The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 17th 1915

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Title: Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 17th 1915

Author: Various

Editor: Owen Seaman

Release date: November 14, 2013 [eBook #44179]
Most recently updated: December 22, 2013

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Malcolm Farmer,
Ernest Schaal and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Vol. 148.

February 17th 1915.

[pg 121]


The Turks are now reported to be retiring through the desert, and the Germans are realising that you may take a horse to the place where there's no water, but you cannot make him drink.

"Rapid progress," we read, "is being made in the American movement to supply soldiers at the battle fronts in Europe with Bibles printed in their own languages." We trust that one will be supplied to the Kaiser, who, if he ever had one, has evidently mislaid it.

Suggested title for Germany and her allies—The Hunseatic League.

The Vossische Zeitung, talking of the proposed blockade, says, "The dance will begin on February 18." Germania's toe may not be light, but it is fantastic.

You may know a man by the company he keeps. The Kaiser's friends are now the Jolly Roger and Sir Roger Casement.

Messrs. Hagenbeck, of Hamburg, are sending Major Mehring, the German Commandant at Valenciennes, an elephant. So we may expect shortly to be told by wireless that a large Indian body has gone over to the Germans.

Earl Grey, speaking at Newcastle on the War, said that a German passenger on the Vaterland remarked to him, "Can you wonder that we hunger? We have been hungry for two hundred years and only had one satisfying meal—in 1870. We have become hungry again." The pity, of course, is that so few Germans can eat quite like gentlemen.

The Dorsets, we are told, have nicknamed their body belts "the dado round the dining-room." In the whirligig of fashion the freeze is now being ousted by its predecessor.

Much of the credit for the admirable feeding of our Expeditionary Force is due, we learn, to Brigadier-General Long, the Director of Supplies. As a caustic Tommy, pointing to his "dining-room," remarked, "one wants but little here below, but wants that little Long."

The Deutsche Tageszeitung informs its readers that "the men of the North Lancashire Regiment recently attempted to force a swarm of bees to attack German soldiers, but the bees turned on the British and severely stung one hundred and twenty of them." After this success it is reported that the Death's Head Hussars are adopting a wasp as a regimental pet.

Talking of regimental pets, the lucky recipient of Princess Mary's Christmas gift that was packed by the Queen is Private Pet, of the Leinster Regiment.

With reference to the private view of a collapsible hut at the College of Ambulance last week it is only fair to say that there is good reason to believe that not a few of those already erected will shortly come under this description.

The Russian Minister of Finance, M. Bark, paid a visit to this country last week, and it is rumoured that he had an interview with another financial magnate, Mr. Beit, with a view to forming an ideal combination.

Says an advertisement of the Blue Cross Fund:—"All horses cared for. Nationality not considered." This must save the Fund's interpreters a good deal of trouble.

The Corporation of the City of London reports that diminished lighting, so far from increasing the dangers of the City streets, has reduced them, the accidents during the past quarter being only 331 as compared with 375 a year ago. However, a proposal that the lights shall now be entirely extinguished with a view to reducing the casualties to nil has not yet been adopted.

A gentleman has written to The Globe to complain that at Charing Cross Station there are signs printed in German indicating the whereabouts of the booking-office, waiting-room, etc. We certainly think that, while we are at war, these ought, so as to confuse the enemy, to point in wrong directions.

Germany is now suffering from extreme cold, and the advice to German housewives to cook potatoes in their jackets is presumably a measure of humanity.

To Mr. Watt's enquiry in the House as to how many German submarines had been destroyed, Mr. Churchill replied, "The German Government has made no return." Let us hope that this is true also of a good few of the submarines.

Der Tag, it is announced, is to be withdrawn from the Coliseum. They could do with it, we believe, in Germany.

Theatrical folk will be interested to hear that in the Eastern Theatre of War there has been furious fighting for the passes.

Turk. "I say, you fellows! Do you see the other Allies are pooling their Funds? Capital idea!"

"The power of Great Britain and her Allies was increasing daily in strength, whereas the power of her enemies was distinctly on the wane. The existing situation had been brought about without the vest resources of the Empire having yet been called in to play."—Daily Mail.

Are we to understand, that, so far, we have only called out the socks and body-belts?

"There is but one survival among the historic shows of the [Crystal] Palace—a portion of the Zoo. The monkeys are asking one another 'What next?'

A meeting of the directors of the Crystal Palace Football Club is to be summoned to decide on a course of action."

The Evening News.

Without wishing to be needlessly offensive to either of these bodies, we venture to suggest that they should combine their deliberations.

"If ... England and France keep the police of the sea with the utmost vigilance, so that no copper at all can reach Germany and Austria, the fate of both Empires seems certain."—Times.

The land police must be guarded even more vigorously if "no copper at all" is to slip over.

[pg 122]


[A certain German hierarch declares that it goes well with his country. He finds it unthinkable that the enemy should be permitted to "trample under foot the fresh, joyous, religious life of Germany."]

Lift up your jocund hearts, beloved friends!

From East and West the heretic comes swooping,

But all in vain his impious strength he spends

If you refuse to let him catch you stooping;

All goes serenely up to date;

Lift up your hearts in hope (and hate)!

Deutschland—that beacon in the general night—

Which faith and worship keep their fixed abode in,

Shall teach the infidel that Might is Right,

Spreading the gospel dear to Thor and Odin;

O let us, in this wicked war,

Stick tight to Odin and to Thor!

Over our race these gods renew their reign;

For them your piety sets the joy-bells pealing;

Louvain and Rheims and many a shattered fane

Attest the force of your religious feeling;

Not Thor's own hammer could have made

A better job of this crusade.

In such a cause all ye that lose your breath

Shall have a place reserved in high Valhalla;

And ye shall get, who die a Moslem's death,

The fresh young houri promised you by Allah;

Between the two—that chance and this—

Your Heaven should be hard to miss.

O. S.


"Francesca," I said, "how would you describe my nose?"

"Your nose?" she said.

"Yes," I said, "my nose."

"But why," she said, "do you want your nose described?"

"I am not the one," I said, "who wants my nose described. It is Sir Edward Grey, the—ahem—Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In the midst of all his tremendous duties he still has time to ask me to tell him what my nose is like."

"This," said Francesca, "is the short cut to Colney Hatch. Will somebody tell me what this man is talking about?"

"I will," I said. "I am talking about my nose. There is no mystery about it."

"No," she said, "your nose is there all right. I can see it with the naked eye."

"Do not," I said, "give way to frivolity. I may have to go to France. Therefore I may want a passport. I am now filling in an application for it, and I find to my regret that I have got to give details of my personal appearance, including my nose. I ask you to help me, and all you can do is to allude darkly to Colney Hatch. Is that kind? Is it even wifely?"

"But why can't you describe it yourself?"

"Don't be absurd, Francesca. What does a man know about his own nose? He only sees it full-face for a few minutes every morning when he's shaving or parting his hair. If he ever does catch a glimpse of it in profile the dreadful and unexpected sight unmans him and he does his best to forget it. I give you my word of honour, Francesca, I haven't the vaguest notion what my nose is really like."

"Well," she said, "I think you might safely put it down as a loud blower and a hearty sneezer."

"I'm sure," I said, "that wouldn't satisfy Sir Edward Grey. He doesn't want to know what it sounds like, but what it looks like."

"How would 'fine and substantial' suit it?"

"Ye—es," I said, "that might do if by 'fine' you mean delicate——"

"I don't," she said.

"And if 'substantial' is to be equivalent to handsome."

"It isn't," she said.

"Then we'll abandon that line. How would 'aquiline' do? Aren't some noses called aquiline?"

"Yes," she said, "but yours has never been one of them. Try again."

"Francesca," I said pleadingly, "do not suggest to me that my nose is turned up, because I cannot bear it. I do not want to have a turned-up nose, and what's more I don't mean to have one, not even to please the British Foreign Office and all its permanent officials."

"It shan't have a turned-up nose, then. It shall have a Roman nose."

"Bravo!" I cried "Bravo! Roman it shall be," and I dipped my pen and prepared to write the word down in the blank space on the application form.

"Stop!" said Francesca. "Don't do anything rash. Now that I look at you again I'm not sure that yours is a Roman nose."

"Oh, Francesca, do not say such cruel, such upsetting things. It must, it shall be Roman."

"What," she asked, "is a Roman nose?"

"Mine is," I said eagerly. "No nose was ever one-half so Roman as mine. It is the noblest Roman of them all."

"No," she said, with a sigh, "it won't do. I can't pass it as Roman."

"All right," I said, "I'll put it down as 'non-Roman.'"

"Yes, do," she said, "and let's get on to something else."

"Eyes," I said. "How shall I describe them?"

"Green," said Francesca.

"No, grey."



"Let's compromise on grey-green."

"Right," I said. "Grey-green and gentle. Sir Edward Grey will appreciate that. Oh, bother! I've written it in the space devoted to 'hair.' However it's easy to——"

"Don't scratch it out," she said. "It's a stroke of genius. I've often wondered what I ought to say about your hair, and now I know. Oh, my grey-green-and-gentle-haired one!"

"Very well," I said, "it shall be as you wish. But what about my eyes?"

"Write down 'see hair' in their space and the trick's done."

"Francesca," I said, "you're wonderful this morning. Now I know what it is to have a real helper. Complexion next, please. Isn't 'fresh' a good word for complexion?"

"Yes, for some."

"Another illusion gone," I said. "No matter; I've noticed that people who fill up blank spaces always use the word 'normal' at least once. I shall call my complexion normal and get it over."

After this there was no further difficulty. I took the remaining blank spaces in my stride, and in a few minutes the application form was filled up. Having then secured a clergyman who consented to guarantee my personal respectability and having attached two photographs of myself I packed the whole thing off to the Foreign Office. I have not yet had any special acknowledgment from Sir Edward Grey, but I take this opportunity to warn the French authorities that within a few days a gentleman with a non-Roman nose, grey-green and gentle hair, see-hair eyes and a normal complexion may be seeking admission to their country.

R. C. L.


Teuton Troubadour (serenading the fair Columbia). "IF SHE WON'T LISTEN TO MY LOVE-SONGS, I'LL TRY HER WITH A BRICK!"

[pg 125]

Bright Youth. "Yes, I'm thinkin' of gettin' a commission in something. What about joinin' that crowd with the jolly little red tabs on their collars? They look so doocid smart."



My dear Charles,—It must be upwards of a month since you heard from me; I trust you have had sleepless nights in consequence. To be honest, I am still in England, prepared to go out at a moment's notice, sworn to go, medically approved, equipped and trained to go, but (my one weakness) never in fact going. War, of course, is not open to any member of the public who cares to turn up on the field and proffer his entrance-money; it is an invitation show, and we have not yet received our cards.

Poor old Tolley, to whom Armageddon is an intensely personal affair, and who interested himself in it from the purely private motives of the patriot, in the competitive spirit of the pothunter, or in the wicked caprice of the law-abiding civilian lusting to travel abroad without a ticket, go shooting without a licence and dabble in manslaughter without the subsequent expense of briefing counsel,—poor old Tolley sees a personal slight in this, and is quite sure that K. has a down on all of us and on himself in particular. He has no difficulty in conceiving of the Olympians at the War Office spending five working days and the Saturday half-day in deciding what they shall do about US; writing round to our acquaintances for our references: "Is Lieut. Tolley honest, sober and willing, punctual in his habits, clean in his appearance, an early riser and a good plain warrior?" and receiving under confidential cover unfavourable answers; and at night in his dreams he sees the Secretary for War pondering over our regimental photo and telling himself that there are some likely-looking fellows in the front row, but you never know what they have got hidden away in the middle; counting up the heads and murmuring, as he wonders when he shall send us out, "This year, next year, some time—never."

But you, Charles, must be patient with us, supporting us with your good will and opinion, and replying to all who remark upon the progress of the Allies, "Yes, that's all very well in its way, but you wait till Henry gets out and then you'll see some war."

Meanwhile the soldier's life continues with us very much after the manner of the schoolboy's. We all pretend to ourselves that we are now on terms of complete mutual understanding with the C.O. and the Adjutant, but none the less we all study their expressions with great care before we declare ourselves at breakfast. There are times for jesting and there are times for not jesting; it goes by seasons, fair and stormy, and to the wise the Adjutant's face is a barometer. In my wilder and more dangerous moods I have felt tempted to tap it and see if I couldn't effect an atmospheric change. (In the name of goodness, I adjure you, Charles, not to leave this letter lying about; if it gets into print I shall lose all my half-holidays for the next three years or the duration of the War.)

The other morning I was come for, that is to say I was proceeding comfortably with my breakfast at 7.55, when I was touched on the shoulder and told that the C.O. would be glad to see me (or rather, would see me) at orderly room at eight, a thing which, by the grace of Heaven and the continual exercise of low cunning on my part, has never happened to me before. At least they might have told me what I had done, thought I, as I ran to my fate, gulping down my toast and marmalade, and improvising a line of defence applicable to any crime. Believe me, the dock is a haven of rest and security compared with orderly, or ordeal, room.

[pg 126] When my turn came I advanced to the table of inquisition, came smartly to attention, saluted, cleared my throat and said, "Sir!" (The correctness of this account is not guaranteed by any bureau.) I then cleared my throat again and said, "Sir, it was like this." The C.O. looked slightly nonplussed; the Adjutant, who in all his long experience of crime had never before seen the accused open his mouth, began to open his own. So I pushed on with it. "My defence is this: in the first place I did not do it. I wasn't there at the time, and if I had been I shouldn't have done it. In the second place I did it inadvertently. In the third place it was not a wrong thing to do; and in the fourth place I am prepared to make the most ample apology, to have the same inserted in three newspapers, and to promise never to do it again."

Orderly room was by now thoroughly restive. "If you take a serious view of the matter, Sir," said I, "shoot me now and have done with it. Do not keep me waiting till dawn, for I am always at my worst and most irritable before breakfast."

When I paused for breath they took the opportunity to inform me, rather curtly, I felt, that I had been sent for in order to be appointed to look after the rations and billets of a party of sixteen officers proceeding to a distance that same day, and I was to dispose accordingly. "If I had known that was all," I said to myself, "I'd have had my second piece of toast while it was still lukewarm." I then withdrew, by request. I found upon enquiry of the Sergeant-Major, who knows all things, that the party was to travel by circuitous routes and arrive at 7.5 P.M., whereas I, travelling viâ London, might arrive at 5 P.M., and so have two odd hours to prepare a home and food for them. So into the train I got, and there of all people struck the C.O. himself, proceeding townwards on duty. In the course of the journey I made it clear to him that, if his boots required licking, I was the man for the job.

He smiled indulgently. "Referring to that second piece of toast," he began.

I tapped my breast bravely. "Sir, it is nothing," said I.

"When we arrive in London," he said, "you will lunch with me." I protested that the honour was enormous, but I was to arrive in London at 1.30 and must needs proceed at 1.50.

"You will lunch with me," he pursued, adding significantly as I still protested, "at the Savoy."

After further argument, "It is the soldier's duty to obey," I said, and we enquired at St. Pancras as to later trains. The conclusion of the matter was that by exerting duress upon my taxidriver I just caught the 4.17, which got me to —— at 7.15, ten minutes after the hungry and houseless sixteen.

You don't think this is particularly funny; well, no more did the sixteen. But it was a very, very happy luncheon. Remember that we have subsisted on ration beef and ration everything else for some months, and you will believe me when I tell you that, upon seeing a menu in French (our dear allies!), opening with crème and concluding with Jacques, we told the waiter to remove the programme and give us the foodstuffs. "Start at the beginning," said the C.O., "and keep on at it till you reach the end. Then stop."

"Stop, Sir?" I asked.

"Ay, stop," said he, "and begin all over again" ... and so when we got to the last liqueur, I held it up and said, "Sir, if I may, your very good health," meaning thereby that I forgave him not only all the harsh things he has said to me in the past, but even all the harsher things he proposes to say to me in the future.

From the monotony of training we have only occasional relief in the actual, as for instance when we are kept out of bed all night, Zepping. But this is a poor game, Charles; there is not nearly enough sport in it to satisfy the desires of a company of enthusiasts, armed with a rifle and a hundred rounds of ball ammunition apiece. We feel that the officer of the day, who inspects the shooting party at 9.30 P.M. and then sends it off about its business, is trifling with tragic matter when he tells us: "Now, remember; no hens!"

Yours ever, Henry.


The Shirker. "Nice bird! Say 'Polly scratch a poll!'"

The Bird. "Johnny, get your gun!"

"The battle that has been raging for several months has now ended in a distinct triumph for the high-necked corsage."


Good. Now we can devote our attention to the other war on the Continent.

[pg 127]

Village Wit (to victim of ill-timed revelry). "Wotcher, William? How was Joffer when you left?"


Who that beheld her robed in May

Could guess the change that six months later

Has brought such wondrous disarray

Upon his alma mater?

Distracted by a world-wide strife,

The calm routine of study ceases;

And Oxford's academic life

Is broken all to pieces.

No more the intellectual youth

Feeds on perpetual paradoxes;

No longer in the quest of truth

The mental compass boxes.

Gone are the old luxurious days

When, always craving something subtler,

To Bergson's metaphysic maze

He turned from Samuel Butler.

Linked by the brotherhood of arms

All jarring coteries are blended;

Mere cleverness no longer charms;

The cult of Blues is ended.

The boats are of their crews bereft;

The parks are given up to training;

The scanty hundreds who are left

All at the leash are straining.

And grave professors, making light

Of all the load of anno domini,

Devote the day to drill, the night

To Clausewitz and Jomini.

While those who feel too old to fight

Full nobly with the pen are serving

To weld conflicting views of right

In one resolve unswerving.

No more can essayists inveigh

Against the youth of Oxford, slighting

Her "young barbarians all at play,"

When nine in ten are fighting,

And some, the goodliest and the best,

Beloved of comrades and commanders,

Have passed untimely to their rest

Upon the plains of Flanders.

No; when two thousand of her sons

Are mustered under Freedom's banner,

None can declaim—except the Huns—

Against the Oxford manner.

For lo! amid her spires and streams,

The lure of cloistered ease forsaking,

The dreamer, noble in her dreams,

Is nobler in her waking.

"Lest we forget."

In these days, when we have to be thankful that our country has not, like Belgium and France, been overrun by savages, the greater mercies we receive are apt to obscure the less. But Swansea does not forget the smaller mercies. According to a recent issue of The South Wales Daily Post, "The Swansea Town F.C. are coming for the second time to St. Nicholas' Church, Gloucester Place, Swansea, on Sunday evening next, at 6.30, when the directors, committee and the two full teams have promised to attend the service, that, in the words of the Rev. Percy Weston, will be in the nature of a "thanksgiving service for their good fortune against Newcastle United"."

Our compliments to the Rev. Percy Weston, pastor of this pious and patriot flock.

[pg 128]


By a German Governess.

[Extracts from a book which is, no doubt, having as large a sale in Germany as What I Found Out, by an English Governess, is having in this country.]

I shall never forget my arrival at the house of my new employers. Into the circumstances which forced me to earn my living as a governess in a strange country I need not now go. Sufficient that I had obtained a situation in the house of a Mr. Brigsworth, an Englishman of high position living in one of the most fashionable suburbs of London. "Chez Nous," The Grove, Cricklewood, was the address of my new home, and thither on that memorable afternoon I wended my way.

"The master and mistress are out," said the maid. "Perhaps you would like to go straight to the nursery and see the children?"

"Thank you," I said, and followed her upstairs. Little did I imagine the amazing scene which was to follow!

In the nursery my two little charges were playing with soldiers; a tall and apparently young man was lying on the floor beside them. At my entrance he scrambled to his feet.

"Stop the battle a moment," he said, "while we interrogate the invader."

"I am Fräulein Schmidt," I introduced myself, "the new governess."

"And I," he said with a bow, "am Lord Kitchener. You have arrived just in time. Another five minutes and I should have wiped out the German army."

"Oh shut up, Uncle Horace, you wouldn't," shouted one of the boys.

It was Lord Kitchener! He had shaved off his heavy moustache, and by so doing had given himself a deceptive appearance of youth, but there could be no doubt about his identity. Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the great English War Lord! In the light of after-events, how instructive was this first meeting!

"What is the game?" I asked, hiding my feelings under a smile. "England against Germany?"

"England and Scotland and Ireland and Australia and a few others. We have ransacked the nursery and raked them all in."

So even at this time England had conceived the perfidious idea of forcing her colonies to fight for her!

"And some Indian soldiers?" I asked, nodding at half-a-dozen splendid Bengal Lancers. It struck me even then as very significant; and it is now seen to be proof that for years previously England had been plotting an invasion of the Fatherland with a swarm of black mercenaries.

Lord Kitchener evidently saw what was in my mind, and immediately exerted all his well-known charm to efface the impression he had created.

"You mustn't think," he said with a smile, "that the policy of the Cabinet is in any way affected by what goes on at 'Chez Nous.' Although Sir Edward Grey and I——"

He broke off suddenly, and, in the light of what has happened since, very suspiciously.

"Have you had any tea?" he asked. His relations with the notorious Grey were evidently not to be disclosed.

I met Lord Kitchener on one other occasion, but it is only since England forced this war upon Europe that I have seen that second meeting in its proper light.

I had been out shopping, and when I came back I found him in the garden playing with the children. We talked for a little on unimportant matters, and then I saw his eye wandering from me to the drawing-room. A soldier had just stepped through the open windows on to the lawn.

"Hallo," said Lord Kitchener, "it's Johnny."

As the latter came up Lord Kitchener smacked him warmly on the back.

"Well," he said, "my martial friend, how many Germans have you killed?" Then seeing that his friend appeared a little awkward he introduced him to me. "Fräulein Schmidt, this is one of our most famous warriors—Sir John French."

I could see that Sir John French was taken aback. He had evidently come down to discuss secretly the plan of campaign against a defenceless and utterly surprised Germany, which their friend and tool, Sir Edward Grey, was to put in motion—and forthwith a German governess had been let into the secret! No wonder he was annoyed! "You silly ass," he muttered, and became very red and confused.

Lord Kitchener, however, only laughed.

"It's all right," he said; "Fräulein Schmidt is Scotch. You can talk quite freely in front of her."

It was the typical British attitude of contempt for the possible enemy. But General French showed all that stubborn caution which was afterwards to mark his handling of the British mercenaries, and which is about to cost him so dearly.

"Don't be a fool, Horace," he mumbled, and relapsed into an impenetrable silence.

Mr. Brigsworth's mother, who lived with them, was a most interesting old lady. She seemed to be in the secrets of all the Royal Family and other highly placed personages, and told me many interesting things about them. "Ah, my dear," she would say, "they tell us in the papers that King George is shooting at Windsor, but——" and then she would nod her head mysteriously. "He's a working king," she went on after a little. "He doesn't waste his time on sport." In the light of after-events it is probable that she was right; and that when His Majesty George the Fifth was supposed to be at Windsor he was in reality in Belgium, looking out for sites for the notorious British siege-guns which have murdered so many of our brave soldiers.

In this connection I must relate one extraordinary incident. Young Mrs. Brigsworth had an album of celebrated people in the British political and social world. She was herself distantly connected, she told me, through her mother's people, with several well-known Society families, and it interested her to collect these photographs and paste them into a book. One day she was showing me her album, and I noticed that, on coming to a certain page, she turned hurriedly over, and began explaining a group on the next page very volubly.

"What was that last one?" I asked. "Wasn't it Mr. Winston Churchill?"

"Oh, that was nothing," she said quickly. "I didn't know I had that one; I must throw it away."

However, she had not been quick enough. I had seen the photograph; and events which have happened since have made it one of extraordinary significance.

It was a photograph of the First Lord of the Admiralty at Ostend in bathing costume!

As soon as I was left alone I turned to the photograph. "The First Lord amuses himself on his holiday" were the words beneath it. "Amuses himself!" Can there be any doubt in the mind of an impartial German that even then England had decided to violate the neutrality of Belgium, and that Mr. Churchill was, when photographed, examining the possibilities of Ostend as a base for submarines?

No wonder Mrs. Brigsworth had hurriedly turned over the page!

A. A. M.

"When the war was declared, 25,000 Bedouins were recruited in Hebrun, but they were without food for three days and returned to their homes saying this was not a Holy War."—Peshawar Daily News.

Their actual words were: "This is a——" well, not a Holy War.

[pg 129]

Art Patron (to R.A.). "We've lost so much since the War that we've come to ask if you wouldn't like to keep this portrait of my wife as Cleopatra."


Comes there now a mighty rally

From the weald and from the coast,

Down from cliff and up from valley,

Spirits of an ancient host;

Castle grey and village mellow,

Coastguard's track and shepherd's fold,

Crumbling church and cracked martello

Echo to this chant of old—

Chant of knight and chant of bowman:

Kent and Sussex feared no foeman

In the valiant days of old!

Screaming gull and lark a-singing,

Bubbling brook and booming sea,

Church and cattle bells a-ringing

Swell the ghostly melody;

"Chalk and flint, Sirs, lie beneath ye,

Mingling with our dust below!

Chalk and flint, Sirs, they bequeath ye

This our chant of long ago!"

Chant of knight and chant of bowman,

Chant of squire and chant of yeoman:

Kent and Sussex feared no foeman

In the days of long ago!

Hills that heed not Time or weather,

Sussex down and Kentish lane,

Roads that wind through marsh and heather

Feel the mail-shod feet again;

Chalk and flint their dead are giving—

Spectres grim and spectres bold—

Marching on to cheer the living

With their battle-chant of old—

Chant of knight and chant of bowman,

Chant of squire and chant of yeoman:

Witness Norman! Witness Roman!

Kent and Sussex feared no foeman

In the valiant days of old.


Those who wish to give practical expression to the approval of the scheme for raising Military Bands to encourage recruiting—the subject of one of Mr. Punch's cartoons of last week—are earnestly invited to send contributions to the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House. Further information may be obtained at the offices of "Recruiting Bands," 16, Regent Street, S.W.

From a schoolboy's essay on the War:—

"When the Germans lose a few ships they make rye faces."

This kind of face comes, we believe, from the eating of the official War-bread.

Hint to the Germans at St. Mihiel:—

"Alas! what boots it with incessant care

To strictly meditate the thankless Meuse?"

Milton: "Lycidas."

[pg 130]

Bobbie (as his father exhibits his new Volunteer uniform). "Well! Mother—I say! This brings war home to us, doesn't it?"


Many of the other papers have a Personal Column. Why should not Mr. Punch have one?

He shall.

MLLE. FORGETMÉNOT bien arrivée à Londres le 14 Février. Où est M. Valentin?

K.—Qte uslss apply frthr. Am absltly brke. Try yr uncl.—M.

JEHOSHAPHAT.—Will all Jehoshaphats combine to send bridge tables to the Front for use of brave boys? Subscriptions, limited to £10 each, should be sent to Jehoshaphat Downie, Esq., 25, Sun Row, Chelsea.

FLORENCE.—I was there and waited from 1.30 till midnight. Cannot do this often as I have tendency to pneumonia.

WILL anyone lend young man £500 on note of hand alone to enable him to procure clothes in which to present himself at recruiting office? Nothing but shabbiness of his wardrobe keeps him from enlisting.—Box 41, Office of this paper.

FOUND in neighbourhood of the Adelphi.—An Iron Cross, evidently awarded by the Kaiser. Initials upon it, "G. B. S." The owner is anxiously invited to apply for it in person.—E. G., Foreign Office.

SHIRTS for our troops at the Front are still urgently needed. Please send needles, cotton and material to Sister Susie, Drury Lane Theatre, W.C. All persons desiring to sing about her activities should note that the song is not published by Brothers Boosey but by another firm.

LOST, Wednesday, February 10th, between Acton and Blackheath, a one-pound note, signed by John Bradbury.—Anyone returning the same to X, at the Widowers' Club, will receive 1/- reward and no questions asked.

SMITH.—Will everyone named Smith at once send a sovereign to John Smith, Esq., 103, Old Jewry, E.C.? Patriotic purpose to which money will be put will be explained later.

WIFE of popular actor now serving in France would much appreciate the loan of a London house, with servants and motor car thrown in.—Box 81, Office of this paper.

A.B.C.—Please make no further effort to meet me. The depth of my loathing for you can never be expressed in words, at least not in this column.—J.

POLLIES.—Will all the Pollies of England kindly help a poor Polly to continue her lessons in voice production.—Write Polly, 2, Birdcage Walk.

TO OFFICERS and MEN whose letters contain good vivid accounts of picturesque occurrences at the Front. The Daily Inexactitude places no limit on the writer's imagination.

YOUNG MAN, full of fun and robust health, who has failed in everything he has yet undertaken and does not approve of warfare, would like situation as gamekeeper and rabbit-killer to wealthy absentee landowner.—Apply Box 29, Office of this paper.

The Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger, speaking of the four Turks who succeeded in crossing the Suez Canal and who have since been taken prisoners, says: "It is to be hoped that the four gallant Turkish swimmers will now do good work in Egypt."

We have no doubt that work will be found for them and that the prison authorities will shield them from the dangers of a life of indulgent idleness.

[pg 131]



Admiral von Tirpitz. "PRACTICALLY ALL, SIRE."


[pg 133]


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

House of Commons, Monday, 8th February.—Debate on Army Estimates prefaced by statement from Prime Minister casting gleam of lurid light on a War of which this is the 190th day. Answering a question he said the total number of British Army casualties in the Western area of the War is approximately 104,000 of all ranks. This, of course, does not include the death-roll in the Navy, a heavy tale of losses due far more to mine and submarine than to fair fights on the open sea. But standing alone it is not much less than one-half of the number of men, including Militia, voted in the Waterloo year now dead a century. Numerically a trifle compared with the huge gaps made in ranks of the enemy. Nevertheless it represents sufficiently appalling sacrifice, chargeable to the account of one man's whim.

"Exceeding the wildest dreams of Marlborough or Wellington."

Army Estimates for year, introduced by Tennant in a speech equally lucid and discreet, unique in their Parliamentary aspect. With an Army on active service and in training exceeding in number the wildest dreams of Marlborough or Wellington, the aggregate sum asked for is £15,000. Seems odd since, as Under Secretary for War in interesting aside stated, the Army costs more in a week than the total estimate for the Waterloo campaign, which stands on record at the modest sum of £6,721,880.

This only a little official joke designed partly to relieve tension of critical times, chiefly to throw dust in eyes of enemy. Idea of Germany cherished at War Office is that she is a sort of innocent Little Red Riding Hood whose legitimate curiosity may be evaded either by withholding information or mystifying it by administration of small doses dealt out at safe intervals of time. Hence the Press Bureau, which to-night came in for rough handling from both sides of House.

"Idea of Germany cherished at War Office is that she is a sort of innocent Little Red Ridinghood."

If usual detailed account of expenditure on Army were set forth, the German General Staff would know exactly what was in front of them in respect of reinforcement of the "contemptible little army" which seven months ago embarked upon a crusade more self-sacrificing, more glorious than any recorded in the story of Britain. Failing that, they naturally know nothing and will go on blundering in the dark.

Accordingly Votes submitted to-night were what the Treasury calls "token" estimates, each thousand pounds of the fifteen representing untold millions to be expended on various services of the War. On this understanding, Committee, practically without debate, amidst stern but quietly expressed determination to go on to the end at whatever cost, voted an establishment of three million men.

Business done.—Army Estimates in Committee of Supply.

Tuesday.—For first time since reassembling House sat up to closing hour, 11 o'clock. Discussion of Army Estimates resumed. Committee has advantage of Walter Long's lead of Opposition. Shrewd, tactful, conciliatory. Among miscellaneous Questions coming up was condition of some of the huts contracted for by War Office. Walter Long associated himself with sharp criticism offered from various quarters.

The Member for Sark regrets that engagement out of town prevented his taking part in the discussion.

"I happen to know something at first hand about the matter," he says. "I spend my week-ends in a district which, lying on direct route for the Front, swarms with detachments of recruits in training. In the late autumn, huts were built for their accommodation. Quite nice comfortable things to look at. Some stand on desirable sites overlooking land and sea.

"All very well as long as autumn weather lasted. But the winter told another tale. Season exceptionally wet. Sinful rottenness of these so-called habitations speedily discovered. Rain poured through the roofs as if they were made of brown paper. Nor was that all, though our poor fellows found it sufficient. When wind blew with any force it carried the rain through the walls of the huts, formed of thin laths, in some cases overlapping each other by not more than a quarter of an inch. Pitilessly rained upon in their beds, the men dressing for morning parade found their khaki uniforms and underclothing soaking wet. After this had been stood for a week or ten days, the huts were condemned and the recruits billeted upon inhabitants of neighbouring town.

"This not mere gossip, you understand. Circumstances simply related to me by the men themselves, some interrupting narrative with fits of coughing inevitable result of nightly experience. Nor were they complaining. Just mentioned the matter as presumably unavoidable episode in preliminary [pg 134] stage of career of men giving up all and risking their lives to save their country.

"What I want to know is, What has been done in particular cases such as this that must have come under notice of War Office? Have the contractors got clear away without punishment, or have they been made to disgorge? Financial Secretary to War Office stated in course of debate that average cost of these encampments amounted to £13 per man. In cases where huts are condemned, is the sorely-burdened but cheerfully-suffering taxpayer finding the money all over again, or is the peccant contractor made to stump up?"

Business done.—Still harping on Army Estimates.

House of Lords, Thursday.—Death of Lord Londonderry, buried to-day near his English home, Wynyard Park, universally regretted. A strong Party man, he had no personal enemies in the Opposition ranks, whether in Lords or Commons. Unlike some distinguished Peers, notably Lord Rosebery, he enjoyed advantage, inestimable in public life, of serving an apprenticeship in the House of Commons, where he sat six years for the Irish constituency which his famous forebear represented in the Irish Parliament. He was born into politics. His earliest conviction, thorough as were all he entertained, was one of distrust for Don José, who at the time when he sat in the House of Commons was carrying through the country the fiery cross of The Unauthorised Programme.

This feeling later replaced by dislike of Gladstone, who in the year after Lord Castlereagh, at the age of thirty-two, succeeded to the Marquisate, brought in his Home Rule Bill.

That was the turning point in Londonderry's public life. Hitherto he had toyed with politics as part of the recreation of a wealthy aristocrat. Thenceforward he devoted himself heart and soul to withstanding the advance of Home Rule, which he lived long enough to see enacted, Death sparing him the pang of living under its administration.

In his devotion to the fighting line rallied against Home Rule he was encouraged and sustained by a power behind the domestic throne perhaps, as has happened in historical cases, more dominant than its occupant. Cherchez la femme. Londonderry House became the spring and centre of an influence that had considerable effect upon political events during more than a quarter of a century.

Londonderry's cheery presence will be missed in the Lords. His memory will be cherished as that of one who fought stoutly for causes sacred to a large majority of his peers.

Business done.Premier made promised statement on subject of food prices. Debate following was adjourned.


1. "Ach! Himmel!—a shell!"

2. !!!

3. "Great Krupps!—what is it?"

A Flower of Speech.

"Mr. Asquith stated in the House of Commons this afternoon that the Government were considering taking more stringent measures against German trade as a consequence of the latter's fragrant breach of the rules of war."—Star.

Fragrant is the parliamentary way of putting it.

"German Togoland, whose aspirations towards nationality have been again aroused by the recent promises of the Czar, is destined to be for us part of a new European state under the protection of Russia."

Leader (B. E. Africa).

The fate of German Pololand in Africa will be decided in our next.

"Mr. Murphy asked what would be the cost of doing these works.

Surveyor—I cannot say vbgkqis shr me."

Wicklow Newsletter.

Neither can we, but we should never have thought of mentioning it to Mr. Murphy at this juncture.

[pg 135]

Chorus from the trench. "What 'ave you got there, Tom?"

Tom (bringing in huge Uhlan). "Souvenir."



My dear Mr. Punch,—Our Battalion has gone. It has called back to the ranks all but a few of its soldier clerks. Even as I write it is racing through the darkness across the Indian plains to its new station. I can almost hear the grinding thunder of the wheels; the thud of men sleeping on the seats as they roll off and crash upon men sleeping on the floors; the pungent oaths mingling with the shriek of the engine whistle ... and I am left behind in the Divisional Staff Office and attached to another Territorial unit just arrived from England. Woe is me!

I paid a last visit to the barracks to see my comrades before they left. They were well and cheerful, but all suffering from a singular delusion. When I expressed regret that I was not accompanying them owing to the fact that my services could not be spared from the Office, they all assured me with perfect gravity that this was not the real explanation of my being left behind. While I have been plying the pen, they, it appears, have reached such a state of military proficiency that to re-introduce me into the ranks at this stage would have had a most disintegrating effect upon the moral of the entire Battalion.

It was hard on me, they were prepared to admit, but efficiency must come first. When, very shortly, they march down Unter den Linden I must surely recognise how very disastrous it would be for me to be there with my rifle at an unprofessional slope. It would be so noticeable in the pictures afterwards.

They were all full of kindly commiseration about my future. They, of course, will presently be leaving for the Front. England will ring from end to end with the story of their prowess. In six weeks they will have beaten the Germans to a standstill. Then—best of all—they will return home, covered with glory and medals, to be received with frantic demonstrations of joy, affection and adulation.

Several years later, I gather, I may (if exceptionally lucky) return to England unhonoured and unsung, with indelible inkstains on my fingers and three vaccination marks on my left forearm as my only mementoes of the Great War. On the other hand, having got fairly into the grip of the Indian Government, it is quite likely that I shall end my days here.

Perceiving my chagrin at this prospect, one of them generously promised to present me with a few Iron Crosses which he anticipates collecting on the battlefield. But this gift, he was at pains to point out, was contingent upon the very improbable circumstance of my surviving plague, dysentery, enteric, smallpox, heat apoplexy, snakebite and other perils of a prolonged sojourn in India.

In the immediate future I can unfortunately see for myself that my prospects are of the gloomiest. When I mildly suggested to my Colour Sergeant that he should send me my pay by post each week from the new station, he stared at me fixedly and reminded me with unnecessary and offensive emphasis that I was now attached to another regiment, and that he had finally and thankfully washed his hands of all responsibility concerning me. When I sought out my new Colour, he informed me even more emphatically that I was merely attached to his company for disciplinary purposes and that it was blooming well useless for me to look to him for pay. So there I am.

It is the same with rations. None were sent for me this morning. It is tolerably certain that none will be sent to-morrow.

Ah, well, it will be a sad and disappointing end to a promising career, [pg 136] won't it, Mr. Punch? I feel sure if Lord Kitchener knew the facts of the case he would do something about it. Perhaps you could approach him on the matter. Still, I have read somewhere that life can be supported on four bananas a day. I can get eight bananas for an anna here, and I have Rs. 1, As. 7, P. 2 remaining in my money belt. I leave you to work it out.

I remember now that a wandering Punjabi fortune-teller revealed to me at Christmas that I should live to be 107. That was one of his best points. He also told me that I should be married three times and have eleven children; that I had a kind heart; that a short dark lady was interested in my career; that the Kaiser would be dethroned next June; and that fortune-telling was a precarious means of livelihood and its professors were largely dependent upon the generosity of wealthy sahibs such as myself. Wealthy!

But he was a true prophet in one particular. He foretold that I should shortly be unhappy on account of a parting.

Seriously, Mr. Punch, it was hard to say good-bye to all my friends; it is not cheering to reflect now that they are a thousand miles away, amid fresh and fascinating scenes, about to undergo novel and wonderful experiences from which I am debarred. But there is one lesson which the Army teaches very efficiently—that, whatever one's personal feelings, orders have to be obeyed without question.

And I suppose they also serve who only sit and refer correspondents to obscure sub-sections and appendices of Army Regulations, India.

Yours ever,
One of the Punch Brigade.


Britannia still sitting on the copper.


Once upon a time there was an Old Gentleman who lived in a Very Comfortable Way; and some of his Neighbours said he was Rich and others that, at any rate, he was Well Off, and others again that at least he had Considerable Private Means. And when the Great War broke out it was clear that he was much too Old to fight, and he wasn't able to speak at Recruiting Meetings on account of an Impediment in his Speech, and he had no Soldiers billeted upon him, because there were no Soldiers there, and he could not take in Belgian Refugees because he lived on the East Coast—so he just read the Papers and pottered about the Garden as he used to do before.

But after a time it was noticed that he began to "draw in," as his Neighbours said. First he gave up his Motor, and when his Gardener enlisted he didn't get Another; and he never had a Fire in his Bedroom. And his Neighbours, on thinking it over, concluded that he had been Hard Hit by the War. But None of them knew how.

Then he began to travel Third Class and gave up Smoking Cigars. And they thought he was waiting till the Stock Exchange opened.

Then they noticed that he got no new Clothes and his old ones were not so smart as they used to be. And as the Stock Exchange was open by now they began to believe that he must have become a Miser and was getting meaner as he got older. And they all said it was a Pity. But he went on reading the Papers and pottering round the Garden much as before.

And the Tradespeople found that the Books were not so big as they used to be, and they began to say that it was a Pity when people who had Money didn't know how to spend it.

But the Truth is that they were all wrong; he was a Collector. That was how the Money went.

He never told anyone about his Collection, but he kept it in the Top Drawer of his Desk till it got too big and overflowed into the Second Drawer, and then into the Third, and so on.

He was quite determined that his Collection should be complete and should contain Every Sound Specimen—that was partly why he kept reading the Papers. But he didn't mind having Duplicates as long as they had Different Dates. There was one Specimen of which he got a Duplicate every Week.

One of his Rules was never to allow any Specimen into his Collection unless it had a Stamp on it.

It was quite a New Sort of Collection. It was made up of Receipts from the People who were running All The Different War Funds.


After his ample dinner, William sank into the big chair before the fire, and with a book on his knee became lost in thought.

He woke half-an-hour later to observe that Margaret was knitting.

"It's sheer waste of time," he told her, "to make anything of wool that colour."

"Is it?" she asked sweetly.

"If there's no more khaki or brown wool left in the shops, you should make something of flannel. Any self-respecting soldier would rather be frost-bitten to death a dozen times than wear a garment of pink wool."

"Do you think so?" asked Margaret, smiling.

"Besides, you really ought to stick to the beaten track—belts, mufflers and mittens. Nobody wants ear-muffs."

"This is going to be a coat," she said, holding it up and surveying it with satisfaction.

"A coat?—that handful of pink, a coat? That feeble likeness of an egg-cosy, a coat? A pink woollen coat for a British soldier! My poor friend over there in the trenches, whoever you are, may Heaven help you! And may Heaven forgive you, Margaret, for this night's work!"

"I shan't finish it to-night—it'll take days. And he'll be very proud of it, I know."

"Who will?"

"The soldier-boy will. Bless his heart; he's a born fighter—anyone can see it with half an eye. Mabel says——"

"Oh, one of Mabel's pals, is it? Well, what's Donald doing to allow Mabel to take such an interest in this precious soldier-boy who is prepared to be proud of a coat of soft pink wool? Who is the idiot?"

"He's no idiot, and his name's Peter," said Margaret.

"Peter! Peter what?"

"Dear old thing, I wish you'd pull yourself together, and try to realise that you have been an uncle for at least three weeks. Donald and Mabel are going to call him 'Peter'—didn't I tell you?"

"South Wales. Safe Southern shelter from shells and shrapnel."—Advt. in "The Times."

Just the place for our shy young sister Susie to sew shirts for soldiers in.

"On the outbreak of war M. F. van Droogenbroeck, an engineer, joined the Belgian Flying Corps, and did most useful work, being complimented by his King for his invention of a new kind of aircomb."

Daily Mirror.

Our own 'air-comb is the old kind with a couple of spikes missing.

[pg 137]


[Even the more obscure of the American papers often contain important news of the doings of the British army many days before the Censor allows the information to be published in England.]

I am told that few exploits are finer

Than a battle our Blankshires have won,

So bring me The Michigan Miner,

For I'm anxious to read how 'twas done;

If The Miner's not easy to hit on,

Get The Maryland Trumpet; it treats

Of a story that's kept, to the Briton,

As dark as the Westminster streets!

As our soldiers from north of the Border

Some vital positions have stormed,

Put The Oregon Message on order

To keep me completely informed!

One moment! I've just heard a rumour

That the Germans' whole front has been cleft—

Quick! Rush for The Tennessee Boomer;

Heaven grant that a copy is left!

Each day in this keep-it-dark city,

Officials, to us, seem unkind

To censor such news without pity,

But, of course, they've an object in mind;

For a man, when his spirits touch zero

Through a natural yearning for facts,

Will enlist, and himself be a hero

Where no one can censor his ACTS!

First Patriot. "Ah! I see you haven't yet changed the name of your Eau-de-Cologne."

Second Patriot. "Pardon me, Madam. I have taken the liberty of labelling my new supply 'Cologne Water.'"


O authors, remember to join your flats!

The novel was going splendidly. I had been revelling in it. I was sitting in one chair, with my feet in another, not far from the fire, plunged in the story, when all of a sudden my pleasure went.

It was in Chapter xvii., where the young doctor takes a taxi and rushes up to the actress's flat so as to be there first, before Lord Burlington. You must understand that the young doctor is newly in practice and has the greatest difficulty in making both ends meet. Well, it says that he sprang from the cab and was half-way up the stairs in a moment. That was all right, but the point is that he stayed two hours hunting for the missing letter. Now this is a very exciting passage, because we know that the detective may be here any minute, and Lord Burlington is coming too, and if either of them—well, the point is that, owing to the author forgetting to make the young doctor pay the taxi-man, all my pleasure went.

I am not unduly economical, but I hate downright waste, and here was the taximeter ticking all through the rest of that chapter and the next, and further still. Had it been Lord Burlington's cab I should have cared less, for he was rich; had it been the detective's I should not have cared at all, because the driver might have gone to Scotland Yard for his money. But the young doctor was so poor, and sooner or later he would have to come out of the flat again, and then he would be caught and faced with an impossible bill; and this got on my nerves.

As I say, the story was frightfully exciting just there, but I found myself, instead of participating in the excitement, saying, "Another twopence"; "Twopence more"; "It must be four shillings by now," "Five shillings," and so on. Not even when the face of the Chinaman appeared at the window—he had climbed up the water-pipe and had a dagger in his teeth—could I really concentrate. "Seven-and-six by now," was all I said.

The result was that the effect of the book was lost on me and I cared nothing for what happened to any one. The taximeter ticked through every subsequent page. Long after we got away from London altogether and the young doctor was on his way to Hong Kong, racing the detective, I still heard the taximeter ticking; just because the man had never been paid. It ticked through the wedding bells; and it ticked through the strangling of Lord Burlington in one of the Adelphi arches, with which the story closes.

And that is why I say, O authors, remember to join your flats.

The Slump in Prussians.

(Sortes Vergilianæ.)

"Procumbit humi Bosch."

[pg 138]



The title was not, of course, meant to deceive, for Mr. Vachell is an honest man; and anyhow the critics, for that is their business, would be swift to disillusionize the public; but in our permissible state of suspicion, the audience might easily be led to suppose from the word "Searchlights," combined with the early appearance of an imported Teuton in the person of Sir Adalbert Schmaltz, that spy-work was in the air. But the genial domesticity of this naturalized Scot quickly disposed of our unworthy apprehensions, and we soon learned that his provenance had no bearing upon the issue.

That issue was concerned with a question of paternity, whose acuteness happened to be contemporaneous with that of the present European crisis. I say "happened"; for here again I cast no reflection upon Mr. Vachell's intent, or suggest that the war-element in his play was introduced as an afterthought into his original scheme. If it was, which I doubt, then the patchwork was cleverly concealed; and my only complaint must be of a certain obscurity in the relation between the two patterns in his design. For if the title implied that the effect of the War was to throw a searchlight into the dark places of the human heart (as distinguished from its influence upon our City streets), I do not think that in the case of Robert Blaine's heart, if he had one, the author has made this operation sufficiently clear.

Mrs. Blaine had a grown-up son, born after five years of barren wedlock, who was the object of her husband's profound detestation. After some twenty years—a little late, perhaps, in the day, but the author wished us to be present when he did it—Robert Blaine, at a moment when his wife is trying to get her boy out of a tight corner, declares an inveterate doubt of his fatherhood, and she makes confession of her fault. Subsequently—in a "strong" scene—she recants, alleging that her confession was a work of creative art, produced in a spasm of spite; and everybody except the immovable Blaine is vastly relieved.

But not for long, for she presently recants her recantation. You will guess that, though a little shaken, we were not in despair, but looked hopefully for a re-recantation. But you are in error. Her second confession, though no words passed her lips, was obviously final. And what induced it? What was the piece of conviction? If you will believe me, it was just a photograph with which her husband confronted her—an old photograph of her lover that she mistook for her son's, so close was the likeness. This was surely a flaw in Mr. Vachell's scheme, for it is unbelievable that she should have hitherto overlooked this fatal resemblance, even if her attention had not as a fact been called to it by a garrulous friend at quite an early stage in the proceedings of the play.

Robert Blaine experiencing how very much sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have somebody else's thankless child.

Robert Blaine Mr. H. B. Irving.

Harry Blaine Mr. Reginald Owen.

Another weakness, common enough where an author wants to show a variety of types and excuses himself from the trouble of assorting them, was to be seen in the extreme improbability of the friendship between Blaine and Sir Adalbert Schmaltz. These two were always staying in one another's houses yet there never could have been the smallest of tastes in common between the dour and moody financier and the light-hearted consumer of lager beer and delikatessen.

But I prefer, if you please, to dwell upon the shining virtues of Mr. Vachell's Searchlights. With the exception of an interlude or two of needless triviality—Lady Schmaltz's sobbing scene, for instance—the essentials of the tragic theme held us grimly in their grasp. But always we could find relief in the author's humanity, revealed not only in the passionate devotion of the mother's heart, but in the persuasive character of her boy, and the unaffected quality of his relations both to her and to the girl who wanted his love.

Mr. Vachell would be the first to acknowledge, and generously, how much he owes to the really remarkable performance, as Mrs. Blaine, of Miss Fay Davis, who can never before have accomplished so high an achievement. But the matter was there for her clever hands to shape, and that was the author's doing.

Mr. Harry Irving's, too, was a fine performance, though, from the moment of his entrance, a figure of sinister portent, he lacked all contrast of light and shade. But, to be just, that was hardly in the part, as made—deliberately, so it seemed—for those particular methods of which he is the master.

As for Mr. Holman Clark, if all Teutons, naturalized or other, were like his Sir Adalbert Schmaltz (or Sir Keith Howard, as he called himself after the War began, on the principle that the best was good enough for him) I should have small ground of quarrel with the race. But how this joyous German ever came to wear a kilt and own a deer-forest I cannot hope to understand, for there was no hint of Semitic origin in his face or composition.

Mr. Reginald Owen made a most human soldier-boy, and I shall never want to meet a Guardsman with a better manner or an easier sense of humour. I remark, by the way, that young Blaine is the second stage-hero (the first was in The Cost) whom the War has affected in the head.

Miss Margery Maude, though she had the rather ungrateful part of a girl who is quite ready, thank you, to be loved as soon as you feel like it, played, as always, with a very perfect tact and charm.

Finally, Miss Kate Bishop was her dear old self, and Mr. Tom Reynolds' sketch of a solicitor was as bright as it was brief.

I venture to offer my best compliments both to the cast and to the author, and to hope that his Searchlights may serve well to pierce the shadows of the night through which we are passing.

O. S.

[pg 139]

Tommy (late gamekeeper). "Mark over!"


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

Miss Viola Meynell brings to her analysis of character an astonishingly acute observation and insight, an intimate sympathy, a quiet, leavening, sometimes faintly malicious, humour; and to her synthesis a conscientious and dexterous artistry in selection and arrangement which gives a vividly objective reality to her creations. So that you may put down her Columbine (Secker) with something like the guilty feeling of an eavesdropper. Love in its effect upon three girls is her main theme, and it is difficult to overpraise her skill and restraint in the handling of it. Lily Peak, the actress, beautiful, passionless, incompetent, with her irrelevant banality, and her second-hand philosophy of living, is a veritable tour de force of characterisation which cleverly avoids the easy pit of caricature. And between this pretty nonentity and Jennifer, the competent, the loyal and the deep, with her occasional flashes of beauty and her innocent provocativeness, Dixon Parrish, one of those self-analytic, essentially cool-blooded modern young men, wavers to the tragic hurt of all the three. Alison, his sister, full of moodiness and passionate preoccupations, moves unquiet on the well-planned background which holds that genially absurd pseudo-intellectual, her father; the kindly negative Mrs. Parrish; Gilbert, Alison's lover (the least satisfactory of the portraits); the pleasantly pretentious Madame Barrett of the elocution classes; and "that Mrs. Smith," who is only (but adroitly) shown through Lily's artless chatter. Miss Meynell chooses to write chiefly of little moments in little lives. But she has adequate reserves of power for bigger work, as passages of warm colour placed with a fine judgment on her low-toned canvas abundantly prove, and meanwhile she has shown herself mistress of a method singularly skilful and restrained. She does not describe or explain or soliloquise. All her points are made through the speech, the actions or the expressed thought of her characters—the manifestly excellent way which so few have the wit or the courage to follow.

Mr. Leo Brandish, so Miss Peggy Webling assures me, intends to write the professional biography of their mutual hero, that notable actor and admirable gentleman, Edgar Chirrup (Methuen). In the meantime she has told us all about the man himself, at least as far as the last page that he has turned, the one where the dogs and the rocking-horse are included in the family portrait, with his children and the wife whom you and I, and everyone else for that matter, realised was the one for him long before he did. Some of the other pages in his life were less satisfactory, more particularly those on which Fate had inscribed, not in the most convincing fashion (but perhaps the authoress jogged Fate's elbow), the history of his sudden unworthy infatuation. If I could not forget or ever quite understand this episode, neither could "Chirps" himself in the years that followed, when the lovableness and loyalty that had already won my affections were pleading for his release, with the ladies (Fate and Miss Webling, I mean) collaborating over his destiny. It would indeed be pitiful if any but the happiest of endings had been in store for the hero and his Ruth, for sweeter and simpler folk have seldom been persuaded by any writer to smile a genial public into arm-chair content. And the secret of their charm would [pg 140] seem to be just that they have been able to catch the qualities of sympathy and sincerity that belonged in the first case to the manner of the telling of their story; so perhaps, after all, nothing but good was meant them from the start. At any rate from first to last there is not a page in this book that is not sweet, wholesome and entirely readable. Here is tenderness without mawkishness, humour without noise, a sufficiency of action without harshness of outline; most surprising, here is a story, in which many of the characters are of the Stage, presented with an entire absence of limelight or any other vulgarity. All this, indeed, one expects from the title-page; but none the less it is no mean achievement. And so—my congratulations.

Through the Ages Beloved (Hutchinson) might be fairly described as an unusual story. I am bound to say that I both admired and enjoyed it; but at the same time a more tangled tale it was never my task to unravel. For the benefit of future explorers I will say that the motive of the plot—whose scene is laid in Japan—is reincarnation. Consequently, though the hero, Kanaya, begins as a modern student who has fought through the Russo-Japanese war, you must be prepared to find him and yourself switched suddenly without any warning into the remote past. I am not quite sure that Mr. H. Grahame Richards has been playing the game here. So unheralded is the transference that even the close and careful reader will experience some bewilderment; as, for example, when the heroine, whose own name remains the same in both ages, re-enters with different parents. As for the skipper, his doom will be confusion unmitigated. However, once you have found your bearings again, there is much to admire in the treatment of a time and a place so eminently picturesque. Mr. Richards' pen-pictures of Japanese scenery have all the delicate beauty of paintings upon ivory. The clear, clean air, the colour of sunrise flushing some exquisite landscape, a flight of birds crossing a garden of azaleas—all these are realized with obvious knowledge and enthusiasm, and more than compensate for the intricacy of the plot. But this is certainly there. Once only was I myself near vanquished. This was when the Kanaya of the past, himself the result of the modern Kanaya hitting his head on a stone, began to hint of uneasy visions pointing to a remote Port-Arthurian future. Here I confess that (like Alice and The Red King) I longed for some authoritative pronouncement as to who was the genuine dreamer, and who would "go out." Still, an original story, and one to be read, even if with knitting of brows.

The Passport with accompanying photograph sometimes arouses suspicion. One seldom looks like oneself immediately after a rough Channel crossing.

There seems some lack of proper respect in describing as a pot-boiler a story that, when no longer in its first youth, can enjoy a second blooming at ten shillings and sixpence net, in its own cardboard box, and embellished with any quantity of the liveliest coloured pictures. Yet I fear that this is my impression about The Money Moon (Sampson Low). I have liked Mr. Jeffrey Farnol's other work too well to be able to accept this at its present sumptuous face-value. You remember no doubt how George Bellew, having been jilted by the girl of his original choice, set out upon a walking tour; how on the first day of this expedition he fought a bloody battle with a carter, about nothing in particular, and arrived at a village with the significant name of Dapplemere. You will not have forgotten that at Dapplemere there lived a small boy, who talked as boys do in books but nowhere else; a lavendery old lady-housekeeper whose name (need I remind you?) was Miss Priscilla; and a maiden as fair as she was impoverished. You recall too how all these charming people took George to their expansive hearts, and welcomed him as the ideal hero, without apparently once noticing that he must at the moment (on the author's own showing) have had a swollen nose and probably two black eyes. No, I repeat my verdict. The whole thing is too easy. I understand, however, that in America, where The Money Moon is at present shining more brightly than with us, there exists a steady demand for this rather saccharine fiction. So let us leave it at that.

There must be many persons (I am one of them myself) who, when confronted with a topical burlesque of Alice in Wonderland, would confess to a little regret. The book is such a treasured joy that one hates to have any hands, even the cleverest, laid upon it. Yet the deed is so often done that there is clearly a large public that does not share this view. Therefore a welcome seems assured for what is certainly, so far, the wittiest of the attempts, Malice in Kulturland (The Car Illustrated), written by Horace Wyatt, with pictures by Tell. The ingenuity with which the parodists have handled their task makes me wish that my personal prejudice had allowed me to appreciate it more whole-heartedly. Especially neat is the transformation of the Cheshire Cat into a Russian Bear, seen everywhere in the wood (there is a clever drawing of this). You remember how, at Alice's request, the Cat kindly obliged with a gradual disappearance from tail to grin? The Bear does the same, "beginning with an official statement, and ending with a rumour, which was still very persistent for some time afterwards." Mr. Wyatt has certainly a pretty turn of wit, which I shall look to see him developing in other and more virgin fields.


Bristol Observer.

They can be withdrawn with a pin.

"An ewe, owned by Mr. Sydney Crowther, of Oak View Farm, Plompton, near Harrogate, has given birth to a lamb."

Yorkshire Evening Post.

One would have expected a lion in these martial days.

Transcriber Notes:

Throughout the dialogues, there were words used to mimic accents of the speakers. Those words were retained as-is.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up paragraphs and so that they are next to the text they illustrate. Thus the page number of the illustration might not match the page number in the List of Illustrations, and the order of illustrations may not be the same in the List of Illustrations and in the book.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected unless otherwise noted.

On page 127, a quotation mark was added after Newcastle United."

On page 140, a quotation mark was added before "It must be four".