The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, June 1906
The Critic on the Hearth.
[A weekly paper has started a series of articles on ‘The Book of the Week criticised by its author.’ The idea might be extended.]
‘Mr. Arthur Wing Jones’ new comedy, ‘The Fascinating Mr. Maizypop,’ is, in my opinion, the best thing that Prince of Dramatists has ever done. For restrained force, coupled with inimitable espièglerie, it has all Alfred Carton’s footle and R. C. Sutro’s puerile efforts beaten from the start. I am not ashamed to say that I cried steadily through Acts three and four. The fact that the gallery booed signifies nothing, they were in the pay of rival managements. I strongly recommend any one in search of a delightful play, well acted (though, mind you, I had to teach them everything myself), to go and see “The Fascinating Mr. Maizypop.” ’
Arthur Wing Jones.
‘I have been asked to says a few words about the Education Bill. It a jolly good Bill.’ . . . (The rest is lacking, owing to strike of indignant compositors, all fathers of families).—Augustine Birrell.
‘The publication of my Proclamation to the Chinese on the Rand, in Messrs. Wagg, Merryman, and Giggleswick’s series of “Masterpieces of British Humour,” has given to the world, in a handy shape, perhaps the best of my comic works. If you liked the vulture in my “How I escaped from Pretoria,” you will enjoy the facetiæ of this new volume. The fun of the matter is admirably strengthened by the delightfully simple and dignified style. . . . A laugh to every line. . . . Undoubtedly the book of the year. . . . A feast of mirth.’—Winston Churchill.
‘The editor has asked me to write a short critique of my revolution. I don’t know that I have much to say about it. It is a very jolly revolution. Lots of air and exercise. Always on the move. In fact . . . yes, it is the advance guard of the pursuing column. I must be off.’—Bambaata.
Translated from the original Zulu by Mr. Byles.
‘A very fine example of British contemporary Art is afforded by the picture in this year’s Academy, entitled “Whose ickle doggy is ’oo?” It is a study of child-life. A little girl meets a small dog in the street, and, patting it, puts to it the question recorded in the title. The originality of the subject and the brilliance of the colouring combine to make it the picture of the year, and what the deuce the Hanging Committee were thinking about not to put it on the line, I don’t know. The artist’s name, Spashley Daubiton, is new to us. We advise the art-loving public to bear it in mind. Mr. Daubiton will go far.’—Splashley Daubiton.
Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.
The title is a punning reference to The Cricket on the Hearth, an 1845 Christmas novella by Charles Dickens.