guineas to spare he engaged himself, in the beginning of 1801, to Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Wilson, professor of church history at St. Andrews, a second cousin of his own. His friends wished him to apply for the chair of history in the university of Edinburgh, vacated in 1801 by the resignation of A. F. Tytler, but his whiggism made success hopeless. He married Miss Wilson on 1 Nov. 1801; she had no money; his father was able to give little help, and he had not made 100l. a year at the bar. The young couple settled in a third story flat in Buccleuch Place, moving in May 1802 to an upper story in 62 Queen Street. His professional prospects began to improve, and he made some reputation (May 1802) by a speech before the general assembly. In the summer of 1801 he had stood for a reportership of the court of sessions, a small office for which he was proposed by Henry Erskine. He was beaten on purely party grounds by a large majority. The contest led to the ‘solitary eclipse’ which ever obscured a friendship of Jeffrey. One of the judges, Sir William Miller, lord Glenlee [q. v.], refused to support a whig, and a coolness ensued which lasted till 1826 (ib. i. 416). This disappointment disposed Jeffrey to look for other employment. His social qualities and his brilliant talents had made him intimate with a circle of promising young men then resident at Edinburgh. Sydney Smith, Brougham, and Horner were the chief; and at a meeting in Buccleuch Place (on the third, not the ‘eighth or ninth’ story) Smith's proposal to start a review (preface to Smith's Works) was ‘carried by acclamation.’ Jeffrey afterwards dedicated his collected essays to Smith as ‘the original projector of the “Edinburgh Review.”’ It is probable enough, as Cockburn thinks (p. 125), that the subject had been previously mooted, although first seriously considered at this meeting. Jeffrey had already published some articles, and three appeared in the ‘Monthly Review’ in June, July, and November, 1802 (the first two on White's ‘Etymoligon,’ the third on Southey's ‘Thalaba’).
The first number was prepared by the friends in committee, although Smith appears to have considered himself as editor. The confederates met at a ‘dingy room off Willison's printing-office in Craig's Close;’ Smith, who was very timid, insisting upon their repairing singly, and by back approaches, to the office. They read proofs and copy in committee, but within a year the awkwardness of this system led to the appointment of Jeffrey as responsible editor. Constable, the first publisher, agreed to take the risk, and was allowed to have the first three numbers as a gift. He afterwards agreed to pay ten guineas a sheet, ‘three times what was ever paid before for such work’ (Cockburn, ii. 74), but the minimum was soon raised to sixteen guineas, and the average during Jeffrey's reign was (as he thinks) from twenty to twenty-five guineas. The editor was, by the first agreement, to have 50l. a number (ib. ii. 70). The ‘Review’ made an instant success, to the surprise of Jeffrey, who, with characteristic pessimism, expected it to die soon, and meant to drop his own connection with it (ib. p. 129) after fulfilling his promises of support for the first four numbers. The first number appeared on 10 Oct. 1802; in July 1803 Jeffrey tells his brother that they are selling 2,500 copies (ib. ii. 74); in 1808 Scott put the circulation at 8,000 or 9,000 (to Gifford, 25 Oct.), and in 1814 Jeffrey told Moore (Moore, Diaries, ii. 40) that they printed nearly 13,000 copies. The success was due to the independence of the ‘Review,’ its predecessors having been always under the influence of publishers, and to the speedy substitution of the plan of handsome payment of contributors for the original scheme of gratuitous service. This enabled it to flourish when the singularly able group of young men who wrote the first numbers had dispersed. Thomas Brown and John Thompson took offence at some editorial liberties, and left the ‘Review,’ without, however, quarrelling with Jeffrey. Brougham claimed three articles in the first number; Jeffrey (Cockburn, i. 137) said that he was kept out by Smith from doubts of his prudence till after the third number, and told Macvey Napier (Correspondence, p. 433) that he did not come in till ‘after the third number, and our assured success.’ Smith, Horner, Brougham, John Allen, and others, left Edinburgh in a year or two. Jeffrey remained, continued to receive contributions from the absentees, and naturally became the sole controller of the ‘Review.’ He used his powers of excision and alteration very freely, probably too freely, and he allowed some contributors, especially Brougham, to go beyond the limits of what he personally approved; but there can be no doubt that he was one of the best editors who ever managed a review, and under his rule it became indisputably the leading organ of public opinion and the most dreaded of critical censors. Jeffrey, however, still considered the editing of the ‘Review’ as subordinate to his professional career. On becoming definitely editor, he told Horner (11 May 1803) that it was known that he would ‘renounce it as soon as he could do without it,’ and was