Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/22

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

become unequivocably Whiggish, and just at this time excited Scott's warmest indignation by an article proving the utter hopelessness of this new military venture. He at once took up most energetically the scheme for starting the Quarterly Review as an antidote to the poison of the Edinburgh. He wrote articles for it himself, enlisted recruits on all sides, and soon threw down the gauntlet to his antagonist. His publishing project fell in with this scheme. The new firm would enable him to garrison Edinburgh and organise what literary faculty there might be in the Tory party. It would act in alliance with Murray, the publisher of the Quarterly, and it would publish an Edinburgh Annual Register, which should enable him to expound the true version of contemporary history. He has thus concocted, as he tells Morritt (January 1809), 'a grand scheme of opposition to the proud critics of Edinburgh.' The Whigs should no longer have it in their power to suppress wholesome literature. Besides defending the good cause, he would be able to help needy friends. Southey, for example, was to be the main historian of the Register. And then there were more purely literary purposes in which Scott was greatly interested. He had