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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 152, January 3, 1917   By:

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VOL. 152.

January 3, 1917.

[Illustration: Vol. Clii.]


"Yes, Sir," said Sergeant Wally, accepting one of my cigarettes and readjusting his wounded leg, "yes, Sir, discipline's the thing. It's only when a man moves on the word o' command, without waiting to think, that he becomes a really reliable soldier. I remember, when I was a recruit, how they put us through it. I'd been on the square about a week. I was a fairly smart youngster, and I thought I was jumping to it just like an old soldier, when the drill sergeant called me out of the ranks. Look 'ere,' he said, 'if you think you're going to make a fool o' me, standing about there till you choose to obey the word o' command, you've made a big mistake.' I could 'a' cried at the time, but I've been glad often enough since for what the sergeant said that day. I've found that little bit of gag useful myself many a time."

I was meditating with sympathy upon the many victims of Sergeant Wally's borrowed sarcasm when he spoke again.

"When I first came up to London from the depôt," he said, "I'd a brother, a corporal in the same battalion. You know as well as I do, Sir, that as a matter o' discipline a corporal doesn't have any truck with a private soldier, excepting in the way of duties, and my brother didn't speak to me for the first week. Then one day he called me up and said, 'It ain't the thing for me to be going about with you, but as you're my brother I'll go out with you to night. Have yourself cleaned by six o'clock.'

"Well, I took all the money I'd got about twelve bob and off we went.

"We had a bit o' supper first at a place my brother knew of, and a very good supper it was. My brother ordered it, but I paid. Then we got a couple of cigars at least, I did. Then we went to a music hall, me paying, of course. We had a drink during the evening, and when we came out my brother said, 'We'd better come in here and have a snack.'

"'Well, I ain't got any money left,' I sez. My brother looked at me a minute, and then he said, 'I don't know what I've been thinking of, going about with you, you a private and me a corporal. Be off 'ome !' And he stalks away.

"Yes, Sir, discipline's the thing. Thank you, I'll have another cigarette."


"The bride, who was given away by her father, looked happy and handsome in a beautiful red fern dress." Allahabad Pioneer .


Now with the New born Year, when people issue Greetings appropriate to all concerned, Allow me, WILLIAM, cordially to wish you Whatever peace of mind you may have earned; It doesn't sound too fat, But you will have to be content with that.

For you will get no other, though you ask it; No peace on diplomatic folios writ, Like what you chucked in your waste treaty basket, Torn into fragments, bit by little bit; In these rude times we shrink From vain expenditure of pulp and ink.

You hoped to start a further scrap of paper And stretched a flattering paw in soft appeal, Purring as hard as tiger cats at play purr With velvet padding round your claws of steel; A pretty piece of acting, But, ere we treat, those claws'll want extracting.

You thought that you had just to moot the question And say you felt the closing hour had come And we should simply jump at your suggestion And all the Hague with overtures would hum; You'd but to call her up, And Peace would follow like a well bred pup.

But Peace and War are twain (see Chadband's platitude); War you could summon by your single self, But Peace for she adopts a stickier attitude Takes two to mobilise her off the shelf; Unless one side's so weak That, try his best, he cannot raise a squeak.

When things are thus and you have had your beating, We'll talk and you can listen... Continue reading book >>

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