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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 147

AUGUST 12, 1914







CHARIVARIA.


A gentleman with a foreign name who was arrested in the neighbourhood of
the Tyne shipyards last week with measuring gauges and a map in his
possession explained, on being charged, that he was looking for work. It
is possible that some hard labour may be found for him.

* * *

"Members of Parliament will not suffer," was the comfortable statement
of Mr. JOSIAH WEDGWOOD during a speech on the subject of the War. As a
matter of fact, owing to the French cooks employed at the House of
Commons having returned to their country, the _menu_ at the House will
have to consist, until the end of the session, of plain English fare.

* * *

The foresight of the British Public in refusing to subscribe the large
amount of money asked of them for the Olympic Sports in Berlin is now
apparent.

* * *

Although still under twenty-one years of age, and therefore not yet
liable for military service, GEORGES CARPENTIER has gallantly joined the
colours as a volunteer. It would be pleasant if he and the Russian
HACKENSCHMIDT could shortly meet in Berlin.

* * *

A dear old lady writes to say that she was shocked to read that Sir
ERNEST SHACKLETON'S ship, on leaving the Thames, was hooted at by
sirens, and that such conduct makes her ashamed of her sex.

* * *

Meanwhile, thoughtful persons are wondering whether there will be any
fighting at the South Pole. It will be remembered that the Austrians
were also fitting out a South Pole expedition, and friendly rivalry
between the two nations may soon become impossible.

* * *

The W.S.P.U. has written to the Press to contradict the statement that
the Union has issued instructions that acts of militancy are to be
suspended during the European crisis. The Union, we understand,
considers the statement calculated to cause serious injury to its
reputation.

* * *

Which reminds us that _The Liverpool Evening Echo_ was, we fancy, the
only paper in the country to announce a sensational victory for
feminism, and we congratulate our contemporary on its _coup_. We refer
to the following announcement: - "At a meeting of the Fellows of All
Souls' College, Oxford, Mrs. Francis William Pember was elected Warden
in place of the late Sir William Anson."

* * *

The Hon. Sec. of the Fresh Air Fund appeals to ladies to send him their
hair combings, every pound of which will provide a poor child with a day
in the country. We like this idea of turning Old Hair into Fresh Air.

* * *

The London General Omnibus Company is appointing one lady and a number
of men to act as interpreters and guides. Their costumes, we should say,
will attract a considerable amount of attention, for the lady, we are
told, will wear a braided frock coat and black skirt and straw-topped
peak hat, while the men will work in double shifts.

* * *

By the way it is rumoured that several of our railway companies intend
to follow the example of the L. G. O. C. and employ interpreters to
translate to passengers the names of the railway stations as announced
by porters and guards.

* * *

At the recent meeting of the British Medical Association at Aberdeen a
doctor advocated the eating of onions and garlic. This should certainly
produce an uninhabited area in one's immediate neighbourhood, and so
render one less liable to catch infectious diseases.

* * *

"I know not," says Mr. ARNOLD BENNETT, "why I find an acrid pleasure in
beholding mediocrity, the average, the everyday ordinary, as it is; but
I do." Can it be, ARNOLD, because we are all attracted by our opposites?

* * *

We are authorised to deny the allegation that Lord GLADSTONE, when he
was booed upon his arrival at Waterloo from South Africa, remarked
gaily, "Ah, I see I have not done with my friends the Booers yet!"

* * *

It is nice to know in these days of lost reputations that Oriental
hospitality, at any rate, shows no signs of decadence. A correspondent
has come across the following announcement in a tailor's shop in
Tokio: - "Respectable ladies and gentlemen may come here to have fits."

* * * * *

Illustration: "DO YER LOVE ME, 'ERB?"

"LOVE YER, 'LIZA, I SHOULD JEST THINK I DOES. WHY, IF YER EVER GIVES ME
UP I'LL MURDER YER! I CAN'T SAY MORE'N THAT, CAN I?"

* * * * *

COMMERCIAL CANDOUR.

"The lasting delightful perfume of the age. One who can prove that
the perfume of _Otto Mohini_ is not lasting for four days by putting
five drops on the handkerchief will be rewarded Rs. 100 cash. Try
only small tube and get the reward." - _Advt. in "The Hitavada."_

* * * * *

"Dr. Roux, head of the Pasteur Institute, has made a communication
to the Academy of Science showing microbes is not only possible, but
would be far better."

_Rangoon Gazette._

But we don't quite see what the Academy can do about it.

* * * * *

"MINIATURE & PORTRAIT PAINTING

MR. ALFRED PRAGA, R.B.A.,

President of the Society of Manicurists."

_Advt. in "The Studio."_

We know an artist whose work gives us the impression that he might be
President of the Society of Chiropodists.

* * * * *

"Lord Provost Stevenson is proving a serious rival to Principal
MacAlister as a linguist. Sir Daniel yesterday addressed public
gatherings in English, Italian, and Spanish."

_Glasgow News._

Now that he has mastered English, he must have a try at Scotch.

* * * * *

IMPERIAL CANDOUR.

"You are Germans. God help us."

Berlin Castle. _Signed "WILLIAM."_

* * * * *

PRO PATRIA.

England, in this great fight to which you go
Because, where Honour calls you, go you must,
Be glad, whatever comes, at least to know
You have your quarrel just.

Peace was your care; before the nations' bar
Her cause you pleaded and her ends you sought;
But not for her sake, being what you are,
Could you be bribed and bought.

Others may spurn the pledge of land to land,
May with the brute sword stain a gallant past;
But by the seal to which _you_ set your hand,
Thank God, you still stand fast!

Forth, then, to front that peril of the deep
With smiling lips and in your eyes the light,
Stedfast and confident, of those who keep
Their storied scutcheon bright.

And we, whose burden is to watch and wait -
High-hearted ever, strong in faith and prayer,
We ask what offering we may consecrate,
What humble service share?

To steel our souls against the lust of ease;
To find our welfare in the general good;
To hold together, merging all degrees
In one wide brotherhood; -

To teach that he who saves himself is lost;
To bear in silence though our hearts may bleed;
To spend ourselves, and never count the cost,
For others' greater need; -

To go our quiet ways, subdued and sane;
To hush all vulgar clamour of the street;
With level calm to face alike the strain
Of triumph or defeat; -

This be our part, for so we serve you best,
So best confirm their prowess and their pride,
Your warrior sons, to whom in this high test
Our fortunes we confide.

O. S.

* * * * *

A DETERMINED ISLAND.

Anything more peaceful than the outward aspect of the Isle of Wight, as
I have seen it from Totland Bay during the past week, it would be
impossible to conceive. For the most part the sun has been shining from
a blue sky on a blue and brilliant sea; men, women and children have
been swimming and splashing joyfully in a most mixed manner, and the
whole landscape has had its usual holiday air. These, however, are
deceptive appearances. We have felt and are feeling the imminence of
war, and, though our judgments are firm and patriotic and prepared for
sacrifice, our minds are clouded with a heavy anxiety. Our newspapers
arrive at about 11 o'clock, and at that hour there is a concentrated
rush to the book-shop. There we make our way through stacked volumes of
cheap reprints to the counter where two ladies are struggling womanfully
against the serried phalanx of purchasers. These two dive head-first from
time to time into a great pile of the morning's news and emerge
triumphantly with _The Times_ for Prospect House or _The Telegraph_ for
Orville Lodge, and so on through the crowd of applicants until all are
satisfied. This is the great event of our day. At the grocery stores on
the opposite side of the road, news telegrams are shown on a board, and
with these we eke out the knowledge of our fluctuating fate. Close by,
too, is posted up a proclamation by the officer commanding the troops in
the Island. He bids us not to walk too near a fort or to convey to any
casual person such knowledge as we may have gained about the movements
of troops, and we are commanded "to at once report" anything suspicious.
I am sure the gallant officer will display as much vigour in the
battering of his country's foes as he has shown in the splitting of the
KING'S infinitives. Going for my newspaper this morning I saw at a
distance an elderly gentleman of a serious aspect revolving steadily
round and round a tall iron post. It was not until I came closer that I
realised the meaning of his strange gyrations. The proclamation had been
inconsiderately pasted round the post and he was endeavouring to read
it.

On Thursday last, nearly a week before the actual proclamation of war,
the wildest rumours were afloat here. A motherly lady assured me with a
smile that the German fleet might be expected at any moment. "The
British fleet," she told me, "has been overwhelmed and sunk in the North
Sea. The Germans have determined to capture the Isle of Wight, so we are
none of us safe." I asked her where she had heard this dreadful news.
"Oh, it's all over the village." Thereupon she moved calmly into a
bathing cabin and had a patriotic dip. In another quarter I was told
that the Island could not fail to be cut off, and awful things were
prophesied as to what would happen to us unless we made our way to the
mainland with the utmost promptitude. The supply of eggs was to run
short; meat was to go up to famine prices or be reserved entirely for
the soldiery, our intrepid defenders; bread was to become a luxury
obtainable only by millionaires. All this was reported on the authority
of a man who had it from another man who had it from a banker who was in
close touch with the War Office in London. So far what is true is that
steamers no longer come to Totland Bay, and anyone who wants to visit us
here can get no nearer by boat than Yarmouth - not, of course, the home
of the bloater, but our own little island Yarmouth, round the corner. In
the meantime a good deal of patriotic self-denial is going on amongst
the juvenile population. A friend of mine, aged seven, hearing the talk
about all the coming privations, has decided to remove chocolates, buns
and sponge-cakes from his dietary, and several young ladies have agreed
to take milk instead of cream with their breakfast porridge.

This morning we were brought face to face with the grimmest reality of
war we have so far experienced. A boy-scout called at the house and
produced an official paper asking for the names and addresses of any
aliens who might be residing in the house. We have one such alien, a
German maid for the children, a most unwarlike and inoffensive alien.
Her name was entered on the form and the boy-scout disappeared to call
at other houses. Since then, at intervals of about half-an-hour, other
boy-scouts have called and produced similar forms. I have just dismissed
a party of three, telling them that they seemed to be overlapping. They
smiled and said, "Thank you," and retired. I look out of the window and
behold two more approaching. They are doing the thing thoroughly.

P.S. - Another notice is out warning us that it is known there are a lot
of spies in the Island, and that we must not loiter near a fort lest we
be shot. It is rumoured that soldiers are to be billeted on us
(enthusiastic cheers from the younger members of the family).

R. C. L.

* * * * *

"Turnip, beef, carrots, and onions, if of suitable variety, would in
a favourable autumn yield fair-sized bulbs." - _Manchester Evening
News._

_New Song._ "When father carved the bulb."

* * * * *

Illustration: BRAVO, BELGIUM!

* * * * *

VOLUMES.

All books should be in one volume. I always thought so, but now I know.
The reason why I know is because I possess two or three thousand books,
and I have recently moved into a new house, and the books were at first
put on the shelves indiscriminately as they came out of the packing
cases. And how better spend a wet bank holiday than in arranging them
properly - bringing parted couples together, adjusting involuntary
divorces, reuniting the separated members of families and tribes?

This is the merciful work on which Parolles and I have been engaged for
too long. (I call her Parolles because she is so fond of words of which
neither the meaning nor pronunciation has quite been mastered.) We meet
each other all over the house with pathetic inquiries, "Have you seen
Volume IV. of _Dumas' Memoirs_?" "No, but have you noticed Volume I. of
_Fors Clavigera_?" It is like a game of "Families."

The worst of the game is that one cannot concentrate. I may ascend the
stairs bent wholly upon securing Volume III. of PROTHERO AND COLERIDGE'S
_Byron_, and then chancing to observe Volume II. of INGPEN'S _Boswell_ I
leap at it in ecstasy and, forgetting all about the noble misanthrope,
hasten back with this prize and join it to its lonely mate.

My _Dictionary of National Biography_, for all its fifty-eight volumes,
not counting Supplements or Errata, was simple, on account of its size
and unusual appearance. But what word can I find to express the
annoyance and trouble given us by a small Pope in sheepskin? We roamed
the house together - there are shelves in every room - striving to collect
this family; but three of them are still on the loose. There is a
Balzac, too, in a number of volumes not mentioned on any title-page and
not numbered individually, so that time alone can tell whether that
group is ever fully assembled. But as we placed them side by side we
could almost hear them sigh after their long separation - though whether
with satisfaction or annoyance who shall say? Volumes, may be, can get
as tired of their companions as human beings can.

During such an occupation as this a vast deal of time vanishes also in
trying to remember where it was that I saw that copy of _Friendship's
Garland_, so as to place it with the other Arnolds. Even more time goes
in dipping into books which I had clean forgotten I possessed, such as
_The Cricketers' Manual_, by "Bat," in which my eyes alighted upon this
excellent story:

"The Duchess de Berri, being present at a match between two clubs of
Englishmen at Dieppe [in 1824], looked on very attentively for nearly
three hours, then, turning to one of her attendants, said, '_Mais, quand
est-ce que le jeu va commencer?_'" But the time which I have frittered
away in this frivolity is as nothing compared with that wasted by
Parolles, who has a way of subsiding upon the ground wherever she may
happen to be and instantly becoming absorbed in the printed page. It is
not as if she exercised any selective power, as I do. All books are the
same to her in that they contain type on which the eye can fasten to the
detriment of her labour. In every room I have stumbled over her long
black legs as she thus abused her trust.

And not only has she read more than I have, but she has become steadily
dirtier than I, too; partly because of a native _flair_ for whatever
makes smears and smudges, and partly because, her hair being long and
falling on the page, owing to her crouched attitude when perusing, it
has to be swept back, and each sweep leaves its mark. Considering how
they set themselves up to be superior and instruct, books are curiously
grubby things.

And, as I said before, they should be in one volume.

* * * * *

Illustration: _First Politician._ "SAY, BILL, WOT'S THIS BLOOMIN'
MORTUARIUM THEY BE TARKIN' SO MUCH ABOUT?"

_Second Politician._ "WELL, YE SEE, IT'S LIKE THIS. YOU DON'T PAY
NOTHIN' TO NOBODY AND THE GOVERNMENT PAYS IT FOR YE."

_First Politician._ "WELL, THAT SOUNDS A BIT OF ALL RIGHT, DOAN'T IT?"

* * * * *

THE PROBLEM OF LIFE.

The noise of the retreating sea came pleasantly to us from a distance.
Celia was lying on her - I never know how to put this nicely - well, she
was lying face downwards on a rock and gazing into a little pool which
the tide had forgotten about and left behind. I sat beside her and
annoyed a limpet. Three minutes ago I had taken it suddenly by surprise
and with an Herculean effort moved it an eighteenth of a millimetre
westwards. My silence since then was lulling it into a false security,
and in another two minutes I hoped to get a move on it again.

"Do you know," said Celia with a puzzled look on her face, "sometimes I
think I'm quite an ordinary person after all."

"You aren't a little bit," I said lazily; "you're just like nobody else
in the world."

"Well, of course, you had to say that."

"No, I hadn't. Lots of husbands would merely have yawned." I felt one
coming and stopped it just in time. Waiting for limpets to go to sleep
is drowsy work. "But why are you so morbid about yourself suddenly?"

"I don't know," she said. "Only every now and then I find myself
thinking the most _obvious_ thoughts."

"We all do," I answered, as I stroked my limpet gently. The noise of our
conversation had roused it, but a gentle stroking motion (I am told by
those to whom it has confided) will frequently cause its muscles to
relax. "The great thing is not to speak them. Still, you'd better tell
me now. What is it?"

"Well," she said, her cheeks perhaps a little pinker than usual, "I was
just thinking that life was very wonderful. But it's a _silly_ thing to
say."

"It's holiday time," I reminded her. "The necessity of sprinkling our
remarks with thoughtful words like 'economic' and 'sporadic' is over for
a bit. Let us be silly." I scratched in the rock the goal to which I was
urging my limpet and took out my watch. "Three thirty-five. I shall get
him there by four."

Celia was gazing at two baby fishes who played in and out a bunch of
sea-weed. Above the sea-weed an anemone sat fatly.

"I suppose they're all just as much alive as we are," she said
thoughtfully. "They marry" - I looked at my limpet with a new
interest - "and bring up families and go about their business, and it all
means just as much to them as it does to us."

"My limpet's business affairs mean nothing to me," I said firmly. "I am
only wrapped up in him as a sprinter."

"Aren't you going to try to move him again?"

"He's not quite ready yet. He still has his suspicions."

Celia dropped into silence. Her next question showed that she had left
the pool for a moment.

"Are there any people in Mars?" she asked.

"People down here say that there aren't. A man told me the other day
that he knew this for a fact. On the other hand, people in Mars know for
a fact that there isn't anybody on the Earth. Probably they are both
wrong."

"I should like to know a lot about things," sighed Celia. "Do you know
anything about limpets?"

"Only that they stick like billy-o."

"I suppose more about them _is_ known than that?"

"I suppose so. By people who have made a speciality of them. For one who
has preferred to amass general knowledge rather than to specialize it is
considered enough to know that they stick like billy-o."

"You haven't specialized in anything, have you?"

"Only in wives."

Celia smiled and went on, "How do you make a speciality of limpets?"

"Well, I suppose you - er - study them. You sit down and - and watch them.
Probably after dark they get up and do something. And of course, in any
case, you can always dissect one and see what he's had for breakfast.
One way and another you get to know things about them."

"They must have a lot of time for thinking," said Celia, regarding my
limpet with her head on one side. "Tell me, how do they know that there
are no men in Mars?"

I sat up with a sigh.

"Celia, you do dodge about so. I have barely brought together and
classified my array of facts about things in this world, when you've
dashed up to another one. What is the connection between Mars and
limpets? If there are any limpets in Mars they are fresh-water ones. In
the canals."

"Oh, I just wondered," she said. "I mean" - she wrinkled her forehead in
the effort to find words for her thoughts - "I'm wondering what
everything means, and why we're all here, and what limpets are for, and,
supposing there are people in Mars, if we're the real people whom the
world was made for, or if _they_ are." She stopped and added, "One
evening after dinner, when we get home, you must tell me all about
_everything_."

Celia has a beautiful idea that I can explain everything to her. I
suppose I must have explained a stymie or a no-ball very cleverly once.

"Well," I said, "I can tell you what limpets are for now. They're like
sheep and cows and horses and pheasants and - and any other animal.
They're just for _us_. At least so the wise people say."

"But we don't eat limpets."

"No, but they can amuse us. This one" - and with a sudden leap I was
behind him as he dozed and I had dashed him forward another eighteenth
of a millimetre - "this one has amused _me_."

"Perhaps," said Celia thoughtfully and I don't think it was quite a nice
thing for a young woman to say, "perhaps we're only meant to amuse the
people in Mars."

"Then," I said lazily, "let's hope they _are_ amused."

* * * * *

But that was nearly three weeks ago. Ten days later war was declared.
Celia has said no more on the subject since her one afternoon's unrest,
but she looks at me curiously sometimes, and I fear that the problem of
life leaves her more puzzled than ever. At the risk of betraying myself
to her as "quite an ordinary person after all" I confess that just at
the moment it leaves me puzzled too.

A. A. M.

* * * * *

THE EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCE.

It was a seaside railway station, the arriving place of one of those
health resorts where people flock in their millions to enjoy a little
peace and quiet together. He, no doubt as a punishment for a misspent
youth, was the station-master; she was one of those many kind ladies who
come to meet their relatives and to make their arrival even more
peaceful and quiet than such events usually are.

"Was that the train from London?" she asked him.

He temporized. "Have you asked a porter?" he enquired.

She nodded.

"And have you asked another porter?"

She nodded again.

"And then the foreman porter? And then a ticket collector? And then the
inspector? And then a casual post-man? And then did you come across your
original porter and try him again?"

She admitted the list without a blush.

"And now tell me all about your dear lost one - a weak, helpless man, no
doubt?"

"It was my husband," she explained.

"A medium-sized man, in a macintosh and a straw hat, of course?"

She acquiesced.

"But none the less," continued the official, "a man of sterling worth?
You do not think he can be in some lost property office _en route_,
waiting to be called for?"

The suggestion was an attractive one, but was rejected. "Then," he said,
"let us go and discuss this intimate tragedy in some less public spot."


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