Baltimore Evening Sun (28 July 1911): 6.
Mayor Preston is giving Baltimore capital administration.--An apologist.
Not so much capital, good friend, as osseocapital.
Portrait of an American citizen who believes that all Italians belong to the Black Hand, that all Russians work in sweatshops and are nihilists, that all Frenchmen wear corsets, eat horse-meat, drink absinthe and are Don Juans, that all Spaniards carry poinards and smell of garlic, that all Norwegians and Swedes are block-heads, that all Greeks are boot blacks, that all Hollanders are delicatessen dealers and wear wooden shoes, and that all Germans divide their time between drinking beer and singing “Ha le, Ha lo!”; and who holds that he himself, because he was born in Maryland, is a better man than Galileo, Sophocles, Lope de Vega, Ibsen, Wagner or Bismarck:
Among the Editorials by the People today there is a letter from some Pocomoke City moralist which admirably reveals certain peculiar and invariable traits of the anti-rum crusader. Read, in particular, the second paragraph, with its easy assumption that all persons who drink at all are drunkards. No more ridiculous absurdity could be imagined, and yet the virtuosi of virtue are constantly embracing it. Observe, again, in the fifth paragraph the allegation that all persons who go to Back River on Sunday engage in “beastly carousing.” What a heartless libel upon thousands of poor and peaceful folk--honest workingmen who take their wives and children there--seeking only a chance to spend the day in comfort and to enjoy the few modest amusements within reach of their purses.
Is there no end to the over-earnestness of these chemical purists? Does the honesty of their intentions give them a free license to misrepresent and slander at their will? Why don’t they go down to Back River on some Sunday night and see for themselves? They will see, as I have seen, that drunken men are as rare there as in any other gathering of poor folk, that the order maintained is as good as that at the average campmeeting, and that three-fourths of the visitors are in family groups--poor people who are as far from carousing as they are from flying. Is it fair or decent to call these persons hogs and ruffians, simply because they happen to like flying horses and fried fish on Sunday, and a few glasses of beer? No doubt they would go automobiling if they could--but they can’t. Why spread falsehood about them? Why accuse them of filthy bestiality, of wife-beating, of blasphemy, of a hundred crimes that they no more commit than so many children?
Naturally enough, Back River also attracts ruffians. That is the misfortune of the poor--they must constantly come face to face with vice--in the streets they inhabit as well as at the resorts they visit. But, as I have tried hard to show, the county police make a brave and, on the whole, very successful effort to keep such ruffians down. And they have the active moral and physical support not only of the resort proprietors and their employes but also of fully 95 per cent. of the visitors. The poor man who takes his wife and children there on Sunday night wants peace, and, if necessary, he will fight for it. If you don’t believe it, just enter Hollywood with a chip on your shoulder. Men have tried it before you–and have gone out headfirst.
As for the sorrows of the mothers of drunkards, I have no desire to minimize them, but it must be obvious to any sane man that those who must bear them are often directly responsible for them. This is not the place to go into the genesis and nature of dipsomania--a definite and usually congenital condition--the cause of drunkenness rather than its effect. But the thought will not down that if women were more reluctant to become the wives of drunkards there would be fewer mothers of drunkards in the world.
Meanwhile, let us not dally with the superstition that all man who drink alcohol are drunkards, or that any considerable number of them run the slightest risk of becoming drunkards. Of the 95,000 white voters of Baltimore, it is probable that not more than 6,000 are rigid teetotalers, and yet it is also probable that not more than 2,000 of the 90,000 drinkers, or rather less than 2¼ per cent., are in any sense slaves or victims of alcohol. That even moderate drinking may injure a man I freely admit. But to suffer that slight injury is one thing and to be driven to wife-beating, forgery, arson and the other awful crimes in the Puritan pharmacopœia and to wallow in the gutter like a hog and to die finally of delirium tremens--that is quite another thing.
Only three years nine months and 20 days more!
From the Century Dictionary, edition of 1900, Vol. V, page 3,856.
morality, n. The practice of the duties inculcated by moral rules that are recognized as valid.
From the Century Dictionary, edition of 1915, volume and page still uncertain:
Baltimorality, n. The practice of the prejudices inculcated by moral rules that are recognized an invalid; morality complicated by auto-intoxication; virtue made vicious.
Boil your drinking water–and if it is too thick to boil, blast it!
One more good excuse for not taking a bath! Certainly, an old-fashioned administration favors us common people.
The American language, that exquisitely beautiful tongue:
He said he would do it, and he done like he said. His lady friend wouldn’t stand for no boozin’, and so he went to work and cut it out.