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lJ\MMOT DE DOUGHT

ha M.J.MacNally,

A simple faith is an admirable thing and worthy of th^g highest respect, but when it becomes so childlike and bland as to be amusing, one wonders, what next? Passinc flinncr NVirr.h r.prr»-».f» trip nfiipr Aaxr T aana an immfl#MiIar.p.lv

dressed man standing with a friend on the steps of a hotel, and as I went by I heard him say, 'Gosh! if I won that I would buy the best of every thing in the world.'

yj^HAT he was referring to heaven knows, but the remark amused me immensely. I thought of John J. Eden, and that remarkable and delightful old philosopher Robert Blatch ford. whom I once knew, and wondered what their reaction would be to prattling of this description. Blatchford did once refer to this subject, ana although 1 cannot give his exact words, they were to this effect: — 'Fancy buying good friends, an intelligent life, excellent health, and a thousand and one other things that are solely and only the gift of the gods. Are there any shops who deal in goods of this description?' No matter what this good chap won, even if it were the wealth of the Indies, it would not buy him knowledge and love of art, of music, of literature; or give him brains, trained hands, or a cultivated taste. But what we really think he had in his mind, and sighed for as the best things in the world, was unlimited means to supply cocktails in the lounge, to have seven-course repasts, and to

from a two years' residence on an old house boat on the Kannanook Creek at Frankston, Vic toria, in my youth? Here I cooked for myself with the aid of a decrepit primus, was saluted respectfully by the villagers as 'Skip- per.' and had the fun of Cork trying to catch the bream that swam in thousands in this lovely old waterway. I never caught one. and once invited the worthy old president of the Anglers' Club to try his hand. He ashed from early morning till late even ing, and got so exasperated at his failure to get even a bite that he seized an automatic Browning pistol I had and emptied the maga zine at the enemy swimming complacently round the boat They were either too cunning or too well fed to take any bait, and neither I nor anyone else ever caught one. I was supremely happy, and used to chuckle at my expensive friends, who would come down and live at the hotel. They would come round and sample my cooking with the expression of a child taking castor oil. drink mv whisk v

and condole with me about my rotten exis tence, but I noticed they could not keep away, and went no where else. Yes! There was carefree comfort there, although I was despe rately poor. I think 1 enjoyed life much bet ter than they enjoyed expensive hotels, indi gestible meals, and spu rioufi style, with abject servility and tips thrown in. . 'fHE best of every thing in the world.' No thank you! I don't want it The best things have to be worked for, and you can work for them with out being rich. My old friends Blatchford and Eden know this, and their philosophy of life try to foUow it.

distribute money to the poor and needy at Way ville or Victoria Park. However, a remark like that opens up a field of thought. Can the possession of wealth bring all that is said of it in the way of enjoyment, friends, etc.? Does the advantage of its pos session outweigh everything else? ? ? ? T DONT propose to start a diatribe on wealth, because I don't possess it, and know as well as the next man that it would bring me luxury in the shape of streamlined motor cars Harris tweeds, gifts for bookmakers, and a beautiful modern home. But I hold that wealth, with its burden ot anxiety, denies us many delectable things, and that the real joy oflife Is concentrated in that blessed middle state wherein you chase mate rial fortune without ever quite catching up with it I also hold that no man is bankrupt if he can absorb a kick in the pants without squeal ing to the world that providence has got some thing against him, Furthermore, I have no time for the super optimist who lays the nattering unction to his soul that he can live without working. His motto, 'Something for nothing,' is merely stupid, and. as a matter of fact, he works harder and suffers more in pursuit of that 'something' than the rational being does in his pursuit. No wealth will give us the thrill of our lost youth, and poverty only stultifies our souls and takes toll of our health. Where again shall I get the thrill of my first play? I, who nowadays look analytically at the finest performance. If I had the gold of the world where today could I buy that beauti ful 'Arrah na Pogue' (Arrah of the kiss), played so divinely by Dora Mostyn in Dan Barry's old travelling company. What a thrill she gave me, and how I dreamed of her love liness. But now I've lost all my fairies. The sweet and lovely heroines I see today are just nice girls and nothing more. All is gone like an idle dream, and all the wealth in the world won't bring it back again. This blessed middle state gives me joy un told. I have travelled in luxurious liners to strange places in the world, but where on any one of them have I reaped the thrill I got

is a comforting one.

1 occasionally read accounts of groups of people who have 'positively ripping times' caravaning to Port Victor, These people apparently make morning tea, but go to Mrs. Plantagenet-Dillwater and a hotel for meals before continuing their trips to the unknown fastnesses of Goolwa. I wonder if they get the thrill out of it that two young artist friends, got out of a caravan they had hired for a 'bob a day and feed the 'orse'? It was a gorgeous outfit. A hawker's cart with a spavined white moke carried them over parts of the Dandenong country, where they painted, slept, made merry at roadside pubs, chivvied the locals, and wrote amusing accounts for a weekly paper. 'Come out and meet us,' they wrote, and to an arranged rendezvous we went, carrying e case of stingo they had requisitioned, - 'We wandered down the mountain side,' as the song says, and eventually ran them to earth on a country road that was white and stretched into the blue distance. We saw the cart drawn up and smoke arising from the road. 'Ha! They are cooking, we are just in time,' we murmured. 'Hello! Hello!' we yelled. 'Cooking al fresco, what?' 'Cooking, be hanged,' replied one of them disgustedly, 'we're building a fire under the moke — he's jibbed on us!' - Producing the case, we proceeded to cheer them up, but I dropped the case and smashed the lot so if you want to know any more, Mr. Harold Herbert, the famous water colorist, of Melbourne, and Mr. George Court ney-Benson, who is doing the panels for the Perth University, will tell you all about it. It's beyond my poor pen. Now these caravaners, in spite of this little contretemps and others, had a vastly more en tertaining time with little Or no money than many of these lordly outfits carrying the 'best of everything in the world.' This was a 'positively rippinf time for these young artists, and the published account of it was both literary and amusing. Another thing— the best of everything Is not for those who sulk in envy or shrink in fear. Be we rich or poor, kissing still goes by favor.

' I hove travelled in luxurious liners to strange places in the world, but where on any of them have I reaped the thrill I got from the two years' residence' on an old house-boat on the Kan nanook Creek, at Frankston, Victoria, in my youth? . . .'

' I hove travelled in luxurious liners to strange places in the world, but where on any of them have I reaped the thrill I got from the two years' residence' on an old house-boat on the Kan nanook Creek, at Frankston, Victoria, in my youth? . . .'

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