An expense fund of forty thousand dollars had been underwritten; out on the County Fair Grounds a Mike Monday Tabernacle had been erected, to seat fifteen thousand people. In it the prophet was at this moment concluding his message:
“There’s a lot of smart college professors and tea-guzzling slobs in this burg that say I’m a roughneck and a never-wuzzer and my knowledge of history is not-yet. Oh, there’s a gang of woolly-whiskered book-lice that think they know more than Almighty God, and prefer a lot of Hun science and smutty German criticism to the straight and simple Word of God. Oh, there’s a swell bunch of Lizzie boys and lemon-suckers and pie-faces and infidels and beer-bloated scribblers that love to fire off their filthy mouths and yip that Mike Monday is vulgar and full of mush. Those pups are saying now that I hog the gospel-show, that I’m in it for the coin. Well, now listen, folks! I’m going to give those birds a chance! They can stand right up here and tell me to my face that I’m a galoot and a liar and a hick! Only if they do—if they do!—don’t faint with surprise if some of those rum-dumm liars get one good swift poke from Mike, with all the kick of God’s Flaming Righteousness behind the wallop! Well, come on, folks! Who says it? Who says Mike Monday is a fourflush and a yahoo? Huh? Don’t I see anybody standing up? Well, there you are! Now I guess the folks in this man’s town will quit listening to all this kyoodling from behind the fence; I guess you’ll quit listening to the guys that pan and roast and kick and beef, and vomit out filthy atheism; and all of you ’ll come in, with every grain of pep and reverence you got, and boost all together for Jesus Christ and his everlasting mercy and tenderness!”
At that moment Seneca Doane, the radical lawyer, and Dr. Kurt Yavitch, the histologist (whose report on the destruction of epithelial cells under radium had made the name of Zenith known in Munich, Prague, and Rome), were talking in Doane’s library.
“Zenith’s a city with gigantic power—gigantic buildings, gigantic machines, gigantic transportation,” meditated Doane.
“I hate your city. It has standardized all the beauty out of life. It is one big railroad station—with all the people taking tickets for the best cemeteries,” Dr. Yavitch said placidly.
Doane roused. “I’m hanged if it is! You make me sick, Kurt, with your perpetual whine about ‘standardization.’ Don’t you suppose any other nation is ‘standardized?’ Is anything more standardized than England, with every house that can afford it having the same muffins at the same tea-hour, and every retired general going to exactly the same evensong at the same gray stone church with a square tower, and every golfing prig in Harris tweeds saying ‘Right you are!’ to every other prosperous ass? Yet I love England. And for standardization—just look at the sidewalk cafes in France and the love-making in Italy!