"CHRYSTAL" ON THEOLOGY
There is no use in a man trying to maintain a particular tone of feeling -- a certain mood -- when circumstances and surroundings are against him. He may hold out for a while, but in the end he is bound to succumb to those circumstances and surroundings, and tune up afresh and in unison with their key-note. There is no use in a man trying to be a cynical, stoical humbug in the society of a lovely girl; and there is no use in his hoping to keep up a boisterous flow of spirits all through a Quaker meeting; and there is no use in his trying to remain cheerful and wide awake in a chloroform factory. It is no use for a man to attempt any of these things, because he can't "keep up his lick." "Chrystal," the San Mateo editorial correspondent of the Alta, who started out but one short week ago with a series of the liveliest and most entertaining articles (as contrasted with the general run of articles in that paper) has fallen! He has succumbed to the sleepy influences of that dreamy old chloroform factory. His sprightliness waned apace, and he has sunk down at last into a dreary homily on the immortality of the human soul -- for the delectation of merchants and brokers, who are so partial to that sort of thing, and to teach the Alta editors "How to Conduct a Great Commercial Newspaper." Alas! poor "Chrystal!" His surroundings were too much for him. He couldn't "keep up his lick!"
[published in Early Tales & Sketches, Volume 2, 1864-1865,
University of California Press, 1981, p. 486-87.]
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