Baltimore Evening Sun (28 August 1912): 6.


On July 8, of this year, the estimable jobhounds of the CitY Council, in a cheap effort to curry favor with the newspapers, passed nonsensical resolutions praising all of the local papers for various services in connection with the Democratic National Convention. One of the papers included was The Evening Sun. On July 12, the staff of The Evening Sun, amazed and enraged by this gratuitous impertinence, presented a petiltion to the City Council demanding that the name of the paper be expunged from the resolution. No such action following, the staff applied to the courts, on July 17, for a writ of mandamus requiring the Council to do as it was asked, and to make other proper amends for the insult. But the learned judges, at that time, were on holiday, and so were their attendant clerks, bailiffs, process servers and catchpolls, and in consequence no action was taken, nor has any action been taken since. The case, however, has by no means gone by default, and as soon as the machinery of justice is once more in operation it will be pushed to an issue.

To that end I have placed my private solicitor at the disposal of the staff, and he has prepared a program of action--a program, I may say, of enormous complexity and infinite length, and one doing great credit to his juridic sagacity. Thus he writes to me under date of August 26:

My secretaries and stenographers have been at work for four weeks upon briefs of authorities covering the countless remedies given by law and equity and I am now in a position, by skillful manipulation of our pleadings, to prolong the litigation indefinitely, or until the defendants go into the coma of exhaustion, and so yield up the ghost.

By the use, successively, of the whole arsenal of pleas, we can assure ourselves of a long drawn-out and exquisitely diverting debauch of replications, rejoinders, sur-rejoinders, rebuttals, sub-rebuttals and exceptions. The thing drips with legal juices. If we keep our heads, and in particular if we make full use of demands for bills of particulars, with answers to all demands and exceptions to all amswers, we can make the case against the ex-sherriffs appear by contrast as a childish grappling of first-year law students. But of this more anon. What I propose at the start is that we enter the following suits in their order:

1. For a writ of certiorari to determine the jurisdiction of the City Council thus wantonly and with malice aforethought to praise The Evening Sun. (Slaughter House Cases, 16 Wall, 32.)

2. For a writ of habeas corpus to release The Evening Sun from confinement in a cage with the Hot Towel. (Burns vs. the City Council of Detroit, 99 Mich., 67.)

3. For damages for maintaining a public nuisance. (Jones vs. Bellingham, 22 W. Va., 88; Snodgrass on Nuisances, lib. 2, cap. 7.)

4. For damages for slander and mayhem. (The Dartmouth College case; Hook vs. Am. Tob. Co., 89 Havana, Rep., 13.)

5. For a writ of scire facias to revive the old dignity of the City Council.

6. In trover for damages for the conversion of the good name of The Evening Sun. (Smith vs. Smith, 54 N. Y., 122.)

7. In trespass de bonis asportatis for the trampling by the City Council upon the good name of The Evening Sun.

8. For a writ of replevin for the return of the good name of The Evening Sun. (Himmelheber vs. Mulligan, 89 U.S. Rep., 754.) Note. If the sheriff makes a return of cloigned, we can then petition for a capias in withernam, by means of which we shall be able to get the name of the City Council and hold it until the good name of The Evening Sun is brought into court.

9. For a writ of de lunatico inquirendo.

10. Finally, we can go before the grand jury, ask for the City Council’s indictment for assault with intent to kill, and leave the matter in the hands of 12 good men and true.

Such is my solicitor’s program. It will be carried out, not with unseemly haste, but in the leisurely and intellectual manner of jurisprudence. At the end of 20 or 30 years, perhaps, the case will come to trial on its merits. And when it is finally decided, when the issues are clearly met and determined, then will begin the grand and beautiful process of exceptions and counter-exceptions, of appeals and super-appeals, of leaps from court to court, of infinite and overpowering obfuscations and delays--a process which is the chief glory of our American tribunals and the chief delight and wonder of the plain people.

Why doesn’t Geheimrat Turner come forward with a defense of the super-Mahonic sewer rental plan? The Hon. Aristodes Sophocies Goldsborough has been at bat and struck out. Take away the theory that the investor is an imbecile and his whole case goes to pieces. The Hot Towel has also made a mess of it, chiefly because it has mistaken tallow for eloquence. But I have great faith in the geheimrat. Of all the press-agents and greasers of the super-Mahon, he is the most ingratiating and sagacious, and by long odds. Not even the Hon. Trauty Trautfelter is a subtler, wiser cuss. Therefore, it is the duty of the geheimrat to step up. The super-Mahon is beset by scoundrels. The common people bellow that his scheme would rob them. Let us hear his defense from one who has his confidence, and is privy to his high aims, and has the gift of a fluent English style.

Mother Elizabeth Towne, pope of the New Thoughters, thus plays the haruspex in the current issue of the Nautilus:

Roosevelt will be the next President. I say it calmly, coldly, the morning after. I have inside information–information from the spirit within–that Armageddon will be pulled off November 5, and that the people are getting ready to speak with the voice of God for T. R. and Hiram Johnson of California.

So the prophecy; now let’s see what the “vibrations” will do.

The Hon. Robert J..McCuen, Superintendent of Lamps and Lighting, on himself:

A sedate old man like me.

With all due respect, Go to! The Hon. Mr. McCuen, at the age of 37 , is as lively as most youngsters of 24. What hath sedateness to do with whiskerandos of mauve and pink? How can a bachelor ever be old? Let the honorable gentleman have done with such auto-libels. He is the grand master of Baltimore bachelors, an eternally chipper and juvenile fellow. Every time he looks at a married man he laughs. and every time he laughs he grows ten days younger.

Boil your drinking water! Send in your mite for the Harry monument! Swat the fly!

The moral order of the world runs ashore on hay fever. Of what use is it? Cancer, at least, may be defended on the ground that it kills. Killing may have some benign purpose, some esoteric use. But hay fever merely tortures. No man ever died of it. Is the torture, then, an end in itself? Does it break pride and turn the heart to higher things? Bosh! A man with hay fever is a natural criminal. He has self-restraint, indeed, if he doesn’t curse his grandmother. Wife-beating. from August 15 to October 1, should be treated as leniently as Sabbath-breaking. A single wifely snicker should be excuse enough for murder. But perhaps the aim of hay fever is to make the victim happy during his inevitable convalescence! Bosh again! He knows very well that it will return next year.