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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, June 21st, 1916
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. 150, June 21st, 1916" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *

PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 150

JUNE 21, 1916

       *       *       *       *       *



CHARIVARIA.

An "Iron Scheer" is to be erected at Cuxhaven in honour of the
"victor" of the Battle of Horn Reef. It is thought, however, that lead
would be more appropriate than iron for the occasion. It runs more
easily under fire.

       *  *  *

"I want," said Mr. ROOSEVELT, at Oyster Bay, "to tell you newspaper
men that it is useless to come to see me. I have nothing to say." As
however some of them had come quite a long way to see him, he might at
least have made a noise like a Bull Moose.

       *  *  *

Asked as to the nature of his disability, an appellant informed one of
the London Tribunals that he was a member of the V.T.C. This studied
insult to a fine body of men was, we are happy to say, repudiated by
the Tribunal, which advised the applicant to try to join a "crack"
regiment.

       *  *  *

No civilians being available for the work, fifty men of the Royal
Scots regiment laid half-a-mile of water main at Coggeshall Abbey
in record time. This incident should finally dispose of a popular
superstition that among the Scotch water is only a secondary
consideration.

       *  *  *

The Water Board has spent £70 in renovating some Chippendale chairs
belonging to the New River Company. The poor shareholders are quite
helpless in the matter.

       *  *  *

On an acre of ground, a man told the Farnham Tribunal, he kept 9 sows,
34 pigs and 1 horse, and grew a quarter-of-an-acre of mangolds and a
quarter-of-an-acre of potatoes. Asked where he kept himself the man
is understood to have reluctantly named an exclusive hotel in the West
End.

       *  *  *

"The extra hour of daylight is turning every City man into a
gardener," says _The Daily Mail_. This must be a source of great
concern to our contemporary, according to which, if we read aright,
the majority of our public men do their work like gardeners.

       *  *  *

"A wave of temperance might come by sending drunkards to prison for a
second offence," said Mr. MEAD at the West London Court. This remark
will cause consternation in those select circles in which a second
offence is usually an indication of a discriminating dilettantism.

       *  *  *

"Mr. Hughes," says _The Daily Mail_, "goes to the Paris Conference
with the British ideals in his pocket." Personally, we have an idea
that things of this sort ought to be left in the Cabinet.

       *  *  *

"This war," says _The Fishing Gazette_, "is going to provide
protection to fish from the trawlers in all places where ships sink on
trawling-grounds." That, however, is not the real issue, and we cannot
too strongly deprecate such an unscrupulous attempt on the part of our
contemporary to draw a red herring across the trail.

[Illustration: PUNCTUALITY.

_Sergeant._ "FALL IN AGIN AT 'LEVEN O'CLOCK. AN' WHEN I SAY, 'FALL IN
AT 'LEVEN O'CLOCK,' I MEAN FALL IN AT 'LEVEN. SO _FALL IN AT 'ALF-PAST
TEN_!"]

       *  *  *

According to a New York cable, President WILSON last week headed a
procession in favour of military preparedness as an ordinary citizen
in a straw hat, blue coat, cream pants, and carrying an American flag
on his shoulders. The intensely militant note struck by the cream
pants is regarded as a body blow to the hope of the pacificists in
the party and astonished even the most chauvinistic of PRESIDENT'S
admirers.

       *  *  *

"For anyone to keep a cow for their private supply of milk is a
luxury, and there is no necessity for it," said the Chairman of the
Chobham Tribunal, and, as a result of this ruling, a maiden lady in
the district who has long cherished the ambition of keeping a bee for
her private supply of honey has reluctantly decided to abandon the
idea.

       *  *  *

Berlin's newest attraction is said to be a young woman named ANNA VON
BERGDORFF, who has revealed extraordinary powers of memory, and whose
chief accomplishment is to "remember and repeat without error from
twenty-five to fifty disconnected words after hearing them once." In
these circumstances it would seem to be a thousand pities that the
lady was not present when the KAISER received the news of the famous
"victory" of his Fleet in the Battle of Jutland.

       *  *  *

In St. Louis, U.S.A., the Democratic National Convention is claiming
on behalf of President WILSON that he has "successfully steered the
ship of State throughout troublous times without involving the United
States in war." Or, as the hyphenateds put it more tersely, "Woodrow
has delivered the goods."

       *  *  *

In a bird's-nest in a water-pipe at Sheffield a workman has discovered
a £20 Bank of England note, which, we understand, has since been
claimed by various people in the neighbourhood who have lately been
troubled by mysterious thefts of £1 and 10s. Treasury notes, as well
as by a man who alleges that he was recently robbed of that exact sum
in silver and copper coins.

       *  *  *

A traveller who has arrived in Amsterdam from Berlin states that in
that city placards have been pasted on all the walls explaining that
the KAISER is not responsible for the War. We hope however that now it
has been brought to his notice it is not unreasonable on our part to
express the hope that he will promptly decide to go a step further and
declare his neutrality.

       *  *  *

At an Exhibition of Substitutes now being held in Berlin a special
department displayed stage decorations, scenery and costumes made
mostly out of paper instead of wool. As a counterblast to the alleged
German superiority in matters of this sort, it is pleasant to be able
to record the fact that in our English theatres it is no uncommon
thing to see an audience made mostly out of the same material.

       *       *       *       *       *

HEART-TO-HEART TALKS.

(_Marshal VON HINDENBERG and Admiral VON SCHEER._)

_The Admiral._ The beer, at any rate, is good.

_The Marshal._ Yes, the beer is good enough, Heaven be thanked! I only
wish everything else was as good as the beer.

_The Admiral._ So then there is grumbling here too. It was in my mind
that I should find everything here in first-rate order and everybody
delighted with the condition of things.

_The Marshal._ So? Then all I can say is that you expected too much.
You do not seem to realise how things are going with us. I suppose you
had thought the Russians were absolutely done for after what happened
to them last year. So thought the All-highest, who has a mania for
imagining complete victories and talking about them in language that
makes one ashamed of being a German. As if----

_The Admiral._ Yes, that's quite true. I'll tell you a little story
about that later on.

_The Marshal._ Well, he saw complete victory over the Russians, and
what does he do? He withdraws some of my best divisions to the Western
Front and throws them into that boiling cauldron at Verdun, where they
have all perished to the last man, and leaves me with my thinned line
to hold out as best I can; and, not content with this, he permits
those accursed Austrians to rush their troops, if indeed they are
worthy to be called by that name, headlong into Italy on a mad
adventure of their own and to get stuck there far beyond the
possibility of help. And then what happens? The moment arrives when
the new and immense Russian armies are trained, and when they have
rifles and cannons and ammunition in plenty, and one fine day they
wake up and hurl themselves against the Austrians, and helter-skelter
away go the whole set of Archdukes and Generals and Colonels and men,
each trying to see who has the longest legs and can use them quickest
for escaping. And I'm expected to bring up my fellows, who have quite
enough to do where they are, and to sacrifice them in helping this
rabble. "HINDENBURG," said the All-highest to me, "be up and doing.
Show yourself worthy of your ancient glory and earn more golden nails
for your wooden statue." "Majesty," I replied, "if you will leave
me my fighting men, you can keep all the golden nails that were ever
made." But at this he frowned, suspecting a joke: I have often noticed
that he does not like jokes.

_The Admiral._ Yes, I have noticed that myself, and I always do my
best to take him quite seriously. But I was going to tell you a little
story about our speechmaking hero. Here it is. As you know, he ordered
us out to fight the naval battle off Jutland.

_The Marshal._ Yes, I know--the great victory.

_The Admiral._ Hum-hum.

_The Marshal._ Well, wasn't it?

_The Admiral._ Ye-e-s, that is to say, not exactly what one
understands by great and not precisely what is meant by victory.
However, we can discuss that another time. What I wanted to tell you
was this. The speech our friend and KAISER made----

_The Marshal._ It was a highly coloured piece of fireworks.

_The Admiral._ Well, it was all prepared and written down days before
the fight was fought. I heard this from a sure source, from someone,
in fact, who had seen the manuscript and had afterwards caught sight
of the Imperial one rehearsing it before a looking-glass. Whatever
might have happened, the speech would have been the same, even if we
had returned into harbour with only one ship--and there was a time
when I thought we should hardly be able to do even that.

_The Marshal._ I wonder what would have happened to him if he had not
been able to deliver the speech at all.

_The Admiral._ He would have burst himself.

_The Marshal._ Yes, that is what would have happened to him.

_The Admiral._ Well, anyhow, the beer is good here.

_The Marshal._ Oh, yes, the beer is all right.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ONLY WAY.

Judkins was the last man in the world one would have expected to meet
in the fashionable costume of the day. To begin with, he was well over
age. And then he was on the quiet side, usually looking for some
odd, old thought which had gone astray, and possessed of one of those
travelling mentalities which take note of all sides of a subject. Yet
there he stood in khaki.

"The very last man in the world I expected to see like this," I said.
It was quite true. Judkins was the sort who would have attempted
dreamy analyses with the drill-instructor.

"Don't blame me, old thing," he said with a shade of melancholy. "I
know I am stiff and over age and all that, but the recruiting fellow
said he would willingly overlook a decade. There was nothing else for
it. It was the only way."

"How do you mean, 'the only way'?" I asked.

Judkins sighed.

"It was like this," he explained sadly. "I should have joined up
before, but I have always tried to keep to the truth ever since I was
seven and told a lie, and felt that I was lost. But I gave in at last.
If Lord DERBY looks at my papers he will think I am forty. So I
am, and a bit more. I meant to deceive his lordship, though it went
against the grain. I am sure I don't know what Mr. WALTER LONG
will say if he ever finds out what I have done. I can picture him
exclaiming, 'Here's this man, Private Judkins, declaring he is only
forty, when to my certain knowledge he was born in '66.'

"I am risking all that because life became insupportable. There was
hardly anybody left I cared about. The one waiter at my favourite
restaurant who didn't breathe down one's neck when he was holding the
vegetables--he had joined; and the person who understood cigars at the
corner shop, he is in it too. The new man doesn't know the difference
between a Murias and a Manilla. It was the same all round. There was
nobody to cut my hair. My barber was forming fours. It is a wonder
to me why the War people have had to hunt the slippers, the chaps who
have held back, for there is very little to tempt one to keep out of
the crowd now. I've joined so as to be with the fellows I know. Don't
go and put it all down to patriotism; it was just sheer loneliness.
The man who sold me my evening paper--you remember him? he had a
squint and used to invest in Spanish lotteries and get me to translate
the letters he received--he is a soldier now; and so is the bootblack
who asked for tips for the races, and the door-keeper at the offices.
They're all wearing khaki, all in; and it wasn't the same world
without them, only a dreary make-believe, and so I decided to deceive
the War Office and join my friends. Every day I am finding the folk
I'd lost. The Corporal with whom I do most business was checktaker
at a theatre I used to frequent--always told me whether the show was
worth the money before I parted. And the life is suiting me fairly
well. Last week's route-march in the rain was a far, far wetter thing
than I had ever done, but----"

He turned and gravely saluted an officer who was coming up on the
wind....

[Illustration: THE TABLES TURNED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NEWS FOR THE ENEMY.

_Mrs. Brown._ "HAVE YOU HEARD AS HOW OUR JIM HAS GOT HIS STRIPE?"

_Mr. Smith._ "HUSH, WOMAN! DON'T YOU SEE THAT NOTICE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WATCH DOGS.

XLII.

MY DEAR CHARLES,--No "Tourists' Guide to Northern France" would be
complete without some mention of the picturesque town of A., a point
at which even the most progressive traveller is likely to say that
he's had a very pleasant journey so far, but now thinks of turning
back. It boasts a small but exceedingly well-ventilated cathedral,
many an eligible residence to let, and the relics of what was once
a busy factory, on the few remaining bricks of which you are
particularly requested to "afficher" no "affiches." It is approached
by a railway, prettily overgrown with tall grasses and wild-flowers,
and never made hideous these days by the presence of hustling, smoky
trains. Entering daintily from the back, the tourist will soon find
himself in its main street, devoid of ladies out shopping, but not
without its curious collection of exuberant drain-pipes and recumbent
lamp-posts. It lies, pleasantly dishevelled, in the sun, having the
appearance of the bed of a restless sleeper who has shifted about
somewhat in the night and made many abortive efforts to get up in the
morning. Its streets are decorated with a series of dew ponds, dotted
about with no apparent regard to the convenience of the traffic, and
you may while away many an idle hour trying to discover where the
street ends and the houses begin. You will not be interrupted if you
detach, for your collection of curios, a yard or so of the dislodged
statue of the leading municipal genius, and even the old man at the
barrier of the eastern gate will only attempt to deter you by friendly
advice if you persist in ignoring the notice, "This Road is Unfit for
Vehicular Traffic." I am told that discipline is automatic at this
point; it requires no browbeating military policemen to control the
traffic here.

The town of A. has given up work. It has also given up trying to look
smart. It still spreads itself over many acres and it has a population
of twenty-five, not including the Town Major.

Town Majors, of the more permanent sort, are a race apart. Being older
men, who have done their turn in the trenches and are now marked down
for the less actively quarrelsome life, they nevertheless prefer
to live in this sort of place. When a man gets to their age he has
apparently grown too fond of his old friends, the shells, to be parted
from them altogether till he absolutely must; also he likes a row of
houses to himself to live in. A street cannot be so quickly demolished
as to give him no time to select another one, and business can always
be carried on at the one end while structural alterations are taking
place at the other. This fluctuation of town property is a thing to be
reckoned with in his life; and so on his office wall you will find
a list of billets occupied by units, and where you see a blue mark
you'll know the unit has gone, and where you see a red mark, you'll
know the billet has.

The Town Major of A. is a great friend of mine; fortunately we are
able to reserve our differences of opinion for the telephone, and even
so neither can ever be sure whether the other lost his temper or the
"cutting off" was done elsewhere. When we meet I find him the victim
of so many other troubles that I always spare him more. He is one of
those little old Majors, more like walnuts than anything else--the
hardest, most wrinkled but best filled walnuts. He acts as the medium
between the relentless routine of a high administrative office and
the complex wants of the local warrior. I don't think he has ever yet
decided whether his true sympathies lie with the machine or with the
men. Once I was in his office when a weather-beaten young Subaltern
arrived, requiring fuel for his R.E. Company. He knew of the
whereabouts of just the very thing. True, it was a standing door at
the moment, but no doubt that condition was only temporary. It led
from a room, which was half demolished, into a passage which had
ceased to exist. But the Town Major did not concern himself with this.
An order was an order, and a door was a door, and the order decreeing
that doors should remain, the Subaltern had better get quick. He tried
arguing, but you don't crack a walnut that way. He tried pleading, and
the walnut creaked a little, yet remained whole. "Understand," said
he, very authoritatively, "not only do I forbid you to enter that
house for the purpose you propose, but I have stationed at the front
entrance a picket to prevent you. If you so much as set foot on the
front doorstep he will arrest you and bring you here. I shall know how
to deal with you, Sir." The Subaltern, who had no doubt suffered much,
turned away with a weary sigh; the Town Major ignored his salute, but,
before his complete withdrawal, did happen to mention (so to speak)
that he'd been told there was a _back_ entrance to the house in
question and he had some idea of putting another picket there
to-morrow.

The Subaltern heard all right, and, from the further and additional
salute he now gave, it appeared that he knew how to deal with that.
The Town Major looked at me, faintly representing for the moment
the machine, and, blushing dismally, bribed me into silence with a
cigarette. Yet here I am telling you all about it! Never mind; the
house and all its entrances and exits have long since disappeared,
and as to the Subaltern himself--who knows?

On Saturday, June 3rd (that black Saturday which was not quite so
black as it was painted) he received an urgent call, as if he was
a doctor, to attend the oldest and least movable inhabitant in the
acuteness of her distress. Town Majors are good for anything; though
I suppose I oughtn't to mention it, I knew of one who assisted
single-handed at a birth, mother and son both doing well
notwithstanding interim bombardment. They are at anybody's disposal
for any purpose; it is merely a question of first come first served.
He went to the old lady's house; he found her in a paroxysm of tears
over the news of the Naval disaster. For an hour he tried to comfort
her, being limited to the methods of personal magnetism, in the
absence of his interpreter and the scarcity of his French. She refused
to take comfort; it was not sorrow for the gallant dead, but terror of
the atrocious living which moved her. She was mortally afraid, she to
whom salvoes of big guns were now matters of passing inconvenience.
The English Navy had taken a knock; the War was therefore over and we
had lost. There was no hope for any of us, and any moment the Bosch
might be expected on her threshold, arriving presumably from the rear.
The magnificence of the Army of France had been in vain; it was no
use going on at Verdun. She was still weeping spasmodically when the
better news arrived.

Now, Charles, if that is how a French peasant took the first news, how
do you suppose the German peasants are digesting the second and better
version?

  Yours ever,
  HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Shivering Tommy (to red-headed pal)._ "'URRY UP,
GINGER, AND DIP YER 'EAD UNDER. IT'LL WARM THE WATER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Athens, Monday.--I learn in a well-informed quarter that the
    Allies are expected to communicate to the Greek Government
    almost immediately a further Note relative to the restrictions
    imposed on Greek sipping."

      _Provincial Paper._

At present, we understand, Greek sippers are strictly confined to
Port.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEWEST HOPE.

  Dear Betty, in the good old days,
    Before this Armageddon stunt,
  We floated down still water-ways
    Ensconced within a cushioned punt;
  With mingled terror and delight
    I felt the toils around me closing,
  Until one starry moonlit night,
  Discreetly veiled from vulgar sight,
        I found myself proposing.

  You heard my ravings with a smile,
    And then confessed you liked my cheek,
  But thought my nose denoted guile
    And feared my chin was rather weak;
  My character with fiendish glee
    You treated to a grim dissection,
  Then as a final _jeu d'esprit_
  You cynically offered me
        A sisterly affection.

  But now within my faithful heart
    New hope has sprung to sudden life;
  In fancy (somewhat _à la carte_)
    I see you more or less my wife;
  The way is found, the path is clear,
    The resolution moved and carried--
  If you have pluck enough, my dear,
  To risk a rather new career ...
        We might be _slightly_ married.[A]

[Footnote A: In his book, _What is Coming_, Mr. H. G. WELLS sees "a
vision of the slightly-married woman."]

       *       *       *       *       *

In a Good Cause.

The Veterans' Club, for which the LORD MAYOR is to hold a meeting at
the Mansion House on Thursday, June 22nd, at 3.30, is the nucleus of
a movement to offer the chance of rest and convalescence to those
who have fought and suffered in defence of their country; to secure
suitable employment for those whose service is finished, and friendly
help in the hour of need. The Club at Hand Court, Holborn, has already
welcomed seven thousand men of the Navy and Army to its membership. A
great effort is needed to enlarge this scheme for providing a centre
of reunion and succour for our fighting men from all parts of the
United Kingdom and its Dominions--a scheme which, if generously
supported, should serve as an Imperial Memorial of the nation's
sacrifice.

Gifts and inquiries should be addressed to the Organising Secretary,
Veterans' Club Association, 1, Adelphi Terrace House, Adelphi, W.C.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Mr. Balfour ... revealed that a number of the guns on
    monitors came from America and stated that certain of
    Churchill's speeches are so faulty that they are unuseable."

      _Montreal Gazette._

Mr. BALFOUR may have thought this, but we don't remember his saying
it.

       *       *       *       *       *

LYRA DOMESTICA.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--I cordially welcome your efforts to extend the
horizon of Nursery Rhymes. At the same time it has always seemed to me
rather unfair that one room in the house, though I readily acknowledge
its importance, should practically monopolise the attention of our
domestic poets. If Nursery Rhymes, why not Dining-room, Drawing-room
and Kitchen Rhymes? I am convinced that they could be made just as
instructive, didactic and helpful. Hence, to make a beginning, I
venture to submit the following specimens of prudential and cautionary
Dining-room Rhymes. Should they meet with approval I propose to
deal with other apartments in the same spirit, excepting perhaps the
Box-room, which does not seem to me to offer facilities for lyrical
treatment.

PRELIMINARY.

    If desirous of succeeding
    In the noble art of feeding
  With dignity and breeding of a Jove,
    You will find all information
    For your proper education
  In the admirable works of Lady GROVE.

OF PORRIDGE.

  Eat your porridge standing
    If you are a Scot;
  To be frank it's only rank
    Swank if you are not.

OF THE USE OF THE KNIFE.

  Unless you wish to shorten your life
  Don't eat your peas or your cheese with a knife,
  Like greedy Jim, who cut his tongue
  And died unseasonably young.

OF DISGUISED DISHES.

  Be alert to scrutinize
  Food in unfamiliar guise.
  Death may lurk within the pot
  If you eat the _papillote_.

OF THE VIRTUES OF SILENCE.

  Jack and Tom were two pretty boys;
  But Jack ate his soup with a horrible noise,
        While Tom was a silent eater.
  Now Jack is a poor insurance tout,
  While Tom drives splendidly about
        In a Limousine seven-seater.

OF A FORBIDDEN WORD.

  No one mentioned in _Debrett_
  Talks about a "serviette."

OF TIMELY AND UNTIMELY MIRTH.

  Be cheerful at lunch and at dinner,
    Be cheerful at five-o'clock tea;
  But only a social beginner
    At breakfast indulges in glee.

OF PUNCTUALITY.

  Late for breakfast shows your sense,
  Late for luncheon no offence;
  Late for well-cooked well-served dinner
  Proves you fool as well as sinner.

  With much respect,
    I am, dear Mr. Punch,
      Yours devotedly,
        A. DAMPIER SQUIBB.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARCHIBILL.

His name was, so to speak, the fine flower of Delia's imagination,
and of mine. Mrs. Mutimer-Sympson gave him to Delia as a war-time
birthday-present, and he was at once acclaimed as "fascinating," which
he may have been, and "lovely," which he certainly was not. His usual
abiding-place was the kitchen, in comfortable proximity to the range,
which he shared with one of his kind or of a lower order; but there
were occasions when he honoured the dining-room with a visit.

"Though he mustn't come in when we've callers," said Delia: this was
in the early days, when his title and status were as yet nebulous.

"But why not?" I protested. "William's all right, so long as he's
reasonably clean."

Delia raised her eyebrows _à la française_.

"William?"

"William," I repeated firmly. "What else would you call him?"

"I should have thought," said Delia coldly, "that it would have been
plain, even to the meanest intelligence, that he was Archibald."

"On the contrary," I retorted, "no sentient being can gaze upon him
without recognizing him as William."

At this moment the treasure in question, who had been making contented
little purring noises near the fire, was apparently startled by a
falling coal, for he raised his voice in a high note of appeal.

"Did a nasty man call him out of his name, then!" said Delia,
snatching him up.

"If you're not careful," I reminded her, "William, will ruin your new
blouse."

"Of course," said Delia, with an air of trying to be reasonable with
an utterly unreasonable person, "there'd be no objection to his having
a _second_ name."

"None whatever. 'William Archibald' goes quite well."

"'Archibald William' goes better. And it's going to be that, or just
plain 'Archibald.'" Delia added defiantly that she wasn't going to
argue, because she wanted her tea, and so did he.

For the next three days we refrained from argument accordingly,
sometimes calling him one name, sometimes another. The thing ended,
perhaps inevitably, in a compromise. He became "Archibill."

It was curious how the charms of Archibill grew upon us--how his
personality developed under Delia's care. She insisted that he
recognized her step, and that the piercingly shrill cry he gave was
for her ear alone. Perhaps it was so--women have more subtle powers
of perception than men. There was real pathos in their first parting,
which came when an inconsiderate grand-aunt in Scotland, knowing
nothing of Archibill's claims, made Delia promise to pay her a
ten-days' visit.

"You mustn't mind Missis being away, old boy," Delia told him,
"because she'll be coming back soon. And, although Master's going
to stay with his sister, you won't be lonely. There's a nice kind
charlady who'll look in every day to make sure that you haven't been
stolen by horrid tramps, and that the silver spoons are safe." Yet,
from what she has told me since, I know that her spirits were heavy
with foreboding when she left by the 11.23 from Euston.

We returned, later than we expected, together. The nice kind charlady
had done her work for the day, and left, but a fire burned cheerfully
in the dining-room and the table was laid for tea.

"And where," demanded Delia, "is Archibill?"

Even as she spoke she sped into the kitchen. A moment later I heard a
cry, and followed.

"Look!" said Delia.

He lay near the range, a wrecked and worn-out shadow of his former
self, incapable of even a sigh. Tenderly she lifted him.

"It's just neglect," she said. "Why did I leave him! Something always
happens when one leaves such treasures as Archibill."

"It mayn't be too late to do something," I said; "I'll run down with
him to Gramshaw's after tea."

"_After_ tea!" echoed Delia reproachfully. I went at once.

A fortnight has passed since then. Once more Archibill makes cheerful
murmuring noises on the hearth. He looks, I fancy, older; otherwise
there is little change to record.

Yesterday morning I received Gramshaw's bill: "_To putting new Bottom
to patent Whistling Kettle, and repairing Spout_--£0 2_s._ 9_d._"

Delia says it's worth twenty two-and-ninepences to listen to Archibill
calling her when he boils.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE FAR-REACHING EFFECT OF THE RUSSIAN PUSH.]

       *       *       *       *       *

CONSOLATIONS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH,--In order to guard against the snares of a too facile
optimism I have made a point ever since the War began of taking all
my information solely from German sources, as I have a feeling somehow
that they may be confidently relied upon not to err upon the side of
underrating their own success. But, having started with this handicap,
I consider that I am the more justified in looking upon the bright
side of things whenever possible. I am writing to you to-day to point
out a very important aspect of the many recent German victories which
seems to have been overlooked. It is full of promise of an early
termination of the War.

I wish to analyse the ingredients of the German Celebration Days,
which have followed each other with such bewildering rapidity of late.
As far as I can gather, the whole nation has turned out to celebrate
the fall of Verdun (in the first week of March), which was the key to
Paris; the advance in the Trentino, which was the key to Rome; and the
destruction of the British Fleet, which was the key to London, along
with the going out of the electric spark of the British nimbus and all
that. Meanwhile certain cities and districts--the thing seems to move
round from one to another--have celebrated in force the various times
that the Mort Homme was captured (while it was still held by the
French), the great diplomatic victory over America, the success of the
last War Loan and countless other triumphs. The thing has been going
on ever since the sinking of the _Tiger_ eighteen months ago.

Now, Sir, there are five main ingredients in these
celebrations--flags, the ringing of bells, the distribution of iron
crosses, fireworks, and school holidays. The efficient organisation of
civilian _morale_ demands them all. Let us look into these.

First, let us take the widest view and look forward to the contest for
supremacy that will follow the War. What is it that we have to fear?
Why, German education. They have often told us so. Yet the very
magnitude of their present successes is robbing their chief weapon of
its edge. It is not too much to say that, should the summer campaign
follow the lines expected of it, bringing victory on every front,
education will come to a standstill owing to the rapid succession of
school holidays. Already parents are complaining that their children
think it hardly worth while to turn up at school until they have had
a look at the paper to see if there is anything much going on, and
patriotic truants are always able to point to the capture of a battery
or the sinking of a ship as justification for taking the day off.
Should the War be prolonged we have to face the fact that we may have
to do with a Germany in which the rising generation can neither read
nor write.

But in a far more immediate sense the great number of German victories
is sapping the very sources of German power. I ask you, first of all,
what are these flags made of? They are made of _cotton_; and more
than that, they are rapidly wearing out. Much flapping in all
weathers--victories have too often been allowed to occur in bad
weather--has torn them to ribbons. The situation is serious: reserves
are exhausted, and an attempt to introduce flag-cards has met with no
support.

Then let us consider fireworks. Is it not clear that the supply cannot
be maintained without a steady munitionment of high explosives, more
especially in the case of rockets?

I need not labour the fact, which is sufficiently ominous, that iron
crosses are made of iron, but I may point out that this expenditure
cannot be made good by drawing upon the belfries, as the necessity for
periodical bell-ringing has immobilized the bells.

These facts should be more widely known. They have given me much
comfort. Even the deplorable loss of the _Warspite_--the vast, latest
hyper-super-Dreadnought of the Fleet and the pillar and the key, as I
learn from my authorities--cannot wholly depress me. For well I know
the dilemma that confronts our enemies, and that neither by victory
nor defeat can they escape their doom.

  I am, dear Mr. Punch,

    Yours as usual, STATISTICIAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy._ "RATS, MUM? I SHOULD SAY THERE WAS--AND
WHOPPERS! WHY, LOR' BLESS YER, ONLY THE DAY AFORE I GOT KNOCKED OUT I
CAUGHT ONE OF 'EM TRYING ON MY GREAT-COAT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

Saving their Bacon.

    "THE GERMAN DESTROYERS RETIRE TO PORK."

      _Provincial Paper._


       *       *       *       *       *

    "ST. AUGUSTINE'S SALE OF WORK.--This important annual
    event takes place in the Rectory grounds on June 14th, and
    everything indicates a successful day, if Father Neptune
    only smiles on the efforts now being put forward."--_Penarth
    Times._

We hope Uncle Ph[oe]bus will not be jealous.

       *       *       *       *       *

A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR.

  'Tis sad to read of these young lives
    Poured out to please a tyrant's whim;
  My manly soul within me strives
    To burst its bonds and have at him.
  But peace, my soul! we must be strong,
  For conscience whispers, "War is wrong."

  Poor lads! Poor lads! Their duty calls;
    _Their_ duty calls--no more they know;
  No fear of death their faith appals;
    All the clear summons hear, and go.
  'Tis right, of course, they should; but I--
  I serve a duty still more high.

  And yet not all. Some few, I fear,
    In this their country's hour of need
  Keep undemonstratively clear,
    Or, if they're called, exemption plead.
  For these--no conscience-clause have they--
  Conscription is the thing, I say.

  But worse than these, who simply shirk,
    Are those employed to fashion arms,
  Who tempt their fellows not to work,
    And give us all such grave alarms--
  Traitors! If their deserts they got
  They would be either hanged or shot.

  The wind blows shrewdly here to-night,
    My heart bleeds, as I think, perchance,
  How numbed with cold our heroes fight;
    How chill those trenches, there in France.
  The thought unmans me. Ere I weep,
  I'll drink my gruel--and to sleep.

       *       *       *       *       *

An officer in Egypt writes:--

    "Cairo is a gay city, at least so they say. The chief hotels
    put up boards showing the amusements to be enjoyed. A sample
    of an eventful week follows:--

    'COMING EVENTS.

    MONDAY.
    TUESDAY.
    WEDNESDAY.
    THURSDAY.
    FRIDAY. Museum will not open.
    SATURDAY.
    SUNDAY.

      ----, _Manager_, ---- _Hotel_.'"


       *       *       *       *       *

    "A very interesting cricket-match took place at Ghain Tuffieha
    on Wednesday last, 24th inst., when eleven Nursing Sisters
    played eleven officers. The game throughout was very keen and
    the Sisters have nothing to learn from the Officers in the way
    of wicket-keeping, batting and yielding."

      _Daily Malta Chronicle._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SHADOW ON THE WALL.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Job's Comforter._ "IF THEY KEEP ON STOPPING YOUR LEAVE
LIKE THIS YOU'LL NEVER SEE YOUR NEW KID TILL THE WAR'S OVER."

_Job._ "OH, YES, I EXPECT I SHALL. HE'LL BE COMING OUT HERE IN 1934."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A SOLUTION.

Among the many Government changes that are imminent it is to be hoped
that the PRIME MINISTER will appoint someone to an office of the
highest importance for the well-being of the Cabinet in the public
eye. Far too long has the man-in-the-street been encouraged in an
attitude of scorn for the efforts of the Twenty-three. It is not
suggested that the new official shall be added to that mystic number
and bring it up to twice-times-twelve, or four-times-six, or even
three-times-eight. There is no need for him to have Cabinet rank, but
he must be permitted some inside knowledge or his labours will not
be fully fruitful. Only by such labours can the Twenty-three
really expect a fair reputation. As it is, everyone is more or less
suspicious of them, led by the papers in their self-imposed sacred
task of leaders or leader-writers of the Opposition; while the
music-halls are of course frankly against any but a purely Tory
Government, as they have always been, and so whole-heartedly and
superior to detail that even to this day at one of the leading variety
houses of London a topical song is being sung and loudly applauded
in which Mr. ASQUITH is still taunted with his inability to come to
a decision about conscription. The fact that the conscription problem
was long since settled is immaterial to these loud-lunged patriots.
Any stick is good for such a dog. True there has of late been rather
less venom in certain of the anti-Premier papers, which now substitute
for their ancient scoldings a bland omniscience and kindliness in
their reminders of the obvious, but none the less contrive still to
insert the knife and even to give it a furtive twist.

The fact then remains that what the Government need is a friend,
a trumpeter, a fugle-man, a pointer-out of merits, a signaller of
This-way-to-the-virtues, in short, a Callisthenes. They should take a
lesson from the self-sacrificing zeal of that other Callisthenes who
serves a certain London emporium so faithfully, awaking every morning
to a new and rapturous vision of its excellence, which nothing can
stop the discoverer at once putting into words for the evening papers.
Such _trouvailles_ must not be kept for private use; all the world
must know. How it is that editors are so complacent in printing these
rhapsodies, which, truth to tell, are sometimes very like each other,
no one knows; but there it is. They see the light, and everyone
rejoices to think that in a country which has been a good deal blown
upon there is, at any rate, one perfect thing.

Why should there be two?

There could be if the Government would appoint a Callisthenes of their
own and set the eager pen similarly to work. Then every day we should
be assured of the extraordinary vigour and vitality of our rulers.
Doubt would vanish and the nation would blossom as the rose. For if
all editors are so ready to print the present-day eulogies of the
emporium, how much readier should they be to print to-morrow's
eulogies of the Empire!

One can see the new Callisthenes inspiring confidence and heartening
the public with some such words as these; for of course the new one
should, if possible, be modelled on the old--it might even be (daring
thought!) the same:--

    THE PERSONAL TOUCH.

    About all kinds of paid service there must be a _certain_
    monotony; such service implies something that one does for
    other people over and over again. But though action may
    become, in time, almost automatic, _thought_ need never lose
    its volition. And it is one's thought or attitude of mind that
    counts.

    The service at the Firm of ASQUITH & Co., is, I think, so good
    because Ministers are encouraged tremendously to give their
    work the _personal touch_. They are not afraid to give their
    individuality full rein, to let it inform their particular
    jobs, so that each one is enlivened thereby.

    If you knew the Cabinet as well as I do, you would appreciate
    the fact that it is remarkable for the number of distinct
    personalities among its members--men of marked character and
    distinction, who are known not only throughout the House, but
    to a great many members of the London Public as well.

    They stand out among their fellow-workers because their
    service _is distinguished_. It is not necessarily that their
    abilities are so especially superior, excellent though they
    may be. _It is that all they do is infused with character._
    Their voices have _timbre_; they don't drawl. Their manners
    are good. They carry out the smallest transaction as though
    it held infinite interest for themselves as well as you. They
    never for a moment allow their intelligence to sag. They give
    to their least varying work that personal touch which is so
    transforming.

    The Firm of ASQUITH thoroughly appreciates their worth, and
    openly rejoices in the prestige these _star workers_ attach
    to themselves. It would have every member of the Staff do
    likewise--act not merely as a minister, but as a very definite
    and valued personality.

    For that is service as it should be in a modern Government, as
    spontaneous to-day as it was servile yesterday--_intelligent,
    forceful and gay_.

    Example is the greatest factor in its fine development. The
    Cabinet Minister, however young, who can answer every query
    with a pretty deference, put off an Irish Member with good
    effect, who in checking your ill-advised inquisitiveness seems
    to welcome you--such a one receives as much and more, every
    time, as he gives. He gets smiles, thanks, even deference in
    return, and very often friendship. His companions notice that.
    They see how his buoyancy never flags, because it is all the
    while met with response, stimulated, liked. And the habit of
    success is very catching. _Voilà tout!_

      ASQUITH & CO., LTD.


Had the Cabinet such a watchful and industrious exponent and commender
as Callisthenes, never wearying, except possibly on Sunday, its
success would be certain.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WITH AMATEUR THEATRICALS AT THE FRONT AND WAR-WORK AT
HOME, THE EXCHANGED SOUVENIRS ARE IN STARTLING CONTRAST TO THOSE OF
1840.]

       *       *       *       *       *

    "ACCORDIONS.--Sale or exchange, Busson's beautiful flutina, 23
    white piano keys, 15 black, portable, light to carry, nice for
    open air; large ass wanted."--_Exchange and Mart._

We are not sure that the last phrase is quite the right one for
attracting a purchaser.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Economical Army.

    "In one hospital there is a complete tin-smith's shop running
    full blast. There empty biscuit-tins are remade into tin
    plates, pans and drinking-cups. Even the soldier is melted
    down and used a second time."

      _Darling Downs Gazette (Queensland)._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "FARRIERS.--Wanted, a good doorman; quiet job, 7 or 8 days a
    week."

      _Daily Chronicle._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Visitor._ "WE'RE HAVING A MOTHERS' SALE OF WORK ON
SATURDAY. WILL YOU COME AND BRING YOUR HUSBAND?"

_Wife of Wounded Soldier._ "THANKS SO MUCH. WE'D LOVE TO, BUT THE
DOCTOR WAS MOST EMPHATIC IN WARNING MY HUSBAND TO AVOID ANY FORM OF
EXCITEMENT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CONCERT TICKETS.

I'm beginning to think that Petherton has taken a dislike to me, and
it is not at all pleasant in a more or less country retreat to be on
bad terms with a neighbour.

It is especially trying, when one has made every endeavour to be
friendly, to meet with a chilling response. I'm sure I have written
him some very genial letters on matters which less good-tempered
individuals than I might have taken more seriously.

The Annual Concert in the village, a great event in local circles,
has been another cause of unnecessary friction between Petherton and
myself.

As one of the older residents and knowing most of the people here, I
am usually consulted as to the programme, sale of tickets and other
details of the concert, and my house is often used for rehearsing the
solos, part songs and choruses which are rendered by the local Carusos
and Melbas.

Our passage of arms was over the tickets. We who are on the Committee
are supplied with so many tickets each, which we endeavour to sell.
I sent two to Petherton, half-crown ones. I forgot to enclose the
printed notice that usually accompanies them, but evidently he
recognised my handwriting on the envelope, and sent the tickets back.
He wrote a letter with them:--

    SIR,--I received the enclosed, presumably from you, because
    the almost illegible scrawl on the envelope was yours
    without a doubt. Why you should try to bribe me with five
    shillings-worth of tickets for the Annual Concert I cannot
    conceive. Perhaps you are going to sing at it and are anxious
    that I should come to hear you. I shall deny myself that
    pleasure. I hear quite enough of you in the afternoons (this,
    no doubt, referred to the rehearsals). Should I change my
    mind, which is unlikely, I am quite able to purchase tickets.

I replied:--

    DEAR MR. PETHERTON,--I am beginning my letter, as you see, in
    the formal way, but from your opening move I foresee that a
    more affectionate tone will supervene before we are through
    with the matter in hand. This will be in accordance with
    the immemorial custom that has prevailed in the delightful
    intercourse between us on various subjects. Now, as to the
    Concert. My suggestion, mutely expressed through a little
    forgetfulness on my part, missed fire. If this isn't expressed
    clearly I mean I hoped you would understand that I sent the
    tickets because I hoped that you would buy them. Or, to put
    the matter very plainly, I sent you two tickets. Have you
    5_s._ that's doing nothing? If so, send it me for goodness'
    sake, and keep the tickets, which I'm sending back in this.
    If the 5_s._ is busy with the War Loan, don't disturb it of
    course, but send me the tickets back, or sell them to somebody
    else. I think that's all clear, so now we'll get on to the
    next point. I don't sing--outside a church. I fancy
    it's Wright, the blacksmith, a fine upstanding bass with
    full-throated movement, that you can hear. He leaves his
    spreading chestnut-tree on Wednesdays and Fridays for
    rehearsals in my drawing-room, and it's difficult to keep his
    voice from straying over into your premises, even with the
    windows shut. I'm sorry if he annoys you, but, anyway, as the
    Concert takes place next Wednesday, he won't worry you much
    longer. I hope you will come in your group. I can send you
    more tickets if you need them.

  Yours faithfully,
  H. J. FORDYCE.

I hope your hens are fruit-bearing. Eggs are a terrible price just
now, aren't they?

The tickets came back next day with a curt note:--

    Mr. Petherton begs to return the concert tickets and requests
    that Mr. Fordyce will not send them back again, as otherwise
    Mr. Petherton will not hold himself responsible in the event
    of their being lost or destroyed.

So I wrote again:--

    DEAR PETHERTON,--How perfectly splendid! Everything has worked
    out beautifully up till now. Your first note was pitched in
    just the proper key, and now comes your second, a perfect
    gem in its way. Your style reminds me more than ever of
    CHESTERFIELD, to whom a chair was a chair and nothing more,
    but a couch was an inspiration. I enclose two yellow tickets
    this time. Perhaps you didn't like the others. Some people
    don't care for pink tickets. These jolly little yellow chaps
    are only 1_s._ each, a consideration in these hard times.

  Yours very sincerely,
  HARRY FORDYCE.

    P.S.--We have a job line of green tickets at 6_d._ each to
    clear. Perhaps you would care to look at some. We are selling
    quite a lot of them this year.

Petherton's reply to this was an envelope containing the fragments
of two yellow tickets and a sheet of notepaper inscribed "With Mr.
Frederick Petherton's compliments."

As the tickets would have to be accounted for, of course there was
nothing for it but to send him a bill, so I sent him one:--

  F. PETHERTON, Esq.,

    _In a/c with the Purbury Concert Committee._

    To 2 tickets in yellow cardboard, 3 in. by 2-1/2 in., printed in
    black, with embellishments, the whole giving right of entry to
    the Purbury Annual Concert to be held on June 28, 1916 ... 2_s._

    Your kind attention will oblige.

To this Petherton made no reply, so after a few days I bought the
tickets for (and from) myself, and wrote to Petherton:--

    DEAR FREDDY,--You will be glad to hear that I have found
    someone to take your yellow tickets off my hands at the full
    market price. Sorry to find that the War has hit you so badly.
    Certainly two bob is two bob, as you apparently wish me to
    infer. However it is a blessing to know that the Tommies will
    get the extra cigarettes, isn't it? It's a pity you won't be
    at the concert. Your cheery presence will be greatly missed,
    especially by

  Your old pal,
  HARRY.


The reply I received:--

    Who the devil said I shouldn't be at the concert? I bought a
    dozen pink tickets from the Vicar as soon as I heard you were
    not going to perform.

  FREDERICK PETHERTON.


It seems evident that Petherton has taken a dislike to me for some
reason or other.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Doctor (to wounded soldier who is on "low diet")._ "IS
THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT, MY LAD?"

_Irishman._ "OCH, DOCTOR, IF YE'D BE GIVIN' ME A NICE FAT GOOSE FOR ME
DINNER, NOW?"

_Doctor._ "AH, AND I SUPPOSE YOU'D LIKE IT STUFFED WITH SOMETHING
SPECIAL, EH?"

_Irishman._ "INDEED AND I WOULD. I'D LIKE IT STUFFED WITH ANOTHER
WAN!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

"Latet Anguis in Herba."

    "ROCK PLANTS in pots; 12 different, 2s. 6d. Cobra, rapid
    growing Climber, 4d. and 6d. each.--Horticultural School,
    Swaythling."

      _Provincial Paper._

Our gardening friends tell us that _Cobæa scandeus_ is much safer as a
horticultural pet.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a description of a mine explosion under the German trenches:--

    "Tons of earth were flung hundreds of feet high, carrying away
    trenches, dugouts and handbags."--_Baltimore Paper._

The American correspondent who sends us the cutting says, "I am glad
to see that the Hun is losing his grip."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BOOKLOVER.

  By Charing Cross in London Town
  There runs a road of high renown,
  Where antique books are ranged on shelves
  As dark and dusty as themselves.

  And many booklovers have spent
  Their substance there with great content,
  And vexed their wives and filled their homes
  With faded prints and massive tomes.

  And ere I sailed to fight in France
  There did I often woo Romance,
  Searching for jewels in the dross,
  Along the road to Charing Cross.

  But booksellers and men of taste
  Have fled the towns the Hun laid waste,
  And within Ypres Cathedral square
  I sought but found no bookshops there.

  What little hope have books to dwell
  'Twixt Flemish mud and German shell?
  Yet have I still upon my back,
  Hid safely in my haversack,

  A tattered Horace, printed fine
  (Anchor and Fish, the printer's sign),
  Of sage advice, of classic wit;
  Much wisdom have I gained from it.

  And should I suffer sad mischance
  When Summer brings the Great Advance,
  I pray no cultured Bosch may bag
  My Aldus print to swell his swag.

  Yet would I rather ask of Fate
  So to consider my estate,
  That I may live to loiter down
  By Charing Cross in London Town.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Reward of "Frightfulness."

    "Amsterdam, Sunday.--Admiral von Tirpitz has been offered the
    degree of doctor hororis."--_Provincial Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

Taking it Badly.

    "AUSTRIAN DEFENCES GRUMBLING BEFORE THE RUSSIANS."

      _Scotch Paper._

       *       *       *       *       *

"What is Port?" asks an evening paper. According to Admiral VON SCHEER
it is "A very present help in time of trouble."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Chameleon.

From a feuilleton:--

    "The black sheep had flushed crimson, but the hot colour soon
    died down leaving him very pale."--_The Daily Mirror._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Experienced nurses wanted immediately; temporary £1 to 15_s._
    weekly. Also excellent situations for ladies' first babies,
    £40 to £28."

      _Daily Paper._

The demand for juvenile labour is surely being overdone.

       *       *       *       *       *

RUIN O' ENGLAND.

(_At "The Plough and Horses."_)

"Upper classes be stirrin' o' theirselves to rights now, seemin'ly."

"'Ow be you meanin', George?"

"Squire be by my place 'tother day when I be 'avin' a bit o' quiet
pipe by my gate, same as you might be, Luther Cherriman, an' 'e
stops--which 'e ain't been in the 'abit o' doin'--an' 'e says, ''Ullo,
George,' 'e says, 'bain't you the man as allus used to keep a pig
ereabouts?' An' I answers 'im as I cert'nly did use to keep a pig
pretty constant when food-stuffs was cheaper than what they be now."

"What's 'e say to that, George?"

"'E says, 'My good man, if you was a bit more thrifty like, an' wasn't
above collectin' 'ouse'old scraps,' 'e says, 'an', moreover, if you
wasn't so blamed penny wise an' poun' foolish,' 'e says, 'you'd be
keepin' y'r pigs--breedin' of 'em--now, when you could get biggest
price for 'em. You'd be doin' o' y'rself a good turn an' settin'
a 'xample to y'r neighbours,' 'e says, 'as they badly needs. Well,
any'ow, think it over,' 'e says--an' away 'e goes."

"You been thinkin' it over, George?"

"In a manner o' speakin' I be thinkin' it over now, this very minute.
In a manner o' speakin' I were thinkin' it over when I goes up to the
Court over a bit o' business yesterday. 'Owever, I were really doin'
no more 'n airin' my mind, as you might say, to the Cook--a decent
'nough young woman. I 'adn't no idea o' nothin' more."

"What you say to 'er, then?"

"I were lookin' at a bit of a lawn they 'as up there to the left o'
their back-door. Middlin' poor bit o' lawn it be, not like them in
front, an' I says of it what I've often said afore. 'Too much lawn
to this 'ere 'ouse,' I says, 'to please me. Ruin o' England,' I says,
'lawns do be. Orter be dug up,' I says. 'Sow a matter o' fower bushels
o' taters,' I says, 'on that poor little bit 'lone. Don't like t' see
all this waste o' groun',' I says, 'an' us at war.'"

"What did Cook say to that? Some'at saucy, I be bound."

"'You be very practical, George,' she says, 'but food ain't
everything, even in times o' war. You did ought to have seen wounded
soldiers,' she says, 'settin' 'bout on all these 'ere lawns last
summer time, like a lot o' bluebottles, 'joyin' o' theirselves to
rights,' she says. 'An' 'ow could they a-done it, poor chaps,' she
says, 'if we'd 'ad nothin' but an ol' tater patch to offer 'em?'"

"You'd got y'r answer to that, I dessay."

"I 'ad. 'They soldier chaps could very well 'ave sat on the paths,' I
says--for the paths be wasteful wide to my thinkin'. 'A bit of a bench
or a chair or so, an' they'd 'ave been right as rain, with some'at
to look at as was sensible, too. A close-cut lawn ain't no manner o'
interest to a thinkin' man, not like a medder or a few rows o' good
early taters be.'"

"What did Cook say to that 'ere?"

"She laughs, an' she says, 'You be done courtin' then, George, I can
see. You ain't got no thought of a second wife, seemin'ly.' ''Ow d'
you know that?' I asks; an' she laughs again an' says she knows, 'cos
if 'twasn't so I'd like the thought of a bit o' lawn to sit out on
warm evenings an' such. An' then she says, 'You think too much o' y'r
stomach, George'--which fair rattled me."

"What you say?"

"I says again, 'They lawns be the ruin o' England, I tell ye'--an'
then I see 'er start an' go red 's a poppy, an' then she sort o'
plunges in at 'er door. An' then I looks round for first time an' I
sees Squire standin' there, 'earin' all as 'ad been said, an' for the
moment I'd 'ave been glad 'nough for a back-door too--so I would."

"Lord-a-mercy, George, you're a rare-un for puttin' y'r foot in it wi'
gentry! What to gracious did 'e make o' it?"

"'E sort o' smiled--but crooked like. An' then 'e says, 'No but what
you're right, George'--which were 'bout 'undred miles from what I
'spected 'im to say. 'Look 'ere,' 'e goes on, 'I'll make a bargain wi'
ye. You send me up 'alf-a-bushel o' seed potatoes,' 'e says, 'to start
on, an' I'll send you a young sow out o' the last litter. What d' you
say?'"

"What did ye say?"

"I says, 'Thank ye kindly, Sir. An' if I've done my bit to save
England from ruin I be fine an' glad.' And so I be."

       *       *       *       *       *

More Tampering with the Calendar.

    "Among the objections to flag days is that they have detracted
    from the novelty of Alexandra Rose Day, which this year is
    being held on June 31."--_Daily Paper._

This attempt to shove Alexandra Day right off the calendar, has, we
are glad to say, been unsuccessful; and to-day, June 21st, sees roses,
roses all the way as usual.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a concert programme:--

  "BALLET.  (for which Miss Gladys Groom
                    has won the Challenge Cub in
                    connection with Lady Rachel
                    Byng's Olympic Game Tests)

  SONG.    'Show us how to do the Fox Trot'
                    (Miss Ruby Groom and chorus)."

It seems to us that Miss GLADYS'S reward would have been more
appropriate to Miss RUBY.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GIVEN AWAY.

_Boy._ "MOTHER, WE OUGHTN'T TO BE IN THIS CARRIAGE, OUGHT WE? IT'S
FIRST-CLASS."

_Mother._ "OH, DARLING, YOU MEAN WE OUGHT TO BE ECONOMISING IN
WAR-TIME?"

_Boy._ "BUT, MOTHER, WE _ARE_ ECONOMISING, AREN'T WE? WE'VE ONLY GOT
THIRD-CLASS TICKETS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

There is no doubt that one of the greatest pieces of luck that has
come the way of the Empire is LOUIS BOTHA. Mr. HAROLD SPENDER'S
legitimately uncritical biography, _General Botha: The Career and the
Man_ (CONSTABLE), fills in the details of the romance; and astonishing
details they are. BOTHA, the anti-Krugerite, one of the seven in the
Volksraad who voted against the fateful ultimatum in October, 1899,
threw himself, when war was unavoidable, with all his energy into the
task of his country's defence. Rapidly proving himself, he succeeded
his sick chief, JOUBERT, with at first, and luckily for us, a
mitigated authority. Here was no mere slim guerilla playing little
disconcerting tricks on a clumsy enemy, but a general to respect,
as BULLER found at Colenso and BENSON at Bakenlaagte. And his staff
college was just his own occiput. When the inevitable end came,
long delayed by his and his brother-generals' skill and courage, he
laboured for a lasting peace, and took a line of steady fealty to the
ideal of British citizenship, which he has unfalteringly pursued to
this day. It is good, by the way, to recall the admirable and patient
diplomacy, at and after Vereeniging, of Lord KITCHENER, who was the
chief pleader for generous concessions to the gallant beaten enemy--an
attitude BOTHA never forgot. BOTHA is indeed the pilot of modern
South Africa--the first Premier of the Transvaal after the gift of
responsible government, the first Premier of the Union after the
federation of the four states. To him has fallen the honour (and the
task) of crushing the rebellion, wherein he had the supreme wisdom to
throw the burden upon the loyal Dutch in order not to risk reopening
racial bitterness by using British elements against the rebels. He has
entered Windhuk a conqueror. May his old luck follow him in the still
difficult days of the youngest of the Dominions! I've forgotten Mr.
SPENDER'S book. But of course this is all out of it. And there's
plenty more good stuff in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have for some time now had my prophetic eye upon Mr. J. C. SNAITH
as a writer from whom uncommon things were to be looked for. So it
has pleased me to find this belief entirely justified by _The Sailor_
(SMITH, ELDER), which is as good and absorbing a tale as anything
I have encountered this great while. It is the life-history of one
_Henry Harper_ that Mr. SNAITH sets out to tell; incidentally it is
also the record of the development of a popular novelist out of a slum
child, through such seemingly unpromising stages as tramp-sailor and
professional footballer. There is a strength and (to use the most
fitting term) a punch about the telling of it that carries the reader
forward quite irresistibly. Moreover, like all histories of expanding
fortune, it is cheery reading for that sake alone. Personally, I think
I liked most the football section. I knew from _Willow the King_ that
Mr. SNAITH knew all about cricket; for his football mastery I was
unprepared. There is a fresh poignancy in Mr. SNAITH'S handling of
professional sport in its most frankly gladiatorial aspect that gives
one a new sympathy with the young giants who are now mostly engaged
Delia raised her eyebrows contest. What I liked least about the book
were the _Sailor's_ two matrimonial adventures. His entrapment by the
detestable _Cora_ is so painful that perhaps I was glad to think it
also slightly incredible. Even the lady whose hand is his ultimate
great reward failed to rouse me to any enthusiasm. But the _Sailor_
himself is so human and likeable a figure that he perhaps absorbed my
interest to the exclusion of the other characters, which I hope is as
Mr. SNAITH intended it.

In _Verdun to the Vosges_ (ARNOLD) MR. GERALD CAMPBELL has paid a
generous tribute to the indomitable courage of our French Allies.
His position as Special Correspondent of _The Times_ gave him
opportunities--strictly limited, of course, but unique--of recording
in particular the earlier phases of the War on the fortress frontier
of France; and he has produced a volume which shows no trace of
civilian authorship, except in those qualities which confess the art
of a trained writer. Never obtruding his own personality, he gives
us here and there a glimpse of privileged experiences and happy
relationships with the French authorities, civil and military,
notably the Préfet of Meurthe et Moselle, whose letter to the author,
published as an epilogue, is a document of astounding force and
eloquence. If I have a complaint to make it is that in a serious
history--the kind that you must follow very closely on the map--Mr.
CAMPBELL should have spent so much time on general reflections and
homilies which might just as well have been compose in Fleet Street or
the salient of Ypres. And it is perhaps a pity that, where his subject
gave him no chance of dealing with his own country's share in the War,
he should have exposed at considerable length certain defects in the
English character which delayed the adoption of national service. It
is true that universal compulsion had not been adopted at the time
when Mr. CAMPBELL was writing, and it is certain that no one who
knows the good work he has done in helping the two nations to a better
understanding of one another will question his motives; but I think
that these reflections upon England, very English in their candour,
have no proper place in a history of the achievements of France; and
I hope that they may be cut out of the French translation which
is shortly to appear. For the rest (and a good big rest) it is an
enthralling book; and if I were a Frenchman I should read it with a
very great pride. Even as it is, and notwithstanding what I have said,
I am proud enough that an Englishman should have written it.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PAINFUL PREDICAMENT OF MNEMO, THE WORLD-FAMED
MEMORISER, WHO, AFTER A HARD DAY AT A MATINEE AND TWO EVENING
PERFORMANCES, FORGETS THE NAME AND NUMBER OF HIS HOUSE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Scratch Pack_ (HUTCHINSON) is another of those jovial, out-door
stories, for which Miss DOROTHEA CONYERS has already endeared herself
to a considerable public. As before, her scene is Ireland. It is
somewhere on the south coast of that emotional island that a maiden
called _Gheena Freyne_ determines, in the war-absence of the local
M.F.H., to do her bit by dealing faithfully with the foxes, who
are rather above themselves through neglect. So she, and one _Darby
Dillon_, who is crippled and unable to do anything but ride (and adore
_Gheena_), get together a very scratch pack of the farmers' foot-dogs.
What sport results, and how buoyantly it is told, those with
experience of Miss CONYERS' vigorous gifts can easily imagine. There
is however another thread to the story. A second suitor pervades the
scene, one _Basil Stafford_, who, though hale and vigorous, persists,
even under white-feather provocation, in an attitude of taciturn
reserve about the War. Also he takes mysterious walks at night on the
cliffs, somewhere off which a German submarine is said to be hiding,
_Gheena_ accordingly suspects him of being (i) a shirker, (ii) a spy.
Apparently, as far as young ladies on the South coast of Ireland are
concerned, Messrs. VEDRENNE and EADIE have simply lived in vain. The
more sophisticated reader, while not sharing _Gheena's_ astonishment
at the climax, will none the less enjoy some pleasant thrills that
lead up to it. In short _The Scratch Pack_ can show you an excellent
day's sport.

       *       *       *       *       *

I suppose we owe our grotesquely insular ignorance of the Art of
Russia (other than music) to the fact that hitherto no one has been
so enterprising as ROSA NEWMARCH. In _The Russian Arts_ (JENKINS), she
sets out to give us a brief history of painting in Russia, from the
ikon to the Futurist diagram, with a preamble on architecture and a
postscript on sculpture. It is indeed a dismal thing to be brought
to realise, even from quite inadequate illustrations in monochrome
half-tone, that one does not know anything of such artists as REPIN
and NESTEROF--to take but two widely differing types of a notable
family. Art, such triumphant art, say, as the ballet with the gorgeous
scenic accessories that we know, does not spring into being
without ancestry, and this book gives us some notes on artistic
pedigree--enough perhaps to save us from abject shame when, after this
war, we sit at dinner next some knowledgeable Russian guest.... And
this is likely often to happen. It is odd that Mrs. NEWMARCH seems to
be interested in the literary rather than the graphic content of the
pictures she describes--odd because she seems to know the painter's
creed.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Impending Apology.

Extract from a soldier's letter recently received by the wife of a
distinguished retired officer:--

    "Please tell Colonel W---- I was asking for him. Tell him this
    is a rough war, not the same as in his time. It is all brains
    now, and machinery."

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from _The Seamanship Manual_, vol. ii., chap, vii.,
"Disembarking Troops":--

    "This method is satisfactory for horses, mules, or cattle, but
    does not answer with the camel. The latter, if not drowned on
    the way ashore, is very little use when landed."

This disparaging remark about the "ship of the desert" is
attributable, we fear, to professional jealousy.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The impression I carried away was that the Kiel Canal was a
    splendid bit of engineering, and that in case of war it would
    be invaluable, not only as a refuge for the German Fleet, but
    also as a quick means of getting the Kiel squadron quickly
    into the North Sea, or _vice versâ_."--_Sunday Chronicle._

The British Fleet has proved even better than the Kiel Canal as a
quick means of accomplishing the vice-versâ operation.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The last sale of home mad cooking will take place on
    Saturday."

      _Avonlea Advocate (Saskatchewan)._

If only it were the last!





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