Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914 online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryVariousPunch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914 → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Neville Allen, Malcolm Farmer and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


Vol. 147

SEPTEMBER 9, 1914.


The _Deutsche Tageszeitung_ says: - "Our present war with England shall
not be done by halves; it is no war to be stopped by 'notice,' but by a
proper settlement. Otherwise the peace we all desire would be both
rotten and dangerous." Your wish shall be respected, _Deutsche

* * *

The fines which Germany has been imposing so lavishly on towns and
provinces will, a commercial friend informs us, ultimately prove to be
what are known in City circles as "temporary loans."

* * *

By the way, _The Globe_ tells us that the KAISER was once known to his
English relatives as "The Tin Soldier." In view of his passion for
raising tin by these predatory methods this title might be revived.

* * *

The German threat that they will make "_Gurken-salad_" of the Goorkhas,
leaves these cheery little sportsmen undismayed.

* * *

We give the rumour for what it is worth. It is said that, overcome with
remorse at the work of his vandals at Louvain, the KAISER has promised
when the war is over to present the city with a colossal monument of

* * *

Meanwhile President WILSON is being urged by innumerable tourist
agencies in his country to stop the war before any more historical
buildings are demolished.

* * *

A number of the more valuable of the pictures in the Louvre have, with a
view to their safety, been placed in cellars. _La Gioconda_ is to be
interned at an extra depth, as being peculiarly liable to be run away

* * *

Strangely enough, the most heroic single-handed feat of the war seems
only to have been reported in one paper, _The Express_. We refer to the
following announcement: -

_Express_ Correspondent."

* * *

It is stated that the German barque _Excelsior_, bound for Bremen with a
valuable cargo, has been captured by one of our cruisers. It speaks well
for the restraint of our Navy that, with so tempting a name, she was not
blown up.

* * *

A proposal has been made in _The Globe_ that all "alien enemies" in this
country shall be confined within compounds until the end of the War.
Suggested alteration in the National Anthem: "Compound his enemies."

* * *

"Carry on" is no doubt an admirable motto for these times, but the
Special Constable who was surprised by his wife while carrying on with a
cook (which he thought to be part of his professional duty) complains
that it is misleading.

* * *

We hear that some of our Nuts have volunteered to serve as regimental

* * *

Partridge shooting began last week, but poor sport is recorded. The
birds declare that it is not their fault. They turned up in large
numbers, but there were not enough guns to make it worth while.

* * *

Illustration: _The Thinker._ "YOU SAY THIS WAR DON'T AFFECT YOU: BUT

* * * * *

The Gibraltar Manner.

Ladies Making Garments."

* * * * *


Marvellous the utter transformation
Of the spirit of the German nation!

Once the land of poets, seers and sages,
Who enchant us in their deathless pages,

Holding high the torch of Truth, and earning
Endless honour by their zeal for learning.

Such the land that in an age uncouther
Bred the soul-emancipating LUTHER.

Such the land that made our debt the greater
By the gift of _Faust_ and _Struwwelpeter_.

* * *

Now the creed of NIETZSCHE, base, unholy,
Guides the nation's brain and guides it solely.

Now MOZART'S serene and joyous magic
Yields to RICHARD STRAUSS, the hæmorrhagic.[1]

Now the eagle changing to the vulture
Preaches rapine in the name of culture.

Now the Prussian _Junker_, blind with fury,
Claims to be God's counsel, judge and jury.

While the authentic German genius slumbers,
Cast into the limbo of back numbers.

[Footnote 1: Great play is made in STRAUSS'S _Elektra_ with the
"slippery blood" motive.]

* * * * *

The Late "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse."

_First Student of the War._ Why did they call it "Kaiser William the

_Second Student._ Don't know. I should have described him as a Butcher.

* * * * *



PETROGRAUD (St. Petersburg), Tuesday.

By Imperial order, the city of St. Petersburg will henceforth be
known as Petrograu."

_Evening Standard._

It looks more like three new names.

* * * * *

_Q._ I hear the Sugar Refiners are raising cane?

_A._ That's because they haven't yet got the German beet.

[_Awarded Gold Medal and Banana Skin for worst joke of the war._]

* * * * *


Ye that have gentle hearts and fain
To succour men in need,
There is no voice could ask in vain,
With such a cause to plead -
The cause of those that in your care,
Who know the debt to honour due,
Confide the wounds they proudly wear,
The wounds they took for you.

Out of the shock of shattering spears,
Of screaming shell and shard,
Snatched from the smoke that blinds and sears,
They come with bodies scarred,
And count the hours that idly toll,
Restless until their hurts be healed,
And they may fare, made strong and whole,
To face another field.

And yonder where the battle's waves
Broke yesterday o'erhead,
Where now the swift and shallow graves
Cover our English dead,
Think how your sisters play their part,
Who serve as in a holy shrine,
Tender of hand and brave of heart,
Under the Red Cross sign.

Ah, by that symbol, worshipped still,
Of life-blood sacrificed,
That lonely Cross on Calvary's hill
Red with the wounds of CHRIST;
By that free gift to none denied,
Let Pity pierce you like a sword,
And Love go out to open wide
The gate of life restored.


The Red Cross Society is in need of help. Gifts should be addressed to
Lord Rothschild at Devonshire House, Piccadilly.

* * * * *


"I think we may advance to attack," said the Prussian Commander, folding
up the _Berliner Tageblatt_ War Map.

"One moment, Sir," interposed the Chief of Staff, "the supply of
captured alien women and children is exhausted."

"Then," said the Commander, "we shall be forced to confront the enemy's
fire without the usual screen."

"Why not advance under a flag of truce?" suggested the Chief of Staff.

"I am loth to violate the canons of civilized warfare," said the
Commander, "but really there seems no other way, unless - unless - -
Here! Hand me a telegram form. I have an idea."

The Commander wrote rapidly for a minute. "Send this at once," he said,
"and pre-pay the reply."

In an hour the answer arrived. The Commander tore it open with eager
haste. "We are saved!" he cried. "The advance commences at daybreak
to-morrow." He tossed the telegram over to the Chief of Staff, who
read: - "Am forwarding immediately per special train 1,000 foxes as
requested. - Hagenbeck, Hamburg."

And the KAISER, reading the Commander's despatch later in the day,
mailed his Super-strategist the insignia of the Order of the
Double-faced Vulture.

* * * * *


_Sunday._ - To-day has witnessed another triumph for the high-souled
German army. Ten Belgian villages have been burnt. Some of the
inhabitants have been also burnt; the rest have been driven out to
starve. This will teach Belgium not to build villages in the way of a
possible German advance. General von Schweinehund was in command of the
noble German column. Have telegraphed my supreme congratulations and
have conferred upon him the Iron Cross. How splendidly God is behaving
in these days.

_Monday._ - It is stated that in East Prussia a village has been burnt by
the Russians during a battle. This is monstrous, and must be stopped at
once. Have sent a protest to the TSAR and have telegraphed to neutral
countries pointing out that Russia is spreading barbarism, whereas
Germany is spreading civilisation and culture. A reply has come from
America; it contained only one word - "Louvain." That may be meant for
humour, but I do not understand it. The Americans must not forget that
Louvain was burnt by _German_ troops, and that being so there can be no
complaint. Have told my Court Chaplain, Dr. Meuchler, to draw the Divine
attention to this infamy on the part of the Russian Huns.

_Tuesday._ - Six Belgian mayors and five hundred selected Belgian
villagers have been shot by my gallant troops. One of them had sneered
at Lieutenant von Blutgierig as he sat at breakfast. The Belgians are
indeed a stiff-necked race, but with God's help they shall be made to
understand the sympathetic gentleness of the German character. But to
sneer at a man in uniform is an inconceivable crime worthy only of an
Englishman. The lieutenant has had to go into hospital to recover from
this shameful treatment. He is a true German and shall be rewarded.

_Wednesday._ - Ordered three cathedrals to be razed to the ground. Forget
how many ordinary churches have been destroyed. All Belgian and French
universities are to be at once bombarded and burnt for failing to
recognise superiority of German intellect. Have just read noble book by
Professor Lumpenthor, who proves that CÆSAR, HANNIBAL, ALEXANDER, HOMER,
He seems to fear that we modern Germans are too merciful. This is no
doubt true, for the Belgians are not yet reconciled to us as their
God-appointed masters.

_Thursday._ - Our wonderful navy continues its magnificent deeds. Two
Danish boats and an English trawler have been sent to the bottom by
mines in the North Sea. Have commanded religious services to be held in
all German churches to thank God for all His mercies.

_Friday._ - Have arranged everything with Turks, who will shortly
intervene with their army to help Germany to spread civilisation and the
Gospel. Hear that England is about to use Indian troops. This, being an
attack on German culture, cannot be allowed. Unless something is done
about it shall countermand religious services.

_Saturday._ - Have ordered all remaining Belgian villages to be burnt and
inhabitants to be shot. This will please my glorious troops. The Divine
blessing is evidently on our cause.

* * * * *

"The Rev. N. J. POYNTZ, M.A., is appointed a chaplain on the Bengal

Add to European Crises." - _Pioneer._

It can't be as serious as that.

* * * * *

"Lost, Appendix, heart shaped, short chain attached."

_Sunderland Daily Echo._

It must be a very fierce one to have bitten through its lead.

Illustration: INDIA FOR THE KING!

* * * * *

Illustration: SCENE - _Louvain_.

JUST GET A BROAD EFFECT OF CULTURE." [A well-known battle painter of
Düsseldorf has been commissioned by the KAISER to make studies of the
present campaign.]

* * * * *


"Yes, I like the kit," she said, "and I'm glad you came to show
yourself, because I've got a little present for you." He winced.

"I ought to say," he remarked, "that I have already received five
barbed-wire-cutters, three vacuum flasks, eleven comforters, six writing
blocks - - "

"Oh, but _this_ won't take up any room," and she held out a woollen
helmet of the popular colour.

"Thanks awfully," he replied, drawing back, "but I never wear them."

"Of course you don't," she said; "they're not meant for tennis
tournaments or the opera, but for the campaigner whose lodging is on the
cold bare ground. In fact when once he gets it on he never wants to take
it off again."

"From the look of it," he remarked, "it will be a case of Hobson's
choice. You've underrated the size."

"I took your measurements last week," she said coldly.

"But that was before I joined the colours. You forgot to allow for
subsequent developments."

"In any case the wool stretches," she observed. "Are you going to try it

"It will play the very deuce with my hair," he objected.

"Very well," she said. "Dick shall have it."

"Never," he exclaimed, and snatching up the woollen object, began to ram
his sleek head into the small aperture at the bottom.

Halfway through, apparently yielding to panic, he sought to return to
fresh air and the light of day, but her hands ruthlessly seized the
elaborate crochet edging, and pulled and tugged it down mercilessly
towards his shoulders until his distorted features appeared at the hole
in front with a pop, and she clapped her hands in delight.

"It fits you like a glove," she cried, "and though your nose is a bit
red you look quite handsome."

"I'm being strangled," he gasped, clutching at his throat; "take it

"In time of war," she observed, "we all have to put up with a little
inconvenience. I shall soon be living on turnips, for instance, and you
know how I hate them."

With a strange gurgling in his throat, he collapsed on the Chesterfield.
His face grew purple, his eyes bulged and rolled, his veins swelled, his
head dropped forward. She grew alarmed.

"Are you really choking?" she exclaimed. "Here, take your hands away.
Let me help! Good gracious! _Darling!_ Oh! Whatever shall I do?" She
sprang for her scissors, and in a moment the helmet lay on the carpet
hopelessly mutilated.

"Thanks," he replied, smoothing his ruffled hair. "In another minute the
Germans would have missed their billet."

"Neither you nor Dick will be able to wear it now," she said, and her
lip trembled.

"Dick won't," he said, "and as a matter of fact I'm going to."

"How _can_ you?" And there was a catch in her voice.

"Not on my head perhaps, but on my heart - or rather," he added, slipping
a khaki arm round her, "on the place where my heart used to be."

Next morning, on parade, his chest measurement was the object of
universal envy.

* * * * *


Upstairs, Baby, after many false starts, had finally settled into sleep.
Downstairs, the little maid, alternately rattling knives against plates
and saying "S'sh" to herself, had cleared away dinner. John, who had
been strangely silent during the meal, was in his deep arm-chair,
smoking. It was Mary's peace-hour.

She lay on the sofa, for she was always tired by now, reading the
morning paper - her first chance at it. As she read, she made little
comments aloud, as that the Germans were beasts, or that it was splendid
about the Russians doing so well; and this was the signal for John to
join in with the latest strategic gossip from the City.

Only to-night he didn't. He just sat smoking and thinking ... thinking.

"I suppose the French," said Mary, lazily, "are going to - - John!" She
looked across at him suddenly, realizing all at once that he had
answered none of her questions, knowing all at once that something was
the matter.

"Yes?" he said, coming out of his thoughts with a start.

"John, you - ," she sat up with a jerk and craned her head forward at
him - "you haven't been dismissed?" She clenched her hands tight for the
answer. Sometimes at night, when he was asleep and she wasn't, she would
wonder what they would do if he were dismissed.

"Silly, of course not," said John with a laugh.

She gave a sob of relief and went over and sat on his knee and put her
arms round his neck.

"Oh, John, I was so frightened. But what is it? There's _something_."

He smoked rapidly for a little. Then he put his pipe down, kissed her,
and lifted her off his knee.

"I want to tell you something," he said; "but you mustn't look at me or
I couldn't. Sit down there." She curled herself up on the floor, leaning
back against his knees. "Mary" - he swallowed something which had stuck
in his throat - "Mary, I've got to enlist."

She was round in a flash.

"What do you mean you've got to?" she cried indignantly. "That beast
going to make you?" The beast was John's employer, a kindly man, whose
fault it was to regard John as one only among many, a matter on which
Mary often longed to put him right.

"No," said John. "But - but I've got to."

"Who's making you, then?"

"I don't know ... I suppose the GERMAN EMPEROR really."

"There's lots that ought to go before _you_ go. You've got a wife and a
child. Let those without go first."

"I know," said John doggedly. "I've thought of that."

She threw her arms round his neck in a sudden passion. "You _can't_
leave me, John, you _can't_! I couldn't bear it. Why, we've only been
married eighteen months. How can you want to go away and leave me and
baby and - - Why, you might get killed!" Her voice went up to a shriek.

"I don't _want_ to leave you," said John, a strange, terrifying,
rapid-speaking John; "I hate it. I hate war, I hate fighting, I hate
leaving you - oh, my God, how I hate leaving you, my darling! I've prayed
to God all day to stop the war before I have to go, but of course He
won't. Oh, Mary, _help_ me to go; don't make it harder for me."

She got off his knee; she brought a chair up opposite to him; she sat
down in it and rested her chin on her hands and looked straight at him.

"Tell me all about it," she said. "I'm quite all right." So he told her
all about it, and she never took her eyes off his face.

"A man came into the office to-day to talk to us about the war. The
Governor introduced him - Denham, his name was ... I knew he was all
right at once. You know how you feel that about some people ... He said
he thought perhaps some of us didn't quite know what to do, and he
wondered if he could help any of us ... Said of course he knew that, if
we thought England was in danger, we'd all rush to enlist, but perhaps
we didn't quite know how much England _was_ in danger, and all that
England stood for - liberty, peace, nationality, honour and so on. In
fact he'd come down to see if any of us would like to fight for England
... Said he was afraid it was rather cheek of him to ask us to defend
him, because that was what it came to, he being too old to fight. Said
he knew some of us would have to make terrible sacrifices, sacrifices
which he wasn't in the least making himself. Hoped we'd forgive him. He
couldn't say that if he were as young as us he'd enlist like a shot, any
more than he could say that if a woman jumped off Waterloo Bridge on a
dark night he'd jump in after her. On the whole he thought it would be
much easier to pretend he hadn't noticed. In fact that's very likely
what he _would_ do. But if someone, say the mother of the girl, pointed
out the body to him, then he'd have to come to a decision. Well, he was
in the position of that mother, he had come down to point out the body.
He confessed it wasn't the job he liked best, pointing out bodies for
other people to save, but he was doing it because he thought it might be
of some service. That was what we all had to realize, that it was a time
when we had to do things we didn't like. 'Business as usual' might be a
good motto, but 'Happiness as usual' was a thing we mustn't expect ..."

John fell into silence again.

"What else did he say?" asked Mary, still with her eyes fastened on his
face, as though she were looking at him for the last time.

"That was how he began. I can't tell you all he said afterwards, but I
felt as if I'd just fight for _him_, even if there was nobody else in
England ..."

"Aren't there lots of people who wouldn't mind going as much as you?"
said Mary timidly. "I mean men with no wives or children. Oughtn't they
to go first?"

"I suppose they ought. But, you see, you'd never get anywhere like that.
A would wait for B who was married but had no child, and B would wait
for C who wasn't married but had a mother, and C would wait for D who
was an orphan, and so on. That's what Mr. Denham said."

"I see," said Mary miserably.

"I don't quite understand what we're in the world for," said poor John,
"or what the world's for at all. But I suppose the great thing is
that - that good ideas should live and bad ideas should die ... I haven't
done much for good ideas so far, I'm not the sort of person who could
... just one out of thousands of others ... But I could do something for
good ideas out there. I could help beat the bad idea of War ... Mr.
Denham says if we win there's lots of men, all the best and cleverest in
the country, who are pledged to see that there shall be no more war.
Well, that's what I call a good idea ... only we've got to win first."

"I know it sounds a wretched thing to say, but what about money?" asked
Mary hesitatingly.

"Mother would take you in; there'll be enough to pay her something. We
might try and let the house."

And then all the memories of summer evenings and happy Sundays rushed
upon Mary and she broke down.

"Our little garden of which we were so proud!" she sobbed.

"The Belgians," said John sadly, "were proud of their little gardens."

* * *

So far Recruiting Sergeant Denham. Meanwhile Recruiting Sergeant Flossie
had also got to work. Flossie, awaked by the shock of war to the
surprising fact that, after twenty-two years of vain, idle and
inglorious life, she was now of the most complete unimportance to her
country, had (for the first time) a sudden longing to "do something."
And so, being unfitted for needlework, nursing or the kitchen, she
adopted eagerly the suggestion of some stupid and unimaginative old
gentleman, and constituted herself (under God) Supreme Arbiter of Men's
Consciences for the South-West Suburbs of London. Patriotically aglow,
she handed out white feathers to all the un-uniformed young men she
chanced to meet ... the whitest of all coming to John, as he made his
way next morning to the recruiting office.

A. A. M.

* * * * *

Illustration: _Old Servant (to lady who has just returned to her

* * * * *


I sometimes doubt whether my bank takes me really seriously. Not that it
isn't businesslike. They let me know to the minute when I have overdrawn
my account by five and elevenpence; but they cash my cheques with a
certain air of patronage, whereas, if you look at things properly, the
patronage is all on my side.

Every Saturday morning a man comes to my bank to cash a cheque for a
hundred and fifty pounds. (How he gets through all that money in a week
I have never had the courage to ask him.) Every Saturday morning I come
to my bank to cash a cheque for - well, whatever it happens to be, you

The trouble is that we nearly always coincide; only the other man always
seems to coincide first. And, as he takes his hundred and fifty on a
selective principle, I am beginning to know from bitter experience what
he will ask for and how long he will take to get served. He begins with
a note for fifty and goes on with fifty in fivers. Then he has twenty
sovereigns, and so on, down to the pound in copper. He and the cashier
chat airily the while of cabbages and kaisers. Then at last he goes away
full, and the cashier turns to me.

The Saturday before last I ventured to ask whether, if the
hundred-and-fifty pounder always insisted on arriving two seconds before
me, it wouldn't be possible to cash my cheque, which is a simple little
thing, in one of the intervals during which, after sending to the
cellars for more gold, they relapse into easy conversation; or,

1 3 4

Online LibraryVariousPunch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914 → online text (page 1 of 4)