Baltimore Evening Sun (8 June 1912): 6.
The Hon. William Shepard Bryan’s discovery that a lady is “one who has proprietary rights or authority” and that in consequence “one who joins the suffragist party is entitled to be called a lady” is not taken seriously by connoisseurs of rank and precedence. The fact is, of course, that the act of joining the suffragist party, far from making the joiner a lady, actually makes her not a lady. Whatever her birth or original quality, she is required, as a suffragist, to subscribe to doctrines and takr part in acts that are obviously and hopelessly in opposition to the genius of the true lady. No lady ever mounted a soap-box and harangued the circurnambient loafers. No lady ever engaged in personal debate with politicians. No lady, indeed, ever spoke to a politician. As well ask a Brahmin to kiss a Sudra.
I am not saying, of course, that the suffrage cause has not gained recruits from the exquisite and legless orchids of the race. Quite the contrary. Many a lady, weighing the high dignities and immunities of her caste against the sorrows of the world, has boldly sprouted legs, intelligence and an oratorical style and thrown in her lot with the cause. But in applauding her daring let us not lose sight of her sacrifice. In becoming a suffragette she has ceased to be a lady, and it is by virtue of that very fact that she deserves our admiration. A lady’s privileges and prerogatives are numerous and enviable. When she sacrifices them for an idea she deserves to be revered for it, just as a soldier deserves to be revered for it when he sacrifices his life for an idea, or a welterweight when he sacrifices the symmetry of his ears, or a clergyman when he sacrifices his congenial right and yearning to go on occasional jamborees.
To say that suffragettes are ladies, as the Hon. Mr. Bryan has done, is to deny them the heroic quality–in brief, to argue that taking the red vil is no great shucks. Shame on such a man! Let him combat the suffrage cause if he will. Let him even combat, if he has the courage, the concrete suffragette. But let him not deny to his enemies their mettle and their martyrdom. They have, in many cases, surrendered something extremely valuable. They have surrendered the right to unquestioning obeisance, the right to inordinate immunities, the right.to be fools and to be honored for their folly. Freely, and with their eyes open, they have plunged into the struggle for existence. Where once the powder puff left its soft caress, they now feel the brutal sforzando of the ancient egg. Bred to the boudoir, they brave the jail. Throats modeled for cooing they lacerate with bellows.
Brave girls! True heroines! Personally I would run a mile rather than meet one of them, or even see one of them. But I gladly offer them my telepathic homage, and in earnest thereof I denounce as an evil and a false teacher the Hon. William Shepard Bryan, Jr.
Didn’t I tell you y couldn’t trust Stovey none? Them reformers is all alike!
After all, what objection can there be to electing the new president of the Johns Hopkins University at a popular election? The common people of Baltimore are being taxed to pay for the new buildings of the university. Every brick laid upon that noble pile will cost them a good five-cent cigar or a can of beer, with the attendant fried oyster and trading stamp. Why, then, shouldn’t they have a voice in selecting the man who will boss the job? Is it fair to take their money with one hand and show them the door with the other? I think not.
The criticism constantly leveled at the Johns Hopkins is that it is out of touch with the common people, and particularly with the very common people--those honest fellows whose native virtue is uncontaminated by detachable cuffs and tooth-brushes. During the last Mayoralty campaign, for example, when an effort was made to organize a Preston Club in the faculty, only one man agreed to join, and he turned out to be an unnaturalized Canadian. In the primaries, it is said, 54 professors and instructors registered and voted as Democrats–and every one of them voted for the unspeakable Mahool, candidate of the purse-proud and sneering. During the last 25 years the whole faculty, taken together, has not contributed $4 to the campaign funds of the two great parties. And despite a general and notable talent for oratory, not a single member has ever gone on the stump.
Obviously, it is high time to clean out the joint. The direct primary law provides all the machinery that is necessary. Let the ward executives put forward candidates and then let each party make its choice at a primary election. And after that let there be a general election. Available candidates are as plentiful as autumnal leaves in Vallambrosa. The nine mornbers of the School Board are all eligible and suitable, and so are all of the old-fashioned superintendents. Excellent men are to be found in the First Branch City Council. More are in the City Hall, holding down jobs unworthy of their genius. Others, no less talented; are temporarily disengaged--for example, the Hon. William Toner. Somewhere in the crowd there is just the right man, not too egotistical to accept advice from the Hon. the super-Mahon, that unsurpassed master of all the arts, and not too proud to welcome the common people at his office.
Certainly it is an absurdity for the Johns Hopkins to try to peg along without the aid of the super-Mahon. Here is a man of stupendous and, indeed, almost appalling intellect--a man who, by his own hard-wrung confession, has the most powerful set of brains ever seen in these parts--and yet the puerile pundits of the university, jealous of their so-called rights and prerogatives, refuse to consult him. The Johns Hopkins, despite this great handicap, has still attained to a respectable position among schools. But think how far it would go if it had a truly practical man at the head of it--a man trained in ward politics and alert to every need of the common people--and if that man, as in duty bound, inclined his ear to the cobra-like wisdom of our (Aristotle+Bacon+Huxley+Bismarck) n.
From the advertisement of the Hon. the super-Mahon’s bank in the Hon. the super-Mahon’s weekly paper:
We Welcome Small Deposits.
But not, it would appear, from the Hon. the City Register.
Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Insure your life! Swat the fly!