When any of your feather literati writes about the opposition which had been made to certain 'inventions (when they were first brought out) which have become famous, and of such great value to the world, they are sure to mark the opponents of them as hav ing been men of scientific reputation, such as Dr. Lardner and his alleged opposition to At lantic navigation. Now it is not true that men of real scientific reputation have in gene ral been the opponents of new inventions, but the very reverse. The most incredulous and yet most credulous of men respecting new discoveries and inventions, are your light li terati, your would-be great men in all things. These are the men who are always at the ear of the public, and who both ridicule and extol useful, and worthless new projects, without either rule or reason. And it always happens when an invention or a discovery which they had denounced turns out in spite of all opposition to be a grand and useful im provement, they are sure to turn round, span gle it with praise and bear false witness against scientific men. "When corrected for making erroneous statements they have not the honesty to publish the truth, consequently their falsehoods go on among community like rolling snow-balls, increasing in the magni tude of their evil according to the space over which they travel. When any new project which they had lauded to the skies, turns out to be a worthless, useless, piece of trash, or has been proven to be a deception, they are the very men who happened to see through it all from the very first—they were the true prophets, and some scientific men were the deceivers or deceived. When they make false statements about inventions and inventors, thereby doing great injury some times to the fame oi honest men, they have not candor enough, fo cgrrect themselves fox., fear the public would be led to doubt their sa gacity and veracity. Those who examine be neath the surface of society, know how to es timate such characters, they look upon them as the moths of literature. With respect to a new invention—its use fulness and practicability, or not—an opposing candid opinion with reasons annexed, should always be esteemed of more value than indis criminate praise. At the present day, when men of all characters rush out with alleged new discoveries and inventions, universal laudation of everything is the greatest evil that can be inflicted on community. Candid opposition and prudent praise, respecting what is apparently bad, and what is reasona bly good, are the qualities which we like to see displayed in any man, and these qualities of character are always exhibited by those who are competent judges of new inventions and discoveries—those whe have devoted their time and attention to such matters.— Why ? because their reputation in respect to the opinions they advance on such subjects is at stake; they, of necessity have to be honest, cautious, and discriminating; if not, sooner or later, they will be the losers. In these days ot false lights and false pressures, the public should be exceedingly cautious of those who express opinions about new inventions and discoveries lest they be deceived by creduli ty in bad projects, and incredulity in good ones.
This article was originally published with the title "The Credulous and Incredulous Respecting Inventions"