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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-04-21
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, 1920-04-21" ***

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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 158.



April 21st, 1920.



CHARIVARIA.

It appears that Irish criminals may be divided into three classes (_a_) The
ones you can't catch; (_b_) The ones you have caught but can't convict;
(_c_) The ones you have convicted but can't keep in prison.

* * *

To such an extent has America gone dry that nearly all letters despatched
from Scotsmen living over there are posted with the stamps pinned to the
envelopes.

* * *

"We are certainly going to gain by the sale of the Slough works," said Mr.
BONAR LAW last week. Whether to an extent that will justify the Government
for having kept _The Daily Mail_ waiting like that is another question.

* * *

Mr. JAMES FOWLER of Deptford has offered to walk from Westminster Bridge to
Brighton with a jar on his head. We assume that he has mislaid his hat.

* * *

In Hertfordshire the other day a boy was knocked down by a funeral-car. It
may have been an accident, but it has all the appearance of greed.

* * *

A constable giving evidence at Willesden police-court said a prisoner
called him a "sergeant-major." We feel sure the fellow could not have meant
it.

* * *

Mrs. ALICE L. YOCUM, of Boone, U.S.A., has just obtained her thirteenth
divorce. It is said that she has the finest collection of husbands in
America.

* * *

The man who last week said he had not read "Another Powerful Article" by
Mr. HORATIO BOTTOMLEY in the Sunday Press is thought to be an impostor.

* * *

Parents in New York who are afraid of losing their children may register
them at the Bureau of Missing People. As we have no such institution in
this country parents must adopt the old method of writing their names and
addresses on the top right-hand corner of their offspring.

* * *

Any wind blowing at more than seventy miles an hour, says an informing
paper, may be called a hurricane. At the same time we doubt if this would
have much effect on it.

* * *

Our sympathy is with the young Flight Lieutenant of the R.A.F. who has been
unable to keep up with the uniforms designed by the Air Ministry. He is now
said to be three uniforms behind.

* * *

It is claimed that whilst standing on a certain rock near Aberdeen one can
obtain a thousand echoes from a single shout. We understand that the local
habit of going there in order to pull a cork out of a bottle has now been
prohibited owing to the annoyance caused to American visitors.

* * *

A large grocery warehouse in Liverpool was practically destroyed by fire
last Thursday week. We understand that the orderly manner in which the
cheeses fell in and marched out of the danger-zone was alone responsible
for preventing a panic.

* * *

"Keep smiling and you will never need a doctor," advises a writer in an
illustrated daily. A friend of ours who put it to the test now writes to us
from a well-known county asylum advising us to choose the doctor.

* * *

According to a morning paper, Micky, the oldest ape in the Zoo, now wears a
mournful expression and seems to be tired of life. It is thought that he
may have recently overhead the remark made by a thoughtless visitor that he
was growing more like a Bolshevik every day.

* * *

A certain lamp-post in Maida Vale has been knocked down twice by the same
bus. If the bus knocks it down once more the lamp becomes its own property.

* * *

The amazing report that one of the first six to finish in the London to
Brighton walk was once a telegraph-boy is now denied.

* * *

There is a man living in the Edgware Road, it is stated, who has never been
on an omnibus. He has often seen them whizzing by, he declares, but has
always resisted the temptation to take the fatal plunge.

* * *

There will be no Naval manoeuvres this year, it is announced. How under
these conditions Mr. POLLEN can continue to teach the Navy its business is
a very grave question.

* * *

At a St. Dunstan's auction at Thornton Heath autographs of Mr. GEORGE ROBEY
and the PREMIER were sold at ten shillings each. Mr. ROBEY, it appears,
generously insisted on treating the matter as a joke.

* * *

A Manchester scientist claims to have discovered a means of making
vegetable alcohol undrinkable without impairing its usefulness. It looks as
if the secret of Government ale must have leaked out at last.

* * *

We are in a position to deny a report which was being spread in connection
with a certain Model Village scheme, to the effect that the model
bricklayer had refused to perform unless he was provided with a model
public-house, while the model public-house could not be provided until the
model bricklayer started work.

* * *

Bonnet strings, says a fashion paper, will be worn by _débutantes_ this
summer. Apron strings, we gather, will continue to be unfashionable with
our flappers.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _British Museum Official._ "NO, YOU CAN'T GET INTO THE MUMMY
GALLERY. THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE STILL THERE."

_Rustic._ "WHAT! AIN'T THEY SORTED 'EM OUT YET?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA.

ENGLAND TO HER FRANCE.

  This is a joyous trysting-place, my love,
    With no inconstant climate to distract us;
  Pure azure is the sky that laughs above
    These admirable bowers of prickly cactus,
  Where we may nestle, conjugating _amo_
             (Dear old San Remo!).

  We've had our difference, as lovers do;
    A slight misunderstanding came between us;
  But that is past; the sky (I said) is blue
    And this the very sea that nurtured Venus;
  Come, like her doves amid the groves of myrtle--
             Come, let us turtle.

  "How can they ever kiss again?" 'twas said;
    But Love made light of that absurd conundrum;
  And lo! your breast is pillow to my head,
    And we've a pair of hearts that beat as one drum;
  Our bonds, if anything, are even more
             Tight than before.

  Your independence caused a passing pain,
    But now, I thank you, I am feeling better;
  You'll never go upon your own again
    Nor I will write another nasty letter;
  Embrace me, then, for sign of love's renewal,
             _Mon bijou_ (jewel).


  O.S.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE IDENTIFICATION OF HOBBS.

Old Hobbs, the gardener, has been in our family longer than I have.
Although we live within twenty miles of London only once has he made the
journey to the great city, for that one memorable day so nearly ended in
disaster that he always speaks of it with a shudder. Indeed, but for the
arrival of Mrs. Hobbs, belated, flustered and inquiring everywhere for her
man, he must assuredly have spent the night in a police-station.

This is how it all happened. Mrs. Hobbs was returning from a visit to
relations in Sussex, and her husband was to meet her in London, convoy her
across the city and bring her home. In order to avail himself of a cheap
fare Hobbs left by the 7.30 train, though his wife would not arrive till
four o'clock in the afternoon.

He managed to get across London somehow. After locating the station at
which Mrs. Hobbs was to arrive his intention was to spend the day "looking
round London a bit;" but the crowds and the traffic were too much for the
old countryman, so he sought safety by staying where he was.

Time hung heavily after a while. He lingered round the bookstall looking at
the books and papers till a pert girl behind the counter asked him if he
wouldn't like a chair; but when Hobbs, who was never rude and consequently
never suspected rudeness in other people, raised his hat and said, "No,
thank'ee, Miss, I be all right standing," even the pert girl was disarmed.

Next he amused himself counting the milk-churns on the platform. Then he
killed time by interesting himself in the stacks of unattended luggage and
examining the labels; and at three o'clock a railway policeman laid a hand
on his shoulder and asked him what his game was.

Hobbs, a little startled but clear in conscience, told his tale.

"That don't do for me," announced the constable. "I been keeping
observation on you since nine, and your wife don't arrive till four, so you
say. I seen you hanging round the luggage and fingering parcels, and you'll
just come with me to the police-office as a suspected person loitering. An
old luggage-thief, I should say, to put it quite plain."

"Me a thief!" gasped Hobbs, roused to realities; "why, I've worked ever
since I was twelve, and me sixty-three now; I was never a thief, Sir. Look
at me hands."

The constable inspected them critically. "They're a bit horny certainly;
but then that may be only your dam artfulness. Come on and talk to the
Sergeant."

The Railway Police-Sergeant briskly inquired his name, address, occupation
and all the rest of it. Hobbs gave a good account of himself and mentioned
that he had worked in our family for forty-two years.

"Any visiting-cards, correspondence or other papers to identify you?" asked
the Sergeant mechanically. He had said it so often to the people who cry
"Season! Season!" when there is no Season.

Hobbs confessed to having none of these things; and no, he knew no one in
London.

"Then you'll stay here till four," pronounced the Sergeant, "and we'll see
if this good lady of yours comes along."

But, alas! no Mrs. Hobbs appeared. "Must have missed the train," suggested
Hobbs despairingly. "P'r'aps the trap broke down or something."

There was only one more train, it seemed, and that was not due until nine.

"Oh, I don't think my missus 'ud like to be so late as that," said the
suspect. "She'd wait till the morning. I don't reckon she'll come
to-night."

"No more don't I." The constable was beginning to enjoy himself. "If I was
you I should drop the bluff and own I was fair caught. If you was to ask
me, I should say you didn't look like a married man at all. We'll see what
the Sergeant says now."

The Sergeant was accordingly consulted. He too was rather sceptical.

"If there's any truth in what you say you'd better wire to this gentleman
at Monk's Langford that you say you work for, and try if we can identify
you somehow," he advised. And to the constable, "Take him to the Telegraph
Office and let him send his wire. Then bring him back here. Mind he don't
give you the slip."

So Hobbs, sighing deeply and perspiring freely, wrote his message: "Sir,
they have got me in the police-station here and say I am a suspected
person, which you know I never was, having worked for you, Sir, and your
father for forty-two years. But the Sargeant here says he wants proofs, and
you, Sir, must vouch for me as being respectable, which you know I am, and
none of us was ever thieves. So will you please do so, Sir, and oblige, as
this leaves me at present, George Hobbs."

The clerk glanced at it. "It's a long message," he said; "it'll cost four
or five shillings."

Hobbs hadn't got that--no, really he hadn't.

The constable standing on guard, rather bored, interposed, "We ain't asking
you to write a book about it."

"No, Sir, I couldn't do that," replied Hobbs anxiously. "What would you
say, Sir, if you was me?"

"Don't ask me," answered the policeman. "It's your wire, not mine. Send
something you can pay for. We only wants to find out if you're the person
you say you are. Daresay you'd like me to write it for you, and you 'op it
while I done it. I seen your kind before. Try again, mate."

So Hobbs tried again. And that is how it came about that at tea-time a
telegraph-boy brought me the bewildering message: "Mr. Lockwood, The Nook,
Monk's Langford. Sir, am I Hobbs? Hobbs."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LOVERS' QUARRELS.

JOHN BULL (_to France_). "WONDERFUL HOW A LITTLE STORM IN A TEA-POT BRINGS
OUT THE FLAVOUR!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OUTSIDE THE RADIUS.

_Strong Man._ "NOW THEN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, KIND APPRECIATION, IF YOU
PLEASE. YOU SHORLY DON'T EXPECT A GENUINE WEST-END PERFORMER TO 'ALF KILL
'ISSELF IN THE SUBUBS FOR FOURPENCE?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIDGE NOTES.

(_With acknowledgments to several contemporaries._)

It would, I feel, be but fair to the great Bridge-playing public to preface
these few notes with a word of warning against the writers whom I find to
my regret affecting to speak with authority on this subject in other
periodicals. Until, as in the kindred profession of Medicine, it is
impossible to practise without a Bridge degree, nothing can be done to
prevent these quacks from laying down the law. All I can do for the present
is to point out that there is only one writer who can speak not merely with
authority, but with infallibility, upon all matters pertaining to our
national game.

In this the eighth instalment of my series on Auction etiquette, I should
like to urge once more upon the young Bridge-player the importance of
playing quickly. And this because yet another case has come under my notice
in which much trouble might have been avoided by doing so. In this case A.
took seven minutes to decide whether to play the King or the Knave, which,
especially as the Queen had already been played, was, I consider, far too
long. Y., the declarer, sitting on A.'s left, certainly found it so, for
towards the end of the seventh minute he dropped off to sleep and his cards
fell forward face upward on the table. Dummy having gone away in search of
liquid refreshment, A. and his partner B. then played out the hand as they
liked and then roused Y. to inform him that, instead of making game, he had
lost three hundred above.

Now, A. and B. were strictly within the rules of Auction Bridge in acting
as they did. There is no legal time limit for players, as there is at
cricket. But it would have been more tactful had they roused Y. at once,
that he might see what they were doing with his cards.

Nor should tact be confined to such comparatively rare incidents as this.
For instance, it is a mistake to confuse Auction Bridge with Rugby
football. I have known players who declared "Two No-trumps" in very much
the same manner as that in which a Rugby football-player throws the
opposing three-quarter over the side-line. Excessive aggression is a
mistake. A young Civil Servant of my acquaintance even went so far as to
abstain from claiming an obvious revoke when the delinquent was the chief
of his department. Unfortunately, however, this young man, so wise in other
ways, had the annoying habit of turning his chair to bring him luck. On one
evening, when the run of the cards was against him, he turned his chair
between every hand and so annoyed his chief that no promotion has ever come
his way, and he now spends his days bitterly regretting that he did not
claim that revoke.

Passing to another point, I am asked by a correspondent if it is
permissible occasionally to play from left to right, instead of from right
to left, just to relieve the monotony. He asks, not unreasonably, why, if
this is not so, writers on Bridge go to the trouble of putting those little
curved arrows to show which way round the cards are to be played.

For myself, I see no reason why the right-to-left convention should not
occasionally be reversed, always provided that the whole table agrees
beforehand to play in the same direction.

There are many other points to which I should like to refer, and many
players to whom I should like to give a word of warning. There is the
player who suddenly breaks off to join in the conversation of other people
who happen to be in the room. There is the player who whistles to himself
while he is playing: this is a grave fault, nor does the class of music
whistled affect the question; the _Preislied_ performed through the teeth
is quite as exasperating as _K-K-Katie_. Then there is the player who
breathes so hard with the exertion of the game that he blows the cards
about the table. Finally there is the player who slaps the face of his or
her partner. This is a mistake, however great the provocation. I have not
space now to deal exhaustively with these breaches of Auction etiquette.
Besides, I have to keep something in hand for future articles.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Foreman (to new hand)._ "WHAT ARE YOU DOIN' THERE?"

_New Hand._ "OILIN' THE WHEELBARROW."

_Foreman._ "WELL, JUST LET IT ALONE. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MACHINERY?"]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MADDING CROWD.

The scene is an Irish Point-to-Point meeting.

The course lies along a shallow valley, bounded on the north by a wall of
cloudy blue mountains.

At each jump stands a group of spectators; the difficulty or danger of an
obstacle may be measured by the number of spectators who stand about it,
recounting tales of past accidents and hoping cheerfully for the future.
Motor cars, side-cars, waggonettes, pony-traps and ass-carts are drawn up
anyhow round a clump of whitewashed farm buildings in the background.

Blanketed hunters are having their legs rubbed or being led up and down by
grooms. Comes a broken-winded tootle on a coach-horn and the black-and-
scarlet drag of the local garrison trundles into view. The unsophisticated
gun-horses in the lead shy violently at the flapping canvas of an
orange-stall and swerve to the left into a roulette-booth presided over by
a vociferous ancient in a tattered overcoat and blue spectacles. The
gamblers scatter like flushed partridges and the ancient bites the turf
beneath his upturned board amid a shower of silver coins. The leaders,
scared by the animated table, and the blood-curdling invocations and
wildly-waving arms and legs of the fallen croupier, shy violently in the
opposite direction and disappear into the refreshment-tent, whence issue
the crash of crockery and the shrieks of the attendant Hebes. (Lieut.-
Commander KENWORTHY should have some questions to pop about this at
Westminster when next the Irish Question comes up.)

The bookmakers are perched a-top of a grassy knoll which overlooks the
whole course, and around them surges the crowd.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Scarecrow (in somebody's cast-off dinner-jacket and somebody else's
abandoned hunting breeches.)_ Kyard of the races! Kyard of the races!

_Farmer._ Here y' are. How much?

_Scarecrow._ Wan shillin'-an'-sixpence, Sorr.

_Farmer._ There's "Price wan shillin'" printed on ut, ye blagyard.

_Scarecrow._ The sixpence is for the Government's little Intertainmints
Tax, Sorr.

_Farmer._ Oh, go to the divil!

_Scarecrow._ Shure an' I will if yer honour'll give me a letther of
inthroduction. We'll call ut a shillin', thin, and I'll sthand the loss
mesilf.

[_Farmer parts with the price and the Scarecrow dodges swiftly into the
crowd. The Farmer peruses the card and frowns in a puzzled way; then the
date catches his eye and he curses and tears the list to pieces._

_Farmer._ Drat take the little scut; he's sold me last year's kyard!

_Cattle-Dealer (shouting)._ Hi, sthop him there!

_Farmer._ Whist, let him go. Let him trap some others first the way I'll
not be the only mug on the market this day.

_Trickster (setting up his table and jerking his cards about)._ I'm afther
losin' a pony to thim robbers beyant, but, as Pierpont Rockafeller said to
Jawn D. Morgan, "business is business, an' if ye don't speculate ye won't
accumulate." Spot the dame and my money's yours; spot the blank and yours
is mine. "The quickness of the hand deceives the eye, or vicy-versy," as
Lord Carnegie remarked to Andrew Rothschild. Walk up, walk up, my sporty
gintlemen and thry yer luck wid the owld firm.

_Farmer._ There go the harses down to the post. Who's that leadin' on the
black?

_Dealer._ Young Misther Darley, no less. 'Tis a great fella for all kinds
of divarsion he is, the same. I was beyant to Darleystown this week past
and found him fightin' a main o'cocks before the fire in his grandmother's
drawin'-room. Herself riz up off her bed and gave the two of us the father
and mother of a dhrubbin' wid her crutch, an' she desthroyed wid the gout
an' all.

_Farmer._ 'Tis herself has the great heart. Hey! that's never Clancy goin'
down on the owld foxey mare? Faith, it's sorra a ha'porth cud she course or
lep these fifteen years.

_Dealer._ Lep, is ut? Shure she'll spring out like a birrd an' fear no foe
by dint of the two bottles of potheen she has taken an' the couple o' lads
Clancy has stationed at ivvery jump to let a roar at her an' hearthen her
wid the sthroke of an ash-plant as she comes at ut.

_First Country Boy._ Arrah, they're off, they're away!

_Second Country Boy._ Thin let us down to the big double, avic, and be the
grace of God we'll see a corpse.

_Girl in Brown (hopping from one foot to the other)._ Can you see Freddy,
Uncle George? Is he in front? I'm sure he is. He hasn't fallen, has he? He
won't fall, will he? I'm sure he will. I do hope he'll win; I _know_ he
won't. The jumps look frightful, and I'm certain he'll break his darling
neck. Oh, where _is_ he, Uncle George?

_Uncle George._ Here, take my field-glasses.

_Girl in Brown._ I can't see, I can't see.

_Uncle George (drily)._ Try looking through them the other way round.

_Beshawled Crone (towing an aged beggar-man who wears a framed placard
reminding the public that "charity covers a multitude of sins," and
announcing that the bearer is not only "teetotally" deaf and dumb, but also
blind, barmy and partially paralysed)._ May God's blessin' and the
blessin's of all the howly Saints an' Martyrs be on ye, and would ye spare
a little copper for a poor owld sthricken crature an' I'll pray for ye this
night an' ivvery night of me life?

_Girl in Brown._ Give her a shilling, Uncle George, and tell her to pray
for Freddy _now_.

[Uncle George _does the needful_.

_Beggar-man (miraculously recovering his speech)._ Whist! Was that a
shillin' he gave ye? That makes ten ye have now, thin. Bun like a hare an'
put ut on Acrobat at the best ye can get.

_Farmer._ Clancy leads be a length.

_Dealer._ Thin 'tis a hardy rider will dare pass the owld foxey mare now,
for she'd reach out an' chew the leg off him, she's that jealous.

_Farmer._ Woof! Pat Maguire is into the wather head-first an' dhrinkin' a
bellyful, I'll warrant--which same will be a new sensation for him.

_Dealer._ It will indeed. 'Tis a wonder he wouldn't send a lad round the
course before him givin' the ditches a dash from a pocket-flask the way
he'd be in his iliment should he take a toss--the thirsty poor fella!

_Farmer._ The foxey mare is down on her nose an' Clancy throwing somersets
all down the course. Acrobat has ut.

_Dealer._ He has not. He is all bet up. He's rollin' like a Wexford
pig-boat. Beau Brocade has the legs of him.

_Girl in Brown (jumping up and down)._ Beau Brocade! Beau Brocade! Oh,
Freddy darling!

_Beggar-man (miraculously recovering his sight)._ Acrobat! Put the whip to
him, ye lazy varmint! Acrobat! Och, wirra, wirra!

_Dealer._ Beau Brocade has him cot. He is on his quarther. He is on his
shoulder. They are neck and neck. He has him bet. Huroosh!

_Farmer._ What are you hurooshin' for--you with five poun' on Acrobat?

_Dealer (crestfallen)._ Och, dang it, I was forgettin'.

_Girl in Brown (dancing and clapping her hands)._ Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

_Beggar-man._ ***!!! ***!!!

[_Local brass band, throned in a dilapidated waggonette, explodes into the
opening strains of "Garryowen."_

PATLANDER.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "The question which arises in the mind of
    the writer is this:--'Is Salicylic Aldehyde
    "C6H4




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