Punch, July 12, 1905


At Bath a burglar, finding the master of a house he had entered ill in bed, shook hands with him, and offered his condolences. It is to be hoped, said the Evening News, that this nice feeling will spread.

It has spread.

“Broke a rib, did it?” said the Australian express-trundler sympathetically, calling at the hospital on “Cotter’s Saturday Night” out. “Two ribs? Bless my soul! But we must look on the bright side. If you had stayed in, you might have broken a record.”

After sentencing a prisoner to seven days without the option of a fine last week, Mr. Plowden looked him up in his cell, shook hands with him, and made a pun upon his name, which he had forgotten to make in Court. The prisoner laughed heartily, but said that this was the first intimation he had received that his sentence included hard labour.

We wish that all members of the Force displayed the kindly spirit of X94 of Surrey. Having stopped a motorist near Guildford for driving at excessive speed, he drew him to the side of the road, presented him with an illuminated card bearing the words, “More haste, less speed,” and explained with great patience and attention to detail the workings of the stop-watch. He concluded the séance by advising him to go to a certain firm for petrol, theirs being the best in the market.




Unsigned article as printed; not credited to anyone in the Index to Vol. 129 of Punch; entered by Wodehouse in “Money Received for Literary Work.” McIlvaine says “two unsigned paragraphs” but Wodehouse’s entry lists the title of the entire item.


Alfred Chichele Plowden (1844–1914), police-court magistrate at Marylebone from 1893 to 1910, noted for flippant comments from the Bench. “Spy” portrait caricature from Vanity Fair. See his 1903 memoir Grain or Chaff?, available at Google Books, which looks to be a good read, based on a first glance, including extended public-school reminiscences of Winchester in the 1850s.