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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Volume 150, May 17 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, Volume 150, May 17 1916" ***

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



  PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

  VOLUME 150, MAY 17, 1916.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Customer._ "HAVE YOU MY PASS BOOK?"

_Overworked Cashier._ "DID YOU LEAVE IT WITH US?"

_Customer._ "I DON'T KNOW, BUT I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT AS WELL LOOK FOR IT
BEFORE I DO."]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

"We can never talk of the theatre without harking back to the play
itself," says "The Matinée Girl" in _The Evening News_. Funny how these
irrelevant trifles will obtrude themselves into the most facile critic's
train of thought.

    ***

So simple and successful has been the progress of the Daylight-Saving
Scheme, under which the clock is to be put forward an hour during the
summer months, that a movement is on foot to help the War Office
prophets by putting the War back a couple of years.

    ***

It is not generally known that during the week ending May 7th a fourth
Zeppelin was sunk by H.M.S. Feuilleton.

    ***

A tremendous boom in canaries is reported from New York. The colour is
believed to be a favourite one with the hyphenated.

    ***

Breconshire County Council is proposing to abolish Sunday fishing. It is
felt, however, that the demands of the Sabbath will be met if the
fishermen can be prevented from describing their exploits till Monday
morning.

    ***

An evening contemporary has the following heading:--

  "HINDENBURG SEEDY.

  Petrograd tale of a gloomy 'Papa' and
  an angry Below."

Can the Prussian idol have contracted so vulgar an ailment as a pain in
his underneath?

    ***

Sabadilla, it appears, is a plant of the Lily family, from which is
extracted a poison that forms the basis of the German "tear" shells. An
allied form, "Crocodilla," also possessing lachrymatory properties, is
likewise extensively used by the German Government.

    ***
It is observed that the Committee to investigate the administration and
command of the Royal Flying Corps is composed of four lawyers and two
engineers. The large proportion of "doers" to "talkers"--nearly half the
total--is a startling innovation in British public affairs and a
satisfactory sign that the Government is thoroughly awake to the gravity
of the situation.

    ***

"Pawn-tickets are evidences of real poverty--when a man pawns his shirts
and so on," said Judge CLUER recently at Whitechapel. "And so off" would
have been a more logical way of putting it.

    ***

A Camberwell recruit has taken a white mouse in his pocket as a mascot.
It is to be hoped that he will not get into a tight corner and be
compelled to hoist the white mouse in token of surrender.

    ***

A sackful of comatose flies has been taken from the Coronation clock
tower at Surbiton. The authorities are said to be contemplating the
removal of a similar deposit from underneath Big Ben.

    ***

A German scientist has expressed the opinion that the product obtained
by mixing chaff or finely-chopped straw with pig's blood scarcely
deserves to be called bread. It is, however, expected that the German
trader, ever resourceful, will get over this little difficulty by
calling it cake and charging a little more for it.

    ***

A Dublin office boy, returning to his employment after a fortnight's
absence, informed his employer that he had been fighting and a prisoner;
whereas, of course, in similar circumstances an English lad would have
contented himself with explaining that he had merely been taking the
letters to the post.

    ***

The sports programme to be contested at Blackheath on May 20th will
include various events open to attested men. We wish the management
could have seen their way to include a Consolation Sack Race (with water
hazards) for Conscientious Objectors.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ENEMY WITHIN OUR GATES.

    We know him under many a name
    (His odour's always much the same)--
  The type that gives the warm and woolly mitten
    To every cause in which a free
    Briton may prove his right to be
  Pro-anything-on-earth-excepting-Britain.

    When from the trenches came the call,
    "Make good the gaps in England's wall!"
  He loathed to take our shirkers and enlist 'em;
    Content to pay the deadliest price
    Sooner than have to sacrifice
  His passion for a voluntary system.

    Not on our soldiers facing death
    Under the poison's foetid breath
  His dear solicitude expends its labours;
    He saves his sympathy for those
    Whose conscience, bleating through their nose,
  Elects to leave the fighting to their neighbours.

    And witness Ireland, where our best,
    Eager to serve a higher quest
  And in the Great Cause know the joy of battle,
    Gallant and young, by traitor hands
    Leagued with a foe from alien lands,
  Struck down in cold blood fell like butchered cattle;--

    Not for their fate his bosom bleeds,
    But theirs who wrought the rebel deeds,
  For them his soul reserves its chief obsession;
    The murdered he can soon forget,
    But, if the murderers pay their debt,
  He fears it might create a bad impression!

  And in that hell of hidden fire,
  Whose brave conductors so inspire
  With native pride the maw of Mr. DILLON,
  A bloody tragedy he finds
  Of which, to all instructed minds,
  England (as usual) is the leading villain.      O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

UNWRITTEN LETTERS TO THE KAISER.

No. XXXIX.

(_From_ JAMES J. SALTONTALE, _of New York City_.)

_KAISER WILLIAM_,--I guess you'll remember who I am when I tell you that
the Jay-Jay Lecture Agency and the Pushalong Dramatic Show Company were
invented by me and that I'm the sole possessor of these two world-wide
organisations. I wasn't always in with the high-brow crowd of the
lecturing business. To tell you the truth I began quite low down with a
six-legged pig that could spell out the word "pork" by touching the
letters with his snout on a big cardboard alphabet. He didn't last long.
Times were hard during his second winter, and--well, I never knew till
then how much bacon there is to a pig, even when it's a learned one with
six legs to it. It was always some trouble tying on them two extra legs,
and it was nervous work watching them while the show was open to see
they didn't work loose. So on the whole I wasn't altogether put into
mourning when old six-legs joined the dear departed and left me free to
speculate in Mexican dwarfs and a Bolivian giantess with a rich
contralto voice.

After that we rose to lions and tigers and a very massive elephant and a
few comic bears and a gorilla from Africa. It was profitable but tiring,
and after I'd saved a dollar or two I was able to retire from the
Mammoth Antediluvian Menagerie and devote myself to Lectures and the
Pushalong stunt, which is living pictures of an historic and improving
sort. So now you remember me, don't you?

Well, the fact is, Kaiser, that a notion's come into my head, and it's
this. When peace comes with all its horrors, you won't want to go on
every day explaining to the German people how you lost the War by being
too kind or by not having prepared yourself enough. And you won't want
to keep telling them why you spent so much time over Verdun and why the
British Fleet didn't make things as easy and comfortable for you as you
reckoned it ought to have done. The German people won't want to listen
to talk of that kind. They've been there and they'll know all about it
without being told. No, what you'll want to do will be to get into a new
atmosphere, with people all round you listening to you just as if you
were the only man in the world. You'll find all that in the United
States if you'll only put yourself in the hands of the Jay-Jay Lecturing
Agency and the Pushalong Dramatic Show Company. We shall engage the
halls and get together the audiences by our unique system of
advertisements, and all you've got to do is to appear at the time fixed
and address the meeting for an hour to an hour and a-half on such
subjects as "Why Belgium started the War," and "How Serbia used Poison
Gas," and "A Dozen Proofs that the _Lusitania_ was Sunk by the British
out of Spite," and "Turkey, the Saviour of the Armenians." There'll be
plenty of others, but these four will do as a good working basis, and we
can fill out the list later on, not forgetting the Monroe Doctrine and
how Germany is going to knock everyone who attacks it into pie.

Then, there can be living pictures of yourself, in all kinds of
uniforms, deciding reluctantly to issue an ultimatum, or packing your
valise for the Front, or leading two millions of men in a charge and
bringing back four millions of prisoners or setting an example to your
people by eating War-bread by the crumb. And then you can wind up the
evening's entertainment by showing yourself making a speech in which you
bring in that bit about the good old German God who has always been your
ally. And then the audience will stream out very devoutly, and all of
them will shake you by the hand and say they're pleased to meet you. I
tell you, WILLIAM HOHENZOLLERN, it will be great, and the dollars will
come pouring in. Leave it all to me, and I'll guarantee a success
that'll make you grateful to me for ever. If we could only get Uncle
FRANCIS JOSEPH to join--but no; that might distract attention from you,
and it's you I'm banking on. All I ask is a miserable twenty per cent.
on the profits. Is it a bargain?

    Yours,      _JAMES J. S._

       *       *       *       *       *

A Vicarious Embrace.

    "Taking the star and ribbon from the hand of an aide-de-camp,
    General Mahon placed the latter round the neck of the French
    General."--_Balkan News_.

    "A lady wishes to recommend her lady-nurse who has lived with her
    for 14 years, to take entire charge of a boy; not under 31."

    _Morning Post._

Will the "Old Boys" Battalion please note?

       *       *       *       *       *

Our unparliamentary correspondent states that the Daylight-Saving Scheme
had a narrow escape. The _Daily Mail_ could not for some time see its
way to sanction a proposal under which on the first day (new style) the
actual number of hours would be twenty-three--the total of the Cabinet.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Bucks Vllge.--Fur villa to let. 3 mths."--_Daily Mail_.

Personally, when we take a Fur Villa, we object to even three moths
being left on the premises.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: UNDER GOVERNMENT PATRONAGE.

RACING MAN. "THAT DON'T APPLY TO US. AS RUNCIMAN SAYS, WE'RE DOING OUR
BIT FOR THE COUNTRY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE VESTY DEEP.

Which is the most valuable--life, comfort or self-respect? A little while
ago I should have said, without a moment's hesitation, life. But now----

To begin at the beginning, let me say that before the _Sussex_ was
torpedoed by the Quixotic Hun I had decided to go to France. Then came
that tragedy, and as a result letters from friends and the relatives
whose affection I still retain, urging first that the French enterprise
should be abandoned altogether, and, second, that, if not, a
life-preserving device should be instantly obtained. Advertisements cut
from newspapers accompanied some of these letters containing
testimonials in favour of this belt and that.

Having no particular reason for losing my life, at any rate without a
struggle--provided always that the operation was not too expensive--I
gave more attention to these advertisements than to any others since at
school, too long ago, the entrancing and persuasive firm of THEOBALD
spread his lures before us; and having done so I obediently obeyed their
instructions and wrote for illustrated pamphlets. [Does anyone, I wonder
by the way, collect illustrated pamphlets? The illustrated pamphlets of
this War alone should make a valuable exhibit some day.] Having studied
them, I found very quickly that, though the belts were of various kinds,
all were alike in two or three points, one being the description of
themselves as vests or waistcoats rather than belts; and another the
claims of each to be the best. Some relied for their buoyancy on the
element upon which Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING has floated to notoriety, if
not fame, and had to be blown up; others trusted to some mysterious
fibre several times more buoyant than cork; a third--but these two will
serve as types of all.

Each, as I say, was the best; and, however different in material, all
were alike too in one effect, for each in saving one's life saved it the
right way up. There are, it seems, buoyant belts, or vest, so lost to
shame as to submerge the wearer's head and shoulders and leave only his
legs exposed. But not so with these; these had no such tricks; these
undertook to maintain me topside up with care. The pictures in the
pamphlets were invariably of gentlemen of vaster proportions even than
myself, all riding buoyantly and securely on the waves, like Dr. BURNEY
in BARRY'S fresco at the Society of Arts--and all dressed more or less
becomingly in the best vest.

Each being of superlative excellence, I had to apply other principles of
selection, and fell back upon the most usual of those, which is
financial. I had to answer the question. At what sum do I value my
life?--the range of price being from seven-and-six to two pounds ten.
Was my life worth two pounds ten? I inquired of myself. It's a lot of
money, I replied. Should it not rather go into Exchequer Bonds? What
would Mr. MCKENNA say? You see how complex the situation suddenly
became.

[Illustration: _Manager._ "THERE'S A RUMOUR THAT THREE ZEPPS ARE COMING
OVER."

_Leading Actor (playing to poor house)._ "WELL, YOU'VE GOT PLENTY OF
ROOM FOR 'EM IN FRONT!"]

After long deliberation and taking into consideration the circumstance
that the vest which was priced at fifty shillings had to be inflated
before it was of any use and that the arrival of a torpedo would
probably deprive me of all breath, or at any rate, of all blowing power,
I decided that two pounds ten was excessive. No life could be worth
that. I was therefore, after further communings, driven back on the
astonishing fibre at fifteen shillings; and one of these vests I ordered
to be sent to the boat. So far, so good.

Now I do not say that the advertisement and the illustrated pamphlet had
exactly called the vest a stylish addition to ordinary attire, but there
was reticence as to any unsightly effect upon the figure. So little
emphasis was laid on this that one quite naturally expected something
rather like a vest. Not of course such an article as that historic
waistcoat which DICKENS borrowed from MACREADY, but a vest not devoid of
vestiness--something that a gentleman could negligently pace the deck
in, without being too ostentatiously engaged in the task or pastime of
saving his life; or sleep in with comfort, all ready for the water when
the Hun arrived.

Imagine then my surprise on finding in my cabin a parcel that might by
its size have contained an assortment of pumpkins, from which I
extracted an article no doubt many times more buoyant than cork, but
adapted far less to walking a deck in or wooing reluctant slumbers in
than for (obviously its real purpose) assisting Sir HERBERT TREE to make
up as _Falstaff_.

Carefully locking the door, I put it on and tied its tapes and fastened
its buckles. The result was more than comic--it was grotesque; and with
an overcoat to cover it I looked like one of the two MACS of blessed
memory. Could life be saved thus? Only by sitting up in my cabin all
night, for as to going on deck in it--not for a ransom! And as for
sleeping in it--that was beyond all question. I therefore took it off,
and sadly I climbed the companion to see how the rest of the passengers
looked in their various vests; but either they had found a trimmer build
than mine, which I doubt, or they too had shirked the ordeal. The result
was that all our lives--even my fifteen-shilling one--were at the
disposal of the Hun. So is it to be English.

Anyhow, the saving of my own life is not, I am convinced, my forte. My
forte is fatalism and trust in a star that hitherto has not been too
capricious. Perhaps that is England's forte too.

       *       *       *       *       *

DACTYLOMANIA.

  'NEATH skies of inveterate azure,
    Where bitterns incessantly boom,
  And, thridding each elfin embrasure,
    Sleek satyrs enamel the gloom,
  The gaunt and impassive gorilla
    Emits a melodious moan
  As he treads a sedate seguidilla
        Aloof and alone.

  The sun, with an amber emotion,
    Darts down his importunate rays,
  Distilling a petulant potion
    Of pale and impalpable haze;
  And scents of ineffable sweetness
    Float up from the misty lagoon,
  Fulfilling in utter completeness
        Life's ultimate boon.

  I know not what demons abysmal
    Will out of the welter emerge;
  What dews of delight cataclysmal
    My desolate brow will asperge;
  I only am sure that this stanza,
    When handled by slingers of slosh,
  Will always remain a bonanza
        For building up bosh.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE APPEAL DEPRECATORY.

IN announcing their production as "One of those musical things," the
authors of the new Comedy revue have given a lead which it is hoped may
end in the establishment of happier relations between the advertiser and
the consumer. For a long time signs have not been absent that the star
of the mere hustler is set, and that the public are no longer to be
cowed into obedience by the Prussianism of Blank, who commands, "Buy my
soap and step lively about it. You'd better!"

The following essays in the less assertive mode of publicity are offered
by way of intelligent anticipation:--

Messrs. Dance, Gay & Punter announce the successful ballad, _He wears my
Image next to his Identification Disc_, by William B. Blitherly.

     "Another of Mr. Blitherly's naïve little efforts."

Call at our studios and try it over. It goes better with the music.

You might do sillier things than read _Right Now_, the new Thesaurus of
Satire. Twopence bi-weekly. Shernard Bawl contributes to the current
issue five columns on "Myself and England."

     "Bawl at his amusing worst. Tosh, of course, but it tickles."

       *       *       *       *       *

How "Daylight-Saving" Would Work.

     "If the motion is carried on Monday, and a similar resolution is
     passed by the Lords, the new system might be adopted on Sunday, May
     13, or Sunday, May 30."--_Star._

We never realised that it was going to upset the calendar as well as the
clock.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Clergyman._ "WILT THOU HAVE THIS WOMAN TO THY WEDDED
WIFE?"

_Absent-minded Bridegroom (sponsor at many christenings)._ "I RENOUNCE
THEM ALL."]

       *       *       *       *       *

Another Candid Objector.

     "The doctor stated he might have to go himself, but the position
     just now was that he was not allowed to go until he could find
     someone to undertake his work. Personally, he would far sooner join
     the colours than keep on with his present work, which was 'simply
     killing.'"--_Birmingham Daily Post._

       *       *       *       *       *

     "A graduate in Divinity in these days ought to have sufficient
     acquaintance with Hebrew to be able at any rate to hold the word
     with one hand while he looks it out in the lexicon with the
     other."--_Guardian._

The B.A., like the A.B., has to be a handy man nowadays.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Let 'em All Come."

Extract from Company Orders:--

  "STRENGTH.--Lieut. G----, having reported himself for temporary
  duty, is taking on the strength of this Company from the --th
  April."

       *       *       *       *       *

Elephantine.

     "The grave, gentle, but enormous Miss ---- ----, whose dainty
     tripping to the famous Apache melody makes it worth while having a
     spell in hospital to witness."

    _Egyptian Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Sir Robert Chalmers, to be Permanent Under Secretary for Ireland
    _pro tem_."

    _Daily Mirror._

A typically Irish appointment.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Masses of spectators crowded the pavements, filled windows, and
     occupied every inch of space, even to getting astride the Lions in
     Trafalgar-square, all of whom cheered themselves hoarse and flung
     flowers to the stalwart, hard-set Anzacs as they swung past."

    _Daily Paper._

This is not the only time the Anzacs have roused the British Lion to
enthusiasm.

       *       *       *       *       *

A TERRITORIAL IN INDIA.

XIII.

MY DEAR MR. PUNCH,--Since landing in India about 200 years ago we have
had many novel and remarkable experiences, but I think in my case none
has been more strange and disconcerting than my transformation into a
civilian or a _dufter wallah_ (as we who sit at desks are contemptuously
termed by the fighting men).

Table manners are a great trial to me in my new employ. In barracks, if
you want bread, you merely shout in the queer jargon of the British
soldier in India, "_Hao_ up the _roti_ there!" You then duck quickly,
brush the crumbs out of your hair and get on with the meal. As a
civilian I have to count ten, take myself firmly in hand, prepare a
courteous little speech and deliver it with care and precision, trying
hard to avoid glancing over my shoulder to see if a lump is likely to
catch me under the ear.

And every night, though it is now over two months since I left the
regiment, I carefully feel the legs of my bedstead before retiring to
rest. For in barrack life, when you lie down unsuspectingly on a bed
which has been "set," it instantly collapses into a shapeless mass of
wreckage and shoots you out violently on the floor.

In the office itself my new life is full of difficulties. Soon after my
arrival I thoughtlessly celebrated the completion of a rather
troublesome task by bursting into song, as we always did in barracks.
Shortly afterwards I received a frigidly polite message from my superior
officer, saying, if I had any complaint to make, would I be so good as
to put it into writing and to refrain from any vocal advertisement of my
grievances.

But even office life has its compensations. There are moments of pure
delight, such as that in which I discovered "_Cemeteries_" classified
under the general heading of "_Accommodation for Troops_."

And the Babu is always with us to make our days joyful. Babu English is
perhaps rather _vieux jeu_ at this time of day; nevertheless it is a
privilege to read on the spot a supplication for permission to
"prostitute myself daily to your holy feet this time without fail
whereby to beseech to Heaven to send to your Honour many posthumous
olive branches"; or a request that "your Highness will not cause to _nip
in the Bud_ my unworthy yet fragrant hopes by the December _cold snap_
of your august displeasure."

In conversation, excellent fellow as he usually is, the Babu is easily
misunderstood. It was only yesterday that one of them was giving me an
account of an old Sikh monk he had come upon during a walk in the woods.
I had not known before that there were monks among the Sikhs, but then
there are quite a number of facts about India that I have yet to learn.

I had no difficulty in picturing the aged hermit sitting at the foot of
a tree in a religious trance. But it seemed strange that when the Babu
approached he should have shown his teeth and gibbered. This, however,
might be due to the eccentricity of a recluse or to some caste
difficulty. I could not share the Babu's surprise that he refused the
acorns proffered to him, but it did seem odd that when the Babu
callously shook his stick at the old man and said "_Huh!_" he swarmed
with great agility up the tree and made faces.

It was only when the limpness of his tail was mentioned that I suddenly
realised we were talking about a sick monkey.

Letters from the Battalion, 7000 feet below, drift up to me
occasionally, but they contain little beyond the old sentiment,
expressed hundreds of times daily by Territorials from the Himalayas to
the Nilghiris. India is a marvellous and unique country; to have lived
in it is an education and a joy; to have guarded it a proud Imperial
privilege. But most of us would give something to get out of it and into
Europe. Yours ever,

    ONE OF THE _PUNCH_ BRIGADE.

       *       *       *       *       *

NURSERY RHYMES OF LONDON TOWN.

XII.--THE STRAND.

    The loveliest maidens in the land,
    Girls in rags and ladies grand,
    All go wandering down the Strand,
        Ding, dong, ding!
    To look for pearls in oyster-shells
    And listen to Saint Martin's bells,
        Ding, dong, ding!

    Some get amber, some get jet,
    Silver fish-scales others get
    In a golden fishing-net,
        Ding, dong, ding!
    Some find crowns of seaweed there
    And flowers of coral for their hair,
        Ding, dong, ding!

    All day long they have delight,
    Then the Thames flows in at night
    And sweeps the maidens out of sight.
        Ding, dong, ding!
    Down the Strand their lovely knells
    Echo from Saint Martin's bells,
        Ding, dong, ding!
        Ding, dong, ding!

       *       *       *       *       *

LIEUTENANT ALEC JOHNSTON.

A brother-officer attached to the King's Shropshire Light Infantry
writes from the Front:--"I thought you would like to hear some details
of the death in action of Lieutenant ALEC JOHNSTON, who used to write
'At the Front' in _Punch_. I knew him well and we were rather especial
friends.

"On the night of the 21st of April the Battalion, which was resting at
the time, was suddenly ordered to attack some six hundred yards of
trenches which the enemy had taken two nights previously. JOHNSTON'S
Company was in the centre, and, after the O.C. had been severely wounded
just before we attacked, JOHNSTON led the Company and captured the
position most gallantly with the bayonet. He then went on himself and
personally reconnoitred the ground up to the German line. He found them
massing for a counter-attack and came back and gave warning. When the
enemy attacked they were driven off with heavy loss. He was
indefatigable all night consolidating the recaptured position, exposing
himself on top all the time in order to move about more quickly.

"At dawn, he sent the only other officer then remaining unwounded to the
safest part of the trench, saying that when it got too light to stay on
top he himself would get into 'the first old crump hole.' He stayed up
too long, and was shot through the heart by a German sniper.

"He was a general favourite and loved by his men. He had done more
dangerous patrol work than any two other officers in the battalion, and
the hotter the situation the cooler he got.

"The way he used to write his articles was very characteristic of the
man. I have seen him lying flat on his face in a tiny dug-out no bigger
or higher than the underneath of a small dinner-table, in the front line
trench, dashing off the first half of one of his quaint articles to
_Punch_. He would have to stop in the middle and crawl out on patrol up
to the German wire, have a scrap out there with a Bosch patrol at a few
yards' range, stay out for two or three hours, and crawl back, soaked to
the skin and covered with mud, to finish his article in time for the
post.

"His name had already gone in for distinction, and if he had lived he
certainly would have had a decoration conferred for his work in this
last show.

"As you probably know, his articles were awfully appreciated by every
one out here, and in his quaintly witty way he caught perfectly the
spirit 'at the Front.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

ROYAL ACADEMY--SECOND DEPRESSIONS.

[Illustration: [EDGAR BUNDY, A.R.A.] _Brightening Bridge._ "LEND ME AN
ACE, DEAR; I'LL DO AS MUCH FOR YOU ANOTHER TIME."]

[Illustration: [HON. JOHN COLLIER.] SCENE AT A BY-ELECTION. THE NEW
MEMBER RECEIVES A SLAP ON THE HEAD FROM THE UNSUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE.]

[Illustration: [EDITH LAWRENCE.] DRESS PARADE OF MANNIKINS WITH
ECONOMICAL COSTUMES SUITABLE FOR WAR-TIME.]

[Illustration: [WYNNE APPERLEY.] THE MARIONETTE--A FRAGMENT.]

[Illustration: [CHARLES SIMS, A.R.A.] _Model._ "YOU MIGHT THINK I'M
CERES, WITH ALL THIS STUFF ON MY HEAD; BUT SIMS SAYS I'M IRIS. ANYHOW,
IT'S A LONG, LONG WAY TO COVENT GARDEN."]

[Illustration: [W. ORPEN, A.R.A.] _Sitter._ "I WONDER IF ORPEN LIKES
LOOKING AT ME AS MUCH AS I LIKE LOOKING AT HIM?"]

[Illustration: [EDGAR BUNDY, A.R.A.] A SHOW OF HANDS IN THE GOUTY
KNUCKLE COMPETITION AT THE ARTHRITIS CLUB.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I HOPE YOU ARE NOT VERY SHOCKED AT US DANCING, SIR
JAMES. OF COURSE WE SHOULDN'T DREAM OF DOING IT IN WAR-TIME, ONLY MY
BROTHER BOBBY CAME HOME SUDDENLY WITH A FEW DAYS' LEAVE."

"I SEE. BY THE WAY, WHERE IS HE? HE DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE HERE."

"WELL, D'YOU KNOW, I SHOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF HE'D GONE OFF TO A
MUSIC-HALL. DANCING ALWAYS DID BORE POOR BOBBY DREADFULLY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CONVALESCENT.

  We've billards, bowls, an' tennis-courts; we've teas an' motor-rides;
  We've concerts nearly every night, an' 'eaps o' things besides;
  We've all the best of everything, as much as we can eat--
  But my 'eart--my 'eart's at 'ome in 'Enry Street.

  I'm askin' Sister every day when I'll be fit to go;
  "We must 'ave used you bad," she says, "you want to leave us so;"
  I says, "I beg your pardon, Nurse; the place is bad to beat,
  But my 'eart--my 'eart's at 'ome in 'Enry Street."

  The sheffoneer we saved to buy, the clock upon the wall,
  The pictures an' the almanack, the china dogs an' all--
  I've thought about it many a time, my little 'ome complete,
  When in Flanders, far away from 'Enry Street.

  It's 'elped me through the toughest times (an' some was middlin' tough);
  The 'ardest march was not so 'ard, the roughest not so rough;
  It's 'elped me keep my pecker up in victory an' defeat,
  Just to think about my 'ome in 'Enry Street.

  There's several things I sometimes want which 'ere I never see;
  I'd like some chipped potatoes' an' a kipper to my tea;
  But most of all I'd like to feel the stones beneath my feet
  Of the road that takes me 'ome to 'Enry Street.

  They'll 'ave a little flag 'ung out, they'll 'ave the parlour gay
  With crinkled paper round about, the same as Christmas Day;
  An' out of all the neighbours' doors the 'eads'll pop to greet
  Me comin' wounded 'ome to 'Enry Street.

  My missis--well, she'll cry a bit an' laugh a bit between;
  My kids'll climb upon my knees--there's one I've never seen;
  An' of all the days which I 'ave known there won't be one so sweet
  As the day when I go 'ome to 'Enry Street!

       *       *       *       *       *

  "I can only add that neither total prohibition nor no prohibition
  will have any more effect on the course and conclusion of this war
  than Mrs. Malaprop's besom had on the Atlantic Ocean."--_Letter in
  a Provincial Paper._

_Mrs. M._ should have called in the assistance of _Mrs. Partington_.

       *       *       *       *       *

  "It should be as widely known as possible that if people found a
  baby when there was the slightest possibility of a person being
  still alive, it was their duty to cut it down if hanging, or take
  it out of the water, if it was a case of drowning."--_Provincial
  Paper_.

But what is one to do if it is merely squalling in a perambulator?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOMETHING TO GO ON WITH.

PRESIDENT WILSON (_to German Eagle_). "POOR OLD BIRD! DID IT
SAY IT WAS BEING STARVED? WELL, HERE'S A NICE SQUARE MEAL FOR IT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

[Illustration: FIRST STEPS TO VICTORY (_continued_).

(_Quartette of Legal Members of Committee of Inquiry into the
Administration of the Royal Flying Corps_).

_Messrs. A, B, C and D in consultation, all talking together._ "THE
CONTRIVANCE IN FRONT, BY REVOLVING, PRODUCES MOMENTUM. DO I CARRY YOU
WITH ME?"

"MY LEARNED FRIENDS MUST ADMIT THAT THE PILOT HAS AN _Á PRIORI_
RIGHT TO THE FRONT SEAT AND A LIEN ON ALL PETROL."

"MY CLIENTS DENY BUILDING THE MACHINE; AND IF THEY DID SO THEY DID IT IN
GOOD FAITH AND IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST."

"I SUBMIT THAT THOSE PREMISES SITUATE BEHIND THE ENGINE SHOULD BE
PAINTED OUTSIDE IN FOUR GOOD COATS OF OIL COLOUR EVERY THREE YEARS, AND
BE IN ALL RESPECTS KEPT IN GOOD AND TENANTABLE REPAIR, ETC., ETC.,
ETC."]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, May 8th._--It was a relief to pass from the sombre theme of
judgment passed on Irish rebels to the quiet humours of Daylight-Saving.
Sir HENRY NORMAN was perhaps a little over-anxious to be playful; and
some of his rather ancient jokes gave obvious pain to Mr. PEARCE, who
once carried a Daylight-Saving Bill through its second reading without
any such frivolous aids.

There was little opposition. Sir FREDERICK BANBURY once more appeared in
his favourite character of the conscientious objector. He was not on
this occasion "the champion of the suffering rich," as Mr. DUKE called
him the other day, but the defender of the humble milkman, who already
had to rise before dawn for the greater part of the year, and might, I
gathered, be subject to unworthy suspicions if he performed his
functions before the dew was off the grass. Lord HUGH CECIL, who thought
the proposal to put on the clock smacked of "the tricks of the lowest
class of journalism," is understood to have been referring to those
remarkable examples of advanced literature, the "_6.30 News_" and "_7.0
Star_."

The INFANT SAMUEL, as my esteemed predecessor used to call him,
disclaimed the idea that he had become "a presumptuous JOSHUA." The
Government only supported the proposal because it would help us during
the War by saving coal.

Sir HENRY DALZIEL is the proprietor of a newspaper, one of whose most
piquant features is a column entitled "Secret History of To-day," in
which one may read dark hints of Society scandals and political
intrigues. Naturally enough he objects to the new regulation forbidding
reference to the proceedings of the Cabinet. He had effective backing on
this occasion from Mr. WALTER ROCH, who in a speech admirable alike in
tone and substance appealed to the Government in their own interests to
withdraw a ukase, under which, if strictly applied, Ministers themselves
would be the first to suffer. The Government lived too much in a balloon
(have they not just appointed a quartette of lawyers to overhaul the
Royal Flying Corps?), and would be the better for anything that brought
them into closer touch with their fellow-citizens.

After an excited protest by Mr. O'BRIEN against the executions in
Ireland it was not, perhaps, a fortunate moment for Sir JOHN LONSDALE to
suggest that the Military Service Bill should be extended to Ireland.
Mr. ASQUITH was sympathetic in principle to the idea, but made it plain
that in practice it was impossible, since Mr. REDMOND was opposed to it.
Sir EDWARD CARSON thought the fact deplorable while recognising its
cogency; but he suggested that if the Nationalist leader was the
indirect Governor of Ireland he should be given the responsibility
instead of exercising it second-hand. Mr. REDMOND promptly denied that he
had either power or responsibility; otherwise the recent occurrences in
Ireland would, he alleged, not have happened. Mr. CHURCHILL, now home
from the Front on unlimited leave, drew from these two speeches the
inference that the future of Ireland depended upon their authors sinking
their differences and acting together, and expressed the sanguine view
that the Irish Question was nearing a settlement. Members, recalling
similarly sanguine prophecies from the same source about Gallipoli and
the German Navy, were not so much impressed as they were meant to be.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SUMMER-TIME BILL.

(_How the lower creation threatens to ignore it_).

[Illustration: EMILY (A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR) REFUSES TO BE DISTURBED
BEFORE THE CUSTOMARY HOUR.

WORDSWORTH BYSSHE JONES, OUR POET, VAINLY HARKS FOR HIS LARK.

INSET--THE LARK (ANOTHER CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR).]

_Wednesday, May 10th._--Among the Distinguished Strangers in the Gallery
was a deputation from the Russian Duma, led by its Vice-President.
Unfortunately M. PROTOPOPOFF and his colleagues did not see our
Parliament at its best. In the Commons the Nationalist factions were
noisily assailing the PRIME MINISTER with protests against the
executions of the rebel leaders, and ultimately succeeded in inducing
him to give them a day for what must in the circumstances be a premature
discussion.

Then our Russian friends went to the Lords, where they found a
discussion on Ireland actually in progress. It was started by Lord
LOREBURN, who accused the Government of having neglected the elementary
duty of protecting the law-abiding population, and urged upon them
collectively the necessity of being as candid as Mr. BIRRELL had been
individually. The War had furnished many instances of the danger to
national interests of silence carried to excess. Then Lord MIDLETON
rehearsed a grim catalogue of cases in which the Irish police had been
instructed to shut their eyes to seditious offences.

Happily the Russian visitors had left before Lord CREWE rose to make the
Government's defence, for I am afraid that they would not have carried
away a high impression of Ministerial eloquence or Ministerial
statesmanship.

_Thursday, May 11th._--To Mr. REDMOND'S obvious annoyance Mr. DILLON
developed a savage attack on the military authorities. They, one
gathered, were brutal murderers; the Sinn Feiners, on the contrary, were
gallant if misguided patriots of whom he was proud. The PRIME MINISTER,
mildly observing that Mr. DILLON had forgotten some of the elementary
rules of justice, brought the debate back to the level of common sense
by contrasting the small number of executions with the heavy toll of
military and civilian life that the rebels had taken. Repeating his
_coup_ of two years ago, when he went to the War Office after the
Curragh incident, he now announced his immediate intention to go to
Ireland, in the hope of discovering some arrangement for the future
which would commend itself to all parties. Some of the difficulties that
Mr. ASQUITH will encounter in his laudable enterprise were indicated by
Mr. HEALY, who hoped that he would put an end to Dublin Castle and the
jobbery that had been carried on there by Mr. REDMOND and his friends.

In the Lords the Government's Irish policy was again assailed from all
sides; but more damaging even than the attacks was Lord LANSDOWNE'S
defence. He actually blamed Lord MIDLETON for having contented himself
with warning the CHIEF SECRETARY and the PRIME MINISTER of the dangerous
happenings in Ireland, and not having come to him (Lord LANSDOWNE), or
to Mr. BALFOUR, or to Mr. LONG. This new doctrine of collective
irresponsibility seems fairly to justify the definition, "A Coalition is
something that does not coalesce."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Imports in truth have been so small that the run on home produce
     has been more or less forced."--_Eastern Daily Press._

The Press Bureau will have to be more economical with it than ever.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Wellington said that the battle of Waterloo was won upon the
     cricket fields of England. Later--decades later--the bronzed and
     lithe-limbed athletes of the island kingdom gazed in open-eyed
     bewilderment upon the flaming indictment of Kipling, 'The muddled
     oafs at the wicket; the flannelled fools at the gate,' and seeking
     vainly to follow the poet's logic."

    _New York Times._

Presented in this form it would baffle anybody.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: BREAKFAST IN A FRONT TRENCH.

_Tommy._ "THE BLOOMIN' DUG-OUT'S FLOODED OUT, THE BISCUIT'S WET, THE
TEA'S COLD AND THERE AIN'T NOTHIN' TO WARM IT WITH."

_Sergeant._ "OH, CHUCK IT! I DUNNO WHAT SOME OF YOU BLIGHTERS WOULD DO
IF YOU 'AD TO ROUGH IT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

PETHERTON'S PARROT.

Matters are getting worse between Petherton and myself; in fact if any
friendship had ever existed between us I am afraid one would say that we
are now in a state of complete estrangement, resulting from the invasion
of my premises by his parrot, and the ensuing correspondence. My opening
gambit was as follows:--

DEAR MR. PETHERTON,--My immediate object in addressing you is to ask
whether by any chance you have lost a parrot, because a bird of that
species flew through an open bedroom window of my house this morning
without invitation or encouragement from us.

I am inclined to think that the bird is yours, but have nothing but what
I might term the synthetic process of reasoning for arriving at this
conclusion. If you have lost anything of a parroty nature, and will
write me a description of it, I will see whether it tallies with the
bird in whose possession we are. I describe the situation in this way
because it more truly expresses it than the converse would do.

    Yours faithfully,

    H. J. FORDYCE.

Petherton countered with the following:--

SIR,--In reply to your absurdly worded letter I have lost a parrot, a
grey one. I do not know why you should have inferred that the bird at
your place belongs to me, unless you had already heard that mine is
missing, in which case I should have thought the proper course would
have been to return it.

I suppose, however, that to a person of your nature such a simple
procedure would have been impossible. The writing of unnecessary, stupid
and rather annoying letters seems to be an obsession with you.

I shall be obliged by your giving the bird to the bearer of this note.

    Yours truly,

    FREDERICK PETHERTON.

The yeast of controversy was evidently beginning to work, and I kept it
going with:--

DEAR PETHERTON,--What a noble literary effort is yours, but, if I may be
allowed to criticise it, it seems to me that while your technique is
almost faultless there is lack of a sense of values in the composition.
Word-painting is a delightful art, but surely in this case the most
important feature should have been a telling description of your missing
bird. The mere outward hue of the parrot is not sufficient; I wanted you
to describe its habits, accomplishments and the colour of its language;
and in face of your meagre description I should not feel justified in
handing over this bird to you, in spite of its being a grey one.

Mind you, I believe you belong to this parrot, but I should like further
proof. I have made no other inquiries in Surbury, but possibly someone
else in the neighbourhood may have a grey parrot on the loose.

Trusting to have a satisfactory reply at your leisure,

    I am,

    Yours faithfully,

    H. J. FORDYCE.

Petherton by this time was up on his hind legs. He wrote:--

Confound you, Sir! The bird is undoubtedly mine. It is grey, talks a
little, and puts its head on one side after the manner of its kind. I
need not give you a fuller description of it; you know perfectly well
the bird is mine, and if you do not return it at once I shall take
legal steps for the recovery of my property.

    FREDERICK PETHERTON.

DEAR FRED,--I am sorry you should be so upset by the loss of a bird that
must have been a cause of considerable embarrassment to you at times,
that is if the bird which at present conducts our _ménage_ is yours.

If you would only provide me with a list of the phrases most favoured by
your parrot I should be able to come to a definite conclusion on the
point of ownership. In a general way the bird here tallies with your
description.

As you practically ask for their name, my solicitors are Messrs. Smith,
Smith, Smith & Jones, which may be algebraically expressed (though not
on the envelope) as 3 (_Smith_) + _Jones_.

In the event of your going on the war-path these gentlemen would accept
service of any billets-doux on my behalf.

    Yours,

    HARRY J. FORDYCE.

P.S.--If you have any sort of book explaining how to subpoena a
parrot, do lend it me like a good chap. If I find it necessary to call
it (the parrot), its evidence will have to be heard _in camerâ_, I
fancy.

This elicited from Petherton:--

SIR,--As my parrot has now been in your possession for several days it
is more than possible that it has acquired a taste for strong language.
It certainly was a model of propriety before it strayed on to your
premises.

Unless the bird is back in my possession before the 29th inst. I shall
instruct my solicitors to serve a writ upon yours, without further
warning or intimation of any kind, as I consider your behaviour most
unwarrantable, though characteristic.

    Fflly. yours,

    FREDK. PETHERTON.

I sent the bird back the next morning, the 28th, with a note:--

DEAR FREDDY,--The bird itself has at last provided me with the proof
which you were unable or unwilling to supply. Among a string of other
rather fruity remarks which it made while we were at breakfast this
morning it indulged--vicariously, one assumes--in a hope as to my future
which has removed any traces of doubt lingering in my mind as to the
bird's ownership.

My wife and maid-servant were present, and as the remark was a very
comprehensive one and indicated me by name I am not sure that an action
for libel would not lie against you.

But I am not vindictive, so return the bird to a more fitting _milieu_.

    Yours,

    HARRY.

I am still waiting for Petherton's letter of thanks.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _P.C._ "WHAT'S BECOME OF THE LITTLE 'OUSEMAID?"

_The Latest Thing in Domestics._ "OH, SHE'S WORKING ON MUNITIONS. YOU'LL
HAVE TO TALK TO ME NOW."]

       *       *       *       *       *


Another Impending Apology.

     "The majority of the blockading officers are drawn from the Royal
     Naval Reserve, whose skill in seamanship is a byeword."

    _Bournemouth Daily Echo._

       *       *       *       *       *

From "Mrs. Gossip's" account, in _The Daily Sketch_, of the audience at
the Serbian matinée at Drury Lane:--

     "Every one I knew was there. Queen Alexandra looked dignified and
     gracious in black and white. With her were the Princess Royal,
     Princess Victoria, Princess Maud of Fife ... and Princess Arthur of
     Connaught."

We trust that Her Majesty and the four Princesses were conscious of this
friendly recognition.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a description of Mr. LLOYD GEORGE'S meeting at Conway:--

     "This gathering was originally fixed for Saturday, the 29th ult.,
     but was postponed for a week to meet the right hon. gentleman's
     convenience.

     The interval of waiting was spent in listening to songs and
     choruses."

What lungs these Welsh folk have!

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The Gardens and Deer Park will be thrown open to the Public ...
     Children under 14 unaccompanied by their Parents and Dogs not
     admitted."--_Gloucester Citizen._

We understand that some parents consider the wording of this notice a
little derogatory.

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"HAMLET."

Mr. MARTIN HARVEY has evidently approached this high matter of the
SHAKSPEARE Tercentenary celebration with the sincerity and
thoughtfulness which have so often laid us under debt to him. He makes
you feel that his heart is more with his "darling" author than with any
other lesser man. It is only an implacable public that has attached him
so persistently to the steps of a guillotine against a blood-red sky.

It shows a considerable virtue in him to have adopted, without straining
after a perversely original and disquieting effect, the very sensible
simplifications of our modernist school. To play substantially the whole
of _Hamlet_ in under three and a-half hours is a highly creditable feat
of stage direction. But the curtain method does more than give speed.
Its rich simplicity provides an excellent foil for the jewel of this
wonderful stage play. Of course it has its disadvantages. It tends to
muffle the voice. On the other hand it lets through a certain amount of
unrehearsed effect. I noted, for instance, even as _Polonius_ was being
pinked behind the arras, the voice of a stage carpenter complaining to
his mate.

It showed wisdom, too, to confine the curtains to the interiors. The
built-up crenellations of the battlement scenes, with the series of
broad steps in front of them, was admirable for grouping and for
movement, though it may be doubted whether the parapet would have
provided adequate cover against the slings and arrows of a tough enemy;
or even if it would have sufficed to prevent the Danes, when under the
influence of wassail, from toppling into the moat. In the play scene the
setting of the "Mouse Trap" against the "fourth wall," whereby the
audience had a fuller view of the principals, entirely justified itself.
The lighting was effective without being fussy.

The costumes call for little comment, which is as it should be. I fell
to wondering in the last Act about what I took to be a team of local
base-ball players--the four stout fellows with the black raven on their
sweaters. And most distinctly would I counsel Mr. HARVEY, at his
entrance in the graveyard scene, to show a leg. In the murky gloom, with
his inky cloak and proudly feathered bonnet, he was dangerously near
giving the impression of a very smart young widow walking out with
_Horatio_.

Mr. HARVEY seemed at his very best in the earlier phases of the play.
The reflective passages were excellent; the homelier bouts of dialogue
were easy and varied; and his fine voice often enriched the splendid
text. As the plot thickened and the eternally unsolvable in the reading
and rendering of _Hamlet's_ malady became more pressing, he seemed a
little to lose grip. As, certainly, he lost the essential pace--the
death scene unquestionably limped. His slurs, his impetuous
_accelerandos_, his rather violent _sforzandos_, perhaps challenge
criticism. But let us acknowledge them to be trifles. Mr. HARVEY filled
three short hours with the glory of a great name, and that should be
reward enough for him.

I see no reason to protest against Mr. RUTLAND BARRINGTON'S unusually
whimsical _Polonius_. True it did not fit that noblest of purple
passages, the homily to _Laertes_. But then neither does the _Polonius_
of the rest of the text--our WILL is like that. Mr. ROSS'S notable bass
and admirable elocution lent mystery and majesty to the _Ghost_. A full
audience applauded long and heartily at the curtain's fall. No one would
be less inclined than Mr. MARTIN HARVEY to keep back grudgingly any
share of that applause which was meant as a tribute to the memory of the
exalted dead.

    T.

       *       *       *       *       *

MENDIP.

(_A soliloquy in view of approaching leave._)

  On Mendip, on Mendip, the gorse is amber now,
    And dandelion torches attend the march of May;
  We Mendip men that coaxed the team and drove the sullen plough,
      No more we shout on Mendip,
      Dear golden, glowing Mendip,
    Oh, many leagues from Mendip is the land we cleave to-day.

  On Mendip, on Mendip, the willow-creeper sings,
    And bright birds and blackbirds and half-a-hundred more;
  The cuckoo's busy boasting of the trouble that he brings
      To feathered folk on Mendip--
      And soon I speed to Mendip
    To nest awhile in Mendip with its fairy-wonder store.

  To Mendip, to Mendip, where boom the happy bells
    From Blagdon and Burrington and Glastonbury town,
  I'm coming by the willow-pools that fringe the road to Wells;
      Oh, soon to breezy Mendip,
      To many-coloured Mendip,
    I'm coming back to Mendip just to wander up and down!

       *       *       *       *       *

GENERAL PAPER.

(_Suggested by the perusal of some recent works on the duties of
dominies._)

(1) Describe in detail the best methods of tormenting a master (_a_)
with discretion, (_b_) without regard for the consequences.

(2) Estimate the disciplinary and moral efficacy of the booby-trap, and
give reasons for preferring the liquid to the solid form, or _vice
versâ_.

(3) SHAKSPEARE abandoned poaching for writing plays. Is this a proof of
insanity or sheer stupidity?

(4) Give a table of the relative adhesive strengths of cobbler's wax,
glue, butter-scotch, caramels and chewing gum.

(5) MILTON received £5 for _Paradise Lost_. Estimate the benefits that
would have accrued to this country in the last 250 years if he had been
paid £500 to suppress his epic.

(6) Describe the best games suitable for playing in chapel.

(7) Should corporal punishment be inflicted on masters by the head of
the form or by the whole form?

(8) Give some account, with dates, of The Jubilee Juggins, Larranaga,
Opoponax, Polly Perkins of Paddington Green, MONTEZUMA, BENVENUTO
CELLINI, the Baroness ORCZY and CHARLIE CHAPLIN.

(9) Explain the mechanism of the saloon pistol, and distinguish between
lampoon and lamprey, gargle and gargoyle, catapult and cataclysm.

(10) In what circumstances is a Headmaster justified in running away
from school?

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TIPS OF MOTHER TIPTON.

  When golfers cease to play with gutties
  And soldiers ease their calves in puttees,
  Troubles will surely supervene
  Upon the European scene.

  When nobody talks of drives and putts,
  And butter is made from cocoa-nuts,
  And women pilot our cabs and coaches,
  The end of the Hohenzollerns approaches.

  When PONSONBY and BERNARD SHAW
  Join hands with ASQUITH and BONAR LAW,
  Lord ROSEBERY and Sir THOMAS LIPTON,
  Look out for squalls, says Mother Tipton.

  Should BEGBIE interview the POPE,
  Pacificists may harbour hope;
  But if the POPE is not at home
  There'll be the deuce of a row in Rome

  When all the masses are daily fed
  Upon sweet peas and Standard bread,
  It is perfectly safe to prophesy
  The end of the world will soon be nigh.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SECOND NATURE.

_Absent-minded Colonel (as sidesmen march up to the altar with
offertory)._ "PICK UP THE STEP THERE IN THE REAR FILE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DRAFT.

  So it is done--the calling and the counting,
    The solemn mustering, the ritual care,
  The fevered messages, the tempers mounting
    For some old rogue who never can be there;
  No more the Adjutant explodes and splutter.
    Because the rifles are too few by four;
  No longer now the Quartermaster mutters
    It's time that bedding was returned to store;
  But all is ship-shape, and, to cut it fine,
  The draft has now departed down the line.

  These were the men that we have trained from tyros;
    We took them in, we dressed them for the wars;
  For us they first arranged themselves in wry rows,
    For us they formed their first unlovely fours;
  We taught them cleanliness (by easy stages)
    And cursed them daily by platoons and squads,
  And they, unmoved by months of mimic rages,
    Regarded us--most properly--as gods:
  They were our very own and, being such,
  For all our blasphemy we loved them much.

  But strangers now will have them in their keeping,
    Unfeeling folk who understand them ill,
  Nor know what energies, what fires unsleeping
    Inform the frames that seem so stupid still;
  Who'll share their struggles and curtail their slumbers,
    And get conceited when the men do well,
  Nor think of us who brought them up by numbers,
    Save in the seasons when they don't excel.
  And then they'll say, "The fellows should be strafed
  Whoever trained this blooming awful draft."

  But not the men; they will not slight so early
    The mild-eyed masters who reviled them first,
  But, mindful still of marches out to Shirley,
    Wet walks at Hayes and romps round Chislehurst;
  When in some ditch, untroubled yet though thinner,
    They talk old days and feelingly refer
  Over their bully to the Depot dinner,
    They'll speak (I hope) about "the officer,"
  And say at least, as Sub-Lieutenants go,
  He was the most intelligent they know.

  And now is life bereft of half its beauty,
    Now the C.O., like some afflicted mare
  Whose cherished colts have been detailed for duty,
    Paws the parade where lute his yearlings were;
  We shall not lie with them in East-bound vessels,
    Nor see new shores in sunlit sweeper-craft,
  Nor (save in soul) be with them in their wrestles,
    Nor wear the ribbons that shall deck the draft;
  Not in our praise will laureates be loud;
  _We_ must turn to and train another crowd.

       *       *       *       *       *

Villages are Cheap To-day.

  "LOCUM TENENS wanted for 3 months at least. Little or no week-day
  work. Offered: comfortable village, 6 or more bedrooms, garden produce:
  possibly small stipend.

  "WANTED RETIRED OR INVALID CLERGYMAN to accept nice house, stable,
  fowl-run, picturesque village, in return for one service on
  Sundays,"--_Church Times._

       *       *       *       *       *

"NEWS BY TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE.

     Napoleon died 95 years ago to-day."--_Daily Mail._

Delayed in transmission.

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Mr. H. A. VACHELL is to be congratulated upon having evolved in _The
Triumph of Tim_ (SMITH, ELDER) one idea that is as ingenious as it is
novel. _Tim_, who had no legal right to any particular name, started
life as a blameless schoolboy under the designation of _Tim White_.
Subsequent events having necessitated his retirement to the New World,
he began again there as _Tim Green_, and so on, through a period of
prosperity as _Brown_, one of adversity as _Black_, into the tranquil
conclusion of _Grey_. Of course this did make it a little confusing for
the other characters, one of whom (not without justice) called him
"parti-coloured." Also, while providing a pleasant variety of interest,
it goes rather against one's chance of forming any definite idea of
_Tim_ as a coherent being. But, despite this, Mr. VACHELL'S longest
novel is in many ways his best yet. There are obviously personal touches
in his pictures of Californian life; and he seems equally at home in
dealing with every phase of his hero's chameleon career. The other
characters also are well drawn, notably _Ivy_, the unrepentant little
wanton through whom came _Tim's_ first lapse in the colour scale. And
the end, which restores him to England, home and unexpected fatherhood
(unexpected, that is, to those whom familiarity with Mr. VACHELL'S
methods had not kept on the watch for precisely this development), is
both sincere and moving.

       *       *       *       *       *

In choosing _The Road to Nowhere_ (ALLEN AND UNWIN) as the title to his
novel, Mr. ERIC LEADBITTER sounds, at any rate, a note of warning to
those who like their heroes to repose in the last chapter upon a bed of
roses. _Joe_, of Camberwell and very humble origin, has social ambitions
and some natural aptitude for fulfilling them. He is an intriguing
study, though I cannot believe in him as firmly as I can in his vulgar
relations. That he may arrive at the point where the snares of wealth
are to encompass him round about he is allowed to win a prize in the
Calcutta Sweep, and then to have a successful flutter in options. In
this way he wins his complete emancipation from Camberwell. The process
is so absurdly easy that one imagines Mr. LEADBITTER to have said to
himself, "Money is not worth much, any way, so it doesn't matter how
_Joe_ gets it." As far as filthy lucre is concerned one can only commend
this attitude, but unfortunately the reader may suspect that he also is
the object of a certain measure of contempt on the part of the author.
This suspicion, however, is not going to deter me from expressing my
approval of the work of a writer who is more concerned with his main
idea than with the method by which he gets to it. In the end I was left
with a real admiration for his courage and ability.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Riches and Honour_ (SMITH, ELDER) tells of the kind of thing our
Empire-builders had to face on the Gold Coast of a quarter-century ago.
It is good for us to learn these things, and Mr. W. H. ADAMS' rather dry
catalogue method of filling in the local colour seems to vouch for
honest knowledge. The story, not in the least dry, is packed with
adventure, rebel chiefs, fetishes and fevers, and a dash of love. It is
_Captain Tarleton_, of H.M. Gold Coast Constabulary, whose riches and
honour are in question. Eagerly expecting the death of a rotten brother
and the pouching of a fat inheritance, he so allows this to prey on his
mind that, when the great chance comes of an important cutting-out
expedition of the kind for which he, keenest and most resourceful of
soldiers and adored leader of his fearless Hausas, is widely famous, his
nerve just goes to little bits. I suppose there are men who think it so
desperately important to succeed to money they haven't earned that they
go off their feed and throw aside habits of courage long fortified by
rigorous self-discipline; but I must say it doesn't seem very
convincing. But then the author may have met poor _Tarleton_ in the
flesh.

[Illustration: _Old Lady (to grandson just home on leave from the
trenches)._ "I AM GLAD YOU'VE COME. YOU'RE JUST IN TIME TO KILL THE
PIG."]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Josiah_, head of the family whose name, _Chapel_, Mr. MILES LEWIS has
given to his South Wales story (HEINEMANN), realised quite suddenly in
middle life that if he was ever to restore the fortunes of his house,
then unhappily depressed, he must wake up and stir about a bit; must in
fact seize fate and the world by the throat and demand his own. In this
laudable intention he is entitled, I suppose, to one's sympathies,
though it hardly seems necessary for him to have adopted the manners of
a bear along with its strength; but when in the course of his wrestlings
with destiny he descended to paltry sharp-practice over a business
bargain, and _Griff_, his son, followed suit, one began to wonder
whether, after all, the County would benefit much by the restoration of
the old stock. Yet there was something likeable about _Griff_ that made
one at any rate half glad to see him back in the ancestral seat; but
even then the marriage that put him there had a little too much the air
of good strategy, though the author, it would seem, has no uneasiness in
regard to these little meannesses of his heroes. This, however, may be a
matter of taste; but there is less excuse for the way I in which he has
cut his book up into two parallel stories which really have very little
to connect them. He does tie them together after a fashion when he
effects a reconciliation between father and son in the last chapter; but
seeing that this is so long delayed, and results in a rather horrible
anti-climax, there is not much gained. In spite of all these grumbles
you are not to infer that there is nothing to appreciate in this book;
there is much that is good, the minor characters being about the best of
it.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The parade on Tuesday, the 11th April, 1916, will be compulsory
     for all ranks stationed in Colombo. Only medical certificates will
     be accepted in lieu of absence. This will be a practice Ceremonial
     Parade. Officers will swear words."--_The Ceylonese._

Very probably; but we don't think they ought to advertise it in advance.





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