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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 26, 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, May 26, 1920" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

Volume 158, Jan-Jul 1920

MAY 26, 1920

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sportsman._ "WHAT ON EARTH'S HAPPENED TO THE
FAVOURITE?"

_The Jonah Man._ "I PUT SOME MONEY ON HIM."]

* * *

CHARIVARIA.

Bohemia has decided to have a Coalition Government. Several London
morning papers are prepared to offer them one in good going condition,
providing they pay cost of transit.

* * *

According to a contemporary, "rabbits are worth less when they are
skinned by the shopkeeper." So is the customer.

* * *

"It is of greater advantage to know the Welsh language," says
Professor TROW, "than to know French." That is, of course, if you wish
to use it for defensive purposes.

* * *

Sir GORDON HEWART has declined to "make any attempt to consider what
is to happen after the next election." The fact of the matter is that
_The Daily Mail_ itself has not yet decided.

* * *

It is reported that an opposition League of Nations is to be started
among countries addicted to war. The League will take cognisance of
all outbreaks of peace.

* * *

A peculiar incident is reported from a large town in the South of
England. It appears that one day last week a bricklayer lost count of
the number of bricks he had laid, with the result that a recount had
to be made to enable him to ascertain whether he had finished for the
day or not.

* * *

The Post Office Workers' Union Conference at Morecambe declared last
week that the Government was "without capacity, courage or principle."
Apart from these defects they have no fault to find with it.

* * *

Sir JAGADIZ CHUNDER BOSE, lecturing at Westminster School, said that
plants, like human beings, are sensitive to pain. Some of the war-time
allotment marrows we heard so much of must have suffered badly from
obesity.

* * *

Most actors, in the opinion of an official of the Actors' Association,
are better off than they used to be. But what we want to see is an
improvement when they are on.

* * *

American shipping circles deny the rumour that they are building a
liner measuring thirteen hundred feet in length. We felt at the time
that this vessel must have been a Canarder.

* * *

Although a heavy safe was bodily removed from a small house in
Wolverhampton during the night, not one of the four persons sleeping
in the next room was awakened by the burglars. Such thoughtfulness on
the part of the intruders deserves the greatest credit.

* * *

"A single greenfly," declared a speaker at a meeting of the
R.S.P.C.A., "may have fifteen thousand descendants in a week." This
almost equals the record of the Chicago millionaire who recently died
intestate.

* * *

A motor-cyclist who was thrown from his machine as a result of
colliding with a car near Birmingham was asked by the occupants of the
latter why he did not look where he was going. This in our opinion
is a most difficult thing to do, as one's destination is so uncertain
until the actual landing takes place.

* * *

On being sentenced to six months' imprisonment at a London Police
Court last week a burglar threw his boot at the magistrate and used
insulting language towards him. We understand that in future only
law-abiding criminals will be allowed inside the court.

* * *

A Hackney boy has dug up a Queen Anne shilling. We understand that, on
hearing the price of sugar, the shilling asked to be put back again.

* * *

The old gentleman who, after reading in the daily papers that all
hairy caterpillars should be destroyed at sight on account of their
destructive powers, tried to crush a Society lady's pet Pekinese in
Hyde Park with his foot is now supposed to be short-sighted.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE VIRTUE THAT BEGINS AWAY FROM HOME

(_as illustrated by an American sample of missionary zeal_).

  In Europe's hour of darkest night
    That daunts the faith of sage and seer
  I long to share the morning light
    Diffused in yonder hemisphere;
  There all is joy and radiance (just
    As when on Eden first the sun rose),
  Thanks to the Power that holds in trust
    That legacy of Colonel MONROE'S.

  But out of those so halcyon skies
    Chill blasts of disillusion blow
  When I observe with pained surprise
    The state of things in Mexico;
  And "Why," I ask, "in Heaven's name,
    Can't 'God's own country' (U.S.A.) go
  And, by the right none else may claim,
    Put it across the dirty Dago?"

  Then I reflect: "'Tis not so strange;
    Some virtues best begin at home,
  But others, of superior range,
    Prefer to start beyond the foam;
  There are who mend the ills at hand,
    But those whose aims are even bigger
  Seek out a far and savage land
    There to convert the godless nigger.

  This chance, no doubt, distracts the Yank
    From sinners at his very door;
  No local cure, he feels, can rank
    With efforts on a distant shore;
  His heart to Sinn Fein's gospel wed,
    And by its beauty deeply bitten,
  He sends his dollars forth to spread
    The fear of hell in heathen Britain."

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BEST PICTURE IN THE ACADEMY.

Let me see. I must have been battling my way through the Galleries
step by step for an hour and three-quarters, and I haven't yet decided
which is the best picture.

But then it's no easy matter to make up one's mind when there are so
many, many pictures--and so many, many people....

And some of them, I'm sorry to say, are not quite so considerate
as they might be. For instance, I had nearly chosen Mr. CLAUSEN'S
_Shepherd Boy: Sunrise_. I was imagining the hush, the solitude.
Suddenly two inexorable hats were thrust between me and the canvas,
while two inexorable voices carried on a detailed discussion
about what Doris (whoever Doris may be) was wearing at the wedding
yesterday.

It wasn't fair to me; and it wasn't fair to the _Shepherd Boy_. I know
he hasn't got a face, poor fellow. But is that a reason for putting
ideas into his head?

It seems to me the crush is fiercer than ever in front of the picture
over there. Probably I shall find that to be the best of all; _No.
274_: Mr. J. J. SHANNON'S _Sir Oswald Stoll_. Ah, I see. These ladies
are simply using the unfortunate gentleman as a looking-glass to tidy
their hair in.

But oh, Sir OSWALD, do I really look as tired as all that? Yes, you're
right; I _am_ tired. I'll go and sit down.

Not a vacant seat anywhere.... Yes, there is--quick! At the far end
of the Galleries. Now isn't it just like the _Supreme War Council_ to
have left that one chair empty for me at their table?

No, it's a trick! The artist knew I should never have the effrontery
to sit there, right under the PRIME MINISTER'S nose. Very well, Mr.
OLIVIER, exhausted though I am, I shall not vote for you either.

There's a dull pain all down my spine. My feet are like lead. Give it
up? Never! I will not leave until I have found the masterpiece.

But I can stem the tide no longer. I surrender myself to the mob and
let it bear me whither it wills....

Where am I? Oh, the Architectural Room. Thronged this afternoon,
like all the others. And yet, once upon a time, before I grew old and
weary--heavens, how weary!--I remember this room with only one other
person in it, and she----

Why, here! Right in front of me; _No. 1235: London County Westminster
and Parr's Bank, Ltd.: Brondesbury branch_. That's it. That's the best
picture in the Academy!

Not so much because of its chiaroscuro, not because of its romantic
associations, but because, immediately opposite that branch-bank,
there's a place where at last, at long, long last--ah!--I can sit
down.

       *       *       *       *       *

OPEN DIPLOMACY.

Stung to the quick by the accusation of secrecy hurled at him by a
portion of the Press in connection with the conference at Lympne, Mr.
LLOYD GEORGE has arranged with M. MILLERAND, we understand, to make
the next encounter, on French soil, a vastly different affair. As a
delicate compliment to the Welsh blood shared by the PRIME MINISTER
and the greatest of our Tudor kings, and through the courtesy of Sir
PHILIP SASSOON who has kindly promised to defray the whole of the
expenses, the _mise en scène_ will be arranged to resemble, almost to
the minutest detail, the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

       *       *       *       *       *

The place of meeting will be between Ardres and Guisnes. Hundreds
of skilful workmen, if they do not happen to be on strike, will
be employed in erecting the pavilions that are to lodge the two
statesmen, who will meet in open field, but not be allowed, either of
them, to visit the camp of the other lest they be suspected of secret
diplomacy. M. MILLERAND and Mr. LLOYD GEORGE will first meet riding
on horseback, and each wearing as much cloth of gold and silver as can
possibly be put upon their backs. Mimic jousts and mock combats
will be held. Lord DERBY, Lord RIDDELL and Mr. PHILIP KERR will all
encounter chosen French champions. Six days will be given to tilting
with the lance, two to fights with the broadsword on horseback, two to
fighting on foot at the barriers. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE will wrestle with
M. MILLERAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the last day there will be a gorgeous masque, at which the PRIME
MINISTER will appear accoutred as Hercules, wearing a shirt of silver
damask, with a garland of green damask cut into vine and hawthorn
leaves on his head, and in his hand a club with fourteen spikes. His
Nemean lion skin will be of cloth of gold, and his buskins of the same
material. Fountains of French wine will play in the British marquee.
M. MILLERAND'S chief pavilion will have a magnificent dome, sustained
by one huge mast, covered with cloth of gold and lined with blue
velvet, with all the orbs of heaven worked on it in gold, and on the
top outside a hollow golden figure of St. Michael. All the Press, but
particularly those representing Lord NORTHCLIFFE'S papers, will be
not only allowed, but entreated and cajoled, to go everywhere and
see everything, to play about with the ropes of the tents and take
snippets of cloth of gold for souvenirs.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh, how different from Lympne (pronounced "mph")!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HIS OWN BUSINESS.

UNCLE SAM. "IF I WEREN'T SO PREOCCUPIED WITH IRELAND I MIGHT BE
TEMPTED TO GIVE MYSELF A MANDATE FOR THIS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Magistrate (to incorrigible vagrant on his thirteenth
appearance)._ "I'M TIRED OF SEEING YOU, AND DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO SEND
YOU TO GAOL OR THE WORKHOUSE."

_Vagrant._ "MAKE IT GAOL, MY LUD, AS THERE YOU DO GET A ROOM TO
YERSELF, WHEREAS IN THE WORK'US YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU RUB SHOULDERS
WITH."]

       *       *       *       *       *

HAMPSTEAD.

The trouble about Hampstead is that it is so very much further from
Kensington than Kensington is from it. Every day, I believe, there
pass between Kensington and Hampstead telephone conversations
something like this:--

_Kensington._ When are you coming to see us?

_Hampstead._ Why don't _you_ come _here_ instead?

_Ken._ It's such a fearfully long way.

_Hamp._ I like that. Do you know that a bus runs the whole way from
here to Kensington?

_Ken._ I don't blame it. But I'm jolly sure it doesn't go back again.

Then Hampstead rings off in a rage and nothing is done about it.

Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING must surely have known of this regrettable
estrangement or he would never have sung--

  "North is North and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
  Except in the Tube at Leicester Square or the corner of Oxford
          Street."

Anyhow you will find that people living in Hampstead tend more and
more to regard themselves as dwellers in the mountains, and take
defiantly to wearing plaid shawls and big hobnail brogues, and carry
alpenstocks in the Underground with them. They acquire, moreover,
the keen steady gaze of those who live in constant communion with the
silent hills, so different from the Oriental fatalism in the eyes of
the Kensingtonite, which comes from the eternal contemplation of the
posters of _Chu Chin Chow_.

It is possible, however, to visit Hampstead, if you are sufficiently
venturous, by bus, tube, tram or train. If you are very rich the best
way is to take a taxi-cab as far as Chalk Farm, where London's milk
supply is manufactured. You cannot go further than Chalk Farm by
taxi-cab, because the driver will explain that he is afraid of turning
giddy, having no head for heights. You have then the choice of two
courses, either to purchase the cab outright and drive it yourself, or
to finish your journey by the funicular railway.

Let us suppose that you have done the latter and emerged on the final
peak which surmounts the Hampstead range. On your way upwards you will
have been charmed by the number of picturesque houses which seem to
have been thrown at the side of the hill and to have stuck there, and
also by the luxuriant groves of cocoanut palms and orange and banana
trees which the L.C.C. has thoughtfully planted to provide sustenance
for London on its Whitsuntide Bank Holiday. It is indeed a pleasant
thought that so many hard-working people are able on this day to
snatch a little leisure in the good old English fashion on the swings
and roundabouts and forsake the weary routine of watching American
films. These great crowds picnic also on the greensward, bringing
their food in paper wrappers, so that a student of such matters can
easily gauge the proportionate circulation of our principal morning
dailies by taking a walk round Hampstead Heath early on Whit-Tuesday
morning.

When you have reached the last summit you will find yourself
confronted by a frowning Gothic pile known as Jack Straw's Castle, and
a large flagstaff on which the flag is only flown when the castellan
is in residence. There is also a pond where the inhabitants of
Hampstead, both old and young, swim their dogs after sticks and float
a great variety of boats. On fine mornings there is such a confusion
of boats and sticks and barking dogs that, if you are lucky, you can
come up with an Irish terrier and an ash plant and go down rather
proudly with a Newfoundland and the latest model of _Shamrock XIV_.

Looking downwards from the top you will discern on the open slopes and
twinkling amongst the vegetation a vast multitude of white poles.
On Saturday afternoons, I believe, there are more poles on Hampstead
Heath than in the whole of Kieff. Each pole is attached to a boy
scout, and it has been calculated that, if all the boy scouts in
Hampstead were to set their poles end to end in a perfectly straight
line from the flagstaff, pointing in a south-easterly direction, they
would be properly told off by their scout-masters for behaving in such
an idiotic manner.

Next perhaps in interest to the boy scouts, both because of their
quaint mediæval costume and the long lances which they carry in their
hands, are the rangers of Hampstead Heath. Feudal retainers of the
L.C.C., they sally ever and anon from their lairs with lances couched
to spear up the pieces of paper which the people of London have left
behind; and this paper-sticking is really the best sport to be enjoyed
now on Hampstead Heath, unless one counts fishing for dace in the
ponds, which I take to be the most contemplative recreation, except
coal-mining, in the British Isles.

Amongst the very many famous people who either live or have lived
at Hampstead may be mentioned Mr. GERALD DU MAURIER, CONSTABLE, Lord
BYRON, Lord LEVERHULME, JOHN MASEFIELD, JOE BECKETT, the younger PITT,
Miss MARIE LLOYD, KEATS, Madame PAVLOVA, ROMNEY, CLAUDE DUVAL and
RICHARD TURPIN, the last of whom, I believe, bequeathed his spurs to
the borough in grateful memory of all that it had done for him. There
are no highwaymen to be met at Hampstead Heath now, but the
solicitor and house-agent of the man from whom I am trying to lease
Number----but there, perhaps I had better not go into that just now.
I cannot however omit to say a few more words about KEATS, because
the nation is trying to buy his house, although it has not yet been
decided which of them is to live in it if they get it. In the garden
of this house the poet is said to have written his celebrated "Ode to
a Nightingale," and the nightingale may still be heard on Hampstead
Heath in June. Presumably it is the same bird, and the lines,

  "Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird;
  No hungry generations tread thee down,"

must be taken as a remarkable instance of literary foresight, for
crowds of people have for years been trying in vain to trample the
brave bird down and have evidently been hungry, or they would never
have left so much sandwich-paper about.

Oh, and there is yet one more notable resident of Hampstead, as you
have doubtless just gathered, and that is myself, or will be if those
 accurséd----but another time, perhaps.

EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Conductor (to alighting passenger, who has rung
the bell several times)._ "THAT'LL DO, MY BANANA QUEEN. ONE RING IS
SUFFICIENT--NOT 'THE BLUE BELLS OF SCOTLAND.'"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A PLEA TO THE EXCHEQUER.

  Less gifted souls may seek an earthly mate;
    Lonely for ever I am doomed to be,
  For all my life to Art is dedicate;
    Yea, Art for mine or (speaking English) me.

  I've put away the commonplace delights
    Of humbler folk to brood on things sublime;
  Rapt and aloof I ever tread the heights,
    Thinking great thoughts and getting words to rhyme.

  Maidens have passed before me, but no bride
    Among them all have I essayed to choose;
  Sternly I've put the thought of love aside,
    An austere poet "wedded to the Muse."

  But now of one small guerdon I am fain
    (A poet's solace for the love he lacks)--
  That this may qualify me to attain
    The married man's relief from income-tax.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

  "AMAZING SHOE OFFER.

  LAST SEVEN DAYS."

  _Advt. in Daily Paper._

We know this kind of shoe.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Parrot, splendid talker, South African grey, in
    perfect condition; good reason for selling; does not
    swear."--_Provincial Paper._

Tastes differ, of course; but personally we should not call this a
"good" reason.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TARTAR PRINCESS.

She was staying at a Finnish hydro near Helsingfors. I asked for her
on the telephone and her old mother answered.

"Is it you, Monsieur Anatole? Fancy ringing up so early--twelve
o'clock! Of course Tatiana is in bed. One can see you have been away
from your native country a long time. We left Petersburg three months
ago. Come and see us at a reasonable time--say three o'clock--and
we'll tell you all about it."

My two years' sojourn in England had accustomed me to English ways.
I had certainly committed an indiscretion in ringing up my former
clients (I was their legal adviser in Petersburg) at such an
unconscionable time.

I found Tatiana, in a smart black glacé gown, reclining on a sofa
and smoking a cigarette in a dull sitting-room, surrounded by other
Russian _émigrés_. She jumped up when she saw me.

"At last, Monsieur Anatole," she said. "You remember when you left
Petersburg in 1918 I told you that you would be submarined, but here
you are back again safely. I'm _so glad_." Her eyes shone and she held
out her little white hand. "You have brought it with you?"

"What with me?"

"The soap, of course. Surely you remember. I asked you to buy me some
Savon Idéal in Paris. It is the only kind that suits my skin."

"But I haven't been to Paris."

"You haven't brought my soap! Why haven't you been to Paris?"

"I have been to London."

She pouted. "Why stay in London instead of Paris? What silliness!"

"And how did you get here?" I asked.

"By sledge. It was terribly exciting and illegal, of course, and
dangerous. Petersburg's awful. All the pipes have burst and there are
no Russians there."

"No Russians!" I exclaimed.

"Because the best people--I mean, of course, the people who won't
work--have all adopted other nationalities. We are--what are we,
Mother?"

"I think it's Adgans, my dear," the old lady chimed in.

"Adgans," I repeated.

"Something of that sort," said the Princess. "It doesn't matter about
the name, but it's more convenient. You are under the protection of
your Government and then your property benefits."

"Do you mean Azerbaijans?" I asked.

"Oh, I daresay."

"But what claim have you to become Azerbaijans?"

"Every claim," she answered with asperity. "Somebody had a property
there once--either one of our family or a friend. Why don't your
family become Esthonians? You'd find it much more convenient. Your
father could leave Petersburg."

"But he's never been to Esthonia."

"That's nonsense," said Tatiana; "he must have travelled through Reval
at some time, and besides I remember he went to Riga once to fight a
case for the Government."

"But Riga's in Latvia," I protested.

"What does that matter? Anyhow we escaped with two hundred thousand
roubles and one small trunk. The first few weeks we had a great time
here and spent all our money, but after that we had to 'put our teeth
on the shelf.'"

"But how did you manage without money?"

"Well, we sell our things--jewellery and clothes. I think you might at
least have come back through Paris; I can't understand how you forgot
about the soap. You've no idea what bad manicurists the Finns are;
they've torn my fingernails to bits."

"But when you've sold all your clothes and jewellery what do you
intend to do?" I asked.

Tatiana laughed. "Then there's the house in Petersburg that will fetch
quite a lot of money, and there are a number of people here who want
it."

"How can you sell a house to people who can't get to it?" I asked.

Tatiana shrugged her shoulders. "Of course I can sell it all the
better because they don't know the state it's in. I think England must
have made you rather silly. You wrote and asked me to lunch without my
husband and you know it's not done in Petersburg; you've become quite
English."

"But last time we met you were just divorcing the Count and I wasn't
quite sure of your relations with your new husband."

Tatiana kissed the tips of her fingers. "He's lovely!" she cried
enthusiastically. "A real Cossack officer. Why, there he is! Dmitré,
this is Monsieur Anatole, our family lawyer. He'll sell the house for
us, and he's promised me some Savon Idéal from Paris. You'll go to
Paris, won't you?" she said, putting a very seductive face close to
mine.

I parried. "It's difficult for Russians----"

"Oh, that's all right; you can become a Czecho-Slovak. I can give you
a letter; you need only stay there half-an-hour when you're passing
through."

I felt my cherished Russian nationality slipping away and my only
safety seemed to lie in an instant departure. I caught her hand
and kissed her polished finger-tips. She bent forward and kissed my
forehead.

"Good journey," she said.

"A happy time at home," I answered, and, saluting her husband, I
hurried to the door.

"I'm glad there's a little bit of Russian left in you," she called
after me. "And by the way you might bring two boxes of the soap; it
doesn't last long."

       *       *       *       *       *

ONE SPORTSMAN TO ANOTHER.

  You that I fancied my prey
    (Mine was the blunder)--
  Three pounds I'd back you to weigh,
    Not an ounce under--
  Are you, like prices to-day,
    Rising, I wonder?

  Triton were you among trout,
    Jaw tough as leather;
  I put it over your snout
    Light as a feather--
  Splash! and the line whizzing out
    Linked us together;

  Till, ere your fate I could seal,
    Me you eluded;
  Back came the line to the reel
    (Cast not included);
  Oft 'twixt the weed and the creel
    Fish slip--as you did.

  So, since all winter, alack!
    I have bemoaned you,
  Give me a chance to get back
    Some of my own due
  Interest earn'd on the black
    Gnat that I loaned you.

  Then we'll be for it, we two
    (Luck to the winner!);
  Meanwhile be careful what you
    Take for your dinner;
  Fancy confections eschew--
    Blue, dun or spinner.

  Scorning (you'll grant me the boon?)
    Other folk's gay fly,
  Under the willow till June
    Sheltered and safe lie;
  I shall be after you soon,
    I and my May-fly.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "I should be very glad to have a movement started to put an
    end to the extravagant, unseemly and disedifying length to
    which ladies in this country have gone in adopting fashions of
    dress."--_Irish Paper._

Hitherto it had been supposed that the objection to the modern modes
was their excessive brevity.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Coopers Wanted, dry or tight; only Society men need
    apply."--_Advt. in Daily Paper._

Inebriation is no longer popular among Society men.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

QUEERING HIS PITCH. WHAT OUR ARTIST POSER HAS TO PUT UP WITH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Fish Hawker (reading a book of Natural History he has
bought for his son's birthday)._ "LIZ, I BIN SWINDLED. I'VE READ ALL
FROO THE INDEX OF FISHES, AN' KIPPERS AIN'T EVEN MENTIONED."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MUCH THE BETTER HALF.

"Then you mean that neither of you is coming to the concert?" said
Margery.

"Speaking for myself," said John, "the answer is in the
affirmative--or negative, just as you prefer. Any way, I'm not coming.
Your worthy brother must decide for himself."

"Our worthy brother-in-law has spoken for me, Margery," I said; "I
also regret my inability to assist at the revels."

"Then all I can say is I think you're a couple of pigs."

"Margery, Margery," said John, "really your language----I shall have
to write to the papers about you."

"That's the idea," I joined in. "'The Modern Flapper,' by
'Broad-minded but Shocked.' You'd better look out, Margery, or you'll
never marry. The papers are full of letters about people like you.
There's a beauty this morning. Half a minute; I'll read it to you."

"Don't trouble yourself, please," said Margery, curling her lip up
somewhere over her right eyebrow.

"No trouble at all, it's a pleasure," I said, turning over the pages.
"Ah! here we are. This is signed 'Disgusted Ex-Soldier.' Listen:--

"'SIR,--Speaking as one but recently returned to so-called
civilisation after the horrors of two years of war ["Conscript!" said
John], may I venture to give you my opinion of the Modern Girl ...'"

"That's you he means," said John.

"Pah!" said Margery.

"And bah! to you twice," said John.

"Shush, both of you," I said; "listen to 'Disgusted Ex-Soldier':--

"'What was it kept up our hearts and spirits during the terrible days
and nights in the trenches?'"

"The Rum Ration," cried John. "Hear, hear. Loud cries of 'Down with
Pussyfoot!'"

"Nothing of the sort," I said. "'It was the thought of the sweet
simple girls at home in England that nerved us during those frightful
days.'"

"Was it? So it was. Of course," said John feebly, "I forgot."

"'It was for them that we suffered as we did.'"

"Did we? I mean was it? So it was," said John, growing enthusiastic.
"Good old 'Ex-Soldier!' What's he say next?"

"'And when we return at last from the toil and stress of war [Grunts
of appreciation from John], what do we find?'"

"Pork and beans," said John.

I looked at him severely.

"John," I said, "this is no matter for idle jesting. Listen what the
poor fellow goes on to say, "'What do we find?'"

"Boiled be----I don't know, Alan," he finished hurriedly as I looked
at him again. "I--I don't think I found anything."

"'We find,'" I continued, treating him with contumely, "'a laughing,
giggling, smoking, jazzing, frivolous and slangy crowd of ill-mannered
flappers, devoid of all interest in the higher aspects of life and
thinking only of the latest fox-trot. What hope have I of finding
among such as these the woman who will look after my home and bring up
my children?'"

"Hooray!" said John, "that's the stuff to gie 'em."

Margery squeaked with indignation.

"Look after his home, indeed," she choked. "The impertinence of it!
The conceited ape! Who does he think he is?"

"Margery," said John in his special deep tone, "you are too young to
understand these things."

"Understand them! I should just think I am. I didn't believe such
conceit existed in a man nowadays."

"It isn't conceit, my dear Margery; it is the Right Attitude to
Adopt," said John, speaking in capitals. "Personally, I admire the
man. Begin as you mean to go on, I say."

Margery snorted.

"I should just like to see you beginning then," she said.

"That is precisely what I am going to do," said John, leaning back in
his chair and stretching his legs. "I see now that I have always been
too easy-going with Cecilia. From now onwards, however, there will be
a difference. I shall be master in my own house. In short--er--_nous
avons changé tout cela!_ Am I right, Alan?"

"Nothing to speak of," I said; "but the idea's good. Carry on, John."

"Ah, well, the idea's the thing, as SHAKSPEARE said. Anyway, the point
is that 'Ex-Soldier' has awakened my sense of manhood. In future I
shall, as I say, take my rightful position."

"Indeed," said Margery; "and how are you going to set about it?"

"Well, here's a case to begin with," said John. "I have said that I
won't be dragged round to your beastly village revels to-morrow, and
I stick to it. What Alan does is his own concern. For my part I shall
spend to-morrow evening having a quiet million up on the table."

"I'm with you," I said; "we will bash the globules together."

Margery decided to change her tone.

"Don't be beastly, John," she said; "you know Cecilia expects you to
come with us."

John laughed softly.

"Precisely, my dear Margery," he said, "and that's a very good reason
why I shouldn't go. Cecilia always does expect me to do everything
she wants. And I'm so good-natured I have always given way. But never
again, Margery; I shall _not_ come to the concert. I shall say to
Cecilia, 'Cecilia, I am not coming to your concert,' and that will end
the matter."

"Then I think you're a selfish beast," said Margery.

Just then Cecilia came into the room.

"And who's a selfish beast?" she asked.

"Not me, Cecilia," I said. Cecilia is my elder sister, and I have
known her for many years.

"It's John," said Margery. "He's talking the most awful rot, and now
he says he won't come to the concert."

"Won't come to the concert?" said Cecilia, lifting her eyebrows. "Of
course he's coming. Alan's going to sing and John will probably have
to say something."

I sat up straight and swallowed hard.

"No, Cecilia," I gasped, "I really can't sing. I'll turn up if you
like and cheer and all that sort of thing, but really I can't sing."

"Of course you can. You must. I've told them to put your name down.
Everybody has got to do something. It's for St. Dunstan's, you know,
and everyone for miles round is turning up."

I subsided, murmuring feebly.

John was gazing moodily at the fire.

"So that's that," said Cecilia cheerfully, resting her hand softly on
his shoulder. "And _you_'d better be thinking what to say to make the
jolly old farmers stump up, my dear."

John cleared his throat.

"I've--er--decided not to come to the concert, dear," he said.

"Don't be ridiculous, John," said Cecilia, cooing like a covey (or
whatever it is) of doves. "Of course you're coming. I've arranged it
all."

"I think I'd rather stop at home, dear," he said; "I can--er--look
after Christopher and--er--there's a bit of work I have to finish."

"Christopher will be in bed, and your old work can wait, just as it
always has to."

"Well, you know, darling," said John, looking furtively at Margery and
me, "I'm not much use at these social affairs. I always say the wrong
thing."

"I know you do, dear," said Cecilia sweetly; "but they've all heard
you before, and nobody minds."

She paused a moment while John gulped.

"So that's settled, isn't it?" she said.

John gulped again.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHITSUN AUCTION AT OUR BOARDING-HOUSE.

_Ruffled Veteran (whose partner has not led her suit against a
"three no-trumps"). "Not Having (realises the enormity of her
offence)_--ER--ER--PLAYED THE GAME BEFORE, PARTNER?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TO A DENTIST.

    ["Dry champagne is an excellent mouth-wash."--_Dr. SIM
    WALLACE, at a Conference on Prevention of Diseases of the
    Teeth._]

  While in your dismal _salle d'attente_ I wait
    And with forgotten _Punches_ idly toy,
  How it will reconcile me to my fate
    To muse upon the mouth-wash you employ.

  Or, squirming in the plush-upholstered chair,
    How shall I thrill with valour to observe
  Among the implements of torture there
    A magnum of the best, to brace my nerve.

  Not the hooked probe nor hum of whirring file,
    The fearful forceps nor the needled lance
  Will wholly banish my expectant smile
    That greets "the foaming grape of eastern France."

  E'en in that pass whereat the boldest blench,
    The "aching time" will quickly turn to bliss,
  When, having borne the devastating wrench,
    I hear you murmur, "Rinse your mouth with this."

  I thank you, Dr. WALLACE, for that word;
    My teeth, I'm sure, require attention soon;
  Ah! Widow CLICQUOT, how my heart is stirred!
    Appointment? Right. To-morrow afternoon.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT THE OPERA.

_First Patroness of Art._ "BUT WHY COME HERE IF IT BORES YOU SO?"

_Second ditto._ "MY DEAR! ONE MUST OCCUPY ONESELF SOMEHOW AFTER DINNER
TILL IT'S TIME TO GO SOMEWHERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

MEETING THE COUNTESS.

"Could you find time to meet the Countess of Aire?" inquired the
Vicar's wife with her gracious smile, after we had chanced together at
a corner of our village street. "At five o'clock," she added, "at the
cross-roads."

"I shall be charmed," said I. "But what a funny meeting-place."

"It seems to me very natural," said the Vicar's wife.

"Is there going to be speech-making?" I asked.

"How absurd!" she answered. "But of course there will be a
discussion."

"Who else will be present?" I asked.

"No one," she said.

I was never so puzzled in my life.

"It really seems rather odd," said I, "that we should meet alone at
the cross-roads. And it seems so romantic too. At five o'clock, you
said? I always think that is such a sentimental hour."

A bewildered look now crept into the Vicar's wife's face.

"Are you joking or serious?" she said. "Perhaps I have not made myself
clear. I am simply asking if you could kindly meet the Countess of
Aire in place of the Vicar."

"And I say I shall be charmed," I repeated; "and I think the prospect
is most alluring, and I shall endeavour to do the occasion all honour.
I shall put on my best mustard-coloured suit and my new green Tyrolean
hat--the one with the feather in it."

"I don't see why you should, simply to meet the Countess of Aire."

"But think of the romance of the meeting," I urged. "Just fancy! It
is to be at the cross-roads, perhaps above the nameless grave of a
suicide. There I shall be waiting at five o'clock, all dressed up in
my mustard suit and tremulous with excitement. And at last there will
dash up to the trysting-place some splendid equipage, a silver-plated
car, or the family coach with prancing and foaming horses. And
there, at the cross-roads, we shall have our little discussion; no
speech-making, all quite informal. Oh, I wish it could have been
moonlight!"

The Vicar's wife began to look quite scared.

"Are you going mad?" she asked.

"I think so," I said. "Do you know," I went on wildly, saying just
anything by way of preserving my sanity, "I remember that once, when
I was quite little, I half promised I would marry this highly exalted
person; we were playing together as boy and girl in a garden."

"But the Countess of Aire," cried the Vicar's wife, "never was a
girl."

"And never was a boy either," I cried.

"The Countess of Aire," screamed the Vicar's wife--yes, she was fairly
screaming by now--"is a he."

"Now that _is_ absurd," I said.

It was the Vicar, coming round the corner in his usual hurry, as if
every day were a Sunday, who saved the situation by bumping into us
both.

"The Countess of Aire," shrieked his poor wife, frantically clutching
him by the coat-tails, "is a man, isn't he?"

"Certainly," said the Vicar. "It is a terrible age, but thank Heaven
for this," he added piously, "we have yet to learn of a female County
Surveyor."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "NURSERY GOVERNESS WANTED. Three children, 7, 6, and 2
    ears."--_Daily Paper._

Plenty of stuff to box.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LIMIT--AND BEYOND.

GERMANY. "THEY TELL ME I'VE GOT TO MAKE UP THIS COLOSSAL SUM."

TURKEY. "IT'S WORSE FOR ME. _I_'VE GOT TO MAKE UP MY _MIND_!"
(_Swoons._)]


       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

[Illustration: THE PARLIAMENTARY TRAIN.

_PORTER LAW._ "SOME OF THIS STUFF WILL HAVE TO BE LEFT FOR THE RELIEF
TRAIN--IF WE HAVE ONE."

_Mr. LLOYD GEORGE._ "THAT'S ALL RIGHT SO LONG AS YOU CAN CARRY MY
LITTLE LOT."]

_Monday, May 17th._--In theory the business of a Second Chamber is
to revise calmly and dispassionately the legislation which has been
scamped by the First. In practice what happens in our Parliament is
that the Peers, after killing time with academic debates for two
or three months, are suddenly called upon, whenever a Recess is in
contemplation, to pass three or four Bills through all their stages
in as many days. At the invitation of Lord CRAWFORD (Lord SALISBURY
perfunctorily protesting) they entered upon one of these legislative
spasms this afternoon, and within less than an hour gave a second
reading to two Bills, and a third reading to two others, besides
listening politely while Lord NEWTON (with him Lord LAMINGTON)
bewailed the sad fate of certain German "Templars" (a species of
Teutonic Quaker and quite harmless, we were told) who, having been
evicted from Palestine, are now threatened with compulsory deportation
to a Fatherland which they have no desire to visit. "Some hustlers,
your Peers," remarked a visitor fresh from Washington.

That distinguished seaman, Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY, would never
think, I am sure, of speaking disrespectfully of the Equator, but
he has no compunction in abusing the Poles. He regards their recent
advance into the Ukraine as an unprovoked assault upon the poor
innocent Soviet Government, and is shocked to think that it should
have even the negative approval of His Majesty's Ministers. Mr. BONAR
LAW'S assurance that the military stores despatched to Poland from
this country were the Poles' own property, and that the fact that they
were embarked upon a vessel called the _Jolly George_ had no ulterior
significance, quite failed to convince him.

According to Sir ROBERT HORNE the price of a best quality worsted
suit, as made by a high-class tailor in this country, is approximately
sixteen to eighteen guineas, and is still rising, though he thinks it
should not be more than twenty guineas next winter. His remark that
quite good suits could be procured at much lower prices prompted Sir
F. HALL to call attention to the wares of a fellow-Member, upon which
Mr. WHITLEY who was occupying the Chair, observed, with a touch of
Mr. SPEAKER'S humour, that Question-time must not be used for
advertisement.

The approach of the holidays gave point to Mr. FORREST'S complaint of
the inefficiency of the present arrangements for conveying passengers'
baggage by rail. Mr. NEAL expressed a rather faint hope that the
system of "luggage in advance" might be reintroduced. There are signs,
however, that the Parliamentary train is already overloaded and that a
good deal of Ministerial _impedimenta_ will have to be left behind.

_Tuesday, May 18th._--Our ancestors, generous fellows, considered
British citizenship such a fine thing that they sought to extend its
benefits as widely as possible. Under the existing law the child of
British parents born in Canton and the child of Chinese parents born
in Stepney are equally entitled to boast "_Civis Britannicus sum_."
Lord STANHOPE, regarding this as an objectionable anomaly, brought
forward a Bill designed to restrict British nationality to persons of
British blood. But, though he did this with the object of enabling the
Government to fulfil one of their election pledges, "Britain for the
British," he received scant sympathy from the LORD CHANCELLOR, who
declared that, far from making for simplicity, the Bill would produce
a state of things "partly overlapping and partly contradictory."

Although close upon a hundred Generals have been demobilised since
the Armistice, there is no immediate danger of this interesting
race disappearing altogether. Twenty-six of the finest specimens are
specially maintained at the War Office, at the comparatively trifling
cost of sixty-two thousand pounds a year.

Viscount CURZON has many times both on sea and land shown himself the
possessor of a fine nerve, but never more so than this afternoon, when
he contrasted the activity of the police in apprehending infringers
of the Motor-Car Acts with their alleged failure to capture really
dangerous criminals. Mr. SHORTT gave the figures of the motor-car
prosecutions, and resisted the temptation to point out the extent to
which they had been swollen by the noble Lord's own delinquencies.

A listless House resumed the discussion of the Government of Ireland
Bill. Mr. FISHER declined to accept a proposal to include nine
counties, instead of six, in the Northern Parliament, the view of the
Government being that they must cut their legislative Ulster according
to their Protestant cloth. Mr. CLYNES announced the intention of the
Labour Party to wash their hands of the Bill, which he regarded as a
sheer waste of time. Undeterred by the prospect of this calamity the
House passed Clause I. by a majority of 152.

_Wednesday, May 19th._--Mr. BOTTOMLEY obtained leave to introduce
a Bill to create a Public Defender, in spite of an attempt by
Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY to strangle the bantling at its birth. He
did not succeed in making clear his objection to the measure, and it
is thought that he may have confused it with Sir ROBERT HORNE'S Bill
to regulate the Supply of Gas.

When the Committee-stage of the Home Rule Bill was resumed the subject
of debate was the Irish Council, the pivot on which all hopes of unity
are centred. Exactly fifty Members were present to listen to this
epoch-marking discussion, carried on entirely by a few English
enthusiasts and the Members from Ulster. They differed profoundly on
most of the details of the Council's constitution, but were unanimous
in expressing the belief that nothing much mattered since it would
never work. Lord WINTERTON indeed prophesied that if it is composed,
as seems probable, of a solid _bloc_ of Sinn Feiners from the South
and another of Unionists from the North there would be a free fight at
every meeting. In that case it may become a popular body after all.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Keeper at the Zoo (exhausted with efforts to catch
refractory ibex)._ "WELL, THEY CAN 'AVE THEIR FANCY MAPPIN TERRISSES.
A CAGE FOR ME EVERY TIME."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

"Dry Old Chickens, 50s. to £4 4s. per doz."

_Local Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Musical Athletes.

    "Double action Gothic Harp (by Erard), suitable for a lady in
    perfect condition."

    _Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

For Domestic Interiors.

    "For the Blood, Stomach, and Liver, there is nothing to
    compare with CORK LINOS. 800 rolls to choose from"

    _Provincial Paper._

Buttered rolls, we trust.

       *       *       *       *       *

UNIVERSAL "TRAINING."

The Great Eastern have inaugurated a new plan for helping
food-producers. They are sending out an instructional train, manned by
experts and full of live stock--poultry and rabbits and goats--which
is to traverse their system for two months. The contents will be on
view and lectures will be given to cottagers, artisans, clerks--to all
in fact who are interested in the breeding of the lesser live-stock,
apple-growing, etc. The plan is so excellent that we feel sure it is
bound to lead to further developments in regard to the industries and
pursuits that really matter.

The rural districts, it may be safely assumed, already know something
about agriculture. But many areas are still in a state of benighted
ignorance about the results of intensive culture applied to the arts.
There are parts of the Cornish Riviera, for example, in which you may
travel for miles and miles without hearing a syncopated orchestra.
Here is the opportunity of the Great Western--to equip and despatch a
train band or band train, with a _personnel_ carefully selected from
the best negro performers (of whom there are now several thousands in
London), with the view of brightening and enlightening the existence
of those unfortunate villagers hitherto beyond the range of the
beneficent dominion of din. As an antidote to agricultural discontent
we can conceive nothing more salutary.

Again, there are portions of the Black Country where the very names of
the leading Georgian poets are unknown. A troupe of poets, personally
conducted by Mr. EDWARD MARCH or Mr. EDMUND GOSSE, or both, should
without delay be organized and sent forth by the North-Western and
Midland Railways to give recitations over every portion of both
systems. The effect on the output would be instantaneous. London
should not be allowed to monopolize this stimulant to activity.
Minstrelsy should be mobilized. It is true that a small group are
interested in rotary motion, but we want to see all the Georgian poets
on "Wheels." If we cannot have a free breakfast-table, at least we
ought to be in a position to indulge without any control the appetite
of our people for free verse.

Lastly, the plan of the instructional train might be applied with the
most beneficial results to spreading the taste for the Russian Ballet.
We do not hope to detach such bright particular stars as PAVLOVA or
KARSAVINA from the London stage, but at the present moment, according
to the latest statistical returns, there are several hundred Russian
_premières danseuses_ and thousands of _coryphées_ of all grades
congregated in the Metropolis, many of them without engagements, and
reduced to giving dancing lessons to the daughters of profiteers,
Crypto-Semites and other unpropitious persons. The organisation of
a Russian Ballet train would therefore serve the double purpose of
freeing these gifted performers from an ignoble use of their talents
and at the same time initiating the provinces in the poetry of motion.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I'VE JUST 'EARD, MRS. 'UXTABLE, AS 'OW MY NED IS
BEHAVIN' SO WELL THAT 'IS SENTENCE IS BEIN' REDOOCED BY SIX MONTHS."

"YOU DON'T SAY SO! WELL, REELLY, MRS. 'ARRIS, WOT A COMFORT IT MUST BE
TO YOU TO 'AVE A SON WHAT DOES YOU SO MUCH CREDIT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "OXFORD UNIVERSITY.--First Innings. R. H. Bettington, dun out
    ... 12."

    _Daily Paper._

The batsman himself, we understand, expressed the opinion that he had
been "done in."

       *       *       *       *       *

HIGH FINANCE.

[Lines written at Geneva, with the rate of exchange standing at about
twenty francs to the pound in Switzerland and about fifty francs to
the pound in France. French and Swiss franc-pieces are good currency
in both countries.]

  Now here's a thing which makes me laugh
    And in a bitter way:
  The egg, that once was twopence-half,
    Is fivepence net to-day.

  It needed but this final woe
    To fill the wretched cup,
  That Hecuba, the hen, should go
    And put _her_ prices up.

  This Hecuba, her pride is such
    She'll only do her job
  For pay in francs; she will not touch
    The honest British bob.

  Thus I, who have not got the dash
    To borrow, steal or beg,
  Have first of all to buy the cash
    Wherewith to buy the egg.

  And when I go to buy some francs
    To see the matter through
  I find that hereabouts the banks
    Have raised their prices too....

  The farm is Swiss; but then, suppose
    You place yourself by chance
  Upon the southern edge, your nose
    Is trespassing in France.

  'Tis here that Hecuba, the hen,
    In solitude sublime
  Does business every now and then
    At half-a-franc a time.

  Then ought she not (of course she ought)
    To pause and shift her ground,
  And lay my egg where francs are bought
    At fifty to the pound?

  HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a music-hall advertisement:--

  "IMPORTANT NOTICE!
  OWING TO THE
  ENORMITY OF THIS PRODUCTION,
  FIRST HOUSE COMMENCES ... 6.15."

  _Provincial Paper._

The licensing authority seems to have been caught napping.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The interesting announcement is made that Finchale Priory has
    been handed over to the care of the Society for the Prevention
    of Ancient Monuments."--_Provincial Paper._

It is suggested that some of the London statues might profitably be
handed over to the same body.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PERFECT SCULLERY.

I was more than interested in the article "About Bathrooms" which
appeared in the columns of _Punch_ of March 31st last, because I
too always smoke a pipe in a hot bath, to which I add the habit of
reading, not books--they are too sacred to risk--but newspapers. I
also frequently indulge in a further luxury at this time, a cup of
coffee, which rests on the sponge and soap bridge between sips.
Of course the soap sometimes falls into the coffee, and if this is
undetected in time a slight frothing at the mouth occurs, but no
really serious harm ensues.

I tried the effect of pictures round the bath--pictures with a shiver
in them that made me pull the water up closer round my neck. But I
found that they were being ruined by the steam, so I removed them and
am now looking for some undraped but respectable statuettes that will
give the same result.

I have not tried the rich rug stunt. The only rug we possess which
might be so described is a Persian one, and is on our cat at present.
When she has done with it I intend to spread it over the only part
of the bathroom floor which is permanently dry. And, suffering as our
bathroom does from that lack of space which the writer on bathrooms so
justly laments, the "profound chair" is out of the question.

While his views on bathrooms are sound it seems evident to me that the
writer of the _Punch_ article lives in pre-war style--with servants.
We don't. Our last maid left us to be a Waac and has not been seen
since in the precincts of domestic servitude. I did hear something
about her approaching marriage to a Colonel of Hussars, but don't know
whether it came off or not.

It seems to me that what is chiefly wrong with houses, at any rate
with our house, is the scullery. It is smaller than most bathrooms,
and, though it is anything but bare, the furnishings of it are not
intriguing to one who, like myself, spends therein such an undue
proportion of the twenty-four hours.

Our present char comes three days a week, about eleven o'clock, has
a look round with a duster in one hand till thirteen o'clock, then
lunches and (probably) has a cigarette. She leaves at fifteen o'clock.
This means that I help with the washing-up of the breakfast, tea and
dinner things on char days, and of luncheon things as well on non-char
days. My share of the task is generally the wiping. This is not
such an engrossing occupation as to prevent one from thinking great
thoughts at the same time, thoughts worthy to be committed to paper
afterwards. Now, as a song-writer, I ask how can one get inspiration
while gazing at a row of saucepans, a cullender, a bottle of metal
paste, one ditto knife polish and a plate-rack?

If any room in the house should be luxuriously furnished it is the
scullery. But what is even more important, I think, is that the whole
game of scullerying should be revolutionised. The implements still in
use are worthy of the Stone Age. The rules should be so framed that
there should be little or no washing-up, in the ordinary acceptation
of the term.

Let me put before you a pen-picture of the scullery of my dreams.
A cosy pleasant room, the whole length of the house in fact, with
a south aspect, full advantage of which is secured by a long window
filled with leaded lights of opalescent glass (in order that the
Hilary-Tompkins next door, who have two servants, may not grow too
ribald). On the western wall is a rich mosaic depicting Hercules
cleansing the Augean stable, and below this a fountain of clear limpid
water, warmed to at least twenty over grease-proof, gushes forth and
flows in a pellucid stream, between banks of marble, to the eastern
end of the chamber. At the fountain head reclines Euphemia, my wife,
arrayed and fructed proper, who leisurely drops the crockery into the
stream. At the other end of the room, seated in a "profound chair" by
the estuary, where the waters of the River Plate fall into the Sink
Basin, behold me lazily watching the cups and platters as they glide
gently down the rippling flood towards me, dexterously fishing
out each fresh arrival and depositing it in a hot-air receptacle
conveniently placed for its accommodation.

Such, I say, is the scullery of my dreams, in which the washing up of
a nine-hole-course dinner would be as pleasant as a round of golf.
No unsightly pots, pans, brooms, tins or other junk pollute the
apartment; they are in the dream ante-chamber, to be hereinafter
described or not, if the Editor sees fit. [ED.--He does not see fit.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Shakspeare and Mr. Charles Chaplin.

Mr. CHARLES CHAPLIN writes from Los Angeles protesting against the
allegation, made in our issue of March 31st, that "he does not like
SHAKSPEARE." Mr. Punch cannot accept responsibility for a statement
quoted from the report of an interview, but he has no hesitation in
expressing his profound regret for any wrong that he has inadvertently
done both to Mr. CHAPLIN and SHAKSPEARE.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GREAT DIVORCE QUESTION.

When I week-end with people I like them to be tactful. I thought
Mrs. Benham lacked the tact essential to a hostess when she said, "We
breakfast at half-past nine on Sundays. That will give us all
ample time to get to church." She never seemed to contemplate the
possibility of my having a Sunday morning indisposition.

Now there is no virtue in compulsory church-going, but as I was for it
I accepted my fate cheerfully. I walked with Benham across the park to
the church. He is the adopted Candidate for the division, and he took
the opportunity of rehearsing to me a speech he was preparing which
showed up Bolshevism in its true colours. Though no Sabbatarian I have
the deepest objection to political speeches on a Sunday, and it was
really a relief when I reached the gracious refuge of the church.

The family pew was a little too near the pulpit, but it was most
comfortable. When the sermon came on I settled myself in a restful
corner to listen to the Archdeacon. After a moment or two I felt he
was on sound orthodox lines and needed no supervision of mine. I leant
back and gradually dozed off.

Then in my sleep I became aware of a stern voice disapproving of
something. It seemed to me that Benham was at a public meeting
denouncing Bolshevism to a very lethargic audience. It was my bounden
duty to support my host. "Hear, hear! Hear, hear!" I said most
emphatically.

I woke up just as the last "Hear" left my lips. The choir-boys were
sniggering--you can always trust them to do that. A large curate was
eyeing me as if I were something between a leper and a dissenter.
Mrs. Benham was looking indignantly down the pew at me; Benham was
tactfully but ineffectively pretending not to have heard anything.

I went hot all over. What could I do? Should I be prosecuted for
brawling in church? Could I possibly explain to the Archdeacon that I
spoke in my sleep, and therefore was not responsible? There are some
explanations that aggravate an offence.

There came a terrible moment when the service was over. The Archdeacon
stepped deliberately towards our pew. I was tempted to bolt through a
stained-glass window. And then, as he came near, he beamed on me.

"Don't apologise, my dear Sir, don't apologise. If you were so moved
by the picture I drew of the inroads the new Divorce Law would make on
the sanctity of our homes why should you not express your indignation?
Enthusiasm is far better than lethargy."

"Mr. Johnson feels very strongly on the subject," said Mrs. Benham. I
had never said a word about it before her in my life.

That night she surveyed me carefully. "I can see you've a headache,
Mr. Johnson," she said. "You had better not go to church; there is
nothing worse than a hot church for headache."

After all, Mrs. Benham is not without tact.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TRAGEDY OF A CIGAR-ASH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Impending Apology?

    "The Bank now gives employment to 6,000 persons, 2,000 of whom
    are women. In order to accommodate them outside premises
    have been acquired from time to time. The chief of these new
    establishments is St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics."--_Sunday
    Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Farmer._ "SO YOU WANT A JOB OF WORK, EH?"

_Applicant._ "I SAID A JOB. I NEVER SAID A JOB O' WORK."]

       *       *       *       *       *


MAGNANIMOUS MOTTOES.

A writer in _The Evening Standard_ calls attention to the latest
ornamentation of the fine old Elizabethan Hall of Gray's Inn, in the
shape of the arms of Lord BIRKENHEAD, who as a past Treasurer of the
Inn is entitled to this armorial distinction in his lifetime. But, he
goes on, "it was not so much the arms as their motto which attracted
me--the motto of a man who began his brilliant career as plain Mr.
F. E. SMITH. Now the Latin for 'smith,' as an artisan, is _faber_
(artificer or fabricator in the primal sense); so, with a fine
democratic courage, Lord BIRKENHEAD has chosen as his family motto:
'_Faber meæ Fortunæ_' (Architect of my own Fortune)."

We agree; but it must not be supposed that Lord BIRKENHEAD has an
entire monopoly of this frank spirit. Other eminent men who have
recently been ennobled or decorated have shown a similar frankness.
Thus it may not be known that Lord RIDDELL has adopted a motto which
reveals the comparatively modest beginnings of his greatness. Lord
RIDDELL was, and we believe still is, the proprietor of _The News of
the World_. Now the Latin for news or newness is _novitas_ (novelty or
unfamiliarity in the primal sense); so with a noble democratic courage
he has chosen as his family motto: "_Sæculorum vetustati præstat
novitas mundi_" (The news of the world surpasses the antiquity of the
ages). It is rather a long motto, but it is eminently Ciceronian in
its cadence.

Then there is the case of Lord NORTHCLIFFE, who began his brilliant
career as simple Mr. HARMSWORTH. Now the Latin for "harm" is _damnum_
(loss or sacrifice in the primal sense), and for "worth" _dignus_. So,
with a fine loyalty to his antecedents, Lord NORTHCLIFFE has
adopted the heroic and pleasantly alliterative motto: "_Per damna ad
dignitatem_" (Through sacrifices to worthiness).

Even more ingenious is the motto chosen by Lord BEAVERBROOK, who began
his coruscating career as a native of New Brunswick. Now the Latin
for "beaver" is _castor_ (not to be confounded with the small wheels
attached to the legs of arm-chairs), and in Greek mythology Castor was
the brother of Pollux, who was famed as a boxer. "Boxer" is a synonym
for "prize-fighter"; "prize-fighter" recalls "WELLS"; "wells" contain
"water," and "water" suggests "brook." So Lord BEAVERBROOK, with a
true allegiance to Canada, coupled with a scholarly mastery of the
niceties of Classical etymology, has chosen for his family motto: "_E
Castore Pollux_" (Brook from the Beaver).

       *       *       *       *       *


THE DEVIL IN DEVON.

  The Devil walked about the land
  And softly laughed behind his hand
  To see how well men worked his will
  And helped his darling projects still,
  The while contentedly they said:
  "There is no Devil; he is dead."

  But when by chance one day in Spring
  Through Devon he went wandering
  And for an idle moment stood
  Upon the edge of Daccombe wood,
  Where bluebells almost hid the green,
  With the last primroses between,
  He bit his lip and turned away
  And could do no more work that day.

  R. F.

[Illustration: THE HEDGER.

"WOT BE GOIN' TO WIN THE TWO-THIRTY RACE, VARMER?"

"WELL, YOUNG FELLER, THERE BE NINE 'OSSES RUNNIN', AND I 'AS THREE
_FANCIES_ AN' FOUR _SNEAKIN'_ FANCIES. BUT, MARK MY WORDS, I SHAN'T BE
A BIT SURPRISED IF ONE O' THEY OTHER TWO DON'T DO THE TRICK."]

       *       *       *       *       *


OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

There has recently been a notable output of books of "personalities"
and critical appreciations, contemporary, historical and (for the
most part) iconoclastic. One may therefore say that Mr. HORACE G.
HUTCHINSON is distinctly of the movement in compiling his _Portraits
of the 'Eighties_ (UNWIN). This is certainly a volume that anyone
can dip into with instruction and entertainment, even if (to be quite
honest) the former is likely to predominate. The fact is that one has
become so used to the satirical method in portraiture, in which the
attack is all and the subject emerges only as a beriddled target, that
an ordinary pen-picture, however faithful, is apt to seem heavy by
contrast. Mr. HUTCHINSON certainly is not of the slingers; he will
just "tell you about" the notable persons of his period, setting down
nothing in malice, omitting little however banal, and rejecting no
aphorism or anecdote as outworn. Perhaps his nearest approach to the
popular method is a very occasional touch of gentle irony, as when he
permits himself to say of G. W. E. RUSSELL (to whose _Portraits of the
Seventies_ the present volume is intended as a sequel) that he "used
to drive about London in a carriage picked out in colours that did not
suggest that he sought seclusion." I have no space for the barest list
of the sitters in Mr. HUTCHINSON'S crowded picture of a time rich
in character, his treatment of which aims rather at covering a
wide ground than at intimacy of detail. To mention but one, it is
interesting to compare his General GORDON with the recent presentment
of him by another hand. If the result is more creditable to Mr.
HUTCHINSON'S kindliness than to his wit, it may serve as an apt
comment on the whole book.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Beauty and Bands_ (CONSTABLE) is not, as you might excusably suppose,
a treatise on syncopation or the decline of Jazz, but takes its title
from a verse in the Book of Proverbs. Really what the story most
illustrates is the extent to which a clever and experienced writer
can clothe a wildly impossible plot with some aspect of reality. Miss
ELLEN THORNEYCROFT FOWLER assuredly does not lack courage; having
thought out a "good situation" (which it certainly is) she was not
going to be put off by any considerations of probability. I can't
resist some sketch of it, even at the risk of spoiling your pleasure.
Suppose a lovely but selfish wife, bored to the point of flight from
a well-intentioned husband, then involved in a railway smash which
disfigures her beauty, destroys her memory and incidentally reforms
her character; let her by plausible circumstance be mistaken for
another traveller in the wrecked train and under a new name and
personality meet her husband, fall in love with him, but be compelled
to reject his suit by the presumption that his vanished wife may still
be living--as I hinted, the result in situations is enough to satisfy
the most exacting, the only real drawback being that not all Miss
FOWLER'S pleasantly persuasive efforts can make me believe a word of
it. If she had dared a little more, and inflicted the husband with
blindness, impaired hearing and slight mental decay, I would have
stretched a point and supposed that, during a protracted courtship, he
might never have recognised his own wife. Lacking these concessions I
can only report an entertaining but preposterous absurdity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those of us who read _With the Persian Expedition_ know something
about the Hush-Hush Army; enough, at any rate, to whet our appetites
for more. Let me then recommend _The Adventures of Dunsterforce_
(ARNOLD) to your notice, and assure you that it is a most lively
account of as strange an enterprise as any that the War brought forth.
Briefly, the object of General DUNSTERVILLE'S mission was to prevent
German and Turkish penetration in the area of the Caucasus, Baku and
the Caspian Sea. In January, 1918, he set out from Baghdad with what
he calls "the leading party." Continually hampered by lack of men,
the mission failed to achieve its original object; but what it
accomplished in most difficult circumstances was of great value to the
Allies. The conditions at the time when the author sailed from Enzeli
with his "Dunsterforce" to raise the siege of Baku were delightfully
cosmopolitan. He describes himself as "a British General on the
Caspian, the only sea unploughed before by British keels, on board
a ship named after a South African Dutch President and whilom enemy,
sailing from a Persian port under the Serbian flag to relieve from the
Turks a body of Armenians in a revolutionary Russian town." "Let the
reader," he adds, "pick his way through that delirious tangle, and
envy us our task who may." After pursuing the tricky course of this
astounding adventure I confess myself lost, not in its mazes, thanks
to an excellent map, but in profound admiration for "Dunsterforce" and
its leader.

[Illustration: WHEN PEOPLE DO POSTERS--

I WISH THEY WOULDN'T--

MAKE THE WORDING--

GO ALL ROUND LIKE THIS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

In _A Merchant Fleet at War_ (CASSELL) it takes nearly a hundred
pictures to illustrate the fighting effort and experiences of the
Cunard Steamship Company. Quite a lot of them are from snap-shot
photographs actually taken while in action with submarines, and where
through an unfortunate oversight these have not been available someone
with vivid brush and imagination has done wonders to fill the gap.
Certainly such a subject as the passing of the _Lusitania_, her decks
still packed though her great bulk is three-quarters gone, the sea
crowded with boats and, presumably, drowning Englishmen, is perhaps a
little poignant to be handled in this fashion; but no one can object
to seeing a U-boat nose-diving at the instance of S.S. _Phrygia_,
or another being messed up by a shell from the _Valeria_; while
the historic fight between _Carmania_, in Prussian blue, and _Cap
Trafalgar_, mostly crimson, competes for lurid splendour with
the _Mauretania_ in "dazzle" costume, staged with a sky to match.
Incidentally Mr. ARCHIBALD HURD has acted as showman for the
collection. One might have found his exposition rather more
substantial but for Sir JULIAN CORBETT'S first volume of _Naval
Operations_, which has set an uncomfortably high standard in sea
history. Frankly, the deeds of the men of our merchant fleets, of the
Cunarders no less than others, were so magnificent that a book to be
worthy of them must be in itself as modest and unpretentious as they
were. This book is not.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Tall Villa_ (COLLINS), by "LUCAS MALET," has a strange theme--no
less than the deliberate wooing, by a sensitive unhappy woman, of
a more unhappy ghost. _Lord Oxley_ had lived in this odd villa on
Primrose Hill a hundred years ago with a noted stage beauty who had
finally jilted him. One of his descendants, _Frances Copley_, banished
from Grosvenor Square by her husband's financial failure and conscious
of the growing rift between them, detaches herself more and more from
the world of sense till she is--well, till she is in just the right
mood for seeing ghosts. First it is a mere shadow that stands by her
piano; next a faceless figure, exquisitely dressed, sits brooding in
her chair; then she hears a pistol shot; later--but this will
spoil your entertainment. I cannot say I was quite convinced, but I
certainly was held to the end by a tale very skilfully, almost
too carefully, told, and by the cleverness of the four portraits--
_Frances_ herself, the adorable _Lady Lucia_ her cousin, _Charlie
Montagu_ the passionate bounder, and, a little less definite,
_Morris Copley_ the stockbroking husband.

       *       *       *       *       *

Messrs. HODDER AND STOUGHTON have beaten up various American magazines
and shepherded a few _Waifs and Strays_ of short stories by the
late "O. HENRY" (WILLIAM SYDNEY PORTER) into a final volume of their
excellent edition of his works. They have also included appreciations
by various American and British critics of the author's achievement,
together with some sparse biographical details. The stories are of
varying value, exercises on a sentimental motive cloaked by humorous
or bizarre exaggeration of language, with those unexpected but
ingeniously plausible endings which are of the essence of "O. HENRY'S"
method. Of the criticisms, English readers will be most affected by
Mr. STEPHEN LEACOCK'S "The Amazing Genius of O. HENRY," an analytical
appreciation in the most handsome terms, deploring English neglect of
this master of one of the most difficult of art-forms--a neglect which
we have done something of late to remedy.





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