The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150,
June 21st, 1916, by Various

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, June 21st, 1916

Author: Various

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[pg 401]


VOL. 150

JUNE 21, 1916


An "Iron Scheer" is to be erected at Cuxhaven in honour of the "victor" of the Battle of Horn Reef. It is thought, however, that lead would be more appropriate than iron for the occasion. It runs more easily under fire.

"I want," said Mr. Roosevelt, at Oyster Bay, "to tell you newspaper men that it is useless to come to see me. I have nothing to say." As however some of them had come quite a long way to see him, he might at least have made a noise like a Bull Moose.

Asked as to the nature of his disability, an appellant informed one of the London Tribunals that he was a member of the V.T.C. This studied insult to a fine body of men was, we are happy to say, repudiated by the Tribunal, which advised the applicant to try to join a "crack" regiment.

No civilians being available for the work, fifty men of the Royal Scots regiment laid half-a-mile of water main at Coggeshall Abbey in record time. This incident should finally dispose of a popular superstition that among the Scotch water is only a secondary consideration.

The Water Board has spent £70 in renovating some Chippendale chairs belonging to the New River Company. The poor shareholders are quite helpless in the matter.

On an acre of ground, a man told the Farnham Tribunal, he kept 9 sows, 34 pigs and 1 horse, and grew a quarter-of-an-acre of mangolds and a quarter-of-an-acre of potatoes. Asked where he kept himself the man is understood to have reluctantly named an exclusive hotel in the West End.

"The extra hour of daylight is turning every City man into a gardener," says The Daily Mail. This must be a source of great concern to our contemporary, according to which, if we read aright, the majority of our public men do their work like gardeners.

"A wave of temperance might come by sending drunkards to prison for a second offence," said Mr. Mead at the West London Court. This remark will cause consternation in those select circles in which a second offence is usually an indication of a discriminating dilettantism.

"Mr. Hughes," says The Daily Mail, "goes to the Paris Conference with the British ideals in his pocket." Personally, we have an idea that things of this sort ought to be left in the Cabinet.

"This war," says The Fishing Gazette, "is going to provide protection to fish from the trawlers in all places where ships sink on trawling-grounds." That, however, is not the real issue, and we cannot too strongly deprecate such an unscrupulous attempt on the part of our contemporary to draw a red herring across the trail.



Sergeant. "Fall in agin at 'leven o'clock. An' when I say, 'Fall in at 'leven o'clock,' I mean fall in at 'leven. So fall in at 'alf-past ten!"

According to a New York cable, President Wilson last week headed a procession in favour of military preparedness as an ordinary citizen in a straw hat, blue coat, cream pants, and carrying an American flag on his shoulders. The intensely militant note struck by the cream pants is regarded as a body blow to the hope of the pacificists in the party and astonished even the most chauvinistic of President's admirers.

"For anyone to keep a cow for their private supply of milk is a luxury, and there is no necessity for it," said the Chairman of the Chobham Tribunal, and, as a result of this ruling, a maiden lady in the district who has long cherished the ambition of keeping a bee for her private supply of honey has reluctantly decided to abandon the idea.

Berlin's newest attraction is said to be a young woman named Anna von Bergdorff, who has revealed extraordinary powers of memory, and whose chief accomplishment is to "remember and repeat without error from twenty-five to fifty disconnected words after hearing them once." In these circumstances it would seem to be a thousand pities that the lady was not present when the Kaiser received the news of the famous "victory" of his Fleet in the Battle of Jutland.

In St. Louis, U.S.A., the Democratic National Convention is claiming on behalf of President Wilson that he has "successfully steered the ship of State throughout troublous times without involving the United States in war." Or, as the hyphenateds put it more tersely, "Woodrow has delivered the goods."

In a bird's-nest in a water-pipe at Sheffield a workman has discovered a £20 Bank of England note, which, we understand, has since been claimed by various people in the neighbourhood who have lately been troubled by mysterious thefts of £1 and 10s. Treasury notes, as well as by a man who alleges that he was recently robbed of that exact sum in silver and copper coins.

A traveller who has arrived in Amsterdam from Berlin states that in that city placards have been pasted on all the walls explaining that the Kaiser is not responsible for the War. We hope however that now it has been brought to his notice it is not unreasonable on our part to express the hope that he will promptly decide to go a step further and declare his neutrality.

At an Exhibition of Substitutes now being held in Berlin a special department displayed stage decorations, scenery and costumes made mostly out of paper instead of wool. As a counterblast to the alleged German superiority in matters of this sort, it is pleasant to be able to record the fact that in our English theatres it is no uncommon thing to see an audience made mostly out of the same material.

[pg 402]


(Marshal von Hindenberg and Admiral von Scheer.)

The Admiral. The beer, at any rate, is good.

The Marshal. Yes, the beer is good enough, Heaven be thanked! I only wish everything else was as good as the beer.

The Admiral. So then there is grumbling here too. It was in my mind that I should find everything here in first-rate order and everybody delighted with the condition of things.

The Marshal. So? Then all I can say is that you expected too much. You do not seem to realise how things are going with us. I suppose you had thought the Russians were absolutely done for after what happened to them last year. So thought the All-highest, who has a mania for imagining complete victories and talking about them in language that makes one ashamed of being a German. As if——

The Admiral. Yes, that's quite true. I'll tell you a little story about that later on.

The Marshal. Well, he saw complete victory over the Russians, and what does he do? He withdraws some of my best divisions to the Western Front and throws them into that boiling cauldron at Verdun, where they have all perished to the last man, and leaves me with my thinned line to hold out as best I can; and, not content with this, he permits those accursed Austrians to rush their troops, if indeed they are worthy to be called by that name, headlong into Italy on a mad adventure of their own and to get stuck there far beyond the possibility of help. And then what happens? The moment arrives when the new and immense Russian armies are trained, and when they have rifles and cannons and ammunition in plenty, and one fine day they wake up and hurl themselves against the Austrians, and helter-skelter away go the whole set of Archdukes and Generals and Colonels and men, each trying to see who has the longest legs and can use them quickest for escaping. And I'm expected to bring up my fellows, who have quite enough to do where they are, and to sacrifice them in helping this rabble. "Hindenburg," said the All-highest to me, "be up and doing. Show yourself worthy of your ancient glory and earn more golden nails for your wooden statue." "Majesty," I replied, "if you will leave me my fighting men, you can keep all the golden nails that were ever made." But at this he frowned, suspecting a joke: I have often noticed that he does not like jokes.

The Admiral. Yes, I have noticed that myself, and I always do my best to take him quite seriously. But I was going to tell you a little story about our speechmaking hero. Here it is. As you know, he ordered us out to fight the naval battle off Jutland.

The Marshal. Yes, I know—the great victory.

The Admiral. Hum-hum.

The Marshal. Well, wasn't it?

The Admiral. Ye-e-s, that is to say, not exactly what one understands by great and not precisely what is meant by victory. However, we can discuss that another time. What I wanted to tell you was this. The speech our friend and Kaiser made——

The Marshal. It was a highly coloured piece of fireworks.

The Admiral. Well, it was all prepared and written down days before the fight was fought. I heard this from a sure source, from someone, in fact, who had seen the manuscript and had afterwards caught sight of the Imperial one rehearsing it before a looking-glass. Whatever might have happened, the speech would have been the same, even if we had returned into harbour with only one ship—and there was a time when I thought we should hardly be able to do even that.

The Marshal. I wonder what would have happened to him if he had not been able to deliver the speech at all.

The Admiral. He would have burst himself.

The Marshal. Yes, that is what would have happened to him.

The Admiral. Well, anyhow, the beer is good here.

The Marshal. Oh, yes, the beer is all right.


Judkins was the last man in the world one would have expected to meet in the fashionable costume of the day. To begin with, he was well over age. And then he was on the quiet side, usually looking for some odd, old thought which had gone astray, and possessed of one of those travelling mentalities which take note of all sides of a subject. Yet there he stood in khaki.

"The very last man in the world I expected to see like this," I said. It was quite true. Judkins was the sort who would have attempted dreamy analyses with the drill-instructor.

"Don't blame me, old thing," he said with a shade of melancholy. "I know I am stiff and over age and all that, but the recruiting fellow said he would willingly overlook a decade. There was nothing else for it. It was the only way."

"How do you mean, 'the only way'?" I asked.

Judkins sighed.

"It was like this," he explained sadly. "I should have joined up before, but I have always tried to keep to the truth ever since I was seven and told a lie, and felt that I was lost. But I gave in at last. If Lord Derby looks at my papers he will think I am forty. So I am, and a bit more. I meant to deceive his lordship, though it went against the grain. I am sure I don't know what Mr. Walter Long will say if he ever finds out what I have done. I can picture him exclaiming, 'Here's this man, Private Judkins, declaring he is only forty, when to my certain knowledge he was born in '66.'

"I am risking all that because life became insupportable. There was hardly anybody left I cared about. The one waiter at my favourite restaurant who didn't breathe down one's neck when he was holding the vegetables—he had joined; and the person who understood cigars at the corner shop, he is in it too. The new man doesn't know the difference between a Murias and a Manilla. It was the same all round. There was nobody to cut my hair. My barber was forming fours. It is a wonder to me why the War people have had to hunt the slippers, the chaps who have held back, for there is very little to tempt one to keep out of the crowd now. I've joined so as to be with the fellows I know. Don't go and put it all down to patriotism; it was just sheer loneliness. The man who sold me my evening paper—you remember him? he had a squint and used to invest in Spanish lotteries and get me to translate the letters he received—he is a soldier now; and so is the bootblack who asked for tips for the races, and the door-keeper at the offices. They're all wearing khaki, all in; and it wasn't the same world without them, only a dreary make-believe, and so I decided to deceive the War Office and join my friends. Every day I am finding the folk I'd lost. The Corporal with whom I do most business was checktaker at a theatre I used to frequent—always told me whether the show was worth the money before I parted. And the life is suiting me fairly well. Last week's route-march in the rain was a far, far wetter thing than I had ever done, but——"

He turned and gravely saluted an officer who was coming up on the wind....

[pg 403]


[pg 404]


Mrs. Brown. "Have you heard as how our Jim has got his stripe?"

Mr. Smith. "Hush, woman! Don't you see that notice?"



My dear Charles,—No "Tourists' Guide to Northern France" would be complete without some mention of the picturesque town of A., a point at which even the most progressive traveller is likely to say that he's had a very pleasant journey so far, but now thinks of turning back. It boasts a small but exceedingly well-ventilated cathedral, many an eligible residence to let, and the relics of what was once a busy factory, on the few remaining bricks of which you are particularly requested to "afficher" no "affiches." It is approached by a railway, prettily overgrown with tall grasses and wild-flowers, and never made hideous these days by the presence of hustling, smoky trains. Entering daintily from the back, the tourist will soon find himself in its main street, devoid of ladies out shopping, but not without its curious collection of exuberant drain-pipes and recumbent lamp-posts. It lies, pleasantly dishevelled, in the sun, having the appearance of the bed of a restless sleeper who has shifted about somewhat in the night and made many abortive efforts to get up in the morning. Its streets are decorated with a series of dew ponds, dotted about with no apparent regard to the convenience of the traffic, and you may while away many an idle hour trying to discover where the street ends and the houses begin. You will not be interrupted if you detach, for your collection of curios, a yard or so of the dislodged statue of the leading municipal genius, and even the old man at the barrier of the eastern gate will only attempt to deter you by friendly advice if you persist in ignoring the notice, "This Road is Unfit for Vehicular Traffic." I am told that discipline is automatic at this point; it requires no browbeating military policemen to control the traffic here.

The town of A. has given up work. It has also given up trying to look smart. It still spreads itself over many acres and it has a population of twenty-five, not including the Town Major.

Town Majors, of the more permanent sort, are a race apart. Being older men, who have done their turn in the trenches and are now marked down for the less actively quarrelsome life, they nevertheless prefer to live in this sort of place. When a man gets to their age he has apparently grown too fond of his old friends, the shells, to be parted from them altogether till he absolutely must; also he likes a row of houses to himself to live in. A street cannot be so quickly demolished as to give him no time to select another one, and business can always be carried on at the one end while structural alterations are taking place at the other. This fluctuation of town property is a thing to be reckoned with in his life; and so on his office wall you will find a list of billets occupied by units, and where you see a blue mark you'll know the unit has gone, and where you see a red mark, you'll know the billet has.

The Town Major of A. is a great friend of mine; fortunately we are able to reserve our differences of opinion for the telephone, and even so neither can ever be sure whether the other lost his temper or the "cutting off" was done elsewhere. When we meet I find him the victim of so many other troubles that I always spare him more. He is one of those little old Majors, more like walnuts than anything else—the hardest, most wrinkled but best filled walnuts. He acts as the medium between the relentless routine of a high administrative office and the complex wants of the local warrior. I don't think he has ever yet decided whether his true sympathies lie with the machine or with the men. Once I was in his office when a weather-beaten young Subaltern arrived, requiring fuel for his R.E. Company. He knew of the whereabouts of just the very thing. True, it was a standing door at the moment, but no doubt that condition was only temporary. It led from a room, which was half demolished, into a passage which had ceased to exist. But the Town Major did not concern himself with this. An order was an order, and a door was a door, and the order decreeing that doors should remain, the Subaltern had better get quick. He tried arguing, but you don't crack a walnut that way. He tried pleading, and the walnut creaked a little, yet remained whole. "Understand," said he, very authoritatively, "not only do I forbid you to enter that house for the purpose you propose, but I have stationed at the front entrance a picket to prevent you. If you so much as set foot on the front doorstep he will arrest you and bring you here. I shall know how to deal with you, Sir." The Subaltern, who had no doubt suffered much, turned away with a weary sigh; the Town Major ignored his salute, but, before his complete withdrawal, did happen to mention (so to speak) that he'd been told there was a back entrance to the house in question and he had some idea of putting another picket there to-morrow.

The Subaltern heard all right, and, from the further and additional salute he now gave, it appeared that he knew how to deal with that. The Town Major looked at me, faintly representing for the moment the machine, and, blushing dismally, bribed me into silence with a cigarette. Yet here I am telling you all about it! Never mind; the house and all its entrances and exits have long since disappeared, and as to the Subaltern himself—who knows?

On Saturday, June 3rd (that black Saturday which was not quite so black as it was painted) he received an urgent call, as if he was a doctor, to attend the oldest and least movable inhabitant in the acuteness of her distress. Town Majors are good for anything; though I suppose I oughtn't to mention it, I knew of one who assisted single-handed at a birth, mother and son both doing well notwithstanding interim bombardment. They are at anybody's disposal for any purpose; it is merely a question of first come first served. He went to the old lady's house; he found her in a paroxysm of tears over the news of [pg 405] the Naval disaster. For an hour he tried to comfort her, being limited to the methods of personal magnetism, in the absence of his interpreter and the scarcity of his French. She refused to take comfort; it was not sorrow for the gallant dead, but terror of the atrocious living which moved her. She was mortally afraid, she to whom salvoes of big guns were now matters of passing inconvenience. The English Navy had taken a knock; the War was therefore over and we had lost. There was no hope for any of us, and any moment the Bosch might be expected on her threshold, arriving presumably from the rear. The magnificence of the Army of France had been in vain; it was no use going on at Verdun. She was still weeping spasmodically when the better news arrived.

Now, Charles, if that is how a French peasant took the first news, how do you suppose the German peasants are digesting the second and better version?

Yours ever,


Shivering Tommy (to red-headed pal). 'Urry up, Ginger, and dip yer 'ead under. It'll warm the water!'

Shivering Tommy (to red-headed pal). "'Urry up, Ginger, and dip yer 'ead under. It'll warm the water!"

"Athens, Monday.—I learn in a well-informed quarter that the Allies are expected to communicate to the Greek Government almost immediately a further Note relative to the restrictions imposed on Greek sipping."

Provincial Paper.

At present, we understand, Greek sippers are strictly confined to Port.


Dear Betty, in the good old days,

Before this Armageddon stunt,

We floated down still water-ways

Ensconced within a cushioned punt;

With mingled terror and delight

I felt the toils around me closing,

Until one starry moonlit night,

Discreetly veiled from vulgar sight,

I found myself proposing.

You heard my ravings with a smile,

And then confessed you liked my cheek,

But thought my nose denoted guile

And feared my chin was rather weak;

My character with fiendish glee

You treated to a grim dissection,

Then as a final jeu d'esprit

You cynically offered me

A sisterly affection.

But now within my faithful heart

New hope has sprung to sudden life;

In fancy (somewhat à la carte)

I see you more or less my wife;

The way is found, the path is clear,

The resolution moved and carried—

If you have pluck enough, my dear,

To risk a rather new career ...

We might be slightly married.*

* In his book, What is Coming, Mr. H. G. Wells sees "a vision of the slightly-married woman."

In a Good Cause.

The Veterans' Club, for which the Lord Mayor is to hold a meeting at the Mansion House on Thursday, June 22nd, at 3.30, is the nucleus of a movement to offer the chance of rest and convalescence to those who have fought and suffered in defence of their country; to secure suitable employment for those whose service is finished, and friendly help in the hour of need. The Club at Hand Court, Holborn, has already welcomed seven thousand men of the Navy and Army to its membership. A great effort is needed to enlarge this scheme for providing a centre of reunion and succour for our fighting men from all parts of the United Kingdom and its Dominions—a scheme which, if generously supported, should serve as an Imperial Memorial of the nation's sacrifice.

Gifts and inquiries should be addressed to the Organising Secretary, Veterans' Club Association, 1, Adelphi Terrace House, Adelphi, W.C.

"Mr. Balfour ... revealed that a number of the guns on monitors came from America and stated that certain of Churchill's speeches are so faulty that they are unuseable."

Montreal Gazette.

Mr. Balfour may have thought this, but we don't remember his saying it.

[pg 406]


Dear Mr. Punch,—I cordially welcome your efforts to extend the horizon of Nursery Rhymes. At the same time it has always seemed to me rather unfair that one room in the house, though I readily acknowledge its importance, should practically monopolise the attention of our domestic poets. If Nursery Rhymes, why not Dining-room, Drawing-room and Kitchen Rhymes? I am convinced that they could be made just as instructive, didactic and helpful. Hence, to make a beginning, I venture to submit the following specimens of prudential and cautionary Dining-room Rhymes. Should they meet with approval I propose to deal with other apartments in the same spirit, excepting perhaps the Box-room, which does not seem to me to offer facilities for lyrical treatment.


If desirous of succeeding

In the noble art of feeding

With dignity and breeding of a Jove,

You will find all information

For your proper education

In the admirable works of Lady Grove.

Of Porridge.

Eat your porridge standing

If you are a Scot;

To be frank it's only rank

Swank if you are not.

Of the Use of the Knife.

Unless you wish to shorten your life

Don't eat your peas or your cheese with a knife,

Like greedy Jim, who cut his tongue

And died unseasonably young.

Of Disguised Dishes.

Be alert to scrutinize

Food in unfamiliar guise.

Death may lurk within the pot

If you eat the papillote.

Of the Virtues of Silence.

Jack and Tom were two pretty boys;

But Jack ate his soup with a horrible noise,

While Tom was a silent eater.

Now Jack is a poor insurance tout,

While Tom drives splendidly about

In a Limousine seven-seater.

Of a Forbidden Word.

No one mentioned in Debrett

Talks about a "serviette."

Of Timely and Untimely Mirth.

Be cheerful at lunch and at dinner,

Be cheerful at five-o'clock tea;

But only a social beginner

At breakfast indulges in glee.

Of Punctuality.

Late for breakfast shows your sense,

Late for luncheon no offence;

Late for well-cooked well-served dinner

Proves you fool as well as sinner.

With much respect,

I am, dear Mr. Punch,

Yours devotedly,

A. Dampier Squibb.


His name was, so to speak, the fine flower of Delia's imagination, and of mine. Mrs. Mutimer-Sympson gave him to Delia as a war-time birthday-present, and he was at once acclaimed as "fascinating," which he may have been, and "lovely," which he certainly was not. His usual abiding-place was the kitchen, in comfortable proximity to the range, which he shared with one of his kind or of a lower order; but there were occasions when he honoured the dining-room with a visit.

"Though he mustn't come in when we've callers," said Delia: this was in the early days, when his title and status were as yet nebulous.

"But why not?" I protested. "William's all right, so long as he's reasonably clean."

Delia raised her eyebrows à la française.


"William," I repeated firmly. "What else would you call him?"

"I should have thought," said Delia coldly, "that it would have been plain, even to the meanest intelligence, that he was Archibald."

"On the contrary," I retorted, "no sentient being can gaze upon him without recognizing him as William."

At this moment the treasure in question, who had been making contented little purring noises near the fire, was apparently startled by a falling coal, for he raised his voice in a high note of appeal.

"Did a nasty man call him out of his name, then!" said Delia, snatching him up.

"If you're not careful," I reminded her, "William, will ruin your new blouse."

"Of course," said Delia, with an air of trying to be reasonable with an utterly unreasonable person, "there'd be no objection to his having a second name."

"None whatever. 'William Archibald' goes quite well."

"'Archibald William' goes better. And it's going to be that, or just plain 'Archibald.'" Delia added defiantly that she wasn't going to argue, because she wanted her tea, and so did he.

For the next three days we refrained from argument accordingly, sometimes calling him one name, sometimes another. The thing ended, perhaps inevitably, in a compromise. He became "Archibill."

It was curious how the charms of Archibill grew upon us—how his personality developed under Delia's care. She insisted that he recognized her step, and that the piercingly shrill cry he gave was for her ear alone. Perhaps it was so—women have more subtle powers of perception than men. There was real pathos in their first parting, which came when an inconsiderate grand-aunt in Scotland, knowing nothing of Archibill's claims, made Delia promise to pay her a ten-days' visit.

"You mustn't mind Missis being away, old boy," Delia told him, "because she'll be coming back soon. And, although Master's going to stay with his sister, you won't be lonely. There's a nice kind charlady who'll look in every day to make sure that you haven't been stolen by horrid tramps, and that the silver spoons are safe." Yet, from what she has told me since, I know that her spirits were heavy with foreboding when she left by the 11.23 from Euston.

We returned, later than we expected, together. The nice kind charlady had done her work for the day, and left, but a fire burned cheerfully in the dining-room and the table was laid for tea.

"And where," demanded Delia, "is Archibill?"

Even as she spoke she sped into the kitchen. A moment later I heard a cry, and followed.

"Look!" said Delia.

He lay near the range, a wrecked and worn-out shadow of his former self, incapable of even a sigh. Tenderly she lifted him.

"It's just neglect," she said. "Why did I leave him! Something always happens when one leaves such treasures as Archibill."

"It mayn't be too late to do something," I said; "I'll run down with him to Gramshaw's after tea."

"After tea!" echoed Delia reproachfully. I went at once.

A fortnight has passed since then. Once more Archibill makes cheerful murmuring noises on the hearth. He looks, I fancy, older; otherwise there is little change to record.

Yesterday morning I received Gramshaw's bill: "To putting new Bottom to patent Whistling Kettle, and repairing Spout—£0 2s. 9d."

Delia says it's worth twenty two-and-ninepences to listen to Archibill calling her when he boils.

[pg 407]



Dear Mr. Punch,—In order to guard against the snares of a too facile optimism I have made a point ever since the War began of taking all my information solely from German sources, as I have a feeling somehow that they may be confidently relied upon not to err upon the side of underrating their own success. But, having started with this handicap, I consider that I am the more justified in looking upon the bright side of things whenever possible. I am writing to you to-day to point out a very important aspect of the many recent German victories which seems to have been overlooked. It is full of promise of an early termination of the War.

I wish to analyse the ingredients of the German Celebration Days, which have followed each other with such bewildering rapidity of late. As far as I can gather, the whole nation has turned out to celebrate the fall of Verdun (in the first week of March), which was the key to Paris; the advance in the Trentino, which was the key to Rome; and the destruction of the British Fleet, which was the key to London, along with the going out of the electric spark of the British nimbus and all that. Meanwhile certain cities and districts—the thing seems to move round from one to another—have celebrated in force the various times that the Mort Homme was captured (while it was still held by the French), the great diplomatic victory over America, the success of the last War Loan and countless other triumphs. The thing has been going on ever since the sinking of the Tiger eighteen months ago.

Now, Sir, there are five main ingredients in these celebrations—flags, the ringing of bells, the distribution of iron crosses, fireworks, and school holidays. The efficient organisation of civilian morale demands them all. Let us look into these.

First, let us take the widest view and look forward to the contest for supremacy that will follow the War. What is it that we have to fear? Why, German education. They have often told us so. Yet the very magnitude of their present successes is robbing their chief weapon of its edge. It is not too much to say that, should the summer campaign follow the lines expected of it, bringing victory on every front, education will come to a standstill owing to the rapid succession of school holidays. Already parents are complaining that their children think it hardly worth while to turn up at school until they have had a look at the paper to see if there is anything much going on, and patriotic truants are always able to point to the capture of a battery or the sinking of a ship as justification for taking the day off. Should the War be prolonged we have to face the fact that we may have to do with a Germany in which the rising generation can neither read nor write.

But in a far more immediate sense the great number of German victories is sapping the very sources of German power. I ask you, first of all, what are these flags made of? They are made of cotton; and more than that, they are rapidly wearing out. Much flapping in all weathers—victories have too often been allowed to occur in bad weather—has torn them to ribbons. The situation is serious: reserves are exhausted, and an attempt to introduce flag-cards has met with no support.

Then let us consider fireworks. Is it not clear that the supply cannot be maintained without a steady munitionment of high explosives, more especially in the case of rockets?

I need not labour the fact, which [pg 408] is sufficiently ominous, that iron crosses are made of iron, but I may point out that this expenditure cannot be made good by drawing upon the belfries, as the necessity for periodical bell-ringing has immobilized the bells.

These facts should be more widely known. They have given me much comfort. Even the deplorable loss of the Warspite—the vast, latest hyper-super-Dreadnought of the Fleet and the pillar and the key, as I learn from my authorities—cannot wholly depress me. For well I know the dilemma that confronts our enemies, and that neither by victory nor defeat can they escape their doom.

I am, dear Mr. Punch,

Yours as usual, Statistician.

Tommy. 'Rats, Mum? I should say there was—and whopers!!

Tommy. "Rats, Mum? I should say there was—and whoppers! Why, lor' bless yer, only the day afore I got knocked out I caught one of 'em trying on my great-coat!"

Saving their Bacon.

"The German Destroyers Retire to Pork."

Provincial Paper.

"St. Augustine's Sale of Work.—This important annual event takes place in the Rectory grounds on June 14th, and everything indicates a successful day, if Father Neptune only smiles on the efforts now being put forward."—Penarth Times.

We hope Uncle Phœbus will not be jealous.


'Tis sad to read of these young lives

Poured out to please a tyrant's whim;

My manly soul within me strives

To burst its bonds and have at him.

But peace, my soul! we must be strong,

For conscience whispers, "War is wrong."

Poor lads! Poor lads! Their duty calls;

Their duty calls—no more they know;

No fear of death their faith appals;

All the clear summons hear, and go.

'Tis right, of course, they should; but I—

I serve a duty still more high.

And yet not all. Some few, I fear,

In this their country's hour of need

Keep undemonstratively clear,

Or, if they're called, exemption plead.

For these—no conscience-clause have they—

Conscription is the thing, I say.

But worse than these, who simply shirk,

Are those employed to fashion arms,

Who tempt their fellows not to work,

And give us all such grave alarms—

Traitors! If their deserts they got

They would be either hanged or shot.

The wind blows shrewdly here to-night,

My heart bleeds, as I think, perchance,

How numbed with cold our heroes fight;

How chill those trenches, there in France.

The thought unmans me. Ere I weep,

I'll drink my gruel—and to sleep.

An officer in Egypt writes:—

"Cairo is a gay city, at least so they say. The chief hotels put up boards showing the amusements to be enjoyed. A sample of an eventful week follows:—

'Coming Events.

Friday. Museum will not open.

——, Manager, —— Hotel.'"

"A very interesting cricket-match took place at Ghain Tuffieha on Wednesday last, 24th inst., when eleven Nursing Sisters played eleven officers. The game throughout was very keen and the Sisters have nothing to learn from the Officers in the way of wicket-keeping, batting and yielding."

Daily Malta Chronicle.

In the last-mentioned art British soldiers notoriously do not excel.

[pg 409]


[pg 410]
Job's Comforter. 'If they keep on stopping your leave like this you'll never see your new kid till the War's over.

Job's Comforter. "If they keep on stopping your leave like this you'll never see your new kid till the War's over."

Job. "Oh, yes, I expect I shall. He'll be coming out here in 1934."


Among the many Government changes that are imminent it is to be hoped that the Prime Minister will appoint someone to an office of the highest importance for the well-being of the Cabinet in the public eye. Far too long has the man-in-the-street been encouraged in an attitude of scorn for the efforts of the Twenty-three. It is not suggested that the new official shall be added to that mystic number and bring it up to twice-times-twelve, or four-times-six, or even three-times-eight. There is no need for him to have Cabinet rank, but he must be permitted some inside knowledge or his labours will not be fully fruitful. Only by such labours can the Twenty-three really expect a fair reputation. As it is, everyone is more or less suspicious of them, led by the papers in their self-imposed sacred task of leaders or leader-writers of the Opposition; while the music-halls are of course frankly against any but a purely Tory Government, as they have always been, and so whole-heartedly and superior to detail that even to this day at one of the leading variety houses of London a topical song is being sung and loudly applauded in which Mr. Asquith is still taunted with his inability to come to a decision about conscription. The fact that the conscription problem was long since settled is immaterial to these loud-lunged patriots. Any stick is good for such a dog. True there has of late been rather less venom in certain of the anti-Premier papers, which now substitute for their ancient scoldings a bland omniscience and kindliness in their reminders of the obvious, but none the less contrive still to insert the knife and even to give it a furtive twist.

The fact then remains that what the Government need is a friend, a trumpeter, a fugle-man, a pointer-out of merits, a signaller of This-way-to-the-virtues, in short, a Callisthenes. They should take a lesson from the self-sacrificing zeal of that other Callisthenes who serves a certain London emporium so faithfully, awaking every morning to a new and rapturous vision of its excellence, which nothing can stop the discoverer at once putting into words for the evening papers. Such trouvailles must not be kept for private use; all the world must know. How it is that editors are so complacent in printing these rhapsodies, which, truth to tell, are sometimes very like each other, no one knows; but there it is. They see the light, and everyone rejoices to think that in a country which has been a good deal blown upon there is, at any rate, one perfect thing.

Why should there be two?

There could be if the Government would appoint a Callisthenes of their own and set the eager pen similarly to work. Then every day we should be assured of the extraordinary vigour and vitality of our rulers. Doubt would vanish and the nation would blossom as the rose. For if all editors are so ready to print the present-day eulogies of the emporium, how much readier should they be to print to-morrow's eulogies of the Empire!

One can see the new Callisthenes inspiring confidence and heartening the public with some such words as these; for of course the new one should, if possible, be modelled on the old—it might even be (daring thought!) the same:—

The Personal Touch.

About all kinds of paid service there must be a certain monotony; such service implies something that one does for other people over and over again. But though action may [pg 411] become, in time, almost automatic, thought need never lose its volition. And it is one's thought or attitude of mind that counts.

The service at the Firm of Asquith & Co., is, I think, so good because Ministers are encouraged tremendously to give their work the personal touch. They are not afraid to give their individuality full rein, to let it inform their particular jobs, so that each one is enlivened thereby.

If you knew the Cabinet as well as I do, you would appreciate the fact that it is remarkable for the number of distinct personalities among its members—men of marked character and distinction, who are known not only throughout the House, but to a great many members of the London Public as well.

They stand out among their fellow-workers because their service is distinguished. It is not necessarily that their abilities are so especially superior, excellent though they may be. It is that all they do is infused with character. Their voices have timbre; they don't drawl. Their manners are good. They carry out the smallest transaction as though it held infinite interest for themselves as well as you. They never for a moment allow their intelligence to sag. They give to their least varying work that personal touch which is so transforming.

The Firm of Asquith thoroughly appreciates their worth, and openly rejoices in the prestige these star workers attach to themselves. It would have every member of the Staff do likewise—act not merely as a minister, but as a very definite and valued personality.

For that is service as it should be in a modern Government, as spontaneous to-day as it was servile yesterday—intelligent, forceful and gay.

Example is the greatest factor in its fine development. The Cabinet Minister, however young, who can answer every query with a pretty deference, put off an Irish Member with good effect, who in checking your ill-advised inquisitiveness seems to welcome you—such a one receives as much and more, every time, as he gives. He gets smiles, thanks, even deference in return, and very often friendship. His companions notice that. They see how his buoyancy never flags, because it is all the while met with response, stimulated, liked. And the habit of success is very catching. Voilà tout!

Asquith & Co., Ltd.

Had the Cabinet such a watchful and industrious exponent and commender as Callisthenes, never wearying, except possibly on Sunday, its success would be certain.

With amateur theatricals at the Front and war-work at home,...

With amateur theatricals at the Front and war-work at home, the exchanged souvenirs are in startling contrast to those of 1840.

"Accordions.—Sale or exchange, Busson's beautiful flutina, 23 white piano keys, 15 black, portable, light to carry, nice for open air; large ass wanted."—Exchange and Mart.

We are not sure that the last phrase is quite the right one for attracting a purchaser.

Our Economical Army.

"In one hospital there is a complete tin-smith's shop running full blast. There empty biscuit-tins are remade into tin plates, pans and drinking-cups. Even the soldier is melted down and used a second time."

Darling Downs Gazette (Queensland).

"Farriers.—Wanted, a good doorman; quiet job, 7 or 8 days a week."

Daily Chronicle.

And all the rest of the time to himself.

[pg 412]
Visitor. 'We're having a Mothers' Sale of Work on Saturday.'

Visitor. "We're having a Mothers' Sale of Work on Saturday. Will you come and bring your husband?"

Wife of Wounded Soldier. "Thanks so much. We'd love to, but the doctor was most emphatic in warning my husband to avoid any form of excitement."


I'm beginning to think that Petherton has taken a dislike to me, and it is not at all pleasant in a more or less country retreat to be on bad terms with a neighbour.

It is especially trying, when one has made every endeavour to be friendly, to meet with a chilling response. I'm sure I have written him some very genial letters on matters which less good-tempered individuals than I might have taken more seriously.

The Annual Concert in the village, a great event in local circles, has been another cause of unnecessary friction between Petherton and myself.

As one of the older residents and knowing most of the people here, I am usually consulted as to the programme, sale of tickets and other details of the concert, and my house is often used for rehearsing the solos, part songs and choruses which are rendered by the local Carusos and Melbas.

Our passage of arms was over the tickets. We who are on the Committee are supplied with so many tickets each, which we endeavour to sell. I sent two to Petherton, half-crown ones. I forgot to enclose the printed notice that usually accompanies them, but evidently he recognised my handwriting on the envelope, and sent the tickets back. He wrote a letter with them:—

Sir,—I received the enclosed, presumably from you, because the almost illegible scrawl on the envelope was yours without a doubt. Why you should try to bribe me with five shillings-worth of tickets for the Annual Concert I cannot conceive. Perhaps you are going to sing at it and are anxious that I should come to hear you. I shall deny myself that pleasure. I hear quite enough of you in the afternoons (this, no doubt, referred to the rehearsals). Should I change my mind, which is unlikely, I am quite able to purchase tickets.

I replied:—

Dear Mr. Petherton,—I am beginning my letter, as you see, in the formal way, but from your opening move I foresee that a more affectionate tone will supervene before we are through with the matter in hand. This will be in accordance with the immemorial custom that has prevailed in the delightful intercourse between us on various subjects. Now, as to the Concert. My suggestion, mutely expressed through a little forgetfulness on my part, missed fire. If this isn't expressed clearly I mean I hoped you would understand that I sent the tickets because I hoped that you would buy them. Or, to put the matter very plainly, I sent you two tickets. Have you 5s. that's doing nothing? If so, send it me for goodness' sake, and keep the tickets, which I'm sending back in this. If the 5s. is busy with the War Loan, don't disturb it of course, but send me the tickets back, or sell them to somebody else. I think that's all clear, so now we'll get on to the next point. I don't sing—outside a church. I fancy it's Wright, the blacksmith, a fine upstanding bass with full-throated movement, that you can hear. He leaves his spreading chestnut-tree on Wednesdays and Fridays for rehearsals in my drawing-room, and it's difficult to keep his voice from straying over into your premises, even with the windows shut. I'm sorry if he annoys you, but, anyway, as the Concert takes place next Wednesday, he won't worry you much longer. I hope you will come in your group. I can send you more tickets if you need them.

Yours faithfully,

H. J. Fordyce.

I hope your hens are fruit-bearing. Eggs are a terrible price just now, aren't they?

The tickets came back next day with a curt note:—

[pg 413]

Mr. Petherton begs to return the concert tickets and requests that Mr. Fordyce will not send them back again, as otherwise Mr. Petherton will not hold himself responsible in the event of their being lost or destroyed.

So I wrote again:—

Dear Petherton,—How perfectly splendid! Everything has worked out beautifully up till now. Your first note was pitched in just the proper key, and now comes your second, a perfect gem in its way. Your style reminds me more than ever of Chesterfield, to whom a chair was a chair and nothing more, but a couch was an inspiration. I enclose two yellow tickets this time. Perhaps you didn't like the others. Some people don't care for pink tickets. These jolly little yellow chaps are only 1s. each, a consideration in these hard times.

Yours very sincerely,

Harry Fordyce.

P.S.—We have a job line of green tickets at 6d. each to clear. Perhaps you would care to look at some. We are selling quite a lot of them this year.

Petherton's reply to this was an envelope containing the fragments of two yellow tickets and a sheet of notepaper inscribed "With Mr. Frederick Petherton's compliments."

As the tickets would have to be accounted for, of course there was nothing for it but to send him a bill, so I sent him one:—

F. Petherton, Esq.,

In a/c with the Purbury Concert Committee.

To 2 tickets in yellow cardboard, 3 in. by 2-1/2 in., printed in black, with embellishments, the whole giving right of entry to the Purbury Annual Concert to be held on June 28, 1916 ... 2s.

Your kind attention will oblige.

To this Petherton made no reply, so after a few days I bought the tickets for (and from) myself, and wrote to Petherton:—

Dear Freddy,—You will be glad to hear that I have found someone to take your yellow tickets off my hands at the full market price. Sorry to find that the War has hit you so badly. Certainly two bob is two bob, as you apparently wish me to infer. However it is a blessing to know that the Tommies will get the extra cigarettes, isn't it? It's a pity you won't be at the concert. Your cheery presence will be greatly missed, especially by

Your old pal,


The reply I received:—

Who the devil said I shouldn't be at the concert? I bought a dozen pink tickets from the Vicar as soon as I heard you were not going to perform.

Frederick Petherton.

It seems evident that Petherton has taken a dislike to me for some reason or other.

Doctor (to wounded soldier who is on 'low diet'). 'Is there anything you want, my lad?'

Doctor (to wounded soldier who is on "low diet"). "Is there anything you want, my lad?"

Irishman. "Och, doctor, if ye'd be givin' me a nice fat goose for me dinner, now?"

Doctor. "Ah, and I suppose you'd like it stuffed with something special, eh?"

Irishman. "Indeed and I would. I'd like it stuffed with another wan!"

"Latet Anguis in Herba."

"Rock Plants in pots; 12 different, 2s. 6d. Cobra, rapid growing Climber, 4d. and 6d. each.—Horticultural School, Swaythling."

Provincial Paper.

Our gardening friends tell us that Cobæa scandeus is much safer as a horticultural pet.

From a description of a mine explosion under the German trenches:—

"Tons of earth were flung hundreds of feet high, carrying away trenches, dugouts and handbags."

Baltimore Paper.

The American correspondent who sends us the cutting says, "I am glad to see that the Hun is losing his grip."

[pg 414]


By Charing Cross in London Town

There runs a road of high renown,

Where antique books are ranged on shelves

As dark and dusty as themselves.

And many booklovers have spent

Their substance there with great content,

And vexed their wives and filled their homes

With faded prints and massive tomes.

And ere I sailed to fight in France

There did I often woo Romance,

Searching for jewels in the dross,

Along the road to Charing Cross.

But booksellers and men of taste

Have fled the towns the Hun laid waste,

And within Ypres Cathedral square

I sought but found no bookshops there.

What little hope have books to dwell

'Twixt Flemish mud and German shell?

Yet have I still upon my back,

Hid safely in my haversack,

A tattered Horace, printed fine

(Anchor and Fish, the printer's sign),

Of sage advice, of classic wit;

Much wisdom have I gained from it.

And should I suffer sad mischance

When Summer brings the Great Advance,

I pray no cultured Bosch may bag

My Aldus print to swell his swag.

Yet would I rather ask of Fate

So to consider my estate,

That I may live to loiter down

By Charing Cross in London Town.

The Reward of "Frightfulness."

"Amsterdam, Sunday.—Admiral von Tirpitz has been offered the degree of doctor hororis."

Provincial Paper.

Taking it Badly.


Scotch Paper.

"What is Port?" asks an evening paper. According to Admiral von Scheer it is "A very present help in time of trouble."

The Chameleon.

From a feuilleton:—

"The black sheep had flushed crimson, but the hot colour soon died down leaving him very pale."

The Daily Mirror.

"Experienced nurses wanted immediately; temporary £1 to 15s. weekly. Also excellent situations for ladies' first babies, £40 to £28."

Daily Paper.

The demand for juvenile labour is surely being overdone.


(At "The Plough and Horses.")

"Upper classes be stirrin' o' theirselves to rights now, seemin'ly."

"'Ow be you meanin', George?"

"Squire be by my place 'tother day when I be 'avin' a bit o' quiet pipe by my gate, same as you might be, Luther Cherriman, an' 'e stops—which 'e ain't been in the 'abit o' doin'—an' 'e says, ''Ullo, George,' 'e says, 'bain't you the man as allus used to keep a pig ereabouts?' An' I answers 'im as I cert'nly did use to keep a pig pretty constant when food-stuffs was cheaper than what they be now."

"What's 'e say to that, George?"

"'E says, 'My good man, if you was a bit more thrifty like, an' wasn't above collectin' 'ouse'old scraps,' 'e says, 'an', moreover, if you wasn't so blamed penny wise an' poun' foolish,' 'e says, 'you'd be keepin' y'r pigs—breedin' of 'em—now, when you could get biggest price for 'em. You'd be doin' o' y'rself a good turn an' settin' a 'xample to y'r neighbours,' 'e says, 'as they badly needs. Well, any'ow, think it over,' 'e says—an' away 'e goes."

"You been thinkin' it over, George?"

"In a manner o' speakin' I be thinkin' it over now, this very minute. In a manner o' speakin' I were thinkin' it over when I goes up to the Court over a bit o' business yesterday. 'Owever, I were really doin' no more 'n airin' my mind, as you might say, to the Cook—a decent 'nough young woman. I 'adn't no idea o' nothin' more."

"What you say to 'er, then?"

"I were lookin' at a bit of a lawn they 'as up there to the left o' their back-door. Middlin' poor bit o' lawn it be, not like them in front, an' I says of it what I've often said afore. 'Too much lawn to this 'ere 'ouse,' I says, 'to please me. Ruin o' England,' I says, 'lawns do be. Orter be dug up,' I says. 'Sow a matter o' fower bushels o' taters,' I says, 'on that poor little bit 'lone. Don't like t' see all this waste o' groun',' I says, 'an' us at war.'"

"What did Cook say to that? Some'at saucy, I be bound."

"'You be very practical, George,' she says, 'but food ain't everything, even in times o' war. You did ought to have seen wounded soldiers,' she says, 'settin' 'bout on all these 'ere lawns last summer time, like a lot o' bluebottles, 'joyin' o' theirselves to rights,' she says. 'An' 'ow could they a-done it, poor chaps,' she says, 'if we'd 'ad nothin' but an ol' tater patch to offer 'em?'"

"You'd got y'r answer to that, I dessay."

"I 'ad. 'They soldier chaps could very well 'ave sat on the paths,' I says—for the paths be wasteful wide to my thinkin'. 'A bit of a bench or a chair or so, an' they'd 'ave been right as rain, with some'at to look at as was sensible, too. A close-cut lawn ain't no manner o' interest to a thinkin' man, not like a medder or a few rows o' good early taters be.'"

"What did Cook say to that 'ere?"

"She laughs, an' she says, 'You be done courtin' then, George, I can see. You ain't got no thought of a second wife, seemin'ly.' ''Ow d' you know that?' I asks; an' she laughs again an' says she knows, 'cos if 'twasn't so I'd like the thought of a bit o' lawn to sit out on warm evenings an' such. An' then she says, 'You think too much o' y'r stomach, George'—which fair rattled me."

"What you say?"

"I says again, 'They lawns be the ruin o' England, I tell ye'—an' then I see 'er start an' go red 's a poppy, an' then she sort o' plunges in at 'er door. An' then I looks round for first time an' I sees Squire standin' there, 'earin' all as 'ad been said, an' for the moment I'd 'ave been glad 'nough for a back-door too—so I would."

"Lord-a-mercy, George, you're a rare-un for puttin' y'r foot in it wi' gentry! What to gracious did 'e make o' it?"

"'E sort o' smiled—but crooked like. An' then 'e says, 'No but what you're right, George'—which were 'bout 'undred miles from what I 'spected 'im to say. 'Look 'ere,' 'e goes on, 'I'll make a bargain wi' ye. You send me up 'alf-a-bushel o' seed potatoes,' 'e says, 'to start on, an' I'll send you a young sow out o' the last litter. What d' you say?'"

"What did ye say?"

"I says, 'Thank ye kindly, Sir. An' if I've done my bit to save England from ruin I be fine an' glad.' And so I be."

More Tampering with the Calendar.

"Among the objections to flag days is that they have detracted from the novelty of Alexandra Rose Day, which this year is being held on June 31."—Daily Paper.

This attempt to shove Alexandra Day right off the calendar, has, we are glad to say, been unsuccessful; and to-day, June 21st, sees roses, roses all the way as usual.

From a concert programme:—

"Ballet. (for which Miss Gladys Groom

has won the Challenge Cub in

connection with Lady Rachel

Byng's Olympic Game Tests)

Song. 'Show us how to do the Fox Trot'

(Miss Ruby Groom and chorus)."

It seems to us that Miss Gladys's reward would have been more appropriate to Miss Ruby.

[pg 415]


Boy. "Mother, we oughtn't to be in this carriage, ought we? It's first-class."

Mother. "Oh, darling, you mean we ought to be economising in war-time?"

Boy. "But, Mother, we are economising, aren't we? We've only got third-class tickets."


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

There is no doubt that one of the greatest pieces of luck that has come the way of the Empire is Louis Botha. Mr. Harold Spender's legitimately uncritical biography, General Botha: The Career and the Man (Constable), fills in the details of the romance; and astonishing details they are. Botha, the anti-Krugerite, one of the seven in the Volksraad who voted against the fateful ultimatum in October, 1899, threw himself, when war was unavoidable, with all his energy into the task of his country's defence. Rapidly proving himself, he succeeded his sick chief, Joubert, with at first, and luckily for us, a mitigated authority. Here was no mere slim guerilla playing little disconcerting tricks on a clumsy enemy, but a general to respect, as Buller found at Colenso and Benson at Bakenlaagte. And his staff college was just his own occiput. When the inevitable end came, long delayed by his and his brother-generals' skill and courage, he laboured for a lasting peace, and took a line of steady fealty to the ideal of British citizenship, which he has unfalteringly pursued to this day. It is good, by the way, to recall the admirable and patient diplomacy, at and after Vereeniging, of Lord Kitchener, who was the chief pleader for generous concessions to the gallant beaten enemy—an attitude Botha never forgot. Botha is indeed the pilot of modern South Africa—the first Premier of the Transvaal after the gift of responsible government, the first Premier of the Union after the federation of the four states. To him has fallen the honour (and the task) of crushing the rebellion, wherein he had the supreme wisdom to throw the burden upon the loyal Dutch in order not to risk reopening racial bitterness by using British elements against the rebels. He has entered Windhuk a conqueror. May his old luck follow him in the still difficult days of the youngest of the Dominions! I've forgotten Mr. Spender's book. But of course this is all out of it. And there's plenty more good stuff in it.

I have for some time now had my prophetic eye upon Mr. J. C. Snaith as a writer from whom uncommon things were to be looked for. So it has pleased me to find this belief entirely justified by The Sailor (Smith, Elder), which is as good and absorbing a tale as anything I have encountered this great while. It is the life-history of one Henry Harper that Mr. Snaith sets out to tell; incidentally it is also the record of the development of a popular novelist out of a slum child, through such seemingly unpromising stages as tramp-sailor and professional footballer. There is a strength and (to use the most fitting term) a punch about the telling of it that carries the reader forward quite irresistibly. Moreover, like all histories of expanding fortune, it is cheery reading for that sake alone. Personally, I think I liked most the football section. I knew from Willow the King that Mr. Snaith knew all about cricket; for his football mastery I was unprepared. There is a fresh poignancy in Mr. Snaith's handling of professional sport in its most frankly gladiatorial aspect that gives one a new sympathy with the young giants who are now mostly engaged upon another and nobler contest. What I I liked least about the book were the Sailor's two matrimonial adventures. His entrapment by the detestable Cora is so painful that perhaps I was glad to think it also slightly incredible. Even the lady whose hand is his ultimate great reward failed to rouse me to any enthusiasm. But the Sailor himself is so human and likeable a figure that he perhaps absorbed my interest to the exclusion of the other characters, which I hope is as Mr. Snaith intended it.

[pg 416]

In Verdun to the Vosges (Arnold) Mr. Gerald Campbell has paid a generous tribute to the indomitable courage of our French Allies. His position as Special Correspondent of The Times gave him opportunities—strictly limited, of course, but unique—of recording in particular the earlier phases of the War on the fortress frontier of France; and he has produced a volume which shows no trace of civilian authorship, except in those qualities which confess the art of a trained writer. Never obtruding his own personality, he gives us here and there a glimpse of privileged experiences and happy relationships with the French authorities, civil and military, notably the Préfet of Meurthe et Moselle, whose letter to the author, published as an epilogue, is a document of astounding force and eloquence. If I have a complaint to make it is that in a serious history—the kind that you must follow very closely on the map—Mr. Campbell should have spent so much time on general reflections and homilies which might just as well have been compose in Fleet Street or the salient of Ypres. And it is perhaps a pity that, where his subject gave him no chance of dealing with his own country's share in the War, he should have exposed at considerable length certain defects in the English character which delayed the adoption of national service. It is true that universal compulsion had not been adopted at the time when Mr. Campbell was writing, and it is certain that no one who knows the good work he has done in helping the two nations to a better understanding of one another will question his motives; but I think that these reflections upon England, very English in their candour, have no proper place in a history of the achievements of France; and I hope that they may be cut out of the French translation which is shortly to appear. For the rest (and a good big rest) it is an enthralling book; and if I were a Frenchman I should read it with a very great pride. Even as it is, and notwithstanding what I have said, I am proud enough that an Englishman should have written it.

Painful predicament of Mnemo, the world-famed memoriser,...

Painful predicament of Mnemo, the world-famed memoriser, who, after a hard day at a matinee and two evening performances, forgets the name and number of his house.

The Scratch Pack (Hutchinson) is another of those jovial, out-door stories, for which Miss Dorothea Conyers has already endeared herself to a considerable public. As before, her scene is Ireland. It is somewhere on the south coast of that emotional island that a maiden called Gheena Freyne determines, in the war-absence of the local M.F.H., to do her bit by dealing faithfully with the foxes, who are rather above themselves through neglect. So she, and one Darby Dillon, who is crippled and unable to do anything but ride (and adore Gheena), get together a very scratch pack of the farmers' foot-dogs. What sport results, and how buoyantly it is told, those with experience of Miss Conyers' vigorous gifts can easily imagine. There is however another thread to the story. A second suitor pervades the scene, one Basil Stafford, who, though hale and vigorous, persists, even under white-feather provocation, in an attitude of taciturn reserve about the War. Also he takes mysterious walks at night on the cliffs, somewhere off which a German submarine is said to be hiding, Gheena accordingly suspects him of being (i) a shirker, (ii) a spy. Apparently, as far as young ladies on the South coast of Ireland are concerned, Messrs. Vedrenne and Eadie have simply lived in vain. The more sophisticated reader, while not sharing Gheena's astonishment at the climax, will none the less enjoy some pleasant thrills that lead up to it. In short The Scratch Pack can show you an excellent day's sport.

I suppose we owe our grotesquely insular ignorance of the Art of Russia (other than music) to the fact that hitherto no one has been so enterprising as Rosa Newmarch. In The Russian Arts (Jenkins), she sets out to give us a brief history of painting in Russia, from the ikon to the Futurist diagram, with a preamble on architecture and a postscript on sculpture. It is indeed a dismal thing to be brought to realise, even from quite inadequate illustrations in monochrome half-tone, that one does not know anything of such artists as Repin and Nesterof—to take but two widely differing types of a notable family. Art, such triumphant art, say, as the ballet with the gorgeous scenic accessories that we know, does not spring into being without ancestry, and this book gives us some notes on artistic pedigree—enough perhaps to save us from abject shame when, after this war, we sit at dinner next some knowledgeable Russian guest.... And this is likely often to happen. It is odd that Mrs. Newmarch seems to be interested in the literary rather than the graphic content of the pictures she describes—odd because she seems to know the painter's creed.

An Impending Apology.

Extract from a soldier's letter recently received by the wife of a distinguished retired officer:—

"Please tell Colonel W—— I was asking for him. Tell him this is a rough war, not the same as in his time. It is all brains now, and machinery."

Extract from The Seamanship Manual, vol. ii., chap, vii., "Disembarking Troops":—

"This method is satisfactory for horses, mules, or cattle, but does not answer with the camel. The latter, if not drowned on the way ashore, is very little use when landed."

This disparaging remark about the "ship of the desert" is attributable, we fear, to professional jealousy.

"The impression I carried away was that the Kiel Canal was a splendid bit of engineering, and that in case of war it would be invaluable, not only as a refuge for the German Fleet, but also as a quick means of getting the Kiel squadron quickly into the North Sea, or vice versâ."—Sunday Chronicle.

The British Fleet has proved even better than the Kiel Canal as a quick means of accomplishing the vice-versá operation.

"The last sale of home mad cooking will take place on Saturday."

Avonlea Advocate (Saskatchewan).

If only it were the last!

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol.
150, June 21st, 1916, by Various


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