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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 39 1 tion of an impartial and unbiassed guardian of public opinion. ‘( He is a Scotsmn,” says a Cockney writer, “without one particle of hypocrisy, of cant, or servility, or selfishness in his composition [I I] He has not been spoiled by fortune-has not been tempted by power-is firm without violence, friendly without weakness-a critic and even-tempered-a casuist and an honest man ; and, amidst the toils of his profession, and the distractions of the world, retains the gaiety, the unpretending carelessness and simplicity of youth.” The strictures of the Review, however, were in many instances too severe, or too honest and candid, to be palatable. Moore was provoked to demand the (‘ satisfaction of a gentleman ;”l and Byron, smarting under the castigation inflicted on his (‘ Hours of Idleness,” produced the well-known tirade entitled “English Bards and Scots Reviewers ;” while, among the many pasquinade5 by offended authors of less degree, the following epigramic description of the Editor has no little merit :- “ Witty as Horatius Flaccus ; As great a democrat as Gracchus ; As short, but not so fat m Bwchus- Here rides Jeffrey on his Jack-nss/”’ Sir Walter Scott was at the outset a contributor to the Review, but he gradually became estranged on account of its politics. In 1809 he was among the first to lend his aid in establishing the London Quurterly, a journal of avowed Conservative principles ; and, though still continuing friendly with Jeftrey, their intimacy was on more than one occasion disturbed by the critical remarks of the latter. The bitterness of offended authorship however, in as far as regards Lord Jeffrey, became a thing of the past, Byron read his recantation-Moore became “On Monday morning, August 11 (1806) two gentlemen met at Chalk Farm, near London, with an intention to fight a duel, when they were immediately seized by three Bow Street officers, . disarmed, and carried before Justice Read, at the Police Office, who admitted them to bail to keep the peace, themselves in 2400 each, and two sureties in $200 each. The parties were, Francis Jeffrey, Esq., advocate, of Edinburgh, and Thomas Moore, Esq., known by the appellation of Anacreon Moore.” The cause of this meeting originated in a critique of the “Epistles, Odes, and other Poems,” by Thomas Moore ; in which the Reviewer commented with much severity on the corrupt tendency of the author’s writings. ’ “ There is nothing, it will be allowed, more indefensible,” says the article, “than a cold-blooded attempt to corrupt the purity of an innocent heart ; and we can scarcely conceive any being more truly despicable than he who, without the apology of unruly passion, or tumultuous deaires, sits down to ransack the impure place of his memory for inflammatory images and expressions, and commits them laboriously to writing, for the purpose of insinuating pollution into the minds of unknown and unsuspecting readers. It seems to be hi (Nr. Moore’s) aim, to impose corruption upon his readers, by conceding it under the mask of refinement. It is doubly necessary to put the law in force against this deZinquent, ainca he has not only indicated a disposition to do mischief, but seems unfortunately to have found an opportunity. * * Such are the demerits of ‘this work, that we wish to see it consigned to universal reprobation.” Mr. Moore, greatly offended, sought the author of the article, and Nr. Jeffrey, then in London, came forward boldly, and avowed himself the writer. The lines are attributed to the Rev. Sydney Smith ; and were suggested, it is said, from the circumstaucea of Mr. Jeffrey having been found on one occasion, greatly to the amusement of his friend’s children, actually mounted on the back of one of that much vilified race of animals-a donkey. . 3 By the jack-ess is meant the Edinburgh Review.
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392 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. ;1 particular friend-and even Southey and Wordsworth out-lived the more recent remembrance of the lash. During the sitting of the Court of Session Lord Jeffrey attended his duty with much regularity. As a judge his lordship gave general satisfaction ; and his decisions, which are elaborate and able, were seldom reversed in the Inner House. His treatment of the barristers who pleaded before him was uniformly kind and gentlemanly ; and we believe we may aver, without fear of contradiction, that no individual ever sat on the Scottish Bench more universally respected by all parties, than was the once dreaded Editor of the Edinburgh Beview. His lordship resided chiefly at Craigcrook, a delightful villa about two miles north-west of Edinburgh. In 1801 he married a daughter of the Rev. Dr Wilson, Hebrew Professor at St. Andrews ; and secondly, in 1813, a grandniece of the celebrated John Wilkes, .Miss Wilkes of New York, for whom, with true gallantry, he ventured across the Atlantic while war was hotly waged between the two countries. He had one child, a daughter (Charlotte Wilkes), married, on the 27th of June 1838, to William Empson, Esq., of Lincoln's Inn. In concluding this brief and imperfect sketch of one whose name is so widely known, and of whom the Scottish metropolis may justly be.proud, we certainly owe an apology for the scanty materials within our reach. Our readers will understand us when we say that the time is not yet come for more minute detail, and then the task will be undertaken by more competent biographers. We ought not to omit mentioning, however, the great interest taken by Lord Jeffrey in promoting the fine arts, his taste for which was universally acknowledged. Whether by private or public encouragement, he always showed himself their ready and willing patron, His lordship was a member of the Bannatyne and Abbotsford Clubs? No. CCCIII. CAPTAIN DALRYMPLE, AND MISS MACDONALD OF CLANRONALD. CAPTAIN DALRYMPLE HORN ELPHINSTONE (afterwards SIR ROBERT), of Horn, Westhall, and Logie, held a commission for some time in the third Regiment of Foot Guards, under the Duke of York. His father, General Dalrymple, who died in 1794, aged seventy-seven, was a distinguished soldier. The General was the third son of Hugh Dalymple of Drummore (grandson of theViscount Stair), Lord Jeffrey died at his house, No. 25 Moray' Place, Edinburgh, on the 26th January 1850, The detailed biography alluded to above aa a desideratum See Cockburn's Life of Jefrey, 8v0, with portrait, A third and smaller being then iu his seventy-seventh year. has been worthily supplied by Lord Cockburn. 1852 (A. and C. Black), and which reached a second edition the same year. edition was issued in 1872.
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