Baltimore Evening Sun (28 January 1913): 6.
Evert admirer of deviltry and derring-do must lament the fact that the super-Mahon attempted no fresh murder of the decent newspapers in last night’s message to the Job Hounds. We expected a bleaseing and we almost got a greasing.
It is a pity that the Hon. Mr. Wilson’s attack upon the inaugural ball, that delight of the demi-monde, has not been extended to the inaugural parade, that most grotesque and disgusting of spectacles. The American people, I daresay, believe that some sort of a parade is necessary: they like to see a new President suitably escorted to the national altar. To let him ride down Pennsylvania avenue alone, or with only a posse of police behind him, would outrage the public sense of fitness. We are a democratic people, true enough, but democracy is not incompatible with a love of show, a weakness for pomp, an eager assertion of brammagem dignity.
But, all this being admitted, why not give the new President an escort of regular cavalry and let it go at that? Why not order up two or three regiments and have done? Why convert his inaugural procession into a thing as hideous and ridiculous as the annual turnout of a tin-pot fraternal order? Why insult him with a muster of pale and tender militiamen, fresh from the office stool and the ribbon counter, and of knock-kneed, barrel-shaped ward heelers, half of them full of bad liquor and all of them bedizened like darky preachers?
Does such a spectacle do honor to the President or exalt the national dignity? I doubt it. On the contrary, it seems to me a ridiculous and disgraceful affair, far more worthy of Liberia or Santo Domingo than of great and civilized republic. It has no intelligible aim or purpose, save the gratification of a cheap vanity. The people who flock to Washington go there to see the President, and not to feast their eyes upon a procession of frozen militiamen and boozy politicians. It costs the country two or three millions of dollars to make that quadrennial show, and it is not worth 20 cents. The only persons who really enjoy it are the participants, and even they, I suppose, get little pleasure out of the ensuing chilblains, rheumatism, pneumonia, pleurisy, smallpox, arterio sclerosis, cholera morbus and delirium tremens.
Certainly we should have outlived such bucolic exhibitions long ago. They were all right in the old days, when vulgarity was the hallmark and pride of the American. But of late we have made appreciable advances in civilization. We have become a first-rate world power. We are beginning in produce artists as well as millionaires, philosophers as well as hogs. It is no longer social and political suicide for an American to bathe every day. In many of our large cities, spitting is now regulated by law. We have begun, as in the case of the Hon. Mr. Wilson, to elect educated and intelligent men to public office. The old fear of refinement dies out.
But the inaugural parade lingers, an obscene relic of an earlier and cruder day. It belongs frankly to the era of medicated underwear, Congress gaiters, crayon portraits, horsehair furniture, hair-oil, “La Dame aux Camelias,” the novels of”-The Duchess,” Robert G. Ingersoll, De Witt Talmage, Brussels carpets, plush picture frames, fried beefsteaks, sidebar buggies, ready-made neckties, detachable cuffs, St. Jacob’s Oil, Godey’s Ladies’ Book, pulse-warmers, camomile tea, the Latrobe stove, campmeetings, the spoils system, sulphur and molasses, square pianos and universal tobacco chewing. It reached its height in Grany’s time. It survives today as a hideous fossil, a skeleton in the national closet, a corpse unburied too long.
Do I exaggerate? Well, don’t take my word for it. Go to Washington on March 4 and see for yourself. Observe how the corn-fed tin soldiers from Missouri and Georgia, parading behind the regulars and the West Point cadets, look like mobs of letter carriers pursued by hyenas. Observe the ductile, elastic, resilient formation of the marching clubs, the mellow liquorishness of the marchers. Go to the kaifs and brothels after it is all over, and behold the patriots rejoicing.
The Hon. Henry V. Baker to the honorary pallbearers:
Let us turn over a new leaf and kick George out and all unite in doing it.
Which somehow recalls the $100,000 industrial bank that the Hon. Mr. Baker announced so sonorously on August 1 last and that was to have been launched on October 1.
Standing or the clubs in the National Tuberculosis League for the week ended January 4:
Baltimore...........................430 Boston........................311 New York...........................369 St. Louis.....................291 Philadelphia.......................354 Cleveland...................178 Chicago..............................324
The Orioles, of course, do not pretend to be tuberculosis champions: their real game is typhoid. But even so, it is interesting to note how far they have left the Cleveland Club behind. Cleveland is Baltimore’s chief rival and passed Baltimore in population at the last census.
Why the Public Health Reports has ceased printing the weekly typhoid returns I do not know. I have written to Assistant Surgeon-General John W. Trask about it, but so far I have got no answer. Can it be that the boomers have reached him? Can it be that the Old-Fashioned Administration has made representations through its minister plentipotentiary at Washington, the Hon. George Konig?
The Maryland Suffrage News of this week is adorned with a three-column picture of six of the ladies who will make the Washington hike. It is but simple justice to say that it would be very difficult, even in Baltimore, to find a sextet assaying a higher average of intelligence, good looks and charm.--Conscience Fund Adv.
The only thing left for the Hion. Dan Loden to do is to discharge two fat clerks and put in five thin ones. But both of the fat ones are friends of Paving Bob, and Paving Bob has the Royal Ear.--Adv.
How the medical colleges of Baltimore are classified by the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association:
Class A plus--Acceptable medical colleges: The Johns Hopkins Medical School. Class A–Colleges lacking in certain respects but otherwise acceptable: The College of Physicians and Surgeons. The University of Maryland School of Medicine. Class B–Colleges needing general improvements to be made acceptable: There is none such in Baltimore. Class C–Colleges requiring a complete reorganization to make them acceptable: The Maryland Medical College.