Wednesday, 3 April 2013

3rd April 1813: The Leeds Mercury taunts 'An Attentive Hearer' in an editorial

An "Attentive Hearer" is more invincible than Dr. Goldsmith’s Village Schoolmaster. His witnesses, he says, in his last letter, speak positively. Do they, indeed!—Is it not, then, positively to deny one half of what he produced them to prove, and thereby to cast discredit upon the other half? And has he not, by referring to these witnesses, fixed upon himself, incontestably, the imputation of having put words, and very remarkable words too, into the mouth of a dying man that he never used? Let him answer these questions, and let the answers he is obliged to give, prove to him that he is not quite infallible, and teach him to be [less] dogmatical and more circumspect in future. [Of] the seven witnesses produced by him one, he says, speaks of his knowledge and belief and [illegible] the other six declare that they "cannot positively say how it was." This we know to be an incorrect report of the result of his enquiries; it is, in fact, a falsification of the evidence; and to proof of this, we challenge him to publish the verbal and written testimony of those seven witnesses, and thus to give the public an opportunity of judging how much his assertions are to be relied upon, whether they regard the expressions of the dead or of the living.

This is from the Leeds Mercury of 3rd April 1813.

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