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time says, 'Good English', page 135;—" Mr. “Moon's book is a masterpiece both in its extreme “accuracy of style, and in its criticism ; and any
one, after reading it, can see how well deserved is the "commendation it has received”; and at an other time says, that it is “a not very accurately written - book” ?
The readers of these criticisms will, I think, be inclined to smile, not less at this change in Mr. Gould's opinion, than at his apology for it.
In reference to this somewhat suspicious change, and by way of explaining it, Mr. Gould says, of 'The Dean's English';
“It received the almost universal commendation of the
“ British press. The British journals and peri
odicals not only spoke in high terms of Mr. Moon's powers as a critic, but also of his style
a writer of English. Indeed, I do not “remember to have seen a single exception to “the style of 'The Dean's English'in any of the “ British or American notices of the book; and I “the more incantiously allowed myself to praise “its style in my book, under the misleading of "such general approval by the critics—of whom,
among others, are · The Westminster' and "London] Quarterly Reviews'."
I am happy in the belief that the critics, both English and American, will not feel hurt by this
charge of their having misled the public. They well understand that, from some men, censure is more complimentary than praise. Mr. Gould is, certainly, a very fit person to sit in judgment upon the critics! He never examined any work “superficially"; and, therefore, he never praised where he should have censured, nor did he ever censure where he should have praised. All that he has done, has been thorough; consequently, his opinion has at all times been decisive and indisputable !
But let us examine the composition of the passage which I have quoted. Mr. Gould says; “ The British journals and periodicals ”. reference to periodicals, Mr. Gould objects, in • Good English', page 82, to the application of the word “journal”, to any other than a daily paper; because, as he justly remarks, the derivation of the word limits the meaning to that. A "journal”, then, is a publication issued daily; and, of course, a “periodical” is a publication issued periodically. But“ daily” is periodically; therefore a “ journal" is a "periodical”; yet Mr. Gould says;—"journals and periodicals”! How are we to account for this? How will he account for it? Will he again plead “carelessness”?
To continue, Mr. Gould says;="The British journals and periodicals not only spoke in high só terms of Mr. Moon's powers as a critic, but “ also of his style as a writer of English”. A schoolboy could tell Mr. Gould that the relative parts of a sentence should agree with each other; and that there must be something wrong in the construction when the words, “not only", are
” followed by a verb, while the corresponding words, “ but also”, are followed by a preposition : e.g. Mr. Gould says that the periodicals “not
only spoke", etc.,“ but also of”. He cannot justify his adoption of this form of expression; nor can he plead ignorance as an excuse for the error; for I have repeatedly pointed it out to him; and he, himself, has censured Dean Alford
l and others for committing it. Thus, I read in
. Good English', page 100;—“Another blunder, of which the instances are innumerable, is the
misplacing of the word 'only'. Indeed, this is “so common, so absolutely universal, [!] one may “almost say that 'only' cannot be found in its
proper place in any book within the whole "range of English literature ... The error " “consists in placing 'only' before the verb, “instead of after it; the grammatical effect of
“ which is, to make 'only' apply to the verb, “instead of sto] what follows the verb”. On Mr. Gould's own showing, then, his sentence is incorrect. It ought to have been ;-“The “British journals and other periodicals spoke in “high terms, not only of Mr. Moon's powers as a “ critic, but also of his style as a writer of
English ”. Superficialness and carelessness again, I suppose ?
Ι There are other errors in this paragraph respecting. The Dean's English'. Mr. Gould says;“and I the more incautiously allowed myself to
praise its style in my book, under the mislead“ing of such general approval by the critics-of "whom, among others, are · The Westminster' “and Quarterly Reviews'. I did not know that “critics" are “Reviews"; I thought them
· to be reviewers. Again ;—"the critics—of whom, "among others, are", etc. Mr. Gould expressed a hope that I would " keep quiet on tautology”; the reason is obvious.
After testifying to the favourable opinion entertained of 'The Dean's English', Mr. Gould says, in the next sentence;
If however, the style of the book in question is
“ nevertheless”, etc.
“If however, nevertheless”! I wonder whether this comes up to Mr. Gould's idea of tautology ; and whether, if it does, he will again plead “ carelessness”, as his excuse for it. He seems to consider that to be a sufficient apology for any error; but, yet, still, however, nevertheless, notwithstanding, he ought to know that “ carelessness” is scarcely less injurious to a man's character as a professor of literature, than is absolute ignorance itself.
As an additional evidence of Mr. Gould's “carelessness” and “very superficial” reading I bring forward his assertion that, of a certain kind of error,
“Mr. Moon can find but seven (instances] in Dean
“ Alford's book”—“in the Dean's whole book”.
Yet Mr. Gould must have read, on page xii of my preface to the edition of 'The Dean's English from which he quotes, that,—“I did not extend
my criticisms to his The Dean's] recently pub“ lished volume, The Queen's English'.” My criticisms are on the Dean's essays in Good • Words'. So much for Mr. Gould's “ careful" examination of The Dean's English'.
The following are some of the errors which he