1907-02-07, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: The Other fellows. (7 February 1907)

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The Other fellows. (7 February 1907)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/260655716
Physical Description
  • 1653 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, A.G. Stephens, 1907-02-07
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • The Other fellows. (7 February 1907)
Appears In
  • The Bookfellow., v.1, no.6, 1907-02-07
Published
  • xna, A.G. Stephens, 1907-02-07
Physical Description
  • 1653 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Part Of
  • The Bookfellow.
  • Vol. 1 No. 6 (7 February 1907)
Subjects
Summary
  • The Other fellows. Trade with Germany I was struck the other day by a remarkable passage in the report of our Consul at Danzig, who distinctly suggested that in view of the importance which the commerce between the Australian Commonwealth and the German Empire has now assumed, the statesmen of Berlin might be glad at no distant date to concede to Australian products an effective preference under their tariffs if they were able once for all to secure the same terms as the Mother Country in that colonial market, thus preventing British goods from securing a special, permanent, and decisive advantage in the great island-continent.—J. L. Garvin, in The National Review , U.K. True American Humour True American humour is funny. That is wherein it differs from all other brands. The Frenchman is witty. His mot is vastly more intellectual, subtler, keener than the American joke. But it isn’t funny ; it produces only an agreeable glow among the thought-lumps. The Germans are comic. Nothing exists more deliciously absurd than Simplicissimus and the Fliegende Blatter. But, at bottom, one laughs at them as one laughs at the hunch-back-and-bandy-leg stage make-up. As for the Englishman’s sense of humour, the only thing funny about that is the claim that he has it. If you ask me to be more explicit, and to define exactly what I mean by American humour, my sole reply must be—Mark Twain, that’s all. There are some deep cosmic reasons, sons, however, why real humour is indigenous to these shores. In the first place, the American is born unafraid. No hoary institutions stifle him, no upper classes smother him. All Europe is subconsciously afraid of somebody else, socially, politically or morally. The European has to consult his “ Who’s Who ” to see whether to laugh or not; the American laughs anyhow. Then, Americans are remarkably sane. No sane person takes himself too seriously. For humour is the result of a sense of proportion. It is an appreciation of the perspective in things. It is a recognition of the valuelessness lessness of minor details. If a man is serious about everything, he had as well be serious about nothing. The true American can afford, to be much in earnest about a few things, because most things amuse him. Genuine humour is only pervasive among a people thoroughly grounded in democracy. The valet laughs at his master’s wit, and the British tradesman is convulsed at my lord’s pleasantry ; but they explain afterwards that while it was funny, it was not what you might call “ darn funny.” Humour is only possible sible among equals. And lastly, American humour is the bright side of Puritanism. Hence, it is clean. What I have here said is not to be refuted by an appeal to our coloured supplements and comic operas and stock of mother-inlaw law and goat jokes. These are not samples of American humour; they are merely indications of a quenchless thirst, an endless demand for which there is no adequate supply. When the boarder passed up his coffee-cup for a third helping the landlady icily remarked, “ You must be very fond of coffee.” To which he replied, “ I should think so, from the amount of slops I have to drink to get any. The Reader, U.S.A. The Privilege of Mobility A stalwart young American was returning home from London. It was somewhat late when the American and his wife reached Euston station, and the porter that had his hand baggage in charge, after searching the line of carriages, declared dismally that there were no vacant seats in the train. According to the English rule, if there is no seat you cannot ride, but usually in such a case more cars are added to the train. In this instance, however, there was no sign of an additional car; the clock-hand was almost upon the starting moment, and the American saw the imminent prospect of missing his steamer. Possibly the porter had overlooked a place. He went hastily along the line of carriages, looking into each. Soon he raised an exultant tant cry, and beckoned to his wife. “ Here’s a compartment with five vacant seats,” he called out. At that the porter came running up, consternation sternation in his face. “You cawn’t sit there, sir,” he cried. “No one is allowed in there.” “ Why not ? ” asked the American. “ I see one man in there now, and five vacant places. Why can’t I sit in there ? ” “ That’s His Grace, the Duke of Norfolk, sir,” said the porter, in a whisper. “We can’t put anybody in with ’im.” “Why not? Does he pay for all the seats ? ” “No, sir; but it’s one of the rules. We cawn’t put anybody in the same compartment with one of the nobility.” “ Nonsense ! ” said the American. “ I’m not going to lose my steamer for all the dukes in creation. I’m going into this compartment, ment, and if you won’t put the baggage in, I’ll put it in myself.” With that he opened the door and scrambled in, while the porter went scurrying for the station-master. That important person soon bustled up. “ You will have to get out of that compartment, ment, sir,” he said authoritatively. “ Has this gentleman paid for more than one seat ? ” asked the American, indicating the duke, who sat like a graven image. “No, sir,” said the station-master ; but the rule of the company is ” “ I don’t care what the rule of the company pany is,” said the American. I’m here, my wife is here, and my baggage is here. If you get us out, you will have to come in and throw us out.” And the train starting at that moment, the station-master was left protesting on his own platform. The Cosmopolitan, U.S.A. JZ? The Distinguished Half-a-Jew Grant Allen was the first to point out the striking number of distinguished persons of half-Jewish blood as something simply extraordinary. ordinary. To mention only some of them —- Sir John Herschel, the astronomer; Paul Lindau and his brother; G. Ebers, the Egyptologist; Professor Oldenburg, the philologist ologist ; Ludovic Halevy, the musician; Paul Heyse ; Francis Turner Palgrave, the critic; W. Gifford Palgrave, the traveller: Sir H. Drummond-Wolff; Prevost-Paradol; Edwin Booth, the actor; Bret Harte, the novelist; Elie Metchnikoff, the biologist; David Manin ; Leon Gambetta; Sir John Millais, the British painter; and many others. —Dr. Maurice Fishberg, in The Popular Science Monthly , U.S.A, A Professional Problem Henry Hess, barrister, of Cape Colony, was called on to defend a man charged with murder. Before the conclusion of the trial the accused, against the desire of his counsel, insisted on confessing to Mr. Hess that, as a matter of fact, he had committed the crime. In spite of this he was acquitted by Mr. Hess’s efforts. This, of course, left the identity of the man who had committed the murder still a matter of enquiry for the local police, and before long they arrested another person on suspicion. The unfortunate tunate victim of circumstances was actually convicted and sentenced to death for the crime of which two persons at least knew he was perfectly innocent. But the real murderer brutally refused to permit Mr. Hess to take the only possible step —that of revealing the name of the man who had confessed that he himself had done the deed. What was actually the course taken by the barrister he prefers to leave untold for the present; meanwhile he awaits the verdict of the British public regarding what ought to have been his action in the difficult circumstances he mentions. —London Correspondent of The Register , S.A. Servia and Saxony The King of Servia was assassinated not long ago. Not long ago the Crown Princess of Saxony tired of domesticity and ran away. In October last a firm of commission agents in Servia tried to do business with a firm of watchmakers and jewellers in Saxony ; and this correspondence followed on post-cards : The Saxons answered, October 26.—“ We do not deliver to the country of unpunished regicides.” Servians, October 29. —“It is superfluous for a country where the army, police, mayor, and council are taken in by a cobbler captain to criticise others. What have the regicides to do with you ? Your reply shows that the works in your top storey are out of order. How must the clocks and watches go that are made and sold by you ? We naturally do not any longer want such dubious articles.” Saxons, November 2. —“The impudent cobbler is caught, and will be punished. In Servia you would have made a Minister of him ! ” Servians, November 5. —“ You are scarcely the people to boast of the morals of your country in this respect. You still have as Minister for Agriculture the pig-rearer and partner in Tippels, Kirch and Co., generally known as ‘ Uncle Pod.’” Saxons, November 20. —“‘Uncle Pod’ is no more in office. All the same, we should have thought that as a breeder of swine he would have been revered all over Servia. We take this opportunity of reminding you that in Servia nothing has been changed. Even your wonderful Crown Prince is just the same.” Servians, November 23. —“ What you have read about our Crown Prince is merely spiteful ful rubbish. On the other hand, the story of your Crown Princess is pure truth.” This was rather a severe blow for the Saxons, who replied, somewhat lamely, on November 29 : “In our country we would not keep the unworthy one in her high position. But we have exchanged compliments enough, and so good-bye! ” The Servians nevertheless determined to have the last word, and closed the war as follows : December 5. —“Just as we come to a sore point you cry, ‘ Stop, enough ! ’ It was not you who would not tolerate the Princess, but the other way round ! She simply could not stay any longer in a country of silly heads, like yourselves, and so fled.” St. James's Budget, U. K.
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