Baltimore Evening Sun (28 October 1912): 6.


From the immoral Public Health Reports of September 20:

The impression that publicity regarding such matters [infectious disesses] injures municipal interests is based on a fallacy. The existence of an epidemic cannot be concealed very long, and the absence of frankness in regard to the situation * * * produces a fear and suspicion that it takes some time to overcome.

Respectfully referred, for digestion and comment, to the Right Hon. the Archangel Harry.

The unspeakable Democratic Telegram, paying the inevitable penalty for its hunkerous refusal to grant the feudal title of “Hon.” to the Hon. S. S. Field, LL. D., now finds itself reduced to vapid word-splitting and vociferous abuse. When I first took it to task, it argued that titles went by equity, and not by law, and that equity was silent about the Hon. Mr. Field. When I showed that this was not true, it jumped to the other side, and argued just as eloquently that titles went by law and not by equity. In answer to that I demanded to know by what chapter or verse of the Public General Laws of Maryland the title of “Hon.” was granted to the Mayor of Baltimore--and now comes the Telegram’s absurd rejoinder, the essence of which is that the law is divided into two parts, the lex scripta and the lex non scripta, and that the Mayor’s right to be an “Hon.” is found under the latter.

But what does lex non scripta mean? Translate the dog Latin literally and you have it: “law without writing.” In other words, the lex non scripta is the unwritten law--and thereby, without further process or contention, my case is proved. The written law is what is; the unwritten law is what ought to be. The former is founded upon the ignorance, avarice and villainy of legislators: the latter is founded upon the eternal and immutable principles of justice. The former comes out of the soft minds and disordered stomachs of man; the latter is resident in the soul of man.

Has the Hon. Mr. Field, under the lex non scripta, any right to the style or appellation of “Hon.”? Of course he has. So obvious is his right, indeed, that the Telegram has admitted it a dozen times, and on more than one occasion has gone to the length of insisting upon it. Well, then, what question remains before the house? None that I can see. If the Mayor’s right to the title of “Hon.” is assured by the lex non scripta, then the Hon. Mr. Field’s right must be assured a thousand times. There is no man in Maryland, indeed, more certainly and palpably honorable, no man who has labored harder to deserve the title, no man who more nearly approaches to what the Ideal “Hon.” should be.

Therefore I dub him “Hon.,” as in duty bound, and call upon the Telegram, for the last time, to follow suit. If it still refuses hunkerously and still essays to support its refusal with bad law and worse logic, I shall carry out my threat to denounce it publicly as a gazette sans honneur aber mit reproche, a low-life among public prints, a journalistic Anderson.

From The Evening Sun of last Saturday:

According to the Hittags Beitung. * * *

Comment of a daily reader of the estimable Mittags Zeitung of Berlin:

Schrecklich! Unglaublich! Dumm!

From the rascally Philadelphia Bulletinpaper of Saturday:

Individually and privately most * * * clergymen * * * are willing to admit that the problem [of prostitution] is a hard one and that too much must not be expected; but collectively and professionally they usually do not like to be so candid, evidently feeling that they ought not to say anything publicly that might seem to be a lowering of the highest ideal or standard of morals.

Here is the whole story in a nutshell, but the clergy are by no means the only offenders. Not one man in 10 believes that crusades against vice ever do any good, and yet not one man in 10 is willing to say so in public. Since I undertook, some time ago, to point out certain follies and fallacies in the current campaign of Dr. Kelly and his friends I have received fully 200 assurances of assent and support, and yet but one man has had courage enough to come forward publicly and over his own signature. Thus it is that the tawdry, brummagem virtue of our fair land makes cowards of us all.

The average American does not demand of a proposition that it be true; all he asks of it is that it be nice. And everything that has a pious sound seems to him to be nice. He is willing to grant anything, so long as it is supported by virtuous platitudes. What is more, he is willing to grant it against his own sober judgment. I know fully a hundred men in this town who are thoroughly convinced that Democracy is an utter failure; that the only hope for the Republic lies in wholesale disfranchisement. But who has ever heard that doctrine preached in public? The man who preached it would lose his niceness, and so nobody preaches it. In the same way it would not be nice to argue that public prostitution is necessary, and that the best way to deal with it is to start out by admitting its necessity. Therefore, nobody so argues. But I am thoroughly convinced, nevertheless, that fully 80 per cent of all sane men believe it.

Has the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society evaporated? If not, why isn’t it heard from on the subject of Doc Carrel and the Nobel prize?

In a few weeks, beloved, we shall come to the first anniversary of the Hon. Henry M. McMains’ declaration that many educated physicians in good standing are members of the League for Medical Freedom, Maryland Branch. And a week or so later we shall come to the first anniversary of the honorable gentleman’s dismal failure to produce them.

The most interesting, amazing and disappointing novel of the autumn:

“Marriage,” by H. G. Wells (Duffield.)

A clever book by a humorist who will be heard from later on:

“Sunshine Sketches,” by Stephen Leacock (Lane.)

Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Join the Concord Club and die happy!

Random gleanings from my scrapbooks at yesteryear:

Sunday is a day given over by Baltimoreans to wishing that they were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.

A Christian Scientist is one who argues that all is Mind save money. Socialism is the theory that the desire of one man to get something he hasn’t got is more pleasing to a just God than the desire of some other man to keep what he has got.

An osteopath is one who urges that all human ills are caused by the abnormal pressure of hard bone upon soft tissue. The proof of his theory is to be found in the heads of those who accept it.

The final proof of human greatness is an embalmer trembling with stage-fright.

Suicide and marriage: the supreme acts of cynicism.