either in a most ungenerous or a most ungentlemanly manner, to wit, at the place and in the county aforesaid.
In an article commenting upon the writ, the editor, after repelling the charge, that his account of the trial was “replete with errors of fact,” pointedly addressed his distinguished adversary thus:
But, Fenimore, do hear reason a minute.
This whole business is ridiculous.
If you would simply sue those of the Press-gang who displease you, it would not be so bad; but you sue and write too, which is not the fair thing.
What use in belittling the profession of Literature by appealing from its courts to those of Law?
We ought to litigate upward, not down.
Now, Fenimore, you push a very good quill of your own except when you attempt to be funny—there you break down.
But in the way of cutting and slashing you are No.
one, and you don't seem averse to it either.
Then why not settle this difference at the point of the pen?
We hereby tender you a column a day of The Tribune for ten days, promising to publish verbatim whatever you may write and put your name to—and to publish it in both our daily and weekly papers.
You may give your view of the whole controversy between yourself and the Press, tell your story of the Ballston Trial, and cut us up to your heart's content.
We will further agree not to write over two columns in reply to the whole.
Now why is not this better than invoking the aid of John Doe and Richard Roe (no offense to Judge W. and your “learned kinsman!” ) in the premises?
Be wise, now, most chivalrous antagonist, and don't detract from the dignity of your profession!
, we may infer, became
wise; for the suit never came to trial; nor did he accept the Tribune
's offer of a column a day for ten days. For one more editorial article on the subject room must be afforded, and with that, our chapter on the Cooperage of the Tribune may have an end.
Our friend Fenimore Cooper, it will be remembered, chivalrously declared, in his summing up at Ballston, that if we were to sue him for a libel in asserting our personal uncomeliness, he should not plead the General Issue, but Justify. To a plain man, this would seem an easy and safe course.
But let us try it: Fenimore has the audacity to say we are not handsome; we employ Richard—we presume he has no aversion to a good fee, even if made of the Editorial ‘sixpences’ Fenimore dilated on—and commence our action, laying the venue in St. Lawrence, Alleghany, or some other county where our personal appearance is not notorious; and, if the Judge should be a friend of ours, so much the better.
Well: Fenimore boldly pleads Justification, thinking it as easy as not. But how is he to establish it?
We of course should not be so