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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI

VOL. 158

MAY 12th, 1920







CHARIVARIA.

We are pleased to note that the KING'S yacht _Britannia_ is about
again after being laid up since August, 1914.

***

Smoking and chatting periods have been introduced in some
Massachusetts factories. Extremists in this country complain that,
while this system may be all right, there is just the danger that
working periods might also be introduced.

***

We are pleased to report that the eclipse of the moon on May 3rd
passed off without any serious hitch. This speaks well for the police
arrangements.

***

"Audiences at the music-halls," writes an actor to the Press, "are
more difficult to move on Saturdays than on other days." This is not
our experience. On a Saturday we have often withdrawn without any
pressure after the first turn or two.

***

Sir L. WORTHINGTON EVANS, says a contemporary, has been asked to
investigate the mutton glut. What is wanted, we understand, is more
glutton and less mutt.

***

Mme. LANDRU, the wife of the Parisian "Bluebeard," has been granted a
divorce. We gather that there is something or other about her husband
which made their tastes incompatible.

***

It appears that Mr. JERRY MCVEAGH is of the opinion that the Home Rule
Bill is quite all right except where it applies to Ireland.

***

A visit to the Royal Academy this year again encourages us to believe
that, though we may be a bad nation, we are not so bad as we are
painted.

***

According to a morning paper a commercial traveller who became
violently ill in the Strand was found to have a small feather stuck
in the lower part of the throat. If people will eat fresh eggs in
restaurants they must be prepared to put up with the consequences.

***

The report that no inconvenience was experienced by any of the
passengers in the South London train which collided with a stationary
goods-engine now turns out to be incorrect. It transpires that a
flapper complains that she dropped two stitches in her jumper as a
result of the shock.

***

A water-spaniel was responsible last week for the overturning of a
motor-car driven by a Superintendent of the Police near Norton Village
in Hertfordshire. We understand that the dog has had his licence
endorsed for reckless walking.

***

According to a Manchester paper a new tram, while being tested, jumped
the lines and collided with a lamp-post. It is hoped that, when it
grows more accustomed to street noises, it will get over this tendency
to nervous excitement.

***

A serious set-back to journalism is reported from South Africa. It
appears that the Army aviator who flew from England to his home at
Johannesburg, after an absence of four and a half years, deliberately
arranged to see his parents before being interviewed by reporters.

***

In a London Police Court the other day a defendant stated that he
was so ashamed of his crime that he purchased a revolver with the
intention of shooting himself. On second thoughts he let himself off
with a caution.

***

Apparently the clothing of the Royal Air Force is not yet complete.
Large headings announcing an R.A.F. Divorce Suit appeared in several
papers recently, although its design and colouring were not mentioned.

***

Builders have been notified that the prices of wall-paper are to be
raised forty to fifty per cent. In view of the vital part played
by the wall-paper in the construction of the modern house, the
announcement has caused widespread consternation among building
contractors.

***

An American contemporary inquires why Germany cannot settle down. A
greater difficulty appears to be her inability to settle up.

***

A shop at Twickenham bears the notice, "Shaving while you wait."
This obviates the inconvenience of leaving one's chin at the barber's
overnight.

***

"Life and property," writes a correspondent, "are as safe in Hungary
to-day as they are in England." It should be borne in mind that there
is usually a motive underlying these alarmist reports.

***

"It is ten days," writes a naturalist, "since I heard the unmistakable
'Cuck, cuck, cuck' of the newly-arrived cuckoo at Hampstead." Not
to be confused with the "Cook, cook, cook!" of the newly-married
housewife at Tooting.

***

A weekly paper has an article entitled "The Lost Haggis." We always
have our initials put on a haggis with marking ink before despatching
it to be tailor-pressed.

***

At the annual meeting of the National Federation of Fish-fryers the
President asked whether it was not possible to make fried fish shops
more attractive. It appears that no serious attempt has yet been made
to discover a fish that gives off an aroma of violets when fried.

***

The Directors of the Underground offer a prize of twenty pounds to
their most polite employee. We have always felt that the conductor who
pushes you off a crowded train might at least raise his hat to you as
he moves out of the station.

***

After considering the Budget very carefully some people are veering
round to the theory that we didn't win the War, but just bought it.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "WHAT'S 'IS BUSINESS?"

"'E'S A TAXIDERMIST."

"OH, IS 'E? WELL, 'E SEEMS TO 'AVE DONE BETTER OUT OF IT THAN I
'AVE."]

* * * * *

THE SCARECROW PROFESSION.

"WANTED, Youth of sixteen for one of the healthiest jobs in the world,
most of the time spent basking in the sun, listening to skylarks and
throstles; wages 35s. guaranteed to smart youth. Lots of weaklings
have been set on their feet and prepared to face the world at this
situation." - _Provincial Paper._


TO A BRICKLAYER IN REPOSE.

Rest from your work, awhile, my son,
And let a mug of beer replace
The moisture - sign of duty done -
That oozes from your honest face;
Your tale of bricks,
A long hour's task, already totals 6.

Our goose that lays the bars of gold
Must not incur too big a strain;
Nor need you, as I think, be told
To keep a check on hand and brain,
Lest you exceed
Your Union's limit in respect of speed.

For homes a homeless people cries,
But you've a principle at stake;
Though fellow-workers, lodged in styes,
Appeal to you for Labour's sake
To fill their lack,
Shall true bricklayers waive their Right to Slack?

Never! You'll lay what bricks you choose,
And let the others waste their breath,
These myriads, ranged in weary queues,
Who desperately quote _Macbeth_: -
"Lay on, Macduff,
And damned be he that first cries 'Hold, enough'!"

Your high profession stands apart;
By years of toil you've learned the trick
(Like PHEIDIAS with his plastic art)
Of slapping mortar on a brick;
Touched too the summit
Of science with your lore of line and plummet.

And none may join your sacred Guild,
Save only graduates (so to speak),
Experts with hod and trowel, skilled
In the finesse of pure technique:
And that is why
No rude untutored soldier need apply.

O.S.

* * * * *


KING'S REGULATIONS, PARA. 1696.

I have been in the Army for over five years; I have wallowed in
Flanders mud; I have killed thousands of Huns with my own hand; I have
seen my friends resume the habiliment of gentlemen and retire to a
life of luxury and ease; and yet I am still in the Army.

I am informed that I am indispensable and that, although I shall be
allowed to go in due course, the fate of the nation depends on my
sticking to my job for a short time more. It would be against the best
interests of discipline for me to tell you what my job is.

Last week I yearned for a civilian life and decided that not only
would I leave the Army but immediately and in good style.

I laid my plans accordingly and proceeded to Mr. Nathan's. There for
the expenditure of a few shillings I purchased the necessary material
for my guile.

I retired to my office, that is the desk that I sit at in a room with
two other officers, and I armed myself with a file which would act as
a passport to the Assistant of a Great Man, who in turn is Assistant
to a Very Great Man. They all reside at the War Office. I went there
and was conducted to the Assistant of the Great Man. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

I found him, after the manner of Assistants, working hard. He did
not look up, so I laid my file before him. It was entitled
"Demobilization, letters concerning," and this was followed by a
long number divided up by several strokes. Within the file were some
letters that had nothing to do with my plan and still less to do with
demobilization, but I hoped that the Assistant of the Great Man might
not delve too deeply into their mysteries.

My hope was justified. "A personal application?" he asked as he
glanced at the reference number.

"Undoubtedly, Sir," I replied, and something in the soldierly timbre
of my voice arrested his attention.

Carefully replacing his teacup in its saucer he raised his eyes
towards me. As he did so he started as though he had received a shock;
a look of perturbation came over his features; his cheeks assumed
an ashy tint and for a moment my fate trembled in the balance.
But gradually I could see his years of training were reasserting
themselves; the moral support of the O.B.E. on his breast was
restoring his courage; he muttered to himself, and I caught the words
"Superior Authority."

Still muttering he rose and retired into the next room. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

In less than a minute he reappeared and beckoned me to follow him.
I then knew that I should soon be in the presence of the Great Man
himself.

I stood in front of an oak desk and noticed the keen but suppressed
energy of the wall-paper, the tense atmosphere of war vibrating
through the room, the solid strength of England incarnate behind the
oak desk.

The Great Man spoke. His opening words showed that his interest was
centred rather in me personally than in the file that lay before him.
He spoke again, rose from his seat and disappeared. And as he went
I caught the words, "Superior Authority." In less than a minute he
returned and beckoned me to follow him. I then knew that I should
soon be in the presence of the Very Great Man himself. Everything was
proceeding according to plan.

I stood in front of a mahogany desk and noticed the keener but more
suppressed energy of the wall-paper, the tenser atmosphere of war
vibrating through the room, the solid strength of the Empire incarnate
behind the mahogany desk.

The Very Great Man spoke. His opening remarks showed that his interest
was centred in me personally. He spoke again, and these are his exact
words: "Mr. Jones," he said, "I perceive that you are a student
of King's Regulations, and that you conform your actions to those
estimable rules. You will be demobilised forthwith, and in view of
your gallant service I have pleasure in awarding you a bonus of two
hundred pounds in addition to your gratuity; but please understand
that this exceptional remuneration is given on the condition that you
are out of uniform within two hours."

With my feet turned out at an angle of about forty-five degrees, my
knees straight, my body erect and carried evenly over the thighs,
I saluted, about turned and marched to the door. Everything had
proceeded according to plan.

As I reached the door the Very Great Man spoke to the Great Man. "You
will draft an Army Order at once," he said, "in these words: King's
Regulations. Amendment. Para. 1696 will be amended, and the following
words deleted: - 'Whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.'"

I am still in the Army. The truth of the matter is that what I have
described did not really happen. My nerve failed me at the door of
Mr. Nathan's. But I believe that whiskers, detachable, red, can be
obtained from Mr. Nathan for a few shillings.

* * * * *

Motto for the Anti-British _Écho de Paris_: "_Ludum insolentem ludere
PERTINAX._"

* * * * *

[Illustration: EXPERT OPINION.

FIRST BRICKLAYER (_pausing so as not to exceed his Union's speed
limit_). "BOUGHT ANY OF THESE 'OUSING BONDS, MATE?"

SECOND BRICKLAYER (_ditto_). "NOT ME; THEY'LL NEVER GET NO 'OUSES
BUILT, NOT IF THINGS GO ON THE WAY THEY'RE GOING."]

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Incoming Batsman_ (_to Deep Field_). "ER - AM I GOING
RIGHT FOR THE WICKET, PLEASE?"]

* * * * *

DENMARK TO HAVE A MANDATE FOR IRELAND.

SENSATION IN POLITICAL CIRCLES.

Dashing round to Downing Street on our motor-scooter we were just
in time to catch Sir PHILIP KERR by one of his coat-tails as he
was disappearing into the door of No. 10 and to ask him whether the
strange rumour as to the PRIME MINISTER'S latest project was true.

"Perfectly," replied the genial Secretary, gently disengaging us. "Mr.
LLOYD GEORGE has been greatly struck by Mr. JACK JONES'S comparison of
Lord ROBERT CECIL to OLIVER CROMWELL, and has been studying the whole
Irish Question anew from an historical standpoint. He has decided that
the mandate for Ireland ought never to have been undertaken for the
Papal See by HENRY II. STRONGBOW - - "

"Let's see, wasn't he a Marathon runner?" we asked.

"You are thinking of LONGBOAT," he replied. "The Earl of PEMBROKE was
invited to enter Ireland by DESMOND MACMOROGH, and between you and
me and the lamp-post DESMOND was a bad hat. Look at the way he stole
DEVORGHAL, the wife of TIGHEIRANACH O'ROURKE."

"Quite, quite," we replied. As a matter of fact, if he had mentioned
"The Silent Wife" we should have felt a bit more at home with the
situation.

"Now take the Danes," said Sir PHILIP. "Do you ever hear an Irishman
complain of the injustice done to Ireland by the Danes? After that
little scrap at Clontarf they accepted the Danish invasion quite
naturally. Anyhow, the Danes got there first, and the PRIME MINISTER'S
view is 'first come first served.'"

"But will Denmark undertake the mandate?" we asked doubtfully.

"Why not? They have Iceland already, and there is only one letter
different."

Scooting thoughtfully away, we went to visit Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR,
feeling sure he would have some light to throw on the situation. We
found him overjoyed with the proposal.

"Ireland and Denmark are simply made for each other," he pointed out;
"both are butter-producing countries and, welded together, they will
form one homogeneous and indissoluble pat. Peace will reign in Ireland
from marge to marge."

Mr. DEVLIN was less optimistic. The rule of Dublin Castle under OLAF
TRYGVESSON was, he declared, not a whit better than the rule of
Dublin Castle to-day. It was true that TURGES the Dane was King of
All Ireland in 815, but it was not until that chieftain had been
very rightly and carefully killed by MELACHLIN that the Golden Age
of Ireland began. He was doubtful whether Mr. EDMUND DE VALERA would
consent to be a toparch under Danish suzerainty. As for himself, he
held by the Home Rule Bill of 1914 or, failing that, BRIAN BORU.

When we asked Sir EDWARD CARSON how he viewed the prospect of becoming
a Scandinavian jarl, he adopted a morose expression reminding us not a
little of the "moody Dane."

"If the PRIME MINISTER'S proposal becomes law," he said firmly, "I
shall have no alternative but to hand over Ulster to Holland."

We scooted slowly back to the office, forced to the conclusion that
the Irish Question is not settled even yet.

* * * * *

GENIUS AT PLAY.

Shall I ever see again
In the human head a brain
Like the article that fills
That interior of Bill's?

Never a day can pass but he
Makes some great discovery;
His inventions are so many
That you cannot think of any
Realm of science, wit or skill
That is not enriched by Bill.

To relieve the awful strain
Of possessing such a brain
William always used to play
Eighteen holes each Saturday.
But he scarce could see at all,
And he often lost his ball,
Plus his temper and his pelf,
So he made a ball himself,
Which, if it should chance to roam
Out of sight, played "Home, Sweet Home"
On a small euphonium he
Had inserted in its tummy.

Next he wrought with cunning hand
Round its waist an endless band,
An ingenious affair
Such as tanks delight to wear;
And, inside, a little motor
Started every time you smote or
Even when you topped your shot;
And, once started, it would not
Stop, for if it came within
Half a furlong of the pin,
Then it was designed to roll
Straight and true towards the hole.
This is scarcely strange, because
It was bound by Nature's laws,
And a magnet was the force
(Hidden 'neath its skin, of course)
Which, thought he, would make it feel
Drawn towards a pin of steel.

When he practised first with it
William almost had a fit,
For the ball with sudden whim
Started madly chasing _him_!
"That's a game that I'll soon settle,"
William said; "my clubs are metal;
Spoons and other clubs of wood
Will be every bit as good."

Then he found to his dismay
Every time he tried to play
That the ball with sundry hoots
Chased the hob-nails in his boots.
Finally he had to use
On his feet a pair of shoes
Of a most peculiar shape
Made of insulating tape.

So the final test arrives
When once more he tees and drives.
Joy! As soon as he has hit he
Sees it toddling down the pretty,
Never swerving left or right
Till it waddles out of sight,
Plodding through a bunker and
Braying like a German band.

Reader, possibly you'll guess
That the ball was a success.
'Twas in fact a super-sphere,
But - I shed a scalding tear
On these verses as I write 'em -
He forgot just _one_ small item
Which (as small things often will)
Simply put the lid on Bill:
_For the hole proved far too small
To accommodate his ball._

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Best Man._ "'OW MUCH?"

_Parson._ "WELL, THE LAW ALLOWS ME SEVEN-AND-SIXPENCE."

_Best Man._ "THEN 'ERE'S 'ARF-A-CRAHN. THAT MAKES IT UP TO
'ARF-A-QUID."]

* * * * *

"WANTED Situation by respectable middle-aged Girl; working
housekeeper, can cook, bake; would not object to milk one cow
(Protestant)." - _Ulster Paper._

As distinct from a Papal Bull.

* * * * *


SINGULAR COINCIDENCE.

"Having successfully towed the disabled American steamer
Tashmoo 1,200 miles, the Fort Stephens, a Cunard steamer,
arrived at Queenstown on Saturday." - _Daily Paper._

"Having successfully towed the disabled American steamer
Tashmos, with which she fell in last Monday, 200 miles, the
Fort Stephen, a Cunard steamer, arrived at Queenstown on
Saturday." - _Same paper, same day._

* * * * *

"The King has notified his intention to command the attendance
of Lieutenants of Counties and the Lord Mayors and the Lost
Provosts of Great Britain, at Buckingham Palace on the 15th
instant." - _Glasgow Paper._

Mr. Punch hopes that this additional publicity will lead to the
recovery of the missing magistrates.

* * * * *

THE AUTHOR-MANAGERS.

Literature is becoming so commercialised that it is to be expected
that before long popular authors, who already surreptitiously practise
the tradesman's art, will go a step further and write their own
advertisements. No longer will they be content to get themselves
interviewed on the subject of their next book, their new car and
their favourite poodle, or to depend on the oleaginous eulogies of the
publishers.

For instance:

MR. DOUGLAS DORMY
begs to announce that he is
NOW SHOWING
his new Novel,
THE HIDDEN HAND OF HATE,
and confidently recommends it to
his Customers.
It contains no fewer than 92,563 of the
_BEST WORDS_
in the English Language
and is guaranteed
FREE from Split Infinitives.

Or again:

Are YOU one of the
mentally alert men, the wistful women,
who have filled up an application form
to-day for
_PATTERNS OF CHAPTER ONE_
of
SEPTIMUS POSHER'S
New great romance of love and mystery
THE SICKENING THUD?
If you have not already done so, lose
no time, but write asking for sample of
_OPENING CHAPTER_
(where the PINK-EYED WOMAN prevents
the marriage of ETHEL and LUDOVIC);
of
_CHAPTER NINETY_,
with its nine SUPERB-QUALITY MURDERS;
or
_CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED_
(the last), where ETHEL and LUDOVIC
at last set out through the
_FAIRYLAND OF LIFE_.

You incur NO RISK in asking for these
exquisite samples.

_Write direct to SEPTIMUS POSHER._

Or yet again:

MR. BOREAS BINKS
has pleasure in announcing that his
new volumes of
_RECOLLECTIONS_
is now showing at all Libraries. He
can confidently claim that this work,
entitled
PEOPLE I HAVE MET AND
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM,
is absolutely the most refined volume
of Scandal on the market. All the
reminiscences are novel and tasty.

Or once more:

KEATS WILLIAMS,
_Poet and Critic_.

Poems of every description completed
at the SHORTEST NOTICE.

Ask to see our choice SPRING LINES.
_Specimens Free._
EPICS within Two Days.
ODES within a few Hours.
Sonnets, Rondeaux, Triolets, Quatrains
while you wait.

_A well-known Judge writes_: "I should very much like to give
you a trial. I am sure you deserve it."

* * * * *

DER TAG ONCE MORE.

["One hundred Diplomatists' Writing Tables, Cupboards, etc.,
for immediate delivery. - Office Furniture Manufacturers, - -
and Co., - - , Berlin." - _The Times "Business Opportunities"
column._]

Lightly loose the silken cable,
Swell, ye sails, by zephyrs kissed,
Bearing me the walnut table
Thumped by BETHMANN-HOLLWEG'S fist;
Steering, not by course erratic,
Safe to the appointed wharf,
Bring, O bark, the diplomatic
Kneehole desk of LUDENDORFF.

Softly now, ye dockers, pardie,
Cease your wrangling for a bit,
Dump the seat whereon BERNHARDI
Bowed his dreadful form to sit;
Make no scratch however tiny
When the circling crane-arm sags
On the chair that rendered shiny
HINDENBURG'S enormous bags.

Blotting-papered, india-rubbered,
Good as new, with pencils piled,
Bring me the immortal cupboard
Where the Hymn of Hate was filed;
Who can say how oft, when brisker
Beat the heart behind his ribs,
TIRPITZ wiped upon a whisker
Pensively these part-worn nibs?

Here are _Kultur's_ very presses,
Calendars that marked The Day,
MAX VON BADEN'S ink-recesses,
DERNBERG'S correspondence-tray;
Gone the imperial years, and cooler
Counsels on the Spree are planned,
Still one may acquire the ruler
Toyed with by a War Lord's hand.

Waft them then, ye winds, let Fritz's
Office furniture be mine;
Each one of these priceless bits is
Salvage from a Junker shrine;
Breathing still the ancient essence,
They shall give me, when I speak,
Something of the German presence
And the blazing German cheek.

EVOE.

* * * * *

[Illustration: MANNERS AND MODES.

OWING TO THE SHORTAGE AND PROHIBITIVE PRICE OF SILK STOCKINGS, THE
LADIES MAYFAIR DECIDE TO DO WITHOUT THEM AND HAVE RECOURSE TO PAINT.]

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Mistress_ (_to maid who has just served boarders'
breakfast_). "WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT, JANE?"

_Jane._ "YOU, MUM."]

* * * * *

MANUAL PLAY.

One point emerges very clearly from the murky chaos of the industrial
situation to-day; and that is that the brain-worker will not for ever


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-05-12 → online text (page 1 of 3)