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The Forgotten Peace

Michael Small

Appendix 2. “Mediation” (from Punch)

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New York Herald (May 18, 1914)

1This short satiric play, published in the now-defunct British humour magazine Punch, is one of the few items in the Naón archive from Europe rather than North America. The following is the play in its entirety.

SCENE—A room at Niagara Falls. The Argentine, the Brazilian and the Chilian mediators are mediating; that is to say, they are sitting on rocking chairs not very close to a large table covered with papers, pens, ink, etc. A deep noise of falling water pervades the air. Out of compliment to Canada, the conversation is carried on in English.

Argentine Mediator—Cold, isn’t it?
Brazilian Mediator—Yes, there’s a great deal of cold in the atmosphere.
Chilian Mediator—We often get it colder than this in Chili.

2(A pause.)

A.M.—There’s a lot of water coming down.
B.M.—Yes, and it keeps coming, too, doesn’t it? C.M.—It isn’t as noisy as I thought it would be, though.
A.M.—Oh, I don’t know. It’s quite noisy enough.
B.M.—Yet it’s very difficult to concentrate one’s mind. We’ve got a waterfall in Brazil which has the same effect. You can’t do any work near it. People go there for a rest cure.
C.M.—There are a good many waterfalls in Chili, too, and they make more noise than this one.

3(A pause.)

A.M.—How long do you think we shall be here?
B.M.—A week, or a month, or a year—I don’t know.
C.M.—It’s a dull place, isn’t it?
B.M.—Dull as a ditchwaterfall. Ha ha!
C.M. and A.M. (together)—Ha ha! That’s capital!
B.M.—You fellows must remind me to telegraph that home to Brazil.
A.M.—By the way, I see Roosevelt has been in Brazil.
B.M.—Yes; isn’t it awful?
C.M.—Discovered a river, hasn’t he?
B.M.—Something of that sort. He’ll discover the world next.
A.M.—Anyhow, I’m glad he’s not here.
B.M.—By Jove, yes. Wouldn’t it be dreadful if he were?
C.M.—Don’t. You make my flesh creep.
B.M.—After all, I’m not sure he’s worse than Wilson. They are all alike, these Yankees. I’ve no use for them and their Monroe doctrine, have you?
A.M.—Not the slightest. If they think we’re children they’ll soon find out their mistake.
C.M.—Hear, hear!

4(A pause.)

A.M.—Anything new from Mexico? B.M.—No. Same old game.
C.M.—What’s Huerta up to? B.M.—Sitting tight.
A.M.—And what’s Villa doing?
B.M.—Oh, he’s been capturing Tampico a good deal lately.
C.M.—Isn’t a fellow named Zapata chipping in somewhere?
B.M.—Yes, he’s having a go, too.

5(A pause.)

A.M.—I say, you men, I’ve got an idea.
B.M.—Out with it, then.
C.M.—Yes, let’s have it then.
A.M.—Well, then, suppose we start by saying that Huerta and Wilson must both be eliminated. That’ll please both sides. Huerta will be tickled to death if Wilson has to go, and Wilson will be delighted at our backing up his policy. What do you think?
B.M.—I can’t think in all this noise.
C.M.—Nor can I, but I daresay it’s all right.
A.M.—I’m glad you like the idea. It’s fair to both sides, you see. That’s what mediation’s for.

6(Left mediating.)

Table des illustrations

Légende New York Herald (May 18, 1914)
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