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W. T. Hopley

Life and Laughter

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and so does humour. For instance: Magistrate (at Willesden, of course) :
 
"What is your occupation?"
 
Prisoner: "Unemployment!"
 
This was selected by the newspapers as a police court joke. So it is, but there is more humour than meets the eye. Another magistrate:
 
"What is your occupation?"
 
Prisoner (or should we say defendant here): "I am a gentleman.” No! there is no laughter here, not even a smile.
 
Here is a Labour Government in the seats of the mighty, pledged to abolish unemployment. They are not a sad-eyed, melancholy party. Jollity oozes from their joints and mirth gushes from their mouths.

Afric's Sunny Fountains

 One must admit there is a charm about some of the old, simple hymn tunes that survives the decay of one’s beliefs. Perhaps the mellowing of the years has toned the memory of hot, stuffy, fidgetty afternoons, spent in Sunday School classrooms, and left but the dim impression of droning harmonium and simply melody. To these were often wedded homely sentiments and words full of the colour and romance that appeal to the fresh imagination of a child.

    “There is a green hill far away.”

With the clear eyes of childhood one could clearly see that grassy knoll, though most children were unable to fathom why it should be

    “Without a city wall.”

Then, especially when one of the scholars had to emigrate, we would devoutly sing—

    “O hear us when we cry to thee
    For those in peril on the sea."

Short Story: 'The Great Difference'

Being a verbatim report of a conversation on a Tube platform between a youth of 18 and another of 21, upon a highly technical and abstruse subject.

The Younger: "What’s this about Ilford, Bill?”

The Older: "Why, the blinking Conservative has got in again.”

The Younger: "Oh, but what is all the excitement? What does it mean, 'Ilford Election Sensation’?”

The Older: "Well, the Tory has got in but the majority is about 10,000 down.”

The Younger: "Did you vote, Bill?”

The Older: "No! I wasn’t old enough when the register was made up."

The Younger: "I don’t know a great deal about politics, Bill. What is Conservatism?”

The Older (after profound thought): "Conservatism? Why, its the Nobs, that’s what it is, its the Nobs.”

The Younger: "And what o’ Liberalism, Bill?”

The Heart of England

Who was the great traducer who once said, "The Daily Mirror for those who can't read, and the Daily Mail for those who can't think"? Surely that was in the nebulous period now referred to as "before the war."  Should he have evaded the Roll of Honour, and have attained either the "dole" or the O.B.E., it is devoutly to be hoped he will emerge from his deserved obscurity and revise at least the second half of his glib, but glaucous epigram. For does not the Daily Mail devote two columns each day to "What Our Readers Think"? It does. For the expenditure of one poor humble penny, any day, one can be stirred to one's inmost wave-lengths by the spectacle of our nation doing its thinking. Heart-throbs by the hundredweight, and thinking by the rod, pole or perch. Any issue will do.

Take this one of January 13th. Mr. Sumner-Jones, hailing from proletarian Piccadilly, leads off with:

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