Friday, 15 February 2013

15th February 1813: 'An Attentive Hearer' writes another missive on George Mellor's last words

Mr. PRINTER.—Sir, —The Chaplain and the Editor are this week silent, and a “Diligent Enquirer” has once more entered the lists; it must however be confessed his temper is not improved by his retirement. When he first set out on his Enquiry, he declared he wished to ascertain, whether I was right or wrong, and this was as it should be: the public are the best judges whether his published Enquiries have not strengthened my assertion: he has now however fallen from his respectable situation, and instead of remaining a “Diligent Enquirer”, he has degraded himself by turning, a Vile Defamer; he now seems wishful to end this affair in a personal quarrel, and that too, on the same polite terms as one might reasonably expect, from the regular frequenters of a common alehouse. I before told him, I conceived there was no argument in wages, and I now inform him, I am sure there’s none in railing and abuse; that cause must be tottering, which stands in need of such support.

In answer to this week's letter I would refer him to that inserted by himself in the Leeds Mercury of 23d January. He there publishes the report of those of whom he had enquired: he says, some informed him Mellor made use of the following expression, “even to his murderers;” he now calls this, “only hazarding a supposition.” I cannot even give him credit for being “an ingenious quibbler.” It stands published in the form of an assertion, a positive assertion of persons, whom of course he could depend upon, or he would not have been the means of publishing their report; now when Mr. Brown and the Editor say it is false, he wants to get rid of it; he says he merely “hazarded a supposition and that for the purpose of giving as candid a construction as possible to my publication.” The public must here again decide. I agree with a diligent Enquirer that my declaration, “that the Editor of the Mercury has pronounced a “diligent Enquirer,” a false publisher, is as far from the truth, as that Mellor made use of the words “Die Game” and “us poor murderers.” I maintain they are all true. To prove the former to be a fact, I would refer a “Diligent Enquirer” to Mr. Brown's letter of the 30th of January. Mr Brown says that the word was not “murderers,” but “adulterers,” and the Editor remarks his authority is indefinitely superior to that of any other; he then adds if “an attentive hearer” possesses a spark of candour, he will hasten publicly to retract his confident assertion, &c.

I grant he does not link his friend the “Diligent Enquirer,” with the “Attentive Hearer;” he certainly gives me the lie direct, for having introduced the word “murderers” into Mellor's prayer, and if the Diligent Enquirer can pocket this affront, he exercises more charity towards his friends, than from what I know of him, I should suppose him incapable of.

I have not the slightest objection to engage any of my antagonists, when they come forward like gentlemen, but if in future they shall appear clothed in raillery and abuse, I must beg leave to pass their remarks unnoticed.

I am, Your’s, &c.
Leeds, Feb 13th, 1813.

This letter was published in the Leeds Intelligencer of 15th February 1813.

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