Page:Studies of a Biographer 1.djvu/73

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59
THE EVOLUTION OF EDITORS


a sequence like that of The Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews. These two were the first, and till The Edinburgh Review, the leading representatives of literary criticism. Both of them were edited by the publishers. Griffiths, in particular, is famous as the taskmaster of Goldsmith. When a publisher has to do with a man of genius, especially with a man of genius over whom it is proper to be sentimental, he may be pretty certain of contemptuous treatment by the biographers of his client. Yet it is possible than even Griffiths had something to say for himself, and that if he was a hard master, Goldsmith may not have been a very business-like subordinate. Still, as Griffiths is said to have made £2000 a year by a venture to which Goldsmith only owed a bare escape from starvation, the printer may have been of opinion that the immediate profit was worth a good deal of posthumous abuse. However this may be, it is noticeable that the men of letters who appear in Boswell's great portrait gallery had no haven of editorship to drift into. They might be employed by the publisher of a magazine, and no doubt their drudgery would involve some of the work of a modern editor. But there was no such pillow for the wearied author as a regular