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thinks flat and woful, and fitter for the Assemblys Catechism (of which he seems to have no great esteem) than' for so sublime an author as SHAKESPEARE. tend, Sir; to be a master of theatrical pronounciation ; and if I was, I would avoid it in a discourse addressed to an assembly of grave divines, content that I was understood, as I am sure I was, by the General Assembly; but the truth is, I know as little of stage pronounciation as I do of the tone in which a certain modern critic lately delivered an oration against Christianity, to a company of oister women in a gin shop at Musselburgh, for which meritorious performance he was rolled in the kennel by his audience; and very justly, if he quoted scripture ludicroussays
that my manner of reading tragedy was comical : It may be so; but I cannot help thinking that his manner of reasoning is at least equally so, when he infers that, because the passage I quoted was an argument against beheading Claudio, therefore it could not be proper unless the Assembly had been going to behead Mr FinLAY, or to depose him, which is a sort of ecclesiastical decapitation. I know not why this author has thought proper to abuse me
in this illiberal manner, unless it is in resentment of two letters which I published not long ago in the Weekly Magazine, in defence of the work of a friend, unjustly attacked by this author in his first number; though I carefully abstained froin all asperity of language. It may, perhaps, be thought needless to defend ones self against the accusations of an author so incapable of the task he has undertaken, as this Reviewer seems to be. If I had been so captious as he, I might have told the world long ago of his ignorance, in publishing an old fable from Ariostos Orlando Furioso, canto xxix. as the real history and transactions of a Scots Highlander in 1747, which he did in his Magazine for January 1774; or I might just now have wrote you a letter, extolling his skill in chronology, for telling us, in his last number; p. 392. that the name of Physician began to be used in France and Italy about the year 1750. But so great is the malice of this author, that he spares not even his own party. The Reverend Dr M-Cormick had, in the heat of debate, said, that he trembled for the ark of God; and, though no prophet, he would stretch out his arm to save it. A candid critic might easily have discerned, Vol. I.
from the train of the Doctors speech, that he meant to say, and, though no priest, he would stretch out his arm to save the ark. Every body knows that it was the business of the priests to take care of the ark, Josh. iii. 6. No doctor in divinity could be supposed to be ignorant of this ; but we never read that the prophets had any
business with it, except that David, a prophet, once danced before it. But it seems this Reviewer did not know that Eli was no prophet; for he makes Dr M-Cormick say what he did not say, and what he was incapable of saying, that he felt something of the zeal of the ancient prophet, when his heart trembled for the ark of God. If Mr Reviewer had not forgot his catechism, he would surely have known that there was some difference betwixt a prophet and a priest ; and his ignorance of this is but a poor excuse for having chronicled, in his periodical performance, the casual mistake of a reverend gentleman who had never done him any injury. I would advise this author, instead of dully aiming at wit, or abusing innocent people by hypothetical slander, to study the true spelling of the English language, in which he seems remarkably deficient, that we may not read
again, as in his last number, of cirtical notes ' writ by Mr GRÀY, p. 343. drest deari skins
worn by the Americans, p. 347. or of reflection assuming the sensorial dignity, p. 353. not to mention many other blunders that would disgrace the lowest publication in Europe. I know it is alleged by some, that this author, in his account of our church matters, is but the tool of another person, whom he is under the necessity of pleasing ; and it may be thought, that the drubbing merited by the servant, would be more properly bestowed on the master, who sets him on ; but, as I have no legal evidence of the truth of this supposition, I must take the of fice of a Reviewer to be a responsible office, and conduct myself accordingly. If he is indeed a hireling, I must pity him, and shall give him no more disturbance. Let him lie on, and please his master.
I shall take my leave of him in the words of JUNIUS TIBERIANUS, Præfect of Rome, to Flavius VoPISCUS, an ancient Reviewer, Scribe ut libet, securus ; quod velis, dicas, habiturus mendaciorüm comites quos HISTORICE ELOQUENTIÆ miramur auctores. I am, Sir, your constant reader, and humble servant,
CHARLES NISBET. Montrose, July 12. 1775.
MR SNELLIES ANSWER.
Edinburgh Magazine and Review, Vol. iv.
To the Rev. Mr CHARLES NISBET, Minister
of the Gospel at Montrose.
Edinburgh, August 1. 1775. Give me leave to address you on the subject of your publication in the Mercury of the 19th, and Weekly Magazine of the 20th of July last. As the whole of that production is a direct attack against the Edinburgh Magazine and Review, and against a particular gentleman who only contributes occasionally his assistance to that Paper, the Printer, who must necessarily be acquainted with every circumstance relative to it, thinks himself called upon to undeceive the public with regard to many false insinuations you have made. You will pardon me for applying the word false to the composition of a minister of the gospel of truth. It is indeed a series of falsehoods.
But perhaps you are not directly chargeable with an infringement of the laws of truth. You
You may have been misinformed. You may have been instructed by some designing friend ; the spirit of