The Life of Pleasure.

Vanity Fair (UK), November 10, 1904

(General Kuropatkin has stated that “this is the pleasantest war I was ever engaged in.”)

WHENE’ER I sally to the fight,
   I feel a sort of calm delight:
I think I never hit on quite
  So high a time before.
A fellow really gets a lot
Of quiet fun from dodging shot;
And as for night attacks! Great Scott,
  This is a jolly war.

I wonder if you know the Japs?
They’re most delightful little chaps:
The way they make my plans collapse
  Compels a man to roar.
Some Generals might not think it fun
To lose a regiment or a gun;
I’m far from being such an one:
  This is a jolly war.

Their leaders are a genial set.
I own somehow I haven’t met
Oyama or Kuroki yet:
  That pleasure’s still in store.
But yet, to judge from all reports,
They’re wonderfully decent sorts:
It’s fun to see them storming forts;
  This is a jolly war.




Printed unsigned in Vanity Fair; entered by Wodehouse for this date in Money Received for Literary Work.



“BEATEN GENERAL’S TRIBUTE. In an informal conversation which I had with General Kuropatkin in the field just before the battle commenced, he spoke in glowing terms of the bravery of the Japanese, saying that they were a brave foe; also that they were most correct in observance of the rules of war. In this respect, he added, it was the pleasantest war he had ever been in.” (Manchester Courier, October 17, 1904)


John Dawson