Baltimore Evening Sun (31 August 1912): 6.
Anonymous letter day. Mail by mail they came pouring in, usually in angular, feminine hands. Here is one which accuses the Hon. Dan Loden of some heinous and incomprehensible deviltry, incredible in so virtuous a man. Here is one which deplores the palmy days of the Sunpaper and ends with praises of the Archangel Harry. Again, here is a long and bitter one signed “A Militant Suffragette” and accompanied by a note saying that it is from the suffragist who writes over the nom de plumes of Daughter of Eve, A. W. O. T. W. C., Wide Awake, Merely Mary Ann, Busy Little Suffragist, Observer, One of Different Opinion, etc., etc. Thus this protean rabble-rouser begins:
I have it from reliable authority that [the Hon.] Mr. Mencken is a Republican like [the Hon.] Charles J. Bonaparte.
Halt! A Republican like [the Hon.] Charles J. Bonaparte! Help! Murder! Police! Bad enough to be a simple Republican, a Taft Republican! But to be a Republican “like [the Hon.] Charles J. Bonaparte”--Oh, wurra, wurra! Donner und blitzen! Oy-oi! Oy-oi!
The truth is, of course, that I am nothing of the sort. Go inspect the registration books of the Seventh precinct of the Nineteenth Ward--or ask Dan Loden. I am there registered as a hard- shell, osseocapital, organization Democrat. I voted for the Hon. the super-Mahon in the Mayoralty primary. I voted for him again in the spring election. Could angels do more?
But to get back to this critical lady’s letter:
He is also an ardent admirer of Roosevelt and the Roosevelt policies. The fact that he never writes or utters a word of criticism against Roosevelt, Aldrich, Cannon, Penrose, Taft, Abe Ruef, Charles Napoleon Bonaparte, C. Torsch, Munsey, Perkins, Flinn, or any other Republican, but diverts his political attacks against Democrats exclusively proves that this report is true. Naturally, one wonders what two Republicans like [the Hon. Mr.] Bonaparte and [the Hon. Mr.] Mencken are doing on the staff of a Democratic newspaper, and how they got there, and one feels like asking the question: “Who’s looney now?”
Well done, Myrtle! A Single Tax logician! I seldom print anything against cannibalism: therefore I am a cannibal. The Hon. Mr. Bonaparte deserts the Republican party and puts poison in its buttermilk: therefore he is a Republican. I vote for the Hon. the super-Mahon twice, cheer him in the Democratic National Convention, and am the only man in Baltimore who has ever praised him without trying to get a job, a contract or a bank deposit out of him: therefore I am a Republican. But to resume:
I also have it from reliable authority that [the Hon.] Mr. Mencken is a misogamist (marriage-hater) and a misogynist (woman-hater), and also a baby-hater. Perhaps he will tell us just how he reconciles his love of Roosevelt and his admiration for all the Roosevelt policies with his hatred of women and matrimony. [The Hon. Mr.] Roosevelt, while President gave utterance to the following divinely inspired words, which ought to cut to the quick and sink deeply into the hard, cold heart of every selfish and shallow-brained bachelor, and make him feel utterly anhamed of himself:
The man or woman who deliberately avoids marriage * * * is in effect a criminal against the race, and should be an object of contemptuous abhorrence by all healthy people.
Now, then, Mr. Marble Heart, what have you to say for yourself in defense of your bachelor attitude, your hatred of woman and matrimony? Do you realize that you are “a criminal against the race?” I have you up a tree, and I know you won’t publish this letter, because you can’t answer it. So there!
With all due respect, Bosh, my dear! I haven’t the slightest objection to marriage, even to marriage with a suffragette. Fighting it off is an agreeable and stimulating pastime--but that is as far as I go, or as any other bachelor goes. To show once and for all time that bachelors are not caitiffs, and what is more, that they are not too lazy to bear their share of the burdens of the world, I hereby make a public offer to marry this present correspondent, sight unseen, at any time she designates, in any public church in Baltimore, according to the forms of any recognized religion. I don’t ask her whether she is young or old, cadaverous or obese, wild or tame. What are the odds? One wife is as bad as another.
Going further, I have induced my great and good friend, the Hon. Robert J. McCuen, to join me in this unconditional offer. He, too, sickens of the charge that he fears the fair, that he has no money to pay alimony, that he eludes poltroonishly the natural curse of man. It is a false charge, a slander, a piece of impertinence. Now, therefore, let this scandalous suffragette come forward in her white veil, a prayerbook in her hand, her nose elegantly talcumed, her ma shedding crocodile tears in the front pew, her pa breathing a sigh of relief like a behemoth with adenoids--or forever hold her peace! Verbum non amplius addam.
But to proceed with the anonymous letters. The next writer damns himself by confessing that he lives in the suburbs, and then goes on:
Please tell me what is taxation? I pay $38 taxes on my house, and they tell me that’s taxes. I write to my friends and say: “Come on in; we have low taxes in Baltimore. Rate’s less than $2 and I only pay $38.” Of course, I also pay $25 a year water rent, $100 for sewer connection, whatever they decide on for sewer rent, $14 for alley improvement, $2 annually for alley upkeep, some personal taxes after they find out I own a piano, and perhaps some other small items. But, how shall I class these special assessments? Are they taxation, or am I crazy?
Answer: you are crazy. All suckers are crazy. All persons who pay taxes are suckers. Quod erat demonstrandum. Next:
I wish to enter a protest against the unwarrant abuse which you assume in some of your assaults on our Public Men. I don’t expect you to print this, but I feel I have not done my duty if I do not at least say a word in behalf of our said Public Men. There are some I specially refer to; I mean Dr. Turner. And his eminent work, “Physiology and Hihgiene.” You have garbeled it to death in your Column. Why dont you give it a fair show? If you have read the book (and I dont guess you have), you will see some other things in it except what you quoted. There is lots of Good Sense in the book. You pick out some mistakes of grammar and english, just as if that was necessary to be a good doctor. You poke fun because he says tobacco is a filthy habit. I dont see anything funny in it. Also because he says the large intestine is larger than the small intestine. Well, isnt it? With all your high-falooting you cant prove to the contrary. Neither can I, and I aint a doctor either. You dont dare, you only sneer, and no doubt you use tobacco and dont think it is a filthy habit. Dr. Turner proved you were educated on tobacco and no doubt you eat it. But I wont allow my friend to be malined.
My answer to this complainant is brief and indignant. If he will point out one quotation from Dr. Turner’s masterwork that was not verbatim et literatim, I shall pay into his hands the sum of $10,000 cash. If he will point to one reference to Dr. Turner that was not couched in terms of the highest eulogy and veneration I shall pay him the sum of $25,000.