Punch, or The London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 17th 1915 online

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PUNCH, VOL. 148, FEBRUARY 17TH 1915 ***

Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Malcolm Farmer,
Ernest Schaal and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

VOL. 148.
FEBRUARY 17, 1915.


The Turks are now reported to be retiring through the desert, and the
Germans are realising that you may take a horse to the place where
there's no water, but you cannot make him drink.

* * *

"Rapid progress," we read, "is being made in the American movement to
supply soldiers at the battle fronts in Europe with Bibles printed in
their own languages." We trust that one will be supplied to the KAISER,
who, if he ever had one, has evidently mislaid it.

* * *

Suggested title for Germany and her allies - The Hunseatic League.

* * *

The _Vossische Zeitung_, talking of the proposed blockade, says, "The
dance will begin on February 18." Germania's toe may not be light, but
it is fantastic.

* * *

You may know a man by the company he keeps. The KAISER'S friends are now
the Jolly Roger and Sir ROGER CASEMENT.

* * *

Messrs. HAGENBECK, of Hamburg, are sending Major MEHRING, the German
Commandant at Valenciennes, an elephant. So we may expect shortly to be
told by wireless that a large Indian body has gone over to the Germans.

* * *

Earl GREY, speaking at Newcastle on the War, said that a German
passenger on the _Vaterland_ remarked to him, "Can you wonder that we
hunger? We have been hungry for two hundred years and only had one
satisfying meal - in 1870. We have become hungry again." The pity, of
course, is that so few Germans can eat quite like gentlemen.

* * *

The Dorsets, we are told, have nicknamed their body belts "the dado
round the dining-room." In the whirligig of fashion the freeze is now
being ousted by its predecessor.

* * *

Much of the credit for the admirable feeding of our Expeditionary Force
is due, we learn, to Brigadier-General LONG, the Director of Supplies.
As a caustic Tommy, pointing to his "dining-room," remarked, "one wants
but little here below, but wants that little Long."

* * *

The _Deutsche Tageszeitung_ informs its readers that "the men of the
North Lancashire Regiment recently attempted to force a swarm of bees to
attack German soldiers, but the bees turned on the British and severely
stung one hundred and twenty of them." After this success it is reported
that the Death's Head Hussars are adopting a wasp as a regimental pet.

* * *

Talking of regimental pets, the lucky recipient of Princess MARY'S
Christmas gift that was packed by the QUEEN is Private PET, of the
Leinster Regiment.

* * *

With reference to the private view of a collapsible hut at the College
of Ambulance last week it is only fair to say that there is good reason
to believe that not a few of those already erected will shortly come
under this description.

* * *

The Russian Minister of Finance, M. BARK, paid a visit to this country
last week, and it is rumoured that he had an interview with another
financial magnate, Mr. BEIT, with a view to forming an ideal

* * *

Says an advertisement of the Blue Cross Fund: - "All horses cared for.
Nationality not considered." This must save the Fund's interpreters a
good deal of trouble.

* * *

The Corporation of the City of London reports that diminished lighting,
so far from increasing the dangers of the City streets, has reduced
them, the accidents during the past quarter being only 331 as compared
with 375 a year ago. However, a proposal that the lights shall now be
entirely extinguished with a view to reducing the casualties to _nil_
has not yet been adopted.

* * *

A gentleman has written to _The Globe_ to complain that at Charing Cross
Station there are signs printed in German indicating the whereabouts of
the booking-office, waiting-room, etc. We certainly think that, while we
are at war, these ought, so as to confuse the enemy, to point in wrong

* * *

Germany is now suffering from extreme cold, and the advice to German
housewives to cook potatoes in their jackets is presumably a measure of

* * *

To Mr. WATT'S enquiry in the House as to how many German submarines had
been destroyed, Mr. CHURCHILL replied, "The German Government has made
no return." Let us hope that this is true also of a good few of the

* * *

_Der Tag_, it is announced, is to be withdrawn from the Coliseum. They
could do with it, we believe, in Germany.

* * *

Theatrical folk will be interested to hear that in the Eastern Theatre
of War there has been furious fighting for the passes.

* * * * *


* * * * *

"The power of Great Britain and her Allies was increasing daily
in strength, whereas the power of her enemies was distinctly on
the wane. The existing situation had been brought about without
the vest resources of the Empire having yet been called in to
play." - _Daily Mail._

Are we to understand, that, so far, we have only called out the socks
and body-belts?

* * * * *

"There is but one survival among the historic shows of the
[Crystal] Palace - a portion of the Zoo. The monkeys are asking
one another 'What next?'

A meeting of the directors of the Crystal Palace Football Club
is to be summoned to decide on a course of action."
_The Evening News._

Without wishing to be needlessly offensive to either of these bodies, we
venture to suggest that they should combine their deliberations.

* * * * *

"If ... England and France keep the police of the sea with the
utmost vigilance, so that no copper at all can reach Germany and
Austria, the fate of both Empires seems certain." - _Times._

The land police must be guarded even more vigorously if "no copper at
all" is to slip over.

* * * * *


[A certain German hierarch declares that it goes well with his
country. He finds it unthinkable that the enemy should be
permitted to "trample under foot the fresh, joyous, religious
life of Germany."]

Lift up your jocund hearts, beloved friends!
From East and West the heretic comes swooping,
But all in vain his impious strength he spends
If you refuse to let him catch you stooping;
All goes serenely up to date;
Lift up your hearts in hope (and hate)!

Deutschland - that beacon in the general night -
Which faith and worship keep their fixed abode in,
Shall teach the infidel that Might is Right,
Spreading the gospel dear to Thor and Odin;
O let us, in this wicked war,
Stick tight to Odin and to Thor!

Over our race these gods renew their reign;
For them your piety sets the joy-bells pealing;
Louvain and Rheims and many a shattered fane
Attest the force of your religious feeling;
Not Thor's own hammer could have made
A better job of this crusade.

In such a cause all ye that lose your breath
Shall have a place reserved in high Valhalla;
And ye shall get, who die a Moslem's death,
The fresh young houri promised you by Allah;
Between the two - that chance and this -
Your Heaven should be hard to miss.

O. S.

* * * * *


"Francesca," I said, "how would you describe my nose?"

"Your nose?" she said.

"Yes," I said, "my nose."

"But why," she said, "do you want your nose described?"

"I am not the one," I said, "who wants my nose described. It is Sir
EDWARD GREY, the - ahem - Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In the
midst of all his tremendous duties he still has time to ask me to tell
him what my nose is like."

"This," said Francesca, "is the short cut to Colney Hatch. Will
somebody tell me what this man is talking about?"

"I will," I said. "I am talking about my nose. There is no mystery about

"No," she said, "your nose is there all right. I can see it with the
naked eye."

"Do not," I said, "give way to frivolity. I may have to go to France.
Therefore I may want a passport. I am now filling in an application for
it, and I find to my regret that I have got to give details of my
personal appearance, including my nose. I ask you to help me, and all
you can do is to allude darkly to Colney Hatch. Is that kind? Is it even

"But why can't you describe it yourself?"

"Don't be absurd, Francesca. What does a man know about his own nose? He
only sees it full-face for a few minutes every morning when he's shaving
or parting his hair. If he ever does catch a glimpse of it in profile
the dreadful and unexpected sight unmans him and he does his best to
forget it. I give you my word of honour, Francesca, I haven't the
vaguest notion what my nose is really like."

"Well," she said, "I think you might safely put it down as a loud blower
and a hearty sneezer."

"I'm sure," I said, "that wouldn't satisfy Sir EDWARD GREY. He doesn't
want to know what it sounds like, but what it looks like."

"How would 'fine and substantial' suit it?"

"Ye - es," I said, "that might do if by 'fine' you mean delicate - - "

"I don't," she said.

"And if 'substantial' is to be equivalent to handsome."

"It isn't," she said.

"Then we'll abandon that line. How would 'aquiline' do? Aren't some
noses called aquiline?"

"Yes," she said, "but yours has never been one of them. Try again."

"Francesca," I said pleadingly, "do not suggest to me that my nose is
turned up, because I cannot bear it. I do not want to have a turned-up
nose, and what's more I don't mean to have one, not even to please the
British Foreign Office and all its permanent officials."

"It shan't have a turned-up nose, then. It shall have a Roman nose."

"Bravo!" I cried "Bravo! Roman it shall be," and I dipped my pen and
prepared to write the word down in the blank space on the application

"Stop!" said Francesca. "Don't do anything rash. Now that I look at you
again I'm not sure that yours is a Roman nose."

"Oh, Francesca, do not say such cruel, such upsetting things. It must,
it shall be Roman."

"What," she asked, "is a Roman nose?"

"Mine is," I said eagerly. "No nose was ever one-half so Roman as mine.
It is the noblest Roman of them all."

"No," she said, with a sigh, "it won't do. I can't pass it as Roman."

"All right," I said, "I'll put it down as 'non-Roman.'"

"Yes, do," she said, "and let's get on to something else."

"Eyes," I said. "How shall I describe them?"

"Green," said Francesca.

"No, grey."



"Let's compromise on grey-green."

"Right," I said. "Grey-green and gentle. Sir EDWARD GREY will appreciate
that. Oh, bother! I've written it in the space devoted to 'hair.'
However it's easy to - - "

"Don't scratch it out," she said. "It's a stroke of genius. I've often
wondered what I ought to say about your hair, and now I know. Oh, my
grey-green-and-gentle-haired one!"

"Very well," I said, "it shall be as you wish. But what about my eyes?"

"Write down 'see hair' in their space and the trick's done."

"Francesca," I said, "you're wonderful this morning. Now I know what it
is to have a real helper. Complexion next, please. Isn't 'fresh' a good
word for complexion?"

"Yes, for some."

"Another illusion gone," I said. "No matter; I've noticed that people
who fill up blank spaces always use the word 'normal' at least once. I
shall call my complexion normal and get it over."

After this there was no further difficulty. I took the remaining blank
spaces in my stride, and in a few minutes the application form was
filled up. Having then secured a clergyman who consented to guarantee my
personal respectability and having attached two photographs of myself I
packed the whole thing off to the Foreign Office. I have not yet had any
special acknowledgment from Sir EDWARD GREY, but I take this opportunity
to warn the French authorities that within a few days a gentleman with a
non-Roman nose, grey-green and gentle hair, see-hair eyes and a normal
complexion may be seeking admission to their country.
R. C. L.

* * * * *


TEUTON TROUBADOUR (_serenading the fair Columbia_). "IF SHE WON'T LISTEN

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Bright Youth._ "YES, I'M THINKIN' OF GETTIN' A

* * * * *



MY DEAR CHARLES, - It must be upwards of a month since you heard from me;
I trust you have had sleepless nights in consequence. To be honest, I am
still in England, prepared to go out at a moment's notice, sworn to go,
medically approved, equipped and trained to go, but (my one weakness)
never in fact going. War, of course, is not open to any member of the
public who cares to turn up on the field and proffer his entrance-money;
it is an invitation show, and we have not yet received our cards.

Poor old Tolley, to whom Armageddon is an intensely personal affair, and
who interested himself in it from the purely private motives of the
patriot, in the competitive spirit of the pothunter, or in the wicked
caprice of the law-abiding civilian lusting to travel abroad without a
ticket, go shooting without a licence and dabble in manslaughter without
the subsequent expense of briefing counsel, - poor old Tolley sees a
personal slight in this, and is quite sure that K. has a down on all of
us and on himself in particular. He has no difficulty in conceiving of
the Olympians at the War Office spending five working days and the
Saturday half-day in deciding what they shall do about US; writing round
to our acquaintances for our references: "Is Lieut. Tolley honest, sober
and willing, punctual in his habits, clean in his appearance, an early
riser and a good plain warrior?" and receiving under confidential cover
unfavourable answers; and at night in his dreams he sees the SECRETARY
FOR WAR pondering over our regimental photo and telling himself that
there are some likely-looking fellows in the front row, but you never
know what they have got hidden away in the middle; counting up the heads
and murmuring, as he wonders when he shall send us out, "This year, next
year, some time - never."

But you, Charles, must be patient with us, supporting us with your good
will and opinion, and replying to all who remark upon the progress of
the Allies, "Yes, that's all very well in its way, but you wait till
Henry gets out and then you'll see _some_ war."

Meanwhile the soldier's life continues with us very much after the
manner of the schoolboy's. We all pretend to ourselves that we are now
on terms of complete mutual understanding with the C.O. and the
Adjutant, but none the less we all study their expressions with great
care before we declare ourselves at breakfast. There are times for
jesting and there are times for not jesting; it goes by seasons, fair
and stormy, and to the wise the Adjutant's face is a barometer. In my
wilder and more dangerous moods I have felt tempted to tap it and see if
I couldn't effect an atmospheric change. (In the name of goodness, I
adjure you, Charles, not to leave this letter lying about; if it gets
into print I shall lose all my half-holidays for the next three years or
the duration of the War.)

The other morning I was come for, that is to say I was proceeding
comfortably with my breakfast at 7.55, when I was touched on the
shoulder and told that the C.O. would be glad to see me (or rather,
_would_ see me) at orderly room at eight, a thing which, by the grace of
Heaven and the continual exercise of low cunning on my part, has never
happened to me before. At least they might have told me what I had done,
thought I, as I ran to my fate, gulping down my toast and marmalade, and
improvising a line of defence applicable to any crime. Believe me, the
dock is a haven of rest and security compared with orderly, or ordeal,

When my turn came I advanced to the table of inquisition, came smartly
to attention, saluted, cleared my throat and said, "Sir!" (The
correctness of this account is not guaranteed by any bureau.) I then
cleared my throat again and said, "Sir, it was like this." The C.O.
looked slightly nonplussed; the Adjutant, who in all his long experience
of crime had never before seen the accused open his mouth, began to open
his own. So I pushed on with it. "My defence is this: in the first place
I did not do it. I wasn't there at the time, and if I had been I
shouldn't have done it. In the second place I did it inadvertently. In
the third place it was not a wrong thing to do; and in the fourth place
I am prepared to make the most ample apology, to have the same inserted
in three newspapers, and to promise never to do it again."

Orderly room was by now thoroughly restive. "If you take a serious view
of the matter, Sir," said I, "shoot me now and have done with it. Do not
keep me waiting till dawn, for I am always at my worst and most
irritable before breakfast."

When I paused for breath they took the opportunity to inform me, rather
curtly, I felt, that I had been sent for in order to be appointed to
look after the rations and billets of a party of sixteen officers
proceeding to a distance that same day, and I was to dispose
accordingly. "If I had known that was all," I said to myself, "I'd have
had my second piece of toast while it was still lukewarm." I then
withdrew, by request. I found upon enquiry of the Sergeant-Major, who
knows all things, that the party was to travel by circuitous routes and
arrive at 7.5 P.M., whereas I, travelling _viâ_ London, might arrive at
5 P.M., and so have two odd hours to prepare a home and food for them.
So into the train I got, and there of all people struck the C.O.
himself, proceeding townwards on duty. In the course of the journey I
made it clear to him that, if his boots required licking, I was the man
for the job.

He smiled indulgently. "Referring to that second piece of toast," he

I tapped my breast bravely. "Sir, it is nothing," said I.

"When we arrive in London," he said, "you will lunch with me." I
protested that the honour was enormous, but I was to arrive in London at
1.30 and must needs proceed at 1.50.

"You will lunch with me," he pursued, adding significantly as I still
protested, "at the Savoy."

After further argument, "It is the soldier's duty to obey," I said, and
we enquired at St. Pancras as to later trains. The conclusion of the
matter was that by exerting duress upon my taxidriver I just caught the
4.17, which got me to - - at 7.15, ten minutes after the hungry and
houseless sixteen.

You don't think this is particularly funny; well, no more did the
sixteen. But it was a very, very happy luncheon. Remember that we have
subsisted on ration beef and ration everything else for some months, and
you will believe me when I tell you that, upon seeing a menu in French
(our dear allies!), opening with _crème_ and concluding with _Jacques_,
we told the waiter to remove the programme and give us the foodstuffs.
"Start at the beginning," said the C.O., "and keep on at it till you
reach the end. Then stop."

"Stop, Sir?" I asked.

"Ay, stop," said he, "and begin all over again" ... and so when we got
to the last liqueur, I held it up and said, "Sir, if I may, your very
good health," meaning thereby that I forgave him not only all the harsh
things he has said to me in the past, but even all the harsher things he
proposes to say to me in the future.

From the monotony of training we have only occasional relief in the
actual, as for instance when we are kept out of bed all night, Zepping.
But this is a poor game, Charles; there is not nearly enough sport in it
to satisfy the desires of a company of enthusiasts, armed with a rifle
and a hundred rounds of ball ammunition apiece. We feel that the officer
of the day, who inspects the shooting party at 9.30 P.M. and then sends
it off about its business, is trifling with tragic matter when he tells
us: "Now, remember; no hens!"
Yours ever, HENRY.

* * * * *



_The Bird._ "JOHNNY, GET YOUR GUN!"]

* * * * *

"The battle that has been raging for several months has now
ended in a distinct triumph for the high-necked corsage."

Good. Now we can devote our attention to the other war on the Continent.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Village Wit_ (_to victim of ill-timed revelry_).

* * * * *


Who that beheld her robed in May
Could guess the change that six months later
Has brought such wondrous disarray
Upon his _alma mater?_

Distracted by a world-wide strife,
The calm routine of study ceases;
And Oxford's academic life
Is broken all to pieces.

No more the intellectual youth
Feeds on perpetual paradoxes;
No longer in the quest of truth
The mental compass boxes.

Gone are the old luxurious days
When, always craving something subtler,
To BERGSON'S metaphysic maze
He turned from SAMUEL BUTLER.

Linked by the brotherhood of arms
All jarring coteries are blended;
Mere cleverness no longer charms;
The cult of Blues is ended.

The boats are of their crews bereft;
The parks are given up to training;
The scanty hundreds who are left
All at the leash are straining.

And grave professors, making light
Of all the load of _anno domini_,
Devote the day to drill, the night

While those who feel too old to fight
Full nobly with the pen are serving
To weld conflicting views of right
In one resolve unswerving.

No more can essayists inveigh
Against the youth of Oxford, slighting
Her "young barbarians all at play,"
When nine in ten are fighting,

And some, the goodliest and the best,
Beloved of comrades and commanders,
Have passed untimely to their rest
Upon the plains of FLANDERS.

No; when two thousand of her sons
Are mustered under Freedom's banner,
None can declaim - except the Huns -
Against the Oxford manner.

For lo! amid her spires and streams,
The lure of cloistered ease forsaking,
The dreamer, noble in her dreams,
Is nobler in her waking.

* * * * *

"Lest we forget."

In these days, when we have to be thankful that our country has not,
like Belgium and France, been overrun by savages, the greater mercies we
receive are apt to obscure the less. But Swansea does not forget the
smaller mercies. According to a recent issue of _The South Wales Daily
Post_, "The Swansea Town F.C. are coming for the second time to St.
Nicholas' Church, Gloucester Place, Swansea, on Sunday evening next, at

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