-hat numbers in the proportion of per- he sees them meet in smiling and coraps more than a thousand, to one, dial kindness, laughing at their mock hom those under the cloak of piety battle; he observes them depart and and the cloak of honour, like the an- dine with one another, and is told that vent Pharisees and Sadducees, cordial- they are most intimate and sworn , unite to load with every epithet friends. He is now convinced that at denotes vileness and infamy. the fees-the precious and darling 'his third and defamed party bear all cash, was the sole moving cause of all ve slanders vomited upon them, with the theatrical sincerity and pugnacious such composure, and never shew any contention, and that, without the bawymptoms of anger or violence, till bees, they would have been as stationunger and nakedness drive them ary and mute as lobsters. This unad; and the Bible shews, both by suspecting countryman has learned recept and example, that even “wise what he never forgets as a general rule len may be made mad.” I would for estimating verbal sincerity, and aerefore warn you against the leaven his rule is confirmed by the sentence

the modern Pharisees and Sad- of the Court, who believe neither the ucees; for unless in your future la- one lawyer nor the other, but send ours as an annalist, you discriminate them off to seek other and better reahese from the worthy and upright sons, or decide the question in a way ortion of the community, your ex- offensive to both. The conclusion of ctions will be not only lost, but you the rustic is made in coarse but sturjay contribute to increase fearfully dy phrase, which I dare not put down, he evils which unhinge all the sacred lest the hysterical Whigs, as well as onds that keep society together. the silken Tories, should be offended. There are two parties in the present

Common sense is the same among ay, who call themselves Whig and all ranks, but it is prodigiously sharpory; and if the world were so child- ened, and acute, among those who are hly simple as to believe them, there put to their wits end, by finding inno other class except cut-throats and solence and power combined against monsters! That there are wise and reason and conscience. The country-ood men who are classed with the op man returns home, and what he saw osing parties called Whigs and To- and heard circulates quietly among his es, no man of understanding will neighbours, who have the same hopes eny; but that there is one of a thou, and fears, and who suspect, from the ind of these Whigs and Tories in fine patriotic talk, and polite duplicity cotland, who will fearlessly do what of the gay and powerful around them, right, in all cases, or in general, is that their superiors are the same every hat no man of sense and experience where, and that the safety of their reill believe. The mainspring is ma- ligion, property, and lives, consists in ifest to the most rustic but shrewd that sullen silence, and fierce vigilance bservation. A sagacious man from which the American settler, in the nong a sober and honest population, willerness, must maintain against the nters, or, as too often happens, is Indians and wild beasts. ompelled to enter a court of law, When the great body of a people nd there he sees and hears two emis come to be prepared in this way, and ent pleaders on opposite sides of a with far greater rapidity and effect uuse, speak, and gesticulate, and con- than by what is vulgarly called the liadict, and attack each other, with as centiousness of the press, the nominal auch earnestness and regulated bit- Whigs, and nominal Tories, sink into erness as if they were the real par- utter and universal contempt, and this ies, and till their faces are as red contempt, with one class, settles down vith passion as the necks of Turkey- into a rooted and permanent hatred ; ocks, and till the hail of perspiration and, with another, into merriment or uns down their cheeks in copious broad laughter. The world sees, that, treamlets. The honest countryman like lawyer craft, the struggle between dmires the sincerity of these eloquent these nominal parties, is for the public entlemen; but as an unsound, in- purse only, for the “ filthy lucre.” tead of a sound horse has sometimes Each of them is calling on the people leen imposed upon him, he suspends to support them. The people, if they uis faith a little, for farther observa- have food, fuel, lodging, and clothing, ion; he follows and watches thcm; stand by with a provoking apathy, or


with a ludicrous stare and grin. In the nominal Whigs and nominal Toties Scotland, these two nominal parties are completely of one mind. I intendseem totally ignorant of the state of ed to have given you some short spepublic opinion. The native population cimens, to show how the Whigs of the of Scotland, with some trifling excep- purse, and the man-midwives to Partions, consists wholly of the Whigs of son Malthus, exhibit their political faith the Covenant, differing as widely from in parish affairs. But my letter is per the nominal and prominent Whigs of haps far too long--and therefore I have our day, as the apostle Peter differed the honour to subscribe myself from that smooth, cunning, and thie A WHIG OF THE COVENANT. vish priest, Doctor Judas Iscariot. The intelligent and upright Tories, at the P. S. In the meantime, I recomRevolution, in 1688, had the good sense mend to your attentive perusal, the to agree with the Whigs of the Cove answer of the Kirk-session of Neilstor nant, that is, the truly religious Whigs, to the Heritors' Publication, against who most amply proved their faith by them, printed at Paisley, 1820, in their conduct. The Whigs of the Cove- which you will see how the grand prix nant

would have driven our infidel and ciple that alone governs the bastard treacherous Whigs from their society, Whigs and the bastard Tories, shews with scorn. In drawing up farther itself in country parishes, for the ediParish Annals, keep this constantly in fication of his Majesty's subjects, to view. In hostility to the poor-to the the astonishment of all wise men, and rights of the church-to real religious for the amusement of the infidels. instruction--and to faithful ministers,

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* We should be happy to receive some of the personal observations of THIS WHG



THE EDINBURGH REVIEW “ It hath once and again been observed by me, in my Notice of the Works of Na. ture, that there be something like unto a power of chance to be seen therein, in divers instances. For I have often witnessed a tree to spring up on a thin and barren wil, and to rear mighty boughs and overarching, so as well to be deserving of Dan Virgl's ipse nemus. Why so no man knoweth unto a certainty. So likewise fareth it with the same tree in its decay. For it becometh sapless and doddered, one knoweth not well wherefore ; and when the sturdy axe is laid unto the root, lo! the heart thereof is mouldered ; and it seemeth to have been, even in that its proud flourishing, an unsound and diseased tree. All of which is a wonder, passing a perfect understanding thereof."-Sir Stephen Stunihurst's Prose Works, folio, 343. THE EDINBURGH REVIEW will un duced profound and durable impresdoubtedly occupy a distinguished place sions, equally on taste, philosophy, and in the History of Scottish Literature. opinion. And now, when

the work has For the greater part of twenty years' confessedly declined from its original no journal was ever more generally vigour, and fallen into a state of dotread in this country. Some of the age and decay, that oftener awakens French periodical publications may, sentiments of contempt than compas on account of the diffusion of that lan- sion towards the contributors, the track guage, have distributed more nume of its career ought to be surveyed. The rous impressions ; but it may be con- The public, with respect to its whole fidently averred, 'that no continental course, now stand, as it were

, on the work has excited the same degree of vantage ground of posterity, and can interest. The rise and progress of the follow its windings and tergivers. Edinburgh Review, while the facts tions, with almost as free a are fresh in the public memory, is as one traces, on the map of history

, therefore an object that merits the the current of some hostile and 27gravest consideration ; for a series of bitious tribe or nation. books, embracing every variety of to It is a common opinion, that the pic, so much, and so generally read, Edinburgh Review originated among must, it may be supposed, have pro a number of bold and briefless barristers


in the northern metropolis, (A) young bours, and patient erudition of their men, emulous of distinction, some of profession, they associated together for whom had received the gilding and the express and coalesced purpose, in plating of a short residence at oneof the all their minds, of exhibiting them English Universities, and that, eager selves to the most conspicuous advan. to obtain distinction more rapidly than tage, by exposing the vulnerable parts it could be obtained by the steady la. in the writings and powers of those

(A) The general view taken in the text, considering the comprehensive chas 'acter of the work in question, has imposed on me the necessity of throwing in

few notes. It was, indeed, not to be expected that the Edinburgh Review, which now amounts to somewhere about six and thirty volumes, could be reiewed either article by article, volume by volume, or critic by critic, in the brief pace allowed to our several correspondents; but the force of many of the obervations in the text would perhaps not receive due attention, were they pernitted to pass to the public without illustration. For example, in alluding o the motives which induced the original contributors to associate together,

ought in candour to mention, that they have themselves, in a separate ublication, stated the fact differently, but how far more truly they are the best adges. The publication referred to is their “Two-pence half-penny observaons on Thelwall's two and sixpence letter to the Editor of the Edinburgh leview.” If there was any wit in the price, it is a pity they did not make it a enny-farthing -.“ It (the Review) is a secondary object with them, and was undertaken more for the urpose of amusement, and of collecting the scattered literature (literary men, we preime) of the place, than from any other motive,” (p. 15.)

The Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809, gives the following account of iis matter :

"A few young men who had just concluded their studies at the University of Edina urgh, and were united together by a similarity of talents and pursuits, conceived a proct, (designed, we believe, to be temporary,) to rescue this province of literature (cricism) from the state of degradation into which it had gradually sunk, and to give the orld what for many years it had not seen, a fair, but at the same time a bold and imartial review of such works as appeared to merit public attention. The scheme of ublication, although deeply laid, contained some staggering preliminaries. The associied critics, while they asserted the most uncontrolled freedom from the influence of jeir publisher, stipulated, it is well known, a subsidy at more than treble the rate alwed to the best, as well as supplest mercenaries which London could afford.”

In a pamphlet, “ Reviewers Reviewed,” by John Charles OʻReid, in 1811, find something more on the subject, in unison with my statement.

" This Review is said to have originated with two or three young men, fellow mem3rs of a debating society at Edinburgh. At the publication of the first number, it is lieved that the age of neither of them exceeded seven-and-twenty; and their names ere as yet little known. The honour of being its projector, is generally given to the ev. Sidney Smith. Mr Francis Jeffrey, its present editor, and Henry Brougham, sq. were the first who agreed to unite with his their voluntary labours, and to try the :periment for a year. Their success surpassed their expectations. The work took with e public, and it soon became a most profitable adventure. They obtained the active ncurrence of Professors Playfair and Leslie ; and though all their applications, I well 110w, were by no means successful, several names of great respectability were added to

eir muster-roll; among others those of Mr Malthus and Mr Horner. The celebrated r Walcot (Peter Pindar) is said to have furnished an article relating to the fine arts ; id Mr Bloomfield, and Mr Walpole of Cambridge, and Mr R. P. Xnight, have been listed to supply the deficiency of classical writers on the north side of the Tweed, and assist in abusing their countrymen. The last of these gentlemen is the Reviewer of e Oxford Strabo. Such is their poverty in this respect, that some most curious anec. stes might be here introduced, to prove the shifts to which they have been reduced. A cotch nobleman actually begged for Mr Jeffrey an article on Dr Clark's Greek mar. es, which was written for the Quarterly Review, and rejected by Mr Gifford, the edi. f, even after it was printed, as unworthy of that publication.” P. 37. Vol. X.

4 P

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view, it is requisite to bear in mind, ated its movements with similar revo

as proud, as mystical, and as pompous

as that of Venice-a prescribed lineage 670 Rise, Progress, Decline, and Fall of the Edinburgh Review. [Dec. authors who had either acquired, or fluctuating notions of the day, and can were likely to acquire, any available, only move to temporary derision

, or political, or popular influence. possibly induce the unreflecting por

This notion of the characters of the tion of the public to look with wonder originalReviewersisingenious, and cer- and inquiry at things which their own tainly not without plausibility. Criti- unbiassed taste would have prompted cism, in one respect, is the easiest de- them to despise. For, while it is assert partment of literature, and nothing is ed that criticism is the easiest of all more cordial to contemporaries than the departments of literature, it is with detraction. To form such an estimate of reference to this distinction, and the the merits of a new book, as the judg- observation is made entirely with rement of posterity will afterwards

sanc- spect to the art practised as a trade in tion, doubtless requires discernment this country. But to return to the and acumen of a singular and high or- circumstances in which the Edinburgh der ; something almost akin to the pro- Review originated. phetic sense ; for it not only ascertains While it may perhaps be conceded what is absolutely good, as well as that there is some foundation in fact new-not only what is genuine, and for the opinions commonly entertained what will be found germinative upon of the characters and motives of the future opinions, butanticipates the pro- young men who first established the bable progress of the public mind, and work, it would be equally unphilosoforesees in what respects the work will phical and ridiculous to ascribe the continue to delight and to affect it. A sensation which the work occasioned? critic, qualified to take this noble sta- to their powers alone

. In the first tion in criticism, is as rare as the sage place, before any effect can be produwho enlarges the circumference

of ced, there must have been a previous science, and the poet who multiplies susceptibility in the subject to receive the sources of moral delight, and the the impression; and, in the second

, materials of refined art. But, to pro- the impressing cause must posses nounce a judgment agreeable to con- within itself the power of generating temporaneous invidia, to point out the effect ascribed to it. It cannot, those blemishes which every eye sees, therefore, be said that the Edinburgh and those defects which every reader Review caused that susceptibility feels, is no difficult task. The works which had prepared the public tom of man are ever to man mean and in- ceive with so much appetite the impress

hi ferior, for he unconsciously compares of the talent it contained ; and, in them with those of nature"; and it is the sequel, if it shall appear that other can the characteristic of base and sordid and more efficient energies were at intellects, to fasten on the parts work in causing those effects to arise

, where the material and the means em- which the Edinburgh Reviewers, with real ployed by the author, to produce his so much self-complacency, father die intended effects, most obviously betray among themselves, surely it would be the artificial character of his produc- a violation of all legitimate induction ? tion. The man of true taste over

to ascribe to it results which it was *** looks the marks of manipulation, he incapable of producing. disregards the blains of the chisel,

In order properly to appreciate the end and the traces of the pencil, and con

circumstances in which the Edinburgh teniplates, with the delicious glow of Review arose, it is necessary to revert sal admiration, those achievements of in- to the situation both of publicaffairs and genuitybywhich the artist has succeed- of literature a considerable time prier. ed in imitating thegrand general pheno- For it is not one of the least remarks sobe mena of his subject, as they would have able characteristics of that state of cira existed in nature. In judging, there- cumstances, that the genius of the age rate fore, of the merit of such a body of as it predominated

in politics


pertina criticism as that of the

Edinburgh Re- ded the republic of letters, and action criticism, which enables a reviewey to memorable 1989, the empire of literature anticipate the opinion of posterity, and ture had become a regular oligarchy that power of verbal or of labial expression, which coincides with the

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1821.] Rise, Progress, Decline, and Fall of the Edinburgh Review. 671 en of mind, the successive gradations of same error that the cabinets of Europe

academical proficiency, equivalent to committed with respect to the politithe qualities requisite in candidates cal democrats. Tliey undervalued the

for admission to the honours of the strength and number of the demaarchivalric orders, were deemed indis gogues, laughed at their raving decla capensible to the privileges of author- mations, and giving the generality of

ship.—The diploma of the degree mankind credit for more intelligence was as essential to the one as the than they possess, they would not begenealogical tree to the other. But, lieve that such a race of manifest in the combustion of all ancient maniacs could ever obtain any infludogmas which immediately succeeded ence with the public. The mistake the era of anarchy in France, acade- and the feeling of security were as mical honours and hereditary dignities fallacious in the one case as in the were consigned to the same fate, and other. The anarchy of France took a race of literary democrats, as vulgar, the form of prodigious military boas presumptuous, and as ignorant as dies, which with the power of new

their political brethren, assumed a elements overwhelmed the insufficient dictatorial and factious domination in force by which resistance was attempt the republic of learning. Their crude ed; and the frenzy of the demagogues, and hypothetical conceptions were in the shape of novels, and poetry, promulgated as irrefragable principles, history, and treatises, sent forth with and a wild and insane prurience in astonishing rapidity, set at defiance

theories and systems propagated a mo- all the wonted missiles of epigramral licentiousness that menaced the matic ridicule and classical compa

very existence of all rational and prac- , rison. The Jacobins of literature *** tical opinion in art, and science, and addressed themselves to the coarser 3 taste. Against these rash and innova- passions, and, inflaming and awa

I ting demagogues, a Whig of that re- kening them, produced an impresvolution, by which the liberties of sion immeasurably deeper than the

England were secured, in other words, calm and quiet delight which works

a Tory of that revolution which threat- of true genius can alone inspire. *** ened them and those of all Europe Crimes and sins became the topics of sekts with abolition-Mr Burke was the fiction, in which the sinner and the cri

first who effectually raised his voice. minal were represented as the victims With the irrepressible enthusiasm of in their vices of the consecrated usages the hermit Peter rousing Christendom of society. The heroes and heroines of to the dangers of the rising deluge the democratical romance encountered of Saracenic devastation; he demon- as dreadful adversaries, as their prestrated the necessity of raising ram- decessors in the legends of chivalry. parts and barriers to protect philoso- Law and religion took the form of phy from the ravagers who were ma- giants, and honour and dignity were king such dreadful inroads on the magicians of diabolical power. The most sacred and venerable recesses elegance, the courtesies, the patience, of the vineyard; but only indirect- the pining, and the delightful platoly, and chiefly with reference to the nism with which the delicate spirit effects which the ravage produced on of purer feelings and more refined political institutions. As a states- manners had invested love, were torn man, it did not fall within the scope away, and the beautiful innocent inof his immediate object to take up fant god was represented to the rithe subject in detail; but, standing baldry of debauched fancies, as a aloft in the high tower of his immor- rampant, an adulterous, even an “intal genius, he saw the bands of the bar- cestuous beast.” barians, as they “skirred the coun, History and Disquisition had betry," spreading ruin and waste, and come equally false and depraved admonished the world of the desola- The most fraudulent exhibitions of tion that must ensue if they

were not the motives and intents of departed repelled and extirpated. The atten- worthies were flagrantly given, for the tion, however, of the Tories of that express purpose of corrupting that vetime was wholly

engaged with the dee neration which in all ages, till those signs of the military aggressors, and evil days, it had been one of the chief the learned among them fell into the objects of education to inspire, of vir

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