Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, October 31, 1917 online

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VOL. 153.

October 31, 1917.


The Ministry of Food has informed the Twickenham Food Control
Committee that a doughnut is not a bun. Local unrest has been almost
completely allayed by this prompt and fearless decision.


Many London grocers are asking customers to hand in orders on Monday
to ensure delivery within a week. In justice to a much-abused State
department it must be pointed out that telegrams are frequently
delivered within that period without any absurd restriction as to the
day of handing in.


No more hotels in London, says Sir ALFRED MOND, are to be taken
over at present by the Government, which since the War began has
commandeered nearly three hundred buildings. We understand, however,
that a really spectacular offensive is being prepared for the Spring.


Several parties of Germans who escaped from internment camps have been
recaptured with comparative ease. It is supposed that their gentle
natures could no longer bear the spectacle of the sacrifices that the
simple Briton is enduring in order that they may be well fed.


The _Globe_ has just published an article entitled "The End of the
World." Our rosy contemporary is far too pessimistic, we feel. Mr.
CHURCHILL'S appointment as Minister of the Air has not yet been
officially announced.


The _Vossische Zeitung_ reports that the KAISER refuses to accept the
resignation of Admiral VON CAPELLE. The career of Germany's Naval
chief seems to be dogged by persistent bad luck.


Another scoop for _The Daily Telegraph._ "On October 14, 1066, at nine
A.M.," said a recent issue, "the Battle of Hastings commenced."


We fear that our allotment-holders are losing their dash. The pumpkin
grown at Burwash Place, which measured six feet in circumference, is
still a pumpkin and not a potato.


The Grimsby magistrates have decided not to birch boys in the future,
but to fine their parents. Several soft-hearted boys have already
indicated that it will hurt them more than their parents.


A female defendant at a London police court last week was given the
choice of prison or marriage, and preferred to get married. How like
a woman!


A correspondent protests against the high prices paid for old
postage-stamps at a recent sale, and points out that stamps can be
obtained at one penny each at most post-offices, all ready for use.


A North of England lady last week climbed to the top of the
chimney-stack of a large munition works and affixed a silver coin in
the masonry. The lady is thought to be nervous of pickpockets.


A contemporary wit declares that nothing gives him more pleasure
than to see golfers at dinner. He loves to watch them doing the soup
course, using one iron all the way round.


There is no truth in the rumour that during a recent air-raid a man
was caught on the roof of a certain Government building in Whitehall
signalling to the Germans where not to drop their bombs.


It should be added that the practice of giving air-raid warnings by
notice published in the following morning's papers has been abandoned
only after the most exhaustive tests.


The Home Office announces that while it has not definitely decided
upon the method of giving warnings at night it will probably be by
gun fire. To distinguish this fire from the regular barrage it is
ingeniously suggested that the guns employed for the latter purpose
shall be painted blue, or some other distinctive colour.


It is reported that Sinn Fein's second-best war-cry, "Up the KAISER,"
is causing some irritation in the Wilhelmstrasse, where it is
freely admitted that the KAISER is already far higher up than the
circumstances justify.


The Lambeth magistrate recently referred to the case of a boy of
fifteen who is paying income-tax. Friends of the youth have since been
heard to say that there is such a thing as carrying the spirit of
reckless bravado too far.


"Farm work is proceeding slowly," says a Midland correspondent of the
Food Production Department. Those who recall the impetuous abandon of
the pre-war agriculturist may well ask whether Boloism has not been
work at again.


Railway fares in Germany have been doubled; but it is doubtful if
this transparent artifice will prevent the KAISER from going about
the place making speeches to his troops on all the fronts.


It is announced that promotion in the U.S. services will be based
solely on fitness, without regard to seniority. These are the sort of
revolutionists who would cover up grave defects in army organisation
by the meretricious expedient of winning the War.


Inquiries, says _The Pall Mall Gazette_, disclose a wide-spread habit
among customers of bribing the assistants in grocery shops. The custom
among profiteers of giving them their cast-off motor cars probably
acted as the thin end of the wedge.


A dear old lady writes that she is no longer nervous about air-raids,
now that her neighbourhood has been provided with an anticraft airgun.

* * * * *

[Illustration: THE AIR-RAID SEASON.

WANTED. - APPLY, 82, - - STREET, W."]

* * * * *


"Gloves, stockings, boots and shoes betoken the energy and meal
of the day, something tasty is desirable, and a very economical
dish of this kind can be made by making..." - _Belfast Evening

* * * * *


_TO J.M._

Recall, dear John, a certain day
Back in the times of long ago -
A stuffy old estaminet
Under the great peaks fledged with snow;
The Spring that set our hearts rejoicing
As up the serried mountains' bar
We climbed our tortuous way Rolls-Roycing
From Gap to Col Bayard.

Little we dreamed, though that high air
Quickens imagination's flight,
What monstrous bird and very rare
Would in these parts some day alight;
How, like a roc of Arab fable,
A Zepp _en route_ from London town,
Trying to find its German stable,
Would here come blundering down.

The swallows - you remember? yes? -
Northward, just then, were heading straight;
No hint they dropped by which to guess
That other fowl's erratic fate;
An inner sense supplied their vision;
Not one of them contused his scalp
Or lost his feathers in collision
Bumping against an Alp.

But they, the Zepp-birds, flopped and barged
From Lunéville to Valescure
(Where we of old have often charged
The bunkers of the Côte d'Azur);
And half a brace - so strange and far a
Course to the South it had to shape -
Is still expected in Sahara
Or possibly the Cape.

In happier autumns you and I
(You by your art and I by luck)
Have pulled the pheasant off the sky
Or flogged to death the flighting duck;
But never yet - how few the chances
Of pouching so superb a swag -
Have we achieved a feat like France's
Immortal gas-bag bag.


* * * * *



Lord Yorick's _Reminiscences_, just published by the house of Hussell,
abound in genial anecdote, in which the "personal note" is lightly and
gracefully struck, in welcome contrast to the stodgy political memoirs
with which we have been surfeited of late. We append some extracts,
culled at random from these jocund pages: -


"I don't suppose it is a State secret - but if it is there can be no
harm in divulging the fact - that there was some thought of a marriage
in the 'eighties' between the Shah of PERSIA and the lovely Miss
Malory, the lineal descendant of the famous author of the Arthurian
epic. Mr. GLADSTONE, Mme. DE NOVIKOFF and the Archbishop of CANTERBURY
were prime movers in the negotiations. But the SHAH'S table manners
and his obstinate refusal to be converted to the doctrines of
the Anglican Church, on which Miss Malory insisted, proved an
insurmountable obstacle, and the arrangement, which might have been
fraught with inestimable advantages to Persia, came to nought. Miss
Malory afterwards became Lady Yorick."


"Jimmy Greene, afterwards Lord Havering, whose rooms were just below
mine, suffered a good deal from practical jokers. One day I was
chatting with Reggie Wragge when we heard loud cries for help just
below us. We rushed down and found Jimmy in the bath, struggling with
a large conger-eel which had been introduced by some of his friends.
I held on to the monster's tail, while Wragge severed its head with
a carving-knife. Poor Jimmy, who was always nervous and not very
'strong in his intellects,' was much upset, and was shortly afterwards
ploughed for the seventh time in Smalls. He afterwards went into
diplomacy, but died young."


"At one of these dances at Yorick Castle Mrs. Mangold, afterwards
Lady Rootham, was staying with us. She was a very handsome woman,
with a wonderful complexion, so brilliant, indeed, that some sceptics
believed it to be artificial. A plot was accordingly hatched to
solve the problem, and during a set of Kitchen Lancers a syphon of
soda-water was cleverly squirted full in her face, but the colour
remained fast. Mrs. Mangold, I am sorry to say, failed to see the
point of the joke, and fled to her room, pursued as far as the
staircase by a score or more of cheering sportsmen."


"Mr. GOSCHEN, as he then was, was entertaining a large party to dinner
at Whitehall. He was at the time First Lord of the Admiralty, and an
awkward waiter upset an ice-pudding down the back of Lady Verbena
Soper, sister of Lady 'Loofah' Soper and daughter of the Earl of
Latherham, The poor lady cried out, 'I'm scalded!' but our host,
with great presence of mind, dashed out, returning with a bundle of
blankets and a can of hot water, which he promptly poured on to the
ice-pudding. The sufferer was then wrapped up in the blankets and
carried off to bed; The waiter was of course sacked on the spot, but
was saved from prosecution at the express request of his victim and
assisted to emigrate to America, where I believe he did well on an
orange farm in Florida."

* * * * *


There is no War-charity known to Mr. Punch that does better work or
more quietly than that which is administered by the Children's Aid
Committee, who provide homes in country cottages and farm-houses for
children, most of them motherless, of our soldiers and sailors, visit
them from time to time and watch over their needs. Here in these homes
their fathers, who are kept informed of their children's welfare
during their absence, come to see them when on leave from the Front,
and find them gently cared for. Since the War began homes have been
provided for over two thousand four hundred children. A certain
grant in aid is allowed by the London War Pensions Committee, who
have learned to depend upon the Children's Aid Committee in their
difficulties about children, but for the most part this work relies
upon voluntary help, and without advertisement. Of the money that came
into the Committee's hands last year only about two per cent. was paid
away for salaries and office expenses.

More than a year ago Mr. Punch appealed on behalf of this labour of
love, and now he begs his readers to renew the generous response which
they made at that time. Gifts of money and clothing, and offers of
hospitality, will be gratefully acknowledged by Miss MAXWELL LYTE,
Hon. Treasurer of the Children's Aid Committee, 50, South Molton
Street, London, W.

* * * * *

[Illustration: VIVE LA CHASSE!

[With Mr. Punch's compliments to our gallant Allies on their bag of

* * * * *


In an assortment of nieces, totalling nine in all - but two of them,
being still, in Sir WALTER'S phrase, composed of "that species of pink
dough which is called a fine infant" do not count - I think that my
favourites are Enid and Hannah. Enid being the daughter of a brother
of mine, and Hannah of a sister, they are cousins. They are also
collaborators in literature and joint editors of a magazine for family
consumption entitled _The Attic Salt-Cellar_. The word "Attic" refers
to the situation of the editorial office, which is up a very perilous
ladder, and "salt-cellar" was a suggestion of my own, which, though
adopted, is not yet understood.

During the search for pseudonyms for the staff - the pseudonym is an
essential in home journalism, and the easiest way of securing it is
to turn one's name round - we came upon the astonishing discovery that
Hannah is exactly the same whether you spell it backwards or forwards.
Hannah therefore calls herself, again at my suggestion, "Pal,"
which is short for "palindrome." We also discovered, to her intense
delight, that Enid, when reversed, makes "Dine" - a pleasant word but
a poor pseudonym. She therefore calls herself after her pet flower,

Between them Pal and Marigold do all the work. There is room for an
epigram if you happen to have one about you, or even an ode, but they
can get along without outside contributions. Enid does most of the
writing and Hannah copies it out.

So much for prelude to the story of Enid's serial. Having observed
that all the most popular periodicals have serial stories she decided
that she must write one too. It was called "The Prairie Lily," and
begun splendidly. I give the list of characters at the head of the
first instalment: -

_The Duke of Week_, an angry father and member of the House of Lords.

_The Duchess of Week_, his wife, once famous for her beauty.

_Lady Lily_, their daughter, aged nineteen and very lovely.

_Mr. Ploot_, an American millionaire who loves the Lady Lily.

_Lord Eustace Vavasour_, the Lady Lily's cousin, who loves her.

_Jack Crawley_, a young farmer and the one that the Lady Lily loves.

_Fanny Starlight_, a poor relation and the Lady Lily's very closest

_Webb_, the Lady Lily's maid.

Such were the characters when the story began, and at the end of the
first instalment the author, with very great ingenuity - or perhaps
with only a light-hearted disregard of probability - got the whole
bunch of them on a liner going to America. The last sentence described
the vessel gliding away from the dock, with the characters leaning
over the side waving good-bye. Even Jack Crawley, the young farmer,
was there; but he was not waving with the others, because he did not
want anyone to know that he knew the Lady Lily, or was on board at
all. Lord Eustace was on one side of the Lady Lily as she waved,
and Mr. Ploot on the other, and they were, of course, consumed with
jealousy of each other.

Having read the first instalment, with the author's eye fixed
embarrassingly upon me, and the author giggling as she watched, I said
that it was very interesting; as indeed it was. I went on to ask what
part of America they were all going to, and how it would end, and so
on; and Enid sketched the probable course of events, which included
a duel for Lord Eustace and Mr. Ploot (who turned out to be not a
millionaire at all, but a gentleman thief) and a very exciting time
for the Lady Lily on a ranche in Texas, whither she had followed Jack
Crawley, who was to become famous throughout the States as "The Cowboy
King." I forget about the Duke and Duchess, but a lover was to be
found on the ranche for Fanny Starlight; and Red Indians were to carry
off Webb, who was to be rescued by the Cowboy King; and so on. There
were, in short, signs that Enid had not only read the feuilletons in
the picture papers but had been to the Movies too. But no matter what
had influenced her, the story promised well.

Judge then my surprise when on opening the next number of _The Attic
Salt-Cellar_ I found that the instalment of the serial consisted only
of the following: -



All went merrily on the good ship _Astarte_ until the evening of
the third day out, when it ran into another and larger ship and
was sunk with all hands. No one was saved.


"But, my dear," I said, "you can't write novels like that."

"Why not, Uncle Dick?" Enid asked.

"Because it's not playing the game," I said. "After arousing
everyone's interest and exciting us with the first chapter, you can't
stop it all like this."

"But it happened," she replied. "Ships often sink, Uncle Dick, and
this one sank."

"Well, that's all right," I said, "but, my dear child, why drown
everyone? Why not let your own people be saved? Not the Duke and
Duchess, perhaps, but the others. Think of all those jolly things
that were going to happen in Texas, and the duel, and - "

"Yes, I know," she replied sadly. "It's horrid to have to give them
up, but I couldn't help it. The ship would sink and no one was saved.
I shall have to begin another."

There's a conscience for you! There's realism! Enid should go far.

I have been wondering if there are any other writers of serial stories
whose readers would not suffer if similar visitations of inevitability
came to them.

* * * * *


* * * * *



_Toronto Star Weekly._

* * * * *

"Attracted by anti-aircraft guns the Zeppelin bounded
upwards." - _Daily Chronicle_.

That was in France. In England the lack of firing (according to our
pusillanimous critics) was positively repulsive.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Tommy_. "'ANDS UP, ALL OF YER, I'M GOIN' ON LEAVE

* * * * *


The leave-boat had come into port and there was the usual jam
around the gangways. On the quay at the foot of one of them was a
weary-looking officer performing the ungrateful task of detailing
officers for tours of duty with the troops. He had squares of white
cardboard in his hand, and here and there, as the officers trooped
down the gangway, he picked out a young and inoffensive-looking
subaltern and subpoenaed him.

I chanced to notice a young and rosy-cheeked second-lieutenant,
innocent of the ways of this rude world, and I knew he was doomed.

As he passed out on to the wharf I saw him receive one of those white
cards; he was also told to report to the corporal at the end of the

I saw him slip behind a truck, where he left his bag and haversack,
his gloves and his cane, and when he reappeared on the far side he had
on his rain-coat, without stars. He had also altered the angle of his

He waited near the foot of the other gangway, which was unguarded. I
drew nearer to see what he would do. Presently down the plank came
an oldish man - a lieutenant with a heavy moustache and two African
ribbons. My young friend stepped forward.

"You are detailed for duty," I heard him say. "You will report to the
N.C.O. at the end of the quay." His intonation was a model for the
Staff College.

"Curse the thing! I knew I should be nabbed for duty," I heard the
veteran growl as he strode off with the white card...

I met the young man later at the Hotel - - , where he had had the
foresight to wire for a room. As I had failed to do this, I was glad
to avail myself of his kind offer to share his accommodation. After
such hospitality I could not refuse him a lift in my car, as we were
both bound for the same part of the country.

I did not learn until afterwards that a preliminary chat with my
chauffeur had preceded his hospitable advances. Whenever anybody tells
me that our subalterns of to-day lack _savoir faire_ or that they are
deficient in tactical initiative, I tell him that he lies.

* * * * *

"A Bachelor, 38, wishes meet Protestant, born 4th Sept., 1899,
or 17th, 18th Sept., 1886, plain looks; poverty no barrier; view
matrimony." - _The Age (Melbourne)_.

For so broad-minded a man he seems curiously fastidious about dates.

* * * * *



Captain A. and Captain B.,
The one was in F, the other in E,
The one was rheumatic and shrank from wet feet,
The other had sunstroke and dreaded the heat.

"If we could exchange," wrote B. to A.,
"We should both keep fitter (the doctors say),"
And, A. agreeing, they humbly prayed
The great War Office to lend its aid.

In less than a month they got replies,
A letter to each of the self-same size;
A.'s was: "Yes, you'll exchange with B.";
B.'s was: "No, you'll remain in E."

* * * * *


"I felt it to be my duty to say that and I said it; and, of
course, nobody took any notice." - _Mr. Robert Blatchford, in
"The Sunday Chronicle."_

* * * * *

"CHRISTIANA, Thursday.

Several hours' violent cannonading was heard in the Skagerack.

Norwegian torpedoes proceeded thither to investigate." - _Toowoomba
Chronicle_ (_Queensland_).

Intelligent creatures, they poke their noses into everything.

* * * * *




Yellow wheels and red wheels, and wheels that squeak and roar,
Big buttons, brown wigs, and many capes of buff ...
Someone's bound for Sussex, in a coach-and-four;
And, when the long whips crack,
Running at the back
Barks the swift Dalmatian, whose spots are seven-score.

White dust and grey dust, fleeting tree and tower,
Brass horns and copper horns, blowing loud and bluff ...
Someone's bound for Sussex, at eleven miles an hour;
And, when the long horns blow,
From the wheels below
Barks the swift Dalmatian, tongued like an apple-flower.

Big domes and little domes, donkey-carts that jog,
High stocks and low pumps and admirable snuff ...
Someone strolls at Brighton, not very much incog.;
And, panting on the grass,
In his collar bossed with brass,
Lies the swift Dalmatian, the KING's plum-pudding dog.

* * * * *


It came as a shock to the Brigade Major that the brigade on his left
had omitted to let him know the time of their projected raid that
night. It came as a shock all the more because it was the General
himself who first noticed the omission, and it is a golden rule for
Brigade Majors that they should always be the first to think of

"Ring 'em up and ask," said the General. "Don't, of course, mention
the word 'raid' on the telephone. Call it - um - ah, oh, call it
anything you like so long as they understand what you mean."

At times, to the casual eavesdropper, strange things must appear to
be going on in the British lines. It must be a matter of surprise, to
such a one, that the British troops can think it worth their while to
inform each other at midnight that "Two Emperors of Pongo have become
attached to Annie Laurie." Nor would it appear that any military
object would be served in passing on the chatty piece of information
that "there will be no party for Windsor to-morrow." This habit of
calling things and places as they most emphatically are not is but a
concession, of course, to the habits of the infamous Hun, who rightly
or wrongly is supposed to overhear everything one says within a mile
of the line.

Thinking in the vernacular proper to people who keep the little
knowledge they have to themselves, the Brigade Major grasped the hated
telephone in the left hand and prepared to say a few words (also in
the vernacular) to his fellow Staff Officer a mile away.

"Hullo!" Br-rr - Crick-crick. "Hullo, Signals! Give me S-Salmon."

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 153, October 31, 1917 → online text (page 1 of 3)