1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Pringle

John Gibson Lockhart, in Life of Scott (1837-38; 1902) 3:157-58.



The Edinburgh Monthly Magazine, subsequently known by the name of its projector, Blackwood, commenced in April of this year [1817]; and one of its editors, Mr. Thomas Pringle, being a Teviotdale man and an old acquaintance of Laidlaw's, offered to the latter the care of its Chronicle department also, — not perhaps without calculating that, in case Laidlaw's connection with the new journal should become at all a strict one, Scott would be induced to give it occasionally the benefit of his own literary assistance. He accordingly did not write — being unwell at the time — but dictated to Pringle a collection of anecdotes concerning Scottish gypsies, which attracted a good deal of notice; and, I believe, he also assisted Laidlaw in drawing up one or more articles on the subject of Scottish superstitions. But the bookseller and Pringle soon quarrelled, and the Magazine assuming, on the retirement of the latter, a high Tory character, Laidlaw's Whig feelings induced him to renounce its alliance; while Scott, having no kindness for Blackwood personally, and disapproving (though he chuckled over it) the reckless extravagance of juvenile satire which, by and by, distinguished his journal, appears to have easily acquiesced in the propriety of Laidlaw's determination.