A Poetic Beer Drinker
Mr. “Pussyfoot” Johnson and his American antagonist, Mr. F. M. Wilkesbarr met for the first time on the same platform at Manchester, England, recently.
Mr. Johnson stateted his case for prohibition in a voice which grew hoarser as he became more impressive over the iniquities of the “traffic.” It was from his opponent, however, that the audience got most value for their money in rhetorical flourishes.
They rocked with laughter at the piquant phrases with which Mr. Wilkesbarr attacked his opponent and his campaign in England.
He declared Mr. Johnson was the representative of a type which was the source of all the evil in the world. “The prohibitionist,” he said, “is a puritan who refuses to drink from the bowl of bliss, because be believes that his bliss will be burdened with blisters. A prohibitionist puts the foot of fallacy on the toe of truth with ruthless righteousness.”
Mr. Wilkesbarr bubbled over with these and similar phrases as he warmed to his subject. “Prohibition does not prohibit. If you want to get drunk in America you can get a ‘jagg’ on as big as an elephant.”
“Prohibition develops duplicity, mendacity, and psychic sagacity in overcoming obstacles to procure liquor.” (Laughter.)
The countries where alcoholic liquor was drunk, the speaker proceeded, produced the biggest, handsomest, and cleverest men.
He attacked the figures quoted by Mr. Johnson as indicating the volume of support for prohibition, in America by declaring that the votes of men representing the tiny cities of the West counted for as much in the legislatures as the votes of men representing the millions of the Eastern cities.
“They know what they want,” shouted an interrupter.
“They know what they want as much as the pig knows about the perfumes of Paradise” was the swift retort.
Prohibition, he continued, was never part to the people of America.
His tribute to the value of liquor included the following gem:—
“Beer is the father of laughter and the mother of mirth, the thief of grief, and the foe of woe.”