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It is not our intention to investigate those principles of composition by which the use of the word ! Him” in the criticised phrase, is perfectly justifiable in the place in which it appears. These Critics, unfortunately, are Writers too, and consequently not to be trusted with the knowledgt even of the true use of metaphor. In their zeal, for instance, to criticise, they accuse the Author of the Letter to Mr. Fox, of mistaking a COFFIN for a CORPSE, and in their attempt to prove it, they have themselves soost whimsically mistaken the Dead for the LIVING! Critics of this stamp, could not for the life of them write atoui lund without thinking of a ja, and it naturally occurred to them, that the subject of their joke ought to be brains ; but as by this time the misty vapours of the Goddess had begun to gather thick around them, they forgot that their whole Note was to explain an uintelligible line of their own composition, viz.
« And loads his blunderbuss with Bad-D's brains."
Now, if that elegant instrument of Ministerial Poetry, the Blunderbuss, was loaded with any brains, it could only have been with those of the el RUSSELLS. But we have done. Perhaps in due time we shall have a CT of Verses to explain their Note.”
With regard to the title of the work « The Rapid Increase, &c.” as the Author, if not a Member of the House of Commons, is in all probability a pretty constant attendant in the Gallery, he will know what we mean, when we desire to “ postpone the Preamble.”
We come then to the body of the Essay. – The first paragraph is almost wholly humorous. The humour indeed is not throughout very lively, but it is playful, gentle, and harn:less.
One thing, however, is to be observed to his credit, that amidst all the fervour of his pleasantry, he does not Jose his prudence. - Not he~ In the former attack, the « ANTI-JACOBIN” was mentioned by name — a cruel inadvertence! - But orders are come from Head-Quarters at DEBRETT's, to mention it no more — And so now, it is " a Ministerial Print" -- A Ministerial Print only - not a word of “ ANTI-Jacobin." -“ WHEN PRU
« DENCE AND WIT UNITE,” says Lord VerULAM, « A MAN MAY TRAVEL TO MoscovY ON A FOOL's « ERRAND, AND RETURN NEVER THE WISER.”
Our Author proceeds " We select a Specimen, by way of AMENDE HONORABLE to the Writers, and to prove to the Public how really we are to acknowledge our error.” — What «error?” “ AMENDE HONORABLE" for what? - By our Author's leave, we suspect a small mixture of fiction with his humour in this passage. If he means any thing, he must mean that he, the writer of this comment, is also the author of the original “ EPISTLE TO THE EDITORS OF THE ANTI-JACOBIN,” which, though we at first suspected him of it, we have since had good reason given us for not believing.
We now come to the real “ gist and force” of the argument. And this, as the author of the Letter to Mr. Fox observes (in strict quotation of Mr. Burke), this is “high matter.” We pass over the whole of “ Lord KEPPEL's name, and Lord K.'s principles,” because they are nothing to this purpose, nor to any other purpose that we know. The “criticised phrase” our author quotes correctly. He states correctly, what we have said respecting the mistake, the ludicrous mistake which it contains - But he goes on to state, a little incorrectly, the passage in Mr. Burke's Writings to which we referred for the detection of the blunder. He states thus — “The « truth is, that in the total of that splendid, but most « unjustly applied Passage, Mr. BURKE uses the phrase “ of ( UNPLUMBING THE DEAD FOR Bullets to “ ASSASSINATE THE LIVING” — not as immediate « matter of fact (as these blunt Critics toll us) but as " matter of allusion to an attack made upon him (as he
“ construed it) by the Duke of B. and Lord L. so soon “ after his son's death.”
(We say nothing of the “ total of a passage” of an “ immediate matter of fact," nor of “ construing an « attack" — expressions which would alone have made the fortune of any moderate writer.)
But “the truth is" not so. « The truth is ” as we stated it. We now quote the passage verbatim from the Publication of Mr. BURKE. « They (the French) have « so determined a hatred to all privileged orders, that « they deny even to the departed, the sad immunities of " the tomb. They are not wholly without an object. « Their turpitude purveys to their malice; and they UN« PLUMB THE DEAD FOR BULLETS TO ASSASSINATE « THE LIVING." Henceforth, let this Apologist remember, that truth is better even than fancy and fine writing. -- Let him remember the words of a Moral Poet of the last century 6 Tell truth-and nought but truth--and tell the whole : “ Beneath the burning Sun or frozen Pole, « Truth is most safe-tho' Fancy is most clever . ~ Mendacious turpitudes avoid for ever.”
And now let it be judged by any man of common sense, whether these Bullets are to be made from the “DEAD" themselves, or from the LEADEN COFFINS of which they are stripped, or “ UNPLUMBED.” If of the former (the DEAD) we have blundered, and Mr. Robert AD-R and his eloquent defender are right; Mr. AD-R, in « HewING” a B-DF-RD “INTO BULLETS” -- his defender in thinking it perfectly natural and usual to do so. If the latter (the COFFINS) are the materials from which the Bullets are to made, then does the Author of the Letter
to Mr. Fox stand convicted of the blunder upon which we animadverted - that of having mistaken a COFFIN for a Corpse.
Hear, however, how the Apologist defends this mode of expression! It is truly diverting " it is not our inten« tion,” says this sententious Writer, “ to investigate « those principles of composition by which the use of the « word him in the criticised phrase, is perfectly justifi« able IN THE PLACE IN WHICH IT APPEARS.
Was ever Dignity equal to this? The whole Essay is written with no other view than to defend the “ criticised phrase,” and to throw the absurdity of the mistake upon the Critic, instead of the Author. For this purpose alone, are all the powers of the Writer exerted through the preceding Sentences, to awaken and enliven the ata tention of his Readers. -- And then, after having led us this dance, “ through fire and through flame, through « ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire,” — when we think at length that we are landed—what do we find?
-why truly, that our Conductor means to leave us where he found us It is not his “ intention to investigate."
But he has a reason for this, no doubt - aye, and a sound one. « These Critics (it seems) unfortunately are « Writers too, and consequently not to be trusted with u the knowledge even of the true use of Metaphor.”
cs Why this is the best fooling of all." - If we do not know the use of Metaphor, we have shown him that we know how to detect a Blunder ; and till he can give us some better proof to the contrary, than his not choosing to “ investigate,” we shall continue to think, and so in all probability will our Readers, that the s criticised phrase,” in “ THE PLACE IN WHICH IT APPEARS,” is downright nonsense ; and that there would have been
more grace shown in acknowledging the error, than there. is of ability in the endeavour' to maintain it.
We have not many words more to say — Our Author returns to his pleasantry, and « retorts,” the accusation upon us. He says,. that in proving his mistake of a COFFIN for a CORPSE, we ourselves mistook“ the DEAD for the LIVING.” - How so? - Why, we talk of “ B-DF-RD's BRAINS” – We beg pardon if we give offence ; but in truth we never did mean to impute these BRAINS to any living persons of that name. Our expression is “ the HEAD of the RussELLS.”—We intend by that expression, the person whom our Author meant to point out as a bullet mould — “ the old Russell”the RUSSELL who obtained such unconscionable grants from HENRY VIII. — the first BEDFORD - the Head, in short (as we styled him) of the Family. Does the Writer suppose that no Russell ever had a Head before? - or that the Head of the present Proprietor is so much more of a HEAD than any former one, that it alone can be alluded to ?
But “ Critics of” our « stamp" (we are told) “ could « not for the life of them write about LEAD, without “ thinking of a Joke; and it naturally occurred to them, « that the subject of their Yoke ought to be BRAINS." ;
It would be difficult, if we had not seen how far blundering can go, to imagine that this argument was penned in sober earnest. Our Verse required a Note to ExPLAIN it. -- Good. --The Note therefore was obviously written after the Verse. But then, says our ingenious Friend, there is in the Note mention made of LEAD, “ and that, to such Critics, naturally suggested the men. « tion of Brains in the Verse.” How can this be? – The Verse was written first; and produced the Note : but