[EDITOR'S NOTE: These items have 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.]
COME DOWN FROM THERE!
Some sentimental squash has restrung a handful of misty maxims that he found laying round loose, and run them in upon one of our docile up-country exchanges. The following is a sample of the batch: -- "If you cannot speak well of an individual, speak not at all." Pshaw! but the absurdity of all maxims of that description is sufficient to prevent their ever being strictly carried out in human practise. If a man prigs your watch, are you going to refrain from denouncing him because it would not be "speaking well of him?" Nary time. Are you going to allow charlatans and imposters of all kinds to cavort around bilking unsuspecting people without saying anything about them, because you can't speak well of them? You are accessory to their swindles if you do. Now if everybody "wanted to be an angel and with the angels stand," such maxims as the above would do to butter parsnips with; but Lord bless you, Mr. Sentimental Squash, you'll have to come down from there, and wait for the coming in of a generation of saints before it will do any good to speak a piece of your mind, if it is composed of that sort of soft stuff. The Devil is abroad on the face of the earth, and he's got to be subjugated, you know, and it's got to be done with pitchforks.
Dogs are known to be very scent-sable animals, but the following which appears in an Eastern journal called the Western Rural (there's a paradox), can't be run in on us, you know. Dogs are "wonderous wise," in their way, but you just put a bell-weather in their way, and see if they don't prove altogether too mutton-headed to refrain from "investing heavily in wool." The editor of the Rural never had much dog experience, otherwise than perhaps his wife's sister once owned a poodle, or else he would never have pitted bells against dogs, put up his sheep, and then bet on bells in this silly way: -- "As dogs that kill sheep know enough to be sly about it, they will not molest sheep that have bells upon them, as the noise of the bells makes them fear for their own safety."
The interior papers are too much in the habit of appropriating articles from the columns of their contemporaries and omitting to give credit. The Santa Cruz Sentinel, we are happy to perceive, offers an honorable exception to this bad rule. It commences a column, on its first page headed "Selected News Items," thus:
If ye cast pearls before swine they will turn again and rend you.
Socrates, at an extreme age, learned to play on musical instruments.
On the second page it apologizes for the omission of credit:
SELECTED NEWS ITEMS. -- See column under this caption, on first page. The first article should have been credited to the San Francisco Examiner. The second to "our contemporary."
Very handsome of you, Mr. Editor of the Sentinel. If you have made a mistake it is on the right side. That first news item is a bit of Beriah Brown's Bible, you know. Alas! it's the last extract you'll ever see. The editor of the Examiner got mad at our exposure of the imposition he was practising on his readers and chucked the Blessed Book -- or what was left of it -- into the fire.
[transcribed from microfilm]
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