Baltimore Evening Sun (22 February 1912): 6.


Study for a hand-painted oil painting of Dr. John M. T. Finney, to be hung in the Mayor’s reception room at the City Hall:


Letter from an anti-vivisectionist to the Editor of The Evening Sun: Cannot Mr. Mencken comprehend that personal abuse of one’s opponent serves only to cloud the issue and in no way answers argument?

Personal abuse? Is it personal abuse to call an anti-vivisectionist a liar—and prove it? If so, then it is also personal abuse to send a burglar to jail.

Bitter note from some hunkerous foe of the extension of the suffrage:

Do you mean to say that it is possible for a woman to make speeches from automobiles, to go to Annapolis with politicians, and to write letters to newspapers—and still remain a lady?

Of course I don’t. These acts are as repugnant to the character of a lady as the act of smoking cigars. No woman who performs them, or who even talks of performing them, can remain a lady ten seconds thereafter. The very thought of them is enough to give a real lady the fantods, if not to send her into a swoon. As well ask her to plow a cornfield or hang a man.

But who the deuce wants to be a lady? Certainly no intelligent and healthy woman in these bouncing times! The essential thing about a lady is the public assumption that she has neither legs nor brains. The nearer she comes to the intellectual and physical vacuity of a wax figure in a Lextngton-street shop window, the more she is esteemed. If, barking her shins, she looses a sedative “Damn,” she ceases to be a lady, for it is the theory of civilization (a) that a lady doesn’t know the word, and (b) that she has no shins. And if, having an idea about anything under the sun, she ventures to express it, she is at once excommunicated, for an idea is as disgraceful to a lady as katzenjammer.

But alas and alack, the days of this anemic and fragile creature, of this marionette de luxe, of this eviscerated and semi-solid vertebrate are now numbered. The woman of today, disdaining the lady’s fantastic frauds and immunities, is content to be a simple human being. And in assuming the hazards which go with that character, she insists quite properly upon exercising its privileges too. If she has something to say, she mounts a soap box and says it. If she wants to go to Annapolis, she buys a ticket and goes. And if any specialist in propriety objects, she stays her blushes and has at him with a cobblestone.

As yet, of course, complete emancipation is but a dream. Even the most intelligent women of today—-i. e., the most enthusiastic suffragettes—still show traces of ladyism. There is not one of them, I believe, who would not be shocked by the thought of smoking a corncob pipe in public, or of jumping upon a car in rapid motion, or of taking a drink at a public bar—all essentially decent and moral acts, but all repugnant to the character of a lady. Such is the effect at heredity, of superstition, of lingering prejudice.

But the time is not far distant when women will slough off all such ridiculous traditions and pruderies. The two sexes will then face each other upon terms of frank equality. It will be perfectly respectable for a woman to engage in any enterprise lawful to a man, and it will be perfectly proper for any man, on being insulted by a woman, to knock her down.

Headline on an editorial in the official newspaper of the Mahon-super-Mahon sub-Mahon camorra:


Scared by what? By the yells and and lacerations of the Right Hon. James McC. Trippe?

The City Council, in the course of its benign odoriferous progress and improvement, has reached such a stage that its radiations are now no worse than those from jimpson weeds or fried onions. The hope of all good men is that it may eventually invade the field of actual perfumery, and so give battle to the vernal roses.

I have to thank my great and good friend the Hon. Henry A. McMains, D. O., pursuivant of the League for Medical “Freedom,” Maryland Branch, for the following group picture of the indubitable allopaths who belong to that highly sapient organization:

The Blue Laws now in force in Baltimore are frankly idiotic. They prohibit acts which are natural and normal to all civilized white men. They invade and outrage the rights of the individual. They put a premium upon oppression and blackmail. They are utterly vicious and preposterous. It is entirely impossible to enforce them. In consequence, every professional moralist in town to in favor of them and the Legislature of Maryland refuses absolutely to repeal them.

A good cigar for the name and address of a first-class spiritualist medium—not a cheap pickpocket, but an A1 operator, able to do all of the good tricks and in a workmanlike, finished fashion.

The American language, so loose, so lovely:

I have got a certainly bad cold. Such weather I never seen before in former times. Harry has got all of them charter boomers hangin’ over the side of the boat.

The daily thought from “Also sprach Zarathrustra”:

What hath hitherto been the greatest sin on earth? Was it not the word of him who said “Woe unto those who laugh here”?