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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 5, 1916   By:

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VOL. 150

JANUARY 5, 1916.

The Whitefriars Press.


I will not breakfast in my bed With downy cushions at my head; That would be very wrong and so Away the eggs and bacon go!

I will not read in bed at night And burn the dear electric light; Nor buy another costly hat; Oh no! I'm much too good for that.

But I will rise before the dawn And weed and cut and roll the lawn; My border I will plant with veg, Abundantly from hedge to hedge.

And all the day I'll practise thrift And no more happily will drift In deeper debt, as once, alas! But what an awful year I'll pass.

The Art of Sinking.

"Altogether we sank one gunboat, five steamers (one of 3,000 tons), and 17 large sailing ships, three trains, and one railway embankment." Manchester Guardian.

Very Light Marching Order.

From a notice issued to recruits for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force:

"You should report wearing a pair of serviceable boots, and bring with you your toilet outfit no additional clothing is required."

"In a conversation with members of the Press Mr. Ford said now was the time for peace on the basis of the status quo anti bellum ."

Scotch Paper.

He always spells it that way.


"I gather, Sir," remarked my fellow traveller, after I had put away the writing block on which I had been jotting down the outline of an article, "that you are a literary man, like myself?"

We were the only occupants of a compartment in a L. & N. W. R. carriage. I had been too absorbed till then to notice his appearance, but I now observed that he had rather unkempt hair, luminous eyes, and a soft hat. "Oh, well," I admitted, "I write."

"But I take it that, whatever you write, it is not poetry ," he said. What led him to this inference I cannot say, but I had to confess that it was correct.

"Still, even though you are not a Poet yourself, I hope," he said, "you can feel some sympathy for one who has been so infamously treated as I have."

I replied that I hoped so too.

"Then, Sir," said he, "I will tell you my unhappy story. At the beginning of this War I was approached by certain Railway magnates who shall be nameless. It appeared that they had realised, very rightly, that their official notices were couched in too cold and formal a style to reach the heart of their public. So they commissioned me to supply what I may term the human touch. As a poet, I naturally felt that this could only be effectively done through the medium of verse. Well, I rose to the occasion, Sir; I produced some lines which, printed as they were written, must infallibly have placed me at the head of all of my contemporaries. But they were not printed as they were written. In proof of which I will trouble you to read very carefully the opening paragraph of those 'Defence of the Realm Regulations' immediately above your head ... Only the opening paragraph at present, please!"

I was somewhat surprised, but, thinking it best to humour him, I read the first sentence, which was: " In view of possible attack by hostile aircraft, it is necessary that the blinds of all trains should be kept down after sunset ," and gave him my opinion of it.

"Whether," he said, with some acerbity, "it is or is not as lucidly expressed as you are pleased to consider, only the beginning of it is mine. This is what I actually wrote:

"'In view of possible attack By hostile aircraft overhead, 'Tis necessary now, alack! Soon as old Sol has sought his bed, That those who next the window sit, Though they'd prefer to watch the gloaming, Should draw the blind, nor leave a slit, Keeping it down until they're homing, Else on the metals will be thrown A glowing trail as from a comet, And Huns to whom a train is shown Will most indubitably bomb it!'

"That," he observed complacently, "is not only verse of the highest order, but clearly conveys the reason for such precautions, which the official mind chose to cut out... Continue reading book >>

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