Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, November 10, 1920
OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.
November 10th, 1920.
Now that the Presidential electionsare over it is hoped that any Irish-Americanswho joined the Sinn Feinmurder-gang for electioneering purposeswill go home again.
Owing to pressure on space, dueamong other things to the Americanelection, the net sale controversy inone of our contemporaries was heldover on Wednesday last. We are quitesure that neither Senator Harding norMr. Cox was aware of his responsibilityin the matter.
Lord Howard de Walden says, "Iwould rather trust a crossing-sweeperwith an appreciation ofmusic than a man whocomes from a public school."We agree. The former ismuch more likely to havebeen a professional musicianin his time.
The mystery of the Scottishgolf club that was recentlyinundated with applicationsfor membership isnow explained. It appearsthat a caddy refused a tipof sixpence offered him byone of the less affluent members,and the story somehowleaked out.
At one Hallowe'en dinnerheld in London the haggiswas ten minutes late. It issaid that it had had troublewith a dog on the way andhad come off second best.
The man who was heardlast week to say that he had no idea thatMrs. Asquith had published a book ofmemoirs has now, on the advice of hisfriends, consented to see a doctor.
The clergy of Grays, in Essex, areadvocating the abolition of Sundayfunerals. It is said that quite anumber of strict Sabbatarians have arooted objection to being buried onthe Sabbath.
According to an evening paper hawthornbuds have been plucked atHornsey. We don't care.
A Liberal Independent writes to askif the Mr. Lloyd George, who has beenelected Lord Rector of EdinburghUniversity, is the well-known PrimeMinister of that name.
A firm of music publishers have producedwhat they describe as a three-quarterone-step. It will soon be impossibleto go to a dance withoutbeing accompanied by a professionalarithmetician.
It seems that high prices have evenput an end to the chicken that used tocross the road.
"Only through poverty," says Mr.Maurice Hewlett, "will Englandthrive." As a result of this statementwe understand that several profiteershave decided to get down to it onceagain.
A Japanese arrested at Hull wasfound to have seven revolvers and twothousand rounds of ammunition on him.It was pointed out to him that the Warwas over long ago.
A contemporary refers to a romancewhich ended in marriage. Alas! howoften this happens.
The United States Government hasdecided to recognise the present MexicanGovernment. Mexican bandits say theyhad better take a good look at themwhile there is yet time.
A Prohibitionist asserts that Scotlandwill be dry in five years. Ourown feeling is that these end-of-the-worldprognostications should be prohibitedby law.
An Oxford professor has made himselfthe subject of a series of experimentson the effects of alcohol. Severalcollege professors of America quitereadily admit that they never thoughtof that one.
A correspondent writes to a contemporaryto say that he wears a hat exactlylike The Daily Mail hat, andthat he purchased it long before TheDaily Mail was started. The audacityof some people in thinking that anythinghappened before The Daily Mailstarted is simply appalling.
Three stars have recently been discoveredby an American. No, no; notthose stars, but stars in the heavens.
"Whilst returning to camp one nightI walked right into a herd of elephants,"states a well-known explorerin his memoirs. We havealways maintained that allwild animals above the sizeof a rabbit should carry twohead-lights and one rear-lightwhilst travelling afterdark.
A small island was advertisedfor sale last week. Justthe sort of thing for a badsailor to take with him whencrossing the Channel on arough day.
"Everyone knows," awriter in The Daily Maildeclares, "that electric lightin the poultry-house resultsin more eggs." There maybe more of them but theynever have the real actinictaste of the natural egg.
An American inventor hasdevised a scheme for lassoingenemy submarines. This is a decidedimprovement on the method ofjust sticking a pin into them as theywhizz by.
Since the talk of Prohibition in Scotland,we are informed that one concertsinger began the chorus of the famousScottish ballad by singing "O ye'll takthe dry road."
Mrs. Jones. "You'd see in the papers, John, about the agitationin favour of the wife governing the home."
Mr. Jones. "Well, carry on, dear."
From an article on "Bullies at theBar":—
"He who had read his 'Pickwick'—and whohas not?—will never forget the trial scene wherepoor, innocent Mr. Pickwick is as wax in thehands of the cross-examiner."
We regret to say that, in our edition,Mr. Serjeant Snubbin omitted to puthis client in the witness-box, and consequentlyMr. Serjeant Buzfuz neverhad a chance of showing what he coulddo with him.
BEFORE THE CENOTAPH.
November 11th, 1920.
Not with dark pomp of death we keep their day,
Theirs who have passed beyond the sight of men,
O'er whom the autumn strews its gold again,
And the grey sky bends to an earth as grey;
But we who live are silent even as they
While the world's heart marks one deep throb; and then,
Touched by the gleam of suns beyond our ken,
The Stone of Honour crowns the trodden way.
Above the people whom they died to save
Their shrine of sleep is set; abideth there
No dust corruptible, nought that death may have;
But from remembrance of the days that were
Rises proud sorrow in a resistless wave
That breaks upon the empty sepulchre.
D. M. S.
OUR INVINCIBLE NAVY.
The really intriguing thing about Naval prize-money isthe fact that no one knows exactly where it comes from.You don't win it by any definite act of superlative daring—Imean to say, you don't have to creep out under cover ofdarkness and return in the morning with an enemy battleshipin tow to qualify for a modicum of this mysterioustreasure. You just proceed serenely on your lawful occasions,confident in the knowledge that incredible sums ofprize-money are piling themselves up for your ultimatebenefit. I suppose the authorities understand all aboutit; nobody else does. One just lets it pile. It is a mostgratifying thought.
During the more or less stormy times of the First GreatWar, we of the Navy were always able to buttress ourresolution with golden hopes of a future opulence deniedto our less fortunate comrades in the trenches. Wheneverthe struggle was going particularly badly for us—when, forinstance, a well-earned shore-leave had been unexpectedlyjammed or a tin of condensed milk had overturned intosomebody's sea-boot—we used to console each other withcheerful reminders of this accumulating fruit of our endeavours."Think of the prize-money, my boy," we usedto exclaim; "meditate upon the jingling millions that willbe yours when the dreary vigil is ended;" and as by magicthe unseemly mutterings of wrath would give place to purrsof pleasurable anticipation. Even we of the R.N.V.R.,mere temporary face-fringes, as it were, which the razor ofpeace was soon to remove from the war-time visage of theService—even we fell under the spell. "Fourteen millionpounds!" we would gurgle, hugging ourselves with joy inthe darkness of the night-watches.
In the months immediately following demobilisation Iwas frequently stimulated by glittering visions of vastwealth presently to be showered upon me from the swellingcoffers of a grateful Admiralty. During periods ofmore or less temporary financial embarrassment I wouldmention these expectations to my tailor and other restlesstradespeople of my acquaintance. "Fourteen millions—prize-money,you know," I would say confidentially;"may come in at any time now." I found this had asoothing effect upon them.
As the seasons rolled by, however; as summer and winterran their appointed courses and again the primrose prankedthe lea unaccompanied by any signs of vernal activity onthe part of the Paymaster-in-Chief, these visions of minebecame less insistent. I was at length obliged to confessthat another youthful illusion was fading; prize-moneybegan to take its place in my mind along with the sea-serpentand similar figures of marine mythology. I wasfrankly hurt; I ceased even to raise my hat when passingthe Admiralty Offices on the top of a bus.
That was a month or two ago; everything is all rightagain now. I once more experience the old pleasing thrillof emotion when riding down Whitehall. I have come tosee how ungracious my recent attitude was.
A chance meeting with Bunbury, late sub-Loot R.N.V.R.and a sometime shipmate of mine—Bunbury and I hadsquandered our valour recklessly together aboard the Tynedrifters in the great days when Bellona wore bell-bottoms—sufficedto bring me head-to-wind.
In the course of conversation I referred to the non-fulfilmentof our early dreams; I spoke rather bitterly.
"And there are fourteen millions somewhere belongingto us," I concluded mutinously.
Bunbury regarded me with pained surprise. "Really,old sea-dog," he said, "this won't do. Never let theengine-oil of discontent leak into the rum-cask of loyalmemories, you know. Now listen to me. Two years agoyou and I wore the wavy gold braid of a valiant life; wesurged along irresistibly in the wake of Nelson; we keptthe watch assigned. Does not your bosom very nearlyburst with pride to call those days to mind? It does.What then? Has it never once occurred to you that thelast remaining link between us and the stirring past isthis very prize-money you are so eager to soil with thegrimy clutch of avarice? Don't you realize that this aloneexists to keep our memory green in the minds of our oldleaders at Whitehall? Picture the scene as it is. Someonementions the word 'prize-money.' Immediately the Lordsof the Admiralty reach for their record files and beginturning over the pages. They come upon the names ofJohn Augustus Plimsoll—yourself—and Horatio Bunbury—me.'Ah,' they exclaim fondly, 'two of our old gunroomveterans—when shall we look upon their like again?'Then they get up and go out to lunch.
"A month or so later the same thing occurs; once moreour names leap out from the type-written page. 'Braveboys,' they murmur, 'gallant lads! What should we havedone without them in the dark days? They shall havetheir prize-money this very—why, bless my soul, if it isn'tone o'clock!'
"Surely," pursued Bunbury earnestly, "you appreciatethe fine sentimental value of this one last tie? As longas our prize-money is in the keeping of the Service we canstill think of it with intimate regard; we can still call ourselvesBeatty's boys and hide our blushes when the peoplesing 'Rule, Britannia.' You must see that this is the onlylarge-hearted way of looking at the matter."
"Bunbury, old sailor," I said, swallowing a lump in mythroat, "you have done me good; you have made me feelashamed of myself."
There can be no doubt that Bunbury is right. I am soconvinced of it that when next my tailor inquires anxiouslywhat steps are being taken for the distribution