Daily Express, London, Friday, February 8, 1907







It was the stout Progressive
 Who said that he’d explain
(Explain most lucidly to me)
The methods of the L.C.C.,
 And prove that from the trams they ran
   Substantial profits came.
I rather wondered, I admit,
How he would ever manage it.

It was the stout Progressive
 Who talked of gross and net,
And mixed them up to such a pitch
That to tell t’other from the which
 Was far too hard a task for me:
  I haven’t done it yet.
These things come easier, I find,
If you’ve a real Progressive mind.

It was the stout Progressive
 Who caused my brain to spin.
I said, “But, man, how can there be
A profit when each day I see
 The rates go climbing to the sky?
  Where does the gain come in?
Your arguments appear profound,
But still, I can’t believe they’re sound.”

It was the stout Progressive
 Who added with a grin,
“The ratepayer’s a guileless lamb
Who can’t distinguish truth from sham,
 Just call a loss a profit and,
   Bless you, he’ll take it in!
He doesn’t understand a scrap:
Just pays the bill, the dear old chap.”



Printed unsigned in the newspaper; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work with the title “The Progressive on the Tram”—McIlvaine misread this as “The Professor on the Train” in her bibliography.