Baltimore Evening Sun (10 November 1913): 6.
The Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D., boss of the Sulzar party in Maryland, on the secondary effects of last Tuesday’s plebiscite:
What will become of Sulzer is a curious and interesting question, which it would be now premature to discuss.
A hint of something held back, of something discreetly unuttered here. Can it be that the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte, Munsey, Flinn and Perkins are thinking of running their new hero against Bryan in 1916?
The Hon. Frederick H. Gottlieb’s astounding theory that music fosters morality is supported in today’s Letter Column by the Hon. J. W. Bernardi, Mus. D., who brings forward the late Ludwig Van Beethoven as Exhibit A. No more ludicrously unfortunate example could have been chosen. Not only was the late Beethoven a bachelor of extraordinarily loose and uncouth habits, but his music is notoriously voluptuous and degenerating. Even his minor compositions, such as “Für Elise” and “Farewell to the Pianoforte,” are subtle incentives to profanity, both in the jejune performer and in the tortured hearer. And, as everyone knows, his great Ninth Symphony is a colossal tone debauch, a saturnalia for tenors, a musical shambles. I defy any man to listen to the last movement without wishing fervently that he were where Beethoven himself is now supposed to be.
As for the Fifth Symphony, I find myself wholly unable to describe it in a family paper. The knock on the side door in the first movement suggests speakeasies, blind pigs, ladies’-entrance hotels; the slow movement is a hymn of freethinkers; the scherzo is a baccchanal, and the last movement is a triumphal chorus of sinners. The first subject of this last movement is the very negation of the contemplative, conscience-stricken spirit. It is loud, bold, brazen, contumucious. It signifies a sound liver and defiance of the devil. If it were ever performed upon the streets of Baltimore the moral Police Board would jug the performers for inciting the populace to happiness. It is to a bilious neo-Puritan what “Die Wachy Am Rhein” is to a Frenchman.
And elsewhere Beethoven is even worse. Imagine the orchestra playing the one-step from the Pastoral Symphony at one of the antiseptic “municipal” dances of the uplifters! The very snouters and policewomen would go wriggling around the room, to the horror of the judicious! Or imagine the Eighth Symphony, performed con amore and particularly the metronome movement, with its impious monkey-shines under a room in which the Pentz Society was holding its annual meeting! Could the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte resist that seductive rhythm? Could the Hon. William H. Morriss keep his mind upon his moral statistics? I doubt it seriously. Not even the Hon. Eugene Levering, I opine, could go through a course of Beethoven without losing something of the fine bloom of his virtue. Old Ludwig forgot the International Sunday- School Lessons whenever he sat down to his clavier. He was a ribald fellow, a backward-looker, a voluptuary: he crowned his career of critne by writing a Hymn to Joy.
The Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D., on the late pathetic collapse of local option:
Its advocates do not commend it to fair-minded men by wholesale vituperation, reckless trifling with the truth, and deals, dickers and intrigues with unscrupulous politicians.
Nevertheless, it is precisely by this method that the archangelic crusade of the Pentz Society is “commended” to all “right-thinking,” “forward-looking” men. The same “moral element” which now turns upon Anderson is still faithful to Bonaparte.
Incidentally, it is not to be forgotten by the honest historian that last Tuesday’s holocaust of boozehounds was also a triumph for the Hon. Sunday-school Field, LL. D., president of the Sunday-school Trust. The Hon. Mr. Field, it will be recalled, provoked the ire of the boozehounds by protesting against moral assaults upon the tax rate, and they essayed to burn him at the stake. But when the smoke cleared away, the hon. gent. was found to be absolutely unharmed. What is more, the landscape was incommoded by the corpses of a number of boozehounds, including that of an eminent Anti-Saloon League theologian and chorepiscopus. In brief, the hon. gent. won a complete and staggering victory, and soon afterward he was chosen to lead the May Walk of all the city Sunday-schools, an honor reserved for men of the loftiest virtue and most venerable aspect.
My spies bring me news that the Hon. Mr. Field’s Sunday-school has been growing, ever since his memorable victory, by leaps and bounds. He has himself done some modest boasting on this subject, but I hear that his statements are vastly outdone by the facts. Parents resident as far distant as Highlandtown andt Kuhvertel empty their progeny into his classes, and his photograph adorns the centre tables of more than 10,000 parlors. But what I can’t understand is how a man with such horrendous misdemeanors upon his conscience can look into the eyes of little children without quailing, blushing red hot, and going up in smoke. I say misdemeanors, using the rhetorical plural, but I really allude to one single crime--to wit, that of bearing false witness against an innocent and admiring neighbor, in violation of Chapter xx, Section 16, of the Book of Exodus.
Who is that neighbor? I myself am that neighbor. In the estimable Municipal Journal for July 4 last (what a date for villainy!) the Hon. Mr. Field publicly accused me of printing “falsehoods” about the impurity of our water supply.” That accusation was itself false—a thumping and almost unimaginable piece of slander. But though I have since demonstrated its complete falsity on more than 16 separate occasions, and have offered the hon. gent. fabulous rewards for any evidence, however perjured, of its truth, and have even agreed to cut my throat in public if he produces a single medical man, however far gone in liquor, who will support it-- despite all this, he still sticks to it! How can he look into that constellation of innocent eyes with such scarlet torts in his heart? How can he stand before that multitude of little angels without turning into a pillar of quinine sulphate?
Tip to policewomen: watch Wyman Park!--Adv.
Definitions from the Dictionary of baltimorality:
Atheist—Any man who dissents from the private theological views of the Hon. Young Cochran, that grand young man. Voluptuary—One who has less fear of temptation than the directors of the Pentz Society. Scoundrel—A political opponent of the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte, LL. D. Souse—One who uses narcotics not approved by the Hon. William H. Anderson.