« PreviousContinue »
from a desire that there might be a fair have been used to send them to the news. review. My wishes and my feelings zug. papers, for five or six years togeiher. So gested to me, that there ought to be at ibat an advertisement inay laiteriy have gona least one bonest review in the country. A into a newspaper with the same paragtas la number of gentlemen at Oxford, United in it, of the commendation ci the reviewer their labours to write for it; and it was a long time aner I had deitrmined to disa printed there, under their direction, and consiune that practice. published by me in London. It had no Q. You know of the Annual Reriew, and scurrility in it whatever ; bat i mund that there is the Monibiy Review -A. Yes. a review which had no personal abuse, Q And there is the Eclectic Review, and wouid not succeed, and therefore I discon- the Critical deview? Yes. tinued its publication.
Q Now, I ask you, there being this Q. That was your feeling, and such your nuber of reviews, have you never lookee reasoning ?-A Yes
into any of ihen to see if sir John Cart Lord Ellenborough --- That is, you are work was reviewed by them. I do na now slandering all publi.hers but yourselt. recollect to have done so, within the las That is calling all other reviewers slanderers. twelve monghs. I wish you would attend to the advice of
whetber you have not lookeothers, whose prudence you seem to want. into them concerning “ The Stranger i
Sir Richard Phillips.-My lord, I know Ireland ""--A. I do not recollect to have see a great deal at-sut reviewers !
The Stranger in Ireland," noticed i. Allorney General. - Q
Q Ferhaps you more than one review. I have seen it, i never, in advertising a book of your own, some review; I do not recoilect which i annexed to it any commendation of reviewers ?-A. I have not done so for many years, Q. What was the character given of iti I was in the habit of doing it formerly, but that review ?--A. I think, in the review I have not done it for many years. I be- which I saw it, it had a very good characte came ashamed of the practice, and I left it Attorney General. --- Now, sir Richar
Phillips, I will ask you another question Attorney General.—That is, you grew up have you not yourself assigned as a reaso into virtue, as they fell into vice.
for not publishing this work of sir Job Lord Ellenborough.- This is saying that Carr's, which you have seen in manuscrip every publisher is dishonourable but your- “ The Tour in Scotland,” ". That sir Jor self. Pray do not arrogate to yourself all Carr was worn out?"-A. I never us the virtue in the publication of books. Are the phrase. you aware of the effect of your testimony? Q. Nor any thing like it?
-A. No, You have, just this instant, told us, that you any thing like it. have been doing that of which you are Q. You never bave assigned that as azlıamed. And that you discontinued it, reason for not publishing that work? No because you were ashamed of it. Answer any otber reason except that of this publica the questions plainly without these com- tion, called My Pocket Book," and thes ments.
imputations cast upon the genius of the a Sir Richard Phillips.--My lord, I hare thor ? --A. I bave been asked by bookse! endeavoured to do so. I have said that I lers, questions which they had no busine
to ask me, about sir John Carr's work with the characters of reviewers annexed to and conceiving such questions to be imperti them. It was the ordinary practice of the nent, I have said to such booksellers, "the trade. I have said, that I discontinued it, my public engagements would prevent me and I did so. And I have said that I left from embarking in such publications, and it off because I was ashamed of it, and I have given that answer in tenderness to si
John Carr.” Attorney General.-Q. At what time did Q. Have you read “ The Tour throug! you change your system. Will you swear, Scotland ? "---A. I have looked into it, bu that within these last six years, you
have not read it through. not published a book annexing to its adver- Q. It is finished ?-A. It is. tisement, the commendation of reviewers ? One of the Jury. Q. I think, Sir Rich -A. Yes, I have no doubt I bave. It ard, you told the booksellers that your pub may have happened within these two or lic engagements would prevent you frog three years, perhaps, but this has arisen embarking in such publications, and that from accident. We keep our old adver- you gave that answer out of tenderness to tisements standing in the form in which we sir John Carr. Pray what was that tender
formerly published advertisements of books to
ness ? - A. Because I would not have it an- five different reviews, the object of which derstood that any work of that kind, (mean- is, to treat of the merits or the demerits of ing such works as “ My Pocket Book ") different publications as they appear in the had had an effect, which appeared to me world, and that they must rise or fall, ina to be so prejudicial to his character.
great measure at least-that is, fail of sucAttorney-General.-I will deal candidly cess, or succeed with the public, according with you, Sir Richard.
The person to
to the impression produced by these periowhoin I alluded, when I asked you whether dical publications. This must be the case you had not said, “ Sir John Carr was worn
The Stranger in Irela:.d," as well out," is a Mr. Murray.
Now I ask you,
as any other work. And sir Richard Phildid you not say so to bim ?-A. No, I did lips being interested in pocket, as to the not, that I recollect.
credit of ihat work with the public, ielis Q. Will you take upon yourself to say, you, that he never looked into any one of upon your oath, that, to Mr. Murray, you did these reviews. He felt that, as soon as he
" that sir John Carr was worn said it, to be a strange thing to be said by a out?"-A. I could not say such a thing. bookseller. For a man wbi derives emolu
P. Do you swear positively, that you did ment from the credit of authors--who eats rot say that
" Sir John Carr was worn and drinks their labour- lives upon it. He jout ?"-A. I certainly do say, that I did not felt himself bound to account fur tiis strange
expression.-He does account fir it-'I Attorney-General.-May it please your never mix myself,” says te, “with anonylordship : gentlemen of the jury,-) could, mous scurrilous publications." That is, ia certainly, make many observations on the substance, “ this, my love of virtue, prevery many ridiculous passages which are to vents me from opening publications of That be found in the works of sir John Carr, kind. They are productions so much beand which fully justify the ridicule of this neath me, that I despise them. The purity book, of which he complains. But I of my mind might be corrupted by perusing abstain; the case is so rich with ridicule them." Have you read the Edinburgh prilbont it, that it would be bad taste to Review ?" I have formerly, but I do not take that course. There is so much in the
I have two objections to them, that dramatis personæ, that it renders every they are anonymous,
and that they are i thing in the way of ridicule superfluous. - scurrilous ;” and yet he admits, that himPirst we have sir Richard Phillips, who has self
was publister of
“ Anecdotes of given us evidence of his being either one of Public Characters in this Country," and, the greatest fools that ever lived under the « Anecdo:es of the Founders of the French sun, or that he is not to be credited on his Republic." He is the publisher himself of oath. I say it appears from his own testi- these two works, and they are both anonymony, either that he has given us false mous -- but he startles at the bare mention esidence, or that he is the greatest fool that of scurrility. “ The anecdotes are facts ever walked upon the face of the earth- a simple narrative of facts.” Did these without a guide.
facis, Sir Richard, happen to fall within ? Lord Eilenborough interposing. -- Weak- your own knowledge ? - Answer me that est, perhaps weakest.
plain question.-“ No, no, no ; facts, as Attorney-General.-The
The authors of the works stated to me." that ever walked upon the face of the earth That is what sir Richard Phillips calls a without a keeper.- Erasmus would have narrative of facts ! --so much for sir Richard given any thing for him when he wrote his Phillips's narrative of facts, and so much Encomion Moria-or Pope, when he wrote for his abhorrence of scurrility. Now for his Danciad. If the author of the Dunciad his abhorrence of anonymous publications were now living, he would have changed -I feel, he says, and so he ought to feel his hero.-If we were living in the days of “So we all ought to feel--" an abhorrence Pope we should have a new edition of the of anonymous scurrility," and yet be pubDunciad after this scene. Sir Richard Phil. lishes two books which are anonymous lips tells us, that he is publisher of three of whether they contain any thing that is these voluminous works, which have been scurrilous, we will not here stop to inquire. exbibited to you as the productions of sir But we now come to the Reviews : be holds John Carr. He has told you, that he had them in great abhorrence : I suppose some given large sums of money for them. That of his publications have been roughly handhe was about to open a negociation with sir led by them. But who was the publisher John Carr, for the purchase of another of the Oxford Review ? - Himself, and work, and he tells you, there are I think here he elevated bimself above all oiher
booksellers ; for, says he, “I published , He has arrogated to himself all the honour in the Oxford Review, that there might be the kingdom, as far as it regards the publica. one honest review' in the kingdom," consig1- tioa of books, and reviews of books. Wha: ing all others, Dr. Aikin's and the rest, 10 standard shall I take to judge of the ignominy--placing himself upon a pedestal, priety or impropriety of this publication, looking down on others and degrading them called "
My Pocket Book ;-as containing altogether-a condition in which he is not just or unjust criticism on the work of Sir intitled to place himself. Now, gentlemen, John Carr, called " The Stranger in Treis sir Richard Phillips that pure, immaculate "land?" I will appeal to my Lord Mountcharacter which he states himself to be ? norris, who has a high personal respect for I put it to you, thus-do you believe he the author of the book, called “ The Strana swears truly when he swears, that be be- ger in Ireland," and partial towards the came the publisher of the Oxford Review, subject of it. The truth is, that Sit John merely for the purpose of giving to the pub- Carr went to Ireland well recommended lic one honest review in this kingcloin ? Do He received there the honour of knightyou believe that he swears truly when he hood-and knighthood, fine clothes and swears that ?-Gentlemen, I told you that genteel manners, are an introduction inte sir Richard Phillips was either a witness who genteel circles, and gain a high name for had tript in his evidence, or else, that he is while, to an author, and may be a shorts a man the most infirm in judgment that substitute for genius, to a person why ever walked on the face of the earth without chooses to figure as an author. He though a keeper. He states to you, that he would his name would uphold his book, but 18-1 have given the same sum for the work of will never do long, unless the book can up sir John Carr now in manuscript that he gave
hold his name.
Sir John Carr thought this for the others, had it not been for the pub. bis book would pass on account of lication of this book called " My Pocket
And it very nearly had. My la “ Book,” He tells you, there are five Re- Mouninorris had very nearly got biinsed views, in all of which, he knows, as well into the scrape of buying this book of ra as any body, that this work must be handled John Carr's cailed “The Stranger in I as others are, but so little does he read re- “ land." He would have done so, b views or anonymous criticisms, that he from the circonstance of his having se hardly looks at them, and he hardly looked tbis book, called “My Pocket Book." Al at this work, calicd “My Pocket Book," here I thiek my Lord Mountnorris has som and yet he tells you in the same breath, that reason to complain of his friend Sir Jd ist ju consequence of these petly comments, Carr, and of those who gave him that
na as he calls them, of this book, “ My Pock- Not that I mean to insinuate that Sir JG For et Book," he declined to buy the other Carr is unworthy of the honour of knig work of his favourite author sir Joho Carr. hood; I am speaking of himn merely as But for this scurrilous little work, he would author, and in that view, knighthood at have given sir John Carr £700 for the work someti:ncs have the effect of a false tik :/. which he now has in manuscript. Now, I “ Cum pulchris tunicis sumel nova cons do say, either that is not true, or sir Rich. “ct spes." But what effect has this bar 15 ard Phillips is the weakest aud the most called My Pocket Book," had on absurd creature that ever crept on the face public mind? Why, my Lord Mountionof the earth. I could not conceive, had I who has a personal respect for Sir Jobna not seen it, ibat a man could have made a
shall answer that question. He said figure so foolish. I cannot conceive, that understanding Sir John Carr to have spoke a man should so act against his interest, as handsomely of Ireland, and feeling an knowing there were these reviews and pub.terest in that subject, he was disposed lications, and knowing how the next book buy the book ; but he read this criticist of sir John Carr might at least be handled, and having read it, he read the book whi and yet would have given £000 in the first the subject of it. He then cop instance for this manuscript of sir John pared them with each other--what was Carr's, if it had not been for this little book, effect of his doing so?. Why, that
My Pocket Book," which sir Richard would not buy the book. Why did he Phillips tells you, at the same time, is a buy the book? Because it had been so s contemptible little work, and which, if that | cessfully ridiculed. How came it to be be true, could have had little, if any effect successfully ridiculed? Perhaps you upon the public inind. I have been led into
guess. My Lord Mountcrris bad like this mode of reasoning from the ground which have reposed too much confidence in tl sir Richard Phillips bas thought it to take. name of the author. But having leck!
the book which gave an account of it, and and the sooner it is sent into the shades the then having compared them with one ano- better. The public are ind-bted to the critic ther, that is, he compared the book of Sir who so disposes of it; tor the public have John Carr with the manner in which it had an interest in the discouragement of bad been turned into ridicule, he said to himself books, almost as much as in ihe encourage
" This work of my friend Sir John Carr ment of good ones. It has another good " will not do for me-I will not buy it.” | effect -- It shews tliose wlio have not, viberThis is putting things to the rest—this is wise, means of discovering the true characexactly the use of criticism, which is pre
ter of a book, how to save their money. renting those who have not seen, from buy- Such is the effect of genuine criticism, and ing bad books. This is a pr of that in the a very valuable thing it is to the public I judgment of my Lord Mountnorris, a man have my learned friend's concession, that of eruditiou a friend to the author too, and fair and manly criticisin, even
do not partial to his subject--thinks the book, after agreein opinion with the critic, is Dot to be in attentive perasal of it, not worth buying. complained of. I think my Lord MountMy Lord Mountnorris did not content him- norris has proved this to be of that character. eli with reading this criticism, but he read - Gentlemen, I will delain you no longer ; he book itself, and after perusing both, he I am quite satisfied that you will be of bund the book of Sir John Carr so ridicu. opinion, that this book, although severe,
wirk that he would not buy it, was published in the spirit of fair criticism, por he did not choose to be laughed and, of course, that your verdict will be for t by those who might see it in his li. the defendants. rary, — I do not complain of those who Lord Ellenborough.-Gentlemen of the prchase books without having read them, jury; this is an action brought by sir John I hearing something of their character froun Carr against these two defendants, bookseljien of judgment; but those who, like my lers of the names of Hood and Sharpe, íor word Mountnorris, take the precaution to having published, what he contends to be erase a book before they buy it, are, I a work intending to turn him into ridicule; hink, a great deal more prudent. My and he alledges in his declaration, that he has bord Mountnorris has shewn us the utility suffered special damages on account of this criticism ; and I think he has shewn us book; that le, being about to sell another justness of the criticism here complained work to sir Richard Phillips, that book eller , -Gentlemen, I think this case a great declined to purchase that work; on which letal too clear to require any further obser- account he could not sell it, whereby he lost rations. I confess I had brought my mind the considerable advantage which las bern P to saying a good deal on the subject of stated to you.- Vow, gentlemen, before we kit John Carr's literary labours. I had been advance to lhe work itseit, let us look at the dmost tempied to do so ; but I think it bas principle of this species of action. Every come unnecessary after the evidence you person who wriles any book, and publishes jave heard. I might have compared the it, of whatever description it may be, cointorks of Sir John Carr with authors of an- mits it to the public; any person may coiniaity whese works have been treated with ment upon it, upon its principle, upon its idicule. There was Socrates, and Aristo. tendency, or upon its style-may answer, Lanes criticised him; but his doctrines were and expose to ridicule iis character, if it be lo : the less published on
that account. ridiculous--and may do the same ihing with Why? Because the ridicule did not affect his the author, as far as he is embodied in the fame. It is because works we ridiculous, work. Now this publication of the Travels kat ridicule affects them. Whoever sends of Sir John Carr, makes " a description of into the world a bouk, gives to the public a the place where he is," a principal part of fight of dealing with the contenu of that the work. He is taking his departure from bu vk as the contenis deserve. If the book be Dublin; and he speaks of himself in a man. a work of genuine merit, no attack upon it, ner that connects bimself will the work. however, violent, or however ingenious, will The book published by the defendants takes do it any permanent injury. If, on the other notice of this part of the plain it's work, hand, it be a work which hans for its support, and it is exhibited in the print, and it refers diothing but knighthood-a large margin- to parts of sir John Carr's book wherein exhu-press-gilt leaves morocco and binding, it pressions are used similar to those used in the really never can stand the test of criticism, present publication. It is contended that
Supplement to No. 12, Vol. XIV.-Price 10.1.
this work of the defendants should not be Why then, let us suppose that the plaintiff in suffered, because it ridicules, immoderately, this action has lost the benefit of selling his the works of the plaintiff. Why, gentle. Scotch Tour, now in manuscript, to sir Rich. men, if the thing itself be ridiculous-ifard Phillips; if he has lost it, by fair eilithe principle of it be badmor, though the cisin upon his forrner works, which criticisms principle be upobjectionable, if the work have rendered his writings ridiculous, be itself be ill digested-bad composition-writ- must abide by such loss, it being his fate to ten with bad taste, or otherwise defective, sustain it by fair crilicism. This I take to be so as to deserve the character of a “ bad law. If it were otherwise,' I do not know book,"– it is doing great service to the pub- where we are lo stop. No man will be at lilic to write it down; such works cannot be berty to expose the works of another, box. too soon exposed--the sooner they disappear ever ridiculous. I think we ought to resist a the better. I speak this without prejudice complaint, against fair and liberal criticism, to the work of sir John Carr, for I have not at the threshold; I think it is our policy, in read a word of it. It may be, for aught I every view of the thing. I do not know any know, excellent. It would be unfair in me thing that more threatens the liberty of the to censure what I have not read, like the press, in the times in which we live, than sheriff-God forbid I should do so; the giving too much encouragement to this spe. books of this gentleman may be very valu- cies of action. But do not let me be misun. able works. But this I say :-wiratever cha- derstood; for I do not mean to say, that if racter his works merit, others have a right to there was any thing in the book, published pass their judgement upon them, and to cen- by the defendants, of a libellous tendedcv, sure them, if they be censurable, and to wholly foreign to the work, or unconsecte tury them into ridicule, if they be ridiculous. with the author of it, as embodied in the If there were no such right, we should have work; if there was any thing in it, tending no security for the exposition of error; bad to render him ridiculous, unconnected wita systems of philosophy would not be written the work, the action is maintainable. Na. down, as that of Des Cartes was by Newton; ther
you nor I have appeared before the world and bad systems of government would not in the character of an author, at least I hare be written dowii, as ihat of sir Robert Fil- not ; but, if I had, I should not think mer's was by Locke. After Mr. Locke had myself entitled to maintain an action against published his work upon government, against any body else, who ridiculed my work, and chat of sir Robert Filmer, I dare say this proved it to be ridiculnus. If any person sheriff, sir Riclsard Phillips, would not have chooses to exhibit a picture, which was itgiven a shilling for the book of sir Robert self ridiculous, another cannot be liable 10 Filiner, if it were a publication of the pre- an action, for pointing out wherein it is risent time. What then? Could any body diculous. If another chooses in his work to maintain an action against Mr. Locke for liis draw a picture of himself, to place himself publication, for writing down the faine of in a given situation, another person has a sir Robert Filmer? Certainly not. Mr. | right to finish that picture by exposing it to Locke did great service to the public by writ- ridicule, if it be ridiculous ; and by criti. ing down that work; and, indeed, any per- | cising upon the words which the author bas son does a service to the public, who writes made use of. If, therefore, you think this down any vapid or useless publication, such is a criticism of the work of this author, and His never ought to bave appeared. It pre- of the author himself, as far as he is convents the dissemination of bad taste, by the nected with the work only, and not written perusal of trash; and prevents people from by way of calumny upon him as an indivi. wasting both their time and money. I
say dual ; I am of opinion that this action is not this, however, as applicable to fair and maintainable. But if you are of opinion, candid criticism, which every person has a that this work is written against this author, right to publish, although the author may as a man, and unconnected with bis work, safter a loss from it. It is a loss, indeed, lo then, my opinion is, that the action is main. the author ; but is what we in the law call tainable. We do not find, that there is any Damnum absque injurili; a loss which the charge here on account of the work being law does not consider as an injury, because it anonymous. In a word, if you are satisfied, is a loss which he ought to sustain. It is, in that this criticism iš levelled at the plaintiff's short, the loss of fume and profits, to which work, and at the plaintiff himself, only as he was never entitled; and the person who he is connected with, and enibodied in,
the occasions that loss, by fair criticism, is not work, I am of opinion that he njust take guilty of that species of conduct which sub
the consequences of it; and, indeed it does jects him to an action. 10:4 coil vi justice. not appear to have done any material injury,