[Paleopsych] Mr. Mencken's Coverage of the Scopes Trial

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Mr. Mencken's Coverage of the Scopes Trial
http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/menck01.htm et seq.

[Here are thirteen newspaper columns Mr. Mencken wrote on the trial. These 
appear to have been taken from Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, _The Impossible H.L. 
Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories_ (NY: Doubleday, 1999), 
since the site also contains Gore Vidal's foreword to the anthology.

[S.T. Joshi's later anthology, _H.L. Mencken on Religion_ (Amherst, NY: 
Prometheus Books, 2002), contains, in addition, an earlier article, "The 
Tennessee Circus," _Baltimore Sun_, 1925.6.15. It also has an article from _The 
Nation_, "In Tennessee," 1925.7.1, and a further _Baltimore Sun_ article, 
"Round Two," 1925.8.10, and his substantial reworking of the obituary of Bryan 
for the American Mercury, 1925.10. It was revised again for _Prejudices: Fifth 
Series_ (NY: Knopf, 1926) and yet again for _A Mencken Chrestomathy_ (NY: 
Knopf, 1949), the last two revisions being slight.

[The final version of the obituary begins, "Has it been duly marked by 
historians that William Jennings Bryan's last secular act on the globe of sin 
was to catch flies?" It is one of Mr. Mencken's masterpieces as is the report 
below for July 13, "Yearning Mountaineers' Souls Need Reconversion Nightly, 
Mencken Finds." It was also reworked for _Prejudices: Fifth Series_ and again 
for the Chrestomathy, now entitled "The Hills of Zion," an even greater 

[In the Chrestomathy, Mr. Mencken added "My adventures as a newspaper 
correspondent at the Scopes trial are told in my Newspaper Days, New York, 
1943. pp. 214-38.]

                            Homo Neanderthalensis
                               by H.L. Mencken

      * Index: [1]Historical Writings (Mencken)
      * Home to [2]Positive Atheism

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, June 29, 1925)


    Such obscenities as the forthcoming trial of the Tennessee
    evolutionist, if they serve no other purpose, at least call attention
    dramatically to the fact that enlightenment, among mankind, is very
    narrowly dispersed. It is common to assume that human progress affects
    everyone -- that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows
    more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more
    civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous. The men of the educated
    minority, no doubt, know more than their predecessors, and of some of
    them, perhaps, it may be said that they are more civilized -- though I
    should not like to be put to giving names -- but the great masses of
    men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was
    at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they
    are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is
    worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire
    among them to increase their knowledge.

    Such immortal vermin, true enough, get their share of the fruits of
    human progress, and so they may be said, in a way, to have their part
    in it. The most ignorant man, when he is ill, may enjoy whatever boons
    and usufructs modern medicine may offer -- that is, provided he is too
    poor to choose his own doctor. He is free, if he wants to, to take a
    bath. The literature of the world is at his disposal in public
    libraries. He may look at works of art. He may hear good music. He has
    at hand a thousand devices for making life less wearisome and more
    tolerable: the telephone, railroads, bichloride tablets, newspapers,
    sewers, correspondence schools, delicatessen. But he had no more to do
    with bringing these things into the world than the horned cattle in
    the fields, and he does no more to increase them today than the birds
    of the air.

    On the contrary, he is generally against them, and sometimes with
    immense violence. Every step in human progress, from the first feeble
    stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority
    of men. Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's
    possessions has been derided by them when it was new, and destroyed by
    them when they had the power. They have fought every new truth ever
    heard of, and they have killed every truth-seeker who got into their


    The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against
    the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than
    conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters. They mirror very
    accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to
    the man who knows more than he does, and so gets more out of life.
    Certainly it cannot have gone unnoticed that their membership is
    recruited, in the overwhelming main, from the lower orders -- that no
    man of any education or other human dignity belongs to them. What they
    propose to do, at bottom and in brief, is to make the superior man
    infamous -- by mere abuse if it is sufficient, and if it is not, then
    by law.

    Such organizations, of course, must have leaders; there must be men in
    them whose ignorance and imbecility are measurably less abject than
    the ignorance and imbecility of the average. These super-Chandala
    often attain to a considerable power, especially in democratic states.
    Their followers trust them and look up to them; sometimes, when the
    pack is on the loose, it is necessary to conciliate them. But their
    puissance cannot conceal their incurable inferiority. They belong to
    the mob as surely as their dupes, and the thing that animates them is
    precisely the mob's hatred of superiority. Whatever lies above the
    level of their comprehension is of the devil. A glass of wine delights
    civilized men; they themselves, drinking it, would get drunk. Ergo,
    wine must be prohibited. The hypothesis of evolution is credited by
    all men of education; they themselves can't understand it. Ergo, its
    teaching must be put down.

    This simple fact explains such phenomena as the Tennessee buffoonery.
    Nothing else can. We must think of human progress, not as of something
    going on in the race in general, but as of something going on in a
    small minority, perpetually beleaguered in a few walled towns. Now and
    then the horde of barbarians outside breaks through, and we have an
    armed effort to halt the process. That is, we have a Reformation, a
    French Revolution, a war for democracy, a Great Awakening. The
    minority is decimated and driven to cover. But a few survive -- and a
    few are enough to carry on.


    The inferior man's reasons for hating knowledge are not hard to
    discern. He hates it because it is complex -- because it puts an
    unbearable burden upon his meager capacity for taking in ideas. Thus
    his search is always for short cuts. All superstitions are such short
    cuts. Their aim is to make the unintelligible simple, and even
    obvious. So on what seem to be higher levels. No man who has not had a
    long and arduous education can understand even the most elementary
    concepts of modern pathology. But even a hind at the plow can grasp
    the theory of chiropractic in two lessons. Hence the vast popularity
    of chiropractic among the submerged -- and of osteopathy, Christian
    Science and other such quackeries with it. They are idiotic, but they
    are simple -- and every man prefers what he can understand to what
    puzzles and dismays him.

    The popularity of Fundamentalism among the inferior orders of men is
    explicable in exactly the same way. The cosmogonies that educated men
    toy with are all inordinately complex. To comprehend their veriest
    outlines requires an immense stock of knowledge, and a habit of
    thought. It would be as vain to try to teach to peasants or to the
    city proletariat as it would be to try to teach them to streptococci.
    But the cosmogony of Genesis is so simple that even a yokel can grasp
    it. It is set forth in a few phrases. It offers, to an ignorant man,
    the irresistible reasonableness of the nonsensical. So he accepts it
    with loud hosannas, and has one more excuse for hating his betters.

    Politics and the fine arts repeat the story. The issues that the
    former throw up are often so complex that, in the present state of
    human knowledge, they must remain impenetrable, even to the most
    enlightened men. How much easier to follow a mountebank with a
    shibboleth -- a Coolidge, a Wilson or a Roosevelt! The arts, like the
    sciences, demand special training, often very difficult. But in jazz
    there are simple rhythms, comprehensible even to savages.


    What all this amounts to is that the human race is divided into two
    sharply differentiated and mutually antagonistic classes, almost two
    genera -- a small minority that plays with ideas and is capable of
    taking them in, and a vast majority that finds them painful, and is
    thus arrayed against them, and against all who have traffic with them.
    The intellectual heritage of the race belongs to the minority, and to
    the minority only. The majority has no more to do with it than it has
    to do with ecclesiastic politics on Mars. In so far as that heritage
    is apprehended, it is viewed with enmity. But in the main it is not
    apprehended at all.

    That is why Beethoven survives. Of the 110,000,000 so-called human
    beings who now live in the United States, flogged and crazed by
    Coolidge, Rotary, the Ku Klux and the newspapers, it is probable that
    at least 108,000,000 have never heard of him at all. To these
    immortals, made in God's image, one of the greatest artists the human
    race has ever produced is not even a name. So far as they are
    concerned he might as well have died at birth. The gorgeous and
    incomparable beauties that he created are nothing to them. They get no
    value out of the fact that he existed. They are completely unaware of
    what he did in the world, and would not be interested if they were

    The fact saves good Ludwig's bacon. His music survives because it lies
    outside the plane of the popular apprehension, like the colors beyond
    violet or the concept of honor. If it could be brought within range,
    it would at once arouse hostility. Its complexity would challenge; its
    lace of moral purpose would affright. Soon there would be a movement
    to put it down, and Baptist clergymen would range the land denouncing
    it, and in the end some poor musician, taken in the un-American act of
    playing it, would be put on trial before a jury of Ku Kluxers, and
    railroaded to the calaboose.

    The Scopes Trial

                           Mencken Finds Daytonians
                           Full of Sickening Doubts
                           About Value of Publicity
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 9, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 9. -- On the eve of the great contest Dayton is
    full of sickening surges and tremors of doubt. Five or six weeks ago,
    when the infidel Scopes was first laid by the heels, there was no
    uncertainty in all this smiling valley. The town boomers leaped to the
    assault as one man. Here was an unexampled, almost a miraculous chance
    to get Dayton upon the front pages, to make it talked about, to put it
    upon the map. But how now?

    Today, with the curtain barely rung up and the worst buffooneries to
    come, it is obvious to even town boomers that getting upon the map,
    like patriotism, is not enough. The getting there must be managed
    discreetly, adroitly, with careful regard to psychological niceties.
    The boomers of Dayton, alas, had no skill at such things, and the
    experts they called in were all quacks. The result now turns the
    communal liver to water. Two months ago the town was obscure and
    happy. Today it is a universal joke.

    I have been attending the permanent town meeting that goes on in
    Robinson's drug store, trying to find out what the town optimists have
    saved from the wreck. All I can find is a sort of mystical confidence
    that God will somehow come to the rescue to reward His old and
    faithful partisans as they deserve -- that good will flow eventually
    out of what now seems to be heavily evil. More specifically, it is
    believed that settlers will be attracted to the town as to some refuge
    from the atheism of the great urban Sodoms and Gomorrahs.

    But will these refugees bring any money with them? Will they buy lots
    and build houses, Will they light the fires of the cold and silent
    blast furnace down the railroad tracks? On these points, I regret to
    report, optimism has to call in theology to aid it. Prayer can
    accomplish a lot. It can cure diabetes, find lost pocketbooks and
    restrain husbands from beating their wives. But is prayer made any
    more efficacious by giving a circus first? Coming to this thought,
    Dayton begins to sweat.

    The town, I confess, greatly surprised me. I expected to find a
    squalid Southern village, with darkies snoozing on the horse-blocks,
    pigs rooting under the houses and the inhabitants full of hookworm and
    malaria. What I found was a country town full of charm and even beauty
    -- a somewhat smallish but nevertheless very attractive Westminster or

    The houses are surrounded by pretty gardens, with cool green lawns and
    stately trees. The two chief streets are paved from curb to curb. The
    stores carry good stocks and have a metropolitan air, especially the
    drug, book, magazine, sporting goods and soda-water emporium of the
    estimable Robinson. A few of the town ancients still affect galluses
    and string ties, but the younger bucks are very nattily turned out.
    Scopes himself, even in his shirt sleeves, would fit into any college
    campus in America save that of Harvard alone.

    Nor is there any evidence in the town of that poisonous spirit which
    usually shows itself when Christian men gather to defend the great
    doctrine of their faith. I have heard absolutely no whisper that
    Scopes is in the pay of the Jesuits, or that the whisky trust is
    backing him, or that he is egged on by the Jews who manufacture
    lascivious moving pictures. On the contrary, the Evolutionists and the
    Anti-Evolutionists seem to be on the best of terms, and it is hard in
    a group to distinguish one from another.

    The basic issues of the case, indeed, seem to be very little discussed
    at Dayton. What interests everyone is its mere strategy. By what
    device, precisely, will Bryan trim old Clarence Darrow? Will he do it
    gently and with every delicacy of forensics, or will he wade in on
    high gear and make a swift butchery of it? For no one here seems to
    doubt that Bryan will win -- that is, if the bout goes to a finish.
    What worries the town is the fear that some diabolical higher power
    will intervene on Darrow's side -- that is, before Bryan heaves him
    through the ropes.

    The lack of Christian heat that I have mentioned is probably due in
    part to the fact that the fundamentalists are in overwhelming majority
    as far as the eye can reach -- according to most local statisticians,
    in a majority of at least nine-tenths. There are, in fact, only two
    downright infidels in all Rhea county, and one of them is charitably
    assumed to be a bit balmy. The other, a yokel roosting far back in the
    hills, is probably simply a poet got into the wrong pew. The town
    account of him is to the effect that he professes to regard death as a
    beautiful adventure.

    When the local ecclesiastics begin alarming the peasantry with word
    pictures of the last sad scene, and sulphurous fumes begin to choke
    even Unitarians, this skeptical rustic comes forward with his argument
    that it is foolish to be afraid of what one knows so little about --
    that, after all, there is no more genuine evidence that anyone will
    ever go to hell than there is that the Volstead act will ever be

    Such blasphemous ideas naturally cause talk in a Baptist community,
    but both of the infidels are unmolested. Rhea county, in fact, is
    proud of its tolerance, and apparently with good reason. The klan has
    never got a foothold here, though it rages everywhere else in
    Tennessee. When the first kleagles came in they got the cold shoulder,
    and pretty soon they gave up the county as hopeless. It is run today
    not by anonymous daredevils in white nightshirts, but by well-heeled
    Free-masons in decorous white aprons. In Dayton alone there are sixty
    thirty-second-degree Masons -- an immense quota for so small a town.
    They believe in keeping the peace, and so even the stray Catholics of
    the town are treated politely, though everyone naturally regrets they
    are required to report to the Pope once a week.

    It is probably this unusual tolerance, and not any extraordinary
    passion for the integrity of Genesis, that has made Dayton the scene
    of a celebrated case, and got its name upon the front pages, and
    caused its forward-looking men to begin to wonder uneasily if all
    advertising is really good advertising. The trial of Scopes is
    possible here simply because it can be carried on here without heat --
    because no one will lose any sleep even if the devil comes to the aid
    of Darrow and Malone, and Bryan gets a mauling. The local
    intelligentsia venerate Bryan as a Christian, but it was not as a
    Christian that they called him in, but as one adept at attracting the
    newspaper boys -- in brief, as a showman. As I have said, they now
    begin to mistrust the show, but they still believe that he will make a
    good one, win or lose.

    Elsewhere, North or South, the combat would become bitter. Here it
    retains the lofty qualities of the duello. I gather the notion,
    indeed, that the gentlemen who are most active in promoting it are
    precisely the most lacking in hot conviction -- that it is, in its
    local aspects, rather a joust between neutrals than a battle between
    passionate believers. Is it a mere coincidence that the town clergy
    have been very carefully kept out of it? There are several Baptist
    brothers here of such powerful gifts that when they begin belaboring
    sinners the very rats of the alleys flee to the hills. They preach
    dreadfully. But they are not heard from today. By some process to me
    unknown they have been induced to shut up -- a far harder business, I
    venture, than knocking out a lion with a sandbag. But the sixty
    thirty-second degree Masons of Dayton have somehow achieved it.

    Thus the battle joins and the good red sun shines down. Dayton lies in
    a fat and luxuriant valley. The bottoms are green with corn, pumpkins
    and young orchards and the hills are full of reliable moonshiners, all
    save one of them Christian men. We are not in the South here, but
    hanging on to the North. Very little cotton is grown in the valley.
    The people in politics are Republicans and put Coolidge next to
    Lincoln and John Wesley. The fences are in good repair. The roads are
    smooth and hard. The scene is set for a high-toned and even somewhat
    swagger combat. When it is over all the participants save Bryan will
    shake hands.

                     Impossibility of Obtaining Fair Jury
                         Insures Scopes' Conviction,
                                 Says Mencken
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 10, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 10. -- The trial of the infidel Scopes, beginning
    here this hot, lovely morning, will greatly resemble, I suspect, the
    trial of a prohibition agent accused of mayhem in Union Hill, N.J.
    That is to say, it will be conducted with the most austere regard for
    the highest principles of jurisprudence. Judge and jury will go to
    extreme lengths to assure the prisoner the last and least of his
    rights. He will be protected in his person and feelings by the full
    military and naval power of the State of Tennessee. No one will be
    permitted to pull his nose, to pray publicly for his condemnation or
    even to make a face at him. But all the same he will be bumped off
    inevitably when the time comes, and to the applause of all
    right-thinking men.

    The real trial, in truth, will not begin until Scopes is convicted and
    ordered to the hulks. Then the prisoner will be the Legislature of
    Tennessee, and the jury will be that great fair, unimpassioned body of
    enlightened men which has already decided that a horse hair put into a
    bottle will turn into a snake and that the Kaiser started the late
    war. What goes on here is simply a sort of preliminary hearing, with
    music by the village choir. For it will be no more possible in this
    Christian valley to get a jury unprejudiced against Scopes than would
    be possible in Wall Street to get a jury unprejudiced against a

    I speak of prejudice in its purely philosophical sense. As I wrote
    yesterday, there is an almost complete absence, in these pious hills,
    of the ordinary and familiar malignancy of Christian men. If the Rev.
    Dr. Crabbe ever spoke of bootleggers as humanely and affectionately as
    the town theologians speak of Scopes, and even Darrow and Malone, his
    employers would pelt him with their spyglasses and sit on him until
    the ambulance came from Mount Hope. There is absolutely no bitterness
    on tap. But neither is there any doubt. It has been decided by
    acclamation, with only a few infidels dissenting, that the hypothesis
    of evolution is profane, inhumane and against God, and all that
    remains is to translate that almost unanimous decision into the jargon
    of the law and so have done.

    The town boomers have banqueted Darrow as well as Bryan, but there is
    no mistaking which of the two has the crowd, which means the venire of
    tried and true men. Bryan has been oozing around the country since his
    first day here, addressing this organization and that, presenting the
    indubitable Word of God in his caressing, ingratiating way, and so
    making unanimity doubly unanimous. From the defense yesterday came
    hints that this was making hay before the sun had legally begun to
    shine -- even that it was a sort of contempt of court. But no
    Daytonian believes anything of the sort. What Bryan says doesn't seem
    to these congenial Baptists and Methodists to be argument; it seems to
    be a mere graceful statement of the obvious.

    Meanwhile, reinforcements continue to come in, some of them from
    unexpected sources. I had the honor of being present yesterday when
    Col. Patrick Callahan, of Louisville, marched up at the head of his
    cohort of 250,000,000 Catholic fundamentalists. The two colonels
    embraced, exchanged a few military and legal pleasantries and then
    retired up a steep stairway to the office of the Hicks brothers to
    discuss strategy. Colonel Callahan's followers were present, of
    course, only by a legal fiction; the town of Dayton would not hold so
    large an army. In the actual flesh there were only the colonel himself
    and his aide-de-camp. Nevertheless, the 250,000,000 were put down as
    present and recorded as voting.

    Later on I had the misfortune to fall into a dispute with Colonel
    Callahan on a point of canon law. It was my contention that the
    position of the Roman Church, on matters of doctrine, is not
    ordinarily stated by laymen -- that such matters are usually left to
    high ecclesiastical authorities, headed by the Bishop of Rome. I also
    contended, perhaps somewhat fatuously, that there seemed to be a
    considerable difference of opinion regarding organic evolution among
    these authorities -- that it was possible to find in their writings
    both ingenious arguments for it and violent protests against it. All
    these objections Colonel Callahan waived away with a genial gesture.
    He was here, he said, to do what he could for the authority of the
    Sacred Scriptures and the aiding and comforting of his old friend,
    Bryan, and it was all one to him whether atheists yelled or not. Then
    he began to talk about prohibition, which he favors, and the germ
    theory of diseases, which he regards as bilge.

    A somewhat more plausible volunteer has turned up in the person of
    Pastor T.T. Martin, of Blue Mountain, Miss. He has hired a room and
    stocked it with pamphlets bearing such titles as "Evolution a Menace,"
    "Hell and the High Schools" and "God or Gorilla," and addresses
    connoisseurs of scientific fallacy every night on a lot behind the
    Courthouse. Pastor Martin, a handsome and amiable old gentleman with a
    great mop of snow-white hair, was a professor of science in a Baptist
    college for years, and has given profound study to the biological
    sections of the Old Testament.

    He told me today that he regarded the food regulations in Leviticus as
    so sagacious that their framing must have been a sort of feat even for
    divinity. The flesh of the domestic hog, he said, is a rank poison as
    ordinarily prepared for the table, though it is probably harmless when
    smoked and salted, as in bacon. He said that his investigations had
    shown that seven and a half out of every thirteen cows are quite free
    of tuberculosis, but that twelve out of every thirteen hogs have it in
    an advanced and highly communicable form. The Jews, protected by their
    piety against devouring pork, are immune to the disease. In all
    history, he said, there is authentic record of but one Jew who died of

    The presence of Pastor Martin and Colonel Callahan has given renewed
    confidence to the prosecution. The former offers proof that men of
    science are, after all, not unanimously atheists, and the latter that
    there is no division between Christians in the face of the common
    enemy. But though such encouragements help, they are certainly not
    necessary. All they really supply is another layer of icing on the
    cake. Dayton will give Scopes a rigidly fair and impartial trial. All
    his Constitutional rights will be jealously safeguarded. The question
    whether he voted for or against Coolidge will not be permitted to
    intrude itself into the deliberations of the jury, or the gallant
    effort of Colonel Bryan to get at and establish the truth. He will be
    treated very politely. Dayton, indeed, is proud of him, as Sauk
    Center, Minn., is proud of Sinclair Lewis and Whittingham, Vt., of
    Brigham Young. But it is lucky for Scopes that sticking pins into
    Genesis is still only a misdemeanor in Tennessee, punishable by a
    simple fine, with no alternative of the knout, the stone pile or exile
    to the Dry Tortugas.


                             Mencken Likens Trial
                             to a Religious Orgy,
                          with Defendant a Beelzebub
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 11, 1925)

    Chattanooga, Tenn., July 11. -- Life down here in the Cumberland
    mountains realizes almost perfectly the ideal of those righteous and
    devoted men, Dr. Howard A. Kelly, the Rev. Dr. W.W. Davis, the Hon.
    Richard H. Edmonds and the Hon. Henry S. Dulaney. That is to say,
    evangelical Christianity is one hundred per cent triumphant. There is,
    of course, a certain subterranean heresy, but it is so cowed that it
    is almost inarticulate, and at its worst it would pass for the
    strictest orthodoxy in such Sodoms of infidelity as Baltimore. It may
    seem fabulous, but it is a sober fact that a sound Episcopalian or
    even a Northern Methodist would be regarded as virtually an atheist in
    Dayton. Here the only genuine conflict is between true believers. Of a
    given text in Holy Writ one faction may say this thing and another
    that, but both agree unreservedly that the text itself is impeccable,
    and neither in the midst of the most violent disputation would venture
    to accuse the other of doubt.

    To call a man a doubter in these parts is equal to accusing him of
    cannibalism. Even the infidel Scopes himself is not charged with any
    such infamy. What they say of him, at worst, is that he permitted
    himself to be used as a cat's paw by scoundrels eager to destroy the
    anti-evolution law for their own dark and hellish ends. There is, it
    appears, a conspiracy of scientists afoot. Their purpose is to break
    down religion, propagate immorality, and so reduce mankind to the
    level of the brutes. They are the sworn and sinister agents of
    Beelzebub, who yearns to conquer the world, and has his eye especially
    upon Tennessee. Scopes is thus an agent of Beelzebub once removed, but
    that is as far as any fair man goes in condemning him. He is young and
    yet full of folly. When the secular arm has done execution upon him,
    the pastors will tackle him and he will be saved.

    The selection of a jury to try him, which went on all yesterday
    afternoon in the atmosphere of a blast furnace, showed to what extreme
    lengths the salvation of the local primates has been pushed. It was
    obvious after a few rounds that the jury would be unanimously hot for
    Genesis. The most that Mr. Darrow could hope for was to sneak in a few
    men bold enough to declare publicly that they would have to hear the
    evidence against Scopes before condemning him. The slightest sign of
    anything further brought forth a peremptory challenge from the State.
    Once a man was challenged without examination for simply admitting
    that he did not belong formally to any church. Another time a panel
    man who confessed that he was prejudiced against evolution got a
    hearty round of applause from the crowd.

    The whole process quickly took on an air of strange unreality, at
    least to a stranger from heathen parts. The desire of the judge to be
    fair to the defense, and even polite and helpful, was obvious enough
    -- in fact, he more than once stretched the local rules of procedure
    in order to give Darrow a hand. But it was equally obvious that the
    whole thing was resolving itself into the trial of a man by his sworn
    enemies. A local pastor led off with a prayer calling on God to put
    down heresy; the judge himself charged the grand jury to protect the
    schools against subversive ideas. And when the candidates for the
    petit jury came up Darrow had to pass fundamentalist after
    fundamentalist into the box -- some of them glaring at him as if they
    expected him to go off with a sulphurous bang every time he mopped his
    bald head.

    In brief this is a strictly Christian community, and such is its
    notion of fairness, justice and due process of law. Try to picture a
    town made up wholly of Dr. Crabbes and Dr. Kellys, and you will have a
    reasonably accurate image of it. Its people are simply unable to
    imagine a man who rejects the literal authority of the Bible. The most
    they can conjure up, straining until they are red in the face, is a
    man who is in error about the meaning of this or that text. Thus one
    accused of heresy among them is like one accused of boiling his
    grandmother to make soap in Maryland. He must resign himself to being
    tried by a jury wholly innocent of any suspicion of the crime he is
    charged with and unanimously convinced that it is infamous. Such a
    jury, in the legal sense, may be fair. That is, it may be willing to
    hear the evidence against him before bumping him off. But it would
    certainly be spitting into the eye of reason to call it impartial.

    The trial, indeed, takes on, for all its legal forms, something of the
    air of a religious orgy. The applause of the crowd I have already
    mentioned. Judge Raulston rapped it down and threatened to clear the
    room if it was repeated, but he was quite unable to still its echoes
    under his very windows. The courthouse is surrounded by a large lawn,
    and it is peppered day and night with evangelists. One and all they
    are fundamentalists and their yells and bawlings fill the air with
    orthodoxy. I have listened to twenty of them and had private discourse
    with a dozen, and I have yet to find one who doubted so much as the
    typographical errors in Holy Writ. They dispute raucously and far into
    the night, but they begin and end on the common ground of complete
    faith. One of these holy men wears a sign on his back announcing that
    he is the Bible champion of the world. He told me today that he had
    studied the Bible four hours a day for thirty-three years, and that he
    had devised a plan of salvation that would save the worst sinner ever
    heard of, even a scientist, a theater actor or a pirate on the high
    seas, in forty days. This gentleman denounced the hard-shell Baptists
    as swindlers. He admitted freely that their sorcerers were powerful
    preachers and could save any ordinary man from sin, but he said that
    they were impotent against iniquity. The distinction is unknown to
    city theologians, but is as real down here as that between
    sanctification and salvation. The local experts, in fact, debate it
    daily. The Bible champion, just as I left him, was challenged by one
    such professor, and the two were still hard at it an hour later.

    Most of the participants in such recondite combats, of course, are
    yokels from the hills, where no sound is heard after sundown save the
    roar of the catamount and the wailing of departed spirits, and a man
    thus has time to ponder the divine mysteries. But it is an amazing
    thing that the more polished classes also participate actively. The
    professor who challenged the Bible champion was indistinguishable, to
    the eye, from a bond salesman or city bootlegger. He had on a natty
    palm beach suit and a fashionable soft collar and he used excellent
    English. Obviously, he was one who had been through the local high
    school and perhaps a country college. Yet he was so far uncontaminated
    by infidelity that he stood in the hot sun for a whole hour debating a
    point that even bishops might be excused for dodging, winter as well
    as summer.

    The Bible champion is matched and rivaled by whole herds of other
    metaphysicians, and all of them attract good houses and have to defend
    themselves against constant attack. The Seventh Day Adventists, the
    Campbellites, the Holy Rollers and a dozen other occult sects have
    field agents on the ground. They follow the traveling judges through
    all this country. Everywhere they go, I am told, they find the natives
    ready to hear them and dispute with them. They find highly
    accomplished theologians in every village, but even in the county
    towns they never encounter a genuine skeptic. If a man has doubts in
    this immensely pious country, he keeps them to himself.

    Dr. Kelly should come down here and see his dreams made real. He will
    find a people who not only accept the Bible as an infallible handbook
    of history, geology, biology and celestial physics, but who also
    practice its moral precepts -- at all events, up to the limit of human
    capacity. It would be hard to imagine a more moral town than Dayton.
    If it has any bootleggers, no visitor has heard of them. Ten minutes
    after I arrived a leading citizen offered me a drink made up half of
    white mule and half of coca cola, but he seems to have been simply
    indulging himself in a naughty gesture. No fancy woman has been seen
    in the town since the end of the McKinley administration. There is no
    gambling. There is no place to dance. The relatively wicked, when they
    would indulge themselves, go to Robinson's drug store and debate

    In a word, the new Jerusalem, the ideal of all soul savers and sin
    exterminators. Nine churches are scarcely enough for the 1,800
    inhabitants: many of them go into the hills to shout and roll. A
    clergyman has the rank and authority of a major-general of artillery.
    A Sunday-school superintendent is believed to have the gift of
    prophecy. But what of life here? Is it more agreeable than in Babylon?
    I regret that I must have to report that it is not. The incessant
    clashing of theologians grows monotonous in a day and intolerable the
    day following. One longs for a merry laugh, a burst of happy music,
    the gurgle of a decent jug. Try a meal in the hotel; it is tasteless
    and swims in grease. Go to the drug store and call for refreshment:
    the boy will hand you almost automatically a beaker of coca cola. Look
    at the magazine counter: a pile of Saturday Evening Posts two feet
    high. Examine the books: melodrama and cheap amour. Talk to a town
    magnifico; he knows nothing that is not in Genesis.

    I propose that Dr. Kelly be sent here for sixty days, preferably in
    the heat of summer. He will return to Baltimore yelling for a carboy
    of pilsner and eager to master the saxophone. His soul perhaps will be
    lost, but he will be a merry and a happy man.

                         Yearning Mountaineers' Souls
                          Need Reconversion Nightly,
                                Mencken Finds
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 13, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 13. -- There is a Unitarian clergyman here from
    New York, trying desperately to horn into the trial and execution of
    the infidel Scopes. He will fail. If Darrow ventured to put him on the
    stand the whole audience, led by the jury, would leap out of the
    courthouse windows, and take to the hills. Darrow himself, indeed, is
    as much as they can bear. The whisper that he is an atheist has been
    stilled by the bucolic make-up and by the public report that he has
    the gift of prophecy and can reconcile Genesis and evolution. Even so,
    there is ample space about him when he navigates the streets. The
    other day a newspaper woman was warned by her landlady to keep out of
    the courtroom when he was on his legs. All the local sorcerers predict
    that a bolt from heaven will fetch him in the end. The night he
    arrived there was a violent storm, the town water turned brown, and
    horned cattle in the lowlands were afloat for hours. A woman back in
    the mountains gave birth to a child with hair four inches long,
    curiously bobbed in scallops.

    The Book of Revelation has all the authority, in these theological
    uplands, of military orders in time of war. The people turn to it for
    light upon all their problems, spiritual and secular. If a text were
    found in it denouncing the Anti-Evolution law, then the Anti-Evolution
    law would become infamous overnight. But so far the exegetes who roar
    and snuffle in the town have found no such text. Instead they have
    found only blazing ratifications and reinforcements of Genesis. Darwin
    is the devil with seven tails and nine horns. Scopes, though he is
    disguised by flannel pantaloons and a Beta Theta Pi haircut, is the
    harlot of Babylon. Darrow is Beelzebub in person and Malone is the
    Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm.

    I have hitherto hinted an Episcopalian down here in the coca-cola belt
    is regarded as an atheist. It sounds like one of the lies that
    journalists tell, but it is really an understatement of the facts.
    Even a Methodist, by Rhea county standards, is one a bit debauched by
    pride of intellect. It is the four Methodists on the jury who are
    expected to hold out for giving Scopes Christian burial after he is
    hanged. They all made it plain, when they were examined, that they
    were free-thinking and independent men, and not to be run amuck by the
    superstitions of the lowly. One actually confessed that he seldom read
    the Bible, though he hastened to add that he was familiar with its
    principles. The fellow had on a boiled shirt and a polka dot necktie.
    He sits somewhat apart. When Darrow withers to a cinder under the
    celestial blowpipe, this dubious Wesleyan, too, will lose a few hairs.

    Even the Baptists no longer brew a medicine that is strong enough for
    the mountaineers. The sacrament of baptism by total immersion is over
    too quickly for them, and what follows offers nothing that they can
    get their teeth into. What they crave is a continuous experience of
    the divine power, an endless series of evidence that the true believer
    is a marked man, ever under the eye of God. It is not enough to go to
    a revival once a year or twice a year; there must be a revival every
    night. And it is not enough to accept the truth as a mere statement of
    indisputable and awful fact: it must be embraced ecstatically and
    orgiastically, to the accompaniment of loud shouts, dreadful heavings
    and gurglings, and dancing with arms and legs.

    This craving is satisfied brilliantly by the gaudy practices of the
    Holy Rollers, and so the mountaineers are gradually gravitating toward
    the Holy Roller communion, or, as they prefer to call it, the Church
    of God. Gradually, perhaps, is not the word. They are actually going
    in by whole villages and townships. At the last count of noses there
    were 20,000 Holy Rollers in these hills. The next census, I have no
    doubt, will show many more. The cities of the lowlands, of course,
    still resist, and so do most of the county towns, including even
    Dayton, but once one steps off the State roads the howl of holiness is
    heard in the woods, and the yokels carry on an almost continuous orgy.

    A foreigner in store clothes going out from Dayton must approach the
    sacred grove somewhat discreetly. It is not that the Holy Rollers,
    discovering him, would harm him; it is simply that they would shut
    down their boiling of the devil and flee into the forests. We left
    Dayton an hour after nightfall and parked our car in a wood a mile or
    so beyond the little hill village of Morgantown. Far off in a glade a
    flickering light was visible and out of the_ he silence came a faint
    rumble of exhortation. We could scarcely distinguish the figure of the
    preacher; it was like looking down the tube of a dark field
    microscope. We got out of the car and sneaked along the edge of a
    mountain cornfield.

    Presently we were near enough to see what was going on. From the great
    limb of a mighty oak hung a couple of crude torches of the sort that
    car inspectors thrust under Pullman cars when a train pulls in at
    night. In their light was a preacher, and for a while we could see no
    one else. He was an immensely tall and thin mountaineer in blue jeans,
    his collarless shirt open at the neck and his hair a tousled mop. As
    he preached he paced up and down under the smoking flambeaux and at
    each turn he thrust his arms into the air and yelled, "Glory to God!"
    We crept nearer in the shadow of the cornfield and began to hear more
    of his discourse. He was preaching on the day of judgment. The high
    kings of the earth, he roared, would all fall down and die; only the
    sanctified would stand up to receive the Lord God of Hosts. One of
    these kings he mentioned by name -- the king of what he called
    Greece-y. The King of Greece-y, he said, was doomed to hell.

    We went forward a few more yards and began to see the audience. It was
    seated on benches ranged round the preacher in a circle. Behind him
    sat a row of elders, men and women. In front were the younger folk. We
    kept on cautiously, and individuals rose out of the ghostly gloom. A
    young mother sat suckling her baby, rocking as the preacher paced up
    and down. Two scared little girls hugged each other, their pigtails
    down their backs. An immensely huge mountain woman, in a gingham dress
    cut in one piece, rolled on her heels at every "Glory to God." To one
    side, but half visible, was what appeared to be a bed. We found out
    afterward that two babies were asleep upon it.

    The preacher stopped at last and there arose out of the darkness a
    woman with her hair pulled back into a little tight knot. She began so
    quietly that we couldn't hear what she said, but soon her voice rose
    resonantly and we could follow her. She was denouncing the reading of
    books. Some wandering book agent, it appeared, had come to her cabin
    and tried to sell her a specimen of his wares. She refused to touch
    it. Why, indeed, read a book? If what was in it was true then
    everything in it was already in the Bible. If it was false then
    reading it would imperil the soul. Her syllogism complete, she sat

    There followed a hymn, led by a somewhat fat brother wearing
    silver-rimmed country spectacles. It droned on for half a dozen
    stanzas, and then the first speaker resumed the floor. He argued that
    the gift of tongues was real and that education was a snare. Once his
    children could read the Bible, he said, they had enough. Beyond lay
    only infidelity and damnation. Sin stalked the cities. Dayton itself
    was a Sodom. Even Morgantown had begun to forget God. He sat down, and
    the female aurochs in gingham got up.

    She began quietly, but was soon leaping and roaring, and it was hard
    to follow her. Under cover of the turmoil we sneaked a bit closer. A
    couple of other discourses followed, and there were two or three
    hymns. Suddenly a change of mood began to make itself felt. The last
    hymn ran longer than the others and dropped gradually into a
    monotonous, unintelligible chant. The leader beat time with his book.
    The faithful broke out with exultations. When the singing ended there
    was a brief palaver that we could not hear and two of the men moved a
    bench into the circle of light directly under the flambeaux. Then a
    half-grown girl emerged from the darkness and threw herself upon it.
    We noticed with astonishment that she had bobbed hair. "This sister,"
    said the leader, "has asked for prayers." We moved a bit closer. We
    could now see faces plainly and hear every word.

    What followed quickly reached such heights of barbaric grotesquerie
    that it was hard to believe it real. At a signal all the faithful
    crowded up the bench and began to pray -- not in unison but each for
    himself. At another they all fell on their knees, their arms over the
    penitent. The leader kneeled, facing us, his head alternately thrown
    back dramatically or buried in his hands. Words spouted from his lips
    like bullets from a machine gun -- appeals to God to pull the penitent
    back out of hell, defiances of the powers and principalities of the
    air, a vast impassioned jargon of apocalyptic texts. Suddenly he rose
    to his feet, threw back his head and began to speak in tongues --
    blub-blub-blub, gurgle-gurgle-gurgle. His voice rose to a higher
    register. The climax was a shrill, inarticulate squawk, like that of a
    man throttled. He fell headlong across the pyramid of supplicants.

    A comic scene? Somehow, no. The poor half wits were too horribly in
    earnest. It was like peeping through a knothole at the writhings of a
    people in pain. From the squirming and jabbering mass a young woman
    gradually detached herself -- a woman not uncomely, with a pathetic
    home-made cap on her head. Her head jerked back, the veins of her neck
    swelled, and her fists went to her throat as if she were fighting for
    breath. She bent backward until she was like half of a hoop. Then she
    suddenly snapped forward. We caught a flash of the whites of her eyes.
    Presently her whole body began to be convulsed -- great convulsions
    that began at the shoulders and ended at the hips. She would leap to
    her feet, thrust her arms in air and then hurl herself upon the heap.
    Her praying flattened out into a mere delirious caterwauling, like
    that of a tomcat on a petting party.

    I describe the thing as a strict behaviorist. The lady's subjective
    sensations I leave to infidel pathologists. Whatever they were they
    were obviously contagious, for soon another damsel joined her, and
    then another and then a fourth. The last one had an extraordinary bad
    attack. She began with mild enough jerks of the head, but in a moment
    she was bounding all over the place, exactly like a chicken with its
    head cut off. Every time her head came up a stream of yells and
    barkings would issue out of it. Once she collided with a dark,
    undersized brother, hitherto silent and stolid. Contact with her set
    him off as if he had been kicked by a mule. He leaped into the air,
    threw back his head and began to gargle as if with a mouthful of BB
    shot. Then he loosened one tremendous stentorian sentence in the
    tongues and collapsed.

    By this time the performers were quite oblivious to the profane
    universe. We left our hiding and came up to the little circle of
    light. We slipped into the vacant seats on one of the rickety benches.
    The heap of mourners was directly before us. They bounced into us as
    they cavorted. The smell that they radiated, sweating there in that
    obscene heap, half suffocated us. Not all of them, of course, did the
    thing in the grand manner. Some merely moaned and rolled their eyes.
    The female ox in gingham flung her great bulk on the ground and
    jabbered an unintelligible prayer. One of the men, in the intervals
    between fits, put on spectacles and read his Bible.

    Beside me on the bench sat the young mother and her baby. She suckled
    it through the whole orgy, obviously fascinated by what was going on,
    but never venturing to take any hand in it. On the bed just outside
    the light two other babies slept peacefully. In the shadows, suddenly
    appearing and as suddenly going away, were vague figures, whether
    believers or of scoffers I do not know. They seemed to come and go in
    couples. Now and then a couple at the ringside would step back and
    then vanish into the black night. After a while some came back. There
    was whispering outside the circle of vision. A couple of Fords lurched
    up in the wood road, cutting holes in the darkness with their lights.
    Once some one out of sight loosed a bray of laughter.

    All this went on for an hour or so. The original penitent, by this
    time, was buried three deep beneath the heap. One caught a glimpse,
    now and then, of her yellow bobbed hair, but then she would vanish
    again. How she breathed down there I don't know; it was hard enough
    ten feet away, with a strong five-cent cigar to help. When the praying
    brothers would rise up for a bout with the tongues their faces were
    streaming with perspiration. The fat harridan in gingham sweated like
    a longshoreman. Her hair got loose and fell down over her face. She
    fanned herself with her skirt. A powerful old gal she was, equal in
    her day to obstetrics and a week's washing on the same morning, but
    this was worse than a week's washing. Finally, she fell into a heap,
    breathing in great, convulsive gasps.

    We tired of it after a while and groped our way back to our
    automobile. When we got to Dayton, after 11 o'clock -- an immensely
    late hour in these parts -- the whole town was still gathered on the
    courthouse lawn, hanging upon the disputes of theologians. The Bible
    champion of the world had a crowd. The Seventh Day Adventist
    missionaries had a crowd. A volunteer from faraway Portland, Ore.,
    made up exactly like Andy Gump, had another and larger crowd. Dayton
    was enjoying itself. All the usual rules were suspended and the curfew
    bell was locked up. The prophet Bryan, exhausted by his day's work for
    Revelation, was snoring in his bed up the road, but enough volunteers
    were still on watch to keep the battlements manned.

    Such is human existence among the fundamentalists, where children are
    brought up on Genesis and sin is unknown. If I have made the tale too
    long, then blame the spirit of garrulity that is in the local air.
    Even newspaper reporters, down here, get some echo of the call. Divine
    inspiration is as common as the hookworm. I have done my best to show
    you what the great heritage of mankind comes to in regions where the
    Bible is the beginning and end of wisdom, and the mountebank Bryan,
    parading the streets in his seersucker coat, is pointed out to
    sucklings as the greatest man since Abraham.


                           Darrow's Eloquent Appeal
                           Wasted on Ears That Heed
                           Only Bryan, Says Mencken
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 14, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 14. -- The net effect of Clarence Darrow's great
    speech yesterday seems to be precisely the same as if he had bawled it
    up a rainspout in the interior of Afghanistan. That is, locally, upon
    the process against the infidel Scopes, upon the so-called minds of
    these fundamentalists of upland Tennessee. You have but a dim notion
    of it who have only read it. It was not designed for reading, but for
    hearing. The clanging of it was as important as the logic. It rose
    like a wind and ended like a flourish of bugles. The very judge on the
    bench, toward the end of it, began to look uneasy. But the morons in
    the audience, when it was over, simply hissed it.

    During the whole time of its delivery the old mountebank, Bryan, sat
    tight-lipped and unmoved. There is, of course, no reason why it should
    have shaken him. He has those hill billies locked up in his pen and he
    knows it. His brand is on them. He is at home among them. Since his
    earliest days, indeed, his chief strength has been among the folk of
    remote hills and forlorn and lonely farms. Now with his political
    aspirations all gone to pot, he turns to them for religious
    consolations. They understand his peculiar imbecilities. His nonsense
    is their ideal of sense. When he deluges them with his theological
    bilge they rejoice like pilgrims disporting in the river Jordan.

    The town whisper is that the local attorney-general, Stewart, is not a
    fundamentalist, and hence has no stomach for his job. It seems not
    improbable. He is a man of evident education, and his argument
    yesterday was confined very strictly to the constitutional points --
    the argument of a competent and conscientious lawyer, and to me, at
    least very persuasive.

    But Stewart, after all, is a foreigner here, almost as much so as
    Darrow or Hays or Malone. He is doing his job and that is all. The
    real animus of the prosecution centers in Bryan. He is the plaintiff
    and prosecutor. The local lawyers are simply bottle-holders for him.
    He will win the case, not by academic appeals to law and precedent,
    but by direct and powerful appeals to the immemorial fears and
    superstitions of man. It is no wonder that he is hot against Scopes.
    Five years of Scopes and even these mountaineers would begin to laugh
    at Bryan. Ten years and they would ride him out of town on a rail,
    with one Baptist parson in front of him and another behind.

    But there will be no ten years of Scopes, nor five years, nor even one

    Such brash young fellows, debauched by the enlightenment, must be
    disposed of before they become dangerous, and Bryan is here, with his
    tight lips and hard eyes, to see that this one is disposed of. The
    talk of the lawyers, even the magnificent talk of Darrow, is so much
    idle wind music. The case will not be decided by logic, nor even by
    eloquence. It will be decided by counting noses -- and for every nose
    in these hills that has ever thrust itself into any book save the
    Bible there are a hundred adorned with the brass ring of Bryan. These
    are his people. They understand him when he speaks in tongues. The
    same dark face that is in his own eyes is in theirs, too. They feel
    with him, and they relish him.

    I sincerely hope that the nobility and gentry of the lowlands will not
    make the colossal mistake of viewing this trial of Scopes as a trivial
    farce. Full of rustic japes and in bad taste, it is, to be sure,
    somewhat comic on the surface. One laughs to see lawyers sweat. The
    jury, marched down Broadway, would set New York by the ears. But all
    of that is only skin deep.

    Deeper down there are the beginnings of a struggle that may go on to
    melodrama of the first caliber, and when the curtain falls at least
    all the laughter may be coming from the yokels. You probably laughed
    at the prohibitionists, say, back in 1914. Well, don't make the same
    error twice.

    As I have said, Bryan understands these peasants, and they understand
    him. He is a bit mangey and flea-bitten, but no means ready for his
    harp. He may last five years, ten years or even longer. What he may
    accomplish in that time, seen here at close range, looms up immensely
    larger than it appears to a city man five hundred miles away. The
    fellow is full of such bitter, implacable hatreds that they radiate
    from him like heat from a stove. He hates the learning that he cannot
    grasp. He hates those who sneer at him. He hates, in general, all who
    stand apart from his own pathetic commonness. And the yokels hate with
    him, some of them almost as bitterly as he does himself. They are
    willing and eager to follow him -- and he has already given them a
    taste of blood.

    Darrow's peroration yesterday was interrupted by Judge Raulston, but
    the force of it got into the air nevertheless. This year it is a
    misdemeanor for a country school teacher to flout the archaic nonsense
    of Genesis. Next year it will be a felony. The year after the net will
    be spread wider. Pedagogues, after all, are small game; there are
    larger birds to snare -- larger and juicier. Bryan has his fishy eye
    on them. He will fetch them if his mind lasts, and the lamp holds out
    to burn. No man with a mouth like that ever lets go. Nor ever lacks

    Tennessee is bearing the brunt of the first attack simply because the
    civilized minority, down here, is extraordinarily pusillanimous.

    I have met no educated man who is not ashamed of the ridicule that has
    fallen upon the State, and I have met none, save only judge Neal, who
    had the courage to speak out while it was yet time. No Tennessee
    counsel of any importance came into the case until yesterday and then
    they came in stepping very softly as if taking a brief for sense were
    a dangerous matter. When Bryan did his first rampaging here all these
    men were silent.

    They had known for years what was going on in the hills. They knew
    what the country preachers were preaching -- what degraded nonsense
    was being rammed and hammered into yokel skulls. But they were afraid
    to go out against the imposture while it was in the making, and when
    any outsider denounced it they fell upon him violently as an enemy of

    Now Tennessee is paying for that poltroonery. The State is smiling and
    beautiful, and of late it has begun to be rich. I know of no American
    city that is set in more lovely scenery than Chattanooga, or that has
    more charming homes. The civilized minority is as large here, I
    believe, as anywhere else.

    It has made a city of splendid material comforts and kept it in order.
    But it has neglected in the past the unpleasant business of following
    what was going on in the cross roads Little Bethels.

    The Baptist preachers ranted unchallenged.

    Their buffooneries were mistaken for humor. Now the clowns turn out to
    be armed, and have begun to shoot.

    In his argument yesterday judge Neal had to admit pathetically that it
    was hopeless to fight for a repeal of the anti-evolution law. The
    Legislature of Tennessee, like the Legislature of every other American
    state, is made up of cheap job-seekers and ignoramuses.

    The Governor of the State is a politician ten times cheaper and
    trashier. It is vain to look for relief from such men. If the State is
    to be saved at all, it must be saved by the courts. For one, I have
    little hope of relief in that direction, despite Hays' logic and
    Darrow's eloquence. Constitutions, in America, no longer mean what
    they say. To mention the Bill of Rights is to be damned as a Red.

    The rabble is in the saddle, and down here it makes its first campaign
    under a general beside whom Wat Tylor seems like a wart beside the


                     Law and Freedom, Mencken Discovers,
                           Yield Place to Holy Writ
                                in Rhea County
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 15, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 15. -- The cops have come up from Chattanooga to
    help save Dayton from the devil. Darrow, Malone and Hays, of course,
    are immune to constabulary process, despite their obscene attack upon
    prayer. But all other atheists and anarchists now have public notice
    they must shut up forthwith and stay shut so long as they pollute this
    bright, shining, buckle of the Bible belt with their presence. Only
    one avowed infidel has ventured to make a public address. The
    Chattanooga police nabbed him instantly, and he is now under
    surveillance in a hotel. Let him but drop one of his impious tracts
    from his window and he will be transferred to the town hoose-gow.

    The Constitution of Tennessee, as everyone knows, puts free speech
    among the most sacred rights of the citizen. More, I am informed by
    eminent Chattanooga counsel, that there is no State law denying it --
    that is, for persons not pedagogues. But the cops of Chattanooga, like
    their brethren elsewhere, do not let constitutions stand in the way of
    their exercise of their lawful duty. The captain in charge of the
    squad now on watch told me frankly yesterday that he was not going to
    let any infidels discharge their damnable nonsense upon the town. I
    asked him what charge he would lay against them if they flouted him.
    He said he would jail them for disturbing the peace.

    "But suppose," I asked him, "a prisoner is actually not disturbing the
    peace. Suppose he is simply saying his say in a quiet and orderly

    "I'll arrest him anyhow," said the cop.

    "Even if no one complains of him?"

    "I'll complain myself."

    "Under what law precisely?"

    "We don't need no law for them kind of people."

    It sounded like New York in the old days, before Mayor Gaynor took the
    constitution out of cold storage and began to belabor the gendarmerie
    with it. The captain admitted freely that speaking in the streets was
    not disturbing the peace so long as the speaker stuck to orthodox
    Christian doctrine as it is understood by the local exegetes.

    A preacher of any sect that admits the literal authenticity of Genesis
    is free to gather a crowd at any time and talk all he wants. More, he
    may engage in a disputation with any other expert. I have heard at
    least a hundred such discussions, and some of them have been very
    acrimonious. But the instant a speaker utters a word against divine
    revelation he begins to disturb the peace and is liable to immediate
    arrest and confinement in the calaboose beside the railroad tracks.

    Such is criminal law in Rhea county as interpreted by the uniformed
    and freely sweating agents. As I have said, there are legal
    authorities in Chattanooga who dissent sharply, and even argue that
    the cops are a set of numbskulls and ought to be locked up as public
    nuisances. But one need not live a long, incandescent week in the
    Bible belt to know that jurisprudence becomes a new science as one
    crosses the border. Here the ordinary statutes are reinforced by Holy
    Writ, and whenever there is a conflict Holy Writ takes precedence.

    Judge Raulston himself has decided, in effect, that in a trial for
    heresy it is perfectly fair and proper to begin proceedings with a
    prayer for the confutation and salvation of the defendant. On lower
    levels, and especially in the depths where policemen do their
    thinking, the doctrine is even more frankly stated. Before laying
    Christians by the heels the cops must formulate definite charges
    against them. They must be accused of something specifically unlawful
    and there must be witnesses to the act. But infidels are fera naturae,
    and any cop is free to bag at sight and to hold them in durance at his

    To the same category, it appears, belong political and economic
    radicals. News came the other day to Pastor T.T. Martin, who is
    holding a continuous anti-evolution convention in the town, that a
    party of I.W.W.'s, their pockets full of Russian gold, had started out
    from Cincinnati to assassinate him. A bit later came word they would
    bump off Bryan after they had finished Martin, and then set fire to
    the town churches. Martin first warned Bryan and then complained to
    the police. The latter were instantly agog. Guards were posted at
    strategic centers and a watch was kept upon all strangers of a
    sinister appearance. But the I.W.W.'s were not caught. Yesterday
    Pastor Martin told me that he had news that they had gone back to
    Cincinnati to perfect the plot. He posts audiences at every meeting.
    If the Reds return they will be scotched.

    Arthur Garfield Hays, who is not only one of the counsel for the
    infidel Scopes but also agent and attorney of the notorious American
    Civil Liberties Union in New York, is planning to hold a free speech
    meeting on the Courthouse lawn and so make a test of the law against
    disturbing the peace as it is interpreted by the polizei. Hays will be
    well advertised if he carries out this subversive intention. It is hot
    enough in the courtroom in the glare of a thousand fundamentalist
    eyes; in the town jail he would sweat to death.

    Rhea county is very hospitable and, judged by Bible belt standards,
    very tolerant. The Dayton Babbitts gave a banquet to Darrow, despite
    the danger from lightning, meteors and earthquakes. Even Malone is
    treated politely, though the very horned cattle in the fields know
    that he is a Catholic and in constant communication with the Pope. But
    liberty is one thing and license is quite another. Within the bounds
    of Genesis the utmost play of opinion is permitted and even
    encouraged. An evangelist with a new scheme for getting into Heaven
    can get a crowd in two minutes. But once a speaker admits a doubt,
    however cautiously, he is handed over to the secular arm.

    Two Unitarian clergymen are prowling around the town looking for a
    chance to discharge their "hellish heresies." One of them is Potter,
    of New York; the other is Birckhead, of Kansas City. So far they have
    not made any progress. Potter induced one of the local Methodist
    parsons to give him a hearing, but the congregation protested and the
    next day the parson had to resign his charge. The Methodists, as I
    have previously reported, are regarded almost as infidels in Rhea
    county. Their doctrines, which seem somewhat severe in Baltimore,
    especially to persons who love a merry life, are here viewed as loose
    to the point of indecency. The four Methodists on the jury are
    suspected of being against hanging Scopes, at least without a fair
    trial. The State tried to get rid of one of them even after he had
    been passed; his neighbors had come in from his village with news that
    he had a banjo concealed in his house and was known to read the
    Literary Digest.

    The other Unitarian clergyman, Dr. Birckhead, is not actually
    domiciled in the town, but is encamped, with his wife and child, on
    the road outside. He is on an automobile tour and stopped off here to
    see if a chance offered to spread his "poisons." So far he has found

    Yesterday afternoon a Jewish rabbi from Nashville also showed up,
    Marks by name. He offered to read and expound Genesis in Hebrew, but
    found no takers. The Holy Rollers hereabout, when they are seized by
    the gift of tongues, avoid Hebrew, apparently as a result of Ku Klux
    influence. Their favorite among all the sacred dialects is Hittite. It
    sounds to the infidel like a series of college yells.

    Judge Raulston's decision yesterday afternoon in the matter of Hays'
    motion was a masterpiece of unconscious humor. The press stand, in
    fact, thought he was trying to be jocose deliberately and let off a
    guffaw that might have gone far if the roar of applause had not choked
    it off. Hays presented a petition in the name of the two Unitarians,
    the rabbi and several other theological "reds," praying that in
    selecting clergymen to open the court with prayer hereafter he choose
    fundamentalists and anti-fundamentalists alternately. The petition was
    couched in terms that greatly shocked and enraged the prosecution.
    When the judge announced that he would leave the nomination of
    chaplains to the Pastors' Association of the town there was the gust
    of mirth aforesaid, followed by howls of approval. The Pastors'
    Association of Dayton is composed of fundamentalists so powerfully
    orthodox that beside them such a fellow as Dr. John Roach Straton
    would seem an Ingersoll.

    The witnesses of the defense, all of them heretics, began to reach
    town yesterday and are all quartered at what is called the Mansion, an
    ancient and empty house outside the town limits, now crudely furnished
    with iron cots, spittoons, playing cards and the other camp equipment
    of scientists. Few, if any, of these witnesses will ever get a chance
    to outrage the jury with their blasphemies, but they are of much
    interest to the townspeople. The common belief is that they will be
    blown up with one mighty blast when the verdict of the twelve men,
    tried and true, is brought in, and Darrow, Malone, Hays and Neal with
    them. The country people avoid the Mansion. It is foolish to take
    unnecessary chances. Going into the courtroom, with Darrow standing
    there shamelessly and openly challenging the wrath of God, is risk

    The case promises to drag into next week. The prosecution is fighting
    desperately and taking every advantage of its superior knowledge of
    the quirks of local procedure. The defense is heating up and there are
    few exchanges of courtroom amenities. There will be a lot of oratory
    before it is all over and some loud and raucous bawling otherwise, and
    maybe more than one challenge to step outside. The cards seem to be
    stacked against poor Scopes, but there may be a joker in the pack.
    Four of the jurymen, as everyone knows, are Methodists, and a
    Methodist down here belongs to the extreme wing of liberals. Beyond
    him lie only the justly and incurably damned.

    What if one of those Methodists, sweating under the dreadful pressure
    of fundamentalist influence, jumps into the air, cracks his heels
    together and gives a defiant yell? What if the jury is hung? It will
    be a good joke on the fundamentalists if it happens, and an even
    better joke on the defense.

                     Mencken Declares Strictly Fair Trial
                  Is Beyond Ken of Tennessee Fundamentalists
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 16, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 16. -- Two things ought to be understood clearly
    by heathen Northerners who follow the great cause of the State of
    Tennessee against the infidel Scopes. One is that the old mountebank,
    Bryan, is no longer thought of as a mere politician and jobseeker in
    these Godly regions, but has become converted into a great sacerdotal
    figure, half man and half archangel -- in brief, a sort of
    fundamentalist pope. The other is that the fundamentalist mind,
    running in a single rut for fifty years, is now quite unable to
    comprehend dissent from its basic superstitions, or to grant any
    common honesty, or even any decency, to those who reject them.

    The latter fact explains some of the most astonishing singularities of
    the present trial -- that is, singularities to one accustomed to more
    austere procedures. In the average Northern jurisdiction much of what
    is going on here would be almost unthinkable. Try to imagine a trial
    going on in a town in which anyone is free to denounce the defendant's
    case publicly and no one is free to argue for it in the same way -- a
    trial in a courthouse placarded with handbills set up by his opponents
    -- a trial before a jury of men who have been roweled and hammered by
    those opponents for years, and have never heard a clear and fair
    statement of his answer.

    But this is not all. It seems impossible, but it is nevertheless a
    fact that public opinion in Dayton sees no impropriety in the fact
    that the case was opened with prayer by a clergyman known by everyone
    to be against Scopes and by no means shy about making the fact clear.
    Nor by the fact that Bryan, the actual complainant, has been preparing
    the ground for the prosecution for months. Nor by the fact that,
    though he is one of the attorneys of record in the case, he is also
    present in the character of a public evangelist and that throngs go to
    hear him whenever he speaks, including even the sitting judge.

    I do not allege here that there is any disposition to resort to lynch
    law. On the contrary, I believe that there is every intent to give
    Scopes a fair trial, as a fair trial is understood among
    fundamentalists. All I desire to show is that all the primary
    assumptions are immovably against him -- that it is a sheer
    impossibility for nine-tenths of those he faces to see any merit
    whatever in his position. He is not simply one who has committed a
    misdemeanor against the peace and dignity of the State, he is also the
    agent of a heresy almost too hellish to be stated by reputable men.
    Such reputable men recognize their lawful duty to treat him humanely
    and even politely, but they also recognize their superior duty to make
    it plain that they are against his heresy and believe absolutely in
    the wisdom and virtue of his prosecutors.

    In view of the fact that everyone here looks for the jury to bring in
    a verdict of guilty, it might be expected that the prosecution would
    show a considerable amiability and allow the defense a rather free
    plan. Instead, it is contesting every point very vigorously and taking
    every advantage of its greatly superior familiarity with local
    procedure. There is, in fact, a considerable heat in the trial. Bryan
    and the local lawyers for the State sit glaring at the defense all day
    and even the Attorney General, A.T. Stewart, who is supposed to have
    secret doubts about fundamentalism, has shown such pugnacity that it
    has already brought him to forced apologies.

    The high point of yesterday's proceedings was reached with the
    appearance of Dr. Maynard M. Metcalfe, of the Johns Hopkins. The
    doctor is a somewhat chubby man of bland mien, and during the first
    part of his testimony, with the jury present, the prosecution
    apparently viewed him with great equanimity. But the instant he was
    asked a question bearing directly upon the case at bar there was a
    flurry in the Bryan pen and Stewart was on his feet with protests.
    Another question followed, with more and hotter protests. The judge
    then excluded the jury and the show began.

    What ensued was, on the surface, a harmless enough dialogue between
    Dr. Metcalfe and Darrow, but underneath there was very tense drama. At
    the first question Bryan came out from behind the State's table and
    planted himself directly in front of Dr. Metcalfe, and not ten feet
    away. The two McKenzies followed, with young Sue Hicks at their heels.

    Then began one of the clearest, most succinct and withal most eloquent
    presentations of the case for the evolutionists that I have ever
    heard. The doctor was never at a loss for a word, and his ideas flowed
    freely and smoothly. Darrow steered him magnificently. A word or two
    and he was howling down the wind. Another and he hauled up to
    discharge a broadside. There was no cocksureness in him. Instead he
    was rather cautious and deprecatory and sometimes he halted and
    confessed his ignorance. But what he got over before he finished was a
    superb counterblast to the fundamentalist buncombe. The jury, at
    least, in theory heard nothing of it, but it went whooping into the
    radio and it went banging into the face of Bryan.

    Bryan sat silent throughout the whole scene, his gaze fixed immovably
    on the witness. Now and then his face darkened and his eyes flashed,
    but he never uttered a sound. It was, to him, a string of blasphemies
    out of the devil's mass -- a dreadful series of assaults upon the only
    true religion. The old gladiator faced his real enemy at last. Here
    was a sworn agent and attorney of the science he hates and fears -- a
    well-fed, well-mannered spokesman of the knowledge he abominates.
    Somehow he reminded me pathetically of the old Holy Roller I heard
    last week -- the mountain pastor who damned education as a mocking and
    a corruption. Bryan, too, is afraid of it, for wherever it spreads his
    trade begins to fall off, and wherever it flourishes he is only a poor

    But not to these fundamentalists of the hills. Not to yokels he now
    turns to for consolation in his old age, with the scars of defeat and
    disaster all over him. To these simple folk, as I have said, he is a
    prophet of the imperial line -- a lineal successor to Moses and
    Abraham. The barbaric cosmogony that he believes in seems as
    reasonable to them as it does to him. They share his peasant-like
    suspicion of all book learning that a plow hand cannot grasp. They
    believe with him that men who know too much should be seized by the
    secular arm and put down by force. They dream as he does of a world
    unanimously sure of Heaven and unanimously idiotic on this earth.

    This old buzzard, having failed to raise the mob against its rulers,
    now prepares to raise it against its teachers. He can never be the
    peasants' President, but there is still a chance to be the peasants'
    Pope. He leads a new crusade, his bald head glistening, his face
    streaming with sweat, his chest heaving beneath his rumpled alpaca
    coat. One somehow pities him, despite his so palpable imbecilities. It
    is a tragedy, indeed, to begin life as a hero and to end it as a
    buffoon. But let no one, laughing at him, underestimate the magic that
    lies in his black, malignant eye, his frayed but still eloquent voice.
    He can shake and inflame these poor ignoramuses as no other man among
    us can shake and inflame them, and he is desperately eager to order
    the charge.

    In Tennessee he is drilling his army. The big battles, he believes,
    will be fought elsewhere.


                     Malone the Victor, Even Though Court
                      Sides with Opponents, Says Mencken
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 17, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 17. -- Though the court decided against him this
    morning, and the testimony of the experts summoned for the defense
    will be banned out of the trial of the infidel Scopes, it was Dudley
    Field Malone who won yesterday's great battle of rhetoricians. When he
    got upon his legs it was the universal assumption in the courtroom
    that Judge Raulston's mind was already made up, and that nothing that
    any lawyer for the defense could say would shake him. But Malone
    unquestionably shook him. He was, at the end, in plain doubt, and he
    showed it by his questions. It took a night's repose to restore him to
    normalcy. The prosecution won, but it came within an inch of losing.

    Malone was put up to follow and dispose of Bryan, and he achieved the
    business magnificently. I doubt that any louder speech has ever been
    heard in a court of law since the days of Gog and Magog. It roared out
    of the open windows like the sound of artillery practice, and alarmed
    the moonshiners and catamounts on distant peaks. Trains thundering by
    on the nearby railroad sounded faint and far away and when, toward the
    end, a table covered with standing and gaping journalists gave way
    with a crash, the noise seemed, by contrast, to be no more than a
    pizzicato chord upon a viola da gamba. The yokels outside stuffed
    their Bibles into the loud-speaker horns and yielded themselves
    joyously to the impact of the original. In brief, Malone was in good
    voice. It was a great day for Ireland. And for the defense. For Malone
    not only out-yelled Bryan, he also plainly out-generaled and
    out-argued him. His speech, indeed, was one of the best presentations
    of the case against the fundamentalist rubbish that I have ever heard.

    It was simple in structure, it was clear in reasoning, and at its high
    points it was overwhelmingly eloquent. It was not long, but it covered
    the whole ground and it let off many a gaudy skyrocket, and so it
    conquered even the fundamentalists. At its end they gave it a
    tremendous cheer -- a cheer at least four times as hearty as that
    given to Bryan. For these rustics delight in speechifying, and know
    when it is good. The devil's logic cannot fetch them, but they are not
    above taking a voluptuous pleasure in his lascivious phrases.

    The whole speech was addressed to Bryan, and he sat through it in his
    usual posture, with his palm-leaf fan flapping energetically and his
    hard, cruel mouth shut tight. The old boy grows more and more
    pathetic. He has aged greatly during the past few years and begins to
    look elderly and enfeebled. All that remains of his old fire is now in
    his black eyes. They glitter like dark gems, and in their glitter
    there is immense and yet futile malignancy. That is all that is left
    of the Peerless Leader of thirty years ago. Once he had one leg in the
    White House and the nation trembled under his roars. Now he is a
    tinpot pope in the coca-cola belt and a brother to the forlorn pastors
    who belabor half-wits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind the
    railroad yards. His own speech was a grotesque performance and
    downright touching in its imbecility. Its climax came when he launched
    into a furious denunciation of the doctrine that man is a mammal. It
    seemed a sheer impossibility that any literate man should stand up in
    public and discharge any such nonsense. Yet the poor old fellow did
    it. Darrow stared incredulous. Malone sat with his mouth wide open.
    Hays indulged himself one of his sardonic chuckles. Stewart and Bryan
    fils looked extremely uneasy, but the old mountebank ranted on. To
    call a man a mammal, it appeared, was to flout the revelation of God.
    The certain effect of the doctrine would be to destroy morality and
    promote infidelity. The defense let it pass. The lily needed no

    There followed some ranting about the Leopold-Loeb case, culminating
    in the argument that learning was corrupting -- that the colleges by
    setting science above Genesis were turning their students into
    murderers. Bryan alleged that Darrow had admitted the fact in his
    closing speech at the Leopold-Loeb trial, and stopped to search for
    the passage in a printed copy of the speech. Darrow denied making any
    such statement, and presently began reading what he actually had said
    on the subject. Bryan then proceeded to denounce Nietzsche, whom he
    described as an admirer and follower of Darwin. Darrow challenged the
    fact and offered to expound what Nietzsche really taught. Bryan waved
    him off.

    The effect of the whole harangue was extremely depressing. It quickly
    ceased to be an argument addressed to the court -- Bryan, in fact,
    constantly said "My friends" instead of "Your Honor" -- and became a
    sermon at the camp-meeting. All the familiar contentions of the Dayton
    divines appeared in it -- that learning is dangerous, that nothing is
    true that is not in the Bible, that a yokel who goes to church
    regularly knows more than any scientist ever heard of. The thing went
    to fantastic lengths. It became a farrago of puerilities without
    coherence or sense. I don't think the old man did himself justice. He
    was in poor voice and his mind seemed to wander. There was far too
    much hatred in him for him to be persuasive.

    The crowd, of course, was with him. It has been fed upon just such
    balderdash for years. Its pastors assault it twice a week with
    precisely the same nonsense. It is chronically in the position of a
    populace protected by an espionage act In time of war. That is to say,
    it is forbidden to laugh at the arguments of one side and forbidden to
    hear the case of the other side. Bryan has been roving around in the
    tall grass for years and he knows the bucolic mind. He knows how to
    reach and inflame its basic delusions and superstitions. He has taken
    them into his own stock and adorned them with fresh absurdities. Today
    he may well stand as the archetype of the American rustic. His
    theology is simply the elemental magic that is preached in a hundred
    thousand rural churches fifty-two times a year.

    These Tennessee mountaineers are not more stupid than the city
    proletariat; they are only less informed. If Darrow, Malone and Hays
    could make a month's stumping tour in Rhea county I believe that fully
    a fourth of the population would repudiate fundamentalism, and that
    not a few of the clergy now in practice would be restored to their old
    jobs on the railroad. Malone's speech yesterday probably shook a great
    many true believers; another like it would fetch more than one of
    them. But the chances are heavily against them ever hearing a second.
    Once this trial is over, the darkness will close in again, and it will
    take long years of diligent and thankless effort to dispel it -- if,
    indeed, it is ever dispelled at all.

    With a few brilliant exceptions -- Dr. Neal is an example -- the more
    civilized Tennesseeans show few signs of being equal to the job. I
    suspect that politics is what keeps them silent and makes their State
    ridiculous. Most of them seem to be candidates for office, and a
    candidate for office, if he would get the votes of fundamentalists,
    must bawl for Genesis before he begins to bawl for anything else. A
    typical Tennessee politician is the Governor, Austin Peay. He signed
    the anti-evolution bill with loud hosannas, and he is now making every
    effort to turn the excitement of the Scopes trial to his private
    political uses. The local papers print a telegram that he has sent to
    Attorney-General A.T. Stewart whooping for prayer. In the North a
    Governor who indulged in such monkey shines would be rebuked for
    trying to influence the conduct of a case in court. And he would be
    derided as a cheap mountebank. But not here.

    I described Stewart the other day as a man of apparent education and
    sense and palpably superior to the village lawyers who sit with him at
    the trial table. I still believe that I described him accurately. Yet
    even Stewart toward the close of yesterday's session gave an
    exhibition that would be almost unimaginable in the North. He began
    his reply to Malone with an intelligent and forceful legal argument,
    with plenty of evidence of hard study in it. But presently he slid
    into a violent theological harangue, full of extravagant nonsense. He
    described the case as a combat between light and darkness and almost
    descended to the depths of Bryan. Hays challenged him with a question.
    Didn't he admit, after all, that the defense had a tolerable case;
    that it ought to be given a chance to present its evidence? I
    transcribe his reply literally:

    "That which strikes at the very foundations of Christianity is not
    entitled to a chance."

    Hays, plainly astounded by this bald statement of the fundamentalist
    view of due process, pressed the point. Assuming that the defense
    would present, not opinion but only unadorned fact, would Stewart
    still object to its admission? He replied.

    "Personally, yes."

    "But as a lawyer and Attorney-General?" insisted Hays.

    "As a lawyer and Attorney-General," said Stewart, "I am the same man."

    Such is justice where Genesis is the first and greatest of law books
    and heresy is still a crime.

                        Battle Now Over, Mencken Sees;
                         Genesis Triumphant and Ready
                                for New Jousts
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 18, 1925)

    Dayton, Tenn., July 18. -- All that remains of the great cause of the
    State of Tennessee against the infidel Scopes is the formal business
    of bumping off the defendant. There may be some legal jousting on
    Monday and some gaudy oratory on Tuesday, but the main battle is over,
    with Genesis completely triumphant. Judge Raulston finished the benign
    business yesterday morning by leaping with soft judicial hosannas into
    the arms of the prosecution. The sole commentary of the sardonic
    Darrow consisted of bringing down a metaphorical custard pie upon the
    occiput of the learned jurist.

    "I hope," said the latter nervously, "that counsel intends no
    reflection upon this court."

    Darrow hunched his shoulders and looked out of the window dreamily.

    "Your honor," he said, "is, of course, entitled to hope."

    No doubt the case will be long and fondly remembered by connoisseurs
    of judicial delicatessen -- that is, as the performances of Weber and
    Fields are remembered by students of dramatic science. In immediate
    retrospect, it grows more fantastic and exhilarating. Scopes has had
    precisely the same fair trial that the Hon. John Philip Hill, accused
    of bootlegging on the oath of Howard A. Kelly, would have before the
    Rev. Dr. George W. Crabbe. He is a fellow not without humor; I find
    him full of smiles today. On some near tomorrow the Sheriff will
    collect a month's wages from him, but he has certainly had a lot of

    More interesting than the hollow buffoonery that remains will be the
    effect upon the people of Tennessee, the actual prisoners at the bar.
    That the more civilized of them are in a highly feverish condition of
    mind must be patent to every visitor. The guffaws that roll in from
    all sides give them great pain. They are full of bitter protests and
    valiant projects. They prepare, it appears, to organize, hoist the
    black flag and offer the fundamentalists of the dung-hills a battle to
    the death. They will not cease until the last Baptist preacher is in
    flight over the mountains, and the ordinary intellectual decencies of
    Christendom are triumphantly restored.

    With the best will in the world I find it impossible to accept this
    tall talk with anything resembling confidence. The intelligentsia of
    Tennessee had their chance and let it get away from them. When the old
    mountebank, Bryan, first invaded the State with his balderdash they
    were unanimously silent. When he began to round up converts in the
    back country they offered him no challenge. When the Legislature
    passed the anti-evolution bill and the Governor signed it, they
    contented themselves with murmuring pianissimo. And when the battle
    was joined at last and the time came for rough stuff only one
    Tennesseean of any consequence volunteered.

    That lone volunteer was Dr. John Neal, now of counsel for the defense,
    a good lawyer and an honest man. His services to Darrow, Malone and
    Hays have been very valuable and they come out of the case with high
    respect for him. But how does Tennessee regard him? My impression is
    that Tennessee vastly underestimating incredibly that a farmer who
    read the Bible knew more than any scientist in the world. Such
    dreadful bilge, heard of far away, may seem only ridiculous. But it
    takes on a different smack, I assure you, when one hears it discharged
    formally in a court of law and sees it accepted as wisdom by judge and

    Darrow has lost this case. It was lost long before he came to Dayton.
    But it seems to me that he has nevertheless performed a great public
    service by fighting it to a finish and in a perfectly serious way. Let
    no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its
    details. It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is
    organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic,
    rid sense and devoid of conscience. Tennessee, challenging him too
    timorously and too late, now sees its courts converted into camp
    meetings and its Bill of Rights made a mock of by its sworn officers
    of the law. There are other States that had better look to their
    arsenals before the Hun is at their gates.

                         Tennessee in the Frying Pan
                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 20, 1925)


    That the rising town of Dayton, when it put the infidel Scopes on
    trial, bit off far more than it has been able to chew -- this
    melancholy fact must now be evident to everyone. The village Aristides
    Sophocles Goldsboroughs believed that the trial would bring in a lot
    of money, and produce a vast mass of free and profitable advertising.
    They were wrong on both counts, as boomers usually are. Very little
    money was actually spent by the visitors: the adjacent yokels brought
    their own lunches and went home to sleep, and the city men from afar
    rushed down to Chattanooga whenever there was a lull. As for the
    advertising that went out over the leased wires, I greatly fear that
    it has quite ruined the town. When people recall it hereafter they
    will think of it as they think of Herrin, Ill., and Homestead, Pa. It
    will be a joke town at best, and infamous at worst.

    The natives reacted to this advertising very badly. The preliminary
    publicity, I believe, had somehow disarmed and deceived them. It was
    mainly amiable spoofing; they took it philosophically, assured by the
    local Aristideses that it was good for trade. But when the main guard
    of Eastern and Northern journalists swarmed down, and their dispatches
    began to show the country and the world exactly how the obscene
    buffoonery appeared to realistic city men, then the yokels began to
    sweat coldly, and in a few days they were full of terror and
    indignation. Some of the bolder spirits, indeed, talked gaudily of
    direct action against the authors of the "libels." But the history of
    the Ku Klux and the American Legion offers overwhelmingly evidence
    that 100 per cent Americans never fight when the enemy is in strength,
    and able to make a defense, so the visitors suffered nothing worse
    than black, black looks. When the last of them departs Daytonians will
    disinfect the town with sulphur candles, and the local pastors will
    exorcise the devils that they left behind them.


    Dayton, of course, is only a ninth-rate country town, and so its
    agonies are of relatively little interest to the world. Its pastors, I
    daresay, will be able to console it, and if they fail there is always
    the old mountebank, Bryan, to give a hand. Faith cannot only move
    mountains; it can also soothe the distressed spirits of mountaineers.
    The Daytonians, unshaken by Darrow's ribaldries, still believe. They
    believe that they are not mammals. They believe, on Bryan's word, that
    they know more than all the men of science of Christendom. They
    believe, on the authority of Genesis, that the earth is flat and that
    witches still infest it. They believe, finally and especially, that
    all who doubt these great facts of revelation will go to hell. So they
    are consoled.

    But what of the rest of the people of Tennessee? I greatly fear that
    they will not attain to consolation so easily. They are an extremely
    agreeable folk, and many of them are highly intelligent. I met men and
    women -- particularly women -- in Chattanooga who showed every sign of
    the highest culture. They led civilized lives, despite Prohibition,
    and they were interested in civilized ideas, despite the fog of
    Fundamentalism in which they moved. I met members of the State
    judiciary who were as heartily ashamed of the bucolic ass, Raulston,
    as an Osler would be of a chiropractor. I add the educated clergy:
    Episcopalians, Unitarians, Jews and so on -- enlightened men, tossing
    pathetically under the imbecilities of their evangelical colleagues.
    Chattanooga, as I found it, was charming, but immensely unhappy.

    What its people ask for -- many of them in plain terms -- is suspended
    judgment, sympathy, Christian charity, and I believe that they deserve
    all these things. Dayton may be typical of Tennessee, but it is surely
    not all of Tennessee. The civilized minority in the State is probably
    as large as in any other Southern State. What ails it is simply the
    fact it has been, in the past, too cautious and politic -- that it has
    been too reluctant to offend the Fundamentalist majority. To that
    reluctance something else has been added: an uncritical and somewhat
    childish local patriotism. The Tennesseeans have tolerated their
    imbeciles for fear that attacking them would bring down the derision
    of the rest of the country. Now they have the derision, and to excess
    -- and the attack is ten times as difficult as it ever was before.


    How they are to fight their way out of their wallow I do not know.
    They begin the battle with the enemy in command of every height and
    every gun; worse, there is a great deal of irresolution in their own
    ranks. The newspapers of the State, with few exceptions, are very
    feeble. One of the best of them, the Chattanooga News, set up an
    eloquent whooping for Bryan the moment he got to Dayton. Before that
    it had been against the anti-evolution law. But with the actual battle
    joined, it began to wobble, and presently it was printing articles
    arguing that Fundamentalism, after all, made men happy -- that a
    Tennesseean gained something valuable by being an ignoramus -- in
    other words, that a hog in a barnyard was to be envied by an
    Aristotle. The News was far better than most: it gave space, too, to
    the other side, and at considerable risk. But its weight, for two
    weeks, was thrown heavily to Bryan and his balderdash.

    The pusillanimous attitude of the bar of the State I described in my
    dispatches from Dayton. It was not until the trial was two days old
    that any Tennessee lawyers of influence and dignity went to the aid of
    Dr. John R. Neal -- and even then all of the volunteers enlisted only
    on condition that their names be kept out of the newspapers. I should
    except one T.B. McElwee. He sat at the trial table and rendered
    valuable services. The rest lurked in the background. It was an
    astounding situation to a Marylander, but it seemed to be regarded as
    quite natural in Tennessee.

    The prevailing attitude toward Neal himself was also very amazing. He
    is an able lawyer and a man of repute, and in any Northern State his
    courage would get the praise it deserves. But in Tennessee even the
    intelligentsia seem to feet that he has done something discreditable
    by sitting at the trial table with Darrow, Hays and Malone. The State
    buzzes with trivial, idiotic gossip about him -- that he dresses
    shabbily, that he has political aspirations, and so on. What if he
    does and has? He has carried himself, in this case, in a way that does
    higher credit to his native State. But his native State, instead of
    being proud of him, simply snarls at him behind his back.


    So with every other man concerned with the defense -- most of them,
    slackaday, foreigners. For example, Rappelyea, the Dayton engineer who
    was first to go to the aid of Scopes. I was told solemnly in Dayton,
    not once but twenty times, that Rappelyea was (a) a Bowery boy from
    New York, and (b) an incompetent and ignorant engineer. I went to some
    trouble to unearth the facts. They were (a) that he was actually a
    member of one of the oldest Huguenot families in America, and (b) that
    his professional skill and general culture were such that the visiting
    scientists sought him out and found pleasure in his company.

    Such is the punishment that falls upon a civilized man cast among
    fundamentalists. As I have said, the worst of it is that even the
    native intelligentsia help to pull the rope. In consequence all the
    brighter young men of the State -- and it produces plenty of them --
    tend to leave it. If they remain, they must be prepared to succumb to
    the prevailing blather or resign themselves to being more or less
    infamous. With the anti-evolution law enforced, the State university
    will rapidly go to pot; no intelligent youth will waste his time upon
    its courses if he can help it. And so, with the young men lost, the
    struggle against darkness will become almost hopeless.

    As I have said, the State still produces plenty of likely young bucks
    -- if only it could hold them! There is good blood everywhere, even in
    the mountains. During the dreadful buffooneries of Bryan and Raulston
    last week two typical specimens sat at the press table. One was Paul
    Y. Anderson, correspondent of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the
    other was Joseph Wood Krutch, one of the editors of the Nation. I am
    very familiar with the work of both of them, and it is my professional
    judgment that it is of the first caliber. Anderson is one of the best
    newspaper reporters in America and Krutch is one of the best editorial

    Well, both were there as foreigners. Both were working for papers that
    could not exist in Tennessee. Both were viewed by their fellow
    Tennesseeans not with pride, as credits to the State, but as traitors
    to the Tennessee Kultur and public enemies. Their crime was that they
    were intelligent men, doing their jobs intelligently.


                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 27, 1925)


    It was plain to everyone, when Bryan came to Dayton, that his great
    days were behind him -- that he was now definitely an old man, and
    headed at last for silence. There was a vague, unpleasant manginess
    about his appearance; he somehow seemed dirty, though a close glance
    showed him carefully shaved, and clad in immaculate linen. All the
    hair was gone from the dome of his head, and it had begun to fall out,
    too, behind his ears, like that of the late Samuel Gompers. The old
    resonance had departed from his voice: what was once a bugle blast had
    become reedy and quavering. Who knows that, like Demosthenes, he had a
    lisp? In his prime, under the magic of his eloquence, no one noticed
    it. But when he spoke at Dayton it was always audible.

    When I first encountered him, on the sidewalk in front of the Hicks
    brothers law office, the trial was yet to begin, and so he was still
    expansive and amiable. I had printed in the Nation, a week or so
    before, an article arguing that the anti-evolution law, whatever its
    unwisdom, was at least constitutional -- that policing school teachers
    was certainly not putting down free speech. The old boy professed to
    be delighted with the argument, and gave the gaping bystanders to
    understand that I was a talented publicist. In turn I admired the
    curious shirt he wore -- sleeveless and with the neck cut very low. We
    parted in the manner of two Spanish ambassadors.

    But that was the last touch of affability that I was destined to see
    in Bryan. The next day the battle joined and his face became hard. By
    the end of the first week he was simply a walking malignancy. Hour by
    hour he grew more bitter. What the Christian Scientists call malicious
    animal magnetism seemed to radiate from him like heat from a stove.
    From my place in the court-room, standing upon a table, I looked
    directly down upon him, sweating horribly and pumping his palm-leaf
    fan. His eyes fascinated me: I watched them all day long. They were
    blazing points of hatred. They glittered like occult and sinister
    gems. Now and then they wandered to me, and I got my share. It was
    like coming under fire.


    What was behind that consuming hatred? At first I thought that it was
    mere evangelical passion. Evangelical Christianity, as everyone knows,
    is founded upon hate, as the Christianity of Christ was founded upon
    love. But even evangelical Christians occasionally loose their belts
    and belch amicably; I have known some who, off duty, were very
    benignant. In that very courtroom, indeed, were some of them -- for
    example, old Ben McKenzie, Nestor of the Dayton bar, who sat beside
    Bryan. Ben was full of good humor. He made jokes with Darrow. But
    Bryan only glared.

    One day it dawned on me that Bryan, after all, was an evangelical
    Christian only by sort of afterthought -- that his career in this
    world, and the glories thereof, had actually come to an end before he
    ever began whooping for Genesis. So I came to this conclusion: that
    what really moved him was a lust for revenge. The men of the cities
    had destroyed him and made a mock of him; now he would lead the yokels
    against them. Various facts clicked into the theory, and I hold it
    still. The hatred in the old man's burning eyes was not for the
    enemies of God; it was for the enemies of Bryan.

    Thus he fought his last fight, eager only for blood. It quickly became
    frenzied and preposterous, and after that pathetic. All sense departed
    from him. He bit right and left, like a dog with rabies. He descended
    to demagogy so dreadful that his very associates blushed. His one
    yearning was to keep his yokels heated up -- to lead his forlorn mob
    against the foe. That foe, alas, refused to be alarmed. It insisted
    upon seeing the battle as a comedy. Even Darrow, who knew better,
    occasionally yielded to the prevailing spirit. Finally, he lured poor
    Bryan into a folly almost incredible.

    I allude to his astounding argument against the notion that man is a
    mammal. I am glad I heard it, for otherwise I'd never believe it.
    There stood the man who had been thrice a candidate for the Presidency
    of the Republic -- and once, I believe, elected -- there he stood in
    the glare of the world, uttering stuff that a boy of eight would laugh
    at! The artful Darrow led him on: he repeated it, ranted for it,
    bellowed it in his cracked voice. A tragedy, indeed! He came into life
    a hero, a Galahad, in bright and shining armor. Now he was passing out
    a pathetic fool.


    Worse, I believe that he somehow sensed the fact -- that he realized
    his personal failure, whatever the success of the grotesque cause he
    spoke for. I had left Dayton before Darrow's cross-examination brought
    him to his final absurdity, but I heard his long speech against the
    admission of expert testimony, and I saw how it fell flat and how
    Bryan himself was conscious of the fact. When he sat down he was done
    for, and he knew it. The old magic had failed to work; there was
    applause but there was no exultant shouts. When, half an hour later,
    Dudley Field Malone delivered his terrific philippic, the very yokels
    gave him five times the clapper-clawing that they had given to Bryan.

    This combat was the old leader's last, and it symbolized in more than
    one way his passing. Two women sat through it, the one old and
    crippled, the other young and in the full flush of beauty. The first
    was Mrs. Bryan; the second was Mrs. Malone. When Malone finished his
    speech the crowd stormed his wife with felicitations, and she glowed
    as only a woman can who has seen her man fight a hard fight and win
    gloriously. But no one congratulated Mrs. Bryan. She sat hunched in
    her chair near the judge, apparently very uneasy. I thought then that
    she was ill -- she has been making the round of sanitariums for years,
    and was lately in the hands of a faith-healer -- but now I think that
    some appalling prescience was upon her, and that she saw in Bryan's
    eyes a hint of the collapse that was so near.

    He sank into his seat a wreck, and was presently forgotten in the
    blast of Malone's titanic rhetoric. His speech had been maundering
    feeble and often downright idiotic. Presumably, he was speaking to a
    point of law, but it was quickly apparent that he knew no more law
    than the bailiff at the door. So he launched into mere violet
    garrulity. He dragged in snatches of ancient chautauqua addresses; he
    wandered up hill and down dale. Finally, Darrow lured him into that
    fabulous imbecility about man as a mammal. He sat down one of the most
    tragic asses in American history.


    It is the national custom to sentimentalize the dead, as it is to
    sentimentalize men about to be hanged. Perhaps I fall into that
    weakness here. The Bryan I shall remember is the Bryan of his last
    weeks on earth -- broken, furious, and infinitely pathetic. It was
    impossible to meet his hatred with hatred to match it. He was winning
    a battle that would make him forever infamous wherever enlightened men
    remembered it and him. Even his old enemy, Darrow, was gentle with him
    at the end. That cross-examination might have been ten times as
    devastating. It was plain to everyone that the old Berseker Bryan was
    gone -- that all that remained of him was a pair of glaring and
    horrible eyes.

    But what of his life? Did he accomplish any useful thing? Was he, in
    his day, of any dignity as a man, and of any value to his fellow-men?
    I doubt it. Bryan, at his best, was simply a magnificent job-seeker.
    The issues that he bawled about usually meant nothing to him. He was
    ready to abandon them whenever he could make votes by doing so, and to
    take up new ones at a moment's notice. For years he evaded Prohibition
    as dangerous; then he embraced it as profitable. At the Democratic
    National Convention last year he was on both sides, and distrusted by
    both. In his last great battle there was only a baleful and ridiculous
    malignancy. If he was pathetic, he was also disgusting.

    Bryan was a vulgar and common man, a cad undiluted. He was ignorant,
    bigoted, self-seeking, blatant and dishonest. His career brought him
    into contact with the first men of his time; he preferred the company
    of rustic ignoramuses. It was hard to believe, watching him at Dayton,
    that he had traveled, that he had been received in civilized
    societies, that he had been a high officer of state. He seemed only a
    poor clod like those around him, deluded by a childish theology, full
    of an almost pathological hatred of all learning, all human dignity,
    all beauty, all fine and noble things. He was a peasant come home to
    the dung-pile. Imagine a gentleman, and you have imagined everything
    that he was not.

    The job before democracy is to get rid of such canaille. If it fails,
    they will devour it.

                               by H.L. Mencken

    (The Baltimore Evening Sun, September 14, 1925)


    The Liberals, in their continuing discussion of the late trial of the
    infidel Scopes at Dayton, Tenn., run true to form. That is to say,
    they show all their habitual lack of humor and all their customary
    furtive weakness for the delusions of Homo neanderthalensis. I point
    to two of their most enlightened organs: the eminent New York World
    and the gifted New Republic. The World is displeased with Mr. Darrow
    because, in his appalling cross-examination of the mountebank Bryan,
    he did some violence to the theological superstitions that millions of
    Americans cherish. The New Republic denounces him because he addressed
    himself, not to "the people of Tennessee" but to the whole country,
    and because he should have permitted "local lawyers" to assume "the
    most conspicuous position in the trial."

    Once more, alas, I find myself unable to follow the best Liberal
    thought. What the World's contention amounts to, at bottom, is simply
    the doctrine that a man engaged in combat with superstition should be
    very polite to superstition. This, I fear, is nonsense. The way to
    deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it
    with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever
    infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who
    should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the
    light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they
    flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.

    True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights.
    He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he
    pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men
    by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in
    season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his
    children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the
    free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to
    demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them
    without challenge. Did Darrow, in the course of his dreadful
    bombardment of Bryan, drop a few shells, incidentally, into measurably
    cleaner camps? Then let the garrisons of those camps look to their
    defenses. They are free to shoot back. But they can't disarm their


    The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly
    misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from
    governmental control but also from public opinion. A dunderhead gets
    himself a long-tailed coat, rises behind the sacred desk, and emits
    such bilge as would gag a Hottentot. Is it to pass unchallenged? If
    so, then what we have is not religious freedom at all, but the most
    intolerable and outrageous variety of religious despotism. Any fool,
    once he is admitted to holy orders, becomes infallible. Any half-wit,
    by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes
    on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us.

    I do not know how many Americans entertain the ideas defended so
    ineptly by poor Bryan, but probably the number is very large. They are
    preached once a week in at least a hundred thousand rural churches,
    and they are heard too in the meaner quarters of the great cities.
    Nevertheless, though they are thus held to be sound by millions, these
    ideas remain mere rubbish. Not only are they not supported by the
    known facts; they are in direct contravention of the known facts. No
    man whose information is sound and whose mind functions normally can
    conceivably credit them. They are the products of ignorance and
    stupidity, either or both.

    What should be a civilized man's attitude toward such superstitions?
    It seems to me that the only attitude possible to him is one of
    contempt. If he admits that they have any intellectual dignity
    whatever, he admits that he himself has none. If he pretends to a
    respect for those who believe in them, he pretends falsely, and sinks
    almost to their level. When he is challenged he must answer honestly,
    regardless of tender feelings. That is what Darrow did at Dayton, and
    the issue plainly justified the act. Bryan went there in a hero's
    shining armor, bent deliberately upon a gross crime against sense. He
    came out a wrecked and preposterous charlatan, his tail between his
    legs. Few Americans have ever done so much for their country in a
    whole lifetime as Darrow did in two hours.


    The caveat of the New Republic is so absurd that it scarcely deserves
    an answer. It is based upon a complete misunderstanding of the
    situation that the Scopes trial revealed. What good would it have done
    to have addressed an appeal to the people of Tennessee? They had
    already, by their lawful representatives, adopted the anti-evolution
    statute by an immense majority, and they were plainly determined to
    uphold it. The newspapers of the State, with one or two exceptions,
    were violently in favor of the prosecution, and applauded every effort
    of the rustic judge and district attorney to deprive the defense of
    its most elemental rights.

    True enough, there was a minority of Tennesseeans on the other side --
    men and women who felt keenly the disgrace of their State, and were
    eager to put an end to it. But their time had passed; they had missed
    their chance. They should have stepped forward at the very beginning,
    long before Darrow got into the case. Instead, they hung back
    timorously, and so Bryan and the Baptist pastors ran amok. There was a
    brilliant exception: John R. Neal. There was another: T.R. Elwell.
    Both lawyers. But the rest of the lawyers of the State, when the issue
    was joined at last, actually helped the prosecution. Their bar
    associations kept up a continuous fusillade. They tried their best to
    prod the backwoods Dogberry, Raulston, into putting Darrow into jail.

    There was but one way to meet this situation and Darrow adopted it. He
    appealed directly to the country and to the world. He had at these
    recreant Tennesseeans by exhibiting their shame to all men, near and
    far. He showed them cringing before the rustic theologians, and afraid
    of Bryan. He turned the State inside out, and showed what civilization
    can come to under Fundamentalism. The effects of that cruel exposure
    are now visible. Tennessee is still spluttering -- and blushing. The
    uproar staggered its people. And they are doing some very painful
    thinking. Will they cling to Fundamentalism or will they restore
    civilization? I suspect that the quick decision of their neighbor,
    Georgia, will help them to choose. Darrow did more for them, in two
    weeks, than all their pastors and politicians had done since the Civil


    His conduct of the case, in fact, was adept and intelligent from
    beginning to end. It is hard, in retrospect, to imagine him improving
    it. He faced immense technical difficulties. In order to get out of
    the clutches of the village Dogberry and before judges of greater
    intelligence he had to work deliberately for the conviction of his
    client. In order to evade the puerile question of that client's guilt
    or innocence and so bring the underlying issues before the country, he
    had to set up a sham battle on the side lines. And in order to expose
    the gross ignorance and superstition of the real prosecutor, Bryan, he
    had to lure the old imposter upon the stand.

    It seems to me that he accomplished all of these things with great
    skill. Scopes was duly convicted, and the constitutional questions
    involved in the law will now be heard by competent judges and decided
    without resort to prayer and moving pictures. The whole world has been
    made familiar with the issues, and the nature of the menace that
    Fundamentalism offers to civilization is now familiar to every
    schoolboy. And Bryan was duly scotched, and, if he had lived, would be
    standing before the country today as a comic figure, tattered and

    All this was accomplished, in infernal weather, by a man of
    sixty-eight, with the scars of battles all over him. He had, to be
    sure, highly competent help. At his table sat lawyers whose peculiar
    talents, in combination, were of the highest potency -- the brilliant
    Hays, the eloquent Malone, the daring and patriotic Tennesseean, Neal.
    But it was Darrow who carried the main burden, and Darrow who shaped
    the final result. When he confronted Bryan at last, the whole combat
    came to its climax. On the one side was bigotry, ignorance, hatred,
    superstition, every sort of blackness that the human mind is capable
    of. On the other side was sense. And sense achieved a great victory.

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