15 APRIL 1876, Page 14


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] Sin,—In your notice of Mr. Spedding's paper on " The Latest Theories about Bacon," you observe that I am " smashed " and made "slightly ridiculous," and you add, " upon my own show- ing." I am sure you will allow me to explain that, though some- body is "smashed," and made not "slightly," but very ridiculous, the person " smashed " is not I, but some other person, created by some hallucination, under which Mr. Spedding views Bacon and everything Baconian. By a judicious derangement of epithets and dislocation of little phrases and sentences from their context, by attributing to me objects that I never aimed at, and opinions.

precisely opposite to those which I actually hold, and by ignoring the principal part of the evidence on which my theory is based, Mr. Spedding has " smashed " not me, but a phantom of his own creation. The time will arrive when I shall have my turn at, let us not say " smashing " Mr. Spedding, but rather at offering a few suggestions for his favourable or unfavourable consideration. Till then, let me ask your readers to believe me not quite " smashed."

With reference to the remark that " Mr. Spedding shows that Mr. Abbott relies mainly on Macaulay," permit me to add that I rely not on Macaulay, but on Mr. Spedding. Mr. Spedding's fourteen volumes (illustrated by several pages of M.S. notes with -which he favoured me at my request while my book was passing through the press) constitute the basis of my theory. There is, therefore, nothing new to me in Mr. Spedding's review, nothing that I have not carefully considered and deliberately rejected.

[Of course our remark was confined to the statements within the four corners of.the article noticed.—ED. Spectator.]