Baltimore Evening Sun (30 June 1913): 6.
The Emerson Hotel’s melodramatic return to Maryland cooking is the soundest piece of booming ever done in that lair of boomers. Baltimore’s worldwide reputation as a centre of peculiar and incomparable victualing is the greatest of all the city’s assets. Not a few of our hotels during the last decade or two have done their best to destroy that asset. It is cause for genuine rejoicing to see our newest hotel return to the fold. But let us not forget those other hostelries--so few! so few!–that have remained faithful through thick and thin. They have done far more for Baltimore than Baltimore has ever done for them.
The Hon. William H. Anderson, master of the boozehounds, devotes three whole pages in the current American Issue to a stupendous and stupefying defense of his late attempt upon the virtue of the rev. clergy. Let me say of that defense what I have said of the crime: that it is more to be wept over than excoriated. It was bad enough for the Hon. Mr. Anderson to dangle that undisguised graft before the sharp, unluminous noses of pious men; it is appalling that he should now seek to justify himself on the ground that “a large number of the pastors have already expressed their intention of accepting the league’s offer.”
Two wrongs, I must respectfully submit, do not make a right. The fact that “a large number of the pastors,” snapping at the hon. gent’s seductive bait, have thus debauched their holy office by taking a rake-off upon their moral endeavor--this fact offers no excuse for his serpentine conspiracy against their original purity. The proposition did not come from the pastors: it came from Mr. Anderson. It was he who conceived that sinister plan for cadging free tickets to Columbus; it was he who cunningly presented it to the simple-minded, overworked and penurious men; it was he who overcome their rising scruples by his slick city ways and oily tongue--and it is he who must now stand responsible for the resultant invasion of the pulpit by the spirit of cupidity and guile. Those pastors were as innocent as babes unborn until he tempted them. If they are numbered with the fallen today, the fault is all his’n.
Had the Hon. Mr. Anderson, when he was taken with the goods, made a frank confession, cried “Peccavi!” and promised to sin no more, I should have been the last to denounce him. I, too, have been a sinner, and I have charity for other sinners. I have gone so far in the past as to say kind words for the Hon. Henry E. Shoenewolf, the Hon. White Slave Caminetti, the Hon. Benedict Arnold, and even for the Hon. Mr. Anderson himself. But when a man charged with an offense against the jus naturæ comes into court with the defense that his unlawful act was a great success, that it made a killing for him, that he got away with the goods–then it is high time, I believe, to knock Mercy in the head with a club and to yell for the gendarmes. Such a lamentable necessity now confronts the moral folks of this town, of whom I have the honor to be one.
What would the Hon. Mr. Anderson say if some other man stood accused of the same studied deviltry? What would he say, for example, if a city paving contractor went to one of the city inspectors and made him a promise, in return for favors received and expected, to induce the Paving Commission to give him a holiday with full pay, including free transportation to the annual convention of the Asphalt Association and a ticket to the annual banquet? What would the Hon. Mr. Anderson say if the contractor asked the inspector to tell him which member of the Paving Commission was easiest to reach, and engaged to say nothing about this secret negotiation, and even to make it appear that it had never taken place? What would he say if the contractor, taken in such chicanery, should defend it on the ground that many inspectors had fallen for it? You and I know very well what he would say. And we know, too, that he would say it in a voice so harsh and so fortissimo that the very heavens would be cracked and desquamated by the blast. And what is more, his denunciation would be grounded upon a sound morality.
But enough of this abhorrent and painful business! The subject is extremely unpleasant to me, as it must needs be to every conservator and connoisseur of virtue. I have brought it to the public notice with the utmost reluctance and only because the offense of the Hon. Mr. Anderson was, in some sense, typical of the crimes which professional moralists now carry on with increasing frequency. A good many of them, lifted to frenzies by their laudable zeal, stand ready to commit any outrage for the cause they serve. Not only the Ten Commandments, but even the laws of common decency, are violated by these pious men in their eagerness to bring Heaven down to earth. Moral endeavor is converted into a sport as exciting as stud poker and as brutal as football. Things come to such a pass, indeed, that the chief sign of a moralist is his utter lack of morality.
As one of the few genuine Christians left in Christendom, I presume to lift my feeble voice against this saturnalia of misdemeanor, this moral roughhouse. And in particular, I lift my voice when a man ordinarily so punctilious as the Hon. Mr. Anderson yields to the pervading spirit of evil. The moral collapse of such a man, as I have observed in the past, is a pathetic and even tragic spectacle. I find my one consolation in my firm faith that it is but transient and temporary--that it will be succeeded by remorse, repentance and reform. Before six months have come and gone the Hon. Mr. Anderson will be admitting his sin and asking to be forgiven. And when he does so I hope and promise that I shall not be the last to forgive him.
Moral news item in the learned Sunpaper of last Saturday.
Because she had drunk some beer and gin during the evening, it is regarded by physicians as probable that the life of Mrs. Annie Jenkins, of 1107 North Fremont avenue, was saved Thursday night when she swallowed almost an ounce of carbolic acid. The alcohol acted an an antidote to the poison.
Respectfully referred to the Hon. William H. Anderson, arch-slanderer of the Rum Demon.
A fortnight ago I offered 15 cents cash to any anti-suffragist who would come forward and pledge her word that she would rather darn a sock than make a speech. So far but one anti- suffragist has claimed and received the money. The total membership of the anti-suffrage organizations in Maryland is 2,000 women. I therefore assume that but 5-100 of 1 per cent. of the dear girls prefer the domestic arts to oratory. And so, with a low gurgle of despair, I withdraw the reward.