Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


140 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Geage Street. ?( Chaldee Manuscript,? the effect of which upon the then circle of Edinburgh society can hardly be realised now ; but this pungent jeu d?esprit, of which it is scarcely necessary to give any account here, is still preserved in Volume IV. of the works of Professor Wilson. The sensation excited by the new magazine was kept up by all the successive numbers, though for some months no one was attacked; but the subjects discussed were handled in a masterly manner, and exhibited a variety of talent that could not fail to influence and command the respect of all ; and it has been said that the early defects of the magazine are nowhere better analysed than by the hands 1 of those who did the work-the authors of ? Peter?s In October, 1817, he brought out the first number of that celebrated magazine which has enrolled among its contributors the names of Wilson, Scott, Henry Mackenzie, J. McCrie, Brewster, De Quincey, Hamilton (the author of ? Cyril Thornton ?), Aytoun, Alison, Lockhart, Bulwer, Warren, James Hogg, Dr. Moir, and a host of others. This periodical had a predecessor, l l e Edinburgir Monthly Magazine, projected in April, 18~7, and edited by Thomas Pringle, a able and interesting papers, contained three calculated to create curiosity, offence, and excitement. The first was a fierce assault on Coleridge?s Biog7aphia Literaria, which was stigmatised as a ? most execrable ? performance, and its author ? a miserable compound of egotism and nialignity.? The second was a still more bitter attack on high Hunt, who was denounced as a ?profligate creature,? one ?( without reverence for either God or man.? The third was the famous highly-esteemed poet and miscellaneous writer, the son of a farmet in Teviotdale, and this falling into the hands of new proprietors, became the famous Blackzeoo&s Magazine. This was consequently No. VII. of the series, though the first of Blackamd. (?In the previous six numbers there had been nothing allowed to creep in that could possibly offend the most zealous partisan of the blue and yellow,? says airs. Gordon, in her ?Life of Professor Wilson.? In the first Number the Edinburgh Review had been praised for its moderation, ability, and delicate taste, and politics were rather eschewed ; but Number seven ?spoke a different language, and proclaimed a new and sterner creed,? and among
Volume 3 Page 140
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