I have tried to present the substance
and spirit of the writing done by Scotsmen in
the field of poetics and literary criticism,
from James the Sixth doom to Francis Jeffrey.
In this body of material, as we have see,
investigation of principles bulks larger than
actual practice of criticism. Possibly it
appears sophistical thus to segregate Scottish
criticism from the English critical literature of
which it is a part. Yet separate treatment may
assist comprehension by its emphasis on certain
pervading national characteristics: the flair
for rationalization, the insistence on morality,
and the passion for fundamentals. Francis Jeffrey-
-is the chief practicing exponent in literary
criticism of the Scottish aesthetical formulae
of the eighteenth century, and no study of these
formulae is complete which does not include him.
In a fashion he completes the epoch, and with him
we reach a natural halting-place.