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reason ; that zeal for the salvation of souls had led him to show the Savages the way to Heaven; that for the rest my proofs were ridiculous & childish. Having sent him a second letter to Boston, in which I pointed out the blunders in his, he answered me at the end of two years without entering into the matter, that I had a jealous and critical spirit, & that this was the mark of a temperament inclined to anger.
you who ought to believe, and act and walk accord. ing to the word of God which is the perfect rule of doctrine and morals, I will cheerfully reply to your arguments but your messenger says that he will hasten to you to-morrow, and so I have not at this time an opportunity of replying to your long letter.
J. BAXTER. To the Rev. Sebastian Ralé in the town called Norridgewock.
The following translation of this letter will convince the reader that the overcritical priest did not have the best of the argument, as he tries so ostentatiously to make his kinsman believe. Reverend Sir :
You doubtless take delight in fault finding and so find fault with things that do not deserve censure, and in your fault-finding you admit the truth of the charges. For you say “You write English using Latin words.” In these very words, Sir, you contradict yourself; for if any one uses Latin words, although not in a rhetorical manner, he still speaks Latin, not English. Whoever speaks English, uses English words. What if an expression has a decided English ring, it is truly a Latin expression.
You say amicum is a substantive and cannot be an adjective, but you are not correct. It is most certainly used by Latin writers as an adjective in the following: amicus animus; vale, lumen amicum & humor pratis amicus &c.
You say commercium (intercourse) in this sense is a foreign or unpolished word. But who will believe your statement without proof. Ipse dixit has no weight.
Concerning many other things also you say, “they are not Latin but foreign." Your opinion is of no avail. Most certainly such words are used by Latin writers.
You say, “ merere is a solecism; that verb is deponent not active; write mereri,” Learned men, however, say it is given, mereo, merere, as well as mereor, mereri. Merere culpam in the infinitive is a Latin expression and so merere salutem, &c.
You say “mola (mill) is a stone not a building." Learned men, however, say that mola is the building and the stone that is placed in the mill (in mola) is the mill-stone (lapis molares).
You say “domus has in the accusative plural domos not domus," but why has it not both domos and domus?
You also find fault with many other things that are not to be blamed, and if I were to imitate you, I might say“ You a minister! You, a member of the Society of Jesus, and not know these things!” You say that my words are unintelligible. Why, pray, are you ignorant of words often used by Latin writers? But
I prefer to follow the example of Christ who when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when he suffered threatened not, &c. (1 Pet. 2. 23), and I will also give heed to the warning or command in Proverbs 26. 4, "answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou also be like unto him."
It is clearly evident that you find fault with many expressions that ought not to be criticized. that there are errors in my writing which I wrote very hurriedly, viz. : Existimaris virum for vin, movent for movet, &c. In your writings also there are many errors, although you were, as you say, a Professor of Rhetoric and Greek in the city of Nismes. I was never Professor of Rhetoric and yet I see
How many errors then might a critic and a very learned man find in your letters ? Moreover in the letter which you wrote in a most boastful strain, you falsely accused me in saying, “you boast among the men of the forest that you know Latin very well, for I have never spoken a single word to them about Latin, but you were especially boastful in your second letter and yet in that you wrote intelligit et accurate scribit Latina. Even in this expression you do not write Latin accurately, for the accusative case follows the verb scribit. You ought to have written accurate scribit linguam Latinam or accurate scribit Latine. You also wrote ut emendatur in scolis. Scolus is a mountain in Bæotia and a town in Macedonia. You should have written in scholis. You also wrote substantium et adjectium. No such Latin words are given. You ought to have written substantivum et adjectivum. You wrote "you do not quote Paul faithfully. Paul says ‘for it is the virtue of God unto salvation to every one that believeth'” (omni credendi). If I were to imitate you I might say “ What