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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 19th, 1914
Author: Various
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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOLUME 147.

AUGUST 19th 1914.

* * * * *

Illustration: A QUICK CHANGE OF FRONT.

* * * * *

THE NATURE OF A MORATORIUM.

"It's a big ship" (I could overhear Ethel's voice through the open nursery window). "I know perfectly well it is. It's one of the Cunarders."

"Well, you're quite wrong then," (this from Jack). "It was passed through Parliament. You can't pass a ship through Parliament."

"It's the sister ship to the Lusitania—so there!"

Joan's thoughtful voice intervened.

"I can tell you what it is," she said. "It's a place for burying people—a sort of big tomb where they put dead kings. There's one at Windsor."

Curiously enough I was myself at the moment rather puzzled as to what it was and how it worked.

"Do you know, William," I said to my host, "that you are owing me ten pounds and I've got to get home to-day, and I've no money?"

"Oh, but I shan't pay it now," he replied shamelessly.

"Why not?"

"I'm going to put a Moratorium on you. I don't know, of course, if that's quite the correct phrase. The thing is new to me. But at least I can see how it works. You had better try James. He owes you five, and he never reads the papers, so he may not have heard of it."

I went at once into the library, where I found James making up a parcel of three half-sovereigns to send to his bank. No one is going to accuse James of hoarding gold.

"About that fiver," I began.

"Ah, yes. I was just coming out to talk to you about that before you went," said he. "Now that I'm sending all this stuff to the bank I'm just afraid I may be a bit short. I'll tell you what I think we ought to do, you and I, I think we ought to enter into a temporary Moratorium. All the best people are doing it. Of course I don't know if that's the right phrase. But I begin to see how it works."

"It doesn't apply to sums under five pounds," said I severely.

"That's true. I admit it's a pretty narrow squeak. I just managed to get on board, so to speak. Still, as the debt is five pounds——"

"I'll take L4 19s. 11d.," said I, and held out my hand.

"That's not playing the game," said James. "Can't you see you're going to encourage all sorts of panic if you go about reducing debts in that sort of way? What is to become of British credit if a man in your position shows himself willing to accept sweeping reductions for the sake of getting hold of cash? I'm just a little ashamed of you."

"Well, I've got to get home to-day. The ticket costs over five pounds, and I've only got sixteen shillings."

"Nothing simpler, my dear fellow," said James cheerfully. "You ask the booking-clerk for a ticket—pick it up—cover him with a Moratorium (if that's the proper phrase) and hop into the train. The sixteen bob will come in for tips."

I went back to William and sat down. "The upshot of it is, William," I said, "that I can't go. You had better consider pretty carefully what you're doing. I don't think the Moratorium was intended to work in this sort of way. I've got to report myself at the War Office, and I can't go. You may think you're acting as a good citizen should. You may not be hoarding gold or hoarding food, but you are hoarding me."

"It doesn't apply to National Insurance payments," said William brightly, "if that's any help to you."

"It only goes on till the 4th of September," I reminded him, "and the bank rate was recently as high as ten per cent. and may easily go up again. You've got to pay interest on it, you know."

That was where I had him. "How will you take it?" he asked, thrusting a hand into his pocket.

"In new pound notes," said I.

* * * * *

DIES IRAE.

To the GERMAN KAISER.

Amazing Monarch! who at various times, Posing as Europe's self-appointed saviour, Afforded copy for our ribald rhymes By your behaviour;

We nursed no malice; nay, we thanked you much Because your head-piece, swollen like a tumour, Lent to a dullish world the needed touch Of saving humour.

What with your wardrobes stuffed with warrior gear, Your gander-step parades, your prancing Prussians, Your menaces that shocked the deafened sphere With rude concussions;

Your fist that turned the pinkest rivals pale Alike with sceptre, chisel, pen or palette, And could at any moment, gloved in mail, Smite like a mallet;

Master of all the Arts, and, what was more, Lord of the limelight blaze that let us know it— You seemed a gift designed on purpose for The flippant poet.

Time passed and put to these old jests an end; Into our open hearts you found admission, Ate of our bread and pledged us like a friend Above suspicion.

You shared our griefs with seeming-gentle eyes; You moved among us cousinly entreated, Still hiding, under that fair outward guise, A heart that cheated.

And now the mask is down, and forth you stand Known for a King whose word is no great matter, A traitor proved, for every honest hand To strike and shatter.

This was the "Day" foretold by yours and you In whispers here, and there with beery clamours— You and your rat-hole spies and blustering crew Of loud Potsdamers.

And lo, there dawns another, swift and stern, When on the wheels of wrath, by Justice' token, Breaker of God's own Peace, you shall in turn Yourself be broken.

O. S.

* * * * *

A DETERMINED ISLAND.

II.

I continue this record of our daily lives at Totland Bay on August 12th. Before it appears in Mr. Punch's columns great and decisive events may have happened, but at present, except for such slight distractions as I shall relate, we are still calm and peaceful. When we think or speak of Belgium our faces glow, and we are all resolved, should the need arise, to do as Belgium has done, and to do it in the same resolute and unconquerable spirit. In the meantime we rush for the newspapers with a constantly increasing eagerness. At about 11 A.M. the whole of Totland Bay is filled with people reading their papers in the open air. Everybody bumps into everybody else, but nobody minds. A gentleman the other day set out in a canoe and read the morning's news to a party of swimmers, who appeared to be much invigorated by what they heard.

On Sunday night, just as we had finished dinner, we suddenly heard the report of a great gun from the fort at the Needles. The explosion was followed by three plaintive answering notes from a fog-horn. "They're firing at a ship," said someone, and out we all rushed to the nearest vantage-point, and even as we ran another gun went off and again the fog-horn answered with its bleat. The searchlights were striking great shafts of light along the Solent, and far away their beams outlined the shape of a big ship. She was still advancing on her course, when—Bang! another violent explosion shattered the night. This time it came from the fort just over the pier of Totland Bay. The echoes reverberated and rumbled, and the shot tore past close to the ship. Now she took the warning. There were no more appeals from the fog-horn. Slowly she turned and disappeared into the darkness. Possibly she had been at sea for a long time and knew nothing of the war. How she must have marvelled at this strange and dreadful welcome from the Isle of Wight. We went to our beds that night with a feeling of perfect security.

On land, too, we have had our excitements. Yesterday afternoon, when the heather-clad slopes of Headon Hill were crowded with picnickers, there was a sudden alarm of spies. Some men, reported to have been conversing in German, were said to have been peering into cracks in the ground and otherwise behaving in a most suspicious manner. The alarm was given, and almost instantly, springing as it were from the very bowels of the earth, came some half-dozen soldiers running with rifles and fixed bayonets. Amid the shouts of the children they spread about the heather in their hunt, but nothing came of it, for the "spies," though they were caught, turned out to be some Italians resident in Totland Bay and fervently British in their sympathies.

I mentioned last week that we had a children's maid, a German, in our household. Since then, in obedience to the Act, she has been registered as an "alien enemy." I took her by train to Newport for that purpose. On arriving at the station I hailed a fly. "Where to, Sir?" said the driver. "To the police-station," I answered, and the man broke out into a grin. "It isn't a serious offence," I added, but I doubt if he believed me. At the police-station, however, they were quite prepared for us, and in a very few minutes Maria Hasewitz—that is her eminently German name—had had all the particulars of her birth-place, her age, her height, and her personal appearance entered on a blue form by a jocose and affable sergeant. "Brown eyes, I think," said the sergeant; "height, five feet four inches; no beard or moustache, ha-ha. Now sign here and make a mark with your left thumb in this space. That'll pin you down; no escape after that, ha-ha." He produced a board covered with some black sticky substance, dabbed her thumb in it, dabbed it hard on the paper, and, lo, Maria Hasewitz had been registered and had undertaken not to move five miles from Totland Bay without a special permit.

At present this particular alien enemy is engaged, together with all the other available female members of the household, in making pyjamas for our soldiers. Wonderful deeds are being done all round me with scissors and needle and thread. A sewing-machine has been requisitioned. Button-holes are being manufactured with immense expedition. A good deal of "basting" is being got through. In my illimitable ignorance I had hitherto imagined that basting was something that you did to a joint of meat with a big ladle and some gravy. If you did it sufficiently the joint came out succulent, if not it became dry and you abused the butcher. However, we live and learn. Part, at any rate, of three suits of pyjamas that are to go to the Red Cross to-day has been severely and completely basted without either gravy or a ladle.

R. C. L.

* * * * *

Illustration: WELL MET!

GREAT BRITAIN JOINS HER ALLIES IN THE FIELD.

* * * * *

CHARIVARIA.

Even war has its humours. "In the midst of perfect peace the enemy surprises us," is a sentence from a proclamation not by the King of the BELGIANS but by the GERMAN KAISER.

***

WILHELM II. is said to be extremely annoyed in his capacity as a British Admiral that he is not being kept fully informed as to the movements of our Fleet.

***

The danger, of course, of a fondness for a place in the sun is that one may get burnt.

***

The coming generation would certainly seem to be all right. Even children are taking part in the fray. The Boy Scouts are helping manfully here, and at Liege the Germans, we are told, used nippers for cutting wire entanglements.

***

A vivid idea of the horrors of the return journey from the Continent to England after the declaration of war may be gained from the fact that a lady, in recounting her experiences in a contemporary, states that she was thankful to get back to Battersea.

***

General VILLA, it is stated, has now virtually proclaimed his independence of General CARRANZA, and hostilities are said to be imminent. We caution these gentlemen, however, that we are not prepared at this juncture to take a great deal of interest in their little war, and, if they take our advice, they will postpone it.

***

At the present moment, fortunately, one does not hear much of the sex war, but sex-pride compels us to draw attention to an account in The Liverpool Echo of a recent agricultural show, from which we learn that "in a class for cows, in which there was a score of entries, Mr. S. Sanday won with pedigree dairy bulls."

***

The news that a large number of yachts had been placed at the disposal of the Admiralty was, no doubt, responsible for a statement in The Birkenhead News of the 8th inst., to the effect that the Hoylake Town Band, consisting of Bavarians, in a moment of patriotic fervour during the crisis struck up "Der Yacht am Rhein."

* * * * *

Illustration: GERMAN KAISER. "Donnerwetter! No wonder I've missed my appointment. The silly idiots have given me an 1870 time-table."

* * * * *

Overheard in the heather of a grouse moor:—"What ho! The Moratorium."

***

In feline circles it is being pointed out with some pride that not only are there Dogs of Wars but that Active Service Kits are being advertised very freely.

* * * * *

Illustration: AT THE OFFICIAL PRESS BUREAU.

MR. F. E. SMITH (against his gallant instincts). "Permit me, Madam."

* * * * *

"We, as a party," says Mr. KEIR HARDIE in The Labour Leader, "surely have a right to make a special protest against this altogether useless and unnecessary conflict." The KAISER'S address, KEIR, is Potsdam, Berlin (Germany).

***

We rejoice to hear that the thousand fresh herrings which a certain cosmopolitan financier purchased at the outbreak of the war to store up have one and all gone bad.

***

Paris now has a "Rue de Liege." And, in order to obviate any feeling of jealousy, a certain virulent microbe which has just been discovered by a Belgian scientist is, we hear, to be called the "Wilhelm Germ."

***

We trust that the Dutch are taking every precaution to protect the Palace of Peace at the Hague.

***

Brick-box, the Irish Guards' pet terrier, has been sent for the present to a dogs' home. In the event of their going abroad the Irish Guards hope to bring back with them a certain other dog who seems to have gone mad.

***

The British Isles have been defeated at Lawn Tennis, but we really shan't mind so long as we win the war.

***

"On shop after shop in Paris," says The Evening News, "is the notice, 'Maison fermee a cante du de depart du patron et les employes sous les drapeaux Francais.'" Sorry, Evening News, but we cannot believe your statement in its entirety. We are afraid you did not get it confirmed by the Official Press Bureau.

***

According to the St. Petersburg Gazette the Germans have arrested the Grand Duke CONSTANTINE CONSTANTINOVITCH at Badwildungen. The Russian Government admits that the GRAND DUKE has published several volumes of verse.

***

According to a statement in The Globe "the German liner, Belgia, having run short of coal, put in at Newport (Mon.) to-day, and was seized as a prize. She has over L250,000 worth of food on board, including 400 tons of cheese, 73 German reservists, and also a large amount of specie." The last two items must, of course, be regarded as emergency rations.

***

An unfortunate misprint:—

"WAR NEWS IN A FEW LIES."

* * * * *

Illustration: THE MONOPOLIST.

Late Arrival (wishing to put his machine in bicycle rack). "WELL, UPON MY WORD, THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS! CADDIE, WHO PUT HIS BICYCLE LIKE THAT?"

Caddie. "CAN'T SAY FOR SURE, SIR. THE KAISER, I SHOULD THINK."

* * * * *

HOW WAR IS "MADE IN GERMANY."

(Extract from the KAISER'S Diary.)

Letter captured bearing mark of Venezuela Consulate at Berlin. Stamp not put on straight. Insult to me—therefore to the flag. Proceed to issue ultimatum to Venezuela. Venezuela omits to concede one of the 421 points raised. Declare war on Venezuela and publish address to my people:—"Owing to this wicked and determined challenge to Our nation, We have been forced, greatly against Our wish, into a quarrel with a powerful and designing enemy," etc., etc.

Consignment of Chicago sausages, arriving Hamburg, is found to bear label "The Best." Deliberate blow at German supremacy. Germany is the Sausage Queen. Ultimatum to United States. Reply unsatisfactory, so declare war. Speech to my people:—"Owing to this wicked," etc.

Despatch from Pomeranian farming district to effect that a Cochin-China hen has peaked at representation of German Eagle in picture-book. At once issued ultimatum to Cochin-China demanding humble and complete apology, otherwise war would be declared. Received immediate reply, stating that as Cochin-China belongs at present to France I may save myself the trouble of a fresh declaration of war. Do so.

Read statement that "heat in neighbourhood of equator surpasses that of any other part of the world." See in this a direct challenge to our sovereignty. We are the hottest stuff in the world. Declare war on all countries abutting on equator. Speech to my people:—"Owing to this wicked," etc.

Hear South Pole Republic showing signs of activity. Involves serious menace to our pacific plans. Issue ultimatum. Hear later that President is a penguin. As, however, withdrawal of ultimatum is out of the question, have despatched warships. Speech to my people:—"Owing to this wicked," etc.

Having five minutes before lunch, declare war on Spain, Portugal, Tibet, Lapland and the Principality of Monaco. Reasons and ultimata to follow.

Declare war on Bosnia and Herzegovina, but subsequently remember that these territories were recently absorbed by my ally. Undignified to cancel ultimatum, so declare war on said ally.

Make painful discovery that, in spite of overtime at Imperial printing works, I am out of ultimatum forms. Urgent instructions have been sent to hasten delivery of forms, which are of course so printed that only the name of the offending country has to be filled in.

* * * * *

Apparently no more countries remain to be challenged. Must find some at all costs.

Sudden inspiration. Have issued ultimatum to my own country that, if she does not find fresh countries for me to fight before midnight, war will ensue.

Midnight. No new countries found. I declare war on Germany.

* * * * *

The Journalistic Manner.

"Every inch of Belgium will be fought for foot by foot."—Daily Telegraph.

* * * * *

THE OLD ORDER CHANGES.

A thousand years ago I won a cup for jumping. It was not a very good cup, but then it was not a very good jump. Such as the cup is, however, it stands on a shelf in my library, and I have ways of directing the attention of visitors to it. For instance, if a collector of old prints is coming to dinner, I hang my oldest print just above the cup, ready for him; we take our—or better, his—cigars into the library, and I say, "Oh, look here, I picked this print up last week; the man said it was a genuine Eyre and Spottiswoode; you might give me your opinion." He gives me his opinion ... and then his eye wanders down. I see him reading the inscription on the cup.

The inscription says: "Long Jump, 1739," or some such date. "First Prize, won by ——" and then my name very big and splendid. Underneath comes the school crest, followed by the motto, "Dat Deus Incrementum," though I have never jumped any further since. Its shape is the ordinary sherry-glass shape. It is my only cup, and I am proud of it.

I look up as I write, and I see the—by the way, I don't know if you have ever tried "looking up as you write." It is a common thing for reflective writers to say they do, but you should never believe them. It is impossible to write properly when looking somewhere else. What we do is to stop and slew our necks round, and then take a fresh dip in the ink. Well, slewing my neck round as I stop writing, I see my precious cup standing on its shelf, and ... horror! It is standing upside down!

This comes as a surprise to you, but it is no surprise to me. The thing has been going on for months. It is months ago that I first spoke to Celia about it.

"It's Jane," she said. "She always puts it like that when she's been dusting."

"Yes, but what for? Just to catch the eye?"

"I suppose because you always stand glasses upside down when you've cleaned them—to keep the dust out."

"But if she'd only think a moment she'd see that I don't drink out of this, and that glasses don't have 'First Prize, won by ——'"

"Jane isn't here to think, she's here to work."

This seemed to be a distinction drawn between Jane and me.

"You see what I mean," I said, "don't you? It's very difficult to read the cup upside down. A stranger mightn't know who—er—who had won it."

"But don't you always turn it back again? I do, if ever I see it."

"Yes, but—but—— Oh, well, it doesn't matter."

I went back to the library. It was difficult to explain why I minded; because, after all, to fill a pipe, light it and sit down to work every morning is very little less trouble than to turn a cup round, fill a pipe, light it and sit down to work every morning. Anything regular soon gets taken for granted. And yet I was annoyed. I think it was the silliness of standing a First Prize upside down which annoyed me. That and the apparent difficulty of getting into communication with Jane about it.

For it was difficult. One day I went very humbly to Celia and said—

"I know I'm a baby about it. Forgive me. But it's getting on my mind. Do tell Jane about the cup."

"It's awfully hard," she said, after a little thought. "You see, it's such a very, very small thing that it never seems quite the right moment for it. And if, after I'd told her, she said 'What?' I couldn't possibly say it again."

"You must be very articulate the first time. Lead the conversation slowly round to long-jumping or the difficulty of reading on your head, and then casually but articulately——"

"Well, we'll see," said Celia. "Of course, if I ever caught her doing it, I'd tell her. Perhaps I shall."

Well, we saw. We saw that the thing still went on. The direct approach to Jane was evidently impossible. So I tried sarcasm.

Sarcasm, directed into the blue in the hope of hitting the person you want, may not be effective, but it does relieve the feelings. I had a thoroughly sarcastic morning all to myself. My deadly irony took the form of turning everything in the library upside-down. The cup was in position already; I turned up two pewter mugs (third prizes in Consolation Races), the flower bowls, the cigarette box, the lamp, a stool, half-a-dozen pictures, two photographs and the mahogany clock. They all stood on their heads and sneered at Jane. "Why don't you do the thing properly while you're about it?" they said to her. I felt extremely well after I had finished.

Celia stood in the door and gurgled to herself.

"You baby," she smiled.

"On the contrary," I said, "I have made a dignified yet subtle protest. You wouldn't move in the matter so I had to do something. I flatter myself that a sense of her past silliness will rush over Jane like a flood when she comes in here to-morrow morning."

"If Jane's flooded at all," said Celia, "it will be with the idea that the master's mad. But I don't think she'll notice it particularly."

Next morning everything was right side up again—except the cup.

"It's no good," I told Celia; "she is obviously determined. Perhaps it means more than we think to her to have that cup upside-down. Its beauty, the memories it brings back, the symbolism of it, these things touch some hidden spring ... Still I am master in my own house." And I turned the cup round again....

Another month passed and I could bear it no longer. Yesterday I made up my mind. I would speak to Jane myself. I turned my First Prize the right way up, and then looked for Celia.

"Celia," I said firmly, "where is Jane?"

"She's gone out," said Celia softly. "Her—her man goes off to-day."

***

An hour later, with bands playing and people cheering, they wheeled out of barracks, brown and businesslike. Jane was in the front somewhere, waving her handkerchief—not such a silly Jane, after all. And at the back, very proud for her, Celia and I stood silent, with a something in the throat that had come there suddenly....

And this morning the cup was upside-down again. Well, well, if she likes it that way, that way let it be.

But take warning, O Jane! When your man—here's luck to him!—comes back, then I shall assert myself once more. My cup, "Long Jump, 1739. First Prize," shall stand the right way up; either that or you leave my service. I am determined about this....

Meanwhile we can share the daily paper.

A. A. M.

* * * * *

"Dear Mr. Punch,—You may remember that QUEEN VICTORIA recorded in her Journal in the Highlands that 'Vicky sat down on a wasps' nest.' 'VICKY,' of course, was destined later to be the mother of WILHELM II. Can we not see in the present situation rather a remarkable example of heredity?—Yours, etc., MEDICO."

* * * * *

From a Daily Chronicle special correspondent—

"A little meat and plenty of vegetables take one a long way—lettuce, soup, eggs, en surprise, peas, dessert, voila—even the very poor can afford such a dinner in Brussels."

A seven-course dinner is certainly more than we can afford in England.

* * * * *

Illustration: "IT'S AN ILL WIND ..."

Old Cock Grouse. "I SEE THEY'VE ALL GONE SHOOTING EAGLES."

* * * * *

THE PRIVATE VIEW.

I take train home every evening from one of our best stations. Crowned heads fairly tumble over one another there in their anxiety to get a first glimpse of London. Personages are matters of daily arrival.

The other night I reached my station just as a Personage was due. A drive led from his platform to the outside world. On one side of it were lined up the public six deep. On the other side of it was the left luggage office. Four policemen saw to it that no person crossed to the other side except on business.

I began crossing.

"Not that side," said Robert, "unless you want the left luggage."

"The left luggage," I explained, "is my one desire."

I crossed.

The clerk was unusually prompt.

"What's yours?" he said.

"Since you ask," I replied, "I could do with a small stout; or, alternatively, a sherry and bitters."

He kept silence, but with a touch of urgency in it. It is hard to temporize when confronted with a businesslike silence. Yet my view of the drive was worth fighting for.

"I might leave my watch," I continued after a brief hesitation, "but the fact is I left it last week with my only godson. Have you a godson? You know what they are—always wanting something."

"Come along, now," said the official brusquely. Robert, too, was becoming restive.

"Very well; I will deposit my hat. You will be careful with it, won't you?"

He accepted my hat untenderly.

"What name?"

"George," I said; "but they call me 'Winkles' at home."

He was a man not easily moved. He wrote down "George" without hesitation on a bit of pink paper and asked for twopence as he gave it to me.

Just then, to my great relief, the Boat Express arrived. I searched in all my pockets and at last found half-a-sovereign.

I told you he was a man not easily moved. He gave me nine-and-tenpence without a word, but with more halfpennies than was quite nice.

There was a stir in the crowd. I must hang on yet a little, or give it up, or stand six deep. I cannot stand standing six deep. But it is the duty of every citizen to welcome Personages.

Then I bethought me of my pink paper.

I summoned the man who was not easily moved and presented it. "The deposit," I explained, "was a hat—a felt hat—I cannot be sure of the size, but at a guess I should put it somewhere between 7 and 8."

But he had already retrieved it.

I took it and replaced it on my head as I turned in the nick of time to take it off to the Personage. He gave me a very sweet smile, the memory of which I cherish so fondly that I am loth to attribute it to the fashionable dent I subsequently discovered in my bowler.

* * * * *

In the present restriction of Sport we sympathize with that section of the Press which makes it a speciality. However, there are outlets; and one of our Sporting contemporaries has burst forth into history, as follows:—

"Once again England is faced with a crisis. There has been nothing like it since Alexander the Great burned his boats and crossed the Rubicon."

An Infant Prodigy.

"Although only in his 41st year Mr. F. E. Smith is a Master of Arts ..."

Pall Mall Gazette.

* * * * *

Illustration: Medical Officer. "SORRY I MUST REJECT YOU ON ACCOUNT OF YOUR TEETH."

Would-be Recruit. "MAN, YE'RE MAKING A GRAN' MISTAKE. I'M NO WANTING TO BITE THE GERMANS, I'M WANTING TO SHOOT 'EM."

* * * * *

A FIRST CHARGE.

Mr. Punch's appeal is once more for the children. Most earnestly, and with great confidence, he begs his readers to care for those little ones whose fathers and brothers are serving under the Flag for our country's honour and the defence of our homes, or may suffer through loss of work. All gifts to the National Relief Fund should be addressed to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, at Buckingham Palace.

* * * * *

A PLEA FOR PEGASUS.

Ye mobilisers of that other arm Whose might is famed superior to the sabre's, Who furnish forth the wherewithal to charm The Special Correspondent to his labours, And by whose enterprise we're daily fed on Reports of Armageddon.

List to my plaint. It is not that I tire Of those despatches—picturesque effusions— Which by the witness of a later wire Are proved to rank among the Great Illusions; Though much to be deplored, such news, I'm willing Freely to own, is thrilling.

But when your pages, shrunken through the scare Of that worst blow of all, a paper famine, Dispense exclusively Bellona's fare, And, failing battle tales, you simply cram in Facts about spies, commodities and prices, I writhe beneath this crisis.

I can support the other pains of war: Transport disorganised and credit shaken, The fear of hunger knocking at the door, And threepence extra on a pound of bacon; In fact, I'd be the most resigned of creatures If you'd compose your "features."

Could you not lift a corner of the mask That makes these solemn days so much more solemn? A very little ray is all I ask To light the utter darkness—say a column Of "stories" which your slang describes as "snappy;" With these I could be happy;

With these my topic Muse I might entice; But war has left her mute, and me despairing. They call for horses; must I sacrifice The steed with whom I've taken many an airing? Poor Pegasus—and none too well-conditioned! Must he be requisitioned?

* * * * *

From parallel columns in The Evening News:—-

"Haelen is forty-five miles northwest "The centre of the battle was of Liege; it is fifty miles at Haelen (thirty miles east of Brussels." northwest of Liege and thirty miles from Brussels)."

This is simply to deceive the Germans.

* * * * *

Illustration: THE WORLD'S ENEMY.

THE KAISER. "WHO GOES THERE?"

SPIRIT OF CARNAGE. "A FRIEND—YOUR ONLY ONE."

* * * * *

Illustration: Fond Mother (full of war news). "DON'T GO TOO FAR OUT, GIRLS. YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL WITH ALL THIS FIGHTING GOING ON."

* * * * *

MR. PUNCH'S HOLIDAY STORIES.

II.—THE ISLAND CUP RACE.

Cowes week was drawing near to its brilliant climax. Through the blue waters of the Solent a swarm of palatial steam yachts, saucy outriggers, graceful cutters and wasp-like motor boats jostled one another in their efforts to gain safe anchorage after the strenuous excitement of the day's racing. Everywhere could be heard the clank of mooring chains, mingled with the full-flavoured oaths of sailor men.

Gradually silence fell upon the scene, broken only by the melodious murmur of numberless gramophones and the soft strains of the band of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

As the sun descended lower beneath the horizon the dusk deepened, and presently thousands of Chinese lanterns twinkled through the gloom from mast and yard-arm. Lady Margaret Tamerton, leaning idly against the barnacle of her brother's yacht, the Seamaid, drank in the beauty of the night with deep inhalations.

The voice of young Lord Tamerton at her side at last broke the spell of silence.

"Madge," he said softly, "Wonderson has not yet arrived. If he doesn't come, our chances of winning the Island Cup to-morrow are practically hopeless."

"Don't worry, Fred," replied Lady Margaret. "Ralph never fails.... Listen, he is coming now."

And, indeed, the muffled beat of oars was heard approaching from the darkness. Soon a slim white boat came gliding up to the prow of the Seamaid. Ralph Wonderson, a tall athletic figure in his immaculate flannels and straw boater, poised himself on the gunwale, gathered himself for a spring, and leaped with the agility of a cat to the bowsprit of the yacht. Sliding rapidly down this, he nodded easily to Lord Tamerton and clasped the beautiful figure of Lady Margaret in his arms.

"S-sh!" he whispered warningly, laying his fingers on her lips, as she would have spoken. "Nobody must know I am here till to-morrow. That is why I came aboard like that. Listen. Your cousin, Sir Ernest Scrivener, alias Marmaduke Moorsdyke, is here, and is plotting to kidnap you. There is a traitor somewhere on this yacht who supplies him with all information. The attempt is to be made to-night."

"To-night!" murmured Lady Margaret in horror. "What am I to do? His ingenuity is dev—er—fiendish."

"It shall be baffled," replied Ralph reassuringly. "I have thought it all out. It would be dangerous for you to leave the yacht because, in view of to-morrow's race, neither your brother nor I could accompany you. There is only one place on board where you can pass the night in assured safety—the crow's-nest."

"The crow's-nest," repeated Lady Margaret, clapping her hands. "What fun! I shall be rocked to sleep beautifully, and of course they will never think of looking for me there."

"Come," said Ralph, taking her hand. "There is no time to lose, and none of the crew must be allowed to see you. We don't know whom we can trust."

Snatching her in his arms, he carried her easily up the frail rigging, his mountain training showing in every step he took. Five minutes later he returned alone and dropped noiselessly to the deck. He looked round cautiously; there was nobody in view except Lord Tamerton.

"It's all right, Fred," he whispered. "Let us turn in."

They descended the broad staircase arm-in-arm. No sooner had they disappeared than a dark figure crept with a low chuckle from underneath a coil of rope and dropped silently over the yacht's counter.

A phosphorescent gleam disturbed the darkness of the water.

***

Early next morning Ralph Wonderson ran nimbly up the rigging of the Seamaid, carrying a tray loaded with toast, eggs, tea and marmalade. He tapped at the door of the crow's-nest. There was no response. After a pause he tapped again and cautiously pushed open the door. The crow's-nest was empty!

"Betrayed," cried Ralph, clapping his hand to his forehead. A moment later two soft-boiled eggs devastated the snowy whiteness of the Seamaid's deck.

Despite their precautions, Lady Margaret had been spirited away during the night. As soon as he had recovered from the shock of the discovery, Ralph ran to Lord Tamerton and acquainted him with the terrible news. There was a period of agonised and fruitless discussion.

"Wait! I have an idea," exclaimed Ralph presently. He pressed an electric bell, and a steward appeared almost simultaneously.

"Jenkins, fetch me a race card," said Ralph.

"Yes, Sir," replied the steward. "I anticipated your request and have it here."

Ralph and Lord Tamerton bent their heads over the card.

"See," said the former. "It is as I hoped. Among the entries for the Island Cup we have the Watersnake, owner Sir Ernest Scrivener. He will sail her himself, that is certain. It is equally certain that he has Madge on board. If I know anything of him he will not let her out of his sight. Fred, by yonder centreboard I swear that before the race is over we will win her back."

Bang! It was the signal for the competitors to line up for the great race for the world-famous Island Cup.

***

Of all the thousands who pressed themselves against the straining booms none realised that the race was for a prize far more precious than a mere cup of gold valued at two thousand guineas.

The Watersnake was in front, a clear hundred yards separating her from the pursuing Seamaid. All the other yachts lagged hopelessly in the rear.

Scattering the foam at their bows, the two boats rushed along the blue lane of clear water which lay between the booms. Ralph, at the wheel of the Seamaid, gazed anxiously forward. Could they do it?

"Let loose the spinnaker," he commanded gruffly. "Haul on the signal halyard. Lower the keelson."

The orders were swiftly executed, and the Seamaid leaped forward with a bound. The distance between the two vessels rapidly lessened.

"Fred," said Ralph, "you must take the wheel for a time. I'm going forward to board the Watersnake."

Lord Tamerton obediently grasped the wheel, while Ralph ran forward and crept along the bowsprit. The intervening space was now very small. Bracing himself for the effort, he shot through the air and landed upon the deck of the Watersnake. The first object which met his gaze was Lady Margaret, her wrists bound, lying beside the barnacle.

Sir Ernest Scrivener uttered a horrible oath as he recognised the features of his successful rival. For an instant he loosened his grasp on the wheel. The vessel yawed in her course and he was compelled to seize the spokes again.

***

Before Scrivener could command his wits sufficiently to shout an order to his crew, Ralph had caught up Lady Margaret in his arms and dashed to the side of the vessel. Deprived of his skilled command, the Seamaid had dropped behind; it was impossible to leap back to her decks.

Without hesitation, Ralph dived into the water, and still supporting the now unconscious form of Lady Margaret, swam rapidly towards the yacht. Two minutes later he was gripping the wheel and concentrating all his immense will power upon the task of winning the race.

Inch by inch the Seamaid crept up to her rival. Despite all Scrivener's efforts, the gap grew less and less.

And now the winning post was close at hand. Could it be done? Could it be done? The frantic spectators behind the boom shouted themselves hoarse. Lord Tamerton bit his thumbs till the blood ran.

Nearer drew the Seamaid. Nearer and nearer. Nearer still. At the critical moment, Ralph, with a mighty effort, pushed down the wheel.

A bare three inches parted the Watersnake from the winning post when the slight shudder ran through her which told that the prow of the Seamaid had touched her stern. The bump had been made; the race was won.

***

Ralph Wonderson stood with the magnificent Island Cup in his hand, filled to the brim with bubbling champagne.

"To the restoration of the fortunes of the house of Tamerton," he said as he raised it to his lips.

* * * * *

Illustration: The Turkey Buzzard (to the Sea Eagle). "You may call yourself a Turkey Buzzard if you like, but they'll still know you by your white feather."

* * * * *

THE VIKING SPIRIT.

["The week-end was dull and much rain fell, but this did not spoil the visitors' pleasure. The sight of the sea in a turbulent mood was a great attraction."—Seaside note in daily paper.]

It has rained for a week down at Shrimpton; 'Tis zero or less in the shade; You can paddle your feet in the principal street And bathe on the stony parade; But still on our holiday pleasures No thoughts of discomfort intrude, As we whisper, "This sight is a bit of all right," For the sea's in a turbulent mood.

There's nobody harks to the pierrots; For music we don't care a straw; And the "comic" in vain chants the usual strain Concerning his mother-in-law. Unbought are the beach's bananas; Our souls are all far above food; Not a man of us dreams of consuming ice-creams When the sea's in a turbulent mood.

You may prate of the fervour of Phoebus Of days that are calm and serene, When a tint as of teak is imposed on the cheek That is commonly pallid (when clean); But we have a taste that's aesthetic; Mere sunshine seems vulgar and crude, As we gather to gaze with artistic amaze On the sea in a turbulent mood.

* * * * *

The Beekeepers' Record, referring to the photograph of a group of prominent beekeepers, says:—"Mr. Dadant's well-known features are easily spotted." We are sorry, but a little cold cream will sometimes do wonders.

* * * * *

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

"FOR NUTS."—The origin of this curious phrase to indicate incompetence in any pursuit or pastime—e.g., "He can't play for nuts," etc.—is obscure; but its antiquity is incontestable. Thus one of the fragments of ENNIUS runs: "Nucibus non ludere possum." Perhaps the most plausible theory is that which views the phrase as a heritage from our simian ancestors, among whom nuts were the common medium of exchange. On this assumption a monkey—whether gorilla, chimpanzee, baboon or orangutan—who was described as unable to do anything "for nuts," i.e., for pecuniary remuneration, was obviously inefficient. Another explanation, which we believe is supported by Mr. EUSTACE MILES, scouts the notion of an ancient origin of the phrase and fixes the terminus a quo by the recent introduction of vegetarian diet. Nuts being a prime staple of the votaries of this cult, a person who cannot do anything "for nuts" means, by implication, a carnivorous savage who is incapable of progress. Lastly, there remains the ingenious solution that the phrase as commonly employed involves a misspelling. It ought to be "four nuts," and playing four nuts was an ancient but simple game, which may be connected with the cognate phrase about knowing or not knowing "how many beans make five."

* * * * *

POLLY PERKINS: WAS SHE A REAL PERSON?—A careful search in the registers of Paddington in the early and mid-Victorian period reveals so many Mary Perkinses as to render the task of identification peculiarly difficult. It will be remembered, however, that the heroine of the famous ballad is described as not only "little," but "pretty;" indeed, she is spoken of as being "as beautiful as a butterfly and as proud as a queen." So far, however, these clues to her appearance have yielded no solid results. The representatives of the famous family of brewers have been unable to throw any light on the subject, and an application to the managing director of the London and General Omnibus Company has also proved unproductive. (Polly Perkins "married the conductor of a twopenny 'bus.") Her brilliant appearance suggests a possible relationship with Dr. PERKINS, the famous pioneer of the aniline dye industry; but this, as well as the theory that she was a descendant of PERKIN WARBECK, is mere surmise.

* * * * *

THE FIRST MAN WHO ATE AN OYSTER.—The most widely circulated account of this feat is that which ascribes it to the notorious Roman epicure Publius Esurius Gulo, who was nicknamed Bellipotens from the rotundity of his figure. According to the account given in the Gastronomica of Voracius Bulbo (ii. 18) Gulo was always making daring experiments, and, when bathing at Baiae on a very hot day, and seeing a bivalve which had rashly opened its jaws in the sun, he dexterously inserted a stone and conveyed the contents to his mouth on the point of the pin of his fibula. He was subsequently created a proconsul by NERO. The only drawback connected with this account is the fact that oysters were recognised as delicacies in Rome at least a hundred years before NERO. It is right to add that the genuineness of Bulbo's Gastronomica has been seriously impugned, the best authorities (including FRANCATELLI) being convinced that the treatise was the work of a sixteenth-century farceur who belonged to the royal house of Paphlagonia.

* * * * *

PARLOUR PATHOS, SPECIMENS OF.—The best specimens of this interesting emotional product are to be found in the words of Royalty Ballads. A good instance is to be found in the following choice quatrain:—

Nature cares not whence or how, Nature asks not why; 'Tis enough that thou art thou, And that I am I.

* * * * *

COMPARATIVE COUPLETS.—The correct form of this literary disease is as follows:—

A chair without a leg Is like a hen without an egg.

But it is emphatically not to be encouraged, as excessive indulgence in the habit has been known to lead to the break-up of happy homes.

* * * * *

NAMES OF GOLF CLUBS.—The latest addition to the list is, so far as we are aware, the "Sammy," but efforts are being made to induce the St. Andrews authorities to sanction the "Biffy," a combination of the jigger and the baffy, and the "Duncher," a powerful weapon for extricating the ball out of rushes, tar and other viscous lies.

* * * * *

THE JUGGINS FAMILY.—This family claims descent from Joskin ap Gwyggan, the last native prince who ruled in Dwffryn. The earlier lines in the descent are doubtful. The various families claiming to spring from Joskin adopted different patronymics in the fifteenth and succeeding centuries, amongst which may be noted Joskins, Gherkin, Guggenheimer, and Gaga.

* * * * *

Illustration: THE OLD REFRAIN.

First Old Lady. "MY DEAR, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS WAR? ISN'T IT TERRIBLE?"

Second Old Lady. "AWFUL! BUT IT CAN'T LAST LONG; THE POWERS WILL SURELY INTERVENE."

* * * * *

Illustration: The Patriot. "HOARD MY GOLD! I'D STARVE FIRST!"

* * * * *

MIDDLECOMBE v. PADDLEWICK.

I.

Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe. Room 99, X.Y.Z. Offices, Whitehall, 8th August, 1914.

DEAR CHARLIE,—Can you possibly turn out for us on Thursday next v. Paddlewick? We lost to them rather heavily in May last and are anxious to give them a sound beating. Their fast bowler is playing for them again, I hear, and we absolutely rely on your help. Can you get off for the day?

Yours ever, P. R.

II.

Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick. Room 83, P.Q.R. Offices, Lombard Street, 9th August, 1914.

MY DEAR PHIL,—Thanks for yours. Will try to manage it next Thursday, but am doubtful. My chief, though a capable official, is no sport, and I anticipate difficulties. I had a day off only two weeks ago for cricket. Will do my best.

Thine, C. H.

III.

Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick. P.Q.R. 10th August, 1914.

MY DEAR PHIL,—Awfully sorry; no luck re Thursday. Boss hopeless. I broached the matter this morning (without actually asking for permission), but I fear the worst. You had better get another man for the Paddlewick match. So sorry.

Yours ever, CHARLIE HOLCOMBE.

IV.

Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe. X.Y.Z. 10th August, 1914.

MY DEAR CHARLIE,—We shall be absolutely in the cart without you. They've got an awfully hot fast bowler. Bartram now tells me he can't possibly turn out, and you are the only really decent bat I know. We simply can't lose to Paddlewick again—we shall never hear the last of it. (No one need know that you don't play regularly for Middlecombe.) Do try your best, old man. Mightn't your Aunt Martha be seriously ill?

Yours ever, PHIL.

V.

Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick (wire.)

Aunt Martha dying. All well. Boss absent Thursday, so can explain to him afterwards. HOLCOMBE.

VI.

Philip Renwick to Charles Holcombe (wire.)

Good boy. Funeral 11.30. Train Paddington 10.5. Lunch 1.30. Draw 6.30. PHILIP.

VII.

Charles Holcombe to Philip Renwick. Room 83, P.Q.R. Offices, 14th August.

MY DEAR PHIL,—I regret that I was forced to leave somewhat hurriedly after the game last night. I have nothing to add to what I told you at lunch as to the identity of the Paddlewick Spofforth with my chief, of whose sporting talent I was in ignorance. But if you should hear of a good berth going anywhere I should be extraordinarily grateful.

Yours ever, CHARLIE HOLCOMBE.

P.S.—It was doubly unfortunate (in a way) that I should have scored a six and three fours in one over from his bowling.

* * * * *

OLD STYLE AND NEW.

I.—OLD STYLE.

He. Has anyone seen the paper?

She. I haven't.

He. Didn't it come this morning?

She. Very likely not. The boy often forgets it. You're the only person who ever looks at it.

He. Well, I suppose I must wait till I get to the Club; but I dare say there isn't anything that matters in it.

Or

She. Have you done with that paper, my dear?

He. Absolutely; there's nothing in it. There never is. I can't think why we waste money in taking it.

She. Then perhaps I may have it for a pattern?

He. Why, certainly. I've no use for it.

II.—NEW STYLE.

The whole family (all together).

{Has the paper come yet? {What's the news? {Where's the paper? {What about Liege? {I say, where's the paper? {Isn't the paper here yet? {What's the matter with the people?

Or

The whole family (all together again).

{I say, father, you might read quicker. {Can't you tear it in half? {Do tell us the news. {Do read it out loud. {What about Liege? Quick! {Oh dear, why don't we have ten copies of it?

* * * * *

"The 'Daily Telegraph' Algeciras correspondent, wiring yesterday, says news from Gibraltar reports a naval fight off the Canaries. One of the latter was sunk and the other captured and brought to Gibraltar."

Liverpool Evening Express.

Our own canary protests indignantly at this treatment of its allies.

* * * * *

In order to be in the very admirable fashion the L.C.C. has decided, we understand, to change the name of Jermyn Street to Jellicoe Lane.

* * * * *

Illustration: THE LOCAL TOUCH. East Anglian. "TELL YOW WHAT THAT IS, SIR: THAT THERE KAISER 'E 'ONT NEVER BE SATISFIED UNTIL 'E'S RUINED MUDBOROUGH."

* * * * *

Illustration: A BRAVE MAN. "LARGE LAGER, WAITER."

* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

MR. DORNFORD YATES, whose name I seem to recall as a contributor to the magazines, has written a book of the most agreeable nonsense which he has called The Brother of Daphne (WARD, LOCK). For no specially apparent reason, since Daphne herself plays but a small part in the argument, which is chiefly concerned with the brother and his love affairs. This brother, addressed as Boy, was a bit of a dog, and an uncommonly lucky dog at that. The adventures he had! He apparently could not go out for the simplest walk without meeting some amiable young woman, divinely fair and supernaturally witty, with whom he presently exchanged airy badinage and, towards the end of the interview, kisses. What distressed me a little at first, till I tumbled to the spirit of the thing, was the discovery that the charmer was always a fresh one, and in consequence that these osculations had, so to speak, no matrimonial significance. Perhaps, however, Boy recognised an essential similarity in each of his partners. He may, for example, have been deceived by the fact that they all talked exactly the same Dolly dialogue—light, frothy and just a little more neatly turned than is the common intercourse of mortals. You know the kind of speech I mean. It is vastly pleasant and easy to read; but I must decline to believe that any young man could have the amazing fortune to meet fifteen pretty girls who all had the trick of it. Still, that by no means lessened my enjoyment of an entertaining volume, notice of which would be incomplete without a word of praise for the illustrations of Mr. C. W. WILMSHURST, a favourite black-and-white artist of mine, whose name is unaccountably omitted from the title-page.

* * * * *

If DOROTHEA CONYERS knew as much about English syntax as she does about Irish, and were as certain in the handling of a story as she is in the conduct of a horse, Old Andy (METHUEN) might be taken at a single refreshing gallop. As it is, I advise the reader to tackle it piecemeal, a brisk run here and there, followed by a considerable breather. For the novel is put together in a scrambling fashion, being full of repetitions of almost identical scenes and making very little definite way in a forward direction. There are the usual Irish peasantry and farmers who worship the horse for pecuniary and sentimental reasons, as the Israelites worshipped the golden calf; the usual hunting people, who either ride straight and are grimly sarcastic or talk very big and go for the gates; and the usual English visitors, who astound by their guilelessness and simplicity when confronted by aboriginal horse-copers and native bogs and stone-walls. If cubbing be included, I should be afraid to say how many meets are described in this book, or how many hunt-breakfasts and heavy teas in Irish interiors—interiors of cottages, of course, I mean—resulting in how many tricky deals and harmless tosses in the heather and the mud. But if you follow my lead there is plenty of pure joy in Old Andy, and the most and the best of it perhaps is to be found in the remarks of grooms, servant-girls and casual country folk, who as often as not have no kind of connection with the thread of the tale. "'If meself an' the Masther wasn't rowlin' rocks all the day yestherday, he would be within long ago,' replied the covert keeper." "If there is one rabbit with a skinned nose there's a hundther, an' they runnin' by mistake to the door they're used to be at." Such scattered flowers of speech abound in a book whose very want of construction is perhaps symbolical and a reflection of the charming incoherence of the Irish mind.

* * * * *

It is my painful experience that, when a novelist sets out to write a tale of English country life, the better he is at the job the more sombre is the finished product. Mr. GEORGE STEVENSON is very good indeed at his job; he has sincerity and power, and a certain austere aloofness that will take him far; and the result is that Jenny Cartwright (LANE) is about as gloomy a story as ever I read. Above everything else, what I noticed about this book was its freedom from all straining after effect. Whatever takes place, I fancy Mr. STEVENSON saying, do not let us be sentimental about it. Half the characters in the book seem to come by violent ends; of the two chief women, one commits suicide and the other is hanged. Mr. STEVENSON, one can only suppose, speaks of life as he finds it. There are really two stories, that of Beatrice Barrington, the faithless wife of Sir Philip, and the dreary mockery of life up at The Court, with its hatreds and subterfuges, its crippled master, frightened children and spying servants. This is the county as the author sees it. Linked with this is the life of the farm, where Jenny is brought up by an uncle who hates her; where she tends his bedridden wife; where her cousin Beatrice goes wrong; where Beatrice's betrayer is killed in an accident, and her baby falls into the fire; and where finally the dour uncle himself, after shooting the young squire who has offered dishonourable addresses to Jenny, allows her to pay the penalty of his crime. There is undeniable strength about the book and it holds the attention; but I dispute the right of anyone to call it cheerful.

* * * * *

CYNTHIA STOCKLEY has the writing quality in her; she can both see and feel; she can do man-talk with a plausibility beyond the reach of most of her sex; and she works with a refreshing dash and freedom. With a certain carelessness also sometimes; as thus: "The other, turning to run, got a shot in his leg that put him out of business, but in spite of which he managed to crawl away." And there are little kakophonies, such as: "He was loved, openly and gladly, back." The work is good enough to make worth while the cleansing of these defects. The author certainly puts into a short story more thought and characterisation than is common in these days of half-hours with even the best authors through the medium of magazine pot-boilers. Wild Honey (CONSTABLE) is the title of the first (not quite the best) of an excellent bunch. It sums up the bitter-sweet of South Africa, which is the setting of all these stories of love, adventure, horror and the wild. They give a strong impression of fidelity of draftsmanship, though here we know so little that is intimate of the dark continent that we cannot judge how far actual occurrences are based on fact or probability. But CYNTHIA STOCKLEY has some of the mysterious qualities of a possible South African laureate. Perhaps she will contrive to put away a little weakness for tall and scornful aristocratic women; but, in any case, I can commend her book confidently to all intelligent beach-haunters.

* * * * *

"The price of bread has just been fixed by the authorities at 32 centimes the kilometre."—Globe.

So you can get a couple of yards of French roll for about half-a-farthing. Not bad for war-time.

THE END

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