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THE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMOR.
MR. RUPERT HAZELL'S VIEWS.
Soleing and heeling other people's para- <*> graphs was how a great Australian editor described his work once, and Mr. Rupert
Hazell, "the hilarious parson" of the
Garden Theatre, once did the same re pairing for Eongs and gags for other come dians. "It ia a thankless task," he eaid, "for if they fail you are given full credit for authorship, and if they succeed no body even mentions your name in public except your creditors." One of Mr. Hazell's "first definite song successes ?was "^Eldorado, Land of Our Dreams," ?which Mr. George Robey liked. In connection with it Mr. Hazell tells how by a single gesture Mr. Wai Pink, the best known writer of vaudeville sketches in England, altered his career from that of a rtrugg ling civil servant to a song writer. Robev. who like most comedians, had no faith in bis own judgment, looked round awri ouslv when Hr. Hazell had finished read ing "his lyric, and Mr- Pink, without Bay ing a word, turned his thumbs up. Kobey bought the eong and ordered a dozen more on the spot. Then De Courville, the famous entrepeneur, got to hear of the young writer and found he was a come dian as well, and gave him a good part in one o: his current shows. He gave Mr. Hazel! a charming dressing-room and having installed him there proceeded to give him sufficient work to turn it into a. study. In the midst of a perfor mance a song would be brought in with a request to have it "'zipped up"' ready for the next act. One night he came into the dressing room, which bud been fitted with a piano, and played over a cat melody, bidding Mr. Hazell to find the words for it. That was the famous "Miow Song," which had such a vogue here a few years ago. The Prince of Wales personally eeut a request for the song. To see Mr. Hdzell iv big ridiculous make-up aud to hear his ceaseless chat ter and repartee it is difficult to imagine him plunging into a highly technical dis cussion of music, but k is his knowledge o: the subject which has made him euch an excellent lyric writer. "Theatrical authorship is a "chancy* business." he said, and as the author of "Joy Bells," "Whirligig," and "Medora," all three London successes, he ought to know. '?Oh, there are failures, too,"' said Mr. Hazell." '"and I remember the most heart felt curtain call speech I ever made. I just said, 'Please don't ask for a speech. I once wrote a show, and next day I read the papers.'" During the war Mr. Hazell served as acting-sergeant, "which he de clared^ivas a rauk in name only. He ?was on duty in an Knglish hospital onc^ and there were constant visits from kindly Australian and Xew Zealand women. "They would pop their heads round the door." said the comediaD, "and ask if there were any of their countrymen there, and if so would band over some com forts for them. One little Cockney, aching for a' 'gasper,' heard the usual question one day and turned to me with a patient grin, i-'spose we are in the blinkin' warY he said hopefully. It was the.same little chap who, whcn_ be was dying just at the verge of a bright English spring morning;, turned to his little Belgian nurse with 'Nurse, can I 'aye a fag?' The girl looked at him in hall-frightened admiration. *You funny little daredevil,' she said, as she gave it to him. 'You should surely be praying instead.' But he lit the cigarette, and his smile' was a prayer itself, and he took two short puffs at his 'fag" before the little nurse had the screen round his bed, aud just above it- one faint blue i spiral hovered for a second. That is life, courageous humor, and tragedy all mixed op, and nobody combines the two better than a. Cockney. I like to think there is that gamin Cockney touch in my own humor. If it had not been for that I should never have endured the mono tony of life as a civil servant as long as I did. The war, although it bred a frantic desire for amusement, deepened the real sense of humor of tbosi who w^r-e ia it. They saw the value or contrasts snd the sunny beauty of little things, and they learned to appreciate oilier people ?;ven, or sometimes perhaps, 100=; of all lueir enemies. That is the secret o: all humor—tolerance en both 6ideE. Ridicule is the keenest weapon in the world, but it is a two-edged sword and malicious humor must always recoil eventnslljr." "' _
Mr. Rupert Hazel: