YEAR AFTER YEAR A TALE.By
The Author of “Paul Ferroll.”Copyright Edition.
Leipzig Bernhard Tauchnitz1858.The Right of Translation is reserved.
THE opinions of the Public are like Fate. An Author may loudly declare them unjust, but he does not alter them one tittle. A Reviewer is essentially the Public; and to controvert his decision is the most futile wriggle of a uneasy Author.
But facts are different from opinions. They are, or they are not. On that ground any one may challenge them; and, accordingly, I take the present opportunity to speak to certain censures passed on “Paul Ferroll,” in the Edinburgh Review for April, 1857. The writer finds fault with the Book, because, says he, “The hero commits a cold‐blooded crime,” yet “is represented as the mildest, noblest, most humane and amiable of men.” This is a question of facts. Is he so represented?
The reader has to answer Yes, or No. Those whose printed examination of the Work can be referred to, have pronounced Paul Ferroll the murderer — to be selfish, hard — a doer of good merely for his own amusement — a man in whom conscience is superseded by intellect. It is the Edinburgh Reviewer only who, in a sentence, not of examination, but of condemnation, page: VI says that Paul Ferroll both commits a murder, and is “the most humane and amiable of men.” Had the facts been true, the conclusion would have been admirable; the weak part is, the facts are not true.
I have it all my own way at this moment. The Reviewer must be silent, while I talk in my own new book. And I am right to talk; for “would not a man be annoyed to be falsely exhibited to the world would he not publish the truth?” as says the biographer of Charles James Napier.