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annihilate the being who fostered attacks on the clergy (and that in a them.
country of Presbyters,) and the flowSuch a character was the Authoring acrimony of his literary libels, innow before us.
deed, presented a new feature in D. GILBERT STUART seems early Scottish literature, but of such ugliin life to have devoted himself to ness and horror, that every honourliterature ; but his habits were irre- able man soon averted his face from gular, and his passions fierce. The this Boulefru. celebrity of Robertson, Blair, and He designed to ornament his first Henry, with other Scottish writers, number with diseased his mind with a most envious rancour. He confined all his literary in his quadruped form. I most ear
“ A print of my Lord Monboddo efforts to the pitiable motive of destroying theirs; and the fact is, that nestly bey that you will purchase for he was prompted to every one of his
me a copy of it in some of the Macahistorical works by the mere desire of roni.print shops. It is not to be prodiscrediting some work of Robertson; raid to vend it here.
cured at Edinburgh. They are afand his numerous critical labours were it on the footing of a figure of an ani
We are to take directed to annihilate all the genius mal, not yet described ; and are to of his country. How he converted his life into its own scourge, wasted give a grave, yet satirical account of talents he might have cultivated into it, in the manner of Buffon. It would perfection, lost every trace of huma
not be proper to allude to his Lordnity, and finally perished, devoured by ship, but in a very distant manner." his own fiend-like passions, shall be It was not, however, ventured on illustrated by the following narrative, and the non-descript animal was still collected from a correspondence now confined to the windows of " the malying before me, which the Author caroni-print shops ;"-it was howearried on for several years with his ever the bloom of the Author's fancy, publisher in London. I shall copy and promised all the mellow fruits it out at some length the hopes and dis- afterwards produced. appointments of the literary adven In September this ardour did not turer--the colours are not mine ; I abate. ar dipping my pencil in the pallet of the artist himself.
“ The proposals are issued; the In June 1773 was commenced the subscriptions in the booksellers shops project of “ The Edinburgh Maga
astonish; correspondents flock in ; zine and Review.” Stuart's letters and, what will surprise you, the timid breathe the spirit of rapturous confi- proprietors of the Scots Magazine dence, and the first volumes were ex
have come to the resolution of dropecuted with more talent than the pe- this, and so do I too.”
ping their work. You stare at all riodical publications of those times had shewn. Stuart had combined the Thus he flatters himself he is to ansedulous attention of the intelligent nibilate his rival, without even strikSmellie, who was also the printer ; ing the first blow; the appearance of and the Review department was di- his first number is to be the inoment vided among them and some very ho- when their last is to come forth ! nourable critics; Professor Baron, Dr Authors, like the discoverers of mines, Blacklock, and Professor Richardson. are the vost sanguine creatures in But the genius of Stuart had not yet the world : Gilbert Stuart afterwards betrayed itself to his colleagues; the flattered himself Dr Henry was lyhardiness of his opinions, his offensive ing at the point of death, from the
scalping of his tomahawk pen-but must be independent, to be pure. If of this anon!
the Edinburgh Review continues to On the publication of the first num- succeed in its sale, as Stuart fancies, ber in November 1773, all is exulta- Edinburgh itself may be in some dantion; and an account is facetiously ger. His perfect contempt of his coexpected that “ a thousand copies had temporaries is amusing : emigrated from the Row, and Fleet
"Monboddo's second volume is pubstreet."
There is a serious composure in the lished, and, with Kaimes, will appear letter of December, which seems to.
in our next; the former is a childish be occasioned by the tempered answer
performance; the latter rather better. of his London Correspondent. The
We are to treat them with a good work was more suited to the meridian deal of freedom. I observe an amaof Edinburgh; and from causes suffi- zing falling off in the English Reciently obvious, its personality and fancy they have no assistance but
views. We beat them hollow. I causticity. Stuart, however, assures
from the Dissenters, a dull body of his friend, that “the second number you will find better than the first,
The Monthly will not easily and the third better than the second."
recover the death of Hawkesworth; The next letter is dated March 4; saken them for I see no longer his
and I suspect that Langhorne has for1774, in which I find our Author still in good spirits. “ The Magazine rises, and pro- den, and the moral catastrophe of our
We are now hastening to the sud. mises much, in this quarter. Our Artillery has silenced all opposition, thor flattered his genius with emigra
tale. The thousand copies the au. The rogues of the - uplifted hands' decline the combat.” These rogues innocent state, little disturbed by pub
ting to London, remained here in an are the Clergy; and some others, who
lic enquiry; the personal animosity had “ uplifted hands” from the vituperative nature of their adversary ; ter in Scotland, which had inflamed
against almost every literary characfor he tells us, that“ now the Clergy the sale, became naturally the latent are silent, the Town-council have bad the presumption to oppose us ; there had but a feverish existence, and
cause of its extinction ; for its life and have threatened Creech (the pub- its florid complexion carried with it lisher in Edinburgb) with the terror of making him a constable for his in the seeds of its dissolution. Stuart at solence. A pamphlet on the abuses length quarrelled with his coadjutor of Heriot's hospital, including a direct Smellie, for altering his Reviews, and proof of perjury in the Provost, was
whose prudential dexterity was such,
that in an article designed to level the punishment inflicted in return.And new papers are forging to chas- the whole libel was completely meta
Lord Kaimes with Lord Monboddo, tise them in regard to the poor's rate, morphosed into a panegyric. They which is again started; the improper
were involved in a law-suit about “a ehoice of professors; and violent stretches of the impost. The Liberty enraged Zoilus complain of “ his hours
blasphemous paper.” And now the of the Press in its fullest extent is to be employed against them."
of peevishness and dissatisfaction."
He acknowledges that " a circumSuch is the language of Reform, stance had happened, which had broke and the spirit of a Reformist! A little his peace and ease altogether för some private malignity thus ferments a good weeks." And now he resolves that deal of public spirit---but patriotism this great work shall quictly sink in
to a mere compilation from the Lon- anathematizes the Scottish people ! don periodical works. Such then is for not rendering fashionable, blasthe progress of malignant genius - phemy, calumny, and every species of The author, like Phalaris, is writhing literary criminality. Such are the in that machine of tortures he had in- monstrous passions that swell out the vented for others.
poisonous breast of genius, deprived We now come to a very remark- of every moral restraint; and such able passage-it is the frenzied lan- was the demoniac irritability which guage of disappointed wickedness!
prompted a wish in Collot d'Herbois 6 17 June 1774.
to set fire to the four quarters of the “ It is an infinite disappointment der mercies,”' the kennels of the
city of Lyons; while, in his “tento me, that the Magazine does not grow in London; I thought the streets were running with the blood soil had been richer. But it is my that the Lyonese had, when he was
of its inhabitants---remembering still constant fate to be disappointed in
a miserable actor, hissed him off the every thing I attempt; I do not think I ever had a wish that was gratified ;
Stuart curses his country, and rer and never dreaded an event that did
treats to London. Fallen, but not not come. With this felicity of fate, I wonder how the devil I could turn abject; repulsed, but not altered ; projector. I am now sorry that I degraded, but still haughty. No left London ; and the moment that change of place could operate any in
his heart. He was born in literary I have money enough to carry me back to it, I shall set off. I mor
crime, and he perished in it. It was tally detest and abhor this place, and now “The English Review” was inNever was there a
stituted, with his idol Whitaker, the
historian of Manchester, and others, a city where there was so much pre
" to Whitaker he assigns tension to knowledge, and that had so little of it. The solemn foppery, Hume and Robertson.”* I have heard
the palm of history in preference to and the gross stupidity of the Scottish literati , are perfectly insupport- than Whitaker, and ranked himself
that he considered himself higher able. I shall drop my idea of a Scots newspaper. Nothing will do in this
with Montesquieu. He negotiated country that has common sense in it; laws degree; and they were now in
for Whitaker and himself a doctor of only cant, hypocrisy, and superstition, the titular possession of all the fame will flourish here. A curse on the country, and all the men, women, and
which a dozen pieces could bestow! children of it!"
But to return to “ The English ReAgain-—“The publication is top view,” in which broke forth all the good for the country. There are
genius of Stuart in an unnatural war
fare of Scotchmen in London against very few men of taste or erudition on this side the Tweed. Yet every
Scotchmen at Edinburgh. The idiot one meets with, lays claim to
bitter herbs,” which seasoned it aboth. Yet the success of the Maga, the first authors of the age, at first
gainst Blair, Robertson, Gibbon, and zine is in reality greater than we could provoked the public appetite, which expect, considering that we have every afterwards indignantly rejected the Clergyman in the kingdom to oppose it; and that the Magistracy of the palatable garbage. place are every moment threatening spectacle of a Literary Conspiracy:
I am now to exhibit the singular its destruction."
It was conducted by Stuart, with a And, therefore, this recreant Scot, pertinacity of invention, perhaps not
every body in it.
to be paralleled in literary history. his copies are returned ; and his old That he succeeded for a considerable friends have forsaken him; pray in time in destroying the peace of mind what state is he in London Henry of such an industrious author as Dr has delayed his London journey; you Henry; that Stuart stopped the sale of cannot easily conceive how exceeding. a work on which Henry had expend- ly he is humbled *. ed much of his fortune and his life; “ I wish I could transport myself that when the Historian, covered to London to Review him for the with obloquy and ridicule, in despair Monthly. A fire there, and in the left Edinburgh for London, still en- Critical, would perfectly annihilate countering the same hostility - per- him. Could you do nothing in the haps was never even known to its latter? To the former I suppose victim. The multiplied forms of David Hume has transcribed the aithis Proteus of the Malevoli, were ticism he intended for us. It is prestill but one Devil; fire or water, or cious, and would divert you. I keep a bull or a lion ; still it was the same a proof of it in my cabinet, for the Proteus, the same Stuart.
amusement of friends. This great From this correspondence I am en- philosopher begins to doat +." abled to collect the commencement and the end of this literary conspira- his arrival in London, from various
Stuart prepares to assail Henry, en cy, with all its intermediate links.
quarters It first appears that,
to lower the value of his “ 25 Nov. 1773,
history in the estimation of the pure
chasers. We have been attacked from
“ 21 March, 1774. different quarters, and Dr Henry in particular has given a long and dull
" To-morrow morning Henry sets defence of his Sermon.
I have re-
of plied to it, with a degree of spirit, altogether unknown in this country. The reverend historian was perfectly
* It may be curious to present Stuart's
idea of the literary talents of Henry. Henastonished; and has actually invited
ry's unhappy turn for humour, and a style the Society for propagating Christian little accordant with historical dignity, lie Knowledge to arm in his cause! I fairly open to the critic's animadversion.am about to be persecuted by the But the research and application of the wriwhole Clergy, and I am about to per- extracted high commendations. But we
ter, which, at that day, were considerable, secute them in my turn. They are
are told, that “ he neither furnishes enterhot and zealous; I am cool and dis- tainment nor instruction. Diffuse, vulgar, passionate, like a determined sceptic: and ungrammatical, he strips history of all since I have entered the lists, I must
her ornaments. As an antiquary, he wants fight; I must gain the victory, or pe- rian, he is destitute of fire, taste, and senti
accuracy and knowledge; and, as an historish like a man."
ment. His work is a gazette, in which we “ 13 Dec. 1773. find actions and events, without their cau
ses; and in which we meet with the names, " David Hume wants to review
without the characters of personages. He Henry; but that task is so precious has amassed all the refuse and lumber of that I will undertake it myself.- the times he would record.”. Stuart never Moses, were he to ask it as a favour, imagined that the time would arrive, when should not have it ; yea, not even the the name of Henry would be familiar to man after God's own heart."
English readers, and, by many, that of Stile
art would not be recollected. “ 4 March, 1774. + The Critique on Henry, in the Monthly “ This month Henry is utterly de
Review, was written by Hume-and, be
cause the philosopher was candid, be is here anolished; his sale is stopt, many of said to have doated.
of selling his History. I wish he had contempt for Henry. The idiot threadelayed till our last Review of him tened, when he left Edinburgh, that had reached your city. But I really he would find a method to manage suppose that he has little probability the Reviews, and that he would opof getting any gratuity. The trade pose their panegyric to our censure. are too sharp to give precious gold Hume has behaved ill in the affair, for perfect nonsense. I wish sincere- and I am preparing to chastise him. ly that I could enter Holborn the You may expect a series of papers in same hour with him. He should the Magazine, pointing out a multihave a repeated fire to combat with. tude of his errors, and ascertaining I intreat that you may be so kind as his ignorance of English history. It to let him feel some of your thunder. was too much for my temper to be I shall never forget the favour. If assailed both by infidels and belieWhitaker is in London, he could give vers. My pride could not submit to a blow. Paterson will give him a it. I shall aet in my defence with a knock. Strike by all means. The spirit which it seems they have not wretch will tremble, grow pale, and expected." return with a consciousness of his de.
“ J1 April, 1774. bility. I intreat I may hear from “ I received, with infinite pleasure, you a day or two after you have seen the annunciation of the great man inhim. He will complain grievously to the capital. It is forcible and ex. of me to Strahan and Rose. I shall cellent ; and you have my best thanks send you a paper about him ; an ad- for it. You improve amazingly:vertisement from Parnassus in the The poor creature will be stupified manner of Boccalini.”
Inclosed is a pa“ March, 1774. per for him. Boccalini will follow. “ Dr Henry has by this time I shall fall upon a method to let DaTeached you. I think I think you ought to
vid know Henry's transaction about pay your respects to him in the Morn- his Review. It is mean to the last ing Chronicle. If you would only degree. But what could one expect transcribe his jests, it would make him from the most ignorant and the most perfectly ridiculous. See, for exam- contemptible man alive? Do you ple, what he says of St Dunstan. A
ever see Macfarlane? He owes me a word to the wise."
favour for his history of George III. “ March 27, 1774. The idiot is to be Moderator for the
and would give a fire for the Packet. “ I have a thousand thanks to give ensuing Assembly. It shall not; you for your insertion of the paper in however, be without opposition, the London Chronicle ; and for the
“ Would the paragraph about him part you propose to act in regard to from the inclused leaf of the EdinHenry. I could wish that you knew burgh Review be any disgrace to the for certain his being in London be- Morning Chronicle ?" fore you strike the first blow. An inquiry at Cadell's will give this.
“ 20th May 1774. When you have an enemy to attack, “ Boccalini I thought of transmitI shall in return give my best assist ting, when the Revd Historian, for ance, and aim at him a mortal blow, whose use it was intended, made his and rush forward to his overthrow, appearance at Edinburgh. But it tho’ the flames of hell should start up will not be lost. He shall most certo oppose me.
tainly see it. David's critique was “ It pleases me, beyond what I can most acceptable.
most acceptable. It is a curious express, that Whitaker has an equal specimen, in one view, of insolent vaSept. 1812.