Baltimore Evening Sun (2 February 1914): 6.
Proposed design for a button to be worn by the salacious old deacons of the Anti-Saloon Leg:
Extracts from the estimable Sunpaper of February 2, 1916:
Mayor Jacobus Hook yesterday made City Collector J. Harry Preston a present of a box of Gorgonzola cigars in appreciation of his unprecedented tax collections during January.
Meanwhile, will some sapient moralist kindly step up and tell the Police Board just how it is going to put down the handbooks. The Soper-Niles-Ammidon board was full of faults, true enough, but certainly no one will allege that its members lacked moral ardor or that they were secretly in favor of racetrack gambling, and so disposed to protect it. And yet racetrack gambling went on under their very noses. The corridors outside their uplifting atelier were thronged with handbooks all day, and now one even hears charges that their very telephones were used by the fraternity.
The fact is, of course, that gambling is one of the vices that are practtically ineradicable. The law may proceed against ceruain forms of it, but the net effect of the crusade is merely the promotion of other forms. Baltimore has closed up the old-time, so-called first-class gambling houses of the sort kept by the Hon. Doc Slater, but certainly no man who knows the town would say that gambling itself has been stopped, or even much diminished. Poker games are in full blast on all sides; craps is diligently practiced by a swarm of virtuosi; the downtown saloons are full of handbooks. I myself have received lottery tickets, and by mail, within the past six months. And across the city line, in Highlandtown and Westport, there are whole communities of gamblers.
What is to be done about ii? The one thing to do about it, I fancy--and in this I am supported by the vast majority of experienced police officials–is to stop bothering so much about it. There are fools in every community who yearn to match their folly against the science of the professionals. There are enough of them in Baltimore to keep a considerable corps of professionals in board and lodging. Why nolet let them alone? If they lose their money, is it your business or mine? Even supposing they are tempted to steal, how can we prevent it? The penitentiaries must be kept going; somewhere or other, in the language of the Mikato, victims must be found. As for me, I am content to accept the Fool-killer as recruiting officer. Certainly it is absurd to complain against gambling if it actually plucks out the weak and erring. A rogue is better off in jail or in the morgue than on a cashier’s stool, and so is a fool.
A DAILY THOIGHT. Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit.--Jacob W. Pliny.
Col. Jacobus Hook may can a tax bailiff now and then, but no one has ever heard of him sending pictures through the mails or allowing handbooks to ply their abhorrent traffic in his office.--Political Adv.
The Court of Appeals has had its say, but the ex-Sheriffs continue to hang on to the money. After all, what do courts amount to?
The estimable American Issue, the official organ of the Anti-Saloon Leg, continues to divert the spicy old deacons with views of the female form divine. In the current number the leg rampant of last week does not appear, nor does the thermal bath picture of two weeks ago, but in place of thern there is a flaming advertisement of a new “folding bathtub,” apparently for use in the bucolic “dry” districts, showing a very handsome young woman occupying it, with her neck, shoulders and right arm exposed, and her back bare down to sixth dorsal vertebra. What would the Rev. Dr. Levister say if the Sunpaper printed such pictures--or the Police Gazette, or the Hot Towel, or the Maryland Suffrage News? One is deafened by the very thought of his whoops! And yet the old deacons, with one leg already in Heaven, demand a new one every week. Mysterious, indeed, are the ways of the anointed!
My secret agents, in the Society for the Suppression of Vice, bring me news that moral circles are all agog over a rumor that Dr. Goldsborough’s Vice Commission has agreed upon its report, and that it will recommend a ruthless war of extermination upon the erring. I do not vouch for the truth of this rumor: for, though I am well acquainted with several members of the commission, I have been at great pains to avoid any appearance of seeking information from them. But it is generally believed among the so-called moral element, and preparations are under way to get busy the moment the actual text is published. That is to say, the snouters hitch up their belts and spit upon their hands, and the word is passed along the line that first-rate sport is in prospect.
If the fraternity is not being spoofed, indeed, Baltimore is on the verge of one of the most thrilling rough-houses since the destruction of Herculaneum. The first phase, the closing of the few sclerotic brothels that remain open, will be comparatively simple and unexciting. But immediately after will come the solemn business of “saving” the women thus dispersed, and those who have been dispersed during the last year or two--and then the refined comedy will begin. Already a large corps of sherlocks, including a number of suffragettes, is being drilled, and a committee has been told off to arrange for the opening of bastiles. At the last moment additional “experts” will be brought in from other cities.
Though I am suffering from the hard times, like all other men of wealth, I shall spare no expense to report this campaign in detail. Among the recruits now enlisted are serveral spies in my pay. Besides, I shall keep agents in the secret concils of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, as heretofore, and shall put out a posse of bogus policewomen.