Punch, February 24, 1904


Through the courtesy of a certain Editor, who placed it at our disposal, we are able to publish the following letters, selected from the contents of a waste-paper basket which has a circumference enormously larger than that of any other:—

Sir,—The accident of which your correspondent complains is one that might happen to anybody. All that he needs, in my opinion, is a little perseverance and determination. Perhaps travel would prove as efficacious in curing him as it was in curing me under similar circumstances. The object of my devotion was a lady whose refined singing and dancing had created something of a furore at the music halls. My life was temporarily blighted by the discovery that she was already married, and that her youngest son was then playing Hamlet in the provinces. But I soon recovered on joining my ship and going for my first voyage, and since then her memory has cost me scarcely a pang. Like the good sailor I am, I have now a wife at Marseilles, a second at Amsterdam, a third in London, and others at Nagasaki, New York, Athens, Archangel, and, I believe, Constantinople.

I am, yours, &c., Viking.

Sir,—Your correspondent might derive consolation from the history of the Israelite kings. King Solomon was in all probability jilted—perhaps frequently—in his salad days. Yet in the end, by persevering and not giving way, he amassed the substantial total of one thousand (1,000) wives. Without counselling him actually to go and do likewise, I should like to point out to your correspondent that this is the right spirit.

Yours, &c., Theologian.

My very dear Sir,—Take my advice, and look on the bright side. What seems a misfortune at first sight, often proves in the end to be a blessing. Many years ago I was engaged for six months to a lady who afterwards refused to marry me. What was the result? Misery? Gloom? Not a bit of it. I wrote and placed to great advantage articles on “How to Propose,” “Buying the Ring,” “Do Girls like Presents?” “The £ s. d. of Courtship,” “Should Kisses be Taxed?” and “How to write a Love-letter;” also two hundred and four sets of verse, and a powerful story called The Jilting of Joshua Jenkins. I attribute to my engagement and the experience I derived from it my present position of sub-editor on Blogg’s Weekly Nuggets. Verb. sap.

Yours in haste,        
Energetic Journalist.




Unsigned article as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 126 of Punch.


Editor’s note:
Verb. sap.: Abbreviated Latin tag for “a word to the wise is sufficient”