Baltimore Evening Sun (24 February 1914): 6.
My spies send up news that the Hon. Jesse D. Price has introduced in the State Senate a bill to “authorize the Comptroller to settle claims due to the State upon terms within his discretion.” Oh, you ex-Sheriffs!
The long-awaited Domesday Book of the estimable Hot Towel, just come to hand, is an impressive panorama of masculine beauty and chivalry. Such handsome men as the Hon. D. Harry, the Hon. Calvin W. Hendrick and Col. E. C. Carrington are cheek by jowl with such ardent uplifters and forward-lookers as the Hon. Eugene Levering, the Hon. Jack Cornell, Prof. A. Barneveld Bibbins and Americus. Two members of the judiciary are there, one occupying a $50 space and the other contenting himself with $25 worth. Perhaps both came in deadhead, as many gentlemen of the cloth seem to have done. But I search in vain for the four ex-sheriffs.
Dozens of ambitious young lawyers are there. Most of them are among the $25 customers, but a few have plunged to the extent of $50, and one or two have gone in for $100, thus ranging themselves with the Hon. Oscar G. Murray, the Hon. Boomer Dickey, Col. Seymour Mandelbaum, Dr. Isaac E. Emerson and the lest of the plutocrats. One of these plungers is the Hon. William Shepard Bryan, Jr. But the Hon. Isaac Lobe Straus has only $50 worth and the Hon. Sunday-school Field leads page 114 at $25. The Hon. Bibb Mills didn’t bite, and neither did the Hon. William H. Anderson. Nor, for that matter, did my old friend the Rev. Dr. W. W. Davis, of the Lord’s Day Alliance.
A glance through the book is sufficient to show the decay of facial flora in Baltimore. At least four-fifths of the great men whose effigies are presented are smooth-faced, and most of the rest content themselves with mustaces. The most artistic whiskers in the lot are on the Hon. Tunis Ferdinand Anthony Dean, with Dr. L. K. Hirshberg running him a close second. The only Dundrearies that I can find are on Capt. Henry B. Meigs. The Mon. Harry A. Remley, however, offers a graceful goatee, and the Hon. Anton H. Fetting has siders. Other satisfying arrangements of the shrubbery are visible on the Hon. Charles H. Stanley, Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs and Dr. Joseph Clement Clark. But, as I have said, hirsuticulture is practically a lost art in Baltimore. Even the boomers have dropped it.
It is unfortunate that many Baltimoreans did not have the price to get into this great record of “distinguished men.” The result is a series of lamentable gaps. On the face of it, it appears that Dr. William H. Welch is outranked in distinction by half a dozen other medical men, some of them his pupils. And among educators Professor Bibbins outranks Dr. Remsen. And among lawyers the Hon. James Francesene Klecka, who was born in 1888, outranks the Hon. MM. Edwin G. Baetjer and Joseph Packard. It is also to be noted that the Hon. Thomas G. Hayes is not a distinguished Baltimoream and that neither is Dr. Basil Gildersleeve, and that neither is the Hon. James A. Gary. Of the trustees of the Johns Hopkins the only ones who are “distiniguished” are the Hon. Eugene Levering and the Hon. Miles White, Jr., each of whom is “distinguished” $50 worth. But the Hon. Mr. Levering’s brother, Joshua, is not distinguished at all.
Some anonymous inquirer, writing from the fair town of Westminster, calls on me solemnly in today’s Letter Column for “a clear, unambiguous statement.”
- (a) Of my “conception of the nature and purp[ose of Christianity.”
- (b) Of my “method for the proper handling of the drink prlblem.”
- (c) Of my “ideal of the moral reformer needed today to meet the social exigencies of our age.”
It is a pleasure to grant the courteous demands of this correspondent, and I do so forthwith:
- (a) My notion as to the “nature and purpose of Christianity” is to be found in a sermon preached by the Rev. Dr. Arthur Chilton Powell at Grace and St. Peter’s Protestant Episcopal Church on November 30, 1913, on the occasion of his retiring from the rectorship. That sermon was printed in full in the Record of the parish, Vol. xviii, No. 8. No more dignified and convincing argument against perunaism in the pulpit has ever come to my notice.
- (b) My notion of the “proper handling of the drink problem” is to be found in the second paragraph of a letter from the Rev. Dr. Charles Fiske, rector of St. Michael and All Angels’ Protestant Episcopal Church, in The Evening Sun of last Friday, February 26.
- (c) My “ideal of the moral reformer needed today to meet the social exigencies of our age” is one who seeks out the truth, patiently and unemotionally, before he ventures to speak, and who tells that truth without evasion when he has found it. I bar out all men who put the remedy before the diagnosis, and all men who seek to dispose of opposition by appeals to popular passion and prejudice, and all men who pretend to be plaster saints, and all who are intriguers and sneaks, and all men who have anything to gain by lying. In brief, I bar out all professional virtuosi of virtue, all self-consecrated popes and prophets, all grafters or mountebanks, clerical or lay. But I do not bar out such men as the Hon. Brand Whitlock, author of “The Enforcement of Law in Cities.” On the contrary I point to him as one very near my ideal of an honest and intelligent reformer, despite the fact that I am still to be convinced by more than one of his conclusions.
All this I set down, not because my personal views are of the slightest importance, but because the charge is incessantly made that all opponents of the current Munyons and Lydia Pinkhams are mere iconoclasts, with no desire but to pester the virtuous. No charge could be more ridiculous. The most important of all the reforms now before the people of this country, I am convinced, is that reform which shall have as its object the overthrow of our present howling horde of ignorant, emotional, malignant and dishonest reformers.
The Hon. S. M. Wood, editor of the Democratic Telegram, bedizens the first page of this week’s issue of his estimable gazette with a large holzschnit of the Hon. Jim Lewis, a statesman whose talents are only matched by his urbanity. Within the hon. gent. warns the members of the Legislature to beware of the suffragettes, takes a hack at the Hon. Frank Brown’s natural gas scheme, and prestents an article describing night life in Londen. This last, I need not say, is safely moral in tone. Not a blushful word is ever admitted to the columns of the Telegram. It is pre-eminently a journal for the domestic hearth, and it never grovels to the licentious taste of barroom society.--Adv.
The betting odds in the kaifs, as reported by the Boy Snouts:
10 to 1 that the State Senate passes all four blackmail bills. 10 to 1 that the ex-Sheriffs never cough up. 20 to 1 that the woman suffrage amendment is canned.
Boil your drinking water! Don’t miss the Domesday Book! Get ready to vote for Hook for Mayor!