Tuesday, 24 March 2015

No More Sweaters

From The Times, 24th March 1915.



Sir, -- May I invade your columns for the last time, to say that as I now have enough sweaters on hand to fulfil all promises made, and as we are within measurable distance of warmer weather, I propose to close my work?  Your readers should on no account take this as any kind of ex cathedra statement that no more warm clothing is needed.  I only state the fact that I have enough to carry on my small venture until the warm weather comes.  There are, however, some things that are wanted throughout the year – e.g., socks, shirts, and all cheerful little things like cigarettes, packets of tobacco and sweets, writing-paper, other personalia, and small medicaments.  Any of the above I am willing to continue sending weekly throughout the summer.  I venture further to suggest that it is a pity for ladies to let the “knitting habit” die down.  Should we not do well to begin forming laagers of warm things for the autumn and winter?  It is neither difficult nor pessimistic to prophecy a revival of the needed for comforts towards the close of the year.  When peace is signed, Israel cannot return to his tents in an afternoon.

I render account of my sweaters: -- 13,443 is the number to-day, the miscellanea kindly sent to make fillings for the sacks bringing the figures close up to 20,000.  We are told that this supplement of sweaters, &c., has been of some sort of use and comfort to you, soldier and sailor too, while you have been training, watching, fighting, and dying for us, the long wet winter through.  E superabundantia cordis os loquitur – we are honoured that this should have been so.  I thank my helpers for much unlooked-for kindness.  They send me the sweaters and pay for the dyeing.  I merely win the wager and get the credit.  So no more of sweaters – till the autumn.

Yours faithfully,
8 King’s Bench-walk, Inner Temple, E.C., March 23.

[John Penoyre had obviously had a classical education, but I'm not sure how many of his women readers would be able to translate the Latin. E superabundantia cordis os loquitur - the original quote seems to be ex abundantia cordis os loquitur, which is translated as 'out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks', and according to Wikipedia is from the New Testament.

Laager is a word that would I think have been familiar to all his readers from the South African War - it means a camp, or more specifically 'an encampment formed by a circle of wagons', and here he just uses it to mean a store.]

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