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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 146.



May 13, 1914.




CHARIVARIA.


Some idea of the amount of distress there is among Stock Exchange men,
owing to the continued depression, may be gathered from the fact that a
number of members, anxious to get to Brighton on their recent holiday on
the 1st inst., walked all the way.

***

While there would seem to be no "Picture of the Year," the canvas which
appears to attract anyhow most feminine attention is the Hon. John
Collier's "Clytemnestra," with its guess at the fashion of
to-morrow - the low-neck blouse carried a little bit further.

***

A publication entitled _Pictures and the Picturegoer_ has made its
appearance, and, please, we want to know what a Picturegoer is.
Suffragettes, it is true, are apt to go _for_ pictures, but we have
never known anyone merely go pictures.

***

Sculptors submitting designs for a statue of Peter the Great, to be set
up at the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, are required by the conditions
not only to produce a statue which will be recognized by the man in the
street as that of the monarch, but it must also convey the idea that he
spent his last days in the Palace. Possibly this might be effected by
his wearing his linen collar inside out, plainly showing the marking,
"Peter the Gt. Winter Palace."

***

In the duel which took place last week between M. Caillaux and M.
d'Allières the ex-Finance Minister fired in the air. As a result, we
hear, aviation societies all over France are protesting against what
they consider may develop into an exceedingly dangerous practice.

***

As regards the result of the duel, M. d'Allières was certainly the more
successful of the two. He fired at the ground and hit it. M. Caillaux
aimed at the sky and missed it.

***

The House of Commons has passed the second reading of a Bill to enable
Health Resorts and Watering Places to spend a portion of their rates on
advertising. The urgent necessity for such a measure would appear to be
proved by the fact that newspapers of every shade of political opinion
approve it.

***

"Democracy," says Lord Haldane, "is rapidly finding its feet." But it
will not gain much if at the same time it loses its head.

***

"A rector," we read, "has written to his bishop and to his wife
announcing his elopement with the wife of one of his parishioners." This
is a little act of courtesy which some men would not have thought of.

***

The London County Council proposes to allow on the Aldwych site a
circular experimental railway on the Kearney high-speed mono-rail
system. It seems strange that what is undoubtedly the most rugged and
wildest tract of forest land in London should for so long have been
without railway facilities. To nature-lovers, however, the proposal is
as distasteful as the idea of a railway up Borrowdale.

***

We had thought that races between omnibuses had, owing to an entire lack
of encouragement on the part of the police, died out, but we see that
the L.C.O.C. is now advertising "Another Motor-Bus Derby."

***

The police are said to be viewing with some apprehension the spread of
habits of cleanliness among our house-breakers. Last week, for instance,
some burglars who paid a visit to a Birmingham firm, after opening a
safe and removing its contents, obtained a bucket of water and carefully
removed all finger-marks.

***

At a recent smoking-match at Brighton the winner kept an eighth of an
ounce of tobacco alight for 103 minutes. The tobacco trade, we
understand, is strongly opposed to the holding of competitions of this
nature, "which serve no useful purpose whatever."

***

"There are 'vintage years' for babies," says Dr. James Kerr. These must
be the years when they take most readily to the bottle.

***

Extract from an account in _The Birmingham News_ of a meeting at
Solihull: - "The next business was the presentation of a handsome
breakfast egg to the Rev. Courtnay Smith, B.A." Once upon a time such
gifts were confined to political gatherings.

***

In the course of his exploring expedition Mr. Roosevelt lost nearly four
stone in weight, and it is rumoured that Mr. Taft may once again follow
in his footsteps.

***

A vulgar person with no respect for wealth has suggested that the Royal
Automobile Club shall change its name to the Hotel Nouveau Ritz.

***

[Illustration: "I say, I've a bone to pick with you."

"Pardon me, Sir, that's quite impossible, for I'm a _strict
vegetarian_."]

***

Another Mysterious Disappearance.

From a catalogue: -

"20 Dozens Bottles Excellent Old Tawny Port, sold without
reserve by the Port of London Authority to pay for charges, the
owner having been lost sight of, and bottled by us last year."

We hope that, after this callous confession, Scotland Yard will now take
action.

***

Musical Candour.

"The singing of the Bradshaw choirs broke up a happy
evening." - _Local Paper._

***

We understand that the famous Presidential biography, _From Log-Cabin to
White House_, is to be followed by another, entitled, _From White House
to Semi-attached Villa_.

***

"'Reflection,' a picture of an elderly gentleman lost in thought
after a lonely dinner, not only suggests a story, but how
effective Mr. Jack is with interiors."

_Cork Constitution._

In this picture, however, the gentleman's interior is wisely left to the
imagination.

* * * * *

THE UNHAPPY MEAN.

(_How the Budget strikes a Brain-Worker._)

Would I were poor (but not too poor),
A working plumber, say, by trade,
One of the class for whom the lure
Of Liberal Chancellors is laid;
For then no single sou from my revénue
Should go to swell the Treasury's bin,
Save indirectly through my breakfast-menu,
My pipe, my beer, my gin.

Would I were rich (O passing rich),
One of the idlers, softly bred,
From whom the hands of David itch
To pluck their plumage, quick or dead;
For then, a super-man, I'd scorn to grudge it -
This super-tax on my estate,
But like a bird contribute to his Budget
The paltry two-and-eight.

Alas, not being this nor that,
But just a middling type of man,
Neither a bloated plutocrat
Nor yet a pampered artisan,
I am not spared, nay, I am hardest smitten,
Although 'tis held (and I agree)
That half the backbone of these Isles of Britain
Is made of stuff like me.

O brothers, ye who follow Art,
Shunning the crowds that strive and pant
Indifferent how you please the mart
So you may keep your souls extant,
Lloyd none the less is down upon your earnings,
And from the increment that flows
(With blood and tears) from your poetic yearnings
You pay him through the nose.

These very lines, in which I couch
My plaint of him and all his works -
Even from these he means to pouch,
Roughly, his six per cent. of perks;
This thought has left me singularly moody;
I fail to join in George's joke;
So strongly I resent the extra 2d.
Pinched from my modest poke.

O. S.

* * * * *

MR. ROOSEVELT'S DISCOVERIES.

Scrapping the Map in Brazil.

We are glad to be able to supplement with some further interesting
details the meagre accounts of Mr. Roosevelt's explorations in Brazil
which have appeared in the daily papers.

Not only did Mr. Roosevelt add to the map a new river nearly a thousand
miles long, but he has discovered a gigantic mountain, hitherto undreamt
of even by Dr. Cook, to which he has attached the picturesque name of
Mount Skyscraper. The lower slopes were thickly infested with cannibals,
whom Mr. Roosevelt converted from anthropophagy by a sermon lasting six
hours and containing 300,000 words - almost exactly as many as are
contained in Mr. de Morgan's new novel.

The middle regions are densely covered with an impenetrable forest
inhabited by rhomboidal armadillos and gigantic crabs, to which Mr.
Roosevelt has given the name of Kermit crabs, to commemorate the escape
of his son, who was carried off by one of these monsters and rescued by
a troglodyte guide after a desperate struggle. On emerging from the
forest the travellers were faced by perpendicular granite crags, which
they ascended on the backs of some friendly condors.... The summit
proved to be an extensive plateau, the site of a prehistoric city, built
of pedunculated wood-pulp. Lying among the ruins was a gigantic mastodon
in excellent preservation, which Mr. Roosevelt brought down on his
shoulders.

It was after the descent from Mount Skyscraper, which was accomplished
in parachutes, that Mr. Roosevelt struck the new river, the upper parts
of which were utterly unknown except to some wild rubber-necked Indians.
In consequence of its character and size Mr. Roosevelt originally
thought of calling it the Taft, but finally decided on the Rio
Encyclopædia in virtue of its volume.

The journey was made in canoes and was full of incident. Descending the
great Golliwog Falls Mr. Roosevelt's canoe was smashed to atoms, but the
ex-President escaped with only slight injury to his eyeglasses, after a
desperate conflict with a pliocene crocodile. The Encyclopædia River, as
described by Mr. Roosevelt, resembles the Volga, the Hoang-ho and the
Mississippi; but it is richer in snags and of a deeper and more luscious
purple than any of them. Near its junction with the Mandragora it runs
uphill for several miles, with the result that the canoes were
constantly capsizing. The waters of Mandragora are of a curiously
soporific character, while those of the River Madeira have a toxic
quality which renders them dangerous when drunk in large quantities.

Mr. Roosevelt, it may be added, is shortly expected in London, when he
will lecture before the Royal Geographical Society, Master Anthony
Asquith having kindly consented to preside.

* * * * *

TO MY HUSBAND'S BANKER.

Florence, _May 2nd_.

Dear Mr. S., - We have been here a week, and I feel I really must write
and thank you for what I can see is going to be the most lovely holiday.

It was ripping of you to let us come - for _sending_ us, in fact. I can't
think why more people don't do it - I mean travel when they can't afford
it. Perhaps it is that all bankers aren't so good-natured as you are. I
shall tell all my friends to come to you in future. Of course I shall
only recommend the conscientious ones. _We_ are being frightfully
conscientious. For instance, when we arrived we purposely didn't go to a
hotel some friends of ours were at because it was two francs a day
dearer than one we found in _Baedeker_ - though as I told Fred I don't
believe you'd have grudged us the two francs a bit. The only thing I
have on my conscience a little is that in Paris, where we stayed three
days on our way out, we _did_ go to rather good restaurants. But I had
never been to Paris before, and I thought, when you knew that, you would
quite approve, because first impressions are everything, aren't they? It
is rather as if you were an invisible host everywhere we go. "Of course
you will have a liqueur with your coffee, Mrs. Merrison?" I hear you say
after dinner; and really, Grand Marnier (_cordon jaune_) _is_ heavenly,
isn't it?

Then we came on here, and, do you know, "The Birth of Venus" nearly made
me cry when I first saw it, it's so beautiful. I shall never forget that
it was you who introduced me to it, so to speak.

And isn't Pisa jolly?

Oh, there's just one other thing I wanted to tell you. Before we came
away we gave a little farewell dinner to one or two of our most intimate
friends. It came out of the travelling money; and I do feel you ought to
have been asked too, when you were really our host. But you see I don't
know you _very_ well (except through your actions), and I thought that
just possibly you might have felt a little out of it. But I want you
very much to come and dine with us one night when we are home again. I
think it is time we knew each other ever so much better.

Well, no more now as we are off to lunch. (How ridiculously cheap food
is in Italy, isn't it?) We shall be home in three weeks, I expect. I
wish we could stay longer, especially as it's really cheaper to stay
here than to come home, now we _are_ here. But we mustn't put too much
strain on your hospitality.

Yours always gratefully, Isabel Merrison.

* * * * *

THE SWASHBUCKLERS.

[Illustration: Tory Die-Hard. "DOWN WITH HOME RULE!"

Radical Extremist. "DOWN WITH ULSTER!"

John Bull. "THIS SORT OF THING MAY AMUSE YOU, GENTLEMEN, BUT I'VE NO USE
FOR IT. I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE CIVIL WAR TO PLEASE EITHER OF YOU!"]

* * * * *

HIGH ART.

[Illustration:

_Our very busiest Society Portrait Painter (who has rushed back to his
studio after a luncheon in Park Lane)._ "I'm late, Mrs. Faulkner.
Anybody come?"

_Studio Caretaker._ "Yes, Sir. I've already shown a lady up to the
dressing-room."

_Portrait Painter._ "Is it the Countess of West Middlesex or Lady Vera
Valtravers?"

_Studio Caretaker._ "I'm sure I can't say, Sir. They're that covered up
with powder and paint I can't tell one from t'other."]

* * * * *

THE NOBLEST WORK OF MAN.

[In an article on Animal Training it has been stated that "wolves are so
stupid it is a waste of time trying to do anything with them," and that
"it is a wonderful tribute to the trainer's skill that he has succeeded
in evolving so faithful a companion as the dog from this unpromising
material."]

Full many a time when I've been overwrought,
And all has seemed beset by doubts and fogs,
I have gleaned ample comfort from the thought,
"Nature is kindly; she has given us dogs
To share our griefs with sympathetic eyes
And force us out for healthy exercise."

But, Carlo, I was wrong to take that view;
Nature, though wonderful, does not (I find)
Deserve the credit of evolving you;
A trainer did it, just by being kind;
Your rise from wolfish ancestors you owe
To some primæval impresario.

One sees the scene: how in the bygone days
Our forbears, fresh from bludgeoning their foes,
Would gather round to watch with glad amaze
A wolf who balanced rocks upon his nose.
"How quaint! How human!" thus their praises flowed;
"Look at his ikey way of wearing woad!"

And ever as the long years took their course
The trainer's skill came farther to the front,
Until, through gentleness and moral force,
One wolf achieved the "trust-and-paid-for" stunt.
Topical, this produced unbounded fun,
Coming when commerce had but just begun.

Then cleverer grew the wolflings year by year,
And greater yearly grew the "spot-cash" boon
Given to trainers summoned to appear
And charm a cave-man's idle afternoon,
Till came the whisper, "This is not the least
Bit like a wolf's cub; 'tis a nobler beast."

And thus the dog was born; the gathered crowd
Cheered their approval of this wise remark;
A glad tail wagged its pride, and clear and loud
Rang out the music of the earliest bark,
While envious Nature sighed, "O parlous miss!
I _was_ a silly not to think of this."

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Maid at Country Hotel._ "Please, sir, will you use the
hot water soon as there's an 'ole on the can?"]

* * * * *

A SILVER JUBILEE.

"Another!" said George, flinging down the card. "I have had just about
ENOUGH OF IT!" He spoke vehemently, with an intonation that I have tried
to convey by the employment of capitals. It was obvious that he was
deeply moved.

"Do you mind explaining?" I asked.

"It explains itself," he answered disgustedly, referring to the card. I
picked it up. It was a printed communication, in which somebody, whose
name I forget, requested the pleasure of George's presence at the
marriage of his daughter Something to Mr. Somebodyelse.

I read it aloud. "What's wrong with that?" I asked. "Were you in love
with her yourself?"

"I was not," said George shortly. "To the best of my knowledge I have
never even set eyes on the wretched girl, and never want to. My
implication in the affair rests solely on my having once been at school
with the bridegroom."

"Then what more touching than that he should desire the presence of his
old comrade at such a crisis?"

"_Presence!_" began George bitterly. "If they'd said - - "

I stopped him. "I know the pun," I said quickly, "and am no longer
capable of being amused at it. So that is the ground of your complaint.
I must say, George, that I regard this as a little mean of you."

"You may," answered George. "That shows you don't realise the facts. If
you were in my position you wouldn't talk like that. Why, look at it,"
he went on, warming to his subject, "here am I, a bachelor nearing
fifty, with an income, secure certainly, but by no means lavish; and
what do we find? Scarcely a day goes by without my receiving some more
or less veiled demand from persons without a shadow of claim!

"Relatives," pursued George, "one, of course, expects. I have myself
five elder sisters, all of them comfortably married with my assistance.
Pianos or dinner-sets or whatever it happened to be," explained George.
"I make no complaint there. Not even though in these cases the initial
outlay was only the beginning. I am by now seventeen times an uncle. A
pleasant position at first, but repetition stales it. The expense of
that alone is becoming appalling. Why on earth didn't Henry VIII. or
somebody institute a bounty for uncles?"

"It can't be so bad as all that."

"It would not be, if, as I say, the matter was kept within one's own
family. But you see it isn't. I have now reached that time of life in
which the rush of weddings appears to be heaviest. Everybody I ever met
seems to be doing it, and using the fact as an excuse for blackmail. I
am a poor man, and I have had enough of it!"

I made a sympathetic noise. As a matter of fact, George's friends agree
that he is very comfortably off, but I let that pass. "What are you
going to do about it?" I asked.

"This," answered George unexpectedly. He opened his pocket-book and
produced a half-sheet of note-paper. "This is going in _The Morning
Post_ to-morrow. I wrote it some time ago, but the hour has now come
when I must make a stand and endeavour to get a little of my own back.
So in she goes!"

I took the paper and read as follows: "1839-1914. Mr. George Pennywise,
of 1096, Upper Brook Street, having remained a bachelor during
twenty-five years of eligibility, invites his numerous friends to join
with him in celebrating his silver celibacy."

"The idea is not original," I said coldly, "but I am interested to know
why you should select this particular moment rather than any other. What
happened in '89?"

George looked faintly conscious. "Nothing," he answered. "That's just
the point. It's what might have happened. I think you've never heard me
speak of a girl called Emeline? Anyhow, I was rather struck at that
time; we were staying in the same house that autumn, and I believe
everybody expected me to propose. Only, somehow I didn't. But it was the
closest shave I've ever had, and, as that was just twenty-five years
ago, I began counting from then."

"Did Miss - er Emeline share the general expectation?"

"To be candid, I rather fancy she did. Several of her set were quite
nasty about it afterwards, though it was obviously no business of
theirs. She married somebody else later on, and lives in Ireland."
George sighed reflectively.

As it was apparent that he would shortly become sentimental, a condition
for which he is unfitted, I took my leave. "You're not really going to
put that nonsense in the paper?" I asked.

"I am," said George, recovering abruptly. "If there is any way in which
a put-upon bachelor can get equal with the world, I mean to take it. I
regard it as a public duty. Look in again next week, and you'll see the
result."

Curiosity brought me on my next visit to George with more anticipation
than usual. The advertisement had duly appeared. But my inquiries found
him oddly reticent.

"Look here, George," I said at length, "what did that paragraph
produce?"

"I got stacks of letters, mostly humorous, that will require answering."

"No presents?"

"One," answered George reluctantly, "from Emeline."

This was intriguing. George's manner with regard to it was discouraging,
not to say morose. But I am not easily put off.

"What sort of present?" I persisted.

"Oh, handsome enough. A silver frame, quite good in its way, with a
family group of herself and her husband and three kids inside it. I
shall take that out."

"Any inscription?"

The moment I had said it I saw that I had found the trouble.

"Only three words," answered George evasively. He hesitated. "But there,
Emeline never did know how to express herself."

"George," I demanded sternly, "what were those three words?"

"_A Thank Offering_," said George.

* * * * *

GLEANINGS FROM GRUB STREET.

(_By our Special Parasite._)

A brilliant reception is being prepared for Professor Hjalmar
Stormbarner, the Finnish novelist, on the occasion of his first visit to
England in June. An address of welcome, composed by Mr. C. K. Shorter
and Sir Robertson Nicoll, with lyrics by Mr. Max Pemberton and Lord
Burnham, will be presented to him at the Grafton Gallery, and Dr.
Clifford is arranging what he happily calls a "pious orgy of
congratulation" at the Caxton Hall, at which Sir Alfred Mond, Baron de
Forest, and Mr. Thornton, the new manager of the Great Eastern Railway,
will deliver addresses. A demonstration in Hyde Park in honour of our
guest is also being organised by his English publishers, Messrs. Dodder
and Dodder, at which their principal authors will speak at thirteen
different platforms, and a resolution will be simultaneously moved by
blast of trumpet that Professor Stormbarner is the greatest novelist in
the world.

Professor Stormbarner is of course best known in this country as the
author of the famous romances, _Letters from Limbo_, _The Devil's
Ducats_, _Narcotic Nelly_ and _The Sarcophagus_, but his versatility and
accomplishments in other departments of mental activity will come as a
surprise to his English admirers. He has penetrated the Arctic circle in
a bath-chair drawn by reindeer; he plays with great skill on the
balalaika, and he has translated most of the works of Mr. Edmund Gosse
into Mæso-Gothic. At the present moment he is undoubtedly the first
favourite for the Nobel Prize, though Willie Ferrero runs him close in
virtue of the patronage of Mr. Andrew Carnegie and the Dowager-Empress
of Russia.


Perhaps the finest and most convincing
tribute to the overwhelming
genius of the great Finnish romancer
is the quatrain recently written in his
honour by Mr. Edmund Gosse: -

George Eliot, greatest of blue stockings,
Joseph and Silas K. (the Hockings),
Watts-Dunton and Professor Garner -
Are all united in Stormbarner.

We understand that during his visit to London Professor Stormbarner will
stay with Mr. David Dodder at Hampstead, but will spend a week-end with
Mr. Lloyd George at Walton Heath.

* * * * *

Mrs. Ray Clammer, whose novels in praise of Blackpool, written at the
commission of the municipal council, have gained her equal cash and
kudos, has gone to Australia for a visit, but hopes to return in time to
spend August at the famous health resort which her genius has done so
much to adorn. Her only regret is that she has had to leave at home her
Persian cat Abracadabra, called "Abe" for short. "Abe," by the way,
figures prominently in a bright personal article about Mrs. Ray Clammer
which Miss Marjorie Moult contributes to _The Penwiper_ for May.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Lady Canvasser._ "I've called to ask you to give us
something for the O.P.Q.S. The - - "

_Old Gentleman._ "My dear lady, I already give away one-tenth of my
income."

_Lady Canvasser._ "Oh, just this year, couldn't you make it an
eleventh?"]

* * * * *


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