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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 26, 1916   By:

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VOL. 150.

January 26, 1916.


Some idea of the financial straits in which English people find themselves may be gathered from the statement that the first forced strawberries of the season fetched no more than ten shillings a pound. The Germans proudly point out that their forced loans fetched more than that.

A kindly M.P. has suggested that our German naval prisoners should be employed in making the projected the ship canal between the Firths of Forth and Clyde. At present they suffer terribly from a form of nostalgia known as canal sickness.

Owing to the scarcity of hay in the Budapest Zoo the herbivorous animals are being fed on chestnuts, and several local humorous papers have been obliged to suspend publication.

As the two Polar bears refused to flourish on a war diet they were condemned to death, and a Hungarian sportsman paid twelve pounds for the privilege of shooting them. No arrangements have yet been concluded for finishing off the Russian variety.

Old saw, adapted by an American journalist: Call no one happy until he is HEARST.

We all know that marriage is a lottery. But the New Zealand paper which headed an announcement of President WILSON'S engagement, "Wild Speculation," was, we trust, taking an unduly gloomy view.

The fact that the POSTMASTER GENERAL and the ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL are as like as two PEASES was bound to cause a certain amount of confusion. Still we hardly think it justified a Welsh paper in placing a notice of their achievements under the heading: "Pea Soup and Salt Beef: 300 Sailors Poisoned."

In the endeavour to decide authoritatively what is a new laid egg the Board of Agriculture has sought information from various sources, but is reported to be still sitting. There is some fear that the definition will be addled.

In tendering birthday congratulations to Mr. AUSTIN DOBSON a contemporary noted that "many of his most charming poems and essays were written amid; their the prosaic surroundings of the Board of Trade," and described him as "a fine example of a poet rising above his environment." Mr. EDMUND GOSSE, who was a colleague of Mr. DOBSON at Whitehall Gardens during his most tuneful period, is inclined to think this last remark uncalled for.

It is estimated that 843,920 house holders read with secret joy the paragraph in last week's papers stating that spring cleaning is likely to cost the housekeeper this year considerably more than usual both for materials and labour; that 397,413 of them repeated it to their wives, suggesting that here was a chance for a real war economy; and that one (a deaf man) persisted in the suggestion after his wife had given her views on the subject.

On reading that London people spend on an average seven shillings a year in theatre tickets, a manager expressed the opinion that according to his experience this calculation was not quite fair. Account should also have been taken of the very large sum which they expend on stamps when writing for free admissions.

It is evident that recent events have had a chastening effect upon Bulgarian ambitions. After receiving a field marshal's baton from the KAISER, KING FERDINAND is reported to have expressed his hope that by co operation their countries would obtain that to which they had a right. The KAISER then left Nish in a hurry.

From El Paso (Texas) comes news that a band of Mexican bandits stopped a train near Chicuabar, seized seventeen persons, stripped them of clothing, robbed them, and then shot them dead. There is some talk of their being elected Honorary Germans.

China has sent a trial lot of small brown eggs packed in sawdust to this country, and it is thought that after all we shall be able to have a General Election.

[Illustration: Private Jones ( crawling out after being buried by a shell explosion )... Continue reading book >>

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