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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 5, 1920
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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 158

MAY 5, 1920



CHARIVARIA.

We understand that Lord FISHER, who is reported to have taken a week off to say what he thought about the Budget, has asked for an extension of time.

* * *

Germany has decided to abolish gradually all titles of nobility. They will disappear Von by Von.

* * *

Six hundred Irish emigrants left for New York last Wednesday on board the Celtic. All, we understand, were advised before leaving that the price of a man's votes, after the first five or six, isn't what it was in former Presidential elections.

* * *

"I hope I will not come back until the basis of a real peace with Russia is secured," said Mr. SNOWDEN on the eve of his departure. There are other people who don't much mind what cause detains him.

* * *

An earthquake is reported in California, and a volume of poems by the POET LAUREATE is announced. What a breathless week!

* * *

"What is wanted in our prisons," says a well-known preacher, "is more humanity; in the Irish prisons in particular the right kind of humanity." Even in the rare cases where we get hold of it we don't seem able to keep it.

* * *

The Liverpool and District Federation of Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods, protesting against Sunday cricket, declare their anxiety to maintain in every way the traditional sacredness of the English Sabbath. With roast beef at its present price this seems scarcely possible.

* * *

A "uniform evening dress for women" was advocated at a discussion on "Fashions" by members of the Lyceum Club. Smart Society, it is observed, by a gradual process of elimination is working down to something of the kind.

* * *

"Increased party bitterness," says a Berlin correspondent, "is becoming a feature of German life." A sharp cleavage of opinion is detected between the party that refuses to comply with the terms of the Peace Treaty and the section that merely intends to evade them.

* * *

It appears that a man has been fined five pounds for using bad language about Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL. Latest reports from the district are to the effect that his remarks were rather good value for the money.

* * *

A weekly paper advocates the sterilizing of all foodstuffs. This is a decided advance on the old custom of sifting soup through a set of whiskers.

* * *

Germany, says Mr. JAMES DOUGLAS, lost the War. It is said that even the ex-Kaiser now admits that everything seems to point that way.

* * *

A Madras tiger cub, we are informed, has been born at Pontypridd. We can only suppose that the animal did not know it was Pontypridd.

* * *

Futurist painters, says a contemporary, are becoming scarce in America. The wave of crime that followed the War seems to be falling off.

* * *

The Department Committee of the Falkland Islands suggest that whales should be marked by a small projectile. This is much better than screwing the monster into a vice and carving its name and address on it with a chisel.

* * *

A Beachy Head correspondent writes to a daily paper to say that he has seen a peculiarly bright light in the sky. Quite a number of people are asking, Can it be the sun?

* * *

A morning paper reports that the Government is now offering for sale all machinery, fixtures and fittings installed in a certain large aerodrome in Hampshire. It is rumoured that they will be willing to buy them back from the purchasers at an enhanced price in order to equip a new aerodrome in the same locality.

* * *

According to a witness at Willesden Police Court a carter charged with insulting behaviour swore for twenty minutes without repeating himself. We understand that the Bargees' Union take a very serious view of the matter.

* * *

"The cost of cremation is now exceptionally low," announces a Sunday paper. Inexpensive luxuries are so rare in these days that one is tempted to give it a trial.

* * *

Replying to Sir K. FRASER, Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN stated that he was not prepared to levy an equalizing tax on total abstainers. The belief that they are already sufficiently punished is widely held.

* * *

"Man, naturally funny, desires to be trained for stage funny-man" (Times Advertisement). The initial handicap is bound to tell against him. He should try the House of Commons.

* * *

Twenty-one pigs have died at Woking as the result of eating phosphorus. The owner was apparently unaware that it has taken years to accustom the American pig to a phosphorus diet.

* * *

Hythe Council is offering sixpence a dozen for dead wasps. Hunters may bring their captures in on the hoof but must slaughter them before they can touch the money.

* * *

A South Wales miner charged with trapping birds was found to be wearing three coats. As this might have been due to an oversight on the part of his valet it was not included in the charge.

* * * * *



* * * * *

Our Tireless Terpsichoreans.

"Miss ——'s dance will take place on the 22nd and terminate on the 29th for this season."—Advt. in Provincial Paper.

* * * * *

"That fine sporting neighbourhood, Epsom, is represented by a big cheque from the town cub."—Evening Paper.

Good dog!

* * * * *

THE HEALING WATERS OF SPA.

[It is feared that the Treaty with the Turk will not be signed in time for him to receive an invitation to join the Allies and their late enemies, towards the end of May, at the Conference to be held at Spa, where it is proposed to discuss a common scheme for the regeneration of the world.]

Sweet after hopes deferred that make The stomach feel so queer, To think the Peace for which we ache May very soon be here; That, though but scarce two years have passed Since we contrived to win it, The War, if things go on so fast, May end at any minute.

Yet must the pace be hotter still With less of "hum!" and "ha!" If we would have our pleasure's fill And meet the Turk at Spa; How nice if he could only come, Fresh from Armenian slaughter, And join our Mixed Symposium Over a mineral water!

His ripe experience would show Just how (by Allah's grace) To make this world of sin and woe Into a better place; And, though we failed to cure at sight All ills that want allaying, At least (between the Acts) we might Together go a-Maying.

O. S.

* * * * *

LE MONDE OU L'ON TRAVAILLE.

There had been a long silence between us. We sat lunching comfortably at the Ritz, and the Spring air came pleasantly in at the open window beside us. I watched the people passing by and commented on some of them to Tony, but he seemed completely wrapped in meditation.

Really it was a little aggravating. Spring always thrills me to the tips of my fingers; I had put on my very nicest clothes; we were eating the very last word in lunches, and there was a glorious atmosphere of holiday in the air; but it was all lost on Tony.

Suddenly he roused himself. "It's a queer thing," he began a propos of nothing, abstractedly toying with his peche Melba and lapsing into thoughtful silence again.

"Shouldn't be surprised," I retorted sharply.

Then I looked across at him and my heart smote me. He is extraordinarily good to look upon—fair crinkled hair, Saxon colouring and blue eyes that can warm up so delightfully at moments.

"What is queer, Tony?" I went on more gently, conscious that in spite of his abstraction his gaze was wandering appreciatively in my direction, so that I felt my new blouse was not entirely wasted after all.

"Well, the fact is," he roused himself to start, "I've been making some very interestin' experiments."

"Oh!" I said, a trifle disappointed.

"Yes, very interestin' indeed. You know, of course, that I've only been demobbed about six months, so there's no ghastly hurry or anythin', but I rather feel that I ought to begin to think of doin' somethin'—some business, profession sort of affair, I mean. Havin' made up my mind more or less, I thought I'd come up to town yesterday and have a talk with one or two of the fellows I know who have got jobs—get a few tips and so on."

"That sounds an awfully good idea," I encouraged him.

"Well, it was rather," he agreed modestly, "but on my life, Betty, you'd never believe——Well, I'll tell you.

"I dropped in first of all on Dixon. Not a bad chap at all, one of those—you know—solicitors. Partner in an A1 firm an' all that. They're fairly rakin' in money at present with this boom in Divorce Court stunts.

"Anyway we began talkin' about old times and so on, as I hadn't seen him for ages. We got laughin' over some of his funny stories about their stuff—no names or anythin' like that, of course—and then bit by bit I started tellin' him what was really at the back of my mind about takin' up the work. I don't think he grasped it quite at first, but when he did he just leant back in his chair and looked at me with a kind of pityin' expression. 'My dear old boy,' he said, 'take it from a friend, one who has been through it—don't! It's a dog's life; years of training; work all day and night. No peace. Responsibility all the time. You know, dear old fellow, what you want is a soft job. Why don't you start stock-brokin' or somethin'?'

"Well, of course that was a bit of a set-back; still I thought, 'Are we down-hearted?' So I trotted on round to old Simkins—remember that stockbroker chap we ran into at the Gaiety the other evenin'? He's a decent sort of fellow; clever an' all that too—but not by way of overworkin' himself.

"Well, I got to his office and asked him out to lunch at the Club, but he wouldn't hear of it. 'My dear old man,' he said, 'you're comin' right along with me to the Carlton, and we're goin' to have the best lunch they can turn out. I tell you I've struck lucky this morning; absolutely had a haul!'

"Well, I thought that sounded pretty cheery, so we toddled off, and I must say they did us jolly well. It seemed just the chance to get him to talk in a pally sort of way, so I simply put it to him straight and told him what I was thinkin' of doin'. He listened to me a bit doubtfully for a few minutes and then leaned across the table and put his hand on my arm, interruptin' me. 'Don't you do it, my son,' he said. 'As a pal I warn you. The work! the worry! the carking anxiety! Take my word for it the life of a stockbroker isn't fit for a dog.'

"Seemed funny, didn't it? Only he was so insistent that I began to get the hump about it myself too and after a little while I managed to leave him and rolled off to get cheered up by Bird. Teddy Bird's one of the best of fellows—always merry an' bright. They manufacture ladies' jumpers or somethin' of the sort; they were on Army clothin' durin' the War; pots of money, of course; not doin' too badly now either.

"I just blew in an' told him to come on the binge or somethin' to cheer me up. He wanted to know what I had got the hump about, so I told him about these other two chaps, and really I was beginnin' to think what a let-off I had had. Then a bright idea flashed into my mind. Why shouldn't I manufacture somethin'? It seemed such a toppin' good scheme that I asked him straight out what he thought about it.

"'My poor innocent lad,' he said, 'don't you yet realise the sort of existence fellows like me have to lead? Labour troubles, money troubles, taxation on profits. Why, good heavens, it's little better than a dog's life!'

"I kind of felt crumpled and left him."

Tony looked across at me gloomily.

There was a heavy silence. I couldn't think of anything comforting to say. He paid the bill and we started threading our way towards Piccadilly.

"But, Tony," I finally suggested rather desperately, "you said just now there isn't such a ghastly hurry. Why don't you just stay round and amuse yourself for a bit till something crops up?"

He turned and gazed at me reproachfully.

"My dear Betty," he said, "I thought you understood me better than that. For a fellow of real ambition and keenness for gettin' on, it's absolutely feedin', an existence like this, just messin' about. It's the limit. Why, it's nothin' better than a dog's——"

I glanced at him quickly and he flushed crimson to the ears.

"What I mean to say—oh, hang it!" he stuttered, waving his cane. "Hi, taxi! That's right. Hop in, Betty. We've just about time to get a look in at the Palladium. You know one wants cheerin' up these days. Thinkin' seriously about things is so beastly worryin'."

* * * * *



* * * * *



* * * * *

ALL FOR JANE.

(With the British Army in France.)

How Jane contrived to inspire affection and bitter rivalry in the hearts of Sergeant Bulter and Chippo Munks is hard to imagine. She was not beautiful or agreeable or even intelligent. And she was certainly fickle and greedy. If Sergeant Bulter persuaded her to accompany him for a walk she was quite likely to return with Chippo; and if Chippo invited her to dine the end of the dinner was usually the signal for her to leave in search of the further hospitality of Sergeant Bulter.

Nevertheless both soldiers wooed her with an intensity that nearly brought them into deadly conflict. The climax was precipitated by an announcement in Battalion Orders that ran:—

"All ownerless dogs straying about the Camp will be secured by the Camp police for destruction. Owners of dogs will therefore ensure that their dogs are provided with collars showing names of owners, and such dogs are not permitted to stray about the lines unattended."

On reading this Chippo laboriously inscribed an old identity disc—

JANE MUNKS, "B" COY.,

and sought out Jane in her usual corner near the cook-house. He was threading the disc with a piece of string when Sergeant Bulter appeared.

"What are you doin' to that dawg?" demanded the Sergeant.

"Fittin' 'er with a necklace," replied Chippo.

"Well, you can keep it to hang yourself with," said Bulter triumphantly; "she's already provided."

Chippo perceived, what he had previously overlooked, that Jane's neck was encircled with a collar marked—

JANE BULTER, SERGEANTS' MESS.

A sick feeling of disappointment came over him, but he dissembled.

"I reckernize the family likeness, Sergeant," he remarked and walked away, whilst Jane, with callous disregard for his sufferings, meditated whether to dine with the Ration Corporal or the Sergeant Cook, or both.

Chippo walked gloomily in the direction of the town. As he approached the place the blaring of cornets and sounds of hilarity reminded him that Quelquepart was holding its annual foire. Merry-go-rounds and swing-boats were not in harmony with Chippo's mood, and the performance at the gaudily-painted Guignol struck him as particularly dreary, but the sight of Ferdinand Delauney's Grande Loterie, with its huge red wheel and tempting array of prizes, roused him to animation. Ferdinand was attracting investors by methods of persuasion which Chippo, as an acknowledged "Crown-and-anchor" expert, recognised as masterly.

"Reckon I'll try a franc's-worth of Ferdy's prize bonds," he said. "But I expect it'll just be my luck to win a dog-collar or a muzzle."

In due course the wheel began to revolve, and it had scarcely stopped before Ferdinand jumped from the platform and embraced Chippo with emotion.

"Mon ami," he said, "mes felicitations! Vous avez gagne le premier prix!"

Opening a crate he extracted an athletic young cockerel, which he thrust under Chippo's arm, and the latter walked away with a prize for which he had not the slightest use.

Presently the cockerel began to struggle, and Chippo, after considering all methods of transport, took the string intended for Jane from his pocket, attached it to the rooster's leg and marched it before him. He had not proceeded far before he was confronted by the scandalised Sergeant Bulter, with Jane trailing miserably at his heels.

"Hi!" shouted the Sergeant, "what do you mean parading the town like a blamed poultry show?"

"A chap must 'ave a bit o' company when he goes out. I ain't got no dawg now," replied Chippo pathetically.

"Dawgs is one thing," said the Sergeant, "and a mangy wry-necked rooster wot's probably missing from some-one's back-yard is another. It ain't regimental."

"It's as regimental as a yellow flap-eared mongrel wot's bin enticed away from its rightful owner," said the insubordinate Chippo. "There ain't nothink in King's Regs. against it."

"P'r'aps there ain't," said Bulter; "but it ain't soldierlike."

"One minit, Sergeant. Wot's our regimental mascot? It's a goat. An' what's the Dampshires'? A chattering monkey. If monkeys an' goats is soldierlike so's poultry."

The Sergeant was silenced, and Chippo and his rooster proceeded on their way, giving a finished exhibition of the goose-step.

Thereafter Chippo and his pet ostentatiously paraded the lines, selecting the occasions when the Sergeant was starting out for a constitutional. Though Bulter's feelings were sorely outraged he preserved an air of icy aloofness, which Jane imitated as long as she was on the lead. This apparent indifference should have been a warning to the cockerel, but he did not know Jane's peculiar temperament. The full revelation came one morning when they met in the lines unattended by their respective masters. The rooster quickly fell a victim to feminine duplicity, and Jane carried the mangled bundle of claws and feathers and dropped it at Chippo's feet.

Chippo took the remains to Sergeant Bulter.

"See what your dawg's done," he said with indignation.

"An' a good job too," answered Bulter.

"You 'ear that?" appealed Chippo to another N.C.O. who was standing by. "He was allus jealous of me 'avin' a pet, so 'e deliberately set 'is dawg on it, an' now 'e's gloatin'."

"See 'ere, my lad," spluttered Bulter, "you'll be for orderly-room to-morrow if you ain't careful."

"Very well, Sergeant," said Chippo meekly; "it'll give me a chawnce to make my complaint to the orficer."

"'Ow do you mean?"

"Why, against you for flat disobedience of Battalion horders. If you 'adn't let your dawg run about the lines unattended this wouldn't 'ave 'appened."

The Sergeant's face bore the expression of a quack compelled to swallow his own pills. Chippo continued relentlessly and untruthfully—

"I 'ear she's bit the Colonel's groom an' pinched the joint from the Warrant Orficers' Mess. She never oughtn't to be at large, she didn't."

Rarely in his career had Bulter shown such visible discomfiture.

"Of course," added Chippo casually, "if Jane was my dawg I'd 'ave no grounds for complaint."

When your strong man is compelled to submit to the inevitable he usually does it ungracefully. Bulter took the collar from Jane's neck and pushed her over with his foot.

"Take the brute," he said, "an' if ever I see 'er round this Mess again I'll shoot 'er!"

* * * * *



* * * * *

"Paris, Friday.—The High Court of the Senate resumed in public its hearing of the Caillaux trial.... The jury found the prisoner guilty. Mr. Justice Darling postponed sentence."—Scotch Paper.

No other journal appears to have noticed this remarkable extension of the Entente Cordiale.

* * * * *

SUSSEX GODS.

I have been told, and do not doubt, That Devon lanes are dim with trees, And shagged with fern, and loved of bees, And all with roses pranked about; I do believe that other-where The woods are green, the meadows fair.

And woods, I know, have always been The haunt of fairies, good or grim; There the knight-errant hasted him; There Bottom found King Oberon's Queen; The Enchanted Castle always stood Deep in the shadow of a wood.

But I know upland spirits too Who love the shadeless downs to climb; There, in the far-off fabled time, Men called them when the moon was new, And built them little huts of stone With briar and thistle over-grown.

The trees are few and do not bend To make a whispering swaying arch; They are the elder and the larch, Who have the north-east wind for friend, And shield them from his bluff salute With elbow kinked and moss-girt root.

There, when the clear Spring sunset dies Like a great pearl dissolved in wine, Forgotten stragglers half-divine Creep to their ancient sanctuaries Where salt-sweet thyme and sorrel-spire Feed on the dust of ancient fire.

And when the light is almost dead, Low-swung and loose the brown clouds flow In an unhasting happy row Out seaward over Beachy Head, Where, far below, the faithful sea Mutters its wordless liturgy;

Then Sussex gods of sky and sun, Gods never worshipped in a grove, Walk on the hills they used to love, Where the Long Man of Wilmington, Warden of their old frontier, stands And welcomes them with sceptred hands.

D.M.S.

* * * * *

Improving upon Nature.

From an hotel advertisement:—

"Fishing on lake and stream, also 4-1/2 miles Vyrnwy River, recently redecorated."

Provincial Paper.

* * * * *

"SHOT AT DAWN AGAIN. BY HORATIO BOTTOMLEY."

"John Bull" Poster.

This accomplished marksman seems to have missed his man at the first attempt.

* * * * *

WHEN THE CHESTNUT FLOWERS.

FAMOUS FOLK WHO VISIT HAMPTON COURT.

(Specially contributed by our mendacious Paragraphical Expert after the best models.)

Wonderful is the lure that Cardinal WOLSEY'S ancient seat has for all classes of Londoners, especially now when the spires of pink and yellow blossoms rise amidst the dark foliage of Bushey Park, but it is not generally known how many celebrities of the day are attracted to Hampton Court Palace unobserved by anybody but me, who make a habit of noticing this kind of thing. Leaders in the worlds of politics and art wander on the closely-shaven lawns or through the stately chambers, where our English kings made their home and in most cases left their bedsteads behind for posterity to admire. It is as if some irresistible compulsion drove the great minds of the present to commune with the mighty shades of the past. Either that or because the return fare from Waterloo is comparatively cheap.

* * * * *

Paying my penny to visit the Great Vine the other day, I found myself alone in the conservatory with none other than the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER himself, who was regarding this magnificent specimen of horticulture with evident interest through his monocle. After mentioning to him that its record output was twenty-two hundred clusters, I could not resist the temptation of asking him whether he thought the manufacture of home-grown wines would be stimulated by the provisions of the present Budget. Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, however, returned an evasive reply and went out to join Sir EDWARD CARSON, who was pacing up and down in front of the Orangery.

* * * * *

Other well-known politicians whom I have noticed here lately have been Lord BEATTY and Lord FISHER strolling arm-in-arm beside the Long Canal, and Mr. JACK JONES looking contemptuously at the Kynge's Beestes; and the other day, owing to identical errors in our choice of routes, I bumped into Sir ERIC GEDDES no fewer than five times during one afternoon in the Maze. The LORD CHANCELLOR is another frequent visitor. For one who has the mitigation of the harsher features of our marriage laws so much at heart, these Courts, where "bluff KING HAL" celebrated so many of his cheeriest weddings, have a special charm. It is true that the eighth Henry was a little one-sided in his ideas of reform, but that was the fault of his age rather than himself, and, like the present National Party, he had, as the LORD CHANCELLOR put it, the great heart of the people behind him.

* * * * *

Nor is it only statesmen who haunt the great palace. Nowhere else but here, where JAMES I.'S company of actors, including WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE, performed, can Mr. HENRY AINLEY obtain the requisite atmosphere which inspires his swift variety of impersonations, and I am told that his sudden remark of, "Oh, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth," made to one of the attendants who had been for many years in the army, was nearly the cause of a slight fracas. Mr. H. G. WELLS has sometimes been seen staring open-mouthed at the painting of the Olympian cosmogony which adorns the ceiling and walls of the Grand Staircase, and in the wych-elm bower Sir J. M. BARRIE tells me that he often thinks out the titles of his new plays. It was here, in fact, whilst he was weighing the delicate question, "Why did Alice-Sit-By-the-Fire?" that the sudden happy answer occurred to him, "Because Mary Rose."

* * * * *

P.S.—I forgot to say that Lady DIANA DUFF-COOPER frequently comes down here. Or, at any rate, if she doesn't, I shall say she does, because I always mention her in my paragraphs.

V.

* * * * *

MY STRONG SUIT.

Not for me the profiteer's Lucky hauls, But a prospect of lean years That appals; Yet, although I dimly grope On an ever downward slope, I espy one gleam of hope— Overalls.

When the experts prophesy Further squalls, And my income, never high, Falls and falls, Then the twenty-guinea suit Is to me forbidden fruit, But I cordially salute Overalls.

Not to mention other woes, Other calls, Paying tailors through the nose Greatly galls; So farewell, expensive tweeds, Though my manly bosom bleeds, For the situation needs Overalls.

* * * * *

"NURSERY Governess (not over 40) wanted for three children, girl 10 years, twins (boy 2, girl 8)."—Times.

Oh, gemini!

* * * * *



* * * * *



* * * * *

ELIZABETH AND HER YOUNG MAN.

The study door burst open and one end of Elizabeth—the articulate end—was jerked into view.

"Wot will you 'ave for lunch?" she demanded breathlessly. "Lamb or 'am?"

Abruptly recalled from the realms of fiction-writing, I (her mistress) looked up a little dazed. "'Lamb or 'am,'" I repeated dully, "lamorram? Er—ram, I think, please, Elizabeth."

Having thus disposed of my domestic obligations for the day I returned to my writing. I was annoyed therefore to see the other end of Elizabeth travel round the doorway and sidle into the room. Her pretext for entering—that of dusting the roll-top desk with her apron—was a little thin, for she has not the slightest objection to dust. I rather think it cheers her up to see it about the place. Obviously she had come in to make conversation. I laid down my pen with a sigh.

"I yeerd from my young man this morning," she began. A chill foreboding swept over me. (I will explain why in a minute.)

"Do you mean the boiler one?" I asked.

"'Im wot belongs to the Amalgamated Serciety of Boilermakers," she corrected with dignity. "Well, they've moved 'is 'eadquarters from London to Manchester."

There was a tense silence, broken only by Elizabeth's hard breathing on a brass paper-weight ere she polished it with her sleeve.

"If 'e goes to Manchester, there I goes," she went on; "I suppose I'd quite easy get a situation there?"

"Quite easy," I acquiesced in a hollow voice.

She went out leaving me chill and dejected. Not that I thought for one moment that I was in imminent danger of losing her. I knew full well that this was but a ruse on the part of the young man to disembarrass himself of Elizabeth, and, if he had involved the entire Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers in the plot, that only proved how desperate he was.

I have very earnest reasons for wishing that Elizabeth could have a "settled" young man. You see, she never retains the same one for many weeks at a time. It isn't her fault, poor girl. She would be as true as steel if she had a chance; she would cling to any one of them through thick and thin, following him to the ends of the earth if necessary.

It is they who are fickle, and the excuses they make to break away from her are both varied and ingenious. During the War of course they always had the pretext of being ordered to the Front at a moment's notice, and were not, it appears, allowed to write home on account of the Censor. Elizabeth used to blame LLOYD GEORGE for these defects of organisation. And to this day she is extremely bitter against the Government.

In fact, she is bitter against everyone when her love affairs are not running smoothly. The entire household suffers in consequence. She is sullen and obstinate; she is always on the verge of giving notice. And the way she breaks things in her abstraction is awful. Elizabeth's illusions and my crockery always get shattered together. My rose-bowl of Venetian glass got broken when the butcher threw her over for the housemaid next-door. Half-a-dozen tumblers, a basin and several odd plates came in two in her hands after the grocer's assistant went away suddenly to join the silent Navy. And nearly the whole of a dinner service was sacrificed when LLOYD GEORGE peremptorily ordered her young man in the New Army to go to Mesopotamia and stay there for at least three years without leave.

You will now understand why I was dejected at the perfidy of the follower belonging to the Boilermakers' Society. I saw a dreary period of discomfort ahead of me. And worst of all I was expecting the Boscombes to dinner that very week. They had not before visited us and Henry was anxious, for business reasons, to make a good impression on them. I will not elaborate the case. All I can say is that there is no earthly possibility of making a good impression on any living thing if Elizabeth is in one of her bad moods. And it would be no use explaining the situation to Mrs. Boscombe, because she has no sense of humour; or to Mr. Boscombe, because he likes a good dinner.

Finally, the Domestic Bureau failed me. Hitherto they had always been able to supply me with a temporary waitress on the occasion of dinner-parties. Now it appeared these commodities had become pearls of great price which could no longer be cast before me and mine (at the modest fee of ten shillings a night) without at least fourteen days' notice.

The Bureau promised to do its best for me, of course, but reminded me that women were scarce. I asked, with bitterness, what had become of the surplus million we heard so much about. They replied with politeness that, judging from the number of applications received, they must be the million in search of domestics.

Returning home from the Bureau I found Elizabeth studying a time-table. "I see it's a hundred and eighty-three miles to Manchester," she commented, "an' the fare's 15s. 5-1/2d."

"That's an old time-table you've got," I hastened to remark; "it is now L2 6s. 4-1/2d.—return fare."

"I shan't want no return ticket," said Elizabeth grimly.

Sickening outlook, wasn't it?

* * * * *

The day of my dinner-party dawned fair and bright, but Elizabeth was raging. Things got so bad in fact that about mid-day I decided I must telephone to the Boscombes and tell them Henry had suddenly been taken ill; and I was just looking up the doctor's book to find something specially virulent and infectious for Henry when Elizabeth came in. Amazing to relate, her face was wreathed in smiles.

"They've sent from the Domestic Boorow," she began.

"What!" I exclaimed, "did they get me a waitress after all?"

She smirked. "They've sent a man this time. A footman 'e was before the War, but since 'e's been demobbed 'e's been out of a job. That's 'ow it is 'e's takin' temporary work and——"

"He seems to have told you quite a lot about himself already," I interposed.

She smirked again. "I 'adn't been talkin' to him ten minutes before 'e asked me wot was my night out. 'E isn't 'arf a one."

"It seems he isn't," I agreed. And I sent up a silent prayer of thankfulness to Heaven and the Domestic Bureau. "But what about the amalgamated boilermaker?"

"Oh, 'im!" She tossed her head. "'E can go to—Manchester."

* * * * *



* * * * *

A Legacy of the War.

No one will lightly forget the noble services rendered by the Y.W.C.A. to our troops and those of our Allies during the War, and many of Mr. Punch's friends must have given practical expression to their gratitude. But we are liable to forget that the end of the War has not brought an end either to the work of the Y.W.C.A. or to the claim which that work has upon our recognition. There is pressing need of accommodation and protection and healthy environment for the large army of girls who have been demobilized and are now engaged in, or seeking for, civilian employment. The funds of the Y.W.C.A. do not admit of the establishment and maintenance of sufficient hostels for this good purpose. At the moment a chance is offered to them of purchasing a large, suitable and perfectly-equipped house—rented during the War, and after, by the Y.W.C.A.—in a densely-populated district in South London. The offer holds good for only a few days, and, if it is not taken, over two hundred girls will be turned adrift to wander in search of lodgings. The price is thirty thousand pounds. It is difficult to think of any cause to which money could be more usefully subscribed. Mr. Punch begs his readers to send to the promoters of this good work some token of their sympathy and appreciation. Gifts should be addressed to the Hon. Emily Kinnaird, 4, Duke Street, W.1.

* * * * *

"UNITED STATES AND ARMENIA.

It would be grossly misleading to say that Congress, in its present frame of mind, would accept actual responsibility for a country whose place on the map of Europe is not even known to the average citizen."—Daily Paper.

Even we ourselves were under the impression that it was still in Asia.

* * * * *

"The Conference of San Remo is virtually over, but the caravanserai of peace must make yet another journey before its goal is reached."

Irish Paper.

Forthcoming song by Mr. LLOYD GEORGE: "Where my caravanserai has rested."

* * * * *



* * * * *

THE TOW-ROPE GIRLS.

Oh, a ship in the Tropics a-foaming along, With every stitch drawing, the Trade blowing strong, The white caps around her all breaking in spray, For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day.

(And it's "Haul away, girls, steady an' true, Polly an' Dolly an' Sally an' Sue, Mothers an' sisters an' sweethearts an' all, Haul away, all the way, haul away, haul!")

She's logging sixteen as she speeds from the South, The wind in her royals, a bone in her mouth; With a wake like a mill-race she rolls on her way, For the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day.

The old man he stood on the poop at high noon; He paced fore and aft and he whistled a tune; Then put by his sextant and thus he did say, "The girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

"Of cargoes and charters we've had our full share, Of grain and of lumber enough and to spare, Of nitrates at Taltal and rice for Bombay, And the girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

"She has dipped her yards under, hove-to off the Horn; In the fog and the floes she has drifted forlorn; Becalmed in the doldrums a week long she lay, But the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day!"

Oh, hear the good Trade-wind a-singing aloud His homeward-bound chantey in sheet and in shroud; Oh, hear how he whistles in halliard and stay, "The girls have got hold of the tow-rope to-day!"

And it's oh for the chops of the Channel at last, The cheer that goes up when the tug-hawser's passed, The mate's "That'll do," and a fourteen months' pay, For the girls have got hold of our tow-rope to-day.

(And it's "Haul away, girls, steady an' true, Polly an' Dolly an' Sally an' Sue, Mothers an' sisters an' sweethearts an' all, Haul away, all the way, haul away, haul!")

C. F. S.

* * * * *

A Political Prodigy.

"Mr. Runciman is one of the coming men in British politics. As statesmen go, he is a young man. He is just under 5."

Provincial Paper.

* * * * *

From a recent novel:—

"... had bought the long-uninhabited farmhouse ... and was converting it into a little ventre-a-terre for his widowed mother."

It looks as if the old lady intended to go the pace.

* * * * *

"COOK-GENERAL Wanted; all nights out; piano, well furnished sitting room; month's holiday with wages each year; three days off per week; washing sent out; wage, one guinea per week."

Northumbrian Paper.

With another three days off and the cooking put out as well as the washing, the Cook-General's Union would, we understand, be almost disposed to recommend the situation to the notice of their less experienced members.

* * * * *

]

* * * * *

ESSENCE OF PARLIAMENT.

Monday, April 26th.—Among the many Members of the House who have held His Majesty's commission there are, no doubt, some rather eccentric persons, but that hardly justified Mr. PALMER in suggesting that they should be deprived in debate of the customary prefix "gallant." The SPEAKER gave no encouragement to the idea, and was still more shocked by Mr. DEVLIN'S proposal that all these courteous expressions should be dropped, and that Members should "call each other by own names." It would certainly add to the pungency but not to the peacefulness of debate if the Nationalist Leader were allowed to refer to "Sir EDWAR-R-D CAR-R-SON," instead of to "the right honourable gentleman the Member for Duncair-r-n."

At Question-time Lord ROBERT CECIL was informed that a report on the state of Ireland was being prepared and would shortly be circulated. But a further crop of outrages so moved him that he could not wait for the facts, and forthwith moved the adjournment. The ensuing debate was not very helpful. Lord ROBERT demanded the restoration of law and order in tones so vigorous that an hon. Member called out, "A New Cromwell!" He did not seem to like the comparison and later on took most un-Cromwellian exception to the Government's methods of "coercion." Mr. BONAR LAW'S speech could in the circumstances be little more than an elaboration of "Do not shoot the pianist; he is doing his best."



Tuesday, April 27th.—On the report of the Budget resolutions there was, of course, the usual attempt to get rid of the tea-duty. As Colonel WARD sarcastically pointed out, opposition to this particular impost has been for years the "by-election stunt" of every party in turn. To-day the rejection was moved by the Labour Party, and when the CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER asked if in exchange they were prepared to extend the income-tax downwards Mr. J. H. THOMAS boldly declared that for his part he was quite ready. But as it appeared that his idea of the exemption-limit was L325 a year Mr. CHAMBERLAIN thanked him for nothing.

Among the varied and ingenious arguments adduced by Colonel GUINNESS against the increased tax on sparkling wines the one that he evidently thought most likely to soften the heart of the CHANCELLOR was that it would reduce consumption, since at current prices it would be an offence against good taste for anyone in this country to be seen drinking champagne. But Mr. CHAMBERLAIN could not agree. In his view the larger the taxation on the bottle the greater the patriotism of the consumer.

to a good dinner and a good cigar?"—Mr. JACK JONES.]

In advocating a slight relaxation of the cigar-duty Mr. HURD quoted Mr. BONAR LAW for the dictum that the excellence of a dinner largely depended upon the quality of the cigar that followed it, and went on to remark that he did not on this matter expect the support of the Labour Party. Mr. JACK JONES stentoriously resented this slur upon their taste. "We like a good cigar as well as anybody," he shouted, adding somewhat superfluously, "Who has a better right to a good dinner?" This outburst may have shaken the CHANCELLOR'S conviction that Havana cigars are indubitably of the nature of luxuries.

Wednesday, April 28th.—According to the Duke of RUTLAND, who made an eloquent plea for the better protection of wild birds, their worst enemy is the village schoolmaster, whose motto seems to be, "It's a fine day; let us go out and collect something." I cannot help thinking that his Grace must have some special dominie in his mind and was arguing from the particular to the general.

The story of Lady ASTOR'S seat is beginning to resemble a penny novelette. Evicted by the bold bad Baronet below the Gangway the heroine has been enabled by the courtesy of one of Nature's noblemen, in the person of Mr. WILL THORNE, to find a new home in the precincts of the Labour Party, and seems quite happy again.

Since the American Senate takes so kindly an interest in our affairs as to pass resolutions in favour of Irish independence, Mr. RONALD MCNEILL thought it would be only friendly if the House of Commons were to reciprocate with a motion in support of the Filipinos' claim to self-determination. Mr. BONAR LAW fought shy of the suggestion and preferred Sir EDWARD CARSON'S idea that it was better for each country to leave other countries alone. "I would be very thankful," he added rather wistfully, "if Ireland would leave us alone." But his appeal fell on deaf ears, for, at the instance of Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR, the House spent most of the evening in discussing the threat of the Irish dock-labourers in Liverpool to paralyse the trade of the port unless the Government released the hunger-strikers at Wormwood Scrubs.

The rest of the time was spent in getting the House to agree to the expansion of the Excess Profits Tax. This was largely secured by the special pleading of Mr. BALDWIN. His argument that to call the tax "temporary," as his chief did last year, was quite compatible with maintaining and even increasing it, was more ingenious than convincing, but his promise that, if the shoe really pinched the small business and the new business, the CHANCELLOR would do his best to ease it, combined with an urgent "whip" to secure a big majority for the impugned impost.



Thursday, April 29th.—Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL gave an account of the Easter riots in Jerusalem, where Jews and Moslems have been breaking one another's heads to the glory of God, for all the world like Irishmen in Belfast. He also promised to give further information as soon as Lord ALLENBY'S report should be received. Lord ROBERT CECIL, who has lately developed an unlawyer-like tendency to jump to conclusions ahead of the facts, made what sounded distinctly like a suggestion that the British officers on the spot had been remiss in their duty, and thereby earned from Mr. CHURCHILL a dignified castigation which pleased the House.

Crowned with olive-branches plucked from San Remo the PRIME MINISTER celebrated one of his now familiar peace-triumphs. Everybody knows the procedure on these occasions—the crowded House, the cheers raised by the faithful Coalitionists as the victor is seen making his way to the Table, and then the speech, so unvarying in its construction that I fancy there must be a sealed pattern for it in the archives of No. 10, Downing Street. First comes a recital of the immense difficulties of the problems to be solved—in this case including a really serious difference of opinion with our good friends the French; then a little comic relief at the expense of his arch-critic in the Press, who on this occasion had surpassed himself in "simian clatter"; next a summary of the wonderful results achieved—chiefly the establishment of direct relations with the hitherto boycotted Governments of Russia and Germany; and lastly a declaration that all differences and difficulties had melted away, and that henceforward the Allies would be a band of brothers.

Once more Mr. ASQUITH disappointed his more impetuous supporters and displayed his statesmanship by a speech in which he practically said ditto to the PRIME MINISTER; the only suspicion of a sting being contained in his suggestion that the Supreme Council had now outlived its usefulness and should promptly be replaced by the League of Nations.

Mr. BOTTOMLEY, on the contrary, was all sting and no statesmanship. I gather that he has been conducting an unofficial conference on his own, and as the result of his conversations with distinguished but anonymous foreign statesmen has arrived at quite different conclusions from those of the PRIME MINISTER. The fact that he was kept waiting on the pier at Boulogne while the British Delegation went off in a special steamer, on which he was not invited to embark, may have imparted an extra spice of rancour to his strictures.

* * * * *



* * * * *



* * * * *

HIGH-BROWS, LTD.

Whenever we spend a week in London we never seem to find time for the things we really want to do. After dinner, on our last night at home, I say to Angela, "Let's see—have we any engagements this trip?"

And Angela answers, "Don't you remember? We're dining with the Hewetsons on Thursday, and on Saturday the Etheridges are taking us to a symphony concert. Then there's your sister."

"Oh, ring her up, and suggest we come to dinner on Sunday. We don't want to waste a proper night on Nellie."

"All right. That leaves us four evenings for ourselves. I suppose you want to see the Quartermasters' Exhibition at Olympia?"

"What's that?"

"I can't think which part of the newspapers you read. Why, they've had columns and columns about it."

"Ah, that's how I missed it. I only look at the 'late news.' It seems a waste of time to read the rest."

"Well, it's an exhibition showing the wonderful work done by Quartermasters in the War. There are Quartermasters checking stores——"

"Are they shown wondering where they ought to stand on a battalion parade?"

"I don't know about that; but we see them indenting for coal——"

"And regretting their inability to issue same?"

"Very likely. Anyhow, everything is arranged practically under the actual conditions. The exhibition started in an Army hut in St. James's Park, but proved such a success it had to be moved to Olympia. Why, Mr. CHURCHILL was there one day this week."

"Did he make a speech?"

"He either made a speech or left by a side-door. I can't remember now, but I know he was there."

"Why can't we go in the afternoon?"

"They say it's better at night, because the whole place is lit up by hurricane lanterns and looks like fairyland."

"Oh, very well. That leaves us three evenings. We——"

"There's this French season at the Central. The papers say that no one who appreciates good acting can afford to miss that. It's packed, I believe.... Besides, one finds one's French comes back very easily. By the end of the evening I can generally follow most of what they say."

"H'm. We shan't be able to see ROBEY and BERRY and GRAVES and LESLIE HENSON and DELYSIA in two nights."

"No-o.... Besides, everybody says one ought to see this Japanese man in Romeo and Juliet. I hear the way he swarms up the creeper in the balcony scene is quite too wonderful. They made him do it four times the first night."

Thus we are left with six evenings of duty and one of enjoyment, unless Angela happens to hear that there is a 'cellist from Spitzbergen or a Bolshevik soprano whom it is social death not to be able to discuss. In that case we get no fun at all.

The Hewetsons, who live in London and can enjoy all these opportunities for improvement and still have time for Mr. ROBEY and the rest, think me a terrible Philistine. But, as I pointed out to Hewetson, he suffers just as acutely when he has a holiday and goes to Paris. Hewetson holds that there is only one theatre in Paris, the Varietes. But by the time he has accompanied Mrs. H. to the Francais, the Opera, the Opera Comique and the Odeon, to say nothing of the Theatre des Arts, he is due back at the office. When I explained this to him, his whole attitude changed at once, and he implored me to accept his subscription for shares in my company. But his heart-rending account of his last visit to Paris, before the War, when he and Mrs. H. spent two days hunting round the Louvre (Musee) under the impression that the RODINS were kept there, suggested a wider scope for my schemes, and it seemed to me that the only fair way of acknowledging this was to make Hewetson a director.

And now I must tell you about my company, for, although we are in danger of becoming over-capitalised, there are still one or two shares we are willing to sacrifice, practically at par. The company is known as High-brows, Ltd., and is "designed to meet the requirements" of the countless thousands who detect a familiar note in the conversation with Angela just recorded. The idea is simple and, like all simple ideas, great. We buy a house in each of the chief capitals of the civilised world, and to this house the visitor hurries as soon as he has left his luggage at the hotel. Each house will be arranged in the same manner, so that no knowledge of the language of the country is required to enable the stranger to find his way about.

The ground floor will consist of one large hall or room, combining the functions of waiting-room and Fine Art Gallery. Reproductions of the principal pictures and statues of the national museums will occupy two walls and the centre carpet, the remaining walls being hung with the more astonishing examples of contemporary painters. (We are not anticipating any inquiries for contemporary sculpture). A minimum of ten minutes is allowed for this room. When your turn arrives you mount to the first floor, which you find divided into two parts. In each of these a cinematograph is installed, one "featuring" prominent artists in the standard dramas of the particular country—works like Le Cid, Macbeth, Faust, or Peer Gynt; while the other runs through the more discussed scenes of any current entertainment which conceivably one "ought to see."

The first of these programmes is designed primarily for foreigners, and is meant to save them the fatigue of a visit to national or subsidised theatres, where these exist. The second is intended to meet the requirements of natives. Each bill will last an hour, and, though clients are entitled to see both performances, full-time attendance at either carries with it the right to proceed to the next floor. Here again are two more rooms. In the first of these a gramophone renders in turn the leading vocalists and instrumentalists (serious) of the country. (Say half-an-hour.) So far you will have been put to a minimum expenditure of one hour and forty minutes, and, as only five minutes is allowed for the last room, the time total cannot be considered excessive.

In this last room is nothing but a row of desks. You wait your turn before one of these; then you hand in your name and receive a pass. On this is printed a certificate that you, the above-mentioned, are acquainted with the masterpieces tabulated overleaf. Thus in less than two hours (inclusive of possible delay in the waiting-room) you are free to spend your holiday exactly as you choose. It is hoped that in time these certificates may come to be accepted as carrying complete immunity, for at least a month, from every form of intellectual treat.

Hewetson wanted the certificates to be issued in the waiting-room. He said it would save time. But I decided that, if the prestige of the institutions and their certificates is to be kept up, unscrupulous people must have no chance of obtaining a pass and slipping away without going up-stairs. Indeed, I am adding an elaborate system of checks, by which it will become impossible to reach the Discharge Bureau without spending the requisite time in each room. The first room is the danger. In the crush people might escape to the cinemas before their ten minutes is up. My idea is to hand to each entrant a lump of High-brow stickjaw, guaranteed not to dissolve in less than the stipulated period, and to station a lynx-eyed dentist at the foot of the stairs....

Hewetson in his simple-minded way also wanted the company to be called the Holiday-makers' Enjoyment League, or the Society of Art-Dodgers, or some such name. He even thought the houses should be painted in bright attractive colours. I pointed out to him that they should be uninviting and dull in appearance, and that a uniform sobriety, a suggestion of yearning and uplift, in every feature of the company's appeal would not only allow thousands of hypocrites, like Angela, to seek relief at our doors, but would actually confer on people like Hewetson and me a stamp of that same intellectual passion from whose manifestations we are engaged in escaping.

* * * * *

"SWANSEA AND DISTRICT RUGBY LEAGUE.

CUP FINALS.

Admission: 1s.; Grand Stand, 1s. extra.

(Including Tax).

All Seats Free. No Collection.

Please bring your Bible for reference."

Welsh Paper.

The Welsh may not, like the English, take their pleasures sadly, but are evidently expected to take them seriously.

* * * * *

"PARTNERSHIP.—Ex-Regular officer, owing hotel at fashionable spa, desires to meet lady or gentleman, with capital."—Daily Paper.

Before replying we should like to know the amount of the bill he owes.

* * * * *

From a short story:—

"Unconscious of the waiter at her elbow with pad and pencil poised for her order, unconscious also of her husband, now her happy tete-a-tete, she spoke aloud: 'One never knows!'"—Monthly Magazine.

How they must have enjoyed their cosy vis-a-vis.

* * * * *

BIRD CALLS.

II.

I would not be the tomtit's mate, For, even if I were not late, It seems as though he'd gird at me, Saying, "Quick, quick," eternally.

The chaffinch you would never think Was much addicted to strong drink, Yet all the Spring you'll hear him say, "Oh, There's cheaper beer in County Mayo."

The jay, whatever he is after, Makes the woods ring with ribald laughter; "Hee, hee, ha, ha," he says, and then "Ha, ha, hee, hee, ha, ha," again.

The plover over fields brown red Weeps for her children who are dead; Still day and night she cries to you, "Mes pauvres petits! La grande charrue!"

So silently the screech-owl flies You sometimes scarce believe your eyes, Until you start to hear him shout To timid mice, "Come out! Come out!"

Are baby martins in the nest With extra-loving parents blest? That they should murmur sleepily, "Oh cuddle me, oh cuddle me."

When first the chiff-chaff comes your way You're glad, it means Spring's come to stay; But soon you wish he'd change his song With his "Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff" all day long.

Those white-throats in the raspberry canes! They never take the slightest pains To hide from you how much they steal, But say, "Thief, thief," throughout their meal.

* * * * *

Commercial Candour.

"Your L20 at ——'s buys L25 worth elsewhere."—Advt. in Provincial Paper.

* * * * *

A Humane Edict.

"Notice is hereby given that the washing of motor cars and vehicles, and the washing of widows, etc., by hose has been prohibited."

Tasmanian Paper.

* * * * *

"Accountant wanted for Motor Companies in West End; must have experience in Bookkeeping."—Weekly Paper.

Not perhaps an unreasonable stipulation in the circumstances.

* * * * *

From "Books Wanted":—

"Orlando Furioso, 4 vols. 1773. Fine building."—Publisher's Circular.

We dare say it is. But what we are looking out for in this connection is ADDISON'S works.

* * * * *



* * * * *



* * * * *

ROMA REDIVIVA.

(A Classical Revel, after the Press accounts of last week's Italian ball).

Ancient history became luminous at Covent Garden last week, when the great ghosts of the past, from ROMULUS to NERO and from EGERIA to AGRIPPINA, were seen one-stepping gaily in toga and stola at the great Roman ball. It was the night, not of the Futurists, but the Praeteritists, and right royally did they avail themselves of their chance.

Perhaps the most arresting of all the costumes were those worn by Lord CURZON as TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS and Mr. LANSBURY as SPARTACUS. The former was garbed in a magnificent toga purpurea, elaborately adjusted so as to show the laticlave on his tunica. Over this was a sumptuous lacerna of silver tissue fastened over the right shoulder with a diamond fibula. On his head he wore a petasus of hyacinthine hue, out of which sprang three peacock's feathers. He was shod with curule shoes, or mullei, fastened with four crimson thongs. Mr. LANSBURY'S costume was simpler but not less striking, consisting of scarlet braccae or barbarian pantaloons, a jade-green synthesis, buckskin soleae and an accordion-pleated pileus. Lord HOWARD DE WALDEN as MAECENAS attracted general attention by the lustre of his amethystine tunica and the crimson heels of his crepidae, which may not have been archaeologically correct, but were certainly a happy thought. Mr. BERNARD SHAW, who personated CATO of Utica, wore hygienic sandals, a white toga and a brown felt Jaeger pileus. Mr. HAROLD BEGBIE as MARCELLUS, the best boy of ancient Rome, formed an agreeable contrast to the numerous Messalinas, Poppaeas and Cleopatras who lent a regrettably Pagan element to the assembly. But Lady ASTOR as CORNELIA, mother of the GRACCHI, was an austere and dignified figure in her panniered Botticelli stola, with pearl-embroidered red wings, and a flabellum (or fan) of albatross feathers with gold bells attached. The grandeur that was Rome, again, was revived in Mr. JOHN, who assumed the role of his namesake, AUGUSTUS, and in Mr. BOTTOMLEY, who as HORATIUS FLACCUS imparted a Sabine simplicity to the scene.

It is a pity that a good many of the guests had indolently taken advantage of the fact that ancient Roman dress was not obligatory, and yet it must be admitted that some of them looked the Roman part to perfection. The unadorned rigours of evening dress only threw into greater relief the truly Caesarian lineaments of Lord RIDDELL, the stoical independence of Mr. CHARLES TREVELYAN and the aquiline dignity of Mr. TICH (Parvus).

It may be added that the use of Latin was not compulsory, but that one of the guests, who appeared as Phuphluns, the Etrurian Bacchus, and partook freely of the excellent neo-Falernian supplied by the firm of LEONES, expressed the pious hope that he would not suffer too much from calida aera on the morrow.

* * * * *

"Mr. Pim Passes By."

Our Mr. A. A. M.'s play is now comfortably settled in its new home (No. 3) at The Playhouse. A correspondent informs Mr. Punch that since the opening night Mr. DION BOUCICAULT'S popular part has been developed to the slight disturbance of the balance of things; not so much by new dialogue as by deliberate iteration and portentous pauses. That on his first entrance he now studies a photograph with his nose close up to the glass, forgetting that, if he is as short-sighted as all that, the protracted gaze which he had previously directed upon the ceiling must have been fruitless. That Miss IRENE VANBRUGH has dispensed with whatever serious element there was in her part and relies for her brilliant effects almost completely on its irresponsible frivolity. That Mr. BEN WEBSTER has come on remarkably; and that the part of the flapper is now played according to nature by the right person.

Mr. Punch's advice to any who have hitherto passed by is to go in and see Mr. Pim doing it.

* * * * *

"Now one just hates to drag in personal experiences, because it looks as if one were trying to pose as a nero, which thing I hate."

Illustrated Paper.

We heartily share the writer's dislike of the character.

* * * * *



* * * * *

OUR BOOKING-OFFICE.

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

Few will deny that, in writing The Life of Lord Kitchener (MACMILLAN) so soon after the death of the great Field-Marshal, Sir GEORGE ARTHUR has at least displayed the courage of his affection, since to publish such a work in a time of controversy like the present is inevitably to trail a coat of many colours, each a challenge to some particular prejudice. If, however, one can avoid any such attitude of parti pris and regard these three dignified volumes simply as the record of a great man by one who best knew and admired him, they will naturally be found of compelling interest. The three main chapters, so to say, of the story, Africa, India and Whitehall, will each call up vivid associations for the reader; each has been told carefully, with just sufficient detail. Perhaps circumstances made it unavoidable that Sir GEORGE ARTHUR should, if anything, rather overdo the discretion that is the better part of biography; certainly in the result one gets what might be called a close rather than an intimate study of a figure that in life was already almost legendary. If any man of our time was fittingly named great this was he—alike in his single-minded patriotism, his success and that touch of austerity which no anecdotes of exceptions can wholly disprove. In surveying his career of merited triumphs one remarks how often it was given to him—as at Omdurman and Pretoria—to redeem early disaster, and one feels again the pity of it that he might not live to see his noblest task accomplished at Versailles. No doubt the last word upon KITCHENER OF KHARTUM cannot be written yet awhile; in the meantime here is a book that will have its value as history hereafter, and is to-day a grateful tribute to one who nobly deserved gratitude.

* * * * *

Personally speaking, I could find it in me to wish that Mr. MAURICE HEWLETT would consult a good man about the Saga habit, which appears to be growing upon him, to the loss (or so I think) of all those who were lovers of his more human and companionable fiction. But I repeat that this is no more than individual prejudice, based on the fact that these Norse chronicles (of unpronounceable people in prehistoric times) leave me singularly cold. This apart, however, The Light Heart (CHAPMAN AND HALL) may be admitted an excellent sample of its kind. It is all about the friendship of Thorgar and Thormod, with the former's untimely death, and the punctilious attempts of the latter to fulfil his social obligation in the matter of exterminating the slayers of his friend; also, as second theme, the love of Thormod for King Olaf, and the ending of both of them—and of the tale also—in the heroic battle of Sticklestead. One way and another, indeed, you seldom saw a short book that contained more bloodshed, or in which love-making (oh, Mr. HEWLETT!) played a smaller part. There was a "slip of a girl" in the early chapter of whom I had hopes, but sterner business caused her to be too soon eliminated. Skill and learning The Light Heart has in plenty, and an engaging suggestion of the early artistic temperament in the character of Thormod, fighter and song-maker. But I fall back on my old complaint of being left cold; and that I should suffer that way from the work of Mr. HEWLETT gives you the measure of our loss.

* * * * *

In his last grim and terrible work, Realities of War (HEINEMANN), Sir PHILIP GIBBS has fairly flung aside the restraint, enforced or self-imposed, that marked his despatches from the fighting fronts, to present war, the horrible, senseless nightmare, as it really appeared to him. His work as a correspondent emphasised for him the accumulated miseries of thousands rather than any individual's share, and his point of view is as remorselessly gloomy as can be imagined. He is detailed in disgust; he is passionate in pessimism. He presents not only the soldier's distaste for trenches and machine guns, and his desire for the things of familiar life, but also, with surprising vehemence, his hatred of generals who give blundering orders from comfortable billets in the rear, or of munitioners in England who keep optimistic in spite of bad news from the Front. He does not pretend to be quite fair in his criticisms, for obviously the higher command had to keep out of the firing-line and somebody had to work—and hard too—to supply the torrent of munitions demanded. Sir PHILIP admits all that, but in a kind of agony calls on God and man to realise the meaningless horror of it all and forbid, at any price, the possibility of its recurrence. If sometimes unjust and nearly always tragical, the book none the less is free from anything like hysteria.

* * * * *

Mr. WARD MUIR writes with one eye on the evening papers, and the very title (not to mention the wrapper) of Adventures in Marriage (SIMPKIN) lures us without any sense of difficult transition from the news of the day to the realms of romance. Fifteen stories are contained in this book, of rather unequal length and merit, nearly all of them dealing with a tense situation between husband and wife, several of them calculated to lift the hair, and one or two sufficiently ingenious in mechanism, I should think, to raise a curtain. The adventures are not all unhappy, and the author would seem on the whole to balance the scales fairly evenly between those who desire to reform the Divorce Law and those who would rather reform the world. With the exception of the first the tales are all effectively told and, if the machinery is fairly obvious, it does not click too much. The last on the list is much lengthier than all the others, belonging to the classic magazine school, which ransacks the bowels of the earth for a new and terrible setting. Here the heroine, a beautiful Chinese girl, is discovered by the hero, a missionary, in the cinnabar caverns of Hang Yiu, where the workers have never seen the light of day, are mostly blind and spend the intervals of labour in opium sleep. I like this yarn and recommend it to the attention of anybody who feels that marital squabbles are beginning to pall.

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An excellent purpose will have been served by German Spies at Bay (HUTCHINSON) if it is carefully digested by those scaremongers who during the War insisted that spies were as plentiful as sparrows in Great Britain. Mr. FELSTEAD tells us the truth, and, though it may offer too little of sensationalism for some tastes, it is very comforting to read. The fact is that the spies of the enemy were pounced upon so promptly and had such a harrowing time that both their quantity and quality gradually sank to something very like zero. It is no exaggeration to say that most of the miserable creatures who came spying to this country never had a dog's chance from the word "Go." One cannot waste one's sympathy upon those who for mercenary motives consented to be spies, but I am glad that Mr. FELSTEAD pleads on behalf of such men as CARL LODY. "Some day," he writes, "when the nations of the world grow more sensible, there will be two methods of treating spies. Those who can prove patriotism as the inspiring motive will be dealt with as prisoners of war; the hirelings will be condemned to the death they richly deserve." The rules, as they stand, decreed that LODY had to be shot, but, if he could have received the treatment which brave men have a right to demand all the world over, I do not believe that even the most rabid Germanophobe would in his heart have been sorry.

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Mountain Memories (CASSELL) must, if honestly named, concern itself to a certain extent with mountains, but even those of us who have never felt the smallest wish to climb can read it with great pleasure. For although Sir MARTIN CONWAY does mention some of his mountaineering feats this book is concerned primarily with the spirit rather than with the body. "A Pilgrimage of Romance" is its sub-title, and, though there can't be many Pilgrims who have done better climbing, I doubt if any more difficult feat stands to his credit than this of putting these impressions of the quest of beauty so clearly and delicately before us. The least deviation from the path of modesty would have led him into trouble, but he never makes it. "Reader," he writes, "if you and I are to be real comrades we must share the same adventures of fancy and of soul.... My fairies must be thy fairies and my gods thy gods. Hand-in-hand we must thrill with a single rapture—'le coeur en fleur et l'ame en flamme.'" For myself I am well content (whether he addresses me in the second person singular or plural, or both—as here) to have vicariously achieved such heights in the person of so admirable an agent.

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Visitor. "IT'S ALL RIGHT, SIR. I'VE CALLED TO SEE MISS SPRIGGINS—THIRD FLOOR BACK. I'M 'ER FEEONCY. YOU DON'T 'APPEN TO KNOW IF SHE'S AT 'OME?"]

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"A 'CAESAR' COMMENTARY.

'The Trial Scene' from 'Julius Caesar,' as given at the Coliseum this week, struck me as somewhat dull, or should we say out of place? Detached from the body of the play, the scene must have perplexed some of the audience unfamiliar with the written word."

"The Rambler" in "The Daily Mirror."

Possibly he would have preferred the "Tent Scene" from The Merchant of Venice.

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"WILD ANIMALS.—I have been told that when men are attacked and eaten by wild animals there is no sensation of pain. Can anyone who has had experience confirm this?"—Weekly Paper.

Referred to Sir A. CONAN DOYLE.

THE END

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