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* * * * *


VOL. 150

JUNE 21, 1916

* * * * *


An "Iron Scheer" is to be erected at Cuxhaven in honour of the
"victor" of the Battle of Horn Reef. It is thought, however, that lead
would be more appropriate than iron for the occasion. It runs more
easily under fire.

* * *

"I want," said Mr. ROOSEVELT, at Oyster Bay, "to tell you newspaper
men that it is useless to come to see me. I have nothing to say." As
however some of them had come quite a long way to see him, he might at
least have made a noise like a Bull Moose.

* * *

Asked as to the nature of his disability, an appellant informed one of
the London Tribunals that he was a member of the V.T.C. This studied
insult to a fine body of men was, we are happy to say, repudiated by
the Tribunal, which advised the applicant to try to join a "crack"

* * *

No civilians being available for the work, fifty men of the Royal
Scots regiment laid half-a-mile of water main at Coggeshall Abbey
in record time. This incident should finally dispose of a popular
superstition that among the Scotch water is only a secondary

* * *

The Water Board has spent £70 in renovating some Chippendale chairs
belonging to the New River Company. The poor shareholders are quite
helpless in the matter.

* * *

On an acre of ground, a man told the Farnham Tribunal, he kept 9 sows,
34 pigs and 1 horse, and grew a quarter-of-an-acre of mangolds and a
quarter-of-an-acre of potatoes. Asked where he kept himself the man
is understood to have reluctantly named an exclusive hotel in the West

* * *

"The extra hour of daylight is turning every City man into a
gardener," says _The Daily Mail_. This must be a source of great
concern to our contemporary, according to which, if we read aright,
the majority of our public men do their work like gardeners.

* * *

"A wave of temperance might come by sending drunkards to prison for a
second offence," said Mr. MEAD at the West London Court. This remark
will cause consternation in those select circles in which a second
offence is usually an indication of a discriminating dilettantism.

* * *

"Mr. Hughes," says _The Daily Mail_, "goes to the Paris Conference
with the British ideals in his pocket." Personally, we have an idea
that things of this sort ought to be left in the Cabinet.

* * *

"This war," says _The Fishing Gazette_, "is going to provide
protection to fish from the trawlers in all places where ships sink on
trawling-grounds." That, however, is not the real issue, and we cannot
too strongly deprecate such an unscrupulous attempt on the part of our
contemporary to draw a red herring across the trail.

[Illustration: PUNCTUALITY.


* * *

According to a New York cable, President WILSON last week headed a
procession in favour of military preparedness as an ordinary citizen
in a straw hat, blue coat, cream pants, and carrying an American flag
on his shoulders. The intensely militant note struck by the cream
pants is regarded as a body blow to the hope of the pacificists in
the party and astonished even the most chauvinistic of PRESIDENT'S

* * *

"For anyone to keep a cow for their private supply of milk is a
luxury, and there is no necessity for it," said the Chairman of the
Chobham Tribunal, and, as a result of this ruling, a maiden lady in
the district who has long cherished the ambition of keeping a bee for
her private supply of honey has reluctantly decided to abandon the

* * *

Berlin's newest attraction is said to be a young woman named ANNA VON
BERGDORFF, who has revealed extraordinary powers of memory, and whose
chief accomplishment is to "remember and repeat without error from
twenty-five to fifty disconnected words after hearing them once." In
these circumstances it would seem to be a thousand pities that the
lady was not present when the KAISER received the news of the famous
"victory" of his Fleet in the Battle of Jutland.

* * *

In St. Louis, U.S.A., the Democratic National Convention is claiming
on behalf of President WILSON that he has "successfully steered the
ship of State throughout troublous times without involving the United
States in war." Or, as the hyphenateds put it more tersely, "Woodrow
has delivered the goods."

* * *

In a bird's-nest in a water-pipe at Sheffield a workman has discovered
a £20 Bank of England note, which, we understand, has since been
claimed by various people in the neighbourhood who have lately been
troubled by mysterious thefts of £1 and 10s. Treasury notes, as well
as by a man who alleges that he was recently robbed of that exact sum
in silver and copper coins.

* * *

A traveller who has arrived in Amsterdam from Berlin states that in
that city placards have been pasted on all the walls explaining that
the KAISER is not responsible for the War. We hope however that now it
has been brought to his notice it is not unreasonable on our part to
express the hope that he will promptly decide to go a step further and
declare his neutrality.

* * *

At an Exhibition of Substitutes now being held in Berlin a special
department displayed stage decorations, scenery and costumes made
mostly out of paper instead of wool. As a counterblast to the alleged
German superiority in matters of this sort, it is pleasant to be able
to record the fact that in our English theatres it is no uncommon
thing to see an audience made mostly out of the same material.

* * * * *


(_Marshal VON HINDENBERG and Admiral VON SCHEER._)

_The Admiral._ The beer, at any rate, is good.

_The Marshal._ Yes, the beer is good enough, Heaven be thanked! I only
wish everything else was as good as the beer.

_The Admiral._ So then there is grumbling here too. It was in my mind
that I should find everything here in first-rate order and everybody
delighted with the condition of things.

_The Marshal._ So? Then all I can say is that you expected too much.
You do not seem to realise how things are going with us. I suppose you
had thought the Russians were absolutely done for after what happened
to them last year. So thought the All-highest, who has a mania for
imagining complete victories and talking about them in language that
makes one ashamed of being a German. As if - -

_The Admiral._ Yes, that's quite true. I'll tell you a little story
about that later on.

_The Marshal._ Well, he saw complete victory over the Russians, and
what does he do? He withdraws some of my best divisions to the Western
Front and throws them into that boiling cauldron at Verdun, where they
have all perished to the last man, and leaves me with my thinned line
to hold out as best I can; and, not content with this, he permits
those accursed Austrians to rush their troops, if indeed they are
worthy to be called by that name, headlong into Italy on a mad
adventure of their own and to get stuck there far beyond the
possibility of help. And then what happens? The moment arrives when
the new and immense Russian armies are trained, and when they have
rifles and cannons and ammunition in plenty, and one fine day they
wake up and hurl themselves against the Austrians, and helter-skelter
away go the whole set of Archdukes and Generals and Colonels and men,
each trying to see who has the longest legs and can use them quickest
for escaping. And I'm expected to bring up my fellows, who have quite
enough to do where they are, and to sacrifice them in helping this
rabble. "HINDENBURG," said the All-highest to me, "be up and doing.
Show yourself worthy of your ancient glory and earn more golden nails
for your wooden statue." "Majesty," I replied, "if you will leave
me my fighting men, you can keep all the golden nails that were ever
made." But at this he frowned, suspecting a joke: I have often noticed
that he does not like jokes.

_The Admiral._ Yes, I have noticed that myself, and I always do my
best to take him quite seriously. But I was going to tell you a little
story about our speechmaking hero. Here it is. As you know, he ordered
us out to fight the naval battle off Jutland.

_The Marshal._ Yes, I know - the great victory.

_The Admiral._ Hum-hum.

_The Marshal._ Well, wasn't it?

_The Admiral._ Ye-e-s, that is to say, not exactly what one
understands by great and not precisely what is meant by victory.
However, we can discuss that another time. What I wanted to tell you
was this. The speech our friend and KAISER made - -

_The Marshal._ It was a highly coloured piece of fireworks.

_The Admiral._ Well, it was all prepared and written down days before
the fight was fought. I heard this from a sure source, from someone,
in fact, who had seen the manuscript and had afterwards caught sight
of the Imperial one rehearsing it before a looking-glass. Whatever
might have happened, the speech would have been the same, even if we
had returned into harbour with only one ship - and there was a time
when I thought we should hardly be able to do even that.

_The Marshal._ I wonder what would have happened to him if he had not
been able to deliver the speech at all.

_The Admiral._ He would have burst himself.

_The Marshal._ Yes, that is what would have happened to him.

_The Admiral._ Well, anyhow, the beer is good here.

_The Marshal._ Oh, yes, the beer is all right.

* * * * *


Judkins was the last man in the world one would have expected to meet
in the fashionable costume of the day. To begin with, he was well over
age. And then he was on the quiet side, usually looking for some
odd, old thought which had gone astray, and possessed of one of those
travelling mentalities which take note of all sides of a subject. Yet
there he stood in khaki.

"The very last man in the world I expected to see like this," I said.
It was quite true. Judkins was the sort who would have attempted
dreamy analyses with the drill-instructor.

"Don't blame me, old thing," he said with a shade of melancholy. "I
know I am stiff and over age and all that, but the recruiting fellow
said he would willingly overlook a decade. There was nothing else for
it. It was the only way."

"How do you mean, 'the only way'?" I asked.

Judkins sighed.

"It was like this," he explained sadly. "I should have joined up
before, but I have always tried to keep to the truth ever since I was
seven and told a lie, and felt that I was lost. But I gave in at last.
If Lord DERBY looks at my papers he will think I am forty. So I
am, and a bit more. I meant to deceive his lordship, though it went
against the grain. I am sure I don't know what Mr. WALTER LONG
will say if he ever finds out what I have done. I can picture him
exclaiming, 'Here's this man, Private Judkins, declaring he is only
forty, when to my certain knowledge he was born in '66.'

"I am risking all that because life became insupportable. There was
hardly anybody left I cared about. The one waiter at my favourite
restaurant who didn't breathe down one's neck when he was holding the
vegetables - he had joined; and the person who understood cigars at the
corner shop, he is in it too. The new man doesn't know the difference
between a Murias and a Manilla. It was the same all round. There was
nobody to cut my hair. My barber was forming fours. It is a wonder
to me why the War people have had to hunt the slippers, the chaps who
have held back, for there is very little to tempt one to keep out of
the crowd now. I've joined so as to be with the fellows I know. Don't
go and put it all down to patriotism; it was just sheer loneliness.
The man who sold me my evening paper - you remember him? he had a
squint and used to invest in Spanish lotteries and get me to translate
the letters he received - he is a soldier now; and so is the bootblack
who asked for tips for the races, and the door-keeper at the offices.
They're all wearing khaki, all in; and it wasn't the same world
without them, only a dreary make-believe, and so I decided to deceive
the War Office and join my friends. Every day I am finding the folk
I'd lost. The Corporal with whom I do most business was checktaker
at a theatre I used to frequent - always told me whether the show was
worth the money before I parted. And the life is suiting me fairly
well. Last week's route-march in the rain was a far, far wetter thing
than I had ever done, but - - "

He turned and gravely saluted an officer who was coming up on the

[Illustration: THE TABLES TURNED.]

* * * * *

[Illustration: NEWS FOR THE ENEMY.



* * * * *



MY DEAR CHARLES, - No "Tourists' Guide to Northern France" would be
complete without some mention of the picturesque town of A., a point
at which even the most progressive traveller is likely to say that
he's had a very pleasant journey so far, but now thinks of turning
back. It boasts a small but exceedingly well-ventilated cathedral,
many an eligible residence to let, and the relics of what was once
a busy factory, on the few remaining bricks of which you are
particularly requested to "afficher" no "affiches." It is approached
by a railway, prettily overgrown with tall grasses and wild-flowers,
and never made hideous these days by the presence of hustling, smoky
trains. Entering daintily from the back, the tourist will soon find
himself in its main street, devoid of ladies out shopping, but not
without its curious collection of exuberant drain-pipes and recumbent
lamp-posts. It lies, pleasantly dishevelled, in the sun, having the
appearance of the bed of a restless sleeper who has shifted about
somewhat in the night and made many abortive efforts to get up in the
morning. Its streets are decorated with a series of dew ponds, dotted
about with no apparent regard to the convenience of the traffic, and
you may while away many an idle hour trying to discover where the
street ends and the houses begin. You will not be interrupted if you
detach, for your collection of curios, a yard or so of the dislodged
statue of the leading municipal genius, and even the old man at the
barrier of the eastern gate will only attempt to deter you by friendly
advice if you persist in ignoring the notice, "This Road is Unfit for
Vehicular Traffic." I am told that discipline is automatic at this
point; it requires no browbeating military policemen to control the
traffic here.

The town of A. has given up work. It has also given up trying to look
smart. It still spreads itself over many acres and it has a population
of twenty-five, not including the Town Major.

Town Majors, of the more permanent sort, are a race apart. Being older
men, who have done their turn in the trenches and are now marked down
for the less actively quarrelsome life, they nevertheless prefer
to live in this sort of place. When a man gets to their age he has
apparently grown too fond of his old friends, the shells, to be parted
from them altogether till he absolutely must; also he likes a row of
houses to himself to live in. A street cannot be so quickly demolished
as to give him no time to select another one, and business can always
be carried on at the one end while structural alterations are taking
place at the other. This fluctuation of town property is a thing to be
reckoned with in his life; and so on his office wall you will find
a list of billets occupied by units, and where you see a blue mark
you'll know the unit has gone, and where you see a red mark, you'll
know the billet has.

The Town Major of A. is a great friend of mine; fortunately we are
able to reserve our differences of opinion for the telephone, and even
so neither can ever be sure whether the other lost his temper or the
"cutting off" was done elsewhere. When we meet I find him the victim
of so many other troubles that I always spare him more. He is one of
those little old Majors, more like walnuts than anything else - the
hardest, most wrinkled but best filled walnuts. He acts as the medium
between the relentless routine of a high administrative office and
the complex wants of the local warrior. I don't think he has ever yet
decided whether his true sympathies lie with the machine or with the
men. Once I was in his office when a weather-beaten young Subaltern
arrived, requiring fuel for his R.E. Company. He knew of the
whereabouts of just the very thing. True, it was a standing door at
the moment, but no doubt that condition was only temporary. It led
from a room, which was half demolished, into a passage which had
ceased to exist. But the Town Major did not concern himself with this.
An order was an order, and a door was a door, and the order decreeing
that doors should remain, the Subaltern had better get quick. He tried
arguing, but you don't crack a walnut that way. He tried pleading, and
the walnut creaked a little, yet remained whole. "Understand," said
he, very authoritatively, "not only do I forbid you to enter that
house for the purpose you propose, but I have stationed at the front
entrance a picket to prevent you. If you so much as set foot on the
front doorstep he will arrest you and bring you here. I shall know how
to deal with you, Sir." The Subaltern, who had no doubt suffered much,
turned away with a weary sigh; the Town Major ignored his salute, but,
before his complete withdrawal, did happen to mention (so to speak)
that he'd been told there was a _back_ entrance to the house in
question and he had some idea of putting another picket there

The Subaltern heard all right, and, from the further and additional
salute he now gave, it appeared that he knew how to deal with that.
The Town Major looked at me, faintly representing for the moment
the machine, and, blushing dismally, bribed me into silence with a
cigarette. Yet here I am telling you all about it! Never mind; the
house and all its entrances and exits have long since disappeared,
and as to the Subaltern himself - who knows?

On Saturday, June 3rd (that black Saturday which was not quite so
black as it was painted) he received an urgent call, as if he was
a doctor, to attend the oldest and least movable inhabitant in the
acuteness of her distress. Town Majors are good for anything; though
I suppose I oughtn't to mention it, I knew of one who assisted
single-handed at a birth, mother and son both doing well
notwithstanding interim bombardment. They are at anybody's disposal
for any purpose; it is merely a question of first come first served.
He went to the old lady's house; he found her in a paroxysm of tears
over the news of the Naval disaster. For an hour he tried to comfort
her, being limited to the methods of personal magnetism, in the
absence of his interpreter and the scarcity of his French. She refused
to take comfort; it was not sorrow for the gallant dead, but terror of
the atrocious living which moved her. She was mortally afraid, she to
whom salvoes of big guns were now matters of passing inconvenience.
The English Navy had taken a knock; the War was therefore over and we
had lost. There was no hope for any of us, and any moment the Bosch
might be expected on her threshold, arriving presumably from the rear.
The magnificence of the Army of France had been in vain; it was no
use going on at Verdun. She was still weeping spasmodically when the
better news arrived.

Now, Charles, if that is how a French peasant took the first news, how
do you suppose the German peasants are digesting the second and better

Yours ever,

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Shivering Tommy (to red-headed pal)._ "'URRY UP,

* * * * *

"Athens, Monday. - I learn in a well-informed quarter that the
Allies are expected to communicate to the Greek Government
almost immediately a further Note relative to the restrictions
imposed on Greek sipping."

_Provincial Paper._

At present, we understand, Greek sippers are strictly confined to

* * * * *


Dear Betty, in the good old days,
Before this Armageddon stunt,
We floated down still water-ways
Ensconced within a cushioned punt;
With mingled terror and delight
I felt the toils around me closing,
Until one starry moonlit night,
Discreetly veiled from vulgar sight,
I found myself proposing.

You heard my ravings with a smile,
And then confessed you liked my cheek,
But thought my nose denoted guile
And feared my chin was rather weak;
My character with fiendish glee
You treated to a grim dissection,
Then as a final _jeu d'esprit_
You cynically offered me
A sisterly affection.

But now within my faithful heart
New hope has sprung to sudden life;
In fancy (somewhat _à la carte_)
I see you more or less my wife;
The way is found, the path is clear,
The resolution moved and carried -
If you have pluck enough, my dear,
To risk a rather new career ...
We might be _slightly_ married.[A]

[Footnote A: In his book, _What is Coming_, Mr. H. G. WELLS sees "a
vision of the slightly-married woman."]

* * * * *

In a Good Cause.

The Veterans' Club, for which the LORD MAYOR is to hold a meeting at
the Mansion House on Thursday, June 22nd, at 3.30, is the nucleus of
a movement to offer the chance of rest and convalescence to those
who have fought and suffered in defence of their country; to secure
suitable employment for those whose service is finished, and friendly
help in the hour of need. The Club at Hand Court, Holborn, has already
welcomed seven thousand men of the Navy and Army to its membership. A
great effort is needed to enlarge this scheme for providing a centre
of reunion and succour for our fighting men from all parts of the
United Kingdom and its Dominions - a scheme which, if generously
supported, should serve as an Imperial Memorial of the nation's

Gifts and inquiries should be addressed to the Organising Secretary,
Veterans' Club Association, 1, Adelphi Terrace House, Adelphi, W.C.

* * * * *

"Mr. Balfour ... revealed that a number of the guns on
monitors came from America and stated that certain of
Churchill's speeches are so faulty that they are unuseable."

_Montreal Gazette._

Mr. BALFOUR may have thought this, but we don't remember his saying

* * * * *


DEAR MR. PUNCH, - I cordially welcome your efforts to extend the
horizon of Nursery Rhymes. At the same time it has always seemed to me
rather unfair that one room in the house, though I readily acknowledge
its importance, should practically monopolise the attention of our
domestic poets. If Nursery Rhymes, why not Dining-room, Drawing-room
and Kitchen Rhymes? I am convinced that they could be made just as
instructive, didactic and helpful. Hence, to make a beginning, I
venture to submit the following specimens of prudential and cautionary
Dining-room Rhymes. Should they meet with approval I propose to
deal with other apartments in the same spirit, excepting perhaps the
Box-room, which does not seem to me to offer facilities for lyrical


If desirous of succeeding
In the noble art of feeding
With dignity and breeding of a Jove,
You will find all information
For your proper education
In the admirable works of Lady GROVE.


Eat your porridge standing
If you are a Scot;
To be frank it's only rank
Swank if you are not.


Unless you wish to shorten your life
Don't eat your peas or your cheese with a knife,
Like greedy Jim, who cut his tongue
And died unseasonably young.


Be alert to scrutinize

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, June 21st, 1916 → online text (page 1 of 3)