[Editor: This editorial was published in Aussie: The Cheerful Monthly (Sydney, NSW), 15 April 1920. Aussie was originally an Australian Army periodical published in France (Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine); when its editor returned home, he recreated it as a civilian publication. The issue of 15 April 1920 was the first copy of Aussie published in Australia.]
This gives you a tearful introduction to “Aussie.”
If you don’t like pathos skip this.
AUSSIE is starting out life in difficult times. He can’t at present afford to have the kind of features his parents would like to see.
His worried Editorial mother has had many tearful arguments with his brutal business father. The old man has said plainly that there are many things that the offspring can’t have in these hard times of paper shortage and skilled labour shortage and time shortage and just plain shortage. And poor, old grief-stricken Ma has more than once burst into tears because circumstances will not allow her offspring, in whom she centred all her hopes, to start out in life with the same advantages as other journalistic children have done in more favourable times. But brutal Pa has hit her hard and definitely with a slab of figures, and poor old Ma has had to wipe her eyes and give in.
It’s hard, dear brethren, to see your ideals smashed by a horrible commercial father. Ma has more than once called him a brute and an inhuman father, and even threatened to divorce him. But in her heart she knows that he is right, although it hurts. He must make ends meet. It’s no use making the child too flash at his birth , and then meeting with an impecunious end later on because there isn’t sufficient financial nourishment in the house to keep him alive.
But the old man has definitely promised that as soon as things get nearer normal he’ll spend all the money he’s got in improving AUSSIE’s appearance. So Ma has had to dry her tears and carry on.
We don’t like to have to worry you with these distressing family matters, poor suffering reader, but we’ve done it with a deadly purpose. We want to give you a hint. In fact, to be quite frank with you, we want to put the hard word on you for the price of a yearly subscription. That’s the way to help AUSSIE. Between you and us, it pays better to send AUSSIE to you direct than indirectly. You’ll find an order-form somewhere at the back of these premises. Fill it in, kind reader, and give eight bob a fly. It will keep flying for twelve months.
Aussie: The Cheerful Monthly (Sydney, NSW), 15 April 1920, p. 12
Aside from the heading, the whole of this article was in italics.
bob = a shilling (equivalent to twelve pence); after the decimalisation of the Australian currency in 1966, the monetary equivalent of a shilling was ten cents; the phrase “a couple of bob” could specifically refer to two shillings (and, later on, to twenty cents), but it was generally a common reference to a small amount of money, as in “can you lend me a couple of bob?”
impecunious = impoverished, penniless, poor, possessing little or no money
Ma = mama, mother (commonly capitalised when used regarding a specific person, such as one’s own mother)
Pa = papa, father (commonly capitalised when used regarding a specific person, such as one’s own father)
pathos = compassion or pity; or an experience, or a work of art, that evokes feelings of compassion or pity