Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 153, Aug. 22, 1917
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
AUGUST 22, 1917.
[Illustration: A POULTRY-FANCIER, HEARING THAT DEFENCES AT THE FRONT ARE
SOMETIMES DISGUISED AS HEN-HOUSES, DETERMINED TO REVERSE THE PROCESS.
BEING A BIT OF AN ARTIST HE DISGUISED HIS HEN-HOUSE BY GIVING IT A
WARLIKE APPEARANCE. THE ENEMY WAS STRICKEN WITH PANIC.]
* * * * *
Eighty-eight policemen were bitten by dogs in 1913, but only forty-four
in 1915, says _The Daily Mail_, and quotes a policeman as saying that
"dogs are not half so vicious as they used to be." The true explanation
is that policemen no longer taste as good as in the old rabbit-pie days.
Recent heavy rain and the absence of sunshine have, it is stated, caused
corn in Essex to sprout in the ear. This idea of portable allotments is
appealing very strongly to busy City men.
Feeling about the Stockholm Conference is changing a little, and several
people suggest that Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD might be sent as a reprisal.
Sixty-seven children were recently lost on one day at New Brighton. The
fact that they were all restored to their parents before nightfall
speaks well for the honesty of the general public.
The German authorities have further restricted the foods to be supplied
to dogs, and German scientists are now trying to grow dachshunds with a
"We have a Coal Controller, but where is the coal?" plaintively asks a
contemporary. There is no satisfying the jaundiced Press.
A well-dressed female baby a month old has been found under the seat of
a first-class compartment in a train on the Chertsey line. Several
mothers have written to congratulate her upon her courageous and
unconventional protest against the fifty per cent. increase in railway
A Glasgow woman has been fined a guinea for trying to enlist in the
Irish Guards. Only the Scottish Courts carry pride of race to these
It is announced that the recent increase in the price of bacon was
sanctioned by the FOOD CONTROLLER. The news has given great satisfaction
to law-abiding consumers, who bitterly resented the unauthorised
increases (upon which this is a further increase) that were made under
the old _regime_.
A dress made from banana skins is now being exhibited in London. It is,
we believe, a _neglige_ costume, the sort of thing one can slip on at
"If you had let the boy eat it, it would have punished him a great deal
more than I can," said the North London magistrate to a man who was
prosecuting a boy for stealing an unripe pear. It is a splendid tribute
to the humanity of our stipendiary magistrates that the heroic offer of
the boy to accept the greater punishment was promptly refused.
A workman at Kinlochleven, Argyllshire, found a live crab in a pocket of
sand at a depth of more than ten feet. On being taken to the
police-station and shown the "All Clear" notice the cautious crustacean
consented to go straight home.
At a flower-day sale at Grimsby one thousand pounds was paid by a local
shipowner for a blue periwinkle. In recognition of his generosity no
charge was made for the pin.
A Vienna telegram states that the Emperor KARL has handed the Grand
Cross of St. Stephen to the GERMAN CHANCELLOR. The latter quite rightly
protests that Herr BETHMANN-HOLLWEG is the real culprit.
From Scotland comes the news that an inmate of a workhouse has received
an income-tax form to fill in. This is considered to be but a foretaste
of the time when all income-tax papers will have to be addressed to the
* * * * *
In a Gloucester meadow, Lieutenant JAGGARD has picked a mushroom
weighing ten ounces and measuring twenty-seven inches in circumference.
Eyewitnesses describe the gallant officer's enveloping movement as a
really brilliant piece of single-handed work.
The Prussian Military Press Bureau, among its other fantasies, has
discovered with horror that Calais has been leased to England for
ninety-nine years. Our own information is that the situation is really
worse than that, the lease being granted alternatively for ninety-nine
years "or the duration of the War."
An official statement points out that the work of the National Service
Department is continuing without interruption pending the appointment of
a new Director-General. It appears that the members of the staff have
expressed a desire to die in harness.
* * * * *
IDYLLS OF THE KING OF PRUSSIA.
So spake Sir GERARD (U.S.A.) and ceased.
Then answered WILLIAM, talking through his hat:
"When first the heathen rose against our realm,
That haunt of peace where all day long occurred
The cooing of innumerable doves,
I hailed my knighthood where I sat in hall
At high Potsdam the Palace, and they came;
And all the rafters rang with rousing _Hochs_.
"So to my feet they drew and kissed my boots
And laid their maily fists in mine and sware
To reverence their Kaiser as their God
And _vice versa_; to uphold the Faith
Approved by me as Champion of the Church;
To ride abroad redressing Belgium's wrongs;
To honour treaties like a virgin's troth;
To serve as model in the nations' eyes
Of strength with sweetness wed; to hack their way
Without superfluous violence; to spare
The best cathedrals lest my heart should bleed,
Nor butcher babes and women, or at least
No more than needful--in a word, behave
Like Prussian officers, the flower of men.
"I bade them take ensample from their Lord
Of perfect manners, wearing on their helms
The bouquet of a blameless Junkerhood,
And be a law of culture to themselves,
Though other laws, not made in Germany,
Should perish, being scrapped. For so I deemed
That this our Order of the Table Round
Should mould its Christian pattern on the spheres,
Itself unchanged amid a world new-made,
And men should say, in that fair after-time,
'The old Order sticketh, yielding place to none.'"
So be. Whereat that other held his peace,
Seeming, for courtesy, to yield assent.
But, as within the lists at Camelot
Some temporary knight mislays his seat
And falls, and, falling, lets his morion loose,
And lights upon his head, and all the spot
Swells like a pumpkin, and he hides the bulge
Beneath his gauntlet lest it cause remark
And curious comment--so behind his hand
Sir GERARD's cheek, that had his tongue inside,
Swelled like a pumpkin....
* * * * *
THE STOCKING OF PRIVATE PARKS.
As I came out on to the convalescents' verandah my brother James looked
up from his paper.
"Did I ever tell you about a certain Private Parks?" he asked. "He was
with me in Flanders in the early days. He came out with a draft and
lasted about two months. Rather a curious type. Very superstitious. If a
shell narrowly missed him he must have a small piece to put in his
pocket. If while standing on a duck-board he happened to be immune while
his pals were being knocked out he would carry it about with him all day
if possible. On one occasion he was very nearly shot for
insubordination, because he would go out into No-man's-land after a
flower which he thought would help him.
"Not that his superstition was purely selfish. Once, when he had had two
particularly close shaves during the day, he insisted upon sleeping
outside the barn where we were billeted. 'I'm absolutely certain to have
a third close shave,' he said, 'and if I'm in the billet someone will
"The Corporal let him lie down in the farmyard, but a little later he
crept up the road about fifty yards to make things more certain."
"And I suppose the barn was hit and he escaped?" I put in, feeling that
I had heard this story before.
"You don't know Private Parks," said James. "About two o'clock in the
morning a shell fell on the road not ten yards from him. Bits of it must
have made a pattern all round him, but not one hit him, and when he'd
picked himself out of the ditch he went back to the billet, knowing all
was then safe.
"Then one day when we were in the front line there came up with the mail
a parcel for Private Parks. I was near when he opened it. When he saw
the contents he gave a sigh and a curious resigned expression came over
"'What's she sent you?' I asked.
"'It's from my old aunt, Sir,' he said. 'It's a stocking.' 'Only one?'
'Yes,' he said with great solemnity. 'The other one's been pinched?' I
asked. 'No, Sir. The parcel's not been opened. It simply means that I
shall lose a leg to-day,' he added. He wasn't panicked at all. But, as
to reassuring him, I might as well have argued with a tank.
"We'd had a very quiet time, but that evening the Hun put over a pretty
stiff bombardment. We stood to, but we all thought it was only a little
extra evening hate, except Private Parks. He kept saying, 'They're
coming across,' till we told him not to get the wind up. But he hadn't
got the wind up. Only he knew they were coming.
"And they did come. Just after it was dark they made a biggish raid and
got into our front trench a little to our right. We started bombing
inwards, but the slope of the ground was awkward, and they seemed to be
having the best of the fun.
"Then Parks jumped up on to the parapet with a pail of bombs and ran
along. He fairly got among them, and by the time he was hit in the right
leg they were mostly casualties or prisoners. I saw him on the stretcher
going back. He was in some pain, but he smiled, and said, 'One stocking
will be enough now, Sir.'"
"Very extraordinary," I began, but James stopped me.
"I haven't finished," he said. "When about three months later I went
down to Southmouth Convalescent Camp, almost the first man I saw was
Private Parks. He was still on crutches, but _he had two legs_. I
greeted him, and then I couldn't resist saying, 'What about the
"'I'll tell you, Sir,' he said. 'For a week after I was wounded it was a
toss up whether they took the leg off or not. Then a parcel arrived for
me. It was the other stocking. My aunt had discovered that she had left
it out. That evening the surgeon decided that they need not amputate. I
knew they wouldn't, of course, as soon as I received the parcel.'"
James had really finished this time, and after a moment's reflection I
said, "I wonder if that's true."
"Do you flatter me?" he asked.
"I don't know about that. Not with intent," I said, "though it would
really be more to your credit if you'd made it up."
"As a matter of fact," said James, "I did make it up. It was suggested
to me by the heading to a letter in this paper--'The Stocking of Private
Parks,' though that appears to be upon quite a different subject.
Something agricultural, I gather."
* * * * *
"By a comparison of the wet and dry bulb registrations the dew
point and the humility of the atmosphere is determined."
In the first week of August, at any rate, the atmosphere had no reason
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE INTRUDERS.
AMERICAN EAGLE (_to German Peace Doves_). "GO AWAY; I'M BUSY."]
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Chatty Waiter (to visitor growing stouter every day_).
"I'M SURE, SIR YOUR STAY HERE IS DOING YOU GOOD. WHY, YOU'RE TWICE THE
GENTLEMAN YOU WERE WHEN YOU CAME."]
* * * * *
A LETTER FROM NEW YORK.
Dear ----,--We got here safely, with the usual submarine scares _en
route_, but apparently no real danger. Vessels going westward from
England are not much the U-boats' concern, nor are the U's, I guess,
particularly keen on wasting torpedoes on passenger ships. What they
want to sink is the goods.
Anyway, we got here safely. It is all very wonderful and novel, and the
interest in the War is unmistakable; but what I want to tell you about
is an experience that I have had in the house of one of the leading
picture collectors here--and the art treasures of America are gradually
but surely becoming terrific. If some measure is not passed to prevent
export, England will soon have nothing left, except in the public
galleries. Of course, for a while, America can't be so rich as if she
had not come into the War, but she will be richer than we can ever be
for a good many years, while the steel people who make the implements of
destruction at Bethlehem will be richest of all. What my man makes I
cannot say, but he is a king of sorts, even if not actually a Bethlehem
boss, and the Medici are not in it! I have introductions to all the most
famous collectors, but, hearing of his splendours, I went to him first.
Well, I sent on my credentials, and was invited to call and inspect the
Plutocrat's walls. You never saw anything like them! And he refers to
his collection only as a "modest nucleus." He has agents all over the
world to discover when the possessors of certain unique works are
nearing the rocks. Then he offers to buy. As his wealth is unlimited,
and sooner or later all the nobility and gentry of England, France,
Italy and Russia will be in Queer Street, his collection cannot but grow
and become more and more amazing. He even had the cheek to send the
Trustees of the National Gallery a blank cheque asking them to fill it
up as they wished whenever they were ready to part with TITIAN'S
"Bacchus and Ariadne." Though he calls himself a patriot, directly the
War is done he will make overtures to Germany. There is a Vermeer in
Berlin on which he has set his heart, and another in Dresden.
I could fill reams in telling you what he has. But I confine myself to
one picture only, which he keeps in a room by itself. I am not so
foolish as to pretend to _know_ anything, but to my eyes this picture
was nothing whatever but the Louvre's "Monna Lisa."
That being of course impossible, "What a wonderful copy!" I said.
"You may indeed say so," replied my host.
I looked at it more closely, even applying a pocket magnifying-glass.
"There was not a contemporary duplicate?" I inquired. "Could LEONARDO
have painted two?"
The Chowder King, or whatever he is called, smiled inscrutably. "No
doubt he _could_," he said. "But perhaps," he continued, "you have not
seen the Louvre picture since it was put back after the theft?"
"Not to examine it closely," I replied.
He laughed softly and led the way to the door.
Now what I want to know is, is it possible that--?
This terrible thought has been haunting me day and night.
I have asked many Americans to tell me about this collector and his
methods, but I can get no exact information. But it seems to be agreed
that he would stick at nothing to get a coveted work beneath his roof.
If I have many more such shocks as he gave me I shall give up paint
altogether and specialise in photography or the three-colour process.
Anyway, it is God's own country, and I will tell you my further
adventures as I have them. Tomorrow I am to attend a reception at the
White House to hear ELLA WHEELER WILCOX recite an Ode at the President.
Yours, X. Y. Z.
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Mr. Green_. "IT DOESN'T SEEM TO ME TO LOOK QUITE RIGHT."
_Artist (engaged solely on account of shortage of labour)._ "WELL, SIR,
THE PANEL WAS A BIT ON THE LONG SIDE, BUT I THOUGHT I'D SPUN THE
LETTERING OUT VERY NICE."]
* * * * *
THE MUD LARKS.
SCENE.--_A shell-pitted plain and a cavalry regiment under canvas
thereon. It is not yet "Lights out," and on the right hand the
semi-transparent tents and bivouacs glow like giant Chinese lanterns
inhabited by shadow figures. From an Officers' mess tent comes the
tinkle of a gramophone, rendering classics from "Keep Smiling." In a
bivouac an opposition mouth-organ saws at "The Rosary." On the left hand
is a dark mass of horses, picketed in parallel lines. They lounge, hips
drooping, heads low, in a pleasant after-dinner doze. The Guard lolls
against a post, lantern at his feet, droning a fitful accompaniment to
the distant mouth-organ. "The hours I spent wiv thee, dear 'eart,
are-Stan' still, Ginger--like a string of pearls ter me-ee ... Grrr,
Nellie, stop kickin'!" The range of desolate hills in the background is
flickering with gun-flashes and grumbling with drum-fire--the Bosch
A bay horse (shifting his weight from one leg to the other)._
Somebody's catching it in the neck to-night.
_A chestnut_. Yep. Now if this was 1914, with that racket loose, we'd be
_A gunpack horse_. Why?
_Chestnut_. Wind up, sonny. Why, in 1914 our saddles grew into our backs
like the ivy and the oak. In 1914--
_A black horse_. Oh, dry up about 1914, old soldier; tell us about the
Battle of Hastings and how you came to let WILLIAM'S own Mounted
Blunderbusses run all over you.
_A bay horse_. Yes, and how you gave the field ten stone and a beating
in the retreat to Corunna. What are your personal recollections of
_Chestnut_. You blinkin' conscripts, you!
_Black._ Shiss! no bad language, Rufus--ladies present.
_Chestnut_. Ladies, huh. Behave nice and ladylike when they catch sight
of the nosebags, don't they?
_A skewbald mare_. Well, we gotta stand up for our rights.
_Chestnut_. S'truth you do, tooth and hoof. What were you in civil life,
Baby? A Suffragette?
_Skewbald_. No, I wasn't, so there.
_Bay_. No, she was a footlights favourite; wore her mane in plaits and a
star-spangled bearing-rein and surcingle to improve her fig-u-are; did
pretty parlour tricks to the strains of the banjo and psaltery.
_N'est-ce pas, cherie?_
_Skewbald_. Well, what if I did? There's scores of circus-gals is
puffect lydies. I don't require none of your familiarity any'ow, Mister.
_Bay_. Beg pardon. Excuse my bluff soldierly ways; but nevertheless take
your nose out of my hay-net, please.
_A Canadian dun_. Gee! quit weavin' about like that, Tubby. Can't you
let a guy get some sleep. I'll hand you a cold rebuff in the ribs in a
minute. Wazzer matter with you, anyhow?
_Tubby_. Had a bad dream.
_Black_. Don't wonder, the way you over-eat yourself.
_Bay_. Ever know a Quartermaster's horse that didn't? He's the only one
that gets the chance.
_Skewbald_. And the Officers' chargers.
_Voice from over the way_. Well, we need it, don't we? We do all the
_Bay_. Hearken even unto the Honourable Montmorency. Hello, Monty there!
Never mind about the bally head-work, but next time you're out
troop-leading try to steer a course somewhat approaching the straight.
You had the line opening and shutting like a concertina this morning.
_An iron-grey_. Begob, and that's the holy truth! I thought my ribs was
goin' ivery minnut, an' me man was cursin' undher his breath the way
you'd hear him a mile away. Ye've no more idea of a straight line, Monty
avic, than a crab wid dhrink taken.
_Monty_. Sorry, but the flies were giving me gyp.
_Canadian dun_. Flies? Say, but you greenhorns make me smile. Why, out
West we got flies that--
_Iron-grey_. Och sure we've heard all about thim. 'Tis as big as
bull-dogs they are; ivery time they bite you you lose a limb. Many a
time the traveller has observed thim flyin' away wid a foal in their
jaws, the rapparees! F' all that I do be remarkin' that whin one of the
effete European variety is afther ticklin' you in the short hairs you
step very free an' flippant, Johnny acushla.
_A brown horse_. Say, Monty, old top, any news? You've got a pal at
G.H.Q., haven't you?
_Monty_. Oh, yes, my young brother. He's got a job on HAIG'S personal
Staff now, wears a red brow-band and all that--ahem! Of course he tells
me a thing or two when we meet, but in the strictest confidence, you
_Brown_. Quite; but did he say anything about the end of the War?
_Monty_. Well, not precisely, that is not exactly, excepting that he
says that it's pretty certain now that it--er--well, that it will end.
_Brown_. That's good news. Thanks, Monty.
_Monty_. Not a bit, old thing. Don't mention it.
_Iron-grey_. 'Tis a great comfort to us to know that the War will ind,
if not in our day, annyway some time.
_Canadian dun_. You bet. Gee, I wish it was all over an' I was home in
the foothills with the brown wool and pink prairie roses underfoot and
the Chinook layin' my mane over.
_Iron-grey_. Faith, but the County Cork would suit me completely; a
roomy loose-box wid straw litter an' a leak-proof roof.
_Tubby_. Yes, with full meals coming regularly.
_A bay mare_. I've got a two-year-old in Devon I'd like to see again.
_Monty_. I've no quarrel with Leicestershire myself.
_Gunpack horse_. Garn! Wot abaht good old London?
_Chestnut_. Steady, Alf, what are you grousing about? You never had a
full meal in your life until Lord DERBY pulled you out of that coster
barrow and pushed you into the Army.
_Tubby_. A full meal in the Army--help!
_Brown_. Listen to our living skeleton. Do you chaps remember that
afternoon he had to himself in an oat-field up Plug Street way? When the
grooms found him he was lying on his back, legs in the air, blown up
like a poisoned pup. "Blimy," says one lad to t'other, "'ere's one of
our observation bladders the 'Un 'as brought down."
_Chestnut_. I heard the Officer boy telling the Troop Sergeant that he'd
buy a hay-stack some day and try to burst you, Tubby. The Sergeant bet
him a month's pay it couldn't be done.
_Tubby_. Just because I've got a healthy appetite--
_Brown_. Healthy appetites aren't being worn this season, Sir--bad form.
How are the politicians' park hacks to be kept sleek if the troop-horse
don't tighten his girth a bit? Be patriotic, old dear; eat less oats.
_Chestnut_. That Mess gramophone must be red-hot by now. It's been
running continuous since First Post. I suppose somebody's mamma has sent
him a bottle of ginger-pop, and they're seeing life while the bubbles
_Monty_. Yes, and I suppose my young gentleman will be parading
to-morrow morning with a _camouflage_ tunic over his pyjamas, looking to
me to pull him through squadron drill.
_Iron-grey_. God save us, thin!
_A Mexican roan. Buenas noches!_
_Gunpack horse_. Hish! Orderly Officer. 'E's in the Fourth Troop lines
nah; you can 'ear 'im cursin' as he trips over the heel shackles.
_Monty_. Hush, you fellows. Orderly Officer. _Bong swar_.
* * * * *
_Once more heads and hips droop. They pose in attitudes of sleep like a
dormitory of small boys on the approach of a prefect. The line Guard
comes to life, seizes his lantern and commences to march up and down as
if salvation depended on his getting in so many laps to the hour. From
the guard-tent a trumpet wails, "Lights out."_
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Venus_. "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE ARMY?"
_Mars_. "OH, ABOUT THREE CHEQUE-BOOKS."]
* * * * *
HYMN FOR HIGH PLACES.
In darkened days of strife and fear,
When far from home and hold,
I do essay my soul to cheer
As did wise men of old;
When folk do go in doleful guise
And are for life afraid,
I to the hills will lift mine eyes
From whence doth come mine aid.
I shall my soul a temple make
Where hills stand up on high;
Thither my sadness shall I take
And comfort there descry;
For every good and noble mount
This message doth extend--
That evil men must render count
And evil days must end.
For, sooth, it is a kingly sight
To see God's mountain tall
That vanquisheth each lesser height
As great hearts vanquish small;
Stand up, stand up, ye holy hills,
As saints and seraphs do,
That ye may bear these present ills
And lead men safely through.
Let high and low repair and go
To where great hills endure;
Let strong and weak be there to seek
Their comfort and their cure;
And for all hills in fair array
Now thanks and blessings give,
And, bearing healthful hearts away,
Home go and stoutly live.
* * * * *
"Classical Master for endurance of war wanted."--_Scotsman_.
Humane letters are very sustaining.
* * * * *
"The council of the Chippewa tribe of North American Indians, by
a two to one majority, have accorded the suffrage to their
As SHAKSPEARE was on the point of saying, "Suffrage is the badge of all
* * * * *
["The Town Clerk of Colwyn Bay informs us that the fish caught
there the other day by two youths was a dogfish and not a shark,
as reported, and that its size was much
O gallant youths of Colwyn Bay,
With what unmitigated rapture
Did I peruse but yesterday
The story of your famous capture!
Alone ye did it, or at least
'Twas next to being single-handed;
No other helped to catch the beast,
No strength but yours the monster landed.
But now comes in the cold Town Clerk,
Who has meticulously stated
It was a dogfish--not a shark--
In size much overestimated.
So ye intrepid striplings, who
Made all your school-fellows feel humble,
Are mulcted of your honours due
By an officious Cambrian Bumble.
But, though your generous hearts be sore,
Take comfort: all the true patricians
Of intellect have been at war
With frigid, rigid statisticians.
I too have suffered from the rule
Of sceptics, icily pedantic,
Who blighted, ere I went to school,
My dreams when they were most romantic.
For once, when swinging on a gate,
With hands that doubtless daubed it jammily,
I saw a lion, sure as fate,
And fled indoors to tell the family.
But when I told them, all agog,
My aunt, a lean and acid spinster,
Snapped out "the doctor's yellow dog";
And nothing I could say convinced her.
"'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour--"
Since HOMER, HANNIBAL or STRONGBOW,
Men of outstanding mental power
Are charged with drawing of the long bow.
Great travellers--not your GRANTS or SPEKES--
Who lived with dwarfs, or tamed gorillas,
Or scaled imaginary peaks
Upon the backs of pink chinchillas,
Or in some languorous lagoon
Bestrode the awe-inspiring turtle,
Or in the Mountains of the Moon
Saw rocs athwart the zenith hurtle--
All, all have had their fame aspersed
By rude Town Clerks or senior wranglers;
But those who have been treated worst
Are the heroic tribe of anglers.
* * * * *
THE NEW GOLF.
"Let's go and play the new golf," said James.
Now as I understand it there are four kinds of golf. First, the ordinary
golf, as played by all people who are not quite right in their heads;
second, the ideal golf, to be played by me (but not till I get to
heaven) on a bowling-green with a croquet-mallet, the holes being
sixty-six feet apart and both cutting-in and going-through strictly
prohibited; third, the absurd golf, as played by James in pre-war days
on his private nine-hole course; and fourth, it seemed, the new golf,
such as James would be liable to create during a recovery from
James is one of those people who, possessing what _Country Life_ would
call one of the lesser country-houses of England, has an indeterminate
bit of ground beyond the garden, called, according to choice of costume,
"the rock-garden," "the home-farm," "the grouse moor," or "no rubbish
may be shot here." James calls his own particular nettle-bed (or slag
heap) "the golf-course."
When anyone went to stay with James, he was adjured to
understand." And when James went--far more willingly--to stay opposite
the Germans, until an interesting visit was short-circuited by
shell-shock, he showed himself so wonderfully at home in dug-outs and
shell-holes and mine-craters, so completely undisturbed by the weariful
lack of any green on the course over which his battalion was playing,
that he rose from Second-Lieutenant to Lieutenant with almost unheard-of
celerity in the space of two years and nine months. And now the absurd
figure-of-eight nine-hole course, the third hole of which was also the
seventh, and the first the ninth, had been complicated into a war
kitchen-garden, and James, bored with ordinary difficulties and
discomforts, had evolved the new golf.
"Come on," said he, burning with the zeal of a martyr-burner, "I'll show
you the ground."
"Can't I see it by standing up in the hammock?" I protested.
We approached the dark demesne, which was now pretty decently clothed
with potatoes, artichokes, rhubarb, raspberry-canes, marrows and even
cucumber-frames. In the midst was a large open cask which filled itself
by a pipe from a former six-inch water-hazard. Here James began to
propound the mysteries.
"The game," he said, "is a mixture of the old golf, tiddleywinks, ludo
and the race game."
"Not spillikins?" I protested. "A game I rather fancy myself at."
"For your information, please," continued James in his kindliest
military manner, "I may remark that a mashie is the club mostly
used--except when it is necessary to keep low between, say, two clumps
"So as not to rouse the wireworms," I nodded. "Yes--go on."
"The conditions of the game are governed by the necessity of paying due
respect to the vegetable hazards. There is only one hole on the course."
"If you remember," I said, "I told you long ago that that was all there
was room for, but you would persist in making it nine."
"The hole," said James, "is the water-butt. You have to get into that.
By the way, your balls are floaters, I hope?"
"Only six of 'em," I said. "However, I dare say you won't mind if I grub
up a few potatoes to carry on with afterwards. So we hole out in the
water-butt? That's the tiddleywinks part of it, I suppose? Go on."
"There are various penalties," he explained. "If you get among the
potatoes, you add ten to your strokes and start again at the tee. If you
are bunkered in the raspberries, you lift out--"
"Step back three paces out of sight and pick one over your left
shoulder?" I inquired hopefully. "I shall often find myself in the
"And if," concluded James sternly, "you are so clumsy as not to avoid
"Say no more," I begged. "I understand. I shall ask for the time-table,
shake hands, thank you for a most delightful visit, and express my
regrets that any little _contretemps_ should have arisen to hasten my
"--you add fifty to your strokes. Five for the marrows and the
rhubarb--in each case returning to the tee."
"And the artichokes," I asked, surveying a thick forest of them guarding
the right flank of the water-butt--"what is their market value?"
"No penalty," said James grimly, "except staying there till you get
"One last piece of information. What is bogey for this hole?"
"About two hundred, I think," said James; "but no doubt you'll lower
"I don't know," I replied. "That's about my usual at the old game." And
therewith I made my tee, drove and went into the garden to cut a cabbage
* * * * *
After hoeing the vegetables with a mashie for a hot two hours, I fought
my way out of the rhubarb on all fours, with a golf-ball between my
teeth, and then strode doggedly back to the tee and drove into the
virgin artichoke forest. While I toyed there with the sub-soil, the
unwearied James went to earth among the marrows. Hastily I heeled my
ball into the ground (to be retrieved by James months later and
announced as a curious scientific result of growing artichokes on a golf
course), uttered a cry of triumph, and strolled out into the open.
"A hundred and seventy-nine. My game, I think," I announced.
James extricated himself and walked with me to the butt.
"Hullo!" I said, "it's sunk. Thought it was a floater. It ought to be
for a half-crown ball."
"You mustn't lose it," said James suspiciously. "Well let off the water
and get it out."
"No, no," I protested. "It's not one that I really valued. Oh, very
well," I added indifferently, feeling in my pocket for a non-floater.
James stooped to open the tap, and I popped the new ball in
It floated. And the next instant James stood up and saw it.
After that of course there was nothing left to do but to ask for the
time-table, shake hands, thank James for a most delightful visit, and
express my regrets that any little _contretemps...._
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Major_. "WHY HAVE YOU PUT THAT CLOTH OVER HIS HEAD?"
_Private Mike O'Flanagan (harassed by restive horse)_. "SO AS HE WON'T
KNOW HE'S BEING GROOMED, SORR."]
* * * * *
"----'s new Pattern Books of
will be sent on loan free of charge.
"N.B.-- ----'s use adhesive paste, which has been expressly
prepared to conform with the Food Controller's regulations."
_Advt. in Evening Paper_.
So it is no use waylaying the paper-hanger on the chance of getting a
* * * * *
ANSWER TO CORRESPONDENT.
_"Anti-Reprisal."_--If you are out walking, and enemy aeroplanes are
dropping bombs on your side of the street, it is advisable to cross over
to the other side. Never shake your umbrella at the enemy 'planes. A
taxi-driver might think you were signalling to him.
* * * * *
Some of our street urchins are quite bucking up in their education. The
other day a small boy called out to a Frenchman, "Pourquoi n'etes-vous
pas en bleu? _Slackeur!_"
* * * * *
"Unique Old-World Cottage (big), about 30 min. door to West End,
yet rural seclusion; frequent express trains, last 12 p.m.;
nothing like it so close town; suit antique lover."
This should make a beautiful retreat for an elderly _Lothario's_
* * * * *
"The Basement Tea Room is near the Boot Dept., where Afternoon
Teas at moderate prices are obtainable."--_Advt. in Evening
Very _a propos--des bottes_.
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Governess_. "WELL, MOLLIE, WHAT ARE LITTLE GIRLS MADE
_Mollie_. "'SUGAR AND SPICE AND ALL THAT'S NICE.'"
_Governess_. "AND WHAT ARE LITTLE BOYS MADE OF?"
_Mollie_. "'SNIPS AND SNAILS AND PUPPY DOGS' TAILS.' I TOLD BOBBIE THAT
YESTERDAY, AND HE COULD _HARDLY_ BELIEVE IT."]
* * * * *
THE BOMBER GIPSY.
Come, let me tell the oft-told tale again
Of that strange Tyneside grenadier we had,
Whom none could quell or decently constrain,
For he was turbulent and sometimes bad,
Yet, stout of heart, he dearly loved to fight,
And spoke his fellows on a gusty night
In some high barn, where, huddled in the straw,
They watched the cheap wicks gutter on the shelf,
How he was irked with discipline and law,
And would fare forth to battle by himself.
This said, he left them and returned no more;
But whispers passed from Vimy to Verdun,
Where'er the fields ran thickliest with gore,
Of some stray bomber that belonged to none,
But none more fierce or flung a fairer bomb,
Who ran unscathed the gamut of the Somme
And followed Freyberg up the Beaucourt mile
With uncouth cries and streaming muddy hair;
But after, when they sought his name and style
And would have honoured him--he was not there.
But most he loved to lie upon Lorette
And, couched on cornflowers, gaze across the lines
At Vimy's heights--we had not Vimy yet--
Pale Souchez's bones and Lens among the mines,
The tall pit-towers and dusky heaps of slag,
Until, like eagles on the mountain-crag
By strangers stirred, with hoarse indignant shrieks
Gunners emerged from some deep-delved lair
To chase the intruder from their sacred peaks
And cast him down to Ablain St. Nazaire.
And rumour said he roamed the rearward ways
In quiet seasons when no battle brewed;
The transport, homing through the evening haze,
Had seen and carried him, and given him food;
And he would leave them at Bethune canteen
Or some hot drinking-house at Noeux-les-Mines,
Where he would sit with wine and eggs and bread
Till the swart minions of the A.P.M.
Stole in and called for him, but found him fled
Out at the back. He was too much for them.
Too much. And surely thou shalt e'er be so;
No hungry discipline shall starve thy soul;
Shalt freely foot it where the poppies blow,
Shalt fight unfettered when the cannon roll,
And haply, Wanderer, when the hosts go home,
Thou only still in Aveluy shalt roam,
Haunting the crumbled windmill at Gavrelle
And fling thy bombs across the silent lea,
Drink with shy peasants at St. Catherine's Well
And in the dusk go home with them to tea.
A. P. H.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE "KNIGHTLY MANNER."
BELGIUM. "AS LONG AS THERE IS MOTION IN MY BODY, AND LIFE TO GIVE ME
WORDS, I'LL CRY FOR JUSTICE!"
KAISER. "JUSTICE SHALL NEVER HEAR YOU. I AM JUSTICE!"
_BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER, Valentinian,_ III. 1.
("There is no longer any international law."--_The KAISER to Mr.
* * * * *
ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.
_Monday, August 13th_.--In a certain political club there used, before
the War, to be a popular pick-me-up compounded of a little whisky, a
little Angostura and a good deal of soda-water, and known after its
inventor as "a Henderson." In one respect the speech explaining his
resignation which the right hon. Member for Barnard Castle delivered
this afternoon resembled this eponymous beverage, for it was decidedly
effervescent. But the other ingredients were wrongly apportioned--too
much of the bitters and not enough of the mellowing spirit.
His initial mistake was not realising in time that, as Mr. ASQUITH put
it, a man cannot permanently divide himself into watertight
compartments. As member of the War Cabinet and Secretary of the Labour
Party, he seems to have resembled one of those twin salad bottles from
which oil and vinegar can be dispensed alternately but not together. The
attempt to combine the two functions could only end, as it began, in a
[Illustration: THE DOUBLE FIASCO.
It is fortunate for the Ministry of Munitions that it possesses a
spokesman so bland and imperturbable as Sir WORTHINGTON EVANS. In
successive answers he informed the House that near Birmingham the
Ministry was evicting 130 allotment holders on the eve of their harvest,
in order to build a new factory; and that simultaneously it was
abandoning in the West of England the site of another gigantic factory,
on which a cool million had already been spent. Coming from almost any
other Minister this amazing example of how not to do it would have
raised a storm of supplemental inquiries, if not a motion for the
adjournment. But the House accepted Sir WORTHINGTON'S calm and
matter-of-fact narration as quietly as if it were the last word in
efficiency and coordination.
I was a little premature last week in assuming that Mr. MACCALLUM SCOTT
had been silenced by his appointment as Mr. CHURCHILL'S private
secretary. A long question to the Board of Trade, on the subject of
horse-hides, followed by a series of supplementaries delivered with his
customary emphasis, showed that he is not yet resigned to his muzzle. He
is not, however, entirely oblivious of the customary etiquette in this
matter, for he recited his catechism from the third bench behind
Ministers, and only when it was over descended to the second bench,
where private secretaries most do congregate.
_Tuesday, August 14th_.-Mr. KING has a legitimate grievance against the
Government spokesmen. Two Nationalist Members having been allowed to go
to the United States to collect funds for their party, he asked
yesterday whether he too would be permitted to proceed abroad on a
similar mission. Mr. BONAR LAW, with his habitual courtesy, replied that
he, personally, would not offer any objection. But this afternoon, on
putting an almost identical question to Lord ROBERT CECIL, Mr. KING was
informed, with a touch of _brusquerie_, that "there are some people to
whom we should not think of granting a passport." He cannot reconcile
these replies, which seem to him to afford convincing proof that the
Government does not know its own mind.
The Ministry of Munitions, In order to cater for the spiritual needs of
the new population at Gretna, has simultaneously provided sites for the
Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the Roman Catholics and the
Congregationalists. The local blacksmith is said to be aggrieved by all
this ecclesiastical rivalry.
The HOME SECRETARY has determined to put a stop to the practice of
whistling for taxicabs in London. It is suggested that he would confer a
still greater boon on his fellow-townsmen if he would provide a few more
taxis for them not to whistle for.
Mr. PETO complained once more of the refusal of the War Office to employ
"manipulative surgeons" in the Army, and called in aid the testimony of
Mr. HODGE, the Minister of Labour, as a proof of Mr. BARKER'S miraculous
powers. Sir WATSON CHEYNE, the newest Member of the House, pointed out
that unfortunately all bone-setters were not BARKERS; and, fortified by
this expert opinion, Mr. MACPHERSON declined to say more than that
private soldiers might go to these unconventional practitioners at their
_Wednesday, August 15th_.--Taking the view that a Corn Production Bill
was intended to produce corn, Lord CHAPLIN made an effort to secure that
the bounties should be paid in accordance with the crops harvested and
not upon the acreage sown. But the Government, unwilling to risk a
quarrel with the other House at this late period of the Season, declined
to accept the amendment. The bounties therefore will fall, like the
rain, upon good and bad land alike, though in the interests of the
general taxpayer I trust not quite so heavily.
To take down the Ladies' Grille, Sir ALFRED MONO informed the House,
would only cost a matter of five pounds. All the same I think there was
some disappointment in certain quarters, including the gilded cage
itself, that this momentous question should be disposed of without
debate. Several sparkling orations, teeming with wit and persiflage,
were nipped in the bud. A score of ungallant fellows, including several
whom I should have diagnosed as ladies' men, opposed the removal, but
they were outnumbered eight to one.
Mr. WALTER LONG introduced a Bill to enable the Government to prospect
for oil in the United Kingdom. If this should necessitate the
appointment of a Controller of Bores he will find abundance of work.
Contrary to expectation Mr. CHURCHILL succeeded in piloting the
Munitions of War Bill through its remaining stages in double-quick time.
Its progress was facilitated by his willingness to abolish the
leaving-certificate, which a workman hitherto had to procure before
changing one job for another. Having had unequalled experience in this
respect he is convinced that the leaving-certificate is a useless
_Thursday, August 16_.--Owing to the House meeting at noon the usual
time-limit for Questions did not apply. Messrs. PRINGLE and HOGGE were
especially active. With a meaning glance in their direction the HOME
SECRETARY, replying to a complaint of Mr. GULLAND that the
representation of the Northern Kingdom would not be increased by the
Representation of the People Bill, observed that he saw no sufficient
reason for extending the number of Scottish Members.
Food-stocks going up, thanks to the energy of the farmers and the
economy of consumers; German submarines going down, thanks to the Navy;
Russia recovering herself; Britain and France advancing hand-in-hand on
the Western Front, and our enemies fumbling for peace--that was the gist
of the message with which the PRIME MINISTER sped the parting Commons.
But, fearing perhaps that he might have made them unduly optimistic, he
concluded with a warning that not until next year could we expect to
reap the fruits of our labours.
An attempt by Messrs. MACDONALD and SNOWDEN to keep the Stockholm fires
burning quickly fizzled out. Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITHS mocked at the claim of
those elegant doctrinaires to speak for British Labour, and Mr. BONAR
LAW told them frankly that the Government had no intention of letting
them go to Stockholm to chat with our enemies.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE UPPER PICTURE INDICATES WHAT GOES ON BEHIND THE
LADIES' GRILLE IN THE IMAGINATION OF THE HOUSE. THE LOWER PICTURE
INDICATES THE GRIM REALITY.]
* * * * *
"Neu propius tectis taxum sine."
_Vergil: Georg. IV. 47._
Do not signal for a taxi near houses.
* * * * *
"The Federated Chamber of Court Dressmakers of Paris has
informed the Government that for the winter season 1917-18 the
length employed for woollen costumes will not exceed 4-1/2
in."--_Yorkshire Evening News_.
* * * * *
From the report of a motoring accident:--
"The car pulled up in about a year and a half."--_Kentish
Quicker than the War, anyhow.
* * * * *
From an article headed "Exclusive War Information":--
"Vertical parallel Lines that do not look so--an optical
Illusion almost as curious as that which makes Soldiers
invisible when dressed in Combinations of bright Colours."
_Popular Science Siftings._
We do not think our contemporary ought to give away military secrets
* * * * *
Recent revelations as to the way in which our leading Statesmen keep
themselves fit have been almost entirely concerned with their physical
recreations. Further investigations make it clear that they owe their
fitness quite as much to diet, to alternating one form of brain-work
with another or to the consolations of music.
Thus Mr. BALFOUR, who has little time for golf nowadays, finds his most
refreshing recreation in reading the speeches of Lord NORTHCLIFFE,
co-ordinating them with those of BURKE and PERICLES, and setting them to
music in the style of HANDEL, his favourite composer.
Lord RHONDDA finds his chief solace in gratifying his literary tastes.
In philosophy he is at present a convinced Rationalist. He is devoted to
the study of BACON, but not averse from the lighter sort of fiction,
having a special preference for cheerful stories published in a cereal
The PRIME MINISTER, it may not be generally known, recruits his energies
by frequent perusal of the plays of SHAKSPEARE. At present he is
conducting a correspondence with Sir SIDNEY LEE and Professor GOLLANCZ
on the esoteric significance of _Labour's Love's Lost_.
Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL is a voracious novel-reader of catholic tastes.
Just now he is revelling in _Called Back_ and _The House on the Marsh_,
which are being read aloud to him by his private secretary.
Mr. ARTHUR PONSONBY, M.P., the Democratic Controller, is a confirmed
fruitarian, and attributes his robust health to a diet of Morella
cherries and Carlsbad plums, washed down with Stockholm tar-water.
Mr. JOHN BURNS, who happily describes himself as "a dormant volcano" has
of late found an agreeable stimulant in the performance of solos on the
muted first violin.
Lastly, Mr. LEO MAXSE keeps himself keyed up to concert pitch by coining
new nicknames for Lord HALDANE. The list already extends to four
* * * * *
"Khartum has the reputation of being a very hot place this time
of year. But last June must have been fairly damp if the
meteorological statistics published by the 'Sudan Times' are
correct. The rainfall during this month amounted to no less than
33.6 kilometres. No wonder a man I know there wrote to say the
other day that sometimes the rain is too heavy for him to go on
sleeping on the roof, and this in spite of a waterproof sheet. A
life-belt would probably be more useful."--_Egyptian Mail_.
Only NOAH'S Ark would really meet the case.
* * * * *
[Illustration: _First Tommy_. "WHAT ARE YE GOING TO DO WITH IT?"
_Second Tommy (with tiny prisoner)._ "FIX IT ON THE BONNET OF THE
* * * * *
_(From our Adjutant's Diary)._
The depot has decided that Matilda is a notable puppy. I could not tell
you her particular make, but our motor cyclist artificer described her
as a "1917 model; well upholstered but weak in the chassis and
unreliable in the differential on hairpin bends; in fact, built for
comfort and not speed."
Matilda became a celebrity all in one day. The C.O. wrote the following
chit to her master:--
"O.C.-'A' Company.--If your dog _must_ stroll into my orderly-room, will
you please see that she is kept reasonably clean? Please take necessary
action, initial and return."
Matilda was bathed and sent back for inspection to the C.O., with a chit
from O.C. "A" Company, pointing out that, as he couldn't initial her, he
had put his office stamp on her tummy and hoped it wouldn't rub off.
The C.O. pronounced Matilda to be moderately clean. As she was
conducting the trumpeter back to "A" Company she fell into a vat of
by-products near the mess hut. She couldn't be washed again, as the
Quartermaster had already written three scathing chits about the
previous use of depot disinfectant. Matilda spent the night licking
herself clean in the detention cell.
The staff of "A" Company loved Matilda in spite of the fact that her
conduct was prejudicial to good order and military discipline, and that
she constantly used abusive language to her superiors. Even the Company
Sergeant-Major loved her. He might have loved her still, but ... and
that's the story.
Brown was the depot nuisance. He had a conduct sheet filled up in red
and black, and his entries would have been even more numerous if he had
not possessed a great gift of cunning. He had had several passages of
arms with the C.S.M. of "A" Company and had emerged unscathed more than
On the occasion of this story Brown was being tried for using abusive
language to a superior officer, to wit, the said C.S.M. The abusive
language consisted of one very striking epithet. The charge was read
over to Brown, and the C.S.M. was called upon to give evidence. He
stepped smartly forward. Matilda loitered between his legs ... and then,
I regret to say, the C.S.M. applied the same epithet to Matilda that
Brown had applied to him.
The case was reluctantly dismissed, and Matilda is out of favour with
* * * * *
"It was my first experience of a sandstorm, and I can tell you
that the sensation was a most terrible one. With the aid of my
assistants I got off the camel, which immediately stretched
itself in the sand, and moistening my handkerchief pushed it
across my face."
_Sydney Herald (N.S.W.)._
Wise and dexterous creature! We presume it drew the moisture from its
* * * * *
"The second cook, who is an American citizen, managed when the
Germans ordered the lifeboats to be given up to hide one under
his raincoat."--_Western Mail_.
One of the collapsible sort, no doubt.
* * * * *
"Some very daring entrances were forced into these fortresses.
One single soldier not directly concerned with the attack found
20 bottles of champagne in one, drank a glass or two, and went
forward to seek for others. Squeezing into one he discovered a
German officer in bed."--_Daily Mail_.
It must have been a bantam who thought of this ingenious ruse.
* * * * *
THE NORTH ATLANTIC TRADE.
As I was walking beside the docks I met a pal o' mine
I sailed with once on the Colonies run in Thomson's Blue Star Line;
Said I, "What cheer--what brings you here?" "Why, 'aven't you 'eard?"
"I'm under the Windsor 'ouse-flag now in the North Atlantic trade.
We sweep a bit an' we fight a bit--an' that's what we like the best--
But a towin' job or a salvage job, they all go in with the rest;
When we aren't too busy upsettin' old Fritz an' 'is frightfulness
A bit of all sorts don't come amiss in the North Atlantic trade."
"And how does old Atlantic look?" "Oh, round an' about the same;
'E 'asn't seemed to alter a lot since I've been in the game;
'E's about as big as 'e always was, an' 'e's pretty well just as wet
(Or, if there's some parts anyway dry, well, I 'aven't struck none
There's the same old bust-up, same old mess, when a green sea breaks
An' the equinoctials roarin' by the same as they've always roared,
An' the West Wind playin' the same old larks 'e's been at since the
world was made--
They've a peach of a time, 'ave sailormen, in the North Atlantic
"And who's your skipper, and what is he like?" "Oh, well, if you want
I'm sailin' under a hard-case mate as I sailed with years ago;
'E's big an' bucko an' full o' beans, the same as 'e used to be
When I knowed 'im last in the windbag days when first I followed the
'E was worth two men at the lee fore brace, an' three at the bunt of a
'E'd a voice you could 'ear to the royal-yards in the teeth of a Cape
But now 'e's a full-blown lootenant an' wears the twisted braid,
Commandin' one of 'is Majesty's ships in the North Atlantic trade."
"And what is the ship you're sailin' in?" "Oh, she's a bit of a
She ain't no bloomin' levvyathan, an' that's no fatal error!
She scoops the seas like a gravy-spoon when the gales are up an'
But Fritz 'e loves 'er above a bit when 'er fightin' fangs are
The liners go their stately way an' the cruisers take their ease,
But where would they be if it wasn't for us, with the water up to our
We're wadin' when their soles are wet, we're swimmin' when they wade,
For I tell you small craft gets it a treat in the North Atlantic
"And what is the port you're plying to?" "When the last long trick is
There'll some come back to the old 'ome port--'ere's 'opin' I'll be
But some 'ave made a new landfall, an' sighted another shore,
An' it ain't no use to watch for them, for they won't come 'ome no
There ain't no 'arbour dues to pay when once they're over the bar,
Moored bow an' stern in a quiet berth where the lost three-deckers
An' there's NELSON 'oldin' 'is one 'and out an' welcomin' them that's
The roads o' Glory an' the port of Death in the North Atlantic trade!"
C. F. S.
* * * * *
"And what," I said, "did you do during the Great War, Francesca?"
"In the first place I fine you a sum not exceeding one hundred pounds
for asking me such a question. In the second place I retort upon you by
telling you that one of the things you're going to do during the Great
War is to give up marmalade."
"What! Give up the thing which lends to breakfast its one and only
"That," she said, "sounds very brave; but what are you going to do if
there isn't any marmalade to be obtained for love or money?"
"Mine," I said, "has always been the sort you get for money. I have not
hitherto met the amatory variety; but if it's really marmalade I'm
prepared to have a go at it."
"And that," she said, "is very kind of you, but it's quite useless. For
the moment there's no marmalade of any kind to be had."
"None of the dark-brown variety?"
"Or the sort that looks like golden jelly?"
"Not a scrap."
"Or the old-fashioned but admirable kind? The excellent substitute for
butter at breakfast?"
"That must go like the rest. It has been a substitute for the last
"Impossible," I said. "Everything is now a substitute for something
else. Marmalade started being a substitute long ago, and it isn't fair
to stop it and let the other things go on."
"Well," she said, "what are you going to do about it? If you can't get
Seville oranges how are you going to get Seville orange marmalade?"
"Oh, that's it, is it?"
"Yes, that's it, more or less. And now let's have your remedy."
"You needn't think," I said, "that I'm going to take it lying down. I
shall go up to London and defy Lord RHONDDA to his face. I shall write
pro-marmalade letters to various newspapers. I shall form a Marmalade
League, with branches in all the constituencies so as to bring political
pressure to bear. I shall head a deputation to the PRIME MINISTER. I
shall get Mr. KING or Mr. HOGGE or Mr. PRINGLE, or all three of them, to
ask questions in the House of Commons. In short I shall exhaust all the
usual devices for giving the Government a thoroughly uncomfortable
"In short you will do your patriotic best to help your country through
its difficulties and to put the interest of the nation above your own
"Francesca," I said, "you must not be too serious. I was but attempting
"This is no time for jests. I can't bear even to think of your joining
the Brigade of Grousers who are always girding at the Government. I
won't stand your being a girder. So make up your mind to that."
"Very well," I said, "I will endeavour not to be a girder; but you
simply _must_ get me a pot or two of marmalade."
"And allow the KAISER to win the War? Not if I know it. Besides, I don't
"There you are," I said. "You don't like marmalade--few women do--and so
you're going to make a virtue for yourself by forcing _me_ to give it
up. My dear, you've given the whole show away."
"Don't juggle with words," she said, speaking with a dreadful calm. "I
may be able to get a pot or two--say at the outside a dozen pots. Well,
if I manage it I will inform you--"
"Yes," I said eagerly.
"If I manage it," she repeated, "you shall know of it, and you shall
make your self-denial complete and efficacious."
"I don't like the way in which this sentence is turning out."
"You shall have a pot in front of you at breakfast, and you shan't touch
a shred of it."
"Francesca," I said, "you're a tyrant. But no, you wouldn't be mean
enough to do it--before the children too."
"Perhaps, as a concession, I would allow you a little marmalade in a
pudding at luncheon."
"But I don't like marmalade in a pudding at luncheon. I like it on toast
"But you're not going to have it on toast at breakfast."
"Well," I said, "I shall conduct reprisals. For every time you don't
allow me to have any I shall destroy something you like--a blouse or a
hat. If I'm to give up the essence of Dundee or Paisley you shall at
least give up hats."
"But the marmalade will remain."
"Yes, and the hats will all perish. That's where I come in."
"Don't buoy yourself up with that notion," she said. "You'll have to pay
for the new ones--or owe."
R. C. L
* * * * *
[Illustration: "OH, CONSTABLE, I CAN'T GET A TAXI. THEY ALL SAY IT'S
THEIR DINNER-HOUR. IS IT ANY GOOD MY WAITING?"
"I CAN'T SAY, MISS. IF YOU WAS ON THE SPOT YOU _MIGHT_ BE ABLE TO CATCH
ONE AFORE THEIR TEA-HOUR BEGINS."]
* * * * *
From a tailor's advertisement:--
"HAVE YOU ANY BLUE SERGES? YES! WE HAVE -- (REGD.) IN STOCK. THE
SUIT TO ORDER .. 63/- Will last about another month."
_Southern Daily Echo._
* * * * *
Quotation from an article in the _Frankfurter Zeitung_ in praise of
"When people saunter through the town without hats--who still
wears a hat?--why should they not go without stockings?"
Well, the explanation may be that while the German head is hot the
German feet are cold.
* * * * *
MR. PUNCH'S "SPORPOT."
Two Summers ago Mr. Punch gave an account of the Sporpot (or Spaerpot,
meaning a savings-box), a familiar institution which our little guests
from Belgium brought over with them to England. The idea was taken up by
certain schools in South Africa, and a competition was started to see
which of them could fill the biggest Sporpot to make a fund for helping
to restore the homes of Belgian exiles. This year the Eunice High School
for Girls at Bloemfontein comes out first, and the second honours fall
to the St. Andrew's Preparatory School for Boys at Grahamstown. The
total sum of thirty-two pounds collected by the competing schools has
been forwarded to and received by the author of the _Punch_ article and
will be used by him for the purpose desired.
Mr. Punch begs to offer his congratulations to the winners and his best
thanks to all who have contributed so generously from their personal
savings to the needs of the children of our Ally.
* * * * *
A Tough Proposition.
"Ducks (15) For Sale, 7 years old; 4s. each."--_Staffordshire
* * * * *
WHISPER, AND I SHALL HEAR.
There's nothing like a newspaper for spreading disease. You wake up in
the morning, feeling fit to do a day's digging on your allotment; you
come down to your breakfast singing a Rhonddalay and eat more than your
allowance. Then you open the newspaper, glance at the latest accession
to the ranks of the Allied Powers, and suddenly, "Plop!" you find there
is a new disease raging, and before you know where you are you discover
that you have got it badly.
That is how I discovered that I was the possessor of a heart murmur. By
putting my hand on the spot under which I had been taught, and still
believed, my heart to be, I felt rather than heard a distinct burbling.
I went to the telephone and fixed up an appointment with a specialist.
"It's only a murmur now," I said when I reached the consulting-room,
"only a mere whisper, but----"
The doctor tapped me vigorously. Being very absent-minded I said, "Come
in," the first time.
"You were rejected for this, I suppose?" he said.
"No, cow-hocked or spavined, I forget which," I said. "This hadn't
The rite was quite a lengthy one, and at the conclusion the heartsmith
said, "M--yes, there is a slight murmuring, certainly."
He wrote me out a prescription, and I felt the murmur myself distinctly
when parting with three of the greater Bradburys and three shillings.
On the way home I ran into Beatrice.
"Well, old thing," she said, "what's the matter? I saw you coming out of
"Yes," I said. "I've got a heart murmur. I don't know what the poor
things been trying to say, but it's been murmuring like anything all the
"Perhaps you're in love," she suggested.
"By Jove, I never thought of that. I wonder," I said, "if it's anything
to do with you. If this were not such a public place you might like to
put your head against my top left-hand waistcoat pocket and listen.
Perhaps it's saying something about you."
"Have you taken to writing poetry about me?" she said. "That's always a
"Now I come to think of it," I said, "I did feel a bit broody the other
day, and hatched a line or two, but I can't say for certain that I had
you in my mind. The lines ran like this:--
"Oh, glorious female, like a goddess decked,
No wonder that we crawl on bended knee--"
"Rotten," said Beatrice. "You couldn't have been thinking of me. I'm not
"You have the right plumage for the hen-bird," I said. "However, what
did me was 'decked.' I could only think of three rhymes, 'wrecked,'
'flecked' and 'stiff-necked.' You're not any of those by any chance?"
"There's 'circumspect', suggested Beatrice.
"Ah! Come and have lunch," I said, "and we'll talk it over. Some place
where I can hold your hand and really find out if you are the cause of
"Do you think I ought to?" she said.
"Good heavens! Of course you ought," I said. "It's most important. My
heart's only murmuring now, but it may start shouting soon, and a silly
ass I shall look walking about in the street with a heart yelling
'Beatrice' at the top of its voice."
As regards meat and drink I consider that Beatrice overdid it for a
war-time lunch. She didn't give me any time to hold her hand, she was so
"It's curious," I said, as I watched the amount of food that was going
her way, "but my heart seems to have stopped murmuring altogether."
"Has it?" she said. "Oddly enough, mine's begun."
"Your luncheon has overstrained you," I said.
I had a letter from Beatrice the next morning.
DEAR JIMMY (she wrote),--You were wrong. Mine was a real murmur.
It's been coming on for some time, but not on your account. It's
murmuring for Basil Fludger. He's on leave, and we fixed things
up last Tuesday. I didn't tell you when I met you, because I was
afraid you wouldn't want to take me to lunch, and I _did_ enjoy
Yours ever, BEATRICE.
If my heart gets really noisy I do hope it won't shout for Beatrice. It
would be so useless.
"Let us go hence, my heart;
she will not hear" (_Swinburne_).
* * * * *
[Illustration: "HEARD THE LATEST RUMOUR UP FROM THE BACK, GEORGE? WAR'S
GOING TO BE OVER NEXT WEEK."
"HO. WELL, I HOPE IT DON'T UPSET MY GOING ON LEAVE NEXT TUESDAY."]
* * * * *
["According to an enterprising American scientist a man's
character can be told from the way he smokes a cigar."--_Weekly
For, instance, a man who snatches a cigar from somebody else's mouth and
smokes it himself may be assumed to be of a grasping disposition.
The man who while smoking a cigar burns his finger is a man of few words
and quick of action. Plumbers never burn their fingers like that.
The man who smokes his cigar right through without removing it from his
mouth is a deep thinker. Lord NORTHCLIFFE always smokes one cigar right
through before deciding what England really wants, and two when he has
to decide which Cabinet Minister must go.
The man who accepts a cigar from a friend, lights it, sniffs and drops
it behind his chair has no character worth mentioning.
* * * * *
Mem. for Agriculturists.
Protect the birds and the insects will be in their crops. Destroy the
birds and the crops will be in the insects.
* * * * *
"S.P. (Lincoln).--Humming-birds don't hum with their mouths. The
humming is the vibration of their wings while flying--for the
same reason that a blue-bottle or an aeroplane
So it is not the pilot rubbing his feet together, as we had been taught
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Uncle_. "BY JOVE, THERE'S A NICE QUIET-LOOKING GIRL JUST
COME IN. WONDER WHO SHE IS." _Niece_. "HAVEN'T THE FOGGIEST. MUST BE
* * * * *
_(By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks.)_
_The Safety Candle_ (CASSELL) might have been called, but for the fact
that the title has been used already, A Comedy of Age. For this is what
it is--only perhaps less a comedy than a tragedy. _Agnes Tempest_ was
called the Safety Candle, for the ingenious reason that, though
attractive, she burnt nobody's wings. Returning as a middle-aging widow,
after an unhappy wifehood in Africa, she meets on the boat two persons,
_Captain Brangwyn_, a young man, and a girl-mother calling herself
_Antonina Pisa_. Hence the tears. _Brangwyn_ she marries, doubtfully,
half-defiantly, despite the difference in years between them; _Antonina_
is taken as a companion and very soon developes into a sick-nurse. For
in the space between the ship-board engagement and the wedding a railway
accident changes poor _Agnes_ from a still beautiful and active woman to
a nerve-ridden invalid. But in spite of this she and _Brangwyn_ marry;
and (with the much too attractive _Antonina_ always in evidence) you can
guess the result. One odd point; you will hardly get any distance into
Miss E.S. STEVENS' exceedingly well-written story without being struck
by its resemblance to one of Mr. HICHENS' romances. The relative
positions of the members of the triangle, middle-aged wife, young
husband, and girl are exactly those of _The Call of the Blood_; while
the Sicilian setting is identical. But this of course is by no means to
accuse Miss STEVENS of plagiarism; her development of the situation, and
especially the tragedy that resolves it, is both original and
convincing. The end indeed took me wholly unawares, since as a hardened
novel-reader I had naturally been expecting--but read it, and see if you
also are not startled by a refreshing departure from the conventional.
* * * * *
If there still linger in the remoter parts of Cromarty or the Balls Pond
Road certain unsophisticated persons who believe that the stage is one
long glad symposium of wine, woman and song they will be interested to
know that Mr. KEBLE HOWARD has written his latest novel, _The Gay Life_
(JOHN LANE), with the express object--or so he says--of disillusioning
them. He has no use for the cynic who declared that there are three
sexes, men, women and actors. His Thespians are gay because they are
happy, and happy because (though poor) they are virtuous. The crowning
ambition of their lives of honest toil is not unlimited silk-stockings
and champagne suppers, but the combined and unqualified approval of Mr.
GRANVILLE BARKER and Miss HORNIMAN. I fear the Philistines will not be
much impressed with Mr. KEBLE HOWARD'S championship. In the first place
he selects for his heroine a girl of what used to be known as the "lower
orders." Yet it is more than doubtful if the lower orders have ever done
anything for Mr. KEBLE HOWARD except open his cab-doors and bring his
washing home on Saturday night. Otherwise he would not make his East End
of London heroine talk an argot of which fifty per cent, is pure East
Side Noo York. True, "the curtain" finds her in New York in the arms of
a faithful and acrobatic American, so perhaps it doesn't matter much.
Meanwhile she has become the idol of the Manchester School, enjoyed an
unsuccessful season in partnership with the late Sir HERBERT BEERBOHM
TREE, and signed a contract with the SCHUBERTS to tour the States, and
all without any apparent diminution of the guileless flow of
"Whitechapel" with which she won the hearts of her first employers. It
is courageous of Mr. HOWARD to place on record his apparent belief that
a total absence of the three "R's" and any number of "h's" cannot debar
a strong-minded daughter of the slums from the higher rungs of the
* * * * *
When a warm-hearted and law-abiding gentleman, who has kept open-house
for many guests, suddenly discovers that these guests have plotted
against him, have read his private correspondence, have caused
explosions in his garden, have attacked his neighbours from the
vantage-ground of his house, and altogether have behaved as if he didn't
exist, he is not unlikely to be both shocked and angry, and to denounce
to the world the crew of traitors and assassins who have imposed on his
kindness and hospitality. This is what happened to Uncle Sam at the
hands of the German conspirators for whom he had unconsciously provided
a base of operations. A full account of the doings of this poisonous
gang is given in _The German Spy in America_ (HUTCHINSON), by JOHN PRICE
JONES, a member of the staff of the New York _Sun_. It is not easy for
anyone, least of all for a good American, to refrain from indignation at
the baseness of the rogues who thus battened for many months on the
United States and their people. The book is soberly and clearly written,
and is commended by Mr. ROOSEVELT in a Foreword, to which are added
another Foreword by the Author, and an Introduction by Mr. ROGER B.
WOOD, formerly U.S. Assistant-Attorney in New York.
* * * * *
With whatever sharpness of criticism I had approached _Ma'am_
(HUTCHINSON), the edge of it would have been turned by the statement
upon the fly-leaf that the author, M. BERESFORD RYLEY, died while the
novel was still in manuscript, and that it has been revised for the
press by her friend, Mr. E.V. LUCAS. As things are, having before me
only the pleasant task of praise, I am the more sorry that I cannot
increase that pleasure by telling the writer how much I have enjoyed a
wholly admirable story. She had above everything the rare art of writing
about homely and familiar matters unboringly. _Ma'am_ (a not too happy
title) begins in a dull parish, where its heroine is the newly-wedded
wife of the curate. You will have read no more than the opening pages
(descriptive of the terrible Sunday evening supper which the pair took
at the Vicarage--a supper of cold meat and a ground-rice mould, whereat
four jaded and parish-worn persons lacerated one another's nerves)
before you will have realised gratefully that the story and its
characters are going to be alive with a very refreshing and unpuppetlike
vitality. Eventually, of course, more happens than Vicarage suppers. An
old lover of _Griselda_ (Mrs. Curate) turns up, and many most
unparochial events follow upon his arrival. The scene shifts to Naples,
and we meet a villaful of men and women, all of them admirably original
and human. Not for a great while have I read a story so unforced and
appealing. It is indeed a sad thought that this graceful pen will give
us nothing more of its quality.
* * * * *
When you hear the title or see the cover of _The Heel of the Hun_
(HODDER AND STOUGHTON) your blood may begin to curdle and your flesh to
creep. Be assured. When I think of some of the war-books vouchsafed to
us Mr. J.P. WHITAKER'S is almost tame, and I venture to say that it
might be read out loud at a party of sock-knitters without a stitch
being dropped. Mr. WHITAKER was in Roubaix and, presumably because he
was believed to be an American, was allowed considerable freedom. So,
before he escaped into Holland, he saw some things which were not for
British eyes, and he tells us about them with a staidness altogether
unusual in this kind of book. Although he forgets to mention the fact,
his articles have already appeared in _The Times_, and I can see no
particular reason why they should have been gathered together in this
brief volume. Anyhow, I must believe that the Hun's heel fell less
heavily on Mr. WHITAKER than upon most people who have had the
misfortune to be introduced to it.
* * * * *
An author who can choose so fascinating a title as _The Way of the Air_
(HEINEMANN) certainly has much in his favour, and this not only because
of the more or less temporary connection between aeronautics and
victory, but because just lately we have all been talking large and free
about peace-time developments of the craft in the near future.
Personally I have already arranged to take my wife's mother for a short
week-end in the Holy Land in the Spring of 1920; and a forty-eight
hours' mail service to Bombay is an event of to-morrow. Thus, if Mr.
EDGAR C. MIDDLETON'S book fails to secure general appreciation, he must
place the blame elsewhere than with his subject, and it is a fact that
by some repetitions and contradictions, as well as by a tendency to let
one down at what should be the critical point of his yarns, he has done
something to alienate a public--such as myself--entirely predisposed in
his favour. It remains to say, all the same, that this little volume is
in the main a sincere and obviously well-informed account of the doings
of the men of our air services, full of incident and achievement utterly
beyond belief an unbelievably short time ago. In the pages he devotes to
prophecy--an irresistible temptation--he is on controversial ground, and
his apparent preference for the "gas-bag" as the principal craft of the
future will certainly not find general acceptance. Much more to my
liking is his suggestion that duck chasing and shooting from an
aeroplane--it has already been done at least once--may become a
* * * * *
[Illustration: _Barber_. "MY TONIC 'AIR-RESTORER IS TO THE BALD 'EAD
WHAT THE BENEFICENT SPRAY IS TO THE BLIGHTED TOOBER."]
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