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Lord Hategood performs the office of counsel for the prisoners as well as Scroggs himself could have performed it.
“JUDGE. Thou runagate, heretic, and traitor, hast thou heard what these honest gentlemen have witnessed against thee?
"FAITHFUL. May I speak a few words in my own defence? "JUDGE. Sirrah, sirrah! thou deservest to live no longer, but to be slain immediately upon the place; yet, that all men may see our gentleness to thee, let us hear what thou, vile runagate, hast to say."
No person who knows the state trials can be at a loss for parallel cases. Indeed, write what Bunyan would, the baseness and cruelty of the lawyers of those times "sinned up to it still," and even went beyond it. The imaginary trial of Faithful, before a jury composed of personified vices, was just and merciful, when compared with the real trial of Alice Lisle before that tribunal where all the vices sat in the person of Jefferies.
The style of Bunyan is delightful to every reader, and invaluable as a study to every person who wishes to obtain a wide command over the English language. The vocabulary is the vocabulary of the common people. There is not an expression, if we except a few technical terms of theology, which would puzzle the rudest peasant. We have observed several pages which do not contain a single word of more than two syllables. Yet no writer has said more exactly what he meant to say. For magnificence, for pathos, for vehement exhortation, for subtle disquisition, for every purpose of the poet, the orator, and the divine, this homely dialect, the dialect of plain working men, was perfectly sufficient. There is no book in our literature on which we would so readily stake the fame of
the old unpolluted English language, no book which shows so well how rich that language is in its own proper wealth, and how little it has been improved by all that it has borrowed.
Cowper said, forty or fifty years ago, that he dared not name John Bunyan in his verse, for fear of moving a sneer. To our refined forefathers, we suppose, Lord Roscommon's Essay on Translated Verse, and the Duke of Buckinghamshire's Essay on Poetry, appeared to be compositions infinitely superior to the allegory of the preaching tinker. We live in better times; and we are not afraid to say, that, though there were many clever men in England during the latter half of the seventeenth century, there were only two minds which possessed the imaginative faculty in a very eminent degree. One of those minds produced the Paradise Lost, the other the Pilgrim's Progress.
SADLER'S REFUTATION REFUTED.1
(Edinburg Review, January 1831.)
WE have, in violation of our usual practice, transcribed Mr. Sadler's title-page from top to bottom, motto and all. The parallel implied between the Essay on the Human Understanding and the Essay on Superfecundity is exquisitely laughable. We can match it, however, with mottoes as ludicrous. We remember to have heard of a dramatic piece, entitled "News from Camperdown," written soon after Lord Duncan's victory, by a man once as much in his own good graces as Mr. Sadler is, and now as much forgotten as Mr. Sadler will soon be, Robert Heron. His piece was brought upon the stage, and damned, "as it is phrased," in the second act; but the author, thinking that it had been unfairly and unjustly "run down," published it, in order to put his critics to shame, with this motto from Swift : "When a true genius appears in the
1 A Refutation of an Article in the Edinburgh Review (No. CII.) entitled, "Sudler's Law of Population, and Disproof of Human Superfecundity; containing also Additional Proofs of the Principle enunciated in that Treatise, founded on the Censuses of different Countries recently published. By MICHAEL THOMAS Sadler, M.P. 8vo. London: 1830.
"Before anything came out against my Essay, I was told I must prepare myself for a storm coming against it, it being resolved by some men that it was necessary that book of mine should, as it is phrased, be run down." -JOHN LOCKE.
world, you may know him by this mark dunces are all in confederacy against him." We remember another anecdote, which may perhaps be acceptable to so zealous a churchman as Mr. Sadler. A certain Antinomian preacher, the oracle of a barn, in a county of which we do not think it proper to mention the name, finding that divinity was not by itself a sufficiently lucrative profession, resolved to combine with it that of dog-stealing. He was, by ill-fortune, detected in several offences of this description, and was in consequence brought before two justices, who, in virtue of the powers given them by an act of parliament, sentenced him to a whipping for each theft. The degrading punishment inflicted on the pastor naturally thinned the flock; and the poor man was in danger of wanting bread. He accordingly put forth a handbill, solemnly protesting his innocence, describing his sufferings, and appealing to the Christian charity of the public; and to his pathetic address he prefixed this most appropriate text: "Thrice was I beaten with rods.
St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians." He did not perceive that, though St. Paul had been scourged, no number of whippings, however severe, will of themselves entitle a man to be considered as an apostle. Mr. Sadler seems to us to have fallen into a somewhat
similar error. He should remember that, though Locke may have been laughed at, so has Sir Claudius Hunter; and that it takes something more than the laughter of all the world to make a Locke.
The body of this pamphlet by no means justifies the parallel so modestly insinuated on the title-page. Yet we must own that, though Mr. Sadler has not risen to the level of Locke, he has done what was almost as difficult, if not as honourable he has fallen below his
He is at best a bad writer. His arrangement is an elaborate confusion. His style has been constructed, with great care, in such a manner as to produce the least possible effect by means of the greatest possible number of words. Aspiring to the exalted character of a Christian philosopher, he can never preserve through a single paragraph either the calmness of a philosopher or the meekness of a Christian. His ill-nature would make a very little wit formidable. But, happily, his efforts to wound resemble those of a juggler's snake. The bags of poison are full, but the fang is wanting. In this foolish pamphlet, all the unpleasant peculiarities of his style and temper are brought out in the strongest manner. He is from the beginning to the end in a paroxysm of rage, and would certainly do us some mischief if he knew how. We will give a single instance for the present. Others will present themselves as we proceed. We laughed at some doggerel verses which he cited, and which we, never having seen them before, suspected to be his own. We are now sure that, if the principle on which Solomon decided a famous case of filiation were correct, there can be no doubt as to the justice of our suspicion. Mr. Sadler, who, whatever elements of the poetical character he may lack, possesses the poetical irritability in an abundance which might have sufficed for Homer himself, resolved to retaliate on the person, who, as he supposed, had reviewed him. He has, accordingly, ransacked some collection of college verses, in the hope of finding, among the performances of his supposed antagonist, something as bad as his own. And we must in fairness admit that he has succeeded pretty well. We must admit that the gentleman in question sometimes put into his exercises, at seventeen,