Baltimore Evening Sun (25 March 1914): 6.


That anonymous Sunday-school teacher who favored the Letter Column yesterday with a list of immortal Bills forgot four of the greatest, to wit:

In moderation, wine, beer and spirits may be taken throughout a long life without impairing the general health.—Sir William Osler, Bart., M. D., LL. D.

I offer the following conclusions after 42 years of unremitting observation and reflection, aided by consultations with hundreds of other observers, dead and alive:

  1. There is no such thing as honest politics, in the strict sense. All persons who aspire to public office, without a single exception, are mountebanks. Even those who start out honestly, with a sincere desire to sacrifice their private comfort to the public good, become mountebanks the moment they face an assemblage of voters, just as every man becomes a mountebank the moment he faces a woman. Under a republic, with the vote of a farmhand counting exactly as much as the vote of a Huxley, intellectual honesty in polities is inhibited by the very nature of things.
  2. It is a capital mistake to assume that the common people are stupid but honest. The exact contrary is more nearly true. The common people never sacrifice their own good to the general good. They are always in favor of the man who promises to get something for them without cost to them—i. e., to steal something for them. This capacity for predatory enterprise they venerate above all other human qualities. Even when it is turned against them, they have a sneaking respect for it. They may laugh at a college professor or an archbishop, but they never laugh at a Charles F. Murphy. One cannot laugh at a man one envies—at the man one would like to be.
  3. Virtue is often a mere symptom of meanness, or of poverty, which is the same thing. The mildest vice is an overhead charge, a dead expense. A man of intense and unyielding virtue is often merely a man of overpowering meanness. This explains why it is that such virtue is usually found in combination with lack of generosity, boorishness, suspiciousness—why it is, in brief, that a virtuoso of virtue is seldom a gentleman. It costs something, even to be merely polite. One cannot show any genuine toleration for the other fellow—the essence of being a gentleman—without at the same time practicing, or at least freely condoning, his vices, i. e., his unutilitarian acts. The true test of a man is not the way he gets his money, but the way he spends it. Men are drawn into firm friendship and understanding, not so much by common occupations, as by common vices. Professional musicians usually dislike one another, but amateur musicians are strongly attracted to one another. Thus it appears that good will between man and man is largely based upon common vices–e. g., music, politics, alcoholism, gambling, or the pursuit of women (either openly, as Don Juans, or in disguise, as vice crusaders).
  4. Women and actors have this advantage in common: that any sign of intelligence in them, however slight, causes surprise, and is therefore estimated above its true worth. In the case of actors this surprise is justified, but justified or not, it works to the same end. No one gets excited over a man who has read Kant, but a woman who has done so, or who merely gets the reputation of having done so, becomes a sort of celebrity ipso facto. In the same way an actor who is able to put together a dozen intelligible paragraphs about Shakespeare is hailed as a Shakespearean scholar and invited to address universities. I say “intelligible,” mind you, and not “intelligent.” No actor has ever written anything actually intelligent about Shakespeare, or even about acting. Of all the professions open to males, acting is the only one whose practitioners have never contributed anything of value to its theory.

Enough for one day. These views, as I say, are the fruit of 42 years of assiduous and painful reflection. If they are erroneous, I shall be very glad to recant and apologize.

The circle set down in the middle of the boulevard at Homewood, against which Col. Sherlock Swann was protesting so vigorously some time ago, on the ground that it would impede navigation, is now adorned with two red lights, apparently to warn automobilists. It is interesting to note that these lights have been placed crookedly—that is, not on the axis of the boulevard. They will thus serve the admirable purpose of luring joy-riders out of the channel on dark nights, and so keep the coroner of the Northern district busy. Incidentally, they give a rakish, and even babylobish air to an otherwise virtuous neighborhood. Doused on Pine street, the red lights now gleam hospitably at Homewood.

How prohibition works in Georgia, as indicated by the printed price list of the Hon. A. L. Somers, of Augusta:

Three Feathers, single case $20.00
Three Feathers, 1 to 10 bottles; bot. 2.00
Upper Ten, single case 14.00
Upper Ten, 1 to 10 bottles; bottle 1.25
Brunswick Club, single case 11.00
Brunswick Club, 1 to 10 bot.; bottle 1.00
Jack Cranston’s Private Stock, single case 11.50
Jack Cranston’s Private Stock, 1 to 10 bottles: per bottle 1.00
Diadora Pure Corn Whiskey, single case 11.00
Diadora Pure Corn Whiskey, 1 to 10 bottles; per bottle 1.00
Jack Cranston’s Famous Georgia Cocktails, single case 11.50
Jack Cranston’s Famous Georgia Cocktails, 1 to 10 bottles; per bot. 1.00
Shaw’s malt, single case 11.50
Shaw’s malt, 1 to 10 botties; per bot. 1.00
Duffy’s Malt, single case 11.50
Duffy’s Malt, 1 to 10 bottles; per bot. 1.00
These good delivered at above prices.

Various kind friends suggest additions to the chart of the uplift printed in this place on March 12, and several take me severely to task for what they regard as inexcusable omissions. For example, here is a letter from an indignant subscriber who wants to know why I put in the Salvation Army and left out the Volunteers of America. The answer is as simple as can be: Capt. John Logan is a friend of mine, and we forward-lookers must stand together. Again, no less than 22 physicians want to know why I put in the madstone and left out radium. Same answer. Yet again, I am denounced for leaving out the Hon. Frederick H. Gottlieb’s theory that music is a moral agent. Same answer. ——— But in so vast and complex a work, of course, it was inevitable that there should be inadvertent omissions, and I hereby set down a few of them, with the promise to insert them in the second edition:

And the session of the Legislature draws to an and with the estimable Sunpaper pouring oil upon the Hon. John Walter Smith–and bichlorlde of mercury upon the Hon. Blair Lee! Such are the jocosities of fate! Such are the hazards and surprises of the uplift!

Nevertheless, if only the Rev. Dr. Charles M. Levister is converted, the Rev. Dr. Sunday will earn his $50,000.—Liquor Adv.