Baltimore Evening Sun (26 December 1911): 6.


Only 1,239 days more! Well, well, don’t be downcast! A five-year mortgage an your house will carry you over.

Every year the taxpayers of Baltimore are overcharged $1,100,000 by the collector of State taxes. That sum, devoted to the city’s uses, would reduce the tax rate 35 cents. Laugh, suckers, laugh!

From one colicky with etiquettical doubts and misgivings:

When, in speaking to a married woman, it becomes necessary to refer to her husband, what should he be called?

In speaking to a married woman, dear sir, it is never necessary to refer to her husband—never necessary and never humane. Give her a holiday. Let her thoughts wander to pleasanter themes. But if, by any accident, the fellow has to be mentioned, then speak of him just as you would speak to him if he were present. That is to say, if you are in the habit of calling him Jack, then refer to him as Jack, and if you ordinarily call him Smith, then refer to him as Smith.

The common American practice of using “Mr.” in speaking of a man to his wife is barbarous and absurd. It is but one manifestation of the grotesque over-mistering which goes on in this benighted land. Men who have known each other for years still use “Mr.” in speaking to each other. That is all well enough between men who differ obviously in rank or station—for example, employer and employe, old man and young man—but it is ridiculous between equals. The simple surname, without prefix, is correct.

The United States is probably the most formal country in the world—the effect, of course, of that dubiety which hangs about every American’s social and professional status. The rank of an Englishman or a German is always definitely fixed. If an Englishman is a gentleman, he is the exact equal of all other English gentlemen and he demands from them and accords to them a frank recognitton of the fact. And if a German is a doctor, he is an indubitable doctor—of medicine, or law, or philosophy, or music—and not, by any chance, a mental healer, a patent medicine vender or a bartender, as may happen in the United States. In this country rank and station are more elusive things; it is seldom possible to determine, without elaborate and embarrassing cross-examination, whether a stranger is a superior or an inferior. If it is assumed that he us the latter, a lamentable error may be made, and whether an error made or not he will be insulted, anyhow. So the custom has arisen of assuming that he is a superior, and of clinging to that assumption indefinitely, even after its absurdity has become painfully evident.

But with all this excess of formality, we Americans remain the least courteous and respectful people in Christendom. Accustomed to the false assumption that all persons not intimate friends are superiors, and secretly aware of its grotesque falsity, we deny to real superiority that respect which is its due. Not long ago I happened to walk down Charles street 10 paces behind a man of the highest attainments—a scientist of the first rank and of international reputation—in brief, one of the most eminent men ever resident in Maryland—and what is more, a man of conspicuous official station. In six blocks but two persons took notice of him, and neither of these thought it worth while to bare the head to him!

Imagine that happening in Germany, or France, or Italy, or Spain, or Austria, or any other civilized country. In those lands a man of such obvious distinction enjoys public respect, and that respect takes a visible form. It is not considered infra dignitatem, on meeting such a man on the street, to take off one’s hat. But in this country, by a silly perversion of ideas, that simple honor is chiefly reserved for women. No matter how inconsequential the woman, one must greet her with bare head. But it is perfectly proper, by American standards, to greet any man, save perhaps the President of the United States and a few other such official magnificoes, with chapeau glued to osseocaput.

Every time a Baltimore taxpayer pays $1 in State taxes he is robbed of 33 cents by unfair and piratical tax laws and of another 33 cents by useless job-holders. Laugh, suckers, laugh!

Evidently the Committee on Boggus Statistics is still hard at work. The Youth’s Companion prints a typhoid diagram showing that Pittsburgh, Louisville and Washinnton have more cases of that amusing disease in their midsts than Baltimore. Can it be? Answer: It cannot! The Orioles are still champions! Let the committee send out its artful figures! Let the Youth’s Companion fall for them! The Orioles still hold the lead!

In New York, the other day, an actor committed suicide. Ah, that such courageous agreement with the critics were commoner!

Contributions toward a mathematically accurate dictionary of the English language:

Scientific Management, n., A plan for reducing the collar of foam without exalting the price. Yellow Journalism, n., A device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.

Extract from John Bull, the English weekly, respectfully referred to the learned amateurs of purity of the Lord’s Day Alliance:

From the Christian point of view there is so such thing as Sabbath desecration, because Christianity has no Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday are at opposite ends of the week. The Sabbath, the Shabbath of the Jews, the Sabbatu of the Assyrians, is the seventh day—the Friday sunset to the Saturday sunset. Sunday is the first day. So far as Scriptural warrant is concerned, it may be said that people are entirely free to do what they please on Sunday.

Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Forget Santa Claus for another year! Save your pennies for the tax man!

Baltimore is the only large American city under-represented in the State Legislature and the only large American city paying 50 per cent. more than its fair share of State taxes. Laugh, suckers, laugh!

Among the 1,365 persons who died of tuberculosis in Baltimore last year were the following:

Domestics...........................104 Chambermaids.................... 1
Cooks.................................. 21 Waitresses........................... 3
Laundresses......................... 27 Other servants.....................19

Chiefly blackamoors, of course—and most of them left legacies in our kitchens. Yet so far the intellectual giants who govern us have not thought it worth while to pay much heed to the negro consumptive.