7 APRIL 1866, Page 3

A case of some importance was tried at Kingston OD.

Tuesday, 'before Lord. Chief Justice Erle. Dr. G. L. Strauss, it appears, published a novel called the Old Ledger, which the Athenzum de- scribed as exceedingly bad, inane, self-complacent, vulgar, in- delicate, and profane. Dr. Strauss thereupon brought an action, which the Athenxum defended, upon the distinct ground that the -criticism was warranted. by the character of the work. We have not read the book, and the passages published in the reports do not quite warrant it, but it would seem certain other passages -did, for Mr. Ballantine withdrew the case, and the judge ex- pressed his full concurrence in that course as the wisest for the plaintiff himself. The Athenzum has done good service in this matter. What with authors, publishers, and the kind of guild ?into which literary men have a tendency to form themselves, -criticism is much more likely to be too gentle than too severe. There really is no theatrical criticism left in London, very little musical criticism, and but for the fight editors are now making there would soon be no criticism of books. A notion that actors -ought not to be hissed, poets not to be satirized, and prose writers not to be analyzed, has spread, till we shall want an Index Expurgatorius merely to keep out rubbish.