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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 148, January 13th 1915
Author: Various
Language: English
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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 148, January 13th 1915" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

Volume 148, January 13th, 1915

_edited by Owen Seamen_



CHARIVARIA.

"The enemy is not yet subdued," announced the KAISER in his New Year's
address to his troops. It is gratifying to have this rumour confirmed
from a source so unimpeachable.

      * * *

Prince BUELOW is finding himself _de trop_ at Rome. "Man wants but
little here, BUELOW," he is being told.

      * * *

"Stick it!" it may be remembered, was General VON KLUCK'S Christmas
message as published in a German newspaper. The journal in question is
evidently read in Constantinople, for the Turks are now stated to have
sent several thousand sacks of cement to the Egyptian frontier with
which to fill up the Suez Canal.

      * * *

After all, it is pointed out, there is not very much difference
between the reigning Sultan of TURKEY and his predecessor. The one is
The Damned, and the other The Doomed.

      * * *

With reference to the "free fight" between Austrians and Germans in
the concentration camp at Pietermaritzburg, which Reuter reported the
other day, we now hear that the fight was not entirely free. Several
of the combatants, it seems, were afterwards fined.

      * * *

The latest English outrage, according to Berlin, was done upon the
German officer who attempted to escape in a packing-case. It is said
that he has been put back in his case, which has been carefully
soldered up, and then as carefully mislaid.

      * * *

Another typical German lie is published by the _Frankfurter Zeitung_.
Describing the FIRST LORD this sheet says:--"Well built, he struts
about elegantly dressed...." Those who remember our WINSTON'S little
porkpie hat will resent this charge.

      * * *

An awfully annoying thing has happened to the _Vossische Zeitung_. Our
enterprising little contemporary asked three Danish professors to
state in what way they were indebted to German science, and they all
gave wrong answers. They said they were also indebted to English
science.

      * * *

"HOUNDS IN A WORKHOUSE."
    _Daily Mail._

It was, of course, inevitable that the hunts should suffer through the
war.

      * * *

_The Evening Standard_ has been making enquiries as to the effect of
the War on the membership of the various Clubs. The report from the
Athenæum was "The War has not affected the club at all." Can it be
that the dear old fellows have not heard of it yet?

      * * *

"Business as usual" is evidently Paraguay's motto. They are having one
of their revolutions there in spite of the War.

      * * *

The Tate Gallery authorities have now placed the pictures they value
most in the cellars of that institution, and the expression on the
face of any artist who finds his work still on the wall is in itself a
picture.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GALLANT ATTEMPT BY A MEMBER OF THE BRITISH
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO DO JUSTICE TO ALL HIS NEW YEAR'S GIFTS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Famous Lines.

    "After plying regularly for nearly twenty-five years between
    Vancouver, Victoria and the Orient, the last few months of
    excitement must have brought back to the memory of her old
    timbers--if they happen to be sentient, as Kipling would almost
    have one believe--the famous line, 'One crowded hour of glorious
    life is worth a cycle of Cathay.'"

    _News-Advertiser_ (_Vancouver, B.C._)

      * * *

    "P. B.--It is a pleasure to read your stirring lines entitled 'To
    Berlin'; they possess the twin merits of being vigorous and
    timely. We should make an alteration in title, calling them simply
    'To Berlin.'"

    _Great Thoughts._

No, don't thank us. Our advice is always at the disposal of young
writers.

       *       *       *       *       *

ENGLISH LINES FOR ENEMY CALENDARS.

For the _KAISER_--

  "_La Belle France sans merci_
    Hath thee in thrall."

For the _Emperor of AUSTRIA_, after the rout in Serbia--

  "'But what good came of it at last?'
  Quoth little PETER, king."

For the _Commander of the Western Campaign_--

  "Of all the towns that are so far
  There's none so far as Calais."

For _General VON MOLTKE_ (retired)--

  "Then was I like some watcher on the Rhine
  When a new plan is forced into his ken."

For the _Sultan of TURKEY_--

  "He will hold me when his friendship shall have spent its novel force
  Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse."

For the _IMPERIAL CHANCELLOR_--

  "Oft had I heard from EDWARD GREY."

       *       *       *       *       *

WAR ETIQUETTE.

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

_Materfamilias_ (Manchester).--No, it is not necessary for you to wear
a dressing-gown for dinner out of compliment to your wounded guests'
pyjamas; if you wear your best tea-gown they will not know the
difference.

_Sweet and Twenty_ (Surbiton).--I do not think your mother could
object to your tucking up your charming wounded officer for the night
as long as you don a Red Cross cloak over your evening attire. It is
not usual to kiss these wounded heroes unless you or they are under
seventeen or over seventy.

_Veronica_ (Ventnor).--I think the right size of photograph for your
second cousin to take with him to the Front depends on its subject:
cabinets are usual for dogs, horses and female first cousins; carte
size for parents and male relatives; but from the tone of your letter
and from the fact that you are only his _second_ cousin, I think there
are but two alternatives: boudoir size, or a dainty miniature in a
leather case for the pocket, such as can be obtained at Messrs. Snooks
for the modest sum of ten guineas.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Germans and Austrians at Loggerheads."

    _Daily Paper._

Another of these Polish towns.

       *       *       *       *       *

"PUNCH" IN THE ENEMY'S TRENCHES.

    [To the officer whose letter, reproduced in _The Daily Telegraph_,
    after reporting the irregular exchange of Christmas gifts between
    our men and the enemy, goes on to say:--"In order to put a stop to
    a situation which was proving impossible, I went out myself after
    a time with a copy of 'Punch,' which I presented to a dingy Saxon
    in exchange for a small packet of excellent cigars and
    cigarettes."]

    A Scent of truce was in the air,
      And mutual compliments were paid--
    A sausage here, a mince-pie there,
      In lieu of bomb and hand-grenade;
    And foes forgot, that Christmastide,
  Their business was to kill the other side.

    Then, greatly shocked, you rose and said,
      "This is not my idea of War;
    On milk of human-kindness fed,
      Our men will lose their taste for gore;
    All this unauthorized good-will
  Must be corrected by a bitter pill."

    And forth you strode with stiffened spine
      And met a Saxon in the mud
    (Not Anglo-) and with fell design
      To blast his joyaunce in the bud,
    And knock his rising spirits flat,
  You handed him a _Punch_ and said, "Take that!"

    A smile upon his visage gleamed.
      Little suspecting your intent,
    He proffered what he truly deemed
      To be a fair equivalent--
    A bunch of fags of local brand
  And Deutschodoros from the Vaterland.

    You found them excellent, I hear;
      Let's hope your gift had equal worth,
    Though meant to curb his Christmas cheer
      And check the interchange of mirth;
    I should be very glad to feel
  It operated for his inner weal.

    For there he found, our dingy friend,
      Amid the trench's sobering slosh,
    What must have left him, by the end,
      A wiser, if a sadder, Bosch,
    Seeing himself with chastened mien
  In that pellucid well of Truth serene.

    O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

UNWRITTEN LETTERS TO THE KAISER.

No. XIII.

(_From Grand Admiral VON TIRPITZ._)

ALL GRACIOUS LORD,--It is no pleasant life in these days to be a
sailor, especially if one happens to be an Admiral responsible for the
organisation and direction of a great Fleet. This morning, for
instance, just as I was drinking my early cup of coffee there comes me
in my servant bearing a letter: "Will your Excellency have it now?" he
says, "or will you wait till you have gathered more strength as the
morning goes on?" and with that the old sea-dog smiles a just
perceptible smile.

"Is it from ----?" I say, leaving out the name.

"Yes," he answers, "it is from ----. It is the seventh in three days.
It will assuredly be some pleasant wish for the New Year. The Lord
Great Admiral is, indeed, fortunate in having so high a well-wisher. I
myself have no such luck, being only----"

"It is enough," I say, for I knew that he was about to tell me once
more that he was only a poor orphan and that his wife's temper being
of a bitter complaining nature had driven him from his home many years
ago. It is a long story and he spares not the smallest detail in
telling it, nay, rather he takes delight in showing how, in spite of
his own worthiness, destiny has with express malice singled him out
from his fellows to be trodden upon at all those moments when he had a
right to look for ease and enjoyment. This morning I was in no humour
to listen to it, so I ordered him to lay the letter down and to go
about his business. When he had departed I opened the letter, which
was a useless proceeding, for I already knew it was from your
all-highest Self, and, without reading it, I could have written down
its contents word for word. Notwithstanding this, I received the
letter and read it with the respect that is due to such a
communication, and I now proceed in all humility to answer it.

And first I will tell your Majesty that what you ask I cannot promise
to do. You want me to provoke a fleet action under the best conditions
so that we may be sure of smashing up the British and securing eternal
glory for ourselves. These things are, no doubt, splendid, but they
are not done by waving a wand. In securing conditions the enemy also
has something to say, especially when he is much stronger than we are,
so much so that, wherever we can put one ship, he can put at least two
ships of equal power. And sailors have to consider the sea, the wind,
the fog and a thousand other things that the landsman cannot
understand. To bombard Scarborough and Whitby and to kill women and
children may be all very well for once in a way, but even for that
once it was not so glorious a feat that your Majesty will wish to
inscribe it amongst the battle-honours of our Navy. I may whisper to
your Majesty, moreover, that in face of a brave and resourceful foe
these showy excursions are not without risk, and it was only by the
skin of their teeth that your ships escaped into home waters after
they had flung their shells into the two undefended coast-towns.

Next, you want your foreign commerce restored. I cannot do that. It is
a misfortune of war that if your enemy has a bigger fleet he can wipe
away your foreign trade. If your Majesty did not wish it to be so it
would have been better not to go to war. I presume your Majesty
couldn't wait, lest the Russians should construct strategic railways
and the French provide themselves with boots (which I understand they
have now procured in great quantities), but there it is; and after all
we might not have been better off for waiting, since these English
rascals showed a most bloodthirsty determination always to have a
bigger Fleet than ours, no matter what we did. And so our poor
commerce must have disappeared in any case. For an Empire like ours
that is, I am informed, a great misfortune, though, for my own part,
it has not hitherto affected me. On the other hand the scattering of
ships like the _Emden_ and VON SPEE'S squadron, in order to destroy
the enemy's commerce has only led to one conclusion, and that has been
the bottom of the sea. All this is vexing, but it must be endured, and
an occasional success with a submarine, though agreeable at the
moment, does not substantially alter it.

Finally, as to the Russian Fleet, how, I ask, can we be expected to
gain a victory over ships which hide themselves away in the Baltic in
so mean a manner, and show no desire for the delight of battle? They
have no consciousness of the fact that war-ships were intended for
warfare.

Your Majesty is good enough to impute blame to me. Some part of this,
I do not doubt, belongs to me. The rest, as is right, I will pass on
to poor old INGENOHL and to Prince HENRY, and shall ask them to guess
whence it originally came.

I am Your Majesty's most humble

    VON TIRPITZ.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE BREAKING OF THE SPELL.

STEINBACH, JANUARY 3, 1915.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: STUDY OF A LADY WHO, DURING A ZEPPELIN SCARE, HAS FLED
TO THE CELLAR AND THINKS THAT, AFTER ALL, IT WAS A COWARDLY THING TO
DO.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE TOURIST.

  Dear Chloe, how often my cravings
    To winter abroad I've suppressed,
  Well knowing my limited savings
    Would last but a fortnight at best;
  In vain have the posters adjured me
    To sojourn in Monte or Rome,
  In vain has Herr BAEDEKER lured me ...
          I have wintered at home.

  But now, half the "ads" I set eyes on
    Suggest--and I jump at the chance--
  I should widen my mental horizon
    By touring through Belgium and France;
  They hint at abundance of shooting
    With guns that are Government made,
  Till the minor excitements of Tooting
          Are cast in the shade.

  Each tripper, it seems, will be guided
    By leaders of courage and skill;
  Free bedding and board are provided;
    Expenses are little, or _nil_;
  A welcome delightfully hearty,
    And sport that at least is unique,
  Await every man of the party....
          We leave in a week.

  Good-bye, then, old dear, for the winter;
    Expect me in London by May
  (Unless a stray bullet or splinter
    Should lead to a trifling delay);
  From rumours--of which there are plenty--
    I gather the fun will begin
  At Calais, whence, _Deo volente_,
          We tramp to Berlin.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW METHODS OF FRIGHTFULNESS.

    ["The Siberians have refused to have their beards cut, saying
    that the shagginess frightens the Germans." No doubt the
    adaptable enemy will not be behindhand in this method of
    warfare.]

The Frighten-em-to-Death's-Head Hussars, in their brilliant charge
yesterday, were greatly aided by the fact that, before going into
action, they had burnt-corked their faces. The effect upon the _moral_
of the enemy was disastrous, the terrified troops flying in confusion.

      * * *

The 1914 conscripts, who, as is well known, have yet to go into
action, must not be supposed to be lying idle; they are being rendered
irresistible by a severe training in the use of the grimace, which is
likely to take the place of the bayonet as a means of clearing enemy
trenches. The CROWN PRINCE himself has frequently given instruction to
the troops, although, in the interests of the men, it has been found
necessary for the demonstrations to be carried on through sheets of
smoked glass.

      * * *

KRUPPS have largely abandoned the manufacture of big guns, and have
now laid down plant for the construction of five million masks of a
hideousness without parallel. Samples tested by the Black Pomeranians
prove that any one of these masks has the power to drive a force of a
thousand men into instant and complete insensibility.

      * * *

With regard to the new crop reports, it must be remembered that fields
hitherto intended for the growing of wheat and barley have, under a
new order from the Imperial War Department, been planted with roots
for the manufacture of the terrifying turnip-ghosts now required by
the German army.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAST LINE.

VI.

Our uniform--or, if that is too military a word, our academical
costume--is officially announced to be "grey-green," the colour of the
sea at 7.30 in the morning, when you decide that you have forgotten
your towel and had better have a hot bath quietly at home. I don't
know how invisible we shall be as soldiers, but anchored off the
Maplin Sands we should deceive anybody. Where are the Buoys of the Old
Brigade? Ah, where indeed! Even as marines we should have our value.

Luckily, we have been practising amphibious warfare for some time. The
camp is mostly under water, and when the "Fall-in" is sounded we do it
quite easily. The "Emerge" is not so easily obeyed. But there were
drier days in December, and on one of these I made a curious
discovery.

We were having a field-day, and my side of the battle was advancing in
sections under shell-fire over fairly flat country. Every now and
then, however, we came to a small hill or group of hills. There seemed
to be no human reason for it, and I suggested to my section that we
were on the track of some new kind of mole.

"No," said James, "those are bunkers."

We looked at each anxiously and tapped our foreheads.

"It's a golf-course," he persisted.

I could not allow dangerous talk of this kind to go on.

"Silence in the ranks," I said sternly.

A little later, when we were halted, an old, old man, the Nestor of
the section, asked if he might speak to me.

"Certainly, my lad," I said.

"I think he du be right," he said, indicating James; "I've heerd tell
on 'un. Great-great-grandfayther used to play."

Another man said that he had seen an old print of the game in a shop,
but he thought it was called Ludo.

And then, in a most curious way, I had the sudden feeling that I
myself had played the game in some previous existence--when I was a
king in Babylon, perhaps, and James was a Christian caddie. It was
most odd. When we got back to camp, I spoke to him about it.

"On Boxing Day, James," I whispered, "one might pursue one's
researches in this matter. I should like to find out the truth about
it. We might meet at----h'r'm! To the left, to two paces, ex-_tend!_"
I added this loudly for the benefit of our platoon commander who was
passing, and James (who in ordinary life extends two paces to the
front) withdrew slowly into the darkness.

I won't refer to what happened on Boxing Day; one does not talk about
these things. But I must tell you of its unfortunate sequel.

Last week, in the course of a route-march, we were suddenly turned on
to distance-judging. I had never done this before, and a remote and
lonely tree, half-hidden in the mist, conveyed nothing definite to me.

"What do you think?" I asked James.

"A drive and a mashie, about."

"S'sh," I said warningly. However, I determined to act on the
suggestion. Remembering Boxing Day I allowed eighty yards for James's
drive, and thirty-five for a mashie off the socket. Total, 115. It
looked more, but the mist was deceptive. However, when the results
were read out, the distance was given as 385 yards, and James, if you
please, had said 350!

Let us leave this painful subject and turn to signalling. We are
getting a little more proficient. Every message we send now starts
properly with prefix, service instructions, code time, and so on, and
the message itself gets in as many hyphens, horizontal lines,
fractions and inverted commas as possible. Here, for instance, is the
beginning of a thrilling message (sent to the Editor of _The Times_)
which I was receiving last Sunday.

"Fore-warned being fore-armed Lieut. Z. SMITHSON, 21st Foot on the
_Przemysl-Rzeszow-Olkusz_ road, with £3 9_s._ 7-1/2_d._ in his pocket
(interest on 5-1/2% DEBENTURES at 97--brokerage 1/8th) proceeded at
9.25 P.M. to----"

At this point the "Fall-in" sounded and we had to stop. I never heard
what happened to Lieut. Smithson. My own theory is that he murdered
Emma and put the blame on Lt.-Col. St. George, D. S. O., who only had
three-and-a-half per cents, and had never seen the girl before.
Perhaps the matter will be cleared up when the War is over.

But it was a sad blow to us to be told in a lecture that same
afternoon that despatch-riding has proved to be much more useful than
signalling at the Front. It had an immediate effect on James, and the
advertisement in _The Times_ beginning "WANTED TO EXCHANGE a pair of
blue-and-white silk flags (new) for motor-bicycle," is generally
supposed to be his.

"And all the time I've spent on signalling has been wasted," he said
indignantly.

"Not wasted, James. Your silhouette as you signalled an 'i' has made
many a wet day bright. Anyway, it's no excuse for not coming to
bayonet drill. That won't be wasted."

James made some absurd excuse about wanting to improve his shooting
first.

"One is more independent with the bayonet," I assured him. "The
Government doesn't like us as it is, and it's not going to waste much
ammunition on us. But once you've tied the carving-knife on to the end
of your umbrella, there you are."

"Well, I'll think about it," said James.

But I have heard since that he had already attended one class; and
that in the middle of it James the solicitor advised James the soldier
not to proceed further with the matter.

"Your time," said James the solicitor, "will be better spent on the
range--where you can lie down."

And James the soldier made it so.

    A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIPLOMACY.

    [_What would happen if we modelled our business affairs on the
    Yellow Book, Blue Book, White Book, Orange Book and Grey Book_]

    1. _From Alfred Midgely, Office Manager, to James Henry Bullivant
    (Managing Director of Bullivants, Limited, Drysalters),
    temporarily abroad._

I hear from an absolutely trustworthy source that our town traveller,
Mr. Herbert Blenkins, is thinking of giving notice. I have the honour
to suggest that this merits the immediate attention of Your
Excellency.

    2. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

Blenkins cannot be allowed to leave at this juncture. You should make
a _démarche_ towards the Office Boy, endeavour to ascertain from him
whether _pourparlers_ might not be opened with the Senior Typist in
the direction of her using her influence with the Book-keeper to learn
whether Blenkins' purpose is in the nature of an ultimatum or a
_ballon d'essai_.

    3. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

Mr. Blenkins has presented his note. I have the honour to enclose a
copy. The Office Boy is absent for a few days attending the obsequies
of his grandmother. I have telegraphed to his home in the sense of
your despatch. No reply has come, and I have the honour to await Your
Excellency's further orders.

    4. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

It is imperative that there should be no delay in this matter. You
should obtain the address of the office-boy's grandfather, and call
upon him to learn whether he will agree to exert his grandparental
influence in the direction already outlined.

    5. _From J. H. B. to Uncle Edward, Brother Theodore and Cousin
    Bob, co-Directors._

I enclose copies of correspondence relative to the Blenkins' crisis,
which is rapidly assuming a gravity which I cannot affect to view with
indifference. I beg you to proceed immediately to Midgely, and support
his endeavours with the united weight of your diplomatic abilities.

    6. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

I learn from a sure source that the Office-Boy's grandmother has
already died three times. The grandfather is alleged to be _non compos
mentis_. Mr. Blenkins is mobilising his office papers. This is highly
significant.

    7. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

Further to my despatch of this morning, I have the honour to report
that Mr. Robert Bullivant suggests that we should offer Mr. Blenkins
another twenty pounds a year and have done with it. Mr. Theodore
Bullivant is firmly opposed to any diplomatic weakness at this
juncture, in view of possible demands from the Book-keeper, whom we
suspect of a secret _entente_ with Mr. Blenkins. Your Excellency's
uncle demands peace at any price. Should I take the unprecedented step
of making a direct approach to Mr. Blenkins?

    8. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

No. The resources of Diplomacy must first be exhausted. In view of the
urgency of the crisis, I authorise you to pass over the Office Boy and
open _pourparlers_ with the Senior Typist with a view to obtaining a
_mise en demeure_ from Blenkins.

    9. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

The Senior Typist has met with a reverse from an experimental
hair-dye, and will not be visible for a week.

    10. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

Approach the Book-keeper.

    11. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

I have the honour to surmise that no definite purpose will be achieved
through the diplomatic channel of the Book-keeper. He states that he
prefers to keep himself to himself. Mr. Blenkins has already asked for
his office cuffs, and a final severance of relations is imminent. I
have not yet handed him his cuffs, which I have ventured to
sequestrate on the ground that they are spotted with our ink.

    12. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

Retain the cuffs pending diplomatic action from Mr. Theodore.

    13. _From J. H. B. to Brother Theodore._

I enclose copies of correspondence relative to Blenkins' attempt to
claim possession of our ink-spots. If in your opinion this constitutes
a _casus belli_, I beg you to approach him with such menaces as are
not inconsistent with the continuance of diplomatic relations.

    14. _From T. B. to J. H. B._

In view of the gravity of the crisis, I have taken legal opinion. If
the cuffs were not only spotted with our ink, but were also clipped
with our scissors, then they are _ipso facto_ and _ad hoc_ to be
considered as neutral territory within the meaning of the Statutes of
International Office Law.

    15. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

You should immediately ascertain, through the proper channels, if and
(or) when and (or) how Blenkins clipped the cuffs. In the meantime you
will convey to him that we should not be disposed to view with
indifference any attempt on his part to violate the frontiers of
neutral territory.

    16. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

Blenkins has gone!

    17. _Chorus of the Diplomats._

The resources of Diplomacy were strained to the uttermost.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: REVEILLE.

_Sergeant._ "NOW, THEN, TURN OUT! SHOW A LEG, YOU BLANKETY
LANDLUBBERS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

LETTERS TO HAUPTMANN.

    [_GERHART HAUPTMANN, the German dramatist and poet, has nominated
    Lord CURZON as Viceroy of England when it becomes a German
    province._]

  If you'd trample on the Briton
    And secure his just abasement,
  Well, I think you might have written
    First to me.
          (Signed) ROGER CASEMENT.

  If only as a recompense
    For my expenditure of jaw
  And anti-British "common-sense,"
    Why not yours truly,
          BERNARD SHAW?

  Would you avoid a bad rebellion?
  The man for you is
          CHARLES TREVELYAN.

  Since all the Dublin Corporation
  Protest against my resignation,
  My long experience vice-regal
  Might mollify the German eagle
  If he should nest on College Green.
  Yours amicably,
          ABERDEEN.

  Believe me, CURZON'S haughty hand
  Would lie too heavy on the land;
  No, to appease the British Isles
  Appoint yours truly,
          WILLIAM BYLES.

  I fear the freedom-loving British
  Under Lord CURZON might grow skittish;
  Far better knit the nations twain
  Under a more pacific reign:
  For instance, BRUNNER'S; he's beyond
  Reproach. Yours ever,
          ALFRED MOND.

  CURZON, I own, is not a noodle,
  But his demeanour is too feudal;
  Try ALFRED MOND: he is a stunner,
  Affectionately yours,
          JOHN BRUNNER.

  As I am still without a seat,
  I'm not unwilling to compete
  For any post in which there's scope
  To preach humanitarian hope.
  You might, of course, secure elsewhere
    A smarter or a "faster" man,
  But none in "uplift" could compare
    With truly yours,
          CHARLES MASTERMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALONZO.

It was a bright Monday morning in September, and I was doing my usual
patter dance in the dressing-room, striving to defeat the
time-table--ten minutes for breakfast and five minutes to get to the
station.

I dipped hurriedly into the collar-drawer, drew one forth, inverted
it, cast a tie (Wadham Wanderers, E. team) into the parting and
proceeded to secure the arrangement. The back stud operated without
comment, but when I came to the front there seemed to be an inch or
two of collar missing. At first I looked at it with mild surprise,
then the horrible truth flashed through me.

I dashed into Joe's room.

"Look here," I exclaimed, "just look at my neck!"

Joe looked at it carefully for quite a minute.

"Yes," she remarked, "I think there is a tiny spot under the left ear.
You've been drilling too much. You've been dressing too much to the
left."

"No! No!" I shouted, tugging at the collar, "can't you see how swollen
it is? It's that complaint you get from drinking chalky water. It's
all your fault! I've told you hundreds of times to put a marble in the
kettle."

Joe unfastened the collar, looked at it and laughed.

I snatched it back.

Inside there was a brief summary: "Alonzo. Fourfold. 14-1/2."

I take 16.

"That," said Joe, pointing to Alonzo, "must be the extra collar they
sent from the laundry last week."

It was. Alonzo was a gift--a donation. Sleek, youthful and unsullied,
he came to us, bringing an air of tragedy into the home.

Three times during that week I tried to soil his glossy coat, and each
time a golden minute was shorn from my breakfast. After that I put him
in the sock drawer.

At the end of the first week I said to Joe, "Alonzo is bored, the
society of half-hose does not interest him. Send him home."

He was sent, and my wardrobe settled itself peacefully.

On the following Monday I dipped into the collar drawer, went through
the usual rites, and----No, it didn't really startle me. He had
returned.

I put him in the sock drawer again.

Evidently he had plans of his own. One week at the laundry and one
week at "Sunnyside," alternating, as it were, between taking the
waters and a rest cure.

I began to respect Alonzo, but at the same time I felt he must be
shown that there is such a thing as authority. I put him in a
cardboard box, addressed it myself, posted it myself, and wrote to the
manager myself. You think that settled him? You do not know Alonzo. He
is made of sterner stuff than that.

At the end of the week he was back again, well and cheerful. Coming of
a resourceful and determined race we tried other means--I forget how
many--of outing him. Once the manager took him away in a taxi and once
our Ann consigned him to the ash-pit.

It was no good. We had to give it up. We adopted him. As I write,
Alonzo rests in _his_ sock drawer, slightly fatigued but indomitable.

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHN SMITH TO JOHANN SCHMIDT.

  We thought you fellows over there,
      Before this all begun,
  Was queer in talk, but acted fair,
  And paid your way, and did your share
      Of things as should be done.

  You made a lot of trashy stuff,
      And ate some. All the same,
  You beat us some ways sure enough,
  And seemed like pals, though brought up rough,
      For which you weren't to blame.

  We reckoned when the trouble bust,
      Remem'bring what you'd been,
  You'd march to heel as you were cussed,
  And so you'd fight because you must,
      But still you'd fight us clean.

  But now you've worked us murder-hot
      With filthy tricks you've played;
  And whether you were bid or not
  Is nought to us; we hate the lot
      What ordered or obeyed.

  And so you're not the pals we thought,
      But foes, these rougher days;
  We're out against you till you're brought
  To book, your Chief and you, and taught
      To drop your bullying ways.

  Now hear the truth. Your lives is poured
      For reasons one and two:
  HE draws his bright and shiny sword
  To make him one and only Lord
      Of all the world--and You.

  And when your roofs is tumbling in,
      Your heads is cracked and cooled,
  You'll think the glory middling thin
  And hate the lying cheats like sin
      To see how you've been fooled.

  By then it's odds you feel inclined
      To state the view you take
  In words that's not so sweet and kind
  But what they'll let them War-Lords find
      You're suddenly awake.

  Till then you're heathen swine! Get fit
      To start and grow like men.
  Turn round and do your level bit
  Till brag and grab are past and quit,
      And then we'll pal again.

       *       *       *       *       *

Motto for the Turkish Army in the Caucasus:--"There ain't going to be
no Corps."

       *       *       *       *       *

PATRIOTIC AIMS.

Peter's birthday is soon after Xmas, too soon after for Peter's
taste--and mine.

"I want one or two good War Games," I said to the attendant at the
toymonger's. "What have you got?"

"Several, Sir," she said. "Here is one, 'The North Sea Battle.' Made
in London."

She opened a box containing realistic wooden models, in silhouette, of
two battleships, two cruisers and two destroyers correctly coloured; a
grey and grim-looking breech-loading gun with wooden projectiles, a
gun embrasure and a small rule labelled "one mile." Every ship carried
the White Ensign and my heart warmed to them at sight.

"Tell me the worst at once," I said, pulling out some loose silver.

"Two-and-eleven," she said.

"Sold in two places," I said; "I mean I'll have two of them without
reading the rules."

"Here," she said, fingering another box, "is the 'Siege of Berlin.'"

"Intelligent anticipation," I said, "at any rate."

"Quite so," she said, "Made in London, too, by the same people."

I liked the idea of besieging Berlin, and when the open box disclosed
a Rathhaus, churches, houses and other buildings, and a breach-loading
gun similar to the one last before mentioned, to demolish the
buildings with, I forked out another five-and-tenpence, and became the
possessor of two "Sieges of Berlin."

I despatched one "Siege" and one "North Sea Battle" to some Belgian
refugee children I know, and took the others home to Peter.

      * * *

We tried the sea-fight first, Peter electing to play the part of Sir
JOHN JELLICOE. I took the gun behind the embrasure and tried to
prevent the ships from reaching my cardboard fastness by knocking them
over _en route_. I found that, every time I missed, the whole Fleet
was entitled to advance one mile--in reality about six inches--nearer
my fort. The ships were provided with rockers and came up smiling if
not squarely hit.

Long before my allowance of shot was expended, the British Fleet was
upon me, and I metaphorically hoisted the white flag.

"Come," I said, as Peter set up the Rathhaus and other buildings of
Berlin, "my heart is in this. How do we play?"

"Three shots each," said Peter, "and you score what's marked on the
back of each building you knock down. I'll go first."

Peter's first shot was a miss. With his second he brought down a house
which fell against a fort, knocking it over too. His third shot sailed
harmlessly over the town and landed in the fender.

"How many?" I said.

"Twenty," said Peter. "Not bad."

"Keep your eye on father," I said, training the gun on the Rathhaus. I
managed to conceal my surprise when the building fell at the first
attempt.

"I shall knock you endways," I said.

The second shot hit the fallen Rathhaus, so I shifted the muzzle of
the gun a little to the left. The buildings seemed well bunched
together at this point.

It was a magnificent shot; the projectile skimmed past the church
steeple as well-regulated shells should do, without damaging it, and
swept away two buildings immediately behind it.

"That's some shooting," I said. "How many am I?"

"Nothing," said Peter.

"Look here, young man," I said, "explain yourself. First the
Rathhaus."

"That's five," said Peter, "because it's so big and easy to hit."

I hadn't thought of that.

"Then there's this house--ten," said Peter.

"Come, we're getting on," I said. "That's fifteen; and now--this
bigger house."

"Minus fifteen," said Peter. "That's the Red Cross Hospital. Oh,
Daddy, you Hun!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DISILLUSIONED.

"I KNOW YOU'LL HATE TALKING ABOUT IT, BUT _DO_ TELL ME HOW YOU GOT
YOUR WOUND."

"CHOPPING WOOD FOR THE OLD GIRL AT MY BILLET, MISS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NEW BRITISH EXPLOSIVE.

HORROR OF GERMAN GENERAL STAFF ON READING THE FOLLOWING EXTRACT FROM
NOTES OF SPY WHO, DISGUISED AS A HIGHLANDER, HAS BEEN LISTENING NEAR
BRITISH LINES:--"WE GAVE 'EM WOT 4 NOT 1/2."]

       *       *       *       *       *

"THE IMAGE OF WAR."

(_It is reported that a pack of hounds has been sent out to our Army
in France, and in this connection it is recalled that the Duke of
WELLINGTON had also a pack sent to him from England for the amusement
of his officers in the Peninsula._)

  So _Jorrocks_ has said, and the captains shall ride,
    And a host of good fellows shall follow the fun,
  With War, in its realness, a space put aside--
    There's a fox in the spinney that once held a Hun;
  There's a southerly wind and a wet sky and soft;
    There's a respite to snatch, death and ruin amid;
  Do not tongues in the woodland fling echoes aloft?
    Sounds the horn not as sweetly as ever it did?

  When the DUKE and his armies, a hundred years back,
    Went Southward a courtlier foeman to seek,
  High Leicestershire lent him a galloping pack,
    And his stiff-stocked brigades hunted two days a week;
  Oh, Portugal's foxes ran stoutly and fast,
    And our grandfathers pounded in scarlet and blue,
  And they hunted each rogue to his finish at last,
    And they hunted old BONEY to famed Waterloo!

  When the soldier once more hears the horn's silver note
    In hail of War's trumpets, the brazen and bold,
  Will the heart of him turn, 'neath to-day's khaki coat,
    To dreams of past glories and battles of old?
  Torres Vedras's lines and brave SOULT'S grenadiers,
    Badajos and the rest of that great long ago?
  Will he follow the fifes of those wonderful years?
    Will he think of his fathers? I really don't know.

  Nay, I fancy he won't; but may-happen he'll see
    In his mind's eye the Midlands go rolling away
  In fair ridge and furrow, when steeple and tree
    Are blurred in the mists of a mild winter's day;
  He'll mark the gnarled pollards by Whissendine's brook,
    The far meads of Ashwell, dim, peaceful and still,
  Where the big grazing bullocks lift heads up to look
    When the Cottesmore come streaming from Ranksborough Hill.

  Well, dreamer or no, may his fortune be good;
    May he find him delight in a hound and a horse
  Kin to what he has found in a Leicestershire wood,
    Like the best he has known in a Lincolnshire gorse!
  May the Fates keep him safe, and show sport to his pack
    Till he starts the great run that shall end at Berlin!
  And when cubbing is o'er may the Shires see him back,
    For the Lord send a Peace ere November comes in!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Several houses are inundated in Brocas Street, including a
    public-house, where drink can only be obtained at the back door
    from punts."--_Edinburgh Evening Dispatch._

Come where the drink is cheaper; come where the punts hold more.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE EUPHEMISTS.

KAISER. "I SAY, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO EXPLAIN AWAY THE SURRENDER OF
YOUR ARMY CORPS IN THE CAUCASUS?"

SULTAN OF TURKEY. "NOTHING SIMPLER. I SHALL SAY, 'OUR GALLANT TROOPS
DETERMINED TO EMBARRASS THE ENEMY'S COMMISSARIAT, AND CARRIED OUT
THEIR OBJECT WITH OVERWHELMING SUCCESS.'"

KAISER. "SPLENDID! COULDN'T HAVE PUT IT BETTER MYSELF."

SULTAN. "MY DEAR BOY, WE WERE IN THE BUSINESS AGES AND AGES BEFORE YOU
WERE THOUGHT OF."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE SHIRKER'S WAR NEWS.

"THERE! WHAT DID I TELL YOU? NORTHDOWN LAMBS BEATEN--TWO TO NOTHING."]

       *       *       *       *       *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

_House of Lords, Wednesday, January 6th._--Judging from public form,
few would imagine that Lord KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM is a wag.
Versatility in this direction triumphantly vindicated this afternoon.
On approach to Christmas, House of Commons, after exceptionally long
and arduous Session, adjourned till first week in February. That all
very well for a frivolous miscellaneous assemblage. Under vigorous
leadership of dominant opposition by Lord CURZON, Peers resolved to
set example of higher devotion to public interest. Regardless of
private convenience, arranged special sitting opening to-day.

Procedure unprecedented. Not unusual for Commons to sit while Lords
make holiday. In long course of Parliamentary history contrary course
unknown.

Some embarrassment at first in face of persistent questioning as to
Why and Wherefore. Last week official explanation forthcoming.
Announcement made that House was summoned primarily with intention of
providing SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR with opportunity of making
important statement as to actual situation and immediate prospects of
the war.

This quite reasonable, indeed very desirable. Country growing
increasingly impatient at being kept in the dark as to the progress of
affairs in Flanders on the plea of military necessity for
secretiveness. Now KITCHENER, provided with exceptional
opportunity, would sweep away all clouds of doubt and ignorance. Of
course with due reticence in hearing of the enemy, would take into his
confidence the common people who provide blood and money for carrying
on the gigantic struggle.

In anticipation of this lifting of the veil House crowded in measure
reached only at great political crises. As usual on such occasions,
side galleries flecked with Peeresses. But what ominous change in
their appearance! The gay colours of other times are changed for
monotony of deepest mourning. Black is the only wear.

K. of K. rose promptly on the stroke of half-past four, when public
business is entered upon. Producing a bundle of MS. he bent his head
over it and proceeded at the double to get through it. Noble Lords
behind him and on back benches opposite found it difficult to follow
the story.

Gradually point of little joke dawned upon them. Here were the benches
thronged with expectant Peers, and all the world listening at the door
for a message. That all very natural. But it was not an affair of K.'s
initiative or arrangement. He was expected to make a speech, and it is
a soldier's duty to obey orders. But if any supposed he was going to
be more communicative than is the fashion established under the rule
of the Censor they would find themselves sharply undeceived.

Turning to survey the Western theatre of the War, he remarked, "During
the month of December the Allied Forces have made progress at various
points." Chilling silence following upon enunciation of this familiar
generality, he added, "The tide of battle has ebbed and flowed with
varying success to either side." Facing about to view the situation
Eastward, he informed noble Lords that "in East Prussia the situation
has undergone but little change.... In the Caucasus, the end of
November [six weeks ago] the Turkish Army was being pushed back
towards Erzerum." Later, the House heard with startled amazement that
"On our own coasts, on the morning of December 16, German battle
cruisers bombarded for half-an-hour Hartlepool, Scarborough, and
Whitby."

As to progress of recruiting, with respect to which information was
looked forward to with exceptional interest, he went so far as to say,
"Recruiting has proceeded on normal lines."

"The noble lord," said the LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, amid a murmur of
assent from the dumbfounded Peers, "has been very economical in his
information," a really delicate way of stating the fact.

_Business done._--None.

_Friday._--Lords adjourned.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE ENEMY IN OUR MIDST.

CULTURED TEUTON TRAINING CARRIER PIGEON, WHEN OFF DUTY, TO POSE AS A
PARROT.]

       *       *       *       *       *

INDIAN INTELLIGENCE.

_Viâ_ BERLIN.

The following extracts from official despatches exchanged between
General von Funkinstein and the German Great General Staff have been
communicated to us by a wholly impeachable authority, and are
published with no reserve whatever:--

(1) From the General Officer Commanding, &c.:--

"... with regard to various recent regrettable incidents in which
sections of the Imperial trenches have been captured by native troops
from British India (which, according to the German official programme,
ought to have been in revolt long since) some light has now been cast
upon the probable reason for this. Used as we now are to the contempt
for every rule of civilized warfare displayed by our detestable and
cowardly adversary, this new revelation of his cunning and brutality
will nevertheless come as a shock.

"Aircraft observation has now made it clear that the force immediately
opposed to my command is not the ---- Horse, as was believed, but a
picked body of the First Indian Jugglers, specially recruited for this
campaign. On the occasion of the last attack we were startled about
5.30 A.M. by a prodigious and ear-splitting noise proceeding from the
trenches occupied by these troops--or troupes. Perhaps no soldiers in
the world save our own incomparable warriors, trained to withstand
modern German music, could have endured this ghastly din without
flinching. Before long we observed a confused and stealthy movement on
our front; but what was our emotion to see advancing out of the mist
not the expected native charge, but a double line of trained cobras.
Despite the inevitable shock produced by this discovery, energetic
steps were at once taken to deal with the attack, and a brisk fire was
opened with hand grenades. The results were however negligible, from
the fact that the reptiles, apparently mistaking the hissing of the
fuses for a challenge from others of their own species, instantly and
savagely bit them off, thus rendering the grenades ineffective. Under
these circumstances I had no alternative but to evacuate my position,
a movement that was accomplished in fair order and very creditable
time, myself leading..."

(2) Extract from copy of reply by Chief of Great General Staff,
Berlin:--

"I am commanded by H.I.M. to inform you that you must retake trenches
at once, regardless of loss. Reports of scandalous breach of all
civilised laws forwarded to Presidents Geneva Convention and Hague
Tribunal. Two reserve battalions of Guards leave Potsdam to-night.
Hope that an accentuated mongoose-step movement may crush the new
enemy. Please report at once."

(3) From Same as No. 1:--

"Regret to convey further unfavourable development with regard to our
operations against the Jugglers' Corps. Having tempted a large body of
these into open country some distance to the rear of our original
lines, I ordered an attack in what should have been overwhelming
force. The enemy was at this stage entirely exposed to our fire, being
without any possibility of cover. Unfortunately, just as we had them
at our mercy, a concerted movement by their entire strength, known (I
believe) as the Mango Trick, resulted in the appearance of a dense
grove of these trees, behind which the enemy is at present effectually
screened."

(4) From the same:--

"Our treacherous foe has again escaped us. An heroic attack by the
bayonet upon the Mango Grove mentioned in previous despatch was
successful in capturing the position, but only in time to see the last
unit of the defending force vanishing up a rope, which with a large
number of others was dangling without visible attachment. The effect
of this renewed failure upon the _moral_ of the Imperial army has
unfortunately been considerable. I learn from my agents that the enemy
is now bringing up a number of heavy hypnotists for use against me
personally. Please wire instructions."

(5) From the same as (2):--

"Your resignation on the ground of ill-health regretfully accepted.
Return at once."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "THE SEED OF THE WAR

    IN UNIVERSITIES & SCHOOLS
    DAN GERSOFFALSEE DUCATION."

        _Freeman's Journal._

But why suddenly break into Flemish?

       *       *       *       *       *

Routine order issued by the Q.M.G.'s department:--

    "Fuel for general and other headquarter offices and signalling
    offices with the troops, is authorised at the scale of sixteen
    kilometres of coal per fireplace per day.

      Dec. 20th.
      B. E. F."

Theirs not to reason why. If the order is "Ten miles of coal per
fireplace" then ten miles it is.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration:

[Transcriber Note: Written in the illustration:] HELP RED CROSS

"OH, MUMMY, WHAT A LOT OF PENNIES IT WILL TAKE TO FILL THAT DOG!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OXYGEN EXERCISE.

    _SCENE.--A mud puddle in ----shire, in which are discovered forty
    yeomen in khaki lying on their backs and flapping their legs like
    seals. They are not really seals, but men whom their KING and
    country needs, doing breathing exercises. The reason they do not
    get up out of the puddle and walk away is that they would probably
    be killed by the enormous troop sergeant who is instructing them._

_Troop Sergeant_ (_fiercely_). Now then. Work at it. I'm 'ere to do
you a bit of good, I am. Finest thing in the world, this is. Some of
you fellows don't know a good thing when you see it. What is it that
causes tuberckylosis? Why, want of hoxygen. That's what it is. Look at
Sam Stevens--middle-weight champion of the world he was. And what did
he die of? Why, drink. And what made him take to drink? Why, want of
hoxygen. That's what it was. If a man can't breathe hoxygen he'll
drink it. How many cells do you suppose you 'ave in your lungs, Number
Three?

_Number Three_ (_inhaling through the mouth_). Don't know, Sergeant.

_Troop Sergeant._ Why, fifty million. Fifty million cells in your
lungs you've got.

    [_Number Three, appalled at this revelation, inhales briskly
    through     the nose in the hope of filling some of them._

_Troop Sergeant._ And how many do you suppose you generally use? Why,
not half of them. Twenty-five million cells you've got doing nothing.

    [_Number Three exhales despondently through the mouth, realising
    the vanity of all human endeavour. The Troop Sergeant, satisfied
    that he has disposed of Number Three, glares contentedly at the
    troop in silence._

_Troop_ (_exhaling through the mouth_). F-s-s-s-s-h.

_Troop Sergeant_ (_with sudden emotion_). Look at your neck, Number
Ten. I ask you, look at the back of your neck.

    [_Number Ten, feeling that this is a difficult feat to perform at
    any time and quite impossible when lying on his back, continues to
    gaze upwards, conscious of insubordination._

_Troop Sergeant._ Why is it twisted like that? A bone out of place,
the doctors will tell you. But (_solemnly_) WHY is it out of place, I
ask you? Tell me that. Want of hoxygen--that's what it is. It's as
plain as day.

    [_Enter Troop Officer._

_Troop Officer_ (_explosively_). A-tssh! Code id by head, Sergeadt.

_Troop Sergeant._ Ah, Sir, if you was to do these breathing exercises
you wouldn't 'ave no colds, Sir. If everyone was to do these exercises
there wouldn't be no doctors, Sir. It's only want of hoxygen that
makes people ill. There isn't a man in this troop's 'ad a cold since
we began, Sir.

_Numbers Five, Seven and Nine_ (_surreptitiously_). A-tissh!

    [_The Troop Sergeant is about to ignore this breach of
    discipline when Number Three, who has been trying to repress a
    sneeze while inhaling through the nose and at the same time
    carrying the legs to a vertical position above the body,
    explodes violently._

_Troop Sergeant_ (_ominously_). Number Three!

_Number Three_ (_weakly_). Yes, Sergeant.

_Troop Sergeant._ Have you got a cold?

_Number Three_ (_ingratiatingly_). Only a very little one, Sergeant.

_Troop Sergeant_ (_appealing to Officer_). Isn't it enough to break
one's 'eart, Sir? 'Ere am I trying to do them a bit o' good and 'ere's
this man lies there with his 'ead tucked into 'is chest, and doesn't
even try to breathe. There's only one thing that causes a cold. Want
of hox----A-tissh! A-tissh!

      * * *

    [_A painful silence ensues. The Officer walks away, leaving the
    Sergeant to his grief. The forty seals continue to flap in the mud
    puddle in ----shire._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WATCH DOGS.

XI.

MY DEAR CHARLES,--When you have witnessed a military inspection, have
seen the Great Man going round the companies and have heard his few
kind words to the victims of his scrutiny, no doubt you have told
yourself that a soldier's life must be very smooth and comfortable and
his work as easy as kiss-my-hand. If further you assume, from the
clock-like regularity of the parade, that we must all be on very good
terms and intimate understanding with each other, I feel bound to
disclose the dismal facts.

The information that we were to be inspected by our Great Man on the
Friday was handed to me, with the soup, at Thursday's mess. I did not
appreciate its horrible significance and, wondering why it should put
the older hands off their ration beef, I ate my dinner in the usual
manner, cracked a jest or two with the slightly preoccupied Adjutant
and C.O., and later on strolled down to my company's billet to inform
them that they would be inspected on the morrow. I supposed they would
say to each other, "Oh! indeed," and turn in to sleep; but I am
credibly informed that they had no bed that night.

On the following morning I was dumbfounded by their dazzling
appearance and could not help remarking that here at last was the
Perfect Thing. I was just sufficiently soldierlike, however, to
examine them with an icy disdain before we set out. _En route_ to the
rendezvous, I pictured to myself the Great Man's delight at beholding
us, his superlative admiration expressed in a voice choked with
affectionate emotion, and his final jocular farewell to myself--"As
for _your_ company, my dear Henry, it's marvellous."

I cannot record the actual event in all its details, which were mostly
bootlaces and whiskers. The first I knew of the trouble was a face so
ominous as to divert attention even from a splendid uniform. Such was
the look in the inspecting eye that, had I been my own master, I
should have bowed as lowly as to Allah, and said, "Your Highness, I
regret that urgent business at the Bank compels the instant departure
of myself (with my company)," and we should have been gone at the
double before he had gathered the gist of my remark. As it was, I had
to stand fast and pretend that we were all very glad to see him and
hoped he would make a long stay with us.

At about the third man, he stopped dead, very dead, and called my
attention to the fact that this private was all whiskers and no
bootlaces. What had I to say to that? I might have said, "So he is,
Sir, now I come to look at him. He should, of course, have been all
boot-laces and no whisker," or merely, "Well, I never!" or, again,
with some truth, "As to his laces, Sir, they were there a minute ago
but have just fallen out of his boots; and the hair has all grown on
his face while you and I were saluting each other just now." Instead I
was mute by the visitation of Heaven and we passed on, to pause at No.
8, whose feet and face also were by now all that they should not be.

Again, I was called upon for a speech--in vain. You will notice,
Charles, that Brigadiers and Colonels are poltroons at these times;
they push the company-commander into the forefront of the battle and
skulk behind his back.

The Great Man interrupted his examination to chat with his A.D.C.,
mainly, I fancy, about whiskers and bootlaces. Being also interested
in the subject, I took the opportunity to look along my company and
see (believe me or not, as you please) the whiskers coming into
existence and the laces going out.... I gathered later that things
were much the same with every company in the brigade. The Brigadier
gathered this also, but at once and from the Great Man.

That night the Brigadier sent for our C.O. The next morning our C.O.
sent for us. In due sequence we sent for our section-commanders, and
what was left of them, when we had finished, went to interview the
private. The last-named, having no one to whom to express his
contempt, utter loathing and devilish intentions for the future,
adopted the only alternative and took the necessary action.

The news of a second inspection reached me a week in advance, during
which I took no food because I was left no time and had no appetite.
It was a gloomy period, which was relieved only by two small
incidents. The one took place at the C.O.'s inspection, and I will
call it "The Private and the Toothbrush." Asked why it was so black,
he replied that he cleaned his teeth with permanganate of potash, thus
defeating the little crowd inspecting him, since none knew whether
that chemical could be used for cleaning teeth and, if it could,
whether it would turn the brush black. The other I will call "The
Memo. of the Transport Officer," who was so upset by what was said to
him that he "begged to certify that he had that day purchased 3 new
altars for his Transport service." This was officially passed on to me
to cheer me up a little, and I am authorised to divulge it to you.

The week elapsed in a hurricane of harsh oaths, and again I paraded my
company. Upon examination it now appeared to me to be the most
revoltingly untidy and deficient sight I had ever seen, an opinion
heartily endorsed by the Adjutant, C.O. and Brigadier. _En route_ to
the rendezvous this time I pictured nothing to myself; I merely
shifted my service revolver to a position from which I could more
easily destroy myself in an emergency.... And when the Great Man
approached he smiled at me, and no sooner had he remarked to his
A.D.C. that the buttons and bayonets of the brigade did credit to all
concerned than those stolidly dull buttons of mine brightened up and
bayonets grew where before there had been empty and depressed
scabbards.

I don't know exactly what the Great Man said to the Brigadier, but
expect it was much the same as the C.O. said to us and we to the
section-commanders. I doubt if the section-commanders said anything
nice to the private, but no doubt the latter knew by instinct that
this was an occasion upon which he might with impunity, but only once
in a way, step slightly aside from the straight and narrow path. I
guess, my dear Charles, that it is only the _second_ inspection to
which you, as representing the ignorant public, are invited.

The forty-eight hours' leave (by way of reward or for convalescence)
which ensued I spent with my wife. With feminine perversity she at
once started inspecting my moustache, one of the most astonishing
productions of these astonishing times. "Say what you please now,"
said I, quite imperturbable. "At the next inspection you'll find
yourself remarking that it is the best disciplined and equipped
moustache you have ever seen." And so it is.

    Yours ever,
      HENRY.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO A GERMAN GEOGRAPHER.

  If mid your foolish change of names
    Your ruler takes it ill
  That, spoiling all his cherished aims,
    Calais is Calais still,

  Sir, there's a name supremely pat
    Lies ready to your hand;
  Call it, and let it rest at that,
    The Never Never Land.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "There is a curious discrepancy in the reports of the Kaiser's
    New Year message to his forces that have reached London."

      _Irish Times._

The KAISER has been misled. They have not reached London.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACQUIRING POLISH.

[Illustration: _A_ AS IN "CAR."
_E_ LIKE FRENCH "UN."]

[Illustration: _I_ SOMEWHAT LIKE THE "E" IN "SELF," WITH A VERY
INDISTINCT "M" OR "N" FOLLOWING IT.]

[Illustration: _U_ AND _O_ LIKE "OO."]

[Illustration: _RZ_ AND _Z_ LIKE THE FRENCH "J" IN "JOUR," BUT AFTER
"K," "P," "T," OR AT THE END OF A WORD, LIKE "SH."]

[Illustration: THERE ARE FOUR SOUNDS SOMEWHAT DIFFICULT TO FOREIGNERS:
['C], ['S], ['Z], ['N] ---- AS YOU WERE.]

[Illustration: THE ACCENT INVARIABLY FALLS, ETC.----.]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CRANK'S COMPLAINT.

(_On seeing Mr. HENRY NEWBOLT'S name in the New Year's Honour List_).

  Because his verses always aim,
    With one unwearying design,
  At adding lustre to the fame
    Achieved by Britain on the brine;
  Because they fail to satisfy
    The sex-besotted catechist--
  It very nearly makes me cry
    To see him in the Honour List.

  Because he holds in high respect
    The knightly courtesies of war,
  Does not bow down to intellect,
    And steeps himself in FROISSART'S lore;
  Because he bids us play the game
    And not the super-egotist--
  I do not care to see his name
    Included in the Honour List.

  Because he has not eulogized
    The operas of RICHARD STRAUSS,
  Or liberally recognized
    KEIR HARDIE'S courage in the House;
  Because he's more an errant knight
    Than Pacifist or Chauvinist--
  I feel it is not fair or right
    To put him in the Honour List.

  Because he has not wreathed with bays
    The brow of good Sir WILLIAM BYLES
  Or lavished undiluted praise
    Upon the food of EUSTACE MILES;
  Or urged that we should subsidize
    The cult of the Theosophist--
  It fills me with a sick surprise
    To find him in the Honour List.

  Because he hasn't written odes
    In praise of NORMAN ANGELL'S views,
  Or aped the fashionable modes
    Which modern versifiers use;
  Because he writes with much restraint
    And is, in style, a Classicist--
  It very nearly makes me faint
    To see him in the Honour List.

  In fine, while MASTERMAN--O Fi
    For ASQUITH'S everlasting shame!--
  MACDONALD, CADBURY and I
    Have each no handle to his name;
  While HANDEL BOOTH'S well-earned O.M.
    Is still conspicuously missed--
  I can't sufficiently condemn
    The framing of the Honour List.

       *       *       *       *       *

Irony in the Tube.

After all the efforts and good nature sometimes exercised in getting
on to the right platform in a Tube station, it is quite nice to be
faced by the following bold announcement--

    "THE BEST WAY TO SEE LONDON IS FROM THE TOP OF A 'BUS."

Each word that follows is a stab at your heated and gross
imbecility:--

    "YOU ENJOY FRESH AIR. YOU SEE THE LIFE OF THE TREES. YOU PASS EVERY
    PLACE OF INTEREST."

Possibly the Tube will take its revenge and post the following
advertisement on the buses:--

    "ONLY IDIOTS TRAVEL BY 'BUS. THE TUBE IS FAR, FAR THE BETTER
    METHOD OF TRANSIT."

      * * *

Private----writes from the Front:--

    "Dear Mother, I expected when I come to France to hear the
    pheasants shouting the mayonnaise, but you dont."

      * * *

    "Reinforcements subsequently arrived, and a squadron of dragons
    then courageously attacked the enemy."--_Westminster Gazette._

Thus heaping coals of fire on the head of poor ST. GEORGE.

       *       *       *       *       *

MY EWE LION.

I must confess that I was finding it rather galling to have no friends
at all at the Front. Everyone else was so well furnished with these
acquaintances, often actually relations. But I had no one I knew,
although gradually one by one my clerks joined KITCHENER'S Army and
passed to various training grounds, returning (in my opinion far too
often) to the office in their uniforms to disturb the routine and
waste the time of the others. Some drilling and instruction I am
assured go on in these camps, but I see in London every day sufficient
English soldiers to drive twice the present number of Germans out of
Belgium--if they really meant it.

My point, however, is that for far too long there was no one at the
Front, either living, dead or wounded, with whom I could claim any
intimacy, and this is the kind of thing which does not do a man any
good on his way to and back from the City.

Everyone else in my morning and evening trains has had friends at the
Front ever since we sent out our first draft, and to me their talk
about them has been extremely galling. Some of them have even had
letters from them, and these are either read or paraphrased and have
enormously sent up the stock of the recipients. In fact several men
whom I know to be very shaky in business, and others who have been
rather blown upon on account of their general bounderish demeanour,
have established themselves in improved social positions wholly
through letters from the Front.

There are people, of course, who, not having a soldier friend, would
invent one; but that is not my way. I would not do that. For one
thing, I should have great difficulty in keeping it up. It would mean
studying the map, reading all the reports and knowing more about the
army than I have time to learn.

Imagine then my delight and excitement when I opened the evening paper
a day or so ago, and found that the hero of the dashing and perilous
feat of which everyone was talking, and which resulted in the capture
of many Germans and machine guns, was no other than the son of my old
friend Wargrave. I had not seen Wargrave for some years, but we met
often once, and on my last visit to him his son had been home from
school, and I now remembered how fine a lad I had thought him. He had
a fearless eye and a high spirit; he was, in fact, the very stuff of
which bold warriors are made. There was no doubt about his identity
either, for a personal paragraph in the paper stated who his father
was.

I was so pleased about it all that I sat down at once and wrote a
congratulatory note to Wargrave senior; and on my way to the station I
thought of other things in connection with his brave son which I might
never have called to mind but for this deed of prowess: what a good
appetite he had had; how he had climbed a tree for cherries; how he
had torn his clothes; and how tedious I had found his addiction to
what was called a water-pistol. "Good old Clifford!"--that was his
name. Lieut. Clifford Wargrave, I said to myself, and my heart beat
the faster for having known him.

That evening the only man that I knew in my carriage coming home was
Barrington, and naturally I said something to him about the gallant
son of my old friend. Barrington is not a man that I ever liked, and
my young people say contemptuous things of his family as a whole. One
of the daughters, however, is rather pretty, but I should not care to
confess this at my own table. It is as dangerous to tell some girls
about the prettiness of others as to tell some people that they look
well. Anyway, since Barrington was there, I mentioned to him that it
was gratifying to me to think that my old friend's son had become such
a public hero, and I recollected as I was talking, and mentioned too,
certain further incidents in the young fellow's boyhood. We once
bathed together in Cornwall, I remembered, and I am not sure that it
was not I who taught him to swim. At another time we had been on a
picnic and I had made him and his sister laugh a good deal by my
jokes--poor simple things, no doubt, but tickling to him. "And no
doubt he is the same simple fellow now," I said, "always ready to
laugh and be merry." I told Barrington also about the cherries and the
torn clothes, and what a good appetite he had; and about the
water-pistol.

"Odd to think that that boy should grow into a hero," I said. "How
little we can read the future!"

"Yes, indeed," said Barrington.

I don't know why, but talking about this young friend of long ago, now
so illustrious, to Barrington, made me quite to like the man, and I
even went out of my way to accompany him to his gate.

I am wiser now. I now know that it is a mistake ever to change one's
opinion of a man. And the extraordinary pettiness of human nature! the
paltry little varieties of it! the straws it will clutch at to support
its self-esteem!

The next morning, owing to some delay over breakfast, I was a little
late at the station and failed to get my usual seat among my usual
set. I managed just to scramble into a carriage and subsided into the
far corner with my paper well before my face because I did not want to
be sociable in that company. One has to be careful. Just as the train
started, in dashed Barrington and took the only seat left--in fact
there was not really room for him. He did not see me.

The train had not left the station before one of the men remarked upon
the heroism of young Wargrave; when to my astonishment and annoyance
Barrington at once took him up.

"Ah! yes," he said. "Such a fine young fellow; I always knew he would
do something like that."

"Then you know him?" he was asked.

"Well, I don't say that I exactly know him," he said, "but I used to
hear a lot about him from one of the most intimate friends of the
family."

And one by one he told all my little anecdotes--trivial enough when in
the mouth of a stranger, but, coming from one who knew, interesting
and important. Will you believe it, Wargrave lasted Barrington and his
idiotic listeners all the way to London--my Wargrave, mind, not his at
all! And the way they listened! I personally sat hidden, and fumed but
said nothing. How could I suddenly claim Wargrave as my own without
being ridiculous? Nor would they have believed me. Besides, to put
myself in competition with Barrington....

I managed to elude Barrington's eye at the terminus, and sought my
office in a state of fury and contempt. At lunch I was again baulked,
for none of my regular companions were there. It was beginning to be
ridiculous. I might as well have not known the Wargraves at all.

That evening I was very carefully early for my train, determined that
I would score then. My own set should now know first-hand what my
association with the young hero was. After all, what did those others
matter? But here again I had been forestalled.

"I met that man Barrington at lunch," said one of my neighbours, "and
he was most interesting about this young Wargrave. Knew lots of things
about his boyhood. Often stayed there. A ripping boy it seems he was.
Really, Barrington's not such a bad chap when you get to know him. I
think we must have him in our carriage now and then. He was most
modest about it."

"Did Barrington say that Lieut. Wargrave was a friend of his?" I asked.

"Oh, yes. No doubt about it; Barrington taught him to swim."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A GOOD STAYER.

_Sergeant._ "GAWN TAE BE RELEEVIT, ARE WE? WEEL, WE'RE NO GAWN. WE'VE
BEEN HERE THE BEST PAIRT O' A WEEK NOO, AND WE'RE UP TAE A' THE
DIR-RTY TRICKS O' THAE GERMAN BEGGARS, AND IF THEY PIT NEW YINS IN
HERE THEY'LL JUST MAK A RARE MESS O' IT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Is not _Come Out To Play_ (CONSTABLE) a delightful title for a story?
And, believe me, not better than the story itself, which I should
call, save for one defect, a perfect masterpiece in miniature. To have
done with blame, I will say at once that the defect is the end, which,
to my thinking at least, seems both inartistic and cowardly. I can
hardly explain my meaning more clearly without spoiling your
enjoyment. But I will hint that this tragedy of unfulfilled promise
(for the book is a tragedy, though concealed beneath a surface
merriment) seemed too delicate for so melodramatic a climax. Miss M.
E. F. IRWIN writes with an ease and finish that is amazing. She has
form, too, and a quite unusual beauty of style that gives to her work
something that is very difficult to analyse. The book is the story of
a boy called _Truffles_ (which of course was not his real name), a boy
with a long white face and dark eyes under heavy lids that gave him
the look of Pierrot. Nothing very special happens in his life. He has
a genial spendthrift father, a prig of an elder brother, a rather
jolly sister and a host of admiring friends. And the lot of them drift
along in the artificial comedy of London existence in peacetime,
flirting and idling, working and loving, all a little
self-consciously; setting their emotions for the most part to an
accompaniment of popular comic songs, those vacuous jingles whose
light-heartedness Time so quickly turns to a wistful and poignant
melancholy. You will gather that the actual story is no great matter.
It is the faintly pathetic grace of the telling that makes this book
one of the very few to which the misused adjective "beautiful" can
honestly be applied. Perhaps in reading it you may be reminded, as I
was, of another modern novel, one that was praised greatly in these
pages and has leapt since to fame. I name no names, because I am far
indeed from charging Miss IRWIN with imitation. The more present-day
writers who can display this same sensitive and compelling charm, the
better I shall be pleased.

      * * *

The perfect children's-book must be one of the most difficult things
in the world to write. The qualities it would demand are so varied and
the dangers so many. You must, for example, be just sentimental enough
to obtain sympathy, yet never so much as to invite suspicion of being
sloppy. There must be adventure for the adventurous, colour for the
romantic and magic for everybody. Frankly I cannot say that Mr. H. DE
VERE STACPOOLE has achieved the ideal; but in _Poppyland_ (LANE) he
has certainly strung together a number of stories that most children
are sure to like. I fancy their favourite will be "The Little Prince,"
a story in which all the right things happen--beggar girls turn out to
be Countesses, and handsome Princes suffer a strictly temporary
decline into beggary--and all in an agreeable Neapolitan setting,
which, as the advertisements say, "will appeal to children of larger
growth." With his fairies Mr. STACPOOLE is, to my thinking, a degree
less successful. The worst of tales about storks and magic gardens and
cripple-boys and the like is that, however freshly you set forth,
sooner or later you are sure to find yourself in the foot-prints of
the old wizard of Denmark. If I had loved my HANS CHRISTIAN less, I
should have better appreciated certain tales in this collection that
inevitably recalled him. Still, the whole is pleasant enough. I wish I
could say also that I liked the illustrations, but, with exceptions,
these seemed to me both ugly and pretentious. The best exception was
one of the old stork, a delightful piece of colour for the sake of
which I can almost forget some of the others.

      * * *

Miss MACNAUGHTAN always writes very charmingly and with plenty of
humour, and in dedicating _A Green Englishman_ (SMITH, ELDER) to "My
Canadian friends" she must, I think, be too unconscious of her powers,
for this collection of stories is far from being a valuable
endorsement of the flowery praises of the emigration bureaux. Very
little hope is held out to the young man of good family who is a
gentleman and something of a sportsman, and proposes to pick up gold
on the pavements or the prairies of the West. I do not mean that the
writer is ungenerous either to the Dominion or to its people, but she
takes no pains to conceal the terror that lives with the beauty of its
vast spaces, and she does not represent the struggle to "make good" as
altogether a lovely thing. Perhaps the most ambitious of these
sketches, certainly the one which conforms most nearly to the "short
story" model, describes the fate of a clergyman's daughter who pays a
visit to Macredie, "somewhere on the C. P. R. line," and marries a
farmer and land-speculator, chiefly because this is her last chance of
marrying at all. The horror of the silence and the snow, when her
husband leaves her to face a Canadian winter alone, because he has
business in England, eventually drives her mad; and though most of the
stories are in a lighter vein than this, and there is plenty of the
humorous sentiment in which Miss MACNAUGHTAN excels, the moral that I
draw from the book as a whole is, "Visit Canada by all means, but,
unless you are a Scotchman of the very doggedest type, don't stay
there."

      * * *

The hiding of lights under bushels may be all very wellin private
life, but is misplaced in the book-publishing business. I thoroughly
disapprove of the title and the outside cover of the Hon. Mrs.
DOWDELL'S latest collection of leisurely essays, _Joking Apart_
(DUCKWORTH). The one suggests a heart-to-heart talk on the things that
matter or else an outburst of boisterous farce, while the other is
merely dismal. The two together are enough to put the public off a
really good thing. Mrs. DOWDELL treats of the domestic and social side
of feminine life in that peculiar vein of humour which is neither
joking nor yet joking apart; her writing reminds me of those
least-to-be-forgotten evenings of my life when I have been lucky
enough to listen for hours to a real pucker conversationalist in the
best of spirits and at the top of his form. The words that passed are
forgotten; it is even difficult to remember what all the talk was
about; but the recollection remains of having heard the truth of
things for once, neither laughed at nor wept over, but very brightly
revealed. Of twenty excellent chapters I much prefer the one about
woman's sphere in electioneering; as to the thumb-nail illustrations
in the margin, they show bad draughtsmanship, but some are
delightfully apt.

      * * *

Mr. LINCOLN COLCORD, writer of short stories of the sea, republished
under title _The Game of Life and Death_ (MACMILLAN), has taken no
pains to conceal his admirable model. There surely never was, outside
conscious parody, so conspicuously derivative a method of handling
similar types and subjects. It was a bold thing to do. He has not
CONRAD'S fastidious sense of words, nor his masterly suggestion of
atmosphere, so much more felt than actually expressed, nor his patient
sure unravelling of motives; and in "The Voice of the Dead" he commits
a piece of shocking bad Wardour Street, of which by no conceivable
lapse could his master have been guilty. But there is a whiff of the
sea in his work; his types, if cruder, have life, and he often
contrives some ingenious turn in the situation which gives the story
interest. _The Game of Life and Death_--which ends in a hand of poker
played between Chinese merchants and pirates, with two lives and much
money and gear for stake--is a good yarn, though it leans on the
inartistic unlikelihood of a royal capping a straight flush--which is
piling it on too thick. The tale of "The Moths" that haunted a man who
took them for the souls of wronged women provides a sufficient thrill.
"De Long" is just the kind of story of the crooked cosmopolitan
ship-chandler that CONRAD would write, indeed has written. _Nichols_,
the narrator of this and others, is made after the model of his
reflective skippers. And here the challenge gets too near for Mr.
COLCORD'S chances. Still the yarns go well with a seasoned pipe; and
that is no mean recommendation.

      * * *

_The Honourable Percival_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) may at least claim to
have established a record in one respect. I think I never met a
full-sized novel with a more slender plot. The _Honourable Percival
Hascombe_, on a pleasure tour in the Pacific, met _Miss Roberta
Boynton_, and fell in love with her. This, I give you my word, is all
there is of it. But, if you think that so slight a thread will be
insufficient to hold your interest, you reckon without the cunning of
ALICE HEGAN RICE, who has spun it. There are those of us who worship
_Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch_. There are also those who don't. But
while regretfully classing myself among the benighted to whom this
Best Seller appealed in vain, I hasten to add that I have nothing but
gratitude for _The Honourable Percival_. This record of a shipboard
romance is done with the daintiest art, delicate, tender, humorous,
and not (as is the fault with so many American romances)
oversweetened. The development of _Percival_ from a priggish
misanthrope to a man and a lover is beautifully told. Also a great
part of the charm of the tale lies in its setting, a series of
cinemascopic views of the ports touched at by the _S.S. Saluria_, so
vividly portrayed that you will close the book with quite the feeling
of the returned traveller. One small but poignant surprise the ending
has in store, which I will not spoil by anticipation.

       *       *       *       *       *





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