[EDITOR'S NOTE: This item has not been previously republished elsewhere. It is included in this collection because of its potential to be the work of Clemens and is deserving of further research and consideration. This item represents an ongoing war of words with drama critic "K. V-V. of the California Leader. An earlier item about him appeared in the Chronicle on December 11 and was followed by another on December 13.]
It doesn't necessarily follow that a man is a brute because in an abnormal mental or moral condition he happens occasionally to do a brutal thing. The most tender and philanthropic disposition is liable at times to strange disturbances; and the Saints themselves (if St. Augustine's confessions are to be credited) experience certain frames of mind in which their psychological condition is very much the same as that of the sinners. No, no; it won't do to judge a man by isolated acts, any more than to estimate the value of a mine by "picked specimens." Doubtless it was exceedingly brutal of "K. V-V.," of the Leader, to allude to the Maguire - Macdougall affair in the nasty spirit in which he did, and we are not going to apologize for him. Still, we are not prepared to admit that "K. V-V." is "a perfect brute." Logically (and we are nothing if not logical,) the proposition is a non sequitur.
[transcribed from microfilm]
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