The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 3

By Mary Moorman; Alan G. Hill | Go to book overview
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wrong side upon that subject;1 and consistency in a political error is the only kind of consistency to be expected in a journal of this kind. This I am sorry for, because if De Quincey could bring his reasonings before the public through a favorable channel I think he would go far towards exploding a mischievous error.' From this extract, may be seen that these Reviews value above everything, the keeping up the notion of their own mysterious infallibility. It is probable that the Q.R. is closed against the opponents of the Catholic claims, in consequence of its having espoused the other side, through the influence of Mr Canning over the Editor.2 The great circulation of the two Reviews the Quarterly and the Edinburgh, has been very injurious to free discussion, by making it almost insurmountably difficult for any writer not holding a public situation, to obtain a hearing if his opinions should not suit either of these periodical publications.

I was truly glad to see the majority by which the House of Lords expressed their opinion of the Cath. Q.3

I have the honor
to remain
My Lord
most faithfully yours
Wm Wordsworth


MS. Lonsdale MSS., Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle. Hitherto unpublished.

Rydal Mount
16th June 1819

My Lord,

It must be mentioned to your Lordship that my Neighbour Mr Gee, and myself, have thought it right to give Mr Lumb, such

i.e. after the publication of the Bullion Committee's Report in Aug. 1810. The Quarterly Review, Nos. viii and ix ( Nov 1810 and Feb. 1811), had included no less than four articles discussing the Report and related topics, and all of them were in general agreement with the Committee's conclusions. For the evidence for Canning's hand in these articles, see F. W. Fetter, "'Economic Articles in the Quarterly Review & their Authors, 1809-50'", Journal of Political Economy, vol. lxvi ( Feb and Apr. 1958). For Southey's own view of the Bullion question, see Warter, iii. p. 136.
i.e. William Gifford. Both Canning and Croker had come out in favour of concessions to the Catholics.
The Catholic question had been debated in the House of Lords on 17 May: a motion in favour of relief was lost by forty-one votes.


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