SCOTT, Sir WALTER (1771-1832, Scottish novelist and poet)
'...there is nothing which some experience with Letters has brought me more to despise than the puffing of friends or the rumours circulated by enemies. I would as soon buffet with the snow-flakes which are falling on my window at the moment as I would try to contradict idle rumours and combat unfounded imaginations A work like the Quarterly is sure to have the fair play of perusal and then the public at large who care for neither our friends nor our enemies will judge for themselves...'
The literary and political periodical, The Quarterly Review, published by John Murray, was founded in 1809 by Sir Walter Scott, George Ellis and John Wilson Croker as a Tory response to the Whig The Edinburgh Review. Early contributors were Scott, Southey, Ugo Foscolo, Sir John Barrow and Charles Lamb. It was known for its scathing reviews, victims of which were Landor, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, P.B. Shelley, Keats (notably), Dickens and Macaulay.
John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854), Scott's son-in-law and biographer was the Quarterly Review's third editor and remained in the post for twenty-seven years. John Coleridge (1790-1876), a nephew of S.T. Coleridge, rose to be a judge. He was editor of The Quarterly Review for about a year. Southey was a regularly contributor - of ninety-five articles in all.
Southey replied to Scott on 2 December observing of Murray's behaviour to John Coleridge - 'No man can get out of a dirty business with clean hands.'
The printed version of this letter in The Letters omits the reference to Byron in this original, imposes punctuation throughout [Scott, as a lawyer, had doubtless got in the habit of not employing much punctuation], alters capital letters, imposes italics and inserts and omits words.