Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug 15, 1917

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Sandra Brown
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.


VOL. 153.

AUGUST 15, 1917.


"In the heroic days of 1914," says Count REVENTLOW, "God gave us our
daily bread and our daily victory." We feel sure that, as regards the
provision of victories, some recognition ought to be made of the able
assistance of the WOLFF Bureau.


We read with some surprise that, in the motor collision in which he
participated recently, Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL'S car _was run into_ by
another coming in the opposite direction. This is not the Antwerp spirit
that the Munitions Department is waiting for.


A movement is on foot for the presentation of a suitable testimonial to
the people of Dundee for returning Mr. CHURCHILL to Parliament, after
being distinctly requested not to do so by a certain morning paper.


"What shall we do with the Allotment Harvest?" asks _The Evening News_.
It seems only too probable that, unless a national effort is made to
preserve them, some of the world's noblest vegetables will have to be


"Just as a soldier gives his valour or a captain of industry his
talent," said Lord CURZON, speaking on the sale of titles, "so a wealthy
man gives his wealth, which is very often his only asset, for the
benefit of his country." Nothing like a delicate compliment or two to
encourage him in the good work.


A lively correspondence has been filling the columns of a contemporary
under the heading, "The Facts about Bacon." The discussion seems to have
turned upon the famous line, "There's something rotten from the state of


Sixpenny paper notes are now being issued in various parts of Germany.
If you can't find anything to buy with them you can use them to patch
the new paper trousers.


Judging by his recent speech, Herr VON BETHMANN-HOLLWEG has lost heart
and found a liver.


At a recent inquest it was stated that a doctor had prepared a death
certificate while deceased was still alive. The subsequent correct
behaviour of the patient is regarded as a distinct feather in the
medical profession's cap.


A nephew of Field-Marshal VON HINDENBUBG has just joined the United
States Navy, but the rumour that upon hearing this HINDENBURG tried to
look severe is of course an impossible story.


The sum of sixty pounds has been taken from the Ransom Lane Post Office,
Hull, and burglars are reminded that withdrawals of money from the Post
Office cannot in future be allowed unless application is first made on
the prescribed form.


Baron SONNINO, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, was accorded a
truly British welcome on his arrival in this country. It rained all day.


It appears from a weekly paper that the KAISER is fond of nice quiet
amusement. If this is so we cannot understand his refusal to have a
Reichstag run on lines similar to the British Parliament.


Sir EDWARD CARSON'S physical recreations, says _The Daily Mail_, are
officially stated to be riding, golf and cycling. Unofficially, we
believe, he has occasionally done some drilling.


At a recent pacifist meeting in Bristol Councillor THOMPSON declared
that he was with Mr. LLOYD GEORGE in the South African War, but was
against him in the present campaign. The authorities are doing their
best to keep the news from the PREMIER.


A man at Tottenham has been fined five pounds for feeding a horse with
bread. We understand that action was taken on the initiative of the


The German Government is doing everything possible to curry favour with
its people. It has now commandeered all stocks of soap.


A Bermondsey house of amusement has organised a competition, in which
the competitors have to eat a pudding with their hands tied. This of
course is a great improvement on the modern and more difficult game of
trying to eat a lump of sugar in a restaurant with full use of the
hands, and even legs.


An official notice in the British Museum Library states that readers
will incur little risk during air raids, "except from a bomb that bursts
in the room." It is the ability to think out things like this which
raises the official mind so high above the ordinary.


The German Government, says the _Gazette de Lausanne_, is establishing a
regular business base in Berne. We have no illusions as to the base
business that will be conducted from it.


"When a German travels round the world," said Dr. MICHAELIS in a lecture
delivered twenty-five years ago, "he cannot help being terribly envious
of England." Funnily enough he is as envious as ever, even though the
opportunities for travel are no longer available.


When the Folkestone raid syren goes off, a man told the Dover Council,
it blows your hat off. On the other hand if it doesn't go off you may
not have anywhere to wear a hat, so what are you to do?


Willesden allotment-holders are complaining of a shortage of male blooms
on their vegetable-marrow plants. This is the first intimation we have
had of the calling-up of this class.

* * * * *


* * * * *


Mr. Punch, following the example of his daily contemporaries, despatched
a representative to some of the great London termini to note the August
exodus from town. The following thrilling report is to hand:--

At Waterton and Paddingloo great crowds continued to board the limited
number of West-bound and South-west-bound trains. On being asked why
they were leaving town, those of the travellers who answered at all said
it was the regular time for their annual holiday and they wanted a
change. They were mostly a jolly hearty lot, happily confident that at
some time in the course of the next forty-eight hours they would be
deposited in some part of the West or South-west of England. Those
fortunate persons who had secured seats were sitting down, those who
were unable to get seats were standing, and, in spite of the congested
state of the carriages and corridors, almost all were smiling, the
exceptions being those highly-strung and excitable passengers who had
come to blows over corner seats and windows up or down. Many of the
travellers carried baskets of food. Your representative, anxious to
report on the quality and quantity of the provisions carried, ventured
to peep into one of the baskets, and was in consequence involved in a
rather unpleasant affair, being actually accused of having abstracted a

The engine-driver, questioned as to whether he liked having passengers
on the engine and whether he considered it safe for them, was understood
to say that so long as they didn't get in his way it didn't matter to
him, and as to its being safe for them, he jolly well didn't care
whether it was safe for them or not. The guard, detained by the sleeve
by your representative, who inquired how he felt about being almost
crowded out of his brake by passengers, drew away his sleeve with some
violence and his answer was quite unworthy to be reported. An elderly
but strongly-built porter, with the luggage of fourteen families on his
truck, and the fourteen families surrounding him and all talking at
once, was approached by your representative for a little quiet chat, but
he became so threatening that it was thought advisable to leave him

At Ticvoria Station your representative found a seething mob intent on
getting to those ever popular and already much overcrowded South-coast
resorts, Paradeville, Shingleton-on-Sea, Promenade Bay, etc. The
eleven-o'clock "Paradeville fast," due to start in half-an-hour, was at
No. 20 platform. All sitting and standing room had been occupied for
some hours, and the passengers were enjoying the sport of seeing the
later arrivals running the whole length of the train and back again in
the mad hope of finding places. Your representative managed to get a
word with some of these later arrivals, and asked them how they liked
running up and down, and whether they were much disappointed at not
finding room; but the answers were mostly unsatisfactory and in some
cases uncivil. The booking-clerk, questioned as to the phraseology
employed by August holiday folk in asking for their tickets, whether it
is "Third return, please," or "Third return," or "Third return and look
sharp," showed by his answer that the expression "please" is falling
into desuetude on these occasions, his exact words being "There's
precious little 'please' knocking about, and anyone who has the cheek to
tell me to 'look sharp' is jolly well kept waiting till the last!" Your
representative, wishing to report at first-hand the experience of those
who were travelling thirty in a compartment meant to accommodate ten in
the "Paradeville fast," tried to get in and make a thirty-first,
explaining that it was only for a minute and was with the object of
getting local colour, but was forcibly expelled, and, falling on the
platform and sustaining some slight contusions, decided to cease
reporting on August scenes at the great termini for that day.

* * * * *



When the Heatherdale Hussars received a two-hours' notice to "trek"
they, of course, dumped their mascot, Hyldebrand, a six-months-old wild
boar, at the Town Major's. They would have done the same with a baby or
a full-grown hippopotamus. The harassed T.M. discovered Hyldebrand in
the next stable to his slightly hysterical horse the morning after the
H.H. had evacuated, and informed me (his village Sanitary Inspector)
that "as I was fond of animals" (he had seen me distributing fly-traps
and painting horse-trough notice-boards) I was henceforth in sole
command of Hyldebrand until such time as his owners should reclaim him.
A grant of five sous _per diem_ had been left for the piglette's

I took charge of Hyldebrand, provided an old dog-kennel for his shelter,
an older dog-collar for his adornment and six yards of "flex" for his
restraint. I further appointed the runner--a youth from Huddersfield,
nicknamed "Isinglass," in playful sarcastic comment on his speed--second
in command. He was to feed, groom and exercise Hyldebrand. I would
inspect Hyldebrand twice a week.

Hyldebrand rose fast in village popularity. One forgot that his parents
had been shot for cattle maiming, body snatching, breaking into
granaries and defying the gendarmerie on the public roads. But Hyldy was
all docility. He ate his way through the grant, the office stationery,
and the central tin dump with the most disarming _naivete_. He was the
spoilt darling of every mess. The reflected glory which Isinglass and
myself enjoyed was positively embarrassing.

But as the summer advanced so did Hyldebrand. He became (to quote his
keeper) a "battle pig," with the head of a pantomime dragon,
fore-quarters of a bison, the hind-legs of a deer and a back like an
heraldic scrubbing-brush. In March I had inspected him as he sat upon my
knee. In June I shook hands with him as he strained at his tether. In
mid-September we nodded to each other from opposite sides of a barbed
wire fence. Yet Isinglass retained the most complete mastery of his
ferocious-looking protege, and beneath his skilful massage Hyldebrand
would throw himself upon the ground and guggle in a porcine ecstacy.

One sunny afternoon, when there had come upon the little village street
the inevitable hush which preceded Hyldebrand's hour for exercise, I
espied the village cripple making for his home with the celerity of an A
1 man. He glared reproachfully at me, and, with an exclamation of
"_Sacre sanglier!_" vanished in the open doorway of the local
boulangerie, that being nearer than his cottage. Then came Hyldebrand,
froth on his snout and murder in his little eyes, and after him
Isinglass more than living up to his equine namesake. I joined him, and,
following Hyldy in a cloud of dust, the runner informed me between gasps
that it was "along of burning his snout-raking for a bully-beef tin in
the insinuator."

A band outside B Mess was nearing the climax of GRIEG'S "Peer Gynt"
suite. Hyldebrand just failed to perpetrate the time-worn gag of jumping
through the big drum, but he contrived to make that final crashing chord
sound like the last sneeze of a giant dying of hay-fever. The rest the
crowd saw through a film of dust. Hyldebrand headed for the turning by
the school, reached it as the gates opened to release young France, and
comedy would have turned to tragedy but for the point duty M.P. and his

There was a note and a parcel for me a day or so after. The note, which
was addressed to and had been opened by the T.M., stated that Hyldebrand
was being sent for by the Heatherdale Hussars on the morrow. Outside the
parcel was scrawled, above the initials of the G.H.Q. officers' cook, a
friend of mine, "It's top hole--try it with a drop of sauce." Inside was
a cold pork chop!

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE NEW LOAF.


* * * * *


It so happened in a quiet part of the line that men were scarce and work
abundant, so it was decided to use mules to carry the rations further
than usual. All went well until one night when friend Fritz changed his
habits and put some assorted fireworks rather near the mules.

Now the transport, being human and moreover unaccustomed to fireworks,
disliked this entertainment. Therefore they sought what shelter they
could. In a few minutes the Hun repented, but no mules and no rations
could the transport see. Moreover it began to rain. So back they went
and spoke at great length of the hundreds of seventeen-inch which had
blown up all the mules.

The morning began to come and a machine-gun subaltern, looking at a
black East in search of daylight, so that he might say, "It is now
light; I may go to bed," was somewhat startled. "For," he said, "I have
received shocks as the result of too much whisky of old, but from a
split tea and chloride of lime--no! It must be the pork and beans."
However, he collected eight puzzled but peaceful mules and handed them
to a still more bewildered adjutant, who knew not if they were "trench
stores" or "articles to be returned to salvage."

In the meanwhile the Transport Officer was making inquiries, and he
recovered the eight mules. "All," he said, "are back, except Ermyntrude.
I grieve for Ermyntrude, but still more for my driver's fate."

Where Ermyntrude spent the day no one knows. All that is known is of her
conduct the next night. About eleven o'clock she stepped on a shelter,
and, being a heavy mule, came into the trench abruptly. This worried but
did not hurt her, and she proceeded down the trench at a steady trot,
bumping into the traverses. She met a ration party, and for the first
time in their lives they took refuge over the top, for Ermyntrude was

Ermyntrude reached the end of the trench and somehow got out, heading,
by chance, for Germany. That was her undoing. In a minute or so three
machine-guns began firing, bombs and rifle shots were heard, and Verey
lights innumerable flared. We never saw Ermyntrude again. But we heard
of her--or rather we read of her--for the German official report wrote
her epitaph, thus: "Near the village of ---- hostile raiding detachments
were repulsed by our machine-gun fire."

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Monica (taken in to see her mother and her new sister,
who is fretful--to nurse)_. "TAKE HER AWAY AND BRING ONE THAT DOESN'T

* * * * *



* * * * *

"We welcome back to a position he once filled so well, the Rev. ----,
who is taking on the pork of the parish for the duration of the
war."--_Bath and Wilts Chronicle_.

We trust it will agree with him.

* * * * *

"WANTED, a Very Plain Girl, very good references and photo asked, to
care for three children and do housework."--_Morning Paper_.

You can almost see the green-eyed monster lurking in the background.

* * * * *

_Soulful Soldier (carried away by red sunset)._ "BY JOVE! LOOK AT THAT!


* * * * *



MY DEAR CHARLES,--Since I last wrote to you I have enjoyed
seeing again an officer with whom I had many curious dealings in
the past, and who, if half the facts he divulges about himself
were true, would certainly be the wickedest Colonel in the
B.E.F., notwithstanding that he fought busily in the early
stages and had the best part of himself knocked out in so doing.
He has performed many strange duties since, and the steps he
took to qualify for one of them will, I think, illustrate for
you his wickedness.

It has been found, on experience, that modesty is out of place
when you are being called upon to state your qualifications for
a post. The knowing, upon being asked if they possess certain
attributes, reply in an immediate affirmative and add others,
just to be on the safe side. It is felt that what is really
required in this War is thrust and ingenuity, things which
adequately make up for the absence of any specialist knowledge.
Accordingly my friend found himself described as possessing,
among other things, "French, fluent." It was not until he was
informed that the Official Interpreter would like to hear a
little of this that he looked more closely into the matter and
discovered that he knew no French at all. Undismayed, he spent
the two days' interval before the _viva-voce_ examination in
learning some. You might suppose that two days is a short time
in which to become so familiar with a strange language that you
may be able to understand and answer any question which may be
put to you in it. Sly friend, however, did not let this worry
him. He learnt by heart a long and detailed narrative, embracing
all the most impressive idioms and all the most popular slang,
the subject of which was an accident which had occurred to him
in the earlier days of the campaign, a long and a vivid story,
which, once started, would last indefinitely and could not be
interrupted meanwhile.

Armed with no other knowledge of the French language than this,
my friend duly presented himself before the Official
Interpreter, greeted him with a genial salute and waited
throughout his opening speech, which was in French and contained
many inquiries.

My friend made no endeavour to follow these simple questions. He
knew he couldn't succeed and had no intention of giving himself
away by an attempt. Advancing towards the Interpreter's table
and putting his right hand to his ear, "Pardon, monsieur," he
said, "mais je suis un peu sourd, depuis mon accident."

"Quel accident?" said the Interpreter; after which my friend did
not stop talking until he was passed out with a "French,

We met quite recently and talked over things in general, telling
each other, in confidence and on the best authority, all those
exciting details of the progress of the War which men go on
saying and believing until they are officially contradicted.
Getting down to realities, he told me that he has now the
greatest difficulty in believing in the War at all, though he is
within ear-shot of it all the time. His difficulty is due to the
last thing he saw before he left his office: three men standing
at his gate, in that attitude of contented and contemplative
leisure which one associates with Saturday afternoons and
village pumps, looking at nothing in particular and spitting
thoughtfully as occasion required. One of them was a British
soldier, one a French soldier and one a German soldier. The
whole picture suggested anything but war; if there was a war on,
which nation was fighting against which? My friend, however, is
somewhat oddly situated in this respect, since he commands for
the moment a detachment of German prisoners in our back area.
Some of them, he tells me, are extraordinarily smart. One
Prussian N.C.O. in particular was remarkable. Dressed in his
impressive overcoat, hatted for all the world like our Staff and
carrying under his arm his dapper cane, this N.C.O. went round
from group to group of working prisoners, accompanying the
English sergeant in charge of the party and interpreting the
latter's orders to the men. So striking was his get-up that all
paused to look at him.

Thinking it might please you, my friend showed me an official
memo., which he had just received from one of his officers in
command of an outlying detachment, and of course of the odds and
ends of British personnel adhering thereto: cooks, guards, etc.
The memo. ran as follows, and it repays careful study and
thinking out; I give you the whole of it:--

"_To the Commanding Officer, Orderly Room, Hqrs._"

The undermentioned is in my opinion entirely unfitted
for the duty to which he has been detailed with this
detachment. He shows no signs of either intelligence or
industry, and I propose, with your approval, to take the
necessary steps to get rid of him forthwith.


_Capt. i.c. 'B' Detachment._

My friend was much concerned to hit upon exactly the right form
of reply. Eventually we agreed:--

"_To Capt. A. B. Smith, i.c. 'B' Detachment._



_Lt.-Col., O.C., etc., etc._"

Finally, let me tell you a disgraceful tale of my same friend,
which does not refer to his present command, and is, I hope,
untrue of him in any command.

The crowd for which he was then responsible was suddenly
threatened with inspection by the General who is charged with
the welfare of such people, and who very properly desired to
satisfy himself that they were both well disciplined and well
tended. So that success might be assured my friend had a
rehearsal parade. All inspections and manoeuvres being
completed, my friend stood the crowd at ease and thus addressed

"All ranks will take the utmost care to turn themselves
out smartly for the inspection and to make the
inspection a success. As the General passes along the
lines inspecting you, you will stand rigidly to
attention, eyes front. You will be asked if you have any
complaints to make, and each of you will have an
opportunity of making a complaint in the correct manner.

"In making his complaint the man should advance two
paces forward, salute smartly, stand to attention and
make his complaint.

"And, by Heavens, if anybody does...!"

Yours ever,


* * * * *


Ernest and I were seated by the river. It was very pleasant there, and
it seemed a small thing to us that we were both still disabled.

"Did you ever say to yourself, when you were out there, that if ever you
got out of it alive you'd never grumble at anything again?'" said

My reply was in the affirmative.

We were silent for a while, remorse weighing heavily upon us.

"The worst case," said Ernest at length, "was when I got my commission
and came home for my kit."

I composed myself to listen, piously determined not to grumble however
tedious I might find his recital.

"We'd been near a place called Ypres," he began.

"I seem to have heard the name," I murmured.

"I hadn't been sleeping really well for a week--we'd been in the
trenches that time--and before that I had lain somewhat uneasily upon a
concrete floor."

"Yes, concrete is hard, isn't it?" I said.

"We came out at three in the morning, and arrived at our billets about
seven. I knew this commission was on the _tapis_--French word meaning
carpet--so I hung round not daring to turn in. At eleven o'clock I had
orders to push off home to get my kit. You'll guess I didn't want asking
twice. I made my way to the railhead at once in case of any hitch, and
had to wait some time for a train. It was a goods train when it came,
but it did quite well and deposited me outside the port of embarkation
about nine o'clock at night. I walked on into the port and found the
ship that was crossing next morning. I went below in search of a cabin.
There was a French sailor there to whom I explained my need."

"How?" I asked, for I do not share Ernest's opinion of his mastery of
the French language, but he ignored this.

"It was dark down there," he went on, "too dark for him to see that I
was in a private's uniform, so I put on a bit of side and he took me for
an officer."

"A French officer?"

"Very likely. Anyway he found me a beautiful cabin with a lovely couch
in it all covered with plush. You would have thought I should want
nothing but to be left to sleep; but no, I saw that the officer in the
next cabin had a candle, and there was no candle for me. Instantly my
worst instincts were aroused. I felt I was being put upon. I demanded a
candle. The sailor declared there wasn't one left."

"You're sure he understood what you were asking for?"

"Yes, I know that candle is boogy, thank you. I argued with him for ten
minutes and then turned in, grumbling. Queer, wasn't it?"

"Yes," I said.

I sat there for a while, thinking over Ernest's story, which had, it
seemed to me, something of the tract about it.

Later the midges began to attack us.

"Aren't these midges absolutely--" I began, and then stopped,
remembering Ernest's tract. It only shows, as I said to Ernest, that we
may learn something even from the most unlikely people.

* * * * *

"Wanted, a strong Boy, about 15 years old, for bottling, &c. The
Brewery, Brixham."

_The Western Guardian._

"Waiter, bring me a bottle of the boy."

* * * * *

"... contest the right of the Spanish authorities to intern damaged
submarines seeking refuse in neutral ports."--_Star._

The Spanish authorities are expected to reply that if that is what the
U-boats are after there is no need for them to leave home.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _First Artist._ "BY GAD! OLD PARSLEY'S SURPASSED


* * * * *


_(The GERMAN CROWN PRINCE and Fritz, his Valet.)_

_The Crown Prince (in bed and yawning)._ Is that you, Fritz?

_Fritz._ Yes, your Royal Highness. What uniform shall I lay out for his
Royal Highness?

_The C.P._ You can lay out the best I have--the one of the Death's Head
Hussars, with all my stars and medals. I am expecting an important

_Fritz (with a meaning smile)._ If I might venture so far, I would
suggest to his Royal Highness that he should wear the Trench uniform,
which I arranged with the bullet-holes and the mud-splashes. It creates
a greater effect, especially if the visitor be a lady.

_The C.P._ Fritz, you dog, how dare you? Very well, have it your own way
and let it be the Trench uniform.

_Fritz._ I am only anxious to promote his Royal Highness's interest in
every possible way.

_The C.P._ I know, I know. Only we shall have old HINDENBURG growling
and grunting and looking as black as a thundercloud. I cannot imagine
what my revered father sees in that old wooden effigy, whose only idea
of strategy is to retreat from strong positions. That, at any rate, is
not the fashion in which I have learnt war. I'm thoroughly tired of
hearing of all these HINDENBURG plans, which come to nothing.

_Fritz._ Your Royal Highness is, of course, right. But what I say to
myself is that the ALL-HIGHEST, your Royal Highness's most gracious
father, has in all this a deep-laid design to show conclusively that all
these HINDENBURG plans mean nothing, so that in the end true skill and
merit may have a chance, and the chief command may be placed in the only
hands that are fit to exercise it. Oh, yes, I know what I'm talking
about, and everyone I meet says the same.

_The C.P._ I have always felt that that must be so. No matter, a time
will come. By the way, Fritz, have you packed up the _Sevres_

_Fritz._ I have already packed six from as many different French and
Belgian houses, and have sent them to Berlin, according to your Royal
Highness's directions. Which does your Royal Highness refer to?

_The C.P._ I mean the one with the simple pattern of pink flowers and
the coat-of-arms.

_Fritz._ Yes, that I have packed like the rest and have sent off.

_The C.P._ And the silver dishes and the lace?

_Fritz._ Yes, they have all gone.

_The C.P._ Good. And the clocks?

_Fritz._ Yes, I did in every case what your Royal Highness ordered me to

_The C.P._ And you packed them, I hope, with the greatest care?

_Fritz._ I did; nothing, I am certain, will suffer damage.

_The C.P._ Excellent. War is, no doubt, a rough and brutal affair, but
at least it cannot be said that we Prussians do not behave like

_Fritz._ Your Royal Highness speaks, as always, the plain truth. How
different from the degenerate French and the intolerable English.

_The C.P._ Yes, Fritz; and now you can go. Stay; there was something I
wanted to ask you. Dear me, I am losing my memory. Ah! I have it. How is
my offensive getting on? Has any news come in from the _Chemin des

_Fritz._ Your Royal Highness's offensive has not advanced to any great
extent. The French last night recaptured all their positions and even
penetrated into ours.

_The C.P._ Did they? How very annoying. Somebody bungled, of course.
Well, well, I shall have to put it right when I have time. Have you
finished laying out my uniform? Yes. Then you can go.

* * * * *


Where is she now, the pride of the battalion,
That ambled always at the Colonel's side,
A fair white steed, like some majestic galleon
Which takes deliberate the harbour tide,
So soft, so slow, she scarcely seems to stir?
And that, indeed, was very true of her
Who was till late, so kind her character,
The only horse the Adjutant could ride.

Ever she led the regiment on its journeys,
And held sweet converse with the Colonel's gee:
Of knights, no doubt, and old heroic tourneys,
And how she bare great ladies o'er the lea;
And on high hill-sides, when the men felt dead,
Far up the height they viewed her at the head,
A star of hope, and shook themselves, and said,
"If she can do it, dammit, so can we!"

But where is now my Adjutantial palfrey?
In front no longer but in rear to-day,
Behind the bicycles, and not at all free
To be familiar with the General's gray,
She walks in shame with all those misanthropes,
The sad pack-animals who have no hopes
But must by men be led about on ropes,
Condemned till death to carry S.A.A.,

And bombs, and beef, and officers' valises;
And I at eve have marked my wistful mare
By thronging dumps where cursing never ceases
And rations come, for oft she brings them there,
Patient, aloof; and when the shrapnel dropp'd
And the young mules complained and kicked and hopp'd,
She only stood unmoved, with one leg propp'd,
As if she heard it not or did not care;

Or heard, maybe, but hoped to get a Blighty;
For on her past she lately seemed to brood
And dreamed herself once more among the mighty,
By grooms beloved and reverently shoed;
But now she has no standing in the corps,
And Death itself would hardly be a bore,
Save that, although she carries me no more,
'Tis something still to carry up my food.


* * * * *


Extract from Smith Minor's Scripture paper:--

"And when Jephthah saw his daughter coming to meet him he was
very much upset. But he had to keep to his vow, so he gave her
two months' leave and then he killed her."

* * * * *
Quoting a European statesman, saying the war would be won by the
last 500,000 bushels of what, Mr. Hoover said."--_New York

We trust Mr. HOOVER will hurry up with his peroration.

* * * * *

"I feel that I might claim almost a special kinship with Baron
Sonnino, because I believe his mother was a Welsh lady."

_"Weekly Dispatch" Report of Premier's Speech._

"Baron Sonnino, by the way, who is of half-Scottish extraction,
speaks English perfectly. How many of the master minds at our
Foreign Office speak Italian perfectly?"

_"Weekly Dispatch" Secret History of the Week._

But in fairness to the "master minds" it should be remembered that few
of them have the advantage of a Scotch father and a Welsh mother.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Hospital Wardmaid (who has shown the new matron into her

* * * * *



I must congratulate Mr. CHARLES COCHRAN on his courage in transforming
the Oxford Music-hall into a home of "the legitimate," and still more on
his good fortune in securing for the initiation of his new venture the
play which Captain BRUCE BAIRNSFATHER and Captain ARTHUR ELIOT have
written round the adventures of "Old Bill." In form it resembles a
_revue_, but I prefer to call it a play, because it possesses a plot,
distinct if slight--an encumbrance banned by most _revue_ producers; and
because it contains an abundance of honest spontaneous fun. The authors
start with the advantage, if it be an advantage, that the principal
characters are already familiar to the audience through the medium of
Captain BAIRNSFATHER's popular drawings; but they have not been content
with reproducing their well-known, now almost hackneyed, adventures, but
have added many others which are new and yet "come into the picture."

Their greatest piece of luck was in finding a comedian exactly fitted to
fill the part of the humble hero. Mr. ARTHUR BOURCHIER as _Old Bill_ is
absolutely "it." His make-up is perfect; he might have stepped out of
the drawing, or sat for it, whichever you please. But, much more than
that, he seems to have exactly realised the sort of man _Old Bill_
probably is in real life--slow-speaking and stolid in manner, yet with a
vein of common-sense underlying his apparent stupidity; much addicted to
beer and other liquids, but not brutalized thereby; and, while often
grousing and grumbling, nevertheless possessed almost unconsciously of a
strong sense of duty and an undaunted determination to see it through.
It is a tribute to the essential truthfulness of Captain BAIRNSFATHER'S
conception and Mr. BOURCHIER'S acting that one comes away from _The
Better 'Ole_ feeling that there must be thousands of _Old Bills_ at the
Front fighting for our freedom.

Admirable work is done, too, by Mr. TOM WOOTTWELL as _Bert_, the
incorrigible amorist, for whom each new girl is "the only girl," and who
has an apparently inexhaustible supply of identity-discs to leave with
them as "sooveneers"; and by Mr. SINCLAIR COTTER as _Alf_, the cynical
humourist--"Where were you eddicated, Eton or Harrod's?" is one of his
best _mots_--who spends most of his time in wrestling with an automatic
cigar-lighter. I think it would be only poetical justice if in the
concluding scene, when _Old Bill_ comes into his own, the authors were
for once to allow _Alf_ to succeed in lighting his "fag."

Of the many ladies who add charm to the entertainment I can only mention
Miss EDMEE DORMEUIL, who as _Victoire_ has an important share in the
plot and saves _Old Bill's_ life; Miss GOODIE REEVE, who sings some
capital songs; and Miss PEGGY DORAN, who looks bewitching as an officer
of the Woman Workers' Corps. The music, arranged by Mr. HERMAN DAREWSKI,
is catchy and not uncomfortably original: and the scenery, designed by
Captain BAIRNSFATHER, gives one, I should say, as good an idea of the
trenches as one can get without going there. In fine I would parody _Old
Bill_ and say, "If you knows of a better show, go to it!"


* * * * *

[Illustration: _Perfect stranger (to Jones, who has not forgotten

* * * * *


* * * * *


O Metaphasia, peerless maid,
How can I fitly sing
The priceless decorative aid
To dialogue you bring,
Enabling serious folk, whose brains
Are commonplace and crude,
To soar to unimagined planes
Of sweet ineptitude.

Changed by your magic, common-sense
Nonsensical appears,
And stars of sober influence
Shoot madly from their spheres.
You lure us from the beaten track,
From minding P.'s and Q.'s,
To paths where white is always black
And pies resemble pews.

Strange beasts, more strange than the giraffe,
You conjure up to view,
The flue-box and the forking-calf,
Unknown at any Zoo;
And new vocations you unfold,
Wonder on wonder heaping,
Hell-banging for the over-bold,
And toffee-cavern keeping.

With you we hatch the pasty snipe,
And all undaunted face
Huge fish of unfamiliar type--
Bush-pike and bubble-dace;
Or, fired by hopes of lyric fame,
We deviate from prose,
And make it our especial aim
Bun-sonnets to compose.

I wonder did the ancients prove
Responsive to your spell,
Or, riveted to Reason's groove,
Against your charms rebel.
And yet some senator obese,
In Rome long years ago,
May have misnamed a masterpiece
_De Gallo bellico_.

We know there were heroic men
Who passed forgotten from our ken,
Lacking a poet's praise;
But, though great Metaphasiarchs
Have doubtless flourished sooner,
I'm sure their raciest remarks
Have been eclipsed by S-----r.

* * * * *


"The daily cost of the war has shown an alarming tendency to
mount, and has gone beyond the 700 millions which some folk
thought must be the limit a few months ago."

_Sussex Daily News._

* * * * *

"Junior Assistant wanted to Grocery, Spirit and Provision
business; send copy references and salary expected."--_Irish

Quite a promising idea for getting more capital into a business.

* * * * *


"Amongst a number of new inventions," says the _Frankfischer Tagwacht_,
"is an imitation of the smell of Limburger cheese." This has caused some
alarm and not a little interest in this country, as the following
extracts will show:--

"Berlin Resident" states that he has too long been fed up with imitation
meals, and for weeks past has had nothing to eat but holes from

"Cynic" remarks that it is impossible for the German scientists to
defeat the WOLFF wireless at inventions.

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL is anxious to know whether they have yet
discovered a substitute for _The Morning Post_.

_The Times_ Greenwich correspondent wires: "If they have invented a
method whereby a news report will make a noise like 'Passed by Censor'
will they wire terms?"

* * * * *

Inscription on a French picture post-card:--

"Une locomotive abandonee devant Thiepval. One locomotive a
profligate woman forepart Thiepval."

Smith minor is avenged.

* * * * *



* * * * *


_Monday, August 6th._--This being Bank Holiday and the first fine day
after a week's downpour, Members for the most part stayed away from
Westminster. Some, it is charitably supposed, have gone to look after
their allotments. Others, it is believed, have been kept away by a
different reason. The taxicab-drivers, men constitutionally averse from
extortion, have refused to enter the railway-station yards so long as
the companies persist in exacting from them a whole penny for the
privilege. Consequently some of our week-ending legislators are reported
to be interned at Waterloo and Paddington, sitting disconsolately upon
their portmanteaux. As an appeal to the Board of Trade elicited nothing
more from Mr. G. ROBERTS than a disclaimer of personal responsibility,
it is expected that redress will be sought from the Taxi-cabinet.

Mr. HENDERSON'S dual personality continues to arouse curiosity. There
was some justification for Mr. KING'S inquiry whether he went to
Petrograd as a Ministerial _Jekyll_ or a Labourist _Hyde_. Mr. BONAR LAW
assured the House that on this occasion at least Mr. HENDERSON went
purely as a Cabinet Minister, guiltless of any duplicity.

Mr. PROTHERO enlivened the discussion on the Corn Production Bill by a
new clause providing that where a farmer failed to destroy the rabbits
on his land the Board of Agriculture should have power to do it for him
and recover the expenses incurred. Sir JOHN SPEAR expected that in some
cases the rabbits secured would more than defray the cost of the
capture, and declared that unless the farmer was allowed to keep the
rabbits the Government would be guilty of "profiteering." As other
agricultural Members appeared to share this view, Mr. PROTHERO, most
obliging of Ministers, agreed to alter the word "cost" to "net cost." I
hope no litigious farmer will seek to evade his liabilities on the
ground that, as the Act only says "net cost," he need not pay for the

_Tuesday, August 7th._--Those peers who were supposed to be shaking in
their shoes at the thought of Lord SELBORNE'S impending revelations as
to the means by which they acquired their honours might have spared
their tremors. He opened his bag to-day, but no cat jumped out, not even
the smallest kitten. If he had given a single concrete example of a peer
who, having notoriously no public services at his back, must be presumed
to have purchased his title, he would have created some effect. But the
admission that all his information on the subject was confidential cut
the ground from under his feet; and needless to say none of the Peers
whom he hypothetically accused of buying their coronets responded to his
appeal by standing forth in a white sheet and making open confession of
his crime.



Lord SELBORNE was one of three heirs to peerages who a generation ago
banded themselves together to resist elevation to the House of Lords.
Another of them is Lord CURZON, who answered him to-night, and whose
contempt for the Chamber which he now adorns seems to have grown with
the years that he has spent in it. Reading between the lines of his
speech a cynic could only infer that the Upper House, as at present
constituted, is such a useless and superfluous assembly that it does not
much matter who gets into it or by what venal ladder he climbs.

The only peers who ventured to get to close quarters with the scandal
were Lord KNUTSFORD, who told a moving tale of how a potential baronet
diverted L25,000 from the London Hospital to a certain party fund, and
thereby achieved his purpose; and Lord SALISBURY, who declared from his
knowledge of Prime Ministers that they were sick of administering the
system of which Lord CURZON was so ostentatiously ignorant.


Many reasons have been assigned for Mr. CHURCHILL'S reinclusion in the
Ministry, but I am inclined to think that the real one has only just
been discovered. Mr. MACCALLUM SCOTT is one of the most pertinacious
inquisitors of the Treasury Bench; he is also a whole-souled admirer of
the Member for DUNDEE, and has written a book in eulogy of his
achievements by sea and land. Mr. CHURCHILL has rewarded this devotion
by appointing Mr. SCOTT his private secretary, and, as it is contrary to
Parliamentary etiquette for a Member holding this position to
interrogate other Ministers, has thereby conferred a distinct benefit
upon his new colleagues. Mr. LLOYD GEORGE is now reported to be on the
look-out for other statesmen in whom Mr. HOGGE and Mr. PRINGLE repose a
similar trust, but so far without success; and it is thought that his
only chance is to make Mr. PRINGLE an Under-Secretary on condition that
he takes Mr. HOGGE as his _ame damnee_, or _vice versa_.

_Wednesday, August 8th._--Lord BURNHAM shocked some of the more ancient
peers by his skittish references to the coming Conference on the Second
Chamber. When he expressed the hope that Lord CURZON would make an
explicit statement, on the ground that their Lordships' House was in no
need of a soporific, I fully expected one of the occupants of the
mausoleum to rise and reprove him in the words of Dr. JOHNSON, "Sir, in
order to be facetious it is not necessary to be indecent."

The advent of the feminine lawyer was rendered a little nearer when her
champions successfully held up a Bill promoted by the Incorporated Law
Society until the Government undertook to find time for the discussion
of a measure enabling women to become solicitors. Already _Shylock_ is
trembling at the prospect.

_Thursday, August 9th_.--When the House on two successive occasions
rejected Proportional Representation it was generally thought that
nothing more would be heard of the other proposals for securing minority
representation. To-night, however, after a brisk debate, the
"Alternative vote" in three-cornered contests was saved in a free
division by a single vote; and it was further decided that "P.R." itself
should be adopted at University elections, despite the unanimous
opposition of the University Representatives.

* * * * *


The bright August sun certainly made the dining-room paper look dingy.
It was a plain, self-coloured paper, but we were rather attached to it,
and didn't like the idea of a change.

But there seemed no help for it, so I arranged to leave my office early
on Friday afternoon, meet Alison at the Marble Arch tube station and go
with her to choose a new paper.

When we reached the wall-paperer's lair we were ushered by an immaculate
personage into a room that looked more like the dining-room of a private
house than a part of business premises.

"Perhaps," I said, in an awed whisper, "you don't care to have anything
to do with such trifling things as--er--wall-paper?"

"Indeed we do," said the nobleman. "Most important things, wall-papers.
Where did you want it for?"

"For a room in my house, of course," I said. "Not for the garden."

"Oh, not for the garden. And what sort of house is yours?" he asked.

"A very nice house," I said.

"I meant what was the style of the house--Jacobean, Georgian?"

"Brixtonian rococo outwardly," I said, "as far as I can judge; but very
snug inside. No doubt you could show us something we should like which
would also satisfy your sense of propriety."

"I think it might be managed," he said, waving his hand towards two or
three giant books of patterns.

"What we want," I said, "is something meaty."

"Ah, for the dining-room," he said.

"Well, it's a courtesy title," I said, "but really in these hard times
we have reduced economy to such a fine art that I thought a wall-paper
with body in it might help matters."

"I think I catch the idea," said the marquis. "Something that would make
you feel more satisfied after dinner than you otherwise would feel, as
it were."

"My dear Sir," I said, "you have hit it exactly. Yours is a sympathetic
nature. How readily you have divined my thoughts! No doubt you too are

He sighed almost audibly. "How is the room furnished?" he said.

"Leading features," I said, "a Welsh dresser, rush-bottomed chairs,
gate-legged table, bookcases--"

"Saxe-blue carpet," said Alison.

"A most important detail," Lord Bayswater said. "Don't you think
something of a chintzy nature would ... etc."

Both Alison and I agreed that a prescription of that kind might possibly
... etc.

I don't know what is comprised under the term chintzy, but it appeared
to be a comprehensive one, for the nobleman descanted on the merits of
the following patterns among others:--

(1) Cockatoos on trees, cockatooing.

(2) Pheasants on trees, eating blackberries.

(3) Other birds on trees, doing nothing in particular.

(4) Roses, in full bloom, half bloom, fading, falling.

(5) Forget-me-nots in bunches, ready for sale.

(6) Grapes doing whatever it is that grapes do.

(7) Other flowers and fruits, also acting after the manner of their

Many other patterns were shown us and we spent an hour or two looking at
them. Our host tried hard to push the cockatoos on to us. His idea was
that the pattern would act as wallpaper and pictures combined. Alison's
idea was that there would be too many portraits of cockatoos round the
room, and I maintained that the wretched birds looked so realistic that
I should certainly feel I ought to be giving them some food, and this
would of course hardly assist my idea. The noes had it.

In the end we came away with four patterns (fruits and flowers) and a
promise to let Lord Bayswater know which one we preferred. One of them I
chose really to show my tailor, as it was a top-hole scheme for a winter

Alison and I spent the evening hanging the patterns up one after the
other on one wall of the dining-room, and tried to paper the rest of the
walls in the mind's eye, but at eleven o'clock we knocked off for the
night and went to bed with headaches.

I fancy Alison must have had a disturbed night. As I was leaving the
house after breakfast she said, "Have you made up your mind about those

"No, I haven't," I said. "I'm going to leave it to you. Choose which you

"I've chosen," she said with an air of finality.

"Well," said Alison, when I reached home that evening, "it's up."

"Up?" I said. "The new paper, already?"

"Come and see," Alison said.

"By Jove, how well it looks!" I said. "You've chosen well. There's
something familiar about it, though it looks almost new."

"Yes," said Alison, "Ellen and I cleaned it all over with bread-crumbs."

"Poor Lord Bayswater," I said. "But you've done the right thing.
Wall-paper as usual during the War."

* * * * *


* * * * *

[Illustration: _First dangerous Mule (to second ditto)._ "DON'T YOU GO

* * * * *

"The annual agricultural returns show that the increased area in
England and Wales of corn and potatoes for the present harvest
amount to no less than 347,0000 acres. This result exceeds all

_Bradford Daily Argus_.

We can well believe it.

* * * * *

From a sale advertisement:--


Ladies' Overalls and Breeches for the farm, garden, or home use,
reduced in Price."

_Daily Paper._

Cooler and cooler.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Angry Lady (on being told that Fido's favourite biscuits
are now unobtainable)._


* * * * *


Prior to "Skilly" being taken on the regimental strength, our canteen
was the paradise of a battalion of mice, from whose nightly raids
nothing was sacred. But from the day "Skilly" enlisted the marauders
became less and less obtrusive. And "Skilly" grew sleek.

Then came a time of scarcity. Mice fought shy of the canteen, and
"Skilly" visibly suffered from lack of nourishment. A sergeant's wife
provided welcome hospitality; but no sooner was "Skilly" billeted
outside the canteen than the plague returned, and so she was recalled
urgently to active service. Again was the enemy routed; but again came
the wilting-time of dire want. Virtue, however, did not go unrewarded a
second time. "Skilly" had earned honourable mention, and representations
to the proper quarters resulted in an order that she should be rationed
so long as she remained on canteen duty.

With times of ease came time for love. In due course "Skilly" presented
an absentee and unidentifiable spouse with five bouncing baby kittens.
Throughout their extreme infancy the family throve; but the time came
when the devoted mother was no longer able to supply sufficient
nutriment for five lusty youngsters. Clearly something must be done, and
the canteen sergeant was the man to do it. He sent in a proper formal
application to the regimental powers, requesting that increased feline
rations be ordered as "subsistence for Canteen Skilly and family of

Time passed, and--let this be read and remembered by all carping critics
who accuse our army of want of method and business sense--in due course
the application was returned, properly entered, checked, signed and
counter-signed. The verdict run thus: "Application on behalf of Canteen
Skilly refused, as apparently she married off the strength of the

* * * * *

"No youth should be regarded educationally as a finished article
at 1 years of age." _Yorkshire Post._

Mr. Fisher will be pleased.

* * * * *


I jogged along the footpath way
And leant against the stile;
"A merry heart goes all the day,"
Stoutly I sang the old refrain;
My own heart mocked me back again,
"Yet tire you in a mile!"

Well may I tire, that stand alone
And turn a wistful glance
On each remembered tree and stone,
Familiar landmarks of a road
Where once so light of heart I strode
With one who sleeps in France.

Heavily on the stile I lean,
Not as we leant of yore,
To drink the beauty of the scene,
Glory of green and blue and gold,
Shadow and gleam on wood and wold
That he will see no more.

Then came from somewhere far afield
A song of thrush unseen,
And suddenly there stood revealed
(Oh heart so merry, song so true!)
A day when we shall walk, we two,
Where other worlds are green.

* * * * *


_(A specimen article for the use of those editors who have come to the
realisation that the contents of our heavier periodicals never change.
All that is needed is the insertion of the right month and the survey
can be used as a serial.)_

In _The Umteenth Century and Forever_, which is, as usual, alert and
interesting, the place of honour is given to an article by Sir Vincent
Stodge, M.P., on "Proportional Representation in New Patagonia." Sir
Vincent's argument may or may not convince, but it is succinctly stated.
Sir ERNEST CASSEL writes usefully on "Economy for Cottagers," and Lord
Sopwith, in a paper on "Air Raids and Glowworms," shows how important it
is that on dark nights there should be some compulsory extinction of the
light of these dangerous and, he fears, pro-German, insects. Mr. HARRY
DE WINDT describes "Galicia as I Knew It," and there are suggestive
papers on "The Probable Course of History for the next Three Centuries,"
by the Dean of LINCOLN; "Potatoes as Food," by Sir WALTER RALEIGH; and
"Hair in Relation to Eminence," by Dr. SALEEBY, in which all the strong
men in history famous for their locks, from SAMSON to Mr. LLOYD GEORGE,
are passed in review. An excellent number, full of mental nutriment, is
brought to a close by a symposium of Bishops on the petrol restrictions.

* * * * *

By a strange coincidence _The Shortsightly_ also has a valuable paper on
"Proportional Representation," by Mr. and Mrs. C.N. WILLIAMSON, who thus
make their bow for the first time among what might be called our
thinking novelists, their effort being in some degree balanced by an
essay in the same number from so inveterate a politician as Mr. J.M.
HOGGE, M.P., on the "Wit and Humour of WILLIAM LE QUEUX." There is also
an anonymous article of great power on "Conscientious Objectors as Food
for Racehorses," which should cause discussion, both by reason of its
arguments and also through the secret of its authorship, which to the
initiated is only of course a _secret de Polichinelle_. For the rest we
content ourselves with drawing attention to "The Small Holding," by Lord
PIRRIE; "Women and Tobacco," by the Manager of the Piccadilly Hotel;
"Feud Control," by Mr. PHILIP SNOWDEN, M.P.; "Russia as I knew it," by
Mr. HARRY DE WINDT; and "The Spirit of Ireland," by Sir JOHN POWER.

* * * * *

_The Peremptory Review_ opens with Lord CURZON'S well-reasoned appeal to
Labour to relinquish its attitude of criticism and trust the powers that
be. Other notable articles deal with the possible effect of woman's
franchise on the cult of Pekinese spaniels, the case pro and con. for a
tunnel under St. George's Channel, and the philosophy of E. PHILLIPS
OPPENHEIM. Mr. HARRY DE WINDT writes of "Serbia as I Knew It." A
spirited attack on the MINISTER of MUNITIONS by the Editor of _The
Morning Post_ brings an excellent number to a close.

* * * * *

_Backwood's_ is, as usual, strong in the martial element, and is further
proof that in the present conflict there is no excluding rivalry between
pen and sword, but plenty of room for both. The article wittily
entitled, "Mess-up-otamia" should be read by everyone who is not tired
of that theme. The trenchant author of "Reflections without Rancour"
displays his customary vigilance as a censor of _betes noires_, not
sparing the whip even when some of the animals are dead.

* * * * *

In the ever iconoclastic and live _Gnashing All Review_ Mr. Smacksy is,
as usual, at his most vigorous. Among the statesmen who come in for his
attacks are Mr. ASQUITH and Lord HALDANE, both of whom are probably by
now quite inured to his blows. Nothing could be more amusing than the
renewed play which is made with the phrase, "spiritual home." Mr.
Smacksy has also something to say to members of what might be called his
own Party. Other articles deal with "The Psychology of the Pacifist," a
trenchant exposure; "The Teeth of American Presidents," which contains a
number of curious statistics; "The Film and the Future," by Viscount
CHAPLIN; "The Honours List," in which the anonymous writer makes the
revolutionary suggestion that the KING'S birthday should in future be
marked by the withdrawal of old titles instead of the conferring of new.
Mr. HARRY DE WINDT descries "Roumania as I Knew It"; "A Suggestion for
the Settlement of the Irish Problem" is offered by Mr. GINNELL, M.P.;
and Mr. C.B. COCHRAN utters a disinterested plea for "The Small

* * * * *

_The Jinglish Review_, also famous for the activity of its fighting
editor, has no fewer than four articles from his pen, of which the least
negligible is perhaps that of "The Partition of Europe after the War."
The others deal with "The Real Germany," "Sunday Journalism as a World
Asset," and "HORATIO BOTTOMLEY the Prophet." Other contributions in a
varied number include a series of votive verses to Mr. EDWARD MARSH,
C.B., by a band of Georgian poets, on the occasion of his resumption of
his duties as private secretary to Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL. A charming
study of leprosy, translated from the Russian of Lugubriski, brings the
number to a close.

* * * * *


Upon a lily-laden tide,
Where galleons rocked with sails blown wide
And white swans gleamed, there was a city
Whose citizens called "London Pride"
The flower that some call "None-so-Pretty."

It grew beside the frowning tower,
By RALEGH'S walk and BOLEYN'S bower,
As frail as joy, as sweet as pity;
And "London Pride" they called that flower
Which country folk call "None-so-Pretty."

When London lads made holiday
In dewy hours o' th' month o' May,
And footed it with Moll and Kitty,
Among the maypole garlands gay
Be sure they plaited "None-so-Pretty."

When London lads in battle bent
Their bows beside the bows of Kent
('Tis told in many a gallant ditty)
Their caps were tufted as they went
With "London Pride" or "None-so-Pretty."

Oh, London is what London was,
And mighty food for pride she has;
Her saints are wise, her sinners witty,
And Picard clay and Flemish grass
Are sweet with stars of "None-so-Pretty."

* * * * *


_A propos_ of the note in our issue of August 1st, a Correspondent
suggests that the Americans might go into action to the tune of "Tommy
make room for your Uncle."

* * * * *

"A Leghorn pullet, belonging to Mrs. G.R. Bell, of Coxhoe,
Durham, has laid an egg 3-1/4 oz. in weight, 7-1/2 in. in
diameter, and 6-1/4 in. in circumference."--_Scotch Paper._

Most interesting and novel, but very disconcerting to the

* * * * *

"The procession was headed by the choristers and songmen, and
included the surplus clergy and the Very Rev. the Dean."

_Yorkshire Herald._

No support here, you will note, for the recent suggestion that Deans are

* * * * *



* * * * *


The contemplated single-stick encounter between Colonel ARCHER-SHEE and
Mr. PEMBERTON-BILLING recalls to mind a ludicrous affair which actually
happened some years ago in a foreign city which I will here call

Mr. Alec McTavish, a Briton many years resident in that fair capital and
editor of the only English newspaper, had taken up stout verbal cudgels
on behalf of the Americans, who had been viciously attacked in the
columns of a local "daily." The United States of the North, in its
capacity of "special" to the entire American continent, comes in for
plenty of abuse when a new revolution is about to be perpetrated.

The strife had waxed fast and furious and eventually had taken on a
personal tone, the editor of _La Muera_ accusing the editor of the
English paper of being "that lowest of all living things--a Texan." It
will be remembered that in times gone by the State of Texas decided to
desert its Latin parents and roost under the shadow of the eagle's wing,
thereby earning for itself prosperity and an evil reputation--in certain

McTavish's editorial reply was a gem of satire and displayed an intimate
knowledge of the antecedents of the rival editor.

At that time duelling was still prevalent, and it was not many days
before the editorial sanctum of _The Tribune_ was honoured by the visit
of two officers in full-dress uniform.

The eventual outcome of their visit was that Mr. McTavish found himself
pledged to fight a duel with a man who was, among other things, a
first-class pistol shot and exceptionally expert with the "florette,"
all of which McTavish was not.

The affair looked particularly unpleasant--to McTavish, who was short,
fat, and by no means young. But the dignity of the foreign population as
represented by the editor of _The Killemalivo Tribune_ must of necessity
be upheld.

Faced by this quite unusual difficulty, McTavish bethought him of his
old and tried friend, General O'Flynnone, an Irish-American of many
years' residence in the Latin Americas. No one seemed to know his real
name, and the title of General had come to him from his last place.

The General was delighted at the turn of events, agreed to be McTavish's
second, and promised to get him through the affair with a whole skin and
no loss of honour.

As the challenged party McTavish had choice of weapons, which was the
crux of the situation, as the General pointed out.

Among the Killemalivo aristocracy the favourite weapons were the
duelling pistol and the "florette," or rapier. The "pelado," or lower
orders, preferred the "lingua de vaca," which means literally "cow's
tongue," a nasty-looking knife of no mean proportions.

As O'Flynnone explained, the duel would have to be fought with "killing
weapons"; nothing else would satisfy the bloodthirsty editor. Meanwhile
he would think on the matter, and he advised McTavish to do likewise.

The following were the most unpleasant days of his life, as McTavish
confessed afterwards. He was not a "conscientious objector," but he had
no pressing wish to exterminate his opponent, as that would have
necessitated a sudden and forcible exile from the land of his adoption;
still less did he fancy an early demise in the interests of his paper.

Meanwhile the General visited the rival editor's seconds and arranged
for a meeting in his own rooms to discuss final conditions.

O'Flynnone's rooms contained, among other things, a collection of
curious and ancient weapons. The walls were decorated with all sorts and
conditions of strange and barbarous instruments of slaughter; Zulu
assegais, Afghan knives and Burmese swords hung in savage array.

The meeting took place on the following Sunday afternoon. The officers
greeted the General agreeably enough, but saluted McTavish with the
stiffness that the occasion called for.

"Well, Senores," commenced the General, after depositing his visitors in
the most comfortable chairs, "to business. Mr. McTavish, as you will
admit, has the choice of weapons."

The officers nodded assent.

"This gentleman," continued O'Flynnone, "comes of that most noble and
warlike race--the Scotch. Fiercest of fighters, although they do not
sometimes look it, the warriors of Scotland alone among all nations
withstood the ravages of the conquering English. I feel sorry, very
sorry for the 'caballero' whom you have the honour to represent."

The pause which followed was most impressive. The General's air was
suggestive of dire things, as with dramatic suddenness he produced from
beneath the sideboard two enormous double-edged battle-axes, which
careful polishing had made to shine as new.

"These," said he, "are the weapons which Mr. McTavish has
chosen--weapons of men, such as they use in his own country," he
continued, brandishing one of them savagely. "And the fight will be on
barebacked horses, for such is the custom of the Scotch."

The duel did not occur.

* * * * *


I met the mercurial Gosling at the club a few days ago. As I hadn't seen
him for some time I asked if he had been on a holiday. "Yes," he said,
"down at Shinglestrand. Golfing? No--yes. I did play one game, the first
since the War, and rather a remarkable game it was. I'm a member of the
golf-club there, and was down at the clubhouse one morning looking at
the papers when a fat middle-aged man, about my age, asked me if I cared
for a game. I didn't, but in a spirit of self-sacrifice said that I
should be very glad. 'I think I ought to tell you,' he went on, 'that I
don't care about playing with a 18-handicap man, and that I always like
to have a sovereign on the match.' Now I never was much of a player--too
erratic, I suppose. My handicap has gone up from 12 to 18, and the last
time I played it was about 24. But, exasperated by his swank, I suddenly
found myself saying, 'My handicap is 12.' 'Very well,' replied the fat
man, 'I'll give you 4 strokes.' We went out to the first tee, and after
he had made a moderate shot I hit the drive of my life. My second landed
on the green and I ran down a long putt--this for a 4-bogey hole. I'm
not going to bore you with details. I won the second and third holes,
and then the fat man went to pieces. I never wanted any of my strokes
and downed him by 5 and 3. As we re-entered the club-house my partner,
who had become strangely silent, walked up to the board which gives the
list of handicaps and looked at them. There was my name with 18 opposite
it. 'I thought you said your handicap was 12,' he observed. 'Well,' I
answered, 'it wasn't more than that this morning.' The fat man was very
angry. He said he would report me to the committee, and he did. But the
secretary (who happens to be my brother) played up nobly. He
communicated with the secretary of the fat man's club, whom he happened
to know, and, having found out that the fat man's handicap was not 6 but
12, he wrote to him to say that in view of the fact that 'the lies had
been equally bad on both sides' the committee did not propose to take
any action. The fat man got no change out of my brother and I kept my

* * * * *

The Globe Trotters.

"Mr. and Mrs. ----, of Knysna, are on a
visit to Knysna."--_South African Paper._

* * * * *


* * * * *


There's an angel in our ward as keeps a-flittin' to and fro
With fifty eyes upon 'er wherever she may go;
She's as pretty as a picture and as bright as mercury,
And she wears the cap and apron of a V.A.D.

The Matron she is gracious and the Sister she is kind,
But they wasn't born just yesterday and lets you know their mind;
The M.O. and the Padre is as thoughtful as can be,
But they ain't so good to look at as our V.A.D.

She's a honourable miss because 'er father is a dook,
But, Lord, you'd never guess it and it ain't no good to look
For 'er portrait in the illustrated papers, for you see
She ain't an advertiser, not _our_ V.A.D.

Not like them that wash a tea-cup in an orficer's canteen
And then "Engaged in War Work" in the weekly Press is seen;
She's on the trot from morn to night and busy as a bee,
And there's 'eaps of wounded Tommies bless that V.A.D.

She's the lightest 'and at dressin's and she polishes the floor,
She feeds Bill Smith who'll never never use 'is 'ands no more;
And we're all of us supporters of the harristocracy
'Cos our weary days are lightened by that V.A.D.

And when the War is over, some knight or belted earl,
What's survived from killin' Germans, will take 'er for 'is girl;
They'll go and see the pictures and then 'ave shrimps and tea;
'E's a lucky man as gets 'er--and don't I wish 'twas me!

* * * * *


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

In _No Man's Land_ (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) is revealed a breadth of
vision which may astonish some of us who have been inclined to regard
SAPPER as merely a talented story-teller. Among the writers on the War I
place him first, for the simple reason that I like him best; and I am
not at all sure that I should like him any better if he cured himself of
his cardinal fault. With his tongue in his cheek he dashes away from his
story to give us either a long or short digression; no more confirmed
digressionist ever put pen to paper, and the wonderful thing is that
these wanton excursions are worth following. True he often apologises
for them, but I do not think that we need take these apologies
seriously. This book is divided into four parts, "The Way to the Land,"
"The Land," "Seed Time," and "Harvest," and in "Seed Time," at any rate,
we have a series of chapters which require not only to be read but to be
thought over. But whether he is out for fun, as in "Bendigo Jones--His
Tree," or for pathos, as in "Morphia," he obtains his effects without
the smallest appearance of effort. And I reserve a special word of
praise for "My Lady of the Jasmine," and commend it to the notice of
those pessimists who hold that only the French and the Americans can
write a good short story. Thank the powers that be for SAPPER.

* * * * *

_The Loom of Youth_ (GRANT RICHARDS) is yet another school story, but
with a difference, the difference being, partly at least, that it is
written by one who has so lately ceased to belong himself to the life
described that his account must carry an authority altogether unusual.
Here, one feels, is that strange and so-soon-forgotten country revealed
for us from within, and by a native denizen. For this alone Mr. ALEC
WAUGH'S book merits the epithet remarkable; indeed, considered as the
work of "a lad of seventeen," its vitality, discretion and general
maturity of tone seem little short of amazing. Realism is the note of
it. The modern schoolboy, as Mr. WAUGH paints him, employs, for example,
a vocabulary whose frequency, and freedom may possibly startle the
parental reader. Apart from this one might call the book an indictment
of hero-worship, as heroism is understood in a society where (still!)
athletic eminence places its possessor above all laws. This in itself is
so old an educational problem that it is interesting to find it handled
afresh in a study of ultra-modern boyhood. The actual matter of the
tale, individual character in its reaction to system, is naturally
common to most school stories; but even here Mr. WAUGH has contrived to
give an ending both original and sincere. Prophecy is dangerous; but
from a writer who has proved so brilliantly that, for once, _jeunesse
peut_, one seems justified in hoping that enlarged experience will
result in work of the highest quality.

* * * * *

Quite a host of moral reflections, none of them very original, flock to
one's mind in considering by what devious ways our Italian allies came
to range themselves on the side of that freedom which they have always
loved as well and bravely as any of the rest of us. For instance--a very
stale reflection--one sees Germany overdoing her own cleverness and
under-rating that of her neighbours--this more especially in her
arrogant dominance of Italy's commerce; further, one notices the Hun's
Belgian brutalities costing him dear in a quarter least expected; and
again one realises Italy's decision as a thing mainly dependent, in
spite of all Germany's taking little ways, on a righteous hatred of
Austria--a consideration which brings one surprisingly near to gratitude
towards the big-bully Government of Vienna. Our southern ally's loyalty
to her beautiful "unredeemed" provinces, and her claim, which all
right-minded Englishmen (I include myself) most heartily endorse, to
dominate the historically Italian waters of the Adriatic, happily proved
too strong for a machine-made sympathy for Berlin based on nothing
better than a superficial resemblance between the histories of Piedmont
and Prussia, and a record of nominal alliance with powers whose respect
for paper treaties was always fairly apparent. All the same, in reading
Mr. W. KAY WALLACE'S essay in recent history, _Greater Italy_
(CONSTABLE), a volume which I cannot too strongly commend for its
admirable way of telling these and similar things, I am struck most of
all by the super-incumbent mass of Germanism that had to be burst
asunder before the true Italy broke free. The story of that liberation
is romance of an amazing order, for in it one sees the very soul of a
great and ancient people struggling to renewal of life. It is more than
good to have such an ally, it is an inspiration.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Allotment Tripper._ "THIS HERE NORTH SEA DON'T HALF WANT

* * * * *

If you wish to complete your knowledge of the working of our new armies
and learn something of the business of the A.S.C. you can do so without
being bored in _L. of C._ (CONSTABLE), by Captain JAMES AGATE. The
author is one of that bright band of Mancunians which _The Manchester
Guardian_ has attached to its august fringes. He writes of the business
in hand, the vagaries of stores and indents and mere men and brass hats,
on this and the other side of the Channel, all with a very light and
engaging pen, and then spreads himself on any old far-off thing that
interests him, such as the theatre, perhaps a little self-consciously
and with a pleasant air of swagger most forgivable and, indeed,
enjoyable. His chief preoccupation is with art and letters, it is clear;
but, turning from them to the handling of urgent things and difficult
men, he faces the business manfully. Of the men in particular he has
illuminating things to say, redounding to their credit and, by
implication, to his. To those who appreciate form in penwork this book
may be safely recommended.

* * * * *

The Welcome.

"Mr. F.H. ----, the newly co-opted member of the Hampstead Board
of Guardians, attended his first meeting of the Board on
Thursday, and lost his umbrella."--_Hampstead and Highgate

* * * * *


Petrograd, July 9.--Except for a few final conferences with the
members of the Russian Government, the work here of the Root
Commission virtually has been concluded."

_The Daily Gleaner (Jamaica)._

How headlines jump to conclusions! The Hon. ELIHU ROOT is, we feel
confident, anything but beet.

* * * * *

From a Parish Magazine:--

"BOY SCOUTS.--The troop held their annual sports on Saturday....
The burden of arrangements for all fell upon the Scoutmaster
(Rev. ----), and showed how great is the need for him to have
some capable assistants."

Still, was it quite tactful to say so?


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