Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, January 3, 1917
Author: Various
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VOL. 152.

January 3, 1917.

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"Yes, Sir," said Sergeant Wally, accepting one of my cigarettes and readjusting his wounded leg,—"yes, Sir, discipline's the thing. It's only when a man moves on the word o' command, without waiting to think, that he becomes a really reliable soldier. I remember, when I was a recruit, how they put us through it. I'd been on the square about a week. I was a fairly smart youngster, and I thought I was jumping to it just like an old soldier, when the drill sergeant called me out of the ranks. Look 'ere,' he said, 'if you think you're going to make a fool o' me, standing about there till you choose to obey the word o' command, you've made a big mistake.' I could 'a' cried at the time, but I've been glad often enough since for what the sergeant said that day. I've found that little bit of gag useful myself many a time."

I was meditating with sympathy upon the many victims of Sergeant Wally's borrowed sarcasm when he spoke again.

"When I first came up to London from the dept," he said, "I'd a brother, a corporal in the same battalion. You know as well as I do, Sir, that as a matter o' discipline a corporal doesn't have any truck with a private soldier, excepting in the way of duties, and my brother didn't speak to me for the first week. Then one day he called me up and said, 'It ain't the thing for me to be going about with you, but as you're my brother I'll go out with you to-night. Have yourself cleaned by six o'clock.'

"Well, I took all the money I'd got—about twelve bob—and off we went.

"We had a bit o' supper first at a place my brother knew of, and a very good supper it was. My brother ordered it, but I paid. Then we got a couple of cigars—at least, I did. Then we went to a music-hall, me paying, of course. We had a drink during the evening, and when we came out my brother said, 'We'd better come in here and have a snack.'

"'Well, I ain't got any money left,' I sez. My brother looked at me a minute, and then he said, 'I don't know what I've been thinking of, going about with you, you a private and me a corporal. Be off 'ome !' And he stalks away.

"Yes, Sir, discipline's the thing. Thank you, I'll have another cigarette."

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"The bride, who was given away by her father, looked happy and handsome in a beautiful red fern dress."—Allahabad Pioneer.

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Now with the New-born Year, when people issue Greetings appropriate to all concerned, Allow me, WILLIAM, cordially to wish you Whatever peace of mind you may have earned; It doesn't sound too fat, But you will have to be content with that.

For you will get no other, though you ask it; No peace on diplomatic folios writ, Like what you chucked in your waste-treaty-basket, Torn into fragments, bit by little bit; In these rude times we shrink From vain expenditure of pulp and ink.

You hoped to start a further scrap of paper And stretched a flattering paw in soft appeal, Purring as hard as tiger-cats at play purr With velvet padding round your claws of steel; A pretty piece of acting, But, ere we treat, those claws'll want extracting.

You thought that you had just to moot the question And say you felt the closing hour had come And we should simply jump at your suggestion And all the Hague with overtures would hum; You'd but to call her up, And Peace would follow like a well-bred pup.

But Peace and War are twain (see Chadband's platitude); War you could summon by your single self, But Peace—for she adopts a stickier attitude— Takes two to mobilise her off the shelf; Unless one side's so weak That, try his best, he cannot raise a squeak.

When things are thus and you have had your beating, We'll talk and you can listen. Better cheer I've none to offer you by way of greeting, But this should help you through the glad New Year; It lacks for grace, I own, But let its true sincerity atone!


* * * * *


A special constable is allowed to bore his beat-partner in moderation. I have no doubt that I bore mine. In return I expect to be moderately bored. In fact a partner who flashed through all the four hours might attract Zeppelins. But Granby! In human endurance there is a point known as the limit. That is Granby.

Years back some Government person in a moment of fatuity made Granby a magistrate. Magistrates should learn to condense their wisdom into sentences. Granby beats out his limited store into orations.

It was my misfortune to arrive late at the station the other night and to find that the other specials had craftily left Granby to be my partner. The results of unpunctuality are sometimes hideous.

Directly we had started our lonely patrol Granby gave what I may describe as his "bench" cough and began, "When I was at the court the other day a very curious case came before me." He was off. If Granby delivers to prisoners in the dock the speeches he recites to me the Government ought to intervene. No man however guilty ought to have a sentence and one of Granby's orations. He might be given the option. Personally, for anything under fourteen days I should be tempted to serve the sentence.

Just when he was at his dreariest I heard a remarkable treble voice down a side-street singing, "Keep the Home Fires Burning." "Sounds like a drunk," I said promptly; "we ought to investigate this." Had it been a couple of armed burglars I should have welcomed their advent if it stopped Granby.

We went down and found a stout lady sitting on the pavement warbling Songs Without Melody.

"Gerout, Zeppelin," she observed as a flash-lamp was turned on her.

"A distinct case of intoxication plus incapability," observed Granby. "We must take her to the station. You can charge her. I have so many important engagements this week that I can't spare time to be a witness."

I saw that a wasted morning at the police-court was to be thrust on me.

"I also have many important engagements this week," I replied.

"This duty is to be taken seriously—" began Granby.

"Yes," I said, "if we don't run her in we ought to see her home. She can't stay here rousing the street."

"That was what I was about to suggest as the proper course for you when you interrupted me," said Granby. "Where do you live?" he demanded.

"Fourteen, Benbow Avenue," replied the lady; "and pore Uncle Sam's been dead eleven years."

"Come on," I said. "Get up and we'll see you home."

The lady pushed me aside, gripped Granby's arm and said affectionately, "'Ow you remind me of pore ole Jim in 'is best days afore 'e got jugged!"

Granby snorted as he dragged the lady onward. I think he knew that I was smiling in the darkness.

"Jus' like ole times, when we was courtin' together," continued the lady. "If it 'adn't been for a bronze-topped barmaid comin' between us, what might 'ave been! ah, what might 'ave been!"

This tender reminiscence prompted the lady to sing, "Come to me, sweet Marie," with incidental attempts at a step-dance. The finale brought us to Benbow Avenue.

"I shall speak to her husband and caution him severely about his wife's conduct," said Granby to me.

I shrank into the background ready to move off directly the oration began.

Granby knocked at the door and it opened.

"I have brought your wife home in a state—" he began.

"Ain't I 'ad a nice young man to take me for a walk while you've been sitting guzzling by the fire?"

"You been taking my missis for a walk," said the indignant husband.

"I am a magistrate and a special constable—" began Granby.

"More shame to you. It's the likes of you 'oo disgraces the upper clarses."

"Shut the door, Bill," said the lady. "Don't lower yourself by talking to 'im. I never could abide a man as smelt o' gin meself."

The door slammed and Granby strode towards me.

"The ingratitude of the lower classes is disgraceful. I am tempted to despair of the State when I think of it. The only way is to let these occurrences pass into oblivion, to set oneself resolutely to forget them as if they had never been."

I agreed; but since then Granby has always eyed me curiously. I think he suspects that I am not forgetting resolutely enough.

* * * * *

A Field Officer writes: "Yesterday I was saluted by an Australian private. It was a great day for me."

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My Dear Charles,—What about this Peace? I suppose that, what with your nice new Governments and all, this is the very last thing you are thinking of making at the moment. I wouldn't believe that the old War was ever going to end at all if it wasn't for the last expert and authoritative opinion I hear has been expressed by our elderly barber in Fleet Street. At the end of July, 1914, he told me confidentially, as he snipped the short hairs at the back of my head, that there was going to be no war; the whole thing was just going to fizzle out. Now he says it is going to be a very, very long business, as he always thought it would.

I find it difficult to maintain consistently either the detached point of view, in which one discusses it as if it was a European hand of bridge, or the purely interested point of view, in which one regards it only as a matter affecting one's individual comfort. I know a Mess, well up in the Front where they measure the mud by feet, in which they were discussing the War raging at their front door as if it had nothing to do with them beyond being a convenient thing to criticise. Men who were then likely to be personally removed at any moment by it saw nothing in the progress of it to be depressed about. As the evening wore on and they all came to find that they knew much more about the subject than they supposed, they were prepared to increase the allowance of casualties in pressing the merits of their own pet schemes. No gloom arose from the possibility that this generous offer might well include their own health and limbs. There was no gloom; there was even no desire to change the subject. Indeed, the better to continue it they called for something to drink. There was nothing to drink, announced the Mess Orderly. Why was there nothing to drink? asked the Mess President, advocate of enormous offensives on a wide front for an indefinite period of years, if need be. The Mess Orderly explained that more drink was on order, it had not arrived because of difficulties of carriage. Why were there difficulties of carriage? Because of the War. "Confound the War," said the Mess President. "It really is the most infernal nuisance."

I know a Captain Jones, resident a cottage on the road to the trenches (he calls this cottage his "Battle Box"), whose mind was very violently moved from the impersonal to the personal point of view by a quite trifling incident. He has one upstairs room for office, bedroom, sitting, reception and dining room. His meals are brought over to him by his servant from an estaminet across the road over which his window looks. The other morning he was standing at this window waiting for his breakfast to arrive. It was a fine frosty day, made all the brighter by the sound of approaching bagpipes. Troops were about to march past, suggesting great national thoughts to Jones and reminding him of the familiar details of his own more active days. Jones prepared to enjoy himself.

Colonels on horses, thought Jones as he contemplated, are much of a muchness—always the look of the sahib about them, the slightly proud, the slightly stuffy, the slightly weather-beaten, the slightly affluent sahib. Company Commanders, also on horses, but somehow or other not quite so much on horses as the Colonels, are the same all the army through—very confident of themselves, but hoping against hope that there is nothing about their companies to catch the Adjutant's eye. The Subaltern walks as he has always done, lighthearted if purposeful, trusting that all is as it should be, but feeling that if it isn't that is some one else's trouble. Sergeants, Corporals, Lance-corporals and men have not altered. The Sergeants relax on the march into something almost bordering on friendliness towards their victims; the Corporals thank Heaven that for the moment they are but men; the Lance-corporals thank Heaven that always they are something more than men, and the men have the look of having decided that this is the last kilometre they'll ever footslog for anybody, but while they are doing it they might as well be cheerful about it. The regimental transport makes a change from the regularity of column of route, and the comic relief is provided, as it has always been and always will be provided whatever the disciplinary martinets may say or do, by the company cooks.

This was a sight, thought Jones, he could watch for ever. He was sorry when the battalion came at last to an end; he was glad when another almost immediately began. He was in luck; doubtless this was a brigade on the move. He proposed to have his breakfast at the window, when it came as come it soon must, thus refreshing his hungry body and his contemplative mind at the same time. The second battalion, as the first, were fine fellows all, suggesting the might of the Allies and the futility of the enemy's protracted resistance. Again the comic relief was provided by the travelling cuisine, reminding Jones of the oddity of human affairs and the need of his own meal, now sufficiently deferred.

The progress of the Brigade was interrupted by the intervention of a train of motor transport. Jones spent the time of its passing in consulting his watch, wondering where the devil was his breakfast and ascertaining that his servant had indeed gone across the road for it at least forty minutes ago.

It was not until there came a break, after the first company of the third battalion, that the reason of this delay became apparent. There was his servant on the far side of the road, and there was his breakfast in the servant's hand, all standing to attention, as they should do when a column of troops was passing....

The remainder of that Brigade suggested no agreeable thoughts to Captain Jones. He saw nothing magnificent in the whole and nothing attractive in any detail of it. It was in fact just a long and tiresome sequence of monotonous and sheeplike individuals who really might have chosen some other time and place for their silly walks abroad. And as for the spirit of discipline exemplified in the servant, who scrupled to defy red tape and slip through at a convenient interval, this was nothing else but the maddening ineptitude of all human conceits.

A wonderful servant is that servant of Captain Jones; but then they all are. Valet, cook, porter, boots, chambermaid, ostler, carpenter, upholsterer, mechanic, inventor, needlewoman, coal-heaver, diplomat, barber, linguist (home-made), clerk, universal provider, complete pantechnicon and infallible bodyguard, he is also a soldier, if a very old soldier, and a man of the most human kind. Jones came across him in the earlier stages of the War, not in England and not in France. The selection wasn't after the usual manner or upon the usual references. He recommended himself to Jones by the following incident:—

A new regiment had come to the station; between them and the old regiment, later to become the firmest friends, some little difference of opinion had arisen and, upon the first meeting of representative elements in the neighbouring town, there had been words. Reports, as they reached Jones at the barracks some four miles from the town, hinted at something more than words still continuing. Jones, having reason to anticipate sequels on the morrow, took the precaution of going round his company quarters then, and there, to find which of his men, if any, were not involved. "There's a fair scrap up in town," he heard a man saying. As he entered, a second man was sitting up in bed and asking, "Dost thou think it will be going on yet?" Hoping for the best, he was for rising, dressing, walking four miles and joining in.

Jones stopped his enterprise that night, but engaged him for servant next day. I don't know why, nor does he; but he was right all the same. Yours ever, HENRY.

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"Will anyone knowing where to obtain the game of 'Bounce' kindly inform A.T.?"—Advt. in "The Times."

"A.T." should address himself to the Imperial Palace at Potsdam.

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The whole vicinity of Hooley Hill Is smitten with a devastating chill, And the once cheerful neighbourhood of Pleck Has got the hump and got it in the neck. The residential gentry of Pont Rug No longer seem self-satisfied or smug, And the distressed inhabitants of Nantlle Are wrapped in discontent as in a mantle. Good folk who Halted once at Apsley Guise Are now afflicted with a sad surprise, While Oddington, another famous Halt, Is silent as a sad funereal vault; And the dejected denizens of Cheadle Look one and all as if they'd got the needle.

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West Australian.

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According to President WILSON Germany also claims to be fighting for the freedom of the smaller nations. Her known anxiety to free the small nations of South America from the fetters of the Monroe Doctrine has impressed the PRESIDENT with the correctness of this claim.


Unfortunately Count REVENTLOW has gone and given away the secret that Germany does not care a rap for the rights of the little nations. It is this kind of blundering that sours your transatlantic diplomatist.


General JOFFRE has been made a Marshal of France. While falling short of the absolute omnipotence of London's Provost-Marshal the position is not without a certain dignity.


The announcement that the Queen of HUNGARY's coronation robe is to cost over 2,000 has had a distinctly unpleasant effect upon the German people, who are wondering indignantly how Belgium is to be indemnified if such extravagance is permitted to continue.


It is stated that as the result of the drastic changes in our railway service the publication of Bradshaw's Guide may be delayed. At a time when it is of vital importance to keep up the spirits of the nation the absence of one of our best known humorous publications will be sorely felt.


The failure of King CONSTANTINE to join with other neutrals in urging peace on the belligerents must not be taken as indicating that he is out of sympathy with the German effort.


The County Council has after mature deliberation decided to set aside ten acres of waste land for cultivation by allotment holders. It is this ability to think in huge figures that distinguishes the municipal from the purely individual patriot.


In anticipation of a Peace Conference German agents at the Hague have been making discreet inquiries after lodgings for German delegates. The latter have expressed a strong preference for getting in on the ground floor.


The weighing of a recruit could not be completed at Mill Hill, as the scales did not go beyond seventeen stone, and indignation has been expressed in some quarters at the failure of the official mind to adopt the simple expedient of weighing as much as they could of him and then weighing the rest at a second or, if necessary, a third attempt.


It is rumoured that tradesmen's weekly books are to be abolished. We have long felt that the absurd practice of paying the fellows is a relic of the dark ages.


The statement of a writer in a morning paper that Wednesday night's fog "tasted like Stilton cheese" has attracted the attention of the Food Controller, who is having an analysis made with the view of determining its suitability for civilian rations. We assume that it would rank as cheese and not count in the calculation of courses.


Austria has forbidden the importation of champagne, caviare and oysters, and now that the horrors of war have thus been thoroughly brought home to the populace it is expected that public opinion in the Dual Monarchy will shortly force the EMPEROR to make overtures to the Allies for a separate peace.


As a protest against being fined, a Tottenham man has stopped his War Loan subscriptions. Nevertheless, after a series of prolonged discussions with Sir WILLIAM ROBERTSON, Mr. BONAR LAW has decided that the War can go on, subject to the early introduction of certain economies.


The Duke of BUCCLEUCH has given permission to his tenants to trap rabbits on the ducal estates. It is hoped that a taste of real sport will cause many of the local residents, though above military age, to volunteer for similar work on the West Front.


The prisons in Berlin are said to be full of women who have offended against the Food Laws, and in consequence of this many deserving criminals are homeless.


A party of American literary and scientific gentlemen have obtained permission to visit Egypt on a mission of research. In view of the American craze for souvenir-hunting it is anticipated that a special guard will be mounted over the Pyramids.

* * * * *

"'I am being overwhelmed with letters offering services from all and sundry,' Mr. Chamberlain said yesterday.

'As I haven't even appointed a private secretary at present,' he added, 'it is obviously impossible for me even to open them.'"—Daily Sketch.

We suppose the Censor must have told him what they were about.

* * * * *


An ancient castle crowns the hill That flanks our sunlit rockbound bay, Where, in the spacious days of old, Stout ALBUQUERQUE set his hold Dealing in slaves and silks and gold From Hormuz to Cathay.

The Dom has passed, the Arab rules; Yet still there fronts the morning light Erect upon the crumbling wall The mast of some great Amiral, A trophy of the Portingall In some forgotten fight.

The wind blows damp, the sun shines hot, And ever on the Eastern shore, Faint envoys from the far monsoon, There in the gap the breakers croon Their old unchanging rhythmic rune (The noise is such a bore).

And week by week to climb that hill The SULTAN sends some sweating knave To scan the misty deep and hail With hoisted nag the smoky trail That means (hurrah!) the English mail, So we still rule the wave!

Hurrah!—and yet what tales of woe! My home exposed to Zeppelin shocks, The long-drawn agony of strife, The daily toll of precious life, And a sad screed from my poor wife Of babes with chicken-pox.

All this it brings—yet brings therewith That which may help us bear and grin. "Boy, when you hear the boat's keel scrunch, Ask the mail officer to lunch; But give me time to peep at Punch Before you let him in."

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What (writes a returned traveller) has happened to London's taxi-drivers? When I went away, not more than three months ago, they occasionally stopped when they were hailed and were not invariably unwilling to convey one hither and there. But now ... With flags defiantly up, they move disdainfully along, and no one can lure them aside. Where on these occasions are they going? How do they make a living if the flag never comes down? Are they always on their way to lunch, even late at night? Are they always out of petrol? I can understand and admire the independence that follows upon overwork; but when was their overwork done? The only tenable theory that I have evolved is that Lord NORTHCLIFFE (whose concurrent rise to absolutism is another phenomenon of my absence) has engaged them all to patrol the streets in his service.

Sometimes, however, a taxi-driver, breaking free from this bondage, answers a hail; but even then all is not necessarily easy. This is the kind of thing:—

You. I want to go to Bedford Gardens.

The Sunbeam (indignantly). Where's that?

You. In Kensington.

The Sunbeam. That's too far. I've got another job at half-past four (or My petrol's run out).

You. If I gave you an extra shilling could you just manage it?

The Sunbeam (scowling). All right. Jump in.

This that follows also happens so frequently as to be practically the rule and not the exception:—

You. 12, Lexham Gardens.

The Sunbeam. 12, Leicester Gardens.

You. No; LEXHAM.

The Sunbeam. 12, Lexham Road?

You (shouting). No; Lexham GARDENS!

The Sunbeam. What number?


To illustrate the power that the taxi-driver has been wielding over London during the past week or so of mitigated festivity, let me tell a true story. I was in a cab with my old friend Mark, one of the most ferocious sticklers for efficiency in underlings who ever sent for the manager. His maledictions on bad waiters have led to the compulsory re-decorating of half the restaurants of London months before their time, simply by discolouring the walls with their intensity. Well, after immense difficulty, Mark and I, bound for the West, induced a driver to accept us as his fare, and took our places inside.

"He looks a decent capable fellow," said Mark, who prides himself on his skill in physiognomy. "We ought to be there in a quarter of an hour."

But we did not start. First the engine was cold. Then, that having consented and the flag being lowered, a fellow-driver asked our man to help him with his tail-light. He did so with the utmost friendliness and deliberation. Then they both went to the back of our cab to see how our tail-light was doing, and talked about tail-lights together, and how easy it was to jolt them out, and how difficult it was to know whether they had been jolted out or not, and how jolly careful one had to be nowadays with so many blooming regulations and restrictions and things.

Meanwhile Mark was becoming purple with suppressed rage, for the clock was ticking and all this wasted time should, in a decently-managed world, have belonged to us. But he dared not let himself go. It was a pitiful sight—this strong man repressing impulse. At any moment I expected to see him dash his arm through the window and tell the driver what he thought of him; but he did not. He did nothing; but I could hear his blood boil.

Then at last our man mounted the box, and just at that moment (this is an absolutely true story) it chanced that an errand-boy asked him the way to Panton Street, and he got down from the box and walked quite a little way with the boy to show him. And while he was away the engine stopped. It was then that poor Mark performed one of the most heroic feats of his life. He still sat still; but I seemed to see his hat rising and falling, as did the lid of WATT's kettle on that historic evening which led to so much railway trouble, from strikes and sandwiches to Bradshaw. Still he said nothing. Nor did he speak until the engine had been started again and we were really on our way and thoroughly late. "If it had only been in normal times," he said grimly, "how I should have let that man have it. But one simply mustn't. It's terrible, but they've got us by the short hairs!"

No doubt of that.

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[The brilliant Editor of "Pal Athene," who has been aptly styled "the leading light of the democracy," contributes what is perhaps the most wonderful and powerful article which we have had the pleasure of publishing from his trenchant pen.]

Words won't do it, my friends. We don't want speeches. We want action. I ask you to give the Buskers socks. Kick this Chorus of Five Hundred out of the orchestra. Ostrichise the Government! Give them the bird!

If I read my countrymen aright (and who does if I don't?), what they are saying now is, "We must have a definite plan of strong action. We are not going to fight any longer with speeches and despatches." That's the way, Athenians! Good luck to you! Zeus bless you. And the same to you, Tommy Hoplites and Jack Nautes, and many of them! You don't mean PHILIP to be Tyrant of Athens, do you? You're not going to have him turning our beautiful Parthenon into a cavalry stable? You're not going to see the Barbarians hanging up their shields on the dear old statue of Athene. Of course you're not. When I walk through the city and see, as I pass the houses of my humbler brethren, the neat respectable little altars and the good old well-used wine-presses (which I never do without breathing a little prayer, uncantingly, straight from the heart), I say, "It's a foul calumny to pretend that the people are not all right. They are, Zeus bless 'em! All they are waiting for is a lead. And action!"

We've got to have a strong policy, my friends, and my tip to you is—"Trust the Army! Curse the politicians!" It's no use sitting still while SCHINES AND Co. are spouting. You and I, my brothers and sisters, as I'm proud to call you, we don't spout, do we? We mean business! And PHILIP means business too! At any moment he may come down on us and devastate our quiet picturesque little demes which we all love so well and get disgustingly drunk on our wine. So give us the word, SCHINES AND Co.—not many words, please, but just one word—and we'll tackle him as he ought to be tackled and put a pinch of Attic salt on his tail. We don't want this PHILIP, but we do want a fillip of our own. Meanwhile, are we downhearted? I don't think.

(Another powerful philippic by Mr. Demosthenes next week.)

* * * * *


"Private Jones, V.C., single handed captured 102 Germans; limited number for sale, best offers; proceeds military hospital."—Bazaar.

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"The towing to Madrid of the Greek steamer Spyros lacks confirmation."—Daily Telegraph.

We always had our doubts about the report.

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"Nevertheless, though nobody has ever sympathised with the goose that laid the golden eggs, it is now widely recognized that it was bad policy to kill him."—G.B. Shaw in "The Times."

Even in War-time, you will notice, "G.B.S." cannot get away from the sex-problem.

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FREMDENBLATT.—Mr. Lloyd George will recognise one day that the Allies put their heads in a sling on the day they rejected Germany's terms."—Daily Paper.

But we may trust little DAVID to know what to do with a sling.

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I am the White House typewriter! I am the Voice of the People And then some! I speak, and the Western Hemisphere attends, All except Mexico and WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, Who has a megaphone of his own. I am the soul of a great free people! Hence the vers libre Which breathes the spirit of Democracy Because anybody can do it.

Who secured a second term of office for my master, President WILSON? Was it the War or OSWALD GARRISON VILLARD or General HARRISON GRAY OTIS? It was not. It was I! Though the others helped, especially Gen. OTIS.

I am of antiquated design, as invisible as Colonel HOUSE and nearly as useless as Senator WORKS, But as my master only works me with one thumb (For fear of saying something that might have to be explained away) I do very nicely. And when it comes to throwing the bull I am the real Peruvian doughnuts.

I was new once, but obscure, Wasting my freshness on a Life of Jefferson (extinct) And a History of the United States, Which by the kindness of the Democratic party and the MCCLURE Syndicate Is now appearing in dignified segments on the back page of provincial newspapers Along with Dainty Diapers and Why I Love the Movies, by MARY PICKFORD.

I am the Defender of Liberties! Never have I hesitated to tell Germany not to do it again; Never have I failed to protest in the severest terms when the British Navy threatened to interfere with business. Next to Mr. LANSING, Who is said to use a Blickensderfer, I am the hottest little protester in Protestville, And in consequence nobody loves me, Neither REVENTLOW nor GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK nor WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST; Nor even The Spectator, Which never did like Democrats, anyway.

But now I am the Harbinger of Peace By special request. Imperial Germany, Sated with victory and a shortage of boiled potatoes, Implores me to save the Entente Powers from utter annihilation, And the prayer is echoed By Sir EDGAR SPEYER and the other neutrals. So my keys tap out the glad message Of friendship for all and trouble for none.

I ask them what they are fighting about, And if it is really true that Belgium has been invaded, And propose that we should all get together and talk it over Nice and quietly over tea and muffins And away from all the nasty blood and noise.

Thus I address them, And humane Germany Almost falls on my neck in her anxiety to comply with my request; But the stiff-necked Entente, With an old-fashioned obstinacy reminiscent of the LINCOLN person at his worst, Merely utter joint and several sentiments The substance and effect of which appear to be "Nix!"


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Once upon a time a man lay dying.

He was dying very much at his ease, for he had had enough of it all.

None the less they brought a priest, who stretched his face a yard long and spoke from his elastic-sided boots.

"This is a solemn moment," said the priest. "But sooner or later it comes to us all. You are fortunate in having all your faculties."

The dying man smiled grimly.

"Is there any wrong that you have done that you wish redressed?" the priest asked.

"None that I can remember," said the dying man.

"But you are sorry for such wrong as you have done?"

"I don't know that I am," said the dying man. "I was a very poor hand at doing wrong. But there are some so-called good deeds that I could wish undone which are still bearing evil fruit."

The priest looked pained. "But you would not hold that you have not been wicked?" he said.

"Not conspicuously enough to worry about," replied the other. "Most of my excursions into what you would call wickedness were merely attempts to learn more about this wonderful world into which we are projected. It's largely a matter of temperament, and I've been more attracted by the gentle things than the desperate. Strange as you may think it, I die without fear."

"But surely there are matters for regret in your life?" the priest, who was a conscientious man, inquired earnestly.

"Ah!" said the dying man. "Regret? That's another matter. Have I no occasion for regret? Have I not? Have I not?"

The priest cheered up. "For opportunities lost," he said. "The lost opportunities—how sad a theme, how melancholy a retrospect! Tell me of them."

"I said nothing about lost opportunities," the dying man replied; "I said that there was much to regret, and there is; but there were no opportunities that in this particular I neglected. They simply did not present themselves often enough."

"Tell me of this sorrow," said the priest. "Perhaps I may be able to comfort you."

The dying man again smiled his grim smile. "My greatest regret," he said, "and one, unhappily, that could never be remedied, even if I lived to be a thousand, is—"

"Yes, yes," said the priest, leaning nearer.

"Is," said the dying man, "that I have known so few children."

* * * * *

* * * * *


Sergeant Storr stated that he saw Shann on a lighter in the Old Harbour. He failed to produce his registration card and could offer no reason why he had not reported for service. Subsequently he said he was 422 years of age."—Hull Daily News.

Passed for centenarian duty.

* * * * *

"Wanted, strong Boy, about 14, for milk cart; to live in."—Provincial Paper.

He will at least have the advantage of living close to his work.

* * * * *

"THE BHAKTHI MARGA PRASANGA SABHA.—At Nagappa Chetty Pillayar Vasantha Mantapam, 322 Thumbu Chetty Street, Georgetown, to-morrow 4 P.M. Bramhasri Mangudi Chidambara Bhagavathar will give a harikatha on 'Pittukkumansuman tha Thiruvilayadal.'" —Madras Paper.

We like the words and should be glad to hear the tune.

* * * * *





Where d'ye buy your earrings, Your pretty bobbing earrings, Where d'ye buy your earrings, Moll and Sue and Nan? In the Cherry Gardens They sell 'em eight a penny, And let you eat as many As ever you can.

Moll's are ruddy coral, Sue's are glossy jet, Nan's are yellow ivory, Swinging on their stems. O you lucky damsels To get in Cherry Gardens Earrings for your fardens Comelier than gems!



The bung is lost from Newington Butts! The beer is running in all the ruts, The gutters are swimming, the Butts are dry, Lackadaisy! and so am I. Who was the thief that stole the bung? I shall go hopping the day he's hung!



Nine Elms in a ring: In One I saw a Robin swing, In Two a Peacock spread his tail, In Three I heard the Nightingale, In Four a White Owl hid with craft, In Five a Green Woodpecker laughed, In Six a Wood-dove croodled low, In Seven lived a quarrelling Crow, In Eight a million Starlings flew, In Nine a Cuckoo said, "Cuckoo!"

* * * * *

"On Sale, 2,300 Oak barrels; edible: offers wanted."—Manchester Evening News.

Are these the first-fruits of the new Food Control?

* * * * *

From battalion orders:—

"Men transferred from Command Dept will be fed up to the day of departure."

Even commanding officers occasionally have a glimpse of the obvious.

* * * * *

"In expressing regret that we had dropped the word 'culture' out of our vocabulary because of Germany, the Archdeacon of Middlesex gave the following definitions:—

'Kultur'—Had for 'Culture.'—A word its god the State, and which describes a was practically spirit of sympathy materialism, the result with all that is beaubeing simply mechanitiful, true, honest, cal efficiency, and pure."—Liverpool Echo.

Even now it is not very clear.

* * * * *

* * * * *


It is reported that, should the measures recently adopted by the railway companies with a view to "discourage unnecessary travelling" prove insufficient, other expedients, of a more stringent character, may be resorted to. By the courtesy of an official we are able to give details of some further innovations that have been suggested.

(I.) The Platform Staff at the chief stations will be specially trained to answer all enquiries from civilian passengers in an ambiguous or quasi-humorous manner.

Thus detailed instructions are to be issued giving the correct form of reply to such questions as, "Can I take this train to Rugby?" The answer in this case will convey a jocular suggestion that the task is best left to the engine-driver; and others in the same style.

In all cases of urgency the formula "Wait and see" to be freely employed for purposes of discouragement.

(II.) In the case of exceptionally popular tickets, such as those to Brighton, a strictly limited number of impressions to be struck off, which will be disposed of by public auction to the highest bidder.

(III.) When stoppages (whether necessary or disciplinary) take place between stations, preference to be given to the interior of tunnels. All artificial light will then be cut off, and the officials of the train will run up and down the corridors howling like wolves.

(IV.) On hearing the declaration of any would-be traveller (as "Margate") it shall be optional for the booking-clerk to reply, "I double Margate"; when his opponent, the public, must either pay twice the already increased fare or forfeit the journey.

(V.) The quality of buns, pastry and sandwiches at the station refreshment-rooms to be drastically revised. A return to be made to the more "discouraging" models of fifty years ago, which will be specially manufactured under the supervision of the Ministry of Munitions.

(VI.) All the too-attractive photographs of agreeable places on the company's service at present exhibited in the compartments to be removed, and in place of them the frames to be filled with such chastening subjects as "Marine Drive at Slushboro' on a Wet Evening," "No Bathing To-day" (Bude), or "Fac-simile of a typical week-end bill at the Hotel Superb, Shrimpville." It is felt that if this last item does not cause people to stop at home nothing will.

* * * * *



Lieutenant-General Sir W.R. Robertson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, was unanimously elected an hon. member of the Zoological Society of London at the December general meeting."—The Times.

* * * * *

"By a Ministerial decree, chickens can be raised in the courtyards of houses in Rome."—Daily Express.

And we are now confidently expecting some "Lays of Modern Rome."

* * * * *

"5 REWARD,—Lost, on November 28th, in Kensington, BLACK ABERDEEN TERRIER, name 'Cinders' on collar, also Lt.-Col. —— and badge of S.W.B. Regiment.—Kindly return to Mrs. ——."—The Times.

Let us hope the Colonel at least has found his way home.

* * * * *


His shape was domed and his colour brown, And I took him up and I get him down In the lamp's full light, in the very front of it, Ready and glad to bear the brunt of it; And then, having raised my hand and blessed him, I thus in appropriate words addressed him:— "Oh, soon to be numbered with the dead, Your fortunate brothers, prepare," I said, "Prepare to vanish this very day And go to your doom the silent way. For DEVONPORT's Lord will soon decree, With his eye on you and his eye on me, That you're only a useless luxury; And, since the War on the whole continues, We must tighten our belts and brace our sinews, And give up the things we liked before, And never, like Oliver, ask for more. Since this is so and the War endures, I am bound to abandon you and yours, And wherever I meet you I must frown On your sweet white core and your coat of brown. But no, since you are the only one, The last of a line that is spent and done, I shall give myself pleasure once again And set you free from a life of pain. Prepare, prepare, for I mean to punch you, My lonely friend, and to crunch and munch you."

So saying I smiled in a sort of dream On my absolute ultimate chocolate-cream; Then swiftly I reached my hand to get him And popped him into my mouth and ate him.

* * * * *

* * * * *


"Maman! quel saint prie-t-on—" began Jeanne. Ah! but no, a recollection flashed across her mind and was reinforced by other memories. "J'en ai fini avec les saints," she mused, proceeding to the other end of the room where, full of intention, she busied herself among some books. Yes, she was now quite disillusioned; that latest blow, on her recent tenth birthday, had confirmed finally her long-growing suspicion—prayer to the saints was unavailing.

After a time; "Maman, pour que Papa vienne en permission qui faut-il que l'on s'adresse?"

"A son colonel, mon enfant. Mais, ma fi-fille, tu sais...!"

Jeanne, with an air of having something to decide for herself, paid no heed, but resumed the study of her picture-book description of the French Army, murmuring: "Un colonel—est-ce que c'est comme un saint, ou bien est-ce que c'est comme le bon Dieu lui-mme?"

Some moments of deep silence spent in intense study ended with a triumphant: "Bon! j'y suis." That was exactly what she had wished to discover, the very source of power. "'Les officiers attachs un gnral pour l'excution et la transmission de ses ordres,'" re-read Jeanne, and commented, "Et tout cela s'appelle l'-tat ma-jor du gnral. Bon! c'est bien comme je le pensais; c'est le gnral qui est la tte de tout."

Her course was now quite clear. She urged and encouraged herself: "Il faut absolument que Papa vienne en permission. Je—le—veux!" And, that her intentions might not be thwarted, absolute secrecy must be maintained, at least in so far as the chapter relating to her terrestrial tactics was concerned; no one would oppose intercession auprs du bon Dieu.

"Il faut m'adresser tous les deux en mme temps," pronounced Jeanne, taking a sheet of note-paper. "J'cris directement au gnral" (since time and space have to be allowed for in earthly negotiations, the order must be thus)—"et je prie le bon Dieu en personne." That both positions should be assailed simultaneously, operations must be begun in this quarter in the morning, at the hour of the first postal delivery.

"Point de saints, ni de colonels—maintenant je comprends—l'-tat-ma-jor dans l'Arme et les saints au Paradis, c'est tout comme!"

* * * * *



Five hours is a great space out of a man's life, but that was precisely the time taken by Mr. ARTHUR COLLINS to present his Puss in New Boots, so that I had leisure to study the book of the words, sold shamelessly to the unsuspecting (of whom I was not one), and compare the rough sketches of our three standard authors of the Lane, Messrs. COLLINS, SIMS and DIX with the version, by no manner of means final, of the comedians. A pantomime book is on the whole rather a mournfully unsubtle document. The thing is frankly not meant to be read when the blood is cool. It is the Action, Action and again Action of such hefty knock-abouts as WILL EVANS, ROBERT HALE and STANLEY LUPINO that makes the dry bones live and the old squibs crackle. And it is good fun to watch the audience at their share of authorship, setting the seal of their approval upon the happy wheeze, the well-contrived business, and blue-pencilling with their silence the wash-out or the too obscure allusion.

The show is substantially new throughout—new songs, new scenery, new japes, new acrobatics. A new Puss, too, as well as new boots; and, without any reflection on little Miss LENNIE DEANE, who was quite an adequate Puss of pantomime, we may regret Miss RENE MAYER.

Miss FLORENCE SMITHSON still delights the curious with her Swedish exercises in alt, and makes a very pretty lady of high degree for a pantomime marquis, who is no other than Miss MADGE TITHERADGE stepping down from the "legitimate" and bringing an air and an elocution unusual and admirable. She made her excellent speaking voice do duty in recitative for song, and the innovation is not unpleasing. If it be fair in frivolous public places to dig down to those thoughts that better lie too deep for tears, Mr. ALFRED NOYES' A Song of England, clear spoken by her with tenderness and spirit, is a better instrument than most.

Mr. HALE's Baroness challenges comparison with Mr. GEORGE GRAVES's. She is perhaps more womanly ("no ordinary" type), less grotesquely irrelevant and profane—though she does her bit. On the other hand, she is more active and less repetitive. When, the good fairy endowing her with beauty, she appeared as DORIS KEANE in Romance, that was an applauded stroke. And when she lied beneath the tree of truth and the chestnuts fell each time truth was mishandled, thickest of all when it was asserted that a certain Scotch comedian had refused his salary, this was also very well received. On the whole, then, a satisfactory Baroness.

Mr. LUPINO (the miller's second son) is really an exquisite droll, and I don't remember to have seen him in better form. He has some of the authentic ingredients of the old circus clown—a very valuable inheritance.

Mr. WILL EVANS is always good to watch, always has that air of enjoying himself immensely that is the readiest way to favour. He seemed at times to be, as it were, looking wistfully for his old pal, GRAVES; missed probably that companionable nose and those reliable da capos which give such opportunity for the manufacture of gags; whereas Mr. HALE is a "thruster." But cooking the recherch dinner in the gas cooker that becomes a tank, and putting up the blind and laying the carpet—here was the WILL EVANS that the children of all ages applaud.

I always find the Lane big scenes and ballets more full of competing colour and restless movement than of controlled design. But the Hall of Fantasy, with its spiral staircases reaching to the flies, was an ambitious effort crowned with success. The dance of the eight tiny zanies was the best of the ballet. The Shakspearean pageant at the end might be (1) shortened, and (2) brightened by the characters throwing a little more conviction into their respective aspects—notably the ghost of Hamlet's father. However, as a popular tercentenary tribute to "our Shakspeare" the scheme is to be commended and was as such approved.


* * * * *


[The Executive of the German Sporting Clubs and Athletic Associations have issued a manifesto expressing satisfaction at the substitution of German for English words and phrases. "German sport," it declares, "in future places itself unreservedly on the side of those who would further German Kultur. German Song and German Art will in future find a home in German sport." This new patriotic programme has been greatly applauded in the Press, the Berliner Tageblatt observing that the culture of soul and body must proceed pari passu, with the result that "not only will the German sportsman become a beautiful body, but a beautiful soul as well. Every club must have its library, not filled with sensational novels, but with works of art. And before all else the club-house must be architecturally beautiful—an object from which he may obtain spiritual edification."]

The German is seldom amusing, Since humour is hardly his forte, But I've frequently smiled in perusing His latest pronouncement on sport; For it seems that he thinks it the duty Of sportsmen to aim at the goal Of adding to bodily beauty A beauty of soul.

They've made a good start by proscribing All English and Anglicised terms, To counter the risk of imbibing Debased philological germs; And they've coined a new wonderful lingo, Which only a Teuton can talk, Resembling the yelp of a dingo, A cormorant's squawk.

But in spite of his prowess Titanic, His marvellous physical gift, The soul of the athlete Germanic Still clamours for moral uplift; So we learn without any emotion That, his ultimate aim to secure, He must bathe in the bountiful ocean Of German Kultur.

In the process of character-building Hun Art (Simplicissimus brand), With its rococo carving and gilding, Must ever advance hand in hand With its sister, Hun Song, that inspiring And exquisite engine of Hate, Whose efforts we've all been admiring So largely of late.

Thus, freed from all sentiment sickly, The sportsman whom Germany needs Will help to exterminate quickly All weak and effeminate breeds; And, trained in the gospel of BISSING, Will cleave to the Hun decalogue Which rivets the link, rarely missing, 'Twixt him and the hog.

* * * * *

"Parlourmaid wanted for Sussex; under parlourmaid kept; Roman Catholic and spectacles objected to."

Our own preference is for a Plymouth Sister with pince-nez.

* * * * *

* * * * *



Miss ETHEL SIDGWICK (long life to her as one of our optimist conquerors!) still keeps her preference for the creation of charming people and her rare talent for making them alive. But I wonder if she is not refining her brilliant technique to the point of occasional obscurity of intention. At least I know I had to re-read a good many passages to be quite sure what was in fact intended. An implied compliment, no doubt; but are all readers so virtuous? ("or so dull?" quoth she). Hatchways (SIDGWICK AND JACKSON) is one of those happily comfortable, just right houses with a hostess, Ernestine, whom everybody loves and nobody (save her husband, and he not in this book) makes love to. Holmer, on the other hand, is the adjoining ducal mansion with a distinctly uncomfortable dowager still in command who can't even arrange her dinner-parties and fails to marry her sons to the right people. Perpetually Hatchways is wiping the eye of Holmer, and this touches the nerve of the great lady. Her sons, Wickford, the authentic but hardly reigning duke, and Lord Iveagh Suir, the queer impressionable (on whom the author has spent much pains to excellent effect), both take their troubles to Ernestine. And a young French aviator (this is a pre-War story), guest at Hatchways, analyses and discusses situations and characters from his coign of privilege—a device adroitly handled by the discreet author, who adds two charming girls, coquette Lise, Iveagh's first love, and wise, loyal, perceptive Bess, whom he found at last. To those who appreciate subtle portraiture let me commend this study.... I feel just as if I had been for a long week-end at Hatchways, anxiously wondering, as I write my "roofer," if I shall be so lucky as to be asked again.

* * * * *

I think there is little doubt that you will agree with me in calling The Flaming Sword (HODDER AND STOUGHTON) as noble and absorbing a story of fine work finely done as any that the War has produced. It is the history, told by herself, of Mrs. ST. CLAIR STOBART's Red Cross Mission "in Serbia and Elsewhere." The frontispiece, Mr. GEORGE HANKIN's moving picture of The Lady of the Black Horse (a name always to be honoured among our Allies), catches the spirit of the heroic tale and prepares you for what the Lady herself has to tell. Mrs. STOBART is no sentimentalist; fighting and the overcoming of obstacles are, one would say, congenial to her mettle; time and again, even in the midst of her story of the terrible retreat, with the German guns ever thundering nearer, she can yet spare a moment to strike shrewdly and hard for her own side in the other struggle towards feminine emancipation which is always obviously close to her heart. Certainly she has well earned the right to be heard with respect. Read this high-spirited account of the difficulties—mud, disease, prejudice, famine—through which the writer brought her charge triumphantly to safety, and you will be inclined, with me, to throw your critical cap into the air and thank Heaven for such women of our race, which would be to invite, not unsuccessfully, some withering snub from the very lady you were endeavouring to praise. But that can't be helped. Meantime of her exploit and the book that recounts it I can sum up my verdict in the only Serbian that I have gleaned from its pages—Dobro, Dobro! For a translation of which you know where to apply.

* * * * *

So many battle books have been pouring from the press lately that it is difficult to keep pace with them, and harder still to find something fresh to say of each; but quot homines tot points of individual interest, and for those whose concern lies more especially with the New Zealand Forces and their campaigns I can very safely recommend a volume which the official war correspondent to that contingent and his son have jointly published under the title of Light and Shade in War (ARNOLD). Whether it is Mr. MALCOLM ROSS who supplies the light, and Mr. NOEL ROSS the shade, or vice versa, we are given no means of ascertaining. Between them they have certainly put together an agreeable patchwork of small and easily read pieces, most of which have already appeared in journalistic form. It is perhaps parental prejudice that makes Mr. Punch consider the best of the bunch to be "Abdul," one of three slight sketches that originally saw the light in his own pages. Abdul is a joy, also a thief, a society entertainer, and a Cairo hospital orderly. I can only hope that the story of how he displayed his patient's sun-browned knees as a raree show to the convulsed G.O.C. and lady, who were visiting the hospital, is at least founded on fact. The publishers are entirely justified in saying that these impressions, made often under actual fire, have both colour and intimacy. So I wish them good luck in the campaign for popular favour.

* * * * *

Franois Villon, His Life and Times (HUTCHINSON) is one of those fortunate volumes that arrive to fill a long vacant corner. So far as I know, with the exception perhaps of STEVENSON's study, there has been no means by which the casual reader, as apart from the student, could correct his probably very vague ideas about the Father of Realism. Mr. H. DE VERE STACPOOLE, approaching the subject not for the first time, here essays a brief life and appreciation of the poet, told in picturesque but simple style. Sometimes indeed the simplicity is apt to appear overdone, so that one gets a suggestion that the story is being presented to us in thoughts of one syllable. Apart from this, however, there is much to be said for Mr. STACPOOLE's vivid reconstruction of medival France, and the Paris that sheltered VILLON himself, TABARY, MONTIGNY and the others—that group of shadows whom we see only by the lightning of genius. They and their contemporaries pass before us here like a pageant woven upon tapestry. Occasionally indeed Mr. STACPOOLE looks suddenly round the tapestry, even (one might say) tears a hole in it and pushes his head through, with a startling effect. But as he has always the good excuse of sympathy with his subject one easily forgives him these generous impulses. As I said before, a book that has had its place long reserved.

* * * * *

If you happen to remember that most excellent book, Brother-in-Law to Potts, you may recall that the principal motive in it is the spiritualising influence of a certain Lady Beautiful, very lightly and even intangibly presented, on the lives of some other persons of a more material clay. In Obstacles (CHAPMAN AND HALL), Mrs. "PARRY TRUSCOTT" has returned to her previous subject, but with the notable difference that she now traces the influence brought in turn to bear upon the lady herself, who emerges from her semi-divine obscurity to become the heroine of the story. If in her background sketch of the munitions factory where Susannah elects to work the writer does not trouble much about technical detail or even attempt to suggest any particular acquaintance with such matters as lathes or shell bodies, yet she does convey, with striking simplicity and naturalness, the impression of a world at war, and for the rest she is content to bring her heroine in contact with the lives that are to affect her and the environment of comparative poverty that is to help her to a decision. What that decision was, and how unnecessary too, is sufficiently indicated if I say that she was blessed with most understanding parents, who positively preferred that her suitor should be a poor man. And so the happy future that surely no authoress and most certainly no male reader could have the heart to refuse to so delightful a Susannah is available to complete a picture touched throughout with singular grace and charm. In particular the little snap-shots of two ideal family households, the one that includes the heroine, and another, much humbler, which she enters as an honoured guest, go to make this volume, all too short though it is, one that I can recommend with quite unusual pleasure and confidence.

* * * * *

* * * * *


"Lord George H. Cholmondeley, M.C., Hotts Royal Horse Artillery, who has just been promoted to the rank of mayor in that Territorial Corps."—Cheshire Observer.

We congratulate His Worship and also the Hotts.

* * * * *

"The General Committee and all clergy and ministers (as well as the choir) are invited to sit on the orchestra."—Western Morning News.

We are afraid the orchestra has not been doing its best.

* * * * *

"WRAPPING paper (in sheets and reels) and Twins; large stock. Please state size required, and we will quote best cash terms."—Irish Paper.

An obvious attempt to cut into the trade of the dairyman whose speciality is "Families Supplied."


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