Page:The battle of the books - Guthkelch - 1908.djvu/212

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offended this way by those familiar expressions of

/ Mother Clito the Herb-woman^ and going to pot^ and

/\ setting horses together, and roasting the old avoman, and

by his apt simile drawn from bungling tinkers mending

. old kettles, anybody but pedants can tell.

An itch of contradicting great men, or established opinions, upon very slight grounds, is another instance of pedantry, and (not to mention anything that relates to the present dispute,) something of this kind there was, I'm afraid, in Dr Bentley's brisk censure of Grotius and Scaliger for not knowing the measure of an anapaestic verse, when 'tis plain, as I shall show before I lay down my pen, that the Doctor would never have censured 'em if he had known it himself. Castelvetro, an Italian pedant, was famous for such a snarling faculty as this. *' He was," as Balzac says very well of him, " a public enemy, that could not endure anybody should have merit or reputation, but himself."

The subject is fruitful, but I will confine myself to one particular more of the pedant's character, and that is, a love of quoting books or passages not extant, or never seen by him, in order to amaze and confound

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