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Seaman, Owen, Sir / Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914
E-text prepared by Neville Allen, Malcolm Farmer, and the Project
Online Distributed Proofreading Team ()

Note: Project also has an HTML version of this
file which includes the original illustrations.
See 29072-h.htm or



November 18, 1914.


Contrary to the usual custom there were no official dinners on the eve
of the opening of Parliament. The explanation of this is clear to the
German Press. It was due to scarcity of food.

* * *

Upon receipt of the Japanese ultimatum, the KAISER, it may be
remembered, cabled to the commander of his Chinese fortress:--"Bear in
mind that it would shame me more to surrender Kiaochau to the Japanese
than Berlin to the Russians." The kind-hearted Russians will now, we
feel sure, have less compunction in taking Berlin, seeing that the blow
will have been softened to an anticlimax.

* * *

The KAISER'S hair, it is said, is now bleached: but this attempt to look
like a white man will deceive no one.

* * *

Just as we go to press a report reaches us which certainly bears the
impress of truth on the face of it. It declares that the CROWN PRINCE
has been shot for looting by a short-sighted brother-officer who did not
recognise the son of God's Vice-regent on Earth.

* * *

"The British Navy is in hiding," says the _Kölnische Zeitung_. We beg
our fragrant contemporary not to worry. In due course the Germans shall
have the hiding.

* * *

It is so frequently stated that the leaders of the German Army attach no
importance to the lives of their men that it seems only fair to point
out that last week Brussels was fined £200,000 for wounding a couple of
German policemen.

* * *

Neither the French, Russian, Belgian, nor British troops like the idea
of fighting against the mere youths whom a paternal KAISER is now
sending into the firing line, and a humane suggestion has been put
forward for correcting this embarrassment. Would it not be possible, it
is asked, to arrange Boys' Own Battles, in which the German little ones
would be opposed by the young of the Allies?

* * *

"Klopstock, one of our greatest geniuses," says the _Hamburger
Fremdenblatt_, "taught us, 'Be not excessively just.' We shall endeavour
now to follow that teaching." We should say that there is no great
danger of the German nation breaking down under the strain of this

* * *

"How ever do the Teutons manage to produce so many lies about us?" asks
"A Lover of Truth." Our correspondent is evidently not much of a
gardener or he would have heard of "Intensive Culture."

* * *

The reply published by the _Vossische Zeitung_ to the protest of French
clergymen against the destruction of Louvain and the shelling of Rheims
Cathedral contained at least one unfortunate expression. It asserted
that the GERMAN EMPEROR and the German People are both permeated with a
burning love of peace.

* * *

The Rev. Mr. EDWARDS has resigned his assistant curacy at Tettenhall
under somewhat peculiar circumstances, but we are sure the case is not
so bad as _The Wolverhampton Express_ would have us believe. According
to our contemporary this gentleman exhorted his congregation "not to
hate the Germans, but rather to pay for them."

* * *

A wounded Tommy in one of our London hospitals, on being asked, the
other day, by a lady visitor what he thought of the French soldiers,
replied that he very much admired the French Curaçaos.

* * *

When in Breslau, The Evening News tells us, the KAISER promised that the
Russian Army should be crushed. Fortunately in this case the undertaking
was not even written on a scrap of paper.

* * *

"For thirty-two years," says the _Vossische Zeitung_, "Egypt has had to
endure British rule." Curiously enough this bright little sheet does not
go on to point out that during the same period the poor Egyptians have
also had to put up with a good deal of prosperity.

* * * * *



* * * * *


"This photograph of the town of Pervyse, on the road from Nieuport
to Dixmude, has been taken and retaken by both sides several times.
Our photograph was taken just after it had again come into the
possession of the Allies."--_Daily Chronicle._

It is now the German photographer's turn again.

* * * * *

Another song for the KAISER:--


* * * * *

Translation of a letter received by The Morning Post:--

"By spring-time of the 6,000,000 German soldiers there will remain
only three capable of fighting."

The CROWN PRINCE and two privates.

* * * * *

"PATRIOTISM FOR PAUPER CHILDREN.--The Lambeth Guardians yesterday
decided that in order that the Poor-law school children may have an
opportunity of appreciating the position of national affairs the
usual practice of allowing each child an egg for breakfast on
Christmas morning be suspended this year."--_Times._

If this doesn't learn them to love their country, it ought, at any rate,
to encourage them to honour and respect the patriotic Lambeth Guardians.

* * * * *

"Pending operations for her capture, or destruction, effective steps
have been taken to block the Königsberg in by inking colliers in the
only navigable channel."

_Birmingham Daily Mail._

Aren't they black enough already?

* * * * *

Examples of official enthusiasm are always welcome, and we therefore
give further publicity to the following:--

"The Cossacks who have been mobilised in the Amur district have sent
the following telegram to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian

'Your children are coming to your aid, father commander. They come
shouting "Hurrah!"'

The Grand Duke Nicholas replied:

'I shall be very pleased to see you.'--_Reuter._"

* * * * *


(_A word with the War-Lord._)

A rumour comes from Rome (where rumours breed)
That you are sick of taking blow on blow,
And would inter with all convenient speed
The hatchet wielded by your largest foe.

Is it the shadow Christmas casts before
That makes the iron of your soul unbend,
And melt in prayer for this unholy war
(Meaning the part that pinches most) to end?

Is it your fear to mark at that high feast
The writing on the wall that seals your fate,
And, where the Christ-star watches in the East,
To hear the guns that thunder at your gate?

For on your heart no Christmas Peace can fall.
The chimes shall be a tocsin, and the red
Glow of the Yule-wood embers shall recall
A myriad smouldering pyres of murdered dead.

And anguish, wailing to the wintry skies,
Shall with its dirges drown the sacred hymn,
And round your royal hearth the curse shall rise
Of lowly hearths laid waste to suit your whim.

And you shall think on altars left forlorn,
On temple-aisles made desolate at your nod,
Where never a white-robed choir this holy morn
Shall chant their greeting to the Birth of God.

Peace? There is none for you, nor can be none;
For still shall Memory, like a fetid breath,
Poison your life-days while the slow hours run,
Till it be stifled in the dust of Death.

O. S.

* * * * *


[Curiosity is often expressed regarding the causes which have
prevented young men from enlisting. Considerable interest,
therefore, should attach to the following replies to enquiries, an
inspection of which has been permitted us by the Secretary of the
Patriotic League, an organisation which seeks to stimulate
recruiting by writing to young healthy and unmarried men and asking
them why they do not join the colours.]

My Dear Sir,--I fully understand your views--in fact I am in cordial
agreement with them. It would be quite fair to say of most young
unmarried men that they could and should be spared. But this cannot be
said of all young men. There is a small section of literary and other
artists whose lives must continue to be immeasurably precious to the
nation which has given them birth. From this company it is impossible
for me to exclude myself. There is a higher patriotism, to the dictates
of which I must respond. With infinite regrets, and thanks for what is
doubtless a well-meant endeavour,

I am, dear Sir, yours sincerely,

P.S.--If you should be in town on the 24th, I am giving a reading from
my own works at the United Intensities Club--"A Night with Endymion

Dear Sir,--What you say is O.K. KITCHENER must have men and all that
sort of thing. Show the KAISER who's boss, and so on. But there are some
men who _can't_ possibly go. And I'm one. It's all very well to say
"Go," but _if_ I go--let me ask you quite seriously--how on earth is
Smoketown Tuesday F.C. to lift the English pot? I don't want to shout
about myself, but it is a known fact that I'm positively the _only_
centre forward they've got. I'm worth £200 a week to the gate alone. If
you don't care to accept my word, that it is absolutely _impossible_ for
me to go, I'll refer you to what our secretary says at foot.


_Note by Secretary_--What Booter says is quite true. He is
indispensable. We paid £1,000 for his transfer, and could not possibly
sanction his leaving us. Besides, some of his many thousand admirers
might want to follow his example, and where would our gate be then?

Dear Sir,--If I was to go and enlist, how could I follow the Occident
and help 'em to win the League Championship? There it is, quite
short--how? And if I didn't follow, and if others like me didn't follow,
how'd the club stick it? How'd it keep going? What price duty of staying
at home?

I am, yours truly,


Sir,--I snatch a moment to answer your letter, "Why don't I go to fight
the Germans?" I _am_ fighting them. I cleared £500 this morning which,
before the war, would have gone into a German pocket. My motto is
"Business as usual," and I have no complaints whatever against the
Germans so long as I can go on fighting them some more in my own way.

Yours faithfully,

My Dear Sir,--Your letter for my brother, John Halton, has reached me by
mistake, but I'll answer it. "Why don't I go?" Just send me a recipe for
turning me into a boy, and you'll not have to ask me twice.

Yours very sincerely,

Dear Sir,--I know what my job is, so don't you come poking your nose in
where it isn't wanted. I'm for England, I am. And I'm doing my bit. _The
Evening Wiper_ said only the other day that a Britisher's duty was to
keep cheerful, and that the man who did that was serving his country.
Well, I _am_ cheerful--I didn't turn a hair even over Mons--slept
exactly the same, and had bacon and tomato for my breakfast. Then they
say, "Carry on." And I do carry on. I go out as usual, dress just as
carefully--spats, fancy waistcoat, buttonhole, etc. One night it's the
Imperial and another it's the Cinema. Men are wanted to cheer the
patriotic songs and to sing the chorus of "Tipperary." I help here. Then
I spend my money freely--_freely_, I tell you. Any Tommy I meet can have
a drink--half a dozen at my expense, and no return expected. I got two
quite blind last night, and never asked 'em for a sou. Then again, I've
spent quite a lot on flags. I always wear six on the front of my bike
when I scorch through the crowds coming out of church on Sundays. I've
got portrait buttons, too, of JOFFRE and KITCH., and I'm never ashamed
to wear 'em. _And I'm always urging chaps to go and enlist._ So you see
I am doing my bit.

Yours truly,

* * * * *

In a Good Cause.

A _Matinée_ will be given at the Empire on Thursday, the 26th, in aid of
_The Daily Telegraph's_ Belgian Relief Fund. Among the patrons are The

Many popular _artistes_ have offered their services, including Miss

_Mr. Punch_ very heartily commends the cause and its advocates to his
gentle readers.

* * * * *

Illustration: GOOD HUNTING.


* * * * *


* * * * *


Departing from the time-honoured custom of believing everything they see
in print, the British people are learning in these times that one should
only run the risk of believing printed news that has passed the Censor.
By the time the war is over the new habit will have become established,
and we may look for items like the following in our daily papers:--

The right hon. gentleman went on to say that so long as the people of
this country permitted the present Government to remain in power, so
long would this country be governed in a manner which could never win
the approval of the Opposition.

[The above having been passed by the Censor may be accepted as

The weather yesterday varied throughout the country. While in the
extreme north it was warm and sunny, in the south snow fell. A violent
hailstorm swept Battersea from end to end; yet in Stornoway the day was
marked by a sky of cloudless blue. Once more the climate of these
islands showed itself to be a fickle and unstable thing.

[The above has been submitted to the Censor, who sees no reason why it
should be withheld from the public; and it may therefore be taken that
in the main it is moderately accurate.--ED.]

Lady A.'s dinner-party at the Ritz Hotel last evening was not a great
success. The decorations of pink carnations were but moderately admired
by her undistinguished guests. The Blue Petrogradese Orchestra played
without particular brilliance. Among those absent without reason
assigned were the Duke and Duchess of W., the Earl and Countess X., the
Bishop of Y., and Mr. Z., the unknown poet.

[The above has been submitted to the Censor, who possessed no official
knowledge of the facts, but considered that the report had an air of
sufficient probability.--ED.]

* * * * *


Commemorate, ye gods, the noble mind
Of Brown (A. J.), a youth of classic parts,
Whose soul was ever faultlessly inclined
To music, verse, and all the gracious arts;
At things of taste, in fact, Augustus John
Was always, and is yet, a perfect don.

But lately I have fathomed deeps unknown
Before in my incomparable friend;
No mere artistic trifler, he has shown
A patriot heart of high heroic trend,
And showered sacrifice with fearless hand
Upon the altar of his Motherland.

I haled him to a "music" hall to hear
The Great Recruiting Song, and watched him wince
And writhe throughout, as though his end were near;
But now I learn that, every evening since,
Brown has been there, in England's sacred cause,
To greet that patriot song with loud applause!

* * * * *


Just as adversity sometimes brings out men's strongest characteristics,
hitherto unsuspected, so can amateur theatricals lead to surprising
discoveries of humour and resource. Everyone must have noticed it.

No one had ever credited Aunt Louisa with any dramatic sense whatever.
She is so gentle and so placid. She was always something of a knitter,
and, like all essential knitters, given to sitting a little outside of
life; but since the war broke out she has knitted practically without
ceasing; and who would dream of going to a knitter for stage effects?

Therefore we were astonished when, in talking over the projected
Saturday night's entertainment, Aunt Louisa ventured the statement that
she had thought out a scheme for a little interlude, and might she be
permitted to carry it out? Just a mere fill up, but topical, or possibly
even more than topical--prophetic.

Of course she might.

"Is it a tableau?" our stage manager inquired.

"No, I shouldn't call it a tableau," said Aunt Louisa; "I should call it
a song scena."

How on earth did she hear that phrase? She never goes to music-halls. I
would as soon expect to hear her speak of "featuring."

"A song scena," she went on, "the hero of which is the KAISER; and I
shall want half-a-dozen gentlemen to assist."

The busy fingers knitted away and the gold spectacles were fixed on us
with bland benignity. Aunt Louisa writing a song scena and ordering a
chorus, just like Mr. GEORGE EDWARDES, was not the least of the miracles
produced by this war.

A company of six of us volunteered, of whom I was one. Another was Mr.
Herbert Foley, who has made private theatricals his life study.

"Anything I can do to help you in coaching the performers and so on," he
said, "I shall be only too pleased to do. You know I'm no chicken at
this sort of thing."

"Thank you," said Aunt Louisa, "but I think I can manage."

"All right," replied Mr. Foley, "but, of course----. Want of

"First of all," said Aunt Louisa, "I must choose a Kaiser. Someone who
can act."

We all became very self-conscious. Our expressions said severally, "No
one can act as well as I, but it's rotten form to push oneself forward."

Aunt Louisa scanned us narrowly and, much to everybody else's surprise,
picked out Tommy Thurlow. To my mind she could not have made a worse
choice; but, as it happened, her judgment was sound.

Foley seemed piqued. "Then what do _we_ do?" he asked.

"You are chorus men," said she.

"Chorus!" said Foley.

"Isn't that the right word? I know so little about these things. Perhaps
I ought to have said 'supers.'"

She then told us what to do, knitting all the while.

On the evening Aunt Louisa's song scena was the success of the show. It
was called "The Haunted Kaiser," and it began with a distracted demented
Tommy Thurlow, with the familiar Potsdam moustache and an excellent wig
from London, rushing on with his fingers in his ears. No doubt as to who
it was--the WAR LORD in a state bordering on delirium. Having calmed
down a little, he began to sing:--

For years and years I'd waited,
Preparing for _The Day_----
The day that meant for Germany
A universal sway.
Alas, alack,
For my set back!

At this point a number of tea-trays were smitten resonantly "off." Tommy
dramatically heard them and sang:--

What's that that smites upon my ear,
The sound of cruel guns I hear,
That sound of fear?

More tea-tray.

The British, French and Russians
They are murdering my Prussians:
Why did I make this war?
They're in my way by day, by night:
In vain, in vain I take to flight,
I'll hear them evermore----
Those guns! Those guns!

Tremendous applause, while Tommy prepared for the second verse and Aunt
Louisa's great effect.

Alas! for my ambition,
My glory passed away!
What is there left of Germany
But misery to-day?
Alack, alas,
For such a pass!

Here on several concertinas in different parts of the hall, as well as
upstairs, was heard, "It's a long way to Tipperary." Tommy began to
behave like a maniac.

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Main -> Seaman, Owen, Sir -> Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, November 18, 1914

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