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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 4th 1914
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 4th 1914" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *

  Punch, or the London Charivari

  Volume 146, March 4th 1914

  _edited by Owen Seaman_

       *       *       *       *       *



CHARIVARIA.

According to _The Globe_ Mr. YEO, in returning thanks after the Poplar
election, shouted to a female interrupter; "Shut up, you silly
cat, shut up!" To this, we understand, the cat retorted generously,
"My-Yeo!"

       * * *

The GABY DESLYS' tradition? Miss LOTTIE VENNE is appearing at the
Criterion in a _Pair of Silk Stockings_, and Miss MARY MOORE is
touring the provinces in _Mrs. Gorringe's Necklace_.

       * * *

The KAISER has forbidden the production at Herr REINHARDT'S Deutches
Theater of a play called _Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia_, on the ground
that one of the characters is a member of the Prussian Royal Family.
We ourselves should never have dared to hint that this fact renders
the play unfit for the public.

       * * *

Cheery notice on the window of an insurance office in New Broad
Street, E.C.:--

  "GUARANTEES,
    SICKNESS
    COMBINED
  WITH ACCIDENT."

       * * *

Dr. DURHAM lectured last week on Explosives as an aid to Gardening;
but many persons think that the quiet man who does not lose his temper
gets better results.

       * * *

Burglars, last week, broke into a synagogue at Newcastle-on-Tyne and
removed practically all the articles of value, including a silver cup
and a pointer. Surprise is expressed in some quarters that the pointer
should not have given the alarm by barking.

       * * *

Living artists sometimes complain that it is only the Old Masters who
are appreciated nowadays. Authors would seem to be more fortunate.
Take the following paragraph from _The Bedford Express_:--"On Sunday
the well-known elocutionist, Mr. FREDERICK DUXBURY, visited Stevenage.
He preached morning and evening at the Wesleyan Church, and in the
afternoon he gave a sacred recital. His principal item on Sunday
afternoon was Coulson Kernahan's 'God and the Ant,' but he included
one or two lesser pieces, including a chapter from the book of Job."

       * * *

It was stated last week in the Marylebone Police Court that there is
a gang of thieves in London who do not hesitate to steal motor-cars
whenever they find them unattended in the street. These scoundrels are
crafty enough not to pick up the cars and put them under their arm,
for they realise that this might attract attention, but they just jump
in and drive off.

       * * *

We are glad to note a renewed outcry against the unearthly noises made
by many motor-car hooters. If they must run over us, the least they
can do is to let us die in peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dad_ (_who has brought his son to the links for the
first time_). "IS IT A GOOD LIE, HAROLD?"

_Harold_ (_unconsciously ranking himself with the Great_). "FATHER, I
CANNOT TELL A GOOD LIE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems a pity that so little is done to encourage the growing love
of art among the criminal classes. The Italian gentleman who guarded
"La Gioconda" so carefully has not been so much as thanked for his
pains, and now it is stated that six persons have been arrested in
Paris and Brussels for removing art objects from the admittedly unsafe
custody of museums.

       * * *

Stout residents of Cornforth, Durham, having protested against the
narrowness of some of the gateways on the local paths, the parish
council has decided to widen them. It was found that this would be
more economical than to send these citizens to Marienbad to have their
bulk reduced.

       * * *

Publishers are continually making finds, and Messrs. DUCKWORTH AND CO.
have been peculiarly fortunate. In their current list they announce
the publication of "Lost Diaries" and "The Lost Road."

       * * *

    "Sale of Votes by Women.

    Incidents in a Chicago Election."

      _Daily Express._

By a curious coincidence we have seen ladies selling _Votes for Women_
in the streets of London.

       * * *

Yet another example of the industry of the foreigner. A pamphlet
issued by the Lincolnshire Chick Farm informs us that "On the Cyphers'
Co. Poultry Plant, one flock of 400 White Leghorns shows an average
of 185.2 eggs per bird in 36.5 days." This, we need scarcely tell our
readers, works out at 5.06849315 eggs per bird per day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Episcopal Scandal.

"KING AND NEW BISHOPS.

    The King received at Buckingham Palace to-day the new Bishops
    of Chelmsford and St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The Home
    Secretary administered the oath.

FOUND TO BE INSANE.

    Judgment was reserved."

      _Westminster Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Much the largest of all the woodpeckers in this country is the
    great black woodpecker (_Picus martius_). This is a very rare
    species, occurring only in the wilds of the wooded mountain areas.
    It is about 18 miles in length."

      _Pekin and Tientsin Times._

As the crow flies.

       *       *       *       *       *

England's far-reaching Influence.

    "RESULT OF THE POPLAR ELECTION.

    NO FOREIGNER SAFE IN MEXICO."

      "_Yorkshire Observer" Placard._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "SIR WILLIAM RAMSAY'S POSER STARTLES AUDIENCE.

    Special Cable to the New York Times and Montreal Gazette.

    London, February 4.--Sir William Ramsay raised the question
    whether the unfit should be left to die at the annual dinner
    of the Institute of Sanitary Engineers to-night."

      _The Gazette (Montreal)._

There would, of course, be no difficulty about the "funeral bakéd
meats."

       *       *       *       *       *

IN MEMORIAM.

John Tenniel.

  BORN 1820.
  DIED FEBRUARY 25TH, 1914.

  Now he whose gallant heart so lightly bore
    So long the burden of the years' increase
  Passes at length toward the silent shore,
        From peace to deeper peace.

  And we, his honoured comrades, by whose side
    His haunting spirit keeps its ancient spell,
  We bring our tribute, woven of love and pride,
        And say a last farewell.

  Yet not farewell; because eternal youth
    Still crowns the craftsmanship where hand and eye
  Saw and interpreted the soul of Truth,
        Letting the rest go by.

  Thus for his pictured pageant, gay or grave,
    He seized and fixed the moving hour's event,
  Maker of history by the life he gave
        To fact with fancy blent.

  So lives the Artist in the work he wrought;
    Yet Nature dowered the Man with gifts more dear--
  A chivalrous true knight in deed and thought,
       Without reproach or fear.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PERFECT CONDUCTOR.

"GOOD MORNING, Sir," he said, as I boarded a leviathan one day
last week. "What a beautiful morning, isn't it? What can I have the
pleasure of doing for you?" He daftly pulled half-a-dozen tickets from
his stock and permitted me to inspect them.

"Fresh in this morning, Sir," he continued. "White, one penny; a great
many people prefer them because they go well with any colour. For the
blue ones we are asking twopence; they have only the same amount of
information but take you twice as far. Sweet shade, isn't it?" He
stepped back and held one up to the light for my benefit.

"Well, I really only wanted a pennyworth, but I _must_ have one of
the blue ones--they _are_ attractive, as you say. I shall keep it in
memory of you."

"Very good of you, Sir. You won't mind my making a little hole in
it? A mere matter of form; and the bell, which rings to announce the
conclusion of the operation, is, as you will notice, quite musical. A
sovereign? I shall be delighted to change it for you." He gave me the
correct change, bowed, and turned to answer a lady passenger.

"Have we passed Sloane Street?" she had enquired.

"We passed it at least five minutes ago, madam. Were you wishing to
alight there?"

"I was," replied the lady; "but don't trouble--I can walk back."

He was horrified at the thought.

"Certainly not, my dear madam," he protested. Turning to the little
ventilator-window by which he could communicate with the driver, he
rapped. "William," he called, "a lady here desired to get down at
Sloane Street. Do you mind...?"

"Charles," responded the driver, stopping the 'bus, "you know our one
ambition is to please the passengers who so trustfully commit themselves
to our charge. Mingle my regrets with yours, as representing the
Company, that we should have omitted clearly to intimate when we were in
the vicinity of Sloane Street. We will lose no time in correcting the
error."

"William," said Charles, "it is only what I should have expected of
you. It is the least we can do." William turned the 'bus carefully
and ran quickly back, to the admiration of the other passengers, who
murmured unanimous approval of such graceful courtesy.

"This," announced Charles, as we pulled up after a while, having
recovered the lost ground, "is South Kensington Station. We stay here
one full minute for the advantage of any person who wishes to visit
the neighbourhood; after which we shall proceed, if all goes well,
to Putney, taking with us perchance those who have business in that
direction."

I prepared to alight, and Charles shook my hand warmly.

"Speaking for William and myself, Sir, representing the Company," he
said with emotion, "we are indeed sorry to lose you. It would have
given us both great pleasure could your presence have graced the
remainder of the journey. Still, doubtless your private affairs compel
you to sever this so charming acquaintanceship, and on some future
occasion I trust we may again meet?"

"I trust so, Charles," I answered. "Farewell."

"_Au revoir_," said Charles, waving a hand. Sorrowfully I left him,
hearing as I departed his dulcet tones addressing the passers-by: "If
anyone would care to step on, we are going to...."

       *       *       *       *       *

MANNERS FOR PARENTS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Instead of writing all this nonsense about the
behaviour of boys at school, why doesn't someone write about the
behaviour of parents at school--at their son's school, I mean? That is
a subject which really requires ventilation, for the behaviour of most
parents at school is _positively mouldy_.

Of course it's very nice for your people to come down and see you
and all that, but there's a good deal of anxiety about it which might
easily be avoided, and I have therefore written out a few simple RULES
FOR PARENTS AT SCHOOL which I hope you will publish.

(I.) Do not greet your son upon your arrival with "Well, boysie," or
some such rotten expression as that. It's the sort of thing that it
may take him years to live down.

(II.) Do not insist upon attaching the son of your old friend Smith
to the party. Old Smith may be all right, but young Smith may be in a
House you can't mix with, or something like that.

(III.) Do not say to your son, of someone else's cap, "That's a pretty
cap; why don't you have one like it?" because it's probably either the
First XI. colours, or the cap of a House you wouldn't be seen dead in.

(IV.) Do not tell the House Master how well your son played in the
boys' cricket match last summer holidays. Your son is probably a
perfect rabbit, and the master is certain to know it.

(V.) Do not discuss such subjects as "The Public School and the
Development of Character" with the masters in your son's presence.
It's very unpleasant to have the development of your character
discussed. In fact it's hardly decent.

(VI.) Do not treat a member of the XI. as if he were an ordinary
person; and--

(VII.) For Heaven's sake don't walk across Great Green. Only fellows
who have been in the XI. two seasons may do so, yet I've known parents
wander all over it before their sons could stop them, and only laugh
when told what they had done!

Hoping you will publish this, as I think you ought to do,

  Yours truly,
  CHUBB Minor.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE NINE OLD MEN OF THE SEA.

RAMSAY MACSINDBAD. "WELL, WELL, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WORSE. THERE MIGHT
HAVE BEEN TEN OF 'EM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORE NEW BLOOD FOR OLD ENGLAND.

INTRIGUED BY THE ACTION OF THE GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY AUTHORITIES
IN IMPORTING A NEW MANAGER FROM THE STATES, THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS
RUMOURED, ARE ABOUT TO GO EVEN FURTHER AFIELD IN SEARCH OF PROMISING
TALENT FOR THE FRONT BENCH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MY HEROES.

Every day of my life I am more and more impressed by the genius of two
men. These men are GUTENBERG and MORSE. GUTENBERG invented printing
and MORSE was more or less in at the birth of telegraphy. What should
we do without either?

It is morning and I turn to the paper. It happens to be _The Daily
Graphic_. What do I find? I find GUTENBERG and MORSE once more in
collaboration. Thus:--

"MR. BALFOUR LOSES HIS WAY.

  CANNES, Monday.

    Mr. Balfour paid a visit yesterday in pouring rain to Mr.
    Chamberlain at the Villa Victoria. Mr. Balfour lost his way,
    and passing the house strolled along the Fréjus road, scanning
    the name of every house until he found a chauffeur who
    directed him to the Villa Victoria. Subsequently Mr.
    Balfour returned to the Hotel Continental and motored out to
    dinner.--Central News."

What, privileges we enjoy, we moderns! Five hundred years ago, four
hundred, the world would have been in ignorance of any event of this
kind. Statesmen would have lost their way in foreign towns and no one
at home would have known. Think of the privation! But now, not only,
thanks to GUTENBERG, do we know it and think accordingly, but, thanks
to MORSE, we know it the next day and our thrills are not delayed.

So much for the morning.

It is a few minutes later--evening. Not really evening, because it is
before lunch, but evening enough for the Tenth Muse, bless her! I open
_The Evening News_ and what do I find? GUTENBERG alone; but how full
of matter! Thus:--

    "SEVEN.

    The mystic number seven is curiously associated with the
    baby daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Knight, of Old Swinford,
    Worcestershire.

    She was born at the Seven Stars Hotel at the seventh hour of
    the seventh day of the seventh month.

    There were seven customers in the bar when her birth was
    announced, seven persons were present at the christening, and
    there are seven letters in her Christian name.

    Her father is the eldest of seven children and her mother the
    youngest of seven. She has seven uncles."

There's for you! But of course this is not enough. The chronicler,
try as he might, is but a scamper after all. Not only were there seven
customers in the bar, but each had had seven drinks. Whiskey (there
are seven letters in whiskey, spelt my way) punch. Each had a slice of
lemon and there were seven pips in the lemon. Of the seven uncles
each had a watch, making seven watches, and a cigar case, making seven
cigar-cases. So it might go on for ever.

Similarly the nine deported Labour leaders arrived in the Thames nine
minutes after somebody else and nine minutes before somebody else.
The term "dock-berth" has nine letters in it, and Nine Elms is on the
Thames too. Whew!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "We find ourselves generally in agreement with the writer Dr.
    Figgis, so our enjoyment of his books is the keener and less
    critical. When we do criticise it is as though we found faults
    in a friend whom we know very well and regard very highly.
    This position Dr. Figgis has won for himself by the
    thoroughness as well as the cleverness of his literary
    work."--_Athenæum._

Dr. FIGGIS must be a proud man to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *

INTERVIEWING FATHER.

SIR GEORGE is not a nice man. He is a mercenary, narrow-minded person.
I never really liked him, but then he never really liked me. However,
he is Miranda's father, so I decided to interview him. The interview
took place at his office. He waved me to a chair, and, as it seemed
all that I was likely to get, I took it.

"Well?" Sir George grunted.

His tone indicated an unfriendly spirit, so I retorted, "Well."

There was a slight pause. Then he said, rather aggressively. "I never
lend money."

"I suspected it," I replied; "I practically never borrow money, but
that is my misfortune and not my fault."

"Then what can I do for you?"

"You have a daughter----"

"I have," he interrupted.

"I knew we should find a common basis of agreement. Miranda is
unmarried; I am unmarried."

"You suggest marrying my daughter?"

"I make no suggestion, but the idea had crossed my mind."

"Can you keep a wife?"

"I never lost one yet. I think that with a little tact----"

"I mean, have you any money?"

"Eighteen shillings and fourpence," I answered, producing that sum as
evidence of my _bona fides_.

"That is not a very large capital on which to start married life."

"True, but I'm not mercenary. Yet perhaps, as we seem to have
drifted on to the question of money, I might mention that I have
property--house property."

"I don't believe much in house property in these days."

"I don't either. Though I lay no particular stress on the matter, I
also have some mortgages."

"I don't care much about mortgages."

"I agree with you. Beastly things, I call them."

"What income do you derive from the property and the mortgages?"

"I don't exactly derive any income from either. You see, the two
things go together--I mean the property and the mortgages. I don't
fancy the mortgagees get much income from the property, though I
suppose they try their best. Perhaps, strictly speaking, I can hardly
call the property mine since the mortgagees took possession. The
mortgages however are undoubtedly mine. I created them, you know."

Sir George rose pompously, so I went on at once:

"I have some shares. I should like your opinion on them."

"What kind of shares?"

"The usual kind--paper, but quite nice artistic designs on them."

"In what companies?"

"I forget the names of the companies, but I think that they had
something to do with rubber."

"Then you can take my advice and sell them."

"Thanks awfully," I said, "if that means that you'll buy them. I
always thought that I should eventually find someone to help me out."

"I will not buy your shares. But before I finally close this interview
I should like to know, as a matter of curiosity, on what you live?"

"Meat and things, like other people. I'm no vegetarian."

"I mean, how do you obtain food and clothes? I see that you do wear
clothes. At present I'm a little puzzled."

"It's a matter which has often puzzled me. I get them somehow.
Sometimes I work and sometimes, but not very often, I get paid for my
work. I believe that if I were married I could earn more."

"What makes you think that?"

"Well, you see, I couldn't very well earn less."

"Then am I to understand that you have practically no income?"

"If it comes to that, has Miranda any income?"

"My daughter will have what I choose to allow her."

"And I shall have what I choose to earn, so it seems that we should be
fairly well matched."

"Sir, I consider your request to marry my daughter an impertinence,
and the flippancy with which you have conducted this interview an
insult."

"Sir George," I said impressively, "be just before you are generous.
If you think over the matter calmly you will recognise that I have
made no such request. You are an older man than I, so I pass over
anything that you may have said in the heat of the moment. I am
willing to part friends."

For a moment I thought he would burst. He ignored my outstretched hand
and almost shouted, "I don't care how we part, so long as we do part.
You will oblige me by not seeing or communicating with my daughter
again."

As I was passing through the door I remarked, "Without making any rash
promises, I will endeavour to oblige you. I gather, as much from your
demeanour as anything else, that you do not favour me as a suitor for
your daughter's hand. As a matter of fact, I look with equal disfavour
on you as a possible father-in-law. My real object in seeking this
interview was to remove any misapprehension you might have on the
subject."

When I was well outside the door, laughter really took hold of me for
the first time since Miranda refused to marry me.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Underground Train Conductor (sulkily to passenger
jumping in after train has started)._ "NAH THEN! IF YOU'D HA' FALLEN
DAHN AND BROKE YER NECK _I_ SHOULD 'AVE BEEN THE ONE TO SUFFER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Hartley is the proud possessor of the English
    championship belt for running broad jump, having cleared
    something over 45 feet."

      _The Morning Albertan._

His pride is very excusable.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "In our day when many women consider the art of managing a
    home beneath the dignity of their supposed sex, not everyone
    knows how to make a pancake."

      _Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury._

"Supposed" is good.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MARCH WINDS.

_Short-sighted Official (to gentleman pursuing hat)._ "CALL YOUR DOG
OFF, SIR, CALL YOUR DOG OFF," ETC., ETC., ETC.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MOVING.

(_A Suburban Elegy._)

  WHEN I remember I shall tread no more
    In such a short time now the well-known street,
  And never to these ears shall sound the roar
    Of Perkins' cart-wheels, dangerously fleet,
  Bringing the boon of Ceres to the door,
    Nor those of Batson (Batson is the meat);--

  When I recall that in the hours to come
    My eyes may never see the shape of Pott
  Planting his fish down, then methinks it's rum
    That mortal men should move and be forgot
  By those that serve their household daily, some
    Sending the right delivery, some not.

  Full often on my homeward way I pause
    Where Jones is standing at his shop-front trim;
  We pass remarks about the nation's laws
    And how it still keeps up, though skies are grim;
  And Jones is most polite to me, because
    We've always got our groceries from him.

  But the old orders soon shall cease to be,
    And I must pass into an unknown land,
  And at the corner by The Holly Tree
    Where now he lifts a ceremonious hand
  Yon constable shall scarce remember me,
    Not that he ever----Quite. You understand.

  And alien lips from mine must move to swear
    Over the mangled remnants of a shirt
  Brutally done to death with fiendish care
    By yon steam laundry. Last I come to Bert;
  Bert's is the best known face in all the Square,
    Being the milk, and something more--a flirt.

  Yes, for not only bleeds this heart of mine;
    There shall be tenderer spasms when we shift,
  Such bits of cheek, such observations fine,
    Such honied whispers have been heard to drift
  From Susan at the casement of her shrine
    To Romeo managing the tradesmen's lift.

  Hers shall be all the loss; he'll soon forget.
    Others shall ope accounts when we are gone;
  Movings are all too frequent for regret;
    Yet one methinks there is shall dream upon
  Our name with soft remembrance, guard it yet
    Like some pressed violet. I refer to John.

  I know our postal service, know full well,
    Though we have told them to what bourn we flit,
  How many a missive shall obey the spell
    Of the old false address inscribed on it.
  And John shall bring them. And John's heart shall swell
    For Harriet while he stuffs them through the slit.

  EVOE.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR LITERARY ADVICE DEPARTMENT.

CANDID advice given to the literary aspirant on easy terms by an old
journalist. His fame is world-wide, but he prefers to be known as THE
OLD NIB. Anyone sending him threatening letters will be prosecuted.

Frankly, LANCELOT, your _Passionate Pangs; or, Heart Throbs of a
Retired Government Clerk_, will never bring you in a large income. You
say friends have praised them highly, and you point out that TENNYSON
had to wait years for recognition. Well, you must do the same. You
could not have a better precedent.

You have a strong grasp of a situation, BENJAMIN, and the scene where
_Uncle Henry_ slips on the butter slide is quite thrilling. But you
must compress a little and avoid certain faults of style. "She hove
a sigh" is wrong; and I do not like "'Pshaw,' he _shouted_"; I do not
think it could be done. I tried myself in my bath and swallowed a lot
of soapy water. Pray be more careful.

I certainly like to hear from such an enthusiastic reader as WIGWAM.
His idea, of going to a fancy-dress ball dressed in a number of old
copies of _Wopple's Weekly_ is excellent and, if they let him in,
ought to be a great success. I hope he wins the hair comb. As to
his verses I have often seen worse. With a rhyming dictionary (for
rhyming) and an ordinary one (for spelling) WIGWAM should go far.

ANGELINA'S poem shows a nice domestic feeling which I appreciate. In
these days of Suffragettes it is not every authoress who will say--

  "I like to see a familiar face
  And I think home is a beautiful place."

But though "mother," as she says, is a very beautiful word it does not
rhyme with "forever." "Other," "brother" and "smother" are the rhymes
that I always recommend.

LEONIDAS has made a great improvement since I had to speak to him so
severely last spring. _Sly Sarah_ is quite a clever tale, and before
very long LEONIDAS will find himself writing for _Soapy Bits_ and
papers of that calibre. Of this I am sure. His characterization is
strong, his style is redolent of _bravura_ and his general atmosphere
is _fortissimo_. The character of the archdeacon might be improved;
indeed, if LEONIDAS is going to send it to _The Diocesan Monthly_, I
should say it must be improved. Why should he slap _Sarah's_ face? No
reason is given for this, and it is surely a very questionable action.
Human nature may be human nature, but archdeacons are archdeacons. By
the way there is only one _l_ in spoonful.

HENRY must be careful. This is the third time he has sent me his epic.
There are limits.

There is not much demand for tales of this description, HOPEFUL. But
as you say you like writing them I do not see who is to prevent you.
If you can get the permission of the local authorities by all means
give a reading at the Home for the Half-Witted.

I have no doubt CLAPHAM ROVER means well, but he has a lot to learn.
There are no events of any kind in the three tales he sends me. The
only thing that ever happens is that the hero is kicked downstairs.
Even then he lies prostrate in the hall for two days. Surely the maids
might have swept him up. CLAPHAM ROVER must remember the great words
of DEMOSTHENES when he swallowed a pebble on the sea beach: "Action,
action, and again action." He was thinking of lawyers, of course, but
his words have a lesson for us all.

INGENUOUS is the exact opposite of CLAPHAM ROVER. I rise from his tale
an absolute wreck. "Splash, she was in the river;" "plonk, he was on
the floor;" "whiz, a bullet shot past him." INGENUOUS must really go
more quietly and make a little less noise. Why not write a few essays
on some of our lesser known female didactic writers, or some such
subjects as "People one is surprised to hear that Dr. JOHNSON never
met?" It would do him a lot of good. But above all he must study that
master of Quietism, the incomparable author of _The Woman's Touch_,
_The Silent Preacher_, _Through a College Key-hole_.

PARSIFAL has pained me very much. He sent me a long poem, and after
I had given him a very detailed criticism I discovered that he had
simply copied out a poem of WORDSWORTH'S familiar to us all from our
earliest childhood. I have lost his address, so I cannot tell him
privately what I think of him, but it was a dirty trick.

CIUDAD RODRIGO (I don't know why he calls himself that; he writes
from Balham) sends me an essay on GEORGE BORROW. It follows with
great fidelity the line of established fact, never deviating into the
unknown. After reading it I felt that I did not want to hear any more
about GEORGE BORROW for a long time.

ARRIÈRE PENSÉE, TOOTLES, PONGO and HUGGING: see answer to CIUDAD
RODRIGO.

I did an injustice to PARNASSIAN in my answer to him last week. Owing
to a misprint I was made to say that "his poems were written" (which
they were not, but typed, and very excellently typed too). What I
meant to say was that his poems were rotten. Sorry.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MILITANT'S SONG.

  EACH morning, vigorous and bright,
    I sing my little song:--
  "If I don't do the thing that's right
    I'll do the thing that's wrong."

  And if I chance to miss my aim
    By slight miscalculation
  I go on singing just the same
    With equal exaltation.

  So when I light my little sticks
    To burn up "No. 8"
  And find I've kindled "No. 6"
    My joy is just as great.

  And when my little stones I dash
    At windows in a hurry
  And hear the corner lamp-post smash
    I see no cause to worry.

  And when I take my little whip
    To punish "Mr. A."
  And find I've made another slip
    I giggle out, "Hurray!"

  And under lock and key I trill,
    Although my cell's a strong one:--
  "I didn't hit the right man, still
    At least I hit the wrong one."

       *       *       *       *       *

Bethnal Green and Leith.

We are asked to say that some of the best friends of the Government
take a grave view of the acclamations with which the Liberal Press has
been greeting the recent "moral victories" of the Party at the polls.
A few more of these moral victories and the language o£ triumph will,
they fear, be exhausted before an actual victory occurs.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Lord Plymouth's donation of £30,000 completes the purchase of
    the Crystal Palace. The shortage was due to Mr. Camberwell's
    refusal to contribute, and also to a reduction in Mr. Pinge's
    contribution by £15,000."

      _Otago Daily Times._

On the other hand we are glad to be in a position to say that Lord
Penge, the Hon. Mrs. Sydenham Hill and the Dowager Lady Dulwich have
behaved most generously.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Respecting Ichthemic Guano, you can make use of my name, as
    it is one of the best fertilisers on the market."

      _From a Trade Circular._

We should like to know what our old friend Ichthemic Guano has to say
about this. He will not like to hear that anybody else's name competes
with his in the fertilising market.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE HOLY ESTATE: AN EX-PARTE VIEW.

_Her Ladyship._ "SO YOU ARE LEAVING TO GET MARRIED, THOMPSON? I MUST
COME AND SEE YOUR WIFE WHEN YOU ARE COMFORTABLY SETTLED."

_The Lover._ "THANK YOU, ME LADY. SHE SEEMS A NICE QUIET SORT OF GIRL,
AND I 'AVE HEVERY 'OPE SHE'LL MAKE ME COMFORTABLE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

BELLES LETTRES AND OTHERS.

Most of us have been startled to observe how very far real life falls
short of the standard of books. The realisation has come home to me
with great force after reading _Whispers of Passion_, a collection of
love-letters by "Amorosa," which I could not refrain from comparing
with certain authentic love-letters (as I suppose I must call them)
which happen to be in my possession.

What a contrast! What a melancholy contrast!

Here, for example, is the tender opening of one of "Amorosa's"
efforts:

    "BELOVED,--This morning I saw the sun rise from behind the
    grey hills that rampart our secluded vale. Slowly, almost
    imperceptibly, as I watched, the sombre robes of the Night
    were irradiated and enrosed by the mysterious fires of the
    Dawn. And herein, my dear one, I seemed to grasp a deathless
    symbol of the awakening of Love between us, the first
    slow gilding of our grey lives by the roseate glamour of
    romance...."

And so on. Now read this, taken from one in my own collection treating
of the same subject:--

    "DEAR WOGGLES,--How _dare_ you hint that I'm lazy? As a matter
    of fact I saw the sunrise only this morning, which reminds me
    of a story. I daresay you know it already. A small boy decided
    to keep a diary, and the first entry he made was: '_1st
    January--Got up at 8.15._' His mater objected to this on the
    ground that _got up_ was too slangy. 'Look at the sun,'
    she said. 'The sun doesn't _get up_; it _rises_.' The same
    evening, after the boy had gone to bed, she looked at the
    diary again. There was only one other entry: '_Set at 9._'

    Not much of a yarn, is it, Woggles? But still it's good enough
    for you...."

Or consider this beautiful conclusion:

    "... Dear, I am all thine. My soul calls to thee across
    the night; the beating of my heart cries through the
    darkness--Thine, thine, thine!

    Good night, adored one, good night.

      AMOROSA."

And contrast it with the following:--

    "... And now I must dry up or I shan't be in bed by midnight,
    and the old man will lose his hair and say I'm ruining my
    precious constitution. Ta ta. Be a good infant.

      Yours,
      MADGE."

"Amorosa's" lover appears to have sent her a bracelet, and must have
felt richly repaid when he received this:--

    "... As I clasped the slender circlet around my wrist I seemed
    to hear a voice which said, 'This is pure gold; let your
    love be pure. It is an emblem of infinity; let your trust be
    infinite. It is a pledge of fidelity; let your faithfulness be
    immutable...."

But this is how Madge expresses herself on a similar occasion:--

    "... Thanks very much for the bracelet. It seems pretty
    decent...."

Let me give two other extracts which happen to treat of similar
themes. Here is the first:--

    "... I heard music surging in great waves of divine beauty
    from Belnobbio's 'cello, and, magically, wonderfully, it lured
    and compelled my thoughts, beloved one, to you. In all those
    immortal harmonies I heard your voice; the Master's rapt
    features faded into mist, and I saw instead your own grave,
    strong face. Tell me, what is this power which can so converge
    all beauties to one centre?..."

And here is the second:--

    "... I went to hear Kranzer yesterday, and oh, Woggles, I tell
    you, he is the edge, the very ultimate edge! I _rave_ over
    him day and night. I'm madly, head-over-heels,
    don't-know-how-to-express-it in love with him. I'm going to
    throw you over and follow him about all round the world, and
    whenever I get the chance just lie down and let him wipe his
    boots on me. So--resign yourself to it; you'll probably never
    see again,

      Your fatally smitten
      MADGE."

Occasionally, it is true, there occurs in these deplorable letters
just a touch of sentiment, but how crudely, how prosaically expressed.
Immediately after the passage quoted above, for instance, I find
this:--

    "P.S.--Dear old boy, you don't mind when I rag you, do you?
    Here's just a teeny-weeny × for you.
      M."

How does "Amorosa" phrase such a sentiment?

    "... My lips cannot touch your lips, but my soul seeks yours,
    and in that spiritual embrace there is something of eternity."

       * * *

And yet, after all----

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE TATTOOER'S ART.

_Exasperated Backer._ "'IT 'IM CHARLEY; DON'T LOOK AT THEM PICTURES."]

       *       *       *       *       *

GNOMES FOR GOLFERS.

  In April when the cuckoos call
  Glue both your optics on the ball.

  In May avoid the water-ouzel
  Whose warning note predicts a foozle.

  In Summer when the lies are good
  Propel it smartly with the wood.

  In August should the peacock shriek
  Renounce the baffy for the cleek;

  But if your stroke becomes too "sclaffy"
  Give up the cleek and use the baffy.

  In Autumn when the lies are clammy
  Replace the brassie by the "Sammy."

  But when the course is dry and grassy
  Replace the "Sammy" by the brassie.

  In Winter when the lies are slimy
  Be up or in, or lay a stymie.

  When caddies chatter on the green
  Rebuke them, but remain serene.

  But when they hiccough on the tee
  Pay them their regulation fee.

  Whene'er you chance to top your drive
  Before you speak count twenty-five.

  But if you slice into the rough
  Thirty will hardly be enough.

  When beaten by a single putt
  You may ejaculate, "Tut, tut."

  But if you're downed at dormy nine
  Language affords no anodyne.

  Where frequent pots the green environ
  Take turf approaching with the iron.

  No game is lost until it's won;
  The duffer may hole out in one.

  If down the course the pill you'd punch
  Be careful what you eat at lunch.

  A simple cut from off the joint
  May cure your shots to cover-point.

  But lobsters, trifle and champagne
  May even prove the plus-man's bane.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Nine St. Denys's.

    "Thereupon the Labour party sang 'The Red Flag,' the deportees
    joining in the chorus, bearing their heads during the
    singing."

      _South Wales Echo._

[Illustration: A DEVOTEE OF "THE DOCTRINE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

(EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF TOBY, M.P.)

_House of Lords, Monday, February 23rd._--Temporarily relieved from
thoughts of Ulster or meditations upon Marconi, House gave itself up
to bright debate on question not less attractive because of spice
of personality. Spice acquired additional piquancy since it was not
supposed to be there. Its absence was indeed formally insisted upon.
"Oh no, we never mention him. His name is never heard." All the same,
as debate went forward, names _did_ occur. Glances, furtively shot
from side to side of House, casually rested upon particular seats,
whether empty or occupied.

SELBORNE introduced subject by moving Resolution condemning principle
that a contribution to Party funds should be a consideration to a
Minister recommending to the Sovereign bestowal of a titular honour.
Subject delicate one to handle. As SELBORNE admitted, WILLOUGHBY DE
BROKE and RIBBLESDALE in succession concurring, it was not a Party
question. Notorious that since the days of Lord NORTH both political
parties are tarred with same brush. Through difficult circumstances
SELBORNE adroitly picked his way in lively speech. Sorely handicapped
by Resolution, the effect of which, even with assistance of other
House, would, as RIBBLESDALE pointed out, be absolutely nil. "In the
end," he said, "both Houses would be only expressing a pious, almost a
Pharisaical opinion."

This conceded, the Lords, having no work to do, might have done much
worse than devote sitting to breezy debate.

WILLOUGHBY DE BROKE at his best in his enunciation of principles upon
which, were he dispenser of honours in the Radical camp, he would
choose his peers. Whilst taking broad view of case on eugenic
principles, he would be inclined to make selection in favour of
childless candidates.

"The sons of newly-created Radical peers are," he shrewdly remarked,
"almost certain to be Tories, while a Radical grandson of a Radical
peer is a phenomenon never seen."

Incidentally the bold Baron took occasion to remark that his own title
was conferred upon an ancestor in reward for active part taken in
placing the Tudor dynasty on the throne. Some noble lords, whose
patent to peerage is of rather more recent date, whilst agreeing
generally with his views, thought this remark superfluous. Why drag in
the Tudors?

WILLOUGHBY'S graphic account of an interview with the agent of a
moneyed applicant for honours was capped by RIBBLESDALE, who confided
to listening Senate particulars of occasions when, as a Whip he had
from time to time been "approached."

MILNER, shocked by what he regarded as frivolity, proposed to treat
the subject "with a slight approach to seriousness." Proposal cast a
blight over proceedings which were hurried to conclusion.

_Business done._--SELBORNE'S Resolution agreed to with verbal
amendment.

[Illustration: _Lord CREWE (to Lord SELBORNE on his way to the Debate
on the Sale of Honours)._ "I trust we shall have no stone-throwing."

_Lord SELBORNE._ "I'm entirely with you. Too much stained-glass about,
what?"]

_House of Commons, Tuesday._--Resemblance of House of Commons to the
sea never more strikingly illustrated than at to-night's sitting. For
five hours and a half deadliest calm reigned. Benches less than
half full. Questions droned through appointed period. House got into
Committee of Supply on Civil Service estimates. Votes for Colonial
Service offered occasion for debate on Camel Corps disaster in
Somaliland last August. LULU defended in detail the policy and action
of his department. At half-past eight, talk still dragging slow length
along, he moved closure. Division on proposal to reduce the estimate,
equivalent to vote of censure, ran Government majority up to 125.

Suddenly scene changed. It was the mid-dinner hour, period at which
House is as a rule dismally empty. The four-hundred-and-seventy
Members who had taken part in the division, instead of fleeing in
accordance with custom as if fire had broken out, made for their
seats, whence rose the buzz of excited talk that presages a tempest.

The miracle was worked by Ulster. FALLE, having by favour of fortune
at ballot-box secured portion of sitting as Private Member's property,
moved Resolution calling upon PRIME MINISTER, forthwith to submit
to House his proposals for alteration of Government of Ireland Bill.
Opposition mustered in support. Ministerialists whipped up to last
man. When, following mover and seconder of Resolution, PREMIER
appeared at the table he was welcomed by shout of exultant cheering.
Significant contrast with his reception when, a fortnight earlier,
he stood in same place and seemed inclined to dally with proposal for
exclusion of Ulster. Instinctively, or through whispered information,
Ministerialists knew he was now, as they put it, "going straight."

Their most sanguine expectation justified. PREMIER in fine fighting
form.

"Gentlemen opposite," he scornfully said, "seem to think we here can
be likened to a beleaguered garrison, driven by the stress of warfare
into an untenable position with failing supplies, with exhausted
ammunition, with shaken nerves, and that it is for them, the minority
of this House, to dictate the terms of capitulation that are to
determine whether we are to be allowed to surrender with or without
the honours of war."

That sufficed to indicate his position. Whilst disclosure increased
enthusiasm on Ministerial side it correspondingly inflamed passion on
benches opposite.

There was an anxious moment when fisticuffs seemed imminent across the
table in close proximity to shocked Mace. CARSON making interruption
(one of a continuous series), PREMIER thought it was WALTER LONG, and
severely enjoined him to restrain himself. LONG hotly retorted that he
had not spoken. Angry cheers and counter-cheers resounded in opposing
camps. PREMIER, accepting assurance of his mistake, apologised.
Fisticuffs postponed.

Warned by experience, PREMIER took no notice when MOORE OF ARMAGH
shouted, "Why do you funk a General Election?" or when later he
received from same source disclaimer of belief in his sincerity;
or when another Ulster Member characterised forceful passage in his
speech as "Tomfoolery."

Fresh roar of cheering broke over excited host of Ministerialists
when by way of last word PREMIER declared, "We are not going at the
eleventh hour to betray a great cause."

_Business done._--Proverbially swift descent from sublime to
ridiculous. Demand of Opposition for instant disclosure of Ministerial
plan altering Home Rule Bill met by Amendment from Liberal side
declaring confidence in Government. This carried by majority of 73.
When put as substantial Resolution eleven o'clock had struck. No
opposed business may be taken after that hour. House accordingly
forthwith adjourned. Record of night's business in Journals of House
prepared for perusal of posterity is comprehended in word "That----"

_Thursday._--House puzzled by question on Paper standing in name of
H. P. CROFT. Member for Christchurch desires "to ask the Secretary of
State for the Colonies whether he has received petitions in favour of
immediate legislation dealing with imported plumage through all or any
of the Prime Ministers of the States of Australia."

How, why and under what circumstances plumage should be "imported
through" Prime Ministers of the Australian Commonwealth no one can
guess. Generally agreed that, if such painful procedure actually
be the Colonial custom, prohibitive legislation cannot be too soon
undertaken.

SYDNEY HOLLAND, for many years the prop and stay of the London
Hospital, has taken his seat in the House of Lords on accession to the
Viscountcy of Knutsford. Apart from hereditary claim, he is the ideal
type of the class of peer whom reformers on both sides look to for
restoration of the prestige and usefulness of the Upper Chamber.
Nevertheless it is hoped he will not give up to Westminster what was
meant for mankind--the splendid devotion of capacity and energy to the
service of the sick poor of London.

_Business done._--In Committee on Supplementary Estimates.

       *       *       *       *       *

The New Matrimonial Insurance.

    "HUSBAND INSURED AWAY."

      "_Daily Mail" Heading._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "Gentlemen opposite seem to think we here can be
likened to a beleaguered garrison, driven by the stress of warfare
into an untenable position."--_Mr. ASQUITH in the debate on Mr.
FALLE'S resolution._]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Land Campaign once more.

    "Large Foot Path, very strong, reduced to 6s. 11d., less than
    half-price."

      _Advt. in "The Accrington Observer._"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Are we not having just a little too much London? A glance
    over our rapidly growing fixture list suggests that the
    predominance of the great Metrolopis in matters of golfing is
    becoming rather too pronounced."--_Golfing._

It's not fair to the privonces.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Members of the Chicago Bachelor Girls' Club, who number sixty
    at present, say they must receive affirmative answers to this
    list of questions before they will marry:

    ... Have you bad habits, such as drinking or smoking to
    excess?..."--_Daily Mirror._

"The answer is in the affirmative."

"Then I am yours."

       *       *       *       *       *

A SIGN OF DECAY.

(_A bull recently got into a china shop, but was coaxed out before any
damage was done._)

  WE cut but a decadent figure;
    Our virtues grow sickly and pale;
  Our forefathers' valour and vigour
    Live only in poem and tale;
  Our thews are beginning to soften;
    No more are we sturdy and hard;
  These facts have been often and often
    Explained to the bard.

  But still to despondent repining
    He never consented to yield;
  For comfort amid our declining
    He looked to the beasts of the field;
  Though others grew haggard with grief, he
    Maintained a refusal to quake
  So long as our bulls remained beefy
    And a steak _was_ a steak.

  But now there _is_ cause to repine, a
    Dread portent of what to expect:
  A bull has got loose in the china
    And nothing, no, nothing's been wrecked.
  Where fragments were wont to be scattered
    Like forest leaves under a gale
  Not even a saucer was shattered
    By a flick of the tail.

  Oh, say, can this care for the teacup
    Proclaim that the common decay
  Is busting the bovine physique up
    And hasting the horrible day
  When the bard, too, must take up the story
    That the halo of England grows dim,
  Since the beef, whence she gathered her glory,
    Is void of its vim?

       *       *       *       *       *

Honours Easy.

    "£25 Reward. Lost, either at Folkestone Harbour or from a
    Pullman Car, a Gentleman's Fur Coat, lined with minx."

      _Morning Post._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Miss Trenerry, wearing a coat of rose charmeuse, with
    white fur collar, and several gentlemen."--_Express and Echo
    (Exeter)._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Young Man requires board and lodging in Carshalton; hot and
    cold bath preferred."

      _The Herald (Sutton)._

He can't have it both ways at once.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At the Gare de Lyon this afternoon Rolland was welcomed by
    General de Castelnau, who embraced him and took his arm to the
    buffet of the station, where a reception was held."--_Daily
    Telegraph._

General DE CASTELNAU. "_Donnez-le un nom._"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy (his first visit to Madame Tussaud's)._ "MUMMY,
CAN'T THAT MAN TALK EITHER?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TELEPHONE AGAIN.

TING-A-LING.

_Patient Subscriber._ Hullo.

_Gruff Voice._ Are you Bond and Lapel?

_Patient Subscriber._ I'm afraid you've got the wrong number. We're
Gerrard 932041. The Society for the Prevention of Wet Feet amongst the
Genteel Poor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ting-a-ling.

_Same Patient Subscriber._ Hullo.

_Same Gruff Voice._ Bond and Lapel?

_S. P. S._ No, they've given you the wrong number again. We're
Gerrard 932041. Ring off, please.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ting-a-ling.

_S. P. S._ Hullo.

_S. G. V._ Bond and Lapel? I'm Major----

_S. P. S._ My dear Sir, will you believe me that we're _not_ Bond and
Lapel? We're Gerrard 9-3-2-0-4-1. Don't let me have to speak to you
again, there's a good fellow.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ting-a-ling.

_Exchange._ You're thr-r-r-rough.

  _S. G. V._} Hullo.
  _S. P. S._}

_S. G. V._ Bond and Lapel, dammit! I want----Don't you "tut" me, Sir.
I TELL YOU YOU ARE.

_S. P. S._ Oh, all right. Well, what can I do for you?

_S. G. V._ EH?

_S. P. S._ I said, What can I do for you?

_S. G. V._ I'm Major Smith. I want you to make me----

_S. P. S._ Marjorie who? Speak up, please.

_S. G. V._ MAJOR, M-A-J-O-R, MAJOR. MAJOR SMITH. CAN YOU HEAR THAT? I
WANT YOU TO MAKE ME A BLUE SERGE SUIT BY TO-MORROW WEEK.

_S. P. S._ A little louder.... That's better. If you'll wait a moment
I'll just jot down your measurements.

_S. G. V._ Measurements! What the----! I'm Major Smith.

_S. P. S._ Hold the line a moment and I'll see if we have them. Are
you holding on?... Hullo. Major Smith, you said? Sorry, but the fact
is we've got two Major Smiths on our books. Would you kindly tell me
which one you are?

_S. G. V._ I'm Major--Smith--of--3--Mecklington--Gardens--Kensington.

_S. P. S._ Oh, yes. Close to the Oval.

_S. G. V._ KENS-S-SINGTON!

_S. P. S._ Oh, Kensington with an "s." Yes. I know. Well now, how
would you like it made? Will you have the trousers to match? We're
doing a very smart line in buff canary trouserings, just----

_S. G. V._ I said A BLUE SERGE SUIT, Sir!

_S. P. S._ Sorry. I was thinking of the other Major Smith. Then we'll
say trousers to match. Yes, I've got that. Do you wear them turned up
or down? Down. Trousers turned down and sleeves turned up. No, both
down. Yes. Now what about box pleats? Shall we say box pleats?

_S. G. V._ Don't you put any of your new-fangled dodges on _my_
clothes, young man, because I won't have it.

_S. P. S._ _No_ box pleats. I'll make a special note of it. Then
to-morrow fortnight without fail.

_S. G. V._ To-morrow WEEK. And if you don't send that dress suit of
mine by six to-night----

_S. P. S._ Dress suit? Dress suit? What dress suit? This is the first
I've heard of any dress suit.

_S. G. V._ WHAT?

_S. P. S._ It can't be done, old chap. You'll have to borrow one for
to-night.

_S. G. V._ Y-y-you insolent p-puppy. P-put me through to the manager.
AT once.

_S. P. S._ Thanks so much. Then I'll put you down for a subscription.
The Society for the Prevention of Wet Feet amongst the Genteel Poor,
you know.

_S. G. V._ ----! ----! ----! (Biff ... bang ... ting-a-ling ...
buz-z-z-z-z-z.)

_S. P. S._ Exchange.

_Exchange._ Number, please.

_S. P. S._ Put me through to the Repairs Department.... Oh, Repairs
Department. I'm ringing up on behalf of Major Smith, of 3, Mecklington
Gardens, Kensington. Send someone round at once, please. His telephone
has burst.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "ST. PAUL'S.

    £70,000 WANTED FOR THE FABRIC."

      _Standard._

Another chance for Mr. MALLABY-DEELEY.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WEDDING PRESENT.

"At last," I said, putting down my newspaper, "there is hope for
England. Here is a man who announces his approaching marriage and
hopes that wedding presents will not be sent."

"Pooh," said the lady of the house.

"Why," said I, "do you say 'pooh'?"

"Because," she said, "it's not a bit of good hoping for anything of,
the sort. You might just as well abolish weddings at once. People
won't go to one unless they have a chance of seeing their own present
and admiring it so much that the detective begins to suspect them."

"Yes," I said, "isn't the detective splendid? Nobody ever fails
to spot him, and yet there he is every time, firmly convinced
that everybody takes him for the bridegroom's uncle or the bride's
godfather by a former marriage, or something of that sort. I really do
feel I couldn't do without the detective."

"There you are," she said. "You can't have the detective without the
presents."

"Very well," I said, "we'll let presents go on a bit longer and chance
it."

"And don't you forget," she said firmly, "that you've got to choose a
present for George Henderson to-day."

"George Henderson?" I said dreamily. "Do you think George Henderson
_wants_ a present? Isn't he the sort which 'hopes that wedding
presents will not be sent'? I've always felt he had a look in his eye
which said, 'Dear old chap, I shall be married some day.--Whatever you
do, don't send me a present.' Haven't you felt that about him, too?"

"No," she said, "I haven't. In fact George has always seemed to me
the very man for a present. And now he's going to be married. It's the
chance of a lifetime."

"Well, then," I said, "if you feel like that _you_ ought to buy the
present. You'll do it better. You'll put more real feeling into it."

"That may be," she said, "but you 're going to London, and I'm not.
You'll have to do it this time."

"Oh, very well," I said; "have it your own way; but I warn you I shall
buy silver candlesticks."

The two elder girls, who had been listening with eager interest, now
broke in.

"Dad," said Helen to Rosie, "is going to try for his old
candlesticks."

"Yes," said Rosie; "but you'll see he won't be allowed."

"Cease, babblers," I said. "In earlier and less conjugal days no
wedding was considered complete without my silver candlesticks. It was
all so simple, too. I called at Gillingham's, wrote out a card, gave
an address, and away went the present. And what's more, they all wrote
back and said it was the one thing they had been longing for."

"Oh," said the lady of the house, "they'll write like that about
anything. At any rate, we won't have candlesticks. They're quite
useless now, you know. Nobody has candles."

"And that," I said, "is what makes candlesticks so valuable. There's
nothing base and utilitarian about them. They are appreciated for
their beauty, and there's an end of them. Do, do let me buy a pair for
George Henderson."

"No," she said; "the whole of the rest of the silversmith's art is
open to you, but we will _not_ have candlesticks."

"I told you so," said Rosie to Helen.

In the afternoon, accordingly, I wandered into the establishment of
Messrs. Gillingham, jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths, and
heaven knows what besides. For a few moments I steeped myself in the
glittering magnificence of the objects displayed around me. Then
a polite and very well-dressed young man--not my usual one, but a
stranger--spoke to me.

"Are you being attended to, Sir?" he said.

"No," I said, "not yet. I'm not quite ready for it. Still, I may as
well begin."

"Yes, Sir."

"What," I said, pointing to a diamond tiara, "is the price of that?"

Two ladies who were making a purchase turned round and gazed at me
with an awe-struck but approving look. The young man was evidently
much impressed.

"That," he said, "is one of our newest designs. The stones are all
specially selected. The price"--he studied the little tag attached to
it--"the price is £1,050; very cheap for the value."

"It is," I said, "wonderfully cheap. I can't think how you manage to
do it. I will think about it. In the meantime I should like to see
something smaller and not quite so valuable."

"Is it a wedding present, Sir?"

"Don't," I said, "let us call it a wedding present just yet." If we
do it's sure to turn out a sugar-sifter. Let's think of it as a mere
gift."

"Yes, Sir."

"Of course we may find that the man to whom we're going to give it is
about to be married, but that will be only the long arm, won't it?"

"The--I beg your pardon, Sir;"

"A coincidence, you know; and we're not the men to be put off by
coincidences, are we?"

"No, Sir. Would you like to see the manager, Sir?"

"No," I said, "the manager would only confuse me. Show me some silver
inkstands and some sugar-jugs--I mean some claret-sifters--that is,
some silver decanters, you know, and some silver fruit-baskets."

"Yes, Sir." He went away and returned with an inkstand.

"This," he said, "is a very favourite pattern. It combines a large
inkpot and a match-stand and a rack for the pens----"

"I know," I said; "they never stay in it."

"No, Sir. And there's a little candlestick for sealing-wax----"

"I'll have it," I said feverishly. "Put it aside for me at once. This
is really a most remarkable piece of luck."

"Yes, Sir. Anything else?"

"Yes," I said. "I'll have a sugar-sifter, too. Any sugar-sifter will
do. I'm only doing it as a concession."

"Yes, Sir. Where shall I send them?"

I gave the address with great gusto, and when I reported the result
of my labours at home I said nothing about the little candlestick. The
mere joy of having bought it was enough for me. Thus George Henderson
received from us his fifth inkstand and his seventh sugar-sifter. He
wrote and said that they were the two things he had most been wishing
for.

  R. C. L.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "He looked at her with infinite gentleness. 'I know all about
    it,' he said.

    She covered her face with her hands and cried brokenly. But,
    coming closer, he put both hands on her shoulders, and lifted
    her tea-stained face to his."--_Tasmanian Courier Annual._

Tea merchants are invited to compete for the advertisement.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Hodgkins, however; drew ahead, and finally won as stated,
    the scores being: Hodgkins, 400; Sunderland, 367. The winner's
    best breaks were 24 and 17 (twice), and the doser's 32, 25,
    and 20."

      _Sporting Life._

He should have made the dose stronger.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dog Pincher (to possible purchaser)._ "I WOULDN'T SELL
'IM FOR FIFTY QUID, ONLY THEY DON'T ALLOW NO DAWGS IN OUR FLATS AT
MALLABY MANSIONS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

FARES.

"Is that you, Herbert?" I said in surprise.

It was.

Strange how machinery can influence a man. The last time I had seen
Herbert he was a rubicund cheerful gardener. He was now a London
taxi-driver, with all the signs of that mystery on him: the
shabbiness, the weariness, the disdain.

"Are you glad you gave up gardening?" I asked him.

"Can't say I am now," he replied. "There's more money in this, but the
work's too hard. I miss my sleep, too."

"You can always go back," I said.

"I wonder," he replied. "I'd like to. This being at every one's beck
and call who happens to have a shilling is what I'm tired of."

"What about tips?" I asked.

"I get plenty of them," he said. "In fact, if the clock registers
tenpence or one and fourpence or one and tenpence I practically always
get the odd twopence. That's all right. It's the people who don't want
to tip but daren't not do it that I can't stand. And there are such
lots of them. That's what makes taxi-drivers look so contemptuous
like--the tips. People think we want the tips; but there's a time when
we'd rather go without them than get them like that."

I sympathised with him.

"Then there are the fares who always know a quicker way than we do.
They're terrors. They keep on tapping on the glass to direct us, when
we know all about it all the time. It's them that leads to some of the
accidents, because they take your eyes off the road."

I sympathised again and made some mental notes for future behaviour
myself.

"But the pedestrians are the worst," he continued.

"The pedestrians?"

"Yes, the people who walk across the road without giving a thought to
the fact that there might be a vehicle coming. The people that never
learn. The people that call you names or make faces at you after
you've saved their silly lives by blowing the hooter at them. Every
minute of the day one is having trouble with them, and it gets on
one's nerves. It's them that makes a taxi-driver look old sooner than
a woman."

"So you'll go back to the land?" I said.

"I don't know," he said. "I'd like to, but petrol gets into the blood,
you know."

I suppose it does.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Dr. Grenfell remarked that the tourist traffic [to Labrador]
    was beginning to grow. Life in winter was very attractive, and
    was enjoyed as people enjoyed winter in Norway. One of his
    few personal reminiscences was how he fell through the ice and
    expected to be frozen to death."--_Manchester Guardian._

Us for Labrador, every time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Paragraph in a petition addressed to a Government official by a Baboo
who wished to protest against the conduct of another Baboo:--

    "His hatred of me is so much that in the heat of his animosity
    he wilfully omitted to put in the formal ephithet 'Mr.' to my
    name, which no man of honour would drop because not so much
    for disregarding me, but that he would be doing injustice to
    the European etiquette."

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"THE LAND OF PROMISE."

"I'M about fed up with God's Own Country," says the waster in the play,
a youth who, after exchanging a safe thousand a year at Bridge for the
dangerous delights of "Chemin-de-fer," had been invited by a stern sire
to migrate to Canada. And even so he had not been present during the
Third Act to see the things that we saw, or he would have learnt some
more discouraging facts which are never mentioned in the philosophy of
the emigration-agents; for example, that the solitude and wide spaces of
the Golden West seem to induce, even in the honest native worker, a
reversion to the state of a dragon of the prime. But he had already
seen, in the case of _Norah Marsh_, whom poverty had driven to seek the
shelter of her brother's roof on a Manitoba farm, how the drudgery and
petty jealousies of a narrow Colonial _ménage_, the familiar society of
hired hands, and the lack of life's common amenities, had developed a
gently-bred Englishwoman into a sour-tongued shrew.

Worse was to follow when, as a sole escape from the bitter spite
of her plebeian hostess, she consented to marry a barbarian who was
looking for a woman-of-all-work to manage his primitive shack. Here,
having already mislaid her feminine charm, she loses all sense of
honesty. First, when ordered to do her household duties--which were of
the essence of the contract--she declines to obey till he uses brute
force; and then, when he demands of her the attitude of a wife (a
very embarrassing scene), she protests that this was no part of the
bargain.

I can't imagine what she supposed the bargain was about, if it didn't
require her to be either wife or servant.

Terrorism was the man's simple solution; but those who looked, in the
last Act, for a tamed and adoring shrew were to be disappointed. Brute
force had only produced a patient obedience; and it was not till a
damaged crop had brought them to the edge of ruin that she consented
to become his ministering angel. But by that time we knew too well
her distaste for Manitoban methods to believe in the sincerity of this
sudden conversion.

Altogether, after what Mr. MAUGHAM has done to my illusions, I have
given up any thought of going to God's Own Country in search of a
larger existence.

The acting was perhaps better than the play, though the play was good
up to a point. The Second Act, with its fierce jealousy and wrangling
and the futile efforts of the farmer (admirably played by Mr. C. V.
FRANCE) to intervene between wife and sister, was excellent. For the
rest, it was the personality of Mr. GODFREY TEARLE, as the savage
mate of the shrew, that dominated the scene. There is no better
rough diamond (and he was really very rough) in the whole stock of
stage-jewellery. Miss IRENE VANBRUGH, though no actress could have
done more with her part, had less chance than usual of showing
her particular gift of _finesse_; and _Norah's_ character was too
inconsistent to command our sympathy. Not that we necessarily gave it
to the man. Indeed it was a flaw in the play that our sympathies were
never thoroughly engaged by either party. We were, of course, prepared
to range ourselves on the winning side, but there was no victory. The
issue was decided by _force majeure_ in the shape of a wretched weed
that destroyed the crop.

[Illustration: _Extract from "The Prentice (Manitoba) Post"_:--"The
wedding was quite an impromptu affair, the happy pair going straight
to Mr. Taylor's shack, where they are spending the honeymoon quietly."

  _Norah_        Miss IRENE VANBRUGH.
  _Frank Taylor_ Mr. GODFREY TEARLE.]

The situations, though of a rather strenuous order, gave occasion from
time to time for humorous relief. At first, when the English servant
in the opening Act rudely interposed with a facetious comment on the
sincerity of the grief of certain mourners, I feared lest the humour
was going to be distributed loosely without regard to the propriety
of its mouthpiece. But the rest was reasonable enough; and my only
complaint about the best repartee ("There's no place like home." "Some
people are glad there isn't") has to do with its antiquity rather than
with its appropriateness.

I have never been to Manitoba (and, after seeing _The Land of
Promise_, I am definitely resolved, as I said, never to go), so I
cannot say whether Mr. MAUGHAM'S interiors corresponded to the facts;
but their freedom from any signs of picturesqueness gave them an
air of being the right thing. Life in these parts no doubt revolves
largely round the simple joys of the stomach. Seldom have I seen so
much eating on the stage. We began at Tunbridge Wells with a funeral
tea (though perhaps I ought to pass this over as taking place outside
the Dominion); then as soon as we get to Dyer (Manitoba) we had a
mid-day dinner, with washing-up; and then at Prentice (Manitoba) we
were regaled with a supper of black tea and syrup.

I am confident that there is a great opening for drama dealing
solely with Life Between Meals. To see people smoking on the stage is
sufficiently irritating; but, when you are assisting at a First Night
after a sketchy repast from the grill, all this feeding on the stage,
however frugal the menu, makes for exasperation.

Finally I must compliment Mr. MAUGHAM on his ironical title. For his
play, too, is a thing "of promise" rather than achievement, if it
is to be judged by the test of the Last Act. Still, if a play only
promises well enough and long enough--as this play did--that is an
achievement in itself.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TORTOISESHELL CAT.

      THE tortoiseshell cat
      She sits on the mat,
  As gay as a sunflower she;
    In orange and black you see her blink,
    And her waistcoat's white, and her nose is pink,
  And her eyes are green of the sea.
    But all is vanity, all the way;
    Twilight's coming and close of day,
    And every cat in the twilight's grey,
      Every possible cat.

      The tortoiseshell cat
      She is smooth and fat,
  And we call her Josephine,
    Because she weareth upon her back
    This coat of colours, this raven black,
  This red of the tangerine.
    But all is vanity, all the way;
    Twilight follows the brightest day,
    And every cat in the twilight's grey,
      Every possible cat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Thrusters.

    "The Ball given by the Ministry of Communications last night
    in the new Waichiaopu Building was a great success in every
    way. Although only 1,500 invitations were sent out, more
    than that number of guests attended the Ball."--_Peking Daily
    News._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IN THE ALMOST CERTAIN PROSPECT OF A STORMY SESSION, WHY
NOT ADOPT THE "TERRACE" SYSTEM AS NOW USED AT THE ZOO?]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

I think I could best convey my impression of Miss ETHEL SIDGWICK'S
work by quoting the advertisement of a popular magazine which used to
proclaim that "these stories are different." All of Miss SIDGWICK'S
are this, though you might possibly be hard put to it to say exactly
how. It is chiefly an affair of style; there is about all of them
a certain dignity of utterance that combines with their humanity to
produce an effect wholly individual and rare. Take her latest example,
_A Lady of Leisure_ (SIDGWICK AND JACKSON). There is really very
little to arrest attention in the story itself; the characters are
persons whom you could meet every day, but in Miss SIDGWICK'S hands
they become creatures of extraordinary fascination. The result is a
novel by no means easy to criticise; partly because one is left with
the feeling (of course the most subtle compliment to any author) that
the characters have fashioned it themselves. Time and again one
seems to observe Miss SIDGWICK working towards some inevitable
_scène-à-faire_, when bounce! off go her people on an entirely
unexpected tack, which you must yet admit to be the very one they
quite obviously would follow. Never was a cast so incalculably alive.
Naturally for this reason its vagaries (they are almost all in love
and generally with the wrong person) would take too long to recount
in detail. I can only state my personal preference for the group that
consists of the heroine, _Violet Ashwin_, her father, the fashionable
physician, and her brainless but quite wonderful mother. I plump for
the _Ashwin_ household in short as a really brilliant contribution
to the homes in modern fiction. I don't say you will find their charm
easy of assimilation. The society of such clever and elusive folk as
_Violet_ and her father is bound to be hard going at first for
the general. But _Mrs. Ashwin_--oh, she is a joy, a marvel, an
exasperation! You will delight to read about her.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first thing I have to say about _Initiation_ (HUTCHINSON) is that
it might have been written by Dr. CLIFFORD. The nice people in it
are all Roman Catholics, but a group of Huguenots or of Calvinistic
Methodists would have served the author's purpose equally well. For
ROBERT HUGH BENSON, the novelist, has (so to speak) told Monsignor
BENSON, the priest, to mind his own business, and leave him to
his, which is the telling of a story, and not the advocacy of any
particular form of religion. The second point to notice in the book is
that it divides its characters, and incidentally all characters, into
those who are initiated and those who are not. The initiated are those
who have learnt, chiefly by suffering, the lesson of life, which
is that it treats us as it likes. Because they have learnt it,
they trust, even when they do not understand, the purpose of the
life-giver; because they trust they do not kick against the pricks.
The young Catholic English gentleman, of whose initiation the story
tells, suffers prodigiously under two of the greatest misfortunes,
physical and mental, that a man may endure and live. And yet, when he
comes to die, you feel, and he knows, that they are not misfortunes,
but the opening up of the way of life. The chief cause of his mental
suffering, a young girl of eighteen or nineteen, is described (well on
in the book) as a practically insane egoist. She is, to my mind, the
weak spot in the story. Frankly I don't believe in her. A girl of her
age could not have been so selfishly cruel, and yet have taken in her
world as she did. I will own that she took me in at first; but that
was the author's fault. He ought not to have let me, as his reader,
think her charming and particularly sympathetic when he knew all the
time that she cared for no one but herself. I don't think that is
playing the game. All the I same, I like his book.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having read Mr. REGINALD BLUNT'S book, _In Cheyne Walk and Thereabout_
(MILLS AND BOON), I am now prepared to pass an examination in the
history and the worthies (or unworthies) of Chelsea. I know that
DON SALTERO was no Spaniard, but an ardent collector of childish
curiosities who for a time kept a coffee-house and a smoking club of
which "the ornaments and apparatus" were eventually offered to CHARLES
LAMB. If I am asked about Dr. MESSENGER MONSEY I shall say that he
"tried hard, but with indifferent success, to popularise his own
method of extracting teeth by tying one end of a piece of catgut to
the offending molar and the other to a perforated bullet, putting the
latter with a full charge of powder into a revolver and then pulling
the trigger." Then again there is BARTHOLOMEW JOSEPH ALEXANDER DE
DOMINICETI, Lord DE CETE ET DE CORTESI, Knight of the Holy Boman
Empire and Noble of Venice in terra firma. How did he with his
resounding name come to be in Chelsea and there establish "baths,
fumigatory stoves and sweating chambers" for the relief of distressed
humanity? This question and a hundred others of a similar nature you
will find answered in Mr. BLUNT'S delightful book. Let Mr. BLUNT take
you by the hand and guide you through his beloved Chelsea. He is
the most urbane and the most agreeably gossiping companion. He will
re-introduce you to Sir THOMAS MORE, Sir HANS SLOANE; to NEILD, the
prison-reformer, and his son JOHN, the famous miser; to the CARLYLES
and their servant JESSIE HEDDLESTONE, and a host of others. And he
will remind you that Dr. JOHNSON endeavoured to manufacture Chelsea
china, and that his _chefs d'oeuvre_ always collapsed in the firing.
Take my advice and acquire Mr. BLUNT'S book.

       *       *       *       *       *

I suspect that _Mr. Simpson_, who gives his name to the story
_Simpson_ (METHUEN), can hardly have shared my own exhausting
acquaintance with modern fiction, otherwise it is unlikely that he
would have behaved as he did. What happened was this. _Simpson_,
though on the wrong side of forty, well off and eminently lovable, was
unmarried. Finding a charming old house in the country, he conceives
the idea of renting it as a kind of bachelor residential club where he
and other congenial cronies can enjoy the life of ease untroubled
by any form of feminism. Well, that, to start with, one might fairly
describe as "asking for it." But when I add that the old house in
question was the property of a still young and charming widow you will
probably agree with me that poor _Simpson_ hadn't even a dog's chance
from the beginning. It is possible that this fore-dooming may a little
spoil your enjoyment of Miss ELINOR MORDAUNT'S otherwise pleasant
tale. Naturally, so far from women being banished from its pages,
they simply abound; and the tale of the progress of the bachelor club
resolves itself into a chronicle of proposals. There is however an
attractive variety about the love affairs, of which I liked best
that of the youngest couple. With two there is a note of tragedy;
and though the courtship of _Gilbert Strong_, a respectable country
lawyer, and the wild gipsy whom he marries may strike you as
fantastic, the end of their romance is well told with a fine
suggestion of inevitability. On the whole an agreeable and easy-going
tale, though without any unusual claim to distinction.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IT WAS AN AMBITIOUS YOUTH WHO, WHILE TRAVELLING ON
THE CONTINENT, WAS OFFERED THE CROWN OF ONE OF THE SMALLER STATES AND
REFUSED IT, SAYING, HE "DISLIKED THESE BLIND-ALLEY OCCUPATIONS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

I quite realise that I have not the shadow of a case against Mr.
ALGERNON BLACKWOOD. He frankly calls his book _Ten Minute Stories_
(MURRAY), and that is exactly what they are. Nevertheless I did feel
a little aggrieved when each of them stopped with a jerk just as I
had become absorbed. One has a sense of having been cheated of one's
rights. That is why, though many of these sketches are as good as
they can be, I do not think that the book will be quite so popular
as others of his. But devout Blackwoodsmen will add it to their
collections and re-read the majority of its contents again and again,
as I propose to do. On second thoughts, indeed, I may say that perhaps
Mr. BLACKWOOD is not so unfair to his public as I have suggested,
for he is one of those writers who are not dead and done with after a
first perusal. He can pack a vast deal of food for thought even into
a ten-minute story. A good example of what I mean is to be found
in number fifteen of the collection, "Ancient Lights." Even a
scene-shifter at the Savoy Theatre would believe in fairies after one
reading of that. And if, after studying "If the Cap Fits," you lightly
steal a fellow-member's hat from your club, I shall regard you as a
very reckless dashing fellow. With the awful example of _Field-Martin_
before me, I would not do it for a fortune. I shall buy one of those
frightful plush hats which you see in shops but never out of them, and
I shall have my name in large letters on the inside band. And to the
hat-waiter's insidious "This is just as good, Sir," as he offers
me some sinister bowler or topper with a past, I shall reply with
gestures of disgust and threats to write to the committee.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Detached 7-roomed horse wanted."--_The Norbury Weekly News._

Where is your one-stalled ox now?

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Page 161: 'Deutches' is as printed. Alternative spelling (Wikipedia)

  "Herr REINHARDT'S Deutches Theater"

Page 174: 'beleagured' corrected to 'beleaguered'.

  "likened to a beleaguered garrison,"

Page 174: 'lose' corrected to 'loose'.

"A bull has got loose in the china"

  Page 174: 'privonces' is as printed. (A 'Punch' joke: Metrolopis).





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