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Title: Punch, Or the London Charivari, Volume 148, January 6th, 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, Volume 148, January 6th, 1915" ***

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  [Illustration: GVLIELMVS · MAXIMVS ·

  ORBIS · TERRARVM · IMPERATOR ·

  Vol. CXLVIII.

  LONDON:

  PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICE, 10, BOUVERIE STREET,

  AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

  1915.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Whitefriars Press.]

Bradbury, Agnew & Co.,

Printers,

London and Tonbridge.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE GOD IN THE CART.

(_An Unrehearsed Effect._)

TURKEY. "I'M GETTING A BIT FED UP WITH THIS. I SHALL KICK SOON."

AUSTRIA. "WELL, I WAS THINKING OF LYING DOWN."]


     *       *       *       *       *

Punch, Or The London Charivari

Volume 148, January 6th, 1915



[Illustration: VOL. CXLVIII]

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTES ON NEWS.

BY A CYNIC.

  The news that fills our daily files
  From special correspondents--miles
  Behind the Front--perchance beguiles
  The simple, but the sceptic riles.

  The news from Rott- or Amst-erdam
  Has German powder in its jam.

  The news from Petrograd, when fine
  And large, 'tis wiser to decline
  Without the GRAND DUKE'S countersign.

  The Russian news that comes from Rome
  Is as romantic as a pome.

  The news that comes from Austrian sources
  MÜNCHHAUSEN'S shade alone endorses.

  The news from Nish upon Vienna
  Acts somewhat like the tea of senna.

  News from Vienna wakes in Nish
  The exclamation "Tush!" or "Pish!"

  On Turkish telegrams, _qua_ fiction,
  We may bestow our benediction;

  They match (their humour is so tireless)
  The exploits of the German Wireless.

  In fine, the cautious type eschews,
    As wholly prejudicial
  To his enlightenment, all news
    Save the Allies' official.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The National Gallery had an unwonted experience. Quite a
    number of people, among them a church dignitary in garters, were
    inspecting its masterpieces."--_Evening News._

No mention is made of ourselves--a Press dignitary in sock-suspenders.

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM THE NEUTRAL NATIONS.

    [The recent boom in the export of copper from America to the
    neutral nations is very significant. If the enemy's supplies of
    this article--an essential in the manufacture of cartridges,
    etc.--were cut off, the war would come to a speedy end. The figures
    for September and October, 1914, show an increase of nearly 400 per
    cent. over the corresponding figures for 1913.]

    O Britain, guardian of the seas,
      Whose gallant ships (may Heaven speed 'em)
    Defend the wide world's liberties
      Against the common foe of Freedom;
    Doubt not where our true feelings lie;
      We would not have you come a cropper,
    Although it suits us to supply
      That common foe with copper.

    Dear Land of Hope, in which we trust,
      Beneath whose ample wings we snuggle,
    Safe from the KAISER'S culture-lust
      And free to live and smile--and smuggle;
    Devoted to the peaceful arts,
      We keep our conduct strictly proper,
    Yet all the time you have our hearts
      (And Germany our copper).

    Although the crown is theirs alone
      Who crush the tyrant's bold ambitions,
    Peace hath her profits, all her own,
      Derived from contraband munitions;
    And you who fight for Freedom's aims
      Will surely shrink to put a stopper
    Upon our bagmen's righteous claims
      And burst the boom in copper.

    Once more we swear our hearts are true
      And, like the tar's connubial token,
    "It doesn't matter what we do"
      If we but keep that pledge unbroken;
    So while we pray for Prussia's fall,
      And look to your stout arm to whop her,
    We mean to answer every call
      She makes on us for copper.

      O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE KAISER'S LOST CHANCE.

I found him gazing intently at the framed Bill of Fare by the main door
of the Restaurant Furioso, where I had often lunched at his table.

"Hullo, Fritz!" I exclaimed. "What are you doing out here? Have you
been sacked?"

"Ach, Mein Herr," he answered, "there has of the German waiters what
you call an up-round been. I prove myself Swiss; I invoke the memory
of WILHELM TELL and the Alpine Club, but the proprietor say that he
take no risk, and out I go. But no matter. I myself was myself to have
sacked, but he spoke too quick."

I said I was sorry and asked whether he meant to go back to
Switzerland. Fritz winked and tapped his breast pocket.

"Perhaps," he said. "I am rich, I have money. But first I buy new
clothes and then I lunch at my own table at the Furioso."

"Come where you can tell me all about it," said I, scenting a story,
and he led me to a quiet tavern in a back street.

"Beer," was his answer to my first question. "English beer. I have done
with Germany."

"I thought you said you were Swiss," I remarked.

"That is so," he replied; "but I have served Germany, and, ach! she
have the thankless tooth of the serpent's child. I have read your
SHAKSPEARE. But you shall know all," he went on. "Already the police
know all, and they laugh in my face. They call me fool, but I have
money, and the KAISER has missed his chance.

"Listen, Mein Herr! I have been one of STEINHAUER'S spies. He is the
Master Spy and came over to England with the KAISER, and he stayed, I
am told, at Buckingham Palace. But STEINHAUER is a fool, and I tell
him so in my last letter. One day, a month ago, a gentleman dine at my
table: he speak good English and wear London clothes, but I suspect
him German, and when I see him eat I know. Some English officers also
dine in the room, and he look at them--ach! as there were sour apples
in his stomach. So I speak in German to Hans at the next table, and,
when I give the bill, the gentleman point out a too-much charge for the
butter he have not; I bend my head to read, and he whisper in my ear in
German."

"Ah!" I said. "I can guess the next part about the secret meeting and
the false name and so on. But tell me how the KAISER missed his chance."

"Well," he resumed, "I become a spy. My duty was to listen to English
officers who dine at the Furioso, and to send reports to STEINHAUER
through a cutter of hairs in Soho, who call himself Ephraim Smiley,
but his right name is Johann Schnitzelbrod. One night three young
officers dine at my table and talk much about the British Army. One
say the Arsenal is weak, another that the Rangers cannot shoot for
nuts, and the third that the Palace is sure to go down next Saturday.
'Aha!' I say to myself, 'the Army is bad, and they fear Zeppelins or
revolution.' STEINHAUER will know which, and I shall get the five-pound
note. So I send my report; but STEINHAUER is stupid and the five-pound
note come not, and I say, 'Better luck on the following occasion.'

"A week later a cavalry officer dine at my table alone, and he talk
to me for company. He ask me if I follow horses, and I say, 'Yes,
formerly, when they drew the bus.' Then he laugh, and ask whether I
ever have what he call a flutter on a dead snip. I scratch my head,
but Hans interpret, and so, as you English say, I tumble. I tell him
I would like, but for me the dead snip have not yet deceased. He say,
'Put all your tips on Mutton Chop for the Cookingham Stakes,' and he
give me a shilling. Presently Hans tell me that Mutton Chop is not an
English food, but a horse. He say he know of what he call a bookie who
is not a Welshman, and if Mutton Chop win, I multiply my savings one
hundert times.

"So I write to STEINHAUER in haste: he must advise the KAISER to put
one hundred million marks on Mutton Chop, and the war will be paid for
and something left over for poor Fritz. Then I take my savings from the
bank and pawn my clothes, and much money goes to the bookie to back
Mutton Chop. Well, the good Mutton Chop roll home--that is what Hans
call it, and he is a racing-instructed; he has been waiter at Ascot,
and once he go to see the City and South London. The same day come a
letter from STEINHAUER that I am a _Schweinkopf_, and he shall advise
the KAISER no such thing; and he dismiss me with notting.

"But I go to the bookie, who laugh and pay me one tausend pound.
He did not care; he make ten tausend from the many fools who back
German Sausage. So I write one last letter to STEINHAUER and say,
'_Schweinkopf_ yourself! Stew in your own _Sauerkraut_!' He get another
spy to denounce me, but I find the police have opened all my letters,
and they laugh in my face. But the superintendent say, 'Much obliged,
Herr Fritz! Thanks to you, I also make my _bitchen_ on Mutton Chop.
When you get another dead snip, pass it on.'"

Then I ordered Fritz another English beer, and gave him an introduction
to my own tailor.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE HARDSHIPS OF HOME.

_Young Officer_ (_back from the trenches, on ninety-six hours' leave_).
"UGH! THIS IS HORRIBLE--HAVING TO TAKE ALL YOUR CLOTHES OFF AND GET
BETWEEN COLD SHEETS!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARIVARIA.

Germany, it is stated, has promised to pay Turkey a fifth of the war
indemnity, when she gets it. This looks as if she didn't expect to win.

       * * *

At last, we hear, the enemy has found a song which is becoming as
popular as "It's a long way to Tipperary." We refer to "Stop your
nibbling, JOFFRE."

       * * *

The Sultan of TURKEY is reported to be suffering from a severe heart
attack, and the KAISER, it is said, has written to him telling him not
to be nervous, and pointing out how soon he himself recovered after his
heart had bled for Louvain.

       * * *

"There is no room in Germany to-day for soft-hearted humanitarians,"
says _Die Post_. We had not suspected that the Fatherland was
inconveniently crowded with this type.

       * * *

The production of _King Albert's Book_ is said to have caused many
pangs of jealousy to the KAISER. He must, however, have patience. His
army's achievements in Belgium are now being investigated, and _Kaiser
Wilhelm's Book_ will appear in due course, and should also cause a
sensation.

       * * *

The Turkish Army despatched "to deliver Egypt" has begun its march to
the Suez Canal, but the Egyptians remain calm, being convinced that
there is no real danger of their being delivered.

       * * *

Discontent with their Government's inaction increases among the
Italians day by day, and the Tiber has risen.

       * * *

The report that the EMPEROR FRANCIS JOSEPH is seriously ill is denied.
As a matter of fact our information is to the effect that His Majesty
has not yet been told about the War, as it was feared that it might
worry the old gentleman.

       * * *

On Christmas Eve a bomb was planted by an enemy aeroplane in a Dover
garden. This must be a case of intensive culture.

       * * *

The Crown Prince of GERMANY is reported to have sent a special emissary
to this country in order to report whether _The New Clown_ at the
New Theatre is, as he suspects, a disrespectful attack on His Royal
Highness.

       * * *

"The English," says the unspeakable Dr. KARL PETERS in the _Münchener
Neueste Nachrichten_, "believe our natural kindness to be mere
weakness." Certainly we have never looked upon kindness as being their
strong point.

       * * *

It is announced from Berlin that the Government intends to issue a new
set of stamps for use in Belgium. Germany is evidently trying to attach
to herself the sympathy of philatelists--a class of men well known for
their adhesive propensities.

       * * *

"TRADE WITH THE ENEMY FINE."

  _Daily Mail._

We think it a mistake, not to say unpatriotic, to praise illegal
transactions in this way.

       * * *

In describing the wonderful escape of the Newcastle express the other
day when the engine left the rails, _The Evening Standard_ reported
that "The passengers contained many soldiers returning home on leave."
While we have realised that there might be a danger of some of our
heroes being killed by kindness, this news frankly shocks us, and we
are sorry that it should have been passed by the Censor.

       * * *

Mr. RUDYARD KIPLING entered his fiftieth year last week. He did it
quietly, without an ode from the POET LAUREATE.

       * * *

The _Vorwärts_ reports that there is a shortage of braces among the
German soldiers at the Front. Ostend, evidently, is not "so bracing"
after all.

       * * *

The Sultan of TURKEY has issued a rescript announcing that the Sultan
of EGYPT will be tried by a court-martial of the 4th Army Corps, which
is now operating against Egypt. They were wrong who alleged that the
Turks are wanting in humour.

       * * *

The French Government has prohibited the exportation of butter.
Curiously enough the day after the prohibition our provision merchant
informed us that he was quite unable to supply us with our "real
Devonshire butter" as usual.

       * * *

The latest recruiting poster at Hastings runs:--

"FALL IN! SOUTHDOWNS." But this does not necessarily mean cheaper
mutton.

       * * *

"Reuter's New York correspondent wires that Mr. Eugene Zimmerman, whose
death was announced the other day, was the railway magnate, and not the
noted caricaturist popularly known as 'Zim.'" This news, when conveyed
to the latter, was very well received.

       * * *

"NEW YEAR'S HONOURS.

P.C. FOR LABOUR LEADER."

At first we hoped that the police had come for KEIR HARDIE.

       *       *       *       *       *

"CAPTURING THE ENEMY'S TRADE."

    From Craven House, Northumberland street, W.C., there has been
    issued a pamphlet entitled 'British Trade with Russia,' compiled
    from consular reports, by Mr. Malcolm Burr, M.A., D.Sc., etc.,
    the object of the work, which is published at sixpence, being to
    indicate the colossal potentialities of the Russian market, and
    to supply some data to the British merchant or manufacturer who
    contemplates entering it."--_Kentish Mercury._

We have no fault to find with the above, except that it is placed under
the general heading "Literature and Art," being actually neither.

       *       *       *       *       *

PAYING GUESTS.

I came across Crawshaw in the road unexpectedly. I would rather meet
a rate-collector than Crawshaw. He is the most dangerous beggar
in England. He could induce a blind crossing-sweeper to guarantee
half-a-crown a week to a Belgian Relief Fund. If only he were
Chancellor of the Exchequer people would almost like paying income-tax.

"Good morning, old man," I said, trying to dash past him.

"Just the man I was looking for," said Crawshaw. "I want you."

"My dear fellow," I began, "I can't possibly afford----"

"I don't want your money," interrupted Crawshaw.

"Well, you've got all my spare blankets, underclothing and old novels."

"I want you to come to a little dinner I'm giving on Monday. Just a
bachelor festival."

I looked at him suspiciously. "You intend to entice me into your house
and produce a subscription list."

"My dear fellow, I'll do nothing of the sort. It's just that I want a
few of my friends to have a good time. Look in about 7.30. You'll come?
That's good."

I found a genial company assembled when I arrived.

"Now we're all here," said Crawshaw. "Come in to dinner, you men."

Two or three guests confided to me on the way that Crawshaw owed us a
good dinner after all he had got out of us. We seated ourselves at the
table, and then I noticed an empty bowl in the middle. It bore this
inscription, "Any one desiring to make a remark about the War will drop
a shilling in for the Soldiers' Comforts Fund."

"My idea," said our smiling host. "We want a nice convivial dinner with
an evening off from The Subject. We shall return to it to-morrow with
fresh intelligence and enthusiasm after a brief relaxation."

I turned to my neighbour, Spoor, and carefully selecting a safe topic
began on the weather. "Bit windy, isn't it, to-night?"

"Good anti-Zeppelin weather, I call it," said the incautious Spoor.

"A shilling, please, Spoor," remarked Crawshaw.

Rogers was across the table. I could see him fiddling with knives and
salt-cellars. All at once he broke out: "In our platoon to-day there
was a man missing, and in consequence a blank file. Now in such a
case----"

"You pay a shilling," interposed Crawshaw.

For a moment an awful silence prevailed. I could think of nothing
except the War. All at once Williams threw a five-shilling piece into
the bowl.

"I met an officer on leave from the Front to-day," he began, "and he
was telling me just what JOFFRE is up to."

Now Chapman is nothing if not a strategist. He listened with impatience
to the exposition of JOFFRE'S idea, and then, hurling half-a-sovereign
into the bowl, proved conclusively that Williams' informant was
absolutely in the wrong.

It was at this point that I remembered an interesting fact I had just
heard about Italy's mobilisation. I could not keep it back. "Crawshaw,"
I appealed, "will you compromise? A sovereign each for the dinner?"

"Done," said Crawshaw.

"Good. I always mistrusted you. I came without a penny. Lend me a
sovereign."

"I'm not in this compromise," cried Chapman. "I've said all I've got to
say. You'll run me in for nothing more."

It was at the end of the meal that Crawshaw rose. "Thanks awfully,
you fellows. There's twelve pounds twelve in the bowl. Eleven of us
have given a sovereign and Chapman there, bless his generous heart,
thirty-two shillings."

"Crawshaw," grumbled Chapman, "I know you've a family. I know you're
too old. I know you're physically disqualified. But you ought to go
to the Front. Not only would it raise the spirits of the poor people
you leave behind here, but your very presence in the trench with a
subscription list would make the enemy run."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "PORTER, PORTER! STOP THE TRAIN! I'VE LEFT MY WOOL IN
IT!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Belated Reveller._ "HERE, SWITCH OFF, GOV'NOR. I'M NOT
A ZELLERPIN!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE REASON.

He was a saturnine-looking man with a distinctly anti-social
suggestion; but after a while he began to talk. We discussed one thing
and another, and casually he remarked that he was connected with the
motor industry--as indeed all men whom one cannot immediately place now
are.

He did not build cars, he said, or design them, or sell them. What then
did he do?

"My task is a peculiar one," he said, "and you might never guess it.
It is wholly concerned with taxi-cabs. I am an inspector of taxi-cab
windows."

He looked at me as with a challenge.

"It is your duty," I inquired, with a horrible feeling that I could not
congratulate him on his efficiency, "to inspect the windows and see
that they are in good order?"

"To inspect the windows--yes," he replied; "but not for the purpose you
name."

"Then why inspect them?" I asked warmly. "What is wanted is some one
to see that the wretched things can be manipulated. I would bet that
out of every ten cabs I am in not more than two have windows that will
work."

"Two!" he mused. "That's a very high percentage. I must see to that."

"High!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, high," he repeated. "You see, my duty is to visit the garages all
over London before the cabs go out and see that the windows won't work.
If they do work I disarrange them. That's my job."

"But why?" I gasped.

"Haven't you noticed how much worse they have been lately, and that,
when you take a cab off the rank, the windows are always down when you
get in, however bad the weather?"

"Yes," I said, "Everyone must have noticed it."

"Well," he continued, "that's my doing. That's my job."

"But why?" I repeated.

"Just a part of the general scheme of getting the War into people's
minds," he said. "The darkening of London, the closing of the
public-houses, the defective cab windows--they're all of a piece. Only
the cab-window trick is the most useful."

"How?" I asked.

"Well, it hardens you," he said. "It accustoms you to cold and wet, and
that's all to the good."

So now I know.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Around Souraine there have been violet combats.... We have
    made considerable progress in the region."--French communiqué, as
    reported in _The Western Evening Herald._

We know that Battles of Flowers are a speciality of our comrades of
France, and we are not surprised to hear that the enemy was beaten at
this exchange of gallantries.

       *       *       *       *       *

ELEVEN SECONDS.

The word "schedule" always bothers me; when I see it on an income-tax
paper I lose my head. In my confusion I sign my name lavishly. I
confess to profits from trades, professions, employments _and_
vocations; I reveal the presence of unsuspected gas-works, quarries,
salt-springs, alum mines, streams of water, ferries, cemeteries and
"other concerns of the like nature within the United Kingdom"; no
secret is made of my colonial and foreign possessions. Wherever I see
an inviting gap I slip in a few figures.... Then the assessor looks at
my paper and tells me what I ought to give him.

This year things went worse than ever. I got some noughts in the wrong
place; a whole lot of gaps headed "Claim for Relief in Respect of
Earned Income," which I had supplied with particular liberality, went
by the board, all because I hadn't noticed in the preambulation some
foolish date "before which any claim must be preferred." Those two
accidents practically doubled my little tax ... and then LLOYD GEORGE
went and doubled it again. It began to look as if it would be cheaper
to pay income on my income-tax instead of the other way round.

"Celia," I said, "we're ruined. Cancel any orders for potted salmon;
we shall have to live simply in future." And I told her just what the
tax-gatherer had asked for.

"But why do we have to pay so much?" she asked.

"Partly because of the KAISER, and partly because of me. History will
apportion the blame."

Celia seemed prepared to anticipate History.

"Don't forget," I went on hastily, "that the money will be well spent.
If I had to make a fool of myself, I would sooner have done it this
year than any other. It is a privilege to pay for a war like this."

Celia looked thoughtful.

"How much does the war cost England?" she asked.

"Oh, lots. I think it mentioned the exact figures in _The Times_ this
morning. They'll be only too glad of my little contribution."

She retired in search of _The Times_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The stars denote Celia at work. I can imagine her with her head on
one side and the tip of her tongue just peering out to see how she is
getting on, the paper in front of her a mass of figures. The ink is
creeping up her pen; her forefinger is nervous and bids her hurry.

She has finished, and she comes into the room, trying to look grave. My
letter to the Assessor, "Sir and Friend,--By the beard (if any) of your
ancestor, I beseech you----" is abandoned, and I turn to her.

"Well?"

"I've worked it out," she said. "Do you know how long you'll be paying
for the war?"

"Oh, quite a long time."

"Eleven seconds."

It was a little disappointing.

"Eleven seconds," repeated Celia. "One--two--three--four----"

"That's too fast. Begin again."

"One----two----three----"

"That's better."

She counted eleven. It seemed much longer now. One----two----
three----four....

And all the time my brave army was fighting in Flanders, my navy was
sweeping the North Sea, my million recruits were growing into soldiers.
In Yorkshire my looms were busy, ARMSTRONG'S were turning out my guns,
Northampton was giving my gallant boys their boots. Did an aeroplane
shoot up into the sky, did a submarine dive into the deep, mine was the
supporting hand. Was I not a god among men?

"Ten," said Celia--"eleven. What are you thinking about?"

I pitched my letter to the Assessor in the fire.

"I've been thinking about my war," I said. "Every shot that was fired
while you were counting I paid for; I paid for the food of every
soldier and sailor; for the separation allowances of their wives; for
hospitals and ambulances and doctors."

"How lovely it sounds. I hadn't thought of it like that. It makes
eleven seconds seem an age."

"It is an age. For eleven seconds FRENCH and JELLICOE were my men."

"Then I think you might have warned me," said Celia reproachfully, "so
that we could have shared them."

"I'm sorry," I said. Then I had an idea. "It's all right," I said. "I
made a mistake. Those weren't our eleven seconds at all; CARNEGIE or
somebody paid for those. We'll have ours together later on."

"Well, let's see that they are good ones ... when we're having a
victory. We might tell people that the last eleven seconds off the
Falkland Islands were ours."

"But I hadn't paid then. Anyway, I don't think they begin to use my
money till April 5th ... I say, Celia, let's do our eleven seconds in
style. Let's make an occasion of it."

"Oh, do let's." She looked at her diary. "What about April 15th? I'm
not doing anything then."

"But why the 15th?"

"I thought perhaps the KING might like the first few days for himself.
Or doesn't he pay income-tax? Anyhow, the 15th is a Thursday, which is
a nice day."

So we have decided on Thursday, April 15th. Starting at 1.30 (because
we want to pay for as much bully beef and jam as possible), for eleven
seconds we shall support alone the British Empire.... And, when those
fateful moments are over, then we shall raise a glass in gratitude to
the men who have served us so well.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh, you lucky millionaires, who may be gods, perhaps, for
half-an-hour--have you filled in your income-tax forms? If not, fill
them in properly this time. Leave out no quarry, no alum mine, no
stream of water. Who knows? That salt spring which you were forgetting
may well be the deciding second of the war.

  A. A. M.

       *       *       *       *       *

  DÎNER DU KAISER.

  LE MENU.

  Consommé Chiffon de Papier.
  Purée Barbare.

  Anguilles de la Marne.

  Bulletins Variés.
  Sauce Crème de Menteur.
  Petites Vérités à la Dentiste.

  MOI en Dégringolade.
  Ôtages Fusillés à la Croix d'Enfer.
  Langue de Boche à la Kultur.

  Suprême de Dégoût Américain.
  Incendies à l'Amour de Dieu.

  Bombe Visée à la Cathédrale.
  Saucissons Cent Soucis.
  Amendes en Milliards.

       *       *       *       *       *

  DÎNER DU GÉNÉRAL JOFFRE.

  LE MENU.

  Consommé aux Gueux Pochés.
  Purée de Renforts.

  Filets de Sol Natal.
  Sauce Balayage.

  Petites Tranchées à la Baïonnette.
  Soixante-Quinze en Surprise.

  Aloyau Français à la Loyauté.
  Concours Anglais à la French.

  Timbales de Progrès à la Rongeur.
  Obus en Autobus.

  Silences Assortis de Journalistes en Bandeau.

  Piou-Pious en Bonbonnière.
  Accueil de Glace aux Correspondants.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: NASAL SCOUTING.

THE MIDDLESEX COUNTY COUNCIL IS REPORTED TO HAVE SENT HALF A TON OF
PEPPERMINT DROPS TO THE SOLDIERS OF THE MIDDLESEX REGIMENT AT THE FRONT
AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT. THE ENEMY IS HERE SEEN ADAPTING HIMSELF TO THESE
NOVEL CONDITIONS.]

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM THE BACK OF THE FRONT.

  _Somewhere in ----._

Active service is like oratory in that one of its biggest ideas is
action. Being ostensibly on active service ourselves we felt we ought
to see a little before going home; and now we have. We make no boast
about it. Like the simple English soldiers we are we merely state the
fact for what it is worth.

You ask, you who lead the sheltered life, what we felt like under fire;
how you swim from one trench to another; what we ate and drank; and
what a bayonet charge is really like. Let me answer your questions one
by one.

(1) We were such a long way under fire that some doubt existed as to
whether the Germans were merely trying to frighten us, or were engaged
in testing new rifles and fired high and in no particular direction
for fear of hitting somebody. We only had one casualty and he wanted
to walk across to the German trenches and insist on an apology and
a new pair of boots, the right heel being practically torn off. But
we convinced him that it was futile for an Englishman to argue with
Germans, especially when ignorant of their language. If a German has
made up his mind to be careless nothing will stop him. To return to the
question, we didn't feel under fire at all.

(2) You aren't allowed to leave a trench; and a man who was allowed to
and then went to another shouldn't be allowed out at all.

(3) The soldier is not particular about his "tack"--as he calls
his food. Bacon and eggs, sausages, chicken, washed down with hot
coffee, are good enough for him to fight on. Failing even such humble
comestibles he will, when pressed by hunger, open a tin of bully beef
and decide he is not hungry after all.

(4) Bayonet charges are getting rather cheap, so we didn't have one.

We were opposed to the flower of the German army, the KAISER'S beloved
Prussians. This we were told on our arrival. Next day we learned that a
prisoner taken turned out to be one of the KAISER'S beloved Bavarians.
We subsequently discovered--well, to save time you might just take a
map of the German Empire and pick where you like.

If anyone tells you that our heroes live in trenches like tessellated
boudoirs in an atmosphere of sybaritic luxury you might just put him
right. Our Edward had got hold of some such idea from diagrams in
the illustrated papers. When we reached the crumbling ruins we were
to defend, an officer was so impressed by Edward's air of woebegone
disgust that he observed brusquely that, in the trenches, comfort was a
matter of minor importance.

This assurance pulled Edward together for the moment; and he had just
settled down to a placid expectation of the evening meal when we
learned that our commissariat had stuck in the mud some miles back.
However, as a second officer cheerfully observed, in the trenches food
is a matter of minor importance. Edward, who had pinned all his faith
on the commissariat, relapsed into a resigned melancholy.

Just as he was making his poor but ingenious preparations for slumber
in a dug-out that looked like a badly drained pond a third officer
came along. A digging fatigue was wanted for the night. We were it.
Edward moaned, not mutinously, you understand, but expressively. The
third officer turned on him sharply. "In the trenches," he observed
epigrammatically, "sleep is a matter of minor importance."

Edward and I returned at 3 A.M. As he flopped wearily down I heard
him murmur judicially: "In the trenches soldiers are matters of minor
importance."

Edward never got really fond of the trenches.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Newly-made Lance-Corporal._ "ON THE COMMAND 'FIX' YOU
DON'T FIX. BUT WHEN I SEZ 'BAYNIT' YOU GRAB UN BY THE 'AND, WHIPS UN
OUT, AN' WOPS UN ON--AN' THERE YOU LETS UN BIDE AWHILE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

A FIELD SERVICE POSTCARD.

Dear _Mr. Punch_,--Hurrah! I am so excited and my paw shakes so that I
have to use my teeth to keep the pen steady. My mistress has received
a letter from my master at the Front--at least it isn't a letter but
a postcard. I know it's from him because she gave it to me to smell,
and I nearly swallowed it in my anxiety to make quite sure. I should
have got a beating for my foolish behaviour, but luckily my mistress
was crying at the time and could not see what I was doing. When we were
both calmer she told me what was on the card; and there was nothing
whatever about me! My master merely said that he was quite well. I kept
my ears cocked for some time waiting for more, but that was all.

I need hardly tell you, _Mr. Punch_, how disappointed I felt. It is
true there was nothing about my mistress either, but she was so happy
she didn't seem to mind. I could not understand it. And then I suddenly
remembered something I had heard from a dog who had actually been
out at the Front taking care of his regiment. He told me that Lord
KITCHENER had invented a special postcard for the use of soldiers out
there. They are not allowed to write anything on these cards except
their names, but there are several sentences printed on them and the
sentences that are not suitable are struck out by the soldiers. My
master had evidently found them all unsuitable except the one that said
he was quite well.

Now I readily admit that these postcards are an excellent idea of Lord
KITCHENER'S, but I do not think that he has carried out the scheme as
thoroughly as he should. Where would be the harm in putting at the end
of the card, "Give my love and a bone to ----"? It would only take up
one line and would mean such a lot to us. I expect the truth is Lord
KITCHENER has not got a dog of his own, so the point did not occur
to him, and it merely needs a hint from you, _Mr. Punch_, to get the
matter put right. I only hope he won't be annoyed when he finds what a
slip he has made.

  Yours expectantly,

  A SAD DOG.

P.S.--Perhaps you had better not publish this as it rather shows
him up, and I should not like to think that I had made people lose
confidence in him.

       *       *       *       *       *

We take this breathless story of adventure from a Suez Cinema
synopsis:--

    "This play is historian & so touching. It is Containing 3rd
    classes. Its length is 1200 metres. Its subject that was John
    General, the engineer in a small village the was a simple labour
    the became very skilful in making ironships. Therefore he became
    a rich man the had a wife, called Ima. Her conduct was extremely
    good. When he found himself very rich, the left his wife at all.
    One day he accompagned his wife & rode a motor car while they
    were walking, he saw a womens, called baron Nellie Dow. At last
    this man was mending an iron ship. It was broken out, the became
    blind. Baron Nellie Dow, left him at once. But his life came in as
    an assistant doctor. She was observing him untel he was cured. He
    found her by him. He know that his wife well & was very sorry about
    the bad entreatment, that he had done with her."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AS BETWEEN FRIENDS.

BRITISH LION. "PLEASE DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT, SAM. _YOU_'RE NOT THE
EAGLE I'M UP AGAINST."]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE INCORRIGIBLES AGAIN.

"WHAT-HO, CHARLIE! BIT SHOWERY, AIN'T IT?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DEFENCE OF AMBERRY PARVA.

Amberry Parva certainly existed before SHAKSPEARE's time, but I doubt
if SHAKSPEARE ever saw it. For which he was so much the poorer, seeing
that Amberry is a faithful microcosm of much of England.

Thomas Fallow, Aaron West and George Hangar are all friends of mine.
Though still comparative youthful, they are the shining lights of the
Amberry Rural Council, self-trained to face a crisis or an emergency
with calm and steady bearing. When I came upon them last week they were
seated about the bench outside the door of "The Three Cups." A fourth
man--a small hairy stranger--was addressing them.

Thomas Fallow motioned me to halt.

"We're consultin'," he explained, "with Mr. Chittenden as keeps the
baccy-shop in Wream."

Now Wream is a shade--the merest shade--more important (in its own
esteem) than Amberry. It sits astride the same high road that the
Romans carved seawards a thousand-odd years ago, and supplies us with
newspapers, telegrams and gossip. While we score in the possession of
two tin chapels to their one, we writhe inwardly over a Diamond Jubilee
Fountain which we cannot hope to surpass.

"Mr. Chittenden," pursued Thomas, "brings noos."

"Good news?" I asked.

Mr. Chittenden, like the Eldest Oyster, shook his heavy head.

"I 'eard it from a natteralized German two days ago. It seems that
they're goin' to make a fresh dash with invisible Zeppelins. Once they
can _e_-vade the ships that's watchin'----"

He left the sentence unfinished.

"Consequence o' which," said George Hangar, "we've gone an' made
ourselves into an Informal Committee o' Defence, same as sits night an'
day in the War Office in London. An' the question before the meetin'
is, what's to be done if some fine day we wakes up to find a couple o'
thousand black 'elmets marchin' down the main road?"

"Ambush 'em," said Thomas Fallow definitely. "Told you so afore. Lie
be'ind the 'edges an' pick 'em off. My old rook-rifle'd roll 'em over
proper. Shoot straight an' keep on shootin'."

Aaron made a scornful noise in his throat.

"An' them as did get in the village'd punish us for them as didn't!
Burnin', killin' an' worse."

"Then outflank 'em," insisted Thomas doggedly. "Let 'em 'ave their fill
of advancin', same as old Joffer done, an' then ketch 'em in the side
an' discriminate 'em."

"You're not agoin' to do that with the men left in Amberry," said
Aaron. He was a market-gardener by trade. "'Twould be like a dozen
sparrers tryin' to outflank a steam-roller. Trenchin's the thing. Dig
deep, an' lay the soil loose 'long the far edge. There's a decent bit
o' shelter by Whemmick's Cottages."

"The best bein' opposite Number Five," added Fallow, whereat there was
a bellow of laughter, and Aaron flushed magnificently, for at Number
Five lives Molly Garner, wooed by Aaron, but as yet hesitating between
him and the Wream plumber.

George Hangar, who up to the present had scarcely spoken, intervened.
He has a bass voice, which on Sundays makes the little roof of the
United Bunyans quiver; for the other six days of the week he works at
a carpenter's bench in an open-fronted shed. He has a sound knowledge
of timber, and is no ignoramus concerning the values of Hepplewhite and
Sheraton.

"You're wrong," he roared. "Silly-minded an' wrong! This ain't the
Aisne. What do a village do when it's attacked? Answer me that."

No one answered; to say the wrong thing would exasperate him, to say
the right would exasperate him still more.

"They puts up barrycades," continued Hangar. "An' for why? 'Cause it's
only them that can hold off horse, foot an' 'tillery. Barrycades made
o' seasoned oak, same as I got stored at the back o' my shed, sunk a
good two feet, with bolted cross-pieces an' spurs, an' maybe a trifle
o' barbed wire in front."

"An' where's this contraption to be set up?" demanded Mr. Chittenden
with sudden suspicion.

"End o' village."

"Meanin' that the enemy may march through Wream, with nothin' to
stop 'em wreckin' the Fountain? An' this was to be a meetin' for the
consideration o' mutual defence!"

"The question afore the members," said Aaron hastily, "is, which place
'as most strategetical value? Thing is to stop 'em quick an' for good."

"An' where'll you beat a rook-rifle for doin' that?" demanded Thomas
Fallow. "If I'm willin' to take the risks----"

"'Tain't a question o' willingness, but tatties," said Mr. Chittenden,
still unappeased.

"Then put the case afore the sergeant as is stayin' at the
police-station," said George.

There was a moment's pause, then Aaron spoke.

"The motion is carried," he said, "an' the meetin' stands adjourned
_sinny die_."

       *       *       *       *       *

I did not meet any of the members for several days afterwards; then
chance took me in the direction of George Hangar's workshop. I found
him engrossed in the unheard-of task of arranging and packing his tools.

"Well?" I asked.

He rasped his chin pensively with a chisel.

"Did the interview with the Sergeant take place?"

"Ay; the feller's more brains than the rest of us put together. Reckon
it's trainin'."

"What happened?"

"What 'appened? 'If you barrycades, entrenches, enfilades or outflanks
'em outside Amberry,' says 'e, 'the enemy'll wait for reinforcements,
an' then smash you with bigger guns. 'Twill be the same at Wream,
Bewchester, Lydhirst, Lower Thettley, an' Capper'am.'"

"Which brings us to the sea?"

"Ezzackly."

"Where it's the Fleet's job."

"'Twould seem so. But, as the Sergeant pointed out, the Germans is by
birth an' natur' land-fighters, an' must so be met, trained man to
trained man. Meaning Territorials."

"Then your plans came to nothing?"

"Only in a manner o' speakin', Sir. In fact, the resolution put
afore the meetin' would 'a' been carried _nem. con._ but for the
unsatisfactoriness o' Jacob Chittenden's chest-measurement. As it
is, 'e's eatin' b'iled bread an' practising three hours a day on the
horizontal-bar."

I was a little bewildered.

"What resolution?"

He took a paper from his apron pocket and read as follows:--

"_That it be 'ereby decided, in the joint int'rests of Wheam, Amberry
Parva, Great Britain and 'is Majesty's Dominions beyond the Seas, that
the undersigned, bein' between the age limits, sound in wind an' limb,
an' not needed at 'ome as much as they thought they was, do 'ereby join
the Territorial Army at the earliest possible date. THOMAS FALLOW,
AARON WEST, GEO. HANGAR. Also, when 'is chest-measurement do allow of
it, JACOB CHITTENDEN._"

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus is the burden of the Empire borne by her sons when once they get
the idea of it into their heads.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: RULES FOR SPECIAL CONSTABLES.

[If a Special Constable finds himself outnumbered he may have recourse
to stratagem.]

"LOOK OUT, BILL! HERE'S A SPECIAL CONSTABLE. HE'LL COP US WITH THE SWAG
IN OUR 'ANDS."

"I DON'T MIND 'IM, 'ARRY. 'E'S ONLY A LITTLE UN."]

[Illustration: "BUT 'E 'S GOT A BIG UN WITH 'IM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SCAPEGOAT.

"And what do you do with yourself on your half-holidays?"

I had taken courage to address the office-boy who keeps his eye on me
while I wait humbly in the vestibule of my Financial Adviser.

"Pitchers," he replied affably.

"I beg your pardon," I said.

"Movin' pitchers," he explained; and I knew that the cinema had another
slave.

And this too I knew, that a youth who breathed, as he did, the pure
atmosphere of High Finance, would never commit a crime and blame the
pitchers for it, as so many of our young criminals do. So many, in
fact, that in my mind's eye I see the following reports in the papers:--

A boy of five was brought yesterday before the Darlington Bench charged
with the bombardment of a street. Evidence showed that the prisoner
established a machine-gun in the back garden of his father's house and
systematically fired it at his neighbours' walls, doing considerable
damage. The boy pleaded guilty, but explained that he had been to see
some war-pictures at the cinema. The magistrate ordered the cinema to
be kept under observation, and awarded the boy a shilling from the
poor-box.

A girl of eight was charged at the Guildhall with causing an
obstruction. Evidence was to the effect that she stood in the middle of
Cheapside holding out her hands and a block resulted which disorganised
the traffic for some hours. The child's excuse was that she had been
witnessing the Lord Mayor's Show at the cinema.

"The pictures again!" exclaimed the magistrate. "When will this
nuisance be stopped?"

Two boys of seven were charged at the Thames Police Court yesterday
with kidnapping a young lady. Evidence showed that on the evening
before, they first obtained possession of a motor car from the window
of a shop in Long Acre, drove it at a great pace (one constable said
forty miles an hour, and another sixty-one) to a house in Park Lane,
where, while one boy remained outside, the other drew a revolver
and forced the resident heiress into the car. At this point they
were arrested. The boys said that they were very sorry, but that the
spectacle of an abduction romance on the films had been too strong for
them.

The magistrate: "What is the cinema censor about? Nothing is more
deplorable than that the imaginations of young boys should be excited
by these lurid dramas." The boys were discharged.

Three boys of six, seven and eight respectively were charged at
Sheffield with stealing a railway train. It appears that while the
driver of a Scotch excursion, which was in a siding, was oiling the
wheels, the three boys sprang to the footboard and started the train.
The driver pursued it, but was at once shot by one of the boys, who
was armed to the teeth with pea-shooters. Asked to explain their
conduct the boys said that they had seen so many train robberies on
the local cinemas that they felt bound to do something in that line
themselves. The magistrate said he did not wonder, and directed that
the proprietors of the cinemas should have their licence cancelled.

Three men of criminal appearance, against whom previous convictions
were proved, who were charged at Vine Street with pocket picking,
explained that it was entirely due to the effect produced upon them by
_Oliver Twist_ on the cinema. The magistrate dismissed the prisoners
and ordered the cinema to be closed.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ECONOMY.

_McTavish_ (_to convalescent soldier_). "I WAS HEARIN' YE HAD A BULLET
IN YE YET. ARE YE NO GAWN TA HAE IT TAEN OOT?"

_Soldier._ "NO THE NOO. YE SEE, I'LL BE GAWN BACK TAE THE FR-RONT IN A
WEE WHILE, AN' WHEN I COME BACK I'LL JUST HAE THEM A' OOT THEGITHER!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

From a speech reported in the _Widnes Gazette:_--

    "The character of this little nation is now what it was when
    Julius Cesar wrote 'De tous les peuples de la Gaule les Belges sont
    les plus braves.'"

It was in the same spirit of compliment to the country he was invading
that HANNIBAL wrote "Longa est via ad Tipperariam" as he began to slide
down the Alps.

    "Mrs. Francis M. Cunliffe, writes from Southport:--To the
    unknown person or persons that sent three body belts. I beg
    to thank you most sincerely for your generous gift to the 9th
    (Reserve) Battalion Manchester Regiment. It will add greatly
    to the comfort of four men, and will be much appreciated by
    them."--_Ashton-under-Lyne Reporter._

With three-quarters of a body-belt apiece they should do splendidly.

       *       *       *       *       *

A French interpreter with the Expeditionary Force sends us the
following notice which he saw, he says, on the office door of the
A.S.C.:--

    "The waiter is not allowed to be drunk unless boiled before."

But boiling before is not really so good as a cold douche after.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following directions for the right use of the "Snapseal Patent" are
printed inside the pass-book envelopes issued by Lloyds Bank:--

    "First wet the gum, then insert the tongue into lock and draw
    until you hear it snap."

After doing this once you may prefer to let your tongue, after it has
wetted the gum, return to its usual position within the mouth.

       *       *       *       *       *

FURTHER NOTES BY A WAR-DOG.

My name's "Scottie." I'm a collie and wear a box in which I collect
contributions for the National Relief Fund. Probably you've met
me--and, I hope, contributed. Not long ago, so Mabel told a friend
the other day, a few of my early experiences were published in a book
called _Punch_. I've had heaps more since then. I'm getting quite an
old hand at the piteous "Won't-you-spare-me-something?" look. For one
thing, I've learnt to let people put _anything_ into my box. Once I got
a penny (from a little girl) that turned out, when the box was opened,
to be chocolate. A bit cocoa-y by then, but still eatable. But my best
haul was during my--and Mabel's--weekend by the sea.

We went down in a corridor train, where I collected quite a lot of
money. When the train stopped half-way there, I jumped out for a
mouthful of air, and there, on the platform, was a black retriever
wearing a collecting box like mine! I asked him what he meant by it,
and, as he didn't explain himself, I went for him, and stood him upside
down; and in the scrimmage half a crown fell out of his collecting box.
Everybody thought that it had fallen out of mine; Mabel was _sure_ it
had; so it was given to me. You should have seen that retriever when I
smiled at him from the carriage window.

We reached the sea at last. The Serpentine's a puddle by comparison.
The very first morning I tore across the shingle with two two-shilling
pieces in my box rattling like eighteen-pence in copper. Such a time
I had, though my box was dreadfully heavy, being full of sand and sea
water. Presently, joy! the bottom fell out. But the public later seemed
quite satisfied, until a horrid nurse-girl gave the show away--and of
course Mabel had it mended.

The very day we came away I met the millionaire man. It was a wild wet
day, and I was draining in an alcove underneath the promenade when
he appeared. He didn't look rich, and he was running and panting and
glancing over his shoulder in a hunted manner. No sooner did he see me
than he whispered, "Blimy, 'ere's a chance! Good dawg, then--'old yer
'ed up," and at once crammed a heap of "goblins" (Mabel's word) and
lots of crackley paper into my box. He followed this up with about two
yards of shiny chain and things that winked so that I had to wink as
well. Then came lots of things like goblins with their middles bitten
out; and hardly had he given me the last before two monstrous men in
blue rushed round the corner. I don't remember exactly what happened,
but the millionaire man said, Blimy, couldn't he run after his hat wot
the wind blown off? and the blue men said why, yes he could, but they
were sure he hadn't. Then _he_ said, Blimy, they could "turn him over,"
straight they could, and _they_ said straight they would. But they
didn't. Instead they felt in all his pockets, and only found a clay
pipe and some cheese wrapped up in newspaper. Then things became so
uninteresting that I sauntered back to Mabel.

The day after our home-coming my box and I were marched to the
committee. I've had some bad times there, but nothing quite so bad
before. The way an old girl gushed about the "darlings" (whoever they
were) parting with their jewellery simply wearied me. As soon as Mabel
felt strong enough to walk we went home. She seemed to forget that
the haul was entirely due to me. Yet she's a wonderful memory for
some things. Ever since breakfast to-day she's done nothing but talk
about a daring robbery at Winklebeach, and looks at me in the most
extraordinary manner. I don't know what Winklebeach may be, but it's as
clear as daylight that she's thinking of the six sweet biscuits that I
stole behind her back at her last "At home." But how did she find out?

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR FIRST CAPTURE.

By SPECIAL CONSTABLE XXX.

You must understand that the work of the Special Constable is so
utterly dreary that we heave sighs of envy on seeing one of our number,
an L.C.C. employee, being allowed to clean the windows of a public
building. The lucky dog!

Imagine, therefore, our joy at receiving a staff order to watch out
for motor-cars with hoggish headlights, and report their numbers to
headquarters. We were not to arrest them--even if we could.

Within half an hour of the staff order we registered Our First Capture.
Myself, I received a fleeting impression of LL--8183; my colleague took
it for LS--6163. An amicable discussion ensued. I pointed out that LS
might mean London Scottish, who should be allowed to go scot free; he
countered with the suggestion that LL might stand for LLOYD GEORGE, who
should also be above the law. We tossed for it. I won. The honour fell
to me to report the capture.

"Sergeant, oblige me by recording the following episode in your
official notebook: Special Constable XXX has the honour to report that
on or about the 15th instant, in the year of grace----"

"Is there much more like this?"

"Don't rob me of my hour of glory. I've had four blank months....
In the year of grace 1914, at the hour of 5.15, post meridian, at
the corner of ---- Street, a motor-car contravening, traversing
or otherwise infringing His Majesty's Regulations promulgated by
the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, pursuant to an Order in
Council----"

"What was its number?" demanded the Sergeant crudely.

"LL--8183, Sir. And I have the honour to suspect that it belonged to
the Right Hon. DAVID LLOYD GEORGE."

The Sergeant, who wears a yellow brassard, reported to the
Sub-Inspector (red band), and from there the information will travel
upwards and onwards to the Chief Sub-Inspector (light-blue band), the
Inspector (dark-blue band), the Commander (white band), and the Chief
Staff Officer, who resides in the west wing of New Scotland Yard and
probably wears a cocked hat. From there it will cross the Bridge of
Sighs to the east wing, occupied by the more ordinary police, and will
trickle down in reverse order of precedence to a regular Constable, who
will probably call on Mr. LLOYD GEORGE with an official blue paper in
his hand:--

"Sir,--From information received, it transpires that on or about the
15th instant, in the year of grace 1914,... head-lights contravening,
traversing or otherwise infringing ... and should the offence be
repeated.... In the name of our Sovereign Lord the King, Emperor of
India, Defender of the Faith."

LLOYD GEORGE will humbly submit to the decree, will sign a promissory
note of obedience (Moratorium barred), and the incident will close.

Think of the glory of putting all that in motion!

Yes, it was worth while joining the Force.

       *       *       *       *       *

It having been officially announced (in "Charivaria") that members of
the O.B.C. (Old Boys Corps) object to being called the Old B.C.'s, an
intolerable suggestion is now put forward that they should be known as
the "Obese He's."

       *       *       *       *       *

Rear-Admiral SCHLIEPER says in the _Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger_ that the
Germans could never overcome a certain sentimental feeling of justice
and delicacy with regard to England. We do not know how Scarborough
regards this veracious statement, but our own motto is "Let Schlieping
dogs lie."

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PATRIOTIC BURGLAR.

[Illustration: I. THE ABOVE PROFESSIONAL CRIMINAL WHO RECENTLY BROKE
INTO A HOUSE AND STOLE A SILVER MUSTARD-POT AND A COUPLE OF SPOONS----]

[Illustration: II. ----SAW HIS ACT DESCRIBED IN THE PAPER NEXT DAY AS
"A PECULIARLY MEAN AND COWARDLY ONE, THE OCCUPIER OF THE HOUSE BEING
ABSENT SERVING HIS COUNTRY." WHEN IT WAS PUT TO HIM LIKE THAT----]

[Illustration: III. ----HE DETERMINED TO MAKE RESTITUTION. HE COULD NOT
RETURN THE IDENTICAL ARTICLES HE HAD TAKEN. ALAS! THEY WERE ALREADY
MELTED. SO HE BROKE INTO ANOTHER HOUSE, ASCERTAINING FIRST THAT THE
OCCUPIER WAS NOT SERVING HIS COUNTRY----]

[Illustration: IV. ----AND THEN REBROKE INTO THE FIRST HOUSE (SILENCING
THE COOK WHO HAD BEEN LEFT IN CHARGE AND WAS INCLINED TO RAISE AN
ALARM) AND PLACED THERE THE RESULTS OF THE SECOND BURGLARY. AFTER THAT
HE FELT MUCH BETTER, AND COULD LOOK PATRIOTS IN THE FACE.]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE PLAY.

"DAVID COPPERFIELD."

If it were a simple question of bulk, few authors would lend themselves
to the process of compression so well as CHARLES DICKENS; but the
scheme of _David Copperfield_ is too complex, and its interests too
many and competitive, to be packed into a three-hours' play, even
by Mr. LOUIS PARKER, master of the tabloid. Of the main themes--the
career of the hero himself, the machinations of _Uriah Heep_, the
tragedy of _Little Em'ly_--only the last was at all effective in
pillule form. The figure of _David Copperfield_--always pleasant if
rather colourless--served to hold the play together; but the central
experience of his life was treated with the extreme of haziness. We
were informed of his engagement to _Dora_, his marriage, her illness,
her death, all with the brevity of a French official _communiqué_;
but as for the child-wife herself we never so much as set eyes on
her. While again we gathered that the designs of _Uriah Heep_ were
ultimately confounded, nobody without the aid of memory or imagination
could possibly have penetrated their obscurity.

On the other hand--whether with or without the connivance of Sir
HERBERT TREE I dare not conjecture--the person of _Wilkins Micawber_
was given a prominence out of all proportion to his share in any one of
the plots. Unlike the something that was to make his fortune, he was
always "turning up," and, whenever he did, he practically had the stage
to himself.

I am far from quarrelling with this arrangement, for I have never seen
Sir HERBERT in better form. His humour was of the richest, yet full
of quiet subtleties, and merely to gaze upon his grotesque figure was
a pure delight. That he should have permitted himself, in a spirit of
creative irresponsibility, to deviate at times into the borderland of
farce, and become an hilarious blend of himself and Mr. HENRY JAMES (I
don't know why he suggested to me a burlesque of Mr. HENRY JAMES, for
I have never known that most distinguished of writers to lapse from
decorum) need not trouble anybody in a play where there was no pretence
of insisting upon the letter of DICKENS.

The transition from _Falstaff_ to _Micawber_, from a bibber of sack to
a bibber of punch, was an easy one for Sir HERBERT; but not so easy
were the constant changes from and into the part of _Dan'l Peggotty_.
Here he gave us a really admirable character-sketch--for _Peggotty_
belongs to the region of possibility, whereas _Micawber_ is always a
creature of incredible fancy--and I am not sure that his achievement as
the old salt was not, for him, the greater of the two. Certainly in the
scene where he tells of his search over the world for _Little Em'ly_ he
came nearer to simple pathos than I have ever known him to come. Even
the strong Somerset accent of this East Anglian tar could not conceal
his sincerity.

I shrink from the odious task of distinguishing between the merits of
a most admirable cast, but I must mention the delightfully piquant
drollery of Miss SYDNEY FAIRBROTHER as _Mrs. Micawber_, and the
too-brief excellence of Mr. ROY BYFORD as the _Waiter_ of the "Golden
Cross," and Mr. GAYER MACKAY as _Littimer_. Mr. QUARTERMAINE'S _Uriah
Heep_--a very careful study--seemed perhaps too obviously stamped
from the start with the hallmark of villany. Conversely the _Betsey
Trotwood_ of Miss AGNES THOMAS appeared to be lacking in austerity of
mien.

One shared Mr. NIGEL PLAYFAIR'S enjoyment of the futility of _Mr.
Dick_; but this freakish figure, so typical of DICKENS, seemed always a
little out of the picture.

Though _Mrs. Gummidge_, played with a sound restraint by Miss ADA KING,
insisted from time to time upon the fact that she was a "lone lorn
creetur'," we were spared a good many of the author's reiterated tags,
and I think it was not till his friends had guaranteed to lubricate his
passage to the New World that _Mr. Wilkins Micawber_ so much as alluded
to his habitual expectation of something "turning up."

The popularity of the production promises to be exceptional, and with
good reason, apart from the high quality of the performance. For with
its human tenderness, and the relief of its gaiety, it offers just the
right kind of distraction to the strain of public emotion in these
times. And, though its matter bears no relation to the subject which
absorbs our hearts, the very name of CHARLES DICKENS makes immediate
appeal to that national spirit which the War has reawakened.

  O. S.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: TWO HERBERTS IN THE FIELD.

[In the scene of the emigration ship the entrance of _Micawber_ follows
with startling rapidity upon the exit of _Dan'l Peggotty_.]

Sir HERBERT TREE (as _Dan'l Peggotty_) to Sir HERBERT TREE (as
_Micawber_). "THEER, I ZED 'TWOULD HAPPEN ZO ONE OF THESE VINE DAYS.
YOU'VE TURNED UP TOO ZOON!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

TO SOME OF OUR EDITORS.

    Ye pundits who edit our papers,
      How long will it take you to learn
    That mere egotistical capers
      Are not of the highest concern?
    The writers who cut them for ages
      In the nostrils of England shall stink,
    Yet while able to hamper, you pet and you pamper
      These slingers of poisonous ink.

    In the stress of a conflict Titanic,
      When personal sorrow is mute,
    We see them beset with a panic
      Of losing their chances of loot;
    So they start with indecent endeavour,
      On the flimsiest pretext and hint,
    Criticising and squealing, but only revealing
      Their passionate craving for print.

    When they ask you to publish their sloppy,
      Sophistical, impudent screeds,
    Think, editors, less of "good copy"
      And more of the national needs;
    For whether they pontify sadly,
      Or flout us in cap and in bells,
    Pontifical patter and arrogant chatter
      Are worse than the enemy's shells.

    There's a saying that's frequently quoted,
      And cannot be wholly ignored,
    That the pen, when its force can be noted,
      Is a mightier thing than the sword;
    But the mightiness doesn't reside in
      The pen, but the writer behind,
    Who, if hostile to reason or bent upon treason,
      No deadlier weapon can find.

    In Peace, in the times that were piping,
      When pacifists bade us disarm,
    This smart intellectual sniping
      Did less recognisable harm;
    But now, in the hour of its peril,
      The country is sick of its Shaws,
    And hurls to the devil the sophists who revel
      In pleading the enemy's cause.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_to his pal in middle of charge_). "LOOK OUT,
BILL. YOUR BOOTLACE IS UNDONE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

This paragraph will, I hope, catch your eye in time to be of use as
a guide in the holiday fairy-tale traffic. But at worst there are
always birthdays or, for nursery gifts, those even more apt occasions
known as Nothing-in-particular Days. (_Humpty-Dumpty_, you remember,
a recognised authority, used to call them un-birthdays.) Anyhow, if
you should be looking about for something applicable to Kit or Ursula,
you may take my word that you will find nothing better than _The Dream
Pedlar_ (SIMPKIN, MARSHALL). The letterpress--I beg your pardon,
I should have said the "reading"--is by Lady MARGARET SACKVILLE,
who has clearly a pretty taste in fairy matters, and the pictures
are by FLORENCE ANDERSON in colour, and CLARA SHIRLEY HAYWARD in
black-and-white. I don't say that all these are of equal merit, but the
best of them are delightful. Moreover, although in the modern sumptuous
fashion the colour plates are introduced on brown-paper mounts, still
they have the practical merit of being fixed, and not merely gummed at
one corner, a fashion that simply results in litter for the nursery
floor. The tales themselves are wholly charming, and about quite the
right people, kings and woodcutters and dream-princesses and goblins.
Perhaps now and again Lady MARGARET falls to the temptation of being
a thought too clever with an aside, so to speak, whispered in the ear
of the reader-aloud. But the wise child will forgive her this for the
compelling charm of her simplicities. For me, if I had a favourite in
the tales, it was perhaps _Martin's godmother_, "an attractive old
lady, short, with large fan-like ears, which she would wave to and fro
when amused." There is an enchanting picture of her doing it. I have
not yet known the nursery where that picture would not soon bear the
thumb-marks of popularity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not a single word could be conveniently omitted from _Friends and
Memories_ (ARNOLD), but I could easily spare a great many of its
notes of exclamation--nearly all superfluous--for Miss MAUDE VALÉRIE
WHITE'S style of writing needs no such advertisement. And having got
rid of that grumble I feel at liberty to express, without restraint,
my profound admiration of the book and its author. Never, then, has it
been my good fortune to read so many pages that are filled with what I
can only call the fragrance of life. Sorrows and troubles Miss WHITE
has known in abundance--one often sees her smiling through a veil of
tears--but she steadfastly refuses to dwell upon anything but the joy
of living, and the kindness of her many friends. This splendid way of
regarding the world is one of the qualities that has made her welcome
and more than welcome wherever she goes; it is also the quality that
gives an almost unique distinction to her volume of reminiscences. One
can scarcely think of her as an eminent composer whose songs have been
heard throughout the world when the gift, which she obviously values
most and would herself call "priceless," is that of being able to keep
up a cheerful end whatever happens. Her book, therefore, is really both
a tonic and a lesson, but it is a tonic that is as delightful as good
champagne, and it is a lesson that is full of humour and of what is
rarer than humour--good fun. Even in her reticences Miss WHITE cannot
save herself from being amusing, for on her first page she refuses to
tell us her age, though afterwards she gives it away time and again to
anyone inquisitive enough to use a little arithmetic. But she need have
no fears, for she has the spirit of youth which can laugh at figures
and defy the passing years.

Must I believe that the life of anybody, even the hardest worked and
least attractive village girl, is as devoid of exhilaration and good
cheer as was that of _Chrismas Hamlyn?_ Maybe dismal events happen
now and then to individuals which make them wish, with reason, that
they were dead and had never been alive, and I will admit that it
was so with _Chrismas_ at the moment when her second lover proved to
be entirely spurious and to have pretended passion in order to steal
a purse. But I am asked to assume that, apart from and before this
little tragedy, she was necessarily in a state of gloom by reason of
the mere dulness and hardship of the existence of her sort. This is
a proposition which, notwithstanding Mrs. HENRY DUDENEY'S skilful
pleading, I am reluctant to accept. I prefer to think that the girl
found recreation in everyday events, or at least in every other day
events, of her neighbourhood which would make no appeal to Mrs.
DUDENEY or myself; or, indeed, that the brooding over her unhappy lot
in general, and her first love failure in particular, afforded some
satisfaction for which credit has not been allowed. Undoubtedly the
environment of the _Hamlyns_ is studied rather from our view than from
their own, and by that method of analysis a vast amount of human misery
may be discovered which does not always in fact exist. Apart from that,
_What a Woman Wants_ (HEINEMANN) is a convincing study of the sordid
side of things; but I would like to see the admirable gifts of the
authoress directed to the emphasizing of the merrier side of the same
sort of life, so that we might compare the two and form a more balanced
opinion.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Bed-Book of Happiness_ is a "Colligation or Assemblage of Cheerful
Writings," colligated by Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE, and published by Messrs.
HODDER AND STOUGHTON. It is a second edition, entitled the Red-Cross
Edition, and it offers itself as an anodyne for the pain and boredom
of wounded heroes. Said heroes, of average British pattern, would, I
think, receive a nasty shock on reading the title and might be tempted
to thrust the volume privily away without more ado. But they need do
no such thing; it is nothing like so bad as that. On the contrary it
is stuffed with most excellent matter for the perceptive, in doses
not long enough to tire and with sufficient variety to stimulate.
Old favourites from HOOD and CALVERLEY; an odd Ingoldsby or two;
whimsicality from SAMUEL BUTLER; absurdities from that other SAMUEL
(CLEMENS); growls from that greatest of the tribe, JOHNSON; cheeriness
from that best of poets and schoolmasters, T. E. BROWN; a little
STERNE, a little DICKENS, a little THACKERAY; _Percy Anecdotes_ and
snippets from GRONOW; translated excerpts from those delightful allies,
DAUDET, SAINT-BEUVE, ANATOLE FRANCE; and so forth and on. Of course no
two colligators of bed-books could agree upon their choice, but I do
think Mr. BEGBIE might have bagged a little from R. L. S. That omission
and the deplorable title are my chief grievances. It is a sound point
that there is no unwholesome invalidy tone about this seasonable
re-issue with additions.

Though I enjoyed _Broken Shackles_ (METHUEN) in a mild degree, I hardly
think that Mr. JOHN OXENHAM has here given us of his best. So little
do I think this that I am the prey of a suspicion--probably quite
unfounded--that the tale is either early work, or has been hastily put
together since the beginning of August. Anyhow, it's about a young
man named _de Valle_, an officer in the Eastern Army of France, who
is married but lives apart from his wife. The time is the winter of
1870, and when the great surrender comes, and the army is forced over
into Switzerland, _de Valle_ is so sick of military muddles that he
determines to settle down as a Swiss civilian and never go back any
more. This (fortune helping him) he is enabled to do. He changes his
name to _Duval_, and starts the simpler life with some pleasant folk
who run a saw-mill in the Brunnen Thal. He even goes so far as to marry
the maid of the mill. Which was rash of him, since he was still legally
tied to his French wife, and (in fiction at least) the course of bigamy
never did run smooth. Inevitably, therefore, not only did he encounter
his wife again, coming out of the casino at Interlaken (she too has not
been idle, having meanwhile married a Russian Prince), but the villain
of the story also saw them both, and looked to make a good thing by it.
But you know how quick and deep the Aar runs at Interlaken? _Duval_
accordingly pushed the inconvenient blackmailer into the water, and
everyone, with this exception, lived happy. The real merit of the book
lies not in this improbable plot, but in its moving chapters upon a
little treated phase of the last Franco-German fighting. These are well
done.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many gentle readers will be well pleased to hear that AGNES and
EGERTON CASTLE are giving them more news of that engaging heroine,
_Lady Kilcroney_. True, in the new book _Kitty_ herself plays but a
subordinate part, but as her dainty mantle of insolence and charm
appeals to have fallen on the shoulders of a worthy successor no one
need grumble upon that score. The new book is called _The Ways of
Miss Barbara_ (SMITH ELDER), and I daresay that having said so much
I might spare myself the pains of telling precisely what those ways
were. Do you need to hear how _Mistress Barbara_ (who was a kind of
eighteenth-century _Becky Sharp_ without the sting) was befriended
by _Lady Kitty_ and her susceptible lord? How the noble carriage was
waylaid on its journey from Paris to the coast? How the highwayman
was eventually brought to hook by the wiles of _Barbara_, who in
the long run marries a duke, and is left preparing for permanent
prosperity? Whether this last expectation will be fulfilled without
preliminary troubles I take leave to doubt. Indeed, the situation as
regards _Barbara_ and her ducal spouse is left so full of intriguing
possibilities that I could not but suspect those clever campaigners,
the EGERTON CASTLES, of having artfully arranged it as a kind of
concrete foundation from which to attack the public sympathy later on.
This is as may be. Meanwhile here is a pleasantly sparkling comedy with
which, I vow, you are like to find yourself vastly well pleased.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GERMAN SPY REPORTS TO HEADQUARTERS.

"HAVE VISITED ARMY AND NAVY STORES. FIND BRITISH FORCES BEING SUPPLIED
WITH MANY USELESS ARTICLES CALCULATED TO EMBARRASS THEIR MOVEMENTS."]

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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