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ficiency, or wit, he proves to be painfully insolvent; he draws checks, pretentious in character, novel in style and stupendous in amount on all these banks, but when examined, by the critical custodians of these Institutions, they are all returned to him, with the mortifying and invariable endorsement, "NO FUNDS."
Whatever Dr. Bell's accomplishments (and his few remaining admirers still cling to the now obsolete tradition of his being “very learned,”) may be, they are evidently not those of the critic in science or general literature. He assumes, with Iago, “I am nothing unless critical," but while no one would be thus severe on him, it is evident that whatever else he may be, criticism is not the field in which he can ever gain any other crown-than one of thorns. His only instinct seems to be to try and inflict mischief; to wound; to gore; to soil and trample, but Dr. Bell must reflect on an old Roman aphorism which would be remuneratively considered by him, before he determines to continue the indulgence of his notorious instinct: “Dat Deus immiti cornua curta bovi.” God gives short horns to the mischievous ox. The Bos* here described is proverbially harmless, and if it becomes necessary, he is managed in the literary field, as he is in the agricultural and pastoral; he is branded, yoked with one a little older and placed under the lash.
Dr. Bell, as a critic, is open to severe and just censure ; in addition to the faults already exposed, his language, allusions, figures and attempts at wit, are all stained with vulgarity. Such expressions, too, as costume, "rags, "spangles,” stripes," "serving time at a trade,” etc., are all suggestive of unpleasant antecedents, which, if respectably triumphed over, are not judiciously thrust upon the reader, who is asked at the same time, to accept Dr. Bell as the ne plus ultra of critics in scientific, sacred, classical and secular literature.
Dr. Bell is indescribable in his pretension to profundity of intellect and acquirement, while in his writings this is nowhere manifested. Now, a critic should make the best use of his material. To use a homely phrase, he should, like a tailor, always "cut his coat according to his cloth," and if he expects to receive support, his material and work should bear examination. Dr. Bell's material is suggestive of soiled remnants, with obsolete and coarse figures worked in them; it is badly selected, badly cut and badly put together; it is made for some one, it is true, but the fit is surprisingly bad. The work, too, is badly pressed; indeed, he who pressed the work should have sent it back to the workman to have it altered and made respectable. Then the errand boy,* is soiled, sickly, and emaciated, having notoriously lost heavily in weight in two years.
* Dr. Beli's nickname in Louisville.-ED,
To write seriously, Dr. Bell, in his excessive desire to defame, defeats his own efforts, by the constant manifestation of a vindictive and impotent temper. What the English Puritans did for the language of Christianity,what Scuderi did for the language of love, he has done for the language of criticism. By habitual exaggeration, he has made it mean, and by pointless repetition, he has made it feeble. Indeed, Dr. Bell has done for the labors of the critic what Falstaff did for the career of the soldier. By presumption, pretension, arrogance, conceit, vulgarism, by the mustering of worthless and ludicrous forces, by his pitiable spectacle after his first appearance as a swaggering volunteer on the field, he has made gentlemen blush that they wield the weapon which he has stained and degraded. When Dr. Bell, too, uses the language of foolish jest and familiarity to the editor, who once flattered” him with association, the editor will reply to him, as did one who replied to Falstaff, after that worthy had been similarly but injudiciously "flattered”
“How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
Give you advancement." So far, the editor has criticised Dr. Bell's article only in regard to those points which provoke merriment and ridicule, but in these, he has not seriously censured him, for no man should be censured for errors which are the result of either mental failure or mental incapacity. It is charity, and perhaps justice, to give Dr. Bell the benefit of the alternative mentioned ; for he may have been as a writer once entitled to respect, but if so, that day has certainly passed. The writer believes the errors to be due to mental incapacity, though, he is willing to
*The Nashville Journal.
so far defer to the judgment of Dr. Bell's friends, as to admit that mental failure may be the cause of the disaster.
A man may be spared from serious rebuke for the vices that spring from mental failure or incapacity, but he deserves public punishment for vices that spring from moral depravity. The editor has really spared Dr. Bell for his mental vices; but he deserves punishment for moral depravity. This moral depravity will now be freely exposed and the public will unquestionably inflict the deserved punishment.
On the evening of the 21st of May, the President of the Young Men's Christian Association dismissed an audience which had collected to listen to a lecture, from the editor, on the subject of Florida; he having been invited by this Body to deliver the lecture. The lecture was intended to be the last of the season. The audience dismissed was more than double in numbers those to whom the most distinguished gentlemen in America, (gentlemen, the superiors of the editor in age, in acquirements, and in lecture experience), have lectured in this city, both previously and subsequently to the occasion mentioned.
The President of the Association stated, that Dr. Gaillard was willing and ready to deliver his lecture, but the lecture committee had decided, as the inclemency of the weather had detained many and as the committee did not desire the lecture delivered to an audience of this size, that the delivery of the lecture should be postponed; that there would be returned to all who had purchased tickets the amount paid for them.
The amount returned to the entire audience is known only to the Treasurer of the Association, and he has not (as he has informed the editor) mentioned this amount to any one. The only complimentary tickets issued were eight to the lecturer and the usual tickets to the press. The committee adopted the course they have always adopted when any one was invited to deliver a lecture, for which an admission fee was to be charged. These facts, in relation to the Association have been given to the editor, with the expectation and desire that he should publicly use them.
As in so grave a matter, the editor would not wrong Dr. Bell in the slightest, he gives Dr. Bell's statement of the matter verbatim. A statement that a mean and despicable nature only could have conceived or executed.
In a former part of this notice of Dr. Gaillard, I expressed a fear that Richmond, Va., and Louisville, Ky., scarcely appreciated properly the great light they possess in Editor Gaillard. An event occurred in Louisville, on Friday night, the 21st of May, which relieves Louisville from the charge of failure in this important duty. She showed that night that she does appreciate the great Professor at his right value. The city has been agonized for a week with almost incessant drumming for a large attendance on a magnificent lecture on Florida, by Prof. Gaillard, before the Young Men's Christian Association. In an intimate acquaintance, for thirty-six years, with lectures in Louisville, I never knew of any approach to the amount of drumming used for Dr. Gaillard's lecture. Every pulpit in the city that was accessible to the Young Men's Christian Association was laid under contribution and the various pastors read to their flocks, from a written notice prepared for the occasion, calling attention to this grand, this coming event. The daily press teemed with notices of the prospective glory in reserve for Louisville, and placards of Dr. Gaillard, of Florida, of the Young Men's Christian Association adorned the walls of houses. And, as if the viand was not piquant enough, an attempt was made to whet the public appetite by a pepsine announcement, that the Gaillard-Florida lecture had already electrified the Peabody Institute at Baltimore! The parties engaged in this incessant din must, from the way they worked, have had some foreboding that they were engaged in up-hill labor. The uneasy, restless Peabody Institute lecturer pushed himself into the newspapers and gave the public a specimen of his gifts, in one of the most flagrant violations of the 6th Article of the Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association, with which any medical man ever damned himself. This seemed to give the Louisville public the measure of the missionary of the Young Men's Christian Association.
The eventful night come upon the Louisville people in its proper order. In the leading paper of the city, on the morning of the 22d, the morning after the noche triste of Dr. Gaillard, the city was roused with the following account of the wonders of the preceding night:
Dr. Gaillard's Lecture. Masonic Temple was filled last night to hear Dr. Gaillard. The reputation of this gentleman as an able and entertaining lecturer suffered nothing, but on the contrary was much enhanced by his effort last evening. His audience realized what before it was told to expect, and we do not wonder that, when the Peabody Institute of Baltimore was founded, this gentleman was among the first six who were selected to lecture before it in compliance with one of the provisions of the noble philanthropist, its author. His discourse last night was listened to throughout with an attention that was highly complimentary both to tne man and the matter. It was the most successful and remunerative lecture of the series which it concludes, and the Young Men's Christian have just cause to thank the good fortune which procured them the services of this learned, refined and popular gentleman.
This first-class notice must have glared on the unfortunate Professor, after his dreadful night, in a most unwholesome manner. It must have made him feel that this notice added insult to injury. The scene at the Masonic Temple on the night of the Gaillard lecture was, to “borrow the loan, as the Patlander says, of a Gaillardism, decidedly “conversely to the newspaper record. There has never been, since the scene in the Arabian Nights Entertainment, a more perfect barmecide feast than that at the Masonic Temple on the night of the Gaillard-Florida lecture. In a hall capable of accommodating two thousand persons, there loomed up before the despairing gaze of Dr. Gaillard, about forty or fifty persons. I have heard no one estimate the number above fiíty. As the Peabody Institute lecturer surveyed the dreary prospect lie must have felt, with Dick, in the farce of the “ Apprentice," the loathsomeness of "a beggarly account of emptyseats. Milton preferred an audience that was "fit and few," but in the estimation of Prof. Gaillard, the fewness of the auditory rendered it unfit for him. The grand Professor crept away from the Masonic Temple to meditate upon the "vanity of human wishes," not in the style of Dr. Johnson, but in the humor of chewing the cud of disappointed vanity.
As the weary wheels of time rolled over the dreary prospect, the President of the Young Men's Christian Association announced that owing to the "inclemency of the weather" the lecture would be postponed, and the money refunded to those who had paid. A gentleman informs me that one dollar and fifty cents were refunded, the rest of the audience being, probably, dead-heads. The "inclemency of the weather” is fudge.
When carefully examined this statement is found to contain the following willful and malicious falsehoods : 1st. That the committee resorted to musnal inodes ot advertising. 21. That there was an unwillingness to deliver the lecture. 3d. As to the size of the audience. Ath. As to the value of the andience pecuniarily to the Associatior. 5th. As to the number of those that Dr. Bell vulgarly calls "dead-heads;" and, 6th. As to the amount refunded. In addition, this statement contains what is far worse than a falsehood, an ingenious and despicable effort to create a false and ruinous impression, in regard to the action of the editor. Dr. Bell speaks of his "pushing himself into the newspapers;" see line 25 of his statement. The meaning intended by Dr. Bell to be conveyed by the text, context and general arrangement of this statement is, that the editor sought eulogistic notices or caused such votices to be written in regard to liimself and his lecture. This could not be said directly, for Dr. Bell knew that it was a falsehood, but he used a dishonest and contemptible mode of creating this impression. Can the reader imagine what part of the code of ethics was "violated.” Strictly speaking, the editor did not violate any portion of it, as the code of ethics has no jurisdiction whatever in regard to the relations of a journalist to a public Institution, but the violation claimed by Dr. Bell, was, that the editor had published, in a daily paper, a correspondence between himself and the Faculty of the University of Louisville. The University made charges, over its seal, that were decided by the largest medical Society of this city, to be unjust and untrue,* and decided
* Will it be believed, that these charges have not been withdrawn, though the Faculty, after the editor requested an investigation, accepted the committee as an umpire !.-ED.