Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, June 6, 1917 online

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VOL. 152.

JUNE 6, 1917.


It is rumoured that the Press campaign against young men of military age
engaged in Government offices is causing some of them many sleepless


A correspondent writes to an evening paper to say that by his
thermometer the recent heat was a record for the year. We suppose it is
due to the example of the Censor in the matter of the Folkestone raid
that nobody appears to be able to keep a secret.


"A movement is on foot," says a contemporary, "to present the Italian
nation with a monument to SHAKSPEARE, to be erected in Rome." The
alternative of despatching Mr. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW to become a
naturalized Italian does not appear to have been so well received.


Lord COWDRAY recently presided at a lecture on "Flying after the War."
Most people will be content to wait till it comes by again.


Mr. KENNEDY JONES has declared that beer is a food. This should have a
salutary effect on those who have hitherto mistakenly regarded it as a


An artist has been arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act for
sketching on the East Coast without permission. It is dangerous in these
times to be caught mapping.


A contemporary complains that German officers at a South of England
Prisoners' Camp are being driven to the dentist in motor cars. We also
hold the opinion that these reprisals do more harm than good.


A controversy has recently been raging on the question of whether
trousers will survive the War. The better opinion seems to be that a few
exceptionally stout pairs at present in their infancy may be still
extant when peace is actually declared.


The sudden and dramatic conclusion of the ROMNEY case was a great
disappointment to many theatrical experts. They had predicted that it
would run for at least as short a period as most of the other recent
West-End revues.


The want of co-ordination between our Ministries becomes daily more
marked. It is an offence to keep a stray dog more than three days, but,
on the other hand, a sausage roll may be kept any length of time
provided it is sealed up at both ends.


The report comes from a German source that the resignation of Count
TISZA was procured by Marshal VON HINDENBURG. It is a curious commentary
on the fickleness of the multitude that the KAISER isn't even mentioned
as having taken a hand in the matter.


A branch of the Pan-German League has decided that Germany must not
conclude peace until the whole of the British Empire is annexed by the
KAISER. It is the sincere hope of the ALL-HIGHEST that the British
Empire will understand that in this matter his hand has been forced.


Dealing with the United States Navy, an American journalist says that
every recruit must learn to stand squarely on his own feet. The
attention of Mr. CHARLES CHAPLIN has already been drawn to this passage.


Sir HERBERT TREE has arrived in England, and, according to _The New York
Telegraph_, Mr. CHARLES CHAPLIN is now demanding a higher price for his


A strange case is reported from Northumberland, where a man who was
taken ill last weak admitted that he had not been eating rhubarb tops.


With reference to the complaint of an allotment-holder that cats cause
more damage than the pea weevil, a correspondent sends the following
hint as to the treatment of cats on the allotment: "These should be
sprayed with a good shot-gun and planted out in soft soil."


Leading provision-merchants state that there will soon be cheese-queues
outside the grocers' shops. One enterprising firm of multiple shop
grocers is said to have already engaged a troupe of performing cheeses
to keep the customers amused during the long wait.

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE FATAL LURE.]

* * * * *

New Combination Head-gear for Troops.

"Service dress caps in wear and those in stock will be used up and
worn side by side with the soft caps." - _Army Council Instruction
No_. 824.

* * * * *

"To a school in Battersea to-day the High Commissioner for New
Zealand presented an Australian flag sent by the school-children of
Dunedin." - _Evening News._

The children of Dunedin seem to have accepted in a very excellent spirit
the annexation of New Zealand by Australia, of which this is the first
news to reach us.

* * * * *

"The Germans wore absolutely dismayed at the promptness of
President Wilson's rupture of relations. Then followed an amazing
attempt to brow-beat Mr. Gerard into singing a revised version of
the Prusso-American Treaty of 1799." - _Planters' and Commercial
Gazette_ (_Mauritius_).

Happily Mr. GERARD refused to oblige.

* * * * *

"The annual report of the Kneckenm√ľller Lunatic Asylum at Stettin
states that a number of lunatics have been called up for military
service at the front, adding: 'The asylums are proud that their
inmates are allowed to serve the Fatherland.' It appears, however,
that the results are not always satisfactory." - _The Times_.

We have heard of no complaints on our side.

* * * * *

"Meat, particularly mutton, is (says 'The Times') likely to remain
dead this week-end."

_Lancashire Daily Post_.

But if the hot weather continues -

* * * * *


["How long the conflict may last lies in God's hand; it is not our
business to ask questions about it.... It is not the Prussian way
to praise oneself.... It is now a matter of holding out, however
long it lasts." - _Extract from Speech by the KAISER, delivered near

I fear that Father's lost his nerve.
As I peruse his last oration
I seem to miss the good old _verve_,
The tone of lofty exaltation,
The swelling note of triumph (_Sieg_)
That often carried half a league.

The drum on whose resounding hide
He brought to bear such weight and gristle
Has now been scrapped and laid aside
In favour of the penny whistle,
On which he plays so very small
You hardly hear the thing at all.

No more we mark the clarion shout -
"Go where the winds of victory whirl you!"
His eagle organ, petering out,
Whines like a sick and muted curlew;
A plaintive dirge supplants the paean
That used to rock the empyrean.

Poor Father must have changed a lot.
He had a habit (now he's shed it)
Of patronising "_Unser Gott_,"
And going shares in all the credit;
To-day he wears a humbler air,
And leaves to Heaven the whole affair.

He's modified his sanguine view
About the foes he meant to batter;
He talks no more of barging through;
He frankly owns it's just a matter
Of hanging on and sitting tight,
Possibly through the _Ewigkeit_.

"I never speak in boastful vein;
No Prussian does," he tells the Army.
It really looks as if his brain
Is going "gugga," which is barmy;
He's done some talking through his hat,
But never quite such tosh as that.

How to correct the sad decline
Which takes this form of futile prattle?
That pious feat might yet be mine
If I could only win a battle;
Cases are known of mental crocks
Restored by sharp and staggering shocks.


* * * * *


(_In the manner of various contemporaries._)


_Corelli Parade, Stratford-on-Avon._

DEAR SIR, - I seem to have read somewhere of the extreme sagacity and
intelligence shown by the baboons of South Africa, some of whom, as well
as I remember, are employed as porters and, I think, station-masters on
the railways in the interior of Cape Colony. My gardener and coachman
having both been called up, it has occurred to me that I might find
efficient substitutes for them in these excellent animals.

Perhaps you or some of your readers would kindly inform me what it would
cost to import two trustworthy baboons, also what would be a fair wage
to give them; whether they would come under the provisions of the
National Insurance Act, and whether they are vegetarians or carnivorous?
Any other information bearing on their tastes and habits would be
gratefully received by

Yours faithfully, (MRS.) AMANDA BLEEK.

[You should communicate with the Director of the Zoological
Gardens, Regent's Park. We believe that baboons can be booked at
special rates. Possibly they might be allowed to work their passage
over as stokers? As regards wages, payment in kind is generally
preferred to money. The baboon is a vegetarian but no bigot, and
will eat mutton chops without protest. The great American nature
historian, WARD, tells us that we should not give the elephant
tobacco, but lays no embargo on its being offered to baboons. They
are addicted to spirituous liquors, and on the whole it is best to
get them to take the pledge. A valued correspondent of ours, Canon
Phibbs, once had a tame gorilla which invariably accompanied Mrs.
Phibbs at Penny Readings; but this interesting animal died suddenly
from a surfeit of mushrooms, and Canon Phibbs has also joined the
majority. - ED. _Daily Swallow._]

* * * * *

_Kimono Cottage, Camberley._

DEAR SIR, - Poodles have from time immemorial been employed to hunt for
and dig out truffles in France. May I suggest to all owners of dogs of
this highly intelligent breed that they should use them (1) for digging
in gardens and allotments; (2) in place of caddies on golf links? May I
add that poodles ought not to be shaved with a safety-razor, but should
be trimmed by a topiary expert?

I am, Sir,
Yours faithfully, MAISIE MIMRAM.

[We are most grateful to our correspondent for her information and
the humane suggestion with which it is coupled. Truffle-hunting is
indeed a noble sport. - ED. _Daily Scoop._]

* * * * *

_Limejuice Villa, Leighton Buzzard._

DEAR SIR, - As a dead set is being made against dogs by some
uncompromising food economists, may I point out on behalf of our
four-footed friends what admirable service they render the community by
the destruction of flies? My Irish terrier, Patsy, spends half his time
catching blue-bottles - indeed, my husband, who is of a mathematical
turn, estimates that he accounts for several hundreds every day.
Faithfully yours, VERAX.

[Patsy has indeed deserved well of the commonwealth. Some official
recognition is clearly called for, preferably a special
collar - unstarched, of course - recording his services. - ED. _Weekly

* * * * *

_Mazawattee Mansions, Matlock._

DEAR SIR, - I have had since 1912 a Pomeranian dog of good pedigree.
Wishing to give him a chance, I changed his name from Fritz to Jock, but
he refuses to answer to the new title. As it is impossible to deport him
to his native land, I think of presenting him to a German Prisoners'
Camp in the neighbourhood, but before doing so should be glad of your
advice. Yours anxiously, PUZZLED.

[The problem is a difficult one, but we see no reason for vetoing
our correspondent's generous proposal. The position of neutral dogs
is also puzzling. Only the other day we heard of a Great Dane who
could not be taught to "die for the King" - doubtless on
conscientious grounds. The feelings of the mites in a Dutch cheese,
again, ought to be considered. - ED. _Conscience._]

* * * * *

[Illustration: PLAYING SMALLER.


* * * * *


When we have finished slaying for the day, have stropped our gory
sabres, hung our horses up to dry and are sitting about after mess,
girths slackened and pipes aglow, it is a favourite pastime of ours to
discuss what we are going to do after the War.

William, our mess president and transport officer, says frankly,
"Nothing." Three years' continuous struggle to keep the mess going in
whiskey and soda and the officers' kit down to two hundred and fifty
pounds per officer has made an old man of him, once so full of bright
quips and conundrums. The moment HINDENBURG chucks up the sponge off
goes William to Chelsea Hospital, there to spend the autumn of his days
pitching the yarn and displaying his honourable scars gained in many a
bloody battle in the mule lines.

So much for William. The Skipper, who is as sensitive to climate as a
lily of the hot-house, prattles lovingly during the summer months of
selling ice-creams to the Eskimos, and during the winter months of
peddling roast chestnuts in Timbuctoo. MacTavish and the Babe propose,
under the euphonious _noms de commerce_ of Vavaseur and Montmorency, to
open pawn-shops among ex-munition-workers, and thereby accumulate old
masters, grand pianos and diamond tiaras to export to the United States.
For myself I have another plan.

There is a certain historic wood up north through which bullets whine,
shells rumble and no bird sings. After the War I am going to float a
company, purchase that wood and turn it into a pleasure-resort for the
accommodation of tourists.

There will be an entrance fee of ten francs, and everything else will be

Tea in the dug-out - ten francs. Trips through trenches, accompanied by
trained guides reciting selected passages from the outpourings of our
special correspondents - ten francs. At night grand S.O.S. rocket and
Very light display - ten francs. While for a further twenty francs the
tourist will be allowed to pick up as many souvenirs in the way of rolls
of barbed wire, dud bombs and blind crumps as he can stagger away with.
By this means the country will be cleared of its explosive matter and I
shall be able to spend my declining years in Park Lane, or, anyway,

Our Albert Edward has not been making any plans as to his future lately,
but just now it looks very much as if his future will be spent in gaol.
It happened this way. He had been up forward doing some O. Pipping.
While he was there he made friends with a battery and persuaded the poor
fools into doing some shooting under his direction. He says it is great
fun sitting up in your O. Pip, a pipe in your teeth, a telescope clapped
to your blind eye, removing any parts of the landscape that you take a
dislike to.

"I don't care for that tree at A 29.b.5.8"," you say to the telephone.
"It's altogether too crooked (or too straight). Off with its head!" and,
hey presto! the offending herb is not. Or, "That hill at C 39.d.7.4" is
quite absurd; it's ridiculously lop-sided. I think we'll have a valley
there instead." And lo! the absurd excrescence goes west in a puff of

Our Albert Edward spent a most enjoyable week altering the geography of
Europe to suit his taste. Then one morning he made a trifling error of
about thirty degrees and some few thousand yards and removed the wrong

"One village looks very much like another, and what are a few thousand
yards this way or that in a war of world-wide dimensions? Gentlemen, let
us not be trivial," said our Albert Edward to the red-hatted people who
came weeping to his O. Pip. Nevertheless some unpleasantness resulted,
and our Albert Edward came home to shelter in the bosom of us, his

The unpleasantness spread, for twenty-four hours later came a chit for
our Albert Edward, saying if he had nothing better to do would he drop
in and swoop yarns with the General at noon that day? Our Albert Edward
made his will, pulled on his parade boots, drank half a bottle of brandy
neat, kissed us farewell and rode off to his doom. As he passed the
borders of the camp The O'Murphy uncorked himself from a drain, and,
seeing his boon-companion faring forth a-horse, abandoned the rat-strafe
and trotted after him.

A word or two explaining The O'Murphy. Two years ago we were camped at
one end of a certain damp dark gully up north. Thither came a party of
big marines and a small Irish terrier, bringing with them a long naval
gun, which they covered with a _camouflage_ of sackcloth and ashes and
let off at intervals. Whenever the long gun was about to fire the small
dog went mad, bounced about behind the gun-trail like an indiarubber
ball, in an ecstasy of expectation. When the great gun boomed he
shrieked with joy and shot away up the gully looking for the rabbit. The
poor little dog's hunt up and down the gully for the rabbit that never
had been was one of the most pathetic sights I ever saw. That so many
big men with such an enormous gun should miss the rabbit every time was
gradually killing him with disgust and exasperation.

Meeting my groom one evening I spoke of the matter to him, casually
mentioning that there was a small countryman of ours close at hand
breaking his heart because there never was any rabbit. I clearly
explained to my groom that I was suggesting nothing, dropping no hints,
but I thought it a pity such a sportsman should waste his talents with
those sea-soldiers when there were outfits like ours about, offering all
kinds of opportunities to one of the right sort. I again repeated that I
was making no suggestions and passed on to some other subject.

Imagine my astonishment when, on making our customary bi-weekly trek
next day, I discovered the small terrier secured to our tool-limber by a
piece of baling-wire, evidently enjoying the trip and abusing the
limber-mules as if he had known them all his life. Since he had
insisted on coming with us there was nothing further to be said, so we
christened him "The O'Murphy," attached him to the strength for rations
and discipline, and for two years he has shared our joys and sorrows,
our billets and bully-beef, up and down the land of Somewheres.

But it was with our Albert Edward he got particularly chummy. They had
the same dislike of felines and the same taste in biscuits. Thus when
Albert Edward rode by, ears drooping, tail tucked in (so to speak), _en
route_ to the shambles, The O'Murphy saw clearly that here was the time
to prove his friendship, and trotted along behind. On arriving at H.Q.
the comrades shook paws and licked each other good-bye. Then Albert
Edward stumbled within and The O'Murphy hung about outside saucing the
brass-collared Staff dogs and waiting to gather up what fragments
remained of his chum's body after the General had done with it. His
interview with the General our Albert Edward prefers not to describe; it
was too painful, too humiliating, he says. That a man of the General's
high position, advanced age and venerable appearance could lose his
self-control to such a degree was a terrible revelation to Albert
Edward. "Let us draw a veil over that episode," he said.

But what happened later on he did consent to tell us. When the General
had burst all his blood vessels, and Albert Edward was congratulating
himself that the worst was over, the old man suddenly grabbed a Manual
of Military Law off his desk, hurled it into a corner and dived under a
table, whence issued scuffling sounds, grunts and squeals. "See that?"
came the voice of the General from under the table. "Of all confounded
impudence! - did you see that?"

Albert Edward made noises in the negative. "A rat, by golly!" boomed the
venerable warrior, "big as a calf, came out of his hole and stood
staring at me. Damn his impudence! I cut off his retreat with the manual
and he's somewhere about here now. Flank him, will you?"

As Albert Edward moved to a flank there came sounds of another violent
scuffle under the table, followed by a glad whoop from the General, who
emerged rumpled but triumphant.

"Up-ended the waste-paper basket on him," he panted, dusting his knees
with a handkerchief. "And now, me lad, what now, eh?"

"Fetch a dog, Sir," answered Albert Edward, mindful of his friend The
O'Murphy. The General sneered, "Dog be blowed! What's the matter with
the old-fashioned cat? I've got a plain tabby with me that has written
standard works on ratting." He lifted up his voice and bawled to his
orderly to bring one Pussums. "Had the old tabby for years, me lad," he
continued; "brought it from home - carry it round with me everywhere; and
I don't have any rat troubles. Orderly!

"Fellers come out here with St. Bernard dogs, shot-guns, poison,
bear-traps and fishing-nets and never get a wink of sleep for the rats,
while one common cat like my old Pussums would - - Oh, where is that
confounded feller?"

He strode to the door and flung it open, admitting, not an orderly but
The O'Murphy, who nodded pleasantly to him and trotted across the room,
tail twinkling, love-light shining in his eyes, and deposited at Albert
Edward's feet his offering, a large dead tabby cat.

Albert Edward remembers no more. He had swooned.


* * * * *

[Illustration: FORCE OF HABIT.


_C3 War-worker_ (_formerly humorous artist_). "OH, JUST SIGNING MY

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Tommy_ (_reporting himself to Sergeant after search for
lost bayonet_). "AH'VE FOUND ME BAGGINET." _Sergeant_. "WHERE WAS IT?"
_Tommy_. "ON THE TOP O' MA GOON."]

* * * * *



"I wish you would speak to Cook yourself about it," said my wife rather
nervously. "The whole thing depends upon her, and everyone says the
chief difficulty is to get one's servants into line."

"It seems hardly my department," said I.

"No," my wife admitted, "but I believe it would _impress_ her. She is
not in the least impressed by me."

I saw at once I should have to do it; you can't run away from a thing
like that without impairing your position as the head of the house. But
I dreaded it. I have always been afraid of her, and I knew that if she
began to argue I should be expected to take what my wife calls a firm
line, and that is always most uncomfortable. I wanted to have her up to
my study, so that I should have the moral support of encyclopædias and
things that she doesn't understand; but my wife was convinced that I
ought to mark the importance of the occasion by presenting myself in the
kitchen. I hadn't been down that stair for months and months. All this
happened weeks ago, when the DEVONPORT rations were proposed....

I took my stand with my back to the fire, conscious of a listening
kitchen-maid behind the scullery door, and after asking if the range
continued to give satisfaction I opened on the general question of
submarines. But Cook had the better of me there. I had forgotten that
she has a son on a submarine. I spoke of the serious position of the
country, and Cook cheerfully assented. (For her part she often said to
Jane that we were goin' 'eadlong into trouble.) I spoke, in general
terms, of economy, and found we were in complete agreement. ("Only last
night I says to Jane, 'Waste not, want not' must be our motter.") Then I
announced the amount of the DEVONPORT rations and repeated them twice
most impressively. Cook appeared to be going through a number of swift
professional calculations. ("Six times four is twenty-four, and six
times two-and-three-quarters is - m - m - m - m - carry one - is sixteen and
a-half, but syrup might do for the batter.") Well, Sir, she would try.
She would keep a book, "and every hounce that came into this house - be
it rabbit or be it liver - shall be put down."

I was so pleased with her attitude that I allowed myself to be carried
away rather, and we agreed before the conference ended that we would try
to improve upon Lord DEVONPORT if it was possible. Cook, as I left her,
impressed me as an heroic figure, facing a grim future with a high

"You did it beautifully, dear," said my wife as I came out. She also had
been listening behind the other door.


Weeks passed. My only desire was to dismiss the whole question from my
mind. Like LLOYD GEORGE in the House of Commons I had appeared and made

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, June 6, 1917 → online text (page 1 of 3)