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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, June 2, 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, Volume 158, June 2, 1920" ***

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

       *       *       *       *       *

Punch, or the London Charivari

Volume 158, Jan-Jul 1920

June 2, 1920

       *       *       *       *       *


Some idea of the heat experienced in this country last week can be
deduced from the fact that several bricklayers were distinctly seen to
wipe their brows in their own time.


It is all very well for LENIN to talk about Great Britain recognising
Russia, while his followers are doing their best to render the place
almost unrecognisable.


Normally, says Dr. GEOFFREY KEYNES, a person has fifteen thousand
millions of blood corpuscles circulating in his body. People suffering
with insomnia might try counting them in bed.


According to a scientific journal, tests recently made show that
microbes cannot live long on coins. "Middle Class" writes to say this
is nothing new to him, as no germ could live on his salary.


The promoters of the Milk and Dairies Bill hope to ensure clean milk
for the public. They seem to have thought out an improvement on the
present system by which certain dairymen are in the habit of washing
their milk.


It took nature several million years, says _The New York World_,
to make a ton of coal. It looks as if she has arranged to charge us
retrospectively by the hour for the stuff.


A gold wedding-ring has been found inside a large doe rabbit which was
shot recently in a wheat-field near Wilbury. The question arises, "Do
modern rabbits go through the marriage ceremony?"


The latest fad of the American golfer is to have a small painting made
of himself in the act of driving. We feel, however, that it will be
some time before English golfers will place orders for plaster casts
of their language.


Nearly all the extra firemen required for the London Fire Brigade have
been engaged. Clients are assured that arrears of fires will now be
worked off with all speed.


According to a daily paper a severe thunderstorm which recently
visited Luton was not heard by the audience in a local concert hall.
It is rumoured that a performer was at the time reciting a chapter of
Lord FISHER'S autobiography.


A strike of incubator-makers is threatened and many grocers who stock
breakfast-eggs fear that a lot of chicks may come out in sympathy.


According to an evening paper a young lady who was chased by a bull
in a provincial meadow ran a quarter of a mile and jumped a stream
sixteen feet wide before gaining safety. Not much of a jump, surely,
considering the long run she took.


"Whilst motoring between Baldock and Grantham one is struck by the
greenness of the growing wheat and barley," states a writer in a motor
journal. The regularity with which these cereal grasses adopt this
colour is certainly worthy of attention.


Our heart goes out to the American travellers who set foot on our
shores at Southampton one day last week just five minutes after


In their recent match against Sussex the first four Middlesex batsmen
each scored a century. We understand that in order to obviate a
recurrence of this sort of thing a movement is on foot to increase the
number of runs in a century to a hundred and fifty.


We are informed that "a man arrested by Dutch fishermen in the belief
that it was the CROWN PRINCE making his escape turned out to be a
notorious jewel thief." The error seems to have been excusable.


The case of the dock labourer who appeared at a County Court in a
tail coat and white waistcoat is now explained. The man's valet, who
usually looks after these things for him, had gone on strike for more


Charged with taking one hundred and forty-five pounds of his
employers' money a Newcastle office-boy was stated to have been
reading trashy novels. It was thought to be only fair to the financial
papers that the public should know where he got the idea from.


"I reckon I can drink fifty pints a day, easy," a witness told the
Portsmouth magistrates. He may do it for a while, but sooner or later
his arm is bound to go back on him.


"Under British guidance," says a contemporary, "Persia's future is
bright with promise." We know nothing of its future, but its present
seems to be scintillating with performance under Bolshevik direction.


"Cave exploration," declares a writer in _The Daily Mail_, "is a most
fascinating sport." There is always the thrilling possibility that you
may find another Liberal principle hidden away somewhere.


Owing to the increased cost of living it is said that burglars will
now only book jewel robberies of two thousand pounds and over.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



    _Dublin Paper._

A good idea, but it was anticipated in the matter of jugged hare.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Register as a regular reader of _The Daily ----_, and you
    at once disqualify for £3 a week during disablement."--_Daily

We shall be careful not to register.

       *       *       *       *       *


    [Racing men will not need to be reminded that Polumetis
    (many-counselled) is named after a common epithet of the hero
    of the _Odyssey_.]

  At times the pulse of memory is stirred
    Out of a chronic state of coma
  By just a poignant tune, a rhythmic word,
    A whiff of some refined aroma,
  And lo! the brain is made aware
  Of records which it didn't know were there.

  So in a sudden moment I was shot
    Back to my boyhood and the highly
  Instructive works of HOMER, long forgot,
  And with the late _Odysseus_ (wily)
  Ploughed once again the wine-red deep
  On drawing Polumetis in a sweep.

  Oh, "many-counselled" hero! if a horse
    Your attributes may also borrow,
  Lend him your cunning round the Derby course,
    Teach him a thing or two to-morrow,
  That at the end it may be said:
  "He did a great performance with his head."

  As you contrived by tricks of crafty skill
    Ever to down your foes and flatten 'em,
  So may he lie low going up the hill,
    Secure the inside berth at Tattenham,
  And do a finish up the straight
  Swift as your shafts that sealed the suitors' fate!

  Fortune attend his name, though some deplore
    Its pedantry, and I assume it is
  Likely, from what I know of bookies' lore,
    That on the rails he'll be "Poloometis";
  For me, I do not care two pins
  How they pronounce him, if he only wins.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is a common fallacy among cricketing coaches and their pupils
that when the young batsman has mastered all the strokes that can be
imparted to him at the nets his education is complete. So far from
that being the case, it has barely begun. Under the prevailing system,
the psychological factor, the most important of all, is entirely
neglected. The most trying moment of a cricketer's life is when he
first steps forth alone from the pavilion of a public ground. In that
moment all that the old pro has taught him of cuts and drives, forward
play and back play, will not prevent his knees from weakening as he
totters to the wicket, whereas the following hints may enable him to
face the occasion with confidence if not contempt.

Remember that for a public performer a good entrance is more than
half the battle; the first impression on the spectators is the most

Nothing looks worse than a batsman hurrying out at a furtive trot, as
if he were going to pawn his bat. When your turn comes to go in, take
care to be just within the regulation two minutes, but school yourself
to emerge from the pavilion at a leisurely stride with more than a
suspicion of swagger in it. The bat should not be carried as a
shy curate carries a shabby umbrella, but either boldly across the
shoulder, like a rifle, or tucked under the armpit, so that you may
do up your batting-gloves in your progress across the greensward. An
excellent effect will be produced if you pause half-way and execute
a few fancy strokes at an imaginary ball. Besides, you may not have
another opportunity of displaying your accomplishment.

Having, as it were, reported yourself at the wicket, it is a good plan
to discover that you need a new batting-glove. This will afford you
an excuse for a return journey to the pavilion, during which your
gait will lose nothing in stateliness if you can manage to adopt the
goose-step. On your return to the wicket you will probably find,
if the weather is mild and the grass dry, that the fieldsmen
are reclining on the ground; it will enhance your reputation for
nonchalance and good-fellowship if you can contrive to give one of
them a playful pat with your bat in passing, especially if he is a
total stranger to you and much your senior.

On your second arrival at the wicket, you might get the wicket-keeper
to take his gloves off and adjust the straps of your pads. This is one
of many subtle ways of demoralising the fielding side and whetting the
interest of the onlookers.

After taking middle with such scrupulous exactitude as to imply that
you suspect the umpire's eyesight, take one of the bails and scratch a
block deep enough to plant something in. Then beckon to the square-leg
umpire to come and replace the bail. In this you will be strictly
within the law, and nobody can suspect you of the surreptitious use of
a little cobbler's wax.

Your next move should be to summon the other batsman to a whispered
conference in the middle of the pitch. It doesn't much matter what you
say to him; a new funny story or the plot of a play you saw last week
will serve to make him assume an air of thoughtful attention.

After a chat of about five minutes, you will return slowly to your
crease, there to scrutinise the slip fieldsmen, and then to gaze all
round the ground as if to make sure that the other side is not playing
more than eleven men.

When taking your stance you will do well to give full effect to some
such mannerism as Mr. WARNER'S trick of hitching up the left side
of the trousers and tapping the ground seven times. And just as the
bowler is about to start his run you can disconcert him by suddenly
whipping round to see if they have moved another man over to the leg
side while your back was turned.

As soon as the bowler has covered half his course to the wicket you
should raise your hand to arrest his career. Then you must stroll
about a third of the way up the pitch and give the ground a good
slapping with the face of your bat.

If you feel so inclined, there is no reason why you should not repeat
this man[oe]uvre. Nothing is more calculated to upset a highly-strung
bowler. And when the ball does come down the chances are that it will
be a wide, in which case you will have earned one run for your side.
If, on the other hand, it should happen to knock your middle stump out
of the ground, there is nothing more to be done, but you will have the
satisfactory feeling that your little turn in the limelight has not
been utterly inglorious.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Gothic: In Memoriam.]


  Athlete and wit, whose genial tongue
  Cheered and refreshed but never stung;
  Maker of mirth and wholesome jokes;
  Fit mate of dear ROSINA VOKES;
  Creator, to our endless joy,
  Of priceless _Arthur Pomeroy_--
  Light lie the earth above his head
  Who lightened many a heart of lead;
  Courteous and chivalrous and gay,
  In very truth no common Clay.

       *       *       *       *       *

We learn with regret of the death of Mr. A. CHANTREY CORBOULD, whose
work as a sporting artist was familiar to an earlier generation of
_Punch's_ readers.

       *       *       *       *       *


PRIME MINISTER (_to Bolshevist Delegates._) "HAPPY TO SEE YOU,

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Shipwrecked Mariner._ "AHOY, MATES! WOT 'S WON T'

       *       *       *       *       *


The Nabobs is, I suppose, one of the best girls' schools in England.
Anyhow it is perhaps the most exclusive unless you have money enough.
But, as the prospectus says, "it commands an extensive view of the
English Channel," and I suppose these things have to be paid for. At
all events there is no doubt that the principal, Miss Penn-Cushing,
has her heart in her work and is a splendid disciplinarian, and so I
sent my niece Mollie there to be finished (her mother being in India).

I have an idea at times that it is Mollie who will finish Miss
Penn-Cushing, but I try to preserve a benevolent neutrality combined
with a regular supply of food parcels to my niece.

Miss Penn-Cushing is LL.A. of one University and LL.B. of another,
and, I think, LL.C. of a third, so that she ought to be more than a
match for six Mollies.

I have always had the impression that Miss Penn-Cushing regarded me as
a humble entomological specimen until the other day when she paid me a
staggering compliment. She herself teaches all the English literature
in her academy, and each class in turn goes up to her room to receive
its daily dose. Mollie says that when she grows up she is going to
give up English literature for ever and read something interesting.

I am glad that the revered Principal is never present to hear Mollie's
blasphemies, at which I as an uncle have to shudder. Since the
publication of _The Cambridge History of English Literature_ Miss
Penn-Cushing has been steadily absorbing it, to help her in her daily
task, and has apparently reached the chapter in which is suitably
acknowledged the debt of English literature to _Punch_.

So at least I judge, for she gave the girls a long serious talk on
humour in literature, how to detect it and what should be done about
it. One rather sensitive child began to cry, but Mollie, who has
never kept a secret in her life and in fact loves to drag her uncle's
skeletons out of cupboards, blurted out, "Uncle writes for _Punch_!"

I was somewhat alarmed when I heard of this, for I did not know how
Miss Penn-Cushing, who keeps all the girls' uncles in order, might
take it. My fears were groundless, perhaps stupid, for the immediate
result was an invitation to examine Mollie's form in literature at the
forthcoming Christmas examination. I felt uplifted in spirit; I felt
that people were beginning to understand me. I even entertained an
hallucination that perhaps Mollie might now treat my intellect with
respect and stop calling me "Old dear." Three inches taller I sat down
to my desk and, thanking Miss Penn-Cushing for the honour paid me, I
promised I would do my best, although it would be my first appearance
in the _rôle_.

I determined, however, not to allow this distinction to make me
overbearing to my inferiors at our next speech-day. I would be affable
to ordinary uncles, common parents and guardians of the other girls,
but I would lead the conversation artfully on to other literary
critics and examiners of the past. As a preparation I read up MATTHEW

It is not easy to be an examiner, I found. I would rather write ten
leading articles than one examination-paper. It appeared that I had
to set themes for essays as well as questions in literature. We never
learnt literature when I was young and I didn't know you could, but I
borrowed a text-book from Mollie and did my best.

The result was a crushing letter from the lady principal. She said
that "The Ten Points of a good Doll" seemed a preposterous subject
for senior students of literature to write about, and "My Favourite
Elopement in Fiction" would be outside the purview of any of her
girls. She would substitute instead (with my permission), "The Debt of
Literature (as well as Science) to DARWIN" and "My Favourite Piece of
Epic Poetry." In fine, if I did not really mind, she would herself set
all the questions and I should examine the answers. She thought that
the more fructiferous course.

How to mark was my chief difficulty. How many marks should one give a
darling with brown eyes and a musical laugh (Mollie has brought her to
tea often) who signs herself "Norah O'Brien," and winds up delightful
irrelevances about DARWIN and her abhorrence of reptiles with a
personal appeal to the examiner. I do not know what other examiners do
in such cases. It was a beautifully worded and most respectful appeal.
I decided to give her forty for Norah and forty for O'Brien. Both
names have always appealed to me.

This made it necessary for me to give eighty marks to her sister
Kathleen, who wrote really an excellent essay on a subject we had
stupidly forgotten to set. It was an excellent subject, and she has
even browner eyes than Norah, but as an examiner one must be rigid and

Eunice came next. This name recalled dear memories of the past and of
what might have been. But as an examiner I could not let old dreams
weigh down my impartial scales, so I refused to give her more than
eighty. Finally, for they are really charming girls and know far more
about literature than I do, I gave eighty to everybody except Mollie,
and for being Mollie I gave her eighty-two.

I forgot. There was one perfectly horrid little girl called Katie de
Pinnock. She never shared her chocolates with anyone; the fact was
notorious. She wrote in a copperplate hand sentiments like
these: "MILTON awes me; SHELLEY thrills me; BLAKE, the prophet of
self-sacrifice, is ever my consolation and my guide. I ask for nothing
beyond." I gave her nineteen.

And now comes the tragedy. Miss Penn-Cushing's letter of thanks
was icy. She feared I had been "a thought nepotic," and (with my
permission) she would revise my marks.

She dealt me the final blow at our Speech-Day. "I have decided," she
gave out, "to award the first prize in Literature to Miss Katie de
Pinnock. I am sure, though, that you will not be surprised to hear
that Mr. Marcus O'Reilly, our examiner, was so impressed with the
literary excellence of all your papers that he has presented the whole
class with consolation prizes. We tender him our heartiest thanks."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Farmer._ "EH, LUCY, THESE MOVING STAIRS DO BE VINE

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.

Extract from a Canadian business-circular:--

    "What intelligent car owners have been looking for is a tire
    that will give them a minimum amount of service for a maximum
    amount of expenditure. You can get that tire from us."

       *       *       *       *       *



    'Die, thou children of stormy dawn,' cries the Prime
    Minister to-day, as he stamps out the life of his little land
    taxes."--_Daily News._

According to his critic Mr. LLOYD GEORGE seems to have done great
violence to his syntax as well as to his little land taxes.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The bride, a tall brunette, looked a vision of golden
    beauty as she advanced up the aisle on the arm of her
    father."--_Evening Paper._

We do not think that this was the right occasion for an exposure of
feminine camouflage.

       *       *       *       *       *



Many people have said to me, "I wish I could write poems. I often try,
but----" They mean, I gather, that the impulse, the creative itch,
is in them, but they don't know how to satisfy it. My own position is
that I know how to write poetry, but I can't be bothered. I have not
got the itch. The least I can do, however, is to try to help those who

A mistake commonly committed by novices is to make up their minds what
it is they are going to say before they begin. This is superfluous
effort, tending to cramp the style. It is permissible, if not
essential, to select a _subject_--say, MUD--but any detailed argument
or plan which may restrict the free development of metre and rhyme (if
any) is to be discouraged.

With that understanding, let us now write a poem about MUD.

I should begin in this sort of way:--

  Mud, mud,
  Nothing but mud,
  O my God!

It will be seen at once that we are not going to have much rhyme in
this poem; or if we do we shall very soon be compelled to strike a
sinister note, because almost the only rhymes to _mud_ are _blood_ and
_flood_; while, as the authors of our hymns have discovered, there
are very few satisfactory rhymes to _God_. They shamefully evaded the
difficulty by using words like _road_, but in first-class poetry one
cannot do that. On the whole, therefore, this poem had better be _vers
libre_. That will take much less time and be more dramatic, without
plunging us into a flood of blood or anything drastic like that. We
now go on with a little descriptive business:--

  Into the sunset, swallowing up the sun,
  Crawling, creeping,
  The naked flats----

Now there ought to be a verb. That is the worst of _vers libre_; one
gets carried away by beautiful phrases and is brought up suddenly by
a complete absence of verbs. However at a pinch one can do without a
verb; that is the best of _vers libre_:--

  Amber and gold,
  Deep-stained in mystery
  And the colours of mystery,
  Golden like wet-gold,
  Amber like a woman of Arabia
  That has in her breast
  The forsaken treasures of old Time,
  Love and Destruction,
  Oblivion and Decay,
  And bully-beef tins,
          Tin upon tin,
  Old boots, and bottles that hold no more
  Their richness in them.
          And I----

We might do a good deal more of this descriptive business, bringing in
something about dead bodies, mud of course being full of dead bodies.
But we had better get on. We strike now the personal note:--

          And I,
  I too am no more than a bottle,
          An empty bottle,
  Heaving helpless on the mud of life,
  Without a label and without a cork,
  Empty I am, yet no man troubles
          To return me.
          And why?
  Because there is not sixpence on me.
  The sun goes down in the West
          (Or is it the East?)
  But I remain here,
  Drifting empty under the night,

When one is well away with this part of the poem it is almost
impossible to stop. When you are writing in metre you come eventually
to the eighth line of the last verse and you have to stop; but in
_vers libre_ you have no assistance of that kind. This particular poem
is being written for instructional purposes in a journal of limited
capacity, so it will probably have to stop fairly soon; but in
practice it would go on for a long time yet. In any case, however, it
would end in the same way, like this:--

  Mud, mud,
  Nothing but mud,
  O, my God!

That reasserts, you see, in a striking manner, the original _motif_,
and somehow expresses in a few words the poignant melancholy of the
whole poem. Another advantage in finishing a long poem, such as this
would be, in the same way as you began it is that it makes it clear
to the reader that he is still reading the same poem. Sometimes, and
especially in _vers libre_ of an emotional and digressive character,
the reader has a hideous fear that he has turned over two pages and
got into another poem altogether. This little trick reassures him;
and if you are writing _vers libre_ you must not lose any legitimate
opportunity of reassuring the reader.

To treat the same theme in metre and rhyme will be a much more
difficult matter. The great thing will be to avoid getting _mud_ at
the end of a line, for the reasons already given. We had better have
long ten-syllable lines, and we had better have four of them in each
verse. GRAY wrote an elegy in that metre which has given general
satisfaction. We will begin:--

  As I came down through Chintonbury Hole
    The tide rolled out from Wurzel to the sea.

In a serious poem of this kind it is essential to establish a locality
atmosphere at once; therefore one mentions a few places by name to
show that one has been there. If the reader has been there too he will
like the poem, and if he hasn't no harm is done. The only thing is
that locally Chintonbury is probably pronounced Chun'bury, in which
case it will not scan. One cannot be too careful about that sort of
thing. However, as an illustration Chintonbury will serve.

It is now necessary to show somehow in this verse that the poem is
about mud; it is also necessary to organise a rhyme for 'Hole' and a
rhyme for 'sea,' and of the two this is the more important. I shall do
it like this:--

  And like the unclothéd levels of my soul
    The yellow mud lay mourning nakedly.

There is a good deal to be said against these two lines. For one thing
I am not sure that the mud ought to be yellow; it will remind people
of Covent Garden Tube Station, and no one wants to be reminded of
that. However, it does suggest the inexpressible biliousness of the

I think "levels" is a little weak. It is a good poetical word and
doesn't mean anything in particular; but we have too many words of
that kind in this verse. "Deserts" would do, except that deserts and
mud don't go very well together. However, that sort of point must be
left to the individual writer.

At first sight the student may think that "naked_ly_" is not a good
rhyme for "sea." Nor is it. If you do that kind of thing in comic
poetry no editor will give you money. But in serious poetry it is
quite legitimate; in fact it is rather encouraged. That is why serious
poetry is so much easier than comic poetry. In my next lecture I shall
deal with comic poetry.

I don't think I shall finish this poem now. The fact is, I am not
feeling so inspired as I was. It is very hot. Besides, I have got
hay-fever and keep on sneezing. Constant sneezing knocks all the
inspiration out of a man. At the same time a tendency to hay-fever is
a sign of intellect and culture, and all the great poets were martyrs
to it. That is why none of them grew very lyrical about hay. Corn
excited them a good deal, and even straw, but hay hardly ever.

So the student must finish this poem as best he can, and I shall be
glad to consider and criticise what he does, though I may say at
once that there will be no prize. It ought to go on for another eight
verses or so, though that is not essential in these days, for if it
simply won't go on it can just stop in the middle. Only then it must
be headed "MUD: A Fragment."

And in any case, in the bottom left-hand corner, the student must
write: _Chintonbury, May 28th, 1920._

A. P. H.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.


       *       *       *       *       *


"Talkin' o' the Derby," began Elizabeth.

As a matter of fact I was not talking of the Derby or even thinking of
it at the moment. I had just been telling Elizabeth that the omelette
which she had served us at dinner was leathery, and her remark struck
me as irrelevant.

"Master thinks the omelettes would be lighter if you fried them in
more butter," I continued. Of course Master had thought nothing of the
kind. But nowadays complaints must be conveyed to domestics in this
indirect way.

Elizabeth ignored the omelette. "I'm goin' to win fifty pounds at
least," she exclaimed, and in her excitement broke the cup she held--I
mean to say the cup came in two in her hand as she spoke. "I've got a
bit on an 'orse for the Derby."

I felt slightly shocked. It is always surprising to discover a latent
sporting instinct in one's domestics, unless they are highly placed
and dignified domestics like butlers or head-footmen; but in a
cook-general it seems peculiarly low.

"I shouldn't bet if I were you," I advised; "I think--er--_Master_
thinks," I added involuntarily--"that you might lose money at it."

"But I'm goin' to _win_ money this time," announced Elizabeth
triumphantly; "my young man ses so, and 'e knows."

"Which young man?" I inquired.

Elizabeth, I ought perhaps to explain, is uncertain about her young
men. She never has any lack of them; but they are like ships that pass
in the night (her night out as a rule) and one by one they drift off,
never stopping to cast anchor in her vicinity. You know what I mean.
Elizabeth can't _keep_ a young man. Perhaps she lacks the charm which
BARRIE describes as "a sort of a bloom on a woman." Or if she has any
of that bloom it must be swamped in the moist oleaginous atmosphere of
washing-up which seems to cling permanently about her.

"It's a new young man," said Elizabeth in answer to my question, "an'
'e's got work in a racin' stable, so that's 'ow 'e knows wot's goin'
to win. It'll be an outsider, 'e ses, which makes it all the better
for me."

"All the better for you?"

"Yes, 'm. You see, the more you puts on the more you wins."

Elizabeth may not have charm but she certainly has simplicity. "You
don't mean to say," I cried, a light breaking on me, "that you got
your next month's wages in advance just to put it all on a horse?"

"That I did," she replied complacently. "You see, my young man ses
that, if you put it on some time before'and, you get a better price,
so I thort I'd give it to 'im to put on at once. 'E promised 'e
wouldn't waste a minnit over it."

"But this is most foolish of you--to trust your money to an entire
stranger," I expostulated.

"'E isn't a stranger--'e's my young man," corrected Elizabeth, tossing
her head.

For the following few days she was radiant--but then anybody would be
who was certain of the winner of the Derby a week before the race.
In addition to this she had got a young man. Those brief periods
when Elizabeth's young men are in the incipient stages of paying her
attention are agreeable to everybody. Elizabeth, feeling no doubt in
her rough untutored way that God's in His heaven and all's right with
the world, sings at her work; she shows extraordinary activity when
going about her duties. She does unusual things like remembering to
polish the brasses every week--indeed you have only to step into the
hall and glance at the stair-rods to discover the exact stage of her
latest "affair." I remember that, when one ardent swain "in the flying
corpse" went to the length of offering her marriage before he flew
away, she cleaned the entire house down in her enthusiasm, and had
actually got to the cellars before he vanished out of her life.

The follower from the racing stable might aptly be described as "The
Man Who Never Came Back." He romped out of Elizabeth's existence on
the Sunday preceding the Derby.

"I waited for 'im four-an'-an-'arf 'ours, an' 'e didn't turn up," she
informed me next day.

"Perhaps he was prevented from keeping the appointment," I suggested
to comfort her, though I felt the outlook was gloomy.

She shook her head. "I'll never see 'im no more. I _know_ 'em," she
said, drawing on the depth of her experience of young men who do the
vanishing trick. "An' my money gone too. It's 'eartbreakin'. But I
might 'ave known that that there 'orse was a bad sign."

"What horse?" I asked, bewildered.

"The one 'e told me to put my money on. The name alone ought to have
set me agen it; it was too true to life."

"And what was the name of the horse?" I inquired as she drifted
dismally to the door.

"'E Goes," said Elizabeth mournfully.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "TRY 'IM WIV A WORM, GUV'NOR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By our Lunatic Contributor._)

  That the notorious KING BELSHAZZAR
  Was noted as the earliest Jazzer;
  That, on the contrary, ZERUBBABEL
  Was most exclusive and unclubbable;
  That ROMULUS and brother REMUS
  Were not so tall as Polyphemus;
  That the one weakness of Calypso
  Was what is briefly known as "dipso;"
  That CLODIUS, very long ago,
  First bore the nickname of "Old Clo;"
  That the illustrious PALESTRINA
  Did not invent the concertina;
  That WAGNER'S methods in _Tannhäuser_
  Never appealed to _Mrs. Poyser_;
  That the Albanian PRENK BIB DODA
  Prefers his whisky _minus_ soda;
  That good Professor FLINDERS PETRIE
  Did not discover SACHA GUITRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Journalistic Sleuths.

    "The circumstances under which the deceased came by his
    death are shrouded in mystery. From the gun shot wounds it
    is surmised that he either shot himself or somebody had shot
    him."--_Indian Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Would Persons present in Restaurant in Shiprow on Saturday
    Night, when dispute arose with regard to sixpence, please
    communicate with No. 798 Express Office?"

    _Scotch Paper._

Who heard the bang?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: [Week-end hostesses are now giving "Lend-a-hand"
parties, at which every guest is expected to do some household



       *       *       *       *       *


A situation of extreme international delicacy has recently arisen.
We understand, with regard to the impending strike of Italian
organ-grinders and ice-cream merchants in the Metropolis, that Signori
Rimbombo Furioso and Fagiuolo Antico, representing the Amalgamated
Society of Itinerant Instrumentalists and the National Union of
Refrigerated Tuck Sellers, have lately been invited to a conference
with Dr. MACNAMARA, and their economic grievances are now under
the consideration of the MINISTER OF LABOUR. These, briefly, are as

(1) The high price of sugar.

(2) Restricted hours and insufficient emoluments.

(3) Undue interference by the police.

(4) Inadequate supplies of monkey nuts.

It now appears that in order to make a bid for the large Italian vote
in the forthcoming Presidential elections in the U.S.A. a violent
anti-British propaganda campaign is raging on the other side of the
Atlantic, and that an enormous amount of spurious sympathy is being
manufactured on behalf of the purveyors of rotary music and frozen
confectionery in Soho. Beautiful Italian girls are daily besieging the
British Embassy at Washington with placards bearing such inscriptions




The agitation is the more uncalled for since, as a matter of fact,
both Signor Furioso and Signor Antico, like most of their compatriots
in this country, are pronounced Irredentists and filled with
aspirations for a larger Italy, so that they have little or nothing in
common with anti-Imperialistic America. Nevertheless, so bitter is
the feeling which has been aroused that large subsidies are being sent
overseas and Black Hand gangs organised to resist the London police.
All over the outer suburbs organ-grinders are refusing to move on,
and insist on playing well into the early hours of the morning.
Deleterious substances of an explosive nature are being mingled with
the ice cream, or else it is being supplied in such a watery condition
that it is impossible for customers to lick it out of the receptacle
without ruining their shirt fronts and waistcoats. Monkeys are being
trained to give violent manifestations of ferocity, and, should the
present heat-wave continue, rabies is anticipated.

The latest development is a rumoured suggestion from the U.S.A.
Government that a representative should be sent over to take part
in the Conference, and the names of Mr. JOE DEMPSEY and Mr. CHARLES
CHAPLIN have been put forward as possible mediators.


       *       *       *       *       *

    "All is not plane sailing yet for the German in search of
    foreign markets."--_Evening Paper._

But wait till their flying bagmen get to work.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Hairdresser in Ancient Assyria._ "DON'T GO, SIR. I

       *       *       *       *       *


There is nothing which distinguishes your true Briton so much as the
systematic study of the ways of wild animals, and there is no kind of
instruction which an English child so eagerly accepts.

"The addax or Nubian antelope," how frequently one may hear a father
say to his small son in the schoolroom, "has horns very similar to
those of the Indian antelope, but is a larger animal." "Yes, father,"
responds the boy brightly, "it has a tuft of long hair on the forehead
and large broad hoofs, adapted for treading on fine and loose sands."

But it is easier perhaps to make these nice points in natural
history in the comparative calm of the home than in the more frenzied
atmosphere that reigns in the Zoological Gardens themselves. It is
for that reason that I have put together the few notes which follow,
hoping that they may assist the reader to adopt a definite system in
dealing with this great national institution and educate the young
mind on a reasoned and scientific plan.

Take the order of visiting the cages first. I do not complain of
your natural wish to begin with the giraffe, because it has such an
absurdly long neck and may possibly mistake Pamela's straw-hat for a
bunch of hay and try to eat it, and because you will be able to see
the hippopotamus on the way. As a matter of fact you will find that
the giraffe is not standing near the bars at all, but close to its
stable, where it is mincing and bridling exactly like a lady in a
Victorian novel, and as for the hippopotamus you cannot see the
pretty pink part of him because he is giving his famous imitation of
a submarine. But never mind that. Your difficulty now will be, "What
shall we do next?" and in order to assist you I have constructed a
logical order for visiting the various cages. Here it is:--

    1. The lions, because you can hear them already roaring most
    horribly fiercely.

    2. The sea-lions, because they are saying "Ock, ock."

    3. The lions, because the tiger may be roaring too this time.

    4. The Elephant House. No, Pamela, I don't know why he is
    swaying about like that.

    5. The lions, because Tony did not really see the black
    panther, which was asleep in one corner of its cage.

    6. The Monkey House. I suppose we _must_.

    7. The lions, to wait there till they are fed.

The only trouble about this order is that you may not have much time
to visit the Mappin Terraces, and it is of course very important that
you should go there because of the bears. The bears by rights should
be fed on umbrellas, because they suck the stick and the ribs of the
frame for all the world as if they were pieces of asparagus, and tear
the silk part very carefully into tiny little shreds. But umbrellas
are very expensive just now and the keeper does not think they are
very good for the bears either. It is better to give them oranges, but
oranges are expensive too, so you must make quite certain that you do
not waste them on the grizzlies which are not on the Mappin Terraces
at all. It is no use giving an orange to a grizzly bear, because it
goes down with one quick motion, like the red into the right-hand top
pocket. But if you give it to one of the Himalayan bears he opens it
and scoops out all the inside and guzzles it up and then sits down and
licks his paws exactly like a Christian, and while he is doing that
the other Himalayan bear comes up and is so annoyed at not having an
orange too that he lies down and groans with rage and flaps himself
with his paws. So you have to get another orange.

Another thing that you have missed all this time and ought to see if
possible is the Antelope House, where the telephone is. I don't know why
the antelopes want a telephone more than all the other animals, but
they do. Of course if they knew how bad the telephone is they would
realise that with their long legs they could get there and back again
in much quicker time than it takes to get a call through.

And then there are the Small Birds. It is not known to everybody,
least of all, I think, to poets, that the nightingale sings best of
all in a cage in broad daylight and amongst a lot of other birds,
all twittering away like anything. We should like to take Mr. ROBERT
BRIDGES to the Small Birds' House. We should like to take Mr. ROBERT
SMILLIE there too, and introduce him to the bird just underneath the
nightingale, which is called the Talking Mynah.

But you are not very much interested in coal or poetry, and will
probably like the Sugar Birds best, for, if there is anything more
delightful than being a bird, especially a tiny little bird, blue or
green underneath, it must be living on sugar and having grapes stuck
in the bars of your cage.

The snakes of course are slimy sort of creatures and their house is
a long way off, and, though we fully agree with you that the monkeys
were just like real persons, we think we really ought to be starting
home now.

No, there is no time to see the lions again....


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A DARK HORSE.


       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


"Gerald, dear," said my wife the other evening, "I wish you'd write
and order some more notepaper; we've hardly any left."

"All right, Margaret. What sort do you want? The last lot was
beastly--too thick to make into spills and not large enough for
drawing up the fire."

"Well, here's a list of the different kinds they have in stock at
Jones and Robinson's."

I took it from her and glanced through it. "What do you say to 'Cream
Laid,' Margaret? I like the sound of that. It will make me feel so
nice and cool in the hot weather to think of the rows of fresh-faced
country girls, in their spotless white overalls, pouring the cream
delicately over the paper. I wonder how they get it to stop exactly at
the edge?"

"It wants a very cool head and steady hand, I expect," said Margaret;
"they'd all be picked cream-layers, of course. But how would you like
'thick hand-made paper with deckle edges'? What are deckle edges, I
wonder; and how is paper hand-made?"

"Rather like treading grapes, I fancy, only that's done by foot. I
mean they smash up the pulp with a very heavy pestle in a huge----"

"Mortar!" cried Margaret triumphantly.

"Yes; but am I telling this story or are you? Well, and then they put
it through a mangle----"

"Wurzel," said Margaret.

"Wrong--just a mangle, and roll it out flat, after which they deckle
the edges."

"But how do they do that, Gerald?"

"Oh, they just call in the edge-deckler and say, 'See to 't that yon
edges be deckled ere set o' sun,' and he sees to 't. His is a most
important post, I believe."

Margaret came and sat on a tuffet by my chair.

"Sorry about wurzel," she said. "Now tell me all about machine-made
paper, there's a dear. It will be so nice to be able to explain all
this to Nat when he's older."

"Paper-making by machinery, my dear," I said graciously, "is a most
complicated process. I won't puzzle you with all the details, but
roughly the idea is to pulp up the--er--rags and so on in a huge
sort of--er--bowl, and then to roll it out thin in the rolling-out

Margaret thought this over. "It sounds just the same as the
hand-made," she said.

"Oh, _no_," I said quickly; "it's all done by _machinery_, you see.
Pistons and rollers and--er--mechanical edge-decklers and so on."

"And what does 'Linen Wove' mean?"

"They employ people to thread the paper with linen threads, my dear.
A very delicate performance; that's why Linen Wove is so expensive.
Azure Wove is, of course, done with blue flaxen threads. Silurian Bond
is made by a fellowship of geologists, and for Chelsea Bank they have
a factory on the bank of the Thames at Cheyne Walk. That's all I need
tell you, though I know a lot more."

"I never realised before how awfully interesting paper-making could
be," said Margaret gratefully. "Write and order me a good supply
of Chelsea Cream Wove, will you, dear? Oh, and some other kind for
yourself, to write your stories on. Don't forget."

"Very well; Chelsea Cream Wove for you. And what shall I have?"

Margaret's mouth twitched a little.

"Foolscap, I think, dear," she said.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sandy (viewing doctor's bill)._ "BUT THE BILL IS NO

       *       *       *       *       *


(_With Mr. Punch's best wishes for the speedy recovery of the French

    ["President Deschanel ... was compelled to take several
    analgesia cachets. (Analgesia is a condition in which there is
    incapacity of feeling pain)."]--_Evening Paper._

  When, haply through excess of cake,
    In childhood's days of fun and frolic,
  I suffered from that local ache
    Known to the Faculty as colic;

  Or if across the foam I fared
    And was (invariably) sea-sick,
  How much distress had I been spared
    Just by a simple analgesic.

  In the Headmaster's awesome den,
    His cane poised o'er me palely bending,
  A lozenge deftly swallowed then
    Had eased the smart of its descending.

  Thus might I have indulged in "rags,"
    Immune from every sore corrective,
  Nor need I then have stuffed my bags
    With notebooks, often ineffective.

  Henceforth, in any sort of fuss--
    Life's little incidental dramas,
  As when one boards a motor-bus
    Or leaps from trains in one's pyjamas--

  I'll take a tabloid. DESCHANEL!
    So much to me your agile feat meant;
  _L'exemple presidentiel_
    Lends quite a _cachet_ to the treatment.

       *       *       *       *       *



    _Evening Paper._

The only alternative would appear to be to enlarge the cemetery.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


I am not attending the Derby this year. Nor was it my original
intention to go last year, but since my beneficent employers, unasked,
offered me a day off, Selina insisted we ought to go. It was a
national institution, a sight everyone should see once in a lifetime,
and so forth. I protested it was an extravagance; that to be married
was really more than we could afford, let alone race-meetings. But
Selina was firm. She would pay, if necessary, out of the house-keeping
money. Besides it need cost nothing. We might win enough money to
cover our expenses.

Thus the idea of betting was introduced. Gambling in all forms is
against my principles; and how I came to give in on the point I
scarcely know. From the way Selina argued one might have supposed that
a bet on the Derby was a prudent investment, something in the nature
of a life-insurance which no careful husband would neglect to make.
So I yielded, merely stipulating that our stake was not to exceed one
pound: and this amount fortunately satisfied Selina's conception of

So upon the appointed day we found ourselves at the famous Heath,
or is it the Downs? The selection of a horse to bear our fortunes to
victory was not made without anxious debate, since Selina's choice was
based upon the colour scheme of the jockey's coats, and mine on the
romantic associations of the animals' names. In the end we compromised
on a horse called Grand Parade.

Next, equally momentous, we selected a bookmaker who was to oblige us
by opposing our fancy at the most advantageous rate. I was in favour
of picking a man whose abundance of chin and paunch would, should he
default, prevent his attaining more than four miles an hour on the
flat. I had already discovered one that answered this description. He
was soliciting clients in a voice that made one think a vulture might
be rending his liver. Selina, who pretends to read character from
faces, declared his eyes were too close together for those of an
honest man. She had singled out a more suitable individual, and she
indicated to me a slender gentlemanly man dressed in a grey frock-coat
with a tall hat of the same colour just pathetically beginning to grow
shabby. He also invited custom, but in a refined, almost confidential
tone which, in comparison with the braying of his rival, resembled
the cooing of a dove. His features, which to me denoted weakness of
character, Selina asserted to be those of an honourable man struggling
with adversity. It was to support an ailing wife, she felt sure, that
he toiled at his uncongenial vocation. I should have liked to explain,
though I knew it was useless, that our object in dealing with him
was not to contribute to the support of his wife; that our success,
indeed, might mean that the unhappy lady would be deprived for many
a week to come of those little delicacies that are essential to the
comfort of an invalid.

Against my better judgment I gave in and our little stake was
deposited in his hands. I almost felt inclined to apologize for
its smallness, but his courtesy in accepting it rendered excuses
unnecessary. Nevertheless I should have preferred, when taking up a
position to view the race, to have chosen a spot from which we could
at the same time have kept an eye on his gentlemanly tall hat. Selina
however poohpoohed the idea. We therefore walked some little distance
to a point on the hill whence, some ten minutes later, we had the
satisfaction of seeing Grand Parade gallop home a winner.

In the moment of triumph I had almost forgotten my apprehensions as to
our bookmaker. Selina however had not, for, as we caught sight of
his elegant grey-clad figure on our return, she could not resist
exclaiming, "See how wrong your suspicions were."

The crowd, set loose after the tension of the race, impeded our
progress, so that by the time we reached him he was alone. Apparently
he had paid off all the other winners, and we were the last claimants
to arrive.

"Ah, I was waiting for you," he said in his easy well-bred fashion.
"You will think it very strange, perhaps, but for the moment I am
unable to pay you. Most absurd. My losses have been rather more than I
calculated, and I have unfortunately disbursed all my available cash.
You need be under no apprehension, however; if you will kindly give me
your address you shall have a cheque by the first post to-morrow."

I tried to recall what one did to welshers. I seemed to remember that
one raised a hue-and-cry, that one tarred and feathered them, and rode
them on a rail to a pond. I am, however, constitutionally timid
about making my voice heard in public, and I was as short of tar and
feathers as he was of ready cash. I had therefore no alternative but
to draw out my pocket-case and present him with a card.

"Ah, thanks," he said, and with a neat little silver pencil he
scribbled on the back a hieroglyph of some sort, doubtless to jog his
memory. Then he wished me good-day with many apologies and, politely
taking off his hat to Selina, sauntered leisurely in the direction of
the railway-station.

I confess that this _contretemps_ somewhat dashed my spirits. Nor
was my chagrin lessened by observing, during the remainder of the
afternoon, my corpulent friend, notwithstanding the closeness of his
eyes to each other, paying off regularly, at the end of each race, a
host of customers with the greatest good grace, enlivened by coarse
jocularities. I followed the rest of the sport with little zest, and
my cup of enjoyment was not filled to overflowing when, possessing
first-class return tickets, we had to stand, Selina as well as myself,
in a crowded third-class smoker.

Selina however preserved both her spirits and her confidence.
Bookmakers, she had heard, were, as a class, most honourable. Their
losses could not be recovered by law, but they regarded them as debts
of honour. There were exceptions, of course, but the gentleman in grey
was not one of them. Something told her so. I should see that she was

At breakfast next morning we scanned our post for a letter in an
unfamiliar handwriting. There was none.

"It was really rather early to expect one," said Selina.

On the following morning, however, amongst others there lay a letter
in a strange writing, addressed moreover in precisely the same style
as the description of me on my visiting card.

"What did I tell you?" said Selina.

"Well?" she asked, as I tore open the envelope and read the letter.

"This must be some mistake," I said. "It is a demand from the railway
for a first-class fare from Epsom to London. They state that I was
detected travelling without a ticket. Ridiculous. I shall pay no
attention to it."

In the evening, however, as I started home from the City, I thought
better. It would save trouble if I looked in at London Bridge.

"You have come to pay?" said the chief clerk, as I showed him the

"Indeed I have not," said I. "On the contrary the Company should
refund me the difference between first and third-class fare."

"Do you deny, then, that you travelled back from Epsom without a

"Indeed I do."

"You will not deny, perhaps, that this is the card you handed the
inspector with a promise to pay?"

I took the proffered card. I could not deny it, for the card was mine.
I turned it over. There, faintly legible on the back in pencil, was
the hieroglyph that the bookie had scrawled on it.

I explained to the clerk. I also explained to Selina when I got home.
She, however, sticks to her original contention. She was not deceived.
Fundamentally the man was honest. Only the expenses of his wife's long
illness had caused him to deviate from the path of probity.

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By our Medical Correspondent._)

The newspapers have recently devoted a certain amount of space to the
American millionaire who, while confined in a psychopathic ward of a
private lunatic asylum, by his clever financial manipulations added
in the course of six weeks five hundred thousand pounds to a fortune
"conservatively estimated at three million pounds." In spite of
this achievement the misguided millionaire pleaded earnestly for his
release. But the verdict of the New York Sheriffs' Court was adverse.
The expert "alienists" admitted that he possessed an extraordinary
memory and undoubted genius, but held that he was none the less
insane. Accordingly he is to remain in the psychopathic ward to which
he was consigned "at the request of his aged mother." A simple sum
in addition establishes the fact that, if the patient maintains his
present average, he will considerably more than double his fortune
in a year. Yet none of the newspaper commentators have realised the
tremendous possibilities underlying this achievement.

We are threatened with national insolvency, and here is an infallible
remedy ready to hand. Lord FISHER'S panacea for our discontents was to
"sack the lot"--to dismiss all our rulers and administrators. But he
had only a glimmering of the truth. Our cry should rather be, "Lock up
the lot." Experience has taught us that if complete latitude is given
to eccentrics and incompetents, if, in the words of Professor SODDY,
F.R.S., the destinies of the country are entrusted to people of
archaic mental outlook, the result is bound to be disastrous and
chaotic. But if you treat them as lunatics, there is a strong
presumption of their mending their ways and proving valuable factors
in the economic reconstruction of the Empire and the world.

Grave evils call for drastic treatment, and in view of the hectic
condition of the Stock Exchange and the "vicious circle" round which
industrialism is now unhappily revolving I cannot but think that the
temporary seclusion of the Ministry in a psychopathic ward might be
fraught with economic consequences of the utmost importance. Even if
they were only able to reduce our indebtedness at the same rate as
that attained by the American millionaire, their combined efforts
would represent a magnificent total.

Perhaps it would be wiser to proceed tentatively and not commit
ourselves for more than six weeks to start with. It is just
conceivable that the treatment might stimulate extravagance instead
of economy. Financial thrombosis is not unknown as one of the obscurer
forms of megalomania. Still, as I have said, the experiment is worth

In other spheres of activity the results achieved are most
encouraging. For example, an extremely _outré_ Cubist who was
recently consigned to a psychopathic ward at the instigation of his
grandmother, developed a remarkable talent for painting in the manner
of MARCUS STONE; while a neo-Georgian composer under similar
treatment has produced a series of _études_ indistinguishable from the
pianoforte music of STERNDALE BENNETT, though he had previously
far outstripped the most unbridled and exacerbated aberrations of
SCRIABINE in his latest phase.

       *       *       *       *       *

Commercial Candour.


  (Opposite the Church).


  _Local Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *


    'Why do you call that performing poodle Sidius?'

    'He's a dog star, ain't he now?'"

    _Canadian Paper._

Still we don't see it.

       *       *       *       *       *














       *       *       *       *       *



Gentlemen of the Press having been tactfully requested not to give
away this awesome mystery, I am barred by the fastidious sense of
honour which distinguishes our profession from spoiling your pleasure
in this matter--a course which otherwise I should naturally have

Not that I have any too clear idea of what it was all about or why an
innocent gentleman should be apparently going to be guillotined for
it. For there was no question of anyone having been murdered, the only
tangible crime before the Court that I could see being the abstraction
of some scientific papers. However don't imagine that this vagueness
will deprive you of the pleasures of shock. Only don't go thinking
about it. Remember _Rosamund_ and her Purple Jar.

I think I am free to tell you that a young journalist possessing
(characteristically) "fantastic humour and exuberant gaiety," a famous
amateur detective to boot, outwits all the official police, robs the
law of its prey and finds a long-lost mother for himself.

If this doesn't excite you sufficiently you can extract fun from
subsidiary details. It is always diverting to the unspoilt soul when
the principal lady goes to turn up one lamp and the other promptly
glows instead; or when, a particularly obvious and commonplace knock
assaulting the ear, she exclaims in tragic accents, "There's someone
at the door;" or when the detective drags from the bottom of the lake
a pair of the driest of dry old boots.

Or, if you are superior to this kind of thing, you can amuse yourself
by deducing from the practice before you the famous _Rules for
Revolvers_, which, _mutatis mutandis_, are as old as the Aristotelian
unities and, for all I (or, probably, you) know to the contrary, were
laid down at the same time by the same hand.

_Rule 1._ "All Innocent Characters expecting murderous assault
from Particularly Desperate Villains will provide themselves with
revolvers. Before retiring for the tragic night they will, grasping
the revolver firmly in the right hand, place it carefully (as
Professor LEACOCK would direct) on the revolver-stand. The P.D.V.
will then know what to do about it. (_Note_: P.D.V.'s do not carry
revolvers. They don't need to.)

_Rule 2._ "I.C.'s actually attacking P.D.V.'s will on no account fire,
but, advancing stealthily, will offer their pistol-wrist to the enemy,
who will at once lock it in a deathly grip. After a brief struggle,
swaying this way and that, the P.D.V. will, on the word 'Four,' put on
another beard and have the I.C. thrown into prison." And so forth.

I have no serious fault to find with these tactics. On the contrary.
But I rather think that in the first Act an incident was introduced
(no doubt in the spirit of the little girl's explanation _à propos_ of
her riddle, "That was just put in to make it more difficult"), which
was not quite cricket as it is played by the best people in these
stage shockers.

But I am on dangerous grounds. Let me say that Mr. HANNAFORD BENNETT
has been distinctly ingenious in his adaptation from M. GASTON
LEROUX'S hectic feuilleton; that Miss SYBIL THORNDIKE put in a much
finer quality of work than is usually supplied with this kind of
heroine; that Miss DAISY MARKHAM as her friend played very gaily
and prettily as long as the situation allowed it, and that Messrs.
JONES, COLSTON MANSELL and the Prompter all did notable work.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Joseph Rouletabille_ (Mr. ARTHUR PUSEY) to _Frederic

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Erudite Contemporaries.

    "No doubt the inhabitants of the seaside resorts are duly
    grateful as they turn their faces to the trippers and the sun.
    Like Niobe, they are all smiles."--_Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "It certainly was a heavy swell, but the good ship 'Onward'
    had, so to speak, got its sea legs, and so had the party
    aboard; and although we rolled, it was a long steady roll
    which in time became almost most enjoyable."

    _Isle of Man Weekly Times._

It is on occasions like these that the Manxman finds his third leg so

       *       *       *       *       *


    [In order to check the depredations of mice and rats the
    Government of India have directed the maintenance of cats in
    every public office ("Cutchery"). Rations do not err on the
    side of over-abundance, and the cats in consequence are not
    always the most favourable specimens.]

  What time five notes on the cutchery gong
    The aged orderly rings,
  And he who calleth the waiting throng
    Striketh his work and sings,
  There cometh a man with broken meats,
  Cheerily calling, and him there greets
  With wailing of souls that are tried too long,
    A bevy of Fearsome Things.

  Ribbed as railings and lank as rods,
    Stark as the toddy trees,
  Swarming as when from the bursting pods
    Scatter the ripened peas,
  Flaming pupil and naked claw,
  Gaunt and desolate, maimed and raw,
  Cats by courtesy, but, ye gods!
    Never were cats like these.

  Nay, of a verity these be souls
    Such as in life were vile,
  Risen again from the nethermost coals
    To harry the earth a while;
  Versed in wickedness, old in sin,
  Never was hell could hold them in,
  And back they hasten in droves and shoals
    To desecrate and defile.

  Here where the shadow of Ancient Lies
    Falleth athwart the room,
  Where the Angel of Evil Counsel plies
    His chariot through the gloom,
  Where the Lost Endeavours and Faded Hopes
  Cluster like fruit in the mango-topes,
  Here is the perfectest paradise
    For the damned to work their doom.

  And swear will I by the Cloven Hoof
    And the name of the Manichees,
  By the hair that riseth despite reproof
    And the rebel veins that freeze,
  That at night, when the graves give up their dead
  And the thunder belloweth overhead,
  You would not get me under this roof
    For a lakh of the best rupees!

     *     *     *     *     *

  The Magistrate's risen and eke the Sub,
    And bicycles homeward spin;
  The clerks depart with a shrill hubbub
    And the snores of the guard begin;
  Ah, lock ye the strong-room sure and fast,
  For the night draws down and the day is past;
  Masters, I will away to the Club,
    For the hour of the cats is in.

  H. B.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Batsman._ "I DON'T WANT NONE OF YOUR UNDER'ANDS. BOWL

       *       *       *       *       *


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

Although _Madeline of the Desert_ (UNWIN) is published in the First
Novel series, it by no means follows that Mr. ARTHUR WEIGALL can be
considered a beginner in authorship, his various activities already
including some volumes on Egyptology that have made for him a wide
circle of appreciative readers. You will therefore be correct in
guessing that the Desert of the title is Egyptian; also that the story
is one in which the setting and the local colour are treated with
expert knowledge and an infectious enthusiasm. Of _Madeline_ herself I
should say at once that nothing in her life, as shown here, became her
like the beginning of it. Her entrance into the tale, arriving out of
the desert to consult the recluse, _Father Gregory_, whose nephew
she afterwards marries, does very strikingly achieve an effect of
personality. _Madeline_ was a product of Port Said and, when we first
meet her, an adventuress of international reputation, or lack of
it. Then _Robin_ rescues, marries and educates her. It was the last
process that started the trouble. _Madeline_ took to education more
readily than a duck to water; and the worst of it was that she was by
no means willing to keep the results and her conclusions therefrom to
herself; indeed she developed the lecturing habit to an extent that
almost (but not quite) ruined her charm. Mr. WEIGALL is so obviously
sincere in all this that, though I cannot exonerate him from a charge
of using _Madeline_ as the mouthpiece of his own sociological and
religious views, I must acknowledge his good intentions, while
deploring what seems to me an artistic error. But, all said, the book
is very far from being ordinary; its quality in the portrayal both of
place and character is of the richest promise for future stories,
in which I hope the author will give us more pictures of the land he
understands so well.

       *       *       *       *       *

I certainly admit that the publishers of _The Strangeness of Noel
Carton_ (JENKINS) have every justification for speaking of it as "a
new note in a novel." Indeed that clever writer, Mr. WILLIAM CAINE,
has here sounded as new, original and (for all its surface humour)
horrible a note as any I have heard in fiction for some time. My
trouble is that I can hardly indicate it without giving away the
whole business. Very briefly the tale is of one _Noel Carton_, who has
married beneath him for not quite enough money to gild a detestable
union, and, being an unstable egoist and waster, presently seeks
consolation (and pocket money) by writing a novel founded in part on
his own position. One may note in passing that Mr. CAINE seems to have
but a modest idea of the mental equipment required for such a task.
Still I suppose he knows, and anyway that isn't the point. The point
is that, once _Noel_ has got himself properly projected into his
novel, all sorts of the queerest and most bogie coincidences begin to
occur. Again to quote the puff preliminary, "as the book develops the
reader has a suspicion which becomes almost a certainty, until the
great and astounding climax is reached;" concerning which you may
justly remark that no reader with a certainty would regard its
verification as "astounding." But this takes nothing from the craft
with which, on looking back, you see the climax to have been prepared.
I could hardly call the tale altogether pleasant, but it is undeniably
new and vastly original.

       *       *       *       *       *

The good Sioux glories in his scalps, and Mr. ISAAC F. MARCOSSON,
of Louisville, must surely be the Great Chief of interviewers.
Interviewing, he tells us, is, after all, only a form of reporting,
and so are history, poetry and romance. What, he asks, were MOMMSEN
and GIBBON, WORDSWORTH and KEATS but reporters, and I can only answer,
What indeed? To have been found worthy of tonsure by Mr. MARCOSSON it
is necessary to be very eminent, and to win his highest praise it
is essential also to be a good "imparter," though he has a kind of
sneaking admiration for the paleface who insists on handing him a
written statement and declines to speak. Such a one was Sir EDWARD
CARSON. Hanging to Mr. MARCOSSON'S girdle are the _chevelures_ of
ROOSEVELT, to name no more. Naturally _Adventures in Interviewing_
(LANE) is full of side-lights on the recent war. How could it be
otherwise when so many celebrated brains are laid bare? One quotation
I cannot refrain from giving. Speaking of Lord BEAVERBROOK he
says, "He had come to London a decade ago, to live 'the life of a
gentleman,' but was drawn irresistibly into politics." I challenge our
literature to produce a more beautiful "but."

       *       *       *       *       *

Miss EDITH DART has grouped against her Dartmoor setting in _Sareel_
(PHILIP ALLAN) just the characters to act out the well-worn story of
the mutual infatuation of a young man of birth and an ignorant country
maid. But though _Sareel_, the little workhouse-reared servant at the
farm, falls in love in the accepted fashion with the best-looking of
the three young men who lodge there on a reading tour, and though he
duly falls in love with her, the innocence of her soul keeps their
passion on the highest plane. What is more, when _Alan_, as such young
gentlemen in fiction generally do, changes his mind Miss DART provides
a happy ending, without even a suicide to spoil it, and without
inconsistency either in her own point of view or in that of her
characters. I don't really believe that Devonshire people say that
they like things "brave and well" quite as often as Miss DART makes
hers, and I wish she had not so great a fondness for the word "such"
that she must invent phrases as weird as "though he had not sought
such" in order to bring it in; but apart from these trifles _Sareel_,
as something like a feminine version of a book by Mr. EDEN PHILLPOTTS
arranged for family reading, will certainly please a great many

       *       *       *       *       *

If you would like to see a white lady ride on a white horse to Banbury
Cross and elsewhere with a body-guard of men in tin hats, carrying
_The Banner_ (COLLINS) and proclaiming the League of Youth (against
war and other evils) and forcible retirement from all offices of
profit or power under the Crown at the age of forty, get Mr. HUGH F.
SPENDER'S new and, as it seems to me, rather ingenuous novel. Love is
not neglected, for a peer's son, deaf and dumb through shell-shock,
so responds to the counter-irritant of seeing this modern JOAN riding
through Piccadilly that he recovers both speech and hearing and
promptly uses them to put her a leading question and understand her
version of "But this is so sudden. However----" There is a people's
army; a rose-water revolution with the King accepting it as all in the
day's dull work; a fight or rather an arming of a few last-ditchers
of the old order, and much else that is not likely to happen outside
Ruritania. Also candid expression of the opinions of (I take it) the
"Wee Frees" concerning _Glamorgan Jones_.

       *       *       *       *       *

If Mr. ALAN GRAHAM does not unsettle my conviction that it is easier
to begin a story of hidden treasure than it is to finish it, I can
nevertheless promise you a good day with the sleuth-hounds, should you
decide to _Follow the Little Pictures_ (BLACKWOOD). For some not
too lucid reason I went to the meet with a fear in my heart that the
command in the title referred to the "movies," and my relief was great
on discovering that it was taken from a cipher containing the key to
the treasure. The scene of this hunt is laid in Scotland, and the most
notable figure among its followers is a certain _Laird Tanish_. The
pecuniary fortunes of the _Tanish_ clan were at a low ebb, and in his
determination to improve them by winning the prize the _Laird_ broke
all the rules of the game and gave way to terrific outbursts of rage
in the manner of those explosive gentlemen with whom Miss ETHEL DELL
has familiarised us. There is both ingenuity and originality in
this story, and I should be doing the author and his readers a great
disservice if I disclosed the details of the plot. Anyone with a bent
for treasure-hunting will be missing a fine opportunity if he refuses
to have a day (or a night) with Mr. GRAHAM'S hounds.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Mistress._ "NORAH, DO YOU EVER REPEAT ANYTHING YOU

_Domestic._ "THE SAINTS FORBID, MUM!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A Sympathetic Auditor.

    "Dr. R. C. Ghostley, of Edmonton, was in the city last week
    and attended Sir Oliver Lodge's lecture."--_Canadian Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "W. W. ----, the Rugby International forward, won his third
    success in four days at Chesham Oddfellows' and Foresters'
    sports yesterday, when he took first prize in the 10 yards
    open event, with 7-1/2 yards start, in 9-2/5 sec."--_Daily

His strong point, we gather, is not speed but staying-power.

       *       *       *       *       *

_À propos_ of the DE KEYSER case:--

    "Unfortunately, the Dora regulations against free speech
    and printing were never taken before the High Court, and our
    ancestors will wonder at our timidity."--_Daily Herald._

We understand that Sir A. CONAN DOYLE has already received several
urgent messages on the subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

p. 438: Removed extraneous "'s" from "GASTON'S" ...
        [M. GASTON LEROUX'S]

p. 440: Changed "9 2-5" to "9-2/5" ...
        [in 9-2/5 sec."--_Daily Paper_.]

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