Page images
PDF
[graphic]

CONTRIBUTIONS

TO THE

EDINBURGH REVIEW.

Br

FRANCIS JEFFREY,

NOW ONE OF THE JUDGES OF THE COURT OF SESSION IN SCOTLAM0

, -- iv TOKti,

POUR VOLUMES.

COMPLETE IN ONE.

BOSTON:ILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY.

NEW YORK: JAMES C. DERBY.
1 8 5 4.

[graphic][graphic][merged small]

"The true Jeffrey whom we meet with In these volumes, present! a character somewhat of this sort :— u lie was formed undoubtedly to be the first crliic of the age: and of poetry, he was probably the best judge that ever lived. An intellect of the highest capacity and of a very rare order of completeness,—educated by a perfect acquaintance with the best systems of metaphysical philosophy,—is, in him, pervaded and informed by those moral perceptions which Indeed form so invariable an adjunct of the highest kind of great understandings, that they ought perhaps to be treated as merely the loftiest sort of mental qualities. His perception of truth is almost an instinct, and his love of it truly conscientious. His objects, in taking up any work or subject, are to appreciate and to Judge; his searching and sensitive intelligence makes him sure of the former, and the sound* ness of his views fits him for the other. Uis temper is admirable. He scetne to have no prepossessions—to be free from all vanity and Jealousy—to possess a tone of impartiality and generous candour, almost cavalier in its loftiness. He has not a particle of cant, none of the formality or pretension of professional style ; but on the contrary, writes thoroughly like a gentleman, and with the air of perfect breeding. lie inspires you with entire confidence and a cordial liking. All his own displays are in the truest good taste—simple, easy, natural, without ambition or effort. He has the powers, the morals, and the manners of the best style of writing. There are, however, hut two persons who stand so prominently before the world, that they deserve to be set for comparison with Jeffrey: they, of course arc Carlyle and Macauley. We should distinguish them by saying that Macaulcy id a good reviewer, but a sorry critic; Carlyle an admirable critic, but a miserable reviewer; while we look on Jeffrey as being at once the best critic and the best reviewer of the age.

"We must content ourselves with this brief note tending to propitiate the regard of the reader, in advance, for the Lord Jeffrey; for our limits forbid extracts. Else, we could show a specimen of the most exquisite beauty composition, and of the noblest eloquence, that the literature of any age can furnish. But the strength of Jef

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][graphic][graphic]

TO

THE REVEREND SYDNEY SMITH,

TIIE ORIGINAL PROJECTOR OF THE EDINBURGH REVIEW, LONG ITS BRIGHTEST ORNAMENT, AND ALWAYS MY TRUE AND INDULGENT FRIEND,

3 now Oebicute iljis Republication;

FROM LOVE OF OLD RECOLLECTIONS,

AND IN TOKEN

OF UNCHANGED AFFECTION AND ESTEEM.

F. JEFFREY.

« PreviousContinue »