Baltimore Evening Sun (4 July 1913): 6.


Let us have the Rev. Billy Sunday, by all means! Baltimore is ripe for his pious whoop, his sharp, staccato yell. Let him come here and try his hand upon the Hon. William H. Anderson. The Hon. Mr. Anderson, from long habituation to moralic acids, has become almost anesthetic to morality. And there are others. I mention no names—as yet. But I start the subscription list with a guarantee of $50 and take the liberty of putting down five of my fellow-moralists for $25 apiece. The Rev. Dr. Sunday is expensive: his eagerness for sacerdotal emoluments is almost as feverish as the late Mrs. Eddy’s. Who will subscribe? Here is the beginning:

The Hon. H. L. Mencken $50 The Hon. Ed. Hirsch 25 The Hon. Young Cochran 25 The Hon. Donald R. Hooker, M. D. 25 The Hon. Eugene O’Dunne, LL. B. 25 The Hon. John F. Weyler 25 Total $175

I have no assurabee, of course, that these gentlemen will come across. But if they don’t I shall be glad to make good the subscriptions placed opposite their names.

A DAILY THOUGHT Fret not thy gizzard under adverse fates, For the fret gizzard incapacitates. —George Moore.

The learned Democratic Telegram of this week adorns its front page with a chaste lithograph of the Hon. George Carey Lindsay, one of the most estimable job-holders in the Courthouse. In its literary section it predicts a break between Dr. Goldsborough and the Hon. Young Bill Jackson, accuses the doctor of corrupting his moral endeavor with political chicanery, lards the Hon. S. S. Field, LL. D., announces that the Hon. James H. Preston has given his imprimatur to the currency bill, and presents an intelligent digest of the laws in force on the Isle of Man. The Telegram is always entertaining and frequently highly sagacious. Its articles in defense of the Hon. Mr. Preston are models that the Hot Towel and Municipal Journal would do well to follow.—Adv.

Typical sermon subjects 20 years ago:

The Divine Grace. The Ten Commandments.

Typical sermon subjects in these days of uplift:

What I Saw in Josephine Street. A Drunkard’s Stomach Under the Microscope.

Boil your drinking water! Kiss the Rum Demon good-by! Sign the new Harry petition!

The Hon. William H. Anderson, lost to all ethical sense, continues in the Letter Column his paralogical defense of his late attempt upon the virtue of the minor clergy. His new plea, printed yesterday, is that “more than a majority of the churches of Maryland” have appointed him their “official agent”—a sacerdotal office, by the way, hitherto unknownto the hierarchy—and that, in consequence, his offer to induce them, by obligue and secret arts, to send their domines to Columbus cannot be constructed as a bribe to those domines, offered by an outsider yearning to get in. Let us assume that this is true. But what are we to say of an “official agent” who thus makes a plot with fellow agents against the exchequer of their common employer? What are we to say of an “agent” so little faithful to his trust that he proposes to pay off the persons who got him his “agency” with the money of the persons from whom it was got? Searching Cooley, Wharton and Parsons from end to end, I can find no justification whatever for such a gross perversion of the fiduciary relation.

If the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s offer to the rev. clergy was sound in morals why did he promise to “protect” them and engage to keep the whole abhorrent enterprise seeret? And why does he keep secret today the names of the holy men who fell for it? Will he give me, for publication, a full list of those men—a full list, that is, of these who accepted the precise terms he offered? Those terms were (a) that the clergyman approached should give the Hon. Mr. Anderson, in secret, the name of the “board or committee” most likely to come across with the expenses of the junket to Columbus, and (b) that the Hon. Mr. Anderson should make it appear to the “board or committee” that the said clergyman had nothing whatever to do with the plot. How many gentlemen of the cloth accepted these singular terms? And who were they?

Let it be clearly understood that I make no criticism of those clergymen who made application to be sent to Columbus in a frank and open way. It was well within their rights to make such application; no moralist could possibly object to their desire nor to the manner of their effort to have it satisfied. But what of the rev. pastors who tried to put it over under cover? What of the dear fellows who adopted the plan set forth with such unction in the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s confidential circular of June 6? If that plan was moral, if it was worthy of consecrated men, why don’t those who accepted it now come forward with their names and so give the weight of their support to the Hon. Mr. Anderson? He labors with the difficult task of proving his ethical purity. Are they going to let him labor alone, with nine-tenths of the moral folks of Baltimore scoffing at him? What has necome of all the boasted courage of those famous booze-baiters of the pulpit, those brave, brave excoriators of brewers and brewers’ wives?

Once more let me express my regret that I should have become involved in this public trial of the Hon. Mr. Anderson, a man for whom I have always had the utmost veneration. He is a two-handed fighter, alert, daring and resourceful, and not too proud to bite in the clinches. I dislike to bawl him out, first for his own sake, and secondly because of my general antipathy to crusades and punishments. But his insidious attempt upon the virtue of the clergy, a caste of men hitherto without reproach in our community, has urged me to depart from my rule, and in this departure, I am glad to say, I have had the approval and support of innumerable eminent moralists. No moralist of general repute, indeed, has ventured to defend him openly. Has the Hon. Eugene Levering? No. Has the Hon. Summerfield Baldwin? No. Have Dr. Donald R. Hooker, the Rev. Dr. W. W. Davis and the Hon. Young Cochran? No. The silence of these great experts is proof of their leaning. They lament the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s moral fawks pass as much as I do.

And now it appears, the poor street-cleaners will have to sign the Harry petition all over again!