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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, April 4, 1917
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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 152.



April 4th, 1917.



CHARIVARIA.

The KAISER has conferred upon the Turkish GRAND VIZIER the Order of the Black Eagle. The GRAND VIZIER has had persistent bad luck.

***

"A few weeks ago," says Mr. ROBERT BLATCHFORD, I asked, "What manner of man is the Tsar? And now he has abdicated." We understand that the EX-TSAR absolves Mr. BLATCHFORD from all blame.

***

The Amsterdam rumour to the effect that eighty thousand German soldiers had surrendered was followed the next day by the report that it was really ninety thousand. It appears that a recount was demanded.

***

The Evening News, ever ready to assist with economical hints, now throws out suggestions for renovating last year's suit. No mention is made, however, of the fact that people with fur coats can now obtain quite cheap butterfly-nets for the moth-chasing season.

***

In the Reichstag a member of the Socialist Minority Party has denounced the KAISER as the originator of the War. The denunciation made little impression on the House, as it was generally felt that he must have been listening to some idle street-corner gossip.

***

A cat's-meat-man informed the Southwark Tribunal at a recent sitting that he served over four hundred families a day. The unwisdom of permitting cats to have families in war-time has been made the subject of adverse comment.

***

"I swear by Almighty God that I will speak the truth, no nonsense, and won't be foolish," was the form of oath taken by a witness at a recent case in the Bloomsbury County Court. It was explained to him that this was only suitable for persons taking office under the Crown.

***

It was urged on behalf of a man at the Harrow Tribunal that there would be no boots in the Army to fit him. If a small enough pair can be found for him it is understood that he will join the police.

***

We fear an injustice has been done to the large number of Mexicans who have lately entered the United States. It was at first suggested that they were of pro-German sympathies, but it now appears that they were only fugitives who had fled from the elections in Mexico.

***



***

A man at Bristol charged as an absentee said that he had been so busy wilting poetry that he had forgotten all about military matters. His very emphatic assurance that he will now push on with the War has afforded the liveliest satisfaction to the authorities concerned.

***

"Owing to restrictions on the output of beer," says a contemporary, "the passing of the village inn is merely a question of time." Even before the War it often took hours and hours.

***

It is announced that a wealthy American lady with Socialistic leanings will, at the end of the War, marry a well-known conscientious objector at present undergoing a term of imprisonment. The American craze for curio-hunting has not abated one bit.

***

A woman in North London who two years ago offered her services to the Government in any capacity has just been informed that her offer is noted. There is good reason to believe that she will he among the first women called upon for service in our next war.

***

Because a man had jilted her fifteen years ago, a Spanish woman shot him while he was being married to another woman. It is a remarkable thing, but rarely does a marriage ceremony go off in Spain without some little hitch or other.

***

Proper mastication of food is necessary in these times, and we are not surprised to hear that one large dental firm are advertising double sets of teeth with a two-speed gear attachment.

***

According to The Pall Mall Gazette, Mr. LLOYD GEORGE'S double was seen at Cardiff the other day. The suggestion that there are two Lloyd Georges in the world has caused consternation among the German Headquarters Staff.

***

The bones of a woolly rhinoceros have been dug up twenty-three feet below the surface at High Wycombe, and very strong expressions have been used in the locality concerning this gross example of food-hoarding.

***

Complaint has been made by a brass finisher at Oldham that his fellow-workmen will not speak to him because he receives less wages than they do. To end an awkward situation it is hoped that the good fellow may eventually consent to accept a weekly wage on the higher scale.

* * * * *

NOTICE.

The Proprietors of Punch are glad to announce that they find themselves in a position to revert, for the time being at any rate, to the type and size of Punch as they were before the recent changes.

* * * * *

PUNCH'S ROLL OF HONOUR.

WE record with deep regret the death from pneumonia of Captain HARRY NEVILLE GITTINS, R.G.A., on Active Service. He was a member of the Territorials before the outbreak of war, and, after serving two years at home, went out to France in August of last year. His light-hearted contributions to Punch will be greatly missed.

* * * * *

THE HOHENZOLLERN PROSPECT.

REFLECTIONS OF THE HEIR-APPARENT.

When I've surveyed with half-shut eyes, Over the winking Champagne wine, What I shall do when Father dies And hands me down his right divine, Often I've said that, when in God's Good time he goes, I mean to show 'em How scorpions sting in place of rods, Taking my cue from REHOBOAM.

But now with Liberty on the loose, And All the Russias capped in red, And Demos hustling like the deuce, And Tsardom's day as good as dead— When on the Dynasty they dance And with the Imperial Orb play hockey, I feel that LITTLE WILLIE'S chance Looks, at the moment, rather rocky.

Not that the Teuton's stolid wits Are built to plan so rude a plot; Somehow I cannot picture Fritz Careering as a sansculotte; Schooled to obedience, hand and heart, I can imagine nothing odder Than such behaviour on the part Of inoffensive cannon fodder.

And yet one never really knows. You cannot feed his massive trunk On fairy tales of beaten foes Or HINDENBURG'S "victorious" bunk; And if his rations run too short Through this accursed British blockade Even the worm may turn and sport A revolutionary cockade.

Well, at the worst, I have my loot; And if, in search of healthier air, We Hohenzollerns do a scoot, There's wine and women everywhere; And, for myself, I frankly own A taste for privacy; I should rather Not face the high light on a throne— But O my poor, my poor old Father!

O.S.

* * * * *

THE MUD LARKS.

THE French are a great people; the more I see of them the more I admire them, and I have been seeing a lot of them lately.

I seem to have spent the last week eating six-course dinners in cellars with grizzled sky-blue colonels, endeavouring to reply to their charming compliments in a mixture of Gaelic and CORNELIUS NEPOS. I myself had no intention of babbling these jargons; it is the fault of my tongue, which takes charge on these occasions, and seems to be under the impression that, when it is talking to a foreigner, any foreign language will do.

Atkins, I notice, also suffers from a form of the same delusion. When talking to a Frenchman, he employs a mangled cross between West Coast and China pidgin, and by placing a long E at the end of every word imagines he is making himself completely clear to the suffering Gaul. And the suffering Gaul listens to it all with incredible patience and courtesy, and, what is more, somehow or other disentangles a meaning, thereby proving himself the most intelligent creature on earth.

We have always prided ourselves that the teaching of modern languages in our island seminaries is unique; but such is not the case. Here and there in France, apparently, they teach English on the same lines. I discovered this, the other day, when we called on a French battery to have the local tactical situation explained to us. I was pushed forward as the star linguist of our party; the French produced a smiling Captain as theirs. The non-combatants of both sides then sat back and waited for their champions to begin. I felt a trifle nervous myself, and the Frenchman didn't seem too happy. We filled in a few minutes bowing, saluting, kissing and shaking hands, and then let Babel loose, I in my fourth-form French, and he, to my amazement, in equally elementary English. The affair looked hopeless from the start; if either of us would have consented to talk in his own language, the other might have understood him, but neither of us could, before that audience, with our reputations at stake.

Towards lunch-time things grew really desperate; we had got as far as "the pen of my female cousin," but the local tactical situation remained as foggy as ever, our backers were showing signs of impatience, and we were both lathering freely. Then by some happy chance we discovered we had both been in Africa, fell crowing into each other's arms, and the local tactical situation was cleared "one time" in flowing Swahili. Our respective reputations as linguists are now beyond doubt.

We became fast friends, this Captain and I. He bore me off to his cellar, stood me the usual six-course feed (with wines), and after it was over asked how I would like to while away the afternoon. I left it in his hands. "Eh bien, let us play on the Bosch a little," he suggested. It sounded as pleasant a light after-dinner amusement as any, so I bowed and we sallied forth.

He led me to his observation post, spoke down a telephone, and about twenty yards of Hun parapet were not. "That will spoil his siesta," said my Captain. "By the way, his Headquarters is behind that ruined farm,"

"Which?" I inquired; there were several farms about, none of them in any great state of repair.

"I will show you—watch," he replied, talked into the 'phone again, and far away a cloud, a cloud of brick dust, smoked aloft. "Voila!"

He thereupon pointed out all the objects of local interest in the same fashion.

"We will now give him fifty rounds for luck, and then we will return to my cellar for a cup of coffee," said he, and a further twenty yards of Hun parapet were removed.

Suddenly there came an answering salvo from Hunland, and a flock of shells whizzed over our heads.

"Tiens!" my Captain exclaimed. "He has lost his little temper, has he? Naughty, naughty! I must give him a slap. A hundred rounds!" he shouted into the 'phone, and the German lines spouted like a school of whales blowing.

Again the Bosch slammed across a heavy reply. My Captain leapt to his 'phone. "He would answer me back, would he? The impudence! Give him a thousand rounds, my children!"

Then for the next hour or so the sky was filled with a screaming tornado of shells, rushing, bumping, and bursting, and the Bosch lines sagged, bulged, quivered, slopped over, and were spattered against the blue in small smithereens.

"And now let us see what he says to that," said my Captain pleasantly. We waited, we watched, we listened; but there came no reply (possibly because there was no one left to make one), and my Captain turned to me, shoulders shrugged, palms outspread, a grimace of apologetic disgust on his mobile face—like a circus-master explaining that his clown has got the measles: "Nottin, see you? Pas d'esprit, l'animal!"

* * * * *

]

* * * * *

Certainly Hans the Hun does not seem to be enjoying the same high spirits he did of yore. Possibly he is beginning to regret the day he left the old beer garden, his ample Gretchen, and the fatty foods his figure demands. The story of Patrick and Goldilocks would tend to prove as much.

The other day Patrick was engaged in one of those little "gains" which straighten out the unsightly kinks in the "line" and give the War-correspondents a chance to get their names in print.

Patrick and his friends attacked in a snowstorm, dropped into a German post, gave the occupants every assistance in evacuating, and prepared to make themselves at home. While they were clearing up the mess, they found they had taken a prisoner, a blond Bavarian hero who had found it impossible to leave with his friends on account of half-a-ton of sandbags on his chest. They excavated him, told him if he was a good boy they'd give him a ticket to Donington Hall at nightfall, christened him Goldilocks for the time being, and threw him some rations, among which was a tin of butter.

He listened to all they had to say in a dazed sulky fashion, but at the sight of the tin of butter he gurgled drunkenly and seemed to go light-headed. He spent a perfect day revelling in the joys of anticipation, crooning over that butter, cuddling it, hiding it in one pocket after the other. Towards dusk down came the snow again, and under cover thereof the Bosch counter-attacked.

Patrick says he suddenly heard the bull voice of a Hun officer hic-coughing gutturals, and they were on him. He had no time to send up an S.O.S. rocket, and his machine-gun jammed. In a minute they were all mixed up, at it tooth and claw as merry as a Galway election, the big Bosch officer, throwing off a hymn of hate, the life and soul of the party. He came for Patrick with an automatic, and Patrick thought all was up; and so it would have been but for Goldilocks, who materialized suddenly out of nowhere, deftly tripped up his officer from behind, and, dancing on his stomach with inspired hooves, trod him out of sight.

Their moving spirit being wiped out, the Huns lost whatever heart they had had, and went through their "Kamerad" exercise without further ado.

When the excitement was over Patrick sought out Goldilocks, and, shaking him warmly by the hand, thanked him for suppressing the officer and saving the situation.

"Situation be damned" (or words to that effect), Goldilocks retorted. "He would have pinched my butter!"

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE FLOWERLESS FUTURE.

(Notes from a Society newspaper of the coming vegetable epoch.)

PERSONAL PARS.

We regret to learn that Lady Diana Dashweed has returned from Nice suffering from nervous shock. During a battle of vegetables at the recent carnival Lady Diana, while in the act of aiming a tomato at a well-known peer, was struck on the head by a fourteen-pound marrow hurled by some unknown admirer. There is unfortunately a growing tendency at these festivities to use missiles over the regulation weight.

* * * * *

A daring innovation was made by last Wednesday's bride. One has become so accustomed to the orthodox cauliflower bouquet at weddings that it came almost as a shock to see her holding a huge bunch of rich crimson beetroots, tied with old-gold streamers. The effect however was altogether delightful.

* * * * *

The decorations for a particularly smart "pink-and-white" dinner at one of our smartest restaurants last evening were charmingly carried out in spring rhubarb and Spanish onions, the table being softly illuminated by tinted electric lights concealed in hollow turnips, fashioned to represent the heads of famous statesmen.

* * * * *

FROM THE SERIAL STORY.

"Sick at heart, Adela tottered across the room and, opening her bureau, drew from its secret hiding-place an old letter. As she tremblingly removed it from the envelope a few faded leaves fluttered down to the floor. It was the brussels-sprout he had given her on the night they parted."

* * * * *

AN INDUCEMENT.

"WANTED, Nurse, L30, for three children, 13, 7, and 3 years: nurseryman kept."—Evesham Journal.

To help, we suppose, in making up the beds.

* * * * *

"The stream proved treacherous in the extreme, being a succession of rapids and whirlpools. Often their magazine rifles and automatic revolvers were all that stood between them and death."—Observer.

We always use a Winchester repeater for shooting rapids.

* * * * *

"Merely as photographs these postcards are remarkable. As ikons for men to vow by; as lessons for women to show their children in days to come—when the Hun octopus roots himself again in the comity of civilised nations, lying in wait at our doorways, stretching out his antennae, like those foul things that lurk at sea-cavern mouths—these eight pictures have historical value."—Daily Mail.

Biologists too will be glad to have this description of the habits and characteristics of that fearsome beast the Octopus Germanicus.

* * * * *



* * * * *

ANTICIPATORY INTELLIGENCE.

(Items gathered from the Dally Press of April 1st, 1927).

LORD KENNEDY-JONES, Grand Editor to the Nation, announced yesterday that he proposed to take no notice of the protest against the use of the words "voiced," "glimpsed" and "featured" in official documents.

* * * * *

The Earl of Mount-Carmel has left London on a protracted tour in Pulpesia. He requests that no mention shall be made of his movements during his absence in any newspapers. A special correspondent of Chimes will, we understand, accompany his lordship.

* * * * *

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL gave further evidence yesterday before the Dardanelles Commission.

* * * * *

Lord BILLING left England yesterday for New York in the Transatlantic air-liner P.B.

* * * * *

"Polymachus," the famous descriptive journalist, yesterday published his five-thousandth daily article on the policies, principles and opinions of the house of Pelfwidge. An ox was roasted whole on the roof garden of the famous emporium in honour of the event.

* * * * *

Mr. GINNELL created a slight sensation in the House of Commons yesterday by attempting to accompany on the Irish harp his speech in support of the Atlantic Tunnel Bill.

* * * * *

The SPEAKER of the House of Commons has ruled a Member out of order for making a Latin quotation, the first heard at Westminster for nine years.

* * * * *

The Right Hon. GILBERT CHESTERTON is recovering from a mild attack of mumps. During the progress of the complaint his portrait was painted by Sir AUGUSTUS JOHN.

* * * * *

The Rev. H. G. WELLS preached yesterday evening at the City Temple.

* * * * *

Viscount GREBA (Sir HALL CAINE) takes his seat in the House of Lords to-day, and is expected to make an important pronouncement on Compulsory Manx at the Universities.

* * * * *

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL'S portrait of Lord FISHER has been accepted at Madame TUSSAUD'S Exhibition.

* * * * *

OLD RHYMES FOR RATION TIMES.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, She had so many children she didn't know what to do; She gave them some broth without any bread, So as not to exceed her allowance per head.

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard To get her poor dog a bone; But when she got there the cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had none. She went to the kitchen and scolded the slavey, Who answered, "All bones must be boiled down for gravy."

"Mary, Mary, quite contrairy, how does your garden grow?" "Early greens and haricot beans and cauliflowers all in a row."

When good KING ARTHUR ruled this land he was a goodly king, He stored ten sacks of barleymeal to last him through the Spring; The Food-Controller heard thereof, and said, "This wicked hoarding Must not go on—and if it does I'll have to act according."

* * * * *

CHILDREN'S TALES FOR GROWN-UPS.

v.

THE RIVALS.

The frog challenged the nightingale to a singing contest. "Of course for gurgling and untutored warbling I know he has it," he said to his friend the toad, "but in technique I shall beat him hollow."

So the jury was chosen. The nightingale proposed the lark, the thrush, the blackbird and the bullfinch as experts in singing, and the frog proposed the starling, the linnet, the chaffinch and the reed-warbler.

The nightingale was overcome with emotion at the generosity of the frog, and insisted on adding the crow and the toad as experts in croaking.

The nightingale sang first, whilst his trade rivals sat and chattered. They chattered so loud that the nightingale stopped singing in a huff.

"You are hardly at your best, you know, old thing," said the linnet sympathetically.

"You will find these throat lozenges excellent for hoarseness," said the blackbird.

"His upper register is weak—abominably weak," said the starling to the lark.

"Perhaps if his voice were trained," suggested the lark.

Meanwhile the frog croaked away lustily, but no one listened to him. "The jury must vote by ballot," he said as he finished the last croak.

"Of course we must," twittered the jury.

The frog won by eight votes to two.

"I voted for the nightingale," whispered the crow to the toad.

"So did I," whispered the toad.

* * * * *

A LOSS.

For many reasons the passing of the poster is to be welcomed. For one thing, it robbed the papers themselves of that element of surprise which is one of life's few spices; for another, it added to life's many complexities by forcing the reader into a hunt through the columns which often ended in disappointment: in other words the poster's promise was not seldom greater than the paper's performance. Then, again, it was often offensive, as when it called for the impeachment of an effete "old gang," many of whose members had joined the perfect new; or redundant, as when it demanded twenty ropes where one would have sufficed.

But, even although the streets may be said to have been sweetened by the absence of posters, days will come, it must be remembered, when we shall badly miss them. It goes painfully to one's heart to think that the embargo, if it is ever lifted, will not be lifted in time for most of the events which we all most desire, events that clamour to be recorded in the large black type that for so many years Londoners have associated with fatefulness. Such as ("reading from left to right"):—

ALLIES FLIGHT FALL STRASBURG CROSS OF OF FRENCH THE CROWN METZ AGAIN. RHINE. PRINCE.

BRITISH RUSSIANS AND REVOLUTION FALL NEARING FRENCH IN OF BERLIN. NEARING GERMANY. BERLIN. BERLIN.

THE KAISER A VICTORY! CAPTIVE.

And Finally AMERICA DECLARES PEACE! WAR.

It will be hard to lose these.

* * * * *

FRITZ'S APOLOGIA.

Yes, war is horrible and hideous— It jars upon my sense fastidious, My "noble instincts," to decline To actions that are not divine. So, when I mutilate your pictures, So far from meriting your strictures, Compassion rather is my due For doing what I hate to do. It grieves my super-saintly soul Even to smash a china bowl; To carry off expensive clocks My tender conscience sears and shocks; I really don't enjoy at all Hacking to bits a panelled hall, Rare books with priceless bindings burning, Or boudoirs into cesspools turning. My heart invariably bleeds When I'm engaged upon these deeds, And teardrops of the largest size Fall from my heav'n-aspiring eyes. But, though my sorrow is unfeigned, Still discipline must be maintained; And, when the High Command says, "Smash, Bedaub with filth, loot, hack and slash," I do it (much against the grain) Because, though gentle and humane, When dirty work is to be done I always am a docile Hun.

* * * * *

"It is proposed to collect from Nottinghamshire householders bones and fat for the extraction of glycerine."—Christian World.

Poor "lambs"!

* * * * *

"Lady Companion Wanted, immediately, by young married woman; servant kept, and there are no children: applicant must be well educated, well read, well-bred, and of impeachable character."—Provincial Paper.

So as to give her employer something to talk about?

* * * * *

"'Baghdad' written large on the wall of the terminus in English and Arabic reminded them that they had arrived. In the booking office, now deserted, there had been a rush for tickets to Constantinople. The last train had gone out at 2 a.m. A supper officer discovered the way-bill."—Daily Paper.

A poor substitute if he was looking for the bill-of-fare.

* * * * *

From an Egyptian picture-palace programme:—

"Sensationing. Dramatic. MARINKA'S HEART. Great drama, in 3 parts, of a poignancy interest, assisting with anguish at the terrible peripeties of a Young Girl, falling in hand, of Bohemian bandits. Pictures of this film are celicious, being taken at fir trees and mountan's of the Alpes.— Great success. Comic. Silly laughter."

The translator of the French original was probably justified in his rendering of "fou rire."

* * * * *

PROTESTS OF AN AMMUNITION MULE.



* * * * *



* * * * *

ADMIRAL DUGOUT.

He had done with fleets and squadrons, with the restless roaming seas, He had found the quiet haven he desired, And he lay there to his moorings with the dignity and ease Most becoming to Rear-Admirals (retired); He was bred on "Spit and Polish"—he was reared to "Stick and String"— All the things the ultra-moderns never name; But a storm blew up to seaward, and it meant the Real Thing, And he had to slip his cable when it came.

So he hied him up to London for to hang about Whitehall, And he sat upon the steps there soon and late, He importuned night and morning, he bombarded great and small, From messengers to Ministers of State; He was like a guilty conscience, he was like a ghost unlaid, He was like a debt of which you can't get rid, Till the Powers that Be, despairing, in a fit of temper said, "For the Lord's sake give him something"—and they did.

They commissioned him a trawler with a high and raking bow, Black and workmanlike as any pirate craft, With a crew of steady seamen very handy in a row, And a brace of little barkers fore and aft; And he blessed the Lord his Maker when he faced the North Sea sprays And exceedingly extolled his lucky star That had given his youth renewal in the evening of his days (With the rank of Captain Dugout, R.N.R.).

He is jolly as a sandboy, he is happier than a king, And his trawler is the darling of his heart (With her cuddy like a cupboard where a kitten couldn't swing, And a smell of fish that simply won't depart); He has found upon occasion sundry targets for his guns; He could tell you tales of mine and submarine; Oh, the holes he's in and out of and the glorious risks he runs Turn his son—who's in a Super-Dreadnought—green.

He is fit as any fiddle; he is hearty, hale and tanned; He is proof against the coldest gales that blow; He has never felt so lively since he got his first command (Which is rather more than forty years ago); And of all the joyful picnics of his wild and wandering youth— Little dust-ups from Taku to Zanzibar— There was none to match the picnic, he declares in sober sooth, That he has as Captain Dugout, R.N.R.

C.F.S.

* * * * *

"Would the Lady who took the Wrong Patent Leather Shoe (right) from —— on 7th instant return same?"—Provincial Press.

And then she can recover the right shoe which was left.

* * * * *

"Bethnal Green Military Hospital, formerly an infirmary, names its wards after British virtues, thus:—Courage, Truth, Fortitude, Loyalty, Justice, Honour, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Mercy, Grace, Candour, Innocence, and Patience."—Evening Standard.

We note with regret the omission of that eminently British virtue, Humility.

* * * * *



* * * * *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

Monday, March 26th.—Major PRETYMAN NEWMAN has a bright sense of humour much appreciated by his fellow-countrymen from Ireland. His latest notion is that journals "of a comic and serio-comic nature" should be deprived of their stocks of paper in order that catalogues and circulars should continue to appear. Mr. GEORGE ROBERTS expressed his regret at being unable to discriminate between different classes of publications; but I understand that several Members have offered to satisfy Major NEWMAN's taste for light literature by lending him their old Stores catalogues.

Housewives who have been economising in their meagre supply of sugar in order to have a stock for jam-making have been alarmed by a rumour that they would be charged with food-hoarding and made to disgorge their savings. There is not a word of truth in it, and they may rest assured, on Capt. BATHURST'S authority, that our non-party Government entirely approves this form of Conservatism.



Misled by Mr. BRACE's appearance—I have before now noted his likeness to an amiable cat—Mr. SNOWDEN pressed his advocacy of a certain conscientious objector called PETT to such lengths as to discover that even this kind of cat has claws. "These conscientious objectors," said Mr. BRACE at last, "are not the angels he thinks they are, and it is only with the utmost difficulty that a large number of them will do anything like reasonable work." Thus a PETT illusion has been shattered. Mr. SNOWDEN, however, has plenty more.

Tuesday, March 27th.—If British artisans, as at Barrow-in-Furness, prefer to strike for Germany, it seems hardly reasonable to expect German prisoners to work for England. The nature of the "disciplinary measures" which caused the Germans promptly to return to work on normal conditions was not disclosed, but it seems a pity that they are not tried in the other case.

"We are getting on," as Sir HENRY CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN said on a famous occasion. Formerly it was considered the height of Parliamentary impropriety to say in so many words that an Hon. Member was not telling the truth; and all sorts of more or less transparent subterfuges, of which Mr. CHURCHILL's "terminological inexactitude" is the best remembered, were employed to evade this breach of good manners. But the present House is thicker-skinned than its predecessors, and heard without a tremor the following conversation between the MINISTER OF PENSIONS and Mr. HOGGE:— Mr. Barnes: "I never said there was a scale." Mr. Hogge: "Yes, you did." Mr. Barnes: "No, I didn't."

A little later on, Mr. SWIFT MACNEILL always a stickler for constitutional precedent, attacked the Government for introducing important Bills—including one for extending once more the life of this immortal Parliament—without vouchsafing any explanation of them. He appealed to the SPEAKER to condemn this procedure as being contrary to the spirit of the standing order. Mr. LOWTHER explained that it was his business to carry out the rules of the House, not to express opinions about the use that was made of them. But he ventured to remind the Hon. Member that under this rule a Home Rule Bill, a Welsh Disestablishment Bill and a Plural Voting Bill had all been introduced on a single day. And it is not on record that on that occasion Mr. MACNEILL entered any protest.

Wednesday, March 28th—Rumours that Mr. ASQUITH was about to make a public recantation of his hostility to Women's Suffrage caused a large attendance of Members, Peers and the general public. The interval of waiting was beguiled by, among others, Mr. PEMBERTON BILLING, who, having been told by Mr. MACPHERSON that the number of accidents during the training of pilots during the last half-year of 1916 was 1.53 per cent., proceeded to inquire, "What is the percentage based on? Is it percentage per hundred?" Mr. BILLING may be comforted by the recollection that a greater than he, Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, confessed that he "never could understand what those d—d dots meant."

The Editor of The Glasgow High School Magazine must be a proud man this day, for he has been mentioned in Parliament. It seems that he has been refused permission to post his periodical to subscribers in neutral countries, and Mr. MACPHERSON explained that this was in pursuance of a general rule, since "school magazines contain much information useful to the enemy." It is pleasant to picture the German General Staff laboriously ploughing through reports of football-matches, juvenile poems and letters to the Editor complaining of the rise in prices at the tuck-shop, in order to discover that Second-Lieutenant Blank, of the Umptieth Battery, R.F.A., is stationed in Mesopotamia, and therefrom to deduce the present distribution of the British Army.

The SPEAKER occupied the Chair during the discussion of the recommendations of his Conference on Electoral Reform, and heard nothing but good of himself. It was, indeed, a notable achievement to have induced so heterogeneous a collection of Members to present a practically unanimous report on a bundle of problems acutely controversial.

Only on one point did the Conference fail to agree, and that was in regard to Women's Suffrage. But, after Mr. ASQUITH'S handsome admission that, by their splendid services in the War, women had worked out their own electoral salvation, even that topic seemed to have lost most of its provocative quality; and there is a general desire to forget what the late PRIME MINISTER described as a detestable campaign and bury the hatchet and all the other weapons employed in it.



Do you recall the distraught lady in Ruddigore, who was always charmed into silence by the mystic word "Basingstoke"? More than once during Mr. CLAVELL SALTER'S over-elaborated speech I hoped that he would remember his constituency and take the hint. But he went on and on, occasionally dropping into a vein of sentiment and working it so hard that I quite expected to hear him say, "Gentlemen of the Jury" instead of "Mr. Speaker." When it came to the division, however, he only carried some three-score stalwarts into the Lobby, and the House decided by a majority of 279 to support the Government's intention to give immediate effect to the recommendations of the Conference.

Thursday, March 29th.—Employers in want of agricultural labourers should apply to Lord NEWTON, who has a large selection of interned Austrians, Hungarians and Turks, and undertakes to supply an alien "almost by return of post." The Turk is specially recommended, as, even if he fails to give complete satisfaction, the farmer can relieve the monotony of an arduous existence by "sitting on the Ottoman."

Brave man as he is, the FOOD CONTROLLER is not prepared to prohibit entirely the manufacture of cakes and confectionery. But he is preparing to do something hardly less daring, namely, to standardize the types that may be sold.

An old spelling-book used to tell us that "It is agreeable to watch the unparalleled embarrassment of a harassed pedlar when gauging the symmetry of a peeled pear." Lord DEVONPORT, occupied in deciding on the exact architecture and decoration of the Bath bun (official sealed pattern), would make a companion picture.

The unwillingness of some young Scottish Members to volunteer for National Service is now explained. It seems that by an unpardonable oversight the appeals of the DIRECTOR-GENERAL, as published in the Scottish newspapers, were addressed "to the men of England." The wording has now been altered— not too late, I trust, for the country to obtain the valuable assistance of Messrs. PRINGLE and HOGGE.

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE FOOD-SHORTAGE.

"Wanted, Second-hand Cavity Pan, with agitators complete, for edible purposes."—Manchester Guardian.

* * * * *

"No potatoes are to be served in future at any meal at the Portland Club, St. James's Square."—Westminster Gazette.

Hence the new name for this club—the Devonportland.

* * * * *

"We shall have to work more harder."—Daily Paper.

And some of us will have to write more better English.

* * * * *

HERBS OF GRACE.

v.

LAVENDER.

Grey walls that lichen stains, That take the sun and the rains, Old, stately and wise; Clipt yews, old lawns flag-bordered, In ancient ways yet ordered; South walks where the loud bee plies Daylong till Summer flies;— Here grows Lavender, here breathes England.

Gay cottage gardens, glad, Comely, unkempt and mad, Jumbled, jolly and quaint; Nooks where some old man dozes; Currants and beans and roses Mingling without restraint; A wicket that long lacks paint;— Here grows Lavender, here breathes England.

Sprawling for elbow-room, Spearing straight spikes of bloom, Clean, wayward and tough; Sweet and tall and slender, True, enduring and tender, Buoyant and bold and bluff, Simplest, sanest of stuff;— Thus grows Lavender, thence breathes England.

* * * * *



* * * * *

CO-OPERATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS.

In view of the restriction of the paper supply it has been suggested that advertisers should unite in cultivating the available space on a co-operative intensive system.

For example, the various proprietors of three popular brands of cigarettes, instead of having a page advertisement each, might combine in one single page, like this:—

THREE OF THE BEST.

You cannot consider yourself a connoisseur of cigarettes unless you are able to distinguish at one and the same time the individually exquisite flavours of "THE BRASS HAT" "THE OFFENSIVE." "THE GAS ATTACK."

THERE IS NO OTHER PERFECT BLEND.

These cigarettes are smoked in our patent "Trident" cigarette-holders.

Of all Tobacconists.

You see? Not only does each manufacturer still obtain the same sale for his cigarettes, but he actually gains a third share in the profits of a new accessory—the triple cigarette-holder.

Of course ingenuity of this sort is not required when the advertisers are not in any sense rivals. All that is then necessary is what we may call the economic common factor of appeal. For instance:—

ARE YOU ON OUR WAITING LIST?

The War Office The Cricklewood Car. Crematorium.

As soon as we are through with our urgent contracts we shall be happy to serve you.

Finally, we note that there are innumerable classifications of complementary trades which are, of course, eminently suited to co-operative advertising. We append two samples of what may be done in this direction.

I.

If you want to GET an Engagement as Mistress— Solicit an interview at the HOUSEWIVES' HOSTEL.

If you want to KEEP an Engagement as Mistress— Have the whole of your Servants' Suite CREATED BY THE CLASSY FURNISHING CO.

* * * * *

II.

As Omar Khayyam said:—

"A Loaf of Bread—" "MONKEY-NUTTO-BRAN" Contains the whole of the husk.

"A Flask of Wine—" A Wise Host PLUMES HIMSELF on his CHATEAU VINAIGRETTE.

"A Book of Verse—" "PURPLE PIFFLE." By PERCIVAL DRIVEL.

* * * * *

"No submarines were sighted, but the vessel's commander steered a tortoise course through the danger zone."—Newfoundland Paper.

Far, far better than turning turtle.

* * * * *

"Metra laughed and deposited herself bewitchingly among the cushions on the davenport."—London Magazine.

Personally, we prefer a roll on the top of an American desk.

* * * * *

"By Regulation 35B of the Defence of the Realm Regulations, it is an offence for any person having found any bomb, or projectile, or any fragment thereof, or any document, map, &c., which may have been discharged, dropped, &c., from any hostile aircraft, to forthwith communicate the fact to a Military Post or to a Police Constable in the neighbourhood."—Scotsman.

Why this mistrust of Scottish policemen?

* * * * *

EARLIER FOOD PROBLEMS.

Peace, I remember, had her alimentary perplexities not much less renowned than war. At any rate I can think of two.

The first was some years ago, in Yorkshire, on one of those sultry and stifling days of August which in winter, or even in such a March as we have been suffering, one can view as something more desirable than rubies, but which in actual fact are depressing, enervating, and the mother of moodiness and fatigue. We had left Chop Yat early in the morning after a night of excessive heat in beds of excessive featheriness and were walking towards Helmsley by way of Rievaulx, all unconcerned as to lunch by the way, because the ordnance map marked with such cordial legibility an inn on the road at a reasonable distance. Moreover, was not Yorkshire made up of hospitable ridings, and had we not, on the previous day, found lunch in this cottage and tea in that, with no trouble at all, to say nothing of the terrific spread confronting us at Chop Yat? Why then carry anything?

But we soon began to regret the absence of sustenance, for this kind of weather makes for extreme lassitude shot through with rattiness, and under its influence nourishment dies in one with painful celerity.

The blessed word "inn" was however on the ordnance map, and since it was the one-inch scale that cannot lie we braced ourselves, mended and remended our tempers, and plodded on. The dales no doubt are gorgeous places, but under this grey humid sky anyone who wanted it could have had my share of Billsdale (as I believe it was). Scenery had become an outrage. There was no joy, no beauty; nothing was worth living for but that inn. As we laboured forward we cheered each other by word-pictures of its parlour, its larder and its cellar. A pork-pie ("porch-peen" I fancy the Yorkshiremen call it) would probably be there. Eggs, of course. A ham, surely. Bacon, no doubt. Yellow butter, crusty new bread, and beer. Indeed, let the rest go, so long as there was beer. But beer, of course, was beyond any question; an inn without beer was unthinkable.

Thus the miles wore away until, footsore, sticky and faint, we came upon the hostelry itself—only to find, instead of any grateful sign and the promise of delight, the frigid words, "Friends' Meeting House," painted on the board....

That was one experience, over which a veil may well be drawn. The other was not so long ago, in Sussex, a little before the War. This time we had not walked, but had done that much more hungrifying thing—we had been for hours in a motor-car, exceedingly engaged on the task of looking at houses to let. At last, utterly worn out, in the way that motoring can wear out body, soul and nerves, and filled with a ravening desire to tear meat limb from limb, we came to an inn of which our host had the highest opinion—so high, indeed, that, empty though we were, he had forced the car at full-speed past at least half-a-dozen admirable but less pretentious houses, where I, in my small way, had more than once been nourished and sustained.

When, however, at last we did arrive at his desired haven, late in the afternoon, when dusk was beginning to fall and blur with her gentle hand the sharp lines of hill and tree, we acknowledged his wisdom, for in the window beside the door, where we creakingly but joyfully alighted, were visible, although no longer distinctly, a vast ham as yet uncut and two richly-browned cold fowls. "There," said he, with a pardonable triumph, "didn't I tell you?" and so, our lips trembling with the anticipation of nutriment, we entered, flung off our wraps, and prepared, on the evidence, for such bliss as earth too rarely affords. But alas for hopes raised only to be shattered, for the host had nothing to offer us but bread and cheese. The ham and chickens were of papier-mache.

* * * * *



* * * * *

"HOTEL. —— Sitting Waiter required, good experience."—Bournemouth Daily Echo.

The inclusion of the functions of a waiter among "sedentary occupations" explains a good deal.

* * * * *



* * * * *

FROM LORD DEVONPORT'S LETTER-BAG.

I.—From Professor Tripewell.

MY LORD,—You will, no doubt, forgive me for drawing your attention to the fact that the rationing system, to which you have lent the credit of your name, will bring us to the end of our food supplies in something considerably less than a month from now. I am far from wishing to be an alarmist, but it is as well that we should face the facts, especially when they are supported by statistics so irrefutable as those which I am willing to produce to you at any moment on receiving your request to do so.

Fortunately it is not yet too late to apply a simple and adequate remedy to this condition of affairs. All you have to do is to issue and enforce an Order in the following terms:—

(1) Every occasion on which food, no matter how small the amount, is eaten shall count as a meal.

(2) Not more than two meals shall be eaten by any person, of whatever size, age or sex, in a day of twenty-four hours.

(3) No meal shall last more than ten minutes.

(4) The mastication of every mouthful shall last not less than thirty seconds.

(5) A mouthful for the purpose of this Order shall not consist of more food than can be conveyed to the mouth in an ordinary teaspoon.

I venture to think that this order, if issued at once and drastically applied, will meet every difficulty, and that we shall hear no more of a shortage.

* * * * *

II.—From Joshua Stodmarsh.

DEAR OLD SPORT,—It won't do—really it won't. I've been doing my best to give your plan of food rations a fair run, and every week I've found myself on the wrong side of the fence. I have never considered myself a large or reckless eater, though I own to having had a liking for a good breakfast (fish, kidneys and eggs, with muffin or buttered toast and marmalade) as a start for the day. Then came luncheon—steak or chop or Irish stew, with a roly-poly pudding to follow, and a top-up of bread-and-butter and cheese. Tea, of course, at five o'clock, with more buttered toast, and then home to a good solid dinner of soup, fish and entree and joint and some sort of sweet. This just left room for an occasional supper—say three times a week. It doesn't sound out of the way, now does it? And you must remember that I'm not one of your thin, dwarfish, anaemic blokes that you could feed out of a packet of bird-seed. No, I stand six foot, and I don't weigh an ounce under seventeen stone. Dear old boy, you can't have the heart to ask me to do it.

* * * * *

III.—From Miss Lavinia Fluttermere.

DEAR LORD DEVONPORT,—I am writing on behalf of my sister Penelope as well as on my own to bring before you a difficulty under which we are labouring in connection with your Lordship's order in regard to the consumption of food. We are two sisters, the daughters of a country clergyman, who died when I was eighteen and Penelope a year and a half younger. I tell you this to show you that we were not accustomed in our youth to luxurious living. For many years now Penelope and I have lived together in a very small way on the income of an annuity for our joint lives which was bought with a sum of money left to us by an uncle. On this we have managed to get along comfortably, and have even been able to pay for occasional help in the work of our very modest household. When your Lordship's food order was issued we determined to obey it strictly, being glad of an opportunity to show our patriotic devotion to the cause of our country. "It will be hard for us, Penelope," I said, "for we are not used to such quantities of meat, and even the allowance of bread is too great, I fear, for our poor appetites; but, since Lord DEVONPORT wishes it, all we can do is to obey, even though this may entail a change in our manner of living and an increase in our weekly expenses." Penelope agreed, and on this principle we have endeavoured to act. We have, however, now found the task to be beyond our capacity, though we have struggled loyally to fulfil the duty imposed upon us; and we write to ask your Lordship to grant us some dispensation, lest permanent plethora should ensue.

* * * * *

IN A GOOD CAUSE.

Mr. Punch desires to support very heartily Lord BERESFORD'S appeal on behalf of the fine work of the Ladies' Emergency Committee of the Navy League, who supply warm clothing to the crews of men-of-war and mercantile auxiliaries; equipment to Naval hospitals, and parcels of food and other necessaries to Naval prisoners of war. The strain upon the Committee's resources has been very heavy, and Mr. Punch is confident that his friends will not allow our gallant sea-services to suffer through any need which it is within their power to supply.

Cheques may be made payable to Admiral Lord BERESFORD, and addressed to the Hon. Secretary, Ladies' Emergency Committee of the Navy League, 56, Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Street, W.

* * * * *

"L1 REWARD.—Lost, Umbrella, engraved W.C.B. 1865-1915."—The Times.

We do not believe that such a faithful friend is lost; it has simply gone out to celebrate its jubilee.

* * * * *

"FOOD IN FRANCE.

A friend who was in France last week tells me that the only cheap article of diet just now is eggs, which are about 1-1/2d. each. Meat, he said, averages 5f. a kilo, which is about the equivalent of 5s. a pound."—Daily Mirror.

No wonder we are not allowed to have the metric system.

* * * * *



* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

MR. CONRAD'S new hero is an unnamed chief-mate who gets his first command to a sailing vessel, also unnamed—queer and of course quite deliberate instance of the author's reticent, allusive method which is so entirely plausible. Her last captain, who had some mad savage hatred of ship and crew, died aboard her and was buried in latitude 8 deg. 20'. The chief-mate, who got the vessel back to port and remained under her new captain, is convinced that the dead man haunts her vengefully; and one desperate accident after another, racking a crew overwhelmed with fever, almost persuades the captain to share the mate's illusion that 8 deg. 20'—The Shadow Line (DENT)—is possessed by the dead scoundrel. I found the book less interesting as a yarn than as an example of the astonishingly conscious and perfect artistry of this really great master of the ways of men and words. Mr. CONRAD never made me believe that the new captain would go so near sharing his mate's superstitious panic (which is perhaps because I know little of sailor-men save what he has taught me); and in the incident, so curiously and deliberately detailed, of his finding the quinine bottles filled with a worthless substitute, and letting them "each in turn" slip to ground, I had again the most unusual shock of being unable to accept the credibility of his invention. This is so rare an experience that it only throws into relief for me the fine craft of this most brilliant of our impressionists, who tells so much with such delicate strokes, so conscientiously considered, so unerringly conveyed.

* * * * *

This is the End (MACMILLAN) is the kind of book that only youth can write—youth at its best. It has the qualities and defects of its parentage; but the qualities, a fine careless rapture, sensitive vision, a wayward and jolly fantasy, challenging provocativeness, faintly malicious humour, are dominant. Miss STELLA BENSON will grow out of her youthful cynicisms and intolerances, will focus her effects, without losing any of her substantial equipment. This is by no means the end. It is the second step of a very brilliant beginning. Already it shows improvement upon her first clever book, I Pose; a surer touch, a finer restraint. What is it all about? Does that matter? It is the manner of the telling rather than what is told that constitutes the charm. If I tell, you that Jay runs away from a respectable home, and, after a grievous experiment as a bolster-filler, becomes a bus-conductor, has a romantic friendship with a middle-aged married man, and marries the faithful Mr. Morgan, her dead brother's soldier friend, I have told you just nothing at all. I will merely add that you will be foolish if you miss this book.

* * * * *

I have to begin by confessing that, despite its most attractive title, my first glance into French Windows (ARNOLD) produced in me some feeling of prejudice. It was not that I failed to recognise both dignity and beauty of phrase in the writing; on the contrary, I told myself that "Mr. JOHN AYSCOUGH" had been betrayed by his own appreciation of beautiful phrases into an indulgence in "style," a deliberate arrangement of his war-pictures that was somehow out of harmony with the stark and horrible simplicity of their subject. But I hasten to make confession that this was but a passing and, I am convinced, a wrong judgment. Indeed, the abiding impression that the book has left upon me is one of enormous sincerity. Both as a soldier and a priest, the writer enjoyed (as his publishers quite justly say) special opportunities for getting into touch with men of all sorts and conditions. This, aided by his own gift of sympathy and comradeship, has resulted in a book that is very largely a record of fleeting but genuine friendships, made with individual soldiers, both French and English, in the Western battle. Many of them contain portraits and character-studies (a pedantic term for anything so sensitive and sympathetic as these tributes to nameless heroes, but I can find no better) that linger in the memory. I defy you, for example, to forget soon the story of that winter walk taken by the writer and certain officer-boys of his unit to the Cistercian Monastery, and what Chutney said by the way; and what happened afterwards. For the sake of such sincere and memorable sketches as this I am more than ready to forgive what seemed like a touch of artifice elsewhere.

* * * * *

Mr. GEORGE MOORE, continuing his labours as reviser and editor-in-chief of the Moorish masterpieces, has now directed his attention to A Modern Lover. Finding this (presumably) not modern enough, he has refashioned and republished it under the admirably comprehensive title of Lewis Seymour and Some Women (HEINEMANN). Not having the original at hand, I am unable to indulge in comparisons; but there seems good reason to suppose that Lewis Seymour's relations with the three amiable ladies who assist his artistic and amatory career remain very much what they probably were in the beginning. As for the tale itself, that too will hardly belie your expectation, being full of cleverness, carried off with an infectious gaiety, and boasting (I use the word advisedly) more than a sufficiency of that rather assertive and school-boy impropriety which the charitable might quote as evidence of our author's perpetual youth. It is an interesting, though perhaps futile, speculation to reflect how Mr. THOMAS HARDY, to whose plots the present bears some resemblance, might have handled it. Had Lewis Seymour pursued his education in womanhood under the guidance of the wizard of Dorchester there would probably have been less of the atmosphere of holiday humour; but, on the other hand, we should almost certainly have been spared the quite superfluous naughtiness of the Parisian scenes. By the way, talking of Paris, surely I am right in supposing that the vision of a revived Versailles was an experience of two ladies? It is unexpected to find Mr. MOORE denying anything to "the sex."

* * * * *

Of the late Mr. JACK LONDON'S alternative methods of writing, the defiantly propagandist and the joyously adventurous, I, being an average reader, have always preferred the latter; so that, remembering how separate and distinct he usually kept his two styles, I expected, in taking up The Strength of the Strong (MILLS AND BOON), to be immediately either disappointed or gratified. But, as it turns out, the half-dozen essay-stories that make up this slender volume are by no means characteristic, for there is very little plot in any, and even less attempt forcibly to extract a moral; and amongst them are two not very successful North of Ireland studies that seem to have no connection at all with the author's usual manner. The volume is made up of social pictures, all (as Mr. LONDON liked to pretend) within his own experience, presented impartially for you to study, and draw, if you choose, your own conclusions. That experience ranges, comprehensively enough, from a first-hand sketch of primeval man attempting rather unhappily to group himself in clans and tribes, to a journalistic note of the Yellow Peril that materialised, we learn, somewhere late in the twentieth century and was overcome by science liberating disease—a Hunnish method no longer novel. Of the series I like best the tale of the San Francisco professor of dual personality, who by dint of much practical study of labour problems came at last to cut loose from his own circle and disappear in the army of industry. In this chapter alone is there a spark of the volcanic fire, now unhappily no longer in eruption, that blazes in such great stories as The Sea Wolf, Adventure and Burning Daylight.

* * * * *

Though there may be no very particular reason why you should be invited to read The Love Story of Guillaume-Marc (HUTCHINSON) it is, I vouch, a vivid enough tale of its genre. Squeamish folk, perhaps, may think that this is not the most opportune time at which to draw attention to the blood-lust that was so marked a feature of the French Revolution. But, granted that you do not suffer from squeams, you will find Miss MARIAN BOWER a deft weaver of romance. Here love and adventure walk firmly hand-in-hand, and from the moment Guillaume-Marc makes his entrance upon the stage until the happy ending is reached any day might have been his last. The villain, too, is a satisfactory scoundrel, and cunning withal. "Brains," he considered, "may conceive revolutions, but it is the empty stomach which propagates them." I wonder whether they have the brains for it in Berlin.

* * * * *



* * * * *

According to a recent official communique from Petrograd, among the captures on the Caucasian Front was "an apomecometer (an instrument for estimating altitudes)." It is understood that the latest Turkish estimate of the "All Highest" was captured with the instrument, but was found to be unfit for publication.

* * * * *

"The Weser Zeitung now reports from Berlin that deliberations by the State authorities have led to the decision that from April 15 the meat ration will be increased to half a kilometre (about 17-1/2 ozs.) per week."—Liverpool Daily Post.

This must refer to the sausage-ration, which by reason of its length and tenuity is now advertised by the butchers (civilian) of Berlin as "The HINDENBURG line."

* * * * *

"STEAM LUNCH—50 ft. x 7-1/4 ft., fast, liquid fuel."—Yachting Monthly.

A meal of these dimensions should surely attract the attention both of the FOOD CONTROLLER and the Liquor Control Board.

THE END

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