Reform is needed in the backsliding cities of the United States. When Philadelphia was famous for the romance of its history, Washington for the splendor of its statesmen, Chicago for its stock yards, and Boston for its beans, some degree of urban pride was possible; but now with Philadelphia hailed for its underworld, Washington for its baseball team, Chicago for its murderers, and--worst of all--Boston for its cake eating, Civil Pride must hide its head beneath the ash heap. One can forgive the other cities but never Boston--just entitled The Greatest Cake Eating Center in the World.
Cake could never have formed the sinews that waged Boston's wars and built her towers. Baked beans were the food that gave the force to Boston armies, the eloquence to Boston orators, the life to Boston industry. Now, however, the bean sits humble and forlorn while in the place of honor the cake reposes in frosted complacency. Not so once. In Puritan days marriages in Boston were solemnized with the following oath, "To you I shall be true till Boston goes back on ye bean", murmured the wedding guests. "Till Boston goes back on ye bean", echoed the walls.
But the Day of Judgment has arrived. The bean lies cold and stiff in the ice-box, the cake is smoking on the board. And the ghosts of Miles Standish, John Alden, and Governor Winthrop collect in the corner and tell each other that it never could have happened in 1624.