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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 156, June 25, 1919 online

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 156.



June 25, 1919.





CHARIVARIA.

A man has written to the papers offering to buy five thousand pounds of
Joy Loan if the Government will get him a case of whisky. The simple
fellow does not seem to realise that if the Government had anything as
valuable as a case of whisky it would not have to raise a loan.

***

The successful trans-Atlantic flight and the large number of
public-houses in Galway threaten to make prohibition in U.S.A. nothing
less than a farce.

***

Smoking, says a Church paper, is on the increase among boys. Boys will
be girls these days.

***

Smoking and bad language seem to go together, says Professor GILBERT
MURRAY. In the case of some cheap cigars we have often seen them going
together.

***

A bazaar has been held in Dublin for the purpose of securing a fresh
stock of wild animals for the Zoological Gardens. It is not believed,
however, that the popularity of Sinn Fein can be seriously challenged.

***

"Serbia," says an Italian news agency, "is purchasing large quantities
of war material and aeroplanes." It is feared, however, that these
elaborate Peace preparations may yet turn out to be premature.

***

Two German machine guns, it is stated, have been placed in a provincial
library. Even this, it is thought, will not prevent Mr. H.G. WELLS from
doing what he conceives to be his duty.

***

Labour unrest is reported from Spitzbergen. There is also a rumour that
the Greenlanders are demanding the nationalization of blubber and a
180-day year.

***

There is said to be some talk at Washington of the House of
Representatives inviting President WILSON to visit America shortly.

***

A Chicago Girls' Club has decided that its members shall have nothing to
do with young men. It is certainly getting to be an effeminate habit.

***

_The Daily Mail_ has presented a golden slipper for the actress with the
smallest feet. The slipper, we understand, is quite new and has never
been used on anybody.

***

An American gentleman is about to offer for sale his corkscrew, or would
exchange for something useful.

***

A very mean theft is reported from West Ealing. Not content with
stealing the loose silver a burglar is reported to have stolen the
muzzle from off the watch-dog.

***

The New Cross Fire Brigade have been awarded a Challenge Cup for the
quickest work. This brigade is now open to book a few orders for fires
during August, when they have several open dates.

***

We understand that a couple of young cheeses were kidnapped from a
Crouch Hill warehouse last week.

***

It is a surprising fact, says a contemporary, that when LENIN was born
his parents were practically penniless. The greater mystery is that his
parents decided to keep him.

***

A statistical expert has estimated that if all the questions asked by
Mr. SMILLIE at the Coal Commission's sittings were placed one before the
other they would lead to nowhere.

***

Over one hundred posters illustrating the danger of house-flies have
been exhibited in the Enfield district. It is doubtful whether this will
have the desired effect, for it is well known that flies cannot read.

***

The price of a first-class interment, says a contemporary, has risen
from £3 18s 0d. to £5 15s. 0d. The result is that many people
have decided to try to do without one this year.

***

The arrival in England of a rare mosquito is reported by the
South-Eastern Union of Scientific Societies. It seems that the insect
had worked its passage to the British Museum. We think that a sharper
look-out should be kept on mosquitoes arriving at our ports.

***

A painful episode is reported from Yarmouth. It appears that a visitor,
desirous of taking home a souvenir of his holiday, thoughtlessly filled
a bottle with sea water at low tide, with the result that just before
high tide the bottle burst, inflicting serious injuries on the
passengers in the railway carriage in which he was travelling.

***

Out of nine applicants for the post of Language Master at a well-known
Public school, eight were proficient in at least five languages.
However, as the ninth man proved to be an ex-Sergeant-Major, the eight
immediately retired in his favour.

***

We now hear that the question regarding the possession of
Kladizatiffagtaliofatoffka, in Poland, which has caused so much of the
delay at the Peace Conference, has been satisfactorily settled. The four
Big Powers are to have a couple of syllables each and the remaining
three will be raffled for.

***

On account of the large number of robberies of safes that have taken
place in London during the last few weeks it is possible that an effort
will shortly be made to do away with these cumbersome articles in order
to stamp out the epidemic.

***

The bacteriologist of the Oyster Merchants' and Planters' Association
claims to have discovered a means of purifying polluted mussels. To
ascertain if a mussel requires to be purified examine the whites of its
eyes.

***

Newspapers have appeared again in Buenos Ayres. No other troubles are
anticipated.

* * * * *

[Illustration: "I'VE CALLED TO SEE IF YOU COULD MAKE A MINATURE OF ME."]

* * * * *

AMERICA AND SINN FEIN.

[Being a Republican's apology for the recent anti-British agitation
in the States.]

Oh, never let it mar the mutual love,
That now unites us eye to eye,
If, superficially, we seem to shove
Our fingers in your Irish pie -
An action which, if you should so behave,
Would make old MONROE wriggle in his grave.

How loath we are by nature to intrude
In things outside our own concern
Is witnessed by the European feud
In which we lately took a turn;
Ere WILSON'S mind was fixed to see you through it,
For years he wondered if he ought to do it.

And, when for Ireland's good we intervene
In matters patently remote,
You must not count our loyalty less keen -
We simply want the Irish vote;
'Tis an election stunt, this lion-baiting,
Designed for local Kelts who need placating.

So, when our Yankee delegates rehearse
Their tale of Erin's bitter woe,
Of crimes, almost too bad to quote in Erse,
Committed by the Saxon foe,
Please understand why our apparent bias is
In favour of these nimble Ananiases.

And also why, for Ireland's dear, dear sake
(Meaning of course "Ourselves Alone"),
A lot of us would gladly let her take
Our WILSON for her very own,
To worship, like a god inside a tin fane,
As WOODROW ONE, First President of Sinn Fein.

O. S.

* * * * *

GOING TO THE BANK.

She thought she had got a bargain. It was only marked "20/-," and would
have been double the price at any of the West-end places. So she whipped
out her Japanese note-case, paid for it, and carried it off like a
whirlwind lest the shopman should find he had made a mistake.

But it was she who had made a mistake, and she broke the news to me at
breakfast on the following morning.

Two of her one-pound notes (or, to be exact, _my_ one pound notes) must
have stuck together. She had paid the West-end price after all.

Then, instead of blaming her own carelessness, as I should have done,
what must she do but attack Mr. LLOYD GEORGE?

"It's all his fault, this horrid dirty paper-money... Spreading
infection wherever it goes!"

It devolved upon me to defend the Government, which I did with some
heat, drawing forth another one-pound note casually, as though I were
made of them, and flourishing it in my hand.

"And anyway," I argued, "Mr. LLOYD GEORGE is not to blame. The note does
not bear his signature, but that of Sir JOHN BRADBURY. And a fine bold
signature it is - why, it's dirt-cheap for the lesson in handwriting
alone."

She did not appreciate that, because hers is a small scrabbed writing.
But I continued mercilessly -

"I bet he doesn't bite _his_ lips when he's signing his name."

"Extremely bad writing, I should call it," she retorted. "Look, you
cannot tell where the '_u_' ends and the '_r_' begins."

"But aside from that," I resumed (I was very proud of this expression,
having picked it up from President WILSON) - "aside from that, turn the
note over, feast your eyes on the picture of the Houses of Parliament.
It too is thrown in for nothing. This at least ought to appeal to you,
with your enthusiasm for Gothic architecture."

If looks could annihilate, that would have been my last boiled egg.

"You think yourself very clever," she said, "and you are supposed to
understand all about money matters. Surely you know of a bank where I
can take these wretched notes and get gold instead, the good old English
gold that was worth its face-value all the world over?"

I did not know she could be so eloquent. I rose and went to the window.
It was a noble morning.

"Yes," I said after a little reflection, "put on your best hat and
collect your paper-money. But try and pack it all into the kit-bag if
you possibly can." (She winced a little.) "I know a bank where you will
be able to get all the gold you want...."
* * * * *
Shoulder to shoulder we fought the good fight for the motor-bus.

"Two to the Bank," I gasped.

But it was at Charing Cross station I made her descend. She looked
extraordinarily mystified, and I explained that the Bank's country
branches are the only ones where gold is still to be had.
* * * * *
She and an empty milk-can and I were all that got out at the little
station in the hills. However, a cuckoo introduced himself boldly by
name. He seemed so near he might have been in the booking-office. But
the booking-office was deserted.

"There can't possibly be a bank in this out-of-the-world place," she
protested.

"Patience," I replied, leading her down a steep path between high thick
hedges to a small gateway. Through this we went, and I heard her draw in
her breath.

From our feet, as it seemed, up to the blue sky itself, one golden
glowing bank of buttercups and cowslips... and cowslips. It was almost
like trying to gaze at the noonday sun.

"There," I crowed, "you will be able to get all the gold you want. Did I
not say, 'I know a bank'?"

She did a curious thing. She put her arms round my neck and kissed me.

"Dear old Mr. Sententious," said she, "did you think you could take _me_
in? I knew my _Midsummer Night's Dream_ by heart while you were still
discovering 'THE-HOG-IS-IN-THE-PIT'!" And she sang quite softly: -

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips - "

Though I was very angry at the way she had deceived me, I must admit
that her voice was not unpleasing.

* * * * *

IN A GOOD CAUSE.

The National Baby Week Council, which for many years has done admirable
work in promoting the Welfare of Infancy and Motherhood, is to hold its
annual "Week" from July 1st to 7th. Among other London celebrations a
Conference will be held at Kingsway Hall, under the Presidency of Dr.
ADDISON, on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Applications for
admission (one guinea, to include proofs of papers to be read and a
copy of the Report; or ten shillings, without printed matter) should
be addressed to Miss HALFORD, Secretary, National Association for the
Prevention of Infant Mortality, 4 and 5 Tavistock Square, W.C.1.

* * * * *

[Illustration: A REDRESS REHEARSAL.

OUR MR. MONTAGU _(practising on dummy)._ "THE LATEST LINE IN WESTERN
HEAD-WEAR, SIR, AND, IF YOU WILL ALLOW ME TO SAY SO, VERY BECOMING TO
YOU. THANK YOU, SIR, AND THE NEXT ARTICLE?"]

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Son of the House (after being introduced to professor of
mathematics)._ "NOW WHAT SHALL I TALK TO YOU ABOUT?"]

* * * * *

A TANGLED TRIANGLE.

The Pâtisserie Delarue et Salon de Consommations is situated just on the
edge of Europe. Being a place of extreme military importance I dare not
indicate its position with greater exactitude, but may go so far as to
say that it can be found by stepping off the boat, crossing the bridge
and then inquiring of the Military Police. Its importance is due to the
quality of its _crème éclairs_, which attract the gilded Staff in such
large numbers that the interior is usually suffused like an Eastern
sunset with a rich glow of red tabs and gilt braid. Within its walls
junior subalterns, now, alas, a rapidly diminishing species, dally
with insidious ices until their immature moustaches are pendulous with
lemon-flavoured icicles and their hair is whitened with sugared rime.

There it was that Frederick discovered Percival feebly and mournfully
pecking at a vanilla ice.

"Greeting, old Spartan," said he. "Training for the Murman coast?"

"Would that I were!" replied Percival. "I'm refrigerating my sorrows.
I've tried to drown them, but they float; so I'm by way of freezing them
under."

"Poor Perce!" murmured Frederick. "I suppose it's Cox again?"

"_Au contraire_, I'm _his_ sorrow. My present trouble is that I've got
to find a wife."

"Nothin' easier, old thing. Your photo in the illustrated papers, with
appropriate letterpress - "

"You misunderstand me," interrupted Percival. "It's someone else's wife
I've got to find. _Écoutez_. Teddy Roker has got permission for his wife
to visit him out here. He's expecting her by this afternoon's boat and
has got a billet fixed up all right, but he's been suddenly rushed away
on a court-martial case, so he's asked me to meet her, and I've never
seen her before."

"But didn't he give you the specifications - kind of descriptive return?"

"That's just it!" groaned Percival. "He was only married last leave, and
his description goes like a Shakspearean sonnet. I gather that I've got
to look out for a combination of _Titania_, GLADYS COOPER and HELEN OF
TROY. I tried to nail him down to externals, but he only went off into
another rhapsody.

"'What does she wear?' I asked.

"'Wear?' said he dreamily. 'Oh! beautifully draped garments nebulous as
summer clouds and filmy as gossamer webs. Nothing really definite.'

"'That sounds probable enough, as the present fashions go,'" said I.

"Seems to me," said Frederick, "that this is a case to refer to higher
authority. The sleuth-hound instinct of one Frederick is indicated.
Having absorbed the available data I will e'en amble round myself to
assist you."

"There speaks my stout-hearted haricot!" said Percival. "But be
careful. Teddy won't like it if he gets the wrong wife. He made a point
of that. So in case we miss each other your instructions are briefly
these: you will meet what you honestly think to be Mrs. Roker outside
the Customs House, explain Teddy's absence, take her to his rooms at 10
_bis_, Rue Dufay, make her comfortable and report to me here at 6.15."

Punctually at 6.15 they met again in the Pâtisserie Delarue. Both were
radiant.

"'Tis done!" said Percival proudly; "and without the assistance of the
puissant Frederick. At 5.0 o'clock I was outside the Customs House and
saw her looking round with an anxious eye. 'Mrs. Roker, I believe?' said
I. She confessed right away, so I rattled her off in a cab to 10 _bis_,
Rue Dufay, and left her there nibblin' biscuits and drinkin' tea as
happy as a flapper."

"Percival," replied Frederick slowly, "for sheer imbecility you have
surpassed yourself. I myself met Mrs. Roker outside the Customs House
at 5.30, being detained _en route_. I took her to 10 _bis_, Rue Dufay,
where at the present moment she is partaking of coffee and chocolate
caramels. Shortly, no doubt, she will discover the spurious female that
you have decoyed thither and the First Act of a triangle drama will be
rung up."

"By Jazz," exclaimed Percival, "I'd stake my gratuity on the genuineness
of my Mrs. Roker. She knows Teddy's favourite breakfast food."

"No," said Frederick decidedly, "mine is the only authentic article. All
others are imitations. She knows dearest Edward's size in gloves."

"Well, we can't both be right."

"Did Teddy say anything about expecting _two_ wives?" asked Frederick
hopefully.

"Idiot!" said Percival. "As I see the situation, one of us - presumably
you - will presently be the central figure in a court-martial or police
court on a charge of abducting an innocent female. The remaining reels
in the film will be devoted to Teddy chasing you with a 5·9 howitzer
for jeopardizing his connubial happiness. But these unhappy concluding
incidents may be averted if you return the wrongful lady to her rightful
owner before Teddy gets back. So we'll take the necessary action
immediately."

"But which one are we going to discard if they both claim to be the
genuine Mrs. R.? Hadn't we better wait for Teddy? He'd be almost sure to
be able to decide."

"You make me tired. It's got to be settled before he comes back."

It was a brace of dejected subalterns that wended their way to 10 _bis_,
Rue Dufay. Percival knocked at the door of the drawing-room and in
response to an invitation they entered. A pretty and extremely composed
young lady greeted them.

"_My_ wife!" said Percival and Frederick simultaneously.

"Excuse me," said the lady with dignity; "the only husband I possess at
present is Mr. Roker."

"What I mean to say is," explained Percival lamely, "that you are the
wife of Mr. Roker that I met at the Customs - I mean, Mr. Roker's wife
that - "

"Me too!" broke in Frederick.

"Well, that's easily explained," said the lady, addressing Percival.
"After you had kindly escorted me here I suddenly remembered that I had
left my keys at the Customs House. Feeling confident of finding my way
about I returned for them. On emerging I was claimed by your fascinating
friend who is at this moment engaged in winding up his monocle
[Frederick guiltily stowed it away in his fob pocket]. He seemed so
delighted at having discovered me that I hadn't the heart to explain
that I'd been found before. Of course I'm excessively grateful to both
of you - Oh, here's dear old Teddy at last!"

During the scene of rapturous greeting that followed Frederick showed
that he indeed had his moments of inspiration.

"What about a vanilla ice at the Pâtisserie Delarue, old bean?" said he
to Percival.

And, unnoticed by the happy couple, they stole silently away.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Lady who has been handed the card of wife of new
baronet-profiteer)._ "ER - LET ME SEE. DO I KNOW LADY HOGGINS?"

_Butler_. "YOUR LADYSHIP HAS NOT RECEIVED HER SINCE THE CREATION."]

* * * * *

"Surplus Government Property for sale: - Brass Islets." - _Disposal
Board "Surplus" Magazine_.

But why is the geographical position of this alluring archipelago not
given? Is it for enemy reasons?

* * * * *

[Illustration: FORCE OF HABIT - THE SCRUM HALF.]

* * * * *

THE NEED OF OUR TIMES.

["The modern world is badly in need of a Pindar. Alone of the poets,
Pindar could do justice to the exploits of the day." - _The Times._]

"We're badly in need of a Pindar"
To fan in these tropical days
Our stock of emotional tinder
With gusts of tempestuous praise;
To foster the flame, not to check it
Or let it die suddenly down,
In honour of HAWKER and BECKETT,
Of ALCOCK and BROWN.

We do not require a CATULLUS
(We've MASEFIELD and WAUGH and SASSOON)
Nor pastoral pipers to lull us
To rest with a sedative tune;
But the worship of beer and of Bacchus
In verses familiar and free
Might win for a latter-day FLACCUS
A Knighthood (B.E.).

Bland VIRGIL'S beyond resurrection;
The voice of the moment is harsh;
The nightingale's golden perfection
Offends the young ravens of MARSH;
ARISTOPHANES, grossly facetious,
Is but a "compulsory" god,
And HOMER as well as LUCRETIUS
Too frequently nod.

There's scope for the truculent passion
Of JUVENAL'S masculine muse
To flagellate folly and fashion
In dress and in manners and views;
But we've plenty of prophets and poets;
We've few who are sober and sane;
We don't want another DE BLOWITZ;
We want a DELANE.

* * * * *

"BETTER BEER ON THE HORIZON."

_Daily Express_.

A beer in the hand is worth ten on the horizon.

* * * * *

A TUBE NIGHTMARE.

Have you ever dreamed a dream of a terrible tube journey, in which every
one of the appalling things which might happen does actually occur? I
dreamed one last night.

The journey began with a disaster. On reaching the booking-office window
I could not find any money, and it was only when the waiting crowd
behind me, which had mounted to hundreds, was becoming offensively
hostile that I succeeded in producing a five-pound note.

The booking-clerk took her own time to count out the change, and on
leaving the window I found four policemen struggling to keep back an
infuriated mob of people, all shrieking imprecations and asking for my
blood.

There was but one thing for it - to get to a train before this angry
horde could secure its tickets; so I made a wild dash for the
moving-staircase, shedding Bradburys _en route_ like a paper-chase.

As I rushed past the ticket-puncher she made a vicious lunge at my
out-stretched hand with an enormous pair of pincers, missing the ticket
and partially amputating my thumb.

As I have always expected to do, but have never yet done, I missed
my footing at the top of the escalator, and my desire to outstrip my
enemies was realised beyond my wildest hopes as I crashed, by a series
of petrifying somersaults, down the entire flight, to be belched forth
like a sausage from a machine at the bottom.

Tattered, torn and in unspeakable agony I picked myself up and found my
steering-gear so damaged that I could only move sideways, crab-fashion,
and in this manner I crawled on to the platform just as a train was
beginning its exit.

I make a leap for it. The gates crash to! Am I inside them or out?
Neither. I am pinned there with the first half of my body struggling
inside the car while the second half protrudes over the fast-receding
platform.

I remember how in my agony it flashed across my mind that I would never
again slay a wasp with my fork.

I must have been pulled into the car just in time to stop the tunnel
(which is a dreadfully close fit) from bisecting me, for the next thing
I remember was being dropped into a corner seat and severely admonished
by the guard for getting into the train whilst it was in motion.

I was now a quivering and shapeless mass; nobody pitied me, nobody
helped me, so loathsome a spectacle did I present.

Of course the train passed my station, and at the next I was thrown out
like a mail-bag, to be trodden on by massed formations of travellers
fighting to enter and leave the car by the same door at the same time.

When the multitudes had dispersed and I was alone, by superhuman efforts
I contrived to wriggle on my stomach to the foot of the ascending
stairway, but not having sufficient strength to wriggle off on arrival
at the top, my long-dreaded horror of being sucked under the barrier,
where moving stairways disappear, was realised.

By now immune to pain, I regarded the next process (akin to being passed
through a mangle) as child's play. To my amazement, after a few minutes
amongst giant cog-wheels, I again found the light on the down-going
staircase, which precipitated me to the spot from which I had started.

Having thrice performed this revolution, by which time I was as flat as
a pancake, I was eventually scraped off by a porter and upbraided for
joy-riding.

Finding that those rebukes left me unmoved, for I was practically
lifeless, certainly boneless, and, to their horror, ticketless, they
folded me up and put me in a drawer pending the arrival of the police.

I was still there when the dream mercifully stopped.

* * * * *

[Illustration: _Motor Cyclist_. "WHY THE DEUCE DON'T YOU DRIVE ON THE
PROPER SIDE OF THE ROAD?"]


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Online LibraryVariousPunch, or the London Charivari, Volume 156, June 25, 1919 → online text (page 1 of 4)