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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. CLVIII, January 7, 1920   By:

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOLUME 158, JANUARY 7, 1920

[Illustration: Punch. Vol. CLVIII.]

LONDON: PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICE, 10, BOUVERIE STREET, E.C.4. 1920.

Bradbury, Agnew & Co., Ltd., Printers, Whitefriars, London, E.C.4.

[Illustration: VOLUME CLVIII.]

NEW WELLS FOR OLD.

Over the top of Part II. of The Outline of History I caught the smiling glance of the man in the opposite corner of the compartment.

"Good stuff that," he said, indicating the History with a jerk of his head.

"Quite," I agreed, maintaining my distance.

"Immense," he continued. "And it means the dawn of a new life for me. I'm WELLS'S hero. Every time I've appeared in his half yearly masterpiece, ever since Tono Bungay . And look at the mess he's made of my life. Often I've had to start it under the cloud of mysterious parentage. Invariably I have been endowed with a Mind (capital M). Think of those uphill fights of mine against adverse conditions. And my unhappy marriages. He has led me into every variation of infidelity. When I did hit it off with my wife for once, he sent us to the Arctic regions as a punishment. In the depth of winter, too.

But, now he's taken up this History, I'm free. The dam has burst and strange things come floating down ..."

He sprang to his feet in his excitement. He was wearing a loose fitting suit and what his master might call a lower middle class hat.

"And now I'm going to do all the things I've always wanted to do. A happy marriage; well ordered life in the suburbs; warm slippers in the fender, and all that that stands for; kinemas, perhaps, and bowls. An allotment ..."

"But," I objected, "this History won't occupy him for ever. There should be only about sixteen more parts. He'll have you out again next autumn."

"But WELLS is getting the Suburban idea too." He was standing right over me, glaring horribly with excitement. The train had entered a tunnel and he was shouting bravely against the din. "Look in Part I. He acknowledges the help he has received from Mrs. WELLS. And her watchful criticism. That from him ! I tell you I am free free!"

He was shaking me by the shoulders now, his face close to mine. "I shall have my allotment. Prize parsnips giant marrows!"

"Don't be too sure," I yelled the tunnel seemed endless. "Remember poor old Sherlock . DOYLE raised him from the dead. And you" my voice rising to a scream "he'll have you out out OUT!"

As I came to I heard my dentist remark to the doctor that I always had been a bad patient under gas.

MR. PUNCH ON SILK STOCKINGS.

DEAR MR. PUNCH, Your article about Christmas presents was a great success. I took your advice about the silk stockings, and sent the following verses with them, which some of your married readers may care to cut out and keep for future use:

Your stockings once, on Christmas Eve, Would hang, your cot adorning, And Father Christmas, we believe, Would fill them ere the morning; But since he spied your dainty toes To exchange the parts he's willing: He thinks it's his to send the hose And yours to find the filling. He lays his offerings at your feet And hopes you won't deride them, For he has nothing half so neat As you to put inside them.

There! I can only repeat that the results were excellent, and express my gratitude to you for the same.

Yours obediently, GRATEFUL HUSBAND.

P.S. The ties I got this time were quite all right; she too must have read your article.

NATURE AND ART.

To Betty, who can afford to defy the laws of symmetry.

[Being reflections on the old theory, recently developed before the Hellenic Society by Mr. JAY HAMBRIDGE, that certain formulæ of proportions found in nature notably in the normal ratio between a man's height and the span of his outstretched arms (2: [square root] 5) constituted the basis of symmetry in the art of the Greeks and, earlier, of the Egyptians... Continue reading book >>


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