At Drury Lane.

Vanity Fair (UK), October 3, 1906

It’s only very foolish souls
Who to Newcastle carry coals.
Yet at the Lane they make a hit
By wafting sulphur to the Pit.



Printed unsigned in Vanity Fair; entered by Wodehouse as “Two Epigrams” for this issue in Money Received for Literary Work.



“Drury Lane has, in the coming production of ‘The Bondman,’ set itself the task of surpassing even its former achievements in realism and sensationalism. Farm stock will appear on the stage, and the farms of England have been ransacked for agricultural implements that were in use half a century ago. The climax of the stage-craft on this occasion will be reached in the representation of the sulphur mines of Sicily. There will be belching sulphur, inky pools, and steam hissing through the crevices in the rocks. In the midst of this inferno chained convicts will work. (Aberdeen Journal, September 4, 1906) Another of P.G.’s innumerable jests at the writer Hall Caine. See also “Stage Actualities” (Punch, October 3, 1906).


John Dawson