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The Asmonean.


Reader, do you not pity me? Achilles—not the Greek hero whose wrath caused the Achaians so much trouble, but our renowned Asmonean—is quite angry with his poor brother of the Occident, who has surely unwittingly offended him, by not being willing to lend his magazine to several correspondents who wanted to belabour the Jewish organ in New York city. In my September number, on page 307, I said: “They (the friends of Dr. Wise) communicate us certain doings of the editor of the latter paper (the Asmonean), which we do not choose to publish, as we mean not to interfere with our cotemporary, for we should be taxed with wishing to injure him for the sake of increasing our circulation, a charge which we do not care just now to bring on us.”

So far I of course spoke in reference to the Asmonean. But the editor, not satisfied with taking the part intended for himself, supposes also the next sentence, commencing “But the acts of baseness which, if true, ought to cover the perpetrators with everlasting infamy,” &c., refers to him likewise, when evidently he is not a plural, perpetrators; and, in consequence, early in September he demanded, in a tone of authority, what I had meant by the first sentence, and whether the second referred to him. He was promptly told that the second applied to the persons spoken of in the letter of Dr. Wise’s friends, arid the first had allusion to the allegation that the editor had demanded of the latter gentlemen ten dollars for inserting an explanation, which he afterwards declined doing, though they were willing to pay, but berated them soundly, as will appear by a reference to his paper.

But the Asmonean was not satisfied with my explanation, though I told him the truth, as he very well knows; and wanted me, in a letter dated the 25th of September, to insert something apologetic in the October Occident. Of course his letter, reaching me on the 27th, came too late for last month, and now, to satisfy his point of honour, I state publicly, that all <<422>>readers of the Occident may know it, that the reason the Asmonean did not print the resolutions of Dr. Wise’s friends is, that some were libellous in their character, and could therefore not appear on any consideration in the Asmonean; and the others required to be modified in their grammatical construction to make them suitable to his taste. This is the substance of the exposition of the Asmonean, if I understand him correctly, and I must say that Mr. Lyon was right in refusing to print resolutions so worded. At the same time, I can well conceive that the people at Albany thought that whilst they were charged a specific sum, the editor would not have published any remarks of his own, although he might have cause for refusing to give the subject any farther publicity in his paper.

My readers may believe me that I meant to cast no reflections on the Asmonean in the article referred to. I had at the same time another piece on my table, finding fault with the manner in which the Asmonean was conducted, the writer censuring the insertion of Dr. Twitchell’s sermon. But I cannot consent to have a warfare with any journal, as my space is too limited for the useful articles on religion which hitherto have constantly presented themselves; and then, as stated, I could not subject myself to the charge of wishing to injure my cotemporary in his circulation. A private explanation, however, would not satisfy the Asmonean;—why, I cannot tell. No one surely thought the worse of him for anything that I have ever said, and he may believe me, that if his paper had merited a high encomium, I would have praised it instead of passing it by in silence. I hope therefore that he will now be satisfied with this public acknowledgment, at the same time that I assure him that, if he wishes to make war on me or my magazine he will find me more than prepared to defend myself against any charge of ingratitude which he alludes to in his letters to me, which, to say the least, are written in the worst possible taste, especially as he does not seem willing to satisfy my inquiries on a matter of more importance than my allusion to his connexion with the Albany affair.