20 MARCH 1880, Page 23

Peregrinus Proteus. By J. M. Cotterill. (T. and T. Clark.)—Some

time ago Mr. Cotterill wrote an article to prove that the Epistle to Diognetus was a forgery. The idea has grown upon him. The volume before us is intended to show the same inventive hand in various other writings, of which the most important is the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. Mr. Cotterill does not labour under the disqualification which put out of court the writer who the other day sought to show the spuriousness of the Annals of Tacitus—radical ignorance of the language. On the contrary, his Greek scholarship is evidently sound, and his volume is full of ingenious argument. So much we have gathered from our inspection of it. But we cannot profess to have studied it throughout, and, therefore, claim no weight for our opinion that the case is not made out. The form in which Mr. Cotterill has put his argument is most unhappy. Diodorus is the original whom the forger is said to have employed. Why was this original not printed in one column and the supposed imitation ranged in parallel column, with the coincidence of diction marked in some distinctive type ? Were this done, the really strong points only being selected, it might be possible to form a judgment on the case, without an expenditure of time and trouble which the present writer, at least, is unable to give.