I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama,
is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value--certainly
no large value...However, let it go. It is the will of God that we must
have critics, and missionaries, and congressmen, and humorists, and we
must bear the burden.
If a critic should start a religion it would not have any object but
to convert angels, and they wouldn't need it.
One mustn't criticize other people on grounds where he can't stand perpendicular
The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in
somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.
I like criticism, but it must be my way.
Who write the dramatic critiques for the second-rate papers? Why, a parcel
of promoted shoemakers and apprentice apothecaries, who know just as much about
good acting as I do about good farming and no more. Who review the books? People
who never wrote one. Who do up the heavy leaders on finance? Parties who have
had the largest opportunities for knowing nothing about it. Who criticise the
Indian campaigns? Gentlemen who do not know a war-whoop from a wigwam, and who
never have had to run a foot race with a tomahawk, or pluck arrows out of the
several members of their families to build the evening camp-fire with. Who write
the temperance appeals, and clamor about the flowing bowl? Folks who will never
draw another sober breath till they do it in the grave.
- "How I Edited an Agricultural Paper"
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