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Title: Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 10, 1915
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. 148, February 10, 1915" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 148.

FEBRUARY 10, 1915.



CHARIVARIA.

"Kultur belongs to my Germans alone," says the KAISER. We were
not aware that the charge had been brought against any other country.

* * *

"The Indians," complains the _Frankfurter Zeitung_, "have an
extraordinary way of fighting. They jump up, shoot with wonderful
precision, and disappear before one has time to notice them properly."
Our contemporary has evidently not been studying the pages of _Punch_,
or it would know that the disappearance is worked by the well-known
Indian trick of throwing a rope into the air and climbing up it.

* * *

Letters from the British troops operating in Damaraland show that the
prevailing complaint there is with respect to the heat; and a dear and
very thoughtful old lady writes to suggest that, as our men in Flanders
dislike the cold, it might be possible to arrange an exchange.

* * *

With reference to the attentions paid by German aeroplanes, the other
day, to the British provision establishments at Dunkirk, we understand
that the bombs which were dropped made no impression whatever on our
bully beef, so famous for its durability.

* * *

The Norwich Liberals have selected as their candidate Lieutenant
HILTON YOUNG, and it has been decided that the election
shall not be contested. It is realised that in time of war "_Le monde
appartient aux Jeunes_."

* * *

In his account of the dynamiting of the C. P. R. bridge over the St.
Croix river, REUTER tells us that "A German officer who
has been hanging around the neighbourhood for the past few days has
been arrested." We have a shrewd idea that he may be hanging in the
neighbourhood again very shortly.

* * *

We are surprised that the advocates of Mr. WILLETT'S Daylight
Saving Bill have been so quiet lately. Surely it would be an enormous
advantage to rush this measure through now so that the Germans may have
less darkness to take advantage of?

* * *

Dr. HANS RICHTER, the celebrated WAGNER conductor,
who enjoyed English hospitality for so long, has now expressed the
hope that Germany may punish England who has so profoundly disgraced
herself. It is even said that the amiable Doctor asked to be allowed to
conduct a Parsifal airship to this country.

* * *

Professor KOBERT, of Rostock University, one of Germany's
best-known chemists, is advocating a mixture of pig's blood and
rye-meal as a most nutritious form of bread for his countrymen.
There is, of course, already a certain amount of pig's blood in the
composition of some Germans.

* * *

Our newspapers really ought to be more careful. We feel quite sure
that the following paragraph in _The Daily Mail_ will be quoted in
the German Press as showing the Londoner's fears of a Zeppelin visit:
"The Golder's Green Training Corps yesterday morning mobilised eighty
motor-cars and drove out to Harpenden to see how quickly the corps
could get out of London in case of emergency."

* * *

_The Times_ has been discussing the question as to whether khaki is the
best protective colour for soldiers. In this connection it is worth
noting that the uniforms worn by the men of KITCHENER'S Army
appear to render them almost completely invisible to the correspondents
of German newspapers in this country, who report that there is only a
mere handful of these soldiers.

* * *

By the way Colonel MAUDE pointed out recently in _Land and
Water_ that it is essential that our gunners should be able to watch
our infantry closing on the enemy, and that in this respect khaki is a
drawback. We now hear that the wide-awake Germans are taking the hint,
and that their new uniforms will have scarlet backs, which will not
only help their artillery, but will act as a powerful deterrent should
their troops think of running away.

* * *

Extract from a Book Merchant's Catalogue:--"I venture to assert no
more acceptable gift could be sent to our Heroes on Active Service
than a few cwts. of Literature. A book is the best of all companions
and always useful, for one in the breast pocket has been the means of
saving many a man's life in action." A Society for supplying every
recruit with a complete set of _The Encyclopædia Britannica_ is now, we
believe, in process of formation.

* * *

A book which is stated to have been "kept back on account of the war"
is entitled _Hell's Playground_. One would have thought it would have
been peculiarly _à propos_.

* * *

A live frog has been discovered embedded in a piece of coal hewn from a
colliery in the Forest of Dean. It is thought that the colliery owners,
by means of a series of bonuses like this, intend to make their coal
look almost worth the price that is now being charged for it.

* * *

Frankly we were not surprised to hear that the moon was full a little
while ago. In these times our own planet is certainly not a very
desirable place.

* * *

It is now stated that Herr LIEBKNECHT, the Socialist leader,
who was called to the colours a few days ago, has been relieved of
service in the Landwehr. This is most annoying as it throws out all the
carefully calculated figures of our experts as to the number of men
Germany is putting into the field.

* * *

Even the Censor nods occasionally. _The Tailor and Cutter_ has been
allowed to state that a Holborn tailor is making a uniform for a
sergeant in KITCHENER'S Army who stands 6 ft. 8 ins. high.
The fact that we have a man of these dimensions in reserve was, we
understand, to have been one of our surprises for Germany.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Small Military Enthusiast._ "AUNTIE, DO YOU MIND IF
I MAKE THE GERMANS WIN JUST ONE BATTLE NOW AND THEN? THEY'RE GETTING
WORN OUT."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MARK OF THE BEAST.

(_With acknowledgments to a cartoon by Mr. WILL DYSON._)

 [In a Munich paper Herr GANGHOFER recites the following
 remark of the KAISER'S, whose special journalistic confidant
 he is said to be:--"To possess Kultur means to have the deepest
 conscientiousness and the highest morality. My Germans possess that."]

  'Tis enough that we know you have said it;
    We feel that the facts correspond
  With your speech as a Person of credit,
    Whose word is as good as his bond;
  Who are we that our critics should quarrel
    With the flattering doctrine you preach--
  That the German, in all that is moral,
        Is an absolute peach?

  But the puzzle grows odder and odder:
    If your people are spotless of blame,
  Being perfectly sound cannon-fodder,
    Then whose is the fault and the shame?
  If it's just from a deep sense of duty
    That they prey upon woman and priest,
  And their minds are a model of Beauty,
        Then who is the Beast?

  For a Beast is at work in this matter;
    We have seen--and the traces endure--
  The red blood of the innocent spatter
    The print of his horrible spoor;
  On their snouts, like the lovers of Circe--
    Your men that are changed into swine--
  The Mark of the Beast-without-mercy
        Is set for a sign.

  You have posed (next to God) as the pillar
    That steadies the fabric of State,
  Whence issues the brave baby-killer
    Supplied with his hymnal of hate;
  Once known for a chivalrous knight, he
    Now hogs with the Gadarene herd;
  Since it can't be the other Almighty,
        How _has_ it occurred?

  When at last they begin to be weary
    Of sluicing their virtues in slime,
  And they put the embarrassing query:--
    "Who turned us to brutes of the prime?
  Full of culture and most conscientious,
    Who made us a bestial crew?
  Who pounded the poisons that drench us?"--
        I wouldn't be you.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PLAINT OF A BRITISH DACHSHUND.

DEAR _Mr. Punch_,--I desire to address you on a painful
subject. Let me state that I am (1) a dachshund of unblemished
character; (2) a British-born subject; (3) a member of a family which,
though originally of foreign extraction, has for several generations
been honourably domiciled in one of the most exclusive and aristocratic
of our English country seats. Imagine then the surprise and indignation
experienced by myself, my wife and our only daughter when, shortly
after the opening of the present unfortunate hostilities between our
country and a certain continental Power, we found the atmosphere of
friendly, nay, affectionate respect with which we had so long been
surrounded becoming gradually superseded by one of suspicion and
animosity.

The ball was started by Macalister, an Aberdeen terrier of unprincipled
character, who has never forgiven me for summarily crushing the
unwelcome advances which he had the bad taste to make last spring to
my daughter. He had had the impertinence to approach me with a large
(and, I confess, a distinctly succulent-looking) object, which he
laid with an oily smile on the ground before my nose. But I had heard
from Gertrude (my wife) of his attentions to our offspring, and I saw
through the ruse.

"If you imagine," I said, "for one moment that this insidious offer
of a stolen bone will induce a gentleman of family to countenance an
engagement between his daughter and an advertisement for Scotch whisky
you are greatly mistaken. Be off with you, and never let me see your
ruffianly whiskers near my basket again!"

Rather severe, no doubt, but when I am deeply moved I seldom mince
matters; in fact, as a Briton, I prefer to hit out straight from the
shoulder. In any case, for the time being it settled Macalister.

I say for the time being. In the autumn he had his revenge. One morning
early in October I was walking down the drive accompanied by a recent
arrival within our circle, a rather brainless St. Bernard (who gave his
name with a lisp as "Bwuno"), when we met my child's rejected suitor.
Since the incident mentioned above I had consistently cut Macalister,
and I passed him now without recognition. No sooner was he by, however,
and at a safe distance, than he deliberately turned and snarled over
his shoulder at me the offensive epithet, "Potsdammer!"

My blood boiled; I longed to bury my teeth in the scoundrel's throat;
but I remembered that Gertrude had once told me that galloping made me
look ridiculous. So I affected not to hear the insult, and proceeded,
outwardly calm, with my morning constitutional. But, for some reason
or other, Bruno's flow of small talk appeared suddenly to dry up, and
once or twice I detected him looking at me curiously out of the corners
of his eyes. Next day, on my calling for him as usual he pleaded a
cold. His manner struck me as odd; still I accepted his excuse. But
when the cold had lasted, without any perceptible loss of appetite, for
a fortnight, and I had seen him meanwhile on two occasions actually
rabbiting (an absurd pastime for a St. Bernard) with Macalister, I
saw what had happened and decided to ask him what he meant by it. He
endeavoured to assume a conciliatory attitude, but the long and short
of it was, he said, that as a Swiss, and therefore a neutral, it was
impossible for him to be too careful, and he feared that my society
might compromise him. I did not argue with him; it would merely have
involved a loss of dignity to do so.

Since that time, though we have endured in silence, the lot of myself
and my family has been a hard one. We have been fed and housed as
usual, it is true, but when one has been accustomed to live on terms
of the most privileged friendship with a household it is galling to
find oneself suddenly treated by every member of it, from the butler
downwards, as a prisoner of war. I am not even allowed now to bite the
postmen; and I used to enjoy them so much, especially the evening one,
who wears quite thin trousers. Our only consolation has been the hope
that our misfortune might be an isolated instance. To-day, however, I
learn that it is not so. I have discovered by my basket (and I have
reason to think that they were conveyed thither by the malignant
Macalister) three humorous (?) sketches depicting members of my race
in situations which I can only describe as ridiculous, and obviously
insinuating that they were to be regarded as aliens.

I appeal to you, Sir, as a lover of justice and animals, to put this
matter right with the public, for the life that a British dachshund has
to lead at the present moment is what is vulgarly known as a dog's life.

  Yours to the bottom biscuit,      FRITZ.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS.

TURKISH CAMEL. "WHERE TO?"

GERMAN OFFICER. "EGYPT."

CAMEL. "GUESS AGAIN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE REFUGEE.

"BOBBY DEAR, CAN'T YOU GET MARCELLE TO PLAY WITH YOU
SOMETIMES?"

"I DO TRY, BUT SHE DOESN'T SEEM TO CARE ABOUT IT--SHE'S ALWAYS
KNITTING. I THINK, MOTHER, PERHAPS IT MIGHT BE BETTER IF, FOR THE NEXT
WAR, WE HAD A BOY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

HOT WATER.

At the beginning of things I sat outside my tent in the early hours of
the morning while a stalwart warrior poured buckets of cold water down
my spine. I felt heroic.

Towards the end of October I began to dislike my servant; I had a
suspicion he was icing the water. Before November was in I had given up
sitting outside my tent. My bathing I decided (one cold wet morning)
should take place under cover, either at the Golf Club or at some
kindly person's house.

A few days later, not being on duty, I had arranged to dine with the
Fergusons. In the late afternoon I strode into the Golf Club and had a
hot bath. From there I wandered into town, where I met Mrs. Johnston.

"Hello!" she said. "I'm just going home. Won't you come with me?"

Mrs. Johnston is one in a thousand.

"Rather," I agreed. "Forward--by the right."

Tea over, my hostess turned to me brightly. "Now," she said, "I know
what it must be in camp. I'm sure you'd like a nice hot bath," and she
rang the bell.

Somehow I didn't tell her I'd had one at the Club. You might have
done differently perhaps, but--well, the little lady was beaming
hospitality; was it for me to stifle her generous intentions? I thought
not.

I went upstairs and splashed manfully.

For the third time that day I dressed; then I went downstairs and found
Johnston.

"Hello," he said. "Been having a bath? Good!"

I stiffened perceptibly at "good."

We chatted a little while, then I breathed my sincere thanks and left
them.

My arrival at the Fergusons' was rather early, somewhere about
seven-thirty. I was shown into the drawing-room while the maid went to
inform Mrs. Ferguson of my arrival. In two minutes she returned.

"Will you come this way, Sir?" she said.

I went that way.

Ten minutes later I emerged from Ferguson's bath and walked into his
dressing-room. Ferguson had arrived.

"Hello!" he said. "Been having a bath? Good!"

I winced at the word; then I smiled bravely and started to dress--for
the fourth time.

* * *

It was eleven o'clock when I got back to camp, and I found to my
surprise that the Mess had been moved from the tent to the new hut.

"Hello!" they said, "how do you like the new quarters?"

I surveyed the bare boards.

"Topping," I replied, "but it's not anywhere near finished."

"No," said the Junior Major, "but the bath's in. Hot water, by Gad! Go
and have a bath."

I looked at him blankly. "I've had three, Sir, to-day."

I might have known it was foolish; the Junior Major is still young.

"It's up to the subalterns," he suggested, "to see he has No. 4."

They saw to it.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Baron von Bissing, the Governor of Belgium," says _The Central News_,
"has paid a visit to Turnhout and inspected the German guards along
the Belgo-Dutch frontier." In the whole of our experience we know no
finer example of self-control than our refusal to play with that word
Turnhout.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BLOCKADE. A FAIR WARNING.]

NOTICE

ON AND AFTER FEBRUARY 18, ANY MERCHANT SHIP (ENEMY OR NEUTRAL)
FOUND IN THE MILITARY AREA WITHIN 500 MILES OF THE ATTACHED SUBMARINE
WILL BE LIABLE TO BE SUNK AT SIGHT, WITH OR WITHOUT HER CREW.

BY ORDER]

       *       *       *       *       *

IN QUAINTEST CINEMALAND.

In these troublous times Cinemaland is about the only foreign country
in which it is possible to travel for pleasure. It has occurred to me
that some account of its curious manners and customs may not be without
interest for such readers as are still unacquainted with them.

As Cinemaland contains many departments, each of which has
peculiarities of its own, I cannot attempt more than a general
description.

The chief national industry is the chase of fugitives. In some
departments this is done on horseback, with a considerable and rather
aimless expenditure of ammunition; in others by motor car, or along the
roofs of railway carriages. It seems a healthy pursuit and provides all
concerned with exercise and excitement. The women are, almost without
exception, young and extremely prepossessing. Nature has endowed them,
among other personal advantages, with superb teeth, of which they make
a pardonably ostentatious display on the slightest provocation. They
are all magnificent horsewomen and fearless swimmers, and they do not
in the least mind spoiling their clothes.

In their domestic circles, however, they show a feminine and clinging
disposition, with a marked tendency to fall in love at first sight with
any undesirable stranger.

The principal occupation of the children is reconciling estranged
parents by contracting serious illnesses or getting run over.
The latter is even easier to manage in Cinemaland than in any
London thoroughfare. I have seldom, if ever, seen an aged Cinemian
grandparent, a long-lost wife, or a strayed child try to cross the
emptiest street without being immediately bowled over by a motor-car.
The mere wind of it has the strange potency not only of knocking down a
pedestrian, but inflicting the gravest internal injuries. Fortunately,
Cinemaland is a country rich in coincidences, so the car is invariably
occupied by the very person who has been vainly seeking the sufferer
for years. This of course is some compensation, but, all the same, it
is hardly the ideal method of running across people one is anxious to
meet.

The victims are always removed to the nearest hospital, but, if I may
judge from what I have seen of their wards, I should say that medical
science in Cinemaland is still in its infancy, and it has never
surprised me that so many patients die soon after admission.

But then Science of any kind seems to be a dangerous and unprofitable
occupation there. The inventor, designer, or discoverer of anything
is simply asking for trouble. If he doesn't blow himself up in his
laboratory and get blinded for life, some envious rival is certain to
undertake this for him. Or else a vague villain will steal his formula
or plans and sell them to a Foreign Power with Dundreary whiskers. And
the extraordinary part of it is that no Cinemian has ever invented
anything yet of which the secret could possibly be worth more than
twopence. I fancy the stealing must be done from sheer wanton devilry.

Crime in Cinemaland is invariably detected sooner or later, though I
doubt if it would be but for a careless practice among criminals there
of carrying in their breastpockets the document that proves their
guilt. They seem to have a superstitious idea that to destroy it would
bring them bad luck.

The exterior of a private mansion in a fashionable Cinemian suburb is
stately and imposing, but the interior is generally disappointing,
the rooms being small and overcrowded with furniture that is showy
without being distinguished. In some houses the owners appear to have a
taste for collecting antiques and to have been grossly imposed upon by
dealers.

It is usual for young couples with a very moderate income to keep
not only a smart parlourmaid but a butler as well. The manner of all
Cinemian domestics is one of exaggerated deference; an ordinary English
employer would be painfully embarrassed if his servants bowed to him so
low and so often, but they appear to like it in Cinemaland.

Social etiquette there has exigencies that are all its own. For
example, a guest at an evening party who happens to lose a brooch or
necklace is expected at once to stop the festivities by complaining
to her hostess and insisting on a constable being called in to search
everybody present. It might be thought that Cinemian Society would have
learnt by this time that the person in whose possession the missing
article is discovered is absolutely sure to be innocent. But the
supposed culprit is always hauled off (with quite unnecessary violence)
to prison, amidst the scorn and reprobation of the hostess and her
other guests. It is true they make the handsomest amends afterwards,
which are gratefully accepted, but in any other country the hostess's
next invitation to any social function would be met with the plea of
a previous engagement. If these amiable and impulsive people _have_ a
failing, I should say it was a readiness to believe the worst of one
another on evidence which would not hang an earwig.

They are indefatigable letter-writers, but, after having had the
privilege of inspecting numerous examples of their correspondence, I
am compelled to own that, while their penmanship is bold and legible,
their epistolary style is apt to be a trifle crude.

The clergy of Cinemaland all wear short side whiskers and are a
despised and servile class who appear to derive most of their
professional income from marrying runaway couples in back parlours.

In certain departments it is a frequent practice to dress up in Federal
and Confederate uniforms and engage in desperate conflict. I have
witnessed battles there with over a hundred combatants on each side.
There was a profusion of flags and white smoke on these occasions, but,
so far as I was able to observe, no blood was actually shed.

There is another department which is inhabited by a singularly
high-strung, not to say jerky, race, the women especially betraying
their emotions with a primitive absence of self-control. There, the
pleasure of the cause has become a delirious orgy, though much valuable
time is lost both by pursuers and pursued, owing to an inveterate habit
of stopping and leaping high at intervals. Squinting is a not uncommon
affliction, as is also abnormal stoutness, the latter, however, being
always combined with a surprising agility. In personal encounters,
which are by no means uncommon, it is considered not only legitimate
but laudable to kick the adversary whenever he turns his back, and also
to spring at him, encircle his waist with your legs, and bite his ear.
The local police are all either overgrown or undersized, and have been
carefully trained to fall over one another at about every five yards.
As guardians of the peace, however, I prefer our own force.

I could not have written even so brief an account as this unless I had
paid many visits to Cinemaland. If I am spared I fully expect to pay
many more. The truth is that I cannot keep away from the country. Why,
I can't explain, but I fancy it is because it is so absolutely unlike
any other country with which I happen to be familiar.

  F. A.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _The one seated_ (_reading newspaper of January
29th_). "'20,000 GERMANS FALLEN IN ATTEMPT AT COUP-DE-MAIN.' CAN
YER SEE IT? C-O-U-P., D-E., M-A-I-N. STICK A UNION JACK IN
THERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

 "The practice of compulsorily enrolling men for defence against
 invasion can be traced from before the time of Alfred the Great, when
 every man between 18 and 60 had to serve right up to the time of the
 Napoleonic wars."--_Saturday Review._

It was found, however, that men who had enlisted in ALFRED THE
GREAT'S time at the age of sixty were of little real use in the
Napoleonic wars.

       *       *       *       *       *

FLEET VISIONS SEEN THROUGH GERMAN EYES.

 [A number of curious facts about the British Army, lately gathered
 from German sources, may be supplemented by some further information
 of interest bearing on our Fleet.]

The facts may be obscured for purposes of recruiting, but it remains
true that British seamen are no better than serfs. Their officers have
the most complete proprietorship in their persons and can do with
them what they like, as in the case of the English captain who had a
favourite shark, which followed his ship, and to which he threw an A.B.
each morning. That their slavery is acknowledged by the men is shown by
their custom of referring to the Captain as "The Owner."

       *       *       *       *       *

The savagery of the British Navy has passed into a by-word, and the
bluejackets popularly go by the name of Jack Tartars.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is all very well for America to protest her neutrality to Berlin,
but how can we ignore the fact that President WILSON actually
has a seat on the board of the British Admiralty--where he is known
as "Tug" WILSON. He is even the author of a work aimed
deliberately at us, and entitled _Der Tug_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The superstitions of ignorant British seamen, notably the Horse
Marines, whose credulity has no parallel, is extra-ordinary. Mascots
are carried on all ships. For instance, no ship's carpenter will ever
go to sea without a walrus.

       *       *       *       *       *

SELECT CONVERSATIONS.

(_At about three o'clock in the morning._)

AT THE WAR OFFICE.

_Myself._ I want to see Lord KITCHENER, please.

_Policeman._ Quite impossible, Sir.

_Myself_ (_coldly handing card_). I don't think you realise who I am.

_Policeman_ (_much impressed_). This way, Sir.

 [_I ascend the secret staircase, pat the bloodhounds chained outside
 the sanctum, and enter._

_Kitchener_ (_sternly_). Good morning; what can I do for you?

_Myself_ (_simply_). I have come to offer my services to the War Office.

_Kitchener._ Have you had any previous military experience?

_Myself._ None at all, Sir.

_Kitchener_ (_warmly_). Excellent. The very man we want. You will bring
an absolutely fresh and unbiassed mind to the problem before us. Sit
down. (_I sit down._) You have a plan for defeating the Germans? Quite
so. Now--er--roughly, what would your idea be?

_Myself_ (_waving arm_). Roughly, Sir, a broad sweeping movement.

_Kitchener_ (_replacing ink-pot and getting to work with the
blotting-paper_). Excellent.

_Myself._ The details I should work out later. I think perhaps I had
better explain them personally to Sir JOHN FRENCH and General
JOFFRE.

_Kitchener._ I agree. You will be attached to Sir JOHN'S
Staff, with the rank of Major. I shall require you to leave for the
Front to-night. Good day, Major.

 [_We salute each other, and the scene changes._

AT GENERAL HEADQUARTERS.

_French._ Ah, how do you do, Major? We have been waiting for you.

_Myself._ How do you do, Sir? (_To_ JOFFRE, _slowly_) _Comment
vous portéz-vous?_

_Joffre._ Thank you; I speak English.

_Myself_ (_a little disappointed_). Good.

_French._ Now then, Major, let us hear your plan.

_Myself._ Well, roughly it is a broad sweeping move----I _beg_ your
pardon, Sir!

_Joffre_ (_with native politeness_). Not at all, Monsieur.

_Myself_ (_stepping back so as to have more room_)--a broad sweeping
movement. More particularly my idea is----

[It is a curious thing, but I can never remember the rest of this
speech when I wake up. I know it disclosed a very masterly piece of
tactics ... the region of the Argonne ... a _point d'appui_.... No, it
has gone again. But I fancy the word "wedge" came in somewhere.]

_French._ Marvellous!

_Joffre._ _Magnifique!_

_Myself_ (_modestly_). Of course it's only an idea I jotted down on the
boat, but I think there's something in it.

_French._ My dear Major, you have saved Europe.

_Joffre_ (_unpinning medal from his coat_). In the name of France I
give you this. But you have a medal already, Monsieur?

_Myself_ (_proudly_). My special constable's badge, General. I shall be
proud to see the other alongside it.

_The scene fades._

[I can only suppose that at this moment I am moved by the desire to
save useless bloodshed, for I next find myself with the enemy.]

AT POTSDAM.

_Kaiser_ (_eagerly_). Ah, my good TIRPITZ, what news of our
blockade?

_Myself_ (_removing whiskers_). No, WILLIAM, not
TIRPITZ!

_Kaiser._ An Englishman!

_Myself._ An Englishman--and come to beg you to give up the struggle.

_Kaiser._ Never, while there is breath in man or horse!

_Myself._ One moment. Let me tell you what is about to happen. On my
advice the Allies are making a broad swee---- Put back your sword,
Sire. I am not going to strike you--a broad sweeping movement through
Germany.

_Kaiser_ (_going pale_). We are undone. It is the end of all. And this
was _your_ idea?

_Myself._ My own, your Majesty.

_Kaiser_ (_eagerly_). Would an Iron Cross and a Barony tempt you to
join us? Only a brain like yours could defeat such a movement.

_Myself_ (_with dignity_). As a Major and a gentleman----

_Kaiser._ Enough. I feared it was useless. _(Gloomily)_ We surrender.

_The scene closes._

[The final scene is not so clear in my memory that I can place it with
confidence upon paper. But the idea of it is this.]

AT ---- PALACE.

_A Certain Person._ Your country can never sufficiently reward you,
Major, but we must do what we can. I confer on you the V.C., the
D.S.O., the M.V.O., the P.T.O. and the P. and O. The payment of a
special grant of £5,000 a year for life will be proposed in the House
to-morrow.

_Myself._ Thank you, Sir. As for the grant, I shall value it more for
the spirit which prompted it than for its actual---- Did you say _five_
thousand, Sir?

[At this point I realise with horror that I have only a very short vest
on, and with a great effort I wake.... The papers seem very dull at
breakfast.]

  A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SOLDIER'S ENGLAND.

    My England was a draper's shop,
      And seemed to be the place to fit
    My size of man; and I'd to stop
      And make believe I fancied it--
  That and a yearly glimpse of mountain blue,
          A book or two.

    A bigger England stirs afloat.
      I see it well in one who's come
    From where he left his home and boat
      By Cornish coasts, whose rollers drum
  Their English music on an English shore
          Right at his door.

    And one who's left the North a spell
      Has found an England he can love,
    Hacking out coal. He's learnt her well
      Though mines are narrow and, above,
  The dingy houses set in dreary rows,
          Seem all he knows.

    The one of us who's travelled most
      Says England, stretching far beyond
    Her narrow borders, means a host
      Of countries where her word's her bond
  Because she's steadfast, everywhere the same,
          To play the game.

    Our college chum (my mate these days)
      Thinks England is a garden where
    There blooms in English speech and ways,
      Nurtured in faith and thought we share,
  A fellowship of pride we make our own,
          And ours alone.

    And England's all we say, but framed
      Too big for shallow words to hold.
    We tell our bit and halt, ashamed,
      Feeling the things that can't be told;
  And so we're one and all in camp to-night,
          And come to fight.

       *       *       *       *       *

 "No judgment of recent years has aroused more widespread interest
 than that of Mr. Justice Bargrave Deane, in which he decided that the
 Slingsby baby was the son of his mother."--_Evening News._

Wonderful men our judges.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Doctor._ "YOU'LL BE ALL RIGHT NOW, AND I HAVE MUCH
PLEASURE IN RETURNING YOU THE TWO SOVEREIGNS WHICH I FOUND SHOT INTO
YOU WITH THE PURSE."

_Sergeant._ "THANK YOU, SIR; I DON'T CALL HALF A QUID DEAR FOR
DOIN' THAT JOB."

_Doctor._ "I DON'T FOLLOW YOU."

_Sergeant._ "WELL, I HAD TWO-POUND-TEN IN THAT PURSE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

HOW TO DEAL WITH SUBMARINES.

 ["_The Syren and Shipping_ offers £500 to the captain, officers and
 crew of the first British merchant vessel which succeeds in sinking a
 German submarine."--_The Times._]

In order to assist captains of merchant ships to deal with raiding
submarines, a few suggestions and comments, which it is hoped will be
helpful, are offered by our Naval Expert.

In the absence of a 4·7 naval gun, a provision suggested as useful by
a writer in _The Times_, any 13-inch shells that you happen to have on
board might be hoisted over the side, disguised as bunches of bananas,
and dropped on to the offending submarine. If this does not sink her at
once, additional bunches should be dropped.

But before disposing of your shells be sure that your submarine is
close alongside. In case she should hold off, let the first mate beckon
to her, in a manner as nonchalant as possible, to come closer.

When the enemy boards your ship, the captain should endeavour to
interest the boarding party with the latest war news from German
bulletins, whilst the bo'sun, the second steward and the stewardess,
with the aid of peashooters, pour liquid explosive down the submarine's
periscope.

If you are fortunate enough to have on board one of those trained
sea lions which have been showing for some years at the music-halls,
you need not trouble to practise the subterfuges given above. On the
enemy's submarine making her appearance on the starboard side you
should lower your sea lion over the port side, preferably near the
stern, having previously attached to it a bomb connected with wires to
a battery. When the sea lion is close to the submarine just press the
button. Possibly you will lose your pet, but the general result should
be satisfactory.

Owing to unavoidable circumstances you may not be able to put into
practice any of these hints. If that be so, when the enemy comes
aboard, work up a heated discussion on the origin of the War. If
skilfully managed, you should draw into the discussion the entire
company of the submarine, with the result that you will make time and
possibly be got out of your difficulty by one of our patrol ships.

Should all and every one of these expedients be useless, as a forlorn
hope you should read aloud the appropriate clauses of the Hague
Convention, and at the same time take the names and addresses of the
boarding party for future reference.

If you have an amateur photographer aboard, let him get going. The
payment made by illustrated papers for pictures that reproduce the
sinking of your ship will probably exceed the value of the ship, so
that in any case your owners will not lose by the deal.

But it is always best, where possible, to sink the submarine.

       *       *       *       *       *

From a letter in _The Liverpool Echo_:--

 "At a time like this we must be prepared to have our prejudices
 shattered. When the whole world has been turned upside down, is it
 fair that women should be left standing still?"

It is a delicate question, and the women must be left to take up their
own position in the matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Village Constable_ (_to the Vicar, who has been
hurrying to fetch fire engine_). "SO YOUR 'OUSE IS AFIRE, IS IT?
AH! I'VE BIN A-WATCHIN' THAT LIGHT. DIDN'T EXPECT TO RUN INTO _ME_, DID
YOU? 'OW'M I TO KNOW YOU BAIN'T SIGNALLIN' TO GERMANY?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHNSON.

  When the task of training scholars Johnson manfully essayed
  At a school whose Eton collars were the finest ever made,
  It was largely lack of dollars drove him to the teaching trade.

  Nature meant, had Fate allowed, him to command a t.b.d.,
  Both his parents gladly vowed him to the service of the sea,
  But the Navy doctors ploughed him for some _itis_ of the knee.

  Yet, in spite of this embargo, he had spent each Oxford vac.
  In a tramp as supercargo or on board a fishing-smack,
  Till of sailors' lore and _argot_ he was full as he could pack.

  In the sphere of gerund-grinding Johnson wasn't a success;
  Boys are overprone to finding fault with masters who transgress
  Rules which they consider binding in regard to form and dress.

  Johnson's taste was always slightly _outré_ in his ties and caps;
  Furthermore he never rightly saw the fun of booby traps;
  And he clouted, none too lightly, boys who larked with watertaps.

  Some considered him half-witted, or at best a harmless freak;
  Some reluctantly admitted that he knew a lot of Greek;
  All agreed he was unfitted for the calling of a "beak."

  So, reluctantly returning to their mid-autumnal grind,
  Nearly all the boys, on learning Mr. Johnson had resigned,
  Showed the usual undiscerning acquiescence of their kind.

  Thus he passed unmourned, unheeded, by nine boys in ev'ry ten,
  And as week to week succeeded, bringing Christmas near again,
  Quite a miracle was needed to recall him to their ken.

  Deeds that merit lasting glory almost daily leap to light;
  But one morning brought a story which was "excellently bright,"
  And the Head, _rotunda ore_, read it out in Hall that night.

  'Twas a tale of nerve unshrinking--of a "sweeper" off the Tyne,
  Which had rescued from a sinking trawler, shattered by a mine,
  Though a submarine was slinking in her wake, a crew of nine.

  Well, you won't be slow in guessing at the gallant skipper's name,
  Or from whom the most caressing message to the hero came--
  Boys are generous in redressing wrongs for which they are to blame.

  Johnson still continues "sweeping," in the best of trim and cheer,
  As indifferent to reaping laurels as immune from fear,
  While five hundred boys are keeping friendly watch on his career.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE OUTCAST.

A PLACE IN THE SHADOW.]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Commons, Tuesday, 2nd February._--First business on
resumption of sittings after Recess was issue of writ for election of
Member for Shipley Division of Yorkshire to fill the seat of PERCY
ILLINGWORTH, whose place on Treasury Bench and in Whips' Room will
know him no more.

Herein a tragedy notable even amid absorbing interest of the War. When
in last week of November House adjourned for recess, the CHIEF
LIBERAL WHIP was in what seemed to be perfection of health. A
little tired perhaps with exhausting labour of prolonged Session, but
cheerily looking forward to interval of comparative rest. Physically
and intellectually in the prime of life, he had happy constitutional
turn of making the best of everything. A good sportsman, a famed
footballer, healthy in mind and body, he habitually counteracted
influence of sedentary life by outdoor exercise. If one had cast an eye
round Benches on both sides and estimated which was the most likely
man for whose county or borough a writ would, on reassembling of
Parliament, be moved to fill vacancy created by his death, one would
last of all have thought of PERCY ILLINGWORTH.

Two years ago selection by PRIME MINISTER of a young,
comparatively unknown, inexperienced man to fill important post of
Chief Ministerial Whip was regarded with some surprise. That shrewd
judge of character and capacity as usual justified by the event,
ILLINGWORTH speedily made his mark. Courteous in manner, frank
in speech, swift and capable in control of circumstance, he gained,
and in increasing measure maintained, that confidence and personal
popularity indispensable to the successful Whip.

Pleasant for his many friends to think that he lived long enough
to have conferred upon him a Privy Councillorship--a simple title,
but good enough for PEEL and GLADSTONE, and for
DIZZY throughout the plenitude of his prime.

It was not without emotion that GULLAND, promoted to the Chair
in the Whips' Room vacated by his esteemed Leader, moved the writ. He
was comforted and encouraged by hearty cheers, not wholly confined to
Ministerial side, approving the PREMIER'S choice.

Full but not crowded attendance such as usually foregathers on
opening days of the school at Westminster. Khaki-clad warriors moving
about House and Lobbies with martial step suggested explanation of
falling-off. Two hundred Members are at the Front on active service, a
score or more engaged in civilian service in connection with the War.

Business brief, curiously lifeless. Only one Question on Printed Paper
where in ordinary times not unusual to find two hundred. On motion
for adjournment, made within twenty minutes of SPEAKER'S
taking the Chair, number of desultory topics were introduced by way of
cross-examination of Ministers. No disposition shown to pursue them in
controversial mood. At 4.30 House adjourned.

[Illustration: PROMOTED TO THE CHAIR IN THE WHIPS' ROOM.

(MR. J. W. GULLAND.)]

[Illustration: ON THE OLD TACK.

(MR. GINNELL.)]

_Business done._--Both Houses reassembled after Winter Recess. In
Commons PREMIER announced that Government will take the whole
time for official business. Private Members and their Bills thus
shunted, it will not be necessary to meet on Fridays.

_Wednesday._--Gloom that lies like a pall over House momentarily lifted
by unexpected agency. As at the circus when things are drifting into
dullness the Clown suddenly enters, displacing monotony by merriment,
so when Questions about enemy alien and the sacredness of the rights of
private Members had droned along for some time Mr. GINNELL,
who classifies himself as "an Independent Nationalist," presented
himself from below Gangway. First distinguished himself above common
horde on occasion of election of SPEAKER at opening sitting of
present Parliament. The SPEAKER being as yet non-existent, the
authority of the Chair undelegated, he had House at his mercy. Might
talk as long as he pleased, say what he thought proper, with none to
call him to order. Used opportunity to make violent personal attack on
SPEAKER-DESIGNATE.

Up again now on same tack. Appears that yesterday he handed in at
the Table two Bills he proposed to carry through. No record of the
procedure on to-day's Paper. Mr. GINNELL smelt a rat. He
"saw it moving in the air" in person of the SPEAKER, who
was "perverting against the House powers conferred on him for the
maintenance of its functions and its privileges." Mr. GINNELL
not sort of man to stand this. Proposed to indict SPEAKER for
misconduct. But not disposed to be unreasonable; always ready to oblige.

"If," he said, addressing the SPEAKER, "I should be out of
order now, may I to-morrow call attention to your conduct in the Chair?"

SPEAKER cautiously replied that before ruling on the point he
would like to see the terms of motion put down on the Paper.

Thereupon Mr. GINNELL proceeded to read a few remarks not
entirely complimentary to the SPEAKER, which for greater
accuracy he had written out on what PRINCE ARTHUR once alluded
to as a sheet of notepaper. Holding this firmly with both hands, lest
some myrmidon of the Chair should snatch it from him, he emphasised
his points by bobbing it up and down between his chin and his knee.
Whilst primarily denunciatory of the SPEAKER he had a word to
say in reproof of PRIME MINISTER, whose concession to private
Members of opportunity for an hour's talk on motion for adjournment
he described as being "like cutting off a private Member's head, then
clipping off a portion of his ear and throwing it to his relatives."

_Business done._--Without division House consented that Government
business shall have precedence on every day the House sits.
PREMIER in exquisite phrases lamented the early cutting-off
of PERCY ILLINGWORTH, of whom he said: "No man had imbibed
and assimilated with more zest and sympathy that strange, indefinable,
almost impalpable atmosphere compounded of old traditions and of
modern influences which preserves, as we all of us think, the unique
but indestructible personality of the most ancient of the deliberative
assemblies of the world."

Impossible more fully and accurately to describe that particular
quality of the House of Commons which every one who intimately knows it
feels but would hesitate to attempt to define.

_Thursday._--Noble Lords are studiously and successfully disposed to
conceal passing emotion. Masters of themselves though China fall,
even should it drag down with it Japan and Korea. Return of Lord
LANSDOWNE after prolonged bout of illness, an event so popular
that it broke through this iron shield of hereditary conventionality.
His reappearance welcomed from both sides with hearty cheer, in volume
more nearly approaching House of Commons habit than what is familiar in
the Lords.

LEADER OF OPPOSITION is unquestionably one of the most highly
esteemed among Peers. There have been crises in history of present
Parliament when, through attitude taken by extreme partisans, he has
found himself in difficult situation. Invariably circumvented it.
Without making pretension to be a Parliamentary orator--pretension of
any kind is foreign to his nature--he has the gift of saying the right
thing in appropriate words at the proper moment. Looks a little worn
down with long seclusion in sick chamber. But, as the House noticed
with satisfaction gracefully reflected by Lord CREWE, "is
unimpaired in his power of Parliamentary expression."

This afternoon, to debate on Lord PARMOOR'S Bill amending
Defence of Realm Act he contributed a weighty speech instinct with
sound constitutional principles.

_Business done._--In Commons MCKENNA found opportunity of
refuting by statement of simple facts circumstantial fables about Home
Office patronage of ex-German waiters. Supplementary Estimates for
Civil Service voted. House counted out at 5.40. Adjourned till Monday.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PEOPLE WHO OUGHT TO BE INTERNED.

"I MIGHT LET HAROLD GO TO THE FRONT IF I THOUGHT IT REALLY
NECESSARY. BUT THERE ARE SO MANY BOYS WHO ARE MORE USED TO ROUGHING.
YOU SEE, HAROLD HAS BEEN SO VERY CAREFULLY BROUGHT UP."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. VALENTINE'S DAY, 1915.

_A Missive from the Front._

  Ere the first grey dawn has banished
    Restless night and her alarms,
  When the sleeper's snores have vanished
    On the order "Stand to arms!"
  When the sky is bleak and dreary
    And the rain is chill and thin,
  Be I ne'er so damp and weary,
    Yet my thoughts on You I pin.

  When the bullets fly unheeded
    O'er the meagre parapet,
  As I pace my ditch impeded
    By the squelching mud and wet;
  When I eat my Army ration
    With my fingers caked in clay--
  You can stake your total cash on
    Me remembering You this day.

  Though the glittering knight whose charger
    Bore him on his lady's quest
  With an infinitely larger
    Share of warfare's pomp was blest,
  Yet he offered love no higher,
    No more difficult to quench,
  Than this filthy occupier
    Of an unromantic trench.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Recruit_ (_who had given his age as 33 on enlistment_).
"DID YOU 'EAR THAT? TOLD ME MY BRIDLE WASN'T PUT ON RIGHT! BLESS
'IS BLOOMIN' INNOCENCE! AND ME BIN IN A RACIN' STABLE FOR THE LAST
FIVE-AND-THIRTY YEAR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

A TERRITORIAL IN INDIA.

IV.

MY DEAR _Mr. Punch_,--In case you formed any mental pictures
of my first Christmas as a Territorial in India, let me hasten to
assure you that every single one of them was wrong. I neither took
part in the uproarious festivities of the Barracks nor shared the more
dignified rejoicings of the Staff Office in which I am condemned for a
time to waste my military talents. An unexpected five days' holiday,
and a still more unexpected windfall of Rs. 4 as a Christmas Box
(fabulous gift for an impecunious private) enabled me to pay a visit
to some relatives, who live at, well ----. One has to be careful. The
Germans are getting desperate, and they would give worlds to know
exactly where I am.

---- is a place rich in historical interest and scenic beauties.
Freed from the rigid bonds of military discipline and the still more
hampering restrictions of official routine, I was at liberty to enjoy
them to the full. It was the opportunity of a lifetime to see something
of the real India. Did I take it? No, _Mr. Punch_, to be honest, I did
not.

After hundreds of years (so it seems) of Army active service rations,
of greasy mess tins and enamelled iron mugs, I found myself suddenly
confronted by civilised food waiting to be eaten in a civilised
fashion. And I fell. Starting with _chota hazri_ at 7 A.M., I
ate steadily every day till midnight. That is how I spent my holiday. I
may as well complete this shameful confession; it was the best time I
ever had in my life.

I feel confident that my stomachic feats will never be forgotten in
----. I shouldn't be surprised if in years to come the natives are
found worshipping a tree trunk or stone monolith rudely carved into the
semblance of an obese Territorial. It is pleasant to think that one may
even have founded a new religion.

But I am grieved and troubled about one thing. I ate plantains and
guavas and sweet limes and Cape gooseberries and pomolos and numberless
other Indian fruits (O bliss!), but not custard apples. Custard apples,
it appears, are the best of all, and they went out of season just
before I arrived in India and will not come into season again for
months and months.

I am confident that you will appreciate my predicament. I want the War
to finish quickly, but I want to eat custard apples. I want to get to
the Front and have a go at the Germans, but I desire passionately to
eat custard apples. I want to get home again to you, but after all I
have heard about them I feel that my life will have been lived in vain
if I do not eat custard apples. It is a trying position.

Home was very much in my thoughts at Christmas time. The fact of having
relatives around me, the plum pudding, the mince pies, the mistletoe,
the clean plates, the china cups and saucers, the crackers, the
cushions, the absence of stew,--all these and many other circumstances
served to remind me vividly of the old life in England. And when
regretfully I left ----, and (like a true soldier cheerfully running
desperate risks) travelled back in a first-class carriage with a
third-class ticket, I found at the Office yet another reminder of home
and the old days. My kindly colleagues had determined that I should not
feel I was in a strange land amid alien customs. They had let all the
work accumulate while I was away and had it waiting for me in a vast
pile on my return.

That is why this is such a short letter.

  Yours ever,

  ONE OF THE _PUNCH_ BRIGADE.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHEERY DOGS.

I.--_Mr. A._

"Well, what have we done?--that's what I want to know. Where are the
Germans? In France and Belgium. Where are we? This side of them. Where
is their Navy? Still only too active. And so it goes on. My dear
fellow, I like to be cheerful, but you give me no material to do it on.
The cold truth is that we are just where we were months ago. 'Time is
on our side,' you say. May be; but the War can't go on for ever, and
meanwhile look at things here--food rising, coal rising, distress all
around. What do you think the income-tax is going to be soon? Ha! Still
it does not do to air these opinions and doubts. We must all be gay.
That is our first duty."

II.--_Mr. B._

"Yes, of course there's Russia, as you say. But what is Russia? You
know what Russia is. They've no heart in fighting, and I'm told that
many personages in high places, and one very high indeed, are moving
at this moment towards peace. That would be a nice thing, wouldn't it?
It would liberate all the East frontier men and guns to come over to
the West. And there's another thing about Russia too--how is it to get
any more ammunition into the country with Archangel frozen? I suppose
you know that we have been supplying them with ammunition ever since
the start; and there's precious little left, I can tell you. You didn't
know that? You surprise me. No, it doesn't do to lean too much on
Russia. And money too. Where is that coming from? For ultimately, you
know, all wars are fought with money. We shall have to find that too.
So it isn't too easy to grin, is it? And yet I flatter myself that I
succeed in conveying an impression of distinct optimism."

III.--_Mr. C._

"Well, of course, if all the naturalised Germans in this country are
not interned we have only ourselves to thank if we are completely
conquered. Think of the terrible advantage to the enemy to have waiters
spying on the guests in hotels and at once communicating with Berlin!
What chance have we if that kind of thing goes on? I was in an hotel at
Aylesbury only yesterday, and I am sure a waiter there was a German,
although he was called Swiss. He watched everything I ate. I tell you
there are German spies everywhere. What can a waiter at Aylesbury
tell Berlin? Ah! that's what we don't understand. But something of
the highest moment and all to our disadvantage in war. But we have
spies too? Never. I can't believe that England would ever be clever
enough to make use of any system of secret service. No, Sir, we're back
numbers. Still, it mustn't get out. We must all pretend, as I do, that
everything is all right."

IV.--_Mr. D._

"I don't like the look of things in America, I can assure you.
Anything but satisfactory. DERNBURG'S a clever fellow and the
politicians can't forget what the German vote means to them. I see
nothing but trouble for us there. This Shipping Purchase Bill--that's
very grave, you know; and they don't like us--it's no use pretending
that they do. I read an extract only this morning from a most
significant article in _The Wells Fargo Tri-Weekly Leaflet_ which shows
only too clearly how the wind is blowing. No, I view America and its
share in the future with the gloomiest forebodings, although of course
I do my best to conceal them. To the world I turn as brave a face as
anyone, I trust."

V.--_Mr. E._

"I don't doubt the bravery of the French; but what I do say is, where
is the advance we were promised? Nibbling is all very well, but
meanwhile men are dying by the thousand, and the Germans are still in
the invaded country. I hear too of serious disaffection in France.
There's a stop-the-war party there, growing in strength every day.
We'll have 'em here soon, mark my words. The French have no stomach for
long campaigns. They want their results quickly, and then back to their
meals again. I take a very serious view of the situation, I can tell
you, although I do all I can to keep bright and hopeful, and disguise
my real feelings."

VI.--_Mr. F._

"This activity of the German submarines is most depressing. Man for
man we may have a better navy, but when it comes to submarines they
beat us. What kind of chance have we against these stealthy invisible
death-dealers? They're the things that are going to do for us. I can
see it coming. But I keep the fact to myself as much as possible--one
must not be a wet blanket."

VII.--_Mr. G._

"If only we had a decent government, instead of this set of weaklings,
I should feel more secure. But with this Cabinet--some of them
pro-Germans at heart, if the truth were known--what can you expect?
Still, one must not drag party politics in now. We must be solid for
the country, and if anyone raises his voice against the Liberals in my
presence he gets it hot, I can tell you. None the less a good rousing
attack by BONAR LAW on the Government, root and branch, every
few days would be a grand thing. As I always say, the duty of the
Opposition is to oppose."

And these are not all.

       *       *       *       *       *

REVERSES.

(_From the Front._)

  Just a line to let you know, Jim, howall goes.
    Well, in spite of Bosches, rain and mud and muck,
  I've had nothing to complain of as I knows
    Till last week, when comes a run of rotten luck.

  First, a Black Maria busts aside o' me,
    And I lost, well, I should say a hundred fags!
  Then I goes and drops a fine mouth-organ--see?
    And it sinks in one of these here slimy quags.

  Then I chucks my kit down when we charged next day
    (You've no use for eighty pounds odd when you sprints),
  And while we was at it, what d' yer think, mate, eh?
    Why, some blighter pinched my tin o' peppermints!

  Crool luck, warn't it? But I'm pretty bobbish still--
    Here's the Surgeon come, a very decent bloke;
  I'm in horspital, I should 'a' said--not ill,
    Just my right leg crocked and four or five ribs broke.

       *       *       *       *       *

First Lessons in Seamanship.

Extract from the CHURCHILL interview:--

 "Pacing his room thoughtfully, Mr. Churchill paused before a globe
 which he twirled round in his fingers like the rudder of a ship."

       *       *       *       *       *

This is "What 'Roger' Hears" in _The Northampton Daily Chronicle_:--

 "That a burglar entered 34, Birchfield road, Northampton, last
 evening, and decamped with several articles of jewellery while the
 residents, Mr. and Mrs. Mace, were out for an hour and a half.

 That the Belgian guests who are being so generously entertained by the
 Mount Pleasant friends were present, and rendered musical items."

On police whistles, we hope.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Small boy._ "WHAT'S ON THE POSTER, MOTHER?"

_Mother._ "ONLY 'MORE GAINS AND LOSSES,' BUT WHETHER ON OUR SIDE OR
THE OTHER IT DOESN'T SAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *

BROKEN MELODIES.

"Aren't music publishers maddening?" said Clarice. "Here's a tune that
promises awfully well, and breaks off suddenly."

I went over to the piano.

On the music-rest was a sheet of music, back to front, showing the
opening bars of several songs the publishers wished to commend to our
notice; appetisers, as it were.

Clarice played the opening bars, the only ones which were given.

"Please continue," I said; "I'm beginning to like it already."

"How can I?" said Clarice. "How do I know how it goes on? It's simply
maddening."

"Aren't there any rules?" I said. "What I mean is, don't certain notes
follow certain other notes?"

"Not necessarily," said Clarice. "Why should they?"

"Why shouldn't they?" I persisted. "In hockey, footer, billiards and
the other arts certain movements are inevitably followed by certain
consequences. It ought to be the same in music. However, as a poet
it is the words which really interest me. Listen to this: '_Somebody
whispered to me yestre'en, Somebody whispered to me, And my heart gave
a flutter and_--' Ah, of course I know--_and I trod on the butter_."

"_Which soon wasn't fit to be seen_," said Clarice.

"Bravo," I said, "very soulful. Now look at the one above it: '_The
rosy glow of summer is on thy dimpled cheek, While_----' There's a
poser for you."

"Oh, how pretty!" said Clarice. "And listen to the tune." She played
what notes there were two or three times over. "I really must get that
one," she added.

"Do," I said. "I should like to hear more about that girl. These
publishers know how to whet one's appetite, don't they? By Jove, here's
a gem--'_I sat by the window dreaming, In the hush of eventide, Of
the_----' Now what does one dream about at that time?"

"You dream of dinner chiefly, I've noticed," said Clarice.

"That's the idea," I said. "_Of the soup (tomato) steaming, The steak
and mushrooms fried._ Who's the publisher?"

"Crammer," said Clarice.

I took up another sheet of music and hunted for more treasure. "Here's
something fruity," I said, "published by Scarey and Co.: '_Oh, the
lover hills are happy at the dawning of the day; There are winds to
kiss and bless us, there is_----'"

"What?" said Clarice.

"How should I know?" I said. "Let's get the song and find out. Get them
all, in fact."

"Do you think we ought to?" said Clarice.

"Yes, certainly," I said. "It's good for trade. My motto is 'Music as
Usual during the War.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Contractor's Touch.

From a label on a tin of Army jam:--

 "DAMSON AND APPLE,

 From Seville Oranges and Refined Sugar only."

Thus monotony is avoided.

       *       *       *       *       *

 "In standing at ease recruits _will_ not carry the left leg twelve
 paces to the left, and balance the body on both legs equally."--_Royal
 Magazine._

Probably they think that they would not feel really at ease if they
did. Personally we find that two paces and a half is our limit.

       *       *       *       *       *

MORE THAN TWO.

_Host._ No, please don't sit there.

_1st Guest._ Oh yes, I much prefer it.

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_Host._ I can't have you sitting there.

_1st Guest._ I assure you I like being back to the driver.

_Host._ No, if anyone sits there, naturally it must be me.

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_1st Guest._ Not at all.

_2nd Guest._ I assure you I prefer it too.

_Host._ No, sit here. When you're both comfortably settled, I'll get in.

_1st Guest._ Oh no, please. I'm sure you never sit there. I hate to
take away your own place.

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_Host._ I insist.

_1st Guest._ Please don't say any more about it. See, I'm in now and
quite comfy.

_Host._ It's very wrong of you to be there.

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_Host._ Can't I persuade you to change?

_1st Guest._ No.

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_Host._ Well, it's very wrong. I know that.

_1st Guest_. Please let us get on now. I never was more comfy in my
life.

_Host._ You're sure?

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_Host._ But it's most unsatisfactory.

_1st Guest._ Not at all.

_Host._ Then you're sure you're all right?

_1st Guest._ Absolutely. I love it here.

_Host._ Very well then. (_Sighs._)

_2nd Guest._ Do let me.

_1st Guest._ No, we're all fixed now.

_Host._ All right. (_To chauffeur_) Let her go! (_To 1st Guest_) It's a
great shame, though.

_1st Guest._ I love it.

_2nd Guest._ I do wish you had let me.

And that is what happens whenever three polite people are about to ride
in a motor-car.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shares.

 "A purse, containing sum of money; owner can have some."--_Advt. in
 "Portsmouth Evening News._"

And the finder may keep the rest for his trouble.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Daily Chronicle_ (Kingston, Jamaica) says of the new Military
Decoration:--

 "It is of silver, and bears the imperial crown on each arm and in the
 centre the letters 'G.R.I.' (George, ex-Imperator)."

At least that's WILLIAM'S interpretation of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"A BUSY DAY."

I have always wanted to be a grocer. To spend the morning arranging
the currants in the window; to spend the afternoon recommending (with
a parent's partiality) such jolly things as bottled gooseberries and
bloater paste; to spend the evening examining the till and wondering if
you have got off the bad half-crown yet--that is a life. Many grocers,
I believe, do not realise it, and envy (foolishly enough) the dramatic
critic, knowing little of the troubles hidden behind his apparently
spotless shirt-front; but even they will admit that to be a grocer for
an hour would be fun.

[Illustration: CLEAN BRITISH HUMOUR.

(_As the saying is._)

MR. HAWTREY AND MISS COMPTON EXCHANGE BADINAGE OVER A BAR OF
SOAP.]

And that (very nearly) was _Lord Charles Temperleigh's_ luck. Being a
spendthrift he was kept at The Bungalow, Ashford, without money; he
escaped to the shop of his old nurse at Mudborough, with the idea of
borrowing from her--and if you are a clever dramatist you can easily
arrange that he should be left alone in the shop and mistaken for the
genuine salesman. Unfortunately for my complete happiness (and no doubt
_Lord Charles's_ too) the shop was a chandler's; however, if that is
not the rose, it is at least very near it. The chandler sells soap and
the grocer sells cheese, and you can make a joke about the likeness as
Mr. R. C. CARTON did. And if _Lord Charles_ should happen to
be Mr. CHARLES HAWTREY and he should be accompanied by Miss
COMPTON, you can understand that this and other jokes would
lose nothing in their delivery.

Yet somehow the shop scene was not the success it should have
been. The First and Third Acts were better; they left more to Mr.
HAWTREY. When Mr. CARTON is trying to be funny,
even Mr. HAWTREY cannot help him much; but when he is taking
it easily then he and Mr. HAWTREY together are delightful.
Mr. EDWARD FITZGERALD as an Irish waiter was a joy. Miss
COMPTON was Miss COMPTON; if you like her (as I
do), then you like her. The others had not much chance. It is a
HAWTREY evening, and (as such) an oasis in a desert of War
thoughts.

  M.

       *       *       *       *       *

A PRELUDE.

 ["Birds in London are already growing alive to the approach of
 Spring."--_The Times._]

  A portly, fancy-vested thrush,
    That carolled, on a wintry spray,
  A crazy song of Spring-time--Hush!
          No, not the one
          By MENDELSSOHN
    Victorian Britons used to play,
  But just the sort of casual thing
  An absent-minded bird might sing.

  Observing whom--"Alas," I said,
    "Good friend, how premature your theme!
  By some phenomenon misled,
          You've overshot
          The date a lot;
    Things are so seldom what they seem!"
  "Then hear the simple truth," quoth he,
  "For that's another rarity.

  "There is a foreign, furious man,
    That sends great engines through the air
  To deal destruction where they can,
          To rain their fires
          On ancient spires,
    Ousting the birds that settle there,
  And agitates, of fixed intent,
  Our pleasaunce in the firmament.

  "And everybody says the Spring
    Will see him pay the price of it,
  So that is why I choose to sing
          What isn't true--
          But as for you,
    Be off and do your little bit!
  It's not for you to stand and quiz--
  The season's _what I say it is!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

 "A Chicago Reuter message says that Hugh Henderson has won the
 American draughts championship by defeating Alfred Jordan, the London
 champion.

 Draught horses were in most demand at Aldridge's, St. Martin's-lane,
 yesterday, and the sums obtained ranged from 30gs. to 49gs."

  _Daily Telegraph_.

The forty-nine guinea one has challenged HUGH HENDERSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _East Coast Farmer._ "HAVE I REALLY TO DO THIS WI'
ALL MY BEASTS, IF SO BE AS THE GERMANS LAND IN THESE PARTS?"

_Officer._ "YES. LIVE STOCK OF EVERY DESCRIPTION HAS TO BE BRANDED
AND DRIVEN WEST."

_Farmer._ "I CAN SEE MY WAY ALL RIGHT EXCEPT FOR MY BEES. WHAT AM I
TO DO WI' MY BEES?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

There are few living writers of romance who can carry the sword and
doublet with the ease of Miss MARJORIE BOWEN. She has long
since proved herself a practised mistress of mediævalism, and _The
Carnival of Florence_ (METHUEN) finds her therefore on sure
ground. It is a pleasantly stimulating tale of love and adventure
in the days of SAVONAROLA. The heroine is one _Aprilis_, a
fair Florentine whose matrimonial affairs were complicated by the
fact that early in the story she had been abducted (strictly _pour
le bon motif_ in order to score off the gentleman to whom she was
then engaged) by the too notorious PIERO DEI MEDICI. The
unfortunate results were twofold, for though _Aprilis_ was returned
unharmed to her father's house her noble betrothed would have no more
of her, so she had to put up with another husband who took her for
charity, and to suffer in addition the pangs of unrequited love for the
Lord of Florence whom she was unable to forget. What happened--how the
MEDICI were turned from their heritage, and the part played in
all this by the grim Revivalist of San Marco--is the matter of a story
well worth reading. As is his way with tales in which he appears, the
figure of SAVONAROLA comes gradually to dominate the whole;
did he not even master GEORGE ELIOT? The present story is
dedicated "In Memory of Florence, Summer 1914." Presumably, therefore,
Miss BOWEN shares with me certain memories that have been very
vividly recalled by her pages--memories of a June evening when, as
in the days of which she writes, the Piazza della Signoria echoed to
the clash of swords and the tumult of an angry mob. That it has thus
reminded me of what would, but for greater happenings since, have been
one of my most thrilling chimney-corner reminiscences, is among the
pleasures that I owe to a stirring and successful novel.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among my favourite gambits in fiction is the return to his impoverished
home of one who left it a supposed wastrel, and has now lots and lots
of money. Personally, if I have a preference, it is that my wanderer
should be at first unrecognised; but I am perhaps too fastidious.
Certainly I am not going to complain about _Big Tremaine_ (MILLS
AND BOON) just because when he came back to the Virginian township
that he had quitted as a bank thief his old coloured nurse saw through
him in once. There is, of course, Homeric precedent for the situation;
it is one that, deftly handled, can scarcely fail of its effect. And
the story of _Big Tremaine_ is very deftly handled almost all through.
MARIE VAN VORST evidently knows the gentle Southern life
thoroughly; her pictures of it have served to increase my conviction
that Virginia must be one of the pleasantest places on earth. Not less
true and delicate is her treatment of the relations between masterful
_Tremaine_ and the gently obstinate mother who turns so slowly from
distrust to adoration of her returned son. There are, in short, a great
many qualities in this story that I have found vastly agreeable. Also
what seems to me one big defect. But as this latter is so far essential
that without it there would be no story I am unable further to tell
you about it. Still, I am bound to say that its revelation was a nasty
shock to my admiration, which had been roused more than anything else
by the sincerity and unconventionality of the argument. This is a
matter on which you shall pass your own verdict. Mine would be "A Happy
Ending committed through unjustified fear of the libraries"; and in
view of the charm of her earlier chapters I should discharge the author
with a friendly caution.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most of us might freely confess to some vagueness in our minds as to
"the social and economic state of things in the Prairie Provinces of
the Dominion," and not a few of us are ready to spend five shillings
and a leisure hour or two in finding out for certain, if only to be
prepared with a refuge in the event of England being Teutonised. Miss
E. B. MITCHELL, the author of _In Western Canada Before the
War_ (MURRAY), knows her subject at first hand and deals
with the right matter in the right manner for our purpose; that is to
say, she is discriminating in her selection of topics and is always
pleasant if never violently exciting or amusing in her treatment of
them. The book is short, as such books should be; it does not pretend
to be exhaustive, yet it leaves a very clear and precise impression
on the mind. But (and every intelligent reader will have been waiting
for this "but") why on earth should it be called _In Western Canada
Before the War_, seeing that it was clearly written without any thought
of the present European conditions and would have been published just
about this time even if we had been at peace with everybody everywhere?
The only reference in point which I can recall is a passing wonder
expressed in a few lines as to what, if any, effect Armageddon will
have in Canada; this is hardly enough, I fancy, to justify the topical
suggestion of the cover. I cannot help feeling that the object of the
last three words of that title was less literary than commercial.

[Illustration: _Voice on telephone (from Berlin)._ "WELL, HAVE YOU
DAMMED THE SUEZ CANAL YET?"

_Turk._ "YES--OFTEN!"]

_In the City of Under_ (ARNOLD) shows Miss EVELYNE
RYND to have quite a pretty talent in the not unattractive _genre_
of fantastic incoherence something after the pattern of _The Napoleon
of Notting Hill_, though in a less robustious mood. But I doubt if
talent (however pretty) is altogether sufficient to carry the reader
through three hundred pages with no possible clue as to what it is
really all about. All the same I do, in justice and most gladly, say
that the author keeps one piqued to the extent of wishing to find
out; one also loses all suspicion of its being an improving book,
and distinctly likes that uncharacteristic Cheltenham boy, _Augustus
Clickson_, who helps little _John Hazard_ to find a job. _John_ was
very small and ineffectual and engaging, and his V.C. father had left
the family wofully ill off, and _John_ felt it was up to him to do
something about it. He meets the _Hawker_, who has a comforting habit
of turning up at odd moments and assuring people that there's a way out
of every difficulty, whereas the old lady, _Mrs. Letitlie_, asserted
roundly and frequently that there was none. Then we have a nice wild
unpractical Professor and a perplexed archæologist who get tangled in
the skein; as also a spy, and, in fact, any old person and thing that
occurred to the writer. There's enough good stuff and good humour in
this queer patchwork to make me sure that any defect is one merely
of form, and I would wager that it was the Notting Hill hero, before
alluded to, that was responsible for setting our author on a dangerous
path.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Seventh Post Card_ (GREENING) was one of a series written
anonymously, as harbingers of sudden death, to motor-car drivers whose
bad luck or bad management had made them run over a fellow-creature
with capital consequences. Capital, also, for helping on the plot
of the story; for the sudden death really did come off in such a
considerable number of cases that we should have been quite justified
in feeling worried when the delightful _Joanna_, driving the car
belonging to her equally delightful _Jack_, was unfortunate enough to
knock down a tramp; even though the immediate consequences when _Jack_
found her awakening from unconsciousness by the roadside were--well,
delightful too, and such as could be expected. Indeed, the sadly-worn
word "delightful" seems somehow applicable to the entire string of
clues, deductions, inquests, murders and other horrid thrills, or, at
any rate, to Mr. FLOWERDEW'S telling of them. Is my capability
for melodramatic emotion declining, that I thread this maze of tragic
mystery in a mood no more intense than that of comfortable content?
Perhaps; or it may be only the soothing effect of the author's clean
English, coupled with the conviction that so long as he takes care to
keep _Sir Julian Daymont_--the famous novelist-detective--on their
side, no serious harm can come to the people we care about most. So,
although a really nasty charge of murdering his grandfather turns up
against the hero just when things (but for the number of pages left)
are beginning to look prosperous, I can defy you to get seriously
uneasy about his future; and, sure enough, _Sir Conan_--I mean _Sir
Julian_--solves the problem in convenient time to pack the lovers
safely off on their honeymoon. And, really, what more could you ask for?





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