Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 15, 1914 online

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VOL. 146

APRIL 15, 1914


Reuter telegraphs from Melbourne that the Commonwealth building in
London is to be called "Australia House." This should dispose
effectively of the rumour that it was to be called "Canada House."

* * *

"The Song of the Breakers," which is being advertised, is not, we are
told, a war song for the Suffragettes.

* * *

Some of the Press reported a recent happy event under the following
heading: -


Mr. GEORGE CORNWALLIS WEST would like it to be known that it was also
his wedding.

* * *

It was rumoured one day last week that a certain officer famous for his
picturesque language was about to receive a new appointment as
Director-General of Expletives.

* * *


announces _The Mail_. We are sorry for the poor girl. Mr. GRANVILLE
BARKER, of course, started the idea with his gilded fairies.

* * *

Miss MABEL ROGERS, we read, is bringing a suit against certain other
girl students of Pardue University, Indiana, for "ragging" her by
tearing off her clothes. It seems to us that it is the defendants who
ought to bring the suit.

* * *

"Twelve small farmers," we are told, "were on Saturday sent for trial at
Ballygar, County Galway, on a charge of cattle-driving." Their size
should not excuse them.

* * *

One evening last week, _The Daily Mail_ tells us, the electric light
failed in several districts of Tooting and Mitcham. "A resident in
Garden Avenue," says our contemporary, "had invited about a dozen
friends to a card party. The host secured a supply of candles, in the
dim light of which the party played." It is good to know that in this
prosaic age and in this prosaic London of ours it is still possible to
have stirring adventures worth recording in the country's annals.

* * *

The power of the motor! "At the request of the Car," says _The
Westminster Gazette_, "M. POINCARE will leave on his visit to Russia,
after the national fêtes on July 14."

* * *

A couple of pictures by unknown artists fetched as much as £2,625 and
£1,837 at CHRISTIE'S last week, and we hear that some of our less
notable painters have been greatly encouraged by this boom in obscurity.

* * *

"This Machine," says an advertisement of a motor cycle, "Gets You
Out-of-Doors - and Keeps You There." Frankly, we prefer the sort that
Gets You Home Again.

* * *

The PREMIER, who was said to have "run away" to Fife, after all had a
"walk over."

* * *

"The Elizabethan spirit," says a _laudator temporis acti_, "is dead
among us." We beg to challenge this statement. When the Armada was
sighted DRAKE went on with his game of bowls. To-day, in similar
circumstances, we are confident that thousands of Englishmen would
refuse to leave their game of golf.

* * * * *

[Illustration: CAPTIVE GOLF.


* * * * *


Mrs. Andrew Fitzpatrick, who looped the loop last Friday at Hendon with
her son Hector, is certainly one of the youngest-looking women in the
world of her age - for she is put down in black and white as forty-four
in more than one book of reference. Her miraculous _Lady Macbeth_, which
she impersonated at the age of seven, is still a happy memory to many
middle-aged playgoers, though the miracle was eclipsed by the nine days'
wonder of her elopement and marriage to Mr. Fitzpatrick, the famous
Ballarat millionaire, on her thirteenth birthday. Her daughter Gemma,
who made her _début_ in Grand Opera at the Scala in 1895, is already a
grandmother; and her son Hector, who fought in the Russo-Turkish war of
1878, is the youngest Field-Marshal in the British Army.

M. Atichewsky, the famous Russian pianist, who gives his first recital
in the Blüthstein Hall next Wednesday, is no stranger to London
audiences, though he is only just twenty years of age. In the year of
QUEEN VICTORIA'S Diamond Jubilee he visited England as a _Wunderkind_,
being then only thirteen years of age, and created a _furore_ by his
precocious virtuosity. About eleven years later, while he was still in
his teens, he appeared at the Philharmonic Concerts with his second
wife, a soprano singer of remarkable attainments. The present Madame
Atichewsky, it should be noted, has a wonderful contralto voice, which
is inherited by her second daughter, Ladoga, who recently made her
_début_ at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, in Brussels.

* * * * *

The Poetry of the Ring.

For two pugilists, shaking hands before the knock-out fight begins: -

"Ere we rush, ere we extinguish sight and speech
Each on each."

_BROWNING, "Love among the Ruins."_

* * * * *

"It is interesting to learn that the swans on the lower lake have
built a nest and that one of the pairs on the upper lake have
followed suit, so that there is some possibility of signets on the
lakes presently."

_Beckenham Journal._

We shall be glad to see these freshwater seals.

* * * * *


(_How the prospect strikes an Englishman._)

["In ancient times ... the Devlins were the hereditary horseboys of
the O'Neills. (Loud laughter.)" - _From the "Times'" report of Mr.
TIMOTHY HEALY'S speech in the House._]

I love to fancy, howsoe'er remote
The fiery dawn of that millennial future,
That some fine day the rent in Ireland's coat
Will be adjusted with a saving suture,
And one fair rule suffice
For lamb and lion, babe and cockatrice.

In her potential Kings I clearly trace
Ground for this hope; no bickering there, no jostling;
If HEALY cares to hint that DEVLIN'S race
Subsisted by hereditary ostling,
That's just the family fun
Brothers can well afford whose hearts are one.

No less the picture of O'BRIEN'S fist
Clenched playfully beneath a colleague's nose-piece
Lets me foresee - a sanguine optimist -
That Union which shall bring to ancient foes peace,
When all who lap the Boyne
Beg on their knees to be allowed to join.

Still (to be frank) 'tis not alone the dream
Of leagued Hibernians kissing lips with Ulster
That warms my heart; there is another scheme
That with a livelier motion makes my pulse stir;
And this can never be
Till we have posted REDMOND oversea.

But, when he's planted on his local throne,
The Federal Plan should find him far less sniffy;
We shall have Parliaments to call our own
Modelled from that high sample on the Liffey,
And crown the patient years
With joy of "England for the English" (_Cheers_).

Meanwhile, amid the present rude hotch-potch,
We natives must forgo this satisfaction,
For still the cry is "England for the Scotch"
(Or else some other tribe of Celt extraction);
That's why I shan't be happy
Till Erin's tedious Isle is off the tapis.

O. S.

* * * * *


I was rather glad to spend my eighteenth birthday in Germany, because I
knew my people would make a special effort in the matter of presents.
They did, and I turned the other girls at the _pension_ green with envy
when I wore them. The only thing that spoilt my day was that there was
nothing at all from Cecil, which was rather a blow.

However, the next morning I received an official document referring to a
parcel waiting for me at the Customs House, and lost no time in getting

It was a long, low building, strewn with packing cases, cardboard boxes
and dirt, with a row of pigeon-holes - some big enough to take an
ostrich - on one side, and a counter defending a row of haughty officials
on the other. Several people were wandering aimlessly about, but no one
took the least notice of me, or appeared to realize I was in my
nineteenth year. So I approached an official in a green uniform with
brass buttons, standing behind the counter. He was tall and stout, and
his hair, being about one millimetre long, showed his head shining
through. He had a fierce fair moustache, and, owing to overwork or
influenza coming on, was perspiring freely.

Trusting he would prove more fatherly than he looked, I held out my
paper. He drew back haughtily, ejaculating: "_Nein!_" and jerked his
head towards a kind of letter-box on the counter. I pushed my paper in
the slot, hoping the etiquette of the thing was all right now; and, as
apparently it was, in his own good time he took the paper from the back
of the box, looked at it, glanced sternly at me, looked at the paper
again, and said severely:

"_Vee - ta - hay - ad?_"

I didn't know what he was driving at till I remembered my name was
Whitehead. So I replied, "_Ja_," thinking his pronunciation not bad for
the first shot. He turned to a pigeon-hole and laid a small square
parcel on the counter addressed to me in Cecil's scrawl. I held out my
hand, but he ignored it, and, picking up a fearsome-looking instrument
consisting of blades, hooks and points - which turned out to be the
official cutter - severed the silly little bit of string, unwrapped the
paper and disclosed a white wooden box with a sliding lid.

I bent forward, but he glared at me and moved it further away, slid back
the lid, removed some shavings and looked inside. His official manner
underwent a change; such a look of sudden human interest showed on his
fat clammy face that I thought he must have found some quite new kind of
sausage. But instead he drew out very gingerly a curious square black
box with a sloping front, two round holes at one side, and a handle at
the other. He put it down on the counter and glared at me.

"_Was ist das?_" he demanded.

"_Ich weiss nicht_," I replied, shaking my head.

It was clear he didn't believe me, and he kept it out of my reach,
turning it carefully about, and in response to a jerk of his chin two or
three of his colleagues came up and glared, first, at me, and than at
the suspicious object. However, he would not let them touch it, but,
squaring his chin and taking a deep breath, he turned the handle.

There was a faint ticking noise, but nothing happened, and I suggested
timidly that he should look through the peep-holes and see what was
going on inside. He frowned at my interference, but taking my advice all
the same, raised the box nearer his fierce eye and turned the handle
once more and with greater force. Instantly there was a loud whirr, and
a bright green trick-serpent leapt through the lid, caught him full on
the nose and sent him back sprawling among his packing cases, carrying
two of his friends with him.

I gave a bit of a squeak, but it was lost among the "_Ach Gotts_" and
"_Himmels_" all round me. Cecil in his wildest dreams had never hoped
for this. Whatever the consequences might be I meant to have my snake,
and while I was collecting it from the floor and cramming it back in the
box I discovered my defence.

Smiling my very best smile, I turned and faced the angry officials the
other side of the counter and, holding the box towards them, pointed to
three printed words underneath: "Made in Germany."

* * * * *

"The Prime Minister left Cupar by the 5.29 train.... The motor
arrived at the station at 5.55 and the party went in leisurely
fashion down the station steps." - _Glasgow Herald._

What it is to be a Prime Minister! Ordinary mortals arrive at 5.28 and
go down the steps three at a time.

* * * * *

"It is, of course, impossible to dogmatise without conclusive
evidence." - _Times._

You should hear our curate.

* * * * *





* * * * *


He was a tramp, a mere tramp, clearly a man of no importance to you or
me or anyone else in the world. The evening was warm, the place secluded
and remote, and, other things being equal, he climbed over the hedge,
chose a comfortable position against a haystack, pulled from his pocket
a fragment of a newspaper and a fragment of a pipe and settled down.

A tramp, the merest tramp, seven miles from anywhere, sitting in a field
smoking a pipe and reading a newspaper - what can such a one matter to
the world at large?

The portion of the newspaper was that containing the law reports, not a
prime favourite with the tramp. The lengthy report which had squeezed
out other matter that might have been worth reading was a proceeding
before the Lords of Appeal, in which Sir Rupert Bingley, K.C., M.P., was
being very explicit and very firm about the exact limitations of the
power of the Divisional Court to commit for contempt. This was hardly
fit matter for the reading of a young and susceptible tramp, our man was
telling himself, when the name of a district which he had once traversed
cropped up in the case and caught his wandering attention.

The spot in question was on the wild Welsh border, and it was at a
remote farm thereabouts that the trouble first began over which their
Lordships and Sir Rupert, together with innumerable other senior
counsel, junior counsel, solicitors, law reporters, lay reporters,
ushers, and what-nots were so troubling themselves and each other. The
farmer's stack of clover had been destroyed by fire, and the farmer,
feeling that this was rather the affair of the Insurance Company than
himself, had asked for solatium. The Insurance Company asked who set the
stack on fire; the farmer didn't know; the Insurance Company, having
regard to the size and the recent creation of the policy, were prepared
to guess. The case was heard at Presteign Assizes and the farmer lost
it, the jury who tried it being not quite so sure as was the farmer of
his innocence in the matter.

Encouraged by this, the Insurance Company prosecuted the farmer for
perjury; but the jury that tried this case took almost a stronger view
of the farmer's virtue than he did himself and found a verdict of "Not
Guilty," adding a rider very depreciatory of the Insurance Company.
Encouraged by this verdict, the farmer sued the Insurance Company for
malicious prosecution, but the jury that tried this case had no faith in
either party and disagreed. Another jury were then put in their stead
and they as good as disagreed by finding for the farmer but assessing
the damages at one farthing.

It will be observed that their Lordships have not yet appeared in the
matter, whereas the haystack, the cause of all the trouble, had as good
as disappeared. Meanwhile our tramp, who had seen better days and was
something of a mathematician, calculated that the total sum spent on
counsels' fees alone up to this point was well over two hundred guineas.

Social reformers get mixed up in everything nowadays, and one appeared
in the affair at this juncture. Having chanced to be in court at the
hearing of the Malicious Prosecution suit, he had formed an opinion of
the last-mentioned jury, and in an extremely witty speech, had included
them specifically in the long list of people and things that were no
better than they should, be. One of the jurors had unhappily been among
his audience and, possibly because his experience of another's cause had
endeared him to litigation, he must needs start his action for slander.
By the time that action had been tried, and appealed, and a new trial
ordered and held, and the legal proceedings in the respective
bankruptcies of the social reformer and the juror were completed, the
total of counsels' guineas must have been well on the other side of a

Everybody had now forgotten that there ever was a stack involved and no
one would have recollected that the Insurance Company had had anything
to do with it, had not the social reformer, in the course of his public
examination, ingenuously attributed his financial downfall to the
original misbehaviour of that company in disbelieving their
policy-holders when they declared that they were not incendiaries.
Thereupon, after a number of applications by counsel to a number of
courts, the Insurance Company got itself inserted in the Bankruptcy
proceedings, but not before an enterprising newspaper had taken upon
itself to assert that there was an element of truth in the contention of
the social reformer. And then it was that the Contempt proceedings
began, and were fought strenuously stage by stage, each side briefing
more and more counsel as they went along, until at last, when the case
came before their Lordships, there were more barristers involved than
could be seated in the limited accommodation provided at the bar of
their Lordships' House.

To calculate even roughly the final total of counsels' fees was no easy
sum to be done on the fingers. After wrestling with it a little, the
tramp leant back and puffed hard at his pipe - so hard that the sparks
flew and the smoke became thick around him - so thick that "Bless my
soul," said the tramp, rising hurriedly, "there's another stack I've
been and gone and set afire!"

A tramp, a mere tramp going about the country and setting fire to
stacks, is not even he to be reckoned with in the order of things?

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Professor (to novice during his first lesson)._ "WHAT ON

* * * * *


(_An effort to emulate the gustatory enthusiasm of "The P.M.G."_)

April, though regarded as somewhat suspect by meteorologists, appeals
with a peculiar force to gastronomic experts, owing to the number of
delicacies associated with the month.


Oysters, like the poor, are still with us, but only till the end of the
month; hence, ostreophils should make the most of their opportunities.
But, besides the "king of crustaceans," as Colonel NEWNHAM-DAVIS happily
termed the oyster, the sea provides us with a quantity of other
succulent denizens of the deep. Foremost among these is the turbot; a
fish held in high honour since the time of the Roman emperors. Nor must
we omit honourable mention of lobster, whitebait, mullet and eels. It is
true that some people have an insuperable aversion from eels, but it is
the mark of the enlightened feeder to conquer these prejudices. Besides,
no one is asked to eat conger-eel at the best houses.


Beef, mutton and pork are in good condition, or, if they are not, they
ought to be. But the ways of the animal world are inscrutable,
especially pigs. Lambs, again, show a strange want of consideration for
the consumer, for, though April 12th is called "Lamb and Gooseberry-Pie
Day," lamb, like veal, is dear just now and shows no signs of becoming
less expensive. This is one of the things which independent back-bench
Members should ask a question about in the House of Commons, or, failing
that, they might write to _The Times_.


Lovers of salads should now be conscious of a pleasing titillation, for
this is the green season _par excellence_. Watercress is at its
cressiest; and lettuce springs from the earth for no other reason than
to invite the attentions of those two culinary modistes, oil and
vinegar - the Paquins of the kitchen - and so be "dressed", with highest


Pheasants and partridges are, alas! not now obtainable except from cold
storage. But let us not grumble over-much. Let us rather remember that
the more they are neglected by the diner during the mating season the
more of them there will be to eat when the horrid period of restriction
is over. Among the rarer birds which are now on the market to compensate
us may be mentioned the bobolink, the dwarf cassowary, the Bombay
duckling and the skewbald fintail. The last-named bird, which comes to
us from Algeria, is renowned for its savoury quality and is cooked in
butter and madeira, with a _soupçon_ of cayenne. The effect of the
cayenne is to merge the too prominent black and white of the flesh into
an appetising grey. The Rhodesian sparrow is another highly esteemed
delicacy, which does itself most justice when seethed in a casserole
with antimony, garlic and a few drops of eau-de-Cologne.


This is an extremely painful subject. Let us hurriedly pass to something
more congenial.


An agreeable seasonal feature is the widening of the horizon to the
fruit lover. All sorts of delightful foreign species and sub-species may
now be bad for cash or (if one is lucky) credit - such as bomboudiac,
angelica, piperazine, zakuska, shalloofs and pampooties. A delicious
pampootie fool can be made quite cheaply as follows: 3 lb. of
pampooties, 8 oz. of angelica paregoric, 1 imperial pint of sloe gin, 1
gill of ammoniated quinine, 9 oz. of rock salt. Boil the sloe gin and
quinine to a frazzle, put in the pampooties, cut in thin slices, and
take out an insurance policy.


These eggs by a strange freak of nature are more easily obtainable in
April and May than in any other month. In fact in December they are
worth their weight in gold, and are then to be found on the tables only
BURNS. To-day they are anything from ninepence to a shilling each, and
in a fortnight's time they will be sixpence each, with the added
pleasure to the consumer of now and then finding a young plover inside.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "BUY A PUZZLE, SIR?"]

* * * * *

"On Wednesday of last week an express train dashed into a flock of
sheep being driven over a level crossing at Northallerton to-day."

_Meat Trades' Journal._

Only an express train could arrive a week early; the other ones are
always late.

* * * * *

From a calendar: -

"April 6th. Dividends due. 'We needs must love the highest when we
see it.'"

Unfortunately we don't often see it.

* * * * *


(_A Golf-match has recently been played at Bushey by night._)

Not in the noontide's horrid glare
When nervousness and lunch combined
And James's shoes and well-oiled hair
Perturb me, but when Cynthia fair
In heaven is shrined,
I show my perfect form, and play
Big brassie-shots like EDWARD RAY.
By night I am _plus_ four. By day - -
Well, never mind.

With elfin stance I stride the tee
And deal my orb an amorous slap
In the mid-moonshine's mystery,
And Puck preserves the stroke for me
From foul mishap;
Pan saves me from the casual pot
And Dryad nymphs upbear my shot
Outstripping James's (James has got
No soul, poor chap).

The little pixies of the wood
Come thronging round him while he putts;
They do his game no kind of good
But many an unseen toadstool-hood
Their craft unshuts;
They turn his eye-balls to and fro
And make marsh-lanterns round him glow;
He is all off, whilst I am - oh!
One of the nuts.

The gossips by the club-room fire
Applaud my game with constant din:
"Approach-work never was so dire,
No mashies on this earth expire
So near the tin;
You ought to watch his tee-shots whizz
At number nine. Hot stuff he is.
The captain's lunar vase is his,
If he goes in."

And so I do. My argent sphere
Goes speeding through the night's opaque;
No hazards of the sand I fear,

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 15, 1914 → online text (page 1 of 4)