Baltimore Evening Sun (8 July 1913): 6.
The Hon. Sunday-School Field, LL. D., in the Municipal Journal:
In a few years, after [the Hon.] Mr. Whitman shall have completed his filtered water system, and The [Evening] Sun shall have ceased to publish in the Free Lance column falsehoods about the impurity of our water supply and exaggerations in regard to the prevalence of typhoid fever in our city * * *
Harsh words, them! And all the more harsh as coming from so learned and holy a man. I hope I need not say that that I have the utmost veneration for the Hon. Mr. Field, not only as a barrister steeped in the rarest juices of the law, but also and more especially as an amateur theologian of the subtlest gifts. I know of no professor whose decision I would rather take upon a question of exegesis, or upon a recondite and baffling problem in evangelical ethics. And yet it appears that even so pious a man may sometimes perform upon the truth a sauginary laparotomy. He does so, in fact, when he accuses me of printing fictions upon the subject of typhoid. If he will nominate one occasion when I have ever printed a “falsehood about the impurity of our water supply” or an “exaggeration in regard to the-prevalence of typhoid fever in our city,” I shall be glad to pay into the hands of his bankers the sum of $1.85 cash. Or, failing this, if he will get a single reputable physician of Baltimore to join him in his accusation, even without offering any evidence, I shall be glad to give him a set of Sunday-school superintendent’s phylacteries.
No; I have no fear that the Hon. Mr. Field will be able to win these tempting prizes. As a matter of fact, his indictment of my statistics is simply a dutiful and thoughtless echo of a charge hitherto made by his boss and fellow-theologian, the Hon. Dashing Harry, D. D. The Hon. Mr. Harry was delivered of that charge, in high, astounding terms, in a memorable message to the Job Hounds. Alas, for human folly, even for superhuman folly! As appendices to the message there appeared reports by the Hon. Ezra Whitman and the late Dr. James Bosley—and in both reports my remarks regarding typhold were fully corroborated and ratified! So the Hon. Dashing Harry, for all his patriotic fervor, was made to look a bit silly. Let the Hon. Mr. Field beware lest he get his legs tangled in this typhoid business and go through the same gyrations.
When I think of the learned Sunpaper shedding crocodile tears over the Ijams case, I am sorely tempted to throw up the newspaper business, have my head shaved and enter some lamasery of vice crusaders. It must know, if it knows anything at all, just how much peanut politics is at the bottom of all the present outbreak of muckraking, and just how much damage that muckraking is doing to the cause of real reform. Of all ways ever invented for convincing men that their beliefs are wrong, the worst is that of accusing them falsely and ridiculously of heinous crimes. No good is ever going to be accomplished, either at the House of Correction or at the penitentiary, by mixing up the sober discussion of administrative problems with wild charges of murder.
And yet that hysterical, staccato technic has become the rage from end to end of the United States, and all the great virtuosi of virtue adopt it. Lynching under the forms of law, indeed, is now the favorite public sport among us. In New Jersey, the other day, a man was sent to the penitentiary for 11 years for “inciting hostility to the Government”—one of the principal rights of a free citizen, as laid down in the Declaration of Independence. And day by day we are entertained by such appetizing affairs as the Diggs-Caminetti case, in which two men guilty of a misdemeanor are to be tried and convicted of felony—and railroaded to prison under a statute which they no more violated than you and I have violated. No sane man believes that Diggs and Caminetti will get a fair trial. They will not, indeed, get a trial at all. They will be lynched.
The true and complete story of the current vice crusade in Baltimore, if it is ever written, will doubtless attract the favorable notice of connoisseurs in Russia and Turkey. Founded upon a deliberate and disingenuous denial of plain facts, and promoted by zealots whose pious ferocity constitutes a public scandal, it has been marked at every step by gross invasions of the common rghts of its victims. The nearest approach to white slavery ever known in Baltimore has arisen under this outrageous, imbecile and lawless system. Its inevitable effect must be to corrupt the police, to restore the cadet, and to destroy all the good so patiently achieved by the Supreme Bench. And yet there is no denying that this system is regarded with eager satisfaction by thousands of presumably sane Americans. There is no denying that the good sport it offers conceals nine-tenths of the injustice it involves.
The Hon. Young Cochran, C. P., in his advertisement in Saturday’s News:
Before these men–and all men–stand the doors of countless Christian churches bidding them come, not in profession of goodness, but with confession of unworthiness. * * *
The impudence of this Young Cochran passes belief! Does he mean to say that such men as Dr. Donald R. Hooker and the Hon. Eugene Levering are unworthy, that they have human faults, that they are capable of sin, or even of mere naughtiness? For shame, Young Cochran! You slander the archangels!
Question and answer in the estimable Collier’s Weekly:
Q.—I want to inquire about the advertised drink, Coca-Cola. Is it a harmful, habit-forming beverage? * * * It is advertised in some of the Sabbath-school helps.
A.—The beverage you mention contains caffeine, which, you are probably aware, is the alkaloid or active principle of tea or coffee. In our opinion, one might acquire the habit as he might acquire the coffee or tea habit. It does not appear to us as the part of good hygiene to allow young people, especially children, to drink caffeinated beverages.
Respectfully referred, etc, etc., to the Hon., etc., etc., etc.
From “Talks to Teachers,” by the late Prof. William James (Pages 265-266):
The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours. No one has insight into all the ideals. No one should presume to judge them offhand. The pretension to dogmatize about them in each other is the root of most human injustices and cruelties, and the trait in human character most likely to make the angels weep.
Respectfully referred to the Rev. W. W. Davis, D. D., and to all the other professional tale-bearers and joy-killers of this, our fair city.