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A Discordant "voice."

A Discordant "voice." image
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An alleged temperanee paper, of the Pólice Gazette order, called.the "Voice," published in New York by a íirm of pious frauds who make a seemingly lucrative eombinatioji of publishing and blackmail, won a questionable notoriety in its issue of June 9th by printing a notcriously falü and scurrilous article eoncerning this city, the University and some of our .most respected citizens. This article bears the marks of a local inspiration, and the fact that one of our city papers commends tlis method of teaching1 moraiity while all of the others uniformly conderan it, may serve as a clue by which the source of this stream of slimy inuendo may be tracad It is with regret that the Demoerat is forced to acknowledge that there must be some individuáis in this cüy, pcsing as moral reformers, who are so bereft of decency and manhood, whose actions are so far removed írom the .influence of that Ohrisiian spirit of charity with. whicii they pretend to be h'ispired, that they are willing to plunge in irretrievable ruin all tlaa.t .they cannot rule, and, with the cold-blooded malig.nity of the wretch who Jies in wait to atrike his unsuspecting viciim vrder .the cloak of darkness, stand ready to assassinate private Character unJer the cover of that most cowardly and reprehensible of all shieltfs, an .anonyraous publication. It may advanee the cause .of temperance and morality to gather and pmblish all of the dirty stories that have bean current withln a score of years, many of which have long been relegated 10 that öblivion -which they so riclily desexve, but it will not strike well balanced minds as either a creditable or an effective undertaking. It may purify the moral atmosphere of a communiiy to attack by insinuations and inuendo the private characters oL men who, by long lives of probity and u&tfulness among us, have established reputations which juo anonymous expectoration of fllth can tarnish, but unprejudiced observers will expect from such methods a reaction of public sentiment against the Iperpetrators of sucia a crime which will retard the progress of real reform. The publieation of scurrilous and unfounded charges calculated to injüre tUe community in the eyes af the wófld as wel] as individual character wiii stir men, not to works of reform but to ferret out and punish the perpetrators of the dastardly work. If in doing so the cause of temperance and morality suffers, we can charge it to the account of over-zealous enthusiasts who, warped and unbalanced by long contemplation of a single phase of human weakness, become themselves afflicted wltli a moral leprosy which leads them to apply a remedy worse than the disease which it is intended to cure. The pious hypocrisy of the men who prepared the article in question for the Voice is displayed in the cunning with which the tale, of woe is devised. It was the work of experienced hands at blackmafl. Direct charges were ventured only in instances where the principáis have been long since removed from the scène of action. Insinuation and inuehdo, the weapons of moral cowards, form the gist of the artlole. The questtonable transactions oí a score of years are revived and made to appear as present and existiría; ccnditions in this city. While the few stories told by the Voice which have e substance of truth have long been forgotten by most people. And in the midst of all this array of flctitious nlth with which our respectable and orderly community is charged, there is not one word of the forces which so potently rrfake for good - af the churehes, assoeiations and societies which overahadow, counteract and nullify the influences for bad which are so exhaustively exploited. Unfortunately, some penple insinúalo themselves into every comraendable movement who are morally unbalaijceö and incapable. Being of an intellectual ■ stature only large enough to grasp one idea at a time, they can see truth ar.d righteousness only in the cüreotiou in which they have set their faces, and those who chance to look in other directions fr the well-spring of human happiness at once become the targets of their venemous censure. Parading 06tenuuiously a piety which is only a thin veneer covering a coi-e of vindictive bigotry, they fail to recognize that fundamental principie of Christianity which teaches a broad olera tion and recognition of the rights of others, and in anything but a Christian spirit tney are willing to destruy all whom they cannot bend to their ideáis. And of this character is the attack in the "Voice." It was not projected in the interest of temperance. (No worthy cause is ever advanced by falsehood and calumny.) It was not conceiveJ in a Christ-like spirit of peace and good will to men. It bears the damning earmarks of malice. It is a discharge of venom which passeth the understanding of just and upright men. It is a notable contribution of petty spitc and brutal instinct to the language oí blackmail. It is the work of men of the class described above, wie, failing to impress in legitímate ways a sense of their usefulness upon the community, resort to this method of punishing the people for failing to acknowledge the force of their wierd fanaticism. The current of filth was not turned loose upon the country for the purpost of effecting reform in Ann Arbar. Markcd copies of the Voice were not mailed by the thousand and every effort made to secure publicity for the purp-ose of improving the moral tone of the University town. This publication was intended to injure the University and the reputations of the men wliom it assails. It bears within jtself evidence that personal malice was the active agent which inspired it. Did the evils of which the "Voice" eomplains in fact exist in Ann Arbor, we do not need to publish our shame to the world in order to suppress tliem. We have the means and the inclination among the sensible and levÊl-iiuaded people of this city to make the necessary corrections. It is not to be denied that there have been in times past, and probably will be in the future, occurrences which aü good citizens will condemn. That cjmmunity does not and never will exist and that law has not yet and never will be framed which will prevent occasional exhibitions of moral turpitude. But we challenge our critico to show us anywhere a community of 15.C00 people whieh is more orderly or law-abiding than Ann Arbor. In this very humai world the degree of municipal purity is not absolute. We are willLng to abide by any comparisoxi that can be made. The Register, with the unblu&hing effrontery of one trained to prevarication, speaks of "the ruination of thousands of young men every year." This reads very' rnuch like one of Blanco's accounts of a Spanish victory. Yet if the'truth be told there is no danger to which a young man may be exposed in this city grave as the chance of becoming imbued with the business rnethods which have prevailed for sjme years in the office of that paper and the principies which guide and controi the actions of lts putative proprietor ivhen he is not on his knees praying to his own particular God for nure lambs to fleece. The boys who go away from Ann Arbor the worse for their residence here (and they are so few that they bardly deserve mention), are those proflígate scns of rich men who have established records for dissipation before their advent here. But on the whole, and tho records of the University will bear us out in this statement, the influences ior good with which students are surrounded, and above all the diligent appiication to work which is necessary to maintain a position in the classes of any of the departments, tends to send the young men out from college stroüger and better fltted in every way to cope ■ with the duties and responsibilities of life. Whatever wild dissipation may have marked the career af a freshman has from forcé of circumstances been eschewed before the close of his sopaomore year, and the senior looks with grave disdain upon the under-classman who can flnd time to spend in frivolity. And t'here Is another phase of this question which our super-critical romancers fail to nots. Without additional restraint the student body has been becoming each year more orderly and well behaved, and the drinking habit has wonderfully decreased until the orgies and riotous rowdyism of a few years since now exist only in tradition. It is to be sincerely regretted that we have among u. those whose regard for truth and decency and for the standing of their community and the University abroad, is so slight that they should lend themselves to this contemptible business. But as we have the evidence that we are harboring some of these creatures, it is the duty of the authorities of both the eity and the University to ferret them out and make this climate altogether too sultry for their continuëd sojourn.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat