To John Allen

date 28 January 1816

from Edinburgh

To John Allen (28 January 1816)

My Dear Allen

I am a little mortified at your never having made any answer to my earnest request that you would do Sismondi for the Review – when I am in a sanguine humour I venture to ascribe this silence to your having taken the matter into consideration, and being unwilling to answer till you had made up your mind – If this be really the case I certainly do not wish to beak up your deliberation – tho’ I must express my anxiety that it may end favourably – Pray let me know however how the matter stands and let me have the satisfaction at all events of knowing that I have not given you any offence or at least of knowing what it is –

We are miserably in the dark here about politics – not only foreign but domestic – as to France indeed I give no faith to any thing that comes from that quarter – being perfectly persuaded that nobody, even among those who are best informed on the spot knows much of the matter – or at least that there is on all sides so much ignorance as to make all representations of the fact depend almost entirely on the hopes and passions of the reporter – The policy of our govt however I suppose may be more certainly discovered – tho’ I am myself quite unable to guess how it tends –  The nation so far as I can see is now considerably more toryish than their rulers – and [nothing but a crossed out] <were it not for the> fear of disgusting their best and surest supporters I should really expect the Prince and his ministers to take the side of liberty and justice — Pray illuminate me a little – and give me a notion of the scene that is to be disclosed at the meeting of parliament – the tone of the members and the grounds of opposition that are expected ——— Tell me what you think of my last observations on France – I meant them to be as dispassionate and free from faction as possible – and I hear they have been violently abused – I am afraid Lady Holland will never forgive me for the note about B[uonapart]. – but I thought myself bound to speak the truth – and not to overlook an inconsistency that I am persuaded does more mischief to the cause of liberty and the character of some of its defenders than anything else not immediately touching on <our> institutions —

Has our controversy with Lord Elgin made any sensation in London – and what is thought of his justification? – I am myself clearly of opinion that we should leave the settlement of it to Tweddel and his friends and interfere no more – except perhaps as judges when the parties have finished their pleadings —

If you will not engage for Sismondi is there anything else for which you will engage? – I have been shamefully idle myself and foresee a great dearth of good articles [-] if possible pray lend me a lift now — Our Jury court has at last begun its operations – we had out trial last week which went on very smoothly and I hope gave satisfaction – Adam summed up very well indeed – and did all the business in a very [          MS torn]

way – tho’ he made but an awk[ward       MS torn]
opening —— Pray make my [                MS torn]
if possible and tell her it is imposs[ible    MS torn]
anybody she praises as much as B. [       MS torn]
John Russell when you see him [            MS torn]
in my favour – tho’ they were unfor[       MS torn]
devotion – Write soon at any rate

Always most F[aithfully Yours]

F. Jeffrey

May I take the liberty of asking for
what articles in the Review I am still indebted [MS torn]
fear I have been extremely negligent [MS torn]


British Library Add MS 52181, ff. 77-78.
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