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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 1, 1914
Author: Various
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Transcriber's note:

The oe-ligature is represented in this text as "[oe]".



PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 146

APRIL 1, 1914



CHARIVARIA.

We are sorry to hear that the PREMIER is suffering from a troublesome Gough.

* * *

Poor Mr. ASQUITH, as though he had not already worries enough, is getting into trouble for sending an exclusive statement to The Times. He now stands convicted by his own party of being a Times-server.

* * *

The Premier Magazine is announced for sale. Is this, we wonder, the Powder Magazine on which he has been sitting?

* * *

At one moment it began to look as if the Admiralty, after all, was going to change its mind and we were to have Grand Man[oe]uvres this year—off the coast of Ireland.

* * *

There are rumours that the Suffragettes are now preparing to blow up the whole of Ireland, as they find that that little country has during the past few days been distracting public attention from their cause.

* * *

An appeal is being made for funds to enable the battlefield of Waterloo to be preserved. A handsome donation has, it is said, been offered by one of our most enterprising railway companies, the only condition made being that the name shall be altered to Bakerloo.

* * *

It is so often asserted that a Varsity career unfits one for success in the bigger world that it is satisfactory to read that the PRINCE OF WALES'S income from the Duchy of Cornwall was L85,719 last year, as compared with L81,350 in the previous year.

* * *

The Association of Lancastrians in London held their annual dinner last week. It would have been a kindly and thoughtful act on the part of those responsible for the dinner had they offered a seat to Mr. MASTERMAN, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is now back in town.

* * *

Mr. Justice SCRUTTON has fined a man for saying "Hear, hear," in court, and there is something approaching a panic among our Comic Judges lest some colleague on a lower plane of humour should fine somebody, for laughing in court.

* * *

It has been said that we English take our pleasures sadly. By way of compensation, apparently, we take our tragedies gaily. Under the heading "AMUSEMENT NOTES" in The Daily Mail we find the following announcement:—"At the Scala Theatre a new colour film is promised for Monday next, which is to depict in striking fashion the terrors of modern scientific warfare."

* * *

A contemporary describes the production, Splash Me, which was presented at the Palladium last week, as "a Water Revue." The correct expression is surely "Naval Revue"?

* * *

Messrs. WEEKES AND CO. have published a "Song of the Aeroplane," and we suspect that all concerned in this venture are terrified lest some clumsy critic shall say, "Merely to hear this song makes one want to fly."

* * *

It is sometimes asked, Are we a musical nation? It is possible, of course, that we are, but last week we were informed by an advertisement that "the greatest song success of the season" is entitled "Popsy Wopsy."

* * *

A Mr. SNOOKS attained his 100th birthday last week. So much for those who say that ridicule kills!

* * *

Thetford (Norfolk) Corporation have decided to pay their mayor a salary of L20 in future "owing to the heavy financial drain on his pocket." We think it should have been removed and the cost charged to drainage expenses.

* * *

The coat-of-arms provided for the Metropolitan Asylum Board includes a red cross, the golden staff of AESCULAPIUS, an eagle, a dragon, and red and white roses. It sounds a mad enough medley.

* * *

Answer to a correspondent: No, Wild Life is not an organ of the Militants.

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE NEXT OF THE DANDIES.

(According to our daily paper, sloppy untidiness is to be the fashion this year.)

I've jibed at Dame Fashion for many a year, Jibed bitterly rather than gaily; And over the follies of feminine wear I indulged in a diatribe daily; But now I must sing in a different strain And praise with a penitent vigour The kindness by which she was moved to ordain Untidiness strictly de rigueur.

Though man from her fetters is commonly loose (For he has the pluck to withstand her), I take it that what is correct for the goose Will not be amiss for the gander; And I have a suit that for comfort and ease I'd always elect to be dressed in; The trousers have dear little bags where my knees Have made them a corner to nest in.

The sleeves of the coat are all frayed at the end, The seams of the waistcoat have "started," But I have a weakness for elderly friends, And now we need never be parted; No more when I wear it shall people esteem The bardlet in need of compassion; They'll merely consider him rather extreme In his fervent devotion to Fashion.

* * * * *

"BOLTON W. 1, MANCHESTER C. 0. BOLTON WAN. 1, MANCHES. C. 0."

Sunderland Daily Echo.

It is still a little obscure, but "B. Wanderers 1, M. City 0" would bring it home to everybody.

* * * * *

THE SPIRIT OF ULSTER AND THE ARMY.

(An Appeal to Both Parties.)

Still dreaming of the spell of Southern nights, Strange on my homing senses fall the raucous Shouts of Democracy, asserting rights It long ago committed to the caucus; Strange—in a Chamber run for party ends, Busy with private rancours, feuds, ambitions— The legend that the Nation's life depends Upon her politicians!

Yet two things offer cheer: in Ulster there— Fanatic sentiment, you'll say, and scoff it— I see a hundred thousand men who care For something dearer than their stomach's profit; Under the Flag they stand at silent pause, True Democrats that hold by Freedom's charter, Resolved and covenanted for the Cause To give their lives in barter!

I see young soldiers, too, who serve the KING (For half the wage a Labour Member cashes), Prepared, at honour's higher call, to fling Their gallant dreams away in dust and ashes! I care a lot for any laws they break, But more I care to see what sacrifices Men still are found to face for conscience' sake, Knowing how hard the price is.

Ah, Sirs, and must you for a moment's gain— I look to both your camps with like appealing— Must you upon these virtues put a strain Irrevocably past the hope of healing? Cannot some gentler means be yet embraced That, when the common peril comes upon her, Such qualities of heart, too rare to waste, May shield our Country's honour?

O. S.

* * * * *

EGBERT, BULL-FROG.

"Speaking," said my uncle James, "of dogs, did I ever tell you about Egbert, my bull-frog? I class Egbert among the dogs, partly because of his faithfulness and intelligence, and partly because his deep bay—you know how those bull-frogs bark—always reminded me of a bloodhound surprised while on a trail of aniseed. He was my constant companion in Northern Assam, where I was at that time planting rubber. He finally died of a surfeit of hard-boiled egg, of which he was passionately fond, and I was as miserable as if I had lost a brother.

"I think Egbert had been trying to edge into the household for some time before I really noticed him. Looking back, I can remember meeting him sometimes in the garden, and, though I did not perceive it at first, there was a wistful look in his eye when I passed him by without speaking. It was not till our burglary that I began really to understand his sterling worth. A couple of natives were breaking in, and would undoubtedly have succeeded in their designs had it not been for Egbert's frantic barking, which aroused the house and brought me down with a revolver. It is almost certain that the devoted animal had made a practice, night after night, of sleeping near the front-door on the chance of something of the sort happening. He was always suspicious of natives.

"After that of course his position in the house was established. He slept every night at the foot of my bed, and very soothing it was to hear his deep rhythmical breathing in the darkness.

"In the daytime we were inseparable. We would go for walks together, and I have frequently spent hours throwing sticks into the pond at the bottom of the garden for him to retrieve. It was this practice which saved his life at the greatest crisis of his career.

"I happened to have strained my leg, and I was sitting in the garden, dozing, Egbert by my side, when I was awakened by a hoarse bark from my faithful companion, and, looking down, I perceived him hopping rapidly towards the pond, pursued by an enormous oojoobwa snake, a reptile not dangerous to man, being non-poisonous, but a great scourge among the minor fauna of Assam, owing to its habit of pouncing upon them and swallowing them alive. This snake is particularly addicted to bull-frogs, and, judging from the earnest manner in which he was making for the pond, Egbert was not blind to this trait in its character.

"You may imagine my agony of mind. There was I, helpless. My injured leg made it impossible for me to pursue the snake and administer one where it would do most good. And meanwhile the unequal race was already drawing to its inevitable close. Egbert, splendid as were his other qualities, was not built for speed. He was dignified rather than mobile.

"What could I do? Nothing beyond throwing my stick in the hope of stunning the oojoobwa. It was a forlorn hope, but I did it; and it saved Egbert's life, though not in the way I had intended. The stick missed the snake and fell immediately in front of Egbert. It was enough. His grand intellect worked with the speed of lightning. Just as the snake reached him, he reached the stick; and the next moment there was Egbert, up to his neck in the reptile's throat, but saved from complete absorption by the stick, which he was holding firmly in his mouth.

"I have seldom seen any living thing so completely nonplussed as was the oojoobwa. Snakes have very little reasoning power. They cannot weigh cause and effect. Otherwise of course the oojoobwa would have nipped Egbert till he was forced to leave go of the stick. Instead of doing this, he regarded the stick and Egbert as being constructed all in one piece, and imagined that he had happened upon a new breed—of unswallowable frog. He ejected Egbert, and lay thinking it over, while Egbert, full of pluck, continued his journey to the pond.

"Three times in the next two yards did the snake endeavour to swallow his victim, and each time he gave it up; and after the last experiment Egbert, evidently finding this constant semi-disappearance into the other's interior bad for his nervous system, conceived the idea of backing towards the pond instead of heading in that direction, the process, though slower, being less liable to sudden interruption."

"Well, to make the story short, the oojoobwa followed Egbert to the very edge of the pond, the picture of perplexity; and when my little friend finally dived in he lay there with his head over the edge of the bank, staring into the water for quite ten minutes. Then he turned, shook his head despairingly, and wriggled into the bushes, still thinking hard. And a little while later I saw Egbert's head appear cautiously over the side of the pond, the stick still in his mouth. He looked round to see that the coast was clear, and then came hopping up to me and laid the stick at my feet. And, strong man as I was, I broke down and cried like a child."

* * * * *

From a revue poster at Birmingham:—

"I DO LIKE YOUR EYES RECORD CAST."

We dislike that kind.

* * * * *



* * * * *



* * * * *

A PEACE-PRESERVATION ACT.

Whereas Mr. Punch has observed to his deep grief and chagrin that political ill-feeling in Great Britain has increased, is increasing and ought to be diminished, be it enacted—

(1) That no morning, evening or weekly paper be allowed to print anything on its placard save one of these three phrases: "All the Winners," "Tips for To-day," or "Latest Football"; providing that nothing in this Act shall prevent The Daily News and Leader from substituting "Latest Free Church News" for "Tips for To-day."

(2) That no newspaper be allowed to announce more than one political crisis per week under a penalty of L1,000 for each and every subsequent crisis announced.

(3) That Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR be appointed grand political censor, and that all descriptive expressions intended to be applied by people to their political opponents be submitted to him, to ensure that such phrases are properly saponaceous.

(4) That six prominent fire-brands in each Party be deported to Saint Helena, and that they be chosen by ballot in this wise—the Liberals will select the Tories, the Tories the Liberals, the O'Brienites the Nationalists, and the Nationalists the O'Brienites. The Labour Party, being specially qualified for the task, will select six of its own body for deportation; and nothing in this Act is to hinder Mr. WEDGWOOD from deporting himself if he thinks it needful.

(5) And whereas many highly respectable golfers of all shades of political opinion have been put off their game by political happenings at the week-end be it ordained that a gracious political truce reign from Thursday midnight to Tuesday midday, and that during that time, to be known as the Truce of Mr. Punch, no political crises, resignations, refusals of resignations, re-resignations or snap-divisions be allowed on any pretext whatever.

* * * * *

"Yesterday afternoon a Cardiff prisoner who had been arrested on a warrant escaped from the custody of a police officer. The man bolted without the slightest warning."

Western Daily Press.

He was no gentleman. He might at least have said, "One, two, three—Go!"

* * * * *

THE OLDEST OF THE ARTS.

[Speaking at the annual meeting of the governing body of Swanley Horticultural College, Sir JOHN COCKBURN lamented that while that institution provided healthful and delightful occupation, for which women were eminently fitted, it suffered from a continuous epidemic of matrimony, not only among the students but even upon the staff.]

AT Swanley College down in Kent The students' time is not misspent. Some of the arts at any rate Thrive in this Eden up-to-date; And doubtless each girl-gard'ner tries To win the term's Top-dressing Prize, Or trains her sense of paradox (While gathering "nuts" and "plums" and stocks) By taking Flora's new degree— "Spinster of Hearts and Husbandry."

* * * * *

"First he must learn to be a sailor.... Stepping in a small coasting craft, he put his shoulder to the wheel, determining, as many a boy has done before and since, to get to the top of the tree by plodding and perseverance."

Ashore and Afloat.

We don't recommend this as a beginning, however. Very often the captain, who wants to steer himself, resents an additional shoulder at the wheel—and invites you to the top of the masthead.

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE MOON.

[IMPOSSIBLE PLAY SERIES.]

A SUPER-PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA IN ONE ACT.

Persons of the Play.

Lord Gumthorpe. Lady Gastwyck. Angela Thynne. Stud, a butler.

[Author to Printer.—Oblige me by reversing your usual practice, and printing the text in italics and the stage directions in roman type. My request will, I hope, prove intelligible.]

Scene.—The drawing-room at Lady Gastwyck's. A large, low room with a mullioned window at the back through which moonlight steals. The decoration of the room is Adams', though of rather a self-conscious type, as the plan and construction of the house is obviously of an earlier period. The furniture is Chinese Chippendale.

Lord Gumthorpe is leaning against the window; Angela Thynne is leaning against the Chesterfield, and Lady Gastwyck is leaning against the Adams' fireplace. Lord Gumthorpe is a tall, gaunt man, slightly resembling the portrait of PHILIP IV. of Spain, by VELASQUEZ. He turns towards Lady Gastwyck and waves his long arms with a gesture of indecision. He then turns back and looks out on to the lawn. Angela Thynne, is a large, ill-proportioned woman, with curiously limpid blue eyes, and a shrill hard voice like a fog-siren, that does not seem to belong to her personality. One is always haunted with the idea that she might be Scotch. Lady Gastwyck rises. She is a short dark woman with deep-set eyes and one very remarkable characteristic. She has apparently only one eyebrow. She really has two, but they meet together in one dark straight line, and give her a forbidding aspect. She has a habit of walking with her chin thrust forward and her long arms curved like a boxer's. She advances upon Lord Gumthorpe. He instinctively puts up his hands as though expecting to be struck.

LADY GASTWYCK. You think then that we—that is, that you and I——

[She waves her hand towards the moonlit lawn. It might be an action of dismissal, or an appeal to the elemental forces. Lord Gumthorpe drops limply on to the window-seat and presses his forehead against the stone mullion. Then he stands up and gazes at her face, trying not to appear to be looking at her one eyebrow.

LORD GUMTHORPE (with tremulous indecision). Yes! but you see——

[As he stands there the extraordinary resemblance between him and VELASQUEZ' portrait of PHILIP IV. of Spain comes home to her with such force that she is about to qualify her half-stated implication, when Angela Thynne drops her fan into the fireplace. She has moved to the seat that Lady Gastwyck had vacated. She is leaning forward with lips parted, and her limpid blue eyes gazing at the dead embers. Lady Gastwyck recoils as though struck by a whip. She moves to the Chesterfield and leans against it, biting her nails. Lord Gumthorpe moves deeper into the recess, struggling with the emotions which the astounding act of Angela has produced. As he sits there, the moonlight, pouring through the diamond panes of the window, throws rhomboids of light on to the polished floor. It looks like some enchanted chessboard. Leaning back and gazing with half-closed eyes, he peoples it with fantastic rooks, and knights and bishops, when suddenly the strangely penetrating voice of Angela breaks the silence.

ANGELA. Would it be possible for you two to——

[There is a terrifying silence.]

Lord Gumthorpe (greedily). Pawn to Queen's pawn four!

[He says this to gain time. For the besetting irresoluteness of the Gumthorpes is consuming him. "If only she would——" he is thinking to himself, rapidly reviewing the salient features of his past life. He has not the courage to look at Angela, but his eyes wander in the direction of Lady Gastwyck. She is leaning forward on the Chesterfield, her chin resting on her hand, her eyebrow looking like an enormous black moustache. He feels his way along the wall, keeping his face towards Lady Gastwyck. He knows—he was educated at Eton and Christchurch—that as the fan has fallen into the fireplace, unless it has been removed, it will be there still. Very slowly he reaches the grate and, without turning his head, picks up the fan. It is a moment of intense emotion. The air is charged with electric suspense. Lady Gastwyck moves suddenly, and the rustle of her skirt sounds like the rattle of musketry on a frosty morning. Lord Gumthorpe drops the fan. He gropes wildly in the fireplace but cannot find it again. Then with an air of helpless resignation he goes back to the window-seat. He gazes at the chequered pattern on the floor and mentally moves his king up one. Lady Gastwyck glances across at him, and it occurs to her that he has aged during the last few minutes. He no longer looks like PHILIP IV. of Spain, but more like the sub-manager of the White Goods Department of a suburban Bon-Marche. She is anxious that Angela shall not observe this, and hence makes the following appeal.

LADY GASTWYCK (hysterically and a propos of no one). A maroon underskirt! a maroon underskirt! That would be the thing! Fancy, Angela, biscuit-coloured glace with that coffee skin of hers and those teeth! You must save her! Take her to Raquin! Let Raquin cut it as only he knows how! Let her have—— Ah!

[She bursts into tears and then stops, seeing that her effort has failed, for a sombre silence ensues. Angela has risen and is looking at Lord Gumthorpe. Lord Gumthorpe is standing with his arms folded. He has just lost a bishop in the dim chiaroscuro of the window-seat and has not heard her outbreak. Suddenly he looks up, and fixes his eyes upon Lady Gastwyck with a new sense of resolution. He advances towards her, and gazing boldly at her eyebrow, that looks more than ever like a moustache, calls out in a thin cruel voice.

LORD GUMTHORPE. Why don't you wax the ends?

[The effect of this bizarre question is startling. Angela turns and smiles gently like one who has done one's best at a deathbed, and is almost relieved that the end has come. She walks almost serenely across the room to the sideboard, and, taking up a piece of cheese and three bananas, goes off to bed. But the effect on Lady Gastwyck is different, for directly she hears Lord Gumthorpe make this remark she realizes that he is a weak man.

There is a pond at the end of the lawn covered with green sedge. She shivers. She has courage, but not that sort of courage. She rises and leans against the Adams' fireplace. The Adams' fireplace leans against her. It falls on to her with a tremendous crash.... Lord Gumthorpe comes forward and gazes at the jumbled debris. He is conscious of a sense of despairing conflict—the conflict between contemplative amazement and some natural but well-controlled demand for concrete action. An appalling conviction comes to him that he ought to do something. Under the fallen mess of brick, marble, and wood there are feeble undulations. A phrase keeps running through his mind—"Expressing her primitive virility." He tries to think where he has read it, and what it means, and how it could apply to the present case. The undulations cease. He decides that the phrase could not apply to it. He returns to the window-seat. A new horror obsesses him. The moon has moved round. The chessboard has been blotted out. In extremis, Lord Gumthorpe falls back on his primitive instincts and rings for the butler. There is an imperceptible pause. Stud glides in and stands in the middle of the room, tears of reverence and respectability streaming down his cheeks.

LORD GUMTHORPE. (after an interminable pause). Your mistress has dropped her fan into the fireplace!

[With a little croon of pleasure, Stud falls towards the fireplace. Suddenly he stops, beholding the-fallen wreckage. For a fraction of a second the fetters of a generation of servile habits are almost broken. A fugitive expression of surprise passes over his face. Then, remembering himself, he stumbles over the debris and, groping among the cinders, picks up the fan.

STUD (with finesse). Here is the fan, my Lord. Shall I present it to her Ladyship?

LORD GUMTHORPE. (with extraordinary subtlety). No, you may keep it. Her Ladyship does not require it.

[Stud goes out with the fan. Lord Gumthorpe stands irresolutely warming his hands at the fire. Angela's father from Atlantis, Tennessee, is heard outside in the hall eating cantaloup. The pips rattle against the door. Unable to withstand this further symbol of inevitable doom, Lord Gumthorpe throws himself on to the fire. He is burnt up. The fire is blotted out. Everything is blotted out.

CURTAIN.

* * * * *



* * * * *

From an account of a football match by "Brigadier" in The Daily Record:—

"Cresswell sustained an injury, and took no risks, but R. M. Morton would have risked going at a battalion of dragoons with bayonets drawn."

There must be moments in these peaceful journalistic days of his retirement when that grand old soldier, "Brigadier," wishes he were once more charging at the head of his dragoons, with a drawn bayonet in his hand.

* * * * *

ORANGES AND LEMONS.

IV.—BEFORE LUNCH.

I found Myra in the hammock at the end of the loggia.

"Hallo," I said.

"Hallo." She looked up from her book and waved her hand. "Mentone on the left, Monte Carlo on the right," she said, and returned to her book again. Simpson had mentioned the situation so many times that it had become a catch-phrase with us.

"Fancy reading on a lovely morning like this," I complained.

"But that's why. It's a very gloomy play by IBSEN, and whenever it's simply more than I can bear I look up and see Mentone on the left, Monte Carlo on the right—I mean, I see all the loveliness round me, and then I know the world isn't so bad after all." She put her book down. "Are you alone?"

I gripped her wrist suddenly and put the paper-knife to her throat.

"We are alone," I hissed—or whatever you do to a sentence without any "s's" in it to make it dramatic. "Your friends cannot save you now. Prepare to—er—come a walk up the hill with me."

"Help! Help!" whispered Myra. She hesitated a moment; then swung herself out of the hammock and went in for her hat.

We climbed up a steep path which led to the rock-village above us. Simpson had told us that we must see the village; still more earnestly he had begged us to see Corsica. The view of Corsica was to be obtained from a point some miles up—too far to go before lunch.

"However, we can always say we saw it," I reassured Myra. "From this distance you can't be certain of recognising an island you don't know. Any small cloud on the horizon will do."

"I know it on the map."

"Yes, but it looks quite different in real life. The great thing is to be able to assure Simpson at lunch that the Corsican question is now closed. When we're a little higher up, I shall say, 'Surely that's Corsica?' and you'll say, 'Not Corsica,?" as though you'd rather expected the Isle of Wight; and then it'll be all over. Hallo!

We had just passed the narrow archway leading into the courtyard of the village and were following the path up the hill. But in that moment of passing we had been observed. Behind us a dozen village children now trailed eagerly.

"Oh, the dears!" cried Myra.

"But I think we made a mistake to bring them," I said severely. "No one is prouder of our—one, two, three ... I make it eleven—our eleven children than I am, but there are times when Father and Mother want to be alone."

"I'm sorry, dear. I thought you'd be so proud to have them all with you."

"I am proud of them. To reflect that all the—one, two ... I make it thirteen—all these thirteen are ours is very inspiring. But I don't like people to think that we cannot afford our youngest, our little Philomene, shoes and stockings. And Giuseppe should have washed his face since last Friday. These are small matters, but they are very trying to a father."

"Have you any coppers?" asked Myra suddenly. "You forgot their pocket-money last week."

"One, two, three—I cannot possibly afford—one, two, three, four—— Myra, I do wish you'd count them definitely and tell mo how many we have. One likes to know. I cannot afford pocket-money for more than a dozen."

"Ten." She took a franc from me and gave it to the biggest girl. (Anne-Marie, our first, and getting on so nicely with her French.) Rapidly she explained what was to be done with it, Anne-Marie's look of intense rapture slowly straightening itself to one of ordinary gratitude as the financial standing of the other nine in the business became clear. Then we waved farewell to our family and went on.

High above the village, a thousand feet above the sea, we rested, and looked down upon the silvery olives stretching into the blue ... and more particularly upon one red roof which stood up amid the grey-green trees.

"That's the Cardews' villa," I said.

Myra was silent.

When Myra married me she promised to love, honour and write all my thank-you-very-much letters for me, for we agreed before the ceremony that the word "obey" should mean nothing more than that. There are two sorts of T. Y. V. M. letters—the "Thank you very much for asking us, we shall be delighted to come," and the "Thank you very much for having us, we enjoyed it immensely." With these off my mind I could really concentrate on my work, or my short mashie shots, or whatever was of importance. But there was now a new kind of letter to write, and one rather outside the terms of our original understanding. A friend of mine had told his friends the Cardews that we were going out to the Riviera and would let them know when we arrived ... and we had arrived a week ago.

"It isn't at all an easy letter to write," said Myra. "It's practically asking a stranger for hospitality."

"Let us say 'indicating our readiness to accept it.' It sounds better."

Myra smiled slowly to herself.

"'Dear Mrs. Cardew,'" she said, "'we are ready for lunch when you are. Yours sincerely.'"

"Well, that's the idea."

"And then what about the others? If the Cardews are going to be nice we don't want to leave Dahlia and all of them out of it."

I thought it over carefully for a little.

"What you want to do," I said at last, "is to write a really long letter to Mrs. Cardew, acquainting her with all the facts. Keep nothing back from her. I should begin by dwelling on the personnel of our little company. 'My husband and I,' you should say, 'are not alone. We have also with us Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Mannering, a delightful couple. Mr. A. Mannering is something in the Territorials when he is not looking after his estate. His wife is a great favourite in the county. Next I have to introduce to you Mr. Thomas Todd, an agreeable young bachelor. Mr. Thos. Todd is in the Sucking-a-ruler-and-looking-out-of-the-window Department of the Admiralty, by whose exertions, so long as we preserve the 2 Todds to 1 formula—or, excluding Canadian Todds, 16 to 10—Britannia rules the waves. Lastly, there is Mr. Samuel Simpson. Short of sight but warm of heart, and with (on a bad pitch) a nasty break from the off, Mr. S. Simpson is a litterateur of some eminence but little circulation, combining on the cornet intense wind-power with no execution, and on the golf course an endless enthusiasm with only an occasional contact. This, dear Mrs. Cardew, is our little party. I say nothing of my husband.'"

"Go on," smiled Myra. "You have still to explain how we invite ourselves to lunch."

"We don't; we leave that to her. All we do is to give a list of the meals in which, in the ordinary course, we are wont to indulge, together with a few notes on our relative capacities at each. 'Perhaps,' you wind up, 'it is at luncheon time that as a party we show to the best advantage. Some day, my dear Mrs. Cardew, we must all meet at lunch. You will then see that I have exaggerated neither my husband's appetite, nor the light conversation of my brother, nor the power of apology, should any little contretemps occur, of Mr. Samuel Simpson. Let us, I say, meet at lunch. Let us——'" I took out my watch suddenly.

"Come on," I said, getting up and giving a hand to Myra; "we shall only just be in time for it."

A. A. M.

* * * * *

ARTISTES' ALIASES.

An interesting meeting was held at the Memorial Hall last Saturday in order to discuss schemes of brightening the nomenclature of British musicians.

Sir FREDERIC COWEN, who presided, said that whereas in the last century it was the common practice of British singers to Italianize their surnames, we had now gone to the opposite extreme of an aggressive insularity. He thought that a compromise between the two entremes was feasible, by which a certain element of picturesqueness might be introduced into our programmes without exposing us to the charge of deliberately seeking to denationalise ourselves.

Sir HENRY WOOD suggested that the method of the anagram or palindrome yielded very happy results. Nobody could be charged with running away from his name if he merely turned it upside down or inside out. For instance, Miss MURIEL FOSTER would become Miss Leirum Retsof, which had a pleasantly Slavonic sound, while Mr. HAMILTON HARTY would reappear in the impressive form of Mr. Notlimah Ytrah.

Miss CARRIE TUBB protested vigorously against the proposal, on the ground that, if it were adopted, her name would sound just like Butt, which was already that of a contralto singer. (Sensation.)

Madame CLARA BUTT supported the protest, pointing out that, if the suggestion were acted on, her name would sound just like Tubb, which was that of a soprano vocalist. (Great sensation.)

Professor GRANVILLE BANTOCK pleaded eloquently for calling in the glamour of the East to illuminate the drab monotony of our Anglo-Saxon surnames. He was quite ready to be known in future as Bantockjee or Bangkok, if the sense of the meeting was in favour of the change—always subject, of course, to the consent of Sir OLIVER LODGE, the Principal of Birmingham University. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. DELIUS was strongly opposed to any change of nomenclature being made compulsory. He was quite sure that he would not compose nearly so well under, e.g., the alias of De Lara. In any case, artists should be safeguarded against the appropriation of their names by others.

Mr. ALGERNON ASHTON (who was greeted with soft music on muted violins) deprecated all unseemly pranks. Nothing would induce him to change his patronymic or turn it upside down or inside out.

Mr. LANDON RONALD expressed sympathy with musicians who were handicapped by cacophonous or undignified names. For example, a singer called Hewlett or Ball laboured under a serious disadvantage when competing with artistes blessed with melodious appellations such as Bellincioni or Sammarco.

Mr. BEN DAVIES observed that Welsh singers wore terribly hampered by the poverty of their nomenclature. Two out of every three bore the surname Davies, and at least one in three of our Welsh male soloists was christened Ivor. Ivor was a good name in itself, but it was becoming terribly hackneyed.

Mr. HENRY BIRD thought that all musicians should be at liberty to assume names provided they were appropriate. But for a composer to call himself Johann Sebastian Wagner was to court disaster. He ventured to submit the following list for the benefit of persons who contemplated making the change. For a soprano: Miss Hyam Seton. For a contralto: Miss Ritchie Plummer. For a tenor: Mr. Uther Chesterton. For a bass: Mr. Deeping Downer. For a pianist: Mr. or Miss Ivory Pounds. For a banjoist: Mr. Plunkett Stringer.

Miss PHYLLIS LETT, in a brief speech, explained that her name was all-British and had no connection whatever with Lithuania.

Ultimately, on the proposal of Lord HOWARD DE WALDEN, seconded by Mr. JOSEF HOLBROOKE, a small committee was appointed, consisting of Sir EDWARD ELGAR, Professor BANTOCK, Madame CLARA BUTT, Mr. BEN DAVIES and Sir HENRY WOOD, to enquire into the different proposals, and the meeting dispersed to the strains of "For he might have been a Rooshan."

* * * * *



* * * * *

"The audience was divided into two sections; the Smith supporters cheered every blow Wye landed as a point for their man, while Wye's friends were equally enthusiastic on his behalf."—Daily Mail.

With the SMITH supporters behind us, and a SMITH referee, we are prepared to take on CARPENTIER.

* * * * *



* * * * *

"PUNCH" IN HIS ELEMENT.

(Modelled on the Opening Chorus of "Atalanta in Calydon.")

Once in so many calendar spaces Punch, appearing on All Fools' Day, Fills with giggles the hours and graces, Causes the hares of March to stay; And the soft sweet hatters along the Strand Remember the dreams of Wonderland, And the chessboard world and the White King's faces, The hamless commons and all the hay.

Come with loud bells and belabouring of bladder, Spirit of Laughter, descend on the town With tumbling of paint-pails from top of the ladder And blowing of tiles from the stockbroker's crown; Bind on thy hosen in motley halves Over the rondure and curve of thy calves; The night may be mad, but the morn shall be madder— Madder than moonshine and madder than brown.

What shall I say to it, how shall I pipe of it, Weave it what strains of ineffable things? O that my Muse were a Muse with a gripe of it, Engined with petrol and wafted by wings! For the sorrows and sighings of winter are done, And Punch is appearing on April 1, And a savour of daffodils clings to the type of it, And the buttered balm of a crumpet clings.

For the merle and the mavis have joined with the "shover" In drowning the day and the night with their din, And all too soon the unwary lover Is walking about in vestures thin; And the "nuts" are buying their shirts of cotton, And, cast into storage cold, forgotten, From delicate necks they were wont to cover, 'Possum by 'possum, the stoles come in.

And soon is an ending of football rushes, The hold that tackles a travelling heel; And the front of the town with new fire flushes, The paints that follow the paints that peel; And the season comes with its gauds and gold When the amorous plaints once more are told, And the polished hoof of her partner crushes The damsel's shoes in the ballroom reel.

And The Times by day and The News by night, Fleeter of foot than the Fleet Street kid, Shall hurry in motor-cars left and right Saying what Kent and Yorkshire did; And, stout as pillars of marble set, The copper shall capture the suffragette, And screen from peril and heave from sight The maid pursuing, the Minister hid.

The P.C. comes with his maenad haul, Her hatbrim tilted across her eyes; The cricketer dips to the flying ball, His white pants billowing round his thighs; But thou, Charivari, week by week Remaining (I take it) quite unique, Shalt shake with laughter and pink them all With points that puncture the vogue that flies.

EVOE.

* * * * *



* * * * *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

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

House of Commons, Monday, March 23.—In arrangement for business of week to-day set apart for discussion of Naval Estimates. That meant a problematically useful, indubitably dull debate. As has been remarked before, it is the unexpected that happens in House of Commons. Since it adjourned on Friday portentous news came from Ireland, indicating something like revolt among officers of the Army stationed there for avowed purpose of backing up civil force in preservation of peace and order. Wholesale resignations reported.

The very existence of the Army seemed at stake. Had mere business, such as the voting of over L50,000,000 for upkeep of Navy, been to the fore, benches would have been half empty. As it was, they were thronged. Over the crowded assembly hurtled that indescribable buzz of excitement that presages eventful action. The PREMIER and LEADER OF OPPOSITION appearing on the scene were severally greeted with strident cheers from their followers. PRINCE ARTHUR, the Dropped Pilot, at urgent entreaty returning to the old ship in time of emergency, enjoyed unique distinction of being cheered by both sides. Demonstration more eloquent than ordered speech.

Questions over, SEELY read studiously prosaic statement of events leading up to resignations on the Curragh. Someone had blundered, or, as the SECRETARY FOR WAR, anxious above all things to avoid irritation, preferred to put it, "there had been a misunderstanding." All over now. Explanations forthcoming had smoothed out difficulty. Resignations tendered had been withdrawn. Familiar military command "As you were" obeyed.

That all very well. Opposition, upon whom crowning mercy had fallen from beneficent heavens, naturally indisposed to treat unexpected boon in niggardly spirit. BONNER LAW insisted on business being set aside and opportunity provided for rubbing in the salt. Lively debate followed. Speeches delivered with difficulty through running stream of interruption. BYLES OF BRADFORD began it. Breaking in upon BONNER LAW'S speech with pointed question he was greeted with savage shout of "Sit down" that would have made the rafters ring, supposing there were any. Under existing circumstances the glass ceiling looked down compassionately, whilst BYLES, after remaining on his legs for what seemed a full minute, resumed his seat.

Amid uproar that raged during succeeding four hours, SPEAKER, preserving a superb equanimity, rode upon the whirlwind and directed the storm. Whilst PREMIER was trying to make himself heard, HELMSLEY constantly interrupted. SPEAKER made earnest appeal to Members to listen in patience.

"There will," he said, "be plenty of time afterwards for anyone to ask any question or to reply to any point."

WINTERTON, ever ready to volunteer in the interests of order, asked whether JOHN WARD, seated opposite, had not sinned in same manner as HELMSLEY.

"That is no reason why the noble lord should imitate him."

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," retorted WINTERTON. Left House in doubt which was which.

Later SPEAKER dropped down on PAGE CROFT.

"The hon. member," he said, "is not entitled to interrupt because some argument suddenly strikes him."

House laughed at this piquant way of putting it. SARK recalls curious fact. 321 years ago the same dictum was framed in almost identical phrase. Essential difference was that it was the Speaker of the day who was rebuked. He was EDWARD COKE, whose connection with one LYTTELTON is not unfamiliar in Courts of Law. Appearing at bar of House of Lords at opening of eighth Parliament of ELIZABETH, which met 19th February, 1593, SPEAKER submitted the petition, forthcoming to this day on opening of a new Parliament, asking for privilege of speech.

"Privilege of speech is granted," said the LORD KEEPER on behalf of the QUEEN. "But you must know what privilege you have. Not to speak everyone what he listeth, or what cometh into his brain to titter."

Eight o'clock struck before turmoil ceased and House got into Committee on Navy Estimates. In a twinkling over L15,000,000 sterling voted. That nothing to what straightway followed. Getting into Committee on Ways and Means, House voted some L68,000,000 on account of the services of the year.

After this, House was counted out. In imitation of proverbial character of current month, having come in as a lion it went out like a lamb.

Business done.—Tumultuous debate on Ulster side-issue. Huge sums voted in Committee of Supply.

Tuesday.—Renewal of yesterday's excitement round action of certain officers of the Army in Ireland. SEELY promised to circulate in the morning all papers relating thereto. To members of county councils, parish councils, and the like obscure consultative bodies, it would seem reasonable to wait opportunity for studying papers before debating their contents. We have a better way at Westminster. Business set down was the Army Vote. SEELY explained that for financial reasons it was absolutely necessary money should be voted. Necessity admitted, this was done. But not till four hours had been occupied in inflaming talk. As for the vote for many millions, no time was left to talk about it. Accordingly agreed to without comment or criticism.

AMERY struck note of Opposition criticism on Curragh affair by describing "how meanly the SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR sneaked out of the position into which he so proudly strutted a few days ago." More of same genial kind of talk from benches near. But as debate went forward Members evidently became possessed of growing sense of gravity of situation.

It was the Labour Members who effected the change. For first time in life of present Parliament they with united front took the lead at a grave national crisis, representing without bluster the vastness of the social and political force behind them. JOHN WARD in weighty speech brought down the real question from nights of personal animosity and party rancour. It was "whether the discipline of the Army is to be maintained; whether it is to continue to be a neutral force to assist the civil power; or whether in future the House of Commons, representing the people, is to submit its decisions for approval to a military junta.".

Warned party opposite that, the latter principle adopted, there will be no picking and choosing. The private soldier has his conscience as well as the commissioned officer. In cases of industrial dispute Tommy Atkins would find in speeches made to-day by noble Lords and hon. Members justification for refusal to shoot down members of his own class with whose position he had conscientious sympathy.

J. H. THOMAS, Organising Secretary of Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, put this in briefer phrasing when he said, "General GOUGH may feel keenly the Ulster situation. Tommy Atkins will feel not less keenly the industrial situation." House listened in significant silence to illustration pointing the moral. In November next four hundred thousand railway men will come to grips with their employers. If they do not obtain satisfactory terms they may simultaneously strike.

"If," their Secretary added, "the doctrine laid down by the Opposition in respect to Ulster is sound it will be my duty to tell the railwaymen to prepare for the worst by organizing their forces, the half million capital possessed by the union to be used to provide arms and ammunition for them."

Business done.—Ominous debate arising on Ulster question. Army Votes rushed through without discussion.

Wednesday.—Sudden dramatic change in strained situation. Turned out that SEELY'S guarantee to General GOUGH, accepted as satisfactory and followed by withdrawal of that officer's resignation, had not been fully brought to knowledge of the Cabinet. Learning of its concluding paragraphs only when yesterday he read type-written, copy of White Paper published this morning, PREMIER sent for SECRETARY FOR WAR and repudiated them. SEELY, acknowledging his error, tendered his resignation. PREMIER declined to accept it. In view of all the circumstances he "thought it would be not only ungenerous but unjust to take such action."

This strange story, told in two chapters, the first contributed by WAR SECRETARY, the second by the PREMIER, listened to with strained attention by crowded House. There followed debate whose stormy course occasionally rose to heights exceeding those scaled on two preceding days.

Only once was there manifestation of general hearty assent. Forthcoming when the PREMIER warmly protested against "unfair and inconsiderate attempts, not made on one side only, to drag into the discussion the name of the KING."

"His Majesty," he added, amid burst of general cheering, "has from first to last observed every rule that comports with the dignity of the position of a constitutional sovereign."

Business done.—Second Reading of Consolidated Fund Bill, on which debate arose, carried by 314 against 222. Majority, 92.

* * * * *



* * * * *

CRUEL KINDNESS.

There was once a schoolboy who was caught fishing in forbidden waters. He knew that the penalty was a switching (old style), and his contemporaries were pleased to remind him of the fact. Five o'clock was the hour fixed for the interview. The boy was small for his age, but brainy. All day he studied how he might save his skin and disappoint his friends, and at 4.30 he repaired stealthily to his dormitory to make his plans. They consisted of a sheet of brown paper—all that remained, alas, of a home-made cake—two copies of The Scout and a chest protector, which had been included in his outfit by a solicitious parent. By means of the fatal fishing line he attached the combined padding to his person, then, stiffly resuming his garments, knocked at the dread portal as the clock struck.

The Head glanced down over his spectacles. The boy stood strangely erect, and his face was brave though pale. A cane lay on the table. The master's eye was sterner than his heart. His hand reached for the cane, but he replaced it in a drawer, and for twenty minutes the listeners in the corridor vainly pricked their ears for the accustomed sounds.

"Well?" they inquired anxiously when the victim reappeared.

"He only jawed me," replied the small boy; and he wept.

* * * * *

An "agony" in The Daily Graphic:

"Maud darling, did you see my last massage?... Ada."

No, ADA, but she heard about it. Stick to it and you'll soon be down to twelve-stone-five again.

* * * * *

"In the Italian Chamber, on the 12th instant, there was only a majority of Bill. It is believed that the Giolitti Cabinet is tottering.—Ostasiatischer Lloyd."

North China Herald.

Gulielmo's casting vote cannot save them every time.

* * * * *

"On his motor-trip he never met any cat travelling either without lights after dusk or on the wrong side of the road."

Ceylon Observer.

Our dogs may well learn a lesson from this.

* * * * *

"The bride carried a large bouquet of Harum lilies."—South Staffordshire Times.

This sort has two stalks, of course.

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE ODD MAN.

Jones is a man who is too topsy-turvy; Nothing is quite as it should be with Jones, Angular just where he ought to be curvy, Padded with flesh where he ought to have bones.

Jones is a freak who attends to the labours, Small and domestic, that make up the home: Pays all the calls and leaves cards on the neighbours, Leaving his wife to be lazy at home.

Does up her dresses without saying, "Blow it"; Pays and forgets to say "Bother" or "Biff"; Asks her to scatter the money and go it, Beams at her bills when the totals are stiff.

As for his daughters, he gives them their chances, Rushes them round to reception and fete; Takes them himself to their concerts and dances; Always looks pleased when they want to stay late.

Then he has meals which would make you grow thinner, Often absorbing with infinite glee Sponge-cakes at breakfast and crumpets at dinner, Whitstable oysters at five o'clock tea.

Next he loves laughter: that is, to be laughed at— Every way's right for the man to be rubbed; Grins when he's sneered at and jeered at and chaffed at; Wriggles with pleasure whenever he's snubbed.

Fiction, in short, in a million disguises Never created a crankier clod, More unaccountably made of surprises, More topsy-turvily fashioned and odd.

* * * * *

CARPET SALES.

(In accordance with the current announcements of the leading West-End houses, and with no reference to Anglo-Russian diplomacy.)

Carpets of Persia fashioned on Orient looms— Webs which the craftsman's hand with a patient cunning Wrought through the perfect marriage of warp and woof— Such as were laid, I imagine, in Bahram's rooms Where (since their removal) the lion and lizard lie sunning, And the ass, according to OMAR, stamps his hoof— Are selling off cheap, it is stated, for money down: Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?

Carpets of Persia! (None of your home-made stuffs!) After long years on the loom and infinite labour, Piled in bales on piratical Arab dhows At Bunder Abbas, and brought by a crew of roughs (Each looking more of a cut-throat rip than his neighbour) Down Ormuz Strait through a series of storms and rows— Surely they ought to be bargains in London Town? Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?

Carpets of Persia! Though not, perhaps, one of the best, Like those which adorn the Victoria and Albert Museum, Yet, since you assert that you're selling authentic antiques, I'd like to have one which the foot of a Caliph has pressed, Or one where the wives of a Wazir (I fancy I see 'em) Were wont to recline, curled up in their shimmering breeks, Or one whereon foreheads were rubbed before mighty HAROUN— Oh, have you a remnant of Persia for half-a-crown?

* * * * *

A POLITICAL CORRESPONDENCE.

SIR,—It has been brought to my notice that at a meeting you addressed recently in your constituency you referred to me, and in the course of your remarks you said that I had employed in the House of Commons the "blustering artifice of the rhetorical hireling." May I ask you for your authority for this statement? I can only hope that your reply will avoid any ambiguity, and for your further enlightenment I may inform you that I am annoyed.

I am sure I am acting as you would wish me to do in sending a copy of this letter to the Press.

Yours faithfully, N. Y. Z THOMSON-THOMSON.

A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.

SIR,—How like you to read an inaccurate report of my speech! The words I used—you will find them reported in The Wastepaper Gazette for that week—were as follows: "We must then take these statements of Mr. Thomson-Thomson to be nothing but the blustering artifice of a rhetorical hireling." You will, I am sure, appreciate the difference between the two versions. If you do not, I may add that I am prepared to endorse the opinion expressed in the accurate version and to raise the question in the House of Commons at an early opportunity.

I am sending a copy, of this letter to the Press, as your reply will doubtless be irrelevant.

Yours faithfully, A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.

SIR,—I have perused several reports of your speech, and with one exception they all agree that the word "the" was used and not the word "a." The Wastepaper Gazette, with which I think you are identified, is the only one which has printed your version of the speech, and I must therefore decline to accept your statement. Of course had the indefinite article been used it would have destroyed any ground for complaint. As you are attempting to evade the serious issue between us I can only conclude that your methods indicate the "blustering artifice of the rhetorical hireling." Unless I hear from you to the contrary I shall always maintain this view.

I have sent a copy of this letter to the Press.

Yours truly, N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON.

A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.

SIR,—My Secretary was much pained at your last letter. He has informed me of its contents. I can only say that I am surprised that a statesman of your undoubted ability should exhibit such peculiar controversial methods.

The circumstances are not new. In 1911, in the House of Commons, I find that I formulated the same opinion of you in substantially the same words, yet no objection was then raised by you nor could any objection have been so raised.

Since your election your attitude on every question has been deplorable, and although I am of the opposite party I may say that in this view I am in no sense actuated by party feeling. This is a matter too serious for the bitterness of partisanship.

I repeat that in my opinion you have frequently employed the blustering artifice of a rhetorical hireling.

Unless I hear from you within half-an-hour I shall send a copy of this letter to the Press.

Yours faithfully, A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

P.S.—Could you oblige me by letting me know who was the originator of the phrase?

N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.

SIR,—You have totally failed to substantiate the serious charges you made against me, and I am sorry, for the sweetness of political life, that you have not had the courage or the fairness to withdraw them.

I am glad that we have been able to conduct this correspondence on the courteous lines which have ever characterised our public careers.

I have sent a copy of this letter to the Press.

Yours faithfully, N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON.

P.S.—I do not know who was the author of the phrase. But I knew you couldn't be.

A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE, ESQ.

SIR,—I have nothing to add to my last letter.

Yours truly, A. B. C. WENTWORTH-COKE.

P.S.—I purpose sending a copy of this letter to the Press.

N. Y. Z. THOMSON-THOMSON, ESQ.

* * * * *

Some idea of last week's Parliamentary crisis may be gathered from the following poster:—

- CABINET SENDS FOR FRENCH -

Our neighbours across the water were too busy with their own troubles to respond. Much better have sent for Germans. Their arrival might have pulled us together.

* * * * *

SHOP.

(Spring Thoughts by One In Trade.)

When the new Spring is drawing near There always rises in my blood A keen desire to see the year Fresh opening in the bud.

From my tame task to wander free; For one brief day to get me gone To some sweet rural spot, and see How things are getting on.

So, when a rising glass invites, Off by the ready train I fare; How sweet are all the country sights, How fresh the country air!

Here every prospect has its charm; On every side I find a spell; There is a pleasure in a farm, And (almost) in the smell.

'Tis sweet to see the pretty lambs, To mark them as they frisk and jump, Or nestle round their anxious dams, So placid and so plump.

I hear the lark's ecstatic gush From his clear ambush in the sky; A blackbird (if it's not a thrush) Sings from a wood hard by.

I climb towards an open lea Whereon the goodly cattle browse, And oh, it does me good to see Such oxen and such cows.

And here and there an early calf Staggers about with weakling frame; It is a sight that makes me laugh; I feel so glad I came.

The orchard with its early pink (Cherry, I'm told) adorns the scene; While the horse-chestnut (as I think) Is well-nigh turning green.

So through the day I roam apart, And bless the happy dawn of Spring, Which thrills a butcher's homely heart With such sweet visiting.

But soon the light begins to fade, And I must quit these rural joys To labour at my daily trade Mid London's dust and noise.

Back to the buses and the trams, To think on Spring's recurring boon, Especially the calves and lambs: They will be ready soon.

DUM-DUM.

* * * * *

"Carpentier was getting to be a sorry sight at the finish. There was hardly anything to indicate that Jeannette had been in a 15-round glove-fight."—Times.

"All this Carpentier stood well, and quick as lightning at long range cut the mulatto's face to bits."—Morning Post.

We think our contemporaries are carrying their rivalry with each other too far.

* * * * *



* * * * *

COUNTRY LIFE EXHIBITION.

INTERESTING PROGRAMME.

Arrangements have now been completed for holding at the Piscicultural Hall, Kensington, an exhibition, the aim of which is to impart instruction in the art of living in the country. Such assistance is of the highest value, since many persons otherwise capable enough are unable to manage rural ways at once or deal with even such ordinary difficulties as neighbours' visits, invitations to garden parties, dinners, &c., political confessions, the retention of servants, the lighting system, the Vicar's calls, and so forth.

HOW TO KEEP SERVANTS.

On this most difficult problem lectures will be given by a practised chatelaine. Various different makes of gramophones will be on view, with a list of tunes most acceptable to the servants'-hall. The maximum possible distance of the house from the nearest picture palace has been worked out from illuminating statistics. Useful hints about followers may also be gathered here.

CHURCH.

Not every one in the country goes to church, but none can escape acquaintance with the Vicar. Hints as to how to deal with him are freely offered, and a variety of excuses for non-attendance have been drawn, ranging from a headache to Quakerism. Also what to say when the Vicar meets you on Sunday morning with your clubs. A list of minimum subscriptions to all conceivable charities is on sale.

LIGHTING.

For country householders who are at present burning oil, but think they would like an illuminant made of petrol or acetylene, a lecture will be given by an expert, who will examine all the myriad plants on the market and offer his opinion as to the least unsatisfactory. Diagrams of gardeners' burns and other injuries in a failure to master the intricacies of the engine are a popular feature. Also phonograph records of what certain gardeners have said, in various dialects, when told to tackle the new light.

COUNTRY INN SECTION.

Everything necessary to the successful management of a country inn is on view here. Among the exhibits are a cup of coffee as prepared from coffee and a cup of coffee as served in a typical inn. By studying the two the inn-keeper may learn what is expected of him, and how to avoid the mistake of serving coffee in which any flavour of coffee persists.

POLITICS.

Here the settler in the country is on very delicate ground and in need of all his tact. As the exhibition lecturer will point out, he must, before avowing his own political creed, ascertain that of his landlord—particularly so if he has only a yearly tenancy. The chances are that the landlord is a Conservative. If the tenant is Conservative too, all is well; if the contrary—but we had better leave the details to the lecturer.

NAMES OF FLOWERS.

A well-known horticulturist has invented a system by which the names of flowers can be taught in the shortest possible time, especially as the flowers have been carefully selected to exclude all but the fashionable. After only two lessons the pupil is in a position to lead a visitor through the garden and casually and accurately enumerate every delphinium and climbing rose in it. Suitable adjectives to apply to flowers are also provided.

DOGS.

Models of the two chief different types of country house—those which the dogs may enter as they will, and those from which the dogs are excluded—are on view.

WHERE TO LIVE.

A lecturer who knows every inch of the country within a forty-mile radius of London will discourse at intervals on the respective merits of each popular district. A list of the principal residents in each will be available, together with a computation of the chances of a newcomer being called on by any ladies with a title. In order to make this department really efficient the intending new resident must of course give true particulars as to his or her social history. Districts where new residents who have been in trade, always excepting wine and the motor industry, are not called on, are carefully marked on a special Social map.

TAXIS.

A map of England, coloured to show where the tariff is 8d. a mile, 9d. a mile, 10d. a mile, and 1s. a mile, has been prepared.

RAILWAYS.

A careful examination of the railways out of London has been made, with full particulars as to the speed of their trains, punctuality, cleanliness, warmth, week-end tickets and so forth. Also hints for doing the company by old hands. Also character sketches of the station-masters at all likely stations.

AEROPLANES.

In order that accidents due to falling airmen may be guarded against, a map has been designed for sale in the hall, showing those parts of the country over which flights are most common.

* * * * *

OLD CHINA.

Little Wun-lee's father, Nang-Poo, Let her do just what she wanted to do; Made her processions with peacocky banners In the most regal and lavish of manners.

Little Wun-lee's father, Nang-Poo, Was a magician who lived at Foo-choo. Now if you possess a magician of cunning Nothing you want should be out of the running.

Little Wun-lee had all sorts of things— Fly-away carpets and vanishing-rings, Djinn as her footmen, and gem-spraying fountains, And lovely snow-leopards from ghost-haunted mountains.

Little Wun-lee, combing her hair, Saw a blue butterfly float through the air— Saw a blue butterfly flicker and settle On an azalea's rosy pink petal.

Little Wun-lee said: "By the MINGS, That for your fly-away carpets and rings! Peacocks and palanquins? Powers and dominions? I'll have a pair of blue butterfly's pinions!"

"Little Wun-lee," answered Nang Poo, "That's the one trick no magician can do; Never did wizard of land, air or water Magic blue wings on a little white daughter."

Little Wun-lee, dainty and dear, Cried for a day and a week and a year— Cried till she died of a Thwarted Ambition, And nobody cared but Nang-Poo, the magician.

Little Wun-lee, little Wun-lee, He buried her 'neath the azalea tree; And the burnished blue butterflies flicker and hover, And the rosy pink petals fall lightly above her.

* * * * *

A Bloodthirsty Critic.

The Nation on Saint Augustin, by LOUIS BERTRAND:

"The student of Church history will do well to take Dr. Bertrand's Life."

* * * * *



* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

(By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks.)

I doubt if Messrs. ASQUITH, CHURCHILL, EDMOND, LLOYD GEORGE, or even Colonel SEELY have leisure these days for novel-reading, and, if they have, they might be reluctant to devote it to The Ulsterman (HUTCHINSON). It does not treat of their favourite subject and, so far from offering any solution of extant difficulties, adds yet another complication to the Home Rule question. Everything from revenue to religion having been discussed, no one but Mr. F. FRANKFORT MOORE has thought to deal with the love interest. What is to be done, the tale suggests, for the young lovers in the North whose families are loyal to different sovereigns? Ned was the son of a stalwart, if somewhat snobbish, adherent of His Majesty KING GEORGE THE FIFTH; Kate was the daughter of a would-be subject of the Divine DEVLIN, and things could never have gone well with them had it not been for the intervention of Ned's uncle, who had been so long out of Ireland that he had ceased to cherish any keen feelings in the dispute, and had been so used by his brother in the past that he was only too glad of the opportunity of spiting him by getting his son married to a Papist. But there are other cases, where no such facilities are at hand, and, if Mr. MOORE'S picture is a true one, it must go hard with such couples. What is to be done for them? Are they to be told to wait six years and see? I hope not, for whatever they might see in the period could have no interest for them? This matrimonial difficulty is one, at any rate, which, as all must agree, even that reputed panacea, the General Election, cannot be expected to cure.

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I think I never met a book more "racily" written—in a special sense of the word—than The Progress of Prudence (MILLS AND BOON). Horses and hounds play so large a part therein as almost to be the protagonists; certainly they are the chief influencing forces in the development of the heroine, from the day when she attempts to purchase one of the pack, under the impression that they are being exhibited for sale, to that other day, some time later, when her own entry finishes second in the Grand National. You will notice that Prudence had progressed considerably during the interval. Her early ignorance was due to the fact that she had only just developed from a slum factory-girl into a landed proprietress. The father of Prudence had been a miser; and, when he died in the attic where he and the girl had miserably lived, he left her a fortune, and instructions to spend it on real estate. So Mr. W. F. HEWER starts us on a pretty problem—how, in these circumstances, will Prudence get on? Of course, she gets on excellently; and soon is as keen a rider to hounds and a judge of horseflesh as any in a neighbourhood where those accomplishments are held in high esteem. Equally of course there are men, nay lords, who fall under the spell of her attraction; but when I tell you that the groom-and-general-horse-master, whom Prudence engaged, and under whose tuition she so prospered, was a gentleman who had seen better days, you will probably have already guessed the end of the tale. This is reached after some scenes of pleasant humour and sentiment, and after I don't know how many runs with hounds, given with a minuteness of detail that shows Mr. HEWER to be a practised master of his subject. The same remark applies to the various meetings at which Prudence (surely a little oddly named?) sees her colours carried to victory. Altogether a stablesque romance that should appeal irresistibly to its own public.

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The Mailing of Blaise is Mr. A. S. TURBERVILLE'S first novel, and it is easy to understand why Messrs. SIDGWICK AND JACKSON have drawn attention to this fact. For the work reveals a great ignorance of, or a supreme contempt for, the art of construction, and its theme is very hackneyed; but at the same time Mr. TURBERVILLE observes so keenly that I groan in the spirit when I think of so much labour misspent on a subject unworthy of his talent. Here we have a boy with the artistic temperament born into the house of one Brown, a Cheapside tailor with puritanical prejudices and the mind of a sparrow. He and his rather futile wife were enough to make anyone rebellious; but too much irony is spent upon them, and it would have been less difficult to sympathise with Philip if his parents' point of view had been more fairly stated. After many domestic frictions the son rushes away from London and lives a Bohemian life (extremely well described) on the Continent, until he marries a delightful and penniless wife. All the marks for charm go to Athenee, unless a few of them can be spared for their child, Blaise, who had, or so it seems to me, great trouble in thrusting his way upon the scenes. Philip and Athenee were going to do great things for their son, but unfortunately both of them were killed while he was still a little child, and he had to be retrieved to the bosom of the Brown family. The change from freedom to rigorous conventionality did not suit poor Blaise, and I could not be very sorry when he annoyed most of the Browns by catching measles and petrified all of them by not recovering. Still, he lived long enough to get his name into the title, though this, I feel, was a bit of favouritism.

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The Way Home, by BASIL KING (METHUEN), describes the spiritual wanderings of a New Yorker, Charlie Grace, destined for the ministry; rejecting it, because of his disillusionment through the practice of the professing Christians about him, in favour of a hunt for the money which alone he finds can earn respect; adopting in business the inverted Christian motto, "Down the other fellow before he downs you"; drifting in and out of loves clean and sordid; and finally, broken in health, discovering the way, through the bitterness of a deeper disillusionment, back to an estranged wife; and yet another way to somewhere near the faith of his childhood and the peace of resignation. Barely is so serious a theme treated by a novelist with such simplicity, sincerity and eloquent reticence. Nobody need fear the dulness known as "pi-jaw." The story is full of interest. The characterisation, extraordinarily careful and balanced, is conveyed not only in description but in the cleverly-constructed dialogue. It is part of the author's skill to represent Hilda, Charlie's wife, with her charming reserve and dignity, as not a little difficult and exacting, and so to divide our sympathies fairly between the two. There are many other living characters, of which old Remnant, the sexton, with his queerly American business notions of religion and dislike of the "riff-raff," is too nicely absurd and human not to have been drawn from life. There is very good stuff indeed in this book, which seems to me in every way an advance upon The Street Called Straight.

* * * * *

It is all a matter of taste. If you like that sort of book you will like The Great Attempt (MURRAY), for Mr. FREDERICK ARTHUR'S story is quite good of its kind. But what sort of a book is it? Well, on page 31 one character says to another character, "Now listen. Thou knowest that there is some mystery regarding the heir to the estate. He is said to be in hiding abroad. The truth is that they have cheated him out of his inheritance and he can't do anything until he finds his papers." And yet it is not entirely that sort of book, for Mr. ARTHUR is evidently a thoughtful student of history, and he has drawn quite a vivid picture of the events leading up to the battle of Culloden. His sympathies are on the side of the PRETENDER and his cause, and he can see nothing to approve of in the ranks of the Hanoverians. I am content to take his word for the rights and wrongs of the case. The whole matter leaves me a little cold. I have no actual grievance against the OLD PRETENDER, though BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE is one of my pet aversions; but I consider that enough fiction has been written about him already. In the matter of subjects for novels I should like to institute an Index Expurgatorius. It would contain the two PRETENDERS, the French Revolution, the American Civil War, NAPOLEON, and most of the other well-worn names and events of history, and would remove a powerful temptation from the path of the young author. Missing heirs in search of papers I do not so much mind. Indeed, I am on the whole fond of missing heirs. But missing heirs with an historical background make me tired.

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* * * * *

Doing the Hat Trick in Two.

"H. S. O. Ashington, who won three events last year, was expected to repeat the achievement yesterday. He figured in the hurdles, high and long jumps, and if he had not taken the high jump, which he won at 5ft. 8in., the probability is that he would have done the hat trick. His initial exertions, however, told against his hurdling."

Daily News.

Unfortunately the absence of them would have told still more against his high-jumping.

* * * * *

"Dr. John A. Bassin performed a surgical operation at Poughkeepsie, New York, on a boy whose heart was too weak to permit the use of an anaesthetic, and who was lulled into unconsciousness by the strains of 'Highland Fling.'"

To make this story more credible the Singapore Free Press heads it "DACOITS IN BURMA."

THE END

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