Various.

Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 27, 1920 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 27, 1920 → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by V. L. Simpson, Jonathan Ingram and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. This
file is gratefully uploaded to the PG collection in honor
of Distributed Proofreaders having posted over 10,000
ebooks.







PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 159


October 27, 1920.


CHARIVARIA.


Some idea of the evils consequent on a coal strike can be obtained when
we hear there was talk of a football match in the North having to be
cancelled.

* * *

Mr. Lloyd George is certainly most unlucky. As a result of the coal
strike the New World has again been postponed.

* * *

We are assured that everything has been done to safeguard our food
supply. We ourselves have heard of one grocer who has sufficient fresh
eggs to last him for many months.

* * *

"Large numbers of South Wales miners left by train yesterday for the
seaside," says _Lloyd's News_. Unfortunately they did not travel by the
Datum Line.

* * *

The Opera House at Covent Garden is to be used as a cinema theatre.
Meanwhile the House of Commons remains firm.

* * *

_The Daily Mail_ Prize Hat has now been chosen, though it is not yet
definitely decided whether the wearing of it will be made compulsory. If
it is, we understand that Mr. Winston Churchill will apply for
exemption.

* * *

Thieves have broken into the railway station at Blaenau Festiniog and
stolen a quantity of chocolate. Apparently with the idea of confusing
the police, they left the name of the station behind them.

* * *

Twenty-one persons have been injured as the result of the explosion of a
bomb in a first-class carriage on the Brazil Central Railway. The
culprit, we understand, has written to the company expressing regret,
but pointing out that no seat was available in a third-class carriage.

* * *

A ship's cook has been fined twenty shillings for refusing to join his
ship, his excuse being that he had seen a rat as big as a cat in the
cabin. It was pointed out to him that only ship's officers are entitled
to see rats in the cabin.

* * *

A company has been formed at Stockholm for storing wind power. There
should be a great demand for the insides of some puff pastry that we
know of.

* * *

An American has invented an aeroplane capable of remaining in the air
for hours and hours. This is nothing to Mr. Asquith's Irish solution,
which is guaranteed to remain in the air for years and years.

* * *

Brides are getting rather tired of Harris's lilies, says a writer in
_The Daily Graphic_. It is only natural that brides should become rather
bored if they always wear the same sort of flowers every time they're
married.

* * *

Mr. E. Van Ingen, a New York merchant now in London, boasts that he has
crossed the Atlantic one hundred and sixty-eight times. It may be
against the Prohibition laws, but we fancy it would be cheaper if he
kept a few bottles of the stuff in New York.

* * *

A medical man advises people to use dried milk on health grounds. We
have felt for some time that what was wanted was a really good
waterproof milk.

* * *

Mr. E. A. Douse has spent forty-two years in a Cheshire post-office. It
is only fair to say that the young lady behind the counter didn't notice
him standing there all that time.

* * *

A Hertfordshire farmer, says _The Daily Mail_, has counted one hundred
and twenty-three grains of wheat in one ear. Our contemporary has not
yet decided what can be done about it.

* * *

"What is the right age for a man to marry?" asks Miss Gertie
Wentworth-James. The answer is, Not yet.

* * *

While addressing a meeting of miners an extremist declared that the idle
rich were the cause of all industrial troubles. It has since been
reported that several of the audience immediately proceeded home and
told themselves off in front of a mirror.

* * *

We understand that the miners greatly desire that Ireland will remain
quiet for a short period, and thus refrain from distracting public
attention from their cause.

* * *

"Lord Northcliffe," says _The New York World_, "is always in advance of
public opinion." This is a fitting rejoinder to those who tell us that
he is always behind _The Times_.

* * *

We cull the following from a speech of Senator Harding: "As I note the
cornfields I am reminded that we still plough the land and plant and
cultivate the fields in order to grow crops." We would remind the
Senator that, with the Elections drawing daily nearer, the habit of
making such sweeping and unguarded statements as the above is extremely
dangerous.

* * *

We advise all readers to stick to their own particular newspaper, as a
sudden change might upset the "net sales" which are being so carefully
compiled at the present moment.

* * *

The up-to-date song-writer, says a musical journal, must strike a sad
and soulful note this season. We are already engaged in writing "The
Scotsman's Farewell to his Corkscrew."

* * *

A theatrical writer informs us that _The Laughing Husband_ will be
revived this year. Not in our suburb, unless the cost of living drops
considerably.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Betty._ "Grandma, I Know My Twelve Times."

_Grandma._ "Do You, Dear? Well, What Are Twelve Times Thirteen?"

_Betty._ "Don't Be Silly, Grandma. There Isn't Such A Thing."]

* * * * *

"The modern Hydra, embracing innumerable adverse factors, would
appear at least as many headed as the ancient, for as fast as one is
more or less effectively decapitated up comes another to upset the
applecart."

_Financial Paper._

Classical students will, of course, remember how cleverly Hercules made
use of this habit of the Hydra to secure the apples of the Hesperides.

* * * * *

THE DINING GLADIATOR;

OR, WAR TO THE KNIFE (AND FORK).

(_Being further Extracts from a certain Diary._)

II.

WROTE an even better article than ever, on indigestion as a determining
factor in national _moral_. Pointed out how important it is, if we are
to think coolly, that we should eat discreetly. Sufficiently, of course,
but with thought.

At the Tribunal all the afternoon, busily combing out.

To the Hippodrome in the evening. A most diverting show.

* * *

NORTHCLIFFE is becoming impossible and I must find another paper.
Several of my best commas cut out of to-day's article. All reference to
the necessity for immediately beheading ASQUITH omitted yesterday. Was
comforted by lunch at the Carlton with DORIS KEANE, GERTIE MILLAR and
SCATTERS. We had some good jokes.

* * *

The news of my resignation from _The Times_ has set my telephone ringing
all the morning with congratulations, requests for interviews and offers
of employment. Also some attractive invitations to dinner and week-ends.
The War for the moment seems to be forgotten. Wonderful, the power of
the printed word!

* * *

My first article in _The Morning Post_, distributing blame and praise
with my usual deadly accuracy. Wonder what poor NORTHCLIFFE is doing
without me.

* * *

Received long letter from HAIG asking for instructions, which I sent by
return.

Lunched at the Carlton with some charming musical-comedy actresses. To
the Tribunal after. Dined at the National Sporting Club and saw a good
fight.

* * *

A visit from an Italian personage of consequence, who told me that my
articles are the talk of Italy. If writing could win wars, he said, my
pen would have done it.

* * *

L. G. came up to Carryon Hall heavily masked. I gave him an excellent
dinner and some equally good advice, and he left much heartened.

* * *

Dined at Lady RANDOLPH'S. A merry crowd there. Every one very gay and
amusing; but we forgot that WINSTON was our hostess's son and castigated
him badly. Lady JULIET said that with some people, no matter what they
begin to talk about, even with Cabinet Ministers, it all comes back to
food.

* * *

Wrote a careful article pointing out that we must have at least one
hundred more divisions in the West before next Friday.

* * *

I was gratified to learn to-day that in consequence of my articles _The
Morning Post_ has doubled its circulation, while _The Times_ hardly
sells a copy.

* * *

Lunched with MASSINGHAM of _The Nation_, who eats more sensibly than he
writes.

In Paris. Saw CLEMENCEAU at the War Ministry. His table was littered
with papers and reports, amongst which he pointed out laughingly one of
my articles. I can't think why he laughed. Lunched at Voisin's.

* * *

Left for rapid tour of inspection to British H.Q. Found much to put
right. Issued an Order of the Day to soldiers of all ranks. The Germans,
hearing of my presence, made desperate attempts to bomb me, but failed.
Food at the Front not very alluring.

Yesterday's article, I learn, put the wind up the War Cabinet, and great
things may result. All my pleasure spoilt, however, by breaking a tooth
on a pellet in a Ritz grouse.

* * *

Visited the French H.Q. and was pleased with FOCH, whom I asked to run
over to Carryon when he was ever in any doubt. Sent home a powerful
article which, when it is reproduced in all the French papers, as it
will be, should encourage him and improve his position.

* * *

Dined at Lady RIDLEY'S. A very cheery party and much chaff. Mrs. ASQUITH
said that she was writing her reminiscences. I made no mention of my
diary, but if I don't get it out in book form before hers I'm not the
Colonel of the Nuts.

* * *

To-day's article should bring things to a head very shortly. Shall be
very glad when it is over and I can rest a little. Took some bicarbonate
of soda.

* * *

Armistice signed. Spent the day in a kind of triumphal procession from
restaurant to restaurant, at each of which I was hailed with applause.

* * *

Reached Versailles and let the news be known. A visible quickening up
already to be noted.

* * *

Sent for President WILSON, but something must have prevented his coming.
Lunched at Paillard's and dined at Larue's. Saw an amusing Palais Royal
farce.

* * *

_June 28th_, 1920. - Treaty of Peace, for which I have worked so long,
signed at last. Now I can utter my _Nunc Dimittis_, having accomplished
the two ends I had in view - to bring the first world War to a more or
less satisfactory finish and to make it dangerous for any but the deaf
and dumb to dine out.

E. V. L.

* * * * *

THE LATE WORM

(_Being a correction of "A Ballad of the Early Worm," "Punch," October
6th_).

OH ye whose hearts were rent with pain
A few short weeks ago,
Is it unkind to harp again
Upon that tale of woe?

You know the tale - in _Punch_, I mean -
Pathetic every word;
Three wormlets fought to stand between
Pa and the Early Bird.

You sorrowed for their non-success
(By use of triple strength
They saved their father's life - ah yes -
But not his total length).

You thought, of course - I know you did -
That Father left his hole,
A briskly virtuous annelid,
To take an early stroll.

Well, now just go and read a book
Called _Vegetable Mould
And Earthworms_ (DARWIN); if you look
You'll find that you've been sold.

It's not my own, it's DARWIN'S firm
Authority I cite:
_There never is an early worm;
Pa had been out all night._

He swaggered forth at eventide
And stayed till dawn next day;
For I will not attempt to hide
That _worms behave that way._

So pious folk like you and me
Should not be filled with woe
At thought of Father's tragedy;
_His morals were so low._

* * * * *

Our Courtly Contemporaries.

"The Earl of Athlone walked away on foot, as is the simple way of
our Royal Family." _Sunday Paper._

* * * * *
"High-backed chair of Tudor period, about
1660." - _Advt. in Daily Paper._

We don't question its genuineness, but infer that it has been subjected
to Restoration.

* * * * *

"Furnished House, consisting of dining, drawing, eight breakfast
rooms, etc." _Sunday Paper._

Would suit a large family inclined to be short-tempered in the morning.

* * * * *

[Illustration: A TOO-FREE COUNTRY.

ALIEN RIOTER. "DOWN WITH EVERYBODY!"

P.C. JOHN BULL. "WELL, WE'LL MAKE A START WITH YOU."]

* * * * *

[Illustration: PEOPLE WE ADMIRE.

THE HERO WHO KEEPS UP HIS ARMY EXERCISES, STRIKE OR NO STRIKE.]

* * * * *

A LETTER TO THE BACK-BLOCKS.

DEAR GINGER, - So you have bought a very promising little gold-mine from
a rollicking Irish nobleman called Patrick Terence O'Ryan, who is
retiring on Mayo to take up the paternal estates. H-m! - have you? And
you think you yourself will be retiring home presently on the proceeds
of the said mine? H-m! again. There is a certain familiarity in your
description of the gentleman. Tell me, has this Hibernian philanthropist
a slight squint, a broken nose and a tendency to lisp in moments of
excitement?

I think I see you nod.

Ginger, I once bought a mine from that man. His name was Algernon Maddox
Cholmondely _then_, and he was homeward bound to assume the ancestral
acres in Flint. He escorted me down the hole and displayed visible gold
sparkling all along the reef. A week after he had gone I found that he
had put it there with a shot-gun - an old "salter's" trick, but new to me
at the time. You are not likely to be seeing Patrick Algernon Terence
Maddox O'Ryan-Cholmondely again, but, if you should, remember me to him,
please - with the business end of a pick-axe. Always delighted to keep in
touch with old friends.

Ginger, _you never can tell_. This is not an original remark. One of our
brainy boys - George Bernard, unless I err - thought of it before I did;
went away into the wilderness, wrapped his grey-matter in wet Jaeger
bandages, subsisted on a diet of premasticated grape-nuts and produced
this aphorism. And there's a world of truth in it, my son. You certainly
never can.

One fine morning last August (yes, there was _one_), I stepped out of my
diggings in an obscure Cornish fishing-village to find a gentleman
busily engaged strangling a lady on the cliff side. He had her by the
throat and was gradually forcing her over the edge. Once in Bristol I
interposed in a slogging contest between husband and wife and was very
properly chastised for my interference, not only by the happy pair but
by the entire street, who had valuable bets laid on the event. That, you
say, should have been a lesson to me. But you know me, Ginger,
impetuous, chivalrous, brave; I simply couldn't stand there and watch a
defenceless woman - moreover a good-looking woman - foully done to death
like that. I flung myself upon the villain - that is to say I spoke to
him about it.

"Oh, dash it, old bean," I said, "draw it mild!"

Somebody shouted something behind me, but I didn't catch its purport for
the sufficient reason that at that moment the long-suffering cliff gave
way and we all went overboard, all three of us, he, she and it - me.

Fortunately the drop wasn't terrific - not more than four feet or so - and
the tide happened to be in at the time, which was very decent of it. My
first thought as I came to the surface - or, at any rate, _one_ of my
first thoughts - was "What of the woman?" I struck out for the poor
creature. At the same moment she struck out for me, and, what is more,
she got me too, clean between the eyes - a straight left-hander.

"Out of my way, fathead!" she hissed and went on for the shore under
her own steam at about forty knots an hour. I was washed up myself,
along with a quantity of other jetsam, a few minutes later, to be met by
a small furious man with a heliotrope complexion and white spats who
wagged bunches of typescript under my nose and informed me that I had
absolutely ruined about twenty million feet of the Flickerscope
Company's five-reel paralyser, "The Smuggler's Bride."

Of course you say that you saw what was coming all along. Of course you
did. But wait a moment.

Yesterday afternoon I was strolling down a certain fashionable street
when a loud explosion occurred in a near-by shop and a cloud of acrid
grey smoke came rolling out. Being by nature as inquisitive as a
chipmunk I was on the point of shoving my head round the door-jamb to
see what was up when caution prompted me to turn round. Yes, there they
were, of course, a tall, thin youth winding away at a cine-camera like
an Italian at a barrel-organ, and beside him a heavy-weight Israelite,
dancing a war-dance, waving bunches of typescript and howling at me to
stand clear. I had very near ruined a further mile or two of film.

I sprang out of range, and then, wishing to atone for my previous
blunders and prove that I really had no malevolent intentions towards a
struggling industry, I went round and assisted the caracoling producer
in stemming the crowd. Among others I stemmed a pushful policeman. I
didn't notice he was a policeman until he was biting the dust, with my
stick between his legs. However an instantaneous application of palm-oil
made it all right between us, and he squatted half-stunned on the kerb,
nursing his brow with one hand, my five bob with the other and took no
further interest in the proceedings. And very interesting they were,
too.

Three masked men dashed out of the shop laden with booty and were
pursued by a fourth, whom they knocked on the head and left lying for
dead on the pavement. Most realistic. The crowd, led by me, cheered like
mad. Then the thieves jumped into a waiting car and were whirled away.
That done, the photographer and his step-dancing friend leapt into a
second car and were whirled away also. Once more we cheered. I made a
short speech to the effect that everything was all right with the
British Cinema business and, after leading a few more cheers for myself,
came home.

"Well," you say, "all very jolly and so on, but what about it?"

There's this about it, old companion, just this, that I am very probably
spending a meditative winter in gaol. The charge is that I did aid and
abet a peculiarly ingenious gang of desperadoes to blow a jeweller's
safe, knock the jeweller on the head and get safely away with the stuff.
I am even accused of obstructing the police. An inspector has been round
to see me this morning and he tells me there is practically no hope. He
advises me, as between friends, to make a clean breast of it, return the
boodle, betray my accomplices, plead mental deficiency and trust to the
clemency of the Court. It's pretty rough, after making all arrangements
for spending a cheerful Christmas in Algiers, to have it changed to cold
porridge in Parkhurst or Princetown. Of the two I hope it'll be
Parkhurst, for Princetown, so _habitu├ęs_ tell me, is no place for a
growing lad when the wintry winds do blow.

Thine, _de profundis_ PATLANDER.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Mistress._ "WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO OUT THIS AFTERNOON,
MABEL?"

_Mabel._ "I _AM_ GOING OUT."]

* * * * *

Rhymes of Unrest.

There was a young miner of Ayr
Who gave himself up to despair;
For he said, "If we're paid
On our 'get,' I'm afraid
That I canna ca' canny no mair."

"Strike while the iron is hot,"
Said the wise old saw of old;
But the miners say, "What rot!
Strike while the weather's cold."

* * * * *

"The art of decoration is alien to painting in this - that you must
mix your colours with your brains." - _Daily Paper._

We await a reply from the intellectuals of Chelsea.

* * * * *

"There is one building now being erected, within a few miles of
Manchester as the cock crows." - _Provincial Paper._

We are unfamiliar with this method of mensuration.

* * * * *

ABOUT CONFERENCES.

WE may not have coal, but we can have conferences. A conference is the
most typically English thing that there is. The old Anglo-Saxons had
them and called them moots. Why they called them a silly name like that,
when "conferences" would have done just as well, one can't imagine; but
they had their notions and stuck to them. They would have called
Parliament a moot; in fact they did. They called it a moot of wise men.
Sarcastic beggars, these Anglo-Saxons!

The advantages of having a conference about everything are almost too
numerous to explain. For one thing, suppose Smith is coming to see you
at 2.30 P.M. "It's no use his waiting now," you say. "I've got a
conference at 3. Tell him to come back at 5.30." And when he comes back
at 5.30 of course the conference is still going on, so you don't have to
see him at all.

There is nothing again that makes you feel so deliciously important as
being at a conference. You may be a leader of quite an insignificant
body of workers, like the Nutcracker-Teeth Makers' Union, but you rub
shoulders at a conference with men whose names are a household word
throughout the whole of Great Britain, amongst those who have houses.
The distinguished and the undistinguished lay their heads together; the
spat-wearing get their feet mixed with the non-spat-wearing; though
there is rather a fake, mind you, about this spat-wearing business, for
it may simply mean that the uppers are very badly worn, or that only
that very bright pink pair of socks came home from the wash this week,
or even that there are no socks underneath at all.

But anyhow, at a conference, Tom, Dick and Harry hobnob with Bob, James
and George, and all are equal, except perhaps the chairman, who has two
more pens in front of him and a much larger ash-tray. Mr. BEVIN and Sir
ERIC GEDDES smile affably across at each other, and the PRIME MINISTER
and Mr. CRAMP find out how much they have in common, such as love of
poetry and pelargoniums. The mine-owner offers the miners'
representative a cigarette, and the miners' representative says to the
mine-owner, "Many thanks, old boy; but I'll have one of my own." And
after it is over they all go out and stand arm-in-arm in a long row to
be photographed for the papers, and are read next morning from left to
right. It is the ambition of every properly constituted Englishman to
wake up some morning and find that his portrait is being read from left
to right; but how few succeed.

The total output of conferences in this country during one year has
never been computed yet, but it is supposed to exceed that of any
country in the world, except Red India. If there were to be a strike of
conferents or conferees, whatever they are called, in England, it is
impossible to say what would happen. But it might be possible to lay
down a datum line - a shilling extra for the first million words above
two hundred and fifty million per shift, and two shillings more for
every million words above that. Fortunately this will never be
necessary, for people who confer are so fond of conferences that they
will never down chairs.

And no wonder. Only a very strong man can hew coal, and only a very
reckless one can make a speech, but almost anyone can confer if he has a
large enough ash-tray; and there seems no reason why more people
shouldn't confer. Everybody is interested in conferences, whatever they
are about, and the British public ought to be admitted to this kind of
thing. One is always reading in the paper that the sound commonsense or
the traditional sense of fair play of the great British public will
support the miners in any just claim; but this claim is not just or just
isn't, or something of that sort. But how do they know what the great
British public will feel about it? They aren't there, are they? There
ought to be representatives of the G.B.P. on all these conferences. They
ought to be chosen from a rota, like jurymen. Very likely one of them
would have found out what a datum line is, anyway. There's a man who
comes up in the train with me in the morning who thinks he knows, but
unfortunately he gets out at Croydon so we haven't found out yet.

By having a lot more conferences and having a lot of representatives
from the public on them all, and paying them well for it, one could
practically settle the unemployment problem for the winter. If the
Government can only be brought to see that this is the only
statesmanlike course, and the sole course consistent with the


1 3 4

Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 27, 1920 → online text (page 1 of 4)