Baltimore Evening Sun (15 February 1912): 6.


The daily thought from “Also sprach Zarathustra”:

Be that day reckoned lost on which we did not dance once. And be every truth called false in which no laughter was concealed.

Stenographic report of the remarks of the Hon. Mahoni Amicus on hearing of the appointment of Brigadier-General Lawrason Riggs to the Police Board:



Stenographic report of the remarks of the same great statesman on hearing of the appointment of the Hon. Geo. A. Solter to the Board of Police Examiners:



And still good old Jake, his arteries throbbing with the hideous poisons of banquet victualry, dreams of a Tax Department manned entirely by maduro and colorado-maduro clerks, creatures of the abominable Merit System—and so bounces from his pallet with a yell which sets the whole of Old Town to rattling.

Goin’ to the Legislature ain’t hardly worth a body’s time no more. If things keep gettin’ worse, they’ll have to be sentencin’ men to it next.

As an agreeable antidote to the current sobbing about the high cost of living, let me recommend an article in the Country Gentleman of January 27 by James Alvin, a literary gentlemap who seems to be thoroughly convinced, and who offers proof in support of his conviction, that the cost of decent food is lower in Baltimore than in any other big city in America.

It is our market system, according to Mr. Alvin, that keeps the cost of our victuals down and their quality up. Baltimore is the only American city of the first class in which the farmer, the man who actually grows the things we eat, sells them directly to the consumer. Every market day a thousand such farmers drive into Baltimore with their wagonloads of produce—600 of them going to Lexington Market alone. The effect of this system, says Mr. Alvin, is doubly beneficial. In the first place it sets up direct competition with the extortionate middleman, and in the second place it gives us vegetables of a degree of freshness unobtainable elsewhere. In brief, we not only pay less for the food we eat than the folks of other big cities, but we get food of vastly superlor quality.

The farmer, of course, is not ignorant of current values. He is not fool enough to sell his fresh eggs at 20 cents a dozen when cold-storage eggs are bringing 35. But, as Mr. Alvin shows, his presence in the markets is a constant guarantee against the more outrageous forms of extortion. His stock is perishable and so he wants to sell it all before going home. And it is obviously better for him to sell it directly to the consumer, at a moderate but still fair profit, than to hand it over to a middleman and accept the latter’s discount of 25 or 50 per cent.

Such is the theory. Go to the facts and you find them bearing it out. During the recent aviation of fresh eggs, when the common price for them in New York was from 70 to 75 cents a dozen, it remained at from 45 to 50 cents in Baltimore. In other words, the difference in favor of Baltimore was 33 per cent. And in the case of other products of the farm similar differences were visible. Mr. Alvin shows, for example, that on a purchase of $5 worth of vegetables and poultry, made in Lexington Market one day last December, the Baltimore prices, compared to the New York prices of the same day, saved him 80 cents, or 16 per cent.

The indirect benefits of this market system of ours are almost as great as the direct benefits. For one thing, it encourages housewives to do their own buying. Instead of telephoning to a green-grocer and taking whatever he sends, and at whatever price he chooses to fix, they go to market and buy from the grower. This custom greatly widens their range of choice and incidentally increases their competence to choose. In brief, they learn how to buy, and that knowledge, in itself, is a powerful influence against fancy and injustifiable prices.

If this had been last September, some bum grand jury would have went to work an’ indicted Murray. But it don’t seem like grand juries ain’t cuttin’ up no more monkey-shines like they used to cut up.

May the curse of Ab-Kyrathemas and the seven plagues of Hindustan, and the bad luck of Mowjaeril, the son of Aoi, and the major and minor maledictions of the Twenty-Four Pundits, and the eighth scourge of the Book of Abbo-Adoniram, and the grand anathema of the Seventh and Ultimate Circle, and the pestilence of gnats, and the torment of grasshoppers, and the unbearable collocation of lumbago and St. Vitus’ dance fall upon any rogue, rascal, knave, scamp, wretch, miscreant, felon, reprobate, villain or scoundrel who refuses to admit, publicly, vociferously and with his hand on his heart, that the Legislature of Maryland is a parliament of pure and soaring souls, as devoid of guile as a herd of babes unborn and as saturated with sapience as a seminary of pythons! Adv.

New books that you may road without loss of self-respect:

“Studies Military and Diplomatic,” by Charles Francis Adams. “A Personal Record,” by Joseph Conrad. “The Footliglits Fore and Aft,” by Channing Pollock. “Lady Patricia,” by Rudolph Bester.

Some kind friend, writing to the estimable Evening Sunpaper yesterday afternoon proposed that I be hanged. A suggestion not without its sapience, its romantic appeal. Why live forever? Why labor like a slave, pile up the riches of a Crœsus—and then die eventually of acute indigestion? Far better an earlier and more dignified exitus, to the music of fifes and drums and the joy of the great masses. To be hanged is to play the star role in civilization’s most sublime and affecting ceremony. Hanged men are remembered, revered, respected. Thousands of Baltimoreans cherish Blaney and Winder who never heard of Sidney Lanier. Therefore, I gladly offer myself for the noose, suggesting July 4 next as the time and Hollywood Park as the place. The one condition I make is that I be permitted to nominate three fellow-candidates, all to be hanged at the same time—one to be some politician above the rank of ward heeler, the second to be a professional moralist, and the third to ne a Prominent Baltimorean.