23 FEBRUARY 1850, Page 15


WHO is the Mayor of Limerick ? He has been signing his name to a petition about " Ministers-money," and a Committee of the Commons has been sitting on the document but cannot discover the gentleman's name. Now, is this because Mr. cannot sign his name, or does not choose to do it? The former reason is not probable ; so that it must be want of will. Some time ago, per- sons inclined to an ambitious turn of mind thought it indicative of an intellectual or literary disposition to write an unreadable hand; and we have heard men boast that they wrote so as not to be un- derstood. This is an odd kind of success, and a very vulgar one to boot. A rapid hand may indicate a habit of writing, and there- fore a familiarity with pursuits more or less intellectual ; but not to be able to write both well and fast is a defect of skill, and can in no way be twisted into an ornamental trait. To write so that your correspondent cannot decipher you, is silly as regards your own object in writing, disrespectful as regards him. Not to per- ceive that certain words which do not derive elucidation from the context, such as technical terms and proper names, need peculiar distinctness, is a mistake of dulness. We do not mean to say that all men who write badly are dullards, or we might be confuted by a storm of illustrious autographs: but we do mean, that when a man intends to make you understand an idea, has a pen in his hand for the purpose, and fails for want of capacity to make the letters of the alphabet, that man's intollect is asleep.