20 APRIL 1839, Page 13


IT appears that for some time past a writer in the Weekly Chroni- cle has been pursuing what lie is pleased to term a "controversy" with the Spectator. We were not aware of it till last week, when a copy of the paper fell into our hands by accident, and we yea- tured a passing remark on its contents. The filet is there positively stated : and a droll one it is—a controversy all on one side.

At length, however, we must indulge the affection of the Weekly Chronicle for " our controversy with the Spectator." In the " country edition " of that journal for to-morrow, (Sunday,) of which we received a copy yesterday, (Friday,) three great mistakes are made in a single sentence. First, the authorship of an article in the Spectator is cleverly attributed to one who did not write a word of it ; secondly, " the writer of the very article" who wrote none of it, is said to have employed " all the powers of his hide- fatigable mind " on a matter which never occupied him for an in- stant ; and lastly, the 11Wk/y Chronicle commits the very grave mistake of invading the anonymous of journalism, and rendering a newspaper difference unavoidably personal. Will lie attempt to " controvert " these positions ? his sham " controversy with the Spectator" is now sufficiently real, having two sides, with some- thing to dispute about.

It is vain to dispute on political subjects with a young journal- ist, who frequently mistakes altogether the plain meaning of prac- tised writers, and who knows his own mind so little, and changes his position so often, that one can never tell what he would be at himself. Violently Radical yesterday, when be doomed the Whig leader Lord Joss Iii-ssm.r. to destruction, we find hint to-day furious against those Radicals who withhold their support from the Whig Government, and to-morrow bent on what he sagely calls the " spontaneous " limitation of a Radical Government. Ile is a dreamer of inconsistent dreams—a rash propounder of crude, vague, and contradictory notions—a heedless scribe, whose too fficile and ungoverned pen renders him incomprehensible—an mm- definable or inscrutable politician, of whom we may properly say, quoting a sentiment of his own—" it is difficult now-a-days, for any one man, to define what constitutes" such "a Radical, to the satisfaction of any one else." With such a writer as this, not even his insinuation that the Spectator is the " sworn agent of Toryism," shall lead us into serious political controversy. The attempt in- deed would be idle ; for his meaning is everywhere as little to be discovered by others as it is known to himself. One thing, however, does strike us as not open to doubt, in this last number of the Weekly Chronicle—it abounds in sheer abuse of the Spectator. This may be the author's way of producing " union, amongst Liberals ;" or he may intend to render an accept- able service in certain quarters. But in either case he will get credit for nothing but zeal without judgment. While the MORNING Chronicle exerts great intelligence and power in an attempt to unite and rally the Reformers, the WEEKLY Chronicle merely blunders into the aggravation of old differences and the creation of fresh disputes. He has even the folly to invite persmal attacks, by making them. If ever his present dream should come true, of " a Cabinet the preponderating influence in which shall be given to Lord DURHAM and Lord NORMANDY," it will not happen with- out the aid of those whom this NORMANDY journalist affects to treat as lunatics or " sworn agents of Toryism." He has yet to learn, apparently, that a journal, of established political influence, is necessarily the organ of numbers, and that the approving readers of the Spectator form a considerable party amongst the Liberals. Studied offence to this party would seem to be the height of indis- cretion in a NORMANDY partisan. We may be mistaken, however : time will show : perhaps a DURHAM-NORMANDY Ministry will be formed " spontaneously," according to the notion of our dream- ing contemporary.