Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 148, January 13th 1915 online

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Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Lisa Tang,
Malcolm Farmer and the Online Distributed Proofreading
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Volume 148, January 13th, 1915

_edited by Owen Seamen_


"The enemy is not yet subdued," announced the KAISER in his New Year's
address to his troops. It is gratifying to have this rumour confirmed
from a source so unimpeachable.

* * *

Prince BUELOW is finding himself _de trop_ at Rome. "Man wants but
little here, BUELOW," he is being told.

* * *

"Stick it!" it may be remembered, was General VON KLUCK'S Christmas
message as published in a German newspaper. The journal in question is
evidently read in Constantinople, for the Turks are now stated to have
sent several thousand sacks of cement to the Egyptian frontier with
which to fill up the Suez Canal.

* * *

After all, it is pointed out, there is not very much difference
between the reigning Sultan of TURKEY and his predecessor. The one is
The Damned, and the other The Doomed.

* * *

With reference to the "free fight" between Austrians and Germans in
the concentration camp at Pietermaritzburg, which Reuter reported the
other day, we now hear that the fight was not entirely free. Several
of the combatants, it seems, were afterwards fined.

* * *

The latest English outrage, according to Berlin, was done upon the
German officer who attempted to escape in a packing-case. It is said
that he has been put back in his case, which has been carefully
soldered up, and then as carefully mislaid.

* * *

Another typical German lie is published by the _Frankfurter Zeitung_.
Describing the FIRST LORD this sheet says: - "Well built, he struts
about elegantly dressed...." Those who remember our WINSTON'S little
porkpie hat will resent this charge.

* * *

An awfully annoying thing has happened to the _Vossische Zeitung_. Our
enterprising little contemporary asked three Danish professors to
state in what way they were indebted to German science, and they all
gave wrong answers. They said they were also indebted to English

* * *

_Daily Mail._

It was, of course, inevitable that the hunts should suffer through the

* * *

_The Evening Standard_ has been making enquiries as to the effect of
the War on the membership of the various Clubs. The report from the
Athenæum was "The War has not affected the club at all." Can it be
that the dear old fellows have not heard of it yet?

* * *

"Business as usual" is evidently Paraguay's motto. They are having one
of their revolutions there in spite of the War.

* * *

The Tate Gallery authorities have now placed the pictures they value
most in the cellars of that institution, and the expression on the
face of any artist who finds his work still on the wall is in itself a

* * * * *


* * * * *

Famous Lines.

"After plying regularly for nearly twenty-five years between
Vancouver, Victoria and the Orient, the last few months of
excitement must have brought back to the memory of her old
timbers - if they happen to be sentient, as Kipling would almost
have one believe - the famous line, 'One crowded hour of glorious
life is worth a cycle of Cathay.'"

_News-Advertiser_ (_Vancouver, B.C._)

* * *

"P. B. - It is a pleasure to read your stirring lines entitled 'To
Berlin'; they possess the twin merits of being vigorous and
timely. We should make an alteration in title, calling them simply
'To Berlin.'"

_Great Thoughts._

No, don't thank us. Our advice is always at the disposal of young

* * * * *


For the _KAISER_ -

"_La Belle France sans merci_
Hath thee in thrall."

For the _Emperor of AUSTRIA_, after the rout in Serbia -

"'But what good came of it at last?'
Quoth little PETER, king."

For the _Commander of the Western Campaign_ -

"Of all the towns that are so far
There's none so far as Calais."

For _General VON MOLTKE_ (retired) -

"Then was I like some watcher on the Rhine
When a new plan is forced into his ken."

For the _Sultan of TURKEY_ -

"He will hold me when his friendship shall have spent its novel force
Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse."


"Oft had I heard from EDWARD GREY."

* * * * *



_Materfamilias_ (Manchester). - No, it is not necessary for you to wear
a dressing-gown for dinner out of compliment to your wounded guests'
pyjamas; if you wear your best tea-gown they will not know the

_Sweet and Twenty_ (Surbiton). - I do not think your mother could
object to your tucking up your charming wounded officer for the night
as long as you don a Red Cross cloak over your evening attire. It is
not usual to kiss these wounded heroes unless you or they are under
seventeen or over seventy.

_Veronica_ (Ventnor). - I think the right size of photograph for your
second cousin to take with him to the Front depends on its subject:
cabinets are usual for dogs, horses and female first cousins; carte
size for parents and male relatives; but from the tone of your letter
and from the fact that you are only his _second_ cousin, I think there
are but two alternatives: boudoir size, or a dainty miniature in a
leather case for the pocket, such as can be obtained at Messrs. Snooks
for the modest sum of ten guineas.

* * * * *

"Germans and Austrians at Loggerheads."

_Daily Paper._

Another of these Polish towns.

* * * * *


[To the officer whose letter, reproduced in _The Daily Telegraph_,
after reporting the irregular exchange of Christmas gifts between
our men and the enemy, goes on to say: - "In order to put a stop to
a situation which was proving impossible, I went out myself after
a time with a copy of 'Punch,' which I presented to a dingy Saxon
in exchange for a small packet of excellent cigars and

A Scent of truce was in the air,
And mutual compliments were paid -
A sausage here, a mince-pie there,
In lieu of bomb and hand-grenade;
And foes forgot, that Christmastide,
Their business was to kill the other side.

Then, greatly shocked, you rose and said,
"This is not my idea of War;
On milk of human-kindness fed,
Our men will lose their taste for gore;
All this unauthorized good-will
Must be corrected by a bitter pill."

And forth you strode with stiffened spine
And met a Saxon in the mud
(Not Anglo-) and with fell design
To blast his joyaunce in the bud,
And knock his rising spirits flat,
You handed him a _Punch_ and said, "Take that!"

A smile upon his visage gleamed.
Little suspecting your intent,
He proffered what he truly deemed
To be a fair equivalent -
A bunch of fags of local brand
And Deutschodoros from the Vaterland.

You found them excellent, I hear;
Let's hope your gift had equal worth,
Though meant to curb his Christmas cheer
And check the interchange of mirth;
I should be very glad to feel
It operated for his inner weal.

For there he found, our dingy friend,
Amid the trench's sobering slosh,
What must have left him, by the end,
A wiser, if a sadder, Bosch,
Seeing himself with chastened mien
In that pellucid well of Truth serene.

O. S.

* * * * *



(_From Grand Admiral VON TIRPITZ._)

ALL GRACIOUS LORD, - It is no pleasant life in these days to be a
sailor, especially if one happens to be an Admiral responsible for the
organisation and direction of a great Fleet. This morning, for
instance, just as I was drinking my early cup of coffee there comes me
in my servant bearing a letter: "Will your Excellency have it now?" he
says, "or will you wait till you have gathered more strength as the
morning goes on?" and with that the old sea-dog smiles a just
perceptible smile.

"Is it from - - ?" I say, leaving out the name.

"Yes," he answers, "it is from - - . It is the seventh in three days.
It will assuredly be some pleasant wish for the New Year. The Lord
Great Admiral is, indeed, fortunate in having so high a well-wisher. I
myself have no such luck, being only - - "

"It is enough," I say, for I knew that he was about to tell me once
more that he was only a poor orphan and that his wife's temper being
of a bitter complaining nature had driven him from his home many years
ago. It is a long story and he spares not the smallest detail in
telling it, nay, rather he takes delight in showing how, in spite of
his own worthiness, destiny has with express malice singled him out
from his fellows to be trodden upon at all those moments when he had a
right to look for ease and enjoyment. This morning I was in no humour
to listen to it, so I ordered him to lay the letter down and to go
about his business. When he had departed I opened the letter, which
was a useless proceeding, for I already knew it was from your
all-highest Self, and, without reading it, I could have written down
its contents word for word. Notwithstanding this, I received the
letter and read it with the respect that is due to such a
communication, and I now proceed in all humility to answer it.

And first I will tell your Majesty that what you ask I cannot promise
to do. You want me to provoke a fleet action under the best conditions
so that we may be sure of smashing up the British and securing eternal
glory for ourselves. These things are, no doubt, splendid, but they
are not done by waving a wand. In securing conditions the enemy also
has something to say, especially when he is much stronger than we are,
so much so that, wherever we can put one ship, he can put at least two
ships of equal power. And sailors have to consider the sea, the wind,
the fog and a thousand other things that the landsman cannot
understand. To bombard Scarborough and Whitby and to kill women and
children may be all very well for once in a way, but even for that
once it was not so glorious a feat that your Majesty will wish to
inscribe it amongst the battle-honours of our Navy. I may whisper to
your Majesty, moreover, that in face of a brave and resourceful foe
these showy excursions are not without risk, and it was only by the
skin of their teeth that your ships escaped into home waters after
they had flung their shells into the two undefended coast-towns.

Next, you want your foreign commerce restored. I cannot do that. It is
a misfortune of war that if your enemy has a bigger fleet he can wipe
away your foreign trade. If your Majesty did not wish it to be so it
would have been better not to go to war. I presume your Majesty
couldn't wait, lest the Russians should construct strategic railways
and the French provide themselves with boots (which I understand they
have now procured in great quantities), but there it is; and after all
we might not have been better off for waiting, since these English
rascals showed a most bloodthirsty determination always to have a
bigger Fleet than ours, no matter what we did. And so our poor
commerce must have disappeared in any case. For an Empire like ours
that is, I am informed, a great misfortune, though, for my own part,
it has not hitherto affected me. On the other hand the scattering of
ships like the _Emden_ and VON SPEE'S squadron, in order to destroy
the enemy's commerce has only led to one conclusion, and that has been
the bottom of the sea. All this is vexing, but it must be endured, and
an occasional success with a submarine, though agreeable at the
moment, does not substantially alter it.

Finally, as to the Russian Fleet, how, I ask, can we be expected to
gain a victory over ships which hide themselves away in the Baltic in
so mean a manner, and show no desire for the delight of battle? They
have no consciousness of the fact that war-ships were intended for

Your Majesty is good enough to impute blame to me. Some part of this,
I do not doubt, belongs to me. The rest, as is right, I will pass on
to poor old INGENOHL and to Prince HENRY, and shall ask them to guess
whence it originally came.

I am Your Majesty's most humble


* * * * *



* * * * *


* * * * *


Dear Chloe, how often my cravings
To winter abroad I've suppressed,
Well knowing my limited savings
Would last but a fortnight at best;
In vain have the posters adjured me
To sojourn in Monte or Rome,
In vain has Herr BAEDEKER lured me ...
I have wintered at home.

But now, half the "ads" I set eyes on
Suggest - and I jump at the chance -
I should widen my mental horizon
By touring through Belgium and France;
They hint at abundance of shooting
With guns that are Government made,
Till the minor excitements of Tooting
Are cast in the shade.

Each tripper, it seems, will be guided
By leaders of courage and skill;
Free bedding and board are provided;
Expenses are little, or _nil_;
A welcome delightfully hearty,
And sport that at least is unique,
Await every man of the party....
We leave in a week.

Good-bye, then, old dear, for the winter;
Expect me in London by May
(Unless a stray bullet or splinter
Should lead to a trifling delay);
From rumours - of which there are plenty -
I gather the fun will begin
At Calais, whence, _Deo volente_,
We tramp to Berlin.

* * * * *


["The Siberians have refused to have their beards cut, saying
that the shagginess frightens the Germans." No doubt the
adaptable enemy will not be behindhand in this method of

The Frighten-em-to-Death's-Head Hussars, in their brilliant charge
yesterday, were greatly aided by the fact that, before going into
action, they had burnt-corked their faces. The effect upon the _moral_
of the enemy was disastrous, the terrified troops flying in confusion.

* * *

The 1914 conscripts, who, as is well known, have yet to go into
action, must not be supposed to be lying idle; they are being rendered
irresistible by a severe training in the use of the grimace, which is
likely to take the place of the bayonet as a means of clearing enemy
trenches. The CROWN PRINCE himself has frequently given instruction to
the troops, although, in the interests of the men, it has been found
necessary for the demonstrations to be carried on through sheets of
smoked glass.

* * *

KRUPPS have largely abandoned the manufacture of big guns, and have
now laid down plant for the construction of five million masks of a
hideousness without parallel. Samples tested by the Black Pomeranians
prove that any one of these masks has the power to drive a force of a
thousand men into instant and complete insensibility.

* * *

With regard to the new crop reports, it must be remembered that fields
hitherto intended for the growing of wheat and barley have, under a
new order from the Imperial War Department, been planted with roots
for the manufacture of the terrifying turnip-ghosts now required by
the German army.

* * * * *



Our uniform - or, if that is too military a word, our academical
costume - is officially announced to be "grey-green," the colour of the
sea at 7.30 in the morning, when you decide that you have forgotten
your towel and had better have a hot bath quietly at home. I don't
know how invisible we shall be as soldiers, but anchored off the
Maplin Sands we should deceive anybody. Where are the Buoys of the Old
Brigade? Ah, where indeed! Even as marines we should have our value.

Luckily, we have been practising amphibious warfare for some time. The
camp is mostly under water, and when the "Fall-in" is sounded we do it
quite easily. The "Emerge" is not so easily obeyed. But there were
drier days in December, and on one of these I made a curious

We were having a field-day, and my side of the battle was advancing in
sections under shell-fire over fairly flat country. Every now and
then, however, we came to a small hill or group of hills. There seemed
to be no human reason for it, and I suggested to my section that we
were on the track of some new kind of mole.

"No," said James, "those are bunkers."

We looked at each anxiously and tapped our foreheads.

"It's a golf-course," he persisted.

I could not allow dangerous talk of this kind to go on.

"Silence in the ranks," I said sternly.

A little later, when we were halted, an old, old man, the Nestor of
the section, asked if he might speak to me.

"Certainly, my lad," I said.

"I think he du be right," he said, indicating James; "I've heerd tell
on 'un. Great-great-grandfayther used to play."

Another man said that he had seen an old print of the game in a shop,
but he thought it was called Ludo.

And then, in a most curious way, I had the sudden feeling that I
myself had played the game in some previous existence - when I was a
king in Babylon, perhaps, and James was a Christian caddie. It was
most odd. When we got back to camp, I spoke to him about it.

"On Boxing Day, James," I whispered, "one might pursue one's
researches in this matter. I should like to find out the truth about
it. We might meet at - - h'r'm! To the left, to two paces, ex-_tend!_"
I added this loudly for the benefit of our platoon commander who was
passing, and James (who in ordinary life extends two paces to the
front) withdrew slowly into the darkness.

I won't refer to what happened on Boxing Day; one does not talk about
these things. But I must tell you of its unfortunate sequel.

Last week, in the course of a route-march, we were suddenly turned on
to distance-judging. I had never done this before, and a remote and
lonely tree, half-hidden in the mist, conveyed nothing definite to me.

"What do you think?" I asked James.

"A drive and a mashie, about."

"S'sh," I said warningly. However, I determined to act on the
suggestion. Remembering Boxing Day I allowed eighty yards for James's
drive, and thirty-five for a mashie off the socket. Total, 115. It
looked more, but the mist was deceptive. However, when the results
were read out, the distance was given as 385 yards, and James, if you
please, had said 350!

Let us leave this painful subject and turn to signalling. We are
getting a little more proficient. Every message we send now starts
properly with prefix, service instructions, code time, and so on, and
the message itself gets in as many hyphens, horizontal lines,
fractions and inverted commas as possible. Here, for instance, is the
beginning of a thrilling message (sent to the Editor of _The Times_)
which I was receiving last Sunday.

"Fore-warned being fore-armed Lieut. Z. SMITHSON, 21st Foot on the
_Przemysl-Rzeszow-Olkusz_ road, with £3 9_s._ 7-1/2_d._ in his pocket
(interest on 5-1/2% DEBENTURES at 97 - brokerage 1/8th) proceeded at
9.25 P.M. to - - "

At this point the "Fall-in" sounded and we had to stop. I never heard
what happened to Lieut. Smithson. My own theory is that he murdered
Emma and put the blame on Lt.-Col. St. George, D. S. O., who only had
three-and-a-half per cents, and had never seen the girl before.
Perhaps the matter will be cleared up when the War is over.

But it was a sad blow to us to be told in a lecture that same
afternoon that despatch-riding has proved to be much more useful than
signalling at the Front. It had an immediate effect on James, and the
advertisement in _The Times_ beginning "WANTED TO EXCHANGE a pair of
blue-and-white silk flags (new) for motor-bicycle," is generally
supposed to be his.

"And all the time I've spent on signalling has been wasted," he said

"Not wasted, James. Your silhouette as you signalled an 'i' has made
many a wet day bright. Anyway, it's no excuse for not coming to
bayonet drill. That won't be wasted."

James made some absurd excuse about wanting to improve his shooting

"One is more independent with the bayonet," I assured him. "The
Government doesn't like us as it is, and it's not going to waste much
ammunition on us. But once you've tied the carving-knife on to the end
of your umbrella, there you are."

"Well, I'll think about it," said James.

But I have heard since that he had already attended one class; and
that in the middle of it James the solicitor advised James the soldier
not to proceed further with the matter.

"Your time," said James the solicitor, "will be better spent on the
range - where you can lie down."

And James the soldier made it so.

A. A. M.

* * * * *


[_What would happen if we modelled our business affairs on the
Yellow Book, Blue Book, White Book, Orange Book and Grey Book_]

1. _From Alfred Midgely, Office Manager, to James Henry Bullivant
(Managing Director of Bullivants, Limited, Drysalters),
temporarily abroad._

I hear from an absolutely trustworthy source that our town traveller,
Mr. Herbert Blenkins, is thinking of giving notice. I have the honour
to suggest that this merits the immediate attention of Your

2. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

Blenkins cannot be allowed to leave at this juncture. You should make
a _démarche_ towards the Office Boy, endeavour to ascertain from him
whether _pourparlers_ might not be opened with the Senior Typist in
the direction of her using her influence with the Book-keeper to learn
whether Blenkins' purpose is in the nature of an ultimatum or a
_ballon d'essai_.

3. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

Mr. Blenkins has presented his note. I have the honour to enclose a
copy. The Office Boy is absent for a few days attending the obsequies
of his grandmother. I have telegraphed to his home in the sense of
your despatch. No reply has come, and I have the honour to await Your
Excellency's further orders.

4. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

It is imperative that there should be no delay in this matter. You
should obtain the address of the office-boy's grandfather, and call
upon him to learn whether he will agree to exert his grandparental
influence in the direction already outlined.

5. _From J. H. B. to Uncle Edward, Brother Theodore and Cousin
Bob, co-Directors._

I enclose copies of correspondence relative to the Blenkins' crisis,
which is rapidly assuming a gravity which I cannot affect to view with
indifference. I beg you to proceed immediately to Midgely, and support
his endeavours with the united weight of your diplomatic abilities.

6. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

I learn from a sure source that the Office-Boy's grandmother has
already died three times. The grandfather is alleged to be _non compos
mentis_. Mr. Blenkins is mobilising his office papers. This is highly

7. _From A. M. to J. H. B._

Further to my despatch of this morning, I have the honour to report
that Mr. Robert Bullivant suggests that we should offer Mr. Blenkins
another twenty pounds a year and have done with it. Mr. Theodore
Bullivant is firmly opposed to any diplomatic weakness at this
juncture, in view of possible demands from the Book-keeper, whom we
suspect of a secret _entente_ with Mr. Blenkins. Your Excellency's
uncle demands peace at any price. Should I take the unprecedented step
of making a direct approach to Mr. Blenkins?

8. _From J. H. B. to A. M._

No. The resources of Diplomacy must first be exhausted. In view of the
urgency of the crisis, I authorise you to pass over the Office Boy and
open _pourparlers_ with the Senior Typist with a view to obtaining a

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 148, January 13th 1915 → online text (page 1 of 4)