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PROFESSOR OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH.
THE LAST OF THE LAIRDS,
THE LIFE AND OPINIONS
MALACHI MAILINGS, ESQUIRE,
" What's the Laird doing, Jock ?”
“ Doing! what should he be doing ! but sitting on his ain louping-on stane and glowring frae him ?"-Sage Sayings of Jock the Laird's Man.
By the Author of “ LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SCOTTISH LIFE, “ The
Trials OF MARGARET LYNDSAY,” “ The FORESTERS," ETC.
In a few days,
Can such things be,
The commencement of a new Volume of our Magazine appears to us a proper opportunity for taking a general review of our labours, their effects, and their tendency. We may truly say, and without fear of contradiction, that our Magazine has excited more attention, whether for praise or blame, than any Periodical which ever existed in this country; and it may be worth while to say something about the cause which produced that notoriety; to state the principles which entitled us, as we think, justly, to the encomiums, and exposed us, as we think, unjustly, to the abuse, which it has been our lot to meet.
When we started, in 1817, the party to which we have always been attached was sadly in want of literary defenders. While the excitement of the war lasted, the paper pellets wherewith ministers were pelted, were of little moment; for the nation was too deeply engaged to think seriously of such things. The ardent spirits were abroad; and the stake played for was too deep to allow those who remained at home to be diverted from the game by anything less serious. When peace came.on, the reaction which men of sense anticipated the change which Lord Castlereagh's phrase so admirably expressed—“ the transition from a state of war to a state of peace,”—was productive of more domestic misery than was remembered for a long time in England. Thousands thrown out of employment—the usual channels closed—no others as yet adequately opened—were of themselves sufficiently dreadful; but when to them were added the dreadful seasons of 1816 and 1817, when the crops failed all through Europe, it is no wonder that an unparalleled degree of distress was the consequence. So dreadful these years,
that our readers may remember the doleful pro