The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, February 1905


(The Mayor of Dover says that, if he were Czar, he would send all the Grand Dukes to Siberia.)


GRAND DUKES, you’ll very quickly learn
That e’en Imperial worms will turn
When ill-conditioned dukes contrive
Their peace of mind to mar.
The state of Russia’s rotten grown,
If I can’t call my soul my own,
And you persist in pirating
The pleasures of the Czar.

GRAND DUKES: We represent in humble
Tones, small father, that you grumble
Quite unduly that unruly
Your grand ducal cronies are.
We are ready to obey you.
And our constant wish is ‘May you
Live for ever, and endeavour
To delight in being Czar.’

If a man who writes a novel
Should not adequately grovel
In his pages, send his wages
To him in Siberiar.
If a moujik’s heard to mutter
Indiscretions from the gutter
You can bind him, then remind him
(With the knout) that you are Czar.

Oh, pardon us, who’re stating
We are not appropriating
From your ‘perks’ the bomb that lurks
In the shape of a cigar.
To avoid it—at your leisure—
Is a sport we know you treasure,
Lightly dodging, lest it lodge in
Say—the optic of a Czar.

      CZAR: Amusements such as you rehearse
Remain for me: they might be worse.
But I repeat that you’ve annexed
The jolliest one by far.
Go toil in distant salted mine,
For Dover’s mayor has given the sign.
Henceforward all petitioners
Will be dealt with by the Czar.



Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.