“Have you ever heard this song? ‘Look out dar, now! We’s a gwine to shoot! Look out dar, don’t you understand? Babylon is fallen! Babylon is fallen! An’ we’s agwine to occupy de land!’
“Guess it didn’t quite turn out that way, though. What with chain gangs, sharecropping, house servants and all the rest.
“However, my sympathy for the colored man does not mean that I hanker after hearing him playing that vulgar ragtime piano, or that newfangled abomination called ‘Jass’. No, for me, the ancient spirituals and other church singing are what the Negro does best. For my money, there’s no song to top the likes of ‘Master Going to Sell us Tomorrow’ and ‘Zekiel Saw the Wheel,’ and ‘Wish’s in Heaven Settin’ Down’ and ‘Dey Crucified my Lord.’ ‘An’ He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word!’–that’s the good stuff! Next comes the comedy songs of the good old minstrel show, like the ones I used to see at St. James’ Hall, in Piccadilly. ‘The Coon From the Moon,’ and ‘Silver Chimes at Midnight’ and how’s about, ‘Oh, Dem Golden Slippers?’ ‘What a great camp meetin’ there will be that day, when we ride up in the chariot in the morn’!’ Hilarious!
“It is only when the Negro essays to slavishly copy the white man that he is shown to worst advantage. Tell me–where is the Ubangi Shakespeare, or the Zulu Dante Alighieri? But otherwise, within his own sphere, I will admit that he is indomitable.
“Young women are a lot like Negroes, as I think I’ve mentioned before. Obsessed with shoes, and gold, and glitter, and brightly colored clothing. Fond of dancing and promenading and other public displays. Silly flummery daubs and flibbertydigets without a serious thought in their heads. They only think about today, with nary a thought for the morrow. I would just as soon trust my toothless old dog to advise me on matters of consequence.
“Don’t get me wrong–I will be the first to admit that women make mighty fine ornamental additions to a household, and that’s for sure. They are soft to the touch and mighty easy on the eyes, and I would trust them to soothe a crying baby or brew a cup of tea. But I wouldn’t listen to a word they had to say about politics or other matters of consequence, for these are realms with which they have next to no practical experience, and, furthermore, a man of affairs has no time to pay heed to the airy-fairy notions of ninny-hammers, nitwits, stable boys, watermelon jockeys, zooks, saps, goofs, imbeciles, nincompoops, or any other members of the tribe known as the non compos mentis.
“True, when you speak of Negroes, there is also the matter of smell. There’s no getting around the fact that the Negro exudes a thick, almost musky aroma, which, splash himself though he might with pints of stinkum and other cheap perfume, he can in virtually no way efface.
“This is not to say that other tribes do not also give off their own distinctive scent. The German always smells strongly of stale beer and cheap tobacco. And the men are even worse. Same goes for all your Slavs. Ditto the Limey, only they tend to smell like filthy shag and fried potatoes. The Irishman usually reeks of whiskey and Mackerel. The German Jew smells of Salmon and the Russian Jew smells of Herring. Your Italians always smell of garlic, as do your Greeks and your Spanish. The French smell like rotten cheese and absinthe, and Mexicans smell like beans, and corn, and mescal. The Chinese generally reek of fish and rice, when they don’t smell of opium. The Arab stinks of chick peas and hasheesh. Walk down any street in Blowtown after a warm spring rain, and the lingering smells from that international congregation of slum dwellers will all combine with the stench of horseapples and dead cats to add up to a veritable miasma.
“Let me give you a bit of venereal advice while you’re still young enough to take advantage of it: namely, that women have a much better sense of smell than men. And that you’ll never offend by smelling like soap and freshly washed linen, even if your low-born pals chaff you with being a sissy. Young men are not always the most reliable guides regarding how to win the heart of lady fair. Chances are that a woman who is willing to overlook a putrescent stench is either desperate, or sick in the head, and probably both. Of course, it goes without saying that you should steer well clear of a girl who doesn’t know how to make herself smell like a petunia, or whatever perfumey water happens to be in vogue at present. These are the kind of women who don’t care a rap for anything under the sun, and they are sure to drag you down into the stygian depths along with them. This is not mere snobbery, but merely sound common sense. A woman who is in her right senses would very likely forego food rather than soap. Women are like cats–if they are of sound mind, they are always trying to keep themselves clean. Only a mangy alley cat will overlook the niceties of good grooming. The same goes for men. It’s one thing to sport a three days growth when you’ve been camping in the deep woods, but if you show up for work with some sloppy stray chin-whiskers, you’re probably never destined to be the boss’s fair-haired boy. Even the better classes of the criminal underworld like to dress sharp and look trig. If you don’t, then you’re marked down as a loocher and you get squeezed out of all the big-paying jobs. You heard it here, first, Yob.”