Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152. January 17, 1917
Author: Various
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VOL. 152.

January 17, 1917.


"Time to deal finally with Tino," announced an evening paper last week, thereby doing a great deal to allay a disquieting impression that the matter was to be left to eternity.


"KING CONSTANTINE," says the Berliner Tageblatt, "has as much right to be heard as a common criminal." We agree, though few of his friends have put it quite so bluntly.


The Lokalanzeiger devotes three columns of a recent issue to the advantages of the British blockade as a compulsory refiner of the German figure. A still more desirable feature of it, which the Lokalanzeiger omits to draw attention to, is its efficacy in reducing the German swelled head.


We know of no finer example of the humility of true greatness than the KAISER'S decision to allow the War to continue.


A Berlin newspaper says that after the coronation of the EMPEROR KARL at Budapest one of the jewels was missed from the Crown. Fortunately for the relations between the two Empires, the German CROWN PRINCE is in a position to prove an alibi.


To facilitate the delivery of milk, a certain Dairymen's Association has suggested to the Food Controller that they should have recourse to a pool. In most districts, however, recourse will be had as usual to ***

Lord RHONNDA'S appeal to the public to keep tame rabbits has been enthusiastically taken up by all the smart people, and enterprising maisons are already offering driving coats, sleeping baskets and silk pyjamas for the little pets at prices ranging from two guineas upwards.


The tallest giraffe in the world has just died at the Zoo. The animal came from Kordofan, where, Mr. POCOCK tells us, all the really tall ones have been told.


It is reported that General VON BISSING is retiring from Belgium as his health shows no signs of improvement. The blood baths he has been taking have not afforded the expected relief.


It was stated at a London Tribunal that the War Office has just given a contract for 2,400 waste-paper baskets. If further evidence was required of our unshakable determination to carry the War to a successful conclusion, it is surely provided by this indication of the extent to which the public are helping the War Office with suggestions as to how to win it.


Attention has been called to the waste of time and money involved in the calling of grand juries where there are only one or two trifling cases to be tried, and it is suggested that they might be able to combine their juridical functions with some useful employment. A correspondent who signs himself "Lifer" points out to us that the grand jurymen he has met are just the men the nation needs for the Tribunals if the combing-out process is to be effectual.


A man who was to have appeared before the Law Society Tribunal excused himself on the ground that he was suffering from melancholia, and regret was expressed by the military representative that he should have been misinformed as to the nature of the entertainment.


The admission of a Stuttgart professor that trousers are a German invention has given the liveliest satisfaction to our Highland regiments, who have long had an intuitive feeling that the Hun was guilty of even blacker crimes than those of which we had been officially informed.


A "Longer Course for Cadets" is announced by a morning paper. The Food Controller is to be asked to make public his reasons for this obviously unfair discrimination between soldiers.


Men's wear, it is reported, will be twenty-five per cent. dearer this year than last, but a good example in economy is rumoured to have been set by a well-known actor manager, who now only wears a crease in one leg of his trousers.


A burglar who broke into a Manchester wine stores made off with a large sum of money, but none of the wine was taken. This once again proves that total abstinence is absolutely essential to business success.


Consternation has been caused among the pessimists (who have declared that this will be a long War) by the recent statement of M. Louis RABOURDIN, the French scientist, that in five thousand years the world will be uninhabited.


A solicitor has been arrested in Ireland under the Defence of the Realm Act for refusing to give away the confidential correspondence of his client. The suggestion that a lawyer should be required to give away anything has aroused a storm of indignant protest in both branches of the profession.

* * * * *

* * * * *


The only shipment of mutton to the Continent during the week was 18,000 quarters of beef to France."—Sheffield Daily Telegraph.

Even the oxen in neutral countries are feeling a little sheepish.

* * * * *

"A large section of the city will find its water supply rather intermittent in consequence of a burst of the Rivington water main at Twig-lane, Huyton, near Prescot. The main has an internal diameter of forty-four miles."—Liverpool Paper.

What an awful bore!

* * * * *


State Collee, Pa, Dec. 11.—The 17-yearg lgocgugsgt is due to appear agagingg gnext summer, according to C.H. Hadley, Jr., an entomo-legeggggbmn TTMMggggob rr . . j Eas logist at the Pennsylvania State College."—Erie Daily Times.

The news has had a decidedly discomposing effect already.

* * * * *

"A gamble with death in the Strand—seeing that the stake is precisely the same—should be quite as enthralling as a hairbreadth 'scape on the plains of Texas, even though the gambler wears a top-hat instead of sheepskin trousers."—Manchester Guardian.

The writer understates the case. The substitution of a top-hat for trousers would add a piquancy of its own to the situation.

* * * * *


News of triumph, very cheering, Fills our marrows full of sap, News of FALKENHAYN careering Right across Roumania's map, Tales of corn to swell our tummies, tales of golden oil to tap.

Everywhere we go victorious Over earth and on the blue; More and more superbly glorious Ring the deeds we dare and do, Till they sound almost too splendid to be absolutely true.

Here and there, indeed, a sceptic Mutters language rather rude; Here and there a wan dyspeptic, Yielding to a peevish mood, Wonders why a winning nation finds itself so short of food.

When carillons rock the steeple And the bunting's ordered out, I have noticed several people Ask themselves in honest doubt Why the War-Lord's lifted finger fails to bring a peace about.

Yet, though England, crushed and quailing, Kicks his dove-bird down the stair, I shall trust, with faith unfailing, In my KAISER'S conquering air (Still I blame no man for thinking there must be a catch somewhere).


* * * * *


"Francesca," I said, "have you seen it?"

"It? What?"

"The announcement."

"What announcement?"

"I have been gazetted," I said.

"Did it hurt much?" she said. "Or were you able to bear it without a murmur?"

"It's in The Times," I said, "and you shall read it, whether you like it or not. It's in the place where I'm pointing my finger. There—do you see it?"

"If you'd only take your finger away I might be able to. Thanks. My hat! isn't it exciting? 'To be 2nd Lieutenant (tempy.) 1st Battalion, Blankshire Regiment of Volunteers—' So it's come at last, has it?"

"Yes," I said, "it's come at last. They've recognised us."

"Well," she said, "it was about time, wasn't it? Here you've all been form-fouring and two deeping and route-marching for two years or so, and looking highly military in your grey-green uniforms, while the authorities stood by and persuaded themselves you didn't exist; and at last somebody comes along—"

"It was Lord FRENCH who came along—"

"Yes," she said, "Lord FRENCH comes along on a fine cold Sunday morning and says to himself, 'Here are several hundred thousand men who are panting to make themselves useful. Let's recognise them," and from that moment you actually begin to exist. And then they bring down your grey hairs with sorrow into the Gazette, and, instead of being a Platoon Commander, you become a 2nd Lieutenant."

"'Tempy,'" I said; "don't forget the 'tempy.'"

"I won't," she said. "What does it mean? It sounds very irritable."

"It does," I said; "but as a matter of fact it's got nothing to do with my temper. It means temporary."

"Anyhow it's a difficult word to pronounce in four syllables. I shall do it in two."

"No, Francesca, you shall not. As the holder of His Majesty's Commission I cannot allow you to go about the country saying tempy when you mean tem-po-ra-ry."

"But why do they put in the word at all?"

"It's the War Office way of announcing that we're not to expect our new-born joys to last for ever."

"To the end of the War is long enough for most people at the present rate."

"Do not let us peer too anxiously into the dim and distant future. Let us be satisfied with such a present as fate has assigned to us in making me a 2nd Lieutenant temporary, with all the privileges that the words imply."

"Right," she said. "I'm going to wire to your brother Fred to come and stay here."

"Do you want him to come and rejoice with us over my new rank?"

"No," she said, "not exactly. I want to see how an elder brother, who is a 2nd Lieutenant temporary of Volunteers gets on with a younger brother who is a Colonel permanent in the real Army."

"I do not," I said, "like the word 'real' There's a disagreeable invidiousness about it, and your mouth, you being what you are, should be the last to use it."

'You'll have to salute him, you know."

"Yes," I said, "I certainly shall when I'm in uniform."

"And you'll have to call him 'Sir.'"


"You will," she said, "or you'll be court-martialled. And when he comes into a room in which you're sitting, you'll have to jump up and assume a rigid attitude until he's kind enough to wave his hand. Oh, it will be a real pleasure to have Fred here now that you've been thoroughly recognised. If you don't behave to him in a proper military manner you'll be reported to Lord FRENCH, and then you'll be more tempy than ever. Now that you're recognised you must do the thing thoroughly."

"You'll be sorry for this when I'm guarding a railway line night and day."

"No," she said, "I shan't. I shall keep you going with sandwiches and thermos-flasks."


* * * * *


Extract from note written by the Commandant of a V.A.D. hospital to the Sister-in-charge:—

"I have just heard that the Medical Officer will not be able to come this morning. I have ordered the sweep."

* * * * *



North China Daily News.

Yet we dare say the poor fellow meant well.

* * * * *

"In the preliminary examination of patients the author introduces a test which is new to us; two or three breaths having been drawn through the nose, this organ is then punched by the anaesthetist, whilst the patient holds his breath as long as possible."—The Practitioner.

What the victim of this novel treatment says after recovering his breath is happily withheld from us.

* * * * *

From the Daily Orders of an Australian Battalion:—


The following Officers have reported their arrival and departed respectfully."

Discipline in the Imperial contingents is evidently improving.

* * * * *


* * * * *

* * * * *


When I left her, Celia had two photographs, a British warm and an accidental coffee-stain, by which to remember me. The coffee-stain was the purest accident. By her manner of receiving it, Celia gave me the impression that she thought I had done it on purpose, but it was not so. The coffee-cup slipped-in-me-'and-mum, after which the law of gravity stepped in, thus robbing what would have been a polite deed of most of its gallantry. However, I explained all that at the time. The fact remains that, in whatever way you look at it, I had left my mark. Celia was not likely to forget me.

But she was determined to make sure. No doubt mine is an elusive personality; take the mind off it for one moment and it is gone. So I was to be perpetuated in a miniature.

"Can it be done without a sitting?" I asked doubtfully. I was going away on the morrow.

"Oh, yes. It can be done from the photographs easily. Of course I shall have to explain your complexion and so on."

"May I read the letter when you've explained it?"

"Certainly not," said Celia firmly.

"I only want to make sure that it's an explanation and not an apology."

"I shall probably put it down to a bicycle accident. Which is that?—No, no," she added hastily, "Kamerad!"

I put down the revolver and went on with my packing. And a day or two later Celia began to write about the miniature.

* * * * *

The stars represent shells or months, or anything like that; not promotion. I came back with just the two—one on each sleeve.

We talked of many things, but not of the miniature. Somehow I had forgotten all about it. And then one day I remembered suddenly.

"The miniature," I said; "did you get it done?"

"Yes," said Celia quietly.

"Have you got it here?"


"Oh, I say, do let me see it."

Celia hesitated.

"I think we had better wait till you are a little stronger," she said very gently.

"Is it so very beautiful?"


"So beautiful that it almost hurts? Celia, dear, let me risk it," I pleaded.

She fetched it and gave it to me. I gazed at it a long time.

"Who is it?" I asked at last.

"I don't know, dear."

"Is it like anybody we know?"

"I think it's meant to be like you, darling," said Celia tenderly, trying to break it to me.

I gazed at it again.

"Would you get me a glass?" I asked her.

"A looking-glass, or with brandy and things in it?"

"Both ... Thank you. Promise me I don't look like this."

"You don't," she said soothingly.

"Then why didn't you tell the artist so and ask him to rub it out and do it again?"

Celia sighed.

"He has. The last was his third rubbige."

Then another thing struck me.

"I thought you weren't going to have it in uniform?"

"I didn't at first. But we've been trying it in different costumes since to—to ease the face a little. It looked awful in mufti. Like a—a—"

"Go on," I said, nerving myself to it.

"Like an uneasy choir-boy. I think I shall send it back again and ask him to put it in a surplice."

"Yes, but why should my wife dangle a beneficed member of the Established Church of England round her neck? What proud prelate—"

"Choir-boy, darling. You're thinking of bishops."

As it happened my thoughts were not at all episcopal. On the contrary, I looked at the miniature again, and I looked at myself in the glass, and I said firmly that the thing must go back a fourth time.

"You can't wear it. People would come and ask you who it was and you couldn't tell them. You'd have to keep it locked up, and what's the good of that?"

"I can't write again," said Celia. "Poor man! Think of the trouble he's had. Besides I've got you back now. It was really just to remind me of you."

"Yes, but I shall frequently be out to tea. You'd better have it done properly now."

Celia was thoughtful. She began composing in her mind that fourth letter ... and frowning.

"I know," she cried suddenly. "You write this time!"

It was my turn to be thoughtful....

"I don't see it. How do I come in? What is my locus standi? Locus standi," I explained in answer to her raised eyebrows, "an oath in common use among our Italian allies, meaning—What do I write as?"

"As the owner of the face," said Celia in surprise.

"Yes, but I can't dilate on my own face."

"Why not?" said Celia, bubbling. "You know you'd love it."

I looked at the miniature and began to think of possible openings. One impossible one struck me at once.

"Anyway," I said, "I'll get him to close my mouth."

* * * * *

The stars represent something quite simple this time—my brain at work.

"Celia," I said, "I will write. And this time the miniature shall be criticised properly. To say, as you no doubt said, 'This is not like me,' I mean not like my husband—well, you know what I mean—just to condemn it is not enough. I shall do it differently. I shall take each feature separately and dwell upon it. But to do this modestly I must have a locus—I am sorry to have to borrow from our Italian allies again—a locus standi apart from that of owner of face. I must also be donor of miniature. Then I can comment impartially on the present which I am preparing for you."

"I thought you'd see that soon," smiled Celia.


* * * * *

* * * * *


["Rose of Glenconnel. A first book by Mrs. Patrick MacGill, telling of the adventures in the Yukon and elsewhere of Rosalie Moran. With coloured jacket. Price 5s. net."

Advt. in "Times Literary Supplement."]

Extract from "Belle's Letters":—"Other smart books I noticed included Mrs. BARCLAY'S Sweet Seventy-one, looking radiantly young and lovely in a simple rose-pink frock embellished with rosebuds, and Mr. CHARLES GARVICE'S Marriage Bells, utterly charming in ivory satin trimmed with orange blossom. On another shelf I saw Mr. KIPLING'S The Horse Marines, looking well in a smartly-cut navy blue costume with white facings, and not far away was Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT'S Straphanger, in smoked terra-cotta, and the pocket edition of DICKENS in Mrs. Harris Tweed. Mr. Britling's new book, Mr. Wells Sees it Through the Press, was looking rather dowdy in a ready-made Norfolk jacket, but Mr. and Mrs. WILLIAMSON'S The Petrol Peeress was very chic in a delightfully-cut oil-silk wrap; and so was Sir GILBERT PARKER'S This Book for Sale, in a purple bolero. Academic sobriety characterised the gown worn by the POET LAUREATE'S The Sighs of Bridges, while Mr. A.C. BENSON'S Round My College Dado was conspicuous in a Magdalene blouse with pale-blue sash."

* * * * *

"This was followed by a banquet in which Bro. W.S. Williams took a prominent part."—Daily Chronicle (Kingston, Jamaica).

* * * * *



MY DEAR JERRY,—No doubt you think from the light-hearted tone of my last letter that life here is a bed of roses. In reality we have our flies in the ointment—nay, our shirt-buttons in the soup. The chief of the flies is artillery, both our own and that of the people opposite; and the worst of the shirt-buttons is jam. It sounds strange, but it is true.

There was a time in the olden days when we welcomed gunner-officers, but those days are unhappily past since we met Major Jones. Learn then the perfidy of the Major and ex uno disce, omnes.

I had a nice little 'ouse up in the front line, well hidden by trees. It wasn't a house, Jerry, I wish you to understand; it was merely a little 'ouse standing in its own grounds like, with a brace or so of chickens and a few mangel-wurzels a-climbin' round the place. You know what it's like.

Well, Major Jones, who had been my guest several times in this little 'ouse of mine, came round a few days ago with a worried look and an orderly.

"I want you to come and look at my telephone," he said hurriedly.

"What is it? Is anything wrong?" I asked sympathetically.

"I fear the worst. Something terrible may happen in five minutes," he replied darkly.

I gripped his hand silently, and he returned the pressure with emotion. In silence we walked the two hundred yards which lay between my place and his observation post, and I watched while his orderly got busy with the telephone.

"Is Number One gun ready?" demanded the Major.

It appeared that Number One was itching to be at it.

"Fire!" said the Major.

"Fire!" said the orderly.

A moment later there was a terrific explosion.

"Number One fired, Sir," observed the orderly.

"It is well you told us," I said sweetly, "otherwise I could never have believed it."

But the Major heeded me not. He was staring over my shoulder.

"Good shot, by Jove!" he yelled. "A perfect beauty! Holed out in one!"

I turned to see what had caused his sudden joy. But where was my little 'ouse? Had it suddenly turned into that nasty cloud of dust? Even as I looked my water-bucket reached the ground again.

"Awfully sorry, old man," said the Major, with a ghastly, pretence of sympathy. "You see it was in our way."

I brushed aside his proffered hand (rather good that, Jerry. Let's have it again. I say I brushed aside his proffered hand), and strode back dismally to what had once been my home from home.

Now I live in a little dug-out beneath the ground, chickenless and mangel-wurzelless, awaiting with resignation the day when the Sappers shall find that I am in their way and blow me up.

Another little game of the gunners is called "Artillery Duels."

In the good old days, when a man wanted a scrap with his neighbour, he put a double charge of powder into his blunderbuss, crammed in on top of it two horse-shoes, his latch-key, an old watch-chain, and a magnet, and then started on the trail. It was very effective, but of course some busy-body "improved" on it. Nowadays our gunners ring up the enemy's artillery.

"Hallo! Is that you, strafe you? What about an artillery duel, eh?"

"Oh, what fun!" says the enemy. "Do let's." And then they start.

"A hearty give-and-take, that's what I like," remarks a cheery gunner officer.

A moment later he rushes to the telephone.

"Is that you, enemy?" he asks. "I say, dash it all, old man, do be careful! That last one of yours was jolly near my favourite gun."

"By Jove, I'm awfully sorry, old thing," calls back the enemy. "What about shortening the fuses a bit, eh?"

"Good idea! Waken up the foot-sloggers too. They need it sometimes."

Then for fifteen minutes large shells rebound from the bowed head and shoulders of the unfortunate infantryman.

Which reminds me of George.

George had a strafe-proof waistcoat procured by him from a French manufacturer. He showed it to us proudly, and also the advertisement, which stated that the waistcoat would easily stop a rifle-bullet, whilst a "45" would simply bounce off it. It was beautiful but alarming to see his confidence as he stood up in a shower of shells, praying for a chance of showing off the virtues of his acquisition.

* * * * *

We were very pleased to send to his hospital address to-day a postcard bearing the maker's explanation that a .45 revolver bullet, and not a 45 millimetre shell, was meant.

As regards the jam question, Jerry, the fault of the jam is that it is never jam, but always marmalade. I feel too sore on the question to write much, but I may just hint that we have heard that Brother Bulgar sometimes gets real strawberry. It is just possible, therefore, that you may hear of a raid soon.

Yours ever, PETER.

* * * * *


["One striking result of the War has been its humanising effect on woman."—Daily Paper.]

The barbed shaft of Love hath pierced thy heart, Fair Annabelle; distracting is thy lot; Long hast thou thought thyself a deal too smart To be ensnared in Cupid's toils—eh, what?

The ways of other maids, less intricate, Filled thee with pity to the very core; Kisses were unhygienic, out of date, And man a most unutterable bore.

But now with young Lieutenant Smith, V.C., Thou roamest, gazing shyly in his face; Nay, did I not surprise thee after tea Defying Hygiene in a close embrace?

Shall I recall that old sartorial jest, The mannish coat which never seemed to fit, The bifurcated skirt and all the rest, Not half so pretty as thy nursing kit?

All no! Thine happiness I will not vex, For thou art Woman once again I find; And Woman, though she cannot change her sex, Has always had the right to change her mind.

* * * * *


"WANTED, Two experi. MAKERS-UP (Females); also a few Girls to learn; good wages paid."—Evening Paper.

* * * * *


From an obituary notice:—

"In civil life he was employed as an attendant on those inflicted with weak minds. He joined the regiment at —— Camp and was at once employed as Colonel ——'s servant."—Burma Paper.

* * * * *

"Mars is the name of a star so far off it would take a million years to walk there in an express train."

"A miracle is anything that someone does that can't be done."

"People who have always used tooth-brushes and who know the thing to do never use any but their own."

"The Pagans were a contented race until the Christians came among them."—Hawaii Educational Review.

If The Review can maintain this form the consciously comic journals of the American Empire will have to look to their laurels.

* * * * *

* * * * *

* * * * *



[The Daily Chronicle alludes to a recent article by Mr. T.P. O'CONNOR, M.P., as "a frigid survey of the situation."]

The War has done many astonishing things; It has doubled the traffic in trinkets and rings; It has reconciled us to margarine And made many fat men healthily lean. It has answered the critics of Public Schools And proved the redemption of family fools. It has turned golf links to potato patches And made us less lavish in using matches. It has latterly paralysed the jaw Of the hitherto insuppressible SHAW. It has made old Tories acclaim LLOYD GEORGE, Whose very name once stuck in their gorge. It has turned a number of novelists Into amateur armchair strategists. It has raised the lowly and humbled the wise And forced us in dozens of ways to revise The hasty opinions we formed of our neighbours In view of their lives and deaths and labours. It has cured many freaks of their futile hobbies, It has made us acquainted with female bobbies. It has very largely emptied the ranks Of the valetudinarian cranks, By turning their minds to larger questions Than their own insides or their poor digestions. It has changed a First Lord into a Colonel, Then into a scribe on a Sunday-journal, With the possible hope, when scribbling palls, Of doing his hit at the Music Halls. It has proved the means of BIRRELL'S confounding And given Lord WIMBORNE a chance of re-bounding. But—quite the most wonderful thing of all The things that astonish, amaze or appal— As though a jelly turned suddenly rigid, It has made "TAY PAY" grow suddenly frigid! When rivers flow backwards to their founts And tailors refuse to send in accounts; When some benevolent millionaire Makes me his sole and untrammelled heir; When President WILSON finds no more Obscurity in "the roots of the War"; When Mr. PONSONBY stops belittling His country and WELLS abandons Britling: When the Ethiopian changes his hue To a vivid pink or a Reckitty blue— In fine, when the Earth has lost its solidity, Then I shall believe in "TAY PAY'S" frigidity.

* * * * *


"If the bid does not come early in 19717 the evidences of Germany's clamorous needs are strangely false."—Evening Paper.

Are we downhearted? No!

* * * * *

Extract from Army Orders in the Field:—

"When Sections 3 and 4 have opened rapid fire, and the bullets have had time to reach the enemy, but not before, Sections 1 and 2 move up into line with No. 3 and 4."

Aren't the Staff wonderful? They think of everything.

* * * * *

* * * * *

* * * * *


"Hello!" I said, "a note from Petherton. What can my charming neighbour want now?"

The letter ran as follows:—

SIR,—I find that George, the young man I employ as house-boy, has become friendly with one of your maids, and I shall he glad if you will co-operate with me so far as is possible in trying to prevent their meeting, as I do not think it desirable that there should be further communication between our households than is, unfortunately, necessary.

I should not have troubled to write to you had it not been that George strongly resented my interference with his private affairs when I remonstrated with him just now on the matter. Servants are so deplorably independent in these times, and men as useful as George are so difficult to obtain, that I do not care to open the subject with him again.

The maid of yours in question is the one who goes out on Wednesday evenings. As that is also George's evening out, perhaps you could arrange to let this particular maid go out on another evening instead.

Faithfully yours, FREDERICK PETHERTON.

"What confounded sauce!" I said, and replied formally as follows:—

DEAR MR. PETHERTON,—It must, I am sure, be most alarming to you to find that servants of ours are hobnobbing and perhaps discussing our affairs. Unfortunately to make the alteration you suggest would throw the whole of our domestic staff out. I know the maid to whom you refer; she is our parlour-maid, and you are right in describing her as "this particular maid." She is most particular. It is true that men are hard to obtain for domestic employment, even ineligibles (and I am sure yours is that), but maids are, if anything, more difficult to find. My wife had no end of trouble in procuring this parlour-maid, and she is a treasure whom we do not wish to lose.

I have been aware for some time that she is engaged in the pleasurable occupation of what is known as keeping company with your factotum, but thought it wise not to interfere.

It is still in the air, as one might say, that you are engaged in experimental chemical work for the Government, and I should have thought, and hoped, that this would occupy your mind to the exclusion of such trivial affairs as servants' love-making.

Yours sincerely, HENRY J. FORDYCE.

Petherton quickly countered with:—

SIR—I am sorry that I should have appealed to you in vain. It is not a pleasure to write to you, and it is positively distasteful to have to read your absurd letters in reply. I passed George in the village this evening with his arm round your parlour-maid's waist. I was absolutely disgusted, and must emphatically protest against such familiarity even among the minor members of our households.

Faithfully yours, FREDERICK PETHERTON.

Joyously I rushed to respond:—

DEAR PETHERTON,—Your letters, on the contrary, are a positive delight to me. One of the reasons why I should not like to interfere is the feeling that it might put an end to our correspondence.

Personally I cannot visualize the spectacle of similar familiarity between any of the major members of our respective households.

I myself passed your man this evening as I was on my way to the Vicarage, and at the moment he was in mild dalliance with our housemaid. I say mild because they were only arm-in-arm. On my return about an hour later I passed George again, and it is true that this time he was with our parlour-maid, and had his arm round her waist as you describe.

There is no doubt that the young man has a penchant for my staff, but so far no Government secrets have reached my ears, and no details of your personal doings, past, present or future.

"Carry on" is the motto of the day, so why not let well alone? Were you never a young man?

Ever yours, HARRY FORDYCE.

Petherton was getting very worked-up, to judge from his reply:—

SIR,—I disapprove of your levity. This is a serious matter to me. On your own showing George's behaviour is scandalous, and although I should scarcely expect you to look at the matter in its proper light I should have thought that even you would have interfered now that matters have reached such a state. Your attitude is intolerable.

I am well able to protect the Government's secrets, and my movements could be of little interest even to you, but I do not think the society of your maids desirable for a young man like George. I strongly suspect that they are having a bad influence over him. He is becoming careless in his work.

I accidentally overheard him say, in conversation with the grocer's man, that he was—to use his own expression—walking out with a Miss Parsons. Is this either your parlour-maid or housemaid? or is it some third person?

Yours faithfully, FREDERICK PETHERTON.

DEAR OLD CHAP (I replied),—Thank you for your cheering letter. I hope neither of us will say or do anything that would terminate this exchange of letters, which is keeping me from dwelling too much on the War.

Miss Parsons is our cook, as worthy a young woman as ever riveted an apple-dumpling or tossed a custard. She would make George an excellent wife. Don't worry about the parlour-maid or housemaid. They would, I am sure, be delighted to be at the wedding.

Yours, HARRY.

Petherton's reply was prompt, personal and to the point:—

SIR,—Confound you and your entire staff! You ought all to be interned. If George ever thinks of leaving me I trust it will not be to marry one of your household. In the name of decency I must insist on your taking strong action to end what is a positive scandal.

Faithfully yours, FREDERICK PETHERTON.

It was Monday before I replied, then I wrote:—

DEAR FREDDY,—Let us mingle our tears. The worst is about to happen If you were as good a churchgoer as one could wish, you would have been in your pew yesterday morning, when the banns were read out (for the first time of asking) "between George Goodman, bachelor, and Emily Parsons, spinster, both of this parish," though this would not have conveyed to you the appalling fact that your man is marrying my entire staff all at once. I doubt, however, if you will be able to find cause or just impediment, etc.

Yours, H.

* * * * *

* * * * *


"In the Punjab and Sind it has been possible to colonise uninhabited wastes, and flourishing communities, aggregating nearly two million inhabitants, are supported entirely by canal water."

Prof. STANLEY JEVONS, in "To-day."

* * * * *

"Girl wanted, just leaving school, for Ruling Department."—Provincial Paper.

Does this mean that we are to have a flapper in the Cabinet?

* * * * *


When you respond to an advertisement offering a booklet or a sample free, you are pestered by the proprietor of the commodity advertised with numerous communications importuning your custom, until in sheer self-defence you make a purchase. Now I had occasion to answer an announcement advertising for the services of a person with attainments approximating to my own, decided that, in the event of my application attracting no response, I would adopt the methods indicated above. For the benefit of others I give below a record of my procedure and the result.

My first letter detailed my qualifications, which were very exceptional; explained that my intelligence and industry were far above the average; that I was morbidly conscientious, and willing to sacrifice all my own interests for the needs of the firm; that the reason for leaving my last position was solely a matter of circumstances over which I had no control, and that at an interview, which I craved, I would explain everything to everybody's satisfaction and prove my perfect eligibility for the post. And so forth.

I waited a fortnight. There was no reply. I therefore despatched a follow-up letter. I explained my regret at receiving no response to letter No. 1, and suggested that perhaps it had been inadvertently overlooked, or had gone astray in transit. Alternatively I hinted that perhaps the firm regarded the list of my qualifications as incredibly pretentious, and I assured them that it in no way exaggerated my good points. I had indeed become, if possible, even more conscientious and industrious since I had last written, and having recovered from a cold in the head from which I was then suffering I was actually in better physical condition than before. I reminded the firm that in granting me a preliminary interview they incurred no liability whatsoever.

Another two weeks went by, and still no answer. So I despatched Follow-up Letter No. 2.

This briefly referred to my two previous communications, and asked whether it was not clear to them that, by securing my services while I was in possession of all my faculties and the full vigour and strength of my being, there were advantages they could not possibly acquire with me in, say, another thirty years, when I should probably be suffering from rheumatism, chronic dyspepsia, deafness, dim sight, loss of memory and certainly from approaching old age. I concluded by offering them three days' free trial (I always do best in the first three days); if I failed to give satisfaction by the end of that period they could return me without incurring any obligation whatsoever.

Again two weeks passed away, and there was still no answer. So I sent Follow-up Letter No. 3.

In this I announced a Special Offer, viz., a reduction of twenty pounds sterling (L20) on the salary originally asked if the firm engaged me within ten days from the date of the offer.

I gave them twelve days in which to respond, but still received no answer, so, after allowing a further two days' grace, I despatched Follow-up Letter No. 4, stating that as they had evidently been prevented from replying to my special offer I had decided to extend the period for acceptance by fourteen (14) days, reckoning from the date of the present communication. At the end of that period the salary demanded would be increased by ten pounds (L10) over and above that asked in my first application. Thus, by accepting the existing offer of twenty pounds (L20) reduction, they would really be securing me at thirty pounds (L30) less than my market price.

I waited patiently for a further fourteen days, and then sent Follow-up Letter No. 5.

This letter was quite brief. It made no attempt to disguise the fact that I was hurt at the firm's silence, and it hinted at enquiries from other employers of labour whose needs would have to be considered. It intimated also that I could not possibly hold myself at the firm's disposal indefinitely, and that unless a prompt reply was received I could not guarantee acceptance. By way of a crushing suggestion of niggardliness on their part I enclosed a stamped addressed envelope.

An answer came by return of post as follows:—

DEAR SIR,—In reply to your letter, we beg to say that the vacancy to which you refer was filled some ten (10) weeks ago.

Yours faithfully, etc.

Now I know where I am. Without this persistence, which is the essence of the following-up business, I should simply be where I am without knowing it.

* * * * *

* * * * *


Extract from a speech by the KAISER as reported by The Sun (Vancouver, B.C.):—

"The campaign ... had been conducted according to the brilliant plans of Field-Marshal von Hindenburg.... The old god of bottles directed. We were his instruments and we are proud of it."

* * * * *

"Among some of the best-informed bankers in the City the view taken in this respect is one which it may be well for the public at large to have repeated for their own guidance. The new War Loan, they say, will either be the last before the Allies impose on the enemy their own terms of peace, or it will not."—The Times.

We had already formed the same opinion, but we are glad to have it confirmed on such high authority.

* * * * *

"Barrow magistrates decided that Ideas must not be sold after the closing hour."—Daily Sketch.

Unfortunately this will not prevent the bore from continuing to give you his gratis.

* * * * *


"Elderly English Girl wanted as companion to young lady for afternoon."—Egyptian Gazette.

and supply—

"The age limit for Girl Guides was formerly 18 years, but it has now been raised to 81 years by general request."—British Paper.

* * * * *

* * * * *


MR. BLAIR, the L.C.C. Education Officer, is dissatisfied, according to The Daily Chronicle, with the questions put at school examinations, on the ground that they do not test the thoughtfulness and ingenuity of the pupil. The "Why" as well as the "What" should be developed, and to illustrate the value of the method proposed Mr. BLAIR suggests various sample questions, e.g.:—

"How do you account for the density of the population in Staffordshire?

"Find out from your atlas the distance from London to Glasgow. How long would it take you to go there by train? What would the third-class fare be at a penny a mile?

"How can we discover the minimum conditions necessary for the germination of a bean?

"ARISTOTLE remarked that a bee will visit one type of flower only during one journey from the hive. Find out if this is true, and, if true, point out its significance from the point of view of the flower."

As Mr. BLAIR remarks, a quest is better than a question. We agree, and venture to start a few more quests:—

"Find out from Who's Who the literary productions of Miss MARIE CORELLI and Mr. HALL CAINE, and trace their effect on the density of the population of Warwickshire and the Isle of Man respectively.

"ARISTOTLE remarked that one swallow does not make a summer. Find out whether this is true, and, if true, explain its bearing on the thirst of the swallower.

"Find out on your map the distance from Madrid to Jaffa, and state what would be the cost of a cargo of Spanish onions and Jerusalem artichokes delivered in the London Docks.

"What is the minimum time necessary for the incubation of a Scarlet Pimpernel?

What are the statutory dimensions of a gigantic gooseberry? Have you ever seen one, and if not why not?"

* * * * *


"C.Q.M.S.E.A. ——, brother of Mr. W.M. ——, Falmouth, spent his third birthday in the trenches on the 8th inst."—Royal Cornwall Gazette.

* * * * *

"One or two of the Councillors are on war service, and their places will be kept warm for them.... Councillors —— and J.R. —— have not once been able to sit since they donned khaki."—Southern Times.

We infer that the Councillors in question are training for the cavalry.

* * * * *

"The British fleet bombarded Skarvika and Semuntoltos, south of Orfano. Marshall's 7, Martyn's 2. Wakefield (3), Stone (2), Cripps, and Turbyfield scored for the winners."—Gloucestershire Echo.

We like this idea of recording the names of the successful marksmen at once, without waiting for the formal despatches.

* * * * *


Oh I wish I had a clipper ship with carvings on her counter, With lanterns on her poop-rail of beaten copper wrought; I would dress her like a lady in the whitest cloth and mount her With a long bow-chasing swivel and a gun at every port.

I would sign me on a master who had solved MERCATOR'S riddle, A nigger cook with earrings who neither chewed nor drank, Who wore a red bandanna and was handy on the fiddle, I would take a piping bos'un and a cabin-boy to spank.

Then some fine Summer morning when the Falmouth cocks were crowing I would set my capstan spinning to the chanting of all hands, And the milkmaids on the uplands would lament to see me going As I beat for open Channel and away to foreign lands,


Fare ye well, O lady mine, Fare ye well, my pretty one, For the anchor's at the cat-head and the voyage is begun, The wind is in the mainsail, we're slipping from the land Hull-down with all sail making, close-hauled with the white-tops breaking, Bound for the Rio Grande. Fare ye well!

With the flying-fish around us and a porpoise school before us, Full crowded under royals to the south'ard we would sweep; We would hear the bull whales blowing and the mermaids sing in chorus, And perhaps the white seal mummies hum their chubby calves to sleep.

We would see the hot towns paddling in the surf of Spanish waters, And prowl beneath dim balconies and twang discreet guitars, And sigh our adoration to Don Juan's lovely daughters Till they lifted their mantillas and their dark eyes shone like stars.

We would cruise by fairy islands where the gaudy parrot screeches And the turtle in his soup-tureen floats basking in the calms; We would see the fire-flies winking in the bush above the beaches And a moon of honey yellow drifting up behind the palms.

We would crown ourselves with garlands and tread a frolic measure With the nut-brown island beauties in the firelight by the huts; We would give them rum and kisses; we would hunt for pirate treasure, And bombard the apes with pebbles in exchange for coco-nuts.

When we wearied of our wand'rings 'neath the blazing Southern heaven And dreamed of Kentish orchards fragrant-scented after rain, Of the cream there is in Cornwall and the cider brewed in Devon, We would crowd our yards with canvas and sweep foaming home again,


Cheerily, O lady mine, Cheerily, my sweetheart true, For the blest Blue Peter's flying and I'm rolling home to you; For I'm tired of Spanish ladies and of tropic afterglows, Heart-sick for an English Spring-time, all afire for an English ring-time, In love with an English rose. Rolling home!

* * * * *


Walking recently by Hyde Park Corner I met a man in a comic hat. He was an elderly man, very well set up, marching along like an old officer—quite an impressive figure with his grey moustache and grey hair, had not this ridiculous affair surmounted him. It was not exactly a hat, and not exactly a cap, but something between the two, and it was so minute as to be almost invisible and wholly absurd. Yet there was every indication that its wearer believed that it suited him, for he moved both with confidence and self-satisfaction.

And as I watched him, and after he had passed, swinging his stick and surveying the world with the calm assurance of a connoisseur of most of the branches of life I began to entertain some very serious and disturbing doubts. For (thought I) here is quite a capable kind of fellow, of mature age, making a perfect guy of himself under the profound conviction that he is doing just the reverse and that that pimple of a hat suits him. No doubt, judging by the cut of his clothes and his general soigne appearance, he stands before his glass every morning until he is satisfied. Had he (thought I) any accuracy of vision he would see himself the grotesque thing he is in that idiotic little cap. But his vision is distorted.

It was then that I began to go hot and cold all over, for I suddenly realised that my vision might be distorted too. My hat hitherto had satisfied me; but suppose that that too was all wrong. And then I wondered if anyone really gets a true return from the mirror, or if we are not all bemused; and, remembering those astounding hats in which WINSTON used to be photographed a few years ago, I asked myself, "Where are we, when even the great legislators can go so wrong?"

Although all this soul-searching occurred several days ago, I am still nervous, and I never catch sight of my reflection in a shop window without suspicion racking me; while to see a smile on the face of an approaching pedestrian is agony.

But (you will say) why not ask the hatter or some intimate friend to select the hat for you? I guessed you would suggest that. But it won't help; I'll tell you why. Some years ago I knew a fat man with a big head—a journalist of great ability—who made himself undignified by perching upon the top of that great and capable head a little bowler. Its inadequacy had always annoyed me, but never more so than when, on my arriving at our place of servitude one morning (we were on the same paper) in a new and perfectly becoming hat, he said to me, "That hat's all wrong. You should never choose a hat for yourself. I never do. I get my wife to choose mine for me." Remembering this I am even more unsettled than before. I see no hope.

* * * * *

* * * * *



The idea of publishing Frederick the Great: The Memoirs of his Reader, Henri de Catt (1758-1760) (CONSTABLE) was that we are all so passionate against Prussianism that we want to plank down our money for two volumesful of observations at first hand about the man who was the source and origin of that dark and swollen stream. Personally, we doubt the general zeal in this matter—not of Prussianism but of FREDERICK. However, DE CATT, looking at a king from a queer angle, is extraordinarily diverting. "Reader" was a euphemism for a patient audience, including claque. FREDERICK, incognito on a Dutch barge, picked up the young scholar and marked him down as one who could be induced by florins and flattery to take on the job of listening to his patron's bad French verses and his after-dinner flutings of little things of his own, his approving observations on his own conduct, his battles, his philosophy of life and politics, no doubt calculating that it would all be jotted down on fateful scraps of paper and given a favourable colouring for the edification of the world. Well, the great FREDERICK put it over me all right. Frankly I rather liked the old fellow, his old clothes (there was at least no shining armour swank at Potsdam in those days), his practice of solemnly cutting capers for the benefit of his "reader," though I know not explicitly what a caper is, his Billingsgate language, his real opinion of VOLTAIRE, his charming, if possibly rare, acts of magnanimity, his moderation in war, which was not all hypocrisy. In fact, if you expect an ogre you will be disappointed. He could give the latest Hohenzollern points in a good many directions. I ought, of course, to add that a learnedly allusive preface by Lord ROSEBERY graces the volume, and that the very competent translation is by F.S. FLINT.

* * * * *

These are days when the more we know about Russia and things Russian the better. Specially timely, then, is the appearance, in an English translation, of The Fishermen (STANLEY PAUL), by DIMITRY GREGOROVITSH. It is a wonderfully appealing story, which has been put into English—presumably by Dr. ANGELO RAPPOPORT, though he is only credited on the title-page with the authorship of the Preface—in such a way that the spirit of the original is admirably preserved. I had not read a couple of pages before the charm of the style laid hold upon me. The story is quite simple, concerned only with a group of peasants, fisher-folk, living on the banks of a great river. GREGOROVITSH is like TOURGENIEV in his devotion to peasant and country types, but otherwise more akin to our own younger school of realists in the minuteness of his observation. Throughout the story abounds in character-study of a kind that, while building up the figure with a thousand details, will add suddenly some vivid touch that brings the whole wonderfully and unforgettably to life. An example of this is Akim, that perfect type of the hopeless incompetent, whose very futility, while it rightly exasperates his fellows, makes him a delight to the reader; so that his death, at the end of the first part, comes with an effect of personal loss. For my own part, as poor Akim had never once before accomplished what he set out to do, I was quite expectant of his recovery, and proportionately disappointed. Throughout also there are pen-pictures of Russian scenery, full of vivid colour; while the story itself, though inevitably in a somewhat minor key, is never sordid or pessimistic. Emphatically therefore a book for everyone to read who cares to know the best in the literature of our great Ally.

* * * * *

MARGARET DELAND'S well-proved pen gives us a spirited sketch of a modernist American woman in The Rising Tide (MURRAY). I don't quite know how this enigmatic sentence, which 1 have long puzzled over and frankly given up, came to escape both author and reader: "Once Mrs. Childs said to tell Fred her Uncle William would say it was perfect nonsense." I feel sure it is not good American. However, Freddy Payton is a young girl who tells the inconvenient truth to everybody about everything, and you may guess that such candour does not make for peace. Mrs. Payton elects to keep her idiot son in the house, and Freddy thinks an asylum is the proper place for him, and says so. The late Mr. Payton was a rake, and Freddy derides her mother's weeds on the ground that the widow is really in her heart waving flags for deliverance, but daren't admit it. Freddy offers cigarettes to the curate, which is apparently a much greater crime over there than here. Freddy finally, carried along by the rising tide, asks the man she loves to marry her, mistaking his friendship for something stronger, and learns that, as the old-fashioned people like her mother realise, men are essentially hunters and "won't bag the game if it perches on their fists." I wonder! But Freddy got a better man—the diffident elderly man who was waiting round the corner. In fact, Freddy is rather a sport, and if Mrs. DELAND intended her as a tract for the times, in the manner of Mrs. HUMPHRY WARD, her shot has miscarried—at least so far as I am concerned.

* * * * *

* * * * *

Edmund Layton, thick in the arm and at times, be it confessed, thick in the head, was so thoroughly in love with The Bright Eyes of Danger (CHAMBERS), and the brighter eyes of Charlotte Macdonell, Jacobitess, that in the rousing days of the YOUNG PRETENDER he not only lightly risked his life when his lady was in need, but more than once went out of his way to make things quite unnecessarily hazardous for himself, when I or any other of his more canny Hanoverian friends was longing to give him warning. For instance, when that taking villain, Philip Macdonell, after beating him in the race for the French treasure buried in the sands of Spey beside the sunken ship (vide the frontispiece mystery chart), soon after fell comfortably into his hands, he had no more discretion than to take him out to fight a duel; whereon, as we others foresaw, the wily villain incontinently disappeared and the fun was all to begin again. Maybe we might forgive him that, for of such staple are good yarns spun, but why in heaven's name should bold Edmund Layton of Liddesdale go about to make himself and us miserable with feckless scruples that ruined the happy ending we had fairly earned? Either he was right to let CHARLES STUART escape that day in the mist, in return for former generosity, or he was wrong; and one would have expected him to make up his mind and there an end, and not fret himself into a pother and Mr. JOHN FOSTER'S story into a most inartistic anti-climax over such a subtlety. All the same a rattling good tale, full of hard knocks as well as bright eyes, and with more than a smack of STEVENSON.

* * * * *

I fancy that I ought perhaps already to know The Wood-Carver of 'Lympus (MELROSE), which, hailing originally from America, seems to have made many friends over here before reaching me in its present form. I am glad, more especially at the present season, to extend a grateful welcome to so kindly and charming a story. Miss MARY E. WALLER has written a singularly refreshing and happy book, full of passages that reveal a great sympathy for country life and the hearts of simple people. Hugh Armstrong, the central figure, is a youth in a New England mountain farm, condemned to perpetual inactivity through an accident. At the beginning of the story we see him, in the depths of misery, visited by a casual passenger from the stage coach, whose attention has been caught by his story as related by the driver. Thenceforward things mend for Armstrong. The stranger interests him in wood-carving; orders pour in, which help to bring comfort to the farm; books and letters arrive from unknown city dwellers. Thus the tale is a record of increasing happiness, but kept (an important thing) from cloying by the tragedy upon which it is built. If you will not be put off by American dialect or by the rather startling discovery that one of the kindliest characters is named Franz, you will, I believe, find a brief stay upon 'Lympus most beneficial to your spirits.

* * * * *


"The bankers of General Chang Tsolin, the Military Governor of Mukden, who suffered from financial troubles, were summarily executed by shooting on the charge of having disturbed the money market."—Shanghai Mercury.

* * * * *

"The DarDdaDneDlDleDs Commissioners sat again to-day at the House of Lords, when General Sir John Maxwell was examined."—i>Provincial Paper_.

Please do not imagine that that is what the gallant officer called them.

* * * * *

"A LARGE BLACK DOG, no colour, strayed."—The Times.

"THE LUCKY BLACK CAT, in all colours, made to order."—The Queen.

This is the kind of thing that drives a chameleon mad.

* * * * *


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