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The Historical Society holds not itself “responsible for
every thing," which appears in its COLLECTIONS. If any representation is not supported by good authorities, it is open to temperate discussion. Personal satire is here inadmissible. “It is requisite that he, who combats any real or supposed error, give his reasons, or authorities, dispassionately; and thus prove that he is contend. ing, not for victory, but for truth. This is the only becoming contest in the republic of letters.
Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum. The anonymous writer of the following article will, hence, perceive why some of his remarks are suppressed.
THE learning, the respectability, the known merits of the Historical Society, awe an individual, and command respect to what is published under their fanction. Yet as it may be doubtful whether they feel responsible for every thing, which particular members, or correspondents, may communicate, it becomes a duty to point out any exceptionable passages in their publications. If this be not done, the weight of their influence may tend to give authority to error, and pervert public opinion. .
This, we hope, will apologize for a few remarks on “A History of Salem," published by the Historical Society. .
Paffing over several other things, the character given of Mr, Roger Williams particularly provokes examination. The portrait of him, drawn in this history, is so unlike that, left by his cotemporaries and acquaintance, that were it not for the name, no mortal would imagine it designed for the same person. If the learned historian have any au. thorities for what he asserts, it would have been kind in him, and satisfactory to his readers, had he admitted them to see the new discovery for themselves. No authority is quoted. But in page 246 he says, though “Mr. Williams blamed the administration, he did not oppose it." In the