Baltimore Evening Sun (21 August 1911): 6.
Baltimore seems to be losing the baseball pennant to Rochester, but the typhoid pennant, as usual, is safe.
Contributions to the new thesaurus of unprecedented. similes:
- As stupendously complacent as a prominent Baltimorean.
- As busy as a Back River bartender.
- As willing to be convinced as a legislator with a mortgage on his farm.
- As dear as cheap eggs.
- As black as a Haitian general.
- As populous with babies as a Gay street car on Sunday night.
- As loud as a candidate’s bellow.
- As rusty as a moralist.
- As artificial as a play by Charles Klein.
- As oleaginous as an Afro-American ecclesiastic.
- As bumptious as an actor.
- As ignorant of dramatic literature as a theatrical manager.
- As blind as a Baltimore county gendarme.
- As fat as Brunnhilde.
- As funny as “Camille.”
- As eager to please as a department head seeking reappointment.
- As bloodthirsty as a virtuoso of virtue.
- As tall as the hero of a best-seller.
- As poor as an honest lawyer.
- As gaudy as medicated lingerie.
- As poisonous as Maryland cookies.
- As obvious as a toupee.
- As tough as the chicken salad served at wedding breakfasts.
- As unimportant as a Maryland Congressman.
- As tone-deaf as a cornet player.
London, like Baltimore, is cursed by blue laws that go back to the nonage of civilization, but the actual state of affairs there is appreciably better than it is here, for the advocates of a reasonable Sunday, imitating the advocates of an unreasonable Sunday, have organized a militant association and already it is beginning to make a noise. In Baltimore, and in most other American cities, such an organization would be impossible, for it is very difficult to get an American to bear a musket against any cause which lays claim to virtue, however absurd that claim may be. Three Baltimoreans out of five, I believe, are firmly convinced that the present prohibition of Sunday concerts in theatres is barbarous, and yet not many of them would be willing to say so “out loud.” Such is the moral cowardice of the American. The Englishman, however, shows a firmer determination to get his rights and a less childish fear of self-confessed specialists in morality, and so he joins the National Sunday League and begins to write letters to the papers protesting against the Sabbath dullness of London--a dullness still so oppressive, despite many improvements of late, that no sane Londoner remains in London over Sunday if he can possibly get away.
The National Sunday League, in its effort to knock out one ancient statute, has hit upon the humorous device of employing another one as a weapon. Against the Sunday law, in brief, it opposes the Toleration act of 1689. By the terms of that act every religious body, whatever its tenets, is permitted to carry on its practices unimpeded by the civil authority so long as those practices do not violate the common decencies. Accordingly, the National Sunday League has registered as “a religious body,” the London County Council has officially recognized it, and it has begun, as such, to give Sunday concerts on a large scale. The Lord’s Day Observance Society, much annoyed thereby, denounces the league as “a sort of established anti-church under Couuty Council patronage and control.” But meanwhile the concerts go on.
Such a plan, of course, would not gain such support in Baltimore, for Americans have a less ardent love for their rights than Englishmen, and perhaps its impossibility is fortunate, for it would tend to make the Sunday question a religious question, which would engender bitterness and block all reform. But it is curious to note that the laws of Maryland do not stand in its way. We, too, have a Toleration act, or what is substantially a Toleration act, and it is even more hospitable than the English act. It gives legal countenance to any so-called religious organization, upon a mere statement of claim, and it gives the head of that organization the full rights of an ordained clergyman, including the right to solemnize marriages. If half-a-dozen hoboes get together and found a new rival to the Salvation Army and then proceed to elect a captain, that captain obtains at once, and without further process, all the rights of a bishop. If he begs upon the street, of course, he may be prosecuted as a beggar, and if he runs off with money given to him for specific ecclesiastical or benevolent purposes he may be brought back and made to disgorge, but in the matter of prescribing the ceremonies of his cult the law does not presume to interfere with him. He may hire a hall, give a cornet-and-drum concert on Sunday night and charge admission--and the policeman on the beat will plod on. He may wake the whole neighborhood with his bawling--and the law will not molest him.
But let that same man, or some other more decent man, bring the Boston Symphony Orchestra to Baltimore on a Sunday night and give a concert at the Lyric and charge 10 cents to hear it--and at once the machinery of justice will begin to revolve and by 10 o’clock Monday morning he will be ground to a pulp.
The Voice of the People, as the breeze from the Back Basin wafts it in:
You can say what you please, but that feller Preston ain’t afraid of nobody. Gorman must be a first-class man, or else they wouldn’t knock him so much. Them Progressive Democrats has blowed up and bust already.
From Old Subscribers who make a specialty of discovering typographical errors in newspapers, and from little girls who speak pieces, and from big girls who ask “What do you think of Maeterlinck?” and from the Hopkinspisiceocentric theory of the universe--kind fates, deliver us!
From wedding invitations, sciatica, breach of promise suits, “No Smoking” signs, Christmas presents, glided chairs, tight collars and Fletcherism, kind fates, deliver us!
From resilient beefsteaks, mummified eggs, icy soups, fibrous asparagus, glassy potatoes, soggy bread, fresh-water oysters and greasy chops, kind fates, deliver us!
From elderly ladies with sure cures for toothache, gout and tonsilitis, kind fates, deliver us!
Only three years, eight months and three weeks more!
The conjugation of certain American verbs (continued):