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tion, from the toils of the profession. In those days, it was understood that every lawyer spent the Saturday and Sunday of every week in the milder part of the year, not in Edinburgh, but at his farm, or villa,—and the way they went about this was sufficiently characteristic. In order that no time might be lost in town after the business of the court on Saturday, the lawyers had established themselves in the privilege of going to the parliament-house, on that morning, in a style of dress, which must have afforded a most picturesque contrast to the strictly legal costume of full-dress black suits, in which, at that time, they made their appearance there on the other mornings of the week. They retained their gowns and wigs, but every other part of their equipment was in the very extreme of opposition to the usual integuments worn in company with these-riding-coats of all the splendid hues, not then as now, abandoned to livery-servants, bright mazarine blue, pea-green, drummer's yellow, &c. &c., but always buckskin breeches, and top-boots and spurs. The steeds to be forthwith mounted by these embryo cavaliers, were meantime drawn up in regular lines or circles, under the direction of serving-men and cadies in the parliament-close; and no sooner did the judges leave the bench, than the whole squadron got rid of their incumbrances, and were off in a twinkling—some to their own estates—others to the estates of their friends—but every one to some place or other out of Edinburgh. Although all this parade has long since dropt into disuse and oblivion, the passion for farming has by no means deserted its hold of the Scotch lawyers. Among many others, as I have said, lord Hermand keeps up the old spirit with infinite zeal. It is not now in the power of professional people to leave Edinburgh at the end of every week; but the moment any session of the court is over, and a few weeks of intermission are put in his power, he quits the city on the instant, and buries himself among his woods, and corn-fields, and cattle, till necessity compels him once more to exchange these for the “pulvis, strepitusque Romæ.” Even in the city, there is in his dress and gait, a great deal that marks his lordship’s rural attachments and habits. His stockings are always of the true farmer's sort, with broad stripes alternately of black and white worsted—and his shoes are evidently intended for harder work than pacing the smooth granite of the streets of Edinburgh. I confess that my eye lingers with very singular delight, even upon these little traits in the
well be considered, and therefore cannot fail to be honoured, as the last representative of so fine a class.'
The Edinburgh Review has seldom been more severely, never more justly handled. The extracts subjoined, will be found, by all that have observed the rise, and the decline of that powerful and inischievous Journal, to contain a faithful picture.
'It is a very easy thing to deny, that the doctrines of religious scepticism have been ever openly and broadly promulgated in the
pages of the Edinburgh Review; but I think no candid person can entertain the slightest doubt, that the tendency of the whole work has been uniformly and essentially infidel. Unless it had been so, it must have been continually at variance with itself—it must have been but one string of discords from beginning to end. The whole tone of the jeering, sarcastic criticisms, with which it has been accustomed to salute the works of the more meditative and Christian authors of the time, would be enough to reveal to us the true purpose it has in view, even although it had never contained a single word expressly and distinctly bearing upon the subject of religion. The truth is, moreover, that, in the present state of the world, all Christians are well entitled to say, “ they that are not with us are against us;" and the coldness and silence of the Edinburgh Reviewers, would have been enough to satisfy any good Christian what their tenets are, even although they had never broken upon their general rule of coldness and silence, by one single audacious whisper of mockery. The negative would have been enough without the positive side of the proof; but alas! those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, can have little difficulty in acknowledging, that the Edinburgh Reviewers have furnished their adversa. ries abundantly with both.
• The system of political opinions, inculcated in the Edinburgh Review, is, in like manner, as I honestly think, admirably fitted to go hand in hand with a system of scepticism; but entirely irreconcilable with the notion of any fervent love and attachment for a religion, which is, above all other things, the religion of feeling. The politicians of this Review are men of great shrewdness and sagacity, and many of them are men of much honesty; but it is impossible to suppose for a moment, that they are men either of very high or of very beautiful feeling. The whole of their views, in regard to the most important series of political convulsions which modern times have ever witnessed, are at variance with deep or refined feeling—they appeal uniformly and unhesitatingly to ideas, which stand exactly in the opposite extremity from those which men inspired with such feelings would have inculcated upon such occasions. To submit to Bonaparte, for example, and to refuse aid to the young patriotism of Spain---these were advices which could only have been seriously pressed upon the consideration of such a nation as England, by men who had banished from their own minds a very great part of that reverence for feeling, (as abstracted from mere questions of immediate and obvious utility,) in the strength and nourishment of which the true old character of England, and of English politicians, grew. In a word, it is sufficiently manifest, that whatever faults the system of these Reviewers may have had, or may still have, it has at least the merit of being a system uniform and consistent in itself. To de. stroy in men's minds the lingering vestiges of love for a religion which is hated by self-love, because its mysteries baffle and con. VOL. XIV.
found the scrutiny of the self-complacent-to reduce the high feeling of patriotism to a principle of arithmetical calculation of utility-and to counteract, by a continued series of sarcastic and merry antidotes, the impression likely to be produced by works appealing to the graver and more mysterious feelings of the human heart-these are purposes which I would by no means say the leaders of this celebrated Journal ever contemplated calmly and leisurely, as the prime objects of their endeavours—but they are purposes which have been all alike firmly, although some of them, perhaps, unconsciously pursued by them; and, indeed, to speak the plain truth of the whole matter, no one of which could have been firmly or effectually pursued, with being pursued in conjunction with the others. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
* In regard to literature, I think the success of the Edinburgh Review has been far more triumphant than in any other department of its exertions. Here it had to encounter fewer obstacles in the previous character and habits of the Scotish people; for the influence of the sceptical philosophy, introduced by the great men of the last
very much removed all feelings of intense admiration for any works besides their own, from among alnıost the only class of people who in Scotland are much interested about such subjects. The Scotish education, too, as you have already seen in part, is not such as to oppose any very formidable barrier of repugnant feelings against the encroachment of the spirit of degrading mockery. Ignorant, in a great measure, of the mighty spirits of antiquity, the Scotish student wants, in truth, the most powerful of all those feelings, which teach and prepare other men to regard, with an eye of humility, as well as of admiration, those who, in their own tiine, seem to revive the greatness of the departed, and vindicate once more, the innate greatness of our nature. It is, indeed, no uncommon thing to meet with men, calling themselves classical scholars, who seem to think it a part of their character as such, to undervalue, on all occasions, the exertions of contemporary genius. But these are only your empty race of solemn pretenders, who read particular books, only because few other people read them—and who, unable themselves to produce any thing worthy of the attention of their own age, are glad to shelter their imbecility under the shadow of over-strained exclusive reverence for ages
that have gone by. It is not necessary to suppose, that liberal and enlightened scholarship has any thing in common with these reverend Tom Folios. The just and genuine effect of intimate acquaintance with the great authors of antiquity, is to make men love and reverence the great authors of their own time—the intellectual kinsmen and heirs of those whom they have so been wont to worship.
• It is, indeed, a very deplorable thing to observe, in what an absurd state of ignorance the majority of educated people in Scotland have been persuaded to keep themselves, concerning much of the best and truest literature of their own age, as well as of the that have gone by. Among the whigs in Edinburgh, above all, a stranger from the south is every day thunderstruck by some new mark of total and inconceivable ignorance concerning men and things, which, to every man of education with whom he has conversed in any other town of Britain, are " familiar as household words.” The degree to which the intellectual subjection of these people have been carried, is a thing of which I am quite sure you cannot possibly have the smallest suspicion. The Edinburgh Re. viewers have not checked or impeded only the influence of particular authors among their countrymen; they have entirely prevented them from ever coming beyond the Tweed. They have willed them to be unkown, absolutely and literally unknown, and so are they at this moment. *
* “The spirit of this facetious and rejoicing ignorance, has become so habitual to the Scotchmen of the present day, that even they who have thrown off all allegiance to the Edinburgh Review, cannot devest themselves of its influence. There is no work which has done so much to weaken the authority of the Edinburgh Review, in such matters, as Blackwood's Magazine; and yet I saw an article in that work the other day, in which it seemed to be made matter of congratulary reflection, that “if Mr. Coleridge should make his appearance suddenly among any company of well educated people on this side the Tweed, he would meet with some little difficulty in making them comprehend who he was.”—What a fine idea for a Scotish critic to hug himself upon! How great is the blessing of a contented disposition!
" * The prestige of the Edinburgh Review has now, most undoubtedly, vanished even here; but there still remains a shadow of it sufficient to invest its old conductors with a kind of authority over the minds of those, who once were disposed to consider them as infallible judges, de omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis; and then the high eminence of some of these gentlemen in their profession of the law, gives them another kind of hold upon the great body of persons following that profession, which is every thing in Edinburgh; because the influence of those who follow it is not neutralized to any considerable extent, by the presence of any great aristocracy, or of any great intellectual cultivation out of themselves. The Scotch are a people of talkers; and among such people, it is wonderful how far the influence of any one person may be carried around and below him, by mere second third and fourth-hand babbling, all derived from one trivial source. I am not, however, of opinion, that this kind of work will go on much longer. Jeffrey has evidently got sick of the Review-and, indeed, when I look back to what he has done, and compare that with what he might have done, I think this is no wonder; Brougham has enough to do in parliament that is to say, he gives himself enough to do; and even there, you well know what a charlatan kind of reputation he has-Horner is dead-Walter Scott has long since left them. The Review is now a very sensible, plain sort of book; in its best parts, certainly not rising above the British Review-and in its inferior parts, there is often a display of calm drivelling, much beyond what the British Review itself would admit. And then there is no point—no wit—no joke-no spirit, nothing of the glee of young
existence about it. It is a very dull book, more proper to read between sleeping and waking, among old, sober, cautious tradesmen, than to give any spring to the fancy or reason of the young, the active, and the intelligent. The secret will out ere long-viz. That the Edinburgh Reviewers have not been able to get any effectual recruits among the young people about them. There is no infusion of fresh blood in the veins of the Review. When one visits Edinburgh, where one cannot stir a step without stumbling over troops of confident, comfortable, glib, smart young whigs, one is at a loss to understand the meaning of this dearth. One would suppose, that every ball-room and tavern overflowed with gay Edinburgh Reviewers. One hears a perpetual buzz about Jeffrey, Brougham, the Review, &c. &c., and would never doubt, that prime articles were undergoing the process of concoction in every corner. But, alas! the fact is, that the young Edinburgh whigs are a set of very stupid fellows, and the Review must wait long enough, if it is never to be resuscitated but by them.
• They are really a very disagreeable set of pretenders. I mean those of them that do make any pretensions at all to literary character. They are very ill educated in general; they have no classical learning; few of them can construe two lines of any Latin poet; and as for Greek, they scarcely know which end of the book should be held to their noses. They have never studied any philosophy of any kind-unless attending a course of lectures on metaphysics, delivered by a man far too ingenious to be comprehended for above five sentences at a time, by persons of their acquirements and ca. pacity, can be called studying philosophy. They know sometimes a little about chemistry and geology, to be sure; but these are studies in which the proficiency of mere amateurs, can never be any great matter. They know a very little of English history and politics-enough to enable them to spin out a few half-hours of blarney, in their debating societies. But, upon the whole, it may safely be asserted, that all they know, worthy of being known, upon any subject of general literature, politics or philosophy, is derived from the Edinburgh Review itself; and as they cannot do the Review any great service by giving it back its own materials, I conceive that this work is just in the act of falling a sacrifice to