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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


Gewge Stmt.1 WILLTAM BLACKWOOD. 141 Letters,?? &c. At what precise period Professor Wilson came into personal communication with old William Blackwood is not quite known, but he had been for some time an anonymous contributor, under the initial N. His last papers, Nos. g and 10 of ? Dies Boreales,? were written, we believe, in the autumn of 1852. William Blackwood himself never wrote more thah two or three articles for the earlier numbers, but the whole management and arrangement devolved upon him at No. 17 - First there is, as usual, a spacious place set apzrt for retail business, and a numerous detachment of young clerks and apprentices, to whose management that important department of the concern is entrusted. Then you have an elegant oval saloon, lighted from the roof, where various groups of loungers and literary diktfanti are engaged at, or criticising amongst themselves, the publications just amved by that day?s coach from London. In such critical colloquies the voice of the bookseller THE SALOON IN MESSRS. BLACKWOODS? ESTABLISHMENT. Princes Street, and he executed the editorial duties with unusual skill, tact, and vigour. He was still there in 1823, when Leigh Hunt threatened legal proceedings against the magazine-? a cockney crow,? as Lockhart called it in one of his letters to Wilson; adding, ?Who the devil czres for all cockneydom 7 ? His establishment in 45 Georg: Street is very like what we find it described as having been in ? Peter?s Letters ? (Vol. 11.) :-? The length of vista presented to one on entering the shop has a very imposing effect, for it is carried back, room after room, through various gradations of light and shadow, till the eye cannot distinctly trace the outline of any object in the farthest distance. himself may ever and anon be heard mingling the broad and unadulterated notes of its -4uld Reekie music ; for, unless occupied in the recesses of the premises with some other business, it is here he has his usual station. He is a nimble, active-looking man, of middle age, and moves about from one corfier to another with great alacrity, and apparently under the influence of high animal spirits. His complexion is very sanguineous, but nothing can be more intelligent, keen, and sagacious than the expression of the whole physiognomy; above all, the grey eyes and eyebrows, as full of locomotion as those of Catalani. The remarks he makes are, in general, extremely acute-much more so, indeed, than those of any other member of the trade I
Volume 3 Page 141
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