The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146,
February 25, 1914, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, February 25, 1914

Author: Various

Release Date: December 7, 2007 [EBook #23760]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Matt Whittaker, Malcolm Farmer and the Online
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Transcriber's Note: Typo "Professsor" changed to "Professor" in the last paragraph of the last page. Underlining was used to indicate where text appeared upside down in the original.


VOL. 146.

FEBRUARY 25, 1914.


[pg 141]


The German Crown Prince has the mumps. It seems that his Imperial Father was not consulted in the matter beforehand, and further domestic differences are anticipated.

King Sisovath of Cambodia, we learn from Le Petit Journal, was so pleased with a white elephant sent him by the Governor-General of French Indo-China that he has raised the animal—a fine female—to the dignity of a Princess. The news soon got about, and considerable jealousy is felt at our Zoo, where there is not so much as even a baronet among the inmates.

General von Plettenburgh, commanding the Prussian Guards Corps, has issued a decree against the wearing of the so-called "tooth-brush" moustache, pointing out that such an appendage is unsuitable for a Prussian soldier and "not consonant with the German national character." The implication is very unpleasant.

"It is generally reported," says a contemporary, "that Sir Edward Grey speaks no German, and French very badly. M. Venizelos, the Greek Prime Minister, declared that he had the greatest difficulty in understanding Sir Edward's French." As a matter of fact a little bird tells us that on this occasion our Foreign Secretary was speaking Greek.

"Mr. Asquith," said The Times, "in a massage to the Liberal candidate for South Bucks, emphasizes the prime importance of the Irish issue." There is, of course, nothing like massage for rubbing things in.

Herr Ballin, head of the Hamburg-American Line, and Herr Heineken, head of the rival North-German Lloyd Company, came to London last week, and are said to have concluded peace in the Atlantic rate war. We understand that the arrangement is to be known as the Pool of London.

The authorities at Barotse, The Globe tells us, have put a price on the heads of all lions there. One can picture the mean sportsman, with a pair of field-glasses, picking out the cheapest before firing.

"61,000 Territorials Short."

Daily Mail.

Still, it is pretty generally recognised now that a small man may make every bit as good a soldier as a big one, and, besides, there is always less of him to hit.

Among the temporary teachers appointed to carry on schools in Herefordshire during the teachers' strike was an asylum attendant. This confirms the report that many of the children were mad at finding that the schools did not close in consequence of the strike.

It is denied that the name of the Philharmonic Hall, where Mr. Ponting's moving pictures of the Antarctic Expedition are being shown, is to be changed to the Philmharmonic Hall.

Richard Strauss's new work, dealing with the story, of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, is to be produced shortly in Paris. A musical play version of it, entitled "After the Man," may be looked for here.

From Rome comes the news that a young man who was being examined in a hospital there has been found to have two separate stomachs. This announcement that the ideal man has at last been evolved has caused the greatest excitement here in Corporation circles.

100 years of peace."

Daily Telegraph.

Surely a record for a lady's club?

"Change of Name.
Jacob Galba Iwushuku-Bright
Galba Iwuchuku Olukotun

Sierra Leone Weekly News.

We notice no improvement.

Commercial Candour.

Notice in a shop window at Reading:

"Try ——'s Sausages: none like 'em."

[pg 142]


(A Ministerial Apology.)

Your talk is vanity, you who lightly vouch

That we, indifferent to the country's call, shun

A crisis under which the People crouch

Like Damocles beneath the pendent falchion;

That from our minds, incredibly deluded,

Ulster is still excluded.

It is not so. All day (between our meals)

We find this topic really most attractive;

In watches of the night it often steals

Into our waking dreams, and keeps us active,

Like sportsmen whom the rude mosquito chases,

Trying to save our faces.

But we have other tasks, and "Duty First"

Must be our cry before we yield to Pleasure;

Our Annual Estimates must be rehearsed

Ere more alluring themes engage our leisure;

The Budget's claims are urgent; Ulster's fate

Can obviously wait.

Besides, no Government should go to war

Without the wherewithal to pay for forage,

For ammunition and a Flying Corps

And cannéd meats to stimulate the courage;

And this applies, as far as we can tell,

To civil wars as well.

For, though our foes confine us to a sphere

Of relatively narrow operations,

We are advised that they may cost us dear,

And therefore, in our coming calculations,

As Trustees of the Race we dare not miss

To estimate for this.

Hence these delays—all carefully thought out.

But when from hibernation we emerge on

The vernal prime and things begin to sprout,

Our Ulster policy shall also burgeon;

With sap of April coursing through our blood

We too shall burst in bud.

O. S.


(A Forecast.)

March, 1914.

Mr. William O'Brien describes Mr. John Redmond as "brother to the middle-aged sea-serpent from the County Clare."

Mr. John Redmond denies that he is a sea-serpent.

Mr. William O'Brien, having denounced this denial as "the last effort of a defeated dastard," resigns his seat for Cork City.

Mr. O'Brien is re-elected without a contest.

April, 1914.

Mr. William O'Brien in an impassioned speech advocates conciliation all round in Ireland, and refers to Mr. John Redmond as "a moth-eaten, moss-gathering malingerer of unparalleled ferocity."

Mr. Redmond is seen to smile.

Mr. O'Brien, declaring that he has never been so much insulted in his life, resigns his seat for Cork City.

Mr. O'Brien is re-elected without a contest.

May, 1914.

An Alderman of Cork fails to take off his hat to Mr. O'Brien.

Mr. O'Brien summons a meeting of his supporters and, in a five-hours' speech, states that, in spite of the unexampled infamy of Mr. Redmond, he will never abandon his efforts for Irish unity.

Mr. Redmond says nothing.

Mr. O'Brien states that "the truckling truculence of a mock-modest monster of meretricious mendacity cannot be allowed to prevail against a policy of sober and sympathetic silence."

Mr. Redmond having abstained from a reply, Mr. O'Brien resigns his seat for Cork City and is shortly afterwards re-elected without a contest.

June, 1914.

Mr. Asquith, in moving the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill, does not mention Mr. O'Brien, who swoons in his place and is carried speechless from the House of Commons.

On the following day Mr. O'Brien issues to the world a manifesto of 60,000 words, in which he describes Mr. Redmond as "a palsied purveyor of pledge-breaking platitudes," and announces that the Irish question can be settled only by the good will of men of all parties.

Mr. Redmond takes no notice.

Mr. O'Brien declares that he can no longer pursue a policy of conciliation and mildness, and resigns his seat for Cork City as a protest against the "frenzied flaunting of flattery and folly" in which, he says, Mr. Redmond spends his time.

Mr. O'Brien, having been re-elected without a contest, immediately re-resigns twelve times in advance.


Final preparations have now been made to film Mr. Thornton's first day as General Manager of the Great Eastern Railway. By kind permission of Lord Claud Hamilton representatives of all the other railway companies are to be present to take notes, like the foreign military attachés in a war. A good "movie" should result.

Another film which should provide entertainment and instruction in the highest degree is the "Day in the Life of Mr. C. K. Shorter" which is now being arranged for. The great critic will be followed hour by hour with faithful persistence. He will be seen editing The Sphere with one hand and putting all the writing fellows in their place with the other. He will be seen in that wonderful library of his which covers two acres in St. John's Wood, reading, annotating and correcting; he will be seen at lunch at his club with other intellectual kings, his intimate friends; shaking hands with Mr. Hardy; entering a taxi; leaving a taxi and paying the fare; dining with Sir W. Robertson Nicoll; attending a first night and applauding only when applause is merited; and finally returning home to read more books. In all, about fourteen miles.

It will be regretfully learned by the great public, always ready for new thrillers, that all efforts to induce Mr. Balfour to part with the cinema rights of his Gifford lectures have failed.

"In consequence of the farm labourers and carters employed on various farms in the parish and village of Chitterne having come out on strike, work of all kinds, with the exception of lambing, is at a complete standstill."—Bath and Wilts Chronicle.

These black-leg ewes!

"Mr. Kipling, who met with a warm deception."—Daily Graphic.

Not a bit of it. Everyone was frankly delighted to see and hear him.

[pg 143]


Austria and Italy (to the new Ruler of Albania). "BE SEATED, SIR."

[pg 144]
[pg 145]

Mother (to her boy, who has just struck his little sister with his Teddy bear). "Why did you hit your sister in the face, John?"

John. "'Cos it was the only part of her I could see."


Dr. James Cantlie has reported that "the placing of a tuning-fork; against the body of a patient enables him to gauge the limits of the liver with almost hair-breadth precision." He believes that musical diagnosis will prove reliable in the case of broken bones, and asserts that already it has been proved that a fatty liver gives out tones distinct from a cirrhosed liver.

A superb performance of Herr Richard Strauss's "German Measles Concerto" was given last night by the Queen's Hall orchestra. The tempo was throughout wonderfully high. The three fine solo passages for the left kidney were finely rendered; while the exquisite diminuendo to convalescence with which the work concludes greatly impressed a neurotic audience.

The tuning-fork test has proved that several of the most popular of recent rag-time tunes were originally scored by the brain of a patient who had met with a severe concussion while attempting to escape over the high wall of an Asylum for Incurable Idiots.

An interesting incident is reported in the Medical press from a well-known Nursing Home. It appears that one of the female attendants, on applying the tuning-fork to what was alleged to be the broken heart of a patient, was astonished to obtain as response the first five bars of "You Made Me Love You." The case has, we learn, been since discharged cured.


["Two prominent members of the Herne Bay Angling Association were married on Saturday afternoon at St. Martin's Church, Herne Bay.

An interesting feature of the wedding was the assembly of members of the association, who lined the pathway to the church door and formed an archway of fishing-rods, to which silver horseshoes had been attached.

The bridegroom's father is not only president of the angling association, but captain of the Herne Bay Fire Brigade, members of which formed a guard of honour with crossed hatchets."—Daily Chronicle.]

The nuptials of Mr. Desmond Waddilove and Miss Esther Priddie, whose parents are prominently implicated in the milk trade, were marked by several interesting and appropriate spectacular incidents. A specially attractive feature was the progress of the wedding procession between a double row of milk-cans. Later on the bride and bridegroom left for Cowes (I.W.) amid a volley of pats of butter deftly hurled by the officials of the Sursum Corda Dairy Company, Ltd.

Last Saturday the wedding of Mr. Nestor Young and Miss Leonora Dargle was celebrated with great éclat at St. Mark's, Datchet. Out of respect for the calling of the bride's father all the wedding party proceeded to the sacred edifice in bath-chairs, which imparted to the ceremony an air of solemnity too often neglected at up-to-date weddings. The bridegroom's father being a leading pork-butcher, imitation sausages formed part of the trimmings of the bride's going-away dress.

Mr. Donald MacLurkin, the golf professional of the Culbin Sands Golf Club, was married last Friday at Lossiemouth to Miss Janet Sutor, of Cromarty. A charming effect was produced by a guard of honour, composed of members of the golf club, holding aloft crossed brassies, beneath which the happy pair passed into the church, while the caddies clashed niblicks and other iron clubs. The bride wore a cream silk bogey skirt, slightly caught up so as to show the pink dots of the stymied underskirt, and a simple Dunlop V corsage. A dainty little pot-bunker hat completed a costume as novel as it was natty.

[pg 146]


Eight of us travel up to town every morning by the Great Suburban Railway. I have no politics. Gibbs is a Unionist Free Trader. Three of the others are Radicals and three Unionists. On one side of the compartment are ranged The Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph. Boldly confronting them are two Daily Chronicles and a Daily News. Gibbs contents himself with a Daily Graphic, while I choose every day the paper with the least sensational placard.

You can imagine what the journeys are like. Filmer will put down his Daily Express and say with feeling, "If I could only get that infernal Welsher by the throat." Then Rodgers will lay down his Daily News and sneer, "What has aggravated the toadies of the Dukes to-day?" In a moment the battle is in full swing. Bennett breaks in with assertions that peace and unity will never prevail till the Cabinet has been hanged. Chalmers makes a mild proposal for the imprisonment of the Armament Ring which is gnawing at the country's vitals. And when there has been a by-election and both sides claim the moral victory I have no doubt that the men in signal-boxes think that murder is taking place in our carriage.

However, one day Filmer made a reference to Marconi speculations which caused Rodgers to shake the dust from his feet (an easy thing on the Great Suburban line) and leave the compartment at the next station. Then Chalmers and Simcox bore down on Filmer with statistics about our booming trade. When we reached the next station, Filmer darted out of the compartment, declining to travel any longer with a set of miserable Cobdenite Little Englanders. I was horrified—not at the absence of Rodgers and Filmer, which could have been endured—but at the idea that the gaps they left in the carriage might be tilled up by even worse persons than politicians. Suppose golfers took their places. On one occasion, when Gibbs had influenza, an intruder had described to us the fixing of a new carburettor to his car.

Then the great idea came to me—the formation of the Society. The next morning I went up to Filmer and Rodgers as they stood apart from us and each other on the platform and said, "Come to the others for a moment. They want to apologise to you."

They didn't, but sometimes one has to choose between the cause of peace and that of truth.

"Gentlemen," I said, "I have noticed this. Nearly all our little controversies begin in one way. Somebody says, 'I call a spade a spade and Bonar Law (or Lloyd George) a lying, treacherous scoundrel.' I propose that we form ourselves into the Society for Not Calling a Spade a Spade."

"What do you propose to call it? 'A Royal'?" This from Gibbs, who is a master of auction bridge.

"By all means," I said. "It gives dignity and an enhanced value to a vulgar agricultural utensil. And the Society can be called 'The Royalists' for short. Its single rule is to be this, that any member speaking of any politician of the opposite Party except in terms of eulogy shall be fined ten shillings and sixpence. The fines to be divided equally between the Tariff Reform League and the Free Trade Union."

For a moment there was hesitation. Then the Opposition rejoiced at the idea of hearing the Radicals praise Law and Long, and the Radicals thought it would be ecstasy to hear panegyrics of Lloyd George and Masterman from the Unionists.

The Society was formed at once and has proved an enormous success. Peace and goodwill reign amongst us. It is a perpetual delight to see Filmer put down his Daily Express and with the veins bulging out from his forehead say, "That accurate and careful financier who has so immeasurably raised the status of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer"; or to hear Chalmers remark, "Sad would it be if that most honey-tongued and softhearted of politicians, dear F. E. Smith, should have his life ended by a British bayonet."

One or two prepare their delicate eulogies beforehand and refer to notes; but this is thought unfair. The compartment, as a whole, prefers the impromptu praise that has the air of coming from the heart.

I am thinking of offering to the House of Commons and the House of Lords free membership in The Royalists. Perhaps Messrs. Lloyd George and Leo Maxse would consent to act as perpetual Joint Presidents, with Lord Hugh Cecil and the Rev. Dr. Clifford as Chaplains.

MacBull. "I shall be a gay grass widower for the next two months—wife's gone for a holiday to the West Indies."

O'Bear. "Jamaica?"

MacBull. "No, it was her own idea."

"He is only a tame duck who with sheepish timidity attempts to controvert the determination of a body of frontiersmen from their purpose by firing at them with a water squirt."

Bulawayo Chronicle.

It sounds more like a wild duck.

From Publishers' Announcements:—

"'Borrowed Thoughts.'

(A Handbook for Lent, with an Introduction by a popular Bishop.) Limp, 9d."

"Lot 3. Extra Dry, Cuvée Beservée, 60/-. A really excellent pure Wine, which we bought lying abroad."

We trust they won't sell it lying at home.

"Generally crime is normal and no increase in mortality is reported. Little wandering, emigration, or emaciation is noticed. Cattle are being sold in large numbers in Hamirpur. Blankets are being distributed to the poor.

(For other Sporting News see page 8)."

Advocate of India.

There is nothing narrow about the sporting tastes of our Oriental contemporary.

[pg 147]

Larry. "Treshpassing, is ut? Just wait till we git Home Rule. Ivery man'll do as he likes thin—and thim's that won't'll be made to!"


From all sides news pours in concerning the rush for American managers of English concerns. At last the excellence of the American businessman's habits are being recognised, probably not a little owing to the vogue of such plays as Get-rich-quick Wallingford, Broadway Jones and The Fortune Hunters, wherein we see hustling methods justifying by their success all the odd measures which led to dollars. That the dominating business man who thus rises to greatness has to marry a clerk or typist is perhaps only a detail, but if the plays are to be taken as a guide it is expected of him.

The great tailoring house of Tarn, which has just appointed a manager from Cleveland, Ohio, on the advice of Lord Claud Hamilton, has completely transformed its cutting department. All jackets are now made to reach to the knees, with shoulders that project beyond the wearer's body one foot on each side. The trousers are wide at the knees and tight at the ankles, and are very effective. Walking-sticks must not be worn with these suits. Messrs. Tarn hope to bring back the frock coat very shortly, especially for politicians.

The American scholar who has just been appointed to the Chair of English Composition at Oxford has already made some drastic reforms. No longer may the student write that he has a book "at home"; he must say "to home." The participle "got" has gone in favour of "gotten"; while the only text-books in use are of Trans-Atlantic origin. The University has adopted the college cry of "No, No, No Eng Lish Need, Need, Need Apply!"

This yell will be used by Oxford partisans at the Inter-University Sports during the performances of American Rhodes Scholars.

The latest news to reach us as we go to press is that the directors of various London music halls are thinking seriously whether or not they will call in American assistance for their revues, either producers, actors or musicians. But this is an innovating step which will require the deepest thought.


I heard—'twas on a morning, but when it was and where,

Except that well I heard it, I neither know nor care—

I heard, and, oh, the sunlight was shining in the blue,

A little water singing as little waters do.

At Lechlade and at Buscot, where Summer days are long,

The tiny rills and ripples they tremble into song;

And where the silver Windrush brings down her liquid gems,

There's music in the wavelets she tosses to the Thames.

The eddies have an air too, and brave it is and blithe;

I think I may have heard it that day at Bablockhythe;

And where the Eynsham weir-fall breaks out in rainbow spray

The Evenlode comes singing to join the pretty play.

But where I heard that music I cannot rightly tell;

I only know I heard it, and that I know full well:

I heard a little water, and, oh, the sky was blue,

A little water singing as little waters do.

R. C. L.

[pg 148]


We had a fancy-dress ball on December 30th. They have these things in nearly all Swiss Hotels and you have to put up with them. As a matter of fact Matilda and I enjoyed ourselves. We supped well and danced quite often. At 3.30 a.m. we set out for our rooms. We took a lighted candle with us to keep us warm as we went. The way to get the most warmth from a candle is to sit round it. As the corridor was cold, we sat round the candle outside Miss Wortley's room, but this was quite accidental.

We didn't know that she had gone to bed at 10.30 p.m. with the primary object of sleeping and the ulterior motive of getting up the next morning in time to catch an early train. We weren't to know that she had wasted her time from 11 p.m. to 3.25 a.m. listening to a procession of revellers retiring to their rooms. We had no suspicion that she was just dozing off for the first time when we stopped to warm ourselves. We really made very little noise, though we may have laughed just a little. The report which has got about, that I tried to climb up the wall to see the time, is inaccurate. The clock is not nearly high enough up the wall to render this necessary, and I didn't care a button what the time was.

If we had known that the Germans who ought to have been asleep in the room opposite to Miss Wortley would come out into the corridor and shout in their nasty guttural language, we should probably not have tried to find out whether anything was attached to the other end of a piece of tape that protruded from under their door. It was quite a long piece of tape, and there was something attached to the end of it, though we never found out what that something was. Anyway, it was too large to pass under the door, though we pulled the tape quite hard. We had just given up our investigation and reached our respective rooms when the German family arrived in the corridor and commented on the matter.

I can't see that we were really to blame because Miss Wortley suffered from insomnia, missed her early train next morning and had to pay an extra half franc for having breakfast in her bedroom. She was very unpleasant about it and went round telling everybody that we had kept her awake all night. She was one of those women who——But there, I don't want to be nasty, and anyone who reads this will guess the kind of woman she was.

The next day was New Year's Eve. After dinner we took part in an Ice Carnival, then we saw the New Year in, and then we drank practically everybody's health. At 2 a.m. I was sitting in the lounge talking to Matilda when a kind of peaceful sensation came over me, and I began to be sorry that there was any bad feeling between Miss Wortley and us; so I said to Matilda, It's New Year's Day and I should like to start it on friendly terms with everyone, including Miss Wortley. I think I shall apologise to her about last night; we may have been a little thoughtless."

"I don't see what there is to apologise for," said Matilda, "but I suppose it can't do any harm and it may help to make things pleasant all round. If you're going to apologise I suppose I ought to do the same."

"Come on then," I said.

"Where to?"

"To apologise."

"Don't be absurd; we can't apologise now. We'll apologise to-morrow."

"We might miss her to-morrow, and we ought to do a thing like this without delay and as early in the New Year as possible. If I don't do it now, I may not feel apologetic later on, and I don't want to go through the year with even a tittle of Miss Wortley's insomnia on my conscience."

Matilda seemed rather uncertain about it, but after a time recognised that I was right, and we went up to Miss Wortley's room. I had to knock loudly on her door before I got any answer, but eventually a sleepy voice said, "Come in."

I didn't think that we had better do that, so I knocked again.

"All right, you can bring in the water."

"It isn't exactly your shaving water—in fact it's hardly time to get up yet," I shouted.

"What's the matter? Is the place on fire?" I heard sounds as of a person getting out of bed, so I said, "You needn't get up, it's only us. We wanted to apologise about last night. We're sorry you didn't sleep very well. Of course it wasn't altogether our fault, but still we thought that we should like to apologise; in fact we didn't feel that we could go to sleep until we had apologised; and—and we wanted to wish you a Happy New Year."

I am not sure that I did the thing very well, but I am sure that it would have sounded better and that I shouldn't have ended so lamely if Matilda hadn't been so tactless as to laugh in the middle. Somehow I got the idea that the apology hadn't been accepted in the spirit in which it had been tendered. Suspicious sounds came from within, including the click of a water jug; also the German family opposite seemed to be under the impression that it was time to get up—so we didn't wait to say Good-night, but slipped quietly out of the way. Miss Wortley's door and the door opposite opened simultaneously. There were two splashes like water thrown from jugs, and I fancy that more than one person got wet. It isn't easy to discover exactly what is happening when two people are shouting at the tops of their voices in different languages, but I didn't gather that they quite cleared the matter up to their mutual satisfaction.


["What is the first step towards literary production? It is imperative, if you wish to write with any freshness at all, that you should utterly ruin your digestion."—H. G. Wells.]

"What have you dined on, husband mine?"

"Chocolate creams and ginger wine."

"What did you take as an appetiser?"

"Haggis and Sauerkraut à la Kaiser."

"Didn't they give you any sweet?"

"Hard-boiled eggs and whisky neat."

"And your fruit, I trust, was over-ripe?"

"Doughnuts five with a pound of tripe."

"Have you had nothing at all since then?"

"Lobster and stout." "Then here's your pen,

"You must do a chapter or two to-night;

Have a banana and start to write."

New Anglo-German Entente.

"Young gentlemen wish young English lady to learn know for the common joint exchange for the language sunday by flying outs Pleasing writing at the office chiffre J. 810."—Leipziger Neuste Nachrichten.


In order to popularise the Corporation Crematorium, at Crematorium Road, the Corporation have decided as an experimental measure to abolish the fees now charged for the use of the Crematorium for one year."

Capital (Calcutta).

The inducement leaves us cold.

The Infant Samson.

"2s. 6d. reward will be paid for name of Small Boy who pushed a Cab Horse down in the Station Yard, Teigumouth."

Express and Echo (Exeter).

More Commercial Candour.

From a Leeds grocer's circular:—

"A perfection of blending is obtained in —— Tea, which, upon analysis, is pronounced to be absolutely injurious to health."

[pg 149]

"Have you any golf balls guaranteed to go straight?"

"Not here, Madam. You might try the Conjuring Department—first floor."


[The brisk demand by Cinema companies for new picture-play stories has led many writers of talent to turn their attention to this fascinating branch of literature. Unfortunately they often fail not only to acquire a proper knowledge of the technique of the art, but to take steps to ascertain what the public really wants. With the object of helping authors in both directions we publish below a scenario which has been described by an authority as "the ideal film plot."]



Ferdinand, a Cowboy.

General Devereux.

Phyllis Devereux, his daughter.

Joe, a soldier.

Cowboys, miners, soldiers, Indians,


Part I.

Ferdinand's headlong career to the Devil is arrested by the beautiful Phyllis Devereux.

First Scene.—A drinking saloon in the Wild West. Cowboys, miners and Western demi-mondaines playing cards at top speed and drinking heavily. Enter Ferdinand, drunk and carrying a huge revolver in each hand and a tomahawk between his teeth. He forces the bar-tender to "hands up" and begins shooting down the bottles ranged along the counter. Enter Phyllis. As soon as Ferdinand sees her he drops the pistols and trembles violently. Phyllis regards him searchingly and leaves the saloon. Ferdinand follows unsteadily. Projection on screen:—

Gee, boys! Ferd's hit, sure!

Second Scene.—Outside the saloon. Phyllis is seen entering a sumptuous motor. Ferdinand falls to his knees, but she disregards him. As the motor moves away he prepares to strike himself on the back of the neck with his tomahawk, but when the fatal blow is about to fall Phyllis leans over the back of the car and blows him a kiss. Enlargement of Ferdinand's face working with emotion and finally settling into an expression of immense determination. Projection on screen:—

I swear never to drink again!

Part II.

Ferdinand is called upon to show himself worthy, but the old Adam conquers.

First Scene.—Outside General Devereux's tent. Soldiers, Staff Officers, etc. General sits in full uniform at a table. Enter Joe, a very fat soldier. He trips over his rifle, turns a somersault and salutes. The General points to the left and Joe goes off. Enter Phyllis, who talks and gesticulates with feeling. Projection on screen:—

Pop, I love him!

Enter Ferdinand. Much talk and discussion. Projection on screen:—

You must prove yourself worthy of her!

The General points dramatically to the left and writes at great speed. Projection on screen, in angular/handwriting:—

Send help at once! We are surrounded
and in sore straits!—Devereux.

He hands paper to Ferdinand. Both point dramatically to the left. Phyllis leans over her lover's shoulder and reads. All three point dramatically to the left.

Second Scene.—A wood. Enter Joe, walking cautiously. Suddenly a Red Indian in full war paint rushes towards him. Joe turns tail and flies.

Third Scene.—More wood. Joe is seen running at about thirty-five miles an hour, pursued by seven Indians.

Fourth Scene.—A tract of rocky country. Joe is seen running at about fifty-two miles an hour, pursued by fifteen Indians.

Fifth Scene.—The bank of a river. Joe is seen running at about seventy-eight miles an hour, pursued by twenty-three Indians. He trips over a stone and falls into the water. Enter [pg 150]Ferdinand on horseback. He dismounts and fires a revolver. Four Indians bite the dust. He fires again. Four more Indians bite the dust and the rest fly. Ferdinand shades his right eye, peers into the river, dives in and presently reappears with Joe. The latter feels anxiously in his pockets and produces a flask. He hands it to Ferdinand, who drinks. Enlargement of Ferdinand drinking.

Part III.

Phyllis again to the rescue.

First Scene.—The same. Ferdinand and Joe lie on the ground drunk. Enter Phyllis disguised as a soldier. Expressive despair. She searches Ferdinand's pockets and finds despatch, which is again projected on the screen. She points dramatically to the left and looks doubtfully at Ferdinand. Then she takes out a revolver, averts her eyes and shoots him in the shoulder. Projection on screen:—

They will think he has been wounded
by the enemy and will suspect

Second Scene.—A wood. Phyllis on horseback riding at a great pace and waving the despatch in her right hand.

Part IV.

All's well that ends well.

First Scene.—A hospital. Ferdinand and Joe lying in cots and attended by nurses. Ferdinand signals to Joe and they leap out of bed, gag the nurses and tie them up with towels. Then they make a rope of bedclothes and climb out of the window.

Second Scene.—Outside the hospital. Ferdinand, in pyjamas, is seen sliding rapidly down the rope. Joe follows. The rope breaks and he falls with a crash to the ground.

Third Scene.—A field, with an aeroplane attended by mechanics standing in it. Enter Ferdinand and Joe running. They climb into the machine, the motor is started and they shoot out of the picture.

Fourth Scene.—The sky. An aeroplane flying very high and very fast.

Fifth Scene.—A forest. Phyllis is tied to a tree and three Red Indians are about to run her through with spears. Suddenly they look upwards as if disturbed by some noise. At this moment Ferdinand drops to the ground from the top of the picture. He at once shoots the Indians and releases Phyllis. The latter points dramatically to the right and produces a paper. Projection on screen:—

30,000 men will relieve you

Ferdinand and Phyllis both point dramatically to the right.

Sixth Scene.—Outside the General's tent. Soldiers and Staff Officers as before. Enter Ferdinand and Phyllis. Ferdinand hands the despatch to the General. Despatch is again projected on the screen. The General rises and salutes with much emotion. All present salute, Ferdinand clasps Phyllis in his arms to kiss her.

Seventh Scene.—The Kiss—about twenty-five times life-size.

Mistress (discussing housemaid who has given notice). "Well, of course, if she wants to go she must. But it seems foolish of her if her only reason is that she wants a change. She won't get a better place than this."

Cook. "That's just what i tell the silly girl, Ma'am. 'Depend upon it,' I says to her, 'you'll only be going out of the frying-pan into the fire.'"

"Mr. G. Dyson, who succeeded Mr. W. S. Bambridge as organist at the college a little over two years ago, is leaving to go to Rugby, as organist there. Since he has been at Marlborough Mr. Dyson has given a large number of much-appreciated recitals in the college chapel. The organ is still undergoing repair."—The Standard.

We make no comment. This is Rugby's affair, not ours.

[pg 151]


Colonel Herbert H. Asquith (to Colonel Andrew B. Law, on observing that he also has taken a leaf out of Lord Claud Hamilton's book). "GUESS YOU WON'T CUT ANY ICE, BONAR, UNLESS YOU SHAVE THAT MOUSTACHE OFF."

[pg 152]
[pg 153]


(Extracted from the Diary of Toby, M.P.)

House of Commons, Monday, February 16.Worthington Evans charmed House to-day by one of those little delicacies of feeling and taste favoured in the assembly. Masterman has met the reward of conspicuous success at the Treasury by promotion to Cabinet rank. In his absence his place temporarily taken at Question Time by Wedgwood Benn, who, while careful to deprecate personal responsibility for promise to give 9d. for 4d., displayed remarkable intimacy with intricacies of the Insurance Act. Worthington Evans, having as usual, after the leisure of a week-end, provided himself with collection of conundrums based on its working, knew that when he came down to-day he would find Masterman's seat empty.

Marked the occasion by presenting himself in mourning array—not the profoundest black such as Hamlet upon occasion affected, but a prevalence of decorous colour provided in what is known in drapers' shops as "The Mitigated Affliction Department." An uncompromising black tie was a determining note in his attire, testifying to sincere regret at parting from a Minister whom for three Sessions he has, so to speak, riddled with conundrums.

Insurance Act has suddenly again sprung into prominence. By odd accident revival is coincident with couple of by-elections going forward in Metropolis. Joynson-Hicks much struck by circumstance that announcement of scheme under the Act dealing with casual labour at the docks is promulgated just now, when election is proceeding in a constituency where there happen to be many docks and a multitude of casual labourers who have votes.

Bonner Law, when he comes to think of it, equally surprised. Would the Chancellor of the Exchequer oblige by explaining? As for Lord Bob Cecil, he is so perturbed that he momentarily forgets he has leading question to address to Premier designed to extract secret intention with respect to amending Home Rule Bill.

Lloyd George, always ready to oblige, explains that scheme in question was prepared last Autumn, had frequently been referred to by Masterman whilst still at the Treasury.

"I am sure," he added, with twinkle in his eye, "we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Joynson-Hicks for calling further attention to the matter at this particular moment."

Opposition not to be put off by badinage. Discover in apparently innocent accident evidence of that deep-seated tendency to import bribery and corruption into by-elections of which one of the Whips was this afternoon made a terrible example.

Above and below Gangway Members popped up desiring to put further questions. Too much even for patience of Speaker. Suggested matter had better be raised upon debate.

"Why, cert'nly," said Joynson-Hicks.

Lord Robert Cecil is "perturbed."

Accordingly, when at eleven o'clock debate on Address automatically stood adjourned, and Members were anxious to get home, the Jocund Joynson turned up, and we had it all over again for space of half-an-hour.

Business done.Ormsby-Gore moved amendment expressing regret that, in spite of all they had heard to its detriment in Lords and Commons, Government intend to proceed with Welsh Church Disestablishment Bill. On division amendment negatived by 279 votes against 217. Reduction of normal Ministerial majority hailed with delight on Opposition benches.

House of Lords, Tuesday.—"What's this?" Sark asked, looking in at half-past four and finding House crowded with throng of strangers blocking approaches. "Is it the Land or the Church?"

"Neither," said Marchamley; "it's Marconi."

"Ah," said Sark, as if that explained everything.

On paper stood motion in name of Ampthill for appointment of Select Committee to enquire into relation of Lord Murray with Marconi business. The name, more blessed than Mesopotamia, stirred glad Opposition to profoundest depths. Thought it over and done with; and here it was again, blooming like the aloe, though after briefer interval. Excitement broke through ordinarily ice-bound calm of the House.

Opposition benches crowded to fullest capacity. Privy Councillors and sons of Peers jostled each other on steps of Throne. Peeresses flocked down by the score. Curious effect of latest fashion in headgear displayed in side galleries. Nearly every bonnet—or were they hats?—was loftily plumed with black feathers, ominously familiar on hearses. It seemed as if the ladies had come to bury Cæsar (of Elibank), not to praise or even condemn him.

Murray, arriving early, passed the Front Bench, where as ex-Minister he had a right to sit. Found a place immediately behind in friendly contiguity to former colleagues, Lord Crewe and Lord Morley. On stroke of half-past four he rose and, producing sheaf of manuscript, began to read. In low voice, with slow intonation, he turned over page after page, each scored with acknowledgment of contrition and regret for mistakes made. He pleaded that "my error, such as it was, was an error of judgment, not of intention." As to purchase of American Marconi shares on behalf of the Liberal Party, "I have," he said, "myself assumed the burden by taking over these shares at the price paid for them at the date of purchase, and, as the House will appreciate, at very considerable personal loss."

Throughout ten minutes he was on his legs Murray, in unconscious sympathy with the hearse plumes that nodded over him from the side gallery at his back, spoke in funereal note. In the Commons so frank a confession, so ample an apology, would have been accepted with burst of general cheering. Shrewd Members know that an assured method of gaining temporary popularity is to commit a breach of order and take early opportunity of withdrawing anything offensive that may have been said, apologising for anything unseemly that may have been done. When, for [pg 154]example, Ronald M'Neill apologised for having chucked at the head of the First Lord of the Admiralty a book containing rules for preservation of order in debate, he was almost rapturously cheered.

Chilliness of the graveyard froze round Murray as he read carefully prepared statement. When he sat down, faint murmur of applause rose from scanty muster on Liberal side. No sound, whether of approval or disapproval, broke the stillness of the serried benches opposite.

Effect contagious. Lansdowne almost inaudible. Crewe quite so. Strangers at back of gallery, hearing no voice and seeing the Noble Lord standing at the table nervously wringing his hands and twiddling his fingers, thought he was conversing with the Leader of the Opposition by means of the deaf and dumb alphabet.

Ampthill above these evidences of human weakness. Lansdowne in characteristically chivalrous manner suggested that motion for Committee should be withdrawn, affording opportunity to Noble Lords to consider Murray's statement and the best course to be taken upon it. Ampthill not allured by such considerations. As he shrewdly remarked, if he consented to withdraw his motion it could not be revived. All he would consent to was not to insist upon proceeding with business at to-day's sitting. Stipulated that his opportunity should not be hampered by "unavoidable delay."

On this understanding House adjourned, hoarse plumes in side galleries forlornly nodding themselves out.

Business done.Lloyd George at bay in the Commons. His famous Budget attacked afresh on motion of Amendment to Address. Ananias and Sapphira personally mentioned in course of debate. Amendment negatived by 301 votes against 213.

Thursday.—Upon inquiry and reflection Lansdowne discovered that in matter of proposed Marconi Committee Ampthill is in fuller accord with opinion of majority on his side of House than himself. Accordingly, adopts Ampthill's motion and moves it. Crewe offering no opposition, Committee appointed without division.

In Commons, just after 11 o'clock, news came of defeat of Masterman in Bethnal Green. Turns out there was more in Worthington Evans's assumption of "the inky cloak, good mother" than on Monday met the eye. Boisterous scene of exultation in Unionist camp, jubilant cries of "Resign, Resign." "Resign!" growled Sark. "Why should Wilson resign a seat just won? It is true it was in a three-cornered fight, and by a majority of twenty-four he represents minority of electors. But the seat is his, and of course he'll keep it."

Curious how obtuse Sark can be upon occasion.

Business done.—Debate on Address agreed to in Commons. Forthwith set to on Estimates. Work cut out till 31st March. After that Home Rule and the Deluge.


Lord Murray of Elibank (talking); Lord Mobley of Blackburn (thinking).

"On Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 24,


Midland Railway Leaflet.

The rest of us take our first "fast day," as usual, on Ash Wednesday.


[An attempt to express in futuristic "verse" the emotions aroused by a futuristic painting bearing the above title.]

Mud, sedimentary, coffee-colour,

And here a wedge, a sharp, keen, thrustful triangularity,

And squares that writhe in painful green,

Calling, clamouring—O venerable shade of Euclid.

Back in the ages, dusty, maculated,

Across the slate-hued fogs of time,

Behold them!—oblongs of sliding water

And cubed banks,

Bridges and barges, blatantly, wonderfully, inconceivably angular,

Calling, clamouring—canal, canal, canal!

Out on the sea, restive and sloppy,

A waste of salinity,

So they aver,

There are ships with masts, sails, halyards,

Spankers, booms and things;

There are lobsters and jellyfish—not here.

Nothing here but illimitable mysteries,

Baffling unknowledgeableness,

Fathomless, fainting from square to square,

Oblongs and nosey triangles, ever so nosey,

Shapes rhomboidal, perchance rhombohedral—who knows?

Puce and mustard-tinted—delicate,

Oh, most delicate the mustard!—

And russet, cadaverous pink,

They mingle, compaginate,

And their voices mingle,

They call me out of the frame,

They call,

Thinly and crazily,

Canal, canal, canal—slimy, crawly-crawly water!


Free.—Our 160-page book, 'Hints for Home Decorators,' will be sent free on receipt of 1½d. for postage. Full instructions on painting, staining, graining, varnishing, enamelling, stencilling, gilding, colour-washing, how to mix paints, colours, inks, dyes, and scores of valuable recipes."

Daily Citizen.

Now we know where our novelists get their local colour.

[pg 155]

Rector (thanking all who have contributed to the success of the bazaar). "And as for Lady Blank, I should not like to tell you what she has done."


We do not know whether the following incident occurred at Signor Ben Trovato's famous restaurant on Fifth Avenue or not, but feel impelled, at any rate, to quote it as a warning, on the authority of The Globe of February 19th, and The New York American:—

"Giving a well-satisfied sigh after dinner a Pittsburg man burst a button off his waistcoat. It split in two. One half hit another man, with whom he was dining, in the eye. As a result his vis-á-vis may lose the sight of his eye. The other half struck the convivo in the cheek, cutting the flesh."

This new and hitherto unsuspected possibility in ballistics must be rightly directed and also guarded against. There will be danger from the opposite side of the table at City dinners at about the tenth course and onwards, unless the wary guest can screen himself from the Corporation behind a laager of fruit-dishes and substantial ornaments.

If two gourmets fall out over the respective merits of their favourite entremets, the remedy is now easy. There is the duel by button. Each of the principals, seconded by his particular waiter, after carefully taking his opponent's range and bearings, will suspire and hit him in the eye. The more replete combatant, having the greater equatorial velocity, will probably win, but the tailor can do a good deal towards securing a flat trajectory and freedom from swerve.

At Christmas dinners, Tommy, when adequately charged, can challenge a rival amateur of plum-pudding to a rally over the dessert, instead of expending his horse-power over crackers. A little training, of course, would be needed to secure a combine fusillade.

It is only right to add that evening-dress waistcoats are henceforward to come under those sections of the Geneva Convention which relate to missiles and explosives. No soft-nosed buttons, or studs which are liable to "bunch," are to be allowed. A special regulation further requires that persons more than fifty inches in circumference, and fire-eaters who have already marked their men, shall dine by themselves, or at any rate only at a high table where there is no vis-á-vis. And page-boys are to be compelled to use hooks-and-eyes, unless they are engaged for a wedding or funeral salvo.


The Plural Voter.

"At the Wilmot-street Schools ... the credit of being first fell to a well-known resident—a stone-mason by craft.... There was no mistaking the colour of his political opinions. He voted for Major Sir Mathew Wilson."—Evening News.

"'I am going to be the first man in England who ever voted at 7 a.m.,' said an enthusiastic workman at the Wilmot-street Station as he fell in with the opening of the front door. He voted for Masterman."—Star.

A message recently sent to a New Zealand chemist:

"Please give the little girl a plaster for a man that a piece of wood blew off a shed and hit him in the rib."

"Bay Gelding, 5 years, 16 h.p., up to 13 stone; hunted up to date; good performer and temperate; quiet with road nuisances; 30 gs."

Thirty guineas for a 16 horse-power horse is absurd.

[pg 156]


"Helen with the High Hand."


Helen Rathbone Miss Nancy Price.

James Ollerenshaw Mr. Norman McKinnel.

There is great entertainment at the Vaudeville for the admirers of Mr. Norman McKinnel, among whom I propose to count myself whenever, as so rarely happens, he takes an evening off from his tyrannical methods—seldom very edifying when a woman is the victim. As the gentleman says in one of Oscar Wendell Holmes's books, "Quoiqu'elle soit très solidement montée, it ne faut pas brutaliser la machine." Here it is true that Mr. McKinnel started out on his familiar courses, but he soon found that he had to do with his match; that Helen's hand was always a little higher than his own. And, even when we saw him at his most dogmatic, the fact that the question of sex, in its physical aspects, did not enter into their relations—he was only her step-great-uncle—saved us from a great deal of uneasiness. In all his moods, whether of blustering self-assertion or reluctant surrender, of canny craft or protesting generosity, Mr. McKinnel was equally admirable.


What Mr. Arnold Bennett's ladies wear to-day Vienna wears to-morrow.

Lilian Swetnam Miss Mièle Maund.

The local atmosphere of the Five Towns was established with less delay over detail than is customary in this kind. There was a lot of tea-drinking, I admit, but no doubt this beverage plays a strong part in the social life of the Potteries. There was also much handling of domestic provisions—streaky bacon, cheese, and so forth—but all this was proper enough in a play that largely turned upon the changes in an old celibate's ménage. But in the main it was a comedy of character, a struggle between youth and crabbed age, in which the younger will and the quicker wit prevailed. As we first see him, James Ollerenshaw is a crusty, browbeating, misogynist, hoarding his wealth, content with a mean habit of life, and convinced that nobody can get the better of him. As we see him at the end he is a tamed man, dependent on female protection against the wiles of a designing widow, and established, at great cost, with his niece in the noble and ancient mansion of her desire. There were subsidiary love-episodes, of course, but these, though novel in some particulars, were relatively perfunctory. The character of James Ollerenshaw was the real matter of resistance.

Miss Nancy Price's Helen was a very probable performance. For myself I found her a little too minx-eyed for my taste, but no doubt this was part of the right Pottery touch. Minor characters were all brightly played, Miss Mièle Maund being particularly happy as a garrulous young girl in the first flush of an engagement, who subsequently throws over her violent fiancé on the ground that "she could never marry a man who pushes people into lakes." Even the vieux jeu of the designing widow took on a certain freshness in the robust bands of Miss Rosina Filippi.

I am in the fortunate position of having yet to read Mr. Arnold Bennett's novel, from which Mr. Pryce's comedy has been adapted, and am therefore free to treat the play itself on what I take to be its merits. It may be that the adapter assumed in us a little previous knowledge of the history of Helen's love affair, or that at least there was an obscurity about her past that wanted clearing up by retrospective illumination; but that is my only possible criticism; and I heartily congratulate the Vaudeville management on having at last discovered a play that promises to reward their enterprise.

Not suspecting that there would be a change of hours after the second night, I arrived on the third night punctually at 8, to find that the performance was announced to begin at 8.30. Punctually at that hour I returned, to find that it did not commence till 9; that in the meantime I was to assist at a song-and-talk recital of which no threat had been published. My quarrel is not with Mr. Frederic Norton who did it, though his clever entertainment began with some songs about fishes and things that might have warmed a Penny Readings' audience but left me bitterly cold. My complaint is of a wasted hour and a bolted dinner. I mention it only to prove that, whatever the provocation he has suffered, a Dramatic Critic is incapable of prejudice.

O. S.

Another Impending Apology.


How Prince William will enter his Kingdom.


Westminster Gazette.

Looping the loop on all fours?

"Shooting on the river Doe, in Kirkcudbrightshire, Colonel Kennaway, Greenlaw, shot a fine specimen of the male gadwall, a comparatively rare visitor."—Glasgow Herald.

Col. Kennaway (to deceased male gadwall). "That'll teach you to be so beastly rare."

"The Wigan County Licensing Sessions were held yesterday. Superintendent Kelly stated that fifty-four persons had been proceeded against for drunkenness, an increase of 124 over last year."—Liverpool Daily Post.

Superintendent Kelly should join the Government.

"A recital was given yesterday afternoon by Dr. Walter Alcock, who bears the title of organist and composer to His Majesty's Chapels Royal, and assistant organist of Westminster Abbey, and happens to be also an organist of exceptional attainments."

Yorkshire Post.

The luck of Royalty is proverbial.

"Welsh Professional Championship.

Milward, after compiling a break of 73, failed at a very easy shot, otherwise the contribution might have been higher."


It would seem certain, but—you never can tell with these wily Welshmen.

[pg 157]

Wealthy Visitor. "You 'ard up! Wot do you do to make you 'ard up? I never 'ear of you gettin' a car for £2,000 as I've just done, or buyin' your wife £3,000 worth o' joolrey as I did last week, or sendin' your boy a 'unded pounds-worth o' mechanical toys as I 'ave this mornin'. You've 'ad bread and cheese and I've stood six jolly fellers a champagne lunch—'ow can you be 'ard up?"


["I think moods and colours are related to one another. For instance, you have to feel very happy and well to enjoy rose-pink."

Miss Gladys Cooper.]

Dear, did the afternoon seem dull and dreary?

Sweet, did you murmur as the tears fell thick—

"My true love cometh not and I am weary;

This is a dirty trick"?

Hear my excuse. With laudable precision

I reached our rendezvous full early, but

When you appeared in view, a rose-pink vision,

I really had to cut.

For oh! your costume made me apprehensive;

That colour-scheme which caused my eyes to blink

Proved you in joyous vein, while I was pensive

And in no mood for pink.

I wanted converse with the gentle lily

And not the rose with all its flaunting show,

Someone to stroke my hand and call me "Willie"

In accents soft and low.

If we had met, your gaiety had grieved me;

There had been bitter back-chat to and fro;

And so I stole away ere you perceived me;

Dear, it was better so.

For all Tastes.

"Number of births on the 28th instant 16; number of rats trapped on the 29th instant 273."—The Said Gazette.


The invitation to Mr. Arthur Brock, the well-known pyrotechnist, to express his opinion of Stravinsky's orchestral fantasia, "Fireworks," on the occasion of its second performance at Queen's Hall on the 28th inst., has, we are delighted to learn, been fruitful of a series of similar invitations, not only in the sphere of music but also in the domain of art and letters.

Thus we understand that the place of the ordinary musical critic of The Times will be taken at the next performance of Parsifal by Mr. Waterer, the great floricultural expert, and Mr. Devant, the eminent conjurer, with a view to their contributing their impressions of the flower maidens and the methods of the magician Klingsor respectively.

Similarly, on the occasion of the next representation of Wagner's Flying Dutchman at Covent Garden, a signed criticism by the Chief Locomotive Superintendent of the Great Western Railway will appear in the pages of our contemporary.

The practice, which it is hoped will lend additional brightness to the vivacious criticisms of The Times, is not to be confined to Opera. The Astronomer-Royal will be asked to record his impressions of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", and the officials of our leading lightships will be asked to report upon Parry's "Blest Pair of Sirens."

The application of the new method to literature promises to be equally interesting. It is an open secret that Messrs. Gunter have been permanently retained by The Pastry-cook's Gazette to review all books dealing with the Glacial Epoch, Ice-action and Arctic Exploration.

[pg 158]


Dear Mr. Punch,—Under the title of "A Bygone" you recently published the tale of a certain estimable butler and his one lapse, during many years' service, into alcoholism. This reminds me of the shorter and sharper history of our own James, who came to our Northern home on a Monday afternoon and left upon the following morning.

For his chief characteristics be referred us, on application, to the opinion of a (Mrs.) Elizabeth Brown, of "The Cottage," Bamston, near Maidstone, Kent, who, he said, knew more about him than anybody else, and would take him back into her service later if need and opportunity arose. This opinion described him briefly but emphatically as honest, sober and willing. By way of the usual caution we wrote to this good lady direct and asked her to be so kind as to elaborate her views to us in confidence. In reply she wrote that James had been with her for eleven years on and off, had left her only because she was leaving "The Cottage," would be welcomed back by her when she settled down again, and meanwhile was very honest, very sober and very willing. There was that about the handwriting and style of this letter which made us feel that the writer might not be one of the old noblesse, but was, at any rate, a kindly, sensible and acute old body, who knew now and always what she was talking about. Moreover it indicated, but did not actually state, that the man had come to be regarded in the writer's household with feelings more friendly than those usually found between employer and employé: always, we thought, a strong recommendation of an old servant. On the strength of this correspondence we decided to give him a trial at least.

There was nothing peculiar about his appearance, except the suggestion of a secret sorrow, which was no business of ours. His willingness was at once apparent: our house being full for a hunt ball there was plenty of work for him to do, but even so he found time between tea and dinner to put in a preliminary polish of the silver, which, he told us, was his chief joy in life, or rather one of them. Moreover he refused to go to bed until our return from the ball, timed not to be earlier than 4 a.m., and insisted that he would sit up for us.

We drove off after dinner without a qualm; for, though my wife declares that she detected a suspicious smell of spirits as he put the carriage rug over her, unhappily she did not think to mention this till the next day. When we got back in the small hours we found that, in accordance with his promise, he had indeed not gone to bed. There he was unmistakably in the hall. But he wasn't sitting up.... No.... Rather, he was lying down, back uppermost.... So much for his sobriety.

We resolved to show no mercy. Having promised to drive Captain Merriman, one of our guests, to the station to catch the early train to London, I was myself up betimes to see the sinful James also off the premises. His sorrow, no longer secret, was very manifest; it was a cold wet morning; it required some strength of mind to cast the fellow adrift and leave him to find his own way, with bag and baggage, to oblivion. But I did it.

One does not leave much margin of time on these occasions, and it was not long afterwards that we followed in the dog-cart; nor had we got far on our road before we espied the back of James ahead of us—one of the saddest backs I have ever seen. He had still four miles to go to the station; his bag was obviously not light; he looked as if he would not get four more yards without collapsing; no doubt he had had an exhaustive night; finally, even that stern disciplinarian, Merriman, took pity. So, "Jump up behind, you old blackguard," I called to him as I drew up alongside, and up he climbed, cling-to his seedy bag and protesting that this was very much more than he deserved.

As to his honesty you, Sir, must judge. The police doubted it from the start, and their experience led them to be sure that the reference was forged, that there was no "Cottage" and no Elizabeth Brown. No doubt he had managed to get our letter delivered to him and had forged an answer to that. On all points they were wrong and James was correct. There was "The Cottage" all right, very much a cottage; it had been vacated by the tenant, not voluntarily (who ever said it had?) but by reason of arrears of six weeks' rent, at 5s. 6d. per week. The tenant's name was truly Elizabeth Brown, though she was more commonly known as Old Bess, and she was the one person to know all about our James, being his wife. And we've no reason to doubt that she has taken him back into her service and was very glad to do it too.

In short, I cannot claim that James lied to us in any particular. So much for his honesty. As far as dishonesty was involved in the matter of the bag, I am not in a position to complain of that, seeing that it was by my agency alone that that bag got to the station, and it was at my expense that our local porter deposited, inter alia, my wife's much valued Georgian tea service and spoons in the London train, just about the time that the theft of them was being discovered at home. Under the guilty circumstances I prefer to remain

Your anonymous



I watch you, while the firelight glare

Strews flick'ring fancies round the hall,

Replete, with what exotic fare

No watcher by The Wall

Had ever thought to line himself withal.

And, as I mark the locks that weave

A curtain for your eyes of flame,

I sometimes think if you'd a sleeve

To help you in the game,

You'd find a laugh or two to fill the same.

For She in whose grey eyes there springs

Ruth for the lowliest and the least

Proclaims you heir of countless kings,

An emblem from the East

Of inward beauty in the outward beast.

She says you miss the sidewise roll

Of palanquins in Something-Chang,

Or sigh for little bells that toll

Beside the Si-kiang,

And dream-dogs of your old Celestial gang.

For me, I think that tiny heart

Bears no such Oriental load;

Your dreams concern no Pekoe mart

Nor mandarin's abode,

But some dim purlieu of the Edgware Road.

Well, young pretender, have your fling!

Though Fate forbade you to adorn

The pompous pedigree of Ming,

No particle of scorn

Shall ever fall upon the Briton born!

"It was contended that the captain had been placed in circumstances of exceptional difficulty. The solicitor for the Board of Trade said that between six and seven hundred pilgrims from Mecca swarmed on to the ship at Beyrouth to return to Morocco."

Westminster Gazette.

Another result of the expiry of the Wagner copyrights?

"She went out rather quickly by the door, but none of them laughed."—From "The Cheerful Christian," by David Lyall, in "The British Weekly."

She must try the window next time, and then, if they still won't laugh, the chimney.

[pg 159]

First Irate Gentleman. "When I 'its a man, 'e remembers it."
Second Irate Gentleman. "Well, when I 'its one, 'e don't."


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

The Golden Barrier (Methuen) was an affair of sovereigns, and the way of it was this. Magdalen Tempest, the heroine, had been left by her late father the mistress of many fine houses, and stacks and stacks of money. She had inherited also a disagreeable but honest butler, an aunt who was even more disagreeable but not honest, and an agent who was—well, who was the hero of the book. She had further gathered to herself a crowd of hangers-on more or less artistic, and all given to requiring small temporary loans. One of them, however, was a professed social reformer, a bold bad man of doubtful extraction, who was leagued with the aunt in a plan to marry Magdalen to himself and secure control of the cash. So Magdalen gave a Venetian Carnival in her great house, and it came on to thunder, and she found herself alone in a gondola with the painter (favourite hanger-on), who attempted, too vigorously, to improve the shining hour, and it was all rather awkward, when—romantically opportune arrival of the hero (name of Denvers), who flung the painter into the lake, clasped the heroine in his manly arms, married her and lived happy——No. That is where you are too hasty. There remained still the Golden Barrier. For, after an interlude of bliss, back came the intriguing aunt, the social reformer and all the crowd (save the submerged artist) and began to accuse Denvers of living on his wife's cheque-book. How it ends you must find out. If you object that there is very little in all this to suggest the spirit of fine romance which you have learnt to associate with the names of Agnes and Egerton Castle, I can only say that (while my rough synopsis does no justice to some pleasant characterization) I myself greatly prefer these two writers in their earlier and brocaded mood.

It seems to me that Mr. Francis Brett-Young has done quite a distinguished piece of work in Deep Sea (Secker). I have not cared to miss a paragraph of it and have certainly carried away an unusually vivid memory of that unnamed West-country fishing-town which he has so cleverly peopled with his creatures—with poor, simple, introspective Jeffrey Kenar, fisherman that was, looking at life through the oddly refracting medium of his window of old glass, and all but seeing visions; comely, bitter Nesta, his wife; simple, loyal Reuben, Jeffrey's friend, whose rejection of Nesta Kenar's overmastering passion turns her love to hate; Reuben's gentle wife, Ruth; and that sleek mortgagee, Silley, for whom men like Reuben toil that he may grow fat, nominally owning their vessels, actually in heavy bondage to their shrewd exacting masters. There are dark and deep waters of passion swirling in and out of these simple lives, and the author, whose method is broadly impressionist rather than meticulously realistic, contrives cleverly to suggest that what he imagines has in fact been closely observed. He can make and tell a story and he can marshal words with a certain magic. The tragedy ends peacefully with the resolution of the too bitter discord of Nesta's hate in love of the child of the man she had wrongfully and vainly desired. A book to be read.

[pg 160]

Amongst the makers of what might be called, without in this case any disparagement, the commercial short story, I think I should place Mr. P. G. Wodehouse as easily my favourite. The comfortable anticipation that is always mine on observing his name on the contents page of a popular magazine has been renewed by the sight of it attached to a collection of tales in volume form and called, after the first of them, The Man Upstairs (Methuen). You must not expect a detailed criticism. All I can promise you is that, if you are a Wodehouseite, you will find here the author at his delightful best. He is winged and doth range. The heroes of these tales include (I quote from the cover) "a barber, a gardener, a play-writer, a tramp, a waiter, a golfer, a stockbroker, a butler, a bank clerk, an assistant master at a private school, a Peer's son and a Knight of the Round Table." So there you are; and, if you don't see what you want in the window, you must be hard to please. Personally, I fancy I would give my vote for the play-writing stories. "Experientia," as Mrs. Micawber's late father used to observe, "does it"; and here I have the feeling that the author is upon tried ground. But not one of the collection will bore you; there is about them all too nice a deftness, too happy a gift of phrase. I am told by the publishers that the American public fully shares my approval of this engaging craftsman. It shows their sense. But, if there is any threat of removing Mr. Wodehouse permanently to the other side of the Atlantic, where already he goes far too much, my guinea shall head any public subscription to retain him.

Punctilious Burglar. "Sorry to disturb you, Guv'nor, but would you mind letting me have the thrippence for your share of the insurance stamp? This is the first job I've had this week."

In an extremely able but peculiarly unpleasant book, The Questing Beast (Secker), I think that Miss Ivy Low makes two serious mistakes. "Tell her," writes the heroine to a friend after the first of two irregular love affairs, "that I thought, 'I am not that kind of girl,' and tell her that there is no 'sort of girl,' and that life is a sea and human beings must catch hold of life-buoys to keep them afloat." To this it may be answered, however, that there is "that kind of girl," and that Rachel Cohen was "that kind of girl," and that it is a kind which deliberately rejects life-buoys when flung out to them. The second mistake, as it seems to me, in a novel which is in many ways a very clever piece of realism, is a strong feminist or, at any rate, anti-masculine bias. Against the cunning dissection of the character of Charles Giddey, a worthless and conceited egotist, I have no complaint to make. It is one of the best things of its kind that I have read for a long time. But it seems unlikely, to say the least, that the heroine, after being deserted by the man she really loves, should, considering her very erotic and unprincipled temperament, find complete happiness in the publication of a successful novel and in devotion to her child. I feel that on a nature like that of Rachel Cohen even Royalties and Press notices would eventually pall. And in pausing I may remark that the beast Glatisant cuts a very episodic and unsatisfactory figure in the Morte D'Arthur. Pursued for a short while by Sir Palamides in his Paynim days, it scarcely comes into the cognisance of King Arthur's Court and the Table Round. And I fancy that the circulating libraries will feel the same about "The Questing Beast."

I do not think that I can recall any novel that makes such insistent demands upon the weather as does Miss Joan Sutherland's Cophetua's Son (Mills and Boon). The sun, the rain, the wind, the snow—these are from the first page to the last at their intensest, wildest, brightest, most furious, and as I closed the book and looked out upon a day of monotonous drizzle I thanked Heaven for the English climate. But I imagine that Miss Sutherland was aware that nothing but the most vigorous of climatic conditions would afford a true background for her hero's tempestuous soul. Lucien de Guise was unfortunate enough to be the son of a flower-girl, and I had no idea, until Miss Sutherland made it plain to me, how terrible his friends and the members of the smartest of London's clubs—"Will's, a place of great historic interest and brilliant reputation, developing gradually into one of the most exclusive clubs in London, and very strictly limited in numbers"—held so ignominious an origin. There is a scene in Will's where Colonel Maclean, "a handsome man and a famous soldier," expels M. de Guise "with a perceptible degree of asperity" in his voice—a scene that does the greatest credit to Miss Sutherland's imagination. Indeed, I am afraid that Miss Sutherland's ambition to write a really dramatic story has driven her into incredibilities of atmosphere, of incident, and of character. M. de Guise, with his flashing, gleaming eyes, his love of liqueurs, his passion for smashing the most priceless of Nankin vases whenever he sees them, is, surveyed under these grey English skies, an unreal figure, and his world, I am afraid, too brightly coloured to be convincing.

"Ruler wanted for Ireland (N.S.); good wages, permanency to competent, reliable man.—Full particulars to Box 167, Daily News, Manchester."—Daily News.

Don't reply to it, Mr. Redmond. It is not in your line. It is a printer's advertisement, merely.

"The accident caused great excitement in the neighbourhood. A large crowd quickly gathered, and several medical men were hurried to the sport."—Manchester Guardian.

Those well-known surgeons, Mr. Robert Sawyer and Mr. Benjamin Allen, enjoyed it most.

"A new French revue, entitled 'C'est Bon' (literally, 'It's Top-hole') is to be produced on Monday week."—Evening News.

Or, more roughly, "That's good."

In a catalogue of characters assumed at a Mayoral Fancy Dress Ball we are informed by The Birmingham Daily Mail that Professor and Mrs. Sonnenschein figured as "Socrates and Christian Thippe." Poor old pagan Xanthippe! Socrates is well avenged.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.
146, February 25, 1914, by Various


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