The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, April 1907
THERE was a young girl from a mill
Who fought with such vigour and skill
That Constable Y,
Whom she hit in the eye,
Is wearing a shade on it still.
One lady, apparently meek,
Was a golfer with muscles like teak.
A policeman, ’tis said,
Had to hop off to bed
When she whacked at his shin with a cleek.
A maid of Newcastle-on-Tyne
Desired as a martyr to shine.
She would languish, she cried,
In a gaol till she died—
But some humourist stumped up her fine.
There was a stern female of Lee
Who made for a timid M.P.,
But, eluding her grab,
He got into a cab—
For he wished to get home to his tea.
There was a young lady of Cheam,
Who couldn’t do much except scream.
But the bystanders say
She could beat—on her day—
An engine that’s letting off steam.
There was a stout lady of Chester,
Who said the disturbance distressed her.
So she sat on the ground
Till a crowd rallied round.
(It took seven men to arrest her.)
Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.
For more on the suffragettes in the news of the time, see John Dawson’s article on the subject. The verses above were based roughly on real incidents, though not particular people in each case. For an example:
Miss Billington Released. Fine Paid Without Consent. Miss Teresa Billington, one of the “suffragettes,” has been released from Holloway Gaol. Her release was totally unexpected by her. She had settled down to serve the sentence of two months’ imprisonment passed on her at the Marylebone Court last week for her assault on the police outside Mr. Asquith’s house in Cavendish-square. Her fine, fixed at £10 as an alternative to imprisonment, was paid by a lady sympathiser. (Manchester Courier, June 28, 1906)