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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 28, 1864


We do not like it, as far as we have got. We shall probably not fall so deeply in love with reporting for a San Francisco paper as to make it impossible ever to wean us from it. There is a powerful saving-clause for us in the fact that the conservators of public information - the persons whose positions afford them opportunities not enjoyed by others to keep themselves posted concerning the important events of the city's daily life - do not appear to know anything. At the offices and places of business we have visited in search of information, we have got it in just the same shape every time, with a promptness and uniformity which is startling, perhaps, but not gratifying. They all answer and say unto you, "I don't know." We do not mind that, so much, but we do object to a man's parading his ignorance with an air of overbearing egotism which shows you that he is proud of it. True merit is modest, and why should not true ignorance be? In most cases, the head of the concern is not at home; but then why not pay better wages and leave men at the counter who would not be above knowing something? Judging by the frills they put on - the sad but infallible accompaniment of forty dollars a year and found - these fellows are satisfied they are not paid enough to make it an object to know what is going on around them, or to state that their crop of information has failed, this century, without doing it with an exaggeration of dignity altogether disproportioned to the importance of the thing. In Washoe, if a man don't know anything, he will at least go on and tell you what he don't know, so that you can publish it in case you do not stumble upon something of more vital interest to the community, in the course of the day. If a similar course were pursued here, we might always have something to write about - and occasionally a column or so left over for next day's issue, perhaps.

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