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a book abounding with errors, they are coolly told by the author, that he “ sometimes read the "proof-sheets superficially.” As to the statement that the errors will be corrected in the second edition, what satisfaction is that to those persons who have purchased the first ?
Moreover, Mr. Gould's plea, respecting “a first “edition”, sounds very strange to those who remember that he says, in his preface;
Many of the following hints on philology have
already appeared in print in the form of occa“sional contributions, through a series of years, "to newspapers and periodical publications; [why "• and periodical publications'? Is not a ' news* paper' a periodical publication ?]-chiefly in
The New York Evening Post”.”
The strictures on 'Webster's Orthography' likewise, which form the second part of the work, are a reprint, with modifications, from “The * Democratic Review', whence, we are told, they were copied into several of the daily and weekly papers of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. The last part, a treatise on Clerical Elocution, is likewise a reprint : it appeared in ‘The Boston
Church Monthly' and in 'The New York Chris'tian News'.
Mr. Gould's plea, therefore, that the errors are those of a “first edition”, is not likely to have much weight in influencing any one's judgment in his favour. On the contrary, this defence is weak and impolitic. In it he endeavours to intrench himself in a position which is untenable; and thereby he courts attack under disadvantageous circumstances, and exposes himself to censure for bad generalship.
In my last criticism I commented upon the apologies which Mr. Gould had put forth for certain acknowledged errors in his 'Good English'; which apologies are, that the work is in the first edition, and that he sometimes read the proofsheets superficially. I have now to revert to certain disputed errors which he defends, and to notice the defence itself; and I do this the less reluctantly because one error speciously defended is productive of more evil than would result from a dozen errors which might justly be attributed to inadvertence.
I regret that anything in my criticisms should have given offence to Mr. Gould. I regret that he should have taken offence when no offence was intended. He who assumes the office of public critic, should himself be prepared to submit to the ordeal of public criticism through
which he makes others pass. Mr. Gould while praising in general terms the accuracy of my language in 'The Dean's English', commented upon what he considered to be errors of mine in that book. For his correction, or for any other person's correction, of any real errors of mine, I am, and always shall be, sincerely thankful. I no more lay claim to infallibility than I do to omniscience. I endeavour to impart to others whatever knowledge I have acquired ; and I am always glad to receive instruction in return. The reviewers will find that I freely avail myself of their criticisms, in order to make each successive edition which I issue, more worthy of public esteem than was the previous
In criticising Mr. Gould's work, then, I have but followed the example which he set me-he first criticised mine and I am not conscious of having in any way spoken discourteously of him. His book might be made a valuable contribution to English philology, and one that would be read with advantage by all. But it is not perfect yet; and his defence of the errors which have been pointed out in it is, both in matter and in manner, anything but praiseworthy.
criticisms on his 'Good English', and his replies to those criticisms, he says;
My modest [!] belief is, that he [Mr. Moon] will
“ learn from my criticisms on his essays, more “ than I have learned from his criticisms on my “ book.”
It would be unbecoming in me to contend with Mr. Gould on this delicate point. Indeed, it is quite unnecessary for me to do so. I admit that I have learnt from his criticisms more than it is probable that he has learnt from mine. Let me enumerate my gains from this source :- I have learnt from Mr. Gould's example, that a writer on the proprieties of language may say, of a certain Latin quotation respecting matters of taste, that;
“ The proverb is something musty"! An expression quoted, indeed, from Shakspeare, but one that is not the less inelegant on that account.
I have learnt also that it is not considered inelegant to say of a certain word ;
It smacks of attempted prettiness in style"; and that we may even intensify the expression