Baltimore Evening Sun (8 April 1912): 6.


The sensitive hydrogensulphidographs at the Johns Hopkins University show that the Back Basin isready tossing in its sleep.

Bon Lee found another man willing to wear a Preston button yesterday. That makes six in less than a week.

Reports from Kid Cochran’s roadhouse are that Young Anderson is fast getting into condition. He goes for a ten-mile lope across country every morning, eats six hearty meals a day and works hard with the punching bag and megaphone. Not only is he determined to meet and take the scalp of Young Kid Price, Jr., in June, but he also makes plans for a bout with Young Moore, of Snow Hill, a very tough boy of these parts. The betting is now 10 to 1 that he will achieve the goat of Price and 20 to 1 that he will carry off the toupee of Young Moore. Yesterday he favored the sporting reporters with the following wheeze:

No Moore money and no Moore Price!

From the Sunpaper’s account of the Easter parade:

City Engineer McCay McCoy passed the Mayor’s home without getting a glimpse of the city’s Executive.

A truly pathetic example of love’s labor lost.

That same immoral witzblat reports that the Hon. Mr. Preston “afforded amusement for a large number of paraders when he posed for a moving-picture camera.” Certainly, this use of the word “amusement” is inept and unfortunate. Rather say edification, enlightenment, improvement, education, ravishment, ecstatification, eurapturement, entrancement, enchantment, fascination, captivation, bewitchment, electrification, enamouration, allurement, bezauberung, erbauung, seduction, enticement, beatification, felicitation, bedazzlement, blinding, amazement, embarrassment, astonishment, delirization. To say that the common people are amused when their eyes pop out, their limbs tremble with delight and the down bristles upon their necks is to say something that is palpably Inadequate, preposterous and indecent.

From a pleasant little note to the Editor of The Evening Sun, bearing the sign manual of the Hon. W. C. Williams, press agent of the local Christian Scientists:

In one of his recent delightful outbursts he [the Hon. Mr. Mencken] stated very emphatically that Dr. Wwelch knew vastly more about medicine than the average Christian Science healer. I am surprised by this emphasis of Mr. Mencken, because it unmistakably implies that he believes Christian Scientists claim to know more about medicine than physicians. They do not make such an absurd claim * * * Christian Scientists do not use medicines. Then why should they care to know about them?

An almost classical example of Christian Science evasion, and hence worthy the attention of the judicious. I used the mord “medicine” in the broad sense of the art of combating disease; the Hon. Mr.Williams chooses to understand it in the narrow sense of a dose of castor oil—and there you are. Such silly juggling with words is to be encountered in practically all Christian Science writings. My meaning, I haven’t the slightest doubt, was perfectly clear to the Hon. Mr. Williams, for I specifically mentioned surgery as a part of medicine, and surgery has nothing whatever to do with “medicines,” and yet the honorable gentleman bases his whole answer upon the assumption that “medicine” and “medicines” are identical, and obviously regards that infantile trick as a proof of sagacity.

When a Christian Science healer-grafter essays to cure a case of cancer of the stomach by reading “Science and Health” to the patient he palpably practices medicine—first, by pretending to make a diagnosis, and, secondly, by prescribing a course of trestment. The fact that he does not prescribe “medicines”—i. e., drugs or serums–is entirely immaterial. It is well known to everyone that, in the treatment of many diseases, drugs are of small value. Typhoid fever is an example and tuberculosis is another. An educated physician, in dealing with such a malady, sometimes finds it unnecessary to use any drugs at all. But he is practicing medicine nevertheless. And so is a psychotherapist who follows the same route.

It is my private belief that in the two chief departments of the art of medicine—diagnosis and treatment—the knowledge of Dr. Welch is infinitely greater than that of any Christian Science healer in Christendom, or, indeed, than that of all of them taken together. I may be wrong in holding to this belief, and I stand ready to abandon it whenever proof of my error is brought forward. But I do not reckon the idle word-juggling of the Hon. Mr. Williams as such proof, nor the preposterous and unsupported claims of mental healers. Going further, I hold that any person who does accept such evidence is a tedious and ridiculous ignoramus.

The Hon. Mr. Williams, in accordonce with another familiar custom of Christian Scientist rhetoricians. endeavors to impale me upon a theological hook. That is to say, he seeks to make me deny, further on in his letter, that a direct appeal to Omnipotence will cure disease. I evade the issue by granting the fact. But if it be so, then why do Christian Scientist healers undertake an elaborate and recondite treatment, manageable only by the elect, and why do they make such depressingly material charges for something that must be free to all, and protest so bitterly when laws are passed forbidding then to do so?

Let the Hon. Mr. Williams come out from behind his theological breastworks. He knows very well that I can’t reach him there. But if he cares to debate the question whether a Christian Science healer’s diagnosis is likely to be as sound as Dr. Welch’s, or the question whether or not Christian Science treatment (bought and paid for) will actually cure hydrophobia or jigger bites or caries of the teeth, then I shall be very glad to meet him on the mat.

Meanwhile I offer him my respectful compliments and grant freely that “the number of Christian Scientists is growing.” Psychotherapy is now quite the rage in our fair republic, just as the scheme of the initiative and referendum is the rage. Both appeal powerfully to folk whose yearning to say something is unaccompanied by anything to say. Both are grounded firmly upon the theory that the man who knows nothing whatever about a given question is vastly more competent to answer it than the man who has sought to master it by hard study.

Contributions to the thesaurus of new and unprecedented similes:

As piously mendacious as an anti-vivisectionist. As porous as a blue law. As low as a Baltimore Sunday.