THE WHANGDOODLE MOURNETH
Have we driven our best friends away from us? We are afraid we have actually done this foolish thing. We used to get the rarest material for squibs out of the Flag's execrable poetry; and out of the Call's hilarious romancing; and out of the Examiner's bottomless wisdom; and out of the Alta's dreary editorials; and out of the Flag's thunder-and-lightning-and-whisky ditto,- and out of Fitz Smythe's dismal jokes,- and out of the Mercury's French atrocities; and out of the Grass Valley Union's engaging simplicity -- but behold! all these affluent leads are worked out -- stripped to the bed-rock-and we are left poor and desolate in our old age. We have driven the Flag's villainous poetry from its columns, and it deals in sleepy poetical mediocrity now; we have broken the wing of the Call's soaring imagination and brought it down to earthy, unembellished facts; we have fished up the Examiner out of its vasty deeps of wisdom and made it "hug the shore" on soundings; we have galvanized the dead corpses of the Alta's leaders; we have banished the thunder, and the glare, and the gorgeous whisky-blossoms from the Flag's ditto; we have subjugated Fitz Smythe; we have stayed the Mercury's bloody French atrocities; we have hushed the sweet prattle of the innocent Union! All the papers have left the open plain of extremes and taken to the woods in the middle ground of non-committalism. We have improved the literature of the land to our own undoing. Come back, good friends, come back!
[published in Early Tales & Sketches, Volume 2, 1864-1865,
University of California Press, 1981, p. 504.]
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