Baltimore Evening Sun (6 March 1914): 6.


The estimable Sunpaper on recent doings at Annapolis:

Speaker Joseph M. C. Trippe.

Alas for that fame which is as a bursting bubble, a flash of light, a single blast upon a bugle-horn!

A DAILY THOUGHT. You can find everything in the average church, from a humming bird to a turkey buzzard.—The Rev. Billy Sunday, D. D. ——— And even if the Rev. Dr. Billy Sunday never comes to save us, we still have the Rev. Dr. John Roach Straton, the man who defied both the Hon. Sunday-School Field, LL. D., and Pontius Pilate. ——— The Hon. Lawrence Turnbull in yesterday’s Letter Column:

[The Hon.] Mr. Mencken’s pleadings have a certain element of truth in them * * * but he does not need to split the ears of the groundlings with wearisome iterations of barroom epithets. * * *

With all due respect I hereby offer 10 to 1, in cash or goods, that Mr. Turnbull has not been in a barroom in 25 years. If he were a frequenter of such places, he would know very well that I never use barroom epithets, not because they are too vigorous, but simply because they are too weak. The barroom vocabulary is hopelessly restricted in range. It includes, indeed, no more than four or five epithets, and immemorial repetition has taken all the life out of them. The word “damn,” for example, has grown so familiar and so banal that the ear scarcely notices it. It has no more punch in it than “well,” or “b’gosh,” or “as I was saying.”

It is the business of an author engaged in moral rabble-rousing to think of epithets that are new and arresting, just as it is the business of a clergyman to think of new (and, if possible, sound) reasons for being good. The old stuff is stale, and being stale it is unpalatable, and being unpalatable it is left in the dish. May I be permitted to denounce my courteous friend for so cruelly questioning my professional technique and assiduity? I blow up his charge with an epithet most horrible, and, I hope, most novel. He is–

But let it pass! On second thoughts, I’d rather bear the burden and ignominy of his accusation than say anything, even purely academically, against a man as straightforward and earnest in his complaints. By refraining I accomplish two things. In the first place, I rob him of some good evidence, and in the second place, I fill myself with an unaccustomed feeling of virtue.

Come back, O Anderson rarissima! Come back, O moral Alfred Allmers! There stands your champagne on the table—and you touch it not!

Meanwhile, they are beginning to get things ready at Back River. As soon as the snow melts, the trees will be whitewashed and the drinking benches will be painted scarlet. Then the slot machines will be repaired, the frankfurter-boiling machines will be oiled and the scenery in the open-air theatres will be touched up. And simultaneously the skilled snouts of the Lord’s Day Alliance will spit upon their hands.—Liquor Ring Adv.

In view of the approaching passage of the Kenyon bill and the beginning of the merriest, maddest woman-hunt that ever was on land or sea, there may be some who desire to inform themselves as to the probable effects of that great eruption of malignant morality. To such I commend a little book by the Rev. Albert W. Elliott, head of the Southern Rescue Mission at Atlanta, Ga., and entitled “The Cause of the Social Evil and the Remedy.” The book may be had, cloth bound, by sending a dollar bill to Dr. Elliott at 38½ West Alabama street, Atlanta, or in paper covers by sending 50 cents. It sets forth the conclusions of a clergyman who has devoted six years of his life to helping fallen women, and who has been in contact during that time with more than 16,000 of them.

Dr. Elliott, according to his own account, went into the work with notions substantially identical to those held by such men as Dr. Howard A. Kelly, the Hon. Eugene Levering and the Rev. Dr. Kenneth G. Murray today. That is to say, he regarded prostitution as an evil that might be greatly diminished by vigorous attempts at suppression, and he believed that the majority of prostitutes were the helpless victims of others and might be saved by providing them means of escape from the life. He was not a mere prosecutor, as the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte is: he was filled with a genuine sympathy for the women he tackled, and had high hopes that he could restore a good many of them to decency and usefulness.

Such was Dr. Elliott’s theory of the matter when he begun his work. His book is a frank statement of the changes that experience has wrought in it. He began with his heart heavy with sympathy for the “white slave”; he ends with the firm conviction that the “white slave” is a wholly fictitious creature. He began in the faith that he could save hundreds of women; he ends with the confession that he has saved but 1 out of 15,000. He began as an ardent advocate of the most extreme police measures against prostitution; he ends as an equally ardent advocate of segregation. In brief, he began in the position of Dr. Janney, the Hon Jack Cornell and all the other bogus “experts”; he ends in the position of Brand Whitlock, Havelock Ellis, John J. Grgurevich and all the other real experts.

I commend Dr. Elliott’s book to every man who likes plain speaking, backed up by sound knowledge. The author, as I say, is a clergyman in good standing, and so it is impossible to denounce him, in the donkeyish Bonapartean manner, as a mere voluptuary, arguing for his own sins. He has devoted the whole of six years to his investigation—not a half hour now and then, but his whole time. He has got his facts, not from snouters who live by inflaming the rich pornographer, but at first hand. And he lives today in a city that was “cleaned up” a year or so ago, by moralists who found the sport more fun, according to one of them, “than a fleet of airships.” In brief, Dr. Elliott knows what he is talking about. Read him, messiers—and ponder him.

Boil your drinking water! Get in line for the Hon. D. Harry! O München, wie bist du so schön!

Five weeks more—and then the glad departure, the benign hiatus. I offer my space to the Rev. Dr. John Roach Straton to print his proofs that one of the essential “principles” of Christianity was violated at Cana.

Wait for the king of vice crusades! Raids every day! The policewomen on the jump! Busy times at the morgue!