Baltimore Evening Sun (22 December 1913): 6.


Next the sailing of the jug-ship–and for the last time! Once the LEgislature comes to the rescue of the Eastern Shore, and restores the legalized kaif to its old dignity, there will be no more need for the jug-ship to sail for the Shore on Christmas Eve. But meanwhile that merciful galleon still sails! Without it Christmas on the Shore would be a funeral feast, a low burlesque upon the so-called Christmas spirit, a time of parched gullets and breaking hearts.

A DAILY THOUGHT. When the great Christian minister, John Knox, went to Geneva to visit that other great Christian minister, John Calvin, and called on him at his home of a Sunday afternoon, he found him out back in the fields playing at bowls with his sons and neighbors. He knew of no divine law prohibiting him from doing so, nor did John Knox know of any. Do you?–William J. Gaynor.

Pearls of wisdom from the foundry of the Hon. Aristides Sophocles Goldsborough, chief metaphysician to the Hon. Dashing Harry, hon. col. of the Albany Burgesses Corps:

Reassessment can mean a change downward as well as upward. It is just as vicious for a municipality to overassess one man as it is to underassess another. The city government has no right to be unfair. No honest man will hold back when an honest policy is being projected.

All these from a powerful treatise on the Hon. D’Harry’s reassessment plan in the current Municipal Journal. I reserve the gem of the collection for the last:

The overwhelming trend of opinion seems to suggest that if big properties were assessed more closely to their real values little properties would be relieved of a part of their tax burden.

Notice the superb setting of this pearl. Observe the magnificent effect of the “overwhehming trend” and its immediate amelioration by the “seems to suggest.” The hon. gent. is too clever, too subtle, too Sunday-schoolfieldian, to make a direct and forthright statement. Instead he wraps it in two rolls of absorbent cotton—first it is merely “suggested,” and then the suggestion itself is a mere seeming! Ah, sapient Aristides! Ah, serpentine Sophocles! Ah, super-phillipian Goldsborough!

Incidentally, the present fashion of swallowing bichloride of mercury shows a plentiful and lamentable lack of originality in the ladies and gentlemen who follow it. But there are styles in suicides as in skirts and hats, and they are no less rigid. In my time as a police reporter, the rage was for carbolic acid, and I have seen as many as six bibbers of it hauled into City Hospital in one day. But now the suicide who would be respected at the morgue must go there by the bichlorlde route.

What sheep we mortals be! Baltimore is full of charming suggestions to the would-be suicide—and yet all of them burn their gullets with bichloride! Consider, for example, the possibilities of our high buildings: a leap from any one of them would be spectacular as well as lethal, and the chances of getting company across the Styx would be at least 2 to 1. And then there are the big Hoe presses in The Sun office: why not jump into one of them when it is in motion? A gallery for visitors is almost directly above them—and visitors are always welcome.

But here, perhaps, I make unpleasant work for The Sun’s janitors, and bring down upon my head the curses of the circulation manager. Let the previous paragraph be amended by striking out all mention of The Sun office. But the fact remains that the suicides of Baltimore are a stupid and unoriginal lot–a race of wooden-headed copycats. Ah, for some Columbus to show the suicide possibilities of the community Christmas tree, the pay-as-you-enter cars, the new sewerage system!

The retirement of the Hon. George Arnold Frick from the editorship of the estimable Democratic Telegram comes so closely upon the exitus of the Hon. William H. Anderson that it finds the lachrymal glands but ill stocked with sorrow’s pearls. But though there is thus no gush of wet, wet tears, flooding the red, red nose, a genuine regret yet marks the passing of that able and ardent literateur. The Hon. Mr. Frick, on more than one occasion, has done political writing of a very high order, and week in and week out he has never failed to be entertaining. I know of no other local political writer, indeed, who has ever kept up so copious and so hot a cascade of parts of speech.

Naturally enough, the Hon. Mr. Frick has been considerably handicapped, at times, by the weakness of his cause, and in particular by the weakness of some of its leaders. For example, the puerile mountebankeries of the Hon. Dashing Harry have caused him to sweat very palpably more than once. But he has always wriggled through such difficulties with skill and good humor, and so his editorial career appears in retrospect as a very successful one.

Meanwhile, another year draws to a close with no smirch upon the escutcheon of the Hon. Dan Loden, Master of the Jobhounds. Dan is the sort of man who makes the uplifters shiver every time they think of him. He is a foe to forward-looking. If he ever caught himself doing any right-thinking he would send for a doctor, and probably for a clergyman. He is a professional politician and jobholder, having no other occupation. He is opposed to the recall of judges, the vice crusade, prohibition, eugenics, psychical research, Christian Science, the Montesorri method, the Emmanuel movement, and the initiative and referendum. He regards all reformers with the easy geniality of one who has felt the softness of their teeth. He frequents a political club, wears striped collars, chews chewing-gum, carries on a wholesale job business, and is strongly in favor of the de facto boss, whoever he may be. In brief, a lamentable person, an incorrigible backward-looker. But will any gentlemen stand up in meeting and accuse him of getting rich in politics, or of neglecting his duties of any of the jobs he has held, or of failing to bring them to a high degree of honesty and common sense?—Adv.

Wait for the big show! Forty deacons are in the cage, waiting to go on the legislative autopsy table! Don’t miss this refined family entertainment!—Adv.

The city of Lynn, Mass., after six years of experience with local option, has voted to go wet again. Having given both the saloon and the speak-easy fair trials, the people decided in favor of the saloon. The Eastern Shore of Maryland next!