afraid of ‘sinking in estimation’ by being ‘articled to a trade that is not perhaps the most respectable.’ His contributors equally regarded the ‘Review’ as subsidiary to other pursuits.
Although Jeffrey and his associates were whigs, the ‘Review’ did not at first take a strong political line. Scott's toryism did not prevent him from contributing several literary articles during 1803, 1805, and 1806. Although favouring Roman catholic emancipation and opposing the war, it held so moderate a tone, that Scott advised Southey in December 1807 to become a contributor. Southey declined on the ground of its politics, and (probably) also of its attacks upon the ‘Lake poets.’ Scott admitted, in reply, that the growing whiggism of the ‘Review,’ especially in regard to catholic emancipation, had given him some scruples. The publication of the ‘famous’ Cevallos article in No. 26 finally clinched the matter. This article, written, it seems, by Jeffrey himself, with some help from Brougham (see Macvey Napier's Correspondence, p. 308, for the evidence), expressed utter despondency as to the English operations in Spain. Scott at once stopped his subscription to the ‘Review,’ and decisive measures were now taken for starting the ‘Quarterly Review’ in opposition. On 19 Nov. 1808 Scott wrote to his brother describing a conversation in which Jeffrey had ‘offered terms of pacification, engaging that no party politics should again appear in his “Review.”’ After the publication of this letter in Lockhart's ‘Life of Scott,’ Jeffrey, on republishing his essays, declared in the preface that Scott must have misunderstood, and that he could never have made such an offer, because his contributors were too independent, and he had remembered to have told Scott that he had for six years regarded politics as ‘the right leg’ of the ‘Review’ (ib. p. 435). The truth is no doubt shown by a contemporary letter written by Jeffrey to Horner on 6 Dec. 1808 (Horner, Memoirs, 1853, i. 464) to ask help ‘in the day of need’ caused by the threatened competition. He tells his correspondent to write anything, ‘only no party politics, and nothing but exemplary moderation and impartiality on all politics.’ The context shows that by ‘party politics’ he did not mean whig politics, but only unfair and irritating methods of party warfare. The elastic term gave rise to a misunderstanding. Brougham told Napier (Correspondence, p. 308) in 1839 that the Cevallos article had first made the reviewers conspicuous as ‘liberals.’ All the inner circle of reviewers were whigs, and naturally gave a whiggish tone to the ‘Review.’ The competition of the ‘Quarterly’ gave it a more distinctive party colour, especially as Brougham became its chief political writer. Jeffrey himself wrote very few political articles. He was at no time an enthusiast. Throughout life his natural despondency constantly showed itself. He was ‘mortally afraid of the war’ (Cockburn, i. 234), and of revolution afterwards. Sympathising with whig principles, he thought their aristocratic tendencies dangerous, because such tendencies weakened their capacity for leading, and so controlling, the popular party. He dreaded Cobbett and the popular radicals as well as Bentham and the philosophical radicals. He complained characteristically of Carlyle for being too much in earnest, and was regarded by the radicals as a mere trimmer (see the remarkable articles by James Mill in the first number of the Westminster Review, and J. S. Mill's account of it in his Autobiography). On the triumph of whig principles in the Reform Bill period, the ‘Edinburgh Reviewers’ were inclined to take a little too much credit for their advocacy of the party creed. To say nothing of the general causes at work, this implied a considerable injustice to the radicals, whose advocacy had been far more thoroughgoing, and therefore exposed to much greater dangers. Neither Jeffrey nor his colleagues had ever ventured within reach of the law of libel. It may, however, be said with equal truth that they introduced a far higher tone of discussion than had hitherto been known in periodical writing; that they were honest in adherence to their own principles, and facilitated the spread of liberalism among the more educated classes. However timid politically, Jeffrey always defended what he held to be just, and was hostile to every form of tyranny.
Jeffrey's professional progress was still slow. In 1803 he was inclined to accept a professorship of moral and political science in the college recently started at Calcutta. His income at the bar at this time was only 240l. (to Horner, 21 March 1804). He became an ensign in a volunteer regiment in 1803, with a strong conviction that an invasion was imminent, but showed so little military aptitude, that he was never at home in his uniform, and could hardly, according to Cockburn, face his company to the right or left. He visited London in 1804, to enjoy his fame and see his friends, as well as to seek recruits; but he returned to Edinburgh with a fresh zest for the old home and the pleasant society, which then included a large proportion of the literary celebrities of the day. He began to make his way, and his