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not only by the nature of a fight which could be made only on one side, but also by considerations of generosity and good taste, to the necessity of conducting something which, by contrast with his previous achievements, and with those which follow, is very like a dissection. His
subject” lies before him, mute and lifeless, and the operator's task is simply to pick him to pieces, exhibit the parts, and ask, like Artemus Ward, “Why is this thus?”
Yet, if less attractive as a spectacle, the operation is none the less instructive. The discovery that in the writing of English even Lindley Murray was not impeccant, is enough to set most of us asking, “ Who then is correct?” Indeed, since Mr. Moon's first assault upon
the Dean of Canterbury, we have learned to doubt whether it is a possible thing for an ordinary mortal, except by the most minute care and reiterated revisions, to write a dozen pages which a sufficiently resolute verbal critic could not tear to rags and tatters. Mr. Moon probably attains the extremest point of invulnerability. The elegance and accuracy of his style are so extraordinary as to be almost unique.
THE NEW YORK EVENING Post. Mr. Moon's new book is a storehouse of those minute
a criticisms upon composition and upon the use of words for which the writer of it is already famous. His patience in hunting out errors, however trifling; the full and clear exposition he makes of them, and of the method of correcting them; the unsurpassed accuracy of his own style, and his severity towards all opponents, are the prominent features of this work, as they are those of “The Dean's English.”
The careful perusal of the book will be useful as a critical exercise to students of the language. It will warn them against many errors of composition, which are found even in the works of respectable writers; and it will teach them the habit of scrutinizing their own writings closely and severely.
THE WEEKLY REVIEW.
Mr. Washington Moon is now no stranger to the public. He has laid before it two series of literary productions, so diverse from each other in character, that future generations will be tempted to believe there must have been, in the nineteenth century, two authors of the name of Washington Moon, whose works somehow became confounded together. Gaining the reputation of a severe critic by a determined onslaught which he made on a composition of Dean Alford's, he next launched an epic poem, called, "Elijah", containing many a glorious stanza.
The public will hear with interest, not unmixed with awe, that Mr. Moon has come out again as a critic. Each literary man, fearful that his own hour may have arrived, will tremulously inquire, who is the victim this time? -and each will feel his anxiety removed and his risible faculties excited on being told that it is Lindley Murray. The venerable grammarian is convicted of having ilagrantly violated his own rules.
After disposing of Lindley Murray, Mr. Moon turns his attention next to two American gentlemen, the Hon. George P. Marsh, and Mr. Edward S. Gould, and, we think, achieves a victory over both.
The work now under review will fully sustain Mr. Moon's high reputation. Yet we confess that we should like to see the controversial element less prominent in his writings. Lindley Murray we should surrender to him cheerfully; but could he not give us a treatise on English grammar, or on the English language generally, without any effort to enliven its pages by passages at arms with eminent living authors ? Highly estimating his criticisms, we should like to have the benefit of them, without the depressing thought that in one quarter at least they had left a sting behind. We are inclined to infer from a poem of his, which we take the liberty of transcribing, that he is himself wavering as to the propriety of making his very valuable works on the English tongue so controversial.
LOVE v. LAW.
“ Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”—1 Peter iii, 1.
“ I'LL speak no more harsh bitter words,
This life is far too brief
To cause him grief ?
No; rather let me seek to hide
His faults, and win his heart.
And friends thus part.
While gentle words revive the soul
And mend love's broken chain. Yes, those who sighed for friendship flown, Though still too proud their faults to own, Become, through love's sweet gentle tone,
True friends again.
Then let me live in love, and do
To all what good I can;
The heart's the man.”