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Mr. Punch's History of the Great War by Punch

Part 4 out of 5

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IMPERIAL TRAINER (to his dog Karl): "Now then, no nonsense: through you

[Illustration: THE CELESTIAL DUD.

KAISER: "Ha! A new and brilliant star added to my constellation of the

GENERAL FOCH: "On the wane, I think."

(It is anticipated in astronomical circles that the new star, _Nova
Aquilae_, will shortly disappear.)]

The long struggle between von Kuehlmann and the generals has ended in the
fall of the Minister; but not before he had indicated to the Reichstag the
possibility of another Thirty Years' War, and asserted that no intelligent
man ever entertained the wish that Germany should attain world-domination.
There was a time when this frank reflection on the Hohenzollern
intelligence would have constituted _lese-majeste._ Coming from a
Minister it amounts to a portent. Now he has gone, but the growing belief
that military operations cannot end the war has not been scotched by his
fall, and Herr Erzberger vigorously carries on the campaign against
Chancellor Hertling and the generals. Austria has been at last goaded into
resuming the offensive on the Italian Front and met with a resounding
defeat. It remains to be seen how Turkey and Bulgaria will respond to the
urgent appeals of their exacting master.

The ordeal of our men on the Western Front is terrible, but they have at
least one grand and heartening stand-by in the knowledge that they have
plenty of guns and no lack of shells behind them. This is the burden of the
"Song of Plenty" from an old soldier to a young one:

The shelling's cruel bad, my son,
But don't you look too black,
For every blessed German one
He gets a dozen back--
But I remember the days
When shells were terrible few
And never the guns could bark and blaze
The same as they do for you.

But they sat in the swamp behind, my boy, and prayed for a tiny shell,
While Fritz, if he had the mind, my boy, could give us a first-class
And I know that a 5.9 looks bad to a bit of a London kid,
But I tell you you were a lucky lad to come out when you did.

* * * * *
Up in the line again, my son,
And dirty work, no doubt,
But when the dirty work is done
They'll take the Regiment out--
But I remember a day
When men were terrible few
And we hadn't reserves a mile away
The same as there are for you,

But fourteen days at a stretch, my boy, and nothing about relief; Fight and
carry and fetch, my boy, with rests exceeding brief; And rotten as all
things sometimes are, they're not as they used to be, And you ought to
thank your lucky star you didn't come out with me.

* * * * *

Our mercurial Premier lays himself open to a good deal of legitimate
criticism, but for this immense relief, unstinted thanks are due to his
energy and the devoted labours of the munition workers, women as well as

The Admiralty have decided not to publish the Zeebrugge dispatches for fear
of giving information to the enemy. All he knows at present is that a score
and more of his torpedo-boats, submarines, and other vessels have been
securely locked up in the Bruges Canal by British Keyes. The Minister of
Pensions has told the House the moving story of what has already been done
to restore, so far as money and care can do it, the broken heroes of the
War, and Lord Newton's alleged obstructiveness in regard to the treatment
and exchange of prisoners has been discussed in the Lords. Mr. Punch's own
impression is that Lord Newton owes his unmerited position as whipping boy
to the fact that he does not suffer fools gladly, even if they come in the
guise of newspaper reporters; and that, unlike his illustrious namesake, he
has no use for the theory of gravity. Meanwhile the Kaiser, with a sublime
disregard for sunk hospital-ships and bombed hospitals, continues to
exhibit his bleeding heart to an astonished world.

[Illustration: A PITIFUL POSE

TEUTON CROCODILE: "I do so feel for the poor British wounded. I only wish
we could do more for them."

"We Germans will preserve our conception of Christian duty towards the sick
and wounded"--_From recent remarks of the Kaiser reported by a German

Now that the Food Controller has got into his stride, the nation has begun
to realise the huge debt it owes to his firmness and organising ability,
and is proportionately concerned to hear of his breakdown from overwork.
The queues have disappeared, supplies are adequate, and there are no
complaints of class-favouritism.

[Illustration: BOBBY (at the conclusion of dinner): "Mother, I don't know
how it is, but I never seem to get that--that--nice sick feeling

It is remarkable how the British soldier will pick up languages, or at
least learn to interpret them. Only last week an American corporal stopped
a British Sergeant and said: "Say, Steve, can you put me wise where I can
barge into a boiled-shirt biscuit-juggler who would get me some eats?" And
the Sergeant at once directed him to a cafe. The training of the new
armies, to judge by the example depicted by our artist, affords fresh proof
of the saying that love is a _liberal_ education.

The situation on the Parliamentary Front has been fairly quiet. The popular
pastime of asking when the promised Home Rule Bill is to be introduced is
no longer met by suitably varied but invariably evasive replies. The
Government has now frankly admitted that the policy of running Home Rule
and Conscription in double harness has been abandoned, and expects better
things from the new pair: Firm Government and Voluntary Recruiting. But
sceptics are unconvinced that the Government will abandon the leniency
prompted by "the insane view of creating an atmosphere in which something
incomprehensible is to occur."

[Illustration: MISTRESS (as the new troops go by): "Which of them is your

NURSEMAID (unguardedly): "I don't know yet, ma'am."]

The lavish and, in many cases, inexplicable distribution of the Order of
the British Empire bids fair to add a peculiar lustre to the undecorated.
The War has produced no stranger paradox than the case of the gentleman who
within the space of seven days was sentenced to six months' imprisonment
for a breach of the Defence of the Realm regulations and recommended for
the O.B.E. on account of good services to the country. The fact that the
recommendation was withdrawn hardly justified the assumption of a
Pacificist Member that a sentence under the Defence of the Realm Act was
regarded as the higher honour of the two.

There is one thing, however, that war at its worst cannot do. It cannot
make an Englishman forgo that peculiar and blessed birthright which enables
him to overthrow the Giant Despair with the weapon of whimsical humour--in
other words, to write, as a young officer has written for Mr. Punch, such a
set of verses as the following in June, 1918:


When noses first were carved for men
Of varied width and height,
Strange smells and sweet were fashioned then
That all might know delight--
Smells for the hooked, the snub, the fine,
The pug, the gross, the small,
A smell for each, and one divine
Last smell to soothe them all.

The baccy smell, the smell of peat,
The rough gruff smell of tweed,
The rain smell on a dusty street
Are all good smells indeed;
The sea smell smelt through resinous trees,
The smell of burning wood,
The saintly smell of dairies--these
Are all rich smells and good.

And good the smell the nose receives
From new-baked loaves, from hops,
From churches, from decaying leaves,
From pinks, from grocers' shops;
And smells of rare and fine bouquet
Proceed, the world allows,
From petrol, roses, cellars, hay,
Scrubbed planks, hot gin and cows.

But there's a smell that doth excel
All other smells by far,
Even the tawny stable smell
Or the boisterous smell of tar;
A smell stupendous, past compare,
The king of smells, the prize,
That smell which floods the startled air
When home-cured bacon fries!

All other smells, whate'er their worth,
Though dear and richly prized,
Are earthy smells and of the earth,
Are smells disparadised;
But when that smell of smells awakes
From ham of perfect cure,
It lifts the heart to heaven and makes
The doom of Satan sure.

How good to sit at twilight's close
In a warm inn and feel
That marvellous smell caress the nose
With promise of a meal!
How good when bell for breakfast rings
To pause, while tripping down,
And snuff and snuff till Fancy brings
All Arcady to Town!

But best, when day's first glimmerings break
Through curtains half withdrawn,
To lie and smell it, scarce awake,
In some great farm at dawn;
Cocks crow, the milkmaid clanks the pails,
The housemaid bangs the stairs;
And BACON suddenly assails
The nostrils unawares.

Noses of varied width and height
Doth kindly Heaven bestow,
And choice of smells for our delight,
That all some joy may know;
Noses and smells for all the race
That on this earth do dwell,
And for a final act of grace
The astounding bacon smell.

But the War has its drawbacks, and owing to its unexpected prolongation
there is a rumour that Mr. H.G. Wells will readjust his ideas on the
subject quarterly instead of twice a week as before.

_July, 1918._

"France's Day" was held on July 14 under the auspices of the British Red
Cross Committee. But this has been France's month, the month in which the
miracle of the first battle of the Marne has been equalled by the second,
and the Germans have been hurled back across the fatal river by the
tremendous counterstroke of General Foch.

[Illustration: HUN TO HUN

ATTILA (to Little Willie): "Speaking as one barbarian to another, I don't
recommend the neighbourhood. I found it a bit unhealthy myself."

(Attila's victorious progress across Gaul was finally checked on the plains
of Chalons.)]

[Illustration: VERY MUCH UP

A Champagne Counter-Offensive]

On the 15th the Germans launched their great offensive. On the 20th they
recrossed the Marne, and are now entitled to complain that General Foch not
only took over the French and British armies, but has recently started
taking over a good part of the German army. The neighbourhood has never
been a healthy one for the Huns since the days of Attila.

Fritz has crossed the Marne and recrossed it--according to plan--and is
already on the way to the Aisne. The battle of the rivers has begun again,
but on new lines. Yet this amazing turn of the tide has been taken very
quietly in France and England. The Allies have rung no joy-bells; they are
content with doing their best to give Germany no occasion for further
indulgence in that form of jubilation. And Germany is meeting them more
than half way, their authorities having ordered a supplementary requisition
of those church-bells which were exempted when the first confiscation was
made. "At this heavy hour," said von Kuehlmann to the Reichstag, "none of us
fully realise what we owe to the German Emperor." That was a month ago; the
realisation of their indebtedness has since advanced by leaps and bounds.
There are now 1,000,000 Americans in France. But the Kaiser and his
War-lords are still passing their victims through the fire to the
Pan-German Moloch, and threatening to send German generals to teach the
Austrian Army how to win offensives. It is even reported that the Germans
contemplate placing the ex-king of Greece on the throne of Finland.
Fantastic rumours are rife in these days; but there is only too good reason
to believe the report that the ex-Tsar, the Tsaritsa, and their daughters
have all been murdered by their brutal captors at Ekaterinburg. It seems
but yesterday when Nicholas was acclaimed as the Saviour and regenerator of
his people, and now Tsardom, irrevocably fallen from its high estate, has
gone down amid scenes of butchery and barbarity that eclipse the Reign of
Terror in France.

Little has happened at Westminster to indicate a consciousness on the part
of the members of the great and glorious events in France. The Irish
Expeditionary Force, after an absence of three months and a severe training
at home, has returned to the Parliamentary Front, and their war-cry is
"Devlin's the friend, not Shortt!" But the Chief Secretary was able to make
the gratifying announcement that the voluntary recruiting campaign is to be
assisted by several Nationalist M.P.'s, including Captain Stephen Gwynn,
who has been serving in the trenches, and Colonel Lynch, who, having raised
one Irish brigade to fight against us in the Boer War, and been sentenced
to death for doing it, has now, with an inconsistency we cannot too
gratefully recognise, undertaken to raise another to fight on our side. Mr.
Bonar Law has revealed the interesting fact that only 288 members of the
House of Commons have received titles, decorations, or offices of profit
since it was elected in December, 1910. The unnoticed residue are probably
wondering whether it is their own modesty or the shortsightedness of
Ministers that has caused them to be passed over. Mr. Billing, after
several pathetic but futile efforts to regain his place in the limelight,
has at last succeeded in getting himself named, suspended, and forcibly
assisted by four stalwart officials in his exit from the House--the most
salutary movement, in the opinion of most members, with which he has yet
been connected.

Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, in a recent speech, said that the association
between the two Services, the Royal Navy and the Mercantile Marine, had
been so close during the War, whatever that association might have been
before, that it seemed to him almost incredible that it could ever be
broken asunder. The First Sea Lord's statement is welcome and natural. But
there is nothing really new in this solidarity of the seas. The Secret of
the Ships is an old story:

On their ventures in the service of a Tudor King or Queen
All the ships were just as like as they could be,
For the merchantman gave battle, while the Royal ship was seen
As a not too simple trader over-sea:
Being heirs to ancient customs, when their upper sails came down
As a token of respect in passing by,
They would add the salutation in a language of their own,
"God speed you, we be sisters, thou and I."

As the centuries receded came a parting of the ways
Till in time the separation went so far
That a family was founded who were traders all their days,
And another who were always men-of-war;
But whene'er they dipped their colours, one in faith, they understood--
And the sea, who taught them both, could tell you why--
That the custom never altered, so the greeting still held good,
"God speed you, we be sisters, thou and I."

Then in days of common sacrifice and peril was it strange
That they ratified the union of the past?
While their Masters, unsuspecting, greatly marvelled at the change,
But they prayed with all their souls that it would last;
And the ships, who know the secret, go rejoicing on their way,
For whatever be the ensign that they fly,
Such as keep the seas with honour are united when they pray,
"God speed you, we be sisters, thou and I."



THE MOTHER: "Of course, I don't understand them, dear; but they give me a
dreadful feeling. I can't bear to look at them. Is it really like that at
the Front?"

THE WARRIOR (who has seen terrible things in battle): "Thank heaven, no,

England deplores the death of Lord Rhondda, who achieved success in the
most irksome and invidious of offices. He undertook the duties of Food
Controller in broken health, never spared himself, and died in harness. It
is to be hoped that he realised what was the truth--that he had won not
only the confidence but the gratitude of the public.

Spain has rendered herself unpleasantly conspicuous by developing and
exporting a new form of influenza, and a Spanish astrologer predicts the
end of the world in a few months' time. But we are not going to allow those
petty distractions to take our minds off the War. Here we may note that
Baron Burian's recent message indicates that but for the War everything
would be all right in Austria. Our artists are certainly determined not to
let us forget it. But the most valuable pictures do not find their way into
galleries, though they do not lack appreciative spectators.


CAMOUFLAGE OFFICER: "That's very clever. Who did it?"

SERGEANT. "Oh, that's by Perkins, sir--quite an expert. Used to paint
sparrows before the war and sell 'em for canaries."]

No record of the month would be complete without notice of the unique way
in which the Fourth of July has been celebrated by John Bull and Uncle Sam
in France. Truly such a meeting as this does make amends.

_August, 1918_.

July was a glorious month for the Allies, and August is even better. It
began with the recovery of Soissons; a week later it was the turn of the
British, and Sir Douglas Haig struck hard on the Amiens front; since then
the enemy have been steadily driven back by the unrelenting pressure of the
Allies, Bapaume and Noyon have been recaptured, and with their faces set
for home the Germans have learnt to recognise in a new and unpleasant sense
the truth of the Kaiser's saying, "The worst is behind us." The 8th of
August was a bad day for Germany, for it showed that the counter-offensive
was not to be confined to one section; that henceforth no respite would be
allowed from hammer-blows. The German High Command endeavours to
tranquillise the German people by _communiques_, the gist of which may
thus be rendered in verse:

In those very identical regions
That sunder the Marne from the Aisne
We advanced to the rear with our legions
Long ago and have done it again;
Fools murmur of errors committed,
But every intelligent man
Has accepted the view that we flitted
According to plan.

The French rivers have found their voice again:

'Twas the voice of the Marne
That began it with "Garn!
Full speed, Fritz, astarn!"
Then the Ourcq and the Crise
Sang "Move on, if you please."
The Ardre and the Vesle
Took up the glad tale,
And cried to the Aisne
"Wash out the Hun stain."
So all the way back from the Marne the French rivers
Have given the Boches in turn the cold shivers.

[Illustration: "ACCORDING TO PLAN"

LITTLE WILLIE: "Well, Father wanted a war of movement, and now he's got


GERMAN GENERAL: "Why the devil don't you stop these Americans coming
across? That's your job."

GERMAN ADMIRAL: "And why the devil don't you stop 'em when they _are_
across? That's yours."]


CHILD (who has been made much of by father home on leave for the first time
for two years): "Mummy dear, I like that man you call your husband."]

Hindenburg has confided to a newspaper correspondent that the German people
need to develop the virtue of patience. According to the _Berliner
Tageblatt_ he has declared that he was not in favour of the July
offensive. Ludendorff, on the other hand, may fairly point out that it
isn't his offensive any longer. Anyhow, Hindenburg is fairly entitled to
give Ludendorff the credit of it since Ludendorff's friends have always
said that he supplied the old Mud-Marshal with brains. The amenities of
the High Command are growing lively, since the Navy is also concerned,
and the failure of the U-boats to check the influx of American troops
needs a lot of explaining away. The good news from the Front has been
received at home with remarkable composure, when one considers the
acute anxiety of the last four months. But it is the way of England to
endure felicity with calmness and adversity with fortitude. In the House of
Lords Lord Inchcape and Lord Emmott have been propitiating Nemesis by their
warnings of the gloomy financial future that is in store for us, while in
the Commons the Bolshevist group below the gangway are apparently much
perturbed by the prospect that Russia may be helped on to her legs again by
the Allies. Mr. Dillon's indictment of the Government for their treatment
of Ireland has had, however, a welcome if unexpected result. Mr. Shortt,
the new Chief Secretary, an avowed and unrepentant Home Ruler, has been
telling Mr. Dillon's followers a few plain truths about themselves: that
they have made no effort to turn the Home Rule Act into a practical
measure; that instead of denouncing Sinn Fein they had followed its lead;
that they had attacked the Irish executive when they ought to have
supported it, and by their refusal to help recruiting had forfeited the
sympathy of the British working classes. Mr. Lloyd George, in his review
of the War, warned the peacemongers not to expect their efforts to
succeed until the enemy knew he was beaten, but vouchsafed no information
as to his alleged intention to go to the country in the political sense.
In spite of the Premier's warning the Pacificists made another futile
attempt on the very next day to convince the House that the Germans were
ready to make an honest peace if only our Government would listen to it.
They were well answered by Mr. Robertson, who was a Pacificist himself
until this War converted him, and by Mr. Balfour, who declared that we
were quite ready to talk to Germany as soon as she showed any sign of
a change of heart. Up to the present there has been no sign of it.

Food is still the universal topic. Small green apples, says a contemporary,
are proving popular. A boy correspondent, however, desires Mr. Punch to say
that he has a little inside information to the contrary. Nottingham
children, it is stated, are to be paid 3d. a pound for gathering
blackberries, but they are not to use their own receptacles. Captain
Amundsen is on his way to the Pole, but we fear that he will not find any
cheese there. The vocabulary of food control has even made its way to the
nursery. A small girl on being informed by her nurse that a new little baby
brother had come to live with her promptly replied: "Well, he can't stay
unless he's brought his coupons."


LATEST ADDITION TO MINISTRY STAFF: "What's the tea-time here?"

CICERONE: "Usual--three to five-thirty."]

Yet one of Mr. Punch's poets, in prophetic and optimistic strain, has
actually dared to speculate on the delights of life without "Dora";
Dickens, with the foresight of genius, wrote in "David Copperfield" how his
hero "felt it would have been an act of perfidy to Dora to have a natural
relish for my dinner."

The enterprise of _The Times_ in securing the reminiscences of the
Kaiser's American dentist (or gum-architect, as he is called in his native
land) has aroused mingled feelings. But the Kaiser is reported to have
stated in no ambiguous terms that if, after the War, any Americans are to
be given access to him, from Ambassadors downwards, they must be able
neither to read nor write. _The Times_ is also responsible for the
headline: "The Archangel Landing." There was a rumour of something of this
kind after Mons, but this is apparently official.

One prominent effect of the War has been to make two Propagandist
Departments flourish where none grew before, and it is to be feared that
the reflection on the industry of our new officials implied in the picture
on the previous page is not without foundation.

War has not only stimulated the composition, but the perusal of poetry,
especially among women:

When the Armageddon diet
Makes Priscilla feel unquiet,
She prescribes herself (from Pope)
An acidulated trope.

When the lard-hunt ruffles Rose
Wordsworth lulls her to repose,
While a snippet from the "Swan"
Stops the jam-yearn of Yvonne.

When the man-slump makes her fretty
Susie takes to D. Rossetti,
Though her sister Arabella
Rather fancies Wilcox (Ella).

When Evangelina swoons
At the sound of the maroons,
Mrs. Hemans comes in handy
As a substitute for brandy.

And when Auntie heard by chance
That the Curate was in France,
Browning's enigmatic lyrics
Helped to save her from hysterics.

_September, 1918_.

Since July 15th, when the Kaiser mounted a high observation post to watch
the launching of the offensive which was to achieve his crowning victory,
but proved the prelude of the German collapse, the conflict has raged
continuously and with uninterrupted success for the Allied Armies. The
Kaiser Battle has become the Battle of Liberation. The French bore the
initial burden of the attack, but since August 8 "hundreds of thousands of
unbeaten Tommies," to quote the phrase of a French military expert, have
entered into action in a succession of attacks started one after the other
all the way up to Flanders. Rawlinson, Home, and Byng have carried on the
hammer work begun by Mangin, Gouraud, and Debeney. Peronne has been
recovered, the famous Drocourt-Queant switch-line has been breached, the
Americans have flattened out the St. Mihiel salient. The perfect liaison of
British and French and Americans has been a wonderful example of combined
effort rendered possible by unity of command. "Marshal Foch strikes to-day
at a new front," is becoming a standing headline. And this highly desirable
"epidemic of strikes" is not confined to the Western Front. As
Generalissimo of all the Allied Forces the great French Marshal has planned
and carried out an _ensemble_ of operations designed to shatter and
demoralise the enemy at every point. The long inaction on the Salonika
Front has been ended by the rapid and triumphant advance of the British,
French, Serbians, and Greeks under General Franchet d'Esperey. Eight days
sufficed to smash the Bulgarians, and the armistice then granted was
followed four days later by the surrender of Bulgaria. In less than a
fortnight General Allenby pushed north from Jerusalem, annihilated the
Turkish armies in Palestine, and captured Damascus. And by the end of the
month the Hindenburg line had been breached and gone the way of the "Wotan"
line. Wotan was not a happy choice:

But even super-Germans are wont at times to nod,
And to borrow Wotan's aegis was indubitably odd;
For dark decline o'erwhelmed his line: he saw his god-head wane,
And his stately palace vanish in a red and ruinous vain.

[Illustration: STORM DRIVEN

THE KAISER: "I don't like this wind, my son. Which way is it?"


[Illustration: IN RESERVE

GERMAN EAGLE (to German Dove): "Here, carry on for a bit, will you I'm
feeling rather run down."]

Well may the Berlin _Tageblatt_ say that "the war stares us in the
face and stares very hard." When a daily paper announces "Half Crown
Prince's army turned over to another General," we are curious to know how
much the Half Crown Prince thinks the German Sovereign worth. But the end
is not yet. Our pride in the achievements of our Armies and Generals, in
the heroism of our Allies and the strategy of Marshal Foch does not blind
us to the skill and tenacity with which the Germans are conducting their
retreat. Fritz is a tough fighter; if only he had fought a clean fight we
could look forward to a thorough reconciliation. But that is a far cry for
those who have been in the war, farthest of all for our sailormen, who can
never forget certain acts of frightfulness.

Hans Dans an' me was shipmates once, an' if 'e'd fought us clean,
Why shipmates still when war was done might Hans an' me 'ave been;
The truest pals a man can have are them 'e's fought before,
But--never no more, Hans Dans, my lad, so 'elp me, never no more!

Austria has issued a Peace Note, and the German Chancellor has declared
that Germany is opposed to annexation in any form. The German Eagle, making
a virtue of necessity, is ready to give the bird of Peace an innings.


The two Emmas, Ack and Pip, are naturally furious at the adoption of the
twenty-four hours' system of reckoning time, which means that their
occupation will be gone, and that like other old soldiers they will fade
away. Amongst other innovations we have to note the spread of "bobbing,"
the further possibilities of which are alarming to contemplate.

Ferdinand, Tsar of Bulgaria, great grandson of Philippe Egalite, finding
Sofia unhealthy, has been recuperating at Vienna. His future plans are
vague, but it is thought he may join the ex-Kings' Club in Switzerland.
Lenin, the Bolshevist Dictator, has recently experienced an attempt on his
life, and retaliated in a fashion which would have done credit to a
mediaeval despot. England still refuses to indulge in joy bells or bunting,
but the London police have seized the occasion to strike on the home front.
Their operations have been promptly if inconsistently rewarded by the
removal of their chief and his elevation to the baronetcy.

Parliament is not sitting, and the voice of the Pro-Boche and the Pro-Bolsh
is temporarily hushed. We have to note, however, a most welcome
_rapprochement_ between Downing and Carmelite Streets--the _Daily
Mail_ has praised the Foreign Office for an "excellent piece of work,"
and the scapegoat, unexpectedly caressed, is sitting up and taking

The harvest has been a success, thanks to the energy of the new
land-workers, the armies behind the army:

All the talent is here--all the great and the lesser,
The proud and the humble, the stout and the slim,
The second form boy and the aged professor,
Grade three and the hero in want of a limb.

Four years of war have brought curious changes to "our village":

Our baker's in the Flying Corps,
Our butcher's in the Buffs,
Our one policeman cares no more
For running in the roughs,
But carves a pathway to the stars
As trooper in the Tenth Hussars.

The Mayor's a Dublin Fusilier,
The clerk's a Royal Scot,
The bellman is a brigadier
And something of a pot;
The barber, though at large, is spurned;
The Blue Boar's waiter is interned.

The postman, now in Egypt, wears
A medal on his coat;
The vet. is breeding Belgian hares,
The vicar keeps a goat;
The schoolma'am knits upon her stool;
The village idiot gathers wool.


First week

Second week

Third week

Fourth week]

The husbandman and his new help have undergone mutual transformation. And
our cadet battalions are making themselves very much at home at Oxford and

[Illustration: CADET: "Really, from the way these College Authorities make
themselves at home you'd think the place belonged to them."]

The Navy still remains the silent Service, but, as the need for reticence
is being relaxed by the triumph of our arms, we are beginning to learn
something, though unofficially as yet, of that "plaything of the Navy and
nightmare of the Huns"--the Q-boat:

She can weave a web of magic for the unsuspecting foe,
She can scent the breath of Kultur leagues away,
She can hear a U-boat thinking in Atlantic depths below
And disintegrate it with a Martian ray;
She can feel her way by night
Through the minefield of the Bight;
She has all the tricks of science, grave and gay.

In the twinkle of a searchlight she can suffer a sea-change
From a collier to a _Shamrock_ under sail,
From a Hyper-super-Dreadnought, old Leviathan at range,
To a lightship or a whaler or a whale;
With some canvas and a spar
She can mock the morning star
As a haystack or the flotsam of a gale.

She's the derelict you chartered north of Flores outward-bound,
She's the iceberg that you sighted coming back,
She's the salt-rimed Biscay trawler heeling home to Plymouth Sound,
She's the phantom-ship that crossed the moon-beams' track;
She's the rock where none should be
In the Adriatic Sea,
She's the wisp of fog that haunts the Skagerrack.

Recognition of services faithfully done is an endless task; but Mr. Punch
is glad to print the valedictory tribute of one of the boys in blue to a
V.A.D.--a class that has come in for much undeserved criticism.

While willy-nilly I must go
A-hunting of the Hun,
You'll carry on--which now I know
(Although I've helped to rag you so)
Means great work greatly done.

Among the minor events of the month has been the christening of a baby by
the names of Grierson Plumer Haig French Smith-Dorrien, as its father
served under these generals. The idea is, no doubt, to prevent the child
when older from asking: "What did you do in the Great War, Daddy?"

England, as we have already said, endures its triumphs with composure. But
our printers are not altogether immune from excitement. An evening paper
informs us that "the dwifficuplties of passing from rigid trench warfare to
field warfare are gigantic and perhaps unsurmountable." And only our innate
sense of comradeship deters us from naming the distinguished contemporary
which recently published an article entitled: "The Importance of Bray."

_October, 1918_.

THE growing _crescendo_ of success has reached its climax in this, the
most wonderful month of our _annus mirabilis._ Every day brings
tidings of a new victory. St. Quentin, Cambrai, and Laon had all been
recaptured in the first fortnight. On the 17th Ostend, Lille, and Douai
were regained, Bruges was reoccupied on the 19th, and by the 20th the
Belgian Army under King Albert, reinforced by the French and Americans, and
with the Second British Army under General Plumer on the right, had
compelled the Germans to evacuate the whole coast of Flanders. The Battle
of Liberation, which began on the Marne in July, is now waged
uninterruptedly from the Meuse to the sea. Only in Lorraine has the advance
of the American Army been held up by the difficulties of the _terrain_
and the exceptionally stubborn resistance of the Germans.

Elsewhere the "war of movement" has gone on with unrelenting energy
according to Foch's plan, which suggests a revision of Pope:

Great Foch's law is by this rule exprest,
Prevent the coming, speed the parting pest.

The German, true to his character of the world's worst loser and winner,
leaves behind him all manner of booby-traps, some puerile, many diabolical,
which give our sappers plenty of work, cause a good many casualties, and
only confirm the resolve of the victors.

According to a German paper--the _Rhenish Westphalian
Gazette_--ex-criminals are being drafted into the German Army. But the
Allies propose to treat them without invidious distinction. The Crown
Prince recently observed that he had "many friends in the Entente
countries"; as a matter of fact, we seem to be getting them at the rate of
about twenty-five thousand a week. The criminals in the German Navy have
again been busy, adding to their previous exploits the sinking of the
passenger steamer _Leinster_, in the Irish Channel, with heavy loss of
life, the worst disaster of the kind since the torpedoing of the
_Lusitania_. Yet it is Germany that is the sinking ship. Ferdinand of
Bulgaria has joined the League of Abdication, and according to a Sofia
telegram, will devote himself to scientific pursuits. His only regret is
that the Allies thought of it first. Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse says
that his accession to the throne of Finland will not take place for two
years, and for the first time since his emergence into publicity we find
ourselves in agreement with this monarch-elect. Ludendorff has resigned.
Austria is suing for peace; Count Tisza asks: "Why not admit frankly that
we have lost the War?" The Italians have crossed the Piave, and the
Serbians have reached the Danube. Turkey has been granted an armistice, and
with the daily victories of the Allies comes the daily report that the
Kaiser has abdicated.


MARSHAL FOCH (to Messrs. Clemenceau, Wilson and Lloyd George): "If you're
going up that road, gentlemen, look out for booby-traps."]

Prince Max of Baden, the successor of Hertling in the Chancellorship, whose
appointment hardly bears out the promise of popular government, has issued
a pacific Manifesto which inspires an "Epitaph in anticipation":

In memory of poor Prince Max,
Who, posing as the friend of Pax,
Yet was not noticeably lax
In the true Teuton faith which hacks
Its way along; forbidden tracks,
Marks bloody dates on almanacs
And holds all promises as wax;
Breeding, where once we knew Hans Sachs,
A race of monomaniacs....
But now illusion's mirror cracks,
The radiant vision fades, the axe
Lies at the root. So farewell, Max!

Certain people have proclaimed their opinion that the German nation ought
not to be humiliated. When all is said, Mr. Punch saves his pity for our
murdered dead.

Parliament has met again, not that there is any very urgent need for their
labours just now. With a caution that seemed excessive Mr. Bonar Law has
thought it premature to discuss a military situation changing every
hour--though happily always for the better--or even to propose a formal
Vote of Thanks to men who are daily adding to their harvest of laurels. On
better grounds discussion of Mr. Wilson's famous "fourteen points" and of
demobilisation has been deprecated. The suggestion--made opportunely on
Trafalgar Day--for securing marks of distinction for our merchant seamen
gained a sympathetic hearing, and the proposal to make women eligible for
Parliament has been carried after a serious debate by an overwhelming
majority in which the _ci-devant_ anti-suffragists were as prominent
as the others. Five years ago such a motion would have furnished an orgy of
alleged humour, and been laughed out of the House. Mr. Dillon and his
colleagues have put a great many questions about the torpedoing of the
_Leinster_ and the lack of an escort. But it is unfortunate that their
tone suggested more indignation with the alleged laches of the Admiralty
than horror at the German crime. Irish indignation over the outrage,
according to a Nationalist M.P., is intense; but not to the point of
expressing itself in khaki.

[Illustration: Die Nacht am Rhein]

[Illustration: PROSPEROUS IRISH FARMER: "And what about the War, your
Riverence? Do ye think it will hould?"]

The woes of the Irish harvest labourers in England have not yet been fully
appreciated, and seem to demand a revised version of "Moira O'Neill's"
beautiful poem:


Over here in England I'm slavin' in the rain;
Six-an'-six a day we get, an' beds that wanst were clane;
Weary on the English work, 'tis killin' me that same--
Och, Muckish Mountain, where I used to lie an' dhrame!

At night the windows here are black as Father Murphy's hat;
'Tis fivepence for a pint av beer, an' thin ye can't get that;
Their beef has shtrings like anny harp, for dacent ham I hunt--
Och, Muckish Mountain, an' my pig's sweet grunt!

Sure there's not a taste av butthermilk that wan can buy or beg,
Thin their sweet milk has no crame, an' is as blue as a duck-egg;
Their whisky is as wake as wather-gruel in a bowl--Och,
Muckish Mountain, where the _poteen_ warms yer sowl!

'Tis mesilf that longs for Irish air an' gran' ould Donegal,
Where there's lashins and there's lavins and no scarcity at all;
Where no wan cares about the War, but just to ate an' play--
Och, Muckish Mountain, wid yer feet beside the say!

Sure these Englishmin don't spare thimselves in this thremenjus fight;
They say 'tis life or death for thim, an', faith, they may be right;
But Father Murphy tells me that it's no consarn av mine--
Och, Muckish Mountain, where the white clouds shine!

Over there in Ireland we're very fond av peace,
Though we break the heads av Orangemin an' batther the police;
For we're all agin the Governmint wheriver we may be--
Och, Muckish Mountain, an' the wild wind blowin' free!

If they tuk me out to Flandhers, bedad I'd have to fight,
An' I'm tould thim Jarman vagabones won't let ye sleep at night;
So I'm going home to Ireland wid English notes galore--
Och, Muckish Mountain, I will niver lave ye more!

By way of contrast there is the mood of the Old Contemptibles, but it is
only fair to add that there are Irishmen among them:


'E aint't bin 'ung with medals, like a lot o' chaps abaht;
'E's wore a little dingy but 'e isn't wearin' aht;
'Is ole tin 'at is battered, but it isn't battered in,
An' if 'e ain't fergot to grouse, 'e ain't fergot to grin.

I fancy that 'e's aged a bit since fust the War begun;
'E's 'ad 'is fill o' fightin' an' 'e's 'ad 'is share o' fun;
'Is eyes is kind o' quiet an' 'is mouth is sort o' set,
But if I didn't know 'im well I wouldn't know 'im yet.

I recollec' the look of 'im the time o' the retreat,
The blood was through 'is toonic an' the skin was orf 'is feet;
But "Come aboard the bus," say 'e, "or you'll be lef be'ind!"
An' takes me weight upon 'is back--it 'asn't slip me mind.

It might 'ave 'appened yesterday, it comes to me so plain;
'E's dahn an' up a dozen times, a-reeling through the rain;
It might 'ave bin lars' Saturday I seem to 'ear 'im say:
"There's plenty room a-top, me lad, an' nothin' more to pay."

'E ain't bin 'ung with medals like a blackamore with beads;
'E doesn't figure on the screen a-doin' darin' deeds;
But reckon I'll be lucky if I gets to Kingdom Come
Along o' that Contemptible wot wouldn't leave a chum.


FIRST CONTEMPTIBLE: "D'you remember halting here on the retreat, George?"

SECOND DITTO: "Can't call it to mind, somehow. Was it that little village
in the wood there down by the river, or was it that place with the
cathedral and all them factories?"]

Amongst other items of news we have to chronicle the appointment of Mr.
Arnold Bennett as a Director of Propaganda, the steady growth of
goat-keeping, and the exactions of taxi-drivers. It is now suggested that
if one of these pirates should charge you largely in excess of his legal
fare, you should tell him that you have nothing less than a five-pound
note. If you have an honest face and speak kindly he will probably accept
the amount.

[Illustration: THE SANDS RUN OUT]

Mr. Bonar Law has been making trips to and from France by aeroplane. The
report that a number of members of the Opposition have been invited by the
Admiralty to make a descent in a depth-charge turns out to be unfounded.
The prospects of peace are being discussed on public platforms, but, as
yet, with commendable discretion. Mr. Roberts, our excellent Minister of
Labour, has made bold to say that "the happenings of the last six weeks
justify us in the belief that peace is much nearer than it was during the
earlier part of the year." And a weekly paper has offered a prize of L500
to the reader who predicts the date when the War will end. Meanwhile,
Hanover is said to have made Hindenburg a birthday present of a house in
the neighbourhood of the Zoological Gardens in that city, and we suggest
that before this gift is incorporated in the peace-terms the words "the
neighbourhood of" should be deleted.

_November, 1918_.

The end has come with a swiftness that has outdone the hopes of the most
sanguine optimists. In the first eleven days of November we have seen
history in the making on a larger scale and with larger possibilities than
at any time since the age of Napoleon, perhaps since the world began.

[Illustration: VICTORY!]

To take the chief events in order, the Versailles Conference opened on the
1st; on the 3rd Austria gave in and the resolve of the German Naval High
Command to challenge the Grand Fleet in the North Sea was paralysed by the
mutiny at Kiel; on the 5th the Versailles Conference gave full powers to
Marshal Foch to arrange the terms of an armistice, and President Wilson
addressed the last of his Notes to Germany; on the 6th the American Army
reached Sedan; on the 9th Marshal Foch received Erzberger and the other
German Envoys, the Berlin Revolution broke out, and the Kaiser abdicated;
on the 10th the Kaiser fled to Holland, and the British reached Mons. The
wheel had come full circle. The Belgian, British, French, and American
Armies now formed a semi-circle from Ghent to Sedan, and threatened to
surround the German Armies already in retreat and crowded into the narrow
valley of the Meuse. Everything was ready for Foch's final attack; indeed,
he was on the point of attacking when the Germans, recognising that they
were faced with the prospect of a Sedan ten times greater than that of
1870, signed on November 11 an armistice which was equivalent to a military
capitulation, and gave Marshal Foch all that he wanted without the heavy
losses which further fighting would have undoubtedly involved. He had shown
himself the greatest military genius of the War. Here, in the words of one
of his former colleagues at the Ecole de Guerre, he proved himself free
from the stains which have so often tarnished great leaders in war, the
lust of conquest and personal ambition. Not only the Allies, but the whole
world owes an incalculable debt to this soldier of justice, compact of
reason and faith, imperturbable in adversity, self-effacing in the hour of
victory. Glorious also is the record of the other French Generals: the
strong-souled Petain, hero of Verdun; the heroic Maunoury; Castlenau and
Mangin, Gouraud. Debeney, and Franchet d'Esperey, Captains Courageous,
worthy of France, her cause, and her indomitable _poilus_. In the
record of acknowledgment France stands first since her sacrifices and
losses have been heaviest, and she gave us in Foch the chief organiser of
victory, in Clemenceau the most inspiring example of intrepid
statesmanship. But the War could not have been won without England and the
Empire; without the ceaseless vigil in the North Sea; without the heroes of
Jutland and Coronel, of the Falkland Isles and Zeebrugge, of the Fleets
behind the Fleet; without the services of Smith-Dorrien at Mons, French at
Ypres; without the dogged endurance, the inflexible will and the
self-sacrificing loyalty of Haig; the dash of Maude and Allenby; the
steadfast leadership in defence and offence of Plumer and Byng, Home and
Rawlinson and Birdwood.

[Illustration: OUR MAN

With Mr. Punch's Grateful Compliments to Field-Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.]

[Illustration: THE FINAL TOMMY;(ex-footballer): "We was just wipin' them
off the face of the earth when Foch blows his whistle and shouts 'Temps!'"]

These are only some of the heroes who have added to the glories of our
blood and State, but the roll is endless--wonderful gunners and sappers and
airmen and dispatch riders, devoted surgeons and heroic nurses,
stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers. But Mr. Punch's special heroes are
the Second Lieutenants and the Tommy who went on winning the War all the
time and never said that he was winning it until it was won.

As for the young officers, dead and living, their record is the best answer
to the critics, mostly of the arm-chair type, who have chosen this time to
assail our public school system. In the papers of one of them killed on
August 28 there was found an article written in reply to "The Loom of
Youth," ending with these words: "Perhaps the greatest consolation of these
attacks on our greatest heritage in England (for we are the unique
possessors of the Public Schools) is the conviction that they will have but
little effect. Every public school boy is serving, and one in every six
gives up his life. They cannot be such bad places after all."

Of the great mistakes made by Germany perhaps the greatest was in reckoning
on the detachment of the Dominions. The Canadians have made answer on a
hundred stricken fields before and after Vimy Ridge. Australia gave her
goodliest at Gallipoli, crowning the imperishable glory of those who died
there by her refusal to make a grievance of the apparent failure of the
expedition, and by the amazing achievement of her troops in the last six
months of the War.

The immortal dead, British, Australians, New Zealanders, who fell in the
great adventure of the narrow straits are not forgotten in the hour of

_Qui procul hinc ante diem perierunt_.

Ye unforgotten, that for a great dream died,
Whose failing sense darkened on peaks unwon,
Whose souls went forth upon the wine-dark tide
To seas beyond the sun,
Far off, far off, but ours and England's yet,
Know she has conquered! Live again, and let
The clamouring trumpets break oblivion!

Not as we dreamed, nor as you strove to do,
The strait is cloven, the crag is made our own;
The salt grey herbs have withered over you,
The stars of Spring gone down,
And your long loneliness has lain unstirred
By touch of home, unless some migrant bird
Flashed eastward from the white cliffs to the brown.

Hard by the nameless dust of Argive men,
Remembered and remote, like theirs of Troy,
Your sleep has been, nor can ye wake again
To any cry of joy;
Summers and snows have melted on the waves.
And past the noble silence of your graves
The merging waters narrow and deploy.

But not in vain, not all in vain, thank God;
All that you were and all you might have been
Was given to the cold effacing sod,
Unstrewn with garlands green;
The valour and the vision that were yours
Lie not with broken spears and fallen towers,
With glories perishable of all things seen.

Children of one dear land and every sea,
At last fulfilment comes--the night is o'er;
Now, as at Samothrace, swift Victory
Walks winged on the shore;
And England, deathless Mother of the dead,
Gathers, with lifted eyes and unbowed head,
Her silent sons into her arms once more.

Crowns and thrones have rocked and toppled of late, but our King and Queen,
by their unsparing and unfaltering devotion to duty, by their simplicity of
life and unerring instinct for saying and doing the right thing, have not
only set a fine example, but strengthened their hold on the loyalty of all
classes. And King Albert, who defied Germany at the outset, shared the
dangers of his soldiers in retreat and disaster, and throughout the war
proved an inspiration to his people, has been spared to lead them to
victory and has gloriously come into his own again. His decision to resist
Germany was perhaps the most heroic act of the War, and he has emerged from
his tremendous ordeal with world-wide prestige and unabated distaste for
the limelight. The liberation and resurrection of Belgium and Serbia have
been two of the most splendid outcomes of the World War, as the
_debacle_ in Russia and the martyrdom of Armenia have been its
greatest tragedies.

Parliament has been seen at its best and worst. When the Prime Minister
rose in the House on the afternoon of the 11th to announce the terms of the
Armistice signed at 5 A.M. that morning, members from nearly all parts of
the House rose to acclaim him. Even "the ranks of Tuscany" on the front
Opposition bench joined in the general cheering. Only Mr. Dillon and his
half-dozen supporters remained moody and silent, and when Mr. Speaker, in
his gold-embroidered joy-robes, headed a great procession to St. Margaret's
Church, and the ex-Premier and his successor--the man who drew the sword of
Britain in the war for freedom and the man whose good fortune it has been
to replace it in the sheath--fell in side by side, behind them walked the
representatives of every party save one. Mr. Dillon and his associates had
more urgent business in one of the side lobbies--to consider, perhaps, why
Lord Grey of Falloden, in his eve-of-war speech, had referred to Ireland as
"the one bright spot." This Irish aloofness is wondrously illustrated by
the _Sunday Independent_ of Dublin, which, in its issue of November
10, spoke of a racing event as the only redeeming feature of "an
unutterably dull week." We have to thank Mr. Dillon, however, for
unintentionally enlivening the dulness of the discussion on the relations
of Lord Northcliffe to the Ministry of Information and his forecast of the
peace terms. Mr. Baldwin, for the Government, while endeavouring to allay
the curiosity of members, said that "Napoleons will be Napoleons." Mr.
Dillon seemed to desire the appointment of a "Northcliffe Controller," but
that is impracticable. All our bravest men are too busy to take on the job.
Better still was the pointed query of Lord Henry Bentinck, "Is it not
possible to take Lord Northcliffe a little too seriously?" But there are
other problems to which the House has been addressing itself with a
justifiable seriousness--and demobilisation, the shortage of food and coal,
and the question how at the same time we are to provide for the outlay of
coals of fire and feed the Huns and not the guns.

And how has England taken the news? In the main soberly and in a spirit of
infinite thankfulness, though in too many thousands of homes the loss of
our splendid, noble and gallant sons--alas! so often only sons--who made
victory possible by the gift of their lives, has made rejoicing impossible
for those who are left to mourn them. Yet there is consolation in the
knowledge that if they had lived to extreme old age they could never have
made a nobler thing of their lives. Shakespeare, who "has always been there
before," wrote the epitaph of those who fell in France when he spoke of one
who gave

His body to that pleasant country's earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
Under whose colours he had fought so long.

[Illustration: ARMISTICE DAY

SMALL CHILD (excitedly): "Oh, Mother, what _do_ you think? They've
given us a whole holiday to-day in aid of the war."]

And it is a source of unspeakable joy that our children are safe. For
though to most of them their ignorance has been bliss, they have not
escaped the horrors of a war in which non-combatants have suffered worse
than ever before. Only the healing hand of time can allay the grief of
those for whom there can be no reunion on earth with their nearest and

At last the dawn creeps in with golden fingers
Seeking my eyes, to bid them open wide
Upon a world at peace, where Sweetness lingers,
Where Terror is at rest and Hate has died.

Loud soon shall sound a paean of thanksgiving
From happy women, welcoming their men,
Life born anew of joy to see them living.
Mother of Pity, what shall I do then?

Of the people at large Mr. Punch cannot better the praise of one, the late
Mr. Henry James, who was nothing if not critical, and who proved his love
of England by adopting her citizenship in the darkest hour of her need:
"They were about as good, above all, when it came to the stress, as could
well be expected of people. They didn't know how good they were," and if
they lacked imagination they stimulated it immensely in others.

Apart from some effervescence in the great cities, Armistice Day was
celebrated without exultation or extravagance. In one village that we know
of the church bells were rung by women. In London our deliverance was to
many people marked in the most dramatic way by the breaking of his long
silence by Big Ben:

Gone are the days when sleep alone could break
War's grim and tyrannous spells;
Now it is rest and joy to lie awake
And listen to the bells.

So the Great War ended. But there yet remained the most dramatic episode of
all--the surrender of the German Fleet to Admiral Beatty at Scapa Flow--a
surrender unprecedented in naval history, a great victory won without
striking a blow, which yet brought no joy to our Grand Fleet. For our
admirals and captains and bluejackets felt that the Germans had smirched
the glory of the fighting men of the sea, hitherto maintained in
untarnished splendour by all vanquished captains from the days of Carthage
to those of Cervera and Cradock.


To commemorate the surrender of the German Fleet]


It remains to trace in brief retrospect the record of "the months
between"--a period of test and trial almost as severe as that of the War.

Having steadfastly declined the solution of a Peace without Victory, the
Allies entered last November on the transitional period of Victory without
Peace. The fighting was ended in the main theatres of war, the Kaiser and
Crown Prince, discrowned and discredited, had sought refuge in exile, the
great German War machine had been smashed, and demobilisation began at a
rate which led to inevitable congestion and disappointment. The prosaic
village blacksmith was not far out when, in reply to the vicar's pious hope
that the time had come to beat our sword into a ploughshare, he observed,
"Well, I don't know, sir. Speaking as a blacksmith of forty-five years'
experience, I may tell you it can't be done." "The whole position is
provisional," said the _Times_ at the end of November. If Germany,
Austria, and Russia were to be fed, how was it to be done without
disregarding the prior claims of Serbia and Roumania? Even at home the food
question still continued to agitate the public mind.

The General Election of December, 1918, which followed the dissolution of
the longest Parliament since the days of Charles II., was a striking, if
temporary proof, of the persistence of the rationing principle. It proved a
triumph for the Coalition "Coupon" and for Mr. Lloyd George; the extremists
and Pacificists were snowed under; Mr. Asquith was rejected and his
followers reduced to a mere handful; Labour came back with an increased
representation, though not as great as it desired or deserved. The triumph
of the irreconcilables in Ireland was a foregone but sinister conclusion to
their activities in the War, and an ominous prelude to their subsequent
efforts to wreck the Pence. The pledges in regard to indemnities, the
treatment of the Kaiser, and conscription so lavishly given by the
Coalition Leaders caused no little misgiving at the time, and pledges, like
curses, have an awkward way of coming home to roost. Mr. Punch's views on
the Kaiser, expressed in his Christmas Epilogue, are worth recalling. Mr.
Punch did not clamour for the death penalty, or wish to hand him over to
the tender mercies of German Kultur. "The only fault he committed in German
eyes is that he lost the War, and I wouldn't have him punished for the
wrong offence--for something, indeed, which was our doing as much as his.
No, I think I would just put him out of the way of doing further harm, in
some distant penitentiary like the Devil's Island, and leave him to himself
to think it all over; as _Caponsacchi_ said of _Guido_ in 'The
Ring and the Book':

Not to die so much as slide out of life,
Pushed by the general horror and common hate
Low, lower--left o' the very edge of things."


"Don't you think we ought to hang the Kaiser, Mrs. 'Arris?"

"It ain't the Kaiser I'm worrying about--it's the bloke what interjuiced
his war-bacon."]

[Illustration: REUNITED

Strasbourg, December 8th, 1918.]

Christmas, 1918, was more than "the Children's Truce." Our bugles had "sung
truce," the war cloud had lifted, the invaded sky was once more free of
"the grim geometry of Mars," and though very few households could celebrate
the greatest of anniversaries with unbroken ranks, the mercy of reunion was
granted to many homes. Yet Mr. Punch, in his Christmas musings on the
solemn memory of the dead who gave us this hour, could not but realise the
greatness of the task that lay before us if we were to make our country
worthy of the men who fought and died for her. The War was over, but
another had yet to be waged against poverty and sordid environment; against
the disabilities of birth; against the abuse of wealth; against the mutual
suspicions of Capital and Labour; against sloth, indifference,
self-complacency, and short memories.

So the Old Year passed, the last of a terrible _quinquennium,_
bringing grounds for thankfulness and hope along with the promise of unrest
and upheaval: with Alsace-Lorraine reunited to France, with the British
army holding its Watch on the Rhine, and with all eyes fixed on Paris, the
scene of the Peace Conference, already invaded by an international army of
delegates, experts, advisers, secretaries, typists, 500 American
journalists, and President Wilson.

Great Expectations and their Tardy Fulfilment, thus in headline fashion
might one summarise the story of 1919, with Peace, the world's desire,
waiting for months outside the door of the Conference Chamber, with civil
war in Germany, Berlin bombed by German airmen, and anarchy in Russia, and
here at home impatience and discomfort, aggravated in the earlier months by
strikes and influenza, the largely increased numbers of unemployed
politicians, the weariest and dreariest of winter weather.


Yet even January had its alleviations in the return of the banana, the
prospect of unlimited lard, a distinct improvement in the manners of the
retail tradesman, the typographical fireworks of the _Times_ in honour
of President Wilson, and the retreat of Lord Northcliffe to the sunny
south. Lovers of sensation were conciliated by the appointment of "F.E." to
the Lord Chancellorship, the outbreak of Jazz, and the discovery of a
French author that the plays usually attributed to Shakespeare were written
by Lord Derby, though not apparently the present holder of the title. The
loss, through rejection or withdrawal, of so many of his old Parliamentary
puppets was a serious blow to Mr. Punch, but the old Liberals, buried like
the Babes in the Wood beneath a shower of Coalition coupons, already showed
a sanguine spirit, and the departure of the freaks could be contemplated
with resignation. The great Exodus to Paris began in December, but it
reached its height in January. The mystery of the Foreign Office official
who had _not_ gone was cleared up by the discovery that he was the
caretaker, a pivotal man who could not be demobilised. Another exodus of a
less desirable sort was that of the Sinn Fein prisoners, which gave rise to
the rumour that the Lord Lieutenant had threatened that if they destroyed
any more jails they would be rigorously released. Sinn Fein, which refused
to fight Germany, had already begun to play at a new sort of war. Australia
was preparing to welcome the homing transports sped with messages of
Godspeed from the Motherland:

Rich reward your hearts shall hold,
None less dear if long delayed,
For with gifts of wattle-gold
Shall your country's debt be paid;
From her sunlight's golden store
She shall heal your hurts of war.

Ere the mantling Channel's mist
Dim your distant decks and spars,
And your flag that victory kissed
And Valhalla hung with stars--
Crowd and watch our signal fly:
"Gallant hearts, good-bye! _Good-bye!"_



MR. PUNCH: "They've given you a fine new machine, Mr. Premier, and you've
got plenty of spirit, but look out for bumps."]

February, a month of comparative anti-climax, witnessed the reassembling of
Parliament, fuller than ever of members if not of wisdom. As none of the
Sinn Feiners were present, nor indeed any representative of Irish
Nationalism, the proceedings were as orderly as a Quaker's funeral, save
for the arrival of one member on a motor-scooter. Perhaps the most
interesting information elicited during the debates was this--that every
question put down costs the tax-payer a guinea. On February 20th there were
282 on the Order Paper, and Mr. Punch was moved to wonder whether this
cascade of curiosity might be abated if every questionist were obliged to
contribute half the cost, the amount to be deducted from his official
salary. The Speaker, the greatest of living Parliamentarians, was
re-elected by acclamation. Though human and humorous, he has grown into
something almost more like an institution than a man, like Big Ben, that
great patriot and public servant who never struck during the war. The best
news in February was that of M. Clemenceau's escape, though wounded, from
the Anarchist assassin who had attempted to translate Trotsky's threat into
action. But it did not help on the proposed Conference with the Russians at
Prinkipo or encourage the prospect of any tangible results from the
deliberation of the Prinkipotentiaries. The plain man could see no third
choice beyond supporting Bolshevism or anti-Bolshevism. But according to
our Prime Minister, we were committed to a compromise. The Allies were not
prepared to intervene in force, and they could not leave Russia to stew in
her own hell-broth. Meanwhile the chief criminal, Germany, had begun to
utter _ad misericordiam_ appeals for the relaxation of the Armistice
terms on the score of their cruelty; and Count Brockdorff-Rantzau gave us a
foretaste of his quality by declaring that "Germany cannot be treated as a
second-rate nation."

[Illustration: "How was it you never let your mother know you'd won the

"It wasna ma turrn tae write."]

[Illustration: ENGLAND EXPECTS

(With Mr. Punch's best hopes for the success of the National Industrial

BOTH LIONS (together): "Unaccustomed as I am to lie down with anything but
a lamb, still, for the sake of the public good ... "]

At home, though the rays of "sweet unrationed revelry" were still to come,
and _Dulce Domum_ could not yet be sung in every sense, February
brought us some relief in the demobilisation of the pivotal pig. And the
decision to hold a National Industrial Conference was of encouraging augury
for the settlement of industrial strife on the basis of a full inquiry and
frank statement of facts. In other walks of life reticence still has its
charms, and even in February people had begun to ask who the General was
who had threatened not to write a book about the War.

March, the mad month, remained true to type. Even Mr. Punch found it hard
to preserve his equanimity:

O Month, before your final moon is set
Much may have happened--anything, in fact;
More than in any March that I have met,
(Last year excepted) fearful nerves are racked;
Anarchy does with Russia what it likes;
Paris is put conundrums very knotty;
And here in England, with its talk of strikes,
Men, like your own March hares, seem going dotty.

Abroad the ex-Kaiser was very busy sawing trees, possibly owing to an
hallucination that they were German Generals.



MR. LLOYD GEORGE (fresh from Paris): "I don't say it's a perfect egg, but
parts of it, as the saying is, are excellent."]

At home the Government decided to release such of the Sinn Fein prisoners
as had not already saved them the trouble, and a Coal Industry Commission
was appointed on which no representative of the general public was invited
to sit--that is to say, the patient, much enduring consumer, not the public
which has all along sought to discount peace by premature whooping,
jubilating, and Jazzing. For the Dove of Peace, though in strict training,
seemed in danger of collapsing under the weight of the League of Nations'
olive bough, to say nothing of other perils, notably the Bolshy-bird, a
most obscene brand of vulture.

Mr. Wilson was once more on the Atlantic, and Mr. Lloyd George, distracted
between his duties in Paris and the demands of Labour, recalled Sir Boyle
Roche's bird, or the circus performer riding two horses at once. In
Parliament the interpretation of election pledges occupied a good deal of
time, and Mr. Bonar Law twice declared the policy of the Government in
regard to indemnities as being to demand the largest amount that Germany
could pay, but not to demand what we knew she couldn't pay. It would have
saved him a great deal of trouble if at the General Election the Government
spokesmen had insisted as much upon the second half of the policy as they
did on the first. Earnest appeals for economy were made from the Treasury
Bench on the occasion of the debate on the Civil Service Estimates, now
swollen to five times their pre-war magnitude, and were heartily applauded
by the House. To show how thoroughly they had gone home, Mr. Adamson, the
Labour Leader, immediately pressed for an increase in the salaries of
Members of Parliament.



PRESIDENT WILSON: "Here's your olive branch. Now get busy."

DOVE OF PEACE: "Of course, I want to please everybody, but isn't this a bit


MOTHER (to son who has fought on most of the Fronts): "Don't you know what
to do with yourself, George? Why don't you 'ave a walk down the road,

FATHER: "Ah, 'e ain't seen the corner where they pulled down Simmondses'
fish-shop, 'as 'e. Ma?"]

On the Rhine the efforts of our army of occupation to present the stern and
forbidding air supposed to mark our dealings with the inhabitants were
proving a lamentable failure. You can't produce a really good imitation of
a Hun without lots of practice. Gloating is entirely foreign to the nature
of Thomas Atkins, and he could not pass a child yelling in the gutter
without stooping to comfort it. At home his education was proceeding on
different lines. The period of reaction had set in, and unwonted exertions
were necessary to stimulate his interest. Such artless devices were,
however, preferable to the pastime, already fashionable in more exalted
circles, of kicking a total stranger round the room to the accompaniment of
cymbals, a motor siren, and a frying pan.

After a month of madness it was not to be wondered at that we should have a
month of muzzling, though the enforcement of the order might have been
profitably extended from dogs to journalists. The secrecy maintained by the
Big Four--a phrase invented by America--the conflict of the idealists with
the realists, and the temporary break-away of the Italian wrestler,
Orlando, were bound to excite comment. But a shattered world could not be
rebuilt in a day, with Bolshevist wolves prowling about the Temple of
Peace, and the Dove at sea between the Ark and Archangel. The Covenant of
the League of Nations, though in a diluted form, had at last taken shape,
the Peace Machine had got a move on, and the Premier's spirited, if not
very dignified, retaliation on the newspaper snipers led to an abatement of
unnecessary hostilities, though the pastime of shooting policemen with
comparative impunity still flourished in Ireland, and the numbers and cost
of our "army of inoccupation" still continued to increase. Innumerable
queries were made in Parliament on the subject of the unemployment dole,
but the announcement that the Admiralty did not propose to perpetuate the
title "Grand Fleet" for the principal squadron of His Majesty's Navy passed
without comment. The Grand Fleet is now a part of the History that it did
so much to make.

May and June were "hectic" months, in which the reaction from the fatigues
and restraints of War found vent in an increased disinclination for work,
encouraged by a tropical sun. These were the months of the resumption of
cricket, the Victory Derby, the flood of honours, and the flying of the
Atlantic, with a greater display of popular enthusiasm over the gallant
airmen who failed in that feat than over the generals who had won the War.
They were also the months of the duel between Mr. Smillie and the Dukes,
the discovery of oil in Derbyshire, the privileged excursion into War
polemics of Lord French, unrest in Egypt, renewed trouble with the police,
and a shortage of beer, boots and clothes.

[Illustration: "END OF A PERFECT 'TAG'"]

But though the Big Four had been temporarily reduced to a Big Three by
Italy's withdrawal, and though M. Clemenceau, Mr. Lloyd George, and
President Wilson had all suffered in prestige by the slow progress of the
negotiations, Versailles, with the advent of the German delegates, more
than ever riveted the gaze of an expectant world. To sign or not to sign,
or, in the words of Wilhelm Shakespeare, _Sein oder nicht sein: hier ist
die Frage_--that was the problem which from the moment of his famous
opening speech Count Brockdorff-Rantzau was up against. But, as the days
wore on, in spite of official impenitence and the double breach of the
Armistice terms by the scuttling of the German war-ships at Scapa and the
burning of the French flags at Berlin, the force of "fierce reluctant
truculent delay" was spent against the steadily growing volume of national
acquiescence, culminating in the decision of the Weimar Assembly, the tardy
choice of new delegates, and the final scene in the Hall of Mirrors,
haunted by the ghosts of 1871.

Writing at the moment of the Signature of Peace and in deep thankfulness
for the relief it brings to a stricken world, Mr. Punch is too old to jazz
for joy, but he is young enough to face the future with a reasoned
optimism, born of a belief in his race and their heroic achievements in
these great and terrible years. Victory took us by surprise; and we were
less prepared for Peace at that moment than we had ever been for War. And
just as in the first days of the fighting we went astray, running after the
cry "Business as usual," so to-day we are making as bad a mistake when we
run after "Pleasure as usual"--or rather more than usual. But we soon
revised that early error, and we shall not waste much time about revising
this. For though we lacked imagination then, and still lack it, we have the
gift, perhaps even more useful if less showy, of commonsense. And when
commonsense is found in natures that are honest and hearts that are clean,
it may make mistakes, but not for long. No, the spirit which won the War is
not going to fail us at this second call. Perhaps we have only been waiting
for the actual coming of Peace to settle down to our new and greater task.

But let us never forget the debt, unpaid and unpayable, to our immortal
dead and to the valiant survivors of the great conflict, to whom we owe
freedom and security and the possibility of a better and cleaner world.



"According to plan,"
Admirals, retired, accept commissions in R.N.R.
Admiralty and Zeebrugge despatches
Africa, German South-West, Botha makes clean sweep in
After one Year
Airmen, Allied
Bombard Karlsruhe
German, increased activity of
Air Raids
Daylight, extend to London
Public to be warned
Aisne, Battle of
Alarming spread of bobbing
Albert, King of Belgium
Tribute to
Victorious on Flanders coast
Allenby, General
Advances steadily
Captures Damascus
Enters Jerusalem
Allied Council, new, formed
Allotment workers
Alsace-Lorraine reunited to France
Also Ran
Enters War
War of Notes
American, an, interviews German Crown Prince
American Troops
Enter firing line
First land in France
Ammunition expended round Neuve Chapelle
Amundsen, Roald, prepares for trip to North Pole
Ancre, British push extends to
Anglia, East, air-raids in
Antwerp, Fall of
Anzac, British heroism at
Armenia, martyrdom of
Armentieres, Germans break through at
Big Ben breaks silence
How England took news of
Women ring church bells
Armistice Day
Army Signalling Alphabet
Asquith, Mr.
Ceases to be Prime Minister
Discusses new Votes of Credit
Goes to Ireland
Promises to purge Peerage of Enemy Dukes
Recants hostility to Women's suffrage
Rejected at General Election
Athens, riot in
"Au Revoir!"
Australians, valour of
Defeated by Serbia
Defeated on Italian front
Gives in
Issues Peace Note
Sues for Peace
Threatens Roumania
Austrians driven from Belgrade

Bad Dream, A
Baghdad, taken by British
Balfour, Mr.
Appointed First Lord
Returns from U.S.A.
Balkans, irrelevant news from
Banana, return of the
Germans take
Recaptured by Allies
Beatty, Admiral, German Fleet surrenders to
Opposes German invasion
Resurrection of
Belgrade occupied by enemy
Bennett, Mr. Arnold, appointed Director of Propaganda
French flags burnt at
Revolution breaks out
Strikes in, suppressed
Bernstorff, Count
Mendacity of
Promotes strikes in U.S.A.
Best Smell of All, the
Bethmann-Hollweg dismissed,
Big Four's secrecy,
Big Push, The,
Billing, Mr. Pemberton
Elected for Mid-Herts,
Offers to raid enemy aircraft bases.
Suspended from House of Commons,
Birdwood, General,
Birrell, Mr., apologia of,
Bismarck, Prince,
Bissing, Baron von,
Reported dead,
Retires from Belgium,
Bloaters, unprecedented price of,
_Bluecher_, the, sunk by British,
Blume, General von, depreciates American intervention,
Boat-race, Oxford and Cambridge, suspended,
Bobbing, Alarming spread of,
Bordeaux, Paris Government removed to,
Botha, General
Enters War,
Makes clean sweep in S.W. Africa,
Bottomley, Mr. Horatio, visits France,
Bravo, Belgium,
Brazil enters War,
Bread, curtailment of,
Taken by enemy,
Treaty signed,
British Expeditionary Force Lands in France,
Brockdorff-Rantzau, Count,
Bruges reoccupied by Allies,
Brusiloff, General
Opens new Russian offensive,
Successful against Austrians,
Fall of,
Murder of Edith Cavell at,
Buckmaster, Lord, appointed Lord Chancellor,
Bukarest, fall of,
Bulgaria surrenders,
Bulgarians smashed by Allies,
Bull-dog Breed, the,
Bungalows, Government, increase of,
Burns, Mr. John, re-emerges,
Byng, General,
Victory at Cambrai,
Byron, Lord, and Greece,
By special request,

Cabinet pool salaries,
Cadet battalions housed in colleges,
Caligny, Americans at,
Callousness of smart people,
Byng's victory at,
Recaptured by Allies,
Cambridge, Cadet battalions at,
Camouflage, new art of,
Caporetto, enemy break through at,
"Captain of Koepenick" reported dead,
Carson, Sir Edward
Pays tribute to Major Redmond,
Resigns Office,
Casement, Sir Roger, and German Kaiser,
Castlenau, General,
Casualties, British,
Cavell, Edith
Murder of,
Names of her principal assassins,
Cecil, Lord Robert, appointed Minister of Blockade,
Celestial Dud, the,
Censorship and War Correspondents,
Challenge, the,
Chamberlain, Mr. Austen, resigns office,
Champagne, French offensive at,
Chemin des Dames, Germans capture,
Children of Consolation,
Children's Peace,
China, food prices in,
Musings, Punch's,
Truce and fraternisation,
Church bells requisitioned,
Churchill, Mr. Winston
Appointed Minister of Munitions,
Dardanelles expedition,
Paints landscapes,
Rejoins his regiment,
Resigns Duchy of Lancaster,
Retires to Duchy of Lancaster,
Civilian, the, and the War Office,
Civil Service Estimates,
Clemenceau, M.
Attempted assassination of,
Tribute to,
Clyde, labour troubles on the,
Coal Commission appointed,
Coalition Government
Leaders' pledges,
Coalitionists triumph at General Election,
Coat that didn't come off, the,
Cologne, Archbishop of, and the Kaiser,
Combles taken by Allies,
Coming Army, the,
To inquire into Dardanelles expedition,
To inquire into Mesopotamian expedition,
"Complete accord,"
Compulsory rationing a fact,
Comrades in Victory,
Conscientious Objectors in Non-combatant Corps,
Constables, special, guard King's highway,
Constantine, King of Greece
Contemplates abdication,
Forms Cabinet of Professors,
Mr. Asquith's appeal to,
To receive L20,000 a year,
Treated tenderly,
Contemptibles, the old,
Corn Production Bill,
Coronel avenged,
Correspondents, Mr. Punch's,
Cradock, Admiral,
Crank, Whip's definition of a,
Craonne taken by French,
"Credibility index,"
Crown Prince, German
American interviews,
Common brigand, a,
Has misgivings,
In exile,
Cuba declares war on Austria,
Cuffley, Zeppelin brought down at,

_Daily Mail_, candour of,
_Daily News_ and _Punch_,
_Daily Telegraph_, Lord Lansdowne's letter to,
Damascus captured by Allies,
Dance of Death, the,
Danube, Serbians reach the,
Dardanelles Commission,
Dawn of Doubt, the,
Daylight Saving,
Bill passed,
Death Lord, the,
Debeney, General,
Praises Americans,
Defence of the Realm Act,
(De)merit, the reward of,
Demobilisation commences,
Derby, Lord
Director of Recruiting,
Minister of War,
Dernburg, Dr., his picture of German innocents,
_Deutschland_, German submarine, exploits of,
Devonport, Lord
Appointed Food Controller,
Approves new dietary for prisoners,
Retires as Food Controller,
1914, August,
1915, January,
1916, January,
1917, January,
1918, January,
Die Nacht am Rhein,
Dogger Bank,
German reverse off,
Domestic servant's philosophy,
Dominions, loyalty of,
Douai regained by Allies,
Drake's Way,
Drocourt-Queant switchline breached by Allies,
Dud, the,
Duke, Mr., retires from Irish Chief Secretaryship,
Dumba, Dr., promotes strikes in U.S.A.,
Dunraven, Lord, excuses Irishmen,
Dynastic Amenities,

Easter offering, the,
Economy, appeals for,
Editor of the _Vorwaerts_ arrested,
Education Bill
Second reading of,
Lord Haldane lectures on,
Ekaterinburg, Ex-Tsar and family murdered at,
_Emden_ sunk by the _Sydney_,
Emmas, the two,
Empire, indispensable in winning War,
End of a perfect "Tag,"
Tribute to, by _New York Life_,
War could not have been won without,
Enver Pasha goes to Medina,
Erzerum falls to Russians,
Excursionist, the,
Exile, the Irish,

"F.E." appointed Lord Chancellor,
_Falaba_, the, sunk by German submarine,
Falkland Islands,
Battle of,
Farmer and Farm Labourer,
Far-reaching effect of the Russian Push, the,
Ferdinand, King of Bulgaria
Declares war on Serbia,
Goes to Vienna,
Inscrutability of,
Fidgety Wilhelm, the story of,
Fifth British Army, Germans break through,
Final, the,
Fisher, Lord, will not give explanations,
Fisher, Mr., eulogised,
Flag days,
Flanders coast evacuated by Germans,
Fleet, German, surrenders,
Flight that failed,
Flying of the Atlantic,
Foch, General
Appointed Generalissimo of Allied Forces,
Arranges Armistice,
Made a G.C.B.,
Receives German envoys,
Tribute to,
Food at the Front,
Control, public for,
Production, urgency for increased,
Question discussed in Parliament,
Question in Germany,
Stocks increasing,
Ford, Mr. Henry
Offers his works to American authorities,
Visits Europe,
For Neutrals--For Natives,
Fort Douaumont falls,
Fourth of July celebrated in France,
France, destruction and desolation of,
France's Day,
Franchet d'Esperey, General,
Francis Joseph, Emperor, dies,
French, General
Appointed Viceroy of Ireland,
His "contemptible little army,"
Relinquishes his command,
Responsible for Home Defence against enemy aircraft,
Fryatt, Captain, murder of,
Funchal, U-boats busy at,

Gaiety at military hospitals,
Allies land in,
Casualties in,
Complete evacuation of,
Discomforts of,
Garibaldi still an animating force in Italy,
Gaul to the New Caesar,
Gaza taken by British,
Geddes, Sir Eric
Defends Admiralty,
First Lord,
General Election,
General Janvier,
Geography taught by War,
George V. of England
Abolishes German titles held by family,
His House to be known as Windsor,
Sets a fine example,
Visits Front,
George, Mr. Lloyd
Appointed Minister of Munitions,
Defines British policy,
Deputed to confer with Irish leaders,
Expounds plan for Irish Convention,
Prime Minister,
Secretary for War,
Suffers in prestige,
Triumph of,
Warns peacemongers,
Gerard, Mr., Reminiscences of,
General Staff and set-backs,
Campaign of Falsehood in,
Civil War in,
Fleet surrenders,
"German Truth Society" founded,
Great mistake of,
Hints to Italy,
Ill-treats prisoners,
Indulges in reprisals,
Jealous of _Lusitania_ records,
Laments over Allied blockade,
Lunatics called up for service,
Mutiny at Kiel,
New Peace offensive,
Old, contrasted,
Peace overtures,
Signs armistice,
Signs peace,
Sinks two hospital ships,
Sprays British soldiers with flaming petrol,
Squirts boiling pitch over Russians,
Torpedoes Neutral merchant ships,
Warns _Punch_,
Ghosts at Versailles,
God (and the Women) our shield,
_Goeben_, disaster to the,
_Good Hope_, H.M.S., sunk,
Gothas, activities of,
Gouraud, General,
Governesses, English, revelations of,
Grandcourt, taken by British,
Grand Fleet, ceaseless vigil of,
Title, passes.
Grapes of Verdun, the,
Great incentive, a,
Dominated by pro-German Court,
Hampers Allies,
Territory violated by Bulgarian troops,
Ultimatum presented to,
Greenwich time applied to Ireland,
Grey, Sir Edward
Dissatisfied with Neutrals,
Statements _re_ France and Belgium,
Grimsby fishermen's fight,
Guy Fawkes Day, no fireworks on,
Gwynn, Capt., undertakes to raise Irish brigade,

Haig, Sir Douglas
Commander-in-Chief of British Armies in France,
Issues a Dispatch,
Issues historic order,
Haldane, Lord
Debt to, for Territorials,
Lectures on Education,
Retires from Chancellorship,
Hamlet, U.S.A.,
_Hampshire_, the, mined,
Handyman, A,
Hardinge Report, Lords discuss the,
Harvest, a successful,
Haunted ship,
Havre, Belgian Government removed to,

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