Excerpts of H. L. Mencken’s Reporting of the Scopes Trial 2012 Ian C. Pilarczyk



Download 17.24 Kb.
Page8/8
Date03.04.2021
Size17.24 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
July 18, 1925
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…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."...

The Scopes trial, from the start, has been carried on in a manner exactly fitted to the anti- evolution law and the simian imbecility under it. There hasn't been the slightest pretense to decorum. The rustic judge, a candidate for re-election, has postured the yokels like a clown in a ten-cent side show, and almost every word he has uttered has been an undisguised appeal to their prejudices and superstitions. The chief prosecuting attorney, beginning like a competent lawyer and a man of self-respect, ended like a convert at a Billy Sunday revival. It fell to him, finally, to make a clear and astounding statement of theory of justice prevailing under fundamentalism. What he said, in brief, was that a man accused of infidelity had no rights whatever under Tennessee law....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 of 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 mockery 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.


Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page