« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Gould says ;—" That is as thoroughly “ Irish as anything in 'The Queen's English'. If “the passages were struck out how could they be “altered—since striking them out made an end “of them? To be sure, they might have been “altered and afterward stricken out [struck out;] * “but, in that case, how could Mr. Moon know
anything of the alteration ? I would advise “him to alter or strike out his own sentence. The “real state of the case is shown on pages 126"139: twenty passages are 'altered' and eight "are 'struck out'."
No doubt, Mr. Gould wished the readers of "The Round Table' to consider his criticism as very witty. They will, however, probably give it another name when they know that the joke is at the sacrifice of truth ! I do not say;--"The " Dean has altered and struck out not fewer than
eight-and-twenty passages”. My words are ;“ The Dean has altered and struck out, altogether “not fewer than eight-and-twenty passages”.
Why did Mr. Gould omit, from his quotation
*"When the verb has different forms, that form should be adopted which is the most consistent with present and reputable usage in the style employed”. We ought not to say ;– The 'clock hath stricken"".-- Grammar of English Grammars', p. 577.
of my sentence, the one word which proves the
, falseness of his statement?
Why, too, did he speak of me as one "who, so with no uncertain sound', assumes infallibility “for his own English"; when he was well aware that, in Criticism XVIII, I had said ;-"I no “ more lay claim to infallibility than I do to omni“science"?
Moreover, Mr. Gould knew that, in a note courteously censuring him for his discourteous language, the editor of 'The Round Table' had closed the controversy between us, at least as regards the insertion of any more of it in the columns of The Round Table', and that it was only as a special favour that Mr. Gould's request for the insertion of an other letter from him was granted. He ought, therefore, like an honourable man, to have shrunk with especial care from making any statement which bore the semblance of an untruth, seeing that I was debarred the privilege of replying to it.
Honest criticism I value most highly. A witty remark, or a smart repartee, I can always appreciate. But when a writer has recourse to the meanest of all questionable practices in order to give zest to his criticisms and point to his other
wise feeble wit, I tell him plainly, that his criticisms and his witticisms alike are deserving of contempt.
Shall I part thus with my opponent ? No! rather let me, in very charity towards him, do violence even to my own judgment in the matter, and ascribe his misstatements, as well as his errors, to “carelessness” and “very superficial” reading; and tell him that, notwithstanding all, I have derived much amusement from his writings, as well as some instruction,
THE CHURCHMAN. We think Mr. Moon entitled to the gratitude of all lovers of our language in its purity for this exposure of the Dean's English.
THE EDINBURGH REVIEW. Demonstrating that while the Dean undertook to instruct others, he was, himself, but a castaway in matters of grammar.
THE RECORD. Coming out for wool, in fact, the Dean went back shorn; rushing forth to teach, he went home taught. We can cordially recommend Mr. Moon’s volume; it is really an able critique.