Baltimore Evening Sun (11 February 1914): 6.
First the discovery of a busy gambling house in the very citadel of the Soper-Niles-Ammidon Police Board, and now the public accusation of smuggling! Can it be that this sacrosanct body was actually fallible, that it was occasionally fooled, that it even made errors? One trembles before the hideousness of the thought! If the Hon. MM. Soper and Niles, between them, were not omniscient and infallible, with the Hon. Mr. Ammidon making it unanimous, then there is no such thing as perfection in this vale of sobs. What will the dear old Sunpaper do for an idol now? Who will lead the Boy Snouts to victory over sin, now that the old captains have been caught with the goods?
Meanwhile, let it be said at once that the Hon. Mr. Niles, for one, enters an indignant denial of the charge of smuggling. The lowbrows of the Department of Justice seem to regard it as smuggling to remove a bottle of Pilsner from a foreign ship without paying duty on it, but the Hon. Mr. Niles, according to the Hot Towel, “does not consider Pease’s actions illegal.” This, of course, settles the question—at least in the minds of all “right-thinking” men. The law is whatever the Hon. Mr. Niles says it is. Any man who ventures to dispute his dicta, whether an humble grand juryman or the Attorney-General of the United States, is an ignoramus ipso facto. Ah, that the incomparable Bonaparte were still Attorney-General! What a lovely situation it would be!
A DAILY THOUGHT. Don’t let your charity degenerate into mere almsgiving. Give at least your sympathy and your intelligent interest along with your money. Better still, give of your time and your thought to help solve the problems of those in need.—Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Free tip to the Boy Snouts: Belair is ripe for a cleaning-up. Call up Archdeacon Wegg and get a complete list of the speakeasies.
The estimable Evening News on the foul, foul plot to shut off my parts of speech:
The question has been brought up more than once by the ministers [i.e., by the few who run to such derring-do] and it is now understood that they have determined to tackle the satirist and try to squelch him or to censure the paper that prints the column.
If my advice is worth anything, let me urge the latter alternative. The censuring would get more publicity for the promoters than the squelching, and it would also last much longer, for the moment I was actually canned, the show would be over. Beside, I’d be glad to lend a hand in the censuring myself—and I have a vast mass of secret and highly interesting information.
Meanwhile, my spies bring me word that the Evening News has been practically ruined by Monday’s bill of excommunication. More than seven subscribers have ordered the paper stopped and four want-ads have been withdrawn. Nothing could more eloquently exhibit the power that clergymen gain in a community by turning from the trivial business of curing souls to the solemn enterprises of vice-crusading, saloon-baiting, wire-pulling, newspaper-censoring and press-agenting.
Col. Jerome H. Joyce, the uplifter, announces that a real cow will be brought upon the stage and milked in the public gaze in the course of his minstrel show at Albaugh’s Theatre tonight. Let the Colonel mind his eye and have a care! If it becomes necessary to prod the cow, he will be liable to raid and imprisonment by the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society. If he makes the cow yell, he will be pinched by Dr. Watson, of the Anti-Noise Society. If he keeps her up after 9.30 o’clock, the cow-time for retiring, he will have to reckon with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If he turns the milking into comedy, he will be murdered by the suffragettes for ridiculing the sex. If the cow has a cough, he will be summoned by the State Board of Health. And all the white he will be taking chances with the Society for the Suppression of Vice for operating an immoral show. Only the Anti-Saloon League will give his enterprise its unqualified approval.
Boil your drinking water! Get your tickets for “Damaged Goods”! Send 50 cents to the Maryland Suffrage News for Christabel’s racy book!
From a report of an harangue by the Hon. F. R. Benson, the Shakespearean actor, before the Women’s Civic League last week:
Mr. Benson * * * called upon such clubs as the Women’s Civic League to aid in bringing to pass that reign of brotherhood * * * of which Shakespeare sang and dreamed.
If the Hon. Mr. Benson really said any such thing, then he gave but one more proof of the general ignorance of actors. As a matter of fact, Shakespeare had no belief at all in “brotherhood,” nor in any of the other puerile sentimentalities which now masquerade as sense. He was a firm believer in castes, in a natural order of aristocracy, in the subordination of the weak to the strong. In every one of his plays you will find that the common people are depicted as clowns and knaves: he had no sympathy for them whatever, and never introduced them save to mock at them. His heroes and heroines are all persons of position, and most of them are rich. More, perhaps, than any other Englishman that ever lived, he dearly loved a lord.
Let me advise the good ladies of the Women’s Civic League to free their systems of the Hon. Mr. Benson’s bosh (it he actually loosed it) by reading the actual plays of the Bard. It is a cruel libel upon him to call him an uplifter. In the whole canon at his works you will not find a single line that questions the existing order of his day. Aside from his acting, playwriting and theatre managing, all we know of his doings is this: that he bought himself a landed estate and made application for a coat of arms.
The unspeakable Wegg, of Belair, challenges me, in today’s Letter Column, to explain why two of his letters to The Evening Sun were lately suppressed. The answer is easy, and falls under four heads: (a) no such letters were ever received by The Evening Sun, (b) they were not suppressed, (c) they ought to have been suppressed and (d) if they had been printed, The Evening Sun would have been refused admission to the mails.
Nearly a month since the Court of Appeals decided against the ex-Sheriffs—but they still have the money.
Don’t forget to take your little children to see “Damaged Goods”! All of us moralists will be there!