure that followed the landing in Suvla Bay exposes
the incapacity of some of his officers to inspire their men with that
little more energy which would have ensured a great victory, it seems
also to expose a certain want of compelling personality in the High
Command. But of the military questions here raised I make no pretence
to judge, and in any case judgment has been passed on them already.
The interest of the diary lies in its appeal as a human document.
It is the _apologia_ of a man who, for all his criticism, often
apparently justified, of the authorities at home (there are passages
which he must surely have suppressed if Lord KITCHNER had still been
living), sets down scarce a word in malice and but few in bitterness
of spirit; who appreciates at its high worth the devotion and
gallantry of his officers and men; who, whatever qualities he may have
lacked for his difficult task, reveals himself as loyal at heart and
generous by nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss RUTH HOLT BOUCICAULT (a name with a double theatrical
association) has written, in _The Rose of Jericho_ (PUTNAM), a novel
of American stage life which I should suppose comes as near to being
a true picture as such stories can. She derives her title from
the convenient habit of the desert rose of detaching itself from
uncongenial or exhausted soil, subsiding into a compact mass and
travelling before the wind to more profitable surroundings. It will be
admitted that the author has at least hit upon a picturesque metaphor
for a touring company, which on this analogy becomes a very garden of
(Jericho) roses. Actually, however, she no doubt intended it to apply
more to the disposition of her heroine, and in particular to her power
of transferring her young affections, flower, leaf and root, from one
object to another, with undiminished enthusiasm. _Sheelah's_
capacity for being off with the old and on with the new is almost
preternatural; her progress from stage-child to leading lady is
accompanied by such various essays in unconventional domesticity that
the reader may well experience a sense of confusion, or at least feel
some difficulty in sustaining the first freshness of his sympathy. The
story is at times almost startlingly American, as when the original
betrayer of the heroine is excused on the ground that, being English,
his morality would naturally not rise to native level (I swear I'm not
laughing--see page 168); and so full of the idiom of the Transatlantic
stage as to be a perfect _vade mecum_ for visiting mimes from this
side. For the rest, vivacious, wildly sentimental and obviously
written from first-hand experience.

       *       *       *       *       *

By calling her _Potterism_ (COLLINS) "a tragi-farcical tract" Miss
ROSE MACAULAY disarms our criticism that she conducts too heavy a
discussion from too light a platform. I don't think the author of
_What Not_ is likely to write anything dull, anything I shan't be
pleased to read. She has a keen eye, a candid soul, a sharp-pointed
pen. She is deliciously modern. And she dislikes _Potterism_, which
is sentimental lack of precision in thought. It is much more (or much
less) than this, but I get the definition by inverting a phrase of her
dedication. _Potter_, by the way, or _Lord Pinkerton_, as he is now,
owns a series of newspapers "not so good as _The Times_ nor so bad
as _The Weekly Dispatch_" (guileless piece of camouflage this!), and
_Mrs. Potter_ ("_Leila Yorke_") is a novelist who might have written
_The Rosary_. Two of the young _Potters, Jane_ and _Johnny_, though
they both when up at Oxford joined the _Anti-Potter League_, do not
thereby escape being Potterites. They cling to materialistic _Potter_
values. Whereas an aristocratic clergyman, a woman scientist, a
Jew journalist (this last an admirable study) do in varying degrees
contrive to avoid the deadly infection. This tract needed writing. I
have a feeling that it could be better done and by ROSE MACAULAY.
But it makes excellent reading as it is.... The pachyderm will wince,
shake himself and be left grinning.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. ARNOLD PALMER derives the title of _My Profitable Friends_ (SELWYN
AND BLOUNT) from a verse, new to me, in which the poet, apparently
when launching her wares, concludes,

  "But who has pain has songs to sell;
  My Profitable Friends, farewell!"

which I take to be the pleasantest way in the world of calling them
pot-boilers. But whether they were so intended or not, there can be no
question of the very agreeable dexterity that Mr. PALMER brings to the
composition of his tales. Save for a few experiments (which I should
call the least successful in the collection) his formula is not the
episodical "slice of life," with crumbly edges. His choice is for the
well-made, with usually some ingenious little twist at the finish,
and (so to speak) a neatly tied bow to end all. As an instance of this
kind I commend to your notice the admirably shaped little yarn called
"Two-penn'orth." Mr. PALMER has a pretty wit (perhaps here and there
a trifle thin), shown nowhere to better advantage than in "A Picked
Eleven," one of the most entertaining, and at the same time
human, short stories that I have ever read. Further, his tales are
essentially of the friendly order, and the public will be in fault if
they do not also prove profitable, since we have none too many writers
capable of getting such deft results with the same economy of means.

       *       *       *       *       *

In most stories constructed on the _Enoch Arden_ principle one of the
husbands or wives (whichever it may be of whom there are too many) is
usually a very nasty person. Miss SOPHIE COLE, in _The Cypress Tree_
(MILLS AND BOON), makes all three of her entangled characters quite
attractive; in fact, though I fear she would not wish me to say so, I
really liked the unsuccessful competitor better than the winner. Books
made up of the little homely things which might happen to anybody
and distinguished by their pleasant atmosphere have been Miss COLE's
speciality in the past; this time she has, without abating a jot of
her pleasantness, added a touch of the occult in the shape of an old
black-letter volume which infects everyone who gets possession of
it with a mildly insane determination to keep it. An honourable man
steals it and a nice woman smacks her baby for holding it, so you can
see how really baleful its influence must have been when you consider
that they were both Miss COLE'S characters. A very little of the
occult will excuse a good deal of improbability, and the small amount
that has crept into _The Cypress Tree_ does not spoil the effect of a
truly "nice" tale.

       *       *       *       *       *

As an admirer of the _Spud Tamson_ books it irks me to have to say
that _Winnie McLeod_ (HUTCHINSON) contains too much solid sermon to
appeal to me. I gather that R. W. CAMPBELL wants to show how dangerous
life may be for a poor and beautiful girl, and as a warning _Winnie_
can be confidently recommended. But sound and wholesome as the
preaching is it seems to me more suitable for a tract than for a
novel. Moreover it is not easy to feel full sympathy with a hero who
is frankly called an Adonis, who "played a good bat at cricket,"
and also in a strenuous rugger match "dropped a beauty through the
Edinburgh sticks." Altogether the picture suffers from the prodigious
amount of paint that has been spent on it; yet I am confident it will
afford edification to many people whose tastes I respect but cannot

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Ninety-six per cent. of men employed in the gas undertakings
    voted in favour of a strike. Four per cent. were against
    such action and the neutrals formed an infinitesimal
    number,"--_Daily Paper._

A mere cipher, in fact.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Required, immediately, man with intimate knowledge of colours
    to call on consumers with ochres from the French Alps."

    _Daily Paper._

Personally, we always prefer to consume raw umbers from the Apennines.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Customer._ "BUT IF THESE WATCHES COST TEN BOB TO MAKE,

_Watchmaker._ "WE GET IT REPAIRING THEM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

p. 1.: 'say' corrected to 'says' ... 'says a Government official.'

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