Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, April 11, 1917 online

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VOL. 152.

April 11th, 1917.


The question as to how America's army will assist the Allies has not yet
been decided, so that President WILSON will still be glad of suggestions
from our halfpenny morning papers.


The military absentee who said he had just dined at a London restaurant,
and therefore did not mind going back to the trenches, acted rightly in not
disclosing the name of the restaurant.


The report that M. VENEZELOS was in London has been denied by _The Daily
Mail_ and the Press Bureau. It is expected that the news will at once be
telegraphed to M. VENEZELOS.


There is a proposal to shorten theatrical performances, and several
managers of revue, unable to determine which joke to retain, have in
desperation resolved to sacrifice both.


Owing to travelling and other difficulties the British Association have
decided not to hold their annual meeting this year. Unofficially, the
decision is attributed to the growing prejudice against a continuance of
the more frivolous forms of entertainment.


A soldier in Salonika has asked a friend in Surrey to send him some flower
seeds for a garden in his camp. We hear that Mr. LYNCH, M.P., is convinced
that this is merely an inspired attempt to obscure the real object of the


We learn with satisfaction that it is proposed to form a Ministry of
Health, for many of the Government Departments seem to be suffering from a
variety of complaints.


In connection with a recent law case, in which a certain Mr. SHAW was
referred to as "one of the public," we hasten to point out that it did not
refer to Mr. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, who, of course, is not in that category.


"Peanuts," says _The Daily Chronicle,_ "do not seem to be receiving the
attention they deserve from our food experts." Several of our younger
readers who profess to be food experts declare that they are ready to
attend to all the peanuts that our contemporary cares to put in their way.


In a duel with revolvers last week two Spanish officers wounded one
another. We have all along maintained that duels with revolvers are
becoming positively dangerous.


A cheque for twenty-five million dollars has just been handed to M. BRON,
Danish Minister at Washington, in payment for the Danish West Indies. This,
we understand, includes cost of packing and delivery.


[Illustration: _Master (after the event)._ "DO YOU KNOW, YOUNG MAN, THAT



There is a serious shortage of margarine and many people have been
compelled to fall back on butter.


A gossip writer states that one of the recent additions to the Metropolitan
Special constabulary weighs seventeen stone. It is not yet decided whether
he will take one beat or two.


There is to be no General Election this year for fear that it might clash
with the other War.


Another military absentee having told the Thames Police Court magistrate
that he did not know there was a War on, it is expected that the Government
will have to announce the fact.


It is no longer the fashion to regard the British as a degenerate race.
Still it is good to know that one of our rat clubs has killed no fewer than
three hundred of these ferocious beasts.


A contemporary suggests that we may yet institute a system of pigeon post,
and thus assist the postal services. There will be fine mornings when the
exasperated house-holder will be waiting behind the door with a shot-gun
for the bird which attempts to deliver the Income Tax papers.


Two litigants in the Bombay High Court have settled their differences by
agreeing that the sum in dispute shall be paid into the War Fund. This is
considered to be a marked improvement on the old method of dividing it
between the lawyers in the case.


"It is my supreme war aim," said Count VON ROON in the Prussian House of
Lords, "to keep the Throne and the Dynasty sky high." Once we have knocked
them sky high the Count can keep them in any old place he likes.


At a recent concert at Cripplegate Institute in aid of St. Dunstan's Hostel
for Blinded Soldiers, lightning sketches of cats by Louis WAIN were sold by
auction. The sketching of these night-prowlers by lightning is, we
understand, a most exhilarating pursuit, but the opportunities for it are
comparatively rare, and most artists have to utilise the moon or the


It is announced that owing to the shortage of paper the number of
propagandist pamphlets published by the German Government will be
diminished. The decision may also have been influenced by the increasing
shortage of neutrals.

* * * * *

"Father Waring's boat became jammed while being lowered and hung
dangerously, but the ship's surgeon cut the cackles and they descended
safely." - _The Pioneer (Allahabad)_

Another of our strong silent men.

* * * * *



My nerves are feeling rather bad
About the news from Petrograd.
Briefly, and speaking as a Tsar,
I think the game has gone too far.
When Liberty gets on the wing
You cannot always stop the thing.
Vices from ill examples grow,
And I might be the next to go.


Yes, what has happened over there
May very well occur elsewhere.
Fortune with me may prove as fickle as
It did with poor lamented NICHOLAS.
It was a silly thing to do
To ape the airs of WILLIAM TWO;
I cannot think what I was at,
Trying to be an autocrat.


I take a very dubious tone
About the fate of Allah's Own.
The Young Turk Party's been my bane
And caused me hours and hours of pain;
But, what would be a bitterer pill,
There may be others younger still,
Who, if the facts should get about,
Would want to rise and throw me out.


I don't believe that WILLIAM cares
One little fig for my affairs.
He roped me in to this concern
Simply to serve his private turn;
And never shed a single tear
Over my loss of Monastir.
For tuppence, if I saw my way,
I'd join the others any day.


Last year (its memory still is green) O
How WILLIAM loved his precious TINO!
He talked about our family ties
And sent me such a lot of spies.
But since his foes began to squeeze
My guns inside the Peloponnese
His interest in me has ceased;
I do not like it in the least.


I lent him troops when things were slack,
And now the beast won't pay 'em back.
He never mentions any "line"
Of HINDENBURG'S in Palestine.
I cannot sleep; I get such frights
During these dark Arabian Nights.
But he - he doesn't care a dem.
O Allah! O Jerusalem!

* * * * *


Every woman who wants the most economical new garment, should buy
to-morrow's DAILY SKETCH." - _Evening Standard._

It sounds cheap, but would it wear?

* * * * *



DEAREST DAPHNE, - The scarcity of paper isn't altogether an unmixed
misfortune, as far as one's correspondence is concerned. Letters that don't
matter, letters from the insignificant and the boresome, simply aren't
answered. For small spur-of-the-moment notes to one's _intimes_ who're not
too far off, there's quite a little feeling for using _slates_. One writes
what one's to say on one's slate (which may be just as dilly a little
affair as you please, with plain or chased silver frame, enamelled monogram
or coronet, and pencil hanging by a little silver chain), and sends it by a
servant. When the note's been read, it's wiped off, the answer written, and
the slate brought back. _Isn't_ that fragrant? I may claim to have set this
fashion. Of course a very _voyant_ slate is not just-so. The
Bullyon-Boundermere woman set up one with a deep, heavily-chased gold
frame, and "B.-B." at the top set with big diamonds. _C'est bien elle!_
She'd used it only half-a-dozen times when it was snatched from her
footwoman, who was taking it to somebody's house, and hasn't been heard of

_People Who Matter_ gave a double-page to illustrating "War-Time
Correspondence Slates of Social Leaders." _My_ slate's there, and Stella
Clackmannan's, and Beryl's and several more. À propos, have you seen the
series of "Well-known War-Workers" they've been having lately in _People
Who Matter_? They're really quite worth while. There's dear Lala
Middleshire in one of those charming "Olga" trench coats (khaki face-cloth
lined self-coloured satin and with big, lovely, gilt-and-enamelled
buttons), high brown boots, and one of those saucy little Belgian caps with
a distracting little tassel wagging in front. The pickie is called "The
Duchess of Middleshire Takes a War-Worker's Lunch," and dear Lala is shown
standing by a table, looking so _bravely_ at two cutlets, a potato, a piece
of war bread, a piece of war cheese and a small pudding.

Then there's Hermione Shropshire, in a perfectly _haunting_ lace and
taffetas morning robe, with a clock near her (marked with a cross) pointing
to eight o'clock! (She lets her maid dress her at that hour now, so that
the girl may go and make munitions.) And Edelfleda Saxonbury is shown in an
evening gown, wearing her famous pearls. She's leaning her chin on her hand
and gazing with a sweet wistful look at an inset view of the hostel where
she's washed plates and cups quite several times.

And last but not least there's a pickie that the journalist people have
dubbed, "Distinguished Society Women distinguish themselves as Carpenters,"
_et voilà_ Beryl, Babs and your Blanche, in delicious cream serge overall
things, with hammers, planes, and saws embroidered in crewels on the big
square collars and turn-up cuffs, and enormously becoming carpenter's caps,
looking at a rest-hut we've just finished. Oh, my dearest and best, you
don't know what it is to _live_ till you've learned to _carpent_! It's
positively _enthralling_! When we're skilful enough we're to go abroad -
_mais il faut se taire_! _I_ don't see why we shouldn't go _now_. We're as
skilful as we shall ever be. And even if one or two of our huts _had_ no
doors what's that matter? Besides, a hut with no door has a tremendous
pull - there wouldn't be any draughts!

Everyone's _furious_ at the way the powers that be have treated Sybil
Easthampton. You know what a wonderful thing her Ollyoola Love Dance is. Of
course she's lived among the Ollyoolas and knows them in all their moods.
(They're natives somewhere ever and ever so far off, where there are palms
and coral reefs, and the people don't believe in wrapping themselves up
much.) And so she's given the dance at a great many War Fund matinees. That
little Mrs. Jimmy Sharpe, daring to criticise it, said there was too much
Ollyoola and not enough dance; but everybody who _counts_ simply raves
about it. And then, when some manager person offered Sybil big terms to do
it at the "Incandescent," he was "officially informed" that, if the
Ollyoola Love Dance went into the bill the "Incandescent" would be "placed
out of bounds"! What do you, _do_ you think of that, _m'amie_? A piece of
sheer _artistry_ like the Ollyoola Love Dance to be treated so! And it's
wonderful not only artistically but scientifically. Each of dear Sybil's
amazing wriggles and squirms and crouches and springs is _absolutely_
true - _exactly_ what an Ollyoola _does_ when it's in love.

We're all glad to think we can _still_ see the Ollyoola Love Dance at War
Fund matinées.

Ever thine,

* * * * *


"A splendid line in corsets, in fine white coutil, usually sold at 14s.
11d., are offered sale at 17s. 11d. each." - _Fashions for All._

* * * * *

"BRITISH HARRY THE ENEMY." - _Provincial Paper._

And all this time the Germans have been under the impression that it was
British Tommy.

* * * * *




(Mr. Punch, however, is glad to note that more drastic regulations are
about to be enforced.)]

* * * * *



MY DEAR CHARLES, - Reference the German withdrawal. The matter is proceeding
in machine-like order, and one of the first great men to cross No-Man's
Land was myself in the noblest of cars. It was, I confess, a purely
temporary and fortuitous arrangement which put me in such a conveyance, but
I had the feeling that it was excellently fitted to my particular form of
greatness, and there were moments when I was so enamoured of it that I was
on the verge of getting into a hole with it and staying hid there till the
end of the War. Just the right hole was provided at every cross-roads, but
the driver wouldn't try them and went round by the fields.

Of the flattened villages and the severed fruit-trees you will have read as
much as I have seen. It's a gruesome business, but one charred village is
much like another, and the sight is, alas, a familiar one nowadays. For me
all else was forgotten in speechless admiration of the French people. Their
self-restraint and adaptability are beyond words. These hundreds of honest
people, just relieved from the domineering of the Master Swine and restored
to their own good France again, were neither hysterical nor exhausted. They
were just their happy selves, very pleased about it all, standing in their
doorways, strolling about the market-place, watching the march of events as
one might watch a play. Every house had its tricolor bravely flying; where
they'd got them from so soon I don't know, but no Frenchman ever yet
failed, under any circumstances, to produce exactly the right thing at
exactly the right moment. There was a nice old Adjoint at the Mairie who
wasn't for doing any business at all, with the English or anyone else,
until a certain formality had been observed. He had a bottle of old brandy
in his cellar, which somehow or other had escaped the German eye these last
two years. This, said Monsieur, had first to be disposed of before any
other business could conceivably be entertained ... I gathered he had
risked much, everything possibly, in keeping this bottle two years; but
nothing on earth would induce him to retain it two minutes longer.

Madame, the doctor's wife, approached me as a friend with a request. Would
I expedite a letter to her people, to announce her restoration to liberty?
I was at Madame's disposal. She handed me the letter. I observed that the
envelope was not closed down. Madame's look indicated that this was
intentional, and her expression indicated that this was the sort of thing
she was used to.

There was no weeping, no extreme emotion. There was a philosophical
detachment, a very prevalent humour, and, for the rest, signs of a quiet
waiting for "The Day." There is only one day for France, the day of the
arrival of Frenchmen on German soil. When the English arrive in Germany
there will be nothing doing, except some short and precise orders that we
must salute all civilians and pay double for what we buy; but when the
French arrive in Germany ... and Heaven send we are going to help them to
get well in!

There is a story current, turning on these events, of a young German
officer and an official correspondence. It just possibly may be true, since
even among such a rotten lot there might conceivably have been one
tolerable fellow. The Higher Command had been much intrigued as to a church
window, wanting to know (in writing) exactly why and how it had been
broken; or rather, as it was the German Higher Command, exactly why and how
it had been allowed to remain unbroken. You know how these affairs develop
in interest and excitement as the correspondence passes down and down, from
one formation to another, and what an air of urgency and bitterness they
wear when they reach the last man. In this case the young German subaltern,
who had no one else below him on whom to put the burden of explaining in
writing, took advantage of his position, and wrote upon a slip, which he
attached to the top of the others: "To Officer Commanding British Troops.
Passed to you, please, as this town is now in your area...."

Probably the tale isn't true, for if the officer was a German he must have
had German blood in him, and if he had German blood in him there couldn't
be room for anything else, certainly not for a sense of humour.

We stayed longer than we should have done; this was an occasion upon which
one could not insist on the limit of ten handshakes per person. I was
delayed also by the Institutrice, who wanted to borrow my uniform, so that
she might put it on and so be in a position to start right off at once,
paying back. She meant it too, and I should not be surprised to hear that
she's been caught doing it by this time. Her mother was there in great
form. Asked for her opinion of the dear departed, she said she had already
told it to themselves and saw no reason to alter it. "They make war only on
women and children; they are _lâches_." My N.C.O. got out his
pocket-dictionary to discover the exact meaning of the word. She told us he
needn't trouble; it meant two months' imprisonment. She had a face like a
russet apple - a very nice russet apple, too.

We didn't get away before dark, and we found it very hard to discover our
way about new country when large hunks of it were missing altogether. One
of the party would walk on to find the way, and later I would go forth to
find him. We could see the road stretching away in front of us for
kilometres; but between us and it there would be twenty yards of nil.

However, the car eventually learnt to stand on its back wheels, climb
hedges and make its way home across country, having confirmed its general
opinion of the Bosch, that he is only good at one thing, and that is
destroying other people's property. I am now back in comfort again, and
able to remember your suffering. I send herewith a slice of bully beef
(one) and potatoes (two), hoping that they will not be torpedoed, and
urging you to hang on, for we are now beginning to think of moving towards
Germany, if only to see, when we get there, exactly what the Frenchman has
been evolving in his mind all this time.

Yours ever,

* * * * *



* * * * *

"General Ludendorff has received the Red Eagle of the First Class." -
_Central News_.

An appropriate reward for his rapid flight.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Customer_. "LOOK OUT! YOU'RE CONFOUNDEDLY CLUMSY!"


* * * * *


In every home in England you will find their wistful faces,
Where, weary of adventure, lying lonely by the fire,
Untempted by the sunlight and the call of open spaces,
They are listening, listening, listening for the step of their desire.

And, watching, we remember all the tried and never failing,
The good ones and the game ones that have run the years at heel;
Old Scamp that killed the badger single-handed by the railing,
And Fan, the champion ratter, with her fifty off the reel.

The bitches under Ranksboro' with hackles up for slaughter,
The otter hounds on Irfon as they part the alder bowers,
The tufters drawing to their stag above the Horner Water,
The setters on Ben Lomond when the purple heather flowers.

The collie climbing Cheviot to head his hill sheep stringing,
The Dandie digging to his fox among the Lakeside scars,
The Clumber in the marshes when the evening flight is winging
And the wild geese coming over through the rose light and the stars.

And my heart goes out in pity to each faithful one that's fretting
Day by day in cot or castle with his dim eyes on the door.
In his dreams he hunts with sorrow. And for us there's no forgetting
That he helped our love of England and he hardened us for war.

* * * * *


When MOSES fought with AMALEK in days of long ago,
And slew him for the glory of the Lord,
'Is longest range artill'ry was an arrow and a bow,
And 'is small arms was a barrel-lid and sword;
But to-day 'e would 'ave done 'em in with gas,
Or blowed 'em up with just a mine or so,
Then broken up their ranks by advancing with 'is tanks,
And started 'ome to draw his D.S.O.

When ST. GEORGE 'e went a-ridin' all naked through the lands -
You can see 'im on the back of 'arf-a-quid -
'E spiked the fiery dragon with a spear in both 'is 'ands,
But to-day, if 'e 'd to do what then he did,
'E 'd roll up easy in an armoured car,
'E 'd loose off a little Lewis gun,
Then 'e 'd 'oist the scaly dragon upon a G.S. wagon
And cart 'im 'ome to show the job was done.

Then there weren't no airyplanes and there weren't no bombs and guns;
You just biffed the opposition on the 'ead.
If the world could take all weapons from the British and the 'Uns,
Could scrap the steel, the copper and the lead;
If we fought it out with pick-'andles and fists,
If the good old times would only come agin,
When there weren't no dirty trenches with their rats and lice and
Why, a month 'ud see us whoopin' through Berlin!

* * * * *



["A repertory play is one that is unlikely to be repeated." - _Old


_John Bullyum, J.P._ (Member of the Town Council of Mudslush).
_Mrs. Bullyum_ (his wife).
_Janet_ (their daughter).
_David_ (their son).

SCENE. - _The living-room of a smallish house in the dullest street of a
provincial suburb._ [_N.B. - This merely means that practically any
scenery will do, provided the wall-paper is sufficiently hideous.
Furnish with the scourings of the property-room - a great convenience
for Sunday evening productions._] _The room contains rather less than
the usual allowance of doors and windows, thus demonstrating a fine
contempt for stage traditions. An electric-light, disguised within a
mid-Victorian gas-globe, occupies a conspicuous position on one wall.
You will see why presently. When the curtain rises_ Janet, _an awkward
girl of any age over thirty_ (_and made up to look it_) _is seated
before the fire knitting. Her mother, also knitting, faces her. The
appearance of the elder woman contains a very careful suggestion of the
nearest this kind of play ever gets to low-comedy._

_Janet_ (_glancing at clock on mantelpiece_). It's close on nine. David is
late again.

_Mrs. B._ He's aye late these nights. 'Tis the lectures at the Institute
that keeps him.

[_N.B. - Naturally both women speak with a pronounced accent, South
Lancashire if possible. Failing that, anything sufficiently unlike
ordinary English will serve._

_Janet_. He's that anxious to get on, is David.

_Mrs. B._ Ay, he's fair set on being a town councillor one day, like thy

_Janet_ (_quietly_). That 'ud be fine.

_Mrs. B._ You'd a rare long meeting at the women's guild to-night.

_Janet_ (_without emotion_). Ay. They've elected me to go to Manchester on
the deputation.

_Mrs. B._ You'll like that.

_Janet_ (_suppressing a secret pride so that it is wholly imperceptible by
the audience_). It'll be well enough. I'm to go first-class. (_A pause._)

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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, April 11, 1917 → online text (page 1 of 3)