Baltimore Evening Sun (23 October 1911): 6.


Only 1,307 days more! But time enough to get the firemen out about 10,000 times and to sprain the ankles of at least 20,000 horses!

J. Albert Hughes! J. Albert Hughes! Sad times ahead for such as youse!

The Voice of the People, as the zephyrs of Indian Summer waft it in:

A person don’t hardly hear nothing no more about them School Commissioners.

The more they indict, the more they ain’t goin’ to send nobody to no penitentiary.

J. Albert Hughes! J. Albert Hughes! Cease weeping, Brother, and enthuse!

The betting odds to the down-town ifs, as my spies report them:

20 to 1 that the super-Mahon won’t be jailed for sending in that false alarm.
4 to 1 that Gorman is elected.
3 to 1 that McNulty is defeated.
18,500 to 1 that the super-Mahon won’t be renominated and re-elected in 1915.

The lexicon of American synonyms for married:

Jugged, Exiled,
Poisoned, Civilized,
Asphyxiated, Cashiered.

J. Albert Hughes! J. Albert Hughes! Your name inspires the snickering Muse.

And now they denounce the super-Mahon for sending in that false alarm. What rot! The question before him was whether or not the neighborhood of Fulton avenue and Baker street had adequate protection against fire. What was the easiest, the most sensible way to get an answer? Obviously, to sound a fire alarm and measure the hiatus between the alarm and the arrival of the engines. And that is just what the honorable gentleman did. He arrived upon the scene full of grave doubts, oppressed by a heavy problem of administration. He left it bulging with information and with his mind made up.

The thing, of course, was unethical, anarchistic, in violation of precedent. The orthodox course would have been to appoint a commission to inquire into the matter. That is what the Greater Baltimore Committee would have done. It would have apoointed a committee of Prominent Baltimoreans, that committee would have appointed subcommittees, the subcommittees would have appointed secretaries, and the secretaries would have proceeded to solve the problem by the binomial theorem and the theory of least squares.

Not so the super-Mahon. He grabbed the bull by the horns, the sow by the ear. A crude act, but one producing immediate results. Don’t denounce him, messieurs. If you do you will denounce him for the one virtue he undoubtedly possesses--the virtue, to wit, of knowing exactly what he wants and getting it by the early gothic process of grabbing it by the tail. Thus he got that deposit for the Calvert Bank, thus he got the goat of the late Mr. Van Sickle, and thus he will get his gag ordinance from the City Council.

J. Albert Hughes! J. Albert Hughes! McNulty’s feet are in your shoes!

A Watterson boom for the Presidency of this fair republic now diverts and amazes the common people, with the following gentlemen in charge of it:

Gen. Cromwell Gibbeas, Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida.
Col. Watson Carvasso Squire, LL. B., formerly United States Senator from the state of Washington.
The Hon. Victor Herbert, Mus. Doc., author of “The Serenade,” “The Fortune Teller” and “The Wizard of the Nile.”
The Hon. William H. Crane, late of the team of Robson and Crane.
The Hon. Robert Hilliard, vaudevillian.
The Hon. Armand Duval, head waiter in the Waldorf-Astoria kaif.

Far be from any lowly journalist to say a word against this boom for the Louisville Aristotle. There is no man in the world today whom we all revere more than we revere the Hon. Henry Watterson. He is the wisest, the wittiest, the shrewdest, the boldest of all political soothsayers. A paragraph from his pen is as a thousand; a two-column editorial means a day of roaring joy. Few cognoscenti, having read both Watterson and Shakespeare, are ever quite sincere thereafter in their praise of Shakespeare. The Colonel is miles above all other living essayists and haruspices. Lesser men have made of politics a trade, a craft, a business, a science, a madness, a gamble, a superstition, a zymotic disease–but he alone has made of it a fine art. He is its Leonardo da Vinci, its Moliere, its Johann Sebastian Bach.

All the same I am forced to express the hope that he will never be president of these States--and the reason therefor is very simple. Once in the White House the Colonel would be immediately denaturized, dephlogisticated. It would become necessary for him to frame a definite and permanent platform, to nail his flag to immutable principles, to devote a full half of his time to explanations and apologies. He would go, in brief, the way of Roosevelt and Taft. We would have before as the strange spectacle of Watterson defending himself, of Watterson submitting to the cross-examination of the vulgar, of Watterson touring the country with his hat in his hand--kissing babies, praising bad victuals, wearing a fixed, mechanical smile.

The scene depresses. The Watterson we all love and revere is a far different Watterson. His whole charm is in his virulent independence. He is most delightful when he is running amuck. Take away from him his surprises, his anarchies--and a mere man would be left. He is inconceivable save an one accountable to nobody, following nobody, caring a hoot for nobody. To make him President would be to spoil him. As well reverse his collar and make him a bishop!