New York Crowds Vanity Fair (UK) (November 24, 1904) IF the visitor to New York chances to possess a dollar-bill

for which he has no particular use at the moment, he should certainly spend it on a ticket for a bal l game, if only to see the crowd. In his ignorance of its subtleties he may find the game itself dull; but he cannot fail to be interested by the spectators. A baseball crowd is like no other. I do not refer to the elect, who watch the game from the aristocratic seclusion of the Grand Stand, but to the “shilling public” wh o fill the “bleachers”, the cheap wooden seats at the opposite side of the ground be hind the first base. These are the true followers of the game, keen critics to a man, with eagle eyes and no mercy for a weak piece of batting or a bungled catc h. There is an atmosphere of joyous rowdyism, toned down somewhat by a certain r espect for authorities constituted by themselves and elected from their own numb er, which is refreshing—at a distance. How the players enjoy it one cannot say. The home team possibly find a pleasure in the shout of welcome which they meet as they walk to the batting-plate. But w hen the enemy’s turn at the bat comes round, the note is changed. Barracking reign s supreme, and barracking of a peculiarly aggressive and systematic type withal. For a baseball crowd is not a collection of individuals who cheer and hoot as t he spirit moves them. It is an organised mass, and it gives tongue just when it is directed so to do by its leader, the officially-appointed “Rootor-in-chief”. They leave nothing to chance, a baseball crowd. Left to themselves, they might cheer at moments when they should be silent, or be silent when it was necessary for t he welfare of the New York nine that they should cheer. To prevent this a leader is appointed, and his powers are autocratic. He is, to quote an evening paper, President, King, Kaiser, Tsar, Mikado, Pooh-Bah, Mandari n, Sultan, and Emperor of all the “Rooters”. He it is who “bosses things back of first base, and rules trained ‘fans’ with a hand of iron”. “Fans” are those who sit on the blea chers, and stay there in scorching sun or driving rain until the ninth inning of each team is an accomplished fact. The Rooter-in-chief has lungs of brass, and a spirit that no reverse can subdue. So the barracking proceeds merrily, and the visitors bat in an atmosphere of contemptuous hostility. But only collectively. As individuals they receive the applause that is due to them for any clever pie ce of play. Not such a spontaneous ring about the cheers when one of the Brookly n nine puts a New York batsman out with a clever throw, as when a New Yorker per forms a similar feat at the expense of a Brooklynite. But still cheers there are , and no man can complain that he has played well without recognition. But as a team the enemy are anathema. “Well, who ever heard of Brooklyn?” shrills the Rooter-in-chief—just now a gentleman o f the name of Dillon. Nobody ever heard of it. Suppose it’s in America or Europe or somewhere. Remember seeing the name in a paper once. But never really heard of it. Certainly not as a rival to New York at the ball-game. “Where is Brooklyn?” enquires the “fans”. Personalities follow. “Say, Hanlon, what do you get that $10,000 for?” “Are those fellows ball-players or cinder-pickers?” Now and then “fandom” becomes lyrical. “Give ’em the axe! Give ’em the axe! The axe! the axe! the axe!

Where? In the neck! In the neck! In the neck! In the neck! There!” Nothing special, considered purely as a poem, but distinctly effective when shou ted in unison by thousands of cast-iron throats. But it is in the encouragement of their own side that the “bleachers” come out stron gest. We will suppose Mertes, left fielder of New York, to have made one of his best c atches. The dialogue proceeds on the lines of the illustrious Messieurs Bones an d Johnsing, thus: Dillon (enquiringly): “What’s the matter with Mertes?” The Crowd (all together): “What’s the matter with Mertes?” Dillon (patiently): “Well, what’s the matter with Mertes?” The Crowd (reassuringly): “He’s all right!” Dillon: “What?” The Crowd: “He’s all right.” Dillon: “Who?” The Crowd: “Mertes.” Dillon: “Who?” The Crowd: “Mer-tes.” Dillon: “WHO?” The Crowd (with a glad bellow that nearly brings down the neighbouring skyscrape rs with a run): “MERTES. HE’S ALL RIGHT!!!!!”

The Adventure of the Missing Bee Vanity Fair (UK) (December 1, 1904) (Sherlock Holmes is to retire from public life after Christmas, and take to beefarming in the country.) IT is a little hard, my dear Watson”, said Holmes, stretching his long form on the sofa, and injecting another half-pint of morphia with the little jewelled syrin ge which the Prince of Piedmont had insisted on presenting to him as a reward fo r discovering who had stolen his nice new rattle; “it is just a little hard that a n exhausted, overworked private detective, coming down to the country in search of peace and quiet, should be confronted in the first week by a problem so weird , so sinister, that for the moment it seems incapable of solution.”

“You refer—?” I said. “To the singular adventure of the missing bee, as anybody but an ex-army surgeon e quipped with a brain of dough would have known without my telling him.” I readily forgave him his irritability, for the loss of his bee had had a terrib le effect on his nerves. It was a black business. Immediately after arriving at our cottage, Holmes had purchased from the Army and Navy Stores a fine bee. It w as docile, busy, and intelligent, and soon made itself quite a pet with us. Our consternation may, therefore, be imagined when, on going to take it out for its morning run, we found the hive empty. The bee had disappeared, collar and all. A glance at its bed showed that it had not been slept in that night. On the floor of the hive was a portion of the insect’s steel chain, snapped. Everything pointe d to sinister violence. Holmes’ first move had been to send me into the house while he examined the ground near the hive for footsteps. His search produced no result. Except for the smal l, neat tracks of the bee, the ground bore no marks. The mystery seemed one of t hose which are destined to remain unsolved through eternity. But Holmes was ever a man of action. “Watson”, he said to me, about a week after the incident, “the plot thickens. What doe s the fact that a Frenchman has taken rooms at Farmer Scroggins’ suggest to you?” “That Farmer Scroggins is anxious to learn French”, I hazarded. “Idiot!” said Holmes, scornfully. “You’ve got a mind like a railway bun. No. If you wish to know the true significance of that Frenchman’s visit, I will tell you. But, in the first place, can you name any eminent Frenchman who is interested in bees?” I could answer that. “Maeterlinck”, I replied. “Only he is a Belgian.” “It is immaterial. You are quite right. M Maeterlinck was the man I had in my mind . With him bees are a craze. Watson, that Frenchman is M Maeterlinck’s agent. He a nd Farmer Scroggins have conspired, and stolen that bee.” “Holmes!” I said, horrified. “But M Maeterlinck is a man of the most rigid honesty.” “Nobody, my dear Watson, is entirely honest. He may seem so, because he never meet s with just that temptation which would break through his honesty. I once knew a bishop who could not keep himself from stealing pins. Every man has his price. M Maeterlinck’s is bees. Pass the morphia.” “But Farmer Scroggins!” I protested. “A bluff, hearty English yeoman of the best type.” “May not his heartiness be all bluff?” said Holmes, keenly. “You may take it from me t hat there is literally nothing that that man would stick at. Murder? I have seen him kill a wasp with a spade, and he looked as if he enjoyed it. Arson? He has a fire in his kitchen every day. You have only to look at the knuckle of the thi rd finger of his left hand to see him as he is. If he is an honest man, why does he wear a made-up tie on Sundays? If he is an upright man, why does he stoop wh en he digs potatoes? No, Watson, nothing that you can say can convince me that F armer Scroggins has not a black heart. The visit of this Frenchman—who, as you can see in an instant if you look at his left shoulder-blade, has not only deserted his wife and a large family, but is at this very moment carrying on a clandesti ne correspondence with an American widow, who lives in Kalamazoo, Mich—convinces m

e that I have arrived at the true solution of the mystery. I have written a shor t note to Farmer Scroggins, requesting him to send back the bee and explaining t hat all is discovered. And that”, he broke off, “is, if I mistake not, his knock. Co me in.” The door opened. There was a scuffling in the passage, and in bounded our missin g bee, frisking with delight. Our housekeeper followed, bearing a letter. Holmes opened it. “Listen to this, Watson”, said Holmes, in a voice of triumph. “‘Mr Giles Scroggins sends his compliments to Mr Sherlock Holmes, an’ it’s quite true, I did steal that there bee, though how Mr Holmes found out, Mr G Scroggins bean’t a ble to understand. I am flying the country as requested. Please find enclosed 1 (one) bee, and kindly acknowledge receipt to ‘Your obedient servant ‘G Scroggins ‘Enclosure.’”

“Holmes”, I whispered, awe-struck, “you are one of the most remarkable men I ever met.” He smiled, lit his hookah, seized his violin, and to the slow music of that inst rument turned once more to the examination of his test tubes. * * * * *

Three days later we saw the following announcement in the papers: “M Maeterlinck, the distinguished Belgian essayist, wishes it to be known that he has given up c ollecting bees, and has taken instead to picture postcards.”

How to be a Journalist Though Jugged Vanity Fair (UK) (December 8, 1904) (The inmates of an American prison have started a paper of their own, conducted for convicts by convicts.) THE October number of our enterprising little contemporary, Gaol Jottings (Sikes and Turpin; price, two screws of ’baccy when the warder ain’t looking), is fully up to the standard which we have grown accustomed to expect. There have been chang es in the editorial staff since the September issue, Mr Jabez K McLurkin having succeeded Mr J Gold-Brick as chief editor, owing to the latter having been relea sed on ticket-of-leave; while the society gossip is now in the capable hands of Mr “Jimmy” Fagin, who, as our readers will probably remember, was one of the most fa scinating members of the Smart Set sentenced last year. Space forbids us to quote at great length from the many admirable articles conta ined in the current number, but we cannot refrain from noticing the instructive

interview with Mr Reginald Peace, which forms No 3 of the “Master Workers” series. I t is interesting, as showing how genius runs in families, that Mr Peace is a con nection of his great namesake, Charles. “A strong man, this, reader”, says the write r. “A glance at the small, receding forehead, the massive head (the shape of which is emphasised by his habit of wearing his hair close cropped), the firm jaw, pr otruding like the ram of a battleship, the keen eyes under the pent-house of bro w, and we no longer wonder why it was that far so many years the name of Reginal d Peace was a by-word among the constables of South-West Sydenham.” Reading on, we find an expert’s views on burglary as a profession. “Burglary”, he said, in answer to the representative’s question, “is not what it was. Electric-bells and dogs that do n’t seem to care for poisoned meat are animadverting against its success. You woul d think every one of them was a vegetarian, and lived upon a diet of pea-nuts an d plasmon, like Mr Eustace Miles. It’s as much as the most expert members in the p rofession can do to make both ends meet. Competition, my dear sir, ruinous compe tition, is at the bottom of all the trouble. What with alien immigrants undercut ting the trade and overworking themselves, a noble art is being reduced to a swe ater’s den. A dozen years back it was different. A man could be a burglar and a ge ntleman.” We wish we could quote the whole of this pathetic interview, but we think we hav e done enough to give our readers some idea of the way in which modern hustle an d alien competition are ruining our old British industries.. The foreigner is be ating us on our own ground. England must Wake Up, to use the Prince of Wales’ very words. Mr Reginald Blinkbit’s exciting serial, “The Forger of Folkestone”, continues to run w ell. The scene in which the hero murders the two detectives in the lonely cottag e is a most realistic piece of writing, and is evidently based on a personal exp erience of the author’s. The passage which concludes, “With a swinging blow the gall ant burglar brought down the poker on the head of the elder detective. He fell l ike a log, never knowing what struck him”—could only have been written by a man who knew his ground thoroughly. We congratulate the judicious editor of Gaol Jotting s on securing a contributor who is qualified to rank among our best-known noveli sts of sensation. Under the pen-name of “Bertie”, another writer contributes a series of “Proverbs for P rofessionals”, which repay quotation, such as “Too many cops spoil the scoop”, “A shot i n time saves nine”, “Procrastination in a thief means ‘time’”, and many others. A useful feature is the “Answers to Correspondents” column, conducted by the Editor. It is full of excellent advice. “Anxious” is informed that only black boots should be worn with a frock coat. “The usual method of procedure”, says the reply to “Etiquet te”, who wishes to know what is the right way of obtaining an introduction to a la dy, “is as follows: When you meet her, you say, ‘Ullo!’ ‘Ullo! to you’ will be the modest and probable reply. ‘Now, then; now, then’, you say. ‘Not so much of it; not so much o f it.’ ‘Why are you jostling me?’ she will rejoin. ‘I am not jostling anybody’, is your co rrect, if inaccurate, answer. The acquaintance may now be said to have been esta blished.” As in the September issue, the Poet’s Corner is well filled. That most prolific of bards, Mr Benjamin de la Rue, has in this number an “Ode to a Night in Gaol”, after the manner of Keats. Mr U le Gan is represented by another of his “Songs of Stree t Araby”, and a contributor whose name is new to us, Mr B H Gee, finds a place for his Swinburnian effort, “A Canal Passage”. We regret that we cannot quote further the contents of this brightest of prison periodicals. We must conclude by congratulating the Editor once more, and wishin g him a continuance in a position which he has so thoroughly deserved to win.

Half-Hours with a Ghost I—THE TWO SCEPTICS Vanity Fair (UK) (January 26, 1905) “GLAD to see you back again”, said the Man in Armour, politely, seating himself on t he chair at the side of my bed as the last stroke of twelve boomed from the cast le clock. “Thanks. Same to you”, I said. “Long time since we met.” “Just two years. You don’t look a day older.” “You flatter me”, I said. It was Christmas-night, and I was staying with my old friend Lord Strathpuffer a t his ancestral castle. At my request he had placed me in the Red Room, where, t wo years before, I had first made the acquaintance of the Man in Armour. We had become firm friends from the start. I think the fact that I did not scream or fa int when he appeared endeared me to him, for he has confessed to me, in the cour se of conversation, that nothing embarrasses a spectre so greatly as the thought that his room is preferred to his company. People who are nervous in the presen ce of ghosts would do well to remember this. If they knew the pain their thought lessness gave they would possibly see the error of their ways. “Methought”, resumed the Man in Armour, shifting his position and crossing his legs, “that I heard sounds of revelry issuing from the banqueting hall. Was I correct?” “Quite”, I said. “Strathpuffer is an ideal host.” “I know, I know. I remember on one occasion—but it will bore you?” “Far from it”, I replied, eagerly. “Well”, he said, “it was like this. It was the night before Christmas, and they were k eeping it up, you know, in the good old style in the banqueting hall. Naturally before long the conversation turned on to the subject of ghosts. It always does. Well, you know how proud Lord Strathpuffer is of me—I don’t deserve it, of course—” “Oh, yes, yes”, I interrupted. The Man in Armour blushed. “Well”, he said, “since you say so, perhaps—At any rate, he is proud of me, and he began talking about me to his guests, praising me up, don’t you know, when a person at the other end of the table had the incredible audacity to say that he didn’t belie ve in ghosts. Didn’t believe in ’em, I’ll trouble you! Said he thought they were all n onsense. Of course, the man was drunk—” “Of course”, I said, “of course. Still—!” “Just so. Still—! Well, you can imagine the effect of such a remark on Lord Strathpu ffer. ‘By Jingo, sir’, he shouted—a friend of mine who haunts the musicians’ gallery at the end of the banqueting hall was there and heard him—‘By Jingo, sir, let me tell y ou that I’ve a ghost in this house that would turn your backbone into cold putty b efore you could say Jack Robinson. Yes, by Jove!’ ‘Of course’, says the man, ‘I hate to doubt the existence of a fine old crusted spectre like yours, Strathpuffer, but, hang it, you know, in these days of modern science! Really, Strathpuffer, reall y!’ ‘I will bet you ten to one in sovereigns’, said his lordship, ‘that you will not sle ep to-night in the haunted room.’ ‘Done!’ said the reptile. ‘With pleasure. It will be l

ike finding ten pounds.’ And there the subject dropped. It was decided that the sc eptic should sleep in the haunted room on the following night. “Now it happened that on the next day, late in the afternoon, another guest arrive d. The castle was very full, for an unusual number of guests had been invited, a nd when the housekeeper came to give her undivided attention to the subject, she found that the only unoccupied room was this one—the Red Room. When I say unoccup ied I mean, of course, that no one but myself was there. So, after some hesitati on, she suggested the Red Room to this guest. She knew that some people disliked ghosts—why, I can’t say. I’m sure we do all we can to make ourselves agreeable—and she was afraid that perhaps he might object to sleeping in a haunted room. But did h e? Not a bit of it. You will scarcely credit it that two such idiots could exist in a small world, but he, too, like the sceptical guest at the dinner-table, di d not believe in ghosts, and thought them nonsense.” I said it almost made one despair for humanity. “When I arrived at twelve o’clock sharp he was in bed, reading. His candle illuminat ed but a small portion of the room, and threw weird flickering shadows on the ce iling. In fact, the scenic effects were excellent for my purpose, and I was just wondering how I might become visible with the greatest amount of dramatic feeli ng when I noticed that Sceptic Number Two was sitting up in bed, rigid, with his eyes starting from their sockets. Hullo, I thought to myself, this won’t do. Some thing must have gone wrong with my works, and I am visible when I meant to be in visible. In which case, as you are doubtless aware, my career as a first-class h aunter would have been over, and I should have been put back to graveyard duty a gain, for a ghost who cannot control his appearances is useless in a good establ ishment such as this. “However, I soon saw that I was not the cause of his alarm. In the doorway stood S ceptic Number One, the man who had betted that he would sleep that night in the haunted room. And I must say he looked a most gruesome sight. He was staring at the bed in quite a grisly manner. I have a friend who does it awfully well. He i s working up in Forfarshire now. “They looked at one another for a time. Then the man at the door bolted, and two m inutes later, just as I had made up my mind to appear and get the thing over, th e other man bolted as well. I heard later that he passed the night in the billia rd-room under the table, and left by an early train. The other one also left dur ing the morning.” “But why?” I asked. “Ah! then you didn’t read about it in the Spiritualistic Times! There were long lett ers from both of them in the same number, and each wanted to become a subscriber to the paper for life. You see, each thought the other was the ghost. The man i n the bed said he had seen a ‘foul shape’ standing in the doorway, and the man in th e doorway said he had seen a ‘ghostly vision’ in the bed. And the joke of it was tha t there was a real ghost there all the time. But they will never dare to doubt t he existence of spectres again. And the moral of that”, concluded the Man in Armou r, “is Don’t be opiniative.”

As It Might Have Been A DOMESTIC DRAMA Vanity Fair (UK) (February 9, 1905)

[Showing how, in the author’s opinion, the dramatic possibilities of “She’s” return to e arth might have been developed a good deal more effectively than they have been developed by Mr Rider Haggard in the Windsor Magazine.] SCENE: A bedroom, Leo Vincey is standing in his shirt-sleeves before the looking -glass. He holds a razor in his hand, which is shaking. He has filled out a good deal since we last met him, but might still be taken for a Young Greek God in t he dusk with a light behind him. Leo (looking at his hand): I daren’t. I’m as jumpy as a cat. If I once started shavi ng I should turn up at the church a mass of sticking-plaster. And whoever heard of a Greek God wearing sticking-plaster! On the other hand, no girl wants to mar ry a man with a chin like the roll of a musical-box. I must get a shave at the c lub. Jove! I shall be glad when it’s over. Holly’s just right for best man. No nerve s and excitability. All solid, solid— (The door bursts open, and Holly rushes in, violently excited.) Hullo, Holly! Glad you’ve come. I say, look here. I’ve forgotten the rules. Do I take her left hand, or does she— Holly (with restraint, eyeing Leo’s razor with an assumption of unconcern): That l ooks a good bit of steel. Where did you get it? May I—? (Takes the razor from Leo, closes it, and throws it to the other end of the room.) Now, can you stand a sh ock? Leo (in a pitiable state of nerves): What? What? What? What on earth is it, man? What’s happened? What? Holly: She has come back! Leo: She? Whom do you mean? Who? Holly: Brace up, my dear old chap. Ayesha. Leo (springing into the air): What!! Holly: It’s a fact. It’s in the Mail, and all the papers. Leo: But, confound it, man, you know as well as I do that she was burnt to a cin der. We stood and watched her do it. Holly: I’m awfully sorry. Would have prevented it if I could. It’s all the fault of these novelists. Haggard, don’t you know, read that Sherlock Holmes hadn’t really fa llen over the cliff, so he didn’t see why he shouldn’t try the same game. Said he wa s prepared to resurrect characters against Doyle any day in the week. So it seem s She wasn’t burnt after all. The lady we saw shrivel up was a Miss Jane Smith, he r double. Sister of John Smith. It runs in the family. Leo: But what the dooce is going to happen? However (hopefully), she doesn’t know my address. Holly (hesitatingly): Well, the fact is, old man—brace up, she—er in short, she does . Haggard gave it to her. Leo: And now on my wedding-day she turns up! Oh, it’s a little hard. And, by Jingo ! (Jumps.) Holly: What? What? Leo: Why, she’s dead certain to be jealous of poor little Molly. And when she’s jeal ous you know what that means! She’ll simply electrocute her, as she did that other girl Thingummy. You know the girl I mean.

Holly (thoughtfully): Ye-e-s. There will certainly be unpleasantness. Leo: But half a second, Holly, I’ve got it. If I remember, you were fond of her yo urself. Holly (blushing): Well er—There were moments—That is to say—In short—Of course, I don’t de ny that she had attractions, though hardly in my line. I prefer your slim, small , jolly little brown-haired type of girl, with dark blue eyes, don’t you know. She would behave like Sarah Bernhardt. Leo: Well, anyhow, for the sake of a pal cut me out, old man. Take her to Cambri dge, and show her the Backs. Take her up to the top of King’s, and show her the vi ew. Then break it to her gently that all is over, and so on. See? What? Holly (stiffly): My dear Leo, it is impossible. She used to make puns on my name . (They stand looking at one another in silence. There is a knock at the door.) Leo: Yes? The Landlady (in her No 7 voice, the “shocked and surprised”): Mr Vincey, there is a strange lady a-waiting for you in the sitting-room, and she says she’s going to w ait till she sees you. Holly: Did she give her name? The Landlady: Yes, sir. Name of Asher. [Rapid Curtain.]

The Glorious Uncertainty of Cricket (Criticism) Vanity Fair (UK) (June 8, 1905) (With acknowledgments to most of our contemporaries.) “FROM the Daily Anything, issue of May 30: “If anything could convince us more thoroughly than we were convinced already of t he miserable, flabby condition of English cricket (so-called), yesterday’s inglori ous exhibition of pusillanimous piffling by the soi-disant representatives (!) o f All England did it. Never have we seen such a wretched display. Our readers ma y remember that we protested against the inclusion of Slogbury in the team. It i s common knowledge that the Selection Committee owe Slogbury money—hence the undes erved honour that has fallen to him. The stroke off which Slogbury got out yeste rday would have disgraced an enfeebled degenerate. No man with the pluck of a ca terpillar would have failed to hit the ball to the boundary. The craven Slogbury shaped at it like an epileptic baboon, and was caught in the slips. And what sh all we say of Whangham? They told us that Whangham was a fine, aggressive batsma n. We have seen finer and more aggressive batsmen on Clapham Common on Saturday afternoons. A man who could mistime a ball as Whangham did would rob his younges t child’s money-box to buy brandy. Blocker’s exhibition made us blush at the thought that we, too, were Englishmen. All that we can say for it is that it was better than Legley-Glancer’s. But let us draw a veil. The glorious, godlike Australian b owlers dominated our men. We felt that here, of a truth, were Athletes. The liss om Laver, the cheerful Cotter, the nonchalant Noble—what men they are! The match i s as good as lost, of course, but it is some small consolation to think that we

have been beaten by the most wonderful, paralysing combination that ever left th e Antipodes. When our innings had closed for 150, Trumper and Duffy defied all t he efforts of our self-styled first-class bowlers, and put on 23 without loss. I f Mr B J T Googly thinks he is the sort of bowler to get wickets except in a mat ch against the second eleven of a suburban kindergarten, we can only say that he is sadly mistaken. Well, well, we did all we could to have him kept out of the team.” From the Daily Anything, issue of May 31:— “Good old Googly! Hurrah! Three cheers! Old England for ever! There’s life in the ol d country yet! We always said that Googly was the man to get Australia out. Owin g to a brilliant couple of overs, in which he dismissed the entire team without further addition to the score, the Mother Country was left with the substantial lead on the first innings of 127. Nor were our successes to end here. Completely mastering the somewhat stingless Australian trundling—we have always pointed out that, strong as it undoubtedly is as a collection of willow-wielders, the presen t combination is weak in bowling—Slogbury and Whangham increased our lead by 200 i n the short space of forty minutes. What men they are! Slogbury—quiet, graceful, p oetical; Whangham—sturdy, aggressive, romantic. They make us proud to be their fel low-countrymen. And how little Johnny Blocker defied the bowling! And what perfe ct style Legley-Glancer exhibited. What a man he is! The Australian attack . . . weak . . . resourceless,” &c, &c. From the Daily Anything, issue of June 1:— “Whatever the merits of our visitors from ‘down under’ as a bowling team—and their attac k, we have always maintained, has been vastly under-rated—they certainly cannot ba t. Our bowlers dominated them. Googly’s fine performance . . . England’s glorious vi ctory . . . Rule Brit . . .” &c, &c. (And in a week or so we shall go through it all again.)

A WINTER’S TALE. KING ARTHUR AND HIS COURT. Dramatis Personæ. King Arthur’s Court. King Arthur..................................................................... .... Mr. A. J. Balfour. Queen Guinevere................................................................ The Unionist Party. Sir Lancelot.................................................................... ..... The Tariff Reform League. Merlin (out of a job)........................................................... .. The Duke of Devonshire. Sir Kaye........................................................................ ....... The Marquis of Londonderry. Free Fooders, Retaliators, Tariff Reformers, and other retainers. Barbarians. Sir Campbell (a noted Scot)................................................ Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman. Sir Primrose (a cultivated Piet).......................................... The Earl of Roseberry.

Sir Lloyd (a Cymric)........................................................... Mr. Lloyd-George. Sir Redmond (The Irish Chief)........................................... Mr. Redmond. Sir Grey (a patriotic Goth).................................................. Sir Edward Grey. Sir Keir (an advanced Hun)................................................. Mr. Keir Hardie. Sir Winston (a conspirator)................................................. Mr. Winston Churchill. Passive Resisters, Anti-Vaccinators, Members of the Humanitarian League, Contrib utors to The Daily News, Members of the National Liberal Club, and other retaine rs. ________ ACT I. (A forest near King Arthur’s Castle. On the right, upon a grassy mound, Sir P rimrose is discovered unarmed, clothed in white samite, crowned with flowers, an d solacing his solitude upon a viol. In the centre is an open glade, giving a di stant view of King Arthur’s Castle, yclept “Ye Government,” which is surrounded by the tents of the Barbarian Army, consisting of Picts, Scots, Rads, Cymrics, Celts, and other outlandish tribes who are besieging it. To the left is a perspective o f tree-trunks.) Sir Primrose: There may be some in yon outlandish host (Who once, upraising me on lifted shields, Proclaimed me Leader) that declare me base, Neglectful of my party and my cause, Neglectful of my chance to trip the heels Of Arthur in his day of trial sore. Yet how can I, a cultivated man, A perfect stylist and a connoisseur, A critic, too, a student of the men Who made the nations, stoop to join a band Or rebel Irish, Welshmen from the hills, Rads from Londinium, Picts from mine own land? Such men, forsooth, as would disjoin the kingdoms, In peace I will remain, apart from strife, Forgetting care in music :—— Song: Sir Primrose. The political arena was at one time just as clean a Place as anyone could ever wish to see; But it’s suffered changes lately: it’s deteriorated greatly Till it’s really quite unsuitable for me. Oh, the chatter and the babble of this unimperial rabble Is more than a philosopher can bear, So, although it has annoyed them, I consistently avoid them, For politics are nothing like they were. When the trumpet sounds for action there is much dissatisfaction (Which they seldom try their hardest to conceal) For, instead of keenly leaping to the conflict, I am sleeping, Quite oblivious to their passionate appeal. There are some who say I’m skulking; not a few who call it sulking; But for trifles such as these I do not care: At the cost of irritation I preserve my isolation, For politics are nothing like they were. I can hear the din and rattle of an energetic battle, I can hear the shouts of stormers at the breach; But it seems at such a distance that I don’t provide assistance (With the possible exception of a speech).

In a gentlemanly manner, as they rally round the banner, I recommend the troops to do and dare; But of course I never heed them when they shout to me to lead them, For politics are nothing like they were. In the good old days when I myself was fighting We did things in a cultured sort of style; We made the fray sufficiently exciting, But stuck to flag and Empire all the while. We hadn’t any faction in our army, By discipline each warrior was tied: But the state of things at present is so thoroughly unpleasant That I think it best to stay away outside. (A drum heard without. Enter the Barbarian Army of Rads, Celts, Cymrics, &c ., preceded by large banners, after the fashion of a Trade Union demonstration.) Marching Song of Barbarian Army. The Army (all together): A host with but a single aim We fight in perfect unity; No foe upon the earth can claim To treat us with impunity: Each man regards the others As something more than brothers. The enemy don’t relish it When we detect his whereabouts. We never have a jar of split, We’re always chums (or thereabouts); In fair and stormy weather We always march together. Sir Grey (leading detachment of Respectable Imperial Liberals): Our loyalty’s free from defect, Our morals are highly correct; We put down our foot On proposals to loot, For Property’s rights we respect. We stick with a firmness intense To Imperial views (which are Sense). Whatever we pay We must lead the way: Our motto is “Blow the expense!” Sir Lloyd (leading detachment of earnest and advanced Rads): We act on a different plan, Imperial notions we ban: When the foe we defeat Both the army and fleet We propose to cut down (if we can). With shrewd, economical glance We watch o’er affairs of finance, We’ve a wonderful sense For the value of pence, And save them whene’er we’ve a chance. Sir Keir (leading detachment of Unemployed): We cawn’t siy we ’olds very much With these aristocratics and such. The pore son of toil ’As a right to the spoil; We sticks to wotever we touch. Wot we ses is, this Chivalry’s rot, Let’s beat ’em, and tike orl they’ve got. Let the ’ard-working man Gavver orl that he can,

And not ’ave no scruples. Thet’s wot. Sir Redmond (leading detachment of “pure-minded” Celts): Ah, shtop all this terruble noise! Go aisy, that’s what I advoise: For it’s little we heed If we fail or succeed; Bedad, it’s all wan to the bhoys. We don’t care which side we assist. Is ut upset the Monarchy? Whist! We’ll just march with the host Which’ll pay us the most: Them’s our sintiments, nately exprissed. (The Barbarian Army march round the stage, and then line up left and right. The leaders gather in the centre to welcome that gentle Knight, Sir Campbell, w ho advances on foot, followed by a drummer carrying the Party drum.) Sir Campbell: Fair and dear friends, right strongly did you sing, And though I noticed, scattered here and there, A note that broke the general consonance; Yet on the whole the noise was very great, And doubtless will affright the Knights that laze About the Table Round within the Castle Of proud King Arthur (where I shortly hope We shall be dining). Yet in common cause Must we be bound, with single heart and hand Must we strike home if victory is to gild Our spreading pinions. Firstly let us storm The castle walls; hereafter can we heal The little rifts that in the Party lute Now threaten discords. (Sir Grey steps forward.) Ah, my lusty knight, What have you for your leader’s longing ears? Sir Grey: My gentle leader. Though I would not loose The dogs of dark contention, yet Sir Redmond And I have had some bickerings on the way. May not the army pause the while I thrust His black opinions down his baneful throat? Sir Primrose (descending the mound, and entering the arena): Alas! my comrades. It seems to me that I must make a speech. All: Oh, woeful day! Sir Primrose: Sir Campbell, I remain Your very humble and obedient servant, Yet must I warn you, list not to the chief Of Ireland’s levies. Think of him no more, Hark to Sir Grey, who tries as best he can To voice my sentiments—— Sir Redmond: Bedad, I’ll tache You manners wid a club. Sir Lloyd and Sir Keir: Nay, let us speak. Sir Campbell: Now drummer haste and do your noisy duty. (A long and thunderous roll on the Party drum drowns the turmo il. As it, at last, concludes Sir Campbell steps forward.) Song: Sir Campbell.

When my party’s every action Tends to drive me to distraction And affairs begin to hum, I beat my drum. When they call for an effective And immediate corrective Then I play, until they’re dumb Upon the drum. It doesn’t matter much about the meaning or the air, So long as I play something people never seem to care, I initiate a panic or alleviate a scare With my drum. I’ve reduced it to a science: When the foemen shriek defiance And my army’s looking glum, I beat my drum. When my party in a fix is, All at sevens and at sixes, To reorganise the scrum I beat the drum. It is simply sound and fury, and it’s meaning isn’t clear, But I fancy it encourages my men to persevere; So I still continue playing, though the enemy may sneer, On the drum. So my tip to young tacticians. If they get in tight positions And the prospect’s rather rum, Is “Beat the drum.” For the squabblings and the hootings And the brawlings and disputings May be neatly overcome With the drum. Dissension in your forces it infallibly destroys, It soothes your own supporters, while the foeman it annoys; Don’t try to play a tune: you only need a lot of noise From the drum. Sir Primrose: And this is leadership! Now Heaven defend The shrieking rabble and their captain, who Is but a drummer—save the Yankee term— But, hist, whom have we here? (Enter Sir Winston and friends, carrying a white flag.) Now, can it be They are a sub-committee of surrender? Sir Winston: My friends, I bid you greeting. We have fled From Arthur’s Castle, which can never be A home again—save chance should spin around Her mocking wheel. For in its splendid halls Is dire confusion. ’Neath King Arthur’s nose Does Lancelot make eyes at Guinevere. So that the lady sits in dire distress, Not knowing what is what nor who is who. And while the knights with gossip fills the days There’s none that pays attention to our claims To high advancement, none that are so poor To do us reverence, to observe our words; Write of us in the papers—to be brief, We are neglected, treated, sirs, like boys. So here we are, your fond and keen allies.

Hark, for I much desire to sing to you. Song: Sir Winston. From my childhood I’ve nourished ambition, I made up my mind in my cot To climb to the highest position, Whether people approved me or not. So I cut some remarkable capers, Went out with the army to war, And wrote myself up in the papers: (That’s all that the papers are for.) With Arthur I next was connected, For Arthur was then in his prime: When greybeards in council collected, I gave them advice every time. A youth who’s determined to preach is Regarded, I know, as a bore, But I got myself known by my speeches: (That’s all that my speeches were for.) For months with allegiance unaltered I stuck to him closer than glue; Nor ever in battle I faltered; I fought with the vigour of two. No fierce opposition dismayed me, I yearned to be shedding my gore; I fancied that loyalty paid me: (That’s all that my loyalty’s for.) But my monarch is now a back number, He seems to be quite up a tree, And Arthur can only encumber A pushing young fellow like me. So, though it’s a bit of a gamble, I fancy I stand to gain more If I throw in my lot with Sir Campbell: (That’s all that Sir Campbell is for.) Sir Campbell: Your words sound strangely to my simple ears. Sir Lloyd: Strange bedfellows does Opposition bring. Sir Redmond: Silence, ye grumblers. Does he know a way To storm the castle, plant our banner proud Upon the inner wall? Sir Winston: In truth I do. Sir Redmond: Expound, my gentle sir. Sir Winston: Appoint me leader And you shall win the day without a doubt. (Intense and prolonged uproar. Finally Sir Campbell calls upon the Party drum to do its duty. Silence is at last restored.) Sir Campbell: Patience, young man. The steps to office high Are steep and many. In some thirty years You may, perchance, I say you may, perhaps, Attain some small emolument. Enough. A flank attack is what we now intend On our disordered foes. Come, forward, march, Advance our banners, let the policeman clear A way for this, our army. Victory waits

To crown us as we storm the Castle gates. (Exeunt, singing “A host with but a single aim.”) ________ ACT II. (Midnight; Moonlight.—Sir Lancelot (the Tariff Reform League) is discover ed with guitar beneath the window of Guinevere (the Unionist Party). In a neighb ouring corner of the battlements a group of Free Fooders, headed by Merlin (the Duke of Devonshire), are watching him.) Sir Lancelot (the Tariff Reform League): Of dear little parties on earth, No dearth, I’ve noted; they’ve not been a few. Their charms I do not underrate, They’re great. But they can’t hold a candle to you, To you. They can’t hold a candle to you. Can you hear, Guinevere, What I’m saying, my dear? Your window is open, besides being near. Can you hear? Chorus of Free Fooders (ironically): Hear! Hear! Sir Lancelot: Can you hear? Chorus of Free Fooders: Oh, Lancelot, oh, Lancelot, Your captivating glance a lot Of damage has effected, it is clear. It’s a puzzle what she sees In your visage that can please, But the fact remains, you wheedle Guinevere. Sir Lancelot: Oh say, have I won you or not? Eh, what? Oh, give me some sort of sign. For months I’ve been trying to woo Just you; My angel, do say you’ll be mine. Be mine, My angel, do say you’ll be mine. It is queer, Guinevere, But I reckon small beer Other parties, and pass them all by with a sneer. Can you hear? Chorus of Free Fooders (ironically): Hear! Hear! Sir Lancelot: Can you hear? Chorus of Free Fooders: Oh, Lancelot, oh, Lancelot, In gay and giddy France a lot Of people act like this, but still it’s queer That in England you should seek In this shameful way to speak. Please remember she’s King Arthur’s Guinevere. (Guinevere (the Unionist Party) appears at the window.) Guinevere:

As fast asleep just now I lay, Asleep and gently dreaming, I thought I heard, far, far away, The sound of someone screaming. It may have been the nightingales Those shrill, nocturnal gurglers, Just practising their notes and scales. Or possibly it’s burglars. (She sees Lancelot.) Oh, Lancelot! You there! What next! You know that Arthur would be vexed. Sir Lancelot: Yes, yes, ’tis I. I know it’s wrong. But how could I resist it? A brief synopsis of my song I’ll give you as you missed it. In (though I say it) neatish verse I told the love I bore you. Oh, Guinevere, my doubt disperse; You know that I adore you. Guinevere: The blood to my embarrassed cheek With sudden quickness rushes: Look close if you my answer seek; You’ll read it in my blushes. I know the vows you make are true, All other kinds are spurious: I’d like to run away with you, But Arthur would be furious. Sir Lancelot: Nay, hear me, Guinevere, your heart No worn-out bonds must fetter: We’ve got to make another start, The sooner done, the better. For ancient shibboleths who cares? Our lives they must not tether: And we must manage our affairs On new lines altogether. Chorus of Free Fooders: Oh Lancelot, oh, Lancelot, We stamp our feet, and dance a lot With rage and disapproval when we hear The matrimonial change Which you callously arrange For your poor, misguided victim, Guinevere. Sir Kaye (the Marquis of Londonderry), rushing violently in, and speaking in recitative): Ha! What is this! Beneath the Royal window I see a man. (Exit Sir Lancelot by rope. They all rush forward, and stand s haking their heads sadly.) ________ ACT III. (The interior of King Arthur’s Castle, “Ye Government.” In the centre at back of stage is a daïs, on which are placed two thrones, in the occupation of King Ar thur ( Mr. A. J. Balfour) and Guinevere (the Unionist Party). Behind them are gr ouped Sir Lancelot, Sir Kaye ( Lord Londonderry), and other officials. Below the daïs is the Round Table, at which a number of knights are seated.) King Arthur: My comrades, we have heard without our walls

Rumour of strife in the Barbarian hordes That think to pillage this, our citadel, Where we for many years have held our court Despite the flouts and sneers of evil men. Let us be careful not to emulate Their rude alarms and indiscreet excursions, I ask you then to fill your beakers up And drink to this, our Cause. (The assembly rise to their feet with much cheering.) A Voice: What cause? King Arthur (in great annoyance): What knight is this who breaks the general joy With such a question? ’Tis enough, we know Each in our hearts what is—what is our Cause. Guinevere: Dear Arthur, now for many loving years Have I obeyed you, followed every move, Accepted explanations, borne myself As should a true and virtuous British matron. Yet even I would rather like to know, Being perplexed by doubts and general fears, What is the Cause for which we fight to-day. King Arthur: You, too, my Guinevere! Song: King Arthur. Oh, the life of a king is not skittles and beer at all; Worries pursue him wherever he flies, Chase him, and face him, and won’t disappear at all, Worries! He’s in them right up to the eyes. Everyone seems to delight in perplexing him, Asking him questions he can’t understand, Boring and heckling and teasing and vexing him, Making him show all the cards in his hand, Robbing his brain of all snap and lucidity, Bleaching his locks with a frightful rapidity, Into his confidence artfully burrowing, Giving him shocks till his forehead is furrowing, Threatening mutiny every day— That is his subjects’ unvarying way. How can a monarch preserve his urbanity, Feeling himself on the verge of insanity? Common folk grumble, and that sort of thing, But their woes can’t compare with the woes of a king. Oh! vitæ (to quote from the Classical) tædia! Life (to translate) is a poor sort of show. Treated, by gad! as an Encyclopædia, All things on earth I’m expected to know. I’ve got to answer with unimpaired bonhomie Questions of every kind they may ask: Posers abstruse on the nation’s Economy— That’s but a tithe, so to speak, of my task. Where are our Army Corps? Can I confirm any Rumours of war with the Sultan or Germany? Are the Chinese on the Rand flogged diurnally? Why should the Straphanger suffer eternally? Do the “All-Blacks” play quite fair in the scrum? Daily the questions continue to come. How can a monarch go beaming with cheerfulness, When in a state that’s approaching to tearfulness? Common folk grumble, and that sort of thing,

But the man who is really oppressed is the king. A Messenger (rushing in): Arm, arm! The enemy have climbed the wall. (A confused noise without. Shouts, alarums, and cheap excursio ns. Headed by Sir Campbell, the Barbarians rush into the hall. The Knights of th e Round Table draw their swords and gather round the daïs.) Sir Campbell: We ask Sir Primrose: suggest, Sir Keir: insist, Sir Redmond: demand that you All Together: Deliver up this castle to our powers. King Arthur: Nay, gentlemen, I charge you, tell me this, Whom must I answer, who, in short, is chief? Sir Campbell: I, by the sanction of the general voice. Of all the Rads throughout my territories. Sir Primrose: I, by the right and art of criticism, Which gives me power to irritate Sir Campbell. Sir Keir: I, by the right of any artisan, To take what is not his if so he choose. Sir Redmond: I, by the force of fear, for in my hand I hold the fortune of the clans allied. King Arthur: Thanks, gentle sirs, for this your explanation. My answer is—— Sir Lancelot: Forgive me, noble Arthur. But e’er you give some absolute decision, Some utterance firm, complete, irrevocable, I would suggest—— Merlin: My liege, or, rather, he Who was my liege, for I am still confused In these distressful times, I beg that Lancelot Be sat upon, and—— Sir Kaye: Oh, my Royal King, Whose words have ever been to me as laws, Whose arguments are mine, whose thoughts are mine, I beg you—— King Arthur: Pray you, give me leave to speak. These interruptions are mal apropos. Duet: Sir Campbell and King Arthur. Sir C.: Misfortune’s dogged me from the first, As you may plainly see: Of luckless men I am the worst— King A.: (aside): You are, excepting me. Sir C.: My troops cause endless toil before I get them into line, And when I do, there’s civil war—

King A. (aside): Sir C.:

It’s just the same with mine. They start at early morning, and They quarrel all the day; With “Traitor!” they each other brand— King A. (aside): That’s just what my men say. Sir C.: Their reverence for my words is small, We always disagree: They say I’m not their chief at all— King A. (aside): Some say the same of me! King Arthur: Sir Campbell, we’ll adjourn this conference. To you I leave this castle, on the plain. We’ll presently conjoin in battle dire, So shall we know who’s master, if it be That any man can ever know who’s master. (Exit King Arthur, leading the way from the Castle of “Ye Government.” Guin evere follows on the arm of Sir Lancelot, with Merlin and Sir Kaye gloomily rega rding them. As the curtain falls the Barbarians have fallen to fighting desperat ely amongst themselves, and Sir Campbell is calling for the Party drum.) By P. G. Wodehouse

As It Might Have Been A DOMESTIC DRAMA Vanity Fair (UK) (February 9, 1905) [Showing how, in the author’s opinion, the dramatic possibilities of “She’s” return to e arth might have been developed a good deal more effectively than they have been developed by Mr Rider Haggard in the Windsor Magazine.] SCENE: A bedroom, Leo Vincey is standing in his shirt-sleeves before the looking -glass. He holds a razor in his hand, which is shaking. He has filled out a good deal since we last met him, but might still be taken for a Young Greek God in t he dusk with a light behind him. Leo (looking at his hand): I daren’t. I’m as jumpy as a cat. If I once started shavi ng I should turn up at the church a mass of sticking-plaster. And whoever heard of a Greek God wearing sticking-plaster! On the other hand, no girl wants to mar ry a man with a chin like the roll of a musical-box. I must get a shave at the c lub. Jove! I shall be glad when it’s over. Holly’s just right for best man. No nerve s and excitability. All solid, solid— (The door bursts open, and Holly rushes in, violently excited.) Hullo, Holly! Glad you’ve come. I say, look here. I’ve forgotten the rules. Do I take her left hand, or does she— Holly (with restraint, eyeing Leo’s razor with an assumption of unconcern): That l ooks a good bit of steel. Where did you get it? May I—? (Takes the razor from Leo, closes it, and throws it to the other end of the room.) Now, can you stand a sh ock? Leo (in a pitiable state of nerves): What? What? What? What on earth is it, man? What’s happened? What? Holly: She has come back! Leo: She? Whom do you mean? Who? Holly: Brace up, my dear old chap. Ayesha.

Leo (springing into the air): What!! Holly: It’s a fact. It’s in the Mail, and all the papers. Leo: But, confound it, man, you know as well as I do that she was burnt to a cin der. We stood and watched her do it. Holly: I’m awfully sorry. Would have prevented it if I could. It’s all the fault of these novelists. Haggard, don’t you know, read that Sherlock Holmes hadn’t really fa llen over the cliff, so he didn’t see why he shouldn’t try the same game. Said he wa s prepared to resurrect characters against Doyle any day in the week. So it seem s She wasn’t burnt after all. The lady we saw shrivel up was a Miss Jane Smith, he r double. Sister of John Smith. It runs in the family. Leo: But what the dooce is going to happen? However (hopefully), she doesn’t know my address. Holly (hesitatingly): Well, the fact is, old man—brace up, she—er in short, she does . Haggard gave it to her. Leo: And now on my wedding-day she turns up! Oh, it’s a little hard. And, by Jingo ! (Jumps.) Holly: What? What? Leo: Why, she’s dead certain to be jealous of poor little Molly. And when she’s jeal ous you know what that means! She’ll simply electrocute her, as she did that other girl Thingummy. You know the girl I mean. Holly (thoughtfully): Ye-e-s. There will certainly be unpleasantness. Leo: But half a second, Holly, I’ve got it. If I remember, you were fond of her yo urself. Holly (blushing): Well er—There were moments—That is to say—In short—Of course, I don’t de ny that she had attractions, though hardly in my line. I prefer your slim, small , jolly little brown-haired type of girl, with dark blue eyes, don’t you know. She would behave like Sarah Bernhardt. Leo: Well, anyhow, for the sake of a pal cut me out, old man. Take her to Cambri dge, and show her the Backs. Take her up to the top of King’s, and show her the vi ew. Then break it to her gently that all is over, and so on. See? What? Holly (stiffly): My dear Leo, it is impossible. She used to make puns on my name . (They stand looking at one another in silence. There is a knock at the door.) Leo: Yes? The Landlady (in her No 7 voice, the “shocked and surprised”): Mr Vincey, there is a strange lady a-waiting for you in the sitting-room, and she says she’s going to w ait till she sees you. Holly: Did she give her name? The Landlady: Yes, sir. Name of Asher. [Rapid Curtain.]

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