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Territorial Enterprise, February 1864



CARSON, February 12

An Act to amend an Act relating to game and fish. The passage of this bill was also recommended. [It provides that trout shall neither be caught in this Territory, nor exposed for sale, between the first of January and the first of April, under a penalty of $25 for each fish caught, killed or destroyed, or bought, sold or exposed for sale. The Act goes into effect on the first of the coming March, and therefore it would be well to publish it for the information of the people. It is a good law, and calls our lake by its right name Lake Bigler - and rejects the spooney appellation of "Tahoe," which signifieth "grasshopper" in the Digger tongue, and "breech clout" in the Washoe lingo. Bigler is the legitimate name of the Lake, and it will be retained until some name less flat, insipid and spooney than "Tahoe" is invented for it. I am sorry, myself, that it was not called in the first place by some cognomen that could be persuaded to rhyme with something, because, you see, every sentimental cuss who goes up there and becomes pregnant with a poem invariably miscarries because of the unfortunate difficulty I have just mentioned. I speak of the matter lightly, but it is not a frivolous one, for all that. A very beautiful thing was once written by a distinguished English poet about our royal river at home, but the loveliness was all mashed out of it by the stress of weather to which he was obliged to succumb in order to gouge a rhyme out of its name. He had to call it "Mississip"! - MARK.]

[reprinted in Mark Twain of the Enterprise, edited by Henry Nash Smith, (Univ. of California Press, 1957), pp. 156-57.]

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