Ernest De Selincourt, Alan G. Hill, and Mary Moorman (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 3: The Middle Years: Part II: 1812–1820 (Second Revised Edition)
546. W. W. to LORD LONSDALE
- MS. Lonsdale MSS., Record Office, The Castle, Carlisle.
- K (—). MY ii. 623, p. 846 (—).
- 24 May 1819
- Rydal Mount
Allow me to add a few words (by way of Postscript to my Letter of Saturday) respecting the management of the Quarterly Review. Wishing that what I cannot but think the errors of the Bullionists should be laid open, I wrote to Mr Southey begging his interest with the Editor of the Q.R. to procure the Reviewing of the Pamphlets on this subject for Mr De Quincey, editor of the Westnd Gazette.1
Mr Southey writes in reply: 'I fear the Q.R. would be closed against De Q's opinions upon the Bullion question, as it is against mine on the Catholics' (Mr Southey is an enemy to further concession); 'and indeed more certainly because some years ago it took the pg 544wrong 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