The Project Gutenberg eBook, Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 3, 1915, by Various, Edited by Sir Owen Seaman

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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 148, February 3, 1915

Author: Various

Editor: Sir Owen Seaman

Release Date: January 13, 2014 [eBook #44654]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by Malcolm Farmer
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team



Vol. 148.

February 3, 1915.

[Pg 81]


"Celerity," said the German Chancellor to our representative at Berlin on the eve of the War, "is essential lo us." It has, however, taken him over five months to discover what he meant by his "scrap of paper" speech.

* * *

As a substitute for the International Railway Time Table Conference, Germany has invited Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to a joint conference to be held on February 3rd. Certainly something will have to be done for the Kaiser's Time Tables. They have been most unsatisfactory ever since the outbreak of the War.

* * *

A German paper reports that the Kaiser is in excellent health now, and that his girth has distinctly increased during the War. His patriotic countrymen must be delighted at this fresh extension of Kaiser-tum.

* * *

The omission of the German Emperor to send a telegram of condolence to King Victor Emmanuel on the occasion of the earthquake has called forth severe comments in Italy. The Kaiser is said to have been anxious to create the impression that he sent the earthquake himself as a caution.

* * *

Enver Pasha is said to have now returned to Constantinople. His place in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force will, it is thought, be taken by Revers Pasha.

* * *

The ex-Khedive's war-cry: "Geneva for the Egyptians!"

* * *

"The German Emperor," said General von Kressenstein, the other day, in a speech to Turkish officers and men, "is a sincere father to Islam." This statement was very necessary as many Turkish soldiers, judging by their experience of German officers, had imagined that the Kaiser was Islam's stepfather.

* * *

Articles entitled "Unser Hass gegen England," Mr. Valentine Williams tells us, continue to appear in the German Press, and a dear old lady writes to say that she presumes the Hass in question is the Kaiser.

* * *

We are sorry to hear that a Scotch prisoner in Germany got into serious trouble for referring in a letter to the fact that he was a member of the Burns Society. The authorities imagined this to be an incendiary association.

* * *

Those wideawake Germans have discovered further evidence of a shortage of arms in our country. Attention is being drawn in Berlin to the fact that the London County Council has decided to defer the proposal to have a coat-of-arms until the conclusion of the War.

* * *

We hear that Mr. Winston Churchill is delighted at the success of his expression, "the baby-killers," which has taken on so wonderfully and promises to have a greater run even than Mr. Asquith's "Wait and see." Fortunately in these times there is no jealousy between politicians.

* * *

The Observer is wondering whether, in view of the threat of Zeppelin raids, we are taking sufficient precautions in regard to our national treasures. It may relieve our contemporary to know that at least one post-impressionist has removed all his works to a secret destination in the country.

* * *

During a recent aerial attack on Dunkirk some bombs, we are told, set fire to a woollen warehouse. This just shows the danger of constructing a warehouse of such inflammable material.

* * *

The War Office, The Express tells us, recently requested the borough of Sunderland to raise a brigade of field artillery. The Mayor, however, is reported to be a Quaker and opposed to War on principle, and it is stated that the local recruiting committee has decided to respect the Mayor's conscientious scruples. Suggested motto for the town, "Let Sunderland Quake."

* * *

Speaking of the new Lord of Appeal, a contemporary says, "Mr. Justice Bankes is noted for his pleasant appearance, and for the fact that he has never been known to raise his voice." He does not, in fact, belong to the firm of Bankes and Brays.

* * *

As a result of the War there is a famine in glass, and prices are up nearly 100 per cent. Here surely is a Heaven-sent chance for the Crystal Palace to turn itself into a financial success.

* * *

The strike of Billingsgate fish porters was, we hear, settled in the nick of time. The men were just beginning to brush up their language.

The Chicago Tribune as quoted in The Sunday Times:—

"'C'est incredible!' remarked the thorough Parisian."

"Pas demi," we retort in our best London accent.

"The Secretary of the Admiralty makes the following announcement:—

Goods for his Majesty's ships which have hitherto been sent by mail, addressed 'Care of Naval Store Officer, Dingwall,' should in future be addressed 'Care of Naval Store Officer, Dngwall.'"

Scarborough Daily Post.

We obey reluctantly.


Scene: A lonely part of the Scottish Coast.

German Spy (who has been signalling and suddenly notices that he is being watched). "Nein! Nein! Never shall you land on my beloved Shcotchland!"


A thousand strong,
With laugh and song,
To charge the guns or line a trench,
We marched away
One August day,
And fought beside the gallant French.

A thousand strong,
But not for long;
Some lie entombed in Belgian clay;
Some torn by shell
Lie, where they fell,
Beneath the turf of La Bassée.

But yet at night,
When to the fight
Eager from camp and trench we throng,
Our comrades dead
March at our head,
And still we charge, a thousand strong!

[Pg 82]


(To the New Lord of Islam.)

He led the Chosen People forth;
Over the Red Sea tramped their legions;
They wandered East, they wandered North
Through very vague and tedious regions,
Ploughing a lot of desolating sand
Before they struck the Promised Land.

And you, who play so many parts,
And figure in such fancy poses,
Now, poring over Syrian charts,
Dressed for the character of Moses,
In spirit lead your Turks, a happy band,
Bound for another Promised Land.

Promises you have made before;
And doubtless your adopted Bosches
Deemed the Canal would lend its floor
To pass them through without goloshes,
As though it were a segment of the dry
Peninsula of Sinaï.

And when they feared to lose their way
You answered them with ready wit: "Oh!
You'll have a pillar of cloud by day,
And through the night a fiery ditto,
But never said that these would be supplied
By airmen on the other side."

Nor did you mention how the sun
Promotes a thirst in desert places,
Nor how their route was like to run
A little short of green oases,
Because the wells that glad the wanderer's sight
Have been removed by dynamite.

Nor did you let the Faithful guess
That, on the Pentateuch's own showing,
Israel found the wilderness
Took forty years of steady going;
And after two-score summers, one would think,
Even a camel wants a drink.

And you yourself, if still alive
And not transferred (we'll say?) to heaven,
Would by the date when they arrive
Have touched the age of 97,
And scarcely be in quite the best condition
To share their labour's full fruition.

Come down, O fool, from Pisgah's heights,
Where, stung by Furies misbegotten,
You counterfeit Mosaic flights,
Aching for Egypt's corn and cotton;
Think how it makes the local fellah smile
To hear your Watch upon the Nile!
O. S.

The Scramble.

"Near Bir Muhadata a British hydroplane dropped a bob on a Turkish column, inflicting loss."—Manchester Guardian.

In the mad rush made by the always unpaid Turkish troops to secure this godsend, there were many casualties.

The Journalistic Touch.

"This was on the morning of January 2, and Grall had had no food and only a little water since the morning of December 31 of the previous year.—Reuter."—Daily Chronicle.

The italics represent our own endeavour to assist the picture.


Dear Mr. Punch,—I cannot for the life of me understand why your contemporaries should be in such difficulties over the above question or how it is that they arrive at such diverse estimates. The elements of the problem are perfectly straightforward. I worked it out on the back of my ticket in the Tube last night, and as there can be no doubt whatever about my conclusions I think they ought to be published.

The present population of Germany for popular purposes (as they always say) is 70,000,000. All the evidence goes to show that the war is still popular in Germany, or parts of it, so we may accept that figure. Very well. Of these, 33,000,000 are males. It seems a good many, but we shall soon begin to whittle it down. By examining the figures of the different "age groups" we find that fully five million of these are under the age of seven and as quite a number are over sixty and others are incapacitated—we have no space to enter into all these complicated calculations here—we shall not be far wrong if we deduct at the outset about 21,175,000 under these heads. This leaves us in round figures twelve million.

We now come to the question of losses up to date; and here we must proceed with caution, for it is above all important to be on the safe side. The present German losses are computed by the best authorities at about two million, from all causes, up to 3 P.M. on the 13th ult. From this we must deduct, however, all those who, after being wounded, have returned to the firing-line—say, half a million. Also all those who, having been wounded a second time, have returned to the front,—say, three hundred thousand. Also all those who have been three times wounded and have still gone back to fight—say, fifty thousand.

Then again we must remember those who have been invalided home and recovered, and those who have been missing and are found again. And there are the men who have been erroneously reported as prisoners, owing to the Germans' incorrigible habit of exaggerating the number of their own troops who have fallen into the enemy's hands.

After all these deductions we may safely put the revised German losses at 750,000. This should be taken off the twelve million eligible; but it would, I think, be wise (in order to keep always on the safe side) to add it on. This gives us 12,750,000. Very well.

But the industries of the country must be carried on. There are the railways, agriculture, mining. Let us say five million for these. There are those great industries without which a nation cannot wage war; for instance, the makers of Iron Crosses (100,000), the custodians of ships retained in harbour (50,000), the printers of picture-postcards (50,000), the writers of Hate-hymns, besides sundry makers of armaments and things.

Counting all those in and keeping on the safe side and dealing only with round figures for popular purposes we may conclude that anything from one to nine million must be deducted from our last figure to arrive at a final estimate.

To sum up, Germany's war strength cannot be more than three million or less than eleven. This gives us a clear idea of what we have to face.

I enclose my card in case you should think me an amateur, and have the honour to remain,

Yours faithfully,

Men we do not introduce to the Duke of Westminster I.—The German Minister of Finance: Dr. Helfferich.

[Pg 83]




Tirpitz. "SO WERE WE."

[Pg 84]

Yes, Sir, these Zeppelin raids
"Yes, Sir, these Zeppelin raids—words can't describe 'em. They're—well, if I might coin a word, Sir—I think they're 'orrible!"

[Pg 85]


"I suppose we can't motor over to Potwick, lunch at 'The George,' and play a round of golf?" said the Reverend Henry.

"Not without feeling rather—well, rotters and outsiders," said Sinclair regretfully.

"At least we couldn't of course go in the big car," said I, "and we should be almost bound to have lunch at that little tea-shop, and it wouldn't do to play a whole round of golf."

"It is rather a nice point," said Henry, "what one can do in War time without feeling that one is stamping oneself. Sinclair here was shooting pheasants a fortnight ago."

"Well, the birds were there, you know," said Sinclair, "and it's a rotten slow business catching them in traps. Besides, we sent them all to the Red Cross people."

"The weak spot about golf," said the Reverend Henry, "is that there's no way of sending the results to the Red Cross. There's really no other earthly reason why one shouldn't play. There's every reason why one should, but——"

"I haven't played since the War began," said I.

"Nor I. But I have a notion that if one played without caddies and with old balls——"

"Or got a refugee for a caddy and grossly overpaid him," Henry put in hopefully.

"I know what you want, Sinclair," said I. "I know perfectly well what you want. You would like to play golf, but you wouldn't feel comfortable unless you had a notice pinned to your back in some such terms as these—'This man, though he may not look it, is over 38; he is also medically unfit. He has two brothers and a nephew at the front. He has more than once taken the chair at recruiting meetings and he is entertaining seven belgians. He has already sent three sweaters and a pair of ski socks to the fleet. This is the first holiday he has had for three months, and he is now playing a round of golf.' Then you would feel all right."

"Yes, in your case, Sinclair, it is merely moral cowardice," said Henry. "But it's queer about golf. Every one admits that billiards is all right, and—I think—Badminton."

"Well, perhaps I am a bit over-sensitive," said I, "but I'm bound to say that even if I were playing billiards in a public place at present I should feel happier if I used the butt end of the cue."

"The problem seems to be closely allied," said the Reverend Henry, "to the problem of Sabbath observance when I was a child. We were very strict in our household. We were not allowed to play games of any sort on Sunday so long as they were played according to the accepted rules; but we discovered after a time that if we played them wrong no one objected. We should certainly have been punished for playing tennis with a tennis racquet, but if we played with a walking-stick or the flat side of a pair of bellows there was not the slightest objection."

"That's what I feel like," said Sinclair. "I don't want to do the old things in the old ways."

"We never have people to dinner now," said I, "but we have shoals to lunch."

"It is all deplorably illogical," said the Reverend Henry. "But so long as one has a sense of decency it seems impossible to scorch about in a motor bulging with golf clubs."

"Quite impossible. I propose that we get Mrs. Henry to make us some sandwiches and go for a long walk."

It was at this juncture that the morning papers came in with the news of the battle cruiser victory in the North Sea.... We had a fine run across the moor in the big car, an excellent lunch at "The George," and managed to get in two rounds before it was dark.

[Pg 86]



People don't always know that Jimmy's dog is a bloodhound. One man said it was a Great Scott—at least that is what he said when he saw it. You see, when it is pensive, it sometimes looks like a spaniel and sometimes like an Airedale—or it would if it hadn't got smooth hair and a bushy tail which curls. Jimmy was undecided for a long time what to call it.



Instructor. "Change arms by numbers. One—two——Come along, Sir! What are you playing at now? Keep your banjo solo for the domestic hearth."

The milkman said Jimmy ought to call it "For instance," and then people would know what it was for. The milkman thought of a lot more names before a week was over, for Jimmy's bloodhound tracked down a can of his milk and lapped it up. It is a very good lapper. It lapped so hard that Jimmy had to pull the can off its head. Jimmy said it was the suction and that all good bloodhounds were like that.

A man stopped Jimmy in the street and asked him if that was the dog that tracked down the German spy to his lair. Jimmy said it was, and the man was very pleased: he patted the bloodhound on the head and said, "Good old Faithful!"—just like that.

Jimmy showed him the pork-butcher's shop where he did it, and the man said if Jimmy would wait a minute he would go and buy the dog some German fruit. Jimmy said the man bought a large kind of sausage which had a red husk. He then stooped down and said, "Good old chap, I confer upon you the Order of the Faithful Sausage, 1st class, and if you catch another German spy I'll give you a season ticket." When Jimmy's bloodhound saw the red sausage he began to bay, and he hurled himself upon it with much vigour, Jimmy says. The man watched Jimmy's bloodhound working, and he said, "Magna est fidelitas et prevalebit," which he said meant that "Old Faithful would down the Germans every time."

Jimmy calls his bloodhound Faithful now, and he is keener than ever on catching another German spy.

Jimmy says he thought he was on the track of one the other day. He was walking down a road when suddenly Faithful began straining at the leash, as if he scented one. But it wasn't a German after all; it was a goat. It was in a field. Jimmy said he made sure it was a German until he saw it.

The goat was having its tea on the far side of the field. Jimmy hadn't seen the goat before, so he loosed Faithful at it. Faithful bounded towards the goat very hard at first, and then stopped and began to deploy.

Jimmy said the goat was very surprised when it saw Faithful and jumped three feet into the air all at once. Jimmy says Faithful makes things do like that. You see Faithful was crawling hand over hand towards it on the grass, and the goat looked as if it expected Faithful to go off suddenly.

Then the goat said "Yes! Yes!" several times with its head and began to moo.

Jimmy said the goat must have been winding up the starting handle, for it suddenly slipped in the clutch and got into top gear in five yards. It was a flexible goat, Jimmy says. Faithful is a good runner; it has a kind of side-stroke action when it runs fast, and this puzzled the goat and made it skid a bit on the grass.

Jimmy sat on the gate and watched them. After five times round the field the goat sat down and looked nonplussed.

Jimmy knows all about goats; he knows what to do with them, and he showed me. He got it so tame that it would feed out of your hand. It ate half a newspaper one day and it made it very fiery. Jimmy said it was the War news. We were trying to harness it to a perambulator Jimmy had borrowed. Jimmy said it had to have a bell on its neck so that people would know it was coming, just like the Alps.

Jimmy said goats could jump from one Alp to the other, and they always did that in Switzerland and it sounded very pretty in the evening.

I hadn't got a little bell that tinkled so I brought the dinner bell, and we tied it on to the goat's neck with a rope. Jimmy said it would make the goat feel glad.

It took us a long time to harness the goat properly because it was so fidgety. There wasn't much room in the cart, but we both managed to squeeze in, and Faithful ran on in front. The goat doesn't like Faithful; it has an aversion to him when he bays. Faithful knew the goat was coming after him because he could hear the bell.

There was more room for Jimmy when I fell out, but Faithful kept straight in the middle of the road doing the side-stroke as hard as he could with both hands. I could hear the bell. Jimmy said a horse and trap climbed over the hedge to let them pass. The man in the trap said something to Jimmy, but Jimmy couldn't catch what he said; it was such a long sentence. Jimmy said they went into an ironmonger's shop, all of them. Faithful got there first. He deployed amongst some buckets which were outside the shop. So did the goat. The noise disturbed the ironmonger. He took his wife and children into the cellar. Jimmy said it was the noise that did it, and the goat's face.

The ironmonger's wife told Jimmy she had had a shock; she spoke to him out of the cellar window. Jimmy says she had a catch in her breath.

The goat didn't go back to the field very quickly; it was because one of the wheels was bent and the goat seemed to have caught a hiccough. That was because it ran so fast after eating the newspaper, Jimmy says. He says all goats are like that.

The goat won't eat out of Jimmy's hand now; whenever it sees Jimmy it tries to climb a tree. A boy told Jimmy that the man who owns the goat is concerned about it, so Jimmy goes hunting German spies with Faithful down another road now.

The Two Blüchers.

A century since, joy filled our cup
To hear of Blücher "coming up";
To-day joy echoes round the town
To hear of Blücher going down.

[Pg 87]

In order that no possible means

In order that no possible means of injuring England may be neglected, it is understood that the German professors of necromancy and witchcraft have been requested to make the best use of their magical powers.


I had often seen the little lady at No. 4, but it is only lately that I have discovered that there is in her the makings of a General.

We found out about her strategic dispositions in a roundabout way. Her maid told the milkman, and in the course of nature the news came to us. Every night her maid carries into her room a fur coat, a large pair of boots and a coal-scuttle.

It is, of course, her preparation to meet a Zeppelin attack.

Everybody is getting ready. Bulpitt's wife's mother, for example—Bulpitt is my next-door neighbour—is making him dig a bomb-proof hole in the garden. Bulpitt thought there might be some difficulty about getting her into it. I pointed out that there would be more difficulty in getting her out—the hole is very deep. He said he didn't worry about that.

Two nights later we had a scare. Every light went out along the road and people were doing all kinds of safe things. It turned out afterwards that Stewart was testing his family Zeppelin drill, and fired three shots to make it realistic. His wife then put the baby in the copper with the lid one inch open. She herself stood beside a certain wall which, according to Stewart, could not be knocked down because of the stresses and strains that would be set up.

That was all very well for him; the only thing that went wrong was that a little water had been left in the copper. But what about poor Johnson, who had to pile all the mattresses in the coal-cellar? He was awfully black and angry when he found out.

And what about Carruthers, who emptied a fire-pail on the drawing-room fire, and had to explain a long muddy pool to his wife, who is rather deaf and hadn't heard the shots?

As for Bulpitt's wife's mother, she was in the pit for over an hour before we hauled her out. The first time we got her to the surface she gasped out, quite smilingly, "Now I know what it's like in the tren——" and then she slipped back with an oozy thud. The second time she said, "I don't think they'll come ag——" The third time she said, "I don't care if the Zeppel——" And when we did get her out she said nothing at all, and I was sorry for Bulpitt.

Amidst all these scenes of confusion little Miss Agatha at No. 4 stood at attention in a fur overcoat and a big pair of boots that would easily slip on, with a coal-scuttle on her head to keep off bombs. She stood there warm, safe, and respectably clad, waiting till the house crashed about her and the time came to save herself.

I hate to think of the Zeppelins coming; but if they do come I hope—how I hope!—I shall be near No. 4 to see the indomitable little lady emerge.


In Walpole's time, not over nice,
Each man was said to have his price;
We've changed since then;
For, if my daughter's word is fact,
The world to-day is simply packed
With "priceless" men.

Journalistic Candour.

"When a court-martial was opened for the trial of two sergeants at Woolwich yesterday one of the officers questioned the right of a reporter to be present.... The reporter was told to leave, which he did, after protesting that an official shorthand note was an entirely different thing from a newspaper report."—Daily Chronicle.

[Pg 88]


Mrs. Jeremy looked up from her knitting. "I want you to do something for me," she said to her husband.

"Anything except sing," said Jeremy lazily.

"It's just to write a letter."

"My dear, of course. The Complete Letter-writer, by J. P. Smith. Chapter V—'Stiff Notes to Landlords'—shows Mr. Smith at his best. 'Gossipy Budgets, and should they be crossed?'—see Chapter VI. Bless you, I can write to anybody."

"This is to a man you've never met. He's a private at the Front and his name is Mackinnon."

"'Dear Mr. Mackinnon'—that's how I should begin. Do we want to say anything particular, or are we just trying the new notepaper?"

Mrs. Jeremy put down her work and gave herself up to explanation. Private Mackinnon was in a school friend's husband's regiment, and he never got any letters or parcels from anybody, and the friend's husband had asked his wife to ask her friends——

"Wait a bit," said Jeremy. "We shall want the College of Heralds in this directly." He took out his pencil and drew up a pedigree:—

He took out his pencil and drew up a pedigree

"There you are. Now you think it's J. P. S.'s turn to write to Mackinnon." He drew a line from one to the other. "Very well; I shall tell him about the old school."

"You do see, don't you?" said Mrs. Jeremy. "All the others get letters and things from their friends, and poor Mr. Mackinnon gets nothing. Katharine wants to get up a surprise for him, and she's asking half-a-dozen of her friends to send him things and write him jolly letters." She picked up the muffler she had been knitting. "This is for him, and I said you'd do the letter. You write such jolly ones."

Jeremy threw away the end of his cigar and got up.

"Yes, but what about?" he said, running his hand through his hair. "This is going to be very difficult."

"Oh, just one of your nice funny letters like you write to me."

"Quite like that?" said Jeremy earnestly.

"Well, not quite like that," smiled Mrs. Jeremy; "but you know what I mean. He'd love it."

"Very well," said Jeremy, "we'll see what we can do."

He withdrew to his library and got to work.

"My dear Mr. Mackinnon," he wrote, "the weather here is perfectly beastly."

He looked at it thoughtfully and then put it on one side. "We won't destroy it," he said to himself, "because we may have to come back to it, but at present we don't like it."

He began another sheet of paper.

"My dear Mackinnon, who do you think it is? Your old friend Jeremy Smith!"

He murmured it to himself three or four times, crossed out "old" and put "new," and then placed this sheet on the top of the other.

"My dear Mackinnon, yesterday the Vicar——"

"I knew it would be difficult," he said, and took a fourth sheet. Absently he began to jot down a few possible openings:—

"I am a Special Constable ..."

"Have you read Mrs. Humphry Ward's latest ..."

"I hope the War won't last long ..."

"Yes," he said, "but we're not being really funny enough."

He collected his letters as far as they had gone and took them to his wife.

"You see what will happen, darling," he said. "Mr. Mackinnon will read them, and he will say to himself, 'There's a man called Jeremy P. Smith who is a fool.' The news will travel down the line. They will tell themselves in Alsace that J. P. Smith, the Treasurer of the Little Blessington Cricket Club, is lacking in grey matter. The story will get across to the Germans in some garbled form; 'Smith off crumpet,' or something of that sort. It will reach the Grand Duke Nicholas; it will traverse the neutral countries; everywhere the word will be spread that your husband is, as they say, barmy. I ask you, dear—is it fair to Baby?"

Mrs. Jeremy crumpled up the sheets and threw them in the fire.

"Oh, Jeremy," she said, "you could do it so easily if you wanted to. If you only said, 'Thank you for being so brave,' it would be something."

"But you said it had to be a 'jolly' one."

"Yes, that was silly of me. I didn't mean that. Just write what you want to write—never mind about what I said."

"Oh, but that's easy," said Jeremy with great relief; "I can do that on my head."

And this was the letter (whether he wrote it on his head or not I cannot say):—

"My Dear Mr. Mackinnon,—You are not married, I believe, but perhaps you will be some day when the War is over. You will then get to know of a very maddening trick which wives have. You hand them a letter over the coffee-pot beginning, 'Dear Smith, I saw a little water-colour of yours in the Academy and admired it very much. The what-do-you-call-it is so well done, and I like that broad effect. Please accept an earldom,'—but, before they read any of it at all, they turn to the signature at the end and say, 'Why, Jeremy, it's from the King!' And then all your beautiful surprise is gone.

"Now I don't mention this in order to put you off marriage, because there is a lot more in it than letters over the coffee-pot, and all the rest is delightful. But I want to tell you that, if (as I expect) you are keeping the signature of this letter for the surprise, you will be disappointed. I am sorry about it. I tried various signatures with a surprise to them (you would have liked my 'Hall Caine,' I think), but I decided that I had best stick to the one I have used for so many years, 'J. P. Smith.' It will make you ask that always depressing question, 'Who is J. P. Smith?' but this I cannot help. Besides, I want to tell you who he is.

"An hour ago he was sitting in front of a fire of logs, smoking a cigar. He had just finished dinner, so good a dinner that he was congratulating his wife on it as she sat knitting on the other side of the fire. If he had a complaint to make at all, it was perhaps that the fire was a little too hot; perhaps when he went upstairs he would find that a little too hot also was the bottle in his bed. One has these hardships to face. To complete the picture, I ask you to imagine a door closed rather noisily kitchenwards, and an exclamation of annoyance from Mr. Smith. He passes it off by explaining that he was thinking of the baby rather than of himself.

"Well, there you have this J. P. Smith person ... and at the same hour what was this man Mackinnon doing? I don't know; you do. But perhaps you will understand now why I want to say 'Thank you.' I know what you will answer: 'Good Lord, I'm only doing my job, I don't want to be kissed for it.' My dear Mackinnon, you don't understand. I am not very kindly writing to you; you are very kindly letting me write. This is my birthday, not yours. I give myself the pleasure of thanking you; as a gentleman you cannot refuse it to me.

"Yours gratefully, J. P. Smith."

"You dear," said Mrs. Jeremy. "He'll simply love it."

Jeremy grunted.

"If I were Mackinnon," he said, "I should prefer the muffler."


[Pg 89]



There is a strong patriotic movement in Germany towards a national ideal in tailorings.


[A German zoologist has discovered in German New Guinea a new kind of opossum to which he proposes to give the name of Dactylopsila Hindenburgi.]

At the Annual Convention of the Fishes, Birds and Beasts, Which opened with the usual invigorating feasts, The attention of the delegates of feather, fur and fin Was focussed on a wonderful proposal from Berlin.

The document suggested that, to signalise the feats Of the noble German armies and the splendid German fleets, Certain highly honoured species, in virtue of their claims, Should be privileged in future to adopt Germanic names.

To judge by the resultant din, the screams and roars and cries, The birds were most ungrateful and the quadrupeds likewise; And the violence with which they "voiced" their angry discontent Was worthy of a thoroughbred Hungarian Parliament.

The centipede declared he'd sooner lose a dozen legs Than wear a patronymic defiled by human dregs; And sentiments identical, in voices hoarse with woe, Were emitted by the polecat and by the carrion crow.

The rattlesnake predicted that his rattle would be cracked Before the name Bernhardii on to his tail was tacked; And an elderly hyæna, famed for gluttony and greed, Denounced the suffix Klucki as an insult to its breed.

Most impressive and pathetic was the anguish of the toad When he found the name Lissaueri had on him been bestowed; And a fine man-eating tiger said he'd sooner feed with Shaw Than allow the title Treitschkei to desecrate his jaw.

But this memorable meeting was not destined to disperse Without a tragedy too great for humble human verse; For, on hearing that Wilhelmi had to his name been tied, The skunk, in desperation, committed suicide.

Count Reventlow in the Deutsche Tageszeitung:—

"It is an established fact that when our airships were, in order to fly to the fortified place of Great Yarmouth, merely flying over other places or cities, they were shot at from these places. It may be assumed with certainty that these shots, which were aimed at the airships from below, hit them, and probably they wounded or even killed occupants of the airships. This involves an English franc-tireur attack, ruthlessly carried out in defiance of International Law and in the darkness of the night, upon the German airships, which, without the smallest hostile action, wanted to fly away over these places....

The airship is a recognised weapon of war, and yet people in England seem to demand that it shall regard itself as fair game for the murders performed by a fanatical civil population, and shall not have the right to defend itself."

By the offer of a princely salary, Mr. Punch has tried to tempt Count Reventlow to join the staff in Bouverie Street. In vain. As the chief humorist of Central Europe he feels that his services are indispensable to the Fatherland.

[Pg 90]

Oh, Mother

"Oh, Mother! how I wish I was an angel!"

"Darling! what makes you say that?"

"Oh, because then, Mother, I could drop bombs on the Germans."


The poets having indicated that they were going to take a few moments off, the words were free to stand at ease also. They did so with a great sigh of relief, especially one whom I recognised by his intense weariness and also by the martial glow on his features, his muddied and torn clothes and the bandage round his head.

"You're 'war,'" I said, crossing over to speak to him.

"Yes," he replied, "I'm 'war,' and I'm very tired."

"They're sweating you?" I asked.

"Horribly," he replied. "In whatever they're writing about just now, both poets and song-writers, they drag me in, and they will end lines with me. Just to occur somewhere and be done with I shouldn't so much mind; but they feel in honour bound to provide me with a rhyme. Still," he added meditatively, "there are compensations."

"How?" I asked.

"Well," he said, "I find myself with more congenial companions than I used to have. In the old days, when I wasn't sung at all, but was used more or less academically, I often found myself arm-in-arm with 'star' or 'far' or 'scar,' and I never really got on with them. We didn't agree. There was something wrong. But now I get better associates; 'roar,' for example, is a certainty in one verse. In fact I don't mind admitting I'm rather tired of 'roar,' true friends as we are.

"But I can see the poor young poetical fellows' difficulty; and, after all, I do roar, don't I? Just as my old friend 'battle' here"—I bowed to his companion—"is attached to 'rattle.'

"Of course," he went on, "I'm luckier than 'battle' really, because I do get a few other fellows to walk with, such as 'corps'—very often—and 'before' and—far too often—'gore'; but 'battle' is tied up to 'rattle' for the rest of his life. They're inseparable—'battle' and 'rattle.' Directly you see one you know that the other is only a few words away. We call them the Siamese Twins."

I laughed sympathetically.

"There's 'cattle,'" I said, remembering 'The War-song of Dinas Vawr.'

"No use just now," said 'war.' "'Rattle' is the only rhyme at the moment; just as General French has his favourite one, and that's 'trench.' If 'battle' and 'rattle' are like the Siamese Twins, 'French' and 'trench' are like Castor and Pollux. Now and then the Commander-in-chief makes the enemy 'blench,' but for one 'blench' you get a thousand 'trenches.' No, I feel very sorry, I can tell you, for some of these words condemned to such a monotony of conjunction; and really I oughtn't to complain. And to have got rid of 'star' is something."

I shook him by the hand.

"But there's one thing," he added, "I do object to, which not even poor old 'battle' has to bear, and that's being forced to march with a rhyme that isn't all there. I have to do that far too often; and it's annoying."

I asked him to explain.

"Well," he said, "those poets who look forward are too fond of linking me to 'o'er'—'when it's 'o'er,' don't you know (they mean 'over'). That's a little humiliating, I always think. You wouldn't like constantly going about with a man who'd lost his collar, would you?"

I said that I shouldn't.

"Well, it's like that," he said, "I am not sure that I would not prefer 'star' to that, or 'scar,' after all. They, at any rate, meant well and were gentlemanly. But 'o'er'? No.

The new book for schools: "Kaiser: De Bello Jellicoe."

[Pg 91]



["A band revives memories, it quickens association, it opens and unites the hearts of men more surely than any other appeal can, and in this respect it aids recruiting perhaps more than any other agency."—Mr. Rudyard Kipling at the Mansion House meeting promoted by the Recruiting Bands Committee.]

[Pg 92]


Friend Robert, if mere imitation
Expresses one's deepest regard,
How oft has such dumb adoration
Been shown on his beat by your bard;
In dress, though the semblance seems hollow,
How oft since my duties began
Have I striven, poor "special," to follow
The modes of the Man.

I have aped till my muscles grew rigid
Your air of Olympian calm;
Have sought, when my framework was frigid,
To "stand" it sans quiver or qualm;
I have also endeavoured to copy
The stealthiest thud of your boot;
And, with features as pink as a poppy,
Your solemn salute.

In vain. Every effort is futile,
And, while I am "doing my share"
To guard (after midnight) a mute isle,
Or the bit of it close by my lair,
'Tis perfectly plain that, although it
Is easy to offer one's aid,
The P.C., alas! like the poet,
Is born and not made.

[Pg 93]

Recruit speaking of his late employer

Recruit (speaking of his late employer). "An' 'e says to me, 'It wants a coal-hammer to knock it into your 'ead.'"

Friend. "Did 'e say that?"

Recruit. "Yes, 'e did. But I let 'im 'ave it back. I says, 'It 'ud blooming well take more than you to do it!'"


The proposal, made the other day at the annual meeting of Lloyds Bank at Birmingham, that a dukedom should be conferred upon Mr. Lloyd George, in recognition of his skilful handling of the financial crisis, has aroused intense interest both in Park Lane and in the Welsh valleys.

Even among certain of the right honourable gentleman's colleagues in the Cabinet the idea meets with warm approval.

There has not yet been a meeting of Dukes to consider how to deal with any situation that may arise; but there is little doubt that their Graces are keeping a keen look-out, and it may be expected that when the time comes their plans will be found to be more or less complete.

Down in Wales there is considerable rivalry already concerning the title the Chancellor should take. A strong local committee is being formed at Criccieth to urge the claims of that delightful resort; but it may expect to receive strenuous opposition from the people of Llanpwllwynbrynogrhos, who argue that, while Mr. Lloyd George's connection with their village may be slight, it would be highly desirable that there should exist the obstacle of such a name whenever the new Duke's fellow Dukes wished to refer to him.

Since it was at the annual meeting of Lloyds Bank that the idea was put forward, we are inclined to think that whenever a title is required the Chancellor might select the "Duke of Lloyds;" and on the other hand, of course, a bank professing such admiration for Mr. Lloyd George could not pay a prettier compliment than by styling itself "Lloyd George's Bank."

We profoundly hope that there may be no truth in the ugly rumour that one of the Chancellor's servants, who has been in the family for many years and imbibed its principles, has declared emphatically that it would be against her principles to serve in a ducal household.

Needless to say there has been a flutter among estate agents. Already vast tracts of deer-forest in Scotland have been offered at astonishing terms to the proposed Duke, and these not only comprise some of the finest scenery in the British Isles, but afford opportunity for thoroughly interesting agricultural development.

Mr. Lloyd George's own views on the whole subject were uttered in Welsh, and we have no doubt our readers will quite understand that they cannot be printed here.

Our Dumb Friends.

The tradition of strong language established by our armies in Flanders seems to be well kept up to-day, if we may judge by the following Army Order issued at the Front:—

"Though on occasion it is necessary to tie horses to trees, this should be avoided whenever possible, as they are sure to bark and thus destroy the trees."

[Pg 94]



My dear Mr. Punch,—Although, being no longer a soldier in anything but name (and pay), I pursue in India the inglorious vocation of a clerk, I am nevertheless still in a position to perceive the splendid qualities of the British Officer. Always a humble admirer of his skill and bravery in the field, I have now in addition a keen appreciation of his imperturbable sangfroid when confronted with conditions of great difficulty in the office.

Patriotic Old Person

Patriotic Old Person (to individual bespattered by passing motor-bus). "There, young feller! It'd never 'ave bin noticed if you'd bin in khaki!"

I am working in the Banana (to circumvent the Censor I am giving it an obviously fictitious name) Divisional Area Headquarters Staff Office, which is situated in the town of ——. Suppose we call it Mango. There are four brigades in the Banana Divisional Area, one of which is the Mango Brigade. Now it so happens that the General Officer Commanding the Banana Divisional Area is at present also the General Officer Commanding the Mango Brigade; consequently this is the sort of thing which is always happening. The G.O.C. of the Mango Brigade writes to himself as G.O.C. of the Banana Divisional Area: "May I request the favour of a reply to my Memorandum No. 25731/24/Mobn., dated the 3rd January, 1915, relating to paragraph 5 of Army Department letter No. S.M.—43822/19 (A.B.C.), dated the 12th December, 1914, which amplifies the Annexure to Clause 271, Section 18 (c), of A.R.I., Vol. XXIII.?" Next morning he goes into the Divisional Office and finds himself confronted by this letter. A mere civilian might be tempted to take a mean advantage of his unusual situation. Not so the British Officer. The dignified traditions of the Indian Army must not lightly be set aside. The G.O.C. of the Brigade and the G.O.C. of the Divisional Area must be as strangers for the purposes of official correspondence.

So he writes back to himself:—"Your reference to Army Department letter No. S.M.—43822/19 (A.B.C.), dated the 12th December, 1914, is not understood. May I presume that you allude to Army Department letter No. P.T. 58401/364 (P.O.P.), dated the 5th November, 1914, which deals with the Annexure to Clause 271, Section 18 (c), of A.R.I., Vol. XXIII.?"

Later on he goes to the Brigade Office and writes—"... I would respectfully point out that Army Department letter No. S.M.—43822/19 (A.B.C.), dated the 12th December, 1914, cancels Army Department letter No. P.T. 58401/364 (P.O.P.), dated the 5th November, 1914."

At his next visit to the Divisional Office he writes back again:—"... Army Department letter No. S.M.—43822/19 (A.B.C.), dated the 12th December, 1914, does not appear to have been received in this office. Will you be so good as to favour me with a copy?"

So it goes on, and our dual G.O.C., like the gallant soldier he is, never flinches from his duty, never swerves by a hair's-breadth from his difficult course. This surely is the spirit which has made the Empire.

But I expect you are weary of this subject. Still, you must please not forget that we are officially on active service, and active service means perhaps more than you people at home imagine. Last Sunday, after tiffin, I came upon one of my colleagues lounging in an easy-chair, one of those with practical extensions upon which you can stretch your legs luxuriously. With a cigarette between his lips and an iced drink beside him, he sat reading a magazine—a striking illustration of the fine resourcefulness of the Territorials in adapting themselves to novel conditions.

"What I object to about active service," he said, as I came up, "is the awful hardship we have to put up with. When we were mobilised I didn't anticipate that our path would be exactly strewn with roses, but I confess I never expected this. I shall write to The Times. The public ought to know about it;" and he settled himself more deeply into his chair, blew out a cloud of smoke, and with a resolute expression sipped his iced lemonade.

Mr. Punch, you will be pained to hear that I have lost my hard-earned reputation for sobriety through no fault of my own. A few days ago I went up to the barracks to draw my regimental pay, and found that a number of articles of clothing, issued by the Army authorities, had accumulated for me during my absence—a pair of khaki shorts, a grey flannel shirt with steel buttons the size of sixpences, a pair of worsted socks and three sheets (yes, sheets for the bed; so luxuriously do we fare in India). Perhaps you can guess what happened.

"Oh, by the way, have you drawn your clothing?" asked the Lieutenant, when he had paid me.

"Yes, Sir," I replied.

"What have you got?"

"Sheets, shirt, shorts and shocks—shots, sheeks and shirks——"

"That will do," he interrupted sternly. "You had better come to me again when you are in a condition to express yourself clearly."

Thus easily is a reputation acquired by years of self-control destroyed by the pitfalls of our native tongue.

On the other hand, some people have enviable reputations thrust upon them. This is the case with my friend, Private Walls. The other night, half of what remains of the Battalion were called out to repel an expected attack on the barracks by the other half. Walls chanced to be placed in a rather isolated position, and, armed with six rounds of blank, he took cover behind a large boulder, after receiving whispered orders from his officer not to fire if he suspected the approach of the enemy, but to low like an ox, when assistance would immediately be sent to him.

Though a little diffident of his powers of lowing, Walls determined to do his best, and fell sound asleep.

Now, if you or I had been in his position, an officer would certainly have discovered us in no time, and dire[Pg 95] punishment would have followed. But Walls slumbered on undisturbed, until a terrific roar in his ear caused him to wake with a start. What had happened? He seized his rifle and peered into the darkness. Then, to his amazement, he saw the boulder before him rise to its feet and shamble off into the night. It was an ox, and it had lowed!

You might think his luck finished there. But no. The officer and his men came stealthily up, and Walls unblushingly declared that he had heard the foe approaching. It may sound incredible, but it is a fact that a few minutes later the enemy did actually appear, and were, of course, driven back after the customary decimation.

And Walls unhesitatingly accepted the congratulations of his superior on his vigilance, and did not even blench when assured that his was the finest imitation ever heard of the lowing of an ox.

Yours ever,
One of the Punch Brigade.

Officer. "Didn't I tell yer 'e was no good

Officer. "Didn't I tell yer 'e was no good? Look at 'im—playin' football when us fellers is drillin'!"

"The German resistance is formidable but the allies' artillery has forced the enemy to retire from some trenches abandinging prisoners, dead, and wounded."—Buenos Aires Standard.

This gives the lie to the many stories of German callousness that we hear.


[A fifteen-minutes' speech on affairs by a public man has been added to the programme of the Empire music-hall.]

There is no truth that the late Viceroy of Ireland is to appear at the Alhambra in a brief address, explaining why he chose the title of "Tara."

All efforts to induce Mr. Masterman to appear at the Holborn Empire next week in a burlesque of The Seats of the Mighty have failed.

Great pressure is being brought to bear upon Mr. Bernard Shaw to induce him to add gaiety to the Palladium programme next week by a twenty-minutes' exposure of England's folly, hypocrisy, fatuity and crime, a subject on which he knows even more than is to be known.

Up to the present moment Mr. H. G. Wells has refused all offers to appear at the Palace in the song from Patience, "When I first put this uniform on."

Any statement that Mr. Edmund Gosse is to appear at the Coliseum at every performance next week, in a little sketch entitled Swinging the Censor, is to be taken with salt.

A similar incredulity should probably be adopted in regard to the alluring rumour that Mr. Compton Mackenzie will also contribute at the same house a nightly telephonic sketch from Capri, "What Tiberius thinks of 'Sinister Street.'"

Negotiations are still pending, though with little chance of success, between the management of the Hippodrome and Canon Rawnsley, with a view to his giving a brief address nightly on the subject "How to write a War sonnet in ten minutes."

We have good reason to fear that, in spite of reiterated announcements of their engagement, Mr. Max Pemberton and Mr. Max Beerbohm will not appear on Valentine's Day, and subsequently, at the Chiswick Empire in a topical War duologue as "The Two Max."

Omar Khayyam on the North Sea battle.

They say the Lion and the Tiger sweep
Where once the Huns shelled babies from the deep,
And Blücher, that great cruiser—12-inch guns
Roar o'er his head but cannot break his sleep.

[Pg 96]


"Look here," exclaimed the latest subaltern, hurling himself at the remains of the breakfast, "those rotters have sent me a putrid sword!"

"A putrid sword, dear?" his mother repeated.

"Yes, confound them!"

"I don't see why you want a sword at all," Dolly chipped in. "Captain Jones says the big guns are the only weapons that count."

"And how will Archie toast his crumpets?" retorted Henry.

"Oh, shut up, you kids! I say, do you mind having a look at it?" The latest subaltern was actually appealing to me. I stifled a blush, and thought I should like to, very much.

After breakfast Archibald and myself retired to the armoury.

"There!" he exclaimed indignantly. "What do you think of that?" It was lying on the bed with a black-and-gold hilt and a wonderful nickel scabbard with gilt blobs at the top. I looked at it.

"Well," I ventured, "it's a sword."

Archibald sniffed.

"And," I continued hastily, "it's very nice. Perhaps they've run out of the ordinary ones. Does it cut?"

He drew it, and I, assuming the air of a barber's assistant, felt its edge.

"Of course," I remarked, "I don't know much about it, but if there is anything left to cut when you go out I think it should be stropped a bit first."

"Well," said the proud owner, "I ordered it at Slashers', and they ought to know. Suppose we rub it up on young Henry's emery wheel?"

"Wait a minute," I cried; "I should like to see it on."

Archibald buckled on the scabbard and I slapped the trusty blade home.

It certainly looked a bit odd. I surveyed it in profile.

"No!" I exclaimed, "there is something about it ... a Yussuf air ... that little bend at the tip is reminiscent of Turkestan."

We found Henry in the workshop.

"My fairy godmother," he shouted, "did you pinch it from the pantomime?"

We did not deign to reply. Gingerly, very gingerly, we applied Yussuf to the emery wheel.... Little flakes came off him—just little flakes.

It was very distressing.

The gardener joined us and advised some oil; then the coachman brought us some polishing sand; bath-brick and whitening we got from the cook.

It was no good. Nothing could restore those little flakes. So we went indoors to have a look at the Encyclopædia. But there was nothing there to help us. Yussuf was suffering from an absolutely unknown disease.

We put him to bed again.

After lunch Archibald received the following letter:—

"Dear Sir,—We learn with regret that, by an inadvertence, the wrong sword has been despatched to you. We now hasten to forward yours, trusting that the delay has not inconvenienced you. At the same time our representative will, with your permission, collect the sword now in your possession as it is of exceptional value, and also has to be inscribed immediately for presentation.

Your obedient Servants,
Slasher and Co."

"For presentation," I repeated; "then it's not meant to cut with, and those blobs really are gold." I touched one respectfully.

The latest subaltern pulled himself together and rang the bell. "When a man calls here for a sword," he told the servant, "give him this"—pointing dramatically at Yussuf. "And Jenkins!"

"Yes, Sir."

"Tell him that I have just sailed for ... er—for the Front."


Being the Soliloquy of the Oldest Parrot.

Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! Polly-olly-wolly! Scratch a poll! It isn't that I shout the loudest, though I fancy I could keep my end up in the monkey-house if it came to that. Many a parrot wastes all his energy in wind. It's brains, not lungs, that make a full crop. Extend your vocabulary. Another thing—don't make yourself too cheap. The parrot that always gives his show free lives the whole of his life on official rations—and nothing else. Half-a-pint o' mild-an'-bitter! Pom! Pom!

I'm the oldest inhabitant, and I've the biggest waist measurement for my height in Regent's Park. That's my reward. I'll admit I've a bad memory; most parrots have, except the one that used to sing "Rule Britannia" and knew the name of every keeper in the Zoo—and he went into hospital with something-on-the-brain. But I've moved with the times. There aren't many catch-phrases I haven't caught. "Walker," "Who's Griffiths?" and drawing corks in the old "Champagne Charlie" days; and "You're another," "Get your hair cut," "Does your mother know you're out?" "My word, if I catch you bending!" "After you with the cruet." But I've a bad memory. Have a banana? I don't think!...

I'm never quite sure of myself, and so just have to say what comes uppermost. Shun! Stanterteeze! Form-forz, you two! Half-a-pint o'....

I've found it doesn't do to repeat everything the sergeant says. We had a Naval parrot once.... Why, take for instance that young man with his greasy feathers brushed back like a parrakeet's. He looked good for a few grapes any day, but when, just to encourage him, I chortled, "Kitchener wants yer!" he frowned and walked away. I did good business later, though. Pulled up a bunch of Khaki people by just shouting "'Alt!" I admired their taste in oranges. Down with the Kaiser! By the way, I've shouted "Down with" almost everybody in my time. Johnny, get your gun; Goobye, Tipperlairlee.

But the best is "Veeve la Fronce." Last week one of those foreign officers heard me "veeving" softly to myself. In half a minute he'd collected a dozen of his friends and relatives, and I could see more coming in the distance. The excitement! My tail! "Marie! Alphonse!" he shouted. "Regarday dong ce brave wozzo!" They gave me butterscotch; they gave me muscatels; they gave me a meringue, and lots of little sweet biscuits (I don't take monkey-nuts these days, thank you!) and they all talked at once. Then a lovely creature with a cockatoo's crest on her head bent forward and coaxed me in a voice like ripe bananas. And there was I sitting like a fool, my mouth crammed and my mind a blank! The crowd was growing every minute. The cockatoo girl ran to the kiosk and bought me French nougat; I ate it. Then I made a desperate effort—"Has anybody here seen Kelly?"

Bless the camel-keeper! At that very moment I heard him ringing the "all-out" bell.

The Times says that the Blücher was the reply of the German Admiralty to the first British Dreadnought.

Admiral Sir David Beatty begs to state that he has forwarded this reply to the proper quarter.

We have pleasure in culling the following extract from the account of a wedding, as set forth in The Silver Leaf (published at Somerset West, Cape Province):—

"Whilst the register was being signed, Mme. Wortley, of Cape Town, sang 'Entreat me not to leave thee' with great feeling."

It seems perhaps a little early to discuss the question of marital separation.

[Pg 97]



1. On the way to the station.

2. Waiting for the train.

3. On the 'bus—"with deep breathing—neck wrists."

4. At the office—the correspondence.

5. Weighing business propositions.

6. Waiting at the telephone.

[Pg 98]


Time: 7.30 P.M. Scene: A large disused barn, where forty members of the local Volunteer Training Corps are assembled for drill. They are mostly men well over thirty-eight years of age, but there is a sprinkling of lads of under nineteen, while a few are men of "military age" who for some good and sufficient reason have been unable to join the army. They are all full of enthusiasm, but at present they possess neither uniform nor arms. Please note that in the following dialogue the Sergeant alone speaks aloud; the other person thinks, but gives no utterance to his words.

The Sergeant. Fall in! Fall in! Come smartly there, fall in
And recollect that when you've fallen in
You stand at ease, a ten-inch space between
Your feet—like this; your hands behind your back—
Like this; your head and body both erect;
Your weight well poised on both feet, not on one.
Dress by the right, and let each rear rank man
Quick cover off his special front rank man.
That's it; that's good. Now when I say, "Squad, 'shun,"
Let every left heel swiftly join the right
Without a shuffling or a scraping sound
And let the angle of your two feet be
Just forty-five, the while you smartly drop
Hands to your sides, the fingers lightly bent,
Thumbs to the front, but every careful thumb
Kept well behind your trouser-seams. Squad, 'shun!

The Volunteer. Ha! Though I cannot find my trouser-seams,
I rather think I did that pretty well.
Thomas, my footman, who is on my left,
And Batts, the draper, drilling on my right,
And e'en the very Sergeant must have seen
The lithe precision of my rapid spring.

The Sergeant. When next I call you to attention, note
You need not slap your hands against your thighs.
It is not right to slap your thighs at all.

The Volunteer. He's looking at me; I am half afraid
I used unnecessary violence
And slapped my thighs unduly. It is bad
That Thomas should have cause to grin at me
And lose his proper feeling of respect,
Being a flighty fellow at the best;
And Batts the draper must not——

The Sergeant.Stand at ease!

The Volunteer. Aha! He wants to catch me, but he——

The Sergeant. 'Shun!

The Volunteer. Bravo, myself! I did not slap them then.
I am indubitably getting on.
I wonder if the Germans do these things,
And what they sound like in the German tongue.
The Germans are a——

The Sergeant.Sharply number off
From right to left, and do not jerk your heads.

[They number off.

The Volunteer. I'm six, an even number, and must do
The lion's share in forming fours. What luck
For Batts, who's five, and Thomas, who is seven.
They also serve, but only stand and wait,
While I behind the portly form of Batts
Insert myself and then slip out again
Clear to the front, observing at the word
The ordered sequence of my moving feet.
Come let me brace myself and dare——

The Sergeant.Form fours!

The Volunteer. I cannot see the Sergeant; I'm obscured
Behind the acreage of Batts's back.
Indeed it is a very noble back
And would protect me if we charged in fours
Against the Germans, but I rather think
We charge two deep, and therefore——

The Sergeant.Form two deep!

The Volunteer. Thank Heaven I'm there, although I mixed my feet!
I am oblivious of the little things
That mark the due observance of a drill;
And Thomas sees my faults and grins again.
Let him grin on; my time will come once more
At dinner, when he hands the Brussels sprouts.

[The drill proceeds.

Now we're in fours and marching like the wind.
This is more like it; this is what we need
To make us quit ourselves like regulars.
Left, right, left, right! The Sergeant gives it out
As if he meant it. Stepping out like this
We should breed terror in the German hordes
And drive them off. The Sergeant has a gleam
In either eye; I think he's proud of us.
Or does he meditate some stratagem
To spoil our marching?

The Sergeant.On the left form squad!

The Volunteer. There! He has done it! He has ruined us!
I'm lost past hope, and Thomas, too, is lost;
And in a press of lost and tangled men
The great broad back of Batts heaves miles away.

[The Sergeant explains and the drill proceeds.

The Volunteer. No matter; we shall some day learn it all,
The standing difference 'twixt our left and right,
The bayonet exercise, the musketry,
And all the things a soldier does with ease.
I must remember it's a long, long way
To Tipperary, but my heart's——

The Sergeant.Dismiss!

R. C. L.


AT long last the War Office is waking up to the value of bands for military purposes, and a good deal of interest will be aroused by the discussion now proceeding as to the best airs for use on the march.

The following suggestions have been hastily collected by wireless and other means:—

From the Trenches: "Why not try 'Come into the garden mud'?"

From a very new Subaltern: "I had thought of 'John Brown's Body,' but personally I am more concerned just now with Sam Browne's Belt."

From a Zeppelin-driver: "There's an old Scotch song that I have tried successfully on one of our naval lieutenants. It runs like this:—

O, I'll tak the high road and you'll tak' the low road,
An' I'll be in Yarmouth afore ye."

From the Captain of the Sydney: "What's the matter with 'The Jolly Müller'?"

From President Wilson: "Have you thought of 'The little rift within the lute,' as played by our Contra-band?"

From Admiral von Tirpitz: "A familiar air with me is 'Crocked in the cradle of the deep.'"

From Sir Edward Grey: "If it could be done diplomatically, I should like to see recommended, 'Dacia, Dacia, give me your answer, do.'"

From the Crew of the Lion: "For England, Home, and Beatty."

From an East Coast Mayor: "Begone, dull scare!"

From the King of Rumania: "Now we shan't be long."

[Pg 99]

Old Farmer-to village Military Critic

Old Farmer (to village Military Critic). "Strateegy? Dod, man, ye havena as muckle strateegy as wad tak' ye across Argyle Street unless a polisman helpit ye."


(By Mr. Punch's Staff of Learned Clerks.)

The German War Book (Murray) is a work in whose authenticity many of us would have refused to believe this time last year. It is a pity indeed that it was not then in the hands of all those who still clung to the theory that the Prussian was a civilised and humane being. However, now that everyone can read it, translated and with a wholly admirable preface by Professor J. H. Morgan, it is to be hoped that the detestable little volume will have a wide publicity. True, it can add little to our recent knowledge of the enemy of mankind; but it is something to have his guiding principles set down upon the authority of his own hand. Cynical is hardly an adequate epithet for them; indeed I do not know that the word exists that could do full justice to the compound of hypocrisy and calculated brutishness that makes up this manual. It may at first strike the reader as surprising to find himself confronted by sentiments almost, one might say, of moderation and benevolence. He will ask with astonishment if the writer has not, after all, been maligned. Before long, however, he will discover that all this morality is very carefully made conditional, and that the conditions are wide. In short, as the Preface puts it, the peculiar logic of the book consists in "ostentatiously laying down unimpeachable rules, and then quietly destroying them by debilitating exceptions." For example, on the question of exposing the inhabitants of occupied territory to the fire of their own troops—the now notorious Prussian method of "women and children first"—the War Book, while admitting pious distaste for such practice, blandly argues that its "main justification" lies in its success. Thus, with sobs and tears, like the walrus, the Great General Staff enumerates its suggested list of serviceable infamies. At the day of reckoning what a witness will this little book be! Out of their own mouths they stand here condemned through all the ages.

Mrs. Humphry Ward, chief of novelists-with-a-purpose, vehemently eschews the detachment of the Art-for-Art's-Saker, while a long and honourable practice has enabled her to make her stories bear the burden of her theses much more comfortably than would seem theoretically possible. Delia Blanchflower (Ward, Lock) is a suffrage novel, dedicated with wholesome intent to the younger generation, and if one compares the talented author's previous record of uncompromising, and indeed rather truculent, anti-suffrage utterances one may note (with approval or dismay) a considerable broadening of view on the vexed question. For her attack here is delivered exclusively on the militant position. Quite a number of decent folk in her pages are suffragistically inclined, and there is a general admission that the eager feet that throng the hill of the Vote are not by any means uniformly shod in elastic-sided boots, if one may speak a parable. It is a very notable admission and does the writer honour; for such revisions are rare with veteran and committed campaigners. The story is laid in the far-away era of the burnings of cricket pavilions and the lesser country houses. Delia is a beautiful goddess-heiress of twenty-two, with eyes of flame and a will of steel, a very agreeable and winning heroine. Her tutor, Gertrude Marvell, the desperate villain of the piece, a brilliant fanatic (crossed in love in early youth), wins the younger girl's affections and inspires and accepts her dedication of self and fortune to the grim purposes of the "Daughters of Revolt." Mark Winnington, her guardian, appointed by her father to counteract the tutor's baleful influence, finds both women a tough proposition. For Gertrude has brains[Pg 100] to back her fanaticism, and Delia is a spirited handful of a ward. Loyalty to her consecration and to her friend outlast her belief in the methods of the revolting ones. Her defences are finally ruined by Cupid, for Mark is a handsome athletic man of forty or so, a paragon of knightly courtesy and persuasive speech and silences, and compares very favourably with the policemen in Parliament Square. Poor Gertrude makes a tragic end in a fire of her own kindling, so that the moral for the younger generation cannot be said to be set forth in ambiguous terms.

Arundel (Fisher Unwin) is one of those stories that begins with a Prologue; and as this was only mildly interesting I began to wonder whether I was going to be as richly entertained as one has by now a right to expect from Mr. E. F. Benson. But it appeared that, like a cunning dramatist, he was only waiting till the audience had settled into their seats; when this was done, up went the curtain upon the play proper, and we were introduced to Arundel itself, an abode of such unmixed and giddy joy that I have been chortling over the memory of it ever since. Arundel was the house at Heathmoor where lived Mrs. Hancock and her daughter Edith; and Mrs. Hancock herself, and her house and her neighbourhood and her car and her servants and her friends—all, in fact, that is hers, epitomize the Higher Suburbia with a delicate and merciless satire that is beyond praise. I shall hurry over the actual story, because that, though well and absorbingly told, is of less value than the setting. Next door to the Hancocks lived a blameless young man called Edward, whom for many reasons, not least because their croquet-lawns, so to speak, "marched," Mrs. Hancock had chosen as her daughter's husband. So blamelessly, almost without emotion, these were betrothed, walking among the asparagus beds on a suitable May afternoon "ventilated by a breath of south-west wind and warmed by a summer sun," and the course of their placid affection would have run smooth enough but for the sudden arrival, out of the Prologue, of Elizabeth, fiercely alive and compelling, the ideal of poor Edward's dreams. Naturally, therefore, there is the devil to pay. But, good as all this is, it is Mrs. Hancock who makes the book, first, last and all the time. She is a gem of purest ray serene, and my words that would praise her are impotent things. Only unlimited quotation could do justice to her sleek self-deception and little comfortable meannesses. In short, as a contemporary portrait, the mistress of Arundel seems to be the best thing that Mr. Benson has yet given us; worth—if he will allow me to say so—a whole race of Dodos. For comparison one turns instinctively to Jane Austen; and I can sound no higher praise.

Love never seems to run a smooth course for girls of the name of Joan; their affairs of heart, whatever the final issue may be, have complex beginnings and make difficult, at times dismal, progress. I attribute the rejection of the great novel of my youth to the fact that the heroine, a rosy-cheeked girl with no more serious problems in life than the organisation of mixed hockey matches, was ineptly given that unhappy name. Miss Mary Agnes Hamilton's Joan Traquair is true to the type. From the start she is handicapped by a bullying father, an invalid sister, a lack of means and an excess of artistic temperament, the last of these being not just a casual tendency to picture galleries and the opera, but the kind of restless passion which causes people to prefer sunsets to meals and to neglect their dress. In due course she falls in love with a man called Sebastian, another name which, if less familiar, is yet a sufficient warning to the world that its owner is bound to be a nuisance on the hearth. This Sebastian was an artist, ambitious and of course poor; worse, he had a touch of genius and—worst of all—he knew it. Nevertheless Joan became his wife, supposing that this was just the sort of man to make her happy. Instead, he made her thoroughly miserable, at any rate for a good long time; but I doubt if any reader, even with all the facts before him, will anticipate exactly how he did it. I certainly didn't myself, although I feel now that I ought to have done. The point of Yes (Heinemann) is both new and true; I recommend the book with confidence to all interested in the Joans and Sebastians of this world.

Not though the soldier knew Someone had

Not though the soldier knew Someone had blundered.

Our Cheery Allies.

A letter from a Japanese firm:—

"Dear Sirs,—Since writing you last we have no favours to acknowledge, however, we are pleased to enter into business relation with your respectable firm. We were delighted that the Allies always behaved bravely in the recent battle and now are in the very favourable condition. Our army took the possetion of Tsingtau and our only hope remaindered is to hear the annihiration of the enemy force. We trust the Allies will beat the Enemy in near future though we cannot assert the time. If there are any samples of Japanese goods as substitute of German's, kindly let us know, and we shall send the same as soon as possible."


Their Aviatiks and Zeppelins from dark aerial heights
Pick out the peaceful places while people sleep o' nights.

Their Aviatiks and Zeppelins steer clear of fort and gun;
Such things of dreadful menace repel the flying Hun.

Their Aviatiks and Zeppelins show Science at the call
Of all the savage instincts that hold them tight in thrall.

Their Aviatiks and Zeppelins—our women lying dead—
The whole of German "Kultur" is there from A to Z.




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