Baltimore Evening Sun (20 September 1911): 6.


(Continued from Monday [1911-09-18].)

harsh cacophony of liquorish snoring, and from “The Horse Fair” of Rosa Bonheur, and from imitation mahogany furniture, and from the nocturnes of Frederic Francois Chopin, and from “lifelong” Democrats, and from prominent Baltimoreans, and from C. O. D. express packages, and from actors who speak of their “art,” and from the Constitution of the United States, and from puzzles in newspapers, and from excursion trains, and from Lake Roland water, and from Hegelism, and from female pundits who say “What do you think of Racine?” and from stiff knees, and from ragtime, and from professional veterans of the wars, and from canned book reviews, and from opera hats, and from barroom pianos, and from the interminable resolutions of the Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association—kind fates, deliver us!

The Hon. Richard J. Biggs, one of the new prestonized School Commissioners, in The Sun of yesterday morning:

I have naturally given considerable thought to the various problems [of the schools], but at this time I am unwilling to make my conclusions public. It would be unfair to the Mayor and to my colleagues on the board. I am going on the board without being bound by pledges of any kind. The Mayor did not ask for my opinion of the system, nor did I make any promises of my future course.

From a letter by the Hon. (then plain Mr.) Richard J. Biggs, in The Sun of July 7:

The Mayor very properly wants home talent employed in our public schools * * * He will not knowingly do anything to jeopardize the best work of our public school system. Let us trust him in these matters. * * * Mayor Preston would add lustre to our civic pride (sic). * * * His administration will be distinguished by a halo of prosperity and solid accomplishments for our people. * * *

In brief, the honorable gentleman favored the newspapers, in July, with windy eulogies of Preston and the Preston brand of balderdash, and now in September he tells us that he is going into the School Board with his platform kept secret from the Mayor, and as his own man. Certainly, good Biggs, you must be spoofing!

From an interview with the Hon. James Harry Preston:

“You don’t mind criticism?” I asked. “I don’t like it,” was the reply, “but you know I have had a great deal of it--and I have discovered that it does not do me any harm.”

Thus is Mr. Joesting betrayed in the house of his friends! Any harm, indeed? What’s the matter with no harm? Has the Mayor, too, absorbed some of that accursed Johns Hopkins poison?

A gentleman subscribing himself “One Who Knows” favors me with this note:

Such an artist-barber as you seek really does exist. His name is D------ and he works at the ------ Barber Shop. Gove him a trial—and the cigars.

Not on your life, good friend! At all events, not yet! First I’ll send a friend, and if that friend comes back with his epidermis intact and not a drop of blood on his collar, and with no soap in his mouth and no sickening smell of witch-hazel or cologne water or bay rum or talcum powder upon him, and if, at the end of 24 hour, he passes a satisfactory microscopic and. bacteriological examination--well, then perhaps I’ll try it myself. But not before.

Only 3 years 3 months and 26 days more!

Autumn novels that a civilized adult male or female may read without loss of self-respect:

“Jennie Gerhardt,” by Theodore Dreiser. “Whom God Hath Joined,” by Arnold Bennett.

Trashy novels that are being vastly praised by the newspaper critics:

“The Carpet From Bagdad,” by Harold McGrath. “Kennedy Square,” by F. Hopkinson Smith.

The last-named is as sickeningly sweet as a Chopin nocturne. Nearly 600 pages of young love. A stern papa. A lover’s misunderstanding lasting nearly 200 pages. A hero twice driven from the parental door. Faithful old servants. Sacrifice. Heroics. Tears slopping all over the place.

The scene is laid in Baltimore, and the period seems to be the forties of the last century. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the minor characters. He is invited to a grand toddy-guzzle given by the assistant hero and arrives prematurely varnished. In brief, the poor fellow is drunk. Some one asks him to recite one of his poems. He arises solemnly—and recites the Lord’s Prayer. And then, having done with him, the author kicks him out and to more is heard of him.

Why not invite Mr. Smith to Baltimore to intone the principal address when the Poe monument is dedicated?

Figments of the constabulary imagination, without visible form or substance:

The Black Hand. The White Slave Trade.

Four more who think that the experience won’t do them no harm.

The Voice of the People, as the sad winds of autumn bring it in:

That feller Preston don’t give a darn for nobody.

You know very well, of course, that “darn” is not the word they actually use. So do I. Let us nbow spell out that real word, thus: d----d. See—the printer pulls its teeth! Out come the middle letters and in goes a dash! Oh, the virtue of newspapers!