Baltimore Evening Sun (6 October 1913): 6.
6.40 P. M.–Lyric doors are opened and crowd begins to fight its way in. 6.44–Young Cochran arrives and is introduced to the crowd. 7.03: The Hon. Ed Hirsch offers $10,000 in cash or diamonds at 5 to 7 on Wilkinson. 7.07–Kid Price arrives and is introduced. 7.11--Police quell two fights among moral element. Charhe made that Anderson has issued two tickets for each seat. 7.17--Doc Davis is introduced as the man who put the “pie” in “piety.” 7.20--Charlie Levister falls off the stage. The crowd in an uproar. 7.21--Anderson arrives at the Maryland avenue entrance, with his trainers and bottle holders. 7.22–Wilkinson not yet in sight. Odds at ringside, 6 to 5 on Anderson.
Some bilious critic, characteristically anonymous, takes me to task in today’s Letter Column for the following statement:
The only persons who have ventured to make war upon it (the grand jury’s report) are the unfortunate gentlemen who find themselves in the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte’s position--that is to say, gentleman whose stupidity, idle pretension and petty despotism were revealed by the jury’s inquiry.
Well, where is the inaccuracy in this? If any other gentleman has protested, who is he? So far as I know, not a word has come from the sober, thoughtful people of this town. Every attack upon the jury, say half a dozen in all, has come from some gentlemen whose ineptness and worse got embarrassing publicity in its report. If that report was immoral, why has there been no objection from the clergy? If it was subversive of good order and sound law, why was it received without comment by the judges of the Criminal Court? If it outraged public sentiment, why has no reputable citizen, not on trial himself, publicly attacked it?
What if the Hon. Lloyd Wilkinson should accept the Hon. William H. Anderson’s secret terms for the local option bill at Annapolis?
And the Hon. Jim Dawkins? And the Hon. Jim Trippe? And the Hon. G. G. Altfeld?
Who will come forward with the first contribution to the Salvarsan Fund? The hospitals are all too poor to administer this expensive drug to free patients, and as a result many of them go uncured. The alternative treatment, offered free of charge by the hospitals, is too long and tedious for them: the moment the grosser symptoms of their illness disappear, they themselves go their ways. The consequences are doubly lamentable. On the one hand, these uncured patients proceed to invalidism and insanity, and on the other hand, they infect many of the persons with whom they come into contact.
Here os a chance for the vice crusaders to turn aside from their tub-thumping and do a practical work of regeneration. The malady that salvarsan cures is the worst of the so-called social diseases. It is apparently virulent and infectious. It destroys both mind and body. It makes for pauperism, misery and crime. It lays its curse upon the third and fourth generations. In salvarsan, scientific medicine has a new and highly effective remedy for it. Salvarsan, of course, is not a sure cure: it would not stamp out this dreadful disease overnight, even if it were administered at wholesale. But all the same, it is vastly more potent than the older remedies. It cuts down the duration of treatment, and simplifies it. It reduces the demands upon the ignorant patient, and so increases his willingness to be treated.
This disease is never going to be obliterated by pious platitudinizing. All the vice crusaders in Christendom, pursuing prostitutes with tracts, wolf-hounds and artillery will never diminish it by 1 per cent. It must be combatted by medical men, systematically, unemotionally and without regard to moral issues. That war will cost money, of course, but it will not cost as much as the current mountebankery by profesitional tear-squeezers. The money now going to noisy preachers, bogus social “experts” and other such gaudy ornaments of the uplift would keep all of the city hospitals supplied with salversan. And one dose of salvarsan, under proper conditions, will work far more good to the community than the whooping and posturing a whole herd of Pentzes, Murrays, Leverings and Bonapartes.
The Maryland Society for Social Hyglene is pre-eminently the agency to undertake the work. Despite the presence of several members of the sob squad upon its directorate, it has had little to do with the vice crusade, and its ostensible aims are medical and educational rather than musical and sentimental. Will it raise and administer a salvarsan fund? If so, it will be giving an impressive proof of its intelligence and good faith to the people of Maryland, and what is just as important to its campaign, to the Legislature. Let it but go to Annapolis with such an achievement behind it and it will get a hospitable hearing for the legislation it seeks to put upon the books.
Extracts from various letters printed in the Letter Column during the last three months:
[The Hon.] Mr. Mencken naturally defends his Pilsener. * * The prejudices of a German in favor of unrestrained drinking. Let him drink all he wants! The defender of his fellow-drinkers. The press agent of the brewers and kaifkeepers. * *
Last straw in Saturday’s Letter Column:
The enjoyment that [the Hon.] Mr. MEncken and his friends get * * * at Back River or the Baltimore kaifs.
If this sort of slander keeps up much longer I shall be forced to print a daily record of my potations, subscribed and sworn to before a notary public. It will prove a sore surprise, I dare say, to the Hon. Eugene Levering, that foe of bibbers and bibbery. What if I prove that I swallow even less alcohol than caffeine!
Day succeeds day, and the Hon. Isaac Lobe Straus drowses over his job. Not a single mayhem upon the Sunpaper for nearly four weeks! H. L. Mencken.
CORRECTION Readers are besought to call attention to any lies or other errors appearing in the Free Lance.
The Hon. H. L. Mencken, The Evening Sun: Monsieur–Venillez avoir la bonté de mettre en Anglais l’article de la journal Gil Blas qui se trouve ci-joint. Ne savez-vous pas que c’est assez difficil pour nous “now brows” lire en Anglais The Free Lance? Il m’a couté $1.25 de l’avoir mis en Anglais et je ne le comprend pas mieuz que le Français. In other words, don’t spring any of that foreign stuff on us: we would believe it just the same if it were written in English. Jerry Johnson. Govans, Oct. 2.