[EDITOR'S NOTE: These items has not been previously republished elsewhere. They are included in this collection because of their potential to be the work of Clemens and are deserving of further research and consideration.]
Reporters are getting worse and worse. It has not been a week since Fitz Smythe had the hardihood to say in the Alta that he had come across something which made him "blush." And now, to offset this preposterous assertion, we find an affecting incident printed in the Virginia Enterprise and the reporter closes the story with the barefaced assertion that it caused him to shed tears! This is going too far. This thing of stating impossibilities with the evident intention of deceiving people into believing them is calculated to impair the confidence of the public in the veracity of the press. Oh, stop it.
The Flag's poetry, which was wont to be a never-failing
spring of delight unto us, has latterly become disgusting. This is because it
has risen to mediocrity. Mediocrity is always contemptible; mediocrity in literature
is nauseating. Poetry is a luxury as long as it is perfectly good, like some
people's we know of, or perfectly bad, as the Flag's was formerly; but
when it is neither one thing nor the other, we can take no pleasure in it. Come,
now, drop these new half-witted poets, and let us have back the old ranting,
snorting maniacs again.
[transcribed from microfilm]
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