Baltimore Evening Sun (29 October 1912): 6.
Eugene Chafin, what a brave young man! Made a face and away he ran!
The Hon. Clifford G. Roe, of Chicago, to the Baltimore Vice Crusaders on February 27 last:
Business men * * * have cleaned up Chicago and set an example that I hope Baltimore will follow.
On February 28, in this place, I presumed to discharge a discreet snicker at the Hon. Mr. Roe, intimating that Chicago, while perhaps somewhat chastened, was still a fair match for Port Said and Gomorrah. On March 1 I was murdered for that snicker by the Hon. Samuel E. Pentz, camerlengo and attorney-general of the Vice Crusaders.
So much for a forgotten skirmish. Now comes the sequel. I quote from a Chicago dispatch to the Philadelphia Record of last Friday:
William H. Sexton, corporation counsel of Chicago, today made public an opinion prepared by the Vice Committee of the City Council, in which he outlined a method by which the segregated vice district may be restored under open official sanction, assuring immunity, so far as the city is concerned, to violators of State laws within those districts.
In other words, Chicago prepares to go back to segregation after extensive and bitter experience with vice crusading. And its corporation counsel, certainly a responsible officer, not only advocates that change, but also proposes to give it the sanction of law. First of all, he proposes that the City Council mark off segregated districts and license prostitution therein under police regulation. And in the second place he suggests that the State Legislature be asked to pass a law ratifying and legalizing this action.
Such is the net effect of a singularly vigorous and melodramatic vice crusade in the prize city of Chicago. Thoroughly cinvinced ihat good intentions and wind music have done vastly more harm than good, and that the only way to deal with the social evil is to recognize it frankly and try to keep its admitted evils within bounds, the officials of the city prepare to return to regulation. Will Baltimore follow the same route? Must we, too, submit to blundering and platitudinizing, only to go back in the end to our ancient and inevitable compromise?
The coat of arms of Col. Jacobus Hook, Mayor emeritus of Munich, has been hand-painted on the front of the new Hansa Haus: a hook rampart with a leather gules; supports: a can of tallow and a box of Old Town perfectos; motto: “By the lord Harry!”
What ails the platitudinarians? So far this week there is not a single passable entry in the contest. Wegg, of Havre de Grace, by a great effort, holds and anchors his parts of speech. The Arlington Nietzsche keeps the peace. The reverend clergy are wrapped in impenetrable silence. Come, gents, be up and doing! The prize this week is a copy of “The Saint’s Everlasting Rest,” by the Rev. and Hon. Richard Baxter, D. D., bound in half a calf. Next week, a white waistcoat, with immortelles for buttons.
Last call for the immoral Democratic Telegram to restore the feudal title of “Hon.” to the Hon. S. S. Field, LL. D.! The Telegram, cornered and flabbergasted by my eloquence, takes refuge in vulgar abuse. That is to say, it charges that I plead for the Hon. Mr. Field in order that I may assume the title of “Hon.” myself. My answer here is simple. That title was conferred upon me, under Chapter XIII, verse 28, of the lex non scripta, by the Right Hon. Daniel Joseph Loden, K. T., Master of the Jobhounds, in return for valuable secret service in the Nineteenth ward. But in order to set the Telegram’s objection at rest, I hereby renounce it, formally and absolutely. Henceforth I am “Hon.” no more. * * * But the Hon. S. S. Field is. Will the Telegram now admit it?
The one first-rate American novel of the autumn:
“The Financier,” by Theodore Drelser (Harper).
The Hon. S. M. Farrell, of New York, a rhetorician who has often come to the aid of the local anti-vivisectionists in the past, states their case against Dr. Alexis Carrel in today’s Letter Column. By this statement it appears that Dr. Carrel is not only a scoundrel but also a fraud. His discoveries in physiology and pathology are wholly worthless. And by the same taken, it also appears that the committee which awarded him the Nobel prize for these discoveries is made up exclusively of credulous asses, that it is on a par intellectually with the average ward club or the Baltimore City Council. Such is the case of the anti-vivisectionists. Let the band play “Sweet Marie.”
One by one the bachelors fade and pass away. The Hon. James F. Thrift, that grand old man, joined the innumerable caravan of husbands a month ago. The Hon. Clarence E. Stubbs, so bravely a capella no longer ago than Tuesday a week, is now reviling all bachelors as caitiffs and scoundrels, with the traditional frenzy of a recent convert. And so it goes. An eternal marrying and giving in marriage. One by one the bachelors wither and are blown down.
But the Hon. Robert J. McCuen remains, a solitary and magnificent figure, a celibate unterrified and immutable, the last great bachelor of profane history. Pursued incessantly by maids, widows, grass widows and matchmaking mammas, the recipient of from 50 to 300 mash notes a day, the target of complex and awe-inspiring plotting by suffragettes, schoolmarms, prima donne, anti-vivisectionists, choir singers, cloak models and lady embalmers, he yet clings to his sublime solitude and keeps the faith. Will he ever yield? I doubt it. I know the man too well. He is too firm, too astute, too agile. But if he ever does--well, if he ever does, that day I send a gunman after him with a stiletto and have him poisoned for the honor of mankind.
Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Forward the Vice Crusade!
The Hon. Samuel E. Pentz, kappelmeister of the Vice Crusade, to The Evening Sun:
There is no Vice Crusade in Baltimore, to my knowledge.
Which somehow recalls the Christian Science theory that there is no such thing as cholera morbus.
From the scrapbooks in my interminable archives:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
A gentleman is any man who will not strike a woman without provocation.
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 per cent. of them are wrong.
Virtue is the last refuge of scoundrels.