[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.]
NONE OF THAT
The piratical local items of the little Call has been stealing Fitz Smythe's thunder. He's embellished one of his recent prosaical fact paragraphs with poetical figures, and they have that bewildered and frightened air about them that always distinguishes things when they are caught where they don't belong. No use of your denying it, young man, because here's the plunder that ensures your confusion and conviction. Didn't you go and "lift" this and decorate your item about "Christmas Day with it? "From the moment [he's twaddling about the blessed children] the first ray of light entered their sleeping rooms till the sable shroud of night returned them to bed, they enjoyed their new toys and endeavored to make a noise in the world." "Sable shroud of night" in a little Call item! Go, go, young man; repent and sin no more.
SAD, DISTRESSING, HEART-RENDING!
It is with feelings too mournful for expression that we hear a rumor that our neighbor, the Country Paper, is about to change hands. The current report is that Clayes & Amor, the proprietors of the Stockton Independent, have purchased the Flag, which they are about to run as a high toned, dignified, conservative affair, with Sam Seabough as editor. Dear, dear! what a sad world this is to be sure! How we shall miss the Country Paper and our bosom-friend, the Tripple-Thunderer! We are overwhelmed with grief and consternation. What the deuce shall we do in future for some brisk and breathless little paragraphs with texts for which the Tuolumne organ so lavishly supplied us?
We know of few more striking examples of the success that often crowns an original idea in business than is afforded by the fact that a certain long-headed genius in this city has actually realized eleven hundred dollars by importing from Philadelphia a supply of United States two cent pieces, which he sells for a dime. These pieces are freely purchased as curiosities; for in California who cares for a short bit? The young man who conceived this idea, and has so successfully carried it out, is unquestionably a Yankee.
The HON. HORACE HAWES, an able man, and a lawyer of thorough professional learning and large experience, has introduced into the Legislature a bill designed to reform and reorganize the Justices' Courts of this city. Heaven knows there is abundant room for reform in those courts; and though we have as yet had no time to give that careful examination to MR. HAWES' bill that the importance of the subject demands, we know enough of that gentleman's ability, disinterestedness and public spirit to warrant us in assuming that it involves useful and needed improvements upon the existing system. Heretofore the majority of our justices have been neither lawyers nor gentlemen. They have not been humane nor conscientious men. Their aim has been to make as much as possible out of their offices, and to furnish as large an amount of patronage as possible to the dependants, parasites and favorites who are always to be found acting as "hangers on" around our Justices' Courts. They have also been invested with larger powers than such men are fit to wield. Their constables, with some honorable exceptions, have been coarse, rude men, who have used the official power with which they were invested in an arbitrary, harsh, and often an absolutely brutal manner. We repeat that there is great need of thorough reform in the organization of these courts. They have to pass upon the rights of comparatively poor and helpless classes. Their decisions are rarely published; and their doings, however reprehensible or reckless, are not often brought before the bar of public opinion. We have said before, and we repeat it, that it is even more important that good and capable men should be chosen as Justices of the Peace than that such men should be elected to the Supreme Bench. The eyes of the community are always upon the latter. Its decisions are recorded in the law reports, published and commented upon in the newspapers; and no gross outrage upon justice in that high tribunal can escape detection and censure. Besides, the parties whose rights are passed upon by the higher courts are generally men of sufficient wealth and influence to make it dangerous to deny them justice. They can make an outcry when they feel themselves wronged. In short, they are in little peril of flagrant injury or oppression. The case is far otherwise with the class of persons who are ordinarily parties to suits in Justices' Courts. They are generally obliged to submit in silence to the decision of the magistrate, however partial or unjust. Hence we are rejoiced to learn that a gentleman of MR. HAWES' knowledge and experience has turned his attention to this subject. We shall carefully examine the provisions of the bill which he has introduced, and take an early opportunity of recurring to the subject.
Oh, cracky, though, but don't the editor of the Sunday Mercury give it to the poor persecuted "Outcroppers" in the last "Day of Rest" issue of that paper! We fear from the expressions of said editor that he is not of a meek and lowly disposition; that he does not live up to the precept of "peace and good will to all men," although he ought to, seeing that he publishes a Sabbath paper. He styles Frank Bret Harte "the pitiful ass who compiled the work," and -- may the Lord forgive him! -- he says that Joe Goodman's slaughter of the Innocents "is both able and just, and a bitter pill for the 'compiler' and some of his favorite bards." It is painfully evident that the Boeotian intellect that squats on the Mercury's tripod holds no affinity with "literary cusses" of the high toned, tinted paper school He never did. He never will.
[transcribed from microfilm]
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