March 6th 1902
A Lunenburg Sensation:
MR. EDITOR: -
The staid old town of Lunenburg is now in the throes of a mighty moral agitation that cannot equitably be described as the proverbial "Tempest in a Teapot, " since the resulting effects bid fair to be unusually far-reaching and the end is not yet.
It appears that one of the well known hotel keepers, who has earned an unenviable notoriety by persisting in selling liquor, though repeatedly fined for so doing, about three weeks ago, gave a full dress Ball, which for elegance and costliness surpassed anything ever given before in that town. Over three hundred guests were present including some of the wealthiest people of the place and persons of the highest standing in political circles.
On the Sunday before the Ball, strong sermons were preached in some of the churches on the evils of dancing and the inculpating criminality of supporting or countenancing those engaged in the liquor traffic.
After the Ball, the churches took more decided action, the Methodist Church dismissing its organist from her position for attending the Ball, and inviting all of its members who had attended the affair to vindicate their sense of honor by coming forward and having their names removed from the church book. Several accepted the invitation and had their names erased.
At this interesting stage of affairs some party or parties unknown, securing a large number of copies of a poem entitled "The Rumseller's Ball," mailed one to each of the three hundred guests who had attended the Ball.
The result was wide-spread dismay and consternation. The point at issue had been cleverly forced. The attention of the whole place had been drawn to the participators in that night of revelry, and by this bold "Coup de main" they were individually compelled to take their stand for God and His Kingdom or for Satan and His domains.
The local papers weakly commented upon the situation, but were evidently deterred from any definite stand through not wishing to offend either party. Accordingly the writer has forwarded this article to a paper which he knows dares to speak the truth to evil doers where e'er it finds them, with a copy of the poem in question appended.
The Rumseller's Ball:
Oh say, have you heard of the rumseller's ball?
You'll list with abated breath;
And when you have heard the account in full
Will call it "The Dance of Death,"
God knows the amount that ball has cost -
It is paid for with human souls
Who've drunk to their death, while their
hard-earned cash In the bar room's coffer rolls.
That ball's cost life blood which ebbed away
In the awful drunkard's brawl,
It's cost the tears of mothers and wives,
But that is far from all:
It's cost the wreckage of happy homes,
It means good-bye to love,
And hope, itself, at last gives way,
That bright star from above.
You ask "who's paid for the rumseller's
Who's paid? - Why our bright young boys,
The proudest hope of the father's heart,
The mother's dearest joys.
Yes - the sturdy lads who seemed so strong,
Have become o'ermastered now.
And they helped to pay for the grand array.
And friends, you all know how.
Fathers and brothers, old and young,
Of our loved ones helped to pay
Oh stop to think of the awful cost
Of that night's amusement gay!
Have you heard of the guests at the rumseller's
Ah me! Tis a sorry tale,
For many whose vows were made to God,
Took part in the gay RIVEL.
Christians! - Ah can we call them such?
Does it Christ like seem to be?
To sup and dance as the guest of one
Who has caused such misery?
Some who were members of Christ's fold,
Whose voice had been heard in prayer,
Who sang God's praises in sacred song,
Were caught in this Devil's Snare.
And one - a pillar of the state -
Who helped form the nation's laws,
Gave countenance by his presence there
To the darling outlaw's cause.
Does it not seem strange that the very ones
Who paid for the splendid ball,
Who were just as fond of pleasure gay,
Received no word of call?
No room for them with their smelling breath;
The ladies would not care
To "have the pleasure" of dancing with
Old sinners steeped in beer.
From drunkards low they turn aside,
To speak would mean disgrace,
But to dance and sup where they get the cup
Is an act that's quite in place.
And now in giving the rumseller's ball
What was the motive plain?
Was it not to bring favor to the host
That his friends esteem he'd gain?
Because "so popular with all"
A varied company came
To pay their homage to THEIR KING,
And honor his kingly name.
And since you've heard of the rumseller's ball
What think you? How does it pay
To betray the Christ for so small a price
As one night of proud display?
God grant that many may rue the day,
While tearfully they recall
The night they denied the King of Kings
By attending the Rumseller's Ball.