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From Historical Hastings
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for whose town I have quite as much respect as has “Via Media” himself), I must apologize for intruding once more upon your time and patience. And first, Sir, I must find fault with your correspondent for misrepresenting me. “Via Media” accuses me of saying that St Leonards is more healthy than Hastings, and actually gives the following words as if quoted from my letter – “In a similar point of view, St Leonards is preferable! This is monstrous!. Why, Sir, I ask every reader of your paper if such a sentence is to be found in any part of my communication. So anxious was I that my meaning should not be misunderstood, that I first stated distinctly that I did not speak in a sanitary but in a climatal sense. I stated further in what I thought was unmistakeable language that I did not speak in a sense eulogistically of the place at the expense of the other; and to place my meaning, as I thought, beyond the power of even party feeling to misinterpret it. I further added that each place is better than the other according to the nature and state of the malady. Is there, Sir, any meaning in the English language? Where shall I look for that felicity of expression which will bring my meaning within the comprehension of “Via Media”? Why, Sir, I particularly stated that I would say nothing about the sanitary condition or cleanliness of the two places. Hastings may or may not have the advantage in that respect. What I stated on medical authority was that Hastings was milder and better for some patients than the climate of St Leonards, and vice versa. A London physician would select Hastings or St Leonards by name according to the stage of a person’s disease. Therefore, Sir, I meant to imply that if a medical adviser were to send a patient to Hastings, and that patient were to go to Eversfield Place, he would not go to the place intended. “Via Media” misrepresents me either intentionally or through ignorance of my meaning. Now, Sir, if I were to adopt the language and personality of “Via Media” I ought to accuse him of the former and add fie!, fie! I will not do this, but believe the latter – that is he did not understand my meaning. But, what then? Why, I must say that a person who does not understand a few simple sentences in a letter – who cannot comprehend a few facts, and to state them perspicuously, is certainly not the person to talk so loudly about facts, and to dictate to an entire district on the question now agitated.

The injury should at least have been done with civility, and without that addition of insult